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Friday, April 28, 2023
MRC Falsely Frames Tenn. Capitol Anti-Gun Protest As A 'Violent Insurrection'
Topic: Media Research Center

As if attacking the shooter's alleged transgender identity wasn't enough, the Media Research Center found another reason to distract from the gun massacre in Nashville in which six people were killed. When protesters made a ruckus at the Tennessee Capitol by demanding state legislators do something abut gun violence, Nicholas Fondacaro spent a March 30 post trying to maliciously portray it as being as violent as the Capitol riot, even calling it an "insurrection":

There was more leftist violence in America on Thursday as a mob of over 1,000 people descended on the Tennessee State Capitol. What started as just a protest to abolish gun rights quickly turned into a scuffle. Online videos showed people fighting with police officers as they tried to break into the legislative chamber, eventually succeeding. What some online were calling a violent insurrection went unreported on MSNBC, which was outside the building. Instead, they claimed it was just “people singing songs.”

 Appearing on MSNBC’s Chris Jansing Reports, correspondent Lindsey Reiser described the crowd as “hundreds of people showed up today. I mean, probably about 1,500, maybe even upwards of that showing up. A lot of young people, a lot of young students, skipping school. A lot of parents bringing their young kids here as well.”

Note that Fondacaro's source for all this supposed violence is "some online." In reality, nobody was injured or arrested at the Nashville protest and were not trying to overthrow the government, as Fondacaro's right-wing buddies were trying to do on Jan. 6, 2021.

Nevertheless, Kevin Tober hyped the purported violence by a "mob" of "the left" in "what some described as a violent insurrection" in another post that day:

For the second time this week, the left turned violent Thursday when a mob of over 1,000 gun control activists stormed the Tennessee State Capitol in what some described as a violent insurrection. Much like their cable news colleagues from earlier in the day, the three evening news broadcasts either ignored or downplayed the violent riots at the Tennessee State Capitol. While the news of the indictment of former President Donald Trump soaked up much of the oxygen in the news cycle late Thursday, the three networks had plenty of time to cover the Tennessee mobs.  

ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News completely ignored the riots at the Tennessee Capitol in favor of stories on a snowboarder in Washington state being rescued after getting buried in the snow (ABC), and a sitdown interview with a disgruntled former Fox News producer to smear her former employer (NBC). 

While CBS Evening News did cover the story, it was only briefly and when the footage of the leftist rioters clashing with capitol police was aired, CBS downplayed the violence.

Um, because there was no actual violence?

After Republican state legislators prepared to retaliate against three Democratic representatives who took part in the (non-violent) demonstration, Alex Christy complained in an April 6 post that the protesting legislators were getting support -- and like his co-workers, tried to make the protest sound worse than the Capitol riot:

As the Tennessee House of Representatives prepared to vote on Thursday to expel three Democratic lawmakers for disrupting proceedings by leading demonstrators with megaphones inside the House chamber, CNN Inside Politics host John King came running to their defense, claiming that “They were trying to get a discussion.” At the same time, chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny argued “no one cares about the rules of the Tennessee House.”

King began the panel discussion by suggesting expelling the lawmakers is excessive, “Now again, they broke the rules in speaking up. The question is okay, six people were shot and killed in your community. Emotions are raw. Do you expel them for speaking up?”


Sure, the lawmakers weren’t trying to get the governor out of office, but they literally did seize control of the chamber to the point where [Speaker Cameron] Sexton had to call for a recess. Furthermore, no GOP lawmaker stood on the House floor with a megaphone during January 6.

Tober returned to clutch his pearls about "decorum" in a post later that day:

On Thursday afternoon, the Tennessee legislature voted to oust three Democrat [sic] members of the state’s House of Representatives due to their instigation of an insurrection earlier in the week over the left’s demand that the legislative body passes a gun control bill. Later Thursday evening, the big three evening newscasts were clearly angry that Republicans would dare enforce decorum and punish the three Democrats for acting like children rather than serious lawmakers. 

Filling in for David Muir on ABC, Linsey Davis opened World News Tonight by disapprovingly reporting on the “dramatic fallout after that mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville.” Davis bemoaned that “Tennessee lawmakers are voting to expel three Democrats from the state legislature after they protested for stricter gun control on the floor of that chamber.”


All three networks huffed over the Tennessee Republican legislature holding three Democrats accountable for attempting to incite an insurrection, yet they had no problem with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) removing all of Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) Republicans from her sham January 6 committee.

Tober is wrong -- Pelosi did not "remove" all of McCarthy's Republicans from the January 6 committee (which was very real and not a "sham"). Pelosi rejected two of the five Republicans McCarthy had named to the committee because they were pro-riot (we don't recall anyone from Al Qaeda being appointed to the 9/11 Commission, after all), and McCarthy pitched a hissy fit and withdrew all his nominees rather than work with Pelosi to seat Republicans both could agree on.

Actually, only two of the three Tennessee legislators targeted for removal were actually removed -- the two black ones, in fact; the third one, who is white, was ultimately not removed. When folks pointed out the optics of that, Christy complained in an April 7 post:

The Thursday edition of The 11th Hour came unhinged as Tennessee Lookout editor-in-chief Holly McCall responded to the expulsion of two Tennessee Democrats from the state House by asking if the state ever left it’s KKK past, declared the state to lead the way in “backwards and discriminatory legislation” and wondered if Gov. Bill Lee even cares about his own daughter and friends.

A third Democrat, Gloria Johnson, was not expelled and host Stephanie Ruhle was confident she knew why, “Let's lay it out there, three state representatives, all protested hand-in-hand together - two were black men, one was a white woman. Did she do anything different based on your reporting that would keep her in her position and keep these men out?”


Addressing expelled-Rep. Justin Jones, [former Repubican chairman Michael] Steele tried to wax poetic, “every last one of those bastards who voted you out will rue that moment… it makes a mockery of the very Constitution that you swore to uphold as a representative, so you continue to do you.”

No, using a bullhorn to shut down legislative proceedings makes a mockery of that oath. Not deterred, however, Steele continued, “Today, folks, what we saw was Tennessee telling two young African-American men to not get so uppity.”

This is an argument to also expel Johnson, not to not expel Jones and Justin Pearson. In any case, Johnson was likely spared because she was the least disruptive of the trio.

Mark Finkelstein similarly complained:

Right on, Don! Just because someone blatantly flouts the House rules, and uses a bullhorn to incite the crowd inside the Tennessee Capitol, it doesn't mean he's being "rude or boisterous" or "whatever."  He's just expressing himself! And if you don't understand how "we" express ourselves, you're a racist!

That was part of Don Lemon's take on the expulsion of two black members of the Tennessee House, during Friday's CNN This Morning. And of course, Lemon concluded that it was due to "racism."

Lemon's spiel came after a clip was played of Kaitlan Collins' interview with the chairman of the Tennessee House GOP caucus, Jeremy Faison. He gave some interesting background: that this was far from the first episode of this nature. The representatives who were expelled had a history of disrupting proceedings on the floor as well as in committee meetings.

Finkelstein huffed that the ousted legislators were being turned into martyrs with a platform (but didn't blame the Republican legislators who made that possible: "But being expelled could well turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the two men. Overnight, they went from being obscure state representatives to hero status for a swath of Americans. Not to mention the liberal media. Witness the fact that one of the reps was treated to an interview on Friday's show for a second day running."

Meanwhile, Fondacaro was still pushing the bogus "violent insurrection" narrative:

A little over a week and a half after a leftist trans terrorist shot up a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, CBS Mornings spent part of their Friday newscast telling Republicans in the state that they could be the target of more leftist violence. And according to CBS Prime Time host John Dickerson, the violence would be caused by Republican state legislators voting to expel Democrats, who led a violent insurrection at the state Capitol and disrupted official proceedings on the floor of the House.

“Well, politics needs some cartilage. It needs some give. It can't be totally brittle,” Dickerson described the situation. He went on the warn that Republicans supposedly took a “maximalist” approach and left “no give” for Democrats. “[T]here are a series of steps to punish. But when you go to the maximalist, when you kick them out, that's brittle. There's no give,” he huffed.

Dickerson then suggested that Republicans should not be surprised if their actions led to Democrats getting violent:


Earlier in the newscast, they treated the legal vote to remove the Democrats like a travesty of justice and tried to compare it to elements of the civil rights movement. “We begin this morning with the growing uproar after two black lawmakers were expelled from Tennessee's legislature,” fill-in anchor Natalie Morales announced, trying to inject race into the situation.

“Never before has a Tennessee lawmaker, never mind two Tennessee lawmakers, been expelled on partisan grounds. But in a polarized country, the gloves are off,” correspondent Mark Strassmann clutched his rhetorical pearls.

Strassmann declared them “the Tennessee Three,” an apparent attempt to frame them as akin to the kids of the Little Rock Nine, who were the face of the desegregation of schools and faced angry mobs of racists.

Fun fact: In the early part of his career, Johnny Cash's backing band was called the Tennessee Three, but the name was changed to the Tennessee Two for a while, then became the Tennessee Three again. So the actual name alludes much more to in-state heritage than to the Little Rock Nine stretch Fondacaro is trying to make.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 29, 2023 12:09 AM EDT
Make America Afraid Again! Newsmax Columnist (And Disgraced Ex-Priest) Wants The President To Be Feared
Topic: Newsmax

In his political discourse, Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli argued that fear is a better motivator than love, which is why it is the more effective tool for a leader if one cannot be loved, and posed the question of whether it is better to be feared or loved if one cannot be both.

Many respected Republican candidates running for high office in 2024 may be "loved" —at least on the political right — they are seemingly polished on the exterior, eloquent, and meet the general public's ideas of "nice." 

They do not offend or hurt feelings on Twitter, and they share our visions for policies that would theoretically help turn around an America that we believe is on a downward trajectory. These candidates tout the importance of taking on the cultural wars of our day, and returning to the principles of our founding fathers that have historically made this country great.


But should "playing nice" and "being loved" be a prerequisite for the White House? Should the presidency be about being "liked/loved" and a "nice person" or should it be about defending America effectively from our enemies, both domestic and abroad?

Enter President Donald Trump and a common refrain of some patriots across America: "I like his policies but not his personality."

His personality may not be everyone's cup of tea, rougher around the edges than many would prefer. President Barack Obama was admired by many for his charisma and eloquence. But did charisma and eloquence translate into a stronger, safer America? We all know the answer to that question.


Recently at a Trump speech in South Carolina, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham made this point, that there are no Trump accomplishments without Donald Trump himself. Dick Morris, in his book, "The Return," makes the same point: that a "kinder, gentler" Trump would not have brought about the accomplishments that he won, frankly, by an appropriate bullying of world leaders, Congress, the media, the Democrats, and weak Republicans.

Would it be better to not be totally loved, but to be feared by the likes of North Korea, China, Iran, Mexico, the Taliban, and others on the world stage who have taken advantage of America for decades to the detriment of our great country?

Would it be better not to be"loved," but to be respected by Congress, and have your ideas taken seriously where they stand a chance of actually being passed into law?

Would it not be better to collect fewer likes or loves on Facebook or Twitter, but to actually get the job done so American families can prosper and we actually have a legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren?

Many have tried, many have failed, many have touted our values, not all have succeeded once elected — but could it be that a certain personality and being feared more than being loved is what America needs, especially at this critical juncture in our history, to reclaim the greatness and respect that are so much a part of what America is.

-- Frank Pavone, Feb. 22 Newsmax column (Pavone was defrocked as a Catholic priest because of his anti-abortion extremism)

Posted by Terry K. at 6:18 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch: Final Edition
Topic:'s final report on monthly employment numbers -- two weeks before the website was shut down -- continued the trend of previous months in which the employment news was so good that writer Susan Jones had trouble find bad news to cherry-pick (as it does when a Democratic president is in office) in her lead article:

After setting three straight monthly records, the number of employed Americans leaped again last month, reaching another all-time high in March.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says 160,892,000 Americans were employed last month, an increase of 577,000 over February's record 160,315,000.

BLS defines employed Americans as those who, during the reference week, did some work for pay or profit, or did at least 15 hours of unpaid work in a family-operated business.

As the number of employed Americans jumped again last month, the number of unemployed Americans -- no job, but looking -- dropped by 97,000, producing an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, down a tenth of a point from February. (The 3.4 percent unemployment rate in January was the lowest it's been since 1969.)

She did, however, dig up a number that was just slightly below expections, which gave her license to hype "less positive" news: "But on a less positive note, BLS says the non-farm economy added 236,000 jobs last month, below estimates of around 239,000 and the lowest number of jobs created since December 2021. BLS said job creation has averaged around 334,000 in the prior six months."

The only sidebar was the usual one from editor Terry Jeffrey on government employment, grousing that it "increased by 47,000 in March, climbing from 22,510,000 to 22,557,000." He didn't explain why this is the bad thing he clearly wants us to believe it is.

(Because the CNS website has been deleted from the internet, the above article links go to the Internet Archive, where the rest of the the CNS website can be found.)

Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC vs. Google: The Search Skirmish
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tried to attack Google as biased for purportedly downgrading the websites for Republican candidates in search results -- but never explained why the search terms it used should have generated the results it demanded. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:00 AM EDT
Thursday, April 27, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Bashes Critics of His Fla. Education Changes
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade continues in full effect, especially when it comes to defending the intrusive education policies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Kevin Tober defended DeSantis and attacked a teacher who exposed the practical effects of his policies -- in a Feb. 18 post:

The cast of CBS Saturday Morning spread some misinformation about the state of education in Florida when correspondent Cristian Benavides claimed that “classrooms and school libraries look like this” while showing a photo from a substitute teacher that was fired on Wednesday for spreading misinformation.

During his report, Benavides interviewed teacher Andrea Phillips, who was not the one who was fired, but who was there to provide the anti-Gov. Ron DeSantis emotion, “Without a diverse variety of books that represent my students, I can't get them interested in books.”

Reporting over some viral images, Benavides recalled, “Duval County Public Schools, which includes Jacksonville, said it would conduct a formal review of all books. While that review is ongoing, classrooms and school libraries look like this.”

What Benavides left out was a statement from the district. From First Coast News:

In discussion between the district and ESS regarding this individual’s misrepresentation of the books available to students in the school’s library and the disruption this misrepresentation has caused, it was determined that he had violated social media and cell phone policies of his employer. Therefore, ESS determined these policy violations made it necessary to part ways with this individual. (emphasis added)

So the problem is not that the teacher was actually wrong, it's that she went public with it. Tober never explained what, exactly, the "misrepresentation" is that Phillips made -- indeed, teachers were in fact stripping books out of their classrooms out of fear. Further, blogger Judd Legum reported that the Duval County school district did, in fact, order all books removed from classroom shleves to be vetted.

Geoffrey Dickens cranked more defense in a Feb. 23 compilation item attacking criticisms of DeSantis' changes in teaching black history, though he offered no reason why the changes needed to be made in the first place. The same day, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg sneered at Florida students who are pushing back against the changes, reading straight from the DeSantis PR handbook:

Walkouts are just about as effective as petitions.

Regardless, Florida college students are planning a walkout for Thursday, Feb. 23, to protest Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) supposed anti-black and anti-gay policies. Yes, this is as dumb as it sounds. 

The Florida College Democrats and Dream Defenders organized the “Stand for Freedom” movement scheduled for noon on the 23rd. It’s in opposition to DeSantis and supposedly as a push to “restore diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in colleges and universities,“ USA Today reported.

In the “Stand for Freedom” statement/sign up sheet, organizers stated that their “education is being tarnished” by DeSantis and added, “He has displayed a pattern of behavior in which he Hijacks School Systems as he did with the New College of Florida. Marginalizes and Dehumanizes The LGBTQ Community, and portrays an abject Disregard Of The Rights Of Students. He says we are being indoctrinated by wokeness, but we say he is using us in his narrative, and destroying our schools to achieve his vision.”

Talk about drama!

Last month DeSantis did introduce a legislative proposal taking a stand against academic discrimination and indoctrination but nowhere did he “hijack” a school system or “dehumanize the LGBTQ community.” 

Despite what critics are saying, the legislation will actually help diversify schools. Florida Lottery Secretary John F. Davis said the proposal will give all students the opportunity to succeed “regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic status."

Written very much like a paid DeSantis operative, not a "media researcher."

A Feb. 25 post by Tim Graham complained that it was pointed out that DeSantis tried to water down content in AP black history curriciulum while the College Board, which governs AP content, was fighting to keep what the Washington Post falled "robust content" in the curriculum, which caused Grahsm to huff: "'Robust content' is a fancy term for overt propaganda." He offered no evidence this was, in fact, the case. Graham also whined that one critic "is a radical leftist who wrote a book celebrating Cedric Robinson, the author of Black Marxism."

Alex Christy spent a March 1 post grumbling that late-night comedy shows made jokes about DeSantis' dictatorial education reforms, .as well as the fact that the Disney-hating governor actually got married at Disney World. Christy found no humor here of course, insisting that "Disney changed in the time since DeSantis got married."

Christy then groused in a March 3 post:

MSNBC has officially run out of original thoughts. On Thursday’s Alex Wagner Tonight, the eponymous host and Columbia Journalism School Dean Jelani Cobb came together to agree with Critical Race Theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a fascist.


While the current segment was mostly about the university system, the interview Wagner referenced was about the A.P. African-American Studies controversy making it a bit ironic that MSNBC frequently says Critical Race Theory is a made up controversy while citing one of its most famous advocates to call people fascists.

Actually, a state-mandated prohibition against certain things being taught in school because they are believed to run counter to that government's political agenda -- was is the case with the irrational ban on CRT -- seems to be the very definition of fascism.

Graham returned to whine in a March 7 post when an actual historian -- something neither Graham nor DeSantis are -- called out thegovernor's education dictates:

"Renowned” PBS filmmaker Ken Burns appeared on Tuesday’s CNN This Morning to rain fire on Gov. Ron DeSantis over a bill in the Florida legislature to mandate some boundaries on how taxpayer-funded universities teach American history. In the fevered brain of this PBS star, DeSantis is somehow comparable to both the Nazis and the Soviets. CNN loved this, and didn’t blink at this blatant misinformation from a "treasured chronicler."


Burns told CNN “All of these bills that DeSantis and others are doing limit our ability to understand who we are and they are not inclusive, they are exclusive. They are narrowing the focus of what is and isn’t American history. It’s terrifying. It feels like a Soviet system or the way the Nazis would build a Potemkin village,” Burns said. 

He threw in Fox News to please his CNN hosts. “Tucker Carlson’s doing the same thing with the footage from 1/6. It’s just a kind of rewriting of history at the most dangerous level. It’s a huge threat to our Republic.”

When Burns noted that he learned from researching the Holocaust that "it's easy to make a person other," Graham huffed in response: "So conservatives are like genocidal Nazis and Soviets....and we shouldn’t create an “other.” Does that make any sense?" No less sense than the mindless right-wing demonization of CRT and portraying LGBT people as "the other: that is the foundation of DeSantis' education changes.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 28, 2023 6:29 PM EDT
WND Hypes Bogus Numbers Regarding Purported BLM Donations
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written March 15 WorldNetDaily article declared:

Online, Black Lives Matter calls itself a "decentralized political and social movement" that campaigns over racism and racial inequality.

It focuses on "police brutality and racially motivated violence against black people."

However, there are corporate entities within the movement, that exist legally, and have bank accounts, and spend money on their campaigns.

Because a new report from Breitbart reveals that the BLM "movement and related causes received an astonishing $82.9 billion from corporations."

Citing a database assembled by the Claremont Institute, the report said BLM and its "related causes" got $82.9$ billion donated by corporations.

"The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life explained the necessity of their report in an article published in Newsweek, where the Center asserted that the 2020 BLM movement was about more than just 'rioting and destruction.' The Center explained that 'The BLM pressure campaigns, harassment, and moral blackmail also amounted to possibly the most lucrative shakedown of corporate America in its history.'"

The report noted the sum was "more than the GDP of 46 African countries."

The report described how the evidence shows "several popular corporations from a wide range of different industries supplied the movement with large sums of cash. Walmart, for example, which is based in Arkansas, gave a whopping $100 million in support of BLM and related causes focusing on 'racial equity.' Amazon gave even more, supplying the movement with an astonishing $169.5 million. Silicon Valley Bank gave the movement $73.45 million."

Just one little problem: This isn't true. As reported, the far-right Claremont Institute dishonestly portrayed anything that helped black people as part of BLM -- such as "a need-based scholarship program, a commitment to lend to and support underserved borrowers, and a program to match employees’ charitable donations" -- and Silicon Valley Bank donated no money to BLM itself:

When we reached out to the institute for more details, as we said, we were provided with a statement that said, in part (emphasis theirs), “Claremont’s BLM Funding Database tracks contributions and pledges made to the BLM movement and related causes, which we define on our database as organizations and initiatives that advance one or more aspects of BLM’s agenda, and which were made in the wake of the BLM riots of 2020.”

Even so, it’s a stretch to include a needs-based college scholarship fund as a donation to “the BLM movement and related causes.” Similarly, including a pledge to increase economic diversity through a program the bank, itself, initiated also suggests that the threshold for what goes into the database is overly broad.

And, importantly, the database shows no contributions from SVB went to BLM.

Claremont's claim that Walmart gave $100 million to BLM is equally fraudulent, as Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall documented:

Claremont reports that Walmart pledged $100 million to “BLM,” $14 million of which has already been granted.

According to the cited document recipients include American Heart Association (AHA), Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund ($5 million); U.S. Vaccine Adoption Grants; The King Center; and the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE).

Again, for Claremont, it’s Black-people adjacent, so that’s BLM.

The Daily Beast pointed out even more dishonesty in Claremont's database, noting that if flagged money given by cereal maker Kellogg for mental health treatment in underserved communities was treated as part of BLM: "For Claremont, providing mental wellness services to Black kids is a BLM 'related cause,' which on its own shows how unscrupulous and dishonest the mission behind its database is."

So WND is lying to its readers by claiming, as its headline does, that "billions and billions" have gone to BLM, or that organizations dedicated to helping black people are a direct part of BLM. Indeed, no apparent attempt to update or correct the article has been made since it was published, despite those lies being exposed. But WND doesn't care about facts -- it cares about narrative, and hating BLM is the narrative, not reporting accurately and fairly about it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EDT
MRC Distorts CNN Town Hall To Make Youngkin A Victim
Topic: Media Research Center

When Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin took part in a town hall on CNN in March, Media Matters pointed out that it was largely about building up national name recognition for Youngkin, who has presidential ambitions:

On Thursday, CNN hosted a town hall for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, giving the Republican a national platform to continue his crusade against trans inclusion and so-called “critical race theory.”

CNN’s town hall, moderated by anchor Jake Tapper, was advertised as “The War Over Education With Governor Glenn Youngkin” and aimed to address education as it “continues to spark debate and conversation across the country.” Ahead of the event, Youngkin published an op-ed on the CNN website in which the governor boasted about Virginia schools and spoke about the importance of parent involvement, including “direct input on education performance standards and proposed policies.”

While the event’s stated purpose was tackling “the issues that matter the most to families in Virginia and across the nation,” the platform CNN gave to Youngkin more closely resembled PR for the relatively new politician than a well-rounded discussion. Youngkin’s official Twitter account repeatedly promoted the town hall, sharing excerpts from the event. 

The timing of this town hall is especially curious as Youngkin is rumored to be likely to join a crowded field of candidates vying for the 2024 Republican Party presidential nomination. Much like his multistate tour last year, Youngkin’s CNN town hall gives him the opportunity to boost his national name recognition — a particularly important task given that a Monmouth University poll from last month showed that 56% of GOP voters had no opinion or had not heard of him.

Media Matters went on to note that Youngkin's questioners gave him an opportunity to defend his right-wing policies (when he responded to the questions at all):

During the town hall, a high school band director asked Youngkin if he thinks state school boards have “an unspoken culture of racism and implicit bias against teachers of color within school districts.” In response, the governor lamented, “We’ve found ourselves in a moment where we're allowing ourselves to be pitted against one another in all things. And we all of a sudden find that everything has to be viewed through a lens of race. I don’t think we should ignore our past; I think we should know it.” 

When asked by a teacher about the difference between “teaching CRT in the classroom and the teaching of historical injustices such as slavery and segregation,” the governor largely danced around the question, remarking that “we need to make sure that we are teaching all of our history, the good and the bad,” and fearmongering that Virginia students have fallen victim to “divisive concepts … that were forcing our children to judge one another.” Youngkin also asserted that CRT is “a philosophy that's incorporated in the curriculum.”

Later in the town hall, Youngkin fielded questions about his administration’s anti-trans policies, which he largely defended, pushing for so-called parents’ rights. While addressing a question from a teenage trans boy, Youngkin advocated for the sex separation of “biological girls” and “biological boys” in school sports, stating, “I think sports are very clear. And I don't think it's controversial. I don't think that biological boys should be playing sports with biological girls. There's been decades of efforts in order to gain opportunities for women in sports. And it's just not fair.”

As Wonkette snarked about the town hall: "Youngkin may have never run for office before throwing his hat in the gubernatorial ring in 2021, but he already excels at the politician’s skill of giving long-winded, rambling answers that don’t quite address the question he was actually asked."

By contrast, the Media Research Center is so ensconced in the right-wing bubble that it reflexively portrayed Youngkin as a victim for even appearing on CNN and insisted that all questions asked of him were hostile and biased. A March 10 post by Kevin Tober repeatedly raged that Youngkin wasn't given the kind of softballs he'd get if he appeared on, say, Fox News:

Thursday night's CNN Town Hall with Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin went exactly how you would expect this kind of event to go when a Republican is invited on. As our own Curtis Houck wrote on Twitter late Thursday night, a CNN Town Hall is "guaranteed to be a foot massage if you're a Democrat and [an] ambush if you're a Republican." Sadly, the latter happened to Youngkin as both Tapper and his hand-picked questioners from the audience asked a variety of nasty, partisan, and downright dumb questions. 

You knew from the very first audience question that Youngkin was in for a long night when a self-identified Republican Virginia teacher named Michelle Wingfield began whining to the Governor that she's not paid enough. "If education is supposed to be such a high priority in Virginia, why are teachers, which as you know are so hard to come by right now, so underpaid?", Wingfield bemoaned. 

Youngkin, who was respectful and patient throughout the entire ordeal calmly responded that during his "first year, we were able to pay teachers more and deliver on that promise. A 5 percent raise last year, another 5 percent raise this year for 10 percent over a two-year period." 

Next, it was CNN moderator Jake Tapper's turn to be obnoxious by playing dumb on the topic of kids being taught the racist leftist ideology "Critical Race Theory" and harassing Youngkin about examples of what he considers "an inherently divisive concept that you think should not be taught in Virginia schools?" 

"What do you say to a teacher who wants to teach any one of any number of scholars who say that the condition of black Americans today can be traced all the way back to Ft. Monroe in 1619?" Tapper said while he continued to harass Youngkin on the topic.

Then came one of the dumbest questions of the night. Tapper introduced a man named Tyron Barnes who sought to create a controversy over a problem that by and large doesn't exist by asking Youngkin if he thinks "there's an unspoken culture of racism and implicit bias against teachers of color within school districts nationwide." 

Tober made sure to display his transphobia, sneering that the transgender teen who asked Youngkin a question merely "claimed to be a "transgender man" and that "Later on, Tapper joined in and became a trans activist himself by doing his fake "just asking questions" routine." He also accused another question of being a "fake Republican." But he said nothing about Youngkin needed to build name recognition for his political ambitions, which is why he agreed to do the town hall in the first place.

Tober clearly has a mandate from his employer to portray longtime target CNN as a bully and Republicans like Youngkin as victims, and that's exactly what he did here -- to the point of misrepresenting what actually happened at the town hall. That's tbe power of the right-wing media bubble's reality distortion field.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2023 1:40 PM EDT
CNS Took Even More Shots At Pelosi Before Shutting Down

Nancy Pelosi remained a target of as she left House Democatic leadership and even months afterward, when she was merely serving as a congresswoman. A anonyously written March 31 article complained that Pelosi issued a "faulty tweet" upon Donald Trump's indictment by claiiming that "everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence," huffing in response: "Uh, trials are not about 'proving innocence.' In our system of justice, defendants are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty." That was followed by an April 3 article by Craig Millward asserting that "Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said Saturday that former President Donald Trump is 'innocent until proven guilty' on Saturday, apparently contradicting a claim made last week by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)"

Another anonymous article, on April 5, groused:

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) moderated a public conversation with former First Lady and Sen. Hillary Clinton at Columbia University on April 3 and talked about how much she admired what Clinton had done for “our children.”

“People ask me what are the three most important issues facing the Congress, and I always say the same thing: Our children, our children, our children,” said Pelosi.

“And no one has done more in every aspect of her public and private life for our children, our children, our children, than Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton,” said Pelosi.

The anonymous writer of an April 7 article seemed to be complaining that Pelosi doesn't hate transgender people like CNS does:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) sent out a tweet on March 31 to celebrate “International Transgender Day of Visibility” and condemn those whom she said “target trans people with hateful laws.”

“On #TransDayOfVisibility, it is with pride I join in declaring: we see you, we’re with you—and we won’t rest until you enjoy the love & safety you deserve,” Pelosi said in her tweet.

“As extremists target trans people with hateful laws, let us work for a future free of fear, violence and discrimination,” Pelosi said.

It wouldn't be CNS if the more-Catholic-than-the-pope folks who ran it weren't taking shots at Pelosi's faith, and the anonymous author of an April 10 article was put out that Pelosi said she wanted to be a priest, a calling from which women are forbidden:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), the former speaker of the House, talked in an interview at Georgetown University last month about speculation that she had wanted to be a priest.

Pelosi was being interviewed by the Rev. Jim Wallis, a protestant clergyman, who served on President Barack Obama’s “White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.” Wallis is now the chairman of Georgetown’s “Center on Faith and Justice.”

“In terms of my being a nun—and they said I want to be a priest,” Pelosi said to Wallis in the interview at Georgetown.

“Imagine, the priest every day, they have the power of the miracle, the mystery—I don’t know if it’s called a mystery but—of transubstantiation, of turning bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ,” said Pelosi. “That is real power. Now, we are talking power.

“And that’s why I was more attracted to that than being a nun,” said Pelosi. “On the other hand, maybe one day women will be able to do that as well. That’s something I’m thinking about; I was hoping the Pope would, too--but anyway.”

A more explicit shot at Pelosi for purportedly being a bad Catholic came in an April 14 article (that, yes, was anonymously written like the others):

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), a Roman Catholic, sent out a series of tweets on Good Friday and Easter that started with a condemnation of a federal judge who issued an injunction against the use of an abortion-inducing pill and ended with her calling people to “prayerfully reflect on the many blessings of our faith."

“Today, an extremist Republican-appointed judge recklessly ruled to block nationwide access to safe and effective abortion medication that has been on the market for decades,” Pelosi said in a tweet on Good Friday.

“Republicans will never rest in their cruel, tyrannical quest to disrespect a woman’s right to choose,” she said.


After these three pro-abortion Good Friday tweets, Pelosi did not tweet again until Easter Sunday.

“Easter is a glorious holiday, as we prayerfully reflect on the many blessings of our faith, family and friendship,” Pelosi said in her Easter tweet. “May this Holy Season serve as a source of renewal and hope for all.

“From my family to yours, Happy Easter!” Pelosi said.

Six days later, CNS published its final articles before being shut down and deleted from the internet. The links above are to copies of the articles in the Internet Archive (where CNS articles remain).

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2023 12:40 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
MRC Helps Trump By Attacking Prosecutor As Soros-Linked
Topic: Media Research Center

As rumors heated up about Donald Trump facing justice, the Media Research Center helped Trump play the victim by attacking district attorney Alvin Bragg, the initital prosecutor Trump would be facing. Kevin Tober devoted a March 19 post to recounting attacks on Bragg by Republican Chris Christie, making sure to tar him further by linking him to the MRC's greatest bogeyman, George Soros:

With the news Saturday that corrupt George Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly ready to charge former President Donald Trump over accusations of "hush money" payments to former porn star Stormy Daniels, on Sunday former DNC chair Donna Brazile during ABC's This Week was ready to paint the entire GOP with being hypocrites on "law & order." Former New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie didn't let her get away with trying to turn the radical left's double standard on crime around on him and the Republican Party. 

During the "PowerHouse RoundTable" discussion, Brazile ironically cried hypocrisy on Republicans using tough-on-crime rhetoric when it's convenient: "This is a party that continues to say that they are for law and order when it suits them. But it doesn't suit them when the crime is gun violence, when the crime is seeing this country suffer from the kind of violence, and crime across the board."

Things immediately got heated when Christie jumped in and let Brazile know "I'm not going to stand up for that."


What Christie said is blatantly obvious to anyone who has visited a major city in recent years, let alone crime-ridden New York City. Thanks to left-wing Soros-backed prosecutors like Bragg, many crimes in New York City are given lenient punishments while the book is thrown at Republicans like Donald Trump. 

In fact, violent crimes have risen so dramatically that the leftist rag The New York Times was forced to report how "major crimes" rose a staggering 22 percent over the past year.

Actually, people who are actual experts in crime statistics (asopposed to partisans like Christie and Tober) poimnt out that crime is decreasing in New York City and that rates for certain crimes are actually higher in Columubus Ohio -- the sdtate from which Republican Rep. Jim Jordan hails -- than in NYC.

A March 20 post by Mark Finkelstein tried to frame any prosecution of  Trump as political: "As for those who deny that this indictment is politically motivated, consider the record of Alvin Bragg, the hyper-liberal Manhattan DA who has expended huge resources on this investigation, grand jury proceedings, and countless more if the case actually goes to trial." Luis Cornelio similarly attacked Bragg as a Soros-linked partisan in a post the next day:

Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney behind the alleged incoming indictment of former President Donald J. Trump, boasted about his ability to prosecute Trump even before taking office as DA.

Bragg touted his experience investigating Trump in an interview with Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” during his run for Manhattan DA. He said prosecuting Trump was “the number one issue.” 


Bragg’s comments and recent rumors that he will indict Trump are unsurprising considering his ties to Soros money, which are under scrutiny. Bragg was elected District Attorney of Manhattan in November 2021 and received over $1 million in aid from the Color Of Change PAC, a group that received funding from leftist mega-donor George Soros, Daily Mail reported on Mar. 20.

The New York Times reported on Jun. 21, 2021, that Soros “pledged $1 million to the super PAC Color of Change, aimed at helping another district attorney candidate, Alvin Bragg.” The Times added that “[a] spokeswoman for the super PAC said that nearly $500,000 had been spent on Mr. Bragg’s behalf” at the time. The Soros-tied Color Of Me PAC pulled out half of that donation after an unnamed woman made a “disturbing allegation” against Bragg. The details of the claims and the woman's identity remain unknown, according to Daily Mail.

Joseph Vazquez hyped the the Soros link in another March 21 post, whining that non-right-wing media weren't parroting the right-wing narrative:

The ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows conveniently ignored mentioning that the district attorney trying to secure an indictment against former President Donald Trump on dubious legal grounds is connected to leftist billionaire George Soros.

George Soros donated $1,000,000 to the racially-charged, defund-the-police group Color of Change PAC on May 14, 2021. Just a few days prior to Soros’ donation, Color of Change PAC announced Alvin Bragg, who would later win his race for Manhattan, New York District Attorney in November 2021.

Vazquez had another anti-Bragg freakout in a March 23 post:

The media hacks at Politico changed an outrageous headline characterizing the George Soros-tied Manhattan District Attorney as an apolitical, “by-the-book” prosecutor.  

Politico conducted a March 20 public relations stunt on behalf of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who’s reportedly set to indict former President Donald Trump based on a seven-year old case. The Politico headline read: “By-the-book DA confronts unpredictable opponent in Trump.” Politico reporter Erica Orden fawned in her anti-Trump agitprop that Bragg was a “low key, politics-averse prosecutor prepar[ing] to take on the brash, mudslinging former president.” Orden must have forgotten that Bragg made prosecuting Trump a centerpiece of his political campaign for the DA position. Also, calling any political figure that’s connected to Soros “politics averse” is just absurd. 

Her headline was later changed to: “Liberal Manhattan DA takes on Trump in perilous legal fight.” However, Orden didn’t appear to mind the irony of doubling down on how Bragg was still supposedly “politics-averse” while simultaneously admitting that Bragg was a “liberal” in the new headline. Orden got heavily ratioed on Twitter for her faux pas.

Vazquez laughably added: "MRC Business reached out to the Manhattan District Attorney’s offices six times for comment, but has received no response as of the publication of this article." Vazquez didn't explain why Bragg would ever want to talk to a right-wing activist like him who's only interested in manufacturing anti-Bragg agitprop.

So desperate is the MRC to attack Bragg that it trotted out an old enemy -- Michael Avenatti, currently in prison -- to trash Bragg's alleged case, even though he cannot possibly know all the details. P.J. Gladnick declared: "Most likely you read here for the first time this analysis by Avenatti about what a weak case Bragg has. Why? Because the mainstream media which formerly couldn't hype Avenatti enough are now shunning him because his analysis acts as a buzzkill to their excitement over a possible Trump indictment." Gladnick didn't explain why he suddenly finds a convicted criminal to be credible.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 PM EDT
Dick Morris Serves Up Faulty Anti-Biden Prognistications For Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

It wouldn't be Dick Morris if he wasn't peddling dubious things that later turn out not to be true because he's selling a book or has to say stuff -- take, to name just one example, his repeated insistence that Republicans would crush the Democrats in the midterm elections (which didn't exactly work out that wah). So let's go back a bit to a Jan. 23 Newsmax article featuring Morris' latest prognostication:

Dick Morris, a political strategist, best-selling author, TV host, and former adviser to presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, believes Ronald Klain's impending exodus as White House chief of staff likely signals that President Joe Biden won't seek reelection in 2024.

Klain "was Biden's everything. [Klain] was Biden's campaign manager when he ran for president. He was Biden's chief of staff as vice president. He's Biden's chief of staff now ... and [Klain] wouldn't be leaving [soon], if he was confident about Biden sticking around," Morris told Newsmax Monday afternoon, while appearing on "American Agenda" with host Bob Sellers.


There are other factors that might dissuade Biden from pursuing the White House again next year, aside from Klain's February exit (reportedly after the State of the Union speech). Morris said it's a combination of the documents saga, and Trump "surging" in a recent poll that his him holding a sizable lead (6 percentage points) over Biden — if they squared off in a hypothetical general election 22 months from now.

If Biden's job-approval numbers continually hover around 36%, "he ain't running," said Morris, host of Newsmax's "Dick Morris Democracy."

Of course, Biden announced his bid for re-election this week, making this yet another failed Morris prediction.

Morris loves to tell right-wingers what they want to hear about Biden. Indeed, he did that one week earlier:

Dick Morris said Monday on Newsmax that it is "evident to everybody," even among Democratic strategists, that President Joe Biden is "very flawed politically."

Joining "Rob Schmitt Tonight," Morris argued that the current political moment for Biden mirrors former President Lyndon B. Johnson's persistent unpopularity that eventually led him to duck out of the 1968 election.

Biden's "disapproval rating has been so high. He's been underwater for the last two years, almost since he took office. And they all know that the emperor has no clothes, but everybody says he has clothes because they don't want to be embarrassed," Morris stated.

That came in the midst of the Biden classified document frenzy Newsmax and other right-wing outlets were on about. And Morris invoked that too: "With the Biden documents, the bad news is that he might have committed a security breach. The best interpretation is that he's senile and forgot where he had them. Neither one is very good to run for president."

Morris, of course, served up Biden-bashing prognostication about that in a Jan. 25 article:

Political author Dick Morris believes the slow trickle of news about President Joe Biden having classified documents in his possession will be the end of his reelection campaign.

"I think it's very possible that Biden drops out of this race. I think when it fully metastasizes and the details about Hunter [comes out] — it may end Biden's candidacy," Morris told "American Agenda."

It was around that time that classified documents were found in the possession of former Vice President Mike Pence, causing Newsmax to drop the story.

Morris continued to crank out the Biden attacks to pander to the Newsmax audience:

Morris will apparently tout any Democratic candidate who might be running against Biden on the Democratic side no matter how fringe, as he did in a April 22 article in which he embraced the anti-vaxxer rantings of Robert Kennedy Jr.:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who earlier this month announced his candidacy for the 2024 Democrat presidential nomination, is a "serious threat" to President Joe Biden, whose advisers are "forcing him into the ring" with an expected campaign announcement next week, political adviser and bestselling author Dick Morris said on Newsmax Saturday. 

Kennedy's appeal is "nonpolitical," Morris said on Newsmax's "Saturday Report."

"He's running, if anything, to the right of Biden, against all of this spending legislation."

Kennedy, an environmental attorney, gained nationwide attention with his opposition to mandatory COVID vaccinations, particularly with children, said Morris.

"He cites the amazing fact that one out of every 1,000 vaccinations results in a serious adverse consequence [with] adults and an even higher number for children," said Morris.

He also seems willing to abandon the premise of his most recent book -- that Hillary Clinton will push Biden out of the way and run for president in 2024 -- if a different and slightly more plausible person can be substituted, which he did for a Feb. 13 article:

President Joe Biden would be "toast" in his 2024 reelection bid if former first lady Michelle Obama decides to run, according to presidential adviser Dick Morris on Newsmax.

"The question is will Michelle Obama run? Because if she does, Biden can't run," Morris told Monday's "American Agenda." "He's totally dependent on the Obama machine. She would monopolize the African American vote. [Democrats] just [rearranged] the primaries so that the Black vote is decisive by putting South Carolina first.

"And I believe that if Michelle runs, Biden is toast."


"She has the Obama machine behind her, [that] I think, essentially controls the Democratic Party," he said. "This is a question of the puppet turning on the puppeteer."

Never mind, of course, that Michelle Obama has expressed absolutely no interest in running for president or in politics in general. Then again, as we've seen, Morris is not one to let facts get in the way of his talking point of the day.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2023 7:50 PM EDT
WND Still Trying To Defend Ivermectin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily just can't stop defending ivermectin as a treatment for COVID, despite the fact that reputable medical professionals agree that it doesn't actually work against the virus (given that it's actually an anti-parasitic drug). An anonymously written March 17 article was the latest to give it a shot:

When COVID-19 apparently came out of a Chinese lab that had been experimenting, with U.S. support, on bat coronaviruses, there was an immediately search for treatments – even as pharmaceutical corporations were developing their billion-dollar experimental shots.

One anti-parasitic treatment that already was available, but mostly used in the veterinary industry, was ivermectin.

Testimonials arose about how it was effective, even though federal officials, celebrities and others condemned it. They publicly ridiculed those who would use a "horse paste," even though that was only one form of ivermectin.

Later, according to the Asahi Shimbun, Kowa Co., the huge Japanese pharmaceutical company, confirmed ivermectin proved an "antiviral effect" against Omicron and other coronavirus variants.

Now a new report by Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson reveals Anthony Fauci, who was Joe Biden's controversy-mired adviser on COVID-19, and others, apparently suppressed a recommendation at the outset of the pandemic that it be used against the killer.

Attkisson reported government watchdog Judicial Watch obtained paperwork from the Department of Health and Human Services that included emails of then-Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins.

Some of the comments were about a British group's recommendations on using the drug ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Attkisson is an anti-vaxxer who promoted the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, so her work on the subject perhaps shouldn't be trusted.But was this alleged recommendation for ivermectin that Fauci ignored?

Attkisson reported, "In February 2021, a leading British physician and World Council for Health co-founder Dr. Tess Lawrie, who is director and founder of a doctors’ organization called the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group (BIRD), emailed 31 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials, including the Director of the Offfice of New Drugs in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Peter Stein; Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director Peter Marks; and then-Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock; and copying several leading foreign medical figures, with an email titled 'URGENT: The BIRD meeting and recommendation on COVID-19 prevention and treatment.'"

It included a list of related subjects, including concerns, adverse events, and more, regarding COVID-19.

Lawrie is an anti-vaxxer and ivermectin obsessive who we last saw here being cheered by WND for haranguing a researcher for retracting his previous endorsement of ivermectin after realizing how shoddy the research supporting the drug as a COVID treatment really was. Given that the panel's name was the "British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group," it seemed that it would find a way to recommend the drug no matter what.

The anonymous WND writer didn't mention any of that, of course. Instead, a few standard right-wing (and anti-vaxxer) anti-Fauci attacks were inserted: "Fauci even now, as a private citizen after his retirement, continues to blow the horn for more and more boosters to follow up the initial round of vaccinations that the government purchased from drug makers and mandated for Americans in many situations during COVID. That's despite the fact those have been linked to serious side effects, often heart-related complications that have proven fatal."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: January-February 2023
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center started the new year with the same tired attacks on White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, adding "inept" to the insult repertoire. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
MRC Attacks Gun Violence Stats That Make Guns Look Bad
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the things the Media Research Center loves to do in order to distract from gun violence is quibble about how incidents of gun violence are counted -- and specifically attacking the statistics used by the Gun Violence Archive and cited by (non-right-wing) media outlets. Nicholas Fondacaro played this card after one mass shooting in a Jan. 24 post (boldface in original):

Since the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California on Saturday, viewers of English and Spanish broadcast networks have seen the reported number of mass shootings in the United States jump from 33 to 39 in just three days. And as CBS Morning’s co-host Nate Burleson put it on Tuesday, “my logic says that has to be wrong, those numbers have to be exaggerated, and they are not.” But Burleson should’ve listened to his logic because his instinct was correct. Yet, these networks have also ignored a recent study that shows an average of 1.67 million defensive gun uses per year.

In the last three days, the liberal broadcast networks and Spanish-language networks have cited the anti-gun Gun Violence Archive (GVA) 20 times. From Sunday morning to Tuesday morning (January 22-24) the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) cited the Gun Violence Archive 9 times during their morning and evening flagship newscasts. Telemundo and Univision cited GVA 11 times (including on their noon and late-night newscasts).

But as NewsBusters reported last year, Gun Violence Archive was not to be trusted because they inflate their numbers with an overly broad definition of mass shootings that doesn’t take into account certain facts like motive, location, type of crime, and the shooter. Even respected mass killings researchers don’t trust GVA’s numbers because they make most incidents look like public massacres.

Fondacaro is lying when he claims the GVA's numnbers are "untrustworthy" -- the GVA has made its methodology public. He simply doesn't like the numnbers being high because they don't make right-wing pro-gun agendas look good. Indeed, he tried to spin things in an attempt to make guns look good: "While the liberal media is intent on trampling on the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms with false statistics on mass shootings, they’re flat-out ignoring an academic study from Georgetown University that shows 'guns are used defensively by firearms owners in approximately 1.67 million incidents per year.'" Of course, defensive uses of guns mean nothing when guns are also used to kill -- not that Fondacaro will admit that, of course.

Fondacaro lashed out at the GVA and someone citing its numbers in a post two days later:

In response to a teacher getting shot by a 6-year-old in a Virginia school, where officials blatantly ignored multiple warnings that the kid had a gun that day, ABC co-host Joy Behar lashed out at law-abiding gun owners and other gun rights activists via The View on Thursday. She accused those millions of Americans of having a “mental illness” and demanded they “be stopped immediately.”

“We need to grow up,” Behar sneered at America while dubiously asserting that “[w]e're between Venezuela and Brazil with the most mass shootings.” “There were 40 mass shooting it in the first 24 days of this year,” she falsely proclaimed, parroting a statistic from Gun Violence Archive that NewsBusters has debunked multiple times.

Again, the GVA numbers are not "false" and have not been "debunked."

Fondacaro complained about a different set of numbers he didn't like in a Jan. 31 post:

In a supposed “fact-check” on Tuesday, Washington Post editor and “fact checker” Glenn Kessler published an analysis to tackle the understood notion that a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. But the piece, titled “ What’s more common: A ‘good guy’ without a gun — or with one?”, muddied the waters and argued that the data is incomplete and inconclusive.


Kessler’s premise was flawed from the beginning; he narrows the cases to just mass shootings and limits who classifies as a good guy with a gun. Suggesting “neither is the norm,” he explains that he’ll be relying on the FBI’s data for this analysis, which he admits excludes armed intervention from security and police personnel (A.K.A good guys with guns):

Fondacaro did praise Kessler for citing numbers manufactured by right-wing research John Lott, then got mad he ultimately dismissed his numbers:

But Kessler does cite gun rights researcher John R. Lott Jr., who had compiled his own list “of more than 100 instances between 2014 and 2021, linked to news reports, when a citizen with a lawful firearm ended an active-shooting situation.”

But Kessler casts doubt on this too: “Lott has his own bias. He keeps track only of the active-shooter incidents that someone with a weapon has ended. So a list including instances when a person without a firearm ended the shooting could also be higher.”

The rest of the article largely examines the discrepancies between the lists, including conflicting arguments on which cases classify as mass shootings. Kessler ultimately throws up his hands:

Fondacaro repeated his praise of the Georgetown defensive-use study and took another shot at the GVA numbers, this time whining they were "inflated."

In the wake of the Nashville massacre, Curtis Houck took a whack at the numbersd again in a March 30 post:

CBS co-host, Democratic donor, and Obama family friend Gayle King opened the show’s “Eye Opener” by touting First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to Nashville “amid passionate pleas on Capitol Hill for changes to gun laws.” After that, CBS played a clip of [Rep. Jamaal] Bowman’s staged meltdown in which he asked whether Massie was “listening to what I’m saying.”

King circled back to this again in the show after a segment on the grief-stricken community, lamenting that “any change to our gun laws is still a tough sell” for those odious Republicans “[d]espite more than 130 mass shootings this year.” Without a credit, King sighted the Gun Violence Archive, which we’ve repeatedly took to task for cooking their books.

The GVA can't possibly be "cooking their books" when its methodology is public.

Fondacaro whined about yet another set of gun violence numbers he disapproved of in an April 12 post:

The liberal media are all for live fact-checks and dishing out Pinocchios when they’re targeting conservatives, but their obsessive desire to nitpick and say “It’s accurate, but…” goes right out the window when it’s for their agenda. This was the case on Wednesday’s CBS Mornings when they pushed a dubious “gun violence” study from the Kaiser Family Foundation that wrapped firearm accidents, suicides, and defensive uses together with mass shootings and crime for an anti-gun rights message.

“A shocking new survey reveals just how widespread gun violence is in this country. Just listen to these numbers,” co-anchor and Obama’s vacation pal Gayle King demanded of viewers, “early one in five adults, one in five, say they have had a family member killed with a gun.”

But according to the “key findings” of the study, that number also includes people who have committed suicide, something any honest observer wouldn’t think should be included under a banner that conjures images of mass shootings and gang shootouts.


Historically, roughly 65 percent of gun deaths in America are suicides but KFF uses outlier data from 2020-2021 to claim “about half of deaths (55%) in the U.S. involving guns are suicides.” Meanwhile, we saw crime start to rise during that same time.

It's almost as if Fondacaro doesn't think gun suicides should be counted as "real" deaths -- and that any numbers that don't mesh with right-wing narratives must be dismissed as "dubious."

Fondacaro used an April 17 post to dismiss a gun-related poll he didn't like:

As part of their Monday coverage of a tragic mass shooting at an Alabama birthday party, CBS Mornings revealed the results of new a CBS News/YouGov poll that purportedly showed 62 percent of Americans were in favor of a ban on AR-15s. Those findings flew in the face of similar recent polling that showed growing opposition to a ban.

Announcing the results was socialist co-host Tony Dokoupil, who was excited that 62 percent of respondents wanted the ban. “Well, more than 60 percent of Americans are in favor of an outright ban on AR-15 semi-automatic rifles. That's the type of gun used in school shootings in Nashville and Uvalde and so many other places,” he boasted.

But the findings didn’t mesh with a February ABC News/Washington Post poll that found only 47 percent supported a ban while 51 percent opposed it. And as The Reload’s Jake Foglemanmreported, ABC’s results were the latest in a series of polls that showed opposition to an assault weapons ban was growing in momentum.

The Reload is a right-leaning pro-gun website, so of course Fondacaro doesn't disclose its bias.

(Fondacaro's alleged evidence that Dokoupil is a "socialist," by the way, is a link to a segment he did three years ago explaining the inequitable distribution of wealth in the U.S. No evidence was offered that the segment represented Dokoupil's personal views.)

Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2023 10:27 PM EDT
WND Plays Victim After Getting Dinged By Facebook For Spreading COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is feeling victimized after it got caught peddlingh more misinformation. Managing editor David Kupelian wrote in a letter to WND's mailing list that has been sent in a few versions over the past few weeks:

Dear friend of WND,

They never stop.

Last week, Facebook threatened to completely unpublish WND's Facebook page – after 14 years of daily maintaining and updating our page, which close to a million readers use to access WND’s top stories daily.


Why would Facebook cut off America’s oldest independent Christian online news organization?

The reason, according to Facebook, is a column we published on April 5 by Joel Hirschhorn, a well-known expert on COVID-19 and author of “Pandemic Blunder.” It seems Facebook’s “fact-checkers” didn’t like the column, which started like this: “Looks like there has been massive under-counting of COVID and vaccine deaths. A new poll by Rasmussen has some data that validates what many of us already believe, namely that the vaccines are dangerous, not ‘safe and effective’ and need to be pulled from the market immediately.”

Oops, can’t have that! Not when Big Tech, which has both enforced and participated in the massive lying and deception campaign regarding COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, still wants to protect the reputation and viability of the “vaccines,” not to mention the immense financial interests of Big Pharma.

Actually, Hirschhorn is not a "well-known expert" on COVID -- he's a serial misinformer who spreads false information about COVID and its vaccines. And as we've documented, Hirschhorn's column did much more than report the results of a (biased) poll -- he used the poll to falsely fearmonger about the vaccines and sow mistrust in health experts (which Hirschhorn, again, is not):

Please keep in mind that it is now widely accepted by those who follow the data that the COVID vaccines available in the United States do not prevent infection, replication, or spread of SARS-CoV-2, and do not prevent either hospitalized disease or death from COVID-19. Given these facts, references to these biologic medical products as "vaccines" is merely propaganda. They clearly do not "vaccinate" in the classic sense. But they make billions of dollars for vaccine makers.


More than three years after "15 days to slow the spread" of COVID-19, most voters have less trust in government health experts – and in the news media, too.

That sort of misinformation is likely why WND got dinged for promoting Hirschhorn's column. Nevertheless, Kupelian was in full victim monde and he went on to peddle misinformation about the COVID virus' origin:

Fast forward to today, when fully THREE YEARS LATER, the U.S. government recently conceded – FINALLY – that what WND reported in early 2020 and continuously ever since, was absolutely right. That is, the COVID-19 pandemic really did originate in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Chinese communist military scientists were conducting controversial and reckless research on bat coronaviruses – to purposely make them even more lethal and deadly to human beings. They succeeded. And all secretly funded by you, the U.S. taxpayer, courtesy of mad scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Of course, as we all know, Fauci then proceeded to become the architect of America’s disastrous pandemic response, which he got largely from China. Indeed, virtually everything Fauci decreed for America – from lockdowns, school closures and masks, to unproven-and-dangerous “vaccines,” “boosters” and mandates, to attacks on safe-and-effective ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as well as natural immunity – were not only wrong, but epically and catastrophically wrong.

In fact, recent claims that the virus originated at Wuhan are still far from conclusive. The baseless self-aggrandizement continued:

I don’t say all this in the spirit of boasting, but in the spirit of upholding journalistic truth: WND was right on every single one of these issues from Day One, including the actual origin of the virus, the mass denial of which some are now calling “the greatest cover-up in history.”

Big Government, Big Tech, Big Media, Big Education, Big Business – even Big Medicine – were complicit in the cover-up.

But WND faithfully showcased the tiny handful of enlightened and heroic frontline doctors who were championing the forbidden truth about COVID and how best to manage it. We conducted groundbreaking video interviews with courageous physicians like Dr. Peter McCullough, Dr. Vladimir Zalenko [sic], Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Ryan Cole and many others, and we published regular columns by Joel Hirschhorn (a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons), all of whom were proven right.

And we delivered their lifesaving message to you, day in and day out – over the last three years throughout the pandemic. Despite the constant attacks from Google, Facebook, Newsguard, the Southern Poverty Law Center and others.

Given that WND is much better known for the torrrent of misinformation it has published regarding COVID -- uncritically quoting misinformers like Zelenko, McCullough, Malone and Cole -- Kupelian's claim that it has been "upholding journalistic truth" on COVID is a laughable falsehood.

(Also, the only person calling  COVID "the greatest cover-up in history" was right-wing writer Ben Shapiro, whose column Kupelian linked to.)

Kupelian went on to tout how "Our reporting on how the 2020 election was rigged – something recent Twitter revelations, courtesy of Elon Musk, now PROVE beyond any rational dispute" -- which, of course, is also a lie -- and ranted about "the demonic LGBT/transgender recruiting and grooming craze victimizing America’s children." This was followed, of course, by a money beg "to cover our costs and make payroll for our fantastic group of journalists, all of whom have taken significant pay cuts and missed paychecks entirely, yet who have stayed with us for the past two decades!"

If WND's remaining writers are serving up WND's right-wing propaganda essentially for free, that tells us that WND might be a bit of a cult. Normal people would rather work for someone who pays them what they are owed.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2023 8:20 PM EDT
How Is Newsmax Fawning Over Trump These Days?
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax remains Trump-fluffer central (in case you were worried otherwise). For instance, it cranked out articles hyping Trump's visit to East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a train derailement that released chemicals in the area) even though no member of the Trump administration ever visited the site of a train derailment during his presidency).

Newsmax also generated a plethora of articles out of Trump's March speech at CPAC. The main article by Sandy Fitzgerald gushed that in his "highly awaited speech," Trump "spoke out about the 'battle for our lives' against both Democrats and establishment Republicans, and told an enthusiastic crowd that they have been engaged 'in an epic struggle to rescue our country from the people who hated it and want to absolutely destroy it.'" That was followed by numerous sidebars covering not only the speech but a interview Trump did with Newsmax during CPAC and other CPAC-related things:

In the midst of all this CPAC activity, Fitzgerald even wrote up an article on how Trump congratulated adviser Kellyanne Conway for getting divorced from her husband, George Conway, "a frequent Trump critic."

In the midst of its hysteria over Trump's (initially failed) prediction he would be "arrested," Newsmax also generated several articles out of a March 25 Trump campaign rally in Waco. Texas:

Newsmax's Rob Schmitt did an "esclusive phone interview" with Trump on March 24, and that led to more article generation:

It seemed no Trump utterance was too minor to devote a "news" article to. Here are some of the bits of stenography Newsmax has done for Trump since the beginning of the year:

It did post the occasional negative article about Trump, such as "Trump, Lawyer Fined for 'Frivolous' Suit Against Hillary Clinton" and "Trump Withdraws Lawsuit Against NY AG James." Still, Newsmax is very much Trump-fluffing central.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2023 9:31 AM EDT

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