Despite Her Extremism, MRC Defends Conservative Answer to Thunberg Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall came to the defense of a newly minted conservative answer to Greta Thunberg -- whom the MRC loves to bash for her purported "radical" and "extreme" views on climate change -- in a Feb. 25 post:
A 19-year-old German woman is being hailed as the conservative response to climate change activist Greta Thunberg. She has condemned climate alarmism as a “despicably anti-human ideology,” and liberal journos are heated about it.
Naomi Seibt encourages rationality in the face of climate alarmism and is seen as the conservative answer to climate change activists like Greta Thunberg. She is currently being supported by libertarian think tank The Heartland Institute, and was reportedly hired as the figurehead of its campaign to question the scientific consensus about climate change. “If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Heartland’s tactics amount to an acknowledgment that Greta has touched a nerve, especially among teens and young adults” The Washington Post wrote in its Feb. 23 coverage.
The outlet went on to describe Seibt as the “anti-Greta.” Liberal commentators were shocked, ranging from slurring the German teenager as a “NAZI” to theorizing the apocalyptic conspiracy that she is “paid to speak nonsense to convince people to continue business as usual and poison us all.”
Aside from Seibt’s arguments against climate alarmism, journalists have specifically come after her for associating in any capacity with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The AfD was described in the article as “the biggest opposition party in parliament.” The Post quoted one former AfD leader Alexander Gauland, when he vowed they are fighting “an invasion of foreigners.
Unfortunately for Hall, the "Nazi" attack is not as far off the mark as he would like you to think it is. The BBC has documented just how far-right the AfD party is, and it's not just an anti-immigration party:
The party's leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, Björn Höcke, once described Berlin's Holocaust memorial as a "monument of shame" and called for a "180-degree turnaround" in Germany's handling of its Nazi past. Picking up the same theme, Alexander Gauland trivialised the Nazi era as "just a speck of bird's muck in more than 1,000 years of successful Germany history".
The AfD has managed to attract voters from the centre right and even the centre left but in the words of Verena Hartmann, a moderate MP who left the party in January 2020 because it was becoming to extreme: "Those who resist this extreme right-wing movement are mercilessly pushed out of the party."
In the words of Matthias Quent, a German expert on the far right based in Thuringia: "Not everyone in the AfD is ideologically far right, but anyone in the party or even voting for the party is supporting a party that has a far-right objective."
Alexander Gauland, a 78-year old lawyer, has been with AfD from its Eurosceptic start and his political career began decades earlier with the centre right.
As AfD moved to the right so did he, making a number of remarks condemned as racist. In 2016 he talked about footballer Jérôme Boateng, who was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father. "[Germans] like him as a football player. But they don't want to have a Boateng as their neighbour."
Alexander Gauland drew criticism for declaring that Germans should be "proud" of their soldiers in both world wars. While SS units were notorious for German atrocities in World War Two, the regular armed forces also committed many war crimes.
[Former leader] Frauke Petry once tried to end the taboo on the Nazi-era term völkisch, which comes from the German word for people but was hijacked by the Nazis to define those they saw as belonging to the German race.
Additionally, Seibt has cited as an "inspiration" Stefan Molyneux, an advocate of white nationalism, eugenics and "scientific racism." At CPAC a week ago, Seibt said she still considers herself a "fan" of Molyneux. The MRC's NewsBusters and CNSNews.com both published a 2018 column by Michelle Malkin whitewashing, as it were, Molyneux as an "author and philiosopher."
Seibt also got caught complaining that Jews are "at the top" of groups seen as being oppressed, while "ordinary Germans" are at the bottom. (Seibt claims the remark was taken out of context.)
Hall also failed to mention that his fellow conservatives are critical of the Heartland Institute using Seibt. Brad Polumbo of the conservative Washington Examiner wrote: "Groups such as Heartland are free to question the science of climate change. But if they want to avoid looking like massive hypocrites, let alone convince anyone, they ought to present arguments and evidence, not hide behind teenage YouTube trolls looking for five minutes in the spotlight."
But narratives are more important than facts at the MRC, so the full truth about Seibt must stay hidden -- even after months of attacking Thunberg as an "extreme" "radical."
CNS Spins For Trump On Coronavirus Topic: CNSNews.com
Given that the mission of CNSNews.com these days is less about reporting news and more about shilling for the Trump administration, it comes as no surprise that CNS' coverage of the Trump administration's response to the growing coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost to protect Trump.
The first article CNS did on it was a Feb. 25 piece by Susan Jones giving space to Trump to mock Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for his criticism of Trump for not asking for more money from Congress to respond to the outbreak. "The headline: Trump Takes Flak After Requesting $2.5B to Deal With Coronavirus." That was joined, in an unusual bit of balance for CNS, by twoarticles by Melanie Arter featuring criticism of Trump from other Democrats.
From then on, it was deflection time in an attempt to downplay the severity of the outbreak:
(That last article, by Patrick Goodenough, was preceded by an editor's note effectively debunking the article's premise, pointing out that the current lethality rate for COVID-19 aroudn which the article was built "is based on known and confirmed cases only, and doesn’t take into account many cases not known or not reported.")
IN between, CNS served up coronavirus articles framed around its usual editorial agenda that aren't explicitly Trump-related. Bashing Democrats as wasteful because they want to "open the spending spigot" to fight coronavirus? Check. A Mark Levin rant? Check. Bashing a Democratic presidential candidate (in this case, Joe Biden) for statements he has made on the subject? Check.
And there was plent of covering up for Trump as well. A March 4 article by Arter played up NIH official Anthony Fauci's claim that testing of a coronavirus vaccine could begin in a few months, while burying Trump's misinterpretation of Fauci to suggest that the U.S. is "three months away from treating people who already have coronavirus" in the 13th paragraph.
CNS, needless to say, is not going to tell its readers that Trump has been spreadingmisinformation about coronavirus and his administration's response to it, or that he had to be corrected after arguing that the flu vaccine could be used to fight coronavirus.
MRC Works The Democratic Debate Refs Again Topic: Media Research Center
Last fall, we documented how the Media Research Center loved to work the refs by engaging in pre-emptive attacks on the purported liberalilsm of the moderators for Democratic presidential debates. As primary season kicked off, the MRC renewed its attacks.
Geoffrey Dickens asked in the overheated headline of his Feb. 18 item: "Will Chuck Todd MUCK UP Another Debate With His POMPOUS Liberalism?" He then trashed Todd's performance at a debate last wummer:
Chuck Todd’s performance at last summer’s Democratic primary debate was so irritating that even fellow liberals like comedian Stephen Colbert panned the NBC Meet the Press host for being a “complete ass” and “a guy who really likes the sound of his own voice.”
But it wasn’t just Todd’s moderating style that was hard to take, it was his obnoxious questions from the left that he posed to the liberal candidates on stage.
Dickens was echoing a post from last summer in which Scott Whitlock huffed that Todd and "far-left host Rachel Maddow" had "catered to the party's far-left base."(The MRC loves to label everyone and everything "far left.") Dickens then listed "just a few examples of Todd’s most liberal moments since Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, as culled from the MRC’s archives."
Prior to a CBS-hosted debate, Dickens groused on Feb. 25:
Meet tonight’s Democratic debate moderators: One is a Democratic donor and the other one might as well be.
CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King has a long history of supporting Democrats. According to Open Secrets, she’s donated to Barack Obama, the DNC, and Harold Ford Jr and is “good friends” with New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker. Even while at CBS, she donated to Obama and attended his birthday party. Most recently, she vacationed with the Obamas.
CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell has a long career of donating to liberals in the form of softball questions and praise of Democratic lawmakers while attacking Republicans and conservatives. She referred to current presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden as “Uncle” Joe but once openly questioned if current President Donald Trump was “dangerous to democracy” and should be “removed from office.”
Yes, Dickens was mad that O'Donnell had a relatively affectionate name for Biden that, um, Fox News has also used.
Curtis Houck did a post-debate attack: "Along with the fact that they lost complete and total control of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, co-moderators Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell joined the seven candidates by peddling a far-left narrative about gun control, fretting about a 'gun crisis.'" (There's that overused "far left" label again!) Whitlock, however, did throw the hosts a bone, praising co-host Margaret Brennan for advancing a conservative narrative by asking "the question that millions of Americans are concerned about. Bernie Sanders’s embrace of dictators."
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 75: Your One-Stop Pro-Trump Talking Points Shop Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loves to publish multiple articles pushing the same exact talking point du jour -- sometimes on the same day. Read more >>
Trump-O-Philia Watch, Wayne Allyn Root Division Topic: Newsmax
It was Trump's moment in time. Long ago, before Trump even won the presidency, I called him "the new Ronald Reagan." Just like Reagan, I knew he'd turn around the country, straighten out the mess left by a Democrat president and make the economy roar.
And I knew Trump’s energy and bigger-than-life personality would re-energize my beloved GOP.
Tuesday night, Trump officially became Reagan.
Trump's State of the Union was a combination of a Reagan-like celebration of the greatness of America and a joy ride through Trump's economic mega success, his achievements for the American people, and specifically, his achievements for black and Hispanic Americans.
Instead of partisan vitriol, Trump showcased guests who represented America’s greatness. Trump showcased stories that made us cheer and cry.
Trump is now playing on the Democrats' home turf. Trump has now secured all 63 million Trump voters from 2016. He's secured the entire white middle class. Now, he's going after Democrat voters. Now he's going after black, Hispanic and female voters. Now he's playing on the Democrats' home field.
Trump is Reagan. He’s aiming for a Reagan/Mondale-like landslide.
I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day. This year, Valentine's Day had a different vibe. Did you feel it?
There was a political and patriotic twist to Valentine's Day. Because President Trump is making us all fall in love with America again.
Sure, President Trump has made America great again. The economy is booming. Jobs are plentiful. Wages are way up. The stock market is perhaps the best of all time. But it's more than that.
For Valentine’s Day 2020, President Trump made it fashionable to love America again. It's hip to be American. It's cool to celebrate America’s greatness. It's politically correct to put America first. We're encouraged to stand for the national anthem and to chant, "USA, USA."
And the result of all of this is that Americans who actually love America are happy again. We're feeling the most satisfied of our lives. We are free to be ourselves. We don’t have to be silent anymore. We're no longer frustrated and angry. It's our turn to come out of the closet.
We're no longer "the Silent Majority." Now we're the ones who are loud and proud.
To paraphrase James Carville, "It's all about the happiness, stupid." Trump is making us happy again. We feel good about ourselves again. Love is in the air.
This Valentine's Day was special. Because we are all in love with America again.
MRC Lashes Out At Story That Debunks Its Anti-Facebook Narrative Topic: Media Research Center
For years, the Media Research Center has pushed the narrative that Facebook as biased against conservatives -- even as that keeps getting provenwrong, to the extent that MRC chief Brent Bozell is having secret off-the-record dinners with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. It's still fighting to keep that bogus narrative alive.
On Feb. 20, the Washington Post published an article detailing how conservatives wield influence inside Facebook, fighting against the platform removing fake news becasuse it will disproportionally affect conseratrives and other policies showing it "has tilted rightward to deliver policies, hiring decisions and public gestures sought by Republicans" and to curry favor with the Trump administration.
This undermined the MRC's anti-Facebook narrative even further and, needless to say, it wasn't happy about it. Corinne Weaver spun in a Feb. 24 post with a boatload of whataboutism that never challenged any of the article's facts:
The liberal media sees working with President Donald Trump or Republicans as a black mark on one’s reputation. For The Washington Post, having a handful of Republican employees means that Facebook fears Trump and the GOP.
The result was a 4,107 word story that was more a whine about Facebook not being left-wing enough.
Timberg stated that Facebook was described by unnamed critics as having “a willingness to accede to political demands in an era when Republicans control most levers of power in Washington.” In fact, one former unnamed Facebook employee was quoted as saying, “This is what [Facebook] know[s] about Republicans: Tell them ‘yes’ or they will hurt us.”
However, Facebook seems to have had no trouble getting along with Democrats and liberals either, not that The Post cared. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has worked with Democratic candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The Post even brought up the fact that Facebook employees donated $5,171 to Trump in 2016, but gave Clinton $1.1 million in that same timespan.
More than that, Facebook has allowed Democrats and liberals to help shape its community standards. In 2018, Sandberg wrote that Facebook had a “civil rights audit” which was led by the former director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Laura Murphy. Over 90 civil rights organizations were consulted. Murphy wrote that she “rejected the false dichotomy of choosing free speech at the expense of other rights.” Sandberg wrote that the audit was “one of my top priorities for 2019.”
That endorsement was far stronger than anything the company said about its audit of the right.
The decision to avoid fact-checking political ads was described as “yet another effort by Facebook to steer clear of Republican wrath.” Ignored was the quiet update from Facebook made in late 2019 that banned the denial of transgender people’s existence.
Weaver didn't explain how "the denial of transgender people’s existence" is a key tenet of conservatism.
The story was such a threat to the MRC's narrative that apparatchik Dan Gainor issued a press release devoted to attacking it -- again, using lots of whataboutism and failing to challenge any of the facts in the article:
“The Washington Postarticle, “How conservatives learned to wield power inside Facebook” was either ignorant of basic facts or deliberate propaganda. The real complaint was that Facebook hasn’t been as left-wing as other major social media outlets.
“Instead of depicting a company dominated by the left but trying to land closer to the middle, the paper manufactured a rightward shift because the firm wouldn’t do the bidding of liberal executives, employees and politicians.
“The future of Big Tech must be tied to keeping people free online. That freedom requires everyone being treated fairly, but since when has the Post wanted conservatives treated in a fair way. This is why theFree Speech Alliance of more than 60 conservative organizationsurges: ‘Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech and free exercise of religion embodied in the First Amendment.’”
The press release added: "While the 4,107 word story detailed every moment Facebook has worked with the right, it ignored the millions Facebook staff have donated to liberal causes and candidates and, most importantly, the influence leftist groups had in shaping Facebook’s content policies and community standards.
Neither Weaver nor Gainor mentioned the fact that their boss had a secret dinner with Zuckerberg.
The MRC is so sensitive abouts it bogus narrative being challenged that Tim Graham was compelled to devote the Feb. 26 edition of his newly solo column to attacking the Post piece. Graham, like his subordinates, knows he can't dispute the article's fact, so his column is one long fit of whataboutism, deflecting from Facebook's kowtowing to conservatives by claiming "that's not what conservatives are finding," then launched into a long diatribe about how "Tom Elliott of Grabien posted a video on Facebook of Sen. Bernie Sanders at a rally" (he did not identify Elliott as a conservative activist) that was flagged for false information because of a misleading, biased headline.
And, no, Graham did not mention the fact that the guy with whom he used to share a column byline had a secret dinner with Zuckerberg. Maybe Graham and Co. should 1) admit that Bozell had that dinner with Zuckerberg, and 2) disclose its contents to MRC readers.
Conspiracy Theory: WND Suggests Its Muslim-Hating Author's Death Wasn't Suicide Topic: WorldNetDaily
Philip Haney was a former employee of the Department of Homeland Security who spent his retirement years in anti-Muslim activism, accusing the Obama adiministration of downplaying the Islamic threat to the U.S. This earned him the attention of WorldNetDaily, where he co-wrote a book with WND news editor Art Moore, "See something, Say Nothing," on the subject and saw his anti-Muslim rantings regularlypromoted. Haney also appeared to the person who fed Glenn Beck the never-proven story he promoted on his radio and TV shows that a Saudi Arabian student was an Al Qaeda "control agent" and "money man" for the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. (The student sued Beck for defamation and slander, and they later reached an undisclosed settlement.)
Haney died Feb. 21; his body was found next to his car on the side of a California road with a single gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted.WND, meanwhile, has gone into conspiracy-theory mode to suggest that Haney was murdered.
WND's initial, anonymously written Feb. 22 article on Haney's death admitted initial suspicions that his death was a suicide but added that "many of Haney's friends who had spoken to him in the past week say he was happy and looking forward to getting married." WND did not name any of these "friends" or directly quote them saying that, instead rehashing his anti-Muslim activism.
Two days later, another anonymously written article featuring how the county corner "issued a correction Monday afternoon, saying he has not determined that the Department of Homeland Security whistleblower's gunshot wound was self-inflicted." It again repeated the claim that "many of Haney's friends who had spoken to him in the past week say he was happy and looking forward to getting married" without offering further details or on-the-record sourcing.
A Feb. 27 WND article touted how "In an emotional speech on the House floor, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, praised his friend Philip Haney, the Department of Homeland Security whistleblower whose death is under investigation by the FBI and local authorities in Northern California." The article highlighted the coroner's walkback, adding that "Haney's colleagues, friends and family have vowed to make sure everything is done to find out what happened." Once again, none of these "friends and family" are named or quoted.
A March 2 column by Barbara Simpson, though, went full conspiracy theory:
On Feb. 22, the sheriff's office in California's Amador County reported that a dead body was found next to the man's truck, in its jurisdiction 40 miles from Sacramento, the state capital. Their first report was that the man died from a single, self-inflicted shot to the chest. A gun was found near the body.
The body was found in an open area, adjacent to State Highway 16 – about 3 miles from the R.V. park where Haney lived.
That conclusion about the death of the 66-year-old garnered a mountain of objections from the man's friends and family – that it could not have been a suicide. He was about to publish a new book and was planning a marriage in the next month.
They said it was not suicide – but foul play. Murder. They called it an "assassination."
There was so much commotion about the case that the sheriff has issued further reports and is investigating further the cause and manner of death. Also, the sheriff's office has backtracked on the "suicide" claim.
As quoted in Breitbart, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said Haney "didn't kill himself." He said Haney "was a target because of all he knew of Islamic terrorist cover-ups. He insured his life by archiving data that incriminated the highest levels of the Obama administration."
My local paper has printed not a word about the incident – the body, the man, the cause of death. I checked the paper daily and found nothing, yet editors found it important to print more than 200 column inches, front-page stories and color pictures last week about a local couple who was lost and found in good shape by rescuers.
It'll be interesting to find out the results of the sheriff's investigation into the death. People usually do not shoot themselves in the chest to commit suicide – just as they don't shoot themselves in the back of the head. Think Vince Foster.
If I ever – or you ever – needed an example of a massive cover-up by the "political establishment," this is it – and I have no doubt the truth is more than ugly. That our "free press " would be party to the cover-up is more than reprehensible.
Expect to hear more about this at WND, since conspiracy theories are kind of its jam.
The MRC's Latest 'Moderate' Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
For some reason -- perhaps to fulfill a mandated right-wing narrative -- the Media Research Center has spent months obsessing over the idea that some Democratic presidential candidates cold be considered "moderate." As the primary process heated up, the MRC's obsession renewed.
MRC officials Tim Graham and Brent Bozell kicked things off in January by invoking a conservative measure of politics:
The American Conservative Union ratings system has been widely accepted as the voting compass from the perspective of the right. According to the ACU, a centrist would look like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has a lifetime ACU score of 44.8%. Reporters could call her a "liberal Republican," and they should, except that term simply doesn't exist. (Don't believe us? Check it out.)
Or take Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is considered a "conservative Democrat," but that animal doesn't exist in the Senate. His lifetime ACU rating is 26.7%, putting him in lockstep with the left almost three-quarters of the time.
Where this all gets ridiculous is the presidential field.
With extreme socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race, anyone who isn't endorsing a socialist position — like redistributing wealth, abolishing private health insurance and shredding the fossil fuel industry — is categorized as a centrist. Defending the leftist lurch that was Obamacare is now the centrist position in this daffy media dictionary.
The problem here is that the ACU rating is not an objective one -- as even Graham and Bozell admit, it vews things "from the perspective of the right." But however inaccrate and skewed, the MRC now had a narrative to peddle.
Clay Waters complained that the New York Times described Pete Buttigieg as a "moderate." Two days later, Scott Whitlock grumbled that "During the 2020 Democratic primaries, CBS This Morning journalists have repeatedly spun several of the candidates as 'moderates,'" to which he retorted by referencing the ACU sores, though he never explained how they are a reliable indicator of anything. He added as purported evidence of Amy Klobuchar's lack of moderation: "Klobuchar is radically pro abortion, promising to 'reverse Trump abortion policies in the first 100 days.' She supports extensive gun control restrictions and is 'open' to expanding and packing the 'Supreme Court.'" (No explanation of why Whitlock put "Supreme Court" in scare quotes.) Whitlock also used his headline to call CBS "deluded."
Kyle Drennen groused that one interviewer called Buttigieg a "moderate Democrat" but failed to "grill Buttigieg on some of his own radical views on abortion or packing the Supreme Court," adding without evidence: "Bernie Sanders is so extreme that the media are working to paint the rest of the left-wing Democratic field as 'moderate' by comparison."
Graham and Bozell returned to declare that "the Democratic field toes an extreme line": and that "lazy journalists often stick to this false 'moderate' terminology on the campaign trail. This again ignores the fact that they're seeing things from right-wing viewpoint that's not reflective of objective reality.
Geoffrey Dickens declared in a headline, "Don’t Believe the Media Spin: Buttigieg and Klobuchar Are No ‘Moderates’," adding; "During their coverage of the New Hampshire Democratic primary contest, cable and network journalists INCESSANTLY hyped Klobuchar and Buttigieg as 'moderates,' but a cursory look at their public stances reveal that either one of them would be the most liberal Democratic candidate ever nominated to be President." Like the rest of his MRC compadres, Dickens won't admit that this "cursory look" is too biased to be taken seriously.
Waters returned as well: "In its quest to find moderates or even 'centrists'among the Democratic field of presidential candidates to pit against the avowed leftists, The New York Times must ignore several of the candidates’ actual voting records and public policy stands."
Under the sneering headline "They Think You Are Dumb," Whitlock huffed: "The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday waved goodbye to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 campaign with one last disingenuous claim that the liberal Democrat is a 'moderate.' This weekend, all three networks cheered mysterious “moderate” alternatives to Bernie Sanders. Apparently, all you have to do to be a centrist is simply not take a vacation to the Soviet Union like Bernie Sanders."
Of course, Whitlock and the rest of the MRC think you're dumb if you believe their definition of "moderate" is not skewed by their right-wing worldview and agenda.
CNS Praises Right-Wing Authoritarians In Russia For Hating Gays Topic: CNSNews.com
For the past week or so, CNSNews.com has been bashing Bernie Sanders for noting that communist regimes in Cuba and China for having done positive things like encouraging literacy or reducing poverty (while burying the fact that Sanders did criticize the authoritarian nature of those regimes). But CNS loves right-wing authoritarian regimes that share the same views it does, especially on the subject of homosexuality. For instance, we caught CNS last year touting right-wing Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro's hatred of gay people.
That happened again in a Feb. 18 article, with managing editor Michael W. Chapman, CNS' chief gay-basher, doing the honors:
During a meeting about amending the Russian Constitution last week, President Vladimir Putin said, "as long as I'm president" there will be no "gay marriage" in Russia. "there will be dad and mum," he added.
Putin made his remarks on Feb. 13 during the meeting in the Kremlin, in Moscow. Putin made clear, according to Reuters, that there would not be a "parent number 1" and "parent number 2" on birth certificates or related official documents.
"As far as 'parent number 1' and 'parent number 2' goes, I've already spoken publicly about this and I'll repeat it again," he said, "as long as I am president this will not happen."
"There will be dad and mum," said the Russian president.
Unsurprisingly, Chapman made no mention of Putin's authoritarian tendencies -- which include a communist-style command economy, cronyism, increasing state control over media and the crushing of political opposition -- or the fact that Putin-directed agents meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Instead, Chapman went on to cheer how "So-called gay marriage ... is not allowed" in Russia and that "In 2013, Russia enacted a law that prohibits the promotion of homosexual propaganda to minor youth and children, through print, radio, television and the Internet."
Chapman didn't explain why he's allowed to praise aspects of otherwise unsavory regimes and Sanders isn't.
AIM Lamely Defends Limbaugh After Receiving Presidential Medal Topic: Accuracy in Media
It appears that both Brian McNicoll and Carrie Sheffield have departed Accuracy in Media, which at this point leaves just Spencer Irvine to crank out the bulk of AIM's content, and his main qualification for the job is that he's the son of publisher Don Irvine and grandson of AIM founder Reed Irvine.
So we get lame pieces like Spencer's Feb. 6 item attempting to bash ABC for its coverage of Rush Limbaugh's receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump. Irvine complained that ABC "exclusively focused on Limbaugh’s critics" and "failed to find and quote a single source in defense of Limbaugh’s past comments and political views."Of course, given that Irvine himself failed to offer a defense of Limbaugh, it may very well be that there is no good defense of him. Irvine further complained:
The news outlet cited multiple critics on social media without sourcing these critics or their arguments, which alleged that “Limbaugh has made numerous derogatory comments about minority groups as well as offensive comments about AIDS and the LGBTQ community, suicide and many other sensitive topics and marginalized communities.”
It also listed multiple reasons to discredit Limbaugh and his award, such as Limbaugh’s comments that abortion activist Sandra Fluke was a “slut” for her abortion views. ABC News acknowledged Limbaugh apologized for insulting Fluke.
ABC News’s article highlighting Limbaugh’s critics lacked fair treatment and neutrality and neglected to present the opinions and views of his radio show listeners.
Irvine didn't mention the fact that Limbaugh's so-called apology to Fluke was half-hearted at best, apologizing only for "word choices" and defending himself by insisting that he was merely "illustrat[ing] the absurd with absurdity."
The next day, Irvine bashed NowThis News, AIM's odd new target, for doing much the same thing, grumbling that "NowThis News said Limbaugh is 'a right-wing radio host known for having sexist and racist views'and said that Limbaugh is 'unapologetic for his racist and sexist views.' It listed several examples, such as calling abortion advocate Sandra Fluke a 'slut.' The website failed to tell its readers that Limbaugh has since apologized for insulting Fluke. Again, He complained that NowThis "did not offer any other defense or counter-argument to its claims that Limbaugh was a racist and a sexist" but, again, Irvine failed to offer one himself.
Irvine concluded by huffing: "Journalists should back up their claims with evidence or quotes from both sides of the political aisle or issue, but in this case, NowThis News failed to offer a fair defense of Limbaugh’s words or his legacy. Instead, its audience read a biased article that portrayed Limbaugh in a negative light." Irvine seems to have forgotten he works for AIM, which has a legacy of unfair, biased, and outright false attacks against those it deemed its political enemies, particularly Barack Obama and the LGBT community.
MRC Is Sad Fringe-Right Blog's Conspiracy Theory Got 'Censored' Topic: Media Research Center
For some reason, the Media Research Center really hates it when right-wing websites get caught pushing fake news and conspiracy theories. Alexander Hall complained in a Feb. 18 post:
The origin of the coronavirus is still being debated, but Twitter has responded to one skeptic outlet by censoring it.
The ZeroHedge founder reportedly, under the pseudonym Tyler Durden, asked “Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?” and theorized about the coronavirus’ true origins. ZeroHedge was then suspended from Twitter. Forbes claimed that a spokesperson from Twitter indicated that “ZeroHedge was removed for violating its platform manipulation policy, which the social media giant describes as ‘using Twitter to engage in bulk, aggressive or deceptive activity that misleads others and/or disrupts their experience.’” However, The Daily Mail cited a resurfaced research paper from the South China University of Technology, which appears may lend some credence to ZeroHedge’s initial reporting.
ZeroHedge founder "Durden" said that he was suspended from Twitter after Buzzfeed claimed that his blog had doxed a Chinese scientist whom Durden argues was a “public figure.”
Note that Hall doesn't portray ZeroHedge as pushing bogus conspiracy theories -- it's just a "skeptic outlet."
Perhaps that's because Hall really wants to believe ZeroHedge's conspiracy theory. After acknowledging that credible outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times point out that ZeroHedge's conspiracy theory is "debunked" and "fringe," Hall went all in:
Durden purportedly showed a “help wanted” notice from the lab itself, which, translated from Chinese using Google translate, called for new hires who will use “bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases."
In addition, sources such as The Daily Mail have cited a research paper: "The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus," by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao. The research paper appears to have been scrubbed from ResearchGate, but MRC TechWatch was able to view using the Wayback Machine to see ResearchGate’s cached information.
The paper’s abstract observed that “The 2019-nCoV has caused an epidemic of 28,060 laboratory-confirmed infections in human including 564 deaths,” and how “the genome sequences from patients were almost identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus.”
In other words, these “scholars” from South China University of Technology suggest that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”
In fact, the research paper being cited has not been peer reviewed and offers no evidence of a direct connection between the laboratory and coronavirus, beyond a map noting the distance between the laboratory and the Wuhan seafood market linked to the spread of cornonaviarus, nor does it offer any proof that the coronavirus originated at the laboratory.
Meanwhile, Hall himself is censoring certain inconvenient facts -- namely, the dubious track record of both websites he cites. ZeroHedge is a pro-Trump blog that has long pushed fake news and conspiracy theories, and Hall remains weirdly unbothered by the pseudonymous "Tyler Durden" despite the fact that his employer has long (and hypocritically) railed against anonymous sources in the media. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, is so unreliable that even Microsoft and Wikipedia warn against trusting it.
This isn't the first time the MRC has defended ZeroHedge after it got caught pushing fake news. In November, Corinne Weaver complained that Twitter "censored" an acount that had repeated a false story from ZeroHedge claiming that Ukrainian officials had drawn up an indictment against Hunter Biden. She complained that an NBC report "suggested the blog that ZeroHedge “first disseminated” on the allegation was 'misconstrued,' it did not cast doubt on the original Interfax-Ukrainian piece." In fact, as the NBC report pointed out, the Interfax-Ukraine report did not mention an indictment.
Michael Brown's Homophobic Buttigieg Meltdown Topic: WorldNetDaily
We noted that CNSNews.com published WorldNetDailiy columnist Michael Brown's anti-gay attack on Pete Buttigieg, in which he declared that "Choosing an out and proud “married” gay man to run for president, let alone become president, would contribute to the further degeneration and moral confusion of our society along with further attacks on our most fundamental rights." Since WND published it too, let's look at it further.
Brown admitted he would be seen as a "homophobic bigot" for saying that, and, yes, that's pretty much whatheis, his denials notwithstanding.He did, take issue with "moderate Canadian evangelical" Randall Rauser's statement that it shows he has "an irrational fear of and/or antipathy toward gay people" that's more than a little hypocritical, given that "Evangelicals like Brown fall over themselves to excuse Trump's grotesque immorality," prompting him to dod exactly that:
First, I have never excused the president's past immorality. In fact, I probably called attention to it as much as any evangelical leader during the primaries. To say, I "fall over [myself] to excuse Trump's grotesque immorality" is to speak a lie.
Second, to this day, like a broken record, I draw attention to aspects of the president's behavior that I find destructive and harmful. In fact, shortly after the National Prayer Breakfast, I wrote an article addressing the very issues Rauser mentioned regarding Trump's response to the words of Jesus.
So, to brand me hypocritical for speaking out against Mayor Pete's proud homosexuality is to be either misinformed, dishonest, or both.
But there is a much bigger issue the critics are missing.
President Trump is not flaunting his past immorality, nor is he pushing it presently. Instead, when the ugly tape of his lewd comments went public, he said, "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. … I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down."
In stark contrast, Mayor Pete has talked about how his homosexual relationship to his "husband," Chasten, has brought him closer to God. He has kissed his partner at public rallies. He is pushing his homosexuality, not apologizing for it.
You better believe that he will do everything in his power to normalize homosexual relationships even more in the eyes of America. He will also do his best to marginalize those who are convinced that these relationships are contrary to the will of God.
Note to Brown: If you really think Trump was being sincere and truthful when he issued that non-apology, and that the years subsequent to that statement haven't shown that those words reflect exactly who Trump is, he's being terribly naive. By taking Trump's words at face value when there's every reason not to do so, Brown is, in fact, excusing his immorality.
Brown then tries to parse between people and behavior, even though he can't do so with Buttigieg:
It is not so much that homosexual practice is worse than adultery or fornication. Rather, it is the fact that there is an aggressive, gay agenda that has systematically undermined biblical morals for decades. It has also sought to silence all dissenting voices, becoming the principle threat to our religious and moral freedoms.
That's why I've been active in resisting LGBT activism since 2004, reaching out to individuals with compassion but resisting the agenda with courage.
And so, it is not the people whom I oppose. (God forbid. I've made that clear hundreds, if not thousands of times.) It is not even homosexual acts that primarily concern me (although issues of health and safety should not be ignored).
It is an aggressive agenda that I oppose, one that I and others have tracked carefully for many years. ... It is an agenda that would only be fueled with great intensity by an out and proud gay president.
Brown then complained that "President Obama's administration pushed radical trans activism on our nation's schools, under severe penalties," though what he considers "radical" was allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that meshes with their gender identity.
When someone pointed out that Brown isn't not exactly being silenced for his anti-gay activism, what with all the attention he's getting for bashing Buttigieg, he devoted a column to insisting he is being silenced because, among other similar things, the Southern Poverty Law Center "put me on their list of 30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right, seeking to defame me by linking me with neo-Nazis and other violent extremists." He continued playing the victim:
As for whether a President Buttigieg would try to marginalize Bible believers like me, what we do know is that he has already done that very thing. He has already used his campaign platform both to celebrate his homosexuality and to denigrate the Christianity of those who differ with him, including Vice President Pence.
LGBTQ+ activism has already had a deleterious effect on society in many ways, some of them outright oppressive. We could expect more of the same – really, much more – with an out and proud gay president.
No fearmongering here, and, for the record, no paranoia. I plan to continue to speak out regardless of cost or consequences.
I'm simply sounding the alarm in advance. A word to the wise is sufficient.
Of course, Brown never stops to consider that his "speaking out" is an attempt to silence LGBT voices, since irony escapes him.
Brown was back to attacking Buttigieg in a Feb. 28 column bashing him for having "a national platform to a 9-year-old old who wanted advice on coming out as gay." Let the gay-bashing rant begin, with the added bonus of suggesting gays are pedophiles while denying that they are:
Remember. This child is only 9 years old.
He is pre-pubescent.
He is only a few years removed from thinking that boys who like girls have "the cooties." (Do you remember hearing that in kindergarten and the first grade?)
And surveys have indicated that plenty of teenagerswho identify as gay no longer do so when they reach adulthood.
How dare any of us put a 9-year-old child like this on public display, now branding him for life as gay. What if Zachary wants to "take it back" in a few years? What then?
Let me put this in a larger context for a moment. Perhaps the light will go on for you as you continue to read.
If there is one accusation that gay men hate more than any other it is the accusation that they are pedophiles. That all (or most) homosexual men are interested in having sexual relationships with boys. That it is not safe to leave a boy alone in the presence of a gay male. That all (or most of them) are child abusers. Every gay man with whom I have talked over the years has categorically and emphatically rejected these accusations. And I, for one, believe them.
In my view, the real danger is one of older homosexuals influencing impressionable children. Of indoctrination more than seduction. Of persuasion, not rape. That's one reason I raised concerns about the potential, negative impact of a President Pete Buttigieg.
Of course, there is no denying the well-known tradition of "man-boy love" in homosexual history, from the "mentoring" of ancient Greece to the NAMBLA societies of today. Calling it "intergenerational intimacy" does not make it any less heinous.
Brown sure moved from Buttigieg to NAMBLA pretty quickly there, didn't he? Yet he concluded by insisting that "My warnings are not exaggerated."
MRC Pretends All Attorneys Calling For Barr's Resignation Are 'Liberal Media Pundits' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained in a Feb. 17 post:
On Monday, the network morning shows predictably all seized on an open letter from former Justice Department officials demanding the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. However, the broadcasts conveniently left out the fact that several of the ex-DOJ employees who signed on to the letter currently serve as professional anti-Trump pundits on CNN and MSNBC.
But Drennen never gets beyond identifying "several" signatories -- and even the Daily Caller article to which he links names only eight "liberal media pundits" who signed the petition. Drennen also never explained how this paltry number discredited a petition signed by more than 1,100 ex-DOJ officials (a number that has since grown to more than 2,000). Are they all "liberal media pundits"? Highly unlikely, though Drennen wants you to think otherwise.
Drennen even acknowledged that officials that worked under both Democratic and Republican presidents, then huffed that "no mention was made of how many liberal media pundits were included in the letter. (Eight, Kyle. The number is eight.)
After once again complaining about "the anti-Trump punditry regularly offered by several of those who signed the letter," Drennen closed by grumbling: "The President’s most vocal political opponents are somehow portrayed by press as objective experts who are simply 'taking a stand' and trying to 'instill a broad sense of responsibility.'" But it's the height of irresponsibility and partisan hackery for Drennen to presume that because eight signatories are "liberal media pundits" that all 1,00-plus are.
Of course, we know that neither Drennen nor anyone else at the MRC can be bothered to do the actual research to determine the political leanings of each and every signatory, despite being employed by an organization that claims to do "media research." The slight guilt-by-association smear is all that counts as "media research" here.
But Drennen wasn't the only MRC writer desperate to downplay the letter. Nicholas Fondacaro dismissed the letter as "self-righteous" then grasped at the whataboutism card, grumbling that "there was no such letter when the DOJ inspector general found that the FBI had lied to the FISA Court in order to obtain warrants to spy on a Trump campaign aid." He also insisted the letter's signatories weren't "bipartisan" because "they and the media share the same political motivation: remove Trump at all costs."
The MRC's motivation is to save Trump at all costs, so Fondacaro, Drennen and crew are propbably not the mosdt qualified people to serve up so-called "media research" on this subject.
Allen West's Dumb Rhetorical Excess Topic: CNSNews.com
Media Research Center "senior fellow" and CNSNews.com columnist Allen West has a propensity for some really dumb rhetorical excess.
In a Dec. 2 column, he actually declared that we are living in "the real Hunger Games." Why? Because some want to abolish the Electoral College and have a direct popular vote for president:
This was established to give the smaller states, more rural areas, an equal voice to the larger more populated centers, areas, States. Yes, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 election, translating to some 12-13 states. In the Electoral College, it was a landslide victory for Donald Trump, who won close to 38 states. Now, what do we hear from the progressive socialist left? Yes, end the Electoral College, they prefer the tyranny of a pure democracy…the rule of “The Capitol” over the Districts.
Sadly, this is happening in many of the States in our Constitutional Republic, and I do not find it by coincidence. If there is one thing about the left in America, they are highly strategic. They are relocating into economically successful and strong conservative States and turning them blue, based upon the concept of “The Hunger Games”. They are fortifying themselves within the cities, the population centers, which are often strengthened by the academic, media, entertainment, cultural, and political elites.
The greatest amount of despair, despondency, death, crime, pestilence, and corruption is found in our large American cities…and we know who controls them. Thomas Jefferson was so very prescient, and correct, with this assertion. And isn’t it rather interesting that the left wants more public transportation and electric vehicles which regulate, constrain, the movement of Americans?
We are living in the real Hunger Games.
Yes, in West's right-wing mind, making everyone's vote for president count the same is exactly the same as "The Hunger Games."
On Dec. 16, West insisted that the FISA court was no different that the notorious Stasi intellligence agency in Soviet-controlled East Germany -- and, of course, immediately throws Bernie Sanders into the mix:
Last week, the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed that we have a New American Stasi. As a Member of Congress, I had voted against the renewal of the Patriot Act, a main reason was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. I could not, and still cannot, fathom having a “secret” court that has the power to grant warrants to conduct surveillance, spying, against American citizens without their knowledge, or ability to defend themselves. That is a complete and utter violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, yet this is what happened.
And last week, Mr. Horowitz confirmed my greatest concerns: Seventeen inaccuracies and omissions were made to this secret court in order to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance, spying, against American citizens. And yes, the entire Mueller special investigation which was enacted for one reason, but veered greatly off course, and certain political opposition have found themselves in sentenced to prison.
This is how things happen when progressive socialists are in power. What perhaps started with every good intention of keeping us safe from Islamic jihadists and terrorist attacks is now being used against political opponents. I have always admired the hypocrisy of socialists, communists, to claim the title of “Democratic”, such as East Germany did, and North Korea does today. It is a means by which they attempt to deceive and wrongfully label themselves…such as Bernie Sanders with his “Democratic Socialism.”
We have developed terms such as “Deep State.” We have folks calling themselves the #resistance. What we truly have developing is a New American Stasi…tactics are the same, as well as the objectives.
West would never concede that the people who actually in power -- that is, the Trump administration -- would behave in a Stasi-esque way, for instance, by trying to destroy the life of the whistleblower who exposed Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president.
In his Jan. 13 column, West ranted that following an election that saw Democrats gain full control of the Virginia legislature, Gov. Ralph Northam "and his leftist minions are following Lenin’s playbook with forcing universal background checks, banning certain firearms, and implementing red flag laws. And we should not be surprised." West did not explain why red-flag laws -- temporarily taking weapons away from people who may be a danger to themselves or others -- is just like communist gun confiscation.
By his Feb. 17 column, though, West had notched things down to being merely dumb. He portrayed all Democratic presidential candidates as being just as "soclialist" as Bernie Sanders and their rhetoric as "New Coke," adding: "There is nothing new and improved about the American progressive socialist left’s formula, it is all the same, a recipe for disaster." Still, he couldn't help himself by injecting a falsehood into his argument:
You recall, during the Carter administration when it was asserted that every American had a “right” to own a home -- the Community Reinvestment Act. Thirty years later, we saw the results of government intrusion into the private sector mortgage industry, a financial meltdown. Of course, we are told today by the left that healthcare is a right. That is how the left will always frame their objective of government control of economic means of production.
As experts have said for years -- and as we pointed out years ago -- the Community Reinvestment Act played an insignificant role in the 2008 financial crisis, since most of the mortgage lenders doing the subprime lending that drove the crisis were not subject to the CRA's provisions.
MRC Still Downplaying 'Conservative Comedian' Crowder's Homophobic Attacks Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, we detailed how the Media Research Center worked to reframe right-wing videomaker Stephen Crowder's homophobic attacks on then-Vox host Carlos Maza -- smearing him as a "lispy queer," among other things, which inspired Crowder's right-wing follower to doxx Maza -- by saying that Crowder is a "conservative comedian" who is apparently exempt from criticism (though that hasn't stopped the MRC from attacking the humor of comedians who are not conservative). It was only after Maza went public about the verbal abuse and doxxing that YouTube moved to demonetize Crowder's channel, for which the MRC granted victimhood status to Crowder.
Well, Maza has since gone out on his own to make videos for his own YouTube channel, and the MRC is attacking him once more.
In a Feb. 13 post, Alexander Hall complained that "The New York Times gave this “New York-based socialist” a prominent feature in their business section with two gigantic photos on separate pages," then engaged in revisionist history about Crowder: "Maza, aka @GayWonk, famously triggered the adpocalypse on YouTube when he blasted the platform for allowing conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder to poke fun at him during Gay Pride Month. Shortly afterward came a wave of 'carpet bombing' demonetizations and potential rule changes that restricted free speech on the platform." Hall made sure not to mention Crowder's vicious homophobia.
The next day, Clay Waters, the MRC's designated Times-hater, went after the Times article itself, bizarrely and counterfactually portraying Maza as the aggressor and Crowder as the victim: "Maza, whose Twitter bio refers to Tucker Carlson as a white supremacist, targeted conservative Steven Crowder in 2019. After Crowder mocked him as a 'lispy queer,' YouTube was pressured into demonetizing Crowder’s YouTube videos." (Waters doesn't mention that Maza's claim about Carlson is backed up with evidence.)
Waters also insisted that Maza is "no slouch at internet bullying," while conveying further victimhood on Crowder by complaining that the writer of the Times article showed "hostility toward Crowder" by referring to him as "a bargain-bin conservative comedian." Needless to say, Waters couldn't be bothered to describe the full extent of Crowder's homophobic attacks.
The MRC is quite invested in portraying Crowder as a victim. In December, Hall gave Crowder a platform to rant that "the purge is coming" in the form of YouTube proposing content reforms to cut down on "malicious insults" and "veiled threats" -- you know, what Crowder did to Maza. Which, of course, led Hall to invoke revisionist history to claim that Crowder was merely "mocking" Maza.