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Sunday, March 12, 2023
The Fox News Defenders At The MRC Try To Ignore The Fox News-Dominion Scandal
Topic: Media Research Center

On the rare occasions the Media Reserarch Center criticizes Fox News, it's usually in the form of Heathering -- for example, hating Shepard Smith for reporting facts instead of right-wing narratives or for a single news segment that didn't hate transgender poeple enough. It almost never criticizes Fox News for the same reasons it criticizes the "liberal media" regarding bias, even though it's much more biased than any of those channels. Indeed, the MRC is must more comfortable serving as Fox News' PR division and cheerleader than its critic.

So when filings by election-tech company Dominion in its defamation lawsuit against Fox News showed that the channel's hosts knew that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were lies but instead chose to spread those lies on the air rather than tell viewers the truth -- a much larger scandal than anything the MRC has ever accused any "liberal media" outlet of doing -- the initial response by the MRC was to censor it as best it could. In the first coule weeks after the revelation of the scandal, references to it were oblique or buried:

  • A Feb. 18 post by Alex Christy referenced only "Fox News and its lawsuit with Dominion" but said nothing about what that involved, instead playing whataboutism by promoting an attack by Bill Maher on MSNBC host Ari Melber claiming that the channel is just like Fox News in telling viewers what they want to hear.
  • Tim Graham waited until the 15th paragraph of a Feb. 19 post criticizing NPR for failing to sufficiently hate President Biden before noting that the NPR program in question "wrapped up with enjoying how the Dominion lawsuit against Fox ended with juicy revelations that hosts didn't believe in the election-fraud stories they were promoting after the 2020 votes were cast" before also going to whataboutism: "NPR has absolutely no time to talk about how they misled their own audience (playing to liberal sentiments) in October 2020 that the Hunter Biden laptop was Fake News, a 'pure distraction.'" Graham didn't mention that the New York Post -- a pro-Trump, anti-Biden outlet -- offered no independent verification of the laptop story at the time that would have bolstered the story's credibility.

This followed the pattern Fox itself used regarding the scandal, in which it not only censored the story, it expressly forbade its media reporter, Howard Kurtz, to talk about it. The MRC censored all mention of that censorship, though Kevin Tober wrote a Feb. 26 post touting how Kurtz "used the opening monologue of his Sunday media analysis show MediaBuzz to call out the media's double standard and selective outrage in how they deal with controversial comments from conservatives and leftists."

Meanwhile, Graham was playing the same whataboutism card on Twitter in a way he wouldn't commit to writing in an MRC post -- though he still clung to the whataboutism narrative in arguing with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. A March 1 tweet by Graham admitted the Fox News revelations were "scandalous" but instead complained that "CNN puts on David Zurawik to lecture Fox has never, ever been a 'news channel.'"He them complained that Folkenflik said that Fox News "really a business operation around which is wrapped a highly ideological and political shop, around which is wrapped the public face of a news operation." Rather than disputing anything Folkenflik said, he played Hunter laptop whataboutism:

GRAHAM: This is a scandal, to be sure. But you work in a highly ideological and political shop, wrapped in the face of a news operation. Your ardor to Get Fox is part of it.

FOLKENFLIK: Not even close, buddy. Thanks tho.

GRAHAM: OK, buddy why don't you review how you people have covered (refused to cover) the Hunter Biden laptop?? Even your "Public Editor" embarrassed herself on that one.

Folkenflik refused to respond, presumably because he saw that arguing with Graham would be futile. As Media Matters' Matthew Gertz pointed out about Graham regarding this exchange: "Devote your career to working the refs over liberal media bias --> the right-wing outlet you prop up against it turns out to be filled with liars deliberately working to elect Republicans. Maybe just sit this one out?"

Finally, two weeks after the scandal broke, the MRC finally committed something to one of its websites regarding the scandal. Graham's promotion for his March 3 podcast offered no judgment whatsoever against Fox News -- weird given its usual love of hot takes -- even though he would be ranting hard had a "liberal media" outlet done only a fraction of what happened here:

The Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News has uncovered an embarrassing collection of messages underlining that Fox's owner and stars had contempt for wild claims about Trump winning the 2020 election, but aired lawyers like Sidney Powell, who pledged to "release the Kraken" of truth....that never arrived. Tucker Carlson, for one, called her out on TV.

CNN's Oliver Darcy, one of America's premier haters of Fox News, reported with glee in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter that text messages and emails showed that privately, Fox was much harsher with these election-fraud claims than they were on television.

Fox was worried that their pro-Trump audience would leave them for Newsmax. Ex-conservative Mona Charen claimed conservatives were more interested in "agreeable fictions" than on "complex facts." Conservative journalists and conservative media critics and conservative media consumers should never be rightly accused of seeking "agreeable fictions."

In the actual podcast, his focus was not on what Fox News did, but that CNN reported on it: "It's been a glorious week at CNN. Now, I don't mean in the ratings department -- theiy are firmly in third place -- I mean the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News has revealed a scandal I think we can call Krakengate." He then summed up the scandal as Fox News having Trump lawyer Sidney Powell making claims of election fraud I dare say that in real time, most of us listening to her thought she sounded, um, implausible?"

If so, Graham and the rest of the MRC made little effort to tell their readers that; indeed, no post by Graham from that time referenced Powell. A Nov. 20, 2020, post by Mark Finkelstein complained that  MSNBC's "Morning Joe" noted that right-wingers criticized Fox News for the few times it reported facts instead of right-wing spin, ironically citing as an example then-Fox reporter Kristin Fisher doing a "takedown of yesterday's press conference featuring Rudy Giuliani" -- as we have learned from Dominion's filings, Fisher was criticized by her bosses for not "respecting our audience" by fact-checking Giuliani, and Fisher said she lost on-air opportunities as punishment for it. Finkelstein waited until the final paragraph to menion that a reference "an FNC primetime host 'bewildered' by yesterday's press conference with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell was presumably a reference to Tucker Carlson, who questioned the absence of evidence supporting Powell's assertions."

Three days later, however, the MRC was portraying Powell as a victim in a post by Kayla Sargent noting that Powell was dropped by Trump's legal team," which Twitter saw as the perfect opportunity to suspend her account for twelve hours." The following month, Finkelstein was complaining about criticism of reports that Trump was considering "the possible appointment of Sidney Powell as a special counsel to investigate the election"; the next day, Finkelstein did concede that "In this NewsBuster's opinion, President Trump would have been better advised not to have invited Michael Flynn or Sidney Powell into the White House over the weekend," but he did not specifically criticize Powell. Later in the month, Kristine Marsh groused that MSNBC employed "hyper-partisan spin" in naming Powell to a year-end list of dishonors.

In January 2021, however, it was back to playing the victimhood card for Powell; a Jan. 4 post by Corinne Weaver whined that video clips of Powell on Trump's Twitter account were among those that were "censored," and a Jan. 12 column by Cal Thomas huffed that Powell's Twitter account was "permanently banned as Twitter announced a purge of 'accounts dedicated to sharing content related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.'"

Graham went on to whine that CNN's Oliver Darcy reported on all this, then tried to give credit to Carlson for briefly calling her out. Graham then shockingly criticized Fox News and Trump, albeit only barely mentioning them by name and framing that criticism as coming from the "liberal media":

But conservative media outlets also have to consider that whatever good faith they've built up with people who are not as conservative could just get wiped out when the big liberal media can all unite and show that they have thte same regard for the truth that Donald Trump has. Conservative media will not be credible if doesn't have the courage to stick with what journalism is supposed to be: Do you have a story that will stand up, or doesn't it? Is it underbaked, half-baked? Is it a compost heap? It is absolutely defensible to question election results, for a news company to let the Democrats or the Republicans challenge the results in the weeks after an election. That is part of democracy. But the bottom line of election is if you lose in court, the election is over. You can't riot your way into the presidency or a second term of the presidency, or you don't really have a democracy. Trump's lawyers couldn't win in any state, so it was over. Now, from November to December you can be a news channel and put on Republican laywers or Democrat [sic] lawyers and hash it out -- I'm sure that Hillary Clinton's people would have wanted to hash out the idea that Trump stole the election with the help of the Russians. But we should all want to question wild claims of voting machines somehow stealing millions of votes from Trump or anyone else.

But Graham's employer never did any of that questioning -- instead, the MRC manufactured its own parallel conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from Trump because the Hunter Biden laptop story didn't cause Biden to lose, based on dubious polls it bought from highly biased pollsters. Graham cannot credibly denounce Trump's conspiracy theory without rejection a very similar one pushed by his employer. Graham also failed to note that the "liberal media" did not push claims or Russian election-meddling to the extent that Fox News gave a platform to Trump's bogus election claims, which shows that they are more responsible than Fox News is.

Graham continued: "We want to root for Fox News. We root for the conservative media. The liberal media in this country needs balancing. One of the things that's most important about it is the way the other news media want to say, 'X will not be a story. None of us are going to talk about it. When Fox talks about it, that's for your crazy uncle at the Thanksgiving Day table.' This is the game that is played." Graham went on to complain that right-winger Jonah Goldberg, "who took many dollars from Fox News as a contributor and now takes dollars from CNN," criticized the Fox News scandal, when whined again that the scandal let CNN credibly criticize Fox News:

But for many of us, the worst part here is how this set of texts and emails enables Oliver Darcy and company to mount their high horses and suggest that Fox News has never, ever been a news channel. CNN, next to Jonah Goldberg, put on screechy liberal David Zurawik, who said this whole Fox News channel thing has been fraudulent since is was founded in 1996. And then comes this puke-tastic part about how [speaks in hoiry-toity voice] so-called mainstream journalism, they only provide information for the citizenry and let them make good choices. This is not really a definition of what they're doing on CNN.

Graham then went on a lengthy anti-liberal media whataboutism tangent, name-checking the pee tape, Michael Avenatti and the Steele dossier, then defended poliltical operative Roger Ailes running Fox News as OK because Tom Johnson, who was once an adviser to President Lyndon Johnson, once ran CNN (but he didn't mention that the guy who runs the MRC's "news" division, Terry Jeffrey, was a political operative for Pat Buchanan's presidential campaigns in the 1990s). then it was back to whining that CNN has a point in criticizing Fox News:

Now, for us at NewsBusters, it's most distressing when Oliver Darcy touts the Bulwark trashing the conserative media critics. He wrote in his little newsletter, "Mona Charen has an excellent piece on how conservative criticism about the press gave birth to a propaganda machine. Charen, quote: "The channel that debuted with the tagline 'fair and balanced' has become comletely untethered to any standared of integrity. Its own bias bears no comparison to that of the 'mainstream media.'" At least she put "mainstream media" in quotes. But come on. She knows better. Mona Charen used to come repeatedly to the MRC to help her construct several books about media bias. She knows how the liberal media performed. So to sit her now and say 'Fox News is so, so much worse than then palces I show up now' ... So perhaps when there's a conservative propaganda machine in this equation, Mona Charen should be whipping herself for this into a frenzy.

Graham then disavowed any role the MRC played in creating Trump and the Fox News propaganda monster (which currently employs several former MRC workers, something Graham didn't disclose):

Now, you can be a anti-Trump conservative. But what we too often see is Trump somehow turning conservatives into liberals, now suggesting that the media bias monitors caused Trump. This is just a classic liberal schtick. I hated it when Politico's Tim Alberta threw it at us years ago in an interview. Came into the building, shut the door -- oh, this is kind of off the record; oh, is it? Well ... This idea that somehow NewsBusters or Brent Bozell created the Trump monster, I hated it then and I hate it now. It's not true. What you're basically saying with that whole argument that, well, obviously, you peole should never have criticized the liberal media in the first place.

Now, Mona Charen concluded with this: "For decades, conservatives longed to get the whole story into the national news. But by demanding agreeable fiction instead of accepting complex fact, they have embarassed themselves and undermined the case -- still relevant -- for fair and balanced coverage." There's another clip, I'm gonna post that on the bulletin board. Because we as conservatives should never demand agreeable fiction.

I don't accept that's what I've been doing or what we've been doing or what most of you have been doing. None of us should be comfortable being accused of being comfortable being accused of being for agreeable fiction. you can't govern a country on phantoms and hallucinations. You need some solid facts and evidence and reasoning, and we beleive that conservatism works best, and we make that case based on facts and evidence and reasoning. There is so much good journalism being done by conservative journalists you cannot slime at all as some kind of agreeable fiction that's spit out for conservatives who hate the truth. As CNN and the others try to avoid covering the bad things happening under Biden, we cannot let them suggest, "Oh, don't listen to any stories that conservatives want to tell, that we don't want to tell," That is not workable, and that's not the way democracy should work. They would have more of a high horse to ride on if they weren't skipping and avoiding and averting stories that make the Biden adminisration look bad. And we can do this over and over again.


And there's many, many people across the United States who are going to get those stories from conservatives, who listen to them on conservative media, who need that conservative media to be credible so that these stories that are real and have real, lasting impact don't get treated by crazy crackin' crap. Let's have a high standard of information, let's demand it as media consumers, and let's try to do it as conservative journalists. Lecture over.

Note that at no point did Graham specifically criticize Fox News for any specific actions it was revealed to have committed per the Dominion filings, and that he made sure not to put what little criticism he did in writing in a way that would be easily findable in a Google search. And given that we've found numerous falsehoods at the MRC, it's clear Graham is not holding his co-workers to those same standards he's now demanding that other right-wing media follow (otherwise, Nicholas Fondacaro and Jay Maxson would not still be employed there). And if Graham and the MRC really cared that much about how conservative media is perceived, they wouldnot have waited until two weeks after the story broke to speak about the scandal.

It should be the easiest thing in the world to criticize Fox News over this scandal -- you would never hear the end of it from the MRC if a non-conservative channel like CNN was involved. But the MRC still wants to be able to have its people appear on the channel and Fox Business to promote its narratives, so it will never perform that easy layup -- it will instead pontificate and play whataboutism to protect Fox News from actual, direct criticism and preserve the right-wing media bubble.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 10, 2023 8:40 PM EDT
CNS Sets Up Anti-Biden Narrative of U.S. Helping Ukraine Too Much

For a guy who's supposed to be an "Investigative Journalism Fellow" her his bio, writer Micky Wootten sure doesn't do much investigative journalism. Instead, his main job these days is setting up anti-Biden narratives about spending too much money on supporting Ukraine after its invasion by Russia. (If you'll recall, CNS effectively took Russia's side in the runup to the war by touting Vladimir Putin's anti-LGBT initiatives and blaming President Biden for the war for purportedly being too soft on Russia.) The campaign began with a Sept. 8 article featuring Wootten asking a CNS intern-like gotcha question of a Republican senator:

When asked whether the U.S. should continue to provide Ukraine with security assistance, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said “yes,” while acknowledging the need for “proper oversight over everything that is being sent.”

At the Capitol on September 8, CNS News asked Senator Ernst, “According to a Congressional Research Service report, since the start of the war, the U.S. has committed $12.9 billion dollars to help provide Ukraine with the equipment they need to defend itself. Should the U.S. continue providing additional security assistance to Ukraine?”

Here's what else Wootten has written on that subject thus far, with a heavy emphasis on how much money is being spent:

Wootten has also promoted other attacks on aid to Ukraine. A Feb. 13 article touted how right-wing hero Elon Musk is limiting what Ukraine can do with the Starlink satellite communications service run by Musk-led SpaceX:

On Feb. 8, SpaceX announced that it has limited the Ukrainian military’s ability to use its Starlink satellite internet service to control drones, citing that the “Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement.” The service reportedly has been weaponized in the fight against Russia.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Elon Musk’s SpaceX sent thousands of Starlink satellite internet kits to help the country stay online while Russian attacks caused disruptions to their internet service.


However, as the war in Ukraine nears its one-year anniversary, Musk and SpaceX have expressed concerns over the ways in which his Starlink services are being used by the Ukrainian military. Furthermore, Musk’s rhetoric online in recent weeks suggests the billionaire is among those who fear that the ongoing conflict has the potential to escalate in the coming months.

Wootten used a Feb. 17 article to tout an "anti-war" rally featuring fringe and pro-Russia figures:

On Sunday, Feb. 19, former House Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) will speak at the “Rage Against the War Machine” rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and call for a long-list of anti-war objectives, including stopping the arming of Ukraine, and negotiating a peace deal.

The rally, which is being organized by both the Libertarian Party and the People’s Party, will start at 12:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial and will end at the White House.

Gabbard, of course, is a CNS favorite for being a purported Democrat who criticized actual Democrats and for spouting anti-Biden(and, thus, pro-Russia) talking points on Ukraine. Wootten also hyped that "Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters will be making a guest appearance via video" without mentioning that he too is a Russian stooge to the point that Russia invited him to speak at the United Nations on its behalf.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EST
Saturday, March 11, 2023
MRC Again Lashes Out At Rep. Frost For Being Young And 'Socialist'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center really has a thing against newly elected Rep. Maxwell Frost for being 1) young and 2) not conservative, hanging the "socialist" or "radical leftist" label on him despite providing no evidence that he is. That anti-Frost weirdness with a Feb. 2 post by Tim Graham:

The new edition of People magazine is the latest example of a liberal media organ celebrating new socialist Congressman Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), elected at age 25.

When Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) was elected at age 26 in 2000, no liberal media outlet wrote a gushy piece about the new generation of leaders. He was white and Republican. Same goes for Rep. Elise Stefanik, who was at the time the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 30 in 2014.

But they love this radical youngster. The headline was “GEN Z GOES TO WASHINGTON: Last year, he drove an Uber in Orlando. Now he’s in Congress – the fact of a new generation rising to power.”

Graham, for some reason, was really mad that Frost pointed out how he had difficulting finding a place to live in Washington as a young adult whose first checks as a congressman hadn't arrived yet:

Just like AOC, Frost plays the card of "I'm just a regular twenty-something who can't afford a DC apartment -- yet!

He ran smack into a problem that affects millions of Americans: denied apartments because of debt and only pending income. (His first paycheck from Congress comes Feb. 1.) ”I have a light at the end of the tunnel here,” Frost says. “But these are the filters that lead to power, and it makes it difficult for working-class people to get into government.”

Frost staffers are quoted for extra gush. Trinity Tresner, 23, joined his campaign because she “says she was drawn to his ‘message of love and inclusion.’”

People wants everyone to jump for joy -- because he's black (and a Democrat).

Graham didn't mention how his fellow right-wingers like to attack Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for having worked as a bartender before getting elected to Congress -- so much for Republicans being the party of the working class. He then ranted about another profile of Frost, this one in Vogue magazine:

Notice how the media puffs the politician by saying he's receiving their attention.

Vogue also rushes to gush over Frost being impoverished: "Frost’s résumé is stacked with admirable positions, but they have not necessarily led to the kind of economic foundation usually required of a congressional candidate—as has been widely reported, he drove for Uber while he was running and also took on a significant amount of debt."

They won't check up in a few years, when Frost has a net worth of a million dollars and is still in Congress.

If Graham had ever called out Repuiblican members of Congress for getting rich while in office, he might have a point. And he again offered no evidence to back up the "socialist" tag he hung on Frost.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EST
WND Thinks The Devil Sounds Like A Right-Winger's Imaginary Liberal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The violations and crimes of the current administration aren't what matters at this point. They are indeed the expected now, with more in store, because an immensity of lying already has gone unchallenged. These lies have been left standing to mock the masses, for whom such a vast scope of evil is simply unimaginable.

The lies of the devil:

"I don't exist, so don't waste your time looking for me – and besides, I work in such darkness that you cannot begin to appreciate my machinations."

"The ownership of 95% of news propagation, opinion and entertainment, by a handful of nameless, faceless corporate entities is only fair, because Capitalism."

"Joe Biden is of sound mind and body. He is the president. He writes everything he reads off the teleprompter himself, and he alone is in charge."

"Joe and Hunter and Jim, et al., weren't selling our country to our enemies. Joe never knew nothin', and if he did it was just honest and open commerce."

"We denied election results when you stopped our guys, because it just couldn't have happened, so you must have cheated. You denying election results is unprecedented, evil and anti-democracy. These were the most transparent and honest elections ever held."

"Our borders are completely secured. Those 7 million are just visiting. We're not pushing them to vote. We just want them to be able to have driver's licenses. But Motor Voter won't apply to them."

"The inflation, the border issues, the needless war and conflict with Russia, the destruction of vast swaths of American businesses during lockdown, the mandated vaccinations, the well-hushed VAERS reports of vaccine injury and death, the soaring gas prices and foreign oil purchases, the food and formula shortages … all Trumps fault."

"These vaccines are safe and effective and will stop the spread."

"Shutting down all businesses except the big-box stores will stop the spread."

"Wearing masks is essential. And the FDA and WHO agree that chain link fences will definitely keep out mosquitoes."

"Ivermectin can kill you! The billions who have used it safely – going back decades – are all lying anti-vaxxers."

"The crisis is too great to allow doctors to treat the symptoms as they appear. Patients should stay home and wait till they are ready to die, before going to the hospital to be put on ventilators that will kill 80% of them."

"All those old people in the nursing homes were about to die anyway."

"Printing hundreds of billions of dollars of paper money to finance our takeover of the world will not change the value of your money. And everything will be much better when we control everything."

"Alex Jones had to be locked out of the discussion. Michael Flynn was eliminated instantly because he spoke to a Russian before he was sworn in. OANN had to go because they were too extreme. Newsmax is history because AT&T had to economize. It had nothing to do with them refusing to follow their marching orders. And there's no such thing as Cancel Culture."

And finally, "This is a good war, and a small nuclear exchange won't really be that bad."

-- Jim Darlington, Feb. 6 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, March 11, 2023 1:53 PM EST
Friday, March 10, 2023
MRC's Maxson Spreads Even More Anti-Vaxx Fearmongering, Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

Jay Maxson is the Media Research Center's resident anti-vaxxer, spreading fearmongering and misinformation (if not outright lies) to scare his (or her) fellow right-wingers against getting COVID vaccines. And despite having been proven to be a liar and misleader, the MRC is still giving Maxson an unchallenged platform to do more of the same, and he pushed one of those falsehoods in a Jan. 5 post:

The mere mention of young, vaccinated athletes possibly suffering serious health problems as the result of COVID shots is strictly verboten by left-stream media at the mercy of Big Pharma. Mediaite slapped down Charlie Kirk this week for raising the idea that Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest could possibly be related to vaccination.  

The Blaze “fire starter” Jason Whitlock insists, however, the subject should be fair game for discussion, in light of Monday’s incident when the Buffalo Bills’ player nearly died after tackling an opponent. 

Kirk suggested that a vaccine might be responsible for Hamlin’s injury. “This is a tragic and all too familiar sight right now: Athletes dropping suddenly,” he said on Twitter.

Maxson then got mad that "Mediaite’s Michael Luciano delivered the Left’s obligatory verbal flogging of Kirk for his repeated attempts “to cast doubt on the effectiveness and safety of Covid-19 vaccines.” But he offered no proof that Kirk and Whitlock are right and the critics are wrong.

A Jan. 18 post by Maxson went on to portray people indoctrinated in false anti-vaxx extremism who faced the consequences for believing such liees as victims of the evil "COVID Cartel":

The “COVID Cartel” has censored and canceled American skeptics of the vaccine for nearly three years, but last night several of them told their horror stories on Jason Whitlock’s Fearless special. Silenced no more, many of these victims of Big Government, Big Pharma, Big Tech and Big Media revealed shocking and heartbreaking realities that should never happen in this country. 

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (Rep-Wis.) called the cover-up of harms caused by the vaccine “corrupt” and “maniacal.” He said the pandemic provided “a golden opportunity to create a climate of fear in order to gain power and control of the citizens.” Along with a persistent state of denial about the collateral damage of the health of many Americans.

In an op-ed last year, Sen. Johnson said the timing of scapegoating the unvaccinated for the ongoing pandemic was no coincidence. 

The most poignant portion of the 3-hour-plus Fearless special was the story of Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Famer Ken Ruettgers (in photo), his wife Sheryl and her support group for women suffering ill effects caused by vaccinations. She thought the vaccine was safe, but a day after her shot in 2021, she experienced tingling of her lymph nodes, swelling and burning on her scalp. A baffled neurologist seriously suggested she take the booster shot and just see what happens.

Despite the fact that actual medical experts -- as opposed to the right-wing politicians and sports guys Maxson is citing -- say that such reactions are rare and not a reason to not take the vaccine, went on to cite Ken Mauer Jr, an " NBA official who was fired for refusing to vaccinate, also appeared on Fearless. He said people are being hurt and losing their lives because of adverse reactions, and said he stood on the principle of freedom. A Christian, Mauer says he’s proud to be part of the opposition to the vaccination." Of course, being Christian has nothing whatsoever to do with a desire to put one's health at risk.

Maxson ranted in a Jan. 20 post that several members of a college basketball team coming down with COVID was somehow evidence that the vaccines are worthless:

So the COVID vaccines aren’t really fool-proof? Get outa here! Maybe there’s something the deniers know that the “experts” don’t know. Take Northwestern University’s men’s basketball program; its scheduled game against Iowa Wednesday was postponed, and Saturday’s upcoming game against Wisconsin has been cancelled due to a COVID outbreak on the Wildcats team. 

Only six healthy players were available for the Wildcats’ next game against Wisconsin, which announced Thursday night the game “will not be played due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols within the Northwestern program.” 

This wasn’t supposed to happen. COVID, thanks to the incredibly safe and effective vaccines and booster shots, was a thing of the past. Or so we were told by the federal government and censorship-happy Big Tech. 

Maxson is being deliberately obtuse and misleading. Continued mutation of COVID means that new variants more easily work around vaccine protection, and protection wears off over time, meaning that people need to get boosters to maintain maximum protection. But even if a vaccine does not completely protect from catching COVID, it does reduce symptoms and the chances of hospitalization and death.But Maxson doesn't care about facts; he (or she) just wants to fearmonger and lie:

Meanwhile, media lemmings across the country who tore unvaccinated athletes apart for not getting jabbed with the incredible shots have egg dripping down their faces. And that’s because vaccines are no more reliable now than they were in the past. 

Nearly 700 million doses of vaccinations have been given in the U.S., and just three days ago the CDC was crowing about how safe and effective they are. Problem solved. Not. The CDC’s number is a statistic. The Northwestern COVID outbreak is personal for each of the players who were unsuccessfully vaccinated.

In a Feb. 24 post, Maxson touted an attempt by an anti-vaxxer group (not that it was accurately identified as such) attacking the NFL over vaccine mandates:

COVID vaccinations are safe and effective, no problem mon. Or so we’ve been told ad nauseum by government officials and media lemmings. The NFL has been urged by the Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF) to suspend vaccination mandates and to screen for heart issues over serious vaccine side effects. Screening is urgently needed, the Fund said in a letter to the NFL, because vaccines can cause myocarditis, especially among young males. 

HFDF is a nonprofit seeking to rectify health injustices by advocating for freedom, choice and bodily autonomy. The Fund’s letter to the National Football League Players Assocation cited eight studies on the subject matter and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s warning labels on Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that the drugs come with the risk of pericarditis. 

During previous seasons, the NFL heavily pressured all players to be vaccinated. Those few who refused became pariahs. Leslie Manookian , president and founder of the HFDF, told the players union head, DeMaurice Smith, “Safety signals illustrate that the near and long-term health outcomes of the COVID-19 vaccines remain uncertain.”

Maxson went on to quote Manookian uncritically blame vaccines for the on-field collapse of NFL player Damar Hamlin, despite no actual evidence to that effect. Then he found an anti-vaxxer doctor to spread his propaganda:

One can almost hear the screeching lefties on television condemning this letter that flies in the face of their nonstop “safe and effective” campaign. Nevertheless, Dr. Anish Koka, a Philadelphia cardiologist, said it’s not “unreasonable for the NFL Players Association to at least consider the fact that young healthy men now are such low risk of COVID, do you want to take the risk of myocarditis related to the vaccine?” 

Dr. Koka is skeptical about screening all the NFL players because it could affect the free agent market. This argument is thin, however, because practically all NFL players have been vaccinated, free agents included.


The HFDF recommendation deserves a response from and honest consideration by the NFLPA. It should not be dismissed out of hand by shrill media lapdogs for the government’s “safe and effective” mantra. 

Maxson is a lapdog for people who put misinformation before facts.  Doesn't anyone at the MRC bother to fact-check Maxson's work before publishing it?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 PM EST
Updated: Monday, May 8, 2023 12:48 PM EDT
Newsmax DirecTV Victimhood Watch: The Big Slowdown
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax finished out week 6 of its victimhood narrative over getting dropped by DirecTV with further slacking off of its victimhood obsession. In the time period of March 4-7, it published no articles on at all on March 5 and 6, which the rest appeared only on March 4 and 7:

That's right -- only five articles. That makes at least 243 "news" articles attacking DirecTV since it happened on Jan. 25. There was also a March 7 column by Perkins, who heads the right-wing Family Research Council, making some of the same (discredited) arguments:

The campaign to boot conservatives from major satellite services began with COVID, but it has expanded.

A month after Joe Biden was sworn in, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and then-Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., fired off letters to 12 companies, insisting that "right-wing media" outlets were hives of "misinformation," "conspiracy theories," and "lies," which, they allege, sparked the Jan. 6 riots.

They also accused networks like Newsmax, Fox, and OAN of being "key vectors" of disinformation about COVID that "could end up getting people killed."

Of course, we know now that the only real vector of COVID deception was the government itself.

As we noted the last time someone at Newsmax brought up this letter, it was in response to the indisputable fact that Newsmax, Fox News, and OAN spread falsehoods and misinformation about the 2020 presidential election that helped incite the Capitol riot.

Perkins' lame talking points continued:

DirecTV called their January announcement to drop their fourth-highest-rated cable news channel a "business decision."

That’s interesting since it had no qualms keeping 20 other less popular channels which are costlier for the broadcaster to carry.

As we've also noted, many of those channels are carried as part of package deals to carry multiple channels from a media company. Perkins closed by ranting:

Liberals, who used to at least pretend to have some use for free speech, have dropped all pretense now.

Their pattern of silencing people and ideas that threaten their leftist orthodoxy must be addressed — or this devastating cancer will spread.

It’s time to find out if DirecTV’s actions to cancel Newsmax and OAN were motivated by congressional Democrats.

But Perkins did his own bit of censorship -- he refused to tell readers that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, meaning that there is no viewpoint censorship happening.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EST
WND Hypes Misleading Study Criticizing Masks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Misinterpreting studies regarding COVID to advance anti-vaccine and anti-mask narratives is pretty much WorldNetDaily's thing. Itr happened again in a Feb. 1 article by Peter LaBarbera:

Wearing face-masks — even fancier N95 masks — probably has "little or no" effect in protecting against COVID-19 and the flu compared to not wearing one, according to a massive new British meta-study.

"There is uncertainty about the effects of masks," concludes a team of 12 international researchers in the study published Jan. 30 in the peer-reviewed U.K. journal Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

"Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza/SARS‐CoV‐2 compared to not wearing masks," an abstract of the U.K. study states.

Moreover, the study concludes that among medical workers, even the more robust N95 masks did not yield greater protection compared to more standard masks, which might surprise people who wear the boxier masks believing they are gaining heightened protection from COVID.

But researchers have found numerous issues with the study. As one analysis demonstrated, the study ignored how COVID spreads and how masks work, as well as making apples-and-oranges comparisons between studies:

This Cochrane Review combined RCTs where face masks or respirators were worn part of the time (for example, when caring for patients with known COVID or influenza: “occasional” or “targeted” use) with RCTs where they were worn at all times (“continuous use”).

Because both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses are airborne, an unmasked person could be infected anywhere in the building and even after an infectious patient has left the room, especially since some people have no symptoms while contagious.

Most RCTs of masks and N95s included in the review have not had a control arm – therefore finding no difference could indicate equal efficacy or equal inefficacy.

The analysis also pointed out the low compliance with masking in the Cochrane review: "But if in a study of masking, most people don’t actually wear them, you can’t conclude that masks don’t work when the study shows no difference between the groups. You can only conclude that the mask advice didn’t work in this study."

LaBarbera isn't going to tell you that, of course -- his job is to discredit the efficacy of masks, as his employer orders him to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:02 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Year of Drag Queen Rage
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center ratcheted up its vicious hatred of drag queens even more, smearing them as pedophiles and even lashing out at those who point out the hate. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EST
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Unlike With Kanye West, MRC Has No Problem Insisting Ilhan Omar Is 'Anti-Semitic'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserach Center was very reluctant to tag Kanye West as an anti-Semite or to admit that Donald Trump plays into anti-Semitic tropes (which wasn't helped by his dining with West and white supremacist Nick Fuentes). But while all that reluctance was going on, the MRC was more than happy to repeatedly attack Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar as anti-Semitic -- largely by portraying any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic without explaining why the two must be conflated. We've noted how the MRC's Mark Finkelstein tried to distract from Trump's embrace of anti-Semitic tropes by reciting right-wing talking points about how "Omar has a long history of anti-Israel/antisemitic statements. There was that notorious tweet in which she wrote: 'Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.' Her most infamous bit of classic antisemitism came when, directly pointing the finger at AIPAC, Omar claimed US support for Israel is 'all about the Benjamins baby.'"

Indeed, Omar has been a longtime MRC target for building a narrative of anti-Semitism around her. In February 2022, Curtis Houck complained that Stephen Colbert called out Florida gov. Ron DeSantis for not quickly denouncing neo-Nazis but "ignored DeSantis emphasizing how anti-Semitism is a scourge inside the left as they’ve chosen to include open anti-Semites in the halls of Congress like Ilhan Omar (MN). In an April 2022 post, Matt Philbin sneered when Omar called out right-wing Christian travelers who inflicted their religion on their fellow plane passengers by holding a loud prayer session: "It’s not just Jews. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, doesn’t seem to like Christians much, either.

As the MRC was desperate to downplay the Kanye/Trump drama, it was quite eager to attack Omar's alleged anti-Semitism -- particularly as Republicans taking control of the House meant that they would purge designated Democratic enemies like Omar off committees. Nicholas Fondacaro raged in a Nov. 22 post when a co-host on "The View" defended her:

Up in arms that possible House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promised to strip extremist Democrats of their committee assignments when/if he becomes speaker of the House, including Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, The View took to downplaying her rabid anti-Semitism on Tuesday and giving a full-throated defense of her anti-American comments comparing the United States to terrorist groups like Hamas and the Taliban.

Despite admitting that Omar had used disparaging tropes about the Jews and money, racist co-host Sunny Hostin whined that McCarthy’s repeated references to them were somehow harmful “tropes” against her. “She committed to learning more. We’ve never heard her say anything like that again,” she falsely declared, pointing to their midterm win percentages as a bizarre argument against McCarthy.

Hostin then tried to use her big brain to hint that McCarthy attacking Omar, a popular politician on the left, was somehow racist code for the Republican base:

So, I think it's very interesting that the people he chooses to attack are the very same people that he thinks his base wants attacked. That says something about where the Republican Party is today.

In recent months, co-host Sara Haines has become the only cast member willing to stand up to Hostin when she’s spewing nonsense. And she did it again in this instance as she called out how Omar had compared the U.S. and Israel to the terrorist organizations of Hamas and the Taliban.

Hostin and co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar immediately jumped to Omar’s defense arguing that what she said was true “depending on who you talk to”:

The Omar remark to which he's referring is so entrenched on the right that Fondacaro didn't feel the need to explain or elaborate. It comes from a 2021 remark in which she noted that "we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban"; she later clarified to note that “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems."

Note that Fondacaro also does not dispute the accuracy of her statement but instead rushed to smear her as anti-Semitic for saying it; he also does not explain how it was "false" for Hostin to say Omar is "committed to learning more." (And, again, Fondacaro is maliciously smearing Hostin as a "racist" because he doesn't understand metaphors.)

Kevin Tober called Omar a "noted anti-Semite" in a Nov. 26 post, unironically linking to a 2019 NPR story on Omar's "criticism of Israel," thus again conflating any criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism (and blowing up the MRC's narrative about NPR being hopelessly biased). Jeffrey Lord gushed over McCarthy's plans in his column the same day:

The liberal media loved Pelosi for forcing the Republican Rep. [Marjorie Taylor] Greene off her committee assignments for, among other things, anti-Semitism. McCarthy warned of the precedent this would set, but he went unheeded.

Now McCarthy has turned the tables. Democrat Rep. Omar has been seriously accused -- as was Greene -- of anti-Semitism. Infamously Omar had written of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” An uproar ensued. On another occasion Omar had cited what she called “unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.”

The MRC portrayed Greene as a victim because her anti-Semitism (Jewish space lasers, anyone?) and extremism was called out and even whined that she was being compared to Omar.

In his Dec. 3 column, Lord touted right-wing radio host Chris Salcedo playing whataboutism over Trump dining with Ye and Fuentes , highlihght that he delcared "Fuentes is every bit as anti-Semitic as 'AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Louis Farrakhan are.' For Trump to dine with Ye and Fuentes, he said, was just as bad as if he 'broke bread with Ilhan Omar, the leaders of BLM, or Linda Sarsour, or any leftwing Jew hater.'"

Posted by Terry K. at 5:49 PM EST
WND Spouts GOP Talking Points In 'News' Story Attacking Biden Address
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote a Feb. 8 WorldNetDaily article under the headline "'Banal failure': Headlines pummel Biden's State of the Union":

It was the Washington Examiner that called Joe Biden's 2023 State of the Union address to the American public – those who watched it, "A banal failure of a State of the Union."

"The best thing that can be said about President Joe Biden's second State of the Union address last night is that a record-low number of people wasted their time watching it. It was a laundry list of nanny statism, promising that not even the tiniest detail of people's lives will be free from federal interference…"

Fox News said the 'top 5 moments" ranged from Biden being called a "LIAR" to an "awkward kiss."

That report admitted the speech was a "soft launch" to Biden's campaign for president in 2024, when he will be advanced into his 80s already.


The Daily Mail focused on Biden's lies, with the headline, "Biden repeats misleading claims he has created more jobs than any other president, has made the biggest deficit reduction in history and is responsible for lowering inflation during 'deluded' State of the Union address."

But Unruh failed to disclose the fact that all the outlets he cited to attack Biden's address are biased right-wing outlets predisposed to hating anything and everything Biden says -- you know, just like WND. Indeed, Unruh went on to present misleading Republican talking points as "news":

The "LIAR" epithet came when he "repeated an old Democratic talking point that has long been debunked by fact-checkers." He said Republicans want Medicare and Social Security "to sunset."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., erupted with "LIAR!"

Biden immediately tried to backtrack, claiming, "It's being proposed by some of you."

Republicans have said they don't want to eliminate the programs, but want them under more strict scrutiny.

Unruh censored the fact that numerous Republicans are on the record stating their desire to cut Social Security and Medicare. He continued:

Biden also lied about the number of jobs he "created."

"Two years ago, our economy was reeling," Biden claimed. "As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs, more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years."

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that number is only 2.7 million, as the rest were lost during COVID-19.

Unruh didn't explain why that distinction matters -- a job is a job, and a job ceases to exist if it was "lost," meaning it must be created again.

Unruh went on to push another talking point: "Biden repeatedly claimed credit for bringing inflation down. It was 6.5% in December, down from 9.1% in June. But it was 1.4% when he took office, meaning any drop in inflation under his policies still is costing American families thousands of dollars more each year because of inflation his policies triggered." Unruh offered no evidence that Biden's policies are directly responsible for any rise in inflation.

Unruh waited until the very end of his story to cite a non-right-wing media outlet:

The leftist AP wrote sympathetically that Biden "exhorted Congress Tuesday night to work with him to 'finish the job' of rebuilding the economy…"

But it conceded that three-quarters of Americans say the nation now is on the wrong track, under Biden, and most Democrats don't want Biden as their candidate in 2024.

Unruh offered no evidence that the AP is "leftist" -- ironic, since he used to work for the AP before joining WND, where he could spread biased journalism in a way the AP wouldn't have let him do.

In continuing to publish such biased, factually deficient journalism, WND continues to do the same thing that caused the financial hole it has been stuck in for years.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EST
MRC Slurs Man Fighting Racism As 'Racial Arsonist'
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck began a Jan. 30 Media Research Center post with a major snit:

Having spent multiple segments decrying the disturbing beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police earlier this month,CBS Mornings wound down Monday’s show by bringing in racial arsonist Ibram X. Kendi to fawn over his latest attempt to spread his poison about antiracism (and how black people are still subject to inequities in all facets of their lives by white oppressors) to teens.

“Coming up, New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone will be here to talk about their book empowering young people to stand up against racism,” boasted co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King in one of two teases.

Of course, King wasn’t going to challenge his views on such things as calls for racism against non-black people, that white Americans still pose a threat of terrorism to black people, opposing teaching children to hate themselves and each other means you’re a KKK member, or a constitutional amendment to declare anything unconstitutional if it promotes “racial inequity.” And he’s somehow still with CBS despite calling Justice Amy Coney Barrett a “colonizer” for adopting two black children.

Note that three paragraphs in, Houck is still attacking Kendi with right-wing talking points and has not addressed the actual segment.  He seems to have missed the fact that the Buffalo massacre, which was specifically about a white man murdering black people, is clear evidence that"white Americans still pose a threat of terrorism to black people." Houck's charge that Kendi favors "racism against non-black people" links to a right-wing attack piece on him in National Review, which used to argue in favor of racial segregation. Houck's remark about " teaching children to hate themselves and each other" is channeling what right-wingers like himself have been indoctrinated to believe critical race theory is. And Houck doesn't explain why Kendi's call to eradicate laws that promote racial equality is a bad thing; instead, he linked to a right-wing Federalist piece that bizarrely attacked Kendi's proposal as "openly totalitarian" and "would unleash a Woke Gestapo on society." Houck apparently beleives such obviously incendiary language is not the work of a "racial arsonist."

Finally, Houck got around to the matter at hand, which was Kendi appearing on CBS to promote an adaptation of his book "How To Be An Anti-Racist" for teenagers, which he did by pedentaically attacking a statistic he cited:

Kendi replied that “black people have among the lowest life expectancy in the United States” and “police violence” is to blame because it’s “one of the leading causes of death for young black men.” In turn, he’s merely speaking out in hopes “black people” can “live and racism” will “die.”

Fact-check: Pants on fire.

According to the CDC, the top five causes of death for “non-Hispanic black” “male[s]” from 1-19 years are as follows: “Homicide” (so not necessarily police, but could include black-on-black crime), “unintentional injuries,” “chronic lower respiratory disease,” “suicide,” and “cancer.” For 20-44, all causes were the same except third place was changed to “heart disease.”

Houck is being dishonest here, because offered no evidence the CDC lists "police violence" as a category. Meanwhile, a study by three universities that did take it into account found that use of force by police was the sixth-leading cause of death of young Black men. In other words, Kendi is right and Houck is wrong.

Houck concluded by touting more National Review hit jobs on Kendi, oblivious to the fact that the publication was an advocate for racial segregation.And Houck never explained what, exactly, makes Kendi a "racial arsonist."

UPDATE: It was Alex Christy's turn to complain about Kendi in a post the next day:

Ibram Kendi took his book tour to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on Monday night and in the least shocking development ever, called his critics racist for not agreeing with his redefinition of the word racist.


After [host D.L.] Hughley asked for that new definition, Stone continued, “racism is a system of ideas -- you have racist ideas and basically, they are made to keep inequities going, right?”

On this definition, Kendi added, “Because one of the things that happens is, people who have historically been racist refuse to define that term because it allows them to exonerate themselves.”

Or maybe that definition is wrong. Simply looking at statistics, seeing a difference, and then claiming racism is junk science. But being wrong isn’t enough for Kendi, he has to call anyone who calls him out on his reductionism and politicized language a racist.

Of course, given that similar previous statistical difference between races have been proven to be racist in nature, there's little reason not to consider that possiiblity now. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, March 11, 2023 8:58 PM EST
CNS Finds Exorcists To Push Right-Wing Talking Points

As its publication of Michael Orsi shows, is not afraid to exploit Catholic teachings to push right-wing talking points -- not surprising, given that the people who run it think they're more Catholic than the pope. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman has even taking to citing Catholic exorcists to push those narratives. He wrote in a Dec. 5 article:

Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a licensed psychologist and exorcist for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., said in a recent interview that a pornography addiction, "like any serious sin, is an opening to the demonic," which can "distort a person's sexuality."

Msgr. Rossetti, 71, has worked as a licensed psychologist for 30 years. He is a priest with the Diocese of Syracuse and has been an exorcist with the Washington Archdiocese for more than 15 years.

In a Dec. 1 interview with the Catholic News Agency, Rossetti said, “A pornography addiction, like any serious sin, is an opening to the demonic. It is never a good thing to exploit people as sexual objects, which the porn industry does."

Chapman moved to a different exorcist who more closely repeated current right-wing narratives in a Jan. 9 article:

In his Jan. 8 sermon on the family, Fr. Chad Ripperger, a Catholic priest and exorcist, explained that "transgenderism" is a direct attack "on "motherhood," and added that "the entire feminist movement is an assault on motherhood."

Fr. Ripperger spoke at St. Mary of Pine Bluff Catholic Church in Madison, Wisc.

While discussing marriage and how it is under constant attack by our culture, Fr. Ripperger said, “Things like transgenderism is a full-blown attack against motherhood. People usually don’t put it together. Why is it [an attack on motherhood]?"

"Well, because any woman who goes through a transgender operation can’t bear children anymore," he said.  "And any guy who becomes a woman – at least by the modern technology – he’s not having any kids."

"In point of fact, the entire feminist movement is an assault on motherhood, which is frankly one of the most sublime and magnificent offices that God ever created," said the priest.

The next day, Chapman generated a second anti-LGBT article out of Ripperger's sermon:

In his Jan. 8 sermon on the Holy Family and the necessity of marriage in civil society, Fr. Chad Ripperger, a Catholic priest and exorcist, defined what marriage is and dismissed "gay marriage" as an "abomination," a "disordered" practice for which God will punish us. 

Fr. Ripperger spoke at St. Mary of Pine Bluff Catholic Church in Madison, Wisc.

Today, "there’s a complete, all-out assault on the very nature of marriage," said Fr. Ripperger. "The definition of marriage is that it’s a solemn contract between a man and a woman for the sake of having children. The primary end is having children. That’s what it is ordered towards."

“This is something which, unfortunately, has not been understood today,"' he added. "People think marriage is just a license to engage in the conjugal act. But that’s not what we are talking about here."


"The fact that there is gay marriage – perhaps put marriage in quotes because it’s not true marriage -- it doesn’t meet the definition of marriage," he said.  "It’s an abomination. There’s no way that God isn’t going to afflict us in some manner, as a result of taking on something that is that disordered."

"In fact, their acts are so disordered that St. Catherine of Siena said that even the demons find it repulsive," said Fr. Ripperger. "And yet today it’s glorified."

In her writings, St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) claimed that Jesus Christ Himself had remarked pitifully on some of the clergy who had engaged in homosexual behavior. 

"Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they [practicing homosexuals] do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves," she wrote. "For this not only causes Me [Christ] nausea, but is disgusting even to the devils themselves whom these depraved creatures have chosen as their lords."

As to be expected from Chapman, he allowed no dissenting views, though he published numerous articles attacking Pope Francis for not hating gay people enough.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EST
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
MRC Continues History As Fox News Defender, PR Operation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is, in no small part, the Fox News Defense Center. Over the past year, it has published numerous posts that are essentially Fox News press releases:

The MRC has kept up those defense efforts over the past several months, attacking anyone who would dare to criticize the channel and its bias. A May 18 post by Alex Christy attacked a former Fox News correspondent for arguing that people like Tucker Carlson could be imprisoned for spouting replacement theory conspiracies that the racist Buffalo massacre:

Former Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron joined MSNBC Deadline: White House on Tuesday to discuss the aftermath of the mass shooting in Buffalo by a white supremacist. According to Cameron, it is time to consider throwing certain, current Fox personalities in jail.


Thankfully for Fox, the First Amendment will protect them from people like Cameron. Luckily, for MSNBC that same First Amendment also protects them from people like Cameron who want to be the final arbiters of what is and is not misinformation.

Of course, the MRC defended Carlson and insisted that replacement theory wasn't racist and was a conspiracy. Three days later, Christy complained that "Cameron was at it again, suggesting Tucker Carlson has lost his First Amendment rights and that Fox should be deplatormed," grousing further that he "tied Fox to foreign disinformation campaigns." Christy failed to mention that Carlson is very much a pro-Russia, anti-Ukraine propagandist.

On June 13, Tim Graham whined that NPR reported on an effort to discourage advertisers from using Fox News:

National Public Radio has made it clear over the years that it despises Fox News. On June 9, the morning before the primetime Pelosi Panel hearing, Morning Edition promoted a radical leftist group of censors that wants Fox News beheaded. Of course, NPR never called them "leftist" or anything ideological on air as they aim to starve Fox News of digital ads. (The online story uses "left-leaning" in paragraph nine.) 


Depriving the conservative media of any revenue is simply another day for "democracy" at NPR.

Graham didn't disclose that the MRC runs a very similar operation designed to deprive non-conservative media of revenue, and he sure didn't describing as an attack on democracy.

The same day, Aidan Moorehouse grumbled:

After an hour of marketing his own aggressive brand of no-holds-barred progressivism, MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan decided to conclude his eponymous Sunday evening show with a snide and staged exchange with fellow radical Ayman Mohyeldin, comparing Fox News to state-run Middle Eastern propaganda networks.

Hasan began by asking Mohyeldin, “Do we have midterm elections coming up?” He then played a series of clips from Fox News from the past week warning of the large migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. southern border.

After the montage, Hasan snarkily proclaimed: “Yes, if it's a midterm year, it has to be a migrant caravan year,” insinuating Fox would not have covered the story if the midterm elections weren’t fast approaching. 


There’s no doubt that Fox News is right-leaning, but to pretend that the Republican Party is a monolithic ruling class — within the D.C. Beltway or without — is patent nonsense. And on the topic of state-run media, didn’t both Hasan and Mohyeldin previously work for the Qatari-funded Al-Jazeera?

Note that Moorehouse would only condede that Fox News is "right-leaning" while attacking both Hasan and Moyheldin as "radical" based on nothing more than merely criticizing Fox News and, apparently, sharing a certain previous employer.

In an Oct. 12 post, Christy got mad that late-night host Seth Meyers called out Fox News fearmongering over inflation, desperately playing whataboutism in response: "It was notable that Meyers did not go after any of the Air Heads on CNN or MSNBC and their embrace of the Democratic agenda, which is sad considering CNN thinks Dum Dums are anyone who opposed The 1619 Project." When MSNBC commentator David Jolly simiarly called out Fox anti-government fearmongering -- calling it heroin in the veins of Fox News viewers-- Mark Finkelstein ranted in a Jan. 7 post:

But, as seems apparent, if the FBI and other government agencies conspired with Big Tech and other media to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story, and silence the voices of conservatives, using Twitter and other social media platforms as their cats' paws, then those agencies have shredded their own integrity. That needs to be exposed so that necessary reforms can be made. 

Jolly is in essence calling for a cover-up of those abuses.

Christy played Fox defender yet again in a Feb. 11 post:

MSNBC’s host of The 11th Hour Stephanie Ruhle was not happy that Fox News reacted to President Biden’s State of the Union by calling him a liar and to help her in her quest against this narrative, she welcomed professional Fox News watcher Juliet Jeske to claim Fox viewers are in a “cult” who need “deprogramming”

Those creepy remarks came after Ruhle wondered why Jeske does what she does, “So, the work that you're doing is, obviously, interesting to someone like me and my audience, but that Fox News audience. That right-wing audience, is that who you're trying to get to?”

For Jeske, it is not Fox viewers, but:

Friends, families, coworkers, and colleagues of people who are already deeply entrenched in Fox. Number one, to prevent them from getting sucked in. To help them navigate dealing with someone who's in that cult mentality because I would call it a cult and to help them figure out why their relatives and loved ones are saying these things and deprogramming someone or deradicalizing them is a very difficult and long situation to go through.


Ruhle wanted to focus in on that claim [that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare], “I mean for fact's sake, yesterday, the president himself went down to Florida and word for word, read from Rick Scott's plan. So, explain to me how they keep pushing these lies to their audience? A, did they not have a legal and standards department? And B, like, what gives? Their audience is just going to believe this?”

Jeske then claimed Fox has “absolutely no shame. They'll say whatever they need to say to promote their agenda and mostly through lying by omission, like leaving out stories completely.”

Lying by omission is exactly what Biden, Ruhle, and Jeske did when they ignored that Republicans leaders have said that cuts to those programs are not on the table.

Christy lied by omission by ignoring the fact that Republicans have a long history of publicly expressing their desire to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 11:04 PM EST
Newsmax Obsessed Over Biden Classified Documents
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax aggressively defended Donald Trump following the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate to retrive classified documents he stole (after months of refusal to cooperate on the matter). So when it was revealed that classified documents were found at properties used by Joe Biden after his vice presidency but before he became president, Newsmax unsurprisingly went all in on attacking him. Here are some of the articles it published just in the first week of the story:

That's 37 articles in the first week of the story, for those counting at home.

There were opinion pieces as well. A Jan. 13 column by Michael Dorstewitz rehashed much of what Newsmax had already reported while also defending Trump, insisting that "the records in Trump’s possession were covered under the Presidential Records Act, and he had the power to declassify those records. As vice president Biden had no such power, and there’s no 'Vice Presidential Records Act' for him to fall back on." Again, vice presidents do have declassification powers. Larry Bell pushed the same falsehood to protect Trump in a column the same day:

If you imagined that the Aug. 8 FBI/DOJ raid on Donald Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago was truly over secret documents as part of an undisclosed “criminal investigation,” let’s see if a belated report of multiple illegal stashes of Joe Biden’s classified materials dating to his time as vice president between 2013-2016 receives comparable legal culpability zeal.


There is a big legal difference between former President Trump’s private possession of classified documents which he had full authority to declassify, versus Joe Biden’s removal of such materials as vice president with no such license.

Bell concluded by whining, "Don’t count on an armed raid on Jill Biden’s wardrobe closet as happened to former first lady Melania Trump any time soon." He forgot to mention that Trump's failure to cooperate is the direct cause of the raid.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:36 PM EST
Anti-LGBT Activist LaBarbera Now A 'Reporter' For WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It appears that the right-wing grift of hating LGBT people is not as lucrative as it one was. In a sign of desperation on at least one party, Peter LaBarbera, the founder of the anti-LGBT organization Americans For Truth About Homosexuality -- which has promoted numerous falsehoods about LGBT people -- is now working as a reporter at WorldNetDaily (which of course, hate LGBT people at least as much as LaBarbera does). It says certain things about WND that it would hire a known liar as a reporter -- namely that WND's brand of "journalism" is decidedly untrustworthy -- but it also shows that AFTAH is no longer paying the bills for LaBarbera. Of course, WND's finances are pretty shaky too right now, so it's unclear if LaBarbera is even making much money doing this.

He proclaimed himself to be "a Washington political animal in a 1996 Washington Post article -- which means he's not a journalist, despite his claiming such credentials in his WND bio by noting he was once a reporter for the Washington Times (never mind that working for Moonies isn't exactly a credibility-enhancer). Indeed, all the other biographical details listed are of activism, not journalism, which says activism will come first here too.

Given LaBarbera's obsession with hating LGBT people, it's no surprise that a significant number of the articles he has written at WND have been about bashing them. His very first "news" article, on Dec. 28, was filled with transphobic attacks, particularly against Biden administration official Rachel Levine:

President Biden’s top transgender-activist appointee says body-altering “gender-affirming care” for people attempting to live as the opposite sex is “not in scientific or medical dispute,” and is urging doctors to work with Big Tech companies to effectively help eradicate such “disinformation.”

In a newly surfaced video, Dr. Rachel Levine, formerly Dr. Richard Levine, describes the “onslaught” of conservative “anti-LGBTQI+” state legislative efforts, which mainly oppose the transgender youth agenda, as “dangerous to the public health.” He says there is “substantial misinformation” surrounding the issue and looks to tech giants to partner with health professionals “to create a healthier, cleaner, information environment."

Levine’s remarks touched off a cascade of criticism in social media: “Not in dispute. This is a lie,” tweeted one Belfast critic, who linked to a post about a leading Swedish hospital that banned “puberty blockers” and cross-sex hormones for minors in 2021.


Levine, appointed by Biden as assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, is hailed by LGBT activists as the first openly “transgender” presidential appointee to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Born male and having attended an all-boys school, Levine married a woman, psychiatrist Martha Peaslee, and fathered a boy and a girl before “transitioning” to his current “trans woman” identity. His radical “trans-formation” left his children without the normal, male-identified dad they grew up with, and he divorced Peaslee after 25 year of marriage in 2013.

The combination of the portly Levine’s aggressive trans advocacy and his decidedly masculine facial features, along with his long, flowing blond hair, has made him a prime target for conservatives and allied feminists.

In 2021, the Harvard-educated pediatrician was sworn in as an admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, in what the Washington Post celebrated as the "first-ever female" four-star admiral – even though Levine is a biological man. It was from this platform that he made his remarks about "gender-affirming care" for young people.

His second article, published the next day, uncritically touted the homophobia of Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik:

Chaya Raichik, the conservative woman behind the hugely popular "Libs of TikTok" Twitter account that exposes "groomers" of innocent children using activist-teachers' own video recordings, has entered a new stage in her fight for American culture by revealing her face and identity to the world.

Eight months after being "doxxed" by a Washington Post hit-piece that revealed her name and exposed her private address, Raichik sat down for an hour-long interview with Tucker Carlson on his eponymous show on the Fox Nation streaming site. In the exchange, which aired Tuesday, Raichik explained the powerful, dark forces that are leading many children (and their parents) down the road of transgenderism, which she said was part of a larger LGBT "cult."

LaBarbera then attacked the Washington Post article that exposed Raichik as the account's creator:

The two discussed how the April hit-piece by Washington Post writer Taylor Lorentz "doxxing" Raichik (a link in the piece exposed her private address before it was taken down) actually propelled Libs of TikTok to greater popularity and influence.

The blatantly biased Post article, which relies heavily on the left-wing press watchdog Media Matters, attempts to cast Libs of TikTok ominously as "an agenda-setter in right-wing online discourse" largely responsible for "the recent push in legislation and rhetoric directly targeting the LGBTQ+ community."

LaBarbera identified no falsehoods in the Post article, nor did he explain how an article that he could find no falsehoods in could possibly be "blatantly biased."

LaBarbera spent a Jan. 3 "news" article raging that LGBTQ+ issues received funding under an omnibus spending bill:

Thanks to Republican support for a newly passed $1.7 trillion omnibus federal spending bill, American taxpayers are funding left-leaning LGBT organizations across the country, including those that promote deviant sex to youth, teach biased "gay history" to kids, and lobby for letting biological boys use girls' restrooms and locker rooms in schools.

The Washington Stand reported that the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill — backed by 18 GOP senators and signed into law December 30 by President Biden — contains $11 million in LGBT funding, included the following homosexual- and transgender-related earmarks (specific spending requests) by Democrat lawmakers:

LaBarbera went on to attack the LGBT Center in New York City because it received funding and for a Keith Haring art piece it possesses:

The Center touts its programs serving youth, but like many gay/trans organizations and events—such as sexually-charged LGBT "Pride" parades across the world, which are attended by many young children—it subjects them to the excesses and immorality of a lifestyle centered on aberrant sexual "liberation."

The LGBT Center's partially pornographic "art" collection, displayed throughout the building, is a case in point. Among the works widely touted by New York City's art enthusiasts is a mural painted by homosexual artist Keith Haring on the walls of what once second-floor bathroom (it is now a meeting room). Haring's wall art consists of dozens of cartoonish, squiggly line drawings mainly of male phalluses, in various acts of faceless "sodomy" and stimulation.

The mural, which Haring called "One Upon a Time," depicts "the pre-1981 days of freewheeling [gay] sex," prior to the AIDS crisis, according to a sympathetic review by Alexander McQuilkin on the "untapped cities" website. Ironically, within months of completing the orgiastic bathroom drawing, Haring, just 31 years old, himself died of AIDS, a casualty of the "freewheeling sex" he had evidently practiced and celebrated.

LaBarbera also ranted about funding going to a new LGBT museum: "In reality, the museum's operation is sure to be deeply political (a leftist interpretation of "social justice") as the gay and transgender movements are based on a negation of Judeo-Christian morality."

A Jan. 11 article by LaBarbera deliberately misinterpreted a description of a medical school course to maliciously claim that the school believes infants are "queer":

Did you know a newborn baby could be "queer" right out of the womb? How about "asexual" or "transgender"?

A new College Fix report uncovers a reccurring Harvard Medical School course that offers "clinical exposure and education" focusing on "serving gender and sexual minority people across the lifespan, from infants to older adults."

The course is offered at Massachusetts General Hospital, which offers “gender-affirming surgical procedures” for ages 18 and up, according to the report. Translation: MGH performs transgender operations such as removing the healthy breasts of women who seek such mutilating "surgeries" as part of their quest to live as "men," i.e., to match their perceived "gender identity."

The anti-LGBT hate masquerading as "news" continued in other LaBarbera articles:

  • He wrote in a Jan. 16 article that "The United States is the most permissive country in the world in allowing children to pursue extreme transgender "transitions" such as puberty blockers and "surgeries" removing young women's healthy breasts," based on a report by right-wing group Do No Harm, whose ideology he didn't disclose.
  • He rated in a Jan. 25 article that "Another leftist indoctrination video has surfaced showing a trans-identified day-care instructor using a gender-neutral doll to teach four-and five-year-old children to accept the identity 'non-binary' as an alternative to 'boy' or 'girl.'"
  • He spent a Feb. 2 article touting how Donald Trump would "mobilize the full power of the presidency and federal government against gender-transition 'mutilations' of children and 'left-wing gender insanity' in schools, should he win the White House again."
  • He similarly gushed in a Feb. 7 article how "Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt received two standing ovations Monday from the state's lawmakers as he called on them to send him a bill banning mutilating 'gender transition surgeries' and transgender hormone 'therapies' performed on minor children in the state."

In a Feb. 9 article, LaBarbera huffed that "Every single Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against a 'common sense' bill that would require schools to notify parents if their child is 'self-identifying as a gender different from the student's biological sex,'" but he waited until the 16th paragraph of his article to actually quote anyone speaking in opposition -- then smearing her because she is a transgender legislator:

Leading the charge against HB 2432 was biological male, self-styled "trans woman" and LGBT activist Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, D, Prince William County. Speaking on the House floor, Roem angrily called it a "reckless" bill that would drive "transgender" kids with unsupportive parents into homelessness. He said the bill "deals with forcibly outing trans kids" and scolded the body's Republicans: "You have no idea the harm you're causing."

That's the only paragraph in LaBarbera's 25-paragraph article that actually quotes opposition -- the rest promote the bill. 

The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Given that WND's current financial crisis is caused in large part to its longtime embrace of fake news and conspiracy theories, it's unclear why WND thinks its situation will improve by the hiring of which a highly biase and hate-filled activist pretending to be a "reporter" like LaBarbera.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EST

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