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Saturday, March 5, 2022
MRC Promotes Attempt To Whitewash Anti-Gay Conversion Therapy
Topic: Media Research Center

A few months back, we caught WorldNetDaily trying to whitewash warmed-over anti-gay conversion therapy as "reintegrative therapy." Now, the Media Research Center is taking a stab it it. Gabriela Pariseau wrote in a Jan. 20 post:

YouTube “terminated” the Reintegrative Therapy Association’s channel for alleged “hate speech,” accusing the group of pushing “conversion therapy.”

The Reintegrative Therapy Association (RTA) specializes in “established, evidence-based treatment interventions … to treat trauma and addiction.” Joseph Nicolosi, Jr., a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of the RTA, told MRC Free Speech America that YouTube banned RTA’s channel overnight.

"Our channel went from 0 strikes against us — and having tens of thousands of views — to permanent suspension for all videos indefinitely, overnight," Nicolosi explained. "Our video content ranged from client testimonials to research explainers. None of that mattered."


RTA explicitly distinguishes reintegrative therapy, which it said, “seeks to identify and resolve past traumatic memories,” and “conversion therapy” in which “[s]exual orientation change is the goal.”

However, it acknowledges that a “client's sexuality can sometimes change on its own.” The organization also clarifies that it uses “the same approach, regardless of the client's sexual orientation or gender” 

YouTube’s block of the RTA channel came after a recent report by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE), which conflated reintegrative therapy and conversion therapy and put pressure on Big Tech companies to remove accounts like the RTA YouTube channel.

Pariseau, however, censored the fact that Nicolosi is the son of Joseph Nicolosi, one of the biggest promoters of conversion therapy, whose legacy Nicolosi Jr. isn't exactly running hard to get away from. Video touting reintegrative therapy on Nicolosi Jr.'s website are titled "This changed my sexuality" and "The science behing my sexuality change" -- meaning his therapy is unambiguously being marketed as having a anti-gay goal. Further, despitte Pariseau's declaration that Nicolosi Jr. is "a licensed clinical psychologist," his doctorate came from a school that wasn't accredited by the American Psychological Association at the time he received it.

Pariseau also made sure not to quote from the GPAHE report, which detailed the father-son link and noted that research claiming to validate "reintegrative therapy" was published in the Journal of Human Sexuality, which is published by the successor group to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, the anti-gay organization founded by Nicolosi Sr.

Pariseau, meanwhile, was too busy trying to paint Nicolosi Jr. as a victim:

Nicolosi, however, told MRC Free Speech America that Big Tech censorship and organizations like GPAHE ultimately hurt those in need of real help. “Everyone should be free to find therapy and support to help them achieve their desired goals and outcomes. Not Big Tech, or any political organization. Clients should be in the driver’s seat of their therapy,” he said.

“Ultimately, it’s the public who suffers— it’s the sex-abuse victims, seeking out alternative therapy options, for example. We can’t be educated on any topic if we only have access to one point of view. Our clients —and the general public— deserve better.”

The MRC is anti-LGBT enough to want to help Nicolosi with this dishonest whitewashing. Its "news" division,, recently lamented a conversion therapy ban in Canada.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EST
WND Cheered Anti-Vax Trooper -- But Censored His Death From COVID
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore cheerfully wrote in an Oct. 18 article:

Signing off for the last time after 22 years with the Washington State Patrol, a trooper who refused to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee's vaccine mandate had a few parting words for the Democratic leader: "Kiss my ***."

As the deadline for getting vaccinated passed Monday and the state patrol braced for the loss of as many as 100 troopers, Robert LaMay of Yakima County in central Washington videoed his final call on the radio, thanking his colleagues for their work and support, reported Jason Rantz of KTTH Radio in Seattle.

Only three years from full retirement, LeMay, a Christian with religious objections to the vaccine, said Friday night it's about religious liberties and freedom.

"This is my final sign-off. After 22 years of serving the citizens of the state of Washington, I'm being asked to leave because I am dirty," LaMay announced, referring to his unvaccinated status. "Numerous fatalities, injuries, I've worked sick, I’ve played sick. We’ve buried lots of friends over these years. I’d like to thank you guys. I’d like to thank the citizens of Yakima County as well as my fellow officers within the valley. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have been very successful. And you kept me safe and got me to my family every night. Thank you for that."

LaMay, a married father of four, became visibly emotional as he continued.

"I wish I could say more, but this is it, so state 10-34, this is the last time you'll hear me in a state patrol car. And Jay Inslee can kiss my ***."

But a couple months later, a painfully ironic thing happened:

A former Yakima area-based Washington State Patrol trooper whose resignation over mandated COVID vaccination for state employees went viral has died.

The State Patrol announced Robert LaMay’s death Friday. He was 50.

While the State Patrol statement did not include LaMay’s cause of death, other news outlets have reported that he died after contracting COVID-19.

That's right -- a trooper who profanely quit his job rather than get a vaccine died of the disease the vaccine was designed to prevent. It will not surprise you to learn that WND censored the news of LaMay's ultimate outcome from its readers, even though it happened more than a month ago. It's not alone: The Fox News hosts who feted LaMay upon his resignation also wouldn't report his death.

Refusing to report news that undermines your editorial agenda is not the way to build trust in your news operation.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, March 5, 2022 12:11 AM EST
Friday, March 4, 2022
The MRC's Pro-Misinformation Brigade Stays On Rogan Patrol
Topic: Media Research Center

Just because Joe Rogan quasi-apologized for spreading misinformation doesn't mean the Media Research Center had finished defending his right to spread it. Curtis Houck kept up the whining that Rogan was being held accountable in a Jan. 31 post:

All three major broadcast networks continued on Monday morning to do their part in the push to remove Joe Rogan from the public square over his top-rated Spotify podcast under the guise of COVID-19 falsehoods. In the case of ABC, CBS, and NBC, they ratcheted up the rhetoric from when they first covered it last week, calling his show and views “dangerous” “misinformation” with one implicitly tying him to Americans who’ve died from the virus.

CBS Mornings was the most sinister, insisting they support “free speech” and First Amendment rights while also demanding Rogan be prevented from having a “massive” “platform as large as Spotify” because “a lot of people do listen to” him.

“What to Watch” host Vladimir Duthiers reported on “developments in the controversy over misinformation...on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast” with rocker Neil Young having his music removed from Spotify because he “and others say...Rogan’s show promote[s] false information about COVID-19 and the vaccines.”

It should be noted Young’s 2006 tour was entitled “Freedom of Speech” as a slight against George W. Bush. How the tables have turned for this hippie!

Only at the MRC would it be considered "sinister" to hold someone accountable for their behavior. And Houck offered no evidence that "freedom of speech" protests lies and misinformation.

Nevertheless, he went on to rant that this was all an "open example of collusion to censor those the liberal media oppose." Never mind that his job is to censor the speech of people right-wing activists like him oppose.

Alex Christy took a predictible shot at the evil (in the fevered brains of the MRC minions, anyway) Brian Stelter of CNN, complaining thathe said that CNN ismore trustworthy than Rogan -- an indisputable truth.Still, Christy felt the need to sneer in response that "Stelter's claim that CNN can better discern what is true than the average Joe Rogan listener is not something backed by evidence" -- though he offered no direct comparisons of CNN vs. Rogan.

Catherine Salgado, meanwhile, screamed "DOGPILE!" in the headline of her post:

Leftists called on Spotify to ban popular podcast host Joe Rogan over alleged COVID-19 “misinformation.” Rogan has interviewed doctors on his show who dissent from the left’s COVID-19 narratives.

Rogan’s enormously popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” is exclusive to Spotify, but leftists railed against the streaming platform and demanded he be deplatformed. Rogan interviewed both experienced cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough and mRNA vaccine patent holder Dr. Robert Malone.

The left has repeatedly vilified Malone and McCullough for scientifically dissecting many touted COVID-19 narratives. By calling for Rogan to be banned, leftists have made it clear that anyone who disagrees with them shouldn’t have a platform to speak freely.

Notice all the fallacial appeals Salgado invoked -- the ad populum fallacy in touting how Rogan is "enormously popular," and the credentials fallacy in hyping the medical and research credentials of McCullough and Malone and ignoring the fact that both have been repeatedly discredited. And her insistence on putting scare quotes around "misinformation" shows that Salgado is never going to admit Rogan, McCullough and Malone ever misinformed people -- even as she refuses to lift a finger to prove that claim correct, as proven by her false statement that they stand accuse of "dissent[ing] from the left’s COVID-19 narratives." No, they're accused of dissenting from established medical reality, and the fact that Salgado considers medical reality merely a "narrative" from "the left" tells you all you need to know about how the MRC and the rest of the right-wing media have politicized COVID.

Salgado went on to complain:

Many “theories” were aggressively dubbed “misinformation” earlier in the pandemic, such as the lab leak theory of COVID-19 origins and the fact that vaccinated individuals can contract COVID-19. These same “theories” have now been shown to be plausible or true, and authorities have now acknowledged the veracity of emergent facts. Furthermore, while a letter to Spotify from medical and scientific professionals has hundreds of signatures, over 17,000 scientific and medical professionals have signed the Rome Declaration condemning many touted COVID-19 measures.

As we noted when Rogan claimed it, the lab leak theory has yet to be proven conclusively true, andthere's little evidence that COVID-19 is a Chinese-made bioweapon. While there is a Rome Declaration on COVID -- created last May by the European Union -- that's not what Salgado linked to. Instead, she linked to a different declaration from a group of fringe doctors and researchers -- including Malone and McCullough -- who oppose COVID vaccines and have pushed dubious treatments such as ivermectin.

Pro-misinformation advocate Alexander Hall complained that the White House wanted to do something about it in a Feb. 2 post:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called on music and podcast streaming platform Spotify to tighten its grip on speech to stop so-called “misinformation.” It’s a culture-war tactic often used by the left: Accept some subservience by others to its agenda, but say that’s only a start.

Psaki gave minor praise to Spotify for announcing it will add disclaimers on podcaster Joe Rogan’s podcasts, but said that is only a fraction of the censorship it should be doing.

Hall is lying -- Psaki is not calling for "censorship," and Hall knows it. Nevertheless, he kept trying to put that word in her mouth.

Clay Waters used a Feb. 3 post to attack a New York Times reporter over his article on Rogan:

New York Times tech reporter-columnist Kevin Roose took on the controversy between hugely popular podcaster-interviewer Joe Rogan and the music-media streaming provider Spotify over supposed misinformation Rogan spread about Covid vaccines in an interview with a controversial doctor. The story dominated the front of Tuesday’s Business section: “Staying Power Of an Uproar.” 

It wasn’t hard to spot Roose was setting Rogan up for a fall. His jittery fear of conservative “misinformation” online has only increased during the COVID era and the Black Lives Matter riots:


It’s clear how Roose wants it to end, given his obsession with “misinformation.” As if Rogan is purposely spreading lies (and who decides what is “misinformation” on Covid anyway?), as opposed to drawing out controversial figures in interviews.

It's not hard to identify COVID misinformation, Clay. You and the rest of the MRC pretend that there is no such thing as objective misinformation in order to give you and other right-wing media outlets a lane to spread more.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 9:36 PM EST
Fake News: WND Pushes Bogus Claim About COVID Cases In Israel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root wasn't the only WorldNetDaily writer to fall for a bogus viral anti-vaxx claim out of Israel. Art Moore wrote in a Feb. 3 article:

Most of the severe COVID-19 cases at one of Israel's largest hospital complexes are people who received at least three shots, according to the director of the coronavirus ward.

The Middle East nation has one of the world's highest rates of vaccination, about 90%, with many high-risk patients having received a fourth shot.

Prof. Yaakov Jerris told Israel's Channel 13 News that "most of our severe cases are vaccinated," Israel National News reported.

"They had at least three injections. Between 70 and 80 percent of the serious cases are vaccinated," said Jerris, who works for Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, also known as Ichilov Hospital, the nation's second largest.

"So, the vaccine has no significance regarding severe illness, which is why just 20 to 25 percent of our patients are unvaccinated."

As a fact-checker found, there is no Yaakov Jerris -- his name is Jacob Giris, and even the Israel National News article Moore cites calls him Jacob Giris.Moore also botched the name of the hospital -- the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center hasn't been known as Ichilov Hospital for decades, according to the fact-checker.

Moore also misled about what Giris said, presumably for clickability's sake. He hped the claim that most serious COVID cases in the hospital are of vaccinated, but waited a few paragraphs to attempt to tell the full truth: that it involved people who are seriously ill. Indeed, as the fact-checker also found, Giris said that the patient population is older and has more comorbidities, so it's less relevant that they are vaccinated. Giris also an earlier statement (in Hebrew) noting that the mortality rate is low, they were admitted for other heatlh issues and later discovered to have COVID, and that COVID is not the cause of death for these patients.

Moore waited a couple more paragraphs before cleaning that up:

At an Israeli government cabinet meeting on Sunday, Jerris tried to clear up confusion regarding how COVID cases are reported.

"Defining a serious patient is problematic," he told the ministers. "For example, a patient with a chronic lung disease always had a low level of oxygen, but now he has a positive coronavirus test result which technically makes him a 'serious coronavirus patient.'"

That isn't accurate, he said.

"The patient is only in a difficult condition because he has a serious underlying illness."

All of which negates the entire premise of Moore's article. In most legitimate newsrooms, that would have kiled the story -- but because WND's journalistic standards are so abysmal, the false claim remained the lead claim.

No wonder Google no longer wants to do business with WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:43 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 6:48 PM EST
MRC Misleads About DeSantis And The Nazis
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is continuing to serve as an apologistand cheerleader for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.  Curtis Houck huffed in a Feb. 2 post:

Tuesday night on CBS’s The Late Show, far-left host Stephen Colbert engaged in the latest smear against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), falsely claiming he was “silent” on alleged neo-Nazi gatherings and deceptively edited a clip to claim he only commented so far as to attack Democrats for using it against him. In reality, DeSantis slammed the white supremacists as “jackasses.”


Citing the “Nazi rallies in Orlando,” Colbert noted that it was a “terrible” thing before launching into his DeSantis smear:

[T]he easiest thing in the world to condemn, unless you're Ron DeSantis, who “remain[ed] silent.” It's been said the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to say nothing. It's also bad when Ron DeSantis says nothing.

Colbert added the Governor was “cornered by...reporters wanting to know things like, ‘Hey, gov: So Nazis? Where do you come down on that whole deal?’”

Instead of showing a fuller clip of DeSantis condemning what happened during a Monday Q&A, Colbert played a fragment of his comments and said the only thing DeSantis did was spot “the true enemy: Democrats.” Then, he played this from DeSantis calling out the left’s attempts to tie him to Nazis:

What I'm going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to do with it — we're not playing their game. 

Put simply, Colbert proved DeSantis’s point.

What the governor actually said was that, in addition to condemning what took place, he promised “state law enforcement is going to hold them accountable...and they should,” and insisted Jews have “tremendous support” in the Sunshine State.

Houck omitting important facts about DeSantis' statement. First, it took two days for him to issue a response, and it happened at a Q&A with reporters that was originally about another issue -- so  the claim that DeSantis had been silent on the issue is not without merit. Second, DeSantis' press secretary, Christina Pushaw, issued a tweet (since deleted) suggesting the Nazis were actually Democrats in disguise, and she continued to make that baseless suggestion on her Twitter account and in other statements.

It remains ironic that the MRC -- which gets mad when right-wing Babylon Bee's satire gets fact-checked because other right-wingers present it as fact -- works so hard to fact-check jokes it doesn't like.

Kevin Tober similarly claimed to DeSantis' defense, this time from Rachel Maddow, in a Feb. 3 post. Like Houck, Tober omitted the fact that it took DeSantis two days to respond and censored the fact that Pushaw's posts pushed the unproven idea that the Nazis were disguised Democrats.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 2:11 PM EST
CNS Touts Anti-LGBT Activist's Hate -- But Censors Him Getting Busted For Fake Documentary

It's no surprise that the notoriously homophobic would give space to notoriously homophobic right-wing activist Matt Walsh -- whose stunt of prtending to move to Virginia so he could spew his hate at a school board CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, absolutely loved -- and Craig Bannister did just that in a Jan. 24 article:

“I think you are narcissists and bullies,” conservative commentator Matt Walsh responded after two married non-binary LGBTQ activists claimed they were driven to nightmares and depression because Walsh challenged their ideology on the “Dr. Phil” show last week.

“It sounds like your conscience is trying to tell you something,” Walsh tells activists Addison and Ethan in a social media video:

“I think you represent something that is, not only anti-scientific and irrational, but evil. And, I think you have evil intentions. I think that you are bad people. And, I think you are neither correct nor well-meaning.

“And, if one person in the whole world – in your whole life – saying this to you causes you to spiral into depression and be plagued by nightmares, then maybe that should clue you in. It sounds like your conscious is trying to tell you something.”

What’s more, Addison and Ethan don’t care who gets hurt, “as long as your ideology wins the day,” Walsh says, condemning liberals’ harmful open bathroom and transgender sports demands:

As could be expected from CNS, Bannister made no effort whatsover to give Addison and Ethan a change to respond to Walsh's hate. Nor did he admit that Walsh has made it more than clear that he cares only about hurting people who aren't as right-wing and heterosexual as he is.

Meanwhile, CNS remained utterly silent about Walsh getting busted for a deceitful stunt in which he pretended to be making a pro-transgender documentary that was secretly going to be turned into an anti-transgender film without the participants' knowledge.

As the Daily Beast reported, a prominent trans activist was contacted by a production assistant to appear in the film. After a little digging, it turned out that  the assistant worked on Walsh's podcast, and that the purported organization that claimed to be making the film was another Walsh associate. After the activist exposed the hoax, the assistant deleted her Twitter account, the associate took his private, and the purported organization's Twitter account was suspended.

You'd think such a deceptive scheme being exposed would be news -- and it is at most news organizations. But because CNS hates LGBT people as much as Walsh does, Walsh's dishonesty must be suppressed.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 1:06 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Can't Stop Failing In Its War Against Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center discredited its own narrative that Facebook is "censoring" conservatives by bragging about how well its conservative content does there. It also whined about Facebook having a protected VIP list -- but censored the fact that Donald Trump was on the list for years. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Thursday, March 3, 2022
MRC Tried To Give Republicans A Pass For Being Putin-Curious
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center may be gung-ho against Vladimir Putin and Russia now that it has invaded Ukraine, but it has been Putin-friendly in the past. As we've documented, Putin was one of the right-wing authoritarian leaders the MRC has praised for spouting its anti-"bi tech"narrative; a March 2021 post by Alexander Hall praised Putin for "fight[ing] back against Silicon Valley, suing five companies to force removal of posts supporting anti-Putin protests." That's right -- the MRC was cheering Putin for trying to censor his critics, which would seem to be the opposite of what it claims to do with its "free speech" initiative.

The MRC even tried to defend Fox News host Tucker Carlson's pro-Putin leanings before thte invasion. Kevin Tober did this in a Jan. 25 post:

On CNN Newsroom during their coverage of the ongoing border dispute between Russia and Ukraine Tuesday, they quickly switched gears and slimed Fox News star Tucker Carlson and the entire Republican Party as having a "soft spot for Russia".

CNN Newsroom co-host Alisyn Camerota kicked off the slime fest by lying about Fox host Tucker Carlson claiming "one of the primetime hosts doesn't see the difference between Vladimir Putin and the leader in Ukraine, doesn't see the difference between an autocracy and a fledgling democracy." Camerota then aired a soundbite of Carlson arguing it is not in America's national interest to get in the middle of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: 


After displaying a small dose of common sense, Browder decided to join Camerota in knocking Carlson by wailing that he "is clearly an ignorant man, he doesn't understand what Putin is up to." 

Browder then listed a litany of crimes and murders Putin had committed and then ended with another broadside shot at Carlson demanding that he "keep his mouth shut when it comes to Vladimir Putin."

After that unhinged rant, Camerota brought up an unsubstantiated allegation Democrat Congressman Tom Malinowski made blaming Carlson for his constituents calling his office to request that the United States side with Russia.

Tober then tried to distance Republicans a little from Carlson -- but he also insisted there was nuance in Carlson's argument:

It's typical of CNN to slime conservatives as having "a soft spot for Putin." While NewsBusters does not take a position on the Ukraine conflict, it is fair to say that conservatives like Tucker Carlson who believe we should not get involved in another conflict in a foreign country is not having "a soft spot for Putin."

But of course, those nuances don't compute with the simpletons like Alison Camerota and the other leftists at CNN. 

Of course, Carlson did much more than argue against getting involved in "another conflict in a foreign country" -- he was a cheerleader for Putin, complaining that "Democrats want you to hate Putin" and argued that Putin was doing nothing wrong in his aggression toward Ukraine. There really wasn't a lot of nuance there, and certainly not as much as Tober wants you to believe there was.

That wasn't a smart take then, and it has definitely not aged well since.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
WND Misrepesents Letter To Editor As Research In 'Prestigious' Journal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's parade of COVID misinformation continued in a feb. 2 article by Art Moore:

The prestigious British medical journal The Lancet has published an article by a University of Colorado infectious disease scientist concluding vaccine mandates should be reconsidered in light of studies finding the vaccines are not stopping transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Carlos Franco-Paredes of the University of Colorado's Division of Infectious Diseases, wrote that "the impact of vaccination on community transmission of circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be not significantly different from the impact among unvaccinated people."

The scientific rationale for mandatory vaccination in the USA relies on the premise that vaccination prevents transmission to others, resulting in a 'pandemic of the unvaccinated," he noted. "Yet, the demonstration of COVID-19 breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated health-care workers (HCW) in Israel, who in turn may transmit this infection to their patients, requires a reassessment of compulsory vaccination policies leading to the job dismissal of unvaccinated HCW in the USA."

Meanwhile, a fact-checker looked into the article:

[T]he text forms part of "correspondence" authored by Carlos Franco-Paredes, an infectious diseases expert and associate professor at the University of Colorado, which was published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal in January.

In other words, the text forms part of a letter to the editor.

According to a spokeswoman for The Lancet Group, such letters represented the views of the author and "not necessarily the views of The Lancet journals".

Moore falsely suggested the article was research when it was actually the research journal's equivalent of a letter to the editor, and he got it wrong by falsely claiming the article was published in The Lancet when, in fact, it appeared in a separate specialty journal.

Moore also curiously omitted the very first sentence of Franco-Paredes' letter, in which he declared: "Vaccine effectiveness studies have conclusively demonstrated the benefit of COVID-19 vaccines in reducing individual symptomatic and severe disease, resulting in reduced hospitalisations and intensive care unit admissions."

That's a lot of deception and inacuracy for a single article. No wonder nobody trusts WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 3, 2022 9:20 PM EST
CNS Tried To Clean Up After RNC's Resolution Attacking Cheney, Kinzinger
Topic: knew the Republican Natoinal Committee had a debacle on its hands when it passed a resolution censuring Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for taking part in the House's committee to examine the January 2021 Capitol riot incited by President Trump as Congress was certifiying his defeat. In a Feb. 7 article under the headline "RNC Blasted for Seeming to Describe January 6 As 'Legitimate Political Discourse'," Susan Jones complained that the poorly worded resolution "handed Democrats a damaging talking point":

In a resolution censuring Republicans Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the Republican National Committee has put a glaring spotlight on itself and handed Democrats a damaging talking point.

In laying out the case against the two lawmakers, the resolution's final "WHEREAS" references Cheney and Kinzinger's participation in the House Select Committee on the events of January 6, 2021:

"Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse, and they are both utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purposes, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee hereby formally censures Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and shall immediately cease any and all support of them as members of the Republican Party for their behavior..."

Critics, including some Republicans, pounced not only on the censure itself, but especially on the phrase "ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse."

Jones gave space to the NRC chairwoman to try and clean things up:

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, in several tweets on Feb. 4, blasted a New York Times headline, which read: "G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack 'Legitimate Political Discourse."

"This story from the New York Times is completely false," McDaniel tweeted. "It’s not journalism, it’s the worst type of baseless political propaganda."

In another tweet, McDaniel wrote: "Cheney and Kinzinger chose to join Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol. The NYT needs to correct this story now, or again expose themselves as political hacks."

And in a third tweet, McDaniel wrote: "I have repeatedly condemned violence on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, this committee has gone well beyond the scope of the events of that day."

The problem, of course, is that what Daniel said is not what the resolution says. Jones did report on Republicans criticizing the resolution and its language, but she also claimed that "Murkowski and Romney often go against the party line" -- without mention that the "party line" has been to discredit the House committing investigating Jan. 6 and allow Trump and his cronies to go unpunished for their actions.

The next day, Melanie Arter unhappily reported on the Biden White House commenting on the resolution:

The White House on Tuesday condemned the Republican National Committee (RNC) for using the phrase “legitimate political discourse” in a resolution censuring Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wis.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for investigating what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Your reaction to the RNC declaring what happened on January 6 as legitimate political discourse, and Democrats on the Hill today are being very vocal about this. Hakeem Jeffries says the C in RNC stands for cult. Does the White House agree with that?” a reporter asked.

“I think it’s clear to Americans that what happened on January 6 was not legitimate political discourse. Storming the Capitol in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power is not legitimate political discourse. Neither is attacking and injuring over 140 police officers, smashing windows and defiling offices,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Arter rehashed parts of Jones' article featuring Daniel uncsuccessfully trying to explain away the resolution, but she also noted that "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized the RNC for censuring Cheney and Kinzinger."

It seems, though, that CNS ultimately decided the resolution wasn't worth defending. A Feb. 14 article by Arter quoted Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan defending "sane Republicans" and saying, "To say it's legitimate political discourse to attack the seat of our Capitol, and smash windows, and attack police officers, and threaten to hang the vice president, and threaten to overthrow the election, it's insanity, and it's a -- there's a circular firing squad where we attack Republicans." And a Feb. 18 article by Arter uncritically quoted Hillary Clinton as saying, "When the Republican Party officially embraces violent insurrection as legitimate political discourse, when storming the Capitol, assaulting police officers, trying to overturn an election are being normalized, we are in uncharted territory, and make no mistake, our adversaries around the world are watching."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
MRC Continued To Defend Joe Rogan's Right To Misinform People
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so dedicated to defending COVID misinformation that when podcaster Joe Rogan was busted for letting anti-vaxxers like Robert Malone and Peter McCullough, it rushed to shoehorn Rogan into its right-wing victim narrative. As criticism of Rogan continued, the MRC doubled down on its defense. When rock legend Neil Young demanded that Spotify either drop Rogan or stop streaming his music, Alexander Hall sneered on Jan. 25:

Neil Young has reportedly demanded that Spotify become a safe space for him. The Once-legendary Canadian-American singer delivered an ultimatum to Spotify, according to Rolling Stone: Get rid of the massively popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast or lose his music. 

A questionably relevant singer demanding the removal of perhaps the world’s most popular podcast is a hard sell. “Neil Young posted a since-deleted letter to his management team and record label demanding that they remove his music from Spotify,” Rolling Stone reported Jan. 24. “‘I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,’” he wrote, according to Rolling Stone.“They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” 

Young later accused Spotify of “spreading fake information about vaccines” and “potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation,” according to the magazine.

Hall didn't dispute Young's statement that Rogan spreads misinformation -- perhaps because he knows it's true. And insisting that misinformation not be spread is not the same thing as hiding in a "safe space."

The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro put "misinformation" in scare quotes when talking about what Rogan has done -= because the MRC will never unequivocally acknowledge any right-winger spreads misinformation -- but he seemed surprised that "The View" co-host Joy Behar came to Rogan's defense. On Jan. 27, Hall tried to feel superior over Young after Spotify chose Rogan over Young's music, claiming that "Young may have drastically overestimated his popularity and influence" and sneering again, "Old man, look at your life." The same day, Autumn Johnson joined the scare-quote brigade:

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on Big Tech to remove Joe Rogan’s podcast because of so-called COVID-19 “misinformation,” on Tuesday.

Murthy was discussing what he considered to be COVID-19 “misinformation” on social media platforms with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. Brzezinski asked Murthy what he thought of Rogan’s podcast, which reached 11 million people per episode. Rogan has been criticized for promoting alternative treatments for COVID-19.


Murthy said that Big Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter should do more to remove alleged “misinformation” online. He said, however, that change should be the responsibility of the platforms themselves, not the government.

Johnson made no effort to prove that Rogan wasn't spreading misinformation, making her scare quotes a lazy way out.

On Jan. 29, it was Jeffrey Lord's turn to lash out at Young for standing up for truth, falsely declaring of him, "Who knew rocker Neil Young was into censorship?" He claimed Rogan and other anti-vaxxers were spreading misinfomation but, rather, "different views on the vaccine," going on to huff: "Make no mistake. America is involved in a battle royal with leftist censors who are determined to silence any and all views on any and all subjects they don’t like."

Johnson returned on Jan. 30 to complain about "another aging lefty rocker" criticizing  Rogan:

Spotify has faced more criticism for its decision to keep Joe Rogan’s podcast on the platform. Last week, artist Neil Young challenged the music streaming platform to remove the podcast or remove his music. Spotify removed his music.

And now, singer Joni Mitchell also asked that her music be removed from the platform.

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell said of her decision. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Johnson didn't dispute Mitchell's contention that Rogan was irresponsibly "spreading lies." But she waited until nearly the end of her post to admit that "Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the company will now add a content advisory on podcasts that mentions COVID-19. The user will then be directed to information about the virus from physicians and other health officials.

The next day, Rogan issued a video addressing the controversy surrounding him. Hall was bizarrely gleeful that it could be considered a "non-apology" and seemed absolutely giddy about labeling him a "world-famous podcaster":

World-famous podcaster Joe Rogan stirred up controversy with Cancel Culture mobs by interviewing medical professionals who questioned shifting narratives of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, rocker Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify in protest, causing Spotify and Rogan himself to respond.

The Joe Rogan Experience host released a video that could be described as a “non-apology” to the people offended by so-called “misinformation” in his podcast interviews. “The problem I have with the term ‘misinformation,’ especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact,” he explained in a video on his Instagram page.

He provided examples of claims that went from alleged “misinformation” to widely accepted facts after a few months. Then, he noted how he had discussed many of those exact, now acceptable, narratives with qualified professionals: “All of those theories that at one point in time were banned, were openly discussed by those two men that I had on my podcast that had been accused of dangerous misinformation.”

One example of this that Rogan cited, according to Hall, regarded the origin of COVID-19, which he "claims that were censored for being so-called “conspiracy theories,” but now are the predominant explanations for the course of the pandemic. Hall linked to an old NewsBusters post complaining that an article at the unreliable far-right site ZeroHedge claiming that COVID-19 was weaponized by China, citing another article claming the virus was a leak from the Wuhan lab as evidence that this is now the "predominant explanation" -- even though that wasn't exactly what ZeroHedge was claiming. Meanwhile, there's still plenty of evidence that discredit the lab-leak theory.

Hall also wrote:

“If you said, ‘I don't think cloth masks work, you would be banned from social media. Now, that’s openly and repeatedly stated on CNN. If you said ‘I think it's possible that COVID-19 came from a lab’ you’d be banned from many social media platforms, now that's on the cover of Newsweek.”

But cloth masks do have a level of effectiveness, though not as good as N95 or KN85 masks. Rogan is lying when he claims they don't work at all.

Hall seemed disappointed to report that Rogan said "he would accept disclaimers on his podcasts about COVID-19 'saying that you should speak with your physician and that these people and the opinions that they express are contrary to the opinions of the consensus of experts.'" And, curiously, he again repeated Young's contention that Spotify hosts like Rogan were "spreading fake information about vaccines" and "potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation" without making an effort to dispute the claim.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor Wanted U.S. To Capiutlate to Putin
Topic: has a bad habit of being a supporter of Russia's Vladimir Putin -- especially when he trashes its designated enemies: President Biden, "big tech" and "woke" culture. So it's not a surprise that CNS managing editor took Putin's side in the Ukraine conflict, effectively agreeing to Putin's demand that Ukraine be barred from NATO, in an uncritical Feb. 10 article:

In a speech on Monday in Moscow, following diplomatic talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that if Ukraine joins NATO and tries to retake the Crimea, Europe "will be automatically pulled into a war conflict with Russia."

If NATO executes Article 5 of its charter, which calls for the collective defense of its members, "you won't even have time to blink your eye," said Putin. "There will be no winners."

Lest it not be apparent that Chapman was siding with Putin here, he went on to write of others endorsing Putin's idea:

NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was established in 1949 primarily to provide collective security to Europe against possible invasion by the Soviet Union. The USSR collapsed in 1991, and all Soviet troops were removed from Eastern Europe. 

Commenting on NATO, Cato Institute scholar Doug Bandow said, "Russia is no Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin is no Joseph Stalin. The Russian Federation is an unpleasant actor but has reverted to a pre‐​1914 great power, insisting on border security and international respect. There is no prospect of a Russian attack on the U.S. and little more chance of one on Europe, Old or New. Although plausible, even a successful grab of the Baltic States would yield little benefit for much cost."

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan commented last week, "Is the territorial integrity of Ukraine a cause worth America's fighting a war with Russia? No, it is not."

When NATO was created, there were 12 member countries. Today, there are 30.

Bandow is one of the Putin capitulators CNS has published; he argued in a Jan. 27 CNS column that "Nothing suggests that Putin wants what can never be given. Buchanan, of course, is a longtime Putin capitulator who has a spot on CNS' commentary page because CNS editor Terry Jeffrey ran his presidential campaigns in the 1990s.

CNS' pre-invasion demands for Biden to capituate to Putin are not aging well.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EST
Conrad Black's Russia Appeasement Idea Didn't Age Well
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax columnist Conrad Black has long been a Trump lackey (as well he should be, given that Donald Trump pardoned his financial crimes), but has been opining about Russia lately as well. And, uh, that hasn't aged too well. In his Jan. 25 column, Black endorsed President Biden's misspeaking about a "minor incursion" to argue in favor of appeasing Vladimir Putin and Russia by letting him have a piece of Ukraine:

It is not unreasonable for Russia to have reservations about the complete sovereign independence of Ukraine; nor is it unreasonable for the West to consider Russian pretensions to having a right of veto over which countries may join NATO to be intolerable.


It is likely that substantial numbers of Russian Ukrainians would prefer to be Russian rather than Ukrainian. The complexity of Ukraine's current status, including its poor performance at self-government, is mirrored by the complexity of the Western world's responses to it.

In this respect, Biden's mumbled confusion about invasions and incursions is plausible, though such reflections are usually formulated carefully and delivered in secrecy to the appropriate parties.


Putin has some right to seek to alter the status quo, but he has no right to threaten the entire Ukraine. The best settlement of this problem — though at the moment no one is in sight who has the stature to lead the intricate discussions that would be necessary to achieve it — would include the following elements: a referendum could be conducted by international authorities of unquestionable integrity in the heavily Russian districts contiguous to Russia on the question of whether the inhabitants would prefer to reside in Russia or Ukraine.

Those heavily Russian areas that wish to do so could join Russia over a one year period in which those who wish to remain in Ukraine would be facilitated in relocating within its new boundaries. Russia would accept, even tacitly, that it has no standing to comment on what countries are in NATO. Ukraine would become eligible for NATO and EU membership if it shaped itself up to a civilized standard of democratic self-administration.

Black devoted his Feb. 7 column to scoffing at the notion that Putin would actually invade Ukraine:

If Putin intended to invade Ukraine he would do so as he did with Crimea in 2008 and attempt to achieve some element of surprise. Instead he has made an international public spectacle of amassing six to 10 divisions on the Ukraine border, which every informed person in the world knows is inadequate to defeat and dominate a resistant country of 40 million people.

This is theater: Russia pretends to threaten to be going to war; America pretends to react strongly, the NATO allies send forces to neighboring countries that are not under threat while asserting that they will on no account deploy forces into Ukraine, but will apply sanctions to Russia; some even propose preemptive sanctions against Russia although it has not actually done anything objectionable. (Russia could never be more than moderately inconvenienced by sanctions, especially if China and Germany ignore them.)

The president of Ukraine says a Russian invasion is not imminent.


Biden knows that Russia is not likely to invade, and he may reason that the reiteration of the NATO position that Ukraine is not now acceptable in NATO can be seized by Putin as a tactical victory, while Biden can claim to have been a forceful defender of the national and alliance interest and of the rights of Ukraine as an underdog nation struggling to become a functioning national democracy, as the tension subsides.

Putin may even be astute enough to know that this is all that could raise Biden's standing among his countrymen and prevent the landslide in favor of the harder-line Trump Republicans, with or without Donald Trump himself.

He may even be astute enough to know that an appreciable number of Republicans could embrace, and some audibly have embraced, paleoconservative Republican isolationism, and have attacked any concept of helping defend Ukraine as asinine George W. Bush Iraq-style open-ended warmongering.


If Russia can be granted an unvexed relationship with the Russian minorities in neighboring countries, even if some borders have to be redrawn, conciliated respectfully but deterred effectively from traditional Russian expansionism and attracted instead by solidarity with the West in the front rank of western nations with such eminent comparative newcomers as Japan, India, and even Germany, the preeminence of the West, as long as we act sensibly and deserve the leadership of the world, will be relatively secure, and we can make arrangements with China from a position of strength.

That's not the way any of that turned out. Nope, didn't age well at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EST
Wayne Allyn Root COVID Misinformation Watch, Civil War Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root is ramping up the fearmongering to go along with his COVID misinformation. In his Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column, he melted down over Washington, D.C.'s mandate regarding vaccinated people:

Thursday wasn't a good day for President Joe Biden. First, the Supreme Court shouted "LET'S GO BRANDON" by killing his prized private-employer vaccine mandate. Then Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema destroyed his dreams of banning voter ID to ensure one-party rule in America.

After hearing all that bad news, I'm guessing Biden put a lid on it and headed for the White House basement where his wife prepared baby food, fed him milk from a bottle and then tucked him in with his favorite blankie.

But we can't afford to rest because of two short-lived victories. We have much work to do to save America from a communist/fascist takeover.

Washington, D.C., is Exhibit A. Did you hear the latest plot twist in Washington? Two steps forward, one step back.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser just announced people cannot leave their home or hotel without proof of vaccination, or "papers," 24/7. You can't enter any restaurant, bar, retail store, department store or gym, or even walk the streets, without government-issued photo ID, plus proof of vaccination.

This is happening in America.

People "like me" are banned from Washington, D.C. I'm not certain: Is it because I'm Jewish, Republican or unvaccinated? Maybe all three?

Nobody cares that you're a right-wing Jew, Wayne. They do care, however, that you're overly proud to be a COVID superspreader. Nevertheless, he continued to go Godwin:

Today's unvaccinated American is being called the same words Jews were called in Nazi Germany: dirty, filthy, dangerous, diseased, criminal, disloyal, selfish, someone who should be banned from society, no longer allowed to eat at restaurants or have a drink among normal people. 

What's next? Yellow stars? Well, that's already happening. In many schools in America, children are being separated by vaccination status.

Why? Because COVID transmissibility was highly elevated and vaccines work. Root just doesn't want to admit those inconvenient facts.

Root went off on a really weird tangent in his Jan. 24 column, insisting that Democratic support for vaccine mandatesmakes them just like pro-slavery confederates:

Understand I'm not talking about today's American South. I love the South. If it weren't for the patriots and conservatives of Southern states today, we wouldn't have a Republican Party. We wouldn't have lower taxes, prosperity, plentiful jobs, economic freedom or capitalism. We wouldn't be America. God bless the Southern states. You are my heroes.

But the Confederate South of the Civil War period is a different story. The Confederate South was built upon slavery. The Confederate South believed one group of Americans was subhuman and had no rights. Enslaving any group, for any reason, is pure evil. Slavery is the biggest stain on America's history.

I repeat, today's Democrats are the new Confederates.

It's happening again today. It's time to admit demonizing one group of Americans, taking their rights away and enslaving them is evil. It's un-American. These views don't belong in American politics. They don't belong in America.

It's time to tell the raw truth – no matter how ugly. Democrats hate us: Republicans, conservatives, capitalists and, most intensely, the unvaccinated. Democrats want no dissent. No freedom of speech. They want to destroy our lives. It's all out in the open now. They want to imprison us, censor us, ban us and take our jobs and businesses away. They even want to take our children away.

In short, they want to make us serfs and slaves. Over a mild flu, or common cold bug, with a 99.9% chance of recovery. The excuse for slavery in the 1800s was cotton. Today it's COVID-19.

Root tried to top that in his Feb. 7 column by calling for a Canada-esque trucker blockade outside the Super Bowl:

It's time to use civil disobedience to kill the vaccine mandates. In America we need our courageous "Mother Truckers" to blockade the Super Bowl. It's time for thousands of 18-wheeler trucks to surround SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Just like 57,000 trucks in Canada have blockaded Ottawa, Canada's capital. They aren't leaving until Canada is free again. Until they've driven a stake through tyranny. Until the vaccine mandate is dead.

That's how we catch the attention of America's corrupt media, corrupt politicians and the dumb, clueless NFL that demands both vaccines and masks the entire game (outdoors) for the Super Bowl. I think truckers should blockade the Super Bowl.

And after that, if the morons of the Biden administration and the corrupt, clueless Democrat governors and mayors won't listen, it's time for "A Million Man 18-Wheeler Mother-Trucker Convoy" across this nation, to blockade every state capital and, most importantly, Washington, D.C. No one gets in, or out, until this vaccine mandate is dead. No goods get delivered to market until this vaccine mandate is dead.

The truckers of America are uniquely positioned to win this battle – because they can single-handedly shut down this nation. Without truckers, there's no gas, no goods, no groceries. And if they block the streets of government capitals, there's no more hot air from politicians. Good riddance.

Of course, Root had some misleading information to attempt to bolster his call for civil disobedience. He hyped that "More Israelis have COVID-19 infections (per capita) than anywhere else on the globe," though that's actually more of a function of aggressive testing tham actual infection levels. He added:

How about hospitalizations? According to professor Yaakov Jerris, director of Ichilov Hospital's coronavirus ward: "Right now, most of our severe cases are vaccinated. They had at least three injections. Between 70 and 80 percent of the serious cases are vaccinated. 

Root is repeating a viral anti-vaxx claim. In fact, the name of the professor and hospital are wrong, and the claim about vaccinated patients was taken out of context -- he actually said that hospitalized vaccinated patients typically have other comorbidities. Root also wrote:

Life insurance giant Aegon just announced life insurance payouts skyrocketed 258% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 2020. What changed? Vaccines didn't exist in 2020.

In fact, higher payouts were being driven by deaths from the Delta variant and deferred medical care during the pandemic, not vaccines.

Root has a track record of dishonest COVID claims, and he lived down to that yet again.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EST
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Preemptive Strike: MRC Pushed Biden-Is-Weak Narrative Ahead Of Russian Invasion
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center had a mission in covering tensions between Russia and Ukraine and role the U.S. played in trying to avert an invasion or other crisis: Blame Biden, no matter what. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the MRC was doing just that. Nicholas Fondacaro used a Feb. 11 item to revive an old anti-Biden narrative to use against him over Ukraine:

In an apparent attempt to not repeat the bad optics and moral travesty of failing to get Americans out of Afghanistan by an arbitrary/self-imposed deadline, President Biden has decided to simply not try to get Americans out of Ukraine at all if Russia invades. And almost as shocking, the liberal broadcast networks, who were actually tough on Biden’s abandonment a few months ago, didn’t share the same outrage at what’s essentially a morbid promise by the President.

At no point did any of the networks invoke the Afghanistan withdrawal disaster, nor did they air any concern or criticism of the decision to leave Americans in a war zone. They treated it as the Biden administration giving them fair warning and getting out is on them now.

Mark Finkelstein devoted a Feb. 15 post to bashing MSNBC's Jeremy Bash for the sin of saying nice things about how Biden was handling the Ukraine crisis. Then, on Feb. 20, Kevin Tober cheered a right-wing attack on Biden under the ridiculous headline "GOP Guest Wipes the Floor With CNN Libs Over Biden's Russian Weakness":

On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, during a panel discussion on the tensions between Russia and Ukraine CNN contributor and former Bush administration advisor Scott Jennings schooled host Dana Bash and her fellow leftist panelists on Russian sanctions. 

At the beginning of the segment, Bash turned to Jennings and lectured him on the GOP’s stance on Russia. “you have a Republican Party which historically, largely, almost entirely has been about pushing back on Russian aggression” Bash observed before turning around and trashing the GOP. “And now you have some pretty loud voices in the GOP, Scott Jennings, from Fox News to Capitol Hill, questioning why the U.S. even cares about this, whether there's even an interest there?”

Jennings set the record straight “I would just point you to January when the Republican Party led by Ted Cruz in the Senate tried to put sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden and the Democrats led a filibuster, a Jim Crow filibuster, their words, not mine, against these sanctions.”

Neither Jennings nor Tober mentioned that forcing those sanctions in January -- Cruz's motivation for which was the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, not Russia's aggression toward Ukraine -- would have broken the U.S. away from working with Europe in acting against Putin and might have even provoked Putin into attacking Ukraine earlier.

A Feb. 21 post by Kyle Drennen complained that ABC was "lobbing softballs" at national security adviser Jake Sullivan "and even suggesting the U.S. should appease Vladimir Putin with 'concessions.'" Drennen didn't mention that his fellow right-wingers were demanding that Biden appease Putin by declaring that Ukraine would not be let into NATO or even by dissolving NATO altogether.

As threats of sanctions by the U.S. and European countries failed to convince Putin to back off and he invaded into Ukraine, the MRC's narrative shifted to portraying Biden as a failure (not that Putin was a madman who would not have been deterred no matter what Biden did, including the NATO appeasement the MRC's fellow right-wingers wanted). A Feb. 22 post by Curtis Houck, for example, complained that "major broadcast network newscasts largely chose Tuesday to absolve President Biden and his team for Putin feeling emboldened to take another step in what he views as reclaiming the old Russian empire." The MRC's attacks continued:

And when commentators pointed out that Donald Trump's actions and policies toward Russia may have played a role in Putin feeling emboldened to invade Ukraine, the MRC lashed out. Alex Christy complained that "Morning Joe" on MSNBC "bizarrely tried to point a finger of blame at former President Trump instead. Hosts and pundits claimed the only reason Vladimir Putin didn’t further dismember the eastern European nation during Trump's presidency was because the Republican already gave Putin everything he wanted. " Christy sneered in response:

If Putin didn’t feel threatened by Trump and if Trump gave him everything he wanted, then what was stopping him from recognizing the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine or possibly conducting a full scale invasion?


Still, if Ukraine is defenseless, she declared that it's Trump’s fault: “...why didn't Putin do this during the Trump Administration? Because he thought Trump was weakening Ukraine, especially on these grounds. So this, the problem with Ukraine being unfortified goes back several years and—and-- much of the fault lies in the Trump Administration.”

Like Jordan’s explanation, Appleabaum’s theory makes no sense. Trump did more in terms of military support for Ukraine than the Obama Administration did as the latter refused to provide lethal aid. If Ukraine was so defenseless because of him, why wait until he was no longer president?

Christy didn't mention that Trump tried to blackmail Ukraine by threatening to withhold some of those weapons unless it came up with dirt on Joe Biden.

Houck devoted a Feb. 24 post to grumblling that some critics "took the farcical route by suggesting the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was to blame." Houck never offered a coherent response to the idea, instead mocking it as a conspiracy theory and "galaxy brain opinions." When Alex Vindman -- the officer whose military career was destroyed by Trump for telling the truth about what Trump tried to do to Ukraine -- argued that Republicans have "blood on their hands" over the invasion because of how  Trump emboldened Putin, Houck simply sneered in response: "Maybe making such an ardent liberal partisan the poster child for civil and military service in 2019 and 2020 wasn’t the best idea."

It's clear that Houck still can't see that clinging to Trump after five years of his lies and inciting an insurrection isn't the best idea either.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EST

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