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Thursday, August 29, 2019
'Media Technology' Org Teams With MRC To Push Idea That Google Is Biased Against Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time we noticed AllSides -- an organization that claims to be about eliminating "filter bubbles" so people "can better understand the world" -- it was when the Media Research Center embraced a study from the group claiming that Google put "left-leaning" news websites at the top of its news search results, using a methodology that conveniently assigned most mainstream media outlets as "left-leaning."

It appears that AllSides' work dovetails so closely with the MRC's anti-media mission that it granted AllSides space at NewsBusters to push a similar study. Co-founder John Gables and editor Henry Brechter write in an Aug. 9 NewsBusters post:

AllSides, a media technology company that provides media bias ratings and balanced news across the political spectrum, conducted an audit of Google’s “Top Stories” section following the two mass shootings that occurred in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX last weekend. The findings reveal a heavy preference for CNN and left-leaning media outlets overall, reinforcing previous audits completed by AllSides and researchers at Northwestern University.

AllSides assessed 522 news articles that were featured as one of the top three results in Google’s “Top Stories” section for 10 shooting-related queries over three days. AllSides found that:

In addition, nearly half (46%) of results came from just three news websites. CNN (25%), the New York Times (14%) and the Washington Post (7%) appeared in the first three results of the “Top Stories” box most often.


Google’s preference for left media outlets means certain perspectives on the shootings were seen more than others. For example, media outlets on the left tended to emphasize past comments President Trump made, reporting on them as incitements to racist violence. Outlets on the right, on the other hand, urged free speech protection and reported on the Dayton shooter’s support of socialism and Elizabeth Warren.

AllSides has a chart that conveniently places major news outlets as the New York Times, CNN, CBS, ABC and Politico in the "left-leaning" category -- something it even admits is subjective, which is made even more so by including public opinion into the calculation.Then again, that's the kind of less-than-objective methodology and reinforcement of the MRC narrative that earned AllSides a place at NewsBusters. (It also earned AllSides a space at the conservative Washington Examiner last year.)

Gable did concede that "This analysis shows no direct evidence that Google is intentionally suppressing voices from the center or right on the shootings," but added that "there was a clear and overwhelming bias in Google’s results covering these shootings, intentional or not." Gable seems to be mistaking ideological bias for credibility and popularity bias, which appears to be the actual bias Google has. CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post are well established and have a long track record of credible reporting, which in and of itself is not indicative of a "left-leaning" bias, as Gable seems to be suggesting.

Gable and  Brechter also don't explain why the fact that Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric reflected that contained in the El Paso shooter's manifesto should be deemed solely an interest of "media outlets on the left." By contrast, there's no direct link between anything Elizabeth Warren ever said and the Dayton shooter's actions -- though, yes, a search for that link would bring up many right-leaning media outlets who are specifically highlighting it to advance a political agenda, an accusation much more difficult to make about mainstream media outlets reporting on Trump's rhetoric.

Indeed, it seems AllSides have bought into the MRC's narrative that simply to bring up the issue of the tone of Trump's rhetoric is to express "liberal bias" -- another reason it got that NewsBusters space.

The article concluded with more bias confusion from Gable:

Gable said the bias could be caused by the relative lack of right-leaning online news media as compared to left and left-leaning media overall, or could be an unintended consequence of Google’s complex algorithm.

“It is bad for democracy when diverse perspectives are hard to find,” Gable said. “News media, including digital aggregators, should present all perspectives so that people can decide what they think for themselves. This helps people to appreciate diverse perspectives, creating a more tolerant and better informed public.”

Again, Gable seems to think ideological bias is the issue when it's really about credibility and popularity. That's reinforced in the full study as well, which states: "Not every story published by a left-leaning outlet is biased. But they often provide similar narratives that align more with the left-wing than other political tribes. Consuming articles like this is part of a healthy news diet, but a 70% left-wing bias is not balanced."

One of the tags on the study, listed at the bottom of the page, reads "Bias Against Conservatives." The study does not prove that such bias actually happened.

Gable and AllSides are falsely conflating "left-leaning" with "left-wing," as if the New York Times was the same thing as, say, Mother Jones. That sort of sloppy labeling also helps AllSides get in good with the likes of the MRC -- even though doing so hurts its credibility as a supposedly objective, nonpartisan organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:09 PM EDT
CNS Remains Obsessed With Peter Strzok's Sex Life

We've documented how has a particular obsession with the sex life of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, repeatedly pointing out that tweets critical of Donald Trump were issued while he was having an affair with a fellow agent. The obsession hasn't stopped.

An Aug. 9 CNS article by Susan Jones on Strzok's lawsuit claiming he was fired from his FBI because of pressure from Trump and not job performance managed to reference his sex life twice:

The lawsuit filed by former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok says he was unlawfully fired from the FBI on August 9, 2018, as the result of "unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media."

The lawsuit states: "The campaign to fire Strzok included constant tweets and other disparaging statements by the President, as well as direct appeals from the President to then Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Strzok, which were chronicled in the press."

Strzok, during his extra-marital affair with FBI attorney Lisa Page, sent hundreds of text messages to Page, some of them sharply critical of then-candidate Donald Trump and his supporters. At the time, Strzok was supervising the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.


"During his long and distinguished career in the FBI, Special Agent Strzok worked on (and in many cases led) some of the most high profile and sensitive investigations in recent history," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit does not mention that he was working on some of those highly sensitive investigations while carrying on an adulterous affair with fellow FBI employee Lisa Page, a potentially compromising situation for a chief counterintelligence agent.

By contrast, as we've noted, Jones refused for days to even name the woman to whom Trump paid hush money to  during the 2016 election and -- unlike with Strzok -- never attacked Trump for having the apparent affair in the frist place, since "Trump's womanizing hardly comes as a shock to the American people"; instead, she bashed Stormy Daniels for talking about it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2019 8:54 PM EDT
MRC Cheers GOP Reps For Not Going On CNN -- Then Attacks CNN For Not Having More GOP Reps On
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Aug. 16 post, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham was cheering Repubican members of Congress and other Republican politicians for refusing to go on CNN:

CNN host Jake Tapper appeared for another jovial liberal go-around on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers last night. Meyers and Tapper discussed how President Trump was "crazy," Rep. Steve King was "crazy," and Republicans were somehow crazy to avoid a hostile CNN interview a few hours after two mass shootings. 

Republicans at home surely shot back at the TV: "Maybe the Republicans watched Tapper's emotionally manipulative CNN town hall after the Parkland shooting! You know, the one where Senator Marco Rubio was abused as being like the Parkland killer? And Dana Loesch was called a bad mother? And Tapper stood by, saying nothing?"

TheMRC promoted Graham's post on its NewsBusters Twitter account by sneering, "Is it REALLY hard to believe GOPers would avoid hostile @CNN interrogations after mass shootings?"

Three days later, the MRC attacked CNN and "liberal cable news networks" for not having enough Republicans on.

Rich Noyes and Bill D'Agostino wrote:

Congress may be almost evenly divided these days, but not on the liberal cable news networks. A new study by the Media Research Center finds that CNN and MSNBC host Democratic Representatives and Senators seven times more frequently than their Republican counterparts, and most often use Democratic talking points to question members of both parties.


Our analysts found an overwhelming partisan bias on MSNBC, where congressional Democrats were interviewed 13 times more often than their GOP counterparts during these sample weeks (148 Democrats vs. just 11 Republicans). On CNN, the ratio was a still wildly-imbalanced four to one (136 vs. 29).

Noyes and D'Agostino failed to mention that their employer actively discourage Republicans from appearing on CNN and MSNBC -- which means the numbers are skewed and manipulated.

Also missing is any judgment for comparison purposes of the number of congressional guests on Fox News.

Noyes and D'Agostino also threw in the MRC's usual murky, subjective judging of questions asked of guests:

When Republicans were interviewed, they routinely faced adversarial questions that reflected a Democratic agenda, yet Democratic guests were rarely confronted with Republican talking points.

For this study, an agenda question was defined one which challenged the interviewee with a recognizable talking point from the opposing party. These could involve arguments on various policy issues, political confrontations such as the partial government shutdown, or the various investigations of the President. (See examples below.)

Republican guests faced a total of 310 questions, just over half of which (156, or 50%) could be classified as reflecting the agenda of one party or the other. Of those, 152 (97%) reflected an adversarial/Democratic agenda, compared to a mere four (2.5%) based on a friendlier, Republican agenda.

For Democrats, the terrain was far more hospitable. Of 660 questions identified as having a partisan tilt (out of 1,653 total questions), 535 (81%) were based on a friendly Democratic agenda, while the remaining 125 (19%) asked the Democrats to respond to an adversarial/Republican agenda.

As usual, they fail to provide the complete data that would show how each question was judged -- perhaps because they know the judging isn't subjective, as it's highly likely that the ideological conservatives employed by the MRC are more likely to declare a question they judge to be insufficiently "Republican" to be "Democrat." And. again, a Fox News comparison is missing -- it surely hurls many more softballs to Republican representatives than the (presumably few) Democratic representatives that appear.

We always knew that MRC studies were dishonest and too ideological to be taken seriously. This time, its shady methods have been exposed -- it can't praise GOP representatives for refusing to go on CNN and MSNBC, then attack those channels for not having more GOP reps on, and expect anyone to consider such "media research" to be credible.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2019 12:34 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Trump's Pollster Thinks Media Coverage Is Holding Trump's Numbers Down
Topic: Newsmax

John McLaughlin is a pollster for President Trump's re-election campaign. He also has a history of overly optimistic numbers not only for Trump but for other Republican candidates -- to the point that after dismal internal polling leaked in June, the Trump campaign fired most of its pollsters but not McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, along with Jim McLaughlin, also write a column for Newsmax; we last noted them denouncing any criticism of America as anti-American. In their Aug. 13 column, they claim that Trump's poll numbers would be higher than they are if there just wasn't any negative media coverage of him:

It’s a totally amazing political phenomena unique to President Trump. Regardless of what the news or events are, public opinion about the president moves at glacial speeds. If the news is bad and the mainstream media coverage about him is overwhelmingly negative, they can’t reduce his job approval. The president’s base is rock solid and impervious to negative mainstream media coverage. The only one who could reduce the president’s job approval is the president himself. That hasn’t happened, and it’s not likely to happen.

On the other hand, with all the mainstream media’s negative coverage and the unyielding opposition of the Washington political establishment for the past three years, including the phony Russian collusion investigation, they have successfully contained President Trump from breaking above a 50% job approval for any significant sustained period of time. He’s close, but not there yet. And the media and D.C. establishment are going all out to stop him.

Note that the McLaughlins never concede that Trump does anything negative; it's just the media coverage that's negative. Their answer is not telling the truth, but framing things to make Trump look as good as possible -- which they're trying hard to do:

The president is close, but not over the 50% job approval mark yet. So why are his opponents so rabidly negative, throwing slanderous attacks and disrespecting a sitting president as never before — at least not since maybe Abraham Lincoln? They know that they must frame the president’s disruptive personal style as negative, rather than allow him to define himself in a positive light as a successful president based on his record of accomplishment.

In our June 24 national poll one message question that we asked revealed the key to President Trump gaining a 50%+ job approval and winning re-election. This question showed that the president can clearly generate majority approval when his record of accomplishment and unique style are put in proper perspective.

We asked all voters whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:

“Politicians have been talking for years about turning the economy around, limiting illegal immigration, and standing up to unfair foreign trade practices, but it took Donald Trump to make it happen. Sometimes he seems like a bull in a china shop and his manners are jarring. It seems he is always fighting with someone, but a nicer, more polite gentleman couldn’t do all that he has done. The powers in charge don’t change unless a guy like Trump comes along to make them change. Trump is too valuable to lose — there is so much more to be done.”

When framed in this way a solid majority of voters, 52%, agreed with this message and only 40% disagreed. Within that majority some voters had actually switched from being unfavorable to the president to now agreeing with this positive framing of the president’s style and record.

Still, the McLaughlins argue, that pesky media keeps getting in the way, reporting their facts instead of being Trump's propaganda arm: "If the mainstream news media is the source of information about the president without the voters seeing and hearing him directly, whether it’s the State of the Union Speech, the president’s June announcement speech, or the president’s July 4 speech, these voters have a negative opinion of the president. However, if they follow the president directly on social media, or if the voters see and hear the president speak directly, the response is overwhelmingly positive."

And, like a loyal pro-Trump propagandist, they smell conspiracy: "From these results it’s very clear that the mainstream news media’s bias and negative coverage of the president is trying to keep a lid on his job approval and just as he has been able to disrupt Washington to get things done, President Trump will have to disrupt the media further to get his message to the voters. "

The McLaughlins never consider the fact that Trump's poll numbers are low because the media report accurately about him.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:39 PM EDT
MRC Doesn't Want To Talk About Dershowitz's Link to Jeffrey Epstein
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center would rather not acknowledge that alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has a documented connection to President Trump, insisting that Epstein's link to Bill Clinton is mnore important even though Clinton left office nearly two decades ago.

That distraction strategy has continued. An Aug. 12 item by Mark Finkelstein argued that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough has no business criticizing Trump for spreading the conspiracy theory that Epstein was really murdered by the Clintons and not by his own hand because Scarborough suggested that Epstein died a very "Russian" death, which Finkelstein called "bizarre" though he applied no descriptor to Trump's even more bizarre conspiracy theory. Finkelstein paraded his double standard: "Does Scarborough really think he's going to get away with this feeble flimflam of blaming Trump for something he himself engaged in? Not so long as NewsBusters is around!"

The next day, Rich Noyes ranted that network newscasts didn't identify as Democrats two politicians accused by one of Epstein's victims, Virginia Giuffre, of having sex with underage women procured by Epstein. But Noyes is engaging in his own serious omission.

Another powerful man whom Giuffre has accused of having sex with her while underage is Alan Dershowitz (who, like the other men, deny her claims), who served as an attorney for Epstein. The MRC has loved Dershowitz since he became a high-profile supporter of President Trump and conservative-friendly causes. Here are some of the Dersh-loving headlines at the MRC over the past year or so:

But as Dershowitz's link to Epstein became clear, the MRC hasn't wanted to talk about it. Indeed, it's mentioned only twice: a March 7 piece by Ryan Foley giving Ann Coulter space to whine that the Clinton-Epstein was being ignored while "irrelevant prince" Dershowitz was allowed to go on CNN to defend himself; and a July 18 item by Gregory Price that left a reference to Dershowitz buried in a transcript.

That last item, by the way, is the last time Dershowitz has been mentioned by the MRC's main content website, NewsBusters, in any context. Meanwhile, at the MRC's "news" operation, -- which similarly published Dershowitz's pro-Trump defenses, including a desperate and laughable piece on him making the argument that it's no big deal to for Trump to pay hush money to porn stars because it's not a crime -- his last appearance was in a July 24 article by Susan Jones taht touted Dershowitz's attack on Robert Mueller's congressional testimony, asserting Mueller should "shut up" since he didn't indict anyone. Jones followed Dershowitz's "shut up" dictate by refusing to mention his link to Epstein.

It seems the MRC has decided to finally disappear Dershowitz rather than honestly admit that their onetime pro-Trump hero is linked to Epstein.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 5:11 PM EDT
WND Keeps Pushing Conspiracy Theories Over Epstein's Death
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily can't keep away from a good (or bad) conspiracy theory, especially when the hated Clintons can be worked into it. Thus, WND was quick to blame the Clintons for the death of Jeffrey Epstein (even though it can be argued that President Trump, being the president and head of the branch of the government that runs the federal prisons, had much more means and opportunity to pull it off). And it's certainly not going to stop now.

Which brings us to Larry Klayman's Aug. 16 column, in which he unsurprisingly accuses the Clintons of killing Epstein:

The apparent murder of Jeffrey Epstein last weekend – a felon who sexually abused and exploited underage girls – came as no surprise. Likely murdered in a federal prison, when he was supposed to be on "suicide watch," can only be explained by realizing that this was likely a "Mafia hit."

The No. 1 user and abuser of Epstein's evil was of course former President Bill Clinton, who it is known traveled on Epstein's private plane with underage girls at least 23 times.

Clinton is known for his obsessive, unhinged and perverted sexual abuse of women, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal is just one small example.


And, in the course of my hard-hitting cases against the Clintons, when I deposed Linda Tripp, who had worked with Vince Foster in the Clinton White House, and the two whistleblowers who exposed the first Hillary Clinton email scandal – where about a million emails implicating the Clintons in crimes were suppressed from production to me at Judicial Watch, independent counsel Ken Starr and Congress – a list of these 80-plus dead persons were left on the chairs of Ms. Tripp and the whistleblowers, among others.

Thus, even if the Clintons did not indeed have any of these persons and material witnesses murdered, they wanted those who had evidence that would implicate them in even more crimes to know that they were at risk of murder if they talked.

I can go on and on, but I do not need to. We all know just how evil Hillary and Bill Clinton are; worse than even Bonnie and Clyde, who murdered innocent people at will.

That is why I – the only person ever to have a court rule that Bill Clinton committed a crime – must now take the lead and investigate, and then through Freedom Watch's citizens grand juries indict, try and convict the Clintons of murder.

Sure the Clintons did not themselves go into the prison and kill Epstein, a criminal and witness who could have finally put the Clintons away for life. Instead, they likely had a Mafia hit man do it for them, as it is widely known that the Clintons do have ties to the Mafia. Some of their highest confidants and political advisers have known Mafia ties. This is no secret! I deposed some of them during the Clinton years.

Andy Schlafly's Aug. 13 column is less conspiratorial but just as Clinton-obsessed:

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.

This former high school teacher who became the billionaire owner of luxurious properties and even his own island in the Caribbean evidently had much he could have said about Clinton and other favorites of the left. Perhaps Epstein's cohorts think his death should close the case, but instead it should make getting the truth easier without his army of lawyers hiding behind a plea bargain that now can be voided.


Like Epstein, Clinton has been able to get away for decades with conduct that would have landed any Republican in prison long ago. But the Epstein scandal and the clamor by all sides of the political spectrum may finally bring some accountability to Bill Clinton, after all these years.

After an autopsy finding that Epstein committed suicide was released, an Aug. 16 WND article repeated the claims of an 88-year-old "prominent forensic pathologist" claiming on Fox News he doubted the finding.

That was followed by an Aug. 20 article by Bob Unruh that gave space to WND's favorite dubious doc, Jane Orient. While she didn't go full Clinton, Orient did declare that we can't trust the results of  because "there is a motive for a lot of people to really want him dead ... with probably enough money to contrive to bring that about."

Gotta keep those conspiracy theories alive, after all.

UPDATE: An Aug. 23 WND column by James Zumwalt served up his own conspiracy theory, albeit a Clinton-free one, arguing that Epstein's death was an "inside job," because "the perpetrator would have known certain cameras monitoring Epstein were malfunctioning and, thus, was unworried his actions would be monitored." Then Zumwalt lectured about proliferating conspiracy theories: "Conspiracy theories will continue running rampant about Epstein’s death simply because so many contributing factors fell into place for it to happen: no suicide watch, a cellmate’s removal hours prior, two guards falling asleep on duty, a critical camera malfunctioning. A perfect storm of coincidences make Epstein’s death a conspiracy theorist’s gift that will keep on giving. As more evidence comes to light, his death will take on a high-level, public profile completely contrary to the low-level private profile friends preferred be given a lifestyle they shared with him."

Clearly, Zumwalt is not so above conspiracy theories that he refused to advance one of his own.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 5:01 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
CNS Shills For Border Patrol, ICE

As Border Patrol and immigration officials have come under increased scrutiny over the Trump administration's crackdown on refugees and other undocumented immigrants and how they are treated in custody, as well as tweets from President Trump widely viewed as anti-immigrant, -- already a loyal Trump stenographer -- increased the sycophancy over the past couple months by with a notable uptick in articles defending ICE and CBP and atacking their critics, usually in the form of favorable testimony by administration officials or Republican congressmen:

Meanwhile, CNS also made time to make political attacks over immigration, such as an article by Melanie Arter complaining that "House Democrats refuse to pass legislation that might slow the overwhelming tide of illegal immigration at the nation's Southwest border, but today they will find time to vote on a resolution formally condemning President Donald Trump for his 'xenophobic tweets.'"

Just a reminder of what CNS' priorities are ... and they aren't news.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- MRC on Massacres, Part 1: Defense and Distraction
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center knew what it had to do following the El Paso and Dayton massacres: Defend Trump, play up one shooter's left wing views while distracting from another's anti-immigrant sentiments, and attack anyone critical of guns. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EDT
Monday, August 26, 2019
AIM Feels Some Clinton Derangement Over Epstein's Death
Topic: Accuracy in Media

WorldNetDaily and the Media Research Center are among the ConWebWatch outlets expressing outrage that coverage of Jeffrey Epstein's sex-trafficking charges and subsequent apparently suicide in jail emphasized his ties to the current president over someone who hasn't been president for nearly two decades. Add Accuracy in Media to that list. Marissa Martinez complains in an Aug. 12 item:

CNBC, the Washington Examiner, and many other news outlets have been reporting that then-private citizen, Donald Trump flew on Epstein’s private plane in January of 1997, from Florida to New Jersey. 

Not only do reports show the real estate mogul and now current president on Epstein’s plane one time, but the mainstream media continues to cover Donald Trump’s involvement with Jeffrey Epstein rather than highlighting former President Bill Clinton’s as well.

However, the only outlet found reporting President Bill Clinton being seen on Epstein’s private jet and helicopter is the Washington Examiner. The original report by the Examiner read, “Former President Bill Clinton’s Press Secretary, Angel Urena, claimed that ‘in 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: One to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa.”

Martinez didn't mention that the Washington Examiner, like AIM, has a conservative bias and would obviously be obsessed with Clinton-Epstein links.

Martinez also complained that not enough media attention was paid to a claim by one of Epstein's trafficking victims, Virginia Giuffre, that her accusations of powerful men she was allegedly forced to have sex with included two Democratic politicians, George Mitchell and Bill Richardson. But Martinez omitted -- even though it was in the CNN article she cites for the other claims -- that Giuffre's list of alleged abusers also includes Alan Dershowitz, who was not only an attorney for Epstein but has also been a prominent defender of President Trump. (Dershowitz has denied any contact with Giuffre.)

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on People Who Later Do Bad Things
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh writes in an Aug. 9 post:

Earlier this year, CNN irresponsibly gave positive coverage to an illegal immigrant hiding from ICE in a liberal sanctuary church in Colorado. One week ago, that same immigrant killed a father of five in a car accident, while driving recklessly without a license. As usual when these things happen, the only thing you hear from the media is crickets.

It's not like the MRC would dare to anything similarly irresponsible, right? Oh, wait, it has.

In 2013, the MRC gave positive coverage to Cody Wilson, a man who uploaded to the internet plans for a plastic pistol largely undetectible by security systems and can be made using a 3D printer. Kyle Drennen mocked TV panelists for "hand-wringing" over the development by "the usual group of liberal pundits," and Matthew Balan huffed that a CBS segment on the gun blueprints featured "Democratic supporters of the proposal, and ... failed to include any soundbites from gun rights supporters."

Last year, Wilson's name came up again when 3D-printed gun blueprints again became available. Ashley Rae Goldenberg complained that a pro-gun regulation group called Wilson a "self-proclaimed anarchist" and noted that "The U.S. Department of State reached a settlement with Defense Distributed, whose founder, Cody Wilson, was accused of violating the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) because, by nature of being online, the files to construct a gun could be downloaded anywhere. Nicholas Fondacaro, meanwhile, wenty into full-on sneer mode to defend Wilson:

For days, the liberal media have been experiencing a Chernobyl-level meltdown about a Texas company releasing online instructions for 3D printing plastic weapons that actually fire real bullets. Of course, none of them did their homework and spewed inaccurate nonsense in an effort to stoke public fear of guns. After a liberal judge in Seattle blocked the release on Tuesday, the broadcast networks sang their praises with one network touting Democrats who said President Trump had blood on his hands.


Meanwhile, on the CBS Evening News, reporter Tony Dokoupil sat down with Wilson and assailed him with a question about how “when somebody downloads a gun from your website with your blueprints and kills somebody with it, how are you going to feel personally?” “If I allow you to download an AR-15, the full plans on the AR-15, I don't believe that I provide you anything other than the general knowledge of what an AR-15 is. I am no different from a publisher of information,” Wilson shot back.

Dokoupil was so ignorant about how easy and legal it was American citizens to make their own firearms, that he seemed aghast that Wilson had“personally moved beyond plastic to machine-grade metal, funding his legal fight by selling thousands of these-- a milling machine capable of making unmarked metal AR-15s and handguns-- A.K.A., ghost guns.”

Meanwhile, over at MRCTV, Caleb Tolin touted last year's federal settlement that allowed Wilson to again post his gun designs, and Brittany Hughes gushed that Wilson would be selling his 3D-printed gun designs online "in defiance of a court order," claimin that the deabte over 3D guns that Wilson is at the center of has been "largely misconstrued."

But what you won't read on any MRC website: Wilson's brush with the law ... of the underage sex kind.

Earlier this month, the 31-year-old Wilson pleaded guilty in a case in which he weas accused of paying to have sex with an underage girl, whom he found on a website called SugarDaddyMeet. He was arrested in Taiwan after allegedly fleeing the country to avoid prosecution. Wilson ultimately pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of injury to a child; he will avoid prison time, but he must register as a sex offender and, ironically, cannot own a firearm during the seven years of his probation.

Don't expect the MRC to hold itself to the standards it demands others follow -- it never has before.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Blame Mass Shootings on Abortion
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As with its "news" coverage, WorldNetDaily's opinion columnists went the whataboutism-and-distraction route after the El Paso and Dayton massacres.

Insisting the El Paso shooter's racism isn't a right-wing value because "American conservatism believes in rugged individualism, in the unique worth of each person, regardless of race or other characteristics" (Lowell Ponte)? Check. Insisting that government can't stop mass shootings because the real issue is "the breakdown of the family" (Jesse Lee Peterson)? Check.

And it wouldn't be WND without one of its columnists going off the deep end. Larry Nevenhoven fills this role by blaming mass shootings on ... abortion:

If you have any doubt that God judges nations for their collective sin, check out Matthew 25:31-46 where the Lord judges between sheep nations and goat nations. Sheep nations are accepted by Him, but goat nations are sent to an eternal punishment.

My guess is that murdering 60 million innocent babies created in the image of God certainly places America near the top of the goat nations list. So much for our nation being a shining city upon a hill!

OK, what does this have to do with mass shootings?

The Lord said to Cain, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's [innocent] blood is crying out to Me from the ground [for justice]. And now you are cursed...." (Genesis 4:10-11 AMP, emphasis added)

Biblical curses are not trivial putdowns, but are consequences for nations that rebel against God and His ways, as shown in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.


Can we expect the mass shootings to lessen in the future?

Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, we can expect the mass shootings to increase even more in the future. You see, the consequences for rebelling against God's ways escalate over time when a nation refuses to repent. But not only will the mass shootings increase, we can also expect an even larger assortment of calamities to hit America.

What can we do?

"Even now, declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." (Joel 2:12)

Weird that God apparently uses the mass deaths of human beings to protest abortion, which to conservatives is already the taking of a life.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EDT
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Working The Refs: MRC Targets CNN Debate Questioner
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center set the narrative with the first Democratic presidential debate: Do a pre-attack of the media folks who will ask the questions, then attack the questions after the debate as brimming with "liberal bias" even though it can't be bothered to identify exactly how it came to that conclusion.

For the last Democratic presidential debate on CNN, the MRC's target was moderator Don Lemon. In a July 30 post, Geoffrey Dickens dismissed Lemon as a "Democrat-adoring, Trump-despising, black hole conspiracy theorist" whopurportedly "hates rank-and-file Trump supporters" and is prone to "incendiary and obnoxious outbursts."

After the debate, Dickens declared that he "called it" and insisted that Lemon used the debate "to relentlessly promote lefty policies and politicians, and launch invectives against Donald Trump and his supporters," gloating that "The bias was so bad from Lemon last night, even President Trump noticed, slamming the CNN Tonight host." Dickens claimed that a Lemon question noting that "President Trump is pursuing a reelection strategy based in part, on racial division" was based in "rage against Trump" -- but he didn't dispute the accuracy of the statement. Dickens also included a list of "Lemon’s most obnoxious questions from the left," but he provided no methodology as to how he reached that conclusion.

After the debate's second night, Dickens struck again, complaining that Lemon "used his questions to pontificate on Trump’s 'racism' – as if the Democratic candidates wouldn’t have done that anyway." Again, Dickens added a Lemon-bashing Trump tweet to round things out. And, again, Dickens declined to offer evidence that Lemon was wrong about Trump's racism.

At least this time we were spared a "study" devoid of methodology and raw data purporting to designate how many debate questions were "liberal."

Meanwhile, at the MRC's "news" division, the attacks on Lemon continued with an article by Melanie Arter touting a Trump tweet calling Lemon "the dumbest man in television."

"Media research," folks!

Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
CNS Echoes WND's Obsession With Flies Landing on Democratic Politicians

In 2013, WorldNetDaily was briefly obsessed with a minor incident in which President Obama dealt with a fly during an interview. An article by Aaron Klein claimed that "religious and other websites are using the headlines to point out that a biblical reference for Satan, the Semitic deity Beelzebub, literally translates from Hebrew into “Lord of the Flies," adding how one blogger assered that "I feel like I am watching a horror movie and the secret evil character is revealed by the evil signs around him." (This is on-brand for WND, which regularly likened Obama to the Antichrist.) A 2015 article featured another fly incident, making sure to add that Obama "has had flies land on his face numerous times" and rehasing the Beelzebub stuff.

Craig Bannister seemed to have this in mind when he wrote an Aug. 8 article about another Democratic politician:

A fly apppeared to land on the face of former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday--as he accused President Donald Trump of “immorality” and “carnage,” according to video of the speech posted online by multiple news agencies.

First, the fly landed on Biden’s cheek, then it moved to his nose, as Biden said:

“Limited to four years, I believe – I really do believe – history will look back at this president as an aberrant moment in American history.”

Videos of the speech posted by MSNBC, CNN, NBC, C-SPAN, all show the fly engaging Biden’s face.

Just think of this article as another step in the creeping WND-ization of CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2019 11:40 AM EDT
Saturday, August 24, 2019
MRC Touted Gushy Review Of Bozell/Graham Anti-Media Book (Originating From The Book's Publisher)
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, as part of the promotion for Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's new anti-media book "Unmasked," Media Research Center divisions NewsBusters and both published an overly fawning review of the book by conservative activist Craig Shirley. He proclaimed that the book exposed "the rampant and corrupt media bias against the 45th president of the United States," and he gushed over Bozell as supposedly having "appropriated the power of the Fifth Column inside the Fourth Estate," further slobbering: "Bozell’s MRC has been making the effective fight now for over 30 years. Bit by bit, brick by brick, page by page, exposing lie by lie, he has torn down the walls of the Media State. Big Media is no longer BIG MEDIA."

Both versions noted that Shirley's review was first posted at Newsmax. But the disclosures stop there when they should have continued if Graham and Bozell were to follow the same journalistic standards they demand from other members fo the media.

First, as we've noted, Newsmax published "Unmasked" under its Humanix Books banner. So one could plausibly argue that the review was part of Newsmax's promotion for the book. Newsmax is running its usual loss-leader deal by giving away the book by throwing in free introductory subscriptions to things like Newsmax magazine and the Newsmax Platinum paywall that one must unsubscribe to before the trial period ends in order to avoid being automatically charged for a full subscription.

Also, Shirley contributed a blurb to the dust cover of the book, declaring it to be "a much needed tonic of truth and facts the left so fears in Brent Bozell and his years of exposing the lies of the liberal media."

In other words: The review is totally an inside job, a fit of PR and not journalism.

Meanwhile, Newsmax's John Gizzi wrote about a July reception for Bozell and Graham's book: "What could easily be dubbed as a 'Who’s Who' of conservative leaders in Washington, D.C. turned out last week to hail an exciting new book on President Donald Trump and the liberal media." Among that "who's who" was, yes, Craig Shirley. Weirdly, Gizzi suggests that Trump bought the loyalty of Bozell, whose MRC was a critic of Trump before abruptly flipping:

“Unmasked” has particular meaning, since Bozell freely admits he was not a Trumpian at the beginning [he backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016] and he even told Trump that he could not be nominated.

Trump, who hosted Bozell in the Trump Tower’s cafeteria, respectfully disagreed, listened carefully, and held no animosity to his guest. A few weeks later, he sent his first contribution ($5000) to Bozell’s Media Research Center.

Bozell does admit this in the preface of his book. Is that the impression Bozell really wants to leave?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
WND's Fake Business News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written July 31 WorldNetDaily article declared:

Gillette ran an infamous "toxic" masculinity ad during the Super Bowl casting men as sexist bullies, followed by one in which a father teaches a daughter who is "transitioning to be a man" to shave.

The February ad prompted an immediate backlash, with many men vowing to stop using Gillette products, charging the ad assumes most men are misogynistic.

Now, P&G is reporting a net loss of about $5.24 billion for the second quarter due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette, according to Reuters.

For the same period last year, Reuters noted, P&G's net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.

Just one problem: WND is falsely portraying those two events as related. They are not.

The Reuters article to which WND linked  doesn't mention the ads at all. Instead, it reports the financial issues are longstanding and did not start after the ads ran:

Cincinnati-based P&G, which operates in 80 countries, sells Gillette razors, gels and foams worldwide and said the writedown was due primarily to currency fluctuations - enduring strength in the U.S. economy in recent years has strengthened the dollar. The charge was also driven by more competition over the past three years and a shrinking market for blades and razors as consumers in developed markets shave less frequently. Net sales in the grooming business, which includes Gillette, have declined in 11 out of the last 12 quarters.

“Initial carrying values for Gillette were established nearly 14 years ago in 2005. ... New competitors have entered at prices below the category average,” Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on a call.

We've reported on how WND writers were severely triggered by the Gillette ad. We've also documented how WND's lack of understanding about economics and business and its insistence on forcing such stories into its narrow right-wing agenda. The fact that it's still doing so seems to be more evidence that perhaps WND doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT

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