The MRC's Hypocritical Tolerance Of Trucker Convoy Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Reserach Center was enthusiastic supporters of the trucker protest in Canada last month. A Feb. 1 post by Curtis Houck cheered the "massive resistance"and downplay reports of violence and disruption:
Despite warnings of violence and claims from the likes of Toronto’s Global and Mail that “calling the Ottawa protests ‘peaceful’ downplays non-violent danger” and the presence of some repugnant images such as the Confederate flag and Nazi symbols, the BBC said Monday it was “mostly peaceful” aside from “the behaviour of some members of the crowd,” which The Guardian said includes desecrating the National War Memorial.
We remember when the MRC used to make fun of people who called protests "mostly peaceful." Also note Houck's weird wording of "repugnant images," seemingly absolving the actual people involved in the protest of waving those Confederate flags and Nazi symbols. All the better to protect that "mostly peaceful" narrative, eh?
As the truckers' violent behavior became more apparent, Clay Waters went into whataboutism mode in a Feb. 4 post when the New York Times reported taht protesters were "desecrating war memorials, wielding Nazi symbols and stealing food from the homeless":
The racial protests toppled statues, blocked streets and freeways and caused massive property damage and looted Nike stores and Targets and high-end stores in New York City, set fires and burned flags and smashed police cars, not to mention stabbings and shootings. The Times covered it all neutrally, with no social distancing lectures at a time when outdoor weddings and funerals were limited or banned. Meanwhile, protestors danced in the streets.
(There was plenty of “desecration of monuments and other threatening behavior” in major U.S. cities during the BLM-linked riots, and radical marauders roamed the streets intimidating people eating at restaurants, without Times condemnation.)
But we thought the MRC wanted neutral coverage from the Times, as opposed to all that "liberal bias" it supposedly pumps out.
Waters did the same whataboutism in a Feb. 6 post as he complained about the Times using "second-hand anecdotes" to criticize the truckers using air horns and other tactics:
If these second-hand anecdotes are indeed part of the picture of the protest, one is vividly reminded of similar, though much worse, incidents from the George Floyd racial protests of the summer of 2020 in multiple major U.S. cities.
But there weren’t just air horns in Minneapolis, New York City, and Portland (among dozens of other cities) but actual killings. The riots that grew out of some of the U.S. protests featured massive looting, vandalism, arsons, adding up to $2 billion in insurance claims and multiple arrests. Meanwhile, the Ottawa police, for all their insults, have yet to make a single arrest at the truckers’ protest.
Houck returned on Feb. 7 post to bash media coverage of the protest for having "dismissed them as standing in the way of Canada’s “efforts to control” the virus and making life difficult and violent for those in the capital city of Ottawa," lamenting, "So, instead of trying to understand them, the media have decided to condemn them."We don't recall the MRC ever trying to "understand" any of the protesters against police brutality.
Nicholas Fondacaro also chimed in by falsely claiming the convoy protest was "peaceful " and complaining that CNN was "being sure to pick some of the most incendiary quotes." He also complained that it was pointed out that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's life was threatened and thatCNN "chose to parrot talking points from the petty authoritarians in the Ottawa Police Department and the Liberal Canadian government." He too played whataboutism: "Meanwhile, in 2020, CNN supported the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots that destroyed people’s livelihoods and homes and resulted in deaths."
The same day, Kevin Tober cheered the "massive crowds" allegedly greeting the protest and how the truckers were disrupting international commerce by blocking a bridge between Detroit and Canada, then complained that one reporter "tried to smear the protesters by citing outlier instances of 'national monuments desecrated, and some protesters displaying symbols of hate,' as if that justified a 'state of emergency.'" He too played whataboutism on reports of violence and disruption:
It's a safe bet you didn't hear this type of language in the summer of 2020 during the networks' coverage of the actual occupation in downtown Seattle, Washington in the form of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ/CHOP) where multiple people were killed and businesses were being extorted. NBC highlighted the Ottawa businesses annoyed with the truckers but they didn't care about those Seattle residents.
As if that justifies Tober praising violence and disruption in Canada.
Needless to say, the MRC frowned on the truckers' protest tactics when they were used by non-right-wingers. In an October 2020 post, Alexander Hall was alarmed that "Fox News warned in a report yesterday that 'Shut Down D.C.' is 'setting the stage for mass gatherings in D.C.,' amid the election. Fox news added that Shut Down DC, according to the Federalist, is reportedly calling for 'potentially blockading the White House, blocking traffic, shutting down government office buildings and even Amazon fulfillment centers.'" Hall repeated his manufactured concern a few days later. And a week after that, Kayla Sargent cited another news report claiming the group "plans civil action that may include stopping traffic in the U.S. capital, with dozens of other groups" in complaining that Facebook hadn't taken down the group's page.
In a November 2020 post, Jay Maxson defended police breaking up a pre-election march with pepper spray because "marchers disobeyed police orders and impeded traffic by blocking a road and driving vehicles in the wrong direction on that road. Police ordered the unlawful assembly to disperse, but the warning went unheeded." Brad Wilmouth similarly defended the crackdown because "they were blocking traffic and refused commands to move."
In July, Kyle Drennen grumbled that "MSNBC on Thursday complained that Cuban-American protesters who blocked traffic in Miami were not arrested," noting a new Florida law that permits the arrest of protesters who block traffic. Drennen conceded the point, then tried to change the subject:
Obviously no lawful protest should ever block traffic or endanger public safety and the local authorities would have had every right to arrest the few dozen demonstrators who shut down the intersection shown on screen. However, rather than go talk to the Miami Police Department about how the situation was handled, MSNBC immediately rushed to blame Florida Republican Governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis instead.
[Correspondent Kerry] Sanders read a statement from the Governor’s office: “Under preexisting Florida law, blocking or obstructing a roadway without a proper permit has long been illegal. It’s puzzling that some media outlets are attempting to claim otherwise.” In response, the reporter feigned ignorance of anyone in press having an agenda: “Of course, this is us as reporters reporting what others are saying. This is not an agenda of any reporter, at least that I can see here.”
There's plenty more convoy hypocrisy from the MRC where that came from. Stay tuned.
CNS Editor Hides Full Story Of Praying Coach Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey devoted his Feb. 23 column to trying to turn a high school football coach into a martyr because he demanded to pray in the middle of the field after a game:
On Oct. 16, 2015, the varsity football team at Bremerton High School took on the varsity team from Centralia High School. After the game, there was an all-American moment. It involved a longstanding postgame activity engaged in by Bremerton assistant coach Joseph Kennedy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has provided a description of it.
"Kennedy is a practicing Christian," said the court. "Kennedy's religious beliefs required him to 'give thanks through prayer, at the end of each game, for what the players had accomplished and for the opportunity to be a part of their lives through football.
"Specifically," the court continued, "'(a)fter the game (was) over, and after the players and coaches from both teams met to shake hands at midfield,' Kennedy felt called to kneel at the 50-yard line and offer a brief, quiet prayer of thanksgiving for player safety, sportsmanship, and spirited competition.' Kennedy's prayer usually lasted about thirty seconds. Kennedy's religious beliefs required that his prayer occur on the field where the game was played, immediately after the game concluded. This necessarily meant that spectators — students, parents, and community members — would observe Kennedy's religious conduct."
The Bremerton School District had barred Kennedy from engaging in this postgame prayer.
"When BSD's superintendent became aware of Kennedy's religious observances on the 50-yard line with players immediately following a game, he wrote Kennedy informing him what he must avoid doing in order to protect BSD from an Establishment Clause claim," explained the 9th Circuit.
The 9th Circuit concluded that had the BSD allowed Kennedy to continue engaging in his quiet on-field prayer after football games, the school district would have violated the Constitution's ban on establishing a religion.
"We hold that BSD's allowance of Kennedy's conduct would violate the Establishment Clause," said the court, "consequently, BSD's efforts to prevent the conduct did not violate Kennedy's constitutional rights, nor his rights under Title VII."
In sum: This court claims that allowing a public high school assistant coach to quietly pray after a football game is effectively equivalent to establishing a government religion.
Jeffrey is not telling the whole story. The ruling also stated that Kennedy made a point of not cooperating with the district and would play victim in order to generate media coverage:
In response, Kennedy determined he would “fight” his employer by seeking support for his position in local and national television and print media, in addition to seeking support on social media. In a letter from his counsel, he informed BSD that he would not comply with its instructions, and that he intended to continue engaging in the kind of mid-field religious exercises he had been told not to perform. Answering Kennedy’s solicitation, scores of parents, a state representative, and students from both teams rushed to mid-field after a game to support Kennedy against BSD’s efforts to avoid violating the Constitution. All of thiswas memorialized and broadcast by local and national TV stations and print media.
While his prayer may have been brief, the facts in the record utterly belie his contention that the prayer was personal and private. As noted, Kennedy engaged in a media blitz between October 14, 2015—when Kennedy’s attorney informed BSD that he would be reinstituting his prior practice that included allowing students to join his prayer —and October 16, 2015. Kennedy’s deposition included the following exchange: “Q. So you appeared on the media because you wanted to spread the word about what you were doing? A. I was sharing the word, yes, sir.”
When Kennedy declared in a Facebook post that "I think I just might have been fired for praying," the school district "was flooded with thousands of emails, letters, and phone calls from around the country" regarding the conflict over Kennedy’s prayer, "many of which were hateful or threatening."
There was also an expectation that players were expected to take part in Kennedy's prayer and feared consequences if they did not. The ruling noted "a parent’s complaint that his son 'felt compelled to participate' in Kennedy’s religious activity, even though he was an atheist, because 'he felt he wouldn’t get to play as much if he didn’t participate.'"
The ruling also noted that the school district "had a compelling state interest to avoid violating the Establishment Clause, and it tried repeatedly to work with Kennedy to develop an accommodation for him that would avoid violating the Establishment Clause while nevertheless offering him options that were narrowly tailored to protect his rights."
Nevertheless, Jeffrey continued to put his fact-free spin on things: "The Supreme Court will decide this spring whether a public school football coach has a First Amendment right to say a quiet prayer on a public field after a game. Of course he does." True, but not the way the coach was actually going about doing it, according to lower courts -- and Jeffrey hid that information from his readers.
The MRC's Hypocrisy On Corporate Whoring Continues Topic: Media Research Center
Scott Whitlock rehashed old, hateful grievances in a Feb. 5 post, headlined "Network Whores at ABC Shilled for ‘Mulan,’ Buried Filming Near Brutal Chinese Camp
The China Olympics kicked off on Friday night under the shadow of the country’s brutal regime sentencing Uyghur minorities to prison terms featuring torture and sexual abuse.
Yet, as NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, the networks only allowed 13 minutes in one year. For NBC, the network televising the Olympics, there was only 742 seconds. (They've tried to make up for a year of non-coverage by doing a lot more in the last few days.)
But NBC isn’t the only morally compromised network. ABC allowed just 23 seconds from January 31, 2021 to January 31 2022. And the journalists at that network have repeatedly sold out to their corporate overlords, burying the news of a prison camp Mulan filmed nearby and it might harm the movie's release.
In September of 2020, ABC’s Good Morning America aggressively promoted the live action version of Mulan. The network repeatedly hyped its debut on Disney+. Yet, when ugly news broke that the movie filmed near brutal Chinese concentration camps, ABC censored the story.
Instead of exposing this, ABC whored out the news division for Disney+.
Whitlock didn't mention that his employer has no problem whoring out its "news" division, CNSNews.com, for corporate purposes. We've documented how the MRC's various operations have been whored out to promote Brent Bozell's new memoir. And just four days before Whitlock wrote his post, CNS was whored out in the form of CNS editor Terry Jeffrey doing an extremely softball interview with Bozell to promote the book.
Whitlock's complaint might have some gravitas if he wasn't complaining about the exact same thing his employer does.
NEW ARTICLE: Joel Hirschhorn Misinforms Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist mixes his continued COVID misinformation with his continued bizarre vendetta against Anthony Fauci. Read more >>
MRC's Double Standard On Nazi References Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been whining a lot of late about Donald Trump and Republicans in general being likened to Adolf Hitler and Nazis. For instance:
Lydia Switzer huffed in December that CNN's "John Avlon expressed shock and outrage over comparisons of Dr. Anthony Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele and Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Avlon made those nasty attacks on Fauci “dangerous deflections” while ignoring the countless times his own network, among others, eagerly compared Republicans to Nazis and other historical villains.
In his Jan. 12 column, Tim Graham retorted a CNN claim that Fox News' schedule was being filled with "flame throwers" with this bit of whataboutism: Permit me to repeat that Brian Stelter put an “expert” on his Reliable Sources show who proclaimed Donald Trump would kill more people than Stalin, Hitler, and Mao combined. CNN has compared Trump to Hitler so often that it sounds like the Fake History Channel ... [CNN host Fareed] Zakaria and his selected voices name-checked Hitler 24 times.
Mark Finkelstein declared on Jan. 31 that "Trump = Hitler is the political catnip that liberals just can't stay away from" after historian Michael Beschloss noted that a recent Trump rally exuding "fascism" and "authoriterianism"took place the same day in history that Hitler was named chancellor of Germany.
The same day, Curtis Houck ranted that MSNBC host Joy Reid "injected more venom into our body politic" by noting that the current right-wing fetish for banning and burning of books it disapproves of "happened to be staples of fascism and communism. The Nazis did it, Hitler imposing ridged censorship on newspapers and burning all literature he considered dangerous."
Needless to say, the MRC enthusiastically embraces Nazi comparison when it serves its partisan political agenda to do so.
In November, as we noted, MRC chief Brent Bozell melted down over his organization being identified as spreading politically motivated misinformation on climate change by screeching, "Digital brownshirts are attacking conservative organizations for daring to have an honest debate on climate policy. These anti-free speech bigots want to shut down anyone who dares to disagree with them."The MRC's Alexander Hall later gushed that his boss "torched" the study's creators with the slur,
The MRC was at it again in a Feb. 25 item by Joseph Vazquez headlined "Special Report: Digital Brownshirts Attacking Free Speech on Climate Change Boosted by Liberal Media," in whcih he complained that "liberal media outlets" are boosting the report identifying the MRC as a climate misinformer, weirdly making a point of calling the group "foreign."
Never mind that a year or so earlier, the MRC purported to deplore the use of the word: "Chuck Todd took a vicious swipe at Trump’s backers, which he noted were gathering just across the street for a rally, by comparing them to the Nazi Brownshirts who enforced Adolf Hitler’s rule."
The MRC had the chance to redeem itself and look a little less hypocritical. In December, Fox News talking head Lara Logan -- who has long been loved by the MRC, to the point that it hid her misdeeds in reporting a false claim about the Benghazi attack and continued to promote her even as she spread Antifa hoaxes -- outrageously likened Anthony Fauci to notorious Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele. Instead of calling her out by name and declare taht all such Nazi comparions are beyond the pale, the MRC wimped out.
The above-noted Dec. 1 post by Switzer was one example, with her refusing to identify Logan as the person who likened Fauci to Mengele. She went on to issue a general criticism of the trend, then moving immediately to whataboutism: "Of course, none of this is to say that violent threats and attacks on Dr. Fauci are justified. However, attempts by CNN to claim moral high ground regarding authoritarian comparisons are simply laughable."
In a Dec. 6 post, Graham repeated earlier whataboutism in noting that CNN guest David Zurawik was like a "drug addict" inneeding media attention of the kind that drew her to make the Fauci-Mengele comparison: "Later in the show, Stelter asked Zurawik about Lara Logan being on a "time out" of sorts from Fox News after comparing Dr. Fauci to Dr. Mengele. That outburst was bad, but since when does CNN get to promenade about Nazi comparisons when it has thrown that mud routinely?? On his show, Stelter let a guest say Donald Trump would kill more people than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined!"
Of course, the MRC has been hypocritical on this particular comparison as well. In 2020, it claimed that Whoopi Goldberg engaged in "next-level nuttiness" for "=saying Trump was like Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor at Auschwitz" with his infamous suggestion that people drink bleach to kill COVID.And it has used th slur when it helps its agenda: An April 2020 post by Gabriel Hays lashed out at women who used telemedicine during the pandemic to get the medication needed for a medically induced abortion: "So, it’s not perfect ease of access, but you know lefties consider this to be pretty innovative. Yeah, innovative in the way Nazi doctor Josef Mengele was 'innovative.'"
That's the closest thing to outrage the MRC could muster. Being a friend of the MRC -- as Logan is -- helps shield one from responsibility for making wild comparisons. How sadly hypocritical. We can only quote from a 2015 column by Graham and Bozell attacking Planned Parenthood: "To refuse to condemn is to condone. They are condoning something Josef Mengele would also endorse were he practicing his brand of medicine today."
CNS Returns Again To Judicial Watch Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has long been a prolific stenographer for the right-wing legal organization Judicial Watch -- it cranked out at least 31 articles touting the group in 2017 and 46 articles in 2018. (Not quite Mark Levin stenography territory, though, who got a whopping 135 articles in 2018.) As Donald Trump's actions grew less defensible and drowned out anti-Democratic talking points, the volume dropped over the next few years. But now, with a Democratic president in the White House and right-wing culture-war issues on the ascendence, CNS and managing editor Michael W. Chapman appear to be taking new interest in being servile Judicial Watch stenographers again.
In June 2021, CNS published an article on how Judicial Watch was demanding "the police and medical examiner records in the case of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old woman who was shot dead by a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol" -- and who has been the focus of right-wing conspiracy theories. Last fall, we noted that CNS has touted Judicial Watch findings about President Biden's travel expenses, though it didn't similarly hype the group's claims about Trump's travel expenses while president. Similarly, in August, CNS made an issue of alleged lack of transparency regarding the people who visit Biden at his Delaware home, quoting Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton in the process -- but didn't mention that Judicial Watch also criticized Trump for keeping his White House visitor logs secret (at the beginning of his administration, anyway).
The new year has brought more CNS attention. A Jan. 26 article by Chapman cheered on Judicial Watch court win:
After the conservative group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit challenging a race-based scholarship program established in the City of Ashville, N.C., the city decided to settle the case by removing the race-restrictive language in the program, and asserting that the scholarship "will give preference to applicants" whose parents have a high school education or less and who represent “first generation” college students.
“Our clients, a group of Asheville residents, including high school students, courageously challenged this blatantly discriminatory and illegal scholarship program in federal court," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement.
"Thankfully, the City of Asheville did the right thing in quickly ending these indefensible race-based scholarship programs," he said.
Pretty much everything in Chapman's article comes straight from a Judicial Watch press release -- a dead giveaway that this is all about stenography.
Chapman touted more Judicial Watch work, this time on behalf of Trump, in a Feb. 1 article:
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for communications between then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley in 2020-21, which reportedly involved the targeting of President Donald Trump.
As reported in Newsweek, in the days after the 2020 presidential election, Haspel apparently told Milley, "We are on the way to a right-wing coup."
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement said, “It ought to be disturbing to all Americans that the head of the CIA and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs were reportedly conspiring against the President of the United States."
Fitton apparently doesn't believe that Trump's unhinged behavior at the time (and, arguably, continuing to this day) regarding his inability to accept thefact that he lost the election fair and square, is much more disturbing.
Chapman served up another right-wing narrati e via Judicial Watch in a Feb. 15 article:
Two non-profit organizations, CatholicVote and Judicial Watch, recently filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) because they failed to provide requested information about their communications with Catholic-affiliated agencies at the border and the agencies' alleged role in the surge of illegal immigrants over the last year.
"The Biden administration has refused to provide copies of communications between Catholic-affiliated charities and organizations at the border," said CatholicVote President Brian Burch in a statement. "Their lack of transparency and obstruction forced us to file these federal lawsuits."
"American Catholics deserve to know the full extent of the U.S. government's role in funding and coordinating with Catholic Church-affiliated agencies at the border, and what role these agencies played in the record surge of illegal immigrants over the past year," said Burch.
Chapman misleadingly identified both Judicial Watch and CatholicVote only as "non-profit organizations," falsely suggesting they're not acting with partisan political intent. In fact, like Judicial Watch, CatholicVote is a right-wing group. Chapman went on to further obscure that fact by copying-and-pasting from the group's website in writing that "CatholicVote's mission, according to its website, is 'to inspire every Catholic in America to live out the truths of our faith in public life.' The organization is 'a national faith-based advocacy organization, organized by faithful Catholic laity in full communion with the teachings of the Church, yet does not claim to speak for any individual bishop or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.'"
Chapman did the same bogus whitewash for Judicial Watch: "According to its website, 'Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. ... Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.'" Never mind, of course, that nearly all of the group's work is done to work for the benefit of Republicans and conservatives.
MRC Turns Its Bogus Research Into A Bogus Campaign Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center isn't about "media research" -- its sole purpose is to manufacture right-wing narratives. Case in point: Last fall, it asserted taht Republican members of Congress being "censored" much more than Democratic ones, though the more accurate description is that the Republicans violated social media terms of service much more than Democrats did. That finding is because, as we noted, while the MRC is aggressive in finding Republican examples, no evidence was offered that it was similarly aggressive -- or even made any effort at all -- in seeking Democratic examples. The MRC also weirdly revised the ratio upward, from 53-to-1 to 54-to-1, a couple weeks later without explanation -- also something legitimate researchers don't do.
Now, it's trying to use that so-called "research" as the basis for a partisan campaign. Brian Bradley wrote the press release for his employer in a Jan. 19 post:
The Media Research Center today launched a new initiative to stop Big Tech’s election interference. The MRC sent a letter to congressional staff to collect a comprehensive report of lawmakers censored by Big Tech.
MRC Free Speech America in October found that social media companies censored GOP congressional lawmakers at a rate of 54-1 compared to congressional Democrats.
Big Tech censored 18 different members of Congress from July 17, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2022, when the most recent instances of congressional censorship were recorded by CensorTrack Social media platforms censored 17 Republicans and one Democrat, according to CensorTrack data.
Despite Bradley's insistence that this is a "broad" and "comprehensive" effort, no evidence is provided that the MRC is going to try to collect examples of Democratic members of Congress being "censored." Indeed, all of the examples cited in Bradley's piece are of Republicans, including far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whom the MRC continues to insist is a victim despite having been shamed into admitting she has gone too far at times.
Bradley also quotes his boss, Brent Bozell, declaring, "It's time to stop Big Tech from interfering in our elections!" But the MRC believes that applies only to Republicans like Greene; it has rarely criticized any Democratic politician who was similarly "censored," which is more evidence that this will not be the "comprehensive effort" Bozell wants you to think it is.
The attached letter, signed by MRC VP Dan Gainor, doesn't indicate whether it was sent to all members of Congress or only Republican ones, though it does contain the line "Whether your congressperson is a Democrat, Republican or Independent, we want to track ALL instances of Big Tech censorship." It's a right-wing narrative that private companies have no right to enforce their terms of service and anyone who faces consequences for violating those terms is being "censored" -- and it's a dubious, partisna narrative that Democrats are unlikely to help them perpetuate.
Even if the letter did go to Democratic congresspeople, it's clear the MRC doesn't actually care about them. It only wants their numbers to compare to Repubicans to portray them as the greater victim (read: the ones who violate social media terms of service more often). Also, self-reported data isn't reliable data, since Republicans have an incentive to help the MRC perpetuate its "censorship" victim narrative and Democrats have little incentive to cooperate with a right-wing organization that's more likely to attack them than act in good faith.
In short: A few months from now, look for the MRC to cite this work as evidence that Republican members of Congress are being even more "censored" than Democratic ones. Bogus research begets bogus research.
Yet Again, Chuck Norris Turns His Column Into A Paid Gold Commercial Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chuck Norris has an unethicallybadhabit of turning his WorldNetDaily column into a commercial for the gold-selling company that hired him as a spokesman -- and he did it again in his Jan. 24 column. He started the column with the discovery of gold in California, then quickly moved to the hard sell with lots of fearmongering about inflation:
But discovery of and investment in precious metals doesn't have to be a point of distant history and another man's treasure trove story. It can be a part of your current events – a building enterprise in your own financial portfolio, especially with the massive increase in inflation and the instabilities in the dollar and other financial markets.
Can you believe how much inflation has increased this past year under a Biden administration? Wow! It truly has skyrocketed!
When my wife, Gena, and I decided that I would become a spokesperson for GOLDCO, it wasn't a hard decision at all. We've been a big fan of gold and other precious metals for over 40 years. Gold has always been a part of our financial portfolio. Our gold's return has helped us make future investments and even bailed us out of tough economic times.
During the economic recession in the late 2000s, most people were struggling to make ends meet let alone able to make donations to organizations like Kickstart Kids, which is our nonprofit charity that teaches students character through karate in middle schools across Texas. When donations were down, we were able to cash in some of our gold to help support our nonprofit life mission and those employed by it.
When I first surveyed the value of gold through the years, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the universally prized yellow metal was the one commodity that kept soaring in value. In 1973, its average value was $97 an ounce, according to Macrotrends. By 1980, an ounce was valued at $614. Today, an ounce of gold is valued at $1835, climbing 80% of the time since 2000.
GOLDCO's specialists can also help you roll over or transfer assets from a 401(k), IRA, TSP, or pension account into a gold IRA. They work with mints around the world to source precious metals and ensure that what you're buying is guaranteed to be 100% authentic. And they can even help you take a distribution in cash or gold.
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It's almost cute how Norris is pretending he's doing all this research when, in fact, he's being paid to pass it along in his column and rope his readers into trying to buy gold because he told them to. Also note that he snuck in a plug for his own charity as well (which he's done before) -- the money-grubbing never ends!
When President Biden accurately noted that Republicans were changing election laws to help Republicans and disadvantage Democrats, the MRC went into overdrive attacking the president. Brian Bradley demanded in a Jan. 20 post that Biden be censored:
Facebook and Twitter are doing nothing to curb flagrant disinformation spouted by President Joe Biden. During his press conference yesterday, Biden falsely claimed conservatives are already manipulating the 2022 midterm elections.
Biden on Wednesday said that Republicans are engaging in “unconstitutional” attempts to “stack the election and subvert the outcome.” He was apparently referring to legislative efforts by 19 states to bolster election integrity.
Biden’s communications team posted a video of the president’s press conference to the White House Facebook page Wednesday afternoon. But as of 3:39 p.m. EST on Thursday, Meta still hadn’t flagged the recording for election disinformation, contradicting the company’s recent vows to crack down on “election interference.” Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Facebook’s and Twitter’s lack of intervention belies the platforms’ efforts to censor conservatives who questioned the process and results of the 2020 election.
Facebook removed the “Stop the Steal” group in the aftermath of the 2020 election, announced an indefinite suspension of former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and suppressed the distribution of an October 2020 New York Post story outlining alleged corruption between Ukraine and Joe and Hunter Biden.
Bradley didn't mention that, because the 2020 election wasn't stolen, the pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" campaign was fraudulent.
Later that day, Nicholas Fondacaro kept up the hypocritical outrage as he cheered news outlets bashing White House press secretary Jen Psaki for defending her boss:
In addition to making headlines by giving Russia the green light for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine during a press conference on Wednesday, President Biden dropped jaws when he declared the 2022 midterms would be illegitimate if the Senate didn’t pass the federal takeover of elections. And it was a declaration that raised serious concerns on both sides of the aisle as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was relentlessly grilled by both CNN and Fox News Channel on Thursday.
That morning, Psaki took one for the team as she ran into the rhetorical buzz saw that was America’s Newsroom >co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino on FNC. “Last night, on the eve of his anniversary in office, those reforms failed. So, I'm curious if he will continue to say that those 2022 elections will be illegitimate,” Perino pointedly asked.
Psaki responded with her usual word salad stating that “the President [had spoken to her] a lot about this and he absolutely is not predicting that the 2022 elections would be illegitimate” and how “the point he was making the former president asked a number of states, seven or more, in fact, to overturn the outcome of the election.”
Fondacaro didn't mention that both his employer and Trump labored mightily to delegitimize the 2020 election.
Alex Christy was similiarly uniroinically outraged in a Jan. 21 post lashing out at CNN pointing out Republicans' hypocrisy in attacking Biden for making that claim:
Host Alisyn Camerota wondered what the big deal was, after all there are Republicans "who supported Trump's false election claims won elections to serve as local judges and election inspectors. This is what President Biden was referring to, I think."
Politico White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez agreed and claimed the entire controversy is simply because Biden gave inartful response: "Yeah, I agree with you, Alisyn. And look, should the president have been more clear and careful in his statement? Yes. Should the press seek clarification and the White House has sought to clarify what he meant, which was to talk about election subversion? Yes. They should do that."
Fonodacaro went misogynistic in another Jan. 21 post, smearing a group of outspoken women -- the hosts of "The View" -- as a "coven":
The unhinged coven on ABC’s The View busted out their tinfoil hats on Friday, as they peppered White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki with crackpot conspiracy theories suggesting the 2022 midterm elections would be illegitimate because Republicans were stealing away voting rights from black people. All of which are false.
Loopy CNNer and co-host Ana Navarro was the most direct in demanding Psaki answer discredit the elections that were 10 months away. She even seemed frustrated that President Biden had walked back his claims at a Wednesday press conference where he asserted the 2022 results should not be trusted:
Again, Fondacaro didn't mention that the MRC tried to delegitimize the 2020 election and that Trump still is -- doing the "dangerous conspiracy theory peddling" that he accuses the "View" hosts of doing, and which the MRC has refused to distance itself from, let alone call out as dangerous.
WND Hypes Embalmer's Dubious Story Of COVID Vaccine Blood Clots Topic: WorldNetDaily
Prolific COVID misinformer Art Moore wrote in a Feb. 13 WorldNetDaily article:
Amid indications from many different sources of a dramatic rise in the sudden onset of serious illnesses following COVID-19 vaccination, a veteran embalmer is reporting that he and more than a dozen colleagues in the industry have been noticing strange blood clots in most of their cases.
Richard Hirschman, with more than 20 years of experience in the funeral industry in Alabama, says that in mid-2021, he began noticing odd blood clots in arteries and lungs he had never seen before.
In an interview with Steve Kirsch, Hirschman said that last month, he found that 65% of his cases exhibited the clots. He told Kirsch that every one of the 15 people in the industry with whom he has spoken has observed the same alarming trend.
Kirsch is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has applied his skills in data analysis to the pandemic, forming a group called the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation, where he serves as executive director.
Hirschman said that with only one exception, he hasn't seen any cases in which the strange clots were seen in an unvaccinated person. The exception was an unvaccinated person who had received a transfusion.
Kirsch is also a prolific COVID misinformer, so what is being passed along here should be considered questionable at best -- and, indeed it is. PolitiFact has noted that Hirschman has been making the rounds of COVID conspiracy operations with his tales, but argued that that the stories shouldn't be treated as anything beyond anecdotal and definitely not authoritative:
The National Funeral Directors Association, a U.S. professional organization, told PolitiFact that embalmers in its network have noticed similar abnormalities in COVID-related deaths, but among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
"It’s only anecdotal evidence, and there’s no scientific evidence to draw any conclusions," said Jessica Koth, director of public relations for the association.
Embalmers typically do not know the vaccination status of those they are embalming, according to the experts PolitiFact spoke to. "It is not on the death certificate," said Dr. Hari P. Close, national president of the National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association.
Politifact went on to explain that actual medical professionals -- which Hirschman is not -- point out that blood clots are linked to COVID itself, but not to most vaccines:
Experts we talked to say there’s something to the claim about a greater incidence of blood clots, but they dismiss the idea that it’s linked to the vaccines. What embalmers are noticing, they say, could well be the effects of COVID-19 infection itself, and those effects are occurring in people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
More than 900,000 people in the U.S., and nearly 5.8 million worldwide, have died of COVID-19 or related causes. This could explain why funeral home workers are encountering more bodies that show effects of a COVID-19 infection, which include blood vessel inflammation, damage to very small vessels, and blood clots.
Moore knew the PolitiFact fact-check was problematic, so it enlilsted Kirsch's help in trying to shout it down:
Politifact challenged Hirschman's belief that the blood clots are caused by the vaccines. Fact checker Naseem Ferdowsi, who has no medical experience, Kirsch noted, said she was told by an embalmer in Phoenix, Arizona, that "dark clots have been found in COVID victims long before vaccinations were available."
However, the clots Hirschman is observing are white fibrous material.
And Kirsch pointed out that the number of COVID deaths in Houston County, Alabama, where Richard works, is miniscule.
Moore didn't address PolitiFact pointing out that the funeral directors group pointed out that enbalmers typcailly don't know the vaccination status of the person they're enbalming. Further, as a former "Silicon Valley entrepeneur," Kirsch has no medical experience either.
MRC Expresses Glee At Alleged Non-Success of Bisexual Superman Comic Topic: Media Research Center
Last fall, the Media Research Center's resident gay-basher (well, one of them, anyway) Gabriel Hays had a meltdown over a new Superman series in which the son of the Man of Steel failed to be heterosexual. In a Jan. 27 post, Hays took unseemly glee over the series' allegedly lackluster sales:
Look, down in the sewer! It's a rat! It's a turd! No, it's woke Superman sales!
Perhaps not all is lost. The decline of woke comic book sales is a hopeful omen that the progressive utopia will not be achieved.
According to nerd culture outlet BoundingIntoComics.com, DC Comics’ recent attempts to turn beloved character Superman into a progressive pansy who’s too ashamed to fight for truth, justice and the American way (it’s now “truth, justice and a better tomorrow”), are flatlining, at least according to 2021 sales comic books sales data. Woke Superman is not a hot ticket item.
ICv2.com, a comic book sales tracking website, revealed that the new flagship Superman series – in which Kal-el’s bisexual son has taken up the mantle of the caped crusader – didn’t even crack the top five comic book category for last November. It placed sixth.
But if that sounds like a subpar performance for a flagship comic based on the most popular superhero in history, the December sales for Son of Kal-El were so much worse. According to the website, that month’s issue, “Superman: Son of Kal-El 2021 Annual #1,” didn’t even make it into the top 50 comic book range for December 21 in terms of units sold.
Just to put it into perspective, the new Superman doesn’t even sell as well at Batgirl, Spawn and Moon Knight. Who the heck is Moon Knight?
That is selective reporting on Hays' part. The first five issues of the "Son of Kal-El" series -- including issue #5, in which said lack of heterosexuality was revealed -- got reprints last fall.Hays went on to rant:
Of course, let’s remind ourselves why America’s greatest superhero is quickly becoming irrelevant. Again, they made Kal-El, a hero Americans have loved for decades, step down for his millennial son. Yeah so now we’re privy to stories about Superboy having to leave his avocado toast behind in order to save the day, or perhaps we’ll have to suffer reading about him taking a “self-care” day, while the world burns.
Hey, no one should complain about that. Enough with the mental health stigma, guys!
They also made him bisexual. Within the first five editions of this new “flagship” DC series, the new Superman is dating a male reporter. Zip! Bang! Crash! What an exciting development!
Get the globalist BS outta here. The only thing gay Superman is fighting for is the deepest, darkest corner of the local used bookstore’s free book bin.
By the way, Hays also didn't mention that Bounding Into Comics is a right-wing comics site (we didn't realize there was such a thing, yet we're not surprised) that is apparently a leader in what has been dubbed Comicsgate, a right-wing movement to shout down liberal themes in superhero comics. We assume Hays is fully on board with this censorship campaign.
CNS Still Loves DINO And Russia Fan Tulsi Gabbard Topic: CNSNews.com
It seems that CNSNews.com was so inspired by our highlighting how it has embraced Democrat-in-name-only Tulsi Gabbard that it posted two articles about her in the two days after our item appeared. A Jan. 13 article by Craig Bannister gave uncritical space to a Gabbard rant:
President Joe Biden’s vile characterization of Americans who disagree with his agenda is worse than Hillary Clinton’s infamous slur calling them “a basket of deplorables,” Former Democrat [sic] presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said Wednesday.
While Cinton’s insult was divisive and disgusting, Biden taken insults to a new low by suggesting that dissidents are terrorists, traitors and racists, Gabbard tweeted.
The next day, Bannister served up another anti-Biden rant from Gabbard:
President Joe Biden promised to unite all Americans, but he’s actually tearing the nation apart by smearing and targeting anyone who disagrees with him, former Democrat -sic] presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard says.
In a video posted on her Twitter page, Gabbard says she and millions of others supported Biden’s campaign for president because he vowed to put an end to divisiveness – but, he’s now doing the opposite by “fueling the fires” of discord and animosity:
Bannister was the servile stenographer for Gabbard again -- this time bashing Hillary Clinton -- in a Feb. 15 article:
The White House is dodging questions about allegations, stemming from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation, that a tech executive exploited access to the White House server to find incriminating evidence against former President Trump – but, former Democrat [sic] presidential candidate and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is speaking up.
“What is being revealed here, Jesse, is the truth: Hillary Clinton and the power elite in this country manufactured this Russian collusion lie actively undermining our democracy and stoking the fires moving us into this new Cold War with Russia,” Gabbard said Monday in a Fox News Channel interview with Host Jesse Watters.
As Russia invaded Ukraine, CNS found a different way to use Gabbard, a longtime Russia supporter -- to the point that both CNS and its Media Research Center parent felt compelled to defend her against allegations of being too close to Russia -- in pushing the argument that CNS columnists like Pat Buchanan have pushed, that the U.S. should have capituated to Russia's demand that Ukraine be blocked from being admitted to NATO. This appeared in a Feb. 24 article by Patrick Goodenough:
A different take came from Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, a former presidential candidate and member of Congress for Hawaii – and Iraq War veteran – who has been sharply critical of U.S. involvement in foreign wars.
“This war and suffering could have easily been avoided if Biden Admin/NATO had simply acknowledged Russia’s legitimate security concerns regarding Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO, which would mean US/NATO forces right on Russia’s border,” she tweeted.
Goodenough highlighted Gabbard again in a March 4 article when a spokesman for China's foreign ministry brought her up in a anti-NATO argument:
He then cited the critical views of three Americans – the late diplomat George Kennan, political commentator and author Thomas Friedman, and Democratic former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard – on the question of NATO expansion and the impact it would have on relations with Russia.
“Those who created the problem should be the ones to undo it,” Wang said. “They should earnestly shoulder due responsibilities and take real actions to ease the situation and resolve the problem instead of shifting the blame to others.”
It's not a good look when you're on the same side as China, but Goodenough didn't criticize her. Neither Bannister nor Goodenough mentioned Gabbard's previous fealty to Russia, or that even after the invasion she was blaming Biden for it and defended Russia's "legitimate security concerns"-- and that even Fox News' Sean Hannity was advising her to back off the Putin-love a it.
MRC Gives A Pass To Book Banners Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 27 post that CNN was trying to "portray Republicans as a bunch of dictator-loving book burners" but he didn't really do much to dispel that image.
Christy used his post to complain that "Trumper-turned-Never Trumper Joe Walsh" was calling out Republicans in Florida and elsewhere trying to censor school content purportedly in order to keep children from feeling "discomfort" about issues such as race and the Holocaust. He went on to grumble:
Walsh's reference to the Holocaust was the original premise of the segment. A Tennessee school board voted to remove Maus from its eighth-grade reading list for profanity and nudity, but it is a stretch to say that they even banned it and irresponsibly false to say they banned it because they do not want to educate students about the Holocaust.
Christy then linked to a statement from the school board that banned it -- if you're prohibiting a book from being taught, it's a ban; because it's apparently not a total ban doesn't make it less of a ban -- that complained about the book's purportedly "unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide."
Ironically, a few years earlier, a 2014 MRC post touted the graphic novel edition of right-winger Amity Shlaes' revisionist, anti-FDR retelling of the New Deal years, "The Forgotten Man" as a classic on par with "Maus": "But graphic novels can be very sophisticated. Shlaes mentioned Maus: A Survivor’s Tale which is a critically acclaimed Holocaust narrative that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992."
Kevin Tober used a Feb. 1 post to wonder why students were allowed to read books he didn't llike:
On Tuesday night, NBC Nightly News decided it was a good use of airtime to dedicate an entire segment complaining about how a school district in Katy, Texas has removed sexually inappropriate books from their library.
Anchor Lester Holt opened the segment by tossing to NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton who proceeded to interview a young student by the name of Iris Chang who, according to Hylton, "identifies as queer always loved learning about the world from her hometown of Katy, Texas, until this fall when her district started banning books."
Chang told Hylton that "students of color and queer students are especially taking this hard", referring to the banning of her favorite book The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
Hylton claims "an NBC News investigation found that the Katy Independent School District is one of at least a dozen Texas districts that have removed books about race, gender, and sexual identity after a statewide surge of parent complaints."
But the question remains, why were books about gender and sexual identity allowed in school libraries in the first place?
Tober didn't explain why the books must be censored.
Tober went on to huff that "Katy Texas isn't the first public school to have sexually inappropriate books on its shelves." But it's clear that his definition of "sexually inappropriate" involved anything that didn't promote heterosexuality.
Clay Waters tried to play whataboutism in a Feb. 1 post:
Monday’s front-page New York Times story -- headlined “Politics Fuels Surge in Calls For Book Bans” -- did liberal Democrats a favor, posing them in their flattering former costumes of fierce free-speech advocates. Meanwhile, today’s actual left-wing is a hive of free-speech squelchers and book banners, including the Times’ own reporters, who have an unseemly and anti-journalistic eagerness to “deplatform” voices they don’t like...when they're conservative "bigots."
But that's a false comparison. Public libraries being forbidden from making certain books available to a certain audience is not the same thing as a private business seeking to enforce standards and terms of service on its platform to battle lies and misinformation. Yet the whataboutism continued: "Besides the daily double standards of restrictions on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, Amazon.com pulled a book on transgender issues from its online shelf, and Netflix tried to cancel comedian Dave Chappelle for offensive jokes about transgenders."
We could play whataboutism too, pointing out that the MRC has long raged against "censorship" of social media while tacitly endorsing it at school libraries. Wonder what Waters would say about that?
WND's Farah Can't Stop Pushing Trump's Big Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah reminds us that he's still a Big Lie dead-ender in his Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "Why do so many believe the 2020 election was stolen?" Instead of offering a truthful answer -- because people have been lied to by Trump, WND and Farah himself -- he went right into the conspiracy-mongering:
Are these Americans nothing but mind-numbed robots? Or are they duly outraged voters deeply suspicious of what happened?
That has affected people's confidence in the electoral system overall, and it hasn't gotten any better as time has gone by.
The previous year has demonstrated what Joe Biden can do as president. It has not been pretty. Trump has not had much to add to the controversy. He's smart enough to know when to get out of Biden's way.
His record includes repression, hundreds of "domestic enemies" rounded up, almost a year of vaccine mandates, threats, the Jan. 6 witch hunt by Democrats in Congress – not to mention the Afghanistan debacle, widespread open illegal immigration, around 2 million strong from over 100 countries without vetting nor vaccines during a pandemic, inflation not seen for 40 years, supply-side snafus and impending war with Russia.
Despite this, the media stand by his side. Even worse, Big Tech stifles coverage of the 2020 election on Google, Facebook and Twitter. WND and other conservative website have been systematically demonetized and get no traffic from Google, which has a virtual monopoly of advertising and ad servers on the internet.
Even Fox News doesn't talk about the 2020 election. The Wall Street Journal doesn't touch it. It just didn't happen – not on their watch.
Real Americans see hope in Donald Trump, a real election for Congress this year and, frankly, God.
In the meantime, Trump is not going to stop talking about the rigged election – his favorite subject.
Farah then referenced a letter Donald Trump wrote to the Wall Street Journal in October complaining about a story it did that, in Farah's words, "tried to legitimize the election in Pennsylvania by saying there weren't enough votes to swing the election in Trump's favor." The letter was so filled with falsehoods that even the Journal was shamed into fact-checking it after publication. Not only did Farah not mention the fact that the letter's claims have been discredited, he went on to quote some of those discredited claims:
"Actually," wrote Trump, "the election was rigged, which you, unfortunately, still haven't figured out. Here are just a few examples of how determinative the voter fraud in Pennsylvania was:
"* 71,893 mail-in ballots were returned after Nov. 3, 2020, at 8 p.m. … None of these should have been counted, according to the U.S. Constitution.
"* 10,515 mail-in votes from people who do not exist on the Pennsylvania voter rolls at all.
"* 20,000 excess voters not yet accounted for by the Pennsylvania Department of State – far more votes than voters!
"* Hundreds of thousands of votes unlawfully counted in secret … while GOP poll watchers were thrown out.
"* 39,771 people voted who registered after the Oct. 19 deadline."
As one fact-checker summarized regarding these claims:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court permitted the counting of those mail-in ballots because they were postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the counting of those ballots.
There were not "far more votes than voters" in Pennsylvania, nor were there "excess voters" -- there are 9 million registered voters in the state and 7 million who cast votes in 2020.
No votes were "unlawfully counted in secret"; only was the vote count fully observed by representatives of both parties, it was livestreamed as well.
Farah didn't tell his readers that Trump's claims have been found to be false and discredited. Nevertheless. he concluded: "Do you still wonder why Americans are clinging to the only hope they have for righting a bogus 2020 election?" No, we don't -- as long as dead-enders like Farah keep repeating Trump's lies, people will continue to be bamboozled.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Adds Another Sports Anti-Vaxxer Topic: Media Research Center
Newly minted Media Research Center sports blogger John Simmons has joined Jay Maxson in lashing out at COVID vaccines and vaccine mandates, as well as defending athletes who hurt their team by refusing to get vaccinated. Read more >>