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Friday, May 15, 2020
The MRC Gushes Over Catholic Bishop's Endorsement of Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center normally hates it when Catholic religious leaders get involved in politics --when it's not conservative, anyway. For instance, it loves to attack Jesuit priest James Martin for not advancing right-wing Catholic orthodoxy, Heathering him at one point as a "sorta-Catholic."

But if a prominent Catholic praises President Trump, the MRC is all for it. Gabriel Hays gushed in an April 29 post:

New York's Cardinal Dolan seems to think that President Trump is doing a good job at leading the country through the coronavirus crisis, and though we know there are many Catholics who would never do such a thing (the Obama-voting ones, we’re sure) Dolan also praised the pro-life and pro-religious freedom President for his outreach to religious communities during his administration.

The leader of the Archdiocese of New York appeared on Fox News on Monday, April 27, to relay the issues facing the Catholic community, in particular parochial schools. But he also took time to thank President Trump for his leadership.

“I really salute his leadership,” Dolan told the hosts of Fox & Friends. He also thanked New York leaders, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio but went out of his way to mention that Trump had really been supportive of the religious community during this pandemic.

“Everybody has really come through, but the President has seemed particularly sensitive to the, what shall I say, to the feelings of the religious community,” the cardinal mentioned.

Dolan’s comments come after a conference call between Church leaders including the New York cardinal himself, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley and President Trump. The discussion covered a number of Church and community issues following the outbreak of the pandemic, in particular Catholic education.

Weirdly, Hays didn't embed the video from Dolan's "Fox & Friends" appearance in his post. Is he secretly ashamed of it?

Hays went on to tout the intertwining of Catholic hierarchy with Trump:

President Trump has also made acquiring Catholic voter support a bigger focus for his re-election bid. Earlier this month, the Trump re-election campaign launched the “Catholics forTrump” initiative aimed at courting more catholics with his “religious-freedom record and anti-abortion policies.”

At the end of their conference call, the President referred to Dolan a “great friend of mine,” and the cardinal replied “the feelings are mutual.” And while we can write it all off as political, it is a welcome change from the usual scene of liberal Catholic leaders ignoring Trump’s great pro-life record to hit his attitude on immigration and climate change.

The uber-Catholics at the MRC wouldn't be doing this if Dolan was endorsing a Democratic poiltician.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EDT
CNS' Chapman Praises Another Right-Wing Authoritarian For Hating Gays As Much As He Does

Remember that time heavily lectured Bernie Sanders about praising some positive aspects of authoritarian regimes, followed by managing editor Michael W. Chapman praising Russia's authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, for hating the LGBT community as much as he does? Well, Chapman did it again.

You might recall that one of CNS' favorite right-wing authoritarian leaders is Viktor Orban of Hungary, whom it wants you to believe is just a misunderstood populist who's pursuing a heavily xenophobic anti-immigrant policy. But even CNS had to concede that Orban is such an authoritarian that he's exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to make a power grab that would allow him to rule by decree.

Chapman seems to be pretty cool with Orban's stranglehold on power, particularly if he uses it to spread the LGBT hate. Chapman gushed in an April 29 article:

Legislation making its way through the Hungarian Parliament and expected to become law would legally define a person's sex or gender as "sex at birth," meaning later in life a person could not legally change their gender. The proposal has angered many European Union leaders and LGBT activists.

As explained by Human Rights Watch, the bill would amend the Registry Act to "include a clarification regarding the word 'nem,' which in Hungarian can mean both 'sex' and 'gender,' to specifically refer to the sex at birth ('szuletesi nem') as 'biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.'"

Also, once the "sex at birth" is recorded, it cannot be changed.

Yep, right up Chapman's alley.

Chapman did note some criticism of the planned law -- in which he hinted that Orban is just a wee bit authoritarian -- but highlighted only that coming from LGBT sources in an apparent attempt to delegitimize it:

Prime Minister “Viktor Orban is using the Covid-19 health crisis as cover to push through discriminatory legislation that will be devastating to the lives of transgender people in Hungary,” Graeme Reid, the director of LGBT rights at Human Rights Watch, told The Independent.

“It is typical of the autocrats playbook to consolidate power by attacking the most marginalised," said Reid. "The EU should act.”


The pro-homosexual Pink News said that Orban's government is "brazenly homophobic" and had already banned gender studies from universities.

A transgender "woman," Amanda Malovics, said that Orbn and his Fidesz Party "believe being transgender is -- along with the whole LGBT+ community -- something that goes against the Hungarian Christian society and breaks fundamental values (such as children can have only heterosexual, cisgender parents)."

As before, Chapman didn't explain why it's OK for him to praise authoritarian leaders for things he thinks is positive while Sanders must be criticized for doing the same thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Thursday, May 14, 2020
MRC's Fondacaro Makes Up Stuff Again
Topic: Media Research Center

They apparently teach creative writing at the Media Research Center, and it seems Nicholas Fondacaro has taken some classes. He wrote in an April 24 item:

Possibly still raging from when her heated outburst during a coronavirus press briefing was shot down by President Trump last week, CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid flashed her hatred for the President during Thursday’s CBS Evening News. She kicked off the video portion of her report by boasting about how radical leftist protesters had laid out “empty body bags” outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

The direction Reid took with her report was obvious from the beginning. Bitterness radiated as she declared: “[T]he Trump administration continues to send out mixed messages, new CBS News polling shows more Americans are looking to their state governors for guidance on what to do as top White House officials can't even agree on basic facts!”

As her report began to play, Reid immediately boasted about the ghoulish display. “Empty body bags dumped outside the Trump Hotel this evening, a morbid protest of the President's response to the coronavirus. A new CBS News poll reveals Mr. Trump's decision making is being called into question,” she touted.

Very little of Fondacaro's purple prose reflects actual reality. As the video accompanying Fondacaro's item demonstrates, Reid did not "radiate bitterness"; she was not "raging"; she did not "flash her hatred" for Trump; and she did not "tout" the body bags. Fondacaro is projecting -- his hatred for anyone working in the "liberal media" is so unhinged that he assumes everyone who works in the media is as hateful as he is. He's pretending to read Reid's mind, ascribing motives to her he can't possibly know, but the MRC has inculcated that fact-free attitude within him.

He's simply making up stuff here, and he has a longstanding problem with that. The fact that MRC apparently doesn't have a problem with that hurts its credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: At CNS, Trump Stenography Is Job 1
Not only does publish statements by President Trump and his White House that are false (which it would know if it ever bothered to fact-check him), Trump may actually be CNS' assignment editor. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
MRC Is Mad Athlete's Controversial Tattoo Got Exposed
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's mysterious sports blogger, Jay Maxson, tried his best to put an imaginative frame on an uncomfortable situation in an April 28 post:

As a teenager, Justin Rohrwasser had a symbol tattooed on his arm that has since been adopted by a white supremacist group. The former college place-kicker was drafted by the New England Patriots over the weekend, and said Saturday he does not associate with that group and he will cover up the controversial tattoo. Not good enough, says Jemele Hill, who's refusing to accept his denial of racism.

In fact, the tattoo -- the Roman numeral three -- predates Rohrwasser's tattoo as a symbol of a white supremacist group, in this case the Three Percenters, a militia group that played a role in the Charlottesville protests defending Confederate statues. Rohrwasser has claimed the tattoo was a show of support for the military and was unaware of any white supremacist connotation when he got it and says he will have the tattoo removed.

Hill busted Rohrwasser pretty cleanly. But Maxson has credulously accepted his explanation, and is mad at Hill for painting Rohrwasser as a white supremacist, huffing: "As 'judge' and 'jury,' Hill is not to be confused with the facts; her mind is made up. Rohrwasser is a white supremacist and the case is closed." But Maxson doesn't actually know what the facts are; he/she has merely accepted Rohrwasser's explanation at face value while making no effort whatsoever to look further.

Maxson was further angered that a "left-wing media source" looked into Rohrwasser's social media history and found that he apparently shows an affinity for people like Jordan Peterson.We last saw the right-wing-leaning Peterson here in the form of the MRC promoting his "free speech" website (where, conveniently, the MRC was a beta tester) that appeared to be little more than a cash grab for Peterson -- and about which we've heard basically nothing since.

In summary, Maxson is mad that some folks he happens to not like reported facts that he finds inconvenient. Which means there's no real reason for this post to exist other than to give Maxson a chance to rant and fulfill his/her post quota.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 9:50 PM EDT
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

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