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Friday, March 31, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck hadn't had Peter Doocy to man-crush over for a while, so when he returned to Fox News after a month of paternity leave, Houck was ready for some serious Doocy-fluffing in the writeup for the March 1 White House press briefing:

Though he had been back for a few weeks since the February 1 birth of his daughter with wife and Fox Business correspondent Hillary Vaughn, Wednesday marked Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy’s first White House briefing since January 27. Not surprisingly, he was still prepared as he grilled the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on whether President Biden is “afraid of China.”

Doocy started with that very question: “Why is President Biden afraid of China?” Jean-Pierre insisted that he’s not and her evidence was comical as she invoked Biden’s visit to Ukraine.

“Look, this is not a President who's afraid of anything. It was a historic trip that many of you said was brave, so clearly, this is a president that's not afraid to go to a war zone,” she said, arguing that Doocy’s question was bunk because...journalists loved Biden in Ukraine?

Doocy countered that, along with China being allowed to fly “spycraft over the U.S.” and nothing happened to them, Biden hasn’t shown a willingness to punish them when they “may have created something that has killed more 1.1 million people in this country”.

Jean-Pierre said a whole lot of nothing as, on the balloon, Biden “did take that down...collected information from it...protected on national security information on the ground, and “protected the American people.”

Houck then gushed that Doocy "dropped the hammer" with a question about the origins of COVID, then whined that "A meandering essay later about Biden’s “leadership” ensuring “the economy is growing again” and “tak[ing] on COVID” and Biden showing leadership by having “the intelligence community” discuss amongst themselves, she moved on."

Houck was still fanboying over Doocy's return in a second post on that day's briefing:

Along with the return of Fox’s Peter Doocy on Wednesday to the White House Press Briefing Room and some tough questions for the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on TikTok, there were a host of other topics that piqued our interests, including Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) revoking Disney’s self-governance status, the D.C. City Council attempting to rewrite their criminal code, the murder of a Catholic bishop, and the alleged bigotry from the Richmond, Virginia FBI field office.

Then Houck got lazy again, summing up several succeeding briefings in a single March 7 post:

With briefings on Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has had a lot of camera time as of late and the liberal media came at her with questions of substance and activism. Most notably, they’ve hit her from the left on the D.C. crime bill, Florida and Texas addressing the Biden border crisis, illegal immigration, Tennessee passing legislation to protect children from graphic sexual content, and Tucker Carlson.

Thankfully, others showed up with questions about the anti-cop riot in Atlanta, energy independence, green technology hypocrisy, government surveillance, and Russian sanctions.

Below are the five worst and then the five best questions from the last four briefings. Each category is presented in chronological order.

Needless to say, the "best" questions advanced right-wing narratives and the "worst" questions didn't. and the top "best" question is from Doocy.

Kevin Tober popped up to once again smear Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire in a March 12 post for the sin of not speaking as glibly as he demands:

On Friday night, President Biden’s thoroughly unqualified diversity hire press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes for a wide-ranging interview. While to any competent Democrat press secretary, this would be an easy interview to get through, but as she has proven before, that is not the case with Jean-Pierre who even on her best day is seemingly incapable of putting a coherent sentence together. 

Due to recent reports that have been circulating in the press that the Biden administration is considering a return to the Trump-era migrant detention policies, Hayes simply asked for a confirmation of whether these reports have any merit. 

The result was a meandering, incoherent response that barely sounded like English: "So, what I want to be very clear here and I've answered this question, as you know Chris many times in the briefing room, and we as a administration has as well."


You have to wonder if this somehow is a second language for her. She is in way over her head and should never have been hired for this job. If the Biden regime wasn’t so obsessed with diversity, she wouldn’t be the Press Secretary. 

Houck then trotted over to Fox News to slag Jean-Pierre some more for a March 19 TV hit:

With the topic in his wheelhouse, NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck was back on the Fox News Channel late Friday/early Saturday forFox News @ Night to sound off on the latest antics from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the White House’s purposeful restricting of press access to President Biden amid a litany of domestic and foreign crises.

Reacting to a mini-skirmish from Thursday’s briefing in which even friendly liberal journalists blasted Jean-Pierre and her team for keeping Biden from even traditional press conferences with foreign leaders, Houck said the issue “shouldn’t be partisan” and certainly at a time when people “want to hear from the President.”

Oddly, Houck didn't find the Jean-Pierre "antics" he described so egregious that he could be bothered to write about that for his employer.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
Despite No Actual Indictment, Newsmax Cranked Out Dozens Of Outrage Articles Anyway
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax didn't complain when Donald Trump's March 18 declaration that he would be arrested the following Tuesday didn't match reality -- after all, it squeezed 38 articles out of it. In order to keep the outrage going, Newsmax had to move the goalposts, publishing an article on March 21 -- the day of Trump's original delcared arrest -- that Trump "is likely to be indicted Wednesday, with his surrender and arraignment coming next week." And, yes, the manufactured outrage and the attacks on DA Alvin Bragg from its retinue of pro-Trump talking heads (and Trump himself) kept going on March 22:

That's 15 more outrage articles. By contrast, Newsmax published a single wire article noting that "A federal appeals court on Wednesday directed a lawyer for Donald Trump to turn over to prosecutors documents in the investigation into the former president's retention of classified documents at his Florida estate." Then, beause another prediction had failed: it was goalpost-moving time in the form of an article by Eric Mack trying tomove the goalposts:

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's grand jury hearing evidence about former President Donald Trump's alleged involvement with a hush-money payment to a porn star will not meet Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

"It could be anything from an illness to a logistical scheduling issue to someone basically, you know, gave [Bragg] a little tap on the head there and said, 'Are you sure you want to do this? Are you seeing the reaction out there?'" Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now" shortly after the news broke.

Tacopina told host Bianca de la Garza that warnings for Bragg's overreach might be coming "not from the partisan right but from all sides of the aisle" on "how horrific this would be."

That was followed the next day by another goalpost-moving article by Mack:

In a surprise move, the New York grand jury probing former President Donald Trump's case has suspended its activities this week and will reconvene next week.

Multiple press sources, including ABC News, say the grand jury will meet Thursday on another case it is reviewing and is expected to resume the Trump case on Monday.

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg is also reportedly seeking to bring one additional witness before the grand jury next week.

Harvard law professor and author Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax on Wednesday that Bragg is likely having "second thoughts" about his criminal case against Trump, and that could be the reason he gave the grand jury off time this week.

Needless to say, the lack of credible knowledge of an imminent indictment or arrest of Trump wasn't going to keep Newsmax from keeping up the fearmongering on March 23:

There was also a column by pro-Trump pollister John McLaughlin claiming that "According to our new poll, the only real crime Donald Trump has committed is being the frontrunner to beat President Biden, and the voters know it." The outrage continued on March 24:

That's an additional 17 articles over those two days. There was also a wire article on Trump attorney Evan Cochran appearing "in court Friday after being ordered to answer questions before a grand jury investigating the possible mishandling of classified documents at the former president's Florida estate."

And that's not all. More soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Inability To Distort Edition

Once again, the employment news in February was so good that even writer Susan Jones was largely unable to portray it negatively (as is standard CNS policy for a Democratic president) for her lead article on it:

After a very strong showing in January, the nation's employment situation showed no significant softening in February, and that suggests the Federal Reserve may respond with another round of interest rate hikes.

The economy added a strong 311,000 non-farm jobs in February, well above estimates of 205,000, but well below the (revised) 504,000 non-farm jobs added in January.

As usual, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. Employment declined in information and in transportation and warehousing.

The number of employed Americans set another record, the third once since December, increasing by 177,000 to 160,315,000 in February, which is up from 160,138,000 in January and 159,244,000 in December.

She even grudgingly admitted that the labor force participation rate -- Jones' favorite cherry-picked number -- increased to "62.5 percent in February -- up from 62.4 percent in January, and the highest it's been since Joe Biden became president."

The only sidebar was editor Terry Jeffrey complaining that "The number of people employed by government in the United States increased by 46,000 in February" -- as if government jobs aren't real or somehow a bad thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Classified Document Double Standards at the MRC: The Biden Flip
Topic: Media Research Center
After defending Donald Trump over a raid on Mar-a-Lago to retrieve classified documents, the Media Research Center went on the attack when documents were found at offices belonging to Joe Biden ... until it was revealed Mike Pence had some too. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Thursday, March 30, 2023
MRC Mad People Said Nice Things About Biden's Visit To Ukraine
Topic: Media Research Center
As it regularly does, the Media Research Center got mad again when people say nice things about something President Biden does -- in this case, paying a surprise visit to Ukraine. Kevin Tober was first up in a Feb. 20 post, which also issued another regular complaint that historic things are being called "historic" (and, of course, a dash of whataboutism):

On Monday night, the three evening network broadcasts went ga-ga over President Biden's "historic" trip to Ukraine. Each of the three networks (ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, & NBC Nightly News) got weak-kneed over the trip and made no snide comments or said anything at all negative about Biden or his Ukraine visit. This is in stark contrast to how they treated both former Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump when they visited the U.S. troops overseas. 

ABC's World News Tonight anchor David Muir drooled at "President Biden's secret and historic trip into Ukraine, a daring act by a sitting president visiting a war zone. And one where no American troops are serving." Muir added that "the journey planned in secrecy and unannounced, playing out in the overnight hours, and it comes just as the world is set to witness the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

Contrast this with how ABC's former Good Morning Americaco-host Charles Gibson framed Bush's 2003 Thanksgiving visit to the troops in Iraq: 

Tober seems to have missed the fact that Biden was not visiting U.S. troops stationed abroad but, in fact, the war zone of an American ally that was being targeted by a hostile invader.

A couple hours later, Tober whined further about a "phony historian" who praised Biden but still knew more than Tober:

On Monday night, MSNBC's The ReidOut continued an all-day theme in the leftist media of swooning over President Biden's trip to Ukraine, which he took despite failing to pay a visit to his own citizens suffering in the working-class town of East Palestine, Ohio that had been poisoned by a toxic train derailment. Regardless, MSNBC's pseudo-historian Michael Beschloss wants you to believe Biden's trip to Ukraine was the bravest thing a president has done since Abraham Lincoln visited a Civil War battleground in 1864. Yes, the same Biden that took five deferments from serving in Vietnam was brave according to Beschloss.

When asked by host Joy Reid what he thought of Biden's Ukraine excursion, Beschloss pompously claimed "what Biden did today goes straight through two centuries of proud American history." 

"To find a day of this kind of presidential bravery in a war zone, you got to go all the way back to 1864, July, when Abraham Lincoln as President went to see confederate soldiers were firing on Washington, D.C," Beschloss claimed.


The idiocy of Beschloss's comparisons should be self-evident. For those who don't grasp it, comparing a presidential visit in the year 2023 with all the modern-day Secret Service protection and other protective measures to Lincoln, Madison, and Washington's visits to battlegrounds where there was little to no security is like comparing apples and oranges.  

The same Joe Biden who refused to fight for his country in Vietnam wasn't going to risk his life to visit a country engulfed in a war the United States has little to do with, other than giving billions in aid.  

Funny, Tober didn't note that Trump also got five military deferments and refused to fight for his country in Vietnam when praising him for visiting the troops.

Mark Finkelstein joined the whine-fest the next day:

Morning Joe was all aboard the Sycophant Express today, turning the gush meter to 11 as it unleashed a string of superlatives to praise Biden's visit to Ukraine.

"Incredible, staggering, historic...absolutely stunning...extraordinary...incredibly moving."

Joe Scarborough twice put Biden's bravery in the same category as that of Lincoln visiting Union troops during the Civil War.

At one point, Scarborough emoted over Biden's "excruciating 10-hour train trip." You want an excruciating train trip, Joe? Try riding the NYC subway at rush hour, with the ever-present danger of being pushed onto the tracks by a maniac.

When Scarborough noted that even Fox News defended Biden's trip,  Fibnkelstein returned in a Feb. 23 post to complain about that too:

Fox News is the network that Morning Joe loves to hate. Similar to the way the show will often refuse to even mention Donald Trump by name, referring to him only as "the former president," Morning Joe will often make a sneering reference to "certain networks," while obviously targeting Fox.

So it was what we could call a Sudden Respect moment when today's Morning Joe praised Fox News in general, and Brit Hume in particular, for their defense of President Biden's trip to Ukraine before making a possible visit to East Palestine, Ohio in the wake of the train derailment there.

Morning Joe played a clip of Bret Baier mentioning that it has not been historically common for Transportation Secretaries to visit the site of train derailments, especially when there are no fatalities. Baier pointed out that during the Trump administration, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao didn't visit train-disaster sites, including ones involving loss of life, whereas there was no loss of life in East Palestine.

Morning Joe then played an extended clip of Hume opining that a president's key duty is to the security of the United States, and in that context, Biden's visit to Ukraine took precedence over a visit to East Palestine.

Scarborough and Willie Geist praised Hume's comments, with Scarborough saying that Hume had made a "very good point," and Geist saying that Hume understood the importance of Biden's visit to Ukraine and Eastern Europe since "he's been around for more than five minutes."

MRC employees are generally not allowed to criticize Fox News (lest it jeopardize their chances of getting on the channel), so Finkelstein didn't actually criticize Hume for deviating from the right-wing hate-Biden narrative.

Tim Graham devoted his Feb. 24 column to a full-on whine about historic (non-conservative) things being called historic (by non-conservatives):

One of the worst glorifications of journalism is to call it “the first rough draft of history.” At least old Washington Post boss Philip Graham once blustered about “our inescapably impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of history.”

Some events are so catastrophic – think September 11 – that you know it’s historic in real time. But most of history cannot be proclaimed within the day it occurs. The adjective “historic” is often used to boost leaders and themes in a way that sounds like advertising instead of journalism.

When Kevin McCarthy took over as Speaker of the House a few weeks back, that wasn’t “historic.” On PBS, Washington Week host Yamiche Alcindor spoke discouraging words about his “rocky, rocky week” with Republican “hardliners.” But Hakeem Jeffries and the Democrats who lost the majority were boosted as the “new historic group leading the Democratic Party in the House.”  

When President Biden made a surprise trip to Kiev, MSNBC quickly put these words on screen: “Biden Makes Historic Trip to Ukraine.” How on Earth do they know this is dramatic history in the making? Will this be seen as “historic” in two years? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is historic, but we don’t know whether Biden’s five hours in the capital are crucial.

Graham cobncluded by huffing: "This is why cable 'news' sounds more like hour after hour of partisan spin control rather than an objective recounting of facts. We have no idea when or whether Russia will admit defeat and withdraw from Ukraine, but we do know Biden will be painted as a heroic G.I. Joe well into 2024." You can be sure that Graham is not accusing Fox News of serving up "hour after hour of partisan spin control" in his indictment of "cable 'news'."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 PM EDT
WND Hypes Misleading Attack On Dominion, Censors Company's Response
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh tried to keep up the anti-voting-machine conspiracy theory in a Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily article:

Voting machines have played an inordinate role in headlines in the last few years, since the oddly anomalous results of the 2020 presidential election were revealed to give Joe Biden narrow victories in states that appeared to be majority Republican.

Naturally there were questions about the accuracy of the counts by those machines, especially after some clearly wrong results were admitted, and corrected.

ommentators made accusations about failures and one of the voting machine behemoths, Dominion Voting Systems, immediately went to court, suing them for defaming the company's reputation. Some defendants responded with their own lawsuits against Dominion.

And now, as a result of one of those legal actions by Dominion against Fox News, it's been revealed in a report by Just the News that one of Dominion's own executives knew the system had failed.

It was Dominion Director of Product Strategy and Security Eric Coomer who admitted in an email that his company's technology was marred by a "*critical* bug leading to INCORRECT results."

"It does not get much worse than that," he said.

The comments were revealed as a part of the discovery process in Dominion's lawsuit against Fox. Dominion is demanding $1.6 billion for "defamation."

His comments were made public in a legal brief filed by the news outlet.

Further, the details provide that in 2019, Coomer lamented that "our products suck."

He explained that "almost all" of the tech failings by Dominion were "due to our complete f--- up in installation."

The information was filed in a defense brief by Fox in the case.

Coomer's comments came in 2018, and later in 2019, the report said, when he added, "We don't address our weaknesses effectively."

In the days just before the 2020 vote – where suspicion landed on the accuracy of the voting machines – Coomer said, "Our sh-t is just riddled with bugs."

Further, the report explained, "Mark Beckstrand, a Dominion Sales Manager, testified in a deposition that 'other parties 'have gotten ahold of [Dominion's] equipment illicitly' in the past."

The defense arguments explain, "Beckstrand, identified specific instances in Georgia and North Carolina and testified that a Dominion machine was 'hacked' in Michigan" and "confirmed that these security failures were 'reported about in the news.'"

Unruh is just a stenographer who writes what he's told -- here, rewriting a biased story from Just the News -- and he cranks out what's politically expedient in the moment and will never do follow-up reporting if it blows up the original story. And that's what happened here. Dominion responded in a March 8 brief in support of its motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against Fox News for spreading false information about the company after the 2020 election in a footnote that called out Fox News' mischaracterizations:

Other examples of Fox’s mischaracterizations of the record abound, though none matter to this motion’s resolution. For example, in the fact section of its answering brief, Fox quotes a portion of former Dominion employee Eric Coomer’s text message as evidence that “He lamented that ‘[a]lmost all’ of Dominion’s technological failings were ‘due to our complete f--- up in installation.’” FNN.Opp.p.17. But Coomer’s text message actually said “Almostall of it was due to...” with the preceding text message referring to “Texas, unanimous denial.” In other words, Coomer was attributing a single event—the denial of certification in Texas—to Dominion’s “f--- up in installation” (i.e., problems with the installation for Dominion’s demonstration of its equipment for Texas certification). Fox omitted the word “it” (referring to the Texas certification denial) and instead suggested, incorrectly, that Coomer was talking about “technical failings” at the company more broadly. See H3.

Fox also distorts Dominion witnesses’ deposition testimony, for example, by stating that Mark Beckstrand testified that a voting machine was “hacked” in Michigan, even though Beckstrand defined a “hacking instance” as “an attempt at hacking or somebody gets ahold of our equipment illicitly.” The immediately preceding and ensuing deposition transcript pages (which Fox failed to provide the Court) show that Beckstrand was talking about an aberrational event from 2022 in which a Michigan county lost custody of a Dominion voting machine, which ended up being turned over to Goodwill and sold on eBay. Beckstrand made clear in his testimony that the county losing custody of the machine had nothing to do with an issue with Dominion or its equipment, and with respect to the machine being on eBay, “nothing can happen to it, nobody can do anything with it.”

In any event, Dominion internal documents and witness testimony about events are irrelevant to Fox employees’ state of mind unless they knew about those documents or events at the time (and they did not).

Nah, Unruh will never tell his readers about this. He's too much of a hack.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:27 PM EDT
MRC Gushes Over Joe Rogan Smearing Stelter As 'Prostitute' For Hanging With WEF 'Lizard People'
Topic: Media Research Center

We've shown how the Media Research Center's Brian Stelter Derangement Syndrome didn't fade after he left CNN, then intensified after he took part in a panel at the World Economic Forum, a regular target of right-wing conspiracy theories. That happened again in a Feb. 18 post by right-wing movie critic Christian Toto, which began with the usual partisan attacks on Stelter:

Podcaster Joe Rogan hasn’t forgotten Brian Stelter’s reign of error at CNN.

Stelter, former host of the far-Left channel’s “Reliable Sources” program, got fired last year after new CNN CEO Chris Licht allegedly vowed to bring balance to the news network.

Conservatives routinely skewered Stelter for his cartoonishly biased approach to the news. The analyst focused much of his ire against Fox News, for example, while all but ignoring the Left’s ideological network, MSNBC.

The Free Press’s Bari Weiss skewered Stelter, and his inability to call out the media, to his face during a 2021 appearance on “Reliable Sources.”

Toto eventually got to the point of his derangement -- complaining that Stelter didn't go away after leaving CNN and repeating Rogan's attacks on Stelter for taking part in that WEF panel:

Now, he’s landed a gig at Harvard University as the school’s Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow. He also snagged a high-profile moderating gig at last month’s World Economic Forum.

The subject? Battling misinformation in the modern age, a subject Stelter knows all too well. Except he’s incapable of calling out his sins, or those committed by his former employer or a media landscape that buried the biggest news story of the 2020 presidential election.

The Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

Instead, Stelter tag-teamed with other WEF officials to demand more censorship, not less. And that’s why Rogan and journalist Matt Taibbi let him have it.

The two pounded Stelter on the latest episode of the “Joe Rogan Experience,” heard exclusively on Spotify.

“[Stelter] looked very comfortable there, didn’t he?” said Taibbi, a left-leaning journalist aghast at mainstream media corruption.

“Of course he does. He’s with evil lizard people that are trying to control the world. That’s his bosses… I’ve been around the evil lizard people,” Rogan said.

“He looked as happy as maybe he’s ever been,” Taibbi said.

“He’s supposed to be a journalist, but he’s not even good at that. So what he’s doing now is, he’s holding water for the evil leaders of the world who want to institute hate speech policies nationwide and centralized digital currencies, and they want everybody to eat bugs, and you will own nothing, and you will be happy,” Rogan said. “This is the f***ing people he’s working for now. He’s basically a prostitute.”

Tot is apprently cool with Rogan promoting the fringe "lizard people" conspiracy theory and maliciously smearing Stelter as "basically a prostitute." He didn't explain why misinformation shouldn't be countered, and he certainly didn't mention that Rogan has a history of spreading misinformation (which the MRC vociferously defended).

And because Toto and the rest of the MRC are Stelter-haters and Rogan-defenders, they censored the fact that Stelter shot down Rogan's attack on him. Mediaite reported:

Former CNN host Brian Stelter shot back at podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan after being accused of working for the “lizard” people behind the World Economic Forum.

Rogan discussed the global summit in Davos, Switzerland held last month with journalist Matt Taibbi when Stelter’s name came up, both men mocking Stelter’s appearance on a panel, which came just shortly after his Reliable Sources was canceled at CNN.

According to Stelter, he had no “bosses” at the panel like Rogan’s mocking suggested. Stelter went to Davos at his own expense.

“Joe Rogan got it all wrong, again. The World Economic Forum did not ‘hire’ me to ‘work’ in Davos. I went there on my own dime to write about the conference,” Stelter tweeted in response to a Mediaite article covering the Rogan and Taibbi interview.

Stelter also responded to a story from the New York Post about Rogan’s comments, telling Rogan to “call” him if Rogan “wants to tell his listeners the truth.”

“I normally ignore Rogan’s rants. But the @nypost wrote a story and asked for comment, so I said, if Rogan wants to tell his listeners the truth, he can call me,” he tweeted.

But telling the truth doesn't advance MRC narratives, so Toto doesn't want his readers to know about it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2023 2:17 PM EDT
CNS Complained That Right-Wing Attacks On Buttigieg Were Called Out

Part of's political exploitation of the train derailment in Ohio was to attack Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for purportedly not responding soon enough to the disaster (despite the fact that it took CNS 11 days to write its first article on it). When there was pushback on the right-wing attacks on Buttigieg -- whcih CNS also did in December in an attempt to blame him for airline flight delays over the Christmas holidays -- CNS made sure to complain. Melanie Arter groused about the pushback in a Feb. 23 article:

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who visited East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday, three weeks after the train derailment that led to hazardous chemicals being released into the environment.

When asked if Buttigieg was in Ohio at the president’s direction, the press secretary said, “Secretary Pete went because he believed that it was important for him to go there at this time.”

As to whether it was the right time to go, Jean-Pierre said, “I think what’s important is that he was there. I think what’s important is that we saw the Secretary of the Department of Transportation there. 

“I do want to say one thing, though, which is there’s been a lot of bad-faith attacks on Secretary Buttigieg, and the reason why we believe it’s bad faith is — if you remember Elaine Chao, she was — you know, she was the head of Department of Transportation, and where — when there was these types of chemical spills, nobody was calling for her to be fired, and nobody was calling for what they’re calling on Mayor — Secretary Pete,” she said.

<“It is pure politics.  This is pure political stunts, what they’re doing.  You have seen an administration that has — because of the leadership of this president that has taken action and multi-agency action to deal with the needs that we’re seeing on the ground with the community of East Palestine,” the press secretary said.

When NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander tried to ask the press secretary about China, she turned the subject back to Buttigieg again.

Arter served up a more straightforward account of Buttigieg the next day:

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told MSNBC’s “The Reidout” on Thursday that it was “ironic” that former President Donald Trump visited the scene of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, accusing him of watering down regulations and weakening the Biden administration’s power to deal with freight train companies.

“It was definitely an ironic thing to do. You take down regulations. You water down regulations, you weaken the power of the administration to deal with freight railroad companies, and then you show up wanting to be a great friend of the people who have been impacted by a rail disaster,” he said.

Arter did go on to note that "Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called for Buttigieg to be fired, saying he was missing in action on the train derailment for three weeks," though she did add that "Buttigieg responded by claiming that Rubio had asked for the Biden administration to weaken its inspection practices."

An anonymously written March 2 article complained that the Washington Post noted the homophobic nature of right-wing attacks on Buttigieg:

The Washington Post published a story on Wednesday that carried the headline “Republicans seize on train derailment to go after Buttigieg” and then stated that some conservatives and Republicans had used the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment as an "opportunity to wrap [Transportation Secretary Pete] Buttigieg’s sexual orientation into their criticism, leading to allegations that the post-derailment criticism stems in part from homophobia."

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “homophobia” as “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or gay people.”

The anonymous writer appeared to confirm the Post's reporting by not only illustrating the article with a picture of Buttigieg kissing his husband but also going on to obsessing over him being gay and adopting kids:

According to the Britannica website, Buttigieg is “gay” and “married.” It says: “In June 2015 he came out publicly as gay in an essay published in the South Bend Tribune. He later married (2018) Chasten Glezman, a schoolteacher.”

As reported by The Guardian, Buttigieg and his husband have adopted two babies.

A Sept. 1, 2021 story posted by the Guardian carries this headline: “Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten announce the birth of adopted twins.”

“The Buttigiegs announced last month that they were engaged in the adoption process,” the Guardian reported. “Sharing a picture of the babies on Saturday, they said they were ‘beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents.’”

The anonymous writer didn't explain why "gay" and "married" were put in scare quotes.

CNS' homophobic hate of Buttigieg started when he ran for president in the 2020 campaign and continued when he was nominated as trasportation secretary.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
MRC Kicked Off The New Year With More Transgender Hate
Topic: Media Research Center

In addition to promoting a discredited attack on a transgender clinic (which it refuses to retract or correct), the transphobes at the Media Research Center found other ways to lash out at transgender people since the beginning of this year. Chief transphobe Tierin-Rose Mandelburg ranted in a Jan. 10 post:

Don’t let that door hit ya on the way out. 

Rynn Willgohs, a 50-year-old transgender woman, is trying to figure out ways to leave the United States and seek asylum abroad due feeling targeted and attacked within the nation. WIllgohs started TRANSport to help others do the same.

Willgohs told VICE that theres “like 30 states” that he would not feel comfortable driving in due to the “increasingly hostile national climate.” He also added, “All you need to do is look at the news and see how bad it’s going to get in the country. We’re accused of being pedophiles and of grooming children. We’re being accused of being a social contagion that makes every child think they are in the queer community. That’s the farthest from the truth.” 

Maybe he’s disregarding the plethora of transgender/lgbtq teachers who specifically target their students to be part of the gender spectrum. I’d consider that a “social contagion” but maybe that’s just me. I'm sure TRANSport's European destinations are more enlightened.


Presently the group has about 30 people who have expressed interest in seeking asylum abroad. Running as a non-profit organization, TRANSport can accept donations, which it plans to use to  help people legally change their gender prior to fleeing the U.S, as well as help with passport and travel fees. 

I’d be lying if I said that I hate this idea … it’s not terrible and I’ve always been an advocate for the mentality of leaving a place if you hate it so …

Mandelburg went into mocking mode in her Jan. 11 "Woke of the Weak" podcast:

This week we got to witness a transgender lady complain about feeling “sick.” Essentially he had to call out of work after feeling ill and thinks that the pain he’s experiencing is due to a sort of menstrual cycle. He’s a biological man getting pumped with female hormones and is now complaining about cramps. 

Kinda funny considering he’ll never get a period or be an actual woman, not to mention asked for some sort of negative affect on his body when he chose to try to medically change his gender.

For a Jan. 30 post, Mandelburg hyped a claim by "Ex-prisoner Amanda Benson" who "revealed she was terrified of being raped by violent transgender females during her time behind bars." Mandelburg didn't mention why Benson was in prison -- according to a UK source Mandelburg cited, she has previous convictions for assault, so it's likely she would have been able to adequately defend herself (unless she's the kind of person who delights in bullying and assaulting poeple she thinks are weak).

Matt Philbin had a freakout over fictional transgender people in a Feb. 1 post:

They’re just not gonna let kids grow up normal. If the groomers can’t get ‘em in school, they reach out and get ‘em in video games.

According to Fox News Digital: "'The Sims 4,' which calls itself 'the ultimate life simulation game' on its website, announced Tuesday that it would allow players to give characters 'top scars' that come from breast removal surgery."

Here’s the best part: the game is for kids as young as 12, so tweens can contemplate double mastectomy scars, binders, “shapewear” (tucking or stuffing, I guess) and something called “medical wearables.”

All this makes sense, given that the kiddies have been able to use “they/them” pronouns since last May. Now, in the words of Libs of TikTok, “They’re teaching young healthy girls that it’s ok to chop off their breasts.”

It’s a depraved new world.

Philbin didn't mention that the Fox News Digital article was written by Jeffrey Clark, one of the parade of former MRC employees who now works for Fox News. Looks like all that Fox News-fluffing pays off for the MRC!

Mandelburg spent a Feb. 3 post raging that transgender people would like a refuge from hatred spewed by people like her:

What could be better than a Trans mommy/daddy having two trans kiddos? Pretty much anything else.

A transgender “mother,” Amber Mum, recently testified in front of the Minnesota House regarding House File 146 to advocate for ... transgender services for kids. 

Ms. Mum testified in a pink shirt that said something about trans rights, a pink necklace that looked like it was from the dollar store, a Walmart hoodie and hot pink lipstick. He was a real sexy lady.

In his speech he said, “I am also a proud trangender woman but more importantly, a mother of two wonderful transgender and gender expansive children.”

Pause right there. A transgender having two transgender children?! Projecting much? What a Rockwell painting that house must be.

We'll pause further to note that we don't recall Mandelburg attacking women who adopt children because they can't or choose not to have biological children. You may continue your rant, Tierin-Rose:

Mum wants to castrate children, and we’re the barbaric ones. 

We're so backward that Mum and his “trans partner” have discussed plans to “flee the country.”


Towards the end of Mum’s spiel, he explained that it was “barbaric” and “morally repugnant” for parents and healthcare providers to get in trouble for helping innocent children transition. Yeah, the ones who don’t want kids getting mutilated are the “morally repugnant” ones. GOT IT!

This MAN needs to shut up for one, stop advocating for child abuse and have his own kids taken away. He, and people like it, are the emulation of the threat of the left on our kids.

Yes, Mandelburg thinks any action a parent takes toward helping their child that strays outside the rigid heteronormative ideology she follows is "child abuse." She offers no evidence that Amber Mum is a bad parent outside of her existence as transgender.

Elise Ehrhard whined about more fictional transgender people in a Feb. 7 post:

Last night, NBC's Quantum Leap reboot pushed a radical trans agenda, promoting inclusion of biological males in girls' sports and female locker rooms.

Monday's episode, "Let Them Play," was a full hour of trans propaganda. The show ignored, dismissed or derided the pain felt by young female athletes who have had their sports and privacy invaded by biological males.


This woke turn is disappointing for a show which had seemed to be avoiding the reboot curse and actually produced interesting story lines with engaging narrative arcs.

Let's hope the show returns to what makes it work and does not repeat another week of left-wing lecturing.

Philbin spent a Feb. 8 post repeating an evidence-free claim from the right-wing Daily Caller that plastic surgeons oppose anti-transgender laws because they make too much money performing genbder-affirming surgery, sneering, "Nice bread if you can make it."

On Feb. 10, Kathleen Krumhansl huffed that a Spanish-language interviewer promoted an transgender musician:

The need to remain relevant is so pressing for Univision's veteran anchor Jorge Ramos, that he has now incorporated the erasure of women under the cover of 'trans visibility' to his campaign against the traditional values of the public he claims to champion and represent.

This became evident in an interview with Puerto Rican trans urban music performer Villano Antillano (Antillian Villain), that aired over Ramos's Al Punto talk-show last Sunday, February 5th, where the key take-away was: Feminism’s new frontier lies at the threshold of the (100% machista) reggaeton -- and in the hands of women -- like her.

Watch how women- possibly Univision's most valuable demographic -- get swiftly canceled by Ramos in the name of “trans visibility”:


Reggaeton is notorious for lyrics that objectify women, something that to 'her' credit, Antillano rectified with “(reggaeton) is not very much for empowering women”, adding that “It's us women who are now like taking it in that direction.”

In what direction, we wonder. For while Ramos elevated deep-voiced Antillano to the level of feminist trailblazer- “a reggaeton and urban music singer who is breaking stereotypes and who by raising her voice with great courage, is opening spaces in music and a society that until very recently were closed to many,” it turns out that 'her' courage stems from elsewhere: revenge. 

Yes, Krumhansl really is mad that a transgender artist is trying to make reggaeton less misogynistic. She needs to rethink her priorities.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Snaps Into Trump Defense Mode Over (False) Claim His Arrest Was Imminent
Topic: Newsmax

The Trump stenographers at Newsmax sprung into action when Donald Trump proclaimed on March 18 (without evidence, of course) that he would be "arrested" the following Tuesday. Eric Mack wrote:

Former President Donald Trump expects to be arrested Tuesday in a case brought by the Manhattan district attorney's office and called on his supporters to protest in a Truth Social post Saturday.

"Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney's office, which has allowed records to be set in violent crime & whose leader is funded by George Soros, indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven, and based on an old and fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors) fairytale, the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week," Trump wrote.

"Protest, take our nation back!" Trump said.

Mack made no effort to try and fact-check Trump's claim beyond noting that the New York Times called it speculation. Nevertheless, Newsmax called onits usual torrent of right-wingers to profess horror over a development they coudln't prove was actually happening over the next day or so:

That's 12 attack articles on March 18 and 19. That's comparied with a single March 19 article by Mack on the district attorney who has purportedly issuing that indictment, Alvin Bragg, calling for claim and saying that he works "evenly and fairly"-- though much of it is made up of an attack on Bragg by convicted felon Bernard Kerik.

The right-wing attack articles on any possible Trump indictment (with an added comedian) continued on March 20:

A March 20 column by Jeff Crouere helped Trump play victim:

The vicious political persecution of Trump is akin to what occurs in “banana republics.” No longer is our country too advanced for such shenanigans to occur here. With partisan Democrats prosecuting in “blue states” and in the Department of Justice, there is an ongoing, ruthless campaign to obliterate Trump politically.


Their goals are not only to destroy Trump, but also to destroy what he represents, the “America First” agenda. The political establishment and Deep State do not want the needs of Americans at the forefront. Instead, their priorities include international affairs, global wars, and funding for the military industrial complex.


His “America First” agenda threatens very powerful interests. Thus, he has become the first American president to endure government surveillance, two impeachments, an FBI raid, and a presumed arrest. The banana republic has arrived.

Um, wouldn't a banana republic actually keep a leader who committed crimes from being held accountable for them?

But Newsmax also ran an unbylined article claiming that "A law enforcement source told Fox News Monday that authorities do not expect former President Donald Trump to face arraignment until next week as a Manhattan grand jury — which has been meeting secretly over allegations of hush money paid to a porn start to silence claims of an affair with Trump years ago — apparently has another witness on Wednesday."

Despite that effectively defusing the story, Newsmax issued more right-wing panic on March 21, the day Trump claimed he would ba arrested:

That's 38 articles over four days about something that notonly didn't happen but lacked evidence beyond Trump's highly dubious word that it would. That's a lot of airtime and website space for what was iultimately just pro-Trump propaganda masquerading as "news." But it also published a goalpost-moving article on March 21 by Mack, who cited the right-wing Daily Mail to claim that Trump "is likely to be indicted Wednesday, with his surrender and arraignment coming next week." Mack didn't mention Trump's false claim.

That, of course, kept the Trump-defense fires stoked at Newsmax. More on that soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EDT
WND Magazine Rages Against 'Wokeism' (Whatever That Is)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

February's issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine is dedicated to attacking "wokeism" and portraying it as a purported "state religion" that is somehow taking over America. The essay by managing editor David Kupelian labors to define the amorphous word in his usual fearmongering manner by portraying fairness and diversity as un-Christian and un-American:

Although one would never guess it based on the increasingly vicious and open attacks on Christians by this nation’s ruling elites, America was for many generations the most Christian nation on earth – the true secret of its greatness.

In fact, Christianity has unquestionably been the most powerful, consequential and benevolent force in all of world history. Nothing else even comes close.

Yet today, in the United States of America, a new religion has somehow become the country’s de facto official church.

Mind you, this new faith is not like a religion; it’s not cult-like. It’s a complete and total life religion, influencing every aspect of the true believer’s existence. And right now, it is being forcibly imposed on the entire American populace by virtually every major societal institution, from government, media and big tech; to academia (preschool through grad school); to entertainment and sports; and perhaps most surprisingly of all, by most of this nation’s biggest and wealthiest businesses.

This new state religion overtaking the United States of America – and increasingly, much of the Western (and formerly Christian) world – is Wokeism.

To most outsiders, the expression “being woke,” or “going woke,” conjures up notions of a person or entity claiming to be acutely sensitive (“awake”) to “systemic social and political injustice” in every form. The “injustice” being condemned by Wokeism is not simply alleged widespread bigotry against black people, but also – as noted in Joe Biden’s Jan. 20, 2021 White House Executive Order – “Latino and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.” Of course, the “persons who live in rural areas” bit was thrown in as a cynical pretense of caring about blue-collar, working-class, mostly Trump-supporting Americans, when the elites couldn’t care less about them, as their deplorable non-response to the toxic disaster in rural East Palestine, Ohio, demonstrates.) On the other hand, rest assured that the expansive “LGBTQ+” population includes every child-grooming “trans” school teacher, purple-haired, heavily pierced, “nonbinary” TikTok recruiter and mentally ill cross-dresser seducing your toddler in “drag queen story hour” events.

Bear in mind that all of these people, deemed victims of societal bigotry, are therefore regarded as intrinsically more virtuous and moral than the shameful oppressor class – primarily heterosexual white Christian males.

As a white heterosexual Christian male, Kupelian is understandably shook by the idea that he and his forebears will be held accountable for their behavior. Kupelian's manufactured horror stories continued:

Most ubiquitously of all, there is the rampant racial discrimination in employment, college admissions and every other area of life, as seen in today’s mass corporate embrace of DEI, or “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” which, stripped of its sanctimony and guilt, amounts to hiring people based on their skin color rather than their qualifications. Not only is such racial discrimination both immoral and flagrantly illegal – remember the 1964 Civil Rights Act? – but it’s also killing people. That’s what happens when, for example, you hire airline pilots and surgeons based on their skin color, rather than their abilities. And it’s happening everywhere.

Kupelian offered no evidence that diverfsification inherently means loss of quality -- indeed, he seems more than a bit racist in suggesting that minorities cannot possibly be as good as white people in the airline or medical professions.

After explaining how great Christianity is, Kupelian tried to portray"wokeism" as a religion, despite nobody actually doing so:

However, believe it or not, in the bizarre and deranged world of Wokeism, America’s new official national religion promises much the same thing as Christianity.

Wokeism promises to make sinful human beings (especially heterosexual white men) justified and free, not only from their own sins, but from the curse of the sins of their forefathers, a sinfulness that clings to white Americans like the stain of Adam and Eve’s Original Sin, no matter how many generations pass since the end of slavery and Jim Crow. It’s systemic, you see; we’re born with it.

This leads us to Wokeism’s formula for “salvation” and “forgiveness of sins,” whereby the guilt, the burden, the stain of all of our sins and those of our ancestors are lifted and washed clean, replaced by freedom, innocence and righteousness.

He then ranted that people pushing "wokeism" just want money and power:

How extraordinary that the Creator of the Universe demonstrated the greatest love imaginable, sending His own Son to suffer and die to save a broken and sinful human race – or as Paul expressed it, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And yet, multitudes today are turning away from that shining path to true freedom, only to jump into the astonishingly destructive, unjust and – in some ways, worst of all – unbelievably stupid religion of Wokeism.

Surprise. It’s all an act.

Oh, one more thing: Our dive into the official state religion of Wokeism wouldn’t be complete without pointing out that, though there are multitudes of true believers, and though tens of millions of lives are currently being disrupted, sabotaged and in many cases destroyed by Wokeism, in truth America’s top-tier political leaders – and I’m talking now about those wielding the real power over Americans – don’t believe in any of this. It’s all just a big act for them.

They pretend to care about inner-city black families, equal rights for Pacific Islanders, and “trans” men who brag about having periods and getting pregnant, but they do not care. Not a bit. They just play-act, while exploiting the ever-expanding wokeness craze for their personal benefit, so they can build and consolidate their own power, wealth, privilege and glory.


So, even though the crazy Marxist college professors and their sadly indoctrinated students might believe in the religion of Wokeism, the powerful politicians, the elite class, the deep-staters, the super-rich CEOs and the globalist schemers do not. They just pretend, and play along, because it confers a veneer of morality and righteousness onto very immoral, unrighteous and utterly self-serving sociopaths. It disguises their real agendas. And it serves to keep “the rabble” off balance, confused, divided, fearful, intimidated, reacting to one another, afraid of being “cancelled” and losing their friends, livelihood, everything – the perfect cover for the left’s “long march.”

Most of all, it is a potent tool for amassing ever more POWER and GLORY to themselves – which, of course, is their real religion.

As if Kupelian isn't also after money and power by attacking "wokeism" to keep WND's dwindling reader base fearful and subscribing -- and, thus, keep him gainfully employed.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:18 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Classified Document Double Standards at the MRC: The Trump Defense
Topic: Media Research Center
When the FBI searched Donald Trump's compound to collect classified documents he had taken, the Media Research Center reflexively came to his aid. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
MRC Tried To Distract From Michigan State Shooting By Attacking A Prosecutor
Topic: Media Research Center

It's standard practice for the Media Research Center to distract from gun massacres by focusing on anything else but guns and lashing out at anyone who points out the central role of the gun in the massacre. When a shooter killed three people on the campus of Michigan State University, the MRC followed that pattern again, beginning with a Feb. 14 post by Kevin Tober:

Late Monday night, a deranged gunman opened fire on students at Michigan State University, killing three and leaving five others in critical condition. On Tuesday evening, the three evening news broadcasts were quick to jump to their usual playbook of overblowing how frequent mass shootings in the United States are and turning to guests or victims to plea for gun control.

All three networks used completely dishonest and inflated statistics that there have been 67 mass shootings in the United States in 2023. Yet ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News & NBC Nightly News had no interest in reporting that the gunman had his prior gun charge dismissed by a George Soros-backed prosecutor in the name of "race equity."  

The only mention of the gunman even having a criminal history that banned him from owning a weapon came from NBC Nightly News when Maggie Vespa reported that "investigators highlighting Mcrae's record, most recently pleading guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge in 2021."

The "completely dishonest and inflated statistics" Tober is referring to come from the Gun Violence Archive, which describes its methodology for the numbers it uses so it cannot possible be dishonest; the MRC has attacked the GVA numbers before because it makes gun activists look bad. (Also, it's the height of irony for an organization that made up "secondhand censorship" to complain about someone else's "dishonest and inflated statistics.")

Tober uncritically quoted the right-wing Free Beacon in accusing the prosecutor in question, Carol Siemon, of reducing Anthony McRae's original felony charge of concealed carry of a gun without a permit to a misdemeanor charge in which he served probation. (Conservatives actually favor permitless concealed carry, so you think the MRC would be cheering this.) The Free Beacon article put "race equity" in quotes as a reason McRae's charge was reduced, but at no point did it quote Siemon or anyone else saying those exact words in relation to McRae's case (or at all, in fact, raising questions about the article's overall credibility). As Siemon has pointed out, McRae was a first-time offender, who typically see reduced sentences, and plea bargains are commonplace, meaning that what she did was not out or the ordinary. But because she had tangental links to Soros -- whom the MRC constantly demonizes -- she too became a target for right-wing demonization even if her attackers can't identify any deviation from standard procedure.

Alex Christy served up the gun-distraction narrative in a Feb. 15 post, complaining that Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost (whom the MRC weirdly hates) "continued the old tradition of claiming that the only reason why major gun control legislation fails in Congress is because of the National Rifle Association."

Nicholas Fondacaro opened a Feb. 15 post by grumbling that "In the wake of the tragic shooting at Michigan State University earlier this week, the unhinged gaggle of gals on ABC’s The View unleashed some truly crazy takes. Joy Behar was so unhinged that she seriously blamed Republicans wearing gun-shaped lapel pins for causing mass shootings." As we noted, the MRC didn't think it was "unhinged" to accuse members of Congress of acting "demonic" for wearing lapel pins expressing support for abortion rights.

Fondacaro returned to the blame-the-prosecutor angle in a  Feb. 16 post:

During a Thursday appearance on CBS Mornings, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio put liberal co-hosts Gayle King and Nate Burleson in their place after the former tried to suggest he was fine with continued mass shootings, and the latter misrepresented his stance on gun laws. Of course, this was all in service of the anti-gun rights narrative.

The topic of guns in America was sprung on Rubio as he was there speaking about the Chinese spy balloon and “objects” breaching American airspace. Near the end of the hostile encounter, King hinted that Rubio might not be tired of seeing mass shootings and only gave him 30 seconds to respond:

Senator Rubio, aren't you tired of this story, too? In less than 30 seconds. It's clear what we have on the books now isn't working. Aren't you tired of these stories, as we all are?

He immediately shot back; calling out “the reasons why it's not working is because we don't enforce these laws” and pointed to the Michigan State University shooter’s 2019 felony gun charge was dropped by a progressive prosecutor for a less one, allowing him to still have access to buying a gun.

Fondacaro went on to uncritically quote Rubio claiming that McRae "actually had gun charges in the past," suggesting there were multiple cases; in fact, there was just the one. He also didn't note that conservative gun activists support permitless concealed carry, the charge McRae originally faced.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
WND Parrots Questionable Witness Testimony On Purported Election Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily continues to promote false narratives about election fraud, despite an utter lack of credible evidence. Bob Unruh cranked out this Luddite gem for a Feb. 17 article:

A computer programmer who previously has testified to Congress on the integrity of voting machines has warned lawmakers in Arizona never to trust them.

"Don’t use machines, because you can never, ever trust them to give you a fair election. There are too many ways to hack them. You can hack them at the level that I did when you first build them, you can hack them from the outside, you can hack them with programs that load themselves on the side. It’s impossible to secure them. You will never beat the programmer. The programmer always owns the universe," explained Clinton Eugene Curtis to the Arizona Senate Election Committee, a report from the Tennessee Star said.

He's a Democrat to has worked as a programmer for NASA, the Department of Defense and other government agencies. He had testified in 2007 to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that he could program voting machines so he could manipulate the results, and he'd never be detected.

His testimony included confirmation that he could use only a few lines of code to change the results of an election.

"He said county election officials would not be able to detect it unless they had access to the source code or could compare the count to the paper ballot count," the report explained.

He said, "Nothing happens on that machine that the programmer doesn’t make happen. … I control the vote, you guys don’t. I’m here to address the lies and to show basically, how my program works and how any other program can work."

He said, "Twenty-four lines of code can change it and there’s nothing you can do. You can’t catch it. You can’t find my module, and it can erase itself right after it does."

The article by the right-wing Tennessee Star on which Unruh's article is based was written by Rachel Alexander, a WND columnist and election denier. In it, she attached a video of what she called "2007 testimony to Congress" about election fraud (which Unruh uncritically repeated, because he doesn't fact-check anything that echoes his employer's narratives). In fact, as a real fact-checker found, the video is from 2004, and Curtis' main accusation during the testimony was that he accused Republican then-state representative (and later congressman) Tom Feeney of paying him to write a program. According to the fact-checker, Feeney denied any knowledge of the software or even meeting Curtis --who ran against Feeney in 2006 -- and Curtis himself says he has no knowledge that the software he claimed to have written was ever used.

Meanwhile, another media outlet more interested in facts pointed out that at the time of the purported scheme 2000, Florida didn't use electronic voting, and that a computer expert noted that there is no such thing as "one-size-fits-all software" and that a programmer would have to have specific knowledge about a specific vendor's system and software -- which Curtis didn't have in 2000 because electronic voting wasn't used in Florida until two years later.

Needless to say, none of this appears in Unruh's article -- he simply parrots the stenography Alexander did in her article. Is that the kind of "journalism" WND thinks readers should pay it for?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EDT
Newsmax Returns To DirecTV -- But Has To Walk Back Its Previous Attacks
Topic: Newsmax

After more than 258 articles attacking DirecTV for dropping its TV channel and trying to goad Republican politicians into demanding government interference into a business decision, Newsmax mysteriously stopped the attacks after March 10. The apparent reason why later became clear: Newsmax was in serious negotiations to get back on DirecTV. When that return was announced on March 22, Newsmax published not a biased news article crowing about it defeated the evil DirecTV  and its "censorship" but, rather, a press release apparently written by DirecTV (if its insistence of putting DirecTV in all caps is any indication) in which Newsmax was made to walk back its incendiary anti-DirecTV rhetoric and emphasize that it was, in fact, a business dispute over carriage fees:

DIRECTV and Newsmax Media, Inc. announced today that they reached a business agreement for a multi-year distribution deal that will return the Newsmax channel to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse on March 23, 2023.

When the two companies were initially unable to agree on financial terms to extend their carriage agreement, DIRECTV lost the rights to distribute the programming on Jan 25, 2023. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the pay TV industry, and often consumers are caught in the middle.

“Newsmax recognizes and appreciates that DIRECTV clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax. “As a standalone company, DIRECTV gave Newsmax its start nearly a decade ago as it continues to do with upcoming news networks, which is why we are pleased to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will deliver our network to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse customers over the next several years.”

“This resolution with Newsmax, resolving an all-too-common carriage dispute, underscores our dedication to delivering a wide array of programming and perspectives to all our customers,” said Bill Morrow, Chief Executive Officer for DIRECTV. “Through our persistent negotiations, we reached a resolution under mutually-agreeable business terms allowing us to deliver the conservative news network at the right value – a reflection of the free market at work.”


This agreement marks DIRECTV’s latest successful resolution of a carriage dispute, an unfortunate but increasingly frequent occurrence involving nearly every pay TV and streaming provider attempting to keep rising consumer costs in check. Over the past five years alone, the industry has endured no less than 140 distinct disputes pitting programmers or station groups against their primary distributors. While some resolve in as little as a few hours to days or weeks, others last several months to more than a year. During that same timeframe, DIRECTV has resolved public disputes with approximately 50 programmers or station groups, typically lasting a few days or weeks, but routinely extending to several months in some instances.

It appears that one of the conditions for Newsmax to return to DirecTV was that it had to walk back its weeks of attacks over purported "censorship." As we've noted, Newsmax rarely noted that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, since doing so would undermine that argument.

Newsmax published a minimum of crowing about the restoration from the same folks it called out to attack DirecTV -- but even then, it counteracted the rhetoric to stick within the terms of that apparent agreement. An article touting how Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said that Newsmax's return means a “victory for free speech over powerful corporations that want to put their thumbs on the scale of the national conversation” also includes the Ruddy quote about how DirecTV "supports diverse voices, including conservative ones." Other articles did the same thing:

Another piece of evidence suggesting that the walkback was mandatory: For a few days after its return, Newsmax ran a message in its top-of-page breaking-news banner space stating: "Newsmax returns to DIRECTV, a leader in conservative news. DIRECTV never sought to limit conservative voices."

The banner also linked to the press release announcing Newsmax's return. After that, Newsmax began running a box on the right side of its home page stating an almost identical message.

In the end, it's not sure what was gained was worth the cost. Newsmax got its place back on Newsmax, but it's unclear whether it got an licensing fee -- the press release stated that it's returning "at no additional cost to customers," sugesting it's not getting one -- but it's clearly being forced to tone down its rhetoric and previous malicious attacks on DirecTV in doing so. Of coruse, given the legal trouble Newsmax has found itself in over the past couple years regarding its false and incindiery rhetoric, that's not exactly a bad thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT

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