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Sunday, January 8, 2023
MRC Gets Mad That Non-Right-Wing Media Won't Parrot Pro-Musk Narratives
Topic: Media Research Center

After salivating over the first release from Elon Musk of internal "Twitter files," the Media Research Center eagerly anticipated the next installment of selective documents given to hand-picked reporters. Until then, an anonymous writer expressed glee in a Dec. 6 post attacking Twitter's now ex-lawyer for doing his job:

As a top lawyer for Twitter, Jim Baker had a duty to his client to put Twitter’s ethics above his own.

But he apparently failed.

Twitter had intended to publish its second batch of internal files on the company’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal last weekend but ultimately didn’t. That’s because former Twitter Deputy General Counsel Baker complicated their release, independent journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted Tuesday.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk fired Baker on Tuesday, Taibbi reported.

“I don’t see how Jim Baker could have represented his client and met his ethical obligation as a member of any state’s bar,” MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said. “His state bar association should immediately investigate this matter to determine whether Baker’s license should be suspended or even revoked. Michael Avenatti is in prison today for taking advantage of his clients. Jim Baker should not be allowed to escape justice.”

[...]

Though news that Baker had been reviewing the “Twitter files” shocked everyone involved, “reporters resumed searches through Twitter files material – a lot of it – today,” Taibbi tweeted. The next installment of the Twitter files will appear on journalist Bari Weiss’s Twitter page, Taibbi wrote. “Stay tuned.”

Reviewing internal documents before public release sounds exactly like the thing a company's lawyer ought to be doing -- most normal people would call that a requirement for someone in his position, not someone who had "failed" -- which means Musk fired Baker for doing his job. Rather than explain how corporate lawyering works, our anonymous writer went into conspiracy mode:

Baker was FBI general counsel from 2014-2018. A controversial figure, he helped initiate the bureau’s investigation of former President Donald Trump’s supposed ties with Russia, helping to link his friend and Democratic operative Michael Sussmann with FBI investigators, according to The Washington Times. Other accusations included the propagation of claims that Trump had a secret communication channel with Alfa Bank, based in Russia, according to National Review.

The anonymous writer filed to mention that Sussmann was acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing despite facing a biased right-wing prosecutor in John Durham and the MRC's own cheerleading for his conviction. Also, the anonymous writer describing Taibbi as a "independent journalist" obscures the fact that he was hand-picked by Musk to peddle these documents, as well as his sleazy, misogynistic behavior toward women while working as a correspondent in Moscow (h/t Jill Filipovic).

Meanwhile, Tim Graham spent his Dec. 7 column whining that non-right-wing media outlets weren't marching in lockstep with the right-wing pro-Musk narrative:

At 3:39 on Friday afternoon, Elon Musk announced he’d release internal documents exposing how Twitter went about heavily suppressing the New York Post and its mid-October 2020 scoops from Hunter Biden's laptop.

Journalist Matt Taibbi began tweeting out documents three hours later, and not surprisingly, there was no time for it on the evening news shows, including the PBS NewsHour – which airs in Washington at 7 pm.

They also skipped it on PBS's reporter roundtable Washington Week at 8 pm. No one started preparing anything in the afternoon? Maybe these shows were recorded before 6:30?

Alex Christy served up some whining too, this time at MSNBC host Chris Hayes for advancinbg the entirely logical and rational idea that Musk bought Twitter to advance an ideological agenda -- though he had to admit Hayes is probably right, then cover up that admission with whataboutism:

Nobody who works at MSNBC should be accusing Elon Musk of purchasing Twitter as a vehicle to advance his ideological agenda, but All In host Chris Hayes did just that on Tuesday’s edition of Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC.

Switching from sarcasm to seriousness, Hayes addressed Musk’s purchase of Twitter, “I mean, I'm not in the books, but I think pretty much-- sounds like pretty much -- no, it's been pretty disastrous. I mean, I -- I -- think the thing -- the thing that I actually have -- that has been clarifying for me, I think there was -- first of all, it felt a little bit like an impulse purchase.”

Hayes then added that there was more than an alleged midlife crisis at hand:

I think that what he's been doing with the platform now is actually very clarifying to me because it wasn't about the business and it wasn't an impulse purchase, it was an ideological purchase and as long as there have been rich people, and as long as there have been rich people and capitalism, plus a free press, there have been rich people who buy media outlets for ideological purposes. This is a story as old as time and once I sort of saw it as that, I was like, ‘Oh! That's what this is.’ He -- he wants to own Twitter because he wants to pursue his vision because he's the world's richest man.

Hayes isn’t entirely wrong. Musk does have an ideological commitment to free speech, but the type of ideologically driven media he is referencing is much more like MSNBC. Free speech means people, like Hayes and Meyers, are allowed to disagree with Musk, but good luck being a conservative and getting a show on MSNBC or a comedy show on NBC.

Then it was time for a Musk PR piece from Catherine Salgado:

“[E]verything we find will be released,” new Twitter owner Elon Musk assured Americans, after co-founder and former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, who oversaw the massive Hunter Biden laptop censorship scandal, called for the Twitter censorship files be made fully public. 

Dorsey responded on Dec. 7 to Musk’s Dec. 3 announcement, “Looks like we will need another day or so” to release “Twitter Files” Episode 2. Dorsey tweeted, “If the goal is transparency to build trust, why not just release everything without filter and let people judge for themselves? Including all discussions around current and future actions? Make everything public now. #TwitterFiles.”

Musk replied, “Most important data was hidden (from you too) and some may have been deleted, but everything we find will be released.” Musk previously said that promoting “free speech” was one of the reasons he bought Twitter.

Curtis Houck joined the whining over non-right-wing media ignoring the narrative:

Journalist Matt Taibbi published a 10-tweet thread Tuesday afternoon as a supplement to last Friday’s first batch of the Twitter Files, explaining its rollout was hamstrung by meddling from Twitter Deputy General Counsel, former CNN analyst, and Swamp creature Jim Baker. In conjunction with the thread, Musk said Baker was fired upon being alerted to the fact that Baker had (somehow) stuck around.

Of course, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC remained fully engaged in censorship denialism with zero mention on their flagship morning and evening shows of this new revelation about Twitter’s 2020 censorship of the reporting on Hunter Biden. On Taibbi's initial thread from December 2, the networks have similarly been out to lunch with only 26 seconds on the December 5 CBS Mornings.

In contrast, actual newscasts such as the Fox News Channel’s Special Report and NewsNation’s Early Morning and Morning in America had full stories Wednesday on this new twist.

In the right-wing media bubble that Houck lives in, you're only an "actual newscast" if you uncritically parrot right-wing narratives.

Graham attacked Hayes anew in his Dec. 9 column, this time for poiinting  out the rifght-0wing narrative being pushed by Musk (and the MRC):

Like almost everyone else in the leftist bubble, MSNBC host Chris Hayes has not been engaging in the “Twitter Files” revelations about how, in October 2020, Twitter squashed all references to the New York Post scoops about Hunter’s left-behind laptop. But on Twitter, he argued this is just another conservative schtick.

Hayes announced, “What’s become really clear in the last few weeks is that all the ‘Big Tech’ anger from the right is really just the latest iteration of the ‘liberal media’ critique that stretches back to Goldwater, and indeed New-Deal-Era right-wingers.”

He added: “There’s no new analysis or structural insight. It’s just ‘the media is run by libs!’ Story old as time.” Hayes allies tweeted along, that this is more “ref-working” and conservatives trying to “jerry-rig” Big Tech to their advantage.

The real bone to pick with Hayes is that there is no new “structural insight.” Hayes, who poses on television as a brainiac, can’t seem to distinguish between “news” media and social media. In “news” media, liberal outlets often brutalize conservatives and offer their targets little or no rebuttal. In social media, Big Tech has offered conservatives a forum for constant rebuttal, but after being torched by the Left for allowing “misinformation” (like the Hunter laptop), they ham-handedly squash the rebuttal.

In both cases, Hayes is attempting to deny that liberal bias exists, that the conservative tactic is a sham. It’s deeply silly, since anyone watching MSNBC for an hour isn’t going to discover an oasis of objectivity.

Meanwhile, Graham -- a longtime resident of the right-wing media bubble -- wants you to deny that Fox News and other right-wing outlets have any sort of bias. Remember, he's the boss of the guy who thinks only "actual newscasts" spout right-wing narratives.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2023 11:23 PM EST
CNS Less Hateful Toward Brittney Griner Than Its MRC Parent
Topic: CNSNews.com

Unlike its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com largely ignored the first several months of WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in a Russian prison on trump-up drugs charges; publishing only a few articles in that time, mostly in July and August:

There was another brief flurry ofGriner-centric articles in late October and early November:

At this point, CNS pretty much stayed clear of following its MRC parent's footsteps of cheering Griner's imprisonment because she's a black non-heterosexual who exercised her First Amendment rights of criticizing her country's flaws (which the MRC insists is "anti-American").

When Griner was released in early December, CNS finally got interested in the story. Susan Jones offered a relatively straight account of the release in a Dec. 8 article:

We'll keep negotiating in good faith for Paul's release," President Joe Biden said today, as he announced a prisoner swap -- a Russian arms dealer for a WNBA star -- that will bring Brittney Griner home to her wife, but leave American Paul Whelan in a Russian prison.

"This is a day we've worked toward for a long time," Biden said Thursday morning, announcing that with the help of the United Arab Emirates, Brittney is now on a flight to the United States.

"We never forgot about Britney, we've never forgotten about Paul Whelan who's been unjustly detained in Russia for years," Biden said.

"This was not a choice of which American to bring home. We brought home Trevor Reed when we had a chance, earlier this year. Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul's case differently than Brittney's, and even though we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul's release, we're not giving up. We will never give up.

Susan Jones went there later in the day, however, uncritically quoting Republican Rep. Michael Waltz disparaging Griner and championing Whelan:

So my heart breaks for the Whelan family. I think, you know, a lot of people are asking, and rightly so, so what was his crime -- not being a celebrity? Not checking enough boxes for Hollywood? The fact that we left a U.S. Marine behind and made this choice. And I don't buy the Biden administration and President Biden saying we didn't have a choice.

Jones made sure to hype that Waltz is "the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress"-- but she censored, as her MRC colleagues did, that Whelan is a criminal who was kicked out of the Marines on a bad-conduct discharge following a court martial for attempted larceny, false statements and dereliction of duty, among other things. In other words, he actually committed crimes that were much worse the Russia accused Griner of doing (having a couple vape cartridges of cannabis oil).

Arter followed with an article proving Waltz wrong, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre again pointing out that Russia did not the U.S. an opportunity to free Whelan.

Patrick Goodenough kicked CNS' Dec. 9 coverage with a pair of articles: The first hyped how Russian officials were praising Bout's release, while the second pondered what prisoners the U.S. might have to facilitate an exchange for Whelan. That was followed by an article by Jones sneering at Nancy Pelosi for noting that Griner is married to a woman while promoting the Respect for Marriage Act (which CNS absolutely hates):

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed Thursday to be a "glorious day here in the House."

"I mean, the joy, the pride, the euphoria that we feel today, having passed 'The Respect for Marriage Act,' a landmark decision, landmark law, changing the law for full equality," she effused. "Now the federal government will never stand in the way of anyone marrying the person you love."

Pelosi was among those noting the perfect timing of the bill's passage on Thursday -- the same day that lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner was heading home to her wife, after President Joe Biden struck a deal to free her in exchange for a notorious arms dealer known as "the merchant of death."

"How wonderful is it that on the same day that Brittney Griner is going to be free -- thank you, President Biden. Thank you to Secretary of State and other national security people, and to my -- our colleague Greg Stanton, who represents Arizona -- Phoenix, Arizona in the Congress.

"He has brought her here. We had met her when she was here playing and -- basketball, and now today she is free; free to go home to her wife on the same day that we passed the Marriage Protection Act. So we are -- Respect for Marriage, the Respect for Marriage Act!

"So we are just -- her freedom is a gift to the world, to all of us. Our gift to her is this legislation that her marriage is protected wherever she may -- she may live. Her wife Cherelle and she and their family will have a holiday season without worrying about whether their marriage is protected."

Arter followed that with concern trolling from another Republican congressman that the prisoner exchange "sends the wrong message to U.S. adversaries - that you can take an American citizen hostage to get leverage over the United States." A Dec. 9 column by Lee Kessler, meanwhile, labored to make Griner feel guilty for being freed (bolding in original):

This is my prayer for you, Ms. Griner. As an American, I am happy you are home, and reunited with your family. You are an American, and you have a right to be back in the United States of America. It is my understanding that Viktor Bout's family is equally joyous at his return.

What I want you to understand, though, is that Americans will die as a result of this exchange. You are now free to pursue your American Dream--the NBA, where you play basketball. Mr. Bout is now free to pursue his dream, which is to kill Americans.

[...]

Make no mistake, Americans will die in the future as a result of your freedom. You will not know their names, nor will I, for some time. But your experience in Russia must have established for you a new reality on the difference between true freedom--however flawed you view it--and true oppression. Mr. Bout will ensure, directly or indirectly, that Americans die.

So, please, honor them now in advance. Men and women--and possibly children--will pay the price for your freedom. Their families will never be "reunited" because their loved one will have perished. The government of the United States has decided to spare you, in exchange for the future death of American citizens.

It is my prayer that you be grateful for the sacrifice the countrymen you have disparaged will make in the near future for you. And that you will show the same grace and compassion for them and their beliefs as they, fellow Americans, have shown to you today.

Kessler did not identify any American Griner has "disparaged," or what those purportedly disparaging words supposedly were.

CNS' focus turned away from Griner over the next few days:

Then it was Griner-bashing time again in a Dec. 13 column by technically-not-a-convicted-felon Olver North (who normally writes at WorldNetDaily):

We learned Thursday Women's National Basketball Association player Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison after being arrested 10 months ago on drug charges. It's become almost irrelevant the "reasons" totalitarian regimes use to lock up Americans. What is relevant here is the "negotiated exchange" resulting in her release and return.

A black, LGBTQ+ celebrity was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor "The Merchant of Death" Bout. It's interesting to note, Griner first made news by kneeling through the playing of our national anthem during WNBA games to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter -- a self-professed Marxist organization. Meanwhile, Bout was in a U.S. federal prison for selling arms to groups wanting the weapons to kill Americans. Now, Griner and Bout can return, respectively, to hating America and killing Americans.

North did not explain how Griner taking a stand against racial injustice equals "hating America."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2023 11:34 PM EST
Saturday, January 7, 2023
MRC's Graham Continues To Whine That His Fellow Right-Wingers Are Being Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham's dubious war on fact-checkers continued as part of the MRC's biased coverage of the midterm elections -- mainly in the form of complaining that Republican candidates were being fact-checked. He grumbled in a Sept. 18 post:

Keep an eye on how PolitiFact uses its "Truth-O-Meter" in the congressional races this fall. It's going to be obvious that they'll "finesse" their so-called "independent fact-checking" in favor of the Democrats, as they typically do.

Take the Ohio Senate race: this is how Democrat [sic] congressman Tim Ryan has been rated over the years: 12 "True" or "Mostly True" ratings, two "Half Trues," and one "Pants On Fire" rating back in 2011. That's basically a 12-to-1 True tilt.

By contrast, PolitiFact has five evaluations of Republican J.D. Vance: one "Mostly True," versus one "Mostly False," two "Falses," one "Pants on Fire." That's a 4-to-1 False tilt. And the Mostly True is from 2018. It's all False this year.

As usual, Graham offered no evidence (other than picayune nitpicking) that any of the fact-checks were false, or that Ryan and Vancetell falseoods and the same rate in a way that warrants equivalent coverage. 

Graham complained some more in a Sept. 28 post, this time that right-wing attacks on President Biden were being fact-checked:

This week, the Poynter Institute and their PolitiFact website are hosting their "United Facts of America" conference to "celebrate facts" with a cast of liberal journalists, including PBS anchor Judy Woodruff, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans, CNN "misinformation" reporter Donie O'Sullivan and CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic.

We've also found the "fact checking" at PolitiFact has a liberal tilt. Earlier this year, a NewsBusters study of Biden’s first year in office – from January 20, 2021 through January 19, 2022 – found Biden was fact-checked 40 times, while Biden critics were checked on 230 occasions. In other words, they’re much more sensitive about someone mangling the truth about Biden than they are about Biden mangling the truth. 

Now MRC analysts have updated the research to include another eight months to the count. The pattern continues. From January 20 to September 19, 2022, we counted 18 PolitiFact checks on Joe Biden, compared to 108 “fact checks” of Biden critics. That's exactly a six-to-one ratio.

Put it all together, and over his first 20 months in office, Biden had 58 fact-checks, while Biden critics were checked 338 times. Overall, there were 5.8 fact checks of Biden critics for every one of the president.

Why shouldn't false claims about Biden be fact-checked, as Graham suggests? He doesn't explain -- even though that's the clear implication of his complaint.

Graham spent a Nov. 28 post complaining that fact-checkers keep finding that Republican Herschel Walker -- whom the MRC has repeatedly defended throughout his failed Georgia Senate camapaign -- says things that aren't true:

On a daily or on a yearly basis, it’s not hard to find those "independent" critics at PolitiFact telling the public that Democrats are factual and Republicans are liars.

Take the Georgia Senate race: Sen. Raphael Warnock’s ratings in 2022 are three “Mostly True” checks and one “Half True.” Not a single rating in the False category:

[...]

Then look at Warnock’s challenger, Herschel Walker, and you get the exact opposite. In 2022, Walker drew two "False" ratings, two "Mostly False" ratings, and one "Half True." There was no rating on the "True" side.

Rather than, you know, find a false statement by Warnock that PolitiFact missed, Graham instead spouted his cynical talking point that fact-checking Republicans too much is evidence of bias:

Graham then gave away the game:

As we often point out, these "Fact Checkers" don't have to be wrong about the facts to be biased. It's obvious in their "target selection" that they're helping out the Democrats, defending their records and blatantly attacking Republican talking points. PolitiFact is often Exhibit A. 

But that's a classic, dishonest heads-I-win-tails-you-lose argument. if Walker lies much more than Warnock, as appears to be the case -- and which Graham makes no effort to disprove -- there's no reason to enforce artificial parity on fact-checking.

Graham doesn't want Repubicans to be held accountable for making false and misleading claims -- period. To do that, he must try to discredit fact-checkers. He hates journalism and accountability, and all who stand for that must be targeted by his MRC through the sowing of microaggressions designed to engender mistrust and portray the mere act of fact-checking a Republican is insidious "bias." That's all he's doing here -- he's certainly not acting in good faith.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2023 11:35 PM EST
WND's Farah Blames Everyone But Herschel Walker For Walker's Election Loss
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah was quick to dismiss the normal, reality-based reasons Herschel Walker lost both the Georgia Senate election and the runoff in his Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column:

It broke my heart that Herschel Walker was "defeated" by Raphael Warnock in the Georgia Senate race.

Everybody's got excuses for it.

Here are just a couple of the most infuriating ones:

  • "He was not the best candidate," we're hearing now. This is absurd, insulting, it's merely Monday-morning quarterbacking. It's blaming the man who stepped up to the line and DID run. And he proved himself worthy. He's a national hero for giving it all he had and leaving it all on the field of play.
  • "He was not the most articulate candidate," some say. He ran twice and came razor close in both. Nonsense! He was genuine. He performed admirably. He was a SOLID candidate.

It's just not fair to Herschel.

What apparently is fair to Herschel, apparently, is for Farah to blame others and invent conspiracy theories:

Perhaps, we should examine who were the consultants for the Republicans – the "experts" who managed the race and who micromanaged it.

[...]

Now let me tell the three problems Herschel faced in this second race.

He was outspent – at least three to one that we know about, probably more. Why did Raphael Warnock have at least $100 million to spend on a short campaign? Do we think that had a deleterious affect on the race? What were the Democrats doing with that kind of money – again? Giving it away? Was it worth the money? Absolutely. Does money talk in politics? Yes, it screams.

And what was the media doing? They were trashing Herschel at every turn. Just examine the coverage. It was appalling.

Shameful. Pathetic. And the Associated Press was there to make the call on the race. Even Fox News gave Warnock a big push on the last day of the campaign, as if he needed it.

And last but not least, as I've been telling you – till I'm blue in the face for at least five years now – we aren't living in a free society, with a free press, with free speech anymore. Big Tech is having its way with us. Twitter, under Elon Musk, has blown the doors open on that. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and the rest of the pirates have stolen all away from us! It's obvious now.

Farah didn't mention that voters may have been turned off by Walker's history of domestic violence and the fact that he paid for two abortions for girlfriends (that we know of), or why he's giving a pass to such sordid, immoral behavior. Nope, there was nothing wrong with this candidate at all:

Herschel didn't lose anything. This was an election that was stolen by a one-party system, defying expectations and bringing about our worst nightmares. That's what we have to wrap our minds around.

Don't blame Hershel Walker!

He did the best he could. He exceeded expectation!

It's going to take us years to fix this rigging.

Then it was another version of the same old discredited election-denier conspiracies:

If it can happen to Kari Lake and Blake Masters and Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem and Adam Laxalt and Dr. Mehmet Oz, to name a few, from the election of 2022, it can happen to all of us. The money class, the fake news media and Big Tech, with the help of the FBI and the Deep State, have us doubting ourselves.

There has never been a candidate as qualified, better equipped, as able as Kari Lake. Did she "lose"? Would you accuse her of that? Did Donald Trump "lose" to Joe Biden in 2020? Come on, man!

Elections are being stolen left and right. It's happening all over the world. Just look at Brazil.

Communists like Raphael Warnock are the model for our new future. You had better be prepared.

Yes, Farah has ranted about Kari Lake and Brazil already.

Farah unironically concluded: "Life's about to get more challenging for us. Stop blaming others. See the patterns that are so obvious. Buckle up. We're in for a very rough ride." Says the guy who blames everyone but himself for the precarious financial state of WND and can't see the obvious patterns of WND's conspiracy-fueled editorial agenda being a prime contributor to that impending demise.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 7, 2023 12:43 AM EST
Friday, January 6, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Year-End Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center continued its recent pattern of increasingly sporadic attacks on White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (running out of insults, perhaps?) into December. Houck's writeup of the Dec. 5 briefing was centered on the first "Twitter files" release that the MRC had been aggressively hyping:

Over the course of Monday’s 48-minute-long White House press briefing, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich was the only member of the press corps called on who asked the ever-stammering Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about Friday’s release of the Twitter Files by Twitter boss Elon Musk and journalist Matt Taibbi. Whether it be reporters for the Associated Press, CBS, or USA Today to name a few, they all remained silent.

Not surprisingly, Jean-Pierre dismissed the matter as a “distraction...full of old news” as Twitter’s facing “very serious questions about the rising volume of anger, hate, and anti-Semitism” that “they're letting...happen” (which Musk has vehemently denied).

Heinrich broached the subject by first highlighting the fact that Jean-Pierre said last week that the Biden administration would be “keeping a close eye on” Musk and then asking: “Is it the White House’s view that decisions at Twitter were made appropriately in terms of decisions to censor reporting ahead of the election?”

Jean-Pierre feigned outrage and ignored her question, lamenting she “mischaracterize[d], actually, what I — what I actually said took it out of context” when what she meant was “we follow also what's going on just like you guys are reporting and just like you guys are seeing and what I was commenting to is, like, yes, we're — we’re seeing what’s happening with Twitter.”

[...]

Jean-Pierre then leveled the false claims about Musk and illustrated how the administration is indeed dead set on surveilling Musk:

And at the same time, Twitter is facing very real and very serious questions about the rising volume of anger, hate, and anti-Semitism on their platform and how they're letting it happen. And you know, the President said last week more leaders need to speak out and reject this and it's a very alarming and very dangerous.

Instead, she argued, Biden is focused on “helping...American families” and job creation since talking about censorship is (allegedly)  “won't do anything to help a single American improve their lives.”

Actually, Musk "vehemently denying" the claim that hate and anti-Semitism have increased on Twitter since he took over is not the same thing as that claim being false (it isn't).

Houck returned to his old, malicious incompetent-diversity-hire narrative in his writeup of the Dec. 19 briefing, complaining thatJean-Pierre was dodging biased questions from right-wing reporters:

Shortly before Chief Justice John Roberts stepped into temporarily thwart the end of Title 42, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fumbled her way Monday afternoon through the latest briefing with basic questions from reporters about the administration’s plans to (allegedly) deal with their ongoing crisis they’ve exacerbated.

The ladies representing Fox News brought the heat, however, with Jacqui Heinrich drawing her ire on the border and Hillary Vaughn having Jean-Pierre dodge a question about the truly bombshell findings of Twitter Files part seven.

Amid all the border questions, Vaughn’s Twitter files question was whether the administration is concerned the intelligence community squashed “a legitimate news story”:

VAUGHN: The latest Twitter Files show that the intelligence community was actively involved in discrediting the Hunter Biden laptop story. Does it bother the President & those at the White House that a govt agency like the FBI was involved in suppressing a legitimate news story?

JEAN-PIERRE: Again, I'm just going to refer you to the FBI. I'm not going to comment from here about that.

[...]

A few moments after Jean-Pierre swatted down a reporter’s queries about whether Biden would visit the border, Heinrich started with a simple request for reaction to “El Paso’s Democratic mayor...declar[ing] a state of emergency” because “he felt he could no longer keep his community or the asylum seekers safe.”

Jean-Pierre insisted that “Biden has taken steps to reduce disorderly migration while expanding legal pathways for orderly migration” since being inaugurated, but Heinrich wasn’t having it and noted border facilities are well beyond capacity with one being stretched by a factor of four.

Houck finished out the year with a wrap-up item of his favorite Karine-bashing and fluffing of various Fox News reporters pushing their biased narratives over the past 12 months:

Inside the White House Briefing Room, 2022 began with more mountain-sized word salads and dodges from Jen Psaki before shifting in May to former MoveOn.org spokeswoman and former MSNBC contributor Karine Jean-Pierre, who made waves for her stunning ineptitude and using her binder as a life raft.

Dozens of NewsBusters blogs were dedicated to the topic, so it was a challenge to narrow down to 12-ish examples, but we did our best to sift through the many Doocy Times and Jacqui Times and moments from other reporters across the spectrum.

Houck's beloved Trump press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, also heavily relied on a briefing binder, but he would never dare to suggest she used it as a "life raft."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:14 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 7, 2023 10:15 PM EST
CNS Still Trying To Make Mayra Flores Happen
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com fell in partisan love with Republican Mayra Flores, who briefly filled a vacant House seat in Taxas and was promoted as part of a new wave of Hispanic conservatives. She lost the general election race for her seat in November -- something CNS still hasn't told its readers -- but it's still hyping Flores even as a lame duck. Melanie Arter wrote in a Dec. 7 article:

Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference on the Border Patrol suicide rates on Wednesday that Border Patrol agents feel abandoned by the Biden administration.

“I’m a wife of a Border Patrol agent, and it is an honor standing here today on behalf of all those who can't speak out for themselves - our heroes, our Border Patrol agents. Abandoned. Those are the exact words so many Border Patrol agents have talked to me about. They feel abandoned by this administration, abandoned. This shouldn't be political. This shouldn't be about Republican or Democrat,” said Flores.

Flores’ was speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference on the Border Patrol suicide rates. As of Dec. 4, 14 Border Patrol agents have committed suicide since January, which is more than any year in over a decade, CBP confirmed to The New York Post.

Arter didn't tell her readers that Flores lost her race and would be out of Congress by the end of the month, making her words somewhat meaningless.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EST
WND Unsurprisingly Embraces Kari Lake's Election Denierism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As failed Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake became the new face of election deniers after the midterm elections, WorldNetDaily -- which was already hyping claims of purported election fraud -- unsurprisingly bought into her narrative. Bob Unruh uncritically repeated her claims in a Nov. 22 article:

That there are illegal shenanigans in American elections cannot be seriously disputed. And there are allegations that this year's performance in Arizona surpassed what American voters already have put up with.

Commentator Katie Pavlich at Townhall, for example, pointed out that Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich "is demanding answers from Maricopa County election officials after a number of voters were unable to cast their ballots on election day."

Pointedly, she noted 25% of the vote tabulation machines in the state's most populous county were not working on election day, "causing widespread voter disenfranchisement."

She reported that Brnovich told Maricopa County elections chief Thomas Liddy, "The Elections Integrity Unit ('Unit') of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office ('AGO') has received hundreds of complaints since Election Day pertaining to issues related to the administration of the 2022 General Election in Maricopa County. These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law. Furthermore, statements made by both Chairman Gates and Recorder Richer, along with information Maricopa County released through official modes of communication appear to confirm potential statutory violations of title 16."

Now Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for governor, who purportedly lost that race by a tiny number of ballots, is promising that she will keep up her fight for election integrity.

In an online statement, she explained the problems included, "Printer problems, tabulation errors, 3-hour lines or longer, and confusing instructions given by election officials made this election day the most chaotic in Arizona's history."

She cited the half of voting centers that were "not operational or had significant failures."

"Would you get on a plane if HALF of the engines didn't work? Would our friends in the media be able to broadcast their nightly propaganda if HALF of their studio equipment was not working?"

Calling the election "botched and broken beyond repair," she said her fight is for "our sacred right to vote, a right that many voters were, sadly, deprived of on November 8th."

As we've previously noted, neither those printer issues or the tabulator issues did not prevent anyone from casting their ballots. This was followed by an anonymously written "urgent dispatch" later that day:

There's clear evidence that Maricopa County has suppressed votes in violation of Arizona law and of the federal Help America Vote Act, and the only solution is to hold another election under the supervision of a court, contends longtime Republican activist and publisher Floyd Brown in a Twitter dispatch from Phoenix.

"The elections in Maricopa have not been certified," he wrote. "and I have received dozens of calls asking me, 'Does Kari Lake still have a path to victory?' I also have been asked, 'What can I do to help?'"

Answering the questions, Brown, publisher of the Western Journal, said the vote count in Maricopa County in 2022 is "irredeemably flawed."

"Thousands of voters that showed up to vote were turned away. Other voters were given instructions by officials which contradicted policy, and resulted in ballots being cast, but not counted," he said.

In fact, Maricopa County election officials said no voter with a valid ID was turned away from the polls. (Also, you might recall that the Brown's Western Journal began life as the Western Journalism Center, founded by future WND editor Joseph Farah.)

The next original WND story on Lake was a Dec. 12 article by Aert Moore pushing more dubious fraud charges:

In her lawsuit contesting the official results of the Nov. 8 election, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake cites a cyber expert who concludes the extraordinary malfunction of voting machines on Election Day could not have occurred without "intentional misconduct."

"This didn't just happen, and we all knew that," Lake said in an interview Monday with Steve Bannon on "War Room."

The cyber expert, Clay Parikh, worked for the company that Maricopa County uses to test its voting equipment, Runbeck.

In addition, Lake said, Maricopa County "loosened up every procedure and every safety that we have to make sure that the mail-in ballots were only the [valid ones] were being counted."

That was followed two days later by a column from Farah begging readers to pray for the success of Lake's challenges:

The eyes of all Americans are riveted, or should be, on Arizona and the lawsuit filed this week by GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

The election was a fiasco, the result of intentional misconduct, fraud.

How many illegal votes did it involve? They far exceeded 17,117, according to Lake in the suit.

[...]

Testimony by whistleblowers and witnesses with firsthand knowledge shows that Maricopa County officials violated chain-of-custody laws for hundreds of thousands of mail-in votes.

The Lake suit also claims that Maricopa officials permitted the counting of tens of thousands of mail-in and drop-box ballots that did not satisfy signature verification requirements.

On and on it goes in great detail.

[...]

So, what can you and I do as the lawsuit progresses? Pray!

Moore uncritically rehashed Lake's claim while touting the upcoming trial over them in a Dec. 20 article:

"Christmas came early yesterday," declared Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake to an enthusiastically supportive gathering in Phoenix on Tuesday.

She was referring to a judge's ruling Monday that her legal challenge to Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs election victory will be heard by a jury.

"We are going to trial," she told the audience at America Fest 2022, hosted by Turning Point USA.

"This is so historic, and you know what, I couldn’t have done it without you," said Lake.

"Katie Hobbs is going to have to put her hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth."

Hobbs, as the current Arizona secretary of state, oversaw the election, which she won by 17,000 votes, according to the certified tally. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer also will be required to testify.

But neither Moore nor anyone else at WND covered the trial itself or its outcome -- probably because she lost. One feature of the trial was that the "cyber expert" whom Lake had previously touted, Clay Parikh, turned testy when pushed to admit facts and also had to disclose that his current meal ticket is MyPillow guy Mike Lindell. WND published only a few paragraphs of a Fox News story on the charges being dismissed.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Childish War On CNN
Topic: Media Research Center
Juvenile insults? Gloating over the failures of CNN+? Gleefully cheering for layoffs and creating scandals that don't exist? This lame CNN-bashing is what passes for "media research" these days. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 AM EST
Thursday, January 5, 2023
MRC Parroted False Attack On Children's Hospital Over Gender-Affirming Surgery
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its war on transgender people, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg ragedin a Aug. 12 post, taking her cues from a tweet by the LGBTQ-hating Libs of TikTok:

When reading daily headlines, I often find myself thinking that I dreamt what they say due to the extreme level of radical lunacy … Friday was one of those days. 

Boston Children’s Hospital recently boasted about its new procedures for kids. It plans to offer hysterectomies as part of its “gender-affirming" treatment in order to help children remove organs that they don’t want.

No, this is not part of a dystopian fictional narrative. This is August, 2022 where even the craziest of stories and situations are coming to fruition.

Just one problem: It's not true. (But the internet is forever.) Mandelburg was later forced to update her post, as an editor's note pointed out:

PolitiFact fact-checked the Libs of TikTok tweet and clarified that Boston Children's does not perform hysterectomies on minors. Nonetheless, these are surgeries that take place at Boston Children's Hospital, a pediatric medical facility.

As part of the correction, Mandelburg changed "children" to " patients" but also added a sneer: "Boston Children's has not explicitly stated that it won't extend the procedure to younger patients in the future, not to mention, 18 is still too young for sterilization if you ask me." But nobody asked her, given that she's not a medical professional or is capable of expressing anything but hate and contempt for transgender people. The rest of Mandelburg's post was largely intact -- including the false Libs of TikTok tweet that remains embedded -- including her concluding rant:

Boston Children's has the potential to help and save so many lives but this “gender-affirming care” is a regression of those possibilities. This will only hurt patients in the long run and the media needs to expose the group for its lunacy in order to combat these vile, malicious, and destructive practices. 

As right-wingers get called out for spreading this false information -- and as that misinformation resulted in threats against the hospital  and its staff, to the point that the hospital sought help from law enforcement, even as Libs of TikTok continued to spread misinformation -- Alex Christy tried to parse things to justify the false attack in an Aug. 18 post:

On Wednesday’s installment of New Day on CNN, host Brianna Keilar and correspondent Alexandra Field alleged that it is “misinformation” and “demonstrably false” to say that Boston Children’s Hospital provides genital surgeries for minors. Unfortunately, reality is more complicated.

Keilar kicked off the segment by reporting that “Boston Children's Hospital says its doctors and staff have been facing violent threats after right-wing groups spread online misinformation and conspiracy theories like this one on TikTok about their facility providing care for transgender children.”

Obviously threats are not acceptable, but the purpose of this segment was to shut up BCH’s critics and Field wasted no time attempting to do just that, “Look, the claims being made online are demonstrably false, unequivocally.”

She further reported that, “But the hospital has now put out a statement saying it’s taking all possible measures to protect members of the community, and it is saying in no uncertain terms it condemns the attacks and misinformation that is being spread. It also goes on to say in very clear terms, ‘Boston Children's does not perform genital surgeries as part of gender affirming care on a patient under the age of 18.’” 

It is true that if you go to BCH’s website it says in bolded text that “To qualify for vaginoplasty at Boston Children's Hospital, you must be at least 18 years old and meet certain,” but on August 7, before the video went viral, the same website said in unbolded text that the age was 17.

Either the original website was wrong and nobody noticed until they got embarrassed on Twitter or BCH is lying. Either way, it is dishonest to say critics are spreading conspiracy theories that are “demonstrably false.” 

Christy censored the fact that his co-worker Mandelburg had her post on the subject corrected for repeating false information.

(Christy's post originally carred the headline "CNN Fact Check Peddles False Claims About Hysterectomies For Minors," but since he didn't actually identify any false claims CNN made, the headline was later changed without disclosure or explanation to "CNN Screams 'Misinformation' to Defend Woke Boston Children's Hospital.")

When the Washington Post reported that anti-trans attacks by Libs of TikTok are resulting in threats against hospitals, a Sept. 5 post by Clay Waters attacked not Libs of TikTok but, rather, rPost eporter Taylor Lorenz, who the MRC has previously bashed for following a trail of public information to identify Chaya Raichik as the homophobic woman behind the Libs of TikTok account:

Inflammatory, self-pitying Washington Post online media reporter Taylor Lorenz, who claims to fight (conservative) misinformation online, pushed her own line of intimidation and misinformation against one of her conservative targets, posted Friday: “Twitter account Libs of TikTok blamed for harassment of children’s hospitals -- Employees are warning colleagues to take action against the anti-LGBTQ account, saying it’s ‘only a matter of time’ before its posts lead to violence.”

So what awful deeds does the Libs of TikTok account actually commit? It reposts unedited videos previously posted by lefties (often of the gender-radical variety) on social media channels, sometimes with brief commentary. Liberals who don’t like their own idiocies exposed to the wider public react hysterically.

Lorenz had previously doxxed the woman behind the account, revealing her name and address in the Post.

Undaunted, Libs of TikTok is now publicizing video clips produced by hospitals, including Boston Children’s Hospital, promoting “gender-affirming” hysterectomies -- surgeries for the removal of sexual organs -- for young people, though whether the hospital offered the surgeries to actual minors has not been confirmed.

That triggered Lorenz to try and do (along with co-authors Elizabeth Dwoskin and Peter Jamison) what she loves most: Try and drive Libs of TikTok off the internet.

Waters didn't explain why an account that incites threats of violence should not be policed, or why it "inflammatory" for Lorenz to research the woman behind that incitement.

This was followed by a Sept. 13 attack on Lorenz by Nicholas Fondacaro, claiming that she was "threatening to run a story falsely claiming the account “helped to foster violence,” generate “death threats,” and “intend[ed] to continue to target hospitals” with bomb threats. All of which are untrue and not supported with evidence." Fondacaro offered no evidence this was the case -- even though it's indisputably true that the threats against the hospitals came after Libs of TikTok targeted them.

Funny how quickly the MRC moved from "threats are bad" to "you can't directly blame us so it didn't happen."

Meanwhile, despite having been burned by Raichik -- Mandelburg was eager to spread more hate from Libs of TikTok against another children's hospital in a Sept. 19 post:

If you’d like to suppress the normal functions of your child's body or medically delay natural gender differentiations, head on over to Ohio. 

Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio reportedly opened a “Gender Affirming Center” to shift the focus from actual children’s health to progressive child abuse, Libs of TikTok pointed out.

“Our goals are to help gender-diverse youth feel comfortable exploring their gender identity and improve their overall health,” the webpage, which has since been removed, said.

[...]

What’s sad is that Akron Children’s isn’t alone in its progressive madness. Even though kids can’t get a tattoo as they’re “permanent,” kids are not only able to, but encouraged to take life changing medicine to affirm an identity that is false. 

This is the terrifying reality of our 21st century society.

Actually, what's sad is that haters like Mandelburg has a platform to spread and amplify that hate. Again, the predictable consequences happened: The hospital received threats, and a woman was arrested for calling in a fake bomb threat. We assume Mandelburg approves.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2023 9:43 PM EST
WND Puts Conspiracy Before Fact To Hype Quickly Dismissed Election Fraud Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Nov. 22 WorldNetDaily article uncritically advances conspiracy theories about the midterm election in a Pennsylvania county:

Ballot counting machines that won't count ballots. Hundreds of millions of dollars handed out, outside the election financing oversight system, to mostly left-leaning local election officials.

A coordinated media and Big Tech suppression of very damaging evidence about a candidate for president of the United States.

American elections in recent years have seen a wide range of behaviors that give the appearance of bias, and may have been illegal.

But now a report at Gateway Pundit details something entirely new.

In fact, Pennsylvania election observers have filed a complaint against the Delaware County Board of Elections because county officials "took a detour on election night with the county's ballots and v-drives into a closed building."

"For six hours."

Poll watchers were banned.

Also raising concerns were the county's action to delete 194 vote registrations after people voted, ballots were mailed to unverified voters, records of requests for nearly 2,800 mail-in ballots were erased, and more.

At Bill Lawrence Online a report explained there was a nine-hour hearing before Judge Barry Dozor on election abnormalities, and a ruling was expected soon.

Voters Leah Hoopes, Gregory Stenstrom and Nicole Missino had asked that certification of the county's 2022 midterm votes be delayed until evidence about voting irregularities can be reviewed.

Note that the article doesn't actually repoirt on the hearing, just uncritically repeats the allegations -- a serious journalistic failure. Meanwhile, actual journalists covered the hearing -- and showed how shoddy the evidence was.

As one outlet reported, two of the so-called expert witnesses could not offer expert testimony, and that Dozor himself "said he had not heard any testimony to even suspect fraud or bad actors during hours of testimony." Indeed, Dozor quickly dismissed the claims as election officials such as Jim Allen explained everything, including the "detour":

Julie Yu, testifying for the plaintiffs, said she witnessed ballots taken from drop boxes on election going to the Flagship Corporate Center at 2 W. Baltimore Ave. in Media rather than the Government Center on Front Street or the Wharf building in Chester where votes were tabulated.

Allen explained that in years past, teams would go out at 8 p.m. to lock drop boxes and the county would collect those ballots later that night using a few trucks that would each go to 10 or 15 of the 40 boxes scattered around the county. Those trucks might not arrive back to the wharf until 2 or 3 a.m., he said.

But a new law, Act 88, provided grants to counties to help cover elections with some provisos, including that there had to be a “best estimate” of returns posted at 12:01 a.m. the day after the election and a running continuous count of mail-in ballots beginning at 7 a.m.

To meet those requirements, Allen said the county sent out teams of two, at least one which had to be a county employee, to collect ballots from drop-boxes and bring them to a central location: the Flagship Building. The drop-box ballots would then be collected and transported in one fell swoop to the wharf so that they could be tabulated to meet the “best estimate” requirement, he said, while all other ballots from the polling places would be returned to the Government Center.

Allen likewise dismissed the idea that any partisan third party handled any ballots whatsoever. He said there were groups of observers who could see votes being counted and ask questions, but none were allowed to touch equipment or balloting materials at any time.

But perpetuating conspiracy theories is more important at WND than reporting inconvenient facts, which means WND, anonymously or otherwise, never told its readers the conspiratorial claims were dismissed.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:17 PM EST
MRC Takes Break From Bashing Griner To Defend Trump Prisoner Swap With Taliban
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Resarch Center's attacks on Brittney Griner for failing to be white, heterosexual and a right-wing bot -- and, thus, unworthy of being traded in a prisoner swap from her trumped-up jail sentence in Russia -- took a little detour when the subject of a Donald Trump prisoner exchange was brought up.

Nicholas Fondacaro began a Dec. 12 post still whining that Griner was freed and criminal ex-Marine Paul Whelan was not, complaining that "The View" co-host and "faux Republican Ana Navarro" said that "Fox News anchors Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity were such good buddies with dictator Vladimir Putin they could just fly into Russia and free Paul Whelan, the Marine still imprisoned on trumped-up espionage charges" and added that they "have very good relationships with Putin. Tucker Carlson's a celebrity in Russia." Fondacaro didn't dispute the accuracy of Navarro's statement; instead, he huffed:

The show was kicked off with disinformation as Goldberg began by claiming the Trump administration had released 5,000 Taliban fighters in exchange “for no one” in return. But according to The Washington Post, the deal entailed “The United States would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners; the Taliban would release 1,000 of its prisoners” (A.K.A. our Afghan allies).

Fondacaro did not comment on the highly unbalance nature of that transaction -- at least Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was a one-to-one swap.

The next day, Tim Graham similarly complained that the highly imbalanced 5-for-1 swap was portrayed as "nothing" -- to the point that he was forced to cite hated fact0checker Snopes to back him up:

On Monday, the “independent fact-checkers” at Snopes.com explored “Did the Trump Admin Agree to Free 5,000 Taliban Prisoners?” They ruled this was "True." But they were not evaluating MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough, who repeatedly made the false statement on Friday and Monday that Trump received “nothing in exchange.”

[...]

In addition, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at that time called the agreement "an important initial step toward advancing security and stability in Afghanistan," adding that, "many significant additional steps remain to achieve comprehensive and enduring peace."

Snopes cited a Congressional Research Service report that said, "The prisoner exchange was completed in early September 2020, removing the main obstacle to intra-Afghan talks. Talks between the two sides continue but have not made substantial progress and remain complicated by a number of factors." Somehow, Liles thought there was a loophole in there. Despite the clear phrasing "the prisoner exchange was completed," he suggested "This indicated that the Taliban prisoners were released without both sides agreeing to terms."

But don't let the concept of a completed "prisoner exchange" disturb Scarborough! He was on a roll. In reacting to criticism of the Griner swap, we counted ten separate denunciations of Trump letting Taliban terrorists go for nothing on Friday and Monday:

Like Fondacaro, Graham is not about to admit that a 5-for-1 swap could be described as effectively "nothing," let alone defend the imblanced transaction in the face of the one-for-one Griner-Bout swap.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 PM EST
What Other Stories Are CNS Censoring From Its Readers?
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've already noted how CNSNews.com effectively censored the news of Herschel Walker's multiple abortion scandals -- but what other legitimate news has the Media Research Center's "news" division hidden from its readers? Let's look at a couple of recent examples.

Trump controversies

When Donald Trump had dinner with anti-Semites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes in late November, CNS didn't want its readers to know about it, refusing to devote space to an undeniably newsworthy story.Melanie Arter even played a bit of misdirection in a Dec. 2 article:

President Biden seemed to call out rapper Kanye West on Friday, saying that “The Holocaust happened” and “Hitler was a demonic figure.”

“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity,” he tweeted. His comments come a day after West, during an interview with “Infowars” radio show host Alex Jones, praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, saying, “The Jewish media has made us feel like the Nazis and Hitler have never offered anything of value to the world.

His comments come a day after West, during an interview with “Infowars” radio show host Alex Jones, praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, saying, “The Jewish media has made us feel like the Nazis and Hitler have never offered anything of value to the world.

Arter was silent on the fact that Trump had dined with West a few days earlier.And the only reference to Fuentes at CNS appears in columns by now-retired columnist Michelle Malkin, who has laughably whitewashed the white supremacist and anti-Semite as a "multimedia entrepreneur" who is merely engaging in "peaceful political advocacy."

A couple days later, when Trump ranted on his social media site that the Constitution should be suspended so he can be returned to office, CNS served up only a Dec. 5 reaction piece by Arter noting that "Congressman-Elect Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) told CNN’s 'State of the Union' on Sunday that he disagrees with former President Donald Trump who advocated terminating the Constitution in the case of 'massive' election fraud." There was also an oblique reference to it in the attached transcript in a Dec. 8 article by Susan Jones, who otherwise didn't highlight Trump's remarks, choosing instead to promote yet another Mark Levin rant.

The final Jan. 6 committee report

CNS spent much of the year attacking the House committee looking into the Trump-incited Capitol riot -- and, unsurprisingly, it censored nearly all mention of the committee's findings when it held a final hearing. Instead, it devoted two articles to attacking the the committee's criminal referrals and ignoring the rest. First up with a Dec. 20 article eby Craig Bannister:

Alan Dershowitz says Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who announced the House January 6 Subcommittee’s criminal referrals on Monday, knows they’re unconstitutional – because he studied under the iconic, liberal constitutional scholar and professor emeritus at Harvard Law.

In an interview on Monday night’s “Hannity,” Prof. Dershowitz was asked by Fox News’ Pete Hegseth if the committee's members knew their actions were unconstitutional.

Alan Dershowitz says Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who announced the House January 6 Subcommittee’s criminal referrals on Monday, knows they’re unconstitutional – because he studied under the iconic, liberal constitutional scholar and professor emeritus at Harvard Law.

In an interview on Monday night’s “Hannity,” Prof. Dershowitz was asked by Fox News’ Pete Hegseth if the committee's members knew their actions were unconstitutional.

Bannister followed up later that day with another attack:

When Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January, they should investigate the “malfeasance” of the Democrat-led January 6 Subcommittee, which edited out exculpatory information and cleverly edited in “incriminating” information, Fox News Legal Analyst Gregg Jarrett says.

After the committee announced criminal referrals to the Justice Department on Monday, calling on it to investigate former President Donald Trump, Jarrett appeared on Fox News with Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz to denounce the committee and its referrals.

Jarrett said that he agrees with Dershowitz that the Justice Department will simply throw the referrals into “the circular file”:

[...]

Jarrett said that he agrees with Dershowitz that the Justice Department will simply throw the referrals into “the circular file”:

Bannister refused to any committee member or spokesperson an opporturnity to respond to either Dershowitz or Jarrett. And CNS has completely censored any mention of the witness transcripts the committee has released since then.

Remember, CNS' mission statement claims that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." If it's censoring stories that make Republicans and conservatives look bad, it's not only not living up to that -- and looks more and more like a biased right-wing rag than a "news" organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2023 11:01 AM EST
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
MRC Complains Cowboys Owner Looks Like A Racist In Old Photo Of Him Hanging With Racists
Topic: Media Research Center

Oh, the people the Media Research Center chooses to defend -- like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after the Washington Post found a 1950s picture of a teenage Jones among a crowd of segregationists harassing a group of black students integrating a high school in North Little Rock, Ark., where he grew up. An outraged Dec. 1 post by the mysterious Jay Maxson was in full lash-out mode -- not at Jones, of coruse, but at the Post for exposing and at LeBron James for commenting on it:

We know that LeBron James is more than an athlete and the Washington Post sports section is more than a sports section. They’ve told us so. On Wednesday night, James took on members of the media in condescending fashion after a Lakers’ game about why they did not question his reaction to an ages-old photo of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones watching desegregation efforts in Arkansas.

The Washington Post’s race-baiting SJW’s (who take a backseat to nobody -- not even James -- in their self-regard) are doing a series castigating the NFL for not hiring more black coaches. Last week the installment centered in on the photo of Jones watching racial intimidation in Arkansas as a 14-year-old boy. Jones was quoted saying he was present to watch the event out of curiosity and he did not participate in it.  

The Post headline belittled Jones as a man who transformed the NFL, except when it comes to race. He was photographed in Arkansas during a time of racial conflict, and he’s never hired a black man to coach the Cowboys. He’s risen to power in the confederacy of the pro football plutocracy, the Post story goes, in part based on the cultural effect of Jim Crow of his youth. It’s character assassination at its finest.

Maxson didn't explain why it was "race-baiting" for the Post to accurately report on the Cowboys' dismal record on coaches, or why it was "character assassination" to report accurate information about that and the photo -- or why he censored that the Post also reported that under Jones' Cowboys ownership, "just two of the team’s offensive or defensive coordinators, the steppingstones to head coaching positions, have been Black, including none since 2008."

We also don't recall the MRC calling it "character assassination" whenever someone pointed out that the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd used to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan -- heck, the MRC is still reminding us of that to this day, typically as a way of besmirching President Biden.Indeed, Maxson himself (or herself) called Byrd "a real-life Klansman" in a July 2020 post, going on to whine, "Why are the monument removers not busily scrubbing away his name, where's the media outrage over him?" Maxson censored the fact that Byrd spent the final several decades of his life apologizing for his Klan involvement, to the point that no less than the NAACP favorably eulogized him when he died.

Maxson then complained that James "was miffed that the media had recently jumped all over the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving for anti-semitism and why Jones wasn’t canceled over a photo of Jones resurrected from 1957," going on to huff:

Getting back to James, while constantly running interference for his evil Communist Chinese benefactors, he assumed that Jones was guilty of something for just having watched race relations boil over in Arkansas so long ago. Jones also opposed anthem kneeling in 2017, putting a target on his back for social justice warriors. James is no longer the Dallas Cowboys fan he used to be. 

Irving was suspended in November because he posted a link on social media to a documentary that included antisemitic tropes, and he has since apologized. The media typically feeds James’ massive ego and sought out his opinion on that issue. He craved for the same attention over Jones.

Maxson didn't mention that his MRC colleagues had trouble criticizing Irving's fit of anti-Semitism, with Maxson himself (or herself) playing the whataboutism card. And he played whataboutism here too, insisting that James was somehow a bigger racist than Jones.

In that vein, the closest thing to a forceful criticism of Irving's anti-Semitism by the MRC came in a Dec. 1 post by Mark Finkelstein -- and it happened only because Finkelstein was defending Jones and criticizing James:

What's next, Don Lemon: "whether or not you agree with the people hanging 'Kanye Is Right' banners?"

Lemon hosted a segment on Thursday's CNN This Morning to discuss LeBron James complaining that his old Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving has been subjected to intense criticism over his promotion of an antisemitic book and movie, whereas there has been relatively little attention paid to a photo that recently published by The Washington Post showing a 14-year-old Jerry Jones, now owner of the Dallas Cowboys, in a crowd blocking black children from entering a North Little Rock school in 1957.

Jones claims he was curious, but not a participant in the event. He was 14. Kyrie Irving is 30.

At one point, Lemon said of LeBron's statement:

"I've been making a very similar point, that there are a lot of people, whether you agree with Kyrie Irving or not, but there are a lot of people who feel the same way that LeBron James does."

So, there are two legitimate sides to this, Don? Those that agree with Irving that it is worthwhile to promote vile antisemitic tropes, including Holocaust denial, and those that don't?

To paraphrase a former president, are there "very fine people" on both sides of Kyrie Irving's promotion of antisemitism, Don?

Meanwhile, Nicholas Fondacaro suddenly found harsh words to condemn Kanye West's anti-Semitism -- something the MRC has also had trouble with -- in a Dec. 2 post that, again, came in the context of trying to defend Jones and attack James:

Racist Sunny Hostin was at it again on Friday’s edition of The View. During a discussion about Kanye West’s heinous comments spouting anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, the ABC co-host demanded a “limitation” on the First Amendment. Something she surely doesn’t intend to apply to her, as she followed up with a disgusting assertion that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could have been in the KKK when he was 14.

[...]

The condemnation of West and his ilk was broken by co-host Ana Navarro, who hijacked the conversation to draw attention to Jones. She began the detour agreeing with basketball player LeBron James’s hypocritical gripe that people go to him for his opinion on matters dealing with race and bigotry.

“LeBron made the point that he gets all these questions about Kyrie Irving, about everybody else, and all these things. He says, you guys haven't asked me about Jerry Jones and why the disparate attention?” she said.

They missed the obvious point that James gets people asking him about those things because he’s put himself out there as an activist on the issue of so-called “social justice.” He gets asked about Irving because he’s a fellow player in his league, while Jones is an owner in a different one. Meanwhile, The View doesn’t have an issue with James’s silence on China’s genocide of the Uyghurs.

“I hope Jerry Jones really does take the opportunity to own this, to talk about it, to explain it and to talk about the change that has happened in 65 years, and his role in it,” Navarro proclaimed, saying he’s someone “who has so many black players, who has such a platform, who has all this money, who's got all this access”

In the 1957 photo in question, a 14-year-old Jones can be seen craning his neck from what The Washington Post reluctantly admits is “yards” away from other teens blocking passage of black students from entering a high school. And Hostin admitted Jones “claims he was just a casual observer at that event.”

Joy Behar pointed out that Jones, who’s now 80, was only 14 in 1957. But Hostin countered, pointing to how other kids Jones’s age at the time were in the KKK, seemingly hinting at the possibility that Jones could have been one of them:

On the subject of China, Fondacaro seems to have forgotten that his employer hypocritically stopped criticizing Elon Musk for being too cozy with those commies when he got intersted in buying Twtter to own the libs. Instead, Fondacaro is demonstrating yet again that the MRC cares only about criticizing racism or anti-Semitism when doing so advances its partisan right-wing narratives, and they have little interest in unequivocal criticism of their fellow right-wingers.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2023 10:47 PM EST
Newsmax's Morris Keeps Sucking Up To Meal Ticket Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax pundit Dick Morris is nothing if not painfully loyal to Donald Trump -- he's Morris' current meal ticket, after all, with at book promoting a low-stakes prediction that Trump will run against Hillary Clinton in 2024. And as Trump continues to rack up scandal after scandal, Morris has been studiously ignoring them in his frequent Newsmax TV hits. In between that, Morris was rehashing a previous claim that Republicans need to embrace early voting -- a view counter to other right-wingers and even Trump himself -- declaring in a Dec. 3 TV appearance:

If Republicans want to keep the House in 2024 and regain the Senate, they'll have to play by the same rules that have been enacted for elections as the Democrats use, Dick Morris of the bestseller "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback" told Newsmax on Saturday.

"First, read the book; that's all they have to do," Morris, the host of Newsmax's "Saturday Report." "I say that the reason the Democrats won in 2020 was not so much fraud as skill in understanding the new rules they enacted for elections."

Republicans didn't like the rules when they were enacted, he continued, "but they are the rules by which the game is played, and Republicans better start playing by those rules, because otherwise, we'll never win an election."

The first rule, Morris said, is to embrace early voting.

Morris added a news hook to this claim in a TV hit two days later:

With more than 1.8 million votes cast before Tuesday's U.S. Senate runoff between Republican Herschel Walker and Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock, Democrats have built an advantage yet again through early voting.

And if Republicans are going to prevail in future elections, they will need to mirror their political rival's strategy, Dick Morris told Newsmax on Monday.

Then it was Trump-fluffing time, as Morris used a Dec. 10 appearance to spin potentially bad news for Trump as a good thing:

Former President Donald Trump might be investigated, indicted and prosecuted for "technical violations of the law," but none of it will ultimately matter, nor stop his 2024 presidential campaign, according to presidential strategist Dick Morris on Newsmax.

"None of this amounts to anything; each of them may be technical violations of the law, and he may be indicted, he may be found guilty, but it's not going to be a legal bar to his running for president, and it's not going to be a political bar," Morris told "Saturday Report." "If anything, it will stoke the enthusiasm of Republican voters."

The three investigations into Trump — Mar-a-Lago presidential documents raid, Jan. 6, and the election challenge — all amount to nothing more than minor violations, if anything, and pale in comparison to the unlawful activity of President Joe Biden.

A short column that day by Morris attacked a poll showing Ron DeSantis running close to Trump:

Yahoo News/YouGov completed a national survey on Dec. 5 of 1,635 American adults that purports to who that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis now runs even in a hypothetical Republican primary matchup with former President Trump. But when we drill deeper into the data, we find that Trump has a healthy 39 percent to 29 percent lead among Republicans.

When UGov asked respondents if they felt that Trump would be the party’s strongest candidate in 2024 or that it would be better if someone else ran, Republicans said by 48-28 that Trump should be the nominee.

The methodology of the Economist UGov poll is also questionable. Drawn from an online sample, they typically have very long questionnaires and have pay their panelists to complete the survey. By paying respondents, they are more likely to attract Democrats to their sample, putting the accuracy of their results in question.

Morris then used a selective reading of Trump's actions during the Capitol riot to portray him as a victim as shown by the "Twitter files" selectively released by Elon Musk in his Dec. 11 column:

New information revealed in the fourth release of Twitter files, documents how the Internet portal railroaded the former president and bent the rules to force his removal from the site.

On January 6, 2021 former President Donald Trump sent a message over his Twitter account for rioters to go home and to refrain from violence. This tweet mirrored what he had already said on television in a direct appeal to demonstrators to be nonviolent.

Nevertheless, on January 8th, two days after the riot, Twitter permanently banned Trump, while he was still in office as president of the United States.

Recently released Twitter files demonstrate that the decision to ban Trump stemmed from what Internet journalist Michael Shellenberger called “internal and external pressure” from inside and outside Twitter to ban him.

Morris talked about this on Newsmax TV the next day:

With Twitter and the FBI allegedly "conspiring" to suppress promotion or awareness of the original Hunter Biden laptop story in October 2020 (courtesy of the New York Post), "it's becomes it own form of election-rigging," said Morris, author of the book, "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback."

The investigative findings in the files — along with the leaked whistleblower complaints against Twitter's old management — have "become far more potent than anything that happened in the [election-running] backrooms of Michigan and Arizona" in 2020.

Morris once again spun away Trump's potential legal troubles in a Dec. 16 appearance:

Political consultant Dick Morris says none of the criminal charges the Jan. 6 House select committee is expected to refer to the Justice Department against Donald Trump will bar the former president from running.

"It will have no impact on him politically," Morris said Saturday on Newsmax's  Saturday Report."

"The Republican primary voters see it for what it is. They're going to stick with Trump, and he's going to get the nomination easily. ... All this is going to do is to revivify Trump's fortune. It will do one other thing. It marginalizes [Ron] DeSantis because ultimately the choice here will be, 'Do you think Trump should be in jail or not?' And if you say 'not,' you can't then say, 'Oh, but he should be out as president.' It just doesn't work that way. I think Trump will benefit from all of this, and the FBI indicts him and it gets even worse. I don't think that's going to hurt him. I think he's going to absolutely come through as unscathed as he was in two impeachments," added Morris, author of "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback."

Morris similarly spun the next day: "The Republican primary voters see it for what it is. They're going to stick with Trump, and he's going to get the nomination easily. ... All this is going to do is to revivify Trump's fortune."

As the commitee made those criminal referrals, more deflection occurred in a Dec. 19 appearance:

Political commentator and author Dick Morris told Newsmax Monday that the four criminal referrals against former President Donald Trump passed on to the Department of Justice by the House select Jan. 6 committee are a political "contrivance," "absurd," and are not likely to be prosecuted by the agency.

"This is so obviously a contrivance, and so obviously it's wrong," Morris said during "American Agenda" Monday. "I mean, Trump tried to bring in 20,000 [National Guard] troops to quell the riot. He told everyone to go home peacefully.

"To say that he fomented insurrection is just absurd. And that's obvious just as the two impeachment grounds were absurd, and voters understand that, particularly Republican voters."

Morris spun again -- with a large dose of self-aggrandizement -- in a Dec. 22 column:

When the House Jan. 6 Committee voted to send four criminal referrals against President Trump to the Department of Justice, this should not have come as any surprise to anyone.

Especially to anyone who read my bookThe Return: Trump’s Big 2024 Comeback.

In fact, in The Return, I predicted it, as well as almost all major developments involving the former president.

And I correctly predicted that very soon after the midterm elections, Trump would announce his candidacy for reelection.

I also claimed that he would stake out a huge lead over Ron DeSantis.

All of that has now happened.

Morris' book probably didn't predict that Trump would dine with a couple of anti-Semites or call for the suspension of the Constitution to put him back in office, and Morris remains unsurprisingly silent about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:47 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2023 10:52 PM EST
WND's Orient, Who Helped Politicize Medicine, Complains Medicine Is Being Politicized
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like her fellow WorldNetDaily COVID misinformer Joel Hirschhorn, Jane Orient -- who heads the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- deviated from her purported medical knowledge to opine about politics in her Oct. 24 column:

For decades, we have been moving toward government by technocracy, with major policy made by "expert" bureaucrats in agencies, supposedly above and immune to dirty politics. They can base their benevolent rules on The Science™ and not worry about public opinion.

If you like that idea, you probably do not understand how the administrative state ("Deep State") works. It may be above the melee of electoral politics, but it is deeply immersed in and the captive of intra-agency politics. That is increasingly determined by giant international corporations and global nongovernmental "nonprofit" (tax-exempt) organizations (NGOs) funded by Bill Gates, George Soros and nameless other mega-billionaires. And you can't throw them out.

We need Congress to take back its power from these agencies, and for the courts to stop allowing this unconstitutional delegation of power to the administrative state. We must exert the only leverage we have on Congress: Voting the rascals out.

She then went on to sound like a boilerplate right-wing ranter, complaining that "The current regime is the party of masking; lockdowns; coerced vaccinations no matter the necessity, efficacy, or risk; and suppression of physicians' ability to prescribe or even discuss government-disfavored treatments."

That column was unironically followed by a Dec. 6 column hypocritically complaining about the politicization of medicine, even though she's one of the people who helped politicize it by attacking anyone who criticized her anti-vaxxer rantings and who advocated commonsense measures to slow the spread of COVID as a big-government liberal:

The COVID-19 pandemic, with its mandates, was a rude awakening for many conservatives. In a free society, it is essential that experts and institutions be neutral. For example, medicine should be a neutral tool, the purpose of which is to detect and cure disease. Politicization turns it into a partisan weapon designed for manipulation and coercion.

The very definition of "neutral" has changed. It now means "secular," with the abolition of long-accepted religious or patriotic expressions, replacing them with aggressive ideological advocacy and performative activism in clinical spaces.

Before politicization, medical experts were expected to be impartial, skilled consultants whose role was to guide less-qualified colleagues, reassure the public and advise policymakers about rational public health policies. Politicization of medicine has perverted this mission. Politicized medical experts do the bidding of their masters. They rubber stamp medical treatments and policies that are favored for political reasons even if they are harmful and ineffective. The primary function of such "experts" is to deceive their colleagues and the public.

Many people have started to question the sincerity of politicized experts, and the universal trust in previously reliable experts and institutions has crumbled. The vacuum has been filled by alternative authorities. Unfortunately, the quality of this newly founded industry is variable. Speculation, misinformation, propaganda and outright lies are inter-mixed with true and genuinely helpful information. These dissident experts lack the resources to undertake the sophisticated research needed to answer difficult scientific questions. While their role is indispensable, their abilities are limited.

The politicization of medicine should be stopped and abolished. This is unlikely to occur as long as a heated political climate combined with economic crisis favors the deployment of powerful partisan weapons. While awaiting better and more harmonious times, people of goodwill and conscience need to recognize that we are engaged in asymmetric warfare, and try to expose and oppose the politicization of medicine by any means available to them.

No one should be coerced to follow one set of politically motivated rules presented under the guise of "benevolent" public health policies or "scientific" medical care.

Freedom fighters must not lose hope. In asymmetric warfare, the superpower does not always win, as the American Revolution showed.

Ironically, Orient did not say whether she would stop her politicization of medicine.

Orient was back to good ol' misinformation in her Dec. 12 column, irresponsibly promoting the discredited notion that people across the world are suddenly dropping dead from getting the COVID vaccine and outrageously making Holocaust comparisons:

ome Germans who lived through World War II have said that they had no idea the Holocaust that was going on. Maybe they thought the reports were fake news or enemy propaganda, or that civilized Germans would never commit such crimes. One "denialist" was a bartender whose bar was downwind from the ovens. He claimed to have noticed nothing.

Humans have an enormous capacity to see no evil.

Holocaust denial might have been more excusable had the deaths been scattered and seemingly random, not concentrated in a vilified ethnic group, and had they resembled natural death. Sudden death occurs, doctors might say, as some did in my residency program: "We see this from time to time."

Some who knew full well that Jews were being murdered rationalized it by calling it an essential public health measure, claiming that Jews were the source of the dread typhus epidemic.

We of course are not like them, and nothing could be as evil as the Nazi Holocaust. But consider the possibility that a genuine epidemic might rationalize public health measures that (inadvertently, we presume) lead to death. One is not supposed to blame officials or question their policies. Instead, we blame the disease on noncompliant people, deny them medical care and even hope that they die.

Bodies are in fact accumulating, though not concentrated in an identifiable location. But we are in denial even about the occurrence of excess deaths.

[...]

Financial analyst Edward Dowd presented figures showing an 18% increase in excess deaths across all age groups in Australia, an unprecedented insurance catastrophe. The legacy media? Silent.

That's because Dowd's claims are not true. But whoneeds facts when there is a conspiracy theory to peddle? Orient continued:

Even raw numbers from actuaries vanish. But where are the bodies?

Many were cremated. Most were disposed of without autopsy. Hospitals and medical examiners don't like to do autopsies – insurance doesn't pay, and few families can pay a $5,000 cost out of pocket. The results in any event could be attributed to natural causes. An autopsy of journalist Grant Wahl's body revealed a ruptured aortic aneurysm. His widow said: "It's just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason it happened at this point in time." She also said: "His death was unrelated to vaccination status." Quite possibly true. But she did not say what his vaccination status was. (Wahl had been vaccinated and had received at least one booster.) Dr. Peter McCullough advises patients with prior aortic abnormalities to avoid COVID-19 vaccination because of potential damage from spike protein.

Wahl did, in fact, die of a ruptured aortic aneurysm, and there's no reason to trust such a ridiculous misinformer like McCullough. Orient concluded:

An alternative to an autopsy might be to do an MRI scan and preserve samples of tissue like liver or heart for tests that might become available later.

As it stands, we have an epidemic called Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS). Statistics on the full extent are being suppressed. One prominent physician told me he had never heard of it. The cause is not known, and few dare to suggest a connection with the mass vaccination campaign.

What we urgently need is a neutral scientific inquiry that is not politicized. The typhus epidemic showed that this is possible. Even Germans (aside from some murderous Nazis) became allies of their mortal enemies in the war against typhus-spreading lice. Using apolitical scientific analysis of the objective evidence, Nazis, Soviets, Americans, British and all Allies used virtually the same methods of prevention and treatment of epidemic typhus.

Why isn't that happening in America?

Because people like Orient spread lies and would demand that any such investigation be politicized to treat her lies seriously when there's no legitiamte evidence to back them up. She has played a key role in poisioning the well with her misinformation, and there's no reason to trust anything she might be involved in.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EST

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