CNSNews.com greeted Democratic presidential primary victories by Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden with a flurry of negative attacks on them. Read more >>
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Bad Coronavirus Takes: Three Cheers For Price-Gouging!
-- Gavin Wax, April 7 Newsmax column
MRC Falsely Suggests Right-Wing Reporter Who Violated Social Distancing Rules Is A Victim
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's narrative of conservative victimization is so pernicious that it has to suggest discrimination against a right-wing reporter who was clearly in the wrong. Kristine Marsh wrote in an April 2 post:
So far, so good. But then Marsh suggested Rion was banned becuase she "aggravated liberal journalists":
Marsh's insinuations against the WHCA is a cheap shot that is without factual basis. Rion messed up, and Marsh -- if she is willing to be totally honest -- know it. But she tries to shamelessly portray Rion as a victim of purported anti-conservative discrimination anyway when she has to know that's not the case.
The narrative trumps the truth at the MRC, and this is just another example of that.
Mychal Massie Meltdown Watch
-- Mychal Massie, March 30 WorldNetDaily column
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Questioning Trump Makes Yamiche Alcindor An Enemy Of The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
One of the reasons the Media Research Center relaunched its war against public broadcasting -- aside from not letting a crisis go to waste -- is because PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor has committed the offense of asking tough questions of President Trump during his daily coronavirus press briefings. The MRC specifically cited Alcindor's questions to Trump as a reason to defund PBS and NPR.
On March 18, the MRC's Kyle Drennen complained that Alcindor "worked together" with another reporter "to claim that President Trump’s use of the term 'Chinese virus' was 'racist' and 'puts Asian Americans at risk.' Alcindor even touted rumors of an unknown administration official using an offensive term to describe the disease." Drennen furtyher complained that Alcindor force a "biased line of questioning" to Trump.
Two days later, Curtis Houck sneered that Alcindor was a "taxpayer-funded reporter" and insisted that her question to Trump about the message he sends to other countries by lashing out at reporters was "another entry into the NewsBusters files and provided yet another audition tape to be deemed the female Jim Acosta." Houck lectured: "This may seem crazy to some, but it is entirely reasonable and possible to set aside whatever you want to believe about the President rhetorically smacking reporters and still think that there’s no profession that loves itself more than the liberal media. And, beyond that, one can also set aside the President and conclude that many journalists are incredibly thin-skinned when presented with criticism from outside their Statist bubbles in New York and Washington D.C."
(Houck is well known for his pathological loathing of all things Acosta.)
When Trump had a meltdown March 29 over a question from Alcindor, Houck was practically orgasmic (needless bolding in original):
Houck is not going to tell you that Alcindor was correct that Trump said what he now denied saying. After all, it's an article of faith at the MRC that Trump never does anything wrong and his criticism of reporters who challenge him is honest and insightful and not mean and petty.
Houck also called her a "lefty" in his headline, but made no effort to prove that asking questions of Trump that he didn't want to answer equated to her being a "lefty."
The next day, Scott Whitlock chose to interpret a comment by Alcindor about solidarity among journalist as an expression of anti-Trump bias:
That's not what she said, Scott, but you be you.
That same day, Drennen laughably described Alcindor's questioning of Trump as "hostile" and complained that other reporters were coming to her defense. He further deliberately misinterpreted Alcindor's words, insisting that she "proudly proclaimed that bashing Trump during White House briefingswas a 'team sport' among the press corps."
Drennen returned on April 10 to attack NBC's Seth Meyers for refusing to repeat the MRC's anti-media attacks while having Alcindor as a guest. he huffed that Meyers was "pushing the laughable fantasy thatnego-driven journalists never want to make the news about themselves" and "talked about how much he liked watching reporters gang up on the President during the pressers" (never mind that he didn't actually say that)," finally grousing: "Reporters know that they be as incendiary and irresponsible in the briefing room as they want because the rest of liberal media will always be there to defend them and cheer them on."
Drennen and the rest of the MRC hate journalists like Alcindor so much -- and they are so dedicatd to their anti-media agenda -- that they must manufacture a caricature of her that conforms to their preconceived, agenda-driven notions of what a journalist is.
CNS Concedes One Of Its Favorite Authoritarians Is Making A Power Grab
Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is one of CNSNews.com's favorite right-wing authoritarians -- it has gushed over how he leads an ultra-nationalist "populist government" with a strong (some would call it xenophobic) anti-immigration policies. But now that Orbamn has exploited the coronavirus pandemic to further his authoritarian ambitions, is the romance souring? Perhaps.
An April 1 CNS article by James Carstensen highlighted the European Union's displeasure with how "Hungary’s parliament on Monday approved in a 138-53 vote a measure allowing Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree until parliament rules otherwise." While Carstensen does include plenty of criticism of Orban in his article, he does try to give Orban a pass, citing one analyst stating that "the powers Orban has granted himself are not very different from other E.U. governments have done, but may be subject to increased attention due to his unfavorable opposition to immigration." He did admit, however, that the analyst added that "Orban does appear to be aiming to maximize a political advantage from the virus."
Carstensen was supportive of Orban as recently as October, when he portrayed EU budgetary actions as targeting Hungary and the "erosion of democracy" happening there and highlighted Orban's "dim view" of the EU actions.
Will CNS now publish an op-ed critical of Orban's power grab, the way it published an op-ed a couple years back touting Orban's authoritiarian "democracy based on Christian principles"? We shall see.
Monday, April 13, 2020
MRC Pretends It Can Read Media Minds Again
Topic: Media Research Center
A key part of the Media Research Center method of "media research" is to go beyond the facts and pretend to the read the minds of media people to ascribe motive and convict them of thought crimes they can't possibly know. One prime example of this is a March 30 post by Kyle Drennen:
Drennen's claim that NBC "worries" or "fretted" about the pandemic's effect on Biden's campaign or the reporter "lamented" the situation is pure manufactured speculation on his part. He cannot possibly know the motivation of the people of the segment, so he assigns them based on the MRC's right-wing narrative that all journalists who aren't blatantly conservative are "liberal" and, thus, targets.
Similarly, Drennen's description of the segment as "fawning" is also entirely subjective. The MRC thinks any news segment lacking right-wing criticism of a non-conservative is "fawning." It would never describe a Fox News segment that praised Trump as "fawning."
This sort of fictional, agenda-driven labeling is why the MRC's "media research" is not to be taken as face value and should be treated as the political activism it is.
WND Writer Pretends His Attempt At Evangelism Isn't 'A Message About Religion'
Joe Kovacs is one of the very few remaining WorldNetDaily employees, so he's still down with the deceptive WND way. He began an April 5 article this way:
Sure sounds scary. Except that it's a bait-and-switch, as he eventually concedes in the 10th paragraph: "The calamitous condition from which we all suffer is called mortality."
In other words, Kovacs is about to launch into a sermon. The funny thing is, he denies that he's doing so, insisting, "This is not a message about religion. This is a message about life and death." But it's clear this is very much about religion, since he references only one in his attempt at evangelization:
Yeah, nothing says "this is not a message about religion" than quotes from the Bible in all-caps and boldface.
At one point Kovacs writes, "God's commandments are just that, commands. They are not suggestions. We actually have to stop sinning -- which is the breaking of God's laws -- and repent, meaning to turn around and go in the opposite direction." But as we've noted, nobody at WND has ever repented of the false and dishonest -- and, thus, commandment-breaking -- reporting they have perpetrated over the years, despite being claiming to be such uber-Christians.
Kovacs concluded by writing:
Of course, Kovacs never thinks coronavirus was sent by God to test the self-proclaimed piety of uber-Christians like himself. If he was truly repentant, he wouldn't still be working for WND.
Sunday, April 12, 2020
MRC Again Promotes Bogus Green New Deal Cost Figure
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez gushed in a March 18 post:
As we documented the last time the MRC did this, the $93 trillion figure is basically fictional and forwarded in bad faith. The American Action Forum -- the organization that orginiated the figure -- is funded by fossil-fuel interests, who stand to lose under the Green New Deal and have a vested interest in denigrating it. And Politico pointed out that even AAF leader Douglas Holtz-Eakin admits the number is bogus because any precision in that great of a number is "illusory."
Ouch indeed -- watch out for that errant Cruz missile, Joe! Though Vazquez likely didn't feel the pain of promoting those bogus numbers since that's what he gets paid to do.
Is This A CNS News Story? Or A Trump Press Release? Who Can Tell?
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham wrote in a March 13 post:
Graham won't tell you this, but he's really complaining that Politico is reporting on Biden thte way the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, reports on President Trump.
We've documented how CNS' news coverage of Trump is largely uncritical, even when it's spreading falsehoods.That sycophancy has continued over the past couple months with positively fawning takes on Trump that really have no purpose but to serve as PR piees for the president's re-election campaign.
A Feb. 24 article by Susan Jones described Trump's visit to India in absurdly glowing terms, complete with a headline that simply cribs from his speech:
That was joined by an article the next day, in which managing editor Michael W. Chapman gushed: "While speaking to an estimated 110,000 people at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, India on Monday, President Donald Trump stressed that 'our nations have many differences' but 'every person has a sacred soul' and 'we are all born' to aim high and 'give all glory to God.'" As if Trump actually thinks that or wrote those words.
As questions grew about Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, CNS was quick to tout polls showing that Americans (barely) approve of his work and not that of his critics, like the media:
CNS reinforced this narrative with a column headlined "Why Does President Trump Have the Highest Approval Ratings of His Presidency?"
Craig Bannister transcribed Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera's praise for Trump, in which he proclaimed Trump "the right warrior for this fight" providing "effective, yet flamboyant leadership" and doing "an epic job."
This presidential fawning reached an apex with a March 27 article by chapman further shoring up Trump's alleged leadership against the pandemic by treating bland boilerplates from the the head of the World Health Organization as something akin to an endorsement:
Of course, Tedros' sucking up to Trump didn't keep him from attacking WHO and threatening to withdraw U.S. funding for the organiation.
If Graham genuinely thinks news articles should not read like campaign press releases, he should fix his own house first and examine the practices of his employer's "news" division before attacking other media outlets.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
MRC Transgender Freakout, Coronavirus Edition
Topic: Media Research Center
At the Media Research Center, it's not enough to merely criticize transgendered people -- they must be mocked and shamed for being who they are and for thinking they have any inherent human rights. Which brings us to Matt Philbin's March 20 post attacking transgenders as portrayed in a article at the website Vice on the subject of transgender surgeries being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic with all the sensitivity he's known for (which is to say, none):
It must be sad to have so little empathy for people not exactly like him -- that is, right-wing conservative -- as Philbin. We assume the MRC pays him well enough to keep such pesky empathy at bay.
WND's Cashill Gloats Over A Man's Personal Issues
Jack Cashill took unseemly pleasure in the personal problems of another human being in his March 18 WorldNetDaily column:
Why is Cashill so irrationally angry at Gillum and taking such perverse pleasure in his apparent downfall? He took the side of Trayvon Martin against the man who killed him, George Zimmerman. Cashill has been a longtime champion of Zimmerman, portraying him as a civil-rights martyr and Martin as a thug in training. Cashill fired up the old tropes again as an attempt to heap more scorn on Gillum:
Joel Gilbert, of course, is the charlatan filmmaker who spread lies about Barack Obama, so there's no reason to take him seriously on anything. Cashill does, however, because they share the same conspiracy theories.
And, thus, Cashill's affinity for killers continues, and his callousness toward those who don't advance his right-wing agenda is all too apparent.
Friday, April 10, 2020
MRC Reprints An Old Obama Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham likes to pretend that he is above right-wing conspiracy theories, despite the fact that his employer has allowed them to perpetuate, as we've pointed out. There's an even more recent example of that.
On March 19, the MRC's NewsBusters -- of which Graham is executive editor -- published a column by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. in which he complains about a "dreadful" book titled "The Ones We've Been Waiting For," which he points out "takes its dreadful title from a dreadful speech given back in 2008 by presidential candidate Barack Obama."After a stretch of labored writing in which he treated a rhetorical point Obama had made as literal ("One cannot wait for the arrival of one's self. It is an impossibility"), Tyrrell wrote this:
Yes, Tyrrell is trying to revive the old, never-proven conspiracy theory -- promoted most prominently by WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill -- that Obama didn't write his books.Note that Tyrrell cites no evidence to back up his claim, just "murmuring" from "people," which would seem to go against the MRC's (hypocritical) attacks on anonymous sources.He offers no proof at all for his claim that Obama's presidential memoir is "years behind."
Yet the MRC -- and, thus, Graham, who is ostenibly in charge of the publication where this was published -- is privileging Tyrrell's anonymous and possibly made-up claims.
This is how conspiracy theories perpetuate themselves: forming in the darkest reaches of the internet, then occasionally bubbling up to the mainstream where they are passed along uncritically. No wonder Graham was so incensed at Brian Stelter's doucmentary on such conspiracy theories.
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Coronavirus Edition
We've documented how CNSNews.com has been gushing over every monthly employment report under the Trump administration (as long as it was good). With the unemployment spike driven by the coronavirus, how was CNS going to play that in a Trump-friendly way?
First, it tried to make sure he wasn't to blame. AFter the first surge of 3.3 million new umemployment claims, Melanie Arter served up a shrug emoji of an article headlined "Trump on 3.3 Million Unemployment Claims: ‘It’s Nobody’s Fault’."
CNS then spent the following few days before the monthly employment numbers preparing readers for the worst (and, of course, shielding Trump from blame). An April 1 column by Allison Schrager of the right-wing Manhattan Institute claimed this was all goibng as planned, as summarized in the headline "High Unemployment Numbers Show the CARES Act Is Doing Its Job." That was followed by an article by Susan Jones noting that as bad as the March numbers will be when they come out, they only reflect the pay period that includes the 12th of the month, which was "was one day before President Trump declared a national coronavirus emergency; and three days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans avoid gatherings of 50 or more people, thus accelerating the economic squeeze." There was also a gloomy article by Michael W. Chapman with poll finding on how many people have seen their hours cut.
When the numbers did come out, Jones reverted to her old Obama-era obsession with the labor force participation rate -- not surprising, perhaps, since it "increased by 1,763,000 to a record 96,845,000 in March." She still worked in some pro-Trump rah-rah, stating that "After breaking 25 records under President Donald Trump--most recently in December 2019--the number of employed Americans dropped sharply in March, to 155,772,000."
The usual sidebars similarly stuck a little pro-Trump rah-rah in as well. Craig Bannister's article on Hispanic employment copy-and-pasted Jones' reference to the "25 records under President Donald Trump," while Chapman's item on black unemployment (the first time in months that statistic has been referenced) spun hard by claiming that "the 6.7% unemployment rate for African Americans is still historically low ... In other words, the Black unemployment rate in America was higher than 6.8% for 46 years. Only editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's item on health care employment didn't mention or allude to Trump.
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Newsmax TV White House Reporter Pushes Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory
In February, Newsmax TV hired Emerald Robinson as its White House correspondent. Her resume is scant, with her most recent job being White House correspondent for the even-farther-right-and-even-more-pro-Trump One America News Network. That OAN experience is showing, for Robinson has embraced a far-right coronavirus conspiracy theory.
In a series of tweets on April 6, Robinson ranted that Bill Gates "basically controls global health policy' and that his "plan" is "Using vaccines to track people" using a "quantum dot-tattoo." The goal, Robinson insists, is to "leverage immunization as an opportunity to establish digital identity worldwide," declaring: "He just bought off relevant orgs & did it. It’s not just incompatible with democracy. It’s the end of it."
This claim comes from right-wing fever swamps, which extrapolated Gates' claim to want to create trackable data for who has received a possible future coronavirus vaccine as a means to control its spread into a full-blown sinister conspiracy.
Robinson, meanwhile, can't handle criticism of her conspiracy theory. In a response to a commenter who rightly criticized her, Robinson huffed: "Why was Jeffery Epstein donating Gates's cash to MIT anonymously?" In another response to a different critic -- in this case, Atlantic writer Conor Friersdorg -- Robinson sneered: "You've never written a single thing of the slightest interest. You're unable to get 12 people to like any of your posts on Twitter and you write for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. So, who cares what you think?"
Hiring a conspiracy-mongering reporter from an outlet known for both pro-Trump sycophancy and conspirach-mongering is not a good look for Newsmax if it's seeking to build credibility for its TV operation -- which, by the way, just got rid of Wayne Allyn Root for his shady coronavirus shenanigans.
Screenshots of Robinson's tweets are below.
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