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Saturday, May 21, 2022
MRC Still Fretting Over Injured Fox News Reporter, Ignoring Dead Non-Right-Wing Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center expended much expressive public weeping over the deaths of two Fox News correspondents and the injury of another while covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine -- while almost completely ignoring the death of another reporter covering the same conflict, Brent Renaud, who was effectively expendable because he didn't work for Fox News. That even made the MRC's regular Jen Psaki-bashing sessions, when Kevin Tober cheered how Fox correspondent Jacqui Heinrich "who, in light of the news her Fox colleague Benjamin Hall had been injured, wanted to know how the Biden administration would respond now that it appears that Russia is now shooting at American journalists," then whinined that "Psaki didn’t give an adequate response to Heinrich’s question other than reminding her what actions Biden has already taken towards Russia." Needless to say, Heinrich didn't ask about Renaud.

In an April 7 post, lead mourner Nicholas Fondacaro returned  for an update on the wounded Fox News reporter:

In a series of now-deleted tweets Thursday night, Fox News State Department correspondent and war reporter Benjamin Hall spoke out for the first time publically about his condition after his crew was attacked by Russian artillery outside of Kyiv, Ukraine (leaving 2 others dead). And before getting to how banged up he was (including the loss of body parts), Hall made a point to first pay tribute to his colleagues who lost their lives in the attack.

“Its [sic] been over three weeks since the attack in Ukraine and I wanted to start sharing it all. But first I need to pay tribute to my colleagues Pierre and Sasha who didn’t [sic] make it that day. Pierre and I traveled the world together, working was his joy and his joy was infectious. RIP,” he wrote on Twitter.

[...]

And while many in the media had enough class to know when not to take cheap shots at a rival during a time of crisis, there were some who made sure to use reports of the initial incident to score grotesque political points.

As if Fondacaro isn't making a grotesque political point by censoring mention of Renaud simply because he didn't work for Fox News. To him, reporters' lives matter only if they are right-wingers like him; otherwise, they deserve to die in obscurity.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 AM EDT
WND's Farah Can't Stop Blaming Big Tech Instead Of Himself For WND's Impending Failure
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A key part of Joseph Farah's money begs to keep his flailing WorldNetDaily alive is portraying himself and WND as victims of Google and "big tech" while refusing to concede that the real cause of WND's impending demise is Farah himself for his editorial agenda of fake news and conspiracy theories. Frah cheered in his March 25 column that the Heritage Foundation declared that "Big Tech is an enemy of the American people" then ramped up his own victimhood:

I've been screaming from the rafters since 2017 about it. It caused me so much anxiety that it gave me five strokes – the last one being a major one.

It cost me so much lost revenue in that period that, from 2016 through 2022, I can conservatively estimate it at $100 million.

That's how much this news site, WND.com, been devalued, demonetized and dehumanized in the last several years.

That's what countless other conservative, Christian news sites have experienced.

But I coexisted with Google, Amazon, Facebook and the rest through most of the history of the internet – almost 20 years. Perhaps I'm a slow learner. We at WND were doing all right. We were growing. We were making a real difference. We weren't being compromised. We weren't being blackballed. We weren't being canceled.

All of that ended in 2016.

Why?

Because we took a strong stand for one presidential candidate – perhaps stronger than any stand we had ever taken: Donald J. Trump. In America, we had that right, and everyone knew it – but Google, Amazon, Facebook and the rest began denying that right. It's just that simple.

They didn't care what I said about them, like when I called Google "evil" years before. Amazon didn't smear or not order the books I published or the videos I made before 2016. Facebook didn't restrict the reach to readers we'd developed through our use of the social site before 2016.

That's because in 2016 we were playing for all the marbles – the presidency of the United States. And we won.

Farah "won" in 2016 because he didn't care about the truth. It spread bogus stories about Hillary Clinton's health, and then-WND reporter Jerome Corsi aligned himself with the pheomenally sleazy right-wing political operative Roger Stone to smear Clinton, and published other fake-news stories during and after the campaign.

In his April 1 column, Farah asserted that Google "hasn't faced any government investigations into its monopolistic trailblazing efforts" because "just pays off the government 'watchdogs'" -- a claim for which he provided no evidence. He then regurgitated his victimization narrative again:

Google controls it all.

And this is the world WND lives in and has to navigate through. We can't use Google's search engine. We're prevented from using the one and only major ad platform, Google Ad Manager. And most of the rest of the media operate in a state of constant intimidation and fear – of this TYRANT.

WND is now DEMONETIZED PERMANENTLY! That's official. You simply can't do what we do – tell the truth about the 2020 election, tell the truth about the pandemic, tell the truth about the southern border, tell the truth about the transgender agenda and so on – while Google is running the media!

WND wasn't "demonetized" by Google -- as we explained, Google made the sensible business decision to no longer associate its ad service with the unreliable, conspiratorial content of WND. As if to prove Google's decision to decouple from WND was indeed a sensible one, Farah continued spewing claims he doesn't support:

Google and Big Tech are a BEAST. It may be the No. 1 existential threat to the USA. I know it is to WND and what little is left of America's truly free press.

Google uses all of its tricks to slant the news to the left and in support of the official Joe Biden positions. It's not even funny. It's more than a 20-1 ratio in their news feed, and the more "fake" the news, the more play it gets on Google.

This column, like the other, ends in a money beg.

Such nonsensical ranting from Farah and his deputy, David Kupelian, only serve to reinforce the decision of normal business not to have anything to do with WND, and his counterfactual insistence on blaming everyone but himself for WND's current situation and absolute refusal to seek repentence for his self-inflicted wounds seems to indicate that WND does not deserve to live.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 21, 2022 1:31 AM EDT
Friday, May 20, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck got over his pouting that he couldn't smear White House press secretary because she was out with COVID just in time to mock her for preparing to leave for a job at MSNBC. For the April 4 briefing, Houck gave his man-crush Peter Doocy a cookie for staying on message by pestering Psaki with biased questions on the sex-obsessed right-wing outrage du jour:

Monday on The Psaki Show, Fox’s Peter Doocy made what could be one of his final cracks at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki before her rumored move to MSNBC and he made it count with a tense exchange on transgenderism, the Florida parental rights in education law, and whether the White House thinks children at age six should learn sex ed.

Doocy pivoted from question about Russia’s war against Ukraine (more on that later) to one White House reporters had refused to ask: “A question about college sports. In some places like the Ivy League now, there are biological males competing against women. Does the White House think that is fair?”

Psaki began by saying the White House isn’t “the governing body for the NCAA or any other [sports] system out there” and, after acknowledging his question was in reference to transgender Penn swimmer Lia Thomas, she framed the need to endorse transgenderism as a way of “protect[ing] the dignity and identity of all Americans” as it relates to their mental health.

After she said the administration “hope[s] all leaders” join them, Doocy brought up Florida’s education bill that forbids sex education for children from pre-K through third grade: “At what age does the White House think that students should be taught about sexual orientation and gender identity?”

As we’ve learned, the left has shown that it indeed wants children that young to be exposed to such topics and Psaki was no exception as she said the law’s “a reflection of...politicians in Florida propagating misinformed, hateful policies that do absolutely nothing to address the real issues.”

Remember, for Houck it's all about Doocy staying on message and Psaki being purportedly destroyed by it (note the "Kaboom" in Houck's headline); it's not about whether Doocy's talking points are actually true.

Houck served up more Doocy-gushing for the April 5 briefing, this time over the right-wing (and MRC)  Hunter Biden obsession:

Tuesday during a late-afternoon Psaki Show, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy questioned the White House press secretary over calls for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to give full independence from the Biden White House to investigate First Son Hunter Biden and his life of corruption. Predictably, Psaki wanted nothing to do with this.

“A lot of stories about Hunter Biden surfacing this week. So, to ensure the independence of the investigation, would the President support the appointment of a special counsel,” Doocy asked.

Along with insisting the Department of Justice (DOJ) would make that call as they “make...decisions independently,” Psaki insisted the President has “abide[d] by” his campaign promise to not interfere with the DOJ and thus “has never had a conversation with [them] about any investigations into any member of his family.”

Houck then hyped Doocy still pushing the old right-wing narrative about U.S. sanctions against Russia being ineffective because they didn't stop Vladimir Putin frominvading Ukraine:

Prior to his Hunter Biden questions, Doocy followed up on what CBS’s Weijia Jiang had astutely observed, which was whether, in Jiang’s words, “anything...can be done to stop Putin now, in the immediate” given the White House’s insistence that sanctions take time to reach their intended affect.

When Psaki gave an answer of nothingness, Doocy followed up in wanting to know “how much time do you guys think that these innocent Ukrainians have” until Russia’s economy is so crippled it hampers their war efforts.

Psaki cited the levels of inflation and projected economic contraction hitting Russia and the “historic...military and security assistance” to Ukraine, so Doocy cut deeper in his second Russia question: “But do you guys assess that anything you’ve done so far has prevented a war crime from happening?”

for the April 6 briefing, Houck again praised Doocy for staying on right-wing talking points about Hunter biden and scary immigrants while actual reporters inquired about actual news (though that's not how Houck viewed it):

Wednesday’s Psaki Show marked a contrast between the constructive and the absurd as Fox’s Peter Doocy engaged the White House press secretary on questions surrounding President Biden’s son Hunter and brother Jim and, as other reporters would as well, immigration. But in contrast, others expressed discomfort with a lack of COVID restrictions, raised concerns about right-wing terrorism, and pleaded for more January 6 indictments.

Starting with the constructive, Doocy led with what one could call Bidenphones (following in the footsteps of Obamaphones “Our team in Texas is saying that you guys are starting to give smartphones to border crossers, hoping that they’ll use the phones to check in or to be tracked. I — which part of that is supposed to deter people from crossing illegally into the states?”

Psaki argued “you of all people” should “recognize that we need to take steps to ensure that we know where individuals are and we can track...them” as one of the “alternatives to detention programs” with phones allowing for facial and voice recognition and GPS tracking.

Doocy followed up: “With the telephonic, though, any concern by folks around here that these migrants will take the phones and just toss them?”

When Psaki countered with a question as to whether he knows of “people throwing phones away,” Doocy hit back that he was merely asking a question.

[...]

On a second matter, Doocy wanted to know whether it was accurate that, as per emails (from Hunter’s laptop), Joe “was officemates with Hunter and his brother Jim here in D.C.” during Hunter and Jim’s business venture with a Chinese energy company.

Psaki insisted three times that it wasn’t “accurate” and “they were not officemates” despite Doocy noting the fact that Hunter had emailed the landlord asking for keys to be made for Jim as well as the then-former Vice President and wife Jill.

Houck then uniroinically whined about "four fear-mongering COVID-19 questions from The New York Times’s Katie Rogers" regarding the COVID pandemic. He didn't complain about Doocy scaremongering about "illegals" carrying "Obamaphones" -- which, as we documented way back in 2008, never was a thing= beyond right-wing narratives.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT
WND's Brown Praises Orban's 'Pro-Family' Leanings, Whitewashes His Hate And Authoritarianism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown devoted his April 6 WorldNetDaily column to gushing over the re-election of Hungary's authoritarian leader Viktor Orban:

Judging by reports from the left-leaning media, the people of Hungary showed their true colors by electing Prime Minister Viktor Orban to an unprecedented fourth consecutive term. If these reports are to be trusted, Orban is a dangerously nationalistic, far right-wing, anti-gay, anti-Muslim bigot, a friend of Russia's Putin and an adversary of Ukraine's Zelensky.

If this description is accurate, what does this say about the people of Hungary?

Orban was expected to have an especially tough challenge this time because all six opposition parties united against him. Instead, he won by his largest margin to date, with his party now looking to take 135 seats and the six-party opposition alliance taking only 56 seats.

As we pointed out when Newsmax's John  Gizzi similiarly gushed over Orban's win, Orban used his years in pwer to rig the country's election process to undercut any opposition; voting districts have been gerrymandered to the point that while Orban won only 53 percent of the vote, he won 83 percent of the districts.

So committed to this narrative was Brown actually quoted from Gizzi's whitewashing of Orban's win:

But Orban's relationship with Putin is not the primary reason for his great popularity. Instead, as explained by John Gizzi on Newsmax, "With the economic growth rate at 7.1% in 2021 and unemployment at roughly 3%, the economy was clearly on the side of Orban."

Gizzi also notes that "Orban also got high marks from voters for his policy of 'support for responsible child bearing' – notably that mothers who have four children are exempt from federal income taxes for life.

"The fruits of this pro-family policy (in which the government invests 5% of Hungary's Gross Domestic Product for family support) includes an increase in the fertility rate of 24% in the last decade – 'the largest in Europe,' Minister of Families Katalin Novak told Newsmax last October.

Brown then did some whitewashing of his own, trying to justify Orban's anti-Muslimand anti-LGBT agendas:

As for Orban being anti-Muslim, the truth is that Hungary largely closed its doors to Muslim refugees when the government found that, by and large, they were not trying to integrate into society but were instead living off government support, often while remaining hostile to Hungary itself. (Orban actually styled them "Muslim invaders.")

And the people of Hungary have not forgotten that they were under Ottoman (Muslim) rule for 145 years, from 1541-1699. This, too, affects their views on having open borders to large numbers of Muslim immigrants.

As for Orban being anti-LGBTQ, the reality is that Orban upholds Christian moral values when it comes to marriage, family and the sexualizing of children.

Accordingly, in 2020, the government altered "the constitutional definition of families to exclude transgender adults and same-sex couples, asserting that the 'foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship.'"

Then, in 2021, "Hungary's parliament … passed a law banning gay people from featuring in school educational materials or TV shows for under-18s."

And the majority of the Hungarian people supported these changes, which is another reason they voted again for Orban. Can you imagine?

After writing all that, Brown laughably denied he was defending Orban's hate:

Yet in saying all this, my intent is not to be an apologist for Orban, to minimize the suffering of the Ukrainians, or, in particular, to defend his relationship with Putin.

It is simply to say that, to the best of my knowledge, being informed by well-connected, mature Christian sources within Hungary, Prime Minister Orban is not the man the left-leaning West is making him out to be. He has done much good and stood for many noble causes, and in turn, his nation has shown its support.

If those "well-connected, mature Christian sources within Hungary" are willing to be apologists for Orban's hate and authoriterianism, how Christian are they really?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT
CNS Tries To Shame Biden Again For Not Giving Enough To Charity
Topic: CNSNews.com

Back in 2014, CNS tried to shame then-Vice President Biden by attacking him for not giving enough money to charity:  "Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, reported an adjusted gross income of $407,009 in 2013, from which they contributed 5% to charity, or a total of $20,523, according to their 2013 income tax return, which was released by the White House on Friday." CNS went to the same well of attempted shame again in an anonymously written April 19 article:

President Joe Biden and his wife Jill have released their 2021 federal income tax return, which shows that they had a total income of $610,702 for the year and that they gave $3,400 of that—or 0.55 percent—to Catholic Churches and a Catholic charity.

According to the first page of their tax return, the Bidens had a total income of $610,702. With itemized deductions worth $42,290, they were able to reduce their taxable income to $568,412.

Those $42,290 in itemized deductions included a $10,000 deduction for state and local taxes, $14,896 for home mortgage interest payments, and $17,394 for deductible contributions.

This total of $17,394 in deductible contributions was itemized on Statement 5 of the Bidens’ tax return and included $5,000 to the Beau Biden Foundation; $3,194 to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors; $2,000 for NoVa, $1,000 for Cranston Heights Fire Company, $1,000 for Ministry of Caring.

The anonymous CNS writer didn't explain how much, exactly, would have been a suitable donation to Catholic charities, or why the Bidens' donations to other charities didn't make the headline. The writer also didn't mention that CNS was not able to do this story between 2017 and 2021 because Donald Trmp refused to make his income taxes public, unlike every other president and presidential candidate in the past 40 years.And when Trump's taxes were leaked, CNS complained that one liberal congresswoman used a "vulgar" word in noting that Trump paid only $750 in taxes one year, which CNS defended because it "does not include the millions Trump paid in the form of the [alternative minimum tax] over the seven-year period reported."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC War on Ketanji Brown Jackson, Part 3: The Gotcha Question
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center dutifully amplified a malicious Republican question demanding that the Supreme Court nominee define what a woman is -- but censored the fact that most Americans hated Republicans' hostile treatment of Jackson. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EDT
Thursday, May 19, 2022
MRC Keeps Launching Heavy Fire At Lorenz For Reporting Facts
Topic: Media Research Center

We showed how the Media Research Center's hate campaign against Washington post reporter Taylor Lorenz for accurately reporting the identify of the woman behind the anti-LGBT Libs of TikTok Twitter account got started, but it was just getting warmed up. Nicholas Fondacaro howled that the Post defended Lorenz's story:

In a statement penned Tuesday, Washington Post senior managing editor Cameron Barr stepped up to defend hypocritical malefactor Taylor Lorenz after she doxed the owner of the Libs of TikTok Twitter account, including her identity and address, all because she exposed the lunatics, groomers, and general extremists of the left. And rightfully, there was a great public outcry against the paper.

Laughably calling Lorenz an “accomplished and diligent journalist,” Barr said her “reporting methods comport entirely with The Washington Post’s professional standards.”

[...]

In addition to writing about how the user once lived in New York City and moved to Los Angeles, Lorenz noted the account holder was a real estate agent and a member of the Orthodox Jewish community. And she did, in fact, link to personal information before the paper was called out and silently deleted the link without an editor’s note or admission of guilt.

NewsBusters has confirmed (though we won’t share methods) that the link led to information tied to the user’s real estate license. The information included her full name, address, county, her employer, and her license number.

In fact, Lorenz doxxed nobody. Raichik's personal information was found on publicly available websites; a link to one of them was quickly deleted. Fondacaro then demonstrated his ignorance of how journalism works by portraying standard reporting methods like going to someone's hous eand talking to them or confirming someone's identity as dangerous:

Lorenz even bragged about harassing her target’s family at their homes. “A woman at the address listed to Raichik’s name in Los Angeles declined to identify herself. On Monday night, a tweet from Glenn Greenwald confirmed the house that was visited belonged to [Chaya] Raichik’s family,” she wrote.

She even threatened someone with a similar name as her victim. “You’ve been mentioned as the administrator of the ‘Libs of TikTok’ account (…) you’re being implicated as starting a hate campaign against LGBTQ people…” she wrote to them in a direct message on Twitter demanding comment.

Fondacaro then gloated that Lorenz was feeling "reap what you sow" by noting that people (like Fondacaro) angry with her story were engaged in actual doxxing of her, her familyand "any random friend I've tagged" on Instagram.

Kevin Tober touted how Raichik ran to the Fox News show of Tucker Carlson to play victim about being exposed by "leftist sleazebag" Lorenz. She also let her homophobic flag fly by smearing the LBGT people she posts on her account as "psychopaths." Tober then huffed: "What Taylor Lorenz did was not journalism, it was intimidation with the purpose of making Raichik go away and shut her account down. There’s no other possible explanation for publishing her personal information online. " Again: Lorenz did not "publish" Raichik's personal information.

Tim Graham's April 20 podcast also lashed out at Lorenz as well, whining that she and the Post are part of a "left-wing outrage machine" for exposing Raichik, whining that the story is a "very one-sided pile of propaganda, loaded with LGBTQ media monitors and ACLU activists" and insisting that all Libs of TikTok does is posts videos of LGBTQ people "obviously prosteletyzing and propagandizing" and who are feeding their children "gender identify propaganda." Graham repeated the MRC talking point that Lorenz doxxed Raichik, and ranted that Lorenz engaged in basic reporting behavior: "Talyor Lorenz was not Woodward and Bernstein.... Look, a lot of people don't like it. They don't like a reporter coming and knocking on your door."

Graham then played whataboutism, huffing that the Post felt it "simply must rip the veil of anonymity from a popular Twitter accountw hen the Washington Post, for the last few decades, thas lived and thrived on anonymous sources that get to establish narratives and feed that left-wing outrage machine without anyone knowing who they are."

Fondacaro returned to lash out at frequent MRC target Brian Stelter, complaining that the CNN host "refused to address the 'roiling debate' and 'ethics' of the Washington Post and hypocritical malefactor Taylor Lorenz releasing the name and address of the Libs of TikTok account owner. Instead, he brought on a radical liberal teacher to rail against the account and concerned parents." Rob Shimshock accused the Internet Archive of allegedly having "apparently excluded from its database screenshots of the Twitter account of Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz, after Lorenz doxxed the identity and location of an individual who poked fun at leftists on Twitter." Yes apprently destroying people's lives by posting out-of-context clips of them is merely "poking fun" in the eyes of the MRC.

P.J. Gladnick, meanwhile, fixated on doxxing semantics:

The Atlantic magazine has come up with a creative but laughable way to defend the extreme doxxing by Washington Post writer Taylor Lorenz, who once was a staff writer at their periodical. Their tactic is to broaden the definition of "doxxing" to make it fluid enough to serve the purposes of liberals. Therefore, according to the Atlantic's semantics game, what the Libs of Tik Tok did by presenting unedited videos uploaded by liberals to the very public TikTok platform was somehow "doxxing;" but when Lorenz exposed the name and other personal information of the creator of Libs of TikTok that wasn't really doxxing at all.

If you are scratching your heads at the absurdity of that stance, at least Atlantic admits it in the title of their article by Kaitlyn Tiffany on Friday, "Doxxing Means Whatever You Want It To." The subtitle submerges even deeper into the realm of the surreal with "The word once defined a category of behaviors. Now it expresses an emotion."

Gladnick didn't explain what was "extreme" about Lorenz's "doxxing"; he also didn't rebut the Atlantic writer;'s argument that "Raichik’s identity is in the public interest, given the account’s political goals; it was also easily discovered via a domain-registration website." Instead, he complained aout the argument that Raichik was guilty of doxxing by posting videos of people she hated for purposes of riducule and harassmesnt: "Creative definitions of 'doxxing' make Libs of TikTok guilty of that practice while Lorenz gets a free pass if you so desire thanks to very convenient semantic tricks."

Kevin Tober was still whining about the whole doxxing thing in an April 24 post, nearly a week after Lorenz's story came out, ready to heap more abuse on Lorenz:

On Sunday, leftist sleazebag and professional victim Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to double down on her lie that she never doxxed the woman behind the popular Twitter account Libs of TikTok. Which is a bald-faced lie. 

Despite the fact that Chaya Raichik of Libs of Tiktok is more of a journalist than she will ever be, Lorenz proceeded to trash the account as hateful and that it “is targeting LGBTQ folks.” She claimed that “the entire goal of the account is to direct hate to trans and LGBTQ people. She said she doesn't believe gay people who come out should be allowed to teach children.”

Tober did not dispute Lorenz's depiction of Libs of TikTok and its mission. Still the whining continued:

Lorenz’s next denial was claiming that she “absolutely did not reveal any personal information” about Raichik and thumbed her nose at critics by claiming “reporting practices can seem foreign to people that are not familiar with journalism.”

She proceeded to attack conservative media by claiming they lie and spin up narratives with the goal to “sow doubt and to discredit journalism.”

Lorenz has done much discredit journalism. So, it’s ironic that she is accusing anyone else of lying when that is all she did during her entire interview. It is a fact that she revealed or “doxxed” the woman behind Libs of TikTok. In her original story for The Washington Post, she linked to her home address before it was subsequently removed.

Again: Her address was only in a link, not in the article, and the link -- to publicly available information -- was dropped shortly after the article was posted.

Nowhere in these posts did the MRC mention that Raichik deleted thousands of posts from the Libs of TikTok account before and after her identify was revealed,  and that more of her homophobia was revealed in falsely smearing the suicide prevntion organization The Trevor Project as a "grooming organization." Ironically, it was also revealed that Raichick engaged in actual doxxing, posting a woman's name, address, workplace and phone number, then boasted of having people call her employer -- debunking any claim by the MRC that the account is only about"poking fun." Raichik was also busted for posting a false claim, directing readers exactly where to lash out at the false claim, then tried to keep the story alive after it was proven false.

Alex Pareene wrote an excellent summary of the exceedingly hostile response of the MRC and other right-wing activists to Lorenz's story:

These people on this ascendant right don't just have different ideas about the role and function of journalism; they don't just believe journalists are biased liberals; they don't just believe the media is too hostile to conservatives; they are hostile to the concept of journalism itself. As in, uncovering things dutifully and carefully and attempting to convey your findings to the public honestly.

[...]

This new right fundamentally doesn’t want "newsgathering" to happen. They want a chaotic information stream of unverifiable bullshit and context collapse and propaganda. Their backers, the people behind the whole project, are philosophically and materially opposed to the idea that true things should be uncovered and verified and disseminated publicly about, well, them, and their projects. This may have started as a politically opportunistic war against particular outlets and stories, but it has quickly blossomed into a worldview. It’s an ideologically coherent opposition to the liberal precepts of verifiability and transparency, and the holders of those precepts are too invested in them to understand what their enemy is doing. The creep’s account, everyone in the press should understand, is the model for what they will be replaced with.

The MRC wants more of the hate that Libs of TikTok dishes out, and it doesn't want the haters to be held accountable. That's not "media research" -- that's political activism, deliberate sabotage and personal destruction.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
David Kupelian's Biden Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian's writings for WorldNetDaily these days are just angry screeds against President Biden and Democats in general for the offense of not being as far-right as he is and not being as corrupt and grifty as Donald Trump. Since Kupelian controls WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine, that attitude is reflected in the magazine's monthly theme, joined by a Kupelian screed on said themes.

The theme for the March issues was "The Looting of America," and of course Kupelian and crew gave a pass to Trump for all the looting he did while in office. No, it's all about Biden as the sole cause of inflation. Kupelian's essay began with a rant about government spending with no mention of the fact thatthe federal debt grew by nearly $8 billion during the Trump years. Kupelian quickly went conspiratorial after that:

Let’s go a little deeper and ask why all this is happening. If inflation is viewed only through an economic lens – citing the various contributing economic and monetary factors, from government spending and low interest rates to supply-chain issues and pandemic lockdowns – the larger and deeper truth gets lost.

What is occurring in America’s economy today must be viewed in the context of the ruling Democrats’ total obsession with, and addiction to, permanent power, as well as the larger globalist dream they share of “the great reset” and the radical “green” agenda. In short, to America’s Democratic Party leadership, which has largely been taken over by the hard-core revolutionary Left, everything is about power and privilege for themselves and the unattainable and impossible (not to mention totalitarian and tyrannical) utopia they dream of leading.

[...]

If stripped down to the naked truth, America’s ruling elites are inextricably intertwined in a vast money-and-power machine of self-interest among the political, cultural and technological elite. They are today’s aristocrats, looking down contemptuously on the deplorable peasants.

But instead of Marie Antoinette saying, “Let them eat cake,” they cry, “Let them drive Teslas.” The contempt, however, is the same.

Moreover, since it is their core operating system to lie, steal and break the law – after all, to render their political power permanent they are willing to engineer a full-scale foreign invasion of the United States of America by millions of illegal aliens who will one day vote for them in return – they think nothing of financing their dreams by imposing the hidden, and ultimate, tax of inflation.

Every right-thinking person recognizes that today’s Democratic leadership class lies spectacularly and continually. Ultimately that’s because, on some level, their deceit is intended to enable them to take something that doesn’t rightfully belong to them. That’s called stealing.

Stealing your wealth. Stealing your elections. Stealing and repurposing your government and vital institutions. Stealing your country. And if necessary – as the sad fate of the Jan. 6 political prisoners has made clear – stealing your life.

Never mind of course, that Kupelian and WND are the ones on the record as liars -- about election fraud, COVID and the Capitol riot, among many other things.

Kupelian was in such an anti-Biden froth that he cranked out an April 11 column ranting about him some more:

As you read these words, the Biden White House is wildly championing the cause of amputating healthy body parts of children who have been groomed and manipulated into believing they are the opposite sex from what God made them. Team Biden even wants America’s taxpayers to pay for these mutilating surgeries. At the same time, a new Colorado law explicitly permits the slaughter of perfect, viable human babies, for any reason, right up to the very moment they emerge from their mother.

All of this new madness joins the ongoing madness – Team Biden’s engineering of a full-scale foreign invasion of America from the south, its intentional destruction of our nation’s oil, coal and natural gas industries, the ruinous runaway inflation it has inflicted on the whole country, and its apparent obliviousness to the dangers of plunging the U.S. into World War III.

Many names are being used to try to describe what is currently happening to America – “Marxism,” “communism,” “totalitarianism,” “globalism,” “the Great Reset.” Or how about, “total insanity and evil”?

Whatever you want to call it, America – the greatest and most blessed nation on earth – is at war. And our main adversary is not Vladimir Putin.

I’m talking about the full-fledged Marxist revolution exploding right here in America – from the halls of Congress to the White House to our nation’s southern border to our classrooms to our streets to Big Tech to Big Media to “woke corporations” like Disney.

This ultimately evolved into a money beg for WND:

REAL journalists are professional Truth-tellers – their job is literally to tell the truth, no matter what, to shout it from the rooftops so to speak, without fear or favor. Because without Truth, liberty and prosperity in a nation quickly wither and die. That’s what’s happening in America right now.

Of course, today’s “news media” consists almost entirely of lying, corrupt, self-serving, cravenly obedient cheerleaders for the revolution, for Marxist indoctrination like “critical race theory,” for the “Great Reset,” for men having babies, and for innocent children being groomed and channeled into desperate and hopeless lifestyles.

As a result, the number one target of today’s Big Tech totalitarians, who have become gatekeepers of all information, is that tiny part of the news media not extoling the virtues of the ascendent Democrats’ insane, delusional and fantastically destructive agenda, but rather, committed to reporting the TRUTH … no matter the cost or consequences.

Now a few words about WND, whose motto for 25 years has been “A FREE PRESS FOR A FREE PEOPLE.” Right now, WND is paying a great price and is suffering major consequences for reporting truthfully.

Wrong -- WND is suffering major consequences for its years of fake news and conspiracy theories. Google demonetized WND for that very reason, not because it's trying to take down WND. Its wounds are self-inflicted -- real news organizations do not face this problem -- and Kupelian is too arrogant and deluded to admit that inconvenient fact.Heck, Kupelian can't even be bothered to serve up credible evidence to back up his anti-Biden screeeds.

Kupelian made a big deal out of WND needing "at least $100,000 over and above our normal expenses over the next three months, that is, by June 30," adding, "Please help us reach our $100,000 goal. We will keep you informed as to our progress and report regularly on how the campaign is doing." Except he hasn't done that; no WND article since then as detail the progress of the campaign, let alone how, exactly, WND is spending that money -- transparency you'd think Kupelian and Co. would want to engage in to show donors their money is being well spent. So who's actually looting who here?

If WND can't be bothered to truthfully report on itself, there's no reason to believe -- and it has consistently demonstrated -- that it can't truthfully report on others. Unless it can do that, WND continues to be doomed to fail, and all of its treading water is simply delaying the inevitable.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:47 PM EDT
Newsmax's Kerik Endorsed Ohio GOP Senate Candidate Who Placed Fifth
Topic: Newsmax

Bernard Kerik knows how to pick 'em, doesn't he?

We've previously noted Kerik's enthusiastic embrace of  Eric Greitens for a Missouri Senate seat despite the allegations of sexual blackmail and election finance violations that forced him to resign as Missouri governor. Even after Greitens' ex-wife made allegations of spousal abuse against him, Kerike apparently hasn't abandoned him; we could find no statement from Kerik either defending or denouncing Greitens even though Newsmax, which publishes his column, abandoned its fawning coverage of him after the latest allegations came out.

Perhaps that's why Kerik went the boring route in his endorsement in the Republican primary for an Ohio Senate seat in an April 12 column:

In the Ohio Senate primary, there’s a clash of self-proclaimed MAGA candidates all clamoring for the Trump, America First mantle.

However, it only takes a closer look to see who are pretenders, and who's the real deal.

Jane Timken is the only true MAGA conservative in Ohio who has been there for President Trump and the America First movement since 2016 and all the way through, to the present day.

Kerik went on to slag the better-known (and crazier) candidates in the primary like J.D, Vance and Josh Mandel, as not Trumpy enough: "While other candidates in this race, especially Josh Mandel, love to talk about the 2020 election because they know it’s what President Trump wants to hear, my question to them is: where were they when it mattered?"

Unfortunately for him, Kerik's endorsement of Timken, the chairwoman of the Ohio Republian Party, didn't matter to Ohio Republicans -- she finished fifth in the primary with less than 6% of the vote. Even Kerik's praise of Timken's promotion of Donald Trump's Big Lie didn't sway anyone:

As the lead investigator for President Trump’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani into the 2020 election, I know that Jane Timken put in the work to make sure Ohio’s election was secure and that Ohio delivered.

She worked with the Trump campaign to have an election integrity war room, and even caught a Democrat operative trying to push ballot harvesting and referred them to the attorney general.

Pehaps it's best that Kerik doesn't remind anyone that he has been dancing around with Jan. 6 committee investigators over whether to talk about his presence in the Trump campaign's "command center" on the day of the riot.On the other hand, Timken has said there were no election issues in Ohio, but embraced the Big Lie enough to claim other states were the real problem.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EDT
CNS Still Fretting About Afghan Refugees In U.S. -- But Silent About Ukraine Refugees
Topic: CNSNews.com

After the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, CNSNews.com made sure to fearmonger about refugees coming to the U.S. from that country, with lots of fretting about whether they had been properly vetted. Months afterward, the fearmongering continued: A Jan. 27 article by Craig Bannister complained:

A number of refugees from Afghanistan, part of group of as many as three hundred being temporarily housed in a bankrupt hotel by the federal government, recently breached security and wandered onto the golf course of a gated resort community in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The refugees from the defunct hotel are unsupervised and free to come and go as they please, so they simply roamed onto the golf course of the Gainey Ranch and Golf Club, the AZ Free News reports:

[...]

What’s more, Scottsdale citizens report that the Afghan refugees have been panhandling in the area. A spokesman for the mayor’s office and council told the AZ Free Press that the refugee-hotel project “is a federal government activity over which the city of Scottsdale has no oversight.”

'Bannister didn't explain why these refugees must be treated like children with constant supervision. The next day, editor Terry Jeffrey groused:

The Department of Homeland Security put out two press statements on Wednesday announcing that the last Afghan refugees have been released into the United States from Camp Atterbury in Indiana and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

“To date, more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country,” said DHS.

Jeffrey rehashed an earlier attack from an interview he did with Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who "raised concerns about the vetting of the Afghans brought into the United States."

The complaining continues to this day: A May 18 article by Susan Jones made the headline claim from DHS that "approximately 74,000 Afghan nationals have come to the United States as part of OAW, the largest number of foreign evacuees arriving at one time in nearly 50 years."

By contrast, the idea of refugees from Ukraine fleeing from Russian aggression and possibly settling in the U.S. has drawn virtually no concern from CNS. While several CNS articles have referenced the refugee crisis, only two have made them the focus: A pre-war Feb. 22 article by James Carstensen predicting a crisis if Russia invades Ukraine, and a March 9 article by Carstensen noting the growing crisis but not referencing the U.S. There has been nothing since -- for more than two months.

For all of its fretting about Afghan refugees, CNS has been almost completely silent about Ukrainian refugees coming to the U.S., even though President Biden has launched a program to bring 100,000 refugees into the country and CNS has freaked out over a smaller number from Afghanistan. Why? Is it because the Ukrainians are presumed to be Christian and the Afghans are not, something that has been a longtime CNS obsession? Whatever the reason, the double standard is glaring.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Enemy: MRC Tries To Destroy Reporter For Telling Truth About Homophobic Right-Wing Activist
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has irrationally considered reporter Taylor Lorenz to be an enemy for a while now. Last year, for example, it cheered when Fox News host Tucker Carlson attacked her -- which led to threats against her by his rabid fans -- for doing a story on Carlson. And in an April 1 post, Alex Christy complained that MSNBC "blamed Fox News, Tucker Carlson, and Glenn Greenwald for online death threats and sexual harassment directed at female journalists, which included Washington Post tech columnist Taylor Lorenz tying such attacks to her PTSD, then gave Carlson a pass for his hate: "The point of Carlson’s segment wasn’t mocking Lorenz for being encountering the worst parts of the internet, but pointing out that she claims to be against harassment but, because she isn’t very good at her job, she ends up being what she claims oppose [sic]." Christy did eventually concede that Lorenz writing about things "doesn’t justify death threats or sexual harassment," but he won't admit Carlson helped incite those threats and harassment.

So when Lorenz wrote a Washington Post story exposing the woman behind the Twitter account Libs of TikTok -- which reposted videos from TikTok of LGBT people talking about things, which typically resulted in attacks and threats on the video subject by the account's followers -- the MRC was enraged. Kevin Tober kicked off the rage against Lorenz in an April 18 post for doing the simple reporterly act of seekoing comment from people and going to people's houses to interview them:

In a stunning act of hypocrisy, Washington Post columnist and technology reporter Taylor Lorenz who weeks ago cried on national television that people were harassing and threatening her online, reached out to Governor Ron DeSantis’s press secretary Christina Pushaw to help her expose the person behind the popular Twitter account “Libs of TikTok.” 

Late Monday evening, Pushaw posted to Twitter an email from Lorenz seeking comment about her story " exposing the woman behind the ‘Libs of TikTok account.”

[...]

Amongst the predictable uproar on social media, The Babylonbee's social media manager posted from her Twitter account @Morganisawizard to reveal she has confirmation that not only has she reached out to Pushaw, but Lorenz also knocked on the door of a relative of the woman who runs Libs of TikTok, and has been calling numerous family members. 

Because no MRC employee ever worked as an actual journalist, Tober clearly doesn't understand that seeking comment about a story and going to someone's house to interview them regarding a story is Journalism 101 -- which is why he huffed, "Needless to say, this is Orwellian stuff.

The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro lashed out at Lorenz for writing the story at all:

If you dare to expose the lunatics, groomers, and general extremists of the left (particularly those exposing it to kids) via the videos they themselves put out, The Washington Post and hypocritical malefactor Taylor Lorenz have declared Tuesday it’s okay to run down them, their family, and those on the periphery in an attempt to open them up to retaliation and life-threatening danger. They’ve effectively set the rules of engagement in the culture war in targeting and doxxing @LibsOfTikTok.

In a totally serious segment for MSNBC on April Fools’ Day, Lorenz cried crocodile tears about how she lived in fear of information about her getting on the internet. “You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life and it's so isolating,” she said, claims she has “PTSD” and had “contemplated suicide.”

But that’s exactly what she wanted to happen to Libs Of TikTok account owner Chaya Raichik when she and The Post outed her identity to the world in a piece titled, “Meet the woman behind Libs of TikTok, secretly fueling the right’s outrage machine.” A piece packed with quotes from leftists from the ACLU and Media Matters who were eager to spit venom.

Fondacaro then tried to whitewash Raichik's intent in maliciously posting the videos with the goal of harassment:

The content shared by the account is just reposts of videos put out by the liberal teachers and activists themselves. The videos have illustrated how their enthusiastic subversion of parents and intense indoctrination of gender and political ideology. Essentially, it's provided examples of why Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill was needed.

But Lorenz takes issue with the truth being exposed to the world and frames it as just stoking “outrage” for the sake if the “right-wing” “machine”:

If Raichik was doing nothing malicious and hateful, there would be no reason for her to hide behind anonymity and no reason to complain she was outed.

Deliberately oblivious to the fact that Libs of TikTok has a mission to demnonize people Raichik hates, Fondacaro went on to rant:

Lorenz was out to demonize Libs Of TikTok and make an example of anyone even vaguely in the same orbit. Libs Of TikTok shared a Twitter message she received from an account with a similar name as her real one, in which Lorenz threatened to ruin their life if they don’t respond to her message. “You’ve been mentioned as the administrator of the ‘Libs of TikTok’ account … you’re being implicated as starting a hate campaign against LGBTQ people…” she wrote.

Actually, that's called reporting. If there are two Twitter accounts out there with similar names, Lorenz obviously wanted to make sure she had the right person. Again, that's reporting, not a "threat." (And Fondacaro identified no threat in Lorenz's message anyway.) Nevertbhess, he went on to rant:

Unironically, and without evidence, Lorenz tied the “popularity of Libs of TikTok” to purported doxing and execution calls of school officials. She also lamented the “chilling effect” caused by just reposting the videos that are already out there.

Libs Of TikTok seemed to have gone into hiding after Lorenz’s doxing. “Thankfully I’m currently holed up in a safe location. I’m confident we will get through this and come out even stronger,” she tweeted. “Words cannot express how appreciative I am of the support I’m receiving right now … Grateful for all the thoughts and prayers[.]”

Who's being unironic here? Fondacaro's sputtering rage -- which seemed to be on the verge of going violent -- is a perfect reason for Lorenz to go into hiding. And there are even more unhinged right-wingers than Fondacaro out there who would be happy to do personal harm to a reporter for commiting an act of journalism, and people could very well be inspired to act on the rage spewed by Fondacaro and his fellow right-wingers.

In another post that day, Alexander Hall baselessly called Lorenz an "infamous disgraced journalist" despite identifying nothing in her article that was incorrect. He went on to cite a couple of right-wingers (while not identifying them as such) attacking Lorenz over her story, counterfactually insisting that Libs of Tik Tok is merely an "innocuous content aggregator," despite the fact that Lorenz's article exposed Raichik's real-life homophobia.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 22, 2022 12:24 AM EDT
CNS' Jones Peddles NRA Propaganda
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones spouted all the proper right-wing talking points in an April 12 CNSNews.com article presented as "news":

As he has done many times before, President Joe Biden on Monday blamed guns ("ghost guns" this time) for rising crime in the United States.

He announced a crackdown on "do-it-yourself" kits that allow people to assemble guns without serial numbers -- as if the so-called "ghost guns" are driving the recent crime wave.

But completely missing from Biden's speech was any mention of soft-on-crime prosecutors who release criminals to offend again. (Read the "fairness and safety" memo issued in January by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who declared his "commitment to making incarceration a matter of last resort.")

"If Biden were serious about real solutions to violent crime, perhaps he should take a look at sentencing reform to address the issue of violent criminals with long criminal histories being released after serving only 40% of their sentence -- especially when they commit another violent crime," the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm wrote in response to Biden's speech.

"Instead, GC (Gun Control) Joe continues to blame guns, and propose 'solutions' that will only affect law-abiding gun owners."

The National Rifle Association's lobbying arm accused Biden, sinking in the polls, of pandering to the anti-gun crowd.

Jones didn't mention that the NRA never actually addressed the entire "ghost guns" issue -- that's because this is little more than an NRA press release, and Jones may as well been on the NRA payroll when she wrote this. Indeed, the whole of CNS is effectively a division of the NRA -- it has censored news about financial shenanigans at the organization even though (or, perhaps, because) it was publishing an NRA board member, Allen West, as a columnist.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022 8:14 PM EDT
WND's Lively Likens Farah To Stonewall Jackson
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Scott Lively is a vociferous defender of Vladimir Putin as a champion of "true human rights," so maybe he's not the best person to use as a character witness. Yet Lively's March 7 column is a defense of WND editor Joseph Farah as, according to the headline "the Stonewall Jackson of America First media." Let the weird slobbering begin:

Many years ago, in my capacity as California state director of the American Family Association, I had the great privilege of sitting at the head table next to Hollywood legend Jane Russell at a special banquet of Eagle Forum California in honor of its founder (and Ms. Russell's traveling companion), Phyllis Schlafly. Phyllis gave the most hopeful and inspiration speech I have ever heard, detailing her eyewitness view of the rise of the conservative movement from Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan. It was one of the most memorable milestones in my career as a Christian social and political activist.

I don't remember if she specifically cited Joseph Farah by name, but the closing crescendo of her speech emphasized the amazing potential of the internet to facilitate a quantum leap forward for the conservative movement. And, of course, Joseph Farah was THEE pioneer of online conservative media through his WorldNetDaily internet news site, whose power and influence began a meteoric rise after its founding in 1997. WND was the first online news organization to gain official recognition in the Washington, D.C., press pool (after a hard-fought battle), and Farah himself was having a profound influence on conservatism as the ghostwriter of Rush Limbaugh's second book "See, I Told You So" (which sold 4 million copies in the first two months).

Of course, the left recognized the threat to their media hegemony posed by WND and pushed back hard with every weapon in their arsenal, including lawsuits – but in the midst of that intense battle Joseph Farah stood like a stone wall, giving strength and encouragement to the hundreds of budding conservative journalists who had joined the battle in the cause of truth. Indeed, there might never have been a "new media" if not for Joseph and WND. I highly recommend his 2007 "inside story of the new media revolution" titled "Stop the Presses," which reads like a culture-war version of the history of World War II. It is really must-reading for anyone interested in overthrowing the corporate "news" industry, which President Trump famously (and truthfully) branded "the enemy of the people."

We read Farah's book, and found it to be highly mendacious piece of self-puffery because he doesn't practice what he preaches journalistically. Sorry to interrupt your slobbering, Scott:

Just days ago, I experienced another memorable career milestone when I met Joseph Farah in person for the first time, when my wife, Anne, and I took him and his wife, Elizabeth, to lunch in a suburb of Washington, D.C. The next day I went back to get a selfie photo with him to put on my office shelf right next to my picture with Rush Limbaugh. It is so very satisfying to finally meet one of your culture war heroes and to discover he is just as much a champion of right and truth in person as in the image portrayed to the public.

I confess I felt something of an urgency in wanting to have this meeting at this point in time, because I am very concerned about the survival of WND. As you may know, WND and Joseph Farah were early targets of the "cancel culture," and there has been a concerted effort by the hard left to totally destroy them. Google's "demonitizing" of WND nearly killed it, and put such strain on Joseph as he tried hold things together that he had a series of debilitating strokes. That was three ago. It has been a great struggle for him to regain his health. Meanwhile, the news site continued to fight through the herculean efforts of a core team led by another of my heroes, WND Vice President David Kupelian.

To the eternal shame of the truly evil editors of the Washington Post, they ran one of the nastiest hit pieces of all time against Joseph personally, while he lay in a hospital bed just days after a massive stroke, clinging precariously to life. Thank God he survived and has recovered nearly to his former self.

That would be the Post piece that WND has never offered a rebuttal to, let alone prove that anything in it about Farah's reported financial shenanigans was false. Lively also forgot to mention that WND used Farah's stroke -- which it had kept secret for a few weeks until the Post called WND for a response to its report -- as an excuse to not respond to it, and when managing editor David Kupelian finally responded, he didn't challenge anything and insisted that Farah, who was conveniently out of commission, was "the only person situated to respond" to it. Thus, there is no factual basis for Lively to dismiss it as a "hit piece."

Finally, Lively got around to the dubious likening of Farah to a failed Confederate general who helped lead a violent rebelion against his own country in order to preserve the institution of slavery (and, of course, beg for people to donate to WND):

Stonewall Jackson's courage and resolve would not have been enough to prevail against the superior numbers and power of the opposing army that day in Manassas if reinforcements had not rallied to him because of his inspiring stand.

We must not let the enemy destroy the Stonewall Jackson of the conservative media: Joseph Farah and his WND. I strongly urge you to rally to his support by giving generously to the nonprofit WND News Center and to educate all of your America First friends and allies that they owe Joseph Farah and WND far more honor and respect than they realize.

It might be a little gauche to mention that Jackson died after he was accidentally shot by his own Confederate troops -- an overly apt analogue to the self-inflicted wounds of fake news and conspiracy theories Farah decided WND needed to publish instead of the sound journalism that real journalists do.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 19, 2022 3:59 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC War on Ketanji Brown Jackson, Part 2: The Bogus Attack
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center embraced a false attack on the Supreme Court nominee -- and hid from readers the fact that even its fellow right-wingers had discredited it. Plus: The MRC obsesses over Jeffrey Toobin's peener! Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Pushing A Narrative: MRC Demands Biden Be Blamed For High Gas Prices
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center began slaving away after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on pushing the narrative that President Biden, and only him, is responsible for high gas prices. That narrative building continued throughout March. Clay Waters whined in a March 12 post:

One Wednesday, the New York Times ran a biased story by official fact-checker Linda Qiu in defense of President Biden and high gas prices: “Invasion and Pandemic, Not Policies, Are Driving Up Gas Prices.” The online headline was more partisan: “Republicans Wrongly Blame Biden for Rising Gas Prices.”

As with his other MRC co-workers, Waters offered no evidence that the Times was wrong, instead playing whataboutism: "However much control a president actually has over the price at the pump, the Times’ defensive attempt to circle the wagons for Biden against Republican criticism was nothing like the gas attacks it ran against Republican President George W. Bush."

A March 17 post by Jeffrey Clark cited only biased right-wing activists to counter the Washingotn Post disporving theidea that Biden is responsible for high gas p[rices:

The Washington Post’s editor and chief writer of “The Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler pushed misinformation about President Joe Biden’s responsibility for sky-high energy prices in the U.S..

Kessler absurdly claimed in a March 15 article that there is “little evidence that Biden’s policies have had any direct impact on oil production.” Is that so, Washington Post?

American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Benjamin Zycher pointed out that the administration’s war against fossil fuels contributed to reduced output, lifting prices. “[A]n expectation that future investment will be constrained artificially has the effect of raising prices today. Why might the market expect such constraints on future investment? Look no further than the Biden administration’s policies for the answer. The ‘net-zero’ crusade against fossil fuels is an obvious attempt to force a sharp decline in current and future production,” Zycher noted. [Emphasis added.]

Zycher clearly illustrated the “direct impact” — as Kessler put it — of the Biden administration’s policies, completely upending Kessler’s argument.

Despite his claim, Vazquez did not quote Zycher actually providing evidence of a "direct" link between a specific Biden policy and higher gas prices.

The same day, the MRC touted its boss trying to advance the narrative:

Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. Thursday morning, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell previewed an upcoming MRC study showing that the leftist media are trying to blame everyone and anything else for high gas prices except the “incompetent” energy policies of President Biden. Bozell went on to call out the environmental “zealotry” within the administration.    

“Look at this tweet, it’s from President Biden, he’s blaming high gas prices on Putin and also the oil companies,” host Stuart Varney noted at the top of the segment. He then turned to Bozell and wondered: “Brent, is the media buying the President’s story that it’s the oil companies and price gouging and Putin that’s screwing around with gas prices?”

[...]

Varney called out those who were actually responsible for surging fuel costs:

You have to say that John Kerry, the climate czar, a couple of senators, AOC, the Greens essentially, the global warmers, the global climate warriors, these are the people who are really responsible for the rising price of gas because they cut production of fossil fuels. It’s their fault to some degree – a large degree.   

Bozell replied: “Stuart, top to bottom, this administration is being run by incompetent zealots. Their incompetency is everywhere to see, but there zealotry is one that doesn’t recognize their incompetency.”

Neither Bozell nor Varney offered any evidence to back up the claim.

In another March 17 post, Kevin Tober cheered Fox News for pushing the narrative: "On Thursday afternoon’s episode of Fox News Channel’s The Five, co-hosts Judge Jeanine Pirro and Greg Gutfeld ripped into the leftist media for parroting the Biden administration’s propaganda which falsely blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the increase in gas prices. Despite the fact that gas prices have risen every month since Biden took office."

The next day, Bill D'Agostino served up a clip package:

Bad news for anyone still holding out hope that the media will eventually start blaming Biden for record-breaking gas prices and inflation: it’s not going to happen.

For months the media’s talking points on skyrocketing energy costs have been in lockstep with the Biden administration’s own blame-shifting, and that trend doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

He offered no evidence to show that it was accurate to solely blame Biden.

On March 24, Scott Whitlock served up the inevitable lame MRC "study":

Americans over the last month have been enduring painful, skyrocketing gas prices. The impacts are echoing out to all parts of the economy and squeezing already stressed wallets. But if you watched the morning and evening network newscasts, you would think almost all the blame for this falls on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Joe Biden? His role has almost entirely been ignored. 

From February 24 to March 21, the networks put the culpability squarely on Russia by a 11-to-1 margin. ABC, CBS and NBC blamed Russia a whopping 33 times and the Democratic president just 3 times. (The breakdown by network: NBC blamed Russia 16 times, CBS 11 times and ABC 6 times.)

Whitlock rehashed earlier Biden rhetoric and actions but offered no proof that they constitute evidence that Biden is solely to blame for high gas prices:

As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to “get rid of fossil fuels” and pledged “no more coal plants.” On the first day of Biden’s presidency, he killed the Keystone Pipeline. In the last 14 months, the three network evening newscasts have allowed a scant 29 seconds to the move (16 seconds on NBC, 10 on CBS and just 3 on ABC)

Biden also paused oil and gas leasing on federal lands. In May of 2021, he removed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring gas from Russia to Germany a major win for Vladimir Putin.

Whitlock didn't explain what, if anything, the Nord Stream pipeline -- which isn't even in the United States -- had to do with high gas prices here.Whilock then concluded with a fit of Trump-fluffing:

In November of 2020, the Media Research Center conducted a poll about the 2020 election and what Americans actually learned from the media. As then-Research Director Rich Noyes noted, “More than half (50.5%) of Biden voters said they did not know about [Trump moving to make us energy independent]. If the information was known by all, 5.8% of Biden’s voters say they would have changed how they voted.” 

America became a net exporter of oil for the first time in September of 2019. But you wouldn’t have known that from watching ABC, CBS and NBC in the Trump years. They buried this accomplishment. And during Biden’s presidency, the networks are doing everything they can to censor his crippling energy policies.

As we've noted, that poll was conducted by The Polling Company, founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway then later sold to a Republican PR firm, so the independence and reliability of the poll results are very much in question.

As actual news organization and fact-checkers continued to demonstrate that Biden was not to blame for high gas prices, the MRC continued to shout its narrative all the louder. A March 31 post by Clark screeched at a PolitiFact post disproving it by citing one energy analyst claiming that the Biden administration made a "pretty stark miscalculation of the amount of supply we would need to keep energy prices at affordable levels'" -- whcih, if true, is not a policy issue -- and, again, biased analyst Zycher. Clark also complained that PolitiFact "downplayed the effect of the Keystone XL pipeline on the U.S. oil supply" without offering any evidence to counter it.

An April 1 post by Christy complained that MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle apperared on TV "to absolve President Biden of any blame for high gas prices" without offering any countering evidence. And Tim Graham whined on April 11:

When the network news divisions take public opinion polls, and President Biden looks terrible in them, they have a tendency to downplay them. ABC reported on their latest poll with Ipsos under the headline " Most Americans blame Vladimir Putin, oil companies for high gas prices: POLL."

They sent the same message on Twitter: 

Graham made no effort to prove it wrong. Instead, he nitpicked: "The headline is, technically true -- but it's not an either-or choice. "Most" do blame Putin and oil companies - but, majorities also blame Biden (51%) and Democrat policies (52%). In terms of "a great deal of blame," the results for Dems/Biden/Oil companies are pretty much the same: Biden 33%, Dem policies 31% and oil companies 35%, and Putin at 39%."

If the headline is "technically true," there was no reason for Graham to attack it. But the narrative must be fed, and outrage must be manufactured.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 10:27 PM EDT

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