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Monday, September 2, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Likens Democrats to Nazis, Stalin
Topic: Newsmax

Conservatives love to complain that some people liken President Trump to a Nazi -- and they conveniently forget how many of their ilk did the exact same thing to President Obama. And they're doing the same thing to Democrats now.

Case in point: Wayne Allyn Root wrote in his Aug 15 Newsmax column:

I’ve pieced together the game plan of the Democrat [sic] Party. It’s evil. It's Stalin-esque. It’s about fear, intimidation, bullying, and persecution.

Let’s go back to 2012, with Mitt Romney running for president. Because I had been Obama’s biggest critic on Fox News, I had attracted Obama’s attention. Obama’s IRS attacked me in a way you only expected in a Nazi or Soviet communist police state. They tried to destroy and silence me.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. I went on national TV and radio, day and night, to report Obama’s IRS crimes of targeting, intimidation and persecution. I reminded Americans that the Nixon Articles of Impeachment included the exact same crimes.

Suddenly, I started to get a blizzard of emails from strangers across America. They all had the same story. They’d never been audited by the IRS. But once they made a large donation to the GOP or Mitt Romney, within weeks they received an IRS audit notice. This was clearly a conspiracy to freeze donations and eliminate free speech.

Not that at no point does Root offer any substantive evidence that any of this happened. Then again,Root has had a years-long case of Obama Derangement Syndrome; while not an official birther, he praised Donald Trump for having "brilliantly brought up" birtherism, and he pushed the bogus conspiracy theory that Obama likely didn't attend Columbia University because nobody remembers seeing him there at the time. He has also likened Obama to Hannibal Lecter.

And here comes the Nazi part (again):

Saul Alinsky said “Look in the mirror. Whatever you see, blame the other guy.” The left screams “Nazi” because they see Nazis in the mirror. They want to instill fear into the American people. They want to intimidate potential GOP donors. They want to make it dangerous and frightening to write a check to President Trump. They want to ban, bully, censor, and silence conservatives.

Same game, just different tactics. To win elections by cheating, bullying, intimidating. By making it dangerous to publicly support President Trump or the GOP.

Democrats are taking a page from the Stalin playbook.

If Root didn't have a history of dishonesty and derangement against Obama, he might have a point.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
MRC Writer Atacks Antifa, Censors Violent Nature Of 'Right-Wing' Protesters
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro is an obsessive Antifa-hater, repeatedly screaming that they're all "domestic terrorists" and giving a pass to the people they protest. He does that again in an Aug. 18 post, ranting:

The domestic terrorist organization known as Antifa carried out attacks at a “right-wing” rally in Portland, Oregon on Saturday by targeting peaceful rally goers, police, and members of the press. As the liberal media have done in the past, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Sunday Today, carried water for the extreme left-wing terrorists by downplaying their actions and by suggesting they’re simply “counter-protesters”.

At no point in his piece does Fondacaro prove that all, or even any, of the counter-protester violence was caused by members of Antifa (which isn't even an organized group anyway). Meanwhile, by his own definition, Fondacaro is carrying water for the violent far-right extremists Antifa was protesting.

Fondacaro repeatedly puts "right-wing" in scare quotes and never describes them any further, and he certainly never admits they're "extremists" on a par with what he calls Antifa. In fact, those "right-wing" protesters who organized the protest in the first place are members of the Proud Boys, a far-right, white nationalist (skewing neo-Nazi), Islamophobic and misogynistic group that's prone to violence. It was founded by Gavin McInnes, whom the MRC has refused to criticize because he used to work for longtime MRC friend Mark Levin at his CRTV.

Perhaps Fondacaro didn't say a word about the Proud Boys because he shares at least one of their goals: to get Antifa labeled as domestic terrorists. That was the Proud Boys' expressed goal for the Portland protest: to draw out Antifa and hope some counter-protesters engage in violence. But the Proud Boys are no different; as one writer put it, "The Proud Boys are threatening violence to achieve political change. That is the textbook definition of terrorism."

We've already caught Fondacaro lying by commission. This time, he's lying by omission.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:00 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2019 4:02 PM EDT
WND's Gets Story Wrong On Drag Queen Story Hour Arrest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily once again displays its anti-LGBT bias with misreporting about an arrest of a pastor outside a library's "Drag Queen Story Hour" event.

In an anonymously written June 29 article, WND claimed that "A pastor in Washington state who wanted to observe a "drag queen" stunt being staged by his local public library was arrested, thrown in the back of a police van and held there for hours." It uncritically repeated a claim by the right-wing Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing the pastor, Afshin Yaghtin, that he "carried no signs, didn't preach and didn't even consider himself a protester, but officers ordered him off the public property," and that when Yaghtin "asserted his First Amendment rights," police arrested him.

That's simply a lie. An article from an actual news organization about the arrest reports that Yaghtin is "known for preaching that homosexuality is a choice and drag is a perversion" and tells what PJI and WND are hiding:

A pair of videos show Yaghtin antagonizing police before he was taken away in handcuffs. One video, which was taken by Yaghtin and uploaded to a YouTube account run by Christian News Network, shows him crossing the protest line hours before the event began and asking officers why they weren’t arresting “a grown man, dressed up as a woman, reading sex stories to children.”

“In my day, when I was a child growing up in the U.S.A … do you know what the police would be doing?” he says to Officer Ben Maplethorpe. “The police here would not be stopping me. They would be arresting them. They would be arresting perverts dressed up as women.”

The WND article also reported PJI's complaint that "the police presence was significant, with snipers even staged at strategic points." But as the non-stenographical news article reported, that was because police cited reports of "several members on both sides indicating they planned to bring guns to the event."

The news organization further reported on Yaghtin's vicious hatred of drag queens:

One of Yaghtin’s recent hourlong videos uploaded June 10 and titled “ ‘Drag Queen’ Perversion Hour” opens with a line from Deuteronomy 22:5 – the only verse in the Bible that explicitly mentions men wearing women’s clothing.

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment,” Yaghtin says. “For all that do so are abomination unto the Lord, thy God.”

“There’s no discussion to be had,” he continues. “We don’t care if it’s art or whatever expression.”

None of that is mentioned in the WND article -- presumably because PJI didn't want it reported. Indeed, WND quoted only PJI for details on the incident.

That bias and lazy stenography continued in an Aug. 18 WND article called the reading a "mind-boggling, perverse event." WND again uncritically repeated PJI's false claim that Yaghtin did nothing provocative: ""Yaghtin did not physically interfere with or touch police, nor did he make threatening movements toward the police or use threatening words at any time. ... He was arrested for questioning the police’s favorable treatment of supporters and unfavorable treatment of anyone they perceived to be non-supportive."

WND also quoted PJI claiming that "Some of the event supporters carried provocative signs depicting Jesus in a dress reading to children. Other supporters dressed like angels with oversized wings." But as the newspaper reported, the protesters on Yaghtin's side were yelling slurs in the presence of children, quoting the organizer of the event and the drag queen who read to children as saying, "I’m sure a lot of children are going home and asking what a sodomite is. ... That’s not common language for a 4- or 5-year-old."

Putting a right-wing legal group's biased, less-than-factual spin before the truth tells us that WND still hasn't shown that it deserves to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
Sunday, September 1, 2019
MRC Denies Right-Wing Think Tank (Which Shares A Board Member With The MRC) Is Islamophobic
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Aug. 11 NewsBusters post, designated New York Times-basher Clay Waters complained about a Times story about the rise in nationalism being driven by right-wing anti-Muslim group. He referenced a 2017 statement by President Trump citing an alleged attack caused by refugees in a Swedish town -- false because there was no such attack -- then claimed "reality showed Trump had a point" because "masked men" led an attack in that town two days after Trump's false statement.

Never underestimate the extent to which the Media Research Center will defend President Trump's record of false and misleading statements. 

Waters was even more put out by a description of the right-wing Gatestone Institute as an "Islamophobic think tank" that pushes "disinformation." He huffed in response: "Judge their “Islamophobia” (a word the paper irresponsibly tosses around to rope in its political enemies) for yourselves if the stories are hateful and misleading or not."

Other people have read the Gatestone Institute's website and found that it does, in fact, peddle anti-Muslim misinformation -- us, for one. We've caught WorldNetDaily repeating a bogus Gatestone story claiming the number of new mosques in France outnumbering the number of new churches.

We're not the only ones. NBC News reported that Gatestone "has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, some of which was amplified by a Russian troll factory." The Intercept added:

The fact-checking website Snopes has found multiple false viral stories originating with Gatestone. For instance, the site claimed falsely that in London — called “Londonistan” in the piece — 423 mosques were built “on the sad ruins of English Christianity,” as 500 churches closed. But the story cherry-picked the data to ignore hundreds of newly opened churches.

Many of the fake stories have percolated into mainstream U.S. politics. Gatestone was largely responsible that there are “no-go zones” through Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, and other European states where Muslim immigrants have set up a parallel society in which local police no longer enforce the law.

The Intercept reported one other interesting tidbit: Right-wing donor Rebekah Mercer, was reportedly a Gatestone board member in 2017, when her name was scrubbed from the website after her presence was reported, and her family foundation has donated at least $150,000 to Gatestone.

You know what other right-wing organization's board Mercer sits on? The Media Research Center. What a coincidence. Needless to say, Waters did not disclose this connection to its readers.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 PM EDT
CNS Touts Poll Showing Trump More Admired Than Pope (But Less Than 13 Other People)

How much of a Trump sycophant is Check out this anonymously written Aug. 6 blog post with the gushy headline "Global Survey: Donald Trump More Admired Than Pope Francis."

That point is rehashed in the lead paragraph: "A survey of more than 42,000 people in 41 different countries conducted by revealed that President Donald Trump is more admired than Pope Francis." That emphasis would seem to be a subtle dig at the pope, whom the right-wing Catholic CNS editors think they can lecture to about Catholicism.

From the way the headline and first paragraph are written, you would think that Trump and the pope were the top two vote-getters in the poll. As the article eventually admits, neither of them were even in the top 10:

However, Trump is not as admired as Bill Gates—who proved to be the most admired man in the world—or former President Barack Obama who was the second most admired man in the world.

In fact, Trump ranked fourteenth and Pope Francis ranked fifteenth.

According to the survey, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who ranked fourth, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who ranked tenth, were also more admired than Trump and Pope Francis.

That's right -- CNS thought the 14th most-admired man was more worthy of an article than the other 13.

That's Trump sycophancy, folks.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT
Saturday, August 31, 2019
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Jorge Plaza complained that the director of the "Twilight" films "has signed on to a lesbian Viking film called Heathen -- an adaptation of a Vault Comics series of the same name. The story is a radical twist on Marvel’s Thor, rivaling Disney's upcoming female Thor film." Plaza made sure to include the requisite right-wing trigger words as well, including "woke," "intersectionality" and "social justice."

Annie Piper sneered in a post attacking a TV show that touched on LGBT issues:

It seemed as if our culture couldn’t have gotten more confused about sexuality before LGBT became LGBTQIA+, but that notion has been proven wrong with one outrageous equality push after another. Fortunately, ABC’s summer drama, Grand Hotel, tries to clear that all up for us in their latest episode.


Between the increasing standards of acceptance demanded by the LGBTQ community and the ever growing terminology that seems to just be several synonyms, I might just start needing to carry around a notebook for all of my potential interactions with liberals. We’ll call it "A Guide to Political Correctness--2019 Edition." It’ll probably be out of date tomorrow.

Alexa Moutevalis Coombs rejoiced over the cacnellation of gay-themed TV show "Will & Grace," disdaining its alleged "self-indulgent liberal lectures" and wasoffended that the show "seemed to love to make jokes about Christians and Republicans being gay."

Jorge Plaza conflated cross-dressing and transgenderism in yet another MRC rant about cartoons depicting characters that aren't heterosexual:

Cross-dressing has been a running gag in cartoons since phenakistoscopes. But in 2019, it’s a super serious form of expression to promote “diversity and inclusion” in children’s TV shows.

Netflix’s Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling -- a revival of a 1990s Nickelodeon hit -- will feature a story arc with a transgender character named Rachel Bighead, according to an exclusive Entertainment Weekly report. Rachel dons a pearl necklace, a colorful dress, makeup, and long hair held together by a blue headband. The character also has a comically deep voice.

Plaza huffed that while an earlier episode of the show was an coming-out allegory where "animators’ politics had to be hidden in metaphors to avoid explicitly indoctrinating children," the new story "blatantly bashes kids over the head with gender ideology."

Gabriel Hays ranted that "Hollywood movie database has become the latest casualty in the trans war on reality, having been bullied by the LGBTQ community into refraining from posting trans people’s birth names on their site without 'consent.' Apparently publishing trans movie industry workers’ original names is just another arrow in the quiver of patriarchal oppression." Hays went on to call transgender folks "make-believe people" and blamed the "gay police" for all this hullabaloo.

Hays followed that with a meltdown over stories about same-sex penguins raising hatchlings, mocking "woke zookeepers" and asserting, "Score one for the queer flightless aquatic bird community, and for the gang at The New York Times!"

Indeed, Hays was having anti-gay meltdowns all over the place. Another post mocked "non-binary, LGBTQ fashion" -- "It’s all the rage with the kids and you 'finger wagging, clueless' parents best get used to it" -- insisting this focus was simply to "stick it in more traditional readers’ eyes" and that "tacky trends that have usually characterized weird subcultures have been anointed with a progressive purpose."

Sure, Gabe. This is all about you, who hate-reads stuff like this solely for the clicks you can generate from similarly anti-gay right-wingers.

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell had a "Gender Unicorn" freakout, whining about a handout in a single school that address issues that didn't involve heterosexuality. The two warned: "This will not stop until the nuclear family is destroyed. Or until parents stand up as one and declare a commitment to destroy this movement."

Hays returned to defend Dave Chapelle's transphobic jokes as him merely deciding to "refuse to kiss the ring of every insane progressive cause on the market," declaring that "It’s more that the left has a 'basic misunderstanding' of humor, or in other words, liberals can’t take a freaking joke." (The MRC has previously defended Chappelle's unfunny trans-bashing humor.)

Hays seems to have forgotten that he and his employer are regularly unable to take a freaking joke when those jokes target President Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2019 10:48 AM EDT
WND Finally Admits That Alyssa Farah Is Joe's Daughter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We were among the first to report that Alyssa Farah, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary since September 2017, is the daughter of WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah. Strangely, that connection went unreported at WND -- even by Joseph Farah himself -- for the past two years, perhaps in a bid to keep the Trump administration from looking too beholden to the far right. Now, it appears that WND is finally ready to admit it.

In an anonymously written Aug. 14 WND article on Alyssa Farah's new job as press secretary in the Department of Defense, it's admitted -- as far as we know for the first time at WND -- that she is the "daughter of WND founder Joseph Farah."

It's unclear what caused the change of heart. Joseph Farah remains sidelined from day-to-day operations at WND while recovering from a stroke, so presumably his wife, Elizabeth -- who along with David Kupelian are running things at WND these days -- had to sign off on it. Or perhaps it was decided that admitting her family connection to a conspiracy theory-filled "news" operation is no longer the liability it could have possibly been at the start of Trump's presidency. Or it could be a grab for credibility to pull WND from financial ruin.

Whatever the reason, it's good to see WND finally confirming what we first reported nearly two years ago. 


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 31, 2019 12:39 AM EDT
Friday, August 30, 2019
NewsBusters Blogger Laments Sidelined CNN Conservatives, Buries The Reasons Why
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Aug. 17 NewsBusters post, P.J. Gladnick lamented that "Two more conservative commentators at CNN appear to have joined the growing club of suppressed conservative pundits," asserting that "the reason for the sidelining appears to have been due to pressure from the left."

But when it came to the actual reported resons for these two conservatives -- Ben Ferguson and Steve Cortes -- to be sideline, Gladnick a lot less forthcoming. He let pass without comment excerpts he inserted from The Hollywood Reporter that explained things way down in his post. In the 16th paragraph, he repeated a Reporter statement that "Ferguson's absence seems to have followed a March 6 story by the progressive media watchdog organization Media Matters for America called 'CNN commentator Ben Ferguson’s Facebook page is a cesspool of bigotry, false info and fabricated quotes.'" 

Media Matters pointed out that Ferguson "regularly uses his Facebook page to post memes with false information and fabricated quotes" and engages in anti-black bigotry. He had even used his Facebook page to promote "vitriolic and conspiratorial attacks" against CNN, the network that employed him. Does Gladnick think this sort of thing is perffectly fine coming from a conservative commentary.

Gladnick's cut-and-paste of the Reporter's statement on Cortes appeared slightly earlier -- in the 10th paragraph -- but went similarly unremarked upon. The Reporter stated that Cortes' benching appeared around the time he appeared in a PragerU video insisting that media claims that President Trump praised white supremacists as "very fine people" were false. Except, well, it wasn't.

But who needs facts when there's a narrative to reinforce? Gladnick does his duty here, huffing that "Apparently that commitment to 'ideological diversity' by [CNN chief Jeff] Zucker at CNN is true but only if it runs from far left to merely very liberal" and that "Liberals can't stand a serious opposing view. They can only stomach never-Trump Republicans that sound like Democrats, like Max Boot."

That's the point of Gladnick's post. The facts are purely incidental.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
WND's Rush Prefers Civil War Over A Democratic President
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apart from acknowledging that the Democratic Party was indeed the party of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow, whatever the party once was, it is clear that the party now represents America's garbage. I will qualify these as the maladjusted, indolent, emotionally stultified, covetous misfits who believe that others owe them an existence, immigrants who come here not to assimilate and contribute, but to drain our resources and contribute to crime, civil unrest and social decline, and deviants who wish to subvert our moral fabric to accommodate their proclivities.

The power brokers on the left already know that their divisive rhetoric has the potential to set Americans at each others' throats; this is why they are dispensing it so freely and why they have mobilized the above fringe groups like never before.

These facts, along with the incomprehensibly destructive, hard-line socialist policies being touted by the 2020 Democratic presidential field, the left's "ends justifies the means" deportment and the history of socialist regimes from the early 20th century on clearly illustrate the imperative for utterly neutralizing the political left in this country, and at this point I would say by any means necessary. A protracted civil war would be a superior outcome to this cabal gaining political preeminence, and as dangerous as the left claims Donald Trump is, the next Democratic president – whoever that is and whenever he or she comes to the office – will represent a level of danger to this nation exponentially greater than even Barack Obama represented in 2008.

-- Erik Rush, Aug. 14 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
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

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