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Thursday, June 15, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade, Pudding Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

It's been a while since we checked in on the Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade, determined to act like Ron DeSantis was personally paying them to defend him against any and all criticism -- with a focus on ... pudding. Curtis Houck complained in a March 16 post:

The Daily Beast offered a reminder Thursday of how there’s no bottom to their juvenile but slimy reporting as reporters Jake Lahut and former conservative-turned-real-life-Randall Zachary Petrizzo offered an audition for the grocery store tabloids in “The GOP Campaign Trail Is Already Getting DeSantis-Proofed.” The big scoop? Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) isn’t a social butterfly and allegedly ate a cup of pudding with his fingers.

The big find came near the end of the 1300-plus-word hit piece, insisting “[t]he chatter over DeSantis’ public engagement has also surfaced past unflattering stories about his social skills—particularly, his propensity to devour food during meetings.”

They then cited “a former DeSantis staffer” (who’s likely rather disgruntled) that claimed DeSantis “would sit in meetings and eat in front of people” as if he were a “starving animal who has never eaten before… getting shit everywhere.”


The rest of the piece reads like it belongs in the warped dreams of someone like Joy Reid or Tommy Vietor or Bulwark fan fiction, built on anonymous sources insisting they’re important to DeSantis’s 2024 chances.

Houck -- who is acting in a very juvenile and slimy manner in comparing Petrizzo to a character from the cartoon "Recess" -- is very bitter about writers who, unlike him, escape the right-wing bubble and thus feels he must personally insult them; CNN's Oliver Darcy is another target. Still, Houck insisted that the sources with "grievances" were the problem, not himself or DeSantis, accusing one source of "channeling their inner Mean Girl" even though Mean Girl tactics (which we call Heathering) are a common MRC strategy.

Houck took Pudding-gate into a second day by continuing to whine about it being covered:

The liberal media have been pulling out all the stops with pointless mud-slinging against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL). On Thursday, the ever-juvenile Daily Beast penned what they thought would be a direct hit against DeSantis's hypothetical 2024 chances by alleging he’s socially awkward and one time used three fingers to get a lick of pudding. 

Also on Thursday, New York Magazine huffed at this horror as and joked it could impale his campaign. And at Puck News, Tara Palmeri claimed “some” are “wondering if on Ozempic, the diabetes-turned-weight-loss drug” because of said media-driven reputation around his love of food.

New York Magazine Intelligencer section editor Margaret Hartmann had the duty of beclowning herself in “Ron DeSantis Eating Pudding With His Fingers Will End His 2024 Bid.”

Quipping that “[p]oliticians should really consider only taking in sustenance alone in a darkened room, just to be safe,” Hartmann boasted DeSantis was “hit with a food-related accusation so weird it may end his 2024 presidential bid before it officially starts.”

It was Alex Christy's turn to complain that Pudding-gate was being talked about in a March 18 post:

MSNBC’s Joy Reid has discovered another scandal plaguing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday’s edition of The ReidOut. Not only does DeSantis eat pudding with his fingers, he is also short. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Project’s Rick Wilson stuck to the classic DeSantis fake scandals as he falsely accused DeSantis of trying to ban books about Rosa Parks and Hank Aaron.

After Wilson claimed that DeSantis lacks the charisma to win a presidential election, Reid turned to Democratic strategist Don Calloway to talk about the pudding scandal, “put up three fingers and be like ‘save me some pudding ‘cause I got three fingers right all ready to grub’ That's so gross, though. That's just nasty.”

For good measure, Christy defended DeSantis over charges that his attacks on education in Florida led to a book about Hank Aaron being banned:

Nobody’s banning books about Hank Aaron. As for Parks, what Wilson is referring to is a New York Times report about a textbook that was submitted for review. What Wilson didn’t say was the publisher did this because of what they thought was needed in Florida, not what was actually required. Additionally, the Times itself said “It’s unclear which of the new versions was officially submitted for review” and the book was rejected for unrelated, bureaucratic reasons. 

Christy returned to DeSantis pudding defense in a May 19 post:

MSNBC's All In host Chris Hayes lamented on Thursday that when people think of authoritarians, they tend to think of people like Stalin or Mussoulini [sic] and not “Mr. Pudding Fingers” because for Hayes, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s education, abortion, Disney, and drag show policies are all hallmarks of “authoritarianism.” However, the worst bit of so-called authoritarianism to come out DeSantis’s Florida is that parents will no longer be able to give their kids “gender-affirming care.”

Christy didn't belabor the pudding point further.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Newsmax Leans On Megyn Kelly To Defend Carlson, Bash Fox News
Topic: Newsmax

More than two weeks after Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, Newsmax continued to defend him and shill on his behalf, with the ulterior motive of luring him to Newsmax (and maybe even give him control over the channel) once his contract issues with Fox News get cleared up. There was more fretting on May 8 and 9:

Then it was time to gush over an announcement from Carlson, as demonstrated in a May 9 article by Luca Cacciatore:

Tucker Carlson announced Tuesday that he is making his next move through Twitter as his lawyers accused Fox News of fraud and breach of contract in a separate letter.

Carlson first revealed in a nearly three-minute video that he would be taking his talk show and other future projects to the social media platform after lambasting mainstream media's stranglehold over the public square.

This was followed by a article the following day touting that Carlson's video "generated more than 106 million views in less than 24 hours, as well as another article noting that Elon Musk has said there is no deal between Twitter and Carlson. One more article noted that Musk invited Don Lemon -- who was fired from CNN the same day that Carlson was fired-- to "resuscitate his career with a show on Twitter."

A May 11 article by Solange Reyner complained that Carlson was accurately labeled:

CNN on Tuesday labeled former Fox News host Tucker Carlson a "right-wing extremist" in a Twitter post related to his new platform.

"Right-wing extremist Tucker Carlson will relaunch his program on Twitter, a platform he praised as the only remaining large free-speech platform in the world after Fox News fired him late last month," CNN wrote.

CNN also called Carlson a "right-wing extremist" in its story about his announcement. 

Reyner didn't dispute the accuracy of the label. This was followed by even more Tucker-defending over the next several days:

Newsmax also continued to be enamored by Kelly's attacks on her former employer (which make her sound a tad disgruntled) and aggressive defense of Carlson. A May 20 article hyped a Kelly interview in which right-wing radio host Dan Bongino declaring that Fox News made ""an enormous catastrophic mistake" by firing Carlson with Kelly adding, "They've gotten too big for their own britches. ... They're on the way down. They're not on the way up anymore in terms of audience share and popularity, and they no longer have a monopoly." Kelly appeared on Newsmax to cheer him and bash Fox News some more, as summarized in a May 24 article -- a full month after Carlson was fired:

Journalist and commentator Megyn Kelly told Newsmax that her old network Fox News is "terrified" of its viewer loss in the aftermath of booting Tucker Carlson off the air.

Joining "Eric Bolling The Balance" on Tuesday, Kelly said there was no end in sight to Fox News' audience hemorrhaging as more and more Americans tune into alternative networks like Newsmax every day.

"They're terrified. They don't know what to do," Kelly stated. "There was a day when they didn't view digital as a threat, as a competitor. That day is gone. Fox won't let any single personality come on my show ... because they understand that we're a threat."

"Fox is not the monopoly it used to be," she continued. "I don't have to tell you that, given the ratings surge that you're enjoying at the moment, and well deserved. So, they can't let him go because he's a threat to them."

Given all this promotion of Kelly, though, she may be more likely to end up with a Newsmax show than Carlson.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2023 4:42 PM EDT
Nearly 30 Years Later, MRC Can't Stop Whining That Right-Wing Influence On McVeigh Is Noted
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been sensitive about the idea that burgeoning right-wing activism in the 1990s -- particularly radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh -- helped inspire Timothy McVeigh to bomb a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, even though right-wing activism indisputably influenced McVeigh beliefs and motivations. Tim Graham whined about this yet again in his May 5 column:

One way you can tell our most undeservedly prestigious media outlets are liberal is that Liberalism with a capital L has never been blamed for anything heinous. Mass killing – like the more than 60 million abortions since Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion – would never be blamed on their political movement.

On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma was blown up by a truck bomb, killing 168 people, including 19 children. It took just two days after the FBI tied Timothy McVeigh to the bombing for those prestigious media outlets to blame conservatives. The Sunday shows were unofficially indicting a “climate” of rhetoric.

Why is Graham bizarrely portraying abortion as "mass killing" akin to terrorism? Is he trying to justify the murders of abortion doctors like George Tiller and Barnett Slepian?

What is prompting Graham's revival of an ancient grievance is the release of a new book:

That old smear is now being renewed by liberal legal pundit Jeffrey Toobin, who is shamefully associated with the words “Zoom masturbation incident.” He has a new book titled Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism. The publisher touts his thesis with a blurb from The New Yorker, Toobin’s long-time employer before the indecent incident. “In Toobin’s view, it wasn’t just militarism that made McVeigh—it was Republicanism." The book reviewers hailed it as “depressingly relevant” to today.

Politico’s “Playbook” team helpfully promoted Toobin’s statist thesis, warmly touting “Jeff emailed Playbook with a preview.”  Toobin explained his book is meant to show “that the conventional view of McVeigh — as an ‘antigovernment’ ‘lone wolf’ — is wrong.” He was “part of the conservative movement opposing Bill Clinton’s federal government, not all government,” and that’s just like today’s conservatives “seen most dramatically on January 6, 2021.”

Just as the media-Democrat complex have been using January 6 as a political weapon against Republicans in the post-Trump era, they used McVeigh to re-elect Clinton.

Graham made no effort to prove pointing out the fact that McVeigh's extremism was of the right-wing variety is a "smear" -- it's not a smear if it's true, after all. Instead, he descends yet again into Clinton Derangement Syndrome:

Of course, Toobin would make Clinton the “hero” of his book -- two exposed sexual harassers trying to remake themselves into noble public servants. But as The New Yorker piece on Toobin’s book pointed out, McVeigh was obsessed with the disastrous Waco standoff in 1993, which ended in a federal raid that caused the deaths of 76 people, including 28 children. Was President Clinton the “hero” of that fiasco?

Graham blaming Clinton for what happened at Waco would seem to confirm that this was a right-wing talking point at the time -- and, thus, not so far from McVeigh's extremism as he would like us to believe.

Graham concluded with a boilerplate rant:

The liberal elite’s first draft of the Clinton presidency was ridiculously self-serving, and Toobin is providing the second verse, same as the first. That doesn’t make it accurate.

In the broadest sense, this is why liberal journalists cannot be trusted. They offer no respect to conservatism as a legitimate philosophy. How can you tell conservatives to trust you at the same time you associate them with domestic terrorism? Toobin is underlining the problem. Liberal journalists don’t want the conservatives to trust them. They only want conservatives to be defeated and exiled from Washington, scattered to their cartoonish fringes.

Graham is a right-wing activist and denier who wants liberals defeated and exiled, and he provides no reason anyone should trust him.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2023 2:12 PM EDT
Farah Marks WND's 26th Anniversary With Victimhood And A Money Beg
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As has become common of late, Joseph Farah is marking the anniversary of WorldNetDaily with perverse pride mixed with a money beg.From his May 3 column:

Today, we're celebrating the 26th birthday of WND, which I founded on this day way back in 1997, making it America's oldest independent Christian online journalism organization. Quite a milestone in the world of internet news.

And of course, as we begin our 27th year, we are all hoping and praying for many more years to serve our Lord and the American people by reporting truthfully and courageously on all the critical events shaping our nation's present and future. But I'm sorry to say that WND's future is by no means a certainty.

Since many of you are friends and longtime readers, and some are supporters, I'll be very straight – even a little blunt: We really need your help, and we need it TODAY.

I've previously told you about the continual attacks on WND waged by everyone from Big Tech to predatory law firms to power-mad government itself, which have succeeded in reducing our annual revenue from $15 million to $1 million, prompting many layoffs, pay cuts for those who remained and radical cost-cutting measures all around. Yet, although we have survived and continued to produce great journalism even at that much-reduced level, we have run out of funds again.

The dismal Biden economy right now is causing many nonprofits – including ours, the WND News Center, a 501(c)(3) charity – to suffer devastating losses in their fundraising. As a result, we are currently down to less than half of the revenue on which we normally operate. This is now an emergency for us.

Unless something changes for us right now, we may be forced to close our doors, as have other major online news organizations recently, as you probably have read about. That is why I am humbly but urgently asking you for your generous support!

Later in his column, he repeated his usual victimhood line:

We did it! We were successful. We did really good journalism. And we were the biggest conservative and avowedly Christian online news publication in the world. We were at our pinnacle until 2016. And then, over the next few years, we nearly became ... extinct. How is that possible?

To make it simple, Google became a monster – as well as Facebook and the rest of Big Tech. I've told enough of the story about that – even obsessing about it, crying about it, nearly giving up hope over it.

But that will never happen. Although we here at WND have been crushed financially, having been completely demonetized by the Internet Cartel and basically "running on fumes" … what keeps us going is the tremendous dedication of our staff, the support of loyal readers, and God's blessing.

By the way, in case you're wondering WHY Big Tech and the rest decided to go after us, the answer is two words: DONALD TRUMP! Although they were already suppressing us in search results as early as 2014, the persecution started in earnest in 2016 when Trump ran for president. The site was trashed, called "racist" and "extremist," demeaned, defamed and shadow-banned – then demonetized completely and outright blackballed. At first I believed I could handle it, but soon I was overwhelmed by it, suffering a series of five strokes. But even that could not get me to quit.

As is also common for Farah, he continues to blame WND's woes on everyone but himself. WND did not do "really good journalism" -- it published false attacks (ask Clark Jones) and bogus conspiracy theories (ask Barack Obama). WND amply demonstrated its racism by publishing people like Colin Flaherty, and its extremism by pushing false anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories. And WND wasn't demonetized by Google because of some grand conspiracy -- Google simply decided to no longer have a business relationship with an entity that publishes falsehoods and conspiracy theories.

Though there were links throughout his column, Farah ended with a more explicit money beg:

Bottom line, if you're in sympathy with me and with our intrepid staff, for whom – sad to say – we are having very serious trouble even making payroll, I'd like to humbly but urgently ask you for your support.

If I have moved you to donate today, there are a variety of ways to help WND.

In closing, let me just say thank-you once again to all who have kindly and generously supported us in the past, and for however you are moved to help us now in our time of urgent need. We are forever grateful.

If Farah can't correct the record of all the falsehoods WND has published (without being threatened with legal action, anyway) and apologize for putting partisan narratives before the truth, there's no way to gauge his humility.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2023 2:36 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
MRC Just Can't Stop Defending Thomas Over Financial Scandals
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center, it seems, can't stop defending Clarence Thomas against his growing financial disclosure scandals. Alex Christy -- who has been the MRC's most vociferous defender of Thomas -- spent a May 6 post whining that a commentator insisted that criticism of Thomas isn't politically motivated:

Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart spent Friday’s PBS NewHour laughing at GOP allegations that Democrats are going after Justice Clarence Thomas simply because they do not like the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, implausible arguing this is just about transparency. Meanwhile, New York Times columnist David Brooks tried to find a centrist middle ground on the controversies surrounding the Court, but ultimately just twisted himself into a pretzel.

Host Geoff Bennett asked Capehart about “the Senate hearing you mentioned, this past week, it made clear that a code of conduct, if Congress does act, it won't be a bipartisan congressional effort, because Republicans accuse Democrats of casting doubt on the Court because the Court hasn't been ruling in Democrats' favor. How might this play out?”


Capehart’s claims require that people believe that history began yesterday, to ignore Brook’s earlier remarks about Harlan Crow being pro-choice, and the concentrated campaign also go after John Roberts, his wife, Neil Gorsuch, the Federalist Society, and conservative law schools in hopes that the quantity of attacks influences voters and the justices themselves more than the quality. Capehart’s claims are also impossible to take seriously when Democrats and media personalities are using Crow to demand that Thomas resign or be impeached because he is Crow’s puppet all while burying similar controversies with liberal justices.

The specific controversy regarding a "liberal justice" Christy is referring to involves Sonia Sotomayor not recusing from a case involving the publisher of her book -- which is not the same as the previously undisclosed lucrative relationship Thomas has with Crow. And Christy is not about to admit that intent in bringing up Sotomayor is nothing but political motivation.

Jeffrey Lord's May 6 column lashed out at the "liberal media" for hyping Thomas' ethics issues, then repeated stories from the  New York Post -- which he didn't identify as a right-wing publication -- referencing Sotomayor and Republican narratives about President Biden.He huffed that "the attacks on Justice Thomas by The Washington Post, columnist Marcus and others are nothing more than the latest attempt at a 'high-tech lynching' of a powerful and persuasive conservative black man." But he didn't identify the New York Post's attacks on Sotomayor and Biden as similarly partisan attacks from a biased publication.

The defensive hits kept coming:

  • Tim Graham's May 8 podcast touched on "the Democrat/media crusade against Justice Clarence Thomas."
  • In a May 10 post on a "Frontline" documentary on Thomas -- in which also attacked Anita Hill -- Christy was annoyed that Thomas' relationship with Crow was referenced and also that it was noted that "Thomas's opinions have often been in line with the conservative politics of his friends."

Christy ranted against more criticism of Thomas in a May 12 post, adding a different liberal justice to play whataboutism over:

NYU law professor and former Sonia Sotomayor clerk Melissa Murray joined MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday’s The 11th Hour claimed that Clarence Thomas is a hypocrite for wanting to overturn affirmative action while he takes vacations with Harlan Crow. At the same time, both Ruhle and Murray praised Elena Kagan for refusing a bagel platter.

Murray lamented that “Justice Thomas who likely will be part of a six justice majority to overturn affirmative action in a few weeks on the grounds that it's government largesse and undeserved where he has been accepting largesse from a billionaire super donor who has been ferreting him all over the world, to the Galapagos on super yachts and on private jets, so I mean the contrast could not be more striking and it really is disheartening.”

What is really disheartening is that not only did Murray decline to offer any actual legal arguments for affirmative action, but she and Ruhle alleged that Kagan stands in stark contrast to Thomas.


While Ruhle and Murray heap praise on Kagan for declining some bagels, they conveniently ignore the controversy behind her decision not recuse herself from the Obamacare ruling despite being Obama’s solicitor general.

Christy had to go all the way back to 2011 to find this bit of whataboutism. And as with Sotomayor, Kagan's recusal issue is not on the same level as Thomas' lucrative relationship with Crow.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 PM EDT
Newmsax's Hirsen Falls For The Satanic-Panic Trigger
Topic: Newsmax

The folks at the Satanic Temple love trolling right-wingers into a satanic panic, and James Hirsen proved to be its latest victim in his May 3 Newsmax column:

SatanCon, an event billed as "the largest satanic gathering in history," recently took place in Boston, Massachusetts, courtesy of a Salem-based group called The Satanic Temple.

The mainstream media largely labeled it as satirical and harmless. NBC News even seemed to give it a sort of veiled plug with the headline: "SatanCon, poking at religion and government, opens this weekend in Boston."

The news outlet described the convention as "mostly lighthearted" and characterized The Satanic Temple as "a progressive church that doesn't worship the devil but instead uses the word to get attention."

Other media outlets were similarly generous in their descriptions of the event as well as its organizers.


Notwithstanding mainstream media claims to the contrary, the SatanCon event was created as a promotion tool to disseminate information on one of the darkest of ideologies and to sing the praises of evil personified.

Hirsen went on to complain:

In his book "The Road Less Traveled," psychiatrist M. Scott Peck wrote of values that lead people to live meaningful lives. Some of the virtues the author cited were truth, integrity, fair-mindedness, gratitude, kindness, and humility.

Dr. Peck discovered that in order to understand spiritual growth, one has to also understand its opposite. This notion inspired him to write another book, "People of the Lie," in which he explored the concept of evil.

He found that evil people share some key behavioral traits.

— They lie.

— They are intellectually devious.

— They scapegoat.

— They turn their backs on facts.

—They self-deceive to escape their own consciences.

They are also narcissistic to an extent that enables them to "ignore the humanity of their victims" and incite hatred against their enemies.

Actually, that description most clearly applies to Donald Trump. It may also arguably apply to Hirsen himself -- remember that he spread lies about election fraud after the 2020 election that he has yet to retract or take responsibility for, and he engages in scapegoating and self-deception by pretending to be holier than thou in attacking mainstream entertainment he doesn't like and spreading bogus conspiracy theories.

Hirsen, along with Trump, has indisputably shown himself to be a person of the lie. If he wants to prove he's not an evil person, he needs to fully and publicly apologize for the lies he spread -- that would do much more good than the partisan pontificating he's been doing lately.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EDT
WND Misgenders, Dead-Names Transgender Legislator Who Fought Anti-Trans Bias
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As a website dying a slow death, WorldNetDaily has limited resources to throw what few remaining employees it has on a story. So it's indicative of the extremist editorial agenda that got it into its death spiral in the first place that it had a writer devote several articles to complaining about transgender Montana legislator Zooey Zephyr for calling out anti-trans hate.

That's not how Bob Unruh framed things, of course. In an April 19 article, Unruh painted Zephyr as the aggressor and dismissing her as a "Democrat [sic] man who says he is a woman":

Lawmakers in the Montana legislature are calling for censure of a transgender activist in their ranks, after he hoped they would see "blood on their hands" when they pray.

The Washington Examiner said the call for a reprimand for state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat man who says he is a woman, comes from the state's Freedom Caucus.

The comments from Zephyr came after the House and Senate there adopted a bill that bans using cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers and other transgender-related procedures including those that leave children with mutilated bodies.

The governor, Greg Gianforte, has indicated he supports the plan.

Zephyr took to the legislative floor to demand, "The only thing I will say is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands."

In an April 21 article, Unruh accused Zephyr of unleashing "hate speech" -- while not explaining exactly where that "hate" was -- and cheered that the Montana legislature followed through on a censure:

A transgender lawmaker in Montana who unleashed hate speech against fellow legislators recently, hoping they would see "blood on their hands" when they pray, has been ordered not to speak on legislature issues until an apology is delivered.

The Gateway Pundit reported the discipline for Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a man who "identifies" as a woman, follows a call in the legislature for his censure.

Now Montana House Speaker Matt Regier has confirmed there are plans to "not recognize" Zephyr to speak on any bill until an apology is made for the lack of decorum, the report explained.

"It is up to me to maintain decorum here on the House floor, to protect the dignity and integrity. And any representative that I don’t feel can do that will not be recognized."

Zephyr subsequently complained of being stifled, and promised there would be no apology.

Unruh spent an April 25 article whining that Zephyr tried to fight back against the censrure (complete with misgendering and sneering that Zephyr is "a man dressing as a woman"):

A transgender lawmaker, a man dressing as a woman, in Montana recently was ordered silenced by his fellow lawmakers after verbally assaulting Republican members by charging they have "blood on their hands" if they oppose body mutilating surgeries for children.

Now a report in the Daily Mail pointed out that the lawmaker, Zooey Zephyr, tried to ignore that order and speak on the issue on Monday.

And when his microphone was turned off, he took a path often used by Democrat activists these days: he let his supporters disrupt the legislative body with chants of "Let her speak!"


WND reported when he first unleashed hate speech against fellow legislators, hoping they would see "blood on their hands" when they pray.

Unruh accused Zephyr of "hate speech" yet again in an April 27 article:

A transgender Democrat lawmaker who unleashed a diatribe of hate speech on Republicans in his Montana state House, expressing hope they would see "blood on their hands" when they pray, has been banned from the body for the remainder of this legislative session.

The vote barring Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat, was 68-32.

He originally had been barred from speaking for his attack on Republicans in the Republican-majority body.

WND reported when the fight erupted that the lawmakers were considering restricting body-mutilating surgeries on children – a key component of the transgender ideology that the Joe Biden administration is promoting all across America.

Zephyr, a man dressing as a woman, originally was ordered silenced when he verbally assaulted GOP members. He was told he would be allowed to participate again following an apology to members, which he has refused to provide.

This time around, Unruh surprisingly let Zephyr have a say , though his misgendering of her wasn't consistent and it still framed it in right-wing anti-trans narratives:

During the vote, he was allowed to argue on his own behalf, and claimed he was defending his "community" from "harms." He claimed that a trans individual had tried to commit suicide while watching one of the legislative sessions considering the bills that would protect children from chemical and surgical treatments, part of the transgender ideology, that would permanently mutilate their bodies.

He claimed, "I have had friends who have taken their lives because of these bills. I have fielded calls from families in Montana, including one family whose trans teenager attempted to take her life while watching a hearing on one of the anti-trans bills."

Zephyr has described her supporters' decision to interrupt the legislature and block the democratic process of lawmaking as "defending democracy."

After Zephyr lost a court bid to be reinstated, Unruh rehased the case in a May 3 article, with added dead-naming:

The fight erupted when Zephyr, whose original name was Zachary Raasch, launched a verbal attack against Republican lawmakers as they were voting on one LGBT agenda point.


Zephyr, a man dressing as a woman, originally was ordered silenced when he verbally assaulted GOP members. He was told he would be allowed to participate again following an apology to members, which he has refused to provide.

Pushing right-wing-friendly narratives and spouting anti-transgender hate is more important than reporting facts at WND -- which is one big reason why the website is slowly dying.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 2:51 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Loving The Fringe To Own The Libs, Part 3
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center stays silent when people it has promoted as champions of free speech or purported victims of censorship go (even more) rogue into violence, hate and anti-Semitism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 13, 2023
MRC Takes Time Away From Defending Thomas To Bash Anita Hill Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates Anita Hill for telling her story about her experiences working with Clarence Thomas -- and even though it's been more than 30 years since her testimony, it remains irrationally angry at her. So whwen the MRC had to defend Thomas over newly exposed financial scandals, it made sure to lash out yet again at Hill.

Hill got name-checked n a May 2 post by Alex Christy. In a May 5 post, Nicholas Fondacaro responded to a co-host of "The View" pointing out that "Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment" by accusing Hill of having "leveled false allegations against him, without evidence and contradictory testimony from her colleagues." Fondacaro offered no evidence to prove anything Hill said was false, which you'd think he'd be able to do after 30 years.

Christy returned on May 10 to complain about a PBS "Frontline" documentary about Thomas that was insufficiently laudatory of the Supreme Court justice -- and that the documentary brought up Hill:

They rounded up backers of Anita Hill's claims in 1991. Gordon Davis, who was described as a Holy Cross classmate of Thomas, claimed “I heard him say that before. He said it before. We were in the Hogan Campus Center, and a group of us black students were walking by. And he says, "Oh, look. Is that pubic hair on a Coke can?" Those were the exact words he used then, and I heard it later on, when Anita Hill spoke it. So, I believe what she said. She was telling the truth.”

Michael Fletcher, a co-author of the anti-Thomas book Supreme Discomfort, also took Hill’s side, “He liked adult films. He made jokes. Thomas was inappropriate and things like that. That all stacked up on Anita Hill's side of the, of the ledger. So, you know, I think if I had to say who lied, it was Thomas.”

Various people were shown recalling how they encouraged Thomas to persevere, but no explicit defense of Thomas from his EEOC colleagues was shown.

Christy linked to a 1991 article about people noting that Thomas' actions at the EEOC was harsh on those engaged in sexual harassment -- but that has little relevance to to his actual personal behavior. He also whined that the documentary showed how Thomas benefited from affirmative action though he has been eager to dismantle it for others.

Clay Waters whined in a May 14 post that NPR's Nina Totenberg covered Thomas scandals then and now: "Just as she tried to destroy Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings in 1991 with Anita Hill's unsubstantiated claims of sexual harassment, Totenberg is still implying Thomas is too unethical for the high court." Waters didn't cite any evidence that supported Thomas' denials.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 PM EDT
The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie Continues At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How aggressively does WorldNetDaily remain invested in the "Charlottesville lie" lie? The same day that it published the second of two columns by Steve Baldwin trying to falsely perpetuate it, an anonymously written April 19 article started off by perpeutating the lie:

A 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia – against the removal of a Confederate monument there – turned into tragedy when a white supremacist turned criminal, driving into the crowd and killing one. He's in jail now.

Still, what's probably is remembered most about that day is what could be called a "big lie," a charge used and re-used by Democrats that President Trump said there were "very fine people" on "both sides" there that day.

It was Larry Elder who explained in a WND commentary what Trump really said.

And that would be, "I've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. ... And I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists – because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists."

He then added, "You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."

The "lie" about what he said now, Elder explained, "has become an article of faith for Trump haters," and Joe Biden repeatedly has used it.

We've debunked Elder's viersion of the lie. The article continued by portraying those who were recently arrested for their roles in the riot as victims:

But now a report from NBC News is explaining the day could become known for something else, too.

Felony charges brought against protesters six years after the fact, and after other prosecutors had rejected the cases.

The report said a grand jury, at the behest of the Albemarle County prosecutor, has indicted multiple people on charges of "carrying flaming torches with the intent to intimidate."

James Hingeley, the prosecutor, already has confirmed three defendants in such cases, William Zachary Smith, of Nacona, Texas; Tyler Bradley Dykes, of Bluffton, South Carolina; and Dallas Medina, of Ravenna, Ohio.

Each is accused of one count of "burning an object with the intent of intimidating a person or group of people."

Actually, the report is from the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., not NBC News itself, and it's an Associated Press story, not an original report. But that's not the only bit of deficient research our anonymous WND writer did: there was no mention of the fact that there is no statute of limitations on felonies in Virginia, so the charges are perfectly legal. It also turns out Smith also faced a charge of maliciously releasing gas. Smith later accepted a plea deal in which the gas-release charge was dropped but the object-burning charge remained; WND did no story about this.

Dykes, meanwhile, has also been arrested in a 2020 vandalism spree in which multiple businesses were tagged with swastikas and the words "We Are Everywhere"; he was denied bond, and the vandalism invetigation got Dykes kicked out of the Marine Corps Reserves.

These facts, of course, interfere with WND's attempts to perpetuate the lie and portray those being held accountable for their behavior as victims.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 10:20 PM EDT
Newsmax Can't Stop Fretting Over (And Trying To Exploit For Its Own Benefit) Tucker Carlson's Firing
Topic: Newsmax

Days after his firing by Fox News, Newsmax continued to fret over the fate of Tucker Carlson -- partly for self-serving reasons, as it would dearly love to hire him and bring his audience to its TV channel.

An April 29 article featured podcaster Joe Rogan speculating over whether there is a non-compete clause in Carlson's contract with Fox News, and a May 1 article noted the first temporary replacement in Carlson's old time slot, while also quoting Richard Grenell, a right-wing talking head who is also Newsmax's "VP for International Development," stating that "he has been pitching Carlson to join Newsmax as the ratings show Carlson's viewers are coming to this network." Jeffrey Rodack, meanwhile, seemed a bit annoyed in a May 2 article:

Representatives of Dominion Voting Systems appear to be taking some of the credit for the recent ouster of Tucker Carlson at Fox News.

Carlson was fired after Fox News agreed to a settlement with Dominion for $787.5 million last month.


"Dominion did not insist on them [Fox News] firing Tucker Carlson as part of the settlement," said Dominion lawyer Stephen Shackelford in an interview posted by Axios Monday.

"But the very fact that that's what resulted out of all of this, and it's traceable from the work that Dominion and Staple Street set in motion ... of course, I know what's in the redacted stuff, and I can't say anything about it. I hope that it all gets un-redacted at some point."

Rodack did note that "Newsmax and several other parties are also being sued by Dominion for its reporting on the 2020 election." But he also had to update his article with a more direct quote from Dominion: "According to Claire Bischoff, a Dominion spokeswoman who contacted Newsmax: 'Your story is flatly incorrect. Dominion has been on the record clearly stating that canceling Carlson's show was not part of the settlement agreement.'"

Eric Mack went into full Tucker defense mode in an article the same day:

She could not have been more blunt about it.

Megyn Kelly is warning Tucker Carlson that Fox News' head of public relations is running "an orchestrated hit job" to smear him.

Kelly, a former Fox host, took to her podcast and said Fox's PR department is working overtime to stop Carlson's future employment and keep his 3.5 million viewers from following him to a new network.

"This is all an orchestrated hit job, in my opinion, and it's not a subtle one," Kelly claimed on Monday night's "The Megyn Kelly Show."


Carlson has already been hit with a barrage of leaks to tarnish his image, including a report in Fox's sister company newspaper The Wall Street Journal claiming he was abusive and used crude language with his colleagues.

Another leak included a studio video of Carlson badmouthing Fox Nation, blasting the company for making them work "like animals" for an online product that "nobody watches" because the "site sucks."

Kelly said she believes the leak of the video somewhat critical of their own network's offering is clever, since it signals to future employers, including its fiercest rival Newsmax: "So, you see: He's a hassle; he's a difficult employee; he's not a team player; he rips on you from the inside."

Nearly two weeks after Carlson's firing -- May 3-5 -- Newsmax was still cranking out the Tucker-fretting:

And because Newsmax is not above trying to cash in on this situation, it issued an "urgent letter" from right-winger David Horowitz designed to promote his Newsmax-published book:

Dear American:

I have long admired Tucker Carlson.

I have been on his show many times and he has even endorsed my books.

He is a man of honesty and courage.

We saw that in his new powerful video exposing the lies the left is promulgating upon America.

His firing by Fox News is not a cause but a symptom of the dangerous culture we live in.

If you tell the truth — you are destroyed.

If you lie — you’re rewarded and promoted!

Tucker’s video message sounded like my new book “Final Battle The Next Election Could Be the Last.”

Newsmax previously hyped Donald Trump's name-dropping of the book's title to promote the book.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 10:41 AM EDT
CNS Gave Gabbard One Last Promotion Before Shutdown
Topic: has long been a fan of Tulsi Gabbard as someone who claimed to be a Democrat while sounding like a right-wing agitator -- and it cheered even harder when she made a big show out of quitting the party she hadn't shared views with for years. As Gabbard started ramping up anti-transgender rhetoric, CNS was unsurprisingly there for that too. Before its shutdown, CNS hyped one more anti-trans rant in a March 27 article by Craig Bannister:

Democrats’ claim that womanhood is a state of mind isn’t just hatred and hostility towards women, it’s also a rejection of objective truth of any kind, veteran and former Democrat Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says.

“There is no greater expression of hatred and hostility towards women than to try to erase our existence as a category of people and to minimize us to being a construction of anyone’s imagination,” Gabbard says in a video she posted to social media.

“Such an expression of hatred towards women is now the position of the Democratic Party, and one of the reasons why I could no longer remain in that party,” Gabbard, now an Independent, explains.

What’s more, by denying the existence of women, Democrats are redefining “truth” as a matter of opinion, to be defined by those in power, Gabbard warns:

Gabbard is lying, of coruse; Democrats are not "denying the existence of women." But Bannister's job is to be a stenographer, not to fact-check. anyone who advances right-wing narratives. And that's arguably one reason CNS no longer exists.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Monday, June 12, 2023
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.

Christy returned for yet another May 4 post while denying a more apt comparison to Thomas:

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 2:41 PM EDT
WND Columnist Pushes Bogus 'Facts' To Perpetuate The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily just can't stop pushing 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.

No, Nazism is not socialism, and Baldwin is lying by claiming otherwise.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:47 PM EDT
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EDT

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