MRC's Graham Pretends Right-Wing Narrative On Durham Filing Hasn't Been Debunked Topic: Media Research Center
We'vebeendocumenting how the Media Research Center hyped the right-wing narrative over John Durham's filing dubously suggesting that the Hillary Clinton campaign was spying on Donald Trump, but there's one key narrative manufacturer we haven't covered yet: MRC executive Tim Graham, who pushed the narrative in his own unique way.
For his Feb. 14 podcast, Graham repeated the MRC's whining over non-right-wing not immediately covering the Durham filing, huffing in the preview: "Fox News analysts suggested this was "worse than Watergate," but the liberal networks only use this kind of promotional phrasing for Republican scandals, like for Trump or George W. Bush." On the podcast itself, Graham touted how Fox News jumped on it, when whined that it was being portrayed as "a Fox News story. That's their way of dismissing it andsaying they don't have to do it." Graham then cheered that "Durham's enough of a pro that his team is not loaded with a bunch of liberal partisans who then can leak hourly to other liberal partisans at MSNBC or CNN or the New York Times or the Washington Post -- you know, the quote-unquote objective medla seeking the quote-unquote truth." Graham didn't admit that Durham seems to have right-wing partisans apparently leaking to their fellow-right-wing partisans at Fox News, et al. Then, as if to prove this unspoken point, he ran a clip of Mollie Hemingway ranting about it at Fox News -- neither or whom he identifies as the partisan conservatives they are.
Graham than played the worse-than-Watergate card: "Worse than Watergate has gotten to be a cliche , to the point where you wonder whether Watergate was overpushed to begin with, as Mollie suggested. That was definitely dirty pool, but yes, if you compare 'Oh, we broke into the DNC headquarters once,' that's dirty. So is spying on the president or looking at his internet usage. That's dirty pool too,but apparently the media only cares about one party committing the dirty pool."
Actually, there's no evidence that any of the alleged spying happened while Trump was president, but who ever said Graham cared about the facts when those facts conflict with right-wing narratives?
Graham went on to rant that the Mueller report was "war." Discounting the Mueller report is, of course, another right-wing narrative.
Graham rehashed a lot of this for his Feb. 16 column, whining that "While the networks spent more than 2,600-plus minutes on the Trump-Russia narrative, they’ve done next to nothing on Durham. ... To the media elite, Durham’s probe is only useful to the 'right-wing media wormhole.' Facts don’t come first. The truth isn’t more important than ever." Graham lives in the "right-wing media wormhole," so it's a bit rich to hear him complaining about the label -- and he's certainly not going to admit that what he's serving up is a narrative as well. He rehashed all this again in his Feb. 16 podcast.
Graham used a Feb. 17 post to whining that CNN's Brian Stelter accurately called out the attempt by the right-wing media -- including the MRC -- to aggressively hype the Durham filing:
When the liberal media aren't ignoring the John Durham probe, they're "reporting" on it by suggesting it's the newest pile of overwrought MAGA propaganda. CNN's covering it by letting Brian Stelter cry "HOAX" at Fox News and other conservative outlets.
I felt compelled to write about it, too, because the actual court filing at issue is much less newsworthy than the explosion of false claims that have ricocheted from it. Here are the takeaways from a media phenomenon POV:
Translation: Pay no attention to the Special Counsel behind the curtain! CNN spent years promoting every tissue of gossip around the Robert Mueller investigation. They willed a scandal into existence -- collusion between Trump and the Russians -- that Mueller ultimately couldn't prove. But:
>> It seemed like Donald Trump's media allies tried to "will" a scandal into existence. The talk had a snake-eating-its-own-tail quality. But it worked.
Yes, CNN is lecturing about cable coverage having a "snake eating its own tail quality. This, from the network with 77 stories gossiping about nonexistent "pee tapes." Stelter still insisted "journalistic analysis" isn't what conservatives are doing.
>> The ideological outlets that blew the filing way out of proportion weren't incentivized to apply journalistic analysis to the filing. They were incentivized to do the opposite.
Here is the usual CNN bluster about how Fox News is an ideological outlet....and CNN is not.
>> Before reporters from normal news outlets could even dig into the filing, Fox's abnormal operation screamed "MEDIA IGNORES DURHAM BOMBSHELL." Later fact-checks were cast as part of a media coverup.
We're still waiting for ABC, CBS, and NBC to touch the Durham filing on television. The minute count on CNN and MSNBC is...minute. And yes, "fact checks" and "explainers" are actually "explain away-ers."
At no point does Graham refute anything Stelter says -- he just plays whataboutism. And on top of that, he effectively confirms that right-wing media have created the narrative of how the media won't cover the Durham story to the MRC's satisfaction.
Graham spent his Feb. 18 column pretending to be aghast that right-wing media claims about the Durham filing were being fact-checked and found wanting, and that fact-checking somehow proves what a "threat" Durham is:
This is the threat that Durham represents. He is exposing that everything the Clinton campaign did here was to politicize national-security agencies, sharing their smears with the FBI and the CIA to spur spying on Trump advisers, to inflame media coverage, and then to taint the judicial process through the Mueller team, where 11 of 16 prosecutors were Democrat donors. Five of them were Hillary donors.
A similar spin came from taxpayer-subsidized NPR, under their internet headline “The John Durham filing that set off conservative media, explained.” Their online summary of the All Things Considered story blatantly editoralized “The political right is making hay out of a recent filing in special counsel John Durham's investigation into the Trump-Russia probe. We break down the truth behind their outlandish claims.”
Outlandish? Fill-in host Elissa Nadworny asserted “Fox News even said Clinton had, quote, ‘infiltrated Trump Tower and the White House.’ But is that what Durham actually said?”
Reporter Ryan Lucas replied: “No. Durham never said in his filing that Clinton paid operatives to spy on Trump or his campaign. He never used the word infiltrate.” All this parsing sounds like saying Bill Clinton never had “sex” with Monica Lewinsky, since he claimed it was all oral sex.
Nadworny implied this was ancient history: “So all of this is tied up in events that happened five or six years ago. Why does it matter now?” Lucas explained “Trump had hoped that Durham would deliver a report before the 2020 election that could help Trump's campaign. That, of course, didn't happen. But the battle over shaping perceptions is still very much raging.”
NPR is aggressively “shaping perceptions” that conservative media manufacture "outlandish" claims that mangle the truth.
Again, Graham doesn't prove any of this fact-checking wrong, nor does he admit that his fellow right-wing media denizens deviated from the facts in overhyping the story. His goal is to progray the "liberal media" as evil and the right-wing media as victims.
Similarly, a Feb. 18 post by Graham complained that fact-checkers pointed out the holes in the right-wing media narrative on Durham, again mostly by playing whatboutism:
The "independent fact checkers" really wanted to downplay anything John Durham was saying about lawyers for the Clinton campaign snooping around in the Trump team's internet activities. They seized on words that Fox News used that sounded like active verbs meant to sell a story -- in this case, that Team Clinton paid to "infiltrate" the Trump orbit.
First there's Dean Miller at Lead Stories, a website that Facebook uses to warn users of "misinformation."
Fact Check: Special Counsel Did NOT Say Clinton Paid Tech Boss To 'Infiltrate' Trump Tower And White House Servers
This on some level assumes that liberal media outlets never used more colorful words to describe Mueller findings. They have an energetic tendency to check the hype in conservative media articles, not liberal media articles.
Yet again, Graham does not disprove the fact-checks; he whines about "nitpick[ing]" and complains about "misleading words in headlines" being singled out.
Graham devoted yet another podcast to the Durham filing on Feb. 18, this time focused on Vanity Fair covering the other side of the story by -- gasp! -- talking to Hillary Clinton, whining in the writeup: "Hillary and her glossy-magazine enablers don't want anyone to focus on how desperately they tried to tie Trump to Russia both during the election and then afterward." Given that the Trump campaign had dozens of contacts with Russian operatives and his onetime campaign manager had contacts with a Russian spy, it wasn't very difficult -- or counterfactual -- to do.
Graham was still at it in a Feb. 20 post, trying to spin away Durham's own statement trying to decouple himself from media coverage of his filing:
Liberal journalists on Friday rallied around a New York Times article by Charlie Savage titled "Durham Distances Himself From Furor in Right-Wing Media Over Filing."
Like a good Democrat, Savage spun that Durham "distanced himself on Thursday from false reports by right-wing news outlets that a motion he recently filed said Hillary Clinton’s campaign had paid to spy on Trump White House servers."
But Savage story quoted Durham, and his actual argument said something different, distancing himself from anyone overstating or understating his filing:
Of course, Durham is still distancing himself from right-wing overhype.He then rehashed claims about the filing from right-wing activist Andrew McCarthy, whose partisan leanings Graham did not disclose. He concluded with one last bit of whataboutism: "The Times really thinks they didn't run "blaring outrage" and "grievance-stroking headlines" about Trump?"
Meanwhile, Graham really thinks all the whataboutism he has been spewing is distracting people from the fact that he's trying to cover up for getting the story wrong in order to manufacture a narrative. That's the state of "media research" at the MRC these days.
CNS Does Stenography for GOP Rep. Jordan -- But Censors His Alleged Involvement In Sex Abuse Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
Rand Paul is not the only right-wing congressman to whom CNSNews.com serves as a willing stenographer and PR representative.
Rep. Jim Jordan has been a longtime a favoritte of CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center -- the MRC (with CNS'help) led a failed campaign in 2018 to try and make him House speaker. Since then, CNS has regularly given Jordan uncritical space to werve up rightiwing talking points on the issues of the day. In 2019, Jordan got 23 stenography articles devoted to him, many of them centered around his kneejerk defending of Donald Trump over his many scandals:
There was also an article from Craig Bannister touting his boss, Brent Bozell, who "posted video on Twitter Wednesday that he says is 'the real game changer' in the Democrat-led impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee" of Jordan asking questions during impeachment hearings.
The stenography continued in 2020, with 22 articles devoted to him:
Jordan also benefited from a March 2021 article by Craig Bannister complaining that Twitter "censored a post of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) – in which he criticizes censorship." But it appears the video was not actually "censored"; Bannister admitted the video could still apparently be viewed, though "No information about the title, nature or content of Rep. Jordan’s Twitter post is visible, unless the Twitter user clicks on 'View,' completely unaware of what might follow."
It's also worth noting that in none of these 86 articles -- as it also was during CNS and the MRC's campaign to make Jordan speaker -- was there anything mentioned about credible accusations that Jordan, in a previous role as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University, knew that a team doctor had been accused by college wrestlers of sexual abuse and did nothing about it. One wrestler even claimed that Jordan had begged him not to corrobrate those accounts.
If CNS was an actual "news" organization, it would have reported on that. But it's not -- so it serves up servile stenography for Jordan.
MRC Hypocritically Freaks Out Again Over Potty-Mouth Language Topic: Media Research Center
Despite the fact that it has heartily embraced the "Let's Go Brandon" smear of President Biden (and, of course, Joe Rogan calling Brian Stelter a "motherfucker" among other things), the Media Research Center still insists on pitching a fit whenever a non-conservative says uncouth things -- witness its lengthy freakout over President Biden (not inaccurately) calling Fox News reporter Peter Doocy a "stupid son of a bitch." The hypocrisy continued in a Feb. 12 post by Mark Finkelstein:
Talk about having a potty mouth!
With Joe Scarborough leading the [dis]charge, the Morning Joe crew mentioned "toilets" 14 times in its opening minutes Friday. The liberal media never stop bombing the former president with whatever sordid details it can glean from Trump insiders.
We've talked before about Scarborough getting on his hobbyhorse and riding a favorite phrase into the ground. But this morning, it's more apt to describe Scarborough mounting his . . . commode.
Morning Joe was, of course, making the most of New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman's report, in an excerpt from her coming book about Trump, that the former president flushed documents down the White House toilets, at times clogging them.
Finkelstein wasn't concerned that Trump was potentially breaking the law by destroying documents -- no, the only thing he was concerned about was Scarborough saying the word "toilet."
In a Feb. 21 post, Tim Graham complained that "Snarky British leftist comedian John Oliver" used his show to debunk right-wing panic about critical race theory, part ov whic "included high-school-Harry mockery of conservatives like Ted Cruz." He then attached a tweet of his manufacturing outyrage over the vulgarity:
HBO news-jester John Oliver breaks out his Dr. Seuss hate poetry again on Ted Cruz, but he breaks out of poetic meter at the end to call Cruz an "f--king knob."
But Ok, liberals, tell us you're the kind, and civil, and compassionate ones who debate intelligently.
Graham still wasn't done complaining, devoting his Feb. 21 podcast to the subject:
It's amazing that the Left thinks their most effective messengers are comedians. But John Oliver's latest rant against Ted Cruz, complete with profane poetry borrowing a page from Dr. Seuss, shows comedians are better at angrily emoting than they are at enlightening.
On Sunday, he ended the poem by calling Cruz a "f--king knob." In 2019, his first poem asked Cruz to "suck my balls." Is that racist? Is it sexual harassment? Left-wing media outlets love Oliver's attempts to "own the conservatives."
Reminder: Graham is the executive editor of NewsBusters, and he tacitly, if not actually, signed off on the post cheering Rogan's "motherfucker" insult. Does he think Rogan was trying to enlighten his audience with that insult, or was he angrily emoting? Why is angry, foul-mouthed emoting tolerated at the MRC when it comes from the mouth of Joe Rogan and not from John Oliver? And Graham clearly loves Rogan's vulgar own-the-libs tirade; otherwise, that post would have silently disappeared by now.
The MRC's double standard on prudery and naughty words isn't as sustainable as Graham and crew seem to think it is.
Mychal Massie keeps up the COVID vaccine fearmongering and misinformation in his Feb. 14 WorldNetDaily column that starts off by likening vaccine mandates to the Tuskegee experiment:
The federal government and every single agency that comprises it and/or is associated with it in any way are unmitigated liars. Collectively, they have an uninterrupted record of infecting unsuspecting citizens with diseases, including, syphilis, agent orange, LSD, to mention but a very few. The question is: Will they be held accountable in this life?
This brings me to the parlous reprobates insisting we allow ourselves to be injected with a deadly toxin, the full side effects of which are yet to be revealed. The ingredients comprising the deadly toxin are not known by those people blindly allowing themselves to be poisoned.
In mid-January, I came down with the granddaddy of sinus infections. My doctor prescribed Amoxicillin for seven days, which failed to fully rid me of the infection. I was then prescribed Doxycycline, which worked, but I found certain of the side effects disagreeable.
But, there's no list of ingredients, much less a list of side effects, acompanying what pharmaceutical companies are calling a "vaccine"? They're falsely claiming the toxins are vaccines even as they are causing cancer at an exponential rate. But Fauci, Biden and other sons of feral female animals espouse pernicious lies claiming the drugs are safe and ivermectin is bad. But, their own studies have proved ivermectin doesn't cause cancer – in fact, it has the ability to cure many different types of cancer – and for infinitely less expense.
That may be true, but cancer isn't COVID, and there's still little legitimate evidence that ivermectin works against COVID. With that line of argument a failure, it was time for Massie to ramp up the fearmongering:
Biden used terrorist tactics to force our military men and women to be injected with the poisonous alchemy; thus he's singularly responsible for miscarriages that increased 300% in less than one year over the total miscarriages the five-year period prior. Neurological disorders have increased 10-fold among Department of Defense personnel.
I've been told firsthand by over three dozen people of the excruciating, piercing pain they are suffering after getting the injection both with and without the booster shots. Their doctors who eagerly gave them the toxin have no remedy to free them from the pain.
But, those pushing the toxins refuse to admit it causes myocarditis, pericarditis and brain diseases to mention but three. Instead they downplay the very real threat by having so-called fact checkers who are receiving massive amounts of cash from the nearly $120 million dollars Biden has given to cultural-Marxist groups nationwide as compensation for promoting lies by attacking the truth.
In fact, the Department of Defense statistics Massie cited were based on faulty data.Massie went on to repeat a WND story about an embalmer who was claiming to be "noting strange blot [sic] clots in most of their cases; as we documented, embalmers typically don't know whether a person had or had not been vaccinated.
(We have no idea what Massie's referring to regarding Biden purportedly giving money to "cultural-Marxist groups nationwide as compensation for promoting lies by attacking the truth.")
When I called my doctor for antibiotics to address my sinus infection, she spent considerable time trying to convince me that I should surrender my common sense and be poisoned. Permitting a historically proven Erebusic camarilla of vapid neo-Leninists and Fabian Democratic Socialist marplots to mandate disability and death to my family and me isn't in my DNA. Those who pride themselves in being obedient to a bureaucracy of necromancers are free to live in subjugation.
MRC Continued To Lash Out Over Comprehensive Durham Coverage Topic: Media Research Center
When last we left off, the Media Research Center was complaining that the John Durham filing about Hillary Clinton it had been obsessively hyping was getting covered in full by other media outlets, not just the right-wing talking points the MRC was pushing. Unsusrprisingly, the complaining continued; Jeffrey Lord turned up the whataboutism in his Feb. 19 column:
Recall that the media spent the bulk of the Trump presidency raving about Trump-Russia “collusion.” Or as Fox’s Tucker Carlson would mock: “Russia, Russia, RUSSIA!” Finally the Mueller report appears and reveals what most Americans of common sense not infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome knew from the beginning- the whole story was fiction. Made up. Fabricated.
And as a WSJ editorial noted accurately: “Along the way the Clinton campaign fed these bogus claims to a willing and gullible media.” With that “willing and gullible media” swallowing the entire yarn hook, line and sinker.
Now comes the latest Durham filing and the reveal that, yes indeed, the Clinton Campaign really was spying on candidate Trump and then, later, President Trump -using lefty techie experts to spread that “inference” and “narrative.”
And the media reaction? As Professor Turley quite accurately notes, “some media would rather ignore a major story than expose their role in covering it up.”
Actually, as we've noted, the media pointed out that the filing was a nothingburger and that right-wing media falsely hyped it (the claim that Hillary was spying on Trump as president being chief among those false claims).Also, the Mueller report did, in fact, find that the 2016 Trump campaign had nemerous meetings with Russian operatives as well as Russian operatives on the payroll.
Alex Christy wrote in a post the same day: "On Friday’s edition of The 11th Hour on MSNBC, host Chris Jansing derisively claimed that the reason why Republicans were talking about the latest filing from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation is because the GOP just wants to fire up its base and raise money." Christy didn't actually dispute the assertion.
A Feb. 21 post by Scott Whitlock whined that non-right-wing outlets wouldn't cover the Durham story like Fox News did:
Just over one week ago, a bombshell broke in the world of politics. But if you got your news solely from the networks, you might have missed it. On Friday, February 11, Special Counsel John Durham alleged in a court filing that the 2016 Clinton campaign effectively spied on the Trump campaign to push a Russian collusion narrative.
While outlets like The Washington Times and The Washington Examiner jumped on the story immediately, CBS and ABC stonewalled all week, censoring the explosive allegations on their morning or evening newscasts. That's ZERO coverage.
NBC by contrast, offered a meager 5 minutes, 16 seconds on February 17. The network reporting offered a defensive posture, dismissing the “unproven claims” against Clinton.
By comparison, MSNBC produced considerably more coverage than NBC, totaling a whopping 84 minutes, 15 seconds over one week. But it was almost entirely dismissive, insulting people who care about the claims as “total asses.” In terms of time, CNN managed a middle ground, 13 minutes, 26 seconds. The network's tone, however, was identical to MSNBC.
Whitlock didn't disclose the fact that the Examiner and Times are right-wing outlets, so of course they would jump on the story. He also lauded the Wall Street Journal -- which has similar (and similarly undisclosed right-wing bias) as "a prestigious media outlet that is actually covering the Durham claims."
The next day, Bill D'Agostino made a video of what the networks "deem[ed] to be more newsworthy than the explosive filing." He didn't mention the fact-checks and debunkings those networks did of right-wing media coverage.
Also on Feb. 22, Christy returned to whine that Seth Meyers said mean things:
NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers returned from his Olympics-induced hiatus Monday night to talk about Special Counsel John Durham’s latest filing that showed Hillary Clinton campaign associates sought to access web data in order to spin a Trump-Russia collusion narrative. However, for Meyers, that was not the real story. The real story has been the reaction of Fox News.
After playing a montage of Fox personalities reacting to the filing, Meyers declared: “Disentangling the web of lies here is nearly impossible. Basically, Fox News inaccurately described a claim that had been cherry-picked from a court filing by a special counsel assigned by former Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation. And then they lied about that filing to the point where the special counsel himself, John Durham, distanced himself from the Fox News freak out.”
Christy retorted with an Olympic-level piece of whataboutism: "Even if Durham has distanced himself from some of the reactions, that still does not absolve Clinton World and the media of spinning a false narrative that resulted in the Mueller probe."Again, the narrative about the Trump campaign canoodling with Russian operatives was not false, and if Durham himself thought right-wing coverage was inaccuratte and overwrought, that's on right-wing media -- of which the MRC is a part.
Then, suddenly, the MRC dropped the story -- a strange move if it was really as "explosive" as it claimed it was. It has been mentioned only twice since then: once in a March 10 post by Curtis Houck in one of his Jen Psaki-bashing sessions, and in a March 2 post by Nicholas Fondacaro complaining again about the "cackling coven" at "The View," which was "joined by Democratic Party princess Chelsea Clinton, who was treated like royalty as they all gushed over her opinions about the address, lawsuits against former President Trump, and how her mother, Hillary Clinton 'took on Fox News' after they reported on how her campaign spied on Trump."
Actually, Fox News' coverage has been debunked and arguably does leave it open to lawsuits , but Fondacaro won't tell you that -- he's getting paid not to.
Fail: WND's Cashill Attacked Wrong Paper Over Trayvon Martin Tribute Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill began his March 2 WorldNetDaily column by ranting:
Ten years after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, former President Barack Obama has no excuse for the litany of lies he either told the Washington Post or that he endorsed by his participation in its perverse video rememberance.
Post writer Charles Blow set the stage by saying, with some unfortunate accuracy, "The contemporary civil rights movement unfolded directly in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin."
Yes, this was a new phase, the Jacobin phase, the phase in which the mob discards traditions like "innocent until proven guilty" and "equal justice under the law" and dictates judicial outcomes by force of its will.
Yes, this column merges Cashill's two big obsessions, Trayvon Martin and Barack Obama. But more importantly, readers much more eagle-eyed than Cashill -- or even slightly more -- may pick up on a major error he committed. The video link goes to the New York Times, not the Washington Post. And Charles Blow works for the Times, not the Post.
That's right: Cashill spent his entire column attacking the wrong newspaper. Sadly, that's not out of character for someone who embraces conspiracy theories and plays fast and loose with the facts.
His column has since been corrected and now carries this embarassing editor's note: "The original version of this column had an incorrect name of the newspaper involved. The error was corrected March 9, 2022." That's sadly telling of both Cashill's inepititude and WND's overall failure to fact-check pretty much everything it publishes.
The rest of Cashill's column is his usual demonization of Martin -- the dead can't be libeled, after all -- and complaining that the Post -- er, Times misleadingly edited George Zimmerman's 911 call after killing Martin and further lionizing Zimmerman as as the real victim.
And as he usually does, he whined that Zimmerman's killing of Martin was the catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement, adding: "This new generation initiated first the 'Ferguson effect' in 2014 and then the even more lethal 'Minneapolis effect' in 2020. At least 10,000 people, most of them black, are dead because of this 'activization.'" It will not surprise you to learn that Cashill did not bother to substantiate where his 10,000 dead number came from.
Compare And Contrast, F-Bomb Edition Topic: Media Research Center
There are two things you can know for certain about Boston: the people there are incredibly passionate about almost everything, and it is a firmly liberal city. That’s why what happened after Game 4 of the ALCS between the hometown Red Sox and the Houston Astros might come as a surprise.
Between chants of “F--- A-rod” (former New York Yankees third baseman and Fox Sports analyst Alex Rodriguez) and “F--- (Astros second baseman Jose) Altuve,” impassioned and clear chants of “F--- Joe Biden” could be heard just outside of Fenway Park.
Now we all aren’t surprised when college campuses in the South break out in these cheers during football games (since the South tends to be conservative anyway), but a place like Boston joining in on the fun goes to show just how much our president’s approval has dropped in just nine short months.
Maybe this is a continuing sign that even liberal America is beginning to wake up to just how bad of a leader Joe Biden is.
NFL-themed entertainment continues to dip to new lows.
On the Tuesday morning edition of the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, a group of four analysts discussed the impact that Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had on his team’s season, which culminated in a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI (Kupp earned game MVP honors). However, the discussion went south just seconds after host Kyle Brandt began to share his thoughts.
Brandt attempted to passionately highlight the impact of Kupp’s season,but the first words out of his mouth after his attempt to interject were, “F--- it.” There was no audio cut out to save him, so the entire TV audience heard it. Everyone at the table immediately stared confused at one another, and Brandt walked a lap around the studio as his self-inflicted punishment.
While it would be nice to label this example of poor language etiquette as a one-time thing, it, unfortunately, is far from the first time something like this has happened in the NFL within the past year.
Those within the NFL entrusted to entertain us should strive to speak and act better than this, especially when people of all ages watch their productions. If they refuse to or do not slowly trend up over time, we should no longer give them our time, money, or attention.
CNS Editor Tries To Blame Russia Trade, Oil Imports On Biden Topic: CNSNews.com
Another part of CNSNews.com's wartime war on President Biden in the runup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine is editor Terry Jeffrey blaming Biden for engaging in trade with Russia -- though Jeffrey offered no reason there shouldn't have been trade before the invasion. Jeffrey wrote in a Feb. 22 article:
The United States merchandise trade deficit with Russia increased by 93.9 percent in 2021, according to data published this month by the Census Bureau.
In 2020, when President Donald Trump was in office, the United States imported $16,901,100,000 in goods from Russia and exported $4,886,900,000 to Russia, resulting in a bilateral trade deficit of $12,014,200,000.
In 2021, when Joe Biden took office, the United States imported $29,695,100,000 in goods from Russia and exported $6,388,300,000 to Russia, resulting in a trade deficit of $23,306,800,000.
That was a one-year increase of $11,292,600,000—or 93.9%.
But Jeffrey is cherry-picking data to make Trump look good. The chart that accompanies his article showed that the trade deficit in 2018 and 2019 was higherthan it was in 2020, which was likely skewed by the COViD pandemic. Jeffrey also illlustrated his article with a file photo of Biden with Vladimir Putin.
Russia was the second-largest net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States in 2020, the last full year on record, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
During that year, Russia exported a net 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States.
But Jeffrey deflated his own scary talking point in the third paragraph: "Canada, however, was by far the largest net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States that year. It sent this country a net of 3,193,000 barrels per day." And then, a couple paragraphs later, it was deflated further: "Despite running up significant net imports of petroleum from these countries, the United States overall was a net petroleum exporter in 2020." that would seem to blow up the right-wing talking point that American doesn't produce enough oil.
As before, the article is illustrated by a photo of Biden and Putin.
Jeffrey was on the oil kick again in a March 1 article:
In 2021, which was President Joe Biden’s first year in office, the United States imported a record volume of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia,according to the preliminary numbers for 2021 published Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
During 2021, the United States imported a monthly average of 670,000 barrels per day of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia, according to the EIA’s preliminary numbers.
Jeffrey again cherry-picked numbers to avoid discussing the fact that the purchase of Russian oil was on an upward trajectory during the Trump administration. After similar import numbers in 2017 and 2018, they increased in both 2019 and 2020. Jeffrey did note the growth in imports during those years, but didn't tell readers who was president at the time; by contrast, Jeffrey's article is illustreated with a stock photo of Biden.
Jeffrey harped on this again in a March 18 article:
The value of the products that the United States imported from Russia in January—before U.S sanctions were imposed on Russia after its February 24 invasion of Ukraine--was nearly five times as great as the value of the products that the United States exported to Russia during that month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In January, according to the official Census Bureau data, the United States imported $1,959,400,000 in products from Russia.
That same month, the United States exported only $396,800,000 in products to Russia.
Once again, Jeffrey's article is illustrated with a file photo of Biden with Putin. That shows how endemic CNS' anti-Biden editorial agenda is.
MRC Gets Mad Media Wants To Cover Both Sides of Durham Filing Topic: Media Research Center
We've shown how the Media Research Center sought to reinforce a right-wing narrative by obsessively hyping a filing by special counsel John Durham suggesting that Hillary Clinton's campaign was spying on the Trump administration. When non-right-wing media started noticing the story -- and going against right-wing wishes by reporting both sides of it -- the MRC got mad.
Kyle Drennen spent a Feb. 17 post complaining that NBC committted journalism by -- gasp! -- asking for comment from Clinton:
On Thursday, NBC’s Today show finally noticed the bombshell development from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign spied on Donald Trump, both as a candidate and as president. However, the Democratic Party shills at the network immediately turned to Hillary Clinton and attorneys for her former campaign aid Michael Sussmann – who has been indicted for lying to the FBI – to try to knock down the explosive story.
As the taped portion of her report began, Jackson incredulously narrated: “It would be explosive if it were true. The allegation a political opponent spied on a sitting president. And that’s exactly what former President Donald Trump and his allies are claiming.”
Following a soundbite of Republican Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan declaring, “It was worse than we thought because they were spying on the sitting President of the United States,” Jackson quickly turned to Hillary Clinton for a supposed fact-check: “But Hillary Clinton now slamming the whole thing as ‘a fake scandal to distract from Mr. Trump’s real ones. So it’s a day that ends in Y,’ she tweeted.”
In other words, NBC has been assured by Hillary Clinton and the legal team for Michael Sussmann that Hillary Clinton and Michael Sussmann have done nothing wrong. How convenient.
Deadline: White House provided MSNBC late Wednesday afternoon with only the third mention of the bombshell revelation from Special Counsel John Durham on alleged spying against the Trump campaign and early presidency, but they predictably used 16 minutes and 10 seconds to dismiss it as “dangerous disinformation” peddled by “right-wing media.”
Ironically, this came after the first half-hour of the show was spent spinning webs about Donald Trump’s White House visitor logs and January 6 prosecutions. In other words, it begs the question: Do these people ever hear themselves talk?
On Feb. 18, Nicholas Fondacaro took part in this narrative:
On Thursday, NBC Nightly News broke the evening newscast silence regarding the bombshell findings from Special Counsel John Durham showing that a lawyer for the 2016 Clinton campaign was involved with spying on Donald Trump. Not only did they break the network blackout, but they stepped up to the plate and defended both Hillary Clinton and campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.
“It comes after a new filing dropped from Special Counsel John Durham, who is investigating the origins of the Russia investigation with Clinton's opponents pointing to the filing as proof something nefarious happened,” [correspondent Hallie] Jackson herself scoffed.
Umm, Hallie, Sussmann has been charged with lying to federal agents. So, “something nefarious” seems to have happened. Care to explain why you omitted how the filing also stated that Sussmann was billing the campaign for his work on this actively?
Fondacaro is not going to mention that the matter Sussmann allegedly lied about had nothing to do with what he's supposed to be investigating, and the charge is based on the testimony of a single witness who has made conflicting statements that undermine Durham's charge against Sussmann.
Fondacaro went on to assert that a statement by Sussmann's lawyers that "the data collection ended even before former President Trump took office when Barack Obama was president" meant they "tacitly admitted their client was monitoring Trump" -- but it also disproves the MRC's earlier reporting, which asserted that monitoring was done of "the White House while Donald Trump was President."Fondacaro also nitpicked Jackson's reporting to distract from the nothingburger-ness of Durham's filing:
Jackson also noted that the filing stated that the tech executive who gave Sussmann the information was “‘exploiting his access’ to that White House data to search for ‘derogatory information’ on Mr. Trump.” But according to her, that somehow meant “[t]he court filing does not allege a crime related to hacking. It also doesn't say anything was illegally spied on.”
While Jackson was saying that, she also brought on NBC investigative correspondent Tom Winter to argue that the “[e]-mails couldn't have been read. Text messages couldn't have been read. They couldn't even have seen the content that was on the screens.”
Now notice how Jackson’s shrewd use of the phrase “illegally spied on” is coupled with that argument about reading messages. This is another tacit admission that someone was nefariously monitoring Trump. Essentially, what was going on was a virtual stakeout where Sussmann was receiving reports about what was coming and going from Trump’s digitally.
There’s a conspicuous absence of journalistic curiously [sic] and skepticism from Jackson about what was going on against Trump. It’s also another example of the word games the liberal media play when the facts are not to their liking.
As if Fondacaro isn't playing word games to deflect valid criticism of Durham's filing and the right-wing hype of it.
A Feb. 18 post by Alex Christy noted only in passing that Durham himself "has distanced himself from conservative reaction to his filing" -- which should be evidence enough for the MRC to dial it down a bit -- then complained that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough noted this fact.
Later that day, Fondacaro return to yet again toss the misogynist "cackling coven" smear at the ladies of "The View," going on o whine that they think Clinton has a case to sue Fox News for defamation over false reporting on the Durham filing:
The cackling coven known as The View has been following the lead of ABC News all week and ignoring the filing of Special Counsel John Durham against Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. But the ladies couldn’t help themselves on Friday after their queen, two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lash out at Fox News for reporting on the story. The panel cheered her on as they urged her to sue for “defamation.”
They never actually addressed what spurred on the renewed attention directed at Clinton, but co-host Joy Behar suggested it was all cooked up by former President Trump as a “distraction” from his own legal troubles. She claimed Trump was “pushing a debunked story that Hillary spied on his presidential campaign which Fox News has been happy to run with 24/7[.]”
Back here, in reality, Durham found that Sussmann was billing the Clinton campaign for shady work he did teaming up with a tech executive to gather “derogatory information” about Trump by spying on the traffic coming and going from his properties and the White House.
Fondacaro is clearly not going to admit that the original MRC narrative that Hillary was spying on Trump in the White House was false.
Meanwhile, Curtis Houck spent a Feb. 18 post gushing: "NewsNation (formerly WGN) has spent the past year and a half as a genuine, substantive outlet based in professional and unbiased journalism. We saw the latest example this week as, between Monday and Thursday, NewsNation’s evening shows spent 36 minutes and 16 seconds on the bombshell filing from Special Counsel Robert Durham into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe." Houck didn't mention that NewsNation is run and staffed by former Fox News executives and personnel -- chief among them being Bill Shine, who also worked in the Trump White House -- since that would put the lie to his claim that NewsNation offers "professional and unbiased journalism." Still, Houck also laughably complained that NewsNation "treaded close to CNN and NBC territory" by noting the false takes in right-wing media on the filing.
In the MRC's bubble, right-wing narratives can never be criticized as wrong, even if they are.
COVID Misinformer Malone Brought A Friend For Latest WND Interview Topic: WorldNetDaily
Robert Malone has been one of WorldNetDaily's favorite COVID misinformers, to the point that one of the rare bits of original reporting it has done recently was to interview him. For a Feb. 22 interview with Art Moore, Malone brought a friend:
Urging CDC scientists to speak out, Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Ryan Cole reacted Monday to the news reported by the New York Times that agency officials admit they have withheld COVID data broken down by age, race and vaccination status because the American people might misinterpret it.
"This meets the criteria of scientific fraud," said Malone, the key inventor of the mRNA technology platform used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. "Withholding data is scientific fraud."
Cole agreed that they have "an ethical responsibility to humanity" to tell the American people what is going on. Last month, he testified with Malone and other physicians and scientists at a panel convened by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., called "COVID-19: A Second Opinion." Cole testified that he has observed in his lab over the past year a startling uptick in incidences of clotting, auto-immune diseases and cancers.
"We physicians and scientists have one responsibility, and one responsibility only, and that is the health and wellness of humanity, no matter the inconvenient cost of telling that truth," he said.
If these guys are on the guest list on Johnson's event, you can guess what the rest of it would look like.A nd needless to say, Moore lovingly wrote about it when in happened in January -- but he wouldn't mention all the misinformation spouted at the event. Moore also noted that "Many of the panel members ... spoke at a rally Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial called 'Defeat the Mandates.'" That would be the rally headlined by anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr. in which he sleazily claimed that Anne Frank was in a better situation hiding from the Nazis than Americans are in facing vaccine mandates (a statement WND censored).
Thus, WND's parade of misinformation continues -- along with its refusal to admit publishing misinformation is why WND is barely staying alive.
UPDATE: WND also featured this dynamic duo in an anonymously written Feb. 23 article:
When Washington state's Board of Health proposed making COVID-19 shots mandatory for public schoolchildren, a local non-profit invited two of the most prominent critics of the vaccines in the scientific community to the Puget Sound area to present their concern to parents, school board members, lawmakers and others.
Dr. Robert Malone, the original inventor of the mRNA technology platform behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and Idaho pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole were featured in four sold-out sessions, Sunday and Monday, attended by a total of about 2,000 people. WND News Editor Art Moore was one of two interviewers, along with Rachel Cole Harter, who was fired from her position with a pharmaceutical company because she chose not to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Malone and Cole, in a conversational format in which they spoke as parents as well as scientists, address the key issues of whether or not the vaccines are safe and effective, presenting the latest scientific data and studies.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Goes On Rogan Patrol, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center remains in permanent Joe Rogan defense mode -- even when his love for saying the N-word on his podcast was irrefutably documented. Read more >>
In Days Before Ukraine Invasion, CNS Touted Putin's Strength, Mocked Biden's Alleged Weakness Topic: CNSNews.com
Just as CNSNews.com has rooted for Vladimir Putin over President Biden in the past, it continued that un-American attitude in the days before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, repeatedly touting Putin's strength and attacking Biden's purported weakness.
On Feb. 21, Craig Bannister touted how "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) posted a series of tweets over the weekend blasting U.S. President Joe Biden and Western powers for projecting weakness." Melanie Arter similarly touted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz blaming "the current state of affairs between Russia and Ukraine on the 'weakness' and 'fecklessness' of President Biden, adding that his 'surrender and disastrous retreat from Afghanistan is the worst military catastrophe for the United States in decades.'"
Arter found another Biden-hater and Putin-praiser for a Feb. 22 article:
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that because the Biden administration has been “so muddled” in its response that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has no fear of the United States of America and the response we might take.”
When asked whether he sees what Russia did on Monday as a minor incursion or an invasion, Pompeo said, “This is angels on the head of a pin.
“The administration has been so muddled in the way they've made Vladimir Putin have the upper hand throughout this entire time. Every time Putin acts we are on our back foot. He does -- he has no fear of the United States of America and the response we might take,” he told Fox News’s “America Reports.”
Later that day, Arter gave Graham another Biden-bashing platform:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday that the world needs more Winston Churchills and less Neville Chamberlains, and he compared President Biden to the British politician known for his foreign policy of appeasement.
“Number one we need more Churchills and less Neville Chamberlains. The West, particularly led by the Biden administration has had a Neville Chamberlain approach to Putin, to Iran, to many other areas. So why did they call it an invasion? Because it is and it was an unsustainable concept. Putin has declared parts of the Ukraine independent, no longer part of the sovereign nation of Ukraine. If that's not an invasion, what is?” Graham said.
Bannister also attempted to mock Biden by repeating things Biden previously said about Putin:
On Feb. 23, Emily Robertson gave a platform to America's greatest Putin appeaser:
“Biden has pledged to defend Ukraine’s borders, even as he opens our borders to the world," Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday. "That’s how it works. Invading America is called equity; invading Ukraine is a war-crime."
Carlson opened "Tucker Carlson Tonight" by discussing how President Joe Biden supporting Ukraine gains him and his family wealth, yet continuous conflict with Russia would immensely affect the American people financially.
Robertson uncritically repeated Carlson's complaint that "Democrats in Washington have told you you have a patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin" and that people should ask themselves "Why do I hate Putin so much?"
Bannister even gave a pushback-free platform to Russia's ambassador to the U.S. to trash Biden's plan of sanctions against Russia in a Feb. 23 article:
Russia is accustomed to being sanctioned and won’t end its aggression in Ukraine because of any new sanctions enacted by U.S. President Joe Biden, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, says.
"Sanctions will not solve anything regarding Russia," Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, says.
“History doesn't teach everyone far (sic),” Antonov said Tuesday, in a response to a reporter’s question Antonov posted on the official Facebook page of the Embassy of Russia in the U.S., calling it incredulous that any U.S. politician in the Nation’s Capital actually believes that sanctions will stop Russia from seizing regions of Ukraine.
In a post on Wednesday, Antonov chided the “obvious futility” of the sanctions and accused the U.S. of resorting to “blackmail, intimidation and threats.”
Even when sanctions against Russia started with the Ukraine invasion, CNS was quick to portray them as insufficient. A Feb. 22 article by Patrick Goodenough complained that "Russian President Vladimir Putin is not himself targeted in the sanctions rolled out by the Biden administration on Tuesday, although a White House official said that 'no option is off the table, as the president said.'" It was not until the very end of the article that Goodenough got around to reporting that the sanctions were done in conjunction with similar sanctions from European countries.
MRC Tried To Turn Dubious Durham Filing Into Massive Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
We've said it before: the Media Research Center's true name is the Right-Wing Talking Point Manufacturing Center. One story the MRC particularly wanted to manufacture right-wing talking points about was the filing by special counsel John Durham suggesting that Hillary Clinton's campaign was spying on the Trump White House. The MRC has been trying for a while to force non-right-wingers to take Durham's minor filings seriously; every thing he does is somehow, in Nicholas Fondacaro's words, a "massive development."
When the latest Durham story dropped (on a Saturday night), the MRC was so desperate to push it outside of its right-wing bubble that it pumped out a whopping 41 posts that referenced Durham in just six days, between Feb. 13 and Feb. 19.
Kevin Tober set up the basic narrative in a Feb. 13 post centered on a common MRC complaint, that non-right-wing media won't embrace its partisan narratives:
On Saturday evening, recently released court papers from Special Counsel John Durham's investigation showed that former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman paid a tech company to infiltrate computer servers at Trump Tower and the White House while Donald Trump was President in order to somehow tie him to Russia.
Despite this bombshell report, none of the Sunday morning talk shows (Face The Nation (CBS), State of the Union (CNN), & This Week(ABC) covered the story, or even mentioned it. NBC’s Meet the Press was preempted by Olympics coverage.
Instead of covering this story, the Sunday shows decided to focus on a different Russia story: what Russian President Vladimir Putin might or might not do in regards to Ukraine, as well as obsessing over the January 6 Capitol Riots that happened over a year ago. Both CBS & CNN had the opportunity to ask Biden Administration National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about the Durham news but they both failed to consider it.
By contrast, of course, Tober praised Fox News' "MediaBuzz" for lavishing attention on the story.
The "why won't the non-right-wing media cover this right-wing story we're hyping" theme was the focus of several MRC posts over the next day or so:
But when those non-right-wing outlets finally paid attention to the story and saw it for the nothingburger it was, the MRC got mad about that too. Alex Christy huffed in a Feb. 15 post:
On Tuesday morning, MSNBC finally got around to covering Special Counsel John Durham's latest filing that revealed Democratic operatives obtained internet data from the Executive Office of the President and other Donald Trump-related entities in an attempt to spin the Russian collusion narrative. Meanwhile, CNN had only its second mention of Durham.
Unfortunately, both dismissed it with MSNBC's Morning Joe spent 27 minutes and 48 seconds treating it as a Benghazi-like, Fox News-hyped non-troversy while CNN's New Day had two minutes and 23 seconds calling the new revelations "very vague" and wondered if Durham had his facts straight. In contrast, ABC, CBS, and NBC remain uninterested.
Prior to an alleged deep dive into why there's nothing important to see, the MSNBC table viciously mocked and dismissed the claims as being peddled and ingested by "stupid" people while others are "deliberat[e]" liars and dismissed the argument that the allegations were anything close to or worse than Watergate[.]
Former RNC chair and MSNBC Republican Michael Steele summed it up by declaring that "it just reminds me of just how many times we get caught in the Donald Trump stupid trap and how many times, you know, you watch this process unfold, Joe, in which Donald Trump and his ilk are out there massaging and trying to maneuver the messaging around."
Steele added it's "grist for the mill for Fox News to out and, and further gum up the works, to create a whole lot of noise about nothing. That at the end of the day like Benghazi, after all of the noise and all of their sabre rattling comes to what, right?"
Kyle Drennen got mad at NBC's Chuck Todd for accurately pointing out how the story is a product of the right-wing media bubble:
On his MSNBC show Tuesday afternoon, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd acknowledged the bombshell news from the John Durham investigation but promptly attempted to dismiss evidence of the Hillary Clinton campaign spying on Donald Trump as just something being promoted by “the right-wing echo chamber.” He later sneered: “Sometimes facts get in the way of a good meme.”
Correspondent Tom Winter immediately tried to downplay the potentially massive scandal: “Well, there’s an analogy that’s being thrown around that this is a modern-day Watergate and that’s an analogy that’s not based on fact....Durham doesn’t allege that at all.”
Christy returned to complain that the story got mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show, but only "to mock those who actually care about the allegations."
Meanwhile, the MRC was still squeezing a couple more posts out of its why-isn't-our-biased-right-wing-story-getting-covered narrative:
Even MRC Latino writer Kathleen Krumhansl joined Team Durham, lashing out at coverage on a Spanish-language channel she didn't like:
Four days after special counsel John Durham revealed new findings in the investigation into the Trump-Russia collision, which states that close associates of Hillary Clinton were monitoring internet traffic at Trump properties and the White House in order to create a “narrative,” CNN En Español broke the Spanish-language media's silence with a report that downplayed the news as same-old-same-old material hyped by the conservative media.
Watch as anchor Juan Carlos Lopez duly dismisses the whole Durham affair as nothing more than Trumper rubbish.
Lopez's fixation with the conservative media as evil purveyors of misinformation -- rule #1 at CNN -- came through right from the beginning: "You may have heard a particular version in the media, especially conservative media,"; and then "Contrary to what conservative media and followers of former President Trump himself say"; and, to wrap it up: "Contrary to the headlines you may have seen.." It appeared that the idea here was to blame everything on conservatives and distract from the real subject in question: Hillary Clinton.
Krumhansl went on to whine about how some "stories were reported on for weeks on end despite there being no evidence whatsoever to support them. For example: Trump's taxes and the 'suckers and losers' hoax, just to name a few." We don't recall the story of Trump allegedly calling members of the military "suckers and losers" to have been covered for "weeks on end" -- or that it was ever definitively proven to be a "hoax." (It's unproven at best.) And Trump himself is responsible for the media attention given to his taxes because of his adamant refusal to publicly release them like every other president and presidential candidate over the past 40-plus years.
CNS' 'Climate Experts' Are Right-Wing Activists Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 25 CNSNews.com article by intern Emily Robertson carries the headline "Climate Experts: Biden’s ‘Failed Energy Policies’ Are Benefitting Russia and Putin." But none of the people Robertson quoted in her article were "climate experts" -- they are right-wing anti-climate activists who have been funded by fossil fuel interests. Robertson kicked things off this way:
Nearly 40% of the Russian Federation's revenue comes from oil and natural gas production, and because President Joe Biden has strangled U.S. fossil fuel production since he entered office Russia is benefitting from today’s higher fuel prices, said James Taylor, president of the Heartland Institute, during a media call on Thursday.
“By having to pay higher energy prices as a cost of doing business, American businesses have been inflicted with a very powerful and unnecessary handicap when trying to compete with businesses in China and elsewhere,” he added.
The Heartland Insitute is a right-wing group dedicated denying the existence of manmade climate change to that has received oil industry money in the past. It also once put up a billboard likening those who acknoiwledge global warming to Osama bin Laden and the Unabomber.
Further, Robertson clearly didn't do any fact-checking, or else she wouldhave noted that Taylor's claim that Biden has "strangled U.S. fossil fuel production since he entered office" is highly misleading. The one notable actione he took was to pause the issuance of new oil and gas leases on federal land; the moratorium has since been lifted, and the Biden administration has issued more drilling permits on federal lands than Trump did.
RObertson noted that Taylor cited "ending the Keystone XL pipeline project" as an example of something negative to U.S. energy policy that Biden did. But as we've noted, much of the pipeline's oil products were destined for export.
Robertson went on to note:
In addition to Taylor on the press call were Ben Lieberman, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Steve Milloy, founder of Junkscience.com. All three experts spoke about Biden’s climate agenda, which included discussion of energy independence, the increase in fuel/energy prices, and their effect on the American people.
Also, as we pointed out the last time Robertson pulled this stunt, discussion of the Keystone XL pipeline in the context of U.S. "energy independence" is ridiculous because the pipeline's oil would have come from Canada. Indeed, she again falsely stated that "With the cancellation of the keystone [sic] pipeline, the U.S. has not only lost jobs, but gas prices have increased." There's little evidence to support the claim that the pipeline's caccellation had any effect on oil prices.
AIM Laments Crackdown On Fake News -- Then Spreads Fake News Topic: Accuracy in Media
John Ransom used a March 7 Accuracy in Media article to liken criticism of fake news -- largely promulgated byt right-wing media outlets -- to the crackdown in the free press in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, insisting that calls to criminalize fake news or other misinformation is an assault on "free speech":
Of course, Western liberals don’t advocate for criminal penalties for free speech yet.
Or do they?
Seth Abramson, a journalist and lawyer on Substack, with a million followers on Twitter, in fact, has endorsed the idea of criminal penalties for “fake news.”
“America will continue to see conspiracies to commit election fraud in the form of mass disinformation campaigns targeting federal agencies and American voters until such schemes are treated as the federal crimes they are. And the same people will keep committing them,” Abramson wrote on Twitter.
Abramson is the same guy who said that voter fraud is “vanishingly rare,” thereby introducing the vanity use — and overuse — of the word “vanishingly” by liberal journalists who need to hit you over the head with their ideas to make a point.
And Abramson is not alone in advocating criminal penalties over free speech.
Ransom didn't explain why he considers fake news and misinfomration on the same level as "free speech," or why they are worthy of the same protection. But then Ransom added his own bit of fake news:
And then there is the case here at home where parents attending school board meetings were declared “domestic terrorists” for speaking out about the maladministration of their kids’ schools.
As we've documented, no parent was ever called a "domestic terrorist" simply for speaking up at a school board meeting -- the ones who made violent threats or otherwise acted in a threatening manner were given that label.
AIM has continued to make itself irrelevant in the past couple of years with numerous personel and management shakeups. This doesn't help.