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Friday, May 10, 2019
MRC's Graham Melts Down Over WH Correspondents Dinner
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserach Center hates journalists -- to the point that it mocks them for worrying about their safety after President Trump's MRC-endorsed denunciations of them as the "enemy of the people" -- and perhaps no MRC employee hates journalists more than Tim Graham. He demonstrates that again in a couple posts about the White House Correspondents dinner.

First, he mocks the head of the White House Correspondents Association as a "drama queen" for being justifiably concerned about his safety and suggesting journalists deserve to have violent acts committed upon them for not being loyal Trump stenographers:

The White House Correspondents Dinner was again a hostile zone for President Trump, underlining it's no mystery why the president skips it. White House Correspondents Association president Olivier Knox of Sirius XM Radio first paid tribute to the group's lawyer, who filed a brief against CNN screamer Jim Acosta being denied his press pass for a few days. "No president should get to pick and choose who covers him!" And then Knox went full Drama Queen: 

OLIVIER KNOX: That gets us in an admittedly roundabout way to this president. I don't want to dwell on the president. This is not his dinner, it is ours, and it should stay ours. I do want to say this -- in nearly 23 years as a reporter, I have been physically assaulted by Republicans and Democrats, spat on, shoved, had crap thrown at me. I have been told by senior officials of both major parties that I will never work in Washington again. There was a brief moment in Afghanistan when I thought a soldier not quite old enough to shave would shoot me dead for the crime of taking a picture inside the presidential palace.

And yet, I still separate my career into the period before February of 2017, and what came afterwards. And that's because February 2017 is when the president of the United States called us the enemies of the people. A few days later, I was driving my then 11-year-old son somewhere, probably soccer practice, when he burst into tears and asked me is Donald Trump going to put me in prison?' At the end of a family trip to Mexico, he mused that if the president tried to keep me out of the country, quote 'at least uncle Josh is a good lawyer and he'll get you home." 

If you are the son of Olivier Knox, your friends will probably rib you pretty bad at school on Monday. Why do journalists still do this? Talk about Fake News! Even Brian Stelter admitted all these conspiracy theories about dictator moves didn't turn out. So why keep talking about them? Yes, "enemy of the people" is a harsh term. We prefer "the opposition party." You can be sure this room was 99 percent Democrats. (Sean Spicer was there.)

But it's still in fashion to say criticizing journalists could get them killed....and they never wonder if calling Trump Hitler might endanger him. 

In another post, Graham whines that the speaker at the dinner, Ron Chernow, failed to suck up to Trump the way Graham ovbiously would:

The White House Correspondents Association somehow thinks it has improved its annual dinner by removing the pompous liberal comedian and replacing that with a pompous liberal historian. On Saturday night, historian Ron Chernow kissed every ring in the room by insisting the assembled scribes to "the noble work of preserving democracy." Is that what they call 200-plus interviews for crooked Michael Avenatti? 

RON CHERNOW: You folks in the media write the first drafts of history, and we historians the later one. Your work gives freshener, color, and immediacy to our sagas. I know how embattled you feel at this critical juncture as you combat the mistrust of a significant portion of the American electorate. I think you do noble work to preserve democracy at a time when a rising tide of misinformation masquerading as news threatens to make a mockery of the First Amendment. [Applause]

There are so many journalistic fakes and forgeries out there that the genuine article can become devalued and debased. You must also deal with the pervasive world of social rife with self-appointed pundits who search out news outlets that only strengthen their pre-conceived views.

Let's guess he doesn't mean CNN/MSNBC viewers. Read this as an attack on Fox News, conservative talk radio and conservative blogs. There's noting dumber than a meeting of self-appointed pundits going after "self-appointed pundits." Unless it's people who make "news" to strengthen liberals pre-conceived views attacking "news outlets" that "strengthen pre-conceived views."

Graham wants all media outlets tohave the same slobbering pro-Trump bias as the MRC's own "news" division, After all, the MRC never makes CNS follow the anti-bias standards it demands from the "liberal media."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 10, 2019 9:30 AM EDT
Thursday, May 9, 2019
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

What gave up in breadth of coverage of April's employment numbers -- only two articles this time around -- it more than made up for in gushiness. See how Susan Jones started her main story:

Not since 2000 has the number of unemployed Americans been this low.

That drop -- to 5,824,000 in April from 6,211,000 in March -- helped lower the nation's unemployment rate two-tenths of a point to 3.6 percent, the lowest rate since 1969.

The Bureau of Labor statistics counts people as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work.

Jones thenturned to the not-so-good news, which would have been the lead and headline of her article if Barack Obama was still president:

However, not everyone who is jobless is unemployed. A growing number, including retirees, are counted as not in the labor force, meaning they are not working and are not looking for a job. That number increased by 646,000 last month to 96,223,000.

The number of employed Americans, which has set 18 records so far in the Trump presidency, dropped slightly  in April to 156,645,000 from 156,748,000 in March.

The economy added a strong 230,000 jobs last month, beating analysts' estimates of +190,000.

But the labor force participation rate dropped two tenths of a point to 62.8 percent, below the Trump-era high of 63.2 percent.

The only other story CNS did was its usual sidebar from Craig Bannister on Hispanic employment, which was similarly gushy. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey did not contribute his normal sidebars on manufacturing jobs and government jobs.

This was, however, apparently replaced by another column by the Heritage Foundation's Timothy Doescher in full gush mode:

It’s time to celebrate: We have the lowest unemployment rate in 49 years, and wages continue to rise—especially for lower-wage workers.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported that in April, the economy created a whopping 263,000 jobs, and the U-3 unemployment rate—the one commonly cited—fell from 3.8 percent to 3.6 percent. The alternate measure for unemployment, the U-6, which includes those discouraged and underemployed as well, remained unchanged at 7.3 percent. 

This is consistent with the larger pattern we’ve been seeing of the economy booming: Over the last year, our economy is averaging 213,000 jobs per month, and we now have 103 consecutive months of job creation.

Doescher waited until the 13th paragraph of his column to mention that it's "a little more troubling" that "the falling unemployment rate might be partially fueled by a decrease in the labor force participation rate."

Another column, by Hans Bader, was similarly gushy, proclaiming that "The Trump administration has helped fuel economic growth by bringing an end to the flood of red tape issued by the Obama administration." Bader identified no specific instance of red tape removal that could be tied to a specific impact on the economy.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2019 9:51 PM EDT
WND's Dubious Doc Can't Stop Fearmongering About Vaccines
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient is a medical misinformer who leads the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and her current crusade is ranting aghainst compulsory vaccination by peddling misleading fearmongering about their safety. WorldNetDaily has been giving Orient a platform for this -- particularly during the current measles outbreak -- and did so again n a May 2 column, in which she mocks the proven concept of herd immunity:

It’s about the need for herd immunity, they say. We need a 95 percent vaccination rate for herd immunity to measles. With only 91 percent or so, we are having outbreaks! If we could just vaccinate another 4 or 5 percent!

Mayor De Blasio has a point about vaccinating everyone. Adults are getting measles because their shots have worn off. It is likely that we have survived for decades with a large part of the adult population vaccinated – but not immune. So where do the mandates stop?

Outbreaks have occurred in populations with a near-100 percent vaccination rate. Was it vaccine failure? Or was the vaccine not refrigerated properly? Or was a claimed outbreak real? One in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was called off when a special test, a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed a vaccine-strain measles virus rather than a wild-strain measles virus. Some 5 percent of vaccinees may get an illness that looks like measles, but it is just a “vaccine reaction.” Can they shed live virus? Yes. Should you keep your immuno-compromised child away from recently vaccinated people? Just asking.

Like all medical treatments, vaccines are neither 100 percent effective, nor 100 percent safe. Read the FDA-required, FDA-approved package inserts.

Does Orient really want to stop all vaccinations until they can be 100 percent effective with no side effects? That's irresponsible -- even as she admits that no medical treatment is totally safe. She can't even admit that vaccines help the vast majority of people.

Orient did attempt a conciliatory note at the end of her column:

The threat of infectious diseases is real and increasing. We need more robust public health measures, better vaccines, and improved public knowledge and awareness. Deploying vaccine police and shutting down debate will erode trust in health authorities and physicians, although more people may get their shots. But such heavy-handed measures will not defeat the enemy – measles and worse diseases.

But Orient is not interested in "debate" -- she just cares about irresponsible fearmongering that is solely designed to convince people to act against their best health interests.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
MRC Demands Round-The-Clock Coverage of Biden's 'Grabby Hands'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so obsessed with Joe Biden's history of being a little too grabby in public with women -- a story that has already been thourghly covered by the media -- that it's outraged that it's not mentioned every single time Biden appears in the media.

MRC bigwigs Tim Graham and Brent Bozell set the whining tone in their April 2 column:

The Democrat-media complex has suddenly decided that Joe Biden has a creepiness problem. Why now? Why not when he was Vice President for eight years? Does anyone remember the allegedly fierce White House press corps pelting the press secretary with questions, asking when Obama would tell his understudy to stop putting his hands on women – and little girls, too – and putting his face uncomfortably close to theirs? 

They then descend into a paranoid rant about how the "Democrat-media complex" want Biden out of the way because he's purportedly not liberal enough.

By the time Biden actually announced his candidacy for president, though, the MRC's whining had reframed to demanding that Biden's grabbiness wasn't being sufficiently reported to conform to its right-wing agenda -- which is to say, being reported all the time.

An April 23 post by Geoffrey Dickens complained that "liberal journalists have rushed to the defense of Biden’s grabbiness," as well as "laughing off or completely burying most of his numerous gaffes."

On April 25, Scott Whitlock griped that "CBS This Morning on Thursday covered the launch of Joe Biden without ever mentioning any of his gaffes, including his habit of being grabby with women," proclaiming this to be a "scandal."

The same day, Dickens huffed that TV networks devoted a "tiny (1 minutes, 52 seconds) amount of time ... to the former Vice President’s grabbiness in their coverage of his campaign’s official launch." He further complained that "Even when reporters briefly mentioned Biden’s female problems, they couched it in the most favorable terms."

Dickens -- who has apparently been named the MRC's Biden obsessive -- griped in yet another post, in which the word "scandal" was again used:

The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have cleared the path of any nagging stories about Joe Biden’s grabby hands – having all but wiped clean the stories of women complaining about their uncomfortable encounters with the former VP. 

In just three days of coverage (Tuesday evening through Friday morning) the broadcast evening and morning shows have devoted a hefty 47 minutes, 4 seconds of combined coverage to Biden’s official entrance into the 2020 race. But they could only find 2 minutes, 21 seconds of time to spend on Biden’s roaming hands. 

In terms of total coverage NBC news has led the way with 19 minutes, 27 seconds spent on the Biden announcement, with just a skimpy 56 seconds on complaints from women. ABC has spent 16 minutes, 37 seconds on the Democratic frontrunner’s entry but only 50 seconds on Biden being overly-friendly with women. CBS offered 10 minutes, 58 seconds to the Biden launch and just a meager 35 seconds on the former Senator’s touchy-feely ways.

Dickens appears to be more obsessed with Biden's hands than Biden is.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 10, 2019 2:39 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
AIM Tries To Brand Synagogue Shooter As A 'Left-Winger'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Brian McNicoll was in spin mode in an April 30 post, asserting that John Earnest -- accused in the shootings at a synagogue in California -- is "a left-winger who despises Trump."

Not so much. Actually, Earnest expressed hatred of Trump only regarding his relationship with Jews, denouncing him as a "Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous c*cksucker." And far from being a "left-winger," he was a devout church-goer associated with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a right-wing evangelical group founded to counter liberalism in the mainline Prebyterian church.Earnest's manifesto spouted "cogent Christian theology" alongside his virulent anti-Semitism, with one pastor calling it "a frighteningly clear articulation of Christian theology in certain sentences and paragraphs."

But McNicoll didn't mention any of that. The remainder of his column is dedicated to bashing a New York Times article on right-wing extremism in California and complaining that Earnest "did not belong to any of the right-wing hate groups law enforcement officials have identified."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:17 PM EDT
WND Still Pushing Conspiracy on Notre Dame Fire
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Being the irresponsible conspiracy-mongers they are, WorldNetDaily has enthusiastically pushed the idea that the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral was intentionally set, probably by Muslims. So committed is WND to this conspiracy theory that it's doing something that's become increasingly rare given its current dire financial state: original reporting.

WND's Art Moore made a phone call to France and he told us all about it in an April 28 article:

When the Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith hung up on French politician and media analyst Philippe Karsenty during live coverage of the Notre Dame Cathedral blaze, authorities already were speculating the catastrophe that gripped the world was caused by an accident.

Although speculation is the coin of the cable-news realm, an indignant Smith wanted nothing to do with Karsenty providing context to the April 15 fire – nearly 2,000 attacks on French churches in two years – that would suggest an alternative cause should be considered.

And, in fact, as Karsenty pointed out in a phone interview from France with WND, a former chief architect of the Notre Dame – whose analysis has been virtually ignored – believes the accident theory makes no sense.

Karsenty told WND he was “shocked” when Smith abruptly ended the interview.

“I just wanted to put it in context,” he said, referring to the surge of attacks on churches. “And then I said, nevertheless, the media are lecturing us an hour after it started, saying it can only be unintentional.

“I didn’t say it was a terrorist attack. I didn’t say it was criminal,” Karsenty recalled to WND.


Karsenty observed a pattern in such incidents – particularly if it might have something to do with Islam – of authorities, without having investigated, immediately telling the public it was an accident.

“If you come out and say, ‘Wait a minute, there may be another explanation,’ it’s not [allowed],” he said.

“You don’t have the right to think freely.”

Moore also complained that Fox's Smith has a "reputation as a left-leaning counter to the network’s conservative commentators and hosts.

WND being WND, of course, Moore allowed no countervailing view -- can't interfere with the conspiracy theory, y'know.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
MRC's Bozell Made Last-Ditch Effort To Save Moore's Fed Nomination
Topic: Media Research Center

When President Trump first presented Herman Cain and Stephen Moore as possible nominees to the Federal Reserve board of governors, the Media Research Center didn't do all that much to boost them other than complain that the media was accurately reporting on the sleazy personal lives of both men -- Cain's sexual harassment, Moore's mistreatment of his ex-wife. Cain dropped out of the running soon after, leaving only Moore, whose scandal-ridden past was exposed further as his long history of comments denigrating women was documented.

Only then did the MRC feel the need to step things up a bit. An April 30 article at, of all places, Newsmax (and curiously not a MRC-operated outlet) touted an "exclusive statement" from MRC chief Brent Bozell:

The conservative Media Research Center on Tuesday unveiled a highlight reel of economist Stephen Moore’s strongest media appearances that may help explain the tempest over his expected nomination to the Federal Reserve Board -- his effectiveness communicating Trump’s economic policies.

On ABC News’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” Sunday, Moore noted the initial objections to his nomination focused on his credentials. Once that effort collapsed, he says, Plan B for Trump administration antagonists was to resort to a “sleaze campaign” focusing on “character assassination,” he said.

The longtime columnist said at least half a dozen mainstream media reporters are now sifting through everything he’s ever written, including columns that he says were written as provocative spoofs.

Those columns have now been used to link him to views that now sound antediluvian, such as questioning the advisability of having women receive equal pay. Moore now admits those tongue-in-cheek remarks were not funny, and has apologized.

Are Newsmax and Bozell claiming Moore's misogynist views were not "antediluvian" when he said them? Anyway, back to the video:

The video released Tuesday of recent appearances by Moore across the media spectrum provides voters a chance to see Moore defend his own record free from the filter of the mainstream media.

“The media’s broadside against Steve Moore is no surprise,” MRC founder Brent Bozell told Newsmax on Tuesday in an exclusive statement. “Moore’s pro-growth vision has been proven right by the booming economy.

“The liberal media’s mentality is we must stop any success coming from conservatives,” he added, “so they have launched a smear campaign against Moore that is unprecedented against a Federal Reserve Board nominee -- before he has even been nominated.”

The video -- posted at the MRCTV account on YouTube, but apparently not at MRCTV itself -- is just a clip package of Moore talking about his economic experience and criticizing the Fed for its recent monetary policy decisions.

Newsmax then quoted Bozell saying of the video: "Watching him make the TV rounds, I don’t think there is a more articulate promoter of the Trump economy than Moore." Of course, Moore's job on the Fed board would have been about  making sound monetary policy, not being a "promoter of the Trump economy."

Meanwhile, at the MRC's "news" division, a similarly half-hearted effort took place to boost Moore, whose column CNS publishes. An April 24 column by Phil Kerpen complained that "The dishonest criticisms of Moore's qualifications and independence are almost as bad as the desperate personal attacks," ignoring the fact that Moore's fealty to Trump is being touted by conservatives as his most salient qualification. Still, Kerpen insisted that "Moore's effectiveness as an advocate for Trump should not be mistaken for a lack of independence" and that he has an "impressive track record of getting it right when so many others got it wrong." Actually, being wrong is kinda Moore's thing.

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman was then drafted to write a piece compiling how "numerous economic conservatives praised the White House and the economic forecasting of Stephen Moore." Chapman was silent on Moore's personal scandals.This was followed by a May 1 column by Ken Blackwell complaining that Moore was "savaged by the liberal press—and not for his economic knowledge or his views of domestic monetary policy—but via personal attacks on him and his family," further whining that "We have clearly reached a troubling point in American politics in which Republican presidential nominees are no longer reviewed based on the quality of their credentials (Moore’s are sterling) or the merits of their ideas (ditto), but are squeezed through a gauntlet of brutal, vicious attacks on their personal lives, reputations, and actions dating back as far as ten years."Blackwell didn't explain how this was different from the way Republicans have treated nominees under a Democratic president.

Alas, all this partisan political boosterism -- which would seem to bump up against the limits of the MRC 501(c)3 nonprofit tax status -- was too little, too late: Moore withdrew as a nominee. Curiously, CNS didn't find this to be newsworthy enough to report.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EDT
More White Nationalism Links At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We documented the other day how a BuzzFeed News profile on apparent former alt-right white nationalist Katie McHugh exposed that the Media Research Center hired an activist with the racist, misogynist Youth for Western Civilization, Tim Dionisopoulos, to run its social media accounts for four years. It turns out there's a link here to WorldNetDaily as well.

The article states that McHugh -- while still an alt-right white nationalist -- worked for WND for a few months in late 2017 but, according to her WND supervisor, "let go for performance issues." This, by the way, was a few months after she was fired from Breitbart for a string of racially charged tweets culminating in one stating, "There would be no deadly terror attacks in the U.K. if Muslims didn't live there." Clearly, the Muslim-haters at WND had no problem with that tweet.

But there's another WND-white nationalist link here as well. McHugh's boyfriend for a few years in the mid-2010s was Kevin DeAnna, founder of Youth for Western Civilization. In February 2012, DeAnna became the "marketing coordinator" for WND.

WND was actually proud of this connection for a while. A May 2012 article touted how DeAnna, along with three other WND writers, were placed on a Southern Poverty Law Center list of "the 30 most dangerous activists in the country." The article noted DeAnna was founder of YWC but did not describe the nature of the organization. DeAnna also wrote several articles for WND before his apparent departure in October 2012; we noted at the time that DeAnna defended Russian leader Vladimir Putin's persecution of the punk band Pussy Riot.

DeAnna also wrote an article promoting Bilderberg conspiracy theories; as it so happens, Dionisopoulos also wrote an article for WND around the same time featuring "citizen journalists" protesting outside of a Bilderberg Group gathering in Virginia (which we also noted at the time).

This is far from the first time WND has been caught dallying with white nationalism and barely disguised racism -- from Colin Flaherty to Paul Nehlen to Scott Greer, that thread has been running through WND for years.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EDT
CNS Didn't Get The Joke, Or The Point

Craig Bannister grouses in an April 25 blog post:

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) took a shot at the heritage of President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, on Thursday after Mrs. Trump said German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision in 2015 to allow more than a million migrants into the country was "one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany."

Responding on Twitter to an article by The Hill reporting on Lara Trump’s comments on Fox Business Channel earlier in the day, Rep. Swalwell took issue with Mrs. Trump’s German heritage:

“But what about her German-born grandfather-in-law?”

In an interview with Fox Business’ Stuart Varney, Lara Trump said her father-in-law, President Donald Trump, is trying to avoid Germany’s mistake by securing the U.S. southern border:

“It was the downfall of Germany, it was one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany. This president knows that, he’s trying to prevent that from happening here.”

Bannister not only missed that Swalwell was making a little joke, he missed the entire controversy that's happening here. Swalwell's tweet alluded to Trump's claim a few weeks earlier that his father was born in Germany -- which, like a lot of things Trump says, is not true.

Bannister also pretends Lara Trump's comment that Germany allowing refugees into the country was "one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany" and the country's "downfall" is not controversial or ridiculous. Many online have pointed out that the comment seems to downplay the whole Nazi thing, not to mention that other world war the Germans played a role in starting.

For Bannister to twist a joke over an outrageous comment into an attack on someone's ethnic heritage requires a lot of deliberate ignorance of reality. And he succeeds a little too well.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Monday, May 6, 2019
Newsmax Pushes Speculation That Notre Dame Fire Was Intentional
Topic: Newsmax

An April 25 Newsmax TV report by John Bachman -- hidden behind a "Platinum" paywall on the Newsmax website but also posted at its YouTube page -- tries to push the idea that the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral was intentionally set.

Bachman's "cutting-edge" report by first getting the name not quite right -- using the English prounciation of Notre Dame instead of the proper French one -- then touting speculation challenging the "unusual immediate declaration of an accident when almost no investigation had been thoroughly conducted," then conceded that "many of the most radical theories have been debunked." He then took a huge, distracting logical leap, declaring that "one can make a clear case that Christianity is clearly under attack from extremists" and first citing ... the terrorist attcks in Sri Lanka. Bachman offersd no evidence whatsoever that terrorist attacks in non-French locations, or even any of the church vandalism incidents inside France, have any thing to do with what happened at Notre Dame. Still, he insisted that "it's easy to understand why many people are wondering and questioning French authorities as to why they were so quick and how they were able to declare the Notre Dame fire an accident without a full investigation."

Notre Dame fire conspiracy theories are expected from the likes of conspiracy-happy WorldNetDaily, but with the Media Research Center and now Newsmax leaning into it, there must be some right-wing narrative being built.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EDT
MRC Complains That Media Pointed Out Trump Made A Dumb Suggestion During Notre Dame Fire
Topic: Media Research Center

At the Media Research Center, it's forbidden for anyone in the media to criticize President Trump -- even when he says something universally recognized as dumb. Take it away, Nicholas Fondacaro:

On Monday, the world watched in horror as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral burned. A deeply concerned President Trump put out a tweet urging for water-tanker helicopters to be used to put out the blaze. We later learned that French authorities didn’t use them because the weight of the water could cause further destruction. Despite many other people thinking the same thing, members of liberal media used it as an opportunity to score cheap points against Trump. But not all did.

For ABC’s World News Tonight, chief White House correspondent Jon Karl dug into Trump for offering “some unsolicited advice” to French firefighters. “Would that work? A veteran American firefighter told David it would not,” he chided.

He added: “Later, the French Civil Defense Agency said essentially the same thing. In its one and only tweet of the day in English. ‘All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.’”

During CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, comedic reporter Jeanne Moos mocked the President’s idea for getting shot down:

JEANNE MOOS: President Trump offered advice, “perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it must act quickly.” Jersey City’s fire chief threw cold water on that.

CHIEF STEVEN MCGILL (Jersey City Fire Department): Water is very heavy and if it hits a structure like that, out of a tanker, it could cause further collapse.

Contrary to Fondacaro's opinion, it's not "mocking" Trump or "cheap points" to point out his idea was stupid -- that's just factual reporting. And the MRC hates it when the facts have a liberal bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
WND's Brown In Denial About Hating Buttigieg Because He's Gay
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown began his April 17 column by taking a shot at Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg:

Go ahead. Ban be. Block me. Get out your nasty dictionary and vilify me. Call me obsessed. Hateful. Bigoted. Have at it.

The fact is, there are a million things I’d rather write about, but the state of the world leaves me no choice. To be silent is to give tacit approval. To be silent is to accept. To be silent is to capitulate. And that’s not going to happen.

A Democratic leader announces his presidential candidacy and then turns to kiss his same-sex partner. And the crowd celebrates.

Sorry, but I’m not celebrating.

After more ranting about transgenders, Brown added:

It is love that motivates me and moves me. Love for God. Love for America. Love for the coming generations. Love for what is best.

You can call it hate. You can brand me a Nazi. That will only encourage me to speak up all the more clearly.

We'll call it hate, since we're not seeing any love in Brown's motivation. After all, he spent his May 3 column explaining how we must hate  Buttigieg because he's a gay Christian:

How then has he surged up in the polls? Why has he become the darling of the left?

It’s because he is gay. And he is “married” to his partner. And he is a professing Christian. And he is challenging sacred biblical and church traditions. What more could the left ask for?

But there’s a nuance to this we cannot miss.

Mayor Pete and his partner are the perfect poster boys for the gay agenda, a culmination of years of messaging and marketing.

They seem like really nice guys (and might well be).

They seem wholesome.

They are churchgoing.

They care about the poor.

To the best of our knowledge, they are not frequenting gay bars looking for anonymous sex encounters.

They are like your ideal neighbors, just a little different.

Brown complained about that purported "gay agenda" of homosexuality being "just another thing," asserting that this meant that he couldn't then demonize them as filthy sluts -- or, as he put it, "As for negative aspects of homosexuality (such as higher rates of promiscuity and STDs or “open” marriages), those should be hidden from the public eye."

Brown then demonstrated more a nimosity toward Buttigieg and his husband -- again while denying he is doing any such thing:

It could well be that Pete and Chasten are really nice guys. That they’re really committed to each other. That they would be very nice neighbors.

But two men (or two women) “marrying” will never equal a man and woman marrying. Two dads or two moms will never equal a mom and a dad (nor will they ever be able to reproduce themselves physically in their offspring). Sex distinctions, established by God at creation for the good of the human race, still matter.

Consequently, while I do not have the slightest animosity towards Mayor Pete (or Chasten), what I will celebrate is the miracle of a man and a woman coming together as one. A couple joined in romantic and sexual union, reproducing the unique byproduct of their emotional and spiritual and physical lives – a literal, new creation.

That’s the real first family, and it represents the fullest expression of God’s heart.

Gay families will take these words as hate-filled and denigrating, for which I’m truly sorry. I’m simply saying that God’s ways are truly best.

Pro tip for Brown: If you are devoting an entire column to defending the idea that Buttigieg and his husband must not be taken seriously -- and, indeed, be rejected as aberrant freaks -- because they are gay, you are denigrating them with a large degree of animosity.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Sunday, May 5, 2019
MRC Employed A White Nationalist
Topic: Media Research Center

A BuzzFeed News profile of Katie McHugh -- a white nationalist activist and writer so virulent that she ultimately found her ostracized from the movement and now says she has renounced her activism, changed her views and is broke -- contains an interesting sidelight about a former Media Research Center employee.

The article references a picture featuring McHugh with other white nationalists, including someone named Tim Dionisopoulos, who was active in a group called Youth for Western Civilization. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes YWC as ultraconservative and obsessed with race and misogyny -- to the point that Jared Taylor, leader of the white nationalist group American Renaissance, wrote a fundraising letter for it. He also earned a profile at the extremist monitoring group One People's Project, which notes that he was once arrested for making harassing phone calls.

Despite that record of extremism, Dionisopoulos moved in mainstream conservative circles. From 2011 to 2014, Dinoisopoulos was a writer for conservative website Campus Reform; he also served as a volunteer faculty member at the conservative Leadership Institute, which runs Campus Reform. From there, he joined the MRC as an assistant marketing director, managing its social media accounts. He also wrote at the MRC's MRCTV site.

It's unclear when Dionisopoulos left the MRC -- Dionisopoulos is quoted in the BuzzFeed article as saying he left employment there "months" ago. He may have left sometime after last August, when an Atlantic article (written by Rosie Gray, who also wrote the McHugh piece) noted that Dionisopoulos was pictured with other white nationalists including Ian Smith, who had worked as a policy analyst in the Department of Homeland Security. His last post for MRCTV was in October 2017.

Still, that means Dionisopoulos worked for the MRC for four years and was apparently not bothered by his white nationalism. the One People's Project profile on him was published in 2015, so it's unlikely the MRC didn't know about this during much of his tenure there.

That would be a similar timeframe reflecting the MRC's newfound concern over white nationalism in its ranks. The previous month, it had quietly dismissed Tom Blumer as a blogger for its NewsBusters operation after others (not the MRC) discovered white nationalist links in his posts. As with Dionisopoulos, it's highly unlikely the MRC didn't know about Blumer's white nationalist leanings, given that some of those offending links remained live in his posts for three years before they were pointed out and, thus, suddenly became inconvenient.

In deleting those links, the MRC added a note to Blumer's posts that "NewsBusters does not associate with known white nationalists." The record appears to demonstrate otherwise.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:28 PM EDT
CNS, The Mark Levin News Service
Topic: is such an enthusiastic promoter of everything Mark Levin says or does -- 135 articles in 2018 alone on the alleged pearls of wisdom dropping from his mouth or of the guests (and even the guest hosts) on his TV and radio shows -- that it might as well rename itself the Mark Levin News Service. Levin even rewarded all this free publicity by giving Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Center, which runs CNS, a fluffy, logrolling interview on his Fox News show in his first show of 2019.

The stenography hasn't stopped. In the first four months of 2019, CNS made Levin's rantings the subject of 43 articles. Here's the breakdown by month:





That's an average of one Levin stenography piece every 2.8 days. All of these articles simply repeat what Levin says, often in blockquoted text; nobody is permitted to respond.

It's ironic that Levin rants about objectivity at one point when he benefits from a complete lack of it at CNS. Levin might as well be paying Bozell and the MRC for all this fawning exposure, if he isn't already doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EDT
Saturday, May 4, 2019
MRC Writer Triggered By A Color On A Map
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock was so triggered by a color on a map that he devoted an entire April 8 post to ranting about it (boldface his):

Talk about fake history. CBS Sunday Morning on April 7 featured a story on the Reconstruction era after the Civil War and former slaves who entered Congress in the 1870s. The visuals for the CBS segment used the political “red and blue” state graphics. But instead of following actual history, the network made the slave-holding Confederates red and the union states blue. It should be the other way around. 

Correspondent Mo Rocca explained, “After returning home to Beaufort, South Carolina, Robert Smalls was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.One of more than a dozen African Americans to serve in Congress during the period known as Reconstruction, when the formerly rebel states were reabsorbed into the union and four million newly freed Africans were made citizens.” 

As he talked, the CBS visuals showed the red Confederate states melting into the newly blue America. In reality, the Confederacy was made up of Democrats. It was Abraham Lincoln’s Republicans who fought to preserve the union and end slavery.


Credit to Rocca for at least getting this right (vocally) as he spoke. Referring to the African American members of Congress after the Civil War, Rocca noted, “All of them southerners, all of them Republicans in 1872.” 

But apparently CBS’s graphic department couldn’t get this right.

Whitlock is apparently so inculcated by his anti-media work at the MRC that he has not considered the possibility that perhaps the CBS graphics department was not imposing modern political color meanings onto its map -- it was just after two contrasting colors, and red and blue are the two most prominent contrasting colors. 

And even if one does accept Whitlock's conspiracy theory that CBS deliberate chose those colors with political motivation, it's worth pointing out that there's an element of truth given that Republicans currently dominatethe South and are primarily the ones defending Confederate monuments from removal.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 AM EDT

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