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Friday, April 15, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Blame-Biden Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

In the days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck continued to push anti-American attitudes in his summaries of White House press briefing by emphasing Biden-bashing over unity. His lashing out at press secretary Jen Psaki during a March 1 Fox News appearance was typical:

Previewing President Biden’s State of the Union address, White House press secretary Jen Psaki joined FNC’s America’s Newsroom on Tuesday and squared off against co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino over President Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and specifically the administration’s refusal to budge on domestic oil and gas production and the timing of the CDC dropping its mask recommendations.

After opening with questions about whether the U.S. believes the violence from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s military constitutes war crimes, Hemmer noted “[w]e buy Russia's oil and we don't need to” before asking whether Biden “will...make an appeal...based on some sort of shared sacrifice” that Americans “will consume less in order to help Ukrainian people and hurt Putin more.”

Psaki refused to budge from her talking points, insisting Biden wants to “maximize the impact on President Putin, on the cronies and the oligarchs who have been benefiting from so much corruption in Russia” and “squeeze the financial system there,” while also “minimizing the impact on the global markets and the American people.”

Hemmer tried again, but Psaki stood pat despite conceding that “standing up for democracy versus autocracy is not without cost” and “any instability in the global oil marketplace is the result of the actions of President Putin.”

Note that Houck did not accuse Hemmer and Perino of pushing talking points -- perhaps because he's singing from that very same script. He also didn't mention that he, Hemmer and Perino were setting up Psaki and Biden -- despite blaming Biden for not moving quickly enough to cut off oil exports from Russia, they would also blame Biden for the gas price spike once that oil was cut off. It's the right-wing script that Biden must always criticize him no matter what he does -- even if he does what right-wingers told him to do.

Houck did an ever-so-brief section at the end of his item touting how "reporters also came loaded for bear"at that day's press briefing, giving an seemingly MRC-mandated shout-out to Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich.

Houck gave Heinrich a more extensive gushing-over in his summary of the March 3 briefing for pushing that same talking point:

After having two days off for President Biden’s State of the Union and trip to Wisconsin, Thursday brought the return of The Psaki Show and, with the Biden administration still refusing to ban the import of Russian oil, the questions were fierce. 

They included a slew from Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich with one presenting Psaki with the notion that the U.S. is “financing” Russia’s “war” against Ukraine “as long as we’re buying Russian oil,”  which would square with the fact that oil and gas sales make up 36 percent of its national budget.

Heinrich started, however, by poking holes in the administration’s logic of refusing to expand domestic gas and oil production, but pushing for it in other areas to help drive down the price of goods:

Houck went on to sneer that "Psaki stuck to her previous answer, blaming oil companies for allegedly thousands of unused leases." He didn't disprove Psaki's statement, but instad he continued his Heinrich-fluffing:

Psaki engaged in a bait-and-switch, ignoring Heinrich’s point about money coming into Russia from U.S. oil purchases and instead saying Russian oil only makes up “about ten percent of what we're importing” even though cutting it off “would...raise prices.”

To her credit, Heinrich reached that point thanks to Psaki stonewalling from past questions, starting with two from the AP’s Colleen Long about Putin benefitting from higher prices so long as a ban remains off.

Houck's summary of the March 7 hearing was devoted to reporters -- with special attention given to right-wingers Steven Nelson of the New York Post and (credibly accused sexual harasser) James Rosen of Newsmax -- complaining that reporters didn't get to ask enough questions. After noting that White House Correspondents Association president and CBS News Radio correspondent Steven Portnoy pointed out that Psaki “made a conscious decision to try to honor the long-standing traditions of the room” since “the people before [her] [had] a different view.” Houck huffed in response: "This was a swipe at press secretaries for then-President Trump." Of course, Houck thought it was cool that those press secretaries wouldn't take questions and acted like jerks toward reporters.

Houck also made sure to get in his "Doocy Boom" fluffing from that briefing in a separate post:

Prior to Monday’s explosive post-briefing kerfuffle (which NewsBusters was able to audio from), the regularly scheduled Psaki Show featured the return of Doocy Time as the Fox News correspondent battled the press secretary over who or what’s to blame for high gas prices and why there’s been, at best, an apprehension to increased domestic oil and gas production as Russia’s war on Ukraine rages on.

Doocy started with the reality that prices were already on the rise prior to Russia’s formal invasion: “It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?”

Sure enough, Psaki painted a rosy picture on energy prior to Russia’s unprovoked actions, saying “there’s no question that...the anticipated continued a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine.”

Houck then decided he could read Psaki's mind:

To Psaki’s chagrin and pleas to “let me finish,” Doocy reminded here that “President Biden signed an executive order his first week that halted new oil and gas leases on public lands.”

Psaki ignored that fact in favor of saying she had to “give you the facts here — and I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”

She gave away the game of many using the crisis to force burdensome so-called clean energy sources on Americans, Psaki said Americans need to “make the shift to secure a...clean energy future” even as “[w]e are one of the largest producers with a strong domestic oil and gas industry” with oil companies holding us back.

Houck censored the fact that the moratorium on new oil and gas leases has been left and, as a result, the Biden administration has issued more leases than the entire Trump administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 27, 2022 9:24 PM EDT
WND Serves Up Bogus Old-School Anti-Hillary Dog Whistle
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's bob Unruh wrote a Feb. 16 article with the headline "Hillary breaks out the other N-word in response to spying charges." It's not about any offensive word she might have said -- it's about her dismissing the claim from John Durham that she was spying on Donald Trump as "nonsense." (Which it is.) Unruh went on to note that "She then linked Vanity Fair, saying it was a "good debunking" of the 'nonsense'" -- but instead of rebutting what was in the Vanity Fair article or even linnking it it, he instead parroted Republican talking points on the Durham filing.

The headline is actually a stealth shout-out to old-school Clinton-haters -- after all, Clinton-hating is what WND was built on -- referring to a 30-year-old manufactured scandal.It dates back to Bill Clinton's presidency, when Hillary was accused of using the N-word in private. But as we noted back in 2006 the last time WND tried to revive it, the claim came from former Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson, whose motivations were highly dubious given the massive grudge he held against the Clintons. When Patterson went under oath to didscuss his claims, he usually walked back his claims.

What does it say about WND that it's willing to drop a stealth reference to a deep-cut alleged Clinton scandal a few decades after the fact? Perhaps that time has passed it by and that it doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 PM EDT
CNS Jim Jordan Stenography Watch

We've documented how Republican Rep. Jim Jordan has been a favorite subject of stenography from -- while also hiding credible accusations that he did nothing regarding a doctor who had been accused of sexual abuse by wrestlers on a college team where Jordan was a coach. The CNS stenography continued in the first three months of this year:

That's eight articles to kick off the year, in line with the pace of previous years, Additionally, a Feb. 7 article touted Jordan's appearance on Mark Levin's Fox News show.

And since this is stenography, there was no indication that Jordan's claim about "DOJ, FBI going after parents" is false. CNS promoted this false narrative last year.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Thursday, April 14, 2022
ConWeb Embraces Bogus, Extremist Wis. Election Report
Topic: The ConWeb

When a Republican-generated report in Wisconsin called for overturning the 2020 presidential election because a foundation funded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg donated money to help finance putting on elections, some of which went to get-out-the-vote efforts, the usual ConWeb suspects -- and even some unusual ones -- embraced it. Of the former, Bob Unruh gushed in a March 1 WorldNetDaily article:

It's already been confirmed by a study that Mark Zuckerberg's decision to donate some $420 million to various leftist elections officials across America to "help" them accommodate COVID during the 2020 president race essentially "bought" the vote for Joe Biden.

Now a report from the Office of Special Counsel in the state of Wisconsin has determined that those actions also violated the state's bribery statutes.

Margot Cleveland at the Federalist has posted an explanation of the stunning verdict.

In Wisconsin, Zuckerberg's money, some $9 million, went "solely to five Democratic strongholds" and the special counsel's report to the Wisconsin Assembly said those actions violated the ban on bribes.


The report, 136 pages, said it was not challenging the certification of the 2020 results in Wisconsin, one of several battleground states that went narrowly for Joe Biden. Its goal, instead, is to recommend ways to avoid another election that results from criminal activity.

Unruh is lying. The author of the report, Michael Gableman, argued in a hearing discussing the report that the Wisconsin legislature "ought to take a very hard look at the option of decertification of the 2020 Wisconsin presidential election," and the report itself offered instructions on how it thinks that can be done.

Unruh then highlighted the report's key claim that money went to the apparently horrible offense to encouraging people to vote:

The Federalist reported, "According to the report, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg providing financing that allowed the Center for Tech and Civic Life to offer nearly $9 million in 'Zuck Bucks' to Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay counties. In exchange, the 'Zuckerberg 5,' as the report called the counties, in effect, operated Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts. Those grant funds then paid for illegal drop boxes to be placed in Democratic voting strongholds."

But as the Washington Post's Philip Bump noted, the report's idea that it's somehow "cheating" or even illegal to encourage people to vote -- particiluarly if those people voted for a candidate opposed by the report's author -- is dumb:

Well, if you want to increase turnout among less frequent voters, you’re going to target groups that turn out less often, which, given the change from 2012 to 2016, means focusing on counties that have more non-White voters to turnout. In Wisconsin, that means counties such as Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Dane, Sawyer, Brown, Ashland and Rock. Each of those counties has a non-White population that makes up at least a fifth of the population. Understandably, then, an effort to bolster election access in Wisconsin focused on the cities of Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay — in Milwaukee, Dane, Racine, Kenosha and Brown counties.

Would increasing turnout among low-propensity voters in those places probably increase the number of Biden voters? Yes. Is that cheating? Of course not. These efforts aren’t suppression of White turnout or giving non-White voters some sort of unfair leg up. Instead, they’re efforts to reduce the barriers that cause poorer, non-White citizens to vote less often.

That’s not how Gableman frames the efforts. His report is blatantly obvious in its efforts to imply wrongdoing. ... The “Zuckerberg 5” sounds like a domestic terror cell from the 1960s, which is the goal.

Bump went on to note that Gableman portrayed efforts to increase turnout as an inherently partisan Democreatic effort, even though turnout for Trump increased as well, and that turnout for Democrats was up nationally, not just in Wisconsin. Bump also pointed out that Gableman's effort to portray money to municipalities to help increase turnout as "bribery" has already been rejected as a valid legal theory. Bump concluded:

Here again, nearly 500 days after the 2020 election, we see a familiar pattern play out. Republican elected officials want to make Trump supporters happy by treating their unfounded claims of fraud as serious rather than actually confronting those claims. They hire an investigator who is starting from the conclusion that votes were stolen, here. Then the investigation serves as a giant, costly smoke machine so that the investigator can tell the legislators and Republican voters that, while you can’t see it, somewhere in that cloud is a raging fire.

In this case, that fire consists of trying to increase voting among those who have historically faced institutional difficulties in doing so. If that’s cheating, then so is offering SAT tutoring to students in disadvantaged school districts. Sorry if that expands the pool of Harvard applicants your kid is competing against.

Unlike Unruh, a March 1 Newsmax article by Brian Freeman admitted that Gableman wants to overturn the eleciton, and he also included comments from the Democratic head of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which Gableman wants tio eliminate, callingthe report "full in crazy conspiracy theory.",  meanwhile, publishsed a March 3 column by the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins ranting how Gableman's report exposed "bad actors" (the "bad act," of course, was to boost voter turnout), then had to parse exactly what was bad about that:

To be clear, the report does not allege widespread voter fraud. There was no violation of the "one citizen, one vote" principle. What the report does show is a well-funded effort by government-run election boards to systematically turn out more votes in regions known to lean towards one political party. Political parties and candidates are allowed to do this; in fact, GOTV efforts are essential parts of every modern political campaign. What is illegal here is that election administrators put their thumb on the scale for one political party. In the words of the report, they "crossed the line between election administration and campaigning."


How many votes can you buy with $350 million? Possibly enough to swing a close election. But to know for certain, we would have to prove how many votes would not have been cast if the money had not been spent, and that's impossible. The money was spent unfairly, but this is one wrong that can't be righted retroactively -- at least, not by human judges.

Perkins' idea of "unfair," of course, is turning out voters who might vote for a candidate Perkins doesn't apporove of.

Given what a ridiculous, misleading, conspiracy-laden report it is, it's surprising that the Media Research Center embraced -- though perhaps not so surprising, given how long the MRC has been trying and failing to attack Facebook. A March 2 post by Alexander Hall -- complete with the headline "Zuck Bucks!" -- was in full spin mode, right down to uncritically repeating a description of Gableman's piece of work as an "election integrity report":

An election integrity probe reportedly found that a nonprofit funded by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg swayed the 2020 election “in violation of Wisconsin law.” 

Could this be the scandal that shakes up America’s electoral integrity? “A 2020 election integrity probe in Wisconsin reported findings Tuesday that a nonprofit group funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg committed election bribery when it targeted $8.8 million in get-out-the-vote funds to five heavily Democratic jurisdictions,” The Washington Times reported March 2.“The report details a ‘bribery scheme’ implemented by the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life, a liberal voter advocacy group heavily funded by Mr. Zuckerberg.”


The report’s findings, if true, implicate that “Election officials in the five jurisdictions, the report found, may have broken the law ‘by not treating all voters the same in the same election … a bedrock of principle of election law.’” 

Hall has no idea if the claims are true because he made no effort to investigate it -- and neither did the article he cited. Hall conveniently chose a Washington Times article to summarize because it's a right-wing publication that can be counted on to offer conservative-friendly spin; the article includes only two paragraphs of criticism of the report buried toward the end, neither of which was substantive.

But that's what happens because the MRC cares less about being authoritative and much more about owning the libs through any means necessary, no matter how discredited and WND-esque they are.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
Hans Bader's Selective Statistical Ignorance on SCOTUS Appointments
Topic: columnist Hans Bader spent much of the pandemic fretting that non-white people would have the same, and maybe even better, access to COVID ttesting, reatment and vaccines as him, a white man. Now he's fretting there will be too many black people on the Supreme Court. He wrote in his March 18 column, headlined "Biden SCOTUS Nomination Fueled by Statistical Ignorance":

President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, following through on his campaign vow to name a black woman. Three-quarters of Americans disagreed with Biden's decision to consider only black women for the Supreme Court vacancy; in an ABC news poll, they wanted Joe Biden to consider "all possible nominees," regardless of their race or gender.

Progressives support this race-based appointment based on the assumption that blacks are underrepresented on the Supreme Court. But Jackson's confirmation would make the Supreme Court 22% black, even though America is only 13% black, and the legal profession is 5% black. One of the nine Supreme Court justices is already black (Clarence Thomas); Jackson will be the second. Two out of nine justices is 22%, well above the percentage of Americans who are black.

Bader omitted a more relevant statistic: Of the 115 people who served on the Supreme Court in all of American history (before Jackson's appointment), 108 have been white men, four have been white women, and only three have been non-white (Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor). Historical underrepresentation is at least a valid a statistical metric as current representation, but Bader pleads ignorance of the fact that more than 180 years of American history passed before a non-white man was allowed to serve on the court. He goes on to push his racist-adjacent argment that there are too many black people on the court:

But even if Jackson were not appointed, blacks would still comprise 11% of the Supreme Court, which is similar to their percentage of the population (around 12%). As a Supreme Court Justice, Jackson would not be an "underrepresented member of a marginalized group" (as The Signal's Soorin Kim claimed) or the voice of a "marginalized and underrepresented" group (as NAACP board member Theresa Dear claimed). Her group would have nearly a quarter of all seats on the Supreme Court.

Nor is the federal judiciary as a whole a bastion of white supremacy. Black judges are actually overrepresented compared to the percentage of black lawyers (4.8% of all lawyers are black, and federal judges are drawn from the ranks of experienced lawyers). Under that measure, “African Americans are& overrepresented by a factor of nearly three: They make up 12.7 percent of active federal judges while accounting for only 4.8 percent of lawyers,” noted former Justice Department lawyer Ed Whelan in June 2021. Moreover, “black men are overrepresented in the federal judiciary: They account for 7.9 percent of active federal judges but only 6.8 percent of the population,” says Whelan.


Liberal journalists constantly imply that blacks are "underrepresented" in powerful positions, no matter how many blacks hold such positions. That misleads the public into wrongly thinking a big share of the population must be black, when only one-eighth of all Americans are black.

Biden's nomination of judges like Jackson based on their race violates the Constitution. Setting aside positions for a particular race violates Constitutional equal-protection guarantees, unless that race has been subjected to recent, intentional discrimination in access to those positions.

It could be argued that SCOTUS positions were set aside for white men for nearly 200 years of the nation's history. But he invoked a no-takeback clause: "Racial set-asides can’t be used to remedy discrimination that occurred long ago. Federal appeals courts have struck down racial preferences designed to remedy discrimination that happened 14 or 17 years earlier, saying that such discrimination in the distant past is irrelevant." Still, he slaved away at his increasingly dubious talking point:

Blacks have not been discriminated against in appointments to the Supreme Court in recent years. Indeed, there has been a black Supreme Court justice ever since 1967, even though blacks have never been more than 13% of the U.S. population during that period, and blacks have usually comprised less than 3% of the legal profession during that period. (It is the black percentage of the legal profession, not the black percentage of the general population, that is legally relevant in assessing whether blacks are "underrepresented" in the judiciary, according to Supreme Court rulings like Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio (1989)).

It would be entertaining to see Bader cling so desperately to his argument if it didn't make him look ridiculous to the point of being more than a little racist.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 18, 2022 5:53 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Flip-Flop On Biden's Employment Numbers
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center will eagerly talk down the economy under President Biden in months with less-than-favorable employment numbers -- but it will stay mostly silent in the months when those numbers look good. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
WND Finds Another Extremist Anti-Vaxxer Doctor It Can Turn Into A Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves an extremist who can be turned into a victim, and it found one in an anti-vaxxer doctor from Maine. Art Moore wrote in a Jan. 14 article:

A Maine medical licensing board has temporarily suspended the license of a veteran physician for allegedly spreading "misinformation" about COVID-19 as it conducts a 30-day investigation that will require her to undergo a psychological examination.

Dr. Meryl Nass, who been a board-licensed internal physician for more than 40 years, was the subject of two complaints based, among other things, on her statements that the vaccines have serious safety issues and are ineffective at stopping infection and transmission of the virus. She called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a "criminal agency," pointing out that federal health officials have suppressed the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID while pushing newer, more expensive treatments.

It's not until well down in thge article that Moore gets around to mentioning what exactly Nass did to get suspended: she lied by claiming that a patient had Lyme disease so she could prescribe the patient hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID (even though few legitimate medical professionals believe that it works). Moore framed this as her being "forced to lie," then incritically repeated her claim that "it should not have been unnecessary for her to lie" to get HCQ, but "Maine's Pharmacy Board had threatened pharmacists, and nearly all of them stopped dispensing both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine."

Moore also reframed her anti-vaxxerism by claim that "she did not recommend or discourage vaccination but spells out for patients the benefits and risks to help them decide for themselves." In fact, as a more legitimate media source reported, Nass has said "there may be things in these vaccines that the government wants to inject in us," and suggested that vaccinations of children are being encouraged "for some other nefarious reason."

Moore's article was republished on March 2 for unexplained reasons, perhaps as accompaniment to another article from Moore that day in which Nass' victimhood is ramped up:

In an article published by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Children's Health Defense, she tells "The Extraordinary Story of How Governments Suppressed Effective COVID Treatments and Targeted Physicians Who Prescribed Them."


Nass has compiled a "stunning collection" of more than 50 ways authorities and pharmaceutical companies in multiple countries stopped the use of chloroquine drugs for COVID.

"'Avoiding the Trump drug' served as a great cover story. Taking hydroxychloroquine for COVID was equated to drinking bleach," she wrote.


She pointed out that while ivermectin was not identified in the studies, in early 2020 it was found to be effective against COVID-19. The French company MedinCell, working with Monash University and supported by Bill Gates, was developing an injectable version.

But after ivermectin exploded in popularity as a treatment for COVID-19, doctors were threatened with the loss of their licenses for prescribing it, and pharmacists for fulfilling the prescriptions.

"You couple that with a huge media offensive, and threats from an industry of medical 'nonprofits,'" Nass wrote. "You invent 'misinformation' as a medical misdemeanor, studiously failing to define it. You make people think the legal prescribing of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine is a crime, even though off-label prescribing is entirely legal under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

"Did Fauci give the order? Was it CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky? Maybe it was acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock?" she asked. "It was probably some combination, plus the public relations professionals managing the messaging and the media."

Pro tip: If you want to treated as a credible medical professional, you do not associate yourself with Kennedy Jr.'s notorious anti-vaxxer group. It is, however, the thing you want to do if you're portraying yourself as a victim to the right-wing fringe -- and WND is happy to encourage that bogus victimhood.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
MRC Continues Its Obsessive Hatred Of Transgender Swimmer
Topic: Media Research Center

The transphobic sports bloggers at the Media Research Center predictably melted down over transgender college swimmer Lia Thomas, and that meltdown continued since the last time we checked in on them. A Jan. 18 post by the mysterious Jay Maxson (whose gender, ironically, we're not even sure of) was filled with hate and deliberate misgendering:

In a gag-worthy twist, the latest from the PennU trans swimming pool is that Lia Thomas says he is the Jackie Robinson of transgender athletics. Strange, but I don’t recall anything about a “Jacquelyn” Robinson, major league baseball’s first black player with Brooklyn in 1947, later joining the Rockford Peaches women’s baseball team (1943-54) and batting .990!

Robinson was a man’s man, U.S. Army veteran and a great, Hall of Fame baseball player. He was hard as nails for taking the horrible racial abuse he suffered. He would have scoffed at the idea of men playing with the girls.

To be compared to Thomas, who previously swam on the Penn men’s team and now leaves female rivals in his distant wake, would be absurd, shocking and absolutely insulting to Jackie.

Maxson went on to cite an anonymous person who claims to be a swimmer on the Penn team who was critical of Thomas: "Additionally, we learned from this Penn swimmer the self-absorbed Thomas is 'not sympathetic or empathetic at all' and has never talked with teammates to find out if they accept a man on their team. It’s all about him." Donald Trump has those same characteristics and we've never heard Maxson complain about that.

The same day, John Simmons bashed champion swimmer Michael Phelps for accurately noting that Thomas' situation is complicated, whining that "his stance on transgenderism leaves a lot to be desired." before going into right-wing lecture mode: "People cannot simply take testosterone suppressants or have reassignment surgery to 'change their gender.' You are either born a male or a female, anything else you do is a feeble attempt to change the fundamental identity you were born with. So we should never be 'comfortable in our own skin' if we are living a lie, but our Phelps seems perfectly okay to let that one slide."

Maxson returned on Jan. 21 to whine that "the NCAA is changing its rules because of Thomas," further huffing: "Maybe being the BTOC (Big Transgender On Campus) wasn’t such a hot idea after all for Will 'Lia' Thomas. She’s growing more and more unpopular with her teammates." A Jan. 28 post by Matt Philbin -- under the weird, creepy headline "Women’s Locker Room Gets Teste Over Thomas" -- was also outraged that Thomas allegedly has Trump's personality (and is weirdly obsessed with the state of Thomas' genitals):

There’s still junk in Davy Jones’s locker, and the gals don’t wanna see it.

Whether you believe he is a she (he isn’t), or whether he/she should compete on the University of Penn women’s swim team (he shouldn’t), all Americans can come together and agree on a single, simple truth: Lia Thomas is a selfish jerk.


Just ask Thomson’s teammates. Some of them told the Daily Mail that Thomas sometimes doesn’t cover her as yet unmutilated male genitalia. “While Lia covers herself with a towel sometimes, there’s a decent amount of nudity,” says the Mail. Swimmers say they “have had a glimpse at her private parts.” Uh, ew.

“‘It's definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,’ one swimmer on the team told in an exclusive interview.” Apparently, says the Mail, “Lia has told her teammates that she dates women.”

So he is becoming a she so she can …?  Whatever. The point is that the nudity is just another indication that Thomas doesn’t seem to give a water rat’s patootie about the actual women trying to compete in actual women’s swimming. The women who are his ostensible teammates. (There's no I in TEAM, but there sure is in LIA.)


In an era when people are using the word “performative” unironically, it’s impossible to know how sincerely Thomas believes his own shtick. But would anyone really be surprised if his college career ends and Thomas never completes the transition to Lia? Far-fetched? Not in the Age of Trans.

It seems that both Philbin and Maxson have forgotten that their employer considers anonymous sources to be untrustworthy. Maxson forgot it again in a Jan. 30 post:

The Will (aka “Lia”) Thomas controversy with Penn University women’s swimming is on a collision course with postseason events and potential NCAA rules changes regarding transgender athletes. An anonymous member of that team told Fox News she overheard Penn administrations speaking of a potential lawsuit if Thomas is prevented from NCAA national competition in March.

The anonymous swimmer, who fears LGBT retaliation if she reveals her name, told Fox New, “I have a feeling that if USA Swimming changes their rules, they will be filing a lawsuit for Lia (see Thomas photos as male, upper right, and female, upper left) to swim, but they wouldn’t do that for us. That’s just really upsetting.”


While anonymous Penn swimmers feed inside information to the media, a group of left-wing law groups published a public letter last week in The Daily Pennsylvanian in support of Thomas and the hysteria surrounding transgender athletes. 

Actually, the folks generating that "hysteria" are transphobes like Maxson. Speaking of transphobia, Simmons served up a helping of it in a Feb. 22 post:

Left-leaning, publicly-funded media outlet National Public Radio (NPR), like a large contingent of the American population, loves the fact that trans-woman Lia Thomas is dominating the swimming competition in the Ivy League. They love it so much they are willing to sacrifice basic journalist principles to make sure it's seen as nothing but an accomplishment that everyone should celebrate. 

Michaela Winberg, a general assignment reporter who covers LGBTQ people and culture for Billy Penn (in Philadelphia), produced a radio feature for Morning Edition that NPR posted on their website as a reaction piece to Lia Thomas’ record-setting weekend at the Ivy League’s women’s swimming championships (the transcript for which is here ). However, Winberg did not conduct a single interview with someone who may have opposed the fact that a man is swimming against women, and all the quotes from her sources voiced nothing but support for the delusional athlete.

Then it was lecture time again from Simmons:

There were no interviews with biological women, no quotes from parents who would rightfully feel enraged about their daughters losing to a man, no perspective from the other side. Nothing.

This situation lacks all semblance of basic moral principles and common sense, which is perhaps exactly why NPR published the story in the first place. 

But, the reason why no opposing voices are allowed to be heard is because they all just want to be accepted. The media and the wackos who support this ideology want to purport a narrative that says anyone who wants to indulge in their delusions should be allowed to do so, and no one should attack them or make them own up to their actions. But if you’re going to be so bold about your stance, shouldn't you be able to take a little heat from the other side?

Seems to me like you should.

If so, Simmons should start inside MRC headquarters, where its "news" division serves up bias and unbalanced reporting on a regular basis.

Philbin returned to spend a Feb. 28 post in full whine mode over an Associated Press report that accurately pointed out how right-wingers like him are hyping transgenderism in general and Thomas in particular as wedge issues for political purposes:

Long before “Republicans Pounce!” they had “wedge issues.” They used them to divide people and, according to an AP report, they still do. 

Today’s GOP wedge issue of choice is transgenderism – you know, the mental health problem that’s sweeping the nation? Conservatives and Republicans (and lots of other normal folks) are bewildered and revulsed by the trans craze, and so it’s coming up in GOP primaries.


Worse, these cynical troglodytes aren’t even following transgender industrial complex-approved protocols. McMillan and Levy huffed that a Missouri senate candidate’s ad called swimmer Lia Thomas “by her by her deadname and saying ‘women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women.’” Horrifying. Except that Lia was a mediocre men’s swimmer named Will until he started, well, pretending to be a woman.

Another campaign had the effrontery to use “inaccurate terminology to describe transgender women” when it said its candidate doesn’t believe that “biological males should compete in women’s sports.” Okay Jeff and Marc, we get it. You guys are hip to the acceptable terminology, and virtuous in your insistence on correcting others.

“The efforts to make political hay of transgender and other LGBTQ people extend well beyond just campaign ads,” the Wonder Woke Twins write. “At least 10 states have banned transgender athletes from participating in sports in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.”

Philbin's mocking tone disguises the fact that no point does he deny that that he and his fellow right-wingers are whipping up transphobic hysteria for political purposes.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 8:25 PM EDT
WND's 'News' Side Also Pushes Biden-Bashing, Putin Appeasement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just like its opinion side, WorldNetDaily's "news" side has served up a dose of Biden-bashing and Putin appeasement in writing about Russia's invastion of Ukraine.

A Feb. 24 article by Bob Unruh hyped how "Former President Donald Trump is charging that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is playing Joe Biden "like a drum" and the just-launched attack on Russia's neighbor, Ukraine, would not have happened were he still in the White House." Unruh admitted that Trump "stirred up his critics in both parties by describing as "savvy" Putin's strategy of declaring two parcels of Ukraine as independent and then claiming Russia's forces were invading as 'peacekeepers,'" but tried to dismissing by noting one source of criticism was Liz Cheney, "who was removed from her GOP leadership post for her earlier attacks on Trump."

A Feb. 26 article by Unruh seemed to be justifying Putin's invasion as a ploy to reverse "demographic winter" in Russia:

A commentary in the Washington Times recently called demographic winter "The plague of the century."

Elon Musk has warned about it, telling a forum recently, "One of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and rapidly declining birthrate."

Simply, there are not enough people being born in some nations to replace those seniors who die. Populations will be declining.


Now the Ruth Institute is suggesting that this threat could be part of why Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, his neighbor.

"Most observers are missing the demographic dimension of the war in the Ukraine," said Ruth Institute Communications Director Don Feder. "Russia needs people, and in Ukraine there are 41 million people who are ethnically identical to its own.

"By absorbing Ukraine, it will increase its population almost 30% overnight."

We've documented how the "demographic winter" concept is largely a racial one, with only white babies the ones that advocates are genuinely fretting about. Unurh was silent about the racial aspect.

In a March 3 article, Art Moore gave space to an analyst who was effectively arguing for Ukraine to capitulate to Russia to keep Russia from bombing it:

The fall of the major Ukrainian city of Kherson on Thursday marks a major turning point in the war, because Ukrainian forces mounted very little resistance and, consequently, the city of 300,000 was spared, contends Russia analyst Clint Ehrlich.

"The message to other cities is clear: Fight and be leveled or surrender and be treated kindly," he wrote in a thread on Twitter presenting his conclusion that the Ukrainians must face the grim reality that they are outmanned and Russia has shown in the past that it will show no mercy if it meets resistance.


Ehrlich said there's "a real risk that we're selling the Ukrainians a false bill of goods – just like we did when we promised them NATO membership."

"They keep asking for a NATO no-fly zone because they know they can't win without it," he said. "We aren't going to give it to them."

That leaves the West with a "troubling moral quandary."

"Are we really helping the Ukrainians by encouraging them to fight?"

Ehrlich said he is "awed" by the bravery of the Ukrainians.

"But if the end result is watching [Ukraine] get viciously torn to pieces, was it really worth it?

Moore didn't mention that Ehrlich is actually a pro-Trump and pro-Russia enthusiast who once started a website to defend them both and now currently works as a computer scientist at a blockchain company. So, maybe not the most credible person to comment on the issue (unless you're WND).

Posted by Terry K. at 4:59 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 8:52 PM EDT
Newsmax Still Taking Shots At Fox News, Carlson For Supporting Putin
Topic: Newsmax

As the Russian war in Ukraine has continued, so has Newsmax's sniping at Fox News in general and host Tucker Carlson in particular for taking Russia's side.

A March 14 article by Theodore Bunker noted how "The Kremlin has been urging Moscow-friendly media outlets to use more material from No. 1 Fox News host Tucker Carlson to defend the Russia's actions in Ukraine," adding that "The Fox host has blamed NATO for fomenting the crisis as it has added states close to Russia to its membership. Carlson has made this claim though NATO had never formally offered membership to Ukraine."

Dick Morris lashed out again at Carlson in a March 16 column:

For over three decades in my professional work, I faced off against Russian propaganda in elections in Mexico, Taiwan, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine, and even in Russia itself.

Through this time, I've discerned certain patterns in how our adversary fights against freedom and seeks to manipulate minds.

Eerily, I find myself dealing with this dangerous propaganda from Fox's Tucker Carlson.

He has effectively become Vladimir Putin's number one ally in the United States today (though I realize Carlson does not see it that way).

Remember, the Russians may not be great military geniuses, but their expertise in propaganda and psychological warfare is unparalleled.

Morris went on to note that "Neither Putin's nor Carlson's claims hold up under any scrutiny," adding:

Carlson has every right to hold his point of view.

He is not guilty of treason for doing so, and nor is Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democrat representative from Hawaii.

But his isolationism in the face of Putin's evil, even advocated with the best of intentions, endangers us all.

A March 18 article by Eric Mack noted that "Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is praising Fox News' coverage of its war on Ukraine, hailing it as 'trying to represent some alternative points of view' and denouncing 'information terrorism,'" adding that "Since the onset of the war, Fox’s Tucker Carlson has become a media star in Russia, as the Kremlin has urged state-owned media outlets to replay clips from his top-rated cable show."

A March 28 article by Luca Cacciatore recounted a Newsmax TV appearance in which the brother of the mayor of Kyiv took a shot at Carlson:

Wladimir Klitschko, the brother of Kyiv's mayor and a former two-time heavyweight world champion boxer, characterized Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine to Newsmax on Monday as "a pure genocide."

He also lashed out at Fox News' Tucker Carlson,  Candace Owens and other Americans who have vocally opposed offering military aid to Ukraine. This, in an appearance on "Eric Bolling The Balance."

Bolling himself lashed out at Carlson, as described in an April 6 article:

Newsmax host Eric Bolling delivered an impassioned plea to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, regarding the latter's views on Russia's war with Ukraine.

In a six-minute monologue, Bolling asked Carlson — his former colleague at Fox — to take back previous comments that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin could potentially use to justify the atrocities.


Bolling said he thinks Russian officials "see Tucker Carlson as their ally, the guy across the ocean who's helping their cause."

He added: "Tucker, I respect what you're doing; your wit and wisdom are right up there. But you spend too much time up in your intellectual ivory tower. Let me tell you what [it] looks like down here.

"... Now is the time to come down from the ivory tower, time to speak out against past comments, current comments even, or actions that in any way show support for Russia — or can be used by Russia in a way to show that any of us support what they're doing there."

No mention, of course, of why Bolling is no longer at Fox News.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 27, 2022 10:52 PM EDT
CNS Intern Senator-Pestering Season, Recycling Edition

Things are apparently slow enough on the intern-pestering circuit that questions are being recycled.

Last fall, the intern du jour asked senators if they would read all 2,465 pages of the Build Back Better bill. This time, =intern Emily Robertson asked senators, “Will you read all of the 2,741 pages of the omnibus spending bill before you vote on it?”These senators got shanghaied into answering it:

Robertson also wrote an article on the omnibus bill's passage in which she slipped in a few more senators answering her question.

Also last fall, the intern asked senators, "“The federal deficit through the first 11 months of this fiscal year was $2.7 trillion and the federal debt is now $28 trillion. Will the Biden administration do anything to balance the budget?" (a question we don't recall any intern asking about Donald Trump).Robertson's question was worded nearly the same way: “The federal government ran a $2.7-trillion deficit in fiscal 2021 and has a $475-billion deficit so far this year. Will President Biden ever balance the budget?” The list of senators who responded (and got their own article):

It seems even Robertson got tired of cranking out these articles, since she wrote three more articles combining several (Republican) members of Congress virtue-signaling on the budget. She also got a separate article on how Nancy Pelosi "falsely claimed on Tuesday that President Joe Biden has not increased the national debt" when she was made to answer the question.

Robertson was fed an original question as well. Last month, abortion-obsessed editor Terry Jeffrey fixated on how solicitor general Elizabeth Prelogar "inadvertently admitted in the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that an unborn baby is indeed a 'baby,'" generating both a "news" article and a column out of it. And so, Robertson was made to ask kenators: "“In oral arguments, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Biden Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar referred to an unborn baby as a ‘baby’ -- was she right?” She got a few senators to respond:

Oddly, she did apparently did not ask that question of any Democratic senator, even though it's the kind of ideal gotcha question CNS loves, which puts liberals on the spot and lets conservatives virtue-signal.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Monday, April 11, 2022
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 MRC defends DeSantis a lot.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:38 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 11, 2022 8:49 PM EDT
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 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:38 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 1:06 AM EDT
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 unfortunate tradition 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Bias In Action: A Tale Of Two Presidents
Topic:'s coverage of President Biden is much more harsh than it was for Donald Trump on the exact same issues. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT

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