MRC's Dishonest Book Banners Keep Raging Against Books They Don't Like Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so in favorof book bans that its gets upset when efforts to fight them even appear in fiction. An Oct. 31 post by Dawn Slusher complaining that ABC's "The Connors" "dedicated 30 minutes to denigrating" the efforts of (right-wing) parents "to have a say in what books their children are exposed to at school" with a book-ban plotline. Slusher cheered that the father character noted that "some parents just want to have a say in what their kids are reading," then whined:
But they still proceeded to make it a “book banning” issue when no parents are out fighting to have books banned completely. I’ve also yet to see anyone fighting to ban “the classics.” However, these days if “The Scarlet Letter” or any other classic mentioned were in a kindergarten library, that would be a problem.
Today’s parents are out fighting against books that talk about how to “eat pu**y,” sexual activities, sexual assault, abortion. And hundreds of parents in Michigan spoke out against sexually explicit LGBTQ books.
Slusher further complained when one particular hot-button book hated by right-wingers was referenced:
Did you happen to notice a very non-classic book placed in front with all the real classics? How is Gender Queer a classic when it was published in 2019?
Looks like the writers knew all along this has nothing to do with “the classics,” book banning, or freedom of speech and everything to do with sexually explicit books that are inappropriate for children. Gender Queer is one of the most protested books by parents given its extremely pornographic and pedophilic contents. But The Conners wants us to believe it should be included in a school library?
That alone speaks volumes about this show and its agenda.
Tierin-Rose Mandelburg prudishly cherry-picked all the naughty stuff from one book in an Oct. 21 post:
If you’d like to learn how to eat pussy, head on over to a middle school in Oklahoma.
Onward Pioneers middle school in Stillwater, Oklahoma reportedly had a book called “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” in its school library, Libs of TikTok reported. According to a parent who called out the school at a meeting, the book talked about “how to eat pussy,” “how to eat a butthole” said “fuck” 79 times, “shit” 51 times, “dicks” 11 times, had 15 “pussy’s” and 9 “god damn’s,” all for thirteen-year-olds to read.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” book is currently rated ages 14-17 on Barnes and Noble yet the general age of middle school children is 11-14 and in the Stillwater school district, middle school only covers 6th and 7th graders. That means that 6th and 7th graders have access to books with vulgar language sexually explicit content.
Mancenburg is lying by portraying the book as only about those things --and she knoiws it, because she refused to describe what the book is actually about, instead of going for prudish shock value. She concluded by making the bizarre leap to actually blaming this book for somehow inspiring sexual crimes: "The left wonders why we have rapists and sexual assaulters flooding our nation yet at the same time completely encourages this behavior starting with school aged children. It's repulsive."
Mandelburg went on to heer a right-wing anti-book stunt in a Nov. 3 post:
Warning: This blog contains rated R, sexually explicit content.
Earlier this week, a group of brave mothers stood in front of their school board to publicly condemn the books that the board allows in its school system. The books contained extreme, graphic, and explicit sexual content that has no place in a school library.
She’s right, the excerpts from these books were traumatizing to hear as a grown adult. I can’t imagine, or rather, don’t want to imagine what trauma kids who read stuff like this would and do go through.
Public schools are currently a s**t show and this is just another reminder of it.
Mandelburg curiously didn't name the titles of the books whose cherry-picked contents were gleefully reproduced by her for maximum shock value. She has clearly never heard of the Miller test, Mendelburg has clearly never heard of the Miller test, which is the Supreme Court's measurement of whether a work is obscene -- and one of those requirements is to judge the work as a whole.
Alex Christy complained in a Dec. 13 post that right-wing book bans were called out:
MSNBC host of The 11th Hour Stephanie Ruhle wondered if conservative attempts to “ban books” was the reason the FBI recently reported a raise in hate crimes. Instead of simply answering no, that’s ridiculous, former assistant director for counter intelligence Frank Figliuzzi says it is too soon to tell, but they certainly don’t help.
There was no attempt to explain what is in these books or justify the presence of sexually explicit material in school libraries or curriculum, simply that conservatives are bad and Republican politicians are bad for going along.
Tim Graham complained that false information about a targeted book was fact-checked in a Jan. 3 post:
On the front page of Tuesday’s Washington Post is a very passionate, very through defense of a novel with passages of two ten-year-old boys who “meet in the bushes after a church youth-group gathering, touch each other’s penis, and progress to oral sex.” That’s the description by Post education reporter Hannah Natanson.
The story went from the front page to the entire back page of the front section. How long was it? If you click "Listen," it says "17 minutes."
The headline was “2 moms, and misinformation led schools to ban a book: How false claims about pedophilia in ‘Lawn Boy’ fueled parents’ anger.”
What’s the “misinformation” here? Some parents -- like Stacy Langton in Fairfax County, Virginia -- wrongly claimed it was sex between a 10-year-old boy and an adult man, as opposed to “the book describes a man in his 20s meeting another man in his 20s and remembering the consensual sexual encounter they shared in the fourth grade.”
Earth to the Post: Couldn't just the graphic oral-sex scene be enough for parents to protest, even between boys?
Graham is clearly OK with misinformation if it forwards right-wing narratives. He went on to complain that "A positive book review in 2018 never found the sex stuff." Perhaps because that's not the focus of the book?
Graham churned out another attack on "Gender Queer," as well as its author, in a Jan. 5 post:
On Wednesday, NPR returned to the ongoing media party for Maia Kobabe, author of the comic-book memoir Gender Queer, celebrated throughout Liberal Land for having the “Most Challenged” book of 2021. Not only was there a seven-minute interview on Morning Edition with anchor Rachel Martin. There was also a Kobabe essay on NPR.org. claiming "Struggling kids told me my book helped them talk to parents."
The book came out in 2019, but NPR is doing a "Banned Books" series. Martin claimed: "The book has been praised in some circles for how it talks about identity, but it's also drawn a lot of rebuke from people who cite its sexually explicit nature and the illustrations. Gender Queer has been banned in more states than any other book."
This can be interpreted as “state governments banned this book,” not it’s been “removed from public libraries in more states than any other book.” The gender-queer lobby thinks books like these must be in taxpayer-funded libraries – as if they can’t be found on Amazon or shared at LGBT centers.
As usual, NPR won't explicitly explore what is "rebuked" by protesters, including depictions of Kobabe envisioning having her imaginary penis in mid-fellatio, as well as talk of masturbation and blow jobs. Twitter blocks these illustrations as sensitive content.
Graham then sneered at the author's preferred pronouns: "Unlike other supportive media, NPR completely avoided that Kobabe prefers the pronouns 'e/em/eir,' and Martin never used a personal pronoun, just the 'you.'" As if Graham actually cares what other people want to call themselves if it deviates from heteronormative tradition.
Graham didn't say a thing about how the efforts of himself and his fellow MRC subordinates and other right-wingers to censor books like "Gender Queer" may be creating a Streisand effect.
Horowitz Returns From 2020 Prognostication Failure With New Newsmax-Published Book Topic: Newsmax
Far-right activist David Horowitz's last Newsmax-published book, "Blitz: Trump Will Smash The Left And Win" -- which was relentlessly flogged by Newsmax before the 2020 election -- was a prognostication failure of Dick Morrisian proportions (not that it kept Newsmax from promoting it after Trump's loss, of course). Undaunted by that failure, Horowitz has a new Newsmax-published book out, the apocalptically titiled "Final Battle: The Next Election could Be The Last," and like his previous book, it's filled with anti-liberal narratives and propaganda. And, of course, Horowitz has been flogging the thing all over Newsmax. A Jan. 4 promotional article by Sandy Fitzgerald helped Horowitz out the premise:
New York Times bestselling author David Horowitz has released a new book, "Final Battle: The Next Election Could Be the Last," and he tells Newsmax that the book details how the United States is facing a crisis that is the "direct result of the Democrats' decision to declare all-out war on Republicans."
"Five days after [Donald] Trump's election, they held a meeting with Nancy Pelosi to form what they called a resistance," Horowitz said on "National Report." "They never accepted Trump as a legitimate president. They are free with their slanders and lies about him. This is so antithetical to what democracy needs to function."
He used the example of Jan. 6, telling Newsmax that the first response from Democrats was to call the protests an "armed insurrection."
"This is before they knew anything," he said. "There was no investigation. There were no real facts, and then immediately it was revealed that no arms were confiscated, so they just dropped the armed and called it an insurrection, which is treason. How can you have an insurrection if you don't have arms?"
Horowitz is being dishonest here -- one does not have to have a gun to be armed. Indeed, the Secret Service seized knives, pepper spray, tasers and body armor from Trump supporters before the then-president's speech that preceded the riot. Also, Fitzgerald failed to disclose that her employer published Horowitz's book.
A Jan. 6 article hyped a interview Horowitz did with falafel enthusiast Bill O'Reilly in which he spouted more anti-liberal hate in declaring that Democrats "hate America." HEre too Fitzgerald refused to disclose her conflict of interest.
The softball interviews continued over the next couple of weeks:
WorldNetdaily is so dedicated to the maliciously false narrative that the COVID vaccines are killing vast numbers of people that it immediately assumes that anyone described as having collaped or "died suddenly" was victimized by the vaccine. Joe Kovacs wrote in a scare quote-laden Dec. 26 article:
The sudden, unexpected death of the executive producer for ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" at age 37 over the weekend has some sounding the alarm about the dangers of COVID vaccines, even though it has not been determined if a shot played a role.
Dax Tejera "died suddenly" Friday, ABC's Rachel Scott reported on the air Saturday. The cause of death was reportedly a "heart attack."
Kovacs had an unusual follow-up in a Jan. 3 article attacking Tejera and his wife for leaving their young children in a hotel room while the "went out on the town in New York City the night he collapsed in the street." Still, he insisted on conspiratorially adding that "the sudden, unexpected death of Dax Tejera has some sounding the alarm about the dangers of COVID vaccines, even though it has not been determined if a shot played a role."
When NFL player Damar Hamlin collapsed during a game, Bob Unruh ghoulishly capitalized on it to promote WND's anti-vaxx narrative in another Jan. 3 article:
It perhaps has not been among most days' top headlines that dozens, no, hundreds of young healthy athletes have simply collapsed while competing in their sports over the past year.
They frequently are diagnosed as the victims of cardiac arrest and their average age is 23.
And the heart issues are coinciding directly with the rollout of the experimental COVID-19 shots that governments around the globe have been mandating.
But when such a collapse occurs on live TV, during a National Football League game between playoff contenders, there's much more alarm.
The Epoch Times reported Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field Monday night after making a tackle.
While Hamar's vaccination status was not known, and was not necessarily public anyway, a report at the Gateway Pundit noted the fact that "athletes across the world have been dropping life flies as they compete in games."
The Gateway Pundit is a fetid fount of lies and conspiracy theories, and the Epoch Times is loaded with COVID misinformation, so Unruh (further) discredits himself and WND by citing them.
Unruh went on to seemingly cheer the death of a man who criticized anti-vaxxers in a Nov. 6 article:
Another young man, a pro football player who denounced opponents of the experimental COVID-19 shots during the pandemic, has been found dead.
Hundreds of young athletes, mostly men, have reported heart malfunctions, sometimes fatal, during their sports activities. Many, many more have simply died.
Such appears to be the case for Uche Nwaneri, 38, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the National Football League.
He had adopted an extreme position on the COVID shots, demanding "jail" for anyone who refused corporate or government mandates to be part of the experiments.
Now LifeSiteNews reports he was found "unresponsive" in his home Dec. 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana, by his wife, and an autopsy report said there were "no signs of foul play."
Preliminary results suggest "a possible heart attack, pending toxicology results," the report said.
The report noted Nwaneri's death is "the latest in an alarming trend of sudden deaths among athletes, coinciding with the rollout of the COVID vaccines and raising suspicion that the shots led to heart failure among young athletes."
It noted Dr. Joseph Mercola has documented that more than 700 athletes have "collapsed on the field during a game from March 2021 to March 2022."
The issue has developed so significantly that it's now being called Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
Mercola is a quack, and approvingly citing him discredits Unruh and WND even more. And as we've documented, Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is not a real thing.
Kovacs hyped a different case in a Jan. 8 article:
A college basketball player collapsed suddenly on the court Saturday, sparking fears among his teammates and fans watching the event.
Imo Essien, a sophomore guard at Old Dominion University dropped to the floor while clutching his chest with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half in a match between ODU and Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.
This latest case of a young athlete collapsing suddenly is again raising questions if a COVID vaccine played a part.
An anonymous WND writer pushed yet another one the next day:
Authorities in Wyoming say a 17-year-old basketball player has "died suddenly," and they suspect it might have been due to an injury.
A report from the Blaze identified the athlete as Max Sorenson and revealed he died unexpectedly at his home Dec. 26.
Despite admitting that "the suspected cause is peritonitis" -- which had been reported before this article was published -- the anonymous writer irresponsibly and maliciously declared that "WND already has reported that hundreds of young people, many athletes, have died after getting the experimental COVID shots."
This kind of irresponsible, non-fact-based reporting is a major reason why WND teeters on the edge of insolvency -- but it's so dedicated to spreading these conspiracy theories that it refuses to see that it's harming itself in the process.
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's Election of Failed Narratives, Part 2: The Aftermath Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's bitterness at Republicans not doing as well as predicted in the midterm elections was palpable, from whining that Democrats who weren't white or heterosexual got elected to dabbling in election fraud conspiracy theories. Read more >>
More Labeling Complaints: MRC Now Whining That Those Fighting McCarthy As Speaker Are 'Right Wing' Topic: Media Research Center
On the heels of complaining that the media was accurately describing the new Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu as "right-wing," the Media Research Center complained that Repubicans were being accurately identified the same way, particularly surrounding the election of Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. Clay Waters was already complaining about this well before the election, in a Dec. 14 post:
There was some good old-school New York Times labeling bias on Wednesday’s front page regarding California Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s fight to become House Speaker when the Republican Party takes over control of Congress next month: “McCarthy Fights to Clear Path to Speaker’s Seat.” The front-page text box set the hostile labeling tone: “Trump’s Lobbying Has Not Moved Critics on the Far Right.”
The far left of the Democratic Party, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Maxine Waters and the like, rarely if ever get this treatment. Reporters Catie Edmondson, Maggie Haberman, and Annie Karni teamed up on this festival of hostile ideological labeling of the GOP.
In all, the story contained two “hard-right” labels, three “right-wing” labels, three “far-right” labels, and two “ultraconservative” labels, to go with three plain old “right” labels, including the online headline.
Missing from Waters' post: any dispute over the accuracy of the labels. That makes it hard to take Waters' criticism seriously if all he complain about is that they are purportedly "hostile."
As the election drew closer, Curtis Houck groused in a Jan. 3 post:
Is Chris Licht interested in changing CNN or is he asleep at the wheel? Such was the case on Tuesday, during the coverage of the vote for speaker of the 118th Congress when it felt as though old puppetmaster Jeff Zucker were still in the control room, as so-called journalists smeared Republicans and wondered if voters actually want Congress to do anything about Hunter Biden’s life of corruption.
After State of the Union co-host Dana Bash lamented how Congress has been held hostage for “12, 15 years” by a “small band of extremes” in the GOP, her fellow co-host and The Lead host Jake Tapper tossed to outgoing Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) by similarly bemoaning the “ultra-right-wing, MAGA group...is, by the way, in some analyses, the reason why there wasn't a red wave.”
As before, Houck didn't dispute the accuracy of the labeling; instead, he falsely portrayed CNN as applying it to all Republicans.
Kevin Tober similarly complained, and falsely conflated, the same day:
During Tuesday evening's broadcast of NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt and correspondent Garrett Haake took to the airwaves to gloat over the divisions in the House Republican conference between members who support Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House and members who oppose his bid. As of late Tuesday night, the House of Representatives adjourned for the day after going through three rounds of ballots to elect a Speaker. Each time McCarthy came up short of the 218 votes he needs to be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. Haake decided to label those opposed to McCarthy as "right-wing." Which is a common tactic in the leftist media to paint constitutional conservatives in a negative light.
Holt kicked off the broadcast huffing: "chaos in the House! For the first time in 100 years, the election for Speaker going to multiple rounds after a group of hard-right Republicans denied Kevin McCarthy the votes he needed on the first ballot."
He then started his nasty labeling of conservatives by referring to them as "a small but stubborn faction of right-wing members voting against party leader Kevin McCarthy."
Ask yourself, has Haake or any member of the leftist media ever referred to the so-called "Squad" as "left-wing" or "leftists?" This kind of labeling only applies to Republicans.
Tober didn't explain why the labeling was inaccurate, let alone "nasty."
Tim Graham spent his Jan. 4 podcast ranting about these "ideological labels" being used by the non-right-wing media in the speakership fight. He too did not dispute the accuracy of those labels -- "it's not wrong to suggest you're a hardliner if you refuse to accept Kevin MacCarthy as speaker; it's not wrong to suggest maybe that you are maybe even you could say hard right" -- but played the usual MRC whataboutism.Graham then attacked Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib with ideological labels ("left-wing kook" and "radicals," respectively) without explanation of why he chose them vis-a-vis the "hard right" labels.
But that whataboutism undermines the arguments of Graham and the MRC. If you can't factually dispute the label, you have no basis to criticize them, and, thus, maybe you should shut up about it.
Ah, but the MRC believes it must always be on offense, no matter how little that offense is based in reality, so these baseless complaints continued. Clay Waters grumbled in a Jan. 5 post:
On the Tuesday edition of Amanpour & Co on PBS, host Christiane Amanpour interviewed former moderate Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who served three terms in office representing a Texas district but didn’t seek reelection in 2020.
Amanpour led off with the fight for Speaker of the House and with unsympathetic labeling of the “hard-line” opponents of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Amanpour invited Hurd to comment, and the former Republican turned fiercely against what he called “right-wing” bomb throwers, with no pushback from Amanpour, only eager agreement.
After three days of a gridlocked House Republican conference unable to unite behind a candidate for speaker, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News continued their partisan labeling of the twenty Republicans who refuse to back the current frontrunner during their evening newscasts. Both CBS & NBC once again referred to the twenty conservatives as “hard-right.”
On CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell opened by gloating about how it “was another day of humiliating defeats for Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.” This is because, according to O’Donnell, “hard-right factions of the GOP are standing firm in voting against McCarthy as Speaker of the House on every ballot.”
Killion got her turn to gloat and smear conservatives with another label: “far-right.”
Rather than dispute the accuracy of the label, Tober repeated his earlier whining: "Why are CBS & NBC so reluctant to label Democrats as "far-left or "hard-left?" The answer is that they agree with the extreme elements of the Democrat Party." Perhaps someone who deliberately gets the name of he Democratic Party wrong has no moral standing on which to criticize how others use labels.
Waters clung to the baseless complaint in a Jan. 9 post:
The New York Times took advantage of the Republican kerfuffle around the days of voting it took to install House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker, to wedge in as many scary “far-right” style labels and frantic messaging as it could throughout several days of intense coverage.
Carl Hulse and Emily Cochrane reported “At Heart of Speakership Battle Is Aim to Diminish Government’s Reach” for Thursday’s edition. The online headline: “What the Far-Right Republicans Want: To Remake Congress and the Government.”
It took three reporters to exhaustively document “How Far Right Are the 20 Republicans Who Voted Against McCarthy?” with a hostile labeling pattern throughout (one sees very few or no similar labels of left-wing U.S. politicians characterized as “hard-left lawmakers” or members of an “ultraliberal” faction).
Again, Waters failed to dispute the accuracy of the label, which undermines his compalint that it is "hostile." If the labels are accurate -- and the MRC refuses to prove otherwise -- how can they be "hostile" (aside from to the sensibilities of right-wing partisans like Waters)?
WND's Schlafly Blames Student Loans For Massacre Of College Students Topic: WorldNetDaily
The arrest of a graduate student for the gruesome murders of four Idaho college students has attracted worldwide attention. Reports suggest a DNA match to that of the suspect, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, whose own attorney said the suspect was shocked merely "a little bit" by his predawn arrest 2,500 miles from the crime scene.
The media portray this crime as an isolated deranged act by one loner whose true motive remains unknown. In fact, the suspect was enrolled in graduate school and employed by nearby Washington State University, where he was working as a teaching assistant at the time of the murders.
Kohberger should have been more closely vetted before he was accepted into a publicly funded Ph.D. program. Without the support of Higher Education and its pipeline to public funding, he would not have killed in Idaho.
A 28-year-old man needs a real job to stay on track toward becoming a productive contributor to society. Yet higher education consists of many programs that do not teach a marketable skill or put students on a responsible career path.
The system of handouts for those who pursue higher education enabled Kohberger to develop oddities such as reportedly preferring not to eat a meal that was cooked in pots or pans previously used to cook meat. Meanwhile, drug use among many grad students is generally prevalent, as has been mentioned on the Reddit website.
The taxpayer bailout of Higher Ed will come under scrutiny on Feb. 28 when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Biden's plan to stick Americans with potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in unpaid student loans.
We don't know if this particular grad student stands to benefit from Biden's massive debt forgiveness plan. But if this young man had been compelled to get a regular job, instead of being encouraged to postpone life by going to graduate school, then this horrible crime might not have happened.
Newsmax Goes Full Victim After Getting Dropped By DirecTV Topic: Newsmax
There's nothing right-wingers like to do better than play victim when they feel even the least bit slighted. So when satellite provider DirecTV dropped Newsmax TV from its lineup last week in a dispute over carriage fees that Newsmax demanded and DirecTV didn't want to pay -- admittedly, a fairly large slight -- so it has been calling in all the favors it can to help it act like a victim of "censorship" (even though Newsmax is available though other means such as streaming platforms). An anonymously written Jan. 25 article started the squealing:
At midnight Tuesday, AT&T's DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal, immediately shutting the network off from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse.
This is the second time in the past year AT&T has moved to cancel a conservative channel, with DirecTV deplatforming OAN in April.
Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a "cost-cutting" measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.
DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries. Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax.
"This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax said.
"The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T's DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed," Ruddy added.
The article did not name those "22 liberal news and information channels" DorecTV continiues to carry, suggesting that the number may be a bit inflated. The article then tried to reframe the situation in its favor by accusing DirecTV of lying:
As news reports indicated the likelihood of a Newsmax deplatforming Tuesday night, DirecTV representatives made false claims to the media about Newsmax and its negotiations.
DirecTV falsely claimed to media outlets that Newsmax is asking for a fee but still wants to keep a free stream on OTT platforms (over-the-top service is a type of service offered directly to viewers).
But this is false; no operator pays a fee while Newsmax streams free and DirecTV was fully aware the free stream will end this year.
"We've discussed with Newsmax on several occasions that we'd like to offer their programming, however, the network is now seeking significant fees that we cannot pass on to our broad customer base," a DirecTV representative claimed in a statement.
But an analysis shows that Newsmax was seeking a fee with a 75% discount to its market value, and compared to fees currently paid by DirecTV, almost all 50 channels below Newsmax in ratings get higher fees.
Newsmax did not make this alleged analysis publicly available, making it impossible to verify its claim. Newsmax was certainly not going to ask DirecTV for a comment.
The article also added that "AT&T DirecTV's decision to drop OAN and Newsmax comes on the heels of a February 2021 letter written by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and then-Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., demanding that cable and satellite TV providers explain their alleged role in the 'spread of dangerous misinformation' by carrying conservative networks." But it did not admit that Newsmax and OAN did, in fact, spread misinformation about the 2020 presiential election -- specifically, repeated false attacks on election tech company Dominion -- over which Dominion has sued Newsmax and OAN. Newsmax eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with a Dominion executive who faced threats as a result of the false reporting, so yes, one can consider that misinformation quite dangerous.
Newsmax also failed to tell readers that this particular channel slot would continued to be occupied by a right-wing channel; DirecTV replaced Newsmax with The First, whose biggest name is disgraced ex-Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
Over the next few days, Newsmax seemed to devote a significant amount of its programming to whining about being dropped by DirecTV and soliciting comment from other right-wingers, if the articles and clips posted on its website are any indication -- where threatening DirecTV owner AT&T with government harrassment and boycotts was also a theme:
Former President Donald Trump Wednesday night joined the outcry against AT&T DirecTV's removal of Newsmax from its satellite and cable systems, calling it "disgusting" and saying that the move was a "big blow to the Republican Party and to America itself."
In a post on his Truth Social, Trump wrote:
"WOW. AT&T DIRECTV REMOVES NEWSMAX FROM ITS CHANNEL LINEUP. This disgusting move comes after “deplatforming” OAN last year. The Radical Left seems to have taken over the mind and soul of AT&T. This is a big blow to the Republican Party, and to America itself.”
Trump continued: “For DIRECTV to drop very popular NEWSMAX, without explanation, will not be accepted. I, for one, will be dropping all association with AT&T and DIRECTV, and I have plenty. This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!"
Very few, if any, of these articles, mentioned that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel -- probably because admitting that fact would blow up the "censorship" and "cancel culture" arguments its commentators were making.
Speaking of which, Newsmax also got mad that Twitter did a fact-check exposing the controversy as the business dispute it is. The apparently uniroinically named Charlie McCarthy huffed in a Jan. 26 article:
Twitter has added what it claims is a user-generated context description to at least one tweet concerning DirecTV's decision to drop Newsmax from its service.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., tweeted Wednesday afternoon that "it would be unacceptable to de-platform Newsmax, a popular news channel that many of my constituents in #NY21 depend on for news." She also attached Newsmax's story reporting on DirecTV's move.
Stefanik's post now includes a gray-shaded box with a bold headline: "Readers added context they thought people might want to know."
"Newsmax wasn't cancelled, as it can be streamed for free on YouTube and directly on Newsmax.com still," the box's text reads. "DirecTV and Newsmax couldn't reach an agreement on the new rights or licensing fees after they were free for years."
The context verbiage included links to two stories (Newsweek, Daily Beast) and a link to Newsmax's YouTube page.
Even McCarthy couldn't argue with that. Still, he uncritically repeated his employer's talking point that "DirecTV continues to carry 22 liberal news channels, many with low ratings and all get paid hefty license fees" without naming those channels or listing the "hefty license fees" they supposedly receive.
CNS Tried To Blame Buttigieg For Holiday Flight Delays Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has had a grudgeagainst Pete Buttigieg ever since he ran for president and then became transportation secretary for the offense of not being heterosexual. So when flight disruptions caused by bad weather happened over the Christmas holidays, particularly involving Southwest Airlines, the first reaction CNS had was to blame Buttigieg -- even if it could not actually name anything he did or didn't do to cause them. Susan Jonbes began a Dec. 27 article this way:
"Anybody seen @PeteButtigieg lately? Our airline system is imploding. Vacationing again?"
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg responded to that question, posed by someone on Twitter, on Monday night, saying: "I'm tracking closely & will have more to say about this tomorrow."
(“Tomorrow” is today -- Tuesday. Buttigieg did not say where he is.)
This is not the first time stranded Southwest Airlines customers have asked, "Where's Pete?"
As CNSNews.com reported in October 2021:
Buttigieg, President Biden's transportation secretary, hasn't had much, if anything, to say about the disruptive, multi-day Southwest Airlines flight cancellations that have stranded thousands of passengers; or about the nation's supply chain logjam, where dozens of container ships wait off the California coast for the opportunity to unload.”
As it turns out, Buttigieg was on (unannounced) paternity leave at that time.
Earlier this month, Buttigieg went to Portugal on vacation as a rail strike loomed.
Jones did not explain how Buttigieg is personally to blame for any of that. The next day, Jones did seem to understand that the blame lay at the feet of Southwest, not Buttigieg:
In a "travel advisory" posted on its website, Southwest Airlines warns of "irregular operations," meaning a majority of its flights continue to be canceled today and through the new year.
The advisory said Southwest is experiencing "high call volumes and busy signals," meaning thousands of customers are stranded in airports, some for days, with no opportunity to rebook their canceled flights.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NBC News Tuesday evening that Southwest needs to "take care of" its passengers and employees. He called it an "unacceptable situation" and said "cash refunds" need to happen:
NBC asked Buttigieg on Tuesday how travelers can have faith in the Transportation Department "as a watchdog, if these problems keep happening?"
"Well, what we did, especially over the course of the problems we saw this year, was press the airlines to increase their customer service commitments. They did that. They did that in writing,” Buttigieg said:
In a Dec. 29 article, though, Jones was content with uncritically spreading Republican talking points from a GOP congresswoman, though she was more into attacking the Biden administration as a whole thought she threw some blame Buttigieg's way:
"The House Republicans will be different," Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) vowed on Wednesday, pointing to various problems, including air transportation, that keep "getting worse" during the Biden administration.
"We're going to pass bills to push for energy independence and for border security and to address supply chain issues. We're going to do it, and let's see what the Senate does in turn. That's the only leverage we have," she told Fox News.
"What's really frustrating here is that (Transportation Secretary) Pete Buttigieg brought all of these airlines in, he said he was holding them accountable, and he was going to push them to fix their operation so there wouldn't be cancellations. And he actually said coming out of these meetings that they were going to be prepared for the holidays -- he had fixed this for the holiday season.
"And then look what happened. I think that's what's really frustrating to the American people is, you always hear this administration talk about accountability and fixing things and then yet we find out the same problem keeps getting worse.
Two Republican congresswoman had blunt words for President Joe Biden and his "unqualified" transportation secretary on Wednesday, as thousands of Southwest Airlines travelers remain stranded, separated from their luggage, or both.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said the weather-induced flight debacle hit close to home for her, as her teenage children "got stranded in Baltimore trying to make it home on Christmas Eve. And even today, five days later, we still don't know where their luggage is right now," Mace told Fox News on Wednesday night.
Appearing with Mace, Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) said, "It's not just that Biden that goes on vacation when he's most needed. You look at Buttigieg -- from the beginning, this guy was not qualified to take this job. He's a Cabinet secretary.
Jones waited until the very end of this article to not that "Buttigieg has promised to hold Southwest "accountable" for failing to live up to its written customer service plan" -- which is hardly fair and balanced after paragraphs of Republican attacks.
CNS also published a Jan. 6 commentary by Dustin Suggins of the anti-abortion website LifeSiteNews attacking Buttigieg for not doing enough to fix this (even though conservatives generally don't want government to intrude into business affairs) while admitting this is largely out of his hands:
In short, there seems little for the Department of Transportation to actually do to “protect” customers from Southwest’s mistakes. Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s TV appearances and statements appear to be more about opportunism and virtue signaling than doing anything substantive.
If only we could say the same about the federal government.
CNS never addressed those issues again -- perhaps as a tacit admission that the blame really did lie with Southwest rather than Buttigieg. When the air traffic control system went down for a few hours on Jan. 11, Jones was surprisingly restrained in quoting Buttigieg issuing updates on the situation.
MRC Complains Netanyahu's Government Is Accurately Labeled As 'Right Wing' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just hates it when right-wing things are accurately labeled as right-wing, and so it goes for the new government of right-wing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It actually started at the time of the election, as Curtis Houck fretted in a Nov. 3 post:
Thursday’s CBS Mornings lived up to the liberal media’s deep-seated disdain for longtime Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu as election returns from Israel’s fifth election in four years appeared to put Netanyahu on a path to return to his post as prime minister after nearly a year and a half out of power.
Over the course of the nearly two-minute hit, CBS bemoaned his “right-wing coalition” would be revived thanks to the “extreme right” and take the turn on a “sharp shift rightward.”
Co-host Tony Dokoupil fretted with halting language the further he went along: “Netanyahu appears to be on the brink of being the current Prime Minister again. Once again.”
Dokoupil explained that Netanyahu’s “right-wing coalition has the most votes as of now” and would mark a comeback for Netanyahu as he’s “still currently on trial” for “corruption charges.”
Tossing to foreign correspondent Imtiaz Tyab, Dokoupil had to reiterate: “Imtiaz, they are saying, it could be the most right-wing government in Israel in years, if not ever.”
After the election, Kevin Tober complained in a Dec. 4 post:
When people say the inside the Beltway media are out of touch, this is exactly what they’re talking about. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, anchor Margaret Brennan expressed her concern to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the incoming Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and his government will ban “gay pride parades.” Considering many extremist Palestinians and Muslims across the Middle East want to behead gays, simply banning "gay pride parades" might not be a bad alternative for the left.
Brennan fretted to Blinken that Netanyahu has “been allying himself with figures who have spewed anti-Arab, anti-gay hate as well as discrimination against nonorthodox Jews. One of them wants to cancel gay pride parades,” and “at least two have called for mass deportations of Palestinans. Including the man who may head Israel’s police force.”
Brennan couldn’t get over her apparent hatred of Netanyahu and doubled down on her attacks against his incoming government: “But this extreme right wing government as it has been described put together does complicate your relationship,” she cried.
On Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu returned as Israel’s prime minister with a right-of-center government led in part by his Likud Party. But just as was the case following Israel’s latest election (its fifth in four years), CBS Morningsmelted down over Netanyahu’s latest coalition “as Israel’s most far-right government” in history that could result in the “targeting” of American Jews, gays, non-orthodox Jews, Palestinians, and women.
Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz began the 92-second segment by lamenting Netanyahu’s “government...includes ultra nationalists and religious parties that were once on the fringes of Israeli politics.”
Inocencio attempted to foreshadow what leftists insist is Israel future by arguing Netanyahu’s partners could go after “Palestinians, Jews who are non-orthodox, women, to prevent them from serving in the military alongside men, and the LGBTQ community.”
Neither Houck nor Tober disputed the accuracy of the label in any of these posts.Nicholas Fondacaro tried to dismiss the label as a "slur" from the "liberal media" does in another post the same day:
The term “right-wing” has become a slur the liberal media sling around to describe politics they don’t like in an attempt to turn off the public to right-of-center politics. As an example, just look at how CNN reporter and fill-in anchor Sara Sidner chose to talk about the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, during Thursday’s CNN Newsroom.
Coming back from a commercial break, Sidner announced that “18 months after being ousted from power, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister for the sixth time” and warned viewers that he would bring with him “Israel's most right-wing government in its history.” An obvious talking point circulating in the industry since CBS used a very similar string of words.
Of course, it could be just as easily -- and much more accurately -- argued that Fondacaro is using "liberal media" as a "slur" to describe journalists who won't slavishly confine themselves to advancing right-wing talking points and narratives. He'll never concede that point, of course -- and neither did he make the case that "right-of-center-" is a more accurate label for Netanyahu's government than "right-wing."
Showing that this labeling complain comes straight from the top, Tim Graham whined in a Dec. 31 post:
Thursday's PBS NewsHour broke out every term for extremism in reporting on the new Israeli government. The online headline for the segment was "Netanyahu once again prime minister with most far-right government in Israel’s history."
Anchor Judy Woorduff began with the C-word: "Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister today in Israel, but his Cabinet and his government's platform are controversial."
She turned to PBS reporter John Yang, who ran a perfunctory soundbite of Netanyahu, followed by savage soundbites from the left.
Yang announced "After two months of intensive negotiations, Netanyahu assembled Israel's most far right ultranationalist government ever...The hard-line tilt of the new government worries some Israelis."
But he too refused to dispute the accuracy of any of those labels. Instead, he concluded with a whataboutism whine: "PBS presents itself as straight down the middle, but in reality, they can't locate a 'hard left' in Israel and they're not warning about a 'hard left' in America."
If Graham and the MRC actually cared about accuracy in labeling, they would have examples ready of anybody it has ever described as "right-wing" or "hard right" as instruction for how it believes the lable should be applied. Otherwise, there's no reason to treat this complaining as anything other than a partisan narrative to downplay extremism on the right.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Dishonestly Cherry-Picking Pockets Of High Unemployment Topic: CNSNews.com
A Dec. 29 CNSNews.com article by editor Terry Jeffrey stated:
The surge of migrants seeking to cross the southwest border into the United States is not the only crisis that this country is seeing along that border: It is also the site of the U.S. metropolitan areas that have the highest unemployment rates.
The El Centro, Calif., metropolitan area led the nation with an unemployment rate of 16.7 percent in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That was 4.9-times greater than the national unemployment rate, which was just 3.4 percent in November.
The city of El Centro sits about 13 miles north of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station on the border between Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali, Mexico.
The Yuma, Ariz., metropolitan area had the nation’s second highest unemployment rate—16.3 percent—in November. Yuma sits in the southwest corner of Arizona--just north and east of the Mexican border.
“Yuma, AZ, had the largest over-the-year rate increase in November (+5.0 percentage points),” said BLS.
We've documented how Jeffrey loves to cherry-pick the El Centro and Yuma areas because they have high unemployment that makes President Biden look bad -- something he notably does not do when a Republican is president, even though high unemployment in those areas are endemic because those areas offer little more than seasonal agricultural work.
Jeffrey continued to pile on:
Six of the remaining positions in the Top Ten metro areas with the highest unemployment rates were taken by metro areas situated in California’s Central Valley—the state’s primary agricultural region.
These include Visalia-Porterville, which ranked third with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent; Merced, which ranked fourth with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent; Hanford-Corcoran, which tied for fifth (with Yakima, Washington) with an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent; Bakersfield, which ranked seventh with an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent; Fresno, which ranked eighth with an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent; and Yuba City, which tied for tenth (with Madera, Calif.) with an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.
The Texas border metro area of McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas rounded out the top 10—coming in ninth with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent.
Jeffrey is falsely suggesting that illegal immigration is the cause for this unemployment when, in fact, it is clearly seasonal agricultural work combined with few other opportunities in those areas that are the main driver for high unemployment. He then tried to dishonestly rub it in:
By contrast, the metropolitan areas with the nation’s lowest unemployment rates in November were far from the southern border. In fact, three of them were in North Dakota, another three were in Minnesota, and yet another was in South Dakota.
The metros with the lowest unemployment rates included: Fargo, North Dakota which ranked first with an unemployment rate of 1.5 percent; Mankato, Minnesota, and Rochester, Minnesota, which tied for second with an unemployment rate of 1.6 percent; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which placed fourth with an unemployment rate of 1.7 percent.
Bismarck, North Dakota; Columbia, Missouri; Grand Forks, North Dakota and Logan, Utah, all tied for fifth with an unemployment rate of 1.8 percent.
And Billings, Montana; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; and Provo-Orem, Utah, all tied for ninth with an unemployment rate of 1.9 percent.
Jeffrey stayed silent on the difference between these and the other areas -- lack of dependence on seasonal agriculture and a more diversified economy. But when the economy is still doing well enough that CNS' usual tricks to downplay good unemployment numbers can't be invoked, Jeffrey seems to be grasping for whatever he can.
MRC's Graham Joined CNS In Bashing Biden's Christmas Message For Being Too Inclusive Topic: Media Research Center
CNSNews.com wasn't the only arm of the Media Research Center that felt the need to nitpick President Biden's Christmas message. Tim Graham spent his Dec. 27 column similarly whining that Biden said "Son of God" instead of "Jesus Christ" and complained he acted like the president of all Americans and not just the Chrstian ones:
Imagine being a speechwriter for a so-called “devout Catholic” president and being asked to write a Christmas speech. It sounded like the first instruction was: don’t say the words “Jesus Christ.”
There’s mention of “the birth of a child — a child Christians believe to be the son of God; miraculously now, here among us on Earth, bringing hope, love and peace and joy to the world.” There are citations of “O Holy Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” but there’s no “Jesus.”
Christmas, according to Biden, isn’t the arrival of our eternal salvation, but just a message of “hope, love, peace and joy.” It’s a message that “speaks to all of us, whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith, or no faith at all.”
Jesus did bring a universal message, but it carried with it a message of conversion. Accept Christ and put faith in Him. It’s more than a Hallmark-card sentiment. It can be controversial, and politicians try to manage controversy very carefully. A Democrat whose loyal voters often have “no faith at all” don’t want a Jesus appeal in their political Christmas pudding. Their ACLU antennas are always attentive.
Graham then went political, using the Christmas mesage as an excuse to bash Biden with right-wing talking points:
Sure, Biden wants to take a brief timeout and say hey, let’s not see each other as “Team Red or Team Blue.” That sounds nice. But within a day or two, the White House was out screaming about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sending buses loaded with 100 illegal immigrants to unload near the vice president’s residence in DC. The White House called it a “shameful stunt,” and the “news” network publicists helpfully repeated it.
It didn’t matter to Biden’s narrative shapers that illegal-immigrant advocates were standing outside the bus to receive them. As advocate Amy Fischer told NPR, “We had volunteers ready to meet the buses and then immediately transfer onto buses that were provided by the city to transport them to a church that had volunteers, hot food, clothes waiting for people, toys for the kiddos.”
There were no apologies from Biden for allowing a record 2.7 million illegal border "encounters" in fiscal year 2022 – a new record – with the promise of an even greater surge as Democrats push to erase the COVID restrictions of Title 42. It’s a “Team Blue” move to maximize immigration and suggest your opponents hate humanity when they advocate for restrictions.
Similarly, “devout Catholic” Biden never apologizes for trying to override any restrictions on abortion. Just last week, it was reported that Stephanie Carter, an Army veteran and nurse practitioner at a Veterans Administration hospital in Texas, is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs for forcing her to handle and distribute abortion pills in violation of her religious beliefs.
The Biden administration is aggressively searching for loopholes to provide “abortion access” in states that now ban abortions. But there are no loopholes for Christians like Carter to opt out of handing out death pills.
Graham concluded by cheering how one Catholic bishop -- who, by the way, does not speak for all Catholic bishops -- "recently tweeted Biden is 'an evil president' who 'promotes' the'"murder of the unborn at every turn.' Somehow, that message isn’t appropriate for Christmas." Says the guy who can't stop being a hateful partisan for two seconds, even at Christmastime.
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Big Lie Moves To Arizona (Again) Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily was quick to embrace Kari Lake as a right-wing Republican to love -- and even quicker to tout her discredited conspiracy theories about election fraud there. Read more >>
MRC Spends Holidays Defending Musk And Twitter, Lashing Out At His Critics Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really doesn't like it when non-right-wing media expose the manipulation Elon Musk is trying to do with his selectively released "Twitter files" to handpicked journalists, and Joseph Vazquez whined quite loudly in a Dec. 23 post when CNN's Oliver Darcy did exactly that by pointint out the fact that the FBI paid Twitter to fulfill document requests, not "censor" anyone:
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy acted like a flunky for the FBI, throwing a conniption over Twitter owner Elon Musk’s revelations that the bureau paid the platform millions to “censor” Americans.
Darcy flailed in a Dec. 20 so-called “analysis” that Musk was “misleading the public — again.” He editorialized that “[t]he embattled billionaire, perhaps seeking to distract from the chaos he has wrought at his social media company, is making grossly misleading claims about Twitter and the FBI.” Darcy couldn’t handle Musk’s criticism that the FBI paying Twitter $3.4 million through a “reimbursement program” for staff time dedicated to “processing requests from the FBI” was related to censorship.
Darcy tried to portray Twitter as some kind of symbol of transparency. “Twitter’s guidelines for law enforcement, posted publicly on its website, openly disclose: ‘Twitter may seek reimbursement for costs associated with information produced pursuant to legal process and as permitted by law (e.g., under 18 U.S.C. §2706).’” This is the same platform that lied to the public about its shadowbanning.
Darcy painted himself as a legal savant by preaching how the “law” he cited effectively meant “the money Twitter collected had nothing to do with censoring anyone.” Rather, “The money was simply given as reimbursement for the processing of legal requests, similar to how a journalist might have to pay a fee for a government agency processing a Freedom of Information Act request.”
That Darcy managed to equate a journalist paying to get information from government via FOIA to government placing pressure on a Big Tech platform over gaining access to user data and processing “requests” on flagged accounts is appalling at worst and outright idiotic at best.
Vazquez is acting like a flunky for Musk by perpetuating a lie. Is that appalling or idiotic on his part? Also, there was nothing secret about its "shadowbanning" given that Twitter's terms of service specifically state that it may "limit the distribution or visibility" of any content on its site. Still, Vazquez desperately clung to his lie, this time with added boldface:
Darcy called the $3.4 million “reimbursement” a typical feature of “mundane procedures” that companies exercise when working with government entities. [Emphasis added.]
Newsflash Darcy: The FBI wasn’t “simply” paying Twitter for acquiescing to “mundane” government “requests.” In fact, the FBI’s “requests” may have violated the First Amendment. Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovksy told Fox News that “when a private company is censoring information based on direction, coordination and cooperation with the government, then legally it may be considered to be acting as an agent for the government, and it may be found to be violating the First Amendment.” [Emphasis added.]
The FBI should have never communicated with Twitter about private user data outside of standard legal procedures. Period.
Vazquez concluded by spewing more anger at Darcy for letting reality intrude on his right-wing pro-Musk narratives:
But Darcy injected his own definitions of “facts” and “information,” letting readers know he’s supposedly concerned about both of those things. “Facts be damned in the world we now live in. Musk’s claim [about the FBI paying Twitter for censorship] has absolutely saturated right-wing media,” Darcy wrote. “[T]he poisoning of that information well is also confusing others, who hear the nonsense and aren’t sure what to believe.”
Given Darcy’s sordid history of “poisoning” the “information well” with his ongoing leftist drivel, it’s unclear why anyone would take him seriously as a truth gatekeeper anyway. This is the same guy who flailed that Fox News as a network "works to cater to the fears of White America." He would have us all believe that he’s a keyboard warrior for plebeians against misinformation, a self-aggrandizing image that is confusing others, who hear and read his nonsense and aren’t sure what to believe.
Vazquez made no effort to disprove Darcy's assertion that Fox News "works to cater to the fears of White America."
Jeffrey Lord spent his Dec. 24 column parroting the usual MRC complaint that Musk's Twitter files weren't getting much pickup outside the right-wing media bubble, actually likening them to the Pentagon Papers:
The Twitter files story is every bit a major story as the Pentagon Papers were in the day. Yet there are no Grahams and Bradlees here. To the contrary, just as Breitbart has reported and Shellenberger is noting, today’s media - per Breitbart that would be The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico Playbook, Punchbowl News, and the Los Angeles Times - simply ignored Shellenberger’s ace reporting Monday and into Tuesday of this week.
Whatever else this shows, it is a vivid illustration of a hard fact about today’s media. Long gone are the days when it would launch serious journalistic efforts to get to the facts of a major story and publish them. See: Watergate.
Today the first, gut instinct of the liberal media is to simply suppress the facts, suppress the story. And hope that the new conservative media - Fox, NewsMax, talk radio, The New York Post, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, NewsBusters, Conservative Review, The American Spectator, National Review etc etc - can’t get the story out.
Thankfully, they can.
That's because there's a huge difference between the two. The Pentagon Papers were suppressed by the government and the person who leaked them faced criminal charges for doing so. Musk's Twitter files, by contrast, are selectively chosen and given to his handpicked journalists and parroted by the very outlets Lord touted, all for the purpose of advancing political narratives, not learning a higher truth. In other words, NewsBusters is no Daniel Ellsburg.
Tim Graham picked up the whining stick for a Dec. 27 post complaining that a Washington Post article detailed how Musk ruined his genius reputation by his impulsive, partisan management of Twitter:
Once Elon Musk took over Twitter and started mocking the liberal media, the liberal media was bound and determined to portray him as ruining his reputation. On Christmas morning, the headline on the front page ofThe Washington Post was "Musk's Twitter drama depletes his stature: Erratic leadership spurs a crisis of confidence across tech empire."
Twitter brings Elon Musk’s genius reputation crashing down to earth." This hit piece by tech reporter Faiz Siddiqui was loaded with bitter anonymous sources.
The story began with an unnamed Twitter employee challenging Musk when he said Twitter's code needed a complete rewrite: "One of the participants asked what he meant -- pushing for him to explain it from top to bottom." Musk then apparently said "Amazing, wow...You're a jackass...what a moron." Then Siddiqui added: "The incident highlights the new reality facing Musk, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX: a crisis of confidence in his once-unquestioned brilliance."
This is what people should hate about recreated conversations from anonymous employees. We don't have an actual quote challenging Musk, so we can judge just how hostile it was. But it's created a "crisis of confidence." His reputation for brilliance is "unraveling."
The Post would never do this to their owner, Jeff Bezos. Anyone challenging him in an internal staff meeting would actually never be quoted, ever.
In fact, the Post did do that to their owner to a certain extent as layoffs were announced at the paper. Then again, Bezos hasn't mismanaged the Post the way Musk has mismanaged Twitter.
But if Musk was running Twitter like a "liberal"company, Graham would be cheering all these "bitter anonymous sources." He thinks Musk continues to be a genius because of a shared own-the-libs attitude, not any business judgment he has exhibited so far in managing Twitter.
Meanwhile, the MRC didn't forget to uncritically promote the latest "Twitter files" release, even when it happened on Christmas Eve -- which pretty much guaranteed nobody would pay much attention to it. Paiten Iselin wrote in a Dec. 27 post:
While airing out Twitter’s dirty anti-free-speech laundry, new platform CEO Elon Musk exposed Big Tech for its routine collusion with the federal government as it attempts to censor Americans.
A Twitter Files thread released by journalist Matt Taibbi on Christmas Eve revealed the wide scope of the government’s role in censoring content online. But Musk pointed out that the company he bought was not the only bad actor involved.
“Most people don’t appreciate the significance of the point Matt was making,” Musk wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “*Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government.”
Taibbi’s thread detailed the ongoing relationships of Big Tech writ large with government agencies, including the CIA and FBI.
Of course, if those files really were newsworthy, Musk wouldn't have released them the day before Christmas, and he wouldn't have used such a sleazy dude as Taibbi to do it.
A Dec. 26 post by Autumn Johnson touted a post-Christmas file drop -- another holiday dump seemingly designed to be ignored and, perhaps, deliberately designed to fulfill expectations that it wouldn't be covered outside the right-wing bubble.
CNS Continued To Follow MRC Parent's Lead To Promote 'Twitter Files' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has largely followed the lead of its Media Research Center parent in gushing over Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter. When Musk selectively released internal Twitter documents to hand-picked journalists, CNS stayed on those same right-wing pro-Musk talking points. Susan Jones cheered ina Nov. 30 article:
Elon Musk has promised to "soon" release the "Twitter Files on free speech suppression." As he tweeted on Monday, "The public deserves to know what really happened..."
The incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), says he's "pretty certain somebody affiliated with this government in Washington, D.C., was calling Twitter, telling them to suppress conservative speech."
Bartiromo asked Comer if he thinks the Twitter documents will show "how the White House called Twitter and others to say, censor the Hunter Biden story, don't let anybody know about Hunter Biden influence-peddling, making money on Joe Biden's name."
"Well, somebody called Twitter," Comer said.
Melanie Arter tried to turn Musk in to a victim in a Dec. 1 article that noted "White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the White House monitors the news and 'the misinformation that’s out there' after being questioned about whether the White House would try to shut down Twitter if they see something they don’t like," adding that "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that he found it 'offensive' that the White House wants to keep an eye on Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter."
As those "Twitter files" started coming out, CNS piled on the accolades (and the bashing of those who woiuldn't blindly follow the narrative):
CNS also gave Musk praise for his claimed focus on removing child sex and sex exploitation materials from Twitter (as if pre-Musk Twitter wasn't also trying to do that).Intern Luaren Shank gushed in a Dec. 2 article:
Business magnate Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, SpaceX, and Tesla said eliminating child exploitation on Twitter will “forever be our top priority.” At the same time, the idea of an OnlyFans competitor on the social media platform remains in question.
Musk tweeted on Nov. 29, “This will forever be our top priority,” after Liz Wheeler, a conservative political commentator publicly thanked him for his actions to remove child pornography and child trafficking hashtags from Twitter.
That was followed by a Dec. 8 post by Craig Bannister repeating how Fox News host Greg Gutfeld "lampooned liberals and left-wing media for trying to find excuses to criticize Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, for purging child porn from the social media platform" -- though he provided no evidence anyone is actually doing that.
(Musk does not seem to be doing a good job of this, by the way; hashtags and thinly veiled terms were still being found on Twitter a month later. Those particular terms were blocked only after NBC reported on it.)
Bannister served up talking points on behalf of a right-wing actor in a Dec. 6 article:
After new Twitter owner Elon Musk released Friday the first batch of tweets showing that Democrats had called on the giant social media platform to suppress opposition posts, conservative actor James Woods told Musk he’d gladly be a plaintiff in a Musk-funded class action suit.
Woods, appearing on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Channel show as the tweets were being released, said that his career had been destroyed by the targeting of conservative celebrities:
“Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free speech, with no judicial review, is,” Musk tweeted Friday, commenting on the release of a trove of tweets suggesting Democrats directed the censorship of conservatives.
“Agree. How would you like to fund a class @elonmusk,” Woods offered, replying to Musk’s tweet.
Bannister didn't mention that one of the "opposition tweets" from Woods that was "suppressed" was of an image of Hunter Biden with his penis exposed, which violated Twitter policies against non-consenual nudity then and now.
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman used the files as an excuse to spend a Dec. 7 article rehashing the MRC's election-fraud conspiracy theory that suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story stole the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. As we've documented, that dubious conclusion is based on polls the MRC bought from Trump's own 2020 election pollster and a polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Of course, CNS' commentary side was similarly laudatory of Musk and help advance the narrative:
A Dec. 12 commentary by two employees of the right-wing American Institute for Economic Research chimed in as well:
Victims of Twitter’s practices include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford professor of medicine and co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). Weiss’s thread and The Twitter Files confirm what we’ve long suspected. Seeking to prop up Anthony Fauci and the lockdown policies he promoted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter (and other Big Tech companies) intentionally blacklisted, censored, suppressed, and targeted the GBD and its signers.
Posts referencing the GBD were popular Reddit threads such as r/COVID-19 and r/Coronavirus, and large online communities with millions of members. Google also played a role. In the week after the GBD’s release in October 2020, Google’s news site search algorithms suppressed mainstream coverage of the document by outlets such as Fox News and th Wall Street Journal.
Instead, it steered news searches for “Great Barrington Declaration” toward anti-GBD hit pieces in fringe venues such as the Byline Times, a blog featuring 9/11 conspiracy theorist Nafeez Ahmed. Google algorithms reportedly prioritized an anti-GBD political editorial in Wired Magazine that Anthony Fauci also mined for his own anti-GBD talking points in the press.
These acts of censorship occurred at a time when government officials were working hard behind the scenes to discredit the GBD and its authors. Most notably, NIAID director Anthony Fauci and NIH director Francis Collins collaborated to wage a “devastating published take down” campaign against the GBD, labeling it “nonsense” or “misinformation.”
As we've pointed out, the Great Barrington Declaration pushed dangerous "herd immunity" at a time when COVID was killing large numbers of Americans before vaccines were developed -- a strategy most virus experts opposed -- so it actually was misinformation. The declaraton had numerous fake signatures, and even Bhattacharya himself walked back his support for it.
MSNBC Analyst Busts MRC's Graham For Falsely Framing His Words Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center executive Tim Graham hasn't had a good year on Twitter, given how thoroughly he was ratioed after he tried to slut-shame Monica Lewinsky. He lost on Twitter again when the analyst whose words he falsely framed called him out on it. It bevan with a Dec. 30 post by Graham that began:
On Thursday's Deadline White House, Nicolle Wallace suggested she was interested in the "truth" about domestic terrorism and January 6, but MSNBC analyst Donell Harvin uncorked a wild claim that somehow, the national media were "ignoring" violent right-wing extremists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph since the 1990s. That is completely false, but this is MSNBC, so no one questioned it. No "fact-checkers" evaluate MSNBC bloviations.
But Harvin never said the "national media" ignored McVeigh and Rudolph. What he said was this: "And I want to push back on the on the narrative of Republicans that I generally don`t get political, but strictly from a Homeland Security and Intelligence standpoint, the radical violent right is not nearly as dangerous or well-equipped to attack the Homeland as the left. We've been ignoring the violent right for decades. You can go back to Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph." Nevertheless, Grahamranted:
In reality, the networks were intensely interested in Timothy McVeigh for his mass-murder with a truck bomb at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. They smeared McVeigh on Republican politicians -- we had an article sarcastically headlined "McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" -- and they smeared his attack as emerging from conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh.
Harvin never said that either -- and he responded to the NewsBusters tweet promoting Graham's post in order to point that out:
This is hilarious, thanks.
You misquote me when everyone can hear the video: "the national media were "ignoring" violent right-wing extremists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph since the 1990s."
The "national media" was never said. You made that up.
Happy new year
Then Graham himself got involved, quoting the NewsBusters post on his item and sneering at Harvin: "Sounds like @donell_harvin was born yesterday." Harvin retorted: "Sounds like you can't even properly quote someone. As far as being born yesterday? You tell me brother.." His tweet was accompanied with a picture of him working at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.
First of all, it's a lie to suggest that somehow 'we' ignored Eric Rudolph or that 'we' ignored Timothy McVeigh. I mean, we wrote an article at the time with the headline "Timothy McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" because they tried to smear Timothy McVeigh all over the Republican Party, and this is what they're doing today. They're suggesting that those hotheads, those Trump-loving hotheads who, you know, went and beat up cops, oh, that's the Republican Party, guys, And they use a term like domestic terrorism, which is very loaded, and bloodbath? You know, again, who was shot on January 6? One person was shot by a Capitol policeman, so there was a little bit of a bloddbath there, and they never want to discuss her.
Graham didn't mention that Ashli Babbitt was breaking and entering into the Capitol. But Harvin responded to Graham's rant: "This is amazing reporting. Thanks!" Graham lamely huffed: "Your sarcasm game is just as impressive as your pundit game." Harvin then harshly called him out:
I'm hardly a pundit, nor a reporter.
I am someone that's placed my body in harm's way for over 30 years to protect the public.. And I don't misquote people and manipulate video to create a story for myself.
There's far more honorable ways to make a living, my friend.
I'll make you an offer. Happy to go on Newsmax w you and apologize to the world.
You just have to:
1. Find the part where I said the "media". I was referring to those in homeland security
2. Find the part where I or anyone calls Republicans "terrorists"
I'll wait, my friend
Unsurprisingly, Graham never responded -- he doesn't apologize, and he doesn't go on Newsmax to have an honest debate with anyone; it's where he goes to spout his daily talking points unchallenged because he knows whatever Newsmax host has him on will never challenge him.