MRC Helps Musk Spread COVID Conspiracy Theory, Argues It's Not 'Censorship' When He Does It Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center continues to be Elon Musk stans, so you will never hear bad news about him outside of its narrow worldview. Thus, the MRC has been silent about Musk signing a pledge that his company Tesla will abide by China's "core socialist values," which in no small part means never criticizing the Chinese government. That was something even Fox News called him out on -- but not the MRC, even though it loves to bash TikTok for being too close to the Chinese government, or CCP in MRC parlance. (You might recall that it was less than two years ago that the MRC actually criticized Musk for being too cozy with China -- but that was before he got interested in buying Twitter.) It will, however, be his servile stenographer for pretty much anything else. John Simmons cheered Musk spouting a COVID conspiracy theory in a July 26 post:
LeBron James’ son, Bronny, suffered cardiac arrest on Monday while working out at the University of Southern California (USC) and was rushed to the ICU. Thankfully, he's now out of the hospital and is in stable condition, but it's still unclear what the cause of this situation was.
However, many online users have suggested that because Bronny took the COVID-19 vaccine, he might have suffered the effects of it just now.
No one more prominent than "X" CEO Elon Musk subscribed to this theory, saying that while it can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at this point whether the vaccine had anything to do with it, he believes it can’t be disproven, either.
Naturally, there was a strong contingent of Twitter users who also responded by saying that it's unlikely that Musk’s hypothesis is correct, since not everyone who gets the vaccine experiences significant heart failure after taking it. But in an age where “conspiracy theorists” are often proven correct despite media and progressive mob backlash, one has to wonder if the "X" CEO is on to something.
In fact, it was found that Bronny James had a congenital heart defect that was likely responsible for his cardiac arrest. Neither Musk nor Simmons have apologized for spreading misinformation, nor have they corrected the record.
Nicholas Schau eagerly typed up another piece of right-wing red meat from Musk in an Aug. 8 post:
X owner Elon Musk made a bold pledge to the victims of corporate cancel culture.
Musk, in yet another win for free speech, offered to stand behind employees of various companies who were mistreated for exercising free speech on his social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). Musk, in an Aug. 5 post on X, said, “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill.”
In addition, Musk added that there is “no limit” to the legal bill that he and his team would cover for Americans who were forced to face cancel culture in the workplace.
Posting on Twitter is notoriously risky in today’s easily triggered corporate culture and has led to a number of high-profile terminations.
Schau failed to mention that the vast majority of Americans are employed under at-will conditions, meaning a person can be legally fired from a job for any reason or no reason -- which covers offensive tweets. (At-will employment is a policy conservatives like Schau generally like.) Further, a person's social media presence tends to reflect on the employer, so if a person does or likes offensive things on social media, that reflects poorly on the employer, thereby offering just cause for termination.
Gabriela Pariseau took the stance that it's not censorship when Musk does it in an Aug. 16 post:
The Washington Post is now hypocritically crying out about censorship. Where was its clarion call when the New York PostHunter Biden scandal got censored?
The Washington Post accused X (formerly Twitter) of extending the time it takes to load links to certain websites after a user clicks on them in an August 15 article. “The delayed websites included X’s online rivals Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky and Substack, as well as the Reuters wire service and [The New York] Times,”The Washington Postclaimed. However, it is unclear how The Post obtained this information and isolated X as the source of the problem as the outlet did not include a methodology in the piece and did not respond to Media Research Center’s multiple inquiries.
“The day that @washingtonpost alleges that @elonmusk is causing a 5 second delay to load its stories, Apple deletes ALL of @glennbeck's podcasts,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider in a tweet. “Not holding my breath waiting for WashPo's angry coverage of left-wing Apple.”
“The Washington Post is claiming, without evidence, that Elon Musk is in effect playing favorites and censoring its leftist internet buddies,” said MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris. “Apparently, for The Washington Post, censorship is only a funny joke when it’s happening to conservatives.”
The newspaper cited the forum Hacker News, which reportedly first noticed the alleged trend on August 4 after Musk made posts calling The Times an “apologist” for the leader of South Africa’s “racial genocide” and encouraging people to cancel their subscriptions. The Times allegedly also noticed the trend and a dip in its traffic, according to The Washington Post. The outlet claimed that the delays disappeared after The Washington Post published its article. However, the article included no screen recording of what these delays looked like or a methodology affirming the accuracy of its claims.
While the article never outright called the alleged link loading delays “censorship,” its writers did emphasize that Musk calls himself a “free speech absolutist” and cited The Times’ hypocritical reaction to the news. “While we don’t know the rationale behind the application of this time delay, we would be concerned by targeted pressure applied to any news organization for unclear reasons,” said Times spokesman Charlie Stadtlander.
Despite all the doubt Pariseau tried to throw at the Post's article -- whining that there was "no screen recording of what these delays looked like or a methodology affirming the accuracy of its claims" -- she failed to note that the article also noted that former Twitter official Yoel Roth posted at Bluesky that he was able to replicate the same effect. She also failed to mention that Musk has a history of messing with the links posted by its users, for instance blocking links to Substack for a while after it announced it would start its own Twitter-esque feature. Instead, Pariseau continued to play whataboutism:
But both The Times and The Washington Post have repeatedly shown no concern, and in fact, have downplayed censorship of outlets that they disagree with. The most prominent example would be The Times dismissing the social media companies that suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal just ahead of the 2020 election.
So much for free speech. It seems The Washington Post claims biased censorship when its friends are in the crossfire, but it doesn’t seem to care much for free speech when its critics are silenced.
Pariseau did not explain why social media outlets are not allowed to engage in content moderation to combat misinformation and lies (which she dishonestly frames as "censorship"), nor does she explain why misinformation and lies must be allowed to spread uncorrected. And as we've noted, the right-wing New York Post could have avoided content moderation issues had it provided independent verification of the laptop that would have overcome concerns about it being a wildly biased pro-Trump rag.
UPDATE: Semafor reports that Twitter appears to be throttling New York Times-related content. Don't look for anyone at the MRC to call this "censorship."
WND's Brown Gets Angry Over A Drag Queen Book Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his July 19 WorldNetDaily column, Michael Brown talked about the rise of anger, adding as an example: "There is anger toward the church for its alleged hateful, homophobic, transphobic ideologies, and there is anger toward the church for taking away a woman's alleged right to abortion." But he refused to criticize "the church" for similarly acting out of anger and hate -- or admit his own animosity for LGBT people, which hehasrepeatedlydemonstrated. Just another blind spot of his.
Indeed, Brown got all angry over a children's book about a drag queen in his Aug. 16 column:
Since 2004, I've been grieved over the spectacle of gyrating drag queens in tutus performing before little children at gay pride events. It was then, almost 20 years ago, that my friends came back from a pride event in Charlotte, North Carolina, with pictures documenting the perversion. How could one not be burdened after seeing this?
More recently, I've said that if anything is a sign of America's depravity, it is our celebration of drag queens, especially in their outreach to children. So, all this was nothing new to me.
But while annotating a forthcoming book on how we can turn the cultural tide in the nation, I discovered that there was a children's reader titled "The Hips on a Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish,Swish." I ordered the book, which arrived over the weekend, and yes, it was as disturbing in its illustrated content as the title would suggest. (Remember: this was designed to be read to very little children who have the most basic vocabulary. Now "swish" is one of their must-learn words, and at an early age, they must be "groomed" – in the words of a drag queen himself – to embrace this twisted phenomenon.)
One can argue that Brown is also engaged in "grooming" by teaching people, especially children, that drag queens -- and LGBT people in general -- are to be feared and hated. But he continued to portray not hating people as "grooming":
In the words of gay drag queen Dylan Pontiff (in 2018), defending the drag queen story hour before a local city council, "I'm here to let you know that this event is something that's going to be very beautiful and for the children, and the people that support it are going to realize that this is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation."
Parents of America, please listen to these words.
Are you going to let your children be "groomed"? And shall we mention the sexually explicit acts performed by some of these drag queens, in the presence of (and, sometimes, with the participation of) little children? Or the drag queens who were found to be sex offenders with children? Some of these convicted child abusers even read to little kids in libraries.
Parents, are you listening?
Brown then once again played is faux-sympathy card, purporting to understand them while also portraying them as evil:
Yet, to repeat, I feel genuine pain and sorrow for these men, for whom same-sex attractions likely feel just as natural as opposite-sex attractions feel for heterosexuals, and for in whose eyes reading to children is a good thing.
They are lost in sin, as all of us were at one time or another (see Ephesians 2:1-3). They are objects of Christ's love, people for whom He died, and some of them might one day be shining examples of God's grace.
So along with that feeling of intense righteous indignation let a sense of pity arise as well. Pray for the salvation and transformation of the drag queens! Perhaps your prayers will make an eternal difference in some of their lives.
Can we also feel pity for Brown, who is so driven by such abject hatred for people who aren't like him?
Brown spent his Aug. 21 column being outraged that ChatGPT was made to create a Bible-style verse that supported transgender people:
But whether generated by ChatGPT or no, it is beyond preposterous to imagine that AI, using information found in the Bible, would then generate a comment that contradicted the Bible. That's not how AI would function, any more than a computer programmed to beat the world's top chess player would lose by checkmate in the first 10 moves.
That being said, does the passage really violate the spirit and substance of the Bible? Does it put unimaginable words on the lips of Jesus?
Instead, let's focus on the substance of the rest of the manufactured words of Jesus. And then let's ask a deeper, real-life question. What would Jesus say to a trans-identified person?
We are told that He looked upon this person with kindness. Does this sound like Jesus? Absolutely. That is who He is.
And there is truth to the claim that in God's kingdom there is neither male nor female. But this doesn't mean that gender distinctions should be blurred or transgressed. Instead, as expressed by Paul (see Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11), there is neither caste nor class in God's kingdom – not Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free. We are all equal in Jesus.
But that hardly means that there are no gender distinctions in terms of reality and in terms of implication. To the contrary, the whole Bible, including the New Testament, makes gender distinctions, giving specific instructions to husbands and wives, and recognizing only two sexes.
Brown then tried to insist that Jesus hates transgender people as much as he does:
But it is here that the whole AI "Bible passage" breaks down in terms of a trans-positive application.
That's because Jesus would not say to a woman who felt like she was a man, "Be made whole," and then, miraculously and instantaneously, her healthy breasts would disappear, leaving her only with scars, after which He would then give her a lifetime subscription to hormone pills, free of charge. God forbid! That is monstrous rather than Messianic.
Instead, He would say to her, "Be made whole," and, miraculously and instantaneously, she would be at home in the body she was created with. No surgeries. No pills. Just peace.
Of course that's what He would do – unless you believe that He would miraculously remove the limb of someone struggling with BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder) rather than make them whole from the inside out. Or unless you believe that He would turn a "furry" into an animal rather than heal the person of his or her confusion. Perish the thought.
That's why, as followers of Jesus, we too should look on trans-identified people with kindness and, without condemning or driving them away, help them to find wholeness from the inside out. It's the Jesus way – the real Jesus.
But Brown doesn't really mean any of that "kindness" stuff. He will never admit the full humanity of a transgender person or a drag queen -- he can only see them as someone with a "disorder" who needs to have right-wing Christianity forced upon them.
Zucker Derangement Syndrome: MRC Cheers Attack Piece On Ex-CNN Chief Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has spent years spewing hate at former CNN chief Jeff Zucker -- even hurling the anti-Semitic "puppetmaster" slur at him (he's Jewish) -- and the fact that he left that job well over a year ago hasn't kept it from regularly freaking out over him, most recently complaining that the career of his replacement, Chris Licht, was cut short due to "Zucker loyalists" inside CNN. Curtis Houck spent a July 27 post cheering an attack piece on Zucker -- and, yes, using the "puppetmaster" slur yet again:
Having published a piece in April detailing Don Lemon’s decades of insufferable behavior inside CNN, Variety’s Tatiana Siegel blew the lid Monday night off Jeff Zucker, the former CNN boss and puppetmaster whose allies engaged in a blatant smear campaign against his replacement, Chris Licht. Siegel explained how Zucker and a team of allies undermined Licht and Warner Bros. Discovery executives with hopes to buy CNN using shady foreign moguls.
Once the piece went live, the onslaught was on with Zucker’s team, Puck “partner” and former CNN media reporter Dylan Byers, The Atlantic’s Tim Alberta, and CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy all chiming in to trash Siegel.
The 4,300-word tome painted an odious picture of Zucker having “spent the past year traveling the globe to meet with potential” investors to steal CNN back and even though it’s “likely” to “fail...his battles with Zaslav and his behind-the-scenes attempts to undermine Licht” to the point he “isn’t worried about damaging CNN as he attempts to ram his way through it.”
She briefly focused on Alberta’s now-infamous profile of Licht, claiming “sources maintain it was never pitched as a profile” as it was instead billed “as a broad story about restoring trust in the media” with Licht as a test subject. Once he agreed, she said the two only met four times, quotes were used that were meant to be off the record, and embellished.
Houck went on to mock those who pointed out the article's errors:
Starting with Alberta, he was furious someone would pushback on the piece seen as a tactical strike on Licht by adversaries, tweeting: “Dear [Tatiana Siegel] 1) I met w Licht on 7 different days 2) I used zero off-record details or quotes, as our [Fairness and Standards] team can attest 3) His trainer overheard portions of 1 interview 4) Licht is quoted extensively in a neutral context (sorry it wasn't positive enough for you/him)”.
For Byers’s part, he repeatedly claimed he didn’t want to opine, but that was a crock based on the insults he leveled. After mocking Zucker’s undermining of Licht and thoughts of buying CNN as “secretly plotted” “double-barreled revenge fantasy,” Byers dismissed it as “heavy cake,” “problematic,” “sophomoric,” and “utterly implausible.”
His best excuse? “Siegel’s assertions about Zucker’s attempt to court a certain investor would be followed by an on-the-record denial.” Well, that settles it then, Dylan!
Byers was joined at the hip by Darcy, whom he noted also had concerns as Siegel’s report fetched “heightened scrutiny”.
On Zucker’s company investing in Puck, Byers insisted he “was wholly unaware of that conversation”.
Best of all, Byers relayed an afternoon coffee meeting “with an entertainment industry C.E.O. here in Los Angeles” in which this person bemoaned negative media coverage, to which we should all point and laugh at as irony and/or a taste of their own medicine[.]
For all his criticism of Alberta's profile of Licht, Houck identified no errors in it. And Houck failed to follow up with the fact that Variety later revised the article in response to the complaints. But apparently falsehoods get a pass at the MRC as long as they are made about a designed enemy. Zucker Derangement Syndrome lives.
WorldNetDaily has effectively taken Russia's side in its invasion of Ukraine, with a roster filled withPutinapologists. Editor Joseph Farah is one, having attacked Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky for cracking down on internal dissent while censoring the fact that those dissenters are aligned with Russia. Farah because a full-blown disseminator of Russian propaganda, however, in his July 21 column:
Remember those stories about the secret Ukrainian bio-labs? It was just Russian disinformation, right? Not really.
It's getting new currency in the U.N. now that Russia and China are getting behind a charge of censorship against the U.S. that will not go away anytime soon.
Worried about this is the U.S. State Department, which has launched an active outreach campaign to neutralize Russian accusations that U.S. military biologists had violated the provisions of the Biological Weapons Convention, as stated by the Russian Defense Ministry and a bold new presentation made on July 14 by Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov.
Kirillov claims that documents acquired from Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine demonstrate a plot by the Pentagon to test unregistered medical products on local populations with the subsequent approval of regulatory bodies in favor of Big Pharma.
According to him, this was accomplished via a "network of subordinate biolaboratories and intermediary organizations," including Metabiota, which is funded by Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden? What do bio-labs have to do with Hunter Biden?
Moscow has claimed that secret American biological-warfare labs in Ukraine were a justification for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
"U.S. President Joe Biden himself is involved in the creation of biolaboratories in Ukraine," Russia's State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said, according to state media.
"An investment fund run by his son Hunter Biden funded research and the implementation of the United States' military biological program. It is obvious that Joe Biden, as his father and the head of state, was aware of that activity," said Volodin.
Farah then asserted, "It's not far-fetched." Actually, it is. As PolitiFact pointed out, "There are no U.S.-run bioweapons facilities in Ukraine, which joined the U.S. in signing the 1972 convention that prohibited the development, production and possession of biological weapons," adding that "the line from Ukraine’s biological research to Hunter Biden is convoluted, with the younger Biden at least a few degrees of separation away from the labs in question, rather than directly bankrolling their operation." PolitiFact further summarized:
The new Hunter Biden narrative is based on his affiliation with an investment firm that raised money for and invested in Metabiota, a startup that does work related to global health. It’s unproven that Biden was involved with the investment decision.
Metabiota separately received money from the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency for subcontracted work related to the biological research labs in Ukraine. That work involved helping to train and otherwise support scientists at those facilities.
PolitiFact found no evidence that Metabiota’s work assisting staff at the labs in Ukraine was directly financed by Hunter Biden or his investment firm. Metabiota said that the work it performed in Ukraine was fully financed by the DTRA.
As backup for all this, Farah cited only dubious right-wing sources like the New York Post, the Daily Mail and Gateway Pundit. He did not explain why anyone should trust those highly biased sources, why anyone should take anything members of the Russian government -- which has a history of mucking about in American politics -- at face value. All that matters is the Russians hate Biden as much as he does, so he will never fact-check them, no matter how bad it looks for him to parrot Russian propaganda. Indeed, he pushed more wacky claims from them:
Additionally, Kirillov claims that an increase in the number of non-endemic Asian tiger mosquitoes has already been recorded in southern and central Europe, with populations having established in five federal districts of Germany. Furthermore, another mosquito species (Culex modestus), a vector of West Nile fever, has been identified in Sweden and Finland.
Maybe a pandemic is being readied as another election year surprise.
Kirillov goes on to charge that the work of U.S. military biologists is "aimed at the formation of 'artificially managed epidemics' not controlled by the Biological Weapons Convention." He also claims to have seized documents proving that the Pentagon maintained bioweapons research institutions in Ukraine through Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and was participating in bio-warfare in the mainly Russian-speaking Donbass from 2014 to 2022.
Farah then name-checked his favorite ex-Fox News host: "That was what drove Tucker Carlson to find the truth about this story. Then he was fired and ridiculed. Tucker is always right." No, he's not.
Farah concluded by actually rooting for the Russians:
With other friends in Cuba, Brazil, throughout Latin America and Africa, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, including admirers in Canada and Mexico, maybe Russia will have another shot at the U.N.
Like I said, it's all quite plausible.
Like we said, it's not plausible at all, and Farah's blind trust in Russian propaganda doesn't make it any more so -- and it demonstrates how much he apparently hates America.
After CNS Shutdown, NewsBusters Becomes MRC's Big Mark Levin Promoter Topic: Media Research Center
One of the biggest boosters and stenographers of right-wing radio host Mark Levin was the Media Research Center's "news" division CNSNews.com, which published dozensupondozens of articles uncritically documenting his alleged words of wisdom over the years -- so much so that one had to wonder if Levin was paying for the privilege. But when the MRC abruptly shut down CNS in April. Levin lost one of his enthusiastic promoters. Because Levin and the MRC are close buddies, that had to be made up somewhere, so it fell to NewsBusters to pick up the Levin-fluffing baton.
Nicolas Schau gushed in a May 30 post how "Conservative radio host Mark Levin recently took far-left Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) to the woodshed for outrageous comments he made about the debt ceiling and how President Joe Biden could circumvent it." Starting in July, the Levin-fluffing NewsBusters posts ramped up:
On Wednesday evening, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and bestselling author Mark Levin opened his popular radio program by informing his listeners that retail chain Target decided not to carry his new book “The Democrat Party Hates America” [sic] because it’s deemed “polarizing.” Levin was quick to point out the sick irony in that statement considering the same company thought tuck-friendly bathing suits and chest binders for children as well as pro-satan clothing were appropriate to sell in their stores.
As MRC’s founder and president Brent Bozell noted on Twitter in response to the news of Target boycotting Levin’s book: “Target reminding conservatives not to shop there, in case tuck-friendly swimsuits and chest-binders for pride month weren’t enough.”
“What are we to make of all of this? It's not America anymore. That's what I make of it. The Democrat Party owns the Justice Department. You don't hear of Republicans doing this sort of thing in a Republican administration,” Constitutional Scholar Mark Levin said Sunday, warning of the Biden Administration’s unprecedented assault on the First Amendment.
“This is why I take the time to go through the attacks on Donald Trump, because he is illustrative of the problem,” Levin explained in the opening segment of the latest episode of Life, Liberty & Levin:
Doug P. at Twitchypointed out that the Associated Press uncorked a headline about Sen. Charles Grassley's release of a document underlining that the Biden family accepted $10 million in bribes:
Grassley releases full FBI memo with unverified claims about Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine
"Hunter Biden's work" is awfully nebulous, and the "unverified" part is a scare word with the translation "AP has not attempted to verify this, so it's unverified." On Twitter, Mark Levin took exception to the headline:
Conservative radio host Mark Levin slammed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “nefarious” election interference as the Big Tech billionaire faces a possible contempt charge by Congress.
Levin reacted to news that the House Judiciary Committee is planning to hold Zuckerberg in contempt for reportedly not turning over documents pertaining to the federal government’s efforts to collude with social media platforms to censor Americans. “If we are going to even begin to return to fair and transparent elections, this punk must be held to account,” Levin insisted on Twitter. By censoring the bombshell Hunter Biden scandals after FBI priming and funding other election efforts with “Zuckerbucks,” Zuckerberg engaged in election interference.
-- Catherine Salgado, July 25 (Levin is lying; it is not "election interference" to fund election operations and encourage people to vote, which is what the vast majority of "Zuckerbucks" were spent on)
Conservative radio host Mark Levin eviscerated radical activists and local and state government in the wake of a disastrous Hawaii wildfires.
Levin drew attention to the leftist narrative on the Maui wildfires. “The sickening exploitation by the Democrats and the left of what’s happened in Hawaii knows no bounds,” Levin remarked during the August 21st edition of The Mark Levin Show.“They say, ‘This is an example of climate change, we need to do more.’ No, it's an example of an electrical wire, apparently busting from its moorings and setting on fire the area around it that was dry.”
Levin repeatedly pointed out the obvious, that Hawaii is windy and isolated, before concluding with a dire warning about misplaced priorities.
In response to new energy regulations from the Biden administration, Mark Levin pointed out the endgame of present and past restrictions on American energy and conveniences.
Levin blasted regulations designed to limit offshore drilling on the August 29 edition of The Mark Levin Show. “It’s not about the environment, it’s about destroying the energy industry and controlling the economy. It’s all about controlling you. They don’t want you to have mobility. They don’t want you to have cheap fuel,” Levin stated.
The far-left has weaponized natural disasters to advance their political agenda, and they won’t stop, prominent author Mark Levin warned on Thursday.
On the Thursday edition of The Mark Levin Show, nationally syndicated radio host Levin did not hold back scorching criticism of the Democratic Party and the way it uses climate change as a poor excuse to destroy the nation and censor speech. “The Democratic Party that is exploiting this to destroy the civil society,” Levin said referring to mounting evidence of the left politicizing natural disasters to advance their environmentalist agenda. He also slammed President Joe Biden’s assault against so-called climate “deniers.”
Levin’s scorching criticism of the Biden administration comes less than two weeks after the popular cable news host hammered the federal government’s “sickening exploitation” of the Maui wildfires to advance their environmentalist agenda.
Graham also devoted his July 12 column to promoting more Levin ranting:
Anyone who hates the phrase “deep state” should ponder how it can be defined by anonymous leaking from inside the government. The media elite love to try to run the country between elections, especially as they use scandals to damage Republican candidates for president.
On Sunday’s Life, Liberty, and Levin on Fox News, Mark Levin pulled out a sheaf of papers representing all the CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post stories that detailed what’s going on inside Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Donald Trump. He laid out the anonymous sourcing that gives these stories life. He made a list that underlines that Merrick Garland’s shop has a leaking problem.
We can’t prove that all of these leaks came from Jack Smith – or that Garland’s people pulled a James Comey and leaked it to some intermediary leaker. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Anonymity provides plausible deniability, which breeds cynicism.
Levin’s point is that the American Bar Association has declared that a prosecutor has special responsibilities. They should “refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of a heightening public condemnation of the accused, and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting...from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making.”
We can guess from Levin’s list that this ethical rule has been stomped into a paste. "Heightening public condemnation of the accused" is all the rage. Levin says all this taints the jury pool and denies the former president due process. He urged Trump’s lawyers to raise a stink.
If Levin and Graham "can’t prove that all of these leaks came from Jack Smith," perhaps he shouldn't be making an allegation he can't prove. And if Levin is making accusations he can't prove, perhaps Graham shouldn't trust him so much; indeed, he provides no reason anyone should do so beyond their shared right-wing ideology.
Graham went on to whine that "the liberals can’t understand why multiple politicized indictments are helping Trump keep a lead in the early Republican polls" but he offered no evidence that any Trump indictment is "politicized." He's just pushing another bogus right-wing narrative.
By contrast, the MRC was never going to call out Levin for his embarassing suck-up job he did when interviewing Donald Trump in May.
Obama-Obsessed WND Columnist Now Targeting Michelle Topic: WorldNetDaily
Obama-obsessed WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill just can't walk away from it -- and now Michelle Obama has become his target, portraying her as a possible 2024 presidential candidate despite the fact that she has pretty definitively said she will never run. Cashill's July 19 column began by plugging his new book "Untenable" -- which appears to be little more than an exercise in absolving white people of racism in fleeing cities in the 1960s, a framing the white nationalists at VDARE love -- then invoking his favorite charlatan filmmaker to accuse her family of hypocrisy in doing something similar:
Thanks to the meticulous research of Los Angeles filmmaker Joel Gilbert for his film and book "Michelle Obama 2024," we know a good deal about the ways in which Michelle's family dealt with the collapse of inner-city Chicago.
Given her family's own history of flight, one would think Michelle would have had some sympathy for whites who had made similar moves. But to think that is to misunderstand the real Michelle.
At an Obama Foundation forum in 2019, Michelle showed her true colors.
"As families like ours, upstanding families like ours, who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better, as we moved in," said Michelle, "white folks moved out."
Added Michelle, "They were afraid of what our families represented." In truth, almost all the white families had moved out before she moved in. They moved not because of families like Michelle's but because of families whose children were terrorizing families like Michelle's.
Cashill then complained that someone asked him after giving a book presentation why he hated Michelle so much:
After the C-SPAN event, one female attendee asked why I had to be so hard on Michelle. As she explained nicely, the references to skin color and hair texture by Michelle may have reflected "her truth."
The problem, I explained, is that "her truth" and "the truth" are frequently at odds in ways that inevitably insult white people. If Michelle steps up and runs for president, as many people anticipate, those insults will be increasingly hard to conceal.
Cashill spent his July 26 column again touting that Michelle Obama video by Gilbert:
Working through their allies in the news media, the Democrats have of late been stupefying their voters with a barrage of racial nonsense.
There may be a method to their madness. If Los Angeles filmmaker Joel Gilbert is right, the Democrats may be softening the ground for Michelle Obama’s triumphant return to the White House.
The producer of "Michelle Obama: 2024," Gilbert argues that Democratic operatives have been grooming Michelle for a presidential run for the last five years: the memoir, the keynote speech at the 2020 election, the voting rights operation—all proven steps on her husband’s path to power.
The move by the DNC to make South Carolina the first primary state suggests Gilbert may well be right. Michelle’s family hails from South Carolina. In 2008, kingmaker Rep. Jim Clyburn abandoned Hillary and threw his support behind Barack Obama. The state is Michelle’s for the taking.
Gilbert has previously pushed numerous false claims about Barack Obama, the most pernicious one being that his mother posed for nude photos taken by Frank Marshall Davis -- something he seemed to know was false, given how he kept editing his film promos as those discredited claims were exposed. Cashill will never tell his readers about any of this, of course -- he has worked with Gilbert on later dubious films, so he has no incentive to disrupt that relationship, no matter how steeped in lies it is.
Cashill then hyped anti-vaxxer conspiracy-mongering presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. as a disruptor:
At the House hearing on government weaponization, Schultz accused presidential aspirant Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of making “despicable anti-Semitic and anti-Asian comments.”
To give African Americans a rooting interest, Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands jumped in, grotesquely misrepresenting Kennedy’s comments and accusing him, by inference, of “hateful, abusive rhetoric.”
White though he may be, Kennedy is a classic “Black Swan,” the totally unanticipated phenomenon that, in this case, threatens all of the Democrats’ carefully laid plans.
As president, Biden could duck a debate with Kennedy, but as mere candidate, Michelle Obama could not. Nor could she hope to prevail in a debate with Kennedy. He has to be neutralized before Biden steps out of the race—as Biden inevitably will.
Cashill concluded by huffing that Michelle is all about racial animosity, while also vaguely hinting that she may have had a role in the drowning death of her family chef:
If Michelle declares, count on her to ratchet up the fear. Her target is Lavern Spicer’s cousin. Women like her control South Carolina’s destiny and Michelle’s future.
In the meantime, don’t expect to hear much about the drowning of her “personal chef.” Even Michelle would have a hard time selling a paddle boarding death as a sign of systemic racism.
Vague hints are an essential tool in the conspiracy theorist's toolbox.
People Love 'Barbie' Movie, So MRC (Mostly) Backed Off Bashing It For Being 'Woke' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has had mixed feelings about the Barbie doll in recent months -- it whinedabout the existence of a transgender Barbie, but it praised the creation of a Down syndrome Barbie (and even gently criticized toxic right-wing influencer Steven Crowder for mocking it). So the new 'Barbie' movie was bound to result in the creation of manufactured outrage at the MRC. Christian Toto spent his July 15 column fearmongering that the movie might be (gasp!) "potentially woke," whatever that means:
Meanwhile, the actors are more than happy to push the film’s potentially woke elements, disinterested in how it could impact the movie’s bottom line.
Yet the film’s marketing machine isn’t promoting its feminist bona fides. The movie’s trailers focus on fashion, fun, giddy interactions and humor.
It’s not hard to read between the lines. Director/co-screenwriter Greta Gerwig often uses her work to explore gender issues, from “Lady Bird” to “Little Women.” The early previews suggest she did it again.
None of this shares if the movie is good, bad or indifferent. We’ll have to wait until July 21 to find out.
Yet the message discipline for “Barbie’s” marketing team has been nothing short of outstanding. Most potential movie goers won’t read the quotes from Ferrell, Gerwig or Nef. They’ll be too busy sharing the cute clips and frothy trailers on social media.
If “Barbie” is the first woke blockbuster, it’ll be partly thanks to a bait-and-switch press push.
When the ladies of "The View" made fun of the predictable right-wing panning of the film for not fitting its predetermined narratives, Nicholas fondacaro complained in a July 25 post:
In the montage of reactions, which included Fox News’s Rachel Campos-Duffy from July 3 (three weeks ago) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (from last week), Daily Wire Shapiro’s reaction was the only one from after the movie was released. Out of his almost 43-minute-long review on Twitter, this was the 14 seconds they pulled out:
I find it upsetting when material that is based on children's IP and marketed to little girls actually ends up being angry feminist claptrap that alienates men from women, undermines basic human values, and promotes falsehood all at the same time.
“It's a movie!” moderator Whoopi Goldberg shouted. “It's a movie about a doll! I thought y'all would be happy! She doesn't have any genitalia, so there’s no sex involved. Ken has no genitalia, so he can't be doing -- It's a doll movie!”
It's worth noting that the show itself was also sponsored by a Barbie movie-themed commercial for Progressive insurance.
As more mocking of Shapiro's 43-minute meltdown over the film -- which included him setting fire to Barbie dolls while dressed as Ken in one scene from the movie -- poured in, Fondacaro used a July 27 post to feature Shapiro complaining about being mocked:
The joking aside, Shapiro said the most upsetting thing going on was “the insane gaslighting by people like Whoopi Goldberg” in terms of suddenly suggesting the movie was not important at all:
They play this dumbass game. It’s a really ridiculous clown-nose-on-clown-nose-off game: “Well, it’s so political, it’s so important, everyone should see it, it has such important things to say about the state of modern womanhood.” And then we’re like, “Yeah, what it has to say is garbage and stupid and wrong and bad for girls.” And they’re like, “It’s just a movie about a doll. It’s just a movie about a doll. Why are you so upset about a movie about a doll?”
I don’t know, why are you so upset that I’m upset about a movie about a doll?
“Because it’s not just a movie about a doll you idiots, obviously. You’re really liars. I mean, you know it’s not a movie about a doll only, it’s a movie about men and about women and about feminism and about the patriarchy. You know who would tell you that? Greta Gerwig, who made the damn thing,” he told them off.
Shapiro also trained his sights on The View’s faux conservative, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who attacked him for purportedly feeling emasculated by the movie, but he had a cold hard truth for her: what really was emasculating was her becoming “the designated conservative” her “pseudo friends dump on every single day and where you win points of favor and they pat you on the head and give you little Scooby treats if you say the right thing.”
He also made the expert point that they “spent a lot of [their] airtime on this. So, yeah. Obviously, it was important enough for you to comment on.”
Fondacaro didn't mention that Shapiro set Barbie dolls on fire during his original, mockworthy meltdown.
Next up in meltdown mode was Tim Graham, who spent his Aug. 4 column complaining how his wife dragged him to the movie:
It’s not a movie I had any interest in seeing, whether it was a movie made for grade-school girls or a satirical sendup for the angry feminists.
But my wife wanted to see it, so off we went. It was the worst movie we’ve seen since “Elvis.” It’s a disjointed mess. Just like “Elvis,” we sat through it despite the temptation to skedaddle.
It’s like a series of bad “Saturday Night Live” sketches that are placed at the end of the show. Any movie that ends with a triumphant first visit to the gynecologist? Eminently skippable. “It’s like Pinocchio, with tampons” did not make the newspaper blurbs.
Mattel wanted to make a “Barbie” movie to sell more Barbies, but they couldn’t just make a cartoon for little girls. No, it had to make an ironic adult blockbuster mocking itself with a preposterously plastic indictment of the patriarchy. Christian Toto counted ten utterances of “patriarchy” in this movie -- and none of them made all the promotional material that inundated TV watchers. It snuck up on you at the cineplex.
It made me think of leftists like Todd Gitlin writing about capitalist “hegemony,” about how capitalism is so malignantly adaptable that it absorbs socialist critiques and somehow evades its own collapse. So the mega-corporation that makes Barbie dolls subjects the audience to a teenager yelling at Barbie: “You represent everything wrong with our culture! You destroyed the planet with your glorification of rampant consumerism, you fascist!”
Barbie is not a fascist. She’s a toy. But yes, she’s a flashy and colorful toy, with many accessories. If they made Maoist Barbie, she’d only come with one outfit and a little red book. Surely, the movie will lead to more Barbie-doll sales. Rampant consumerism still wins.
This feminist screed could have been worse. It could have ended with Barbie triumphantly getting an abortion. But that could represent one less little girl reaching for a Barbie doll.
Graham curiously failed to mention how his wife liked the movie -- which suggests that she did, in fact, like it. As many people did, given that it has seen more than $600 million in box office revenue in the U.S. alone. It's so popular and well-liked, in fact, that the MRC has basicallly given up on trying to attack it. In an Aug. 10 post on "Barbie" being banned in Kuwait, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg -- who is not afraid to spew hate and anything and everything -- voiced her surrender in a parenthetical paragraph that was the second paragraph of her post:
(Disclaimer: We aren’t here to bash the Barbie movie as we know some people loved it. Good for them. We are here to recognize the fact that the themes and characters in "Barbie" do not align with some religions.)
Nevertheless, she bashed the movie anyway, endorsing Kuwait's ban based on purported homosexuality in thte movie:
While the Barbie film isn’t entirely based on sexuality and gender, it does feature a gay actress, Kate McKinnon, and a transgender actor, Hari Nef. Not to mention, Gosling's performance of Ken paints him in a very feminist nature. Men acting in this way is controversial in Middle Eastern culture.
Ultimately, these Middle Eastern countries likely have bigger things to be worrying about, it's nice to see them stand their ground on what sorts of ideologies should and should not be accessible and promoted throughout their nations.
We knew Mandelburg couldn't keep her hate completely hidden.
WND Hypes 'Sound of Freedom' Movie, Censors QAnon Ties Topic: WorldNetDaily
Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily loves the movie "Sound of Freedom" because it advances right-wing political narratives. Bob Unruh made that exact point in a July 10 article by pushing the bizarre conspiratorial claim that President Biden supports child trafficking:
The modern world has been unable, so far, to effectively rid itself of the scourge of child trafficking.
It's been especially noticeable in the United States in the last few years. WND reported the U.S. has become, under the leadership of Joe Biden, a de facto "middleman" in a massive "child trafficking" scheme.
That's according to a damning new report compiled by journalist and Gatestone Institute Senior Fellow Uzay Bulut.
But also like the MRC, WND wants you to think that only crazy people (and liberals) think that the film has some QAnon-adjacent shenanigans going on. Around the 10th paragraph of his article, Unruh finally got off the politicizing of child trafficking and got around to addressing the actual movie:
Now, a report in The Blaze reveals that legacy media, so befuddled by the facts, has become a critic of movie revealing the extent of the problem.
The report said "leftist media outlets" have taken to slamming the new "Sound of Freedom Movie," and making claims that the anti-child trafficking project is a "QAnon fantasy."
The movie is based on the true story of a federal agent who is confronted with the facts of child trafficking, and leaves his job to work to save children.
It was written and directed by Mexican director Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Mexican producer Eduardo Verástegui. The movie features "The Passion of the Christ" star Jim Caviezel and Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino.
The movie, on a $14.5 million budget, is outperforming Disney's highly promoted "Indiana Jones" movie.
The report said, "Rolling Stone published an article with title: ''Sound Of Freedom' Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms.' The sub-headline reads: 'The QAnon-tinged thriller about child-trafficking is designed to appeal to the conscience of a conspiracy-addled boomer.'"
The writer of that piece claims the movie is "fomenting moral panic" with its "exaggerations."
But Unruh refused to explain exactly why the film is considered QAnon-adjacent; a key component of the QAnon conspiracy is the utterly baseless claim that, as summarized by NPR, "an international cabal of elites is abusing and killing children to extract a substance called adrenochrome." Also, Caviezel has become a QAnon adherent and has promoted the whole "adrenochroming" wackiness, and Tim Ballard, the federal agent whose story the film is based on, won't distance himself from QAnon.
But conspiracy theories have always been more important than facts at WND, and it has previously touted Caviezel's ranting before. An anonymously written 21 article hyped how "Actor Jim Caviezel, whose brand new 'Sound of Freedom' move is just arriving on scene, is warning Americans about the dangers of the subject of the film: Human trafficking. Of small children," adding that "he implicated "U.S. agencies" in the child sex trafficking industry."
WND also parroted the MRC in attacking a critic of the film. A July 17 article by Peter LaBarbera claimed that "Among the left-leaning critics attacking the surprise hit film 'Sound of Freedom,' about a man who quits his Department of Homeland Security job hunting pedophiles to rescue sex-trafficked children in Colombia, is a man who represented a group that is leading efforts to recast pedophiles as 'Minor Attracted Persons,' or MAPs." He went on to tout Caviezel plugging the film:
Though cynical leftist ideologues like Berlastky claim "Sound of Freedom"-type "narratives do little to help victims," that is precisely what SOF star Caviezel is hoping to do with the movie. In a special message to theater-goers shown after the film's ending, he states: "'Sound of Freedom' is one of those films that can legitimately change this world, so we want to ignite a fire in audiences and open their eyes to the dark reality of millions of children that need our help. Let's make this film an historic event and the start of the end of child trafficking... ."
"Pre-order your tickets today and you can send the message that 'God's children are no longer for sale,'" he says, echoing the main theme of the Angel Studios production.
LaBarbera also complained:
Despite hopes that a movie about saving innocent children from sex-traffickers might unite a bitterly divided nation, left-wing activists are dwelling on its alleged links to extreme-right "Q-anon" conspiracies rather than joining conservatives and people of faith in celebrating its focus on solving the crisis of the horrific exploitation of children.
Like Unruh, LaBarbera failed to tell his readers that Caviezel is a QAnon adherent and that its subject won't distance himself from QAnon.
WND also published several articles, mostly from other sources, touting the film and Caviezel:
Unruh kept his own rah-rah campaign as well. A July 17 article uncritically repeated claims that theaters are "intentionally sabotaging" showings of the film. He touted the film's ticket sales in a July 24 article:
Most movies have a huge opening weekend. But then the attendance and income rapidly deteriorate.
That's why studios spend the big bucks on advertising and such, to get fans out for those first few days.
One film, however, is showing the ability to move against the trend.
A new report from Celluloid Junkie reveals that "Sound of Freedom," the stunning story of a former federal agent who turned his life's goals into helping those children who are being trafficked, is seeing surging attendance – weeks after its opening.
The movie from Angel Studios, where filmmakers use crowdfunding to create and distribute films, confirmed its third weekend total revenue was "a strong $20,140,647."
The figure is higher than its debut weekend.
"Angel Studios is projecting nearly $125 million total cumulative box office revenue through Sunday," the report said.
But Unruh censored the fact that the film's promoters are using a "pay it forward" strategy, in which people buy tickets for others to claim. As much as 20 percent of the film's box office take may be coming from "pay it forward," artificially inflating those box numbers, and there's little evidence to show that people actually claimed those tickets and watched the film.
MRC Drag Queen Freakout, Navy Edition Topic: Media Research Center
The Navy apparently hired a drag queen as a recruitment tool, and the dragphobes at the Media Reserach Center unsurprisingly didn't take it well. Kevin Tober raged over it in a May 3 post that also gushed how his ideological fellow travelers at Fox News noted the story:
If you were wondering why our nation's enemies like Russia and China no longer fear us, this is a major reason why. Instead of focusing on building the strongest, and most deadly fighting force possible, the U.S. Navy under President Joe Biden hired a degenerate drag queen to assist in recruiting new Gen-Z members to join the Navy. The Navy claimed this strategy is designed to show off the Navy's diversity, but that is the last thing any of our branches of the military should be focused on.
While Fox News Channel's Special Report covered this latest example of our military's descent into insanity, all three evening news broadcasts ignored this story in favor of stories like false smears of former Fox News host Tucker Carlson (ABC), and the news that Jamie Foxx broke his silence after being hospitalized (CBS and NBC).
Fox News Channel's correspondent Mark Meredith reported that the recent TikTok video "featuring a Navy sailor and drag queen who goes by the stage name Harpy Daniels are raising questions about the Navy's recruitment methods."
They never explained how a drag queen could possibly attract anyone who would be mentally or physically qualified to serve in the Navy. But that's not the point. The left's woke agenda spreads like cancer and eats away at everything it touches.
God help America if we are ever forced into armed conflict with China or Russia. No amount of drag queen TikTok videos will save us.
Tober didn't explain how his rage-filled screed qualified as "media research," nor did he prove his assertions that anyone who like drag is insufficiently manly enough to be in the Navy.
Curtis Houck followed up with a May 5 post that parroted more right-wing rage on the issue from a "friend":
Our friend, Newsmax host, and former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie opened his Thursday show Carl Higbie Frontline with a scathing takedown over the U.S. Navy’s shoveling of “woke trash” by bringing in a sailor/drag queen in an effort to boost what’s been a dismal stretch of recruitment, saying “the military is not a village people social experiment” and joking it’ll certainly comfort “the next American hostage in Djibouti...that they’re sending RuPaul and not a SEAL team.”
Higbie’s brief cold open before the opening credits said it all: “Well, the back-to-back World War champs now have a drag queen as their spokesman.”
He wondered whether “our military leaders are, like, bored, stupid, or actually trying to destroy the ranks, but this little drag queen stunt the Navy is pulling is in a long list of bad ideas” and even worse than their vaccine mandates.
The fact that Higbie thinks vaccinating our troops is a "bad idea" would seem to disqualify him as a credible critic of the miltary.
In other anti-drag hate at the MRC, Tim Graham spent a May 22 post whining that the Associated Press referenced "far-right" Republicans (but not explaining why "far-right" is inaccurate) while it allegedly "does NOT feel this way about extremist local governments when they're on the Left," sounding "happily promotional" in reporting on the establishment of a "drag laureate" in San Francisco. He went on to huff that "Conservatives were not quoted anywhere in this piece" and that right-wing anti-drag attacks were referenced.
In a June 6 post, Alex Christy complained that opposition to drag queens in a Christmas parade was noted:
PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez took a field trip down to Taylor, Texas, for Monday’s show to report on “the frontline of the war on LGBTQ rights” and how allegedly certain people are “challenging their very existence.” At the same time Barron-Lopez condemned a group of pastors for not wanting drag queens at their Christmas parade.
When seeking to answer the question why Taylor is such a hot spot of controversy, Barron-Lopez reported that “Some Taylor residents point to a single event when they describe the divisions here, the town Christmas parade, which has come down this street for decades. That, they say, is what put Taylor on the frontline of the war on LGBTQ rights. In 2021, for the first time, the line of Christmas floats on Main Street, including one from Taylor Pride, which carried drag queens. One of the performers was Felicia Enspire.”
Yes, PBS is trying to make a big controversy over Christian ministers not wanting drag queens at the parade that they organize.
Christy also complained that one pastor was described as being “unapologetic about his anti-LGBTQ beliefs” but did not explain how that was at all inaccurate.
Newsmax, Trump Promote Each Other During Post-Arrest Interview Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax got rewarded for its defend-and-attackstrategy following donald Trump's (fourth) indictment): It scored an interview with Trump after he turned himself into Georgia authorities following the indictment. Of course, Trump helpfully plugged Newsmax during the interview, as detailed in an Aug. 24 article by Luca Cacciatore:
Former President Donald Trump believes that one reason he is being unfairly targeted is because he told people to watch Newsmax in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
Appearing Thursday on " Greg Kelly Reports," the former president said that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy would be "thrilled" to know that the fastest-growing cable news channel was his go-to network.
"One of the things is I tell people — Newsmax. Did you know that? That was one of my tabs. I told people to watch Newsmax," Trump explained. "I got charged for telling people to watch Newsmax!"
The former president then jokingly warned host Greg Kelly: "I hope you don't get charged. You'll probably get charged because I mentioned your name, but I think you'll be OK."
"I think it's a badge of honor, quite frankly," Kelly replied.
Newsmax then squeezed seven additional articles out of the righly 20-minute interview:
Soros Derangement Syndrome At The MRC Continues Topic: Media Research Center
When it wasn't melting down over "Soros-funded" prosecutors holding Donald Trump accountable for his crimes and helping Elon Musk frame him as the Jew conservatives are allowed to hate, the Media Research Center was continuing its dirty war on George Soros in theusualways since we last checked in:
The MRC served up more detailed attacks as well. Clay Waters complained in an April 20 post that it was pointed out how right-wing attacks on Soros lean into anti-Semitism:
The House Judiciary Committee held an unusual “field hearing” in Manhattan to hear from local victims of violence -- a bank shot against Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is prosecuting a dubious case against former president Donald Trump while being accused of being soft on actual violent crime.
New York Times responded with haughty defensiveness, rallying around both the city and prosecutor Bragg in “Republicans Attack Bragg, Spotlighting Crime Victims in New York” Wednesday, as reported by congressional reporter Luke Broadwater and Jonah Bromwich, who covers New York criminal justice.
One Republican bashed him as “pro-criminal.” Another called him a “terrible” prosecutor with a habit of losing cases. A third suggested he was in the pocket of a wealthy Jewish financier frequently demonized by the far right.
That “wealthy Jewish financier” would be billionaire and leading Democratic fundraiser George Soros. After downplaying Soros’s pro-Democratic election funding in an article earlier this month, this Times article never even bothers to confirm the connection between Soros and Bragg, leaving the implication that the Republican mention of him is motivated by random anti-Semitism.
But Soros pledged $1 million to support Color of Change PAC at almost the same time the PAC announced they would put $1 million into Bragg’s successful DA campaign, making Republican criticism legitimate. Isn’t the press usually more curious about political donations -- or is that just for conservatives who receive funding from, say, Charles Koch?
Waters went on to complain that "The Times conflated anti-Soros protestors with anti-Semitism" by noting that " a man held a sign with the name of the financier George Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, along with the image of a Star of David and dollar signs." But rather than actually address the point, he playued whataboutism: "Speaking of 'dollar signs,' there was no comment from Democratic Rep. Ilhan 'all about the Benjamins' Omar, whose own anti-Semitic comments were aggressively downplayed by the same paper." He then claimed without evidence that "it's possible the sign is being held by a Democrat to help the narrative along."
A May 22 post by Joseph Vazquez cheered how a highly biased right-wing poll demonstrated how relentless attacks against Soros by the MRC and other right-wingers are apparently succeeding in demonizing him:
A majority of Americans are rejecting the media’s attempts to shield leftist billionaire activist George Soros from criticism and cast his opponents as anti-Semites.
A new survey by Rasmussen Reports and Ron Coleman’s ColemanNation podcast of 1,002 U.S. likely voters revealed that “Most American voters have a negative opinion of liberal billionaire George Soros, and nearly half agree with [Twitter owner] Elon Musk’s words comparing Soros to a comic-book villain.” Specifically, 51 percent of respondents reported viewing Soros “unfavorably,” which included 39 percent who had a “very unfavorable” impression of the billionaire. This poll’s release comes days after Musk set Twitter on fire for comparing Soros to Marvel supervillain Magneto, saying Soros "hates humanity" and for Soros for seeking to “erode the very fabric of civilization.”
Despite all the media bluster to make Soros into some kind of a victim, Americans clearly aren’t buying it. “Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters agree with [Musk’s] quote, including 35% who Strongly Agree that Soros ‘hates humanity,’” according to the survey taken between May 16-18, 2023.
Vazquez went on to quote "Bongino Report Content Manager Matt Palumbo" attacking Soros, but he didn't disclose that Palumbo moonlights by writing propaganda for arrested Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.
Tom Olohan used a June 6 post to tout an anti-Soros book by a right-wing author (whose ideology Olohan didn't disclose):
A “one-eyed King among the blind,” “some kind of god, the creator of everything,” “brilliant” and “clever;” these are just some of the disturbing bona fides a new bookanalyzes that leftist billionaire George Soros has acquired for himself over his decades-long activist career.
“Soros is right; America is under attack; its Constitution, independence, and democracy are under attack by Soros and his army,” writes American Center for Democracy Founder and President Rachel Ehrenfeld in her new book The Soros Agenda (2023). Ehrenfeld’s work details the ungodly fortunes (over $32 billion) spent by Soros to transform society into his distorted view of an “open society,” a leftist utopia undergirded by anti-Americanism, Marxist economics, climate change extremism, abortion-on-demand and racial strife.
Ehrenfield does not shy away from controversial topics in this work, linking Soros to several color revolutions and to anti-Israel groups, while also providing evidence that Soros lacks compassion and despises his background. She also delves into the lack of transparency that is characteristic of many Soros initiatives.
The main task that Ehrenfeld undertakes with this work is to demonstrate connections that are regularly obscured or ignored by establishment media outlets, while Soros-funded fact-checkers rebuke those who do report on Soros’ actions.
Olohan made no effort to let anyone respond to Ehrenfeld's attacks -- he hates Soros as much as she does, after all.
The next day, Nicholas Schau complained that the right-wing anti-Soros machine was exposed:
NPR ludicrously claimed that the leftist Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) was not influenced by George Soros funding, despite NPR itself being funded by the leftist billionaire.
In an article published June 4, NPR complained about waning support for ERIC — an organization focused on voter registration — in Republican states and ridiculously attributed the ire over its ties to a so-called “far-right misinformation machine.” However, according to the Capital Research Center (CRC), there is real evidence that Soros’ network provided funding for the organization, which was established as a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts. According to CRC investigative researcher Parker Thayer, “NPR’s insistence that there is no connection between ERIC and George Soros is laughable and refuted by their own article.”
Specifically, as Thayer pointed out, “[NPR] admit[ted] several paragraphs into the article that Soros’s private foundation provided money to the organization that created the ERIC but spen[t] the rest of the same article insisting that there is no connection.”
Schau didn't disclose that the CRC has a biased right-wing ideology, nor did he explain why ERIC's mission of encouraging voter registration and modernizing the election process is purportedly a bad thing, let alone "leftist." He also offered no proof that any of the money Soros donated to "the organization that created the ERIC" went directly toward creating ERIC. Finally, Schau didn't deny the existence of a right-wing anti-Soros machine -- hard for him to do when he's obviously part of it.
FAKE NEWS: WND Hypes False Claims About Retracted COVID Vaccine Study Topic: WorldNetDaily
The COVID vaccine misinformation just never stops at WorldNetDaily. Bob Unruh contributed in a July 21 article:
A new study, conducted by respected medical researchers and published in The Lancet, a renowned medical journal, indicated that the COVID shots themselves actually killed people – and the study now has been killed.
That's according to a report from Liberty Counsel, which has been one of the key fighters in court against the Biden administration's various COVID shot mandates during the pandemic.
The report said the "bombshell" study was done by Dr. Peter McCullough and others and was published in The Lancet.
But it "was quickly censored within 24 hours after its publication because it showed clear evidence that the COVID-19 shots were responsible for many deaths."
Of the 325 autopsies reviewed, "the study revealed the COVID shots directly caused or significantly contributed to up to 74% of those deaths."
But as an actual fact-checker at AFP pointed out, the study was never published in The Lancet; it appeared on a preprint server where studies typically appear before peer review, and it was never accepted for publication by The Lancet.
Unruh went on to hype the alleged credentials of the study authors:
The report said McCullough, a renowned internist, epidemiologist and "one of the most published cardiologists in American with more than 1,000 peer-reviewed publications," did the study with eight other researchers.
They included Yale researcher Dr. Harvey Risch, pathologist Dr. Roger Hodkinson and Dr. Paul Alexander, formerly of the Department of Health and Human Services.
McCullough, of course, is a prolific COVID misinformer whom WND has repeatedlytouted. Risch, Hodkinson and Alexander are COVID misinformers as well.Their study was removed from the preprint server because it was highly flawed, as AFP documented:
Zhou Xing, an immunology professor at McMaster University, found the methodology to be flawed as it did not seem to factor in medical conditions and age as possible reasons that death could have occurred after vaccination.
"It seems an astoundingly ridiculous analysis and conclusion and I believe one does not have to be a scientific or medical expert to find the major flaws," Xing said in a July 12 email.
Xing noted that because a large majority of people have received Covid-19 shots, mortality rates will inevitably be higher for vaccinated individuals regardless of the cause of death.
AFP also showed how the paper's claims of having been "independently reviewed" is bogus:
Brian Ward, a professor of experimental medicine who studies the adverse effects of vaccines at McGill University, said he questioned the study's claims of independent researchers, given the physicians' histories of spreading Covid-19 misinformation could lead them to be invested in reaching a conclusion that supports their previous statements.
"The way they use the word 'independently' here simply means that each of the biased individuals sat in a separate room to reach a personal conclusion before sharing their (largely pre-determined) classifications with each other," Ward said in an email on July 12, 2023.
Ward said he believed it was unlikely the paper would ever be published in a medical journal.
AFP also noted a professor who lamented that the claims in this "zombie paper" will become part of the discourse despite its having been discredited and retracted.But the truth does not matter to WND; instead, Unruh uncritically quoted McCullough making the blatantly untrue claim that "They are trying to kill [the study] so the world doesn’t see the data."
MRC Buries How Right-Wing-Friendly Film's Inspiration And Star Embrace QAnon Topic: Media Research Center
Despite having a history of attacking actors who make political statements, the Media Research Center makes an exception for actors who spout right-wing talking points. That's what Christian Toto did in his July 1 column touting the star of the right-wing-friendly film "Sound of Freedom":
Jim Caviezel doesn’t read off the Hollywood script on the promotional circuit.
Yes, that’s the understatement of the year.
The “Passion of the Christ” star works steadily in the industry despite his reluctance to toe the company line. Now, talking to select press for his new film “Sound of Freedom,” Caviezel has taken the shackles entirely off.
That means he’s not promoting the progressive cause du jour.
The star mocked the mainstream media for telling lie after lie after lie.
“Hunter Biden laptop, 2 years, you told us, not true…then it’s true. For 7 years, we learn Donald Trump is a Russian spy…Durham report drops” *snaps* “he’s not a Russian spy.”
He decried sexually explicit Pride displays where children are routinely present, another liberal Hollywood no-no.
What Toto didn't mention, however, is Caviezel's embrace of far-right conspiracy theories.He has become a QAnon adherent and has promoted the wacky claim about "adrenochroming," the bizarre -- and utterly baseless -- theory that global elites are trafficking children and harvest a chemical called adrenochrome from their blood to stay young. As it just so happens, "Sound of Freedom" is based on the true story of a man who fights child sex trafficking.
Toto also noted that "The actor also dubbed the Academy Awards as the “Irrelevant Show” for ignoring films like “The Passion of the Christ” (the film earned three minor nominations – Best Score, Best Makeup and Best Cinematography)." He didn't mention that "The Passion" was criticized for leaning into anti-Semitism by blaming Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus, which makes more sense after director Mel Gibson's virulent anti-Semitism was revealed.
Alex Christy tried to whitewash how "Sound of Freedom" leaned into QAnon conspiracy theories and Caviezel's embrace of QAnon in a July 8 post:
CNN Tonight host Abby Phillip decided to do something different for Friday’s show by doing a movie review. Specifically, Sound of Freedom starring Jim Caviezel who stars as Tim Ballard, a real-life former DHS agent who works to bust child sex trafficking rings. For Phillip and The Storm is Upon Us author Mike Rothschild, the film focuses on a real issue, but is nevertheless a “moral panic” and a plot to get QAnon conspiracy theorists to feel good about themselves.
After noting the film is battling Indiana Jones“for the top spot at the box office,” Phillip also noted “the film and its star are raising eyebrows among critics. Some say that it bends the truth about child exploitation, and it caters to QAnon conspiracy theorists. Its distributor, Angel Studios, denies those accusations. Jim Caviezel, the star of the film, is also known for openly embracing QAnon theories.”
After introducing Rothschild, Phillip led him with more of a statement than a question, “the star of this film, Jim Caviezel is coming under a lot of scrutiny for his embrace of QAnon conspiracy theories. And you seem pretty familiar with him because he doesn't really hide his association with this real wild plot that involves, you know, drinking the blood of children and things like that.”
Rothschild elaborated on that idea, “he is openly embracing and he's openly using its catchphrases and its concepts. He's speaking at QAnon conventions. And this film is being marketed to either specific QAnon believers or to people who believe all of the same tenets as QAnon, but claim they don't know what it is.”
Phillip added, “And the Sound of Freedom does focus on a real issue of sex trafficking. But that theme, it's sort of like that kernel of truth that feeds the QAnon conspiracy theory. Tell us how those two things work together.”
Christy's response to all this? "CNN is reviewing Caviezel’s personal life and not the actual movie." That's a hypocritial statement -- the MRC reviews the personal lives of actors all the time, such as Jane Fonda and Rob Reiner, when make statements that aren't conservatively correct.
Christy then cited a reviewer who noted that the movie was based on a true story, adding: "Exactly. If you want fewer QAnon conspiracy theorists then do not associate movies about fighting sex trafficking with QAnon." By thte same token, if you don't want your movie associated with QAnon, don't hire a QAnon adherent as your star. And maybe don't base your movie on a guy who repeatedly spews xenophobia and anti-LGBT rhetoric and who won't distance himself from QAnon.
The MRC then hypocritically swung back to reviewing a person instead of his work in a July 18 post by Bill D'Agostino attacking a writer who pointd out how "Sound of Freedom" leans into QAnon:
On Saturday, Bloomberg published a guest opinion piece by the former communications director of a pro-pedophile advocacy group. The article, titled “QAnon and ‘Sound of Freedom’ Both Rely on Tired Hollywood Tropes,” was a late arrival to media crusade against ‘Always With Honor’ — a film about, of all things, child trafficking.
Freelance journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend pointed out the author of this Bloomberg piece, Noah Berlatsky, had an alarming history of defending pedophiles online.
The obvious question is: Why does Berlatsky spend so much time defending pedophiles, downplaying child sex trafficking, and demonizing parents? Perhaps the answer is just as obvious, but we don’t want to allege something we can’t definitively prove.
Instead, let’s ask: Why are Bloomberg’s editorial staff struggling so spectacularly to disavow a man who built his career around defending pedophiles?
Can we also ask why D'Agostino said absolutely nothing at all about the content of Berlatsky's column?
Toto returned for a July 22 column raging at actress Ellen Barkin for making a non-conservative statement, huffing that she and other liberal actors "never suffer for unhinged views like right-leaning stars often do," adding: "Just ask Jim Caviezel, whose sin is being an openly Christian star. The media loathes him for it., and he allegedly lost two agents for starring in 'Sound of Freedom.'" Toto censored Caviezel's QAnon endorsements, which is likely the real reason Caviezel lost those agents.
Tierin-Rose Mandelburg spent a Sept. 1 post complaining that people were still talking about the QAnon-adjacent leanings of "Sound of Freedom":
Though it seems like everyone has moved on from baselessly bashing the Sound of Freedom, CBS Mornings couldn’t find anything better to talk about Friday, as the network allotted a whopping seven minutes-and-change attempting to paint the movie as something of a QAnon conspiracy.
Apparently exposing the truths and travesties of the child trafficking network is just right-wing propaganda - that is, according to CBS. For starters, the chyron of the segment read, “‘Sound of Freedom’ Controversies.” Fill-in co-host Jamie Yuccas stated, “Sound of Freedom is a lightning rod for controversy and conspiracy theories,” adding that the movie has been embraced by “supporters of the fringe conspiracy theory, QAnon," who "falsely believe in the existence of widespread human trafficking rings run by Hollywood and so-called liberal political elites.”
In the segment, hosts spoke with writer-director Alejandro Monteverde, immediately asking how he feels about the film being at the center of so much controversy.
Again, I don’t think the illegal sexual exploitation and abuse of children is controversial. Nobody should ever be for it, full stop. But, I digress.
Nobody is, dear, and merely criticizing this movie does not mean one is in favor of human trafficking. But we digress; Mandelburg went on to assert that the film can't possibly be leaning into QAnon because the director said it wasn't:
Despite Monteverde’s redirect to focus on the facts of the film and its real-life implications, co-host Nate Burleson asked if the choice to cast Jim Caviezel as the main character was the right selection.
Monteverde then went on to explain that Tim Ballard, the man on whom the movie is based, wanted Caviezel to play the role due to the fact that he is a “man of faith.”
Mandelburg censored Caviezel's embrace of QAnon. She concluded by whining again that the QAnon-adjacent aspects of the film were being pointed out:
At the end, the hosts did give a nod to the movie. King insisted it was important to recognize that the movie was made “before all these conspiracy theories.” Great, so out of a seven-minute segment trying to get Monteverde to claim the movie was based on a far right-wing conspiracy theories, a whopping 10 seconds was dedicated to agreeing the movie did a good thing by exposing the horrific child trafficking epidemic.
Honestly, the hosts should be embarrassed. They couldn’t get off the schtick that this movie was supported by “QAnon” and allowed it to essentially run and ruin the whole segment. Kudos to Monteverde for sharing the truth and holding his own.
If Mandelburg really thought the film was honest, she wouldn't be fighting so hard to bury the fact that both Ballard and Caviezel are very much QAnon-adjacent. She's definitely not showing any embarrassment over her deceit.
There's nothing that right-wingers won't invent conspiracy theories about. Take the concept of "15-minute cities," which seeks to place most of person's basic needs within a 15-minute radius, via walking or biking, of their house. The false fearmongering has begun, with Rolaant McKenzie ranting about "globalists" who want to imprison people in his July 6 WorldNetDaily column in which he makes the leap to "open-air prison" for no discernable reason:
Over the past several years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been promoting the implementation of an urban planning concept called the "15-minute city" (sometimes abbreviated as FMC). This is described as arranging an urban area in such a way that most daily necessities such as going to work, buying food and clothing, going to school, visiting the doctor, and engaging in leisure and entertainment can all be done within a 15-minute walk or bicycle ride from any point of the city.
According to its proponents, this would be a convenient way to reduce car dependency, promote healthy and sustainable living, improve the well-being and quality of life of city residents, and greatly reduce carbon emissions in the ongoing fight against climate change.
Under the guise of climate-change prevention, car ownership and use would be eliminated over time by making it too expensive and limiting the infrastructure to sustain it. Roadblocks and gates would be erected over time throughout the city. Along with restrictions on the freedom of movement, constant surveillance would characterize life, turning the FMC into an open-air prison similar to the districts in "The Hunger Games."
The attempts by global elitists to create "15-minute cities" where they value their progressively confined residents for what they can get from controlling and destroying them will fail, because it will be utterly overcome by the eternal city built by God, who valued lost humanity so much that He sent His own Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and rise again so that all who trust in Him will live liberated from sin, death and confinement forever.
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)
McKenzie noffered no evidence whatsoever that anyone wants to imprison people in their neighborhoods -- he's just that much of a far-right conspiracy theorist, and he knows WND will never fact-check him.
Flashback, Part 3: MRC Still Hyping Kneejerk Defenses Of Guns Topic: Media Research Center
Our flashbackseries on the Media Research Center's kneejerk defense of guns continues with Nicholas Fondacaro using an April 18 post to bash "The View" for expressing concern that an elderly white man shot and killed a black teenager who mistakenly rang the doorbell at his house:
Never letting a bad situation go to waste, the ladies of ABC’s The View spent the beginning of Tuesday’s episode exploiting the tragic and allegedly unlawful use of deadly force by an elderly white man against a black teenager in Missouri. According to them, it was “unfortunate” that people had the right to self-defense at all, and insanely proclaimed that elderly people who couldn’t physically fend off an attacker shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.
During the incident in question, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot after he rang the doorbell of 85-year-old Andrew Lester thinking it was the house he was supposed to pick up his siblings from. According to reports, no words were exchanged and there was no evidence of an attempted forced entry before Lester shot Yarl twice with his revolver through the glass door. Prosecutors also allege that there was an unspecified “racial component” to the shooting.
With the details as reported, Missouri’s self-defense laws (particularly their castle doctrine) didn’t seem to apply. But nuance and attention to detail weren’t things The View excelled in.
Co-host Sara Haines repeatedly advocated for the elderly to have their Second Amendment rights stripped from them if they felt they couldn’t fend off an attacker with their bare hands:
In reality, those too weak to defend themselves physically were arguably the ones who needed guns for self-defense the most.
Haines then lashed out at the National Rifle Association, despite the fact they were not defending Lester. According to her, this incident “fuels the profit of more gun sales” and the NRA wanted to roll back “the accountability of the people shooting.”
Yes, Fondacaro is defending the man's use of his gun for "self-defense" despite admitting that's not what actually happened.
On April 20, Fondacaro lashed out at criticism of states that have permitless concealed-carry laws:
In the liberal media’s crusade to eliminate gun rights, no complaint is too absurd to be presented to their viewers as a serious point. CBS Mornings was guilty of this Thursday as co-anchor Tony Dokoupil singled out Alabama, Missouri, and Texas (the locations of recent mass shootings) for not requiring residents to obtain permits to buy rifles and shotguns. But only seven states out of 50 have that requirement.
If you'll recall, the MRC attacked a "Soros-backed" prosecutor for dropping a gun charge against a man who later committed a massacre -- but didn't mention that the charge was carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
The next day, Alex Christy was upset that a commentator pointed out that Fox News likely played a role in feeding the elderly man with fear of crime and black people -- something the man's grandson agreed with -- to the point where he killed a black teen who merely rang his doorbell:
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle used the Thursday edition of The 11th Hour to give credence to the idea that Fox News was responsible for shooting of Ralph Yarl by an 84-year old man after he wrong the doorbell. Former FBI assistant director counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi took it one step further and demanded Fox and “the firearms industry” feel “financial pain.”
Beginning the show by going through a list of recent shootings that were the result of either identifying the wrong car or a ball rolling into someone’s yard before coming to Yarl, Ruhle decalred “There is another deep troubling element to all of this and it relates to the shooting of young Ralph Yarl. The grandson of the 84-year-old man charged in that shooting put it this way.”
Christy then complained that the commentator said that Fox News should feel the pain of inculcating people that way, just as it had to with the $787 million settlement with Dominion for spreading election fraud lies (which the MRC tried to insist wasn't a big deal because right-wingers will believe whatever it sees on the channel regardless):
Figliuzzi then gave a chilling case for censorship, “Yeah, this is where I'm a strong advocate of financial pain for those who spew out propaganda. We just saw Fox News, you know, paying, you know, just under a billion dollars because of what they've been doing and the question is whether or not that is enough pain or not to make a difference.”
What is Figliuzzi’s definition of propaganda? He never says, but disagreeing with MSNBC on guns or crime is not at all the same as repeating conspiracy theories about voting machines.
When a "View" co-host criticized Fox News over the shooting, Fondacaro viciously smeared her as a "racist" for doing so in an April 21 post:
Despite her whining to the contrary, View co-host Sunny Hostin is a staunch racist and shows it often from her ABC platform. On Friday’s edition of the show, she spewed her toxic racism again when she suggested the problem with gun owners in America was that they had white skin and were “radicalized” by Fox News, thus a danger to the country.
Spurred by recent reported shootings by trigger-happy property protectors against innocent people, fill-in moderator Joy Behar wondered: “So what is going on and why are these people shooting first before they even know why somebody mistakenly went into their driveway?”
Later that day, Fondacaro whined that CBS highlighted a group of moms trying to stop gun violence are "either long-time liberals or don’t have a strong political history." Fondacaro didn't explain why the moms who "don’t have a strong political history" should be attacked.
On April 24, Stephanie Hamill bashed the TV show "Gray's Anatomy" for "predictably push[ing] the anti-gun agenda while peddling the ‘weapons of war’ myth," pushing her side's pro-gun agenda in response: "And, of course, no mention about the lives that could have potentially been saved and injuries avoided had there been a good guy with a gun to immediately intervene. Also, there was no mention of the crimes committed with guns in states and cities with strict gun control laws."
After yet another mass shooting in Texas, Mark Finkelstein tried to change the subject in a May 4 post to the shooter being an "illegal immigrant":
When it comes to crime, [David] Jolly and his Democrat friends focus almost entirely on guns--rather than on the people who commit crimes. A significant portion of serious crimes in America were committed by illegal immigrants; the suspect in the mass Texas shooting among them.
If MSNBC were actually interested in reducing serious crime in America, it would be clamoring for candidates who will fight illegal immigration. Instead, the liberal media prefers to focus on "gun violence," and use it in an attempt to elect Democrats.
Christy spent a May 9 post complaining that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough pointed out that right-wing kneejerk defense of guns:
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough opened up his Monday night primetime special with a solemn, yet outrageous and profoundly unserious rant where he accused Republicans, “cowards,” “pathetic souls,” and “vacuous creatures” of being the modern equivalent of “slaveholders and segregationists.”
In Scarborough’s view of things, “Politicians idly stand by and watch as America's children and their parents are slaughtered… All because these cowards fear gun lobbyists more than they fear the next Uvalde, Parkland, or Sandy Hook.”
That accusation would be bad enough, but as is his nature, Scarborough proceeded to escalate, “Like those enablers of slaveholders and segregationists, these timid, empty, pathetic souls care more about beating back next year's right-wing primary challenge than they do saving young children's lives. But there is no doubt that these vacuous creatures willnot escape history’s thunderous verdict.”
Christy didn't rebut anything Scarborough said -- he just complained it was said.