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Thursday, September 28, 2023
The MRC's Summer Of Defending Clarence Thomas
Topic: Media Research Center

Over the summer, the Media Research Center continued its aggressive defense of right-wing Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas as ethical concerns continued to pile up. Alex Christy complained those ethical lapses were discussed in a June 7 post:

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell suggested on Tuesday’s edition of The Last Word that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be impeached for “selling too much of himself” to billionaire friend Harlan Crow. Later, during an interview with President and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice, Michael Waldman, it was essentially admitted that their biggest problem with Thomas and the rest of the Court is that it rules in ways they do not like.

During a lengthy diatribe against Crow, O’Donnell reported that he has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but that his lawyer does not believe Congress has the authority to write an ethics policy for the Court. Towards the end of that rant, O’Donnell proclaimed, “The only disciplinary option that the Founders left us, in the Constitution, for dealing with a Supreme Court justice who gets caught selling too much of himself to a billionaire is impeachment in the House of Representatives, followed by trial, conviction, and removal from office by the United States Senate.”


Neither Harlan Crow nor any of the lawyers placed by Jane Roberts has never had business before the Court, but that didn’t stop Waldman from claiming, “In some ways, this is new. In some ways, there is not much precedent for the level of, frankly, corruption that we're seeing.”

Actually, Christy's claim that Crow "never had business before the Court" is not quite true.

Rich Noyes helped Thomas play victim (and took yet another shot at Anita Hill)  in a July 1 "flashback" post:

Conservatives certainly remember the awful treatment Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faced at his 1991 confirmation hearings, including the endless media coverage granted to utterly unproved charges of sexual harassment by a former employee, Anita Hill. At the time, Thomas referred to the televised hearings as a “high tech lynching” perpetrated by those who would torpedo the conservative jurist’s nomination.

But from the very moment President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas to the Court on July 1, 1991 — exactly 32 years ago today — journalists employed nasty and often racist language to denigrate Thomas as unfit to replace Justice Thurgood Marshall, whose retirement had created the vacancy that needed to be filled.


Given the media mindset of the moment, it was no surprise news organizations leaped to elevate Anita Hill’s harassment allegations, which appeared only after the confirmation hearings had officially ended and Thomas’s nomination had been sent to the Senate floor for what seemed like certain approval. Joe Biden’s Judiciary Committee quickly scheduled new hearings — a last gasp for liberals to try and torpedo the nomination.

Kevin Tober attempted yet another round of Sotomayor whataboutism in a July 11 post:

The Associated Press committed a random act of journalism Tuesday when they ran a story exposing how left-wing radical Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s staff pushed public institutions where she went to visit to purchase her memoirs or other books. Given the heavy interest given by the “big three” news networks on so-called conflicts of interest surrounding constitutionalist justices like Samuel Alito or Clarence Thomas, the fact that the networks refused to report on this during their evening newscasts shows they were hypocrites. 

Instead, the evening newscasts ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News covered a disruptive passenger forcing a commercial plane to land (ABC), video of a volcano erupting in Iceland (CBS), and Leslie Van Houten’s release from prison (NBC).

Tober didn't explain how Sotomayor is a "left-wing radical" or how this claim (which, appearances aside, is legal) eclipses Thomas' ethical lapses, or even how it makes those calling for the Supreme Court to follow an ethics code look "hypocritical."

A July 21 post by Tim Graham repeated an attack from another right-wing outlet on ProPublica, which exposed Thomas' ethical conflicts:

The investigative reporting group "ProPublica" boasts it is an “independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest," but the tilt of its targeting is hard to miss. Its most recent crusade has focused on the allegedly shabby ethics of conservative Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Katelynn Richardson at the Daily Caller reported seven of the nine ethics experts cited in ProPublica’s stories on Thomas and Alito have collectively given over $100,000 to Democratic campaigns and left-wing causes, FEC records show. Several also work for organizations calling for Thomas’ resignation that are backed by donors that also fund ProPublica, the Caller previously reported.

As you might expert, the ProPublica stories did not disclose these ethics experts’ donations or the fact it shares donors with groups pushing for Thomas to resign.

Graham failed to disclose that the Daily Caller is a biased right-wing website -- ironic given how they attack the alleged bias of ProPublica. The next day, Graham complained that the right-wing obsession with turning Thomas into a hero and martyr was noticed (with lots of whatabouism, of course):

Friday's Washington Post included no story on the House Weaponization Subcommittee's hearing with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Breitbart's Emma-Jo Morris on Big Tech censorship. But the front page had an obligatory front-page story on a grand jury investigating Donald Trump and this amazing scandal piece: "Federalist Society figure uses his sway before and after naming of justices." 

It's a scandal that Leonard Leo would organize positive publicity about a conservative Supreme Court justice. This is somehow.... unethical? Right under the "See more on A4" tag was a plug for the Senate Democrats passing a Supreme Court ethics bill.

In 2016, positive PR was organized around Justice Thomas serving 25 years on the court. But the year before, the Post was on the organized PR bandwagon celebrating the "Notorious RBG." They were a part of that, so apparently it wasn't scandalous. Maybe liberals don't have to raise money for that when media outlets will do it for free. CNN made a gushy RBG documentary.


A decent chunk of this article report on how Thomas friend Mark Paoletta was paid to attack anti-Thomas propaganda like the HBO film Confirmation, which celebrated Anita Hill. He worked with CRC Public Relations (disclosure: this is also the MRC's PR firm) to -- gasp! -- create a pro-Thomas Internet page and they -- gasp! -- "bought ads from Google to boost favorable internet content about Thomas."

Then the Thomas boosters organized a pro-Thomas documentary titled Created Equal, made by filmmaker Michael Pack. The Post acknowledges Leonard Leo's counterpoint that CNN made their RBG film, and that "Participant Media, founded by businessman Jeff Skoll, whose foundation donated millions to left-leaning groups, later acquired and distributed the film."

When conservative PR is a scandal and liberal PR is just PR, you get the distinct sense that the "Democracy Dies in Darkness" folks really don't like people organizing an opposing pile of publicity. They called this "a more aggressive approach that sought to sway public opinion through mass media." 

The Washington Post never attempts this?

Note that Graham made no effort to defend the right-wing lionization of Thomas -- he sinply tries to distract from it. He did, however, make a rare disclosure of a conflict of interest in acknowledging that the MRC shares a PR firm with the Thomas promoters.

Nicholas Schau used a July 26 post to uncritically quotwe a Republican senator complaining that ProPublica reported things about  Thomas that right-wingers didn't want people to know:

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) went scorched earth on the massive George Soros-affiliated machine that went after Justice Clarence Thomas.

Lee exposed the hypocrisy of the Democrats who complained about dark money while benefiting from it and the hypocrisy of the Clarence Thomas hit pieces by ProPublica. Lee noted that  many of the left-wing organizations connected to ProPublica–like the leftist Sandler Foundation and Soros’s Open Society Foundation–have used the outlet’s reporting to fund efforts to pack the Court and force Thomas to resign. He knocked ProPublica for “supporting this [court ethics] legislation; openly, actively, aggressively gunning for it” in its reporting. Soros’ Open Society Foundations funneled $1,625,008 into ProPublica between 2016 and 2021.

Hit pieces like those written by ProPublica come as Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), plot to advance an outrageous Supreme Court-related ethics bill that “would impose a code of conduct” for justices on the Court, despite the fact that there are “pre-existing ethics rules in places [sic] for the justices, governed by a separate body.”

Neither Schau nor Lee identified anything false or misleading in ProPublica's "hit pieces" on Thomas. Schau also failed to explain why it's so "outrageous" to make Supreme Court justices follow a code of ethics.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2023 9:48 PM EDT
WND Repeats Old, Discredited Fake News Attacking COVID Vaccines
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily article repeated old fake news smearing COVID vaccines:

A new report reveals that a secret Centers for Disease Control document confirms that nearly 120,000 children and young adults died "due to the COVID-19 vaccine's dangerous side effects."

That includes more than 78,000 excess deaths in that age group during 2021 after the shots were available, and governments started demanding people accept them, and the 39,000 plus in 2022.

t is Expose-News that said, "The CDC report should spark widespread outrage and be on the front page of every single major newspaper. But instead, it has been and will continue to be met with a deafening silence. Despite the staggering death toll the report will be buried and swept under the carpet."

The report elaborated, "Compared to other countries, the U.S. government has been terrible at publishing relevant and up-to-date data allowing us to analyze the consequences of rolling out the COVID-19 injections. However, we have finally managed to stumble upon it thanks to an institution known as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEC)."


It said, "Excess deaths among children and young adults were significantly higher every single week in 2021 than they were in 2020 except for weeks 29 and 30."

The report said the number of excess deaths surged after the rollout of the COVID-19 shots.

"If we are to believe the official narrative that COVID-19 injections are safe and effective, then how can one explain the further increase in death among children and young adults in both 2021 and 2022?"

The fact the British website Expose should raise a red flag, because it has been repeatedly busted for spreading COVID misinformation -- and that's the case here as well. On top of that, this is old fake news, which first came out late year.; an actual, fact-based media outlet talked to actual experts who debunked the claim:

But Brian Tsai, a spokesperson for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, told The Associated Press that the claim misrepresents CDC data.

Tsai said that from the start of 2021 to the 43rd week of 2022, there have been about 124,000 excess deaths in the U.S. among 0- to 44-year-olds compared to the 2015-2019 average. However, he said, there’s no indication this was vaccine related.

This number is higher than the numbers published by OECD because the CDC’s data is now more complete, according to Tsai.

The 124,000 excess deaths break down to about 80,000 excess deaths in 2021 and about 44,000 excess deaths in 2022. Tsai also noted that excess deaths for 2022 are similar to those in 2020, when there were about 46,000.

Confirmed reports of deaths caused by vaccination are extremely rare, even with millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses having been administered in the U.S.

Scott Pauley, a spokesperson for the CDC, told the AP that outside of nine deaths confirmed to be associated with rare blood clots following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the agency has “not detected any unusual or unexpected patterns for deaths following immunization that would indicate that COVID vaccines are causing or contributing to deaths.”

Instead, Tsai wrote in an email to the AP, likely reasons for excess deaths in this age group since 2020 include “increases in accidental deaths (mainly drug overdoses), suicides, homicides, heart diseases, liver disease, and diabetes.” He said a substantial number of the excess deaths are the result of COVID-19 itself.

A surge in excess deaths among children and young adults in the summer of 2021, for example, corresponded with the delta variant of the coronavirus hitting the U.S., which affected younger people more than previous variants of the virus, Tsai explained.

WND didn't tell its readers about any of this, let alone that it's an old story. It doesn't seem to understand that this insistence on publishing fake news is what is making readers flee in droves and pushing it to the brink of extinction.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Cheers That Wash. Post Is Losing Money (Like Right-Wing Papers Always Have)
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham was overly gleeful in a July 24 post:

The New York Times buried the lede in a story about Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos owning The Washington Post. It isn't quite profitable, you learn in the eighth paragraph: "The Post is on a pace to lose about $100 million in 2023, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s finances."

The headline doesn't include that eye-grabbing detail. It's just this:

A Decade Ago, Jeff Bezos Bought a Newspaper. Now He’s Paying Attention to It Again.

The Amazon founder, who purchased The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, has taken a more active role in the paper’s operations this year.

Yes, you can imagine he'd take a "more active role" with this nagging problem. Post employees were delighted a liberal billionaire bought the paper, so they didn't have to be too worried about profits. "Prestige journalism" for the liberals isn't working out right now, even as the paper extends its Trump obsession forward.

In his happiness that the Post is losing money, Graham is not going to mention that losing money has long been the norm for right-wing print journalism. As we've documented, the Washington Times, the Post's perennial also-ran competitor in the city, received more than $2 billion in subsidies from the Unification Church to keep it alive since its founding in 1982, a flow disrupted only when the family of Rev. Sun Myung Moon cut off the spigot in 2010. The paper survives in a highly stripped-down form after being sold to a Unification Church front company a couple years later, and finally, in 2015, claimed to have its first-ever month of not losing money (though one can assume that was likely a blip and it has returned to its money-losing ways). Similarly, the right-wing New York Post has pretty much never made money -- it exists due to subsidies from Rupert Murdoch's other operations simply because he wants to be able to say he has a newspaper in New York (though it claimed to have made a profit, its first in modern history, in 2020).

It's ironic that Graham is bashing the Washington Post for being dependent on a deep-pocketed owner who can absorb losses, when right-wing newspapers would have gone out of business years ago if they had to work within a free market and not rely on benevolent moneybags.

Still, Graham insisted on whining that "the Times still wants to imply that this financial problem isn't a media-bias problem." Of course, Graham offered no evidence that the Post's alleged bias is solely responsible for the financial loss, and he completely ignored that newspapers across the country are losing money. He was again silent on the fact that the newspapers with the most pronounced right-wing bias have pretty much never made money. There is a "media-bias problem" -- just not the one Graham wants you to think.

Graham is quite happy with newspapers dying, because their destruction has been an MRC agenda item for decades over their purported liberal bias, and he's more than happy to see them be replaced with low-quality right-wing websites (even as the MRC rages against ratings firms like NewsGuard for pointing out that inconvenient fact).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 PM EDT
WND's LaBarbera Snoops Through Stolen Property In Ashley Biden's Diary
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In March 2022, Jack Cashill spent a WorldNetDaily column complaining that Project Veritas got busted handling stolen property in the form of Ashley Biden's diary, piously touting how the right-wing group decided not to publish it because it would be "characterized as a cheap shot." Joseph Farah spent a June 2022 column complaining that the FBI got involved in its theft, repeating Tucker Carlson's claim that "Joe Biden was effectively using the feds as his secret police force," then hyping salacious claims in the diary that he chose to read as Joe Biden molesting his daughter.

If WND had any qualms about salaciously snooping through stolen property, they have disappeared -- in an apparent desperate to have a scoop of some kind -- because reporter Peter LaBarbera spent three articles snooping through Ashley's diary. In an Aug. 1 article, LaBarbera touted how Project Veritias abandoned those purported scruples as well and release excerpts from the diary:

Project Veritas, a conservative undercover journalism organization, has released phone-conversation audio from President Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley, confirming a diary that has drawn worldwide attention – most notably, for its revelations about her famous father "inappropriately" joining her in the shower when she was a girl – is indeed hers.

PV released an eight-minute video about the diary in which audio is played of a conversation between Ashley Biden and a PV journalist confirming the diary and other items left behind at a Florida home were hers.

In the diary – reported copies of which are available on Scribd and whose pages have been published on Twitter – the author (now confirmed to be Ashley Biden) describes how she was "hyper-sexualized [at] a young age. What is this due to? Was I molested? I think so," she writes. "I remember having sex with friends [at] a young age, showers [with] my dad (probably not appropriate), being turned on when I wasn't supposed to be."

A post published Monday by Project Veritas, headlined "NEVER-BEFORE -SEEN: Ashley Biden Confirms Famed Diary Is Hers & the Full Story Behind the FBI Raids on American Journalists," states: "Today, Project Veritas published the real story behind the Ashley Biden diary and personal items, when and how it came into our possession, and the subsequent unconstitutional FBI raids of three Veritas journalists. Hear, for the first time, the fateful voicemail left on our tip line, as well as the call, in which Ashley herself confirmed the authenticity of the diary, and the rest of the full story."

LaBarbera didn't explain why he thought rummaging through Ashley Biden's diary was any of his business beyond prurient interest and malicious partisan intent.

LaBarbera did more snooping for an Aug. 14 article:

Ashley Biden, the only child of Joe and Jill Biden’s marriage, was a cocaine addict who struggled to overcome her drug habit throughout 2019 in the run-up to her father’s presidential bid, she writes in her diary, now confirmed as authentic.

In the 112-page handwritten diary, Biden describes over and over again how she yearned to get "sober" from cocaine, only to have a relapse and start "using" again. She was being treated at the Caron Oceanside luxury rehab facility in Delray Beach, Florida, which caters to affluent clientele, and attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings at a local addiction-help center in the same town south of Palm Beach.


This article, the first of two parts, focuses on Ashley Biden’s struggles with cocaine addiction. Part Two will focus on her deeply troubling sexual and family revelations, including her recorded belief that she was likely sexually molested as a child. 

Again, LaBarbera failed to explain why he's sniffing around stolen property, but he seemed to justify it by claiming the diary was "leaked":

Curiously, when O’Keefe was still running Project Veritas, which he founded, he chose not to publish the contents of the (then-alleged) Ashley Biden diary, saying that PV could not verify its authenticity. The document was later leaked, however, and is currently available online on Scribd and other sites.

Despite the phone call from Ashley Biden herself confirming the diary was hers, the left-biased "fact-checking" website Snopes still classifies the Ashley Biden diary story as "Unproven," under the headline, "Did Ashley Biden Accuse Joe Biden of Inappropriate Behavior in a 'Leaked Diary'?"

He did concede the diary was stolen, however:

According to the DOJ, the first daughter’s diary was acquired by two Floridians, Aimee Harris and Robert Kurlander, who discovered it and other personal items left behind in a house rented by Ashley Biden, possibly following her time at Caron. The couple allegedly sold the diary and other material to Project Veritas for $40,000.

In August 2022, Harris and Kurlander each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

LaBarbera served up even more salacious stuff the next day:

In her personal diary – now confirmed as authentic – first daughter Ashley Biden describes memories of “sexual trauma” in her childhood that are “absolutely red flags” in terms of revealing potential child sexual abuse, according to an attorney who spent 10 years as a court-appointed guardian professionally trained to recognize signs of such abuse.

LaBarbera again conceded the diary was stolen:

The diary was found at a Florida rental home in 2020 by two people who reportedly sold it to Project Veritas and were later prosecuted by the DOJ for selling stolen property following an over-the-top FBI raid on the home of James O’Keefe, then president of Project Veritas. The diary was leaked to a conservative website, Alex Jones’ National File, but recently was confirmed as authentic by Ashley Biden herself, in a recorded phone conversation Sept. 3, 2020 with a Project Veritas staffer, and released to the public by the undercover journalism outfit July 31.

In none of these articles did he explain why he's snooping through stolen property, and what sort of fringe journalistic ethics he's relying on to justify it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
MRC Melts Down Over Soros' Son Taking Over His Empire, Tried (And Failed) To Portray Him As 'Radical'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center will be transferring its dirty war against George Soros to the next generation. The meltdown started with a June 12 post by Joseph Vazquez:

George Soros’ self-proclaimed “‘more political’” heir to his radical empire has his own track record of political activism that reeks of a potentially worse Soros sequel.

The Wall Street Journalreleased its latest interview with the recently crowned Open Society Foundations Chairman Alexander Soros headlined: “George Soros Hands Control to His 37-Year-Old Son: ‘I’m More Political.’”

According to The Journal’s summary, Alexander is focused on “broadening his father’s liberal aims—‘We think alike,’ the elder Soros said—while embracing some different causes. Those include voting and abortion rights, as well as gender equity.” In addition, “[Alexander] plans to continue using the family’s deep pockets to back left-leaning U.S. politicians.”

If Alexander's mission is to generate a steroids-injected version of his father’s agenda defined by anti-Americanism, Marxist economics, climate change extremism, abortion-on-demand and racial strife, then America is in for a scary ride.

“George Soros wouldn’t have made this move if he didn’t believe Alexander wasn’t just as radical and committed as to making the distorted open society worldview a reality as he is,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider. “Soros has finally crowned his heir, and Americans should be wary of the enormous left-wing political power that has been dumped into Alexander’s lap.”

It’s not like Alexander has been an innocent observer on the sidelines waiting for his opportunity to make his mark. His leftist bona fides have already been established. His foundation, the Alexander Soros Foundation, has given bulky sums of cash to a litany of leftist causes.


Attacking former President Donald Trump and the GOP fits directly with Alexander Soros’ brand. After all, he tweeted in 2022 that “the end of democracy and civil war are real possibilities,” if Trump ends up being reelected to the White House again.

Vazquez failed to identify what is purportedly "anti-American" about Soros' political efforts, nor did he disprove Alex Soros' tweet about Trump to be in any way false. Nevertheless, narratives are more important than facts at the MRC, so its target was firmly placed on Soros to smear him like they do his father. Tom Olohan ranted in a July 11 post:

The radical heir to the Soros fortune and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations has found a ready ear at the White House. 

According to White House visitor logs, Alex Soros, son and heir of leftist mega donor George Soros, has visited the White House fifteen times and with Biden administration officials twenty times since Biden took office. Alex became chairman of his dad’s Open Society Foundations last year and was recently named as the heir apparent to the elder Soros’ $25 billion leftist organization. Alex had little difficulty in arranging meetings with prominent leaders in the Biden White House as the son of the billionaire activist who has sunk at least $21 billion into leftist causes across the world since 2000. He clearly isn’t wasting time establishing contacts to showcase the enormous influence he wields. 

Breitbart News, which reported on Alex Soros’ visits to the White House, provided a breakdown on the specifics of his meetings in descending chronological order:

In other words, Soros is doing what every other wealthy, well-connected person does who wants to have some political influence.Olohan did not explain what, if anything, Soros is doing any different from wealthy conservatives who meet with poiticians when Republicans are in power.

All this culminated in a July 13 report by Vazquez and Olohan trying to tar Soros as "even more radically leftist than his father":

George Soros — one of the world’s most powerful and influential leftist billionaires — finally found an heir to his massive empire. Alex Soros was named the new leader of his father’s $25-billion Open Society Foundations. That gives him the resources to be, in his own words, even “more political.” 

Alex has shown himself to be even more radically leftist than his father, on issues ranging from supporting abortion and climate change activism to outright anti-American propaganda. He considers the overturning of Roe v. Wade as one of the “worst” days in U.S. history and even sees the Republican Party as “the Confederacy.” Now, he’s been given the keys to a philanthropic giant that funnels hundreds of millions of dollars into organizations promoting extremist causes in the United States and abroad since at least 1984. Alex just took over and already laid off at least 40% of OSF’s staff supposedly for the purpose of launching “‘significant changes to the foundation's operating model.’”

MRC Business extensively researched Alex Soros’s previous radical statements on everything from politics to climate change and social issues for clues about the kind of leader he will become in his father’s place. His own words indicate he will be much worse.

Actually, all Vazquez and Olohan found is that Alex Soros is pro-choice, supports efforts to fight climate change and has criticized conservatives -- all pretty standard (and not "radical") liberal positions. But the duo tried their best to pretend otherwise:

  • Hates the Right: Alex tweeted that the GOP was “the Confederacy” for pushing the repeal of the pro-abortion Roe ruling. He hates both recent Republican presidents. Alex smeared former President George W. Bush by claiming he was a “criminal deserving of impeachment.” He prophesied the possible “end of democracy” and “civil war” should former President Donald Trump get reelected. 
  • Obsessed with Abortion The younger Soros argued that the Dobbs ruling was “one of the worst days in American history.” In Alex’s view, reversing Roe “would rob women of their right to life, to health, and to equality.” He even promoted the idea that, "‘Gender equality isn’t possible without abortion and contraception’” and offered up his admiration for former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.
  • Fixated on Climate Change Extremism: Alex is dedicated to climate change radicalism. He called for teachers to inject climate propaganda into lessons “if you teach history, global affairs or science.” He’s also considered global redistribution of wealth as a “compelling solution” to climate change.
  • Weaponizing Race to Smear Opponents: “There are white supremacists in the White House,” cried Alex Soros in a July 31, 2020, tweet. In another racially charged tweet, he said “Trump is putting Jews in danger to stir up his white nationalist base.” Alex also saluted the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, urging them to “rip structural racism out by its roots” in the American justice system.

Vazquez and Olohan conlcuded: "George Soros boasted to The Times in 2019 that he was actively engaged in trying to bend “the arc of history” in “the right direction.” However, it looks like it will be the more radical Alex who will be doing the bending in his stead."

Meanwhile, MRC boss Brent Bozell ran to Fox Business the same day to parrot this misleading narrative:

“George Soros has always been crafty and canny and evil — my personal opinion on this. His son is saying, ‘I’m not going to be crafty. I’m not going to be canny. I’m going to throw bombs,’” Bozell told Fox Business guest host Ashley Webster during the July 13 edition of Varney & Co. MRC Business extensively researched Alex’s previous radical statements on social media and other places on topics ranging from politics and climate change to social issues, looking for clues about the kind of leader he will become in his father’s place. His own words indicate he will be much worse.


“[Alex has] been throwing bombs with the Tweets he’s been putting out. You’re seeing where his priorities are,” Bozell analyzed. “I would say to anybody who loves freedom; anyone who supports the right to life; anyone who believes in a civil society; all these things are suddenly in danger because this man has the power to turn over the apple cart.” 

The MRC also got Fox News to write a article for its website, by media reporter Brian Flood, uncriticially repeating the attacks and bogus framing. Flood made no attempt to offer balance by referencing anything that didn't appear in Vazquez's and Olohan's hit job.

Vazquez went on TIm Graham's July 17 podcast to promote the overheated report:

Radical-left billionaire George Soros has been plowing many millions of dollars into the American political system for decades now. When conservatives object to it, the liberal media -- which he subsidizes heavily -- denounces the attention as anti-Semitic. Soros has confessed he has a "God complex," so he stunned the world when he announced his son Alex would be taking control over his "Open Society Foundations."

Our Soros expert Joseph Vazquez of MRC Business and Free Speech America explains why that makes things worse for capitalism and free speech. Alex boasts he's "more political" than his father, and where his father has been relatively reclusive, Alex can be found in pictures with Biden and Harris and Schumer and so on. 

His statements are sometimes wild. Alex warned the U.S. might be headed to “civil war” if former President Donald Trump were to be reelected, bizarrely compared the GOP to ”the Confederacy," and called the decision to overturn the pro-abortion Roe v. Wade ruling “one of the worst days in American history.”

Of course, the MRC sees any political position even slightly to its left as extreme and "wild." so its judgment on Soros' views probably shouldn't be taken at face value.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2023 11:35 AM EDT
Dick Morris Continues To Suck Up To Trump, Bash His GOP Opponents
Topic: Newsmax

How has Newsmax's chief Trump sycophant, Donald Trump, been sucking up to the big guy since the last time we checked? We've already highlighted how Morris fawned over Trump skipping the first Republican presidential debate, but there's so much more. Let's look:

Morris used his June 24 column to gush over how Trmp is a coverage magnet compared with the other Republican candidates:

American politics have stopped, frozen by the indictment of Trump for no good reason and the deterioration of Joe Biden.

In theory, this week should have been when the nominating process in each party heated up as candidates took to the runway to launch their campaigns.

But there was zero energy for them.

Trump took away all the air Gov. DeSantis, R-Fla., MikePence, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, and the others needed.

Right now, in the Republican Party there is room for only two viewpoints: That Trump is guilty or that he is innocent.

DeSantis et al can’t split the difference and say "Trump is the innocent victim of the deep state and is being persecuted by the Democrats but I’m running against him anyway."

This means there is no place for Trump’s GOP opponents to stand.


Trump is en route to winning the nomination and Biden is en route to losing the election.


None needed.

Donald Trump will win.

Morris tried a little rah-rah in a July 20 column, telling readers to demand that Republicans in Congress  shut down the tovernment until charges against Trump are dropped (and then weaponize the government against the Biden family):

We cannot tolerate the continued election interference of the Biden administration and its Justice Department in the 2024 elections.

The shocking targeting of former President Donald Trump, now the Republican front-runner for the 2024 election, challenges the very basis of our justice system.

It is vital to our nation's democracy that we act now and stop this dangerous weaponization of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

I am urging citizens to call Congress today — demand their House representatives and Senators pass no bills, authorize no money, approve no more Biden nominations, do nothing, and block everything — until the Biden administration stops their politicization of justice.

We must also demand the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate the overwhelming and clear evidence of President Joe Biden's family corruption.


Demand the DOJ do a real investigation of Biden's family and the tens of millions of dollars they received from foreign governments and powers!

Our country is too important to surrender to the far left. Fight back!

Morris also took more shots at Trump's Republican opponents. He again bashed Ron DeSantis in an Aug. 5 TV appearance:

If Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn't develop a message to run on, he'll soon fail to attract other megadonors to his presidential campaign, political author Dick Morris told Newsmax.

When DeSantis announced his candidacy, Morris told "Saturday Report," he "just naturally assumed that his record in Florida would carry him, and it hasn't. And when a donor begins to leave, this is not the rat leaving the sinking ship; this is, you know, the crew leaving the sinking ship. And it's very, very hard to reverse that. I think the key element ... is that the DeSantis has to attract other major donors, which basically means: 'I'm out.'"

Following up on a previous attack on Vivek Ramaswamy -- made around the time that Ramaswamy alleged a pay-for-play scheme in which Newsmax claimed he would get more favorable coverage on the channel if he bought more advertising, a la Perry Johnson -- Morris was quoted in a Aug. 30 article by Marisa Herman:

“He’s running as a pro-Trump candidate, so voters are asking if he’s so pro-Trump why doesn’t he just endorse the former president and drop out the race,” Dick Morris, a presidential strategist who advises President Trump, told Newsmax.

“And they also ask themselves why pick a 38-year-old amateur who often takes extremist views over Donald Trump, a seasoned pro who has been vetted and can govern from day one,” Morris added.

Herman (and, we presume, Morris) did not mention Ramaswamy's pay-for-play allegations.

Morris declared that Ramaswamy would not be Trump's vice presidential candidate should he win the nomination  in a Sept. 2 TV appearance:

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy may be full of compliments about former President Donald Trump, but running against him for the nomination isn't the way to get to his heart or win a place in his administration, Dick Morris, a former adviser of Trump's, told Newsmax on Saturday.

Morris, speaking on Newsmax's "Saturday Report," told host Rita Cosby that there may be a place for the Ohio entrepreneur in Trump's cabinet, should the former president return to the White House, but he doesn't think Trump would pick Ramaswamy as a running mate.

"Those who believe that the correct way to appeal to Donald Trump's heart is to run against him in the primary are wrong," Morris said. "He has no love for his opponents and whether they say good things or bad things about him."


"Ramaswamy is the only one that seems to be getting any traction, [by] running on a platform of being just like Trump. From the words of the song, 'there ain't nothing like the real thing.'"

Again, there was no mention of Ramaswamy's pay-for-play allegations.

Interestingly, in the midst of all this, Morris did let a non-sycophantic opinion about Trump slip through. In an Aug. 14 TV appearance, Morris ssaid that Trump will be "convicted" on charges and is "gonna go to prison," though  he was quick to blame "a biased jury pool" -- never mind that none of the indictments has advanced to a trial phase and, thus, there is no jury yet -- and insisted that "It will not make any difference at all. He is going to be able to win this election no matter what they throw at him." Newsmax didn't promote that claim, of course.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2023 6:27 PM EDT
WND's Opinion Writers Defend Trump After (Third) Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As WorldNetDaily "news' side raged over Donald Trump's (third) indictment, its opinion side did so even more. We've already noted how editor Joseph Farah cheered Trump for having disgustingly  "compared the federal indictments he's facing to the lawlessness reminiscent of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union." Michael Master used his Aug. 3 column to invent a conspiracy that Trump's indictments are a distraction from alleged wrongdoing by President Biden and his "crime family":

Special counsel Jack Smith has now indicted Trump on three occasions. Each of those occasions were one day after horribly negative news broke about Joe Biden. The indictment on Aug. 1 came the day after Devon Archer testified before a congressional committee about his experience with the Biden Crime Family.

Coincidence? Three separate times? Not likely. Those three occasions were more likely meant to take attention away from Biden acts of treason, bribery and lies. According to Fox, mainstream media outlets CNN and MSNBC are spending 20 times more time on the Trump indictments than on the testimonies about Biden crimes. 20 times. 20 minutes on Trump for every one minute on Biden. Three minutes on Biden for every one hour on Trump.

Since Democrats, the deep state and RINOs could not stop Trump with their false impeachments, they are now using the legal system under the Justice Department controlled by Democrats to try to stop President Trump from being elected in 2024. The legal system is now a political weapon of the Democrats. 

In his column the same day, David Harsanyi insisted that the indictments are an attack on "political speech":

Feel free to campaign and vote against Donald Trump if you like. I'm certainly no fan. If Trump wins in 2024, Congress can impeach and remove him if they choose. But just as there was no special set of rules that could keep Trump in the White House in 2020, there shouldn't be an exclusive set of rules to keep him out, either.

Yet Special Counsel Jack Smith's indictments over Jan. 6 read like a political oppo document cobbled together by some partisan House staffers who perfunctorily tacked on the last-minute novel legal reasoning.


In this case, the precedent would criminalize and chill political speech. People keep assuring me the indictments aren't really about the expression but rather about defrauding the government. Sorry, the entire case is predicated on the things Trump said or believed or didn't say or didn't believe. All of it should be protected under the First Amendment. "Spreading lies" – prosecutors leaned on the thesaurus hard, finding about two dozen ways of repeating this fact – or entertaining theories offered by crackpot lawyers, or trying to convince faithless electors to do things that people have been trying to convince faithless electors to do for a long time, are all unethical, not criminal.

Mike Pottage put his spin on the indictments in his Aug. 4 column, in which he declared grand juries to be "un-American":

So, with Russia-Russia-Russia, impeachments I and II, and four politically engineered indictments choreographed to appear in the midst of the next presidential campaign, what does the Democratic Party do if they finally get to circulate a jailhouse mugshot of Donald Trump? What does the Democratic Party do if their nemesis wins presidency anyway on Nov. 5, 2024? Suffering succotash, say it isn't so!

Every time a new attack hits Trump, his support grows. With a 37% advantage in the GOP primary and a split among Democrats over Joe Biden, the Dems are desperate to imprison and destroy Donald by any means.


PBS Wednesday evening ran an interview in which the anchor used the Smith indictment as evidence of Trump's guilt, knowing the indictment is not evidence of a crime, but only an allegation of a crime made by a single attorney. A grand jury is perhaps the most un-American event in our justice system. It's product is orchestrated by a single person.

Rachel Alexander complained in her Aug. 7 column:

No one actually believes the formerly most powerful man in the world, who had the top attorneys and advisers surrounding him, would blatantly commit felonies. Everyone knows it's a fishing expedition by politically motivated prosecutors to exploit the left-leaning justice system and take lawfare to a new level – prosecution.

In the latest indictment, regarding J6, Trump has been charged with four felony counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy against rights and witness tampering. It essentially repeats the DNC talking points the establishment media repeat ad nauseam: that he stoked violence and pretended the election was stolen. The indictment uses language that ignores the fact the country is still incredibly divided over whether election fraud influenced the race – "Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to stay in power."

The prosecution isn't even bothering to assess whether there was fraud or not in the 2020 election, as Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller pointed out. Nor do they care that Rasmussen Reports, one of the most accurate pollsters, found that most voters believe cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.

In fact, no legitimate evidence of widespread election fraud has been found, and public opinion is not justice.

Daniel McCarthy demanded in his Aug. 7 column that President Biden pardon Trump, then drop out of the race for re-election:

President Joe Biden has a chance to do the right thing for all Americans – a brave and unpopular thing that will spare the country excruciating pain next year.

He can pardon Donald Trump and announce he's not seeking reelection.

Without having to worry about reelection, Biden can spare the Justice Department a humiliating and corrupt plea bargain, too, by simply pardoning his son Hunter.


If Biden pardons Trump, the Republican contest will have to be fought on different, better terms – not whether or not the charges against Trump are valid.

Trump might still win such a contest, politically embarrassing though it would be to accept clemency from Biden.

Master opined in his Aug. 8 column that all charges against Trump will be consolidated then dropped, following that with more right-wing conspiracy-mongering:

Jack Smith, Democrats and RINOs understand all of this and that these cases will go well beyond the November 2024 election to get through the Supreme Court. Their real intention is to make Trump defend so many cases (fight on so many fronts) that he cannot wage an adequate campaign.


It is all part of the plan to stop Trump and the Make America Great Again movement. If Trump were not running, none of these indictments would happen.

The worst part of all of this is that so many Democrats and media and RINOs do not see how this weaponization of the legal system is bad for America. Their objective is to stop Trump and the MAGA movement by any means, such as with false accusations and misuse of laws, as with the Steele Dossier and the two impeachments and now these indictments. To them, the end justifies the means … any means. And they just don't see how that is bad for America, how using the justice system as a political weapon is no different than what tyrants do to political opponents in other countries.

WND's "news" side continued to opibne as well, with Bob  Unruh writing in an Aug. 8 article:

The Department of Justice has been accused of using "extortion" in its agenda to indict and even jail President Trump – in what apparently is a scheme to hinder his campaign for president in 2024.

According to a report in Fox News, the accusation comes from a former federal prosecutor.

James Trusty, a former chief of the DOJ's organized crime unit, said it was an incident that developed in special counsel Jack Smith's attack on Trump regarding presidential papers, including classified documents, that President Trump had at his Florida home, is concerning.

Unruh didn't mention that Trusty is a former Trump attorney, so of course he would defend a client.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade: Failure to Launch
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center labored hard to spin away the botched Twitter-hosted beginning of Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign, as well as defending him after the NAACP issued a travel warning for Florida. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, Black History Edition (Continued)
Topic: Media Research Center

As the Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigage rode to the defense of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over state standards for teaching black history that claimed slaves learned skills while enslaved that they used later in life, Curtis Houck cheered fellow right-wing outlets for helping it defend DeSantis in a July 24 post that also included a coverage count:

Starting Friday morning and running through Monday morning, the major broadcast networks spend nearly 20 minutes (19:43) on their flagship morning and evening newscasts cheering lies peddled by Vice President Kamala Harris over the “controversial” new Florida Department of Education standards on African-American history that they insist “rewrite[s] history” and slavery as a good thing.

ABC, CBS, and NBC were shameless in their childish, fact-free partisanship and swooning over Florida facing “growing outrage,” “sharp criticism,” and being “slammed,” “under fire,” and “under scrutiny.” But an actual inspection of the standards in the 216-page document (which National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke did masterfully) reveals Harris and the liberal media willingly peddled an odious lie.

Cooke wrote that Harris’s claims that Florida was promoting slavery “is an astonishing,” “brazen,” and “evil lie” that’s “so deliberately and cynically misleading — that, in a sensible political culture, Harris would be obligated to issue an apology.”


Townhall’s Guy Benson even pointed out the sentence about “skills” was not only “a minuscule fraction of what the curriculum calls for,” but “factually true” with the line in question mirroring “an encyclopedia published with the impriumatur of Oxford and Columbia universities' scholarship.”

None of these writers apparently disputed that the standard exists -- they simply tried to explain it away. And Houck didn't disclose the right0wing ideology of Cooke and Benson ; the MRC regularly lectures that claims in the "liberal media" shouldn't be taken at face value, and one can assume that the same applies here as well.

Houck had a meltdown in a post the next day:

ABC chief White House correspondent and Biden apple polisher Mary Bruce leveled an scurrilous insinuation and lie during Tuesday’s Good Morning America as, not only did she mention Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) Florida Board of Education in the same breath as the horrific lynching of Emmett Till, but she suggested President Biden declaring three Till sites a national monument would ensure accurate teachings of black history (unlike in the Sunshine State).

The segment started off innocently with co-host Robin Roberts declaring before she tossed to Bruce: “We’re going to go now to President Biden set to sign a proclamation this afternoon that will establish a national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till Mobley.”

And after Bruce’s hitjob of a report, Roberts didn’t engage and kept the focus on the Tills, saying his mother was “so have an open casket” at his funeral.


After pointing out Biden “is roughly the same age that Till would have been,” Bruce made the insanely partisan turn by insisting this announcement “comes as we are seeing this controversial and very polarizing debate in this country over the teaching of black history.”

“That move by the Florida Board of Education to teach some slaves may have benefitted from the skills they developed is sparking a firestorm,” Bruce added.

She concluded with more spin from her friends in the White House: “But, Robin, this White House says monuments like this to Till will help teach the complete story of our nation's history[.]”

First, the phrase “it comes as” was a classic trope used to tie two things together, whether or not they’re actually related. Second, it’s only “controversial and very polarizing” because some academics and much of the media had outsourced their history education to a blatant fraud.

That "blatant fraud" is the 1619 Project, which in fact largely holds up. Houck cited Cooke's ideologicalclaims again, then helped DeSantis play victim by asserting that "the linkage was no accident given the liberal media’s purposeful attempt to bury DeSantis and smear Florida."

A post by Alex Christy once again made a point of context when it works for right-wing narratives, attacking PolitiFact for finding that Vice President Kamala Harris' criticism of the standards is correct:

PolitiFact waded into the controversy surrounding Florida’s new history standards by rating Vice President Kamala Harris “mostly true” for her statement that the state is teaching “enslaved people benefited from slavery.” To reach such a conclusion the trio of Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa, Louis Jacobson, and Amy Sherman had to tie themselves into a giant pretzel by simply downplaying evidence contrary to Harris’s allegation.

After summarizing the positions of Harris on one hand and Governor and potential 2024 rival Ron DeSantis and Republicans on the other, the authors write, “Although the new standards include many conventional lesson points about the history of slavery, they also include a sentence that enslaved people developed skills that ‘could be applied for their personal benefit’ — and this has drawn heated rebuttals from historians, who consider it factually misleading and offensive for seeming to find a silver lining in slavery.”

Later in the article, they add “The rest of the document includes specific standards about slavery, including the development of slavery and the conditions for Africans as they were brought to America. It also covers how slave codes resulted in enslaved people becoming property without rights, abolitionist movements, state and federal laws, revolts by slaves, and the Civil War.” (emphasis added)

Further still, the trio quote two members of the working group, who are both black, that came up with the standards as correctly stating “the criticism took ‘a few isolated expressions without context.’”


PolitiFact can’t have it both ways. Either Florida teaches that slavery was awful because it deprived people of their rights or it teaches that slavery was benevolent. As the authors admit, the part about skill acquisition is just one of many parts of the new standards, meaning the “mostly true” rating for Harris is way too generous.

Christy defended DeSantis and the standards again in a July 27 post:

Late Wednesday night saw people close to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defend the state’s new history guidelines on slavery by pointing out that the Advanced Placement course that the media demanded the state adopt has very similar standards. However, Thursday’s viewers of CNN News Central were not informed of these latest developments as host Jim Sciutto conducted a softball interview with Alpha Phi Alpha General President Willis Lonzer III where he accused DeSantis of trying to “soften the brutality” of slavery.

Lonzer was on to discuss his fraternity’s decision to pull its convention out of Florida over the state’s allegedly “racist” policies when Sciutto asked him, “can you help folks understand exactly what the change is in how aspects of slavery will now be taught in Florida schools? Just so folks who may not have followed this closely understand exactly what the change in language was.”

According to Lonzer’s summation of the changes, Florida is trying “to suggest that those who were enslaved benefited from being in slavery, as if they came into this chattel slavery system, without any skills or any type of labor perception. And that's quite the opposite.”

Jeffrey Lord spent his July 29 column playing whataboutism to defend DeSantis and attack Democrats in lashing out at criticism of the standards:

The irony here? The volumes of irony? Nowhere in this Post editorial, nor in Bouie’s column or from MSNBC - nowhere - does it mention exactly which American political party came into being supporting the idea - made into policy - that slaves should be owned as “chattel by other human beings who stole their freedom, labor and bodily autonomy.” 


Who, exactly, was benefitting from slavery - and how?

Answer: The Democratic Party was benefitting politically from slavery. Supporting slavery - and after that segregation and Jim Crow laws - is what won Democrats elections.


On and on - and on and on - goes The Post and Times  and MSNBC silence on the real history of the Democratic Party. Instead, when it comes to analyzing the Florida Board of Education’s rules as supported by Governor DeSantis, they simply fall silent on the serious, indisputable history of race in America.

Lord did seem to concede that no Democratic Party platform since 1860 endorsed slavery, but he seems to be unaware that not only has the party evolved significantly since then, it effectively traded places with the Republican Party on racial matters, as Democrats who supported segregation migrated to the Republican Party in the 1960s. He then attacked Democrats for trying to counter racism:

Just as slavery supporters and segregationists gained election-winning political support for the Democrats, so now are their political descendants in the Democratic Party and the broader American Left still profiting from dividing Americans by race. That would be done by using the race-dividing grandson of slavery and the son of segregation known today as “identity politics.”

Lord concluded by claiming that the Democrdatic Party "needs to whitewash history to pretend it is something it has decidedly never been. And still isn’t." But Lord is whitewashing how Republicans are the ones currently more likely to act in a racist manner.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 9:36 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Whitewashes Co-Host Of Allegedly Racist Party
Topic: Newsmax

Dennis Kneale wrote in his Aug. 29 Newsmax column:

In the blood sport of social media, when a headline-grabbing lawyer or a self-trumpeting politician throws down the race card, the accused "racist" gets into even more trouble denying the charge.

The media salivate over the slaughter.

A dentist in Rochester, N.Y. became collateral damage in one such kerfuffle, and on Aug. 8, 2023 he filed a lawsuit in state court against two of his tormentors, alleging defamation and tortious interference in his business due to "the hate crime hoax perpetrated against him."

Nicholas (Ned) Nicosia has served thousands of patients in Rochester since 1987, when he joined the family practice started by his father in 1956.

His name came up in a lawsuit filed against the city on behalf of a Black firefighter, alleging 15 years of racial harassment on the job.

Although Nicosia wasn’t a defendant in the suit, he was cited as hosting a supposedly racist party in July 2022, which the fireman was "forced" to attend.

Instantly he received an avalanche of hate messages and threats by text, email and social media.

One helpful heckler suggested he should kill himself.

Four of his employees quit under the strain.


Nicosia is a moderate Democrat whose wife is a staunch Republican.

They hosted a party for 10 people on July 7, 2022.

The party theme was to make fun of local Democrats; the decorations included a large picture of President Trump.

Guests dined on pasta salad, pizza, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese.

A local fire captain and three on-duty firemen visited the party, stayed a while and left without incident. Weeks later, a staffer returned from her lunch hour one day to tell Nicosia: "Doctor, you’re on television!"

"And that’s how I found out about it," he says.

"And that’s part of it, to catch me off guard, which is why it’s called 'firehosing,' because you don’t have any time to react. And then you’re just backpedaling."


The complaint, 41 paragraphs in, describes the party as a racist gathering spoofing Juneteenth. A bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken served at the party was a "racist trope to ridicule Black Americans."

The lawsuit claims the Black fireman "experienced immediate unease upon arriving at the location. His discomfort intensified as he proceeded up the driveway and saw a sizable cutout of former President Donald Trump, a figure known for race baiting and divisiveness."

So, a firefighter who runs into burning buildings was unnerved by a Trump photo? As for photos of local Democrats held up by sticks planted in Nicosia’s yard, the lawsuit says: "They literally had Democrats’ heads on stakes."

Sad story, right? Well, not so much. Kneale left out the part where Nicosia's wife did confess to being kind of a racist. As one local news outlet reported:

Mary Znidarsic-Nicosia and her husband, Nicholas Nicosia, wanted to clear their names after being accused of throwing a racist party. So, they made a plan and held a press conference this week.

Step one: The wealthy, white couple from Rochester, N.Y., adamantly defended themselves against what Znidarsic-Nicosia called "false claims of racism."

Step two: Znidarsic-Nicosia confessed to a room full of reporters that she also happens to run a racist, anonymous Twitter account.

"In full disclosure, I do have a Twitter parody account that operates under a veil of a persona — and I have made blatantly racist comments under that persona," she admitted.

"The culture of Twitter operates that way. It gives you an opportunity to be someone you're not," she explained.


While the real estate agent did not disclose her anonymous Twitter handle, the now-defunct @HoHoHomeboyROC account used the image of a bust of a Black mammy that she admitted she owns. Screengrabs of previous posts include other anti-Black imagery, reposts of other accounts trolling Black people – often in an offensive interpretation of Black vernacular – and several fake ads for KFC.

[Attorney Corey] Hogan also indicated that Znidarsic-Nicosia runs additional Twitter accounts. "I think she has a number of different handles," he said.

Local columnist Casey Seiler added that "the @HoHoHomeboyROC account was not racist in some sort of relatively genteel #BLM-are-all-communists manner. It engaged in absolute gutter-level hate, featuring messages and memes that wouldn't look out of place in Der Sturmer."

Kneale then offered a benign description of the party:

Nicosia is a moderate Democrat whose wife is a staunch Republican.

They hosted a party for 10 people on July 7, 2022.

The party theme was to make fun of local Democrats; the decorations included a large picture of President Trump.

Guests dined on pasta salad, pizza, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese.

By contrast, others described the gathering as having "brazenly ridiculed Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, by perpetuating racist stereotypes of Black people. The menu consisted of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hennessy cognac," and that "The party was also said to feature a woman dressed as County Legislator Rachel Barnhart dancing in a mocking and sexual manner for attendees."

Kneale then touted Nicosia's lawsuit against Barnhart and "tort attorney" Nathan McMurray for defamation for publicizing what happened, but he didn't mention that Barnhart was mocked in an apparently cruel fashion at the party. He also didn't mention that it's hard to claim defamation when you've revealed that you run a secret racist Twitter feed.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:03 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 8:10 PM EDT
MRC Gushes Over Ben Shapiro Using Its Talking Points To Smear NewsGuard
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been on a NewsGuard-bashing bender for a while now, using increasingly lame "media research" to whine that the website-rating service points out how shoddy right-wing media is. But all this shoddy work got a boost when right-wing columnist Ben Shapiro regurgitated it in his Aug. 2 column:

NewsGuard is an organization that formulates ratings for American media. They rank news sites on a 0-to-100 scale based on nine supposedly apolitical criteria. These criteria are anything but apolitical. They often align with left-wing positions.


The Media Research Center, a free-speech nonprofit, studied NewsGuards’ ratings. The study found glaring examples of bias by NewsGuard.

The Left’s BuzzFeed managed a 100 out of 100 perfect score, despite its reporting on the Steele dossier and alleging collusion between former President Donald Trump and Russia.

The study found that The Global Times, a Chinese propaganda government outlet, scored a 39.5 -- that is 27 points higher than the U.S.-based conservative outlet The Federalist. Despite a scandal at USA Today revealing the publication of multiple fabricated sources in their stories and their own fact-checking operation misleading readers on the history of the Democratic Party and the KKK, USA Today maintained the 100 out of 100 rating by NewsGuard.

As we noted when the MRC previously attacked USA Today over the "fabricated soources" scandal, it identified the problem and corrected the situation while explaining to readers what happened. And that fact-check was correcting a false claim that the Democratic Party created the KKK, which even the MRC sorta conceded (while still trying to blame all Democrats for the KKK). Also, Shapiro's description of the MRC as a "free-speech nonprofit" is laughable considering how it works to censor speech that doesn't advance right-wing narratives.

A post later that day by Catherine Salgado gushed over how Shapiro did even more work to boost the MRC's dishonest anti-NewsGuard narrative:

The Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro championed research against leftist ratings firm NewsGuard during a July 29 segment exposing globalist organizations that try to control online narratives and ad money.

Shapiro noted in the first episode of new series “Facts” that there’s clear bias when one compares NewsGuard’s ratings of right-leaning versus left-leaning outlets. He cited exclusive research from the Media Research Center’s MRC Free Speech America, published January 6, 2023. MRC Free Speech America found that the average score for left-leaning outlets was 91/100, versus 66/100 for right-leaning outlets. That’s a 25-point difference. This comes over a year after MRC originally exposed NewsGuard’s bias, and the ratings firm claimed to have corrected mistakes in downgrading 21 outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“[NewsGuard] help[s] ensure that ad-buyers and users looking for news can be in safe and suitable places,” Shapiro said sarcastically. As MRC Free Speech America exposed, NewsGuard is politically biased, not an objective arbiter.

“The [MRC] study found glaring examples of bias by NewsGuard,” Shapiro said. “The left’s BuzzFeed managed a 100/100 perfect score, despite its reporting on the Steele Dossier and alleging collusion between Trump and Russia.” These stories were not substantiated and ultimately proved false.

As we've pointed out, while BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, it never vouched for its accuracy, stating that it "includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations" and that it published the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government."

The MRC and Shapiro teamed up again a couple weeks later when Shapiro's video was briefly demonetized by YouTube for pushing conspiracy theories. Luis Cornelio huffed in an Aug. 11 post:

YouTube is working overtime to punish individuals who dare to expose groups that seek to suppress conservatives.

Ben Shapiro, the editor emeritus of the Daily Wire and popular podcast host, decried YouTube on August 11 for reportedly demonitizing the first episode of his new series called “Facts.” Citing an MRC Free Speech America exposé on NewsGuard, the video blasted organizations like NewsGuard for unleashing rating systems aimed at discouraging readers and advertisers from right-leaning outlets. When MRC Free Speech America reached out to YouTube for an explanation the platform admitted no wrong but claimed the video is now monetizable.

It can't possibly be that the MRC's "exposé" is so shoddy that we were able to easily debunk it. The issue was resolved a few days later, so Cornelio cheered in an Aug. 16 post:

MRC Free Speech America successfully confronted YouTube after the platform targeted a bombshell video by Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro, exposing entities aiming to manipulate Americans.

Shapiro praised MRC Free Speech America on Tuesday for successfully challenging YouTube’s demonetization of his video, which led to the platform reversing its arbitrary punishment. Researchers at the Media Research Center confronted the platform over dubious claims that the video, which blasts leftist internet traffic cop NewsGuard, violated YouTube’s policies on conspiracy theories.

“Media Research Center pressed YouTube about why monetization was suppressed,” Shapiro said. “Apparently, YouTube effectively refused to acknowledge the platform had limited the video in the first place. A YouTube spokesperson said. ‘In order for a video to monetize on YouTube, it must comply with our advertiser-friendly guidelines, which are publicly accessible and apply to all creators. Upon review the video in question is currently monetizing.’”

In other words: the MRC's lame and dishonest attacks on NewsGuard continue, albeit with a somewhat larger megaphone.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 2:59 PM EDT
WND Defended Trump Again On His (Third) Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just as it did over his first two indictments, WorldNetDaily ran to Donald Trump's defense again on his third indictment. Joe Kovacs kicked things off in an Aug. 1 article, quoting only pro-Trump sources and the Trump campaign:

Former President Donald Trump was indicted Tuesday in connection with the investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith into the mayhem at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, prompting fresh calls of "election interference" from the Trump campaign.

Fox News reported Trump was indicted "on four federal charges out of the probe, including Conspiracy to Defraud the United States; Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding; Obstruction of, and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding; and Conspiracy Against rights."

It's the second indictment of Trump by the special counsel, and the former president who is the leading Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination has already pleaded not guilty to 37 counts for his alleged improper retention of classified records.

Reaction from Trump supporters was swift.

"Jack Smith is the enforcer for the Biden Crime Family," said Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for Make America Great Again Inc.

Bob Unruh devoted an article the next day to attacking Smith:

Among Jack Smith's claims in his most recent indictment of President Donald Trump is one in which he alleges Trump "knew" his claims of election fraud were wrong and he pushed them anyway.

And Smith, whose claims against Trump suspiciously have been revealed right after major accusations have developed against Hunter Biden, and the involvement of his father, Joe Biden, in his international business schemes, cited one case as an example.


But Smith may have set himself up to be proven false.

A report from Just the News documented there has been a federal indictment accusing a pair of Iranian hackers of successfully breaking into a state elections computer system.

And they are charged with stealing voter data and using that to intimidate Republican lawmakers.

That case was originally reported in 2021, which Unruh failed to mention. Federal officials stated at the time that the goal of the hackers was to "undermine voter confidence and sow discord" -- something WND has arguably been doing for years on Trump's behalf.

An anonymously written Aug. 2 article played whataboutism, citing the highly discredited Gateway Pundit:

President Donald Trump is facing his latest court case, from prosecutor Jack Smith, over what he said and did to challenge the 2020 presidential election count – the one influenced by the FBI's decision to falsely tell media organizations to suppress details about the Biden clan's international business schemes because it was Russian disinformation.

The same election that was influenced by Mark Zuckerberg's decision to hand out some $400 million plus to local elections officials, who often used it to recruit voters in Democrat districts.

Charges filed by Smith include conspiracy and obstruction.

But a report in the Gateway Pundit is openly asking whether Joe Biden, Merrick Garland and Jack Smith will hold "Democrats to the same standards as Trump?"

As usual, WND is misleading about the money Zuckerberg donated to election efforts in 2020. As we've previously noted, any election office could have gotten that money if they had simply requested it. The fact that some election offices used that money to reach out to voters and help make it easier for them to vote during a pandemic does not mean that money "stole" the election, because it is not illegal to want more people to vote.

Another Aug. 2 article by Unruh touted a writer for the right-wing Federalist hyperbolically claiming that "Jack Smith's court papers name President Donald Trump as the defendant, the DOJ prosecutor actually is coming after the American voter. If they support Trump." Unruh again misleadingly referenced "the $400 million Mark Zuckerberg handed out like candy to various local elections officials, who often used it to recruit voters in Democrat districts." Unruh played gotcha in another article that day:

In a development that has more than a little irony involved, Jack Smith, Joe Biden's point man on the campaign to file charges against President Donald Trump, has admitted he lied in court.

He apparently failed to provide to the defense all of the video material that he was supposed to. And then he said in court that it had been done.

"The government's representation at the July 18 hearing that all surveillance footage the government had obtained pre-indictment had been produced was therefore incorrect," he admitted in a court filing.

Unruh offered no evidence that Smith knowingly "lied"; a statement later found to be incorrect is not necessarily a lie.

Unruh turned his stenographical efforts to Trump himself in yet another article that day, complete with overdramatic introduction:

President Donald Trump right now is in the cross-hairs of the Deep State, the establishment, the power structure, whatever name fits.

The latest is a series of charges from the Department of Justice over his comments made about his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

In fact, there's significant evidence of wrongdoing, including that the FBI interfered in the election by falsely telling social and legacy media to suppress accurate reporting about the international business scheming of the Biden clan, apparently including both Hunter and Joe.

Essentially, he's been accused of trying to undermine America by challenging the 2020 results.

But it actually was the other side, the Democrats, who actually staged a "de facto coup," he wrote in a commentary at Newsweek.

 Trump explains: "The report by Special Counsel John Durham makes clear beyond a shred of doubt that the Russia Hoax was the most atrocious weaponization of our government in American history. It was a crime like no other.

As in all of his articles, alternative points of view were not allowed. In one more article that day, Unruh got even more unhinged, with an assist from Trump:

Joe Biden's Department of Justice is going after his chief political rival in the 2024 presidential race with a vengeance, listing charges that could bring him centuries in prison.

Or even the death penalty.

A report at the Gateway Pundit cited the latest complaint from Jack Smith, of Biden's Department of Justice.

It accuses Trump of conspiracy and obstruction regarding his comments about the results of the 2020 election, that vote influenced by the false claims by the FBI, to media outlets, that the reporting about the Biden family's international business schemes was Russian disinformation.

Further, Mark Zuckerberg handed over $400 million plus, to local elections officials, who largely used it to recruit voters in Democrat districts.

Trump's response? "With Crooked Joe’s corrupt DOJ having unlawfully INDICTED yours truly yet again, reports indicate that I could now face a combined 561 YEARS in prison from the Left’s witch hunts. 6 LIFETIMES…"

Trump explained, "There’s only ONE MESSAGE someone can send by trying to throw you in jail for 6 lifetimes, and that’s FEAR. The fear that if you vote for the ONLY candidate who puts you FIRST, you too could be harassed, indicted, and even ARRESTED by the current Marxist regime in Washington."

Peter LaBarbera served up his contribution to the cause by attacking the judge who will be handling this particular indictment, Tanya Chutkan, whom he described in the headline as a "left-wing activist" who "gave serious campaign donations to Obama" -- but he cited only a $1,500 donation she gave to an Obama-related PAC "during the Democrat's first presidential run," before she became a federal judge. LaBarbera's evidence that Chutkan is a "left-wing activist" is just as thin, largely through guilt by association with a law firm where she once worked and has supported abortion rights, which led her to call her "somewhat of a ... zealot" on the issue. He also didn't like that she allegedly gave out "very harsh punishments to J6 prisoners who protested the 2020 election."

Unruh returned for more Trump stenography in an Aug. 4 article, with additional dishonesty about what Trump was charged with:

President Donald Trump, indicted yet again by Joe Biden's Department of Justice for having and expressing his own beliefs about the 2020 election in a move that has left analysts gasping for breath at the First Amendment violations it would demand, wants the Supreme Court to become involved.

Because the repeated attacks by the Biden DOJ on Biden's primary opposition in the 2024 election are "election interference."

Trump, in fact, on Truth Social social media, said, "CRAZY! My political opponent has hit me with a barrage of weak lawsuits, including, D.A., A.G., and others, which require massive amounts of my time & money to adjudicate. Resources that would have gone into Ads and Rallies, will now have to be spent fighting these Radical Left Thugs in numerous courts throughout the Country. I am leading all Polls, including against Crooked Joe, but this is not a level playing field.

"It is Election Interference & the Supreme Court must intercede. MAGA!"

Unruh went on to write that "Many analysts explain the series of cases against Trump by Biden's DOJ is just a way to try to remove him from the race, giving Biden a better chance at re-election." As usual, no dissenting views were allowed.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 9:09 AM EDT
Monday, September 25, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, Black History Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

When it became public that new standards in Florida for teaching black history involved teaching that slaves "developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” the Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade knew it was time for assemble once again.Alex Christy complained in a July 20 post:

Florida has come out with their new curriculum guidelines for African-American history and MSNBC’s Ana Cabrera invited Vanderbilt Prof. Michael Eric Dyson on to her Thursday show to talk about how they allegedly are comparable to teaching that there were good things about the Holocaust.

Before introducing Dyson, Cabrera cited the two most controversial aspects of the new standards, “the new standards say students should learn that enslaved people developed skills that, quote, ‘could be applied for their personal benefit.’ And that during lessons about mob violence against black residents, teachers should include “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.’”

Christy served up a kneejerk defense of that talking point:

It would not be totally unreasonable to look at the part that related to skill acquisition and say that Florida is making it seem as if slavery had a redeeming quality, which would be a mistake on the state’s part, but a more charitable explanation would be that the state is pointing out that slaves performed various tasks, such as tailoring or blacksmithing in addition to manual agricultural labor, that were used after emancipation. 

Intern Ana Schau similarly grumbled in a post the same day:

Thursday’s CNN This Morning featured a segment where hosts Abby Phillip and Phil Mattingly expressed how appalled they were at Florida’s new standards for education in black history. Joined by CNN national correspondent Athena Jones, they spoke about how these “inaccurate” and “ahistorical” changes would disable teachers from teaching “the proper history,” and how they were “very disturbing when it comes to actually teaching accurate history in the schools.”


It is just a fact that many of the skills, especially agricultural skills, that these people acquired while working on plantations probably benefitted them immensely when they gained emancipation and were able to work their own land and earn money for themselves.

Schau offered no evidence to back up her claim; perhaps she felt she didn't need to since she declared to be "just a fact." She continued to insist that the standards were being misrepresented (bolding in original):

Jones then continued to complain about another change, which was the requirement for teachers to teach about “acts of violence perpetrated by African Americans” during various historical massacres and riots that targeted black people.

When pointing this out, she omitted the two words, “against and” included in the Academic Standards, which required education on “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.” Seems like an important thing to note, since this just entailed equal and honest instruction about all the acts of violence performed in these massacres, regardless of the race of those who committed them.

This was one detail that Jones clearly didn’t know about, since she complained that “these standards say you have to talk about acts of violence perpetrated by blacks,” as though that was all they said.

Again, no evidence was offered that crimes committed by blacks were "equal and honest" to those commited against them.

When Vice President Kamala Harris criticized the new standard, there were more complaints. Alex  Christ whined in a July 22 post that there are many more references to slavery in the standards and not all them treat it positively:

Washington Post contributor Gary Abernathy and associate editor Jonathan Capehart joined PBS NewsHour’s Geoff Bennett to recap the week that was by not only excluding any mention of the House hearing on IRS whistleblowers alleging improper interference in the Hunter Biden investigation, but finding consensus that Vice President Harris is correct to attack Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s new history standards.

Bennett put the ball on the tee for Abernathy by noting “I want to raise the trip that the vice president, Kamala Harris, made to Florida today. It was a last-minute trip, and she was tackling changes to the state's education standards that appear to play down the horrors of slavery.”

Specifically, “The Florida Board of Education voted this week to approve revised Black history curriculum that includes instruction how slaves actually benefited from slavery because they learned some skills.”

In Florida’s new guidelines, there are 191 references to “slave,” “slaves,” or “slavery,” and the media is hyper-focused on only one of them. Nevertheless, Abernathy replied, “Yeah, it's ridiculous. I don't know what the fear is of teaching Black history, of teaching the horrors of slavery, of teaching what a horrible chapter in our history was. There's nothing to be afraid of with that teaching. It's — you know what? We’ve downplayed it too much in the past.”

Kevin Tober launched a major rantfest over Harris' criticism:

Late last week, Vice President Kamala Harris told one of the most heinous lies the Biden regime has ever uttered, which is quite the accomplishment considering this regime has zero regard for the truth as long as it gets in the way of the left's agenda to bring the United States to its knees. It was so important to Harris that she got on a plane to Jacksonville Florida to maliciously spread the foul claim that Florida is teaching that slavery had some good aspects and had many benefits to those enslaved. This is obviously a flat-out lie and during Sunday's edition of State of the Union on CNN, senior political commentator Scott Jennings had enough of the propaganda and called it out. 

After the other panelists simply regurgitated the lies about Florida's new educational curriculum, Jennings jumped in to express his outrage at the irresponsible statements from the Vice President "It’s amazing to me that how little Kamala Harris has to do that she can read something on Twitter one day and be on an airplane the next to make something literally out of nothing," Jennings exclaimed.

"This is a completely made-up deal. I looked at the standards, I even looked at an analysis of the standards, in every instance where the word slavery or slave was used. I even read the statement of the African American scholars that wrote the standards. Not Ron DeSantis, but the scholars," he added.

And where did that "analysis of the standards" come from? The right-wing National Review, which can be relied upon to be biased in favor of Republicans like DeSantis. Tober described the National Review article as a "fantastic piece" but did not disclose its right-wing bias.

When a token Fox News liberal spoke out against the standards, Tim Graham huffed in a July 24 post that "Juan Williams took the Democratic hot takes to a new level, that Florida was teaching something like 'Jews picked up some skills in concentration camps' and 'engineers learned a lot" from 9/11.'" He touted that right-wing panelist "Katie Pavlich also noted the Florida standards talk a lot about teaching the horrors of slavery. But Williams could only try to suggest Ron DeSantis & Co. were like whitewashers of 9/11 and the Holocaust."

When an MSNBC "Morning Joe" panelist said that "we can't teach the correct history of this country, because it makes white kids uncomfortable," Mark Finkelstein retorted: "That is patently untrue. In Florida and in other states, kids of all races are taught about the evils of slavery. What DeSantis and others object to is kids being taught that slavery is the essence of the American story, and that every aspect of American life must be viewed through the lens of systemic racism that never ends." Finkelstein offered no proof that slaery is not part of "the American story" or that racism has completely ended.

Nicholas Fondacaro melted down when "The View" tacked the subject:

Disney and ABC’s The View was flooded with racism again on Monday, as the liberal ladies reacted to Florida adopting new standards for their black history courses and pushed misinformation peddled by Vice President Kamala Harris (D). During their unhinged and profanity-laced hot takes, racist co-host Sunny Hostin attacked ALL white people by insisting they “continue to reap the benefits” of slavery. Meanwhile, moderator Whoopi Goldberg suggested Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was trying to bring back slavery.

Largely ignoring (in one case scoffing) the fact the curriculum was written by multiple black scholars, Goldberg claimed they put it together without talking to any black people. “I feel like they didn't talk to any African Americans because we could have told them about the history, and nor have any -- anyone seemingly gone to the Smithsonian to find out anything,” she decried.

Yes, Fondacaro thinks talking about racism means you're racist (and he didn't disprove anything the co-hosts said), and he still thinks Hostin is a "racist" because he doesn't understand how metaphors work.

Cassandra DeVries complained that DeSantis was criticized for doubling down on those dubious standards:

CNN This Morning disparaged Presidential Candidate Ron DeSantis on Monday for commenting on a Florida curriculum update on slavery. Political commentator Errol Louis called DeSantis’s brief explanation a “disgraceful hash of history” and a “disgraceful pander.” Mario Parker, Bloomberg’s national politics team leader, alleged DeSantis was “disgraceful to defend slavery — to double down on it.” Despite the harsh backlash for his explanation, DeSantis never condoned or supported slavery.

CNN’s anger arose from Florida’s slavery curriculum summary. In a list of 191 points about the horrible truths of slavery, one read, “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

DeVries then botched a fact-check:

When DeSantis offered a list of people who proved the clause was historically accurate, Anchor Erica Hill claimed he manipulated the truth. “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good narrative here, right?” Hill said.

“Don’t let the facts get in the way of a disgraceful pander in the case of Ron DeSantis,” Louis replied, after claiming 12 out of 14 of the people were listed as freedmen, not slaves, and thus could not serve as examples. He conveniently forgot the term freedmen referred to freed slaves, who did, in fact, fit the description DeSantis offered.

We're not sure what list DeVries is referring to, but two of the members of the workgroup that developed the standards released a list of 16 people whom they claimed were former slaves who allegedly learned skills in slavery they applied later in life. As one researcher documented, nine people on the list were born free and never enslaved, several were listed in the wrong industry, most did not use the skills learned in slavery later in life, and one was the (white) sister of George Washington.

Of course, Graham made sure to whine about all of this in his July 24 podcast.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:19 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 10:20 AM EDT
WND Republishes Wildly Dishonest Gateway Pundit Articles Defending Proud Boy Capitol Rioter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long been apologists for the violent thugs in the Proud Boys, but that was taken to a new, wildly dishonest level when it republished an Aug. 3 article from the highly discredited Gateway Pundit, written by onetime WND reporter Alicia Powe under the even more dishonest headline "J6 political prisoner faces 10 to 12 years in prison for walking into Capitol for a few minutes":

Zachary Rehl, a J6 political prisoner and former Proud Boys leader who was found guilty of seditious conspiracy, vows to fight for his innocence until he is “fully exonerated and so no one has to live in fear of persecution for exercising their 1st Amendment rights again.”

The 37-year-old Marine Corps veteran was apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigations on April 17, 2021, for “his role in the Capitol riot.” His wife was six months pregnant when the bureau’s stormtroopers terrorized their home in a pre-dawn raid — the shock and trauma that nearly resulted in the loss of their unborn baby.

On January 6, Rehl committed no violent crimes.

Rehl and his co-defendants, two-time purple heart recipient Stf. Sgt. Joseph Biggs and Washington Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean merely walked into the Capitol building for approximately 20 minutes after choking on clouds of tear gas and dodging the rubber bullets and flash grenades police indiscriminately fired at the crowd of unarmed protesters.

Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys and another of Rehl’s co-defendants found guilty of seditious conspiracy, ie. thoughtcrime, is the only J6 political prisoner who wasn’t even in Washington, DC on January 6 during the Capitol riot.

Powe is lying. Rehl didn't merely walk around the Capitol "for a few minutes" -- he assaulted law enforcement by spraying a chemical irritant at them, lied about doing that during his trial, broke into a senator's office where he smoked and posed for pictures, then expressed pride for the Proud Boys assault he helped lead afterwards in a message to his mother: ""Seems like our raid of the capital set off a chain reaction of events throughout the country."

But rather then tell her readers the truth, Powe continued to dishonestly portray Rehl as a victim and the Proud Boys as nothing but a "drinking fraternity":

Rehl has been incarcerated for two and half years, most of which has been in isolation in a six by eight-foot cell at the Alexandria Detention Center. In June, he and his co-defendants were finally released from solitary confinement and are currently housed in the “patriot pod” of the DC Gulag.

Organizing patriotic events in Philadelphia, including the “March for Trump,” “Back the Blue” demonstrations and rallies to “Celebrate the Constitution at the Liberty Bell” led to Rehl becoming Philadelphia’s leader of the Proud Boys, a drinking fraternity that was prompted to safeguard patriots at free speech and prayer rallies as they constantly fended off violent attacks from fascist Antifa anarchists.

For his leadership in the Proud Boys, a conservative group demonized as “xenophobic” by the corporate press, and his military service, Rehl faces more severe retribution by the DOJ.

Powe also included a self-serving letter by Rehl to the Gateway Pundit in which he "describes how he cultivated courage and resilience through the tragic loss of his father when he was just 12, the nationwide “brotherhood” he found as leader of the Proud Boys after his service in the Marine Corps and how emerging victorious in the fight for his freedom will prevent every American from being persecuted for exercising their God-given, inalienable rights."

When Rehl was sentenced, WND once again to Powe, reprinting another wildly dishonest article on  Sept. 1 rehashing per previous false claims and insisting that he was sentenced merely "for being in the wrong place at the wrong time — walking through the Capitol building for approximately 20 minutes during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6." She went on to rage:

These evil men in Washington D.C. condemned Zachary Rehl, a young father and Marine veteran, to prison for attending a rally and walking in the open doors at the U.S. Capitol.

This is the definition of evil.

We can no longer fool ourselves. The America we once knew is long gone. We now live under the boot of the regime.

The role that Rehl and Tarrio, Nordean, and Biggs played in “organizing” the Jan. 6, 2021 “attack” on the U.S. Capitol “threatened the bedrock principles of our country’ and warranted the significant punishment,” government lawyers argued in a court filing late Thursday.


Zachary Rehl cried today on the stand before his sentencing. They are going to destroy this man and his family.

They forced this man to repent in his struggle session.

Why shouldn't a violent criminal face accountability for his crimes? Powe was not interested in answering that question. She also didn't consider the likelihood that Rehl's tears were self-pity for having to face that accountability.

One more point: If WND is republishing wildly dishonest articles like this -- from a far-right website that is currently being sued for defaming election workers by falsely accusing them of adding election ballots from a suitcase -- what does it say about WND's commitment to journalism? Nothing good. It merely shows that WND still hasn't learned the lesson that its longtime embrace of fake news and conspiracy theories caused its current and ongoing precarious financial situation.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
MRC Loves Whataboutism Over Trump Indictment -- But Hates When It's Called Out
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center had been playing whataboutism over Donald Trump's (third) indictment, so it was more than happy when a fellow Republican did the same thing on TV. Kevin Tober got all gushy over it in an Aug. 6 post:

The media demands everyone be as obsessed with Trump as they are, and if we don’t comply, leftists like George Stephanopoulos will scold you. More evidence of this came during ABC’s This Week when co-anchor Stephanopoulos had North Dakota governor and GOP presidential candidate Doug Burgum on the show to presumably discuss his campaign and instead insisted on haranguing him about the latest indictment of Trump. Burgum didn’t take the bait and instead pointed out how Hunter Biden and his endless list of crimes haven’t been mentioned on the show. This only set Stephanopoulos off further. 

Stephanopoulos again asked Burgum his thoughts on the allegations that Trump forced then-Vice President Mike Pence to not certify the 2020 election. “Was Donald Trump wrong when he pressured Mike Pence not to certify? Was Mike Pence right when he certified?”

Burgum replied in frustration that he had just “listened to 15 minutes of legal debate on this thing and I'm sure you could run it again 7/24. But what I know is that I'm running against Joe Biden and that's what we're going to be talking about.”

“Of course, not a mention in the last 15 minutes of, you know, Hunter Biden or the laptop,” Burgum observed. “There are people on the ground that are not watching these Sunday programs that are saying, you know, why is the DOJ defending Hunter Biden and why are they attacking President Trump?”


This forced an irritated Stephanopoulos to interject: “I'm asking you what you think. Do you have an opinion on the fact that President Trump tried to overturn the election as alleged in the indictment this week by special prosecutor Smith?”

Burgum just ignored his demands and explained that President Biden loves this talk about Trump 24/7 “because then we don't have to talk about inflation or Afghanistan or the Russian invasion, the fact we're in a cold war with China. And who else loves it, China loves it when America’s divided like this and talking about the past.”

But when this right-wing whataboutism gets called out, the MRC is less than pleased. Clay Waters spent a Aug. 6 post complaining about it:

In a dream world, liberal reporters would like to beat Republican candidates with a scandal shovel and pretend there are no Democrat scandals. Bring them up? Then you're guilty of "whataboutism." 

New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker penned a Thursday “news analysis” downplaying the corruption accusations against President Biden and his son Hunter, while denigrating Republicans and conservative media for daring to suggest the cases were in any way comparable. The headline: “In the Court of Public Opinion, Trump Relies on a Whataboutism Defense.”

Baker led off in full snark mode, playing up Trump's issues and playing down Biden's, like a good Democrat. It doesn't matter whether the indictments or lawsuits will end up victorious. Just Democrats pressing them equals victory.'

Tober did his own whining in another Aug. 6 post:

On NBC’s Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd openly fretted to Maryland Democrat Congressman Jamie Raskin that the upcoming general election for president will be filled with what he described as “whataboutism” from Republicans pointing to the mountain of crimes by Hunter Biden as a way to distract from the indictments of Donald Trump. Todd worried that the appearance of what Hunter is accused of “is not good.” To Todd, it’s all about optics, not the actual crimes by both Hunter and Joe Biden. 

“We're gonna have a campaign that is gonna be filled with a lot of ‘whataboutisms’. We know the Republicans are gonna talk about Hunter Biden here,” Todd worried. “And I know that the—a lot of the technical defense of the President with Hunter Biden is well, the President didn't do anything wrong.”

Todd then observed that “Michael Kinsley once said: the real scandal in Washington is not what's illegal, it’s what's legal.” Turning to Raskin, he then asked: “should there be a code of conduct, something for family members here? Because the appearance of what Hunter Biden did is not good.”

The partisan anchor chose to ignore all the evidence of actual wrongdoing by the Biden crime family and instead focused on the optics.

Is that like howTober is ignoring all the evidence of actual wrongdoing by the Trump crime family?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 PM EDT

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