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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Assembles Again To Defend His Education Censorship
Topic: Media Research Center

The DeSantis Defense Brigade at the Media Research Center continues to run at full speed, rushing to defend Republican Florida Gov. Ron  DeSantis' efforts to censor what is taught in schools, picking a fight over an advanced placement course on African-American history. Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 19 post:

MSNBC and CNN are not pleased with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest attempts to stop woke-ism in Florida with Alex Wagner sarcastically congratulating him for “keeping hockey white” on Wednesday while Wagner and Friday’s CNN This Morning both acted as if Florida will no longer be teaching history.


Wagner then moved onto DeSantis’s decision to not allow AP African-American Studies to be taught in the state. Courses ending in “studies” are notoriously political, but Wagner did not see it that way, “All of this is bad enough for the people of Florida, but it may concern all of us outside of Florida if DeSantis really is on his way to a presidential run.”

She then introduced Columbia Journalism School dean and The New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb, “Can you give us your thoughts on the moves that the DeSantis administration is making to censor the teaching of history and race in this country?”

For Cobb, it was if DeSantis just banned history class, “they’re trying to eradicate the history of the Civil Rights Movement.”

That’s objectively not true and ridiculous, but Cobb was just getting started, “And so in this march backward to make this heavy-handed diktat about what can be taught and what can't be taught, you’re literally pushing these institutions back into the past.”

As it was on CNN This Morning when Sara Sidner, discussing the same AP African-American Studies controversy and is relates to the wider movement against Critical Race Theory, uttered, “so that's a real problem when you look back at all this because people were oppressed in this country and should that not be taught?”

Sidner then assumed that because Critical Race Theory has “critical” in its name, it must promote critical thinking, “I think we can teach that and people can learn from that and you're supposed to be thinking critically. There's this whole argument that is being made, but this is an Advanced Placement course. So, what if Critical Race Theory is in it? Who cares? Teach kids to think, not what to think.”

Thinking critically means challenging your own assumptions whereas CRT starts with the assumption racism is the answer and then shoehorns evidence to fit a pre-determined conclusion. It is the exact opposite of critical thinking.

Christy offered no evidence to back up any of his attacks on CRT or critical thinking in general.

Kevin tober ranted in another post that day:

On Thursday night's The ReidOut on MSNBC, the vile and venomous Joy Reid threw a temper tantrum over Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis allegedly banning an AP class called "African American Studies" from being taught in Florida public high schools. Instead of making a coherent argument for why a class like that should be taught, Reid accused DeSantis of approving a course that would teach students that former slaves in America were happy and treated well by their "good slave masters." 

"It’s the Daughters of the American revolution, the pro-confederate groups who insisted that we can only teach slavery as happy slaves, good slave masters," Reid claimed. 

Continuing to lash out, Reid shrieked: "I promise you an A.P. class that taught that slavery was good because it seemed at least per his former students, Dr. Gallon that he wanted to teach history of slavery as sort of gallant slave owners who were kind to their happy slaves. He's cool with that. And if the A.P. course said that, he’d be fine with it."

IN a Jan. 21 post, Christy insisted that a right-winger "debunked" concerns about DeSantis' actions:

CNN’s voice of reason Scott Jennings displayed amazing patience on Friday’s CNN Tonight as he calmly debunked self-righteous senior political correspondent John Avlon and condescending former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner on the issue of what exactly Florida requires as part of its history curriculum.

As part of a discussion of Gov. Ron DeSantis disallowing AP African-American Studies, Avlon declared “Well, I think, first of all, what DeSantis is doing with this AP history course is about identifying a political tactic they think is a winner for the Republican base in particular, this war on woke. I think it shows that a lot of the conversations around free speech really fall apart when it's pushing their own ideological agenda.”

Every state, liberal, conservative, and everything in-between has laws regarding curriculum, but only when conservatives enact them is it a threat to “free speech.”


Jennings then calmly took apart this rant, “Yes. Well, Nina, you ought to be very happy with Governor DeSantis because not only is African-American history under Florida law required to be taught to school children, it has actually been expanded during his governorship… it is an absolute state requirement in Florida that they teach African- American history. And it's gotten more expansive since he came in. So, you sound upset with me, but the fact is Governor DeSantis –”

Turner then interrupted, “The way he wants it taught, Scott, right… The party of free speech is taking away people’s speech.”

Repeating talking points is hardly a "debunking."

Miark Finkelstein took a turn at complaining that DeSantis' activism was being criticized, and dutifully spouting talking points in response, in a Jan. 24 post:

CNN has never been "Facts First." Don Lemon hosted a segment on today's CNN This Morning to discuss Ron DeSantis's decision to uphold the Florida State Department of Education's decision to deny the College Board the opportunity to run a pilot AP (Advanced Placement) course on African American Studies pushing themes like "Intersectionality and Activism."

At one point, CNN's Audie Cornish said "I don't know where he wants to draw the line. Slavery was political at one point."


Wrong! Don Lemon surely knows that DeSantis is not proposing to ban the teaching of slavery. DeSantis does object, however, to African American history being taught from a hard-left perspective. And examining the curriculum in question, that is exactly what is being proposed. Students wouldn't be taught: they'd be indoctrinated in CRT, BLM, and history according to avowed Communist Party die-hards like Angela Davis.

Tober served up even more whining at Reid for daring to criticize DeSantis:

On Tuesday, MSNBC's ReidOut host Joy Reid launched into a vicious attack again Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis due to his committing the grave sin of protecting public school children in his state from racial and sexual indoctrination. Reid was so incensed that she compared it to the "cultural genocide" that took place in the 1800s against Native Americans. If you needed proof of how demonic and historically illiterate Reid is, this is all the evidence you need.

A Jan. 25 post by Tober smeared a civil rights attorney suing DeSantis over the forced curriculum changes as a "racial ambulance chaser":

Wednesday's NBC Nightly News dedicated an entire segment to a pending lawsuit by racial ambulance chaser Ben Crump and a number of left-wing activist students over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Board of Education banning an AP African American studies course that would've taught public school students content steeped leftist ideology like Critical Race Theory, black queer studies, intersectionality, and other topics that violate state laws. Most of the segment was framed against the educational reforms DeSantis was making, with correspondent Zinhle Essamuah framing the racial indoctrination as simply "African American history."

"Protest and pushback in Florida with a new potential legal battle over race education," Essamuah announced before cutting to a student named Elijah Edward who whined about DeSantis: "I can't believe that this is 2023, and America is talking about censuring education."

"Civil rights attorney Ben Crump announcing his plan to sue Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and the state after DeSantis blocked a pilot AP African American studies course in Florida," Essamuah sympathetically reported.

Curtis Houck similarly attacked Crump in a Jan. 26 post:

Thursday’s CBS Mornings opened its “What to Watch” segment with a little over two minutes touting far-left activist and Al Sharpton-wannabe Benjamin Crump’s threat to sue Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) over the Florida Department of Education’s decision to reject an AP course on African-American culture and history because it was deemed “a vehicle for a political agenda” with topics such as critical race theory, intersectionality, and queer studies.

“Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is threatening to sue the state of Florida — rather, Governor Ron DeSantis. Here’s the reason: Last week, Florida’s Education Department rejected a proposed Advanced Placement high school course on African-American studies. That is a college prep class,” co-host Vladimir Duthiers began.


Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King reacted by defending the class, saying “it’s important to point out it’s an elective class” with other choices out there and thus students “don’t have to take it.”

Houck baselessly attacked another "CNS Mornings" co-host, Tony Dokoupil, as a "socialist" without providing evidence to back it up.

Christy returned to complain in a Jan. 27 post:

If someone really wanted to get the conservative perspective on the news, one of the last places they would turn would be CNN, but that didn’t stop a Thursday CNN Tonight panel from declaring that GOP efforts to stop Critical Race Theory are not conservative.


Later in the segment, Avlon lamented that they were even having this conversation, “it's just the performative nonsense that we're playing into to some extent. I mean, yeah, Trump is trying to outdo Ron DeSantis and this is all about, you know, play the base and it's not about serious policy. It's not about helping kids. It's not about, you know, uniting the nation.”

Because The 1619 Project and gender theory are about uniting the nation?

Christy went on to insist that "Trump, DeSantis, and others are reacting to a left-wing culture war" and not creating one, even though CRT is nothing if not a right-wing culture war.

The lashing out at any criticism of DeSantis continued:

HOuck used a Feb. 1 post to remind us that this was all about advancing right-wing narratives and buzzwords and boosting DeSantis and nothing about education:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) scored yet another K.O. to wokeism Wednesday when College Board, the company behind Advanced Placement courses for high schoolers, released its revised curriculum for AP African American Studies after the Sunshine State rejected it for its litany of woke principles, including Critical Race Theory, intersectionality, and queer theory. But when the head of College Board and the lead adviser joined CBS Mornings, none of that was brought up.

Instead, the course was treated as completely innocuous.

Houck never explained why it wasn't beyond dropping right-wing buzzwords like "woke" and "Critical Race Theory." He followed that up with a Feb. 3 post touting DeSantis' "latest victory over wokeness" and whining that someone else criticized DeSantis.

Tim Graham cranked out his own DeSantis defense in a Feb. 3 column:

Anyone watching leftist cable news channels knows that it’s considered fair commentary to categorize Republicans, individually, or collectively, as “white nationalists” or “white supremacists.” Anyone standing in the way of the Black Lives Matter/Critical Race Theory crusade is dealt the Racist card.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis scored a political win in pressuring the College Board to tone down their proposed Advanced Placement curriculum on “African-American Studies.” Every conservative knows from experience that when you place “studies” in front of a minority group – black studies, queer studies, Native American studies, women’s studies – you can expect a highly ideological journey.

Graham refused to admit that DeSantis is simply imposing his own ideology by force on Florida's educational system. Instead, he gushed that electoral might makes right: "Ron DeSantis was just re-elected with 59 percent of the vote, but CNN and their left-wing guests want to suggest that he’s the one that’s 'outside the mainstream.'" By contrast, the MRC never concedes that Democrats who win elections have a mandate for change according to their views.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 10:36 PM EST
Newsmax's Own Arguments Against DirecTV Fail
Topic: Newsmax

One of Newsmax's arguments against being dropped by DirecTV -- about which it has spent the past month loudly whining about -- is that, as stated in a Feb. 4 article, "DirecTV continues to carry 22 liberal news channels, many with low ratings and all get paid hefty license fees." But it rarely released the list of those "22 liberal news channels." But it would show them on the TV screen every once in a while:


What? The Weather Channel is a "liberal news channel"? Comedy Central is a "liberal news channel"? As the Daily Beast summarized:

While channels like Vice, PBS, Spanish-language networks, and the major broadcasters air nightly news programs, they would hardly be described as “news channels.” Furthermore, describing specialty offerings like Justice Central (which just airs blocks of first-run courtroom shows in the same vein as The People’s Court) as a news network is downright insulting.

In terms of 24-hour cable news channels that could be seen as similar to Newsmax, the following apply from the network’s list: CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Newsnation, Cheddar, CNN International, CNBC World, BBC World News and CNN en Espanol.

Now, are all of these channels considered liberal? While that is purely subjective, Newsmax has backed its claim by pointing to a 2019 poll that found a majority of Americans believed that all network news channels leaned to the left. Therefore, per the network, that means that The Weather Channel and a channel that airs stand-up comic performances must be part of the liberal news establishment.

The Daily Beast also pointed out that including all of those "22 liberal news channels," as Newsmax insists on describing them, Newsmax would rank 12th in ratings -- not the "fourth highest-rated cable network" it frequently claims to be as justification for DirecTV keeping it.

The Daily Beast further blew up Newsmax's argument that DirecTV pays for each individual "liberal news channel" it offers, noting that some come as part of packages; for instance, Vice is part of A&E Networks, and it's included in a package of other A&E-owned channels.

When the right-leaning Wall Street Journal published an editorial accurately pointing out that the Newsmax-DirecTV was a licensing dispute and not a "censorship" debate, going on to note that it's "bewildering why many Republicans are getting involved" by threatening government interference in a private business decision -- adding that "Political coercion of business is as distasteful from the right as it is from the left" -- Newsmax devoted an unsigned Feb. 20 editorial to complaining about it, claiming that the Journal "failed to mention some important facts":

First, the dispute is not over a fee price. AT&T, the 70% owner of DirecTV, is claiming Newsmax should get zero fees while all other U.S. cable news channels get them. Newsmax, the fourth highest-rated cable news channel, according to Nielsen, believes it is being discriminated against.

Importantly, the Journal editorial failed to disclose that one shareholder, Rupert Murdoch, controls both it and Fox News, its sister company.

As recent disclosures in the Dominion lawsuit revealed, Newsmax is a competitor to Fox. In 2020, Murdoch sent an email to Fox's CEO expressing serious concern about the rise of Newsmax and said the network needed to be "watched."

We understand Fox wants to be the only news source for right-of-center cable viewers, but that is not good for the GOP, democracy, or good competition.

Still, with such a serious conflict of interest, we thought the WSJ would disclose it. But they did not.

If Newsmax is demanding a fee and DirecTV dropped it instead of paying it, that means this is, in fact, a fee dispute. Also, it's ironic that Newsmax would complain about the Journal's conflict of interest here when Newsmax routinely refuses to disclose its conflicts of interest when it promotes books by Dick Morris and David Horowitz that were published by Newsmax's book division.

The editorial then went on a lengthy tangent about Fox News' own fee dispute with a DirecTV competitor, Dish Network, while not mentioning that 1) Fox News has much higher ratings than Newsmax and can therefore justify the carriage fees it wants, and 2) Newsmax has more streaming and OTT options than Fox News does, which would seem to obviate the need for Newsmax to actually be on DirecTV.

Of course, the editorial repeated its own debunked talking point:

Newsmax counts at least 22 liberal-leaning news channels still on DirecTV. All of them get cable license fees, and most have lower ratings than Newsmax.

And none have been deplatformed by AT&T.

Finally, the editorial failed to disclose to readers the fact that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel. The First, meaning that its argument of viewpoint "censorship" is inoperative.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 7:02 PM EST
Another WND Columnist Peddles Pro-Russia and Anti-Ukraine Propaganda
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Add another name to the list of WorldNetDaily columnists (Scott Lively, Jim Darlington, Joseph Farah) who serve as propagandists for Vladimir Putin by serving up pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine talking points. Richard Blakley spent his Jan. 6 column repeating claims that Ukrainine president Volodymyr Zelensky is too close to a Ukrainian oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky, using that as an excuse to oppose more U.S. aid to Ukraine. Blakley didn't mention, however, that Zelensky is cracking dodwn on corruption in addition to defending his country against Russia and that Kolomoisky has not been immune; a few weeks after Blakley's column appeared, Ukraninan authories raided Kolomoisky's home following the seizure of two oil companies following the alleged discovery of corruption.

For his Jan. 13 column, Blakley sought to justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine by repeating discredited Russian propaganda about biolabs in Ukraine:

It is amazing to look at the history of Russia and Ukraine. They have a rich, tangled history that connects them together going back "more than 1,000 years with to a time when Kyiv, now Ukraine's capital, was at the center of the first Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, the birthplace of both Ukraine and Russia." Who would bomb your own birthplace? Why would Russia attack Ukraine?

It is interesting that Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, but prior to this invasion, dating back as far as 2018, Russia had made claims that there were U.S. financed bio-labs in Ukraine making "biological weapons that would be spread by specially trained migratory birds and diseased bats." Russia has also raised the concerns of the use of "unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] for the aerial release of … infected mosquitos" where the spread of these "highly contagious" agents "could wipe out 100 percent of the enemy['s] troops." Some of the dangerous pathogens being studied are plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera, leptospirosis, brucellosis, coronavirus, filoviruses and other deadly diseases.


The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the bio-labs in Ukraine have been urgently destroying samples of deadly pathogens since the Russian military operation began. It was also stated that "Ukraine was close to building a plutonium-based dirty bomb nuclear weapon."

So why would Russia attack Ukraine? President Putin is quoted as saying that a "network of Western bioweapons labs" constituted one of the justifications for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Since Dec. 25, Putin has twice extended the opportunity for peace, only to be rejected by Ukraine. After all, if peace occurs, Ukraine would have to give back the $45 billion the U.S. Congress voted to given them as part of the omnibus spending bill, which Biden signed into law Dec. 29 – and then how would "the big guy" get his 10%?

So is Biden's continued throwing of money at Ukraine a good decision for America? I think Obama's former defense secretary Robert Gates answered this question best. Gates stated, Biden has "been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

Blakley didn't explain why anyone should believe what Russian propagandists have to say.

Blakley used his Jan. 26 column to blame President Biden for Russia's invasion of Ukraine for [checks notres] calling out Russian interference in U.S. presidential elections:

So, let's see, Biden orchestrated numerous disastrous economic initiatives in January of 2021. In February of 2021 Biden's plans are already causing bleak prospects for the American economy. So what happened in March of 2021? Biden was busy stating that Russian Leader Vladimir Putin was "a killer with no soul." Putin had been peaceful for four years. Biden was railing and ranting concerning the 2020 elections, stating if it were found that Putin boosted the reelection chances of President Trump, the Russian leader would "pay the price."

Whether the 2020 election was clean or not, could someone tell Joe that the final numbers indicate he obtained more votes than any candidate in U.S. history, making him the winner, and remind Joe that he was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2021? Why would Biden be calling another world leader "a killer with no soul" and threaten him that he would "pay the price" concerning an election Biden won? Biden's words caused Russia to recall its Washington ambassador, and the U.S. recalled its Russian ambassador too. Great job on world peace, Joe, after being in office for only two months.

Um, doesn't Russia's invasion of Ukraine amply prove Biden's contention that Putin is "a killer with no soul"? Blakley also repeated the pro-Russia talking point that Ukraine wanting to join NATO was a legitimate excuse for Russia to invade Ukraine:

So let's see what happened just in the first three months of Biden's administration. 1) Ukraine appealed for membership in NATO, 2) Biden executes doomed economic policies, and 3) Biden calls Putin "a killer with no soul," promising that Putin would "pay the price" for an election Joe won, causing the recall of U.S. and Russian ambassadors.

What do you think Putin would do next with a perceived threat on his doorstep? He is going to flex his muscles.


Well, February was filled with tit for tat between NATO and Russia until Feb. 24 when Putin authorized a "special military operation" and the war in Ukraine commenced.

Pope Francis commented concerning the Russia-Ukraine war, saying, "We do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was, perhaps, somehow either provoked or not prevented." The pope recalled a conversation with a head of state who expressed concerns about NATO. When asked why, this head of state said, "They are barking at the gates of Russia. They don't understand that the Russians are imperial and can't have any foreign power getting close to them."

On March 18, 2022, Chinese President Xi and Biden had a conference, and Xi stated that "conflict and confrontation are not in anyone's interest." The next day, March 19, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng blamed NATO for the war.

Neither Blakley nor Putin seem to understand that NATO is a defensive alliance that, unlike Russia, does not invade other countries.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Failure Cleanup Mode At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center groused that the media ignored John Durham's latest failed prosecution (which the MRC also ignored), and it again repeated complaints that the House committee looking into the Capitol riot was considered newsworthy. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 AM EST
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
MRC Calls Biden A Liar For Claming GOP Want To Cut Social Security & Medicare -- But Doesn't Prove Him Wrong
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center lashed out at anyone who said nice things about President Biden's State of the Union address, but it was really incensed that Biden called out Republicans who wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare, insisting it was a lie despite ample on-the-record evidence of Republicans desiring to do exactly that. Alex Christy spent a Feb. 8 post spinning on behalf of Republicans, demanding that you ignore all that evidence and believe instead that Biden "cynically lied":

Wednesday’s CNN Newsroom did not directly say that President Biden lied during his State of the Union address when he claimed that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare, but they strongly implied it wasn’t true. Still, the Republican reaction to that claim garnered more condemnation from the assorted cast than the claim itself with co-host Jim Sciutto go so far as to wonder “what lesson it teaches to our children about how to respond to points that they disagree with.”

After playing a clip of Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Fox recalling that he told Biden himself Social Security and Medicare cuts are off the table, Congressional Correspondent Jessica Dean reporter, “The president appeared to be referring to a proposal by Florida Senator Rick Scott that would sunset all federal legislation including Medicare and Social Security, that is something that the House Speaker has said will not be included in these cuts.”

Nicholas Fondacaro similarly whined:

The cackling coven of ABC’s The View was giddy Wednesday morning following President Biden’s divisive and fact-free State of the Union address the previous night. They were obsessed with Biden’s raucous exchange with some Republicans after he spewed disinformation to a national, televised audience about the caucus supposedly clamoring to sunset Social Security. The ladies of The View called the BIG LIE “brilliant” and “masterful,” including the supposed Republican.


And when it came to the Republican outrage at Biden’s BIG LIE, the cackling coven condemned the right for daring to push back. “You owe him the respect! He is the president!” Goldberg screamed, arguing that Republicans were “indulging in really what is despicable behavior.” Hostin shouted about how Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene should be forced to apologize to Biden.

Despite repeatedly putting "BIG LIE" in all caps, Fondacaro offered no evidence to show that it wa. A couple hours later, Fondacaro was still ranting about it:

While CBS News was busy clutching their pearls into diamonds over Republican opposition to President Biden’s lies about them in his divisive State of the Union address Tuesday night, ABC News analysts admitted that his comments about Republicans wanting to abolish Social Security were “over the top.” But they were fine with it because “he did it with a smile.”

Chief anchor David Muir clutched his pearls over how Republicans dared to push back on the President’s lies. “Their behavior was on full display tonight,” he chided. “You heard Marjorie Taylor Greene yell ‘liar’ when it came to Medicare and Social Security, but then -- this was an interesting scene we watched unfold.”

Again, he offered no proof Biden lied.

Kevin Tober complained that Biden "said untrue things about them wanting to gut Social Security and Medicare which he knew would get a negative response." Tim Graham's Feb. 8 podcast groused that "Biden was a trash-talking partisan, uncorking lies about Republicans phasing out Social Security and so on. Anchors considered it rude that Republicans would loudly object to being accused of trying to kill Social Security."

The next day, Christy complained that NBC's Seth Meyers served up some of that actual evidence using the actual words of Republican Sen. Mike Lee, declaring it to be irrelevant:

Despite all the proclamations from Republican leaders saying cuts to Social Security and Medicare are not on the table, NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers reacted to President Biden’s State of the Union address on Wednesday by defending him against allegations he lied about GOP intentions to do just that.


In an attempt Biden was correct, Meyers had to reach back 13 years, “In-- in Mike Lee's case, it would be true because he campaigned on eliminating Medicare and Social Security when he first ran for Senate back in 2010.”

The video clearly shows Lee saying his purpose for running is to eventually eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. However, that was 13 years ago, he clearly hasn’t made any progress, and he is just one out of 49 Republicans.

Christy followed up with more lingustic gymnastics:

After mimicking Lee’s facial expression, Meyers then claimed he wasn’t the only one, “Senators Rick Scott and Ron Johnson both floated plans that would sunset Social Security and Medicare by putting them up for periodic votes that would subject them to cuts and Georgia Republican Congressman Rick Allen said he would raise the retirement age, because he claims people come up to him and say they want to work longer.”

Raising the retirement age is not a cut and Republican leadership has consistently distanced itself from Scott’s plan. The only ones pretending that they have a non-zero percent chance of being enacted are Biden and his defends like Seth Meyers.

Raising the retirement age is, in fact, a cut in benefits since one must work longer to receive them and, thus, will receive less money over the course of their retirement.

The MRC was still whining about this days later. A Feb. 14 post by P.J. Gladnick tried to play gotcha by hyping a video from Bernie Sanders -- yes the one the MRC loves to bash as a socialist -- promoting old statements by Biden about cutting Social Security. Graham, meanwhile, complained in a Feb. 19 post that a guest on NPR "shamelessly touted Biden's lies about Republicans wanting to 'sunset' Social Security and Medicare" without offering evidence they were the lies he insisted they were.

There was no MRC post dedicated to proving Biden wrong about Republicans wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare -- perhaps because they know it's true.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 10:09 AM EST
WND Calls On Another Medical Misinformer To Help It Spread COVID Vaccine Misinfo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Along with Peter McCullough, another of WorldNetDaily's favorite COVID misinformers is Robert Malone.  Bob Unruh help Malone spread more misinformation -- and spread misinjjformation about him in a Jan. 24 article:

Dr. Robert Malone, who invented the mRNA technology that was used for most of the COVID-19 shots, says he cannot support President Donald Trump for re-election as long as Trump defends the experimental shots.

Stop right there. Malone did not invent mRNA vaccines -- he merely did some research 30 years ago that helped contribute to their development. Unruh continued by quoting Trump both taking credit for the vaccines and raising questions about their safety:

The vaccinations were developed on a fast-track under Trump, after COVID-19 was unleashed in China and circled the globe, killing millions.

It was during an interview with "Real America's Voice" recently that Trump was asked about the COVID shots.

He said, "I was able to get something approved that, you know, that has proven to have saved a lot of lives. Some people say that I saved 100 million lives worldwide."

He also said there are concerns with the safety.

"You have to understand. There are the pros and cons…I never demanded anybody use it. I never had a mandate. And I think that's very important to know."

Unruh then moved toward ratcheting up the fearmongering and enlisting Malone in that effort:

Actually, the complications from the COVID shots still are being reported, and tens of thousands of deaths are being attributed to the shots.

Malone said he agreed with those who would not support someone backing the COVID shots.

"I shot a film segment designed to help DJT see the truth. No impact. As I said, it is with regret that I have to agree with Brian. This is different from Mikki’s point. This is DJT’s decision. I disagree," he said.

Weirdly, Unruh's article ends there -- no evidence is provided by either him or Malone that the vaccines are unsafe. This is a severely underbaked article published seemingly because it's easy stenography and can somewhat plausibly pass for an actual "news" piece.

By contrast, an article the same day by Peter LaBarbera stayed in the oven somewhat longer while treading the same fearmongering territory:

The FDA is now recommending Americans take annual COVID booster vaccines much like the flu shots that are made available every year, but selling that plan to a skeptical public will be increasingly difficult as doubts about the booster shots grow.

One prominent doctor said outside of people with multiple extreme health issues like obesity and diabetes, "nobody ... should take" the booster shots, and even those high-risk patients should "weigh the pros and cons" before getting injected.

LaBarbera oddly failed to identify that "prominent doctor" despite purporting to directly quote him. Instead, he cited more COVID misinformers:

The government's plan comes amidst widespread reports of unexplained, heart-related "sudden deaths" and serious cardiac incidents of young, mostly male Americans, including athletes — which prominent dissenters like Dr. Peter McCullough assert are most likely linked to the vaccines' myocarditis and blood-clot side effects.

In a video interview with Just the News, former Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch, another high-profile critic of the government's "safe and effective" COVID vaccine narrative, said outside of people with "who have multiple, chronic" health issues, "I would say there's nobody who should take" the boosters.

"For people, say, over age 65 or 70, who have multiple, chronic conditions, maybe they're obese, they have diabetes, chronic heart disease, kidney disease, maybe they've had cancer — things like that — [for] those people, I think it's uncertain. The vaccines can do damage to those people, too, but the vaccines may actually provide some benefit, at least for some months, in reducing the risks of a more serious illness if they contract COVID. So I don't think the data are particularly clear as to the risk versus benefit, in a quantitative way, in those kind of people," he told Just the News' John Solomon and Real America's Voice in the interview posted today.

"For everybody else, there's no benefit of taking the booster. The booster has lost its efficacy for the new [COVID} substrains that are circulating now. ...So it's already uncalibrated for what's circulating, and that means its efficacy as a booster is less," he said. "But still the original component of it and the generic value of it as a booster ... provides benefit for some shortish period of time that might not be outweighed by the risks of the booster itself in high-risk people in the first place."

LaBarbera quoted no people who hwere not fringe anti-vaxxers to rebut McCullough or Risch. Instead, he cheered that "Americans are increasingly skeptical of the vaccines."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 5:35 PM EST
Newsmax DirecTV Victimhood Watch: Slowing Down The Pace
Topic: Newsmax

Going into its fifth week of victimhood over getting dropped by DirecTV, Newsmax surprisingly slowed down the pace of proclaiming itself to be a victim. It published no attack articles at all on Feb. 22, andonly these on the following two days:

That's just eight articles in a three-day span -- a drastic slowdown from its pace of more than 50 articles a week in the first four weeks after it was dropped. With these articles, Newsmax has published at least 213 articles complaining about DirecTV's decision since it was dropped on Jan. 25.

Newsmax also continued to have columnists help make its case. Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue had a very lazy rah-rah piece on Feb. 21, right down to directly and uncritically quoting its talking points:

On Jan. 25, the same day Newsmax announced it had been unjustly sacked by the AT&T-owned DirecTV, this writer called on Catholics to rally to its side.

Subsequently, this writer was followed by a host of prominent Americans who registered their criticism of DirecTV, many of whom called for a boycott.

Politicians, corporate leaders, TV personalities, sports figures, actors, lawyers, religious leaders — a Who's Who of American public figures — lambasted DirecTV, calling on them to carry Newsmax again.

Also contact your representatives in Congress.

That's it. No, really.

Ralph Benko put in more effort in his Feb. 23 column, but he slavishly stuck to the corporate line:

Yes, as a weekly Newsmax contributor, I’m loyal to Newsmax. That said, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes," to quote William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. 

Per Newsmax:

"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, founder and CEO of Newsmax said.

The ejection of Newsmax by DirecTV carries a certain aroma of microaggression.

Benko censored the fact that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, meaning that there is no viewpoint censorship. That didn't stop him from whining on his publisher'sbehalf, or from endorsing government interference into a private business decision:

ATT, of course, has the right to choose what to carry. That said, Mr. Market, so much more ruthless than federal regulators, will have the last word.

And, despite my devotion, as an ordoliberal, to free markets, those members of Congress who have raised vociferous objections to DirecTV’s exile of Newsmax have a legal and constitutional hook well worth exploring.


ATT, DirecTV’s mothership, enjoys billions of dollars of contracts with the federal government. If, following congressional investigation, ATT’s subsidiary’s exile of Newsmax turns out based on credal discrimination, smells like a violation of the spirit, at least, of federal anti-discrimination rules.

A congressional finding of credal discrimination should invite immediate remedial action by DirecTV… rather than inviting Uncle Sam to deliver a message, good and hard, by canceling a few billion dollars of ATT’s opulent government contracts.

We thought conservatives hated government interference in private busineess decision. Not if they can use them to advance an agenda, apparently.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EST
CNS Keeps Up Lazy 'Meathead' Insults of Rob Reiner

Like its Media Research Center parent, has a penchant for lazily trying to dismiss anything Rob Reiner has to say by callling him "Meathead" -- a role he hasn't played in more than four decades, never mind that he has since had an acclaimed career as a film director. It has continued to do so over the past year.

A February 2022 article (anonymously written, of course) grumbled that Reiner, "the actor who played 'Meathead' on 'All in the Family,' sent out a tweet on Wednesday claiming that former President Donald Trump 'has committed the single worst crime in presidential history'" by triyng to overthrow the government. An Aug. 29 article by Craig Bannister -- which highlighted how TV host Bill Maher "sparred with radical liberal activist and Hollywood mogul Rob Reiner" -- was the only one of these to carry a byline and the only one to refrain from calling Reiner "Meathead."

An anonymously written Nov. 16 article referring to "‘Meathead’ Rob Reiner" in the headline groused:

Actor Rob Reiner, who played Michael “Meathead” Stivic on “All in the Family” has sent out a series of tweets over the last three days calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict former President Donald Trump.

“Hey, remember when Donald Trump stole highly classified documents?” said a tweet that Reiner re-tweeted on Nov. 13.

Reiner followed-up that re-tweet with a tweet said: “After the Dec. 6 runoff, there is absolutely no reason for Merrick Garland not to Indict Trump for Stealing Top Secret Classified Government Documents. To strengthen Democracy, it must be done."

CNS kicked off 2023 with a couple more lazy hits on Reiner. An anonymously written Jan. 25 article referred to "Rob ‘Meathead’ Reiner" in the headline:

Rob Reiner, who played Archie Bunker’s son-in-law Meathead on “All in the Family,” sent out a tweet earlier this month declaring his opinion that “Donald Trump is a pathologically lying criminal.”

This was only one in a series of tweets in which Reiner attacked Republicans generally and Trump specifically.

And there was anonymously written "Rob ‘Meathead’ Reiner" article on Feb. 16:

Rob Reiner, the actor who played Archie Bunker’s son-in-law “Meathead” on “All in the Family,” sent out a tweet on Tuesday obscenely expressing his view of former Vice President Mike Pence.

“So Pence is fighting the DOJ subpoena to testify about the Jan. 6 insurrection,” said Reiner. “Guess he feels more comfortable flying up Trump’s a** than helping to save democracy.”

In a preceding tweet that he also sent out on Tuesday, Reiner went after Trump.

“On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump led a violent attack on the United States Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the Government,” said Reinter. “If he is not indicted for that, he will have succeeded.”

In fact, Trump did not go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump did not need to go to thte Capitol when his speech beforehand sufficiently incited the crowd.

That was the only pushback on Reiner in any of these articles. There was also no explanation of why CNS (not to mention the MRC)  specifically attacks tweets from Reiner when ignoring him might be a more prudent path -- unless, of course, it thinks Reiner is easy clickbait, which makes CNS even lazier than we thought.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 12:31 AM EST
Monday, February 27, 2023
MRC Lashed Out At Anyone Who Praised Biden's State of the Union Address
Topic: Media Research Center

Before President Biden's Stateof the Union address, the Media Research Center was in prebuttal mode, as exemplified in a Feb. 7 post by Nicholas Fondacaro:

Hours ahead of President Biden’s Tuesday State of the Union address, the ladies of ABC’s The View shared their demands for what they wanted him to talk about. But their shrieking was willed with disinformation, misinformation, and lies about what was going on in the country, and smears against Republicans. So, NewsBusters thought it was pertinent to address and debunk the poison they were pumping into the public discourse.

Racist Whoopi Goldberg kicked off the segment by boasting that Biden would give the address with “historically low unemployment, more jobs with higher wages, lower gas prices, and less inflation than the previous months.”

FACT CHECK: Misleading. Workforce participation was still below pre-pandemic levels, gas prices had been going up again as well the fact they’re far above what they were when Biden took office, and inflation (which was way up since Biden took office) was still hurting Americans and would continue to hurt for some time.

Focusing on workforce participation instead of unemployment rates to make Biden look bad? That's a trick Fondacaro picked up from his employer's "news" division, He's also following in the narratives of his employer by blaming Biden for higher gas prices despite naming no policy that could be directly tied to them.

After the address, Kevin Tober tried desperately to set up an anti-Biden narrative by insisting that he was "bitterly partisan and divisive":

In the immediate aftermath of President Joe Biden’s bitterly partisan and divisive State of the Union address, MSNBC host Alex Wagner went after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for not showing enough allegiance to the left’s latest obsessions like the war in Ukraine and “democracy” at home and abroad. Wagner was outraged that McCarthy didn’t stand up when he clapped for Biden’s applause lines and went after his House members as being against democracy and wanting to “subvert the will of the people.”

Of course, the actual partisan and divisive people at the address were the right-wing Republicans who petulantly heckled Biden. Fondacaro tried to play cleanup by playing whataboutism:

Immediately following the conclusion of President Biden’s State of the Union address, the commentary cast of CBS News attempted to clutch their pearls into diamonds as they decried heckling of Republicans in the chamber. Ignoring how Democrats routinely used former President Trump’s address to protest, heckle make statements, and tear up his speech, the Biden-friendly network declared Republicans “chaos entrepreneur[s].”

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy is trying to present a new image, standing on many occasions but there were a lot of disruptions from the crowd,” huffed CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

Chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes framed the heckling as something only Republicans do at these addresses:

Kevin Tober lashed out at a person who committed the offense of saying something nice about Biden:

During the midnight hour of MSNBC’s State of the Union address coverage, pseudo-historian Michael Beschloss made a fool of himself during his analysis of Biden’s speech. After being asked by MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle what he thought of Biden’s speech, Beschloss declared Biden to be “Mr. Smooth.” Biden is many things, but everyone can agree that smooth isn’t one of the adjectives most Americans would use to describe him. 

“That was a wonderful speech. Didn't you think he was sort of Mr. Smooth? This guy’s been in national politics for 50 years. You don't always see the result of that, but you sure saw it tonight,” Beschloss proclaimed. 

“He was elegant, he was civilized, he was conciliatory, he was reasonable, and maybe most of all, he sounded like a centrist, which is exactly where he wants to be,” Beschloss added. 

It's unclear what speech he was watching but it’s safe to assume that he wasn’t watching Biden’s State of the Union address. Since Biden’s speech was extremely divisive and partisan, and at times incoherent.

Tober clearly knew he had to woprk in that "bitter and partisan" narrative, though he cited the highly biased and partisan Daily Caller to back up the claim.

Alex Christy further whined at another non-right-wing outlet that wasn't following the right-wing media narrative:

Amid plenty of laughter from the panel, MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough’s Wednesday reaction to the State of the Union was more cathartic group therapy than serious analysis as he wasted no time in calling Republicans “stupid” and “the dumbest political party that’s ever existed” while labeling them “jackasses” for daring to object to President Biden’s lie about them cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Morning Joe kicked off the program with a highly and selectively edited montage of Biden’s speech as well as Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s response. The quick edits made it look like Biden was an uplifting unifier while Sanders was a bitter divider.

Of course, Sanders’s whole job was to provide a rebuttal to Biden’s self-congratulatory speech and five second clips can be deceiving, but facts were in short supply as co-host Mika Brzezinski led off, “Very different tones last night between President Biden’s mostly optimistic looking State of the Union—”

An overly theatrical Scarborough then interrupted, “Wait, wait, wait! Can't anybody play this game! Why is my former party so stupid?”

Brzezinski then tried to claim that Biden plaid Republicans like a fiddle, “he fed it to them and they – boop.”

Curits Houck served up the same tone about another non-right-wing show:

ABC’s Good Morning America pitched a torrent of slobber Wednesday over President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address, gushing over Biden as “fired up and fiery” offering “a message of hope” in “one of the best speeches” ever with the White House “riding high” against raucous” Republicans who were bitter”, childish, and “rude” in “jeering” Dear Leader.


[Correspondent Mary] Bruce framed Biden as the statesmen and not the taunter, saying he started “with a hand extended across the aisle” even though Republicans replied with “outbursts.” In response, she bragged that Biden “seiz[ed] the moment to turn the tables on Republicans trying to get them to commit” to protect entitlements.

Houck similarly attacked another morning show a couple hours later for not adhering to right-wing narratives:

While ABC’s Good Morning America was swooning over a “fired up and fiery” President Biden’s “message of hope” in his State of the Union address, NBC’s Today was similarly at a fever pitch of enthusiasm Wednesday as they proclaimed the “[made] an appeal for...unity” to an “unserious” Republican Party that created a “spicy” atmosphere inside the House chamber.

Co-host Savannah Guthrie came off like a state-run news reader, boasting in the opening tease that “Biden deliver[ed] his message to Congress and the American people” and “urg[ed] the parties to come together to finish the job in a boisterous House chamber.”

Again: The MRC's rage is solely partisan, becaue it can't handle anyone in tihe media saying anything nice about a Democrat and because it believes that all news should have the same right-wing bias as Fox News. Speaking of which, MRC chief Brent Bozell ran to Fox Business to push that anti-Biden narrative because he knows he will never be challenged on it:

Media Research Center Founder and President Brent Bozell joined the Wednesday edition of the Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. to analyze the media’s over-the-top praise of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. 

Substitute host Ashley Webster aired highlights of journalists hailing Biden’s performance with the likes of CNN’s Jake Tapper claiming Biden seemed “invigorated from the address.” 

Webster turned to Bozell and inquired: “Well into his eighties. I think he’s already there. Isn’t he? Brent Bozell joins me now. Brent? Did that speech invigorate you?”

Bozell had fun mocking the media’s feeble attempts to prop-up Biden: “Invigorated is code word for not senile....He’s into his eighties. He’s invigorated. Which means….the defibrillator worked, he’s alive.”

Bozell then offered what the media’s take should have been, if they weren’t so in the tank for this administration:

Apparently Bozell does not consider Fox News to be part of "the media," because he offered no critique of its biased coverage. Further, Bozell's interviewer was so in the tank for Bozell that he served up a softball that allowed Bozell to rehash the MRC's conspiracy theory about the election being stolen from Donald Trump because not enough people purportedly knew about Hunter Biden's laptop: "National surveys show had they known 9.4 percent would not have voted for him, Donald Trump would have won 317 electoral votes, would have won an absolute landslide. This is dynamite! This is kryptonite for the Democrats and for Joe Biden." That conspiracy theory is based on polls it bought from Trump's 2020 election pollster and the polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, so it is not remotely credible.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EST
WND Helps McCullough Spread More COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of WorldNetDaily's favorite misinformers about COVID and its vaccines is Peter McCullough, and it's still calling on him to help spread more misinformation. Peter LaBarbera wrote in a Jan. 21 article:

A world-renowned heart doctor and epidemiologist who has led the way in countering the government's "safe and effective" COVID-19 vaccine narrative says COVID shots and boosters are responsible for the "explosion" in sudden deaths of young people.

Dr. Peter McCullough of The Wellness Company studied the "sudden deaths" of young athletes over time and said there is no sensible explanation other than the often-mandated COVID vaccines for what he says is a tenfold increase in such tragedies since 2020. That is when the experimental mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccinations were launched.

The very accessible McCullough is the most visible among a band of dissenting doctors who have steadfastly resisted governments' and corporations' rigid COVID policies. For that, he has been heralded by conservatives the world over, with one Australian online broadcaster, Maria Zeee, calling him "the shining light in the darkness." In a typical interview, McCullough will cite a half-dozen scientific studies from memory. 

But McCullough is best known for misleading about the results of those studies, so maybe he shouldn't be trying to recall them from memory.

LaBarbera quickly moved toward complaining that McCullough's penchant for spreading misinmformation, which then moved toward reciting his resume -- both of which tells you that he's desperate to helpt the guy instead of reporting accurately on his history of spreading misinformation:

For this McCullough is despised by many on the left and routinely accused of spreading "misinformation," even by once widely-respected news operations like AP that seemingly have moved from holding government agencies accountable to joining forces with the state to squelch dissent.

But perhaps what McCullough's critics resent most is his uncanny ability through media to reach huge audiences and cite scientific studies to deconstruct the left's spin on COVID, as he most famously did in his December 2021 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan. McCullough writes on his Substack, "Courageous Discourse": "The total number of people impacted by the interview was in the many tens of millions or even more."

A short bio of Dr. McCullough on his personal website states, "He is an internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and the Chief Scientific Officer of The Wellness Company. ... Dr. McCullough is one of the most published cardiologists ever in America, with over 1,000 publications and 660 citations in the National Library of Medicine and is a recipient of the Simon Dack Award from the American College of Cardiology and the International Vicenza Award in Critical Care Nephrology for his scholarship and research."

The esteemed cardiologist has paid a heavy price for refusing to self-censor or tout the establishment line on COVID.

Again, LaBarbera is here to propagandize, not to report, so he switched back stenography mode again:

Fox News talk show host Laura Ingraham interviewed McCullough Jan. 12. Citing the cases of Jordan Tyler Brister, Hunter Brown, and Blaze Jacobs, she asked him a question that has been on a lot of people's minds: "Why does it appear like an inordinate number of young, healthy Americans are dropping dead?"

McCullough responded citing his and others' analyses of cardiac arrest incidents among players in European soccer leagues, both pro and semi-pro. He said that before COVID-19 vaccines, an average of 29 active players died from cardiac arrests per year. But "since the vaccines have been released, that number, now annualized from a universe of publicly reported deaths we reviewed, is now 283, nearly a tenfold increase. And we've also demonstrated a rising mortality in those under age 15."

He said there is a "straight line" correlation between the vaccines and the "explosion of death of young people."

Actually, there isn't. An autopsy of Brister, a Las Vegas high school student, found that he died of bacterial pneumonia with a secondary infection of tracheitis, exacerbated by asthma. The death of Brown, an Air Force cadet and football player, was the result of a blood clot caused by a leg injury from playing football.The death of Jacobs, also a high school student, was likely caused in part by a pre-existing heart condition.

LaBarbera followed with misinformation from McCullough: "Regarding the on-field collapse of Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin, which has gripped the nation, he told Ingraham: 'Unless there's some emergence of [another] clear-cut cause, as a cardiologist, my conclusion would be that it's COVID-19 subclinical myocarditis until proven otherwise.'" There's no legitimate evidence that COVID vaccines caused any of this, but WND is fearmongering about it anyway.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EST
MRC's Double Standard On Officials' Kids Getting Arrested
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Bill D'Agostino complained in a Jan. 24 post:

Broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC have been silent about the arrest of Jared Dowell, the adult child of Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA), for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a riot. Since the arrest late on Saturday, January 21, none have spent even a second of airtime on the incident, despite Clark being the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

MRC analysts examined the flagship morning and evening newscasts between January 22 and January 24 on all three broadcast networks (excluding evening newscasts on January 24; which this piece will be updated to include when they occur). During that time, neither Clark nor her child was mentioned at any point.

As far as liberal cable networks go, MSNBC was also silent on the incident. Meanwhile, CNN acknowledged the arrest twice on Monday, for a total of two minutes and 12 seconds of coverage.

Note that D'Agostino made sure not to mention how Fox News covered Dowell's arrest, presumably because it would demonstrate just how biased Fox News is.

Also worth noting -- since D'Agostino won't -- is that the MRC has completely censored any mention that L. Brent "Zeeker" Bozell IV, the son of leader Brent Bozell III, was arrested more than two years ago over his participation in the Capitol riot. That's right -- this legitimate news has been censored from the MRC's readers for two years.

Maybe D'Agostino could talk to his boss about why that story has been censored across all MRC platforms before he accuses others of being "silent" about something.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Managing Editor's Gay-Bashing Beat
Michael W. Chapman has spent the past couple of years making sure hatred for LGBTQ people is a key part of CNS' "news" coverage. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Sunday, February 26, 2023
MRC Tries To Control Language On Abortion To Preserve Anti-Abortion Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent the past couple of months fighting a nomenclature war over abortion. Tim Graham spent a Dec. 7 post complaining that the Associated Press is listening to actual doctors to more accurately define its terms:

The Associated Press sells itself to news clients with the motto "Advancing the Power of Facts." But the AP Stylebook -- which instructs reporters on which terms to use or not use -- has grown increasingly counter-factual. In July, the AP Stylebook commissars bowed to the transgender lobby: "A person’s sex and gender are usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants and can turn out to be inaccurate."Don't look at an actual human body. Feelings trump facts. 

On Tuesday, in a bow to the abortion industry, AP is suggesting that having an abortion late in pregnancy should not be described as a late-term abortion.


How on earth does a "late-term abortion" start at 41 weeks? Most would think of it as a third-trimester abortion, or as a post-viability abortion. 

Graham offered no evidence that anyone has ever had an abortion at 41 weeks. Instead, he cited a biased anti-abortion website (which he euphemistally called "pro-llife")to attack the organization of actual doctors on whose guidance the AP is basing its changes on, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

The pro-life website criticized AP for relying on an activist source. "ACOG is a pro-abortion group. As a supposedly unbiased news source you shouldn't rely on partisan groups to determine your terminology," it tweeted in reply. They added: "Thousands of doctors have left ACOG because it has become an abortion advocacy group. It lost its prestige years ago."

But AP lingo and Planned Parenthood's wishes seem linked. The AP Stylebook account also tweeted: "Instead, use the term 'abortion later in pregnancy' if a general term is needed, but be aware that there are varying definitions of the time period involved. Be specific when possible."

When NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell pointed out that "pro-life" is not an accurate description of the anti-abortion movement -- given its almost exclusive focus on restricting and outlawing abortion -- Alex Christy lashed out in a Jan. 12 post:

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell went full partisan activist on her Thursday show as she scolded Capitol Hill Correspondent Garrett Haake for using the term “pro-life” when discussing Rep. Nancy Mace because that is not an accurate description.” Additionally, throughout the segment, Mitchell would illustrate glaring hypocrisy and omitted key facts when denouncing Republicans on abortion.

Mitchell wasted no time in getting to dishonesty, “And the House's passage of two anti-abortion bills Wednesday, despite a majority of Americans saying abortion should be legal.”

Christy tried to defend those bill, insisting that "neither bill banned abortion," but didn't mention that incrementalism -- slowly ratcheting up abortion restrictions over time -- has been a key component of the anti-abortion movement. Christy the noted that Haake referenced an anti-abortion congresswoman as "pro-life":

It was at this point that Mitchell interrupted, “Garrett, let me—let me just interrupt and say that pro-life is a term that they -- an entire group wants to use, but that is not an accurate description.”

Haake defended himself by simply pointing out, “I'm using it because that's the term she used to describe herself, Andrea,” to which Mitchell responded, “I understand. I understand. Anyway, that was her explanation.”

Of course, “anti-abortion,” is also a label “an entire group wants to use” and Mitchell and much of the media sees no problem simply regurgitating that. Many pro-lifers would also take issue with the label “pro-choice,” arguing the label “pro-abortion” is more accurate. Why should only one side get to insist on journalists using their preferred language?

Again, anti-abortion activists are almost exclusively defined by their opposition to abortion, so "anti-abortion" is a perfectly accurate term. (Also note that Christy did not defend the accuracy of "pro-life"; and was just mad that it was criticized.) By contrast, pro-choice activists do not force anyone to have an abortion; they simply want that option to be available.

Clay Waters raged in a Jan. 24 post that PBS guest Nia-Malika Henderson referenced the "so-called pro-life movement":

When host Yamiche Alcindor later asked her about the March for Life and the “new sort of battlefield” around abortion, she responded with hostile labeling of the pro-life movement.

Henderson: ….In terms of politically I think you’re going to see in 2024, the so-called pro-life movement, they are going to try to put up a candidate that wants to have a federal abortion ban. In terms of I think the pro-choice movement, you saw I think a kind of renewed commitment to the pro-choice movement and the pro-choice situation in Roe v. Wade in a way that I think Democrats and liberals weren’t so fiercely proponents of abortion….

So the “so-called pro-life” movement is dubious, but the “pro-choice movement” is simply who they say they are?

Like Christy, Waters didn't bother to defend the accuracy of the "pro-life" term.

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg had her own AP Stylebook-related meltdown in a Feb. 6 post:

Yet again, the Associated Press style guide is pandering to the woke, leftist mob.

The Daily Signal noticed that AP changed its rulebook to get rid of the phrase “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” and instead use “Anti-Abortion Clinics.”

But rather than offer any sort of logical defense, she read propaganda straight from the anti-abortion playbook:

The guide describes centers that don’t provide abortions as places that are “set up to divert or discourage women from having abortions.” Coming from someone that volunteers at one every week, I can assure you, that’s far from true.

Most pregnancy resource centers provide pregnancy tests and educational resources on options for pregnant women. They often also provide things like baby clothes, diapers, car seats and even items for pregnant and new mothers themselves. These centers look to empower and assist women, and encourage them that encourage them that killing their child is not the only way to succeed. 

They don’t and never have claimed to offer abortions. That’s just not something they conduct at their facilities. They’re clear about that and are in no way “dissuading” or “diverting” people. They’re actually likely the only honest ones when it comes to pregnancy “clinics." Unlike abortion mills, they have no financial incentive.

Mandelburg dishonestly refused to admit that all of this is, in fact, in the servicee of diverting and discouraging women from having abortions -- which, yes, makes the AP's new terminology completely accurate.There's also ample evidence that these centers engage in manipulative and deceptive practices to discourage abortion, and there are often strings attached to the services they offer women, such as attempts at religious indoctrination.

Mandelburg won't tell you any of that, of course, because she's too busy being an anti-abortion propagandist -- as is the rest of the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2023 9:56 PM EST
CNS Cranks Out Attacks On Abortion Medication

We've noted how has promoted a right-wing effort to ban mifepristone abortion pills, and it has continued to launch attacks on them. After the Food and Drug Administration ruled that abortion pills could be obtained from pharmcists, a Jan. 4 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman called on anti-abortion activists (which not honestly labeled as such) to fearmonger about them:

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who now advocates for life, said in a statement, "I've had two abortions and one of them was the abortion pill -- it was horrific. I was alone, in immense pain, and bleeding profusely."

"The thing is, it almost doesn't even matter that the FDA is allowing the abortion pill to be more widely available because the women aren't seeing a doctor either way," said Johnson.  "They aren't having ultrasounds and some aren't even verifying they are pregnant."

"While the abortion lobby will say this move is a huge step forward for women, it's only a step forward for them and for those who manufacture the abortion pills because it means more money for them while throwing women under the bus," added Johnson. 

Some of the potential side effects of Mifeprex include fatal infection and prolonged heavy bleeding, according to the product's label.

A Jan. 18 article by Spencer J. Fairfield promoted how "Twenty-two U.S. attorneys general have sent a letter to the FDA regarding its new policy that allows the abortion pill, mifepristone, to be sold in pharmacies, stating this is an abandonment of 'commonsense restrictions,' and is 'illegal and dangerous.' In the past, the drug could only be obtained directly from a physician and had to be ingested in the doctor’s presence." Fairfield censored the fact that all of these attorneys gheneral are Republican. Fairfield followed up with a Jan. 23 article hyping an anti-abortion doctor fearmongering about the pill:

At the 50th Annual March for Life on Jan. 20, Dr. Ingrid Skop, a Texas OB/GYN who has delivered more than 5,000 babies, shared her knowledge about the dangers of chemical abortion drugs (mifepristone). Skop told CNSNews that the FDA’s decision to allow abortion pills to be sold in retail pharmacies is “clearly politically driven,” and that “the FDA is basing their decisions on studies that undercount complications.”

“It is clearly politically driven because every time the FDA has loosened restrictions on Mifepristone it’s been in a Democrat administration,” said Dr. Skop. “But the other thing that’s happening, the abortion industry publishes studies to promote their product.”

“They will usually say it’s 99 or 98 percent effective, but they are doing that based on flawed data,” said the doctor. “Because, again, they are only talking about the women they know of that had a complication. But if the women do not come back to them, if they come to me (or other OBGYNs) nobody knows about those complications. So, the FDA is basing their decisions on studies that undercount complications.”

Fairfield refused to interview anyone who contradicted Skop's biased view. In a Feb. 3 article, Fairfield exploited a woman's death to fearmonger about the pill:

It was reported this week that a 19-year-old Canadian woman died on July 4, 2022 apparently after using the abortion drug, Mifegymiso, the brand name for mifepristone. Pete Baklinski, director of communications at Campaign Life Coalition in Ottowa, said that Canada’s healthcare system should declare that medication abortion in general is “an imminent hazard to public health.”

“This human pesticide is not only deadly to the smallest members of the human family, but to pregnant mothers as well,” said Baklinski. “The abortion pill must be immediately pulled from the Canadian market. Health Canada must declare it an imminent hazard to public health.”

Fairfield quoted only anti-abortion activists bashing the pill and censored evidence of the pill's safety, particularly compared with pregnancy.

It wasn't until a Feb. 24 article by Melanie Arter that CNS gave significant space to arguments in favor of mifepristone:

Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday that pro-life efforts to prevent access to the abortion drug mifepristone amounts to “‘an attack on the very foundation of our public health system.”


“That medication is called mifepristone. It is a drug that is used to perform medication abortion,” the vice president said.

“It is FDA approved and was approved 20 years ago, after a strenuous peer-reviewed process of determining that it is safe and appropriate for its intended use, but there are now partisan and political attacks attempting to question the legitimacy of a group of scientists and doctors who have studied the significance of this drug,” Harris said.

"There is now an attempt by politicians to remove it from the ability of doctors to prescribe and the ability of people to receive,” she said.

Unlike with stories focused on anti-abortion activists, Arter made sure to note anti-abortion activists criticizing the pill.

CNS also published commentaries from anti-abortion activists that attacked mifepristone without balance or pushback, such as a Jan. 9 commentary by  Lynne Marie Kohm maliciously described it as "chemical abortion." Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue spent a Jan. 18 column attacking New York City Mayor Eric Adams for making available for free at one clinic in the city:

More important is where Adams decided to open his freebies abortion clinic. The first of four such clinics opened today in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, more generally known as the South Bronx.

Guess who lives there? Almost 6 in 10 are Hispanic and 36 percent are black. The white population is 3.2 percent and the figure for Asians is 0.6 percent. The poverty rate in New York City is 16 percent, but in the Bronx, the figure is 26.4 percent. In Morrisania it is 40.3 percent. Its serious crime rate is double the city average.

Some things never change. Why is it that liberals always favor black and brown neighborhoods to set up their abortion clinics? 

Yes, Donohue is accusing a black man of being racist against black people. that gave Donohue license to repeat a dcouple false anti-abortion tropes:

Rev. Dean Nelson, a black minister who directs Human Coalition Action, notes that “nearly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities [are] located within walking distance to Black neighborhoods.”

It is undeniably true that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a notorious racist. The KKK must have been proud of her efforts to help abort black babies.

As we've documented, Sanger was not a "notorious racist," and most abortion clinics are locatd in white neighborhoods.

Another anti-abortion activist, Patty Knap, raged against increased availability of mifepristone -- a name she refused to use, instead calling it "abortion pills" instead -- in a Jan. 30 commentary wildly accusing the "abortion industry" of profiteering:

A crucial aspect of allowing pharmacies to sell abortion pills that has not been talked about very much is the wholesale elimination in the process of possible life-affirming intervention by pregnancy help organizations prior to a woman procuring a chemical abortion.

For the profit-motivated abortion industry, bypassing the very people prepared to help women choose life is a big win.

The abortion lobby has been determined to cut out in-person doctor visits for a woman to obtain abortion drugs to get dangerous abortion pills into the hands of pregnant moms faster before anyone can offer her help with her pregnancy. Abortion pills are also more profitable than surgical abortions because there is no brick-and-mortar-building and associated costs, or actual hands-on procedure involved.

Now President Joe Biden has come through for abortionists and granted their wish, with the FDA recently announcing that abortion pills can be sold at your neighborhood pharmacy.

This means that these abortions require neither a visit to the doctor nor even a pregnancy test.

Knap didn't explain how reducing doctor visits equates to profiteering. Instead, she expressed her real fear, that anti-abortion "crisis pregnancy centers" can't interfere in the process:

Many pregnancy centers throughout the country are purposefully located near abortion centers. Likewise, the people who pray at those abortion facilities offer the truth and real help to young moms heading inside for an abortion by encouraging them to instead visit the pregnancy centers. The compassionate efforts of both result in babies being saved and moms being spared a lifetime of agony.

Without the need to go in person to a Planned Parenthood or other abortion center, there’s no chance a pregnant mom has of seeing her baby’s ultrasound, no chance of hearing about available help, or hearing about couples who ready and eager to adopt.


Conversely, the significance of the life-affirming work of the nearly 3,000 pregnancy centers across the country cannot be overestimated, as thousands of lives are saved each year through their life-affirming intervention.

These life-saving interactions will be impeded with abortion pills available via a mere run into a corner drug store.

That declining opportunity to interfere seems to be what Knap really fears.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:42 AM EST
Saturday, February 25, 2023
MRC Manufactures Poll To Attack CNN
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is buzarrely obsessed with constantly attacking CNN for pretty much any reason -- so much so that it feels it must manufacture reasons to attack it. It even bought a poll to bash CNN, as detailed in an anonymously written Jan. 6 post:

A new poll from the Media Research Center, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, finds a majority (54%) of CNN viewers say they are now watching the network less than they used to, and most of those people (61%) agree that “one of the reasons I find myself watching CNN less often is because of its liberal/left-wing bias.”

CNN’s ratings collapse is well known; this summer, for example, its audience slipped to levels not seen in 22 years. “CNN is in a bad place,” one media executive told The New York Post in September. “The ratings are down really dramatically year over year.”

The Media Research Center poll demonstrates that CNN’s biased political coverage is a likely reason many of these viewers have been driven away.


People who reported watching less were then asked to react to the following statement: “One of the reasons I find myself watching CNN less often is because of its liberal/left-wing bias.” A majority (61%) said they agreed, including a majority of self-identified moderates and liberals (52% for each group), and a whopping 80 percent of conservatives.

The MRC didn't disclose that McLaughlin was Donald Trump's 2020 pollster, meaning that its work is highly biased and its fairness is in question -- as demonstrated further by the biased framing of the question. You might recall that McLaughlin was one of the pollsters the MRC hired to push its conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from Trumnp.

Alex Christy spent a Jan. 17 post bashing CNN for considering adding a comedian to its late-night coverage:

CNN’s new boss, Chris Licht, is looking to counter the narrative that late night comedy is dying by bringing a comedian to the network’s primetime lineup, Semafor reports.

Max Tani reports that, “CNN executives have floated names including Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Arsenio Hall, and Jon Stewart, and have looked at other comedic news-focused talk shows for inspiration.”

Tani writes that of these names, Maher is probably the most realistic hire as Noah recently stepped away from The Daily Show, Stewart remains under contract by Apple, and despite having previous late night experience, Hall is not a serious candidate. CNN has already been in talks with Maher to use his Overtime segments. Both CNN and HBO are owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.

Christy then touted how CNN is emulating Fox News while trying to avoid acknowledging the fact that Greg Gutfeld is, in fact, a comedian:

FNC’s Gutfeld! dominating the traditional late night hosts may be another reason why Licht may seek to bring a comedian on board, according to Tani. But hiring simply another liberal would not make CNN stand out against its competitors like Gutfeld does and whether Maher could be accepted by the more politically correct CNN is an open question.

Licht hiring another liberal also challenges Licht’s own stated desire to make the network less partisan because there is no reason to believe CNN’s comedian will be less liberal than ABC, NBC or CBS’s.

In portraying Maher as a "liberal," Christy is ignoring how his employer has repeatedly touted Maher's right-wing leanings.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2023 11:07 AM EST

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