The MRC Can't Quit John Durham Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been positively obsessed with special counsel John Durham because of his potential for serving as a surrogate attack dog on behalf of Republicans by attacking Hillary Clinton over the 2016 presidential campaign (never mind that the MRC regularly whines about the media being obsessed with Donald Trump even though he left office a year and a half ago) and burying the fact that Durham's "massive" scoops have tended to be low on substance. Even though Durham's claims in February fizzled out, the MRC continuedto place its faith in Durham as a stealth political actor. Curtis Houck huffed in an April 18 post:
Last week, ABC, CBS, and NBC refused to cover on their top morning and evening shows not one but two new and significant happenings in Special Counsel John Durham ’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe; as not only did a judge deny indicted former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann’s motion to dismiss, but a new Durham filing alleging the CIA knew Trump-Russia ties were “not plausible” and “user-created” on Trump servers.
Houck went on to unsurprisingly praise how Fox News ran with those claims. But as the Washington Post reported, that claim was cherry-picked out of Durham's full filing, and it's not clear which exact claim is being criticized as "not plausible."
When Sussmann's trial started, the MRC ranted about how non-right-wing media was ignoring it while cheering Fox News for lovingly detailing it, starting with a May 17 post by Kevin Tober:
On Tuesday, the prosecution and defense teams in special counsel John Durham’s trial against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann delivered opening arguments. Sussmann is charged with making false statements to the FBI. During opening arguments, prosecutors revealed that Sussmann used the FBI to create an October surprise during the 2016 presidential election against then-candidate Donald Trump.
Despite this revelation that a lawyer for the Clinton campaign lied to the FBI in order to frame Donald Trump, all three evening news broadcasts ignored the story. Instead, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, & NBC Nightly News wasted airtime on local weather reports, a brush fire in Los Angeles, and an entire segment on the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.
Thankfully, Fox News Channel’s Special Report covered the new allegations against Clinton hatchet man Sussmann.
It’s clear the leftist broadcast networks are still invested in the Trump/Russia collusion fairy tale even though it’s now been thoroughly debunked as a baldfaced lie. This explains the media’s lack of interest in this trial.
In fact, the Mueller report documented dozens of contacts between Russian operatives and the 2016 Trump campaign, so it wasn't a "fairy tale" to suspect collusion.
Houck returned to hype a "MASSIVE Durham Trial Bombshell" non-right-wing didn't cover (but Fox News did) in a May 20 post:
The trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann took a shocking turn Friday when Clinton 2016 campaign manager Robby Mook revealed on the stand that Hillary Clinton herself greenlighted the leaking to a reporter of what they insisted was the possibility of ties between the Trump Organization and the Kremlin-friendly Alfa Bank.
And, as has been the case with the Sussmann case (and most of Durham’s probe), the broadcast network evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignored it.
The Fox News Channel’s Special Report provided extensive coverage to the tune of 10 minutes and 49 seconds over its hour-long runtime, including a two-minute-and-54-second news report from correspondent David Spunt.
Houck didn't explain why nearly 11 minutes wasn't an excessive amount of time to spend on this story or why that didn't further demonstrate Fox News's irrefutable right-wing bias, even as he dismissed the other channels as "liberal networks."
Tim Graham similarly whined about the allegedly insufficient coverage of this "bombshell" in a May 22 post:
A less Clinton-backing media elite might have found a -- well, "bombshell" in Friday's court testimony by former Clinton campaign chairman Robby Mook that "Hillary Clinton personally authorized her campaign to share since-debunked computer data linking Donald Trump with a Russian bank" in 2016, an attempt to paint Trump as compromised by the Russians.
At least the Durham probe made page A8, under this very bland headline: "Sussmann prosecutors take aim at Clinton, FBI, media." Is that MEANT to be passed over!? But worse than that, the Mook testimony did not appear in Devlin Barrett's overview until paragraph 25.
This is that comical way liberal journalists claim "Hey! We covered that!" Yeah, it was buried, six feet under in newspaper terms.
Mook is right that Clinton and her affiliated lawyers, campaign staffers, and opposition researchers were selling a raft of "collusion" stories to the Post and the other liberal media outlets...and the liberal media gave great coverage to them all. Now, the Durham probe is submerged.
Like Houck, Graham didn't explain why this claim deserved more prominent coverage beyond helping the MRC's pro-right-wing optics.
By contrast, the MRC has been apoplectic that the 2020 October surprise of Hunter Biden's laptop wasn't lapped up by the media outside its right-wing bubble, despite the lack of independent verification at the time.
Apparently lacking any further "massive bombshells" from Durham, the MRC then went pretty much silent on the trial until a verdict came in -- then it whined about it not going Durham's -- and, thus, the right-wing anti-Hillary narrative's -- way. More on that soon.
CNSNews.com was already engaging in a new round of attacks on Nancy Pelosi for failing to impose her Catholic faith on the entire country by agitating for abortion bans when it got an assist from her San Francisco bishop, who felt the need to insert himself into this political issue. Craig Bannister cheered in a May 20 article:
Because of her steadfast and outspoken opposition to Church teaching on abortion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been banned from receiving Holy Communion, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone announced Friday.
“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Archbishop Cordileone tweeted, linking to a copy of an open "letter to the faithful" on the archdiocese website.
According to the letter, Pelosi is banned from communion “unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” the archbishop writes. “I have accordingly sent her a Notification to this effect, which I have now made public.”
CNS was so giddy about this development that it plastered its front page that day with all the anti-abortion attacks it had published on Pelosi and President Biden over the past few months:
An anonymously written article the next day quoted Cordileone claiming that he wanted to “help her understand that it is unacceptable to kill babies in the womb," adding: "I know people will accuse me of being political, but this is not political at all. It’s pastoral."As much as we hate to accuse a Catholic priest of lying, he's clearly lying here -- he has very deliberately inserted himself into a political debate with an action he knows will give him positive attention in certain political circles (witness the above work on CNS' front page). There's simply no plausible way for him to deny being political.
The attacks on Pelosi continued. For a May 23 article, Bannister dug up a 19-year-old interview in which Pelosi claimed she "would rather have been a priest because priests have more power" (which Bannister doesn't refute). The next day, Susan Jones complained that Pelosi called out Cordileone's hypocrisy in sanctioning her on abortion while ignoring other Catholics who don't follow church teaching on other political issues (which also went unrefuted):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who often professes her Catholic faith, nevertheless supports a woman's right to abort a baby. Last week, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco publicly announced that Pelosi should not take Holy Communion until she repudiates her support for abortion.
Pelosi responded Tuesday morning, telling MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the archbishop also opposes the death penalty and LGBTQ rights, but he does not deny Holy Communion to people who don't share those views.
She also suggested that many pro-life advocates reject the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus instructs his followers to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
CNS went on to cheer that other Catholic bishops were getting on the denial bandwagon:
And, of course, the usual uber-Catholic suspects felt the need to weigh in, led by dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue:
He huffed on May 23 that Pelosi "has been begging for a confrontation with him for many years. Now she has succeeded." He then gushed over Cordileone: Over the past decade, Archbishop Cordileone has demonstrated great prudence and patience in dealing with Pelosi. He is a man of courage and goodwill, and a loyal son of the Catholic Church."
Donohue ranted in a May 24 column that Pelosi "is at war with the Catholic Church," adding: "There is not a single Church teaching on women, marriage, the family, or sexuality that Pelosi accepts, so out of touch is she with the Catholic Church. There are atheists who agree more with the Church on these issues than she does."
Donohue's June 8 column was devoted to Pelosi's responses to criticisms of various bishops and others, again huffing, "There is no Catholic politician who has a record of openly defying the Catholic Church on the issues of women, marriage, the family, and sexuality worse than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
Anti-abortion obsessive CNS editor Terry Jeffrey used his May 25 column to bash Pelosi, starting with rehashing a gotcha question a CNS reporter asked her in 2015. After a lot of lecturing, Jeffrey declared that "Archbishop Cordileone did the right thing. Now, Speaker Pelosi should do the right thing and join the pro-life cause." Like his other writers, Jeffrey didn't refute Pelosi pointing out Cordileone's hypocrisy in sanctioning her but ignoring others who violate church teachings on other issues.
MRC Sports Blogger Flip-Flops On Politics In Sports Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center sports blogger John Simmons can't quite figure out out to bew consistent regarding vulgarities. As we pointed out, he freaked over someone dropping an impromptu F-bomb on a TV show but cheered rowdy baseball crowds chanting "F--- Joe Biden."
That, of course, is the unexpurgated version of "Let's Go Brandon," which Simmons' MRC co-workers have heartily endorsed. That has caused Simmons to don another flip-flop; where he regularly deplores politics intruding into sports, he found one hateful political message from an athlete he could love in a March 25 post:
San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado is known more for being a wizard on defense than being outspoken politically, but that changed on Wednesday when he spoke with local San Diego news outlet KUSI News.
Machado took some time away from prepping for the season to conduct interviews, showing up to the media hits with a “Let’s Go Brandon” t-shirt. One reporter noted that because Machado decided to get political, his chances of getting in the baseball Hall of Fame might have dwindled significantly.
The reasons for why he chose to wear a shirt with the popular conservative catchphrase were unclear, but it is safe to say that the Miami native just made himself incredibly popular with those on the right.
By contrast, just a week earlier Simmons was whining that a college basketball team was promoting "woke ideology" and "propaganda" by including words like "equality" on their jerseys, declaring that "what they are doing is promoting messages that in and of themselves are admirable, but because they have social justice undertones, they become toxic." Simmons is certainly never going to accuse Machado of spreading a "toxic" message with his "Let's Go Brandon" shirt, even though it's shortland for a vulgar insult -- after all, he revels in that particular strain of toxicity, and his hatred for Biden has only made him even more toxic -- and, paradoxically, a more valuable employee to the MRC, which no longer cares about making coherent and reasoned arguments.
Simmons didn't explain his double standard, let alone admit he was engaging in one. It appears it's OK for right-wing haters to hate as long as it's the right hateful cause -- even when it contradicts their previously expressed principles.
What can we learn from Elon Musk's apparent shift to the right in his politics? From his perspective, as illustrated in his stick figure tweet, he has not shifted at all. Instead, the left has veered further left, because of which, by remaining stationary in his own views, it is perceived that he has moved to the right.
His graphic reminded me of an illustration I used for many years while preaching, holding the Bible high in in my right hand and using my left hand to represent the state of the society.
I would then say this: "Because we don't want to appear fanatical or radical as followers of Jesus, we tend to set our standards somewhere between the standards of God's Word and the standards of the world. But as the standards of each generation get lower and lower, our standards get lower as well.
"As a result, within a couple of generations, things are acceptable in our own homes as believers that would have been detestable in the homes of our non-believing grandparents."
Put another way, unless we actively swim against the tide of the worldly culture, we will find ourselves drifting in the wrong direction. We will simply be carried by the current.
Musk's point is similar yet different, especially since is not related at all to a faith standard or a biblical belief.
Instead, it illustrates just how far to the left the "progressive" mindset has shifted. As the saying goes, "Today's Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton." (Do you remember when the Democratic mantra concerning abortion was, "We want abortion to be safe, legal and rare"? How would that play today?)
Most of my Jewish relatives and friends from childhood are Democrats today, some of them quite staunchly.
Yet a few of these old friends are not, and when I interacted with them on social media, asking them what happened, their stories were the same.
They began to see what was really happening. They began to recognize how dramatically the "liberal" side was becoming extreme. They began to understand that the policies they once defended were actually indefensible and that the policies they once loathed actually had some merit.
Now, some of them are more conservative politically than I am.
But Musk -- and, thus, Brown -- have bought into a fallacious argument, that only the left is moving while the right has not. But Parker Molloy debunked that claim in a piece for MSNBC:
The argument being made here is a simple one: From 2008 to 2021, the political left moved even more to the left, while the right remained in the same exact spot. This I didn’t change! It was the left who left me! attitude is a pretty common trope among center-right types, but it’s simply not true. While perhaps comforting, there is plenty of empirical evidence to refute the core claim.
Look at how quickly the Republican Party turned against2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and 2012 presidential nominee (and now senator) Mitt Romney, who have both been slammed as RINOs (“Republicans in Name Only”). The face of the party is now represented by the likes of Rep. Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Arguably the highest-profile non-congressional Republican right now (besides Trump) is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has spent the last year passing a dizzying array of bills designed to cater specifically to the far-right.
And generally speaking, it makes sense that having curated a media diet heavy on the misinformation peddled by Fox News and co. or surrounding yourself with pundits screaming about how trans people are supposedly ruining everything good in the world could warp your perspective. If you spent the summer of 2020 being inundated by Fox News footage of Black Lives Matter protests, you might genuinely think that the left is out of control. This perception, however, simply doesn’t match reality.
It’s not uncommon for people to delude themselves into believing that their preferred political side is the reasonable one and that it’s the other side that’s out of control, as Musk has. That being said, if Musk actually believes the meme — which was created last year by Colin Wright, who writes a Substack mostly about gender and earlier this week attacked the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization, as part of the ongoing right-wing smear campaign targeting LGBTQ adults and children — that’s more worrying. After all, Musk is likely to soon control Twitter, a tool which, for all its faults, still wields power.
Molloy added that those "far left" views aren't as extreme as Brown wants you to think:
To take another example, while other countries have government-funded health care, the U.S. remains tied to its private-market insurance industry. As I’ve written in the past, the positions typically held by Democrats that get labeled by the press as “extreme” or “leftist” — such as bans on high-capacity firearm magazines, universal background checks on gun purchases, support for LGBTQ rights and taxing the ultra-rich — aren’t actually that extreme. These policies tend to be pretty popular with the general public, which is something you can’t exactly say about Republicans and their crusade to ban books, restrict abortion rights and attack LGBTQ people.
With The Psaki Show out to pasture until it resurfaces on Peacock, White House press briefings continued on Tuesday with Psaki’s former deputy and former MoveOn.org and MSNBC activist, Karine Jean-Pierre.
Predictably, the liberal media showered their fellow progressive with syrupy platitudes and questions from the left demanding the federal government crusade against Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for supposedly causing the Buffalo shooting.
Jean-Pierre repeatedly insisted Tuesday wasn’t about her, but she repeatedly did just that. She capped her opening remarks by stating “about how honored I am to be here with all of you today in this role, in this room, standing behind this podium” as the first “a Black, gay, [and] immigrant woman...to hold this position” and that it wouldn’t have been without “barrier-breaking people before me.”
She added that “[r]epresentation does matter...and no one understands this better than President Biden, which is why his administration is not only the most diverse in history” and moved on to the job itself by insisting “this podium, this room...belong[s] to the American people.”
Before going to the AP’s Zeke Miller, Jean-Pierre insisted she’ll make “truth, honesty, and transparency” the center of her briefings even though she “might not see eye-to-eye...all the time” with reporters.
Speaking of reporters, Jean-Pierre thanked her comrades for “the work that you all do, which I know it’s not easy” “play[ing] a vital role in our democracy, and we need a strong and independent press now more than ever.”
Miller led off with a variation of a snotty question that’s been asked of past secretaries as to whether they’d be truthful with reporters.
Houck thinks the question is "snotty" because it was asked of his beloved Kayleigh McEnany -- and she couldn't even get through that day's presser without telling falsehoods. He was also so obsessed with spewing hate at Jean-Pierre that he didn't even hype "Doocy time" from his man-crush, Fox News' Peter Doocy, instead telling readers to check out the full transcript.
For the May 18 briefing, Houck devised a new narrative that Jean-Pierre was already a failure after two days on the job, declaring in the headline that she was "flailing" as he man-crushed on Doocy for repeating the right-wing narrative du jour:
Wednesday’s White House press briefing featured five questions on the so-called pause of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) dangerously Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) and the resignation of its controversial head, Nina Jankowicz. In the midst of the questions from< Wall Street Journal’s Tarini Parti and Fox’s Peter Doocy, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the pause, but let slip that the DGB’s “work” will “continue.”
Parti broke the ice, asking whether “the White House play[ed] a role at all in perhaps expressing frustration on how it was rolled out or...any — involvement in how it — whether or not it should be paused.”
She also wondered whether the administration had “a response to” what “some experts” who’ve argued the DGB “was sort of set up to fail[.]”
Jean-Pierre went right to her binder (which she’s relied on as more than a crutch in both her tenure and back to being Jen Psaki’s understudy), insisting “the board has never convened” but would be “pausing in the sense that it will not convene while former Secretary [Michael] Chertoff and former Deputy AG [Jamie] Gorelick” conduct “their assessment.”
WND Censors Trump Role In Suppressing Science Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Moore blandly wrote in a May 1 WorldNetDaily article:
The watchdog Government Accountability Office concluded in an investigation that CDC and FDA officials "suppressed" scientific findings related to the COVID-19 pandemic due to political pressure.
Whistleblowers who spoke with GAO investigators said they did not speak up prior to the investigation because they feared retaliation. They said they were unsure how to report the alleged politicizing of science or believed leaders already knew about it, DailyMail.com reported.
The 37-page report found that both the CDC and the FDA did not have a system in place for employees to report allegations of political interference. And the agencies, the GAO said, failed to train staff how to spot political interference and report it.
"A few respondents from CDC and FDA stated they felt that the potential political interference they observed resulted in the alteration or suppression of scientific findings," the report said.
"Some of these respondents believed that this potential political interference may have resulted in the politically motivated alteration of public health guidance or delayed publication of Covid-related scientific findings."
But Moore censored the fact that no small amount of that political pressure came during the Trump administration. As less biased media outlets have noted, the report specifically cites one example from that era:
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been various allegations of political interference affecting scientific decisions at several HHS offices and agencies. For example, in May 2020, a senior official from ASPR claimed HHS retaliated against him for disclosing, among other things, concerns about inappropriate political interference to make chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine available to the public as treatments for COVID-19.
Even the Daily Mail article Moore cited as the basis of his report pointed out Trump interference:
In the early phase the White House was accused of waging a war on science, with then-president Donald Trump repeatedly pushing for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports to be amended to support his views, as shown in emails made public by congressional investigators last April.
While the word "Trump" exists nowhere in his article, Moore did make sure to claim that "Last summer, two top FDA scientists resigned amid charges the agency was being pressured by the Biden administration to made decisions based on politics."
This is a highly unbalanced article devoid of the "TRUTH!" WND editor Joseph Farah claims his website offers. If WND can't change its longstanding editorial policies of bias, falsehoods and conspiracy theories, it seems that WND has not really earned the right to live past its current financial crisis.
CNS Tries To Parse Replacement Theory After Buffalo Massacre Topic: CNSNews.com
Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com was promoting the right-wing replacement theory well before the Buffalo supermarket shooter invoked it. We've already noted how CNS hyped its favorite group of right-wing rabbis, the Coalition for Jewish Values, defending Fox News host Tucker Carlson's embrace of replacement theory, but there are other pre-massacre examples as well:
CNS published a May 2021 column by Michelle Malkin ranting against foreigners being allowed to live in the U.S., "The numbers don't lie. Replacement theory isn't a theory. It's a grim reality."
A September 2021 column by anti-critical race theory obsessive Christopher Rufo complained that reporting showed that "are a 'backlash' against 'rapid demographic change' and “the exposure of white students to students of color" and that "fear of 'white replacement' and the desire to 'protect whiteness' motivate the anti-critical race theory movement" -- which he insisted was "nonsense" because "Americans have moved past the politics of the 1960s. They are tolerant, integrated, and in agreement that malicious racial theories of all kinds should stay out of the classroom."
A December 2021 column by Pat Buchanan cheered anti-immigration sentiment in France stirred up by activists like Eric Zemmour and Renaud Camus: "The English translation of Camus' book is entitled, 'You Will Not Replace Us!' Growing numbers of Western peoples appear to fear exactly what it is that Zemmour and Camus say they fear."
After the shooting, CNS was -- again, like theMRC -- in full deflection mode and desperate to try and change the subject, as in this May 17 article by Susan Jones:
The effort to squelch conservative speech continues in this country, as liberals and leftists try to demonize Republicans and conservatives with the "white supremacy" label, especially those who object to President Biden's wide-open border, which appears to be a political liability for Democrats.
"Replacement theory," apparently espoused by the racist Buffalo gunman in his "manifesto," is the most recent attempt to make Republicans/conservatives shut up about the rising tide of illegal immigration and the country's changing demographics.
Murphy, appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," was asked to comment on "this obsession with white supremacy and the replacement theory, this racist replacement theory," as guest Eugene Daniels phrased it.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that "replacement theory" exists at "the extremes of American life...the notion that Western elites, sometimes manipulated by Jews, want to 'replace' and disempower white Americans."
The report said the theory "has become an engine of racist terror, helping inspire a wave of mass shootings in recent years and fueling the 2017 right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Va., that erupted in violence" [and prompted Joe Biden to run for president].
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is a frequent target of leftists who want to topple him from his prominent cable news platform for various reasons, including his blunt criticism of President Biden's immigration policies.
Jones then uncritically transcribed Carlson spouting replacement theory, as if she thought that would help. She also didn't mention that replacement theory had previously been promoted on the pages of CNS.
The same day, Melanie Arter complained that "President Biden called on Americans to reject the so-called replacement theory in the wake of the mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., that claimed the lives of 10 people and injured three more."
Jones returned the next day to complain that Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer called out Carlson's replacement theory obsession and wouldn't fall for an in-person Fox News ambush, then followed its MRC parent in pulling the ol' switcheroo to blame Democrats for the theory:
Instead of blaming the very troubled teenager who opened fire on shoppers in Buffalo, deliberately targeting them because of their race; and instead of blaming the adults who knew there was something wrong with the kid but failed to get him help; the top Democrat in Congress instead is blaming Fox News and, implicitly, Tucker Carlson for the violence.
In a letter to Fox News obtained by liberal media outlets, Schumer implored Fox News "to immediately cease all dissemination of false white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theories on your network."
Schumer specifically mentions the "great replacement theory" mentioned on some Fox broadcasts.
Hours before Carlson's show aired, Schumer tweeted: ".@TuckerCarlson invited me on his show tonight to debate the letter I sent to @FoxNews. I'm declining. Tucker Carlson needs to stop promoting the racist, dangerous ‘Replacement Theory’."
Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night noted that Americans are suddenly hearing a lot about the "great replacement theory" -- which actually figures in Democrat politics, he noted, as Democrats seek to cement their political power by flooding the country with illegal immigrants who are presumed to be future Democrat voters.
Carlson played video snippets of various Democrats, including Joe Biden in 2015, touting -- actually celebrating -- a white minority USA.
"So you can play clips of them saying it, and you're the deranged conspiracy nut!" Carlson said.
Jones didn't mention that making note of demographic changes that might benefit Democrats and accusing Democrats of perpetrating an evil conspiracy to replace white people with swarthy foreigners, as Carlson and other Fox Newsers have been doing, are two separate things.
CNS also used columnists to help promote the switcheroo argument. Ben Shapiro insisted that right-wingers' concern about swarthy foreigners replacing white people "is not the great replacement theory, which centers on racial purity rather than the idea that changing demographics have an effect on political orientation." And dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue ranted: "If these progressive members of the ruling class were better educated, they would know that the origins of 'replacement theory' can be traced to the ruling class members of the Progressive Era, people just like themselves, not with right-wing nuts."
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Loud And Lame War On NewsGuard, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is reduced to defending the honor of misinformation-laden right-wing websites in an attempt to attack NewsGuard for pointing out that misinformation. Read more >>
As Bad News Piles Up, MRC Remains A Musk Cheerleader Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Cener has been an enthusiasticcheerleader of Elon Musk and his bid to buy Twitter -- so much so that his coziness with China, which the MRC used to deplore has been shoved down the memory hole. But as Musk's Twitter deal stopped looking so brilliant -- and Musk himself stopped looking so brilliant -- the MRC still played sycophantic cheerleader for Team Elon.
A May 18 post by Autumn Johnson drily wrote about how Twitter was planning to "enforce" its deal with Musk to buy Twitter at the agreed price of $54.20 a share, but was silent on one big reason why Twitter would feel the need to enforce the deal: Twitter's stock price had dropped precipitously, from $51.20 on April 25, the day after the deal was announced, to $36.85, the day of Johnson's post. Instead, Johnson helped Musk raise a new distraction about the number of fake and spam accounts on Twitter.
The same day, Gabriela Pariseau rant to Musk's defense on another issue:
Guerrilla journalism outfit Project Veritas reportedly caught an alleged Twitter employee trashing free speech and claiming Elon Musk has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Project Veritas released another video Tuesday as part of its “Twitter Exposed” series. Alex Martinez, purportedly Twitter’s lead client partner, reportedly told a Project Veritas undercover journalist that Twitter employees “believe in something that’s good for the planet, and not just to give people free speech.” The video purportedly shows Martinez calling Musk “a loony tune” and alleging Musk has Asperger’s syndrome.
Martinez went on to mock Musk, claiming he was on the autism spectrum. “Elon Musk as a person is whatever… like he’s a loony tune, he has Ossbergers, Asperger’s. So he’s special. We all know that and that’s fine,” Martinez said in the video. “I’m like, you’re special needs–you’re literally special needs. Literally, though, you really are. So, I can’t even take what you’re saying seriously. ‘Cause you’re special.”
Never mind, of course, that Musk himself has admitted that he has Asperger's syndrome and that his erratic public behavior is fair game for comment -- after all, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, believes rampantspeculation about President Biden's purported mental state is fair game. Hilariously, Pariseau called on verbally abusive serial plagiarizer Benny Johnson to defend Musk.
Johnson used a May 22 post to engage in a Trumpian victimization defense of Musk after it was reported that his SpaceX paid a $250,000 settlement to a flight attendant who said Musk harassed her:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the left is out to get him after he announced he would vote Republican.
Musk responded to a story from Insider that alleged he sexually propositioned a flight attendant. He said the left personally attacked him for his commitment to free speech as well as his declaration that he would vote Republican from now on.
“They began brewing attacks of all kinds as soon as the Twitter acquisition was announced,” he tweeted. “In my 30 year career, including the entire MeToo era, there’s nothing to report, but, as soon as I say I intend to restore free speech to Twitter & vote Republican, suddenly there is …”
Johnson somehow forgot to mention that a six-figure settlement was paid to the flight attendant, which sure looks a lot like an admission of guilt.
The MRC continued to serve as the PR agency for Musk's ramblings and PR bulldog to attack his critics:
The MRC even rushed to Musk's defense over an anti-LGBT meme Musk tweeted, in a June 1 post by Wallace White:
Every time pride month rolls around the establishment and corporate America waste no time in declaring their love for the LGBT cause by changing their logos to a rainbow rendition. Musk decided to poke fun at the sudden onslaught of multi-colored logos that recurs like clockwork every year, and the liberals and LGBT on Twitter were quick to ruin the fun for everyone.
It doesn’t take a detective to realize that musk’s companies were guilty of it too. The left took this information and ran with it, treating it as a “gotcha!” moment for Elon haters. Predictably, the humor of it all was lost on liberals on Twitter, and they could not possibly fathom that Elon could take a joke even at his own expense.
The meme simply acknowledges that corporate America regularly uses woke messaging to pander to LGBT customers. The meme doesn’t mean that Musk hates gay people. The predictability of the annual display of rainbows is something worthy of poking fun at because of its clear superficiality. Leave it to liberals to suck all the laughter and fun out of a good joke and take everything so seriously. Maxwell Adler of Bloomberg was not laughing, which means, of course, that no one else can laugh. When you point out that LGBT causes have the backing of massive corporate power, even superficially, the left goes into meltdown mode.
The liberals have made it clear: no fun allowed on Twitter if I'm the butt of the joke. It shouldn’t be surprising that they would take a silly meme personally and lash out at Musk. They’ve been on the crusade against comedy for years, and this is simply another incident to add to the list.
But Wallace offered no evidence that Musk acknowledged that he was making a joke at his own expense or that he even knew that his own companies participated in what he was mocking. But it fits right in with the MRC's homophobia, so White did his best to make it fit the narrative.
WND's Mercer Still Backing Russia, But Is Cool With Ukraine Militia Because They're Fighting For White People Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ilana Mercer is still pro-Russia regarding its invasion of Ukraine. But as her May 12 WorldNetDaily column (also published at CNSNews.com) shows, she's now reduced to trying to make an intellectual argument for it to distract from its ugly reality while also trying to muddy the issue a bit by bringing up the Azov Batallion, a militia group in Ukraine that has invoked Nazi imagery:
I therefore questioned, during the "Hard Truth" broadcast, the Nazi designation attached to the Azov Brigade, suggesting that if Azov are not engaged in acts of violence against the traditional Nazi victims and other ethnics, and are merely a military battalion fighting in the Russia-Ukraine military theater – then the Nazi insignia and paraphernalia are irrelevant. These symbols then fall into the category of ritualistic, offensive speech – thought crimes – the kind for which the left criminalizes the right.
This I say despite the fact that, as a longtime critic of American foreign policy, my sympathies here are firmly on the Russian side. Putin's war in Ukraine is a war for which there are plenty reasons, all of them vindicating Russia (although such a statement must be qualified by saying that reasons for war are not the same as justification for war. A war of aggression is seldom justified).
Since the American left is forever criminalizing the right for thought crimes, pro-Russia sympathies notwithstanding, principle is paramount. It will not do to expediently visit the same on the Azov, namely vilifying the brigade for thought crimes.
Moreover, if one is to believe "the Empire of Lies," to use Putin's term for the United States in his epic pre-war address, Russia claimed it went to war to cleanse Ukraine of Nazis. There is little truth in this, however. For where is this emphasized in Putin's speech? It isn't. The Nazi ruse is near-redundant, sort of an afterthought in Putin's cogent address to the nation. The overriding reason for war, to quote Putin, is "the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border." On the facts, U.S. policy toward Ukraine and Russia has not promoted peace between the two, but sought to sever the former's centuries-long ties to Russia and bring it into the U.S.-led NATO sphere of influence. Cold war is waged when conflict outweighs cooperation. Détente is when conflict and friction are reduced. The U.S. has sought a new cold war with Russia. Those were Putin's salient points.
Portraying Russia's reasons for war as "vindicated" while also not being totally pleased at the war's execution reminds us of how Mercer, a native of South Africa, claimed she opposed apartheid as a racist idea even as she made an intellectual case for it. Mercer's complaint abaout the Azov Batallion using neo-Nazi imagery rings a bit hollow, given that when when she mourned the death of South African white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche, she was silent on the fact that Terreblanche led a white supremacist militia group whose logo resembles the Nazi flag.
Mercer ultimately sides with the Azov batallion because -- quelle surprise! -- it's defending white people:
It is clear: Azov has a fight with the Russians. Its vigilance might also be in support of the Ukrainian white ethno-state. But if this is the case, and the battalion's war doesn't involve ethnic cleansing other than their battle to repel a Russian invader, I would put it to the reader that we on the dissident right should not in any way adopt the left's evil of prosecuting thought and speech crimes, and should not be bothered by the Azov's belief system, flags, goosestepping and assorted attire, all no more than accoutrements of speech. I do agree with Mr. Malic that it is worse than hypocrisy – treasonous? – for Western press and politicians to ignore the white nationalism of Ukraine's defenders as they criminalize white nationalists stateside.
Yes, war makes strange bedfellows, and she went on to argue that "if Azov are not engaged in palpable acts of violence against the traditional Nazi victims and other ethnics, and are merely a military battalion fighting in the Russia-Ukraine military theater – then the Nazi getup is irrelevant."
MRC Cheers Clarence Thomas' Biased Gotcha, Censors His Wife's Growing Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro loved the biased gotcha from a Supreme Court justice he served up in a May 16 item:
On Friday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at an event in Dallas held by the Old Parkland Conference, a group that looks to tackle issues in the black community. During his time on stage (which included a Q&A), Thomas spoke about the liberal media and how they do their jobs poorly along with the “white liberal elites” who try to keep him down and isolated from the rest of the black community, lest they hear the truth.
In a clip that has gone viral, Thomas seemed to address calls from the media for him to resign for any of the number of fabricated grievances they try to smear him with. “I will absolutely leave the court when I do my job as poorly as you do yours,” he quipped to the laughter of the crowd and his own infectious belly laugh. “And that was meant as a compliment, really,” he continued to joke. He would go on to give an example.
Towards the end of his speaking time, Thomas talked about how the right needed to hold themselves to a higher standard and be better behaved than those who aim to destroy on the left. “The most they can point to is Garland did not get a hearing. But he was not trashed,” he argued. “And it was a rule the Joe Biden introduced by the way. Which is, you get no hearing in the last year of an administration. That was not the rule before then.”
He then noted that the right would not be caught “going to other peoples’ houses, attacking them at dinner at a restaurant, throwing things on them.”
And giving some astute analysis of how the liberal media machine works, Thomas pointed out that when they can’t outright censor you, “they load you up with negativity and they give you challenges as for credibility to prevent you from getting to their ears.”
This isn't quite the gotcha Fondacaro thinks it is, since Thomas' anti-media rant that parroted right-wing narratives exposed him as a highly biased justice who puts ideology before facts (kind of like the MRC itself).
Missing from Fondacaro's post entire was the elephant in the room regarding Thomas: the right-wing political activism of his wife, Ginni, which is so blatant even the MRC stopped trying to run to their defense over it.
Unsurprisingly, the MRC has stayed silent about the latest revelations about Ginni Thomas: that she coresponded with Trump lawyer John Eastman in an attempt to help pressure Trump administration officials into overturning the election, and that she also tried to pressure 29 lawmakers in Arizona into overturning Trump's loss in that state. All this looks bad for Clarance Thomas and raises questions about whether he has a conflict of interest in ruling on cases related to the election. Instead, the MRC complained about speculation that Ginni Thomas might have been the person who leaked the draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
CNS Still Giving Space To Dishonest DINO Gabbard Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has been giving a platform over the past several mon ths to Democrat-in-name-only and Russia enthusiast Tulsi Gabbard to push anti-Biden and pro-Russia narratives. That dubious platform has continued; Craig Bannister seved up another on in a May 2 article:
Former Democrat [sic] presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard says Democrats, and some Republicans, need to do their homework, so they’ll remember what “freedom of speech” truly means.
Monday, in a video posted in her Twitter thread, Gabbard calls out Democrats who claim to oppose dictatorships, but don’t speak out against the Department of Homeland Security’s new “Misinformation and Disinformation Governance Board,” which critics have dubbed the Biden Administration’s “Ministry of Truth”:
“To all the Democrats out there who say, over and over again, about how you stand strong against dictatorships: I’m wondering where your voice is now, condemning this creation of a Ministry of Truth in our own Department of Homeland Security.”
What’s even more troubling is that even some Republicans actually support the creation of such a government “propaganda board,” Gabbard says:
Bannister also let Gabbard fearmonger about the board in a May 19 article that gave her second billing in the headline: "Former Democrat [sic] presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard issued a similar warning on Thursday, tweeting that Americans need to beware that a new government “Ministry of Truth” might be created, using a different name."
Bannister graced Gabbard with yet another article on June 6:
The Biden Administration is claiming that it alone can determine truth in order to justify using the full power of government to punish dissent, former congresswoman and Democrat [sic] presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard warned on Saturday.
In her keynote speech at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado, Gabbard warned of the Biden Administration’s use of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to declare what is “true,” and not “misinformation” – and, then, enforce its decrees.
“One of the latest tactics that they are using, as you well know, is they claim they want to protect us from ‘misinformation,’ protect us from that which they claim is not true,” Gabbard said.
Bannister went on to write that "'Even more dangerous than getting canceled is how they weaponize the government against the people,' Gabbard warned, noting how President Biden is using the DHS to target anti-authority views and DOJ to go after parents who disagree with school board policies." In fact, as we documented when CNS pushed this same lie, the DHS never targeted -peole for merely disagreeing with school board policies; the target was those parents who engaged in abusive and threatening behavior.
The fact that Gabbard spoke at a right-wing conference -- and that Bannister refuses to spell "Democratic" correctly -- should signal that Gabbard is no actual Democrat, but he has a narrative to push, not facts to report.
MRC Sports Blogger Still (Mostly) Cool With WNBA Player Rotting In Russian Prison Topic: Media Research Center
We've seen how the Media Research Center cares more about the plight of Russian athletes following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine than it does about an American athlete imprisoned on dubious charges in Russia. So it's no surprise that the MRC continues to express glee that WNBA star Brittney Griner is rotting away in a Russian prison despite a lack of evidence that the charges against her are valid. Jay maxson used a May 4 post to smear the WNBA as being desperate for attention for carring about Griner, and he (oir she) has assumed she is guilty despite, again, no evidence to back that up and suggests that she deserves everything bad that happens to her because she's not heterosexual and cares about racial justice:
The woke WNBA begins another season Friday, and the league is desperately hyping a Brittney Griner campaign in hopes of attracting some attention. Griner has been detained by Russia since February, when she attempted to enter the country with drugs.
ESPN reports that Griner was detained in Russia since Feb. 17, when customs officials found hashish oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow. She was allegedly trying to bring vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport, Fox Sports noted.
So that’s the story, and here’s the bottom line. The WNBA is glorifying someone accused of breaking another country’s drug laws. Players who have not violated any such laws will have to actually play to earn their salaries, and they won’t be honored with floor decals.
What’s more is that Griner is a black, married lesbian and a past anthem kneeler – a Black Lives Matter supporter and a social justice warrior extraordinaire. All of which count huge in the WNBA, previously called the most radically woke sports league of all.
The thought of being jailed in a foreign country is scary. However, Griner’s history is one of uncivil behavior and drug use. She is not a model citizen, and for an entire sports league to build a shrine around her is positively ridiculous.
The WNBA ought to be warning its players not to use drugs, and not to try smuggling them into other countries. WNBA TV ratings are horrible, and this is a new attempt by the league to gain some attention. Building a media campaign around an inactive player sitting in a foreign jail is beyond pathetic.
The MRC frets much more about Russian athletes made inactive because their government committed evil deeds.
But Maxson suddenly did a flip-flop on Griner in a May 19 post -- but only so that he can quote conservative sports guys attacking the WNBA and the Biden administration for not doing enough to help Griner (even though Maxson was bashing the WNBA just a few weeks earlier for doing anything):
The “champions of women’s rights” aren’t all they claim to be, say two conservative writers today. Not when it comes to WNBA super center Britney Griner, who has been locked up in a Russian prison on drug smuggling charges since February. President Joe Biden, the Women’s NBA and the Left aren’t doing enough to help her return to the U.S., the critics charge.
Outkick sports blogger Gary Sheffield, Jr., says, “The WNBA and President Biden have done practically nothing other than slap logos on the court and start hashtags.” All 12 WNBA teams are planning to feature center-court logos of Griner’s initials and her uniform number in the next women’s basketball season.
Sheffield said there would be considerably more action by left-wingers if LeBron James was confined to a Moscow prison cell on charges of possessing hash oil, like Griner is. “The NBA would throw a fit and perhaps cancel games to assure his safety, and that’s probably how leagues should treat their most prized assets,” he claimed.
In 2019, President Donald Trump made sure the black rapper A$AP Rocky got released from prison in Sweden. “Trump took action to release a black rapper from prison, but Joe Biden tweets nice things about minorities — he’ll leave the black WNBA star in Russia, though,” Sheffield wrote.
Griner is a frequent critic of the United States, and [Breitbart and onetime NewsBusters blogger Warner Todd] Huston said that has made the pursuit for her safety “more complicated and polarizing.” The people she perceived as her allies, the so-called champions of women’s rights, have not rushed to her defense. Their inaction prompted the petition, which is merely giving those who signed it an opportunity to feel good about themselves.
A May 27 post by Maxson also took a less-harsh line on Griner so he could bash the Biden administration for allegedly not doing enough to free her:
It’s been 100 days since Brittany Greiner, center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has been locked up in a Russian prison on drug charges. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, says President Joe Biden is the deal maker, the go-to man who can get Brittney released.
"There is one person that can go get her, and that's our president," Griner told Angela Rye in an ESPN interview this week. "He has that power. You know, I'm just like, 'Why are we not using it? Like, urgently, use it.' We're expecting him to use his power to get it done."
If President Biden is this fabulous miracle worker, he sure is taking his sweet time living up to that hype. Maybe he’s waiting for just the right time to hatch a genius prisoner exchange, but it hasn’t happened yet.
This administration may impress Cherelle Griner, but the talks are proceeding at a snail’s pace. In fact, Brittney Griner is now beginning her second hundred days in prison.
Not that Maxson doesn't actually mind Griner rotting in a foreign prison on dubious charges for sin of having opinions on issues and not be heterosexual.
Newsmax announced today that veteran news anchor and broadcaster Greta Van Susteren will join the network as host of “The Record with Greta Van Susteren,” adding her three decades of experience in journalism to the rising cable channel.
Based in Washington, D.C., and set to premiere on Tuesday, June 14, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” will lead the network’s weeknight lineup with a solid hour of factual, fair, and independent perspective on the news.
“With all that is going on in the world, I am getting back to my roots — a daily live news show with real reporting from the places where things are happening,” Van Susteren said.
“I have been friends with [Newsmax CEO] Chris Ruddy for years, and he is giving me this great opportunity to return, giving me the complete freedom to cover the news that really matters to people,” Van Susteren said. “I have been impressed by Newsmax’s team and their success, and would love to be part of a news network that is really growing.”
“No one in journalism better exemplifies Newsmax’s mission to provide fact-based news and fact-based opinion than Greta Van Susteren,” Newsmax Media CEO Chris Ruddy said. “We are so pleased and honored to have Greta lead our nightly news lineup of programs.”
Van Susteren doesn't have as many issues as most Newsmax hires, but she does have issues. As we documented way back when, Politico reported that Van Susteren's husband, John Coale, was among Sarah Palin's political advisers following her 2008 stint as a Republican vice presidential candidate; the Washington Post further described Coale as among the "protecters of the Palin brand." The Huffington Post noted that, that during her stint on Fox News, "Van Susteren has enjoyed unparalleled access to Palin and her family, conducting several interviews from Alaska — most recently with new mom Bristol Palin," though Van Susteren insisted her husband's link to Palin was not responsible for that.
As Van Susteren's debut neared, Newsmax gushed even more in a June 13 press release promoted as a "news" article:
Veteran broadcaster Greta Van Susteren returns to nightly television Tuesday with her new show debuting to lead Newsmax's evening lineup.
Van Susteren, one of the most respected names in television news, will host "The Record with Greta Van Susteren" airing at 6 p.m. every weeknight.
The signature show will be what Van Susteren describes as "a solid hour of factual, fair, and independent perspective on the news."
Needless to say, neither press release mentioned her dubious ethics regarding Palin.
Farah Less Honest, More Desperate In Latest WND Money Beg Topic: WorldNetDaily
Times are tighter than usual at WorldNetDaily, so Joseph Farah is on hand in his June 3 column to be selectively honest and, of course, to beg for money:
I'm generally an optimistic person, a faithful person, and I don't fully know what God has, in the short term, in mind.
This is my quandary.
So, as usual, I'm going to be very honest with you.
Because I'm human, and I believe in being honest … and frail … and weak.
Given that we've caught Farah innumerousfalsehoods, we know he does not actually believe in being honest, so look for this to be yet another factually dubious money beg. Continue, please
This is a very tough message to write. I sincerely pray you will consider it.
We're in trouble. We need to raise at least $100,000 above what we anticipate receiving in revenue by the end of this month to survive. That's hard to say anytime. I feel stupid saying it. Many people reading this are in bad shape, too.
These are tough times. But I am looking confidently for a miracle because I don't think God is finished with us – everybody at WND, this company of believers of Jesus, the Messiah, that have performed good works in His name for so long.
Just to quickly cover the basics, in recent months – in addition to myriad other challenges, predatory lawsuits and other direct attacks on us – we were demonetized by Google and YouTube, completely and permanently. We're one of a handful of news sites to actually experience this because of the hateful, spiteful, anti-God, anti-decency and truly demonic Big Tech companies that you know support a different master. It means we get no revenue from them for anything we do – no advertising from the only companies that can deliver it in a substantial way.
We're not accustomed to that. We were once a company that brought in more than $15 million a year for the privilege of exposing evil in our world and for the blessing of revealing God's majesty.
Farah is lying again. WND was not demonetized because of "hateful, spiteful, anti-God, anti-decency and truly demonic Big Tech companies" -- it was demonetized as the direct consequences of its own action in publishing misinformation, falsehoods and conspiracy theories that no credible company wants to be associated with. Farah is once again blaming others for the consequences of his own behavior, which again demonstrates his (and WND's) fundamental dishonesty.
Farah lied again when he praised "our loyal staff's super-dedication, professionalism and bold, courageous Christian journalism." It's not bold, courageous or Christian to lie to and misinform its readers, yet that's what WND cxontinues to insist on doing on a seeminglydailybasis.
Farah served up his usual money beg, adding, "We think our model for a new kind of Christian journalism is something exciting. But we do need your urgent support. Unfortunately, we won't make it without you."
Farah used his June 10 column to rant yet again at his perceived enemies -- once more blaming everyone but himself for WND's woes -- before getting to the more desperate money beg:
WND now is almost entirely reader-sponsored. And although we can't do everything we once did, like publishing books and movies and such, we can still bring you the most important and rarest of commodities in today's corrupt news world – we can bring you the TRUTH! Every day – as we have for the last quarter century. We can bring you the news that really and truly matters to the future of our beloved country. And that's something!
But we're dependent on YOU!
Bottom line: In order for us to keep going and not sink into a major crisis, we need to raise a minimum of $100,000 by the end of June – over-and-above our normal expenses. If you can, please support us in providing a real voice for God and country.
If Farah cannot repent for his years of journalistic misdeeds or prove that his failed business model will change in the future, WND has not earned the right to continued existence. Simple -- yet Farah refuses to acknowledge that inconvenient truth.