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Friday, December 15, 2023
MRC Whines Late-Night Hosts Are Making Fun Of Trump Again After Writers' Strike
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alex Christy had to give up his main job of being a comedy cop for late-night TV shows during the writers' strike (Fox News' Greg Gutfeld is totally exempt from scrutiny, of course). When the strike ended and late-night hosts returned, it was time for Christy to put on his belt and make a sulky, humor-devoid return to his beat. He spent an Oct. 3 post whining that the hosts were making fun of Donald Trump again:

The men of late night returned from the writers’ strike on Monday and other than CBS’s Stephen Colbert no longer censoring Donald Trump’s name, not much changed as the hosts were eager to get back to their Trump jokes.

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel recalled how, “Trump is now facing 91 felony counts, 91 felony counts. It's like all of Melania's birthday wishes came true at once.”

On their Strike Force Five podcast, Kimmel lamented he could not mock Trump’s weight in real time, but on Monday, he got that chance, “Every time something happened in the news, I would get texts asking me if I was bummed we didn't have a show that night, and mostly, I was fine. But the one that really got me was when they booked Trump in Georgia, and he self-reported his weight at 215 pounds. I almost crossed the picket line for that.”


Over at The Late Show, Colbert also lamented he was not on the air during Trump’s legal troubles, “On June 8, June 8, I really, really missed having a show because that was the day Donald Trump was hit with a 37 count indictment for hoarding national secrets and we saw some unbelievable photos of where he stored them, next to a Mar-a-Lago guest toilet.”

As for Trump’s mugshot, “On August 24, Trump was arrested at the Fulton County jail and for the very first time we got a mugshot. Yes! That is one anger-glazed ham.”

Colbert also compared selling a T-shirt of Trump’s mugshot with a “Never Surrender” slogan to “the time Nancy Reagan sold ‘Just say no’ t-shirts with a picture of her doing a line of coke off Gorbachev's forehead.”


NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers began with a bit of a different approach. During a rapid fire summation of all that he missed, Meyers went heavy on recalling all of Trump’s misfortunates as well as various GOP-related news, “So just bear with me while I try to get through this. Donald Trump appeared in a Manhattan courthouse today for a fraud trial after a judge ruled that he and his family had lied about their business assets for years. House Republicans descended into chaos and finger pointing after nearly shutting down the government while simultaneously embarrassing themselves with a sham impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden that even their own witness admitted did not have any evidence.”

Hunter Biden should be a gold mine for comedians, but Meyers rolled right along, recalling Rep. Matt Gaetz’s fights with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, more Trump- legal drama, Sen. Ted Cruz’s reaction to Barbie, Rep. Ronny Jackson getting “detained at a rodeo,” Trump’s windmills and whales comment, and how Rep. Lauren Boebert “got to second base at a Beetlejuice musical,” among other things.

Meyers ended by asking “Did I miss anything?” Before anyone answer Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulling the fire alarm, Meyers continued, “Oh, right, Trump went to a gun store and held a Glock like he was a Price is Right model.”

Christy didn't explain why it's forbidden to make fun of Trump even when engages in so much mock-worthy behavior.Instead, he followed it with a post complaining that Kimmel talked further about Trump's fantasy weight:

For his first post-Writers’ Strike guest, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel welcomed Arnold Schwarzenegger to discuss his favorite topic: Donald Trump’s weight. Schwarzenegger would also insist that he is still a Republican by offering up left-wing causes such as climate activism and “universal health care” as reasons why.

Kimmel really does love the topic of Trump’s weight. During the strike, he admitted it was the topic he most wanted to be on the air to joke about and he had already brought it up in his monologue, so he naturally brought it up with Schwarzenegger, “I want to ask you a quick question about Donald Trump, because, you know, you guys both hosted The Apprentice, you don't necessarily see eye to eye on most things. He listed his weight at 215 pounds. Now, you are one of the foremost experts on the male physique, bodybuilding, et cetera. When you size him up, what would you guess that that man weighs?”

Christy took further offense when Schwarzenegger pointed out that Richard Nixon supported universal health are: "By 'universal,' Schwarzegger means either tremendously expensive and unaffordable state-run health care or some Obamacare-like mandate where the state compels you purchase a given product which sounds more like something Bernie Sanders supports." Again, Christy failed to explain why Trump soblatantly lying about his weight is not deserving of mockery.

Tim Graham rehashed a lot of this whining in his Oct. 13 column:

Conservatives and Republicans should be at the top of the list of people who enjoyed the writers' strike over the summer. From May through September, the alleged comedians who are an important part of the Democrat messaging and morale machine were sidelined.

They missed the opportunity to wallow joyfully in Trump indictments and mock the first two presidential debates (and Trump skipping them). So when the strike ended, the usual parade of unfunny Republican-trashing began.


These comedians are trying to make up for lost time, trying to be the wind beneath the wings of the Democrats. They are certainly not attempting to please a general audience, like we're living in the last century. To most people, they're just unfunny hyper-partisans.

"Unfunny hyper-partisans"? Sounds llike Graham is talking about himself and Christy. And Graham is never going to accuse Gutfeld of being an "unfunny hyper-partisan" who's "trying to be the wind beneath the wings" of the Republicans.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:06 PM EST
Newsmax Pushes Bogus Claim That Biden Read Teleprompter Direction
Topic: Newsmax

Theodore Bunnker wrote in an Oct. 20 Newsmax article:

President Joe Biden on Thursday appeared to read aloud a direction from a teleprompter during his Oval Office address when talking about the wars in Ukraine and Israel, the Washington Examiner reported.

In a prime-time address to the nation, Biden, while asserting that the U.S. has no desire to send troops to fight against Russia, said, "We will have something that we do not seek — make it clear: We do not seek — we do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia or fighting against Russia."

But that's not what happened. As Mediaite pointed out:

But according to the prepared remarks reviewed by Mediaite, the line in question — although altered in its delivery — was not an instruction.

“And let me be clear about something: we send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpile,” the prepared remarks read. Also, “[make it clear]” is not the sort of instruction that typically appears in Teleprompter drafts.

Despite that, Bunker tried to pile on:

Biden previously came under fire after saying, "End of quote, repeat the line," while delivering a speech, though a White House spokesperson denied that he made a mistake at the time, claiming that Biden actually said, "Let me repeat that line."

But that's not what happened either. As PolitiFact noted: "A White House press secretary told us Biden intentionally said 'end of quote' and then said 'repeat the line' for emphasis, and the full, live remarks support that explanation."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EST
WND Hypes Dr. Drew's Misrepresentation Of COVID Vaccine Study
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh wrote in an Oct. 19 article:

A new video has surfaced revealing Dr. Drew, the popular media personality and medical commentator who runs his own show, being interviewed on the Megyn Kelly Show on SiriusXm.

And he's warning of the "emergency" myocarditis danger to young men from the COVID-19 shots, actually genetic treatments that were described by government officials as "vaccines."

"It's more common than we thought," he said. Sarcastically, he states: "It's mild … it's mild … it's no big deal."

However, it is, he said.

"Look, in my world, throughout my entire career, 40-year career, myocarditis is a medical emergency," he charged. "It's a dire problem."

And then he reveals what's troubling.

"A publication just came out five days in circulation," he said. "A major cardiology journal, … excellent study and it showed, it took my breath away. I don't know why it wasn’t headline news. Large study and it showed that about approximately half of the young males that got myocarditis had permanent heart damage."


He said, "That means that a we don't what percentage are going to be disabled by this [or] are going to develop heart failure. Or [are] going to need cardiac transplants."

He called the study, which he did not identify, "breathtaking."

Of course Drew Pinsky didn't identify the study -- that would have made it easier for someone to fact-check him (not that Unruh fact-checks anything that advances employer's right-wing agenda).Based on a retweet on Dr. Drew's Twitter feed, we can deduce that he appears to be referring to this study from the journal Circulation, which was actually published in August, not "five days" before his interview with Kelly. And, yes, he's grossly misrepresenting the study results.

First, the study was comprised of just 39 young people in Hong Kong, but as many as six of them were female, contrary to Pinsky's claim that it involved only "young males." Second, the study made no claim about "permanent heart damage," as Pinsky asserted; it merely stated that such conditions persisted in that subset of study subject and that "there exists a potential long-term effect on exercise capacity and cardiac functional reserve during stress." The study authors also admitted that there is a "lack of a trajectory that depicts changes in myocardial deformation over time."

Unruh inserted his own lie as well -- mRNA vaccines are vaccines, not "genetic treatments."

Pinsky, bythe way, is an anti-vaxx activist. His twitter (well, X) account promoting and appearing with fellow anti-vaxxers like Robert Kennedy Jr. as well as a host of other right-wingers, and he has touted the "Zelenko protocol," a dubious regimen of medications that purportedly fight COVID invented by dubious, deceased and WND-hyped doc Vladimir Zelenko. He also promoted the bogus conspiracy theory that actor Jamie Foxx's recent hospitalization was caused by a COVID vaccine. He can't be trusted as a source of reliable medical information -- but he's a reliable anti-vaxxer, and that's good enough for Unruh and WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 18, 2023 1:09 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Summer 2023: The Other Stuff
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center obsessed about many minor Hunter Biden-related things in addition to bigger items, but it was split on whether the appointment of a special counsel for him was a good thing or a cover-up. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EST
Thursday, December 14, 2023
MRC Whines It's Pointed Out There's 'No Evidence' Against Biden -- But Can't Prove What's Out There Is Actual Evidence
Topic: Media Research Center

If there's one sure way to make the Media Research  Center mad enough to scribble out an outraged post, it's pointing out that there's no real evidence to prove that President Biden has engaged in corruption. For instance:

One attempt to go past the partisan outrage and actually trying to back up the MRC's claim was a Sept. 7 post by Bill D'Agostino that reads more like a James Comer press release than "media research":

For months, the left-wing media have been lying outright to their audiences about the status of President Biden’s corruption scandal. Despite heaps of documents, damning statements from multiple witnesses, and sworn testimony from whistleblowers, journalists are still claiming with alarming frequency that there is “no evidence” Biden was involved in an influence-peddling scheme as Vice President.

Consider this (far from exhaustive) list of the evidence we’ve seen just from this past year:

  • More than 20 LLCs, which were established by Biden family members and their associates, have transferred an excess of $20,000,000 between foreign nationals and at least nine of Biden’s relatives.
  • These transfers generated at least 170 suspicious activity reports from banks, which were submitted to the IRS. The figures are also backed up by thousands of pages of bank records.
  • A credible FBI source, who has worked with the agency for more than 10 years, has alleged that there exist at least 17 recordings of Joe and Hunter Biden discussing business with Burisma executives while Biden was Vice President.
  • Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer testified under oath that then-Vice President Biden spoke with Hunter’s business partners at least 20 times on speakerphone between 2008 and 2016.
  • The National Archives has identified 5,400 emails from Biden’s Vice Presidency, which show him using pseudonyms to communicate government information to his son Hunter’s investment firm.

What D'Agostino doesn't do, however, is explain how any of these claims actually prove any corruption on Biden's part. (and he's certainly not going to tell you that Devon Archer is a criminal who actually contradicted Comer's narrative). And D'Agostino -- again, following Comer's narrative -- is trying to make things look worse than they actually are. For instance, the revelation of email accounts under different names is no big deal and not uncommon among government officials. Frank Vyan Walton at Daily Kos debunked the rest of this. Nrvertheless ,D'Agostino whined:

All of this looks terrible for the President. Has any of it risen to the level of 100% undeniable, ironclad proof of criminality? Not yet, but the journalists aren’t claiming there’s no proof. They’re denying, in outrageous fashion, the existence of any evidence at all. And that’s a massive lie.

This is an astounding dereliction of duty by the corporate media. But sadly, it’s not really a surprise to anyone.

But if none of this evidence adds up to any proof that the Bidens actually did anything illegal or unethical, it's not really evidence -- and, again, D'Agostino made no effort to prove that it did.

Nevertheless, the NewsBusters podcast the following day insisted that D'Agostino perpetrated "a thorough beatdown of the willfully blind and partisan press." Yeah, not so much.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:58 PM EST
Conspiracy Theorist Alexander Unironically Accuses Liberals Of Pushing Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rachel Alexander -- no slouch in manufacturing and promoting right-wing conspiracy theories -- wants you to believe that liberals have more of them. She began her Oct. 9 WorldNetDaily column this way:

The left is always gaslighting and claiming that the beliefs of those on the right are conspiracy theories, in large part because the left commits a lot of crimes that the right has been unable to solve. The reality is the left is full of all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories. They're able to keep them going and sounding legitimate by controlling Wikipedia entries and using their bogus fact-checking sites to "confirm" the crazy.

Hillary Clinton first popularized the phrase "vast, right-wing conspiracy" in 1998, claiming there were massive coordinated attacks against her husband, Bill, after he began running for president. Nothing much came of her accusation, and other than being ridiculed on the right for a while, the phrase has largely been forgotten. The MSM gave her a free pass and still does to this day, even though it should be known wide and far that she was the first really big left-wing conspiracy theorist of the modern era.

But that wasn't a conspiracy theory. As Karen Tumulty wrote at the Washington Post: "Hillary Clinton had it right when she made her famous declaration that a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' was out to get her and her husband. The opposition was and is passionate. It is well financed. It sees dark — sometimes preposterous — motives in nearly everything the Clintons do."

Alexander then clung to her right-wing conspiracy theories by pretending that they aren't:

Some of their conspiracy theories they turn around and pretend are ours. January 6th is a classic example. They claimed that we made up the fact that the protest at the U.S. Capitol was infiltrated by leftist plants and feds, when plenty of evidence has come out since showing that was correct. The real conspiracy theory is claiming that protesters went to the U.S. Capitol to overthrow the government in an insurrection. Only due to complicit judges twisting the trials against the defendants and prosecutors scaring them into plea agreements has the left been able to pretend this was true.

But the links Alexander supplied do not prove her contention that rioters were egged on by "leftist plants and feds." It's not difficult to get a plea deal out of a defendant when their is copious video documentation of his offenses. She continued:

The issue of election fraud also has been turned around. Everyone has seen the compilations going around from 2016 showing top Democratic leaders, including Hillary Clinton herself, saying the presidential election was stolen. Yet they persist with "the big lie," gaslighting us about 2020 election corruption, claiming we're all a bunch of delusional crazies lying. Here's what I don't understand about that. If they let us have what we want, which is full forensic and other types of audits including investigating voting machines, won't that debunk the "conspiracy theory" since they claim audits will show the Democrats really won?

You will not be surpised to learn that Alexander provided no evidence of "2020 election corruption" because there really isn't any. Her "audits" link goes to an anonymously written pamphlet touting post-election forensic audits as a right-wing tactic to throw chaos into elections that didn't go their way. We know that because the pamphlet states that "The Antrim Michigan Audit is a good example of a Machine PFA"; in fact, that audit -- which falsely claimed that the county's Dominion election system was "intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results" -- has been completely discredited. Alexander went on to pretend that QAnon had no real constituency on the right:

Even QAnon had elements of this reversal of blame. The left made the QAnon phenomenon out to be some widespread belief on the right, when the reality is most of us on the right don't know anyone who was even involved in it. Even though much of Big Tech purged QAnon around J6, the left continues to accuse top Republicans on the right of being associated with it.

It would be like taking Al Sharpton and pretending he represents the left-wing base.

Tell that to prominent QAnon adherents like Jim Caviezel; his allegiance to the conspiracy theory didn't keep anyone from promoting  the QAnon-adjacent film "Sound of Freedom." And there are plenty of people (looking at you, Media Research Center) who want us to believe that Sharpton "represents the left-wing base."

She then stated: "A conspiracy theory about race that has been thoroughly debunked is that "racist Republicans" in the South were behind slavery and Jim Crow. But the left never stops pretending it's true." Her link to this alleged debunking is a PragerU video by right-wing historian Carol Swain, who falsely denied that that the civil rights movement spurred Democrats who opposed it to go Republican, and she suggested that Richard Nixon's "Southern strategy" was irrelevant because he didn't immediately see benefits from it (it didn't start bearing right-wing fruit until the 1980s). 

Alexan der concluded by unironically claiming: "The problem is that even when the left's conspiracy theories are completely debunked, they continue to repeat them." Says the writer who's clinging to election fraud conspiracy theories despite an utter lack of credible evidence to support them.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 15, 2023 10:22 AM EST
MRC Whined That Tim Scott Was Asked About Virginity Pledge, Girlfriend
Topic: Media Research Center

Last May, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham had a meltdown when a reporter asked a very interesting question of Republican Tim Scott:

Washington Post political reporter Ben Terris is promoting his new book and reminded people on Twitter that he asked Sen. Tim Scott if he was still a virgin -- apparently in 2012 -- because when he was younger, he promoted abstinence until marriage. Liberal reporters don't ask trolling sex-life questions to Bill Clinton or Kamala Harris, so why Tim Scott?

Liberal reporters routinely seem to have more discretion with the sex lives of Democrats, perhaps because reporters don't see them as sexually repressed religious people. Questions about virginity are meant to embarrass weirdos.

Terris tweeted "Tim Scott will be the first prez candidate I’ve ever asked about the status of his virginity." He said the initial answer: “I’m not talking about my sex life with Ben Terris.” He eventually implied “I just wish we all had more patience.”

Some insist that it's fair to ask Scott about it, considering his earlier advocacy. But Bill Clinton claimed to be a feminist, and liberal journalists ignored it and told voters in 1992 to "grow up about sex."

Graham is rather deliberately ignoring that Scott is the one who put his claimed virginity out there as an item for public discussion, while Bill Clinton made no such public proclamations about his sex life or lack of one (until he was caught in an affair, anyway). Graham also didn't explain why he randomly referred to Kamala Harris, who has also never talked about her sex life (or lack of one) in public; it appears to be a sly allusion to right-wing smears that she purportedly slept her way to the top of California politics through an alleged affair with powerful state official Willie Brown. (The MRC previously tried to justify smearing Harris as a "hoe" over this.) Plus, reports that Scott has a girlfriend make such a question perfectly logical, especially given that he was running for president.

When the co-hosts of "The View" raised questions about Scott's alleged girlfriend, Nicholas Fondadcaro had his own meltdown in a Sept. 12 post:

The staunchly racist co-host of ABC’s The View, Sunny Hostin was back attacking South Carolina Republican Senator and presidential candidate Tim Scott again on Tuesday. This time, she demanded to know who the Senator was dating because she feared his girlfriend was “a lunatic.” But the example she kept returning to was that of another black conservative, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas whose wife, Ginni Thomas, was white.

Scott’s relationship status was bizarrely the first hot topic discussed on the show. “Is it important for the U.S. to have a married presidential candidate? Must you be married to someone in order to be president? Are people more comfortable, or can you be a single person, you know, who is looking for love in all the wrong places?” moderator Whoopi Goldberg asked the table.


Following the soundbite of Scott talking about his girlfriend on Fox News, Hostin argued that it was “very important” she know who he was dating “because of the pillow talk that happens and if she's a lunatic.”

And as if it was some form of evidence against the Senator, she read from a Washington Post hit piece that claimed he might be “reverse catfish[ing] America” and lying about having a girlfriend. “Then The Washington Post reports that six friends of Scott said they didn't know about a woman in his life,” she proclaimed as if it was fact.

Reminder: Fondacaro thinks Hostin is a "racist" because he doesn't understand how metaphors work.

When Scott's girlfriend finally made her presence known by appearing on stage with him after the third GOP presidential debate, Jorge Bonilla whined that MSNBC highlighted it in a Nov. 9 post, huffily adding:

For MSNBC, even a bit candidate gossip ... is better than having to discuss the substance of the debate.

On balance, it is certainly better than the serial misrepresentation of the candidates’ stances on the issues and, in the case of both Psaki and Sanders-Townsend: far better than having to defend the ongoing dumpster fire at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Alex Christy brought a similar huffiness to a Nov. 14 post complaining that "Daily Show" temp host Leslie Jones referenced the girlfriend after Scott dropped out of the presidential race:

As it was, Jones also took the opportunity to take shots at Scott’s romantic life, “But what's really surprising about this is we finally got to meet Tim Scott's mystery girlfriend. He brought her out on stage and then a week later, he drops out. And you know she was only dating him because she thought he was going to be the president. I bet you he's now like ‘Well, I fell short, but at least we've got each other, baby. Baby? Where did you go, baby?’"

One could ask the same thing about The Daily Show’s jokes.

Or, you know, the MRC's "media research."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The Trump Stenographers At Newsmax: (Fourth) Indictment Edition
Topic: Newsmax
After lots of foreshadowing, Newsmax went into is usual defend-and attack mode as Donald Trump faced his latest indictment out of Georgia -- and got a cross-promotional interview with Trump for its trouble. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2023 10:08 AM EST
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
MRC Whined About NBC Hosting GOP Debate -- But Won't Apologize After Liking It
Topic: Media Research Center

Long before the third GOP presidential debate took place, the Media Research Center was complaining about NBC being allowed to host it. Geoffrey Dickens huffed in a June 12 post:

With more candidates jumping into the GOP race last week, decisions on which news outlets get to host the Republican primary debates should be coming soon. 

Back on June 2, Axios reported NBC, led by Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, made a hard pitch to the RNC (back in February) to moderate one of the GOP primary debates to be presumably broadcast on NBC, MSNBC or CNBC.

However, the Axios story also reported Florida Republican Governor Ron Desantis has “been pushing back against” NBC hosting a GOP debate and with good reason given “MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell acknowledged ‘imprecise’ language….that implied DeSantis didn’t want slavery taught in schools.” 

It’s not just DeSantis who should be wary of NBC unfairly rigging the debates. Every GOP presidential hopeful may want to think twice before accepting an invite to an NBC produced debate. 

A review of the MRC’s archives shows a consistent and clear pattern of slanted questions to Republican candidates.


The pattern of bias is clear and established. Republican presidential hopefuls expecting NBC to change its tune for the 2023 GOP primary debates would be foolhardy at best.

As the debate neared, Dickens whined further in a Nov. 2 post:

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and Meet the Press host Kristen Welker are set to moderate (along with talk show host Hugh Hewitt) the third Republican primary debate on November 8 and, as NewsBusters warned before the NBC moderators were chosen, GOP voters should expect hostile questions that push a left-wing agenda and are hostile to conservatives and their policy positions. 

MRC founder and President L.Brent Bozell challenged Holt and Welker in this letter.

In September, Welker took over Meet the Press moderating duties from Chuck Todd. To help Welker’s first episode, former President Donald Trump agreed to appear. In return, he faced the usual liberal fact-checking interruptions, especially when answering questions about abortion.

Bozell's letter, by the way, was llitle more than a condescending sneer at Holt and Welker, whom he clearly considers to be his moral inferior (despite his having fathered an insurrectionist). There are preening statements like "First, you must understand your role in this debate. It is to present opportunities to the candidates to differentiate themselves from each other." He gushed that his fellow right-wingers "love their country, believe in the dignity of every human being, and have the humility to give thanks to their Creator for making them in His image," presumably unlike Holt and Welker. He also demanded that the hosts sound and act like they work for Fox News, stick to right-wing talking points on issues and "frame" them in right-wing narratives, ultimately demanding that they exercise every ounce of self discipline you can muster to resist the habit of functioning like a Democrat [sic] political operative." Bozell also laughably added: I’m also willing to be schooled if I am wrong." He's lying; part of Bozell's right-wing schtick has always been to never admit being wrong (i.e., his silence when it was revealed that Tim Graham ghost-wrote his syndicated columns; one has to wonder if Graham wrote this letter too).

The MRC was gifted an in-debate hit from one of the candidates, as highlighted in a Nov. 8 post by Nicholas Fondacaro:

One of the fieriest moments of the third GOP Debate Wednesday night was when candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy asked Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel if she wanted to come on stage a resign given the GOP’s sweeping election losses on Tuesday. He also called her out for awarding NBC the privilege of hosting a GOP debate despite how the network pushed the Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax.


Looking into the audience, possibly at McDaniel herself, he said he’d yield her the balance of his time if she wanted to announce her resignation. He also decried how she awarded NBC debate privileges:

You that matter, Ronna if you want to come on stage tonight, you want to look at the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will turn over – yield my time to you. And frankly, look, the people there cheering for losing in the Republican Party, think about who’s moderating this debate. This should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, and Elon Musk. We’d have 10 times the viewership asking questions that GOP primary voters actually care about and bring in more people into our party.

Ramaswamy drilled down by targeting moderator Kristen Welker. “I mean, we’ve got Kristen Welker here. Do you think the Democrats would hire Greg Gutfeld to host a Democratic debate? They would not do it,” he shouted.

In fact, the investigation into possible collusion between Trump and the Russians was not a "hoax," given that the Trump campaign had dozens of contacts with Russian operatives and campaign manager Paul Manafort leaked internal polling data to another Russian operative.

But a funny thing happened at the debate: it was good, even by MRC standards. Tim Graham conceded as much in his Nov. 10 column:

Conservatives were up in arms that the Republican National Committee was allowing NBC News to moderate a presidential primary debate. Given NBC’s record of hostility to Republicans in debates and in general, it seemed like a terrible idea. As it turned out, it was a sober and serious debate with no remarkably hostile or silly questions.

But because Graham had been planning to write about how bad the debate was because it was on NBC and he could no longer do so, he had to figure out something else to write about. So he wined about one media commentator complaining that NBC partnered with right-wing radio syndicator Salem for the debate, whcih contributed a co-moderator in radio host Hugh Hewitt:

Minutes before midnight, after the NBC debate, CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy seconded Barr in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter under the headline “Normalized by NBC News.” Darcy groused: “Respected news organizations typically do not partner with right-wing companies known for trafficking in extremism. But NBC News chose another path. On Wednesday evening, the news organization hosted the third GOP debate alongside Salem Radio and Rumble, helping to elevate and normalize both of the far-right outfits.”

Darcy offered the same dire warning on October 17. “It’s no surprise that the GOP, which veered sharply to the right during Donald Trump’s presidency, would select Salem and Rumble as partners,” he wrote. “But it is striking that NBC News would agree to link arms with such organizations.”

What Darcy did not include in these fulminations was the reporting from Puck News that his own network had floated names of conservative media personalities who could serve as co-moderators of a CNN debate, including….Hugh Hewitt.

You will not be surprised that neither post by Dickens attacking NBC over the debate mentioned that it was partnering with Salem.

Graham lamented further that he couldn't complain about the debate in his Oct. 10 podcast:

What do we do at NewsBusters when the GOP debate moderators skip the gotcha questions? The NBC debate was fine. We predicted it might be like John Harwood's CNBC snark festival in 2015, but it wasn't anything like that. None of the questions were unfair or silly... like "Which of your fellow candidates would you 'vote off the island'?" The only question that drew some negative attention was Lester Holt suggested you couldn't make any policy move that could quickly change gas prices.

Presumably, there was no soul-searching about how the MRC shouldn't constantly and reflexively attack and smear all non-right-wing media as "biased.," nor any walking back of his colleagues' attacks on NBC over a purportedly unfair debate. We have also seen no apology from Bozell despite hgis claimed willingness to be "schooled if I am wrong." Right-wingers never apologize, remember?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EST
Newsmax Still Sniping At Fox News While Tooting Its Own Horn
Topic: Newsmax

One thing Newsmax loves to do is tweak its Fox News competition by portraying it as dying while Newsmax is on the asendency, as well as hyping any controversy that could be tied to it. When Fox News faced a tiny tempest because it allowed non-right-wing charities (and also the Satanic Temple) to take part in its employee donation portal, Newsmax got a couple of articles out of it:

Numerous Newsmax shows attacked Fox News over the donation policy. It even had Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves for a TV appearance to defend Fox News (and, thus, boost Newsmax as the non-Satanic right-wing channel), as documented in a July 24 article by MIchael Katz:

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of The Satanic Temple, which is at the center of a controversy involving Fox News matching employee donations to the nonprofit organization, told Newsmax on Monday conservatives are holding the cable news network to an “unreasonable” standard.


“I think Fox was just using a third-party app that was allowing contributions to any charitable organization that qualified as such,” Greaves told ldquo;Eric Bolling The Balance.” “On our side, nobody was shocked by this news. People within The Satanic Temple weren't worried that we had some kind of formal background affiliation with Fox, which they would also reject.

“I honestly think what we have going on here is kind of a conservative purity spiral. I think they're holding Fox to a standard that is somewhat unreasonable.”

Greaves said there is an expansive list of charities to which employees could contribute and that Fox wasn’t forcing anyone to contribute to a specific charity.

Newsmax also loved it when Donald Trump bashed Fox News (and occasionally promoted Newsmax as an alternative):

Speaking of Murdoch, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy had some nice things to say about him upon his retirement -- while, of course, burying that with fluffing his own channel:

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Wednesday night the news network experienced an unheard-of ratings jump during the third quarter of 2023 — up 73% across its prime-time programming compared to the same time period last year.

Appearing Wednesday on "Rob Schmitt Tonight," Ruddy noted, while Newsmax's ratings boom has come at the expense of Fox News, he praised its controlling shareholder Rupert Murdoch as a "great conservative."


Ruddy attributed the meteoric rise of his network to viewers "voting" with their remote control for independent media over corporate giants.

It is a trend he says will continue for quite some time.

"When Tucker Carlson was fired, we saw a big surge back early this year in April," Ruddy told Schmitt.


"Five months later, we're now going to the six months, those ratings are sticking."

"They're not disappearing, and we're getting a huge share of the Fox audience," he added.

Asked about former President Donald Trump's statement Wednesday calling Rupert Murdoch a "globalist," Ruddy said he a "high opinion" of Fox's founder.

"Full disclosure: I once worked for Rupert Murdoch in my earlier days in journalism," Ruddy said. "The man has made an enormous contribution to the cause of freedom not only in the U.S. but around the world."


"I don't believe Donald Trump would have been elected had there not been a Fox News," he said.

But he noted Fox is changing direction which has put the network at odds with Trump as he runs for the Republican nomination.

That's not really true, of course; at the same time Ruddy was saying this, Fox News had given more airtime to Trump than any other Republican candidate.

Of course, there were plenty of stories about Newsmax's ratings (good) and those of Fox News (bad):

Newsmax even nitpicked Fox News' reporting on one of its own polls. A Sept. 23 article by Eric Mack complained that the reporting didn't show Trump leading enough:

Fox Business misled viewers on a poll that had former President Donald Trump beating President Joe Biden, posting the graphic's numbers in a way to suggest Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was performing better than Trump against the incumbent.

Trump led Biden by 2 points 48%-46% in the Fox News poll, but the on-screen graphic shown by Fox Business listed Biden's lower support first next to Trump's name, suggesting Trump was trailing the incumbent when he was actually leading.

Also, Fox, which is continually ridiculed by Trump for being pro-DeSantis, listed DeSantis versus Biden right below, showing Biden's 47% support next to DeSantis' name — ostensibly suggesting DeSantis was drawing a 3-point lead despite having mere 44% support and trailing Biden and doing worse than Trump.

The misleading graphic presentation was reported by conservative media, including The National Pulse.


Trump has not yet posted it on his Truth Social account, but the media is noting the ultimate broadcast of the results were spun to be confusing, if not misleading, to viewers.

Mack slipped yet another Fox-bashing tweak: "This all comes as Fox Corp. and News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch, long ridiculed by the former president as being anti-Trump, has stepped down."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:09 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 10:19 PM EST
WND Tried To Portray Texas AG Paxton As Victim In His Impeachment Trial (While Ignoring What He Actually Did)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how WorldNetDaily columnist Andy Schlafly rushed to defend Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against an "ambush" impeachment -- even though corruption allegations have been flying around Paxton for years -- while refusing to tell readers why, exactly, Paxton was being impeached. The day after that column appeared, a May 31 "news" article by Bob Unruh upped the drama:

There was no sworn testimony. No documentation. No witnesses.

Yet after a three-hour hearing at which a bunch of lawyers hired by a legislative committee in Texas, many of whom were registered Democrats, the committee issued 20 articles of impeachment against Attorney General Ken Paxton and within hours, the full House voted for impeachment.

Republicans in the state, Paxton and many others have charged that the impeachment failed to follow basic due process, and was set up as a political stunt, making it illegal and unethical.

Now aides in the state AG's office have announced their confidence in Paxton, who is off duty while the legislative scheme plays out, by revealing they will take leaves of absence to defend Paxton.

But impeachment is a political process, not a legal one, and normal legal procedures don't apply. (We don't recall anyone at WND complaining that Bill Clinton didn't get "due process" during his impeachment.) And like Schlafly, Unruh refused to tell readers why Paxton was being impeached -- as a more reliable news outlet reported, it involves abuse of power, retaliation against whistleblowers and preferential treatment toward a political donor.

Schlafly whined a little more about it in a July 25 column, complaining that " Texas Gov. Greg Abbott "is a suspected instigator of the sham impeachment of the one Texas official who stood strong against the migrant invasion: Attorney General Ken Paxton."

Before the start of Paxton's trial, Unruh wrote a Sept. 6 article that laughably reduced the allegations against him to "bribery and such":

There's an impeachment going on in the Texas legislature now. Attorney General Ken Paxton is being targeted on allegations of bribery and such.

But the case also has been described as largely political by critics and as the proceedings begin, he already has support from eight of the 10 state senators he would need to be cleared.

That's the number who voted that most of the case should be thrown out because the events happened before his most recent election.

He was voted to trial in the state Senate by a vote in the state House, and is facing 16 counts related to misuse of his office.

A commentary from WND columnist Andy Schlafly charged that the case was an "ambush impeachment" and an "undemocratic assault on the will of voters."

Again, it's false to claim the impeachment was an "ambush" since allegations have swirling around Paxton for years. Unruh waited until the 15th paragraph of his article to actually mention one of the accusations, only to downplay it:

Apparently at issue is Paxton's connection to Nate Paul, and the nonprofit Mitte Foundation.

Paxton's defenders say he's never received anything of value from Paul, an Austin real estate developer.

Paxton's defense counsel explained a home remodel at issue was paid for by the Paxtons, and allegations that Paul's company hired a woman with whom Paxton allegedly had an affair was hired the old-fashioned way, by submitting an application.

Unruh didn't mention that there is also thet issue of Paxton hiring an outside attorney to issue nearly 30 subpoenas to harrass agencies and businesses investigating Paul.

WND didn't do much on the trial itself, only running an outside article after Paxton was acquitted. Joy O'Curran ranted about it, however, in her Sept. 25 column:

The recent impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was a mockery of our constitutional system of government and the required due process. The number of shameful shortcuts the Texas House took to bring articles of impeachment to the State Senate was beyond embarrassing! All hearsay and zero evidence. Tucker Carlson's interview with Paxton was an eye-opener to the level of corruption even in Texas. There is significant movement from the Texas GOP to censure House Speaker Dade Phelan, especially since the Senate acquitted Paxton on all 16 convoluted and crazy counts.

O'Curran didn't mention that Carlson didn't allow anyone to rebut Paxton's claims. And contrary to O'Curran's claim that there was "zero evidence" against Paxton, more than 4,000 pages of supporting evidence has been published.

Schlafly himself also didn't do anything on the trial itself, but he did whine in his Oct. 10 column that "Gov. Greg Abbott needs to rehabilitate his political reputation after he quietly supported the failed sham impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton," further whining:

Gov. Abbott wasted five months and millions of dollars unsuccessfully trying to remove the Attorney General who has been the strongest in our country against illegal immigration, Ken Paxton. Abbott never defended Paxton against this witch-hunt, as Trump and many conservatives did.

Again, Schlafly refused to discuss why, exactly, Paxton was impeached or why it was a "witch-hunt." He also didn't explain why holding conservatively correct views exempts one from being held accountable for acts of crime and corruption.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 4:01 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Summer 2023
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent the lazy summer months spreading lazy smears baselessly accusing Hunter Biden of stashing cocaine in the White House and exploiting his child for partisan purposes, as well as cheering the collapse of a plea deal. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EST
Tuesday, December 12, 2023
MRC Defends, Promotes Candidates After Third GOP Presidential Debate
Topic: Media Research Center

As it did with the first two Republican presidential debates, the Media Research Center went into defense mode on behalf of the candidates for the third debate. Jorge bonilla ran to the defense of Tim Scott in a Nov. 8 post:

As history has shown, moderators have a very hard time suppressing the urge to insert themselves into a debate. During tonight’s GOP presidential primary debate, NBC’s Lester Holt did just that, when asking Sen. Tim Scott a question on the economy.

WATCH as Holt tries to tell Scott that changes in economic policy don’t have an immediate impact on gas prices, only to quickly get schooled by Scott:


Holt tried, he really tried. Take note of the claim. “The idea”, said Holt, of increasing production isn’t enough to decrease prices. Scott folded that premise upon Holt’s head, Inception-like, by correctly pointing out that markets respond to the perception of confidence created by regulatory certainty.

We know this is true because of what happened to the price of gasoline after Election Night, 2020. The record reflects that it began to INCREASE based on the regulatory uncertainty that came with Biden’s election. And it really began to spike after Inauguration Day, 2021, the day he signed the executive order to tighten domestic energy production.

Facts are facts, no matter how much they may be despised by a legacy media anchor trying to insert himself into a presidential primary debate.

Actually, we don't know that is true, because correlation does not equal causation. Because so many factors in oil and gas prices depend on international factors and other things outside anyone's political control, it's highly unlikely that any increase in gas prices could be attributed solely to Biden getting elected.Also, it's not clear what Bonilla is talking about with his reference to Biden's "executive order to tighten domestic energy production"; it could be the executive order withdrawing the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline did not "tighten domestic energy production" because oil from Canada already arrives in the U.S. via rail. Facts are facts, right, Jorge? 

Tom Olohan cheered that the candidates spouted the approved narrative and attacked fellow MRC enemy TikTok:

Multiple Republican candidates referred to TikTok as a corrupting influence and threat to Americans’ data privacy Wednesday night, while several called for a complete ban.

At the third Republican presidential debate on Nov. 8, radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt asked the five Republican 2024 presidential candidates where they stood on banning TikTok. The co-host cited an op-ed by Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in which he said called TikTok  “predatory” and “controlled by our country’s preeminent adversary,” noting that the app is being used to divide and propagandize Americans. When Hewitt asked whether candidates agreed with Rep. Gallagher’s statements, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie laid into TikTok.


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) also spoke out in support of a ban, both to protect young Americans’ data and to insulate users from Chinese propaganda. DeSantis said,  "I'm concerned about the data that they're getting from our young people and what they're doing to pollute the minds of our young people."  

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) told the audience that “what we should do is ban TikTok, period,” but pivoted to explain that former President Trump had been hamstrung by the courts when he had attempted to do so.  In lieu of a ban, Scott suggested, "If you cannot ban TikTok, you should eliminate the Chinese presence on the app, period."

Bonilla spent a Nov. 9 post complikning that MSNBC's "post-debate analysis featured dismay at the thought of candidates discussing (gasp) IDEAS and not flaying Donald Trump to their liking," further grumbling that host Stephanie Ruhle "is mad that the candidate field did not sufficiently entertain her. Substantive policy analysis is a Bad Thing now, inasmuch as it detracts from MSNBC’s raison d'être: to dump on Donald Trump and anyone who supports him or, in the case of GOP primary opponents, is deliberate and intentional about how they engage him. This is what Trump Derangement Syndrome looks like in 2023." Bonilla didn't explain how the candidates' refusal to talk about Trump must be considered anything other than avoidance.

Tim Graham spent a Nov. 9 post nit-picking debate fact-checks, such as this desperate gem:

Sen. Tim Scott said gas prices are “40% higher right now than they were just a little over two years ago.” Brian Cheung pounced: " This is false. A gallon of regular gas costs about $3.40 per gallon on average this week, compared with $3.41 per gallon in November 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration."

He said "just a little over two years ago." Nitpickers. If he'd said "three years ago," they would have said part of that was under Trump.

Graham offered no evidence that a more generous definition of "a little over two years ago" would have in any way made Scott's claim any more accurate.

Curtis Houck whined that a debate that was skipped by the leading Republican candidate wasn't being taken seriously enough:

While NBC’s Today gave predictably sober, serious coverage Thursday to its Republican presidential debate from the night before, ABC’s Good Morning America lampooned the debate as a pointless trip into the “Twilight Zone” and “divorced from reality” and CBS Mornings dismissed its necessity given the “disciplined” and “smart” race being run by the Donald Trump campaign.

After a recap of the debate’s big moments from senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott, co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos turned to chief Washington correspondent and soon-to-be three-time-bestselling anti-Trump author Jon Karl and complimented him for “hav[ing] the perfect headline for this debate: the Twilight Zone debate.”


Sure, Karl can huff and puff about the dangers of Trump, but no one should be bamboozled into thinking Karl isn’t in it for the Resistance cash and clicks and thus would be fine with infinite Trump campaigns.

As if Houck isn't in it for the right-wing cash and the clicks.He also identified nothing wrong with any of Karl's books.

Nicholas Fondacaro was upset that the debate was accurately identified as a contest for also-rans, not the main event:

MSNBC’s response to the previous two Republican presidential debates was to write them off as not worth anything and insist they knew who the nominee would be. And if you thought their tune would change just because their sister network, NBC was the one hosting the debate Wednesday night, you were very wrong. According to Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell, the debate was held in the event former President Trump “chokes on a cheeseburger” and dies.

O’Donnell began his comments by bragging that this was “the first Republican debate I’ve watched” and “did not have to participate in any of this” because he was “luckily” enough to be “working at 10:00 p.m. during the previous Republican debates.”

“This is the debate for, you know, in case Trump chokes on a cheeseburger. That is what this debate is. If somehow, Trump falls out, it's going to be DeSantis or Haley. That’s what it looks like,” he decried the whole idea of GOP candidates speaking to GOP voters.

Unsurprisingly, Fondacaro did not criticize Trump for evading this opportunity to speak to GOP voters.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 PM EST
WND Still Falsely Suggesting That Obama Killed His Chef
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Part of WorldNetDaily's recent bout of Obama Derangement Syndrome has included falsely smearing him as having a role in the drowning death of his chef, which authorities have ruled was accidental. Despite the utter lack of proof behind that narrative, Joe Kovacs tried to revive it anyway in an Oct. 22 article:

Three months after Barack Obama's family chef died in a mysterious drowning off Martha's Vineyard, newly released records reveal the former president's presence at the emergency scene.

The disclosure comes from Judicial Watch, which announced Friday it "received 40 pages of records from the Massachusetts State Police that indicate the presence of Barack Obama for a witness interview in the death investigation of the Obamas' personal chef Tafari Campbell."

The heavily redacted records indicate Barack Obama arrived at the emergency response scene via motorcade. A short time later, a cold, wet woman, who was a witness, arrived. The next morning, the eyewitness was interviewed in the Obama residence, again with Barack Obama present. The records also detail the existence of a Secret Service video of Campbell and his paddleboarding companion entering the water, and the Secret Service emergency response in the immediate aftermath of the drowning. The state police records show they concluded "no foul play" in Campbell's "accidental" death.

The fatal incident took place on Sunday, July 23, and the documents were provided to Judicial Watch in response to a July 25 Massachusetts Public Records Law request for all records relating to the death of Campbell.

Just days after the mystery incident, Obama was photographed with bandaged fingers, as WND reported.

In fact, there is nothing "mysterious" about Campbell's drowning -- it was ruled an accident. He fell off his paddleboard and wasn't wearing a life jacket, and he drowned in eight feet of water. That Obama later arrived at the scene of the drowning proves nothing except to conspriacy theorists and Obama-haters like Kovacs. Further, the "bandaged fingers" of Obama that Kovacs noted and which WND previously hyped was actually golf tape designed to prevent blisters and split calluses while golfing, and Obama has been previously photographed wearing it.

Kovacs put "extremely murky" in the headline of this article in an apparent bid to increase suspicious about Obama; in fact, the phrase appears in the article as a description of the water Campbell drowned in, not anything Obama did or has been accused of doing.

This is shoddy and dishonest writing by Kovacs attempting to manufacture a conspriacy where none exists. No wonder people don't trust WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EST
MRC's Graham Pushes Matthew Shepard Revisionism
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complained that "The 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming became another opportunity to promote the LGBTQ agenda and denigrate conservative opposition" in an Oct. 22 post:

All this 25th anniversary hoopla overlooks major problems for the "gay hate crime" angle. Billy Binion at Reason posted a piece headlined "Matthew Shepard's Murder Was Almost Certainly Not an Anti-Gay Hate Crime." Something didn't add up.

It wasn't until the prominent gay journalist Stephen Jimenez published his 2013 book, The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, that those gaps started to narrow significantly. [Aaron] McKinney and Shepard reportedly were connected by the drug trade, with Shepard set to receive a $10,000 shipment of methamphetamine around the time he was killed. Also relevant is that McKinney was allegedly not traumatized by advances from Shepard, as the two had been sexually involved.

Anyone care to challenge those allegations? The Jimenez book has been ignored for 10 years now.

Binion added that the AP reported in 2018 that Shepard assailant Russell Henderson claimed "neither he nor McKinney was motivated by anti-gay hatred when they offered Shepard a ride home from a bar. Instead, he said, they were out to rob him of money and possibly drugs when they drove him to the edge of town on the night of Oct. 6, 1998."

Graham omitted the fact that the AP article also reported that McKinney tried to mount a "gay panic" defense at his murder trial, but the judge blocked it.If he wasn't "traumatized," why did he push such a defense? Graham probably doesn't want to answer that question.

He also probably doesn't want to talk about how problematic Jimenez's book is.  As one reviewer noted, he plays fast and loose with quoted material, admitting that he invented dialogue "I did not personally hear; nor could the characters themselves recall every word exactly from memory," and he did not identify in the book what dialogus is real and what is invented. Jimenez also failed to offer credible evidence to back up his claim that Shepard was a major drug dealer. The lead sheriff's investigator on  Shepard's death stated that Jimenez's book contains "factual errors and lies." Then there's also the question of motive behind the book, given that Jimenez is a longtime friend of one of Henderson's defense attorneys -- it comes off a bid for leniency for the killers, given how they have changed their stories.

Neveretheless, Graham went on to whine that "when the Left has made a legend, they 'print the legend' and ignore inconvenient facts." But what he's portraying as "facts" is nothing but a right-wing legend, designed to ignore facts inconvenient to right-wingers in order to perpetuate the legend that LGBT people don't face violence because of who they are.Desprte working for decades in his job, he still doesn't (or deliberately won't) understand that just because a right-wing narrative may advance the story of the day, that doesn't mean it's true.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023 4:07 PM EST

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