ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Thursday, December 21, 2023
MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Gun Charge Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

After spending the summer cheering the collapse of a plea deal involving Hunter Biden and being unsure whether the appointment of a special prosecutor was a cover-up of some kind, the Media Research Center went into the fall months with renewed hatred and determination to continue to destroy Hunter's life as a gotcha to his father, the president. A Sept. 6 post by Kevin Tober cheered that the Hunter obsession slipped into right-wing media:

On Wednesday afternoon, special counsel David Weiss revealed in a new court filing that he planned to file felony charges against President Joe Biden’s crackhead son Hunter due to his illegal firearm purchase and intentional lying on a background check form. The news was so big that even the “big three” evening news networks were forced to cover the story.

In total, the three networks ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News & NBC Nightly Newsspent a combined 4 minutes and 50 seconds somberly reporting the indictments. ABC spent the most time on the news with a grand total of 2 minutes and 3 seconds. While CBS spent 1 minute 35 seconds, and NBC spent 1 minute and 12 seconds.

Tober is inventing a lot here, purporting to read the minds of the networks by claiming the reported this news "somberly" without demonstrating that was done any more or less "somberly" than any other news story. He also misled in the headline by portraying the indictments as have already happened.

The MRC then bided its time with more Hunter obsession:

When the expected indictment of Hunter finally dropped, Tober returned in a Sept. 14 post to read the minds of non-right-wing outlet, claiming without evidence that they "bitterly" and "somberly" reported on it:

On Thursday afternoon, a federal grand jury in Delaware indicted Joe Biden’s crackhead son Hunter Biden on three felony charges of lying on a gun background check form. Despite trying their hardest to ignore each new development in the rolling crime spree known as Hunter Biden, all three networks were forced to cover this massive news. In fact, they each lead with the story. 

“The President's son Hunter Biden indicted. Three felony gun charges,” ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir somberly reported the news to his audience. “Accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm in 2018. And then illegally possessing that weapon for 11 days,” Muir added.

Tober also played a little Trump whataboutism:

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt whined that the indictment of Hunter will give Republicans “wide avenues of political attack for Republicans who have been investigating Hunter Biden and the legality of some of his business dealings.”

Did Holt ever complain that the numerous indictments against former President Donald Trump by Soros-backed Democrat prosecutors and rigged juries would give Democrats ammo to attack Republicans?

Tober didn't mention that the gun charge is one rarely charged, especially without an accompanying drug-related charge, and seem to be happening because right-wing congressmen have been aggressively attacking Hunter for years.

Alex Christy spent a Sept. 15 post being angry that a commentator dared to show a tiny bit of sympathy for Hunter and his father:

CNN political director David Chalian joined the Thursday edition of CNN News Central to discuss Hunter Biden being formally indicted on three gun charges and to wax poetic about “this unbelievable Biden story” as it relates to President Joe Biden’s life.

Chalian tried argued that for Biden, “There's the political for him and then there's the personal. The political, obviously, this is an unwelcome development for any White House. As we said it's the first time ever a president's child is indicted on criminal charges. Nobody would want that. It's an unwelcome development for this campaign season getting under way. It's a distraction from what the White House and his team want to focus on.”


Wrapping up his thoughts, Chalian repeated himself, “There have been more emotional ups and downs for this family, and this is now another day where the president is going to suffer an emotional down that his son is under these criminal charges, so I know—I am certain he's not just viewing this through a political lens, but obviously, he is somebody so identified with his children and his grandchildren as at the very center and core of his being.

Naturally, the idea that Joe Biden was something other than a heartbroken, empathetic father when it comes to all of Hunter’s “troubles” was something Chailian never considered.

The same day, Mark Finkelstein whined that someone pointed out that questions can be raised about the indictment:

The once-fierce pit bull has lost his bite! As Robert Mueller's closest aide during the Russia, Russia, Russia investigation, Andrew Weissmann earned the moniker, "the pit bull," for his hyper-aggressive approach to prosecution. But now that Weissmann has become an MSNBC analyst, and asked to comment on the indictment of Hunter Biden on gun charges, the pit bull has suddenly become a Biden lap dog.

On today's Morning Joe, Weissmann said of the indictment: "This really strikes me as an abuse of the enormous discretion that a prosecutor has." He said special counsel David Weiss "obviously can do it, there is probable cause that a grand jury found -- but should you be bringing the charges?"

The panel also focused on alleged Republican hypocrisy in hailing the indictment under a federal statute whose constitutionality they have challenged on Second Amendment grounds. But no word from the Morning Joe crowd on the mirror image: the hypocrisy of Democrats in challenging a gun control law, passed by a Democrat Congress, that they have vigorously defended. 


The bottom line is that Weissmann, and the entire Morning Joe crew, circled the wagons around Hunter, doing their best to undermine the case against President Biden's son.

Is that like how Finkelstein's MRC crew circled the wagons around Trump over his multiple indictments? He didn't want to talk about that.

Curtis Houck irrationally raged in a Sept. 18 post that someone else said nice things about the Bidens:

NBC’s chief Biden tool and apple polisher Mike Memoli hit send Sunday on a puketastic item with colleagues Carol Lee and Monica Alba that painted President Biden with nothing but sympathy from the get-go in “Biden allies worry son Hunter’s indictment could strain the president’s 2024 focus”.

The trio did its best in the first paragraph to make one’s eyes roll 180 degrees to the back of their head: “During the period between his vice presidency and presidency, Joe Biden was often asked about the campaign he didn’t run. In explaining why he passed on a White House bid in 2016, Biden would describe how the death of his eldest son, Beau, weighed heavily on him and his family.”

Like concerned family members, Memoli and co. fretted that while Biden wanted another term, “people close to the president are increasingly worried about how the legal troubles of his remaining son, Hunter, could divide his attention at a time when he needs to be fully focused on what’s expected to be a razor-close election.”


Cue the laugh tracks for this zaniness from former Biden aide Michael LaRosa, who surmised that the President likely “wakes up and thinks about his deceased son and probably cries every day” about Beau and Hunter’s life of ruin.

They also made Biden seem like, yes, a child “The president relies most heavily on his wife at these moments, and they were apart for about a week with her Covid diagnosis and his trip to India and Vietnam, which came hours after the news that Hunter would be indicted by the end of the month.”

Yes, someone as devoid of basic human empathy as Houck (and most other MRC employees) would find it "puketastic" that Biden might continue to grieve for his deceased son.

As the MRC is prone to do, a Sept. 18 post by Tober expressed new outrage that Hunter is committing the offense of fighting back against his critics (though he switched from smearing Hunter as a "crackhead" to merely a "drug addict," despite providing no evidence of a current addiction):

President Joe Biden’s drug addict son Hunter Biden launched a frivolous lawsuit Monday against his father’s own IRS due to the agency allegedly releasing his tax records during a whistleblower report against the agency.

While ABC's World News Tonight ignored this escalation from Hunter Biden's team, the CBS Evening News chose not to simply report on it. Instead, they touted Hunter “going on the offensive” against the IRS. In a random act of journalism, NBC Nightly News played it straight and reported the facts of the story. 

“Tonight Hunter Biden's legal team is going on the offensive, filing a lawsuit against the IRS for the alleged unlawful release of his private tax details,” CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell hyped in her biased report. 

“Attorneys claim two agents violated Biden’s privacy rights when they disclosed his tax information during media interviews including with CBS News,” O’Donnell added.

By contrast, on NBC Nightly News, left out the editorializing of Hunter Biden “going on the offensive.”

Toer didn't explain how he decided Hunter's lawsuit was "frivolous" or why Hunter should not even be allowed to respond to his critics.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2023 9:07 PM EST
Newsmax Helping QAnon Shaman Rebrand Without The QAnon Part
Topic: Newsmax

Like WorldNetDaily, Newsmax has been trying to engage in revisionism regarding the Capitol riot -- particlarly when it comes to "QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley. A March 7 article, for instance, hyped how "New footage released through House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the Jan. 6, 2021, protests at the U.S. Capitol shows two Capitol Police officers escorting 'QAnon Shaman' Jacob Chansley past other police officers and to the door of the U.S. Senate" -- but she omitted that prosecutors pointed out that Chansley had spent the previous half-hour facing off against law enforcement, adding: "Chansley was not some passive, chaperoned observer of events for the roughly hour that he was unlawfully inside the Capitol. ... He was part of the initial breach of the building; he confronted law enforcement for roughly 30 minutes just outside the Senate Chamber; he gained access to the gallery of the Senate along with other members of the mob (obviously, precluding any Senate business from occurring); and he gained access to and later left the Senate floor only after law enforcement was able to arrive en masse to remove him.”

A March 30 article by Theodore Bunker, meanwhile, tried to rename Chansley: "Jacob Chansley, the man known as the Jan. 6 "Shaman," has been moved from federal prison to a halfway house, according to records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons." The word "QAnon" was nowhere in his article, and Bunker did not explain why he dropped it, given that "QAnon Shaman" is very much Chansley's identity.

The remaning seems to be done as a favor to Chansley and his attorney, William Shipley, who appeared on Newsmax in 2021 to assert: "We're going to begin to try to address this issue is to eliminate this reference to him as the QAnon Shaman. ... He has zero connection to QAnon." Shipley went on to play dumb: "He does practice shamanism, which is a form of a sort of a meditative religious practice, but he has no connection to QAnon. ... Where that ever took hold, I have no idea, but his attorney did him no favors at all by allowing that characterization to sort of dominate the manner in which he was addressing the media and in court, and it's just so far from the truth." In fact, Chansley was a known supporter of QAnon, as indicted by social media posts.

Eric Mack -- who wrote the 2021 article on Chansley's lawyer pretending he had no link to QAnon -- returned for a July 20 article that tried to engage in further whitewashing:

Using the Jan. 6 tapes aired by Tucker Carlson, the self-proclaimed "America's Shaman" sought to have his guilty plea deal voided due to "newly discovered" evidence, but a federal judge rejected Jacob Chansley's request Thursday.

"Chansley's arguments are without merit," U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth in Washington, D.C., wrote in his ruling.


Chansley was the famed Jan. 6 "Shaman" who wore a headdress and horns while being ushered through the U.S. Capitol building by police on Jan. 6, 2021. The video released publicly earlier this year, as permitted by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., showed "newly discovered" evidence Chansley was not forcing his way through the building to the Senate chambers.

The word "QAnon" appeared nowhere in Mack's article.

All this rewriting of history and attempted softening of Chansley earned Newsmax an interview with him when he decided he wanted to run for Congress -- and Mack lovingly devoted three articles to the interview. The first was a bit of cleanup:

"Shaman" Jacob Chansley, vilified for his protest at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, is running for Congress as a libertarian to fight the establishment and stand for America and Arizona voters, he told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Monday.

"The fact of the matter is the mockingbird media chose to use my image to create a shock and awe campaign," Chansley told "National Report" in his first national TV appearance since the protest and his prison release.


The images of his Jan. 6 costume does not destroy his credibility, but enhance it, Chansley argued.

"Literally decades here in the United States of America we have had swindlers in suits and liars in ties stealing our tax dollars, moving our public money into private hands," he said. "And I'll say this: If it takes horns and face paint with no shirt to end up disrupting the establishment and the established, corrupt politics and the dinosaur circus that we call D.C., then I'm fine with that."

At the very end of this article, Mack finally said the forbidden word and effectivley admitted he was censoring the term on Chansley's behalf: "Labeled the 'QAnon Shaman,' Chansley has disavowed the QAnon movement and has preferred to be recognized as 'America's Shaman.'" In fact, Chansley has not disavowed QAnon; he has even said that "I never denounced Q or the QAnon community." This makes Mack's whitewash job even more dishonest.

Mack let Chansley whine further in his second article:

The attempts to blame former President Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 protest is a function of "corrupt DOJ talking points" and "neuro linguistic programming" for "critical factor bypass" by anti-Trump "mockingbird media," the infamous Jan. 6 "Shaman" Jacob Chansley told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Monday.

"No, I do not" blame Trump, Chansley told "National Report." "And I think that any attempt to try to paint anything that happened on that day onto the president or try to paint him with that broad brush is just mockingbird media and corrupt DOJ talking points, because the fact of the matter is the man said peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."

Chansley was giving his first national TV interview since his imprisonment for having taken part in the Capitol protest that had him convicted for the obstruction of an official congressional proceeding. He spent the time researching, studying, and even teaching inmates as he prepares for a 2024 libertarian campaign in Arizona's 8th Congressional District.

"What we're talking about here is optics, and based on the mockingbird media and neuro linguistic programming, based on critical factor bypass, and all that kind of psychological warfare, basically, you can paint anybody to be anything," Chansley said.

"So you could choose to look at me as a felon. I've heard people call me a traitor that's a threat to democracy. Or you could choose to look at me as I am a person that was maligned and skewered by a corrupt system — as so many hundreds of thousands of people have been in the United States, as so many Jan. 6ers have been in the United States, and as Donald Trump has been in the United States of America."

One can easily look at Chansley as a felon because that is, in fact, what he is.

Mack let Chansley do even more revisionism in the third article:

January 6 "Shaman" Jacob Chansley regrets his involvement, but he rejects the "bogus narrative" of him having any mental health issues, he told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Monday.

"My mental health is as sound now as it was then," Chansley told"National Report" in a wide-ranging interview. "The fact of the matter is, this notion of mental illness or having mental health issues is a bogus narrative."

Chansley said it began with his former lawyer concocting it in a defense he does not agree with.


Despite serving time for a felony conviction of obstructing a congressional proceeding, Chansley noted he remained peaceful, did not break anything, and even assisted law enforcement during the protest in the Capitol.

"The moment that I entered the building I stopped somebody from stealing out of the break room," he said. "The whole reason why the police were escorting me around the building was because I offered to help them clear the Senate chamber, offered to help them make sure there was no vandalism, violence, or theft.

"And as soon as I got out the building, not a short time after, I stopped people from breaking in and told everybody to go home. No, I was not violent. No, I did not break anything. No, I did not steal anything. I was doing everything to keep the peace."

Mack censored the word "QAnon" in those latter two articles. If Chansley was asked any questions that weren't softball, Mack didn't indicate it.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:01 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2023 9:24 PM EST
MRC Pleased That Its Shoddy 'Media Research' Appears In D'Souza's New Film
Topic: Media Research Center

Most people would be a bit ashamed to discover that their shoddy work has been featured in a film made by a known fabricator and convicted felon, but the Media Research Center is not most people. Thus, we have an Oct. 27 post by Catherine Salgado:

Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie “Police State” highlighted a federal program to target Republicans, conservatives and Christians that was exposed by the Media Research Center.

In his new movie “Police State,” which premiered in theaters Oct. 23, D’Souza and the experts he interviewed particularly emphasized how much the federal government has violated First Amendment rights with their mass censorship efforts. Author Peter Schweizer highlighted the “Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization,” revealed by MRC Free Speech America as part of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-funded program, the “Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” (TVTP), targeting Republicans, conservatives and Christians.

Schweizer showed D’Souza the Pyramid during the film, pointing out how groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA), The Heritage Foundation, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Breitbart News and the Republican National Committee (RNC) were included on a chart with neo-Nazi groups.

The Biden administration revamped the DHS TVTP to provide funding for localities to combat “all forms of terrorism and targeted violence,” as MRC revealed in May. That meant targeting not real terrorists, but the entire spectrum of the political right and Christians through “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives” and other so-called training seminars as part of a coordinated effort to make America into a one-party system. One of the grantees, the University of Dayton, featured a “Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization.”

But as we documented, the MRC's report fundamentally misunderstood the pyramid graphic and was so filled with misinformation that even its ideological fellow travelers at Fox News felt compelled to debunk it.

But D'Souza's history of shoddy and discredited work -- which, of course, Salgado hid from her readers -- doesn't matter to Salgado, because his film is promoting the correct right-wing narratives:

D’Souza covered Big Tech’s aggressive censorship of COVID-19 content under government pressure. He also examined how censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, done after government priming, rigged the 2020 election against former President Trump, as Patel put it. The federal government is overseeing the “slow death” of our rights, including free speech, Bongino told D’Souza in the film.

A Media Research Center poll found that Big Tech and liberal media censorship of the Hunter Biden scandal altered the outcome of the 2020 election, favoring Joe Biden, as 9.4% of Biden’s voters would not have voted for him had they known the truth.

Salgado failed to disclose that this poll was manufactured for the MRC by a polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, raising reasonable doubts about bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Irony, Thy Name Is WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has an odd habit of publishing articles and columns that complain others are engaging in behaviors that it also freely engages in. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EST
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
MRC Tries To Distract From The Gun Part Of Gun Massacre In Maine
Topic: Media Research Center

As it typically does, the Media Research Center reacted to October's gun massacre in Maine, in which 18 people were killed, by whining that people are emphasizing the gun part of it. Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in an Oct. 26 post:

In the wake of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine overnight, the liberal media made their predictable and ghoulish push to strip law-abiding American gun owners of their Second Amendment rights. MSNBC’s Chris Jansing was particularly irritated as she spent part of her eponymous show on Thursday lashing out and attacking the residents of Maine for supporting the Second Amendment and repeatedly rejecting attempts to curtail their rights via gun control legislation.


Growing more hysterical as the segment went on, Jansing looked to MSNBC anchor Lindsey Reiser to decode Maine’s supposedly mysterious gun laws. “You’ve been looking into Maine's gun laws, what did you find?” she asks as if she was translating the Rosetta Stone.

Reiser did admit that Maine had “relatively low homicide rates compared to rates of high gun ownership. Last year alone, they had only 29 homicides.”

But she did take issue with them having “permitless carry.” “So, anyone 21 or older can carry a gun without a permit. If you're 18 to 20, you need a permit to carry a weapon, unless you serve in the armed forces or you're in the National Guard,” she added. Of course, this left out the important detail that to buy the gun they were carrying, they would have already had to pass a background check.

And on background checks, Reiser was out to mislead with lies like the gun show loophole. “We know that they don't require background checks for all gun sales, just for federally licensed dealers, so private sales, gun shows, those don't require background checks,” she falsely proclaimed.

Fondacaro failed to explain why any reference to the gun show loophole is a "lie" -- an odd claim given that some are trying to close it.

The next day, Fondacaro spent his daily hate-watching of "The View" raging that the American obsession with guns was called out:

The term "RINO" didn’t begin to describe the level of contempt the so-called “conservatives” of ABC’s The View had for the ideology and people they purported to represent. In the wake of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, FAKE conservatives Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro spewed pure ignorance and hatred at any Republican (politician and private citizen) who supported the Second Amendment and wanted their gun rights secured; openly blaming law-abiding gun owners for mass shootings.

Farah Griffin began her uniformed screed by falsely claiming that gun violence and mass shootings were a “uniquely American problem.” And she tried to portray herself as a knowledgeable commentator who supported the Second Amendment because her husband “owns a gun.”

According to an NPR report from 2019, in the Western Hemisphere alone, the U.S.’s per capita gun deaths were more than eclipsed by at least 10 different countries. Gun violence was one of the leading reasons why people were fleeing Central and South American countries for the U.S.

Fondacaro concluded by Heathering the show's conservatives for not being pro-gun absolutists like him:

Navarro would later blame all mass shootings and gun deaths on anyone who exercised their Second Amendment rights. “It's all about you all who keep electing gun-rights apologists, gun-owner apologists,” she bleated. “Do the people in Canada have better hearts? Do the people in Finland have better hearts than Americans do?”

The only thing rotten here was the fake conservatives on The View.

Brad Wilmouth used an Oct. 28 post to complain that gun restrictions were discussed in the massacre's aftermath, obsessing over the side issue of gun rights for veterans:

On Thursday's CNN This Morning, reacting to a deadly mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, the show provided Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) an unchallenged forum to push for more gun control and lament that such legislation would likely be opposed by newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson. And, even though fellow Democrat Senator Jon Tester supports legislation to protect the gun rights of veterans, Senator Coons was allowed to mislead viewers on the issue.

After playing a clip of the mayor of Auburn, Maine, reacting to the murder spree in neighboring Lewiston that killed 18, CNN co-host Poppy Harlow brought aboard her guest as she misleadingly blurred gang-related mass shootings with the less frequent type that has a high death toll and is more difficult to predict.


After Harlow followed up by asking if Congress might pass more spending for mental health if it were not tied to new gun laws, the Delaware Democrat repeated his misleading claims that Republicans are trying to help veterans with mental illness get their gun rights back.

It was not mentioned that it's not just Republicans who support the measure regarding veterans. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) also supports the same measure which would protect veterans who have had to get help in dealing with their finances because of mental illness, contrary to how Senator Coons made it sound.

As it turned out, the massacre perpetrator was an Army reservist with apparent mental health issues that hadn't been addressed despite warnings.

Wilmouth used a post the next day to whine that the massacre made a Maine congressman change his mind on gun regulation:

In the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting in Maine, CNN This Morning on Friday spent time touting a moderate Democrat congressman who has now switched to the liberal side on gun control as the show also took time to single out the only five congressional Democrats who voted against an "assault weapon" ban last year.

Left-leaning CNN analyst Natasha Alford declared that Congressman Jared Golden (D-ME) had "moral courage" in switching sides on the issue after the shootings in his state while CNN Republican Alyssa Farah Griffin lauded the move as "fairly bold."


Alford suggested that Second Amendment supporters are not thinking of what's best for their constituents as she also took a jab at newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson:

Then, Griffin -- the kind of Republican analyst the liberal media like best -- went along with the premise of the discussion that there needs to be more gun control and speculated about what might pass in spite of Republicans usually opposing more gun laws.

Wilmouth didn't explain why a mass shooting shouldn't change people's minds about the danger of guns.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2023 10:22 AM EST
Newsmax Devoted As Much Space To Trump's Speech As It Did To GOP Debate He Skipped
Topic: Newsmax

While Newsmax's enthusiasm was dwindling for non-Trump Republican presidential candidates at their November debate, it showed more interest in what Donald Trump did instead of taking part in the debate: give a speech in Florida. Eric Mack was the dutiful stenographer in a Nov. 8 article (while also touting that his speech "aired live and in its entirety on Newsmax"):

Warning of President Joe Biden and "radical left Democrats" moving America away from democracy toward socialism, former President Donald Trump spoke in terms well understood by his supporters in the Cuban community of Hialeah, Florida.

"What they've done is so terrible in the last three years with respect to Cuba," Trump told the thousands who gathered to show support at a Wednesday night rally in the Miami suburb, which aired live and in its entirety on Newsmax. "We had it just where we wanted it. It was all set to go and they blew it. They blew it so badly.

"Just like the Cuban regime, the Biden regime is trying to put their political opponents in jail, shutting down free speech, taking bribes and kickbacks to enrich themselves and their very spoiled children — my children aren't so spoiled, are they? — rigging and cheating in elections, using the fake news media to cover up their colossal incompetence and stupidity.

"What they're doing, what they've done to our country — nobody can even believe it."


Trump was joined by mixed martial arts fighter Jorge Masvidal and comedian Roseanne Barr, who led the crowd in a profane chant and called him a "MAGA-dor," playing off his "Make America Great Again" slogan.

People showed up in red, white, and blue clothes with MAGA hats and Trump 2024 flags. Some also carried the flag of Israel.

Dozens of supporters lined up earlier to get a copy of Trump's photobook "Our Journey Together" signed by the former president's son Donald Trump Jr.

Mack contiued the stenography in another article:

Speaking just miles from the Republican National Committee presidential primary debate of his top challengers, former President Donald Trump hailed his crowd, responded to his opponents' criticism, and mocked the lowly rated debates.

"They're not watchable," Trump told his Hialeah, Florida, campaign rally Wednesday night, which aired live and in its entirety on Newsmax. "You know, the last debate was the lowest-rated debate in the history of politics.

"So, therefore, do you think we did the right thing by not participating?"

Mack gushed in tha third article: "Repeating his vows to restore his strong border policies unwound by President Joe Biden on Day 1, former President Donald Trump said he will deliver the 'largest domestic deportation operation' in U.S. history." (Yes, he again noted that Trump's speech "aired live and in its entirety on Newsmax.") A fourth article, though, was stenography-filled but also noting Trump defended someone who has less than popular with his adoring crowd, if only because the guy is a frequent Newsmax guest:

Former President Donald Trump was shocked by his Hialeah, Florida, supporters booing Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., but the president stood by the lawmaker, who has been critical of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.


Then the enthusiastic crowd turned a tad sour when Trump brought up the next name to hail as one of his endorsers.

"And your congressman, Carlos Gimenez, do you know him?" Trump said to a raining of boos, shocking him.

"Oh, you don't like him?" Trump asked as supporters shouted from the gallery. "What's going on, Carlos? Come on, Carl. We have got to get that straightened out.

"Carlos Gimenez. Really? Wow. Carlos?!"

Gimenez was a frequent Newsmax guest throughout the House Republicans' search for a new speaker. His appearances were very critical of Gaetz and the other seven Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

And, yes, he once more pointed out that Trump's speech "aired live and in its entirety on Newsmax."

Sandy Fitzgerald took over for a Nov. 9 article on local politicians sucking up to Trump during the speech:

Hialeah, Florida, may soon have a street named after former President Donald Trump, the city's mayor said during Trump's rally in the Miami suburb as the GOP debate was being held nearby.

Mayor Esteban "Steve" Bovo, speaking during the Trump rally covered by Newsmax, drew cheers from the crowd at the Ted Hendricks Stadium when he said he plans to ask the Hialeah City Council to rename a street for Trump.

"How honored we were, that we were going to do right by you because you've always kept your promises to the residents of this great nation, and we're appreciative," Bovo said. "I will be asking next week, the city council of Hialeah — and some of the members of the city council are here with us today, our council president is here, our other council members are here — and I will be asking them to be able to authorize and vote affirmatively as we name the street after you, Donald Trump Way."

The mayor presented Trump with a mocked-up street sign, but it proclaimed the street being named "President Donald J. Trump Avenue."

Trump called the plans "an honor."

Fitzgerald didn't mention that there is opposition to the renaming in Hialeah, particularly among people who don't want streets named after indicted felons.

In all, the five articles Newsmax devoted to Trump's speech matched the five original articles it published on the contents of the Republican debate.

Meanwhile, later on Nov. 9, an article by Mark Swanson announced that "Republican front-runner and former President Donald Trump won't participate in next month's fourth GOP debate."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:51 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 10:26 PM EST
WND COVID Vaccine Misinformation Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If WorldNetDaily is publishing a story about COVID vaccines, you can reasonably assume that the information in it is misleading if not outright false. Case in point is an Oct. 31 article by Bob Unruh:

A new study confirms that almost one in three COVID-19 shot victims were hit, after taking the jab, with "tremors, insomnia, muscle spasms," and more, revealing the shots' huge toll in neurological complications.

A report at the Epoch Times outlines the results of the study published in "Vaccines."

The report said, "The study analyzed 19,096 people who received COVID-19 vaccines in Italy in July 2021, out of which 15,368 had taken the Pfizer vaccine, 2,077 had taken the Moderna version, and 1,651 took the AstraZeneca version. While both Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, AstraZeneca, being an adenovirus vaccine, uses a different mechanism to trigger the immune response."

The report said the study found 31.2% of vaccinated individuals soon were suffering from the neurological complaints which also included headaches and tinnitus, sleepiness, vertigo, double vision, numbness, taste and smell alterations, even "cognitive fog or difficulty in concentration."


The Epoch Times noted cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough discussed the results on Substack.

"A shocking 31.2 percent of respondents to this large dataset sustained neurologic injury after two injections with verified data in health registries," he wrote. "Most of the risk estimates indicate the safety profile is unacceptable. It is alarming that all neurological societies to date still recommend COVID-19 vaccines and none have issued safety warnings on the products."

If COVID misinformer McCullough is involved, you can bet there is an even higher chance of misinformation being imparted. And that's exactly what happened. Health Feedback detailed the misinformation in the Epoch Times article that Unruh uncritically repeated:

In his Substack article, McCullough cited the study’s findings as an argument against COVID-19 vaccination, calling the COVID-19 vaccines “ill-advised”. This implies that the risks reported in the study were calculated by comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

This isn’t true. Instead, the risk for a particular complication following one type of COVID-19 vaccine was calculated relative to another COVID-19 vaccine. For example, the risk for tremors after receiving the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 adenovirus vector vaccine was expressed relative to the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine.


In an email, the study’s corresponding authors, neurologists Maria Salsone and Luigi Ferini-Strambi, clarified that “we are in favor of the COVID-19 vaccination”. They stressed that “the neurological effects reported […] are frequent but of minor severity such as headaches, thus these may be considered as minor neurological complications”. Furthermore, these symptoms were “reversible in few days, at most in a week”.

They added that no participant reported severe neurological complications, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, Bell’s palsy, transverse myelitis and encephalitis, and none had been “hospitalized and/or died for severe complications related to COVID-19 vaccination”.

“Overall, given the large sample size and the clinical entity of the neurological symptoms, we strongly encourage the COVID-19 vaccination,” they concluded.

It should be noted that headache is among the most common side effects of COVID-19 vaccination, along with other flu-like symptoms like tiredness. However, these side effects are benign and aren’t associated with long-term repercussions. The study’s findings, as we pointed out in the previous section, also indicate that most of these side effects were self-limiting, resolving after anywhere between a day to a week.

Therefore, McCullough’s description of relatively short-lived headaches and sleepiness as “neurologic injury” that presents an “unacceptable” safety profile isn’t justified by the study’s findings.

Because Unruh can't be bothered to do any actual reporting and is merely content with stenography, his readers will never know the full truth about the study.

And this wasn't even the only misinformation-laden COVID-related story on WND that day. An anonymously written article claimed:

Federal researchers have confirmed that there is a "risk" of stroke in some people who get the COVID and flu shots at the same time.

But bureaucrats still recommend the risky behavior.

A report published by Just the News explained the findings were laid out in a presentation this month to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices by Tom Shimabukuro, from the Immunization Safety Office.

It was the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink real-time monitoring system that "detected an elevated risk" of "ischemic stroke in people 65 and older who received same-day Pfizer COVID and 'high-dose' or 'adjuvanted' influenza vaccines.

Even so, the report said, the CDC still recommends getting flu and COVID-19 shots together, advising that it is not only convenient, but also "safe."

The anonymous writer buried fact that the risk of a stroke is slight -- around three per 100,000 doses -- putting the lie to the claim that this is "risky behavior." As a doctor told a more responsible and accurate news organization, the risk "is trivial in comparison to the risk for people over 85 of dying from COVID." The articlealso made sure to inject the views of another COVID misinformer:

"There are many clear safety signals for the COVID vaccine," from cardiac arrhythmia to sudden death, noted Jane Orient, chief of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Normally, she said, that would get a product withdrawn from the marketplace immediately.

Orient has spread a lot of misinformation about COVID vaccines and promoted the bogus conspiracy theory that  the on-field collapse of NFL player Damar Hamlin was caused by a COVID vaccine, so her claims shouldn't be trusted.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 PM EST
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
MRC Mad Mike Johnson's Right-Wing Extremism Is Accurately Reported
Topic: Media Research Center

After blaming everyone but Republicans for Kevin McCarthy getting ousted as House speaker and trying to defend failed replacement Jim Jordan from everyone pointing out what a terrible person he is, the Media Research Center returned to defense mode when little-known right-winger Mike Johnson was abruptly chosen and elected as speaker. Alex Christy grumbled in an Oct. 25 post:

Before Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson officially became Speaker of the House on Wednesday, there was the seven-person pre-game panel on CNN’s Inside Politics. One of those panelists, senior political analyst Gloria Borger, was forced to concede that despite being “hugely conservative,” Johnson is “not the devil incarnate.”

Borger’s remarks as she recalled Reps. Jim Jordan and Tom Emmer’s failed bids, “I think he is a person who’s hard to demonize. You know, it's very easy to demonize somebody like a Jim Jordan, who’s a fire brand. He's out there and fighting and then Donald Trump can demonize an [Tom] Emmer because he didn't believe the election was rigged.”

No doubt, CNN is already busy trying to figure out how they can change that so they can include Johnson in that list, but for the moment, Borger continued, “But you had this kind, I don’t use the word milquetoast, that's not quite the right word, he's a serious person, who is not prone to getting in big, huge fights with people. He is known as a listener, I was told. He is hugely conservative, but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve all the time. So he can get along with moderates and listen to them and it will be interesting to see what happens with Ukraine aid, for example, but he’s not the devil incarnate.”

The suggestion that Jordan would have been the devil incarnate notwithstanding, CNN would never even use the words “hugely progressive” or “hugely liberal” let alone even come close to entertaining the idea that they were the Devil.

As Johnson's right-wing record became clear, Curtis Houck complained about it in another Oct. 25 post:

House Republicans were finally able to elect a new House speaker on Wednesday afternoon, selecting Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) to fill a 22-day vacancy. Not surprisingly, Johnson was met with a torrent of disgust and scorn on the Wednesday night network newscasts with ABC, CBS, NBC blasting Johnson as a “hardline,” “hard-right,” “ultra-conservative” who’s “staunchly anti-abortion” and “played a key role in overturn” the 2020 election.

ABC’s World News Tonight was apoplectic with senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott already indignant toward Johnson after he ignored her questions in the last two days about the 2020 election and didn’t stop the GOP caucus from booing her.

Anchor David Muir signaled a disgusted tone in an opening tease: “Tonight, who’s the new speaker, Congressman Mike Johnson, and where does Speaker Johnson stand on key issues including abortion, funding for Ukraine and does he accept Donald Trump’s election loss?”

In the lead-in to Scott, Muir dismissed him as “a hard-right conservative” who “played a key role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election” and is “the least experienced of any speaker in more 140 years.” Scott also harped on how he’s been in office for less than a decade, as if to suggest he’ll be unable to address “huge challenges.”


CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell started the labeling from the opening tease that the show will explain “why Mike Johnson’s election is considered a win for hard-right Republicans.”

“[S]o, who is Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson? The staunch conservative wants a federal ban on abortion rights and opposes same-sex marriage. What it means for the future of the Republican Party,” she added.

Congressional correspondent Nikole Killion described Johnson as “an evangelical Christian, former conservative radio talk show host” who’s “taken a sharp stance against gay rights and supports a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions.”


NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt also got the labeling going in an tease, impressing upon viewers that Republicans not only picked someone who’s “little-known,” but also “a hard-line conservative” who “tr[ied] to overturn the 2020 election.”

Despite all his complaints about labels, Houck made no effort to dispute the accuracy of them. Indeed, whining about accurate labeling of Johnson was the dominant MRC narrative in the days after Johnson's election:

Tim Graham tried to pass off a weird comment Johnson made about his wife as perfectly normal in an Oct. 26 post:

Question: What kind of article would make the liberal New Republic magazine look absolutely clueless about Christianity? 

Answer: Writer Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling suggesting new House Speaker Mike Johnson was making some sort of oral-sex joke when he mentioned his wife,,,,praying to Jesus. The headline: 

New House Speaker Kicks Things Off With Crass Remark About His Wife

Representative Mike Johnson made a gross gaffe about his wife in his acceptance speech.

This doesn't seem crass at all in context. But Ellie Houghtaling had to imagine the worst:

Usually when a new speaker of the House is elected, they have major plans to unveil, recontextualizing the House’s work. Speaker Mike Johnson, however, had some other priorities. First thing on his agenda? Make a weird joke about his wife.

Shortly after the little-known congressman won the title that he claimed he never sought, Johnson took the podium to thank the hard work of the congressional staff, Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy, and his wife.

Johnson thanked his wife, and noted they couldn't get a flight from Louisiana so she could be present. Then he said:

“She’s spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord. And, um, she’s a little worn out,” Johnson smirked.

“We all are,” he added.

Ellie Houghtaling and TNR made no attempt to explain how this was "gross" and "crass." Let's guess it's a Clinton-intern kind of joke. What's crass and gross is sexualizing a mention of a woman praying to Jesus. This pink-haired "breaking news" specialist just started at the magazine, and so far, she's just breaking wind.

Of course Graham made a personal attack on the writer -- that's what he does. He also didn't try to reconcile Johnson's claim of his wife praying for two weeks for him to get the job despite his supposedly not wanting it.

Christy, the MRC's resident comedy cop, spent an Oct. 31 post predictably finding no humor in late-night shows pointing out that Johnson's religion may not be pious enough:

CBS's The Late Show Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central's The Daily Show temp host Charlamagne Tha God and correspondent Michael Kosta accused Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday of being a bad a hypocritical Christian because he doesn’t want to ban seafood or ostracize women during their menstrual cycles.

Colbert, whose definition of being a good Christian seems to revolve around left-wing economics dressed up as personal charity. After playing a clip of Johnson on Hannity saying his worldview can be found in the Bible, Colbert declared, “Well, okay. No, if, that’s great, if the Bible is his worldview on any issue, I don't know why progressives are nervous. He's clearly gonna ask the rich to sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor.”

As someone who professes to be a faithful Catholic, Colbert should be familiar with Romans 14:14, but he still insisted Johnson is a hypocrite for not wanting to implement Old Testament dietary laws, “And, like, being Biblically faithful is not easy for a guy from Louisiana because now he has to give up shrimp, crab, oysters, and barbecued pork.”

Over at The Daily Show, a sarcastic Kosta looked forward to a ban on seafood, “The Bible's rules are timeless and always relevant. Like, right here, shellfish must be banned as detestable abomination. Great idea. The only good part of lobster was the butter anyway. We should just be drinking the hot butter. Or what about this: God tells Ezekiel to bake bread over a fire made of dry human dung.”

Back on CBS, Colbert added, “And I'm sure he'll miss his wife when she has to be cast out of town during her time of blood, only allowed to return when she brings two turtledoves to the tabernacle for the priest to sacrifice.”

Kosta also ironically looked forward to implementing such a policy, “The menstruating woman is unclean and the righteous man shall not approach her. Let's try it, America!”

Christy went on to baselessly insist that Johnson was "correct" to claim that separation between church and state isn't to protect the state from religion but to protect religion from the state.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:58 PM EST
CNS' Bannister Didn't Mention That Russell Brand Is Not A 'Goodie'

Craig Bannister wrote in an Oct. 27 post at the right-wing blog has devolved into:

What could former President Donald Trump possibly say that would justify the gag order a judge placed on him, and is Trump really so persuasive that people would change their minds about him if he said it, comedian Russell Brand asks in his latest commentary video.

Noting that a New York judge recently fined Trump for comments the former president made regarding his civil trial, Brand mocked the whole concept of issuing a gag order:

“They should change the name, because ‘gag order’ doesn’t sound like something that the Goodies would do.”

Gag orders are issued against people because they’re loathed, not to protect the public, Brand argues.  And, what could Trump possibly say that would change the minds of those who hate him, anyway, Brand asks.

You know what else sounds like something the goodles wouldn't do? Rape, sexual assault, grooming and emotional abuse. Funny that Bannister completely censored that inconvenient fact about Brand, preferring to blandly refer to him only as a "comedian."

Bannister's employer, the Media Research Center, has sought to distract from those serious allegations because Brand has served as a reliable spouter of right-wing talking points, much like it did when Kanye West went anti-Semitic.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2023 6:22 PM EST
MRC Tried To Defend Jim Jordan From His Many Haters During Failed Run For House Speaker
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been a fan of Republican Rep. Jim Jordan -- even championing his bid to become House Republican leader in 2018 -- because he's a reliable peddler of right-wing red meat, and it's certainly not going to let credible allegations that he ignored claims of sexual abuse perpetrated by a team doctor on Ohio State wrestling athletes while he was a coach there get in the way of that. The MRC tried to defend Jordan by attacking the credibility of his accusers, a familiar MRC tactic. As Jordan continued to supply the red meat, the MRC eagerly chowed down with defense and stenography, as these items from earlier this year demonstrate:

In the turmoil that erupted after Republicans ousted Kevin McCarthy as House speaker -- which the MRC tried to blame on anyone other than Republicans -- Jordan tried one more time to obtain the seat, and the MRC returned to Jordan defense mode. Nicholas Fondcaaro complained in an Oct. 5 post that Jordan's unsavory past was brought up:

With Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) out as House speaker, two Republican names had swiftly risen to the top for consideration: Representatives Steve Scalise (LA) and Jim Jordan (OH). It was the latter who drew a harsh rebuke from racist Sunny Hostin on Thursday’s edition of ABC’s The View. Hostin insisted that Jordan was a “terrorist” who “terrorized” her at a congressional hearing. She also tried to suggest he was involved in the Ohio State University wrestling sexual abuse scandal despite no evidence.

The day after she backed up moderator Whoopi Goldberg’s argument that criticism of the people prosecuting former President Trump was somehow a threat to their lives, Hostin laid her disdain for Jordan on heavy. “I would just say about Jim Jordan, he has been called by his own party, by John Boehner, a ‘political terrorist.’ He’s also been linked to the Ohio State sexual abuse scandal,” she chided.

Yes, Fondacaro still thinks Hostin is "racist" because he doesn't understand how metaphors work. As expected, Fondacaro then attacked the victims:

Toward the end of the segment, Hostin was forced to read a legal note (which the show claims are not “corrections”) by ABC’s Standards and Practices, stating: “Representative Jim Jordan has denied that he knew about sexual abuse of wrestlers during his years working at Ohio State University.”

What went unmentioned was the fact that Jordan’s two accusers had shady histories. One of his accusers was convicted of harassing the gold star widow of a Marine over a memorial fund for her husband. And the other went to prison for a $1.8 million fraud scheme.

In fact, several other wrestlers have made similar claims against Jordan, not just the two Fondacaro is trying to discredit.

The MRC then went after Hostin herself in an Oct. 9 post by Tim Graham claiming that Jordan's behavior in a congressional hearing in which Hostin took part "does NOT match Hostin's wild tale of a disheveled terrorizing monster."

Graham then whined in his Oct. 18 podcast that people were reminded that one of Jordan's fellow Republicans called him a "terrorist" (while, of course, playing whataboutism):

While some media outlets -- especially "public broadcasters" -- eschew using the word "terrorist" to describe Hamas and Islamic Jihad, PBS and NBC and MSNBC were enjoying describing Jim Jordan as a "terrorist," because bitter former Speaker John Boehner smeared him in 2021.

Tuesday's NBC Nightly News included a clip of Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) on the House floor: "Even members of his own party have called him a legislative terrorist."

PBS NewsHour reporter Lisa Desjardins offered quotes from Democrats that Jim Jordan is both a "terrorist" and an "insurrectionist." On the same show, anchor Amna Nawaz called Islamic Jihad a "militant group." Their reporter said Israel killed the "most high-profile militant" in Hamas.

MSNBC kept coming back to it on Tuesday night. As part of a softball question to Nancy Pelosi, Joy Reid pulled out the 2021 CBS clip of John Boehner singling out Jim Jordan as a "political terrorist," and then repeats the T-word,

Chris Hayes said Jordan has "no resume" to be Speaker and told Brendan Buck "your former boss, John Boehner, called him a legislative terrorist." Lawrence O'Donnell ran a longer clip of Aguilar than NBC saying Jordan is a terrorist. At least O'Donnell referred to Hamas terrorists, too.

Nowhere in this writeup did Graham explain why Boehner was wrong in his assessment of Jordan or why this makes him "bitter."

Mark Finkelstein similarly complained in an Oct. 20 post:

On the Thursday edition of her MSNBC show, Nicolle Wallace shed any pretense of compassionate or even dispassionate political analysis, and embraced her inner hatred. 

Speaking about the 22 Republicans who wouldn't vote for Jordan with ex-GOP congressman and Never Trumper David Jolly, Wallace said:

"I know why I have a visceral rejection of Jim Jordan and it precedes his role in overturning the result of the 2020 election, but tell me why they hate him, the 22?"

"Visceral rejection:" euphemism for hating someone deep in your guts. As proved by her question to Jolly, asking why those 22 Republicans, in line with her feelings, "hate him."

Finkelstein didn't dispute the accurace of Wallace's assessment, instead trying to portray Jordan as a hater of government in the tradition of Ronald Reagan.

When Jordan inevitably lost a vote for speaker on account of being hated by his fellow Republicans, Alex Christy complained in an Oct. 20 post that this was pointed out:

Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart and New York Times columnist David Brooks gathered for their regularly scheduled weekly news recap on PBS NewsHour on Friday by welcoming the failure of Rep. Jim Jordan to become Speaker of the House.

Host Geoff Bennett led Capehart with a statement rather than a question, “And, Jonathan, it speaks volumes that Jim Jordan was dismissed by secret ballot. He lost 25 Republican votes on the floor in public, but, behind closed doors, in the secret ballot, he lost 112 Republicans.”

Capehart naturally agreed, arguing that proves “the public intimidation worked, when they had to go to the floor and before their colleagues and before the nation declared their fealty to Jordan or their fealty to someone else. But behind closed doors, they were actually able to say what they really felt.”

As for Jordan himself, Capehart added, “And I'm going to jump on — jump on in support of what David was just talking about. You know, yes, Steve Scalise was an institutionalist. Jim Jordan, Congressman Jordan, is not an institutionalist. He has never been about governing. He's been about burning the place down.”

Christy did not dispute the accuarcy of Capehart's assessment.

Finkelstein tried to do one last bit of cleanup for Jordan in an Oct. 21 post:

[MSNBC's Katie] Phang then raised the issue of  "the normalization of violence and violent rhetoric by the GOP." Whereas Phang suggested an investigation to determine who had been threatening violence, Jacobs explicitly accused Jim Jordan of using threats of violence against other House members in an attempt to intimidate them into voting for him as Speaker.

"It should be no surprise that Jim Jordan is willing to use violence to overturn the will of the people and change an election outcome. We have seen him do that before."

This, despite Jordan having posted at X:

"No American should accost another for their belief. We condemn all threats against our colleagues and it is imperative that we come together. Stop. It's abhorrent."

Finkelstein left out the part where Republican members of Congress were, in fact, threatened with violence if they didn't vote for Jordan as speaker, an extreme-hardball tactic that backfired. Jordan distancing himself from the pressure campaign after the fact does not change the fact that people were threatened on his behalf.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 20, 2023 1:51 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Trump Indictment Theater At WND: Act 4
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily greeted Donald Trump's fourth indictment with lots of whining that the former president is being persecuted -- as well as the falsehood that he was being indicted for making phone calls. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EST
Monday, December 18, 2023
MRC Continues to Play Lame, Dishonest Gotcha Games Against NewsGuard
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's loud and lame war against NewsGuard got an assist from its favorite social media-ruining multibillionaire, as Joseph Vazquez gushed in an Oct. 19 post:

X owner Elon Musk came out swinging against the leftist media hall monitor NewsGuard and called for the whole company to be “disbanded immediately.”

Musk responded to criticism from WikiPedia co-founder Jimmy Wales who whined in a post Oct. 17 about the X platform allegedly removing “all the core features that made it even remotely possible to tell real journalists from fakes.” Through discussion on the X thread, Foundation For Freedom Online Executive Director Mike Benz pointed out to Musk that Wales was an advisor to the leftist NewsGuard, “which is knee deep in a plot to get gov’ts to bankrupt alternative news.” Musk did not hold back in his response to Benz’s revelatory Oct. 19 post: “This is crazy!” 

Podcaster Tim Pool joined the conversation, stating that his website’s rating by NewsGuard was dinged because “we ran 5 stories out of nearly 5,000 that quoted Trump.” Meanwhile, as Pool noted, legacy and liberal media outlets that “ran fake stories out of Gaza” like The New York Times get perfect 100/100 scores. 

Musk was having none of it. “What a scam! ‘Newsguard’ should be disbanded immediately,” he rebuked.

Vazquez didn't mention that Benz had been exposed a couple weeks earlier as a creator of videos promoting racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories while posting under the name Frame Game, which undermines his credibility as any sort of cheerleader for "freedom." Instead, he took stenography from his MRC superiors reciting their NewsGuard-bashing narratives:

“There are a number of these politicized, so-called ratings outfits that exist to direct consumers away from conservative media and drive advertisers into the arms of the left,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “Every one of these groups, whether it’s NewsGuard, Ad Fontes or others, needs to be exposed, and the public needs to understand that they are anything but reliable.”


MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris piled on, adding to Musk’s retort. “Musk is absolutely right,” said Morris. “And the American people also deserve an explanation. Speech and thought police have no place in the United States of America. Such business models are antithetical to the vision our Founding Fathers had when they made clear the importance of free speech and a free press when they underscored these fundamental liberties as part of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The MRC has repeatedly shown through its analyses how skewed to favor the left NewsGuard’s ratings system has been.

Yeah, not so much. Those "analyses" are mostly whining that right-wing media was rated as high as non-right-wing media without bothering to demonstrate why right-wing media actually deserved better ratings, and it was much more about lame gotchas than presenting any sort of credible evidence.

Vazquez rehashed another related attack: "But NewsGuard isn’t the only leftist entity trying to act as a Ministry of Truth on the internet. MRC Free Speech America also recently exposed an leftist, so-called media ratings firm Ad Fontes. MRC laid bare Ad Fontes’s penchant for elevating leftist media while throttling right-leaning media with its own skewed scoring system." As we've documented, the MRC's hit job on Ad Fontes was just as shoddy as its attacks on NewsGuard, demanding false balance while refusing to demonstrate why it should exist and falsely framing legitimate and credible criticism of right-wing media as "censorship."

Vazquez concluded by ranting: "One thing is clear: leftist website ratings firms like NewsGuard and Ad Fontes have no business policing the internet given their demonstrable biases. Both should be disbanded." Which, of course, is the entire point of the MRC's jihad: to silence critics they don't agree with.

The next day, Vazquez was back to playing gotcha against NewsGuard:

Radical internet traffic cop NewsGuard has shown once again why its bona fides as a supposedly unbiased journalism referee are hot garbage in light of how it treats leftist outlets that peddled Hamas agitprop to attack Israel. 

The New York Times, TIME magazine, Politico and Reuters are just four of a number of leftist news outlets that haphazardly gobbled up the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry’s claim that an “Israeli” airstrike blew up a Gaza-based hospital, allegedly killing 500 people on Oct. 17. A U.S. intelligence assessment later concluded that Israel was not responsible for the bombing. Both the U.S. House and Senate intelligence committees absolved Israel. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) instead placed the blame squarely at the feet of a “failed rocket launch by militant terrorists.” Later reports also put the estimated death toll at a much lower count than what Hamas initially claimed.

But liberal media outlets across the internet just took the Hamas talking points and ran with them, which helped fuel mass anti-Israel protests and regional governments’ fury across the Middle East. MRC Free Speech America dug out the archived versions for each of the four outlets that originally smeared Israel in their reporting before later stealth-editing their stories and headlines. Then MRC researchers checked NewsGuard’s scores for the four respective outlets. In the three days that have passed since the incident, NewsGuard maintained the perfect 100/100 scores for all four outlets.

Vazquez offered no evidence that NewsGuard renders immediate judgments on news stories, and the headlines Vazquez himself is quoting about the incident make sure to attribute the death toll to the Gaza health ministry and not presenting it as indisputable fact,, and he largely ignored how these outlets treated questions about the health ministry's veracity and efforts to correct the record. He also failed to provide an example of a right-wing media outlet that he believed presented that information in a way he approves of. A real, credible researcher would have done those things, but Vazquez is a partisan activist, not a researcher.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 18, 2023 9:31 PM EST
Newsmax's Enthusiasm Diminishes With Third GOP Debate
Topic: Newsmax

As with the second debate, Newsmax's enthusiasm level for the third Republican presidential debate on Nov. 8 was subdued, largely beause Donald Trump refused to take part and wasn't doing much in the way of counterprogramming. It published a wire article previewing the debate, then published a couple more wire articles along with its original content about the debate itself:

In a post-debate analysis, John Gizzi made sure to inject Newsmax's preferred (and no-show) candidate into the mix:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley were the big winners of the third Republican presidential debate, but there was still considerable force felt on the part of the candidate who wasn't there Wednesday evening — former President Donald Trump.

That was the opinion of a group of political experts who spoke to Newsmax shortly after the showdown between the five contenders who qualified for the GOP forum.


The political muscle of Trump was something to which Newsmax experts repeatedly returned to.

"Let's be clear: former President Trump remains the party's overwhelming favorite," said Rotterman. "And as long as that's the case, all the candidates on stage were just auditioning for backup quarterback."

Newsmax gave McDaniel space to respond to Ramaswamy's attacks in a Nov. 9 article by Sandy Fitzgerald:

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, dismissing calls from presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy during Thursday night's RNC debate for her resignation, said the GOP must stop "infighting" as it is "not helping" the party.

"This Republican-on-Republican infighting — I'm not running for president so I'm not in this primary — isn't helping our party," McDaniel told CNN after the debate Thursday night, The Hill reported.

"We lost races in 2022 because of vitriol within our party," she added. "We need every Republican and then some to win elections. And the Republican voters want to hear us talk about the border, fentanyl, Israel, our kids, crime, inflation, and they want to see us take on Joe Biden."

Newsmax also made sure to mock the debate's ratings in a Nov. 9 article by Jim Thomas:

The third Republican presidential primary debate, hosted by NBC News, witnessed a dramatic viewership decline with just over 6 million viewers tuning in, marking the lowest audience turnout of the current campaign season and a 45% drop in viewers from the first debate.

The drop in Wednesday's debate was blamed on RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy criticizing her handling of the forums and calling for her to resign.


Wednesday night's audience figure was lower than the 9 million viewers who tuned in for the second GOP presidential primary debate in September, which was broadcast on Fox Business and Fox News.

The third GOP debate was also significantly lower than the nearly 12.8 million who watched the inaugural debate on Fox News back in August — as that event saw a 50% decline in ratings from the first debate of the 2016 campaign.

With then-candidate Trump attending, the Fox News 2015 prime-time GOP debate drew a record 24 million viewers.

Thomas claimed that the fourth debate was "shifting from mainstream media to liberal cable." In fact, the lead channel airing it, NewsNation, is a right-leaning network built and staffed in part by former Fox News personalities and executives and regularly fawned over by Newsmax's right-wing friends at the Media Research Center.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:33 PM EST
Cashill Race-Baits About Police Officer Imprisoned For Killing Black Man
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has long had a Colin Flaherty streak, indulging his race-baiting tendencies by defending white people who kill black people (i.e., George Zimmerman and Derek Chauvin). He edged even further in that direction in his Oct. 18 column about an incident in his hometown of Kansas City:

As the media made the public aware – the Kansas City Star relentlessly so – veteran Kansas City police officer Eric DeValkenaere did not shoot and kill an ordinary citizen. He shot a "black man."

It did not matter that DeValkenaere had no known history of racism in his 20-plus year career, or that he was, in the words of one veteran colleague with whom I spoke, "courteous, professional, a hard worker who showed everyone respect and operated by the book."

The "white KC cop" shot a "black man," and for the media, that negated all other variables. Unfortunately, that dynamic seems to have affected the courts as well.

Cashill then recounted alleged offenses by the victim, Cameron Lamb, including a claim of reckless driving earlier in the day. We pick up Cashill's biased version of events as DeValkenaere and his partner, Troy Schwalm, went to Lamb's house in an unmarked vehicle:

After putting on his vest, DeValkenaere followed Schwalm to the address provided by Valentine. He wanted to assure that Schwalm "was not there by himself." Both parked in front.

Schwalm took the lead, walking up the driveway with gun in "low ready" position. DeValkenaere did the same on the far side of the house. Both "believed [the incident] was something more serious than a traffic violation."

Valentine meanwhile reported that the truck was backing into a garage below the house, presumably to duck the helicopter. At the beginning of the incident, Lamb's truck was parked on the street.

Standing at the top of the ramp leading into the garage, Schwalm ordered Lamb to put the truck in park, telling him that it wasn't going to fit in the garage in any case.

Coming around from the far side of the house, DeValkenaere was positioned on the retaining wall above the truck. He had a much clearer view of Lamb than did Schwalm.

Ignoring commands to stop, Lamb continued to back up. DeValkenaere claims he saw Lamb holding a pistol between his legs with his left hand. "He's got a gun, he's got a gun," he shouted.

Not sensing an immediate threat, DeValkenaere refrained from shooting until he saw Lamb bring the gun "up and around the left-hand side of the steering wheel."

"I can't let this happen," DeValkenaere thought, meaning that he couldn't let Lamb shoot Schwalm who was in the more vulnerable position. Fearing the worst, DeValkenaere shot and killed Lamb.

DeValkenaere never entered the garage or touched Lamb. He yielded the shooting scene to the arriving officers. Tactical officer Eurik Hunt testified that he saw the gun "just below … the driver's door of the vehicle just below where an arm was hanging out from the door."

You will not be surprised to learn that Cashill is omitting certain information in order to forward his narrative. In upholding DeValkenaere's involuntary manslaughter conviction, an appeals court found:

  • DeValkenaere and Schwalm did not have permission or a warrant to enter Lamb's property.
  • Lamb did not have a gun in his hand at the time DeValkenaere killed him (it was apparently a phone), and Schwalm never saw a gun. Thus, Lamb was not a threat to them.
  • DeValkenaere lied to authorities about a "lady in pink" telling him that Lamb had guns.

Like a good conspiracy theorist, Cashill ignores inconvenient facts. Instead, he played the race card against the judge that presidend over the trial that originally convicted DeValkenaere:

In his ruling, Youngs compared DeValkenaere to Chauvin – favorably. But that he made the comparison at all suggested that a white officer killing a black perp deserved its own special criminal classification.

As Youngs saw things, "One issue of law … countermanded every other factual issue in the case," namely "whether or not Sergeant Schwalm and Detective DeValkenaere were lawfully present on the premises when they engaged Cameron Lamb."

Unless the state of Missouri intervenes, DeValkenaere will have six years to study up on the various interpretations of the Fourth Amendment under the heading, "white cop/black perp."

Again, DeValkenaere and Schwalm were not lawfully present on Lamb's property. But Cashill has a race-baiting narrative to peddle, and facts just get in the way.

Cashill continued to defend Devalkenaere and Chauvin in his Oct. 25 column:

"Murder and involuntary manslaughter arising from criminal negligence are two different things," said Missouri Circuit Court Judge J. Dale Youngs in handing Kansas City police officer Eric Devalkenaere a six-year prison sentence.

"They are different legal concepts. They are different things. Eric Devalkenaere is not Derek Chauvin who murdered George Floyd."

As it turns out Derek Chauvin is not the Derek Chauvin who murdered George Floyd for the simple reason that George Floyd wasn't murdered.

Cashill went on to claim that "So dubious was the evidence against Devalkenaere that Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey wrote a convincing appeal to have the verdict overturned. Even more convincing is the appeal made by Devalkenaere's father, Albert, a retired KCPD master detective." Cashill didn't explain what, exactly, was so "convincing" about either statement, given the inherent bias in their appeals: Bailey is a highly partisan right-wing AG, while Albert Devalkenaere is the perp's dad and cannot possibly be objective; indeed, he repeated the false claim that Lamb "dr[e]w a gun as the police were approaching him" and echoed Cashill's race-baiting narrative that prosecutors "wanted to gain notoriety for prosecuting a white police officer in the death of black man."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 24, 2023 9:44 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: August-September 2023
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center served up even more fanboyish gushing over Peter Doocy after his return to the White House briefing room from paternity leave. PLUS: The MRC flip-flops on Simon Ateba, finally getting tired of his briefing-room antics. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

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

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google