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Monday, August 14, 2023
With News Of Plea Deal, MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement Went Into Overdrive
Topic: Media Research Center

June started out as a slow month of Hunter Biden derangement at the Media Research Center, spending much of the early part of the month complaining that his alleged scandals weren't being covered in the non-right-wing media as much as Donald Trump's latest indictment. But with news of a plea deal, the MRC went into Hunter Derangement overdrive. Alex Christy complained in a June 20 post:

MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough had a curious reaction to the Tuesday news that Hunter Biden will be pleading guilty to tax and gun-related charges: lash out at Republicans and their “conspiracy theories.” Way Too Early host and Politico White House bureau chief Jonathan Lemire managed to one up Scarborough by adding that developments are “good news” for President Joe Biden.

After legal analyst Joyce Vance ran through the charges, Scarborough focused on what Hunter wasn’t charged with, “Yeah, and Jonathan Lemire, so obviously Republicans-- Trump Republicans have been trying to stir up conspiracy theories left and right. One after another have been disproven. One after another, we found out as the Wall Street Journal  editorial page himself said no fire here. A lot of smoke all over the place, no fire.”

In something never said about Robert Mueller and Russia Collusion, Scarborough claimed “Not only have they proven nothing, they have senior members of the Senate saying we don't care whether he's guilty or not, we don’t care whether he did this stuff or not, it's all been a show. Well, that show has just been exposed by Trump's own prosecutor, Trump-appointed prosecutor in Delaware. He's done a deal with him, a plea deal.”

As for Lemire, he also was focused on Republicans and what Hunter wasn’t charged with, “Certainly Republicans have for literally years now accused Hunter Biden of basically everything under the sun, including he's the mastermind behind the Biden Crime Family and corruption and all that, a charge we don’t need to get into now because they were never brought.”

Just because Hunter wasn’t charged with anything corruption-related doesn’t mean what he did wasn’t sleazy and, again, Morning Joe would never say “we don’t need to get into” Russian collusion storylines because no charges of collusion were ever brought.

As Mueller himself pointed out, collusion is not a legal term, meaning that it is impossible for someone to be charged with it, and the Mueller report documented numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives that more than justified an investigation -- something even Senate Republicans admitted.

Nicholas Fondacaro grumbled it was pointed out that the plea deal would be partisan fodder for Republicans:

Hunter Biden got a cushy plea deal from his father’s Justice Department on Tuesday, including the possible drop of a felony gun charge no average America would be afforded. Despite securing the sweetheart deal, one of the immediate reactions from CNN News Central was to whine that congressional Republicans were “not going to let this go” as their investigations into possible corruption from the Biden family and interference in the DOJ’s investigation reported by whistleblowers heated up.

“The political dynamics of this … cannot be understated,” senior Justice correspondent Evan Perez said. He went on to warn that“The Republicans are not going to let this go” as they investigate “what they believe are still some unanswered questions about those financial dealings that Hunter Biden had, other members of the family had overseas, but also just how the Justice Department handled this investigation.”

Fondacaro failed to explain what was supposedly "cushy" about the plea deal.

Christy returned to make the same complaint a couple hours later:

As Republicans reacted to Hunter Biden’s Tuesday plea deal by declaring it to be a “slap on the wrist” and raised concerns about a two-tiered system of justice, the Washington Post’s Leigh Ann Caldwell joined CNN’s Inside Politics to say that such allegations prove that the GOP tends to “leave out a lot of facts.” In an attempt to prove her point, Caldwell also insisted that the Durham Probe proved the FBI has not been politicized.

Host Dana Bash tried to make the argument that Republicans cannot complain because the prosecutor in the case was appointed by Donald Trump, “And as much as we understand the politics and we’re explaining and giving context around the politics, we also should talk about the facts which are it was a Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Delaware intentionally kept there by Joe Biden because he knew the investigation was going on, and that these cases are quite different.”

Caldwell naturally agreed, “Yeah, they're absolutely different and when Republicans talk about they leave out a lot of facts in each instance, that kind of walk around and dance around to make it seem like they are similar but these are obviously apple and oranges cases.”

Both Bash and Caldwell are arguing against a straw man. Republicans would agree that the Trump and Hunter cases are apple and oranges, but would say that is exactly the problem. Trump is facing serious accusations related to the retention of classified documents while Hunter avoids serious corruption charges, instead striking a deal on tax misdemeanor that will likely result in him avoiding jail, while the gun felony will likely be dropped as part of a pre-trial diversion agreement.

Like Fondacaro, Christy did not explain exactly how Hunter plea deal was so great.

Fondacaro, meanwhile, whined some more:

It’s not just the cast of ABC’s The View that makes fools of themselves on the show, sometimes it’s their guests. Such was the case on Tuesday when ABC chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl joined the cast to report the breaking news that Hunter Biden had agreed to a cushy plea deal with his father’s Justice Department. Karl clownishly claimed “there’s no evidence” to back up GOP claims about the Biden family’s corruption, but he did admit to Hunter’s dubious employment by the Ukraine energy firm, Burisma and the fact he received lavish gifts from China.

Karl’s denial of reality came in an answer to Joy Behar, who wondered: “But doesn't this show, Karl, that Biden is not in the pocket of the DOJ?”

According to Karl, “it depends” on how you look at it. He argued Democrats would say “they prosecuted anyway. His son now has a criminal record.” He began to suggest the prosecution meant there was definitively no interference by the Biden administration but caught himself and hedged his bets. “Yes, that shows – it would seem to show there was no interference,” he said.

As if killing the investigation was the only President Biden could interfere, Karl proclaimed: “He didn't pull the plug on the investigation. He didn't order his attorney general to pull the plug on the investigation.” This didn’t take into account that Hunter would be getting out of a felony gun charge with a rehab program.


Karl’s hypocrisy didn’t stop him from decrying the “hypocrisy coming from the Republicans” and them “yelling and screaming about Hunter Biden.” “But that hypocrisy doesn't mean there isn't something fundamentally at issue here with Hunter Biden,” he reluctantly added.

Interns Cassandra DeVries and Ana Schau teamed up for their own complaint:

ABC and CBS both featured segments on Tuesday morning to break the news of Hunter Biden’s guilty plea to two federal charges of tax fraud in his current criminal investigation. Both shows then proceeded to praise his father, President Joe Biden, for his closeness to his son Hunter, and bemoaned the investigation’s negative effects on the President because of this close connection.


Instead of dwelling on Hunter Biden’s illegal actions, which likely would negatively impact Biden’s campaign, ABC and CBS ran a pair of fluff portraying the President as a supportive father, helping his son through a difficult time. Perhaps ABC and CBS should consider a future in political ads. 

When one commentator likened the accusations of corruption against Hunter to Trump in-law Jared Kushner getting a $2 billion payoff from Saudi Arabia, Christy lashed out:

Forget about Hunter Biden and any of the corruption or crimes he has been involved in, what really mattered was Jared Kushner. The problem with that whataboutism is that Hunter Biden was given a lucrative position at Burisma while he had no experience or qualifications for it, aside from being close to his father President Biden. Jared Kushner, however, does have significant qualifications from being, as The Times of Israel puts it, “instrumental in negotiating the Abraham Accords.”

Christy has previously insisted that Kushner deserved that Saudi payoff. And if the "Abraham Accords" -- which involved three minor Muslim countries normalizing relations with Israel -- were a factor, shouldn't the money have come from Israel?

And this was all on June 20, the day the plea deal was announced. The MRC continued to whine further over the next couple days -- more soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2023 10:34 AM EDT
Cashill's 'Perversely Improbable Events' Rehash Right-Wing Talking Points
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill spent his June 21 WorldNetDaily column complaining about the recent frequency of what he called "Perversely Improbable Events." You will not be surprised to learn that many of them involve things that involve right-wing narratives, such as complaining about crime in San Francisco and the Jussie Smollett crime hoax (though he failed to mention another crime hoax involving a Republican campaign worker). He whined about the idea that LGBT people have rights:

Not even the precociously woke would have predicted 10 years ago that the trans crowd and their media allies would insist that biological men be allowed to compete against women in sports – and get their way.

Nor, 10 years ago, could the most progressive Californian have expected the Los Angeles Dodgers to offer public honor to a crew of blasphemous transvestites parading as nuns.

But Cashill was particularly incensed  about COVID -- not the actual pandemic, mind you (which he falsely dismissed as a "flu") , but that government officials tried to slow its spread:

In 2013, even 2019, who'd a thunk that "progressive" officials at all levels of government would conspire to shut down beaches, parks and schools, and compel their lemming-like residents to remain indoors to avoid a flu?

In a particularly perverse move, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a "hard close" of state beaches in July 2021, a year after even most equally insane states had opened theirs.

What made this Orwellian lock down so perverse is the residents of California could see that the beachgoers in, say, Florida, were living free, open, American lives and risking no more than sunburn.

The increasingly progressive media had scared their audiences into complying. A year after COVID's onset, for instance, some 41 percent of surveyed Democrats believed that those who caught COVID had a 50 percent chance or better of being hospitalized. The right answer was 1 percent to 5 percent.

Despite the fear in the air, in the early summer of 2020 the medical community gave a temporary COVID dispensation so the mindless could muster in crowds and burn down their cities to honor the memory of a chronic felon.

After a little rioting, the crowds morphed from sheep into Stasi. Now they demanded that their saner fellow citizens vaxx up. As former freedom-loving California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger memorably warned us, "Screw your freedom."

That "chronic felon" is George Floyd, and Cashill has repeatedly defended the police officer who killed him, though he didn't explain why Floyd's alleged criminal status made it perfectly OK to kill him. He also whined about election stuff:

Bizarre as California was, the truly improbable stuff was unfolding in Washington. In 2016, the intelligence community conspired with the Clinton campaign to subvert the presidential ambitions of Donald Trump.

Failing the first time, in 2020 at least 51 members of the unchastened intel community conspired with the Biden campaign to stop Trump, and this time they succeeded. In both cases, the media chose not to notice.

He concluded with this bizarre complaint:

As to the most perversely improbable event in the last 10 years: A man in a Las Vegas hotel room shot nearly 500 concert goers, killing 60, and you don't even know his name.

What happens in Vegas apparently stays in Vegas – at least when the media want it to.

In fact, most news organizations have largely backed away from naming the perpetrators to deny them the notoriety most are seeking in committing their heinous acts. Why does Cashill want to give the man who committed this atrocity the honor of spreading his name?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:27 PM EDT
MRC Melts Down Over Juneteenth
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kevin Tober complained in a June 19 post:

On MSNBC’s The ReidOut, liberal Republican Charlie Sykes used the occasion of Juneteenth to smear Republicans for declaring America not racist. The insinuation here is that America is still racist and divisive concepts like Critical Race Theory are necessary because America hasn’t changed at all since the days of slavery and segregation. 

“What you have from Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley and even Tim Scott is the necessity of checking the box that there is no racism, that we solved that problem, that we had the Civil War and everything is fine,” Sykes claimed. 

Sykes insisted it’s ironic that Juneteenth Day is a day "where America remembers this part of history and celebrates it, at the very same time the Republican Party seems very deeply invested in not remembering that history, not going back, taking it out of the schools or downplaying it.”

Tober then bizarrely seemed to insist that the historical ignorance of Americans justified not making it a holiday: "What Sykes failed to mention is that first of all, Juneteenth is a day that many people never heard of until it was made a federal holiday by a bipartisan vote in Congress." Having done that, though, Tober tried to put a Republican spin in Juneteenth:

Sykes then got triggered by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk who took to Twitter to criticize many employees getting the day off: “I was watching Charlie Kirk, who’s a big Trumpist, on social media all day, just melting down how everybody should be at work. This is a CRT inspired holiday.” 

The rationale for Juneteenth becoming a big deal out of nowhere (at least at the federal level) is because of the modern day Democratic Party’s obsession with America being a racist country and that America still hasn’t been punished for the evils of slavery. The basis for the holiday is important, especially since it was Republican President Abraham Lincoln being the one who abolished slavery and the Democrats fought him tooth and nail.

That's not quite the full story, though. As actual historians point out, Lincoln was not an explicit abolitionist at the start of his presidency, and part of his motivation for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation (which applied only to Confederate states) was to encourage freed slaves to flee the South and move to the North and fight for the Union. When it came time to pass the 13th Amendment that blocked slavery nationwide, the main argument Democrats put forward against it involved states' rights -- the kind of argument today's Republicans would make. Tober wants you to forget that Republicans and Democrats essentially traded ideologies in the 1960s in the wake of the civil rights movement.

Tober's argument here seems to be that Juneteenth doesn't deserve to be a holiday, but if it's going to be one, Republicans must get credit.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Double Standard On Violations
It was a big deal at when Democrats were accused of violating the Logan Act or the Hatch Act -- but when Republicans were accused of violating the the laws, it downplayed them and even questioned their constitutionality. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Sunday, August 13, 2023
MRC Misleads About FTC Monitoring Of Twitter (And Fluffs Musk Even More)
Topic: Media Research Center

Despite his being a multibillionaire, the Media Research Center must always portray Elon Musk as a victim because he advances right-wing narratives. Catherine Salgado did this again in a July 13 post:

Is the Federal Trade Commission retaliating against Elon Musk following his pledge to support free speech on Twitter?

During a July 13 hearing, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) slammed the Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan for her apparent “harassment” and “shakedown” against Twitter after Elon Musk purchased the platform and tried to break up its censorship regime.  According to Jordan, Kahn tried to rig a disfavorable audit of Twitter's Trust and Safety operations conducted by private assessor Ernst and Young. Jordan called the situation “even worse than we could have imagined.”

Jordan noted that “The FTC…as is common practice pursuant to the consent order, required Twitter to hire an independent assessor,” whose role is supposed to be objective. Instead, the FTC tried to pressure assessor Ernst and Young into a negative report regardless of reality, Jordan explained.

MRC Vice President Dan Schneider chimed in to criticize Khan’s alleged conduct. “As the FTC Inspector General and others have shown, Lina Khan has corrupted that agency and turned it into a nuclear-armed guided missile against the Biden administration’s political opponents,” Schneider said. “She has engaged in an extortion scheme against the independent auditor and has cooked up the evidence against Twitter to punish Elon Musk for not adhering to a left-wing agenda. She should be added to the growing list of Biden officials who should be impeached.”

But Salgado and Schneider, as well as Jordan, censored the full story. As a fair and balanced news outlet reported, the FTC is trying to hold Twitter to acount for agreements made with the government by the pre-Musk ownership over the company's data security practices -- obligations that didn't stop because Musk bought the company. The private assessor, Ernst & Young, reported that it had trouble confirming compliance because Musk continually fired people put in charge of it, Twitter refused to allow on-site visits, and Twitter owes Ernst & Young $500,000 that it has refused to pay. Salgado and Schneider also failed to mention that Jordan's hectoring of Khan was highly criticized as attempting to advance right-wing narratives instead of genuinely seeking information from her.

Salgado defended Musk again in a July 17 post complaining that a magazine dared to criticize how he runs Twitter:

Foreign Policy magazine screeched Saturday that Twitter’s recent pro-free speech changes made the platform “inimical to democracy.” The outlet alleged, without specific evidence, that disinformation and “extremist” content have sharply increased on the platform under Musk’s ownership in an article headlined: “Elon Musk’s Twitter Is Becoming a Sewer of Disinformation.”

It self-righteously lectured about restrictions removed from dictatorships’ state-sponsored content. The outlet’s primary complaint about Twitter, however, simply masked fury at free speech for those with whom it disagrees.

It particularly objected to the disintegration of Twitter’s previous blue check aristocracy through Musk’s making verification attainable by all users.

Salgado went on to lash out at another Twitter critic the magazine cited:

“[H]ate and harassment” on Twitter have increased, Foreign Policy claimed. But it cited the Washington- and London-based radical leftist, anti-free speech group The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

The group found, according to Foreign Policy, that “Twitter failed to act on 99 percent of tweets by Twitter Blue subscribers reported to Twitter the [sic] using the platform’s own tools for flagging hateful conduct.” The activist organization, however, is more of a constant censorship campaign than a credible research organization. MRC President and Founder Brent Bozell called CCDH “digital brownshirts.”

Salgado didn't explain why CCDH deserves to be smeared as Nazis for pointing out hate on Twitter (which, despite her insisting that doing so is not "credible research," she makes no effort to disprove).

Salgado had to concede that "The outlet noted accurately that Twitter removed state-affiliated labels from state propaganda sources connected to authoritarian governments in China, Iran, and Russia, and that these accounts had restrictions removed." But she didn't mention that this was fallout from Musk's failed own-the-libs gotcha in which he arbitrarily labeled NPR's Twitter account as "state-affiliated media" before amending it to "government funded media" -- and then, after NPR quit using Twitter rather than be subject to Musk's whims, dropped the label entirely, but for obvious propaganda outlets from other foreign governments as well as NPR.

Salgado then tried to play whataboutism over Musk playing footsie with China:

While Foreign Policy brought up legitimate concerns such as Musk’s endorsement of China taking over the independent nation of Taiwan, it also exaggerated the influence of supposed Russian “disinformation.” The Twitter Files previously revealed that Americans were wrongly censored under the former overly zealous anti-Russian censorship effort.

Indeed, Foreign Policy seemed to have contradictory views. On the one hand, it condemned Musk for rejecting European Union regulations dangerous to free speech, while noting Musk’s history of admiring statements about the Chinese Communist Party. The outlet appears simply to pick and choose which censorship laws it demands Musk should follow.

Salgado failed to mention her employer's own contradictory views on the subject. It had previously attacked Musk for cozying up to China, but forgot all that when he became interested in Twitter.Also note thatSalgado would not criticize Musk's love for China, even as her employer continually attacks Twitter rival TikTok for allegedly being too close to the CCP. Regarding her claim that "Americans were wrongly censored under the former overly zealous anti-Russian censorship effort," she linked to a post that we've noted was largely a rehash of previously discredited attacks on a group called Hamilton 68, which pointed out that it wasn't exclusive tracking Russian bots in the effort and that it worked with right-wing outlets like the Daily Caller.

The same day, Luis Cornelio hyped a Republican defense of a pair of writers hand-picked by Musk to spread Musk-approved narratives:

The left has declared war on Twitter Files journalists—but some congressional leaders are having none of it.

Firebrand Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) got candid in an interview with Fox News guest host Piers Morgan about the Democratic Party’s latest assault against Twitter Files journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger. Donalds slammed the left and “Big Media” for turning a blind eye to the scandal-ridden White House and directing their anger to individuals who have exposed damning evidence of a Censorship Industrial Complex involving Big Tech platforms and the federal government.

“We have Democrat members of congress who are berating reporters to reveal their sources, berating reporters who by the way are not conservative columnists from The Federalist or from the Washington Times,” Donalds told Morgan on the Friday edition of Fox News Tonight. “These are what you would consider liberal-leaning journalists and berating them for being a part of Elon Musk's [supposed] scheme to defame the FBI.’”

Cornelio, weirdly, never mentioned what "the left" said about Taibbi and Shellenberger or why, exactly, it amounted to "war."He also failed to mention that both Taibbi and Shellenberger are no longer attached to the "Twitter files" project, with Taibbi departing acrimoniously after Musk blocked links to Substack -- Taibbi's main writing venue -- from Twitter posts.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2023 11:55 PM EDT
WND's Brown Insists There's A 'Radical Dominionist Takeover From The Left'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown began his June 17 WorldNetDaily column this way:

I do not for a moment downplay the danger of the radical, rightwing ideologies of white supremacists in America. Nor do I deny the existence of a dominionist, takeover mentality in some Christian circles, the most extreme of which were put on display in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. 

In reality, Brown was a massive booster of Donald Trump, pushing his fellow evangelicals to support him despite his personal amorality because he advanced their narratives and agendas -- something that, one could argue, help to give oxygen to the "radical, rightwing ideologies of white supremacists" he now claims to decry. And Brown did, in fact, push that "dominionist, takeover mentality" immediately after the 2020 election, declaring in one column that "I personally hope that the seemingly impossible happens, that Trump is proven to be the rightfully reelected president and that the prophecies about him prove true." Brown tried to play both sides of the post-election controversies until the Capitol riot, and it wasn't until the time around the riot that he started questioning the evangelical obsession with Trump (which he helped to create).

But Brown is not here to further criticize those people. He followed the above sentence by declaring, "But the real danger, the ever-present danger, the more pressing danger, is that of a radical dominionist takeover from the left. The evidence is all around us." Indeed, he spent the rest of his column doing exactly that, since criticizing his fellow right-wingers is not why he has a WND column, ranting that is "the left" that his "currently asserting its power over others in an intimidating, even life-threatening way." While Brow echoed right-wing talking points about ESG  and George Soros, his main target was LGBTQ people -- as it usually is -- so this gave him license to spew anti-LGBTQ hate and fearmongering:

More ominously, a June 11 headline on Daily Mail announced, "The new face of extremism unmasked: The UN and Republicans are watching 'Trantifa' – the hard-left transgender activists who flirt with violence to promote their radical agenda."

Trantifa! Enough said. Even the UN is on the alert.

In reality, the "trantifa" is little more than a inside joke among transgender people that right-wing activists like Brown have latched onto for the purposes of fearmongering. He continued:

In California, legislation is advancing that would remove children from parental care if the parents refused to affirm their child's perceived gender identity. Talk about an Orwellian nightmare.

Deeply alarmed after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-1 to advance the legislation (Assembly Bill 957), Republican Senator Scott Wilk said, "In the past, when we've had these discussions, and I've seen parental rights atrophy, I've encouraged people to keep fighting. I've changed my mind on that – if you love your children, you need to flee California. You need to flee."

Flee! This is how extreme the radical left is becoming. This is the dominionist takeover that should be feared.

For those who would argue that the right is doing this very thing by passing legislation outlawing the chemical castration and genital mutilation of trans-identified children, the comparison breaks down immediately.

California would remove children from parental care if the parents refuse to affirm the non-verifiable, often quite malleable, totally subjective feelings of a child. (In point of fact, upwards of 80 percent of such children will outgrow those feelings after puberty.)

The laws being passed in conservative states outlaw performing lifelong, irreversible treatments on vulnerable children, drugs which have not been fully tested regarding the long-term negative effects (in particular, the long-term, negative effects of puberty blocking hormones and the like; we already know about the long-term effects of genital mutilation; that is self-evident).

The California law would punish parents for being good parents; the other laws would prohibit doctors from being bad doctors.

Brown went on to rage about an anti-trans gamer who took offense to a fellow gamer who innocuously wrote that "Americans are in a sad place right now. Let people love who they love and live your own life" and ended up getting banned from the game:

That's because, for more than two decades now, radical LGBTQ+ activists who came out of the closet have been determined to put those who oppose their agenda into the closet. You shall not dissent!

In that same spirit, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass was dropped by his organization, in part because of an Instagram post "that called for anti-LGBTQ boycotts of Target and Bud Light over their support for the LGBTQ community and referred to the support as 'evil' and 'demonic.'"

Although he deleted the post and apologized for any hurt he had caused, he did say he stood by his personal beliefs.

That, of course, was unacceptable. Conform or be gone is often the rule, as the legendary pitcher Curt Schilling can tell you (he was fired by ESPN in 2016 for his "transphobic" posts).

Brown never explains why LGBTQ people must be hated and must be denounced and why anyone who doeesn't hate them as he does must be reepeatedly attacked. He continued to bizarrely insist that not hating LGBTQ people is a "dominionist takeover" that is "coming from the radical left." (Also, Brown misleadingly claimed that the gamer story was "reported on"; in fact, MSN merely reprinted an article from the right-wing Washington Examiner.")

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EDT
Saturday, August 12, 2023
MRC Still Lashing Out At Facebook Whistleblower For Not Supporting Right-Wing Narratives
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center loved Frances Haugen when the former Facebook official's whistleblowing revelations about the company were anonymously reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2021 -- but when she went public and it turned out she wasn't a conservative and wouldn't boot right-wing victimhood narratives, the MRC turned against her and used talking points issued by Facebook itself in an attempt to discredit her. Nearly two years later, it's still attacking Haugen. Gabriela Pariseau lashed out at her again in a June 16 post, putting a description of Haugen as a "whistleblower" in scare quotes in the headline:

CNN host Jake Tapper and Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen lamented that Facebook has lessened its assault on free speech.

Haugen, a data scientist and former Facebook employee, went on The Lead with Jake Tapperto express concerns that Facebook has not announced its plans to censor users, or in her words, ensure the “safety” of the 2024 elections. Tapper escalated the conversation to a whole new level. “These companies are worth billions … trillions of dollars,” he said. “ They can hire more people to weed out the Nazis and take down misinformation and all that. Why don’t they?” Haugen claimed that Facebook doesn’t because it doesn’t have to, ignoring the fact that Facebook has cut back on many of its unpopular censorship rules.

Remember that what Pariseau considers an "assault on free speech" are actually efforts to stem hate, falsehoods and misinformation. Pariseau continued to dishonest frame content moderation as "censorship":

Haugen also whined about the fact that Facebook cut much of its safety researchers. “I’m deeply concerned that going into 2024 we face much larger risks than we did, say, four years ago or three years ago at this point because Facebook dissolved the team that was responsible for making sure the 2020 election was safe.” 

She noted that Twitter owner Elon Musk “fired 75% of the employees” and “fired 75% of the employees” and that shortly after Facebook had layoffs. “[H]e fired over 20,000 employees. Many of my favorite safety researchers are no longer at the company, and not voluntarily. Going into the … 2024 elections, I worry that many of the people who would have kept our elections safe were cut in the name of efficiency.” 

Haugen ignores the possibility that Meta is rolling back on unpopular censorship and not simply censorship related to elections. Today the platform scaled back its restrictions against certain content related to COVID-19. “We will take a more tailored approach to our COVID-19 misinformation rules consistent with the Board’s guidance and our existing policies," Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in an updated Meta blog.

Of course, the spreaders of false or hateful content would think that being moderated is "unpopular," so it's strange Pariseau would insist on making that argument (twice).

Pariseau concluded with more attacks on Haugen: "Haugen’s complaints should come as no surprise. In her whistleblowing days back in 2021, she over the safety of users who she claimed are harmed by misinformation." Aside from links to old attacks that proved nothing, Pariseau offered no evidence that Haugen was wrong about anything.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 12, 2023 2:30 PM EDT
WND's Blakley Lashes Out At Republican For Criticizing Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Blakley is an election fraud dead-ender, so it's unsurprising that he would rush to defend Donald Trump against any alleged slight. Which explains his June 15 WorldNetDaily column, in which he attacked another Republican for daring to criticize Trump:

Responding to the latest attempt to derail reelection of President Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson accused Donald Trump of "willful disregard for the Constitution," "disrespect for the rule of law" and further stated that the former president should "respect the office and end his campaign."

This idiocy was repeated on "conservative" news broadcasts. Every time I heard it, I laughed, because the statements are so absolutely ridiculous and absurd. Maybe his cat named "Snowflake" should call Hutchinson by that name, as he has less than a snowflake's chance in hell of winning the presidency. Hutchinson's anti-Trump presidential campaign has recent poll numbers between zero and 1%. Is his candidacy a long shot? It is best described, as the shot that is not going to be heard "'round the world," for it's not even loaded.

Looking at Hutchinson's ludicrous statements, let's begin with "willful disregard for the Constitution." When did President Trump disregard the Constitution? President Trump secured our borders from invasion, fueled an economy with high rates of employment across all racial groups and then led the country through China's bio-weapon attack on the world. The country was poised for a comeback, but Biden derailed everything.

That "attempt to derail reelection of President Trump" is better known as getting indicted (again). He then played dubious whataboutim to distract from Trump's crimes:

Then Hutchinson says Trump has "disrespect for the rule of law." What happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Prosecutors take a charge, repeat the same charge 30-something times, and then all you hear is 30-something felonies committed by Trump, when in fact they are all the same thing repeated over and over again – kind of like how Democrats get votes from a copy machine.

Remember presidents have the right to declassify all documents. In contrast, Sen. Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, when they hid all their Top Secret documents in unsecure places, did not have that right. But they were not prosecuted because of corrupt law enforcement officials. How is it that law enforcement officers get to decide when the law is applied and when it is not? While James Comey, fired head of the FBI, said that Hillary and her colleagues "were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," he continued by saying, in his "judgment" no prosecutor would pursue charges against Hillary. So, law enforcement officer Comey became the judge and jury and acquitted Hillary, even though he admitted she was guilty. I think it is time to lock up corrupt law enforcement officers.

The really laughable statement Mr. Hutchinson made is when he stated that Trump should end his campaign out of "respect [for] the office." The reason there are so many attacks on Trump is that he cannot be bought, so the only way to attack him is to mar his name with allegations. Everyone hears "Trump was impeached twice." While the flaming liberal Nancy Pelosi led House of Representatives did impeach President Trump twice over nothing, the truth is that Trump was also acquitted twice. For liberals who are confused, this means he is "not guilty." Realize that liberals weren't out to impeach President Trump, they were out to smear his name. Bald-faced lying liberals keep shouting President Trump was impeached twice, yet forget that he was found "not guilty" – twice. They have no "respect for the office."

But Trump was, m fact, impeached twice. The fact that Senate Republicans acted in a partisan way in refusing to vote to convict him doesn't mean that Trump was never impeached.Blakley went on to rant:

It should be noted here that Joseph Robinette Biden when serving as vice president told the then-president of Ukraine that he was going to withhold a billion dollars in U.S. aid, if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor that was investigating the corrupt dealings of Hunter Biden in Ukrainian businesses and politics, and this is on tape.

In fact, the prosecutor wasn't investigating Hunter Biden and in fact wasn't really investigating any corruption, which is why Biden called for his firing. Blakley then tried to whatewash the Capitol riot:

Then who can forget January 6th, the day flaming liberals say was worse than 9/11. How many times have we had to hear over and over again that President Trump "incited an insurrection" at the Capitol when he expressed his constitutionally protected right to declare that the 2020 election was not free and fair and should be investigated, and then told the people to let their "voices be known" in "peaceful protest." Now of course this portion of President Trump's speech was omitted by the Pelosi-selected, leftist-skewed January 6th committee, since it did not fit their narrative – and this is even confirmed by the "fact checkers." So, the fact checkers got one right.

Blakley omitted that Trump also told the crowd to "fight like hell." He concluded by serving up more election conspiracy theories with an added dose of going Godwin:

After tallying all the votes of the 2020 election, President Trump obtained more than 10 million votes beyond that which he obtained in 2016, which he used to win the electoral vote and defeated and demoralize Hillary Clinton. This total of 74 million votes in 2020 was more votes that any incumbent president has ever won in history. However, Joe Biden went on to defeat Trump by winning 7 million more votes than the president, and Joe Biden actually won more votes than any president in U.S. history.

Trying to determine how many people were registered to vote in the 2020 election is just about as hard as trying to determine how much money we have sent to Ukraine. One of the "fact checkers" actually said, "While we may not know the exact number of registered voters on Election Day, we know it was far more than 133 million in 2020." Wow! With that fact check, I felt so reassured that the 2020 election was "the most secure election in history," as the socialists have told us over and over and over again, following the Nazi (National Socialist Party) Hitler manifesto: "Tell a lie, tell a big enough lie, tell it over and over again, and people will believe it." Of course this is independent of the thousands of sworn affidavits stating voting irregularities, no signature verification, no voter ID, unfolded mail-in ballots that all look the same, etc.

Of course, it's Blakley who's acting in the spirit of Hitler by repeating lies.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT
Friday, August 11, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Spanning The World Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck metaphorically traveled abroad to tout biased questions from right-wing reporters aimed at the Biden White House in a July 11 post:

During a Tuesday morning press briefing on the sidelines of the NATO conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson broke from the press corps’s focus on NATO and the war in Ukraine to question National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on a new twist in the Biden family’s business dealings with a Chinese state-affiliated energy company and a report alleging collusion between the FBI, Ukrainian intelligence, and Big Tech.

Houck did make sure to get in a shot at the White House press secretary he despises so much:

Later in the briefing, one reporter tried to ask Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if there was any update in the probe for who brought cocaine into the White House. Unfortunately, Jean-Pierre did what she usually does, which was deflect (and specifically to Secret Service).

Back home several days later, Houck returned to his usual rage at Jean-Pierre and hying biased right-wing questions in his writeup of the July 18 White House press briefing:

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House press briefing with the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had it all with some tense exchanges (Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich over anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party), softballs (the AP and USA Today on alleged treatment of illegal immigrants), and the delusional (a far-left blogger asking about potential violence from Trump supporters).

Heinrich began with a simple question in much the same manner her colleague Peter Doocy would do. This one touched on far-left Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) saying recent Israel was “a racist state”:“Did the President address at all Congresswoman Jayapal’s comments in his meeting with Herzog?”

Jean-Pierre played dumb before dancing around the subject and instead talking about President Biden’s view of the U.S. and Israel[.]


Heinrich tried again, but Jean-Pierre wouldn’t budge beyond stating, “It’s important that the congresswoman did indeed apologize for her comments, and we’re glad to see it.”

The Fox reporter called out the lack of a yes or no before pivoting to another simple question Jean-Pierre couldn’t muster an answer on, which was whether the administration supported a House resolution “saying that Israel is not a racist state or an apartheid state."

Since Jean-Pierre couldn’t even muster that, the sparring was on with Heinrich calling out what’s – at a minimum – a perception that Democrats were reluctant to punish their own for controversial comments[.]

Houck hyped how non-right-wing reporters helped forward right-wing narratives in his writeup of the July 26 briefing:

On Wednesday after the shocking collapse of Hunter Biden’s plea deal, there were a few White House reporters who grilled Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in her abbreviated turn at the podium (due to her use of John Kirby as her crutch for nearly 35 of the almost 58-minute briefing) on the events in Delaware as well as ongoing questions about Biden family corruption. 

Along with usual suspects in Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann and CBS’s Weijia Jiang, ABC’s Ike Ejiochi also had a real question (with process questions from the AP’s Darlene Superville and CNN’s Jeremy Diamond). In contrast, theGrio’s April Ryan, USA Today’s Fran Chambers, and another report lobbed softballs at Kirby.


Also on Tuesday, Daily Signal correspondent Fred Lucas made a rare Briefing Room appearance amid concerns he could soon lose his credentials. He was the lone reporter to ask former Hunter Biden business associate and friend Devon Archer being slated to testify next week behind closed doors to a House committee. Naturally, Jean-Pierre declined to comment.

A more frequent flier, Newsmax’s James Rosen asked pointed questions about the President’s views of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and whether he believes the U.S. is a racist country[.]

As usual, Houck failed to identify the right-wing political affiliations of Wegmann, Lucas and Rosen.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:57 PM EDT
Newsmax Also Attacked ProPublica For Factual Reporting On Alito
Topic: Newsmax

The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet attacking ProPublica for factual reporting on ethical issues involving right-wing Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito. A June 21 article by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy touted how "Alito used an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal to respond to ProPublica, which lodged the allegations against the justice."

Eric Mack parroted right-wing attacks on the Alito story in a June 22 article tagged as "news" but is clearly an opinion piece:

As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rejects ProPublica's latest conservative justice attack as it's becoming increasing clear to many observers the attacks under the guise of "ethics concerns" are coordinated against the conservative majority, while ignoring the liberal minority.

ProPublica, as reviewed by AllSides, does not treat Democrat-appointed Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, or Ketanji Brown Jackson with the same discerned scrutiny. The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and now-retired Democrat-appointed Justice Stephen Breyer were also handled most softly.

"ProPublica's stories alleging 'corruption' by Supreme Court justices have been the work of one-sided activists trying to make hay out of insignificant or irrelevant matters," RealClearInvestigation's Mark Hemmingway tweeted. "It's not respectable journalism."


The Wall Street Journal, the same publication that published Alito's preemptive defense against the leftist ProPublica attack, has an editorial features editor James Taranto who called ProPublica's investigative efforts against conservatives "propaganda, not journalism."

"The objective isn't to further public understanding but, in Alinskyite fashion, to incite animus against a political target," the Journal's James Taranto wrote May 4, referencing leftist activist and author Saul Alinsky, who infamously wrote "Rules for Radicals."

"The clearest proof of this is the absence of investigations from ProPublica and other so-called mainstream news outlets into the 'ethics' of liberal justices," Taranto added.

What Mack and the people he quoted fail to do, however, is offer any evidence that any claim ProPublica made against Alito is false in any way. That's why they attack the outlet's purported "leftist" bias and the alleged irrelevance of the allegations. One can also argue that Newsmax and other right-wing outlets have used Alinsky tactics in targeting the Biden administration in general and Hunter Biden in particular. Also, Taranto's complaint that "ProPublica and other so-called mainstream news outlets" have not sufficient looked into alleged ethics issues involving liberal justices rings hollow, since clearly those issues have already been reported. ProPublica's work on Alito and Clarence Thomas involved issues not previously known -- and if Mack and Taranto had their way, they would remain secret.

Indeed, Mack continued to attack ProPublica for the offense of reporting something right-winger didn't want people to know, hyping "the big left dollars flowing into the ProPublica coffers to attack conservatives" while failing to mention the right-wing dollars that pay the salaries of Taranto and himself.

This was followed by an article the same day by Luca Cacciatore claiming that "The Sandler Foundation, a left-leaning group that launched the ProPublica media outlet, has a history of giving millions to organizations attacking conservative Supreme Court justices." Cacciatore didn't mention that his employer was founded by money from right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EDT
WND's Root Rages Over Trump's (Second) Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily may have freaked out over Donald Trump's (second) indictment, but columnist Wayne Allyn Root is in a category all his own when it comes to Trump sycophancy, and he responded prestty much as you'd expect. He ranted in his June 9 column:

Are you getting the subtle impression that Democrats don't want former President Donald Trump to win in 2024; that they're scared to death of Trump; that they're so desperate to stop him from winning again, they want him to rot in a prison cell for life?

Congratulations. You're not a complete moron.

The feds just indicted Trump on fake, lame, trumped-up charges. But didn't Democrats just try this trick in New York? It didn't work then. It won't work now. And it won't work next week when Trump appears in court in Miami. And it won't work next month when a Georgia grand jury indicts Trump. This is Groundhog Day.


So, why is this insanity happening?

First, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Democrats are clearly mentally ill. Their irrational hatred of Trump has driven them to emulate the worst tyrants in world history, willing to do anything to destroy their opposition. Democrats are so mentally ill with TDS, they need a straitjacket, rubber room and a kiss from mommy.

Second, "I told you so." I've argued for two and a half years now that we are experiencing a communist takeover of America. This isn't "socialism." This is pure communism thug tactics. Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez would be proud of this Biden regime.

The hallmarks of communism are rigged elections; bans on free speech; silencing all dissent; censorship; propaganda; the weaponization of government; forced experimental vaccinations; police state raids on your critics; and arresting your political opponents. Look around. We are there.

Third, this is the Saul Alinsky playbook. Alinsky taught his communist disciples (which included Obama and Hillary), "the ends justify the means." He also taught his students to "look in the mirror; whatever you see in that mirror, blame the other guy." This indictment of Trump is classic Alinsky. Democrats look in the mirror and they see radical communist criminals, thugs and traitors. So, they indict Trump to cover-up their own crimes.

Classified documents in a former president's home? Really? Versus President Joe Biden's $10 million Burisma bribe in Ukraine? That's like putting Trump in prison for 20 years for jaywalking while letting Democrats skate for crimes against humanity.

Fourth, this is Democrats using WMDs ("weapons of mass distraction"). The skeletons of Biden are pouring out of the closet as we speak. Biden is a world-class criminal and conman. The extortion of countries like Ukraine and China by the Biden crime family makes the Gambino crime family look like amateur pickpockets.

Root then effectively declared war and went well beyond going Godwin:

Lastly, God is great. God always wins. This is God's plan. The Democrats in power and the people who run our government are evil. Demonic. Satanic. This isn't normal. The things they're doing are Nazi Gestapo-like, Soviet KGB-like, East German Stasi-like. God has done us a favor: He's revealed what Democrats are really like.

This is war. This is life or death. This is the end of America if we don't fight fire with fire.

But Democrats have picked a fight with the wrong crowd. America beat Hitler. America defeated the Soviet Empire. You think we're going to let a brain-dead old man with dementia and diapers trample our rights and freedoms? You're going down.

Root continued the ranting in his June 16 column, hyping how Trump's polling is up since the indictment and insisting that "he faces life in prison for an offense that no one understands, no one cares about, and everyone knows is a bunch of bogus BS and legal mumbo-jumbo." He then rattled off reasons why "the average American voter will never care" about Trump's indictment and why it purpotedly "doesn't pass the smell test":

First, it doesn't affect any of us. Trump didn't hurt one American by "mishandling" a bunch of papers. How does that hurt me? How does that affect my life? It doesn't.

Second, I believe Trump himself didn't benefit, didn't sell the papers and didn't show them to foreign enemies. They were left in boxes in his basement, and bathroom shower (according to the fake news media). So, who cares?

Third, everyone does it. Former President Barack Obama allegedly has millions of pages of classified documents in his Obama Presidential Library that he never returned. We've all seen the classified docs on the floor of President Joe Biden's garage. Even Mike Pence had classified docs. I'll bet every single U.S. senator does too. This is a ridiculous waste of time.

Root is simply parroting Trump regarding Obama's classified documents. In fact, unlike Trump, Obama worked with the National Archives to move those documents to Chicago, and Obama's foundation is paying the National Archives to digitize the documents. Root's list of reasons continued as attacks on Democrats:

Fourth, everyone can see the new Democrat motto is, "If you can't beat 'em, jail 'em." This is about one thing: stopping Trump from running for president, because Democrats are scared to death he will beat them – even with rigged elections.

Fifth, I believe Biden has committed TREASON. He sold out the American people. He sold us all down the river. He extorted tens of millions (maybe hundreds of millions) of dollars in bribes from foreign countries and companies as vice president. Compared to that, who cares about a bunch of papers in a box at Trump's home? No one. Indicting Trump is a "weapon of mass distraction" to hide Biden's serious crimes from the headlines.

Root concluded:

All of these ridiculous, bogus, hyped-up-by-the-media indictments will push more and more average working Joes and Janes into Trump's camp. You're making Trump a martyr.

Because common sense tells them if this man Trump is so hated by the whole government; the whole D.C. swamp; the whole deep state; the whole legal system; the whole DOJ and FBI; the whole mainstream media; the whole Ivy League elite … if he's such a threat to these control-freak tyrants and fascists who want to kill free speech and rule our lives …

If these creeps and criminals and scumbags are desperate enough to turn jaywalking into a serious crime … and try to put Trump in prison for life …

Then Trump must be doing something right. He must really have the goods on these creeps. He must be the guy wearing the white hat. He must be on our side. He must be our hero.

Root appears to have a strangely warped sense of heroism.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 1:31 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Lemon-Haters At The MRC (With Added Tucker Love)
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long hated Don Lemon, so when CNN fired him the same day Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, its treatment and tone was markedly different from the pearl-clutching over Tucker. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 AM EDT
Thursday, August 10, 2023
MRC Labors To Distract From Alito's Ethical Issues
Topic: Media Research Center

Clarence Thomas isn't the only right-wing Supreme Court justice the Media Research Center has had to defend from ethical questions about them being exposed. When it was revealed that Justice Samuel Alito took a luxury fishing trip with a conservative billionaire who later had cases before the court (from which Alito did not recuse), the MRC rushed to distract from it -- which is why there was a lot of whining that themedia covered it and not the congressional testimony of MRC darling (despite his recrod of failure) John Durham the same day. Kevin Tober was first up in a June 21 post:

Credit where it’s due, but NBC Nightly News was the only one of the “big three” evening news broadcasts to cover the congressional hearing where former Special Counsel John Durham testified that evidence he uncovered during his probe into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax did not warrant the FBI opening up its investigation called “Crossfire Hurricane.” Despite this and many other newsworthy moments from Durham’s five-hour testimony, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News looked the other way. 

Instead, the two networks hyped a report from the left-wing outlet ProPublica that claimed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito didn’t disclose a trip he took with a friend who happened to also be a donor to conservative causes.

Tober followed up a few hours later more fully whining about the Alito coverage:

ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News each ran stories hyping the dishonest story in ProPublica which accuses Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito of being unethical in not reporting a trip he went on in 2008 that was paid for by a Republican donor. Meanwhile, ABC & CBS ignored former Special Counsel John Durham’s five hour long testimony before Congress in which he testified that evidence he uncovered during his probe into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax did not warrant the FBI opening up its investigation. 

“This time, it's Justice Samuel Alito under scrutiny for luxury travel paid for by a billionaire Republican mega donor. ProPublica, a nonprofit media organization, reporting that in 2008, Justice Alito flew to Alaska for a fishing trip on a private jet that belonged to a hedge fund manager whose businesses brought several cases before the Supreme Court,” ABC’s justice correspondent Terry Moran lectured at the beginning of World News Tonight’s segment.

Moran added that “in a private photo obtained by ProPublica, did not pay for his flight and he did not report the trip on his annual financial disclosure forms.” 

Meanwhile on CBS Evening News, Nikole Killion snarked “Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito hoisted a big catch during a 2008 trip to Alaska that came with big perks according to ProPublica.”

“That included free travel on a private jet chartered by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer with $100,000 each way, plus lodging at a thousand-dollar-a-night resort covered free of charge by then owner, conservative donor Robin Arkley,” she added. 

Killion did add that Alito “said he was not aware Singer had an interest in any party,” and that he “argued the flight was not consequential because the seat would have otherwise been vacant.” 

It should be noted that ProPublica undermined their own reporting in the 73rd paragraph of their story sliming Alito. As our friends at The Daily Caller point out “ProPublica included a crucial detail in the 73rd paragraph of its story alleging Justice Samuel Alito violated ethics rules for failing to disclose a private jet ride he accepted: a federal judge, who went on the trip with Alito, previously asked the judiciary’s financial disclosure office for guidance on a similar trip and was told his transportation was not reportable.” 

Maybe instead of reporting on 15 year old manufactured controversies, ABC & CBS should cover real stories that happened that day.

It's quite funny to hear a guy who played the Clinton Equivocation to distract from Donald Trump's (second) indictment complain about old news being reported (and besices, it isn't old news to the rest of the country).

In a June 22 post that offered a hypocritical complaint that the judge overseeing Trump's (second) indicctment was appointed by Trump, Alex Christy added that "when it came to the news surrounding Justice Samuel Alito’s 2008 fishing trip to Alaska, it made sure that partisan affiliations were known, going 6 for 7, even if the word 'Bush' was absent."

The MRC was oddly silent on the fact that, rather than respond to a ProPublica request for comment before its article was published, Alito ran to the Wall Street Journal, where he was allowed to publish a preemptive attack on the article. ProPublica pointed out that Alito effectively lied to it by having a spokesperson say he would comment on the story, which led to an attack on ProPublica by the Journal itself, which then led to a ProPublica article detailing how the prebuttal came to be. Strange that an organization purportedly dedicated to "media research" wouldn't have an opinion on something like that.

Ana Schau served up a larger defense against criticism of Alito on the first anniversary of the Alito-written Dobbs opinion taht overturned Roe v. Wade in a June 28 post:

Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut, spent a segment of Tuesday evening’s show angrily denouncing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who she condemned for being “bitter, vindictive, and aggrieved.” She also took this opportunity to complain about Alito’s alleged conservative activism in the Supreme Court, especially with the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which he had written, and to once again point how he “really loves favors.”

Reid introduced the matter by calling Alito the Court’s “most outwardly bitter, vindictive, and aggrieved justice,” and inserting a complaint about the Dobbs decision being “the vengeful majority opinion” that she thought it was.

She then cited an opinion piece on Politico by Aziz Huq entitled, “Samuel Alito: One Angry Man,” in which he railed incessantly over Alito’s open conservatism and perceived anger issues throughout his whole career. Reid quoted the line where Huq said that the only way to understand Alito was by looking at “his anger,” and trying to see where it came from.

Reid inserted a comment here on Alito’s 2008 fishing vacation with billionaire Paul Singer, who had several cases that had gone through the Supreme Court at the time, which Alito had not recused himself from. Reid quipped:

It's sort of ironic that Alito seems so angered that his personal and religious views are falling out of favor, considering, this is a guy who really loves favors.

Schau complained that Reid "disgustedly described Alito’s activities as being nothing more than how 'he seems to revel in, like, trolling the libs'" -- but then undermined her own criticism by adding:"This may be one of the truest things she’s ever said before. Trolling the libs is quite fun." If it's "quite fun," it can't be disgusing, right?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 10:38 AM EDT
Newsmax Went Into Cleanup Mode After Trump Audio Release
Topic: Newsmax

In between indictments, Newsmax continued to serve up its usual Donald Trump sycophancy. It generated a plethora of articles out of a June 26 appearance by Trump on Eric Bolling's Newsmax TV show:

In an instane of reciprocal sycophancy, another article highlighted that Trump "praised Newsmax for its coverage of the scandals surrounding President Joe Biden and his son Hunter":

"Newsmax is doing a great job," Trump said. "I watch Newsmax, a lot of Newsmax lately, and they are doing a great job."

Trump said that while people are turning off other networks because they see what is going on, they are going to Newsmax to get information.

Before Newsmax had to start delving into defending Donald Trump from his third indictment, however, it had to continue to defend him from new issues rising from his second one. CNN obtained the audio from a previously reported incident in which Trump touted having secret classified documents, and Newsmax rushed to claim the apparently incriminating audio proved nothing. First up was an article by Sandy Fitzgerald dedicated to Trump ranting about it:

"The Deranged Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, working in conjunction with the DOJ & FBI, illegally leaked and 'spun' a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe," Trump said on his Truth Social page Monday night after the audio aired on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

"This continuing Witch Hunt is another ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam. They are cheaters and thugs!" he wrote.

Fitzgerald then tried to change the subject: "The audio release comes as the information continues to grow concerning President Joe Biden and his son Hunter."

Next, though, was Alan Dershowitz, who actually admitted that Trump may have screwed up:

Dershowitz said on "John Bachman Now" that based on the audio that's been released, "I don't think that he can plausibly claim that what he was showing them was newspapers and magazines. It seems clear from the context he was showing them something that he believed was probably still classified."

Dershowitz noted that Trump "may have been wrong about that, there are several ways in which documents become declassified. One is the president can do it, he says he didn't do that. But there is another way and I think that's the way the Trump defense team is going to be pushing this. They can say that the content of this material, the Milley plan relating to Iran had already been made public."

After that, it was the usual Trump defense sycophancy mode:

  • Devin Nunes played the out-of-context card: ""My guess is this is a 30-minute to an hour interview, and this is what the left and the media and now, sadly, the Department of Justice and the FBI, love to do is to selectively leak. It is to take something possibly out of context. ... What I heard right there, it’s a nothing burger. There's nothing there. It appears like he's maybe referring to some article, some story maybe that had just come out."
  • Eric Mack devoted an article to noting that the classified document discussed in the audio "is not one of the documents included in his federal indictment."
  • Another article touted that "Francey Hakes, a former assistant United States attorney, told Newsmax that a CNN report that includes key leaked tapes of former President Donald Trump is 'trial by ambush.'"

Newsmax's chief Trump sycophant, Dick Morris, labored to spin the tape in a June 29 column:

Anderson Cooper, one of the last survivors at CNN, played a tape last night on the air that had been introduced into evidence to justify one of the key counts in the indictment of Donald Trump.

The special prosecutor says that Trump revealed classified information about war plans to invade Iran to a writer and two of his own staff members, none of whom had security clearance.

But that is not true.

When you listen to the tape, Trump is criticizing Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for accusing him of wanting to invade Iran while making his own plans to do so.

Trump is saying, in effect, "Milley says I wanted to attack Iran but he was the one who drew up the plans for an attack." Then Trump references a pile of papers on his desk, not showing them to anyone, as evidence of Milley's real views.


Indicting a former president and the leading opponent to Biden is outrageous in and of itself.

But to indict him based on his referring to a document that he did not show to anyone and that he mentioned to prove an ancillary point is even worse.

So sycophantic was Morris that Newsmax felt the need to attach this editor's note to the top of his column: "The following article has been authored by a non-lawyer, and does not constitute an endorsement for any political party or candidate on the part of Newsmax." Never mind, of course, that Newsmax has made being the Trump Channel a key part of its current identity.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 10:33 AM EDT
MRC Thought Fox News' 'Wannabe Dictator' Slur Of Biden Was Hilarious
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves it when Fox News lashes out at President Biden -- even though it's exactly the kind of media bias it attacks when a non-right-wing media outlet is accused of doing the same to a Republican. Kevin Tober spent a June 15 post whining that Fox News' egregious bias was called out:

Liberal media janitor and former Brian Stelter stooge Oliver Darcy threw a hissy fit in his reliably liberal Reliable Sources newsletter late Wednesday evening over a chyron that aired Tuesday night on Fox News during a split screen moment when both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden spoke at the same time. The chyron read "Wannabe dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested” while Biden was speaking on screen. This of course set Darcy and the rest of the pretentious leftists in the media into a fit of rage. 

“The White House is disgusted with Fox News — even more so than usual,” Darcy sneered in the opening line of his newsletter. “Over the last 24 hours, the right-wing talk network has targeted President Joe Biden and his administration with unseemly lines of attack, bashing the Democratic White House with smears that represent even lows for a channel that is home to dangerous and incendiary rhetoric,” Darcy huffed. 

Darcy grumbled that “Fox News outrageously labeled Biden a ‘wannabe dictator’ in an on-screen banner Tuesday night and declared that he had ordered his ‘political rival arrested.’”

“The banner matched hours of reckless commentary from the network's top hosts and personalities in the wake of disgraced former President Donald Trump's arraignment,” he added. 

Darcy was still angry despite the fact that Fox issued a statement regarding the incident: “The chyron was taken down immediately and was addressed," Fox News said in a statement.

Note that Tober uncritically accepted Fox News' claim that the situation "was addressed," showing no curiosity into exactly how. It's also worth noting that the original headline of  Tober's post called the "wannabe dictator" slur "hilarious"; in a later bit of stealth-editing, the word was removed without alerting readers to the change. Since the internet never forgets, we also know that the MRC also stealth-deleted Tober's description of the slur in the first paragraph of his post as "hilarious (and accurate)".

Instead, Tober tried to play whataboutism:

Did Darcy ever take issue with the “incendiary rhetoric” or “reckless commentary” on his own network (CNN) or MSNBC? There is plenty there. Especially during the Trump years when the vitriol was at an all time high at the two leftist networks. Surely accusing Trump of being a Russian agent with zero evidence to back it up would qualify as reckless. 

"Zero evidence"? Tober clearly didn't read the Mueller report, which documented that there were numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and that onetime Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared internal polling data with a man tied to Russian intelligence.

Tober provided no evidence of "incendiary rhetoric" on either channel that rose to the level of the Biden slur. He further whined that Darcy called out the New York Times for failing to use what Tober called "his preferred insults toward Fox News and their former host Tucker Carlson." But Darcy simply called Fox News a "right-wing talk network," and Tober didn't explain how that is an "insult." Tober then tried to defend Fox News:

Darcy would lose his mind if The New York Times described CNN as a left-wing talk network which would actually be more accurate than his preferred label for Fox. 

Unlike CNN, Fox has some straight news shows with no opinion hosts. You cannot say the same for CNN which is all liberal all the time. 

Who is the CNN equivalent of Bret Baier or Shannon Bream? They don't have one.

Again, Tober offered no evidence that CNN is the liberal equivalent to Fox News, and he ignored the copious evidence from Fox News' own staffers that the "news" side of Fox News is worthless, as revealed in the Dominion lawsuit findings, and even the conservative-friendly AllSides agrees that Fox News' "news" operation skews right (as one might expect given all the former MRC employees who work there).

As far as Tober's two examples of purportedly good Fox News journalists: Baier spread fake news in 2016 with a story claiming that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent -- a story the MRC heavily promoted but failed to correct when Baier retracted it. Bream has a history of bias as well.

Tober unintentionally demonstrated the MRC's Fox News-shaped blind spot in detecting media bias. He simply believes that there is no bias whatsoever to be found there.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2023 1:43 PM EDT

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