CNS Thinks Kevin Sorbo's Anti-Government Rant Is 'News' Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister apparently thinks anything fringe-right actor Kevin Sorbo says is newsworthy, so we have this April 20 blog post:
Actor-Producer Kevin Sorbo is urging Americans to “Wake up” and see the dangers and hypocrisy of how “the State” is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to grab power and limit freedom.
In a series of Sunday tweets, Sorbo (@KSorbs) warns that “it’s not about your health,” when the government tells citizens they can go to the store to buy one thing, but not another – or actually does the very thing it’s prohibiting.
Likewise, Sorbo says, it’s not about your health when the State says it’s too dangerous for you to walk in the park with your child, then puts dangerous criminals back on the street – or, when it tells you it’s safe to go in-person to a grocery store, but not to a voting station:
Given that Bannister is trying normalize this kind of thinking, that summary doesn't do justice to Sorbo's fringe ranting.For example, tweeted this: "When the State prevents you from buying cucumber seeds because it's dangerous, but allows in person lottery ticket sales and When the State tells you it's dangerous to go golf or fish alone but they can get make up and hair done for 5 TV appearances, it's not about your health." So "the State" is having makeup done for TV appearances? That doesn't even make sense.
Sorbo concluded with the call of the conspiratorial ranter: "WAKE UP PEOPLE — If you think this is all about your health you’re mistaken! Please open your eyes! Stop being lead like blind sheep."
The only reason Sorbo gets any press at all these days is beause hence played Hercules on TV, a past he has apparently renounced in order to appear in a series of Christian movies. Bannister won't tell you how far to the fringe Sorbo has moved; another recent tweet, for example, promoted the film "Out of Shadows," delcaring in all caps, THIS ONE NEEDS TO BE SEEN BY ALL." In fact, the film promotes the far-right Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracy theories.
And yet, CNS loveshim (and his wife, an anti-public school activist) and thinks he's some kind of sage.
MRC Adds To CNS' Bad Take on Religion and Coronavirus Topic: Media Research Center
Since CNSNews.com embraced the badtake of painting the closing of mass religious services as an issue of religious liberty rather than public health, it was inevitable that its parent, the Media Research Center, would as well. The MRC's Gabriel Hays ranted in an April 13 post:
Millions of God-fearing Americans weren’t allowed to go to church Easter Sunday for the first time in their lives, but two out of the three major TV news networks spent only 20 seconds on the enormous controversy. Pastors, priests and members of Christian congregations celebrating their constitutional right to be in their churches were barely mentioned.
Combined, the NBC Nightly News and CBS Weekend News programs on April 12, Easter Sunday, gave only 20 seconds to cover Christian churches that have been asserting their 1st Amendment rights to hold services. Those services were set for the holiest day in Christianity, despite state government mandates. NBC’s broadcast gave just 7 seconds of airtime to these congregations, calling them defiant and CBS gave a tiny 13 seconds of coverage to these Christians it said were “ignoring” social distancing protocols.
ABC did a much better job on the other hand, airing 1 minute and 42 seconds of coverage on Christian churches still offering services Easter Sunday, provided that participants were aware of the potential risks.
Of the two broadcasts that barely covered the story, NBC Nightly News was the worst. Though it devoted 2 minutes in total to the fact that Christians all over the world were “finding meaning at home this year” via internet services, the broadcast gave hardly any attention to those seeking public gatherings.
Note that Hays included only allusions to the coronavirus pandemic and largely ignored the public health issues that forced the church gathering to close in the first place.And Hays talks a lot more about people's alleged "celebrating their constitutional right to be in their churches" more than he does any constitutional right not to have one's personal liberty violated in the form of reckless, unhealthy behavior that can spread a disease that has already killed tens of thousands in the U.S.
WND Touts Malik Obama's Endorsement of Trump, Censors His Credibility Problems Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily remains so in the grip of Obama Derangement Syndrome after all these years that it's still promoting lame attacks on the former president by his disgruntled half-brother. Last year, it served as Malik's willing stenographer, and it did so again in an April 16 article:
There was a second Obama presidential endorsement this week.
On Monday, former Democratic President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden, the last Democrat standing after a brutal primary season in which some two dozen other hopefuls stepped aside.
Now, his half-brother, the African-born Malik Obama, has endorsed Republican Donald Trump, just as he did in the 2016 race.
"Today I Endorse and Will be Voting for President Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) in November 2020. #MAGA," he wrote on Twitter[.]
As expected, WND failed to mention Malik's credibility problems -- which it should know because it uncharacteristally busted him. In 2017, WND ruled that a purported birth certificate Malik tweeted how showing that Barack Obama was born in Kenya "is not a valid document" (even though it spent two months claiming it was, in fact, valid when it first surfaced in 2009).
Malik Obama also endorsed Trump in 2016, largely out of spite; he's been trying to ride the coattails of his half-brother's fame for years, and Barack has generally not been having it.
As one website in Malik's native Kenya put it: "While Africans have the Ubuntu spirit of rising together, that does not mean sitting pretty and waiting for handouts from a successful relative. It also does not allow you to hate and besmirch the character of your successful relatives when they do not send as much resources as you would wish."
MRC Whitewashes Franklin Graham's Anti-LGBT Beliefs Topic: Media Research Center
Franklin Graham hates gay people, and the Media Research Center does too. So when Graham's charity Samaritan's Purse set up a temporary field hospital to tend to coronavirus victims, the MRC was quick to defend Graham against those (accurate) homophobia accusations.
Rev. Franklin Graham is pushing back against lefties smearing his charity with accusations of homophobia in an effort to block the organization from administering to Coronavirus patients in New York City’s Central Park.
The Christian pastor and son of the legendary Rev. Billy Graham appeared on Fox's The Ingraham Angle April 14, to discuss various LGBTQ groups’ smear campaign against his humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse.
Host Laura Ingraham asked Graham, “Why are you being attacked for building a field hospital? What’s going on?” He explained, “We have a statement of faith, Laura, that marriage is between a man and a woman and that goes back to the beginning of time.” He added, “this is our standard for people that we hire. We’re a Christian organization, we’re a religious organization so we wanna hire people of like mind.”
A couple weeks ago, various lefties online moved to condemn the Christian charity for that “ statement of faith.” Of course, LGBTQ groups can’t stand the very existence of folks or organizations with those beliefs and are trying to gin up a rap sheet of “discrimination” against Graham’s charity. The accusations have received enough traction that there are protestors at the Central Park camp and even Democratic Lawmakers like Bill De Blasio expressed he’d look into the behavior of Samaritan's Purse. Of course.
But in framing Graham as merely being against same-sex marriage, Hays strangely omitted the part of the Ingraham interview where he claimed that "I don't bash homosexuals" -- which is pretty clearly a lie. Claiming that "none other than Satan himself" is behind LGBT rights and that "gay children" are "the enemy "is most definitely bashing. Instead, Hays fretted that "the reverend’s first amendment rights are what's being discriminated against."
Also:" De Blasio is a "lawmaker"? He's the mayor of New York City.
Two days later, Matt Philbin complained that criticism of Graham's homophobia meant that "even in a massive health crisis, toeing the progressive line trumps all." He went onto tout how "FNC’s Shannon Bream explained that the Christian charity on the front lines fighting the Chinese virus will finally get some positive reinforcement this Sunday night in the form 'Hope Rising,' a streaming concert to benefit the group and the people it’s helping.The show is 'aimed at supporting their work while also encouraging you if you are struggling through these dark days,' Bream said." Philbin noted that "Lefties woried about 'discrimination' in the treatment of patients (apparently, they don’t really understand the 'Samaritan' reference, and what a dispicable charge that is to level at people who work under that name)" but, like Hays, failed to mention Graham's anti-LGBT history.
After copying-and-pstsing Hays' weird line referencing "Democratic Lawmakers like Bill De Blasio," Philbin touted how "Christian actor and activist Kirk Cameron and his sister Candace will host 'Hope Rising'" and promoted it on Fox News. He didn't mention that Cameron has spoken out against gay marriage, declaring, "I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don't think anyone else should either."
Philbin concluded by sneering that the benefit concert could be streamed "even by LGBT people."
CNS Obsesses Over Rogue Trump-Loving Democrat Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is way too excited about a rogue Democratic politician in Georgia. Michael W. Chapman wrote in an April 17 article:
Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones (D), a "lifelong Democrat," said he supports President Donald Trump and cited the success of Trump's policies in reducing black unemployment to a historic low (before COVID-19), criminal justice reform, protecting the nation from illegal immigration, and Trump's support for historically black colleges.
Rep. Jones, who is not switching political parties, added, "I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me."
Chapman served up more gushing over Jones' pro-Trump views, but he didn't tell his readers the full story about Jones. As a real news outlet reported, ones is a Republican in all but name, supporting Republican presidential candidates and even receiving a campaign donation from the notoriously right-wing National Rifle Association.
CNS continued to follow Jones' antics anyway. On April 22, Craig Bannister highlighted Jones' delcaration that he would resign his legislative seat but "has no plans to leave the Democrat Party [sic]," using a deliberately incorrect name for the Democratic Party even though Jones himself never used it.
Jones flip-flopped on resigning the next day, and CNS covered that too, leaving Melanie Arter to do that writeup; she also used the deliberately wrong "Democrat Party" name.
Obsessing over a conservative-friendly politician and not only failing to report the full story but putting delilberately false information in its stories is, sadly, par for the course for CNS these days.
NEW ARTICLE: The Fox News Defense Machine Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center plays a lot of whataboutism to shield Fox News for credible charges that it has pushed coronavirus misinformation -- while also touting Fox News' ratings. Read more >>
CNS Adds Another Dubious Doc To Its Pro-Trump Brigade Topic: CNSNews.com
So Dr. Drew and Dr. Oz weren't the only TV doctors CNSNews.com relied to put out dubious yet Trump-friendly views on the coronavirus pandemic. Melanie Arter uncritically transcribed a Fox News segment (of course) in an April 17 article:
Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the “Dr. Phil Show,” told Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle” on Thursday that the quarantine is doing more harm than good, because of the health risks of isolation, depression, and anxiety.
“This is invisible. I can't show you an x-ray of depression. I can't show you an x-ray of anxiety, but the fact of the matter is the longer this lockdown goes on, the more vulnerable people get and it's like there's a tipping point. There's a point at which people start having enough problems in lockdown that it will actually create more destruction and actually more death across time than the actual virus will itself,” he said.
McGraw said that “250 people a year die from poverty, and the poverty line is getting such that more and more people are going to fall below that because the economy is crashing around us, and they're doing that because people are dying from the coronavirus,” McGraw said.
“I get that, but look, the fact of the matter is we have people dying,” McGraw said, adding that “45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don't shut the country down for that, but yet we are doing it for this and the fallout is going to last for years because people's lives are being destroyed.”
Arter didn't mention that Dr. Phil is a non-practicing psychiatrist, not a medical doctor, which makes any opinion he has highly suspect -- and this one in particular. Thus, it falls to an actual news outlet to point out that "you can't contract 'drowning':
It's mostly irrelevant, but McGraw's numbers on swimming pools are pretty far off the mark. Does he really think that nearly as many people drown in swimming pools as die from smoking? If they did, we would absolutely want to implement stronger protections for swimmers. In reality, though, there are about 4,000 deaths a year from drowning, though it's not clear how many are in pools. His number on deaths from cigarettes is accurate; he overstates the number of deaths in automobile accidents by about a fifth.
There are two critical distinctions between those deaths and the tens of thousands of deaths expected this year of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The first is contagion. The second is preventive measures.
Perhaps more important is the fact that the number of deaths from car accidents and swimming occur in the context of broad preventive measures. There used to be a lot more deaths from car accidents per capita — so we mandated speed limits and seat belts and introduced new safety features and stopped making cars out of the structural equivalent of balsa wood. We fixed the things contributing to the problem. It’s not and can’t be foolproof, but it’s far better because we took action. Same with swimming: We insisted that people put up fences around pools and have lifeguards at the beach. We do things to keep people alive.
In the case of the coronavirus, the number of deaths that are expected is because we’re doing what we can to tamp down the number of deaths. If you think that the 33,000 deaths to date of covid-19 are comparable to the number of deaths in car accidents, understand that the toll would have been far higher without enacting the social distancing measures that McGraw and Ingraham find so onerous. The entire problem with the coronavirus is that it’s new, and we don’t have many tools we can implement to hold it in check.
Because Arter and CNS are part of the pro-Trump state media, they will focus on reporting "news" designed to support President Trump, regardless of its factual accuracy or moral responsibility.
MRC Just Can't Stop Trying To Shield Fox News From Criticism (And Touting Its Great Ratings) Topic: Media Research Center
Fox News has been credibly accused of peddling misinformation about the coronavirus, and the Media Research Center -- where employees regularly appear to spout right-wing anti-media talking points -- has attackedanyone pointing that out.
Tim Graham once again showed his anti-smart people elitism in an April 21 post, sneering tha "so-called "social scientists" are also seeking to establish that Hannity has caused a wave of coronavirus deaths. A new paper from the University of Chicago's Becker Friedman Institute for Economics -- named for two free-market economists! -- reviewed "Misinformation During a Pandemic." Four academics -- Leonardo Bursztyn, Aakaash Rao, Christopher Roth, and David Yanagizawa-Drott -- compared Tucker Carlson (who apparently didn't lead people off a corona-cliff) with Hannity." The researchers argued that exposure to Hannity correlated with a greater number of deaths, compared with exposure to Carlson. Graham couldn't dispute this, of course; all he did was sneer, "It was Hannity who was really rolling out an 'expansive set of robustness tests.'"
Alex Christy complained that "CNN's Brian Stelter takes the opposite stance of whatever Fox News says," though he was actually citing research showing hydroxychloroquine -- the beloved would-be coronavirus treatment of Fox News and President Trump and, thus, the MRC -- didn't workas well as advertised and, in Christy's words, claiming that "President Trump and various Fox News personalities are endangering people by promoting it." Christy offered a rather lame defense: "It's not as Trump just pulled hydroxychloroquine of a hat. It's not as if trained health care professional are prescribing treatments based on what Trump, Fox, or CNN says. Some coronavirus patients felt the drug saved their lives."
Curtis Houck touted how "Hannity publicly demanded The New York Times implicating him in the death of 74-year-old Brooklyn resident Joe Joyce from the coronavirus," further gushing how "The letter went on to name other instances of The Times ’s entries in the liberal media-wide smear campaign to inflict (perhaps fatal) damage on FNC, the network the liberal media so vehemently hate." Houck didn't note that Hannity's lawsuit has no merit; instead, he groused that the Times responded by declining an apology because it thinks the article is protected opinion under the First Amendment and Hannity's status as a public figure.
Jeffrey Lord served up his own take on the Hannity-Times battle, leaning on the well-worn crutch of whataboutism: "Whether it was the false allegation against Sean Hannity or the paper’s own coverage of both American history or the Trump-Russia collusion, the problem is the same. In the words of former editor [Tom] Kuntz, this is because the paper now 'embraces partisan and results-oriented agendas.' Bingo." And Hannity doesn't have a partisan agenda?
Needless to say, in the middle of all this defense, NewsBusters' resident ratings observer Randy Hall once chimed in by cheering that "in April with Americans clammoring [sic] for sensible, sober updates on the coronavirus pandemic, viewers gave FNC its highest-rated primetime audience in history and second highest total daily ratings since April 2003 (for the early days of the Iraq War)." That, not facts, are what's really important at the MRC.
Larry Tomczak wrote in his April 13 WorldNetDaily column:
I once had the privilege of ministering in a conference alongside of David Wilkerson. In the midst of the corona crisis, I revisited a prophetic warning he gave in 1986.
"I see a plague coming on the world, and the bars, churches and government will shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayer-less believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles, and repentance will be the cry from the man of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a Third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world."
I personally believe that God has allowed this virulent virus into over 150 nations of the world to humble us and bring us to repentance. I believe it is a "dress rehearsal" calling us to reset/turn back to Him or else we will have to go through it again.
Just one problem: There's no evidence Wilkerson actually prophesied that, and according to PolitiFact, Wilkerson's own church denies any instance of him saying this in a book or sermon."
The rest of Tomczak's column was dedicated to detailing ways to persaude people to vote for President Trump's re-election, claiming that "No other president in U.S. history has experienced the level of hostility like Donald Trump, with the exception of Lincoln" and adding, "Give thanks to God for how He intervened in our nation and gives us the chance to influence others to reconsider standing with our president in this critical time."
MRC: Only People As Far-Right As Us Can Judge Conservative Media, Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so insular and so convinced that the conservative media of which it is a part is incapable of doing wrong that it will not accept any criticism of conservative media from non-conservatives -- which we're quite aware of -- and, perhaps surprisingly, even from other conservatives.
An example of the former was an April 3 post by Randy Hall attacked a group of 74 journalism professors who signed a letter criticizing Fox News for spreading information about the coronavirus pandemic. The headline: "Brainwashing Future Journalists." As with most other MRC attempts to distract from criticism of Fox News, Hall makes no real effort to defend Fox News but instead goes after the critics; along with the "Brainwashing Future Journalists" headline -- which he doesn't substantiate either -- he plays a little whataboutism: "Even before the scathing letter was made public, FNC personalities had joined forces to create a public service announcement about the outbreak. Apparently, the 74 professors who signed the letter have no such qualms about the quality of reporting done by FNC’s liberal rivals, MSNBC and CNN."
Tim Graham served up an example of the latter in his April 10 column, in which he complained that "the liberal Columbia Journalism Review" interviewed nearly two dozen writers for conservative news websites for their views on the state of conservative media. But as far as Graham was concerned, they weren't conservative enough because they were open to criticizing Dear Leader -- er, President Trump:
Some felt conservative media were “marginalizing conservative perspectives critical of Trump’s honesty and character.” That’s not surprising, given that the trio of professors interviewed “conservatives” at The Washington Post and The Bulwark, a red-hot “Never Trump” outpost. Asked what makes for an ideal conservative journalist, Bulwark editor Jim Swift joked “the ideal conservative reporter or journalist usually just leaves conservative media as soon as they possibly can,” since it’s not lucrative.
Surely, one could be both a conservative journalist and a critic of Trump’s “honesty and character.” It’s just that sites like The Bulwark are harshly critical of most conservatives, and end up sounding much more like Vox than Fox. They sent freelancer Molly Jong-Fast to the Conservative Political Action Conference. The “highlight of the hellscape,” she proclaimed, “was seeing Laura Ingraham attempt a comedy set. Laura said that Democrats want post-birth abortions and made a number of extremely unfunny jokes about Jim Acosta.”
Feeling Jim Acosta’s pain is not a “conservative media” norm.
Graham didn't explain why refusal to criticize Trump is the mark of a "real" conservative. Instead, he complained that writers thought their own conservative outlet was well-written and credible while their rivals were less so, citing one such comment from a Daily Caller writer: "That’s not going to win friends and influence people for the Daily Caller. This is not what you find in the major media. You don't often see the Washington Post saying to interviewers 'the New York Times is far less reliable and deep-thinking than we are.'"
Graham makes sure to work his employer's agenda into the discussion: "These professors should be welcomed in finding the conservative media to be worth academic attention. But they seem to be dismissing the overwhelming bias that provides so much energy and loyalty to conservative outlets." But he ignores the fact that conservative media critics -- like the MRC -- never hold conservative media to the same standards it demands from the "liberal media." That makes Graham and his co-workers bad-faith critics.
CNS Censors Full Story Of Woman Arrested In Violating Closure Order Topic: CNSNews.com
Melanie Arter wrote in an April 24 CNSNews.com article:
An Idaho woman was arrested in front of her kids on Tuesday for letting them play on the playground in violation of social distancing orders.
The Meridian Police Department responded to “several calls” and arrested and charged Sara Brady with one count of misdemeanor trespassing.
Video of her arrest shows other parents and children were at the playground as well.
“Upon arrival, officers saw that metal signage and caution tape announcing the playground closure due to COVID-19, was removed. Additionally, officers observed numerous individuals gathered on the closed playground area. Officers informed those gathered several times that the play structure was closed, and that they were welcome to utilize other areas of the park if they chose,” the Meridian Police Department said in a statement.
Police say that Brady was arrested “after being told to leave the playground multiple times” because she “refused to leave.”
In her attempt to portray Brady as trying to do something normal and getting arrested for it, Arter is hiding the full story behind Brady and her arrest. As an actual news outlet reported, Brady "wasn't on the playground simply so her kids could play. Brady is an anti-vaccine activist with connections to several far-right groups in Idaho, and she was participating in an organized protest on Tuesday against the governor's stay-at-home order."
Arter also omitted that Brady issued an apology to the officer who arrested her: ""I never thought a knee-jerk comment made to you out of frustration, by me wanting my kids to play in a park would create such a divide amongst our friends, family, community, the state of Idaho, the nation and the world, a divide that seems impossible for me to mend. ... I let the stress of me being in a house with my four young kids, one with special needs, got the best of me that day." However, she also falsely denied she was part of an organized protest at the playground.
Newsmax's Hirsen Joins Bad-Take Brigade On Religion And Coronavirus Topic: Newsmax
We'vedocumented how CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey so embraced his bad take that stopping large crowds of worshippers to slow the spread of coronavirus was an issue of religious freedom rather that the public health issue it actually is that he turned it into his "news" operation's editorial agenda. Another ConWeb member has decided to echo that bad take.
James Hirsen wrote in his April 13 Newsmax column:
At a time when folks are struggling to come to grips with grave illnesses, economic hardships, logistic challenges, and imposed isolation, faith has become an "essential" in the battle against the "invisible enemy."
But worship communities trying to follow government regulations and guidelines have suddenly found themselves under attack in several parts of the country.
It appears as though various state and local officials, who may or may not hold a different view of religious worship than their fervent faith counterparts, are using current coronavirus-related circumstances to target people who are participating in worship in safe and responsible ways.
The free exercise of religion is an absolute fundamental right endowed by the same Creator to whom the aforementioned worship is directed.
This free exercise of religion is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
In simple yet eloquent words, the text of the First Amendment declares , "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Recently, however, just prior to the pinnacle Christian celebration of Easter, several state and local officials took some aggressive steps in which they attempted to limit — and in some cases even ban — people from engaging in worship.
Thankfully, U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been paying close attention to the issue.
He is poised to intervene.
Needless to say, Hirsen is making things up when he accuses state and local officials of having hostility toward religion -- he offers no evidence to back that up. Further, contrary to his claim that freedom of religion is an "absolute" right, no right is absolute, even those cited in the First Amendment. Just as one's right to free speech does not extend to libel or falsely shoting "fire" in a crowded theater, one's freedom of religion does not supercede public health or safety. Hirsen claims to be a lawyer, so you'd think he would know that.
And like Jeffrey did, he cites only examples of Christians whose religious freedom is purportedly being infringed upon -- which it's not; only mass gatherings are, of any kind -- which tells us he really doesn't care if non-Christians have their freedom of religion infringed upon.
MRC's Hypocrisy On Finding Pandemic 'Silver Lining' Continues Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, we noted that the Media Research Center has been upset that some people claim to have noted silver linings to the coronavirus pandemic -- even though its "news" division, CNSNews.com, has published commentaries also claiming to find silver linings. The hypocrisy hasn't stopped:
On April 14, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth declared it was "TONE DEAF" for a CNN weekend host and meterologist to have "marveled over a "bright spot" in the COVID-19 pandemic -- that requiring people to stay at home has led to cleaner air."
Three days later, Wilmouth groused that "PBS and CNN International host Christiane Amanpour again devoted a segment of her show to talking up the possibility of preserving the cleaner air that has resulted from people being forced to stay indoors during the deadly coronavirus pandemic."
Kyle Drennen huffed on April 20: "NBC’s Today show worried that all of the “environmental benefits” of the coronavirus pandemic 'may not last' after the crisis is over. While devoting a full report to touting 'cleaner air and cleaner water' due to less human activity amid global economic shutdowns, the coverage cautioned that it could all be lost 'if we return to business as usual.'" He went on to sneer: "The press never let a crisis go to waste or keep them from promoting a liberal climate change agenda."
Kristine Marsh followed on April 22: "All three networks Wednesday morning shamelessly used the coronavirus pandemic to push their hope for more stringent environmental regulations. Celebrating Earth Day, ABC, NBC and CBS each gave lengthy reports praising the nationwide lockdown’s 'silver lining' of less pollution and more wild animals reclaiming their habitats. But they didn’t just point out changes to our environment; they turned into climate activists, actually encouraging us to keep certain pandemic lifestyle changes, such as not driving cars, to make these climate benefits 'permanent.'"
Mark Finkelstein found a non-climate-related excuse to get mad at: "Even for the execrable Nicolle Wallace — Trump-hater extraordinaire and Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer — this was truly grotesque. Sure, tens of thousands of Americans have died, and the economy is in shambles. But hey, there's a 'silver lining' to all the death and misery: Trump's alleged 'lies' and 'sins are hurting him politically."
While the MRC was getting outraged over that, CNS published an April 13 column by Tony Perkins literally headlined "A Silver Lining to the Dark Cloud of COVID-19," in which he gushed that while thousands may have died, but people are "turning to God":
The coronavirus is turning people in the United States away from many things. Thousands of workplaces are empty. Shopping malls are vacant. Movie theaters, restaurants, schools, and even many public beaches are closed.
But the virus is turning us toward one particular thing: prayer.
If there’s a silver lining to the dark cloud of COVID-19, it’s that we’re turning to God for guidance and protection. Social distancing, which is separating us from others for the sake of our physical health, has given people more time to draw near to God, which is certain to affect our spiritual health.
Our economy is being shaken as a vicious disease moves like an invisible invader throughout our country. But the hope offered by Jesus Christ is as real and vital as it was the first morning of his empty tomb. “He is not here; he has risen,” said the angel to a group of women wondering where Christ's body had gone. He is alive, and he is eager to enter your life.
The uncertainty of life has never been more evident, but so too is the reality that the God who made us is unchanging — the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can be thankful that he is closer to us than the air we breathe and is only a prayer away.
Nobody at the MRC has yet complained about Perkins being "TONE DEAF" or being "grotesque" for finding something good in something bad. Wonder why...
WND's Zumwalt Pushes More Coronavirus Conspiracies Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've caught WorldNetDaily columnist James Zumwalt pushing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus -- namely, that it was developed by the Chinese as a bioweapon with U.S. help. He hasn't given up the conspiracy-mongering.
Zumwalt began his April 8 column with a conspiratorial question: "How did it come that COVID-19, birthing in China, immediately jumped to Italy, which has been among the hardest hit by the virus? This happened as two countries with which Beijing shares borders and maintains good relations – Russia and North Korea – remain, if those countries' reporting numbers can be trusted, relatively un-impacted by the virus." His answer is that China bought Italian companies, after which " an estimated 300,000 Chinese citizens relocated to Italy, coming and going at will. With some exposed to COVID-19, it was no wonder the country very quickly became a hotspot." He concluded by huffing that "After COVID-19 runs its course, Italians can count their dead as the Chinese count their money."
But circumstantial evidence now has some wondering whether the virus release was intentional. Supporting this is the fact, while millions of people were on lockdown in Wuhan, there were no reported cases in Beijing where most senior political and military leaders reside – nor in Shanghai, the country's financial center. Additional evidence includes China building a 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan in just 10 days, the stockpiling of masks and ventilators then sold to other countries, the disappearance of medical personnel "whistleblowers" and causing havoc in foreign stock markets with little negative impact to its own. Now, as economic engines around the world remain shutdown, China begins powering up.
The fact Chinese President Xi Jinping surprisingly walked through virus-infected areas donning only a facemask raises a nefarious observation. The president for life should have worn more protective gear; the fact he did not begs the question whether China has developed a virus antidote administered to its leaders.
Zumwalt went on to complain that criticism of President Trump for pushing a largely unproven drug hydroxychloroquine was "politically motivated," as was the acts of "several Democratic governors" in clamping down on prescribing them until their efficacy can be established.
On April 22, Zumwalt attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci for using a supposedly faulty projection of coronavirus deaths to force shutting down the economy:
The first assumption is the veracity of the projection model Dr. Anthony Fauci relied upon to estimate COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. While several models were designed, Fauci opted to rely upon one created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) – a model estimating 2.2. million deaths. Perhaps because the model was partially funded by billionaire Bill Gates, it became Fauci's model of choice. Trump, presented with a highly projected death toll and at Fauci's urging, decided America had to be quarantined and the economy locked down.
Supposedly, basing decisions on data input provides us with clearer focus in our decision-making, filtering out emotions, such as panic, and media bias. But the IMHE projected death toll created the panic Trump sought to curtail. His error – for which he cannot be blamed – is Fauci's reliance upon a faulty model for which he, as Trump's medical science guru advising him on an extreme course of action, proved irresponsible.
MRC Still Trying To Shield Fox News From Criticism Over Coronavirus Misinfo Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center spent a good part of March rushing to the defense of its favorite news channel, Fox News, against credible accusations that it has misinformed its viewers about the threat of coronavirus. That defense campaign ran through April as well.
But first, as always, are the ratings. Once again, Randy Hall gushed: "During the first quarter of 2020, the Fox News Channel continued its reign as the highest-rated network on cable television, beating shows from both MSNBC and CNN in total day viewers and the coveted advertising bracket of people from 25 to 54 years of age." The next day, he cheered how MSNBC's ratings were STAGNANT, and a couple days after that cheered that "liberal station" CNN "has since fallen so far in the ratings that it was unable to generate even one program in the top 20 list during the first three months of 2020."
Alexander Hall portrayed Sean Hannity's meltdown over New York Times columnist Kara Swisher's calling out of Fox Newsfor its coronavirus misinformation as an example of how he SCHOOLS Swisher with a tweetstorm of whataboutism. Hall complained that Swisher "seemed to imply that Fox News hosts were downplaying the virus for political reasons" -- something neither he nor, apparently, Hannity disproved. Nicholas Fondacaro pushed more whataboutism in another apparent attack on Swisher: "In an on-air response to an article attacking him and the network, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson flipped the tables on The New York Times Thursday night when he called out the liberal paper for “screwing up coronavirus stories from day one.”
Kyle Drennen complained that "MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle kept up her network’s effort to actually blame competitor Fox News for the spread of coronavirus across the country. She and her guests repeatedly suggested that Fox was providing 'misinformation' that would 'put people’s lives in danger.'" Like the others, Drennen never disproves the allegation, but instead notes that Wallace had Swisher on as a guest and that "Hannity hammered her [on] Twitter."
Mark Finkelstein did a lot of huffing about an MSNBC segment in which Joy Reid and Gabriel Sherman advanced the idea that Fox News could be sued over its coronavirus misinformation:
There's the "novel coronavirus"—and then there's the "novel legal theory" concerning it floated by Joy Reid, pursuant to which Fox News could somehow be legally liable for the death of its viewers from the virus. So much for all the alarm in the liberal media about legal punishments for news organizations in the Trump era.
Let's also consider Sherman's claim that Fox "insiders" told him that there was real concern within the network that it could be exposed to legal action by viewers who died from the virus. What kind of network "insider" could conceivably make such a potentially hugely damaging admission to any reporter, let alone one famously hostile to Fox News? Sherman is the author of a highly unflattering book about Fox News founder Roger Ailes.
Curtis Houck served up more whataboutism to deflect, complaining that while CNN has engaged in "venomous, tiresome Fox News-bashing," the channel was "holding its March 5 upfront event (dubbed the CNN Experience) with hundreds in attendance, plus an overflow room. Instead of taking precautions and following competitors like Comcast (parent company of NBC News) and Fox News in canceling their upfronts, CNN parent company WarnerMedia went ahead with its flashy Hudson Yards confab."
Tim Graham grumbled that the Washington Post noted how Fox News parroted Trump in pushing hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment before all the facts are in about its effectiveness, choosing to offer his own creative interpretation of what the channel did: "Fox News has promoted this drug as a hopeful sign, which some coronavirus sufferers have touted as an amazing cure, and mocked the liberal media that have hounded Team Trump for daring to say positive things about it on television." Needless to say, Graham played whataboutism too, complaining that the Post "completely avoided the 'miracle cure' story that Carlson and Laura Ingraham put on this week – interviews with Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett, a Democrat from Detroit, who came down the coronavirus, and credits her doctor prescribing hydroxychloroquine – and President Trump touting the anti-malarial drug on TV – for saving her life." That wouljd be the story in which Graham himself proclaimed hydroxychloroquine to be Trump's "miracle drug."
Houck returned to go full insult mode in an April 20 piece:
In the repugnant, never-ending liberal media crusade to not only annihilate but mortally wound Fox News (thus putting thousands out of work), New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante took the not only false but grotesque plunge in her April 18 column blaming FNC for the April 9 death of 74-year-old Brooklyn bar owner Joe Joyce from the coronavirus.
Before diving into their moronic falsehoods, here are the relevant highlights of the all-emotion and fact-free screed[:]
It goes without saying that it’s a tragic story and Bellafante clearly feels pain for the Joyce family and served as a reminder that the over 41,000 deaths consist of real human beings.
But as the great Comfortably Smug tweeted, the Hannity quote came on March 8 and thus it was “OVER A WEEK AFTER” Joyce’s cruise left. The Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy added that Joyce returned March 14, and then his bar the following day as the city had yet to be shuttered (thanks to far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio), leaving almost three weeks between his return and his death.
Therefore, Hannity’s comments were not only a moot point, but it’s an outright falsehood to note them otherwise.
It's an unfortunate condition of the MRC that there's enough of a doubt about its commitment to basic human decency (when it comes to non-conservatives, that is) that he must express empathy that should otherwise go without saying. (And speaking of things that will go without saying, Houck won't tell you that "the great Comfortably Smug" is kind of a creep in real life and has a long history of sh*tposting.)
What Houck also won't tell you: While the Times did make a mistake in linking that particular Hannity quote to the death of the manwho went on the cruise, the Washingotn Post's Erik Wemple pointed out that "Hannity, after all, couched coronavirus as a political ploy before and after Joyce left for his cruise."