After more than two fruitless years accusing President Trump of collusion with Russia, some liberals apparently still consider that tactic a winning strategy -- when used to attack anyone even remotely connected to the Republican occupant of the White House.
One example of that is the claim from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Kevin Poulsen of the liberal Daily Beast website since both have suggested the One America News Network -- which Trump has called his new favorite news outlet -- is a fountain of Russian propaganda.
OANN has demanded retractions from Maddow and the Daily Beast with angry letters from their law firm Miller Barondess.
The controversy centers on a writer named Kristian Rouz, who the Daily Beast revealed is an on-air reporter at OANN while also writing for Sputnik News, a Kremlin-operated "news" operation. According to OANN's letter, Rouz "never had decision-making authority with respect to the content that is aired on OAN" and that "His outside work for other media outlets has no relation to -- or bearing on -- his work for OAN."
Neither of those statements contradict the central premise of the Daily Beast article: that OANN published someone who was also working for a Russian propaganda outlet while not disclosing that connection to its readers.
The thinness of OANN's case is such that Hall resorted to touting how the cease-and-desist letter included a personal attack on Kevin Poulsen, who wrote the Daily Beast piece, pointing out that he served prison time for computer hacking in the 1990s. There was no mention, of course, of how Poulsen has since become a tech journalist who busted registered sex offenders using MySpace to solicit sex from children and developing an open-source platform to facilitate secure communication between journalists and sources.
The OANN case is so thin, in fact, that even other conservative media outlets, unlike Hall, are pointing that out. The Washington Examiner reported that OANN really does have synergy with Russian propaganda, having repeated bogus Russian claims regarding a chemical attack in Syria.
Hall huffed: "It's all about mocking Trump and any media outlet he likes."Of course, it's not hard when said media outletsd make it this easy. Oh, and Hall never once admitted that OANN has a prounounced right-wing ideological tilt, though he claimed the Daily Beast is "liberal."
AIM Article Reads Like A Trump Campaign Press Release Topic: Accuracy in Media
Marissa Martinez's Aug. 2 Accuracy in Media post begins as if it was written as a Trump campaign press release:
Since the launch of President Donald Trump’s official campaign, rallies have continued to sell out. In fact, each rally has been over the full capacity limit, thus forcing hundreds of supporters to outside of the stadium/area.
On Tuesday, at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, it was no different. The arena was at full at 17,500 supporters, many from different racial groups.
Actually, tickets to Trump's rallies don't "sell out" -- if the tickets are free, no selling is involved.And if you're giving away tickets, it's not that hard to "sell out" venues.
Most of Martinez's post, though, was complaining about a HuffPost item about Trump supporteers denying that they, and he, were racists. She then went back into Trump campaign mode:
Present at the rally was a coalition of African American supporters wearing “Trump & Republicans Are Not Racist,” and “Blacks for Trump.” None of the individuals were quoted in Huffington’s piece.
There was also no mention of black unemployment, which sits at 6 percent — a near-record low and below the rate under any previous administration in the article.
In addition, there was no mention of the Latino unemployment rate (4.3 percent, which is near the historic low of 4.2 percent). Asian-American unemployment is also at an all-time low of 2.1 percent as of June 2019, but that statistic was also negated.
MRC Defends, Deflects From Blaming Trump's Rhetoric After Massacres Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has had some weird freakouts in the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton massacres, blaming Dr. Seuss and melting down over a planned CNN townhall (and let's not forget that pre-massacre post denying that white supremacy was an issue). But protecting President Trump is Job 1 at the MRC, and it tried its best to spin away the fairly obvious link between Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and that in the El Paso shooter's manifesto.
Scott Whitlock whined that CBS "uncritically parroted talking points from the 2020 contenders on how the President should is [sic] responsible" -- thus invoking the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy that assumes any action reported on a newscast is automatically an endorement of that action. Nicholas Fondacaro took a similar tack, ranting that by repeating what Democratic presidential candidates said, ABC was "spewing the liberal hate that demanded that President Trump be considered the cause of the violence." He didn't mention the shooter's manifesto, even though it had been reported on before his item was posted. Kyle Drennen kept this narrative alive, complaining that "the Today show eagerly touted Democrats rushing to blame President Trump’s rhetoric for the attack in El Paso, Texas."
In another post, Fondacaro declared that "The liberal media hate machine was running at full steam on Sunday in the wake of two mass shootings the left wanted to blame President Trump for" and that "the liberal media has taken every opportunity to smear and label Trump voters as racist and worthy of contempt." Fondacaro didn't mention the double standard of how he and his employer treat Democratic politicians and voters as worthy of contempt.
From there, it was time for massacre whataboutism. Cue Kristine Marsh:
Monday morning following horrific, deadly mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas over the weekend, as well as Gilroy, California last week, the networks were eager to pin blame on President Trump for “fueling” the violence with his “hateful rhetoric” against immigrants. What they were not eager to do was point out that the alleged social media accounts of one of these shooters revealed he was a radical leftist, who supported socialism, antifa, and Elizabeth Warren for president.
While it is the media’s responsibility to share unverified information responsibly, they’ve already shown they don't care about acting ethically or responsibly when it comes to these tragedies, by immediately blaming Trump for any violent act that happens in this country.
Whitlock reacted badly to a reporter who pointed out that the shooter's language on immigration was "almost identical" to Trump's, huffing: "Almost identical? In his manifesto, the alleged killer offered support for the mass murder in Christchurch, New Zealand. He ranted about the “great replacement” of white people and discussed the best way to pull off a mass killing. That’s identical?" Whitlock is being dishonest here; the reporter specifically referenced the language similarly "with regard to illegal immigration" -- as he quoted the reporter saying earlier in his piece.
Whitlock went on to suggest Trump's post-massacre speech critical of white supremacy somehow indemnified him from criticism over his previous racially charged remarks, lamenting that the speech "wasn't enough" for some.Marsh took a similar tack, lamenting that some "slammed Trump’s words as 'empty' and 'lacking self-reflection' on how his 'rhetoric contributed' to these shootings."
Bill D'Aogstino followed by complaining that the speech didn't stop some in the media from assigning blame to Trump. He then tried a lame whataboutism: "Since Sunday, supposedly objective reporters have framed the President’s supposed culpability as established fact. If these members of the press truly believe that the President’s rhetoric is responsible for the deaths of dozens of innocents, one wonders how they would like us to assess their own rhetoric about him and his administration."
Fondacaro similarly complained: "Despite President Trump’s full-throated denunciation of racism and white supremacy on Monday, NBC Nightly News was determined to place the weekend’s mass shootings at his feet."
Marsh whined again that an MSNBC correspondent was "sounding more like a Democrat [sic] politician" by claiming he said "it was 'clear as day' he was to blame for this weekend’s shootings."
Clay Waters returned to the massacre whataboutism narrative, claiming a New York Times columnist "tried to suggest Dayton shooter Betts was motivated by anti-black racism, ignoring his alleged Twitter account where, as NewsBusters Kristine Marsh pointed out, 'he identified as a "leftist" "atheist" who wanted socialism, and he said he’d vote for Elizabeth Warren. In his tweets, he supported antifa using violence against "white supremacists" and "right wingers" even calling the antifa terrorist who attacked an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington, a "martyr."'"
Whitlock returned to grouse that "The Daily Show" made a compare-and-contrast video between the shooter's manifesto and rhetoric on Fox News, calling it "ugly" and "a pure political attack on Fox." At no point did Whitlock dispute the similarities between the two.
(Ironically, in another example of a post that didn't age well, Brad Wilmouth complained in a July 24 post -- just 11 days before the El Paso massacre -- that a CNN guest suggested that Fox News gave racists and white supremacists a platform. Wilmouth then tried an incredibly lame bit of whataboutism by claiming that a chart showing that right-wing violence is a threat "manages to overlook the substantial amounts of violence committed by Americans who go on to register as Democrats after being released from prison.")
And Drennen was appalled that anyone would like a commentary that pointed out flaws in American culture that ought to be addessed:
On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle marveled at an unhinged diatribe delivered by left-wing Princeton University professor and MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude during Monday’s Deadline: White House. In the nasty rant, Glaude dismissed the “myth” of American “goodness,” referred to the conservative Tea Party movement as the “ugly underbelly of the country,” and labeled President Trump the “manifestation of the ugliness that’s in us.”
Rather than challenge a single portion of Glaude’s racially-charged rhetoric, on Tuesday, host Ali Velshi simply praised the incendiary remarks: “Powerful words from Eddie. Hard to fathom, hard to sort of digest. But there is nothing I can debate him on that one. There is nothing I could tell him he’s wrong about.”Ruhle chimed in: “If it’s hard to digest, I recommend watching it again.”
It’s bad enough that MSNBC brings on left-wing rhetorical bomb throwers like Glaude, let alone that supposedly objective journalists like Ruhle and Velshi then endorse such language.
Meanwhile, nobody at the MRC has offered any criticism whatsoever of Trump's racially charged rhetoric.
With Epstein's Death, WND Embraces 'Clinton Body Count' Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
When Jeffrey Epstein reportedly attempted suicide a couple weeks back, WorldNetDaily couldn't run fast enough to embrace hoary, discredited "Clinton body count" references. Now that Epstein has died apparently from suicide, WND unsurprisingly went to that Clinton-hating well once again. Joe Kovacs cheered in an Aug. 11 article:
This weekend’s mysterious death of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein at a federal prison in New York has ignited an online war of conspiracy theories, as President Trump retweeted messages suggesting former President Bill Clinton may somehow be involved, and Trump’s own son blasted Twitter for suppressing the the trend of the “ClintonBodyCount,” while prominently displaying “TrumpsBodyCount” as the top trending topic for discussion.
Epstein, who was facing numerous charges of sex trafficking involving underage girls, was found hanging dead in his jail cell about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, with the U.S. Justice Department saying it was the result of an “apparent suicide.”
On Saturday afternoon, President Trump retweeted messages insinuating the Clintons may have had some sort of connection to Epstein’s sudden death.
At no point did Kovacs mention the fact that the "Clinton body count" has been long discredited. Instead, he touted an earlier WND article that "documented the uncanny number of Bill and Hillary’s 'friends' who mysteriously fell off buildings, crashed in planes and died in freak accidents."
Kovacs also failed to mention that WND spread knowing falsehoods about one of the people on that list, Seth Rich, because then-WND reporter Jerome Corsi knew as early as August 2016 that it was Russian hackers, not Rich, who leaked internal Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, yet WND continued to push the false Rich leak angle. While he's at it, Kovacs might want to discuss the fact that Russian intelligence operatives were the ones who planted the Seth Rich conspiracy theories WND so enthusiastically embranced.
Kovacs followed this with an article uncritically repeating speculation that Epstein might not be dead -- mostly coming from Rush Limbaugh. He added that it was "comical" to dispute that the Clintons killed Epstsein, citing conservative Ben Shapiro stating that "If you believe the Clintons crafted a genius plan to murder Epstein you’re going to have to explain why Hillary wasn’t even able to find Wisconsin on a map." That's not stopping WND from suggesting otherwise, of course.
Then, a WND column from Andy Schlafly that, while not quite as conspiratorial as Kovacs, is similarly obsessed with Clinton:
The #MeToo movement takes on the Deep State over the Epstein scandal, and the shadow governmen may have finally met its match. The outrage by feminists against Jeffrey Epstein for evading justice while allegedly providing underage girls to powerful men has even the New York Times demanding answers.
Epstein was apparently protected by the Deep State for more than a decade, receiving extraordinary favoritism right up until his final moments of life in jail. At first the liberal media reacted to his death by calling anyone who questioned the circumstances a “conspiracy theorist,” but the media have since flipped amid pressure by liberals themselves not to let Epstein’s scheme off the hook.
No one can pretend that Epstein “acted alone” all those years, which is the favorite refrain of the Deep State when it wants to close the lid on investigatory failures about other famous crimes. Epstein obviously had powerful allies, starting with Bill Clinton, as well as pilots to fly them and others on the “Lolita Express” staffed by underage girls to serve for their satisfaction.
There are surely dozens, if not hundreds, who must have been in on Epstein’s illicit activities and unexplained accumulation of massive wealth. Bill Clinton himself traveled numerous times on Epstein’s private airplane, which included a bedroom for the pleasure of his travelers.
Schlafly didn't mention that Donald Trump was also a buddy of Epstein's.
Indulging in conspiracy theories is one big reason why WND is in its current financial difficulties, and continuing to indulge in them is one big reason why WND likely doesn't deserve to live.
MRC Unhappy That Dead Conservative Is Remembered As A Biased, Terrible Person Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock complained in a July 20 post:
The Washington Post on Friday couldn’t let old rivalries go, even in death. The paper’s obituary for long time Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden dripped with contempt for the “defiantly abrasive” conservative and his paper. In fact, the paper offered nicer coverage to Fidel Castro, hailing the dead dictator as a “romantic figure in olive-drab fatigues and combat boots.”
Whitlock didn't link to the Post obituary on Castro but, rather, his bosses Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's column complaining about it. They -- and, thus, Whitlock -- didn't mention that the obituary also stated that Under [Castro's] reign, Havana eventually became something of a Marxist Disneyland — a shiny, happy veneer over something much uglier," pointing out that "impoverished Cubans lived in crumbling homes on rationed food. Teenage prostitutes openly offered their services to tourists." It also stated that some Cubans "clearly feared a leader who imprisoned tens of thousands of his enemies over the years, often on little more than a whim. ... Many Cubans would not offer criticism of their leader for fear of being overheard by government informants, who lived on practically every block."
Anyway, back to Pruden. Whitlock complained that the Post obituary "had to warn readers of how dangerously conservative the Times is" -- in fact, all the obituary did is point out that the Times is a highly biased newspaper and that Pruden played a key role in that by editing stories to make them even further right-wing than they may have already been, a process that's been called "Prudenizing."
We though Whitlock and the rest of the MRC opposed media bias. Apparently, bias is OK as long as the MRC approves of the bias being offered.
Whitlock went on to grouse that the obit "cited notable liberal outlets and journalists." One of which was David Brock, who wrote for the Times as a dedicated conservative before turning liberal, so that was actually germane; the other he pointed out was the left-leaning journal The Nation, which had done an expose on the paper. Whitlock clipped a short ellipsis-beginning segment pointing out that The Nation found that Pruden and then-managing editor Fran Coombs "had fostered an atmosphere that was 'profoundly demeaning and abusive to women and minorities.'"
It seems that Whitlock decided that describing Pruden as a acting in a racist and sexist manner to subordinates was less damaging than describing him as a neo-Confederate.
But the part before the ellipsis, which Whitlock made sure not to clip, highlighted how The Nation echoed reporting from the Southern Poverty Law Center that Pruden ran a weekly Civil War page in the paper that the SPLC said helped "to popularize extremist ideas and neo-Confederate sympathy." Whitlock similarly ignored the obit's statement that Pruden's namesake father was a white supremacist in Arkansas who led a group that "tried to block the desegregation of Little Rock High School."
Whitlock by the way, did not challenge the accuracy of these claims -- only complained that they were reported. He did, however, complain about one other claim, that Pruden had been fired by a publication in the 1970s for manufacturing quotes, scoffing at the Post's attribution of this to "some accounts." If Whitlock had bothered to do a quick internet search, he would have found that this was apparently first reported by the SPLC in 2003.
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' War on Robert Mueller, Part 1 Topic: CNSNews.com
While the Mueller investigation was going on, CNSNews.com attacked its legitimacy by uncritically repeating pro-Trump talking points. Read more >>
Bill Donohue's Bogus Double Standard Topic: Newsmax
The Catholic League's Bill Donohue complains in an Aug. 2 Newsmax column:
Imagine the following scenario.
A cardinal in the Catholic Church knows that for 20 years a priest in his archdiocese has sexually abused hundreds of young persons, yet he never once reported his crimes to the authorities. When this is disclosed to the public, the cardinal stands fast, refusing to budge. When a protest of angry Catholics forces him to resign, he is allowed to teach at a local Catholic college and is awarded the title "distinguished professor."
There's more. Imagine the cardinal being charged by prosecutors with two felonies and with lying to the police. Imagine further that the archdiocese agrees to award him $2.45 million over three years; he is also given medical and dental coverage. But he has to agree not to sue the archdiocese first! He agrees.
Contrast this with what happened on July 30 when the Board of Trustees at Michigan State University awarded former president Lou Anna Simon about $2.5 million (of taxpayers' money), plus benefits, after she was forced to resign. According to the Detroit Free Press, she is charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of lying to the police about Dr. Lawrence Nassar. Nassar is in prison for sexually abusing young athletes when working as a sports doctor at the university; hundreds of young girls are believed to have been molested by him.
Simon's payout follows her refusal to resign — she did so under protest. The school then awarded her the title "distinguished professor."
Does Donohue really want to go there? OK, let's go there.
Bernard Law was the cardinal of the Boston diocese for 18 years. Over that time, he was found to have extensive knowledge of sexual abuse committed by priests in the diocese, but he simply moved the offending priests to other parishes rather than contacting authorities. Unlike Simon, Law never faced criminal charges. But after he resigned fro the Boston diocese in disgrace, Law was awarded what is argably better than being named "distinguished professor": a ceremonial position at the Vatican. When he did, he was given a funeral Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.
In other words, Law appears to have been treated better than Simon.
When Law died, Donohue praised him as a "theological conservative" and virtually ignored his central role in the sexual abuse scandal. He didn't complain about a disgraced cardinal being given a funeral service in the revered St. Peter's. No wonder Donohue thought this was a good example to cite against Simon.
Instead, he whined that the Simon story didn't get the media attention the overall Catholic abuse scandal -- though he ignores the massive media attention given to Nasser, and despite the fact that even if Simon is foound guilty of lying to police (Simon's attorneys deny it, according to the article Donohue cites), it was only for a period of two years, compared with the 18 years Law mishandled numerous abusive priests and the 20 years in his hypothetical example.
This is ultimately just another example of Donohue trying to downplay the severity of the Catholic abuse scandal.
MRC Thinks Dr. Seuss Is To Blame For El Paso Massacre Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Reserach Center loves to attack media outlets that put the blame on President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric for the El Paso massacre, in which the whtie supuremacist suspect has expressed anti-immigrant sentiments and said he was targeting Hispanics. But the MRC weirdly has no problem going farther afield to assign blame -- namely, Dr. Seuss.
You can’t buy a Confederate flag on Amazon, but you can read literature that helped inspire one of the deadliest shootings in the United States.
The Lorax, a children’s book by Dr. Seuss, was a recommended title in the El Paso shooter’s alleged manifesto. In fact, it was the only title referenced in the entire four-page document. And while an Amazon user can’t buy guns or Confederate flags, the book is readily available.
That probably sounds ludicrous, banning a book because it was cited by a terrorist. But that’s the media mindset. Only they aren’t pressing Amazon over The Lorax.
USA Today wrote that “white supremacist ideologies” and “white power manifestos” are one click away on Amazon and Amazon products. The article never even referenced the only title mentioned in the manifesto.
Nothing is sacred. But if the media and tech platforms are so interested in taking down the inspirations for mass shootings and crimes, then why aren’t Jodie Foster films like Taxi Driverbanned?
In a written statement to the MRC, Amazon stated, “We’re committed to providing a positive customer experience and have policies that outline what products may be sold in our stores. We invest significant time and resources to ensure our content guidelines are followed, and remove products that do not adhere to our guidelines-- which can be found here for books. We are always listening to customer feedback and evaluating our policy.”
8chan was taken down because it was called “lawless.” The platform where the shooter published his manifesto was punished on August 5 when two network providers refused to host the site any further.
Yes, Weaver is really agitating for Amazon -- and, presumably, bookstores and libraries all over America -- to censor and ban "The Lorax." And she actually contacted Amazon for comment. (Weaver, by the way, doesn't understand that Google is not a retailer.)
Oddly, Weaver seems much more conciliatory toward 8chan, putting "lawless" in scare quotes and lamenting that it was "punished" for being chock full o' racists like the El Paso shooter. (Weaver also thinks that Gab, another haven for white supremacists, is merely about "free speech.")
The MRC is weirdly committed to this talking point, by the way. Joseph Vazquez huffed in a post the same day:
Following the murder of 20 people by a racist terrorist in El Paso, Texas, the liberal media cherry-picked portions of his alleged manifesto to connect him to the right. But some ignored portions that cited The Lorax as an inspiration for his views — a book and movie the liberal media used to love to promote because of its environmental agenda.
It cited the Dr. Seuss’ fable writing, “This phenomenon is brilliantly portrayed in the decades-old classic ‘The Lorax.’ Watersheds around the country, especially in agricultural areas, are being depleted. Fresh water is being polluted from farming and oil-drilling operations.” He attacked “consumer culture” for plastic and e-waste, complained about urban sprawl, the use of paper towels and the unwillingness of people to change their lifestyles.”
Many of those environmental attitudes are promoted by the liberal media. In 2012, it fawned over the updated Lorax movie adaptation was released. NBC’s Today, CBS New York, Huffington Post and others celebrated its environmental messaging.
Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), neither Weaver nor Vazquez cited any particular passage in "The Lorax" that could possibly be interpreted as encouraging a white supremacist to murder Hispanics. Perhaps because, you know, there isn't any and the MRC is just trying to spin away Trump's much closer connection to the attitudes in the shooter's manifesto.
WND Still Serving Up Biased Coverage Of Right-Wing Legal Attack Against Transgender Teen Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has spentnearlythreeyears misrepresenting the facts surrounding the case of a mother who's trying to stop her estranged child from undergoing a transgender medical procedure --largely because it's beholden to the right-wing legal group that represents the mother. It is apparently not going to stop. An unbylined July 25 article states:
A mother whose juvenile son was assisted in sex-change procedures by authorities in Minnesota against her wishes is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review her case.
The Thomas More Society on Wednesday asked the high court to review the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling affirming the decision by county officials to shepherd the boy through a sex change.
The petition to review Anmarie Calgaro v. St. Louis County contends Calgaro’s due process rights were trampled when the county and its referred health providers ended her parental control over her minor son without her permission or a court order.
Erick Kaardal, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, said Calgaro’s right to supervise her child’s welfare, educational and medical care decisions were ripped away by St. Louis County authorities without even parental notice.
“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” he said. “Anmarie Calgaro’s child, while a minor, was steered through a life-changing, permanent body altering process, becoming a pawn in someone else’s sociopolitical agenda and being influenced by those who have no legal or moral right to usurp the role of a parent.
As befits an anonymously written article, WND tells only the side the Thomas More Society wants told, that of the mother whose parental rights were purportedly violated -- indeed, this is little more than a rewrite of a Thomas More Society press release. But as we've documented, the legal group ignores the fact that the child had been living apart from the mother for several months, was earning her own money, and the mother made no attempt to bring her home or contact her. The legal group never explained why such a neglectful mother was suddenly demanding that her alleged rights be respected -- or why the child is listed as a defendant in the case, meaning that the mother is suing her own child for acting on her own, which doesn't seem to be a very loving act.
Further, given that the child in question turned 18 in 2017, the lawsuit is moot and parental control is no longer an issue. It seems that either the mother or Thomas More is motived by a certain sense of vengeance.
It seems they're both in this together. The Thomas More Society published a testimonial by Calgaro that misgenders her child, gushing that "The Thomas More Society’s compassion for me and my son, combined with their outstanding legal work, has brought my case all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. Despite the governmental abuse of my family, I am thankful for the gracious work of everyone at this nonprofit public interest law firm."
Uncritrically rewriting press releases is pretty standard WND behavior, but it doesn't mean that it deserves to live.
MRC Mad Media Won't Embrace Fox News' Favorite Mueller Conspiracy Theories Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes complains in a July 23 post:
Weeks before he was even subpoenaed, Special Counsel Robert Mueller signaled his testimony before two House committees would not go beyond the conclusions of his already-released report. If true, it will disappoint liberal journalists still hoping for smoking-gun testimony that might rejuvenate the faltering cause of impeaching President Trump.
But there’s at least one way this nationally-televised forum can make news, and that’s by a highly public airing of controversies that aren’t even addressed in the Mueller Report, namely, the lingering questions of bias regarding how the probe began in 2016 and how Mueller’s team subsequently handled the investigation.
Noyes goes on to serve up one of his extremely narrowly tailored "studies," complaining that the nightly network newscasts "have barely mentioned some of the crucial unresolved questions surrounding the investigation’s bias." These include "the Strzok-Page text messages," "the Democratic-funded dossier," and "allegedly misleading the FISA court." Noyes also cited "other accusations of bias," such as President Trump's complaint that "the investigation was the result of bias within the Obama Justice Department and FBI."
But Noyes is simply repeating Fox News-inspired right-wing conspiracy theories (whiich may be one reason why he didn't include Fox News in his "media reserarch"). Media Matters summarizes this very well:
But Fox’s counternarrative is based on falsehood and fantasy. It claims a dossier assembled by a former British intelligence officer and funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee kicked off the probe (it didn’t), cites a FISA warrant against a former Trump campaign aide as evidence of an anti-Trump conspiracy (it isn’t), misreads text messages between FBI officials to suggest they show an all-out effort to stop Trump’s election (they don’t), and smears Mueller and members of his team as having conflicts of interest (they don’t).
The MRC, however, isn't moved by the facts, only by the determination to prop up right-wing narratives. For instance, a post by Kristine Marsh after Mueller's testimony linked back to Noyes' post in whining that the media "kept ludicrously characterizing Mueller as an apolitical player, ignoring all the anti-Trump controversies attached to his investigation.
Marsh wrote another post bashing NBC's Andrea Mitchell for highlighting how Republicans are trying to attack Mueller's nonpartisan investigation as a partisan exercise: "Mitchell didn’t come up with this line of attack on her own. ABC and CNN journalists also employed the same tactic in their post-hearing analysis of deflect, deflect, deflect from the Mueller team’s partisan controversies to slam Republicans as the partisan ones."
To coin a phrase: Marsh didn't come up with that line of attack on her own.
CNS Publishes Malkin's Dishonest Defense of White Nationalist VDARE Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has many flaws, but it -- along with its Media Research Center parent -- have largely stayed out of white nationalist territory (Tom Blumer notwithstanding). Which makes it curious why CNS would choose to publish a column defending a white nationalist website.
Michelle Malkin's July 31 column does exactly that. In it, she complains that an "educational nonprofit" saw its planned conference in Colorado Springs get canceled after local residents complained:
In spring 2017, award-winning journalist and former Hoover Institution media fellow Peter Brimelow and his educational nonprofit VDARE reserved the Cheyenne Mountain Resort for a conference on immigration and sovereignty issues. A local far-left gadfly who bragged about wearing her "pink pussy hat while driving (her) Prius" launched an online petition condemning Brimelow's organization as a "hate group." The petition threatened both the resort and the mayor, bellowing that "the residents of Colorado Springs will not support businesses that profit from hate groups and will not re-elect politicians hospitable to those hate groups!"
What exactly is "hateful" about VDARE's work? You can visit VDARE.com and read their wide variety of news and opinions yourself. My syndicated column, published in the Colorado Springs Gazette and hundreds of other mainstream newspapers over the past 25 years, is also published by VDARE. So is Ann Coulter's and Pat Buchanan's. VDARE hosts a vital and honest discussion of an "America First" immigration policy, long considered third rail by the establishments in both parties before President Donald Trump embraced it and won the White House. Of course, I don't agree with everything published on the site; neither do I agree with everything published on every op-ed page that has published my column. VDARE has never advocated violence or any illegal activity. The group counts foreign nationals, immigrants and members of racial and ethnic minorities among its strongest supporters, donors and contributors.
But Malkin is hiding the truth: VDARE, at its core, is a white nationalist website.
Brimelow is very much a racist and white nationalist -- he has claimed that "Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of chidren" and asserted that "the U.S. is a white nation" -- "and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, VDARE publishes artilces by academic racists and hosts white nationalists like Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer who, in Brimelow's words, "aim to defend the interests of American whites." The racism is right in the name: VDARE is named for Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America.
In pretending that there's nothing "hateful" about VDARE, Malkin is dishonestly playing dumb about VDARE's unambiguous white nationalism -- indeed, she further's the whitewashing (heh) by purging the term "white nationalist" from her column. Of course, Malkin herself has been sliding further right over the years; her speech at this year's CPAC was an anti-immigrant screed that also defended the violent anti-Semite Gavin McInnes and vicious Islamophobe Laura Loomer as being on the "front lines for liberty," then afterwards had a softball interview with white nationalist Faith Goldy.
VDARE publishes Malkin's column as well, though it's unclear how long that arrangement will last if Malkin ever stops hating immigrants so much and VDARE's readers remember that she's not white.
Meanwhile, other branches of the MRC understood what Malkin's column was really about. NewsBusters publshes her column as well -- but the VDARE-defending column is notably absent from the archive. Apparently CNS has more tolerance for racism and dishonesty than the rest of the MRC.
MRC's Graham Has A Sad That Covington Kids' Dubious Lawsuit Got Thrown Out Of Court Topic: Media Research Center
We'vedocumented how the Media Research Center served as the unpaid (we think) PR agent for the lawyers for the Covington teens in their overheated, greedy $250 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post, despite said lawsuit being more of a right-wing manifesto than a credible legal action.
Well, that lawsuit got unceremoniously tossed out of court last month -- and, of course, the MRC whined about the purported injustice.
In a July 27 post headlined "Freedom of Smear," Tim Graham was unhappy that the First Amendment protects opinion: "This is standard First Amendment stuff: the Post is free to report false things to please their liberal readers, and claim that they're the truth."
You know who else has the freedom to smear people? The Media Research Center. And it does that all the time -- most notoriously when Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead." Does Graham think Obama should have sued Bozell over that bit of defamation? Unlikely. Does Graham think the MRC should be sued because one of its writers told a delliberate falsehood about CBS it refuses to correct? Even more unlikely.
Graham then moved quickly to whining:
But the Post's statement after the victory was obnoxious. "From our first story on this incident to our last, we sought to report fairly and accurately the facts that could be established from available evidence, the perspectives of all of the participants, and the comments of the responsible church and school officials."
This is not true in the slightest. We gave the Post a grade of "Ugly" for its reporting:
The MRC is hardly an objective arbiter of others' reporting, and it has shown an unambigous hatred for everything Post-related.Indeed, one of the purportedly "ugly" things the MRC claims the Post did was that it "published a nasty blog post on 'The Catholic Church’s shameful history of Native American abuses.'" The MRC did not disprove the accuracy of that post, only complain that someone wrote it.
The MRC revels in that "freedom of smear" that Graham purportedly decries -- but only as long as nobody holds it accountable for doing so, even as it demands that others be sanctioned.
WND Gay-Basher Bashes Neflix For Being Too Gay Topic: WorldNetDaily
Michael Brown -- who likes to pretend he has sympathy for the LGBT community but engages in rampant bashing of them anyway -- served up another entry in that genre with his July 26 column. It starts off by noting that Netflix sent a cease-and-desist order to the organizers of the straight-pride parade that used its logo to falsely portray it as a sponsor. That quickly led to Brown ranting about how there are too many non-heterosexuals on Netflix:
Personally, I have no interest in the Straight Pride parade, and none of my pro-family colleagues are involved with it.
That being said, it is clear that Netflix is the bully here. And it is even clearer that Netflix is proudly queer.
But it’s not just the Netflix legal team which is openly queer. The company as a whole has been blazing an openly queer path for years.
There is not only a plethora of gay-themed movies on Netflix, but a 2018 article pointed to “30 Netflix original shows with LGBT characters.”
Yes, “ Netflix has quite the history with LGBT representation, with two of their earliest shows (‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’) featuring queer leads. The company hasn’t shied away from these characters since, with LGBT characters appearing in the main casts of shows like ‘Sense8’ and ‘One Day at a Time,’ to name a few. Dramas, comedies, thrillers – whatever the genre, Netflix has featured an LGBT character in it.”
In keeping with this emphasis, now that “The Designated Survivor” is a Netflix production, it not only introduced the F- word to the show. But by the third episode, it focused on “transgender rights.”
And last year, Netflix released “Super Drags,” an “adult animated series” in which “three gay co-workers lead double lives as drag queen superheroes, saving the LGBTQ community from evil nemeses.” How delightful.
So Netflix, yes, we hear you loud and clear. You are here and you are queer. Quite so.
(Christian families looking for a very wholesome alternative might want to consider Pure Flix.)
That kind of gay-bashing is about par for the course from Brown.
Bad Timing: Before El Paso Massacre, MRC Dismissed White Supremacy As Liberal 'Strawman' Topic: Media Research Center
Some right-wing attack pieces don't age well. For instance, a July 25 Media Research Center piece by Gabriel Hays attacking HBO's upcoming "Watchmen" series for focusing on white supremacy. Hays writes:
What’s one more woke comic book action series in the litany of woke comic book action series? HBO is set to premiere its new mainline superhero series based on the legendary Watchmen graphic novel in the fall, and guess what societal threat our crime fighters will be dealing with this time: White supremacy.
Good heavens, we get it.
The original Watchmen (written in 1986) was part crime-fighting action epic, part political commentary with its characters having to operate in a world dealing with the existential threat of nukes and Cold War politics. HBO’s new version of Watchmen is a reimagination of the crime fighting saga, set around the sociopolitical currents of modern America. Since this is the ever-woke entertainment industry, the main political struggles have to revolve around racism.
Hays then attacked Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose work apparently informed the writers for the series, as a "radical race author" and a "premier race-baiter" (and, for good measure, a "Trump-hater"). After the series' creator David Lindelof pointed out how the anti-black Tulsa race riots had been mostly suppressed from history, Hays huffed:
The power of being embarrassed by something he’d never done was so strong for Lindelof that he made sure the new iteration of Watchmen would be about the “formidable” power of white supremacy, a premise that makes older sci-fi/action villains look like kiddie material, apparently. Lindelof stated, “In a traditional superhero movie, the bad guys are fighting the aliens and when they beat the aliens, the aliens go back to their planet and everybody wins. There’s no defeating white supremacy. It’s not going anywhere, but it felt like it was a pretty formidable foe.”
How tense, how thrilling! White supremacy will never not be a viable strawman for these progressive showrunners. Their idea that “there’s no defeating it” allows for an eternity of depicting white men as brutal overlords.
Nine days after Hays dismissed the issue of white supremacy as a "strawman" invoked by "progressive showrunners," a man who cited white supremacist ideas murdered more than 20 people in El Paso, many of them Hispanics, for whom the killer declared his hatred.
The main story on July's employment numbers at CNSNews.com was done by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey instead of Susan Jones. Jeffrey kicked things off by cherry-picking numbers to make President Trump look as good as possible:
The number of people employed in the United States hit a record 157,288,000 in July, according to the employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That was up 283,000 from the 157,005,000 employed in June.
The unemployment rate held steady in July at 3.7 percent, the same as it was in June.
Meanwhile, every other real news outlet reported a different number: 164,000 jobs created in July. That appears nowhere in Jeffrey's article, presumably because it didn't make Trump look good enough.
In addition to the new favorite sidebar about Hispanic employment by Craig Bannister -- which deviated from its usual pro-Trump rah-rah by admitting right in the headline that unemployment for Hispanics increased in July -- CNS brought back one it hadn't covered in a while: black unemployment. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman did the honors, touting how "the employment level for black Americans, age 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, was at a record level in July of 19,481,000 employed."
ONe thing Chapman didn't do was play up the fact that black unemployment is roughly twice that of white unemployment -- something he regularly did in covering black unemployment during the Obama years as a biased way to attack President Obama's handling of the economy, even though that gap has always existed as long as federal statistics have been kept. Chapman merely noted in passing in the final paragraph of his article that white unemployment was 3.3 percent -- a slightly narrower gap than usual but still in line with the historical numbers -- and he never pointed out how much higher black unemployment is by comparison.
CNS also added an unbylined article about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praising the "encouraging news" in the jobs report -- then bizarrely illustrated it with a stock photo of Pelosi with now-disgraced actor Kevin Spacey (whose name CNS manages to misspell). And Bannister served up a little snark by contrasting Joe Biden's comment that the economy is "collapsing" under Trump with a pro-Trump bullet list taken from the above CNS articles.