MRC's Hypocritical Attacks On Bloomberg News Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is needlessly inserting itself into the Democratic presidential campaign in a way that seems to push against its nonprofit tax designation that prohibits most partisan political activity.
The MRC has been incensed by Bloomberg News' decision not to investigate Michael Bloomberg, its owner and newly minted Democratic presidential candidate, or other Democratic candidates in order ot avoid a conflict of interest -- but will continue to report critically on President Trump. Jjoseph Vazquez complained that this comes "at the expense of the credibility" of Bloomberg News -- as if he or anyone else at the MRC cares about the outlet's credibility.
Nicholas Fondacaro declared that "Some might argue it was the weaponization of a media outlet for personal gain,"huffing: "For all the liberal smears against Fox News claiming they’re 'state-run media,' it has become clear that's exactly what Bloomberg News would become if former Mayor Michael Bloomberg wins in 2020."
Tim Graham and Brent Bozell predictably whined in their Nov. 27 column:
In reality, Bloomberg's journalists have been compromised ever since Bloomberg first ran for mayor of New York City in 2001. After 12 years as mayor, Bloomberg became a big-time sugar daddy to liberal activists pushing government crackdowns on fossil fuel production and gun ownership. How "objective" reporters could ethically navigate all of their owner's political activism seems impossible.
But let's face it: Back then, the rest of the "news" media never found this objectionable. Bloomberg News was branded in a business-news niche and, in that sphere, looked like a progressive influence, so they didn't care.
Journalists who perpetually lament Trump's destruction of "democratic norms" now face a candidate who's obliterating all the journalistic norms. This is an ethical test. Let's see how many will try to skip the class and hope it goes away.
The funny part here is that Bozell runs a "news" operation, CNSNews.com, that is not allowed to report critically on him or its parent organization. For instance, when Bozell was exposed in 2014 as simply slapping his name on columns that Graham ghost-wrote for years -- thus shaming him into adding Graham as a credited co-author -- CNS not only reported nothing about the controversy, it froze comments on a Bozell column after too many commenters pointed out the deception. Indeed, it seems one of CNS' main function is to repeat right-wing talking points generated by the MRC, seemingly demonstrating that it has no editorial independence at all. Which makes Bozell's concern about Bloomberg "obliterating ... journalistic norms" more than a little hypocritical.
Meanwhile, the MRC continued to exploit the story:
Jeffrey Lord ranted that "What Americans are witnessing at Bloomberg is up-front corruption. ... Bloomberg News will now be an in-kind campaign contribution — and not only to owner Michael Bloomberg but to every other candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination."
Fondacaro touted how the move "was almost universally panned, with the media beat Sunday shows on both CNN and Fox News criticizing the Bloomberg News.
Curtis Houck cheered how "the Trump campaign announced in a statement they would not be credentialing anyone from “Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events” due to the news outlet’s policy of banning their journalists from investigating founder Michael Bloomberg and his 2020 Democratic opponents but insisting they continue digging into President Donald Trump."
Graham complained that TV networks have not reported on "Bloomberg’s destruction of journalistic norms."
Houck served up a similar "the media isn't covering a story that advances the MRC's agenda" piece, grousing that "CBS News has refused to show on its morning or evening newscast 2020 Democratic Michael Bloomberg telling CBS This Morning co-host and Democratic friend Gayle King that Bloomberg News journalists need “to live with” the company policy that Bloomberg and primary opponents can’t be investigated but President Trump can."
None of ehse writers disclosed that the MRC does not allow its "news" division the same freedom it's demanding from Bloomberg.
On Monday, The Media Research Center (MRC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg News, Michael Bloomberg and Mike Bloomberg 2020, Inc.
The complaint maintains that the policy adopted by Bloomberg News to omit investigating Mike Bloomberg and the other Democratic presidential candidates while continuing to investigate Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump potentially is an improper contribution to Bloomberg’s campaign under FEC regulations.
“Bloomberg News is making a mockery of legitimate journalism. They have consciously chosen to abandon their journalistic responsibilities in favor of what is politically convenient,” stated MRC President Brent Bozell.
“This is a public declaration that Bloomberg’s newsroom is adopting media bias as an official policy,” Bozell added.“This is not only categorically unethical, but potentially illegal, which is why we are calling for an investigation.”
Of course, Bozell's own "news" division actually does what Bozell is accusing Bloomberg News of: adopting media bias as an official policy and abandoning their journalistic responsibilities in favor of what is politically convenient. He'll never admit that, of course.
The press release also noted that "According to FEC law, the 'media exemption' that would normally exempt media organizations from federal campaign finance disclosure laws does not apply if 'the facility is owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate' should the organization fail to 'give reasonably equal coverage to all opposing candidates.'"
As we've noted, CNS does not give "reasonably equal coverage," attacking Democratic presidential candidates while cranking out pro-Trump stenography that even uncritically repeats his falsehoods. Does this violate FEC law? After all, the MRC is arguably choosing to operate as a "political committee" in apparent violation of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax status.
Almost as if proving our point, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman published a rewritten version of the MRC press release the same day -- under the exact same headline as the press release -- instead of offering an indepenvent view of the issue. Chapman couldn't even be bothered to seek comment from Bloomberg News or the Bloomberg campaign.
CNS' Coverage of DOJ IG Report Filled With Bias, Ignored Key Finding Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's coverage of the release of ther report by the Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz into the origins of the investigation into Russian contacts with the Donald Trump presidential campaign focused almost entirely on charry-picked findings that fit the narrative of the pro-Trump, pro-Republican CNS.
CNS tried to pre-spin the report in a Dec. 3 article by Susan Jones in which Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham accused the "liberal media" of, yes, trying to pre-spin the report by reporting a leaked finding that the report concluded that the FBI had enough information to justify launching the investigation. Graham asserted that the media was "trying overtime to spin this thing, to diminish its effect, to downplay it," and that the real issue was the Steele dossier and that the FBI "pulled a fast one on the FISA court, quite frankly, misled and defrauded the FISA court. I think that's what you're going to find."
Having staked this out as a talking point, CNS followed that to the letter with its stories on the report's official release and the reaction to it:
None of these articles featured questions or comments from a Democratic congress, and none noted that Horowitz found no political bias on the FBI's part in opening the investigation. It did, however, find the time and space to complain that CNN didn't cover Graham's opening statement, with Melanie Arter citing the Trump campaign and other right-wingers -- including disgraced sexual harasser Bill O'Reilly, whom Arter described on as a "former Fox News host" -- insisting that this was an example of "liberal bias" in the media.
MRC Is Unhappy That Hallmark Channel Reversed Ad Featuring Same-Sex Couple Topic: Media Research Center
At first, the Media Research Center was happy that the Hallmark Channel banned an ad featuring a same-sex couple. In a Dec. 15 post, Alexa Moutevelis touted how the right-wing anti-gay group One Million Moms demanded that the channel "stop airing LGBTQ ads and to never air LGBTQ-themed Christmas movies," praising the channel's initial decision to drop the ads as a blow for "preservation of sexual morality."
But Moutevelis had to do an update lamenting that "Hallmark folded already" and reversed the ad ban.
Hallmark’s reversal on pulling Zola’s “lesbian” wedding ad sent another shockwave through the media world Sunday night after it had just been whipped up into a frenzy. CBS, ABC and NBC’s Monday morning shows all featured news on the “controversial” redecision, though unsurprisingly they leaned almost exclusively on LGBTQ talking points from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD.)
As he has before, Hays went on to attack GLAAD leader Sarah Kate Ellis as "the woman who insists that TV shows need 20% LGBTQ representation by 2025, even though only 4% of the population is LGBTQ. Wouldn’t it seem that her ideas on representation are a little skewed?" Not as skewed as Hays, who clearly believes that non-heterosexuals should be forbidden from appearing on TV at all.
Hays also whined that those who support the channel's reversal of the ad ban "are under the false impression that the difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships is merely superficial, so this entire debacle is touted as a win for human decency. Though we know it’s just another media-sanctioned rebuke against conservatives."
This was followed by another Hays post ranting about the mere idea that a Hallmark Christmas movie could feature a same-sex couple:
The pro-LGBTQ media is now giving advice to the Hallmark Channel on how best to redress offending gays after the network reversed theirdecision to pull a lesbian adlast week. Of course, it came as no surprise that entertainment outlet Indiewire insisted that Hallmark make a gay movie to prove where its loyalty really lies.
You’ve already bent the knee, Hallmark, but you’re going to have to kiss the rainbow ring.
For conservatives, particularly One Million Moms — the conservative group that encouraged Hallmark to pull the Zola ad featuring a lesbian wedding — this adds insult to injury. On top of Hallmark distancing from conservatives, and apologizing and expressing desire for more gay ads after LGBTQ backlash, the media jumped on One Million Moms and other “anti-LGBTQ” groups, tarring and feathering them with smears like the SPLC’s infamous “Hate Group” label. Indiewire’s advice is again asking the once apolitical channel to continue thumbing its nose at conservatives.
Hays also invoked the anti-gay MRC talking point du jour that GLAAD "represents a measly 4 percent of the population, but demands 20 percent of TV characters be LGBTQ by 2025, for the sake of 'inclusivity.'"
And, of course, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell had to rant about it in their Dec. 24 column dismissing the Hallmark controversy as a media-manufactured "outrage of interest" (complettely omitting that it was a right-wing anti-gay group that started it):
This time it was the Hallmark Channel, perhaps the last "safe zone" for families honoring Christmas. The LGBT fascists declared war on the network after it failed to air an ad during their usual holiday fare for the wedding website Zola that featured lesbians kissing. The networks were completely in sync with their allies in the gay community. The Hallmark surrender came quickly, and everyone cheered.
So to sum up: turning Jesus into a gay druggie is not an outrage. Sparing a family audience from a lesbian kiss is an outrage. No wonder they're upset when a Supreme Court justice says "Merry Christmas."
The duo didn't explain why anyone has to be "spared" from a "lesbian kiss."
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
There's been so much anti-LGBT stuff at the Media Research Center lately that we've had to split up the transgender, drag queen and nonbinary stuff. But don't worry -- the MRC is making sure to freak out about the regular ol' gay stuff too.
Freakouts over gay penguins are a right-wing thing, and Elise Ehrhard added to the canon in a post complaining that a Netflix show "pushes the “gay penguin” myth," insisting that "penguins are not gay. They are just lonely." She further whined: "Penguins are gay and they are supposedly all going to die from climate change anyway. Brave New World was saner."
Gabriel Hays whined that there are too many gays on TV and that GLAAD wants to see 20 percent LGBTQ representation:
Congratulations to GLAAD. A group that claims to speak for four percent of the population has already reached its 2020 goal of bullying Hollywood into over-representing gays on TV. In fact, according to the organization’s “Where We Are On TV” report, gay characters are at an “ all-time high.” The group boasts “10 percent LGBTQ inclusion among broadcast series regular characters on primetime scripted series,” with all LGBT series regulars comprising 10.2 percent of network characters.
Well done. Now how about taking a breather — bask in the accomplishment for a minute and … Nope.
Again, there is no dearth of LGBTQ representation, but an overabundance. Just four percent of the American population is LGBTQ (some even report that it’s less,), but they’ve long been over-represented in lefty Hollywood. Make-believe numbers have real-life implications, though. A 2011 Gallup poll reported that Americans were convinced that gays made up 25 percent of the population.
Is that inflated perception any wonder when GLAAD’s on track to quintuple the actual population on screen? And what if Hollywood makes 20 percent of its fictional characters gay? We’ll start presuming every other person’s LGBT? And if we start questioning that, they’ll still be insisting that we’re oppressing their exposure and hindering their freedom of expression.
Ehrhard returned to rant about a commercial for a car that isn't even sold in the U.S.:
It is 2019 which means that all childhood innocence must be sexualized and weaponized for the LGBT movement. Introducing the latest entry in this slow-burn of Western Civilization: a viral car commercial.
The new ad for the Renault Clio in the UK, released on November 7 and titled “30 Years in the Making,” begins with a sweet childhood friendship between two girls. The friendship becomes more…intimate…as the girls grow-up. The children give each other mix tapes, run along the beach and hug. Their girlish hug transitions into a more romantic adolescent embrace. The two burgeoning women eventually make-out in the rain. Their lesbian relationship ends in a “marriage” with a fatherless little girl in the back seat of the Renault. Interestingly, the ad chose not to sexualize two boys to generate sales.
Ehrhard managed to leap to this to huff that "No one dares probe why lesbian relationship have shockingly high rates of domestic violence or the tragic physical consequences of sodomy in the lives of gay men.
Dawn Slusher was mad that CW’s teen drama "All American" commited the offense of having "featured a song that preached tolerance for gays being “who they are” while subtly showing disdain for God and the Bible." She defends Christians hating "homosexuality" by denying there's any hate there:
We can see homosexuality as a sin and still love gay people. A true Christian who follows the Bible also follows God’s Word about putting others above ourselves and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. That includes all sinners. A true Christian doesn’t believe they’re any better or above someone else just because they sin differently.
You can stay or you can leave, but this is us. And we’re not changing who we are for anyone or anything, either.
Yet the MRC doesn't obsess over the immorality of President Trump the way it obsesses over the existence of gay people in the media. There seems to be a double standard to Slusher's version of Christian love.
CNS Shows Its Anti-Gay Bias In Hallmark Channel Ad Controversy Topic: CNSNews.com
Let's examine the subtle bias in the way CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote this Dec. 16 article:
Hallmark Channel Submits to LGBTQ Pressure, Plans to Reinstate Gay Ads
The Hallmark Channel, which prides itself on airing family-friendly programs, caved to pressure from LGBTQ activists and said it plans to reinstate commercials on its channel that celebrate homosexuality, specifically a lesbian wedding where the two women passionately kiss during the ad.
The ad, part of six -- four gay-themed and two heterosexual -- was created by Zola.com, a wedding planning company. After the first lesbian-wedding ad was aired last week, the conservative group One Million Moms complained, and Crown Media, which owns Hallmark, decided to pull the commercial.
However, that sparked a backlash by some prominent homosexuals and LGBTQ activist groups over the weekend and Hallmark subsequently announced it was reversing its "wrong decision" and would seek to reinstate the ads after it consulted with Zola.com.
Note how Chapman describes One Million Moms as a "conservative group" merely "complained" about the ads, while those who reacted to the commercials being pulled are "activists" to whom Hallmark "caved" and "submit[ted]. One Million Moms is an activist group, and Hallmark certainly caved to it by pulling the commercials -- but Chapman would never describe these events that way.
Chapman also invokes his intense anti-gay hate by huffing that the commercials "celebrate homosexuality," not mentioning the fact that something like 99 percent of Hallmark Channel's holiday romance-laden programming can be described as celebrating heterosexuality. He further complained that advocacy group GLAAD "seeks to normalize homosexuality through the media" -- while, of course, Chapman is seeking to normalize anti-LGBT hatred through the media operation he runs.
Chapman further grumbled: "People supportive of Zola and the LGBTQ agenda tweeted using the hashtag #boycotthallmark, as did people supportive of real marriage between one man and one woman for life." Chapman has previously denied that gay marriage is "real marriage." And, again, he portray only LGBT supporters as having an "agenda." He also brought out the scare quotes to describe Ellen DeGeneres as "a 'married' lesbian," and did so again to describe GLAAD presient Sarah Kate Ellis.
Such blatant bias makes it hard for people to consider CNS a serious, legitimate news source. Too bad Chapman doesn't see that.
The MRC's Gender-Neutral and Nonbinary Freakouts Topic: Media Research Center
In addition to hating transgenders and drag queens, the Media Research Center has serious issues with anything or anyone considered to be nonbinary or gender-neutral. We've already noted its freakout over a nonbinary villain in the new "She-Ra" cartoon, and there's more where that came from.
Sadi Martin complained that an episode of the CBS series "All Rise" "reeked of political correctness and liberal bias, focusing on non-binary identification," going on to whine: "All Rise is trying to take everything and make it out to be about feelings, rather than logic and justice, and now they have taken the law, which while it is open to some interpretation, is not 'binary' as [defense attorney] Emily claims, in a desperate attempt to relate the law to her client, but is ordered and rational."
Following up on an earlier freakout over gender-neutral Barbie dolls that he called "plastic monstrosities" that mean "now your son can occupy the budding years of his childhood fantasizing about what it’s like being some androgynous weirdo," Gabriel Hays complained about an op-ed that, in his description, made the argument that gender-neutral dolls are "not woke enough," prompting Gabriel to go into full mocking sneer mode about people he personally despises: "But then again, how does one represent mental illness in a plastic doll?"Hays also had a major meltdown over Merriam-Webster choosing "they" as its word of the year:
Wonderful. The folks behind the leading English dictionary are now complicit in the left’s vendetta against biology, naming “they” as 2019’s “Word of the Year” and explaining that this achievement is very much based on the word’s newfound gender-neutral usage.
With a quick Google search, anyone can see the travesty for themselves. The definition of what used to be a simple third-person pronoun has a second official meaning: they can also be “used to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary.” Well there you have it, folks. The lefty lunacy of “they/them” has been codified.
So, why did Merriam-Webster feel confident enough to buy into this mental illness? Well, because progressive lawmakers, agenda-driven psychologists and Hollywood wack jobs have been employing the term, of course. Merriam-Webster defended the pronoun’s “Word of the Year” status because Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), for instance, “revealed in April during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act that her child is gender-nonconforming and uses they.”
In any other society, Jayapal’s actions may be seen as child abuse, but in our PC wasteland it’s just a new parenting style you can look up in your current dictionary.
Only at the MRC could speaking a word in a way it doesn't like be seen as "child abuse."
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS On Impeachment, Part 2: Copy and Paste Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loves to repeat the same pro-Trump talking points in stories on impeachment -- even doing stories days apart that featuring Trump's GOP defenders saying the same exact thing. Read more >>
MRC Gives Film's False Defamation of Journalist A Pass Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves the new Clint Eastwood film about Richard Jewell, the security guard who was initially suspected -- wrongly, as it turned out -- of involvement in the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, in no small part because it fits the MRC's anti-media narrative.
Right-wing film critic Christian Toto was given space at the MRC to hype it: an October post a month and a half before the film's release hyped Eastwood's alleged courage it making a film that was "casting a critical eye on reporters, and a Nov. 23 post gushed at how the film "savages the mainstream press." Meanwhile, in a Dec. 5 post, P.J. Gladnick mocked a writer who pointed out that the film plays into Trump's (and the MRC's) anti-media talking points. Tim Graham and Brent Bozell also cheered the film and invoked it to push bogus "fake news" attacks on the media.
But Eastwood's film has fake news too: Without evidence, it pushes the inflammatory idea that a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kathy Scruggs, slept with an FBI agent in exchange for information.And the MRC is defending the lie.
Kristine Marsh did so with a bit of whataboutism in a Dec. 10 post: "The idea that reporters have traded sexual favors with sources to get information is not a wild conspiracy theory. There have been a number of cases just this year where female reporters from The New York Times, CNBC and MSNBC have been implicated in reporting on classified information they received from the government officials they were in relationships with." But Marsh didn't address the fact that there's absolutely no evidence that Scruggs ever did so.
Gladnick got mad at the Journal-Constitution for demanding that the movie carry a disclaimer pointing out that things in the film are not accurate, including the portrayal of Scruggs, giving a "dramatic license" pass the MRC wouldn't grant if the character in question had been a conservative:
Dramatic license? What a novelty. Has that ever been done before...except in just about every historical or biographical film of the past, or present? Like the composite character played by Margot Robbie in the anti-Fox News movie Bombshell?
Since [film character] Tom Shaw is a composite FBI character, would it actually make the Atlanta Journal Constitution feel better if there were a prominent disclaimer in the movie that says something like, "The reporter did not have implied sexual relations with a composite FBI character"?
Of course, that could make things worse for the newspaper by causing viewers to burst out laughing at their expense. The real life Richard Jewell who had to live through the hell of an allegation, promoted by theAJC, that he was a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing even though it quickly became apparent that was false.
Gladnick was also mad that the Journal-Constitution won the defamation lawsuit Jewell had filed against it.
Clay Waters also gave a dramatic-license pass to Eastwood by noting that a New York Times reporter "admits the movie “follows the standard practice for movies based on real-life events by taking liberties with certain facts....” Then he lets a source, Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute, throw in ageist insults against Eastwood." Hew then huffed that "in 2016 the paper sneered at those who would fact-check films based on true stories."
On Dec. 16, Alexa Moutevelis touted how the film's attack on the media is "in favor of the right." She mentioned that the film told a "lie" about Scruggs -- then never discussed it again, again crowing that Eastwood "justifiably knocks the media."
Apparently, the MRC is totally cool with false smears as long as it's people they despise -- in this case, any journalist who's not a right-wing sycophant -- being smeared.
WND Is Also Sad Chick-fil-A Stopped Hating Gays As Much As WND Does Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've noted how CNSNews.com got sad that Chick-fil-A changed its charitable donation strategy to de-emphasize groups that support anti-LGBT causes. The anti-gay columnists at WorldNetDaily has also been feeling that sadness.
Professional gay-hater Scott Lively declared that "Christians are reeling from the stunning betrayal of Chick-fil-A last week, but I called it in 2014." After complaining that right-wingers have "been duped by the progressives into playing a game of [liberals'] invention we are absolutely guaranteed to lose," he huffed further:
Chick-fil-A is the latest case in point, proving there is no safe haven from Marxist aggression even in private Christian companies (or private associations like the Boy Scouts).
It is logically impossible to win a debate when you adopt the other side's presuppositions, because premises dictate conclusions with mathematical certainty. When we unwittingly self-identify as "conservatives" and grant that our opponents are "progressives" we literally ensure their progress toward their goal by limiting our influence to the speed at which their "progress" occurs.
Michael Brown begged Chick-fil-A to change its mind:
Please do not cave in to LGBT activists and their allies. Please do not capitulate to the pressure of the radical left. Please do not throw the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Salvation Army under the bus. Please reverse your decision to no longer fund these important Christian organizations.
Do you remember when millions of Christians stood with you when the radical left called for a boycott of your fine company? Do you remember when they turned the boycott into a "buycott"?
These same Christians are scratching their heads today. They are wondering why the company they love so much now feels the need to satisfy the demands of people who despise many of the common values we hold dear.
You choose to stand with those who celebrate two-women "marrying" and against those who say that kids deserve a mom and a dad?
You stand with those who advocate for males who identify as females competing in women's sports and against those who care about women's rights?
You stand with those who block you from opening new restaurants on college campuses and stand against those who have enjoyed your food and services for decades?
Jerry Newcombe, meanwhile, complained that the Salvation Army, which is one of the groups Chick-fil-A has stopped funding, is suffering from "mislabeling," adding, "To think of the Salvation Army – which does so much good work for people of every race, creed, color, sexual-orientation, whatever – as somehow anti-gay is preposterous." In fact, the Salvation Army has been linked to anti-gay activities in the past. Then Newcombe defended the idea that the Salvation Army is anti-gay:
By what criterion is the Salvation Army an anti-gay hate group? Because they do not let practicing, unrepentant homosexuals become leaders? Should GLAAD or other radical LGBTQ groups be forced, against their will, to have as leaders those who oppose their lifestyle?
What if someone tried to force one of these LBGTQ groups to hire as a leader someone like Omar Mateen, a true anti-gay (and anti-Christian) hater, who shot up and killed dozens of homosexuals and lesbians at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando?
Newcombe concluded by huffing: "Shame on those who would slander the Salvation Army as a 'hate group.' Talk about 'fake news.'" So hating gays is not "hate"?
MRC's Double Standard On Surprise Presidential Military Visits Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alex Christy grumbled in a Nov. 29 post:
Surprise presidential visits to war zones to spend time with the troops during Thanksgiving or other holidays have become a bipartisan tradition that everyone can support. While most view such visits as a way to honor the troops and express amazement at the amount of planning and secrecy that goes into such trips, MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle took Friday to call Trump's Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan a "photo-op" and wonder that if he will plan more foreign visits as part of a strategy to counter impeachment.
Ruhle theorized that the trip was about the imagery of the presidency, "The imagery of the president standing there with troops behind him, the President literally, maybe he’s watching, tweeted a bunch of photos from the trip. That's a big win for him."
She then asked Washington Post White House correspondent Anne Gearan, "Given the impeachment battle is going on, the president is under attack in all sorts of ways, are we going to see more overseas trips that give him these kind of photo-op scenarios?"
If you know anything about the MRC, you will not be surprised to learn that it dismissed a surprise military visit by a Democratic president as a stunt and did not view it as "a bipartisan tradition that everyone can support."
When President Obama paid a visit to Afghanistan on Memorial Day weekend in 2014, the MRC was angry that it was being reported on positively. Geoffrey Dickens suggested the visit was done as a distraction from "the VA scandal":
At the time when the country is remembering the ultimate sacrifice veterans have given this country ABC’s (World News) evening and (Good Morning America) morning shows didn’t devote a second to the VA scandal over this Memorial Day weekend. However, those shows did spend time on President Barack Obama receiving “cheers” during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.
On Sunday’s World News ABC’s David Muir reported on “that surprise this Sunday from President Obama, his visit to Afghanistan and our troops this Memorial Day weekend.” Muir, teasing a Muhammad Lila report, continued: “The commander-in-chief received with cheers in that hangar at Bagram Airfield. And while there, he talked about how grateful Americans are back home for their service and about what should happen when those vets come home.”
Receiving top-notch medical care was not mentioned as something that “should happen when those vets come home” in the ensuing Lila piece.
Eight months before the 2006 midterm election, President Bush made a “surprise” visit to Afghanistan. On the March 1, 2006 edition of the Today show, hosts Katie Couric and Matt Lauer made sure to paint Bush’s visit as a publicity stunt due to his approval rating being at an “all-time low” and the controversy surrounding a bid by a United Arab Emirates-based company to run operations at various U.S. seaports. Couric touted it as an “important symbol.” Kelly O’Donnell cited the visit with all its baggage as a “difficult stretch for the president.”
At the time, the network insisted their viewers be absolutely clear about the president’s approval rating and scandals bedeviling his administration back at home. Not only that, Today's coverage included a guest who argued that it was simply impossible to “divorce how the war is going with the perception of how President Bush is doing as president.”
Fast-forward to 2014 with the barrage of scandals haunting President Obama including Benghazi, the IRS, continuing Obamacare woes, and of course most recently, the VA scandal. President Obama has had lower approval ratings but he is not incredibly popular and his party stands to face a drubbing in the November midterms. Yet the treatment by Today was wildly different.
The message was clear: President Obama is trying his darndest and ultimately it's not his fault that the VA is in such shambles. He's really trying his best to fix the "systemic" problem, after all. All that was missing was Juan Williams joining in to exclaim that the trip shows the president’s going “overboard” in his support for our troops!
What a difference eight years and a Democratic commander-in-chief makes when it comes to reporting.
If it weren't for double standards, the MRC wouldn't have any standards at all.
Again! CNS Recycles GOP Talking Points Just Days Apart Topic: CNSNews.com
Remember that time CNSNews.com devoted two articles days apart to repeating the exact same Republican talking points from the vey same person? Well, they did it again.
In a Dec. 12 article under the headline "Sen. Lindsey Graham: ‘I Don’t Need Any Witnesses at All – I Am Ready to Go’," Melanie Arter wrote:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Thursday that he’s eager to get the Senate impeachment trial under way, and he doesn’t need any witnesses to do it.
“What I would imagine would happen, what I would like to see happen for this thing to get over as soon as possible. I don't want to give it any legitimacy, because it’s a crock. I trusted Mueller to look at all things trump and Russia. He did for two years and took no action,” Graham said in an interview with “America’s Newsroom.”
Then, on Dec. 16, under the headline Sen. Graham: 'I Don't Need Any Witnesses'," Susan Jones wrote:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says it's best for the country to make quick work of the Senate impeachment trial.
"I am -- clearly made up my mind. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations and the process. So I don't need any witnesses. The president can make a request to call witnesses. They can make a request or call Mike Pence and Pompeo and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.
"I am ready to vote on the underlying articles. I don't really need to hear a lot of witnesses."
So dedicated is CNS to pushing the Republicans' pro-Trump, anti-impeachment narrative that it devoted two articles four days apart to repeating the exact same talking point.
That's not how a news organization -- that's how a propaganda operation works.
Gabriel Hays spewed hate at a video game that includes a playable transgender character: "And really, in a video game world filled with Star Wars and World War II shooters, who can’t appreciate verisimilitude in the thrill-a-minute world of the sexually confused? ... No, there’s no agenda here, just a special interest group with a rainbow axe to grind in whatever industry will let it in."
Lindsay Kornick complained that the show "Empire" "somehow managed to also squeeze in a transgender storyline to boot. I guess there’s always room for a little more liberal pandering." She further complained: "The only shocking part of this is how totally unoriginal this whole routine has become. We’ve already seen the story of the transgender character wanting to “live her truth” against haters, transphobes, and medical science. We’ve already heard all the constant assertions that this is “beautiful” and somehow natural despite only affecting a tiny percent of the population."
Clay Waters declared that a New York Times story about eroding transgender rights "is the latest overheated, un-journalistic genuflection to the aggressive side of the transgender movement, while conveniently conflating “gender identity” with post-surgery transgender people." Waters then pushed the right-wing talking point that transgenders don't deserve media coverage because there are so few of them: "If transgenders are less than 1% of the population (true), why does the Times cover them so obsessively?"
Gabriel Hays claimed one transgender woman -- or, in his mean-spirited interpratation, an "indignant biological male" who is "particularly obnoxious" -- had a "vendetta against biology" because a gynecologist refused to examine her and "complained that, since she identifies as a woman, people have to treat her like one, even medical doctors who are intimately aware that this type of rationalization is insane," asserting that "vast majority" of gynecologists "probably didn’t sign on to play make-believe with the mentally ill.Hays declared that this person "is not to be trusted considering her penchant for playing the victim and passion for accusing incredulous bystanders of discrimination." But isn't playing the victim and accusing others of discrimination what conservative like to do as well?
Disney and Marvel are marching lockstep with trans propaganda in its most nefarious form: its advocacy for transgender children. Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+ showcased the story of one little trans girl as "she" fights to live “as herself,” or rather, mask over the reality of her being born as a boy with pink tennis shoes, long hair, and giving speeches at pride marches.
“Mighty Rebekah,” as this Hero Project episode was titled, follows “a transgender girl from New Jersey who transitioned at the age of eight,” as she tells viewers about fighting for her trans rights while her mother beams with pride. Of course, Disney and Marvel showcase this as a celebration of mother and child fighting for simple childhood expression, but as we all know, for many a happy mother and her trans child, there’s probably a weeping father who lost custody and is begging for the opportunity to show his son that throwing a football isn’t as toxic as mommy says it is.
Elise Ehrhard groused that the writers for the reboot of the series "The L Word" "are trying to keep up with the woke crowd by hiring real female-to-male trans actors for supporting roles and portraying them in line with transgender public relations," then attacked one transgender actor in the show for being insufficiently grateful to her Chinese-refugee parents: "A mother secretly saved her baby girl from the cruelty of the Chinese government only to have that little girl one day reject her own femaleness because of radical trans ideology." What ideology is making Ehrhard say such ridiculous and hateful things?
Hays returned to highlight how "Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling "angered radical LGBTQ folks on social media for tweeting a defense of a person fired for believing that there are only two genders. adding: "Yes, the left has completely sold out to this lunacy and the fact that someone as previously woke as Rowling is getting heat for this speaks volumes."
Erik Rush's Anti-LGBT Meltdown Topic: WorldNetDaily
First off: There's no such thing as a transgendered person. We might as well rip that Band-Aid off right now. If someone self-identifies as a gender other than his or her biological one, there is something wrong with that person. Excepting the miniscule number of individuals who are born with some form of genetic abnormality or physiological deformity, those who claim to be transgender suffer from deep emotional and/or psychological dysfunction – period.
Second: Homosexuality, itself, is not normal. Nor is homosexuality a lifestyle choice such as most people understand lifestyle choices. Like transgenderism, homosexuality represents fundamental emotional and psychological dysfunction and should be treated as such.
Once upon a time, it was taken as a given that the homosexual – like the addict, the serial philanderer or the degenerate gambler – was a morally compromised person. It wasn't the sexual deviance so much that offended others; it was the fact that as morally compromised people, homosexuals could not be counted on to operate within the bounds of accepted morality.
We now live in an environment in which even many conservatives have surrendered to key elements of LGBTQ orthodoxy, starting with the notion that "there's nothing wrong with being gay."
Well, if one follows the line of reasoning offered here, there definitely is.
So, do I contend that those in the LGBTQ camp are evil people who should be disenfranchised or persecuted? No more than I think that the addict, the serial philanderer or the degenerate gambler should be disenfranchised or persecuted. These are people who suffer from deep emotional and psychological maladies, and who should be offered emotional and psychological aid in the event that they become willing to receive it.
As far as accepting, normalizing and mainstreaming such behavior goes, I'll close with this: Considered in light of the above, allowing the LGBTQ lobby to drive the civil rights narrative in this area – which is precisely what we've been doing for the last 40 years – is nothing short of patent insanity.
MRC Can't Stop Complaining About Ex-Fox News Anchor For Not Being A Good Right-Winger Topic: Media Research Center
Shepard Smith left Fox News a while ago, but the Media Research Center still can't stop ranting about him ruining the right-wing Fox News experience for them. Shep-hater extraordinaire Tim Graham huffed in a Nov. 22 post:
Liberal media outlets were thrilled at Shepard Smith's first public remarks since abruptly leaving Fox News last month. Smith hosted a dinner of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and proclaimed he was donating a half million dollars to the group. Michael Grynbaum at The New York Times reported he called "for a steadfast defense of independent journalism, while offering a few subtle barbs at President Trump’s treatment of the press."
Subtle? “Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” Smith said. “Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that.”
Smith did not mention Fox News in his remarks, and Fox News reporters were present (Fox helps fund the group). It's odd anyone would think it's odd to perceive journalists as "activists for some cause." CPJ surely despises Trump. We noted last year that CPJ slashed Trump in a blog post headlined "In response to Trump's fake news awards, CPJ announces Press Oppressors awards."
They wrote: “Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump's announcement via Twitter about his planned ‘fake news’ awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.”
This underlines why Smith would be so warmly honored, and donate some major cash.
Needless to say, Graham offers nothing but guilt by association to back up his claim of a link between the CPJ's earlier remarks and Smith's donation. He also makes no effort to rebut Smith's fairly standard defense of journalism -- perhaps because he's such a rabid right-wing partisan that he wouldn't know a genuine journalist if one shook his hand.
The next day, Jeffrey Lord -- another right-wing partisan unfamiliar with objective journalism -- whined further about Smith's speech:
Hmmm. What was missing at the CPJ dinner? And for that matter, what is missing on the CPJ web site? And what did Shepherd Smith not say?
What was missing is any sense of irony that all this business about protecting journalists never once mentions the attacks by left-wing groups that are designed to intimidate and silence conservative media. To remove them from the air.
In fact, take a look at that Times story again and this particular quote about Shep Smith: “But he became increasingly disillusioned in recent months about the gap between the network’s prime-time commentary and the reporting produced by its newsroom.”
Say what? Effectively — without a hint of irony — the story says that Shep Smith was so put off by the opinion journalists of Fox’s prime time schedule that he quit rather than share the same network with Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
So much for supporting a free press.
Lord, meanwhile, would shut down any and every media outlet who is insufficiently laudatory of President Trump and the conservative agenda, if he had his way.
Lord concluded by huffing: "What we have is yet another gathering of journalists, this time led by Shep Smith, selectively - very selectively - supporting a free press. In Shep’s case, he apparently couldn’t abide the thought of Tucker Carlson’s free press rights and so, according to the Times, he left. Shocking? Not." Nor is it shocking that Lord and Graham are bashing Smith for failing to be a right-winger like them.
Why Didn't CNS Writer Tell Readers She Had Answered Lindsey Graham's Question The Day Before? Topic: CNSNews.com
When you're dedicated to mindlesslyanduncriticallyrepeating pro-Trump Republican talking points like CNSNews.com is, you forget that sometimes you've already answered some of the questions you've been dutifully writing down, and you forget to tell your readers that.
Susan Jones wrote in a Dec. 11 article about Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham ranting that the Horowitz report exposed a "massive criminal conspiracy" (though not that the report also found that political bias didn't motivate the FBI into investigating Russian connections to the Donald Trump presidential campaign). She went on to write:
Graham also raised the issue of defensive briefings – in other words, the FBI warning people, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), that one of her employees had ties to a foreign government.
"From the time they opened up Crossfire Hurricane until this debacle was over, they never made any effort to brief Donald Trump about suspected problems within his campaign," Graham said. "Why didn't they tell Trump? We'll figure that out later. But I think it's a question that needs to be asked."
Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he wants to know why Donald Trump wasn't told about the FBI's concerns that individuals associated with his campaign were coordinating, wittingly or unwittingly, with the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The inspector general's report addresses the question of "defensive briefings," as they are called.
Former Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director E.W. "Bill" Priestap, the FBI official who approved the launch of Crossfire Hurricane, told the IG that "he considered whether the FBI should conduct defensive briefings for the Trump campaign but ultimately decided that providing such briefings created the risk that 'if someone on the campaign was engaged with the Russians, he/she would very likely change his/her tactics and/or otherwise seek to cover-up his/her activities, thereby preventing us from finding the truth.'
"On the other hand," Priestap said, "if no one on the Trump campaign was working with the Russians, an investigation could prove that. Because the possibility existed that someone on the Trump campaign could have taken the Russians up on their offer, I thought it wise to open an investigation to look into the situation."
The IG report notes that President Barack Obama did suggest that the FBI give Trump a defensive briefing:
"According to McCabe's notes of what he had been told by (FBI Director James) Comey, President Obama stated that the FBI should think about doing 'defensive briefs.' The notes do not provide any further details about what Obama said regarding defensive briefings, and McCabe told us he did not recall that any further details were provided to him. However, McCabe said he surmised from his notes that the briefings under discussion were to be given to the Trump campaign."
Jones could have told her readers this in her Dec. 11 article; after all, the information was fresh in her mind, given that she had provided a detailed explaination of it the day before. Instead, she chose not to because furthering a Republican narrative of raising suspicions about any investigation into Trump -- never mind that the facts are much less sinistser -- was more important than her journalistic duty to tell readers the truth.
Lazy stenography is the worst kind of journalism, and CNS is becoming an increasingly egregious offender.