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Sunday, February 20, 2022
MRC Praises Right-Wing Reporters Hurling Hostile Questions At Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center cares nothing about journalism -- it cares only about owning the libs. So when President Biden held a press conference on Jan. 19, Curtis Houck's summary piece was all about right-wing reporters -- not that he identified their ideology -- hurling hostile questions:

In a press conference Wednesday that ran nearly two hours, President Biden faced over 60 questions from 24 different reporters, but it wasn’t a surprise that the most contentious moments and questions that were most probing came from reporters that usually give Press Secretary Jen Psaki a run for her money in Fox’s Peter Doocy, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann, and newly-minted Newsmax correspondent James Rosen.

Biden was ready to give up 77 minutes into the affair when he wondered: “How — how many more hours am I doing this? I'm happy to stick around.”

Doocy was then spotted by Biden, who offered the quip that Doocy “always ask[s] me the nicest questions” even though “none of them make a lot of sense to me.”

Doocy said he has “a whole binder here” and, though Biden would only grant him one quesiton, he made it count: “New year. Why are you trying so hard in your first year to pull the country so far to the left?”

Biden replied to this scorcher by saying he’s “not” because he doesn’t “know what you consider to be too far to the left if in fact we're talking about making sure that we have the money for COVID, to put together the bipartisan infrastructure, making sure we were able to provide for those things that...would significantly reduce the burden on working class people.”

[...]

&Two reporters later, Rosen received his first crack at Biden. Saying he wanted “to raise a delicate subject, but with utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the office you hold,” the former Fox journalist invoked questions about Biden’s cognitive health:

A poll released this morning by Politico/Morning Consult found 49 percent of registered voters disagreeing with the statement, Joe Biden is mentally fit. Not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement. 

“Well, I’ll let you all make the judgment whether they're correct, thank you,” said Biden.

Rosen wasn’t done as he invited him to speculate about “why...such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness.”

With a smirk, Biden blurted out that he had “no idea.”

Houck didn't mention the reason why Rosen is a "former Fox journalist."

When Biden made a verbal stumble suggesting he might allow a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine to go unpunished, Kevin Tober cheered that "all three evening news broadcasts were flabbergasted" by the misstatement from the "geriatric president," going on to huff: "This is stunning candor from the networks. The networks must’ve known there was no way to hide these comments from their viewers, so they were forced to report on them. We applaud them regardless."

The next day, Houck returned to take "a look at the other questions from more establishment, (supposedly) objective, and/or traditional outlets." Of course, no right-wing outlet asked any of the "worst" questions, and his "best" question came from a reporter from 'the delightfully objective and refreshing NewsNation." As we've noted, the idea that a "news" operation run by former Fox News executive (and short-lived Trump White House communications director) Bill Shine and featuring ex-Fox Newsers like Leland Vittert is no reaonable person's definition of "objective."

On Jan. 21, Houck joined his boss Tim Graham's podcast to slobber over Doocy and the other right-wing reporters -- Graham would only describe them as "our side of the media, as they would see it," and not having an unambigious bias. Graham fawned over Doocy's highly biased gotcha question: "This question, Curtis, is a perfect summation of the kind of questions conservatives in general put to Biden. It putt the whole onus of the Demcodratic Party as a part of the left, you as president has been a part of the left. ... What on earth is Build Back Better? That's not a capitalist bill."

Houck nonsenically insisted Doocy's gotcha question was "about important issues of the day." Houck also sneered that Biden "is clearly not in charge of his faculties," which led to both of them cheering Rosen's question, and Graham complained that this would be treated as a "Brian Stelter question," adding that it was "a challenging question. It could be seen as a rude question, but it was stated politelyas the way James Rosen typically does these things." He too failed to mention why Rosen slid down the right-wing media food chain from Fox News to Newsmax -- apparently, sexual harassment is totally cool with Graham and Houck as long as the offender is polite about it. They also praised NewsNation without, again, mentioning that ex-Fox News staffers run it.

This was capped off with a Jan. 22 column by Jeffrey Lord declaring that Rosen "was doing his job as a journalist" with his hostile question about Biden's mental fitness, going on to whine that similar questions were asked about Donald Trump, which were not based on "facts in a poll" but on people's opinions. He added in another fit of whataboutism: "This is real journalism, something that was rarely to be seen in the Trump years as CNN and others spun, for example, the fantasy tale of Trump-Russia collusion." Lord didn't explain why, if there was no Trump-Russia "collusion," the Trump campaign met with Russian operatives dozens of times during the 2016 campaign. He too failed to mention the sexual harassment claims against Rosen.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Monday, April 4, 2022 12:27 AM EDT
CNS Columnist (And Its Editor's Buddy) Pat Buchanan Roots For Putin, Against Biden and U.S.
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com just loves it when Vladimir Putin lashes out at the U.S. and President Biden. So it's no surprise that CNS' opinion columnists are also siding with Putin and against Biden.

Chief among them, of course, is Pat Buchanan, whose 1990s presidential campaigns CNS editor Terry Jeffrey helped run. Buchanan has been on this for a while now: In his Dec. 14 column he declared, "Most autocrats are nationalists, not transnational crusaders. It is not Putin who is dividing the world based on ideology," going on to complain that Biden "sees the world as divided between saints and sinners, democrats and autocrats and, by coercion and conversion, seeks to grow the camp of the saints."

In his Dec.21 column, Buchanan demanded that ther U.S. give in to Putin's demand that Ukraine never be allowed into NATO (never mind that it has not been ninvited to join), declaring that "the chickens of NATO expansion are coming home to roost." He came to Putin's defense again in his Jan. 4 column, asserting that "The heart of Greater Russia as one ethnic, cultural and historic nation consists not only of Russia but also of Belarus and Ukraine" and that "What the U.S. should do in this Ukrainian crisis is to avoid a war with Russia, avoid an escalation, and leave our adversary with an honorable avenue of retreat."

Buchanan ranted against further NATO expansion in his Jan. 11 column in order to placate Riussia: "With NATO's continuous post-Cold War expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, America has to ask: If the risk of war with Russia grows with each new member on its borders admitted to NATO, why are we doing this? Is there no red line of Putin's Russia we will not cross?" He used his Jan. 18 column to again demand that Biden capituate to Putin and not let Ukraine or any other former Soviet countries into NATO: "Indeed, if the purpose of NATO is the defense of Europe from a revanchist Russia, why would we extend NATO so far to the east that it provokes Russia into attacking its neighbors in Europe?" Buchanan repeated that caputiation message on Feb. 1: "What the U.S. needs to do is to say with clarity that while Ukraine is free to apply to NATO, NATO is free to veto that application, and the enlargement of NATO beyond its present eastern frontiers is over, done."

In his Feb. 8 column, Buchanan portrayed Putin as an American-style president who's just seeking his own Monroe Doctrine:

Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to send his 100,000 troops now on the Crimean, Donbass and Belarusian borders of Ukraine into the country to occupy more territory we do not know.

But the message being sent by the Russian army is clear: Putin wants his own Monroe Doctrine. Putin wants Ukraine outside of NATO, and permanently.

[...]

Again, Putin's demands that ex-Warsaw Pact countries and Soviet republics be kept free of NATO installations, and that the enlargement of NATO end, if agreed to, would leave Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus permanently outside.

But if Moscow is going to push to remove NATO forces from its borderlands, this means an endless series of diplomatic-military clashes or a U.S. recognition of a Russian sphere of influence where NATO does not go.

In short, a Putin Monroe Doctrine.

Buchanan used his Feb. 18 column to cheer that Putin has effectively won -- and Biden has lost -- the first round of the Ukraine crisis:

Again, if Putin has been given private assurances that Ukraine will never be a member of NATO, he would appear to have gotten his nonnegotiable demand, as long as he does not crow about his victory.

And if Ukraine is not going to be a member of NATO, Georgia, a far smaller and far less populous nation, even farther east than Ukraine, is not going to become a NATO member either.

Who in the West, outside of Kyiv, is now demanding it?

[...]

Putin does not threaten any vital interest of the United States and does not want war with the United States. But, as a great power, Russia claims a right to secure, peaceful and friendly borders, free of military alliances designed to circumscribe, contain and control it.

And the protests Moscow is making are not without validity?

Now that the Soviet Empire is dead, the Soviet Union is dead. Communism is dormant, and the USSR has devolved into 15 nations; why did we move our Cold War alliance onto Moscow's front porch?

Would we tolerate this?

[...]

Can we not understand the rising rage in Moscow as we convert all its former Warsaw Pact allies and ex-republics of the USSR into member states of a military alliance established to contain and control Russia?

Because Jeffrey is such a close buddy of Buchanan, he can't see how bad it makes CNS look to have such a pro-Putin, anti-American columnist.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 20, 2022 1:16 PM EST
Saturday, February 19, 2022
MRC Attacks As 'DERANGED' The Opposite Version Of An Argument It Made A Month Before
Topic: Media Research Center

In November, the Media Research Center's Bill D'Agostino made an interesting declaration in a Nov. 30 declared: "If Darrell Brooks were a white man who drove a car into a crowd of black people, the media would still be talking about Waukesha." We pointed out in response that it could easily be proven that the MRC and other right-wing media gave disproportionate attention to the incident in Waukesha, Wis., in which Brooks allegedly ran down people on a parade route, killing six, is precisely because Brooks is black -- and that the MRC gave short shrift to a school shooting in Michigan around the same time because the shooter was white and his parents were Trump supporters.

The MRC ignored us, but when MSNBC's Chris Hayes made a similar argument, Kevin Tober went into full meltdown mode in a Dec. 30 post:

Chris Hayes has a long history of making absurd and hateful claims on his nightly MSNBC show, but it appears there is no comment or bizarre conspiracy theory that’s too low for him. On Wednesday night’s edition of All In, Hayes spent an entire segment dismissing America’s rising crime rates, and questioned the motives of any network that dared to cover them.

During the second-to-last segment of the show when Hayes came back from a commercial break, he went into a diatribe in which he dismissed the fact that shoplifting in the United States had spiked in recent months. Hayes started off by whining about one of his favorite targets, Fox News and “right-wing media,” made the story a priority:

[...]

Hayes in response, as he is known to do, completely drove the conversation into tinfoil hat conspiracy theory land by accusing Fox News of loving to show their viewers footage of black people stealing merchandise from stores: 

There is nothing that Fox loves more than surveillance footage of particularly black people stealing a thing. And they will run that 24/7 if they can.

Again, this argument is merely the opposite of the one Tober's colleague made just a month before, yet Tober calls Hayes "DERANGED" in the headline for making it -- he'll never say that to D'Agostino. Yet there is plenty of evidence that Fox News engages in race-baiting, and that it extends to its crime coverage.

Interestingly, Tober doesn't even bother to rebut Hayes' claim outside of trying to shout it down -- perhaps because she knows he can't honestly rebut it. Instead, he tried to reinforce the Fox News narrative: "MSNBC can keep denying reality all they want but that won’t make the problem of skyrocketing crime go away. All indications are that the policies and politicians they support are the main drivers of the crime that we are seeing in so many of our nation’s major cities."

Of course, Tober offers no proof that "all indications" prove this -- apparently he's forgotten that the pandemic upended a lot of things, civility being one of them. But he gets paid to push a narrative, not necessarily to adhere to facts while doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 AM EST
WND's Farah Mad That The Truth Interferes With His Ashli Babbitt Martyrdom Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is desperate as the rest of WND to manufacture a martyr narrative around Ashli Babbitt, the insurrectionist shot and killed by police at the Capitol riot. He ranted in his Jan. 5 column:

The Associated Press, once a great news service, asked a question this week about Ashli Babbitt, the one woman to lose her life at the Jan. 6 Capitol kerfuffle to an assassin under the cover of law.

Is she a "martyr"? Yes, AP, she is!

Michael Biesecker, the hitman for the AP, victimized the Air Force veteran once again, after she was deprived of her life without even a warning by a "law enforcement officer" intent on killing her. What was her "crime"? At most, trespassing.

The story's headline asks the question: "Ashli Babbitt a martyr? Her past tells a more complex story." The "complex" story was beneath contempt. Since when does American journalism tell the ugliest smears about a crime victim, who never got a chance to confront her assailant or have her day in court or to rest at peace?

Answer: When the Jan. 6 Capitol is the scene of the heinous, inexcusable, unjustified crime of murder.

In the story, Babbitt is characterized as "the future insurrectionist." She never lifted a finger! She walked into the U.S. Capitol, without a weapon, and a few minutes later, was shot to death by a law enforcement officer who fired his gun against all police procedure in any jurisdiction of the land. Babbitt never saw it coming.

At no point does Farah dispute any of the facts in the AP story, nor did he provide a link to it -- he simply whined that they were made public. Andhe made sure not to mention the fact that AP reported that "Babbitt had become consumed by pro-Trump conspiracy theories and posted angry screeds on social media. She also had a history of making violent threats."

Instead, Farah huffed that the officer who killed Babbitt was "cleared of murder by Nancy Pelosi's goon squad – which we remember this day, the anniversary of Jan. 6." Needless to say, Farah offers no evidence to back up his "goon squad" claim. That interferes with his martyrdom narrative: "Ashli Babbitt was 35 years old the day she died. She 5-foot-2 and 115 pounds. That was the only 'victim' of the so-called Capitol riot, though the reporter claims a total if five deaths."

But, again, Farah disputes no fact in the AP story. He's mad that the truth interferes with his narrative -- and he still doesn't understand that clinging to false narratives like this, and not a "big tech" consoiracy against him, is what's killing WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2022 1:14 AM EST
Friday, February 18, 2022
MRC Melts Down Over Transgender 'Jeopardy!' Champion
Topic: Media Research Center

Given that's official Media Research Center policy to hate transgender people, it's not surprising that the MRC would have a meltdown over any trans person who's positively portrayed in the media. So when transgender woman Amy Schneider became the highest-winning female contestant on "Jeopardy!", Gabriel Hays delivered the hate-filled goods in a Dec. 29 post:

Maybe this sounds petty, but seriously the highest earning woman Jeopardy! player should be a distinction reserved for an actual woman, not a mentally ill man pretending to be a woman.

In yet another competition – in addition to high school sports or the Olympics – a literal man is being acknowledged as being one of the top women in its contest.

Jeopardy! contestant and trans woman Amy Schneider (a biological man) has had a great run on Jeopardy!, recently topping off his winnings on the contest at an enviable $768,600. 

And yeah that’s awesome! Good for him! Granted that’s nowhere near that all-time greatest earnings from other male Jeopardy! winners like Brad Rutter and his nearly $5 million in earnings.

When previous top female winner Larisa Kelly, in Hays' words, "denounced her own achievement to praise the trans man as the new female record holder," Hay's derangement ramped up:

No Kelly, you don’t have to sacrifice your remarkable achievement at the altar of wokeness! I know it may feel as though it's the right thing, but it's not! 

But it was too late. She let the destructive force corrupt her and freely gave her record to a man.

“Congratulations to Amy on becoming the woman with the highest overall earnings in the show's history,” she concluded in her tweet. That’s it. Game over. The patriarchy has now subverted Jeopardy!’s best female player.

[...]

Apparently, a woman doesn’t mean anything anymore, beyond being a person in a wig who may or may not have female genitalia. And then to watch someone like that talk big as if they were the Susan B. Anthony of answering questions on a game show, oh it’s ridiculous and so smug.

But we all know the truth. Schneider is a fifth-place man and NOT A WOMAN!

Just the mindless hate we'd expect from a professional transphobe.

This was not all. A Jan. 8 post by Autumn Johnson conferred victim status on right-wing blogger Matt Walsh -- a notorious homophobe and transphobe whose stunt of pretending to  move to a Virginia school district for the sole purpose of spewing anti-LGBT hate at a school board the MRC enthusiastically promoted -- for betting suspended from Twitter for complaining about Schneider, among other things:

On Friday, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh was suspended from Twitter for daring to tweet about transgenderism in light of their dominance over female records in everything from Jeopardy! to female sports.

“The greatest female Jeopardy champion of all time is a man,” Walsh tweeted. “The top female college swimmer is a man. The first female four star admiral in the Public Health Service is a man. Men have dominated female high school track and the female MMA circuit. The patriarchy wins in the end.”

Walsh doubled down, adding: “I am not referring to an individual person as if she is two people. Everyone else can run around sounding like maniacs if they want but I will not be participating. No thank you.”

His twelve-hour ban starts after he deletes the tweets, but in discussing his Twitter suspension with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, he said he was “suspended...because I pointed out that biological males are men.”

To the folks at the MRC, Walsh's transphobia isn't hate -- it's just another day at the office.

Meanwhile, Schneider has taken all this transphobic hate in stride: "I’d like to thank all the people who have taken the time, during this busy holiday season, to reach out and explain to me that, actually, I’m a man. Every single one of you is the first person ever to make that very clever point, which had never once before crossed my mind.”


Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2022 9:05 AM EST
WND Still Pushing Bogus Ashli Babbitt Martyr Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh downgraded the Capitol riot to a "ruckus" in a Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article attempting to turn Ashli Babbitt into a martyr:

It's already known that internal police documents about the shooting death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt by a U.S. Capitol police officer during the ruckus on Jan. 6, 2021, show there was no reason for her to die.

Now an analysis by the Epoch Times reveals it was Babbitt who "desperately tried to prevent rioters from vandalizing the doors leading to the Speaker's Lobby at the Capitol that day, even stepping between one troublemaker and officers guarding the doors."

Democrats, and their allies in the legacy media, have portrayed her over and over as a rioter who was an the Capitol as part of an "insurrection," which likely is more a political claim that anything else.

The Epoch Times said its "frame-by-frame video evidence" confirmed that the veteran was shot and killed by a police officer who, according to witnesses, did not issue a verbal warning, as she tried to get through a broken window.

"Video clips appear to show she tried to prevent the attack, not join it," the Times reported.

But because Unruh doesn't bother to do any fact-checking, he ignores the fact that the Epoch Times -- a biased pro-Trump publication -- could be wrong. PolitiFact documented just how speculative the Epoch Times account is:

The article largely ignored the actions that prompted Babbitt’s fatal shooting, when she tried to push through the window to the Speaker’s Lobby. In an interview after the riot, Baranyi said the police were warning her to stop, but that "she didn’t heed the call."

The article instead focused on the buildup to that moment, claiming that the footage captured by those who were there, when slowed down, showed Babbitt trying "to prevent the attack, not join it." Some of that footage came from John Sullivan, an activist controversial on both sides of the political spectrum, whose presence fueled the antifa falsehood, and who faces several charges.

The Epoch Times’ evidence for its assertion: that Babbitt had "looks of shock and concern" on her face; that she was "so distressed at the violence, she jumped up and down in frustration"; that she "confronted" Alam before he punched the window she later climbed through; that she winced at his punch; that and she at one point shouted, "Stop! No! Don’t! Wait!"

Those claims are speculative and unsubstantiated. Videos of the incident do not clearly capture all that Babbitt was saying and doing, let alone feeling, at the time.

[...]

Experts in multimedia forensics told PolitiFact it’s nearly impossible to discern from Sullivan’s video what Babbitt was saying. She’s far away from Sullivan’s microphone in a loud room with many people shouting, making it difficult to attribute speech directly to her. 

"This is a classic ‘cocktail party effect’ recording of an unknown number of speakers, overlapped, speaking loud," said Catalin Grigoras, director of the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, Denver. Grigoras and other experts said the science available to experts would likely be unable to isolate Babbitt’s voice from Sullivan’s video.

So, no, the Epoch Times article doesn't actually support the claims it's making.  But Unruh doesn't care if those claims are true -- they were made, they fit into WND's far-right narrative to turn Babbitt into a martyr, and that's all that matters.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:44 PM EST
MRC Returns To Portraying Far-Right, Misinfo-Spewing Congresswoman As A Victim
Topic: Media Research Center

After months of turning her into a "conservative" victim while promoting her far-right antics and before and after the 2020 election, the Media Research Center was finally shamed into admitting that extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ahd gone too far. But after a cooling-off period, the MRC has returned to defending her and bestowing victim status on her.

As we noted, in July, Alexander Hall touted how "Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) returned from her recent Twitter suspension to compare the Big Tech platform to totalitarian censors in China." Curiously, Hall wouldn't say exactly why she got suspended, instead quoting boilerplate statements about "violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the COVID-19 misleading information policy." In fact, Greene was suspended for falsely claiming that coronavirus is not dangerous for some people.Instead, Hall baselessly suggested that the Biden administration ordered her to be silenced: "The government has indeed gotten comfortable with bossing Big Tech companies around." This from a guy who cannot admit that a fellow right-winger spreads misinformation.

The victim narrative for Greene continued in an Oct. 22 post by Catherine Salgado:

Twitter’s bout with free speech online continues. The platform censored U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for stating in a tweet that transgender admiral Dr. Rachel Levine was not “the first female anything” but a “dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man.” Taylor Greene was met with a storm of leftist fury on the platform.

Dr. Rachel Levine, a “transgender,” was sworn in Tuesday as the nation’s “first female four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps’ history,” per CBS News. Taylor Greene tweeted her personal frustration at celebrating “transgender” Levine as a history-maker. Taylor Greene's tweet appeared to be a response to CBS News reporting that Levine is the nation’s “first female four-star admiral” in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps’ history. Twitter issued Taylor Greene’s tweet about Levine a “hateful conduct” violation warning at the time of this article’s publication. Twitter placed the warning label prominently above Taylor Greene’s tweet and also put sharing restrictions on the tweet.

Taylor Greene said in her tweet above a picture of Levine: “A dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything. China is laughing at us.” Leftists, both on Twitter and in the media, quickly began reporting Taylor Greene for “Targeted Harassment” and slamming her for alleged “hate speech.”

Because the MRC hates transgender people as least as much as Greene does, Salgado saw nothing wrong here, refusing to admit that anyone ought to be offended.

As Greene refused to stop shooting off her mouth and behave like a civilized human being, the MRC continued to run to her defense and build a victim narrative for her. Autumn Johnson did that duty in a Jan.. 2 post:

Twitter has permanently suspended one of the verified personal account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

According to CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Twitter said @mtgreenee was "permanently suspended" "for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy." 

"We permanently suspended... @mtgreenee... for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” the tweet read. “We’ve been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy."

Greene has access to the official account she uses as a congresswoman, @RepMTG. She blamed Communist Democrats for the suspension.

If Johnson won't admit that Greene tweeted COVID misinformation, she certainly isn't going to bother to fact-check her ridiculous claim that "Communist Democrats" are to blame for her suspension.

Salgado returned to give Greene the deluxe victim treatment in a post the next day that quoted "free speech supporters" -- that is, right-wing Greene sympathizers, though Salgado failed to identify the ideology of any of her defenders -- decrying her suspension. There was no discussion of Greene's content, only Salgado's passing scare-quote-laden mentionthat she was suspended for "alleged 'COVID-19 misinformation.'" She dutifully quoted her boss, Brent Bozell, blaming "Big Tech fascists" without mentioning that Greene clearly has other platforms on which to spew her hate and misinformation.

Johnson served up more victim narrative when Facebook busted Greene in a Jan. 4 post:

On Monday, Facebook has temporarily suspended Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a day after her personal Twitter account was permanently suspended "for repeated violations of [Twitter’s] COVID-19 misinformation policy." 

Greene slammed the move as censorship from Big Tech, saying "social media platforms can't stop the truth from being spread far and wide," adding that "Big Tech can't stop the truth. Communist Democrats can't stop the truth. I stand with the truth and the people. We will overcome!"

Greene was later punished with a 24-hour suspension on Facebook for allegedly violating a similar policy on so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.” During this time Greene cannot post on her account.

“Facebook has joined Twitter in censoring me,” Greene wrote on GETTR. “This is beyond censorship of speech.”

Of course, Johnson puts "misinformation" in scare quotes, as if it's a subjective concept. And of course, her "Communist Democrats" claim goes un-fact-checked. Again, Johnson also won't admit the fact that Greene is able to post on right-wing site such as GETTR and Telegram undermines the claim that she's being "censored."

The fact that the MRC continues to mainstream far-right voices as "conservative" in order to bolster its victim narrative -- while also denying that private companies have the right to operate their busiensses as they see fit, normally a bedrock conservative principle -- shows just how flimsy that narrative is.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EST
Updated: Friday, February 18, 2022 6:21 PM EST
CNS Caught Ray Epps Conspiracy Theory Fever Too
Topic: CNSNews.com

It wasn't just Newsmax and WorldNetDaily uncritically pushing the Ray Epps conspiracy theory regarding the Captiol riot. CNSNews.co did as well, as detailed in a Jan. 11 article by Susan Jones:

Who is Ray Epps, the man caught on videotape urging a crowd of Trump supporters to break into the Capitol? Did any FBI agents or FBI informants actively encourage and incite crimes of violence on January 6?

"I can't answer that," the FBI's Jill Sanborn said repeatedly in response to questions put to her by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Sanborn is the executive assistant director of the FBI's National Security Branch.

Cruz pressed her and pressed her to no avail. The following transcript tells the story:

The rest of Jones' article is a lazy cut-and-paste transcript of the exchange between Cruz and Sanborn. Had Jones been interested in imparting facts instead of lazily promoting a right-wing conspiracy theory, she could have answered the question she posed in her lead paragraph. As more reputable news organizations have reported, Epps is not a government plant, and he was never charged because he never entered the Capitol or assaulted law enforcement. But the truth interferes with Moore's and WND's ramshackle conspiracy theory.

Jones also failed to tell her readers that Cruz was engaging in political theater, because Sanborn was never going to answer his question because the investigation is still open. As the Washington Post noted: "Every lawmaker knows this will be the answer they receive. So it’s catnip for those who want to suggest something nefarious is going on since they know that, under the rules of this Washington game, no matter what they allege, a Justice Department official is not going to contradict them as long as the investigation is not complete."

All this information was available to Jones, yet she chose not to tell her readers the facts; instead, she pushed a bogus conspriacy theory because it fits right-wing partisan narratives. That's the opposite of a reporter. And it's more evidence that CNS has ceased to be a "news" organization, if it ever was one at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EST
Thursday, February 17, 2022
MRC Loses Its Love For Parler (With Which It Shares A Funder)
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center spent the first part of last year heavily hyping right-wing social media site Parler, particularly after the Amazon hosting division dropped it for helping to stoke the Capitol riot -- while censoring the fact that its biggest funder, Rebekah Mercer, is also a major funder of the MRC, a massive conflict of interest. Well, the MRC got bored with it shortly afterwards, even as the drama there increased.

Last March, former Parler CEO John Matzer filed a lawsuit against Parler, Mercer, and others claiming he was unjustly fired and his stake in the company stripped away. Even though it happened nearly a year ago, the MRC has yet to report that news to its readers. Parler has been mentioned in passing several times, but it devoted only a few posts to Parler over the past several months (while, of course, censoring the fact it shares a funder). We've noted that the MRC welcomed Parler back to the Apple app store in April, reframing its new moderation policies as something Apple was forcing it to do and insisting that Parler would never engage in "censorship."

The next time the MRC ddevoted a post to Parler was Aug. 26, when Alec Schemmel gushed over a new Fox Business appearance by Parler CEO George Farmer, who complained that Twitter has hosted "accounts run by actual dictatorships like the Taliban and the Chinese Communist Party' while continuing to suspend Donald Trump. Host Maria Bartiromo touted how Parler "has no qualms about banning the Taliban," but she didn't ask how that jibes with Parler's minimal-censorship policy.

From there, you have to jump all the way to Jan. 9, when Autumn Johnson promoted new funding for the website:

According to a federal securities filing and reporting last week from Axios, conservative social media app Parler has obtained $20 million in funding as it continues its push as an alternative to Big Tech giants Facebook and Twitter.

While it's unclear who provided the funds, Rebekah Mercer, a Trump supporter and frequent donor to Republicans, was the founding investor of Parler and listed in the filing as a director and executive officer of Parler.

Needless to say, Johnson was silent about Mercer's MRC funding and the lawsuit she remains embroiled in with Matze.

And that's pretty much it: the MRC has shifted its attention to newer, shinier right-wing social media startups like GETTR and Trump's own upcoming site, apparently choosing to forget which side its bread is buttered on.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 PM EST
WND's Hirschhorn Cites Flawed Studies To Hawk Ivermectin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Hirschhorn spent his Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily column complaining about various approved treatments flr COVID recommended by the National Institutes of Health, whining that "What our government is telling physicians is just plain idiotic." He particularly lashed out the antiviral molnupiravir, which he called "absolutely ludicrous" and claimed "has a terrible level of effectiveness and that has not been proven safe. An absolutely awful choice." Back in October, Hirschhorn falsely claimed the molnupiravir was a copy of ivermectin.

Speaking of ivermectin, Hirschhorn is still carrying a torch for that dubious drug (which, by the way, is not an antiviral):

What is most obscene about what NIH tells doctors is that it still refuses to include ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine as treatment options. It ignores the extremely successful treatment protocols of front-line doctors like Dr. Fareed and Dr. Zelenko that do not include any of the four NIH preferences.

Of special importance is that NIH has ignored a recent detailed study of ivermectin that reached these conclusions: "… [L]arge reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally." An even newer study found remarkable benefits of using ivermectin, including a 68% reduction in mortality and 56% reduction in hospitalization. NIH is not respecting positive results for ivermectin, and the agency's guidelines could make it difficult for states trying to make ivermectin easily available.

Hirschhorn has censored the fact that the studies he cites have serious issues. Regarding the first study -- actually a meta-analysis, or a summary of other studies -- some of the studies cited were not peer-reviewed, the higher-quality studies did not show ivermectin to be effective, and the researchers are affiliated with a pro-ivermectin group. The second study has flaws as well, lacking basic information on its participants or even exactly who was or was not taking ivermectin; also, two of its authors received funding from an ivermectin manufacturer, a major conflict of interest.

The name-drops are of Vladimir Zelenko, an early promoter of the similarly dubious drug hydroxychloroquine whom WND embraced early, and George Fareed, who along with a fellow California doctor, Brian Tyson, developed an ivermectin-centric treatment plan that's getting promotion in the right-wing circles Hirschhorn hangs out in but which their fellow doctors have disavowed.

Nevertheless, Hirschhorn concluded his column by ranting at the NIH (italics are his):

What a waste of U.S. taxpayer money is this evil and criminal Fauci organization.

The real message for the public: Do not trust the government to effectively protect your life. Public health protection in the U.S. is a disgrace. What NIH is saying is really insulting disinformation.

Speak for yourself, Joel.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2022 7:19 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Sports Anti-Vaxxer
Topic: Media Research Center
Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson hates COVID vaccines almost as much as he (or she) hates LGBT people. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Dips Into His Abortion Obsession To Attack Breyer
Topic: CNSNews.com

As speculation swirled around Supreme  Court Justice Stephen Breyer's possible retirement, CNSNews.com editor Terry jeffrey knew what he had to do: lash out at Breyer for his stance in favor of abortion rights. First up was a Jan. 26 article:

Justice Stephen Breyer, who reportedly will be retiring from the Supreme Court this year, claimed in the 2000 case of Stenberg v. Carhart that engaging in a partial-birth abortion is a constitutional right, noting that the procedure involved, as stated in a Nebraska law, ‘deliberately and intentionally delivering into the vagina a living unborn child, or a substantial portion thereof.”

[...]

Seven years later, in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart, the court would reverse this opinion and uphold the constitutionality of partial-birth abortion bans. However, Breyer would dissent in that case, maintaining his claim that the Constitution protected a right to kill a partially-born baby.

Note that even though this is supposed to be a "news" article, Jeffrey uses the biased, inflammatory language of anti-abortion activists, such as "partial-birth abortion."

After Breyer announced his retirement, Jeffrey went on the attack again in his Feb. 2 column. In a tone similar to that of his "news" story, he began with a long-winded story involving Breyer's father and a case of corporal punishment. He then jumped to a book Breyer wrote in which he argued against originalist interpratations of the Constitution, noting that at the time it was written, flogging was not considered cruel and unusual punishment. Jeffrey then rehashed his earlier Breyer-bashing:

He did not address the question of corporal punishment in 20th-century San Francisco schools.

But in the case of Stenberg v. Carhart, which the court decided in 2000, he did address a Nebraska law that prohibited "an abortion procedure in which the person performing the abortion partially delivers vaginally a living unborn child before killing the unborn child and completing the delivery."

"We hold that this statute violates the Constitution," Breyer wrote in the 5-4 opinion of the court.

History will remember him for claiming that killing a partially born child was a constitutional right.

Jeffrey can apparently think only in terms of one's stance on abortion, and that anyone who disagrees with him is not only wrong but evil. We would say that's the wrong temperament for a journalist, but Jeffrey is not being paid by the Media Research Center to be a journalist -- his right-wing polemics are what pays the bills.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EST
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, New Year's Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck continued his apparent boredom with his own project -- last year's daily reports attacking White House press secretary and fawning over Fox News' Peter Doocy and other right-wing reporters hurling hostile questions at her -- well into January. So much so, in fact, that the first so-called "Psaki Show" report of 2022, on Jan. 4, was written by Nicholas Fondacaro, who noted Psaki "fielding questions from the liberal press that urged President Biden to do more to pass 'voting rights' legislation and bizarre suggestions that they had never condemned former President Trump."

Houck, it seems, was not going to write about Psaki again until his beloved Doocy returned to the briefing room after sitting out a case of COVID, so it was not until Jan. 10 that he served up the Doocy-fluffing and Psaki-hate he's infamous for:

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy returned to the Brady Briefing Room on Monday for the first time in 2022, following a mild case of COVID-19, and promptly threw down with Press Secretary Jen Psaki over “why” was the Biden administration “so unprepared for the need for testing,” President Biden’s falsehoods about COVID spread, and disinformation from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

[...]

Psaki initially blamed the shortages on “a massive surge in cases” and “unprecedented demand for tests” in New York and Washington D.C., but then painted a rosy picture of the administration’s current testing capacity.

Doocy was unmoved, starting with the fact that the tests currently available “require people to go somewhere and either make an appointment or wait in line” even though “[t]he CDC’s guidance is, if you think you have Covid, you're supposed to stay home.”

“You guys said you were gonna mail free tests to people that need them. The President's there on television talking about a winter of severe illness and death. While he's saying that publicly, why weren't you guys doing more to prepare for the winter,” he added.

Psaki showed her disconnect from reality, insisting “everyone decides where they're going to go get a test, and, uh, we make a range of options available,” including the ability to “purchase tests online” and 500 million tests coming (eventually).

For the Jan. 14 briefing, Houck welcomed a new hostile right-wing reporter to the briefing room:

Longtime journalist James Rosen made his White House briefing debut on Thursday as White House correspondent for Newsmax, so it was no surprise he got right to work grilling National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on foreign policy and Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Biden being responsible for inflation and vaccinations.

And, better yet, he had plenty of help with hardballs from even the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Time magazine. Not to be left out, Fox’s Peter Doocy appeared on Friday’s Psaki Show episode and pressured Psaki on what many see as incendiary rhetoric from Biden.

Houck didn't mention that Rosen lost his previous job, at Fox News, due to sexual misconduct allegations.

That's only three articles on Psaki briefings for the first three weeks or so of 2022 (only two of which Houck wrote), despite her holding briefings most weekdays. He's slacking off, but then, he's certainly never going to write about Psaki owning conservatives like him, such as the Jan. 12 briefing when she smacked down right-wing critics of Biden's civil rights speech as purportedly too divisive, calling it "hilarious on many levels, given how many people sat silently over the last four years for the former president."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EST
CNS Columnist Still Afraid Minorities Might Get Better Access To COVID Testing, Treatment Than White People
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com columnist Hans Bader's commentary has long been weirdly fixated on the possiblity that non-white people might be getting more access to COVID vaccines and treatments than white people like him. He served up another version of this in his Jan. 3 column:

New York City has been putting coronavirus testing sites in mostly non-white neighborhoods, rather than mostly white neighborhoods. That is illegal racial discrimination. Just as bombing a bus because most of its passengers are black is racially discriminatory, giving an area benefits because of the race of most of its residents is racially discriminatory. For example, an appeals court ruled that deliberately putting public housing in “predominantly white” areas was racially discriminatory and thus presumptively unconstitutional, in Walker v. City of Mesquite (1999). Similarly, the Supreme Court ruled that redrawing a city’s boundaries to exclude 99 percent of its black voters was unconstitutional, in Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960).

[...]

Staten Island’s mostly white South Shore — despite one of the city's highest coronavirus rates — is not among those 31 priority neighborhoods. Staten Island has 13 city testing sites, all on the more heavily non-white North Shore.

Yet we don't recall Bader complaining about racial bias in 2020 when white neighborhoods had more access to COVID testing than minority neighborhoods. Nor id he acknowledge that blacks amnd Latinos do, in fact, tend to have higher COVID infection and death rates than whites do.

Despite his racially charged argument being a very weak one, Bader continued:

New York State is also discriminating based on race in access to life-saving medical treatment. “NY State Department of Health warns they don’t have enough Paxlovid or Monoclonal Antibody Treatment and white people need not apply,” notes the New York Post’s Karol Markowicz. As the New York State Department of Health explains, “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity” is a “factor” that can qualify you for access to “antiviral treatment” such as Paxlovid or molnupiravir.

"That means that a healthy twenty-year-old Asian football player or a 17-year-old African-American marathon runner from a wealthy family will be automatically deemed at heightened risk to develop serious COVID illness — making them instantly eligible for monoclonal treatments upon testing positive and showing symptoms — while a white person of exactly the same age and health condition from an impoverished background would not be automatically eligible," observes journalist Glenn Greenwald.

[...]

This use of race as a factor is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled that preferences for racial minorities are presumptively unconstitutional, and that even if minority groups have faced “societal discrimination,” that is not a reason to give them a preference. 

The fact that Bader is turning to professional right-wing (and right-wing friendly) grievance-mongers like the New York Post and Glenn Greenwald. But Bader deceptively edited New York state's guidance on access to the drug. The state said that non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity" is a "risk factor"; Bader edited out thte word "risk."

As he has before, Bader insisted that minorities' increased risk for catching and suffering from COVID is no reason white people should be inconvenienced:

Even if certain minorities were more likely to have risk factors for COVID-19, New York State would still not be allowed to give those minorities a preference, or use their race as a proxy for such risk factors. The Supreme Court says the government is only allowed to use race as a “last resort,” after race-neutral remedies have been tried. If poverty puts people more at risk for COVID-19, the the government can give preference to the poor, but it can't give preference to an entire race, just because its members are often poor. That would be impermissibly using race as a proxy.

As Media Matters noted -- but Bader didn't -- none of these New York guidelines prohibit white people from receiving the treatments if they meet the eligibility criteria. But it seems that Bader, as a white guy, doesn't want to have to deal with possible competition.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2022 6:04 PM EST
Newsmax Parroted Bogus Ray Epps Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how Newsmax marked the anniversary of the Capitol riot by largely trying to downplay it. ONe exception to that, however, was its promotion of a conspriacy theory from two far-right Republican members of Congress. Eric Mack gave a preview of their stunt in a Jan. 4 article:

Democrats are planning more tarnishing of Republicans and former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, according to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. But, she told Newsmax on Tuesday night that she is going to get to the truth of what happened in the storming of the Capitol.

[...]

On Thursday, Greene said, she will hold her own news conference in Washington, focusing on a look into insurrection allegations.

"We're going to talk about the things that need to be talked about, like oft-reported, unindicted man who was preaching "we've got to go into the Capitol" starting Jan. 5 and helping orchestrate that the next day — as Trump was delivering his rally speech.

"Where are the other people that are on different videos? Why haven't the FBI tracked those people down? Why haven't they been arrested? Why didn't I see Ray Epps and others in the D.C. jail like other Jan. 6 defendants? We have a lot of questions to ask.

Theodore Bunker also touted their stunt beforehand in a Jan. 5 article as ''a Republican response on the anniversary of the January 6th protests" by  Green and Rep. Matt Gaetz.ON the day of theanniversary, the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy hyped a claim that "Three men who took part in the Capitol attack inexplicably have been removed from the FBI's Capitol Violence Most Wanted list," including Epps. In fact, Epps was removed from the list because he was investigated and cleared.

And on the day of Greene's and Gaetz's stunt, Mack served up uncritical stenography:

Nearly lost in the comparisons by Democrats and the White House between Jan. 6, 2021, and two of the deadliest days in U.S. history — Pearl Harbor and 9/11 — was a news conference on Thursday afternoon by Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

[...]

Gaetz and Greene's news conference showed footage of the storming of the Capitol last Jan. 6, including Beattie's Revolver.news compilation that suggested there were numerous unindicted conspirators, led by Arizona Oath Keeper Ray Epps, a Marine Corps veteran and Trump supporter who started the ''we must go into the Capitol'' campaign Jan. 5 — a day before the Capitol riot.

''Imagine if we actually had the powers of the Jan. 6 [House] committee, the powers of the federal government, to understand why Ray Epps, the evening of the 5th, is out telling people dispassionately, professionally, with laser focus that the objective is to enter the United States Capitol building?'' Gaetz said, after showing a video of Epps whispering into the ear of an indicted suspect right before the final blockade was breached Jan. 6.

Revolver.News' video evidence shows this to have occurred before the conclusion of Trump's speech at a rally nearby — a speech Democrats assert incited supporters to breach the Capitol.

''Then, on the 6th, it's not the Proud Boys who engaged in the initial breach, it's Ray Epps at that precise moment.''

Because Mack can't be bothered to do basic fact-checking,  his readers don't know that Gaetz and Greene were spreading lies, much like fellow ConWeb outlet WorldNetDaily did: Epps is not a federal agent, and he did not enter the Capitol.

It wasn't until Jan. 11 that Newsmax reported that the Epps stuff is a conspiracy theory, admitting that the House committee investigating that riot said that Epps is not a government informant. The same day, however, another Newsmax article hyped Sen. Ted Cruz pushing the Epps conspiracy without any mention of the fact that the conspiracy theory had been debunked.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EST

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