MRC's Tech-Bashing Year-End List Shows How It's Beholden To Trump, Misinformation Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 16 Media Reserarch Center post by Brian Bradley was a year-end roundup of the "12 worst cases big tech censorship" that sought to reinforce the MRC's victim narrative:
Big Tech and social media platforms censored conservatives in 2021 with a ruthlessness and standardization never seen before.
Silicon Valley Big Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook appear to have adopted an explicit policy to suppress conservative views and encourage the spread of leftist dogma, as several media reports have revealed.
Bradley parroted the talking point that "Before banning former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Twitter had censored Trump and his campaign 625 times, without censoring Joe Biden at all." The accurate way to say it is that Trump violated Twitter's terms of service 625 times, while Biden didn't violate them at all. Bradley's distortion makes it totally unsurprising that the first item on this list is Trump's ban from social media:
The first notable examples of prominent censorship in 2021 are also, distinctly, the worst.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter acted in chorus to censor the former president in January, days after the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill Riot.
The collective action to silence the head of the world’s leading republic stands apart as a show of force by the Big Tech overlords, apparently to present themselves as a dominant societal force and to use the Jan. 6 event as a scapegoat for their agenda.
Bradley made sure to censor the fact of exactly why Trump was banned: he used those social media accounts to help incite the Jan. 6 "event."
Let's look at a few more on this list. Bradley helps the MRC to once again come donw on the side of misinformation for No. 2:
In December, Twitter’s terms of service adopted new totalitarian language, including claims that certain speech about COVID-19 “may lead to harm” and that “persistent conspiracy theories” and “alarmist rhetoric unfounded in research” can threaten people and communities.
In addition to this Orwellian virtue-signaling, the platform informed users that they can expect to be permanently banned from the platform if they get five “strikes” for spreading purported COVID-19 “misinformation.”
Penalties extend to factual claims, tweets that are “demonstrably false or misleading, based on widely available, authoritative sources”; as well as language deemed likely to affect “public safety” or “cause serious harm.”
Only at the MRC would efforts to promote factual, life-saving health information be seen as "totalitarian."
Bradley merged both of the above for No. 4, in which he endorsed misinformation about elections:
The three Big Tech platforms quickly acted to suffocate any breath questioning the legitimacy of the November 2020 election.
On Feb. 1, Twitter banned the account of My Pillow, a week after the platform banned company CEO Mike Lindell’s account. Both accounts had been tweeting claims of election fraud. Shortly thereafter, on Feb. 5, YouTube deleted Lindell’s documentary “Absolute Proof” about election fraud amid fears Dominion Voting Systems would sue for defamation. Dominion had already sent Lindell a cease-and-desist letter.
On Feb. 5, Twitter censored a quote-tweet by journalist Tim Pool of Gateway Pundit journalist Cassandra MacDonald (formerly Cassandra Fairbanks), who had tweeted a video showing a van arriving at a Detroit voting location several times in the morning and apparently unloading dozens of boxes each trip. Twitter labeled Fairbanks’ tweet with its most restrictive label, which reads: "This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can't be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence."
Brfadley is leaving out important facts: 1) The MyPillow account was "banned" because Lindell violated Twitter policy by using it to evade the ban on his personal account. 2) The video MacDonald tweeted out did not show evidence of election fraud, and her claim that it did was a lie.
Bradley's No. 5 again endorsed the fringe:
While plain censorship has striking real-world impacts, terminating someone’s access to finance has uniquely practical and invasive effects.
Wells Fargo shut down the account of former Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke of Delaware in June, telling her only that the action was a “business decision,” and that the bank can close her account at any time, giving apparently no further explanation.
Bradley censored the fact that, as we've documented, Witzke has a history of promoting QAnon conspiracy theories, praising the right-wing thugs in the Proud Boys for providing security at a pre-election rally, and hanging out with anti-Semites. Bradley didn't explain why Wells Fargo, as a private business, has the right to choose who it does business with just like the folks who run that cake shop.
No. 8 on Bradley's list is an attack on an old bogeyman:
The Wall Street Journal released a trove of internal Facebook files showing the company’s internal debates about how far it can go in censoring conservatives in October. The Journalcalled attention to two censorship tools used to suppress content. One tool, called “Sparing Sharing," allegedly reduced the reach of frequent posters who "disproportionately shared false and incendiary information,” The Journal wrote.
A second tool, “called ‘Informed Engagement,’ reduced the reach of posts that people were more likely to share if they hadn’t read them," reported The Journal. When combined, the two censorship tools greatly impacted the reach of conservative news content shared on Facebook. Facebook’s own “political ideology analysis” indicated that multiple conservative outlets would do far better if strict moderation tools were removed, “with Breitbart’s traffic increasing an estimated 20%, Washington Times’ 18%, Western Journal’s 16% and Epoch Times’ by 11%.”
Bradley didn't mention that the Journal obtained those files from a former executive named Frances Haugen, whom the MRC has been trying to discredit for holding "leftist" views and insisting that she's not a real whistleblower -- which just so happens to be the script that Facebook fed to right-wing media.
No. 10 is another fun MRC friend:
YouTube removed videos from the channel of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in July, after he provided his opinions on COVID-19. Bolsonaro had been publishing weekly addresses on his channel where he talks about issues important to Brazil, but YouTube removed 15 of his videos for so-called misinformation regarding COVID-19, according to the BBC.
The platform appeared to target the Brazilian president for mentioning alternative treatments to combat COVID-19. “‘Our policies don’t allow content that claims hydroxychloroquine and/or Ivermectin are effective to treat or prevent Covid-19, claims that there is a guaranteed cure for Covid-19, and claims that masks don’t work to prevent the spread of the virus,’” YouTube reportedly told the New York Times in a statement.
The MRC just loves it when right-wing authoritarians who suppress and censor dissent in their own countries complained about being "censored" on social media.
Bradley touted another COVID misinormer for No. 11:
Continuing social media’s trend of censoring views straying from COVID-19 orthodoxy, Twitter permanently suspended New York Times journalist and author Alex Berenson in August, alleging “repeated violations of [the platform’s] COVID-19 misinformation rules.”
In “the tweet that did it,” as Berenson described it, he claimed that the controversial COVID-19 vaccines should not be thought of as vaccines but rather as “therapeutic[s].” Berenson posted a purported picture of the tweet in his online Substack newsletter, Unreported Truths: “Don’t think of [the COVID-19 vaccine] as a vaccine. Think of it - at best - as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it?”
As we've noted, Berenson has been busted numerous times for spreading misinformation.Funny how the MRC suddenly thinks identifying Berenson as a "New York Times journalist" is needed to boost his credibility (he hasn't worked for the Times for a while, so Bradley suggesting he still worked there is false).
Bradley's list does nothing but reinforce how wrongheaded (and just plain wrong) the MRC's flaining war on "big tech" is.
WND Columnist Cheered Putin Bashing U.S. Topic: WorldNetDaily
CNSNews.com wasn't the only ConWeb outlet to fawn over a foreign leader attacking America in a speech. Hanne Nabintu Herland echoed CNS in lovingly recounting Vladimir Putin's attacks in an October speech in her Nov. 3 WorldNetDaily column:
Since Russia is now our much talked about enemy, one would assume that the Western media would scrutinize every word said by President Putin at the influential 2021 Valdai Discussion Club in Russia. But not so.
As the Valdai event in Sochi focused on the individual, values and the role of the state, sharing the vision of modern Russia, negative focus on COVID-19 in Russian hospitals was seemingly the only popular topic the same week in Western mainstream media.
This, of course, effectively halted any intelligent discussions in the West on topics such as conservatism versus progressivism, totalitarianism versus citizens' rights, the importance of not focusing on race and skin color, the need to combat racism, inequality and important topics such as the dire situation in Afghanistan, all addressed at the Valdai Discussion Club.
President Putin held talks with journalists for over three hours at Valdai, rivaling his well-known annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum open talks.
In fact, the Valdai Discussion Club is little more than a pro-Putin think tank, meaning there's little actual "discussion" going on there, and any journalists who failed to toe the party line were likely strongly encouraged to do so lest they get the Navalny treatment.
Herland first highlighted Putin's remarks on Afghanistan, then moved to what she really wanted to hype:
The second main topic at the 2021 Valdai Discussion Club was President Putin preaching Russian conservatism as a remedy against the extreme progressive, left-wing wokeness that now destabilizes the Western hemisphere. Putin noted: "It is with puzzlement that in the West today we see practices that Russia has left in the distant past."
The president said that it is very surprising to see how Western countries turn to an aggressive dogmatism in the struggle for equality against discrimination that borders on absurdity. While opposing racism is a noble cause, the culture of abolition turns into a reverse discrimination based on skin color.
"People who dare to say that men and women still exist as a biological fact are almost ostracized. … Not to mention the simply monstrous fact that children today are taught from a young age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. Let's call a spade a spade: This simply verges on crimes against humanity under the banner of progress," he said, as quoted by The Moscow Times.
Putin added: "In the coming era of global readjustment, which may last quite long and whose final outlook is unknown, moderate conservatism is the most reasonable line of conduct," stating that Russia will be guided by the ideology of healthy conservatism. This is seen as opposed to the extremism that leads to political collapse.
Herland went on to gush: "He described the current worldwide political and social upheaval by quoting a Chinese proverb: 'God forbid living in a time of change,' which is precisely what we are now experiencing." She didn't mention that Putin forbids his countrymen to change if it involves him losing power. Perhaps she wants his corrupt authoritarianism to take over in America.
The MRC's Abrupt Flip-Flop On Elon Musk Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center -- specifically writer Joseph Vazquez -- spent a good part of late last year slobbering over Elon Musk for saying all the proper right-wing things.
Joseph Vazquez used an Oct. 28 post to gush over how "the world’s richest man ... dismantled the logic behind the Democratic Party’s latest class warfare tax-the-rich scheme." On Nov. 1, Vazquez wrote that "CNN tried to sell a false headline alleging that a fraction of the world’s richest man’s wealth could solve world hunger" but got the math wrong.
Vazquez used a Dec. 14 post to cheer how Musk was named Time magazine's person of the year:
Too bad for the left, they can't mandate who wins “Person of the Year.” So TIME magazine decided to give the world’s richest man Elon Musk that honor, though he’s become a vocal critic of vaccine mandates and the left.
In TIME’s write-up of its decision to christen Musk, the outlet stated that “Musk has spent a lifetime defying the haters; now, it seems, he’s finally in position to put them in their place.” Musk certainly has been ruffling leftist feathers as of late. He slapped down the idea of government-imposed vaccine mandates as the “‘erosion of freedom in America,’” according to Yahoo! Finance.
In addition, Musk repudiated President Joe Biden’s leftist infrastructure plan during the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit: “‘Honestly, I would just can this whole bill. Don’t pass it.’” He continued to hammer the left’s spending spree: “‘In general, if we don’t cut government spending something really bad is going to happen. This is crazy. Our spending is so far in excess of revenue it’s insane.’”
The selection of Musk would seem to blow a hole in the MRC's longtime portrayal of Time as irredeemably liberal, but Vazquez decided that drooling over Musk was more important than ideological inconsistency.
The next day, Vazquez touted a supposedly sick burn from Musk:
Elon Musk used his Twitter account like a battering ram to troll the left for their hypocritical pontificating about class warfare.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took to Twitter Dec. 13 to express disgust at the world’s richest man being chosen as TIME magazine’s 2021 “Person of the Year.” Warren spewed, “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.”
Musk clapped back: “[I]f you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” Then Musk dropped the truth bomb: “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.” Ouch.
Vazquez concluded by trying to loop Time back into the MRC narrative: "Warren’s complaining perfectly illustrates how the left can’t handle the fact that a notoriously liberal magazine decided to think for itself and honor a billionaire who doesn’t genuflect to the leftist hive-mind." He seems to have forgotten that Time has named numerous conservatives as person of the year, including Donald Trump after he won the presidency in 2016, so this is not the huge leap that Vazquez wants you to think it is.
Vazquez then devoted a Dec. 17 post to right-wing talking heads Steve Forbes and Larry Kudlow proclaiming that Musk should be named chairman of the Federal Reserve because he has been "mocking the left’s nonsensical multitrillion-dollar economic agenda."
With all that fawning over Musk, one would think the MRC's Musk-fluffing would go on forever, right? Well, it seems to have come to a screeching halt thanks to a Jan. 11 post by Jay Maxson:
Last week, China fanboy/parasite Elon Musk got verbally slapped down by NBA player Enes Freedom Kanter for sucking up to China. Completely overlooking China’s innumerable human rights abuses, Musk opened up a Tesla showroom in China's Xinjiang province, drawing the ire of the Boston Celtics’ center Kanter, who has been waging an ongoing campaign against China.
Those monster profits from China evidently look just as good to Musk as they do to LeBron James, Nike and the NBA. All of whom enjoy doing business with China, despite one of the world’s worst human rights records.
Buddying up with China is nothing new for Musk, as Breitbart's Warner Todd Huston pointed out. In 2019, the nutty Musk declared China the future for humanity. Which humanity he was talking about was a mystery because the words China and humanity don’t belong in the same sentence.
Not only did Musk unveil his autos in China, he also engaged in bizarre dance moves on the showroom floor, which he found quite hysterical. Maybe acting like a crazy bat constitutes some of the China version of happiness.
As Vazquez might say, ouch. Kanter has been a cause celebre for Maxson, toutinghiscriticism of the NBA's willingness to overlook China's human rights record to promote the sport there, as well as his right-wing-friendly decision to add "Freedom" to his name after becoming an American citizen.
Interestingly, Vazquez hasn't dedicated a post to Musk since Maxson's item went live -- nor has anyone else at the MRC.
WND Quiet On Death of Race-Baiter Colin Flaherty Topic: WorldNetDaily
When Colin Flaherty died last month, WorldNetDaily was silent about it, even though he did his most prominent work there. He was the guy who wrote for WND between 2012 and 2014 about his obsessionwith "black mob violence" -- even when those mobs involved no actual black people -- and published an edition of his race-baiting book "White Girl Bleed A Lot." It was bad enough that Google threatened in 2014 to pull the plug on its ad services to WND because of all the race-baiting; WND eventually capitulated and agreed not to serve Google ads on its race-baiting pages, and Flaherty left WND shortly thereafter.
But you know who did more Flaherty's death? The white nationalists at VDARE, offering no fewer than five tributes. Lead white nationalist Peter Brimelow mourned him this way: "Colin, like me, was once a Contender in the Corporate Media, from which he was progressively extruded because he refused to Get The Memo that he wasn't supposed to discuss a forbidden topic—in his case, black crime." Actually, if WND thinks you're too race-baity, you were never a contender.
John Tremain, meanwhile, highlighted how "Future PC Enforcers seeking to sanitize the past for the Ministry of Truth will have their work cut out for them trying to erase Colin’s massive content footprint. He leaves behind thousands of hours of videos, podcasts, and interviews, countless articles on rogue sites like American Thinker, VDARE.com, and American Renaissance" -- thus showing the bigoted crowd with which Flaherty ran. Tremain also claimed that Flaherty had been "befriended by many black conservatives," among them Jesse Lee Peterson, who uses his black-conservative privilege to sound like a white supremacist.
Speaking of American Renaissance, Jared Taylor also served up a tribute that mostly stuck to recounting his life story (though he did link to a piece we wrote in complaining that "Huffington Post, of course, called his reporting 'race-baiting'). Another fun racist friend, John Derbyshire, touted in his Jan. 14 podcast how "At one of my encounters with the late Colin Flaherty I impressed him by knowing the Irish spelling of his name."
Finally, a coward writing under the pseudonym "A Southerner" served up a more gushy tribute, serving up revisionist history at one point by claiming that Flaherty "told me that in 2014, Google even threatened to demonetize WND if all ads weren’t removed from Colin’s pieces, because they drove so much traffic." The writer concluded:
My friend Colin Flaherty made a difference.
Our cities can be rebuilt. Statues to those who came before us can be recast.
Heroes who, in dark times, defended what was undefendable, can be celebrated.
But it’s only because those who lived bravely and without fear dedicated their lives to truth, in a time of universal deceit, that what once was can be again.
Colin Flaherty risked everything. And he made a difference.
Rest in peace, Big Man.
It's telling of the person Flaherty actually was that this coward feels he must hide behind a fake name on a white nationalist website to pay tribute.
MRC Melts Down Over Nonbinary Olympic Skater Topic: Media Research Center
Once again, the Olympics are not heterosexual enough for the Media Research Center. After spending the 2018 Winter Olympics lashing out at figure skater Adam Rippon for being gay and disapproving of Republican anti-LGBT stances and last year's Summer Olympics actively rooting for the U.S. team to fail becuase there weren't enough right-wing heterosexuals on it, the MRC's coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics kicked off on a similar note, with Jay Maxson spending a Jan. 10 post melting down over a nonbinary Olympic skater:
Can we ever have a gender-normal Olympiad again? Last summer in Tokyo, it was all about the transgenders. Next month in Beijing, the United States will feature its first-ever non-binary winter athlete.
Since this gender craze is all about the pronouns, we’re about to see someone who looks an awful lot like a “he,” but who goes by “they.” Oh, for the good old days of the thrill of the sport and the agony of defeat again. When men were men and women were women!
Timothy “they” LeDuc is one of four persons named to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating team Sunday morning. In 2019, he was one of the first openly homosexual athletes to win gold in a U.S. pairs' event. This year, LeDuc took gender confusion a step further by publicly coming out as a so-called "non-binary" and the first such U.S. athlete to win a championship in any discipline. In another four years, he'll probably compete as a house plant.
Maxson went on to complain: "LeDuc’s Christian family is from a traditional evangelical church that tried to change their son, and the NBC story portrays them as the weird people." Maxson clearly doesn't see that as weird at all -- he (or she) seems to believe everyone must be forced to be heterosexual, given how much he (or she) hates LGBT people.
Actually, LeDuc's family's attempt to change them was much more harsh than the way Maxson
Maxson concluded by spewing more hate at LeDuc and the LGBT community in general:
At least today, LeDuc is fantasizing as outside the binary world. So naturally, he’s going to be looked at as odd, as peculiar by the greater public. But the strange, the unusual is already acceptable to the wide, wacky media world. NBC and others that are so quick to give in and go along with anything LGBT, no matter how radical it is. No questions asked.
It's weird that a NewsBusters blogger whose presence is so devoid of basic details that we can't even determine what sex he (or she) is, lket alone if his (or her) name is genuine is so concerned about the sex and sexuality of others.
CNS Editor Still Bashing Biden's Debt, Silent On Trump's Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey wrapped up his commenting on federal deficits in 2021 the way he has all year long -- blaming President Biden for running them up and pretending that Doanld Trump never added anything to the debt. Jeffrey spent his Dec. 15 column complaining;
If you divide the $28,908,004,857,445 in debt that the federal government owed before the debt limit was lifted by the 100,424,240 American households that paid net income taxes in 2018, it works out to approximately $287,859 per income-tax-paying household.
President Joe Biden's fiscal 2022 budget proposal called for running a cumulative deficit of $14.531 trillion over just the next 10 fiscal years. Balancing the budget — let alone slowing the increase in the debt — plays no part in his fiscal plan.
Adding another $14.531 trillion to the federal debt would increase the burden on the 100,424,240 income-tax-paying households of 2018 by approximately $144,696.
Jeffrey further complained that one can buy a decent house in many parts of the country with their share of the debt, adding: "Which would you rather have over your head? A roof that you will someday own? Or a federal government that is steadily increasing its control over your finances and your life?"
We don't recall Jeffrey writing any similar complaints about how much one could buy with their share of the debt when Trump was president.
Jeffrey served up his usual monthly statement in a Jan. 12 article: "At the same time that it was collecting a record $1,051,873,000,000 in total taxes in the October-through-December period, the federal government was spending $1,429,567,000,000. Thus, it ran a deficit of $377,694,000,000." The stock photo accompanying the article, as usual, featured all Democrats.
MRC Shows Residual Love For 'Let's Go Brandon' Insult Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just loves the "Let's Go Brandon" insult of President Biden -- so much so that some of its writers wants to dispense with the euphemism and go full "Fuck You Biden." How has the MRC been loving it lately? Mostly by turning it into a victimhood indicator.
A Dec. 14 post by Jay Maxson complained that a golf ball maker "is now part of the corporate censorship movement." becauses it refuses to allow people to imprint "Let's Go Brandon" on their golf balls. Maxson further complained: "Fox News Digital investigated whether or not people can order balls with messages like "F Trump", "ACAB" (all cops are bastards), 'Antifa', 'Kill Cops,' 'Impeach Trump' and 'Kill Trump.' None of these derogatory phrases were blocked." Unmentioned was the fact that very few left-wing radicals are golfers, let alone ones who can afford to spring for specially imprinted golf balls.
When a right-wing jerk, Jared Schmeck, said "Lets Go Brandon" to Biden during a White House event, the MRC rushed to his defense. A Dec. 26 post by Tim Graham was offended that anyone would find the phrase offensive:
On Friday afternoon, CNN anchor Boris Sanchez denounced the rude behavior, and then CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein said it was about "insurrection" and the "Big Lie" that the Republican base thinks Biden isn't a legitimate president. (CNN never considered Trump legitimate.)
NBC News posted an article headlined "Parent uses right-wing slur during Biden call with NORAD Santa tracker." It began: "President Joe Biden was subjected to a right-wing anti-Biden slur during a Christmas Eve call with NORAD's Santa tracker." Bloomberg's "Quicktake" also called it a "slur."
ABC News chose the headline "Father uses vulgar insult during holiday call with President Joe Biden." Technically, this is not accurate, since there is no vulgarity in "Let's Go Brandon."
Kevin Tober used a Dec. 28 post to claimed that MSNBC's Ncolle Wallace "laughably claimed on Monday that the Oregon father who said '“let’s go, Brandon' to President Joe Biden was part of a 'slow-motion insurrection'." But Tober also admitted that the man appeared on creepy insurrection cheerleader Steve Bannon's show to declare, "Donald Trump is my President and he should still be President right now. The election was 100% stolen. So I just want to make that clear." Sounds like a guy who is definitely at least insurrection-curioius, no?
On Jan. 4, Tober was insisting that the deliberately offensive phrase was a "practical joke" and that Schmeck should never have to face consequences for saying it:
The idea that someone should have their life ruined over a practical joke, is patently insane and frankly anti-American. Yet that is exactly whatCNNOpinion columnist and SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah argued in a recent column last week.
In a piece titled “You can't troll the President with 'Let's go, Brandon' and then play the victim”, Obeidallah argued that Jared Schmeck, the 35-year-old Oregon father deserves whatever punishment the cancel culture tyrants want to inflict on him for the grave sin of saying “Let’s Go, Brandon” to President Joe Biden during a call on Christmas Eve.
Obedallah went on to point out how Schmeck was painting himself as a victim because his insult was criticized: "Aww, poor 'victim' Schmeck. Apparently, he thinks he should be able to tell Biden to basically go f**k himself while on a family-friendly holiday call, but no one should be able to take issue with his actions." Tober didn't take that well:
Freedom of speech is the freedom to say what you believe without fear of retaliation or punishment. In fairness, he did write that didn’t have any “ill wishes towards Jared Schmeck.” While one sentence later, he wrote that he hoped no one tells him: "Let's go, Jared!"
No, Kevin, that is not the definition of "freedom of speech" -- which you should know because you work for an organization whose primary mission is to inflict retaliation and punishment on non-conservatives who say what they believe. For instance, the day before Tober wrote this post, he was raging at NBC for "maligning conservatives who care about local political and cultural issues as violent rioters in the mold of those who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6." He clearly does not believe NBC employees should have "the freedom to say what they believe without fear of retaliation or punishment."
If the MRC adhered to Tober's definition, it would soon be out of business -- and Tober would be out of a job. He appears to be a little too focused on spewing hate at anyone who works in non-right-wing media to understand the corner he painted himself into.
On the Jan. 5 NewsBusters podcast, guest host Nicholas Fondacaro rehashed Tober's post, then played whataboutism by citing threats against CNN host Brian Stelter and his family and claiming that CNN "doesn't seem to think that what they say and the hatred that they stoke against Fox and people on the right can result in the same things they they're being subject to." That statement is stunningly oblivious to the fact that the MRC stokes hatred against CNN, MSNBC, the broadcast networks and people on the left, because their tone is much more harsh than almost anything CNN has said about Fox News. Fondacaro then hypocritically cited incidents of alleged violence against Republicans... without any condemnation or even mentoin of right-wing violence against liberals.
Don't expect Fondacaro and Co. to ever take responsiblity for any of that, of course -- acting responsinbly is not what they do.
WND's Farah Touted Scientist His Own Website Admits Is Discredited Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah wrote in his Dec. 27 WorldNetDaily column:
Do you trust the Chinese Communist Party to tell the truth about the COVID-19 virus that has killed some 5,413,000 people throughout the world?
Do you buy the story that it escaped the Wuhan lab accidentally, according to the Chinese government?
Do you recognize that this same totalitarian nation is responsible for the worst genocide in history between Mao's Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the great purges and the Tibet invasion, between 1949 and 1969 – estimated to have claimed as many as 78 million lives?
Let's be frank.
With a track record like that, why does the world give China the benefit of the doubt?
Recently, Joshua Philipp, an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and an expert on unrestricted warfare, interviewed Dr. Yan Li-meng, a virologist and former member of the World Health Organization influenza H5 Reference Lab based at the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health, a key emergency disease facility for the Chinese government.
Yan does not believe the Chinese government when it comes to the origin of the virus.
Yan said SARS-CoV-2 was the result of a secret 20-year-old bioweapons research program that included coronaviruses.
"I'm the big problem," Yan said. "They (the CCP) need to disappear me. The reason is very clear, because the things I'm telling the world actually reveal the top confidential plans of the Chinese government. They've spent over 20 years working on the novel bioweapons, including coronavirus."
But Farah apparently doesn't read his own website. Yan's story has been discredited by actual scientists -- and WND even corrected an article that had promoted Yan's claim.
In September 2020, WND hyped Yan's asssertion that "she has evidence COVID-19 is man-made and plans to publish it soon." As we noted, a month later WND appended a correction to the article:
CORRECTION Oct. 11, 2020: Appearances by Dr. Li-Meng Yan on media outlets in Britain and the United States have come under fresh scrutiny in connection with her own pre-print (an unpublished draft of a science paper) on the website Zenodo claiming to provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was created in a laboratory and is not of natural origin. Yan's pre-print, which was not peer-reviewed by other experts in the field, claims that some unique characteristics in the SARS-CoV-2 genome prove that the virus is man-made. However, experts disputed Yan's pre-print for being flawed and containing unsubstantiated claims. The exact origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains unknown. Dr. Yan claims to prove that the SARS-COV-2 virus originated in a lab, but a careful analysis of her pre-print actually shows this claim is unsubstantiated.
Despite the fact that his own website considers Yan discredited -- and refusing to share that fact with his readers -- Farah concluded his column with paranoiac ranting based on her dubious claims:
Joe Biden is also compromised – by Hunter Biden's business in China.
So is Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by his own dealings in China, as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
And don't forget the press and Big Tech – that goes beyond compromise! They are more than apologists for China. They freely and eagerly censor all voices that criticize the Chicoms. Just ask Google who committed the worst genocides in history!
Time is running out for America.
We keep hiding behind the pandemic, with vaccine mandates that are not working, mask mandates that never worked and businesses that are in bed with China.
Meanwhile, China grows more bellicose and warlike.
China is the most existential threat to the U.S. in the world. Where does this end?
NEW ARTICLE: A Tale Of Two (Or Three) Whistleblowers Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves Facebook whistleblowers who are as right-wing (if not more so) than it is. Liberal whistleblowers? Not so much -- to the point that it followed Facebook's script in an attempt to discredit her. Read more >>
CNS Dutifully Parrots Attacks On Biden Over Meat Prices Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is never going to call out Donald Trump for his torrent of lies, but it will rebut and nitpick President Biden with right-wing talking points at every opportunity.
In a Jan. 4 article, Susan Jones complained that "President Joe Biden on Monday blamed a lack of competition in the meat processing industry for rising meat prices at the grocery store," going on to lean into CNS' Biden-is-senile narrative by claiming that "Biden stumbled as he tried to explain how "these middlemen" operate."Fully half the article, however, is given over to a meat industry lobbying group to attack Biden:
In reaction, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) -- which bills itself as a "leading voice" for the meat and poultry processing industry -- said Biden is wrong to blame private industry for price inflation:
"Prices reflect supply and demand in a healthy market," NAMI said in a news release.
"For the third time in six months, President Joe Biden and his Administration announced the same plans to spend $1 billion to fund government intervention in the market in an attempt to increase prices livestock producers receive while blaming inflation on private industry,” said Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute.
Jones went on to note that note that"Biden on Monday announced a four-point plan to strengthen competition" -- then added that "On that first point alone, NAMI posed the following list of questions," of which there were eight."
A hour later, Jones hurled another attack piece at Biden over his meat-price plan, courtesy of a longtime political operative:
President Joe Biden on Monday announced a plan to lower the cost of meat by going after the nation's four largest meat processors, whom he accused of "exploiting" farmers, ranchers, and consumers.
But, as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich observed: "If you have a president who can't solve the problem of enough supply for monoclonal antibodies, can't solve the amount of supply for testing, can't fix anything involving the pandemic," how can we expect Biden to lower the cost of beef?
"They have more ships sitting outside Long Beach harbor, about 121 now, than they had three weeks ago. So the supply chain stays broken," Gingrich told Fox News's Sean Hannity on Monday:
Of course, writing articles attacking Biden is what Jones gets paid to do.
MRC Delcares War On Website Rater NewsGuard With Bogus 'Study' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a dislike for the website credibility rating firm NewsGuard that has only grown more visceral. In 2020, we noted that the MRC tried to tag NewsGuard as "liberal" for no real reason other than that it once fact-checked Rush Limbaugh. Last May, the MRC's Kayla Sargent freaked out over NewsGuard launching a service that would allow advertisers to block its ads on websites that contain misinformation -- weirdly screaming in the headline that this was "DISGUSTING." She huffied that "NewsGuard’s new service to help advertisers fight what it considers to be 'misinformation' could even be dangerous to the idea of free speech, because the organization is so overtly left-leaning." She offered no credible evidence that NewsGuard is "left-leaning."
But when NewsGuard announced it was spreading its ratings system to broadcast news, the MRC decided to declare war. Joseph Vazquez ranted against the "leftist" NewsGuard in a Dec. 3 post, first repeating the MRC previous factually deficient attack on the organzation over its Limbaugh fact-check, then adding:
NewsGuard even went after pro-life organizations like Live Action, giving it a dubious score of “30” out of 100 and accused that it “severely violates basic journalistic standards.” Meanwhile, NewsGuard rates baby slaughter mill Planned Parenthood with a “75” score and claimed its “ website adheres to basic standards of credibility and transparency.” [Emphasis added.]
But that’s not all. NewsGuard’s “Nutrition Label” rating for LifeSiteNews relied on pieces marked as “opinion” to lambast the pro-life website for information that the outlet considers to be not factual, such as the link between breast cancer and abortion. However, leftist Jezebel, a site that appeared to highlight and sympathize with “unlicensed, untrained illegal abortionists,” is considered a good site by NewsGuard.
Note that Vazquez hung political labels on Jezebel but not LifeSite or Live Action, which are unambiguously right-wing. He also forgot to mention that LifeSite is a notorious spreader of misinformation, particulary about COVID; when social media shut down its accounts because of the information it spreads, the MRC conferred victimhood on it.Vazquez also didn't prove that Planned Parenthood is unreliable or that LiveAction is reliable (Live Action got kicked off Instagram for spreading misinformation).Vazquez further whined:
A December 2020 report by NewsGuard illustrated the bias the site has against conservatives. It claimed that organizations listed “published falsehoods about both COVID-19 and the 2020 U.S. election.” The list included outlets like Breitbart, The Blaze, The Epoch Times and LifeSiteNews. The “Trustworthy and Trending” list, on the other hand, included liberal propaganda outlets like NBC News, The New York Times, Microsoft’s MSN.com, The Washington Post and the taxpayer-funded National Public Radio.
Vazquez provided no evidence to dispute any specific findings, though.
The gauntlet having apparently been through, the MRC slapped together a so-called "study" in an attempt to tar NewsGaurd as having a liberal bias, which Vazquez hyped in a Dec. 13 post:
A new analysis reveals the extraordinary left-wing bias of website ratings firm NewsGuard, which should concern every American given that it is expanding its reach into cable and broadcast TV news. Liberal outlets were rated 27 points higher on average than news organizations on the right.
MRC Free Speech America analyzed the NewsGuard ratings of media outlets based on a list compiled by AllSides classified by their “bias” on a left-to-right scale. The average NewsGuard score for the “left” and “lean left” outlets — which included leftist outlets like Jacobin and he Nation — was 93/100. While the average rating for “right” and “lean right” outlets — which included Fox News, Washington Times and New York Post— was a low 66/100. That’s a 27 point disparity.
According to NewsGuard’s skewed ratings, left-leaning outlets have substantially more “credibility” on average than right-leaning outlets.
But as we've documented, AllSides is a right-leaning fact-checker that uses sloppy labeling, and the MRC has previously praised it for leaning into its "liberal bias" narratives. Nevertheless, Vazquez tried to make a case for AllSides' credibility, claiming that "Even the liberal Poynter Institute cited two media experts who shared 'praise for the stated methods for rating bias' by AllSides." Vazquez did weirdly complain, though, that "AllSides including Deseret News in its “lean right” list is disputed by MRC research; as we've documented, that "dispute" is based solely on coverage on two stories seven years apart in which the paper -- which is owned by a division the Mormon Church, hardly a bastion of liberalism -- dared to accurately report bad news about a Republican.
Vazquez then moved on to cherry-picking attacks on NewsGuard's numbers:
The breakdown of the lists of outlets is even more revealing in terms of their individual grades. Socialist site Jacobin, scored an astonishing "92.5" by NewsGuard. The same outlet published Marxist propaganda in October headlined: “Socialism Isn’t Just About State Ownership — It’s About Redistributing Power.” In April 2020, Jacobin published a piece celebrating how “[s]ocialism is back on the agenda in the United States, thank God. And today’s newly minted socialists shouldn’t be afraid to embrace Marxism.”
That’s not all. The Nation, which also scored a high “92.5,” is the same outlet that published a 2020 piece defending “property destruction” as integral to the success of a left-wing “uprising” following the murder of George Floyd. The piece advocated for property violence: “Given that capitalism largely restricts pleasure to the consumption of goods, we should be able to entertain the idea that this taking of unnecessary things—while not a recognizably political act—is understandable or even a [sic] justifiable.”
Vazquez seems to be arguing that Jacobin and The Nation be rated lower simply for advocating a political viewpoint he gets paid to disagree with. He offered no evidence why those views, in and of themselves, should automatically make a website less credible.He continued:
By comparison, The Federalist, posted in the “right” AllSides list, was scored the worst with a ridiculous “12.5” on NewsGuard. A predominant reason for the abysmal rating, according to NewsGuard, was that The Federalist questioned the efficacy of mask mandates for COVID-19, even though liberal CNBC (not on the AllSides list, but has a “95” NewsGuard rating) cited a study showing that cloth masks were only 37 percent effective at filtering out virus particles. Another August preprint study did not find an “association between mask mandates or use and reduced COVID-19 spread in US states.”
Only two “lean-right” outlets on the AllSides list were given “100” scores by NewsGuard, both of which happen to be the Democrat-favoring Deseret News and the anti-Trump Reason magazine. Another anti-Trump outlet listed in the “lean right” AllSides list was The Dispatch, which received a “92.5” score from NewsGuard. It appears NewsGuard is more willing to award great scores to “lean right” sites that ironically publish pro-liberal content it approves.
Vazquez is again arguing that only websites that spout the same right-wing views he gets paid to advocate should be considered "credible." He refuses to take into consideration the idea that conservative websites are, in fact, less credible than liberal-leaning ones.
This "study" is a complete failure. But you know who loved it? AllSides, the supposedly neutral operation it relied on for its ratings. It devoted a Dec. 14 post to reviewing the findings and giving them credence, once again leaning into the MRC's politically motivated bias narratives: "Journalists tend to lean left, which reflects in their work. It makes sense that NewsGuard would rate them more highly because NewsGuard’s review staff is mostly made up of longtime mainstream journalists."
That, of course, is the ultimate evidence that the MRC's "study" is fatally flawed.
CNS' 'Balance' On Harry Reid's Death Includes 20-Year-Old Attack Topic: CNSNews.com
When longtime Democratic Sen. Harry Reid died, in late Decmeber, CNSNews.com did the right thing with an anonymously written Dec. 29 article quoting Nancy Pelosi praising Reid as "a titan of public service,” adding perhaps unhappily that she also called him "a leader with strong family values."
Because no praise for a Democrat, living or dead, is apparently allowed to stand alone at CNS, this was followed a few hours later with another anonymously written article, this time bashing Reid for something he did 20 years ago:
Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), who passed away this week, opposed President George W. Bush’s nomination of former Sen. John Ashcroft (R.-Mo.) to be attorney general of the United States citing, among other things, what he called Ashcroft’s “substantial biases against…gays and lesbians” and calling Ashcroft “a man who prevents women from options to which they should be entitled”—an apparent reference to abortion.
Despite Reid’s opposition, Ashcroft was confirmed as attorney general on 58-42 vote conducted on Feb. 1, 2001.
“I have weighed the facts revealed before the Judiciary Committee to the best of my ability,” Reid said in a Senate floor speech on Jan. 31, 2001.
“The evidence has convinced me that Mr. Ashcroft has demonstrated real and substantial biases against women, people of color, gays and lesbians, and anyone else who does not meet his personal definition of what constitutes an American,” said Reid.
“Not only has he shown that pervasive bias, he has repeatedly acted upon it as attorney general and governor of Missouri and as a member of this body,” Reid said.
“I cannot confirm a man who allows his bias against another's most personal lifestyle choices to effect his decision on whether that individual is fit to enter public service,” said Reid.
“I cannot confirm a man who prevents women from options to which they should be entitled,” he said.
“I cannot confirm as attorney general anyone who will not confer upon that office the impartiality it demands and, most importantly, deserves,” said Reid.
The anonyous writer didn't prove anything that Reid said wrong or even tried to justify Ashcroft's actions; instead, the article is filled out with a copy-and-paste of the entire speech.
We're not sure what the point of this article is. It's clearly meant to be a parting right-wing shot at a dead Democrat by folks who clearlydespiseLGBTpeople, but it ultimately comes off as evidence of Reid's integrity that he was willing to try and block the nomination of Ashcroft based on his anti-LGBT track record.
In that way, CNS' sniping backfired. That's what happens when making partisan political points becomes more important than reporting the news.
UPDATE: That same day, CNS also reposted a 2016 article by Susan Jones about how Reid said that he's "one of the kings of earmarks." Keep it classy, CNS!
Newsmax's Hirsen Gushes Over Kevin Sorbo Topic: Newsmax
How much did Kevin Sorbo pay James Hirsen to write an excessively gushy Dec. 20 Newsmax column about him? Enough for Hirsen to crank out this press-agent-worthy glurge:
Kevin Sorbo is a multi-talented entertainment pro.
He first rose to international fame in 1995, when he landed the lead role as Hercules in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” At the time it ranked as one of television’s highest-rated syndicated shows.
Its success yielded the popular 1995 spin-off series called “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Lucy Lawless plays the lead in the TV fantasy offshoot. And the pair of hits allowed for some fun crossover appearances of characters between the two shows.
Kevin also plays main character High Guard Captain Dylan Hunt in the 2000 sci-fi TV series “Andromeda,” which was penned by the creator of the enduring iconic series “Star Trek,” the late, great Gene Roddenberry.
As one of Hollywood’s top celebrities, Kevin’s more recent projects have focused on using his many mighty gifts in spiritually-oriented ways.
As a major co-star in the 2014 watershed faith-based film “God's Not Dead,” he portrays an atheist college professor, who on the first day of class mandates that his students disavow their religious beliefs.
The movie has an astounding profit margin, having grossed more than $62 million on a $2 million budget. It not only succeeded in turning industry heads, but it also ended up launching a whole new film franchise.
Of course, this is all a lead-up to promoting Sorbo's current film project:
His latest project is a new cinematic adaptation of a “Left Behind” work that is part of the bestselling series co-authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
Kevin produces and stars in the upcoming “Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist,” which is currently being filmed in Canada. He and co-star Greg Perrow recently provided some insight as to why they are making the movie, and what people can expect in the re-launch of this beloved saga.
Hirsen concluded by bestowing victimhood on Sorbo for being a right-winger in Hollywood:
Like many other faith-filled people in Hollywood, Kevin has borne his share of scorn.
He noted, “There's a negativity towards Christians in Hollywood, and a negativity towards people who believe in God.”
Maybe, just maybe, Kevin, whose efforts in the past helped bring us tales of battling mythical beasts and who is now taking on the biblical ones, will get some folks to crack open the Good Book.
A great place to start at this time of year is Luke chapter 2, verses 1-20. Merry Christmas!
That's not the only gushy promotion Hirsen was handing out over the holiday season. His Dec. 6 column touted "The Chosen," a streaming show that claims to be "the first multi-season series focusing on the life of Jesus Christ," and its success at crowdfunding. And his Jan. 3 column touted the film "American Underdog," a fulm about football playerKurt Warner made by the "modern-day virtuosos of the faith-based genre" that "remained in the top four [movies] over New Year's weekend"; Hirsen concludedthat column with the corny line, "faith is the completed pass into the end zone."
This turn toward the spritual, by the way, came after Hirsen spent the weeks after the 2020 presidential election enthusiasticallyembracing election fraud conspiracy theories, only to apparently be so shaken by the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that he took a more existential tone. Hirsen has largely stayed away from writing about politics ever since -- which makes sense, given that he's supposed to be Newsmax's entertainment writer -- but he also hasn't apologized to his readers for pushing those bogus conspiracy theories.
Guess what? I already scored big for Christmas. I got my No. 1 gift. Actually, 80 million Trump warriors (aka "deplorables") scored big for Christmas. Because we all asked Santa for a Trump comeback.
Well, we got more than we hoped for. Because Trump has made perhaps the biggest comeback in history. And he did it far faster than anyone imagined possible.
I call it "The Donald Trump Christmas Miracle."
But that's only Trump's remarkable political comeback. His financial comeback is even bigger. Have you heard about that? Of course not.
In only one year's time, after losing the election, nonstop slander by the media and the Jan. 6 debacle, Trump is now richer than ever before.
Trump's new social media venture turned public company Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) has tripled his net worth. According to Bloomberg, Trump was worth $2.5 billion before. But he now owns a 58% stake in DWAC. Bloomberg says that stake is worth as much as $4.8 billion.
Trump just sold his stake in his Washington, D.C., hotel. The Washington Post reports Trump could profit over $100 million from the transaction.
Trump is also selling books like hotcakes. Trump's new book sold 100,000 copies in just 10 days, at $74.99 a copy and $229.99 for signed copies. That means Trump grossed over $10 million in 10 days. Signed copies of Trump's book are reselling on eBay for $1,600.
His speaking tour with Bill O'Reilly is selling out sports stadiums and grossing over $2 million per day. Not a bad day's work!
The title of my book perfectly describes this man: "Trump Rules"!
What lies ahead? Remember, I'm the national radio and television host who suggested to Trump that he should become speaker of the House in 2022, as a springboard to his presidential victory in 2024. Stay tuned.
So, I say to all Trump warriors, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."
Root's Dec. 31 column, however, was dedicated to the one issue he disagrees with Trump about. After complaining that the above fanboying was ignored, he lamented:
Then during that same weekend, Trump made some comments about the COVID-19 vaccine that I strongly disagreed with. It is the first issue we have ever disagreed on. I made several national television appearances to make my case. I believe he is a huge favorite to regain the White House in 2024, but the way Trump is speaking about the vaccine could turn off his base and therefore damage his prospects.
Of course, the media took this as a negative. They couldn't wait to scream in headlines about a rift between a high-profile supporter and Trump. That couldn't be further from the truth.
A journalist for Reuters contacted me today. Here was my response:
"This is the first issue I've ever disagreed with him on. It doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for having him back as president one bit.
"He was a great president. He has made one of the greatest political comebacks in history as of right now. A huge majority of the country wants him back. A huge number of voters wish they could have their vote back. Biden is a disaster. I believe Trump is the prohibitive favorite to be back in the White House in 2024. I pray that happens.
"But we do disagree on this one issue: the COVID-19 vaccine. The 'intervention' I spoke of was simply a chance to convince Trump that he should alter his message. He deserves full credit for being a four-star general and coordinating the amazing response to COVID-19. Trump was fantastic. But he should now stress:
"No. 1: The vaccine and booster after booster for everyone was not what was intended. The vaccine was only to fight a holding pattern until therapeutics could be developed. Trump had put therapeutic development on a fast track. Biden and the Dems stopped that.
"No. 2: The vaccine was never intended for those who had already had COVID-19 and have therefore acquired natural immunity. It was only intended for those at high risk and certainly NEVER for children.
"No. 3: He should stress his strong opposition to vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, mask mandates and lockdowns.
"No. 4: And, Trump would never have allowed power-crazed, control-freak politicians to use the vaccine as an excuse to destroy your business or steal your job.
Trump should take credit for making the vaccine available in record time, but also point out that America is about freedom and choice. Those who want it can get it because of his efforts. Those who don't want it are free to never get it. And he must stress he will fight for our rights to freedom and choice.
Here's perhaps the most crucial point of all for Trump to make: If "science" won't respect or allow discussion or debate, then it's no longer science; it's just propaganda.
Root has offered no evidence he's open to any science that disagrees with his conspiratorial propaganda, let alone admit that the COVID conspiracy theories he has peddled have largely been proven wrong.
Did The MRC Get Played By Facebook To Attack Facebook Whistleblower? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's recurringmeltdown over Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for getting more attention than the MRC has -- repeatedly lashing out at her for supposedly being a "leftist" -- has continued apace:
Catherine Salgado put "whistleblower" in scare quotes when referencing Haugen in a Dec. 9 post. Brian Bradley did the same the next day, adding:
But was Haugen really a whistleblower? After she resigned from Facebook in May, The Wall Street Journal revealed a trove of files, provided by Haugen, which she portrayed as evidence of Facebook’s indifference to so-called right-wing “misinformation” that she perceived, according to Time magazine, as implicating national elections and contributing to the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill Riot. Haugen also called for increased online censorship during a recent Senate hearing.
The public emergence of Haugen’s left-skewed, Orwellian talking points could motivate more whistleblowers to exhibit faux-courage by resigning from their companies and peddling the liberal narrative that curbing free speech is necessary for Americans’ safety. The introduction of financial incentives in Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s (D-IL) FTC Whistleblower Act could also motivate more “whistleblowers” like Haugen to cast blame on social media companies for supposed pro-right-wing bias.
Salgado more fully lashed out at Haugen in a scare-quote-laden Dec. 21 post, pushing her "leftist" talking points and suggesting she came forward for the money:
When Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen came on as a guest of leftist, pro-censorship New York Times podcast host Kara Swisher’s show, Haugen had one core question related to Facebook’s “misinformation” efforts: “Will they go far enough?”
Swisher claimed that Facebook shouldn’t be “choking people in the dark,” which Haugen agreed to, during the podcast. Haugen also advocated for a “free market of ideas” online. In contrast, Haugen said that Facebook subsidizes hate to make money. Her solution? More censorship.
“Facebook has done a really good job of distracting us with the censorship debate,” Haugen complained. She doesn’t appear to be all too concerned about Facebook’s biased censorship, believing discussion of the issue is an obstacle to the changes for which she advocates.
Haugen admitted to Swisher that members of her “comms team” had previously worked for Democratic campaigns and that the nonprofit Luminate, a network member of leftist eBay founder and billionaire Pierre Omidyar, had paid “operational” expenses for her. Yet Swisher mocked reports pointing to the questionable nature of Haugen’s politically leftist advisors.
Haugen also denied that she was incentivized by a potentially large financial reward for her “whistleblowing,” though Haugen then mused over how she would invest the money if she received it. The “whistleblower” even said that she would work for Facebook again if offered, because she still believes its work is important. Haugen wants to start a movement of young people who drive “rituals of governance” around Big Tech.
But it appears that the MRC's repeated "leftist" attacks on Haugen were not only playing into Facebook's agenda, they may have been done at Facebook's request. The Wall Street Journal reported:
The day after former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen went public in October, the company’s team in Washington started working the phones.
To lawmakers and advocacy groups on the right, according to people familiar with the conversations, their message was that Ms. Haugen was trying to help Democrats. Within hours, several conservative news outlets published stories alleging Ms. Haugen was a Democratic activist.
Later, Facebook lobbyists warned Democratic staffers that Republicans were focused on the company’s decision to ban expressions of support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people during unrest in Kenosha, Wis., and who was later acquitted of homicide and other charges.
The company’s goal, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the company’s outreach, was to muddy the waters, divide lawmakers along partisan lines and forestall a cross-party alliance that was emerging to enact tougher rules on social-media companies in general and Facebook in particular.
The Journal further reported that after Haugen's "60 Minutes" appearance, "the company and its representatives spread word among lawmakers’ offices, advocacy groups and others that she had partisan motives, according to the people familiar with those conversations," and that the Haugen-bashing articles that appeared in right-wing media "variously called Ms. Haugen 'the frontwoman of a PR campaign pushed by the Democratic party,' a 'leftist activist' and someone who is 'part of a broader Democratic initiative.'" That's pretty much how the MRC portrayed her. The Journal also noted that "Facebook representatives alleged in conversations with reporters that she was a proxy for" Omidyar -- which sounds a lot like Salgado's above-noted attack.
Salgado wrote a Dec. 30 post on the Journal article exposing Facebook's use of right-wing media to attack Haugen. But rather than admitting the MRC got played by the organization it's trying to destroy, Salgado simply summarized the Journal's bombshell quickly and without comment, while still repeating those Facebook-directed attack lines:
Facebook has done everything since “whistleblower” Frances Haugen’s revelations except apologize. The company changed its name, denied massive problems, and reportedly even sold different narratives to politicians from different ends of the political spectrum.
The Wall Street Journal, which originally broke the “Facebook Files” revelations from leftist "whistleblower” Frances Haugen, in a new piece that Facebook had intentionally depicted Haugen as a leftist activist to rouse Republicans.
Salgado uniroinically linked to two earlier attack pieces on Haugen's purported "leftist" sympathies, seemingly unaware that this was evidence of the MRC's active participation in Facebook's smear campaign.
And then -- even knowing she's doing Facebook's bidding by making political attacks on Haugen -- Salgado still continued to hype that tainted "leftist" narrative. She huffed in a Jan. 7 post that "Leftist activist turned Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen has been touring the world to advise lawmakers." She then rehashed the Omidyar talking point in a Jan. 18 post:
Recently, leftist activist turned Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen admitted that she had received monetary aid from the nonprofit Luminate, an Omidyar Network member. While the Tech Oversight Project reportedly strongly opposes Big Tech-funded groups and lobbyists, and seeks antitrust action from lawmakers, the project’s ties to Omidyar should raise concerns for pro-free speech advocates.
Salgado is clearly not afraid to look like a slave to manufactured talking points -- even after they've been exposed as manufactured.