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Monday, August 1, 2022
MRC Slowly Backs Away From Musk After He Backs Out Of Twitter Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

When last we checked in on the Media Research Center's hero worship of Elon Musk, it was still cheering his apparent all-but-done deal to buy Twitter and fawning over every pearl of alleged wisdom that tumbled out of his mouth. Cracks were beginning to show over the Twitter deal, though; a June 28 post by Autumn Johnson noted that "Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly told Twitter he needs more raw data from Twitter to determine the number of bot accounts on the platform." On July 6, though, Jeffrey Clark gushed that Musk "mocked Twitter’s out-of-control censorship in an American Revolution-themed post on Independence Day," before going on to complain that right-wing self-help guru Jordan Peterson for a transphobic tweet about actor Elliot Page (though, as per MRC style, he didn't explain why Twitter does not have the right to enforce its terms of service on its users).

When Musk pulled out of the deal to buy Twitter on July 8, Brian Bradley wrote what was effectively a press release for Musk:

Twitter refused to provide information on its fake or spam accounts, so Elon Musk is canceling his plan to buy the platform, according to a letter sent by Musk’s legal team to Twitter.

Musk asked Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to show evidence of Twitter’s claim that less than 5 percent of its accounts are fake or spam accounts before following through with purchasing the platform, according to a May 17 tweet. Musk said he believed that 20 percent of platform accounts were fake or spam.

Information on Twitter’s fake or spam accounts “is fundamental to Twitter’s business and financial performance and is necessary to consummate the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement because it is needed to ensure Twitter’s satisfaction of the conditions to closing, to facilitate Mr. Musk’s financing and financial planning for the transaction, and to engage in transition planning for the business,” the letter from Musk’s legal team says. “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information.”

That's it -- Bradley made no effort to tell Twitter's side of the story and simply assumed that whatever Musk said was correct.

Meanwhile, Musk's life outside Twitter was getting messy: one of his children changed gender identity and sought a name change because “I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form" (how terrible of a father do you have to be when you're among the world's richest people and one of your own children wants to sever ties with you?), and he got into a war with the MRC's beloved Donald Trump; Musk said it was time for Trump to “hang up his hat & sail into the sunset" and denied ever voting for him, to which Trump responded by calling him "another bullshit artist" who begged for government subsidies from him while he was president. He also didn't respond to his mother tweeting him happy birthday.

The MRC was silent on those things; when it was revealed that Musk has yet another baby mama -- fathering twins with an executive of one of the companies he owns -- it did grudgingly weigh in on that. Tierin-Rose Mandelburg complained in a July 11 post that "Former View Host Meghan McCain just low key put Elon Musk and Nick Cannon on blast in her op-ed for the Daily Mail, calling their baby making plans 'dystopian.'" (Cannon has eight children by five women.) The MRC used to look down on such immoral behavior; instead, Mandelburg cheered it by insisting that the situation "wasn't as creepy as McCain pointed out" and, hey, at least they didn't cause any abortions (that we know of): "People should get pregnant if and when they’re ready to, but you have to give Musk and Cannon credit too. In a world that has celebrated the slaughter of the unborn so publicly as of late, at least these celebrities support new birth!"

Meanwhile, things were percolating on the Twitter front as well. Twitter quickly assembled a legal team to decide how to respond to Musk's attempt to terminate the deal,  and on July 13, the company sued Musk to force him to complete the deal. Oddly, that didn't draw a response from the MRC. It wasn't until Musk made plans to counter-sue -- and after it was reported that Musk had an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin -- that Catherine Salgado devoted a July 19 post to the legal aspect, which heavily relied on the right-wing New York Post for its information.

The MRC didn't address the issue again until a July 27 post by Johnson noting that "Twitter has scheduled a shareholder vote after Musk announced he wanted to pull out of his deal to buy the company," which copied-and-pasted from Bradley's earlier PR piece to fill it out.

It sure seems like Musk's luster has dimmed from the MRC now that he's trying to back out of his Twitter deal and his personal life becomes a mess in ways that the MRC's usual moral scolds can't quite tolerate.

Meanwhile, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, appears to be keeping up its hero worship for now. A July 27 article by Patrick Goodenough touted how Musk, who also runs SpaceX (where he fired employees who criticized him, casting doubt on his purported support of free speech), "offered a two-word response" -- "bon voyage" -- "to Russia’s reported plans to exit the International Space Station."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2022 9:16 PM EDT
WND Still Trying To Falsely Credit MyPillow For Retailer's Woes
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in January 2021, we busted WorldNetDaily for falsely claiming that a drop in the stock of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond was directly tied to a right-wing boycott of the company after it stopped carrying MyPillow products when that company's leader, Mike Lindell, insisted on spreading lies about election fraud. The writer of that bogus article, Art Moore, is still trying to credit the decision not to stock MyPillow for the retailer's continued woes, writing in a June 29 article:

Bed Bath & Beyond – one of the first companies to stop selling Mike Lindell's MyPillow products because he challenged the result of the 2020 presidential election – now is curbing the air conditioning in its stores to compensate for slumping sales, according to a report from Bank of America.

The nationwide retailer's decision in January 2021 to quit selling Lindell's products was met with a boycott. Later that month, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 36.4%, the biggest one-day loss since going public in June 1992.

The company began 2022 with a plan to close 37 stores across 19 states.

As before, Moore offered no evidence that any MyPillow-related activity has anything at all to do with issues at Bed Bath & Beyond. Indeed, he went on to note reports that "An easing of COVID restrictions means a lower demand for home goods and supply chain problems have led to a lack of inventory to attract customers."

But then, if Moore didn't insist on lying to his readers, he wouldn't have a story hook.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:51 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Snipes At The Competition, Part 2
Topic: Newsmax
In pointing out Tucker Carlson's pro-Putin, anti-American attitudes over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Newsmax found an anti-Fox News narrative with some traction. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EDT
MRC Fails In Defending YouTuber's Anti-Biden Tweet
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Jeffrey Clark declared in a June 13 post:

A 25-year-old YouTuber and boxer seems to have found a new political punching bag: President Joe Biden. 

Jake Paul didn’t pull his punches when he listed five of Biden’s “accomplishments” in a June 11 tweet that went viral with over 130,000 likes and counting: 

  1. Highest gas prices
  2. Worst inflation
  3. Plummeting crypto prices
  4. Highest rent prices ever 
  5. Created new incomprehensible language. 

Paul told his over 4 million Twitter followers: “If you’re reading this and voted for Biden and you still don't regret it then you are the American problem."

A fact-checker might have a difficult time refuting Paul’s post. On an unadjusted basis, gas prices hit $5 on average nationwide for the first time ever on June 11, The Washington Times. Inflation also spiked to 8.6 percent for the steepest increase since December 1981, and average rent prices surged above $2,000 a month for the first time ever, according to NPR. 

Actually, Paul's post is easily refuted, since neither he nor Clark provided any evidence that Biden is solely responsible for all of those things and identified no single policy that resulted in them.Paul andClark are merely invoking the correlation-equals-causation fallacy. But when those refuatations specifically targeted Paul blaming Biden for "plummeting crypto prices" -- after all, the main attraction of cryptocurrency for many people is that it's unregulated and largely beyond the reach of any governemnt -- Clark gamely attempted a retort:

Biden issued a March executive order to empower the government to regulate cryptocurrencies. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have teased legislation for “ taxation of digital assets.” Former Twitter CEO and crypto proponent Jack Dorsey pushed back on the Biden administration’s attempts to control digital currency in a January 2021 letter: “Regulations that unnecessarily restrict the future of cryptocurrency are deeply concerning, specifically in the case of this Proposal which places undue burdens on consumers who seek to use it in their daily life.” 

After Biden’s executive order and amid threat of more regulation, values of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have continued to spiral downward in recent weeks, with Ethereum alone “losing almost 20% [of its value] in the last 24 hours alone,” according to a June 13 Forbes article.

First: Dorsey's letter was dated Jan. 4, 2021 -- 16 days before Biden became president -- so he could not possibly have been criticizing "the Biden administration’s attempts to control digital currency." Second: The Forbes article reporting on plummeting crypto prices did not mention Biden's executive order as a factor, though it did point out that one cryptocurrency provider effectively collapsed and halted withdrawals. Indeed, Clark provides no evidence whatsoever that Biden's executive order -- which simply called for the government to look further into crypto's risks and benefits and investigate the possibility of a digital dollar currency -- had any effect on crypto markets.

Clark impressively failed in his task of defending Paul. Not a good image for his employer.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EDT
Sunday, July 31, 2022
MRC Pretends It Never Tried To Discredit Story Of 10-Year-Old's Rape
Topic: Media Research Center

When reports surfaced of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio who had been raped but the extreme anti-abortion laws in the state proved to be so onerous that she was forced to go to Indiana to undergo the procedure, the Media Research Center -- particularly executive Tim Graham -- tried to throw shade at the claim. In a July 4 post, Graham complained that Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, where abortion is similarly effectively illegal, "was harassed to support an abortion for a raped 10-year-old girl in Ohio." He cheered that Noem clung to approved anti-abortion narratives and that "Noem focused on the predator and then expressed the pro-life position that abortion after rape is adding a tragedy to a tragedy."

After President Biden referenced the story, Graham returned with a July 10 post that sought to portray it as a hoax and attacking Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler for not immediately calling Biden a liar after being unable to immediately substantiate the claim:

This story was "too good to check" for the liberal media -- a ten-year-old rape victim in Ohio having to travel to Indiana to get an abortion. On Saturday, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler noticed it when Joe Biden used it. "This is the account of a one-source story that quickly went viral around the world — and into the talking points of the president."

[...]

Kessler underlined "There is no indication that the newspaper made other attempts to confirm her account. The story’s lead reporter, Shari Rudavsky, did not respond to a query asking whether additional sourcing was obtained." The Star put out a lame statement that "the facts and sources...are clear." 

That's not transparency! That doesn't build confidence in newspapers! Kessler noted this one-source anecdote was treated as fact all over the globe, and he included CNN's Dana Bash.

[...]

If Donald Trump picked up a story like this, Kessler would assign Pinocchios. As usual, there were no Pinocchios for Biden, and his take on the "presidential imprimatur" on this possibly mythical event is so mild that you could interpret it as "Oh, it's a fact now."

We would remind Graham that he and his employer demanded that all media treat the Hunter Biden laptop story that surfaced before the 2020 presidential election as unimpeachable fact despite the fact that the laptop had not been independently verified by anyone outside of the pro-Trump activists who were pushing the story.

But the story was true after all -- a 10-year-old girl was raped. But because the alleged rapist is an undocumented immigrant, it suddenly became a story that could fit into the MRC's pile of stock right-wing narratives. So it changed the focus of the story on the perpetrator instead of the victim in a trio of posts on July 13 and 14:

In that second article, Curtis Houck complained that CBS reporter Eliaine Quijano wanted to talk about things other than the alleged perpetrator's legal status: "Quijano cited '[t]he Indiana doctor who said she performed the abortion,' but skipped over how both her name (Caitlin Bernard) when mentioning the fact that she could face legal trouble for failing to report the rape to law enforcement." Houck didn't explain how Bernard's name was relevant to that particular telling of the story. And his allegation that Bernard "could face legal trouble for failing to report the rape to law enforcement" because it was reported the same day that, in fact, she did.

When the mother of the girl went on TV to defend the alleged rapist, the MRC found that more interesting as well.  Jorge Bonilla's eyes seemed to metaphorically light up at the prospect of more undocumented aliens he could disparage: "Based on that experience, I assess that: the mother's distressed defense of the rapist suggests she is also here illegally and fears deportation, the defendant is the family's sole source of income, there is a likelihood of other children in the home, and Mom is exposed to removal of the children under dependency proceedings (failure to protect). Kevin Tober followed with the usual MRC "non-right-wing media aren't covering angles beneficial to right-wing narratives" item, and Bonilla served up another post on the development.

Tover served up another post complaining that the girl being forced to go to another state to get an abortion was being held up as an example of post-Roe America: "Of course, this ignores the fact that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost had previously stated the girl could’ve received an abortion under her unique circumstances." In fact, the Ohio law is so vaguely written that any doctor who performed an abortion could easily face criminal charges.

Graham spent his July 15 column whining that the story made the front page of USA Today; he didn't tell his readers he previously tried to portray it as a hoax. The next day, he was whining that conservatives were called out for trying to prove the story was a hoax, rehashing his previous complaints:

On Friday's PBS NewsHour, anchor William Brangham twisted around the horrible child rape in Ohio as something the Republicans tried to "make hay" of, somehow not a story that Democrats and the liberal media were the first to exploit. 

This began as a single-source story in the Indianapolis Star, and CNN's Dana Bash threw it in the face of Gov. Kristi Noem and tried to intimidate her about allowing the murder of a baby after rape. When Washington Post "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler found the Star reporter and her abortionist source didn't want to talk, Republicans "made hay" of how the story might not be true. Then this controversy forced it to come out.

Graham did not apologize for doubting the story, nor did he admit he was one of the doubters. Alex Christy similarly whined in another July 16 post:

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle hypocritically weaponized the case of a 10-year old girl who traveled from Ohio to Indiana to seek an abortion by declaring that it was actually conservatives who were “weaponizing this story” by not initially believing its veracity.

During a panel discussion, Ruhle expressed to former colleague and current Washington Post Live anchor Leigh Ann Caldwell, “the truth matters but only if you hear it. We say it all the time and I want our audience to understand this week, many, many people heard this awful, awful story in Ohio, a ten year old girl was raped and she had to flee to another state to seek abortion services. Why did she do that? Well, we all know, because Roe v. Wade was overturned.”

[...]

To help Ruhle and Caldwell, it was the left and the media that originally weaponized this story by asking Republicans to comment on the case even though they would still be called extremists even if they embraced rape and incest exceptions. It should also not be considered right-wing hackery to except journalists to do a better job confirming single-source stories before turning them into high-profile national narrative drivers, even if they ultimately end up being true.

Again: The MRC demanded that the Hunter Biden laptop story be promoted as stated from partisan right-wing campaign operatives without any independent verification.

Meanwhile,  Jeffrey Lord served up his own bizarre spin on the story in a July 16 column claiming that it proved Donald Trump right when he smeared Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists: "In the zeal of both President Biden and his liberal media allies to target the repeal of Roe with the story of the 10 year old girl being raped, they are suddenly confronted by the fact that they have accidentally confirmed Trump’s point about some illegals crossing the border and, their background un-vetted, committing rape. Which is exactly what appears to have happened to that 10 year old girl."

According to the quote Lord himself cited, Trump didn't say "some" immigrants were rapists; he portrayed nearly all immigrants as criminals and rapists befor adding that "some, I assume, are good people."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:34 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2022 4:18 PM EDT
CNS Intern Touts Medical Misinformers Who Push Ivermectin
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has done its summer interns a disservice by letting them push fake news and partisan narratives instead of engaging in actual, fair-and-balanced joiurnalism. We saw this misuse again in a June 2 article by intern and "Investigative Journalism Fellow" Micky Wootten:

Attorney and former Ambassador C. Boyden Gray held a press briefing on the phone Wednesday to introduce a new lawsuit being filed against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over its claims that ivermectin is an ineffective treatment for COVID-19.

“Tomorrow we will be suing the FDA over its unlawful attempts to interfere with the practice of medicine, specifically, this crusade to halt the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19,” said Gray in a conference call with reporters. “This lawsuit is very important to preserve medical freedom and the doctor-patient relationship in the United States.”

[...]

Gray, former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush and founding partner of Boyden Gray & Associates, is representing Drs. Mary Talley Bowden, Paul E. Marik, and Robert L. Apter, who have faced obstructions to their practice due to their promotion of Ivermectin as an effective COVID treatment.

The lawsuit was filed June 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, where one of the doctors being represented, Dr. Mary Bowden, resides. 

Transcribing a conference call is hardly "investigative journalism," and that's all Wootten has done here -- he couldn't even be bothered to reach out to the FDA for a response to the lawsuit or even to explain or link to the FDA's stance against ivermectin. And he certainly wasn't going to tell readers that studies claiming that ivermectin works tend to get retracted for shoddy data.

Wootten also failed to examine the background of the plaintiffs for his readers -- presumably to hide how they're not really the most credible people when it comes to medicine. He noted that Bowden "was derided by Houston Methodist Hospital and forced to resign her privileges there as a result,” suggesting it was only due to her ivermectin advocacy; in fact, Bowden reportedly told patients that she had done research suggesting "the vaccine is not working," then falsely suggested and then walked back a claim that Methodist was not treating unvaccinated patients.

Marik, meanwhile, is an anti-vaxxer like Bowden and runs an organization that is dedicated to promoting non-approved COVID treatments like ivermectin -- which has shown itself to be something of a grift; according to STAT News, Marik's group charge $90 for an online appointment to get an ivermectin prescription and as much as $1,650 to meet with the group's founders. (The co-founder of Marik's group, Pierre Kory, got COVID despite following his own ivermectin-centric protocol.) Marik has also published research papers promoting ivermectin that have been retracted.

Wootten also made sure to inject his employer's partisan arratives into the "news" article:

CNS News asked the three doctors if they thought the mainstream media played any role in perpetuating the narrative against ivermectin.

According to Dr. Marik, “the mainstream media are responsible for perpetuating this misinformation and disinformation that has originated from the FDA,” which he attributes to the fact that the media “receive most of their advertising revenue from big pharma.”

Since Wootten made no effort to defend ivermectin as effective refused to debunk (let alone acknowledge) anything the FDA has published on it, there's no possible basis for Marik to attack accurate reporting on the ineffectiveness of ivermection as "misinformation and disinformation."

We've aready caught Wootten not living up to his title as "Investigative Journalism Fellow" when he uncritically repeated Tucker Carlson denying that the suicide deaths of law enforcement officers after the Capitol riot cannot be blamed on the riot when, in fact, the death of at least one officer has been ruled a line-of-duty death stemming from the injuries he received that day. Whatever CNS is teaching its interns to do, it ain't journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 31, 2022 11:55 AM EDT
Saturday, July 30, 2022
MRC Plays Whataboutism With Badly Behaving GOP Senate Candidate
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is incapable of unequivocally criticizing a fellow conservative -- any criticism just be couched in whataboutism to push a narrative of equivalence with Democrats, no matter how foul the deed alleged. Case in point: Eric Greitens, former Missouri governor and current Republican candidate for a Senate seat in the state. We've already documented how Newsmax has tried to rehabilitate Greitens (with the help of columnist Bernard Kerik) despite the fact that he was forced to resign as governor over campaign finance improprieties and, more disturbing, an abusive sexual affair with shades of blackmail.

But in April, Greitens' ex-wife came forward with new accusations of domestic abuise -- something that caused even Newsmax to back off him. Meanwhile, Clay Waters rushed to play whataboutism in sn April 19 post:

New York Times political reporter Jonathan Weisman again singled out Republicans as solely to blame for some trait that is actually a bipartisan sin. Last month, Weisman singled out alleged support by GOP extremists for Russia against Ukraine.

In his Saturday report "As G.O.P. Candidates Face Accusations, Rivals Tread Carefully,” Weisman began with the sordid case of former Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and new allegations of domestic violence.

[...]

The name “Bill Clinton” somehow was unmentioned, a Democrat president who notoriously escaped allegations of sexual harassment and rape thanks to a compliant press that willingly smeared and disappeared his accusers.

Waters further harped on Clinton: "Again, Bill Clinton was credibly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, and of sexual harassment by Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey." In fact, Broaddrick lacks credibility because she spent 17 years denying a rape occurred -- even testifying under oath to that effect -- before flip-flopping as part of Republican wars against Clinton.

When Greitens released an ad in June that effectively advocated violence against RINOs -- Republicans in name only, in far-right parlance -- most Republicans criticized him. The MRC did too ... but also played whataboutism.A June 21 post by Mark Finkelstein spent much more time criticizing a former far-right Republican for not being a Trump toady like him than he did criticizing Greitens:

Joe Walsh is a washed-up Illinois politician and a chameleon. He's gone from being a liberal Republican to a hardcore Tea Partier and ardent Trump supporter, to becoming so fiercely anti-Trump that in addition to voting for Joe Biden in 2020, Walsh even announced, as our Tim Graham has noted, that he would vote for a "socialist" over Trump.

Walsh lasted just one term in Congress. And his 2020 "campaign" for the GOP presidential nomination didn't even last half as long as Kamala Harris' fleeting, failed effort on the Dem side.

So why does CNN regularly invite this loudmouth non-entity onto its air? Because he can be counted on to trash Republicans. On this morning's New Day, co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Walsh regarding a controversial TV ad from Eric Greitens, who is seeking the Republican nomination for US senator from Missouri.

The ad depicts an armed Greitens saying that he's going "RINO hunting," and calling on voters to "join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO hunting permit. There's no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn't expire until we save our country."

It's an appalling take after several years of political violence. But Walsh exploited Greitens' misdeed to smear Republicans as a whole.

[...]

Note: as you'll see in the chyron, presumably to give him some credibility, CNN disingenuously still touts Walsh as an "(R)" and a "Former Presidential Candidate." Walsh quit the Republican party more than two years ago. And someone who dropped out after getting about 300 votes in the caucuses in his neighboring state of Iowa, and whose campaign lasted about as long as the half-life of a gnat, can rightly be called a PCINO: Presidential Candidate In Name Only!

That's a highly unbalanced take. Nicholas Fondacaro served up a similarly unbalanced on the same day:

The leading “hot topic” for ABC’sThe Viewon Tuesday, was the disgusting campaign ad put out by Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens where he and a group of gun-toting cosplay soldiers wanted to “hunt” RINOs. This naturally, led the cast to ignore the widespread condemnation from the right and insist the right thought it was “funny” and had become “the party of violence!”

Completely ignoring the assassination attempt against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just two weeks ago by a leftist extremist, co-host Joy Behar began the discussion by declaring “the Republican Party has become the party of insurrection, revolt, and violence. And they don't make any bones about it anymore.”

And noting that the Democrats had their “DINOs” in the form of Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Kristen Sinema (AZ), Behar outrageously suggested they’ve never had threats made against them from the left. “You don't see us threatening their lives, the Democrats are not the party of violence. [Republicans] have become the party of violence!” she shrieked.

In reality, was part of the uncivil media machine that encouraged the kind of activity that opened Kavanaugh to the attack. And Manchin and Sinema have indeed been the target of hostile confrontations.

Fondacaro eventually conceded that "Republican Lindsey Granger was in hand to school Behar on the fact that there has been widespread condemnation of Greitens, including long before this current run at elected office. Behar couldn’t believe the facts." But it's clear that thte MRC cares much more abouty playing whataboutism than serving up a substantive criticism of Greitens.

Indeed, the MRC's aim here is to pretend that Greitens' extremism isn't a substantial part of the conservative movement. Emma Schultz did just that in another June 21 post:

With the January 6 hearings well underway, the media and Democrats want to keep the focus on bashing the Republican Party and portraying them as an extremist party ahead of the midterm elections. So for Monday’s Don Lemon Tonight on CNN, Lemon and former Defense Secretary and Senator William Cohen added to the mix stating outright, that these people rely on violence and “write laws which advantage them to the great detriment of health, welfare, and safety of the American people.”

Referring to the Republicans supposedly “not condemning” a recent ad put out by Eric Greiten’s US Senate campaign encouraging voters to join in the fight for hunting RINOs (Republican in name only.)

Cohen went on to state that “candidates like these do not represent the best of this country,” for they “promote violence… promote lies, and dishonesty and dishonorable activity.” Completely ignoring the plethora of Republicans and Conservatives that have condemned Greitens.

[...]

Lemon himself has encouraged political violence himself, justifying the Black Lives Matter riots that took place over the summer of 2020, and promoting the Antifa terrorist group. Excusing the extreme violence at the time, Lemon described it as the “mechanism for a restructure of our country or for some sort of change.”

By that same definition, Schultz's boss, Brent Bozell, encoraged political violence by justifying the Capitol riot.

Meanwhile, Margaret Buckley couldn't even muster any criticism of Greitens' ad in her whataboutism take in a June 22 post:

The Democrat midterm gambit known as the House January 6 Committee held hearings Tuesday, spurring the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe to trash all Republicans on Tuesday morning. They used the desperate grab for attention by Republican Senate candidate Eric Greitens in Missouri as a way of trashing all Republicans and touting Democrats as the defenders of democracy. 

For context, Greitens thought that it would be a good idea to promote his candidacy by depicting himself going into a house armed with a gun and other men in tactical armor. You see, he was “RINO hunting.”  You can make your own conclusion about whether that tactic is going to work. But it works for MSNBC.

As always, co-host Joe Scarborough led the conversations by using their favorite F-word for Republicans: "Every Republican needs to call this out unless they want fascism to continue to rise in their party." Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson took it up a level higher by stating: “Yeah, Benito Mussolini would be proud. ” He even added that “this is not a legitimate political discourse, as the Republican Party might call it.”

[...]

However, the MSNBC show still missed the mark when critiquing the ad, especially when Scarborough stated that “Republicans don’t call it out.” These people are clearly failing to take a look at the bigger picture. The majority of people on the right do not condone ads like Greitens, and it has been criticized. And they are certainly not fascists. 

The way Scarborough and friends described it made it sound like that every Republican is like Greitens and hates democracy. And on a more hypocritical note, it seems like Scarborough has forgotten about all the violence committed by the oh-so peaceful left such as the assassination attempt on Justice Kavanaugh, and numerous attacks on churches and pro-life pregnancy centers. So, branding everyone on the right as violent is downright wrong and absurd.

Needless to say, Buckley didn't mention the anti-abortion movement's history of violence and murder.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 30, 2022 3:41 PM EDT
WND Columnist Thinks Pandemic Planning Is Evidence Biden Is A Power-Mad Dictator
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the midst of warning about vaguely defined things in "unknown territory" that night happen in the future in her June 24 WorldNetDaily column, Patride Lewis declared:

But ever since 2020 when governments across the entire globe united to forcibly lock down their populations, we've been veering into unknown territory. Or is it so unknown? Vaccine passports ("You're papers, please"), supply-chain disruptions, shortages of everything from fertilizer to baby formula, war in Europe, horrific weather extremes, electrical grid issues, civil tensions, riots, crop failures, avian flu, inflation, domestic terrorism from abortion radicals, diesel shortages … the list goes on, but you get the idea. People can handle one or two of these issues at a time, but all of them at once? Does that put us in unknown territory?

And these issues, let me remind you, are being presided over by one of the most incompetent administrations ever to darken the door of the White House. In fact, Biden is actually planning for the next pandemic as an excuse to seize more power.

Yes, apparently planning for the next pandemic -- which will happen eventually and is not a controversial thing to plan for -- by applying the lessons of the current one is apparently a bad thing, according to Lewis.

Her source for this was a post from something that used to be known as the Conservative Treehouse -- a peddler of far-right misinformation that was actually kicked off the WordPress blog platform for doing so -- but is not apparently now calling itself The Last Refuge featuring video clips of Biden saying he's requesting money to plan for response to the next pandemic. But the psudonymically-written post twisted the intent. It's introduced with this statement: "Earlier today, touting vaccines for babies and children 6months through 5 years of age, Joe Biden explained they needed more taxpayer money to give to pharmaceutical lobbyists to pay for vaccines and organize the next pandemic." We haven't watched the video, but we're pretty sure Biden said nothig about needing "more taxpayer money to give to pharmaceutical lobbyists."

A second video in the post was introduced by stating, "We The People are in an abusive relationship with Joe Biden’s government." Note that neither statement calls Biden president, presumably because they don't believe he was legally elected and are still in thrall to Donald Trump's lies about purported elecction fraud.

The rest of her column is paranoid prepper stuff like this: "All is NOT right in America and in many other places in the world. Something bad IS heading our way. In other words, it IS happening here. That's why people need to be ready to meet these challenges – physically, financially, and spiritually." About what you'd expect from someone who thinks Biden is sabotaging food manufacturing plants to turn Americans into socialists.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 30, 2022 3:07 PM EDT
Friday, July 29, 2022
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's hateful narrative on new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is that she's an incompetent diversity hire, and Curtis Houck made sure to push it again in his biased writeup for the July 5 briefing, while again slobbering over Fox News' Peter Doocy for pushing right-wing talking points:

Holding her first press briefing since June 22, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre showed Tuesday that she hadn’t improved since her cringeworthy opening months in the top post. As part of that, she flailed when grilled by Fox’s Peter Doocy and Real Clear Politics’ Philip Wegmann over a 2018 voicemail from Hunter Biden’s laptop allegedly showing Joe Biden discussed business ventures with his son.

The now-President has repeatedly claimed he “never” discussed anything business-related with his son, so Doocy made sure to frame his question as one seeking comment not only about the voicemail, but the President having now been caught in a lie: “Why is there a voicemail of the President talking to his son about his overseas business dealings if the President has said he’s never spoken to his son about his overseas business dealings?”

As NewsBusters has reported, the liberal broadcast networks have completely ignored this bombshell.

Jean-Pierre replied that Biden’s position “stands,” but Doocy wasn’t having it. In turn, Jean-Pierre shut down and insisted she wouldn’t “talk about alleged materials from the laptop” in any capacity[.]

For the July 7 briefing, Houck had a meltdown over a non-right-wing reporter asking a reasonable question about diversity in hiring in the Biden administration -- which he screamed was "INSANE" in the headline -- before he got to the Doocy-fluffing: 

During Thursday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre found herself facing a mountain of questions about WNBA star Brittney Griner’s unjustified detainment in Russia, but she saw plenty of others with some coming from the left on abortion and diversity and, of course, a helping of Peter Doocy.

Prior to Doocy Time, The Grio’s April Ryan fired off this insanity of a question concerning the vacancy at the top of the Secret Service:

Last question on the Secret Service director. Is equity and inclusion still a part of the President’s hiring practices when he looks at that spot because you have never had a Black man or someone — another color, I guess, be the head of that organization?

Jean-Pierre surprisingly didn’t bite, telling Ryan she won’t “get ahead of the process” even though “this is a President that prides on making sure that we have equity, that we have inclusion” and “an administration that looks like America.”

A few minutes later, Doocy began with gargantuan result out of the new Monmouth University poll:“Why do you think it is that 88 percent of people in this country polled by Monmouth think that the country is on the wrong track?” Jean-Pierre stuck to her cringeworthy talking points, insisting President Biden “understands what the American people are going through,” including the fact that “gas prices are high because of Putin's tax hike.”

After she insisted the White House has “a plan” while Republicans would rather “take away rights from the American people,” Doocy hit her with a reality check: “But do you think it's possible that your plans just is not popular with the American people right now?”

Jean-Pierre not only denied that’s the case, but went down the path of tone-deafness when she tried to simultaneously claim “[w]e understand what” “are feeling” even though “we are stronger economically than we have been in history.”

That anyone at the MRC thinks Griner's detention in Russia on dubious drug charges is "unjustified" is news to us. Houck might want to have a chat with the sports blogger he supervises, Jay Maxson, who is cheering how Griner is rotting in a disgusting Russian prison.

Scott Whitlock did the Doocy-fluffing honors in his writeup of the July 8 briefing:

Fox News journalist Peter Doocy and Karine Jean-Pierre went round and round on Friday as the White House Press Secretary repeatedly refused to condemn harassing Supreme Court justices, like Brett Kavanaugh, eating out at restaurants. At one point she just dismissed, “That is what a democracy is.”

Doocy started off with a fairly straight forward question: “Does the President think it’s appropriate for abortion-rights protesters to intimidate Supreme Court justices when they are out to eat? Like Brett Kavanaugh who had to sneak out of a steakhouse last night.” 

Jean-Pierre insisted that the White House is against “violence” and “intimidation.” She didn’t explain how hounding a justice out of a restaurant isn’t intimidation.

Houck didn't explain how Kavanaugh could have been "intimidated" by the protesters given that he never saw or heard them or that they did not threaten violence.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2022 12:34 AM EDT
WND Pushes 'Semi-Fictionalized' Claim That Jerusalem Mosque Is 'Temple of the Antichrist'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily hates Muslims, and that hatred came to the fore again in a July 4 article by Joe Kovacs:

An author and reporter for a popular news site in Israel says "the Temple of the antichrist" already exists, and is standing right now amid Muslim structures on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

The stunning claim comes from Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, senior reporter for Israel365 News, who has just released a semi-fictionalized book titled "The Master of Return and the Eleventh Light," providing a "personal look inside the world of the ultra-Orthodox settlers and how they are doing intense personal spiritual work to bring the final redemption – and how the Arabs are murdering us for precisely that reason."

In an interview for the book, Berkowitz took direct aim at the end-times view many Christians hold.

"I hear the Christians talk about the antichrist and the fake Temple that will arise in the end of days," Berkowitz said.

"Christians used to believe this was the Vatican, which I can understand. Rome stole all the Temple vessels and the Vatican is patterned after the Temple. The Vatican and the Jewish Temple cannot coexist because the Vatican came to replace the Temple."

"What I find a little strange is that no Christian has ever suggested that the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa, which were built directly on top of the ruins of the Temple Jesus walked in, are the Temple of the antichrist. Judaism does not have a concept of the Temple of the antichrist, but to me, it seems pretty obvious that the Muslim structures are the Temple of the antichrist."

If you've been inculcated to hate Muslims in general and Arabs in particular, then yes, you will be likely to find a way to beliefe that a Muslim mosque is the "Temple of the antichrist."

Kovacs did not cite Berkowitz offering any factual information to back up his claim. Instead, he gave Berkowitz a platform to insist that, despite all the evidence presented, he's not "anti-Arab":

Asked if his book is anti-Arab, Berkowitz said: "Absolutely not. I don't think I wrote a single anti-Arab thing. They do murder Jews but I don't see Arabs as inherently evil or the source of Israel's troubles. People who are on the outside think that 'settlers' (I use that term grudgingly) hate Arabs and live where they do in order to have a constant supply of fresh Arab children to eat for breakfast.

"I lived in Gush Etzion for 15 years and I can assure you that every single Jew who lives there does so at great personal expense for one reason; they love the God of Israel. That is the message of the book and I think that is the aspect of Israel that the media refuse to present. People who support Palestinians don't care how much suffering they bring to the Palestinians. But they absolutely oppose the Bible and the possibility that God is keeping his covenant with the children of Jacob."

Kovacs also let Berkowitz whine that "other authors are having their works dismissed by publishers if they mention Jews suffering from Arab terrorism, not going along with the narrative of Palestinians suffering under the 'occupation.'"

At no point did Kovacs talk to anyone else to offer a more realistic and less Islamophobic view of events in Israel or Berkowitz's hateful worldview.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EDT
CNS Miffed That Pelosi Met With The Pope
Topic: CNSNews.com

In May, the uber-Catholics at CNSNews.com cheered when a bishop denied her Communion over her refusal to impose her Catholic faith on the entire country by outlawing abortion. Whwen Pelosi went to the Vatican and met with Pope Francis, they had a little meltdown.

It was foreshadowed in a June 16 article in which intern Janey Olohan was dispatched to Pelosi's weekly press confrenece to ask her a well-rehearsed right-wing gotcha question: "St. John Paul II said in Evangelium Vitae that abortion is murder. Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy for Life that abortion is 'truly murder.' Do you agree with St. John Paul II and Pope Francis that abortion is murder?" Pelosi knew better than to play along with a clearly biased reporter:

Pelosi replied: "What I agree on is that whatever I believe or agree with the popes on is not necessarily what public policy should be in the United States, as people make their own judgments, honor their own responsibilities, and tend to the needs of their families."

An anonymously written June 29 article reported on the visit and its purported hypocrisy:

Pope Francis met today at the Vatican with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) and her husband Paul Pelosi, just two days after the speaker had publicly declared her commitment to pushing Congress to enact legislation “to enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law of the land.”

The Supreme Court last Friday released its opinion in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health, which declared that there is no federal constitutional right to abortion and that it is, therefore, up to the states to determine their own abortion laws.

On Monday, Pelosi released a “dear colleague” letter she had sent to other Democrats in the House of Representatives that day. The letter expressed her views on how the House should respond to the Dobbs decision.

“Our Caucus has been exploring avenues to protect the health and freedom of American women,” said Pelosi.

“Among them,” she said, “is legislation that: …Once again passes the Women’s Health Protection Act: landmark legislation to enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law of the land.”

Dishonest Catholic and right-wing ragebot Bill Donohue vented his spleen in a column the same day, pretending to be aghast that Pelosi receive Communion at the Vatican:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who rejects the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion, marriage, and sexuality, received Holy Communion on June 29 at a papal Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. The pope was in attendance, but did not give out Communion.

Pelosi's stunt was done to undercut her bishop, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone: he has told her not to present herself for Communion, citing her lust for abortion rights.

Some will blame the Vatican for what happened; others will blame Pelosi; still others will blame Cordileone. There is only one person to blame — Pelosi.

[...]

Pelosi waiting in line to receive Communion is akin to a murderer waiting in line to pay his respects to his victim at a Catholic wake. The analogy is poignant in more ways than one. 

Donohue didn't mention that a single bishop's denial of communion is not binding on other dioceses -- or that Pope Francis himself specifically said not to deny Communion to or excommunicate anyone solely on the issue of abortion.

Another anonymously written article, on July 1, seemed miffed that Pelosi got even more quality time with the pope:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday visited the “Christian community” of Sant’Egidio in Rome after visiting the Vatican and told the people there that she had “had the pleasure of attending Mass this morning with His Holiness.”

“We had the pleasure of attending Mass this morning with His Holiness and many, many, many leaders of the Church,” said Pelosi.

“And [Pope] Francis’ name always reminds me of St. Francis saying: ‘We preach the Gospel; sometimes, use words.’  We also pray that—ask God in his anthem, in his song of St. Francis, to make us all instruments of God’s peace,” she said.

So in the spirit of St. Francis, which is the name of His Holiness and my city of San Francisco, I thank you for preaching the Gospel, sometimes using words,” she said.

The article somehow managed to avoid shoehorning in Pelosi's stance on abortion.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's DeSantis Defense League Assembles
Topic: Media Research Center
It seems there's nothing that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis does -- no matter how offensive -- that the Media Research Center won't try to justify and defend. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EDT
Thursday, July 28, 2022
MRC Still Defending Chappelle's Anti-Trans Humor
Topic: Media Research Center

As it did with Ricky Gervais and J.K. Rowling, the Media Research Cented flip-flopped from hate to love with Dave Chappelle when he decided to traffic in transphobia, defending every unfunny bit of trans-bashing that came out of his mouth -- and it has continued to do so in 2022. In a Jan. 3 post, Matt Philbin got mad because comedian Patton Oswalt apologized for hanging out with Chappelle:

Patton Oswalt wants you to know he holds all the correct opinions. Really. No, Oswalt personally hasn’t cancelled his old friend Dave Chappelle (“Sssss, Booo!”), but it’s because he’s pretty sure Chappelle can continue “evolving” to the higher plane where Oswalt and other enlightened lefties dwell in beatific complacency.

At Chapelle’s invitation, Oswalt recently appeared at the former’s show, doing an impromptu standup set. But then he posted to Instagram pics of the two backstage. Bad move.

See, several months ago, Chapelle ran afoul of the Transgender Industrial Complex by publicly saying sensible things about biology. He agreed with “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists” (TERFs) about women having lady parts. 

There was, as you’d expect, BIG drama, and Chappelle is persona non grata to the better sort of woke activists. Worse, the comic refused to debase himself and apologize. In fact, he was rather defiant.

So Oswalt’s picture was not well received. Think of Stalinists reacting to a junior Politburo member showing off a chummy snapshot with Leon Trotsky.

Oswalt is no Chappelle (and he’s no Patton either) so he immediately issued a craven apology that managed to patronize the trans movement while demeaning his pal Dave.

Yes, spewing hate at transgender people equals "saying sensible things about biology" in Philbin's hateful little world.

In a Feb. 26 post, Christian Toto cheered that Netflix, which aired Chappelle's earlier transphobic special, continued to stand by him in "a direct blow to Cancel Culture, Inc."

When Chappelle was attacked on stage by a man allegedly triggered by his anti-transgender "jokes," the MRC did a round of pearl-clutching. Elise Ehrhard fretted in a May 5 post that the alleged assailant "had a "connection" with the transgender community" and huffed, "The transgender movement has been particularly aggressive in attacking anyone who questions their gender narrative, as everyone from J.K. Rowling to Jordan Peterson can attest." Perhaps transgender people wouldn't be so angry if people like Ehrhard didn't dismiss their existence as people by insisting they merely have a "gender narrative."

Toto returned for a May 7 post whining that Chappelle was attacked for merely telling jokes and that other comedians might not be able to tell bad transphobic "jokes":

The left and journalists alike have pounded Dave Chappelle for telling the wrong kind of jokes. The furor didn’t start with The Closer, the comedian’s most recent Netflix special, but it picked up sizable momentum following its Oct. 5, 2021 release.

Long story short: Chappelle yukked about the trans community in ways said community, and its “allies,” didn’t like.

Did we just see the natural results of that ensuing rage?

[...]

Comedians already self censor for fear of offending the woke mob. Desus & Mero, the Showtime power duo, admitted just that even though they align almost perfectly with the progressive narrative.

Others do so out of fear, and understandably so. A Chappelle or Bill Burr can survive if they never told another joke again, in theory, given their ample income. A blue-collar comic can’t say the same.

Now, comedians have to worry about more than Cancel Culture. What if the wrong joke upsets the wrong comedy club patron, and he or she decides to rush the stage in response?

It may be wiser to avoid jokes that push boundaries than put oneself at risk.

Once again, the comedy world has suffered a sizable blow.

Yes, unfunny jokes that punch down at people would indeed "push boundaries." But Toto never expalined how any of Chappelle's transphobic jokes are actually funny, nor did he reprint any of those alleged jokes to justify their humor. Also, the MRC doesn't give the "they're only jokes" defense to folks who make fun of their feilow right-wingers -- witness its archives of outrage at Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

Earlier this month, Chappelle quietly drooped a special on Netflix that wasn't actually a comedy special but, rather, a speech he gave at high school alma mater which was going to name its theater after him but thought better of it after the transphobia controversy; he spent a good part of it ranting about his critics and insisting they missed the "artistic nuance" of his anti-trans humor and denounced the students who fought against naming the theater after him "instruments of oppression." Needless to say, the MRC loved it.Wallace White cheered in a July 8 post:

No one runs liberals up a wall with comedy quite like Dave Chappelle has in his widely acclaimed Netflix specials The Closer and Sticks and Stones. After lots of leftist backlash from previous shows, he once again stands his ground against PC culture in a surprise release on Netflix titled Dave Chappelle: What’s in a Name? according to The Daily Beast July 7.

This new 40-minute “speech” is a follow-up to his rejection of an offer from Duke Ellington School for the Arts, his alma mater, to put his name on the theater after he had a contentious Q&A session with the schools students, who accused him of being a “bigot” and “childish,” in addition to hurling accusatory statements like “Your comedy kills.” His new special is in the theater at the school where the Q&A happened, and features serious critique with his trademark stand-up skills mixed in.

[...]

He sums up his attitude to speech policing, saying “The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. It has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right and my freedom of artistic expression.”

Right on the money.

He calls on the kids at the Q&A to be self-aware about whether their words were genuine conclusions they came to themselves, or if they were parroting propaganda fed to them. He says, “I know those kids didn’t come up with those words. I’ve heard those words before,“ and “These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression.”

A bunch of high school kids were simply being megaphones of liberal talking points instead of thinking for themselves. Dave Chappelle wants them to realize that, and teach them the value of freedom and how it can be used for good, like in his case, a good laugh.

Like Toto, White didn't explain how any of Chappelle's transphobia is actually funny. But he "runs liberals up a wall," and owning the libs (or pretending you are while just spewing hate) is all that matters to the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT
Dubious Doc Jane Orient Whines About Vaccine Mandates
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient reminds us of the anti-vaxxer nature -- not just of COVID vaccines but of all of them -- in her June 27 WorldNetDaily column ranting that people should be exempted from getting vaccines for any reason or no reason at all:

An exemption is something people get from military service or jury duty – a civil obligation that serves the common good, that is, the good of everyone.

Everyone benefits when the country is secure from a hostile invasion and from having a guaranteed right to trial by jury. Not everyone is fit to serve, and some have more important obligations, or conscientious objections. Therefore, we allow for exemptions even though people have a civic duty to participate in essential functions if they can.

But for medical treatments, the person prescribing the treatment must get permission. Operating on a person, injecting him, or even touching him without permission is assault and battery, except when there is a life-threatening emergency or an imminent danger to others. One does not need an exemption to forgo a medical treatment. One simply declines to get it.

Except with mandated vaccines.

Even if theoretically allowed, vaccine exemptions may be impossible to obtain. In some schools or enterprises, virtually all medical exemptions are denied. The person may have to present documentation of an almost fatal reaction to previously receiving a component of the vaccine. Many doctors refuse to help because of realistic fear of being delicensed if they support "too many" or "inappropriate" exemptions.

It may be easier to get a religious exemption, but one may have to prove the validity or sincerity of one's faith. Who has the legitimate authority to judge that?

Because there's basically no legitmiate faith that credibly opposes vaccines? She continued:

This situation is backwards. For a prescription drug or for many lab tests, you must have a physician's order. The doctor is legally obliged to have a patient-physician relationship with you and to be responsible for side effects or for following up on test results. But who is ordering your COVID jab or your COVID test? Is that person qualified to be your doctor? Even if he is, you are under no obligation to follow your physician's advice, and patients frequently don't.

Who gave officials or employers or pharmacies an exemption from getting a physician's order?

Orient's longtime anti-vaxxer activism shows she cares more about politics than medicine, which would seem to be a disqualifer for her to be a legitimate medical doctor.  Yet she continued to whine:

We no longer treat persons with Hansen's disease (leprosy) like lepers. (Fortunately, it is now curable and not very contagious.) We do, however, treat incompletely vaccinated children like lepers, excluding them from school or social activities. Unlike HIV disease or untreated Hansen's disease, the "vaccine preventable" childhood diseases are contagious for only a few days in a child's entire life, and most are usually mild. You cannot get measles or other disease from a child who does not currently have it. After recovery, the child has better immunity than a vaccinated child.

We draft unwilling persons into vaccination for the "common good" – to protect the hypothetical immunocompromised child who can't be vaccinated, just in case there's a disease outbreak, and that child might get infected by an unvaccinated child rather than by a vaccinated person whose immunity wore off. Instead of shielding the vulnerable, we force everyone to take the risk of a serious or even fatal adverse reaction to something they believe offers them no compensating benefit. An unvaccinated but healthy person is not an imminent danger.

Government has exempted itself from the Constitution, and physicians have exempted themselves from the Oath of Hippocrates.

It's time for citizens and patients to deny these self-conferred exemptions and to assert their right to grant or withhold permission for medical treatment, according to their own values and risk-benefit assessment.

Just one problem with that: People who are being scared into doing their own "research" on vaccines by anti-vaxxers like Orient tend to fall into rabbit holes of misinformation. There's no reason for a layperson to have to figure out the complexities of science and medicine , and there's no reason not to trust a credible medical professional regarding vaccines, which have been repeatedly proven safe.

Orient simply wants to perpetuate misinformation to keep her misinformation organziation -- the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- alive, largely because it pays her well to spread misinformation about vaccines. That's a conflict of interest -- not to mention dangerous medicine.

P.S. Orient's reference to leprosy is highly ironic since the journal her AAPS publishes is notorious for a discredited article by a non-physician blaming illegal immigrants for an explosion of diseases, partiularly leprosy. The author had claimed there were 7,000 new cases of leprosy in the U.S. in a three-year period; in fact, that number occurred over 30 years. Orient has yet to correct the article, despite the falsehood having been exposed 15 years ago when it was repeated by then-CNN host Lou Dobbs.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2022 7:35 PM EDT
50 Years On, MRC Is Still Whining About Watergate
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a bit of a complex -- still! 50 years after the fact! -- about the Watergate scandal, which it now slots into its victimhood narrative in portraying Richard Nixon as a victim of the media; meanwhile, Tim Graham displayed a soft spot for unrepentant criminal G. Gordon Liddy. So as the 50 anniversary of the Watergate break-in that triggerred the scandal was noted, the MRC made sure to complain. Alex Christy complained in a June 15 post that Woodward and Bernstein talked about it on TV:

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein joined CBS The Late Show host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday to reminiscence for four segments about the fall of Richard Nixon during Watergate and assuage Colbert’s fears about the future of democracy by citing their roles in that process.

The first two segments were full of comparisons between Nixon and Donald Trump as well as lamenting that today’s Republicans did not stand up to Trump in the way they did under Nixon. Naturally, the trio ignored the precedent Democrats set during the Clinton impeachment, but Colbert was still concerned about the future of democracy. In the third segment, he asked Woodward, “We're in another moment of great peril, as you say in your book Peril. What is your feeling about the future of this experiment we call American democracy?”

Two days later, Aidan Moorehouse complained that Bernstein opined about Donald Trump's Capitol insurrection:

To say Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward have an ax to grind against Donald Trump would be the understatement of the century. If any more proof was needed, Bernstein made the outrageous claim on CNN’s Friday morning New Day that Donald Trump’s actions in the leadup to and during January 6 were worse than Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.

[...]

Just think about this comparison for a minute. Bernstein is seriously comparing Donald Trump’s — admittedly legally dubious — efforts to prevent the electoral college results from being certified and to be sent back to the states for recertification with the aim of remaining in office, to the unilateral secession of eleven states with the primary aim of preserving the institution of slavery.

Following Bernstein’s logic, what that would make Trump supporters? Are they also engaged in sedition by the very act of supporting the man politically? 

If Moorehouse can't work up anyoutrage over Trump's attempted overthrow of a government and interference in the election than tepidly calling it "admittedly legally dubious" -- and his employer is attacking attempts to hold the insurrectionists and those who enabled them accountable as a political witch hunt -- then, yes, there is something a bit sedition-y about that.If the MRC is afraid to abandon Trump out of fear of losing political power, then that's a bit sedition-y as well.

Graham returned to whine about a Watergate special in a June 19 post:

On Friday’s CBS Mornings,Watergate: High Crimes in the White House.They tied it into the new anti-Trump hearings. Co-host Tony Dokoupil began: “As the January 6 hearings continue in Washington, the Watergate story continues to echo today offering potential lessons about the current political landscape.”

Yes, the lesson is that CBS News is still using the guise of “news” to promote Democrats and punish Republicans. They brought in Lesley Stahl, who started 50 years ago at CBS News, to connect the Watergate hearings to the January 6 hearings:

[...]

No one on the CBS set is going to suggest that no, the Senate Watergate Committee was assembled by letting the Republican minority choose its committee members, unlike the Pelosi-handpicked Republicans on the January 6 panel.

And Graham is certainly notgoing to remind people that the Republican minority did have the chance to appoint committee members but House minority leader Kevin McCarthy threw a fit and took his ball and went home rather than have to choose members who didn't support the insurrecction. (Also, note that Graham dismissed the special as "ponderous" despite not having actually watched it.)

After the folks on CBS noted that Nixon was a moderate, Graham whined: "But CBS and the rest of the liberal media found the supposed mountain top of their profession by forcing moderate Nixon to resign. To this day, they don’t quite understand why half the country doesn’t find them to be objective or 'mainstream' in their journalistic pursuits." Graham didn't mention that Nixon was caught red-handed coordinating the Watergate cover-up -- or that a "moderate" Republican like Nixon would be hounded out of the Republican Party today... and that he and the MRC would lead that harassment campaign.

The MRC has been engaging in Watergate revisionism for years;  for instance, a 2005 item, insisted that Watergate was actually about "how to take down a Republican President for political gain and personal profit."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EDT

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