MRC's Graham Has Thoughts About GOP Debates Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham grumbled about how Republican debates were being treated by, well, pretty much everyone in his Sept. 29 column:
We’ve been subjected to years of lectures about how Republicans are a “threat to democracy,” but watching the post-debate reactions to the second GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library made you wonder who exactly hates democracy. Like the first debate aftermath, journalists assert debates are pointless.
It wasn’t October yet – and about 14 weeks from the Iowa caucuses – and the horse race-obsessed prognosticators suggested that if debates don’t move any polling needles, why bother with debates? The liberal media are lining up neatly with Trump, asserting that he’s paying no price for skipping debates, so who cares?
“Does anybody see a VP in that group? I don't think so,” Trump quipped in his counter-programming speech in Michigan. Trump believes everyone daring to challenge him for the nomination is engaged in some kind of pro-Biden conspiracy, so they’re all disqualified. Only MAGA devotees are “qualified.”
Trump and the media are not completely aligned, since George Stephanopoulos on ABC was wondering why we need debates if they’re not obsessing over Trump’s allegedly damaging array of indictments and civil lawsuits. This tells you how ABC would run a GOP debate, which is why the GOP has started with Fox channels so far.
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted the same line, that it’s not a debate if we’re not obsessing about Trump allegedly over-valuing his real estate. “Not a single candidate has said a word about it. Not a single question on it from the moderators. This is not actually a debate.”
Note Graham's conspiracy theory here: that "the media" (read: non-right-wing outlets) want Trump to be the Republican nominee because they think his numerous scandals will drag Republicans down to defeat. He didn't acknowledge that a sizable majority of Republicans also want Trump to be the nominee. Are they in on the conspiracy too? Graham then changed his story -- Trump's scandals don't affect his popularity so there's no need to discuss them at all, and the real reason the non-right-wing media opposes the debates is beause they are are full of Biden-bashing:
Now imagine if we turned the logic around on the pundits and proclaimed that all these indictments and civil lawsuits aren’t damaging Trump’s standing at all, so why don’t we just call all the legal maneuvering off? Turn off the courtroom theatrics. If that sounds incredibly irresponsible if not premature, then why all this grumbling about debates being unnecessary?
With the pro-Biden press, we might imagine why they don’t like these events. It allows a national television audience to absorb an hour or two of fairly animated assaults on the competence and wisdom of the Biden team. We certainly know that these “guardians of democracy” have absolutely no interest in primary debates on the Democrat side, since they realize Biden is always 30 seconds away from a verbal face-plant. Instead, Joe Scarborough and others just denounce the debate as a “disaster” for everyone involved.
Graham concluded by whining: "If people really claim to love and honor democracy, they would let the primary campaigns and debates play out, and perhaps even suggest Joe Biden should have to submit himself to a primary debate." He's presumably referring to Robert Kennedy Jr., whose campaign the MRC had been ironically promoting because it might hurt Biden's re-election, not because Graham and Co. actually want him to be president.
For his podcast the same day, Graham rehashed the MRC's smears of a debate co-moderator who committed the offense of not being employed by Fox News like the other moderators:
The second GOP presidential debate on Fox Business took an odd turn to the Left in the questions of Univision anchor Ilia Calderon, who pressed the candidates like an MSNBC host on guns, fentanyl, '"dreamers," LGBTQ issues, and Florida's black history curriculum. The woman who co-anchors with leftist Jorge Ramos sounded like a Ramos echo.
We haven't listened to the podcast, but we can presume that Graham did not ask guest Nicholas Fondacaro to back up his vicious smear of Calderon as "anti-American" with any sort of actual evidence beyond her asking challenging questions of Republicans.
WND's Alexander Actually Tries To Defend Boebert's Grope-And-Vape Session Topic: WorldNetDaily
It has come to this: Rachel Alexander is defending far-right congresswoman Lauren Boebert's audience antics during a theater performance. She did this in her Sept. 18 Newsmax column:
The left-leaning mainstream media are blasting fake outrage over Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., getting escorted out of a theater with her boyfriend for vaping, taking some video of the performance and briefly putting her hand in his lap. I've never heard of anyone getting kicked out of a theater for something that minor; usually people get kicked out for things like fights, having sex and getting really drunk. Remember Pee-wee Herman?
It was dark in the Colorado theater, but strangely there was an infrared camera directly on Boebert, and even stranger, the video was leaked to the public. In contrast, whenever video favors Republicans, there are always tons of fake excuses provided to prevent it from being released. Look at how long it took for the government to release the J6 video surveillance. The high-profile trials of the J6 defendants aren't being filmed for the public, even though it's tradition to stream trials like that; everyone older remembers breathlessly watching the O.J. Simpson trial and more recently the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial.
Meanwhile, far worse behavior on the left has been mostly ignored, such as by Democrat Susanna Gibson running for the Virginia House of Delegates, who posted sex videos with her husband online and asked for money. Nothing has happened to her; she's still running, and the Democrats are defending her, in fact raising money for her off of the scandal.
Boebert apologized for her minor slip-up. In contrast, Gibson, who says she has an open marriage with her husband and offered to film herself and her husband engaging in sodomy in exchange for money from viewers, is not apologizing, and is instead blaming whoever released the video.
Alexander failed to note the difference between the two incidents: Gibson was doing her performance in a priviate online forum for paying customers; Boebert was very much in public as part of a theater audience that very much didn't come to see her and definite didn't come to see her grope a man.
Alexander went on to complain that other right-wingers have criticized Boebert's behavior:
Compounding the problem is all of the holier-than-thou people on the right piling on. Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, who is expected by many to turn on Trump during the Georgia prosecution due to her selling out to the Colorado State Bar last year, said on X that the Colorado GOP needs to primary Boebert. Ellis, who is now supporting Ron DeSantis for president, is known for frequently citing the Bible to defend RINO positions, such as when she admitted to the Colorado State Bar that she made "misrepresentations" when she said there was fraud in the 2020 election.
The left and its helpful enablers on the right such as Ellis like to use Old Testament judgment against Christians, while ignoring the New Testament where Jesus preached forgiveness. It's rather hypocritical, considering if the left doesn't believe in biblical principles, why would it use something "made up" and a "fairytale" to judge others? It's even more hypocritical when you consider the left conveniently ignores one of the few verses that it loves to cherry pick from the Bible, directly from Jesus, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Or Jesus when he said, "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
The "log" in Ellis' eye, in Alexander's view, is that she stopped being a Trump toady and is trying to save her skin since Trump clearly can't be bothered to help people who were loyal to him. Alexander continued to whine:
Boebert was targeted because she has a 98.53% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, almost the highest in Congress; and dares to take stands on issues many Republican members of Congress wouldn't dare to. Since she won reelection last fall by 546 votes, the left sees her as vulnerable so they are trying to create controversy.
Boebert apologized, unlike many on the left who have no remorse when they do far worse. But as we all know about the left, if they didn't have hypocritical standards, they'd have no standards at all.
"The left" didn't create this controversy; Boebert did. All she had to do is properly behave in public, and she couldn't even clear that low bar. Alexander is blaming everyone but the person actually responsible.
MRC Nitpicks GOP Debate Fact-Checkers Topic: Media Research Center
Along with its defense of the second Republican presidential debate, the Media Research Center engaged itn its usual sniping of fact-checkers who responded to claims made at the debate. Alex Christy, in full DeSantis Defense Brigade mode, nitpicked one fact-checker in a Sept. 28 post:
During Wednesday’s GOP Presidential Debate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his state’s history standards on slavery by labeling criticisms of them a “hoax” that has been perpetrated by Vice President Kamala Harris. Such a defense did not sit well with the fact-checking industry despite DeSantis being correct.
On CNN’s post-debate coverage, Daniel Dale told Anderson Cooper, “Governor DeSantis's hoax claim is false, Anderson. It is not a hoax. Florida social studies standards for middle schoolers includes the sentence that the moderator read to him here. And I think Governor DeSantis effectively admitted it was not a hoax when immediately after he called it a hoax, he pivoted to defending that sentence as being written by great scholars who are descendants of slaves.”
Dale continued, “So, here are the facts. Florida's new standards for sixth through eighth graders say they will -- quote – ‘examine the various duties and trades performed by slaves,’ and it gives a bunch of examples. And then it goes on to say that this -- it says that the standards say that this ‘instruction includes how slaves develop skills, which in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit.’”
However, Dale undermined his own point that DeSantis was almost certainly referring to Harris’s conclusion of the curriculum, not what it literally says, “So again, the moderator wasn't making it up, Vice President Harris didn't make it up, it is there in black and white. Now, some context, the governor, his allies and various other Republicans, I've heard an argument from our Scott Jennings, they've said that the so-called hoax is making it sound like the curriculum broadly is pro-slavery.”
Conceding that they have a point, Dale observed, “They correctly note that the standards include item after item after item about the evils of slavery in addition to this line. And they're entitled to make that argument, though some other elements have also received criticism from historians. But in this debate, you know, he was read the precise line. He made it sound like it was a line made up by VP Harris.”
So, what exactly is Dale fact-checking? DeSantis called accusations that Florida is teaching that somehow slavery was a good thing a hoax and Dale conceded that he is correct, but still labeled him false.
During Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate, the various reporters at The New York Times assembled to fact-check the various candidates and it did go well as they attacked them everything from “Joe Biden hides in his basement” to Iran to energy to transgenderism.
On former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s claim that “Joe Biden hides in his basement,” White House correspondent Michael Shear got hyper-literal, “this is false.”
Of course, Christie was speaking metaphorically about how Biden dodges accountability for things like the national debt. Christie also accused Donald Trump of hiding behind his golf clubs, but since that was obviously metaphorical and an attack on Trump, Shear left it alone.
Shear also rode to Biden’s defense when North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum accused him of setting “a price on anyone’s head who’s a tourist from America. Who’s a student from America, for kidnapping” by paying $6 billion to Iran. Shear gave this claim the dreaded “this requires context.”
Burgum’s claim is a policy opinion that handing over money to Iran encourages more hostage taking. That the money was “in Iran’s oil revenues that were sitting, unusable, in South Korean banks” doesn’t matter because if Burgum’s opinion is correct it would require the release of more sanctioned money in the future without any change in Tehran’s behavior.
But Christy made no effort to prove Burgum correct -- which means that the fact-check stands.
Joseph Vazauez spent his own Sept. 28 post that Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler wouldn't fall in line with right-wing narratives on the economy:
Apparently The Washington Post’s in-house fact-butcher Glenn Kessler hasn’t learned his lesson. He regurgitated one of his already-debunked arguments spinning inflation data to protect President Joe Biden.
Kessler used the second GOP presidential primary debate to once again target candidates who dared to suggest that American families lost significant spending power as a result of President Biden’s inflation crisis. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley asserted that Biden’s economy has cost “$7,000 more a year for families,” which Kessler got triggered over. He attributed Haley’s statement to analysis conducted by Heritage Foundation economist EJ Antoni, which the fact-checker brazenly misrepresented. Kessler falsely claimed that Antoni’s analysis was faulty because it supposedly “relied on a change in purchasing power and a change in borrowing power. The change in borrowing power relied on mortgage rates — and not every family is looking for a new home.” This isn’t the first time Kessler has done this.
Vazquez featured a lot of ranting by Antoni accusing Kessler of getting things wrong. He couldn't be bothered to obtain a response from Kessler, however, since narrative trumps facts and fairness at the MRC.
Newsmax's Hirsen Gushes Over Mexican Presidential Candidate, Hides His Right-Wing Extremism Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen was in a very gushy mood in his Sept. 13 Newsmax column:
In Mexico, Eduardo Verástegui is a household name. He's a musical entertainer and telenovelas superstar.
His career blossomed in the United States as well as in Mexico, with his celebrity status rising as he worked with high-profile industry figures such as Calvin Klein, Jennifer Lopez, and Sofia Vergara, to name a few.
Over the years he acquired a number of movies and television shows under his belt, which include "Chasing Papi," "Bella," "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2," "CSI: Miami," and "Charmed."
Most recently, he played the roles of lead producer and cast member for the international film phenom "The Sound of Freedom," which has now reached a level close to $200 million in global box office.
In his latest project, he has chosen to enter the political arena, and he's going for a top-tier spot. The necessary paperwork has already filed for his run as an independent presidential candidate in Mexico's June 2024 election.
Verástegui's motivation to have a role with a purpose in the public square may relate to the time period in which he experienced one of his big Hollywood acting breakthroughs.
Hirsen went on to soft-pedal Verástegui's views:
In his recent Mexican presidential candidate announcement, he emphasized life and freedom as the key driving principles in his decision.
In the past, he campaigned for pro-life causes and conducted prayers on social media. In addition, he put his faith into action, establishing Manto De Guadalupe, a pro-life organization based in Los Angeles, which includes a crisis pregnancy center.
His announcement of a presidential run comes after the Mexico Supreme Court issued an unthinkable landmark decision that legalizes abortion in a once-fervently faith-filled country; it's a decision that paves the way for a massive increase in the killing of life in the womb, as of yet unborn.
Verástegui is portraying himself as a new kind of leader. This may be advantageous for him because he is able to stand in stark contrast to the established parties, which the public, in large part, distrusts.
PAN, Mexico's purported right-of-center party, is likely to be targeted by Verástegui's presidential campaign in a manner reminiscent of U.S. candidates that have run against Republicans of the establishment kind.
But Hirsen is hiding just how extreme Verástegui's right-wing politics are, which include anti-abortion extremism and admiration for right-wing authoritarians. According to Reuters:
Eduardo Verastegui, an outspoken Mexican actor and right-wing activist who calls Donald Trump "my friend," is hoping to unite his country's conservatives with a long-shot presidential bid ahead of next year's elections.
He called doctors performing abortions assassins and said they should be imprisoned for "a minimum of 100 years."
"We're a Catholic country governed by an anti-Catholic government," he said.
In 2022, Verastegui organized CPAC Mexico, a local spinoff of the conservative political conference that has boosted hard-right leaders like Trump, Bolsonaro and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Verastegui told Reuters he looks to Orban, as well as Hungary's President Katalin Novak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as models among global leaders.
"The Hungary model seems very good to me: country, family, freedom," Verastegui said.
Verástegui also danced around how "Sound of Freedom" -- which of course, Newsmax loved -- leans into QAnon conspiracy theories, according to reutiers: Verastegui said he had heard of QAnon, but that he did not know anything about it. Asked if he rejects the idea that Democrats are engaged in a pedophilia ring, Verastegui said "there are good people and bad people on all sides."
Instead of telling his readers the truth about Verástegui, Hirsen chose to gush even more over him:
An amazing arc of success surrounds Verástegui's life. A providential win of the presidency could be forthcoming.
If this happens, positive changes will surely be in store for our neighboring country South of the Border.
And the world will get to see a glimmering example of how celebrity power can work for the good.
Only someone like Hirsen would portray Verástegui's right-wing authoritarianism as something "good" and "positive.
WND -- Which Raged That Ray Epps Hadn't Been Arrested -- Now Rages That He Is Topic: WorldNetDaily
Some folks just can't be pleased. Ever since the Capitol riot, WorldNetDaily has obsessed over Ray Epps, a particiopant whom it has portrayed without evidence as a secret federal agent whose goal it was to provoke violence -- never mind that both Epps and federal officals have repeatedly testified that he was not. Well, Epps finally got arrested for his actions at the riot, and WND predictably wasn't happy about that either. Bob Unruh huffed in a Sept. 19 article, under a headline calling Epps "infamous":
Ray Epps, the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol protester who was cast as a provocateur by multiple commentators because he was on video urging the crowd to break into the Capitol, yet was not charged, now has been charged.
With a misdemeanor.
As more than 1,000 people who sometimes did not do even as Epps had, urging the crowd to violate the Capitol, were charged, sometimes with felonies, he remained without a court date. There have been cases against people who were not even in Washington that day.
And that very circumstance caused some to claim he was there to provoke the crowd into doing the things it should not.
The Washington Examiner reported Epps "became the focus of online theories about the government plotting the incident," and now has been accused of disorderly conduct.
Unruh went on to tout attacks on Epps by Steve Bannon and right-wing Ome America News, then added: "A sympathetic report from NBC suggested Epps was set to agree to a plea bargain." Unruh failed to mention that the NBC report also noted one key reason why Epps is facing less severe charges than others: "Video shows that Epps attempted to deescalate tensions between the police and rioters, though he's also shown with his hands on a giant Trump sign the rioters jammed into the police line."
Unruh complained that Epps said the right-wing conspiracy theories about him "had torn his life apart," but didn't disclose that WND helped ot spread them. Rather, he spread them again, quoting his boss, editor Joseph Farah, repeating them.
And WND wonders why nobody wants to read its website anyone. Why would they, with all the fake news and conspriacy theories it publishes?
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Ironic Promotion Of RFK Jr.'s Presidential Campaign, Part 1 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center doesn't actually want Robert Kennedy Jr. to be president -- it's just hoping that his Democratic campaign might damage President Biden's re-election efforts. Read more >>
MRC Smears Hispanic GOP Debate Moderator As 'Anti-American' For Not Asking Softball Questions Topic: Media Research Center
As with the first one, the Republican apparatchiks at the Media Research Center hyped and defended the second Republican presidential debate (which, like the first, leading candidate Donald Trump refused to attend). Jorge Bonilla kicked things off with a Sept. 27 post (also in Spanish) complaining that someone from Spanish-language network Univision was allowed to serve as moderator alongside pro-Republican Fox Business hosts, insisting that this didn't mean Univision suddenly moved to the right:
The worst part of the GOP’s inexplicable decision to invite Univision to co-moderate tonight’s presidential primary debate at the Reagan Library is that it validates Univision’s claim to represent the Hispanic community, when they very clearly do not.
Watch as anchor and debate co-moderator Ilia Calderón claims that mantle in the network’s ad promoting the debate:
Expect Calderón to ask questions on immigration, gun control, and other items from the leftwing policy pupu platter. Just keep in mind that Univision has no mandate from Heaven with which to speak on behalf of the Hispanic community, inasmuch as there is such a singular thing. In fact, polling suggests quite the opposite.
After the debate, Nicholas Fondacaro raged at Calderón for purportedly being "anti-American" for asking questions that actually challenged the candidates:
The second GOP presidential primary debate Wednesday night was a case study in why the Republican Party shouldn’t award debate moderation privileges to hostile and dishonest members of the liberal media. While Fox Business Network occupied two of the moderator positions (Stuart Varney and Dana Perino), the third was given to Univision anchor Ilia Calderón. Her questions were by far the most anti-American and dishonest; ranging from lies about gun violence being “unique” to America to blaming America for the drug trafficking at the southern border, and more.
In a question directed to North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, Calderón peddled the liberal media’s BIG LIE about gun violence: “Mental health concerns are not unique to United States. But gun violence is.”
Back here in reality, Central American and South American countries were some of the most dangerous countries in the world. Their violence was often cited as a primary driver of illegal immigration to the U.S. According to reporting from NPR, those countries have per capita violent gun death rates many times that of the U.S. In 2019, America’s rate was 3.96 while Mexico’s was 16.41 and Calderón’s home country of Colombia had 26.36.
In his rage, Fondacaro forgot to explain how that line of questioning was "anti-American."Kevin Tober similarly slurred Calderón as "anti-American" without providing a factual basis, further attacking her as "pro-trans" for asking a question about anti-LGBTQ violence:
Fox News for reasons passing understanding, allowed radical leftist Univision anchor Ilia Calderón to co-moderate their Republican presidential primary debate. Throughout the evening, Calderón asked numerous anti-American & pro-LGBTQ questions of the candidates. Predictably, during their live post-debate coverage, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow praised Calderón's biased questions because they are something Fox's audience is "not used to hearing on Fox."
"There was also an interesting dynamic tonight with the moderators. With at least one of the moderators, Ilia Calderón from Univision she’s the only one of tonight's three moderators who has some experience moderating debates," Maddow said. "But it was Miss Calderón who actually in her questioning sort of distinguished herself by telling the listening audience tonight something they are not used to hearing on Fox," she added.
Maddow then gushed over the Anti-American and false question that American citizens are responsible for bringing fentanyl into the United States: "She mentioned, for example, that when it comes to fentanyl, 90 percent of fentanyl is caught at the U.S. Border and most is brought by American citizens. That is something Fox audiences may never have heard on their television before."
Being a lesbian herself, Maddow predictably enjoyed the question posed to Mike Pence about supposed violence against "LGBTQ+" people: "She also confronted former Vice President Mike Pence with this question about the LGBTQ community right now. It was a question, again that Fox viewers are not used to hearing, and it elicited at first, a sort of general platitude for Mr. Pence and then a somewhat chilling threat from him toward that community," Maddow proclaimed.
The MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade weighed in with a post by Tom Olohan cheering how Ron DeSantis "stressed that keeping Americans safe from the rampant crime often intensified by radical Soros-funded prosecutors is crucial for the country’s future success." Tober returned to complain that the candidates pushing partisan attacks on Democrats on border issues was called out:
During ABC News Live Prime's post-GOP debate coverage, political director Averi Harper was clearly disappointed that Republican candidates framed the Biden border crisis as a "wholly Democratic Party failure," and bemoaned the "finger-pointing and the platitudes that were made on that stage."
Tober offered no evidendce that Biden and only Biden is to blame for the border situation.
A post by Tom Kilcullen cheered how Nikki Haley "blasted censorship-loving tech platform TikTok as 'one of the most dangerous social media apps that we can have.'" Mark Finkelstein was annoyed that someone whose show he hate-watches for a living picked a debate winner:
"Nikki Haley: Endorsed By Morning Joe!"
That's hardly the kind of support that someone seeking the Republican presidential nomination would welcome. To the contrary, it could be the kiss of political death for Haley or any of the Republican contenders.
But while the praise for Haley was not overly enthusiastic, the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador was clearly the winner of last night's debate in the eyes of today's Morning Joe panel.
Indeed, no one other than Haley was mentioned as a possible winner. Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist, Jonathan Lemire, and Elise Jordan were all in agreement: Haley was "the adult in the room."
For all this praise today, if Haley ever did become the Republican candidate, you could count on Morning Joe to train an endless stream of attacks on her!
Curtis Houck, meanwhile, whined that the lack of questions about the elephant (not) in the room was noted:
During the post-GOP presidential debate analysis on Thursday’s CBS Mornings and ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA), liberal journalists bellyached that the seven candidates didn’t obsess over the four indictments against former President Trump or fixate on a recent Truth Social post calling for charges to be brought against former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.
Chief Washington correspondent and soon-to-be three-time anti-Trump author Jonathan Karl was beside himself in both hours of GMA over how, other than Chris Christie looking into the camera and referring to “your indictments,” “that was the only mention in the entire debate of Trump’s indictments.”
“There was no mention whatsoever of this week’s ruling by a New York judge that Trump’s company had committed widespread fraud,” he added.
Karl then offered this lie: “No major attacks on him from the other candidates besides, you know, suggesting that he should have been there.”
Hello, Jon? What was that clip of DeSantis talking about Trump and the national debt? Or how about the moments when DeSantis hit Trump from the right on abortion? Or Christie on the border and then Russia? Or Mike Pence on the size of the federal bureaucracy? Or Nikki Haley on China?
Houck provided no links to the actual debate transcript, so it's unclear whether the candidates were targeting Trump specifically or repeating their usual right-wing talking points.
Speaking of hate-watching, Fondacaro did his usual meltdown routine at "The View," spewing performative outrage because the hosts talked about the debate in a way that didn't follow Fox News-esque talking points:
There’s a lot of criticism that could be leveled at the second Republican presidential primary debate on Fox Business Network, particularly Univision moderator Ilia Calderón’s anti-American questions, the crosstalk, and the The View cast shared during their reaction on Thursday.
Amid their whining about Republican candidates holding Republican positions on everything from gun rights to immigration to transgenderism, racist ABC co-host Sunny Hostin bloviated about how the debate “looked like a cage fight.”
Hostin falsely suggested that there was no policy discussion about any topic at all.“I didn't hear a lot of policy. You know? You want to talk about the border and immigration, well, you want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, so what is your plan for health care?” she scoffed.
For what it’s worth, faux conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin grew a couple vertebrae and pushed back by noting that just because they didn’t like the policy didn’t mean policy wasn’t discussed[.]
Again, Fondacaro failed to explain how asking questions that deviated from the RNC script made her anti-American. Also, Fondacaro's constant smearing of Hostin as a "racist" is based solely on her merely talking about racism and his failure to understand how metaphors work.
ConWeb Loved 'Sound Of Freedom' Film -- But Largely Silent After Film's Inspiration Accused Of Sexual Misconduct Topic: The ConWeb
We'vedocumentedhow the ConWeb absolutely loved the right-wing film "Sound of Freedom," based on the exploits of Tim Ballard in trying to fight child sex trafficking -- while trying to spin away claims that the movie feeds into QAnon conspiracy-theory narratives and largely censoring how Ballard has refused to distance himself from QAnon. But the film wasn't the end of the story. In September, it was reported that Ballard had resigned from the organization he founded to push his anti-trafficking agenda, Operation Underground Railroad, following accusations from several women of sexual misconduct, in which he was alleged to have coerced the women to act like "wives" during overseas missions; he was allegedly "extensively grooming and manipulating multiple women for the past two to three years with the ultimate intent of coercing them to participate in sexual acts with him, under the premise of going wherever it takes and doing 'whatever it takes' to save a child." In October, Ballared was sued by five women who accuse him of sexual assault and battery. (Ballard has denied the accusations.)
The Media Reseach Center and Newsmax -- both big promoters of Ballard and "Sound of Freedom" -- have censored this story. WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, helped with Ballard's defense; Joe Kovacs served as his stenographer while trying to dismiss the allegations as politically motivated in a Sept. 18 article, after the allegations were first made public:
Tim Ballard, the former Department of Homeland Security agent whose real-life heroics rescuing trafficked children were depicted in the smash film "Sound of Freedom" starring Jim Caviezel, is now speaking out in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct with numerous women.
"It's not true, nothing you hear is true," Ballard told supporters in Boston, who recorded his comments on video.
"This is breaking down my family like you can't believe," he continued, as his delivery varied from shouting at the cameras to welling up in tears.
His comments come in the wake of a report by far-left VICE News, which indicated "Ballard's exit from Operation Underground Railroad earlier this year followed an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct involving seven women, according to sources with direct knowledge of the organization."
In July, VICE News referred to "Sound of Freedom" as a "a heavily fictionalized depiction of Ballard's work for a division of ICE and his early career as a private anti-trafficking operator," and published a story about the film with the headline: "Anti-Trafficking Group With Long History of False Claims Gets Its Hollywood Moment."
Kovacs offered no evidence that anything in the Vice story is false or even that Vice is "far-left." He then reprinted Ballard's whining that even the Mormon church -- not known for making rash decisions -- has cut ties with him:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which Ballard is member, reportedly released a statement to FOX13 News and other media, calling Ballard's behavior "morally unacceptable."
But Ballard questioned the authenticity of that statement.
"I don't believe the Church did this," he said in the video. "I truly don't. Can you imagine that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would publicly condemn one of its members?"
Fox13 also reported the LDS Church "has removed articles promoting Ballard and the nonprofit he founded, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR)."
"Tim is fully convinced that he is supposed to be the 'Mormon Messiah and lead people back to the church," the statement reportedly indicated.
Fox13 noted of VICE's probe: "The documents reportedly outline how prosecutors believe Ballard communicated with a psychic to speak to the prophet Nephi 'to get intel' on how to rescue children.'"
Ballard says in the video: "I'm as human as anybody. But how is it that my decisions and my actions which led to the rescue of over 7,000 women and children and the arrest and imprisonment of over 5,000 traffickers and pedophiles, you tell me how I'm the bad guy in that story. How is it possible?"
"I pray to God the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wasn't part of this."
On Sept. 27, WND republished an article it stole from FaithWire featuring another defense by Ballard. But it has published no articles since, even after the women filed suit against him.
MRC Teams With Right-Wing Hungarian Group To Promote 'Free Speech,' Fight 'Woke' Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center executives Brent Bozell and Dan Schneider recently retweeted a message by Hungary's Center for Fundamental Rights: "#Woke is the #American Left's most dangerous export - we have agreed with the leaders of the Media Research Center (@theMRC), the largest #Conservative media institute in the #US, that we will work together to defend #CommonSense and #FreeSpeech."
The CFR (Alapjogokért Központ in Hungarian) is best known in America for hosting CPAC events in Hungary, where it demonstrated how it really feels about "free speech" by blocking a reporter from covering one event.Those events turn out to be little more than cheerleading events for Hungary's right-wing authoritarian leader, Viktor Orban. The MRC has long been a fan of Orban, cheering his claims to support "free speech" even while he suppresses dissent and criminalizes criticism of himself.
As you might imagine, the CFR is also an Orban cheerleader -- with good reason. While claiming to be a "legal research institute," it's really a propaganda outlet for Orban's government, and it has received numerous grants from the Hungarian government that effectively fund its entire operation.
In other words, the CFR is government propaganda. We thought the MRC hated government propaganda. Of course, the MRC hasn't told any of this to its readers.
(Pictured, from left: Center for Fundamental Rights director general Miklos Szantho, MRC chief Brent Bozell and MRC executive Dan Schneider.)
NEW ARTICLE -- WND's Other Russia Apologists, Part 2 Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnists have continued their admiration for Vladimir Putin and their smears against Ukraine -- but there's one columnist who's deviating from the pro-Russia norm. Read more >>
Kevin Tober raged in a July 26 post that President Biden wasn't being attacked as a bad father because of Hunter's issues:
On MSNBC’s All In, guest host Jen Psaki invited failed former Democrat Senator and MSNBC contributor Claire McCaskill to huff and puff about how poor Hunter Biden has been unfairly targeted by Republicans in light of the debacle Wednesday in which his sweetheart plea deal was revoked. McCaskill even went so far as to suggest that President Joe Biden is being targeted by Republicans because he loves his son Hunter.
Teeing up McCaskill, Psaki noted that “Hunter Biden is a favorite target of Republicans in the House. Republicans from the Trump wing of the party, and others.” She then asked McCaskill: “What accusations & arguments do you think they're gonna make, given this didn't go exactly as planned today?”
“They're going to keep doing what they’ve been doing,” McCaskill shrieked. “They're gonna try to indict a father for loving his son, who has been addicted to drugs and or alcohol. And without evidence of the father doing anything other than loving that son.”
Yeah, forget the mountains of evidence showing Joe & Hunter Biden shaking down foreign governments for cash, and Biden admitting on tape that he got the Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was investigating his son. According to McCaskill, Joe’s only crime is loving his son Hunter.
Cassandra DeVries spent an Aug. 1 post being annoyed that it was pointed out that Hunter does not work in the Biden White House and that the Trump kids are more directly connected to their father's credibly alleged criminality:
Devon Archer testified on Monday that his former business partner, Hunter Biden, called then-Vice President Joe Biden during business meetings to “sell the illusion of access to his father” and America’s government. Tuesday’s CNN This Morning dismissed Hunter’s use of his father’s position as vice president for business advancement as typical political behavior, more suitable than that of Trump’s children, irrelevant to voters compared to Republican extremism, and unimportant to the public.
When asked if Hunter’s use of his father’s position for monetary gain would resonate with voters, Jessica Washington, senior reporter for The Root, parlayed and asserted that Trump’s children shared tighter business ties with former him than Hunter and President Biden:
I think to a certain extent it will resonate with some voters. But I do think this kind of -- we have no direct connection to Biden in anything unethical at this point. And so, right now, we're talking about Hunter Biden who isn't in the administration. It's not like the Trump kids, where they had these close business ties, where he brought them into the administration. So, I don't think it resonates in the same way what happened with Jared or Ivanka or the Trump kids does.
Brownstein remained unconcerned that Hunter’s conduct would matter politically. He reminisced about 2022, claiming Democrats won despite disapproval of Biden’s performance because Republicans were ‘extremists’:
Alex Christy groused in an Aug. 3 post that his fellow right-wingers' Hunter derangement was being called out:
Former White House Press Secretary and current weekend MSNBC host Jen Psaki joined the network’s Thursday coverage of President Trump’s third indictment and arraignment to discuss the GOP’s reaction, specifically their attempts to equate the situation with Joe and Hunter Biden’s problems. Psaki was not thrilled with the comparison, claiming to do so in reminiscent of Vladimir Putin.
After co-host Jose Diaz-Balart observed Republicans are trying to tie Joe and Hunter Biden together, Psaki recorded, “Of course they are. And there is no evidence of that, but they're going to keep trying because that is the argument that they want to fuzzy the waters out there, muddy the waters, not fuzzy them, muddy the waters out there.”
“That, by the way, is a tactic that Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian dictators use, but that's their strategic objective, to make it all seem the same,” Psaki continued.
Interestingly enough, the man who allegedly paid the Bidens a $10 million bribe at Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, worked in the administration of Viktor Yanukovych, who ran away to Russia in 2014 after the Ukrainian people got tired of being governed by a Putin stooge. If a Republican father-son were facing these allegations involving Putin-aligned foreigners, the media would be paying far greater attention.
In fact, Devon Archer -- the same guy whose testimony DeVries credibly cited -- also testified that he had no knowledge of any bribe paid to the Bidens by Zlochevsky and that the Form 1023 released by Republicans as purported evidence of the bribe doesn't actually support it.
Newsmax Targets Smartmatic (Which Is Suing Newsmax) With Ham-Handed Sniping, Defensiveness Topic: Newsmax
Eric Mack used a Sept. 25 Newsmax article to repeat a CNN report about voting-tech company Smartmatic: "A voting technology company at the center of legal action against former President Donald Trump's lawyers and others over the 2020 presidential election reportedly finds itself implicated in a bribery scheme with a top Filipino election official." Fully half of Mack's story, though, is about Newsmax defending itself against the lawsuit filed against it by Smartmatic and fellow voting-tech company Dominion. First up, denial and distancing:
Alleging defamation, Smartmatic is suing Newsmax, Fox News, OAN, several individual Fox hosts, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and others.
All have denied wrongdoing.
The Trump team alleged a tenuous connection between Dominion and Smartmatic, noting that Smartmatic had once owned Sequoia, a U.S. voting machine company. Dominion acquired Sequoia in 2010.
Newsmax has denied the defamation allegations of Smartmatic, claiming its lawsuit is an attack on a free press and Newsmax's right to report on what major officials and other public officials are stating publicly.
In December 2020 Newsmax issued a statement on its coverage of the 2020 election, making clear that network had "no evidence Dominion uses Smartmatic's software or vice versa."
The statement also added that Newsmax found that "no evidence has been offered that Dominion or Smartmatic used software or reprogrammed software that manipulated votes in the 2020 election."
Mack also stated:
Smartmatic has long had ties with the regime of Venezuelan strongmen Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, handling the country's presidential and congressional elections for over a decade.
Mack failed to mention that Smartmatic left Venezuela in 2018 after the country's election officials were caught by Smartmatic manipulating vote totals in a 2017 election. That would seem to disprove Mack's suggestion that Smartmatic is corrupt because it had worked with "strongmen."
Mack waited until the third-to-last paragraph of his 24-paragraph article to concede that "Smartmatic was not accused in the criminal complaint of having tampered with elections in the Philippines or elsewhere, according to CNN."
Democrats and other leftists have applauded the astonishingly harsh sentences being handed out by Washington judges to those protesters who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Some have been given decades in prison. Some are spending time in jail even though they weren't in Washington that day. Others have been put behind bars for walking into the Capitol – even though in some cases security officers held the doors open for them.
Now a poll shows that those leftists, and activists, are out of line with the American public.
A report at the Washington Examiner explains that large groups of voters view the extraordinary sentences as "too harsh."
"And despite the Washington-based news coverage portraying the 2021 protest of President Joe Biden’s election as an insurrection, more of America’s voters than not believe it was a 'mostly peaceful protest that got out of control,'" the report explained.
In fact, that harsh treatment – sometimes defendants are arrested by SWAT teams pounding on residential doors – is seen by "a majority" as a campaign by Joe Biden and his "thugs" to scare anyone who may wish to oppose his liberal agenda, the report said.
The report explained Rasmussen Reports confirms that 49% of poll respondents say the events were "mostly peaceful" while 45% said it was an "insurrection."
And 42% said the sentences are "too harsh" to the 29% who said they aren't harsh enough.
In fact, the opposite is true: Most sentences for Capitol riot defendants have been shorter than prosecutors' recommendations, and more than one-third were shorter than federal guidelines. Unruh didn't mention that Rasmussen polls tend to have a right-wing bias, throwing their accuracy into question; instead, he hyped another dubious poll finding:
Further, "Asked if they agreed with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) that the sentences were 'designed to send a loud and clear message from Joe Biden and his thugs … If you oppose us, you’re going to jail for a long time,' 55% agreed and 36% did not," the report said.
Greene has worked to publicize the awful jail conditions of many of the protesters, some of whom have spent years behind bars awaiting the resolution of their cases, which sometimes include offenses like trespassing.
Unruh offered no evidence of any rioter who has "spent years behind bars" solely on a trespassing offense.
Unruh expanded his false persecution narrative to dfalsey accuse President Biden of jailing his enemies -- and portraying Donald Trump as their savior -- in a Sept. 18 article:
Joe Biden has overseen federal governmental attacks on a lot of his political enemies.
Those who doubted the results of the suspect 2020 election? Charged with criminal counts over and over. The activists who fight for the lives of the unborn, in conflict with Biden's ideologies? Jailed. And more.
But President Trump, during a weekend appearance that the "Pray Vote Stand Summit" in Washington, said they'll be getting pardons or commutations should he be re-elected to the White House.
According to a report in the Washington Stand, that mercy will be extended to sidewalk counselors, pro-life advocates and "every political prisoner who's been unjustly persecuted by the Biden administration," he said.
Unruh provided no examples of any protester currently "jailed" merely for protesting abortion.
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC Hating Transgender People, 2023 Edition: Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
The transphobic meltdowns continued among Media Research Center writers as the year progressed, which included complaints that right-wing transphobic hate was being called out for what it is. Read more >>
Soros Derangement Syndrome At The MRC (For Both George And Alex) Continues Topic: Media Research Center
After spending the summer hating George Soro's son for the offense of being, well, George Soros' son, the Media Research Center returned to its usual obsessivehatred of Soros himself. We've already noted that the MRC made a point of highlighting that Soros has given money to the Southern Poverty Law Center in bashing the SPLC for pointing out the extremism of the right-wing Moms for Liberty, as well as its cheering of Ron DeSantis for taking a shot at Soros during the first Republican presidential debate. It has had other anti-Soros freakouts as well from late August through September, largely of the guilt-by-association variety:
The main target of the MRC's manufactured outrage, though, was again Alex Soros, George's son who is poised to take over his empire of philanthropy. Tom Oholan raged in a Sept. 6 post:
Leftist billionaire Alex Soros warned that his Open Society Foundations is not done with Europe, promising to remain active there and even increase aid in some cases.
In an August 31st op-ed titled “No Soros retreat from Europe,” the Open Society Foundations chairman responded to claims that the leftist group would scale back its work in Europe under his leadership. Soros discussed promoting expansion in the E.U., Ukraine, the Roma and a variety of projects he continues to fund in Europe.
The article also made clear that Soros idolizes the E.U., as he wrote that “the European Union still stands as a global beacon of the values that shape our work.” He even went so far as to say that “like my father, I regard the E.U. as one of modern history’s great triumphs.”
During the same panel, Alex Soros compared Trump to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, saying that Orban was “much tamer” the first time he served as prime minister than during his present term. " But when they come back, they know where the bodies are buried,” Alex Soros claimed of Orban and presumably Trump, He added that Trump had been working to win over the military and referenced “what the Heritage Foundation is trying to do by purging things.”
Surprisingly, Olohan did not dispute Soros' description of Trump's second-term plan as "purging things"; indeed, he linked to the right-wing Heritage Foundation's Project 2025 plan, which is specifically designed to make the federal government "more friendly to the right" by, yes, purging many federal employees -- a largely non-political workforce that has long been immune from partisan politics -- and replacing them with political loyalists more interesting in pushing right-wing Christian agendas than making government work for all Americans. Olohan also described Soros as "anti-American" without offering any evidenceto back it up; perhaps he believes that not supporting an amoral, credibly accused crimninal and serial adulterer is somehow "anti-American."
Speaking of whom, a Sept. 11 post by Joseph Vazquez touted Trump's nasty yet childish insult of Alex Soros:
Former President Donald Trump blasted leftist billionaire George Soros’s extremist heir for pledging to use his father’s ungodly fortune to interfere in the 2024 election.
Alex Soros wrote an op-ed for Politico refuting any notion that his major shakeup at the Open Society Foundations meant there would be any “Soros Retreat from Europe.” In fact, Alex, who described himself as “more political” than his father, heaped praise on the dystopian European Union as a “global beacon of the values that shape our work.”
But a 2024 win for Trump, claimed Alex, would mean doom for the EU. “As someone who spends up to half their time working on the Continent and thinks former United States President Donald Trump — or at least someone with his isolationist and anti-European policies — will be the Republican nominee," Alex mourned. "I believe a MAGA-style Republican victory in next year’s U.S. presidential election could, in the end, be worse for the EU than for the U.S.”
To that end, Alex pledged, “We are adapting OSF to be able to respond to whatever scenarios might emerge, on both sides of the Atlantic.” Trump didn’t mince words in his Sept. 10 response on Truth Social. “We can’t let this spoiled little degenerate win.”
“[Alex’s] daddy controls the D.A.’s and A.G.’s in America. They are destroying our Country. Mitch McConnell is helping them do it by doing NOTHING! An EMBARRASSMENT to the Republican Party. GET TOUGH REPUBLICANS,” Trump continued.
Open Society Foundations (OSF) Chairman Alex Soros bragged about how his father has funded the legalization of illicit drugs while speaking to an audience of globalists.
During the Clinton Global Initiative 2023 Meeting last week, Alex opened up to The Washington Post Associate Editor Jonathan Capehart on a number of issues, including his father’s radical agenda on drug policy, which Soros dubbed “harm reduction.” Soros claimed, “If you look at what the foundation invested in, in its beginnings, we made a lot of things that weren’t, let’s say ‘sexy’ at the time, we brought them into the mainstream,” before adding, “but one of the reasons why we are attacked the way we are is because we are supporting harm reduction in drug policy all across the world, which was a huge, and still is a huge stigma.” Soros went on to discuss how his father had upset religious groups by supporting abortion and contraception, before providing a specific example of his father’s legacy on drugs. This legacy includes giving over $3 million from 2016 to 2021 to Harm Reduction International which advocates for “needle and syringe programmes” and “drug consumption rooms,” and pushing for the legalization of marijuana.
Olohan offered no evidence that anything Soros is proposing is ineffective, let alone "radical."
Olohan also spent a Sept. 13 post complaining about that other people don't obessively hate Soros the way he does (or, more accurately, is paid to do):
A leftist MSNBC host smeared Republicans as anti-Semitic for daring to call out radical billionaire George Soros for using his ungodly fortune to reshape society to match his open society worldview.
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan stepped on a rake by attacking critics of Soros. Hasan’s X post read, “The same Republicans who love billionaires, big money donations, dark money, etc, but now indignantly insist that their obsession with Soros isn’t antisemitic, really have to explain what it is about Soros that they so object to. It can’t be his money or donations.” In the words of The Daily Wire host Michael Knowles, “Isn't there a difference between donating to good things and donating to bad things?” Of course there is.
Hasan is not the first lazy media talking head to make Soros’ vendetta to “bend” the “arc of history” seem innocent and his critics seem racist. But since Hasan asked for an explanation, the Media Research Center would be happy to provide the answer.
Olohan didn't explain why an agenda that merely disagrees with right-wing ideology must be smeared as "bad things." He then offered a rehash of its anti-Soros freakouts over the past few years, though without the anti-Semitism of earlier efforts. He then huffed:
If a man who thinks like this puts $32 billion into influencing media, education, criminal justice and other fields, it behooves Republicans, Americans, and people throughout the world to be as interested in him as he is in them.
MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider weighed in on the irony of Hasan’s accusations, “The only reason Hasan is defending Soros is because they are birds of the same radical feather. It is absurd to claim that someone is antisemitic simply because they oppose the radical views of somebody who happens to be Jewish. It is in fact Hasan, who has advocated for policies that harm the sovereignty of Israel.”
Of course, Olohan and Schneider didn't mention how the MRC has invoked the anti-Semitic "puppet master" trope against Soros.If Schneider doesn't want the anti-Soros attacks from the MRC and other right-wingers to be dismissed as anti-Semitic, they should stop making anti-Semitic attacks and withdraw and apologize for the ones they have made. But because the MRC doesn't believe in acknowledging past mistakes, let alone apologizing for them, Schneider will never do that.