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Friday, April 1, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Catch-Up Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been a massive generator of misleading right-wing narratives that it's been way too long since we checked in on Curtis Houck's obsession with fluffing Peter Doocy and denigrating Jen Psaki. So we're going to go way back to see what we missed -- back to Jan. 26, when Doocy returned to his usual hostile, biased questioning of Psaki after the little kerfuffle over President Bideni nsulting him (which the MRC denied being triggered by despite cranking out days of content about it):

Aside from a question by the White House Correspondents Association president, it was back to business Tuesday in the White House Briefing Room a day after President Biden called Fox’s Peter Doocy “a stupid son of a bitch” and then called him to hash it out. Doocy led the way in shifting focus back to the news, battling Press Secretary Jen Psaki over illegal immigration and the crisis at the Russia-Ukraine border.

Unlike, say, CNN’s Jim Acosta or any other liberal journalist, Doocy didn’t dwell on what Biden said and went straight to Psaki with the news of exclusive video from his colleague Bill Melugin at the U.S.-Mexico border: “Why is it that large numbers of single adult men are being released into the United States just hours after being apprehended at the southern border?”

Houck then touted Doocy asking Psaki a question that hasn't exactly aged well:

Staying on Ukraine, Doocy wanted to know what the White House made of a BuzzFeed report that, in his words, cited “a source close to the Ukrainian president” “think[s]” Americans who’ve evacuated Ukraine “are safer” back there “than in Los Angeles.”

Psaki ignored the comparison, instead saying the evacuations are part of “always...mak[ing] decisions that are in the security interests of people who are serving as diplomats around the world” and, based on the number of Russian soldiers near the Ukrainian border, it “sounds pretty dangerous to me.”

Nope, didn't age well at all.

In a Feb. 11 post, Houck gushed over biased questions from a different Fox employee, Jacqui Heinrich, which also didn't age very well given subsequent events:

During a tense Friday White House press briefing in which National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned Americans to leave Ukraine in the next 24 to 48 hours ahead of a likely Russian invasion, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich brought the heat to both Sullivan and Press Secretary Jen Psaki about whether President Biden still believes pre-invasion sanctions are “stupid” and whether a bloody war in Ukraine would put what Heinrich later called “a black mark on this administration.”


She also asked a key question of, “if we don't know if Putin has made up his mind, why are we hearing this warning from Jake Sullivan that Americans should get out ideally in the next 24 to 48 hours,” which Psaki conceded as stark but necessary to preemptively get ahead of an invasion as a bloody war featuring airstrikes would make life “very difficult” for Americans.

Houck ridiculously headlined that post "Jacqui Swagger" -- as if "swagger" was a more important attribute for a reporter than, say, asking fair questions that don't push a political agenda. Then again, it probably is for Houck.

On Feb. 15, Houck cheered Heinrich for pushing right-wing narratives about the dubious John Durham filing that the MRC had been obsessed with:

While many of her colleagues and their respective networks have refused to cover the bombshell news in the Durham investigation, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich brought it up during Monday’s White House press briefing, repeatedly pressing Principal Deputy Press Secretary and former MSNBCer Karine Jean-Pierre for answers on whether Team Biden supports spying on political opponents.

Of course, Jean-Pierre wanted nothing to do with her queries about a filing from Special Counsel John Durham that an indicted Clinton campaign attorney paid to have a tech company surveil the computers of Trump Tower and the Trump White House during and after the 2016 election.

The next day, Houck did it again:

Two days after Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre ducked questions from Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich about the< bombshell filing in the John Durham investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, Heinrich posed the same questions to Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday and, not surprisingly, she received the same result.


Psaki stuck to her talking points while acknowledging Heinrich tried to ask Jean-Pierre two days earlier: “Again, I know you asked my colleague a few questions about this the other day, but I would point you — any questions about this to the Department of Justice.”

Heinrich aptly tried again with the astute tactic of talking in a broader manner about whether such allegations, if true, are acceptable.

Houck was back to cheering Heinrich for asking more biaised, not-aging-well questions on Russia and Ukraine in a Feb. 21 post, upon which Houck stuck the similarly ridiculous headline "Friday Spice":

With no Monday edition of The Psaki Show due to President’s Day, we’ll look back to Friday and how Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich not only hammered Press Secretary Jen Psaki over Team Biden’s refusal to sanction Russia ahead of a likely invasion of Ukraine, but drew Psaki’s scorn for wondering whether the U.S. is waiting for Ukranians to be slaughtered before financially crippling Russia.

Heinrich has hounded the White House for weeks on this matter, including one instance when Biden said asking about pre-invasion sanctions was “a stupid question.” And, as we saw over the weekend, Ukrainian President Zelensky voiced Heinrich’s concerns and slammed both the U.S. and NATO allies for thinking the threat of sanctions is a proper use of deterrence.


Psaki replied with the illogical claim that “sanctions are meant to be a deterrent” and leveling them “now” would actually give the Russians a reason to invade.

Put simply, someone’s gaslighting when it comes to the definition of deterrence.

And someone's clearly gaslighting when he portrays Doocy and Heinrich as fair and balanced reporters who aren't pushing partisan agendas.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 1, 2022 10:17 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Newsmax Personnel Merry-Go-Round
Topic: Newsmax
Between anti-vaxxers, deadbeat dads and credibly accused sexual harassers, Newsmax has hired a rogue's gallery of on-air talent and commentators. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT
CNS Turns To Oil Industry Lobbyists To Rebut Biden Over Oil, Gas Leases
Topic:'s parent, the Media Research Center, has taken money from fossil fuel interests in the past, so it's no surprise that it would rely on the industry to rebut Biden administration claims about oil and gas leases on federal land. Melane Arter seemed annoyed in a March 4 article:

President Biden called for fighting inflation by making more goods in the United States in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, but the Biden administration doesn’t hold the same view when it comes to rising gas prices.

Fox News White House Correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Thursday, “On gas, you just said that, you know, ‘less supply raises prices,’ it’s not in our strategic interest to reduce the supply. We also know, you know, the President, as recently as yesterday, talked about increasing domestic manufacturing to bring down prices on inflated items like goods.  So why not apply the same logic to energy and increase domestic production here?”

“Well, there are 9,000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently.  So I would ask them that question,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Three days later, Craig Bannister cranked up the spin machine to try and shut down the claim:

In an effort to distract from President Joe Biden’s anti-domestic energy policies, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insinuated last Thursday that, because there are nine thousand unused, approved oil leases in the U.S., American oil companies are simply refusing to begin producing domestic oil from them.


Despite Psaki’s insinuation, oil companies can’t simply start using approved oil leases to begin pumping, the fact check explains, noting that it could take up to 10 years of overcoming regulatory hurdles and years of drilling before the oil well of an “approved” lease becomes fruitful:

Bannister went on to quote the right-wing website the National File as evidence.

He followed up for a March 8 article by going straight to the oil industry's lobbying group:

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated last week’s insinuation that, because there are approved oil leases going unused, the oil industry is refusing to increase U.S. production – but, the American Petroleum Institute (API) says that’s a red herring designed to distract from the Biden Administration’s anti-domestic energy policies.

Last Thursday, and again on Monday, Psaki told reporters to ask oil companies why they’re not using nine thousand approved oil drilling permits – a question API’s Kevin O’Scannlain answers in “The Red Herring of Unused Leases,” a blog on the organization’s website.

Oil companies have financial incentive to produce oil on leased federal lands, because they have to pay “rent” and are at risk of losing their leases until they begin producing, O’Scannlain explains:


Plus, it’s not as quick and easy as merely flipping a switch, since it takes years of work to determine whether the leased land even holds enough oil to be commercially viable, O’Scannlain writes.

Then, there’s the long process of overcoming “administrative and legal challenges at every step along the way The lengthy process to develop them from a lease often is extended by administrative and legal challenges at every step along the way.”

“The argument about ‘unused’ leases is a red herring, a smokescreen for energy policies that have had a hamstringing effect,” on oil production, O’Scannlain says.

But Neither Bannister nor O'Scannlain explained where, exactly, in the regulatory process all those 9,000 leases are and when they can be put online.

Bannister mislead his readers by hyping that the Biden administration suspended the issuance of new leases when Biden took office but not reporting that the moratorium has since been lifted, and the Biden administration has issued more drilling permits on federal lands than Trump did. Bannister also misleadingly claimed:

The Biden Administration isn’t just refusing to grant additional leases - it has actually revoked a permit that could bring 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily to the U.S.

In a controversial move during his first day in office, Pres. Biden revoked the permit allowing extension of the Keystone XL pipeline to Alberta, Canada. If completed, the pipeline could potentially provide the U.S. with more oil than it currently buys from Russia.

In fact, most of the products from Keystone XL oil would likely have been exported. But when you put serving talking points ahead of reporting facts, these kind of things happen.

Bannister went to industry lobbyists again for a March 22 article:

“How do you know what motivates company business decisions?” a coalition of 10 oil and natural gas trade associations asked President Joe Biden after Biden claimed that companies were refusing to pump more oil, in order to increase their profits.

Last Friday, the coalition sent a letter to Biden, urging him to stop falsely blaming oil and natural gas companies for not producing more due to greed when, in fact, it is his administration’s anti-energy policies that are responsible.

The letter seeks to address “repeated distortions and half-truths that have been expressed by White House officials” and to “set the record straight and provide a bit of context on statements that have been made regarding energy production,” the coalition writes.

Actually, the Dallas Federal Reserve office recently surveyed 139 oil and gas companies about trends in the industry, and one of the questions asked, "Which of the following is the primary reason that publicly traded oil producers are restraining growth despite high oil prices?" Nearly 60 percent responded, "Investor pressure to maintain capital discipline"-- i.e., investors want prices high so they can make money.Less than 10 percent cietd "government regulations" as the reason.

Instead of noting that, Bannister let the lobbyists complain that "Language and facts matter." Of course, if they mattered, Bannister would have reported the full truth instead of being a stenographer for industry lobbyists.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 1, 2022 1:21 AM EDT
Thursday, March 31, 2022
MRC Right-Wing Echo Chamber Mad At Being Called Out for Hyping Bad Biden Poll Numbers
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Drennen complained in a March 1 post:

Just hours before President Biden’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday, MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd wailed that the “right-wing echo chamber” was to blame for a majority of Americans having a bad view of the Biden economy in multiple polls. He went on to complain to fellow Democratic Party hack Jen Palmieri that the “Democratic echo chamber” needed to do a better job of spreading propaganda.


Talking to a panel of guests moments later, the exasperated host bitterly whined: “51% believe the economy is in a recession or depression. I mean, look, it’s just not God, there’s jobs. There’s good jobs.” He then asked former Obama White House communications director (and Todd family dinner party guest) Palmieri: “Is this a – the right-wing echo chamber is better than Democratic echo chamber?”

Palmieri agreed and bemoaned how “the right-wing echo chamber is always better than the Democratic echo chamber.” She laughably argued – on MSNBC of all places – that: “It’s not because Democrats aren’t smart and strategic, it’s because we just don’t repeat what we’re told to say and we never will.”

Drennen didn't dispute the existence of a "right-wing echo chamber" that lives to hype Biden's poll numbers -- presumably because he knows he can't. Indeed, the MRC is a proud member of that right-wing echo chamber; it has aggressively pushed polls with the numbers it prefers -- however dubious and biased -- to attack the Biden administration (flip-flopping from its fact-free 2020 narrative that polls showing Biden winning the election were made up). Here are the poll-hyping posts the MRC has published since the beginning of the year:

The MRC did not similarly obsess over Donald Trump's perennially low approval ratings during his presidency, nor did it chastise its fellow right-wing echo chamber residents for largely ignoring them.

The MRC needs to be honest with itself and admit it's not about "media research" but is nothing more than a right-wing echo chamber.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT
WND Repeats More Election Fraud Misinfo From Arizona
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Though its COVID misinformation campaign has been driving it recently, WorldNetDailiy seems to want you to know that its election fraud misinformation game is trying to be strong too. Bob Unruh wrote in a Feb. 28 article:

Maricopa County, Arizona, officials admitted after the 2020 presidential election that there were some 25,000 ballots counted with mismatched signatures that weren't reviewed, or in the language of the election industry, "cured."

Actually, the number was more than 200,000.

That's according to a study of the county's mail ballots that year that was commissioned by the Arizona State Senate, explains a new report from Just the News.

The study of signature verification processes is just one of the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election ballot count that now is mired in multiple scandals.


Just the News reported the study was done by Shiva Ayyadurai's Election Systems Integrity Institute, after the county claimed 25,000, 1.3%, of the 1,911,918 early voting mail ballots "had signature mismatches that required curing." The county said only 587 were confirmed as mismatched signatures.

The name Shiva Ayyadurai should raise a red flag. He was hired last year by Arizona to conduct a biased audit of the 2020 election, and as we noted, he got things so wrong that fact-checkers wondered ifhe even understood how mail-in voting procedures even worked. He's playing games here too; he analyzed only 499 ballots, and the error rate he claims he found was then extrapolated to more than 200,000 purportedly fraudlent ballots. But has Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Gates pointed out, Ayyadurai's work ere is just as slipshod:

Gates called the work “discredited,” saying voter signatures and ballot envelopes are not public records and he, therefore, couldn’t accurately compare signatures. Ayyadurai went to other signatures on file at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office for things like mortgages to compare signatures. “How is comparing signatures from one unrelated public recorded document to an early ballot envelope signature considered a viable way of proving identity for voting purposes?” Gates asked. “It’s not surprising this more recent report also uses faulty analysis to draw the conclusions Ayyadurai desires.”

Ayyadurai is also an anti-vaccine activist who thinks Anthony Fauci is a deep-state plant  and who has also dubiously claimed that he invented email and demands to be credited for doing so. In other words, just another WND-friendly crackpot.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:47 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2022 6:48 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Otherizes SCOTUS Nominee By Using Just Her (Non-Mainstream) First Name
Topic: Media Research Center

A Feb. 26 post by Media Research Center executive Tim Graham sought to reinforce the right-wing narrative of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson as a wild radical:

Naturally, the PBS NewsHour was delighted with President Biden's nomination of radical Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Friday night. David Brooks touted how Jackson brings “a new lived set of experiences. It can't help but have a humanizing aspect.” He put her in the mainstream….of the Democrats. That might be correct, but the Democrats are far to the left!

Interestingly, the headline of Graham's post simply referred to Jackson as "Ketanji," as if went by one name (she doesn't) and -- more importantly -- as if conservatives were trying to emphasize her out-of-the-mainstream first name as a way of "othering" her the way it tried do to Barack Obama.

Oddly, Graham appears to be a little sensitive to being accused of that. He defensively wrote in a Twitter post the next day:

For the record, I'm calling her Judge Ketanji because her first name is quite unique. If you think it's rude, and would prefer "Judge Jackson cause you're nasty," that's fine. But we're trying to get some attention here.

The MRC is a bit sensitive about this sort of thing, since it was very much fixated on Obama's middle name when it suited its right-wing agenda to do so -- but not so much when Obama himself used his middle name.Let's take a look back, shall we?

In 2008, the MRC rushed to the defense of right-wing radio host Bill Cunningham, who made a point of emphasizing "Hussein" in campaign appearances for then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain. Matthew Sheffield gave Cunningham space to laughably deny he was being Islamophobic by screeching "Hussein" at every opportunithy: ""I have nothing but respect for my Muslim brothers and sisters."And Brent Baker whined:

With cover from John McCain, NBC and ABC on Tuesday night condemned the “caustic” and “mocking” remarks of Cincinnati radio talk show host Bill Cunningham who, on stage before an Ohio campaign appearance by McCain, dared to utter Barack Obama's middle name and call him “a hack” Chicago politician.

Brent Bozell mocked in a 2008 column how some people "flail with outrage when a conservative uses his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. It’s not a lie. It’s not a distortion. It’s his name." grumbled in another 2008 column: "If you want an angry media mob, you need merely spit out "Barack Hussein Obama" at a McCain rally and watch the Guardians of Social Taste bring out the torches and pitchforks."

Scott Whitlock complained in 2009 that a reporter in Dubai "seemed interested in eliciting praise from the students about Barack Obama's middle name." Whitlock huffed in another 2009 post:

"Good Morning America's" Chris Cuomo reported live from Egypt on Wednesday and informed viewers that students at a university in Cairo are "given hope, just by the fact that a brown-skinned president named Barack Hussein Obama exists. " The news anchor, who was in the region to cover the President's speech on Thursday, provided a decidedly different tone than that of many journalists who avoided using Obama's middle name during the 2008 campaign.

Mike Bates obsessed a lot in 2009 over a clip of schoolchildren singing about Obama, writing in one post, "Last month it was school children merrily singing the praises of Barack Hussein Obama.  Mmm. Mmm.  Mm!  huffed in a another post: "It appears that at CBS News, as in much of the mainstream media, a conservative is anyone to the right of Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm. Mmm. Mm!"

In 2010, Brad Wilmouth complained about a TV panel that debated whether "electing a President whose middle name was 'Hussein' had 'opened a door to better relations with the Arab and Islamic world. Or has it opened a door to more xenophobic American negativity?'"

Dan Gainor wrote in a 2011 post: "When Barack Hussein Obama was born, the United States budget was a bit more than $94 billion and ran only a $3 billion deficit that year. Ah the good ol' days." In anbother 2011 post, Noel Sheppard noted "what Senator Barack Hussein Obama said five years ago."

Graham played whataboutism over right-wingers who insisted on using Obama's full name in a 2012 post: "what about liberals who make fun of the name 'Willard Mitt Romney'?"

Yes, Graham may be trying to "get some attention" by emphasizing Jackson's name, but is it the kind of attention he really wants, given that it's tghe same playbook he and his fellow right-wingers used against Obama a decade ago? Apparently so, because he used "Ketanji" as a stand-alone name in more posts:

Certainly, nobody can accuse Graham of having empathy for anyone he hates (well, is paid to hate) for not being a right-winger like he is.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT
CNS Sneers At Biden During State of the Union Address

Cherry-picking quotes to portray President Biden as senile was only one part of's coverage of his State of the Union address -- it was highly critical and largely dismissive all around.

That tone started in a March 1 preview of the address, in which Susan Jones dismissively wrote: "In his State of the Union address tonight, President Joe Biden 'will absolutely use the word 'inflation,'' White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday." Another preview article by Jones started by quoting a  Democrat saying nice things, then quickly pivoted to spouting Republican talking points:

A number of Republicans are urging President Biden to sanction Russia's energy sector -- to stop its oil and gas exports, including those to the United States.

They say Biden should remove the restrictions he imposed on U.S. energy production to make the United States energy independent, even a net energy exporter, as it was just a few years ago.

At the moment, the Biden administration has exempted Russia's lucrative energy exports from U.S. sanctions.

And that was just the start of the pre-emptive attacks on an address that had not yet been given:

  • Melanie Arter wrote: "As President Biden prepares to deliver his State of the Union address, many are wondering what the president will say. For Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), one word comes to mind – 'bloviate.'"
  • Emily Robertson wrote that "President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address 'will not be a unifying or bipartisan speech and will not focus on the issues that the American people really need and are looking for him to address,' said Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel during a media call on Monday."

CNS began its coverage of the actual address with surprisingly straight reporting on what Biden said:

Then it was time to put out more Repuiblican talking points, as demonstrated by Jones:

Of all the sanctions the United States has imposed on Russia and its president, penalizing Russia's oil and gas sector is not among them.

The United States continues to buy gas from Russia, despite calls from Republicans to stop paying for Russian gas as President Putin wages war against democracy in general and Ukraine in particular.

In his state of the Union Address Tuesday night, Biden did not mention U.S. oil production, but he did mention climate change. And he noted that "so many families are...struggling to keep up with the rising cost of food, gas, housing, and so much more."

Jones followed that with an article devoted to one Republican's attacks on the address as "devoid of all reality of what is happening in the United States." Managing editor Michael W. Chapman, on the other hand, found a liberal columnist who complained that Biden didn't mention black people in his speech. There were no articles praising Biden.

Then there was a raft of anonymously written article cherry-picking varioius statements Biden made -- even though a comprehensive article that a CNS reporter would have been willing to put a byline on would have been more journalistically sound -- designed to fixate onthings right-wingers could exploit:

Speaking of that last item, abortion-obsessed editor Terry Jeffrey made sure to put his own slant on a post-address article:"After delivering a State of the Union Address on Tuesday in which he advocated for “a woman’s right to choose” to abort her unborn child, President Joe Biden attended Mass on Sunday at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Greenville, Del." Jeffrey likes to lord his supposedly superior Catholicism over Biden.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
MRC Cheers Death Of RT -- But Won't Mention Conservatives Who Had Shows There
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how Russian aggression in Ukraine abruptly awakened the Media Research Center's interest in the Russia Today channel -- though it studiously ignored the fact that notable conservatives like Dennis Miller and Steve Malzberg had shows on the channel. As the Russian war in Ukraine escalated, so did the MRC's attacks on RT.

Nicholas Fondacaro served up some backhanded praise of non-right-wing channels in bashing RT in a Feb. 28 post: "You may have thought CNN and MSNBC spewed outright lies and falsehoods, but with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they don’t hold a candle to state-controlled RT (Russia Today)." Actually, the  Fox News model is much closer to the RT model when it comes to spreading falsehoods, especially when Republicans control the government.

The same day, Catherine Salgado imposed another shopworn MRC narrative on RT and other Russian-controlled media: Russia state-affiliated accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are still allowed to influence their approximately 38.7 million followers even as Russia attacks Ukraine. ... These are the same platforms that banned former U.S. President Donald Trump in January, 2021." Salgado then played dumb on what Trump did: "Facebook, YouTube and Twitter banned then-President Donald Trump in 2021 for supposedly encouraging violence." Wait, what? "Supposedly"? The record is pretty clear on Trump playing a major role in instigating the Capitol riot. In a case of reality overtaking a political narrative, Salgado had to update her post to note that, yes, social media sites were taking aim at Russian state-media accounts.

A March 1 post by Scott Whitlock cheered that "DirectTV was FINALLY dropping Russian propaganda outfit RT" and compiled "five of the most offensive, idiotic, ridiculous falsehoods" if found on RT -- an exercise the MRC will never do on Fox News. Salgado returned to lament that "DirecTV absurdly refused to renew One America News Network earlier this year while RT’s programming was only suspended after Russia invaded Ukraine." Curtis Houck marked the "final moments of Putin's stoogefest" as DirecTV pulled the plug.

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg also played the Trump equivocation in a March 2 post: "It took a full-fledged war for Big Tech to take action against Russia state-affiliated accounts like Sputnik and RT, Russia Today. President Donald Trump was censored 625 times before being permanently banned." The correct way to say that is that Trump violated social media terms of service 625 times, which led to him being permanently banned (plus the whole inciting-a-Capitol-riot thing).

When RT announced it would cease production after ghetting deplatformed, fondacaro cheered in a March 3 post:

Following DirectTV’s pledge and on dropping the state-funded “news” station earlier this week, Russia Today (RT) told staff that they would experience a “permanent” “layoff” as the network “ceasing production” in a couple of months. That, according to CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy, who obtained an internal memo announcing the move to staff.

In the memo, T&R Productions general manager Misha Solodovnikov informed their American-side propagandists they would be “ceasing production … as a result of unforeseen business interruption events.”

“Laid off employees will not have bumping rights, that is, the ability to use your seniority with T&R to remain employed by displacing another employee from his or her job,” the memo added.


Darcy deduced that “[t]he news would mean an effective end to RT America” as DirecTV and Roku have kicked dictator “Vladimir Putin’s main mouthpieces in the US” to the curb.

None of these posts mentioned the conservatives who had shows on RT -- not even to denounce them for working witih Russian state media. Maybe the MRC doesn't want to be reminded that it too held warm thoughts about Putin because he mouthed conservative-friendly talking points. It's part of the MRC giving conservatives a pass for being Putin-curious.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:17 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Doing It For Durham
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center aggressively hyped claims by right-leaning special counsel John Durham that suggested the Hillary Clinton campaign was spying on Donald Trump -- then got mad that the hype was fact-checked and found to be factually lacking. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EDT
WND COVID Fake News Watch, DNA Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems that just about every wild claim WorldNetDaily has published about COVID vaccines has proven to be highly misleading or entirely wrong, and that record unsurprisingly continues. Chief COVID misleader Art Moore wrote in a Feb. 24 article:

Fueling suspicion that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a lab in China, researchers have discovered a tiny piece of DNA in the virus that matches the genetic sequence patented by Moderna three years before the pandemic began.

The odds of Moderna's sequence occurring naturally are about one in 3 trillion, according to the researchers.

The code was discovered in SARS-CoV-2's unique furin cleavage site, the part of the virus that binds to human cells, allowing it to cause infection, London's MailOnline reported.

Many scientists have been saying for some time that the furin cleavage structure could not have developed naturally.

But as the medical fact-checker website Health Feedback reported, there are actually numerous instances of that DNA occuring naturally:

Overall, the claim seems to be founded on the belief that because the sequence in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was identical to a manmade gene sequence, the sequence couldn’t have occurred by chance, and must therefore have been designed.

However, as scientists showed using the same search tools as the authors, this 19-nucleotide long sequence occurs naturally in other living things. For example, the sequence is present in eukaryotes, like a species of birds, contrary to the authors’ statement that it cannot be found in eukaryotes. This raises the question of whether the authors simply failed to check for matches to other organisms.


In short, the 19-nucleotide sequence isn’t unique to the modified MSH3 gene patented by Moderna and isn’t uniquely manmade, as it can occur in nature.

Health Feedback also pointed out that there is little actual evidence that noting that COVID-19 originated in a lab in China, among other things, "there isn’t a known coronavirus that is genetically similar enough to SARS-CoV-2 to be a plausible candidate for genetic modification.

But Moore wasn't done spreading DNA-related COVID misinformation. He wrote in a March 1 article:

Contrary to the CDC's claim that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not "change or interact with your DNA in any way," a new Swedish study finds Pfizer's shot goes into liver cells and converts to DNA.

It's the first time that researchers have shown in vitro – or inside a petri dish – how an mRNA vaccine is converted into DNA on a human liver cell line, the Epoch Times reported.

It's precisely what health experts and fact-checkers said for more than a year could not occur.


However, the researchers at Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, found that the mRNA vaccine enters human liver cells and triggers the cell’s DNA in the nucleus to increase the production of the LINE-1 gene expression to make mRNA.

The whole process occurred rapidly, within six hours, concluded the study, which was published by the university's Department of Clinical Sciences.

Health Feedback blew up this claim as well:

The experimental system used in the Lund University study is artificial. For example, it used liver cancer cells growing in the laboratory, which aren’t representative of healthy cells or a human being, to study whether the vaccine mRNA was reverse-transcribed. The study’s results therefore cannot be extrapolated to people.


Contrary to reports like the one by the Epoch Times, the study didn’t show the mRNA or reverse-transcribed DNA entering the nucleus of cells. The nucleus is where an organism’s DNA is stored. Rhys Parry, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland who studies viral evolution, told Health Feedback that the study’s immunofluorescence experiment showed LINE-1 (in red; the nucleus is marked in blue) to be predominantly present in the cytoplasm of the cell, and this is the case even in the absence of the vaccine.


In summary, contrary to claims made by certain media outlets and social media users, the study by Lund University researchers didn’t show that the mRNA or reverse-transcribed DNA enters the nucleus and more importantly, it didn’t show that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines alter our DNA.

Nevertheless, Moore quoted one of his favorite COVID misinformers, Peter McCullough, claiiming that the findings have "enormous implications of permanent chromosomal change" that could drive a "whole new genre of chronic disease."

Both of Moore's articles remain live and uncorrected at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
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 two posts 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 “ 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 29, 2022 9:53 PM EDT
Yes, We're Still Monitoring Ilana Mercer's White Nationalism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We're not monitoring it as much as we should -- we've been distracted by all the COVID misinformation put out by her publisher as well as its imminent demise -- but WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer continues to dabble in white nationalism. In her Nov. 18 column (also published at, Mercer complained that Republicans like black people too much:

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.'"

Mercer kept up her Colin Flaherty-esque obsession with black-on-white crime in her Nov. 25 column:

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.

Mercer hyped her Dec. 9 column-slash-conversation with the British racist David Vance by asserting: 

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."

In short: We're still watching Mercer. 


Posted by Terry K. at 6:07 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 29, 2022 6:16 PM EDT
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
CNS Took More Shots At Biden As Russia Invasion Began

We've shown how 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Monday, March 28, 2022
MRC Defends Credibility Of Newsmax, OAN To Own NewsGuard
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war on NewsGuard 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 PM EDT

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