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Tuesday, February 4, 2020
MRC Invents Bias At GAO To Protect Trump From GAO Finding
Topic: Media Research Center

We documented above how the Media Research Center's "news" division was so determined to protect President Trump from a ruling by the Government Accountability Office that Trump violated the law in withholding aid to Ukraine that editor in chief Terry Jeffrey dredged up an -eight-year-old story about the GAO ruling against President Obama in an effort to divert attention from it. The MRC itself served up its own desperate spin away from the GAO report.

Joseph Vazquez thinks he has the magic bullet in a Jan. 21 post: The GAO can't possibly be nonpartisan because its employees are represenbted by a" liberal" union! (bolding in original)

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Jan. 16 that President Donald Trump broke the law when he withheld aid from Ukraine. The union for that “independent, nonpartisan” agency naturally supports Democrats. Just don’t expect the media to tell you about it.

The GAO calls itself an “independent, nonpartisan” congressional agency. Liberal outlets, continuing the media-driven impeachment crusade, gave full credence to the GAO’s self-proclaimed “nonpartisan” status.

The GAO Employees Organization and its bureaucrats are currently represented by the International Federation of Professionals and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), AFL-CIO & CLC, a labor union that represents workers in both the U.S. and Canada. Here’s the problem: IFPTE’s political action committee gave 100 percent of its political contributions ($36,250) to Democratic candidates in 2016, 89 percent of its political contributions ($61,950) to Democratic candidates in 2018, and currently 75 percent of its political contributions ($26,900) to Democratic candidates for the 2020 electoral cycle.

The GAO Employees Organization, “the union and professional association” of GAO bureaucrats, stated in its website that it “is an affiliate of IFPTE, designated as IFPTE Local 1921, named after the year GAO was created.”

If your credibility as an agency hinges on you being “independent, nonpartisan,” why do your bureaucrats choose to be represented by a union that’s overtly partisan? Moreover, why are liberal media outlets ignoring this?

Um, because it's bogus and irrelevant? How about the fact that by citing an instance in which the GAO criticized Obama, CNS' Jeffrey blew up this dumb talking point?

How about the fact that the MRC itself has approvingly cited GAO studies during the Obama years in which, weirdly,  the employees union was not mentioned? For example:

  • In July 2014, Matthew Balan complained that "The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies."
  • An October 2014 post touted how anti-abortion advocates "criticized taxpayer funding of abortion through ObamaCare, as brought to light in a new GAO report."
  • And in July 2015, Scott Whitlock grumbled that "CBS and NBC on Thursday skipped the revelation that ObamaCare is particularly vulnerable to scams. Only ABC's Good Morning America covered the Government Accountability Office's fraud investigation and the two-hour show only allowed a scant 17 seconds on the topic."

Needless to say, Vazquez offered no evidence that the GAO's methodology in arriving at its Trump ruling was any different than in rulings his employer previously touted. Instead he baselessly ranted that the union connection made the GAO "partisanly-suspect."

Weird how the GAO suddenly became highly partisan and non-credible at the MRC the second it announced a ruling that criticized a president it has sworn to defend at all costs. It's as if the MRC is driven by political expediency instead of core principles of fact and logic.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 8:23 PM EST
CNS Spins For Trump (Again) Against GAO Ruling

When the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a finding that the Trump administration broke the law by withholding aid to Ukraine last year, it was time for loayl pro-Tump state media outlet to go into spin mode.

An article by Susan Jones, originally headlined "Dems Seize on GAO Report That Trump's OMB Broke the Law by Withholding Ukraine Funds" -- in a flipped verson of the regular complaint of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, that the "liberal media" allegedly frames stories consiered negative to liberals by how "conservatives pounce" on them -- but later changed to the blander and less biased headline "Pelosi, Pointing to GAO Report, Says Trump 'Broke the Law'," was first up. She rehashed the Trump defense: "Democrats say Trump was using the Ukraine aid as leverage to force political favors from Ukraine's new president, including the announcement of an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden's Ukraine dealings. That announcement never happened, nor did the investigations."

Jones omitted the fact that an announcement of investigations almost did happen; as an actual news outlet reported, Ukranian president Volodomyr Zelensky was planning to announce them on a CNN show, knowing the aid would not be released until he had done so, but a Politico article exposed how the aid had been held up, forcing the aid to be released without a statement from Zelensky.

Jones also toed the Trump line in parroting the claim that while "Democrats have impeached Trump for abuse of power (allegedly using security aid to force political favors from Ukraine) and obstruction of Congress (refusing to hand over witnesses and documents) ... the articles of impeachment allege no law-breaking by the president."

CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, however, went for the full-on whataboutism distraction, penning a lengthy article about a GAO ruling from more than eight years ago:

The Government Accountability Office concluded in a written opinion published on Oct. 11, 2011 that President Barack Obama’s White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) had violated two laws in its dealings with the People’s Republic of China.

“In the opinion, we determined that OSTP violated a statutory provision prohibiting the agency from using its appropriations for bilateral engagements with China or any Chinese-owned company,” Thomas H. Armstrong, who was then the managing associate general counsel of the GAO, told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in written testimony on Nov. 2, 2011.

“Because no funds were available for such purpose,” Armstrong testified, “OSTP’s actions also violated the Antideficiency Act, a fiscal statute central to Congress’s power of the purse.”

It's not until the final two paragraphs of his 41-paragraph article that Jeffrey got around to mentioning the GAO ruling against Trump.

Jeffrey didn't explain why, if this story was so important and newsworthy, he waited eight-plus years to tell his readers about it. Perhaps because it was suddenly newsworthy only as a way to divert attention from Trump's behavior.

The Trump White House couldn't be getting more favorable coverage from CNS if they paid for it. One may wonder if that is indeed the case.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:44 PM EST
Monday, February 3, 2020
Newsmax Columnist Laughably Claims Trump Ushered In 'Age Of Truth'
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Dorstewitz wrote in his Jan. 17 Newsmax column:

One refreshing result of the age of Trump is the sudden emphasis of truth over propriety that even lawmakers have now adopted. Although CNN is having a hard time dealing with it, the network may want to simply sit this one out and accept reality.

When CNN’s Manu Raju requested a quote Thursday from Sen. Martha McSally on the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, the Arizona Republican and former combat fighter pilot clearly had other things on her mind.

“You’re a liberal hack,” she answered. “I’m not talking to you.”

When Raju again asked if she would comment, she repeated, “You’re a liberal hack.”

In recounting the incident, Raju claimed that McSally “lashed out” to him. Former Obama administration senior advisor she had “a meltdown.” But no, she was merely dismissive and said it matter-of-factly.

Needless to say, Dorstewitz offered no evidence to back up McSally's claim that Raju was a "liberal hack," instead attacking CNN as a whole with the usual right-wing anti-media attacks.

But back up a bit and note that Dorstewitz began his column by celebrating the "emphasis of truth over propriety" that has come with the age of Trump." By the end of his column, he's in full-blown denialthat Trump even tells falsehoods and is celebrating an "age of truth" under Trump:

As for Trump, liberal pundits and Democratic politicians often accuse members of the administration, and especially the president, of repeatedly lying. What the administration has actually done is to usher in an age of truth over decorum. It just takes a while getting used to it.

Here’s an example of the process of accepting the new White House rules in the age of Trump:

  • 2016: “Did you hear what Trump said this time? Unbelievable!”
  • 2019: “Trump called her ‘Hatchet Face?’ ... Yeah, I can see that.”

New times, new rules. Get used to them. Trump’s going to be around for another five years, and yes, Raju can be “a liberal hack.”

Since Dorstewitz is a sudden fan over "truth over decorum," he shouldn't be offended by us pointing out that Trump does, in fact, lie repeatedly, and his portrayal of lies as truth is laughable at best and Orwellian at worst.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EST
MRC's Graham Melts Down Over Obamas Making Money
Topic: Media Research Center

The Obamas are living rent-free inside Media Research Center executive Tim Graham's head, and they've been gone from the White House for three years. He huffed in a Jan. 17 post:

The same media elites are are eternally suspicious of all Trump business activities -- a fair topic for investigation -- have generally demonstrated a dramatic incuriosity about the Barack and Michelle Obama wealth boom. Whatever coverage bubbles up comes with a You-Go-Guys tone. Last August, TMZ reported the Obamas were buying a $15 million mansion on Martha's Vineyard. Non-Fox network coverage? Zero. In December, they actually bought said mansion for $11.75 million. Non-Fox network coverage? Again, zero.

Graham conveniently ignores the fact that Trump is currently president, which even he concedes is "a fair topic for investigation," while the Obamas hold no political office and have, as noted above, been gone from the White House for three years. And, really, shouldn't Graham be praising the Obamas' savvy in negotiating down the price of the Martha's Vineyard.

Graham, though, really seems to be mad that the Obamas are doing well post-presidency, citing a reported $65 million publishing deal, an allegedly similarly lucrative development deal with Netflix and another deal with Spotify. Graham sneered: "Maybe the press could ask for a tax return?"

Graham's spotty partisan memory fails him again: Unlike Trump's current status, the Obamas are private citizens and their tax returns have ceased to be the public's business. Graham also omits the fact that the Obamas are earning that money, at least when it comes to the book deal; Michelle Obama's book has sold 10 million copies so far.

As far as cashing in on the presidency goes, the Obamas are arguably following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, who made $2 million giving a couple of speeches in Japan after he left office. We don't recall Graham ever getting upset about that.

Graham concluded by complaining that the "spin" that the Obamas remain engaged in civil life "always works with the media elites that eagerly voted for Obama twice, and seem to promote the Obamas at any moment the Obamas wish to be promoted." By contrast, Graham would never accuse Reagan of being a post-presidency money-grubber because the spin that he's a right-wing saint always works on conservative elites like him.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:31 PM EST
WND's Cashill Still Defending Shadowy Anti-Muslim Filmmaker
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist and conspiracy-monger Jack Cashill has previously come to the defense of filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who deceived actors appearing in his badly made film "The Innocence of Muslims" by hiding the fact that it was an anti-Muslim screed, which did indeed spark protests in more than 20 countries even if it turned out not to be the main spark behind the Benghazi attack. Cashill once again whitewashes Nakoula's criminal history and sleazy deceptions over his film in his Jan. 22 column.

Cashill complained that President Obama referred to Nakoula as "sort of a shadowy character," despite the fact that he was; even Cashill had to concede that Nakoula was "on parole for his involvement in a check-kiting scheme." Cashill even justified Nakoula's making the film because "when Nakoula was making his film, there were at least 10 Muslim attacks on his fellow Coptic Christians in Egypt" and that "anti-Muslim sentiments" are "as understandable for Copts as anti-Nazi sentiments were for Jews in pre-war Germany."

Cashill got even more contradictory, claiming that federal officials held Nkoula "in secret without charge or without access to an attorney," then later admitted that uploading the film to YouTube violated his probation -- then suggested, but offered no evidence to back it up, that Nakoula didn't actually upload the video.

Cashill concluded by whining: "That an American citizen was about to spend a year in federal custody for producing a perfectly legal satire inspired not a single major media journalist to cry foul. But then again, they had a president to reelect. With their swooning support, that president was and would remain famously 'scandal free.'"

The fact that Nakoula malicously deceived his actors -- putting their lives in danger -- and lived a life of deception appears not to bother Cashill one bit.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 AM EST
Sunday, February 2, 2020
MRC: Historical Accuracy Is 'Partisan'
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Jan. 20 post, the Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth complained that on CNN, "weekend anchor Fredricka Whitfield touted 'shock and outrage' over the National Archives blurring part of a sign from the annual anti-Trump Women's March declaring 'God hates Trump.'" Wilmouth huffed in response:

CNN not only had trouble imagining "God hates Trump" could be seen as offensive, they could not imagine that it was quite partisan for the National Archives to be promoting contemporary images of feminist protest against the current president as part of an impressive historical trajectory in line with the women's suffrage movement of the last century.

So historical accuracy to properly show protests against Trump as in league with protests throughout American history is "partisan"? Wilmouth quoted nobody in his post who likened the anti-Trump protest to  "the women's suffrage movement," but he didn't explain that the photo was presented with a photo from a 1913 women's suffrage march. Nor did he mention that the juxtaposition of the photos was not done with "partisan" intent but, rather, "to illustrate the ongoing struggles of women fighting for their interests,"and the blurring out of Trump's name was an attempt by the Archives to avoid "current political controversy."

Wilmouth did not address the point that an entity calling itself the National Archives maybe should not be censoring anything. Apparently Wilmouth is down with official censorship if it offends a Republican president.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EST
CNS Still Upset That Trump Nominated A Gay Man For Judgeship

We've noted how one of's ever-so-brief refusals to slavishly toe the pro-Trump propaganda line is when he appoints gay judges. In October 2018, CNS' Craig Bannister took offense to Trump's nomination of Patrick Bumatay as a federal appeals court judge; his being a Harvard law graduate and member of the right-wing Federalist Society was far outweighed by him being an "ovenly gay lawyer" who did work for the Tom Homann LGBT Association, named after a man who, according to Bannister, "was a strong advocate for ensuring that explicit, hardcore pornography was available to the public and that topless bars were not not burdened by too many city rules."

More than a year later, CNS was still upset that Bumatay got nominated. An anonymously written Jan. 6 article complained:

Then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Bumatay, whom President Donald Trump had nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Night Circuit, introduced his same-sex husband and their twin baby daughters when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing on Oct. 30, 2019.

“I finally want to introduce my husband, Alex,” Bumatay told the committee at that hearing.

“He’s an outstanding father and a trained phlebotomist,” Bumatay said.


“This year, we received the greatest blessings of our lives. In April, our twin daughters, Ellie and Irena, were born,” said this Trump appellate court nominee.

“As you can imagine, they are a handful, but we are still thankful for them,” said Bumatay. “They have changed our lives for the better in infinite ways.”

The anonymous writer seemed dismayed that Bumatay was confirmed by the Senate with the vote of "all 53 Republicans. The writer also rehashed Bumatay's ties to the Tom Homann LGBT Association, apparently upset the the organization is "dedicated to the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues throughout California and the nation." Finally, for some reason, the article included the "transcript of Bumatay introducing his family, including his husband and twin baby daughters, at this confirmation hearing."

Note that this happened on Oct. 30, but CNS didn't see fit to write about it until more than two months later. CNS did not explain why it waited so long to report on this.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 2, 2020 4:16 PM EST
Saturday, February 1, 2020
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center can walk and chew gum at the same time, it seems -- even as it's in full Trump defense mode on impeachment, it hasn't forgotten about hating the LGBT community.

Gabriel Hays complained about the "new, inclusive future" of Marvel Comics with the planned introduction of a transgender superhero, grousing that "apparently trans representation is as much a priority as is portraying African American heroes and strong female characters." He further complained that a brief same-sex kiss in the final "Star Wars" movie was "angering folks who didn’t want a PC lecture," though failing to explain how a kiss equated to a "lecture."

Hays returned to complain that Taylor Swift was receiving an award marking her commitment to LGBTQ issues, whining: "Taylor is less of a hero, and more so just another spoiled celebrity being paraded out by special interest groups in order to condescend to people who are reluctant to join progressive causes. She’s a leftwing android more or less. She promotes all the boilerplate gay lobby crap and bashes Donald Trump supporters as scary racists."

So, is Hays a right-wing android, promoting boilerplate gay-hating crap? Pretty much, given that he went on to rant about the alleged "over-representation of LGBTQ folks in TV/film entertainment" and attacked Swift again as "just another one of the left’s anti-intellectual, propaganda mouthpieces that helps GLAAD bully people into submission." As if Hays isn't trying to bully LGBT advocates into shutting up.

Elise Ehrhard ranted about what she thinks the "LGBT agenda" is:

The LGBT agenda is not about “live and let live.” It is about delegitimizing “heteronormativity” and locking children into sexual “identities.” The days of a girl being free to go through tomboy phases or a boy simply liking pretty, “girly” things at some stage in his childhood is long gone. The LGBT movement insists on projecting their own arrested psycho-sexual development onto all children regardless of the realities of those children’s experiences.

Ehrhard also went on another hate-watching binge, declaring that one show "left me enraged." But the MRC is paying her to hate-watch such shows, so her hateful rage is becoming quite lucrative.

Hays came back again to try and bully another LGBT person into shutting up:

Seemingly benign LGBTQ personality Jonathan Van Ness has devoted recent months to authoring children’s books with not-so-benign themes. The Queer Eye star is doing his part to introduce transgenderism and gender confusion to children with a picture book about a “nonbinary guinea pig.”

It’s about time that Van Ness sashayed away from the spotlight.

Lindsay Kornick grumbled that the "Batwoman" series -- which she has previously attacked for making the titular superhero a lesbian -- "goes the extra mile by 'outing' Batwoman as a lesbian in the universe of the show. Apparently, that’s the latest milestone for the LGBTQ community." She then lectured: "After all, what does Batwoman being a lesbian have to do with her being a superhero? Being gay doesn’t make one any more noble or self-sacrificing, so it hardly constitutes mentioning in a show about being a hero. Sadly, representation and having a progressive image seems to be more important than saving lives in the world of Batwoman."

Ehrhard returned to complain that a TV show about "rural Christian churchgoers" had a scene in which said churchgoers sang "Ave Maria" in a "gay drag bar," leading her to ponder: "But why, exactly, must Christians openly celebrate drag culture in order to love gay or transgender individuals?" She then channeled Glenn Beck by huffing that the scene was "just another example of how far the Overton window has been pushed in American living rooms."

Alexa Moutevelis melted down over how one TV show "had it's 12-year-old characters share their first kiss - a gay kiss," ranting that "For reasons I can't even begin to fathom, ABC insists on pushing the homosexual agenda on children, taking it further and further with each episode."

Kornick devoted another post to her hate-watching of "Batwoman," this time complaining that the show has been "forced to introduce a homophobic police force to pretend having a lesbian lead really matters," retorting that "Considering one can hardly refuse to serve gay wedding cakes in this day and age anymore, I think the progressives doth protest too much."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EST
WND Still Pretending Criminal Ex-Congressman Stockman Is A Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, it seems, just can't quit its favorite felonious ex-congressman, Steve Stockman. Rachel Alexander, the WND columnist who has been obsessively spinning the tale that Stockman's conviction on multiple fraud charges was a Deep State conspiracy was at it again in a Jan. 20 column that begins: "If you raise money for a nonprofit, but don't finish all of the projects you were raising it for, you could go to prison for 10 years. This is no exaggeration."

Given that Stockman was convicted on charges that he spent money earmarked to establish a center for conservative interns in Washington instead on things like spying on political rival and going on dolphin boat rides, that is very much an exaggeration.

Alexander spun anyway, claiming again that Stockman is a "very outspoken conservative congressman who appears to have been targeted by the left through the legal system" and insisting that said diverted money were actually a salary he was being paid from nonprofits that he ran and "how he spent his salary was his own business." She went on to huff that "Stockman was convicted of merely process crimes, which are meant to pile on, and crimes that normally are handled civilly by correcting a filing," concluding:

Stockman has an impeccable background with no criminal convictions until now. The Department of Justice is out of control, and it's unfortunate President Donald Trump has not been able to clean it up yet. Left-wing prosecutors targeted and overly prosecuted Stockman to send a message to outspoken conservative elected officials: Back down or you will pay. Convicted murderers have served less than 10 years in prison. Let's hope wiser heads at the U.S. Supreme Court agree to take this case. Alternatively, Trump needs to pardon Stockman.

Making a case for Trump to pardon Stockman is the ultimate goal of all this, which WND has lobbied for previously.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EST
Friday, January 31, 2020
MRC Deflects From Dershowitz's Ties To Jeffrey Epstein
Topic: Media Research Center

When the Jeffrey Epstein story broke anew last summer, the Media Research Center didn't want to talk about the convicted pedophile's links to its favorite legalistic Trump defender, attorney Alan Dershowitz. After laying low for a while when one of Epstein's underage victims accused Dershowitz of inappropriate behavior with her, Dershowitz is suddenly high profile again after becoming part of President Trump's legal team on impeachment matters. And after near complete radio silence from the MRC on the issue, the MRC has become annoyed that people are bringing up Dershowitz's ties to Epstein.

In a Jan. 21 post, Kristine Marsh complained that "The View" co-host pointed out that Dershowitz "defended Epstein," which makes it "seems like there's something very gross about all these people that they have something to hide." Marsh then complained that Behar wouldn't fall for a Republican-friendly attempt at deflection: "After co-host Meghan McCain pointed out that President Clinton had a relationship with Epstein as well, Behar dismissed that point as not relevant because he wasn’t the one getting impeached 'right now.'"

The same day, Alex Christy expressed displeasure that CNN analyst Elie Honig discussed "controversial" members of Trump's defense team like Dershowitz, offering up his own "so what" defense: "Honig declared, 'He's been involved in high-profile cases he’s defended from O.J. Simpson to more recently Jeffrey Epstein.' So? Even the worst people are entitled to defense counsel. Honig went on to cite the Epstein-related sexual assault allegations against Dershowitz, that Dershowitz has denied."

Is Christy putting Trump on his list of "worst people" entitled to a legal defense? He doesn't make that clear.

Gabriel Hays then complained that Samantha Bee highlighted "Dershowitz’s friendship with billionaire and alleged suicide victim Jeffrey Epstein, saying, 'In Dershowitz’s defense, it’s not like he was close friends with notorious pedophile and didn’t-kill-himself-er Jeffrey Epstein. Oh no, I’m sorry, he totally was.' Boom, roasted, right?"

Hays then immediately went into whataboutism mode: "But isn’t the source of much of her rage the fact that Trump beat her own preferred rapist protector in the 2016 election? I mean, regardless of any of these men’s charges, Samantha’s Hillary Clinton support shows that she supports the same kind of person."

It seems the MRC is still a bit uncomforable with the fact that Dershowitz is basically the same kind of "sleazy porn lawyer" it normally hates.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EST
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

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