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Thursday, May 25, 2023
MRC's Whataboutism On Fox News-Dominion Settlement Continued
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center found even more ways to minimize and play whataboutism over Fox News paying Dominion $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit. An April 22 "flashback" post by Rich Noyes complained that Fox News has always been a target of the "liberal media":

Fox News’s liberal competitors are happy at this week’s news that the network will pay nearly $800 million in damages to settle a lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, but they are sad that the settlement means they won’t be able to jab Fox with the daily negative headlines they could hope for from a trial.

“Capitalism won. Dominion won. Did democracy get anything out of this?” CNN’s John King whined on Wednesday’s Inside Politics. By “democracy,” of course, King was referring to CNN’s (and the larger liberal media’s) anti-Fox agenda.

This disdainful attitude has been a feature of the media’s treatment of their rival since Fox News debuted in 1996. That year, Los Angeles Times TV writer Howard Rosenberg sneered at Fox News boss Roger Ailes for building a news organization around “the ditsy notion of the media having perverted the United States by being a cesspool of lefty ideologues.”


A quick reminder: For 85 consecutive quarters (21.25 years), Fox News has been the most-watched cable news network in prime time.

Of course, "liberal media" critiques have nothing to do with Fox News choosing to lie to its viewers about election fraud, and popularity does not equal moral superiority as Noyes seems to suggest.

Mark Finkelstein spent an April 24 post complaining that a Dominion lawyer said the settlement doesn't restore the company's reputation that was destroyed by lies from right-wingers (like Fox News):

Cry me a river—788 million miles long!

On Katie Phang's Saturday show on MSNBC, Stephen Shackelford, a lead lawyer for Dominion Voting Systems, echoed the claim by the company's CEO that the settlement payment of $787.5 million from Fox News was "bittersweet."

In a New York Times op-ed, the CEO, John Poulos, in addition to calling the settlement "bittersweet," actually wrote:

"If we could, we would trade it all in a heartbeat to go back in time to get our reputation back. "

Riight. The entire company was most recently valued at $226 million. The $778 million settlement thus represents more than three times that valuation!  And as for CEO Poulos wanting to get Dominion's reputation back, the company got untold millions in free publicity supporting its reputation. This will turn out to be a windfall for Dominion that goes beyond the huge settlement.

Moreover, the majority owner of Dominion is Staple Street, a private equity firm. They're in the business of making money, not of serving as social-justice warriors. Odds they would have traded $788 million for a more profound apology from Fox News? Precisely zero.

Shackelford added to the farce by saying that the $788 million settlement represented "some measure of compensation" for Dominion. Some?

And then there's the "measure of compensation" for Shackelford and the other Dominion trial lawyers on the case.[...]

It's fair to assume that the lawyers will receive tens of millions in compensation. Hopefully, that will be sufficient to assauge poor Shackelford's "bittersweet" feelings. 

Finkelstein didn't explain where Dominion should go to get its reputation back, or why his ffellow right-wingers won't do their part by admitting they were wrong to spread false conspiracy theories about the company.

In an April 25 post, Clay Waters complained that critics wanted to see evidence that Fox News had learned something from falsely defaming Dominion:

Before the Tucker Carlson stunner, the Jeremy Peters “Media Memo” on the front of Monday’s New York Times Business section was headlined “Will the Fox-Dominion Settlement Affect Its News Coverage? Don’t Count on It." Peters went beyond the embarrassing particulars of the Fox News settlement with Dominion Voting Systems to hint racism at the right-leaning network, and also chided it for not showing “humility” by bowing to Democratic President Biden after the settlement.


Peters’ desire for Fox News to be “humbler or gentler” sounds like code for “tacking leftward.”

Waters then got mad at the Times writer for calling out Fox News for continuing to give airtime to election fraud conspiracy theories:

Peters lamented that Jesse Watters didn't push back on Clay Travis when he claimed Biden “only won by 20,000 votes after they rigged the entire election, after they hid everything associated with Hunter Biden, with the big tech, with the big media, and with the big Democrat Party collusion that all worked in his favor.”

Trump lost the popular vote by seven million votes, but why can't the Times admit they were on the team hiding all the Hunter Biden laptop developments with the Democrats? The Times has admitted the laptop contents were real, so don't Republicans have a reason to complain about suppression?

Peters added "Stories of voter fraud, often exaggerated and unsubstantiated, have been part of the network’s D.N.A. well before 2020. In 2012, Roger Ailes, who founded Fox News with Mr. Murdoch, sent a team of journalists to Ohio to investigate still-unproven claims of malfeasance at the polls after former President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney there."

The paper did not address how it has sent teams of journalists to investigate suspected election fraud in the presidential races in 2000, 2004, and 2016.

All of Waters' whataboutism obscured the fact that he wouldn't criticize Fox News for still spreading lies and conspiracy theories.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2023 10:18 PM EDT
WND Columnists Rant About Trump Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just as WorldNetDaily's "news" side freaked out over Donald Trump's indictment, its opinion side did too. Scott Lively managed to work his homophobia obsession into it in an April 3 column headlined "Trump's arrest is a lefty 'Sieg Heil' to the Rainbow Swastika":

Without Trump we would collectively have slept right through the transition from a Constitutional Republic to a Global Maoist Technocracy under Hillary Clinton – ignoring the shouts of warning from "crack-pot bigots" like myself on the "radical fringe" of society. And that is, of course, why ALL the Woke, and a great many "useful idiots" following their lead, hate Trump with a passion that burns in them like the unquenchable fires of Hell, blinding them to all reason and prudence – to the point that many have abandoned even the pretext of rationality and justice. Trump is America's "Judge" in the truest Old Testament Samsonian sense, and our fate as a nation is inextricably intertwined with his.


Learning from history doesn't necessarily ensure you can avoid its repetitions. You also have to take effective action to stop the bad guys. In this case, it means educating Americans on the centrality of the LGBT agenda to the attack on our system, and the willingness to accept that the only real solution is a restoration of Judeo-Christian religious and cultural norms.

But the person who most needs to learn the history exposed in this article is President Trump, who seems completely ignorant of the fact that his indictment and arrest is above all else a Lefty Sieg Heil to the Rainbow Swastika.

Rachel Alexander was less homophobic, but still worked in a Stalin reference, in her column the same day: 

We are living in an Orwellian era when the formerly most powerful man in the world, who remains very powerful, is being prosecuted in order to stop him from becoming president again. If they can take him down, they can take down any conservative. The left has weaponized lawfare, which started with merely civil lawsuits but has now progressed into disbarring attorneys and prosecution. Once they've gone after Trump through prosecution – even if unsuccessful – it will be easier to go after him again on other charges, and easier to go after any other conservative. And they won't stop there; they'll next go after RINOs and those on the left who side with the right against the abuse of the legal system.


The left is throwing everything they can at Trump in order to stop him from becoming president again. They brought impeachment charges against him twice. The FBI was sent to search his home. More indictments by other prosecutors are expected.

The U.S. is turning into a banana republic with this deterioration of the legal system combined with election fraud determining elections. As Stalin's secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria, famously said, "Show me the man and I'll show you the crime." Similarly, criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate wrote a book, "Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent," which explains how there are so many vague and broad laws now the average person commits three felonies a day and doesn't know it. If they want to get you, they'll figure out a way.

Andy Schlafly manufactured a victimhood narrative in his April 4 column:

By indicting President Trump, the New York County prosecutor is infringing on the First Amendment rights of all Americans. Every American has a right to an unfettered debate and campaign by candidates, including Trump, for our nation's highest elective office.

This indictment interferes with the 2024 presidential election by hampering the full participation of a leading candidate, and the right of Americans to benefit from his undivided attention to his campaign. One Democrat district attorney in Manhattan infringes on all these rights by indicting the front-runner Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

"The freedom to speak and the freedom to hear are inseparable; they are two sides of the same coin," declared Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1972. Democrats are interfering with the right of every American to hear from Donald Trump without distraction by an improper prosecution.


As patriotism declines in polls and millions of immigrants fail to assimilate into our traditional culture, the glue binding our vast country together may have lost some strength. In 1857, the Dred Scott decision arrogantly denied rights to slaves rather than allow the political process to work, and a few years later our nation broke up.

Last we checked, paying hush money to a porn star to cover up an affair is not an act of patriotism. 

Jim Darlington's April 7 column described the purported three-step process behind Trump indictment, which escalates quickly into right-wing conspiracy theories:

Speculation 1: Tar the candidate.

This is the opening salvo of a multi-pronged lawfare campaign. If these parking-ticket-level "offenses" are to be the new standard for Democrat prosecutions, then we can expect the name of Donald Trump to be showing up on any number of dockets 'round the blue states of the nation. The tentative calculus here must be for the communists to watch and see if the algorithm of echoing blind accusations and actual pending charges can be safely deemed sufficient to sink Trump's presidential candidacy.

Speculation 2: Bury the candidate.

But if not … When the backfiring effect of this plan arouses the nation's perception of Trump's heroic martyrdom and his poll numbers hit 60%, we have every right, even every duty, to prepare for the day of the assassins. The battle is boiling down to the division of the godly from the godless, who, in the end, can be trusted to act without a shred of moral hesitation. Sort through the recorded lists of the purported "Arkicides" associated with the Clinton Syndicate, and pause a moment to wonder, "Are these really just a string of coincidences, cooked up by some feckless fool on the loony fringe, or, is there more to see here than we might really care to see?"

Speculation 3: Abolish the nation.

Some of us poor pessimists keep thinking, "This could be our last election." Even every movement of the paranoids is now available to be temporally and spatially monitored. We know where you are, when you are there. The Planned Epidemic proved successful in measuring the American citizenry's massive willingness to submit to federal dictates, based upon spectacular lies. The J6 Reichstag fire was aimed at letting you all know that the feds can make bucking the narrative an act of terrorism, and making you tremble. The escalating outrages by the Biden group are straight-out destructive on one hand, and an invitation to counter-revolutionary conservative violence – which, if big enough, could be answered with martial law. As Dear Leader Joe said, "What good are your AR-15s when we've got F-35s?" Justin Trudeau gave us a shout out from up North, to the effect, "Watch what happens when we seize their bank accounts."

Biden didn't actually say that, despite Darlington putting it in quotes, and neither did Trudeau (who froze, not seized, bank accounts of those behind last year's disruptive trucker protests). And, of course, portraying the Capitol riot as a "Reichstag fire" is wildly dishonest.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023 12:49 AM EDT
MRC Helped Crowder Play The Victim -- But Buried His Victimization Of His Estranged Wife
Topic: Media Research Center

Right-wing podcaster Steven Crowder has long been a key beneficiary of its right-wing victimization narrative, portraying any attempt by tech platfgorms to hold him accountable for his extremism as "censorship." But he also says enough conservatively correct things to keep benefiting. For instance, a March 2022 post by Jeffrey Clark cheered how Crowder criticized Jon Stewart for having money and for using fancy book-learnin' words when talking about climate change:

Political commentator Steven Crowder tore former Daily Show host and multimillionaire Jon Stewart apart for preaching environmental progress but downplaying the cost —  the livelihoods of working people. 

Crowder recently blasted an episode from The Problem with Jon Stewart on the March 16 edition of his show Louder with Crowder. In a roundtable conversation, Stewart’s senior episode producer Reniqua Allen-Lamphere said that there was a need for a “just transition” for coal miners and other blue collar workers who are losing their jobs to the climate change lobby. Stewart responded during his woke new show “The Human Cost of Climate Change,” that “[p]rogress is never fair. And almost never just.” Then he gave the kicker, asking: “How can we give the soft landings to the inevitable destruction that is ancillary to our progress?” Crowder cut the clip and snapped back, “And there it is. Your jobs, your livelihoods, are “ancillary” to ‘our progress.’” He continued, “Is there any more elitist phrase that you’ve ever heard on a program?” Stewart has an estimated net worth of $120 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.


Crowder also dissected the elitist worldview underpinning Stewart’s comments by exposing his tone deaf usage of the word “ancillary.” “What’s under ancillary?” He continued: “The cost of gas, the cost of all energy, the cost to heat your homes, your jobs, right, if you’re working in any kind of an energy sector that isn’t renewable.”


“So right now, we have a bunch of privileged, wealthy people game-planning the entire economy under the guise of climate justice while considering your livelihood and everything therein to be ‘ancillary.’”

“You don’t need a conspiracy,” Crowder said. “That’s the great reset.”

The MRC also touted Crowder's comments on various other subjects, and  it invoked the victim narrative again by complaining that Crowder was among several purportedly "pro-free speech" people and groups (read: right-wing extremists) banned from TikTok.

An April 27 post by Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, however,  surprisingly tiptoed toward criticism of Crowdder by suggesting that Crowder's nasty mockery of a Down syndrome-themed Barbie doll may have gone a teensy bit over the line:

Conservative talk show host Steven Crowder sorta poked fun at the move and joked about Mattel making a doll with Sickle-Cell and added that the doll didn’t look “that downsy” and that the slogan could be "[Barbie] now with more retard.” I think Crowder’s intent was trying to make fun of how Mattel always tries to be inclusive (even and especially about woke crap) but his delivery proved to be insensitive.

Mandelburg's complaint that Crowder was being a tad "insensitive" -- while touting "spicy takes" about the doll by her fellow right-wingers -- was hollow given her own rant that Barbie dolls "regularly show their support for the gays, lesbos and whatever else is part of the alphabet mafia."

Unfortunately for Mandelburg, her tepid critique of Crowder came out the same day that a video surfaced showing Crowder hurling vicious verbal abuse toward his estranged wife, even threatening to "fuck her up." This was followed by Crowder issuing threats against her on his podcast and reports (by the right-wing New York Post, no less) that working for Crowder is not a terribly pleasant experience.

The MRC issued no statement critiicizing Crowder's behavior, of course. The only allusion to it that can be found at the MRC was a May 2 post touting an appearance by MRC executive Tim Graham on Newsmax talking about the firing of Tucker Carlson and leaks about his behavior at the network, with Graham declaring that the leaked Carlson statements don't show that he's a "terrible person," adding, "It's not exactly a 'Steven Crowder with his wife' video." Host Eric Bolling chuckled, declaring that Graham's remark "made me laugh." Ironic, given that Bolling was fired from Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 PM EDT
Priest-Turned-Right-Wing Activist's Final CNS Column Was Weirdly Appropriate

Rev. Michael Orsi -- the Catholic priest who thinks he's a right-wing pundit -- continued to have a space to ply his trade at until it was shut down last month. He served up a laundry list of right-wing talking points in his March 14 column:

There are many signs of malaise in our country at present. For instance, in the post-COVID period, some 2 million people still haven’t returned to active employment. Many have chosen to drift along on what remains of the compensation provided during the pandemic lockdowns and business closings.

Others get by on “gig jobs,” temporary assignments, or parttime, short-term projects, interspersed with government assistance.

Another sign of malaise is the large number of young men in the Generation Z-to Millennial age range who have decided not to pursue marriage. Many (according to some surveys, as high as 60 percent) have even given up dating, choosing instead to spend their time in online gaming and viewing Internet pornography.

Young women, for their part, admit to being lonely, depressed, often angry. A corresponding 60 percent of them are given to contemplating suicide. Their lives too are spent mainly in the online world, where they’re subjected to messages and images that create doubt about their self-worth and make them feel they just don’t (and can never) measure up to unrealistic standards of female perfection.

This leaves them vulnerable to creeps who prowl the Internet in search of confused girls to exploit, often financially, sometimes physically.

These are signs of a society devoid of ambition and teetering on the brink of hopelessness.

Add to all that a pervasive and growing distrust of government and the leadership class, a sense that the stabilizing elements of our society are somehow slipping away, that we’re being manipulated, and important facts about political, economic, and social conditions are withheld from us.

The banking crisis that’s unfolded in the last few days is a good illustration. Surely, this hasn’t come out of nowhere. Why is it such a surprise? Where were the knowledgeable analysts who should have been raising red flags? How were the banks allowed to go so far into dangerous financial territory?

Another example is the lack of clarity about Ukraine. We can’t get a clear picture of what’s happening. We know that thousands of Ukrainians are being killed, along with thousands of Russians. But what progress has our huge investment in arms and support gained? Is this war winnable? Is it just?

Such uncertainties add to our malaise.

Orsi served up CNS-approved transphobia in his March 22 column:

We face an even greater danger when our focus becomes so narrow that we not only downplay negative factors but actually deny what’s real. This becomes a kind of blindness — a distinctly spiritual blindness — one that’s rampant in society today.

That blindness drew attention during the recent International Women’s Day, when First Lady Jill Biden bestowed the State Department’s annual International Women of Courage Awards. According to State’s website, “a group of twelve extraordinary women from around the world” were honored for their work in building “a brighter future for all.”

In particular, award recipient Alba Rueda was described as someone who had shown bravery while being “kicked out of classrooms, barred from sitting for exams, refused job opportunities, subjected to violence, and rejected by her family” for efforts to “end violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ-plus community in Argentina.”

The award raised eyebrows because Alba Rueda is a “transgender woman.” Which is to say: a man.


Defying all reality — not to mention Genesis 1:27 (“male and female He created them”) — a person who was born male, but who believes he’s a woman, received an award intended for females who demonstrate womanly courage. And the citation was validated by no less than the wife of the President.

Surely such a denial of God’s creation is spiritual blindness.

Orsi threw in a reference to "transgender ideology" for good measure -- as if being transgender is like being a Catholic.

Orsi's final CNS column on April 19 -- the day before CNS was abruptly shut down --  was perhaps an unintentional bit of foreshadowing, focusing as it did on how a deceased body should be treated: "It should be buried in a grave that has been properly prepared and protected from disturbance (a practice known technically as inhumation). Or else it should be cremated, the ashes then interred in a permanent enclosure, often referred to as a columbarium." Ironically, the Media Research Center's treatment of CNS -- shutting it down abruptly, apparently firing nearly everyone who was involved in it and not even announcing why it was shut down, even though it was about to mark its 25th anniversary and the fired employees had worked for CNS through much of that time -- shows it inexplicably wants the website to be buried deep in an unmarked grave.

Orsi, presumably, would not approve.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2023 12:27 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
MRC's Graham Tries To Minimize Fox News Settlement With Dominion
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center played a lot of whataboutism in the wake of Fox News deciding to pay $787 million to Dominion rather than go to trial,  and Tim Graham spent his April 19 podcast rehashing what his minions put out earlier that day -- namely, lots of whataboutism and lots of complaining that some were disappointed that Fox News didn't have to apologize to spreading lies about Dominion.It was a bit of an echo of a February podcast in which he similarly played whataboutism as lawsuit filings reveal just how deliberately Fox News lied to its viewers.

Graham's podcast guest was Dan Schneider of MRC's Free Speech America division -- you know, the one that insists that misinformation cannot be defined objectively in such a way that social media can try to counter it without being accused of "censorship." Graham did admit that "it's certainly a bad day for Fox's reputation, it's kind of a bad year for Fox's reputation." Schneider. who claims to be a lawyer, went on attack against "the left" by weirdly arguing: "If you ask any of those people what Fox did, they're not going to tell you -- it's just that Fox lied. How? What was the actual accuation? They don't know, they just want punishment of this media outlet they hate." In fact, the exact evidence has been well documented. Still, Schneider tried to minimize Fox News' actions, which even Graham felt the need to push back on, only to play whaboutism instead -- and then to admit some uncomfortable truths after all this time:

SCHNEIDER: What did Fox do that was so horrible, so horrible that was worth 7.8 or ...  Lou Dobbs tweeted out that his guest, Sidney Powell, said that she has no doubt that Dominion was able to manipulate the vote. All he did was quote that he will have a guest who says this. And that was really worth $787 million.

GRAHAM: I think most of this was them putting on guests who said things they couldn't prove. That is certainly true. Now, I would say this -- Jim Geraghty has a piece at National Review to respond to this in a sense is that, yes, Lou Dobbs on December 10, 2020, tweeted, not on air, "Cyber Pearl Harbor! Sidney Powell reveals groundbreaking new evidence indicating our presidential election came under massive cyberattack orchestrated with the help of Dominion, Smartmatic and foreign adversaries." So to me, yes, "Cyber Pearl Harbor," I mean, you coulds ee where you'd say, well, now you're overdoing it. But wthe whole problem with all of this is, this is all the same stuff they said about Russia in 2016.

SCHNEIDER: Right. So, I don't want to sound like I am flacking for Fox, because Fox basically did the same thing that harmed Donald Trump's own re-election bid, they started reaching out to people like Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis and people who have law degrees but have never actually -- well, Sidney actually did -- was a federal prosecutor for a time, but if you ever hear her legal analysis, it is thin to say the least --  ridiculous, yes. Jenna Ellis, never -- as far as I know she's never actually practiced law, sand he spouts things that cannot be supported. But Fox and then Trump surrounded themselves with people who got them in trouble.

GRAHAM: Yes. And -- I mean -- this was the line that really made sense to me from Jim Geraghty. He said if you choose to believe the 2020 presiential election was stolen, you must believe Fox News agreed to pay $787 million to Domnion in a settlement rather than present any of that evidence.

Not only did Graham nor anyone else at the MRC raise these concerns about Powell, Ellis and the election fraud claims emanating from both the Trump campaign and Fox News -- to the contrary, it uncritically embraced those falsehoods -- it manufactured its own conspiracy theories about the election to claim it was stolen from Donald Trump. We've aldo documented how the MRC tried to insert Powell into its victimhood narrative after she was suspended from social media for spreading election misinformation, so it's a bit rich for Graham and Schneider to finally get around to disavowing her.

Graham went on to dismiss all of that truth-admitting, arguing that Fox News didn't suffer much 'reputational damage" from the settlement because "poeple who think Fox News doesn't do news thought that before, have been thinking that for decades," while "conservatives see this as the latest attempt by the liberal media to undermine Fox News, so there's going to be a rally-around-Rupert effect." He then added: "This won't damage Fox's reuptation -- or let's put it this way: It won't damage people's reliance on Fox to try and balance out what the liberal media does."

In other words, Graham is saying that pushing the correct narratives is more important to conservatives than telling people the truth. And people wonder why anyone should trust Fox News or any other right-wing media outlet, or why the MRC whines so much when NewsGuard points out how untrustworthy right-wing media is.

That was followed by Schneider uniroinically ehashing his employer's conspiracy theory about the 2020 election, which involved buying biased polls from Trump's campaign pollster and the polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to complain that not enough people knew about Hunter Biden's laptop. Graham was happy to echo that conspiracy:

GRAHAM: This is the interesting part, where they'll say we took a poll -- Geraghty says this -- you know, you take a poll and say, "did Biden legitimately win?" I think the key there is the word "legitimately." Because anybody who looks at these polls and says, if there's the risk that if these people had actually reported in real time on the Hunter Biden laptop, that tihs could have changed the election. Obviously, this election was in some states very close, and so, yes, it's quite possible thattjust by hese voters by not voting for Biden, whether or not they voted for Trump, could have affected the results. So I would say, did Biden win? He did, but he won, as we've tried to demonstrate, by suppressing damaging information.

Graham then went the whataboutism route again, complaining yet again about Anita Hill and women who accused Brett Kavanugh of untoward behavior, as well as bringing up the CNN settlement with Nicholas Sandmann.

Graham's April 21 column didn't comment much about the Fox News-Dominion settlement despite that being the news peg it was based on; instead, it was almost entirely whataboutism -- mostly whining about BuzzFeed publishing the Steele dossier (while downplaying the fact that BuzzFeed never presented the dossier as fact), huffily insisting that those who promoted the dossier have no moral standing to criticize Fox News.But if Graham is going to give a pass to Fox News' lies, what moral standing does he have to criticize others?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:46 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnists Try To Defend Clarence Thomas
Topic: Newsmax

Daniel McCarthy spent an April 18 Newsmax column offering a full-throated defense of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas while also barely mentioning the ethics scandal that prompted the column:

Clarence Thomas is an unconquered American.

He refused to let the segregation and poverty into which he was born define his life. He wouldn't let racists impose limits on him.

He also wouldn't let leftists claim ownership of his mind or allegiance simply because they opposed segregation. They were enemies of freedom, too, only from another direction.

Liberals have never forgiven him for refusing their patronage and their leash.


The latest press campaign against Thomas accuses him of failing to disclose gifts from and financial deals with his billionaire friend Harlan Crow, as well as mixing up the names of companies he owns in other financial statements.

What the indignant hype leaves out, however, is that Thomas' compliance with any disclosure rules is purely voluntary. A law that cannot be enforced is at best a suggestion.

This manufactured scandal is an opportunity to dispel a liberal myth and impart a lesson about where sovereignty lies in our nation.


The Supreme Court, like the president, is not a creature of Congress or the agencies it sets up, and the check that the legislature does wield over the judiciary and the executive, impeachment, is itself checked by the people through elections.

Yet liberals know that controlling public perception is the way to direct public opinion. That's why an ideological monopoly on the media is so important — why Fox News has to be smashed and right-ish views of any kind have to be labeled hate or disinformation.

Clarence Thomas answers to no one except, ultimately, the political force of the people. The question is whether the people finally answer to the media or whether they judge for themselves and have the independence of mind that Justice Thomas exemplifies.

Michael Dorstewitz tried his hand at a defense of Thomas in his April 28 column:

Earlier this week CNN thought they had him. They tweeted, "A company related to Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, a longtime friend of Clarence Thomas who paid for lavish trips for the Supreme Court justice and his wife, had business before the Supreme Court in the mid-2000s, records show."

However, CNN’s story destroyed that claim once they got past the headline, admitting that "Crow’s name does not appear in a caption of the case," and "neither Crow nor his company were involved in the matter or discussed it with Thomas."

As a final clincher, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

In fact, the CNN article stated only that Crow's office claimed that Crow was not involved in the case or discussed it with Thomas -- which is not a proven fact, making it much less of a claim destroyer than Dorstewitz would have you believe.Dorstewitz then whined that Thomas was compared to another former Supreme Court justice with ethics issues:

Three days later The Hill ran an opinion piece comparing Thomas to a former high court member.

"Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas showed the way," the column explained. "Caught in the midst of a financial scandal, Fortas did the decent thing and resigned rather than continue to embarrass the court and himself. This is one precedent that Thomas, a notorious iconoclast, should follow."

But the two situations aren’t remotely similar. Fortas accepted $20,000 annual cash payments from a man under investigation for securities violations.

Thomas has a wealthy friend who is not under investigation and with no case pending before the court. He invites Thomas places and the two exchange gifts.

Dorstewitz concluded by gushing that "it must be fun being Clarence Thomas. It’s fun just watching him release one of his trademark booming, infectious laughs as he drives the liberals crazy. And that’s another fun part — driving them crazy."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EDT
WND Defends Trump Over Indictment, Smears Prosecutor As Stalinesque
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily had been building up outrage over the possible indictment over Donald Trump, and when that happened, the outrage went to a whole new level. Bob Unruh's March 30 "news" article on the indictment simply parroted pro-Trump talking points:

Former President Donald Trump is accusing President Joe Biden of "political persecution" and "election interference at the highest level in history," following news that a Manhattan grand jury has indicted Trump on a questionable charge that most legal experts, including lifelong Democrats like Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, have condemned as a totally "political" prosecution.

Previously, federal investigators and federal election investigators, even the Manhattan DA himself, all tossed out the complaint as unworthy of prosecution.

But Democrats, desperately clawing at anything to use against Trump as he runs for the 2024 presidential victory, pushed DA Alvin Bragg, a far leftist whose campaign was funded by billionaire extremist George Soros, to go after a claim about a "hush money" payment to a former stripper to keep quiet about an alleged affair.

Such payments are not illegal, but Democrats are alleging the payment was a campaign contribution to Trump's 2016 campaign.

Without this odd and controversial combination of claims, the allegations would have been dead in the water.

Democrats hope they can exploit a legal case against Trump as they promote the mentally declining octogenarian Joe Biden for another term in the White House.

However, polls show that Trump might actually benefit from the publicity and outrage, and experts in the law have concluded that Trump, even under indictment, still could be elected.

Democrats have a deathly fear of Trump as a candidate because of the success of his first "Make America Great Again" term, when he literally vaporized much of Barack Obama's "accomplishments."

Their concern, with reason, is that Trump would do the same to Biden's agenda.

An article by Unruh the next day touted pro-Trump "constitutional expert" Jonathan Turley criticizing the indictment, even though it "still hasn't been released, so few people know what it actually contains now." Unruh followed that a couple hours later by hyping a vicious smear of the prosecutor, Alvin Bragg:

Alvin Bragg, the far-left Manahattan district attorney who obtained a grand jury indictment of President Trump, probably over a payment and a nondisclosure agreement with a stripper over an affair both have denied happened, is being accused of adopting the promise that was made, back in the day, by Stalin's secret police chief.

Margot Cleveland, a longtime veteran of the federal court system and now a senior legal correspondent at The Federalist, identified that chief as Lavrentiy Beria and his promise as, "Show me the man and I'll show you the crime."

Never mind that, again, neither Cleveland nor Unruh actually knew what was in the indictment at this point.

Peter LaBarbera attacked Bragg as well in an alleged "news" article while touting how Trump has Republican support despite his apparent criminality:

With his politically-driven grand jury indictment of Donald Trump, Manhattan's George Soros-backed District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, has done what only a hard-left, Trump-hating Democrat could do: quickly unite most major Republican leaders behind the former president.

There are some exceptions: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's silence on the Trump indictment has been deafening. And former Arkansas governor and potential longshot presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson says Trump should "step aside," calling the indictment a "huge distraction" that is bad for Republicans and bad for America.

Even as he rails publicly against the "witch hunt" against him, Trump reportedly is cooperating with Bragg's office "to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.'s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal," CBS reported. He likely will not be handcuffed, and the process will take place Tuesday afternoon, after which Trump will return to Mar-a-lago.

LaBarbera offered no proof that Bragg is "hard-left" or that he hates Trump any more than he does any other criminal.

Unruh cheered intimidation of Bragg by right-wing members of Congress in an April 3 article:

It's no secret that leftist billionaire George Soros has been donating, sometimes heavily, to the campaigns of leftist district attorneys who, once they are in office, impose their own bias regarding justice.

They decline to prosecute certain crimes, they decline to seek prison terms for convicts, they work to arrange early release for those already in jail.

Significantly, in most cases, they allow crimes to skyrocket in their jurisdictions, to the point businesses and residents are seeking to move out.

Now Republicans in the U.S. House have come up with a response to the agenda: To strip those officials of their legal immunity.

According to a report from Just the News, Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., said liberals tried to remove the qualified immunity that protected police officers from lawsuits previously.

Now it's time for that move to target prosecutors.

"I think you're going to have to look at prosecutorial misconduct and whether or not prosecutors in this country should be exempt from liability," he said during an interview on the "Just the News, No Noise," television program.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy already has said Congress will do something to punish Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a far-left activist who took a misdemeanor complaint that multiple jurisdictions had concluded provided no evidence for a prosecution to file what apparently is a felony against President Trump.

Again, the indictment still had not been made public at this point, so Unruh could not possibly know the evidence behind it.

Joe Kovacs offered a Trump-friendly narrative about Trump's arraignment on April 4, where he deemed that the most important event of the day was Trump trying to pull an alpha-male move:

Donald Trump "definitely glared" at Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who indicted the former president Tuesday on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with his alleged role in hush-money payments toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump vocally pleaded "not guilty" to all counts before Judge Juan Merchan, an avowed Democrat whose daughter has reportedly worked for Kamala Harris.

"It is not just about one payment," said Bragg.

Jake Gibson, a federal law-enforcement producer for Fox News, said after Tuesday's arraignment : "I think it's worth noting, President Trump definitely glared at the D.A. Bragg when he left.

"He seemed to get up, look around the room. .. and then lock his eyes on Alvin Bragg."

Following the arraignment, Kovacs served up more Trump stenography:

On the heels of his arraignment Tuesday in New York, former President Donald Trump addressed America from his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago, saying "our country is going to hell" and that the 34 felony counts against him "should be dropped immediately."

"Now there's radical election interference on a scale never seen before in this country," Trump said.

"I never thought anything like this could ever happen in America."


Trump specified that criminal as the "radical George Soros-backed prosecutor Alvin Bragg" who the former commander in chief says "campaigned on the fact that he would get President Trump ... at any cost before he knew anything about me."

Kovacs made no attempt to fact-check anything Trump said, demonstrating that he's not much of a reporter or editor.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 1:27 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Plays Politics With A Tragedy
Topic: Media Research Center
After a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in Ohio, the Media blamed Pete Buttigieg for being gay, falsely accused the Biden administration of racism and even attacked ESG policies -- anything but calling out the railroad itself. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Michelle Induces Another Fit Of Obama Derangement Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Barack Obama hasn't been president for years, yet the Media Research Center continues to suffer outbreaks of Obama Derangement Syndrome. This happened again when Michelle Obama appeared on TV to promote a book, and Alex Christy whined about it in an April 20 post:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama reignited her book tour on Wednesday as she stopped by NBC’s The Tonight Show for an interview with host Jimmy Fallon, who was espicially interested in one specific chapter.

Fallon led Obama with more of a statement than a question when he reported, “There’s also a chapter dedicated to, ‘When they go low, we go high.’”

After Obama recalled, “Well, people still keep asking me, “you still mean that?,” Fallon continued, “But, that was -- that was an epic line. That was just -- it just - it stuck in everyone's head… Did you realize how powerful that would be years after you--?”

Recently, Obama went low by insisting that racism wouldn’t let her wear her hair in a way she may have preferred while she was first lady.


All in all, Obama spent 20 minutes on The Tonight Show including two interview segments one pre-recorded segments where she and Fallon surprised people at a book store.

As we've noted, right-wingers like Christy would have absolutely caused a controversy if Michelle Obama had changed her hair in the White House, and it's not racist or "going low" to point that out.

The same day, another interview with Michelle Obama sent Curtis Houck into a full ODS rage:

After having teased former First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance all week, Thursday’s CBS Mornings lived up to the embarrassing hype with an astounding nine teases plus 14 minutes and 20 seconds over two segments prostrating themselves over the ground she walked on, led by co-host, Democratic donor, and Obama family friend Gayle King (neither of which was, as usual, disclosed to viewers). All told, democracy died in a lack of journalism.

King couldn’t even get a second beyond welcoming viewers to the show before reminding them Obama would be there. After the Eye Opener, King exclaimed they were “very excited because we’ve got a very special guest in the show today” after having “tour[ed] the country” and “spreading the word about her book.”

She added the title of her second book was The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times and remarked, “And boy, don’t we have some uncertain times right now.” Co-host Nate Burleson agreed, gushing, “And her light shines bright.”

Two teases later, King swooned over how Michelle was so highly anticipated at CBS that, in a move she claimed has never happened before, “a techician came to me and said, ‘how does Mrs. Obama like her room temperature?’”

The second part was even dumber as King called over a staffer to relay how this woman’s mom had chided her for planning to wear jeans in the presence of Obama[.]


King pivoted to her second book and gushed over “the difference between the two books because Becoming was a best-selling novel, over 12 million sold. Drop the microphone, thank you so much.”

“So when you started writing the second one, did you feel pressure that I have to top that, or I want to make another bestseller,” she asked.

Obama explained she wasn’t contractually obligated, but did anyway due to “the last few hard years of being in quarantine, dealing with COVID, all the political uncertainty” and thus “had a lot of time on my hands to just sort of stew and to mull over questions that young people...would ask about managing life in uncertain times.”


King’s final question was eye-rolling: “What gives you joy these days, Michelle Obama? What are you looking forward to?”

And because they couldn’t get enough, the show ended with King thanking Obama.

Tim Graham rehashed all of this for his April 21 podcast:

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama drew typical goop about her line "when they go low, we go high" and whether she would please her superfans by running for president someday. NBC late-night host Jimmy Fallon hailed her "epic line," but Michelle Obama has certainly gone low over the years, including in convention speeches. CBS morning host Gayle King gushed all over her, as usual, as you might expect, since they have vacationed together. But Mrs. Obama had a gaffe when she claimed America’s the only country with "unfettered access to firearms." Many felons, domestic abusers, and mental health patients don't get access.

In fact, many right-wingers oppose red-flag laws that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, "mental health patients" and other people deemed to be dangerous.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
WND Touts Ridiculous 'Late Exit Poll' Claiming Kari Lake Won
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer stated in a March 17 article:

The idea that the 2020 and 2022 elections across American were clean, accurate and without fault took another broadside this week when a poll confirmed that Republican Kari Lake got 51% of the vote for governor in Arizona, while Democrat Katie Hobbs got 43%.

Only Hobbs was installed as governor in an election result that still includes many unanswered questions.

Also, the poll showed that voters chose Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, both Republicans – even though Democrats were declared winners in those political races.

The details were reported by the Arizona Sun Times.

The results come from Rasmussen Reports and College Republicans United, which released results from their "late exit” poll.

The report said, "Women voted for Lake over Hobbs by a 49 to 43 percent margin. Similarly, Arizonans have a more favorable view of Lake than Hobbs. Over 50 percent view Lake positively; 30 percent find her 'very favorable,' and 21 percent 'somewhat favorable.' In contrast, Hobbs’ favorability is at 44 percent, with 25 percent viewing her as 'very favorable' and 19 percent as 'somewhat favorable.'"

Yeah, no. As the Washington Post explained, the Rasmussen poll is "a flawed poll from a deeply partisan company that very obviously conflicts with reality":

The firm has always leaned right but, in recent years has adopted an aggressively partisan position that’s apparent in the question it asks. Its focus on “likely voters,” even well before actual elections, seemed to lead it to weight its results in a way that advantaged Republicans. But now the firm trumpets its partisanship explicitly, perhaps hoping that other right-leaning groups will bring it sponsored polls to conduct.


Speaking to Bannon, Rasmussen’s Mitchell explained how they came to the conclusion that, actually, Kari Lake did win her race.

“A lot of pollsters, ones with maybe less courage, would really use those results to weight the poll to match the outcome of the elections,” he said, “and then bury the questions and pretend that they never even asked them. And, you know, to be honest, these results were just so unbelievable that we had to report out.” Instead of weighting the responses to the results, he said, they weighted it to exit polls.

“What we found,” he added later, “is that voters told us that just four months ago they elected Kari Lake as the governor of Arizona by 8 points.”


Beyond questions about the accuracy of exit polls — which are themselves weighted to election results, mind you — consider what those exit polls found. There were more Republicans who turned out than Democrats, which Mitchell says is roughly the weighting they used. But a plurality of voters were independents, and they preferred Hobbs by 7 points. Among Republicans, meanwhile, the exit polls from Edison Research show that about 1 in 11 also preferred Hobbs, twice the rate at which Democrats voted for Lake.

In Rasmussen’s results, independents voted for Lake by 14 points while 1 in 6 Democrats and Republicans crossed party lines to support the other candidate. This is simply not credible, even setting aside the fact that we know what actually happened.

WND is not going to tell you any of this, of course -- it cares only what the poll says because it advances the correct pro-Lake narratives, and it doesn't matter that neither it nor those narratives have no basis in reality.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
How Has Matt Palumbo Been Spreading Guo Wengui's Propaganda?
Topic: Newsmax

We've documented that over the past couple of months, interests linked to shady Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui have paid right-wing writers to crank out pro-Guo propaganda in the wake of his arrest on fraud charges, and then paid to publish those writings at right-wing websites like Newsmax and Gateway Pundit. Walker Bragman and OptOut Media have reported how Guo interests have recruited several right-wing writers who were given prompts and drafts they could turn into pieces for paid publication on right-wing websites.

One of thse writers is Matt Palumbo, who works for right-wing radio host Dan Bongino and is trying to make a name for himself by writing books on hot-button subjects; as his bio on the propaganda articles states, "Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros (2021), Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York (2020), Debunk This! Shattering Liberal Lies (2019), and Spygate (2018)." He also happens to have a new book coming out later this year bashing fact-checkers, published by Bongino's Liberatio Protocol operation.

Palumbo also has quite the body of pro-Guo propaganda, though he's reluctant to admit it (he blocked ConWebWatch when we asked him about it on Twitter). The earliest example of his we could find at Newsmax was a March 30 piece that blamed the arreet of Guo (who also uses the names Miles Guo and Ho Wan Kwok) on the CCP and played whataboutism over it:

All eyes have been on New Federal State of China Founder and anti-CCP dissident Miles Guo following his arrest on March 15, 2023. The arrest represented the culmination of years of targeting of Guo by the CCP. Guo was previously forced to flee from China to America for his personal safety after exposing the CCP’s 13579 plan to unleash a bioweapon, and the CCP has been fighting ever since to have Guo sent back to China.

Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, a Biden-appointee who previously worked at CCP-linked Paul Weisslaw firm, has urged the judge presiding over the case, Judge Katherine Parker, to deny Guo bail. This is despite Williams making no such demand when he announced charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. New York state, and New York City in particular, are jurisdictions where violent criminals routinely are let out of jail without bail.

For backup of his claims, Palumbo linked to two propaganda articles by him that were posted at Gateway Pundit, one of which called calling Guo's arrest the "Collusion of the Century" and the other similarlyplaying Bankman-Fried whataboutism and complaining that Guo "could remain behind bars for entirely politically motivated reasons."

Guo propaganda articles at Gateway Pundit are credited as being paid for by "NewNoah," while the propaganda articles at Newsmax are listed as being paid for by "Token Team," which just so happens to be the name of a company that had partnered with Newsmax a few years earlier to accept cryptocurrency as payment for ads.

Other Palumbo propaganda pieces published at Newsmax include:

One of these propaganda pieces didn't age very well, however. Palumbo wrote in a May 9 piece:

On Friday April 5th, during a campaign stop, Republican Congressman George Santos visited the Darlington Mansion in New Jersey, which serves as the headquarters of the New Federal State of China, a social movement founded by Guo Wengui (also known as Miles Guo).

Guo is currently being detained without bail ahead of trial in New York, which is virtually unprecedented in a state with such lax bail laws. When it comes to the CCP’s infiltration of U.S. society, Congress has had all eyes on TikTok and none on the suspected CCP’s infiltration of our courts, media, and more. Following years of warnings that the CCP had set up their own police stations on U.S. soil to monitor American citizens and Chinese dissidents, recent arrests in New York confirmed it. Dozens of officers of China’s national police force were charged in connection to running an elite task force called the “912 Special Group.” The 912 Group is named after September 12th, the day that Guo filed for asylum in the U.S. after fleeing CCP persecution.

Santos is the first member of Congress to give the persecution of Guo, the public enemy number one of the CCP, the attention it deserves.


Through his advocacy for Guo, Santos also draws attention to the wider issues at stake regarding the CCP’s plans for world domination. Santos highlighted the CCP's systemic human rights violations, including its persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, suppression of freedom of expression, and its aggressive expansionist policies. By shedding light on these abuses, Santos brings the plight of countless individuals suffering under the CCP's oppressive rule to the forefront of discourse. “I’ve done a lot of soul searching. And I will not stop until Miles Guo is free and is given a trial. And I will not stop until the CCP is eradicated from this planet.,” Santos said. “These are the commitments I make to every American. That if you care for freedom, this is an issue I care about, because the true goal of the CCP is world domination. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s a fact,” he added before mentioning the CCP’s crimes against Taiwan and Hong Kong.


For America to remain a beacon of liberty - the CCP and its influence must be crushed, and Santos is now the only member of Congress making that a central issue.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, this article came out the same day it was revealed that Santos would face 13 federal criminal charges involving fraud and perjury. Oops!

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
CNS Pushed Anti-Transgender Narratives In Its Final Weeks

In its final weeks, dutifully spread right-wing anti-transgender grievances and talking points. Craig Bannister huffed in a March 3 article:

Hershey’s is airing an advertisement featuring a biological male who identifies as a woman, in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Fae Johnstone, a “2SLGBTQIA+” transgender “woman” is featured in the ad airing nationwide in Canada. “Limited-edition Hershey's SHE bars will be available nationwide in four unique wrappers in both a 1.55-ounce standard bar and a 4.4-ounce XL bar, while supplies last,”Pennsylvania’s Fox 43 reports.

"My name is Fae Johnstone, I’m the executive director of ‘Wisdom to Action.’ We can create a world where everyone is able to live in public space as their honest and authentic selves," Johnstone declares in the ad.

A few days later, Bannister touted a stunt from right-wingers triggered by the Hershey promotion:

“Thanks to Jeremy’s Chocolate, you can stop eating chocolate that hates you,” Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing says, touting the success of his new non-woke candy bars, responding to an advertisement by Hershey celebrating International Women’s Day – featuring a biological male.

“As long as corporations and institutions across America continue to alienate half the country, The Daily Wire will continue building alternatives. Stop giving your money to woke chocolate companies that hate you,” Boreing said.

In the first 36 hours on the market, Boreing reportedly sold three hundred thousand of his “chocolate binary” bars. A four-pack of the 1.5 once bars goes for $27.96, but is currently on sale for $24.99, or about $6.25 per par.

Bannister spent a March 9 article whining that a transgender woman received a "women of courage" award at the White House:

First Lady Jill Biden presented a “women of courage” award to a biological male on Wednesday, during a White House ceremony celebrating International Women’s Day.

Alba Rueda, a biological male who identifies as a woman, was among the recipients of the “International Women of Courage” award, at the annual event hosted by the First Lady and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Rueda, who serves as Argentina’s Special Envoy for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, was one of 11 “extraordinary women” honored with the award.

In an apparent follow-up, Bannister used a March 24 article to repeat a right-wing rant about transgender women receiving awards:

“Nothing says ‘we respect women’ like elbowing them out of their own awards to laud a man who makes a mockery of womanhood,” Elle Purnell, assistant editor for The Federalist, says.

In her article, published Friday, Purnell chronicles the stories of nine biological men who have usurped “Woman of the Year” honors from biological females.

USA Today is the most recent organization to bestow a biological male with an award for women, Purnell notes at the beginning of her piece:

An April 10 article by Bannister touted a right-wing darling bashing transgender people: "The American Left ran out of human rights and civil rights to fight for, so they created the transgender movement, presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says." Bannister also joined his fellow Media Research Center employees and other right-wingers in being triggered that a transgender woman was allowed to drink beer in another April 10 article:

Bud Light has been staying off social media, ever since a backlash began on April 1, when biological male and transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney revealed a gift from Bud Light: a picture of his face on a can of the product.

The controversy and social media backlash began after Bud Light began celebrating the one-year anniversary of the man identifying as a woman, by creating the Bud Light trans-cans and a video of Mulvaney in a bathtub.


The transgender promotion prompted calls for a boycott of the beer, and even some celebrities protested the Bud Light trans-cans:

Conservative rock singer Kid Rock used several Bud Light cases for target practice in a viral video.

“I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider. I know many other artists who are doing the same,” Multi-Platinum Grammy-Winning Country singer Travis Tritt announced on Twitter.

An April 14 article by Bannister featured the maker of Bud Light trying to appease haters like him:

On Friday, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a vague statement, two days after it was reported that the beer company had lost more than $5 billion since a stunt that revealed its branding partnership with transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney.

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,” Whitworth says in the statement, which does not specifically cite the controversy, which erupted two weeks earlier on April 1, and does not name Mulvaney.

The statement expresses support for “military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere” and “the values upon which America was founded.”

CNS was shut down six days later.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Monday, May 22, 2023
MRC's Reaction To Fox News-Dominion Settlement: A Lot Of Whataboutism
Topic: Media Research Center

As the trial date for Dominion's defamation lawsuit against Fox News drew ever nearer, the Media Research Center still insisted on playing whataboutism. Tim Graham did exactly that for his April 17 podcast:

CBS's Sunday Morning spent nine minutes promoting the dangers Dominion's lawsuit posed to Fox News. It sounded quite similar to a 60 Minutes piece on the same theme last October. But would CBS find it just as newsworthy when Dan Rather sued CBS in 2007 over his phony-documents story? Would anyone be interested in the juicy documents exposing CBS as "corrosive"? Back then, the liberal media professed no interest in this, and the suit was dismissed. Rather wasn't the scapegoat. He was responsible for his mess.

Graham continued that whataboutism by whining that NPR's David Folkenflik creating an information silo and "building a business on serving an ideological base, as if that's not the model for NPR." There was apparently no mention of the fact that Fox News was doing that very same siloing by trying to censor news about the Dominion lawsuit on its own channel.

When Fox News decided the next day -- the day the trial was to start -- to settle with Dominion for a whopping 787.5 million, the MRC suggested this was a victory of sorts and complained when others suggested Fox News hadn't suffered enough. Kevin Tober whined in an April 18 post:

On Tuesday, CNN Tonight co-host Alisyn Camerota took to the airwaves during The Lead With Jake Tapper to bemoan that Fox News Channel was able to settle out of court in the Dominion lawsuit for about half of the original $1.6 billion lawsuit without publicly apologizing. She declared that this was a “victory for Fox” and that this was “the best outcome that Fox could ever have hoped for.” 

Discussing Fox’s settlement shortly after the news broke, Tapper asked Camerota if she was surprised by the outcome. “I haven't been surprised by any of this. Nor am I surprised by the settlement. I predicted there would be a settlement all along because Fox doesn't want to air its dirty laundry in a court case,” Camerota exclaimed.

She then huffed that the settlement was “half of what Dominion asked for.” Camerota wasn’t satisfied with Fox having to cough up the better part a billion dollars to Dominion, because “It's chump change for Fox. They make more than a billion dollars a year.”

Tober then personally attacked Camerota, followed by a fit of whataboutism:

It’s obvious that Camerota and the rest of CNN was extremely bitter because in their eyes, Fox wad now saved from embarrassing details that could come out if the lawsuit went to trial. 

As a former Fox News host, Camerota clearly has a grudge against her former employer. Wouldn’t you feel the same if you ended up at a low rated network like CNN after working at a ratings powerhouse like Fox? 

On top of that, CNN was also being extremely hypocritical. You’ll recall that the network settled with Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann after smearing him as a racist for out of context footage taken during the 2019 March for Life rally. CNN pretended that they never botched the story despite settling.

As we've noted, it's entirely likely that Sandmann received little more than going-away money from CNN, which did not have to issue an apology under the settlement. He also didn't mention that Sandmann's lawyer was L. Lin Wood, who went on to prove his incompetence by going full QAnon and spouting election fraud conspiracy theories.

Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough brought up his own history of being defamed in the media:

Joe Scarborough is notorious for dragging his background as a former Congressman into the Morning Joe conversation at every opportunity. So much so, that his self-centered obsession has become something of a running joke on the show. 

In a variation on his solipsism, Scarborough turned much of Morning Joe's discussion today of the settlement of Dominion's defamation case against Fox News into yet another chance to air his grievance against Donald Trump for having suggested that Scarborough could be responsible for the death of a former congressional aide of his.


Perhaps Scarborough's account is accurate. But could it also be that the various lawyers informed Scarborough that he'd be subjected to intense cross-examination about his personal life — in particular, the circumstances that led to his sudden resignation from Congress.

Finkelstein didn't elaborate on what kind of scandal Scarborough is purportedly hiding. Perhaps he should in order to avoid a defamation lawsuit of his own.

Bill D'Agostino also groused that it was argued that Fox News didn't suffer enough (with added whataboutism, of course):

On Tuesday Dominion Voting Systems settled its lawsuit against Fox News, sparing the media company from six very uncomfortable weeks in court. The settlement was a heartbreaking development for the leftwing media, who had been preparing eagerly to cover every moment of the court proceedings.

Talking heads complained that in agreeing to settle out of court, Dominion had cost Americans an opportunity to learn the full extent of Fox’s alleged malfeasance. They also griped that the terms did not require Fox to formally apologize to Dominion.


Over the last 24 hours we’ve heard many impassioned statements about the importance of truth in journalism. And obviously, yes, the truth is the cornerstone of proper journalism. But when those statements come from CNN and MSNBC, it winds up looking like a bunch of TV personalities crammed in a glass room, flinging stones at the walls.

D'Agostino provided no evidence that CNN or MSNBC engaged in a systematic campaign to lie to its viewers the way Fox News did.

When the co-hosts of "The View" raised concern about how Fox News' lies might affect members of the military who watch the channel, Nicholas Fondacaro flew into a rage:

In the wake of Fox News’s defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems on Wednesday, the vicious liberals of ABC’s The View lashed out and bashed America’s brave men and women in the armed services for daring to watch Fox News on base, even going so far as the call them “racialized” dangers to the country.

During their opening segment where the cast whined about the settlement and said the $787.5 million payout was not enough, co-host Joy Behar proclaimed that “If Rupert [Murdoch] wanted to maintain any integrity, he would fire Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson – what’s his name, Sean Hannity.”

Specifically targeting Carlson, Behar called him “a sick pathological liar that cannot be controlled.” And rhetorically sneered at his viewers, suggesting, “His audience likes to be lied to.” “You know that song; tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies,” she began to crudely sing.

Shifting her ire to our service members, Behar warned that “Fox is broadcasted on military bases.” She tried to couch her demand to censor Fox News on military bases by repeatedly shouting: “Those are tax-funded facilities. They should not be broadcasting lies to our military. We are paying for that.”

“Those boys and girls are going out there, defending this country, risking their lives, and they’re being fed lies on a regular basis! That needs to be changed immediately!” she insisted, urging the elimination of their right to watch what they want.

Fondacaro didn't explain why Fox News must be allowed to feed lies to people, nor did he explain that members of the military are subjected to military policy, which does not necessarily include the ability to be able to watch channels that feed them lies. Instead, there was even more whataboutism with Fondacaro huffing that the show "continued to proudly be a home for 2016 election lies."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2023 9:20 PM EDT
WND's Root Demands Revenge Over Trump Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily was already not taking a potential indictment of Donald Trump well, and it continued not to do so. Wayne Allyn Root ranted in his March 25 column:

Here is the problem in America right now.

The Democrats are evil, radical, nasty, vile, low-down, dirty skunks. If this were a street fight, they'd kick you in the groin and then shoot you in the back. They play for keeps. They have no rules. As their hero Saul Alinsky said, "The ends justify the means."

Dirty Democrats will do anything to destroy this country, economy, military and the great American middle class. They can't wait to introduce socialism mixed with communism (the use of banning, silencing, false arrests, FBI raids, brainwashing and propaganda) and turn us into a Third World craphole.

They've proven all of this is true with the looming indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump on "trumped up" charges. They've proven Democrat district attorneys funded by George Soros, combined with Democrat judges and Democrat grand juries, in a deep blue city, filled with liberal loonies and thugs with "Trump Derangement Syndrome," can indict a ham sandwich (as the saying goes).

He followed that with a demand that Republicans manufacture crimes to indict Democrats on:

I'm looking for a few brilliant, ambitious, conservative, patriot DAs and attorneys general around the country with cojones – willing to do the same exact thing to Democrats as Democrats are doing to Trump.

Here is what red city DAs and red state AGs must do:

– Indict, arrest and perp walk Hillary Clinton for her crimes. Including the same supposed crime as Trump: campaign finance violations. She used campaign funds to frame Trump for Russian collusion. Hillary has already admitted guilt. Her campaign paid a $115,000 fine.

Now it's time to indict her in Texas for her crimes. Or Florida. Or Alabama. Or any red city or state with cojones.

The problem there is that campaign law is federal, not state, and it's extremely unlikely that any state-level violation can be plausibly identified. Nevertheless, his hit list continued:

– Indict Obama. He illegally spied on Trump's presidential campaign and then on the Trump White House. That's treason. Any red state DAs or AGs willing to indict, arrest and perp walk Obama? Why not? He's a real criminal. He's a traitor to our country.

– Indict Bill Clinton. He paid off Paula Jones to cover up an affair. It's about sex … it's beyond the statute of limitations … and it's not a local issue in Texas or Florida. Perfect! It matches this Trump indictment. Extradite Bill to Texas for arraignment.

– Indict George Soros for conspiracy to overthrow USA by funding the open borders invasion and funding woke, Marxist DAs who have unleashed a crime wave upon our once-great nation.

Indict Eric Holder. He was never prosecuted or punished in any way for committing "Contempt of Congress."

– Indict Mark Zuckerberg for using $400 million of "Zuckerbucks" to rig and steal the 2020 election.

– Indict Nancy Pelosi for committing fraud and entrapment upon thousands of peaceful protesters on Jan. 6.

– Indict Dr. Anthony Fauci for mass murder. Do I need to say a thing?

– Indict Hunter Biden. For at least 100 federal crimes, including bribery and extortion of foreign governments, on behalf of President Joe Biden.

– Of course, indict Hunter's dad for being "the Big Guy." Evidence shows Biden extorted money from China and Ukraine as vice president. He betrayed the citizens of America and disgraced his office. And to top it off, I'm betting he committed tax evasion – the same crime as Al Capone. All that money went into offshore accounts. I guarantee you he didn't pay taxes.

– Lastly, indict Biden, Kamala and Mayorkas. For dereliction of duty, reckless endangerment and treason for intentionally leaving the border open and encouraging the illegal foreign invasion of the United States of America.

Trump did nothing wrong. But these are all REAL crimes, serious crimes, treason. It's time for red city DAs and red state AGs to step up and indict all these dirty Democrat traitors.

It's time to go nuclear. You want a war? We're gonna give you a war. It's time for balls, cojones and big boy pants. Two can play at this game.

Needless to say, Root offered no proof that Trump "did nothing wrong," or that the prosecution he demands of his political enemies would be seen as anything other than political retaliation.

Following Trump's indictment, Root played the ultimate victim card in his April 9 column by likening the alleged "persecution" Trump is facing to that of Jesus:

This is not normal. This is a communist takeover of the United States. This is a communist "colour revolution." And at the center of it all is the persecution of former President Donald J. Trump.

And it's all happening during the week of Easter and Passover. Remind you of anything?

No, Trump is NOT Jesus Christ. He is human. He is not a god. I know that. But Democrats don't seem to know it. They treat him like Jesus. They persecute him like Jesus.

And for the same reasons, too: Trump threatens the status quo; he threatens the government; he threatens the deep state and D.C. swamp; he threatens their gravy train; and he threatens their lock on power and control.

Also, like Jesus, Trump fights on behalf of the little guy or gal who feels powerless.

Also, like Jesus, Trump's persecutors (Democrats) are so clueless and ignorant that they just persecuted, arrested and arraigned in court an innocent man during the same week that Jesus Christ was arrested, tried with false witnesses and crucified unjustly by an evil, tyrannical government to retain their power and please a bloodthirsty mob.


Finally, arresting Trump serves one more function: It's a WMD – a "weapon of mass distraction." Democrats need to hide what's right in front of your eyes. They don't want you to notice what they've produced:

Terrible inflation; mass layoffs; a crumbling economy; bank failures; a wide-open border with millions of dangerous illegal aliens invading America; an exploding national debt; Social Security is now bankrupt; vaccine deaths and injuries are exploding because of Biden's OSHA mandate; violent crime, theft, drugs and homelessness have exploded in every big city; transgender ideology is poisoning your children in failing schools; and we are on the verge of World War III with China, Russia and Iran.

All we'll see and hear about for the next two years is Trump indictments, Trump arrests and Trump trials 24/7. Mission accomplished. Weapon of mass distraction. This is propaganda – the hallmark of communism.

Trump is first; we are next. If they can bully, demonize and destroy Trump, nothing will stop them. We are all serfs and slaves forevermore.

How fitting this is all happening Easter week.

Root's statement that "Trump is first; we are next" reads a bit like the "He is greater than I" Christian slogan. That suggests that he really is ascribing divinity to Trump -- something WND has long tried to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2023 5:40 PM EDT
MRC's Philbin Mad That 'Grease' Prequel Has Blacks, Gays In It (Also: Did We Get Him Fired?)
Topic: Media Research Center

Following on his complaint that there weren't enough white people in the new "Peter Pan & Wendy" movie (also, there were girls among the Lost Boys), Matt Philbin spent an April 10 Media Research Center post complaining that the new "Grease" prequel series has a nonbinary character in it (also, black people):

Next time somebody complains about the lack of ideas in Hollywood, shut them up quick with five powerful words: Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. It takes amazing creativity to rehash a musical movie from 1978 that’s set in 1958, and lard it up with all the obsessions and social diseases of 2023. 

According to the Daily Mail and Fox News Digital, a “new woke TV show based on 'Grease' will reportedly feature a new song about White supremacy, with lyrics about the exclusion of those ‘Jewish, Asian, brown or Black, single woman or gay, on the wrong side of they.’" 

Yep. Pink Ladies is supposedly a prequel set at Rydell High four years before the story of Grease. So, early to mid 1950s. Was “gay” in common usage then or did it still mean “lighthearted?” Well, never mind. It sounds like anachronism is the least of this thing’s problems.

The “stated purpose” of the show is to explore "sexual orientation, gender expression and racial identity." Do lefties know how to have fun or what? According to the Daily Mail, "Family favorite tunes will be re-sung alongside new musical numbers including one about white supremacy, while the 1950s student population at Rydell High School will be re-filled with a varied mix of LGBT and black high schoolers unseen in the 1978 hit."

And there’s a (wait for it!) transgender storyline! “Gender nonconforming nonbinary trans actor Ari Notartomaso … plays Cynthia," described as "a non-binary tomboy who struggles to fit in alongside her multicultural band mates." 

Wow. I’m sure they all end up embracing and enjoying some Bud Light (introduced 1982).

That last swipe, of course, is a reference to the trasnphobic right-wing freakout over Dylan Mulaney drinking a beer. Philbin didn't explain why he's apparently demanding historical reality in a show in which characters spontaneously break out into song.

An interesting aside: Our post on Philbin's racism-tinged complaint about the "Peter Pan" movie appeared on April 15. A few days later, Philbin -- who was the MRC's managing editor for its "Culture" division -- was gone from the MRC; his final post was April 19, a transphobic rant about Dylan Mulvaney. Did our pointing out his racism have anything to do with his abrupt departure? We wonder...

Of course, it's entirely possible that Philbin got the ax as part of a cost-cutting effort, since his departure occurred around the same time the MRC shut down its "news" operation,, resulting in the firing of at least six other people. But we'll take credit for it anyway. (Which then raises the question of how the MRC could have ignored Philbin's racism for more than a month before we highlighted it.)

Meanwhile, Philbin has been reduced to being a "contributor" at right-wing website RedState, the kind of freelance gig from which nobody can make a living -- yes, Philbin's right-wing hate is apparently so toxic that even Fox News wouldn't take him as part of the parade of MRC staffers who went through that revolving door.

Philbin is slowly learning that hate and homophobia may get right-wing clicks, but it ultimately doesn't pay (also, that the MRC is not terribly loyal to its employees).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT

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