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Friday, April 17, 2020
CNS Dismisses 'Impish' Zoom Bombers (Who Post Porn And Racism)
Topic: commentary editor Rob Shimshock wrote about "impish" Zoom "bombers" -- people who impede unauthorized on other people's Zoom meetings -- in an April 2 op-ed:

With quarantine in full effect for much of the nation, meetups spanning from college classes to Alcoholics Anonymous have migrated into the digital sphere, hosting sessions on audiovisual platform Zoom. But these calls are receiving some unexpected participants, with churlish netizens disrupting meetings en masse, hurling anything from acerbic japes to vile invective and using the app’s screen-share tool to portray content ranging from Guitar Hero to crude Microsoft Paint sketches of certain regions of the anatomy.

The New York Post starts a piece entitled “FBI warns of hackers hijacking online Zoom meetings, classes” by claiming that “even working from home isn’t safe!” 

That’s right; online trolling is on the same tier as a murderous virus.


Over the past half-day, I’ve sat in on a few of these trolling sessions — in a purely journalistic capacity! Users are finding Zoom room numbers and passwords through publicly accessible venues like Twitter. Such information is often posted pseudonymously and accompanied by messages such as “raid my math class tomorrow,” suggesting that mischievous students and members of other groups are hoping some anonymous prankster will raise hell on their behalf during a tedious lecture or briefing. 

In short, joining these calls unsolicited is just as much a “hack” as taking your dog to a public park is an “invasion.”

But in dismissing the Zoom bombing as merely "impish" pranks, Shimshock is ignoring the more malicious aspects of it. Pornography is one of them; one school district online Zoom class with elementary school students got interrupted by porn. People using racial slurs bombed a college meeting of black students.

it's strange that Shimshock would dismiss porn-related Zoom bombing, since it has been praising states for claiming that pornography is a "public health crisis," and a day after Shimshock's column appeared, his boss, managing editor Michael W. Chapman, cheered Utah -- ironically, the state where the porn-bombing of the elementary students occurred -- for requiring warning labels on porn. We're less surprised about the racist stuff, given that CNS commentary section that Shimshock runs continues to publish the column of Michelle Malkin, who has been leaning hard lately into white nationalism and anti-Semitism.

Shimshock does point out that Zoom adjusting program settings will block the bombers, but he framed it as "a good ol’ dose of personal responsibility."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 20, 2020 8:33 PM EDT
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Questioning Trump Makes Peter Alexander An Enemy Of The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

In the Media Research Center's gaslighting narrative, President Trump has behaved perfectly throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and any reporter who asks him even a remotely challenging question during his daily press briefings is a hateful liberal who's trying to showboat and tout his or her own ego (as if they could be more egomanical than Trump).

One victim of this biased, fanciful portrayal is NBC's Peter Alexander. Here's how Kyle Drennen described his reasonable March 30 questioning of Trump, under the hyperbolic clickbait headline "Trump SMACKS DOWN NBC’s Alexander for Being ‘Terrible Reporter’":

During Friday’s coronavirus press conference at the White House, NBC correspondent Peter Alexander decided that it was more important to get into an argument with President Trump than actually keep the American people informed about the global pandemic. The reporter began his nasty line of questioning by accusing the President of spreading “false hope” – until Trump shut him down.

“Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope by misrepresenting the preparedness right now?,” Alexander hurled at the President, referencing experimental medical treatments for COVID-19. Trump sarcastically remarked, “Such a lovely question,” before explaining: “Look, it may work and it may not work....I feel good about it, that’s all it is, just a feeling.”

Moments later, still seemingly upset by the President’s sense of optimism, Alexander decided to play on people’s fear to create a headline: “What do you say to Americans who are scared, though, I guess. Nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick. Millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?”

The President had clearly had enough and let Alexander have it:


None of those questions were actually about eliciting important medical or safety information for the American people. The only purpose of those questions was to point fingers of blame and start a fight with President that would make good television.

In other words, Drennen is complaining that Alexander wouldn't be a stenographer for Trump and push whatever the talking point of the day was.

In case you didn't really believe that the MRC thinks that merely questioning Trump makes a reporter a liberal egomaniac, a post the same day by Curtis Houck cited Alexander as the purveyor of "another embarrassing display of self-centeredness by groaning journalists about how President Donald Trump doesn’t like them,"going on to sneer that "there’s no profession that loves itself more than the liberal media" and "many journalists are incredibly thin-skinned when presented with criticism from outside their Statist bubbles in New York and Washington D.C."

Houck, of course, is ensconced in his own right-wing media bubble in which any journalist who isn't a Trump shill is an enemy.

Never mind that Alexander was tossing Trump a softball question, as he pointed out later, "an opportunity to reassure the millions of Americans, members of my own family and my neighbors and my community and plenty of people sitting at home." That Trump's response was as unhinged as it was, Alexander wrote, showed that "this is a president whose experiences in life are very different than most Americans across this country right now," not someone who has ever worried about finances or his future or paying bills.

That, of course, did not go over well at the MRC either. Drennen complained that Alexander's statement "implied that Trump is too rich to relate to people." 

Nicholas Fondacaro, meanwhile, lost it when CNN's John King called Trump's unhinged behavior against Alexander a "bullshit attack," going on to huff that "Alexander’s question was an underhanded attempt to accuse the President of spreading “false hope” in a time of crisis. As things got heated, Trump responded by accurately noting Alexander was engaging in sensationalism." Fondacaro went on to sneer: "Without evidence, [CNN's Dana] Bash also suggested Alexander was an 'objective reporter,'" then touted a profanity-laced attack on Alexander by right-wing Fox News commentator Brit Hume, who huffed, "Legitimate question my a**. It was the kind of bullsh*t gotcha question which hack WH reporters have been asking for decades." Fondacaro laughably claimed that Hume was "bringing a taste of reality back to the situation."

Tim Graham served up his own version of the Alexander-Trump exchange:

When reporters challenge Trump, they are presumed to be brilliant. NBC’s Peter Alexander asked about potential drug treatments to inhibit the virus: “Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope by misrepresenting the preparedness right now?” Trump admitted he was talking about “a feeling” he had. Then Alexander insisted “Nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick. Millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?”

Alexander claimed this was a “softball,” but it clearly exaggerated the number of “sick,” since thousands have recovered, and not every “confirmed case” even gets symptoms. That’s when Trump called him a “terrible reporter.” Alexander’s question was loaded, and so was the aftermath. posted this headline: “Trump, promoting unproven drug treatments, insults NBC reporter at coronavirus briefing.”

That's the story the MRC has to tell themselves and their followers: Every question that sets Trump off is "loaded," and Trump is always right to be set off.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Democrat-Bashing Template
Topic: greeted Democratic presidential primary victories by Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden with a flurry of negative attacks on them. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Bad Coronavirus Takes: Three Cheers For Price-Gouging!
Topic: Newsmax

So-called "price gouging" is a gimmick used by politicians and the media to rally supporters and viewers. It's almost never about predatory business practices, and it's always the people who end up paying the cost of price control laws.

Governments can't alter the laws of economics any easier than they can the laws of physics. Yet, they seemingly never cease trying, either under some private or public pressure to skew economic outcomes.

Particularly in vogue these days is outrage over "price gouging." In this way, the political and media response to COVID-19 is the same as it always is during hurricanes or other natural disasters.

Now, there's no telling how extreme anti-price gouging policies will get, considering the economic lockdown continues unabated even as a record shattering 6.6 million jobless claims are filed as a result.


Low prices may normally be preferable for consumers, but high prices help keep masks, hand sanitizer, food, and other high demand products on shelves longer.

Instead of the first guy in line buying up 300 rolls of toilet paper at the normal price, a "gouged" price would leave enough for the last shopper, or even eliminate the tight-windowed long line altogether.

Additionally, "gouged" prices rarely last, as they encourage more production, because there is greater potential profit. As more producers rush to meet the high demand, competition drives prices down once again.


Although basic economic laws and principles can be understood without a Ph.D. or even a high school diploma, they are often eschewed by the elites in politics, academia and media. Unfortunately, too many Americans follow these so-called leaders.

What should always be kept in mind is that the size and scope of this COVID-19 pandemic is largely unknown.

Some precautions are undoubtedly in order, but government intervention is at least on the verge of overreach and overreaction.

-- Gavin Wax, April 7 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
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:

The White House Correspondents' Association abruptly decided to boot a conservative news network reporter from future White House briefings, announcing Wednesday night that she had violated the rules of “social distancing” during this COVID-19 crisis.

According to a statement put out by the WHCA, the reporter in question, One America News Network’s Chanel Rion had violated new rules imposed by the journalist organization in the past month, which limit the number of reporters in the briefing room to fifteen. According to the Washington Post, smaller news networks could only rotate in “once every several days” for one of these key seats, however, Rion was seen in the room on both Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

So far, so good. But then Marsh suggested Rion was banned becuase she "aggravated liberal journalists":

However, Rion aggravated liberal journalists a few weeks ago, when she asked President Trump if “Chinese food” was “racist,” (referring to the media’s sudden insistence that calling COVID-19 the “Chinese” or “Wuhan virus” was “racist”). In a follow-up question during that same briefing, she also called out the media defending and propagating China’s propaganda deflecting blame for the spread of COVID-19.

In 2018, the WHCA defended a combative Jim Acosta after he rebuffed a White House intern as she tried to take back his microphone during a briefing with President Trump. The White House temporarily suspended his press pass and the WHCA couldn’t have been more furious. The former president Olivier Knox wrote, “Journalists may use a range of approaches to carry out their jobs and the WHCA does not police the tone or frequency of the questions its members ask of powerful senior government officials, including the President.”

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 PM EDT
Mychal Massie Meltdown Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The assignation of being demonic seems painfully inadequate to accurately describe the pyuria masquerading as Democrats. Their so-called leadership is engaging in transpicuous acts of turpitude not witnessed since Democrats established, codified and mandated segregation.


Democrats are a shameless and satanic cadre of pernicious marplots who are bankrupt of morality, concern of America and propriety.

A perfect example is Nancy Pelosi who stared into cameras and as straight-faced as her tardive dyskinesia permits, accused President Trump of killing Americans during this so-called COVID-19 crisis. With no respect for truth, she asserted, "As the president fiddles, people are dying."

Predictably, Pelosi failed to mention that her San Francisco voting district has upwards of 340 conformed cases of COVID-19, with at least five fatalities.


Pelosi, the foul, feral minion of Satan, was unambiguous in her loyalty to left-wing ideology over the welfare of the American people. 

-- Mychal Massie, March 30 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
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):

The White House Coronavirus Task Force was back Sunday with a briefing and, after a lull, the fireworks also returned as President Trump tussled with multiple reporters, most notably another throwdown with PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Alcindor asked about his comments to Sean Hannity about New York’s ventilator requests, but the President wasn’t having it. Instead, he told her to “be nice,” “don’t be threatening,” and reminded her that, despite how some in the liberal media behave, “we’re all on the same team” in hoping to defeat the virus.

She started to ask the first of two questions, but she didn’t get to finish before the President interjected, so here’s what she did get out: [Y]ou said repeatedly that you think some of the equipment that governors are requesting they don't actually need. You said New York might need --- might not need 30,000.”

Trump claimed that he never said that and when Alcindor brought up Hannity, the President grew upset and thus cross-talk ensued with Alcindor saying “Mr. President, my question is” on a loop while Trump implored her to be “a little more positive” and drop the “get you” attitude.

He added her attitude was “why nobody trusts the media anymore”:


Alcindor again brought up his comments on the Fox News Channel and the President responded by telling her to rewatch it because something was up [w]hen I hear facemasks go from 10,000 to 300,000 and they constantly need more and the biggest man in the business is, like, shocked.”

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:

Basking in another contentious coronavirus White House press briefing, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor on Sunday night told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi that covering Donald Trump is a “team sport” for the press and that journalists must “have each other’s back” in opposition to the President. Much of the interview was spent lamenting that Alcindor only initially got one question out at the briefing before a CNN journalist used his question to allow her to ask another.

Speaking of Jeremy Diamond, she described the team dynamic as journalists vs. Trump: “I have to say thank you to Jeremy of CNN for giving me the opportunity to ask my second question. We know now that covering President Trump sometimes is like a team sport. We have to have each other's back in the press corps and Jeremy had my back today.”

In a way, it’s refreshing for a reporter to admit that they see themselves as on the opposite team of Trump. 

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 11:17 PM EDT
CNS Concedes One Of Its Favorite Authoritarians Is Making A Power Grab

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is one of'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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
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:

NBC Worries Pandemic ‘Threatens’ Biden’s Campaign ‘Momentum’

On Saturday, NBC’s Today show took time to share one of the top media concerns in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – that the crisis has hampered likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s ability to campaign. Meanwhile, the network broadcast fretted that daily White House briefings about the virus had provided President Trump with a “substitute for campaign rallies.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily transformed nearly every aspect of American life, including the race for the White House,” correspondent Geoff Bennett told viewers. He then declared: “And with President Trump seizing the national spotlight day by day from the White House, the Democratic candidates have had to find new ways to connect with voters.”

Bennett lamented: “For President Trump, daily briefings are now his daily substitute for campaign rallies...The President, who initially downplayed the virus’s impact, boosting his re-election bid by blanketing the airwaves.”

The fawning segment highlighted how Biden “holds virtual press briefings” and even “appeared on a digital edition of Jimmy Kimmel.”

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EDT
WND Writer Pretends His Attempt At Evangelism Isn't 'A Message About Religion'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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:

As the entire world battles the coronavirus pandemic, there is a much greater threat affecting every single person on this planet.

Its infection rate is 100%.

There is no length of social distancing or any face mask that can prevent you from catching it.

There's no need to be tested, because you've got it already.

Not only do you yourself have it, so do your parents, spouses, children, siblings, friends, enemies, colleagues and neighbors.

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:

If we take even a cursory glance at the Bible, the source of truth irrespective of whether you believe it, we can see this amazing good news plastered everywhere.

"Jesus continued going around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the GOOD NEWS of the kingdom, and HEALING EVERY DISEASE AND EVERY SICKNESS." (Matthew 9:35 CSB)

Every physical healing by Jesus is simply an illustration of our ultimate healing, when our mortal, physical bodies of flesh and blood will be changed instantaneously into an immortal body, that will no longer be withering away.

As Paul famously said:

"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruption. ... the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be CHANGED. For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this MORTAL BODY must be clothed with IMMORTALITY. (1 Corinthians 15:50-53 CSB)

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:

I don't wish to minimize the seriousness of coronavirus. But the pandemic is just the latest attention-getter from God, showing that disobedience to His way of life results in death. Believers are indeed saved by God's grace, which is underserved, but we need to make every effort to get sin out of our personal lives.

A fraction of all human beings who ever existed will die from COVID-19.

But every single person who does not stop his or her personal rebellion against the Maker of all things and repent of his or her own sins will remain infected with something far worse than coronavirus: being dead forever.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 13, 2020 1:40 AM EDT
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:

MSNBC just cannot seem to help itself.

All In host Chris Hayes sent out a flippant tweet in response to reports that the Trump administration will be asking Congress for “more than $800 billion in economic stimulus: $500 billion in payroll tax cut, $250 billion in Small Business Association loans, $58 billion for the airlines, and a smattering of other items."

Hayes tweeted, “BREAKING: We can, of course, afford a Green New Deal. That’s been true all along.” [Emphasis added.] He must have forgotten how much that monstrosity of an idea costs, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), was sure to remind him in a brutal tweet: “$800 billion is not equal to $93 trillion. Even on MSNBC.” [Emphasis added].


In fact, $800 billion is less than 9/1000th of what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) gargantuan Green New Deal would potentially cost taxpayers.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:04 PM EDT
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:

Is This a POLITICO Story? Or a Biden Press Release? Who Can Tell?

Take a look at this Politico story about Biden's coronavirus speech on Thursday -- but pretend you're reading it as a release on Biden for President letterhead. This is written by Adam Cancryn, a professional reporter for a respected, national media outlet. But it's not a story, it is a press release.

Suggestion: Get some Biden for President letterhead -- put this on it, make the reporter the contact with his email ( ... and then post it, asking: Is this a Biden 2020 news release? Or a "news story" in a national media outlet? Can you tell the difference? We can't least not until deep in the story, when Cancryn finally quotes the Trump campaign's response.


The Trump campaign response came in paragraphs 14 and 15. The other 16 paragraphs were Biden campaign music and lyrics.

Graham won't tell you this, but he's really complaining that Politico is reporting on Biden thte way the MRC's "news" division,, 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:

Trump Travels 8,000 Miles With a Message for India: America Loves You

Throngs of Indians lined the route of President Trump's motorcade on Monday, as the U.S. president made his way to the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad to reinforce the U.S. relationship with one of the world's most populous countries.

The crowd of 125,000 people -- revved up by the introductory song "Macho, Macho Man" by the Village People -- cheered wildly as Trump and first lady Melania Trump were escorted to the podium by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The first lady and I have just traveled 8,000 miles around the world to deliver a message to every citizen across this nation. America loves India; America respects India; and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people," Trump said.

Trump thanked the many people who turned out to welcome him, "in a stunning display of Indian culture and kindness."

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:

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), applauded President Donald Trump for "the great job" he is doing in harnessing the tools of the private sector and the public sector to combat the coronavirus.

On March 23, Dr. Tedros tweeted, "Productive call with President @realDonaldTrump."

"I appreciated him for the great job he is doing to fight #COVID19 through whole-of-government approach, leveraging R&D, engaging private sector incl. on essential medical supplies, expansion of testing, educating public," wrote Dr. Tedros.   

At a March 23 press briefing, Dr. Tedros also said, “Fighting this pandemic needs political commitment and commitment at the highest level possible and the president’s [Trump's] commitment, you have already seen it."

“And that kind of leadership is very, very important, the whole of government approach, to mobilize all sectors to suppress the pandemic," he said. "So I know he’s doing all he can.”

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:11 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 13, 2020 10:26 PM EDT
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):

You knew it was coming. The only question was how frivolous and besides-the-point it would be. Vice has answered with an article on how the Wuhan virus is inconveniencing “transgender and gender non-conforming people.”

Specifically, Vice related that “trans communities on Reddit and Twitter are being flooded with reports of postponed and canceled surgeries in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Thailand, and elsewhere, leading to enormous stress and disappointment on top of a global health crisis.”

Um, huh? Nearly all international travel has ceased, entire cities are on lockdown, wealth and jobs are evaporating at a staggering rate, and in Italy they’re re-enacting the “Bring out your dead!” skit from The Holy Grail. “Enormous stress and disappointment” is currently the baseline emotional state of a vast portion of the global population. Whatever you call the level above “First World problems,” Vice has found it.

See, “trans people already wait far longer than is safe or healthy” for what Vice calls “gender-affirming” surgeries. “Further delays can be dangerous and even life-threatening.”

Really? In what way can waiting a few months before mutilating your body be life threatening? In fact, how does Vice justify calling the procedures “Life-Saving Trans Surgeries” in its headline?


So … really, there’s no story here. A tiny sliver of a tiny sliver of the population is being temporarily stymied in its short-term aspirations -- just like the rest of the planet. But it’s never a bad time to underscore the victimhood and marginalization of America’s most trendy grievance group.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Gloats Over A Man's Personal Issues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill took unseemly pleasure in the personal problems of another human being in his March 18 WorldNetDaily column:

A surefire way to remove oneself from the short list even of Democratic vice-presidential candidates is to get caught by the police vomiting in the bathroom while your naked gay male escort is overdosing on crystal meth, surplus bags of which are strewn everywhere.

This past Saturday morning, Florida politico Andrew Gillum had a lot of splainin' to do. Talking to the wife and kids would be hard enough. The real challenge for the famously black Gillum was explaining to his racially charged base why his "date" was white.

In 2018, the former Tallahassee mayor came within 32,000 votes of becoming the governor of Florida. Race was his ticket from the beginning of his career to the very end.

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:

As filmmaker Joel Gilbert documents in his film and accompanying book, "The Trayvon Hoax," Gillum built his career by ruthlessly and dishonestly exploiting the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

To make the gambit work, Gillum had to defame George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin, and lie about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Gillum was always up to the task.

Said Gillum during a Democratic debate in 2018, "George Zimmerman was able to interpret the very presence of Trayvon Martin to be a threat. And because of Stand Your Ground laws, which have no place in civilized society, was able to engage him, snuff out his life and get away with it."

As Gillum knew well, Florida's Stand Your Ground law had nothing to do with Zimmerman whose case was a classic example of self-defense.


Gillum could never admit that the wayward Martin gratuitously and viciously attacked a man half-a-foot shorter and might have killed him had not Zimmerman fired a single shot.

Gillum could never tell his supporters how Trayvon Martin's parents split when he was 3, how the boy's father abandoned Trayvon's loving stepmom when Trayvon was 15, how the biological mom kicked Trayvon out of her home for fighting months before the shooting, how Trayvon's life devolved into a maelstrom of street fighting, burglary, guns, sex and drugs.

No, Gillum could not say any of this. He lied so often and so effectively about the case a City Lab article after his primary win began, "Last night Andrew Gillum became the first African American candidate to win the Democratic Party nomination for Florida governor, and it's not out of the question to say that he can thank Trayvon Martin for that."

Unfortunately for Gillum, Florida's racist "for-profit police state" chose not to arrest him on a drug charge. He doesn't even get to be a martyr.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 11, 2020 12:59 PM EDT
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:

Which brings me to the literary reputation of the former president. You will recall that when he arrived in the White House, people began murmuring about the precise authorship of his masterpieces, "Dreams From My Father," and "The Audacity of Hope." They said he did not write them. Rumors spread that he could not write. Now word has it that his memoirs have not turned up at his publisher's office. He is not months behind. He is years behind schedule. How can this be? Is it possible that he is not what the literary elites told us? He is not the author of the greatest presidential memoir ever, just the line, "We are the ones we have been waiting for"? If this is so, it is clearly another black mark for the elites.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EDT

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