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Wednesday, August 21, 2019
50 Years Later, MRC Can't Stop Obsessing Over Chappaquiddick
Topic: Media Research Center

In May, the Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro dismissed as old news reporting that revealed new details about the billions of dollars President Trump lost in the 1980s: "[D]id you feel like you already knew about that? So did everyone else, because Trump’s financial problems during that time were well documented." Well, the MRC has insisted on pushing a story that's even older news. (It's done this before.)

One of the MRC's big obessions has been Ted Kennedy in general and Chappaquiddick particular. One extreme of this obsession, as we've documented, is how it has utterly refused to retract a false interpretation of quote by writer Charles Pierce regarding Mary Jo Kopechne, who died in the car Kennedy drove off a bridge in 1969, that it insisted praised Kennedy when, in fact, it was criticizing him.

In another example of trying to capitalize on old news, the MRC used the 50th annniversary of the Chappaquiddick incident to crank out more attacks.

Scott Whitlock cranked out a piece headlined "50 Years of Shame: How Journalists Protected Ted Kennedy After Chappaquiddick." He repeated the MRC's false attack on Pierce, whining that the quote it has miscontrued for 16 years came in a "mostly sympathetic profile" of Kennedy. He also complained that a film last year about Chappaquiddick -- which the MRC heavily promoted and loved for its anti-Kennedy bias -- didn't get much media coverage, but he didn't mention how the film tanked at the box office, earning a paltry $17 million.

An accompanying piece by Clay Waters complained that the 1969 moon landing obscured coverage of Chappaquiddick,  which he claims "media watchdogs" -- he omitted the "conservative" qualifier that obviously belongs there -- blame on "media bias." Apparently, Americans landing on another planet wasn't as newsworthy as an incident conservatives wanted to exploit. Waters went on to whine that the New York Times panned the "Chappaquiddick" movie.

Even stories that are about other members of the Kennedy family must be reframed to be about Chappaquiddick. Whitlock returned in an Aug. 2 post expressing displeasure that a New York Times story about the tragic death of Robert Kennedy's granddaughter didn't make Chappaquiddick priminent enough in its "Kennedy family tragedy" list, huffing further that "none of these networks tried to lump in Chappaquiddick and Kopechne’s death as an example of a 'tragedy' for the Kennedys."

Complaining that a story about a tragedy wasn't reframed to be about another tragedy that's more politically exploitable? Now that's obsession.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Complains About Trump-Hitler Comparisons, Forgets That His Website Loved To Compare Obama to Hitler
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian tried to exert some moral authority in an Aug. 14 column:

Most people understand that the current super-heated rhetoric being dished out by Democratic Party presidential candidates and others just amounts to cynical political calculation – intended to help Democrats regain the White House and the Senate, and therefore the courts, next year.

Yet, there is a very clear, if sometimes unspoken, additional message inherent in such rhetoric. Stay with me here:

* Call the president names – “he’s a racist,” “a bigot” or “xenophobe” – and the unspoken but clear message is: “He’s a person of bad character, unworthy of being president, and must be defeated at the ballot box next year.”

* Call the president a criminal – “he colluded with the Russians,” “obstructed justice” or “cheated on his taxes” – and the unspoken but clear message is: “He is guilty of impeachable offences and must be removed from office by Congress, and then criminally prosecuted once he’s out of office.”

* But what about continually calling the president another Adolf Hitler, a genocidal monster who murdered 11 million people?

This utterly deranged comparison started back in 2016, when, asnthis writer reported, no fewer than five different Washington Post writers likened Trump to Hitler during the run-up to the election. Today, the drumbeat has grown ever more brazen and hardcore, with recent examples including CNN host Don Lemon comparing Trump to Hitler on-air and Democrat presidential candidate “Beto” O’Rourke hysterically likening the Trump administration to “the Third Reich.”

Now, ask yourself honestly: If you were a German citizen living in Germany during the Third Reich, what would be the only truly moral response to Adolf Hitler?

We all know the answer.

There were at least 16 different plots to assassinate Hitler, including most famously “Operation Valkyrie” (the so-called “20 July Plot”), which was made into a blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise as the heroic German army officer, Col. Claus von Stauffenberg. Even the revered Lutheran pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was hanged by German authorities for his alleged role in this particular plot. The people who attempted to assassinate Hitler – to slay a vicious criminal psychopath, to stop a genocide, to end a terrible war – are rightly regarded, to this very day, all over the world, as patriots and heroes.

That, whether consciously or not, is the actual message that today’s reckless pretenders – whether they are pretend journalists desperately vying for ratings or pretend statesmen desperately vying to become leader of the free world – are broadcasting every day.

You know who else loved to describe a president as another Adolf Hitler, a genocidal monster who murdered 11 million people? The website that Kupelian runs.

Likening President Obama to Hitler or other Nazis was practically a staple attack at WND. It had a columnist Hilmar von Campe, who practically reveled in doing so. Kupelian's boss, Joseph Farah, demanded that a minister not give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, citing Obama's "evil policies" and adding, "I'm sure you would not want to invoke God's blessing on the inauguration of a figure like Adolf Hitler, whose rise to power brought the destruction of millions of lives." Farah even worked an Obama-Hitler comparsion into his bogus birther crusade, declaring that tyhey were similarly ineligible to hold their leadership positions.

WND-published author Anita Dittman loved the comparion too, insisting that "Liberals’ blind idolization of Obama mirrored Germany’s hypnotic fascination with Hitler, Dittman said of the racist tyrant whose vitriolic rhetoric dehumanized the Jewish people as a prelude to his attempts at total annihilation." (Ironically, Kupelian has repeatedly displayed his blind loyalty to Trump.) It even published a column defending the smear and insisting that those who complained about it "are out of ideas or have too much time on their hands."

Did Kupelian freat about inflaming violent attacks Obama when he published those attacks the way? Doubtful -- Kupelian has his own personal hatred of Obama that's so pathological that he actually accused Obama of perpetrating the "date rape of America." Near as we can tell, Kupelian would not have minded an assassination attempt or two on Obama; heck, he's so filled with hate that he might have easily been moved to perpetrate one.

Given all this newfound outrage, will Kupelian reflect on his website's past extreme rhetoric and issue a heartfelt apology to Obama for inciting its readers to consider assassination? Even more doubtful -- has WND ever apologized for anything without being threatened with a lawsuit first?

(And we haven't even gotten to the fact that WND also loved to liken Obama to the Antichrist.)

WND has regularly freaked out about Trump-Hitler comparision, deliberately oblivious to the fact that it did the exact same thing to Obama. Kupelian is being as dishonest and hypocritical now as his website was then.

Kupelian's cynical double standard doesn't build confidence that WND deserves to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
MRC Pushes Debunked Talking Points Denying GOP 'Southern Strategy'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Ryan Foley used an Aug. 1 post to attack MSNBC's Ari Melber for claining that Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan are part of "the foundation of discrimination and racism and the politics of hate that has long stained America." The factual basis for this statement was the release of an audiotape of a phone call between Reagan and then-President Nixon in which Reagan expressed racist sentiments. Foley did smartly concede taht Reagan's comments were "indefensible," then huffed that Melber had an obligation to provide the history of the Democrats’ record on race":

For starters, 21 Senate Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 while only six Senate Republicans did. In 1971, the year the aforementioned conversation took place, segregationists, the real “foundation of discrimination and racism and the politics of hate that has long stained America,” made up a large portion of the Democratic Party. 

As for “the southern strategy” supposedly used by Richard Nixon to win the south, it didn’t work. In 1968, half of the southern states were carried by segregationist George Wallace or Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Only in the landslide elections of 1928, 1952, 1956, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988 did Republicans carry an overwhelming majority of the southern states.

It was not until 2000 that Republicans began consistently carrying a majority of the southern states in presidential elections. By then, the Democrats’ far-left positions on abortion, guns, and environmentalism had made them unpalatable to a majority of voters in the increasingly conservative and religious south. For more information on the truth about the “southern strategy,” consult this PragerU video from Dr. Carol Swain.

But Foley is misleading about the state of segregation by political party in the 1960s. While 21 Senate Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he failed to mention that 46 Democrats did -- meaning his claim that "a large portion" of Democrats were segregationists was likely untrue. That shift arguably began in 1948, when President Harry Truman rejected segregationist Strom Thurmond by endorsing a civil rights plank in the Democratic Party platform, forcing him to run as a third-party candidate for president.

Foley also seems to be arguing that because the Southern Strategy "didn't work" in 1968, it was never actually a thing. As historian Kevin Kruse points out in a Twitter thread debunking the PragerU video Foley cites, the Southern Strategy really was a thing. Also, the reason Nixon didn't win all the southern states in 1968 is because they were won by segregationist George Wallace. Nixon won all those states in 1972. And Southerners did not suddenly switch en masse in 2000 over "abortion, guns, and environmentalism"; the shift began in the 1960s as Democrats embraced civil rights and Republicans moved away from it. And the years that Republicans didn't dominate the south were years in which Democrats from the South -- Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton -- ran for president.

Repeating discredited right-wing narratives isn't helping the MRC's credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' War on Robert Mueller, Part 2
As the Mueller investigation into Trump actions wound down, became even more of a pro-Trump shill, ramping up its attacks on the probe and on Mueller himself. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT
Monday, August 19, 2019
Alveda King Becomes A Pro-Trump Shill
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how anti-abortion activist Alveda King is sliding more toward the explicitly political and, specifically, becoming a pro-Trump shill. That slide has become more explicit in two recent columns.

In an Aug. 2 column published at Newsmax -- which still likes to give her the "Dr." honorific even though her doctorate is honorary and not earned -- King defended Trump against the accusation of being a racist following his attacks on the city of Baltimore, as had been suggested by the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., by denying that the concept of race even exists :

The words "racism" and "racist" are terms recklessly bandied about in the race card game; all of which is a deceptive, socially engineered decoy, creating oppressors and victims. This deception stirs the emotions while denying the much needed transformational civility, equality, justice, and freedom for all.

Sir, with all due respect, by scientific and spiritual definition, a racist is someone who denies scientific and spiritual evidence; that humans are one race.

As one who has encountered and resisted racism all of my life, I know a racist when I see a racist. I can assure you President Trump is not a racist.

Again, a racist is a person who doesn’t get Acts 17:26: Of one blood God made all people. I know President Trump understands that and prayerfully you do as well.


President Trump makes a fair case when he says: “We all bleed the same.” We should care about all people all over the world. That includes red blooded Americans, everywhere. We all need to acknowledge that Baltimore and other inner city areas across our country have problems. It is not racist to acknowledge these problems and President Trump is not racist for pointing them out.

King pushed a similar argument during a radio interview promoted in an Aug. 1 article by Michael Morris.

Then, in an Aug. 8 column published at Newsmax and, King her most pro-Trump statement yet by rehashing rote right-wing attacks on Democrats:

Meanwhile, in comparison, comments made by former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and former Vice President Joe Biden, both accusing President Trump of being a white supremacist, are untimely and unseemly.

Biden and his compatriots are not being truthful.

Here are seven instances where President Trump denounces White Supremacy.

Biden and his compatriots support immoral baby killers including Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby.

Race baiters fail to mention that George Wallace apologized.


Fake News refuses to cover President Trump’s accomplishments, including fighting for The Unborn, criminal justice reform, and aid to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Meanwhile they ignore Biden’s part in incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Blacks.

Shame on Biden and his compatriots. Race baiting while POTUS and FLOTUS pay respect to the grieving. PRAY FOR AMERICA.

To back up her claim that Trump "denounces White Supremacy" and has "accomplishments," King linked to a Trump campaign Twitter account and the Trump White House website -- both effectively propaganda operations.

Such blatant shilling for Trump is not good for King's credibility, and that's on top on her continuing to insist on being referred to with the unearned "Dr." title.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019 9:39 PM EDT
MRC Hides Far-Right Leanings of 'Conservative' Google Whistleblowers
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a narrative to push about high-tech companies and social media outlets being uniquely inhospitable to conservataives -- never mind that it's not actually true. Which explains how  Corinne Weaver used an Aug. 1 item to tout the latest cause celebre-cum-victim on that front:

Conservatives might not be able to have a career in tech engineering unless they turn liberal. 

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, former Google engineer Kevin Cernekee detailed the political harassment he experienced from the time he was hired in 2015 to his ultimate firing in 2018. One manager publicly asked in 2017 on a chat forum if the company could fire the “poisonous assholes” who shared conservative views.


Google informed Cernekee that he was fired for misuse of equipment. Cernekee told the Wall Street Journal that he was fired for being conservative. 

Weaver followed that up with a post promoting how President Trump embraced Cernekee's victimization narrative.

But Weaver is hiding something -- Cernekee is very much a committed far-right activist, not merely the "conservative" she claims.

As Gizmodo documented, Cernekee used internal Google message boards to promote a far-right crowdfunding platform that has defended the likes of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. He also argued that documented neo-Nazi groups merely "reject racial supremacy." A former Google co-worker of Cernekee's criticized his "questionable viewpoints and questionable tactics and that his denials of being an extremist ring hollow. Even the conservative Daily Caller has written of Cernekee and the narrative he provides that conservatives like Weaver embrace: "Conservatives angry at big tech may view such postings as a cautionary lesson in the importance of vetting their cause célèbres."

Despite the highly questionable claims this "conservative" whistleblower made, Weaver repeated the process (and the narrative) with an even more dubious person. She dutifully repeated no an Aug. 14 post:

Google used a blacklist and a blocklist for search results. And those two lists reportedly blocked  a large amount of conservative content from the app — including NewsBusters. 

A Google whistleblower, Zachary Vorhies, shared several documents with James O’Keefe and Project Veritas that were released August 14. These documents included a document with a Google Now blacklist and Google block list, and hundreds of other pages of material from internal Google memos, emails, and guidelines. This allegedly impacted the app and not all Google searches. 

That block list included NewsBusters, MRCTV, Twitchy, Conservative Tribune, Front Page Mag, RedState, Christian Post, Daily Caller, and Catholic News Agency, among others.

Reminder: Project Veritas is so notorious for disreputable and sleazy tactics that even the MRC has denounced it. But it seems that advancing the narrative is good enough for James O'Keefe's group to get back in the MRC's good graces.

Later that day, Weaver scored an interview with Vorhies (following the narrative pays off in scoops!) in which he detailed Google's alleged diversity efforts. She apparently made no effort to fact-check Vorhies' claims.

The next day, Alexander Hall contributed to the narrative, touting a claim by Vorhies about how Google and YouTube purportedly manipulate search results to address "pro-life accuracy" and other issues. He too got an exclusive blurb from Vorhies. Weaver return to promote a document allegedly leaked by Vorhies regarding Google's cooperation with federal immigration officials.

None of these articles, however,  did Weaver or Hall tell readers that Vorhies is even farther to the right than Cernekee.

The Daily Beast reports that Vorhies "is an avid promoter of anti-Semitic accusations that banks, the media, and the United States government are controlled by “Zionists.” He’s also pushed conspiracy theories like QAnon, Pizzagate, and the discredited claim that vaccines cause autism." He has also accused "Zionists" of killing Andrew Breitbart and Israel of plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Weaver and Hall are censoring serious credibility problems with their alleged "whistleblowers" and the organization promoting them. That hurts the MRC's credibility as well -- but, apparently, pushing the narrative trumps all.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
WND Blames Copycats, Not Trump, For Massacres
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily responded to the shootings in El Paso and Dayton much the way its fellow right-wingers at the Media Research Center did: with distraction from Trump's rhetoric and whataboutism to attack Democrats.

Article on how the Dayton shooter's alleged support for Elizabeth Warren (from Art Moore)? Check. Playing whataboutism over inflammatory rhetoric to take the heat off Trump (by Michael Brown and an anonymous writer)? Check and check. Denyhing the El Paso shooter had any white nationalist motivation (from Andy Schlafly)? Check.

But for that added WND touch, we have to turn to David Kupelian, who tries to sound all smart and stuff (while also deflecting attention from Trump's rhetoric) by blaming the copycat effect, suggesting that the shooting at a festival in California triggered these shootings:

But in light of the close proximity of these two most recent mass shootings, as well as the mass shooting just six days earlier, at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California, resulting in three dead (plus the shooter) and 12 injured, consider the problem from a different vantage point – one that casts the growing incidence of mass-shootings in terms of “contagion.” Or in more everyday terms, the “copycat crime” effect.

Kupelian even found a way to work in some Muslim-bashing: "Likewise, jihad – the Islamic variety of mass-murder madness – has proven so susceptible to the copycat phenomenon that imitation may be the single most important factor involved, especially since jihad cheerleaders and recruiters encourage precisely that."

Kupelian was careful not to mention the 2011 massacre in Norway perpetrated by Anders Breivik that killed dozens -- perhaps because WND is cited six times in his manifesto.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 AM EDT
Sunday, August 18, 2019
MRC After The Shootings: Still Defending Guns (But Blaming Hollywood For Putting Guns In Movies)
Topic: Media Research Center

We've highlighted the various ways the Media Research Center pushed a conservative narrative in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, with an emphasis on protecting President Trump and pushing distractions. There was another component as well: attacking anyone who brought up the idea of increased gun regulation.

Curtis Houck howled "DIABOLICAL" in a headline about how CNN guests "slammed the National Rifle Association (NRA) as seemingly the one group that’s anthetical to keeping Americans safe." Houck hurled childish insults at anyone who didn't stick with the right-wing pro-gun narrative, "arrogant," "smug," and "deranged" among them, and huffing that one guest either didn't know or care "about why the Founders didn’t go with direct democracy."

Houck's excessive rhetorical flourishes continued in another post in which he accused CNN guests of engaging in "a nearly 14-minute-long beatdown of political commentator David Urban, who was the lone conservative panelist. Houck went even farther on his personal Twitter account, actually claiming that Urban was a victim of "rhetoric[al] waterboarding."

Famous people who said something about guns were a big target. Gabriel Hays bashed "Hollywood leftists" for having an opinion on the shootings -- making sure to get in the talking point that the Dayton shooter was "a self-described "leftist" who supported ANTIFA violence and Elizabeth Warren's bid for the presidency"  -- then went after country music artists who spoke out, sneering that "aspiring activists should be called to propose something constructive, rather than just, 'Oh, my gosh! FIX IT!'"

In the same vein, Aiden Jackson went off on late-night hosts who advocated stricter gun laws, right down to invoking the rote talking point that everyone in the media and doesn't adhere to right-wing narratives is an "elitist": "It is easy for elitist members of the media, with personal security guards, to demonize those who have to take their safety into their own hands." Amnd it's easy for conservativeslike Jackson, in their right-wing media bubble, to demonize all who disagree with them. Jackson later attacked "The Daily Show" for making a video game about moving a gun-restriction law through Congress that's a parody of first-person shooter games, huffing that it was "gauche" and "virtue-signaling." But isn't Jackson virtue-signaling by attacking anyone who criticizes guns?

Nicholas Fondacaro ranted about the townhall CNN aired after the shootings, attacking it in advance as a "anti-gun show trial" that would "emotionally exploit grieving families"and rehashing his rage at a post-Parkland townhall CNN aired.AFterwards, Fondacaro robotically called it a "show trial" again, complaining that host Chris Cuomo "lashed out at the National Rifle Association for not subjecting themselves to the hate and rhetorical torture session they were treated to at the Parkland shootingtown hall last year." Which can also be interpreted as the NRA's refusal to leave the conservative media bubble where it knows the MRC and its media allies will ever say an unkind word about it.

Houck kept up the "show trial" narrative after the townhall, declaring it to be "just as hideously horrible as one could have predicted when it came to promoting gun control and confiscation in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings."

And Jorge Plaza argued that the real problem isn't guns but movies that have guns in them:

On August 4th, two horrific shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio shocked the nation. Americans from coast to coast were nonplused that such atrocious acts could be committed by their compatriots, and unfortunately, many are already using these events as political clubs to beat the drum for gun control. They scapegoat guns as the root issue, ignoring the possible cultural influences. 

On the same weekend of the shootings, the gun-touting film Hobbs & Shaw from the Fast & Furious series surged to the top of the box office, breaking $60 million in its first weekend. In the movie’s three official trailers, a gun flashed on screen a total of 106 times. According to, the movie features 19 guns that the New York Post would classify as “weapons of war” -- that is, any gun that is not a handgun.


Mentally sound adults understand the line between fantasy and reality. The shallow enjoyment we derive from watching a bunch of guns firing on screen is easily distinguished from its real life counterpart. It’s difficult to say the same for people of unsound mind, and perhaps it would not be completely out of line to say that our viewing enjoyment may influence mentally ill people that commit mass shootings. It’s possible that sadistic psychopaths come to the conclusion that shooting people in real life is as fun as in the movies.  

Nevertheless, there should at least be a mourning period before the media goes off to politicize a tragedy. Have the decency to let the dead rest in peace before you stand on their graves to push your political agenda.

As if Plaza and the rest of the MRC were not also politicizing a tragedy in their vociferous defense of Trump and guns.

Finally, Geoffrey Dickens served up yet another of the MRC's dubious "studies," this one claiming that "the networks filled their morning show programs with statements favoring gun control over gun rights by a ratio of roughly 17 to 1." As usual, no methodology or raw data was provided so that readers could see how the MRC arrived at its conclusions. Ironically, Dicken's piece is illustrated with a screen shot of a "CBS This Morning" host holding up a pro-restriction front page cover from ... the New York Post, which is most definitely part of the "liberal media." Yet we don't recall the MRC going after the Post for that headline.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 18, 2019 11:00 PM EDT
CNS Loves To Quote Group Funded By Same Folks That Fund CNS

A July 18 article by Melanie Arter starts off by reporting on a House vote to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. But most of the article -- 10 of its 14 paragraphs -- was devoted to an attack on a higher minimum wage by Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creators Network, repeating the usual right-wing talking points and plugging an effort by the organization to push for higher-paying careers.

In addition to being an example of the right-wing bias CNS is increasingly unafraid to display -- at no point does Arter include any voices in support of a higher minimum wage -- Arter's article fails to disclose a conflict of interest. As we documented earlier this year when CNS promoted a JCN attack on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, JCN is funded by the Mercer family, which also happens to be the largest individual donor to CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, providing one-fourth of its multimillion-dollar annual budget, some of which presumably goes to pay for CNS reporting.

CNS has promoted JCN several other times this year without disclosing the conflict of interest:

  • Managing editor Michael W. Chapman devoted a Jan. 16 article to repeating JCN's anti-minimum wage attack, blandly describing JCN as a "small business non-profit advocacy group."
  • An April 29 article by Chapman quoted JCN's Ortiz supporting the nomination of right-wing economist Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board.
  • A May 3 article by Craig Bannister touting low Hispanic unemployment rates included a quote from Ortiz.
  • A June 7 article by Bannister gave Ortiz space to spin away a low job creation rate as being caused by a labor shortage.

Committing to right-wing talking points over journalism isn't a good look -- especially when those talking points come from the same funders that fund you.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EDT
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Mysterious MRC Sports Blogger Dumps On LeBron-Funded School
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, amid a fit of LeBron Derangement Syndrome at the Media Research Center, mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson attacked the school in Akron, Ohio, that basketball superstar LeBron James is funding to help underprivileged students, then attacked the media for writing nice things about it "before the first report cards have been issued," sneering that "these young children should do well in political science class" because James has committed the offense of talking about things that don't involve sports.

A year later, Maxson is still attacking James and his school. In a July 17 post, Maxson disdained an article about the school's "emphasis on self esteem and unorthodox teaching methods," though he/she conceded that "students improved significantly from the beginning to the end of the first academic year."

After noting that the school does things that help students by engaging in "trauma-informed" practices and community service, Maxson still found a way to dismissively undercut the school's achievements:

The children are rallying behind LeBron James, [writer Hanif] Abdurraqib says, because his "drive and passion seeps into the spaces he occupies ... ." James is said to have widened the path for these children.

Very wide. Among the values stressed at the school is that everything is earned rather than given. However, students at I Promise School will automatically receive scholarships at Akron University whether they are academically earned or not.

It seems Maxson must always stay on the attack -- even a school that even he/she admits is doing good things.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 AM EDT
WND's New Donation Graphic Steals Less From Liberal Website Than Its First One did
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When WorldNetDaily first attempted last year to do a donation box at the bottom of each article, it stole the layout, color scheme, quote from a reader and even the credit card graphic from a similar box used by the British newspaper the Guardian -- ironically, WND's ideological opposite.

Well, WND has a new donation box. If nothing else, it's less blatantly plagiaristic:

The box keeps the gray-and-yellow color scheme and, it appears, the credit card graphics, but the copy has been put in a different font and altered to reflect its longtime narrative that "Google, Facebook and Big Tech" are conspiring against it, and to claim that WND offers "real news" and "accurate information" -- apparently, that's what WND is calling its conspiracy theories now.

For all its begging and touting a paywall-free website, though, WND still has no significant non-advertising revenue stream other than its online store, and the Daily Caller-esque nonprofit journalism outfit to which it was planning to offload its reporting in order to save money is apparently still not up and running.

Even on the business end, WND hasn't quite demonstrated it deserves to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Friday, August 16, 2019
MRC's Antidote to 'Liberal' Spanish-Language Networks: A Trump Propagandist
Topic: Media Research Center

A July 31 MRC Latino post by Kathleen Krumhansl began with the usual "liberal" bashing of Spanish-language TV networks:

Since 2015, the nation's liberal media, both mainstream and Hispanic, have super-glued themselves to the same rhetoric towards President Donald Trump, using his references to the problems brought about by illegal immigration as a mantra to compel conformity to their political agenda. The latest example came on June 25th, 2019.

Spanish-language news anchors, including Jorge Ramos and José Díaz-Balart, have taken Trump's warnings about dangerous, illegal immigrants crossing the border as personal insults. Both Telemundo and Univision went about it AGAIN as recently as the launch of the Republican Party's Latino campaign in Florida on June 25, 2019, as part of their coverage of the first Democratic presidential candidate debate, which was also held in Miami.

This was followed by clips of people Krumhansl didn't like, then a transition to the actual meat of the post:

But how does the conservative Latino community feel about the constant references to the President's 2015 speech - “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

MRC Latino's Miguel Leal interviewed Bianca Gracía, Vice President of Latinos for Trump, who was also at the Republican voter campaign event in Miami where the above mentioned interviews took place.

Her answer: “They're strongly mistaken and if that's the best that they have right now, that´s pretty sad that they can't come up with a different message to combat this President,” referring to “the old stuff from 2015-2016 so often repeated by the liberals.”

Yes, that's MRC Latino's antidote to the supposedly "lliberal" Spanish-language TV networks: a pro-Trump propagandist. Leal served up softball questions, and García answered them like a pro-Trump pro, especially toward the end (bolding in original):

In the words of García, her perception, and that of members of the conservative Hispanic population, is that the current administration is delivering, securing a low unemployment rate and providing jobs. In her words “our luchador (fighter) in the White House.

Yes, she actually said that. Of course, when most modern folk -- Mexicans and Americans alike -- hear the the word "luchador," they think of masked Mexican wrestlers. Not an image anyone has ever connected to Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EDT
CNS On Massacres: Trump-Fluffing, Distracting Attention Elsewhere
Topic: embraced the tactics of its Media Research Center parent in the afttermath of the El Paso and Dayton massacres: deflect and distract from any thought that President Trump's overheated anti-immigrant rhetoric is any sort of a problem.

The first article CNS did was not about the shootings themselves but, rather, a blog post by Craig Bannister on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick using a Fox News appearance to warn Antifa protesters not to come to El Paso -- despite the fact that, as a real news outlet reported, he was not asked about Antifa and was apparently referencing a right-wing news article that was later corrected to admit it had no actual evidence Antifa would come to El Paso.

Bannister followed up with some serious Trump deflecting, repeating a tweet from "conservative commentator and Blexit leader Candice Owens" playing another MRC distraction card by highlighting that "The Ohio shooter was a self-described socialist and Elizabeth Warren fan" but "we don't blame anyone but the shooter" and that anyone blaming Trump's rhetoric for the El Paso shooting was a "coward." Bannister concluded with a plug for Owens, declaring that "Owens' Blexit movement seeks to bring conservative values to America's inner cities." CNS loves to serve as Owens' stenographer and censors news of her controversies, like the time she said that Hitler would have been cool if he had just stayed in Germany.

Susan Jones contributed some stenography from White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, claiming that it isn't fair to blame Trump's rhetoric for the El Paso shooting because it's a "social issue." Jones also framed criticism of Trump as "Trump hatred," beginning an article on Joe Scarborough's criticism of Trump with the claim "Trump hatred flows daily on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," especially on this particular Monday morning."

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman played the Chicago distraction card in one politically malicious blog post:

In addition to the horrific shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, 51 people were shot in Chicago and seven of the victims died, reported ABC 7. This follows several weekends in the Windy City in which dozens of people were shot, including the July 12-15 weekend in which 56 people were shot and 11 died.

However, the liberal media did not express nationwide outrage over that gun violence and politicians did not blame President Doanld Trump for the violence.

Chapman followed that up with a post invoking Mother Teresa, which may or may not have to do with reaction to the massacres:

It is a simple moral question: Do you support the murder of children by abortion, yes or no? If you say yes, then anything goes. For if it is okay to kill a baby in the womb, then it is okay to do anything. You cannot say something is wrong, if child-murder is right. This is bottom-of-the-barrel morality.

American liberals and their allies in the media support abortion on demand. Their faith, sexual liberty, means -- if it comes to it -- that they are willing to kill in order to have sex. No baby will get in the way of their freedom.  And we wonder why many young people today seem so indifferent about the value of human life.

But when Trump made a short speech reacting to the massacres, CNS was in full stenography mode, devoting a whopping four articles to it:

Why couldn't CNS have combined all four of these short items into a single, longer article? It's a mystery.

From there, CNS served up more pro-Trump tweet stenography: one article weirdly attacking Beto O'Rourke for having a nickname (one of CNS' favorite bugaboos), and anbother whose headline says it all: "Trump Slams 'Sleepy Joe,' Joaquin Castro, Democrats, Sen. Brown, Mayor Nan Whaley, MSNBC, CNN..."

Finally, Patrick Goodenough complained that United Nations experts were making an "implicit attack on President Trump" by stating that  politicians who use hateful rhetoric should be considered complicit in crimes that follow. Goodenough went into spin mode, highlighting a statement in the el Paso shooter's manifesto that his anti-immigrant views “predate Trump and his campaign for president.”

Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2019 11:00 PM EDT
Thursday, August 15, 2019
MRC Hammers On Dayton Shooter's Leftist Views To Counter Trump Rhetoric Link To El Paso Shooter
Topic: Media Research Center

We noted in passing that part of the Media Research Center's playbook on protecting President Trump from fallout linked to his anti-immigrant rhetoric mirroring that of the El Paso massacre perpetrator was to play whataboutism by hyping the far-left views of the Dayton massacre perpetrator and, specifically, his alleged support for Elizabeth Warren. The extent to which the MRC beat that particular drum in the first few days after the massacres is rather amazing ... almost as if MRC writers were under orders to manufacture a specific narrative.

-- CBS This Morning hosts jumped on the Democratic effort to blame this weekend’s horrific mass slaughters on Donald Trump. ... [CBS correspondent Chip] Reid made no mention of the Ohio shooter’s alleged support for socialism, gun control and Elizabeth Warren. -- Scott Whitlock, Aug. 5

-- 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. -- Kristine Marsh, Aug. 5

-- During coverage of the horrific mass shootings that happened over the weekend, on Monday, NBC’s Todayshow eagerly touted Democrats rushing to blame President Trump’s rhetoric for the attack in El Paso, Texas. ... Amazingly, none of the network morning shows on Monday mentioned reports that the shooter in Dayton, Ohio was a self-described “leftist,” Antifa supporter, and fan of liberal politicians like Elizabeth Warren. -- Kyle Drennen, Aug. 5

-- Celebrities, includingAvengersstar Don Cheadle, rapper Cardi B, Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr and pop star Bebe Rexha, blasted President Trump and Republicans for inspiring the violence through “racist” rhetoric and lamented the lack of gun-control. Still no word on whether they acknowledge that the onus of the murders is on the crazies who pulled the triggers, one of whom was a self-described "leftist" who supported ANTIFA violence and Elizabeth Warren's bid for the presidency. -- Gabriel Hays, Aug. 5

-- The actual nature of the shootings that occurred over the weekend also contradicted Scarborough’s premise. One of them was committed by a white supremacist and the other by a crazed leftist who supported Elizabeth Warren, yet the blame was put squarely on President Trump.-- Gregory Price, Aug. 5

-- [Columnist Charles] Blow (pictured) 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. -- Clay Waters, Aug. 5

-- So far, broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC have spent a combined 77 minutes on their flagship morning and evening newscasts covering Sunday’s horrific shooting in Dayton, Ohio. However, as these networks on Tuesday morning delved into the alleged shooter’s disturbing past and personal life, none of them spent even a second of air time discussing his apparent “leftist” political views. -- Bill D'Agostino, Aug. 6

-- CBS This Morning on Tuesday scored an exclusive interview with the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. So, of course, co-host Anthony Mason used the opportunity to push Kevin McAleenan on Donald Trump’s culpability for this weekend’s mass killings. ... One question that didn’t come up was the Dayton shooter’s alleged support for Elizabeth Warren, Antifa, socialism and other left-wing causes. -- Scott Whitlock, Aug. 6

-- As NewsBusters research analyst Bill D’Agostino exposed Tuesday afternoon, the liberal broadcast networks were doing their best to avoid telling their viewers that the gunman behind the Dayton mass shooting was an admitted ‘leftist.’ But hours later, ABC’s World News Tonight was the first flagship network news program to break that trend when they footnoted that fact. Meanwhile, the flagship CBS and NBC newscasts were still avoiding it like the plague. ... Unfortunately, ABC still didn’t mention the fact that the shooter was a big fan of 2020 presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Antifa, or his anti-gun stance. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, Aug. 6

-- The journalists at CBS This Morning on Thursday resorted to the “critics” say line of attack to link Donald Trump the mass slaughter seen this past weekend. ... No mention, of course, was made of the Dayton, Ohio shooter who endorsed Antifa violence and Elizabeth Warren and called himself a "leftist."-- Scott Whitlock, Aug. 8

-- While [Bill] Maher had no problem tying the El Paso shooter to President Trump, he remained mum on the political beliefs of the Dayton shooter; who described himself as a “leftist” and supported liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren. -- Ryan Foley, Aug. 10

That's what's called a narrative.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:55 PM EDT
CNS Tries To Give Pelosi Equal Blame For Budget Deal, Though Trump & GOP Control Most of Government

CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's continued reluctance to assign President Trump and Republicans their share of the blame for large federal budget deficits heavily informed CNS' coverage of a federal budget deal. As the deal was announced and as it wound through Congress toward Trump's signature, CNS branded it as a co-equal deal between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even though Pelosi, a Democrat, controls only one-half of the legislative branch and Republicans control the other half plus the entire executive branch.

"Pelosi and Trump Agree to Increase Spending Over Next 2 Fiscal Years; Put No Limit on Debt Until 2021" read the headline on an anonymously written July 22 article announcing the agreement, which "will allow increases in discretionary spending over the next two fiscal years and place no limit on the new debt the federal government can accumulate until July 31, 2021." Note that Pelosi appears before Trump in the headline, as if she has more power than the president of the United States.

Jeffrey followed two days later with a column grousing about "the Trump-Pelosi debt-and-spending deal," making sure to stay on-brand with his invented nomenclature (he uses the "Trump-Pelosi" term four times as well as in his headline): "The Trump-Pelosi debt-and-spending deal is a short-term political win for the Washington establishment of both parties and a long-term loss for the American people. Rather than serve a great national interest, it attacks a great national interest: the solvency and future prosperity of this nation. It will not help Make America Great Again. It will make America bankrupt sooner."

At no point does Jeffrey specifically criticize Trump for his role in brokering this deal; instead, he whines about the "bipartisanship" that allegedly brought it about.

The next day, Jeffrey gave Republicans more credit than they deserve in an article headlined "132 House Republicans Vote Against Trump-Pelosi Spending Deal—But House Democrats Push It Through," blaming "overwhelming support from House Democrats" on its passage. He did note, though, that Trump urged Republicans to vote for the bill.

On July 26, CNS published another anonymously written article recalling a 2011 speech in which Pelosi said it's "time for this Congress of the United States to get serious about debt reduction." CNS did not run a similar article reviewing Trump's previous statements critical of deficit spending.

A July 29 article by Melanie Arter went into stenography mode for White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney complaining that "if President Donald Trump could pass spending bills, the federal budget would be on the path to being balanced and the deficit would be down." Arter did include pushback from "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, who pointed out that Trump is the president and Republicans controlled Congress for the first two years of his presidency.

In an anonymously written Aug. 1 article noting the Senate's passage of the budget deal, Jeffrey's blame construct got a workout again: "Republican Senate Approves Trump-Pelosi Deal to Up Spending $320 Billion; Limitless Debt for 2 Years." The anonymous writer did admit that "President Donald Trump has aggressively promoted it and will sign it into law."

The next day, Mark Jennings touted Republican Rep. Rand Paul's objections to the budget bill, but he escaped Jeffrey's nomenclature by describing the bill as "arranged by President Trump and the congressional leadership" and not mentioning Pelosi by name at all.

With CNS' "news" side not daring to take digs at its favorite president the way it inserts editorial comment attacking Democrats, it was left to the actual labeled opinion side to call out Trump. A July 30 column by Daniel Mitchell claimed that Trump was "impersonating Obama with huge, across-the-board spending increases," failing to mention that Obama was dealing with a recession and deficit spending is an econonmically sound way to escape a recession and Trump doesn't have that excuse.

A column by Tony Perkins joined Jeffrey in blaming bipartisanship and refusing to call out Trump by name for his role in increasing deficits.

An Aug. 7 column by Mark Hendrickson, meanwhile, complained that "Trump readily agreed to Speaker Pelosi’s domestic spending requests in exchange for relatively modest increases in military spending," but then shifted blame away: "Don’t blame President Trump. Blame the tens of millions of voters who keep electing big spenders."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:44 PM EDT

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