MRC Again Pushes Lousy-Ratings Narrative On Impeachment Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center apparently liked the narrative it pushed late last year that the Trump impeachment hearings were illegitimate because the TV ratings were bad -- as if popularity was related to justice -- that it glommed onto it again.
The ratings are in for the first day of the Democratic House Managers impeachment arguments in front of the Senate, and the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) collectively lost about three million viewers who would have been expected to watch their normal fare of daytime soap operas.
According to preliminary Nielsen data posted on TVNewser.com, just over 4 million people watched the first day of the Democrats’ opening arguments on Wednesday on the broadcast networks, who handed over vast swaths of their daytime programming to the impeachment trial. Among the Big Three, CBS saw 1.52 million average viewers, followed by ABC and NBC, with 1.29 million and 1.26 million, respectively.
These numbers are actually down from the 5.1 million average viewerswho tuned in these networks for Tuesday’s tedious debate about the rules for the Senate trial.
By suspending regular programming and joining cable news in providing hours of live coverage, the broadcast networks are signaling that viewers should consider the Senate trial a momentous, historic occasion. But viewers aren’t buying it.
On an average weekday, ABC, CBS and NBC run daytime dramas that attract far more viewers than tuned in to the supposed history of the Senate trial.
Noyes added that "some loyal soap opera fans are venting their anger at the decision to run the same event that’s available on all of the cable news networks," adding anonymous potshots from a comment thread. (Wait, doesn't the MRC hate anonymous sources?)
A Jan. 30 post by Randy Hall crowed that Fox News is the "most-watched cable news network," adding, "January, of course, was the impeachment trial. Apparently, Americans just don't to watch the liberal CNN's spin on the Senate trial." The next day, Hall fully embraced the narrative:
Common complaints during the first seven days of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump were that the broadcasts went on far too long, and the hearings were boring in part because the coverage usually ran from 1 p.m. through primetime and sometimes into the early morning hours.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that ratings for coverage of the hearings fell sharply among the “Big Three” after CBS attracted an average of only 1.52 million viewers, followed by ABC with 1.29 million and 1.26 million for NBC.
The MRC even extended the narrative to social media, with a Jan. 26 post by Tim Graham chortling about how the trial had lower engagement than the hearings: "Isn't it obvious that viewers might see the trial as a repeat? The House managers literally played a pile of clips from the House hearings. And who builds TV ratings when everyone knows this show will be canceled -- by an acquittal?"
None of these MRC writers explained the link between popularity and justice they imply exists.
CNS Criticizes Fellow Right-Wing Outlet's Anti-Semitism, Hides That It Previously Promoted Its Interviews Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com does a lot of things wrong journalistically -- specifically, its extreme pro-Trump bias -- but it occasionally does the right thing, for which it deserves at least some credit. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Jan. 23 article:
The news outlet TruNews, whose host Rick Wiles describes Jews as "deceivers" who "plot" and "lie," and who have orchestrated a "Jew coup" against President Donald Trump, was invited to cover the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland by the White House, according to Wiles.
"We just want to thank President Trump and the White House for extending the invitation to be here today and throughout the week," Wiles stated in a Jan. 21 report from Davos. (The World Economic Forum runs Jan. 21-24.)
In addition, CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted on Wednesday, "The White House Correspondents' Association (@WHCA), which does *NOT* make credentialing decisions, confirms to me that the White House credentialed the anti-Semitic TruNews. WHCA says it is raising this issue with the WH."
Chapman even added at the end that "CNSNews.com contacted the White House press office by telephone, Twitter, and email and asked if it had given press credentials to TruNews. The White House did not respond before this story was published."
Chapman, however, gets only partial credit here. Why? Because he has promoted interviews Wiles has conducted, since they share many of the same values, anti-Semitism aside:
A June 2015 article by Chapman touted a Wiles interview with Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, who said that "God’s judgment on America is at the 'tipping point' because of our abandonment of Israel, the killing of 60 million babies by abortion, and the legal recognition of gay marriage."
In March 2016, Chapman cited how gun activist Larry Pratt said on Wiles' show that then-Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland has consistently voted against “an individual right to keep and bear arms” and is a moderate only in the sense that the “Kremlin” has some “moderates.”
In June 2016, Chapman promoted a Wiles interview with North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who ranted that two prominent newspapers in the state are “are two of the most liberal rags in the country right now” because it criticized a new state law "that says men and women must use the bathroom and shower that matches their sex at birth.
A September 2016 article by Chapman repeated a Wiles interview with former Republican Rep. Paul Broun declaring that the family is being destroyed through "political correctness and through the homosexual rights agenda."
Chapman didn't tell his readers that he has previously promoted Wiles' interviews.
MRC Complains TV Characters Aren't Shamed For Having Abortions Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center wants women to feel forever stigmatized for having an abortion -- even make-believe characters on TV shows.Despite the fact that abortion is a common and safe medical procedure that has been legal for decades, Rebecca Downs spent a Jan. 24 post fretting that TV shows have "normalized abortion":
While television networks largely celebrate abortion, it’s worth noting that a celebration of life is taking place, with the annual March for Life on January 24. Whether networks will finally give these peaceful pro-lifers their due in media coverage, after for years neglecting them, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, liberal television networks, from news shows, to actress spokespersons, to television dramas, continue to promote abortion to the public.
Here’s a look at some of the most memorable abortion moments on television from the past year.
Downs' definition of "promoting" abortion is when a female character is not shamed or stigmatized for having one. For instance, she complains that one character's admission that she had an abortion as a teenager is an example of how "teen abortions are pushed." She even attacked shows with more instances of non-judgmental treatment of abortion as "repeat offenders."
Downs also complains that anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers are criticized on TV:
Crisis Pregnancy Centers are a valuable resource enabling women facing unplanned pregnancies to choose life for their children. Sometimes this means choosing adoption, sometimes parenting. They’re not meant to judge, but to help women. You’d never know that from how the liberal networks address CPCs, mostly as “fake clinics.”
In fact, it's been documented how CPCs do judge, do coerce and mislead women. Downs is pushing a fantasy by pretending that doesn't happen.
Lowell Ponte wrote in his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column:
Two major stories top the news – the Democratic Party's illegitimate leftist effort to oust our duly elected President Donald Trump by dishonest impeachment, and the rapidly-spreading epidemic from China of a dangerous respiratory disease. These two stories are surprisingly similar.
The socialist Democratic Party's aim is to regain control over the government, which it intends to make infinitely large, powerful and coercive.
"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force," said George Washington in a quote often attributed to him. "And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
Ponte won't tell you, but he's taking refuge in the "often attributed" claim about the Washington quote to hide the fact that Washington likely never said it at all. Onlineinvestigators say there's no actual evidence he did say it, and the quote is likely apocryphal.
But facts are not foremost on Ponte's agenda; after all, the headline of his column is "The left is a violent contagion." Ponte wants you to "remember New York City's Shakespeare in the Park depicting the stabbing assassination of an actor who looked like President Trump" without mentioning another theater production that featured the stabbing assassination of an actor who looked like President Obama. We don't recall Ponte being outraged about that.
Tim Graham's Vindman Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center showed an utter lack of respect for decorated military man Alexander Vindman -- despite its usual demand of respect for decorated military men -- all because he committed the conservatively incorrect crime of adhering to his principles and testified before an impeachment about what he saw and heard regarding President Trump. MRC bigwig Tim Graham took that even further by fowarding a conspiracy theory over Vindman's purported contacts with the whistleblower who exposed President Trump's shady quid pro quo attempt with the president of Ukraine in order to get dirt on Joe Biden.
In a Jan. 24 post, Graham ran to the defense of Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn after she was called out for her smears of Vindman, claiming he was not an "American patriot" because he "badmouth[ed] and ridicule[d] our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy." Graham declared that Blackburn was "honestly criticizing" Vindman while anyone wo criticized Blackburn was "dishonestly" doing so, going on to huff:
Democrats -- inside and outside CNN -- find it easy to equate patriotism with removing Trump from office. Earlier this month, we pointed out that reporters have come running to say Vindman is "falsely brutalized" when he's accused of helping the whistleblower set the impeachment train in motion. When Republicans attempted to ask Vindman in the impeachment inquiry if he leaked to the whistleblower, Rep. Adam Schiff shut down the line of questioning.
Just as we saw in the Clinton years, reporters love to say claims are "unsubstantiated" when they either (a) shut down or shame attempts to substantiate it or (b) refuse to substantiate it instead of investigate it.
Graham then complained that "CNN and others have ignored Paul Sperry's reporting for Real Clear Investigations, which reported about Vindman's liberal biases." Graham didn't mention that Sperry used to work for right-wing birther factory WorldNetDaily, which tells you about how seriously his reporting should be treated.
Finally, Graham served up a bit of whataboutism:
CNN ignored all of that reporting as it hotly trashed Sen. Blackburn as the screen read "GOP QUESTIONS PATRIOTISM OF PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT." Forgive us if this has a taste of the media's fulsome defense of Sen. John Kerry in 2004, who also disparaged America, after his military service in Vietnam.
This is NOT the approach CNN and other liberal media outlets showed to Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal after he served on the National Security Council. Insulting North was never "beyond the pale."
Graham refused to concede that CNN's screen text was accurate. And it's funny how people in the military suddenly become deserving targets of Graham and the MRC when they stop serving the conservative movement by showing that other viewpoints exist in the military.
CNS Presents Ridiculous Defenses of Trump With A Straight Face Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is so in the tank for President Trump that it lets the most ludicrous defenses of him pass without editorial comment or even a simple fact-check. Craig Bannister reported in a Dec. 18 blog post:
While presiding over the “sham trial” of Jesus, even Pontius Pilate granted the accused more rights than House Democrats have granted President Donald Trump, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia) said Wednesday.
And, with Christmas approaching, Loudermilk said, Democrats should consider that they have denied President Trump something that even Pontius Pilate was willing to give Jesus - the opportunity to face his accuser:
“Before you take this historic vote today – one week before Christmas – I want you to keep this in mind:
“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus, than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process.”
You'd think that as the devout Christians the CNS crew claims to be, Loudermilk's claim would have raised some red flags about its accuracy, (not to mention find his likening of Trump to Jesus more than a little ludicrous). Instead, it was left to an actual fact-checker to report: "Biblical accounts cited to us by experts in law and religion say Jesus was questioned by the Roman governor, not given an opportunity by Pilate to face his accusers. Trump has yet to go on trial in the Senate. But before being impeached by the House, he was given the opportunity to present a defense."
On Jan. 20, Bannister again presented a ridiculous claim with a straight face:
Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision was equality and unity – not a baseless impeachment designed to tear the country apart – Top White House aide KellyAnne Conway said Monday, when asked to comment on President Donald Trump’s plans for the holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.
Conway said Trump shares Dr. King’s vision for unity and equally, and that she believes Dr. King would not have supported putting the nation through an unfounded, divisive impeachment – especially, one where no crimes have been alleged:
“Well, I can tell you that the president is preparing for Davos and agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality. And he’s not the one trying to tear the country apart through an impeachment process and a lack of substance that really is very shameful at this point.”
“When you see the articles of impeachment that came out, I don’t think it was within Dr. King’s vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes or misdemeanors.”
Her comments were immediately ridiculed as one of the most bizarre attacks on the impeachment process to date.
Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, called the remark an “embarrassingly incompetent answer.” Trump, she suggested, has in fact strayed far from King’s legacy — by redefining the presidency and pushing it away from leadership.
Yet Trump, who was sued in the 1970s for housing discrimination against blacks, has not fared much better in office: He has been largely panned by black Americans, an overwhelming majority of whom say they think he is a racist and has made racism a larger problem in the United States.
Of course, defense of Trump comes ahead of reporting facts at CNS.
During Trump Imeachment, The MRC Turned Into MoveOn Topic: Media Research Center
During the Trump impeachment trial, the Media Research Center used its NewsBusters blog to highlight purported hypocrisy by the "liberal media." For instance, the theme of one day was complaints that the Clintonimpeachment trial was"sidelining 'the people's business."
Meanwhile, the MRC is doing what it criticized the media for doing 20 years ago: complaining that the Trump impeachment as sidelining the people's business.
On Jan. 29, the MRC's activism division, MRC Action, sent out an email telling its followers to demand that senators "get back to work" (typographical enhancements in original):
It's time to let your Senators hear the voice of the people.
Tell the Senate to stop wasting time on impeachment and get back to work!
CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW!
The media have promoted their impeachment crusade since the day President Trump was elected. And the media elites are still pushing hard to promote impeachment. MSNBC contributors are even urging Congress to cancel the State of the Union address to focus on impeachment.
But Americans are simply sick and tired of impeachment...just look at the ratings! 3 million people tuned out when the major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) switched from soap operas to impeachment.That’s right, The Young and the Restless has higher ratings.
Because the American people are sick and tired of nothing getting done in Washington. Politicians promise action, and instead of working they are dragging out this impeachment process.
It’s time for Senators to vote and get back to their jobs. You can make a difference!
The next day, MRC Action sent out another email in which the MRC goes full-blown MoveOn.org:
NOW is the time to CALL YOUR SENATORS!
Just today, the top four Senate offices on our campaign landing page are starting to send calls to voicemail! They’re overwhelmed by folks telling them to vote already and get back to work. (Btw, many House and Senate offices use voicemail transcribing software that turn each call into a written complaint that is counted as a contact of their office. So being sent to voicemail isn’t a bad thing!)
This is urgent, and the message cannot be overstated: Every politician promised action and real legislation. Too much time is being wasted on impeachment — all the focus is on impeachment when our Senators are distracted from doing their actual work: to improve Americans’ lives. This is exceedingly damaging to our Republic, both now and in the future.
It’s time for the Senate to get back to work instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars on impeachment!
Melt the Senate phone lines and urge both of your Senators to acquit President Trump. Show America that you won’t stand for this outrageous, unwarranted bias against the President. Every call matters, place yours today!
This was followed by still another email taking credit for Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander's decision to vote for acquittal, screaming, "YOU HELPED MAKE THIS HAPPEN!" The email went on to rant that "As of early January, the Senate has yet to act on over 300 bills sent up from the House because they’re too busy focusing on the farce of an 'impeachment trial.'"
After Trump's acquittal by Republican senators, MRC Action sent out one more email taking credit for that too:
YOU DID IT!
Our united effort to tell US Senators WE WANTED THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL CONCLUDED WITHOUT MORE FOOT-DRAGGING has been an absolute TRIUMPH!
The timing has been historic. In less than 24 hours, President Trump delivered his stunning State of the Union Address, then was ACQUITTED in the Senate! – And that ONE-TWO PUNCH? It could not have come about IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU!
Thanks to your adherence to principle and your energetic engagement, we in the MRC ACTION GRASSROOTS ARMY were able to change history!
This is NOT HYPERBOLE!
Actually, we're pretty sure it is hyperbole. The email cited only "2,573 grassroots members having allegedly participated, yet it went on to crow about a "MRC ACTION IMPEACHMENT TRIAL TSUNAMI."
At the same time, MRC bigwigs Tim Graham and brent Bozell served up their own MoveOn entry with a column titled "Turn the Page on Impeachment," insisting ath "it feels unexceptional, more like Chapter 27 of the Same Old Saga" (kinda like how six years of anti-Clinton activism in the 1990s by the MRC and its fellow conservatives yielded only an impeachment for lying about sex?), and huffing that "The American people should point and laugh at the idea that the networks would argue it was essential for the Senate jurors to be nonpartisan in their weighing of the evidence. Our media elites are never objective.
We would point out that the MRC's "news" disivion claims to be objective, what with its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," but is even more biased than it has accused the "liberal media" of being.
This is all ironic because Bozell, in a 2018 interview, attacked MoveOn for ignoring the alleged Clinton scandals:
Throughout the Clinton administration, there was one scandal after another. Some many of these scandals preceded his election to the presidency but were hugely important, i.e. Whitewater. And then, once he became president, the Monica Lewinsky affair and others, and the FBI scandal, which was a huge scandal. Well, what did we hear from the media? We heard from the media that we needed to get to more important things. We need to move on, move on, move on. That’s when we got moveon.org. They ignored all of the Clinton scandals.
And now, Bozell is MoveOn, and he's ignoring the Trump scandals because it's in his political interest to do so.
By contrast, CNS' news stories on the arguments made by the House impeachment managers were not only fewer in number, they reguarly included editorial comment, usually by Susan Jones, and focused only on the words of leader Adam Schiff despite the fact thatseveral other House managers also spoke:
Jones began one story by sneering: "To those who have been listening all along, nothing new emerged at the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday, as House Democrats laid out their case, repeating many of the arguments they used in the lead-up to impeachment."
In another one, however, Jones did seem to concede the fact that Trump's claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential electionhas been "debunked," even though she has uncritically promoted the conspiracy theory in the past.
The utter imbalance in quantity and tone of how the House managers were reported, compared with how Trump's defense team was reported on, seems to violate CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." CNS absolutely cannot claim that happened here.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Just Can't Stop Freaking Out About Transgenders Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loathes transgender people, and it is quite unafraid to let its hate flag fly. Read more >>
WND Official Was A Secret Racist Who Got Another Secret Racist Published At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last year, we documented how tweets from repentant white nationalist Katie McHugh revealed that one of her fellow travelers in the movement was Michael Thompson, who managed WorldNetDaily's social media for several years and did publicity for WND's book division. It turns out he was much deeper in the movement than almost anyone thought.
Right Wing Watch revealed this week that Thompson is the author (under the name "Paul Kersey," after the trigger-happy protagonist in the "Death Wish" movies) of a blog chock full of racism called "Stuff Black People Don't Lie," currently hosted at the right-wing Unz Review. (WND columnist Ilana Mercer -- who's still wistful for the days of apartheid in her native South Africa -- ralso has her columns published at the Unz Review.) He not only wrote this blog while employed by WND from 2012 to 2018, he also wrote under the Kersey pseudonym for white nationalist websites VDARE and American Renaissance, as well as on various far-right podcasts and radio shows. It's nasty stuff:
To this day, Thompson uses his Kersey byline to advance falsehoods asserting the genetic inferiority of black people and spin reports of crimes committed by black people to justify the creation and implementation of racist government policies. He has called black men “the biggest terror threat to America” and claimed that black people are more prone to violence than white people for biological reasons. He once described black people as “America’s greatest liability, dragging down western civilization to the black mean wherever they are found.”
When Barack Obama was president, Thompson spun into meltdown after meltdown, repeatedly railing what he called “Black-Run America” and claiming that electing an African American president had solidified “the United States’ permanent decline.” That kind of repulsion for black people carries into Thompson’s vision of the United States.
Thompson has repeatedly promoted the white supremacist “Great Replacement” myth—the notion that the white populations of various countries are being “replaced” by black- and brown-skinned immigrants. He’s currently writing a book under the Kersey byline called “The Great Replacement in the USA,” according to a recent Kersey blog post. Since the Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre on March 15, 2019—where a white supremacist uploaded a manifesto crediting the myth as his reason for killing 51 Muslim worshipers in two mosques—Thompson has promoted the “great replacement” myth in at least twelve Kersey blog posts.
RWW also reported that Thompson had close ties to right-wing author Scott Greer and helped get Greer's racial-grievance book "No Campus For White Men" published by WND. Greer, of course, also shared with Thompson a penchant for pseudoymous racism, penning articles for years for a white supremacist journal, and that Thompson almost certainly knew this when WND published Greer's book.
One has to wonder if Thompson is responsible for getting black-hating race-baiter ColinFlaherty regular space at WND as well as reissuing his race-baiting book "White Girl Bleed A Lot."
(Interestingly, WND's online store no longer lists "No Campus for White Man" or "White Girl Bleed A Lot" for sale or even Greer or Flaherty as authors available through the store, even though it published the books and is arguably unlikely to have sold out of them.)
RWW added that "White nationalists apparently believed they could count on Thompson to do their bidding inside the conservative media system, vis-a-vis his day job at WorldNetDaily."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, nobody at WND wanted to comment to RWW about Thompson's extracurricular racism. Of course, they still have yet to comment on its association with noted anti-Semite Paul Nehlen, whose book WND published in 2017.
WND's white nationalism problem keeps growing. Perhaps it's time for Joseph Farah and Co. to address the elephant in the room.
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 candidatesin 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.
CNS Spins For Trump (Again) Against GAO Ruling Topic: CNSNews.com
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 CNSNews.com 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 regularcomplaint 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.
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.
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.
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.