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Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Is Trump Working As CNS' 'News' Assignment Editor?

The Washington Post reported regarding President Trump's April 19 press briefing:

During the White House’s daily coronavirus news briefing Sunday, President Trump took a shot at the presumptive Democratic nominee for this year’s presidential election, former vice president Joe Biden.

“I do want to read something that I just saw today on television,” Trump said. “I was looking and I just said, ‘That’s an interesting statement.’ We talk about the Democrats, and it was a statement made by Bret Baier, good guy, smart.”

“'On February 19th, there was a Democratic debate in Las Vegas,' Trump read. “That was February 19th. That’s way after I closed entrance from China into our country. So Bret goes, ‘On February 19th there was a Democratic debate in Las Vegas. Three words weren’t said during the debate — virus, coronavirus or covid-19. Those three words never came up.’”

“That was — I just thought it was a very interesting,” Trump added, “because, you know, you hear these people, some of the people, the Democrats said, oh, this, that. It never even was a part of their dialogue.”

The very next day, CNS reporter Patrick Goodenough cranked out an article designed to flesh out that Trump talking point -- almost as if CNS was working as an arm of the Trump re-election campaign:

The first three Democrat presidential debates held this year – on Jan. 14, Feb. 7, and Feb. 19 – contained a single, passing reference to the coronavirus outbreak that had emerged in China weeks earlier and was starting to spread.

That sole reference came from former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, during the Feb. 7 debate in Manchester, N.H., who said, “The next president is going to face challenges from global health security, like what we’re seeing coming out of China.”

None of the other candidates raised the issue, and neither did the ABC News moderators. The word “coronavirus” was not mentioned. (Neither was “COVID-19,” although the World Health Organization only came up with that name for the disease on Feb. 11.)

After noting that Trump had brought up the Democratic debate the day before, Goodenough added more pro-Trump talking points:

“Coronavirus” first featured in a Trump tweet on Jan. 24, when he thanked China for “working very hard to contain the Coronavirus.” At the time the CDC had reported two confirmed cases in the U.S.

On Jan. 29, the White House announced the formation of the coronavirus task force, and on Jan. 31 Trump declared the outbreak a public health emergency. When he delivered his State of the Union on February 4, Trump said the administration “will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from” the coronavirus threat.

This is what happens when you make Trump -- and not, say, an actual journalist -- the assignment editor on your "news" desk.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 8:20 PM EDT
WND Coronavirus Conspiracy Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The coronavirus scandal, with billionaire oligarch "pandemic expert" Bill Gates pushing horror scenarios into the media, has contributed to politicians' reaction of fear.

This, combined with mass media hysteria, has, in turn, caused a once-in-a-century financial depression. The economic depression may not be due to the virus itself, but rather the panic reaction that was created with the corresponding government shutdowns, as advised by Gates.


Non-elected Western billionaire oligarchs attempt to rule us now, Bill Gates forefront as the "pandemic expert." Through the Davos system, private capital merges with lucrative government funds, causing the rise of oligarchs replacing democratic rule of nation states. Global private capital has an unprecedented access to taxpayer money.

Gates owns everything from charity to world vaccines, pays the WHO by the billions, funds NGOs and controls politicians who treat him like a king from the Middle Ages. He owns medical facilities, controls distribution channels and medical staff, owns the research, the vaccines, the health institutes, and was recently criticized by Robert Kennedy for his "messianic complex." Just talk to Elon Musk.

It is a massive problem that non-democratically elected Bill Gates shapes our democracies with "philanthropist" billions. Gates pushed the idea of the pandemic of the century. He even suggested in a recent interview, that the opening up should not come until there is a digital immunity proof documenting who is vaccinated or not. The vaccine would be Gates-owned, we assume.

-- Hanne Nabintu Herland, April 22 WorldNetDaily column

Part of the reason mortality estimates were too high is that they were based off samples, not taking into account full populations. This may have been deliberately done to overhype the pandemic.

Gates further angered people by calling for a national tracking system. He wrote on his website, "Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it."

This is no surprise, considering in January 2019 Gates expressed support for a worldwide biometric ID. He praised India's national biometric ID and was excited to see it expanding to other countries.


Gates' approach to the pandemic would have been a lot more draconian than Trump's had he been calling the shots. While it's true he knew enough about viral epidemics to see this coming, it doesn't mean his advice is better than the top experts advising Trump. Gates is a globalist who trusts the U.N. and has no problem letting the WHO dictate the terms of how countries handle the pandemic. His values and goals do not represent those of the U.S. because they are clouded by his internationalism.

-- Rachel Alexander, April 27 WND column

We are told daily that the only way to put an end to it is to develop a vaccine, that frantic research is underway with daily reports of small successes. The idea is that when there is a vaccine that's considered effective, everyone will have to be vaccinated. There are people who claim that eventually we will have to carry identification showing that we either have survived COVID-19 or that we have been successfully vaccinated.

Which brings up an interesting issue: What about the person who does NOT want the vaccine – for whatever reason?

Given the attitude of politicians these days, it appears that the ramifications for those "refuseniks" would be quite severe.


The latest I heard on the news tonight is that doctors are predicting a vaccine by September. If that happens, Katie bar the door. They'll try to get everyone vaccinated.

Are you ready? Think about it.

I know what I'll do. Nothing.

-- Barbara Simpson, May 1 WND column

It is time to seriously question everything we are told regarding the physical and the cultural virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in his role as longtime federal immunology bureaucrat, paid $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory for coronavirus development after the U.S. declared a moratorium on such funding. Fauci is joined at the hip with Bill Gates, paid for the scam VA study at the University of Virginia and has been on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation for years.

He is responsible for the death of thousands of Americans by leading the opposition to a drug regimen that is at least a 91% effective in curing SARS-CoV2 infections – thereby violating his Oath – "First do no harm" – and his responsibility to America and Americans.

Now he gleefully flaunts the success of Remdesivir, which was initially developed in 2016 to fight against Ebola and made by Gilead Sciences as the "cure" for COVID-19. Bear in mind that Dr. Fauci reportedly has close ties to, through the Clinton Foundation, the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who appears to promote whatever Xi Jinping wants him to promote. And who holds the patent on Remdesivir? – China.


The web becomes even more entangled as a reported investor in Gilead Sciences also is … George Soros.

Holding this web together is the fact that Gilead has endorsed and is engaged with a drug purchasing group, UNITAID. UNITAID is an outgrowth of the United Nations, Millennium Declaration of 2000, which is now the U.N. Global Compact.


Can there be any uncertainty as to why Dr. Fauci, who worked closely with Gilead, is strongly promoting its more expensive and less effective medication, which has already failed against Ebola, over a readily available, markedly affordable medication with a 91% success rate?

Has America reached the point where what once was unthinkable became the unspeakable, and is now becoming the undeniable?


Is there any reason to believe that the SARS-CoV2 virus is not America's Trojan horse, or should we say Trojan virus? A Trojan horse that provides the tools for the left to weaponize the invisible enemy and empower it far beyond its inherent physical capabilities. America's Trojan horse provided the blueprint to America's anti-freedom left to brilliantly engineer a coordinated campaign against the American culture and society. A crusade of lies, blame, deceit, deception and false accusations all designed to spread division, fear and panic – like a virus – from coast to coast throughout our republic. All to accelerate America's rush to national suicide by the tyranny of socialism.

-- W. Scott Magill, May 5 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Flashback: MRC Held Trump Sexual Assault Accuser To Different Standard Than Tara Reade
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has continued its obsession with Tara Reade, the woman who's accusing Joe Biden of sexual misconduct -- it has referenced her in 85 items as of this writing. The MRC has relentlessly pushed Reade's alleged credibility, attacked anyone who questioned said credibility or dared to say anything nice about Biden and even did lame "studies" on coverage -- most ludicrously complaining that news channels (excluding Fox News, natch) covered Vice President Mike Pence's potentially dangerous gaffe of refusing to wear a face mask while visiting the Mayo Clinic than the Reade allegations.

This, of course, has nothing to do with "media research" and everything to do about partisan politics. The MRC cares nothing about the well-being of Reade; since it's an arm of President Trump's re-election campaign, it cares only about hurting Trump's opponent, Biden.

This was further proved last year, when it treated similar allegations against President Trump much differently.

As we documented, the MRC repeated attacked and denigrated E.Jean Carroll after she accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. Let's count the ways the MRC's double standard has shown itself:

  • One MRC writer declared that alleged sexual assaulters should be condemned only after they have been "proven guilty in a court of law" and not "before angry mobs form to declare them guilty in the court of public opinion" -- a defense it has never offered to Biden.
  • It sought to discredit Carroll by playing up allegedly "bizarre statements" while declaring about Reade's bizarre statements, such as an essay praising Russian leader Vladimir Putin, that "weird ideas don’t negate serious accusations."
  • It attacked Carroll's story as "scatterbrained" even though Reade has not been consistent in her accusations.
  • It bashed media outlets for not exhibiting skepticism about Carroll's accusation, even as it has demonstrated no skepticism whatsoever about Reade's allegations.

We can go back even farther to 2016, when Trump was caught on the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape bragging about what Biden has been accused of doing. When that tape came out, MRC chief Brent Bozell was not concerned that his favored presidential candidate was a sex-crazed pervert; he blamed the media for its release in a full-frothing rant that accused the media of colluding with Hillary Clinton's campaign and demanded they apologize to Trump for the tape's release.

By contrast, the MRC has not accused Reade of having political motivations, even though her lawyer has donated to Trump.

You may also recall that the MRC was largely AWOL when Fox News personalities and its founder and longtime leader, Roger Ailes, were accused of systematic sexual harassment, while it obsessed over sexual harassment scandals elsewhere.

Again: The MRC doesn't give a damn about Tara Reade -- to them, she's only a toll to harm Biden. If the MRC cared about women, it would have treated Carroll the same way it's treating Reade.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:50 PM EDT
By Refusing to Fact-Check, CNS Privileges Even More Bogus Claims By Trump And Crew
Topic: loves simply transcribing whatever President Trump says without any regard as to whether it's true or not -- its writers simply can't be bothered to fact-check him. It hasn't really stopped, even though the stenography shows how servile CNS is to Trump.

Susan Jones wrote in an April 15 article headlined "Trump: 'I'm Not Going to Put Any Pressure on Any Governor to Open'":

President Trump on Tuesday announced that "plans to reopen the country are close to being finalized," and he said he will soon be sharing the details and guidelines with "everybody."

"I will be speaking to all 50 governors very shortly, and I will then be authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening, and a very powerful reopening a time and in a manner as most appropriate."

Trump said different states will open in different ways and at different times, "maybe even before the date of May 1st."

Trump also said, "I'm not going to put any pressure on any governor to open."

Jones didn't mention that Trump's statement was a complete flip-flop from just the day before, when he claimed "total" authority over governors to reopen their states, and that "a torrent of backlash from governors and even members of his own party pointedly reminding him of the constitutional restraints on presidential power" forced Trump's flip-flop.

And a few days later, when Jones and Melanie Arter noted criticism of Trump's tweeted calls to "liberate" certain states, they didn't mention that this was a flip-flop of his promise not to "put any pressure on any governor to open."

The same day, Arter uncritically repeated Trump's threat to adjourn Congress over its  alleged refusal to vote on some of his nominees. She didn't mention the 1) the Senate is controlled by Republicans, the part of which Trump belongs, or 2) the president has no power to adjourn Congress except in extremely limited circumstances.

On April 20, Craig Bannister took the stenography baton:

“You need to hear this – because you’re being bombarded right now with these really over-the-top accusations against the president,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) says at the start of a video posted by Trump in which Crenshaw takes on the left-wing political propaganda regarding the coronavirus.

Trump posted the video in Sunday night tweet, declaring it “Brilliant, a Must Watch.” Rep. Crenshaw opens his video, titled “Debunking the Left’s COVID-19 Narrative,” by noting some of the charges the Left is leveling against Trump:


Crenshaw, then, contrasts how Trump warned about, and took steps against, the coronavirus with what the liberal media and Democrat politicians were doing at the time.

Since Bannister wouldn't fact-check Crenshaw's video, it was left to an actual news outlet to do so, which found that it contains "misrepresentations, incorrect and context-free claims and false choices."

Arter served up more stenography in an April 24 article:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that he has been working on getting a loan of over $10 million to help the U.S. Postal Service, but the deal could be scrapped if the postal service doesn’t start charging companies like Amazon four times what it currently charges for sending packages.

President Donald Trump announced on Friday at a signing ceremony for the $484 billion coronavirus relief bill that the postal service charges too little to send packages for companies like Amazon, and unless they increase their prices for these companies - not consumers - he would not sign anything giving the postal service more money, and he would not authorize Mnuchin to do anything. 

Arter didn't mention that -- as an actual news outlet did --  Trump is trying to hurt Amazon because he doesn't like its founder Jeff Bezos, that arbitrarily jacking up shipping prices is stupid because shippers would instead use FedEx or UPS or, in Amazon's case, its own delivery system, and Trump has not offered any evidence that its shipping prices are so low that it loses money on every package it delivers.

Trump's press secretary got a pass on the most basic issue in a May 1 article by Arter:

A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday whether she would promise not to lie to reporters during the White House press briefings.

“It has been 100 days since the press secretary stood there. Are you planning to do these daily meetings? And will you pledge never to lie to us from that podium?” a reporter asked.

“I will never lie to you. You have my word on that. As to the timing of the briefings, we do plan to do them. I will announce timing of that forthcoming, but we do plan to continue these,” McEnany.

Arter didn't tell her readers that McEnany did, in fact, tell lies starting just 15 minutes after she pledged not to. Because at CNS, stenography, not facts, are what matters.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Monday, May 11, 2020
AIM President Goes On Anti-City Tirade
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media president Adam Guillette hadn't really shown the kind of next-level craziness demonstrated by his AIM forbears like Cliff Kincaid (though, frankly, that make AIM pretty boring), even though he came to AIM from the disreputable Project Veritas. Guillette finally popped his crazy cherry, as it were, in an April 29 column in which he ranted that coronavirus proves that cities suck:

Progressive ideas and global pandemics go together like a strain of COVID-19 and a mucous membrane.

The media tries to look the other way, but one progressive policy after another has been found to be a major cause of the spread of the coronavirus.

For decades, left-wing city planning experts have told us that sprawl is a bad thing. It’d be better for society, they insisted, if we all lived in high-density cities. Then the virus hit. Which area suffered more? Manhattan, New York, or Manhattan, Kansas?

One of the main reasons dense cities have suffered so much is their reliance on public transportation.


Another progressive idea that has fallen apart amid the pandemic is the obsession with banning single-use plastic bags and embracing reusable bags at the grocery store. Reusable bags are the hipsters of COVID-19; they were carrying disease before it was cool. Study after study shows that E. coli, salmonella, and coliform bacteria are frequently spread by these virtue-signaling totes.

Now some cities that previously banned safe, single-use bags have actually reversed course and banned the reusable bags. Many stores that once encouraged reuse now forbid it.


The notion that central planning experts know how to run cities is a symptom of the most dangerous disease spread by urban liberals — narcissism. Their so-called “progressive” proposals actually embrace century-old technology — densely-packed cities, trains, burlap sacks, and trolleys. This is a large part of what got New York City into this mess.

Conservatives and libertarians are mocked for glamorizing 1776, but is it any better to glamorize life in 1876?

Congratulations, Adam. You might just be fringe enough to have a career at AIM after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 PM EDT
MRC Still Complaining that Social Media Is Removing Coronavirus Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center keeps being bizarrely unhappy that misinformation about coronavirus is getting blocked on social media. Corinne Weaver did so again in an April 29 post:

A popular video featuring California emergency doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi was taken down by YouTube for “violating YouTube’s terms of service.”

Based on their own research, the hour-long conference asked, “Does this make sense? Are we following the science?” Towards the end of the video Erickson said, “Do we need to still shelter in place? Our answer is emphatically no. Do we need businesses to be shut down? Emphatically no. Do we need to test them and get them back to work? Absolutely.” The initial video was removed by YouTube on April 27, 2020, for content that “explicitly disputes the efficacy of local healthy authority recommended guidance on social distancing that may lead others to act against that guidance.”

A Google spokesperson told ABC reporter Bayan Wang that, “We quickly remove flagged content that violate our Community Guidelines.”

After noting that major medical organizations have denounced the video, Weaver added in defense: "However, Erickson and Massihi seemed to only question the reasoning behind the quarantines and the shutdowns."

In fact, Erickson and Massihi were claiming that, based on the patient population they claimed to have studied, coronavirus is no serious than the flu. But as an actual news outlet reported, experts point out that the doctors' patient sample was not  representative of the general population, with one likening it to "estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court." Another doctor, who is also a state legislator, stated that the doctors "basically hyped a bunch of data and weren’t transparent about their methods."

Erickson and Massihi also suggested that local hospital administrators had pressured doctors to report COVID-19 as patients’ causes of death in order to "make it look a little bit worse than it it, but they offered no proof or possible justification for doing so other than to conspiratorially hint that "there is something else going on."

Weaver went on to tout that "major figures such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the doctors 'make good points.'" Musk also predicted that human language could be obsolete in five years and gave his baby an unprounceable name, so maybe he's not the best person to quote authoritatively.

The day before, Alexander Hall played the conspiracy card by claiming that YouTube is "clamping down on reports of potential treatments that are being developed' by removing a video about a potential coronavirus treatment through use of ultraviolet light inside the body, going on to quote the head of the company developing the device claiming that "Big Tech allegedly got in line to shut [the device] out of the conversation" after President Trump made bizarre coments suggesting ingesting disinfectants to kill coronavirus.

But the company's own website states that the device "has not been reviewed by the FDA" and that it -- or even the concept of it -- "is currently not indicated for use in the treatment of COVID-19." Some experts have also stated that the type of ultraviolet light the device uses is not effective in killing viruses.

Crying "censorship" over content that misinforms and could even be dangerous is not a good look for the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:14 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 18, 2020 12:36 AM EDT
Statistical Abuse From A WND Columnist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jonathon Moseley began his April 21 worldNetDaily column by complaining that Democrats want to make gullible people think that Donald Trump did not handle the COVID-19 pandemic well," which he rebutted by citing actions the Trump administration took, such as "a declaration of a health emergency through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services" and a limited "shut[ting] down travel from China." And then he made this claim:

The Democrats adore experts instead of trusting in God. Therefore, we should use this argument which they really hate: The experts' models projected that 2.2 million U.S. citizens and residents will die from COVID-19. President Trump's leadership brought those projected deaths down to 60,000. So if we believe the experts' predictions, Trump saved 2.14 million lives.

Um, no, that's not how statistics and predictions work. The 2.2 million number Moseley cited comes from a New York Times article noting one analyst's worst-case projection, and the number was based on governments doing nothing to mitigate the virus.The 60,000 number came from a different prediction model -- which has also proved to be inaccurate, since the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. as of this writing is more than 80,000.

Moseley also doesn't bother to prove that the actions from Trump he cites are solely responsible for the reduction in predicted deaths. He also conveniently ignores how Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat of coronavirus.

So, Moseley is making a dumb assertion based on assumptions he can't prove. Par for the course for a WND columnist.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Defending The Indefensible: MRC Finds Ways To Deflect From Trump's Injecting-Disinfectant Remarks
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center will find a way to defend anything and everything President Trump says, no matter how indefensible. Trump's suggestion of ingesting disinfectant or bleach to kill coronavirus was as indefensible as they come, but the MRC will never say so. Instead it focused on parsing his words to make them less indefensible and attacking anyone who criticized them.

Typical was Curtis Houck, who hyperbolically claimed in the headline that CNN "RAGES" about Trump's remarks:

Friday afternoon, CNN melted down into a panel of juvenile performance artists, spending over 15 minutes screeching President Trump’s remarks Thursday and a Friday follow-up about disinfectants and sunlight as a“dangerous,” “double speak,” “idiotic,” “ludicrous,” “Soviet fashion,” and “a waste of time” (even though CNN was harping on it hourly).


A tsunami of partisans on both sides of the aisle decried what the President said while others like Ben Shapiro and fellow Daily Wire writer Ryan Saavedra noted that its not as black and white.

Houck also gratuitously mocked CNN's Anderson Cooper as "a gay Keith Olbermann that whined that Trump was the “five-year-old” child.

Clay Waters spun further by blaming the media for misinterpreting Trump and not Trump himself for saying dumb things: "President Trump performed some confusing speculation on the efficacy of ultraviolet light and disinfectants during his coronavirus briefing Thursday, and as usual, the New York Times overstated the facts to push its anti-Trump agenda."

Jeffrey Lord, unsurprisingly, went into full defense mode: "Supposedly sensible adults in the national media deliberately - say again deliberately - twisting the words of the President of the United States in the middle of a national emergency. Bad enough under any circumstances, but now?" After citing Saavedra's alleged fact-check -- not the actual content of it, mind you, just the headline -- he went on an anti-media rant:

The question is - why in the world would the media ever, ever, - so grossly, make that deliberately, re-cast perfectly understandable English to make it seem something it wasn’t?

There is only one reason, and it is the same now very tired hysteria of Trump Derangement Syndrome. They hate Trump, so anything goes, even in the middle of a pandemic.


You would think that in the middle of a global pandemic in which thousands of Americans have already died that the media would be going out of its way to report necessary facts and put aside petty, political distractions that are in fact nothing more than bold misrepresentations of fact designed to damage a president they cannot abide.

But you would be wrong.

Nicholas Fondacaro conceded only that Trump's remarks were "sloppy," but didn't criticize him -- since that would violate the terms of his employment at the MRC -- and instead bashed CNN's Jake Tapper for a "bitter, self-indulgent rant" that criticized Trump and accused Republicans (and, therefore, Fondacaro) of failing to "acknowledge the reality of the situation."

Brad Wilmouth downgraded Trump's remarks even further, declaring that he was merely "spitballing about disinfectants and ultraviolet light to treat coronavirus patients."

Corinne Weaver seized upon a Facebook fact-check -- weird, since the MRC hates Facebook and hates that particular fact-checker for its purported liberal bias -- to trumpet the idea that because Trump did not explicitly "urge" people to inject disinfectants, it's false to say he suggested it. Weaver did not indicate whether she and the MRC would walk back its previous attacks on that fact-checker, Lead Stories.

Meanwhile, the MRC seemed to be tiring of having to defend Trump's words here. Kristine Marsh followed up by saying Trump's remarks were merely "sloppy," and Gabriel Hays claimed the interpretation that Trump suggested people ingest disinfenctants were just "media spin." Waters returned to grumble that Trump's "confusing speculation" and "admittedly rambling comments" about disinfectants has cause the Times "to imply the president is a dim bulb."

Kathleen Krumhansl tried for the full-defense gambit, accusing Spanish-sopeaking channels of having "joined their mainstream counterparts in a fake news offensive against President Trump," declaring that Trump was just making "comments on a study about the role of disinfectants and UV light in killing the coronavirus" and pretending that Trump never said anything controversial or irresponsible.

Finally, Wilmouth admitted that Trump was making a "confused suggestion" about disinfectants, instead criticizing CNN's Christiane Amanpour for asking a guest and praising the interviewee for nmot being "directly critical of President Trump."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:50 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 10, 2020 10:56 PM EDT
CNS Thinks Kevin Sorbo's Anti-Government Rant Is 'News'

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 loves him (and his wife, an anti-public school activist) and thinks he's some kind of sage.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Saturday, May 9, 2020
MRC Adds To CNS' Bad Take on Religion and Coronavirus
Topic: Media Research Center

Since embraced the bad take 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:45 AM EDT
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."

Don't expect WND to bring that up.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT
Friday, May 8, 2020
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.

Gabriel Hays wrote in an April 15 post:

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."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EDT
CNS Obsesses Over Rogue Trump-Loving Democrat
Topic: 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Thursday, May 7, 2020
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 >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EDT
CNS Adds Another Dubious Doc To Its Pro-Trump Brigade

So Dr. Drew and Dr. Oz weren't the only TV doctors 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT

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