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Friday, January 31, 2020
CNS Offers Same-Day Service On Another GOP Talking Point Du Jour

As we've documented, President Trump and Republicans can count on to not only promote their talking point du jour but to repeat it as often as needed -- even multiple articles on the same day. And they've done it again.

When House Leader Nancy Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment against Trump for delivery to the Senate, Republicans worked up some outrage because she used commemorative pens to do so -- even though commemorative pens are a Washington staple for signing legislation and other important documents. (Senators got commemorative pens at President Clinton's impeachment trial, which seemed to have gone unnoticed by Republicans.)

But outrage must be manufactured, and CNS was all to happy to manufacture it with a pair of Jan. 16 articles. At 11:27 a.m., Melanie Arter wrote under the headline "Conway: Pelosi Celebrating with Fist Bumps, High Fives and ‘Commemorative Pens’":

While the Democrats are gearing up to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate and celebrating the president’s impeachment, President Donald Trump is talking about the trade deal with China and the Dow Jones Average hitting 20,000 for the first time in history, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told Fox News on Thursday.

“The president is still talking about the monumental trade deal with China yesterday. The Dow Jones getting past 20,000, and making history in that way. Yesterday indeed was historic, but for a different reason than Pelosi's fist bumps and high fives and commemorative pens. They acted like a bunch of southpaws getting major league baseball contracts,” Conway said in an interview with “America’s Newsroom.”

A mere six minutes later, at 112:33 a.m., Craig Bannister deliver a blog post under the headline "McConnell: Pelosi Handed Out ‘Golden Pens on Silver Platters, Souvenir to Celebrate’ Impeachment":

“The House’s hour is over,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Thursday in a floor speech slamming Democrats for putting on a “partisan performance” celebrating the signing of articles of impeachment by handing out souvenirs and posing for smiling photos.

In a contrived signing ceremony Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed the articles of impeachment, one letter at a time, using golden pens delivered to her on a silver platter – which she handed out as souvenirs, McConnell said:


In all, Pelosi gave out more than two dozen pens she used to sign the articles of impeachment.

Neither Arter nor Bannister mentioned the relevant fact that there were commemorative pens at Clinton's impeachment. then again, relevant facts are not what Trump and Republicans want from CNS right now.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Mysterious MRC Sports Blogger Goes On An Obama-Derangement Rant
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson is taking a break from his typical Colin Kaepernick derangement to engage in some old-school Obama derangement. Maxson used a Jan. 16 post to complain that Nike donated $5 million to help build a public health facility that will operate with the Obama presidential library in Chicago.

Of course, the headline on Maxson's piece says something different: "Hope and $5 Million in Change: Nike Donation Supports Obama's Chicago Library." Maxson's headline falsely suggests that the money is going to the library itself and something political. Maxson then declared that "The Obama donation is another statement by Nike reinforcing its far-left progressivism."

Yes, Maxson really thinks Obama was "far-left" -- though it might look that way to anyone as far right as Maxson and his MRC colleagues.

But Maxson is more interested in putting hateful opinion before fact. He/she sneered that the library and athletic facility is an "idealistic creation" and is designed "for the Obamas to glorify the people they admire most -- themselves." Maxson forwarded speculation about construction, wondering "if the plans ever move beyond the blueprints and gloating over a report that fundraising to build the library has been a challenge, huffing: "Perhaps if the Obama presidential legacy included more meat than basketball, the donation dollars would be rolling in fast and furious by now."

Maxson managed to work in one more golden-oldie potshot at the former president: "So far, there's a whole lot more symbolism than fresh concrete on Chicago's South Side. In fact, the inaction of donors are not exactly a vote of confidence for the former president. And if Barack Obama said, 'You didn't build that,' this time he'd be correct."

The fact that Maxson was making a eight-year-old reference doesn't mean it wasn't taken out of context, as the MRC has loved to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 PM EST
CNS Give Another Campaign Ad Disguised As 'News' To GOP Candidate

Last July, basically ran a campaign ad for a Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Now it's doing one for a GOP challenger to another Democratic congresswoman it dislikes.

A Jan. 17 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough sings the praises of a Republican running against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and takes potshots at the incumbent:

Making waves on social media on Thursday: An Iraqi-American, Muslim, former refugee, and supporter of President Trump has launched a campaign to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in November.

Dalia al-Aqidi, whose three-decade journalism career includes a stint as White House correspondent for the U.S.-government-funded Alhurra satellite network, posted online an announcement video introducing herself, and explaining her decision to take on Omar, who has frequently courted controversy since entering Congress in January 2018.

“We might seem nearly alike – both Muslims, both women, both refugees. But we couldn’t be further apart,” Aqidi says. “She spends her time in Congress sowing seeds of division, actively supporting our enemies.”


On her Twitter account profile (28,500 followers as of Thursday), 51-year-old Aqidi describes herself as “Refugee, Muslim, Journalist.”

On her Twitter profile, Omar (1.8 million followers), 37-year-old Omar describes herself as “Mom, Refugee, Intersectional Feminist.”

This being CNS, Goodenough omitted certain inconvenient facts that journalists closer to the district have uncovered. Perhaps the most salient of those is that Aqidi had lived in Omar's district for a mere three months before announcing her candidacy for her seat. There are also six other candidates vying for the Republican nomination to run against Omar, none of whom rated a mention in Goodenough's article.

Finally, there's the very inconvenient fact of the makeup of Omar's district: "Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District is overwhelmingly Democratic, and elected the freshman congresswoman in a landslide in 2018. Although Omar has become a national media lightning rod, recent polls suggest she has little to fear from competition at home."

That all seems like important information for readers. But Goodenough, unfortunately, is more interested in making a campaign ad than doing journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 AM EST
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
MRC Hypocritically Cheers Republican Senator's 'Liberal Hack' Attack on Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember when the Media Research Center had a hissy fit every time Nancy Pelosi called out right-wing Sinclair and ex-Fox News reporter James Rosen for his bias, making sure to rush to his defense while never actually disputing Rosen's bias? Well, you will not be surprise that when a Republican politician attacked a reporter by calling her a "liberal hack," the MRC took that as an article of faith and piled on.

Though the MRC claimed that Pelosi's "anger flared" and was "lashing out" at Rosen, writer Kristine Marsh declared that Republican Sen. Martha McSally was merely being "snarky" when she called CNN's Manu Raju a "liberal hack" and was upset that one commentator said McSally "lashed out." Then she complained that "Raju’s pearl-clutching colleagues at CNN and other liberal outlets were quick to defend the reporter through tweets and statements on social media." She failed to mention her MRC colleagues' pearl-clutching in defense of Rosen.

Curtis Houck, meanwhile, mocked the response to McSally's attack as "#FirstWorldProblems for the liberal media," then played some very selective whataboutism by claiming that CNN's Wolf Blitzer "offered no such outrage when, in February 2019, Raju was told off by far-left Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN)." Houck didn't mention that plenty of CNN personalities did criticize Omar. Houck followed that by touting a "supercut of all the outrage" over McSally's attack on CNN, also playing the selective Ilhan Omar whataboutism card: "Almost a year ago, when leftist Rep. Ilhan Omar was rude to Raju and refused to answer his questions, [CNN media reporter Brian] Stelter's newsletter had.....nothing."

Marsh followed up with a post proudly declaring that McSally "humiliated" Raju, and that complaints about it showed "how reporters have the thinnest skin possible." Showcasing how whataboutism is the order of the day at the MRC, Marsh responsed to a Washington Post reporter's complaint that McSally was fund-raising off herinsult by retorting, "Funny, I haven’t seen The Post complain about various Democrat politicians fundraising over their “viral” moments, such as Nancy Pelosi selling merchandise on her moment attacking a right-leaning reporter." At no point did Marsh criticize McSally for her fund-raising. Then she repeated the MRC talking point du jour that "Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar was rude to this same CNN reporter last year and the media couldn’t have cared less."

Gabriel Hays complained that one commentator was "taking cheap shots at Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) for calling a CNN liberal hack a 'liberal hack,'" but he offered no evidence proving Raju is, in fact, a "liberal hack." Aiden Jackson promoted a Fox News appearance by McSally defending her attack on Raju, adding the editorial comment that "Americans are experiencing fatigue over the double standard that is constantly on display in the liberal press." She too failed to offer evidence of Raju's purported bias.

Alex Christy grumbled that a CNN repoter "continued CNN's feud with Arizona Senator Martha McSally" (failing to mention that McSally started it) and that he "condemned her for "immediately attempting to fund-raise off of it," as if CNN hasn't also tried to spin this event for their own purposes, in ways they would never do so if it was a Democrat."

Nicholas Fondacaro showed why he may be rivaling Brent Bozell for the biggest jerk at the MRC by engaging in unprofessional name-calling, attacking CNN's Chris Cuomo as "Fredo " for daring to criticize McSally, whining that "Fredo called a historic combat veteran a “punk,” meanwhile he had never served a day in his life." (How many days of military service has Fondacaro served?) Fondacaro concluded by sneering, "That was not news. This is CNN." We doubt that Fondacaro has ever typed the words, "That was not news. This is Fox News."

Finally, Clay Waters groused that the New York Times had a double standard about how it treated the McSally-Raju story comparted to the Pelosi-Rosen story -- as if he and his employer don't have one -- and rushed to Rosen's defense and complaining that his employer has been "tarred by the Times as irresponsible and conservative," though he did not dispute the accuracy of that assessment.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:00 PM EST
CNS Pumps Up Outlier Poll On Trump's Popularity

Craig Bannister spun in a Jan. 16 blog post:

On Thursday - the day after Democrats delivered impeachment articles to the Senate - Donald Trump’s Presidential Approval Index rating turned positive for the first time in nine months, Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll results show.

Trump’s +1 rating in Rasmussen’s Presidential Approval Index reflects 40% of likely U.S. who said they “strongly approve” of the job Pres. Trump is doing and 39% who “strongly disapprove.”

Overall, Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters either “somewhat” or “strongly” approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 47% somewhat or strongly disapprove.

Not since December 5, 2019 – the day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Democrats would formally proceed with impeachment – have so few voters disapproved of Trump’s performance.

Bannister won't tell you, however, that Rasmussen Reports is an outlier poll that always skews Republican. According to FiveThirtyEight's polling aggregate, on the day Bannister's article was published, Trump's was at a 42.4% approval and 52.9% disapproval. Further, FiveThirtyEight gives the Rasmussen poll only a C+ rating and found that its mean-reverted bias is 1.5% toward the Republians.

Also, note Bannister's phrasing in claiming that "so few voters disapproved of Trump’s performance." Even taking into mind Rasmussen's highly skewed polling, that's still 47 percent -- not exactly "few."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EST
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
MRC Demands That Conservative Trolls Be Praised
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock complained in a Jan. 14 item (boldface in original):

Apparently, cynicism is warranted for congressional leaders. Well, some of the time anyway. Nancy Pelosi fan Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday scoffed and laughed at Kevin McCarthy as the House Minority Leader suggested that Pelosi’s delaying of impeachment articles is nothing more than a transparent attempt at helping Joe Biden. 

Mitchell contemptuously explained, “The House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, kind of trolling, created some problems this morning — or tried to create some problems this morning —  by suggesting that maybe Joe Biden should suspend his campaign in fairness to his Senate colleagues.”

So, Kevin McCarthy is a troll now? Mitchell certainly doesn’t use that kind of language about Pelosi.

Whitlock seems a bit put out that trolling gets criticized -- at least when those trolls advance the MRC's agenda. Indeed, it was just a year ago that Whitlock's MRC colleague Curtis Houck gushed over how President Trump unleashed "a trollish tweet for the ages that united people across the right side of the aisle against the media for a day-long dunk squad session" by attacking CNN's Jim Acosta (a frequent target of Houck's CNN Derangement Syndrome).

Whitlock also failed to name any examples of trolling by Pelosi along the lines of anything McCarthy has said. Instead, he complained that "Mitchell rarely shows such skepticism about Pelosi’s motives. In December, she 'attested' to the 'deep faith' of the House Speaker." Who was being trolled in that Pelosi claim? Whitlock doesn't say, nor did he explain wh Pelosi must be challenged about the sincerity of her religious faith.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EST
Compare and Contrast: CNS' Jones Shows Her Right-Wing Reporting Bias
Topic: reporter Susan Jones is filled with hate and bias toward those who don't share her right-wing ideology, and that shows through every time she reports on political figures. Let's compare and contrast, shall we?

A Jan. 13 article by Jones highlighted Nancy Pelosi's statement that no matter what happens in the Senate, President Trump is "impeached forever." Jones proceeded to read Pelosi's mind, declaring that after several paragraphs in which Pelosi "explained her delay" in sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate focusing on the need for witnesses in the Senate trial, then declared that "Pelosi thus indicated that she's been playing political games with the month-long delay. Jones didn't indicate how a need for witnesses equated to "political games."

Jones pushed a related point later in the article, stating that "Pelosi also repeated her assertion that by failing to subpoena witnesses -- witnesses the House didn't bother waiting for -- McConnell and Senate Republicans will be staging an unfair trial."

Jones cranked up the condesension in a Jan. 15 article in which she framed Pelosi's announcement of the impeachment managers around her quoting "famous men" in doing so:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, invoking Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, and even the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, announced on Wednesday that "this is a very important day for us."

She named seven impeachment managers -- all of them litigators, she noted -- including intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). More on the seven managers in a moment.

At the top of her news conference, Pelosi aimed to explain why impeachment -- once so urgent, then not so urgent as she withheld the articles for almost a month -- is necessary and historic.

She emphasized the "importance of time," and she repeated something she said on Sunday, that Trump's impeachment "will last forever." (He's forever stained, in other words, regardless of what the Senate does.)

The last paragraph of her article was devoted to repeating a GOP talking point, that Pelosi was "pressuring the Republican-led Senate to call the witnesses and subpoena the documents that the House committees decided not to wait for."

By contrast, articles from Jones about Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy talking about impeachment have no such condescension or bias.

A Jan. 13 article uncritically repeated McCarthy's evidence-free claim that "Pelosi delayed the Senate trial to impede the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders." Jones showed no skepticism about McCarthy's claim, nor did she demand substantion.

In an article the next day, Jones went further into stenography mode, repeating McCarthy's claim that "Pelosi gained "nothing" by withholding the articles for almost one month, after claiming such urgency to get them passed," failing to mention that McCarthy's complaint files against how Republicans have frequently complained that Democrats were moving too fast on impeachment.

Jones also promoted McCarthy's concern trolling that Joe Biden "make a pledge not to campaign when Bernie Sanders cannot" because he must attend the Senate impeachment trial, though she did include a response from Demmocratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries that "We will not take political advice from Kevin McCarthy," albeit not until the 10th paragraph.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EST
Monday, January 27, 2020
Another Purportedly Non-Biased Group Gets Space At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

NewsBusters published a Jan. 13 post by James D. Agresti that seems designed to fit the Media Research Center's media-bashing narrative:

NBC News reporter and political director Chuck Todd recently railed against “misinformation” and singled out President Trump and “the right” for having an “incentive structure” to spread it. Todd, who according to NBC, “is responsible for all aspects of the network’s political coverage,” also stated that Republicans criticize the media for “sport” and “the loudest chanters of fake news” are “the ones who, under a lie detector, would probably take our word over any word they’ve heard from the other side on whether something was poisonous or not.”

Speaking directly to those unsupported claims, a scientific survey commissioned by Just Facts shows that many people are indeed misinformed—but contrary to Todd—this is a bipartisan affair. In fact, the survey found that the most commonly believed misinformation accords with left-leaning narratives spread by the press, and Democrat voters are more likely to accept these falsehoods than Trump voters. Furthermore, sizable portions of Trump voters have swallowed some of these media-promoted liberal fictions, as well as some conservative ones.

A good number of the questions in the survey seem designed to push a conservative narrative, particularly regarding taxes and school choice and energy (though it does conceded that "the earth has become measurably warmer since the 1980s." Indeed, Just Facts' front page seems to reflect a conservative mindset; one article pushed the right-wing narrative that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than native Americans despite the data being questionable at best.

Despite that -- and the fact that this article is published at an indisputably conservative outlet, where Agresti has published previous items -- Just Facts insists on presenting itself as non-biased. Agresti has even written a lengthy attack on the Media Bias Fact Check website for daring to suggest that it has a conservative bias, attacking the website's reasoning as "flagrant and simplistic" and accusing it of being "either inept and/or dishonest."

It seems that, like another purportedly unbiased group the MRC has given space to, AllSides, Just Facts is a  stealth conservative organization, cloaking its agenda in "science." Ask yourself this question: If they weren't, would the MRC be allowing them to write for it?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EST
WND Repeats 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore complained in a Jan. 20 WorldNetDaily article:

At a black Baptist church Sunday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., former Vice President Joe Biden repeated the false claim that President Trump referred to neo-Nazis as "very fine people" then linked the president to the Ku Klux Klan.


Biden repeated the claim that Trump had in mind neo-Nazis and white supremacists when he said there were "very fine people on both sides" of the debate. In fact, Trump immediately made it clear he was talking about people who wanted to maintain statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate figures, not "the neo-Nazis and white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally."

As we detailed when WND columnist Michael Brown similarly complained about the "Charlotteville Lie," the group that was protesting the removal of the Confederate statue and Robert E. Lee park renaming was a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr. That means the folks protesting the removal of the statues were not "very fine people."

Like a lot of other conspiracy theories, the "Charlottesville lie" lie will not die at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 AM EST
Sunday, January 26, 2020
MRC's Graham Defends Trump Shutting Down Press Briefings
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham devoted a Jan. 12 post to complaining that CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brtian Stelter featured "a letter posted on by 13 former press secretaries -- nine of them with Clinton or Obama, and three of them paid CNN analysts -- demanding regular briefings at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon." Because CNN derangement is an MRC go-to, Graham immediately sneered, "It felt like another CNN ploy to get some Jim Acosta screaming on the air." He then huffed:

[Former Obama spokesman John] Kirby tried to make this sound like reporters add a beautiful polish of coherence to public policy -- instead of screaming and yelling and throwing tantrums. "The American people have a right to know that the kind of decisions made by their elected leaders have been informed by context and deeper understanding."

Stelter yelled at [deputy press secretary] Gidley instead of considering the argument that the press can sound more like hecklers than the forces of "context and deeper understanding."

Needless to say, Graham is being utterly hypocritical. He and the MRC had no problem with reporters heckling the president when that president was a Democrat and the reporter was a partisan conservative named Neil Munro.

Graham also seems to not have noticed that his fit of Acosta Derangement Sydrome can be turned on its head: The White House is afraid to give Acosta (or any other legitimate reporter) a platform to ask questions of the White House lest they make Trump and Co. look bad.

That's the problem with Graham's commentaries, since they are steeped in partisan politics and devoid of journalistic knowledge: They can always be turned around on him, and he'll alwayd look like a hypocrite in making them.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EST
CNS Hides The Fact That Defense Secretary Saw No Imminent Threat From Iran
Topic: likes to selectively report on interviews by President Trump's allies, writing around inconvenient revelations or criticism to focus on the Repubican talking point du jour. This happened again in a Jan. 13 CNS article that begins this way:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday defended President Trump's targeted strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

"We are safer today than we were just a few weeks ago. Why? Because we took out the world's foremost terrorist leader, Qassem Soleimani, who had the blood of hundreds of American dead service members on his hands," Esper told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"Secondly, we restored deterrence with Iran without any United States casualties. And, third, we reassured our partners -- partners and allies in the region that we will stand up and defend our interests."

Jones and CNS dedicated no other article to Esper's interview. Which means that Jones was writing around its big revelation, that Esper admitted he didn't see any evidence of what Trump portray as an imminent threat from Soleimani to attack as many as four U.S. embassies.

But CNS couldn't ignore that important information, though. So it was buried in other articles:

  • Another article by Jones waited until the 18th paragraph to note that "Even Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday he didn't see evidence of a specific threat against four U.S. embassies."
  • An article by Patrick Goodenough waited until the 12th paragraph to report that "Defense Secretary Mark Esper made headlines Sunday when he told CBS’s 'Face the Nation' that he had not seen specific evidence 'with regard to four embassies' being under threat of attack, as Trump stated on Friday."

This is bad journalism. If a mainstream media outlet did this sort of distortion, selective reporting and burying the lead, CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be going on the attack.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
Saturday, January 25, 2020
An MRC Tweet Asks A Very Dumb Question
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's penchant for really dumb tweets seems to have trickled down into his Media Research Center at large. On Jan. 15, the MRC's NewsBusters account tweeted: "If 'impeachment lasts forever,' why did it oh so very rarely come up when the Clintons were running for president in 2016?" with an animated GIF of Bill and Hillary Clinton?

As numerous commenters pointed out, Hillary Clinton was running for president, not Bill. Hillary wasn't impeached, and despite what the MRC seems to thin, Bill's impeachment did not magically transfer to her.

Further, the MRC's argument that impeachment should last forever collides with a narrative pushed by another MRC division: A Jan. 22 article favorably quoted Alan Dershowitz declaring that if the Senate votes to acquit President Trump, his impeachment will "disappear."

Surprisingly, this tweet is still live as of this writing -- the MRC is apparently not embarassed by the post's utter failure of logic to delete it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EST
Mychal Massie's Ilhan Omar Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The towel Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, wears on her head is apparently tied so tight that it's causing a variant form of torsion, in which the oxygen is being shut off to her brain – thus restricting her already severely limited capacity to function on even a marginal level.

For those inclined to disagree with me, let me point out that it doesn't take above average mental ability to hate Jews, marry a family member (in her case repeated reports indicate she married her brother) and sleeping around with married men, destroying their families. Someone with the mental capacity of a pork chop understands that publicly displaying the morals of an alley cat brings shame on their children especially when questions are raised about their real father.


How bad for Omar that unlike Muslims, true Christians in America view life as sacred regardless of the color of skin. She only values life if it is Muslim, and it is even more to be valued if it's an Islamic terrorist who dies like the pig he was when he was alive.

-- Mychal Massie, Jan. 13 WorldNetDailiy column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EST
Friday, January 24, 2020
MRC Is Shocked Impeachment Warrants News Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

President Trump is facing impeachment. Must be time for another bogus Media Research Center Trump coverage "study," in which it pretends to be shocked that impeaching a president is considered newsworthy! Take it away, Rich Noyes and Bill D'Agostino:

In the first 100 days since House Democrats began their impeachment push on September 24, ABC, CBS and NBC have aggressively aided the effort. A Media Research Center analysis finds the Big Three evening newscasts have battered the President with 93% negative coverage and promoted impeachment at the expense of nearly all other Trump news.

At the same time, the broadcast networks donated at least 124 hours of wall-to-wall live coverage as they pre-empted regular programming in favor of House Democrat-led impeachment activities. On the other hand, the networks’ frenzy over impeachment has meant the Democratic presidential candidates have been barely visible on the evening newscasts, even though voting is due to begin in just three weeks.

The MRC's usual dishonesty applies: 1) The "study" focuses only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and baselessly suggests it's indicative of all media (and conveniently shielding Fox News from scrutiny); 2) it pretends there is no neutral coverage of Trump by rejecting all neutral coverage in favor of dishonestly tallying only "explicitly evaluative statements"; 3) it fails to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or to admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover the story; and 4) it fails to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its conclusions could be reviewed by others.

Also note the MRC's framing of impeachment coverage as being "donated" to Democrats. That happens in the collective MRC mind when reality has a liberal bias -- and the MRC exists to donate positive coverage to Trump and Republicans.

And, yes Noyes and D'Agostino really are surprised to learn that impeachment is considered a legitimate news story:

In the first 100 days since Pelosi announced the start of the House impeachment inquiry on September 24 (through January 1), ABC, CBS and NBC have generated a combined 849 minutes of evening news coverage about the subject.

For comparison, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller was named back on May 17, 2017, it took those same newscasts more than twice as long (until December 29 of that year, or 226 days) to register the same amount of airtime for the Russia investigation. In other words, the networks are spending more than twice as much airtime on the Ukraine probe as they did on the Russia probe.

Noyes and D'Agostino advance another right-wing narrative, that Trump can't possibly be guilty because not enough people are watching the proceedings on TV, as if justice was linked to popularity: "Such unusual coverage aims to build up the significance of the event in the viewer’s mind — suggesting an historic moment on par with the Kennedy assassination or 9/11, not a futile partisan exercise. But Nielsen ratings showed the public didn’t seem interested with the hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee."

By contrast, the MRC has an audience of one: the man in the White House. And he must be pleased no matter what.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EST
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch

The last time we checked in with editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's obsession with documenting federal budget deficits and refusal to call out President Trump for his role in creating them over the past few years, we noted that Jeffrey had yet to write an article about $1.4 trillion spending bill that was approved by a Republican-controlled Senate and signed by Trump.

Well, it's been over a month now, and Jeffrey still hasn't written a story on the budget deal. He has, however, written two more articles about federal deficits. The first, on Dec. 31, asserted:

The federal debt increased by a record $10,796,419,662,320 in the decade that is coming to a close today, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury.

This was the first decade in the history of the nation when increases in the federal debt averaged more than $1 trillion per year.

As usual, Jeffrey did not mention Trump's name, though he also did not mention President Obama's or that the large amound of deficit spending under his presidency was done to help pull the country out of a serious recession. He did, however, accompany his story with a picture of both Trump and Obama.

Jeffrey followed up in usual form in a Jan. 14 article:

The federal government spent a record $1,163,090,000,000 in the first three months of fiscal 2020 (October through December), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Monday afternoon.

That was up $48,008,200,000 from the $1,115,081,800,000 (in constant December 2019 dollars) that the federal government spent in the first three months of fiscal 2019.

While spending a record amount of money in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, total federal tax collections were only the third highest in the nation’s history.


With the record spending in the October-through-December period exceeding the third-highest tax collections in history, the federal government ran a deficit of $356,578,000,000 during the period.

Again, Jeffrey failed to mention under whose presidency all this record spending and mounting deficits are taking place. And, as usual, he used a picture of Trump and Nancy Pelosi to illustrate it, as if the two are equally responsible. But Trump's head is facing backwards so you can't see his face, while Pelosi is easily recognizable, falsely suggesting that Pelosi is mostly to blame.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 AM EST

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