ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, November 1, 2023
MRC Tried To Blame Biden For U.S. Credit Downgrade
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long tried to blame President Biden for everything bad that's happening with the economy while talking down  When the U.S. saw a credit downgrade amid Republican efforts to shut down the federal government, the MRC tried to blame that on Biden too. Kevin Tober huffed in an Aug. 1 post:

On Tuesday, the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded the United States' credit score for the first time since 2011 due to the mounting debt and federal government disfunction that has occurred during the first two years of the Biden administration. Of the "big three" evening news broadcasts, only NBC Nightly News bothered to cover the credit downgrade. 

Instead, ABC's World News Tonight & CBS Evening News were more preoccupied with a group of pedestrians getting hit by a car in NYC (ABC), and the U.S. Women's soccer team playing their first World Cup with "equal pay" (CBS). This is in addition to their obsessive coverage of Tuesday's indictment of former President Donald Trump in which ABC spent 11 minutes and 56 seconds harping on the news.

Tober wouldn't admit that Republicans are playing a big role in creating that "disfunction" (or that he should have run a spell-check on his item before posting it).

In an Aug. 3 post, Alex Christy whined that one outlet did point out Republican blame:

During a discussion on former President Donald Trump’s latest indictment related to January 6, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle went on a bit of a digression on Wednesday’s The 11th Hour to discuss Fitch downgrading the U.S.’s credit rating, which according to her was caused by “was the chaos created by the GOP” including January 6. Of course, Fitch’s own explanation was a little bit more complicated.

Ruhle was joined by former Reps. Tim Ryan and Charlie Dent, a progressive Democrat and moderate-to-liberal Republican respectively, and addressing Ryan she wondered:

The power of our democracy, the power of our economy, Tim, just yesterday, Fitch, the rating agency, downgraded U.S. credit. And one of the factors was what happened on January 6th, was the gridlock, was the chaos created by the GOP, by these falsehoods and the misinformation getting pushed. Do people realize this, and how fragile things are? And do they care enough?


With Ruhle nodding in agreement, Ryan continued, “but it's also, you know, huge tax cuts, and me and Charlie may have a conversation about, this but the huge tax cuts that blew a huge hole in the deficit after two wars and after the Bush tax cuts, yeah, of course, you know, we're running deficits that are huge.”

In their “rating action commentary”, Fitch does not use the word “wars” even once. While, it does mention tax cuts, it also mentions “new spending initiatives” and the lack of entitlement reform, “Additionally, there has been only limited progress in tackling medium-term challenges related to rising social security and Medicare costs due to an aging population.”

Fitch also mentions that a significant rise to deficit-to-GDP ratio and while citing debt-limit brinkmanship, laments that the deal that was reach was only “a modest improvement to the medium-term fiscal outlook.”

Christy censored the fact that theFitch commentary also referenced "erosion of governance ... that has manifested in repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions" -- which is Republican-generated.

Keter Kotara issued a similar complaint later in the day:

Thursday’s Morning Joe featured a defensive segment where host Joe Scarborough and President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass teamed up to shove blame on Republicans for the recent credit downgrade of the United States received from Fitch.

Seeking to promote the lie that national debt doesn’t matter and that “Bidenomics” was working, Haass and Scarborough sought out a way to blame the “dysfunctional” state of American politics and name Republicans for that dysfunction, while leaving out any mention of Democratic responsibility.


Haass thought he could just skirt over the fact that the US has an unprecedented, massive amount of debt that Biden and the Democrats recently added to with their infrastructure legislation and pandemic spending spree. Credit rating is an assessment of whether or not someone can pay back their debt, and the biggest factor into that was the size of the debt.


So even if political instability was the reason why the credit was downgraded, it was Democrats’ fault.

They spent the money. They forced the debt limit to be raised. They put America in a situation where it couldn’t pay its debts, then called it “Bidenomics” and gaslighted the country into thinking the economy was great. And now, America has begun to pay the price of their financial recklessness and irresponsibility. But you won’t hear that from the media, just finger-pointing and pandering to the far left.

Is that like how Kotara is finger-pointing and pandering to the far right?

Cassandra DeVries served up her own version of the approved partisan spin in another Aug. 3 post:

On Thursday, CNN News Central discussed President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and the even lower approval rating of his management of the economy. They subsequently covered Fitch’s downgrade of the U.S.’s credit score from an AAA to an AA+ on Tuesday because of “deterioration in governance.” Instead of linking the troubling economic conditions to Biden’s policies, CNN quoted Biden’s administration and blamed the previous Trump administration.


Like most Americans, Fitch disapproved of how Biden handled the economy and the government’s constant increase in borrowing. They distinguished between the economy's condition and how the economy was handled and subsequently lowered the U.S.’s debt rating.

Nicholas Fondacaro brought the narrative to his hate-watching of "The View" in an Aug. 4 post:

In the same week that credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the United States’ credit from AAA to AA+, partially because President Biden refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling with Republicans until the 11th hour, multimillionaire and co-host of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar whined that Biden was not getting “credit” for a “booming” economy. She falsely suggested that “inflation is down” and that average Americans were “having an easier time putting bread on the table.”

Fondacaro offered no evidence that the previous shutdown threat was solely because of Democratic refusal to negoatiate. Hasn't he heard that one is not supposed to negotiate with terrorists (economic ones in this case)?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023 10:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Still Touting All (Well, Most) Things Rudy, Including The Defense Fund It Runs For Him
Topic: Newsmax

We're reported that Newsmax has started, and is managing, a legal defense fund for frequent guest Rudy Giuliani, who is facing numerous legal actions in regard to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. On Sept. 28, Newsmax sent out an email to subscribers containing "A Letter from Rudy Giuliani to You" thanking readers for their support -- and of course, begging for more money (boldface in original):

But the far left was not finished with President Trump or me.

Since President Trump left office, they have launched wide-ranging legal attacks against him with four indictments in four jurisdictions, including 91 counts!

At the same time he has faced multiple criminal and civil charges in New York State.

I have been indicted – along with President Trump and others -- in Georgia after simply exercising my constitutional right to challenge an election result.

I am facing other legal cases across the United States. The left uses this “lawfare” to stop conservatives like me from speaking out.

Well, I can assure you, they will never stop me from speaking out.

America is too important to give up.

I want to thank you for your support – it means so much to me and my family.

President Trump has also thanked Americans for supporting my Legal Defense Fund.

Just this past week, I was sued again.

This time by Hunter Biden!

He is actually claiming I misused his laptop. The very same laptop he denied owning.

Yes, the same laptop his father said was not his son’s, but a product of Russian disinformation.

As I said, I will continue to fight against the forces of darkness in this country.

But I need your help.

Consider again a donation to my Legal Defense Fund.

There was no disclosure of the fact that Newsmax is running the legal fund.

Newsmax did a basic article on Hunter Biden's lawsuit against Giuliani. It defoted more attention, however, to Giuliani suing President Biden over being called a "Russian pawn" during the 2020 campaign. First up was an Oct. 4 article by Nicole Wells:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani sued President Joe Biden for defamation on Wednesday, taking aim at two comments from 2020 that branded Giuliani a "Russian pawn."

Filed in New Hampshire state court, the 16-page lawsuit names Biden, his campaign, and four fundraising committees as defendants. According to the complaint, Biden made the statements on Oct. 22, 2020, during the final presidential debate against former President Donald Trump.

Biden initially linked Giuliani to Russia while answering a question about foreign election interference, the lawsuit claims.

Then, of course, came the inevitable Newsmax TV hit, summarized in an Oct. 5 article by Sandy Fitzgerald:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, calling President Joe Biden the "biggest liar we've ever had in the White House" insisted on Newsmax that he must pay damages for referring to him as a "Russian pawn" during remarks made in the final 2020 presidential debate against then-President Donald Trump.

"I can calculate, honestly, millions of dollars in damage," Giuliani told Newsmax's Greg Kelly on Wednesday night about the lawsuit he filed against the president earlier in the day.


"What he just said was that I was a Russian spy, a Russian operative, a dishonest person supplying dishonest information ... many, many things," Giuliani told Kelly. "You could go as far as to say a traitor, right? A Russian pawn."

And that, Giuliani claimed, "Did great damage to my law practice and my consulting business. My podcast was canceled in certain places. I can calculate millions of dollars in damage as a result of that."

Giuliani added that "roughly half the people" believed Biden, and "those half of the people turned out to be a lot of the corporate captains and leaders in the country. I was doing security work for many of them, and I had a beginning podcast that was up to a million people on YouTube. So it was not insubstantial, and I lost a lot of that."

Newsmax didn't ask why Giuliani filed his defamation lawsuit in New Hampshire though Biden's comments were made in Tennessee. (New Hampshire has a longer statute of limitations on defamation, it turns out.)

Surprisingly, Newsmax published an article on another of Giuliani's legal woes. An Aug. 30 wire article noted that Giuliani "is liable for defaming two Georgia election workers who were the target of vote-rigging conspiracy accusations following the 2020 U.S. presidential election," adding that the federal judge overseeing the trial "found Giuliani refused to comply with a process for producing records, known as discovery, and rejected the former New York mayor's argument that the election workers used the lawsuit to harass him. Giuliani will have to pay legal fees and interest of $89,172.50 and $43,684 for a total of $132,856.50." A few days later, Giuliani appeared on Newsmax to reframe the judgment as a desire to "to move on to the legal aspects of the case. I'm not stupid enough to think I'm going to get a fair trial in front of her in the District of Columbia."

In between all this, Newsmax continued to repeatedly host Giuliani and promote his other legal efforts:

Newsmax did publish a wire article on Giuliani pleading not guilty to the Georgia charges he faces, but it also published an article featuring sleazy Republican operative Roger Stone denouncing the charges -- not exactly the kind of character witness the guy needs. But it was silent about Giuliani's other legal foibles , among them a New York Times piece detailing his apparent drinking problem and a former lawyer suing him for $1.4 million in unpaid legal bills. It has also been silent about the judge in the defamation suit by the Georgia election workers ruling that jurors can be told that Giuliani intentionally hid his financial records (after lying about the two workers again).

Posted by Terry K. at 7:44 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 11:27 PM EST
WND Relies On Far-Right Writer To Dishonestly Defend Trump's Lawyers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh leaned on right-wing "investigative reporter" Julie Kelly -- who has bizarrely claimed that the Capitol riot "was probably the biggest instance of police brutality that this country has seen since the Civil Rights movement" -- to defend Donald Trump's allegedly overworked attorneys in an Aug. 29 article:

Now Kelly is out with a new report about a hearing before Chutkan, and "it's worse than reported."

[Judge Tanya] Chutkan is trying to run Trump into a trial in record short time, only a few months, and she's now claiming that defense lawyers for Trump "should have begun going through the evidence … against him even before the indictment was handed down," the Post-Millennial reported.

Kelly reported, "Chutkan marveled at [prosecutor} Jack Smith's rapid 'discovery' production while downplaying fact DOJ could not name a single case in DC District that went from indictment to trial in 5 months."

Defense lawyers have proposed a 2026 start date, but prosecutors in the Joe Biden-supervised Department of Justice say they want it much earlier.

That's even though there are tens of millions of pages of evidence to review.

The report explained Chutkan told Trump's lawyer, John Lauro, he didn't need any time past March 4 to review the millions of pages.

She claimed Trump's "lawyers" had seen the material, even if Lauro hadn't.

"For a federal prosecutor to suggest that we could go to trial in four months is not only absurd, it’s a violation of the oath of justice," Lauro said, the New York Times reported.

"We cannot do this in the time frame the government has outlined."

Chutkan charged that defense counsel should have been reviewing documents for a year already.

In fact, Chutkan is not being unreasonable. As a pair of lawyers reported in The Atlantic:

Contemporary trials, civil and criminal, routinely involve the tsunami of data people create day in and day out, resulting in millions of pages of documents produced during discovery. As the government’s reply highlights, Trump’s argument, resting principally on the more than 11.5 million pages of evidence the government produced as an excuse for significant delay, is without merit. Based on our experience in this field, it is simply disingenuous to use 19th- and 20th-century standards for paper cases in the modern era. The chart that Trump’s lawyers produced in their brief—visualizing a tower of physical paper they would have to review in a six-month span—is misleading. We—attorneys both—would be laughed out of court if we suggested delays for our side because a page-by-page document review of all discovery would take three years. Under that approach, no major civil or criminal case would ever be tried for years and years—which may be the Trump team’s actual goal.

Unruh also censored the fact that many of those documents were already available to Trump's lawyers. As USA Today reported, Smith pointed out that "3 million pages of the documents came from Trump entities; a million pages were already publicly available from the House committee that investigated the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021; and hundreds of thousands of other pages came from the National Archives where they were already available. Prosecutors said they loaded electronic records, such as 3 million pages from the Secret Service, in easily searchable form." Additionally, Smith noted that "The Government provided these materials in load-ready files so that the defense can review them quickly in the same manner as the Government did — through targeted keyword searches and electronic sorting," so there's no need to individually review every single page.

In other words, there's no reason that, given that  a competent defense team should not have already been reviewing those documents well before indictments were handed down. Then again, few people have accused Trump's legal team of competence.

The fact that Unruh chose to rely on such a wilidly dishonest and biased "investigative reporter" shows how desperate WND is to generate right-wing clickbait, no matter how dubious amd misleading.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
MRC Continued To Hate Transgender People During Pride Month
Topic: Media Research Center

When we last checked in, the Media Research Center was ringing in Pride Month with lots of nasty hatred of transgender people, and as the month continued, so did the hate. R. Emmett Tyrrell wrote a June 9 column with the headline "My Plan for the Transgenders" -- yes, he thinks "transgender" is a noun -- in which he demanded that there be "a third and, for that matter, a fourth category for the gender-revised athletes" and mocked transgender male athletes:

The guys may be bold enough to show up at a girls’ athletic events wearing a girls’ frilly competitive outfit. Think of the feminine frills worn by female tennis stars or the tattoos worn by women boxers. Yet even the toughest transgender guy has got to be shaken after one of the burly girls snickers at him/her or offers to hold his/her towel. There are dozens of ways to bully a transgender athlete, and no matter how aloof or calloused he or she might be, still every slight has its affect.

In a June 13 post, Kevin Tober was outraged that "a transgender TikTok influencer went completely topless" during a Pride Month event at the White House, which he claimed "sparked outrage at the lack of decorum at the White House." While he conceded that "Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemning the activist for stripping on White House grounds and informing them that they will not be allowed back," he whined that "big three evening news broadcasts continued ignoring the incident in order to minimize the embarrassment for the Biden administration" -- while of course crowing that Fox News gave the incident ample coverage -- going on to huff:

Regardless of who you are or what your sexual orientation is, it is thoroughly inappropriate to take off your clothes on White House property. It seems everyone from all sides of the political spectrum is in agreement except for the big three evening news broadcasts.

In another June 13 post, Alex Christy complained that PBS interviewed a woman "who compared giving hormones to 8-year olds to treatment for an earache," asserting that the claim "should earn a 'pants-on-fire' rating" (but without explaining why). Then again, Christy thinks that small breasts in teenage girls is a "birth defect" that must be fixed by plastic surgery, so he may not be the best person to ask for medical advice. (Or maybe he's just turned on by large-breasted teen girls.)

Christy complained that there wasn't unanimous hatred of the topless transgender person at the White House in a June 15 post:

Rolling Stone’s Jay Michaelson spoke for all of CNN Tonight’s Wednesday panel when asked if it was wrong of a transgender activist to go topless at the White House with “yes, but” as he and his fellow panelists would equivocate on the “inappropriate” “act of joy.” Taking the top spot for outrageousness was The Root’s Jessica Washington who lamented the “oppressed have to be perfect 24/7.”


Michaelson also lamented that this story is even a story at all, “I don't want this to distract from what is really happening, which is tragic war on trans people in this country. A new study just came out that said 41 percent of LGBTQ young people between the ages of 13 and 22 have seriously considered suicide in the last year. That number is even higher for transgender people. And so, while this was a misguided act of celebration, it was one in the context of a community that is under siege right now.”

Camerota then tossed the conversation to 2022 New York GOP Senate candidate Joe Pinion who butchered the conservative position, “I think most Republicans that I know would agree that trans people do have to live in fear. Most people who are Republican, who are conservative believe you should be able to love who you want to love, define yourself on your own terms. That is a thing that most people agree with.”

Legally being able to identify how you want and expecting to be taken seriously or demanding the law acknowledge it as true are two very different things, but Pinion continued, “Certainly, there are people who are bigoted, who have always used the urge to protect the children or to follow the faith, to justify some of the darkest chapters in American history.”

Christy didn't explain how, exactly, Pinion "butchered the conservative position" on transgender people -- which does, in fact, have as a key component spewing hate at them and denying their rights.

A June 15 post by chief MRC transphobe Tierin-Rose Mandelburg cheered a right-wing congressmasn for playing gotcha on a witness at a hearing about gender-affirming treatment:

Oh really? I wonder why?

During a House hearing Wednesday, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) debated witness Dr. Meredithe McNamara, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. When Crenshaw asked McNamara about benefits of trans procedures for kids, she couldn’t name a single study that pointed them out.

Crenshaw recently proposed provisions that would remove federal funding from hospitals who provide transgender procedures for minors. Said procedures would include things like puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or surgeries.

As reported by the "Washington Examiner," Crenshaw’s resolution would “remove federal dollars from facilities that perform these controversial treatment therapies in a similar manner as the Hyde Amendment removes funding for abortion procedures.” Essentially, training hospitals who teach about how to treat trans kids would be denied funding from the federal government. Presently, 58 hospitals receive that funding but if Crenshaw's proposal is instated, its highly likely that number would go down. 

As a matter of fact, 70 percent of taxpayers opposed the “barbaric treatment” on minors, as Crenshaw mentioned to assist his point that these treatments shouldn't receive federal funding.


Of course, McNamara couldn’t name any of the benefits of trans surgeries for kids because - well, there are none. There’s nothing positive about chemically or surgically castrating anyone, nevermind a child. There’s nothing beneficial about mutilating an innocent, God-designed body to fulfill a complete and utter delusion. There’s no perks of training doctors on how to provide life threatening and life changing procedures to kids that frankly, do not need said procedures at all. 

Crenshaw’s argument pointed that out clearly while squashing McNamara’s,  so-called "rebuttals."

But Mandelburg offered no evidence Crenshaw allowed McNamara to answer his questions; her excerpts of the exchange largely involved Crenshaw interrupting and talking over her.

Tober returend for a June 15 post whining that an actual medical professional criticized right-wing anti-transgender laws:

On Thursday’s edition of CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell had a sitdown interview with Doctor Jesse Ehrenfeld, the president of the American Medical Association who grumbled that doctors and other medical professionals were struggling in their professions due to states banning chemical castration and other transgender surgeries. 

After introducing Ehrenfeld, O’Donnell asked him what he thinks was “the top issue facing physicians today.” Ehrenfeld responded that the United States has a “twin-endemic, a pandemic of the disease, plus a pandemic of misinformation and bad information.”

Narrating to the audience, O’Donnell bemoaned that “Dr. Ehrenfeld is taking over at a difficult time. Doctors are facing burnout, soaring medical costs, medicare payment issues, and new legislation targeting the LGBTQ community and reproductive rights.”

“We have a healthcare system in crisis,” Ehrenfeld proclaimed. When asked to clarify, he said, “In at least six states now, if I practice evidence-based care, I can go to jail. It's frightening. When a patient shows up in my office, if I do the right thing from a scientific, from an ethical perspective, to know that that care is no longer legal, criminalized, and could wind me in prison.”

There was no scientific evidence to support chopping off the healthy body parts of a young boy or girl in order to make them look like the opposite sex. Yet, O’Donnell never corrected him or challenged him in any way. 

Even worse, she accepted his anti-scientific narrative by referring to it as “criminalizing of doctor care.”

Christy didn't explain why a doctor's care must be criminalized.

Tim Graham spent a June 18 post huffing about a story on a pregnant transgender man :

On Saturday, NPR exploited Father's Day to push "pregnant dads" with our taxpayer subsidies. The headline was "Americans celebrate dads this weekend. Three tell us about being a father in 2023." They pushed the "he was pregnant" pronoun inanity hard in their celebration:


The only tiny hint of interesting opposition allowed in this propaganda is that allegedly a lot of people wanted this woman to abort. Then we had to be told "what people get wrong" with their opposition to upside-down gender-denying madness:

Graham didn't explain how adding right-wing anti-transgender hate to this story improved it any, given that we are all quite aware that right-wingers like him passionately despise the mere existence of transgender people.

A June 18 post by Tober assumed without evidene that children recieving gender-affirming care are being "abused" and, thus, create the need for right-wing transphobes to interfere in and override the opinion of parents, whom conservatives otherwise claim to believe know best for their chidlren:

On CBS Sunday Morning, correspondent Susan Spencer was once again wearing her leftist bias on her sleeve when she began arguing with American Principles Project president Terry Schilling over sex change procedures for children. The interview came during a segment on the growing fight between conservatives and leftists on whether children should be allowed to receive puberty blocking and cross sex hormones if they believe they’re the opposite sex. 

Spencer kicked her biased questioning into high gear when she wailed at Schilling: "the parents of some of these children would look at you and say if you want to protect kids, leave us alone." This of course is absurd even for Spencer. Why would conservatives who believe children are being abused simply look the other way?

Schilling responded to her asinine question by noting "We are leaving your kids alone. We are the ones that are protecting them from getting sex change procedures and puberty blocking and cross sex hormones."

"I would tell them they don't," Schilling added. To which Spencer interrupted again: "who are you to say that?"

Schilling retorted by educating the Democrat CBS News activist: "I am an American citizen that gets to vote and organize people in politics. When we both disagree, then we go to the American people and make our cases to them and we see who can pass the most laws and right now we’re starting to win."

Tober then huffed, "Spencer would never grill a Democrat like this." It's telling that he has chosen to portray asking reasonable questions of a right-wing activist as "hostile" and an example of "leftist bias."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 9:21 PM EDT
Newsmax Does Cleanup Over Trump Gun Goof
Topic: Newsmax

Last month, Donald Trump went to South Carolina gun store and admired a gun with his face on it. Both a right-wing reporter and a member of Trump's staff reported that he bought the gun. Just one problem with that: As someone who has been indicted on a felony charge, he is not allowed to buy a gun, and it would violate the conditions of his release to do so. Cue the backpedaling by both the reporter and the campaign. Also cue the Trump-fluffers at Newsmax trying to play cleanup, and that's what Eric Mack did in a Sept. 26 article:

Former President Donald Trump admired a special edition Glock pistol Monday that featured his likeness, but he did not buy one, according to reports.

"I want to buy one," Trump said Monday in Summerville, South Carolina. "Isn't a Glock a great gun?"

Trump posed for pictures with the Glock, along with members of his campaign tour, which included Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

While Cheung initially posted "President Trump buys a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!" on social media platform X, according to multiple news outlets, that post was deleted.

"President Trump did not purchase or take possession of the firearm," the campaign later told USA Today in a statement. "He simply indicated that he wanted one."

Trump would not be barred from buying the Glock under 18 USC 922, but the sale of the firearm to him is illegal due to myriad indictments against him.


The gun store told The New York Times it did not sell a gun to the former president Monday.

While Mack noted Cheung's backpedaling, he failed to note that Brian Glenn of the right-wing Right Side Broadcasting Network asserted on-air that “We can confirm that President Trump got that gun today," only to furiously backpedal in an all-caps tweet: "PRESIDENT TRUMP DID NOT BUY A FIREARM. I WAS THERE. MOVE ALONG FAKE PRESS."

While Newsmax apparently did not promote the original claim that Trump bought the gun, doing a story emphasizing that he didn't looks like cleanup for a preferred candidate instead of "news."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 6:27 PM EDT
MRC Launches More Partisan Attacks On Google Over Purportedly Biased Search Results
Topic: Media Research Center

In the runup to last year's midterm elections and runoffs afterward, the Media Research Center tried to play gotcha with Google by accusing it of bias against Republians because a certain search term didn't put Republican candidates at the top -- even though it never explain why that particular search term should have returned the results it demanded. It's playing the same bogus search-result gambit again, this time framing it as so-called "election interference." Gabriela Pariseau and Michael Morris wrote in an Aug. 24 post:

Google’s election interference is just getting warmed up as we head into 2024. 

MRC Free Speech America researchers searched Google for “presidential campaign websites,” but the search engine did not display a single Republican candidate on its first page of results the day before the first Republican Party presidential primary debate on Wednesday. President Joe Biden’s campaign website, of course, showed up as the second search result along with a Democratic Party challenger Marianne Williamson’s campaign website, which came up as the fifth result. 

Google even displayed results for past failed Democratic Party presidential candidates who aren’t even running this cycle, including: Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) website, which showed up as the ninth result; Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign website, which came in twelfth; and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign website, which appeared twenty-ninth in the results.

Notably, 2024 Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., did not appear in Google’s search results even though he is, at present, the biggest threat to President Joe Biden's nomination. 

“Google has erased every threat to Joe Biden,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “We know that Google pulled out all the stops to put Hillary Clinton in the White House, and it has continued to interfere in our elections ever since. Compared to other social media platforms, it is harder to document what Google does in secret, but we at MRC Free Speech America have caught them red-handed again.”

Schneider continued, “Google has consistently stood apart from all other search engines, and not in a good way. We have repeatedly seen Google and Big Tech social media platforms treat Republican candidates harshly compared to their Democrat [sic] opponents.”

Weirdly, Pariseau and Morris did not state how Republican candidates ranked in the search findings, even though this "study" was specifically done before the first GOP debate. As before, they also failed to explain why that particular search term should have delivered the results it demanded, or even what normal human would use that search term. And their fretting over Kennedy not appearing in the results is merely part of the MRC's ironic promotion of his campaign -- not because they actually want him to win, but in the hope that it might hurt Biden's re-election chances.

Pariseau repeated the same trick for a Sept. 27 post, under the headline "More Election Interference!":

Is Google shilling for Biden? It appears so, as its search engine once again buried Republican “presidential campaign websites.” 

Google's search engine failed to produce even-handed results in multiple searches performed by MRC Free Speech America over the course of a week prior to today's Republican presidential primary debate. Researchers broadly searched for “presidential campaign websites” as well as two additional searches specifying the party affiliation of the candidates. When MRC searched for “republican presidential campaign websites,” only two candidates’ websites appeared on the first page in the search results — a Democrat candidate and a Republican who is polling at less than half a percent. 

Democratic Party candidate Marianne Williamson’s website somehow found its way onto the first page. So did Will Hurd, who has yet to garner enough support to make it to the debate stage. His website was the only Republican candidate’s website to appear in the search results. His website came up as the third result while the campaign websites of former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Strive Asset Management co-founder Vivek Ramaswamy, Former Vice President Mike Pence, Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were nowhere to be found on the first page of results.

The search did include a link to a Library of Congress page that referenced Trump’s 2020 campaign website but even the link referenced was dead.

“These results are so outrageous,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “Google is either the most incompetent search engine on the planet, or it’s intentional. This is not a coincidence.”

But the MRC undermined itself by injecting partsan terminology into its "study." One of the terms used was "democrat presidential campaign websites"; right-wing activists like those at the MRC have spent years trying to rename the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party" for the lulz. Speaking of ironic lulz, Pariseau added that "Biden’s most formidable challenger in the primary, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ’s website was notably missing." In fact, Biden was ahead of Kennedy by about 50 points at the time Pariseau's item was posted, making her use of "formidable" at least as ironic as the MRC's support for Kennedy itself.

Pariseau went on to complain that factual information about Republican candidates was noted in the results:

Each of the liberal outlets made clear their bias against GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump, primarily listing controversial flashpoints of his administration in their respective write-ups. 

CNN, for example, characterized Trump’s criticisms of how the 2020 election was conducted as “conspiracy theories.” Meanwhile, Politico touted Trump’s alleged “numerous scandals,” while NBC and AP seemingly eagerly recounted recent criminal charges brought against the former president. CNN and Politico also touted Biden as the presumed Democrat nominee the GOP will face in 2024, not even acknowledging his two Democrat challengers.

Yes, Pariseau used "Democrat" instead of "Democratic" twice, further demonstrating teh partisanship that marks the MRC's so-called studies. She also didn't dispute the accuracy of the reporting she criticized, and she purported to read the mind of non-right-wing news organizations by claiming without evidence that they "seemingly eagerly recounted recent criminal charges" against Trump.

Parisau's injection of partianship into this so-called study shows the underlying bias in what she does -- it's clear that these search terms were chosen specifically to make Google look bad and, thus, to have clickbait talking points to spread throughout right-wing media. It's the way a partisan organization acts -- and certainly not one that purports to care about "media research."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EDT
WND's Constitutionalists Fret That Constitution Could Kick Trump Off Ballot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily likes to portray itself as faithful constitutionalists, but when some invoked the Constitution as a reason to remove Donald Trump from 2024 presideintial ballots, WND started singing a different tune. Bob Unruh complained in a July 20 article:

Democrats have insisted since it happened on calling the riot in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, an "insurrection."

Setting aside the facts, which include that it was a riot by a few hundred people who vandalized parts of the building, and that President Trump had told his fans to protest "peacefully," there are other considerations.

An "insurrection" would require some sort of plan to actually take over the government, to implement new rules, orders, policies and such. And what about commanding the military? There have not even been suggestions there's evidence for this.

Nevertheless, Democrats insist it was an "insurrection" and now it's being explained why.

By convincing Americans, and especially judges, it was an "insurrection," Democrats want to use any conviction of President Trump to label him an "insurrectionist" and, under the 14th Amendment, keep him off the 2024 ballot. Or prevent him from taking office if elected.

That amendment was adopted after the Civil War and bars those who participated in an "insurrection" from holding federal office.

By manipulating the facts about Jan. 6, and redefining various words, leftists hope that they will be able to accomplish their goal.

Unruh didn't offer any evidence to refute the claim, instead quoting other right-wingers whining about it.

In a July 25 column -- the opening essay to a issue of the sparsely read Whistleblower magazine that bestowed martyrdom on Trump by declaring him the victim of "persecution" -- managing editor David Kupelian huffed that "the Democrats’ end-game appears to be a perverse attempt to constitutionally bar Trump from ever again seeking public office on the grounds that he violated the 14th Amendment, Section 3, which forbids any person from holding any elected office who 'shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against' the United States of America." He too failed to offer any evidence to refute the claim.

An Aug. 21 article by Unruh touted a pro-Trump attrorney bizarrely calling the Constitution an "urban legend" and likening enforcing the Constitution on Trump to authoritarian dictatorhips like Iran:

An increasing number of voices on the left are demanding that, like in countries like Iran, America's ballot be subjected to a "cleansing" in which the government officials now in power will determine who will be on the ballot to succeed them in their power.

But constitutional expert Jonathan Turley, who has testified before Congress and represented members in court, said the implications of that agenda are "chilling."

The issue is that infamous Jan. 6, 2021, protest-turned-riot at the Capitol. Leftists insist President Trump is to blame for everything that happened that day. And they have chosen to define it themselves as an "insurrection."

They say that means they can apply the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which was adopted after the Civil War and bars those who participate in a rebellion or insurrection to overturn the government from later being elected.

"Such ballot cleansing is common in countries like Iran where citizens wait to learn which opposition candidates will be allowed to run," he said.

Turley explained, "The popularity of urban legends is a testament to the will to believe. The desire of people to keep Elvis alive or prove that a Sasquatch could exist furtively in our backyards shows the resilience of fables.

"Constitutional urban legends often have an even more immediate appeal and tend to arise out of the desperation of divided times. One of the most popular today is that former President Donald Trump can be barred from office, even if he is not convicted in any of the four indictments he faces, under a long-dormant clause of the 14th Amendment."

As usual, this is a one-sided story in which Unruh refused to seek out anyone to respond to Turley's claims (and there are people who will).

Unruh fretted more about it in a Sept. 7 article:

Some voters in a leftist state with a strong anti-Trump agenda are taking the lead in pushing a "highly suspect constitutional theory" intended to keep him off the 2024 presidential ballot by simply declaring him unqualified.

"No adjudication. No judge. No jury. Just the Left declaring him 'disqualified' for office," explained a commentary from Jordan Sekulow at the American Center for Law and Justice.

The Center Square explains it is in Colorado where some voters have sued seeking a court order banning President Donald Trump from the Republican presidential primary ballot.

The report explains the 115-page complaint claims Trump can't be on the ballot because of the 14th Amendment, which "states anyone who took an oath to support the Constitution and then 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same,' … cannot hold a state or federal office."

It dates to the post-Civil War period when individuals who fought for the Confederacy were returning to be members of Congress.

But the premise conflating Trump's criticism of faults in the 2020 election and the Civil War seems extreme, critics say. Further, Trump never has even been charged with anything like insurrection.

But as others have pointed out, the Constitution does not require anyone to be charged with insurrection  to run afoul of that provision. Unruh raged against the Colorado effort again in a Sept. 13 article:

Leftists in Colorado have filed a lawsuit trying to finagle a way to use the 14th Amendment to keep President Donald Trump off the 2024 presidential ballot.

"The Left is desperate to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in various key states by arguing that an obscure provision of the 14th Amendment disqualifies Donald Trump from even running from office," explained a report at the American Center for Law and Justice.

They're using a provision that was adopted after the Civil War that banned those who tried to overthrow the government from returning and being officers.

The ACLJ said the "brazen" attempt to eliminate the choice of Trump for voters reveals the "desperate" attitude of Democrats.

The Colorado case, by six voters and the leftist Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, named Donald Trump and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a far-left activist who claims Trump is a "liar with no respect for the Constitution," as defendants.

But the plaintiffs left out the Colorado Republican Committee.

"This is where the ACLJ comes in. It is the state party, not the Colorado secretary of state, that decides who the Republican nominees are going to be in the presidential election. CREW is trying to circumvent the Republican Party and deny it the chance to defend its own ability to choose its candidates for president," the ACLJ reported.

Unruh didn't dispute the claim that Trump is a "liar with no respect for the Constitution."

An anonymously written Sept. 24 article freaked out about a similar effort in another state:

One of the schemes that Democrats are rallying around right now in their attempt to keep President Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot is by claiming he is ineligible.

They have, on their own, charged and convicted him of "insurrection," and they then claim that the 14th Amendment prevents him from being a candidate.

Their actions come irrespective of the fact that Trump has not, in fact, been charged with insurrection, much less convicted.

Nevertheless, they are suing various states to try to eliminate him as a possible opponent to the octogenarian Joe Biden, whose verbal and mental stumbles appear to multiple each day.

The latest fight has erupted in Oklahoma, where the American Center for Law and Justice says it has asked a court to be allowed to represent the state GOP, which was left out of the case by Democrats.

Unruh rehashed it again in a Sept. 29 article touting how Newt Gingrich claims that Trump will be the Republican nominee:

Democrats are claiming that the 14th Amendment, which bans those guilty of "insurrection" from taking office again, and came in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Leftists charge that Trump should not be on the ballot because of the protest-turned-riot on Jan. 8, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.

Key problems with that argument are that the law can be read to exclude presidents, and Trump never has been charged, much less convicted, of insurrection.

Gingrich said that movement typifies "how terrified" the left is of a Trump candidacy – and presidency.

WND also republished a couple outside articles making similar arguements against invoking the amendment:

WND also published a Sept. 6 column by Betsy McCaughey complaining about the effort:

Innocent until proven guilty. That's a fundamental right in America, at least until now.

Anti-Trump groups determined to disqualify the leading Republican candidate for president are urging state election officials across the U.S. to remove Donald Trump from the ballot, claiming he's an "insurrectionist." They're citing an arcane clause in the 14th Amendment, written after the Civil War, that disqualifies anyone who "engaged in insurrection" against the United States from holding public office.

Here's the hitch. Trump has never been convicted of insurrection, and none of his prosecutors – not Jack Smith nor Fani Willis – is charging him with insurrection. The House of Representatives impeached him, accusing him of insurrection, but he was acquitted. So, zero convictions, one acquittal.

Even so, left-wing group Free Speech For People has sent letters to state election officials, including the co-chairs of the New York State Board of Elections, labeling Trump an insurrectionist and telling these officials they have a duty to remove Trump from the ballot, just as they would be obligated to remove any presidential aspirant who had not reached the age of 35 or was not a natural born citizen.

Under this scheme, if Trump wants to be on the ballot, he'll have to go to court and prove his innocence.

In short, guilty until proven innocent. That's as un-American as it gets. Whether you like Trump or loathe him, you should be concerned.

Again, the Constitution does not require that a person be convicted of insurrection to be barred from office.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 2:32 PM EDT
Monday, October 30, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, Immigrant Cred Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

How has the Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade been doing its PR duty since the last time we checked in? Let's take a look. Nicholas fondacaro had a massive meltdown in an Aug. 1 post when co-hosts on "The View" questioned his immigrant credentials, which he screeched was "anti-Italian HATE" in the headline despite the fact that DeSantis' ethnic heritage wasn't even mentioned:

Since it’s a day that ends in “y” (Tuesday), Disney’s attack dogs on ABC’s The View were trying to savage Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Of course, they were still pushing Vice President Kamala Harris’s BIG LIE about Florida schools teaching that slavery was a good thing, but moderator Whoopi Goldberg took a disgusting swing at the Governor by disparaging this Italian family’s immigration to the United States.

Goldberg’s anti-Italian HATE flared when she tried to engage in a bit of one-upmanship and suggest her family’s history as slaves and generations on American soil were better than his.

“And just so we're clear, we're not going anywhere! We've been here, Mr. DeSantis!” falsely suggesting he was trying to get rid of black people in America. “Many of us have been here for generations. Can you say the same?” she scoffed. She and co-host Joy Behar agreed that he couldn’t:

BEHAR: I don't think he can.

GOLDBERG: No, I don't think he can.

While Goldberg was busy becoming the nativist caricature the left paints Republicans as the fact of the matter was that DeSantis’s family has been here for generations.

According to a 2018 Tampa Bay Times hit piece trying to portray him as a hypocrite on the issue of legal and illegal immigration, DeSantis’s great-great-grandmother Luigia Colucci immigrated from Italy during the first Italian diaspora in 1917 and his great-great-grandfather “had been in the United States since 1904.”

Clearly, Goldberg’s assertion was false, his family had been in the United States for generations. It was a very anti-immigrant attack from Goldberg, but then again it was her trying to go up against someone in the left’s Grievance Olympics.

Actually, it appears Fondacaro is the one going for the gold in the Grievance Olympics with this contribution to the DeSantis Defense League that falsely accused Goldberg of besmirching his ethnicity.

Curtis Houck defended DeSantis' anti-abortion policies in an Aug. 7 post:

Possibly out for redemption in the eyes of her fellow liberal journalists after her infamous October 2022 interview with now-Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), NBC correspondent Dasha Burns interrupted, lied, and smeared her way through the first portion of her sit-down with 2024 GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (FL) on Monday’s Today.

Burns not only insisted January 6 would be the central focus of the 2024 general election, but lied about abortion and brushed aside approximately 12,000 late-term abortions.


Invoking Florida’s six-week limit on abortion, she asked him whether he’d “veto any sort of federal bill that would try to put a nationwide ban in place.”

DeSantis argued he would “be a pro-life president and” back “pro-life policies,” but he “would not allow what a lot of the left wants to do, which is to override pro-life protections throughout the country all the way up really until the moment of birth, in some instances, which I think is infanticide.”

If Burns had consulted his July 18 CNN interview, she’d know the answer that, while he supports such policies, he’s seemed doubtful a divided Congress would have the appetite to go that far.

Instead, Burns looked down at her talking points to hurl lies: “Well, actually, I got to push back on you on that because that’s a misrepresentation of what’s happening. I mean, that 1.3 percent of abortions happen at 21 weeks or higher.”

The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute’s latest year of data was 2020, in which they put the number of abortions at 930,160, meaning Burns was scoffing at 12,093 babies being murdered.

Earth to Burns: Would that be an acceptable train of thought if applied to hate crimes and racially-motivated murders? Of course not.

If Houck really believes that abortion is murder, he should be demanding that all  12,093 of this women be arrested and jailed, if not executed, for committing murder. But he won't take that step-- even though it's the logical endpoint of right-wing anti-abortion activism -- because it makes the movement look bad.

Houck attacked the second part of Burns' interview with DeSantis the next day for pointing out how badly DeSantis is doing in the polls:

This second part followed a segment on the liberal media’s most beloved topic in the third indictment of former President Trump with anchor Lester Holt boasting DeSantis was “still trying to make a dent in Mr. Trump’s lead” in the polls. 

For her part, Burns reveled in DeSantis “predicting success despite struggling to gain traction against the Republican front-runner.”

Burns was then showed telling DeSantis he’s probably out-of-touch with the Republican Party: “Trump’s lead has only grown since you began campaigning in earnest. Like, is it possible that you’re potentially just out of step with what GOP voters are looking for right now?”

“So, if I had a nickel for every naysayer I’ve had in my life, I’d be a very, very wealthy man,” DeSantis replied.

The next part was a largely a replay of a portion from Today in which Burns fixated on having DeSantis state that Joe Biden won the 2020 election (which he did, but she didn’t like the way he said it).

Houck spent an Aug. 9 post whining that it was reported that DeSantis was trying to fix his failing campaign:

The major broadcast networks have made no secret that, above actual issues such as crime and the economy, they want voters to have Donald Trump’s criminal indictments and January 6 top of mind as they consider what matters for 2024. As such, they’ve spent roughly 335 minutes on the third indictment alone. On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, ABC and NBC cheered the changes to Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) “floundering” and “struggl[ing]” campaign.

ABC’s newscasts — World News Tonight and then Good Morning America (GMA) — used chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl to spin the change in campaign manager as if it were another sign of his campaign’s immediate death.

Importantly, Karl has a financial incentive for DeSantis and Trump’s opponents to lose given his need to hawk an upcoming anti-Trump book (on top of the two he’s already published).

“Trump’s legal troubles don’t seem to be hurting his campaign at all. In fact, his tactics seem to be working. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, once seen as the most formidable Republican challenger to Trump, is now trying to revive his floundering campaign. He replaced his campaign manager today, his third staff shakeup in a month,” Karl bragged on World News Tonight.

Houck didn't dispute the accuracy of Karl's reporting, nor did he evaluate coverage of the Republican primary on Fox News, where it might do more good beyond creating right-wing clickbait. And if the MRC doesn't want Trump to be the nominee, why does it continually defend Trump every time he gets indicted? Houck was silent on that question.

Clay Waters whined in an Aug. 14 post that PBS "Washington Week" host Jeffrey Goldberg called out DeSantis for ranting about the "Deep State," a far-right bogeyman, and that guest Laura Barron-Lopez argued that such extreme talk is causing government officials to fear for their safety and that it's "a classic tactic used by authoritarian figures, autocratic figures, to try to rally their base around them and they know exactly who they’re speaking to." Waters, of course, insisted that DeSantis was merely speaking metaphorically, then played whataboutism:

This extreme response to DeSantis’s blunt, metaphorical rhetoric, which wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, is a bit much given the way Democrats have traditionally felt free to talk about and even attack Republicans.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has been physically attacked twice in recent years, to liberal amusement and little condemnation from the mainstream press. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables.”


A Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a ball field of Republican congressmen in 2017. Obnoxious protests have been held outside the homes of Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsay Graham, not to mention conservative justices of the Supreme Court. Would Goldberg like to discuss the man arrested on his way to assassinating Justice Kavanaugh?

Kevin Tober found the idea of context useful in defending DeSantis in an Aug. 20 post:

Former Virginia Attorney General and founder of the DeSantis-aligned Super PAC Never Back Down, Ken Cuccinelli confronted CNN's State of the Union fill-in anchor for deceptively editing comments made by Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis during an interview with the Florida Standard to make it seem like he called Trump supporters "listless vessels." Regardless of whom you support for the Republican nomination, everyone should be outraged at the media lying about one of the Republican candidates.  

Setting up the dishonest clip, Hunt insisted "There was a pretty interesting moment in a recent interview where Governor DeSantis talked about Trump supporters. He used the words listless vessels." 

Cuccinelli jumped in to correct her: "He wasn’t talking about Trump supporters!"

Tober was in full DeSantis PR mode, touting "the full transcript from this portion of the DeSantis interview which was sent to members of the media through a press release from the DeSantis campaign," then concluding: "Luckily readers don't have to go find the transcript online since it was provided here at NewsBusters! Share this article with your friends and family so they aren't tricked by liberal media hacks like CNN's Kasie Hunt!" Tober didn't mention how much the DeSantis campaign paid him for this PR job.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
WND's LaBarbera Doesn't Understand How Juries Work
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Peter LaBarbera complained in a Sept. 6 article:

A new poll of Washington, D.C. residents finds than an overwhelming majority, 64%, would vote to find Trump guilty in his upcoming March trial over subverting the 2020 election, while only 8% would find him innocent.

Twenty-eight percent of the 500 people polled were unsure, according to the Emerson College Polling survey conducted Aug. 29-Sept. 2.

Ominous as it is for Trump's chances of getting a fair trial, the Emerson poll understates the extreme pro-Democrat political bias in the district, with Joe Biden getting 93% of the 2020 vote.

We find it hard to believe that LaBarbera is this dumb, but surely even he knows that an entire city doesn't judge a defendant -- only 12 jurors do. And in the jury selection process, both the prosecution and defense lawyers, as well as the judge, will screen jurors and try to eliminate those who they believe cannot be impartial. Merely living in a particular city is not evidence that a prospective juror cannot be partial.

LaBarbera concluded with the sentiments of a right-wing historian:

Conservative author and retired historian Larry Schweikart echoed a sentiment of many conservatives when he cited the implications of DC's uber-biased demographics for defendants in the J6 trials in D.C., in his own X post Wednesday: "Yeah, fair trials for all those Patriot Day J6 people."

Yes, a guy who thinks a violent attempted insurrection is  "Patriot Day" and all those who took part are automatically innocent -- and who apparently also doesn't understand how juries work -- is someone who LaBarbera thinks is a trusted source.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
MRC Promotes Roseanne Barr As 'Anti-Woke,' Censors She's A Holocaust Denier
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long had a sweet spot for Roseanne Barr. In 2018, for example, it cheered her false smear of George Soros as a Nazi sympathizer during World War II (in fact, he was a Jewish teenager trying to evade capture). That same year, even the MRC couldn't defend her racist smear of former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, but it did play whataboutism to try and distract from it.

Still, the MRC's soft spot for Barr has persisted. In a June 2022 column, Christian Toto complained that Barr hasn't been welcomed back into Hollywood yet, defending her by uncritically repeating her excuse that she was on Ambien when she smeared Jarrett:

Barr shared a gross, racially-charged Tweet in May of 2018 connected to former President Barack Obama official Valerie Jarrett, who is black. Barr immediately apologized for the message, saying she had been taking Ambien at the time and didn’t realize the light-skinned Jarrett was black.

True? False? It didn’t matter.

ABC fired Barr from her own show, costing her millions in the process. The network didn’t stop there. It killed off her character and continued the series without her, rebranding it as The Conners.

Barr hasn’t had a mainstream gig since. She appeared briefly alongside Andrew “Dice” Clay in 2019, but otherwise she’s been off the Hollywood radar.

She may never work in that town again.

Toto then claimed that Jussie Smollett, he of the racial attack hoax, made a film that got attention, whining that "he’ll be working again faster than Barr, a feminist pioneer who changed the face of TV but got punished for a Tweet that injured no one."

In June of this year, however, Barr went in a bizarre tirade claiming that "nobody died in theHolocaust" but that "It should happen — 6 million Jews should die right now because they cause all the problems in the world." She later claimed that this was humor and sarcasm, but didn't explain where, exactly the humor was supposed to be.

Desite that dubious and offensive track records, the MRC is still cheering Barr, this time as an "anti-woke" comedian, whatever that's supposed to mean. Catherine Salgado gushed in an  Sept. 15 post:

Anti-woke comedian Roseanne Barr slammed censorship-heavy YouTube as she announced increasing interest in video platform Rumble.

Barr posted on X (formerly Twitter) Sept. 12 that she is increasingly focusing on The Roseanne Barr Podcast (which has 376,000 YouTube ubscribers) on the more pro-free speech Rumble as Google’s YouTube continues its biased and oppressive censorship. “[T]this is the start of something better!” she celebrated, before adding, “Free speech is great again.”

In the same tweet, Barr shared a link to her Rumble channel. “Starting to build up my Rumble- If you want to, follow this page to stay up on the podcast and any and all videos going forward,” she posted. “I’ll keep the YouTube going until they go full Gulag.” Barr already stated in a post on X she was considering leaving YouTube on Sept. 6, 2023.

Salgado made no mention of the offensive smears and attacks Barr has engaged in, of course -- not even her Holocaust denial of a few months earlier -- let alone how all that hate is supposed to make her "anti-woke."

Salgado also repeated the MRC's earlier complaint that a court ruled YouTube had the right to ban quack doctor Joseph Mercola over what she euphemistically called his "COVID-19 content" -- which actually involved spreading falsehoods and misinformation -- going on to huff, "It’s no wonder free speech advocates are looking for alternatives to YouTube." Yes, liars and extremists would want to seek out places where their lies and extremism isn't called out for what it is, and Rumble clearly isn't picky.And, yes, Salgado clearly believes that hate and lies are "free speech" that must never be questioned or exposed.

Barr is just the latest extremist the MRC has chosen to embrace because she spouts conservatively correct things.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 30, 2023 4:19 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Politician-Nazi Double Standard, Biden Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian can't stop complaining that people have likened Donald Trump to Hitler -- but he was silent when his boss, Joseph Farah, went Godwin on President Biden by declaring, "There's a Nazi living in the White House." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 AM EDT
Sunday, October 29, 2023
MRC Cheers Musk Allowing More Hate And Lies On Twitter (Well, X)
Topic: Media Research Center

There was a lot of unfavorable news regarding Elon Musk and Twitter (well, X) in recent weeks:

  • Musk rushed to the defense of credibly accused rapist, sexual assaulter and groomer Russell Brand.
  • In yet another attack on George Soros, Musk spread the racist right-wing "great replacement theory," which posits that nefarious interests (i.e., Soros and Democrats) want to replace white people in the U.S. with non-white immigrants.
  • He helped incite harassment and death threats on a Las Vegas neswpaper and its journalists by falsely accusing the paper of hiding that the death of a bicycle rider killed after being hit by a car was intentionally caused.
  • He smeared tech journalist Kara Swisher, blaming her for the disastrous performance of Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino in an interview at a Swisher-hosted tech conference.
  • Musk was sued for defamation by a man whom he falsely described as a federal agent posing as a neo-Nazi (the man is actually Jewish).

Rather than tell its readers about any of this -- even though it too has defended Russell Brand and has insisted that replacement theory isn't racist or a conspiracy theory -- the Media Research Center instead was annoyed that Musk wasn't letting anti-trans hate spread on Twitter even more than it already does. After vicious homophobe Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok complained that her hate wasn't spreading, Musk was compelled to respond, as Tom Olohan stated in an Sept. 28 post:

After the woman behind Libs of TikTok uncovered inexplicable censorship of content on the X platform, owner Elon Musk promised to look into it.

Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik wrote in a post on Thursday that X (formerly known as Twitter) would not run ads on posts that contained words such as “Gr**m*er”, “Dr*g qu**n”, “In*0c**ce/in*0ce*t”, “Tr*ns” and even “Am*n”, but would run ads on her posts if she self-censored. Later that day, X owner Musk mentioned her by name and promised to cut that list down to size. Musk said in a video, “There’s a list, I think, Chaya Raichik was pointing out. Like, the system, you know, and I have looked at this list. And some of the terms on the list, I’m like, ‘Look, if that’s a bad word, I clearly need to look up, ge Urban Dictionary or something,’ you know, because that one I didn’t realize was a bad word. So that list needs to be trimmed. That’s the, sort of, not safe for advertising list.”


Immediately preceding these remarks, Musk strongly suggested that much of the current censorship that occurs on his platform is a holdover from the past Twitter regime that is being eradicated. “We do lots of dumb things, but these dumb things, you know, as the saying goes, ‘One should not attribute to malice that which easily can be explained by incompetence,’” Musk added before discussing demonetization. “We do lots of foolish things, but, and we want to fix that. And a bunch of these foolish things have been in place for a decade, you know, and I can’t fix them all at once. And we are fixing them.” 

Noting that both Elon Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have embraced the expression “freedom of speech, not of reach,” MRC Vice President Dan Schneider challenged Musk to go further, “How about instead of trimming the list of unacceptable words, you just protect all constitutionally-protected speech?”

Olohan added that "Previously, Musk has reversed the platform's bans on 'deadnaming' and 'misgendering' two leftist words used to describe telling the truth about 'transgender' individuals." If Ohohan is putting "transgender" in scare quotes, he clearly doesn't care about truth.

Because Musk cares so much about gaining the approval of right-wing haters and extremists, he acquiesced to Raichik's demands, which Olohan gushed over in a post the next day:

After promising to take action against demonetized terms on his platform, X owner Elon Musk ended censorship of several key words the next day. 

Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik posted on Sept. 29 that seven out of ten of the demonetized words she discovered on a day prior no longer triggered post demonetization. Words like drag queen, groomer, innocence, innocent, LGBTQ, police, non-binary and Amen no longer result in post demonetization, but trans and ugly will, noted Raichik. However, Musk promised Friday to end the demonetization of tweets with the word(s): trans, transgender and ugly.

Musk, who thanked Raichik for flagging the censorship, addressed the censorship issue in his posts and during a discussion hosted by The Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro, where he said that the list of demonetized terms found by Raichik should be “trimmed.” He also suggested that these shadowbanned words were an example of “foolish things” from the past that his employees were in the process of fixing.

In an article published Thursday evening, Raichik discussed her discovery and broke down why the terms were demonetized. Raichik pointed out that drag queen, groomer, innocence, and innocent were likely demonetized to disincentivize conservative organizing against gender theory in schools and children at drag queen events.

Or, you know, it could be about disincentivizing vicious and irrational right-wing hatred of anyone who's not a heterosexual. Olohan and Raichik don't seem to consider that possibility.

In another Sept. 29 post, Luis Cornelio cheered how Musk opened the door to even more election misinformation on Twitter by firing much of its election integrity team, under the sneering headline "Bye Felicia!":

X owner Elon Musk announced he was doing away with part of his platform’s infamous “election integrity” team—sort of.

According to The Information on Sept. 27, the social media platform reportedly ousted five anti-free speech activists from its contentious election integrity team. Musk took to Twitter to react to the reports, confirming that the individuals were “gone.”

Among those affected by the purge was notorious disinformation chief Aaron Rodericks who came under fire last month in mid-August for undermining Musk’s promise to protect free speech.

Cornelio didn't explain how lies  and disinformation equaled "free speech." Instead, he whined that Yaccarino "chimed in to dispel rumors that the company was completely getting rid of the group, effectively dousing pro-free speech advocates with a bucket of cold water":

Yaccarino warned that the best of their election integrity — whatever that means — is yet to come. “It’s an issue we take very seriously,” she claimed while speaking at a conference hosted by leftist outlet Vox. “And contrary to the comments that were made, there is a robust and growing team at X that is wrapping their arms around election integrity.”

The election integrity faction at X first came under scrutiny after political commentator Kristen Ruby found that X — under Rodericks’ oversight — sought to hire new disinformation experts, marking what Foundation For Freedom Online executive director Mike Benz described as a “new crop of censorship shills.”

Again, Cornelio wouldn't explain how trying to stop lies and misinformation is "censorship." Does he think lies and misinformation must never be fact-checked or criticized?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:22 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 29, 2023 7:47 PM EDT
WND's Massie Defends His Death Wish Against Fauci
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie spent his Sept. 11 WorldNetDaily column whining that Twitter (well, X) suspended him for expressing a death with for Anthony Fauci:

How am I supposed to stand beside Elon Musk in his fight against online censorship, when X (formerly Twitter) is guilty of doing the same thing, if not worse?

My X account was suspended a couple days ago for daring to use what those sissies consider violent speech. What did I say, you ask? I said, "Fauci needs to get the electric chair" – and it caused a bowel secretion in their tortured worthless lives that was consistent with encopresis.


I've said it many times: I say what I mean and I mean what I say – and I don't apologize, especially to an entity I have virtually no respect for in the first place. There's nothing under this sun that could cause me to lament their actions. In fact, if they're smart enough to read sign language, they'll understand that the positioning of my thumb to the tip of my nose isn't a field sobriety test for alcohol consumption. Since I am a teetotaler.

Saying Anthony Fauci deserves the electric chair is me being extremely generous in my call for him to be punished. The death penalty is too good for him. He deserves the eternal agony of hell for knowingly and intentionally causing pain, faking data, fear mongering, censorship, and knowingly destroying lives and careers. All while he paves the way for his cronies to get richer.

Just because Massie claims to mean what he says doesn't mean that his death wish for Fauci is any less offensive.

Massie then tried to lay out his evidence that Fauci deserves to be executed -- but his first example involved right-wing anti-vaxxer Megyn Kelly claiming that a COVID vaccine gave her an autoimmune disease, though she has offered no evidence to back up the claim. Massie continued his anti-Fauci rant:

Fauci knowingly misled the public and outright lied to We the People about COVID and about the jab.

He knowingly lied about medications that had been safely prescribed and purchased over the counter for decades. Medications that were free of side effects. He knowingly lied, placing literally millions of lives at risk forcing the nonsensical fraud of face masks.

He lied about gain-of-function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology and his participation. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has made criminal referral of Fauci to the Department of Justice.

Miscarriages among women in the military rose exponentially, specifically because of Fauci's pushing mandated injection of the deadly toxins. I spoke with a young woman I know who developed life-threatening blood clots literally days after receiving the jab. Never in the history of sports have we seen so many superbly conditioned athletes dropping dead, having heart attacks, blood clots and the sudden onslaught of other autoimmune diseases. I personally know several persons who almost immediately developed nerve issues in their feet and ankle area, within weeks of receiving the jab. There are valid claims of married couples developing critical issues from normal marital relations, because one received the jab and the other did not.

Lots of misinformation to unpack here. Massie is alluding to a study allegedly claiming that masks don't work, which the editor of the medical journal where the study was published said was not what the study actually concluded. His claim that the vaccine caused a spike in miscarriages is similarly bogus. We've already documented how WND has promoted the baseless conspiracy theory that the on-field collapse NFL player Damar Hamlin and other athletes was caused by the vaccine. Massie's statement about "medications that had been safely prescribed and purchased over the counter for decades" is presumably a reference to hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, which still lack legitimate evidence that they are effective in treating or preventing COVID. We're not sure what Massie is referring to when talking about the vaccine disrupting "normal marital relations," but one study found that it did not increase the risk of erectile dysfunciton.

Massie concluded by likening the COVID vaccines to Agent Orange:

Not one thing dissuades me that these things are barely the tip of the iceberg. I was among the early analysts warning the government cannot be trusted and the idea of forcing a fake vaccine on the public, that excluded the elected, was a clarion call to avoid the jabs at all cost. Based on the history of the government's involvement in Tuskegee, secretly spraying Agent Orange on entire communities without their knowledge and the aerial spraying of the deadly Agent Orange compound into the entire ecosystem including fruits and vegetables, CIA experiments in New York City subway systems and the LSD experiments on prison inmates and persons confined to mental hospitals, don't believe anything they tell you.

You're darn right Facui [sic] deserves the electric chair, and if that offends the fairies and trolls at X, it's too bad. I don't give a rip.

Perhaps not, but law enforcement authorities do. It's also a sign of Massie's insecurity and sociopathy that he can't handle criticism, as evidenced by his lashing out at the folks at X who sensibly held him accountable for his violent death wish as "fairies and trolls."

Ironically, a few days after Massie's column was published, an article by WND's Bob Unruh complained that "an MSNBC columnist has set a new standard with his death wish" for Donald Trump by declaring that he "must die in prison." Talk about a double standard.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023 2:11 PM EDT
Saturday, October 28, 2023
MRC's Graham Has Another Flare-Up Of Folkenflik Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham has a case of David Folkenflik Derangement Syndrome -- repeatedly attacking the NPR media reporter for reporting on Fox News, though he never criticizes Fox News' media reporters for obsessing over competing outlets like CNN and rarely reporting bad news about their own employer. Graham turned his ire toward Folkenflik again in an Aug. 27 post complaining that Folkenflik noted the revamped CNN streaming operation, which the MRC mercilessly mocked when it originally launched last year as CNN+, then got shut down shortly afterward when new owners took over the company:

We shouldn't be surprised that the Fox News debate this week led inevitably to story number 45 and story number 46 for NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik on Fox News this year. 

And we shouldn't be surprised he talked loosely about Donald Trump as a felon: "And think of the other big story today -- Donald Trump is being processed for, you know, felonies in Fulton County, Ga., over trying to block the due election proceeds in the state of Georgia." Is that the way he would discuss a Democrat being indicted?

What's still surprising somehow is that Folkenflik can report on CNN and just sound like a publicist for CNN, and not a skeptical reporter.  On Friday night's badly named All Things Considered, the subject was CNN Max, a new streaming effort that looks a lot like CNN+, which was unceremoniously dumped by Warner Bros. Discovery just a few weeks after it began.

Of cousre, Graham couldn't stop whining that Folkenflik referenced Fox News:

Folkenflik can't stop talking about Fox's very expensive settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, but what about CNN's finances or CNN's struggling ratings? This is where NPR is doing more advertising than reporting. CNN's own media reporter Oliver Darcy was more candid about the parent company's finances!

Graham has never accused Fox News media reporters like Joseph Wulfsohn and Brian Flood of being candid about their employer, nor does he accuse them of being CNN-haters or criticize them for being obsessed with CNN the way he claims Folkenflik is obsessed with Fox News.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 29, 2023 7:13 PM EDT
WND Defense Of Trump Backer Long On Dubious Talking Points, Short On Facts
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You know there's cleanup that needs to be done when WorldNetDaily starts an article touting the supposed credentials of the person they're promoting. And that's how Bob Unruh started a Sept. 4 article:

A recognized expert in civil liberties, Harvey Silverglate, who, among other accomplishments, co-founded the prominent Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, has issued a warning to the nation about the fallout from the war Joe Biden and Democrats are waging against President Donald Trump.

Unruh didn't mention that FIRE mostly cares about "Individual Rights and Expression" only when they involve right-wingers like Silverglate. Unruh then shifted to repeating tired, discredited talking points about Trump:

Those leftists, of course, have orchestrated, so far, four criminal cases against Trump. They have turned misdemeanor business record keeping offenses into felonies. They have determined the First Amendment didn't protect Trump's comments about the 2020 election. They have said he turned criminal by keeping documents from his presidency, even though Mike Pence and Joe Biden, in their posts as vice president, are facing no charges for doing the same thing. And they are making telephone calls and holding meetings illegal in their "conspiracy" case in Georgia.

These events all follow the conspiracy theory created by Hillary Clinton and others in the 2016 election that falsely claimed Trump campaign links to Russia. Then there were the multiple attempts by Nancy Pelosi to impeach Trump and remove him from office, based on no evidence.

It wasn't a "conspiracy theory" that the 2016 Trump campaign met dozens of times with Russian operatives, or that then-campaign manager Paul Manafort gave internal polling data to another Russian operative. And as we've already noted, Unruh is lying by claiming that Trump is being prosecuted in Georgia for "making telephone calls and holding meetings."

Unruh did effectively admit how far-right Silverglate is by noting that he "now is working in defense of John Eastman, a lawyer who has represented Trump," then complained that "Georgia is targeting him with a criminal prosecution over his representation, and California is targeting him with a bar complaint." Unruh then uncritically repeated Silverglate's defense of  Trump:

Silverglate said, of the Biden-run DOJ, "I am appalled that the Department of Justice — under a Democratic administration — appalled that they have done this to the leading Republican candidate for the presidency prior to the Republican National Convention. There is a statute of limitations that is quite lengthy and they could have waited. Common decency, common sense and propriety would have had them wait until after the nomination because if Trump got the nomination, then they should wait until after the election."

He continued, "I consider that what the Department of Justice is doing here to be candidate suppression. That's not their job. So the timing is appallingly bad judgment and I believe done in bad faith to keep him from being the Republican nominee for president.

"They realize Biden is a very weak candidate. If Biden had any common sense, he would have just said he was not running for a second term. That would have opened up the field to some excellent Democratic — younger Democratic candidates. So on top of everything else, this is an attempt to kind of fix the election for Biden. It is appalling in every single way."

What Silverglate is effectively arguing, of course, that that Trump be held above the law and never fel the consequences for the crimes he appears to have committed, portraying that being a declared political candidateis insurance against having to face responsibility for his actions. He also offered no evidence to back up his assertion that Trump's prosecutions are being orchestrated by Biden in order to kneecap a political opponent.

Unruh then returned to talking-point land, repeating his falsehood about the Georgia prosecution being about "making phone calls and holding meetings":

A leftist Georgia prosecutor has created a case including 41 charges that Trump and 18 others allegedly conspired in a criminal enterprise when they had doubts about the election, and raised them while seeking answers. Their offenses included making phone calls and holding meetings.

Further, he confirmed that at that time, he had "lots of evidence of fraud" in the election.

Legacy media immediately added its opinion that, "there is no evidence of far-reaching election fraud in the 2020 election."

However, what is known is that the election was under undue influence from the $400 million plus that Mark Zuckerberg handed out to election officials who often used it to recruit voters from Democrat districts.

Unruh is lying about the Zuckerberg money as well; we've also pointed out the truth (which Unruh doesn't seem to be interested in) that money from a Zuckerberg-funded noprofit was made available to government election offices across the country to help them conduct the 2020 elections, affected by the COVID pandemic, but there is no evidence of political favoritism in how the money was distributed or spent. While some of that money was used by governments for get-out-the-vote efforts, it's not illegal to encourage people to vote, despite what Unruh wants you to think.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« November 2023 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google