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Tuesday, April 18, 2023
MRC Still Attempting To Defend Fox News From Dominion Lawsuit
Topic: Media Research Center

As the Fox News-Dominion lawsuit inched closer to its scheduled trial date, the Media Research Center -- which has struggled to figure out how to defend its favorite right-wing "news" channel (when it wasn't deliberately ignoring the lawsuit, anyway) over the revelations that Fox News lied to its viewers by portrapying Donald Trump's claims of election fraud as valid when it knew they were bogus -- attemped a couple more defenses.

Jeffrey Lord spent his March 25 column rehashing a op-ed written by former Trump attorney general William Barr defending Fox News by claiming that the media should be able to "report on these matters without incurring liability for defamation because existing laws give them wide latitude to do so to encourage uninhibited discourse on matters of public concern," to which Lord harrumphed: "Exactly. They have latitude to draw conclusions based on the facts of the moment as we know them." But has the Washington Post's Aaron Blake pointed out, "there were certainly times when they went beyond treating them as 'unproven allegations' and even seemingly endorsed them."

Lord endorsed another statement by Barr, that under the "actual malice" standard established under current libel law, "a media speaker isn’t liable for defamation, even for a false statement of fact, unless he knows when he makes the statement that what he is saying is false or gravely doubts its truth." Lord added: "Again, exactly" -- but he didn't mention how it was revealed that Fox News hosts did, in fact, know the Trump campaign's claims of election fraud were bogus but they promoted the bogus claims on air anyway.

When a Fox News employee stepped forward to claim she was pressued by Fox News lawyers to lie during testimony for the Dominion lawsuit, a March 30 post portrayed her as the liar (and "disgruntled" too) while playing a lame bit of whataboutism to draw needlessly draw CNN into the picture:

As a preview to a segment that’s going to air on Thursday night’s NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today show hyped an interview between correspondent Cynthia McFadden and a disgruntled former Fox News guest booker, Abby Grossberg. Brushing over why the behind-the-scenes employee was fired without any details, the network lionized her lawsuits against cable’s number one news station. Something they refused to do when CNN fired their primetime poster boy Chris Cuomo and he sued them for $125 million.

“This morning, we are hearing from the former Fox News producer at the center of a legal battle over Dominion Voting Systems,” co-anchor Craig Melvin announced. “Abby Grossberg is suing the network alleging that she was pressured by Fox to give misleading testimony during a deposition in the case.”

NBC presented no evidence to support Grossberg’s claims.


If a loyal NBC viewer wanted to find out anything related to why Grossberg was fired, they would need to read down to paragraph 43 (of 48 total) in their online report. “Fox fired her last week, alleging she had disclosed privileged information in her legal claims despite being warned that she was ‘not authorized to disclose it publicly,’” was all they wrote about it.

Fondacaro didn't mention the difference between the two lawsuits -- Cuomo's involved personnel matters whiile Fox News was being sued for defamation -- but he continued on the whataboutism path anyway: "What’s the difference? Fox outperforms NBC’s sister network MSNBC, while CNN is in a distant third place behind them."

He concluded by huffing: "It will be interesting to see what more NBC chooses to share on air from McFadden’s interview. And also what got left on the cutting room floor." Fibndacaro apparently found nothing objectionable (or at least nothing that could the twisted to Fox News' benefit) in the interview, because Grossberg has never been mentioned by the MRC since.

Tim Graham spent his March 31 column complaining that actual journalists called out Fox News for spreading lies:

America’s journalism elite has a nasty habit of associating journalism with liberalism. They only believe in half of a First Amendment. They don’t believe in press freedom for the conservative media...because they think those outlets should be shunned as fake-news factories.

See the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), which claims it “promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens” and “fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.” But when it comes to Fox News, they put those ideals through a shredder.

The Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News has become deeply embarrassing in revealing internal discussions in the weeks after the 2020 election, a tumultuous period for the leading cable-news network. The Trump army was in full cry against anyone who suggested Joe Biden had won. Fox bizarrely called Arizona for Biden before all the liberal networks did. Then they worried about their audience leaving in droves for Newsmax and OAN.

So Dominion’s lawyers have thrilled the liberal media with texts and emails showing powerful Fox people were worrying out loud about how it was “bad for business” to fact-check Trump allies. Trump lawyers were uncorking wild conspiracy theories about voting machines that they could not prove. It’s plausible to argue these flagrant theories – combined with Trump’s self-absorbed refusal to concede he lost – led to rioting at the Capitol.

This is why the SPJ did not advocate for press freedom, but slammed Fox instead: “News organizations have a fundamental obligation to be honest in the reporting and opinion they disseminate. It is unprofessional, unethical and potentially harmful for a journalist or news organization to deliberately mislead their audience, no matter the motivation or format....No responsible journalist can accept or excuse this behavior.”

Graham didn't explain why it was was "bizarre" for Fox News to call Arizona for Biden, especially given that the call was correct. He also glossed over the fact that discovery in the Dominion lawsuit showed that Fox News portrayed Trump election fraud claims as plausible when it knew they were not -- which, of course, is the reason the SPJ criticized Fox News. Instead, it was whataboutism time again:

That sounds great as a principle, but is that applied to all media outlets? Try Googling “SPJ statement on CNN” and see if you can find them ever whacking CNN for deliberately misleading their audience on anything. If someone sued CNN or NBC, do we think we would never find juicy texts like Fox’s?

We can guess liberal journalists would defend other liberal journalists on the “deliberately misleading” part of the statement. Did the SPJ ever speak out against CNN and MSNBC journalists standing in front of raging fires at big-city riots and saying it was “not unruly”? Or was that too obviously misleading to matter?

“Professional journalists” only hate Fox, apparently. On March 25, SPJ also tweeted out an article from the liberal Nieman Lab arguing Fox News was Fake News. Their tweet promoted this quote from radical journalism professor Jay Rosen: “It’s not just journalism schools — the whole journalism profession in the U.S. has been involved in this make-believe game of Fox as a normal colleague. And now it’s slowly beginning to question that.”

Again, Graham failed to mention that Fox News knew it was spreading that fake news. He concluded by dismissing Fox News critics as nothing but haters while warning about the purported dangers of the Dominion lawsuit:

The SPJ and these other Fox haters are too lost in their negative emotions to appreciate that if Fox News loses in court to Dominion, it opens the rest of the media to lawsuits whenever they pass along allegations that turn out to be false. The legal system doesn’t have a double standard on this. Only the “professional journalists” do.

Of course, one does not have to be a professional journalist to know that Fox News deliberately lied to its viewers and that it falsely smeared Dominion.

Graham wrote a column on April 14 similarly dismissing Fox News critics as  a bunch of haters:

NPR is a platform that has demonstrated an incredibly aggressive interest in undermining the credibility of Fox News Channel and the public’s understanding of how it balances out NPR’s relentless liberal bias and censorship.

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik reflects that obsession. He’s filed 13 stories attacking Fox from various angles since February 28, and he’s not the only NPR reporter dropping bombs on Murdoch's castle.

On April 13, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross devoted an hour to New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters exploiting the negative publicity from Fox’s ongoing legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems. The suit has embarrassed Fox with all kinds of internal messages showing they didn’t believe wild conspiratorial claims of voter fraud, insisting Trump won easily.


In this anti-Fox hour, Peters underlined that Tucker Carlson is an icon of insincerity, a man who privately proclaimed hatred of Trump, but just polished Trump’s shoes in a “historic” one-hour interview. Peters said, “he thinks his audience isn’t ever going to know what he said privately because we all live in such siloed media worlds.” Conservatives are surrounded by a dominant liberal media. The idea that they know nothing about the Dominion fracas is a provocative assertion.

Graham's well-paid job is to undermine the credibilty of any media outlet who's not as far-right as he is. He's also miscontruing Peters' words about the right-wing media bubble. The issue is not that conservatives don't know about the  Dominion lawsuit, it's that they don't want to admit the truth about what had been revealed -- namely, that Fox News lied to its viewers and falsely defamed Dominion -- and they portray any negative news about Fox News as the product of a biased "liberal media," not something based in reality (as Graham has repeatedly done and is doing here).

Graham concluded with more of the same (and whataboutism too):

Peters says if Fox News loses this case, “it says that one of the most powerful media organizations in the country has to pay for the dishonest way it covered our democracy.” Peters added “I don’t know that those kinds of lessons of accountability will sink in with the average conservative.”

NPR and their liberal friends imagine conservatives are a cretinous collection of mouth-breathing dullards and conspiracy kooks. Inside their silo, they never consider that NPR could be accused of being a “powerful media organization” that can be accused of covering our democracy in a “dishonest way” in 2020. They dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop as a “pure distraction” without moving a muscle to investigate.

NPR prances about mocking Fox for supinely serving its ideologically fervent base in denial of inconvenient facts. But NPR supinely serves its own ideologically fervent base. They are icons of insincerity in claiming they’re courageously independent guardians of democracy who operate without fear or favor.

Note that Graham said absolutely nothing about Fox News needing to be held accountable for its indisputable wrongdoings. And of course, as we've pointed out, if right-wing media wanted Hunter Biden's laptop to be taken seriously before the election, they should have provided independent verification of its authenticity that would have overcome the fact that pro-Trump outlets were pushing it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 PM EDT
WND's Zumwalt has A Fit of AOC Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

James Zumwalt had a fit of AOC Derangement Syndrome -- and some misinformation to serve up -- in a March 3 WorldNetDaily column:

Maybe it is just me but the more I hear the Democratic representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), rant, the more I wish her parents had been celibate. There seems to be nothing about American and Christian values she holds sacred – nor does she give much thought to actual facts in her various rants. It would be interesting to know what it is that motivates voters in her district twice now to have voted for her to represent them as one is hard pressed to identify any positive accomplishments while the negatives about her continue mounting.

Let us look at how the "Queen of Misinformation" uses her magic wand in an effort to convert facts into fiction.

AOC used the occasion of a House Oversight Committee hearing concerning Twitter's censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop to go off on one of her unhinged rants. Rather than focusing on the topic at hand, she began attacking a Twitter account posted under the name of "Libs of TikTok." This account has gained a tremendous following for exposing the most insane commenters on TikTok – most of whom are of the liberal persuasion, which was obviously an issue for AOC.

Originally operating anonymously, the account is now known to be the brainchild of a woman named Chaya Raichik. Perhaps more disturbing to AOC than Raichik's posting information critical about various outrageous leftist positions is that Raichik substantiates what she posts with real facts.

AOC went off on her rant, attacking "Libs of TikTok" for "falsely" exposing Boston Children's Hospital and its willingness to perform transgender surgeries on minors. She maligned the account, suggesting such claims, including the performance of hysterectomies on children, may well have led to a bomb threat made against it later.

But quick to set the record straight, Seth Dillon, who is the CEO of the Babylon Bee, posted, in a serious comment, "The great irony here is that @AOC is lying. Libs of TikTok has simply reported the facts about what these hospitals have said about their own services. It's all documented. But this is what they (the likes of AOC) do – they use misinformation to smear you as being a source of it."

In fact, Libs of TikTok did lie. As a fact-checker found, the hospital does not conduct transgender surgery on minors.

Zumwalt went on to bizarrely frame Ocasio-Cortez's criticism of a right-wing religious organization spending millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads promoting Jesus as not something Jesus would do as an attack on Christianity by citing a story that had nothing whatsoever to do with it:

On Dec. 18, 2022, a United Airlines flight left Hawaii for San Francisco, Barely 2,200 feet in the air, the plane suddenly took a nosedive, dropping 1,425 feet within 10 seconds before correcting its trajectory. Those seconds were long enough for two passengers, Rod Williams II and his wife, to whisper silent prayers for a miracle. Unlike AOC's fake January 6th trauma, the Williamses experienced real trauma, turning to their faith for Divine intervention. Undoubtedly, their faith has only been reinforced by this experience.

The faith exhibited by the Williams couple was of the same value as that exhibited in the Super Bowl ad. Yet AOC decided to take to Twitter to mock the latter. This is especially interesting since, in 2020, she had joined with two other members of "The Squad," as she and her progressive cohorts are known, in sending a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, demanding he "eradicate anti-Muslim bigotry from Facebook." Apparently, she sees herself as a champion for Muslim but not Christian values.

Zumwalt concluded: "AOC will be up for reelection in 2024. Hopefully by then voters in her district will have come to their senses." Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Zumwalt to apologize for falsely smearing an executive at election-tech company Dominion by claiming without evidence he was associated with Antifa and had used Dominion voting systems to rig the 2020 presidential election. Surprisingly, Zumwalt has yet to be sued over this, though Coomer has sued numerous others over the false claims, including Zumwalt's source, far-right podcaster Joe Oltmann.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EDT
Newsmax's Pro-Trump, Anti-Justice Outrage Machine Continued The Day After Indictment
Topic: Newsmax

The pro-Trump toadies at Newsmax launched an extended freakout over Donald Trump's indictment and arraignment. That continued on April 5, the day after his arraignment:

With these 17 articles, that makes 111 attack-and-defend articles published by Newsmax since the indictment became news on March 30. Newsmax snuck in the occasional bit of news that wasn't aggressively pro-Trump or anti-Bragg:

Newsmax's pro-Trump columnists contributed as well. Blaine Holt ranted in an April 3 column:

President Donald J. Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be spied on, impeached twice under a hoax, betrayed by public officials, forced to divulge tax records, raided by federal law enforcement, and indicted on timed-out misdemeanor counts elevated to felonies.

The current administration that calls any whisper of a compromised 2020 election "The Big Lie," is so insecure in their apparent victory precedent and legal standing has been thrown to the wind, to take down the 45th commander in chief permanently.

"Get Trump" at any cost is now job number one.

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg has fulfilled his campaign promise to political activist and financier, George Soros.

Hey, Manhattan -- you guys paying attention yet?

Holt providence no evidence of any "campaign promise" Bragg personally made to Soros. Mike Clancy did his own huffing in his April 5 column:

Now this weaponization of the justice system has reached an unimaginable historical crescendo: a grand jury indictment of Donald Trump, a former president and a current candidate for president.

The indictment alleges a felony of falsifying business records related to the $130,000 that former Trump associate Michael Cohen paid to quiet Stormy Daniels from publicizing her alleged affair with Mr. Trump.

All the circumstances and the anemic legal theory suggest that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pursuit of this indictment was maliciously motivated for political purposes.

For the sake of the integrity of the judicial system, the court should dismiss the indictment.

Clancy went on to purport to explain how what Trump did was not a crime, even though all the evidence has not been released yet and, thus, he cannot possibly know for sure that no crime was committed. Then it was back to ranting:

The indictment is pathetically weak. Bragg should have followed the judgment of the FEC and the U.S. Attorney, and not pursued such a frivolous indictment.

The Trump indictment is an affront to our justice system.

Worse, it is an assault on our elections.

Democrats will go to any extreme to discredit Mr. Trump as a candidate for president.

In 2016, it was Hillary Clinton and the bogus Steele Dossier.

Today, it's Bragg with an insidious, unprecedented, unsupportable indictment.

The court should end this travesty of the judicial process and promptly dismiss the case.

Let’s instead leave the election to the voters to decide.

Newsmax's "news" coverage of the Trump indictment tapered off after that,with only a relative few articles each day. Apparently that's enough to keep the outrage machine simmering at Newsmax.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EDT
CNS Editor Trying To Blame Biden Again For Trade Deficit With Russia -- But Hiding How It's Decreased

One of editor Terry Jeffrey's anti-Biden tactics has been to blame him for trade deficits with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine -- even though it's impossible for one large country to immediately stop all trade with another country -- and burying the good news that trade with Russia sharply declined after the invasion. AFter months away from that beat, Jeffrey has returned to it, writing in a Feb. 20 article:

The United States ran a merchandise trade deficit of $12,742,700,000 with Russia in 2022, making 2022 the 29th straight year that the United States has run a trade deficit with that nation, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The last time the United States ran a trade surplus with Russia was in 1993. In 1994, and every year since then, according to the Census Bureau, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with Russia.

During 2022, the United States imported approximately $14,457,800,000 in goods from Russia and exported $1,715,100,000, according to the bureau. That resulted in a bilateral trade deficit of $12,742,700,000.

Immediately following those paragraphs, however, was a graph showing not only that the 2022 trade deficit was less than half of what it was in 2021 but it was also the lowest deficit since 2016. And later in the article there was another graph showing that the monthly trade deficits shrank after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia in March. But at no point did Jeffrey explicitly state any of this in his article; he noted the sanctions but complained that the deficits persisted (yet gave no credit for their decline).

Jeffrey served up similar dishonesty in a March 8 article:

This January, eleven months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States bought $508,600,000 in Russian imports, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States imposed trade restrictions on Russia.

This time, though, Jeffrey eventually admitted that the deficits are much smaller than they were before sanctions -- but not until the sixth paragraph of his article:

While importing $508,600,000 in goods from Russia in January, the United States exported only $44,600,000 to that country. The result was a January bilateral trade deficit with Russia of $464,000,000.

That was significantly less than the January 2022 trade deficit with Russia, when the United States imported $1,959,400,000 in goods from Russian and exported $396,800,000 in goods to Russia, resulting in a bilateral trade deficit of $1,562,500,000 for that month.

By the way, Jeffrey's insistence on writing out the entire number -- presumably for the partisann purpose of making them look huge and, thus, make Biden look fiscally irresponsible -- violates Associated Press style for writing out numbers that big. Putting partisan agendas before stylistic consistency with other, more credible news organizations, makes CNS look bad. He has offered no public explanation on why he's intentionally deviating from standard media style.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT
Monday, April 17, 2023
MRC Helps Babylon Bee CEO Promote Right-Wing Victimhood Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been a partner with right-wing "satire" site the Babylon Bee in manfacturing victimhood for it, mostly over its purported "satire" getting fact-checked (but hiding the fact that this is because right-wingers promote the "satire" as reality). As the Bee continued to punch down at targets (particularly LGBT people and issues) and gottten progressively meaner and forgetting the point of satire is to be funny and not just own the libs, the MRC's admiration only increased; it cheered in November when Elon Musk restored the Bee's Twitter account, which had bee suspended for a fit of hatefulness when it proclaimed transgender Biden official Rachel Levine "man of the year." That was followed by a post from Clay Waters hyping the "comedic post" and complaining others didn't see this as a "victory for free expression."

Now the MRC is giving the Babylon Bee's CEO, Seth Dillon, space to rant about being a victim. Catherine Salgado wrote in a Feb. 27 post:

Libs hate exposés of woke leftists, and Slack is apparently caving to the outcries. Slack suspended the work channel of popular Twitter account Libs of TikTok but has not clarified why.

Libs of TikTok’s creator Chaya Raichik was suspended by Slack as of Feb. 24. While Slack’s justification was vague, Raichik tweeted that her work to expose the radical LGBTQ agenda and sexual content being pushed on kids by leftists was behind the suspension.

Libs of TikTok retweeted Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon’s Feb. 25 tweet of a screenshot from a Slack email. “We are writing to let you know that we have suspended your workspace,, for violations of our Acceptable Use Policy,” the purported email said.

Salgado didn't ask why the Babylon Bee is involving itself in the affairs of the evenmore hateful Libs of TikTok. In fact, Dillon is entered into a deal with Raichik “that will turn her heroic, high-risk work into a career.” As if spewing hate at people is "high-risk work."

Renata Kiss gave Dillon space to whine in a March 6 post:

Seth Dillon hit the nail on the head when he called out hypocritical defenses of online COVID-19 censorship.

Seth Dillon, CEO of the satire site The Babylon Bee, smashed the liberal logic of censoring COVID-19 content. He pointed out in a tweet Thursday that the continuously shifting goal posts for so-called misinformation are no excuse for censorship.

“I've been told that censorship of COVID ‘misinformation’ that later turned out to be true was justified because it was based on what we knew at the time. But that's not a defense of censorship. In fact, it's a knock-down argument against it,” he said. 

Dillon highlighted that rapidly changing knowledge and growing scientific discovery illustrate the need for open debate not more censorship.

Luis Cornelio was the stenographer for Dillon's rage in a March 17 post:

Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon ripped the real intent behind the leftist censorship in a fiery but mostly peaceful tweet.

“Let's not forget that the lovers of censorship are not actually concerned with stopping the spread of misinformation,” tweeted Dillon on Mar. 16 in response to Twitter owner Elon Musk’s suggestion on how to fight “misinformation.” “Best way to fight misinformation is to respond with accurate information, not censorship,” tweeted Musk. 

The major problem with Musk’s assertion, as Dillon wrote, is not that leftists are concerned about misinformation per se. Instead, their goal is to suppress opposing information whether it in fact is misinformation or not. “Their goal is to advance a narrative (often false or misleading) without opposition. Censorship guards the narrative, not the truth. This is why they angrily and forcefully reject the most effective way to get to the truth, which is open, uncensored debate,” said Dillon.

If right-wingers like Dillon care about factual information, why did Cornelio put "misinformation" in scare quotes?

Dillon then had the opportunity to grandstand at a congressional hearing, and Cornelio dutifully wrote it down in a March 29 post:

The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon exposed the dangers of Big Tech censorship and the importance of free speech in a passionate speech before the House of Representatives.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce hosted a hearing on March 28 titled “Preserving Free Speech and Reining in Big Tech Censorship,” where Seth Dillon unloaded the real intent behind the anti-free speech left. Dillon said:

“We learned the hard way that censorship guards the narrative, not the truth. In fact, it guards the narrative at the expense of the truth.” 

Dillon detailed how his satirical site, The Babylon Bee, has faced an onslaught of censorship, ultimately hindering the site’s reach. Dillon explained:

“Our experience with Big Tech censorship dates back to 2018 when Facebook started working with fact checkers to crack down on the spread of misinformation. [...] Since then our jokes have been repeatedly fact-checked, flagged for hate speech and removed for incitement of violence, resulting in a string of warnings and a drastic reduction in our reach.”

Dillon apparently didn't the Republican-controlled hearing that the fact-checks occurred because some people treated the "satire" as real. (And if Dillon cares as much about accurate information as he claims he does, why is he whining that what the Bee publishes is being fact-checked?) Dillon then tried to defend his hatred of Levine:

“Last year we made a joke about Rachel Levine, a transgender Health Admiral in the Biden Administration. USA Today had named Levine ‘Woman of the Year’, so we fired back in defense of women's sanity with this satirical headline, ‘The Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year is Rachel Levine.’ Twitter was not amused. They locked our account for hateful conduct and we spent the next eight months in Twitter jail.”

If you're trying to make a partisan argument about "women's sanity," whatever that means, you're not being funny.

Cornelio went on to gush that "Dillon is a vocal supporter of free speech in America and has repeated concerns about the dangers of  muzzling conservative voices." Apparently, it's cool if voices Dillon doesn't like are muzzled, and he would very much like it if right-wing narratives prevailed even at the expense of the truth (which is why he doesn't like fact-checkers).

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EDT
WND's Lively Returns To Being A Putin Apologist (Yes, He's Even Calling Himself That)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Scott Lively took some time off in being a willing apologist for Vladimir Putin in justifying Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but he returned more vociferous than ever in his Feb. 13 WorldNetDaily column, in which he even admits he's a Putin apologist (as if that helps him):

An apologist is a person who argues in defense of someone who is under attack and can't defend himself. Every defense lawyer in civil and criminal law is one, preserving the fundamental right to a fair trial that is otherwise impossible when only the prosecution is allowed to speak, such as in the case of Vladimir Putin. But I don't defend Putin only because he, like every other human being, deserves the fair hearing he has so far been denied. I do it because I am trained in Christian Apologetics to defend the far more important biblical mandate of truth-telling.

Based on my own due diligence, I believe Vladimir Putin is legally and ethically in the right in the matter of Russia's "Special Military Operation" (a position I explained last March in my essay on Putin talking points and the Monroe Doctrine) and that both the U.S./U.K. deep state that orchestrated the war, and the controlled liberal and neo-con media spoon feeding its propaganda to the American people, are as thoroughly dishonest as the devil himself. Thus, as a truth-loving Christian attorney, I would not hesitate to take the role of Putin's defense counsel in the matter of the Ukraine war and, if the trial court were a genuinely just venue where all the facts and evidence (the heart of which is well summarized and documented here) could be fairly presented to a truly impartial jury, I would be highly confident in victory for my client.

This is not to deny that Ukraine has become hell on earth for the Ukrainian people – whom I dearly love in Christ, grieve for and have personally ministered to on a mission trip there and in other contexts. The issue is who is actually responsible for first unleashing that hell and then preventing Germany, France and Israel from ending it in the early stages, using Boris Johnson as their hatchet-man. The chief culprits are the OBiden (Obama-Biden) regime and its RINO co-conspirators, whose vast criminal operations there might otherwise be exposed and punished.

Saying these things is risky business these days, and I have lost some supporters over this issue, but I fear the spiritual consequences of condoning and repeating lies and slander more than the worldly consequences of defying deep-state bullies demanding and coercing allegiance to false narratives. I'd rather be John and Baptist than Pontius Pilate. And I am ashamed for the church that so many "virtue signaling" Christians – even when rightly opposing U.S. involvement in Ukraine – willingly throw Putin and the Russians under the bus while letting the actual culprits (the true enemies of everything we hold dear) off the hook.

Those "facts and evidence" Lively claimed to have was merely a repetition of Russian propaganda that Ukraine provoked Russia's invasion by bombing the Donbas region of the country where many ethnic Russians live -- a claim that lacks evidence. Lively then went further into conspiracy theory territory:

American foreign policy has been run by demons for decades, even under Trump who never had anything more than nominal control of the Departments of State and Defense or their intelligence arms. And now we're on the verge of WWIII, intentionally, to ensure their Great Collapse will set the stage for the Great Reset in furtherance of the globalists' Agenda 2030.

Just as the State Department telegraphed its plan to blow up Nord Stream 2, OBiden announced that sending tanks to his puppet Zelensky would trigger WWIII … and now they're in shipment with great fanfare. But for those of us who have been monitoring the war while ignoring the "Ukraine can win this!" controlled-media spin, the equipment escalation seems too obviously too little too late to be an actual battlefield strategy for the Donbass line where the victory of the now heavily mobilized Russian forces is a virtually foregone conclusion. And the new war narrative accompanying all of this has the feel of a child's mystery novel or treasure map with the clues highlighted and underlined so there's no chance that the plebes will wander off the path of discovery.

Lively went on to claim without evidence that crazy QAnon guy Mike Flynn's "famous phone call that triggered Obama's fury and intensive lawfare against him" to Putin actually worked to deter war, baselessly claiming that as a result "Russia turned from a table-pounding threat to expel American diplomats, to Putin himself magnanimously inviting the children of those diplomats to join his holiday celebrations, killing the Obama plan."

Lively served up more conspiracy-mongering regarding Russia and Ukraine in his Feb. 27 column:

"'Cui bono?' (Classical Latin), in English 'to whom is it a benefit?' is a Latin phrase about identifying crime suspects. It expresses the view that crimes are often committed to benefit their perpetrators, especially financially" (Wikipedia).

"Cui bono?" asked Vladimir Putin rhetorically after the Nord Stream 2 was sabotaged. We all know "OBiden" did it – but knowing and proving are not the same. Both Victoria Nuland and putative President Biden as much as threatened to do it. Legendary journalist Seymour Hersh pretty convincingly confirmed it.

In fact, Hersh's claim is based on a single anonymous source -- hardly convincing. Lively then argued there was some kind of plot "to drive the newly re-Christianized, Marxism-rejecting Russia into the arms of staunchly Communist China." And, of course, he bashes "globalists" who purportedly hate "the Judeo-Christian cultural ideals that both pre-Obama (now MAGA) America and post-Soviet Russia share."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EDT
MRC's Anti-Abortion Extremist Again Pushes Argument That Abortion Is A Thought Crime
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center's top anti-abortion extremist, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, had a freakout when Chrissy Teigen said that her miscarriage was really an abortion, essentially arguing that an abortion is a thought crime -- if you're having the procedure for the right reasons, it's not actually an abortion. Mandelburg had another freakout -- albeit in the defense of a right-wing activist's procedure that she claimed was a miscarriage and other observers say was an abortion -- in a Feb. 28 post:

If your grandma is getting oxygen fed through a tube to help her breathe, but then her heart stops beating and she dies, removing the oxygen tube will not kill her. She’s already dead. Same goes if a baby dies in utero and is later removed. The removal of her body doesn’t kill her, she’s already dead.

That’s unfortunately what happened to popular figure Jessa Seewald, formerly known as Jessa Duggar, part of the 19 Kids and Counting reality series on TLC. Seewald and her husband lost their child due to a miscarriage over the Christmas season and needed to pass the baby with a Dilation & Curettage (D&C) procedure. While the child was dead before his or her removal from the womb, internet trolls and the media are spreading the lie that Seewald had an abortion. 

The Seewalds recently broke the news that their fifth child died in the womb in a video called “Heartbreak Over the Holidays” on their YouTube channel. It was a raw, real-life, update in which Jessa told of finding out she’d lost the baby. She said she relied on the Bible, specifically the parts about Job, to remember that even in all of the hardship of losing her child, God is still good.

In her video she said that she doesn’t regret telling her children that she was pregnant because “even the short life this baby lived did bring so much joy to our home.” She added “even through it all, even through all the struggles we can say, ‘God is good. He loves us. He cares for us.’ I have felt His presence, I have felt His peace, even in the midst of a storm.”

Relying on God is common for the openly Christian family and pro-life family. Unfortunately, some tried using the devastating loss of their child to push in support of abortion. 

These people are demonic.

That's right -- if you disagree with Mandelburg and Seewald, you're "demonic." Also, Mandelburg failed to mention that the main reason the "19 Kids and Counting" franchise tanked is because Jessa's brother is a creepy perv.

Mandelburg cited how "some people who actually know what they’re talking about came to Seewald’s defense," though they were fellow anti-abortion activists, one of them hiding behind a fake name.The other, activist Allie Beth Stuckey, insisted that "A D&C after a miscarriage is not an abortion and is not restricted in any way by any new pro-life laws in any state"  -- despite the fact that many anti-abortion laws are so vaguely written it's unclear under exactly what circumstances a surgical prodecure is permitted -- then cited a Bible verse smearing anyone who disagreed with her as being "of your father devil."

She then quoted Seewald playing the thought-crime defense: "There's a world of difference between someone dying and someone being killed. To equate one to the other— and to a mother grieving the loss of her baby no less— is severely distasteful. There is a world of difference between a mortician and a murderer. Even a child understands the difference between the two." Mandelburg concluded by huffing: "It really is a shame that the left is using the Seewalds heartbreaking loss to try to justify more babies being killed. They didn’t want their child to die. Abortion supporters do."

Mandelburg is aligning herself with people who think that anyone who disagrees with them is not just wrong but evil. Can one have a civil conversation with demagogic absolutists like these?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:13 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND Exploits A Tragedy To Push Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily
While WorldNetDaily used the on-field collapse of NFL player Damar Hamlin to promote the power of prayer, it also cynically hyped the never-proven claim that the collapse was caused by a COVID vaccine. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 AM EDT
Sunday, April 16, 2023
MRC Continues Its PR Work For Musk
Topic: Media Research Center

Because the Media Research Center is a PR agent for Elon Musk, it's not going to tell you about the repeated outages on the site since he fired most of its employees, or that he publicly mocked a disabled employee who wasn't sure if he still had a job (he was eventually shamed into apologizing to the guy and inviting him to keep working for Twitter). And it's certainly not going to tell you that anti-Semitic content on Twitter has increased since he bought the platform. Butthere was another "Twitter files" selective release to tout, and Catheroine Salgado did the PR duties in a March 17 post:

Twitter actually censored true content to protect trust in supposed “authoritative sources” like ex-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to installment nineteen of The Twitter Files.

Journalist Matt Taibbi exposes in what he called “The Great Covid-19 Lie machine,” which consisted of a combination of tyrannical government agencies, Stanford University’s Virality Project (VP) “and a slew of (often state-funded) NGOs” monitoring social media companies to censor COVID-19 content. These groups worked, often in a concerted effort, to suppress content that promoted natural immunity, critiqued the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine passports and that pointed out breakthrough cases in those that had received COVID-19 vaccinations. Some of the content that was censored not only turned out to be true in retrospect, but was admittedly determined to be true by the very groups involved in suppressing the content. As Taibbi put it, “The [Virality P]roject's central/animating concept was, ‘You can't handle the truth.’”

“The level of hubris from those involved in the ‘Great Covid-19 Lie Machine’ is stunning,” stated MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “The idea that anyone, let alone a university and government officials, would knowingly suppress information regarding the health and safety of Americans is beyond the pale.”

Neither Taibbi nor Salgado mentioned that promoting "natural immunity" -- read: catching COVID and hope it didn't kill you -- was dangerous at a time when vaccines were not widespread and that COVID was still powerful and widespread enough that was killing thousands of people a day.

Also much more newsworthy at the MRC than system and personnel issues at Twitter is that Musk is now responding to press inquries wit a poop emoji. Luis Cornelio gushed in a March 20 post under the immature headline "Elon Musk Takes Dump on Media":

Twitter owner Elon Musk has found a new way to troll his opponents in the liberal media with a healthy dose of toilet humor.

It’s not a question that Musk has been subject to relentless liberal media hit jobs after voicing support for fair and free speech on Twitter. Musk unveiled a funny joke to get back at leftist reporters and Twitter users can bet that it will be a smelly situation for the press: automatic poop emoji responses to media inquiries.

Musk announced the auto-responses to press inquiries in a Mar. 19 tweet. “ now auto responds with 💩,” tweeted Musk.

Salgado hyped another suck-up to Musk in a March 23 post:

Popular podcaster Joe Rogan bashed legacy media and praised independent journalists in a recent show. The Twitter Files is one of the biggest exclusive series in America now, broken by independent journalists. 

Independent Substack journalist The Vigilant Fox shared a clip of Joe Rogan on his verified Twitter account March 21. In the clip, Joe Rogan praised independent journalists and slammed “mainstream media” as beholden to advertising revenue and the companies that provide the revenue.

Salgado still hasn't figured out that if writers like Taibbi were hand-picked by Musk and are reporting only what Musk allows them to, they're not "independent journalists."

Renata Kiss used a March 30 post to take a gentle shot at Donald Trump for not immediately returning to Twitter after Musk reinstated his account:

As the 2024 elections heat up, former President Donald Trump didn’t shy away from endorsing the prowess of his own social media platform over Elon Musk’s contentious Twitter.

On the Tuesday edition of Hannity on Fox News, Trump gushed about the success of his social media platform Truth Social, while he seemed to drag his feet on using Twitter again. 

“I love Truth (Social). I think Truth is incredible,” he said. “It’s up, I think, 389 percent, it’s the hottest thing there is.” When asked if he would ever go back on Twitter, the former president replied, “Well, we’ll talk about that at some point. Now I use Truth (Social), although they want me back on Twitter desperately,” he said.

Kiss didn't mention that Truth Social is not, in fact, successful as a business, having trouble paying its bills and is being kept afloat only through the good graces of pro-Trump billionaires. She also didn't mention that the main reason Trump has not returned to Twitter is because he's contractually obligated to post his musings at Truth Social first and can't repost them elsewhere until six hours later.

Instead of telling her readers the full truth, she complained that "During the tumultuous 2020 elections, Twitter permanently suspended President Trump’s Twitter account in 2021 dubiously claiming that he helped incite the Jan. 6, Capitol Hill riot." In fact, there's nothing at all "dubious" about the claim -- the evidence Trump incited the riot is pretty clear.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 PM EDT
CNS Attacks Biden Over Policy Change To Allow ESG Investments

Earlier in the year, -- which has been dutifully taking part in the current right-wing obsession du jour over hating investments that take environmental, social and governmental issues into consideration -- freaked out when the Biden administration rolled back a Trump mandate restricting ESG investments. As Republicans pushed a resolution through Congress opposing the rollback, Craig Bannister dutifully hyped it in a Feb. 28 article:

On Monday, President Joe Biden vowed to veto a joint resolution working its way through Congress this week that would nullify the administration’s recent rule allowing retirement and pension fund managers to choose investments based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

Under federal ERISA law, asset managers have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients to base investment decisions on their expected financial profitability alone, but a Labor Department rule that went into effect last month now gives fund managers the freedom to pick investments based on anticipated ESG benefits, as well.

Bannister hyped the "bipartisan" votes the next day:

On Wednesday, the Senate followed the House in passing a joint resolution to nullify a recent Biden Administration rule that allows asset managers to prioritize less-profitable ideological causes over profit maximization when investing their clients’ retirement funds.

Biden’s Labor Department rule had freed managers of retirement account and pension funds from their fiduciary responsibility to consider only profitability, so that they could put their clients’ money in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments yielding lower returns with higher fees.

The joint resolution (H.J. Res. 30) passed the Senate by a four-vote margin, with the help of two Democrat senators, Townhall reports:


On Tuesday, H.J. Res. 30 passed the House, on a bipartisan of 216-204 – the same day that the White House released a statement promising that President Joe Biden intends to veto the measure.

Bannister failed in both articles to disclose that the Biden policy change simply reverts investment policies to pre-Trump standards.

CNS also cranked out stenography articles quoting Republican politicians over the ESG policy change that didn't allow anyone to rebut them:

When Biden did indeed veto that resolution, Bannister whined about it in a March 20 article:

On Monday, President Joe Biden issued his first presidential veto, in objection to a bipartisan Congressional joint resolution nullifying his administration’s rule freeing asset managers to invest their clients’ retirement savings in political causes, rather than in the most profitable investments.

“[T]his resolution [joint resolution H.J. Res. 30] would prevent retirement plan fiduciaries from taking into account factors, such as the physical risks of climate change and poor corporate governance, that could affect investment returns,” Biden wrote Monday in his “Message to the House of Representatives — President’s Veto of H.J. Res 30.”


Biden posted a snarky tweet celebrating his veto on Monday, in which he derided the joint resolution as a product of House Republicans who want to “make America great again” (MAGA), such as firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), and claimed that politically-motivated ESG investments, somehow, “protect your hard-earned savings”:

“I just vetoed my first bill.

“This bill would risk your retirement savings by making it illegal to consider risk factors MAGA House Republicans don't like.

“Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings — whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not.”

Note that Bannister falsely put words in Biden's mouth -- hedidn't call ESG investments "politically-motivated."

In none of these articles, by the way, is it explained why Americans should be prohibited from investing their money the way they choose, given that personal freedom is something right-wingers like the folks who run CNS are supposed to be in favor of.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT
Saturday, April 15, 2023
MRC: New Peter Pan Film Is Insufficiently White And Male
Topic: Media Research Center

Matt Philbin huffed in a March 2 Media Research Center post:

There's serious dry rot in the House of Mouse.

Once upon a time, everything Walt Disney touched turned to gold. These days, everything his namesake company touches turns to garbage. Disney announced 7,000 layoffs last month. They didn’t come in time to avert the live-action remake of “Peter Pan,” the company is inflicting on the culture in April.

The “Peter Pan and Wendy” trailer is getting torn apart on social media. Gone all multicultural and with The Lost Boys now including girls (which the trailer makes a point of shoving it in viewers faces), this was predictable.

Philbin didn't explain why any of this was a bad thing, or why all cast members must be white. You'd think he'd be happy that Peter Pan is played by a male actor, something that rarely happens in film. Instead, he quoted an anonymous right-wing tweeter whining that the boy playing Peter Pan is "Indian" (actually, he was born in Britain). And "shoving it in viewers faces" is a bizarre way for Philbin to describe showing something in a trailer that exists in the film, though he never explains why having girls among the Lost Boys is a inherently horrible. Philbin also quoted tweeters whining that Tinkerbell is black -- which, like Peter Pan's purported ethnicity, is irrelevant to the story.

Philbin conclude by ranting; "Mercifully, Disney lost 2.4 million streaming service subscribers last year, so there are that man fewer people to suffer through this dreck. First star on the left and straight 'til bankruptcy!": Philbin doesn't explain why a film with too many non-white people must be considered "dreck" and a reason an entire filmmaking company must be destroyed -- or why we shouldn't consider him a racist for promoting such attitudes.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:24 PM EDT
WND Columnist Lashes Out Against Evolution
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Richard Blakley -- a fervent believer in the Big Lie about election fraud in 2020 -- has been on an anti-evolution tear of late. In his Feb. 17 column, he argued evolution can't be real because nobody has ever observed it, then argued that Charles Darwin was a racist because of the title of his book advancing the idea of natural selection:

Now, I understand that staunch evolutionist grab on to Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of the Species," but did you know that that is not the entire title of the book? Why do they never mention the entire title?

Let's look at the title of Darwin's book and see what we can learn. Darwin's book in entitled, "On The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life."

Oh, so the book is really about the "preservation of favored races in the struggle for life." Surely, no one would consider this book a racist book, would they? Well, Darwin did. He is quoted as saying, "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world." (Charles Darwin, "The Descent of Man," chapter 3, and World Book Encyclopedia 1952, p. 336)

Let me see, what else was popular in 1859 when Darwin's racist book was published? Oh yeah, now I remember. It was slavery. Darwin's book was used as a justification for slavery and has been used ever since to justify "ethnic cleansing" and Hitler's thoughts behind creating an Aryan race.

As someone who has actually studied Darwin has noted, the term "favored races" was added to the title by Darwin's publisher, John Murray, and was a synonym for variety or breed, not an explicit reference to skin color in humans. (Note Blakey's sleight of hand in skipping to a Darwin book published 12 years later to attempt to tar "The Origin of Species" as racist.)

Blakley concluded by huffing: "So if evolution is not science, why is it being taught as such? If people are taught they are simply evolved animals, why would you expect them to act different from an animal? On the other hand, if people are taught they are made in the image of God, and God has had a plan for their life since before the foundation of the world, the mindset is totally different, with much different results."

In his Feb. 24 column, Blakley began by talking about his previous column as if he had not written it, obtusely stating that "In a recent column at WND it was shown that evolution does not fit the definition of a scientific theory, nor does it even fit the definition of a scientific hypothesis." He then tried to argue that believing in evolution is heresy against religion: "Perhaps through receiving the religion of evolution, and denying the Word of God, people are also being 'willing ignorant' – concerning the heresy of evolution."

Blakley pulled the same non-atribution stunt in his March 9 column:

In recent articles published by WND, it was shown that the idea of evolution is not a "scientific theory," nor is it a "scientific hypothesis," and it is "heresy" by definition of these terms and, therefore, should not be force fit into the teachings of "Holy Writ."

Blakley didn't explain why he wouldn't tell readers he wrote those pieces and that they are opinion columns and not just "articles." Instead, his goal here was to tar evolution because it may "lead to racist beliefs and end up with racist actions," going Godwin and then some:

Vladimir Lenin, a disciple of Marx, led Soviet Russia from 1917 until 1924. Following the evolution-influenced teachings of Marx and Darwin, Lenin killed between 100,000 and 500,000 people in mass executions as a means of ethnic cleansing.

Josef Stalin studied at a theological college, but became an atheist after reading Darwin's book. Implementing Darwin's evolutionary teaching, he decided there was no basis for conscience or morals, and led the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953, killing over 20 million people in ethnic cleansing.

Adolf Hitler "formed racial and social policies based upon evolutionary ideas of survival of the fittest and superiority of certain 'favored races' (as stated in the subtitle of Darwin's book)." Hitler is responsible for the "murder of 6 million Jews, many blacks, gypsies, and other groups deemed unfit to live."

Chairman Mao Zedong of China regarded Darwin and his disciple Huxley as his two favorite authors. During the 1949 Communist takeover of China, Christians were executed at the rate of 15,000 per month, murdering approximately 60 million people. Missionaries who survived stated when the Communists took over schools, they did not teach communism, but instead, they were teaching evolution ("Creation," vol.18, no. 1, p. 9).

Blakley's source for much of this is a religious tract -- and, of course, this is nothing but guilt by association and character assassination. It also ignores the fact that Darwinism was officially rejected by the Soviet Union over the final 15 years of Stalin's rule (and its supporters purged) in favor of an offshoot promoted by Stalin-favored scientist Trofim Lysenko, whose theory was so egregiously wrong that it caused crop failures in the USSR for decades.

Blakey concluded by portraying the Columbine massacre as perpetrated by students adhering to Darwinian concepts:

Was it access to guns that was the core problem? While white supremacy is wrong, was that the core problem? Or was the core problem the taxpayer-funded, heretical, racist teaching of evolution that warped the minds of these young men, making them murderous, brute beasts who killed people they viewed as lower on the evolutionary scale?

I have an idea. If you truly want to "cancel" something that would make a positive difference for society, then "cancel" the racist, false-science, heretical, racist teaching of evolution. Where is the ACLU when you need them?

Blakey didn't point out in any of Darwin's writings where he advocated for genocide.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 15, 2023 1:42 AM EDT
Friday, April 14, 2023
MRC Baselessly Portrays Ranting White House Reporter As No Different Than Jim Acosta
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves Simon Ateba -- who works for a tiny website he founded called Today News Africa -- because he's their kind of jerk. Curtis Houck cheered how Ateba caused "chaos" during Jen Psaki's final briefing as White House press secretary with fits of "shouting" and "heckling," and he's still at it. A March 20 post by Houck insisted Ateba's antics are no worse than the tough questioning asked by Trump-era reporters:

Monday’s White House press briefing was unlike any other so far as Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba seized the spotlight and, seconds after ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stepped to the podium, began berating Jean-Pierre for allegedly not having called on him in seven months.

When he wouldn’t quiet down and let Jean-Pierre introduce the cast of Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso(who were there to promote mental health), other reporters got involved and it descended into a rather tense scene that would soon be repeated moments later.

One could argue the move harkened back to the days of liberal activists masquerading as journalists with Jim Acosta, Brian Karem, and April Ryan pitching daily hissy fits that left them financially enriched and subjects of puffball profiles. Of course, their juvenile outbursts were never met with apologies from the Associated Press or officers in the White House Correspondents Association.

Houck seems a little jealous of them for doing better than him. But as he documented Ateba's ranting, he offered no evidence whatsoever that it equated to anything Acosta (a longtime enemy of the MRC because he refused to be the pro-Trump shill it demanded he be) and others did:

Once Ateba started shouting, Jean-Pierre clapped back: “No, no, no, no, no. No. Nope. That’s not — we’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this.”

Ateba replied that she had been “dismissive against me” and “against some people in this Briefing Room," adding, “[T]his is the U.S. This not China. This not Russia. This not Russia.”

One reporter interjected to ask Ateba to “stop” while Karem had the irony to interject and asked him to “let her start.”

After Ateba shouted that Jean-Pierre was “making a mockery of the First Amendment,” more reporters started indiscernible shouting, but Karem could be heard demanding he “respect her” while NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell (vice president of the WHCA) repeatedly called for, “decorum, please.”

Ateba kept going, saying “[i]t’s been seven months you have not called on me. I’m saying that’s not right. That’s not right.”

Jean-Pierre turned to make a joke to the Ted Lasso cast that they had quite the “untimed welcome,” Ateba kept shouting: “I see you’re trying to censor me and some people, but that’s not right.”=

She asked if the room was “ready to behave,” but Ateba kept screaming, so NPR’s Tamara Keith (president of the WHCA) shouted, “Simon” while O’Donnell again asked for “decorum” and said she was “sorry to our guests.”


Ateba briefly relented to have Jean-Pierre offer a dressing down, reminding them that the “historic” Brady Briefing Room “should have decorum...where folks should respect their colleagues and respect...guests” even though there will “be give and take.”

“[W]hat I will not appreciate is disrespecting your colleagues and disrespecting guests who are here to talk...about an incredibly important issue, which is mental health. And what is just unacceptable,” she added, leaving to more claims of “discrimination” from Ateba.

The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro rushed to Ateba's defense when the co-hosts of "The View" criticized his unprofessional behavior:

Following an explosive exchange between Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday, the cast of ABC’s The View had their knives out Tuesday for the reporter as they took turns taking swipes in defense of a friend of the show. But in a series of tweets in near real-time, Ateba shot back and called them out for allegedly spreading big lies about stuff he didn’t write.

Suggesting Ateba was a “troll,” Whoopi Goldberg claimed “he does this all the time. This may be one of the reasons she doesn't call on him, because he can be combative.” And she scoffed at the idea that he might be right “about being ignored at the briefings.”

“You have to look at your behavior, sir. You have to look at your behavior because nobody wants to be jumped. Nobody wants to be jumped up there. The gig is tough enough,” she would later whine on Jean-Pierre’s behalf.


Hostin did suggest that Ateba was more legitimate than Peter Doocy since Fox News was “infotainment” in her eyes. And Behar decried him for going on Tucker Carlson’s show later that night. “He ran to Tucker Carlson right after this, so that tells you where he's at,” she chided.

The fact that Ateba ran to Tucker Carlson for his victory lap is another reason the MRC is defending him.

Tim Graham didn't quite defend Ateba in his March 22 column, but he did play the "he's just like Jim Acosta card":

The briefing room is usually a tank of hungry sharks for a Republican press secretary, and a classroom full of teacher’s pets for a Democrat press secretary. The news cycle has to be pretty negative for reporters to sound hostile to Biden’s press aides.

On March 20, black reporter Simon Ateba from an obscure website called “Today News Africa” began screaming at the very top of the briefing that current press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was not calling on him so he could ask his questions. Other reporters joined the fight, insisting Ateba press his complaints off camera.

There should be decorum at press briefings. The White House is not a place for egotistical shouting by reporters, no matter the outlet. But some people have thought they could secure fame and fortune by doing it. Ateba scored friendly interviews with Fox and Newsmax.


Before him, CNN’s Jim Acosta routinely yelled at President Trump, and was celebrated as heroic and was gushed over by Stephen Colbert. Acosta constantly suggested Trump would get journalists brutalized or killed, and wrote a self-congratulatory memoir titled The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.

In 2017, April Ryan squabbled with Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, and then she joined CNN as a political analyst. That year, she also was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists.” This will never happen to Simon Ateba. She also wrote a self-promoting memoir titled Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.

Brian Karem, who wrote about Trump for Playboy, also secured a political-analyst gig at CNN after yelling at Sarah Huckabee Sanders. So it was remarkable hypocrisy for Karem to scold Ateba about how this “isn’t just about you” and to “mind your manners.”

LIie Houck, Graham offered no evidence that Ateba's ranting are exactly the same as what Acosta, et al, did. Instead, he offered himself as a model of decorum in his brief attempt to pass himself off as a real repiorter:

I was a White House reporter in the first two years of President George W. Bush for World magazine, a Christian news weekly. I didn’t always get called on, but I never raised my voice, since that wouldn’t have reflected well on my employer. I resisted the temptation to ask press secretary Ari Fleischer naughty questions like “do you think Helen Thomas has become a crackpot?”

Of course, because he was "covering" a Republican administration -- that is, fluffing Bush and crew for a similarly biased audience -- Graham would never hae been so gauche as to ask an even remotely unfriendly question of Fleischer, which he proved by offering that the only critical question he would have asked involved attacking another reporter.

In other words, he was doing exactly what he accuses reporters with the "liberal media" of doing right now.That's a big reason to never take him and the MRC seriously in their "media research."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:01 PM EDT
Newsmax Cranked Up Outrage Machine As Trump's Arraignment Arrived
Topic: Newsmax

The freakout at Newsmax when Donald Trump was indiced on fraud charges (for real) continued as he the day of his arraignment approached. Trump flew to New York from Florida on March 3 for the arraignment, and Newsmax was cranking out attack and defense articles:

Surprisingly, there was also an wire article featuring newly announced Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson arguing that Trump should drop his 2024 candidacy over his instigating the Capitol riot.

On the day of the arraignment on April 4, Newsmax unsurprisingly went nuts with the attack-and-defend narrative:

Newsmax also published an article on how Trump "was awarded close to $122,000 in attorney fees from Stormy Daniels, the same porn star at the center of a hush money case that led to Trump's indictment in a Manhattan courtroom just a few hours earlier." But amid all the bias, Newsmax not only published a surprisingly balanced account of the arraignment itself (written even more surprisingly by Trump stenographer Eric Mack, with wire contributions) but it also actually slipped in a few largely straightforward stories on the indictment that day:

That's a total of at least 43 artack-and-defend articles over two days, bringing the total to 94 since the indictment became news on March 30.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:56 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 15, 2023 12:33 AM EDT
WND Spreads Lie That Pelosi Refused Trump's National Guard Aid Before Capitol Riot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 2 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh begins with a lie:

Questions about why then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused President Trump's offer of National Guard troops to secure the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, are being raised – again – after a government report faulted a number of law enforcement agencies for allowing the riot to develop that day.

Pelosi, and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, refused Trump's offer of additional security that day – and hundreds of people rioted, some breaking into the Capitol to vandalize it and others walking past security guards who held doors open for them and taking selfies in the building.

As the conservative website the Dispatch reported:

The claim that Pelosi rejected Trump’s request for a National Guard presence on January 6 is false. 

“The speaker of the House does not have the power to block an order from the commander in chief,” Drew Hammil, deputy chief of staff for Pelosi, told The Dispatch Fact Check via email. “This is fiction.”

Josh Huder, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute, similarly told The Dispatch Fact Check that “the speaker does not have control of any branch of the armed services.”

“The National Guard can only be activated by the president or a governor,” Huder added. “In the case of D.C., it can only be mobilized by the president of the United States.”

A statement from Ryan McCarthy, secretary of the Army under Donald Trump, on the “National Guard response to timing and coordination with other States,” does not mention Trump’s request for a National Guard presence, nor does it mention anything about Pelosi rejecting the alleged request.


Also, it’s with noting that during the first day of hearings by the January 6 committee, Rep. Liz Cheney said: “Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day, and made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets. But Mike Pence did each of those things.”

Unruh offered no evidence to support his claim that Pelosi "refused President Trump's offer of National Guard troops" -- presumably because neither the offer nor refusal ever happened. Instead, the rest of his article is about reports that law enforcement may have known about plans for a riot but didn't adequately prepare, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Pelosi.

Unruh treating lies as fact hardly inspires confidence in WND as a trustworthy source of news.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 PM EDT

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