MRC Targets RT -- But Is Silent On Its Conservative Shows Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tended to leave Russia Today -- the Russian government-operated channel in the U.S. -- to its own devices ... unless it served a right-wing narrative to do so. It showed some interest in the channel when Ed Schultz and Larry King had shows there circa 2015-16, but had done little since. In fact, after its last Schultz-related post in May 2016, it had published only twoposts related to the channel in the following five and a half years (ones that were tagged with the "Russia Today" category, anyway).
Then came Russian aggression toward Ukraine, and suddenly the MRC cared about RT again. Catherine Salgado served up a familiar Trump-centric lament in a Jan. 25 post: "Twitter and Facebook allow Russian state-controlled media to maintain verified accounts even as Russia prepares to invade Ukraine. Both sites ban organizations involved in violence. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump remains banned from the social media platforms for allegedly encouraging violence." She added:
As one example of RT’s propaganda, last week it tweeted an article by Australian journalist Graham Hryce. Hryce explicitly accused Trump of a “ham-fisted coup attempt,” referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and insisting Trump “had cynically manipulated [his supporters] for his own purposes.”
Hryce’s basis for his extreme accusation against Trump was unspecified “evidence” from the partisan Jan. 6 committee established in the U.S. House. Trump had actually advised his supporters “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Trump later tweeted a plea to “stay peaceful.”
Salgado didn't mention that Trump instigated "the events of Jan. 6, 2021" -- better known as the Capitol insurrection -- and didn't tweet his call for peace until hours after the riot started. He also told the rioters, "We love you. You're very special," and falsely claimed that "We had an election that was stolen from us."
Salgado also didn't mention the conservatives who had shows on RT at the time. There were at least three of them:
"Dennis Miller + One," hosted by the formerly funny comedian-turned-right-wing talk radio host.
"Eat the Press," hosted by right-wing radio host Steve Malzberg, who at one point had a show on Newsmax TV.
"News. Views. Hughes," hosted by Scottie Nell Hughes, a conservative activist who became a non-person in the conservative movement (including at the MRC) after she accused one of the MRC's favorite people, Fox Business host Charles Payne, of having coerced her into a sexual relationship. Fox News settled a lawsuit filed by Hughes over the controversy.
The MRC didn't get around to addressing RT again until Feb. 28, when Curtis Houck touted his new favorite channel NewsNation (you know, the one filled with ex-Fox News staffers) focusing on RT:
Thursday night on NewsNation, primetime host Dan Abrams pulled back the curtain on the abject sham and disgustingly pro-Kremlin RT, a so-called news outlet that’s spent 17 years spewing Russian propaganda and doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding seeking to expand his influence and splinter the west.
Over the course of his first two segments totaling north of 19 minutes, Abrams played numerous clips to then eviscerate the “astonishing” “cuckoo stuff” peddled in their “alternative universe” by Putin “stooges” that, prior to the European Union’s axing of RT, was “available in more than 100 countries,” including the U.S.
In a second segment, Abrams made the case for RT being kicked off American TVs, noting Germany made the move last year and, in the U.S., “RT has been registered as a foreign agent since 2017” with “U.S. intelligence agencies call[ing] it Russia's state-run propaganda machine.”
An editor for Mediaite (which Abrams founded), Colby Hall noted that “RT was always sort of a joke,” but the war has made their “propaganda...no longer just a funny joke” nd instead “really sort of dangerous.”
Like Salgado, Houck didn't mention the conservatives who had shows on RT. He did, however, mention in passing a segment with a former RT anchor that he complained "went off the rails as she fixated on how Fox News was part and parcel with RT" but made no effort to refute the claim or even bother to identify who the interviewee was.
But the MRC wasn't done bashing RT -- or hiding the fact that conservatives had shows on the channel. More soon.
Ubiquitous black-on-white crime inflicted by a coddled criminal class, native born and energetically imported, is high on the list of State and corporate crimes against the citizenry.
Whether he postures on TV or on the Hill – the arguments advanced by the typical Republican front man against these defining depredations are, however, empty.
The "objections" put forth by Republicans in defense of their constituency are all theater and farce. It is essential to alert the voter to this void, mirrored, for example, in this columnist's February 2019 warning that, "Every time a manifestly racist, anti-white event goes down, which is frequently, conservative media and politicians can be relied on to dub it 'identity politics.' 'The left is playing identity politics,' they intone. 'They are dividing us,' they'll lament."
However, "whatever is convulsing the country, it's not identity politics, but anti-white politics, pure, simple and systemic."
Mercer went on to complain that a Fox News talking head said that Democrats "only care when a white person takes a black life. If a black person takes a black life, they don't even care at all," prompting her to rebut:
Likewise, it can be said that Republican don't much care when a black person takes a white life.
Seldom mentioned in Republican argumentation is the real hate crime in the room: black-on-white crime – which is invariably not reported, underreported, or if reported, masked as something other than what it really is, which is systemic, institutionalized, white-hot hatred of whites.
Republicans just can't seem to protect or stick up for besieged whites and are forever searching their brains for ways to show off their Abe Lincoln pedigree.
By showing how black-focused and caring they are – Republicans hang on to institutional respectability, and on to the good graces of the Dominatrix Party by the hairs of their chinny chin-chins. The empty "arguments" of Republican front men are a way to stay in the political game.
Mercer concluded by whining that Republicans didn't sufficient come to the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, adding that "In Republican vernacular, white kid Kyle just doesn't cut it as a cause absent the moral padding of the 'black experience.'"
A knee-capping of a different kind was delivered to an exceedingly vulnerable Caucasian America by influencer Candace Owens. To wit, Darrell Brooks is the black supremacist who used his vehicle to mow down and murder white grannies and grandkids parading in Waukesha, Wisconsin. But if you had dared to consider the race of Brooks in a hate crime manifestly motivated by race – you were boorishly berated by Owens as "brainwashed":
"Darrell Brooks is a scumbag murderer – his race is irrelevant. … Disagree? You're brainwashed!"
America is now systemically and institutionally anti-white. Black-on-white hate crime is rife, but it's invariably not reported, underreported, or if reported, masked as something other than what it really is, precisely as Owens has done – and now orders you to do. Ignore her ilk – Republicans who are always boasting about their color-blindness and their blindness to white suffering. Your life and the lives of those you love, very plainly, depend on it.
Not that you'd know this from the malfunctioning media, but the 2017 rally in Virginia to protest the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee was sabotaged from up-high. The tinpot authorities (city, state, and police at both levels) sabotaged the constitutional rights of those with a permit (Unite the Right) to assemble and speak unharmed, while letting the feral, predatory forces of Antifa and BLM – the military arm of the Democrat Party – go a wilding. Commissioned by the city, a report by a distinguished Virginia law firm confirms the "failures."
She also noted that "David and I also delve controversially – naturally – into the assault on speech by Jewish organizations (e.g., Anti-Defamation League) and activists, who seem intent on stymieing styles of speech, such as the use of hyperbole and the deployment of the reductio ad absurdum argument to drive home a point."
Trump's Pollster Accuses Biden Of Trying To Wag The Dog On Russia Topic: Newsmax
McLaughlin & Associates was Donald Trump's pollster for the 2020 campaign, so it's no surprise it cranks out alleged polls that are designed to make the guy who beat Trump look bad. In their Feb. 25 Newsmax column, John and Jim McLaughlin accused Biden of trying to wag the dog over Russia:
Our most recent national poll of 1,000 likely voters was completed on the cusp of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine just as President Biden was trying to publicly face down Vladimir Putin and rally the world to oppose the invasion.
Normally, at times of crisis the American public rallies to support our President. Currently, this is not the case. After weeks of President Biden wagging the dog against Putin and Russia, he still received only a 41% job approval with 57% disapproval. The same negative job rating as last month.
Even Joe Biden’s base is not rallying to him. President Biden has high level of disapproval among 2020 Biden voters 22%, Democrats 19%, African Americans 37%, women 55%, Hispanics 57% and independents 64%.
The reasons for this are obvious. Two thirds, 64%, of all voters say that America is on the wrong track. Only 32% say right direction. As gas and food prices rise the top issue is inflation. The number of voters saying the economy is in recession rose to 57%.
Needless to say, the McLaughlins believe this is very good news for their former employer:
In contrast, as we saw last month, President Biden’s colossal failure strengthens former President Trump. This explains the Democratic and liberal media’s more recent desperate attacks on President Trump. They are feeble attempts to stop him from running again. They must have the same poll numbers.
Based on support for President Trump, his statement that Putin’s war in Ukraine would never have happened if he were still President seems very credible with the voters.
It appears that the McLaughlins have never polled voters about Trump's remarks praising Vladimir Putin as "savvy" and a "genius" -- that would have made him look bad. Instead, for their March 28 column, the McLaughlins served up more anti-Biden polling that, of course, was good news for Trump:
The real beneficiary of Biden’s failure remains former President Donald Trump.
68% of all likely Republican primary voters want Trump to run in 2024.
If Trump runs again Republican primary voters will support him 82% to 15%.
In a wide 2024 Republican primary field of 13 potential presidential candidates, former President Trump leads with 55%, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., 15%, and former Vice-President Mike Pence 13%.
All others received 2% or less.
It seems that the McLaughlin might be using their polls to audition for another job in a future Trump campaign.
CNS Took More Shots At Biden As Russia Invasion Began Topic: CNSNews.com
We've shown how CNSNews.com acted in an anti-American manner before Russia's invastion of Ukraine by touting Vladimir Putin as a strong leader compared with President Biden's purported weakness. AFter the invasion, CNS continued to attack Biden for allegedly not moving quick enough on sanctions.
IN a Feb. 24 article, Patrick Goodenough admitted that the initial round of sanctions after the invasion were "sweeping," yet he complained that they weren't sweeping enough since they didn't target Putin himself:
President Biden declared at the White House on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be “a pariah” for invading Ukraine, but asked several times about the decision not to sanction Putin personally, he did not answer.
For the second time in two days, the administration announced sweeping new sanctions against Russia. But while the targets are significant and wide-ranging, they do not include the man who ordered his military to attack a neighbor, and issued what appeared to be a veiled threat of nuclear retaliation should “outside” nations interfere and threaten Russia and its people.
Minutes later a reporter asked the president about the option of sanctioning Putin himself.
“You said in recent weeks that big nations cannot bluff when it comes to something like this,” she said. “You recently said that the idea of personally sanctioning President Putin was on the table. Is that a step that you’re prepared to take, and if not—
“It’s not a bluff,” Biden interjected. “It’s on the table.”
“Sanctioning President Putin?”
“Why not sanction him today, sir?” the reporter asked.
Biden did not answer, but pointed to another reporter.
The next day, Susan Jones complained that Biden didn't immediately cut off U.S. imports of Russian oil, while also rehashing right-wing narratives about Biden's energy policies:
"I guarantee you. We're going to end fossil fuel," then-presidential candidate Joe Biden said on the campaign trail in New Hampshire in September 2019.
And as soon as he took office, Biden canceled the Keystone pipeline and halted new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
Biden is willing to curb U.S. oil and gas production, but even faced with Russian aggression, he's leaving Russia's energy sector alone.
"You know, in our (Russia) sanctions package, we specifically designed (it) to allow energy payments to continue," Biden told Americans on Thursday:
Yet, the Biden administration has said nothing about increasing U.S. fossil fuel production or reversing some of the president's own energy-crimping policies.
In fact, U.S. oil production has been on an overall upward trajectory since bottoming out because of the pandemic, and Jones did not explain how, exactly, the cancallation of the KeystoneXL pipeline (most of the oil from which would have been exported) or the pause in oil and gas leases on federal land (which have not only resumed but have outpaced Trump's record) directly harmed the U.S oil industry.
MRC Defends Credibility Of Newsmax, OAN To Own NewsGuard Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's waronNewsGuard has been continuing with a variation on a theme of attempting to portray right-wing news outlets as accurate and truthful. Catherine Salgado launched this particularly lame salvo in a Feb. 2 post:
Self-appointed online “credibility” arbiter NewsGuard rates several U.S. media outlets as less reliable than several Chinese Communist Party-controlled state media outlets.
Media in China is almost entirely under the control of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, meaning that they are little more than propaganda arms for a tyrannical government. This is so blatant that former President Donald Trump’s then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2020 designated nine Chinese media outlets operating in the U.S. as “foreign missions.” China Global Television Network (CGTN) and Global Times were among the nine outlets so designated.
Some of the genocidal CCP’s state media sites receive extremely low ratings, but other CCP-controlled state media outlets received higher NewsGuard ratings than several U.S. outlets. For example, China's Global Times, which has tweeted out violent rhetoric, was rated 39.5/100 by NewsGuard, while One America News Network (OANN) is rated 17.5/100. Not only that, but NewsGuard states of several CCP state-media outlets that they do “not repeatedly publish false content.” In contrast, Newsmax, OANN and LifeNews are all rated as “repeatedly publish[ing] false content.”
As before, during its complaint that NewsGuard rated right-wing websites lower than liberal-leaning ones, Salgado makes sure not to mention the ugly details of the "false content" published by those right-wing sites she's defending. We've already noted Newsmax's accuracy issues and the fact that it's currently being sued by voting-tech companies Dominion and Smartmatic for spreading false claims, as well as as the fact that LifeNews has been busted for spreading false information about President Biden's views on abortion and about Planned Parenthood.
OAN, meanwhile, is in a category all its own. It too is being sued by Smartmatic and Dominion for spreading lies about the companies to boost Donald Trump's bogus claims of election fraud. It's also being sued by two Georgia poll workers for spreading lies about them, and management ordered on-air personnel not to call the Capitol riot a "riot."
Salgado went on to huff that "NewsGuard’s ratings of outlets that AllSides rates “right” or “lean right” and at least one pro-life outlet versus some Chinese state-run media sites would seem to ignore the utter lack of journalistic credibility of the latter." But she made no effort to prove thatNewsmax, OAN or LifeNews have any journalistic credibility.
Givenn that Newsmax and OAN were effectively pro-Trump state media during the Trump presidency -- and LifeNews has more than proven itself to be an unreliable source -- Salgado not only makes herself look silly trying to defend them as supposedly not as bad as Chinese state media, she proves that she and the MRC has a weird vendetta against NewsGuard because it doesn't adhere to right-wing media narratives.
Root Peddles Conspiracy Theories In Interview With Trump Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wayne Allyn Root can't stop sucking up to Donald Trump -- presumably because Trump won't do interviews with him if he doesn't -- and he did it again in his Feb. 14 column:
I've really gotten to know former President Donald J. Trump over the past six years since he came down that escalator. I was the first to predict he'd be the next president of the United States (at Fox News on the day Trump announced in June of 2015). I was the first to compare him to Ronald Reagan and predict Trump would become the greatest conservative president ever. I was the first to predict he'd create the most jobs in history for black and Hispanic Americans (in a Fox News editorial before he was elected). I was the media personality who called Trump the greatest world leader in history for Israel and the Jewish people. That caused a global media meltdown.
Guess what? I was right. It all came to pass.
Trump brought us prosperity, opportunity, mobility, jobs by the millions, the greatest middle-class income growth in history, a secure border and peace around the world.
This gushing led up to Root touting "my third interview with Trump in the past nine months," in which the sucking up continued:
First, because of my background as the man the media once dubbed "The King of Vegas Sports Gambling," I wanted to report to Trump that U.K.-based sportsbooks have made him a big favorite over Biden to win the 2024 election. Watch his response in the video.
Secondly, I was the first person in America to recommend to Trump last spring that he should become speaker of the House if the GOP retakes control of Congress. My suggestion caused a media meltdown across the globe.
So, I asked him for an update. Has he decided? Will he run for speaker of the House? The big news is Trump didn't say no. I'm guessing this will cause another global media meltdown.
Root also found a new conspiracy theory to commiserate with Trump about:
Trump brought up the 2020 election. I pointed out the latest jobs report released by the Labor Department was rigged just like the election. It was pure fraud, mixed with fantasy. Trump agreed. Watch his response in the video below.
Interestingly, soon after this interview I found out how Biden's Labor Department arrived at the numbers. They added over a million jobs out of thin air, based on "population increases." It was a guess. We were correct. The system is rigged.
This conspiracy theory is based on an unproven claim that the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed the way it computed how it counts jobs created. Like the Media Research Center before him, Root offers no evidence to back up his claim.
Surprisingly, there was none of Root's gentle hectoring of Trump over COVID vaccines beyond a shared desire to get rid of vaccine mandates. Instead, he served up even more conspiracy theories, like his (similarly unproven) suggestion that the Biden administration overpaid for COVID tests from China by $800 million "so that Biden or his family could receive a $100 million bribe/kickback deposited into an offshore account." That's the highly unreliable Root we all know.
MRC Hypes Trump Social Media Site Launch, Censors Its Problems Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center has slobbered over Donald Trump's new social media operation, Truth Social, while also censoring the numerous financial and management questions surrounding it. As the launch date neared, MRC writer Alexander Hall ramped up the slobbering.
"FREE SPEECH!" Hall declared in the headline of a Jan. 7 post cheering that a launch date had been announced:
Former President Donald Trump’s Big Tech alternative platform Truth Social will reportedly go online on Presidents Day in February.
Presidents Day will have a powerful new association with liberation for many Americans in 2022. “Trump Media and Technology Group, former President Donald Trump’s new company, indicated Thursday it’s planning to launch a social media platform February 21, more than a year after Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter,” Forbes reported Jan. 6. Truth Social is viewable in preview form on Apple’s online app store, including screenshots of a sleek interface very similar to Twitter, but touting inclusivity for all ideologies. Screenshots indicate a similar newsfeed structure and red check mark verification badges.
Far from being an exclusively conservative platform, Truth Social boasted of a “Big Tent” approach as a selling point and compared itself to the bipartisan public gathering both polarization and the pandemic have driven to near extinction:
The press release quoted Trump hailing the launch of his social media empire as a new era for the United States: “America is ready for TRUTH Social, and the end to cancel culture."
Of course, Hall didn't mention the whole inciting-insurrection thing that got Trump banned from Facebook and Twitter, or that none of the people involved in the venture are known for taking a "big tent" approach to viewpoints they disagree with.
When Truth Social finally launched, it was like Christmas Day for Hall, as he wrote in a Feb. 21 post headlined "Happy President's Day!" that reads not unlike a press release:
Former President Donald Trump’s Big Tech alternative platform Truth Social has gone online.
Truth Social has met the ambitious President’s Day headline and is currently the #1 most popular app in the Social Media category on Apple’s app store. “An alternative social media platform backed by former President Donald Trump went live on Monday, becoming available for download on Apple's App Store — but access to the service appears limited for now,” CNN reported Feb. 21.
“Truth social begins today! It’s very cool,” former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declared on Twitter. “They are limiting the number of signups per day at first - so be patient and sign up early. No more silencing our voices!”
Hall went on to tout an endorsement of the site from one of the most divisive and inflammatory right-wing activists out there:
Other popular Trump supporting commentators celebrated the launch as well. “I’m on Truth Social! As the only Member of Congress to have had my personal @Twitter account banned, I understand what millions of conservatives have gone through having their personal freedom of speech stolen from them by Big Tech for not parroting the approved messaging,” Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) explained in a tweet.
Greene condemned the political powers that be for failing to prevent the rise of censorship on legacy platforms, lamenting that “when it comes to freedom of speech, Congress has failed and stood by while Big Tech & Big Media reigns over information with an iron fist.” She appeared to imply that Truth Social may provide a “competition in the market place” in the same way that “a restaurant with bad food & service will go out of business when a new restaurant with good food & service opens.”
The MRC loves to portray the extremist Greene as a victim for her repeated violations of good taste, sanity, and the terms of service of other non-right-wing social media platforms.
Hall concluded with another PR-rep-worthy outburst:
Truth Social reportedly has a massive waitlist of people who are all signing up to have their own profiles on the platform. CNET reported that the platform has been strained by its massive popularity in its first day, as many users have been “placed on a waitlist after signing up. ‘Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist,’ read the message, which included a waitlist number. People who preordered Truth Social had the app automatically downloaded to their iPhones.”
As to be expected from Hall, all this PR hype is highly divergent from the truth. The back end of Truth Social is a mess; the day before the launch, a reporter was able to get the @realDonaldTrump handle (it has since been stripped from him). The massive backup in signups on launch day is actually a bug, not a feature. And far from being the "big tent" site Hall told us it would be, its terms of service blocks users who "disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site"; in practice, that meant an account under the name @DevinNunesCow -- the same handle that mocks former congressman and current Trump Media & Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes, who actually sued Twitter in an attempt to shut down that particular form of free speech -- was banned.
A couple weeks later, Truth Social was still having trouble getting people signed up, making it a fairly lonely place, and even Trump's inner circle has demonstrated little interest in the platform, and Trump himself isn't even using it.But Hall's readers don't know about any of this because he (nor anyone else at the MRC) hasn't written about Truch Social since launch day.
Apparently, even he knows it's a dog and that all the mindless PR he serves up isn't going to change that.
NEW ARTICLE: Fairness Is In Cognitive Decline At CNS, Part 2 Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com trying to portray Joe Biden as senile before the election, and it has only continued now that he's president. But it will never question Donald Trump's mental health. Read more >>
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.