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Tuesday, February 18, 2020
CNS Floods The Zone On Pelosi's Speech-Ripping
Topic: may develop selective amnesia when it comes to reporting relevant details about its fellow conservatives, but when a Democrat or liberal does something it can exploit for its fellow travelers, CNS is ON IT.

Patrick Goodenough wrote disdainfully in a Feb. 5 article:

As President Trump completed his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slowly and deliberately tore in half what appeared to be her copy of the speech, before tossing the bits of paper onto the desk.

“The American age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun,” Trump said. “Our spirit is still young. The sun is still rising. God’s grace is still shining. My fellow Americans, the best is yet to come. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.”

Scarcely had the words left his mouth when Pelosi held up a sheaf of papers. She tore them in two, then – as seen from various camera angles – repeated the action three more times, before throwing down the stack of ripped pages.

Goodenough encapsulated CNS' right-wing bias by quoting three politicians commenting on Pelosi's act -- two of whom were Republicans but only one (Rep. Liz Cheney) was identified as such; the other, Dalia al-Aqidi, is identified only as running to unseat Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar -- and, as it turned out, who Goodenough did a fawning profile of just last month.

CNS followed up with more biased reporting in the form of attacks on Pelosi for her act:

  • Trump fangirl Susan Jones dutifully transcribed Trump's tweetstorm bashing Pelosi, touting how Trump was "retweeting some of the #PelosiTantrum criticism."
  • Melanie Arter featured how Trump White House official Kellyanne Conway claimed on Fox News that Pelosi's act "demonstrates that the Democratic Party has devolved into a petty, peevish and partisan party." In her lengthy summary of Conway's appearance, Arter did note whether Conway was ever asked if Trump's anti-Pelosi tweetstorm was an example of him being "petty, peevish and partisan."
  • Craig Bannister repeated how Jody Jones, who earned an invitation to theState of the Union address because his brother "was shot and killed by an illegal alien," went for the full-drama effect by declaring (on Fox News, natch) that Pelosi's speech-ripping "ripped our hearts out ... it just tore us up."
  • Managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered how House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy "mocked" Pelosi's "stunt" and responding with a "video on Twitter, in which he declares, 'Acquitted for life' and tears up what, presumably, are the articles of impeachment."
  • Bruce Truax wrote that "In reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tearing up the president's speech on national television after the State of the Union on Tuesday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) said he was surprised that Pelosi did not 'hit' Trump with the speech."
  • Chapman followed up on Goodenough's reference to Cheney by giving her her own article to rant that the speech-ripping allegedly showed that Pelosi is "unfit for office."
  • Finally, for some reason, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey felt the need to hunt down a Republican senator from North Dakota for his opinion of Pelosi's speech-ripping and then devote an article to said opinion, which could largely be summarized by his calling it "very, very, very odd."

That's a total of eight articles focused on a couple seconds of Pelosi ripping up a speech -- six of which were devoted exclusively to attacking Pelosi. Good thing CNS doesn't have to live up to the standards of fairness and objectivity its parent, the Media Research Center, demands from other media outlets.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EST
Monday, February 17, 2020
AIM Joins The ConWeb's Dershowitz Defense Game
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The Media Research Center and Newsmax weren't the only ConWeb outlets playing defense for Trump-loving lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Accuracy in Media made its own attempt in the genre with a Jan. 20 post by Spencer Irvine that continues AIM's newfound obsession with obscure media outlet NowThis News:

Alan Dershowitz, who taught law classes at Harvard University, has defended O.J. Simpson, Jeffery Epstein and Harvey Weinstein. NowThis News’s coverage pointed out that Dershowitz represented terrible people, such as Weinstein and Epstein. The website also said that Weinstein is currently facing charges of sexual misconduct and other sex crimes, while Epstein was a convicted sex offender.

NowThis News also wrote that Starr, who was the independent counsel during the Clinton impeachment investigation, also represented Epstein in legal proceedings. But the website failed to acknowledge that lawyers defend the innocent and guilty alike, as the criminal justice system operates on the premise that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It was not a crime for Dershowitz or Starr to defend people that lacked character and morals.

Irvine continued:

The website also accused Bondi, the former Florida Attorney General, of giving Trump a pass. It said that she was the attorney general “who dropped an investigation into Trump’s fraudulent university scam after receiving campaign contributions (a $25,000 donation) from the Trump Foundation.” NowThis News did not provide a source for that allegation, which is ironic because this was an article about legal proceedings and lawyers.

Irvine is playing dumb here: The story about the Trump Foundation's donation to a group supporting Bondi's campaign appeared in numerous places, including the New York Times. It's a well enough known story that NowThis didn't really need to source it. And Irvine certainly isn't going to mention that the Trump Foundation paid a fine to the IRS over the donation, since the foundation's tax status forbade it from making political donations. Nor will he tell you that the appearance of a quid pro quo is unmistakable.

Suggesting that an accurate story isn't accurate would seem to run counter to AIM's name and mission.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2020 9:48 PM EST
MRC Defends Limbaugh After Cancer, Medal of Freedom, Denies His History of Racial Attacks
Topic: Media Research Center

In the eyes of the Media Research Center, Rush Limbaugh can do no wrong -- remember, the MRC's response to perhaps Limbaugh's most odious moment of disgustingly smearing Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a sex maniac was to reward his hate by launching an "I Stand With Rush" campaign. So when Limbaugh grabbed the spotllight by first announcing he has lung cancer and then being awarded a surprise Medal of Freedom during President Trump's State of the Union Address, you knew that the MRC would slobber over -- and fiercely defend -- the right-wing radio host.

Gabriel Hays huffed in a Feb. 3 post:

Sadly, not even lung cancer diagnoses are enough to escape the bitter taste of partisan politics.

Only a couple of short hours after legendary conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh revealed his diagnosis of an advanced stage of lung cancer, media publications and media figures began to get their digs in on the man because of his massive decades-spanning conservative influence.

Hays was effectively complaining that people were as insensitive to Limbaugh as Limbaugh has been to people he has hated over the decades. Very hypocritical -- and, needleess to say, Hays made no mention of the insults Limbaugh has hurled over the years that might have made some people feel a little less charitable toward the man.

Hays wrote a similar post the next day, this time grousing: "Cruel media leftists absolutely cannot stand Rush Limbaugh having a joyful moment even after his late-stage cancer diagnosis." Does he think Limbaugh himself would act any different if, say, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama suddenly faced a similar medical crisis?

Kyle Drennen complained that on on TV show "a vicious tweet was featured of a left-wing celebrity claiming that Limbaugh 'doesn’t think poor people deserve' medical care." Drennen did not dispute the accuracy of the tweet.

Scott Whitlock grumbled that "hard-left CNN journalist Jim Acosta ... smeared the radio star as a racist, claiming a 'history of making derogatory comments about African-Americans.'" Not only did Whitlock not offer any evidence that Limbaugh never made derogatory comments about African-Americans (beyond a blanket denial from Rush's producer), he offered no evidence that Acosta is "hard-left"; that's just a flare-up of the MRC's Acosta Derangement Syndrome. In a separate post, Whitlock complained that another commentator "exchoriated" [sic] Limbaugh as the "face of racism" again without offering proof to the contrary.

In a similar vein, Curtis Houck attacked ABC for describing Limbaugh as "controverisal and divisive" as well as "racist" but, similarly, offered no evidence to dispute the accuracy of the claims.

When another commentator noted that "birther" Limbaugh got the Medal of Freedom in a State of the Union scene akin to Oprah Winfrey handing out free cars, Nicholas Fondacaro could only muster in response: "Well, [April] Ryan, here’s some facts for you: Many people were very happy for Limbaugh too" -- apparently approving of Rush's birtherism.

MRC chief Brent Bozell popped in on a Fox Business appearance to complain about what an anonymously written NewsBusters post descrbied as "nasty jabs from CNN anchors that Rush Limbaugh is a racist (he’s not)." Again, no proof to back that up.

In a post unironically headlined "CLASSLESS AND CRUEL," Geoffrey Dickens grumbled that "haters in the liberal media couldn’t let Limbaugh – who just announced he is battling advanced lung cancer – have this one heartwarming moment for his family and millions of fans to savor without attacking him as an undeserving racist." Rather than offer proof to the contrary, Dickens merely claimed that "longtime Limbaugh producer Bo Snerdley [went] to his Twitter account to debunk Acosta and other liberals’ claims of racism" though that's not what happened at all; Snerdley merely demanded evidence of racial attacks, of which there is plenty.

Kristine Marsh joined in by whining that a couple of "The View" co-hosts "unfairly accusing Limbaugh of being a racist," but she too offered no evidence to contradict the claim.

Randy Hall detailed Fox News host Laura Ingraham denouncing Acosta's yet-to-be-contradicted statement about Limbaugh's history of racially derogatory remarks as "disgusting," but Hall offered no evidence that she disprove it; instead, guest and right-wing writer Sara Carter was given space to rant that the claim was "absolutely false," again without supporting evidence.

Clay Waters, meanwile, finally attempted a response to claims of racism when the New York Times suggested it, albeit nothing but a lame conservative trope: "It is easy to get offended if you assume any race-related comment by a conservative is racist.

And Brad Wilmouth complained that a CNN correspondent other than Acosta pointed out that Limbaugh has shared "xenophobic, misogynistic, and racist sentiments with the masses." He did a better job of responding to the claims, even if he was recycling old kneejerk MRC defenses of Limbaugh. He deflected on the "Barack the Magic Negro" parody song LImbaugh loved by claiming that it "was based on a Los Angeles Times piece that called Obama a 'magic negro,'" though he didn't explain how that made it less offensive.

After the reporter pointed out Limbaugh declaring that Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease activism was a act, parroted an old justification that "Fox himself, in his book, confessed that he had once deliberately avoided taking his medication so that his symptoms would look worse than usual as he lobbied for federal spending on stem cell research." Which didn't address the fact that Limbaugh implied that Fox was faking it all the time.

These weak or nonexistent responses tell us that even the MRC knows his history of offensive comments can't be defended -- so it tries to shout down the critics instead.

Needless to say, there was plenty of gushing over Limbaugh at the MRC as well. Hays devoted a post to the "immense outpouring of support from conservative leaders" who "showed their gratitude for how much of an impact the man had on the mainstream conservative movement," and Houck wrote up how Trump presented thte Media of Freedom to Limbaugh.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
Fake News: WND Invents Quote To Attack Health Care Reform
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily tried to be provocative in an anonymously written Feb 2 article headlined "'Just die, Grandpa': Doctors push 'full totalitarian' health care." It features dubious doc Jane Orient from the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons ranting against an American College of Physicians proposal to achieve universal healthcare coverage, which in WND's telling "the elderly are given painkillers to die as a matter of efficiency."

However, the "Just die, Grandpa" quote appears nowhere in the article or in any item to which the article linked, such as an AAPS promotion of a white paper by Orient denouncing Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (or the white paper itself). Nor did the quote appear in a Daily Mail article about the plan that WND referenced but did not link to, or in another AAPS item attacking the ACP plan that WND also did not link to.

Could it be that WND simply made up the "Just die, Grandpa" quote as clickbait to fearmonger about the ACP plan? Perhaps -- it's published fake news before.

If WND can't demonstrate where this quote came from and is apparently just making stuff up, it doesn't inspire any confidence about the veracity of anything on its website and, thus, WND's future.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 AM EST
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2020 9:08 AM EST
Sunday, February 16, 2020
MRC Has A 'Sesame Street' Cross-Dressing Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates cross-dressing to the point that it can't even find the humor in what has long been a comedy trope. And when someone cross-dresses as a fashion and personal statement, well, it's meltdown time. And when that person appears on a children's TV show, it's time for a full five-alarm gay-bashing meltdown. Show us how it's done, Elise Ehrhard:

PBS once provided children with happy thoughts of a fatherly Mr. Roger's talking to us about our day or adorable Ernie singing about his rubber ducky on Sesame Street. But for the LGBTQXYZ movement, children's programming is just another opportunity to teach kids all the ways that it is a homosexual/transgender day in the neighborhood.

In recent years, children's public television has premiered a "gay marriage" on Arthur, sang about two dads with a baby in a preschool song about families, and put Grover in a purple dress on Sesame Street. But apparently having a muppet go transvestite for a day just was not inclusive enough. On January 30, the creators of Sesame Street announced on social media that cross-dressing LGBT activist Billy Porter, star of the LGBTQ FX show Pose, will appear on Season 51 of Sesame Street on HBO Max this spring.

She's gotten one thing wrong already: she identified "Sesame Street" as part of "public television" while also reporting that this episode will air on HBO Max, which is most definitely not public television.

Ehrhard goes on to demonstrate her hatred for who Porter is by mocking his fashion choices, despite no apparent experience in judging fashion:

You may remember Billy Porter from when he wore that ridiculous long black dress to the 2019 Oscars. The long women's gown he wore on the red carpet looked like something a widow would wear in Gone With the Wind. The man does not exactly have the creativity of David Bowie or Culture Club in his gender-bending. If the pictures on Sesame Street's social media are any indication, Porter wears the depressing, black women's gown when he visits the puppets on Sesame Street. 

Ehrhard concludes with the usual MRC rant about a "gay agenda" coming for your children:

While the show will not premiere until this spring, we can presume that the creators expect to children respond to this as normal, not comical or silly.

The LGBTQ "slippery slope" long ago slipped off a cliff and is now pummeling our children with its agenda. Next thing you know Daniel Tiger will announce his gender transition at his preschool or Elmo with "come out" to the kiddies. With the sexual/gender theory left there is no end to the possibilities.

Because in the world that Erhard and the MRC occupy, the worst thing is to teach children that people who are different shouldn't be hated for who they are.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2020 9:29 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

There was plenty of not-so-good news in January's employment numbers -- which CNS would have led its coverage with if the president was a Democrat. But because the president is a Republican, Susan Jones dowmplays them in her lead article:

President Donald Trump never misses an opportunity to plug the strong employment picture for which he takes credit, and today he earned more bragging rights:

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy created 225,000 jobs in January, well above estimates. BLS says notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

The number of employed Americans dipped in January to 158,714,000 -- down 89,000 from December's record high.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.6 percent in January.

But the labor force participation rate reached a Trump-era high of 63.4 percent, up from 63.2 percent in December, because the civilian labor force increased by 574,000 in January, after accounting for annual adjustments to population controls, BLS said.*

The asterisk leads to a note that the end of the article that explains the labor force participation rate change seems to be driven by statistical changes.

Similarly, the headline on Craig Bannister's sidebar on Hispanic employment would have focused on the unemployment rate increasing if it was being written under a Democratic president. But because it's Trump, it reads "Hispanic Employment Sets Record, Labor Force Participation Rate Highest Since March 2010 in January."

Still, there was bad news even CNS couldn't paper over. A sidebar by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey actually began with the fact that manufacturing jobs declined by 12,000, but he was quick to  spin that the U.S. "has gained a net of 26,000 manufacturing jobs" and that since Trump's election "manufacturing jobs have increased by 495,000."

Another sidebar by Jeffrey -- a loyal government-hating conservative -- conceded that The number of people employed by government in the United States grew by 177,000 from January 2019 to January 2020." But he made sure not to mention the name "Trump" in this article.

Even as CNS had to admit all this bad news about the economy, it had to pretend it wasn't the case when it came to reporting Nancy Pelosi's comments about the employment numbers. Bannister went into spin mode again:

Despite creation of 225,000 jobs, a 3.6% unemployment rate, a 3.1% increase in earnings over the past year, and extension of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared the January employment numbers “the rot at the heart of the Trump economy.”

Because manufacturing pro-Trump spin is more important at CNS than fully reporting the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 29, 2021 9:48 PM EST
Saturday, February 15, 2020
MRC Serves Up Evidence-Free Hypocrisy
Topic: Media Research Center

A Jan. 30 Media Research Center post by Joseph Vazquez complained:

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough decided it was a good idea to tout an attack ad against Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) made by the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project just days later.


MSNBC’s The Morning Joe ran a Jan. 29 segment showing the entirety of The Lincoln Project’s hyperbolic attack ad “Martha McSally Is A Trump Hack.” Scarborough used the clip segment as an opportunity to go after McSally for calling out liberal reporters. Scarborough bloviated: “[McSally’s] going to get on another corrupt president’s good side by yelling at reporters who play it down the middle.” [Emphasis added.]

Scarborough appeared to be referencing McSally calling CNN reporter Manu Raju a “liberal hack” Jan. 16, for asking her if “new evidence” would be allowed into the Senate trial of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

MSNBC tweeted out Scarborough’s segment Jan. 29 touting the ad. The outlet’s tweet stated, “A new ad from the conservative group Lincoln Project criticizes Sen. McSally for supporting President Trump and calling a reporter a ‘liberal hack.’”

"Reporters who play it down the middle"? Really, Scarborough? Is he referencing the same liberal Manu Raju who pressed Democrats on CNN’s The Situation Room May 8, asking: “If we are in a constitutional crisis, why not pursue impeachment; why are you resisting?” That was months before the Trump/Ukraine issue broke headlines (the lynchpin of the liberal media’s impeachment crusade).

As we detailed when it first defended McSally's attack on Raju, the MRC has never proven that Raju is a "liberal hack." The example Vazquez provides is simply Raju asking a logical question of Democrats (he never identified exactly who was asked that question, since the MRC item he links to as evidence doesn't either, instead baselessly interprets the question as an example of "impatient reporters ... pushing for impeachment") who insisted that Trump has brought the national to what they called a "constitutional crisis." As much as Vazquez would like to think otherwise, it's a straightforward question that actually tried to pin down Democrats on what they believe.

Vazquez then engaged in another bit of hypocrisy:

An August 2019 study found that “CNN and MSNBC host Democratic Representatives and Senators seven times more frequently than their Republican counterparts.” Specifically, across three randomly-selected weeks of coverage, CNN overwhelmingly favored giving interviews to Democratic members of Congress over Republican members by a four to one ratio (136 vs. 29). Talk about playing it “down the middle.”

As we pointed out at the time the MRC issued this "study," the MRC is dishonestly trying to have it both ways -- it attacks CNN and MSNBC for not having on enough Republican members of Congress at the same time it praises Republican members of Congress for refusing to appear on CNN and MSNBC over their purported "liberal bias."

Vazquez and the MRC would never criticize Fox News for having enough Democrats on, nor would it praise Democrats for refusing to appear on the channel over its well-documented right-wing bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2020 2:39 PM EST
WND Loves Limbaugh's Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, as we all know, loves a good conspiracy theory, so it quickly jumped on the one Rush Limbaugh is peddling, courtesy of a republished Jan. 29 Western Journal article by Carmine Sabia:

Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh sounded the alarm on the origins of new diseases as well as older ones that were thought to be eradicated but are making a comeback.

All of these diseases are coming from leftist communities, both in the United States and abroad, Limbaugh noted.


On his program Friday, Limbaugh talked about the coronavirus outbreak as well as other diseases that have been hitting the state of California hard. Those include typhoid fever, typhus, hepatitis A, staph and tuberculosis.

“Where are all of these deadly viruses coming from?" the host asked, according to the transcript on his official website. "Communist countries. This latest virus that’s got everybody scared to death, where is it coming from? The ChiComs.

"What’s happening in all of these homeless tent cities in California? Medieval diseases that had been eradicated are starting to crop up."

Limbaugh continued, "Do not doubt me when I tell you that liberalism, left-wingism, socialism, communism, whatever, folks, it destroys.

Despite this being a supposed "news" article, Sabia piled on with biased opinion, rating that cities trying to help homeless people "is not compassion; it is lunacy," with an added side swipe at "cities' welcoming policies toward illegal aliens." Sabia finally concludes: "If people want to get serious about fixing the homeless crisis and the diseases it brings, they have to get to the root of the issue. Leftism."

The slow apparent merger between WND and Western Journal doesn't seem to have altered WND's basic editorial agenda one bit.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 AM EST
Friday, February 14, 2020
What? Donohue Approvingly Cites Cosby, Weinstein Lawyers To Defend Catholic Priests

If you're talking pointers from the defense lawyers for Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein in order to find ways to defend Catholic priests against claims of sexual abuse, well, that's simply not a good look. Yet that's exactly what Bill Donohue in his Jan. 23 column, which really does begins this way: "One does not have to like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein (I fought with the latter for decades) to like what their lawyers are saying in their defense. There are some lines of defense that are not only persuasive, they have direct application to accused priests."

Donohue goes on to approvingly cite Cosby's and Weinstein's defense lawyers for blaming the "public panic" and "hysteria" sparked by the #MeToo movement on the sexual abuse charges against their clients and for attacking their accusers as willing participants whose backgrounds must be attacked. And, yes, he totally goes there:

Everything that these lawyers have said about their clients is true of accused priests these days. Even more so.

A moral panic has indeed arisen in cases of clergy sexual abuse. It is fed by a hostile media, late-night talk-show hosts on TV, cable outlets like HBO, and others. Old cases of abuse are presented as if they are new, leaving the false impression that the scandal is ongoing. Pernicious generalizations about priests—and sick jokes—are made with abandon. Movies spread lies about the Catholic hierarchy. And so on.

This has less to do with the #MeToo movement than it does with vintage anti-Catholicism. It is no secret that the cultural elites harbor an animus against Catholicism. These kinds of atmospherics make it difficult for accused priests to get a fair trial. Add to this the cherry picking of accused priests by state attorney generals, and the table is set for conviction.

What Weinstein’s lawyer says about women accusers is certainly applicable to priest accusers. Some are telling the truth but others are lying through their teeth, seeking revenge against an institution they despise. And just as Weinstein is a “powerful guy” who is easily exploited because of who he is, the Catholic Church is a “powerful” institution that is also easily exploited.

It would do the Catholic Church wonders if more aggressive attorneys such as those employed by Cosby and Weinstein were hired. No priest should be a sitting duck for rapacious victims’ lawyers.

Donahue added with apparent pride that Weinstein defense lawyer Donna Rotunno "is a Chicago lawyer who went to a Catholic college."

Even we can't believe Donohue took this stance.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2020 8:58 AM EST
Thursday, February 13, 2020
MRC's Right-Wing Propagandists Upset Right-Wing Propaganda Is Pointed Out
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro began a Feb. 2 post this way:

In exercising projection, CNN’s so-called “Reliable Sources” sought to decry President Trump’s “imperial presidency” on Sunday by emphasizing how there was no such thing as “right-wing media” vs. “liberal-media,” but, in fact, it was a “propaganda apparatus” vs. a “media apparatus.” 

So weird that Fondacaro sounded so much like a projecting right-wing propagandist appalled that his propaganda was being pointed out for what it was. And his right-wing propaganda continued as he sneeringly called "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter a "media janitor":

Meanwhile, back here, in reality, the Department of Justice inspector general found that FBI investigators in the Russia probe had lied to the FISA court to get warrants to spy on Trump campaign aide. And, as a recent Media Research Center study found, the evening network newscasts were stacking the deck against the President’s legal team.

Fondacaro is referring to this "study," which like all so-called MRC studies stacks the deck against the media outlets it criticizes by cherry-picking the coverage using an exceedingly narrow methodology to make its targets' coverage look as biased as possible, then refusing to make its data public so the rest of us can judge its accuracy.

Meanwhile, Fondaaro stayed in propaganda mode, further sneering that CNN guest Sam Donaldson was "irrelevant " and a "washed-up journalist" who offered "cheesy advice for young journalists" that was purportedly "accented by a head turn and a smile."

By the way, Fondacaro never denied that his employer and fellow travelers in the right-wing media offer propaganda; instead, he took the whataboutism route, attacking CNN for having random guest who criticized Trump. For propaganda, it was pretty lame.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EST
CNS Remains Mum About Dershowitz's Epstein Ties
Topic:, like its Media Research Center parent, has endeavored to hide the ties betwen Alan Dershowitz, its favorite allegedly liberal Trump defender, and Jeffrey Epstein, the notorious pedophile whom Dershowitz represented in getting a sweetheart deal that resulted in only a short prison sentence for his crimes.Dershowitz has also been accused by one of Epstein's victims of sexual improprieties, which he has denied.

With Dershowitz's return to prominence as part of Trump's defense team at his Senate impeachment trial, CNS is even more reluctant to talk about it than the MRC is.

A Jan. 21 article by Susan Jones touted the Fox News appearance of Triump's lawyers, including Dershowitz, who was quoted forwarding the argument that you don't judge a president "by looking into the depths of his mind and trying to figure out whether somewhere in the back of his mind he was trying to get some advantage to his electability." Jones also uncritically repeated Trump's claim that "there's a lot of talk" that then-Vice President Joe Biden "stopped the prosecution" of Biden's son and the Ukrainian company he worked for by getting the prosecutor fired without mentioning the important fact that the prosecutor was actually fired for not investigating corruption.

That was followed by a Jan. 22 article by Craig Bannister touting another Fox News appearance by Dershowitz, in which he insisted that if  Trump is acquitted, "the impeachment disappears."

When the president's defense team swung into action at the trial, CNS was giving them copious space, including four -- count 'em! -- articles dedicated to Dershowitz's arguments:

As perusual, none of these articles mention Dershowitz's links to a convicted pedophile, even though CNS has a eye for detail when it wants, such as telling us (twice!) what dating app Pete Buttigieg met his husband on.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 AM EST
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
MRC Bogus Study Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center added to its litany of bogus studies on impeachment coverage with a Jan. 29 piece by Nicholas Fondacaro:

Before the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump was gaveled into session, Chief Justice John Roberts presided over a swearing-in ceremony where all 100 senators pledged to be impartial jurors. The liberal media zeroed in on that pledge and decried Senate Republicans who seemed to be siding with the President.

But a Media Research Center study of broadcast evening news coverage of the opening arguments of both sides, found ABC, CBS, and NBC did not live up to the standard they demanded of Republicans. They gave Democrats double the airtime and showered their arguments with mostly praise, while expressing only criticism of the President’s legal team.

As usual, the MRC's exceedingly narrow methodology is at play here: examining only neetwork evening news, and then only a tiny sliver of that with "evaluative statements," and the complete exclusion of neural coverage and the refusal to make its data public so the rest of us can judge how biased the "study" is.

Curiously, Fondacaro didn't disclose the methodology in his piece. Instead, he seemed to be more interested in serving as a member of Trump's defense team:

The networks would roundly tear down the arguments Trump’s legal team was making despite the evidence they would present. When Trump lawyer Michael Purpura argued with evidence that the President was long interested in burden-sharing when it came to Ukraine’s defense, CBS chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes tried to shoot it down by saying, “Those claims run counter to witness testimony.” A common assertion by the networks.

Fondacaro offered no evidence to rebut Cordes' statement that defense lawyers' arguments "run counter to witness testimony."

Fondacaro further complained that "With the liberal media’s demand that Republicans be impartial in hearing the case, it was clearly more of a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ suggestion." He failed to note how his employer's "news" division,, offered even more biased coverage of impeachment trial arguments.

But CBS complained to the MRC about the study, and the MRC's response dismissing it in a editor's note at the bottom of the piece, showed just how narrow and ideologically driven its methodology is:

A spokesman for CBS News contacted NewsBusters to insist that the minutes-and-seconds count for CBS did not mention CBS had the only interview with a group of Trump-defending House members.

The study was about the relative coverage of the two Senate presentations -- one by the House managers, one by Trump's legal team. The numbers are therefore accurate, and this is explained in the article. As NewsBusters readers were already informed by Nicholas Fondacaro, anchor Norah O'Donnell interviewed the four GOP House members (not legal team), but she also interviewed four Democrat House managers. That's not included in the CBS count either, since it aired prior to the study period.

Funny how anything that might have made CBS look less biased is conveniently excluded from the MRC's study. It's almost as if the methodology was drawn up to reach a pre-determined conclusion in order to fit an agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2020 10:23 PM EDT
WND Promotes Poll That Wildly Inflates Black Suport For Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer gushed in a Jan. 31 article:

A new Rasmussen poll shows black voter support for President Trump has doubled in the last year to an astonishing 42%.

In November, polls by both Rasmussen and Emerson showed Trump had a remarkable 34% approval rating among black voters, compared to the 8% he received from blacks in the 2016 election.

Actual journalists, meanwhile, report something WND won't tell you: that the Rasmussen number has nothing to do with reality. The Washington Post explains:

Blacks have been the most solidly Democratic demographic bloc for decades. Polls show that Republican presidential candidates rarely get more than 10 percent of their votes. Trump did not break that pattern in 2016, with estimates of his black support ranging between 6 percent and 8 percent.

Republicans know that these abysmal figures constitute a huge head wind against any chance for Trump’s reelection. Blacks compose significant shares of the voting population in the key swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Even Wisconsin’s small black population could be decisive given how finely balanced that state is.


As a result, many Trump backers have seized on anecdotal or cherry-picked evidence to show such a surge is happening. They note that some polls show Trump’s job approval rating among blacks to be as high as 34 percent, while contend Trump’s support from high-profile blacks such as Kanye West is helping him make inroads. A new book — “Coming Home: How Black Americans Will Re-Elect Trump” — making the conservative rounds argues that Trump received 21 percent of the black vote in Pennsylvania in 2016, and that he will receive 15 percent to 20 percent of that vote in 2020. Conservatives desperately want to believe this is true, and thus all too credulously accept these claims as fact.

Here’s what the facts really show: Trump’s job approval rating among blacks averages a mere 13.3 percent in three of the most recent polls that release breakdowns by race. Trump received an average of only 9 percent of the black vote against Joe Biden in surveys in four key swing states conducted by the New York Times and Siena College in November. And a recent Washington Post/Ipsos poll of blacks found Trump’s position to be even worse. This poll is the only recent public poll that interviewed only black voters, and thus has a lower margin of error for them than the other polls mentioned above. It foundTrump had only a 7 percent job approval rating and gave him only 4 percent of the vote against Biden.

And another Post article pointed out: "More than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country. Nine in 10 disapprove of his job performance overall."

The Rasmussen poll is off in fantasy land -- but then, that's where WND is too.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:59 AM EST
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Ratings Game
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center and its "news" division pushed the dubious spin that Trump impeachment proceedings were illegitimate because they didn't get as high of TV ratings as, say, the O.J. Simpson trial. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Ignores Millions Watching On TV To Claim Basketball Game Outdrew Impeachment Trial

The Media Research Center has pushed the narrative that the impeachment process against President Trump is illegitimate because it hasn't generated the TV ratings of, say, the O.J. Simpson trial -- a narrative that was echoed by its "news" division, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey tried to take that further, but only ended up with possibly the dumbest take on this narrative.

"High School Basketball Game Outdraws Senate Impeachment Trial" was the headline on Jeffrey's Jan. 31 "news" article -- this was labeled as Washington "news" and not opinion -- and, yes, that's the take he's going with:

The varsity basketball game between the Gonzaga Eagles and the Good Counsel Falcons that was played in the Gonzaga gym—about a one-mile walk from the U.S. Capitol--drew a larger crowd on Thursday evening than the Senate impeachment trial did.

That was the case even though the Gonzaga-Good Counsel game drew a modest crowd--as Gonzaga won 79-55.

According to Gonzaga Athletic Director Joe Reyda, there was a crowd of about 200 at the varsity basketball match that started at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

A count of the people in the Senate galleries, taken between 7:46 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. by this writer, indicated there was a total of approximately 131 people in the galleries at that time.

This included Capitol staff and security personnel as well as reporters and visitors.

Jeffrey was silent about the utterly obvious that that the impeachment trial was broadcast live on TV across the country, meaning that one did not need to travel to Washington and go through however many levels of security to sit in the Senate chamber and watch the trial in person.And he's certainly not going to mention the fact that the first day of the trial drew 11 million viewers, more than has ever watched a single high school basketball game. Viewership may have declined an the trial went on, but the audience was still in the millions and still towered over the basketball crowd.

By contrast, the basketball game in question was not broadcast on national TV and was almost assuredly not broadcast on TV even in the Washington, D.C., area where these schools (as well as Jeffrey) were located, meaning the gym was the only place one could have seen that game. Further, the security level for spectators was likely much less onerous than at the gym.

Jeffrey deliberately ignored the interest of millions of viewers of the impeachment trial across the U.S. to cling to this incredibly stupid talking point in an attempt to discredit impeachment. Perhaps he should instead focus on making his website's news coverage less biased.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 12:22 AM EST

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