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Friday, September 23, 2022
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Stolen Election Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck was practically orgasmic in his writeup of the Sept. 6 White House press briefing -- under the screaming headline "HE WENT THERE" -- cheering a personal attack his mancrush Peter Doocy made against press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:

Fox News’s Peter Doocy opened the short week with a bang during Tuesday’s White House press briefing as, after four months of silence from the entire press corps, he cornered Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over her past tweets falsely claiming the 2016 presidential and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial elections were stolen by Republicans.

With much of the political discourse still fixated on the 2020 election results, it was pertinent for each and every reporter from the AP seat to those in the back corners, but those from the left to the right skimped. And, as Stephen L. Miller wrote, it’s an abject failure that it hadn’t come up.

Doocy took his turn by, as usual, asking a basic question with underlying motivations: “A follow up about that MAGA Republican attention. So, we're all in agreement that it is incorrect to say the 2020 election was stolen, what about the 2016 election?”

Jean-Pierre walked right into the trap by insisting she wasn’t “going to go back to where we were or what happened in 2016” and would instead “focus on the here and now we're going to focus on what's happening today — this inflection point that the President pointed out very clearly, very decisively, and in a few speeches about what the country needs to do...to bring the country together.”

Having been caught, Doocy explained he was “just in trying to understand the new attention on the MAGA Republicans” given her past tweets, but Jean-Pierre interjected to wonder why he hadn’t asked this yet:

JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I knew this was coming. I was waiting, Peter, when you were going to ask me that.

DOOCY: — well, great. Here we go. You tweeted, Trump stole an election. You tweeted Brian Kemp stole an election. If denying election results is extreme now —

JEAN-PIERRE: Yep.

DOOCY: — why wasn’t it then?

Despite having allegedly spent months anticipating this question, Jean-Pierre’s answer landed with a thud. First, she claimed “that comparison that you made is just ridiculous,” leaving Doocy in a predictably exasperated state and wondering why.

Jean-Pierre argued she was allowed to say elections were stolen (even though “Kemp won the election in Georgia” and “Trump won the election of 2016”) because she “was talking specifically at that time of what was happening with voting rights and the — what was in danger of voting rights.”

Unsurprisingly, Jean-Pierre further defended questioning election results because at least her side didn’t storm the Capitol in “an attack on our democracy” like on January 6

That's a perfecly valild answer, of course, but Houck will never admit it because that would interfere with his malicious narrative of painting Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire. And he's certainly not going to call out his beloved Doocy by name for waiting this long to bring up the issue.

And despite that perfectly valid answer, the MRC turned into an right-wing attack narrative anyway. The misogynistic Nicholas Fondacaro used a  Sept. 7 post to attack the co-hosts of "The View" -- who he again hatefully smeared as a "cackling coven" -- for siding with Jean-Pierre:

Doing their part to endanger our country on Wednesday, the cackling coven of ABC’s The View largely defended White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and her denialism that former President Donald Trump legitimately won the 2016 election. Although, unusual battle lines were drawn as co-host Sunny Hostin took on co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar. But co-host Sara Haines argued that it’s “always okay” to “question” and “challenge” election results.

After playing a soundbite of Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressing Jean-Pierre on her election denialism tweets, Goldberg defended the Press Secretary by saying it didn’t count because “she was not an elected official.”

Goldberg also declared that Jean-Pierre “was doing her part as an American citizen saying how she felt about an election. Whether you like it or not, everybody talks about everybody has the right [to] freedom of speech.”

“Doing her part?” What is this, Starship Troopers? Goldberg’s argument itself was an exercise in hypocrisy as she and The View attacked and smeared Ginni Thomas, a private citizen who just happens to be married to Justice Clarence Thomas, for her past beliefs about the 2020 election.

That would be the same Ginni Thomas whose aggressive efforts to attempt to overturn the 2020 election -- something Jean-Pierre has never been accused of trying to do -- became so pervasive that even Fondacaro's fellow MRC co-workers stopped trying to defend her. Fondacaro also provided no evidence that Thomas' "beliefs" on the 2020 election are, in fact, "past."

If wouldn't be Fondacaro if he wasn't also spewing hate at Alyssa Farah Griffin for not being right-wing enough, so when she made an obvious point, he was enraged: "“Conservative” Alyssa Farah Griffin noted that Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Hillary Clinton engaged in election denialism over 2016, but beclowned herself again by arguing what they did was 'a far cry from what Donald Trump did.'" Fondacaro didn't dispute the accuracy of Farah Griffin's statement.

Tim Graham devoted his Sept. 9 column to this non-controversy, rehashing Houck's and Fondacaro's posts to indict Jean-Pierre anew -- though he did GO THERE and mildly criticize Doocy for waiting so long to ask his biased question:

Jean-Pierre tried to call the comparison “ridiculous,” that “I was talking specifically at that time of what was happening with voting rights and the — what was in danger of voting rights.” That changes absolutely nothing. The hypocrisy remains. The only leg these liberals have to stand on is they didn’t riot at the Capitol. They spent most of Trump’s presidency treating him as a Russian-imposed fraud, but that’s somehow not being a dangerous “election denier.”

Conservatives quickly pointed out the obvious: if the press secretary had long anticipated this question, why was the answer so remarkably insufficient?

[...]

It’s a rollicking part of our democracy that Democrats seek to keep their minority voters activated and lining up to vote by scaring them relentlessly about Republican conspiracies of “Jim Crow” voter suppression and even “they want y’all in chains,” to quote Vice President Biden. The “independent fact checkers” fail to pounce and the Big Tech platforms won’t squash them for “disinformation” and dangerous election-denier messaging.

Karine Jean-Pierre was only acting like every other cynical liberal playing this game. Doocy could have thrown this question at her when she took over for Jen Psaki in May. Her answer would have been just as lame then.

Meanwhile, Graham's MRC still promotes its version of Trump's Big Lie on the election being stolen from Trump. Talk about cynical game-playing.

This was followed by a Sept. 10 "flashback" post by Scott Whitlock rehashed her comments yet again, whining that "The revolving door between radical MSNBC analyst and Biden White House Press Secretary shows just how little difference there really is between the two leftist outfits." He won't mention the revolving door between the MRC and Fox News.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 25, 2022 10:20 PM EDT
CNS' Hate-Filled Donohue Spreads Discredited George Soros-Nazi Lie
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com columnist and dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue has been on quite the bad-take kick of late. He served up another one in his Aug. 25 column, which he started this way:

Few persons have done more damage to free societies than George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire. Yet in left-wing circles, the 92-year-old is regarded as a hero. That may have something to do with the fact that his Open Society Foundations have been greasing them for decades. Less well known is his record of bigotry.

Soros is known as a "self-hating Jew." As a young man in Hungary he became a Nazi collaborator.

In a 60 Minutes interview, Soros admitted that he helped confiscate property from Jews. He told Steve Kroft that he never regretted doing so. When asked if this was difficult, Soros said, "Not, not at all. Not at all." Stunned, Kroft said, "No feeling of guilt?" "No" came the reply.

That is a filthy lie. As has been repeatedly documented, Soros was a teenager in Nazi-occupied Hungary when Soros' father arranged to have his son pose as the nephew of a Hungarian official whose job it was to inventory the property abandoned by Jews who fled the country that the Nazis appropriated, playing no other role beyond helper. As any reasonable person might expect, Soros has no regrets about doing what he needed to do to survive the Nazis.

it appears we can add Donohue to the list of right-wingers who fervently wish that the Nazis had exterminated just one more Jew.

Donohue went on to rant that "Soros has a long history of supporting anti-Catholicism," citing his support of [checks notes] a organization called Catholics for Choice,  who Donohue bizarrely insists is "anti-Catholic" despite being made up of Catholics, continuing:

In January, Catholics for Choice vandalized the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. At a prayer vigil that was held there before the March for Life, the Soros-funded entity desecrated the Basilica by using light-projecting technology to post  anti-Catholic messages on it.

Projecting something on a building cannot possibly be "vandalism" since no damage is done to the building. He then served up a tale that doesn't quite hold together about another Catholic group he hates:

There is one other aspect to this story worth mentioning. After Obama was elected in 2008, the IRS contacted me to say that the Catholic League was under investigation for violating IRS strictures for non-profit organizations. After the probe was finally finished, we received a slap on the wrist.

I promised the IRS official I would not stop hammering pro-abortion anti-Catholic politicians, and that he should inform his superiors of my pledge.

More important, I told him that I knew who was behind the attempt to destroy me. Just before the 2008 election, a CNN staffer sent me copies of a long document detailing news releases I had sent that allegedly violated IRS rules. She did this because the person who sent it to her tried to get me kicked off TV; he sent the document to validate his request.

When the IRS complaint was sent to me before Thanksgiving in 2008, I  quickly concluded that it looked amazingly like the document forwarded to me by the CNN employee. It was sent to her by Catholics United.

In other words, Soros was behind the attempt to silence the Catholic League.

He lost. It's too bad he hasn't lost more often—his legacy of hate has done much harm.

First: His attempt to blame Obama for the audit fails on the facts. He admitted that he received the complaint "before Thanksgiving in 2008" -- two months before Obama took office, meaning that Obama could not possibly have had any influence on the IRS to push for an audit. Further, Donohue said in 2013 that a copy of the Catholics United complaint was leaked to him in October 2008 -- before Obama was even elected.

Second: He offers no evidence whatsoever that Soros has personally targeted Donohue or his little Catholic League group -- he's just copiously dropping Soros'name because he's a right-wing bogeyman and can get clicks by doing so.

More dishonesty from Donohue? Doesn't surprise us at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:00 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2022 4:23 AM EDT
WND Writers Freak Out Over 'Liberal World Order' Reference They Don't Understand
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote ominously in a July 1 WorldNetDaily article:

Perhaps the "New World Order," a phrase that has been use previously, many times negatively, has too much baggage.

Or perhaps there's another reason.

But a Biden administration official has just confirmed that Americans will have to keep paying those nearly $5 a gallon prices for gasoline because that's what's needed right now for the "Liberal World Order."

The comment came during a CNN appearance by Biden adviser Brian Deese.

He said, "This is about the future of the liberal world order and we have to stand firm."

His response was to a question about what to tell Americans facing those massively inflated gasoline prices under Biden's policies, where the cost of a tank of gasoline can easily surpass $100.

Unruh didn't mention that WND has beenone of the places where the phrase "New World Order" has been used "negatively." More importantly: While "New World Order" is a code word for right-wing conspikracy theories (hence its aggressive usage by the conspiracy theorists at WND), "liberal world order" means something else entirely and is not interchangable. As FactCheck.org explained in debunking the bogus spin peddled by Unruh and other right-wingers:

The term “liberal world order,” also referred to as the “liberal international order,” has been in use since at least the end of World War II when “countries sought to ensure the world never again devolved into such horrific violence,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

[...]

The term has been used by Biden on at least two occasions as president, but it also has been referenced by Republican presidents.

Some drop the word “liberal” and just say “world order,” as former President Richard Nixon did in 1969 in a message to Congress about foreign aid. “U.S. assistance is essential to express and achieve our national goals in the international community — a world order of peace and justice,” Nixon said.

[...]

An April 2020 paper titled “The Rise of the Liberal World Order,” written by Samantha A. Taylor for the U.S. Army War College website, explained how the rise of the United States is tied to the creation of the liberal world order.

“[T]he rise of the liberal world order is connected to the rise of the United States in the international system. This development occurred in three phases. The first phase occurred between 1917 and 1945, during which the United States emerged as a world power,” wrote Taylor, a visiting professor at the college. “The second phase from 1945 to 1991 occurred as the United States stood as one of two superpowers. The third phase began in 1991 and continues to today, where the United States stands as the world’s sole superpower and supporter of the liberal world order.”

But that context is ignored in social media posts that misleadingly suggest Biden is pushing a “new liberal world order” to make Americans pay “high gas prices forever.”

But as we all know, WND refuses to let the truth interfere with a reasonably clickbait-y right-wing narrative.Andy Schlafly huffed in his July 5 WND column:

"This is about the future of the liberal world order and we have to stand firm," declared Biden administration official Brian Deese.

That was the administration's answer to the question posed by CNN: "What do you say to those families who say, 'Listen, we can’t afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years. This is just not sustainable'?"

"Liberal world order" is apparently what globalists meant all along when they spoke of a "new world order" and a "new normal."

Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, uses the "Great Reset" to refer to the globalist vision for the future. The elite met there again in May to reassert their control over politics worldwide.

[...]

Also called the "liberal international order," globalists insist on a system in which all the important decisions are made by phony experts who set norms of conduct without input or rejection by citizens of individual nation-states. The views of American voters are irrelevant under this scheme, as voters are then told we are bound by treaties and must participate in foreign wars.

[...]

The cat is out of the bag: Higher gas prices are due to Democrats' insistence on a liberal world order. No thanks to that.

Brent Smith used his July 8 WND column to manufacture a conspiracy theory about the guy who said the phrase:

Yet it would seem we have another player, or players, in the running as Biden's "shadow president."

His name is Brian Deese. You're probably saying to yourself – wait, I know that name. And if you've been paying attention, you would. He was the guy who last week on CNN exclaimed, "Americans should 'stand firm' on paying record-high gas prices because the 'future of the liberal world order' is more important."

I don't know about you, but to me that's an odd thing for Biden's director of the National Economic Council to say. Sounds more like something that Bond villain and WEF head Klaus Schwab would say.

[...]

And this is why, in 2020, immediately after the presidential election, Deese left BlackRock to join the Biden administration. But did he ever really leave BlackRock? More likely, in the opinion of Rucker and me, he is the BlackRock insider that may be running the show from inside the White House.

And I don't think it's being done covertly. I think he was invited in to help usher in the Great Reset and the New World Order, or as Deese describes it: the Liberal World Order. And he/they are happy to use us and ruin the greatest nation on Earth to do so.

The question that could then be asked: Is it Deese running the show, or does he take marching orders from others at BlackRock? Who knows, for now.

Note that both Schlafly and Smith drop the name of Klaus Schwab, who is apparently the heir apparent to George Soros on the right-wing world-controlling conspiracy front.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2022 9:56 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: July 2022
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is keeping up its nasty narrative of new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire (and, of course, continuing to fluff Peter Doocy). Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Thursday, September 22, 2022
The MRC's Summer of Hunter Biden Derangement
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Hunter Biden Derangement Sydrome is legion, largely devoted to whining that the story regarding his laptop was ignored by the media (even though it should really be criticizing the New York Post for not providing independent verification of the story that would have made it more likely to be taken as seriously as the MRC demands). Over the summer, the MRC continued to manufacture "scandals" regarding Hunter Biden that it demanded must be covered outside its right-wing media bubble, declaring every single negative attack, no matter how small, as its own "scandal." A June 8 item by Geoffrey Dickens complained under the headline "Seven NEW Hunter Biden Scandals the Networks Refuse to Report On":

The scandalous hits from Hunter Biden keep coming, but you wouldn’t know it if you get your news primarily from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast networks. 

From very serious allegations of corruption that that could hurt President Joe Biden’s credibility (Hunter’s business partners visiting the White House) to the kind of salacious headlines that would dominate the news cycles if this was a son of a Republican president (Hunter allegedly cavorts around with an illegal gun while with a hooker) the nets have been completely silent.

[...]

The following are just a FEW of the Hunter scandals that have been revealed since March 16 and how ABC, CBS and NBC have covered or, more accurately, not covered them:

Dickens ramped up the numbers in a July 12 post headlined "Ten NEW Hunter Biden Scandals the Networks Are CENSORING":

ABC, CBS and NBC still refuse to cover the latest Hunter Biden scandals, even as they pile up on an almost daily basis. 

Because they are so in the tank for the Biden administration the broadcast networks remain stubborn in their refusal to report on evidence that links directly to the President himself like Joe Biden’s voicemail to Hunter that disproves his claim he “never” spoke to Hunter about his “business dealings. The networks have also been completely silent on the kind of salacious headlines (Hunter may face federal prostitution charges) that would dominate the news cycles if this was a son of a Republican president.

Of course, Dickens and the MRC would be vociferously denying such scandals if this was "a son of a Republican president" and accusing the media of "liberal bias" for reporting them, so perhaps Dickens' rhetoric is not terribly based in reality.

Dickens ran up the numbers to an almost logic-defying extent in an Aug. 30 post under the screaming headline "Ten BRAND NEW Hunter Biden Scandals the Nets Are Censoring":

When will the dam break?

ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening and morning news programs continue to hold back from their audiences the latest shocking revelations surrounding Hunter Biden’s various scandals. 

Not even the stunning news that whistleblowers claimed FBI officials told employees (prior to the 2020 election) to slow-walk the Hunter Biden laptop investigation and Mark Zuckerberg’s confession that the FBI told Facebook to censor Hunter’s laptop scandal got the Big Three networks to break their ongoing blackout.

A new poll underlines how the liberal media elites may have turned the tide of a presidential election with 79 percent of respondents saying “truthful” coverage of Hunter’s laptop scandal would have changed the 2020 outcome. 

Because they are so in the tank for the Biden administration the broadcast networks remain stubborn in their refusal to report on evidence that links directly to the President himself like e-mails from Hunter’s laptop and White House visitor logs that disprove his claim he “never” spoke to Hunter about his “business dealings.”

In between (and a little before) all that dubious inflation -- 27 separate "scandals"? Really? -- the MRC continued to blare every attack on Hunter it could find and whine that non-right-wing outlets weren't as obsessed with them as it was. For example:

Many of the Hunter attacks the MRC is hyping come from highly biased anti-Biden bubble outlets like Fox News, the Daily Mail and the Washington Examiner. The MRC did not explain why these outlets deserve to be trusted at face value given their obvious biases.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2022 10:42 PM EDT
WND Columnists Cheer Brittney Griner Rotting In Russian Prison
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like their ideological counterparts at the Media Research Center, a couple of WorldNetDaily columnists seem to believe that WNBA star Brittney Griner deserves to rot in a Russian prison on trumped-up drug charges because she's a lesbian who doesn't love America enough. James Zumwalt spent a July 13 column complaining about those "who have actively jumped on their soapboxes to denigrate America," adding:

Topping this list of regretful ingrates most probably is American basketball player Brittney Griner who spent this Independence Day in a Russian jail cell after pleading guilty to smuggling drugs into the county. Facing up to 10 years in prison, she is pleading with the U.S. State Department to help get her out. This is the same ingrate who decided not to respect the national anthem at her games by remaining in the locker room until it ended – all to protest the death of the criminal Geroge Floyd during his arrest for yet another crime.

Larry Tomczak's Aug. 16 column was spent lecturing Griner of her supposedly evil ways -- such as failing to be heterosexual -- and called on her to repent:

Brittney Griner, American basketball star, was sentenced to nine years in prison for her failure to honor Russia's drug laws. I am encouraging Christians everywhere to not forget about her but intercede for her in her incarceration.

Recently I did a video on her situation and if you missed it, please consider reading this article to understand the complexities of her situation and empathize with her dilemma while praying that God uses it to turn her life around.

[...]

Many Americans don't like the Russian criminal justice system and have put pressure on Biden to do something to get her out. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an offer publicly to exchange prisoners to secure her release. Her sympathizers applaud the "progressive" maneuver and say, "Let's get on with it, it should be a done deal!"

Tomcczak hates Griner so much that he clearly approves of Griner's father kicking her out of their home because she wasn't heterosexual, repeated right-wing attacks on her, and bizarrely portrayed Griner's height and size as evidence that she is actually a man and, somehow, "woke":

Griner, 31, is 6'9" and 205 pounds, and wears size 17 shoes. Russian authorities required her to take a DNA test to determine if she is masculine or feminine gender. Putin and his party don't much care for being "woke."

Growing up, Brittney says she was bullied because of her size. She attended the largest Southern Baptist university in America, Baylor, which maintains a century-old tradition of a weekly chapel for all the students.

She proudly proclaims herself a lesbian, which caused her father, a Marine, to have her move out of the home.

She dated a Los Angeles Laker star but eventually "married" a woman who had twins in vitro. Brittney divorced her partner after being arrested on assault charges (required to have 26 weeks of domestic violence classes) then "married" another lesbian.

Brittney was featured unclothed in ESPN Magazine – the "Taboo Issue" – holding a snake, which is her favorite animal. She regularly models "menswear" for Nike.

Brittney projected an anti-American persona as she protested the National Anthem, declaring she would not go on the court if it was played.

A recent headline on the satirical site Babylon Bee said "Brittney Griner was rewarded with nine years of not hearing the US National Anthem."

Author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza commented: "I suspect what happened with Brittney Griner is she became massively entitled in this country – 'I'm black, I'm a lesbian, and I am a leftist, so I am a superior person and basically above the law.' Then she discovered to her astonishment that other countries don't see it that way!"

Former President Donald Trump said in an interview July 30 on "The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show" that it was a sad case but "she knew you don't go in there loaded up with drugs – she admitted it."

Tomczak concluded with minor criticism of the Russian legal system but made sure to put most of the blame on Griner herself and demanded repenttnce:

As patriotic Americans and compassionate Christians, we must continue praying for our leaders and Ms. Griner. In her trial she lamented that she had been "tossed into a bewildering legal system." Pray that God can use this situation to bring her to an end of herself, turn to Christ for healing from her brokenness and discover gratitude to God for all she's been blessed with and taken for granted as a citizen of the United States of America.

Tomczak didn't explain why being non-heterosexual means she deserves unjust punishment. It seems he is using the Russian prison system as a tool to justify his own sense of cruelty.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Hypocritically Lashes Out At 'Incorrect Tweet'
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham wrote in an Aug. 17 post:

Anonymous sources can cut both ways. After CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell sloppily tweeted an inaccurate claim that Trump was lying about the FBI taking his passports in the Mar-a-Lago raid, unnamed critics inside CBS pounced in a Tuesday New York Post story. 

[T]he anchor attributed the information to a single source — a big no-no at CBS News, which has a strict two-source protocol, angry CBS sources told The Post. They added that the tweets also made it sound like O’Donnell was calling the former president a “liar.”

“This is an embarrassment for CBS that the face of your network can’t even make a second call to a Justice Department rep,” one livid source said. “It’s Journalism 101.”

The loathing of Trump routinely leads to sloppy, rushed reporting to paint Trump as perennially engulfed in damaging scandal.

Of course, Graham is being a total hypocrite about anonymous sources, decrying them when the "liberal media" ues them but gleefully uses them when they serve his partisan agenda. He will not apply the demands he makes of the "liberal" media to his own right-wing media operation -- that's cowardice and craven politics at work.

Graham is demonstrating another double standard as well: He will never call out erroenous tweets in his right-wing media bubble -- and certainly not ones from his boss, Brent Bozell.

And, throughout all of this, Graham never explained why someone's "incorrect tweet" deserved so much attention -- outside of the MRC's anti-media agenda, that is.

Graham's dishonest behavior is yet another reason why his MRC shouldn't be taken seriously as media critics.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
CNS Cheers Liz Cheney's Primary Loss
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, like its Media Research Center parent, has attacked the House hearings on the Capitol riot, so it was inevitable that it would also lash out at the ranking Republican on that committee, Liz Cheney. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman complained in May following the racially motivated gun massacre in Buffalo (remember, CNS has embraced the racial replacement theory conspiracy spouted by both the shooter and Tucker Carlson), that Cheney -- who he made sure to note was "one of only 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump" -- "denounced the GOP leadership in the House of Representatives, stating it "has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism." Chapman hyped how pro-Trump Republicans like him have rejected her and that he didn't like her response:

In March, Leader McCarthy endorsed Cheney's opponent, Republican Harriet Hageman, for the primary run in Wyoming. In response, Cheney's spokesman issued a statement that said, "A leader with honor would be rejecting -- not protecting -- the pro-Putin, anti-Semitic, white nationalist members of the party, instead of fighting against Liz Cheney for telling the truth."

Susan Jones sneered at an interview with Cheney in a July 5 "news" article:

Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who is working with Democrats to "protect" the nation from Donald Trump, says the January 6 committee on which she sits is not "political," and the committee's goal is not to knock Trump out of the running in 2024.

She told ABC's Jonathan Karl the Republican Party "can't survive if he's our nominee." And Cheney said she has not yet decided whether she will run for president in 2024. Her work with Democrats has put her congressional re-election in jeopardy.

[...]

Cheney said she doesn't intend to lose the August 16th Republican primary in Wyoming, although she faces a significant challenge from the Trump-endorsed candidate.

Cheney said it's important for her to win, "because I will be the best representative that the people of Wyoming can have.

“The single most important thing is protecting the nation from Donald Trump. And I think that that matters to us as Americans more than anything else, and that's why my work on the committee is so important and why it's so important to not just brush this passed, I think it's very important that people know the truth and that there are consequences."

Jones didn't explain why that's a bad thing.

When Cheney did, in fact, lose her Republican primary, Jones happily wrote about that in an Aug. 17 article, hyping her alleged future political ambitions and attacking her role on a "one-sided and politically motivated" committee:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) lost her primary election to Republican Harriet Hageman by a wide margin Tuesday, getting only about 30 percent of the vote to Hageman's 66 percent.

But in her concession speech, as she thanked her team, Cheney told them, "our work is far from over."

Cheney noted that Abraham Lincoln was defeated in Senate and House elections before winning the presidency. "Lincoln ultimately prevailed," she said. "He saved our union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history."

[...]

Toward the end of her speech, she hinted that her political future is not over: "This primary election is over. But now the real work begins."

Cheney is rumored to be mulling a run for president, and in her speech, she mentioned not only Abraham Lincoln but also General Ulysses S Grant, who also became president.

As she concluded her speech, Cheney said, "We must be very clear about the threat we face and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since January 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office. And I mean it.

"This is a fight for all of us together. I'm a conservative Republican," Cheney said. She's also one of two anti-Trump Republicans joining Democrats on their one-sided and politically motivated "select committee" investigating the events of January 6.

Jones also lovingly wrote about the woman who defeated Cheney in a separate article that added new attacks on Cheney's concession speech:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), resoundingly defeated in her primary election by fellow Republican Harriet Hageman, spent much of her concession speech doubling down on her vow that Donald Trump must never come near the Oval Office again.

In fact, she mentioned Trump by name at least nine times in her remarks, calling out his "election lies" and promotion of "conspiracies."

"It doesn't surprise me that she would revert to those same old talking points, because that's really in large part what got her defeated," Hageman said:

Jones also noted that Hageman also talked about "accountability," but didn't mention that the House committee Cheney is on is delivering that to Trump and his cronies.

It wouldn't be a complete political attack by CNS if Mark Levin wasn't given space to rant, and Craig Bannister gave him that space in yet another Aug. 17 article:

After losing her primary election by more than a two-to-one margin on Tuesday, anti-Trump January 6 Committee member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) compared herself to iconic former Republican President Abraham Lincoln – but, that’s not who radio and television host Mark Levin says she resembles.

Responding to Cheney’s remarks, Levin tweeted congratulations to Republican Harriet Hageman, who won the primary with 66% of the vote, and told Cheney she’s more like infamous traitor Benedict Arnold than she is like Lincoln:

“Congratulations, Rep.-elect Hageman!  The better woman won. And no, Liz, you’re not Abraham Lincoln. More like Benedict Arnold. Your speech tonight and the Hollywood film crew you brought with you further underscores that your ambitions and ego are utterly out-of-control.”

Neither Bannister nor Levin explained how the mere act of holding Trump accountable for his actions is the same thing as theactual treason committed by Arnold.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2022 10:57 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
MRC Keeps Up Defense And Deflection Over Mar-a-Lago Raid
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's reaction to the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound was slow to start, but it continued to find ways to defend him and attack critics. An Aug. 10 post by Alex Christy cheering a right-winger spouting anti-FBI talking points at CNN's S.E. Cupp, who was pointing out that the raid showed the justice system working well, going on to add some talking points of his own: "Cupp and the rest of the media just don’t get it. If Trump were to be treated the same way as Hillary Clinton the raid would never have happened. Such double standards do raise questions that should not be dismissed as 'MAGA World talking points.'"

Another Aug. 10 post by Aidan Moorehouse complained that CNN commentators "were bemused why so many conservatives had such a negative reaction to the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, despite the news that the Bureau had foiled a plot by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to assassinate former National Security Adviser John Bolton":

Impeccable logic: if an organization does something well, that means it is functioning perfectly in every circumstance and incapable of having parts in need of reform.

After all, this is the FBI we’re talking about. It’s not like this law enforcement agency has ever fabricated evidence to gain a FISA warrant against Carter Page, or collaborated with the media to achieve maximum shock effect, or changed the words “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” to avoid charging Hillary Clinton with a crime.

Moorehouse then threw in a little Clinton Equivocation for good measure:

While it is possible that Trump did something wrong in these situations he’s currently being investigated for, the fact that Trump was raided by the FBI for what appears to be the potential mishandling of classified documents, while Clinton got away scot-free despite 30,000 of her emails being bleached from the face of the earth, ought to tell people like [Alyssa Farah] Griffin why Republicans are so wary of this latest investigation.

Tim Graham ranted on his Aug. 10 podcast that the raid is causing people to think Trump might be a bad person:

Biden's Attorney General approved an unprecedented raid on a former president's home, and we still don't know why. The newscasts are mostly calm, but not so for the Colberts and Scarboroughs. Colbert thinks it's Christmas, and Scarborough thinks the Fascists are having a Fascist fit. 

Some on the Left smelled hypocrisy from the "Lock Her Up" folks on Hillary's deleted government emails. A truly objective media would apply a single standard to these issues of government documents. A truly objective media might also have a distaste for partisans suggesting the other party’s leaders should be in prison. 

This is a fact. We have no precedent for a former president being raided by the FBI. We have no precedent for an attorney general whose Supreme Court nomination was ruined by the former president signing off on such a raid. We can easily predict how furiously the liberal media would have reacted if Trump’s Attorney General approved an FBI raid on the Clinton house in Chappaqua. 

But in this case, we heard Andrea Mitchell condemn House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy for daring to speak ill of Merrick Garland. "Merrick Garland is the most careful, judicious to a fault some would say, you know, attorney general in this case."

A post by Mark Finkelstein complain that a CNN commentator "opined that there was more involved in the Mar-a-Lago raid than looking for evidence regarding classified documents. He suggested that the FBI was also looking for evidence of Trump's involvement with January 6th," and made the "bombshell prognostication" that Trump's arrest was "imminent," while the host "seemed to be insinuating the possibility that the FBI wanted to seize certain documents of a sensitive national-security nature before, e.g., Trump could peddle them to a hostile foreign power!" Finkelstein huffed that the host "offered no evidence in support of his audacious theory" -- but part of it eventually proved true.

In an Aug. 11 post, Margaret Buckley omitted context about a comment MSNBC's Joe Scarborough made while criticizing Republicans for their lemming-like defense of Trump:

Host Joe Scarborough pretended he is interested in helping the fate of the Republican Party, despite having publicly left it years ago. He insisted that GOP candidates are “underperforming” in special elections. 

“They just can’t seem to connect the dots,” Scarborough states, “they keep careening closer and closer to a cliff of political oblivion.” He furthered his “analysis” by immaturely exclaiming this on national television: “They're going 'This is war, this is war! Let's tan our testicles!’" Real professional, Joe.

Actually, Buckley need to bring up those professionalism issues with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, who brought up the whole testicle-tanning thing in a special edition of his show a few months ago, positively portraying it as a way to improve one's testosterone levels.

Graham returned for an Aug. 11 post whining that NPR media reporter David Folkenflik pointed out how Republicans and right-wing media (like Graham's MRC) can't stop clinging to Trump. Instead of actually disproving it -- because he clearly can't -- Graham played his usual whataboutism:

It's amazing how credulous liberal journalists can be in assuming the Attorney General told no one in the White House he was going to approve a raid on Trump. Folkenflik would never assume Rupert Murdoch didn't know what was going on in his companies. As for apocalyptic terms, Folkenflik should look at NPR promoting Republicans as a "proto-authoritarian cult."

Graham linked back to a 2020 post he wrote attacking Folkenflik over that statement. He played whataboutism then too.

Finkelstein also returned, this time to complain about the"absolute ecstasy today over Donald Trump's potential legal woes" on "Morning Joe," whining further that "Mika and Joe amused themselves by repeatedly mentioning the many times that Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment during his deposition yesterday with lawyers for New York State Attorney General Letitia James."

Graham's Aug. 12 podcast whined again about Garland not being savaged by non-right-wing media the way he is in Graham's right-wing media bubble:

Attorney General Merrick Garland kept reporters and TV networks waiting (and filling air time) for more than a half-hour before he came out and made a brief statement and took no questions from reporters. It was not a demonstration of transparency after this unprecedented step of the FBI raiding the home of a former president like he was a criminal. 

The networks tried to present Garland as reasonable and nonpartisan -- insisting of course, he must have a good reason for this raid. Then an ABC reporter turned to frighten the public with neo-Nazis ripping Garland on message boards -- he's Jewish -- and seemingly associated all Garland's critics with the worst extremists.

Finkelstein served up anotherwhining post on Aug. 13, this one about a discussion of a Washington Post claiming nuclear-related documents were among the classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago:

So the Washington Post, which broke the story, doesn't know what those documents are, or just how classified they might or might not be. It certainly can't say whether the FBI found what their anonymous sources were claiming as justification for this unprecedented don't-call-it-a-raid.

Finkelstein didn't mention that there is no reason for Trump to be possessing sensitive government documents, classified or not, now that is no longer president.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2022 11:06 PM EDT
Conrad Black Returns To Newsmax To Defend Trump After Mar-a-Lago Raid
Topic: Newsmax

It's been a while since we've heard from Conrad Black. Following the FBI raid on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound, Newsmax gave the Trump suck-up (and criminal who was the beneficiary of a Trump pardon) space for the first column it published by him in six months in an Aug. 15 piece:

The conduct of the Justice Department and the FBI in raiding President Trump’s home at Palm Beach on Aug. 8 must rank as among the most dangerous assaults upon the rule of law in the United States since what President Lincoln referred to as an “insurrection” (with a legal precision that has eluded the mountebanks who have so described the events of January 6, 2021).

The New York Times, an unofficial mouthpiece of the regime, disclosed that the raid was caused by a dispute over archives, and their reporter Maggie Haberman conveniently claims to have evidence about Mr. Trump flushing unspecified documents down a White House toilet.

Mr. Trump has been cooperating on this matter, per custom. Archives, after all, have been subject of friction with all former presidents (Richard Nixon’s literary executors litigated successfully over his papers for years after he died 20 years after he retired as president).

Any such complaint should have been civilly litigated. The correct procedure is a subpoena; a warrant is justified only where there is reason to believe that exigible material is apt to be destroyed imminently — impossible given that Mr. Trump was at New York and the records were safely locked up in his Florida home, and the FBI had already gone through the same papers extensively.

It was also improper for the 30 agents to break into the ex-president’s safe. Mr. Trump had been entirely cooperative. If there were any complaint that plausibly justified so immensely sensitive and explosive a step, it should have been referred to a special counsel to give the current partisan attack dog-attorney general, Merrick Garland, a patina of impartiality.

Black could be said to be an unofficial mouthpiece for Trump, and he parrots early pro-Trump talking points here. As it turned out, Trump was not, in fact, cooperating with this matter, which necessitated things to go beyond the civil litigation that authorities had been trying (and failing) to pursue with him.

After diversions toward Hunter Biden and Sandy Berger, Black's complaints continued:

As there was no danger of imminent destruction of anything, there was no excuse for a warrant, especially one executed with such a spectacular excess of force and drama against so eminent a target. Donald Trump was president when the material was moved to Palm Beach from the White House, and the president has the ultimate authority over classified documents.

This is apparently an effort to mouse-trap Mr. Trump in a records violation which might be used to disqualify him from holding a public office again. More than that, it appears to be a lawless effort to strangle the entire democratic process.

No sane person can imagine that this invasion of the former and probable future-president’s home was justified or executed with an acceptable motive.

Given that initial reports that the classified documents Trump absconded with to Mar-a-Lagoincluded nuclear documents turned out to be true, it was quite sane for the government to do what was necessary to get those documents back.

Black went on to rant that "The Democrats and the Fifth Column of anti-Trump nominal Republicans are now shaking in their shoes as Trump supporters reassert his control of the Republican Party and lead the polls toward reelection. Mr. Garland harasses parents who express reasonable opinions about school curriculum and does nothing to help reduce the skyrocketing crime rate." Actually, death threats from parents to school board members are not "reasonable opinions," and that's all Garland focused on, despite right-wing misinformation to the contrary.

As part of this kitchen-sink attack, Black dropped in a George Soros reference:

The American criminal legal system has long since been exposed as completely rotten. The federal criminal conviction rate is 98%, 95% without trial.

Ironically, George Soros had some reason in his hostility to American prosecutors but he made the grave error of promoting soft treatment of repeat violent offenders, instead of lessening penalties against nonviolent first-time offenders, which would be sensible and would be supported. Now the country has omnipotent prosecutors in a stacked system that is led by a seedy claque of Democratic Party Torquemadas.

There is a silver lining in this storm cloud. The Trump-haters must finally have aroused the irrepressible puritanical conscience of America. Obscured and anesthetized though it often is by the shabby venality of much of the system, uneasy though many Americans are about Donald Trump as president, this is an affront to every American who has any desire for an impartially just society.

Black really, desperately wants the raid to be a rallying point for Republicans:

They have made Trump, with all his infelicities, the candidate of lawful democracy. On Monday night, Democratic Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said the Mar-a-Lago police raid was entirely appropriate and then said that we don’t yet know the facts; Republican Senate leader turned Mephistophelean Never-Trumper Mitch McConnell was silent, effectively complicit.

The choice will be clear: the great Democratic Party has descended to mere thuggery. If this disgrace is as malodorous as it now seems, Mr. Trump make a broad appeal to protect the integrity of the system and reject the criminalization of policy differences.

The Republicans should sweep the midterms, and should not hesitate to use the power of impeachment against those who are again attempting a pre-emptive coup d’etat. Each side accuses the other of lawlessness; this is the final escalation and Mr. Trump wins.

The only "malodorous" thing we see here is Black sucking up yet again to the man who pardoned him, as if he feels the need to repeatedly justify that pardon.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:55 PM EDT
Chuck Norris Picked A Bad Time To Embrace Bogus '2000 Mules' Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's never a good time to embrace a bogus conspiracy theory, but Chuck Norris sure found an especially bad time to do so. He spent his Aug. 15 WorldNetDaily column gushing over admitted criminal Dinesh D'Souza and his "2000 Mules" film, which WND has heavily promoted even as it becomes increasingly discredited. Indeed, Norris himself tried to handwave the errors and gaps in the film:

Filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, born in India, has produced a string of amazing documentaries. They include:

  • "America: Imagine the World Without Her" (2014)
  • "Hillary's America" (the top-grossing documentary of 2016)
  • "Death of a Nation: Can We Save America a Second Time?" (2018)

His latest achievement is called "2000 Mules," which was released back in May.

Critiques like the New York Times accuse "2000 Mules" of simply "repackaging … Trump's election lies." But that is an unfair oversimplification and accusation. Dinesh is a much greater intellectual than to produce a documentary in such regurgitating terms.

What Dinesh did in "2000 Mules" was to examine the evidence for voter fraud in the 2020 election by tracking digital device location data of "mules," or individuals who stuffed voter drop boxes with stacks of completed ballots, especially in swing states.

Before you criticize the premise as impossible, or believe someone else's conclusions (even mine), you should watch the documentary (available online) and examine the evidence for yourself. It contains digital, telecommunication and video evidence of ballot box stuffing occurring by the same individual in multiples areas. As I'll share in a moment, this all makes a huge difference because modern elections are now determined by drop-box and mailed ballots.

Again, though Dinesh's liberal critics have accused him of having "too many gaps" in his evidence, I would say to them that his evidence between the alleged "gaps" is sufficient to make a case for examination. Any fraud is too much fraud, whether it was enough to sway the election or not.

While Norris was promoting this discredited film, the people whose so-called research are at the center of "2000 Mules," Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips of True the Vote, were at a heavily hyped gathering (in far-right circles, anyway) where they promised to "pull the ripcord" and share their evidence. But as the Washington Post reported:

Finally, it was time for Phillips and his colleague Catherine Engelbrecht to prove the doubters wrong. The result? The announcement of a website Open.ink, at which they promised to dump the drop-box surveillance video they obtained from states and documents from various election lawsuits.

“The ‘pulling of the ripcord’ is Open.ink,” Phillips said. There was no announcement that Open.ink would also include the cellphone geolocation data that Phillips claimed showed the existence of all of the mules in the first place. It’s hard to see what is there, since if you visit at this point, you’re quickly redirected to a sign-up sheet that asks you to create an account that must be approved before you can move forward.

[...]

After revealing the site, the True the Vote team put a coda on that boring-old 2020 stuff.

“And that really I think is …” Engelbrecht said, looking at Phillips — her demeanor indicating uncertainty about taking the next step.

“ … the end of ‘mules,’ we’re done!” Phillips replied with affected enthusiasm.

“The end of ‘mules!’ ” Engelbrecht added. “End scene. We’re done.”

No doubt realizing that this is not what the audience expected — RSBN’s lower-third read “The Pit reveals ‘devastating news on 2020’ ” at multiple points in the program — she tried to contextualize the development.

“Honestly, guys,” she said, “ … it’s time to move on. Not to move on to what happened in 2020, because we still have to understand what happened. That is critical. We have to understand that. But we are 90 some days out from midterms” — and so on.

On top of that, Phillips got himself banned from the conference's afterparty at a nearby hotel when he tried to bring a gun with him in violation of hotel policy.

While Norris was blissfully ignorant of the prinicipals behind "2000 Mules" abandoning their own conspiracy theory even as he was promoting it, he still insisted on spouting more bogus election fraud conspiacies:

You can believe or disbelieve in 2020 election fraud; that is your American right. However, the question is: Is it possible that it really occurred in some way, shape, or form? Whether fraud contributed to the win or loss of your favorite candidate's election is secondary compared to whether or not any form of corruption occurred in the national election.

[...]

Election investigation is warranted right now based simply on the fact that Joe Biden received 13 million more votes in 2020 than mega-popular Barack Obama did in 2008, when Obama set a record of votes for any presidential election before and despite Biden is the most unpopular presidential candidate and leader since the founding of our republic.

Is it plausible that the least-popular candidate in history (Biden) could beat one of the most-popular incumbent presidents (Trump) by a record-breaking 7 million votes: Biden with 81,282,916 votes compared to Trump with 74,223,369? Is it also plausible during a global pandemic that there would suddenly be an overall 7% increase in voter turnout across the country in 2020 compared to 2016?

What's also suspect about those 7 million additional 2020 votes for Biden is the fact that the majority were received by mail. Is it a mere coincidence (or "just because of COVID") that, for the first time in 30 years, voting by mail soared across the country while voting in person dropped off the grid? What a convenient, perfectly-timed political pandemic!

[...]

Bottom line: Is the extensive suspicion of election fraud (held by more than 40% of Americans) really far-fetched? Are sheriffs across the country wrong for investigating voter fraud now? Absolutely not.

Gena and I thank, congratulate and commend Dinesh D'Souza in being willing to stand up for the truth, especially in the face of his own personal sacrifices and risks.

You can like or dislike Dinesh or his documentaries, or even call him jaded and a demon, but you can't deny the core of his facts, and the right that Americans have to know the truth.

But they will not get that truth from conspiracy-mongers like Norris who put discredited narrataives ahead of the facts because he refuses to accept that Trump lost re-election fair and square.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2022 11:14 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Loves Russian Athletes More Than American Ones
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's sports bloggers fretted that Russian athletes were being treated shabbily after Russia's invasion of Ukraine -- but it loves that WNBA star Brittney Griner is rotting in a Russian prison on trumped-up drug charges. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Flashback: MRC's Incessant -- And Misdirected -- Whining That Hunter Biden Laptop Story Was 'Censored'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent the past few years suffering a collective outbreak of Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome, which focused largely on the the contents of Hunter's laptop, which the MRC repeatedly whined wasn't covered before the 2020 election even though its its pro-Trump promoters never offered independent verification of it at the time.

Let's go back in time to earlier this year and see how the MRC continued to peddle the bogus spin that the story was unjustly "censored" by the media. Geoffrey Dickens wrote in an April 18 post:

It was a bombshell story that could have swayed the 2020 presidential election. 

Just weeks before Election Day, the New York Post printed an explosive story on the morning of October 14, 2020, that alleged Hunter Biden had corrupt business dealings with Ukraine and Joe Biden knew about them.

The Post story was full of stunning revelations. The “No.3 exec” of the Ukrainian firm Burisma (the firm that was paying Hunter $50,000 a month) asked Hunter Biden for to help the company. “The blockbuster correspondence” countered Joe Biden’s assertion that he “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” The “correspondence” came from emails found in a laptop dropped off at a Delaware computer store. Also found in the laptop was video evidence of Hunter’s sexual behavior and drug use.

It wasn't until the eight paragraph of his item that Dicken recited the entirely reasonable justifications for downplaying the story:

A deep dive of the coverage shows that when the Big Three networks bother to mention the scandal they do so largely to knock it down, using dismissive verbiage like “dubious” “questionably-sourced story,” “old line of attack” and “unverified.”

But rather than blame the New York Post for not providing independent verification that might have overcome reasaonable accusations that the claims were questionably sourced -- and they arguably were, given the Post's status as a pro-Trump newspaper owned by Fox News' Rupert Murdoch and pro-Trump lackey Rudy Giuliani among its biggest promoters -- Dickesn attacks the non-right-wing media for not running with a clkearly partisan story that could not be verified. Still, Dickens went on to whine:

It all worked. Research conducted by The Polling Company for the Media Research Center after the 2020 election found that the media’s censorship of Biden scandals had a significant impact on the election. The survey found that 45.1% of Biden voters in seven key swing states said they were unaware of the financial scandal enveloping Biden and his son, Hunter. According to our poll, full awareness of the Hunter Biden scandal would have led 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate, flipping all six of the swing states he won to Trump, which would have given the former president 311 electoral votes.

That, of course, is the MRC's version of Trump's Big Lie anout the election purportedly being stolen from him. Dickens didn't mention that The Polling Company was founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, raising questions about bias and trustworthiness.

Dickens did not explain why the media is obligated to treat as true a story it cannot verify and for which no verification has been provided.

An April 20 post by Brian Bradley was devoted to whining that "big tech" had "suppressed" the story:

Twitter and Facebook worked in lockstep to restrict the flow of the Hunter Biden laptop story just before the 2020 presidential election. These platforms stifled the spread of that story at the same time that Big Media did, as MRC research found.

Facebook’s suppression broke the platform’s own fact-checking policy, and Twitter’s attempt to cancel the story so outrageously violated content moderation norms that it drew criticism from the likes of leftist Poynter Institute fact-checkers. Even then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey criticized his platform after the fact.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone announced the platform had preempted third-party fact-checks on the Hunter Biden story the day it broke on Oct. 14, 2020, and limited its spread moving forward. Stone has a long history working directly for Democrats, and Facebook’s hair-trigger, broad-brush blackout blatantly broke the platform’s content moderation policy.

[...]

Twitter responded to the New York Post’s bombshell Hunter Biden report by disabling the link to the story on the day it was released, and claimed: “Warning: this link may be unsafe.” Twitter then restricted the Post account from Oct. 14 to Oct. 30.

As with Dickens, Bradley's rage is misdirected. He did not demand that the Post offer independent verification of the story. Instead, he continued to whine:

Facebook “fact-checker” Lead Stories released at least 15 so-called “fact-checks” in direct support of Joe and Hunter Biden in the two weeks before the Nov. 3, 2020, Election Day. Those “fact-checks” sought to rebut claims of Hunter’s alleged drug use and alleged sexual misconduct, along with assertions that corporate media didn’t give the Hunter Biden story enough coverage.

Bradley offered no evidence that there was anything inaccurate about Lead Stories' fact-checks -- something you'd think he would want to do if he's accusing Lead Stories of falsely besmirching the story. Also: Fox News is part of a large corporation; why doesn't  Bradly consider it part of the "corporate media"?

Of course, the MRC will never blame its fellow members of the right-wing media bubble for failing to offer independent verification of the story so that it could have been taken more seriously. If the "liberal media" can be blamed, it will be -- even if they were following good journalistic practice by raising questions about a story that lacked verification that its promoters refused to provide.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
WND Promotes Bogus Anti-Climate Change Petition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore wrote in an Aug. 18 article:

Led by a Nobel Prize laureate, more than 1,100 scientists and scholars have signed a document declaring climate science is based more on personal beliefs and political agendas than sound, rigorous science.

The World Climate Declaration states climate science "should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific."

"Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures," the declaration reads.

The declaration was organized by Climate Intelligence, an independent policy foundation founded in 2019 by Dutch emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and Dutch science journalist Marcel Crok.

Unsurprisingly, there's a lot that Moore is not reporting just in these first few paragraphs. As a fact-checker found, the "Nobel Prize laureate" in question, Ivar Giaever -- whom Moore doesn't otherwise refeence in his article -- won for his work on superconductors, not climate science; Beruhout and Crok, meanwhile, have been accused of taking money from fossil-fuel interests, indicated paid bias on their part. Further, most of the signatories to the petition are political activists and scientists who have no connection with climate science. As another commentator noted, "Looking at the list of signatories, there are a lot of engineers, medical doctors, and petroleum geologists and almost no actual climate scientists."

Also note the stealth edit: While the headline originally claimed 1,200 signatories -- as shown by the original front-page promo art and the URL -- it was changed along the line to state there were "more than 1,100," That's because, according to the fact-checker, the actual number of signatories was 1,107. Weird how Moore descided to make that edit for accuracy but clearly never fact-checked anything else in his piece.

Moore continued to uncritically repeat the anti-climate change talking points:

The World Climate Declaration points out that since emerging from the Little Ice Age in the mid-19th century, the world has warmed significantly less than predicted by the U.N.'s International Panel on Climate Change's models

"The gap between the real world and the modeled world tells us that we are far from understanding climate change," the WCD states.

The declaration argues Earth’s climate has varied, with cold and warm periods, for as long as the planet has existed, and it is "no surprise that we are experiencing a period of warming."

The climate models "are not remotely plausible as global policy tools," ignoring, for one, the benefits of carbon dioxide, which is "not a pollutant."

"It is essential to all life on Earth," the declaration says. "Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth; additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yield of crops worldwide."

In fact, climate models have proven to be largely accurate; one study examined 17 climate models and found "14 out of the 17 model projections indistinguishable from what actually occurred." Observers also exposed the talking points Moore is mindlessly repeating for the denialist tropes they are:

The World Climate Declaration doesn’t just attack climate modeling. It also rehashes several well-known “climate denial” tropes that have long been used in persuasion campaigns that were often traced back to the fossil fuel industry and other players who benefit from unfettered industrial development, said Brendan DeMelle, executive director of Desmog, an investigative climate research organization.

Those tropes include downplaying the role of humans in causing rapid climate change by suggesting natural causes are as much or more of a factor, sowing unfounded doubt in the sciences and implying researchers are pursuing nefarious motives, suggesting that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere are actually a “good thing” because they help nurture the growth of plants, claiming that global warming doesn’t actually impact the frequency and intensity of natural disasters and suggesting that addressing climate change is incompatible with economic stability.

Moore won't tell you this because it conflicts with WND's right-wing editorial agenda, even though refusal to report all relevant sides of a story means Moore is a propagandist, not a journalist. But then, propaganda and not journalism is pretty much the point of WND these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:59 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist: Non-Reprentational Art That Doesn't Reflect 'Western Heritage' Is 'Bad'
Topic: Newsmax

Earlier this year, WorldNetDaily columnist Jerry Newcombe had a tantrum over art he didn't like. Alexandra York served up her own anti-art-I-don't like rant in an Aug. 29 Newsmax column:

What is "bad" art? In order to answer this question, we must first define what is good art.

Taking this article as a jumping off point, we can understand the values that can be expressed in established western art forms. This is not to infer that eastern art has no value — it most certainly can — but to emphasize how meaningful art in general has the ability to enrich our lives if it is intelligible and communicates life-serving values.

It follows, then, that "bad" art communicates life-harming values. How does it do this? Let us count the ways:

In order to communicate anything the themes or subjects of art forms must be intelligible, so objects rendered in painting and sculpture must be discernable, sounds in music must have tonal development, words in literature must have meaning, and so on.

Splashes of paint on canvas (or worse) and piles of bricks (or worse) communicate nothing intelligible. The same can be said of sounds emitted by the strumming of piano strings which is not music, or the tossing together of useless salad-words which is not literature, so why should these be labeled "bad" art, and why are they "harmful"?

Firstly, non-objective art is not "art" at all. It is not even a valid "craft" like decorative art— tile and rug design, for example — which requires a defined skill set.

But since non-art is presented as art in exhibits, galleries and museums, we need to label it "bad" art because it does not meet the primary criteria of communicative intelligibility.

And lastly, these sorts of "art" presentations are harmful in that — if taken seriously and find acceptance on the part of viewers, listeners, and readers — they can cause sloppy cognitive and psychological habits that, in turn, can inhibit the rational thought processes necessary to live a successful and happily fulfilled life.

In short: abstract art or any other art that is not directly representational is "bad." Shse continued in this vein:

Good art is a perceptually beautiful physical manifestation of life-enriching values, and life-enriching values are selected via reason, and reason entails judgment to determine the validity of values in order to select those that are most beneficial as life-serving principles. Bad art repudiates the very mental processes required to live a fruitful and joyful human life.

Ergo: As we avoid poisoned food to maintain the life and health of our bodies, so we should avoid "art" poisoned by deleterious ideas or lack thereof to enter our minds and pollute our souls.

Good art dramatizes the beauties and complexities of nature and human nature.

It empathizes with our sorrows and celebrates our joys.

It is food for the soul and can nurture our mental wellbeing while, at the same time, confirming our rationally achieved value system and inspiring us onward and upward to the best within us.

Not only is bad art bad for us in the cognitive and psychological ways heretofore delineated, but legitimatizing any so-called "art" that degrades the splendors and the possibilities of humankind becomes an act of spiritual suicide.

The "article" York referred to early was actually her own 2018 Newsmax column in which she explicitly argued that the only"good" art is that which is explictly representational and advances "Western heritage":

Driven underground by academics, critics, and artists of modernist and post-modern art for decades and largely still untaught in learning institutions, the crafts of representationalism in painting and sculpture have continued to be taught by a handful of artist-teachers who refused to let their art forms perish. We owe these men and women — now in their seventies, eighties, and even nineties — a debt of gratitude for safeguarding the techniques passed down from Greece through the Italian Renaissance to nineteenth-century Europe and then on to America in the early twentieth. It is their students — now professional artists and teachers in their own right — who are presently of an age to lead the resurgence of interest in these art forms based in established Western art traditions. Novelists, poets, and composers, too, are consulting the past for techniques to help them contemporize the everlasting verities of life with bracing relevance to our own time and place in history.

So the crafts of the great arts of Western civilization are surfacing again. But what of ideas? Many artists, today, succeed in capturing reality, but how many create a heightened reality that not only brings into sharper focus selected aspects of life through compelling aesthetics but also communicates ideas? Without authentic relevance to the fundamentals of the contemporary human condition, art becomes either decorative or banal. Without ideas informing it, art becomes a pretty pastime.

Most artists are not philosophers; they are, rather, more sensitive souls who intuitively incorporate value premises into their work. Great artists, however, whose work reverberates with lasting significance are fully conscious of the underlying themes expressed through their work; they, in fact, use form and aesthetics for the express purpose of communicating — beautifully — the ideational content of their art. For these superlative artists, nothing is accidental; they select and include in their art only the requisite essentials necessary to communicate inner meaning. Such artists distill the quintessence of one image or one fleeting moment (or in literature and music, one finite time-experience) for their own sake first; they make it “stand still” so they can experience and return at will to the burning center of their creation for rousing renewal. Then they pass their vision on to us for further contemplation of the beauty and values inherent in the work.

[...]

A landscape painting made of morning light arching into the colors of a rainbow that hovers over an apple-green orchard may guide our vision the next time we tarry in the countryside. A flower painting of scintillating colors and luscious textures can whet our senses to appreciate the fragility and translucent wonder of petals soft and fragrant, not to mention give us pause to consider the transience of all life, including our own. A depiction of a hero or heroine can encourage us to rise to our own best self. 

York did acknowledge that "A nude male or female sculpture can cause us to marvel at the inherent splendor of the human body — the temple of our soul," so apparently she's not a total prude.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:23 PM EDT

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