MRC Defends DeSantis Over His Insult of Mask-Wearing Students, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
There is much more Media Research Center defense of Florid Gov. Ron DeSantis of his sniping at high school students for wearing a mask at an event of his than we first documented.
Alex Christy used a March 4 post to note that DeSantis' sniping was "a perfectly reasonable thing to say given the COVID situation" -- dismissing mask-wearing as "performative stunts that have no impact on COVID transmission," which is factually false -- then complained that NBC's Seth Meyers wondered of DeSantis, "How much of a dick do you have to be to yell at a bunch of high school students who are just trying to be safe?"
Tim Graham devoted his March 4 podcast to defending DeSantis and ranting about news coverage of it, insisting he was "Mark Levin boilover" mode and admitting that even his wife thought DeSantis went too far, and argued that DeSantis' "disgusted tone is the right choice politically."Graham was still whining about in his March 8 column, rehashing much of what he ranted about in his podcast:
In the annals of TV networks manufacturing scandals, one of the lamest examples was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis telling high school students at an event of his that “you do not have to wear those masks. I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything, and we’ve got to stop this COVID theater.”
NBC Nightly News tried to make this a story for not just one night, but two. It’s lame because it came after everyone took off their masks for the State of the Union address, after the “nonpartisan” Centers for Disease Control ruled against mask mandates just a few days before President Biden’s big speech.
Graham then complained that NBC talked to a parent who criticized DeSantis:
Then there was an outraged parent: Dawn Marshall, who is immunocompromised, was furious at DeSantis. “I almost jumped out of my skin. I was really appalled. He took away my authority. He put my child at risk. He put me at risk because my child comes home to me.”
As if DeSantis isn’t vaccinated? Notice how, suddenly, the rights of parents over their children matters, while networks like NBC have been ignoring or decrying those benighted and dangerous parents abusing school boards with their complaints about COVID masking, critical race theory, and LGBT indoctrination.
Parent complaints are good…when they’re against Republicans. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer concluded by tagging DeSantis: “While he won't wear a mask, tonight he is the face of controversy.”
TV news manufacturers play the “controversy” card in a very tilted way.
Of course, Graham and his MRC have worked long an hard to gin up critical race theory and "LGBT indoctrination" into "controversies," so his complaint about that rings more than a little hollow.
Scott Whitlock tried to slam the door on the story by playing whataboutism in a March 8 post, whining about the "breathless hyping of a non-story" and complaining that "the NBC and CBS morning and evening shows devoted three minutes to a relatively minor DeSantis exchange with teenagers" while ignoringstories more friendly to Whitlock's right-wing narratives like Hunter Biden and, yes, critical race theory.Never mind, of course, that he does not explain why Hunter and CRT should not be dismissed as a "non-story."
The Putin Appeasers And Biden-Bashers At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long been a fan of Russia's Vladimir Putin, so it's no surprise to see that its columnists put Biden-bashing and Putin appeasement before supporting America in the runup to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We already noted that WND published a column by Michael Letts accusing Biden of wagging the dog on Ukraine (which was also published by CNSNews.com). Nicholas Waddy demanded full appeasement of Putin by keeping Ukraine out of NATO, since Ukraine isn't worth saving anyway, in a Feb. 14 column:
In case you couldn't decipher my sarcasm, let me be more upfront: there is no good reason for the current brouhaha between NATO and Russia over Ukraine. Ukraine has been, for a millennium or so, deep inside the Russian sphere of influence. In effect, Ukraine is Russia's little brother – headstrong and resentful, but destined to live in the shadow of big, strong Rus, come what may. And we in the West, for some reason, think it's our business to take Ukraine's side (of late), and to upbraid Rus for his highhandedness, insisting that he treat his little brother like an equal. What's more, we expect to get our way not by bopping Rus on the nose, in the time-honored manner in which bullies are generally brought to heel, but by waving our arms in a pantomime of outrage and, if pressed, by threatening Rus with a cut in his allowance. Little do we realize that such tactics are tailor-made to infuriate Rus, to goad him to acts of aggression, and in fact to make little Ukraine's already complicated life absolutely miserable. The simple fact is that we interfere with this age-old fraternal bond at our peril, and even more so at the peril of the very people we claim to want to help.
Arguably, our useless chiding of Russia and our even more useless cheerleading for Ukraine might be defensible, if Ukraine itself were worth fighting over. It isn't. It probably never was, and it certainly hasn't been since we and the Europeans acquired the ability to produce more food for ourselves than we could possibly eat.
Once upon a time, Ukraine was a breadbasket, and rich agricultural lands are worth a pitched battle or two. Now, though, Ukraine is an impoverished backwater, a cesspool of corruption and strategic dead weight. Winning its allegiance, or defending its independence, is about as useful to the West as staking a claim to one of Jupiter's moons, or annexing broad swathes of the fourth dimension. Ukraine ought to be absolutely, positively unthinkable as the ground over which World War III could be fought, with all the dreadful portents for nuclear annihilation such a war would bring with it.
We can, however, diffuse Russia's anxiety and forestall a seemingly imminent invasion by a simple expedient: We make Russia a promise, either explicit or implicit, that Ukraine will never be a candidate for NATO membership – and, in fact, that the era of NATO expansion has come to an end. By doing so, we would not only bring the present crisis to a happy conclusion, thus securing peace and prosperity for ourselves and for the Russian people, but we would also have conveyed these inestimable blessings to Ukraine. The Ukrainians' sovereignty would be intact (if a little frayed around the edges), and all for the sacrifice of one absurd fantasy: that Ukraine could ever be a member-in-good-standing of the Western alliance. We, the Ukrainians and the Russians will all be better off when this dangerous illusion is set aside.
"President" Biden, I realize that, as a loyal CNN/MSNBC viewer, disparaging and antagonizing Russia comes second nature to you, but, please, give up these strong-arm tactics before you get someone hurt – and, by "someone," I mean everyone!
In a March 1 column, Andy Schlafly tried to blame everyone but Russia for Russia invading Ukraine:
Europeans do not want to merge with Ukraine, and most Ukrainians and Russians do not want that merger either. Yet the Deep State has pressed for this fantasy until the horrible conflagration ignited.
This is the so-called New World Order that leads nations into wars. In the United States and western Europe, the unelected officials who comprise the Deep State think they can force global alliances that are contrary to millennia of bonds and cultures.
On Monday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced his new application to become a member of the European Union, in defiance of Russia. Zelenskyy requested immediate admission into the EU at a time when millions were praying instead for a deescalation in hostilities.
The Deep State has wrongly promoted the European Union for everyone, as a sort of one-world government whose purpose is to have as many members as possible without regard to the resultant conflicts.
Jim Darlington devoted a March 3 column to claiming that Democrats made Putin invade Ukraine by going after Donald Trump's ties to Russia:
So, we come to a question. A very pointed question. Who really started this war?
OK, Putin. He invaded Ukraine. Horrible. Period. But who set the stage?
It was Donald Trump's fault, of course. Ask anyone with a "D" by their name. And in a way it was. He had been toying with the idea of building a Trumpian tower in Moscow, before throwing his hat into the presidential ring – which was more than the elite lying class could ignore, so rich it was in possibilities for slander. Henceforth the H. Clinton campaign could base half its otherwise threadbare platform on the charge that Trump was just a dupe of Vlad, and then base her entire blame-shifting campaign, after she lost, on the Russian-Trump collusion to steal the election. Well, on top of all the other excuses, of course.
And there it goes again, idiocy's hallmark reminder that back in the day (historically about two minutes ago), it was completely normal and expected that Democrats who lost would shout "Stolen Election!" Whereas now, any suggestion that 2020 wasn't exactly kosher is plainly assigned to the realm of Traitorous, Seditious, Insurrectionist, Enemies of Democracy! My! My! How fashions do change!
The leftist challenges to Trump's legitimacy and the following three years of "Russiagate" nonsense undeniably interfered with the obvious need to befriend our fellow (at least nominally) Christian nation, in a world of hostile jihadists and communists. But Trump never really had the option of sending Vlad an "Overcharged" button. Every wish to reach out had to be measured against a certainty of accusation and vilification, and a consequent expenditure of political capital.
We should not be too harsh on those who seem to want to defend the Monster Putin. The better part of his Dr. Frankenstein is the American Democratic Party. He is a needless enemy, with whom we should have long since allied against the infinitely greater Chinese (and jihadi) threat.
When you're equating people holding Trump accountable for his behavior and associations with a bloodthirsty dictator, you're losing, Jim.
UPDATE: Schlafly took Russia's side again in his March 8 column:
Russia demands only that Ukraine end its military hostilities, promise not to join the anti-Russia EU or NATO, recognize Crimea as part of Russia and acknowledge the independence of the small Donetsk and Lugansk whose residents speak Russian.
Those modest demands hardly fit the liberal narrative that Russia is supposedly targeting innocent civilians or refugees fleeing the fighting. Beating war drums prolongs the bloodshed until residents leave, as more than 2 million Ukrainians have already fled.
Without support by the American people, a handful of globalists have quietly expanded NATO all the way to the Russian border, including even nations that were part of the former Soviet Union. Joe Biden endorsed this reckless expansion, which provoked the war that we now watch tragically unfold.
Schlafly did not mention Putin at all, let alone that he alone is the person who is responsible for this war.
MRC's War on NewsGuard Keeps On Flailing Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's war on website-ratings firm NewsGuard has been floundering, and that sad track record hasn't improved. Brian Bradley complained about the head of NewsGuard saying factually accurate things in a Feb. 25 post:
NewsGuard CEO Steven Brill this week painted his company as a white knight that can save impressionable dupes from repeating another Jan. 6 “insurrection,” and said Fox News and OANN traffic in conspiracy theories.
Brill tried to represent his company as an unbiased ratings company, but inadvertently made clear his company has a liberal agenda. He even defended calling the Jan. 6 riots an “insurrection.”
“If you look at the reports that were written by people who participated in the insurrection of January 6, what you see, by and large, is that most of those people were people who were ordinary American citizens,” Brill said on C-SPAN Wednesday. “A fireman from Staten Island; there was a construction worker in Ohio who just read stuff online and started going down rabbit holes, and ended up with extreme beliefs that they didn’t start with.”
One caller to the live C-SPAN show asked Brill why he referred to the Jan. 6 riot as an “insurrection.”
“I saw hundreds of people overrunning the Capitol, breaking windows, attacking police officers, and all for the purpose of blocking the confirmation of the election results,” Brill said. “I think it’s fair to say that characterizing that as an insurrection is not unreasonable.”
But Bradley made no effort to counter Brill's claims -- which tells us that he knows Brill is correct on both counts. Instead, Bradley rehashed its previous dubious attacks on NewsGuard, as if repeating will somehow make them less lame.
Bradley also complained that Brill said the way to deal with misinformation is “not the government interfering, it’s giving those people more information about what they’re reading before they go down those rabbit holes,” retorting in response: "But NewsGuard benefits from government calls for censorship, because the current culture of information-policing helps to justify NewsGuard’s existence." Addressing misinformation is not "censorship," no matter how loudly the MRC screams that talking point. It only reinforces the fact that the MRC is defending misinformation and trying to discredit any fact-checker who calls out that misinformation.
Catherine Salgado leaned into the MRC's unfortunatetradition of treating right-wing extremists as authoritative in a March 2 post:
“‘Fact checking’ is just a euphemism for the Ministry of Truth. It is not about 'facts,'” journalist Kyle Becker tweeted about biased NewsGuard.
Becker News CEO Kyle Becker pointed out that the rating site NewsGuard partners with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. government. The WHO, Microsoft, and the U.S. State and Defense departments are among NewsGuard’s partners.
“This front group is spearheading an unconstitutional attack on freedom of speech and the press to undermine critics of the U.S. government,” Becker insisted. He cited NewsGuard’s Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center page to illustrate his point.
Regarding the COVID-19 “misinformation” page, Becker noted: “I… didn't see anything there I had reported; but I did question ‘full authorization’ of Pfizer … This legally does not add up.” The only FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are Pfizer’s Comirnaty and Moderna’s SPIKEVAX. These vaccines are not available to the U.S. general public, and the actual available Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are under Emergency Use Authorization only.
“I did not see a single ‘fact check’ for false statements made by policymakers over Covid, such as vaccines 'stop the spread,' or anything about there being no heart inflammation side effects, etc.,” Becker tweeted. “It's all directed against Big Government's and Big Pharma's critics. As expected.” NewsGuard’s COVID-19 “misinformation” page mixes unproven statements with statements supported by solid evidence in its list of “myths.” NewsGuard’s COVID-19 “myth” classifications seemingly defend several organs of U.S. authority.
Translation: Becker is mad that his COVID conspiracy theories are being ignored. And Media Bias/Fact Check lists the spreading of COVID conspiracy theories as among the reasons why it has rated Becker News withi a low credibility rating. Kyle Becker himself lost his job at the right-wing Independent Journal Review for a false story claiming Barack Obama interfered in a judicial ruling blocking parts of Trump's travel ban.
So, yeah, not the kind of person you want to tout advancing your talking points -- unless you're the MRC. Nevertheless, Salgado went on to uncritically quote becker: "There is a process for correcting misinformation called 'corrections' and arguing policy on the editorial pages. It is not slandering those whose opinion activists & politicians disagree with." Has Becker ever corrected the record on any false information he put out to demonstrate how he corrects misinformation? Salgado was not interested in finding the answer to that question.
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Bias In Action: A Tale Of Two Presidents Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's coverage of President Biden is much more harsh than it was for Donald Trump on the exact same issues. Read more >>
Tim Graham's 'So-Called' Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
You can count on Tim Graham to have the Media Research Center's oddest yet obsessive take on events of the day in order to push the right-wing talking points du jour. In the MRC's lengthycoverage of the Canadian trucker convoy, Graham served up one odd take in complaining that claims about the convoy were being fact-checked. He served up another in his Feb. 25 column:
Something caught my ear in the car, listening to a radio simulcast of the February 21 PBS NewsHour. Anchor Judy Woodruff drily reported that “Canadian police have arrested more than 190 protesters and issued 389 charges in connection with the so-called Freedom Convoy.”
The “so-called Freedom Convoy.” It’s a journalistic term that can be employed as distancing themselves from something that’s not true. After 9/11, we heard about the “so-called War on Terror.” Democrats hated that term. Dan Rather used to get out the ten-foot pole and report on “the Republican political lobbying group that calls itself, quote, the ‘Christian Coalition.’” This could be described as “so-called journalism.”
I searched CNN in the summer of 2020 for “so-called Black Lives Matter,” and there was one record. It was live coverage of the 2020 Republican convention on Wednesday night, August 26. It wasn’t an interview, just an open mic. Jack Brewer of Black Voices for Trump was saying the media “ignore the so-called Black Lives Matter organization that openly, on their website, called for the destruction of the nuclear family.”
Like a lot of things the MRC does, Graham's criticism is wildly hypocritical. Here are something the things the MRC has described as "so-called" to belittle them -- just as Graham complains the convoy is belittled -- in just January 2022 alone
WND's Kupelian Spreads Fear Over Border Topic: WorldNetDaily
The February edition of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine is themed "Biden's Border Betrayal," which is filled with the usual right-wing anti-immigant fearmingering with the usual conspiratorial, factually dubious WND twist. Managing editor David Kupelian's essay for the issue went into full freakout mode, embracing the far-right "great replacement" conspiracy:
From day one, the Biden-Harris administration has literally engineered a full-scale foreign invasion of the United States of America.
This ongoing assault on the greatest and freest nation on earth is one whose true implications and repercussions are largely unrecognized, and of course unreported by the establishment media, though they are little short of apocalyptic for the country.
Unthinkable as this intentional foreign-invasion policy is, the reason Team Biden is implementing it is every bit as depraved as the policy itself: It’s all so the Democratic Party – which in the current era is led almost entirely by deranged, lying, power-obsessed autocrats – can remain in power in America forever.
The Democrats have a two-pronged plan: One, aided mightily by Big Tech and Big Media, is to engage in and encourage massive election rigging and fraud in every conceivable and inconceivable way, as they did in the 2020 presidential election. And two, since they have essentially lost Americans with their clearly insane and anti-American policies, they are resorting to importing an entirely new electorate into the country.
For the sake of clinging to power permanently, Democrats are hell-bent on fulfilling the dream openly expressed by many party strategists of “creating a permanent progressive majority” in America. Therefore, Democrats are enacting this prime directive by importing millions of people who are, first and foremost, beholden to Democrats for encouraging and enabling them to come to America, to cross her border and enter illegally, to stay permanently, and then to be supported by American taxpayers.
This bears repeating: As perverse and suicidal as it sounds, today’s Democrats are illegally importing an entirely new pro-Democrat electorate into America, because actual American citizens can’t stand them anymore.
Unfortunately, even the best of the illegal aliens Team Biden is encouraging to invade America have no loyalty to this nation’s Constitution nor its history of liberty, limited government and individual rights and responsibilities, not to mention its traditional Judeo-Christian culture. Most have come from corrupt, autocratic, semi-functional dictatorships and are generally low-skilled people who, once here, are needy of government support. In other words, the perfect Democrat voter.
Similarly, acknowledging the nation's history is a conspiracy against white people, according to Kupelian:
After all, how does one counter the obvious truth that a nation without borders soon ceases to be a nation?
Simple: Explicitly or implicitly accuse America of “exploiting black and brown peoples,” “indigenous peoples” and so on, from the era of slavery onward, and not just in the U.S. but around the world. A paradigm then emerges according to which America owes the world’s black, brown, Muslim and other “persecuted minority” populations – basically, everyone other than white people – a home, and even reparations in one form or another!
Kupelian went on to falsely claim that drugs crossing the southern border is "wildly unchecked":"For example, the massive illegal immigration they love is primarily responsible for the astronomical level of illegal drugs being brought across the U.S-Mexico border, particularly fentanyl, which in turn is responsible for many of the 100,000 overdose deaths in the United States every year." As we noted when Kupelian's boss, Joseph Farah, tried to blame Biden for every single fentanyl death, fentanyl seizures at the border were higher last year than they were in the first couple years of the Trump administration.
Kupelian then bizarrely likened Democrats to drug addicts:
Ironically, as horrible and tragic as this growing addiction epidemic is, it does provide the perfect metaphor for explaining today’s Democrats. They likewise live lives of hopeless, craven addiction. To power.
Consider: A seriously drug-addicted person – for example, a young woman in her 20s or 30s, even one who has young children – will often forsake everything, even abandoning her own children, to get her fix. She will continually lie to her loving parents who are desperately trying to save her. She will prostitute herself, she will do everything imaginable – lie, steal, cheat, sell her body, sell drugs, forsake her own family and everything she once held dear – all in order to get her fix. This is an entirely typical scenario, as any addiction recovery counselor knows all too well. Getting the drug and getting high have entirely consumed the addict’s mind, life and soul.
That is today’s Democratic Party – from Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer down to the various blue-state governors, mayors and other politicians – all so totally addicted to power that, just like drug addicts, they are ready, willing and able to lie, cheat, steal, prostitute themselves, and basically forsake everyone and everything they once held dear, all so they can hold on to power – the “fix” they have come to crave above all else.
Ironic coming from a guy who runs a website that is so totally addicted to Donald Trump that it lies to its readers about election fraud.
MRC Defends DeSantis Over His Insult of Mask-Wearing Students Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center feels it must defend Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis no matter how jerkish his behavior becomes. When he was criticized for lashing out at teenagers wearing masks at a speech he was giving, the MRC rushed to defense mode yet again. Kevin Tober declared in a March 2 post that anyone who didn't accept the MRC's benign interpretation of DeSantis' remarks was a liar:
On Wednesday, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News both took issue with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis letting a group of High School students know that it is ok for them to take their masks off while they were standing behind him during a public event at the University of Florida.
CBS Evening News was the first to whine about DeSantis’s comments, with correspondent Mola Lenghi claiming the Governor “admonished” the students. Despite that claim, CBS then played Governor DeSantis’s comments which only proved it wasn’t “admonishing”:
The fact of the matter is that DeSantis didn’t “admonish”, berate, or order the high school students to take their masks off, he simply let them know that it was perfectly acceptable to finally take them off and allow themselves to breathe without a piece of cloth on their faces.
If you watch the video, you can see that the students were smiling when they took the masks off:
Tober apparently never considered the possibility that the teens' smiles were nervious out of fear of what DeSantis might do if they defied him by the simple, harmless act of continuing to wear a mask.
Nicholas Fondacaro yet again smeared women he doesn't like (and would never give him the time of day) as a "coven" for holding an opinion he is paid to oppose:
Things got dark on Thursday’s edition of ABC’s The View as the coven went after one of their favorite hate objects: Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis after he committed the crime of informing high school students they weren’t forced to wear masks anymore. Co-host Sunny Hostin got so incensed that she seemed to suggest that if it was one of her kids DeSantis spoke to, she would physically attack him. She at least warned her response would not be “legal.”
Fondacaro then attacked "The View" for making its audience wear masks though "the CDC says much of the country doesn’t need to wear masks indoors anymore." We thought conservatives like Fondacaro were all about freedom of choice.
Tober returned to complain that the non-right-wing media was still covering the story, suggesting that outrage doesn't exists if non-conservatives are the ones who are outraged:
On Thursday night, for the second night in a row, NBC Nightly News spent valuable air time trashing Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for telling a group of high school students at a public event that they don’t have to wear masks.
Anchor Lester Holt opened the preposterous segment claiming that there was “outrage tonight from that scolding by Florida's Governor to a group of students because they wore masks.”
Correspondent Miguel Almaguer reported that there was “more fallout” from yesterday’s incident where Governor DeSantis “admonished” the high school students, even though DeSantis didn’t admonish the students. Almaguer added that this further highlights the “bitter divide over face masks.”
Walensky arrogantly told the students that they “should have been comfortable wearing a mask.” Adding that wearing a mask “is absolutely their choice.” Which was exactly what DeSantis told the students:
DeSantis actually mocked the students for wearing masks, trying to shame them into not wearing one. If DeSantis believed in the students' freedom to wear a mask, he should have said nothing.
Alex Christy defended DeSantis against more criticism in a March 4 post:
Nothing DeSantis said was wrong. At this point it is ridiculous and theater, but Bolduan still accused DeSantis of “scolding” the students, “You may not have to, but the governor there scolding a group of high school students for exercising their right to wear a mask if they want to. CNN’s Steve Contorno, live in Florida with more on this. Steve, what do you think is going on?”
Christy whined that CNN noted how "DeSantis is fundraising off the moment, Contorno attempted to tie his remarks to Florida’s allegedly disastrous COVID record," then tried to play a numbers game: "Yes, Florida has more deaths, but that’s because they have more people than most states, but even Contorno’s attempt to back up his claim with data about deaths per capita misses the mark. In age-adjusted deaths per capita, Florida ranks 34th out of all 50 states plus Washington, D.C." Of course, Christy picked that massaged number to make Florida look relatively good; in real life, Florida has one of the highest death rates per 100,000 residents, and the death rate in Republican-led states is higher than that of Democratic-led states.
The past couplemonths, the employmenet data has been so good that CNSNews.com has struggled to find a suitably negative spin to push. For March's numbers -- which showed that 431,000 jobs were added and that the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent -- CNS apparently decided that good news was no news.
That's right -- there was no lead story from Susan Jones on the overall picture, not even to push the spin that it was better under Trump before the pandemic. The only coverage of March's numbers CNS offered was the usual sidebar-turned-main-story from editor Terry Jeffrey on goverment employment,serving up what passes for a bright spot by noting that while "Local governments in the United States added 20,000 employees in March ... overall government employment in the United States increased by only 5,000 thousand, as both the federal government and state governments decreased their number of employees during the month."
This coverage makes clear that if there is good news to be reported on the Biden administration, that reporting won't be coming from CNS. Jeffrey & Co. seem to understand the basic concept of journalism.
MRC Tries To Defend Ginni Thomas' Right-Wing Activism ... Until It Can't Topic: Media Research Center
As its decades of hatingAnitaHill demonstrates, the Media Research Center is highly invested in the idea of ideological conservative Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court justice. So when the right-wing activism of his wife, Ginni, became more of an issue, the MRC was quick to rush to their defense. When the New Yorker profiled Ginni's activism, Kyle Drennen went into attack mode in a Jan. 22 item:
In the latest nasty, partisan media effort to undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, on Friday, MSNBC welcomed on The New Yorker’s left-wing hack Jane Mayer to trash conservative leader Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, as a “threat to the Supreme Court.” Mayer used her vile hit piece against Ginni Thomas to demand that Justice Thomas recuse himself from numerous cases before the high court.
“Now, a newNew Yorker article is raising questions about Thomas’s wife’s conservative activism....Joining me now is Jane Mayer, chief Washington correspondent for The New Yorker and author of the new article, ‘Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?,’ fill-in anchor Garrett Haake announced near the end of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports early Friday afternoon.
It's not "undermining the legitimacy of the Supreme Court" to point out Thomas' conflicts of interest regarding his wife -- if anything, it's Thomas whose legitimacy is being questioned. Rather than rebutting anything Mayer wrote, Drennen bashed the messenger for allegedly exposing her "true partisan intent, a lame attempt to sideline one of the members of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority ahead of a series of potentially landmark cases."
Alex Christy devoted a Jan. 25 post to repeating an attack on Mayer from the right-wing website the Federalist, claiming her "smears" of Thomas in her "nasty hit piece" were "false" without citing any major examples and insisting that Mayer "made her true left-wing political motivation clear" by noting the simple fact that Thomas would have to recuse from cases due to his wife's activism if he sat on any other court.
In Feburary, when the New York Times Magazine reported that Ginni Thomas sits on the board of an organization that heavily agitated to overturn the election, Nicholas Fondacaro used a Feb. 22 post to lash out at co-hosts of "The View" -- at whom he again hurled the misogynist "cackling coven" smear -- for talking about it:
In late January, when the cackling coven of The View were attacking podcaster Joe Rogan with accusations of “misinformation,” co-host Sunny Hostin proclaimed they were better than him because they were held to “ the ABC News standard.” Well, on Tuesday, Hostin and the panel showed how low that standard was when they spewed debunked lies against Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, suggesting she was “part of the insurrection” on January 6.
“So, New York Times Magazine looks at concerns over the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who’s been a vocal supporter of the 2020 election fraud lie and the January 6 protesters,” Whoopi Goldberg sneered. “I kind of feel like this could be an issue.”
The claim that Ginni was “very involved in” the January 6 riot has been debunked for a while now. Even PolitiFact found the claims “false.” “There’s no evidence that Thomas was involved in organizing the events that unfolded on Jan. 6,” they wrote. “She has not been subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the attack and rumors that she helped organize busing for Trump supporters that day have not been supported.”
But neither Fondacaro nor the PolitiFact article he cited addressed the claim about Ginni Thomas in the NYT Magazine article, so he had no factual basis upon which to call the claim a "debunked lie." Like his MRC co-workers, Fondacaro also smelled a conspiracy: "The real double standard was how they wanted Clarence to recuse himself because of the activist work of his wife when they were fine with liberal justices like the late Ruth Badge Ginsburg being activist justices from the bench."
But Fondacaro and the rest of the MRC were soon to be exposed as the ones who are lying about just how deep Ginni Thomas was involved in insurrectionist-adjacent activities. The right-wing Washington Free Beacon revealed in mid-March that she admitted attending the notorious "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the even more notorious Capitol riot but claimed she left before the riot started. Others have reported, however, that Thomas went from the rally to the nearby Willard Hotel, where the Trump campaign was running a "command center" aiming to overturn the election.
Then, a week or so later, the Washington Post reported that Ginni Thomas sent texts to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows calling the election "the greatest Heist of our History" and urging Trump not to concede. Thomas also sent similar texts to other Republican members of Congress.
The MRC did not immediately rush to the defense of the Thomases after either revelation, perhaps a tacit admission that even they know this behavior was not defensible (or at least the situation required more time to invent a defense). The MRC alluded to the claims obliquely when they did so at all:
A March 27 post by Kevin Tober referenced only "Ginni Thomas's text messages."
A March 28 post by Curtis Houck played whataboutism, complaining that at a White House press briefing, CBS reporter Ed O'Keefe "turned to text messages from Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni about the 2020 election, but refused to do the same despite new revelations about his son Hunter’s life of corruption."
Tim Graham similarly complained on March 30 that O'Keefe "asked the leftist question of the day about the January 6 Democrat Committee having texts of Ginni Thomas about the 2020 election.
Fondacaro lashed out at "The View" again on April 1, ranting that the hosts "falsely claimed that Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, “was actively participating” in the violent riot that stormed the Capitol on January 6" -- but didn't disprove the claim -- and cheered the show was forced to note that Ginni has denied the claims.
All these attacks are lackluster, shifting from defending the Thomases to trying to shoot the messenger. It seems even the MRC understands that defending Ginni Thomas at this point is a losing proposition.
WND's Root Sides With Putin, Against America And Biden Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Wayne Allyn Root has taken a break from spreading COVID misinformation (not to mention actual COVID) to take Vladimir Putin's side in Russia's war against Ukraine because...Biden, apparently. Root ranted in his Feb. 28 column about how learning to fight back against bullies taught him "peace through strength" and that this somehow justifies Putin's warmongering because "Biden is a feeble old man with dementia. Putin knows he can walk all over him." Root also thinks that Putin wants to expose Biden's purported criminality in Ukraine:
But there's also a shocking bonus to all of this that no one else is talking about.
I believe Putin is sick and tired of hearing Biden and America's politicians lecture him about "Russia's corruption." Putin knows Biden is filthy and dirty. Putin knows the Biden crime family has taken kickbacks and payoffs all over the world. He knows Biden is "the Big Guy" who expects a piece of every deal. Biden lecturing others about corruption is like the Mafia lecturing about extortion.
Putin knows the center of Biden's corruption was in Ukraine. Biden and his family intimidated, extorted and assaulted Ukraine. A little birdie tells me this is the big bonus for Putin after he invades and conquers Ukraine. He will capture and torture everyone involved in shady deals with Biden in order to unearth the secrets of Biden's filthy corruption.
Then Putin has two juicy options. Behind door No. 1: Expose Biden's massive crime wave in Ukraine, shock the world, make Biden step down, embarrass and demoralize the United States and paralyze America's government. This makes Russia the new big, bad sheriff in town.
Behind door No. 2: Putin can blackmail Biden and hold his secrets over his head in order to get whatever Putin wants. Suddenly Biden is Putin's flunky: the same relationship China already has with Biden. China has the goods on Biden. They clearly own Biden lock, stock and barrel. Now it's Putin's turn.
IN his March 7 column, Root showed he has rewatching "The Matrix" too many times and has decided to offer us a "red pill" moment about Ukraine:
It's time for your red pill. Something smells rotten in Ukraine. The story is rotten, rancid, hinky; the story just doesn't add up.
President Joe Biden and the media desperately want you to believe Russia is the bad guy and Ukraine is a little angel. They want you to fall in love with underdog Ukraine. They want you to support America getting involved on behalf of Ukraine.
To get your support, they need the media to sell you a bill of goods. But it just doesn't add up. First, Biden is the one who funded Russia's invasion. Biden killed our pipelines, killed coal and banned drilling, which made us dependent on Russian oil – which made Russia filthy rich and arrogant. Biden paid for this war.
Second, if Russian President Vladimir Putin is the "bad guy," if Russia is evil, why is Biden continuing to buy billions of dollars of oil from Russia every day? Does this make sense?
Unless it's pure "commie theatre."
Connect the dots. Biden is a feeble, feckless old puppet with dementia. George Soros pulls Biden's strings. Soros is on the side of Ukraine. Soros recently said the whole world must support Ukraine. It's been reported Soros funded Volodymyr Zelensky and then installed him as president of Ukraine – one of the most corrupt nations on the earth.
Root is characteristically vague about who, exactly, "reported" that. It's a conspiracy theory. But he has more thoughts:
No. 1: I think this war is a WMD: a weapon of mass distraction to get your mind off the disasters Biden has created at home, including open borders, massive inflation, vaccine mandates crippling the economy, the worst crime wave in history, the worst retreat in U.S. military history from Afghanistan and $6-per-gallon gas.
No. 2: This is pure "wag-the-dog" theatre to save Biden from the worst polls in modern history. Instead of hating Biden, they want you to hate Putin.
No. 3: This is all part of Soros and Klaus Schwab's "Great Reset." They want to make us all obedient serfs and slaves. They need World War III as a distraction while they destroy America and capitalism and take your freedoms away.
Here's my conclusion. I'm not "for" Russia. I'll never be a fan of Putin. He's out for only himself and a new dominant Russian empire. I'm not telling you to take Russia's side. They are "bad guys."
But I know if Soros is behind Ukraine, then Ukraine is also a "bad guy." If Soros wants us involved, I know this war is not in America's best interest. I know the media are feeding us a load of lies and propaganda – under Soros' direction.
Like Trump, I have only one dog in this hunt. I'm ONLY for "America First." This war is nonsense. It doesn't involve us.
Actually, if he is anti-Ukraine, he is de facto pro-Putin.
Logrolling In Our Time: Brent Bozell, Craig Shirley and CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey giving a softball interview to his boss, Brent Bozell, is not the only way Bozell's memoir has been promoted by the Media Research Center he runs. There's a fair amount of logrolling going on as well, and CNS is right in the middle of it.
When Bozell's book came out in December, right-wing historian-type Craig Shirley cranked out an enthusiastic review of it, first published at Newsmax and then on Jan. 7 at CNS:
You have to understand, Brent Bozell and I have known each other for 40 years.
We've socialized together, laughed together, butted heads, two of our sons were best friends, and never along the way betrayed our conservative principles.
We also cried together on at least one occasion. Our wives are good friends.
We both had high conservative principles, but his pedigree was a little more refined.
So when Brent asked me to read his new semi-autobiographical book, "Stops Along the Way," I was already prepared to like it.
I read and guess what? I could not put it down.
It was that much fun. But it was more that that. It was also about all those things that liberals hate: love, family, religion, education, principles, even if his family also sounded like the road crew for the Grateful Dead.
We love a book named "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens.
We love a movie about a "Wonderful Life," with Jimmy Stewart.
And you will love a fun and funny little book named "Stops Along the Way."
A couple months later, lo and behold, Bozell served up a similarly gushy review of Shirley's new book in a Feb. 25 CNS column:
A few years ago, my friend Craig Shirley wrote a best-seller on “December 1941,” when America was caught dramatically off guard at Pearl Harbor and was dragged into World War II. Now he has written a companion volume on the end of the war with “April 1945,” so readers can consider “the alpha and the omega.”
As with the first book, Shirley captures details large and small to give readers a sense of what it was like to live through these moments in history.
Craig Shirley established himself as the Sherlock Holmes of Reagan historians, but books like these show he can bring his eye for entertaining detail and analysis to other historical figures and periods. This book is an impressive feat.
Of course, Holmes would never be as hagiographic as Shirley is with Reagan, cited by the MRC to deny Ron Reagan Jr.'s claim that his father was showing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease during his presidency.
Then, we have to assume purely coincidentially, Jeffrey gave the softball interview treatment to Shirley in a March 4 article. Jeffrey effectively asked Shirley to read his book out loud, subjecting him to such tough questions like “So, you mentioned that Roosevelt had polio; he spent much of his time as an adult in a wheelchair” and “Only two months after that meeting in Yalta, FDR went down to his retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia. What happened then?” followed by hard-hitting queries about the mistress who was with FDR at Warm Spriongs. Jeffrey also worked in references to Shirley's favorite president, mentioning "the great man you’ve written so much about, President Reagan, who was able to get the Berlin Wall to come down and free Eastern Europe without firing a shot.”
Yep, logrolling at its finest. Does the IRS know that a nonprofit organization's resources are still being used to promote the for-profit ook of its leader?
NEW ARTICLE: Shills For (Right-Wing) Social Media Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is an enthusiastic promoter of Twitter clones catering to right-wingers like GETTR and Truth Social -- and, like a good PR rep, hides their problems. Read more >>
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban long has been recognized as a renegade – the leader not willing to submit to a globalist agenda or mandates from the established power structure.
He began his career objecting to Russian troops in Hungary, and they were removed a short time later. He moved his nation toward a free-market economy, led its entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, urged the adoption of a constitution outlining conservative moral themes and defended national sovereignty.
He further outraged the establishment by erecting a fence on his nation's border to disrupt the flow of illegal aliens coming from the Middle East and Africa.
And even while fighting COVID, his nation enacted legislation that banned school content "deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change."
Now he's warning that the COVID-19 pandemic was just a prelude to a "serious stress test" that will be coming from the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.
His comments were captured and translated by the RAIR Foundation, whose name represents "Rise Align Ignite Reclaim."
He cited the U.N.'s Agenda 2030 campaign and charged that it is nothing less than global government tyranny that enslaves all humanity.
He said the Agenda 2030 plan, formerly called Agenda 21, combined with the WEF's Great Reset plan, would force the world into a society where "ownership is obsolete, privacy is non-existent, and … globalist organizations achieve complete control."
Yes, Orban is plugging the same "Great Reset" conspiracy theory that WND itself has embraced. Needless to say, Unruh also followed in the MRC's footsteps by refusing to tell the truth about Orban's authoritarianism: cutting off the free speech of his critics, criminalized any criticism of his handling of the COVID pandemic and being virulently anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant.
Unruh also tried to whitewash the organization that publicized Orban's speech, stating only that "The RAIR Foundation describes itself as a 'grassroots activist organization comprised of everyday Americans leading a movement to reclaim our Republic from the network of individuals and organizations waging war on Americans, our Constitution, our borders and our Judeo-Christian values.'" In fact, the RAIR Foundation has been linked to two prominent Islamophobes. The first is Amy Mekelburg, who anonymously spewed anti-Muslim hate on Twitter under the handle "Amy Mek" until she was outed in 2018.
The group's president appears to be Chris Gaubatz, another anti-Muslim activist. Back in 2009, WND published a book by Gaubatz and his father called "Muslim Mafia," in which Chris went undercover at a CAIR office and stole documents he used in the book.CAIR sued the Gaubatzes, and the case was still ongoing as of 2018.
A look at the RAIR Foundation's website shows that it's bee dabbling in anti-vaxxer activism and anti-globalism as well as the usual Islamophobia. Mekelburg is still an active writer, as is an anonymous coward using the fake name "Vlad Tepes," a historical figure who's better known as Vlad the Impaler.
In other words, exactly the kind of crowd you'd expect Unruh and WND to hang out with.
MRC Labored To Portray SCOTUS Nominee As 'Deeply Liberal,' 'Radical' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been all about building right-wing narratives regarding President Biden's Supreme Court nominee. First, it sought to brand her as a radical weeks before the nominee was even named. Then, MRC executive Tim Graham tried to otherize the eventual nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, by using only her first name (as if could ever possibly be on a first-name basis with her). Meanwhile, in the days after her nomination, Graham's MRC underlings were laboring to tar Jackson as extreme despite not knowing much about her.
On the day of her announcement on Feb. 25, Curtis Houck attacked Jackson for committing the sin of having gone to the same college as Joy Reid, the MSNBC host whom Houck hates with an obsessive passion. He also weirdly bashed commentator Irin Carmon, twisting her statement that it would be great to have a black woman's perspective on the court regarding issues like abortion since black women are "disproportionately affected by" abortion restrictions into an assertion that she "gave away the game on the abortion industry’s dependence on taking advantage of Black women."
A post by Scott Whitlock declared in the headlline that Jackson was "deeply liberal" -- then unironically stated that "The disingenuous ideological spin has already begun."Whitlock called Jackson "deeply liberal" one more time in the body of his piece. In another item, Whitlock again called her "deeply liberal" and mocked descriptions of her as a pragmatist and consensus-builder.
Meanwhile, Nicholas Fondacaro huffed: "The liberal media were all hands on deck Friday to defend President Biden’s new Super Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson from any criticism whatsoever" -- as if he and the MRC would be offering anything except criticism. Kevin Tober upped the rhetorical labeling, claiming without evidence (beyond parroting right-wing Sen. Lindsey Graham) that Jackson is a "radical."
Alex Christy got mad when it was pointed out that conservatives would add nothing to the conversation beyond repeatedly declaring that Jackson was liberal:
On Friday’s CNN Newsroom, White House correspondent John Harwood said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) opposition to President Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on the grounds she is going to be a reliable liberal is not a substantive criticism.
Host Bianna Golodryga asked Harwood to comment on how the GOP will approach the hearings and McConnell’s claim that Jackson was the pick of left-wing dark money groups: “On the one hand, maybe it’s not surprising to hear from—from-- Mitch McConnell some criticism there in describing her as—as-- an extremist, but that having been said, she was on—on-- the shortlist and—and-- top of that shortlist for a while now. Why are we just hearing this from him now?”
The obvious answer is that we are hearing it now because Jackson wasn’t officially the nominee, but for Harwood, the supposed real answer is that conservatives just don’t like Biden. “Well, look, Republicans have a lot of pressure within their party to oppose anything that Joe Biden does," he said.
After reporting that McConnell didn’t object to Biden’s pledge to nominate a black woman, Harwood added: “When I hear Mitch McConnell saying this is the candidate of far-left dark money group, that is a procedural criticism. That is not a substantive criticism of Ketanji Brown Jackson.”
Of course, Harwood has it completely backward. Criticizing the nominee’s actual views on the matter is a substantive criticism while criticizing Biden’s pledge would’ve been a procedural criticism.
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!
Christy huffed that one commentator portrayed Jackson as, in his words, "almost a goddess-type figure who has descended from Mount Olympus and that she only hopes she will be afforded due process before the Senate," then returned to complain that "liberal black women activists" are "excited" about Jackson's nomination. Mark Finkelstein then pointed the direction for how Republicans will be expected by right-wing activists to handle Jackson's nomination, as revenge for how previous Republican Supreme Court nominees didn't get a free pass from Democrats:
If you want to say that Biden SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson has a solid resume, go ahead. But to make that case by belittling the credentials of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett is shall we say, Pants On Fire.
Amna Nawaz, a PBS NewsHour correspondent who doubles as an MSNBC contributor, said there is a "kind of reflexive Republican pushback to anything this president does right now," as if Democrats never acted this way.
Surely the panel was aware that the verb "to Bork" was coined to describe a savage attack on a Supreme Court nominee, after Democrats in 1987 destroyed the candidacy of Robert Bork, President Reagan's supremely qualified nominee. And who was the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee leading the attack? Then-Senator Joe Biden.
Democrats, with Biden leading the charge, were back at it in 1991, with a vicious assault against the nomination of Clarence Thomas. MSNBC wants to talk about "performative" attacks playing to the base? The best illustration thereof could be the iconic photo of Biden jabbing an accusatory finger at Thomas. Ted Kennedy, seen looking on, launched a vicious attack of his own on Bork.
Most recently, there was the contemptible Democrat attack on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh's, in which Democrats, playing to their base, dredged up unproven allegations of teenaged rape (even gang rape) against him.
So please, MSNBC and the liberal media at large, spare us the faux outrage in pre-emptively accusing Republicans of unfair criticism of Brown Jackson, and take a good look in the mirror at the Democrats' history of scurrilous attacks on Republican nominees.
Whitlock devoted a Feb. 28 post to complaining that conservative Supreme Court nominees were accurately identified by TV network news as conservative. We don't recall seeing a similar MRC study on how many times Fox News identified a liberal-leaning nominee as liberal (or "radical").
Kyle Drennen served up the revenge talking point in a post the same day about a CBS report:
They conveniently didn’t mention how nasty, personal attacks on conservative court nominees like Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh by partisan Democrats (like Joe Biden) poisoned the process.
When a conservative nominee like Barrett was nominated to high court less than two years ago, CBS hyped Democratic claims that the process was “lightening-fast” and illegitimate. Now that a liberal like Jackson has been named to the Supreme Court, the network is frustrated that anyone wants to examine her record and bemoans the fact that she won’t get “87 votes.”
Drennen conveniently didn't mention why Barrett's nomination might have been considered legitimate: it was hypocritically rammed through by Republicans a month before a presidential election, many of whom blocked Merrick Garland's nomination in 2016 out of a professed concern that the newly elected president deserved to fill the seat.
It's pretty much axiomatic that any alarmist claim WorldNetDaily publishes about COVID or its vaccines should not and cannot be trusted at face value because it's either highly misleading or completely wrong. Which brings us to a March 2 article by enthusiastic COVID misinformer Art Moore:
The fully vaccinated account for 9 of every 10 deaths from COVID-19 in England and 4 of 5 deaths among the triple-vaccinated, according to the latest data published by the U.K. Health Security Agency.
The independent British news site The Exposé reported the government report, published Feb. 22, includes a table on page 41 confirming the vast majority of deaths were among the vaccinated.
About 73.5% of the population of England has been fully vaccinated, and 56.9% have received a booster shot, as of Feb. 28.
Top health officials around the world, including in the U.S., have acknowledged that the COVID-19 vaccines have not stopped infection or transmission amid the omicron wave – the premise for vaccine mandates – but have insisted the shots prevent hospitalization and death.
However, between Jan 24 and Feb. 20, there were 9,230 COVID-19 hospitalizations in England. The fully vaccinated accounted for 6,689 of them, the triple vaccinated 4,936 and the unvaccinated 2,341.
During that period, there were 4,861 COVID-19 deaths, with the triple vaccinated population accounting for 3,120 of them. The unvaccinated population accounted for only 559.
The falsehoods start with Moore's description of The Exposé an "independent ... news site." It's not a "news" site at all; it's all about conspiracy theories and anti-vaxxer content whose owners and writers worked anonymously until they were exposed last year, and it has been repeatedly busted for spreading COVID vaccine misinformation.
Meanwhile, people who care about facts have exposed this particular false claim for what it is and explain exactly what it (and Moore, in uncritically repeating it) got wrong:
The UKHSA told Reuters via email that, given vaccine uptake levels in England are very high, it is expected that a large proportion of cases and deaths would occur in vaccinated individuals, even with a highly effective vaccine, because a larger proportion of the population are vaccinated than unvaccinated.
Dr Muge Cevik, a clinical lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology at the University of St Andrews, previously told Reuters that when much of a population has been vaccinated, “most infections and deaths are expected to be among those vaccinated” (here).
The UKHSA also says the prioritisation of individuals who are more at risk of severe COVID-19 in vaccine rollouts means those vaccinated may be more at risk of death from COVID-19 and contributing factors, regardless of vaccination.
The agency also told Reuters that it is useful to compare case, hospitalisation and death rates in boosted individuals with those who are unvaccinated given third doses have now been offered to all age groups in England.
In short: the Expose has taken statistics out of context. Reuters went on to note that "The weekly surveillance report has become a continuous tool used in COVID-19 vaccine misinformation throughout the pandemic" -- and that's what WND did here too.
And Joseph Farah wonders why his website is going down the tubes. With publishing so much misinformation, why would it not?