MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch: The Finale Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck kicked off his final week of having Jen Psaki to kick around as White House press secretary by writing about an "exit interview" she did with Fox News' Howard Kurtz, cheering how Kurtz hit right-wing talking points by asking about "media access to President Biden, rumors about her move to MSNBC, and Twitter being a liberal echo-chamber." Houck didn't mention that his beloved Kayleigh McEnany would never have sat for an exit interview with CNN's Brian Stelter (or that she didn't do her job at all in the final two weeks of Donald Trump's presidency).
Houck returned to anti-Psaki hostility in writing about the May 10 briefing, maliciously interpreting Psaki's words while fluffing the latest person in the briefing room's Fox News seat:
Filling in for Fox’s A-Team of Peter Doocy and Jacqui Heinrich, correspondent Alexandria Hoff joined The Psaki Show on Monday and Tuesday, as Jen Psaki began her final week at the podium, and Hoff made it count by joining other reporters in grilling her on the threats to Supreme Court justices due to the leaked draft opinion on abortion.
Starting with Tuesday, Hoff called out the Biden administration’s double standard when it comes to what they claimed were threats to the lives of school board members as “the Department of Justice was very swift in responding” and whether they’ll do the same toward (actual) threats to Supreme Court justices like Samuel Alito.
In response, Psaki predictably claimed Biden opposes “violence, threats, and...intimidation of any kind,” but then droned on about how Republicans are raging hypocrites when it comes to (alleged) school board threats, Michigan election officials, women seeking abortions, or January 6. Interspersed with that, Psaki said the administration “continue[s] to encourage” such protests and intimidation tactics.
Psaki defended the mental terrorizing of justices and their innocent families, boasting that “the protests...have not turned violent” and “[j]ust because people are passionate” and< “fearful about their own healthcare,” “it does not mean they’re violent.”
"Mental terrorizing"? Isn't that what Houck has been doing to Psaki for the past year and a half?
Houck used his summary for the May 12 briefing to tout the latest manufactured right-wing outrages:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went before reporters Thursday for her penultimate press briefing and she made it one to remember as she falsely claimed it’s “a conspiracy theory” taxpayer dollars are funding free crack pipes despite intrepid reporting from the Washington Free Beacon that government-funded “safe smoking kits” contain crack pipes.
And on more conventional topics, Psaki squared off with a number of journalists over the administration being caught flat-footed amid a nationwide baby formula shortage and an increasing hostility by President Biden and the White House toward the 70-million-plus non-Democrats as dangerous, “ultra-MAGA” fanatics.
Houck kicked off Psaki's last day, on May 13 by lashing out yet again at Psaki (while backhandedly admitting she did a good job) while praising Peter Doocy and all the other right-wing reporters who lobbed biased questions at her:
Friday marked the end of an era with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki departing the Biden administration after over 200 editions of The Psaki Show, filled with humorous and tense moments. Simply put, Psaki was effective in having served as the chief spin officer and lying propagandist for President Biden amid a litany of crises as he himself has spent much of his presidency hiding from sustained questioning.
Hired away from CNN, Psaki is poised to move to MSNBC and NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock, which itself has been wrought with ethical concerns.
Fox’s Peter Doocy became a household name alongside Psaki for their many exchanges on everything from hot dogs to horses to inflation to sex ed in schools. As we’ve coined it here at NewsBusters, Doocy Time was appointment viewing for the Fox correspondent’s uncanny ability to ask questions the liberal journalists around him weren’t asking and in a way that was brief, respectful, and tough.
Doocy wasn’t the only person who stood out during Psaki’s tenure. Softball artists included usual suspects such as Yamiche Alcindor, Andrew Feinberg, and April Ryan while journalists who often joined Doocy in tough questioning included the Steven Nelson, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann, former Fox colleague Kristin Fisher, and current colleagues Jacqui Heinrich, Alexandria Hoff, Edward Lawrence, and wife Hillary Vaughn.
This was followed by a Doocy-heavy list of top "moments" from Psaki's tenure.
Houck waited three days before writing up the final Psaki press briefing, spending much of it complaining about her making "gooey platitudes" and an "emotional, eye-rolling series of thank you’s" before going on to seemingly endorse disruptive "heckling" from a reporter from Today News Africa.
Houck was silent on the fact that this was a much classier way of ending a tenure than McEnany, who read a statement the day after the Capitol riot, fled the podium and never held another presser in the final two weeks of Trump's presidency. Then again, he was too busy tossing softballs to mention it in his interview with McEnany in April.
Highly Biased WND Laughably Bashes Newspaper For Not Being 'Neutral' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily judging the alleged neutrality of journalism of another news outlet breaks the irony meter -- neutrality being one of the many words that can't ever be used to describe WND's work. Yet that's what WND did in an anonymously written May 8 article:
It's likely few people still believe newspapers are neutral providers of "news," after the legacy media's agenda to suppress bad information about the Biden family's international business schemes and portray everything President Trump accomplished as bad over recent years.
The few who still held on to that ideal now likely are having their beliefs shattered, as the Denver Post has given up any pretense of neutrality with an article that promotes abortion, and directs readers where to donate money for the operations of the lucrative industry.
A report at Campfire Colorado pointed out, "The Denver Post has taken liberal activism in the press to a whole new level tonight – the newspaper is literally directing donors to an Act Blue page supporting 'Abortion Funds and Pro-Choice Groups.'"
That Act Blue organization is a donation platform for Democrats that lets donors "contribute online to Democratic campaigns, political action committees and outside groups…"
The report charged, "It’s time for everyone to acknowledge the Denver Post is a liberal activist organization."
WND didn't explain why informing its readers about such issues breaks "neutrality" principles. In fact, it arguably enhances them by proving such information and not forcing people to go elsewhere -- abortion is still a legal procedure after all, and it's simply providing information about a legal service.
WND, of course, would censor this information from its readers -- and it proudly declared its bias at the top of the article. A money beg proclaimed how WND is staffed by "Christian journalists" purportedly offering "uniquely truthful reporting." If one defines falsehoods, misinformation and conspiracy theories to be "uniquely truthful reporting," then sure. And the fact that it's criticizing another media outlet for providing factual information is more evidence of WND's heavliy slanted bias.
And if this article was so neutral and factual, why did the reporter refuse to put his or her byline on it? Where they afraid they were going to be criticized or mocked for writing such a ridiculous piece? That's a definite lack of transparency on WND's part, which makes readers not trust its brand of journalism even more. No wonder WND is continuing its slide toward oblivion.
On Thursday night, Fox News anchor Bret Baier filed a short item on wealthy gay California Democrat mega-donor Ed Buck being sentenced to 30 years in prison for the methamphetamine overdose deaths of two black men. ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS broadcasts haven't touched it. Buck had donated $500,000 to mostly Democratic causes since 2000.
This story was on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Friday, but the networks were absent on the story, just as they were when Buck was convicted in July of 2021. You can find the story online at the network news sites. They are much more detailed that Baier's anodyne brief.
Graham might have a point ... if his organization wasn't systematically censoring mention of notable conservatives caught in sleaziness.
In February 2021, Ruben Verastigui -- who had worked as an aide for the Senate Republican Conference and as a digital strategist for the Republican National Committee, worked for anti-abortion groups (also speaking at the antiabortion March for Life in 2013) and designed social media ads for Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign -- was arrested on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography; prosecutors said that Verastigui graphically discussed his love of videos depicting child abuse in a group chat. A week before Graham's post, Verastigui was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. None of the Media Research Center's three main online outlets -- NewsBusters, CNSNews.com and MRCTV -- mentioned Verastigui and his crimes.
A couple months after Verastigui's arrest, Josh Duggar -- reality TV star and onetime official at the right-wing Family Research Councl whom the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com had promoted but attempted to ignore when allegations of child molestation surfaced in 2015 -- was arrested on charges of possessing child porn. Last month, he was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for his crimes. Again, CNSNews.com and MRCTV, though NewsBusters briefly alluded to it in a December 2021 post by Kristine Marsh bashing a cohost on "The View" for pointing out -- or, in marsh's words, making a "garbage analogy" -- that initial supporters of Jussie Smollett's claim of being a victim of a hate crime before the allegation was disproven were no different than "Republican politicians who took photos with Josh Duggar, when he worked for the Family Research Council, years before allegations of molestation and child pornography came out," offering up the odd defense that "Duggar wasn’t accusing others of a hate crime against him before the truth came out, as in Smollett’s case." As if being a child molester didn't conflict with the "pro-life" narratives of the FRC.
Don't expect Graham to actually whether Fox News covered the Verastigui and Duggar stories. Despite the organziation's name, "media research" isn't Graham's job -- and he's afraid to criticize Fox News in any case -- but manufacturing biased talking points is.
Orban-Friendly CNS Censors Story Of CPAC Gathering In Hungary Topic: CNSNews.com
Last year, CNSNews.com repeatedly lashed out at the Conservative Political Action Conference for committing the offense of not hating LGBT as much as it does. This year's main conference in February, there apparently wasn't enough non-hateful LGBT-related contemnt for CNS to get worked up about, so instead it ran two articles doing stenography for CPAC speakers:
In May, CPAC did something that most people would considermore offensive than failing to hate LGBT foplks -- it held a conference in Hungary, which is 1) not the United States and 2) led by a notorious right-wing authoritarian, Viktor Orban.
CNS, however, remained silent about the conference -- not even to report on speakers appearing there, even though they included Fox News' Tucker Carlson, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and a special pretaped message from Donald Trump.
Then again, Orban is one of CNS' favorite right-wing authoritarian leaders for lating immigrants and, yes, LGBT people. But even CNS had to concede that Orban engaged in a power grab at the start of the COVID pandemic. But CNS cheered Orban's additional hatred for LGBT people last year. An article last October noted that "A new natural gas contract between Russia and Hungary has sparked protests from Ukraine, which says that the agreement will undermine its national security.
CNS has since reported a little about Orban's semi-friendliness toward Vladimir Putin despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Pat Buchanan cheered in a February column praising nationalism movements how Orban "does not regard Putin's Russia as an enemy of his country, and provides economic incentives for Hungarian families to have more children," while an April column by Ted Galen Carpenter tried to portray Ukraine as less free than Hungary, "which is a frequent target of vitriolic criticism among progressives in the West because of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-globalist stance and his conservative domestic social policies."
So CNS still loves its some right-wing authoritarianism in the form of Orban -- it's just a lot more quiet about that these days.
MRC Continued To Deny That Replacement Theory Is Racist Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center still wasn't done defending the honor of replacement theory after the Buffalo massacre. Tim Graham's May 18 column served up a whitewashed definition then -- as is Graham's style -- played whataboutisim over it:
In the wake of the horrible Buffalo supermarket shooting, liberal journalists lunged at the opportunity to blame the mass murder on conservative and Republican messengers.
On CNN, S.E. Cupp was especially egregious in accusing the right-wingers of “amplifying” a “white replacement theory,” claiming the Democrats expected the influx of immigrants (largely illegal) would eventually lead to red states turning blue. Whites are not being replaced. Democrats just hope they’re outnumbered.
These attacks seem completely blind to the notion that their own liberal media outlets stir up racial animus, ethnic animus,and religious animus. They turn neighbor against neighbor. They thrive on getting people angry and afraid. They have ratcheted up the political tension for ages.
There’s nothing wrong with being combative. Being divisive is essential to politics: vote for Us, not Them. But there is something transparently ridiculous in crusading against “divisive vitriol” in politics while you spray it with a fire hose.
A post by Bill D'Agostino pretended that noting that demographic changes might benefit Democrats was exactly the same thing as right-wingers portraying it as a racist conspiracy theory in an attempt to take the heat off Fox News host Tucker Carlson for obsessing over it -- and besides, Carlson isn't saying the quiet part out loud so it can't possibly be racist:
If speaking candidly about Democrat-engineered demographic change causes mass shootings, then the media are culpable for the tragedy in Buffalo.
In the wake of a racially-motivated mass shooting that killed more than ten innocents over the weekend, leftwing journalists have heaped blame onto Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, as well as politicians like Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for promoting what they call “replacement theory.”
Though it’s hard to find a universally accepted definition of replacement theory, its central tenet appears to be that reducing the proportion of white Americans, relative to the total population, is an outcome that some in power are seeking deliberately. But if that’s a conspiracy theory, it’s one that both the media and the Democratic Party have subscribed to for decades:
It’s indisputable that America’s demographics are changing — the percentage of white Americans has been declining since the ’70s — and that Democrats view nonwhite or minority voters as a key constituency.
Since even the media will happily acknowledge those facts, it appears the magical ingredient turning this data-based reality into a full-blown white supremacist “conspiracy theory” is the notion that the demographic change is being orchestrated. Indeed, there are ugly interpretations of this theory that attribute the phenomenon to nebulous groups like “the elites,” or “the Jews,” or simply some shadowy “Them.”
But Carlson and Republican members of Congress have made it abundantly clear that they believe America’s shifting demographics are the intended outcome of the Democratic Party’s immigration policies. That’s no white supremacist theory; at worst, it’s a cynical political talking point.
Given Democrats expect the growing nonwhite population of America to support them, how can anyone argue their incredibly lax immigration policies aren't aimed at securing an electoral majority? Did they not expect to benefit from their proposed “pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants?
In the context of immigration, it seems the term “replacement” only became a dirty word once those in power realized voters didn’t view it as favorably as they did.
It’s no secret that the Democratic Party expects to benefit from America’s changing demographics (although some recent data calls that theory into question). But regardless of whether the “demographics are destiny” thesis proves true, the establishment media can’t run away from their track record of endorsing it as a strategy for their favorite political party.
Kyle Drennen complained that on MSNBC, "unhinged leftist and supposed marketing expert Donny Deutsch" called out the racism of replacement theory, going the whataboutism route in response:
He urged Democrats not to “run from this fist fight” and pleaded: “Call out Tucker Carlson, call out the politicians, and make this – make them own it. This is a Republican platform. It’s the racist Republican replacement theory.”
Deutsch was almost identically repeating the same screed he performed on Tuesday afternoon’s Deadline: White House, when he told host Nicole Wallace that Democrats should make the GOP “the party of Tucker Carlson” and horrendously tried to blame Republicans for the mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo: “You see the 10 people who got killed in Buffalo, you own that.”
Despite MSNBC defensively accusing Republicans and Fox News of promoting “replacement theory,” it’s the leftist media that have routinely stirred up racial tensions by cheering demographic changes across the country as a political advantage for Democrats and doom for Republicans.
Drennen linked to D'Agostino's post as apparently the definitive statement on what the MRC narrative is on replacement theory, as did Nicholas Fondacaro in bashing "The View" co-hosts for talking about it:
As NewsBusters research analyst Bill D’Agostino reported, Democrats have viewed immigration policy as a means to achieve their policy agenda and it’s something we know liberals and the media have been vocal in touting for years. But it has since found its way to the Ministry of Truth for deletion.
But as the rest of the cast of The View were simply trying to paint the theory as a racist conspiracy theory, Goldberg didn’t seem to understand what was being discussed. On Monday, as they were going to a commercial break, she scoffed: “well, if it was that easy, wouldn’t your friends have disappeared?” “Think about it,” she requested.
Now Goldberg could just be being facetious in that she’s taking an issue that they claim is of dire importance to iron out and making a joke of it. She could also be trying to lie to viewers about what the theory is about and what people believe. The least morally objectionable is that she simply is that ignorant.
Chief MRC replacement theory defender Clay Waters was at it again in another May 18 post:
If “replacement theory” requires an unnamed cabal, it’s interesting that Republicans specifically blame not some “cabal” but Democrats. Also, Republican concern is less about culture per se than voting power: The fear is that Democrats are indeed trying to change the demographics of the country by importing new Democrat voters from Latin America, thus possibly changing the electorate in their favor (though with the recent trend in Hispanic voting patterns toward Republicans, who knows?) Many also favor voting rights for illegal immigrants. No “replacement theory” necessary.
CBS Mornings kept up its race-baiting campaign Wednesday in reaction to the act of terrorism against the black community of Buffalo, New York with a segment about the great replacement theory that tied Fox News and “many conservative politicians” to the racist alleged gunman and included the fear that black men might now be gunned down at random if they live in the Midwest.
Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King fretted that the “Buffalo shooting highlights once again how a once-fringe, racist, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory is accepted by many Americans” with the great replacement theory being the “belief that there is a plot to replace white people with people of color.”
King then painted conservatives and Republicans (of which there’s over 70 million Americans) as riddled with white supremacists: “Now, it was first presented among white supremacists and on extremist websites. Now, many conservative politicians and pundits promoting some form of replacement theory.”
CBS then played clips from Tucker Carlson, Newt Gingrich, and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) that ranged from talking about the “theory” to merely opposing the Democratic Party’s immigration policies.
Waters returned to complain that thte New York Times wasn't following right-wing definitions of what replacement theory is and isn't: "Of course, Tucker Carlson was a target, accused of spreading 'replacement theory,' which has come to mean anything race- or immigration-related that a hostile liberal wishes it to mean." He then played his own version of whataboutism by referencing the shooting of three Asian-American women in Dallas in which the alleged perpetrator was "a 36-year-old black man." Who's the one playing the race card now, Clay?
Jeffrey Lord played historical whataboutism in his May 21 column, pretending that the Democratic Party of 100 years ago -- no, really, he cited a century-old New York Times editorial that criticized allowing blacks to vote and the party's platform from 1840 -- is exactly the same as the party of today:
So what do we have here in the wake of the Buffalo shooting?
What we have is a liberal media that is studiously stone cold silent on the Left’s and the Democratic Party’s 200-year plus history of the most vividly blatant racism imaginable. The very racism that the Buffalo shooter absorbed and used to murder ten human beings solely because of their skin color.
And so the liberal media projects the Left’s own history on race to….Tucker Carlson and Fox News.
Laughable? Yes. Disgraceful? Certainly. Will they stop projecting their own history on others?
Will they even stand up and demand Joe Biden and his party apologize for that history?
Not a prayer.
Lord seems not to have noticed that it's no longer 1840 and that the parties have changed places on racial issues.
WND's Moore Misrepresents Another Vaccine Study Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily writer Art Moore justloves to misrepresent scientific articles to advance conspiracy theories against COVID vaccines. He did it again in a May 12 article:
A new peer-reviewed analysis of data published in the prestigious British scientific journal Nature found a 25% increase in emergency calls for cardiac arrest and other sudden-onset coronary issues among young adults.
The researchers compared data for ages 16 to 39 years old for the same time period in 2019 and 2020, the Epoch Times reported.
Significantly, the researchers concluded the increase in emergency heart issues was associated with COVID-19 vaccination, not with COVID-19 infections.
The team – led by Drs. Christopher Sun of the MIT Sloan School of Management, Eli Jaffe of Israel's National Emergency Medical Services and Retsef Levi of MIT – analyzed data collected by Israel's National Emergency Medical Services between 2019 and 2021.
"An increase of over 25% was detected ... compared with the years 2019–2020," they wrote. "[T]he weekly emergency call counts were significantly associated with the rates of 1st and 2nd vaccine doses administered to this age group [16 to 39] but were not with COVID‐19 infection rates."
The scientists concluded: "While not establishing causal relationships, the findings raise concerns regarding vaccine-induced undetected severe cardiovascular side-effects and underscore the already established causal relationship between vaccines and myocarditis, a frequent cause of unexpected cardiac arrest in young individuals."
Moore omitted a lot from that description -- which he rather lazily lifted from an eight-day-old article at the right-wing Epoch Times, a longtime misinformer about COVID vaccines. Both Moore and the Epoch Times got the journal's name wrong -- the study appeared in Scientific Reports, not Nature, though the journal is hosted on Nature's website. Moore did leave a clue in noting that two of the researchers were associated with the MIT Sloan School of Management and not a medical organization; as a fact-checker pointed out, this was a statistical analysis not a clinical one, meaning that data and not patients were examined. The fact-checker also highlighted other issues with the study:
The study analyzed EMS call data, meaning that people who went to the hospital by themselves were excluded -- which account for about half of similar cases.
Vaccine-induced myocarditiscould have been more accurately diagnosed from clinical data instead of the EMS data the study used.
The EMS data did not distinguish myocarditis cases between those induced by COVID infection or the vaccine.
The study authors stated that they did not establish "causal relationships" between vaccines and heart problems.
The authors also stated that an increase in heart problems could have been created by other non-vaccine-related issues, including delay of care due to pandemic fear or lockdowns.
Moore also censored mention of an editor's note added to the study: "Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this article are subject to criticisms that are being considered by the Editors. A further editorial response will follow once all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full." Instead, Moore hyped "a growing body of scientific and clinical evidence of severe side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines."
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Loud And Lame War On NewsGuard Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center enjoys ranting at the website rating service for pointing out that conservative websites aren't very credible -- but it doesn't actually disprove any of NewsGuard's findings. Read more >>
CNS Calls On Ron Paul to Bash NATO, Cheer Obstructionism Over Ukraine Topic: CNSNews.com
Among the commentaryvoices that CNSNews.com has been calling on to spout isolationist and anti-NATO rhetoric at the Russian invasion of Ukraine -- and, thus, effective pro-Russia -- is a familiar name: libertarian Ron Paul. He went on an anti-NATO tirade in a March 1 column:
One does not need to approve of Russia’s military actions to analyze its stated motivation: NATO membership for Ukraine was a red line it was not willing to see crossed. As we find ourselves at risk of a terrible escalation, we should remind ourselves that it didn’t have to happen this way. There was no advantage to the United States to expand and threaten to expand NATO to Russia’s doorstep. There is no way to argue that we are any safer for it.
NATO itself was a huge mistake.
NATO's purpose was stated to "guarantee the safety and freedom of its members by political and military means." It is a job not well done!
I believe as strongly today as I did back in my 2008 House Floor speech that “NATO should be disbanded, not expanded.” In the meantime, expansion should be off the table. The risks do not outweigh the benefits!
Paul devoted his March 28 column to Biden-bashing, ranting that a European trip ">may have been the most disastrous – and dangerous – presidential overseas trip ever" because Biden made the reasonable observation that Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power," huffing that Biden made "what is essentially a declaration of war on Russia" and concluding, "There is a real problem in the Biden Administration and the sooner we face it the better."
Paul spent his April 11 column accusing the CIA of planting false anti-Russia stories in the media to boost support for Biden's actions in Ukraine:
Readers will recall the shocking headlines that Russia was prepared to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, that China would be providing military equipment to Russia, that Russian President Putin was being fed misinformation by his advisors, and more.
All of these were churned out by the CIA to be repeated in the American media even though they were known to be false. It was all about, as one intelligence officer said in the article, “trying to get inside Putin’s head.”
That may have been the goal, but what the CIA actually did was get inside America’s head with false information meant to shape public perception of the conflict. They lied to propagandize us in favor of the Biden Administration’s narrative.
In his April 25 column, Paul huffed that defense manufacturers were making money on the U.S. and other countries sending weapons to Ukraine to defend itself:
While many who sympathize with Ukraine are cheering, this multi-billion dollar weapons package will make little difference. As former U.S. Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter said on the "Ron Paul Liberty Report" in mid-April, “I can say with absolute certainty that even if this aid makes it to the battlefield, it will have zero impact on the battle. And Joe Biden knows it.”
What we do see is that Russians are capturing modern U.S. and NATO weapons by the ton and even using them to kill more Ukrainians. What irony. Also, what kinds of opportunities will be provided to terrorists, with thousands of tons of deadly high-tech weapons floating around Europe? Washington has admitted that it has no way of tracking the weapons it is sending to Ukraine and no way to keep them out of the hands of the bad guys.
War is a racket, to be sure. The U.S. has been meddling in Ukraine since the end of the Cold War, going so far as overthrowing the government in 2014 and planting the seeds of the war we are witnessing today. The only way out of a hole is to stop digging. Don’t expect that any time soon. War is too profitable.
Paul used his May 16 column to defend his son, Sen. Rand Paul (whom he weirdly did not note was his son) after he obstructed more U.S. aid to Ukraine:
Sen. Paul put the package into perspective: this massive giveaway to Ukraine equals nearly the entire yearly budget of the U.S. State Department and is larger than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security!
He wanted at least a bit of oversight on the nearly $50 billion in total that Washington has sent to what Transparency International deems one of the most corrupt countries on earth. Is that really too much to ask?
For Washington, the answer is “yes.” The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) was an endless thorn in Washington’s side, because he actually did his job and reported on the billions of dollars that were stolen in Afghanistan.
The temporary pause is important. It gives Americans a little time to let their senators know that they do not support this ridiculous and wasteful giveaway to Ukraine. Inflation is ripping through the country. Gas prices are through the roof. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The dollar is teetering. And we’re giving money away?
Paul lamented that the aid was ultimately approved in his May 25 column and again defended his son's obstruction efforts:
The Biden Administration claims that Ukraine is winning the war with Russia and that such an expenditure to protect Ukraine's borders is critical to our national interests and worth risking a nuclear war over.
But protecting Ukraine's democracy is no longer the stated goal of the Administration. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin outlined the Administration's new intention not long ago when he said that the real goal is to weaken Russia.
Biden’s neocons are fighting a war with Russia, but once again Congress has no interest in voting on a war declaration or even in debating whether war with Russia 30 years after the end of the Cold War is a good idea.
Congress - with very few exceptions - has opened a financial spigot to the government in Kiev without asking a single question about how and why the money is to be spent. When Senator Paul simply asked for someone to keep track of the $60 billion we shipped over there, he was met with near-unanimous opposition.
An endless supply of U.S. taxpayer money to Ukraine with zero stated goals and zero oversight. Isn’t it time to stand up and demand that both parties in Congress start asking some hard questions?
Kneejerk isolationism and obstrucctionism are not "hard questions."
After Buffalo Massacre, MRC Tries To Whitewash, Redefine Replacement Theory Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center was totally on board with replacement theory -- the white supremacist-based conspiracy theory that Democrats are replacing white Americans with swarthy-looking immigrants to boost their election prospects -- before the mass shooting targeting Black people at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket, the alleged perpetrator of which invoked replacement theory in a manifesto that echoed rants by Fox News' Tucker Carlson. After the massacre, the MRC took the approach of denying that replacement theory is racist.
When it was pointed out that top Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik had unmistakably alluded to replacement theory by warning of a "PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION" due to Democrats' alleged "plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington," Nicholas Fondacaro rushed to her defense in a May 16 post, insisting that the co-hosts on "The View" "falsely claimed Stefanik had peddled in 'replacement theory,'" then tried to whiteweash her words: "All Stefanik has said is that Democrats had hoped new immigrants who registered to vote would support them and not Republicans. She also pointed out how that hope was not working out for them and Republicans were seeing historic gains among Hispanic and African American voters.
Kyle Drennen huffed in a post the same day that mentioning that the shooter's embrace of replacement theory echoed that of prominent Republicans and right-wing entertainers like Tucker Carlson was a "politicization of the attack."
Clay Waters -- the MRC's biggest defender of replacement theory -- served up a muddy attempt to parse what it purportedly is and is nott: "It's no conspiracy theory to think Democrats want more immigrants allowed into the United States and to eventually give them the vote, expecting them to vote for the party who granted them citizenship. It’s certainly not an embrace of “replacement theory" to think so.
Kevin Tober sycophantally gushed over Carlson's response to his critics on that night's Fox News show:
Fox News host Tucker Carlson had to be champing at the bit to get back on television Monday night after having to endure an entire weekend of many in the leftist media blaming him and others for the mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday afternoon. When Carlson opened his show Tucker Carlson Tonight, to defend himself and his fellow conservatives, he did not disappoint.
Carlson ended by making clear that the truth about the Buffalo supermarket killer tells “you a lot about the ruthlessness and dishonesty of our political leadership.” He added that “within minutes of Saturday’s shooting before all of the bodies of those ten murdered Americans had even been identified by their loved ones, professional Democrats had begun a coordinate campaign to blame those murders on their political opponents.”
The leftist media will do anything to smear Americans who they disagree with. Our media and culture is completely toxic and those who continue to bitterly divide America should be held accountable.
Tober didn't mention that Carlson did not discuss his past enthusiasm for replacement theory during the show.
Tim Graham used a May 17 post to join his underling in complaining that Stefanik was being criticized for her replacement theory-adjacent rantings with a blend of whitewash and whataboutism:
"Overthrow our electorate" is pretty hot talk, but it's quite similar to media outlets who heavily imply this somehow leads to "Stefanik echoed racist mass shooter."
Sotomayor also mentioned an unnamed Stefanik spokesman explained the ads came "when New York City was debating whether to allow roughly 1 million non-residents the chance to vote only in local elections. City council approved the measure in December, allowing those living in NYC for over 30 days with a work permit — not undocumented immigrants — to partake."
So is that a "baseless conspiracy theory," that Democrats eagerly want illegal immigrants to vote? You get smeared with murderous racists when you object.
It's all in a day's work at a Democrat rag. Their blogger Greg Sargent also got into the act with"How Elise Stefanik and the GOP sanitize ‘great replacement’ ugliness."
This is the same partisan newspaper that publishes gushy puff pieces about race-baiting radical Squad congresswomen, from Ilhan Omar to Cori Bush.
Alex Christy complained that "CBS’s Stephen Colbert returned to The Late Show on Monday after a COVID absence to declare that half of Republicans agree with the Buffalo racist mass shooter, including Fox’s Tucker Carlson and Rep. Elise Stefanik," insisting that "opposing giving amnesty and citizenship for illegal immigrants is not Great Replacement Theory." If that was all Carlson and Stefanik had done, Christy might have a point.
Mark Finkelstein tried to play the same misdirection game Graham did by claiming replcement theory can't possibly be racist if you don't say the quiet part out loud and explicitly reference race:
CNN wants you to believe that the Democrats are a political party . . . above politics. That in fashioning their policies, the thought that massive, record-breaking flows of immigrants across the southern border might help them politically never crosses the Democrats' minds!
And if you disagree? If you think that, in fact, Democrats view those immigrants as, in the phrase that Mark Steyn made famous, "undocumented Democrats," well then, you are a racist, spewing a "garbage" conspiracy theory.
That was the message Monday on CNN's New Day, in a segment centered on the Buffalo mass shooting in which 10 people were killed at a supermarket.
CNN reporter Sunlen Serfaty cast Republicans and conservatives as embracing a "far-right" replacement theory. But when you actually listen to what people said in the clips CNN played, you'll note that they frame their views on Dem immigration policy explicitly in terms of its political implications, eschewing the racial or ethnic concerns that some on the fringe express.
Thus, Rep. Brian Babin said that the Democrat strategy is to replace the American "electorate." Rep. Scott Perry said the Dems' goal is to "transform the political landscape." Senatorial candidate J.D. Vance said that Democrats have concluded that they can't win unless they "bring in a large number of new voters." And Tucker Carlson said that Democrats are "importing a brand-new electorate."
And CNN deceptively edited its clip of Sen. Ron Johnson. They rolled the bit in which he said that Democrats are trying to change American "demographics"--but omitted what immediately followed: "to ensure their -- that they stay in power forever." So Johnson was speaking of the Democrats' political ambitions. But CNN made it appear he was focused on the racial or ethnic implications of their plans.
Fondacaro re-expressed his issues with women by smearing the co-hosts of "The View" as a "clucking coven" as he bashed them for noting there's not much difference between the racism of the Buffalo shooter and "parents storming school boards and saying, 'we don't want the talk about race relations, we don’t want to talk about anti-racism,'" then ranted a bit about "the racism of Critical Race Theory."
It was Waters' turn to defend and whitewash Stefanik in a May 17 post:
After the despicable, racially motivated mass shooting in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York Times congressional correspondent Annie Karni kept the paper’s previous political smears against Republicans going in Tuesday’s paper against a ranking Republican in Congress: "Racist Attack Spotlights Elise Stefanik’s Echo of Replacement Theory.”
The Times is too cowardly to directly accuse Republicans of espousing “great replacement” theory, so Karni engaged in cloudy wordplay to conflate Republican stands against illegal immigration as genocidal.
Karni buried Stefanik’s sensible response to the story's lead paragraph smears in paragraphs 15 and 16, in which Stefanik noted Biden's call for a pathway to citizenship for 11 million "undocumented," and a proposal to give 800,000 noncitizens the right to vote in New York municipal elections.
Kevin Tober managed not to defend replacement theory in a May 18 post; instead he was mad that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell noted that Fox News and owner Rupert Murdoch profit mightily from its hosts pushing it, then played a redirection game: "Claiming the chairman of a major news network and the Republican Party don’t care how many Americans die from mass shootings is beyond disgusting. The premise of the entire controversy is wrong. The mass shooter behind the tragedy in Buffalo wrote in his manifesto that he thought Fox News was out to get him and specifically attacked Murdoch." Tober didn't explain how the shooter sounded so much like Carlson if he thought Fox News was out to get him.
Melanie Arter didn't fact-check this claim by a prominent conservative in a May 10 CNSNews.com article:
The nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, was started by Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist who wanted to limit the number of blacks and Hispanics, which is why “the clinics are predominantly found in minority communities,” Dr. Ben Carson told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“There is so much going on in our society today that people try to relate back to race. Some of it has to do with race, and some of it doesn't, but there are a lot of people who are trying to divide us, divide us on the basis of race, income, age, religion, gender, you name it - divide and conquer,” he said.
“Now, looking at this abortion issue that's going on, a lot of people don't realize that Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger who was a eugenicist. She wanted to limit the numbers of black people and Hispanic people. That’s why the clinics are predominantly found in minority communities,” Carson said.
“It’s really disgusting, and it goes to our history, and why is history so important? Because history gives you your identity, and your identity gives you your beliefs. If you do not have appropriate beliefs you’re easily swayed. You’ll notice when ISIS goes into a place and conquers it, what do they do? They get rid of the history,” he said.
“We have the same people trying to distort and get rid of our history, and we need to understand those things so that we don’t repeat the bad things. You would have thought we learned all those lessons by World War II, but look what is going on right now, today in Europe. It’s horrible,” Carson said.
Actually, the only one who's trying to rewrite history here is Carson. As we've documented, while Sanger was a eugenicist -- as were many people of her era -- there's simply no evidence that she was ever a virulent racist who sought to "limit the numbers of black people and Hispanic people." And since that part isn't true, it also cannot be true that this is the reason that Planned Parenthood clinics are "predominantly found in minority communities" -- a claim that also isn't true unless one uses an extremely broad definition of what a "minority community" is.
Of course, Arter isn't being paid to fact-check conservatives -- she's being paid to serve as their stenographer.
Newsmax's Morris Laughably Denies Abortion Will Change Much if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned Topic: Newsmax
Dick Morris may be on the right side of history in calling out Tucker Carlson's embrace of Russia and Vladimir Putin, he's still fully capable of spectacularly wrong takes. He spent his May 3 Newsmax column denying that things would change much on the abortion front if Roe v. Wade is overturned, as suggested by a leaked draft decision in a Mississippi abortion case:
To hear the howls of the left and the cheers of the right, you would think the Earth was shifting under our feet with the report that the Supreme Court had decided to overrule Roe v Wade. The fact is that not much will change.
The Mississippi law under review only bans abortions after 15 weeks, almost up to the start of the second trimester. It does nothing to limit them before 15 weeks — four months! If you don’t know you are pregnant after four months, you need more than a pregnancy test. You need to have your head examined.
Especially with the 15 week deadline publicized and well known, it is almost inconceivable that a pregnant woman would be surprised to learn that she is with child after 15 weeks.
And, even then, the possible court decision does not make abortion illegal. It just lets the states do so if they wish. At least half the states will likely vote to keep the procedure legal. So with a little bus fare, likely to be available from the millions being donated to pro-choice groups, would solve the problem.
The CDC reports that 92.7 percent of all abortions take place in the first 13 weeks weeks of gestation, when the procedure would still be legal in all states. Only 6.2 percent are done between the 14th and 20th week and less than 1 percent thereafter.
Meanwhile, just a cople hours after Morris' column was published, a Newsmax article by Charlie McCarthy pointed out the reality:
Legislators in 13 states have passed laws to limit or restrict access to abortion that would go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned, CNN reported.
In some cases, the law requires an official. such as an attorney general, to certify that Roe has been struck down before the law can take effect, CNN reported.
Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia are among nine states that had abortion restrictions before the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Those restrictions never were removed.
Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and South Carolina are among states that have approved near-total bans or laws prohibiting abortion after a certain number of weeks, though many of them have been blocked by courts.
Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming are states with "trigger laws" ready to go into effect almost immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Given that several states would restrict or completely outloaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it sure looks like a lot more than 10 percent of abortions would be made illegal.
WND's Lively Still Trying To Defend Putin Topic: WorldNetDaily
Scott Lively has been spending less time lately spreading his vile homophobia and more time defending Vladimir Putin before and after his invasion of Ukraine. He did that again in his May 12 WorldNetDaily column, insisting that Putin get a "fair hearing":
The same corrupt elites who orchestrated both the 2014 anti-Russian coup in Ukraine and the 2020 anti-American coup to remove President Trump are now focused on regime change in Russia itself. The key to their plan is demonizing Vladimir Putin as the new Hitler. Our whole country seems to have been swept up in the smear campaign, but we Americans, especially we conservatives, should not be so quick to surrender our right to informed consent when the potential for a nuclear WWIII is on the line.
I am writing this article in my four capacities as 1) an attorney, 2) a pastor 3) a missionary with extensive relevant experience in Russia and the former Soviet Union, and 4) a serial victim of serious media character assassination.
As an attorney, I am reminding everyone that one of the fundamental bedrock principles of American jurisprudence is a) innocence until proven guilty, b) by a court of competent jurisdiction, c) after a careful review of ALL the relevant evidence, d) as presented, explained and defended by competent legal counsel, and e) in a balanced, rules-based adversarial contest designed to ensure that the truth of the matters at issue will prevail. This is America's gold standard of fairness: the best in all the world since the dawn of civilization, which has set us apart from, for example, third-world dictatorships that convict people without trial in the court of public opinion with no counter-evidence allowed because it's banned as "disinformation."
Lively then tried to make the argument that Russia is more Christian than the U.S. and that Putin was unfairly being Saul Alinsky'd:
As a missionary with extensive relevant experience in Russia and the former Soviet Union, I can testify from firsthand observation that today's Russia is not only NOT a Communist country, but is (point for point) arguably more Christian in its culture and policies than the now Marxist-controlled United States – a fact I am ashamed and distressed as a patriot who loves my country to have to admit. I have never personally met or interacted with President Putin, so my opinion of him is based on publicly available sources, such as his speeches and media interviews. However, I have assessed the mentality and character of the Russian people in hundreds of interactions spanning all levels of their society and believe them to be the closest to American conservatives of all the peoples of the world that I have encountered in my missionary and personal travels through 66 countries. And they – the Russian people – are overwhelmingly pro-Putin. He is to his people the equivalent of Donald Trump, but with a much higher percentage of the population behind him (although every day Biden remains in office, Trump's support rises).
The only possibility of escape from the Saul Alinsky trap is to present counter-evidence to the smear narrative, which is impossible if that evidence is censored as "disinformation" by the government and media moguls. I successfully broke free from the trap by doing something too interesting to the public for my enemies in government and the media to suppress: I ran for governor of Massachusetts and showed my true self to the people during that campaign. But Putin literally has no defender of significance in the U.S. to counteract the character assassination – and so, for all the reasons listed above, I am making this humble effort.
Lively then decided to play dumb, declaring that he can't possibly know if Putin is a war criminal because the government and media are liars and really, when you think about it, none of us compare to Jesus:
To be absolutely clear, I don't know if Vladimir Putin is guilty of any of the specific acts of which he has been accused over the years. I personally don't trust the accusers in the Biden/Obama Defense, State or Intelligence agencies and the media and neither should any American conservatives, because we've all been smeared by the same people for years. That doesn't mean Putin is innocent, but it does mean that we should all recognize our personal investment in ensuring he gets a fair evidence-based hearing and that we shouldn't just join the media-inflamed lynch mob against him. I hope we can all agree that edited and spun TV news reporting is NOT trustworthy evidence. (Can I get an Amen from the pro-lifers, Second Amendment and Trump supporters here?)
It's not just that we have a duty to seek and speak truth, and a huge investment in preserving the principle of "innocent until proven guilty," but we ought to be wondering WHY they're suppressing open discussion on Putin and Russia so aggressively and HOW we might benefit by knowing whatever truths the media may be hiding from us.
I do know that the first rule of character assassination of a public figure is to never allow the public to compare the target with other public figures as a measure of their merit, but only to compare them to a hypothetical perfect alternative. We saw this in the gross mistreatment of President Trump when every one of his flaws, real and imagined, were spotlighted and magnified while similar or comparable flaws in every other politician were simply ignored or whitewashed.
If we're going to try Putin in the court of public opinion, the least we can do is compare him point for point not with the perfect standard of Jesus Christ, but with other current and recent world leaders. How does Putin compare, for example to Joe Biden? Justin Trudeau? Boris Johnson? Emmanuel Macron? George Bush? Bill Clinton? Angela Merkle? Barack Obama? Have any of them killed foreign enemies? Conducted military operations on foreign soil that harmed civilians? Sabotaged political rivals? Consorted with billionaire "oligarchs"? Making fair comparisons is a duty we owe to ourselves, as much as to those being smeared.
But never fear -- despite his decision not to actually examine the evidence, Lively has declared he looked into it enough and is giving Putin his continued stamp of approval:
I've done my due diligence and, on balance, believe Putin is a relatively a good leader of his people – far better than Biden – and certainly not a Hitler. Again, I'm not saying Putin isn't a flawed man. I'm saying the accusations against him should be tested in a fair hearing. None of us should unthinkingly parrot war propaganda from people we have good reason not to trust. We should instead demand that our golden standards of discerning truth are applied to these questions. Wouldn't you demand the same for yourself if you were the target?
The fact that Lively is endorsing Putin even after numerous reports of war crimes tells us that there's good reason not to trust him.
MRC's Double Standard On Legislative Descriptions Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Bill D'Agostino complained in an April 28 post:
If you relied exclusively on broadcast or liberal cable networks for your news, you’d likely be surprised to learn that Florida’s recently-passed education law was not officially titled, “the Don’t Say Gay law.” An MRC analysis found that TV networks almost exclusively referred to the law by this politically-charged epithet, with most outlets only using the law’s official name — “Parental Rights in Education” — one or two times in the past months.
MRC analysts examined all broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC) and liberal cable (CNN, MSNBC) coverage of Florida’s latest education law between February 1 and April 28. During that time, we found 230 instances in which anchors, analysts, and contributors referred to the law as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but only 18 cases where they used its official name — the “Parental Rights in Education” bill.
Labelling can be a very effective means of controlling political discourse, and it’s one the media use frequently. By relying almost exclusively on the Democrats’ framing, the media are conditioning their audiences to react negatively to this legislation.
D'Agostino isn'tgoing to tell you that the MRC is guilty of the same thing he accuses non-right-wing media of doing. A search of the MRC's archive shows that it called the Florida bill (and other similar bills across the country) and "anti-grooming" bil, despite the word "grooming" appearing nowhere in the bill, let alone its name. It happens in these articles:
Telemundo Hostesses Try, Fail in Condemning Florida's Anti-Grooming Law -- Kathleen Krumhansl, March 30
They’re being bullied by lefty employees for not more forcefully endorsing the sexual grooming of grade schoolers. -- Matt Philbin, March 22
Florida House Bill 1557, the anti-grooming bill that currently awaits approval from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis -- John Simmons, March 23
The whole awful monologue could not end, of course, without a stab at Florida's anti-grooming law, "The Parental Rights in Education Act," which protects children in kindergarten through third grade. -- Elise Ehrhard, March 27
MSNBC Lies About FL Anti-Grooming Law, Smear DeSantis Spox -- Kevin Tober, March 30
School boards everywhere are rising up to combat Florida’s anti-grooming bill. -- John Simmons, April 1
Florida’s anti-child grooming “Parental Rights in Education” law -- Kevin Tober, April 3
Noah didn't use the opening to attack Florida's new anti-grooming law. -- Elise Ehrhard, April 3
The anti-grooming laws being enacted throughout the nation, and which grant parents the right to educate their young children on the subjects of sex and gender identity -- Kathleen Krumhansl, April 6
Last month, Disney attacked Florida's anti-grooming legislation, the Parental Rights in Education Bill. -- Elise Ehrhard, April 18
"Look, there's policy disputes, and that's fine," DeSantis said last month when Disney started opposing his anti-grooming bill -- John Simmons, April 21
No wonder Disney employees pressured their CEO to oppose Florida's anti-grooming legislation. -- Elise Ehrhard, April 27
We all know where Disney stands on Florida’s new anti-grooming law, “Parental Rights in Education” -- Elise Ehrhard, May 6
The alleged “Protect Our Kids Fund” gives “impacted students, teachers and families” resources to help deal with DeSantis' anti-grooming bill -- Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, May 9
If critics of the law are not allowed to call it what they believe it does despite that decription not appearing in the bill, the MRC isn't either. But then, the MRC has never felt that the rules it demands others follow apply to itself -- which makes it look utterly hypocritical.
WND Mad That Obama Called Out Misinformation Topic: WorldNetDaily
Obama Derangement Syndrome still reigns at WorldNetDaily, if the reaction to his speech criticizing the spread of misinformation is any indication. Of course, WND is a major purveyor of misinformation, particularly aboutObama, so maybe it feels a little threatened about being implicitly called out. Editor Joseph Farah ranted at Obama's speech in his April 26 column:
In a major speech last week, Barack Obama called for even MORE censorship, MORE cancellations, MORE demonetization and more violations of the First Amendment by Big Tech.
He described himself as "pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist" but immediately clarified that it did not apply to U.S. social media companies – the largest purveyors of news content and opinion in the country.
I guess to Obama news content and opinion are safe to be disseminated for now – as long as they run offline in more traditional media, like print.
In fact, he demanded that online social media go further to diminish what he called "disinformation."
Obama warned that dangerous people were using social media to distract the public. He wasn't speaking of the Big Tech giants. Rather it is Vladimir Putin, who keeps Russia in the dark about what goes in Ukraine. It's Steve Bannon, who advocates for America First.
"People like Putin and Steve Bannon for that matter understand it's not necessary for people to believe disinformation in order to weaken democratic institutions – you just have to flood the public square with enough raw sewage," he complained.
He complained there was no way to distinguish online between "a peer-reviewed article by Dr. Anthony Fauci and a miracle cure pitched by a huckster."
The wide variety of content on the coronavirus and vaccines, Obama said, was concerning, as some people chose not to get vaccinated.
"People are dying because of misinformation," he said.
No, last time I checked, people are dying because of Big Pharma's misinformation.
Actually, the last time we checked, WND was avidlyspreadingmisinformation about COVID and its vaccines, so it's entirely likely that such misinformation has taken the lives of WND readers (and doesn't Farah need all the readers he can get these days?). Farah concluded with an unsurprising money beg:
WND has been here before with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, the intolerant left and Big Tech. We've been through the nightmare of being attacked by the Digital Cartel, for our standards of conservative values and our Christian perspective. We've been DEMONITIZED, CANCELED and DOWNSIZED against our will. Please support us to stay in the fight. Read HELP WND – before it's too late!
WND columnist Jack Cashill -- who spends most of his days writing anti-Obama screeds despite the fact that he left the presidency years ago -- served up a similarly hateful and paranoid take on Obama's speech in his April 27 column that made the headline claim Obama went "full Orwell":
The thrust of his speech was that "regulation has to be part of the answer" in combating online "disinformation." As Obama made much too clear he and his pals get to determine what is and is not disinformation.
The former president makes almost no attempt to hide his biases. A sentence that reads, "People like Putin and Steve Bannon, for that matter, understand it's not necessary for people to believe this information in order to weaken democratic institutions" does not inspire a whole lot of confidence in the deplorable half of America.
Nor does a sentence that reads, "There are still brand name newspapers and magazines, not to mention network news broadcasts, NPR [and] other outlets that have adapted to the new digital environment while maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity."
One idea Obama supports is for school districts to teach "our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources and separate opinion from fact." To this end, Obama asks, "Does this person who's typing in his mother's basement in his underwear seem a credible authority on climate change?"
I suspect he is at least as credible as a man who purchased two new multi-million dollar beachfront properties despite his expressed worry about "caravans of lost souls wandering a cracked earth in search of arable land, regular Katrina-sized catastrophes across every continent, island nations swallowed up by the sea."
The source of Obama's greatest worry, of course, is the 2020 election. He repeatedly chastised Republicans, Trump most notably, for "saying an election was stolen without a shred of evidence." The stolen-election gambit, argued Obama, allowed Republicans to "target black and brown communities" with "voter suppression" schemes.
Bottom line: Obama and the Democrats are worried. Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, John Durham's continued probe of the Russia collusion plot, the impending release of Dinesh D'Souza's vote fraud exposé, "2000 Mules," and the likely flipping of the House in November, threaten their control of the narrative.
It may be time for a new George Floyd.
Laua Hollis also ranted about the speech in her April 28 column:
Last week at Stanford University, former President Barack Obama offered one of his characteristically gaslighting speeches in which he intoned solemnly about the dangers of disinformation: "You just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorizing, that citizens no longer know what to believe."
Are those warnings? Or instructions? After all, Obama is a disinformation pro. Years ago, he bragged to author Richard Wolffe, "I actually believe my own bulls–t." He lied to the American public about his truly terrible deal that gave Iran billions and let them pursue their work toward a nuclear bomb. (Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes infamously laughed and preened about this particular deception.) Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, neither protects patients nor is affordable. Obama gave speech after speech in which he promised Americans that they could "keep their doctors" and "keep their plans" – lies so egregious that Politifact named them the 2013 "Lie of the Year." One of the bill's architects, Jonathan Gruber, admitted on camera that "lack of transparency" was necessary to pass the law, because of the "stupidity of the American voter."
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So, the fear and loathing of disinformation only goes one way.
Well, WND certainly doesn't fear disinformation enough to stop publishing it -- or understand that its love of misinformation is why it's a failing business.
Newsmax Columnist Whitewashes Story Of Capitol Riot Insurrectionist Topic: Newsmax
Michael Dorstewitz laid it on thick in his May 18 column, starting with the introduction: "After a 16-month hiatus due to a series of setbacks, Brandon Straka is restarting the #WalkAway campaign, a movement he launched in 2018 to encourage former fellow liberals to #WalkAway from the Democratic Party."
Those "setbacks" were linked to Straka's participation in the Capitol riot. First, according to Dorstewitz, was Facebook shutting down the page for Straka's WalkAway campaign which claims to encourage people to quit the Democratic Party and become Trump MAGA types. For the second, Dorstewitz cranked up the whitewashing drama:
The second setback came 17 days later when "an FBI team in tactical gear [raided] my apartment Monday morning, January 25that dawn, came in and [took] me out of bed, put me in handcuffs, [took] me to jail and [presented] me with a search warrant for a team of FBI agents to start stripping my apartment of computers, hard drives, phones, iPads, camera equipment, clothing, etc."
Straka's crime was accepting an invitation, as the head of #WalkAway, to speak at the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. While there, he shot a video at the east entrance to the Capitol.
Straka observed that "It was on the west side that people were breaking windows and struggling with officers."
After shooting about eight minutes of video, he turned around and left.
The camera caught a brief scuffle between an officer and a demonstrator. When Straka got home he posted the video to social media without bothering to look at it.
He told Newsmax that:
• "I never went inside of the Capitol.
• "I was never accused of going inside of the Capitol.
• "They know I didn't engage in any violence, any vandalism, in any theft, or any destruction."
Nevertheless, he was charged with two felonies: knowingly occupying restricted grounds and impeding an officer in the line of duty.
By contrast, as a more honest media outlet reported, Straka "admitted to recording himself telling the mob to 'go go go' as they reached the Capitol and telling rioters who were wrestling a shield away from a US Capitol Police officer to 'take it, take it.'" Straka also tweeted in the midst of the riot, “Patriots at the Capitol- HOLD THE LINE.” Further, the judge -- a Trump-appointed one at that -- pointed out that "He still persists in this idea that it is okay to storm the Capitol to contest an election, and that's not what we do in this country. People who do that are not patriots."
Meanwhile, Dorstewitz was fully invested in making Straka into a victim:
Then Justice Department lawyers dragged the case out with five continuances during the course of a year before offering to drop the felonies in exchange for a guilty plea on the misdemeanor — but it came with a catch. He had to make several false admissions of "fact."
"I can't even describe into words what that has done to me," he said. "It's just destroyed my reputation."
When Straka is asked why he made the admissions and pled to the misdemeanor, he responds, "Are you paying attention? Are you seeing how these cases are being handled?"
Jan. 6 defendant Matthew Perna is a case in point. His family said he was "bullied to death" by government lawyers despite having committed no violent crime. He eventually took his own life for basically entering the Capitol building wearing a MAGA cap.
Yes, participating in a violent insurrection does tend to destroy one's reputation. Dorstewitz apparently didn't ask Straka what statements he made under oath he has decided are now false (something that might put him in further legal trouble for lying to authorities). Also, if Perna's only offense was "wearing a MAGA cap," there would have been no need for him to kill himself. In fact, he was a QAnon conspiracy believe who did violate the law by entering the Capitol, and videotaped himself while there.
In addition to whitewashing Straka's participation in a violent insurrection, Dorstewitz's other purpose was to hype the relaunch of the WalkAway campaign, touting how Straka says he's "working with a development company to build our own social platform" that will be "a cancel-proof platform where we can rebuild that community," as well as an upcoming rally, after which he quoted Straka enthusing, "We're coming back!" That rally was apparently such a bust that we could find no news coverage of it, even in right-wing media.