MRC Still Hates Griner For Trying To Make More Money Playing Basketball Topic: Media Research Center
One of the arguments the Media Research Center has used against Brittney Griner to justify her rotting away in a Russian prison is that she shouldn't have been working so hard to make money as an athlete by supplementing her paltry WNBA salary by playing overseas. They're still attacking her for that, and even justifying how low WNBA salaries are.
The MRC's chief Griner-hater, Jay Maxson, used a July 26 post to lash out at sportswriter Stehen A. Crockett Jr. for making the logical point that Griner would not have to play overseas if she made more here:
After bitterly complaining about hatred for black athletes, Crockett returns to the script: the so-called economic disparity between men’s and women’s sports. Females are forced to eat mystery meat sandwiches, and Stephen Curry makes $471,000 more per game than the WNBA’s annual average salary. Tennis star Roger Federer’s worth is $550 million, and Serena’s is a pathetic $260 million.
Blinded by race, Crockett never comes close to the painful truth of the matter.
Women’s sports do not generate the wealth that men’s sports do, and that’s because far fewer Americans attend women’s athletics or watch them on television. It took decades before a woman could dunk a basketball. Michael Jordan, Hank Aaron, Carl Lewis and Tom Brady were all crushing it in their respective sports, and there’s never been a female athlete or team who could approach their level of play.
The Left can moan all it wants about hatred for black women, but the facts and figures reveal that Americans realistically view women’s sports as minor league when compared to men’s athletics. With no hatred of black women involved.
Maxson, meanwhile, has made his (or her) hatred of Griner as a black lesbian athlete all too clear.
Mark Finkelstein repeated the same talking point in a July 30 post, declaring that "the disparity between Griner's salary and that of NBA stars is a function of the free market at work":
Per this article, in a recent year,the NBA generated $7.4 billion in revenue. The WNBA generated. . .. $60 million. That's a ratio of 123:1.
Per the same article, the average WNBA salary is $71,635. Applying that 123:1 ratio, the average NBA salary would be $8,881,105. But, in fact, NBA players are paid $6.4 million on average. So by that metric, it could be said that it is the NBA players who are underpaid!
WNBA rosters have 12 players. If the players on just one team were paid the $6.4 million NBA average, it would more than wipe out the earnings of the entire league!
Along similar lines, NBA games in 2021-2022 averaged over 3 million viewers. WNBA games in a recent year averaged 205,000 viewers. And the NBA plays more than five times more games than the WNBA. So the total viewership is even more lopsided.
Neither Maxson nor Finkelstein explain why, exactly, Griner should be satisfied making paltry sums in the WNBA and playing basketball elsewhere was somehow too ambitious for her.
Yes, you read correctly. There are (so far) 33 friends and relatives dead or sick since our wedding eight months ago. I've done the research. All 33 were vaxxed. Every one of them.
This is a "vaccine death and disease cluster."
This is like the Love Canal, New York, cancer cluster of the 1970s. It can't be ignored when you see so many people dead or very ill in just one group.
You will not be surprised to learnn that Root provides no medical documentation whatsover that any of these people -- let alone all of them -- died because of the COVID vaccines. He continued:
But it has nothing to do with our wedding. Open your eyes. This is happening everywhere. Non-COVID-19 deaths are up dramatically in the United States (and all over the world). Life insurance companies report non-COVID-19 deaths are up 40% or more among young, working-age Americans. Lincoln National reports death benefit payouts are up over 163% in the year since COVID-19 vaccines came out. These are death increases not seen during World War II.
Read the headlines: Every day a new celebrity, actor, rock star, athlete or CEO is dropping dead "suddenly and unexpectedly." Most of them are way too young to die or suffer strokes or heart attacks. I'm betting they all have one thing in common: they are VACCINATED.
He went on to list a number of people who died but, again, offereed no medical documentation that the died from COVID vaccines, or even that they were vaccinated. The ranting continued:
I've personally compiled a detailed list of studies released by governments and medical authorities around the world that all point to three absolute conclusions:
A) The COVID-19 vaccine is a horrible failure.
B) The COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous and deadly.
C) Those who take two or more vaccines may be much more likely to get COVID-19, to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and to die from COVID-19.
But it gets much worse. The vaccinated are dropping like flies from heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer and are being disabled by a multitude of illnesses and diseases.
Have you heard about these studies in the mainstream media? Why not?
Probably because Root is misrepeanting those studies. In the first item to which Root refers, he links to a comment published in a different medical journal about a study in the medical journal The Lancet which, as Health Feedback documented, misrepresented the results of the Lancet study which simply documented that COVID vaccines wear off over time.The second, which is not a "credible study" but an article from a trashy UK website, also misrepresents data.
Root then circled back to his own story:
Now we come to my personal story. It's been only eight months since I wed my beautiful bride, Cindy Parker Root. And in that time, people we know and love have been dying and suffering deadly non-COVID-19 illness in huge numbers.
Thirty-three of them.
Thirty-three dead, or injured, crippled or disabled in only eight months. That's a lot of friends and relatives. That's a "death cluster" that should be investigated by scientists, MDs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a story that should garner media headlines. But wait, there's more ...
All 33 were vaccinated.
ait, here's the clincher. Among my friends and family who are unvaccinated, not one of them has died or been sick since my wedding eight months ago.
Do you detect a pattern here? Even Democrats have to notice a pattern, right? Even Dr. Anthony Fauci has to notice a pattern, right? Even President Joe Biden has to notice a pattern. Well, let's not get carried away. Nursing home patients with dementia can't be expected to understand simple patterns.
Again, Root offers no proof whatsoever to substantiate his claims. Don't forget that Root himself was a COVID superspreader, doing a media tour while hiding the fact he had COVID, and he bragged that nobody wore masks at his wedding even though a new COVID wave was beginning.
Root concluded by ranting: "This is either the biggest health scam and cover-up in world history, or mass murder on a grand scale. Or both." How many people got sick or even died from close proximity to Root during his COVID-infected media tour? That's something he won't be rushing to document.
Root followed up with a July 29 column in which he rehashed his story of people dropping dead of COVID vaccines -- again providing no medical evidence to prove that was the case -- then related the allegedly huge response he got from spreading the story on some right-winger's show on Lindell TV (yes, the MyPillow guy's got a TV channel of some kind. He went on:
At this point, I realized a couple of interesting things. First, I have one heck of a unique story about the COVID-19 vaccine that Americans want and need to hear.
Second, Mike Lindell has been mocked and slandered by the liberal media, but it turns out he is a hero to average, everyday Americans. Based on the remarkable, over-the-top response after my guest appearance, it appears that Lindell has an audience of millions of Americans on his streaming TV network. Lindell TV's audience responds in numbers bigger than Fox News! And the mainstream media haven't got a clue.
Third, because the mainstream media and social media have banned or censored all the government data and studies from across the globe that suggest the COVID-19 vaccine is the worst disaster in the history of health care, it's clear the American people are clamoring to finally hear the raw truth.
So, rather than continue to sit in front of my computer for hours a day sending out my list one by one to thousands of wonderful Americans who want to hear the truth, I've decided to just release the entire list right now, right here, for all the world to see.
I hope you appreciate my thousands of hours of research. I don't believe anyone else has yet compiled it, categorized it and put it in one place for the whole world to see.
I'm not an inventor, or creator, or adventurer. I haven't ever discovered cures for disease. I know my role. I'm a conservative talk-show host. I'm Paul Revere updated for the 21st century. My job is to spread the news, loudly, from the highest mountaintops. Except I've updated Paul Revere's warning from "The British are coming! The British are coming!" to:
"The vaccine is a killer! The vaccine is a killer!"
What Root ended up doing is posting a list of "literally all significant studies and government data releases from across the globe that show once and for all that the COVID-19 vaccine is the most dangerous and deadly disaster in history" on his website. We don't have time to go through the entire list, but suffice it to say that it's filled with anonymous Substack accounts, discredited "news" sources like LifeSite and the usual misinformer suspects like Steve Kirsch, Ryan Cole and Robert Malone. It looks like something Root slapped together after a couple hours wading through conspiracy websites than the "thousands of hours of research" he claims he did.
If you need to see all your COVID conspiracy theories in one place, this is it. Root can be thanked for that, we suppose.
Newsmax's Attempt To Tell 'Truth' About Trump, National Guard At Capitol Riot Fails Miserably Topic: Newsmax
A July 26 Newsmax article by Marisa Herman purported to offer "the truth" about Donald Trump's alleged order to deploy the National Guard before the Capitol riot:
If former President Donald Trump's word is not enough, an official Capitol Police timeline and Pentagon memo also back up his assertion that he authorized the use of the National Guard in the days before the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
Trump and several of his aides have steadfastly maintained he offered to send at least 10,000 National Guard troops to Washington to aid in crowd control, but his overture was rejected by Congress and D.C. officials.
That version of events has been disputed by the House Jan. 6 select committee — composed entirely of Democrats and Republicans who have criticized Trump. That group has alleged Trump that ultimately instigated what it terms an "insurrection," and committee members argue there is no evidence Trump made such an authorization for National Guard troops, or that anyone stood in the way of an order if one was made.
Trump disputes leading any violent protests and points to a speech just before the Capitol breach at which he urged supporters to protest "peacefully and patriotically."
An official timeline of the events leading up to Jan. 6 that was constructed by the Capitol Police and the Pentagon provides key evidence Trump and his administration took steps to provide National Guard troops and sought to have a peaceful event, contrary to the House committee's claims.
Of course, Trump's word is "not enough" for anything, including this. Herman sought to describe Trump's actions as benignly as possible, claiming that a couple days before the riot, "Trump brought up the number of protesters expected on Jan. 6 and discussed making sure it was a safe event by providing a National Guard presence," which she followed with this:
A Vanity Fair reporter who followed [then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher] Miller in the last weeks of Trump's administration detailed the remark in a report published later. The reporter indicated the exchange took place Jan. 5, while the inspector general placed it on Jan. 3. After discussing Iran, the Vanity Fair report stated that the conversation suddenly "switched gears" when Trump asked Miller how many troops the Pentagon was planning to deploy on Jan. 6.
When Miller told the president they would supply any National Guard support that was requested, Trump replied: "You're going to need 10,000 people." Under the law, a president can authorize the use of the National Guard; however, local officials must request the National Guard for domestic deployment.
All of this is negated by the fact that there is no documented proof that Trump ever issued a formal request for National Guard troops that day. And the same day Herman's article came out, Miller's deposition to the House committee investigating the insurrection was released, in which he made it clear that Trump never formally ordered him to deploy National Guard troops. Herman also completely omitted the fact that for the first three hours as the riot unfolded, Trump did nothing at all -- and he certainly did not order any troops to be deployed.
Herman did not update her article to reflect these facts -- which puts the lie to her claim of offering "the truth."
NEW ARTICLE: More Gun Deflections From The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
How else did the Media Research Center try to distract from gun violence? Quibbling over the definition of a mass shooting, lashing out at Beto O'Rourke and rejecting Matthew McConaughey's unity message, among other things. Read more >>
MRC Returning To Squeeing Over Musk, Defending Efforts To Terminate Twitter Deal Topic: Media Research Center
We noted that the Media Research Center seemed to be backing off its heroworship of Elon Musk after he tried to back out of his deal to buy Twitter for the overpriced amount of $44 billion. Well, the MRC must have read our post, because it started picking up the pace shortly afterwards, embracing Musk's defense of backing out of his Twitter deal and bashing Twitter for trying to enforce it. Autumn Johnson complained in an Aug. 2 item about the latter:
Twitter is figuratively dragging Elon Musk’s friends to court.
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Twitter asked Musk’s friends for “checklists, timelines, presentations, decks, organizational calls, meetings, notes, recordings” and any information about bot or spam accounts on the platform.
The subpoenaed friends include investors Marc Andreessen, David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and Chamath Palihapitiya.
Joe Lonsdale, another Musk associate, also received a subpoena but said he had “nothing to do” with the transaction.
Johnson lovingly detailed Musk's countersuit against Twitter in an Aug. 5 post:
In his countersuit against Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk alleges that the company misled him about the number of spam accounts on the platform.
Insider, which obtained a copy of the countersuit in advance of the October trial, reported Thursday that the 146-page countersuit claims Twitter misrepresented its user metrics to Musk and his team.
NewsBusters reported last month that Musk would file a countersuit after he was sued for backing out of the deal to purchase the platform for $44 billion.
According to Insider, the countersuit says that Twitter’s lawsuit to enforce the deal is "filled with personal attacks against Musk and gaudy rhetoric more directed at a media audience than this court" and "is nothing more than an attempt to distract from these misrepresentations."
"Twitter played a months-long game of hide-and-seek to attempt to run out the clock before the Musk Parties could discern the truth about these representations, which they needed to close,” the lawsuit reportedly says. “The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them."
Johnson served up more Musk stenography the next day, touting how he "tweeted early Saturday that his deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion will go through if the company backs up its claims about its number of spam accounts."
Johnson continued being a Musk stan in an Aug. 8 post:
On Saturday, Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate in which the Agrawal would be invested to prove his claims about the number of bot accounts on the platform.
“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Musk tweeted. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!”
He then pinned the tweet to his profile and polled Twitter users on whether Twitter’s claim that less than five percent of its monthly daily active users are “fake/spam” is true. The options were “Yes” with three robot emojis or “Lmaooo no.”
Approximately 64.9% of users voted no, indicating that survey participants think Twitter is not telling the truth about the bot accounts. In reference to the poll, Musk then proclaimed that “Twitter has spoken.”
Johnson didn't explain why Musk thinks it's a good idea to handle a legal dispute through a debate and a Twitter poll.
Christine Salgado complained that Twitter was doing actual legal-related things to the lawsuit in an Aug. 10 post by subpoenaing Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, boint on to attack "the leftist leadership of Twitter." She didn't provide proof that Twitter's leadership is "leftist."
Johnson returned to cheer a minor court victory for Musk in an Aug. 17 post:
On Monday, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that Twitter must give Elon Musk documents from its former head of consumer product.
The Verge reported that although Musk requested documents from 22 Twitter employees, the court granted just one of his requests. According to an order obtained by Vox.com, Judge Kathaleen McCormick ordered Twitter to “collect, review, and produce documents from Kayvon Beykpour.”
The court ordered that Twitter produce documents from a previously agreed 41 custodians in addition to Beykpour. "The plaintiff is not required to collect, review, or produce documents from any other of the defendants’ proposed 22 additional custodians," the order reads. "The plaintiff need only collect, review, and produce documents from the 41 custodians to which plaintiff has agreed to date and Mr. Beykpour."
Twitter fired Beykpour in May when company CEO Parag Agrawal decided to “take the [company] in a different direction,” Beykpour tweeted.
Johnson also continued to complain that Twitter was doing the same thing Musk is doing in seeking information from witnesses in an Aug. 20 post under the headline "Twitter Is Harassing Everyone Musk Knows About Deal," repeating how Musk "reportedly complained that Twitter is requesting information from people who know nothing about his deal to purchase the platform." Of course, there's no reason to trust Musk's words at face value, yet Johnson does anyway.
There's still some old-fashion Musk hero worship happening as well. An Aug. 17 post by John Simmons was devoted to recounting how Musk "jokingly claim[ed]" to offer to buy the Manchester United soccer team.
Meanwhile, the MRC didn't say a thing about Musk unironically contributing anopinion piece on using technology "to help achieve a better future for humanity" to a magazine published by the Chinese government agency that oversees online censorship -- you know, the thing Musk proclaims he is going to end by buying Twitter. There was also no mention of the fact that the creator of the online tool Musk is citing as evidence that Twitter has more bot accounts than it claims says that the tool has its limitations and was surprised that the multibillionaire Musk didn't spend actual money to build a more sophisticated tool or hire experts to prove his claim.
WND Censors The Violent Truth About Whining Insurrectionist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh wrote in a July 26 WorldNetDaily article:
One of the protesters caught up in the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol – a man who has not yet been convicted of anything – has unleashed on the federal government during a telephone interview with The Gateway Pundit.
It is Andrew Taake, 33, of Houston, who said in the interview that he'll take punishment if it's something he deserves.
ut he wants those who were on the other side – the side of the government – who violated the law to face their punishments, too.
"I have said since day one, I will stand for my JUST punishment with my head held high, as long as the officer who sprayed me with pepper spray as soon as I walked up near the building smiling and holding my hands up empty gets his due justice. Same for the baton wielding, boot stomping officer who mangled my hand so badly, that I now am faced with having half my ring finger amputated as it is too far gone to ever repair. What about officer Lila Morris who murdered Roseanne Boyland, by beating her relentlessly in the head with a baton (as seen on her own body camera footage I personally have watched), or Lt. Michael Byrd who shot Ashli Babbitt in cold blooded murder? What of the officer I watched time concussion grenades to explode right by peoples’ heads, of which two other protesters were killed, and then lied about saying they died of 'natural causes'? When do the people murdered at the hands of Nancy Pelosi’s Stormtroopers get any justice?"
But Unruh is censoring what Taake did during the insurrection -- and the fact that he was much more than "caught up in ... events." (Yes, Unruh has downgraded the insurrection to an "event."
Taake has been charged with numerous felonies and misdemeanors, including "assaulting, resisting or impeding" law enforcement officers, and the charging document includes pictures of Taake "using what appears to be a metal whip and pepper spray to attack law enforcement officers." Further, Taake effective incriminated himself by bragging about taking part in the insurrection on a dating app, and the target of his failed affection turned him in. He is currently in custody at a federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa., awaiting trial but his lawyers are trying to get him moved to a jail closer to Washington while also trying to negoitate a plea deal.
Much of Unruh's article is devoted to uncritically repeating Taake's rantings about how badly he supposedly is being treated in prison -- apparently oblivious to the fact that it's how most criminals are, in fact, treated and that there's no reason to treat this violent criminal otherwise. Unruh also failed to correct Takke's false assertion that Babbitt was the victim of "cold blooded murder"; in fact, she was a domestic terrorist preparing to rush at law enforcement when she was killed by one of her potential targets.
Unruh also wrote that "One of the schemes of the Biden administration has been to detain offenders suspected of minor crimes such as trespassing without bond – and then not even try to hold trials "until 2023 or later" -- again failing to disclose the violent nature of Taake's crimes, none of which involved being charged with trespassing.
Newsmax Heavily Defended Trump After Mar-a-Lago Search Topic: Newsmax
When the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort looking for classified documents that he refused to return after leaving the presidency, Newsmax -- one of his most loyal media supporters -- went into freakout mode, cranking out not only Trump's defense but also defenses of him by other Trumpies and attacking the search itself. First up was an Aug. 8 article by Jack Gournell uncriticially quoting unsupported attacks on the raid from Trump and his attorneys as politically motivated. That was followed the rest of the day by a bunch of articles, mostly based on appearances by Trump supporters and lackeys on Newsmax TV, making similar unsupported attacks:
The day after the raid, on Aug. 9, Newsmax remained on spin patrol with an article by Jeffrey Rodack about a video Trump posted seeking to distract from/capitalize on the attention, which he spun as "a campaign-style ad on social media calling America 'a nation in decline,' but vowing it will become great again." That was joined by an article by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy quoting "two prominent Democrat lawyers" issuing tweets suggesting that the raid "could prevent the former chief executive from holding any political office in the U.S." Then came the daily avalanche of Trump lackeys and others in full spin mode:
But it did go into darker territory by attacking the judge who signed off on the search warrant with an Aug. 9 article by Nicole Wells accusing him of having "ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein." Wells didn't mention that Trump also had ties to Epstein, as did a key Trump defender Newsmax has been promoting, Alan Dershowitz.
Newsmax's coverage on Aug. 10 was led by an article by Eric Mack uncritically repeating Trump's unproven allegation that FBI agents planted evidence during the raid. That was followed by the usual daily parade of Trump lackeys:
CNS Summer Interns Spent Less Time Pestering Members Of Congress Than In The Past Topic: CNSNews.com
The summer interns at CNSNews.com larely kept themselves busy by pushingright-wingnarratives and pretending they were doing journalism -- a change from previous years when their main task was to pester members of Congress with loaded questions (that also pushed right-wing narratives). The interns did manage to squeeze in a few rounds of pestering, though few congresspeople got hit up with the same question. We've already noted one question regarding President Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia and another about minimum ages to purchase guns; here's a summary of what they asked and who the targets were.
“Majority Leader Schumer publicly declared in 2020 that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh had ‘released the whirlwind’ and ‘won’t know what hit them’ if they joined an opinion limiting abortion. Was that appropriate rhetoric for a Senate leader?”
“The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Do you believe that a baby has a right to a mother? Or are two fathers just as good as a mother and a father?”
“The Ukrainian Center on Countering Disinformation has compiled a list of people they accuse of promoting Russian propaganda. The list includes a member of Congress and a former member as well. Do you believe that other members of Congress are promoting Russian propaganda about Ukraine?”
As usual the list skews Republican, but the surprise is how many questions were targeted at only one or two members of Congress. It's hard to tell if that was a deliberate strategy or the interns simply running out of time. The pestering is mainly destined for resume-padding when the interns try to find real-life jobs.
MRC Continues Attacking TikTok While Also Whining It's A Victim Of Its 'Censorship' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a complicated relationship with TikTok -- continually complaining it's being "censored" (read: it repeatedly failed to comply with a private company's terms of service) while also attacking TikTok for its alleged affiliation with the "Chinese Communist Party" -- attacks that were secretly fed to it by TikTok competitor Facebook, something the MRC has yet to fess up to. The attacks -- and the victimhood -- have continued since the last time we checked in.
A July 21 post by Catherine Salgado hyped a poll claiming that "More than half of Americans want app stores to remove TikTok following revelations that Chinese employees can directly access U.S. user data." Hyping that China is a threat through TikTok is a keypart of Facebook's attack line, which it laundered through a right-wing consulting firm called Targeted Victory. Salgado followed that with a July 27 post promoting right-wing podcaster (and benificiary of previous MRC defenses) JoeRogan ranting that doing anything on TikTok "ends with China having all of your data."
Then it was victimhood time, and it took both Joseph Vazquez and Gabriela Pariseau to fully complain about it in an Aug. 1 post:
The Chinese Communist Party-tied TikTok reached the climax of its lengthy battle with the Media Research Center’s video division by entirely axing it from the platform without notice.
An MRCTV staff member opened the TikTok App to find that the account was “banned” — again — but not before the platform removed five more videos.
TikTok’s latest censor blitz came just three weeks after the platform permanently banned MRCTV on May 26. TikTok reduced the initial sentence from a permanent ban to a weeklong suspension, but one week after the suspension ended, the Chinese-Communist Party-tied platform removed MRCTV. Between Aug. 25, 2021 and June 15, 2022, TikTok censored MRCTV a total of 45 times. Forty-two of those cases were in 2022 alone. When the platform banned MRCTV the second time, the account had amassed over 79,000 followers.
The platform most recently restricted MRCTV from posting any new content and didn’t respond to MRC’s eight attempts to appeal or request comment. Instead of answering MRC’s inquiries, TikTok just decided to nuke the account.
Apparently, getting caught violating TikTok's terms of service 45 times and repeating using the MRC platforms to attack TikTok wasn't sufficient justification. No proviate business is oblifgated to serve every single customer, especially after they repeatedly violate the rules and loudly complain about it. Interestingly, Vazquez and Pariseau did not explain why the MRC is entitled to abuse upon the private property of others and just simply go elsewhere that they're not "censored"; instead, they whined that "TikTok is apparently easily triggered by conservative content that doesn’t serve the propaganda of its communist overlords." They provideno evidence for their accusation that TikTok's "communist overlords" specifically demanded that MRCTV be platformed -- that just a figment of their lively, partisan imagination.
They did cite a couple videos that were posted at MRCTV's TikTok account before it was suspended. One was of Brittany Hughes spewing at drag queens, and another was of Nick Kangadis creepily "talking about straight pride and his favorite things about being a straight white male.
Despite having repeatedly been shown that TikTok doesn't want policy-breakers around, the MRC continued to harass TikTok (with still no mention of getting fed attack lines by Facebook. An Aug. 15 post by Jeffrey Clark promoted a Forbes report that "Over 300 employees at TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, previously worked for Communist Chinese state media publications"; surprisingly, Clark obtained comment from TikTok's owner, ByteDance, which denied it. This being the MRC, Clark went on to claim "that statement appears to contradict a search by MRC Business that uncovered at least seven individuals on LinkedIn that claim to be current employees of ByteDance or TikTok while also claiming to have previously worked at Chinese state media outlets or companies."
The next day, Vazquez melted down -- complete with lots of scare quotes and uses "so-called" -- over the New York Times highlighting election misinformation on TikTok:
The New York Times is having another meltdown over so-called “election misinformation” on social media and trying to pressure Big Tech companies to up their already bloated censorship operations.
Times technology reporter Tiffany Hsu screeched in an Aug. 14 story< headlined: “On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms.” Hsu mourned that the Chinese Communist Party-tied platform’s “poor track record during recent voting abroad does not bode well for elections in the U.S., researchers said.” In fact, fretted Hsu, TikTok is supposedly “shaping up to be a primary incubator of baseless and misleading information, in many ways as problematic as Facebook and Twitter, say researchers who track online falsehoods.”
Who in the world crowned the propaganda-spewing Times the Arbiter of Truth?
Who crowned Vazquez the arbiter of what is and is not misinformation? He didn't say.
The MRC is really angry that TikTok wants to stop election misinformation -- as if they feel threatened by fact-checkers even though their account has been suspended -- because Salgado ranted further about it in an Aug. 17 post:
Foreign interference in U.S. elections? Chinese Communist Party-linked TikTok launched an in-app Elections Center in the lead-up to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.
On Aug. 17, TikTok released a statement detailing, “Our commitment to election integrity.” TikTok described its new Elections Center, with “authoritative” resources in 45 languages, including live election reports and information about “who and what” is on the ballot provided by Ballotpedia. TikTok will also label content across its platform related to the midterm elections, allowing users “to click through” to the Elections Center.
This comes as the U.S. House of Representatives’ Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor just issued a “cyber advisory” on TikTok, labeling the app “high-risk” because of China’s access to personal data on it.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-tied ByteDance, also stated it would ban so-called “election misinformation, harassment - including that directed towards election workers - hateful behavior, and violent extremism.”
Only at the MRC would fact-checking and trying to stop harassment and violence against election workers be considered "foreign interference."
It appears that Joseph Farah is falling for his own website's propaganda against COVID vaccines. He ranted in his July 22 column:
Joe Biden promised Americans that if they got vaccinated they could not and would not get COVID-19.
Another promise broken.
In fact, to prove it was a lie, after Biden received four shots, he contracted the virus, experiencing symptoms and being isolated from his staff.
To prove he's a serial liar, Biden answered a question about his latest plans to address a rise in the disease. "Getting vaccinated," he insisted.
He's not the only one sticking to the script.
Biden's top coronavirus adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci – who tested positive for COVID-19 last month after being quadruple vaccinated – acknowledged in a recent interview that the COVID vaccines "don't protect overly well" from infection. But he maintained they still have value.
He appears to be unable to comprehend the fact that the Omicron variant is more contagious than previous variants and it evades protection from the current vaccine -- though the vaccines do continue to offer protection against serious illness and death, as evidenced by the fact that neither Biden nor Fauci fell seriously ill. Still he continued:
But an analysis of Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccine trials found the mRNA shots are more likely to land a recipient in the hospital than to provide protection from a severe adverse event. The findings were similar to those of a recent pre-print analysis that found "no evidence of a reduction in overall mortality in the mRNA vaccine trials." And a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that two doses of the mRNA vaccines increased the risk of COVID-19 infection during the omicron wave.
That's what the DATA shows.
Wrong. As we documented, WND and other anti-vaxxers misinterpreted that study, which actually said the (slightly) higher risk of hospitalization was only for those who had received only the initial two-shot vaccination, but it was lower for those who had gotten fully vaccinated with boosters and lowest for those who had been previously infected and were fully vaccinated.
Remember what Biden said when mandating the shots? He warned last December of "a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated." And he scolded the COVID vaccine skeptics by repeatedly declaring the nation is experiencing a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
Dr. Peter McCullough, a prominent cardiologist, epidemiologist and critic of the COVID vaccines, wondered Thursday how Biden will walk back that statement.
No walkback is necessary: unvaccinated people made up a notable majority of COVID deaths during last winter's surge. Farah concluded:
However the consensus among physicians and scientists has been that, regardless of vaccination status, the current BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, while very contagious, present with mild symptoms in most people.
I'm glad I never yielded to "experts" by taking the "vaccine," if you could call it that.
In fact, hundreds of Americans are continuing to die every day from COVID, and omicron is the strain they're dying from -- and the unvaccinated are still the primary victims. It's sad to see someone who is still recovering from a series of strokes treat his own life so cavilerly in an attempt to prove a political point.
The Anti-Context MRC Demands That Cruz Be Put In Context Topic: Media Research Center
You know how the Media Research Center continually complains that fact-checkers call out their fellow right-wingers for taking non-conservatives out of context, while also demanding that conservatives always be quoted in full context? Well, the latter happened again. Aidan Moorehouse did the complaining in a July 18 post:
This weekend, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said (unsurprisingly) that he thought Obergefell v. Hodges — the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide — was wrongly decided. Predictably, the panel of CNN’s New Day on Monday morning took Cruz’s remarks out of context to bash the Texas Senator and the “right extreme of the base” that is still opposed to gay marriage in today’s enlightened America.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, filling in for New Day co-host Brianna Keilar, set the stage for the panel by playing two clips of Cruz from his show The Cloakroom:
Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. [SCREEN WIPE] InObergefell, the Court said, no, we know better than you guys do and now every state must — uh, must sanction and — and permit gay marriage. Uh — I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. Um — it was the Court overreaching.
But a much longer six-minute clip of the episode posted on Twitter by Cruz’s special advisor for communications Steve Guest provided the much-needed context for what the Senator said:
Dobbs, what the Supreme Court said is Roe is different because it’s the only one of the cases that involves the taking of a human life and that’s qualitatively different. I agree with that proposition...To be honest, I don’t think this Court has any appetite for overturning any of these decisions. I think Justice Thomas was being a purist in terms of what the Constitution means, but I don’t think they’re — there are other Justices — uh, interested in going down that road.
Thus, the following reactions are based on an inaccurate picture of what Cruz actually said.
Actually, there's no reason not to assume that Cruz wants to overturn Obergefell if he thought there was even a slight chance it could be possible -- which is something that Clarence Thomas indisputably opened the door to when he wrote in his concurring opinion that Obergefell should be overturned like Roe was. It's also indisputable that, despite Moorehouse's suggestion to the contrary, the Republican base is anti-LGBT and Cruz did indeed pander to them with his anti-Obergefell rhetoric. Still, Moorehouse whined:
There’s a lot wrong with this panel. The smugness, the faux-outrage at a conservative Christian holding conservative Christian views, the Loving v. Virginia non sequitur. But the cardinal sin of this panel is that it completely mischaracterizes what Cruz actually said.
But of course you can’t let those pesky facts get in the way of a good story, can you CNN?
Moorehouse didn't mention that his employer exists in large part to crank out faux outrage that non-conservatives hold non-conservative views.
NEW ARTICLE: More Fossil-Fueled Bias From CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
As befits a "news" organization whose parent has accepted money from fossil fuel interests, CNSNews.com has repeatedly run to the defense of the oil and gas industry over federal leases and against accusations that they're profiting off of gas price hikes. Read more >>
MRC Loved Bashing (And Insulting) Stelter For Daring To Criticize Right-Wing Media Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is glad that CNN canceled Brian Stelter's show "Reliable Sources" -- in large part because he regularly criticized the right-wing media bubble the MRC resides in. That required the MRC to play a lot of whataboutism to distract from said criticism; so apprently personal was that criticism that it felt it needed to be more hostile to Stelter than to most of its delcared enemies. Let's review some of those anti-Stelter rantings from the past several months, shall we?
In a June 2021 post, headlined "C-SPAN vs. Stelter: Enjoy the Verbal Beating the CNN Host Endured," Scott Whitlock cheered how "callers hammered the partisan hackery over at CNN" and posted "video of Stelter sitting through that call." While the show also appeared then-MRC research director Rich Noyes, Whitlock pointed out that they were not on at the same time -- not surprising, given that it's MRC policy to never share an media appearance with a critic of right-wing media.
Also that month, Nicholas Fondacaro guest-hosted Tim Graham's podcast, where he complained that Stelter -- whom he hatefully called "Mr. Potato Head" -- accurately pointed out that right-wing critics like him were not "good-faith actors." But he only had whataboutism to offer in return: "But meanwhile, he’s the guy who, in 2017, was among the first to start pushing claims that President Trump was mentally compromised and a danger to himself and others. He also allowed a guest to claim Trump had killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined."
A November 2021 column by Tim Graham complained that Stelter described how the right-wing media machine works; instead of correcting him, Graham served up only whataboutism:
To process Democrats losing the governor’s race in Virginia, Stelter quoted from leftist Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent that while Republican Glenn Youngkin campaigned on a softer rhetoric in opposing critical race theory in the schools, he capitalized on right-wing media driving a much more “visceral and hallucinogenic” version of this argument directly to the base. They apparently were hallucinating with “daily propaganda coming from the likes of Laura Ingraham.”
The argument here is that Republican candidates can sound more reasonable because they have a media "machine" that provides all the hardcore base-stoking rhetoric. Stelter said it “makes a lot of sense” to think of Fox and Newsmax as “base turnout operations.” As usual, Stelter pretends that CNN’s hardcore base-stoking rhetoric from Jim Acosta & Co. doesn’t allow the Democrats to run milder campaigns.
Stelter complained about all the “propaganda and grifting” from the right about local school-board issues in Loudoun County, Virginia. He claimed there were more than 400 references to the county on Fox News in 2021. But he never mentioned the sexual assaults in high schools there as an issue. Was that “grifting” to mention? This misses the fact that the left makes national news out of local crimes and controversies all the time. See George Floyd in Minneapolis, or Michael Brown in Ferguson.
The whataboutism continued even after Graham noted that Stelter snarked about being criticized by Graham's employer:
Stelter sensed danger from conservatives: “Hold on. My friends at NewsBusters are going to listen to this and they’re going to say you’re saying that conservatives are dumb. This needs to be simple.”
[Author Brian] Rosenwald claimed he wasn’t saying they were dumb, but they need radio to be “kind of like a soap opera,” because “nuance is boring.” He claimed he’s talked to Republicans who said “when we talk about the debt ceiling, or the filibuster makes us compromise, that’s boring, that’s nuance, that’s process. People don’t want to hear about that. They want to hear something big, bold, exciting, dramatic.”
Then these two Brians turned to the arrogant theory that liberals have nothing like Fox News or conservative talk radio on their side. They talked about how liberals listen to NPR’sMorning Edition instead of Sean Hannity or Mark Levin, as if that show isn’t one-sided propaganda. Oh, but that taxpayer-funded bubble sounds so calm and urbane!
This again completely misses that CNN and MSNBC are the obvious equivalent to Fox News, that they are talk television more than “news channels.” Rosenwald actually discussed how liberals could really use a billionaire like Rupert Murdoch to found something like Fox, because there’s a “huge imbalance in politics and in political media.”
Because Graham is so invested in his own whataboutism, he doesn't date point out that its arguments can be reflected back right on him: If CNN and MSNBC "are the obvious equivalent to Fox News," he should be criticizing Fox News' bias as much as he attacks those at the other channels.
In an April 7 post, Fondacaro cheered a right-wing student who repeated right-wing narratives attacking CNN and defending Fox News at Stelter during a University of Chicago panel:
That airing of the laundry was followed up with two hard-hitting questions. “With mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime, is it time to finally declare that the canon of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operative,” he asked in his first.
And in his second question, [Christopher] Phillips made the astute observation that “[a]ll of the mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction.” And that brought him to wonder: “Are we expected to believe that this is all just some sort of random coincidence or is there something else behind it?”
Stelter was clearly uncomfortable and quipped that it’s “too bad” he couldn’t answer the questions because “it’s time for lunch.” And he didn’t want to get into a discussion about CNN’s lies on camera, telling Phillips, “I’ll come over and talk in more detail after this.”
Of course, in his bloviating that followed, Stelter didn’t actually answer any of Phillips’ questions. He initially scoffed, suggesting the student was “describing a different channel than the one that I watch.” And he dismissed the facts of CNN’s flamboyant bias as just “a popular right-wing narrative about CNN.”
And taking issue with Phillips referring to the Biden administration as “the regime,” Stelter tried to suggest he wasn’t out to help the White House or the left because “The last time I spoke with a Biden aide, we yelled at each other.”
Sometimes allies argue.
Of course, Fondacaro gets paid well to push that "popular right-wing narrative about CNN."
Fox News' Tucker Carlson had the Stelter-bashing student on TV a few days later, and Graham fawningly wrote about how the student had "no apology, no remorse whatsoever" over regurgitating those partisan talking points. Kevin Tober cheered that Fox News' Sean Hannity "mocked CNN’s Brian Stelter for his complete dodge to a freshman college student’s question about CNN’s bias," declaring that the student "was a thousand percent right on every issue fake news CNN got wrong" and going to mock Stelter's looks by calling him "Humpty Dumpty." And few days after that, Graham devoted his podcast to gushing that the student is "now the toast of all conservative media for throwing a rip-roaring hardball question at Brian Stelter at the recent so-called 'disinformation' conference at the University of Chicago."
When Stelter contradicted the MRC's pet narrative that conservatives and only conservatives are being "censored" by "big tech," Graham ranted in an April 18 post:
Brian Stelter played dumb again on his Sunday show Reliable Sources, asking if Twitter was biased against conservatives, which is like asking if CNN is biased against conservatives.
There was zero mention of Twitter’s complete shutdown of the New York Post bombshells on Hunter Biden’s laptop contents in the closing weeks of the 2020 campaign, which has now been verified by the liberal media elite. There was zero mention of the Wuhan lab-leak theory going from cuckoo conspiracy theory to respectable conspiracy theory.
But a "respectable conspiracy theory" is still a conspiracy theory, is it not, Tim? And, of course, Graham leaves out the inconvenient fact that the right-wingers who first pushed the Hunter Biden laptop story made no effort to provide any independent verification of it that would have made it look less like Russian disinformation or a partisan hit job.
Graham then ranted that Stelter called out the right-wing victimhood narrative: "Stelter then raised the idea that complaints of conservative censorship are 'core to the GOP's identity.' He doesn't seem to realize conservatives would rather NOT have this 'identity.' Would he suggest Black Lives Matter has a complaint "narrative" that's core to their identity?"
Fondacaro spent a May 2 post ranting that Stelter called out right-wing distortions of a proposed government Disinformation Governance Board, which he insisted on falsely calling a "Ministry of Truth" despite the fact that his employer bashed people who called a new Florida law the "don't say gay bill" instead of its actual name:
Over the weekend, the Biden administration rolled out his Ministry of Truth under the Department of Homeland Security called the Disinformation Governance Board. This clearly Orwellian (1984) machination has rightly been the subject of scrutiny, but on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host and chief media apologist Brian Stelter suggested the real problem was the “right-wing uproar” and how they’re getting angry at something that they don’t have a clue about.
Now, imagine if former President Trump created a Ministry of Truth and installed a sycophant to run it. Stelter wouldn’t be downplaying it as a “basic government bureaucracy.” He’d be pulling out what’s left of his hair and calling it a threat to reality.
Of course, Trump did (and does) have a "ministry of truth" -- it's called Fox News. And, yes, the MRC lashed out at Stelter for criticizing them too.
CNS' Summer Interns Put Right-Wing Talking Points Ahead of Journalism Topic: CNSNews.com
We've shown how CNS' summer interns have been engaging in fake news and partisan right-wingtalking points rather than the journalism they are ostensibly supposed to be doing at a "news" organization. But those examples were far from the only times when CNS interns were more interested in pushing a narrative instead of reporting news, particiularly on hot-button right-wing cultural issues.
Lucy Collins -- who botched an attempt to downplay gun violence by comparing it to abortion and touted notorious homophobe Matt Walsh's anti-transgender film -- went the anti-trans route again in a July 14 article:
During an online symposium for college students about gender identity, two de-transitioned women – females who had transitioned to males and then back -- shared their stories and said their doctors and families failed them in not recognizing that conditions like autism and ADHD were the actual cause of their gender dysphoria.
“I look back on it and think ‘how could you possibly have missed this?’” said one woman, Michelle Alleva. “This is something that would have been -- that's so crucial to the decision that I was making to transition, and it was never offered to me.”
Laura Becker said, “It's a disgrace to scientific medicine, nuanced psychological analysis, and human compassion to remove the breasts of an autistic 20-year-old girl because she hated herself and didn't know what she was doing in the midst of a traumatic crisis.”
Both Becker and Alleva had undergone medical treatment to transition to “males,” but now have gone back to females. The symposium was sponsored by Genspect, an organization that advocates for a better model of transgender care than the current “affirmative” approach.
Genspect moderator Stella O’Malley said, “The low stats that are quoted there, they're flawed. For example, a very often quoted one is 1% have de-transitioned. We've all heard that stat. But anybody who really knows the research knows that it is a very flawed stat as 36% of the people left the treatment at the center. So, it's all this lost follow-up and then 75% aren't contacting [the center after treatment].”
Collins' benign description of Genspect hides the fact that it is, in fact, an anti-transgender group, and that O'Malley is on tape as opposing any form of gender-affirming care. Collins also made sure not to let any opposing view that's not as hostile to transgenders and treatment of them into her article.
Janey Olohan served up anti-abortion talking points in a July 25 article:
The Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America organization denounced the Democrats’ “Right to Contraception Act,” stating that the legislation should be called the “Payouts for Planned Parenthood Act.”
“Far from being a bill that simply allows for access to contraception, this bill seeks to bail out the abortion industry, trample conscience rights, and require uninhibited access to dangerous chemical abortion drugs,” said the organization.
The legislation would provide “federal funding for abortion providers who also happen to provide contraceptives,” said SBA Pro-Life America. “Despite the fact that even under the Trump administration, domestic family planning [including contraception] was federally funded at nearly $1.8 billion in FY 2020, this bill seeks to guarantee funding to abortion providers by barring federal and state governments from redirecting contraception funding to life-affirming health care providers.”
The pro-family group also noted that the Right to Contraception Act provides a very broad definition of “contraceptive,” which means it potentially could “mandate access to abortion drugs,” such as mifepristone and misoprostol.
Olohan did not explain what forms of contraception Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America would actually approve, which is particularly relevant with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. That's a missed reporting opportunity. While Olohan did not permit anyone to respond to the anti-abortion group's assertions -- while also embedding links in bold type to supporrting talking points -- she did include a couple of paragraphs from a Democratic congresswoman in support of the bill, though the relevant supporting link was in regular type, not boldface.
Olohan served up more talking points for the anti-abortion movement in an Aug. 3 article:
A medical analysis from the Charlotte Lozier Institute released in July revealed that every state with pro-life laws allows necessary medical treatments for women, permitting any procedure that would save a woman’s life.
Despite the ever-increasing outcry that pro-life laws prevent women from receiving the care they need, this Charlotte Lozier Institute medical analysis reveals that each of the 23 states with strong pro-life laws allows treatment for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and any life-threatening conditions.
The Lozier Institute clearly laid out that “every state pro-life law includes clear exceptions allowing medical treatment to save the life of the mother, and permits treatment for marriage and ectopic pregnancy, which can cause life-threatening complications. Several states provide further clarity by specifically excluding treatment for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy from their definition of abortion.”
Olohan failed to cite specific recent cases in which anti-abortion laws were indeed quite fuzzy -- particularly the case in which a 10-year-old rape victim was forced to go to Indiana to have an abortoin because state law does not include exceptions for rape and incest. AS in her previous article, Olohan did not let anyone specifically respond to the claims by the Lozier Institute -- which she did not identify as the anti-abortion organization it it -- waited untiil the final few paragraphs to note criticism of anti-abortion laws by Planned Parenthood, which actually did allude to the Ohio case.
Olohan also did some Fox News stenography on an economic issue in another Aug. 3 article:
The reconciliation bill crafted by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and supported by the Biden administration will raise electricity and gas prices, hike taxes, and kill about 218,000 blue-collar jobs in 2023, said Marc Lotter, the chief communications officer of the America First Policy Institute.
On Fox News @Night, Aug. 1, Lotter said, “The National Association of Manufacturers says this bill will cost 218,000 blue-collar workers their jobs next year. Your electric and heating bills are going up, your gas is going to go up by $25 billion as a tax increase for oil companies that's going to get passed along at the pumps.”
In a press release, Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National association of Manufacturers said, “This proposal is nothing more than a repackaging of the same bad ideas with a new name slapped on it. It is especially harmful because it will undermine manufacturers’ competitiveness at a time when the industry is reeling from supply chain disruptions and record inflation.”
“Manufacturers kept our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, hiring more workers, investing in our communities and raising wages and benefits,” said Timmons. “Raising taxes now will hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep delivering for our people and mean fewer opportunities for Americans already worried about their financial future.”
You will not be surprised to learn that Olohan made no effort to fact-check any of this, nor did she identify the America First Policy Institute as a right-wing organization. In fact, it appears that the NAM's claim that the 2017 tax bill -- which reduced corporate tax rates -- allowed manufacturers to be "hiring more workers, investing in our communities and raising wages and benefits" is not true at all; Industry Week reported that most companies used the newfound money to buy back stock instead of investing in operations or paying workers more.
MRC's Graham Whines Yet Again That Right-Wing 'Satire' Got Fact-Checked (Because People Think It's Real) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center in general, and Tim Graham in particular, love to complain that right-wing "satire" gets fact-checked -- but they usually leave out the part where people treating the "satire" as reality are the reason it gets fact-checked. Graham did it again in a June 24 column:
On June 18, someone captured video of President Biden riding a bike on vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. When he came to a stop, he caught his foot in the pedal and fell to the pavement. Without it being on tape, no one would have cared much.
On social media, conservatives quickly brought up how Trump was ridiculed for walking gingerly down a ramp at the West Point commencement in 2020. The liberal media – stoked by Trump-loathing social-media accounts – spread it far and wide.
Spencer Brown at Townhall pointed out the Biden campaign even made an ad championing Biden’s vigor, that he runs up ramps while Trump tiptoed down one. CNN’s Chris Cillizza wrote a silly piece headlined “Why the Donald Trump-West Point ramp story actually matters.”
But what stood out on the Biden bike bumble was the “fact checkers.” An AP Fact Check quickly proclaimed: “Despite a fabricated screenshot circulating online, The Atlantic hasn't published an article with a headline describing President Joe Biden's bike fall as ‘heroism.”
The fake headline was “The Heroism of Biden’s Bike Fall: The President gracefully illustrated an important lesson for all Americans—when we fall, we must get back up.” Radio host Jason Rantz tweeted “AP is fact checking a satire of The Atlantic because they think people would believe it really came from that publication — which is telling.”
Reuters also fact-checked it. The typography is exactly the same as the magazine’s, so it would be easy for Biden critics to share and enjoy it.
Again, Graham leaves out the fact that the fake Atlantic headline was fact-checked because people were treating it as real. The Reuters fact-check noted that "One user shared the screenshot on Twitter and said: 'Are you kidding me??'" and that "Another said: 'In 2022 this masquerades as journalism'." The AP fact-check similarly stated: "While some social media users realized that the headline is fake, others appeared to view it as authentic. One Twitter user who shared the image wrote on Saturday, 'Are you kidding me??'"
Rather than offer up examples of liberal-leaning social media memes that were mistaken for reality and thus required a fact-check, Graham whined that the current right-wing star, Ron DeSantis, was mocked by an obvious satirist:
The “fact checkers” lunge to clear up these satires around Biden. But not for, say, Ron DeSantis.
Sister Toldjah at RedState noted that satirist Stephen Colbert badly mangled a DeSantis press conference from January 31, 2022. The CBS late-night host implied DeSantis refused to condemn a gaggle of “about 20" neo-Nazis quacking in Orlando. Colbert cited an Orlando Sentinel story, but just the words “Gov. Ron DeSantis remained silent.” The actual sentence said he was silent "until Monday afternoon when he responded to a question about the rallies with a tirade against his political enemies.”
Colbert then showed a 12-second video clip of this presser where the governor said he wouldn’t be smeared by Democrats. He insisted DeSantis didn’t have the courage to condemn the neo-Nazis. Again, the Orlando newspaper quoted DeSantis calling them “some jackasses doing this on the street” and said they’d be held accountable by law enforcement.
DeSantis went on to boast of having signed “the strongest antisemitism bill in the country” and denounced the Democrats for welcoming antisemites like Rep. Ilhan Omar.
But there were no fact checks: no AP, no Reuters, no Snopes, and no PolitiFact. Twitter had nothing to underline. Satirists on the Left have a free pass to smear DeSantis as a cowardly lion on neo-Nazis. The game is rigged.
As we documented when the MRC first complained about it, this summary leaves out important details -- it took DeSantis two days to issue a response to the neo-Nazis "quacking in Orlando" and only then when he was cornered on the issue. His then-press secretary, Christina Pushaw, issued a tweet (since deleted) falsely suggesting the Nazis were actually Democrats in disguise.
Graham's whining about how "the game is rigged" is particularly dumb since he gave no examples of it. To the extent that there is a "game" -- and Graham, as a right-wing political operative, thinks everything that doesn't support right-wing narratives is a "game" -- is about telling the truth, and conservatives not getting away with lying to people or misleading them somehow means it's "rigged." If Graham wants a less rigged "game," he should hold his own side as accountable as he holds the "liberal media."