FLASHBACK: MRC Cheered Demise Of Anti-Disinfo Board It Smeared Topic: Media Research Center
We've shown how the Media Research Center falsely smeared a proposed anti-disinformation effort in the Department of Homeland Security as an Orwellian "ministry of truth" that would censor Americans. When those smears ultimately torpedoed the office, the MRC was dancing in the streets over this dishonest right-wing victory. Curtis Houck cheered in a May 18, 2022, post:
According to far-left creep and perpetual whiner Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided this week it would put a pause on the dangerous, Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) due to what they claimed were “unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats” to executive director Nina Jankowicz.
Late Tuesday morning, Lorenz tweeted after the article's publication that Jankowicz officially resigned.
Lorenz wrote: “Now, just three weeks after its announcement, the Disinformation Governance Board is being ‘paused,’ according to multiple employees at DHS, capping a back-and-forth week of decisions that changed during the course of reporting of this story.”
Houck offered no proof that Lorenz is "far-left," though a month or so earlier it was viciously smearing Lorenz for using publicly available information to accurately identify Chaya Raichik as the proprietor of the viciouisly homophobic Libs of TikTok Twitter feed. Also note that Houck did not criticize those "vile personal attacks" on Jankowicz; perhaps that was because his employer helped forward some of them.
As she often does, Lorenz framed objections to her views as nefarious, calling the uproar “a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them.”
Lorenz painted opposition to Jankowicz as a smoke-filled, backroom image that began thanks to “far-right influencer Jack Posobiec” having used “a derogatory comparison point” by dubbing DGB “a ‘Ministry of Truth.’”
Houck went on to claim that "The back-end of her article all but conceded that the board was created so as to crush and maim conservatives" -- but the excerpt he posted of that section of the article did not mention "conservatives" at all; Lorenz did point out that "Experts say that right-wing disinformation and smear campaigns regularly follow the same playbook," which "start with identifying a person to characterize as a villain." Houck did not deny that this is how right-wingers like him work.
A post the same day by Craig Bannister also attacked Lorenz, insisting that her article was "highly partisan, bemoaning the DGB’s demise and ignoring Jankowicz’s dabbling in disinformation." He also made sure to get his talking points by declaring that "The board has been condemned as an attempt to institute a “Ministry of Truth” to censor, punish and “correct” speech and news that contradicts government policy and ideology. He went on to spout the corporate line and falsely frame dishonest right-wing attacks as defending "free speech":
Conservatives, however, cheered the news of the DGB’s demise, but say a “pause” doesn’t go far enough to protect free speech. “The Ministry of Truth needs to be canceled, not just paused. We don't need the government telling us what to think!,” Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell tweeted.
“@washingtonpost blaming conservatives for daring to defend free speech is the icing on the cake. Yes, we love free speech and real journalists should too!,” Bozell said in a follow-up post.
Another post, this one anonymously written, cheered Jankowicz's official resignation:
“Mary Poppins of disinformation” Nina Jankowicz resigned from leading President Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) after MRC and other outlets exposed its Orwellian nature.
“UPDATE: Nina Jankowicz has officially resigned from Disinformation Governance Board and the DHS,” unapologetic doxxer and Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz tweeted Wednesday morning. “Jankowicz had previously written a resignation letter on Monday, when the board was set to be dissolved. Then last night, after DHS officials called and and [sic] said the board would simply be on ‘pause’ she reevaluated. She's now made the decision to leave.”
Lorenz wrote a whiny story on how the DHS “paused” its Ministry of Truth operation headlined: “How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts.”
The anonymous writer didn't admit the dishonest right-wing attacks, nor did he or she mention the threatsmage against Jankowicz due to those dishonest attacks. The smear of Lorenz as an "unapologetic doxxer" also snottily refers to her exposure of Raichik.
A post by Kevin Tober complained that non-right-wing networks didn't buy into the right-wing smears the way its buddies at Fox News did:
On Wednesday morning, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security is putting a pause on the Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB). It was later reported by The Wall Street Journal that the executive director in charge of the board, Nina Jankowicz is stepping down.
“With the exception of one minute and 23 seconds on the May 1 edition of the Sunday show Meet the Press” the broadcast networks have refused to cover the news of the Biden administration’s Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Instead, the evening newscasts ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News have decided to cover the U.S. women’s soccer team winning a lawsuit over equal pay and local weather reports.
Yet, Fox News Channel’s America Reports did manage to cover the reported pause in the operation of the DGB and Jankowicz’s resignation. At the helm of the Wednesday afternoon broadcast of America Reports co-hosts John Roberts and Gillian Turner covered the story.
Toer went on to complain that a Fox News correspondent read a statement from a Biden White House official denying the accuracy of right-wing attacks against the board, which Tober dismissed as "snarky and petulant." It seems he's upset that Fox News told a side of the story he didn't want to hear.
The MRC capped off that day's coverage with a podcast in which Tim Graham proclaimed the suspension of the board a "shocking victory," then whined that Lorenz "lamented how the right-wingers sought to ruin DGB boss Nina Jankowicz with their negative narratives," immediately playing whataboutism to avoid having to actually discuss the issue and seemingly justifying the dishonesty as revenge: "As if Donald Trump and his staff didn't receive 'an unrelenting barrage of harassment and abuse' from The Washington Post? Journalism and satire are wonderful tools when liberals use them apparently, but it's unrelenting harassment when conservatives get involved."
When the dishonest attacks on the board were called out, the MRC continued to whine. Alex Christy complained in a May 19, 2022, post:
On Wednesday’s edition of All in With Chris Hayes on MSNBC, the show’s namesake host welcomed Nina Jankowicz, who resigned from the paused Disinformation Governance Board. Both Hayes and Jankowicz lamented and alleged that the DGB fell victim to the sort of misinformation that went would seek to combat even with Hayes admitting the board had its issues.
In introducing Jankowicz, Hayes declared, “But almost immediately after the announcement, a right-wing frenzy ensued helped along I think by the vaguely ominous title of the office, and she found herself on the receiving end of a concerted campaign by the very same forces disinformation her office would face now attacking her and undermining her credibility with wild conspiracy theories and lies.”
The New York Times had a cow over the apparent demise of President Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board and painted it as a victim of — wait for it — disinformation.
Times“veteran” foreign and national security correspondent Steven Lee Meyers published an asinine story headlined: “A Panel to Combat Disinformation Becomes a Victim of It.” Meyers mourned that the Department of Homeland Security was “suspending the work” of the DGB “intended to combat disinformation after what the department described as a deliberate disinformation campaign.”
According to Meyers’ lament, “the fiercest denunciations came from the right,” which included correct characterizations of the DGB as “an Orwellian Ministry of Truth that would police people’s speech.” The DHS paused the DGB’s operations after significant backlash.
Meyers pleaded that being a Ministry of Truth “was never the board’s mandate, a department spokesman said in a written statement.” Ah, so the “Ministry of Truth” narrative wasn’t true because a “Ministry of Truth” loyalist said so?
Vazquez's claim that right-wing attacks were "correct" went to another MRC post -- hardly a stellar example of "media research." Neither Vazquez nor Christy would admit the dishonesty of the attacks coming form their side. Vazquez also played the Soros card, claiming that "A 2020 report by a think tank funded by liberal billionaire George Soros raised questions about whether it had any hand in the creation of President Joe Biden’s 'Ministry of Truth.'"
Tober returned to attack Jankowicz for daring to point out the right-wing smears:
One day after the Biden administration’s Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) was shut down, the former Executive Director Nina Jankowicz continued making the rounds on cable news to whine about the board’s demise and her subsequent resignation, this time with an appearance on CNN Tonight.
Host Lauren Coates asked Jankowicz why the purpose of the board was “not communicated effectively?” She responded that “absolutely could and should have been communicated better” and shirked responsibility by claiming her advice wasn’t listened to, adding that she “wanted it to be communicated better.”
Further proving that she has no sense of irony or self-awareness, Jankowicz said, with a straight face, that unfortunately and ironically we were undone exactly by a disinformation campaign coming from folks who apparently want to put our national security behind their own personal political ambitions.”
She then accused opponents of the DGB of being unpatriotic: “this childish behavior is putting the national security of our country behind this sort of partisan vitriol.”
Tober made no effort to prove Jankowicz wrong, nor did he deny the fundamental dishonesty of the right-wing campaign against the board.
In a May 21, 2022, post, Graham unironically attacked Jankowicz for complaining about the baseless right-wing attacks she faced:
Now that Nina Jankowicz has resigned her job as "Disinformation Governance Board" boss at the Department of Homeland Security, the liberal media have competed to paint her in the most melodramatic tones as a victim of vicious sexist harassment. Associated Press reporter Amanda Seitz -- who's supposed to be a "Fact Check Reporter" -- filed a story Friday with the gaudy headline "Disinformation board’s ex-leader faced wave of online abuse.
The AP reporter was not at all interested in the conservative argument against the DGB or Jankowicz. Newspapers and websites across America were spreading the word that the right-wingers were "silencing and terrorizing" her because she was female.
Graham seems to think Jankowicz deserved to be abused simply because she ran afoul of right-wing narratives (which he didn't bother to demonstrate were accurate).
Even though the board was essentially suspected, the MRC still wasn't done repeating attacks on it and Jankowicz over the next several days:
Vazquez was still whining that the dishonesty that killed the board was being called out in a July 6, 2022, post:
The triggered liberals at The New York Times are having a cow over fears that Washington, D.C., won’t be able to install a censorship apparatus to root out so-called “disinformation.”
The Times published a whiny story headlined: “Disinformation Has Become Another Untouchable Problem in Washington.” The piece, plastered with a photo of a stone-faced former Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) Director Nina Jankowicz, whined that Biden’s Ministry of Truth “was dismantled — put on ‘pause,’ officially — undone in part by forces it was meant to combat, including distortions of the board’s intent and powers.”
The Times has tried for weeks to orce-feed readers into believing that the DGB was a disinformation victim. Jankowicz resigned from the DGB following backlash to the Biden administration’s attempt to control the flow of information online.
The liberal newspaper even attempted to paint Jankowicz as a DGB martyr: “Ms. Jankowicz became a focus of the furor, targeted online by false or misleading information about her role in what critics denounced as a Ministry of Truth.”
As before, Vazquez would not admit the dishonesty of the smear campaign, instead complaining that "The Times repackaged the generic 'Republicans Seized' and 'Republicans Pounce' mantras to label First Amendment concerns around the DGB as a partisan issue." If you're falsely smearing something as an Orwellian "ministry of truth," you're making a highly partisan political attack, not issuing "First Amendment concerns."
Newsmax Columnists Remain Wildly Pro-Trump After Debate Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax worked to spin its "news" coverage of August's Republican presidential candidate in a pro-Trump direction, even though Trump didn't take part and did an interview with Tucker Carlson instead. Newsmax's opinion-makers were even more pro-Trump. Longtime Trump toady Dick Morris praised Trump's refusal to take part in the debate in a Aug. 25 column, insisting it was beneath his dignity (not that Trump and dignity are that well acquainted):
When this writer considered the various legitimate reasons that former President Donald Trump might not choose to participate in the first Republican debate, I thought about the bias of FoxNews, the partiality of Brett Baer, the potential of minor, fringe candidates to hog the stage.
But, having watched the debate, this writer missed the key point:
To participate would have been undignified for a former president.
If what we witnessed (in the form of eight contenders) are understudies for Donald J.Trump — God help the GOP going into 2024.
The big winner was Donald Trump.
He had the good sense not to show up but to sit down for a thoughtful, articulate interview with Tucker Carlson.
Meanwhile, the shouting match unfolded in the adjacent rink of the circus.
Morris went on to attack all the non-Trump candiates, taking particular aim at Vivek Ramaswamy: "Ramaswamy think’s he’s an agent provocateur calling out corruption, saying that all his opponents are "bought and paid for," but he's really just a child throwing stinks bombs in grade school."
Morris concluded with a poorly edited rant against the Fox News anchors who ran the debate:
The biggest losers were Brett Baer and Martha MacCallum who went from RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) to MINOS (Moderators in Name Only) as they lost control of the debate and were swept along in the anarchy of their own making.
Wednesday's debate was a total waste time, with the real losers being the American people.
Morris repeated this assessment in an Aug. 26 Newsmax TV appearance.
Larry Bell similarly cheered Trump for skipping the debate in his Aug. 25 column:
There should be little wonder why Donald Trump, who leads bigly in GOP primary polls, would forego sound bite debate exchanges with desperate challengers on a media venue that shuns coverage of his enormous rallies for one with a host and that shares common grievances on a competing network that apparently reached a far larger audience.
Approximately 236 million viewers reportedly logged into Trump’s simultaneous prerecorded interview with Tucker Carlson — 19 times the 12.8 million that Nielson ratings showed tuning in to Wednesday evening debates hosted by Fox.
Trump’s conspicuous absence from the stage wasn’t for want of pleading on the part of Fox co-moderator Bret Baier who had reportedly called him four times.
Nor is there any real mystery why he rejected those invitations.
Perhaps consider a rather inelegant analogy of scheduling a globally televised colonoscopy by med school interns and the patient doesn’t show up.
And why would he, when adding all of his primary competitors together would still leave them trailing Trump by double digits?
In fact, the debate's ratings dwarfed the number who actually watched the entirety of the Carlson-Trump interview. He concluded by calling the debate irrelevant:
The big point here is that Trump's base of supporters — and there are many — already know and highly value his accomplishments.
They see them starkly contrasted by abject Biden administration failures impacting diverse aspects of lives and futures.
The only debate venue that truly matters will be determined in October 2024 ballot boxes.
Daniel McCarthy, however, had a different take on Ramaswamy than Morris did, identifying him as a mini-Trump who could take votes from Trump, stating in his Aug. 31 column that "Trump faces a new opponent that may prove tougher — Trumpism":
Ramaswamy has cultivated Trump's knack for the stinging barb. "Nikki, I wish you well on your future career on the boards of Lockheed and Raytheon," he shot at her.
Others made no effort to disguise their exasperation: "I've had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT," said Christie.
That's how Ramaswamy's detractors see him — as TrumpGPT, a large language module lab-built to mimic the former president when Trump isn't in the room.
Trump's critics have long argued his success in 2016 was down to the size and fragmentation of the field.
This cycle, it's just possible there will be fragmentation on the Trump side, between him and Ramaswamy, giving DeSantis an opening to consolidate the get-beyond-Trump vote.
The race is still Trump's to lose. Ramaswamy may pose a new challenge, but the opponent Trump has to take most seriously right now isn't him or DeSantis or Joe Biden; it's Democratic state and federal prosecutors.
No wonder Morris was so hostiile to Ramaswamy.
Posted by Terry K.
at 6:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 7:03 PM EDT
WND Misleads Readers Again About COVID Vaccine Effectiveness Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves to spreadfakenews about COVID vaccines, and Peter LaBarbera served up his fake-news offering in a June 21 article, under the alarmist headline "CDC chief KNEW COVID vaccine didn't work while pushing shots":
A newly unearthed email by former CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reveals that she, former NIH Director Francis Collins and COVID point man Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed dangerous “vaccine breakthroughs” of COVID infections at the same time they were telling the public that the vaccines would prevent people from becoming infected – a narrative she continued for months.
Walensky's redacted email, produced through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, is dated Jan. 30, 2021, shortly after the Biden government began rolling out the COVD vaccines, which quickly became mandatory for military servicemembers and government workers, as well as in the corporate world – punishing those who refused to take the shot.
In the email, Walensky writes: "I had a call with Francis Collins this morning and one of the issues we discussed was that of vaccine breakthroughs."
"This is clearly an important area of study and was specifically called out this week here," she writes, linking to a January 8, 2021 "viewpoint" article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, on COVID vaccine breakthroughs titled, "SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and the Growing Threat of Viral Variants." The article discusses new COVID mutations that "immediately raised concerns among vaccine researchers."
Walensky writes in the email: "Nancy and I discussed this briefly a few weeks ago and I understand that –" whereupon a large chunk of her email is redacted.
LaBarbera reather deliberately missed the point -- and, thus, chose to mislead and lie to his readers. Contrary to LaBarbera's headline, the original COVID vaccines did work, providing a high degree of effectiveness in prevention of transmission and in reducing severity of symptoms in those who did catch it. The JAMA article LaBarbera mentioned in passing did not attack those vaccines because they "didn't work"; it argued that new COVID variants would make them less effective, which is exactly what happened. And that's why the vaccines are regularly reformulated to target newly circulating variants. And as experts have pointed out, all vaccines have some degree of breakthrough infections, and no vaccine is 100 percent effective. And those who got COVID after being vaccinated saw milder symptoms than those who were unvaccinated.
But rather then tell his readers these facts, LaBarbera chose to push a right-wing anti-vaxx narrative instead:
Reaction poured in from conservatives and others outraged by the revelation that Walensky and others key COVID policy figures were well aware of the experimental vaccines' shortcomings, even as they championed the vaccines and pushed mandates on the public while demonizing people who refused the shots for various reasons, including that they had no need for them because they'd gained natural immunity by contracting COVID.
It's shoddy, biased and incomplete reporting like this that is costing WND readers. But WND is choosing to stay rooted in conspiracy theories instead of trying to improve the quality and reliability of its "news" product.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 12:39 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Lingering Obama Derangement, Part 1 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center repeatedly displayed anger and jealousy at Barack and Michelle Obama for their success in TV production and publishing memoirs after they left the White House. Read more >>
FLASHBACK: How MRC Falsely Smeared Anti-Disinfo Board As 'Ministry of Truth' Topic: Media Research Center
When the Biden administration set out to create a "Disinformation Governance Board" last year with the goal of identifying false or misleading information that harms national security, the Media Research Center joined other right-wing media in smearing the board as a "ministry of truth" and attacking the woman who was to head it, Nina Jankowicz, as an Orwellian figure who delighted in censoring people, while denying that there was such a thing as an objective definition of disinformation by adding odd qualifiers like "so-called." Here's a sampling:
The Biden administration formalized its war against so-called disinformation. -- Alexander Hall, April 28, 2022
Fox News host Tucker Carlson torched Disinformation Governance Board leader Nina Jankowicz for leading the United States into an Orwellian nightmare. Police states ruled by uniformed generals are SO last century, the hour of the deep state hall monitor has come. -- Alexander Hall, April 29, 2022
On Thursday and Friday’s editions of The Psaki Show, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich repeatedly took the outgoing White House press secretary to task over the appointment of Nina Jankowicz, a far-left Resistance fiend to run what many have deemed a real-life Ministry of Truth out of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). -- Curtis Houck, April 29, 2022
Biden’s Department of Homeland Security is creating a “Disinformation Governance Board” and the liberal media doesn’t find it interesting...because it’s not directed at them. The new board’s boss, Nina Jankowicz, is a theatrical partisan who said Hunter Biden’s laptop was a “Trump campaign product.” -- Tim Graham, April 29, 2022
Americans are waking up to the fact that under the Biden Administration the Government of the United States has now officially established a Ministry of Truth-style “Disinformation Governance Board” to decide what is and what is not “disinformation.” And to run it as the executive director, it has selected Ms. Jankowicz, the self-same Ms. Jankowicz who actively pushed two of the biggest pieces of disinformation in American political history, namely the Steele Dossier and the idea that the Hunter Biden laptop story was false. -- Jeffrey Lord, April 30, 2022
In light of the controversy surrounding the Biden administration's creation of a “Disinformation board” which is eerily similar to the Ministry of Truth in the novel 1984, CNN’s Dana Bash while hosting State of the Union, challenged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the Orwellian-sounding board. ... If Donald Trump created a board to combat “disinformation” Mayorkas and everyone else involved in this plot would be on CNN wailing about how Orwellian it is. -- Kevin Tober, May 1, 2022
Last Wednesday, it was revealed that the Joe Biden administration has created a “disinformation” board that will be run by a partisan Democrat. All of this as we ramp up to the midterm elections. Since last Wednesday, all three network morning and evening newscasts have ignored what some are calling an Orwellian attempt at muzzling free speech. -- Scott Whitlock, May 2, 2022
Now comes the announcement of a new office within the Department of Homeland Security to police “disinformation” and “misinformation.” Some critics are comparing it to the fictitious “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” The new office will be headed by Nina Jankowicz who styles herself as Mary Poppins on TikTok (a social media platform owned by the Chinese communist government, a font of disinformation, which should be alarming). -- Cal Thomas, May 4, 2022
The MRC also launched personal attacks on Jankowicz and others allegedly involved with the board:
In fact, the board was to coordinate anti-disinformation efforts within the DHS and wouldn't be policing speech. But the MRC cares only about right-wing red meat, not the truth, so the "ministry of truth" narrative had to prevail. When those paranoid right-wing falsehoods about the board were called out, the MRC attacked the truth-tellers. Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in a May 2, 2022, post:
Over the weekend, the Biden administration rolled out his Ministry of Truth under the Department of Homeland Security called the Disinformation Governance Board. This clearly Orwellian (1984) machination has rightly been the subject of scrutiny, but on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host and chief media apologist Brian Stelter suggested the real problem was the “right-wing uproar” and how they’re getting angry at something that they don’t have a clue about.
He was speaking to Moira Whelan of the “non-partisan” National Democratic Institute, who said she was “aware” of the concerns but dismissed them. She insisted “it’s a board, exactly as we say.”
In his question to her, Stelter suggested that the people criticizing the board are just too ignorant and don’t know what they’re talking about. “But I don't think people know what it is and what it isn't. And there's just been a lot of right-wing uproar without knowing what it is,” he whined.
Fondacaro made no effort to disprove anything Stelter or Whelan said -- he just repeated his assigned talking points. Catherine Salgado followed a week later with ranting at the Washington Post for telling the truth:
The Washington Post Editorial Board tried to scoff away critiques of the Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board in a tone-deaf piece.
Ther Post, in an editorial headlined, “Ignore the hysteria over the Disinformation Governance Board,” made clear it supposedly sees no serious problems with the blatantly pro-censorship board, despite evidence to the contrary; “Despite what some in the Republican congressional leadership might tell you, the Department of Homeland Security is not starting up a ‘Ministry of Truth.’” Sure, the rollout was “ham-handed,” but the board could actually do a “great deal of good,” the editorial board bleated. The Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) has come under fire ever since it was announced by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Post tried to put a positive spin on the idea of sharing data with “government actors” to target alleged “viral lies and propaganda ... Done right, this is a useful function." However, multiple members or advisors of the censorship board have themselves pushed disinformation in the past, including self-proclaimed “Mary Poppins of disinformation” and current DGB executive director Nina Jankowicz.
The Post dismissed the board’s issues as a mere a lack of transparency in detailing the board’s function, in conjunction with the “Soviet-sounding” acronym “DGB”:
“As long as fair-minded observers have to guess at what the board’s role is, players who have more nefarious agendas will have ample opportunity to, yes, spread disinformation.”
Because, of course, anyone criticizing the censorship board instituted and monitored by a left-wing administration must be spreading disinformation, right?
Like Fondacaro, Salgado made no attempt at a factual rebuttal of what was said.
The MRC went on to parrot other malicious attacks on the board:
The MRC even lashed out at Jankowicz for proposing that people be allowed to add context to tweets, even quoting Elon Musk as panning the idea. This didn't age well, because several months later when Musk finally overpaid for Twitter, he added the Community Notes funciton, which allows users to do pretty much what Jankowicz had proposed. (The MRC has mixed feelings about Community Notes, loving it when liberals are called out through it but hating it when conservatives are.)
It also continued to bash anyone who told the truth about the board. Salgado complained in a May 13, 2022, post that "Pro-censorship leftist individuals and news outlets used contradictions, deceptions and convoluted rhetoric in their quest to defend the Biden administration’s new Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board," though she did little to counter what she was allegedly criticizing. A post four days later by Joseph Vazquez complained that the Associated Press did a fact-check of right-wing attacks on Jankowicz, particularly around her Twitter-comments proposal (which, again, were effectively added under Musk in the form of Community Notes).
Posted by Terry K.
at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 2:43 PM EDT
WND Mad That Quack Doctor Has To Find Another Bank Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Mercola is one of WorldNetDaily's favorite quack doctors -- he has spread misinformation about COVID vaccines and masks, it touted his hyping of totally imaginary "mass formation psychosis," and it pushed his weird conspiracy theory that Will Smith's Oscar slap of Chris Rock was a "cleverly disguised publicity stunt" to promote a drug. So when a bank decided to no longer be associated with Mercola's quackery, WND complained about it. Bob Unruh wrote in a July 26 article:
An old-line banking corporation has launched an attack on vaccine skeptic Dr. Joseph Mercola by closing his business account, according to a report from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The publication said it obtained copies of documents showing the accounts closed by JPMorgan Chase include those for Mercola's business, Mercola Market, officers of his company and an officer's wife.
The report explained Mercola Market is a Florida-based health business.
The reason for the closures was unspecified.
It was on July 13 that the banking corporation told the account holders they had until September 10 to finish any transactions under those accounts.
The accounts were in the names of Mercola Market, CEO Steven A. Rye and his wife, as well as CFO Amy Legaspi.
"I believe they cancelled all of the accounts because of Dr. Mercola’s (our employer) opinions," Rye told the foundation. "He … co-authored the best selling book The Truth About COVID-19 which exposed the likelihood that this virus was engineered in a laboratory funded by the NIH. He correctly predicted the vaccines would not prevent transmission or infection of COVID-19. He has been directly censored by the Biden administration and is being targeted by politically weaponized agencies."
Despite, or perhaps because of, Mercola's work to distribute accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, the British nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate cited him for alleged "disinformation."
But "accurate information" is something Mercola is probably least associated with. As QuackWatch detailed, Mercola is best known selling dietary supplements of dubious value and spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about medical issues. He has been repeatedly warned by federal officials against making false and illegal claims about the supplements he sells.
Unruh told his readers none of that, of course, nor did he acknowledge that JPMorgan Chase, as a private business, has every right to not do business with anyone -- which would include a sleazy quack like Mercola.
MRC Still Dabbling In Ray Epps Conspiracy Theories Topic: Media Research Center
It's indicative of the Media Research Center's slow creep toward the far right that it's entertaining Ray Epps conpsiracy theories. It started dabbling in them earlier this year, and it's continuing to do so. A July 15 post by Alex Christy ciomplained that MSNBC host Ali Velshi called out the conspiracy theory:
Speaking to Nika Jankowicz, formerly of DHS’s infamous Disinformation Governance Board, Velshi recounted, “I just did that intro to the segment, right? So that my audience would understand this conspiracy theory that I guarantee you, pretty much nobody in my audience knew that story because why would they?”
Velshi was referring to Ray Epps, who recently sued Fox News for claims that he was an FBI agent who encouraged the rob to storm The Capitol on January 6. Velshi claimed he is not like that.
A July 16 post by Tim Graham lashed out at NPR media reporter David Folkenflik for reporting that Epps is suing Fox News for spreading conspiracy theories about him -- while trying to keep those conspiracy theories alive:
While NPR couldn’t find time on its programs for a full story on the failed Secret Service investigation of cocaine found at the White House, it ran two Folkenflik stories promoting January 6 protester Ray Epps suing Fox News for defamation. NPR adores lawsuits against Fox News, both for the financial burden and the negative publicity.
Folkenflik’s reports on the Epps suit strenuously avoided any conservative rebuttal, which would include mentioning two obvious points that have put Epps at the center of January 6 speculation.
First, Epps was caught on video standing in a crowd of Trump supporters on January 5 and January 6, 2021, urging the people around him to “go into the Capitol.” Second, the FBI originally put Ray Epps’s face on its Capitol riot “Most Wanted List” on January 8, 2021. They offered a cash reward for information leading to his arrest. But he was never arrested or prosecuted. Why?
The leftist media didn't look for an answer. Epps was a nobody to them, left out of all the Pelosi-Picked Panel narratives, until....suddenly, after the Democrats lost the majority, Epps starred in a sympathetic 60 Minutes story. Only those right-wingers were investigating the Epps mystery, until Epps became a sympathetic figure, that Fox News ruined his life.
Graham didn't explain why his fellow right-wingers chose to be so fixated on Epps that the made up conspiracy theories they could not prove.Instead, he whined that Folkenflik pointed out that ex-Fox News host (and MRC darling) Tucker Carlson spread lies about Epps and that "There's no proof anything Carlson says there is true other than that Epps was present," huffing in response: "That's simply false. Epps wasn't just 'present'! He was constantly urging people to enter the Capitol." Graham continued to whine about Folkenflik reporting on this story:
Folkenflik is at best trying to merge the two claims: there's no hard evidence that Epps worked for the FBI, but there's obviously hard evidence of him pushing Trump fans to resist the certification inside the Capitol. Why didn't he and NPR play audio of that?
We should point out the Epps lawsuit didn't sue Tucker, but Tucker is at the center of their complaint against Fox.
You don't have to buy the theory that there was a "Fedsurrection," that the riots were a federal plot, to accurately describe what Epps did and what Fox reported about it. NPR doesn't value accuracy. It values damaging Fox News, and pleasing its leftist base of support.
Ah, but Graham is sure doing his best to keep the "fedsurrection" plausible, isn't he?
Graham is onceagainangry that Folkenflik is reporting on Fox News, though he has never criticized Fox News' media reporters for repeatedly covering non-right-wing media like CNN or accused it of catering to its right-wing base of support in doing so. It appears to be a kneejerk defense mechanism on Graham's part to run to the defense of Fox News no matter what it does; remember, he dismissed the channel's record of lies about Dominion that ultimately resulted in Fox News paying $787 million to the company in a defamation lawsuit. But in doing so, Graham clearly doesn't care if he looks like a conspiracy nutter in the process.
Newsmax's Reporting On GOP Debate Boosted Trump, Tweaked Fox News Topic: Newsmax
The Trump-fluffers at Newsmax were putting a pro-Trump slant on the first debate of Republican presidential candidates months before it happened. In June, Newsmax was touting how Trump was thinking about skipping the debate; that was followed by a July 12 column by Trump toady Dick Morris dismissing the debate as a "kangaroo court" and insisting that "Our nation's 45th president should refuse to participate in any debate moderated by the likes of Baier and Martha MacCallum. He should, instead, propose that Tucker Carlson be the moderator." Morris added: "Better yet, Mr. Trump should walk next door to Newsmax and ask them to sponsor a one-on-one interview between Tucker and Trump, at the exact same time as the likely rigged debate the RINOs are hosting." Trump did a little of his usual logrolling in a July 20 Newsmax TV appearance, declaring that "Newsmax should get a debate."
On Aug. 9, Newsmax wrote how Trump was still teasing whether or not he would take part, as well as another article about him whining about a planned Republican loyalty pledge that presidential candidates endorse the eventual nominee. And even though Trump ultimately chose not to participate, Newsmax still made him the center of its debate coverage: An Aug. 21 article by Mark Swanson complained that "Fox News will not allow surrogates of former President Donald Trump into the spin room of Wednesday's GOP presidential debate, a highly unusual move that could be construed as retaliatory over Trump's decision to skip it." That was followed by Megyn Kelly gushing on Newsmax TV the next day that Trump is a "ratings machine" for whatever he does instead of thte debate, and her former employer, debate host Fox News, deserves the "middle finger" Trump is giving it.
After it was made clear that an interview Trump did with fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson would be his counterprogramming against the debate, Newsmax plugged that too. Brian Freeman was in hype mode in an Aug. 23 article:
Former President Donald Trump declared on his Truth Social site Wednesday that "my interview with Tucker Carlson will be aired tonight at 9 p.m. Sparks will fly. Enjoy."
This is the exact same time that the first Republican primary debate for the presidential nomination will begin in Milwaukee. The debate will be televised nationally on Fox News, and will include eight other candidates.
Trump announced earlier this week that he would not be participating in the debate, citing his commanding lead in the GOP field — he's about 40 points ahead in national polls — and instead would be taking part in the interview, The Hill reported.
The pre-recorded interview will be broadcast on X, formerly known as Twitter.
That was followed by an Aug. 23 column by Paul Quenoy proclaiming Trump's refusal to take part in the debate "a brilliant move by the most astute strategist in American politics since Ronald Reagan," adding; "All Trump needs do on Wednesday is sit back and look down on the arena as the other candidates tear each other apart while revealing their strengths and weaknesses to a leader who will soon almost certainly be unchallenged. Sun Tzu could not have strategized it better."
Newsmax didn't do too much coverage of the debate itself; it was more interested in bashing candidate Vivek Ramaswamy after he exposed the pay-for-play coverage scheme Newsmax wanted to impose on his campaign. It did, however, devote three articles to Trump's interview with Carlson:
Trump was also given space to brag that his interview with Carlson had "over 100 million views in less than four hours" -- but it didn'ttell readers that Twitter's view metric is so unreliable as to be meaningless. An article by Eric Mack insisted that "Fox News' first Republican primary debate got a terrible response from American television viewers, with the broadcast losing about half the audience Fox’s kickoff debate had during the 2016 election." In reality, though, the debate drew much higher ratings than expected for an event lacking Trump -- and those ratings dwarfed the number who actually watched the entirety of the Carlson-Trump interview. Still, yet another article by Swanson let Trump go on a tirade of "trolling the network over its "anemic debate ratings" while Trump's interview with Tucker Carlson — which aired the same night — surpassed 250 million views," without fear of being fact-checked by Newsmax.
Newsmax kept other coverage of the debate Trump-centric even though he wasn't there. One article noted that the candidates at the debate discussed Trump, while a column by John Gizzi declared that "More than a few political prognosticators who do not have a favorite Republican candidate told Newsmax on Wednesday night that the true winner of the first GOP presidential debate was actually the contender who sat it out." Both Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, were given space to whine that they were blocked from the post-debate spin room.
We've noted how Perry Johnson -- a fringe candidate who, unlike Ramaswamy, is buying lots of airtime on Newsmax -- was given lots of space to complain that he wasn't invited to take part in the debate. Another low-polling fringe candidate who similarly failed to qualify, Larry Elder, also got space to complain as well:
When a pro-DeSantis PAC released a wildly anti-LGBT ad specificially designed to show how much DeSantis hates transgender people and how Trump allegedly doesn't hate them enough, the Defense League snapped into action. Brad Wilmouth touted its clickbait potential in a July 7 post:
When it comes to the Republican half of the presidential race, CNN is going to hate all the candidates. On Monday's CNN This Morning, the anchors were outraged at a eye-grabbing ad shared by the DeSantis War Room twitter account. It asserted Donald Trump was pro-LGBTQ and then showed scare headlines of how DeSantis outraged the gay groups. It seemed designed to outrage leftists for more clicks.
Co-host Phil Mattingly set up the discussion: "We saw this Ron DeSantis superPAC put out an ad attacking former President Trump for his support for LGBTQ rights -- I think we've got some of that. I want to play at least a little bit of it."
After playing a clip of the ad which highlighted headlines touting some of Governor DeSantis's actions in Florida regarding gay-related issues, Mattingly threw shade at the ad's designer:
CNN only picked liberals to respond to this. Former Congressman Max Rose (D-N.Y.) unleashed the typical "hate-filled" and "xenophobic" adjectives, and said there's no way this would work.
Wilmouth seemed quite excited about this ad being "designed to outrage leftists for more clicks."
Tim Graham loved the ad too, and he compalined that others didn't in a July 8 post:
PBS host Laura Barron-Lopez played a snippet of a pro-DeSantis ad touting how he's horrified the liberals as "extreme" on LGBTQ issues (as if they aren't radicals). Republicans will lose the general election, the journalists agreed.
Susan Page ofUSA Todaystarted it off: “It's one of the things that DeSantis has done, like signing a six-week ban on abortion. That may help him in Republican primaries, although so far, it`s not helping him much. It will haunt him if he gets into the general election as the Republican nominee, because that attitude toward LGBTQ rights is quite at odds with where American public opinion is today.”
At least Talev underlined the ad didn’t come from the DeSantis campaign, but a DeSantis superPAC shared it, and “if the purpose of this was to show that Donald Trump is to the left and that he has embraced gay rights, that's where the ad would have stopped. The purpose of the ad is to begin there and then to define Ron DeSantis as the sort of champion of anti-gay, anti-trans positions. And so it begins as being about Donald Trump, but in the end, it`s not really about Donald Trump. It's much more about positioning Ron DeSantis.”
Barron-Lopez concluded: “That video is definitely, as you said, Margaret, very anti-LGBTQ, anti-transgender, and not necessarily something that will help Ron DeSantis or former President Trump on the campaign trail in the general electorate, if they make to the general electorate.”
Democrats can support "gender-affirming care" for children and Drag Queen Story Hour in public schools and they're never outside the mainstream. The journalists on PBS are unanimous.
Graham didn't explain what is so "mainstream" about vicxious hatred of transgender people. And neither Graham nor Wilmouth mention that even a conservative LGBT group found the ad offensive, and they failed to follow up on the subterfuge around the ad; this and other videos -- including one featuring a Nazi-style sonnenrad -- were created by the PAC, then laundered through anonymous Twitter accounts for distribution.
It wasn't all defense, though; Luis Cornelio cranked out what was effectively a DeSantis campaign press release in a July 10 post:
A leading 2024 presidential candidate promised to abolish the Big Tech-Government censorship collusion regime if elected.
In a Sunday interview on the Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pledged to crack down on the anti-free speech cabal perpetrated by the Biden administration’s collusion apparatus with social media platforms.
“We will end the weaponization of government,” a fired-up DeSantis told Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo, referring to the left’s blunt use of government to promote its political agenda and censor people that disagree with them. Censorship, DeSantis argued, will stop under his watch.
“We're going to clean house at the Department of Justice,” DeSantis added, before highlighting the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. “I look back at, like, the Hunter Biden censorship which was a huge, huge deal to happen in the 2020 election. And yet, those were Donald Trump's own agencies that were colluding with Big Tech. I would never allow that to happen. I would fire those people immediately.”
Cornelio didn't disclose how much the DeSantis campaign paid him to write this bit of rah-rah fluff.
WND Still Trying To Whitewash Anti-LGBT Conversion Therapy Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh is trying yet again to rebrand anti-LGBT conversion therapy -- this time by repeating an right-wing anti-LGBT legal group's reframing of them as nothing but "conversations" -- in a July 27 article:
Michigan has adopted a law that gives government officials the authority to censor, and actually insert themselves, into conversations between counselors and their clients.
And it's unconstitutional, according to a statement from ADF, a legal team that has argued against the ideology that allows governments to ban counseling for individuals who have unwanted same-sex attractions.
Michigan joined nearly two dozen other states with similar censorship programs, but that doesn't make it legal, according to lawyer Greg Baylor of the ADF.
Social and legacy media outlets consistently have adopted the description of such counseling as "conversion therapy," when it actually does not do any "conversion" and is not intended as such.
Its goals are to deal with the issues that a client has, and if that is same-sex attractions that are unwanted, to include those.
The dispute has had mixed results in courts around the nation, and the Supreme Court has not yet ruled whether governments have such censorship authority.
Media outlets commonly call the practice "discredited," and noted that the Michigan ban is for minors, under the plan signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
It is the 22nd state with the same, or similar, censorship ideologies now embedded in their laws.
Those laws, incidentally, often are used to promote the concepts found in the LGBT community, and counselors are encouraged to promote those lifestyle choices.
Unruh didn't dispute that conversion therapy has been discredited -- as we've noted, conversion therapy is typically conducted by anti-LGBT activists who are not licensed practitioners and has included techniques such as shaming, hypnosis and induced vomiting, and those who are subjected to it (typically minors forced to undergo it by their parents) see higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide. Being a right-winger, Unruh made sure to maliciously insist without evidence that being LGBT is a "lifestyle choice." He concluded with more complaining:
The counseling bans have been complicated recently by those who are promoting transgenderism, mean exceptions now need to be carved out in the counseling bans to allow therapy for those who are male, who say they are women and want to "convert" to being female, for example.
He failed to mention that opposition to such bans are promoted by right-wing anti-LGBT groups, of which ADF is one. Neither Unruh nor the ADF explain why LGBT people must be forced to be heterosexual.
MRC Rant: Teaching Soldiers About Race Is 'Forced ... Indoctrination' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really doesn't like to be told that racism is bad. Check out this July 16 rant by Kevin Tober:
During Sunday’s edition of MSNBC’s Inside with Jen Psaki, the former Biden White House Press Secretary turned full-time Democrat propagandist went on a delusional rant about how forced racial indoctrination trainings in the United States military aren’t an issue because they’re only an hour, all the while accusing Senators like Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are the ones politicizing the military. In reality, they are the ones trying to force the military to focus on their mission instead of pushing woke racial and gender ideology.
Psaki proclaimed it was a “right-wing conspiracy theory” that the U.S. Military is a “left-wing organization, indoctrinating troops with hundreds of hours of DEI training.”
Her gotcha moment rebutting conservative claims? She tried proving them wrong by admitting it was happening but only for an hour, which is an hour longer than it should be: “The right-wing punching bag, diversity and inclusion training, is just one hour, one hour of initial military training for infantry soldiers.”
“It's during the same period of training time that they spend 160 hours on rifle marksmanship,” Psaki proclaimed. Rifle marksmanship is part of military training, not racial indoctrination in the form of “DEI” training. Psaki appears to think they are equally important.
She ended her monologue by ironically insisting it’s Republicans who are really trying to politicize the military.
“Republicans like Tommy Tuberville love to claim politics and wokeness is affecting the readiness of our military. But right now, the only person politicizing the military seems to be him,” Psaki claimed.
In what’s obvious to everyone but her, it’s not Republicans who are bringing politics into the military. The left has been pushing their agenda into every institution in America, but when conservatives fight to stop it and urge institutions like the military to focus on their mission, left-wing activists like Psaki cry that the GOP are playing politics with national security.
Someone should ask Psaki how we ever won two world wars without military DEI training or transgender activism in our armed forces. Let her explain that one to us next Sunday,
Well, those two world wars were fought before the military was desegregated in 1948. Apparently, Tober would like to go back to the days when black soldiers weren't allowed to fight alongside white soldiers. He also didn't say what, exactly, makes DEI training "indoctrination." Is it somehow a bad thing for soldiers to learn how to get along with their fellow soliders no matter what race they are (a lesson that applies in life as well)? Is racial tolerance really a matter of "politics" and not, you know, a universal life lesson? Also: Who's the person playing politics with national security by blocking all military appointments because he's mad about a military policy? Tuberville, a Republican. Who's the person that's keeping the military from focusing on its mission by doing so? Tuberville, a Republican.
Toer also misled his readers by -- after admitting that Psaki said there are 160 hours of rifle marksmanship but only one hour of diversity training -- claiming that "Psaki appears to think they are equally important." She said no such thing, and Tober did not explain how one hour of diversity training somehow undermines 160 hours of rifle training.
Tober really does seem to have some race-related issues that he and his employer really shouldn't be trying to pass off as "media research."
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Tucker Carlson Conspiracies Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily used Fox News' firing of Tucker Carlson to promote its own victimhood -- and it wants him to take his politics even further right. Read more >>
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.