The Pattern Continues: MRC Hypes Bad Biden Job Numbers, Buries The Good Ones Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez has a biasedtradition of bashing President Biden when employment numbers don't look so good, then staying silent when jobs numbers improve the following month. He's determined to keep that tradition going.
When December's job numbers came in below expectations, Vazquez was quick to post a Jan. 7 item attacking CNN for allegedly spinning things:
CNN just can’t catch a break in its crusade to spin President Joe Biden’s atrocious economy in a way that benefits his image.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released an awful jobs report showing that the economy only added a “dismal” 199,000 jobs against a 422,000 projection by economists. That’s a miss of 223,000. The labor force participation rate remained stagnant from November at a low 61.9 percent. CNN scrambled to spin the news in it’s write-up headlined, “Jobs disappoint in December, but unemployment falls to 3.9%.” After conceding that the “fewest jobs added in any month of 2021” was a “major disappointment,” CNN put asinine spin on the news: “Even so, 2021 will go down in history as a year of record-breaking jobs growth: America added 6.4 million jobs last year, the most since records started in 1939. Every single month brought jobs gains.” Ironically, CNN included a graph in its article that undercut its entire argument. [Emphasis added.]
The graph tracked the trend of the recovery of the jobs market following the February 2020 freefall. However, the caption for the graphic read, “The United States lost a total of 22 million jobs in March and April of 2020. By December 2021, the number of jobs were 3.6 million shy of February 2020 levels.” CNN is saying the quiet part out loud. No, the jobs market is not experiencing “growth” because it hasn’t even fully recovered the jobs it lost in 2020. In fact, Biden’s disastrous economic policies may be why the jobs market still hasn’t been able to fully recover.
Vazquez's evidence that Biden's economic policies are "disastrous" and suppressing job growth is a less-than-biased editorial from the right-wing New York Post. Also, it is undeniably true that 6.4 million jobs were added last year -- not that Vazquez will concede that. Indeed, on Jan. 17 Vazquez found someone to push the right-wing media's preferred narrative that those jobs somehow don't count because they weren't additions to pre-COVID Trump-era numbers:
A top economist at the ADP Research Institute slapped down the asinine leftist narrative that the United States is experiencing explosive jobs growth. ADP Chief Economist joined CNBC Squawk Box following the shocking news Jan.12 that inflation had spiked a whopping 7 percent year-over-year in December, the highest level since 1982.
After noting that real wage earnings, “which are negative,” Richardson said whatever wage increases the media has been propping up as a bellwether for a peachy economy was driven by “labor shortages.” Richardson then dropped the hammer: “The economy — and this is an important point — hasn’t added one single job from the 2019 high watermark. Not one. All the jobs that we have seen gained are recovered jobs that were lost.” She continued: “We are not yet producing new jobs. In fact, we’re still about nearly four million jobs short. So these wage gains are coming on top of a shrinking workforce.”
So much for CNN’s recent whitewash of poor December jobs numbers. “Even so,2021 will go down in history as a year of record-breaking jobs growth: America added 6.4 million jobs last year, the most since records started in 1939. Every single month brought jobs gains,” CNN wrote earlier this month. Yikes. [Emphasis added.]
Vazquez curiously didn't mention who was president in 1982 when inflation was so high.
Needless to say, when a whopping 467,000 jobs were added in January, Vazquez followed his extablished pattern and stayed silent -- it's against MRC policy to say anything nice about a Democrat if doing so doesn't advance right-wing talking points.It took a few days for Vazquez to figure something to attack, andhe found it for a Feb. 9 post:
The Wall Street JournalEditorial Board threw a big wrench into the media machine celebrating President Joe Biden’s so-called win on the better-than-expected January jobs report.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a Feb. 4 report showing the economy added 467,000 jobs, which blew past estimates. The media swallowed the news whole. CNBC’s headline was: “Payrolls show surprisingly powerful gain of 467,000 in January despite omicron surge.”
ABC News salivated: “US economy defies omicron and adds 467,000 jobs in January.” But The Journal had a surprisingly different take, and it was an eye-opener: “Who knows what to make of Friday’s report on January jobs? The employer survey showed a blowout of 467,000 net new jobs for the month, but the numbers were skewed by major Labor Department revisions for the U.S. population and civilian employment.”[Emphasis added.]
Here was The Journal’s bombshell conclusion: “Without those changes, the jobs number would have declined.” It continued: “Add the complexities of adjusting for winter weather and Covid’s Omicron variant, and no one should make too much of this one monthly report.” [Emphasis added.]
Of course, none of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows thought The Journal’s narrative-shattering context was worth mentioning when they touted the jobs numbers on their Feb. 4 evening broadcasts.
Actually, the only person swallowing things whole is Vazquez. The Journal editorial in which those assertions were made provided no evidence to back up the claim. In the absence of such evidence, that makes this an opinion, not fact.
Meanwhile, MRC colleague Kathleen Krumhansl was playing whataboutism to distract from those numvbers. in a Feb. 9 post, she grumbled that in a Univision report on the January numbers, "not a word was said about how many of the new “over 460,000 jobs” were actually for Hispanics- their actual audience." Then it was Trump whataboutism time:
Let's take a look back to the Trump jobs miracle. As MRC Latino noted in 2018, the lowest ever Hispanic unemployment rate was IGNORED by the Spanish-speaking media. Never mind that at the moment, the 4.6% unemployment rate among Hispanic in the United States had reached its lowest level in the 45 years since the agency first started keeping records on the statistic, back in 1973.
One would think that such a historic achievement would be heralded over the nation’s leading Spanish-language television news programs, but that was not the case despite Hispanic unemployment dropping to around 3 percent, with a booming economy and record numbers of Hispanics entering the workforce. In fact, Latino-interest media didn't focus on a Trump jobs report until the Covid-induced employment collapse of April 2020.
Fake News: WND Uncritically Repeats Trump's False Claim About Pelosi, National Guard Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh subserviently wrote in a Jan. 21 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan congressional committee assigned to review the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot hasn't put her on the schedule for questioning.
And they're not likely to, as they apparently are trying to send the message that all of the fault rests with President Trump.
But Trump said it's Pelosi who actually holds a responsibility for the events of that day.
He said during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, according to a report from Just the News, that he authorized 20,000 National Guard troops to be on hand that day.
But Pelosi refused them.
The 20,000 troops would have handled, easily, the few hundreds who went to the building and broke windows or doors, and entered and vandalized. Many hundreds others simply walked through open doors, sometimes held for them by security officers, to walk around and take selfies.
Hannity asked Trump if he authorized use of the National Guard for that day.
"100%," Trump said. He said there are many witnesses to that decision.
He continued, "They turned it down. Nancy Pelosi turned it down."
Trump said he wanted 10,000 Guard members available, and upped that to 20,000 based on a suggestion from Kash Patel, chief of staff to the acting secretary of defense.
"I wanted to have soldiers and/or National Guard, and Nancy Pelosi turned it down, and if she didn't turn it down, you would not have had any problem," Trump said.
Unruh is not going to tell yuou that Trump's claim is false. As one fact-checker wrote, "There is no evidence Trump made any formal request about deploying 10,000 National Guard troops before the rally":
A government memo about the events leading up to Jan. 6, statements from Pelosi’s office and the Pentagon and testimony from the former House sergeant-at-arms show Trump did not request 10,000 troops ahead of the rally.
Drew Hammill, Pelosi's spokesperson, told USA TODAY that Pelosi’s office was not consulted or contacted regarding any request for the National Guard ahead of Jan. 6, and he noted the speaker of the House does not have the power to reject that type of request.
Trump's claim that Pelosi was in charge of security at the Capitol on the day of the riot is also not true: "The Capitol Police are overseen by a number of entities and individuals, none of whom are Pelosi."
The fact that Unruh has no interest in reporting is one major reason why WND is going down the tubes.
MRC Thinks Right-Wing Misinfo Being Exposed Is Just As Bad As Authoritarian Censorship Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Clay Waters wrote in a Jan. 18 post:
The New York Times is concerned about media censorship and bias -- in Serbia. “Eastern Europe Tests New Forms of Media Censorship,” by Andrew Higgins from Belgrade, appeared in Monday’s paper and it was both ironic and rich to see the Times devote 1,500 words to a story of how governments in Serbia, Poland, and Hungary are leaning on independent media outlets that don’t toe the government line.
Meanwhile, Times has long embraced Big Tech squelching supposedly offensive viewpoints cross the pond, with their reporters taking the role of self-appointed hall monitor of internet speech.
Conservatives in the United States might recognize some parallels between the kinder, gentler state-thuggery in Eastern Europe and the myriad ways (documented at MRC's #FreeSpeech America) Silicon Valley tech leaders at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Amazon, etc., try to control the nation’s political conversation by suppressing voices that displease the liberal elite.
What's an example of an "offensive viewpoint" promoted by conservatives? This is pretty much all Waters had: "While in the United States, there was timely social media censorship of an accurate story (the contents of Hunter Biden ’s laptop) inconvenient to the Democratic presidential campaign on the eve of a presidential election. How is that not electoral inference?"
In fact, only right-wing sources are claiming the laptop story is "accurate,"and it was a sketchy enough story that even Fox News wouldn't break it (that honor went to its Murdoch corporate sibling, the New York Post).To this day, no ironclad proof of the laptop's provenance and chain of custody has emerged, and there's still no reason to treat it as anything other than the sketchy October surprise it was, incessantly hyped by right-wing outlets desperate to derail Joe Biden's election.
Waters offered up another example: "In the U.S., Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has funneled money to Democratic counties in the name of helping 'election administration,' through the Center for Tech and Civic Life." In fact, the foundation funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made money available to all election agencies regardless of political leanings, which was used for various purposes, and even a report from the right-wing Foundation for Government Accountability offered no substantive evidence the money was used for partisan purposes.
Waters conmtinued to whine:
Over here, Big Tech has outsized power over American politics and uses it to muzzle or limit distribution of stories and ideas it doesn’t approve of, with skepticism about masks, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns serving as particular targets for online censors.
Noting the plight of the one independent channel in Serbia, Higgins wrote: “A huge new housing area under construction for security officials near Belgrade, for example, has refused to install SBB’s cable, the company said.”
Over here, there are calls for cable providers to remove conservative media outlets like One America News and Newsmax, even conservative chat sites like Parler. Calls for media personalities that offer independent viewpoints on Covid, like uber-popular podcaster Joe Rogan, to be squelched in the name of public health.
Note that Waters pulled that criticism out of context for what they were being criticized for, in order to falsely suggest these outlets and plaforms were being attacked for merely being conservative. According to the Washington Examiner article to which Waters linked, OAN, Newsmax and Parler were criticized beause they amplified false information about election fraud and helped incite an attempted insurrection at the Capitol. And Rogan was, in fact, hurting public health by uncritically promoting misinformation about COVID.
Waters concluded: "The parallels between Eastern Europe government censorship and U.S. Big Tech censorship aren’t exact. But even for the typical reporter who loathes the conservative press, aren’t they far too close for comfort?" In fact, they're not close at all. Those authoritarian leaders are actively supprssing dissent for simply dissenting; conservatives are playing victim because they get caught spreading misinformation and face consequences for doing so.And the fact that right-wingers have uinelashed a slew of social-media apps prove that they're not being "censored" at all.
One other note: the MRC has previously praised the authoriterian leaders of Poland and Hungary for criticizing "big tech" despite their aggressive censorship attempts on their own people.
MRC's Graham Spins Trump's Inability To Deal With Journalist's Questions Topic: Media Research Center
In the eyes of the Media Research Center, Donald Trump can do no wrong -- especially when he's bashing the "liberal media." So when Trump petulantly hung up NPR reporter Steve Inskeep rather than questions he didn't want to answer about his false claims regarding election, MRC executive Tim Graqham went into spin mode in a Jan. 12 post, pinning most of the blame on Inskeep for committing the offense of asking questions of Trump while an NPR employee and playing whataboutism over previous NPR interviews of Democratic presidents:
In his first presidential campaign and during his presidency, Donald Trump was interviewed by many liberal outlets but he never granted an interview to NPR and PBS. He understood that he was running as a populist and they are elitist channels. They’re taxpayer-funded, but sound like they’re Democrat-owned.
That streak just came to an end as Trump granted an interview Tuesday to NPR morning anchor Steve Inskeep. They planned a 15-minute interview – and Trump ended it at nine minutes. Inskeep began by asking Trump about the coronavirus and vaccines, but soon shifted into a battery of inquiries about the 2020 election and how Trump has not been able to prove he somehow won in a landslide. That went on long enough that Trump decided he had said enough:
There are two takeaways from Inskeep's presidential interviews:
1. For the most part, Steve Inskeep's questions to Trump were hardballs, but fact-based hardballs. Other than nudging Trump that the election was all about him -- as if the pro-Biden media didn't run it that way? -- he didn't lecture Trump. He presented quotes and information to Trump. Full transcript here.
2. For the most part, Steve Inskeep's many "unusually relaxed" interviews with Obamaoffered softballs. His overall record remains tough on Republicans, soft on Democrats. See Inskeep's gush over radical-left failed Biden nominee Soule Omarova. Then see him get offended when a pro-life guest used the word "abortionist."
Even Graham couldn't find fault with Inskeep's line of questioning -- but he has committed the original sin of being an employee of NPR and, thus, must always be criticized.
When personal enemy Brian Stelter of CNN claimed that "It is exceedingly rare for Trump to talk to any broadcaster who isn't a MAGA media loyalist. It basically never happens," Graham ranted in response:
What? "It basically never happens?" Lesley Stahl? Lester Holt? Long nasty town hall with Savannah Guthrie? Stelter should tell us how many interviews Biden has granted to conservative media. Trump has obviously granted more interviews to liberal media over his presidency than Biden has been doing. President Biden has not granted an interview yet to NPR or PBS. But we can guess it will be soft whenever it arrives.
Graham thinks any interviewer who doesn't suck up to Trump the way he accuses "liberal media" journalists of sucking up to Democrats is automatically biased. He has never criticized a right-wing journalist for softball interviews of Trump.
Back in November, WorldNetDailiy touted COVID misinformer Robert Malone's claim that promotion of COVID vaccines was nothing but "mass formation psychosis," his version of the madness of crowds. That's not reallya thing, of course -- it's not a legitmate psychological term -- but it sounds good coming from a guy who's trying to sound smart in peddling his misinformation, and WND ate it up. Michael Schisler manufactured a definition for it in his Jan. 6 column:
In humans, Mass Formations, whether naturally occurring such as the case within plagues, or synthetic constructs such as witnessed in Nazi Germany, have often been exploited for political gain.
Mass Formation theory holds that the left's insistence that only two binary categories of vaccination status exist (i.e., a person is either fully vaccinated or is unvaccinated) is a tactic to pit various segments of the population against each other in an effort to coerce the unending compliance of all.
Which, of course, is a political end goal of a greater plan.
Also, according to Mass Formation theory, the more absurd the narrative becomes, the more strongly many believers of the narrative cling to the absurdities. This phenomenon occurs because believers are so fearful of the pre-narrative threat that going along with any absurdity is preferable as long as it is accompanied by a promise of delivery from the threat.
That's a definition that fits anti-vaxxers like Malone and WND much closer than vaccine advocates. But no, Schisler says:
Mass Formation thought says to deny the existence of early treatment regimes.
Mass Formation thought says to withhold all treatment until the disease has progressed to the final phase, and then give oxygen and blood thinners.
Mass Formation thought says only to administer anti-virals after viral replication is complete and the body so weakened that it cannot withstand the toxic effects of the administered anti-viral.
Would medicine ever advocate for ineffective vaccines and extremely aggressive screening, only to send each and every patient having stages one, two and three cancer home, and completely refuse any and all treatment until the disease has progressed to stage four? And then only give them chemo known not to work, some heparin and some oxygen?
This is exactly what is happening with COVID patients due to Mass Formation thought.
A Jan. 25 article by Bob Unruh hyped how ex-guitar god and current anti-vaxxer Eric Clapton has bought in as well:
Famed rock guitarist Eric Clapton says he was duped into taking one of the experimental COVID-19 jabs by "subliminal messaging" and "mass formation hypnosis" and others shouldn't fall for it.
Clapton's recent comments came in an interview posted to a YouTube channel called the Real Music Observer.
Clapton, 76, described the "disastrous" side effects he sustained after taking the jab, explaining his hands were "either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless.
Unruh surprisingly admits thatClapton has been mock for his anti-vaxxer activism,quoting one critic as saying, "When virologists and epidemiologists start playing a killer version of 'Layla,' I'll start listening to Clapton on science."
Scott Lively touted the nonexistent psychosis and Malone's promotion of it in his Jan. 31 column, adding, "My point in this article is not primarily to help spread the word about this important topic but to caution everyone on the right that people on BOTH sides of a polarized society are susceptible to mob psychology. My greater purpose is to remind/explain how an authentic biblical worldview provides immunity from this psychosis." He, unsurprisingly, turned things to his own homophobic obsession:
Dr. Malone uses "mass formation psychosis" to explain the behavior of the left in their intellectual surrender to the official COVID-19 narrative. I would argue that their surrender to the LGBT agenda, especially the truly insane aspects of transgenderism, is a better example.
I would also argue that the QAnon narrative is an example of the same phenomenon on the right, and is very likely driven by the exact same puppet masters from their alphabet-soup agency bunkers. (I'm still getting occasional emails from QAnon holdouts – or agents pretending to be holdouts – predicting imminent mass arrests of the Biden administration and its co-conspirators)[.]
Lively, however, did not criticize anti-vaxxers as an example of "mass formation psychosis," even though they have chosen to believe things that are so easily disproven.
Andy Schlafly praised Malone for promoting it in his Feb. 8 column:
In Rogan's Dec. 30 interview of Robert Malone, M.D., the respected scientist likened mass vaccination to "mass formation psychosis," in which "anybody who questions" the prevailing narrative is attacked. Liberals forced removal of that podcast from Spotify and YouTube, but Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, placed a transcript in the Congressional Record where Nancy Pelosi has not censored it.
Again, if it applies to anyone, it applies to anti-vaxxers who attack anyone who conflicts with their false "prevailing narrative."
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.
CNS Columnist (And Its Editor's Buddy) Pat Buchanan Roots For Putin, Against Biden and U.S. Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com justlovesit 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.
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 plentyofevidence 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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.