MRC Seems To Be Making Things Up In Assigning Ideology To Debate Questions Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center did its best to try and work the refs ahead of the Democratic presidential debate in June -- but, as usual it refuses to complete show its work in assigning ideology to the questions asked at the debate.
Geoffrey Dickens kicked things off in a June 24 item by demanding that NBC and affiliated networks ask questions with a right-wing bias: "If they are to match what their colleagues did with Republican candidates in 2015, they should ask questions designed to humiliate, badger and paint them as not ready for prime time, cartoonish, out-of-touch extremists." Dickens refused to acknowledge that the questions asked of the Republicans were legitimate even though they put the candidates on the spot.
After the first night of the debate, the MRC was quick to frame anything non-conservative as a pejorative. Scott Whitlock declared that "the NBC and MSNBC hosts" asking questions "catered to the party's far-left base, offering questions about just how to take guns away from Americans, the need for aggressive action on climate change and repeated questions about how the nominee would fight the looming threat of Mitch McConnell."
Rich Noyes followed up by falsely conflating "left-wing," hard-edged leftism" and "liberal," asserting: "A Media Research Center analysis finds 39 of the questions at the debate echoed liberal talking points or were framed around a liberal world view, vs. only five that challenged liberal/Democratic assumptions. Another 15 questions were framed in a neutral fashion, or were neutral follow-ups to previous questions.?" Noyes never explained how the MRC made these decisions, though he linked to Whitlock's post containing a complete list of questions.
Noyes followed up after the second night of the debatye with more of the same:
After two nights, NBC/MSNBC has proved that they deserve the nickname “MSDNC.” The twenty Democrats who made the presidential debate stage were treated to questions that were wildly skewed (69%) to the left, with only a scant 13% challenging the candidates to defend their outside-the-mainstream views, a five-to-one disparity.
A Media Research Center analysis finds 70 of the 102 distinct questions at the two debates echoed liberal talking points or were framed around a liberal world view, vs. only 13 that challenged liberal/Democratic assumptions. Another 19 questions were framed in a neutral fashion, or were neutral follow-ups to previous questions.
here’s a reason why these debates are moderated by (supposedly) independent journalists, who are supposed to challenge the candidates, rather than party insiders who would want to present both the candidates and the party’s platform in as favorable a light as possible.
But it’s hard to see how NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo’s approach was at all different than a debate moderated by Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other liberal Democratic bigwigs. Real journalists should gag at the two-night display of bias.
Noyes again failed to explain the MRC's alleged methodology, nor did he provide evidence that any view of any Democratic candidate -- let alone all of them, as he seems to be claiming -- is "outside-the-mainstream." Its standards here are purely subjective: a question was deemed "liberal" seemingly because it needed a big number of "liberal" questions to make the so-called analysis exploitable for politial purposes.
If Noyes can't offer a sound, scientifically valid methodology for determining "bias," we have to come to the conclusion that the MRC is simply making things up, letting their own right-wing opinions color their judgment and are motivated only by partisan politics designed to advance its anti-media agenda.
WND Frames Transgenderism As A Disease Topic: WorldNetDaily
The LGBT-haters at WorldNetDaily do an interesting but of framing in an anonymously written June 27 article, suggesting that transgender people are "victims" of gender dysphoria, which they "suffer" from:
An organization that monitors the readiness of the U.S. military is opposing an amendment to a defense spending bill that would allow gender dysphoria victims in the ranks.
The military disallowed people who suffer gender dysphoria – defined clinically as persistent feelings of identification with another gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned gender – until President Obama changed the policy with an executive order. President Trump reversed the order, but courts have ruled in favor of military personnel with gender dysphoria.
In keeping with its history of journalistic bias, WND quotes only right-wing anti-gay groups attacking efforts to reverse Trump's ban: Elaine Donnelly's Center for Military Readiness and the Family Research Center, "whose leadership includes experts in military matters." WND repeated unchallenged the FRC's assertion that "People with gender dysphoria should be excluded because it’s a specific medical diagnosis, and 'it is associated with significant mental health problems.'"
Such blatant bias is not the sort of thing that inspires confidence in the integrity of WND's journalism or the idea that it deserves to live.
Now That Carl Cameron's No Longer At Fox News, MRC Goes On The Attack Topic: Media Research Center
When longtime Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron announced he had joined a website operation that declared it would be the liberal answer to the right-wing Drudge Report, we knew the Media Research Center would lash out at him following the decades of protection that was afforded him as a Fox News employee. Tim Graham does the deed in a June 25 post:
For decades, Carl Cameron was a top political reporter for Fox News. But now he says he left because "right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation."
He said this in a promotional video for a new left-wing website called Front Page Live, which hopes to be the "antidote" to the Drudge Report. "What’s a former Fox guy doing here on Front Page Live partnering with progressives? Well, it’s about facts, not partisanship." But Cameron sounds a lot like partisan networks like CNN and MSNBC in this video.
Anyone glancing at this website sees sections on "#Climate Crisis" and "#RadicalRight." It's an attempt at Drudge for liberals. Except Cameron promised there would be "ACT NOW" buttons for people to get involved in campaigns. They link to articles pushing concepts like "The Green New Deal is surprisingly popular."
When Cameron pointed ot that Trump did, in fact, "collude and coordinate with Russia to get elected" and is endangering democracy, Graham couldn't offer any facts in response but instead just sneered, "Riiiight."
Prior to this, the only time we could find that the MRC ever criticized Cameron was in a 2008 post claiming that he "took the low road" by "repeating rumors and gossip from unnamed staffers in the McCain camp about Sarah Palin: her knowledge, temperament, being a shopoholic, etc." in a "somewhat fevered manner." Funny how one becomes an MRC target once you veer from right-wing orthodoxy or, as Cameron has ultimately done, escape the right-wing Fox News media bubble completely.
Consider this yet another reminder that the MRC doesn't give a damn about journalism and cares only about forcing the media to embrace only right-wing narratives.
Alveda King Pushes Partisan Attacks In July 4-Related Column Topic: CNSNews.com
Anti-abortion activist Alveda King used her Independence Day-related column -- published July 3 at CNSNews.com, which managed to avoid gracing her with the false "Dr." title, because her doctorate is honorary and not earned -- to make a decidedly partisan political statement. First, she lashed out at Democratic presidential candidates advocating reparations for blacks:
Currently, presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is most fervently backing reparations. The self-help guru and spiritual adviser wants to set aside $200 billion to $500 billion for a reparations program. She’s not offering to foot the bill personally.
Meanwhile, Senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is rooting for reparations for Blacks, Native Americans and Gays. The other candidates running against President Trump, including Senators Corey Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, are also backing tax-payer funded reparations for descendants of former American slaves.
All of these candidates are fully in favor of tax-payer funded abortion laws that help to disproportionately kill the very population they say they are trying to repair. How can you repair people by aborting them?
King then diverted to praising the anti-abortion film "Maafa 21," which she says "documents that, in the 1800s, ultra-wealthy white elitists financed the eugenics movement as a way to rid the country of freed blacks. It also documents the following: (a) this campaign has been in place every day since then; (b) it is still being carried out today; (c) it has inflicted demonstrable harm on the existing African-American community’s personal, societal, familial, financial and political well-being; (d) the plans for this effort – including its intentional targeting of this racial group – were widely publicized by those responsible; and (e) the [fruits of the] perpetrators still exist, [and] are easily identified and have enormous wealth in both cash and other assets."
In fact, "Maafa 21" has been criticized for its selective and distorted reading of history, with one critic calling it "an exceedingly dishonest propaganda exercise, one that aims to convince African Americans that both family planning and evolutionary theory are part of a massive conspiracy against them."
Ultimately, though, King's column is piece of pro-Trump propaganda. After praising Trump for opposing reparations, she writes:
Thinking back, I remember that while seeking the votes of the American people, President Trump asked African American voters an open-ended question: “What do you have to lose?” I remember following up on his question with this request to our very forward-thinking president: “Sir. Please tell us what we have to gain.”
Not only has President Trump told us, he has shown us gains in the job markets, for the sanctity of life, for religious freedom, through criminal justice reform, and so much more. America is on the mend.
Further, President Trump speaks to all Americans, including African Americans when he says, “[W]hether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood” and that “[i]n America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.” From this perspective, goals that involve partnerships among the governments, private sector and people of faith would be a good start. If we are really listening, perhaps we will hear an invitation to seek God and not humans, and pray for the guidance for solutions to bring justice and the jubilee that will be required to make the wrongs right in America’s Reparations Saga.
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
How is the Media Research Center going into LGBT freakouts these days? Let us count the ways.
Alexander Hall insisted that Google CEO Sundar Pichai was "pandering" to his LGBT employees and cared only about "maintaining politically correct status" by saying in a memo that he would consult "many groups, including people who have themselves experienced harassment" in setting future company policy in the wake of right-winger Steven Crowder's rampant homophobia against gay journalist Carlos Maza. Hall didn't frame if that way, of course; to him, Crowder is just a "conservative comedian" who was merely "making jokes at [Maza's] expense." Hall went on to sneer: "The memo didn’t mention how conservative employees feel excluded after their favorite YouTubers were banned from the platform or demonetized. " Hall did not name any YouTuber who was banned or deplatformed merely for expressing conservative views (unless he's counting homophobia as a conservativ value).
Jorge Plaza complained that author Nicholas Sparks was being unfairly attacked after a lawsuit by the former headmaster of a Christian academy Sparks co-founded exposed communications in which Sparks was trying to shut down diversity efforts at the school, including forbidding the formation of an LGBT club. Plaza lamented that the lawsuit "fit too perfectly into the media’s narrative: Christian organizations are racist, sexist, bigotted, and homophobic."
Alexis Moutevalis Coombs furthered the MRC's Taylor Swift-bashing by complaining about the video for Swift's song "You Need To Calm Down," which featured "dozens of (mostly) LGBT celebrity cameos" and "virtue-signals with shots of angry, illiterate, toothless hicks protesting and holding signs that say, 'Get A Brain Morans!' and 'Homasekualty Is Sin!'" Coombs did take pleasure, however, in some people on "the left" criticizing the video.
Karen Townsend was hate-watching Freefom's "Good Trouble" when she came across a transgender Hispanic character named Jazmin being given a quinceanera-type ceremony:
The episode is a vehicle for the LGBTQ activists in Hollywood to promote their social agenda. Jazmin’s family is having difficulty dealing with her transition and the father is cast in a poor light. The far left still doesn’t get it – transgenderism is not normal behavior. Most Americans feel as the Martinez family does – it is a struggle to come to grips with this situation from a loved one.
The storyline is also a chance to virtue-shame over the ban on transsexuals in the military. Many Americans disagree with transsexuals serving openly in the military, including President Trump. Jazmin tells the party-goers that her quinceañera is an opportunity to fundraise for The Center for Transgender Veterans. She says there are 134,000 trans military veterans, including 15,000 currently serving. The fundraiser raises $10,000 for the fight to end the military ban. And the young people watching this show are further indoctrinated.
As if Townsend isn't attempting anti-transgender indoctrination here.
Gabriel Hays lost it when current "Spider-Man" Tom Holland said he would be open to the superhero being gay, going on to attack Marvel Studios' "inclusive" vision for its superhero franchises, complaining that a "very minor gay character" in "Avengers: Endgame" was "a giant leap for the homosexual agenda being uploaded into the psyches of young comic book fans. Who knows? We may well soon be privy to seeing Spidey in some new rainbow colored digs. And we’re all just going to love it."
The mysterious Jay Maxson whined in a rant against "Big LGBT":
"The story" of Wimbledon so far has been 15-year-old Floridian Coco Gauff. Ranked 313th in the world, she is a wildcard entry who stunned her idol Venus Williams and also made an amazing comeback to defeat Polona Hercog. So who is Timemagazine's Wimbledon coverage focusing on? Why, it's the history-making first lesbian couple playing together in the famed tournament!
And you thought you could escape from the LGBT-in-your-face media frenzy by switching the channel from the lesbian-dominated World Cup women's soccer tournament to Wimbledon tennis. No dice!
Hays returned to grouse that "RuPaul's Drag Race" was nominted for an Emmy, mocking: "No one can outdo RuPaul when it comes making crossdressing fun for the whole family, that’s for sure."
WND's Massie Serves Up Another Bad Rant, Plus Thesaurus-Diving Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie's July 8 WorldNetDaily column is purportedly about "why both the left and right lie," though it's suspiciously silent on the five-digit amount of falsehoods spread by the current leader of the right, President Trump. Massie did go to his thesaurus to pull out the term "Erebusic marplots," then goes on this little rant:
Today American politics is about duplicitous dishonesty on an unprecedented scale. Politics is about getting away with committing treasonous betrayals and having others pay the price for your murderous political machinations.
Speaking of which, do you remember Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian, who was knowingly falsely accused of fomenting murder and mayhem on a global scale? Nakoula was imprisoned and ultimately reduced to “living in a homeless shelter run by First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, California.”
You probably are more familiar with Nakoula as the falsely accused filmmaker whose YouTube video was blamed by Obama, Hillary, Susan Rice and a torrid around-the-clock montage of false claims looped by the mainstream media as the singular primary reason for the Benghazi attack by terrorist Muslims.
Massie offered no evidence that Nakoula was "knowingly falsely accused" of inciting the Benghazi attack through his crappy film; that was a theory initially advanced by the intelligence community that was ultimately proven to be false, though it did apparently inspire (or was exploited as an excuse to engage in) protests that sometimes turned violent.
Massie also falsely portrays Nakoula as having been imprisoned because he made an anti-Muslim film. In fact, Nakoula is a criminal with a long rap sheet who was imprisoned for violating probation by using the internet in the form of uploading his film. Nakoula also deceived the actors in the film by letting them believe they were making something else and not that their performances would be re-dubbed into an anti-Muslim screed.
Further, the "homeless shelter" Nakoula was living in after serving his prison sentence (wher ehe had his own bedroom, not among the general population) was run by one Wiley Drake, an Obama birther who prayed for President Obama's death.
Massie then huffed that "It seems that the only thing the dark evils mentioned above hate more than the truth is President Trump," apparently oblivious to the fact that the real truth-hater here is Trump himself.
MRC Writer's Rant: There Isn't Enough Islamphobia In The Media! Topic: Media Research Center
Actor Riz Ahmed's complaint about "Islamophobic sentiment in the media" making it "really scary to be a Muslim right now" seriously set off Media Research Center writer Alexis Moutevelis Coombs -- to the point that she devoted a June 28 post to adding more Islamophobia to the media in a screed dedicated to shouting down Ahmed by insisting that, if anything, there isn't enough Islamphobia in the media and that Christians are the real victims:
Do you know where it is really, super scary to be a Muslim right now? In a Muslim nation where women aren’t allowed to work or go to school, where women face the threat of getting acid thrown in their faces or honor killings, and where everyone fears terrorism and persecution from their own government or another Islamic sect.
Did he seriously compare the U.S. wanting travel restrictions for a few Muslim-majority countries that have problems with terrorism and the U.K. voting to leave the European Union to Communist China’s human rights abuse of Uighur Muslims in real concentration camps?! The moral equivalence is astounding!
Ahmed encouraged the audience “to research how Muslims are represented on television and in movies in a data-driven, targeted, systemic way, so that ultimately Muslims aren’t only portrayed as terrorists or bogeymen.”
Having run MRC Culture’s On TV Blog for the last 4 years, I can tell you it is 100 percent false to claim Muslims are “only” portrayed as terrorists or bogeymen. In fact, Hollywood often bends over backwards to turn this stereotype on its head with storylines featuring positive Muslim characters in key roles – including a Muslim superhero, and innocent Muslims framed by white terrorists or victimized by evil racists -- including an innocent Guantanamo Bay detainee.
But Ahmed wasn’t done. “I think lives are quite literally at stake here,” he went on. “The representation of Muslims on screen — that feeds the policies that get enacted, the people that get killed, the countries that get invaded.”
In what world does he think decisions about policies and war are made because of how Hollywood portrays Muslims? The only representation of Muslims on screen that ever did that was the tv footage of 19 Islamist terrorist hijackers crashing planes in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on 9/11.
Meanwhile, Christians are the most persecuted religious in the world. With how hateful they are towards Christianity, maybe it’s time Hollywood reconsiders its representation of Christians on screen.
Coombs has pulled a fine combination of outrage and victimization. The MRC must be proud.
AIM To Mark 50th Anniversary With C-List Conservatives (Minus Scaramucci?) Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 9 post by Carrie Sheffield announced that Accuracy in Media "is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a black-tie gala dinner November 13 at the National Press Club." The "special guest" list was a bit on the motley side, though, dominated by conservative C-listers like Diamond and Silk, Ben Carson, Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel and ever-so-brief Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
The article gushed over founder Reed Irvine, but it was silent on longtime staffer Cliff Kincaid, who served AIM for three decades with his Obama derangement, white nationalism and homophobia until leaving abruptly in 2017 for reasons that have still yet to be explained publicly (Kincaid has claimed he left because it was "mismanaged").
But it appears there is now one less conservative C-lister on the guest list. A July 18 tweet touted the dinner again -- but without Scaramucci's name. When we responded to the Twitter post by asking what happened to Scaramucci, not only did AIM not respond, it went back to Sheffield's July 9 post to scrub Scaramucci's name from it and replace the faux invitation with a Mooch-free viersion. But as you can see, we saved a copy of the original Scaramucci-laden invite.
It was reported earlier in the day that Scaramucci had been disinvited from a Florida county GOP gathering because he (accurately) called President Trump's tweets attacking Democratic congesswomen of color "racially charged."
This isn't the first time AIM has disappared someone who suddenly became inconvenient. In 2015, AIM convened a "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" that was stacked with right-wing Obama-haters, birthers and conspiracy theories -- and one total fraud. In the midst of the so-called investigation, commission member Wayne Simmon's self-proclaimed career as a CIA operative was exposed as a fabrication; AIM moved quickly to scrub him from any reference to the commission while issuing only a brief statement arguing that "As with everyone charged with a crime or crimes in this country, he is innocent until proven guilty." (He was proven guilty, and AIM was silent about that too.)
As we've noted, the post-Kincaid AIM changed from conspiracy-obsessed craziness to just another boring pro-Trump website, which may not be an improvement. If the AIM gala's low-end guest list is any indication, it may not survive much beyond its 50th anniversary.
MRC's Graham, Bozell Also Try To Discredit Trump Sexual Assault Accuser Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center worked to assail the credibility of E. Jean Carroll, who accused President Trump of a sexual assault against her in 1994. That comes from the top, as demonstrated by the June 26 column by Tim Graham and Brent Bozell.
They sneered that Carroll "vaguely guesses" when the assault took place then, after a noncommittal disavowal of the incident, played the Clinton Equivocation card:
That sounds horrible. We should all agree we want to have a president who is not a rapist. The liberals and the Trump haters turned the page back to when Juanita Broaddrick accused Bill Clinton 20 years ago, insisting that conservatives made her a cause celebre.
Yes, that's true. But there's at least one important difference: the speed of the journalism.
Myers thoroughly investigated the allegation and had placed both Broaddrick and Clinton at the alleged location on that day — April 25, 1978, at the Camelot Hotel. Three female friends said Broaddrick had told them of this assault, and that she had a black and swollen lip. Liberals energetically attempted to ignore or knock Broaddrick's story in 1999.
But Graham and Bozell forget one key piece of evidence: Not only did Broaddrick spend 20 years denying that any such "rape" occured, she made a sworn affidavit to that effect to the Ken Starr independent counsel investigation of Clinton. As George Conway points out, Carroll's allegation sits on a much more solid foundation that Broaddrick's because of that sworn affidavit, as well as "the sheer number of claims that have now surfaced against Trump — claims in which women have accused Trump of engaging in unwelcome or forcible sexual conduct or assault against them."
Graham and Bozell didn't mention Conway's analysis, Broaddrick's sworn affidavit or the fact that at least 24 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct -- much more than the accusations against Clinton, whom they would like to assure you is the supposed gold standard for presidential misconduct.Instead, they whine that this story somehow proves that "most Americans think the 'news' media are partisan hacks who define what is "news" and what is not 'news' based on how it can advance (or inhibit) the left's crusade to fundamentally transform America."
Of course, they did not think that the things that discredit Broaddrick were "news" worth telling their readers.
Graham followed up the next day with a post bashing a newspaper article for asking why Carroll's accusation had little impact, complaining that it "made absolutely no reference to Carroll's strange interviews, like her insisting to Anderson Cooper that "most people" thought the concept of rape was 'sexy.' That kooky outburst seemed to cool the media's ardor for the story."
Needless to say, Graham did not mention Broaddrick or her credibility issues. Instead, he whined that the paper didn't initially publish "even though Clinton ended up settling with Jones for $850,000." Does this mean Graham is conceding that Trump committed adultery with a porn star because he paid her hush money?
Graham played the Clinton Equivocation further in a July 1 post complaining about CNN's Brian Stelter discussing Carroll's accusations: "Stelter set up Carroll with a very negative tweet from Donald Trump Jr called her a "nut job" -- instead of asking her skeptical questions about her wildly controversial claims. (He didn't recall that poor, patriarchy-oppressed Hillary called Monica Lewinsky a 'narcissistic Looney Tunes.')" Of course, if Lewinsky was to be believed, shouldn't Graham also beleive Carroll?
Nah -- that would require him putting the truth ahead of politics.
After Attack-Filled CNS Columns, Charlie Daniels Wants Us To Reject The 'Politics of Division' Topic: CNSNews.com
By dint of his friendship with Brent Bozell, Charlie Daniels has always been the Media Research Center's exception to its shut-up-and-sing policy regarding entertainers with political opinions. It helps, of course, that Daniels reliably spews right-wing talking points with a fair amount of venom; that's why he has a regular column at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com.
Take, for example, Daniels' attack on President Obama in his June 24 column:
I don’t think Barack Obama really wanted to see America be all it could be. I believe Obama saw America as a bully, as an expansionist nation forcing our will on the world at large, a repressive tyrant that needed to be brought down a notch or two and take its place in the New World Order, a placating, passive nation of repentant supplicants, forever apologizing for our greatness and paring it down by sharing it with the world.
I think the statements Obama made to describe those he so disagreed with and feared – the ones about people clinging to their “guns” or “religion” and that America is “no longer just a Christian nation” – most clearly define the disparity of his ideas about America.
Most all the people I associate with believe in Almighty God and own guns that they will never give up without a fight. And I don’t know where President Obama got his stats, but America is still, by and large, a Christian nation.
Daniels then gushed over Donald Trump, "a New York real estate developer and former television star – brash, abrasive, pugnacious, plain-spoken, and afraid of no one – who could trade punches with any politician or pundit, and who was willing to stand toe to toe with any detractor and insist that his concept of America was totally different from Obama, Clinton, et al. ... He was pro-gun, pro-Israel, embraced Christianity and told us that with the easing of regulations and some sane tax policy that the manufacturing jobs we had lost, or basically given away under Obama could be brought back on shore." Daniels seems bamboozled into thinking Trump has genuine convictions and is not simply doing what he thinks will get him votes and clicks.
I can’t bring myself to believe that there aren’t enough Americans alive who still remember the reality and abject failure of socialism and the wide path of human deprivation and suffering, shattered societies and failing dictatorships all socialist governments eventually morph into.
But behind all the high-flying phraseology and the inflated promises lies a world that actually differs little in philosophy from the plantation days, when a hand full of the elite who wield the power live in splendor with different health care plans, different benefit and retirement packages, different pay scales and different privileges than the lumped-together, one size fits all, numbered but unnamed masses who live under their thumb.
God forbid that that day should come, but the indications are strong that we are headed in that direction – a socialist America.
We could end up another deceived nation on the scrap heap of history.
But after peddling all that hate, Daniels suddenly decided he wanted to tone it down, trying to go all kumbaya in his July 1 column headlined "Can We All Put Aside Our Differences, Recommit Ourselves to Each Other, Our Nation?" which concluded:
In my opinion, what separates America today is that we dwell too much on the things we disagree on and not enough on the things we have in common, on what’s wrong instead of what’s right.
Yes, America has a lot of problems. Yes, there is injustice, inequality and unnecessary human suffering. Yes, there are many inequities, but we will never solve them as a divided people.
Can we just stop for a minute, put aside our differences, count our blessings, ignore the politics of division and recommit ourselves to each other and to our nation?
So, let’s start with me.
But before he got there, he was somewhat less than interested in setting aside differences, complaining that "the American dream has tarnished, which he blamed in part on how "the wanton taking of unborn human life is treated as casual as having a manicure." And that put-aside-our-differences blather differs greatly from the politics of division that dominated his two previous columns, which makes us wonder about his sincerity.
You want people to put aside their differences and ignore the politics of division? You first, Charlie.
MRC Attacks Anyone Who Dares Criticize Trump's July 4 Speech Topic: Media Research Center
At the Media Research Center, President Trump is He Who Must Not Be Criticized. And when it came to his self-aggrandizing July 4 speech and military display in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the MRC decreed that it was downright unpatriotic to criticize Trump for it.
President Trump has organized a special Fourth of July event to take place on the National Mall which he dubbed “a salute to America,” and the liberal broadcast networks were not pleased with it. Combined, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News insisted Trump is set to divide the country, make it all about himself, and veterans are angry about it.
ABC came off as seemingly afraid of our troops when fill-in anchor and White House correspondent Cecilia Vega suggested there was “ growing backlash” to the “parade, a concert, and a show of military force taking place in the nation's capital.”
Because the VIP list reportedly included Republican donors (as if President Obama didn’t invite his donors and celebrity friends to such events), [ABC correspondent Hallie] Jackson elevated “critics” who were “concerned the President's high jacking the holiday, putting politics over patriotism, and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill. One Democrat deriding it as a ‘vanity’ project.”
Alex Christy huffed that "CNN carnival barker and American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan came up with a new objection: the purpose of the parade is so that Trump can look like a dictator." (Wait, we thought Jim Acosta was the "carnival barker.") Christy then added; "One should be allowed to criticize the idea of having tanks roll down the streets of D.C. for a parade or holiday without being called unpatriotic, but the media always take things to eleven which turns criticism into hysteria and genuine concerns into scaremongering." Of course, the whole point of the MRC's exercise is to paint any criticism of Trump over this as unpatriotic.
Wish that President Trump would not have inserted himself into Washington, D.C.’s Fourth of July celebrations, allowing A Capitol Fourth to remain on its own? Fine. But to declare the President’s plans “un-American” and a sign he wants to make America like North Korea or the former Soviet Union? That’s nonsense, folks.
And as evidenced by those hot takes on Tuesday’s Hardball with MSNBC host Chris Matthews and his three panelists, we have yet another example of what Trump Derangement Syndrome can do to your well-being.
Emma Fantuzzo complained that "Three days before the Fourth of July, Chris Hayes and the liberal media took it upon themselves to inform the American public that the President’s planned Fourth of July celebration has ulterior, unpatriotic motives. " After Hayes pointed out the VIP section taht would be filled in part by his political supporters, Fantuzzo sneered, "Perhaps Hayes is upset because he won’t be among the VIPs." Hayes guest Charles Pierce (the guy the MRC still falsely accuses of praising Ted Kennedy) pointed out that Trump's stunt was "extraordinarily cheap and tacky and grifty," but she was oddly more bothered that Pierce "was wearing a Hawaiian shirt on national television." Fantuzzo concluded by playing the patriotism card: "Well it’s a good thing MSNBC is doing their part in spreading constant negativity and a lack of patriotism, that’s sure to win over the American people."
Randy Hall groused that "MSNBC and the networks will not carry [Trump's] Fourth of July address to the nation," then cheered that Fox News "will cover the entire event during a two-hour edition of that evening’s Special Report With Bret Baier that will begin at 6 p.m." While Hall identified the networks not running Trump's speech live as "liberal," he applied no ideological label to the right-wing, Trump-loving Fox News.Hall also included some misinformation from the right-wing Daily Mail, uncritically repeating a claim that instead of Trump's speech, "“NBC will have on NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt and Extra during the time slot, and CBS will run its nightly newscast and Inside Edition.” In fact, both "Extra" and "Inside Edition" are syndicated programs, not network shows; the Daily Mail apparently treated a CBS and NBC affiliate's lineup as applying to the entire network, and Hall never caught the error.
Ryan Foley weighed in with a defense of the president: "It seems like the media always want to attribute the worst possible motives to President Trump; rather than entertaining the idea that he might simply want to celebrate America." Foley did not further explain why anyone should take Trump's motives at face value.
After the speech, Houck went hyperbolic again, portraying even the mildest criticism of Trump as utterly unhinged:
Well, that was something. Over the course of about 28 minutes of airtime (including commercials) following the President’s Fourth of July event A Salute to America, CNN’s The Situation Room put on one of the most disgraceful displays of liberal media bias, Trump hatred, and slights at America you’ll ever see.
Attacking the President like bitter preschoolers, a cast of CNN personalities bashed the Trump speech as a “rudimentary” “eighth grade history” report ripping off of Schoolhouse Rock and Wikipedia to create a work of “jingoism and militaristic virtue.”
Houck is sounding not unlike a bitter preschooler himself.
Drennen complained that one reporter "snidely" pointed out an embarrassing error by Trump bizarrely referring to the military “taking over airports” during the Revolutionary War. Drennen didn't admit that if Obama had made such an error, the MRC would never stop snidely obsessing over it.
Bill D'Agostino completed the MRC's anti-media hatefest by summarizing various media figures' "numerous false predictions" about the speech, while inadvertently damning the speech itself with the faint praise of it being "largely patriotic" and "unobjectionable."
WND Still Taking Birther Potshots At Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
If you played a major role in a fake-news campaign, you likely wouldn't want to remind people of that fact. But then, you're not WorldNetDaily.
WND was the leadcheerleader in the promotion of Obama birther conspiracy theories -- none of which turned out to be true and which likely played a key role in WND's ongoing dire financial situation. Despite the fact that none of its conspiracy theories was ever proven true, WND still can't stop taking shots at Obama about it.
This happened again in a July 1 WND article by Joe Kovacs, which originally carried the scare-quoted headline "Obama cashes in on being a U.S. 'citizen'":
Former President Barack Obama, whose status as a “natural-born citizen” in the United States became a years-long controversy, is now tapping in on his status as a citizen to urge Americans to “take a stand against one of the most critical issues our democracy faces,” specifically voting manipulation.
In an email Monday with the subject line “Citizen to citizen,” Obama issued a fundraising plea on behalf of the National Redistricting Action Fund.
Of course, Kovacs provides no evidence that Obama is personally "cashing in" on being a citizen; he's simply headlining a anti-gerrymandering group's fundraising pitch. Perhaps that's why the headline was changed to the not-much-better "Surprise! Obama suddenluy fighting voting manipulation," even though Kovacs also made no case for this happening "suddenly."
And Kovacs failed to mention that one big reason birtherism because a "years-long controversy" is because his employer fanned the flames and studiously censored evidence that disproved its conspiracy theories.
MRC Won't Credit Obama For Bulk of Economic Recovery Topic: Media Research Center
Joseph Valle complained in a July 2 Media Research Center post:
The U.S. officially entered its longest economic expansion ever July 1, boasting 121 straight months without a recession beginning in June 2009. This broke the previous record stretching from March 1991 to March 2001.
MarketWatch reporter Jeffry Bartash cheered the U.S.’s entrance into its “record-shattering 11th year of expansion.” He described how “stocks have enjoyed a bullish run-up” from the strong economy, and noted that the S&P 500 Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite Index have all gained by more than 200 percent “since the start of June 2009.”
And yet, the three broadcast evening news shows found no reason to celebrate the good economic news. In fact, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News provided exactly zero coverage on the record-breaking streak of growth. Their Spanish-language counterparts, at Univision and Telemundo, also chose to ignore the blockbuster news.
The nation's top broadcast networks did release each of their own articles online acknowledging the economic expansion, but they twisted it to make it sound bad for consumers.
Though he doesn't mention President Trump, Valle's implication is that Trump should be given all the credit for the expansion. But he also doesn't mention the name of the man who was president during the first 7 1/2 years of the expansion: Barack Obama, a Democrat.
CNS Columnist Defends Anti-Gay Soccer Player Topic: CNSNews.com
We'venoted how the ConWeb has praised soccer player Jaelene Hinkle for blowing up her career because she's so homophobic that she refused a callup to the U.S. women's soccer team so she wouldn't have to wear a rainbow-themed jersey. The latest is John Stonestreet, who wrote in a June 27 CNSNews.com column:
Hinkle’s saga began back in 2015 after the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex “marriage.” Hinkle posted the following on Instagram: “I believe with every fiber in my body that what was written 2,000 years ago in the Bible is undoubtedly true … . This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will.”
As you can imagine, this made Hinkle a marked woman, especially among soccer fans who identified as LGBT.
Then, in 2017, Hinkle chose to withdraw from the national team rather than wear a U.S. team jersey sporting rainbow numbers in order to celebrate gay pride.
Hinkle explained her decision, “I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey … I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what (God) was asking me to do in this situation. If I never get another national team call-up again then that’s just a part of His plan, and that’s okay. Maybe this is why I was meant to play soccer, to show other believers to be obedient.”
Well, her obedience came at a price. Playing for the North Carolina Courage team in the National Women’s Soccer League, Hinkle is the recipient of boos and jeers almost every time she touches the ball.
And in the run-up to this year’s Women’s World Cup, U.S. Coach Jill Ellis invited Hinkle to try out for the team. After three days of workouts, Ellis, who is gay and “married” to her lesbian partner, cut Hinkle, citing “footballing reasons.”
Many were skeptical that the best women’s fullback in the country—something even her pro-LGBT critics admit—isn’t good enough to play on the U.S. Women’s World Cup team. According to SB Nation’s Kim McCauley, who by the way called Hinkle a “vocal homophobe,” “there isn’t a better pure tactical fit available [for the U.S. team] than Hinkle.”
Hinkle’s saga is only the most recent evidence that American Christians need to develop a theology of getting fired, or if you happen to be in Hinkle’s profession, a theology of getting cut from the team.
It’s simply more likely than not that we too will face a choice at some point between our career and our convictions. We aren’t the first Christians who have had to face this choice, and thank God the choice isn’t our life and our convictions, as it is for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.
Jaelene Hinkle chose well. Will we?
Stonestreet doesn't mention that there several players on the U.S. women's soccer team who consider themselves Christian and, unlike Hinkle, are not afraid to associate with people slightly different from them. Would Stonestreet argue that these non-hateful Christians did not choose well?
USWNT team member Ashlyn Harris also shot down Hinkle's insinuation that the team isn't welcoming to Christians because it allegedly wouldn't put up with her homophobia: "Your religion was never the problem. The problem is your intolerance and you are homophobic. ... Don’t you dare say our team is ‘not a welcoming place for Christians’. You weren’t around long enough to know what this team stood for. This is actually an insult to the Christians on our team."
Talent is one thing, but team chemistry is another. If Hinkle thinks so little of her would-be USWNT teammates, it would be hard for her to fit in, no matter how good a player she is. Stonestreet appears not to have taken that into account.
The MRC's Pro-Trump Apparatchiks Attack Woman Who Accused Trump of Sexual Assault Topic: Media Research Center
As a kneejerk defender of all things Trump, the Media Research Center knew what it had to do when writer E. Jean Carroll came forward in late June to accuse President Trump of sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room 24 years ago: destroy her and paint her as crazy and non-credible. Let's take a look at how.
Jorge Plaza started the MRC attack by questioning her motives for going public when she did: "The timing of this allegation is suspect. Why didn’t she come forward with her story after the release of the infamous Hollywood Access [sic] tape? At that point, accusations were coming out left and right. ... Instead, Carroll waited until she had published her book -- almost 3 years after the Hollywood Access [sic] tape -- to make her claim." Plaza then criticized celebrities who bashed Trump over the allegation, huffing that they're driven by "an all-consuming rage that inhibited their rational ability to smell a fishy story. Carroll's story fit into their preconceived notion of Trump as an evil rapist, so her story must be true without any investigation."
This was followed by Emma Fantuzzo bashing MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell for reporting onit: "O’Donnell and the liberal media quickly ate up the allegations without any skepticism, with O’Donnell spending over half of his hour-long program on the story." After O'Donnell pointed out that Trump lied when he claimed that he never met Carroll as shown by a photo of the two of them,Fantuzzo sneered: "One photograph from the early 90’s in no way confirms that Carroll was later raped."
Joseph Chalfant then played the victim card after a CNN interview with Carroll: "The interview was reminiscent of the firestorm Justice Brett Kavanaugh received when the media launched a barrage of unsubstantiated claims against him in his youth, or how the press treated Justice Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill hearings. The left has a long history of using sexual assault claims as a club to beat conservatives with." He added: "Should sexual assaulters be robustly condemned? Of course, but they need to be proven guilty in a court of law before angry mobs form to declare them guilty in the court of public opinion."
We should remind Chalfant that his employer was a leader of the angry right-wing mob that portrayed President Clinton as a serial sexual assaulter despite the lack of a guilty verdict against him in a court of law.
Kristine Marsh played up Carroll's supposed "very odd behavior" in a CNN interview, in the form of Carroll saying that there are people who think rape is sexy, but was more mad that the media accurately reported that Trump insisted that Carroll is "not my type" and "pointing out past comments Trump had made about an accuser’s appearance." This was followed by Scott Whitlock obsessing over the "weird turns" in the Carroll interview with CNN.
Gregory Price also used the CNN interview against Carroll, whining:
If you are a woman, and accuse any notable Republican of sexual assault, you will immediately become the darling of the liberal media for at least a day no matter how little evidence there may be to back up the allegations. Over the last few days, the press have paraded around gossip writer E. Jean Carroll, who, in her new book, accused President Trump of raping her in the dressing room of a New York City department store in the 1990s.
>All accusations of sexual assault should be treated and investigated with the utmost seriousness. For MSNBC's Morning Joe, however, serious #MeToo journalism was once again thrown out the window.
Rape is a horrific crime, allegations of which should be taken very seriously. E. Jean Carroll, however, has followed up her rape allegation by making several bizarre statements, none of which were mentioned onMorning Joe.
After host Joe Scarborough referenced Juanita Broaddrick, who level a rape accusation against President Clinton in the late 1990s, Price groused that "the media trashed Juanita Broaddrick and the rest of Bill Clinton’s accusers back in the ‘90s." Price appears not be sufficiently self-aware that he's doing the exact same thing to Carroll.
Chalfant joined in wielding the interview as a cudgel, complaining that a different CNN show "refrained from airing the portions that may not portray the President’s accuser in the most appealing light. ... Rather than air a clip that may cast doubt on Carroll’s credibility, they swept it under the rug." He concluded by huffing: "If Trump committed an act of sexual assault he should be wholeheartedly condemned, but until he’s proven guilty it’s important for the media to depict the situation objectively in fairness to both the President and to Carroll." Again, not a standard the MRC ever applied to allegations against Clinton.
Clay Waters also played the Carroll attack/Clinton equivocation card, responding to the New York Times' claim that it was overly cautious in reporting Carroll's allegations by claiming that "the paper risks being caught in a whipsaw, if Carroll’s credibility as an accuser suffers, or she keeps making bizarre comments like the one she made Monday night to CNN host Andersen Cooper, which only right-leaning outlets have noticed" and that "The Times had a far different reaction to an old rape accusations against a president back in 1999, after Juanita Broaddrick came forward with her story of being raped by Bill Clinton."
Curtis Houck served up his own version of that attack, grousing that MSNBC host "and Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer Nicolle Wallace falsely claimed that there’s never been a presidential 'candidate to be credibly accused of sexual assault as violent as the rape described by E. Jean' before Donald Trump," citing "the history regarding any and all of Bill Clinton's accusers (most notably Juanita Broadrick) as well as Ted Kennedy’s sordid history with women." He also gleefully highlighted "the now scatterbrained story of E. Jean Carroll" and "her bizarre claims."
Ryan Foley took issue with late-night host Samantha Bee claiming that NBC's Chuck Todd offered Trump a "softball" interview because he didn't ask the president about the Carroll allegations, huffing that "Apparently, Bee didn’t watch the interview, or she would have known that the interview was loaded with tough questions" (because the MRC had complained about Todd trying to "confront the president from the left") and dismissing her complains as a "typical tirade."
Carroll came for further attack in another post by Plaza after she stated in an interview about her book that "the world is a very, very merry place without men" and that men are so terrible that they should be sent to a "secret place" for "special retraining" while women are left to rule the world.Plaza cheered that "the media has distanced itself from the alleged victim, opting to focus simply on the allegation’s “impact.” adding: "The more distance between Carroll and her allegation, the better. The media loves the rape accusation against Trump. Carroll’s bizarre comments and flagrant man-hate? Not so much."