As Thomas Scandals Pile Up, MRC Stays In Defend-And-Delfect Mode Topic: Media Research Center
After ProPublica reported in April about Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas' lavish but undisclosed vacations funded by right-wing billionaire Harlan Crow, the Media Research Center slowly came to his defense. That round culminated with an April 22 post by Tim Graham repeating a Wall Street Journal writer accusing ProPublica of "comically incompetent reporting," though Graham didn't cite any specific instances of it.
Alex Christy defended Republicans portraying Thomas as a victim in a May 2 post complaining that "Washington Post associate editor Ruth Marcus joined Tuesday’s edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC to talk about the day’s Senate hearing on 'ethics reform' and to claim that “any reasonable person” should conclude it is 'all so really disturbing' that Republicans played clips of Clarence Thomas in his 1991 confirmation hearing talking about a 'high-tech lynching,'" going on to declare that "In a serious world, MSNBC would ask why all these concerns about the Court and ethics are going after conservative justices and not liberal ones, but Marcus isn’t a serious person." The following day, Christy groused: "In the latest attempt to create phony Supreme Court scandals, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle used Tuesday’s The 11th Hour to wonder why John Roberts’s wife is allowed to make money, why Clarence Thomas is allowed to have rich friends, and why Neil Gorusch is allowed to sell property to Democrats."
Meanwhile, the Thomas scandals continued to pile up: ProPublica went on to reveal not only that Crow bought property from Thomas that included the house where Thomas' mother lives, which received major renovations, but also that Crow paid the pricey private-school tuition for Thomas' grandnephew, whom Thomas was raising. Both of these benefits, like the luxury vacations, were never listed on Thomas' financial disclosure forms. So the MRC entered a new round of defense. Christy grumbled in a May 4 post:
As the cast of Thursday’s Morning Joe discussed the latest non-scandal involving Justice Clarence Thomas, co-host Joe Scarborough condemned what he saw as conservative hypocrisy, declaring that if Thomas were Justice Sonia Sotomayor the reaction would be very different. He said this as Sotomayor faces ethical questions of her own.
Everyone on the panel uncritically accepted the premise that Harlan Crow, who does not have business before the Court, paying for Thomas’s disadvantaged great nephew’s tuition for one year, including fellow co-host Mika Brzezinski, “And Joe, once again, it’s really hard not to see how this Supreme Court justice was not exposed to being -- to having his objectivity impacted. Let's just say it kindly. By all the gifts over the course of decades by a Republican donor.”
Christy then played whataboutism by bringing up how"Sotomayor declined to recuse herself from a case involving Penguin Random House after receiving $3.6 million from the publisher despite fellow liberal Justice Stephen Breyer did recusing himself in the same case for also taking money from the company" -- even though that's not in the same league as hiding massive support from a right-wing billionaire.
Christy tried to minimize Crow's funding of Thomas' relative in another post that day:
Former CNN legal analyst and infamous Zoom masturbator Jeffrey Toobin returned to the network on Thursday to promote his new book on Timothy McVeigh, but also to pile on Justice Clarence Thomas for being unethical and the rest of the Supreme Court for allegedly putting themselves “above the law.”
Co-host Kaitlin Collins began by reading a statement from the office of Thomas friend Harland Crow that decried the attempt to portray the effort to provide tuition assistance to disadvantaged youth as something nefarious. Crow had paid for Thomas’s great nephew’s tuition for one year at a private school and another at a Georgia boarding school.
Still, Collins tried to turn the molehill into a mountain, “Not a denial from Harlan Crow and this seems pretty far outside the norm when it comes to these payments.”
Christy went on to insist that "Harlan Crow does not have business before the Court," which was not quite true.
Nicholas Fondacaro played the Sotomayor whataboutism card in his own May 4 post:
Continuing with the high-tech lynching of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas first launched during his confirmation hearings in 1991, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today show picked at the red meat thrown by left-wing ProPublica at the liberal media on supposed ethics violations on Thursday. Meanwhile, they showed no interest in a new bombshell report that liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor presided over cases that involved her book publisher who paid her $3.6 million.
Again, faliure to recuse over alleged conflict of interest and failure to report a massive amount of financial support from a partisan billionaire are two very different things.
MSNBC legal analyst Barbara McQuade joined Ana Cabrera Reports on Thursday to discuss the latest ginned up controversy surrounding Justice Clarence Thomas where she demanded that he either resign or be impeached despite admitting there “does not appear that there is any evidence that” Thomas’s friend Harlan Crow has influenced any of his decisions.
Cabrera asked McQuade why Thomas would disclose a gift from one friend for his great nephew’s tuition, but not Crow, “Why report one but not the other? What does that indicate to you?”
McQuade then reached for an historical comparison, “Abe Fortas resigned from the Court over far less than this, and I think it's time that Justice Thomas do the same.”
That’s a ridiculous statement. According to National Review, Fortas accepted money from a man who was in trouble with the feds--Crow is not—and was ultimately convicted of securities fraud. Worse, Fortas was giving legal advice to President Lyndon Johnson while sitting on the bench.
After hopefully getting some sleep, Christy pounded out a May 5 post whining that it was pointed out that conservatives would not be defending Sotomayor the way they are Thomas if she had committed the same offense (then again played Sotomayor whataboutism):
It was impossible to tell the difference between NBC’s allegedly straight newsman Chuck Todd and MSNBC’s Joy Reid as they both wondered what the GOP’s reaction would be if Justice Clarence Thomas was Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Harlan Crow were George Soros. Ignoring questions around Sotomayor was a theme for MSNBC on Thursday.
On the streaming platform NBC News NOW, Todd used the days Meet the Press NOW to urge viewers to “Just ask yourself this. Imagine the reaction from those same very senators if a liberal justice was accused of taking money from a donor, oh, let's say George Soros, and he was paying the tuition of, say, the niece of Sonia Sotomayor. Ask yourself what the reaction would be.”
While the controversy surrounding Sotomayor and Random House is not a perfect analogue to Thomas and Crow, there is a compelling case to be made that what Sotomayor did is worse. Crow has never had business before the Court while Random House has. Yet, despite this Republicans are not running around claiming Sotomayor is irredeemably corrupt.
Of course, by using Sotomayor as his whataboutism go-to to distract from Thomas, Christy is effectively doing exactly that.
Fondacaro branded all criticism of Thomas as "racist":
With left-wing ProPublica launching a coordinated attack on conservative Justice Clarence Thomas via faux ethics scandals, the liberal ladies of ABC’s The View pounced, on Friday. Particularly, staunchly racist co-host Sunny Hostin was irritated that Republicans would dare call out the racist nature of the attacks Thomas had been subjected to since his nomination to the position in 1991.
Justice Thomas has been the target of racist attacks from the left for decades, including from The View.
Fondacaro didn't explain why Thomas' lucrative financial relationship with Crow wouldn't look bad if Thomas was a different race. Nor did he explain with whom ProPublica had made this "coordinated attack" on Thomas. (And remember, Fondacaro thinks Hostin is "racist" because he doesn't understand how metaphors work.)
Christy hammered that Sotomayor whataboutism narrative yet again in a time-count post:
The cable networks of CNN and MSNBC spent a good portion of Thursday obsessing over a ProPublica report that Justice Clarence Thomas did not disclose friend Harlan Crow paying for his-great nephew's tuition while simultaneously downplaying—and in MSNBC's case, completely ignoring— reports that Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not recuse herself from a case involving the publishing company Random House despite it paying her $3.6 million.
A study of CNN and MSNBC coverage from 6 am to midnight on Thursday found the two networks had quite a disparity in coverage:
Thomas: 2 hours, 16 minutes and 54 seconds
Sotomayor: 1 minute, 42 seconds.
Simplified down, that is 80.5 seconds on Thomas for every one second spent on Sotomayor. The 102 seconds on Sotomayor were exclusively on CNN. MSNBC had zero on Sotomayor.
Christy, however, didn't take the time to figure out how much time Fox News spent on each of those stories, which would be more illuminating and relevant from a research standpoint.
WND Columnist Pushes Bogus 'Facts' To Perpetuate The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily just can'tstoppushing the "Charlottesville lie" lie -- the narrative that protests against removing a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 weren't racist and that Donald Trump wasn't endorsing white supremacists when he said there was "very fine people" on both sides of the debate that day. Steve Baldwin -- who appears to be the same guy who cranked out an error- and lie-filled "Case for Impeachement" against President Obama a decade ago -- cranked out a two-part column purporting to list "7 facts" purporting to distance Trump from the violence at the protests. The first part, published on April 18, began:
The left's false narrative about the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, riot over a statue of Robert E. Lee has become a staple of the left's portrayal of Trump as well as conservatives in general. Joe Biden has repeatedly mentioned this event to push the phony narrative that those on the right are "white supremacists."
Indeed, it is clear that Biden's campaign strategists have decided that promoting a false version of what transpired there, and how Trump reacted to it, will be an important piece of their propaganda offensive, just as it was in the 2020 campaign.
But it's not just Democrats who have demagogued this event; there is little doubt it will also be used by some of Trump's Republican rivals, like Nikki Haley, who has already attacked Trump a number of times on this issue.
As many campaign experts say, once the Democrat Party loses substantial number of black voters, it will become nearly impossible to win nationally, and so false racist narratives have to be created and promoted to keep minorities from leaving the Democrat Party plantation.
The fact that Baldwin refuses to call the Democratic Party by its correct name tells us we're in for a bit of a ride. Indeed, the first "fact" -- that "There is no connection between Trump and the Charlottesville riot" -- is largely irrelevant, beyond vociferously denying that "Trump created the environment that led to the violence in Charlottesville, a ridiculous allegation with no evidence to support it."
For his second "fact" -- "Trump did not say anything favorable about the violence or the extremists who committed the violence" -- Baldwin framed it in whataboutism:
Unlike Biden, who refuses to condemn Antifa for its violent activities, Trump did condemned extremists on both sides for what occurred in Charlottesville. The left went ballistic when Trump at one point said there were "fine people on both sides," but in the same paragraph he said, "I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists – because they should be condemned totally."
And, indeed, there were hundreds of non-violent protesters on both sides, mostly from Charlottesville, where liberals and conservatives have debated the statue issue for years without any interference from extremist groups. These were the people he was referring to, and he made that clear in several statements. It should also be pointed out that Trump condemned white supremacists and Nazis throughout his presidency, at least 10 times, as documented here.
The left attacked Trump because he didn't specifically condemn the extremists on the day of the riot, but, as he said, "You don't make statements that direct until you know the facts." Since he had already condemned white supremacists and Nazis more than a few times in the months leading up to Charlottesville, he didn't feel the need to do so again when he wasn't even sure of what had transpired. This is a totally reasonable position that completely undermines the left's bogus argument.
Baldwin then portrayed the fight over removing Confederate statues as being about "history," bizarrely likening them to statues of Revoluationary War figures, which nobody is advocating be removed:
Indeed, all over the country "historic preservationist" groups have been debating with liberals about the importance of keeping monuments and statues for historical purposes. Such groups exist in nearly every city or town where Revolutionary War and Civil War statues or monuments exist. They typically raise funds to maintain these monuments, and such groups are usually diverse, both racially and politically.
It was no different in Charlottesville where a number of preservation groups exist such as the Monument Fund and the Friends of Robert E. Lee. Like most preservationist groups, the Charlottesville groups were willing to have a dialog with the left about adding monuments or plaques to the park where the Robert E. Lee statue was in order to give more balance to the history that occurred there. Preservationist groups believe that censoring our history does no good for anyone because there are valuable lessons to be learned from history. Moreover, Robert E. Lee played a key role in healing the country after the war.
Baldwin didn't mention that Confederates are now seen as traitors to the United States for whom statues -- many of which were erected in the South during the Jim Crow era to intimidate black citizens into putting up with discrimination -- really shouldn't be put on public display anymore. He then got around to hinting at the real issue, albeit wrapped in more whataboutism:
After communicating with a number of preservationists, I discovered that many of them did indeed attend the "Unite the Right" protest because they assumed it was organized by garden variety conservatives. They had no idea neo-Nazis were behind it. After all, the protest was organized by out-of-town people. So yes, there were good people present on both sides that day, and anyone from Charlottesville will confirm that if they're honest.
These are the people Trump was referring to as "fine people," and for the media to automatically assume he was complimenting neo-Nazis is outrageous and irresponsible. What's ironic is that many years ago Biden said something positive about what has been considered a white-supremacy symbol – the Confederate flag – and the media were silent. He said that "people who display the Confederate flag" are fine people. Anyone smell hypocrisy?
As we've docuemnted, the group that was protesting the removal of the Confederate statue and Robert E. Lee park renaming was a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr.
Baldwin then tried to absolve conservatives from blame for any violence under "fact" three, "The conditions for the violent protest were created by the left":
The left's narrative is that this fight was started by the right, but actually the left created the conditions for this event. Virginia state law prohibits cities from removing statues, and yet Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer and Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy, both radical leftists, repeatedly attacked the Robert E. Lee statue. Incidentally, Bellamy was forced to step down from the Virginia Board of Education for some racist tweets. Moreover, the city had initially proposed to change the name of the park in question – Lee Park – even though a poll showed the majority of Charlottesville residents were in support of keeping the name Lee Park. Then, contrary to state law, the city then voted 3-2 to remove the statue altogether. It is clear that the City of Charlotteville instigated this fight.
As a result, an out-of-state group, Unite the Right, responded by obtaining a permit to hold a legal protest. While Unite the Right was an extremist group, there is no evidence they were planning to use violence nor did they bring any "militias" to the protest. However, the left brought weapons and even a fully armed militia associated with Antifa called Redneck Revolt, which openly calls for communist revolution. This writer has reviewed hours of video, and it's obvious that the left initiated the vast majority of the violence and possessed most of the weapons.
Baldwin appears to be condoning Unite the Right for purporting not to have planned violence, and he's bizarrely claiming that those who protested the right-wing extremists and white supremacists are just as bad as the white supremacists themselves. Still, he huffed that "It should also be pointed out that the violence was condemned by the local Republican Party and by all the historic preservationist groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This event was not organized, promoted or supported by any legitimate Republican Party or conservative group."
In the second part, published the next day, "facts" four and five -- "The failure of the neo-Nazis to muster any kind of a large crowd demonstrates the failure of racist ideology" and "The Unite the Right leaders are not conservatives, nor are they on the right" -- are designed to minimize right-wing involvement and distance the violence from supposedly "real" conservatives. He also suggested that far-right organizers Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler organized the protest as a false-flag operation, though he admits there's no evidence whatsoever to support his conspiracy theory:
Of course, this begs the question, are Kessler and Spencer Democrat operatives who organized this protest simply to create a false narrative about Republicans? Was Charlottesville a setup by the left? After all, it's hard to believe that one could change his ideology from hard-left to neo-Nazi practically overnight, or, in Spencer's case, from promoting Hitler to promoting Biden. There's no evidence for this, but it does seem very fishy, and this question should be asked.
Baldwin then lied about what Nazism is:
What's more is that the "Z" in "Nazi" stands for "socialist" in German. The domestic platform of Hitler's Nazi Party in the 1930s looks almost identical to the Democratic Party platform today – government control of many industries, attacks on free enterprise, socialized health care, regulation of the family unit, attacks on religion, obedience to big government, etc. Remember, Hitler considered himself a socialist, which by definition is on the left.
For "fact" six, Baldwin was in full blame-the-liberals" mode:
6. The Charlottesville incident was a kick-off for the Antifa/BLM riots that engulfed America's cities a short time later. A short time after Charlottesville, America erupted with hundreds of protests all over the country which cost at least 22 lives and billions of dollars of property damage. The narrative pushed by the left is that such riots were necessary to stem the growing tide of "white supremacy" within the police and society in general.
Nonsense. The real reason is that the Democrats are worried about losing blacks, so they needed to exaggerate the white supremacy threat, even though such extremists are practically extinct. Promoting this phony narrative takes money, and this is why George Soros has poured millions of dollars into groups and causes associated with Antifa/BLM as indicated here and here.
Not only is Soros irrelevant to this discussion, Baldwin failed to mention the actual event that sparked those protests (three years later, not "a short time later"): the police death of George Floyd. Baldwin then criticized the tepid police response as the protests turned violent, but even though this was called out all around, Baldwin chose to falsely frame it as a conspiracy: "One has to wonder if the violence that erupted in Charlottesville was desired by the left. ... This is not an attack on the police but rather upon the Democrat-controlled city council, which may have desired the violence for purposes of pushing certain political narratives." Baldwin offered no evidence that the "Democrat-controlled city council" forced police not to respond properly.
Baldwin's final "fact" involved regurgitating tired right-wing attack lines against Democrats (while still getting the name of the Democratic Party deliberately wrong):
7. Charlottesville continues to be one of many incidents the Democratic Party intends to cite to show that Republicans are racist, so expect to see this phony narrative in the coming campaign ads. To counter this, The GOP and conservative groups should not be shy about reminding voters about the roots of the Democrat Party.
Historically, the KKK was the military wing of the Democrat Party, and the party itself was actually formed to perpetuate slavery. The Republican Party was specifically formed to oppose slavery. The Democrats did everything possible to block passage of the historic civil rights laws of the 1960s, supported Jim Crow laws throughout the South and, until just 12 years ago, considered the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a former KKK recruiter, to be one of the Democrat Party's leaders.
Baldwin censored the fact that Byrd repeatedly apologized for his KKK involvement for decades afterward -- to the point that that the NAACP favorably eulogized him upon his death. Baldwin also failed to mention that as part of the civil rights struggle in the 1960s, Republicans and Democrats effectively switched ideologies, with Democrats becoming the party of civil rights and those who failed to accept civil rights -- largely Southern politicians -- becoming Republicans.
In summary: Baldwin's "facts" about Charlottesville are faulty talking points that deliberately overlook actual but inconvenient facts that run counter to his preferred right-wing narrative - and he doesn't want you to know about any of that.
MRC Dabbles In Ray Epps Conspiracy Theories Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has largely avoided getting into conspiracy theories about Capitol riot protester Ray Epps. The only example of it popping up there was an August 2022 post by Clay Waters complained that a New York Times reporter "remained closed-minded about the mysterious figure of Ray Epps and his role in the Capitol Hill riots, slamming accusations of Epps being a federal informant. Epps was captured on video encouraging people to go into the Capitol building the night before President Trump’s infamous speech." But when Epps did an interview with "60 Minutes" to note how he's had to go into hiding to avoid right-wing conspriacy theorists who wrongly believe that he's really an undercover FBI agent who provoked others to storm the Capitol with the intent of discrediting support for Trump, Tim Graham decided to get involved with an April 26 post manufacturing a "liberal media" conspiracy that's highlighting Epps' woes:
When we list the types of media bias, one of them has always been Bias by Story Selection. When 60 Minutes devoted a softball segment to January 6 rioter Ray Epps on Sunday, the question was why him? And why now? Why did the media obsess over January 6 for two years and never get to this?
The only previous utterance of "Ray Epps" on CBS News was Adam Kinzinger ripping Ted Cruz over conspiracy theories on the June 12, 2022 Face the Nation.
Tristan Justice at The Federalist explored this in an analysis headlined "Ray Epps 60 Minutes Interview Raises More Questions Than Answers." Justice noted "The network follows The New York Times in giving the Jan. 6 agitator a glossy profile, dismissing as “conspiracies” the allegations that Epps was in covert cooperation with federal law enforcement."
It wouldn't be the first time CBS picked up on a Times narrative.
Epps is on video agitating for people to enter the Capitol, on January 5 and 6, and he was never charged. But people were prosecuted for merely "parading" inside the Capitol and taking pictures. Anna Morgan-Lloyd, an Indiana grandmother of five, was the first person sentenced for "parading."
(Yes, that conspriacy-mongering Federalist writer really apparently does have the name "Tristan Justice.")
The answer to that is pretty easy: While he encouraged people to (peacefully) enter the Capitol, Epps himself didn't -- and he was cooperative with authorities, who have consistently denied Epps was a secret government agent. Graham also didn't mention that Morgan-Lloyd merely received probation, not a jail sentence (because she didn't take part in violence), and that she downplayed her actions at the riot in a post-sentencing appearance on Fox News despite expressing remorse during sentencing (she later claimed she got "played" by Fox News host Laura Ingraham).
Still, Graham was in conspiracy mode, crafting the narrative that others are crafting "narratives" around Epps:
“Ray Epps was never seen committing an act of violence that day or entering the Capitol,” CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker said. “Epps told us when he saw the violence, his fervor to enter the building became a desire to play peacemaker.” Pelosi-picked investigator Tom Joscelyn told Whitaker there is “still absolutely zero evidence that Ray Epps was a federal agent.” The narrative was mean Tucker Carlson's reporting on Epps ruined his life, and they had to sell their ranch and travel the country in an RV to avoid violent reprisals.
Justice explained in a Senate Judiciary hearing last week, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) accused the Justice Department of pursuing charges against individuals who, “in some cases, were merely present on the Capitol grounds.” Epps not only escaped charges after his face appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list, but he received defense from both the FBI and the panel of House lawmakers who investigated the riot.
Surveillance tapes of the Capitol riot made public on Tucker Carlson Tonight contradicted Epps’ testimony before House lawmakers about his whereabouts on that terrible afternoon..
All Graham does here, though, is quote from the Federalist article quoting Carlson claiming that Epps remained "at the Capitol" -- which, of course, is not the same thing as being in the Capitol, an aggravating factor for many of those charged.
Graham failed to note that Epps is seeking an apology from Carlson for spreading lies about him, though we (and the MRC) should perhaps be grateful that he didn't go full WorldNetDaily and blame Epps for Fox News firing Carlson.
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Nitpicky War on Biden, Part 2 Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com continued to be obsessed with mocking and nitpicking President Biden until it was shut down -- even bizarrely attacking his trip to Ireland. Read more >>
MRC Still Miffed At Musk For Not Letting Right-Wingers Rage With Impunity On Twitter Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Autumn Johnson kicked off an April 26 post by (dishonestly) portraying Elon Musk as a champion of free speech:
Twitter owner Elon Musk is raising the alarm about the dangers of losing “freedom of speech.”
Musk responded to an April 24 tweet of a video that included comments from investor, tech entrepreneur, and All-In podcast co-host David Sacks. Sacks said that Musk faces so many attacks from the left because he opposes one-sided censorship and stands for free speech. “Well, on Elon criticizing the woke mind virus, what he's really criticizing is this intolerant agenda that involves censorship, and de-platforming, including economic de-platforming, and this collusion between the state power and the security state, and these tech monopolies and the media,” Sacks said in the re-shared clip of an interview from December of 2022. “This idea that we have all the right answers. This is fundamentally an illiberal agenda.”
Musk appeared to agree with the sentiments Sacks laid out and implied that Twitter would support free speech in a Big Tech environment where it is constantly under threat. “Exactly right,” wrote Musk in a tweet. “If we lose freedom of speech, it’s never coming back. Beware of censorship lest ye censored.”
Musk later doubled down in another tweet on April 24: “Censor not, lest ye be censored.”
The thing is, even the MRC knows this is a bunch of hooey, even by their own definition of "free speech" that right-wingers should never be held accountable for their words no matter how malicious or hateful. Johnson repeated the MRC's previous attacks on Musk and Twitter for not being hands-off enough on his fellow ideologues:
“Musk is absolutely right to warn about the dangerous road Big Tech companies and governmental entities have taken our nation down in attempting to squash freedom of speech in America,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “And his strides toward creating a more free and open platform are laudable, but rhetoric alone will not safeguard our nation’s first freedom.”
Musk’s self-described vision has hit some roadblocks. An MRC Free Speech America study found censorship is alarmingly on the rise under Musk’s leadership, with 293 cases of documented censorship since he took over Twitter and began terminating the previous regime’s employees from Nov. 4, 2022 through Mar. 4, 2023. The study showed the most recent censorship tally is 67 more than the 226 documented cases in CensorTrack.org from the platform a year prior (Nov. 4, 2021 - Mar. 4, 2022).
The carrot-and-stick approach to Musk continued:
Musk also stated on April 24, however, that while Twitter was making efforts to end one-sided censorship on the platform, it still has a long way to go:
“We’re rapidly improving transparency & fairness on this platform, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Indeed, Twitter changed its “misgendering” policy three weeks after the aforementioned MRC Free Speech America study. The policy had previously been used to censor users who oppose transgender ideology on the platform.
But Twitter has taken its policy down another dangerous road as well. In the name of freedom of speech, it is attempting to justify censorship.
Twitter Safety announced that the platform would be rolling out new “visibility” filter labels, euphemized in a tweet Monday, “Freedom of Speech, not reach.” A Twitter Safety blog post last week explained that the platform would soon “add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating our policies letting you know we’ve limited their visibility.”
The MRC followed that mild ideological scolding with a couple of pieces of Musk PR:
But it was soon back to scolding in a May 4 post by Gabriela Pariseau complaining that a fellow MRC employee got busted for spreading nastiness:
Twitter says “freedom of speech, not reach” but actions speak louder than words.
Twitter slapped a “visibility limited” label on NewsBusters News Analyst & Staff Writer Kevin Tober’s tweet when he shared a recent article he wrote. Tober’s tweet simply included the title of his article, "'Seen Him Stumble' ABC's Raddatz Confronts Chris Coons on Biden's Age." Yet, the platform labeled the tweet falsely claiming, "This Tweet may violate Twitter's rules against Hateful Conduct" and prevented Twitter users from commenting, retweeting, liking, bookmarking, sharing or embedding the tweet.
Freedom of Speech, not reach? But freedom of speech for whom? Sure, Tober could hit send on his tweet, which now appears on his feed, but not one of his nearly 6,500 followers could share the tweet if they even saw it. What about their freedom of speech? The Twitter 2.0 approach ignores the reality of secondhand censorship.
"'Freedom of speech, not reach,' is a catchy phrase, but it belies the fact that limiting and suppressing reach is in fact still censorship," said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris.
What’s worse is that when Tober attempted to expose the blatant censorship in a second tweet, that tweet received the same label and restrictions.
Pariseau did throw Musk a bone, again cheering that Twitter is allowing misgendering and deadnaming of transgender people after complaints that under previous rules, "a large section of Musk's Twitter censorship silenced those critical of the transgender ideology." Of course, Pariseau's definition of "a large section" should read "right-wing transphobes." And, no, she didn't explain how, exactly, being transgender is an "ideology."
Then it was back to gushing as Christian Toto (who's supposed to be a film critic) praised Musk's appareance on Maher's show in a May 6 post and complained that others mocked the whole silly "woke mind virus" thing:
Rolling Stone, which once represented both free speech and the counter-culture, similarly framed the summit in the most negative way possible.
The headline is almost comical in its bile.
Elon Musk and Bill Maher Warn Against the ‘Woke Mind Virus,’ a.k.a. Historical Fact
The story is even worse.
Their conversation … included a strained discussion of the “imaginary” woke mind virus.
Imaginary? Tell that to readers who grew up on books by Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and Agatha Christie. Their classic tomes have been infected by said virus.
Those "classic tomes" by Fleming, Dr. Seuss and Christie were altered (or taken out of print entirely) to address casual racism that doesn't fly today. Toto didn't explain why such racism must be considered anti-"woke," or why their works are so sacrosanct that removing the racism irreparably changes them. (Dahl is a separate case.) Toto concluded with more glurge for both Musk and Maher:
Why would media outlets go out of their way to negatively spin the Maher/Musk conversation?
Maher uses his HBO platform to slam woke overreach, defend free speech and criticize his fellow liberals.
Every. Single. Week.
Musk’s crime? He bought Twitter, streamlined the operation, let many banned accounts back onto the platform and, best of all, opened the books on pre-Musk Twitter.
The Twitter Files exposed a massive, speech-suppressing operation that overlapped with the Biden administration’s attacks on the First Amendment.
For that Musk is now a supervillain. Never mind his groundbreaking work on the electric car front or his spectacular space innovations.
Musk and Maher heart free speech, and that’s put a media target on their back. And boy, do they have little interest in hiding it.
Until Its Shutdown, CNS Remained A Loyal Judicial Watch Stenographer Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com got interested again in serving as a stenographer for right-wing legal group Judicial Watch at the beginning of last year. Indeed, CNS -- spearheaded by managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- continued to crank out Judicial Watch press releases throughout 2022 and up until CNS' shutdown in April. Chapman touted how Judicial watch was dabbling in COVID vaccine conspiracy theories in an April 2022 article:
Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services because it has not responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning communications about the side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Americans have a right to know about any and all safety issues tied to the COVID vaccines,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release.
“The government’s unlawful stonewall on this issue, which will now take a federal FOIA lawsuit to resolve, suggests that there is something to hide," he said.
The BBC recently reported on a British mother who died from a "'catastrophic' bleed on the brain caused by a rare side-effect of the Covid-19 vaccine." The coroner "recorded the cause of death as Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT)," said the BBC.
Intern Lauren Shank got the call to push further vaccine conspiracy-mongering in a Nov. 2 article:
Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization, announced Tuesday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for insufficiently responding to a records request for COVID-19 vaccine safety studies.
“The Biden administration is playing shell games with documents on the Covid vaccine,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The arrogant cover-up of COVID vaccine safety information further undermines public confidence in these already controversial drugs.”
Among many other findings, Judicial Watch also uncovered FDA records that showed “top officials being pressured by companies and the Biden administration to impose timelines on approval for the booster shots ‘that make no sense.’”
CNS failed to make either article fair and balanced by talking to medical professionals who can vouch for the safety of the vaccines. And Shank didn't make clear that the statement that vaccines "make no sense" came from Judicial Watch, not known for having any sort of medical expertise.
CNS also hyped Judicial Watch's actions to further right-wing narratives. Several articles over the past year were linked to Republican obsession with Hunter Biden:
A Dec. 20 article by Chapman toutedhow Jusicial Watch latched onto another right-wing narrative by filing "a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Defense Department because it has failed to release documents concerning 'Critical Race Theory' and 'white supremacy,' reportedly being taught at the Air Force Academy. The academy is overseen by the Defense Department." Chapman followd up in an April 3 article gushing that the FOIA request yielded "U.S. Air Force Academy documents revealing that the institution is pushing 'woke' educational materials on its cadets. These records include the academy's superintendent, USAF Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, contending in a report's introduction that 'systemic racism exists in our society' and 'social injustice' continues to "afflict our society." No evidence was offered that disputed the accuracy of those assessments; instead, Chapman uncritially quoted Fitton ranting that "The documents confirm U.S. Air Force Academy leadership is obsessed with anti-American critical race theory and seeks to punish and smear cadets through leftist indoctrination programs."
A Feb. 9 article by Chapman touted Judicial Watch whining about the presence of U.S. Marines during a speech by President Biden last fall:
Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Defense Department because it has failed to produce legally requested communications concerning President Joe Biden's Sept. 1 campaign speech in Philadelphia, where he positioned two U.S. Marines to stand behind him as he lectured that "MAGA Republicans" are threatening the "very foundations of our Republic."
In a press release, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, "Biden’s infamous ‘Red Speech,’ which included the abuse of our Marines in its totalitarian imagery, painted a target on Trump and tens of millions of Americans for political suppression and worse."
“And, to make matters worse, the Pentagon is violating federal law by hiding records about Biden’s misuse of our military in his attempt to intimidate Americans," Fitton added.
Chapman's final piece of Judicial Watch stenography came on April 14 -- six days before CNS was shut down -- uncritically repeating the group's whining that local authorities in Maryland are ignoring the group's demand for records regaring "the ongoing protests outside the homes of some Supreme Court justices."
MRC's Joke Policeman Strikes At Kimmel Again Topic: Media Research Center
Alex Christy is the Media Research Center's joke policeman, frowning on any humor deemed to be insufficiently right-wing. The day before he ruled that Jimmy Kimmel's mocking of men unfamiliar with women's bodies, he was angry with Kimmel for something else in an April 13 post:
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel took time out of his Wednesday monologue to attack a college student who attended a recent Mike Pence speech at the University of Alabama for daring to be fearful that Democrats were redefining what it meant to be a woman. For Kimmel, the concern highlights why universities should “have another look at the minimum GPA required” for admission.
After going through some of the details of Pence’s talk, Kimmel reported: “And then they had a Q&A with the students and one of the young women, in particular, has some very serious concerns.”
Kimmel then played a video of the woman declaring: “As I wake up every day and I sometimes don't feel safe because I'm a woman and I feel that that's being taken away.”
Cutting her off, Kimmel asked, “Really? By who?” The video then resumed, “By our president.”
Whether Kimmel genuinely failed to understand the questioner’s concern or he simply didn’t care was hard to tell, but either way, he dismissed the concern, “Oh, whoa, Joe Biden's taking your vagina away? That’s, I mean, my god, the man can barely ride a bicycle.”
The irony was that some red states were seeking to prohibit the severing of minors’ body parts and people like Kimmel called them bigots for it, but here he was unwittingly acknowledging that being a woman (or a man) was biological and not a subjective feeling.
Or maybe he was mocking right-wingers who are claiming to protect women as an excuse to spew anti-transgender hate and who don't understand that letting one group of people have rights doesn't diminish the rights of others. The questioner is no less of a women because transgender people exist, and Chgristy is lying (or parroting right-wing narratives) by suggesting otherwise.
Christy concluded by trying to be profound: "Kimmel may dismiss the student’s concerns as a “non-issue,” but such concerns revolve around one of life’s most pressing questions: who am I and why does it matter?" Transgender people are also asking themselves those same questions, but it doesn't suit his hateful partisan narrative to acknowledge that.
Remember, this is a late-night comedy show that Christy is getting all upset over. He has decided that if Kimmel won't reinforce his partisan worldview, he can't possibly be funny.
WND Can't Stop Lying To Readers About Retailer's Issues Topic: WorldNetDaily
Over the past couple years, WorldnetDaily has spreadthefalsehood that the retailer Bed Bath & Beyond is in financial trouble because it stopped carrying MyPillow products after company head Mike Lindell started started going off the deep end of conspiracy theories by spreading his own falsehoods about purported election fraud. It did that again in an April 23 article carrying the headline "Major retailer that 'canceled' MyPillow guy Mike Lindell files for bankruptcy."
But the article itself -- taken from the right-wing Western Journal -- doesn't mention Lindell or MyPillow at all. It's actually a fairly straightforward story about the bankruptcy and what will follow.Nevertheless, the article was accompanied by a poll question: "Is Bed, Bath & Beyond's bankruptcy a direct result of its dropping Mike Lindell's MyPillow products?" You will not be surprised to learn that 77 percent of respondents said yes -- even though no evidence whatsoever has been presented to support that view.
Meanwhile, here in the real world, other things -- including billions of dollars spent on stock buybacks instead of investing into the business -- are the actual reasons why Bed Bath & Beyond is going out of business.
If WND thinks it can lie to its readers because doing so fits its right-wing narratives, why should anyone trust it as a "news" organization?
MRC Complains That Right-Wing Anti-Trans Hate Is Being Called Out Topic: Media Research Center
It's been a while since we lastchecked in on the rampant transphobia at the Media Research Center (outside of attacking Dylan Mulvaney, that is). Let's see how that's going, shall we? A Feb. 24 post by Brad Wilmouth complained that the hate behind anti-trans state laws was called out:
On Tuesday' The Lead show, CNN host Jake Tapper did his part to promote transgender surgery for underage teens as he devoted a segment to fretting over Idaho's push for a state ban. Republicans only stood for "cruelty" and "meanness" that is somehow against God.
Teenage transgender activist Eve Debitt and father Michael Debitt were given an extremely sympathetic forum to complain about the Idaho legislature's actions with no serious consideration of the view that such surgery causes irreversible harm through amputation.
The CNN host began the segment by playing a clip of the teenager giving testimony claiming that such surgery would be "my final step into the body that I should have been born into." The teen also employed the trope that if teens don't get what they want, they'll kill themselves:
Wilmouth didn't explain how criticizing transphobia equated to "promot[ing] transgender surgery."
Jay Maxson whined that a winning athlete did what athletes do in overcoming obstacles erected by haters like him(or her) in a March 15 post:
There’s only one thing more appalling than a male robbing females of opportunities in the field of sports. It’s when the transgender dude out-muscles the girls, then lords it over them and tells them to deal with the injustice. That’s just what happened in Massachusetts when Chloe Barnes, a male ringer, helped the Brookline girls win the high school state championship in the 4x200-meter relay this season.
After doing the girls dirt, the haughty Barnes rubbed it in. “Deal with it. Just deal with it,” the insensitive punk told them.
We doubt that Maxson has ever criticized any other athlete who engaged in this mild form of trash talk as "haughty" or an "insensitive punk." Instead, there was a haughy rant claiming that allowng transgender athletes to play was "the brainchild of some woke nitwits who thought it would be wonderful to hand LGBTABCD fascists a victory."
The MRC's chief trasnphobe, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, spent a March 21 post cheering that a Christian high school inVermont quit a state girls basketball tournament rather than play a team with a transgender athlete:
I don’t blame the Christian school. Men have a significant size and strength advantage over women, especially in something like basketball where those characteristics are imperative. This set LTS at a significantly altered and unfairly high position against MVCS.
Yet, Vermont and its leaders clearly care more about identity politics than the safety of their students.
What’s funny was that in an attempt to say that the Christian students were discriminating against the transgender student, [State senator Regecca] White discriminated against the group of Christian girls.
It's not surprising, however, that THIS is the side that CNN decided to highlight.
Mandelburg didn't mention whether the team's players had any say in the matter.
Matt Philbin (who would be out of a job a month later) raged in a March 23 post that the Washington Post reported the inconvenient fact that (gasp!) most transgender people are happy with their lives, baselessly insisting that those who believe that are lying to themselves and the pollsters:
The Washington Post has released a survey of post-transition transgender adults. You’ll be shocked to learn that most of the results bolster various assertions of the trans movement. I leave it to smarter people than me to critique the survey methodology. Suffice it to say this is The Post, where democracy dies in data.
The big headline for the main Post article announcing the results says “Most trans adults say transitioning made them more satisfied with their lives.”
And maybe they are. But consider: You crossed the Rouge Rubicon. You’ve made a dramatic life decision to defy biology, theology, and the accumulated commonsense of 5 millennia in a way that probably can’t be undone socially or, if applicable, medically. Now strangers want to know if you’re happy with your decision. Choose your answer:
No, I can’t believe how gullible and deluded I was. I’ve made a mess of my life and maybe my body and I still have the same neuroses I thought I was escaping.
Yeah, it’s great. My fantastic new life is just super and I’ve really got it together now. No regrets. Goodbye.
Human nature (which is still there, despite your efforts to ditch it) dictates you put your smiley face on no matter how you’re really feeling.
Philbin then manufactured a conspiracy about "Big Trans," whatever that is:
So if most of these people knew they had gender issues when they were young, and most didn’t do anything medical about it, and today, they’re happier and more satisfied, why the rush to sell kids expensive, dangerous drugs and drastic irreversible surgeries? The end – happy people living as their preferred gender/genders/combination thereof – can be attained without drastic and dangerous means?
Why are plastic surgeons lobbying government to allow more younger patients to get sex change operations? Why does the most powerful pro-trans medical figure in America talk about the “return on investment” for facilities that offer those surgeries?
Could it be that Big Trans is also big business?
We thought Philbin and the MRC supported big business and capitalism.
Clay Waters complained that anti-trans hate was again called out in a March 26 post:
Thursday’s edition of Amanpour & Co., which appears on PBS, went wild in defense of radical transgenderism, comparing American anti-trans bills to truly insidious legislation in dictatorships.
Host Christiane Amanpour set the table with an ignorant international comparison of supposed female/LGBTQ repression:
[TransLash Media founder Imara] Jones laid out the grand “far right” conspiracy against transgenders, while sneakily boosting the numbers of actual transgenders in America (a UCLA study finds 0.5 percent of the population to be transgender, three times less than the 1.5 percent Jones slips in, calling it “a tiny group of people”).
Waters didn't explain what "radical transgenderism" is -- unless he assumes that all transgenderism is "radical" -- and he didn't bnother to dispute that there is an "anti-trans hate machine," as Jones asserted. Instead he whined that "Jones smeared groups like Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, as if it was a conspiracy for social conservative groups to push social conservative policy."
Tim Graham had his own meltdown over anti-trans hate being called out in an April 2 post:
The Left's energetic attempt to take a mass shooting at a Christian school with a transgender murderer and turn this around on the Christian conservatives is a shameless exercise to behold. On MSNBC's The ReidOut on Wednesday night, host Joy Reid welcomed transgender activist Charlotte Clymer and Jim Wallis of the Center for Faith and Justice at Georgetown to spit nails at conservatives from Tucker Carlson to Michael Knowles.
Reid said she wanted to take down (well, take on) the Christian element of this. She began with a clip of "Fox's hate entertainment broadcaster Tucker Carlson" proclaiming the transgender ideologues are the mirror image of Christianity and "therefore, its natural enemy."
In reply, Wallis said "LGBTQ are initials that all stand for somebody who's beloved of God, made in the image of God. Let`s be clear about that."
The bad Christians are the gun-lovers, Wallis said. "There was an ancient God called Moloch. Leviticus talks about Moloch, who was a God that children were sacrificed to in flames. And the Bible is very tough on Moloch. Guns are our new Moloch. Guns are the Moloch. We`re sacrificing our children to Moloch, when we could do easy commonsense things about guns."
From there, Wallis proclaimed that "White Christian nationalism, which is behind all this, is literally a biblical heresy."
So Reid is hosting a segment on the warping of Christianity, as Clymer claims God is a "her" that "made me transgender." Call it the Church of MSNBC.
This name-calling was the closest Graham got to a rebuttal.
CNS Managing Editor Cheered Uganda's New Anti-Gay Law Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman hatesgaypeople, and he has previously written approvingly of anti-gay laws in Africa. He got in one more shot at them before CNS' shutdown by cheering an anti-gay law in Uganda in a March 22 article that lovingly described what the law did:
The Parliament of Uganda voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to pass the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023," which seeks to "protect the traditional family" by prohibiting homosexual behavior and its promotion or recognition. The legislation now goes to the desk of President Yoweri Museveni, who is expected to sign it into law.
"Homosexuality is a human wrong that offends the laws of Uganda and threatens the sanctity of the family, the safety of our children and the continuation of humanity through reproduction," tweeted Ugandan Parliament Member Basalirwa Asuman.
As part of protecting the traditional family, the bill is designed to protect "the cherished culture of the people of Uganda" and the "values of Ugandans against the acts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda," reads the legislation.
In the bill, the "offence of homosexuality" is defined as a person who "penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption," or who "holds out as a lesbian, gay, transgender, a queer or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female."
If a person engages in such behavior, they could face imprisonment of 10 years.
In a related rule, a person is guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" if they engage in same-sex behavior with a person under the age of 18, if the offender is HIV-positive, if the victim suffers from a disability, or if the offender uses a drug to stupify the victim.
In such cases, the criminal penalty is possible imprisonment up to 10 years.
Brothels for homosexuals are prohibited under the bill, as is same-sex marriage.
In addition, promotion of homosexuality through media -- magazines, books, pictures, the Internet, mobile phones -- is prohibited.
The bill further allows for victims of homosexuality to receive assistance and payment of compensation for the crime committed against them.
Strangely, Chapman omitted the fact that the law permits the death penalty for anyone found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality." instead, he quoted Ugandan officials praising the law:
Uganda's Speaker of Parliament, Anita Annet Among, said "Congratulations. Whatever we are doing, we are doing it for the people of Uganda," after the legislation passed on March 21.
When asked about LGBTQ organizations, she said, "[W]e don’t appreciate the money that they are bringing to destroy our culture. We don’t need their money, we need our cultures."
Member of Parliament David Bahati, as reported by Aljazeera, said, “Our creator God is happy [about] what is happening.... I support the bill to protect the future of our children."
“This is about the sovereignty of our nation, nobody should blackmail us, nobody should intimidate us," he added.
Last December, the archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Samuel Stephen Kaziimba, warned the youth about the dangers of homosexuality and those who promote it.
Finally, in the 19th paragraph of his article, Chapman got around to noting criticism of the law:
Human Rights Watch sharply condemned the passage of the legislation. Oryem Nyeko, a reasearcher for HRW, said, “One of the most extreme features of this new bill is that it criminalizes people simply for being who they are as well as further infringing on the rights to privacy, and freedoms of expression and association that are already compromised in Uganda."
“Ugandan politicians should focus on passing laws that protect vulnerable minorities and affirm fundamental rights and stop targeting LGBT people for political capital," he added.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the bill "would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation."
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said, “The passing of this discriminatory bill – probably among the worst of its kind in the world – is a deeply troubling development."
In 33 African nations, homosexual relations are against the law, according to Human Rights Watch.
CNS did attempt something resembling balance in an article the next day by Melanie Arter noting U.S. criticism of the law:
The White House on Wednesday expressed “grave concerns” with a bill passed by the Ugandan Parliament that criminalizes homosexuality, calling it “one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”
As CNSNews.com previously reported , the Parliament of Uganda voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to pass the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023," which seeks to "protect the traditional family" by prohibiting homosexual behavior and its promotion or recognition. The legislation now goes to the desk of President Yoweri Museveni, who is expected to sign it into law.
Arter uncritically copy-and-pasted the salacious definition of homosexuality from Chapman's article, presumably for additional inflammatory effect.
WND Warms Up To Greene's 'National Divorce' Idea Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has been in favor of splitting up the United States into two separate countries -- one conservative, one liberal -- for a while now. WAyne Allyn Root ranted in a June 2022 column after the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade:
But now to the good news. All is not lost. This Supreme Court abortion decision is the first step toward the solution I've been preaching for what ails America.
I call my solution "DIVORCE, AMERICAN-STYLE."
It's clear we are a nation terribly divided. It's clear we can't live together. There is no longer any compromise possible; the divide is too wide. There is no compromise for open borders and "defund the police." There is no compromise for forced vaccinations for babies and little children. There is no compromise for abortion on demand. There is no compromise for 20% inflation and $10 gas. There is no compromise for letting every rioter, mugger, carjacker and murderer loose while we order FBI SWAT teams to hunt down Republicans who believe the 2020 election was stolen. The days of compromise are over.
So, the peaceful solution is to separate. It's time to go our separate ways. Let's call it a "national divorce." Everyone is familiar with divorce. Everyone has experienced it – whether personally or through friends, family or children. We all know someone divorced.
Half of America is divorced. I've gotten divorced. It's not the end of the world. It's much better to admit you don't like each other and can't live together anymore and separate peacefully. Everyone gets to walk away and live the life they want. It's a win-win.
When far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene calledfor a "national divorce" earlier this year, though, WND didn't immediately latch onto it, publishing only an article stolen from the New York Post. It also published a Feb. 23 column by David Harsanyi calling the idea impractical and admitting that it proposes "secession," going on to insist that "federalism is not only a more desirable solution than breaking the country into two, but also far more feasible."
It took a while, but editor Joseph Farah embraced the "national divorce" thing in his March 20 column, after first claiming disdain for it:
I was troubled when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene first mentioned the idea of split between red and blue states – a "national divorce," she called it.
I didn't like it at first blush. Maybe it was because I am so opposed to "divorce." Yes, marriage is a sacred institution to God, but though only on the human level. He said nothing about nations – other than Israel. And though He punished His people greatly for rejecting Him, He will forgive them and make Israel whole again soon enough.
But the idea of "divorce" is still despicable to me.
Farah didn't mention that he himself is divorced and is currently on his second marriage. Instead, he explained how he came around to the idea:
The more I thought about her idea, however, the more it had appeal.
A recent poll by Ipsos has opened my eyes to how much vindication, mercy and aid it would offer us.
The shocking new poll shows that one-fifth of Americans agree with splitting – already.
Twenty percent of U.S. adults – which amounts to some 66 million people – want to call it quits on the 247-year-old union. I didn't think that many would be inclined. I thought it was an outlier for sure.
Infidelity is what Greene is thinking. She's just saying that Democrats are not capable or willing to be committed to things like the Constitution, simple ideas like "life" instead of "death," and the growing theory that we don't need police anymore.
It's won't happen overnight, for sure. There are no serious proposals in Washington to carve up the country, but secessionist moves in some states have gathered momentum in recent years. A campaign to have rural eastern Oregon effectively secede from the blue state and join more conservative Idaho has gained traction, with politicians in both states expressing support for moving the border.
Red and blue states don't seem to have much in common – we can't even agree on how to conduct elections. We can't decide whether we should lock up Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden – or Donald Trump.
Root returned with an April 1 column reminding us of how he has always supported the idea and the Donald Trump's (first) indictment should be a catalyst:
The indictment of Trump is your wake-up call. We cannot live with these people. They are a combination of Soviet gulag, East German Stasi and Nazi gestapo. They are intolerant communist tyrants obsessed with controlling your life and eliminating dissent.
Recently, high-profile Republicans have followed my lead. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made headlines with her calls for a "national divorce." Now multimillionaire CEO and GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has mentioned the need for a national divorce.
Welcome to "Wayne's World." It's about time.
It's been clear to me for years now that we cannot live with Democrats any longer (i.e., crazed, radical, extreme, America-hating, white race-hating, wealth-hating, capitalism-hating, police-hating, military-hating, man-hating, woke, communist, globalist, transgender-obsessed, SUICIDE BOMBERS.
And as you might expect from a guy who making his living as a pro-Trump grifter, this process involves buying a book from him:
I repeat: We need to get away. We need to separate. We need a "national divorce." The question is how?
I have a quick, simple and easy way to start the process that we can carry out from the safety of our living rooms or kitchen tables. It's all explained in my latest book, "The Great Patriot BUY-cott Book." We start by building a "parallel conservative economy." In short, conservatives and patriots take our massive spending power and only spend and invest with companies that are run by conservatives, patriots, Christians and people of faith.
In other words, we FUND the conservative economy, and we DEFUND the leftist, woke economy.
We build a separate economy, a conservative ecosystem. We reward and enrich those on the Right. We punish and bankrupt the evil woke communists on the Left who are currently using our money to destroy America and the great American middle class.
In "The Great Patriot BUY-cott Book," we identify the 123 most conservative patriotic companies in America you can proudly buy from and invest in – without sacrificing your values or funding the destruction of everything we believe in.
A national divorce is complicated and will take many years to achieve. It may never officially happen. But our idea for a parallel conservative economy is the way to achieve an unofficial national divorce. It's a simple, easy start.
Call it a "quickie divorce."
Bob Unruh began an April 19 "news" article claiming the "national divorce" is already happening with his own right-wing-bubble interpretation of the difference between liberals and conservatives:
Greene recently suggested the split because of the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the extremist positions of leftist Democrats in America – and the more traditional values of Republicans.
The GOP, for example, thinks parents should make decisions for their children, there's no need for taxpayers to pay for surgeries to mutilate the bodies of small children, and uncontrolled spending is not the way for government to operate.
Democrats advocate those life-altering transgender surgeries, virtually unlimited spending and the exclusion of parents from major life decisions involving their children.
Unruh then revealed his alleged evidence, which is just cherry-picked census data forwarded by right-wing writer Paul Bedard:
Now Bedard reports that "national divorce" already appears to be happening "organically."
"A new analysis of Census Bureau data shows that since the 2020 election year, nearly 2.6 million have moved out of counties won by President Joe Biden and into those won by former President Donald Trump," he explained.
The analysis, from Issues and Insights, notes, "More than 61% of the counties that voted for Biden in 2020 lost population, while 65% of Trump-supporting counties gained population."
But correlation does not necessarily equal causation, and no proof is offered that it does here. Also, those stats doesn't take into account that the COVID pandemic created opportunities to work remotely and reduce the need for people to live in expensive cities.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Transgender Targets Topic: Media Research Center
In addition to loathing transgender people in general, The Media Research Center loves to lash out at specific people -- like Rachel Levine and Dwyane Wade's child -- who have offended it by committing the offense of existing as transgender in public. Read more >>
MRC Continued Fretting Over Tucker Carlson's Firing, Defending His Extreme Views Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center had a sad about Fox News firing Tucker Carlson, but it cheered CNN's firing of Don Lemon, then falsely tried to conflate the two even though they didn't have equivalent jobs. It was ultimately more concerned about Carlson's firing though. An April 24 post by Curtis Houck examined speculation over the firings -- but he gushed more about the speculation over Lemon while dismissing specuation about Carlson as coming from "liberal journalists" and "the ever-hacktastic Daily Beast." An April 26 post by Alex Christy -- who previously played joke policeman by whining that late-night comedy shows told too many jokes about Carlson -- complained that NBC's Seth Meyers "piled on Tucker Carlson" with Democratic Rep. Katie Porter.
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson broke his silence Wednesday night in a two-minute-long video posted to Twitter. In it, he torched the establishment media and what he describes as both political parties and their donors reaching "consensus on what benefits them and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it." He ended the video with a hint that his future in conservative media was far from over.
Tucker started the video by remarking about his perspective since leaving Fox News: "One of the first things you realize, when you step outside the noise for a few days, is how many genuinely nice people there are in this country. Kind and decent people. People who really care about what’s true and a bunch of hilarious people also. A lot of those! It’s got to be the majority of the population even now. So that’s heartening."
Maybe Carlson will release a nightly monologue on Twitter. His monologues on his former Fox News show frequently made news and got people talking on Twitter. He can easily do that again by going directly to the newly liberated Elon Musk-owned Twitter.
It should be noted that as of publication, Carlson's video had over six million impressions, which was double what his old cable news show received on an average night.
Jeffrey Lord tried to manufacture a conspiracy about Fox News not being right-wing enough in his April 29 column:
One can only wonder, as many have, why in the world Fox would shut down its number one host. Tucker Carlson is a very popular conservative and a decidedly smart guy as well. All of which has been evident on his nightly show, and all of which his audience both understands and loves.
It boggles the mind that the people who created, own and run Fox News could be this far along in their creation and ownership of this network and not understand in a blink that the “blowback” from silencing Tucker could in fact be “this bad.”
All of which leads to the larger questions of what, exactly, Americans are really seeing as all of this drama unfolds. Is Fox deliberately turning its sights into becoming an “establishment” network?
That, I suspect, gets right to the real reason the Fox management cut Tucker loose. He was saying things on air that went against the grain of Establishment “truths”. Whether it was his opposition to the war in Ukraine, his thoughts on the transgender obsessions or saying that illegal immigrants were literally littering the countryside of the American Southwest, Tucker was fearless.
Notably he happily showed the January 6 inside-the-Capitol videos given to him by Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tellingly others in the GOP leadership - like Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell - were livid at Tucker’s presentation of internal videos that directly contradicted the presentations of the House January 6 Committee. Tellingly, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was so incensed that he demanded Rupert Murdoch take him off the air. And also tellingly, Schumer has now been granted his wish.
In fact, it's been proven that Carlson's cherry-picked videos don't accurately reflect the reality of the riot.
Luis Cornelio spent a May 1 post hyping speculation from podcaster Joe Rogan that Carlson might be moving to right-wing video site Rumble. MRC executive Tim Graham, meanwhile, ran to Newsmax to complain about leaked audio of unflattering behavior by Carlson and defending his right to be a nasty whiner:
NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham appeared on the Newsmax evening show Eric Bolling The Balance to discuss Tucker Carlson's dismissal and the aftermath at Fox News, and whether Fox is becoming too "establishment."
Bolling ran video of the latest leak of Tucker running down the Fox Nation website, saying it's dysfunctional and it drives him crazy. Bolling said "the speculation is that Fox is leaking that stuff from the inside."
TIM GRAHAM: Well that's the weirdest stuff. It's like we're sitting here on a day where Trump is going to do a live town hall on CNN and Fox is leaking stuff to Media Matters? (Laughs) Where are we living?!
Look, I think, just like we heard Tucker saying nasty things about Trump in the text messages or emails in the Dominion suit. People should have a right to have moments where they're upset with people. Right? I mean, we all have this inside our own office. Sometimes where we're not happy with the way things are going, But there's just you blow off steam. It doesn't mean that you're going to be a disloyal employee. I mean, the people that should be seen as the disloyal employees are all the Fox people who talked to Brian Stelter for his nasty books!
BOLLING: Yeah, and Gabe Sherman back in the day.
Graham didn't explain what, if anything, in Stelter's book about Fox News was "nasty," or why those who spoke to him for the book were "disloyal" while Carlson wasn't.
After one leaked audio clip showed Carlson making racist-leaning comments, Mark Finkelstein took offense when "Morning Joe" featured it, using whataboutism to distract from it:
In the course of a long Morning Joe segment today focusing on an exposed Tucker Carlson text message to a colleague that the way some January 6th rioters were beating up an Antifa guy isn't "how white men fight," Michael Steele commented:
The fact that something like that could be sent to a colleague and it sort of sits there, and nothing happens or comes from it, and it's not until you get into this sort of adversarial, prosecutorial setting in which it becomes public or potentially becomes public that they see some reaction. So it really speaks to the culture inside the building in many respects that that type of communication doesn't rise to a point where, you know, he's brought in by the leadership of the company saying, what the hell are you talking about, how white men fight?"
If Steele is shocked that there would be no immediate corporate repercussions for Tucker saying that in a private communication between two people, how about a TV host bragging—live on the air—about how he would threaten and attack someone merely doing something he didn't approve of? Steele need look no further than across the morning's panel, at certified very-white-man Joe Scarborough.
Want to know "how white men fight," Michael? Last year, we caught Macho Joe, commenting on tourists in the Capitol the day before January 6th, bragging about how he'd attack one. Mind you: not someone who had confronted or attacked Joe. Just someone doing something Scarborough didn't approve of[.]
Graham complained more about the leaks in his May 3 podcast:
Don Lemon's firing at CNN was not mysterious, but we're in week two of trying to figure out why Fox News parted ways with Tucker Carlson. Was he too insubordinate with the Murdochs? Did he use the C-word for women too often? It seems like nobody really knows yet.
New leaks to Tucker-hating liberal outlets and "watchdog groups" seemed intended to damage the ex-Fox host's standing, but conservatives largely found they liked him more. One video showed Carlson complaining about flaws on the Fox Nation website. Another showed him suggesting one man's wife looked "yummy"....then he took it back when he thought someone might find it from a satellite transmission. He told one Fox-hating watchdog group to...."GFY."
Graham ranted about the leaked Tucker videos again in a May 7 post, with added indignance that Carlson was labeled (accurately, it can be argued) as a racist:
On Wednesday's World News Tonight, ABC reporter Terry Moran reveled in a leaked Tucker Carlson text message about a mob of white men beating up an "antifa kid." He claimed "For years...Tucker Carlson promoted racist views on his show, the highest-rated program on Fox...viewers had long heard Carlson give voice to a message of white supremacy, especially on the issue of immigration."
ABC anchor David Muir introduced the story with these words behind him on screen: "NYT UNCOVERS RACIST CARLSON TEXT."
To describe Carlson's show as "racist" in general is a smear not only of the host, but the audience that makes it "the highest rated program on Fox." In The New York Times, A.O. Scott said the same thing, only fancier: "His most successful on-air persona, perfected on Fox after the departure of Bill O’Reilly, has been a volatile mixture of upper crust and salt of the earth. Whiteness was the glue that held the package together, and in this text you can see it coming unstuck, even as Carlson tries to work through some inherent contradictions."
Graham went on to play whataboutism rather than actually try and prove Carlson isn't racist. You may remember that the MRC tried to lamely insist that the Carlson-promoted racist replacement conspiracy theory -- which seems to have inspired a gun massacre -- wasn't racist or a conspiracy theory.
We'veshown how Newsmax flip-flopped on Tucker Carlson, going from bashing him over his pro-Russia stance to treating him as a victim after Fox News fired him (in part because it would desperately love to hire Carlson). Newsma 's columnists also fretted over Carlson's firing. Michael Dorstewitz declaring that his firing was "bad for all of society" in an April 26 column:
The release of Tucker Carlson from Fox News, coming one week after conservative political commentator Dan Bongino was also let go, represents a disturbing and evolving trend in American society: freedom of thought is out; totalitarianism is in.
Afterwards, dressed in what appeared to be the same jacket and tie, Carlson delivered the keynote address at The Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary Gala. He talked about freedom.
"I am not a slave," he said. "I am a free citizen, and I'm not doing that, and there's nothing you can do to me to make me do it, and I hope it won't come to that, but if it does come to that, here I am. Here I am. It's Paul on trial. Here I am."
Carlson also spoke about truth and lies.
"The truth is contagious," he said. "the more you tell the truth, the stronger you become. . . .the more you lie, the weaker and more terrified you become . . . you see these people and some of them really have paid a heavy price for telling the truth . . . but they do it anyway. . . "
Dorstewitz didn't mention that Carlson's record of spreading falsehoods and misinformation is so egregious that Fox News lawyers resorted to defending him against him by declaring that nobody should believe a single word he says.
Bill Donohue whined that the media is accurately labeling Carlson's views:
Today, these terms have lost their meaning. The lead story in today's New York Times is: "Fox News Ousts Carlson, a Voice Of the Far Right."
What did Carlson do to merit this invidious tag? The news story says he took "far-right positions on issues like border policy and race relations."
Carlson believes that people who break the law by crashing our border and entering the country illegally should be prosecuted. The surveys show so do most Americans.
Carlson also believes that critical race theory, which teaches that every white person is a racist, is irresponsible. The surveys show most Americans agree with him. In other words, according to the New York Times, most Americans are Nazi-like creatures.
Most fair-minded observers would say that Carlson is to the right of center the way Don Lemon is to the left of center. Accordingly, if The New York Times were fair, it would brand Lemon "far left." But that is not what they called him recently: He is called a "fiery political commentator."
This could also be said of Carlson, but that is not what they say about him. He is an extremist.
Donohue offered no proof that Lemon is as far left as Carlson is to the right.
John Burnett argued that Carlson's firing is good news ... for Newsmax, because Fox News has decided it would rather "dominate the political center, which requires it not to be too far right to capture Democrats and independents":
So, where do the defecting 3.7 million center-right Fox viewers go? Newsmax is the optimal choice, and the network is well-positioned to gain viewers, streamers, and subscribers requesting the station in cable network channel packages.
And the timing is excellent for Newsmax, having recently resolved its dispute with DirecTV as we enter a period of presidential politics that will yield more campaign announcements and Republican debates set to kick off in August this year.
The floridly bylined Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq., thinks that Carlson's firing means that Fox News will not support Donald Trump in 2024:
The ignominious firing of a top performer — often the No. 1 show on cable — seemed to strike a chord across America. But as his audience was generally only about 1% of the U.S. population and so many of us already switched to Newsmax, there was something incongruous about the collective reaction. It felt more like a death in the family, even if it was someone you didn’t see too often.
Why? Carlson was one person in the mainstream media who dared to look at things in a different way, even if sometimes utterly unpopular.
Whether you agreed or not, he articulated a certain point of view. This was generally the America First, MAGA lens: on the topics of the vaccine, Ukraine, immigration or President Trump, he was not milquetoast.
Paradoxically, the more popular he became, it appears the more he rubbed Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch the wrong way. Murdoch, a billionaire born in Australia, doesn’t have a natural love for the viewers. The audience is a necessary evil for him to deal with: Grab their money and use their numbers to wield disproportionate power.
What did he want to do with his power? Clearly, Murdoch expects to use it to prevent Donald Trump from being president again. If Murdoch can create a news blackout, there goes the “earned media” that was part of the secret sauce for Trump’s first victory.
It should make every thinking American shudder to envision himself as a mere pawn of Rupert Murdoch. He can never be president himself.
We cannot allow the Murdochs to silence us, or trample our will.
Josh Hammer insisted that Carlson needs a massive platform again to hate transgender people:
Hopefully, Carlson will retain something approximating his exceptional level of cultural and political influence in whatever role he next serves, because his witness to truth and civilizational sanity has never been more necessary.
This is perhaps most clearly true when it comes to gender ideology and transgenderism, which is the issue most directly implicated by Carlson's framing of America's fundamental divide as a struggle between differing theological and anthropological conceptions of man.
Is sexual dimorphism an obvious empirical reality, rooted in Genesis 1:27, and mandating legal codification for any regime that claims a basis in truth and justice? Or is gender instead "fluid," wherein man can replace God and change his gender on a lark, and wherein it is contemptible bigotry to deny anyone's subjective sense of biological or sexual reality?
Tucker Carlson certainly knew his answer: He opened a memorable 2021 interview of former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson by asking the then-sitting governor, who had shamefully vetoed a bill to protect vulnerable children from the predatory scalpels of the woke-besotted medical establishment, why he had "come out publicly as 'pro-choice' on the question of chemical castration of children." Oof.
That is not a debate where the "best white paper wins." It is a zero-sum contestation of clashing visions of the human person, rooted in diametrically opposed substantive underpinnings. And, more to the point, the forces of godlessness, paganism and civilizational arson certainly already treat the debate over gender ideology as a vicious winner-take-all battle.
Dennis Kneale also mined a pro-Newsmax angle to Carlson's firing in his May 1 column, in which he also touted three previous Newsmax appearances by him in the span of just a few paragraphs:
Tucker Carlson's ouster is downright rude; it had to hurt, as I mentioned on Rita Cosby’s show on Saturday morning on Newsmax TV, here.
One clear winner in this Tucker trauma has emerged, says veteran political advisor Dick Morris, whom I joined in a Newsmax segment on Monday of last week.
"The obvious fact is that Newsmax has won. Newsmax is now the sole conservative voice in media, and Fox News can talk about that, but by firing Carlson they have decidedly moved to the left and the center."
He added, "I think ratings are going to increase dramatically, I think that people that are used to watching Fox are going to flock to Newsmax."
Newsmax ratings were up 261% in the 8 p.m. slot, up 220% in prime time over all, and up 113% for total day, for Monday to Wednesday last week, compared with the two previous weeks. I discussed this with anchors Lidia Curanaj and Michael Grimm on Sunday morning on Newsmax's "Wake Up America Weekend."
Scott Powell's May 2 column took the doom-and-conspiracy route:
But there are profound lessons that have come to the fore via his departure from Fox, which reveal more nuance and depth about what's wrong with America’s mainstream media; that is, how it's influenced by America haters who manipulate advertisers to defund truth tellers, and how weak leadership of our media utterly fails our country and helps our enemies.
Tucker had the largest viewership of any talk show in the genre, and he was waking people up more effectively than any other "talking head."
But he was relentlessly attacked by left-wing critics who succeeded in intimidating advertisers from continuing their support of his show.
This may have been a factor in Fox management’s decision to cancel him.
Many have noted that Fox received advertising revenue from Pfizer.
Did that affect the network's coverage of an important and lasting story of our time: COVID-19 vaccines?
One can’t help but recognize that what makes Tucker Carlson so powerful is his God-given combination of compelling and disarming qualities of being an extraordinarily likeable truth teller. So, if that iron law is true, the best for Tucker Carlson must be yet to come.
And like an exceptional performance's encore, let’s bring him back, unleashed — now.
But Fox News stopped liking him, and that's what matters at this point.
WND's Defense Of Man Who Killed Protester Aged Poorly Topic: WorldNetDaily
Peter LaBarbera wrote in an April 10 WorldNetDaily article:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pledging to "work swiftly" to pardon Army Sgt. Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murdering AK-47-toting BLM extremist Garrett Foster to death in 2020 after Perry accidentally drove his car for Uber into an Austin street mobbed by leftist, anti-cop protesters.
The conviction of Perry, who could face life in prison, is clouded by allegations that Rick Garcia, the George Soros-backed, "progressive" Travis County D.A. who successfully prosecuted him, instructed an investigator of the case to leave out exculpatory information about Perry in his court testimony during the trial.
The Perry case is potentially as incendiary as that of Kyle Rittenhouse, who in 2021 was acquitted of several homicide charges after defending himself with his weapon in riots the previous year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The accusation that "exculpatory information" was removed from testimony comes from a claim from Perry's attorneys regarding retired detective David Fugitt. But as prosecutors pointed out, Fugitt's claim was addressed and rejected before Perry's trial.
But as with the Media Research Center's similar defense of Perry, it didn't age well. A few days later, unsealed documents from the case revealed that Perry had a history of making racist and violent comments on social media, stating just a couple months before the shooting that “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters," and stating in another post that “It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo."
LaBarbera seemed to try to inoculate his reporting from this by writing a section of his article wiht the subhead "Liberal media ignores and distorts context":
Online broadcaster and self-described "disaffected liberal" Tim Pool (@Timcast on Twitter) gave a tutorial of sorts on press bias in analyzing liberal media coverage of the Perry case. In his Rumble broadcast, Pool accused media like the Austin Chronicle of selectively taking portions of past remarks by Perry, out of their proper context, to make it appear as if Perry relished the idea of shooting BLM protesters.
Pool also warned of the danger to Americans' basic rights if past comments they made defending their Second Amendment right to self-defense can later be used and distorted to provide supposed evidence of murderous- or harmful intent.
LaBarbera then tried to argue that Foster deserved to die:
Pool cited a tweet by former Army Green Beret Jim Hanson who explained how Foster, by having his weapon "employed" or "brandished" (as opposed to merely carrying it), posed an immediate threat to Perry sitting in his vehicle, surrounded by protesters:
In a follow-up tweet, Hanson said: "I've seen arguments Garrett Foster was only defending himself when Daniel Perry shot him. The easiest way to actually stay safe would have been stop mobbing his car & brandishing a rifle. But even if he was 'defending' himself, that doesn't remove Perry's right to do the same."
LaBarbera didn't update his story to address the newly released statements by Perry, and WND hasn't touched the story since. So much for LaBarbera being a fair and balanced reporter.