MRC Still Defending Joe Rogan, Gushing Over His Crude Insults Topic: Media Research Center
Believe it or not, there's still more to document regarding the Media Research Center's aggressive defense of podcaster Joe Rogan over his promotion of COVID misinformers. Catherine Salgado wrote in a Feb. 11 post:
The leftist group PatriotTakes was part of the release of a controversial video that attacked podcasting star Joe Rogan. PatriotTakes just happens to be reportedly partnered with leftist SuperPAC MeidasTouch, which was funded by actress Bette Midler.
Leftist star Bette Midler donated at least $53,000 to MeidasTouch in 2020, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data.
Midler has collaborated more than once with MeidasTouch to produce brazen propaganda videos, according to MeidasTouch itself. One video from February 2021 with Midler doing vocals claimed (with explicit language) that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), among several other Republican lawmakers, encouraged “insurrections” and ought to be locked up. The video ends with a snapshot of America being “great again without” the Republicans with a person waving a Biden 2020 flag. Another video that MeidasTouch proudly touted on its website, produced “in collaboration with Bette Midler,” was a petty and vindictive attack on then-President Donald Trump, from his hair to his tweets. It ends with the phrase, “Vote For Joe Biden.” MeidasTouch’s article called Trump “the most dangerous threat facing the country.” [Emphasis added.]
Salgado curiously didn't mention the content of that "controversial" Rogan video -- that's because it was a compilation of Rogan repeatedly using the N-word on his podcast, which the MRC considered damaging enough that it played whataboutism to try and deflect from. Salgado was in whataboutism mode here too, complaining that "MeidasTouch reportedly has skeletons in its closet, which makes the PatriotTakes hit job on Rogan hypocritical."
(Also, it's strange how the MRC continues to obsess over what Midler does despite insisting she's not relevant.)
It was not until the second-to-last paragraph of her post that Salgado finally told readers that "PatriotTakes put up clips of Rogan supposedly defending or using the N-word slur." But she weirdly tried to soften the damage by claiming the clip packages "supposedly" show that -- in fact, they indisputably demonstrate that Rogan is doing so by using actual clips of Rogan, and Salgado made no attempt to prove otherwise.
Christian Toto used his Feb. 26 column to gush that "Joe Rogan continues to share his Spotify podcast far and wide despite one of the most aggressive Cancel Culture campaigns in recent memory":
Rogan made some missteps along the way. He apologized to critics who weren’t open to apologies. He agreed to remove dozens of “Joe Rogan Experience” episodes to appease the mob.
Said mob wasn’t appeased, but Spotify stood by him. Maybe it’s because we just learned the podcaster’s $100 million deal with the audio platform is actually worth double that amount?
Meanwhile, the MRC continues to gush over Rogan's grossness to their shared poiitical enemies. Joseph Vazquez cheered in a Feb. 28 post:
Podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan is clearly fed up with uber-liberal mega-billionaire Bill Gates and his incessant claims that meat-eating is sinful and unhealthy, while at the same time allegedly not being in the best shape himself.
Rogan didn’t mince words and called out Gates for looking “like shit” physically while lecturing the rest of the world to change its diet. Rogan also suggested Gates could be profiting off of his alternative-meat push. Gates reportedly “invested in [a] range of ‘synthetic meat’ startups including Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats and Hampton Creek Foods,” according to Australia-based Beef Central.
“If you’re eating those, those plant-based burgers or whatever the f*ck you’re doing — like, you’re obese,” Rogan snarked. The podcaster didn’t let up in slamming Gates’ hypocrisy: “A guy like that telling people about– he’s got these breasts and this gut — and I’m like, this is crazy.” After pointing out that Gates’ billions allow him access to some of the best nutrients available, Rogan said Gates’ behavior was “literally like a non-athlete trying to coach professionals. Like, what the f*ck are you talking about?”
He continued: “How are you giving any health advice when you look like that? Your health is piss-poor. I’m not a doctor, but when you’ve got man-boobs and a gut and you’re walking around — you have these, like, toothpick arms — I’m like, ‘Hey buddy, you’re not healthy.’”
Hey, at least Rogan managed to restrain himself from calling Gates a "motherfucker" -- then again, Vazquez would've been giddy about that too.
The Farah Family Feud Continues Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Farah family feud continues over at WorldNetDaily. It began when Joseph Farah's daughter Alyssa -- who had worked in the Trump White House, something her dad was apparently proud enough of that WND scrubbed her byline from most of the articles she wrote there while a moonlighting college student -- broke with Donald Trump over his promotion of the Big Lie about election fraud, a lie Joseph Farah still believes. Joseph Farah then attended Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally -- you know, the one that turned into a riot at the Capitol -- while Alyssa refused to go, which resulted in some under-bus-throwing from her dad. Last fall, Trump launched a nasty tirade at Alyssa over her stint on "The View," about which Joseph Farah stayed silent.
Things appear to have escalated. Joseph Farah's Feb. 14 column began with a few Bible verses and a declaration of how much he loves his family:
To speak on intimate, private family matters in public, affects all of them. Their privacy is important to me. More than that, the pain caused by exposing their family life to public scrutiny is a consequence that I do not take lightly – because I love them – I love them all.
Think on any complex family disagreement in your life. Try to think of a way to fully vindicate someone, or yourself – someone who is being accused of something. Just how would you do that without telling every detail of what every person involved did and said? And think about how that would play out – then everyone else in the family has to "give their side." You've had similar circumstances. How could I do that to everyone involved in this question? And how absurd and narcissistic for me to do so publicly.
This turned into a discussion of how he had been accused of "boycotting" Alyssa's wedding (whose name he didn't use anywhere in his column), then complained he was responding publicly because "I am put in the unenviable situation of having to 'defend' myself, at least my character." Oddly, he never seems to feel that compelled to defend himself when confronted with WND's long history of long history of publishing fake news and conspiracy theories , which have led it to its current precairous financial state. (Also: We did not make the accusation he's complaining he has to respond to; we merely noted the fact tyhat he said nothing about her wedding in his column.)
After dropping a few more Bible verses, Farah finally got to the point:
As my daughters have asked me to limit my response, I am going to respect their wishes.
But I guess you deserve to know, seeing as you've read this far.
Why didn't we go to the wedding? A father dreams of going to his daughter's wedding. WE WEREN'T INVITED!
And ... that's it. That's how the family schism is continuing. It's sad to see, but actions have consequences.
MRC Looking Forward To Seeing WNBA Star Rot In Russian Jail Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has never been a fan of WNBA star Brittney Griner, mainly for her failure to be heterosexual. In 2018, for example, Jay Maxson noted that Griner "came out as lesbian," parenthetically sneering, "yawn; that's not news in that league." So it's no surprise that the MRC is more than happy to see Griner rot in a Russian jail in the middle of a war. Maxson huffed in a March 7 post:
When Moscow airport screening officials discovered vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil in Brittney Griner’s luggage in February, they detained her. Now the 6-foot-9-inch WNBA player is looking at 10 years in a Russian prison for “large-scale transportation of drugs.”
Note how easily Maxson is taking the word of a corrupt, warmongering government at face value. Never mind, of course, that the Russian government has not offering anything remotely resembling evidence of Griner's alleged misdeed.
Maxson, however, spent most of his post lashing out at a writer who pointed out that Griner was making so little as a WNBA star that she felt she needed to play overseas for a Russian team to make more money. Maxson whined that the writer was "quick to excuse Griner’s drug indiscretions" -- again, no proof that any "drug indiscretions" were committed has been made public -- going on to huff:
[The writer] says players like Griner can make much more money playing overseas than in the WNBA, with its league maximum salary of $227,900. That’s not exactly chump change, but it certainly deflates the merits of the Insider sob story. In fact, Griner’s WNBA pay is nearly five times the average U.S. salary. She also earns $1 million from Ekaterina, pushing her total salary to 25 times the average U.S. salary.
Long story short, Griner is loaded, she doesn’t need two jobs and Cash’s story is a joke. Griner is one of 11 players who has won championships in the WNBA, NCAA, the Olympics and the EuroLeague. She is paid exceedingly well for exhibiting that resume.
Maxson's comparison is deceptive; he (or she) should really be comparing Griner's salary to that of other athletes, not the general population. And is Maxson really saying that Griner earns enough money -- indeed,too much -- and shouldn't be working so hard to try and make more? How socialist.
Maxson also complained that the writer "suggests the Russian war on Ukraine might just make Griner’s situation more perilous. The basketball star could be used as a pawn 'in a fiery feud between two global superpowers' Cash got this idea from the New York Times." He (or she) then summarized the writer's position as "Griner could have avoided jail time in a 'hostile foreign power' if only she was on the same pay scale as LeBron Jame$, letting loose with another sneering retort: "That’s never going to happen because the WNBA is nowhere close to the marketability and the revenue of a major male sports league."
In short: Maxson is taking Russia's side, cheering Griner's arrest by a hostile foreign power to spite women in general and LGBT women in particular.
As with the previous month, the unemployement numbers for February were so good that CNSNews.com had trouble trying to find a negative spin to put on them. So for her lead story, Susan Jones went to an old standby: they're still not as good as they were under Trump before COVID:
Non-farm payrolls added a whopping 678,000 jobs in February, well above the consensus estimate of 400,000; and the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 3.8 percent, the lowest of Biden's presidency, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate dropped as low as 3.5 percent during the Trump administration, before COVID hit.
The number of Americans counted as employed increased by 598,000 in February, to 157,722,000, the highest it's been since the record 158,866,000 people counted as employed in February 2020.
The labor force participation rate also moved in the right direction, reaching 62.3 percent.
The participation rates was 61.4 percent when Biden took office. Today's number is the highest since he became president.
(The labor force participation rate reached a seven-year high of 63.4 percent in January 2020, the final year of Trump's presidency and just before the onset of COVID.)
The only sidebar this time around was, again, editor Terry Jeffrey's complaint about government jobs, this time that "Government in the United States grew by 24,000 employees in February." He went on to note that "Government employment hit an all-time peak of 22,879,000 in February 2020" -- but he didn't mention who was the president at that time.
Since this was the somewhat scarey number -- and since CNS doesn't like to publish good news about the Biden administration -- Jeffrey's story was the one given the most prominence on CNS' front page on March 4, the day employmeent statistics came out.
MRC's Graham Mad Fact-Checkers Sought The Truth About Canadian Trucker Protest Topic: Media Research Center
For an organization that claims to be about "media research," the Media Research Center sure gets mad when anyone else does "media research" that doesn't fit its right-wing narratives. In a Feb. 5 post, MRC executive Tim Graham saw a conspiracy in fact-checkers investigating memes related to the protest:
Wherever the Left is challenged, you can count on the so-called "independent fact-checkers" to fan out and attack...followed by Twitter promoting what "fact-checkers say."
This week, it was the Canadian trucker convoy arriving in Ottawa to protest the COVID vaccine mandate imposed by socialist prime minister Justin Trudeau. There were false impressions to check, but they all seem to run one way.
First, Twitter promoted checks around the theme "Miscaptioned images from around the world are being falsely associated with the trucker protest in Canada, fact-checkers report." That included images of a 2018 event in Alberta and a 2021 event in Italy.
But mostly, the liberal pack wanted to downplay any large estimates of attendance.
Yes, Graham has decided that all fact-checkers are on "the Left" because they fact-check right-wing narratives. At no point, by the way, did Graham dispute the accuracy of any of the fact-checks or offer any numbers to back up the memes he's implicitly supporting -- he's complaining they were done at all. It's hard to attack fact-checkers for bias when you can't actually identify any.
Graham even whined that a meme containing a false statement from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was fact-checked, huffing in response: "No one has fact-checked Trudeau. Because he's on the Right Side of History." Again, Graham faiiled to offer an instance of a Trudeau statement he believes should be fact-checked.
Fake News: WND's Anti-Vaxxer 'MIT Scientist' Has No Medical Training Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's resident COVID misinformer, Art Moore, struck again in a Jan. 18 article:
An MIT scientist is warning of possible long-term damage to the brain from COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, saying it's likely there will be an "alarming" rise in several major neurodegenerative diseases.
And that's likely to happen increasingly among the younger population, according to Stephanie Seneff in an academic paper titled "Worse Than the Disease? Reviewing Some Possible Unintended Consequences of the mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19" published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research.
Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday night it's "outrageous to be giving vaccines to young people because they have ... a very, very low risk of dying from COVID."
"So, they don't get a benefit," she said. "And when you look at the potential harm from these vaccines, it just doesn't make any sense."
And repeated boosters, Seneff added, will be "very devastating in the long term."
The MIT scientist said she has done a lot of research on the subject and is "beginning to understand how the process takes place."
Well, not so much -- she has no demonstrated expertise in medical issues. Moore hinted at it when he called her a "senior research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory"; in fact, her doctorate is in electrical engineering and computer science -- not in anything medical.
Before becoming an anti-vaxxer, Seneff's claim to medical infamy -- again, she has no formal medical training -- was devising a claim that autism is caused by exposure to the weed killer glyphosphate, a claim that has been embraced by quack doctor Joseph Mercola.
Meanwhile, the Genetic Literacy Project reported that Seneff's dubious COVID vaccine claims have gotten the attention of anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr. -- again, not the kind of company credible people keep. Further, despite Moore's portrayal of the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research -- the journal that published Seneff's paper -- as "peer-reviewed," the Genetic Literacy Project noted that nobody outside the fringe-wacko community treats it as a credible publication. (One scientist observed that publishing something there "seems to be no different than self-publishing a book on Amazon Kindle." Further, Seneff is actually a member of the journal's editorial staff, which also raises credibility and independence questions.
Moore's insistence on promoting the dubious claims of discredited people doesn't make anyone want to take either him or WND seriously as a credible source of news. It's something WND should keep in mind as it tries to avoid going out of business, but surprisingly, it hasn't thus far.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's COVID Sports Selfishness Brigade Topic: Media Research Center
Led by sports bloggers Jay Maxson and John Simmons, the Media Research Center labored to turn Aaron Rodgers and Novak Djokovic into heroes for deceiving officials about their COVID vaccination status. Read more >>
Fake News: CNS' Claim That Ice Cream Withdrawal From Occupied Territories Tanked Owner's Stock Isn't True Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com spent a notable part of the past several months being incensed over the decision of Ben & Jerry's ice cream deciding not to no longer sell its ice cream in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel:
Patrick Goodenough highlighted how "Israel responded frostily to Ben & Jerry’s announcement Monday that it will stop selling its ice cream in the disputed territories, with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid appealing to U.S. states that have passed anti-BDS measures to enforce them against the “progressive” Vermont-based company."
Loopy rabbi Aryeh Spero framed the disputed territories as "the biblical regions of Judea and Samaria" and declared that "Singling out the Jewish people or the Jewish nation for boycott and divestment is blatant anti-Semitism and not social justice." Given that both Ben and Jerry are Jewish, Spero's claim that what they're doing is "anti-Semitism" is absurd.
Goodenough cheered that "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday set in motion a process that could result in the state being prohibited from buying any assets in the ice cream maker’s British-based parent company."
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in September that "Because ice cream giant Ben & Jerry's decided to boycott Israel by ending sales of its product in the "Occupied Palestinian Territory," the Arizona Treasurer's Office is pulling all of its state funds from Ben & Jerry's parent company. It is against Arizona law for the state to invest in entities that boycott Israel." Actually, the ice cream will continue to be sold in Israel, making his claim that it's doing a "boycott" of Israel factually inaccurate. Chapman went on to play whataboutism: "Although Ben & Jerry's claims it has a 'long history of advocating for human rights, and economic and social justice,' it has made no effort to boycott Communist China, which has killed 65 million of its own people for political reasons, and operates concentration camps."
Chapman similarly cheered in a Dec. 27 atticle when Illinois pulled its funds from Ben & Jerry's owner, Unilever, over the decision to stop selling ice cream in the "so-called occupied territories." Chapman repeated his whataboutism: "Ironically, Ben & Jerry's has taken no action to cease sales in Communist China, which operates concentration camps, forced abortion, sterilization, and organ harvesting."
Chapman took his anti-ice cream jihad to the lext level in a Jan. 24 article:
Since it decided last summer to stop selling Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the so-called occupied territories in Israel, multinational giant Unilever has seen its stock drop 20.7%, which equals about $26 billion, according to Israel Today and other media.
Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever. In a statement last July, Ben & Jerry's said, "We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).... Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement."
The stock drop apparently is the result, in part, of numerous U.S. states that have withdrawn their investments in Unilever because they have laws against boycotting Israel.
But Chapman is serving up correlation without proving causation. Neither Israel Today (a right-leaning outlet that was bankrolled by right-wing activist Sheldon Adelson) nor the other news source he cites -- the Jewish News Syndicate, which also has a right-leaning bias -- offer any direct proof that Unilever's stock decline is directly attributable to the Ben & Jerry's decision.
In actuality, none of these reports cite actual stock prices or even the dates being compared -- which appears to have been done deliberately to hide the fact that temporary drop in Unilever's stock price was exploited. On Jan. 18, a couple days before the Israeli outlets did their stories, Unilever stock dropped 10 percent at the start of trading, in apparent reaction to the company failing to purchase another operation; the next day, however, Unilever stock rose 10 percent. It's entirely possible -- and entirely dishonest -- for these outlets to base the drop in stock price on what happened Jan. 18. More honest accounting shows that the stock prices had dropped only about 6 percent in the past year, providing more evidence that the low number was dishonestly cherry-picked and putting the lie to the claim that reaction to Ben & Jerry's occupied territories withdrawal was the sole cause of Unilever's stock drop.
A closer look at the actual numbers shows that the stock price of Unilever on July 20, the day the Ben & Jerry's decision was announced, was $58.82. The stock price on Jan. 18, the day of the big 10 percent plunge, was $46.45 -- a drop of 21 percent, the closest we get to the figure cited in Chapman's article. In the previous six months before that, however, Unilever stock was mostly hovering between $52 and $57 a share. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the Ben & Jerry's decision had any direct effect on Unilever's stock price.
That's called a journalistic fail. But Chapman decided his story was too good to fact-check against the actual numbers.
The MRC's Hypocritical Tolerance Of Trucker Convoy, Part 3 Topic: NewsBusters
Believe it or not, the Media Research Center stillwasn't done defending the Canadian trucker protesters even though they engaged in the same protest tactics the MRC deplored when non-right-wingers used them.
Reliable New York Times-basher Clay Waters huffed in a Feb. 12 post: "The New York Times continued to smear the Canadian truckers’ protest against vaccine mandates, a protest that has attracted other Canadians, sick of the country’s overzealous Covid regulations under smug liberal leader Justin Trudeau." He added the usual MRC whataboutism: "This sudden concern for small businesses was rich, considering how the paper ignored the plight of burnt-out businesses and shuttered shops that occurred after mass rioting on the streets of American cities connected to George Floyd-inspired protests."
P.J. Gladnick freaked out over what he insisted was a conspiracy theory in a Feb. 13 post:
The claim by the American intelligence community that the Hunter Biden laptop story is just a result of Russian disinformation is so 2020. Old news. The new hotness for 2022 is that the protesting truckers and their supporters in Canada are being manipulated by Russian agents.
And what both reports have in common is that the claims are/were based on exactly nothing. The latest iteration of Russian subversion comes to us by way of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. However, if you didn't know any better you could be forgiven for thinking that the video interview was produced by the Babylon Bee mocking the CBC for giving credence to a completely unhinged conspiracy theory.
By contrast, one Canadian writer pointed out that Russia propaganda network RT provided more obsessive coverage of the protest than even Fox News -- more than 1,200 stories -- adding that "prominent supporters of the Ottawa occupation like Ontario MPP Randy Hillier have urged Canadians to trust Russian state media over established news outlets in their own country." (This was a few weeks before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which caused RT's English-language service to be pulled from prettly much all Western distribution.) So, yes, there clearly is some synergy going on there; meanwhile, Gladnick wants you to think that this CBC interview shows "just how desperate the CBC is to demonize the Canadian truckers and protesters by using an "expert" who, based on zero evidence of Russian agents, claims the government must crackdown on social media to keep the citizenry from being exposed to prohibited thoughts."
Tim Graham served up more whataboutism in a Feb. 14 post: "NPR provides a dramatic example of the national media's adoration of Black Lives Matter in dramatic contrast to their panic over "extremist" Canadian trucker protests. Don't forget that NPR embarrassed themselves trying to deny the obvious fact that the BLM founders are self-proclaimed Marxists. That was "disinformation" on the internet!" At no point did Graham dispute the claim that the trucker convoy organizers were "extremist."
Waters returned to serve up another dose of whataboutism: "Where were the police during the Canadian truckers protest against vaccine mandates? That’s what the hypocritical media is suddenly demanding, now from the front page of Sunday’s New York Times: “Ottawa’s Police Reacted Slowly As Protest Built.” The online headline: “In Ottawa Trucker Protests, a Pressing Question: Where Were the Police?” (Black Lives Matters protesters in the U.S. were apparently unavailable for comment.)"
Joseph Vazquez served up his own whataboutism-laden meltdown:
New York Times economist Paul Krugman spewed bile at the so-called “vandalism” by Canadian truckers protesting the country’s draconian COVID-19 policies. He did this while dismissing the 2020 Marxist Black Lives Matter riots across the U.S. that reportedly caused at least around $2 billion in damages.
His hyperbole-laced rant of an op-ed, headlined “When ‘Freedom’ Means the Right to Destroy,” buried the extent of the damages caused by BLM riots scattered across different states.
"so-called 'vandalism'"? Vazquez was too busy playing whataboutism to offer any proof for his assertion that there was no vandalism. Ironically, a couple weeks later his boss, Tim Graham, would complain about overuse of the "so-called" dismissal in the media (but he didn't criticize his employees for doing the exact same thing).
Waters, meanwhile, continued to be angry that the New York Times didn't cover the protest like Fox News would. On Feb. 18, he whined that the Times "remains breezily supportive of their socialist dreamboat Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his authoritarian crackdown on COVID protests, including even the deployment of troops. " Waters was presumably cool with authoritarian crackdowns on BLM protesters. Two days later, he was back in whataboutism mode:
The New York Times continues to smear the Canadian trucker protest against vaccine mandates as crazed angry haters, treatment that is nearly 180 degrees from the sympathetic tone it took with Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests turned riots fueled by George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police in the summer of 2020.
The latest example appeared in Wednesday’s New York Times, with Sarah Maslin Nir and Natalie Kitroeff reporting on “The Group Trying to Steer Ottawa’s Restive Protesters.”
As usual, right-leaning protests are characterized as well-organized and conspiratorial, not as organic.
Waters offered no proof the protest was organic. Nevertheless, he repoeated the complaint in a Feb. 27 post:
After its smear-filled coverage of the Canadian truckers’ protest over anti-vaccine mandates, now shuttered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authoritarian government, The New York Times is stoking fears of similar protests in the United States and New Zealand.
“A Truck Caravan With Far-Right Links Heads to Washington, D.C.,” Shawn Hubler and Alan Feuer reported from California for Thursday’s edition. Typically, the reporters characterized right-leaning protests as conspiratorial, not organic.
waters went on to sneer, "Apparently, protests destabilize democracies when they're against Democrats ." And violent protests are apparently cool with Waters and the MRC when their fellow right-wingers run them.
CNS Hides Vance's Abrupt About-Face On Ukraine Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Feb. 21 article:
Celebrated author, venture capitalist, and Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Ohio J.D. Vance said he did not really care about what happens in Ukraine, but stressed that he does care about the massive amounts of fentanyl coming across America's southern border causing the deaths of thousands of Americans ages 18 to 45.
“I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine," Vance tweeted on Feb. 19.
"I do care about the fact that in my community right now the leading cause of death among 18-45 year olds is Mexican fentanyl that’s coming across the southern border.”
Thbree days later, though, Vance had a different story to tell, and Chapman was on hand to be his stenographer again:
Conservative author, venture capitalist, and U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio J.D. Vance said in a statement today that the U.S. "spent $6 billion on a failed Ukrainian army" and "foolishly pressured" Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s, which killed any major leverage it might have had against Russian aggression.
Vance also stressed that U.S. or NATO intervention in the war would be a "disaster" and should be opposed. Moreover, "Congress must demand a debate on any further deployment of resources to that region," he said.
"Russia's assault on Ukraine is unquestionably a tragedy, especially for the innocent people caught in the crossfire," said Vance. "It's also a stark reminder of our own failed leadership."
"For decades, elites pursued a policy of isolating Russia, which has only had the effect of driving Putin directly into the arms of the Chinese Communists," he said. "We wouldn't be watching the tragedy we're witnessing today if Russia didn't have Beijing's backing."
Strangely, Chapman made no mention of the fact that Vance's new stance on Ukraine was a complete flip-flop of what he was saying just three days earlier -- a stance Chapman had eported on. Since he didn't do that, there's also no mention of why Vance would have done such an abrupt flip-flop-- reasons having to do with the near-universal criticism Vance faces over his remark to the notable Ukrainian population in Ohio.
Chapman also made no mention of Vance's ignorant Twitter war around the same time against former Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey. After McCaffrey pointed out that Vance's original Ukraine comments made him "unsuitable for public office," Vance ranted back: "Your entire time in military leadership we won zero wars. You drank fine wine at bullshit security conferences while thousands of working class kids died on the battlefield. Oh, by the way, how much do you stand to gain financially from a war with Russia, Barry?" McCaffrey reminded him that his children and grandchildren have served in the military (and doesn't drink win), while another commenter pointed out that McCaffrey nearly lost an arm in Vietnam and led an infantry division into battle in Operation Desert Storm while Vance's military experience was limited to being a public affairs officer.
It's as if Chapman only wants to do PR for Vance and is censoring the fact that he's a terrible candidate and even worse person. That's not journalism.
Newsmax's Parade Of 'Non-Clinician' COVID Misinformers Keeps Marching On Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax continues to allow its columnists to peddle misinformation about COVID and its vaccines, then tries to weasel out of taking responsibility for the misinformation with a disclaimer noting that a "non-clinician" wrote the column. Nicholas Chamberas and Conrad Black have done so recently, but they're not the only ones.
Dick Morris insisted in a Jan. 11 column that because the Omicron variant "is very unlikely to kill people, especially children," that means "an unvaccinated person poses little risk to others but significant risk to himself" and, thus, "it is neither anti-social nor irresponsible not to get a shot. It is simply an individual’s right to decide." In fact, five times as many children were hospitalized with Omicron than with previous variants.
Larry Bell argued in his Jan. 12 column that Omicron could "actually be a blessing — not just for my family and me, but also for many millions of others — perhaps serving as nature's vaccine."
Michael Reagan -- who likes to misinform about COVID -- complained in his Jan. 14 column that the CDC put an advisory against taking cruises at the height of Omicron because "these days a cruise ship is actually one of the safest places on the planet": "Passengers and crews are 100% vaccinated. Masks are mandatory in public spaces except when eating or drinking. Ships are not booked to full capacity. And there is a hospital with doctors and nurses on board." He then conceded a conflict of interest: "As I've mentioned before, my wife is a travel agent who books people on cruises and I often tag along."
In a Jan. 18 column, Christine Flowers attacked a study claiming that "schools that had mask mandates had fewer cases of COVID-19 than those without," though another study has since come to the same conclusion.
Judd Dunning ranted in his Jan. 18 column: "Brainwashed faithful lapdogs are getting unauthorized 4th and 5th COVID shots. Many in our own elite military forces and professional athletes across the globe are protesting vaccination injury risks while others, like [Novak] Djokovic, have been publicly paraded COVID detention like prisoners. Life insurance firms are reporting a spike of over 100,000 deaths a month beyond COVID." Dunning is implicitly blaming vaccines for the supposed deaths "beyond COVID," which isn't true.
Chamberas returned to rant in his Jan. 19 column: "In 2022 we are experiencing a requiem of the era in which "bloodletting" is passionately defended at all costs. The modern-day version of arrogantly supporting bloodletting is the stubborn defense of vaccine mandates!" He added: "This is no longer about healthcare but a Robespierre-inspired reign of terror against those deemed non-compliant to a persuasive loyalty oath for the regime in power. Comply or your life as you know is over instantly. This type of violent coercion runs counter to the ideals upon which our nation was founded."
Marc Schulte hurled his usual blizzard of numbers in his Jan. 19 column, while at one point claiming, "A possible contributing cause for the colossal 42% increase in COVID deaths between 2020 and 2021, in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, is President Biden's insane policy, since Inauguration Day, of allowing millions of untested migrants to cross the southern border with Mexico." Medical experts disagree.
Michael Dorstewitz claimed in his Jan. 26 column that "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted last week that standard cloth masks are ineffective. They're just for show, to announce to everyone you meet that you're superior because you're wearing a mask. And vaccines aren't much better." In fact, the CDC didn't say that cloth masks were "ineffective"; they're just not as protective as N95 or KN95 masks.
Jared Whitley huffed in a March 7 column: "The insanity over masks has been particularly pronounced, especially because they accomplish virtually nothing to stop the spread of disease."
Gene Crume declared in a Feb. 23 column that "There is no such evidence for mandates" for vaccines or masks.
Reagan (with Michael Shannon) returned in a March 8 column: "When a swine flu vaccine was rushed to market in 1976 the VAERS database reported 25 deaths and the vaccine was judged too dangerous and pulled from the market. The same VAERS database lists 24,402 deaths from COVID-19 vaccinations and your federal government continues to claim the jab is just fine." Reagan and Shannon are just the latest anti-vaxxers deliberately misinterpreting VAERS data; reports of deaths there are unverified.
Instead of lazily slapping a "non-clinician" disclaimer on these columns, wouldn't Newsmax improve its credibility if it fact-checked columnists before publishing them?
Wayne Allyn Root COVID Misinformation Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wayne Allyn Root's Jan. 31 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "The COVID-19 storyline is the greatest scam in world history," began with this rant reviewing some of his misinformation-laden greatest hits:
This week has been eye-opening. Even for me – and I'm the guy who has warned for over a year, in commentary after commentary, and often for three hours a day on my nationally syndicated radio show, that the COVID-19 vaccine could be dangerous and deadly and could lead to catastrophe.
I stuck my neck out like no other talk-show host in America to warn the vaccine may not even prevent illness; in fact, it could damage the immune system, thereby causing more illness and death. And not just from COVID-19, but also injuries and death linked to the COVID-19 vaccine itself.
Eight months ago, I warned it was time to suspend the vaccine program pending an investigation of mounting deaths, grievous injuries and permanent disabilities. I titled my commentary, "What if This Experimental COVID Shot Is Killing People? Don't Americans Have a Right To Know?"
Four months ago, I was courageous enough to scold New York Times medical reporters about the unfolding disaster that they have ignored. I titled my commentary, "What I Just Told the New York Times About the Complete Failure and Disaster of the COVID-19 Vaccine."
Three months ago, I was the first to warn that Americans were dropping in record numbers of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. I titled my commentary, "If the Vaccine Is So Great, Why Are So Many People Dropping Dead?"
Root then purported to relate "the FACTS that have come pouring out of the closet just in the past week" -- which, of course, are largely right-wing conspiracy theories that are largely devoid of fact, a lot of which lack sufficient information to properly fact-check. His first bullet point:
Israel is the most vaccinated major nation in the world. Almost the entire population is quadruple vaccinated. Yet right now Israel is No. 1 in the world for COVID-19 infections. Over one half of 1% of their entire population is testing positive for COVID-19 PER DAY.
The most perfect control group ever is the U.S. military. Every young soldier got the COVID-19 vaccine in the past year. To follow the results is the very definition of science. Military whistleblowers have come forward with Department of Defense medical data showing since the start of the vaccine program cancer is up about 300% among military members; female infertility is up 500%; miscarriages are up by 300%; and there was an astronomical 1,000% increase in neurological disorders from 82,000 to 863,000 in one year.
These are young men and women who were in perfect health … until the vaccines. It appears the vaccines are literally crippling our national defense.
In fact, those numbers are misleading because the database they are pulled from had underreported those conditions in previous years.He continued:
One more control group of formerly healthy young men and women: FIFA soccer players in the EU. Deaths from cardiac arrest increased by 500% in 2021. An astounding 183 professional athletes and coaches collapsed "suddenly" in 2021.
Worst of all is the news from the CDC that non-COVID-19 deaths in the age range of 18 to 49 increased by 40% in the past year. No one has ever seen anything like this. Why are working-age Americans dying in record numbers? Only one thing changed in 2021: vaccine mandates at the workplace.
Root concluded by declaring, "This is the greatest scam in world history. It would make Bernie Madoff blush." The only scamming we're seeing isRoot pushing bogus statistics to push his narrative.
Root served up a variation on this theme in his Feb. 21 column under the headline "COVID: The world's biggest-ever 'get-rich-quick' scheme." He began with a complaint about a friend who allegedly received a $115,000 bill for a day in the hopsital after a suspected heart attack, which turned into a rant about the health care system that President Obama supposedly screwed up, followed by claiming that COVID is somehow a profit-making "Ponzi scheme" for people he doesn't like:
Here's a simple explanation of the world's biggest "get-rich-quick" Ponzi scheme.
First, President Joe Biden, Fauci, the CDC, FDA, Democratic politicians and the media scare people to death over a flu with mostly mild to moderate symptoms, with a 99.9% recovery rate. They whip Americans into a frenzy. This turns Americans into paranoid hypochondriacs and hospital junkies.
Everyone involved gets rich quick: the hospitals; doctors; Big Pharma; ventilator makers; mask makers; COVID-19 antigen test makers; vaccine manufacturers; the media that books billions of dollars in Big Pharma ads; and, maybe most of all, the politicians.
Think how much money the hysteria, panic and fear porn, combined with vaccine mandates, have made each Democratic politician that owns stock in publicly traded hospital, health care, drug and vaccine companies.
And this is all separate from the obscene bonuses reportedly paid by government to hospitals for each patient that tests positive for COVID-19, dies with COVID-19 and gets put on those deadly ventilators.
In fact, while the federal government did increase reimbursement to hospitals for Medicare patients treated for COVID, there's no evidence hospitals have tried to exaggerate COVID numbers to get more in Medicare payments.
Root then repeated a couple more of his greatest misinformation hits:
I haven't even mentioned all the Americans who may be experiencing heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and advanced cancer directly from the COVID-19 vaccine itself. See the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System list. There's another multibillion-dollar income stream.
And this scam is made possible by a conspiracy of government and media slandering and banning the only cheap, highly effective miracle drugs and vitamins that work for pennies on the dollar, like ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc and vitamins C and D3.
The hits are apparently playing for his right-wing audience, so it's unsurprising he's sticking with them, no matter how many times they've been discredited.
The MRC's Hypocritical Tolerance Of Trucker Convoy, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
We showed how the Media Research Center was an early supporter of the trucker convoy in Canada -- even though the disruptive and occasionally violent protest tactics the truckers used were deplored by the MRC when used by non-right-wing activists. The MRC maintained that support throughout the protest.
In a Feb. 8 post, Curtis Houck claimed to be alarmed that White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted evidence that the truckers were getting help from right-wingers in the U.S.: "The horror! She made it seem like conservatives are a cabal that could have a tunnel network to Canada, envelopes filled with money, disguises, and all the bells and whistles."When a reporter asked Psaki about whether the Biden administration would look further into that aid, Houck screeched that this was a "call to prosecute political dissent" that was "insanity."
CNN’s anti-Freedom Convoy correspondent Paula Newton was at it again Wednesday as she desperately tried to smear the peaceful Canadian protest against their COVID restrictions. In reports throughout the day, Newton suggested that they should be feared and were a threat to the country. She even suggested that their “civil disobedience” can’t be “tolerated” because “what can happen next?”
Fondacaro added the MRC's approved whataboutism talking point: "This is the same CNN that supported the Black Lives Matter Riots of 2020 and dubbed them “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL.” They also didn’t have an issue with the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle, Washington where people were being killed." He didn't mention that just a few days earlier, his MRC colleague Houck unironically repeated a description of the the convoy protest as "mostly peaceful."
Tim Graham described his Feb. 9 podcast on the protests this way, summarizing all the support and whataboutism:
The liberal media have been truly hostile to Canadian truckers protesting vaccine mandates with a convoy in Ottawa. You can feel their mood when they call it the "so-called Freedom Convoy," as so-called objective networks do. Canada's socialist prime minister Justin Trudeau acts like these are the worst Canadians imaginable.
But that's not the worst of it. American networks have called the trucker resistance an "insurrection" and touted [left-wing] locals saying they're being held "hostage" by protests. They suggested the protests were populated by Nazis, Q-Anon, and Confederate flag-wavers, and repeated claims protesters stole food from the homeless. It's been a real hatchet job. Even the "independent fact checkers" lined up against them.
They even panicked that the Canadians had hot tubs, pizza ovens, and Plinko games. The contrast with American protests, like the "Autonomous Zone" in Seattle in 2020, is stunning. The networks then said these were the most peaceful protests imaginable....even as rapes and murders happened.
You can tell that liberals think that protests are Their Thing, and that when conservatives protest, it's somehow a frightening attack on democracy!
Clay Waters served up some of the same whataboutism in yet another attack on the New York Times for its coverage of the protest in a Feb. 10 post:
The Canadian trucker protest in Ottawa against vaccine mandates and overzealous Covid restrictions is certainly not getting the fawning Black Lives Matter treatment from The New York Times. Tuesday’s front-page story was crammed with contempt for the protesters, smeared for allegedly committing the same sort of acts that BLM protesters did during the often violent nationwide protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020: Theft, disruption, and “desecration” of statues.
The reporters had to admit the “festive” atmosphere in Ottawa, before switching back to condemnation that “[m]any Ottawa residents are besides themselves.”
Strange, how The Times never cared about how city residents felt about noise and closures that resulted from mob violence during the Floyd protests of 2020.
The Times is also suddenly against vandalizing statues, though on Tuesday it ran a story that approved of destroying a statute of a British slave-trader.
During a softball interview with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas aired on Thursday’s CBS Mornings, the broadcast network treated Canadian truckers protesting draconian COVID regulations like terrorists and fretted to the Biden cabinet official that the demonstrators posed a “potential security threat” to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the ongoing out-of-control crisis at the U.S. southern border was completely ignored.
When CNN contributor pointed out that the truckers were delilberately disrupting international commerce by blocking border crossings between Canada and the U.S. and suggested solultions to shutting down such an illegal protest, Fondacaro screamed that she was a PSYCHO":
Harvard professor, former Obama DHS official, and CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem was channeling some real Carrie Underwood energy (Before He Cheats) as she took to Twitter Thursday to lash out at the Canadian Freedom Convoy, demanding that Canadian authorities “slash” their tires and “empty the tanks” then somehow “move the trucks.” And as she deserved, Kayyem was called out and ridiculed for it.
Kayyem began her rage-fest by whining about the truckers getting support from “right wing [sic] media” and suggesting the truckers were a threat to American national security. “The Ambassador Bridge link constitutes 28% of annual trade movement between US and Canada. Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks,” she wrote.
Instead of offering logical arguments against her, Fondacaro huffed that she was filled with "toxic elitism" and "petty authoritarianism." As if blocking border crossings is somehow elitism and authoritarianism?
Alex Christy got bent out of shape over CNN's John Avlon noting that the protester "constitute a 'right-wing Trucker tantrum' supported by Americans who hypocritically call themselves pro-life" and are seeking "special exemption from public health laws."Christy grumbled in response that Avlon wasn't "taking time to consider that maybe public health laws need to change or that one-size-fits-all rules are not necessary" and non-scientifically insisted that a vaccination rate of 75 percent was sufficient: "With so many vaccinated, there is no justifiable reason to keep emergency measures in place." Of course, that still means 25 percent of the population isn't vaccinated, giving plenty of room for COVID to spread; most people who died from catching the Omicron variant were unvaccinated.
Graham tried a weird bit of whataboutism in a Feb. 11 post:
At the end of Thursday’s All In on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes mocked the Fox News Channel for promoting Tea Party rallies in 2009, and then he compared that to promotional coverage of the Canadian Freedom Convoy. He protested it as a “Truly incredible display of the unique role that one network plays in American political life. For many years, Fox News has been operating this flatly propagandistic fashion.”
It might be fair to suggest it’s funny to promote an occupation of an urban area when it’s Canada and then oppose it with say, Occupy Wall Street. But Hayes seems oblivious to the idea that when the shoe was on the other foot in 2011, it was his company doing the “flatly propagandistic” stuff, like “ Slow Jam The News: Fallon And Brian Williams Make Occupy Wall Street Sexy.”
That's the comparison Graham is going to make? Really? No wonder the MRC keeps losing credibility.
WND Defends Joe Rogan And His COVID Misinformers Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long loved prolific COVID misinformers Robert Malone and Peter McCullough, so when podaster Joe Rogan got in trouble for having them on and letting them spread their misinformation unchallenged, WorldNetDaily became a fan.
WND's Art Moore first promoted their appearances on Rogan's show -- and helped them play victim. Moore declared that Rogan's interview with McCullough "would not have been allowed on YouTube," and he used a Dec. 31 article to hype Malone's "highly anticipated interview with No. 1 podcaster Joe Rogan," which came after Malone was suspended from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation. Mooire never mentioned all the misinformation spread by both McCullough and Malone during their Rogan interviews.
When Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called Rogan spreading misinformation, Moore wouldn't admit they misinformed anyone in a Jan. 25 article:
The surgeon general of the United States believes Joe Rogan's top-rated podcast should be censored because of its interviews with prominent health scientists who come to conclusions based on assessments of data and studies that contradict some of the evolving stances of the Biden administration.
Rogan had two blockbuster interviews in December, drawing more than 40 million views in a nearly three-hour conversation with renowned cardiologist and highly published scientist Dr. Peter McCullough. And his show has garnered more than 50 million in a longer interview with Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology on which the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based.
Moore remained in denial about COVID misinformation in a Jan. 31 article noting Rogan's backpedaling after days of criticism:
The controversy over Joe Rogan airing a total of nearly six hours of conversation with two highly educated and accomplished health scientists whose views contradict the evolving government and establishment media narrative on COVID-19 opened a new chapter Monday, with the No. 1 podcaster pledging to do his best to group together interviews with people who have opposing opinions.
Rogan's 10-minute video on Instagram has been interpreted in various ways, including as an apology for spreading "misinformation" arising chiefly from an interview with Dr. Peter McCullough that drew more than 40 million views and another with Dr. Robert Malone that garnered an additional 50 million.
But Rogan -- while acknowledging what his platform Spotify has had to suffer financially with the withdrawal of the music of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in protest of his interviews -- made it clear he has a problem with how the term "misinformation" is being used.
He pointed out that "many of the things we thought of as misinformation a short while ago is now thought of as fact." They include claiming people can catch COVID-19 vaccination, saying cloth masks don't work and suggesting it's possible the pandemic originated in a lab in China. Previously, those statements, which are now accepted, got people removed from social media platforms, he pointed out.
Moore then weirdly quoted someone going full George Costanza by claiming that Malone and McCullough can't possibly be misinforming anyone because they don't believe they're serving up misinformation:
Prominent science writer and agnostic Michael Shermer, known for his collegial debates with believers in God, said the claim that Rogan and his guests are "intentionally spreading misinformation" is wrong.
"They don't think what they're saying is misinformation — They think they have a valid point," he wrote on Twitter. “They may be wrong but that's different. Instead of accusing them of lying, explain why facts say otherwise."
Moore devoted a Feb. 6 article to Moore "challenging a 'fact check' of some of his statements by a reporter for Britain's Daily Mail." Malone, to our knowledge, has not challenged the fact-check issued by Health Feedback, which is focused on medical misinformation and is much more comprehensive.
Meanwhile, WND columnist Michael Brown -- who suffers fromwishy-washiness on the issue of COVID despite having suffered through a bout of it himself -- felt the need to weigh in on Rogan in his Feb. 7 column. He started by issuing a pass because "Rogan himself does not seem to be an ideologue" -- in fact, his guest list leans unambiguously right -- who "seems to be more focused on having interesting conversations with a wide range of guests, learning for himself as he goes." He added, "This was Joe Rogan being himself, and that meant following the evidence where he thought it led." Brown then tried once again to both-sides the issue:
Since Rogan's podcast is front and center in the news today, and since he has a massive viewing and listening audience, why not use the show to host a debate/discussion between two of the most articulate voices on either side of the COVID-vaccination debate? Or perhaps even host several debates (at least two), allowing each side to present its case and respond to challenges.
The discussion would not be about the mandates, which are often opposed even by strong vaccination advocates. The discussion would address the safety or efficacy of the vaccines and the wisdom of our current health policies.
He went on to suggest that Malone be a guest for this debate, along with "a respected pro-vax professional." That's not likely to happen given Malone is not known for sharing the stage with anyone who might challenge him, which was probably a big reason he appeared on Rogan's show in the first place.
Dick Morris Still Pushing Fantasy Of Hillary Run In 2024 Topic: Newsmax
wrong Newsmax pundit Dick Morris just can't stop pushing the idea of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2024. His latest attempt to breathe life into a claim that lacks supporting evidence was detailed in a Feb. 20 article:
The next presidential race is shaping up to be a rematch of the 2016 contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, political strategist Dick Morris predicted Sunday.
Speaking to "The Cats Roundtable" radio show on WABC 770 AM hosted by John Catsimatidis, Morris called the showdown "a pretty good bet."
Morris explained his rationale by laying out a timeline of what he thinks will happen, starting with the Democratic Party forcing President Joe Biden to announce that he is not running again after the party suffers a major defeat in the midterm elections later this year.
Morris outlined an outlandish -- and completely evidence-free -- scenario in which the Democrats would cycle through candidates to the point that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will run -- "she’ll be three months old enough to be president in 2024," Morris added -- which will supposedly "force the establishment to rally behind Hillary to stop AOC ... just like they rallied to Biden to stop Bernie Sanders in 2020."
Morris comes off as a guy who wants to feed right-wing fantasies as a ploy to appear on radio and TV -- never mind the fact that his reputation as a wildly wrong political prognosticator precedes him.
UPDATE: He's not the only one at Newsmax pushing this fantasy, though. A Feb. 28 article by Luca Cacciatore hyped a CPAC poll claiming that "a plurality, 22%, believe Hillary Clinton has a greater chance of being the Democratic Party's 2024 nominee than President Joe Biden." Cacciatore also referenced "an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal last month from Democratic insiders Douglas E. Schoen and Andrew Stein pushing for her to make a 'political comeback' in 2024." Actually, Schoen is no "Democratic insider"; he's a Fox News Democrat brought on to trash Democrats, and he has donated to and raised money for Republican candidates. Charlie McCarthy referenced the CPAC poll in a March 16 article noting Hillary's dismissive response to Vladimir Putin sanctioning her and other Democrats.