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Tuesday, September 6, 2022
How Has The MRC Been Hating Transgender People This Year?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's campaign of hate against Lia Thomas was the most visible recent manifestation of its anti-transgender ideology of hate. It has also spent this year hurling hate at other transgender people, as well as anyone who refuses to similarly hate them. Let's go way back to early this year to review, shall we?

A Jan. 10 post by Alexander Hall went to great lengths to pretend that right-wing anti-transgender author Ryan T. Anderson doesn't really hate transgender people, insisting that his book "When Harry Became Sally" is "compassionate but unapologetically honest." In fact, Anderson embraces the view of discredited anti-trans researcher Paul McHugh -- who is frequently cited by trans-haters -- that transgenderism is a mental illness. Hall portrayed Anderson as a victim because his book was delisted by Amazon -- though he doesn't explain why a private business like Amazon is obligated to sell every single book that has ever been published -- andsuggested the book was delisted because it offered "scientific facts that offend liberals" and not because it pushes a hateful narrative.

In a Feb. 23 post, Kevin Tober lashed out at New York magazine for  reporting on his anti-transgender activists are trying to influence education:

The left thinks they own your kids. Don't believe me? Well, take a look at this article in New York Magazine's Intelligencer. In the article titled "Household Tyrants," writer Sarah Jones begins by fear-mongering: "to empower parents, Florida Republicans would put children in danger." 

Jones argues that Florida's pending Parental Rights in Education bill, which would "prevent public-school districts from 'encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity,'” is some how a bad thing.

If you don't want your eleven-year-old child learning about transgender ideology and other sexually inappropriate terms and theories, then you are a tyrant and a bigot according to Jones.

Tober didn't identify what "ideology" being transgender is. He then argued that children are too stupid to know who they are, that parents who helpchildren be who they are are child abusers, and

Later on in the piece, Jones writes "the GOP’s position on parental rights isn’t entirely coherent. Any attempt to ban gender-confirming therapy for transgender children theoretically infringes on the rights of the parent."

What Jones doesn't understand is that parents don't have a right to abuse their children.

Young children aren't fully able to grasp the concept of what a man or a woman is (the bill deals with kids of elementary school-age). Parents shouldn't be allowed to chemically castrate their children or give them sex hormone injections (which is what "gender-confirming therapy" is). When the child turns eighteen and still wants to do that, then it's their prerogative as a legally recognized adult.

"The right insists that what’s good for parents is good for kids," Jones claims, "the idea that children are already people, with thoughts and needs independent of their parents, never factors into the party’s position at all." 

Nobody doubts that children are people (except the left who wants to abort them), but the idea that a child's thoughts and needs should be taken seriously is absurd. If your child wanted to eat candy all day long, would you let them? Obviously not, because children do not know what is good for them. That's what parents are for, to look out for their child's wellbeing.

Are parents who forcibly coerce a child into being something he or she is not guilty of child abuse too? Tober doesn't say.

A Feb. 28 post by Matt Philbin accused an Arizona teacher of teaching "trans ideology indoctrination"; actually, all the teacher did is tell sixth-graders that gender fluidity is a thing and that mocking purportedly insufficiently masculine boys as sissies is a bad thing. Philbin clearly disagrees with the latter. Philbin also demonstrated his utter ignorance about transgender people by illustrating his post with a publiclity still from the classic film "Some Like It Hot" -- in which the main characters are not transgender but, rather, cross-dressing as women to escape from the mob. Philbin clearly doesn't know (or care about) the difference.

A March 31 post by Rachel Peterson complained that the character played by transgender actor Elliot Page  -- whose transition the MRC has previously mocked -- on the show "Umbrella Academy" would also transition.Peterson went on to mock Page's preferred pronouns of he/they: "Still not sure how someone's pronouns can be both he and they." The same day, Alex Christy grumbled that MSNBC's Hallie Jackson used "dishonest faming" to portray Republicans (like, um, Christy) as anti-trans by passing anti-transgender laws: "Jackson made it seem as if these laws are tantamount to child abuse when all they seem to do is protect the integrity of women’s sports, don’t allow adults to affirm childhood beliefs about gender identity, or ensure that adults don’t encourage minors to make life-changing decisions about their bodies."

Philbin returned for an April 5 post about a target the MRC has spread numerous falsehoods about in the past, a school district in Virginia:

Normal people who have to send their kids to Loudoun County Virginia’s public schools face a Whack-A-Mole game of lefty dysfunction. As soon as you get a handle on Critical Race Theory, an unreported school rape pops up. Force the resignation of a lunatic school board member, the prospect of boys on the girls volleyball team leaps out at you. Heck, not even changing governors can tamp down the crazy. And the hits just keep on coming.

Passed last August, LCPS Policy 8040 doesn’t just degrade girls’ sports and disregard their safety by allowing biological males into girls’ restrooms and locker rooms. It also “elevates students' ‘privacy rights’ concerning their gender identity over parents right to know,” according to the group Fight for Schools.

So anyone who's not a right-wing transphobe like Philbin isn't "normal people"?

An April 9 post by Clay Waters whined that the New York Times called out right-wing activistrs for imposing anti-trans policies on schools, claiming without evidence that the activsits represent "the mainstream consensus on children and transgender issues." An April 11 post by Tober lashed out at MSNBC's Chris Hayes for calling out Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for treating parents who seek gender-affirming care for their children as criminal child abusers:

On Monday night’s episode of MSNBC’s All In, host Chris Hayes freaked out over Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordering the state’s child protective services to investigate reported instances of children receiving transgender surgeries, ironically accusing Abbott of being the real child abuser.

The deranged host started off by viciously attacking Abbott claiming he “found it helps him politically to be cruel to transgender children.” He then claimed Abbott denies the “very existence” of transgender children, despite the fact that there’s no such thing as a transgender child, the transgender ideology needs to be instilled in children by their parents or other adults.

This brings us to the reason for the Hayes meltdown. In his wailing over the order, Hayes claimed it “takes what used to be normal care for trans kids and classifies that care as child abuse in the eyes of the state.” As if chemically castrating children is “normal care.”

[...]

If anything, this order helps weed out the people who aren't fit to work in child protective services. If someone finds preventing children from being mutilated so offensive, then they shouldn’t be allowed to be anywhere near children. 

The only viciousness and derangement we see is in Tober's high level of transphobia.

Tim Graham spent a May 1 post whining that NPR covered a speech by a transgender Biden administration official:

On the Friday night commute, NPR listeners witnessed an audio press release of sorts for the Biden administration. Transgender activist and assistant HHS secretary Rachel Levine is giving a speech to an LGBTQ health conference at Texas Christian University, and NPR promoted it like a press secretary. No opposing view was considered, certainly not about the "Christian" part.

Graham didn't explain how, exactly, it is "Christian" to hate transgender people the way the typical MRC employee does.

Karen Townsend freaked out over a fictional transgender person -- as the MRC likes to do -- in a May 13 post, insisting there aren't enough transgender people to warrant appearances in TV shows:

Television networks are determined to advance the idea that transgenderism is normal behavior, especially in family dynamics. You will be made to accept the LGBTQ agenda, regardless of your personal opinions and religious beliefs. At least that's their plan. Tolerance is not optional.

The May 12 episode of ABC’s Station 19, “The Road You Didn’t Take," saw the ongoing battle between divorced parents of a transgender boy play out. She was born Mary and now lives as Matt with her father’s blessing. Her mother, Jane (Romy Rosemont), still considers her to be her daughter, Mary.

[...]

The number of Americans identifying as transgender is miniscule compared to the total population. According to the CDC, the number is about 1 million people, about 0.6 percent of the adult population in the United States. Nonetheless, television networks persist.

Townsend didn't explain why she appearant believes the opposite to be true -- that transgender people in fiction must be treated as freaks who deserve to be hated and denigrated. Oh, and complaining there are too many LGBT characters on TV is something the MRC loves to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EDT
Crass: WND Invokes 9/11 To Sell Subscriptions
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How desperate is WorldNetDaily to get people to pay it money to read its website? It invoked the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sell subscriptions to its (free) website.

One of the pop-up alerts to sell those subscrptions shows a picture of light beams emanating from the site of the World Trade Center, with all-caps stating:

NEVER BEFORE HAS A FOREIGN ENEMY SUCCESSFULLY ATTACKED OUR MAINLAND FROM OVER THE HORIZON.

AT WND, WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER! 

THATS WHY

WE ARE GIVING YOU 50% OFF OUR ANNUAL WND INSIDER MEMBERSHIP!

Clicking on it takes yopu to a web page with the same text, in the service of selling readers a one-year "Insider" subscription for $25. Among the "added benefits" of the subscription os "WND's 24/7 truth-based journalism" -- which, of course, is a lie given how much of WND's so-called journalism isn't based in truth at all. WND might argue, however that the fake news it publishes is "truth-based," though that doesn't make the final product any less of a lie.

The pop-up also included a Winston Churchill quote: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." But WND doesn't seem to be aware thatthe quote applies to itself as well: It has continued to publish fake news and conspiracy theories even though those very things were the main things that have pushed WND to the financial brink where it has resided for the past few years.

That's the kind of cognitive dissonance that might make WND think invoking 9/11 is a good way to get people to read them.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:54 PM EDT
Newsmax Spent Primary Season Hyping Trump's Candidate Endorsements
Topic: Newsmax

Like a loyal Trump shill, Newsmax has spent this year's primary elections touting Donald Trump's picks in Republican primaries and cheering every time they won. For instance:

When Trump-backed Charles Herbster lost to his Republican primary opponent for Nebraska governor, John Gizzi went into spin mode in a May 11 article, blaming "dark money targeting of female urban voters" spent against him, a popular governor endorsing the winning candidate and, oh, the fact that "Herbster was hit with charges from seven women alleging the candidate had groped them."

Newsmax readjusted Trump's victory count going forward; a June 22 article by Eric Mack declared that "Katie Britt's victory over Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., on Tuesday night brought former President Donald Trump's record in Senate GOP primaries to 12-0," going on to hype that "Trump's perfect record to date is punctuated by some equally big victories in key battleground states." Mack then reframed previous Trump-backed losses, huffing that "Among the few losses of Trump-endorsed candidates were failed bids for the GOP gubernatorial nominations by some, Trump-admitted, tough sells." Then, on Aug. 5, Jack Gournell uncritically quoted Trump at a rally declaring he was at "45 winds and no losses" after primaries in Wisconsin; Gournell did not fact-check Trump's claim.

After the following week's primaries, Mack declared in a June 29 article that Trump "hailed a perfect 12-0 record in a Truth Social post," adding that "Trump's primary endorsement record is now, according to an unofficial Newsmax tally, 143-10, a 93.5% winning percentage (Trump officials count candidates advancing to a runoff as victories)." 

And, of course, the endorsement-hyping continued:

There was one unusually discordant note, however; a July 23 article by Solange Reyner quoted a competing candidate claiming that "former President Donald Trump made a bad endorsement in backing opponent Blake Masters."

After the FBI's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago, however -- after which Newsmax did much Trump-fluffing stenography -- Newsmax felt the need to hype the victories of Trump-endorsed candidates even more. Mack led things off in an Aug. 9 article:

Completing a sweep of the gubernatorial and congressional endorsements of former President Donald Trump, Tim Michels has won the coveted Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday night, Decision Desk HQ projected.

DDHQ made the call in the hotly contested race at 11:37 p.m. ET, giving Trump a 6-0 sweep of his primary endorsements on the night.

"Congratulations to Tim Michels on his win against a wonderful and highly competitive opponent, Rebecca Kleefisch," Trump wrote Tuesday night on Truth Social. "I know both sides will come together and defeat one of the worst governors in the country, Tony Evers."

It was a proxy battle between Trump's endorsement and that of former Vice President Mike Pence's chosen candidate in the race.

These were followed by articles on individual Trump-endorsed candidates in other states winning:

Another Aug. 9 article hidden behind a paywall claimed that "Former President Donald Trump's enduring hold on the Republican electorate was reaffirmed by the overwhelming number of Trump-endorsed candidates who racked up victories in recent primary elections." Gizzi further hyped Levy's victory in an Aug. 10 article, crediting the raid for motivating right-wing voters:

Republicans, Democrats, and independents throughout Connecticut were left reeling Tuesday night by the results of the GOP Senate primary.

In what is easily one of the Nutmeg State's biggest upsets in recent history, former State House Republican leader and long-presumed favorite Themis Klarides lost the Senate primary to Republican National Committeewoman and former President Donald Trump-endorsed Leora Levy.

[...]

To call Levy's upset of historic proportions is no exaggeration. In defeating Klarides, who had the endorsement of the state Republican convention, Levy became only the third Republican to win a statewide primary over the convention-endorsed candidate since primaries began in Connecticut in 1970.

"Trump voters were fired up," said one GOP consultant who requested anonymity, "His endorsement [which came last Thursday] along with what happened yesterday when the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago came at a good time for Leora. The conservative Trump bases had an outlet— today's primary— which allowed them to hit back by voting for Leora."

The touting continued afterwards: Mack touted Liz Cheney's defeat in a Wyoming Republican primary in an Aug. 16 article under the headline "Wyoming to Cheney: You're Fired! Trump-Backed Hageman Wins Easily." Mack followed that with an Aug. 20 article on how "Former President Donald Trump endorsed a slew of GOP House incumbents in Florida before the state's final primary vote Tuesday.

An Aug. 22 article by Mack gushed that "On the eve of her GOP primary, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., drew the coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump." And an Aug. 24 article by Sandy Fitzgerald cheered that "Former President Donald Trump took a victory lap on his Truth Social page late Tuesday night, celebrating a 'fantastic evening of ALL WINS' for the candidates he supported in the day's primary races."

UPDATE: Gizzi also wrote an Aug. 11 article on the Washington state primaries that started by cheering how Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler became "the 7th of 10 House Republicans who voted for former President Donald Trump's impeachment going down to defeat" while a Trump-endorsed Republican will advance to the general election, but that a Trump-endorsed Republican lost in another district. He then wrote about how "pundits and pols pondered how one pro-impeachment Republican could go down and another could emerge on top in the same state." Most of the rest was fawning over the Trump-endorsed candidate who beat Herrera Beutler, as a wonderful candidate with a great personal story, while the losing Trump-endorsed candidate was quickly dismissed as "not a good candidate" who "came across as a grumpy guy" and not mentioned again.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2022 6:19 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Dirty War on George Soros
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was, sadly, not afraid to invoke anti-Semitic tropes depicting the liberal billionaire as a "puppet master" who controlled the media and embrace the false smear that he was a Nazi collaborator. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Monday, September 5, 2022
MRC's Graham Whines That Media Not As Mean To Biden's COVID Bout Than Trump's
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham complained in his July 22 column:

President Biden has tested positive for COVID. We should all hope the president has an easy time. We should not ask for media nastiness and/or glee.

But this presents an obvious occasion to remember just how the "objective" press made a frenetic, mean-spirited and hyperbolic mess out of Trump's bout with the virus, which was announced on October 2, 2020. In their ardor to get Trump removed from office, they couldn’t imagine acting with decency or restraint.

First and foremost, cable-news channels couldn’t pause for a day or two from their routine smear that Trump was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Take ex-GOP strategist Rick Tyler on Al Sharpton’s show on MSNBC: “I look at this as a drunk driver who injured himself in a wreck, and killed the oncoming sober driver. Donald Trump has injured himself...and 200,000 people, other drivers, have died due to the coronavirus.”

After Trump was infected, CNN analyst Carl Bernstein just doubled down that “His response has been homicidal negligence.” CNN brought on then-Washington Post opinion editor David Swerdlick, who couldn’t get rid of Trump fast enough: “President Trump is the President until at least January 20th at noon and every day, people’s lives are in the balance.”

So let’s just lay out the numbers again. When President Trump left office, we had lost about 400,000 Americans to COVID. Since then, under Biden, the death toll is now 1.02  million. But the media blamed Trump for every single death on his watch...and Biden was assigned zero blame for anyone’s demise.

You can loathe Trump’s remarks early in the pandemic trying to downplay the threat, but to accuse him of mass murder – which was routine in 2020 – was apparently what the liberals call “reality-based journalism.” No “independent fact checkers” objected.

How gracious of Graham to give us permission to "loathe Trump" for not taking the pandemic seriously. Note that he does not say that he himself does so -- that's the hallmark of someone putting political hackery ahead of reality (or an mandate that no criticism of Trump is allowed to be published at the MRC).

But let's look back at how the MRC covered Trump's bout of COVID. It acted as an extention of the White House comms office in whining that some in the media said mean things about Trump -- much of which he rehashed in the rest of his column -- though it would have no problem saying mean things if it was a Democrat (Graham's decrying of "media nastiness and/or glee" notwithstanding). Then it was shocked that people didn't trust what the Trump White House said about his infection (despite years of lecturing readers that the government couldn't be trusted).

Graham also overlooks the fact that Trump's downplaying of COVID very likely cost the lives of Americans, the most prominent being Herman Cain -- which can be argued justifies the mass-murderer epithet -- while Biden repeatedly campaigned for vaccines and responsible mask-wearing, both of which the MRC repeatedly campaigned against.

Graham concluded by ranting: "Biden didn’t have to exploit Trump’s illness. He had an entire media-Democrat complex to do it for him. Remember this: Democrats will always find it easier to appear above the nasty fray when they have media hacks like CNN to do all their dirty work for them." Graham didn't mention that Trump has the MRC to exploit Biden's illness -- which, by the way, wasn't severe because he was fully vaccinated and boosted, even though the MRC loves to fearmonger about COVID vaccines and pretend that anti-vaxxers aren't misinforming people about them. One key example of that exploitation is a July 21 post by Kevin Tober that hyped a poll "that shows many Americans give Biden 'low marks' for having the necessary mental and physical health to be President" and touting a newscast's claim that "Biden's age has been a liability for him and his COVID diagnosis isn't helping matters."

In short, Graham and the MRC love doing the dirty work for Trump and Republicans -- yet another example of the MRC holding the "liberal media" to standards it will not enforce on itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 5, 2022 10:46 PM EDT
MRC Still Hypocritically Exposing Political Donations of Non-Right-Wingers
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center threw a fit that video game developer Scott Cawthon was found to have donated money to right-wing and anti-LGBT causes, which was framed as a "left-wing mob" criticizing how the developer "was spending his well earned money," adding, "How dare he donate his money to a cause that he supports!" -- never mind that the MRC has a beat that dedicated to criticizing how non-right-wingers spend their hard-earned money on causes they support.

It hasn't stopped doing that. Jeffrey Clark complained in a May 25 post that "A leftist crypto billionaire is hinting at throwing a billion dollars, give or take, to keep former President Donald Trump from winning the 2024 presidential election." There was no praise of the guy for giving his money to a cause he supports.

Clark returned to huff in a June 29 post under the headline "Big Tech Bias?":

The radical liberal billionaire who became infamous for backing a group that “spread disinformation during the 2017 Alabama special election for U.S. Senate” is throwing money behind so-called “mainstream” Democrats in an attempt to prevent Republicans from winning control of Congress.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party. He spent at least $3,835,509 to oppose former President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential re-election campaign and at least $678,703 to support then-presidential candidate Joseph Biden, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. Hoffman already donated at least $500,000 to the Mainstream Democrats Political Action Committee (MDP) in February of this cycle, FEC records show. But the MDP made it clear that it has a special purpose: defeat Trump by supporting so-called “mainstream” Democrats. The MDP even declared war on “far-left organizations” that it claims have attempted a “hostile takeover” of the Democratic Party on its website.

Hoffman’s six-figure donation in February made him one of the top contributors to the MDP this year, according to FEC records, and one of the most important players working behind the scenes of Democratic politics, as CNBC noted in a story Tuesday.

Hoffman and MDP are anything but moderate, however. Notorious leftist billionaire George Soros and Hoffman teamed up to tighten censorship and tackle so-called “disinformation” through an organization called “Good Information Inc.,” in 2021. But the leftist bias of the site is clear: Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon feature prominently on the front page behind banners of “misinformation” and “disinformation.”

Apparently, liberals don’t perpetuate misinformation.

And Clark didn't prove that Carlson and Bannon aren't perpetuating it.

Michael Ippolito did pretting much the same thing to ah Hollywood creator in a July 29 post:

It’s not shocking to see Hollywood loonies shilling for their fellow lefties in power. But sometimes the extent of their support is a bit surprising. Take Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane (please). 

According to Breitbart, Seth McFarlane is one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s biggest donors.

This is not the only recent donation McFarlane has handed out. FEC records also show he has given $365,000 in May to Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, $2,900 again to Nancy Pelosi’s re-election campaign in June, and $5,000 to the pro-LGBT Equality PAC. 

McFarlane also used his Twitter to shill for Democratic politicians.

Neither Clark nor Ippolito fretted that they was criticizing how Hoffman and McFarlane wre spending their hard-earned money on causes they support., and the certainly didn't reference the time they attacked a "left-wing mob" for doing the exact same thing they're doing to Hoffman and McFarlane.

Most of all, they didn't admit their own paychecks are highly dependent on right-wing moneybags like Rebekah Mercer, whom they would never criticize for wasting money and would undoubtedly plraise for giving "hard-earned money" to a cause they support.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EDT
MRC Keeps Hurling Lazy 'Meathead' Insult At Rob Reiner
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the laziest things the Media Research Center does is insist on lashing out at Rob Reiner whenever he says something non-conservative by calling him "Meathead" -- as if he has done absolutely nothing else in the nearly 50 years since he stopped playing that role on TV and that he was explicitly playing himself in that role. That laziness is continuing.

In a July 2021 post after the Supreme Court upheld an Alabama law that banned "ballot harvesting," Abigail Streetman wrote, "American actor and filmmaker, Rob 'Meathead' Reiner, wrote in a tweet that 'Access to the ballot box is being threatened' and 'Democracy is on the line.' Although, we don’t live in a democracy so he’s obviously confused about more than just our country’s voting system." Actually, a republic is a form if democracy, so Reiner is correct.

Mark Finkelstein complained in an April 25 post: "Appearing on Jonathan Capehart's MSNBC show on Sunday, Rob 'Meathead' Reiner said that our country's democracy is 'hanging by a thread,' at that if Biden AG Merrick Garland doesn't indict Donald Trump, it's 'the end of democracy.'" This was repeated in an April 30 post by Geoffrey Dickens under the subhead "From the Mind of 'Meathead.'"

The same day, Joseph Vazquez groused that "Insufferable 'Meathead' Rob Reiner had a conniption over the possibility that a Musk takeover of Twitter could mean the return of former President Donald Trump, whom the platform banned last year."

A tweet from "Director and Actor Rob 'Meathead' Reiner" was included in a June 24 post by Nick Kangadis showing how "politicians, celebrities, activists and other political talking heads have lost their collective minds in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade."

A July 30 post by Tim Graham actually tried to justify right-wingers like him slinging the lazy insult at Reiner:

Actor and director Rob Reiner spurred another hearty round of "Meathead" rebuttals on Twitter. But this time, it isn't one of his furious proclamations that Trumpers are a "cult." Instead, Reiner sounded like he was in a cult. He tweeted on Friday that President Biden's "record of accomplishments so far" is unmatched in modern history.

[...]

Reiner is probably referring to Lyndon Johnson passing a bunch of laws in the wake of the JFK assassination with large Democrat majorities in Congress. (We'll only briefly mention he passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 with Republican votes.) Leftists with their blue-wave emojis loved it (more than 96,000 likes), and then lamely tried to argue that no one called Reiner "Meathead," only fictional Archie Bunker called him "Meathead." This was just as wrong as most Reiner tweets.

Trying to justify a lazy insult doesn't make it any less lazy, Tim.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 11:17 AM EDT
MRC Injects Anti-Abortion Extremism Into Failed Fact-Check Of Divorce Law
Topic: Media Research Center

A July 26 Media Research Center post by Margaret Buckley started with a maclicious, biased framing of anyone who's not an anti-abortion extremist as "pro-infanticide":

Morning Joecatered to lefties once again by promoting abortion, disregarding the importance of the family, and making false claims about certain laws to further push their pro-infanticide stance. Leading the charge was former Missouri senator now MSNBC political analyst, Claire McCaskill (D).

Buckley then tried to do a fact-check on Elise Jordan on an anti-abortion job in Missouri:

This was when she called on Claire McCaskill to explain one “very disturbing” law in Missouri, which allegedly states that “pregnant women can't divorce their spouses even if they are being abused if they’re pregnant.”

Jordan’s statement on the law is false. If people look at this fact-check on the law, they will learn that the law just delays divorce proceedings until the birth so child custody can properly be discussed. It does not bar pregnant women from divorcing their spouses.

Which is to say, yes, women are being prohibited from getting a divorce while pregnant. It's not "disinformation" at all -- Buckley is simply trying to put a positive spin on it to make the law sound less onerous.

Buckley then took things one step further, showing her extremism by arguing there should be no exceptyions whatsoever for rape or incest:

Jordan’s tee-up led to McCaskill trashing Missouri’s life-saving stance, saying: “it is the home of government-mandated pregnancy, it’s the home of the government telling young girls who have been repeatedly raped by a relative or a stepfather that they must carry that child to term, it is the home of crazy when it comes to how the Missouri legislature has looked at women.”

Now, it is important to recognize that rape and these other dangerous situations women face are horrible. However, if a life is created out of such a situation, an innocent life, why must that life suffer? Does that life not have value? It only leads to an even more traumatic experience for the victim.

[...]

It is essential to protect women and children from bad situations. The family is such an important foundation for one’s life. While life being created out of a bad situation is traumatic, leftists’ views on family and abortion are even more destructive.

And being forced to carry the child of your rapist is not traumatic at all? Sheesh.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 AM EDT
MRC Still Whitewashing Orban's Authoritarianism, White Nationalism
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has cozied up to Hungary's right-wing authoritarian leader Viktor Orban and portraying his as an avatar of "free speech"--  despite his history of cracking down on dissent and imposing censorship on critics -- and it got mad when Orban was accurately described as an authoritarian and trying to whitewash authoritarian behavior like spreading anti-gay hate as merely "refusal to kowtow to the LGBTQ agenda." The MRC is still trying to spin for Orban. Aidan Moorehouse ran to Orban's defense in a July 13 post when he appeared at a right-wing gathering, insisting he's merely a "social conservative":

Viktor Orban is certainly a social conservative, and Hungary did recently pass a law forbidding LGBT content in children’s entertainment and education, a cardinal sin by leftist standards. 

None of the soundbites CNN played of Orban were particularly damning or surprising: calling for media to support your political view is not unique to either the left or right, but I guess not wholeheartedly supporting the EU is enough to earn the “authoritarian” label these days.

On the contrary, CNN admitted that Orban had “won a fourth term in office in April,” so his policies — unless CNN thinks Hungarian elections are rigged (which would be really ironic given the story’s framing) — seem to be supported by at least a plurality of Hungarians.

And while it is true that many conservatives admire Orban’s policies, it is also true that Hungary is not the United States. The two countries have vastly different histories and governmental systems, and — as any liberal HR assistant would tell you — working together with people of differing backgrounds and beliefs is necessary to achieve common goals.

The beauty of conservatism as a philosophy is its ability to express timeless truths in a way consistent with a nation’s history and perennial values, but if you listened to the way CNN portrayed Orban, you would think he was the next Saddam Hussein. 

Actually, Orban won a new term because he rigged the election against his opponents by gerrymandering the country's political district and controlling the media that censored opposition messaging. We don't recall anyone thinking that suppressing non-conforming messages being part of "The beauty of conservatism" -- then again, trying to censor non-conservatives is the MRC's entire raison d'etre. While Moorehouse tried to make the case that Orban might be the best leader for Hungary, he didn't explain why the country is somehow deserving of Orban's oppressive authoritarianism.

When Orban was caught going full white nationalist by saying in a speech thst "We are willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed race," the MRC first tried to distract from itby accusing CNN of creating an English-language audio clip of Orban's remarks that it thinks was just CNN host Fareed Zakaria saying his words. Moorehouse and Nicholas Fondacaro presented no original audio of Orban speaking, and they didn't mention that the Hungarian government website posted a transcript of Orban's remarks in English.

With Orban coming to the U.S. to speak to a CPAC gathering (in English, by the way) just after his white nationalist remarks were made public, it was once again Moorehouse's duty to play defense, which he did in an Aug. 4 post:

With Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaking at CPAC in Texas on Thursday, CNN ran a segment on Thursday morning’s New Day which took Orban’s recent controversial comments that “we do not want to become peoples of mixed race” and ran with them, heavily implying that Orban would unleash a second Holocaust on the world if Hungary’s economy slips into a recession.

[...]

To be clear, Orban’s race-mixing comments caused one of his own advisers to quit in disgust, and suggest the speech had Nazi echoes.  But to imply that Orban is prone to unleash a new Holocaust on Hungary’s Jewish population is, as they say, “without evidence.”

Hungary is currently rated as the second-safest country in Europe for Jews, second only to Denmark.

As for Orban’s own supposed anti-Semitism, Orban’s cardinal sin appears to be attacking leftist billionaire George Soros (which would make nearly every pro-Israel conservative an anti-Semite).

The MRC has regularly portrayed Soros as a Jew conservatives are allowed to hate. Note that Moorehouse couldn't be moved to actually condemn Orban's white nationalism, merely casting the remarks as "controversial."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT
Sunday, September 4, 2022
MRC Lashed Out At Stelter For Any Criticism He Made Of Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

Now that CNN has canceled Brian Stelter's show "Reliable Sources," it's time for a little look back at how the Media Research Center was at the top of its enemies list -- in no small part because he criticized Fox News. It lashed out at Stelter over his 2020 book pointing out the channel's longtime dishonesty, and it attacked him for daring to criticize Fox News on its 25th anniversary, but there's so much more.

Graham melted down in a February 2021 post after Stelter accurately called out Fox News' complicity in helping Trump incite the Capitol riot and for falsely crying "censorship" after Trump was barred from social media sites for inciting it:

CNN’s Brian Stelter declared Fox News was an information polluter in his show-starting “Murrow” editorial on Sunday’s Reliable Sources. Fox needs to have its “freedom of reach” reduced, in the interests of “harm reduction.” Yet somehow it’s “dishonest” to complain that’s an attempt at censorship, silencing, or suppression.

How stupid does he think CNN's viewers are?

[...]

Tucker Carlson is telling viewers that this network, CNN, is trying to force Fox News off the air, which is patently false,” Stelter claimed. “It is predictable as the sunrise. Democrats win elections and Republicans say they are being silenced.”

Then, in the very next sentence, he says “But while some cry cancel culture, let me suggest a different way to think about this, a harm reduction model.” And “reducing a liar’s reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech.”

What CNN and other liberal media outlets have been pushing is for cable companies to cancel Fox News from their cable package.

[...]

In a remarkable brain spasm, Stelter claimed he was only trying to help Fox put more news in its menu, because "Harm reduction is possible by adding more news and less opinion to the content." He's suggesting Fox has too much opinion in its news, unlike CNN. 

At the very least, Stelter is telling the public that Fox News is a "polluter" causing "harm," a poison, a cancer. CNN is telling people not to watch their competitor -- the one who has been besting them in the ratings for decades -- in short, that it's Fake News.

When Donald Trump called CNN and the other liberal outlets "Fake News," they all implied it was an attack on democracy itself. But since they are the dominant media, they are democracy. Trashing Fox News as info-pollution is freedom of speech. CNN calling for a reduction of Fox's reach is an argument for healthy "democracy," not censorship. 

Graham concluded by huffing that "Stelter claims he and his leftist friends are "protecting consumers," when everyone should understand "political games are being played." Graham will never admit that he's playing political games by lashing out at any criticism Stelter utters that might threaten the right-wing media bubble in which he operates -- or that, by his own defintion, the MRC's incessant attacks atthe "liberal media" for not marching in lockstep with right-wing talkingpoints are also effective demands for censorship.

Graham compained in an April 2021 podcast that Stelter called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson's right-wing extremism, citing "the whole first half-hour "of one show as being "an attack on Fox News, as if these attacks are going to help CNN in the ratings." He went on to complain that "Many people isolated the part of the show when Stelter and Matt Gertz of Media Matters fussing about how Fox stars hadn't made "vaccine selfies" for social media, and how Fox News has a "special responsibility" to sell the vaccine, since its viewers are kinda backwards and only believe Fox."

Graham used a June 2021 post to play whataboutism by laughably insisting that Stelter's complaints about Fox News hosts' authoritarian rants are exactly the same as those authoritarian rants:

On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Brian Stelter began with a poisonous rant on how Sean Hannity goes on poisonous rants. In other words, Stelter argued Hannity is too angry for television, while being every bit as angry. As usual, Stelter insisted Hannity attacking reporters as "stalkers" is authoritarian, in a rant in which he denounced Fox News as poison.

[...]

Stelter is known for using language every bit as "hot" as Sean. His show has put on "experts" who claimed Donald Trump was going to cause "many more million deaths" than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined. He's incapable of seeing his own "abusive" language. 

He was upset Hannity painted Democrats as an "existential threat," and he calls Democrats "extremists." Mirror check?

[...]

Stelter spent the entire Trump presidency claiming Trump had stolen the 2016 election with the Russians, that he was not a legitimate president, that he was an authoritarian, and that Fox was the enemy of the people. 

At no point did Graham even bother to try and disprove anything Stelter said about Fox News. Instead, he served up even more whataoutism: "Stelter can't address the syrupy softness toward Biden, the blatantly obvious media double standard. So he denounces the fighting words. He's "reliable" in avoiding any debate about why conservatives see the liberal media as toxic -- starting with how toxic they are toward conservatives."

It was Nicholas Fondacaro's turn to play whataboutism in a December 2021 post, insisting that a low-level no-name CNN staff arrested on child-sex charges was more important for Stelter to cover than Chris Wallace leaving Fox News for  CNN:

On top of all the bad Chris Cuomo news happening at CNN over the last few weeks, things got even worse for the network over the weekend when news broke New Day producer John Griffin was arrested for allegedly attempting to convince parents to allow him to have unlawful sex with their underage daughters. But being the good company man he was, CNN’s Brian Stelter completely ignored the network’s latest scandal and instead chose to lash out at Fox News and the political right.

According to Griffin, via the federal indictment, a “woman is a woman regardless of her age” and they needed to be “properly trained” by him in how to have sex. But Stelter thought it was more important to tout Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace leaving the network to go work at CNN+, the network’s streaming service.

“This is a shock to the TV news business,” Stelter declared. “Chris Wallace is one of the, you know, journalists that is at Fox who stands out like a sore thumb because the network has become more and more radicalized both in the Trump years and now in the Biden years.”

Fondacaro didn't dispute Stelter's statement that Fox News has become more radicalized.

Fondacaro -- who is very much a Fox News bootlicker -- unironically called Stelter a "media bootlicker" in a Jan. 4 post attacking Stelter for questioning just how close Sean Hannity is to the events that led up to the Capitol riot after texts were released showing him communicating with Trump White House officials:

CNN media bootlicker Brian Stelter understood his assignment Tuesday after the Democrat-led House January 6 Committee said they wanted to speak to Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity about his messages to former Trump administration officials before, during, and after the riot. Mocking the serious First Amendment questions, Stelter was giddy as he baselessly speculated that Hannity was somehow involved with plotting the riot at the Capitol.

[...]

Hannity’s lawyer raised questions about the First Amendment and his role as a media figure, but Stelter dismissed them because he said Hannity was former President Trump’s “shadow chief-of-staff” and we needed to know “what that shadow chief-of-staff knew in the days leading up to the riot.”

Fondacaro did not dispute that the texts showed Hannity's closeness to the White House -- which would arguably make him a Trump bootlicker, something that Fondacaro would never call him in public -- instead noting that "Hannity’s lawyer raised questions about the First Amendment and his role as a media figure."

When Stelter called out Fox News' obsession with crime as part of its anti-Biden editorial agenda, Kevin Tober felt offended in a Jan. 23 post:

On Sunday's episode of CNN's Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter in his typical smug patronizing fashion ridiculed Fox News for their in-depth coverage of the rising crime in American cities. 

Stelter ran a series of banners that Fox News ran on air to get through to their audience how much crime has skyrocketed within the past year. The hyperbolic CNN host described the headlines while they were running along the screen:

These are just some examples of the banners on Fox News in the past few days. You get the sense that America’s gone to hell, declining quality of life, America as a apocalyptic hellscape, that was one of the actual banners. This is a narrative that's both anti-Biden, it’s also anti-Democrats who run urban areas and it goes on and on every hour. I just wanted to give a sampling. Biden administration’s a clown car driving off a cliff.

He then made that laughable claim "the kind of incendiary rhetoric that you would’ve never seen from another channel let’s say during the Trump years or now during the Biden years."

Next came Stelter's sidekick Oliver Darcy who claimed Fox News executives are hypocrites for planning on holding two events in New York City and Los Angeles after they covered crime in major cities.

As usual, Tober didn't dispute anything Stelter said about Fox News' crime coverage.

Tober insisted in a March 13 post that Stelter was peddling a "conspiracy theory" by pointing out that "Fox News is only reporting on skyrocketing gas prices to prevent Americans from rallying around President Biden while he deals with the crisis in Ukraine" further grosing that a guest "accused Fox News of trying to undermine President Biden’s standing with the American people as he tries to unite the country against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine." Tober offered no facts to contradict Stelter.

Fondacaro spent a March 29 post taking Stelter to task for wondering why "more people on the right, specifically Fox News didn’t support actor Will Smith getting up on stage and assaulting comedian Chris Rock":

Stelter’s understanding of conservatives seems to be solely based on the caricature CNN gaslights their viewers with.

In reality, conservatives don’t support open marriage like Will and Jada Smith have, support free speech, and aren’t for assaulting people based on what they say. It’s the left that resorts to violence to shut down speakers and assail opposition.

Fondacaro must have been in a coma the day of the Capitol riot.

Tober spent an April 3 post complaining that "Stelter and CNN media analyst David Zurawik discusseda new book that's set to be released by two New York Times reporters that details behind the scenes drama in the Biden White House." Instead of providing any sort of fact-basxed pushback, he played whataboutism: "It should be noted that Stelter and his colleagues at CNN lost their minds on a daily basis when former President Trump called their network "Fake News", yet Stelter apparently has no problem with Biden and Zurawik calling Fox News and their CEO dangerous."

Graham spent an April 4 podcast whining about Stelter focusing on the channel's owner, Rupert Murdoch, and what his channel has wrought. He retorted Stelter's claim that Murdoch is "the most dangerous man in the world" by sneering in the post promoting it, "The last we checked, Murdoch hadn't mowed down any civilians." Like Tober, Graham made no effort to disprove the claim; instead, he mocked it then attacked "the left" as the real haters: "This is just the funniest thing about the left. They hate free speech, they hate dissent, they hate disagreement, they hate resistance to whaty they believe. And yet they think they are the titans of democracy. Come on, guys."

Of course, the MRC had no problem smearing former CNN chief Jeff Zucker as a "puppetmaster" -- a anti-Semitic slur against the Jewish Zucker.

Tober returned for a May 23 post cheering Carlson for having "once again proved why he has the number one show on cable news when he did a brutal takedown of CNN’s Brian Stelter for his sadness over the demise of Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) also known as the Ministry of Truth," likening him to a censorious bureaucrat in the book "1984" and serving up a little fangirl squealing: "Ouch! Tucker Carlson does not miss." That's the level of hate the MRC had for Stelter for the alleged offense of holding Fox News accountable. 

When Stelter called out Fox News and guest Bill Carter for not apologizing when the story of a 10-year-old rape victim it tried to discredit turned out to be true and instead shifting the narrative to the alleged perpertrator being an undocumented immigrant -- something the MRC also did -- Tober responded in a July 17 post with nothing but lazy whataboutism:

On Sunday morning’s Reliable Sources on CNN, host Brian Stelter opened his show like he always does by whining about conservative media coverage of whatever issue or controversy he’s particularly exercised about. Such was the case this Sunday when he brought on CNN media analyst Bill Carter to complain about how conservative media was initially skeptical about the rape of a ten-year-old girl from Ohio who wanted an abortion. 

After enough reputable sources went public to confirm the story and the illegal alien who raped the girl was arrested, conservative media like everyone else believed what happened.

[...]

For Bill Carter to go on CNN and accuse another network of not admitting when they get their reporting on is the height of hypocrisy and irony. CNN spent the entire presidency of Donald Trump pushing the Russia collusion hoax, and they still haven’t apologized even after it’s been proven to be a complete lie. 

Tober clearly hasn't read the Muller report, which detailed dozens of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. Indeed, enough of the allegations turned out to be true to mroe than justify the investigation. Tober is simply being another Trump bootlicker.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:47 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2022 8:40 PM EDT
CNS' Double Standard On Law Enforcement Officials Following Laws
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones wrote in an Aug. 5 article about a Florida prosecutor who said he wouldn't prosecute people for violating the state's new anti-abortion and anti-transgender laws:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended leftist State Attorney Andrew Warren for "neglect of duty."

In the announcement on Thursday, DeSantis said he replaced the George-Soros-backed prosecutor for effectively nullifying Florida criminal law by refusing to prosecute many crimes, encouraging lawlessness, and usurping the exclusive role of the Florida Legislature to define criminal conduct.

(The governor's executive order removing Andrew Warren from his job is lengthy and includes examples of his neglect.)

DeSantis told Fox News's Tucker Carlson on Thursday that Warren, like other Soros-funded prosecutors around the country, took it upon himself to determine which laws should be followed and which laws should not be followed.

DeSantis said as governor, he has the authority under the Florida Constitution to suspend state officials for reasons of misfeasance, malfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony. The Governor has further authority to fill that office by appointment for the duration of the suspension.

Jones never substantiated her claim that Warren is "leftist," nor did she provide any evidence that Warren is "George-Soros-backed" other than uncritically quoting DeSantis describing him that way. As someone who claims to be a journalist, it's Jones' responsibility to back up everything she claims.

Jones also failed to mention that it used to be cool with people in law enforcement disobeying laws and mandates. In a September 2021 article, managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered an Arkansas county sheriff who refused to punish his deputies for refusing to get a COVID vaccine as mandated by federal officials:

Cleburne County Sheriff's Office, issued a statement on Sept. 10 declaring that his office "will not mandate the COVID vaccine" for its employees. He also stressed that he was "appalled" by some of the "absolute dictator-like things we are seeing from the Federal Government."

"I am appalled at some of the absolute dictator-like things we are seeing from the Federal Government, and several of the State Governments," wrote Sheriff Brown. "It is absolute tyranny, and completely abhorrent."

"It flies in the face of everything our country has always stood for, and is only furthering the damage and division done to the people of this wonderful nation," he said.

"I am not pro-vaccine, and I am not anti-vaccine," said Brown. "I am pro-freedom, and I am for each person’s ability and responsibility to decide for themselves (in conjunction with their doctor) whether or not to get the vaccine."

Chapman did the same thing in an October 2021 article:

Although the Los Angeles City Council passed a COVID vaccine mandate for people entering restaurants, salons, and gyms, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he is not going to force his law enforcement employees to get the vaccine shot.

Reading and answering questions from his office, Sheriff Villanueva said on Thursday, "Are you forcing your officers to get the vaccine? As I said, no, I'm not forcing anyone to. The issue has become so politicized."

"There are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated," he added,  "so I don't want to be in a position to lose 5% to 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate, while at the same time we're bare bones with the defunding effort. So, this is like the worst of two worlds right here."

Left-wing radicals, such as Black Lives Matter, and left-wing lawmakers have been pushing to defund police departments nationwide.

Chapman did not provide an example of Black Lives Matter or "left-wing lawmakers" demanding that sheriff's deputies be vaccinated.And in neither article does Chapman explain why it's a good thing for sheriffs to violate laws and mandates and put their own health in jeopardy by refusing a vaccine. And it no point is it explained why it's a good thing for sheriffs to resist getting avaccine as an "absolute dictator-like thing" but a bad thing for Warren to resist DeSantis' political anti-transgender mandate.

CNS has even touted DeSantis -- supposed guardian of law and order -- encouraging law enforcement to skirt laws. An October 2021 article by Melanie Arter hyped how DeSantis "is offering law enforcement from states that have vaccine mandates a $5,000 bonus to move to Florida":

“Maria, these people we've been hailing as heroes, the nurses we've said have been heroes, this whole time they've been working day in and day out. They couldn't do their job on Zoom. They had to be there, and they did it, and they did it with honor and integrity,” he told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“Now you have people that want to kick them out of their job over the shot, which is basically a personal decision, and you're right, what Biden's doing is unconstitutional,” the governor said.

Bcause the goal here was to suck up to DeSantis and not to engage in actual journalism, CNS has ignored this story since then -- which means its readers don't know that Warren has sued DeSantis over his dismissal for violating his free-speech rights, and that DeSantis has been criticized by dozens of former judges and law enforcement officials over the partisan dismissal. Once again, CNS is putting advancing right-wing narratives ahead of practicing journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2022 8:18 PM EDT
Saturday, September 3, 2022
MRC Shows Obama Derangement, Springsteen Derangement In Same Post
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center had a meltdown over former president Barack Obama doing a podcast with music legend Bruce Springsteen, demonstrating its employees' deeply endemic case of Obama Derangement Syndrome has gone unabated and untreated. And the derangement continues: When Obama and Springsteen appeared on CBS to promote their podast, Kevin tober was the designated melter-downer in a July 24 post that took shots at both of them:

CBS Sunday Morning sat down with former President Barack Obama and rock star Bruce Springsteen for a chummy interview with the two leftists to promote their podcast. It was as gushy and pathetic as you might expect.

Introducing the segment, host Jane Pauley swooned: “each of them can legitimately claim to be the boss. Anthony Mason is talking with former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen.” 

CBS correspondent Anthony Mason visited the two of them at Springsteen’s New Jersey farm which he hypocritically uses as a tax write-off in order to pay less taxes while simultaneously lecturing Americans on “paying their fair share.” 

[...]

Later on in the interview, Mason attempted a return to reality by moving on from Obama and Springsteen’s bromance to ask how he's "feeling about the midterms and how the President is doing?” 

Obama insisted he thinks “Joe Biden is pursuing the exact policies that need to be pursued.” 

Hedging a bit, he added “has he been able to bridge the polarization that we’ve seen building up over several decades now? No. And in fairness to him, I wasn't able to slow that down as much as I would have liked, and certainly my successor, you know, actively promoted it.” 

Instead of Mason jumping in and telling Obama that he was a major cause of the polarization that occurred during his administration, he let Obama act like he was above the fray.

[...]

Springsteen ended by claiming “we can be momentarily polarized, but at the end of the day, history is moving on.” 

The fact that Obama and Springsteen are going to solve our nation’s “polarization” is laughable. If Anthony Mason was a real reporter he would’ve pointed that out.

If Tober was an honest writer, he'd admit that the mission of his employer is to increase and exploit political polarization while blaming others for causing it and taking no responsibiliy for its role in trying to lessen it. Instead, he demonstrates that he not only has Obama Derangement Syndrome but Springsteen Derangement Syndrome as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 3, 2022 1:17 PM EDT
WND's Farah Spreads False Conspiracy Theory About Biden Executive Order
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has a new conspiracy to rant about in his Aug. 10 column:

Some of America's smartest men, including Robert Kiyosaki, investment guru and author of the personal finance book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," have some choice words for Executive Order 14067.

It would behoove you to listen to them.

Kiyosaki called President Joe Biden's signed executive order "the most treasonous act in U.S. history" and the creation of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDC, as "communism in its purest form," encouraging Americans to "stay awake."

He is joined by Jim Rickards, another economist, investor and former CIA official who is calling it a step toward the end of cash, the greenback, in circulation since the founding fathers. The new "digital tokens" can be "turned off" if the government doesn't like what you are doing. Rickards has four decades of experience on Wall Street.

Rickards criticized CBDC and labeled it as "Bitcoin's Evil Cousin." He also exposed the supposed singular event called C-Day, which according to him, will take place on Dec. 13, 2022, and will disrupt the traditional financial systems in the U.S.

He said when what he calls "C-Day" happens, paper money would be worthless and the U.S. dollar would crash. He further added that consumer spending and access to basic needs would also be restricted, and people holding too much money would be penalized.

[...]

"When Biden Bucks are rolled out, many experts – myself included, believe they will begin an era of total government control and surveillance," Rickards stated. "This is not hyperbole. This would dramatically expand the power and influence of the federal government … essentially acting as a new type of 'spyware.' With Biden Bucks, the government will be able to force you to comply with its agenda. Because if you don't, they could turn off your money. This won't be like freezing a bank account, it will be so much easier."

Just think what this will mean if Biden gets his way – or whoever is behind this plot.

You want to keep your internal combustion engine car? Your digital dollars suddenly won't pay for gas. You'll be forced to buy an electric vehicle.

Rickards calls it "the tip of the fascist iceberg."

None of that is happening, which also includes Kiyosaki's separate claim that the executive order will allow the government to seize bitcoin. As a responsible, fact-based news operation explained:

False. The executive order doesn’t do any of these things. It urged the Federal Reserve to explore whether the central bank should create its own digital currency and directed the Treasury Department and other federal agencies to study the impact of cryptocurrency on financial stability and national security.

[...]

Some of the online posts directed readers to the fourth section of the executive order, which focuses on policy and action related to a potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC.

However, the executive order does not create such a system. It directs the Federal Reserve and other agencies to study the risks and benefits of that approach and charges the Attorney General with deciding whether legislative changes would be necessary to implement such a change.

[...]

This claim and other claims that the executive order renders paper money worthless or implements a new social credit score system are false, according to Aaron Klein, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.

“The executive order did not give the green light to a digital currency, to a CBDC,” Klein said in a phone interview. “It set in place a structure, it set in place a set of studies, and it elevated the attorney general’s role in the process of deciding whether the Fed has existing legal authority or needs new legal authority.”

But Farah doesn't care about facts -- only conspiracy theories designed to rile up his dwindling reader base. He concluded:

Is this scare talk? No, it's just Executive Order 14067. Biden signed it March 09, 2022 – "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America." Look it up!

We did. You're wrong. Stop lying to your readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2022 11:02 AM EDT
Friday, September 2, 2022
MRC Mad White House Won't Adhere To Its Definition Of A Recession
Topic: Media Research Center

As far as the Media Research Center is concerned, there is only one possible defintion of a recession -- when GDP does not increase in two consecutive quarters -- and anyone who does not adhere to that definition must be attacked as liars (if the president under whom those numbers occur is a Democrat, at least). When it was suggested that might happen for the second quarter of this year, the MRC was extremely quick to scream "RECESSION!" and, yes, attack anyone who wanted to look at all economic indicators instead of a single number. Bill D'Agostino started spinning with old quotes in a July 25 post:

On July 21 the White House published a document on its official blog attempting to redefine an economic recession, to exclude the widely accepted criteria of two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction. This vague new “definition” came at an extremely convenient time for President Biden’s economic advisors, considering all signs point to the country having just experienced its second quarter in a row of negative growth (pending a report coming this Thursday).

But for years, journalists and experts alike have argued in favor of the definition which the Biden administration has just tried to undo: that at least two straight quarters of negative GDP growth means the country is in a recession.

The document in question called for "a holistic look at the data" that would show that two quarters of negative GDP would not necessarily indicate a recession; D'Agostino didn't explain why the White House is wrong about that, or why GDP is the only possible measurement.

Indeed, this commonsense examination -- especially needed since that COVID-induced economic downturn and the recovery from it is not like a normal economy where normal rules and definitions apply -- became a right-wing attack point. Scott Whitlock ranted: "Monday morning saw the news that the Biden administration is trying to change the definition of a 'recession.' It seems as though CBS Mornings on Monday got a jump on the official government talking points. Reporter Ramy Inocencio focused on the upside to inflation, high gas prices, and a struggling economy: Cheap gelatos, croissants, and espressos over in Europe." Kevin Tober repeated the authorized spin from Fox News and complained that non-right-wing channels weren't following it:

On Sunday, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich took to Twitter to note how the Biden administration and the Council of Economic Advisers are seeking to redefine what a recession is. In reality, a recession is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. Concerned that this week’s GDP report will show the second straight quarter of negative growth, the White House published a blog on their website in an attempt to gaslight Americans into believing we won’t be in a recession if we have another negative quarter. 

“Bracing for impact: Even if Thursday's GDP report shows a second consecutive quarter of negative growth, you won't hear the Biden admin using the R-word. The Council of Economic Advisers is redefining what a recession is…” Heinrich said on Twitter.

Despite Heinrich and her network doing their best to keep the Biden administration honest, the evening network newscasts had no interest in calling attention to the White House’s gaslighting.

The MRC kept on spinning and talking down the economy over the next couple days:

All of this, by the way, came berfore the second-quarter GDP numbers came out -- which means the MRC was merely spinning and shouting. At no point did any writer explain why GDP is the only possible indicator that can be considered or why other economic numbers cannot be taken into consideration.

Alex Christy spent a July 27 post attacking MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle for pointing out the obvious fact that the post-COVID economy is not following normal economic rules:

After spending Monday praising the Biden economy as the country barrels towards a possible recession, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle used Tuesday’s The 11th Hour to say to conservatives that miss the Trump economy, that things were not that good under the prior administration, even without the pandemic.

[...]

 

This apparent change of tune from Monday doesn’t mean things are all bad, “But it doesn't mean it's a full blown recession. Why? Because there’s other things. There is good news. We got low unemployment. Steady job growth. And a high rate of savings. The economy is not all good, the economy is not all bad. But we have in this giant country of ours is a complicated economy. And that’s the truth.”

It is going to be hard to spin changing the definition of a recession and two consecutive quarters of GDP loss as “complicated,” but Ruhle will no doubt attempt to do that when the numbers are officially released.

And the MRC will continue to scream "RECESSION!" and refuse to consider other numbers.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:45 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2022 7:52 PM EDT
CNS Summer Interns Push More Culture War Issues
Topic: CNSNews.com

As part of their summer of right-wing narratives, CNSNews.com's summer interns also made sure to work in some hot-button culture war issues as well. Lucy Collins complained in an Aug. 1 article:

The newly published Star Wars novel geared toward middle and high school-aged children has passages suggesting that beloved character Obi-Wan Kenobi is bi-sexual.

"Padawan," published on August 26th, is written by Kiersten White and aims to tell the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a teenager training to be a Jedi. The young adult novel is recommended by Amazon for kids between the ages of 12 and 18.

Many on social media were alerted to a specific passage in the book that suggests that the young Jedi is bisexual, or attracted to both men and women.

Following a conversation with a fellow teen about romantic relationships, Kenobi is described as questioning his sexuality.

[...]

Previously in Star Wars iterations, Obi-Wan Kenobi had a female love interest named Satine Kryze of Mandalore. The Padawan author said that she did not include any love plots for Kenobi in the book because of that relationship.

Collins suggested only "social media" as the source of this purported controversy, but she cited no specific criticisms of the book -- after all, ages 12 to 18 is when young people start questioning their sexuality, and it would seem entirely appropriate that a young Obi-Wan, as a human being, might do so as well. Perhaps more importantly for fandom purposes, Collins doesn't identify where this situation falls outside Star Wars canon.

In an lengthy Aug. 3 article, Micky Wooten -- who is technically CNS' new "Investigative Journalism Fellow" but started at the same time as the summer interns and has been doing intern-level work -- cheered a British man who smeared LGBT people by sharing an image that fashioned the pride flag into a swastika:

After sharing a photo on social media of LGBT pride flags arranged in the shape of a swastika, three Hampshire police officers arrested British war veteran Darren Brady for causing “anxiety.”

On June 26, former-actor-turned-conservative activist Laurence Fox tweeted a photo of four rainbow Pride flags rearranged to make a swastika. Fox was temporarily suspended from Twitter over the Tweet.

London Assembly member Caroline Russell called on the metro police to investigate Fox for his tweet.

[...]

CNS News contacted the Hampshire Constabulary to ask if police officers are taught that words can equate acts of physical violence, as implied by the female officer’s comments. Additionally, CNS Newsasked for the number of years of experience for each of the three arresting officers.

Yes, CNS actually spent money for Wootten to place international phone calls to report this story. He went on to huff that "This latest viral incident comes amidst a trend in UK policing of logging so-called 'hate incidents' that are not technically crimes but involve instances of wrong-think."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:57 PM EDT

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