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Friday, July 31, 2020
MRC's Double Standard On 'Cancel Culture'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to denounce "cancel culture" -- a July 11 post by Gabriel Hays, for example, complained that a letter "signed by prominent leftists and liberals decrying Cancel Culture" asserted that "Cancel Culture doesn't exist" and declared cancel cluture to be a "free speech-killing phenomenon."

But Hays is a joyful proponent of cancel culture when it involves trying to cancel opinions he disapproves of. Hays ranted in a July 2 post:

Just in time for the BLM folks who are fed up Western Civilization’s depiction of White Jesus, a new film depicting Christ as a lesbian is currently looking for a major Hollywood distributor. The film’s premise is so noxious that nearly 300,000 people have signed a petition to make sure the “Christianophobic” film doesn’t get a wide Hollywood release.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition to prevent the wide release of the reportedly blasphemous film titled Habit. The movie which is currently eyeing Warner Brothers and Lionsgate as major distributors, depicts a female Jesus played by Paris Jackson, the late Michael Jackson’s daughter, who has her own modeling and film career. 

According to the petition, which has been gaining traction on, the film’s Jesus is not only female, which is heretical and subversive enough, she is a lesbian who may or may not have a relationship with the film’s main character, a nun played by former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne. 

The petition called Habit “blasphemous” and “Christianophobic garbage.” It stated, “A new blasphemous Hollywood film is predicted to come out soon depicting Jesus as a lesbian woman. The film ‘Habit’ stars Paris Jackson who plays the role of ‘lesbian Jesus.’” 

The page asked potential petitioners to help “spread awareness and wake people up to the Christianophobic garbage that is spread nowadays, but is somehow accepted and praised by society.” The good news is that the petitioner's goal of reaching “300,000 signatures” has almost been fulfilled. On July 2, the number of signatures reached 277,517.

Hays concluded: "Hopefully, the film, – which is currently in post-production – doesn’t see the light of day. Please sign the petition at, so that our Lord isn’t made a disgusting mockery by our own film industry." Not a word about cancel culture or a concern about killing someone else's free speech.

What a hypocrite.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:03 PM EDT
CNS Touts One Mark Levin Fail, Censors Another

Intern John Jakubisin wrote in a July 17 article:

On his nationally-syndicated radio show on Thursday, conservative host Mark Levin contrasted the coronavirus pandemic with the Obama-Biden administration's response to the 2009 swine flu epidemic, especially its decision to stop testing.

Levin replayed a C-SPAN clip from May 2019 in which Ron Klain, a former chief of staff for Biden, says that the Obama-Biden response team “did every possible thing wrong.”

We had a bunch of really talented, really good people working on it and we did every possible thing wrong and 60 million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time.”

"Well, why didn’t they prevent it?" Levin asked. "Why didn’t they have everybody hunker down?”

Because CNS is not terribly into fact-checking -- and, thus, wouldn't be bothering to teach its interns how to do it, especially not to a guy who gets so much uncritical coverage from CNS it may as well be contractually obligated to do so -- Jakubisin didn't tell his readers the full truth. According to actual fact-checkers, testing for swine flu was never completely stopped and continued for monitoring purposes, but indiviual testing stopped because it was no longer needed and provided no useful information; if a patient presented with flu-like symptoms, it was probably the flu.

The swine flu was also much less deadly than coronavirus is; of those 60 million cases, only 12,000 people died. By contrast, of 4.5 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., more than 150,000 have died. Levin's attempt to compare the swine flu to coronavirus is utterly bogus.

Speaking of utterly bogus, Levin totally botched things a few days earlier in another attempt to own Obama that fell utterly flat -- and which CNS has been completly silent about. Levin tweeted out a photoof a bottle of medicine that he called "Obama's hydroxychloroquine from 2008." The provenance of the photo is unclear -- there's no date on it, and one has to wonder how Levin got a hold of it, given how there are laws governing the privacy of medical records.

Except it wasn't what Levin said it was -- it was atovaquone, a medicine like hydroxychloroquine that is used to treat and prevent malaria. The bottle seems to date from July 2008, when, as one observer noted, Obama was visiting Afghanistan, which has a high rate of malaria. That also dates it a good decade before the existence of COVID-19, meaning he could not have possibly been taking it to treat the virus since 1) it didn't exist and 2) nobody has advocated the use of atovaquone to treat COVID-19.

Despite the tweet being completely destroyed, Levin has yet to delete it in shame -- and CNS has yet to tell its readers just how badly Levin screwed up.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Thursday, July 30, 2020
MRC Likes Democratic History When It's Taken Out of Context
Topic: Media Research Center

At the Media Research Center, context is only for conservatives -- the MRC has no problem using facts out of context when it makes Democrats look bad.

Tim Graham, the MRC's chief context-complainer,  tried to play gotcha with USA Today in a June 26 post over a fact-check of a Facebook meme claiming that Democrats filibustered the 1964 civil rights bill for 75 days. As USA Today accurately pointed out, the filibuster lasted only 60 days, and it was only Southern Democrats who were filibustering. How dare USA Today include context, Graham nuffed: "This is why it’s maddening that 'authoritative' news outlets end up blocking or obscuring social media posts over 'distinctions' that remind voters – some of whom aren’t very wise about 1964 -- the Democrats used to have a pile of staunch racists in their caucus."

Graham isn't going to clearly explain to you that many of the Southern Democrats who took part in the filibuster eventually either stopped being racist (like Robert Byrd) or became Republicans (like Strom Thurmond). See, Tim? Context matters.

Scott Whitlock tried to pull another gotcha on USA Today in a July 1 post headlined "FAKE HISTORY":

Apparently, if you don’t like certain facts, you can just declare them false. That seems to be the thinking behind a USA Today “fact check” pretending that Democrats didn’t start the Civil War and found the KKK. But, they did. In a June 30 assertion USA Todayrated “false,” the paper began, “Claim: The Democratic Party started the Civil War to preserve slavery and later the KKK.”

The entire article essentially conceded that the Confederacy was run by Democrats, made up by Democrats, as was the KKK. But don’t blame the Democratic Party for that! USA Today writer Devon Link calls the claim “an oversimplified trope about the Democratic Party.”

The article is made up of “yes, but…” concessions. Link squirmed, “Historians agree that although factions of the Democratic Party did majorly contribute to the Civil War's start and KKK's founding, it is inaccurate to say the party is responsible for either.”

Despite offering no evidence whatsoever to disprove USA Today's claim that the KKK was never any official part of the Democratic Party, Whitlock insisted that there's a difference between the party and the actions of some individual members to be a "flimsy distinction," sneering: "Yes, the Democratic Party may not have officially started the Civil War, but the Confederacy was made up of strident Democrats."

Being a good MRC employee, Whitlock smelled conspiracy by complaining that one of the historians USA Today called upon to tell the truth about the lack of a link was "a Barack Obama donor. USA Today gets a Democratic donor to defend the party against its true, racist past."

Whitlock wasn't done harping on this. On July 7, he devoted a post to recounting a Fox News segment attacking USA Today for its "ridiculous — and false — 'fact check' claiming that Democrats didn’t start the Civil War and found the Ku Klux Klan." Whitlock is lying here; as he very well knows, the fact-check was about the Democratic Party and the KKK. And because he's complicit in spreading the lie, he's certainly not going to call out Fox News for getting it wrong.

The goal of Graham and Whitlock is to push some bogus history of their own: They want you to think that the Democratic Party of 1860 and 1964 is exactly like the Democratic Party of today, and that there was never a realignment of views that made Democrats the champions of civil rights and Republicans the new home of Souythern Democrats who wouldn't accept this shift.

Who's the one peddling "fake history" here? It isn't USA Today.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 PM EDT
Ron Paul's Newsmax Denial Of Coronavirus Surge Didn't Age Well
Topic: Newsmax

Ron Paul spent his July 8 Newsmax column ranting against tightening health restrictions in Texas to fight the spread of coronavirus, depicting it as "fake news" based on a cnage in how it's defined:

On July 2nd, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order mandating the wearing of face masks across the state, whether indoors or outdoors, when six feet cannot be maintained between people. In the governor’s decree, he cited a rise in COVID-19 cases, a rise in test positivity, and a rise in hospitalizations as justification to force people to cover their faces in public.

The move is not only a violation of the civil liberties of all Texans.

Abbott may have based his executive order on inaccurate information about a "rise" in COVID-19 cases due to the Texas State Department of Health Services changing the definition of what constitutes a "COVID Case."

Thanks goes to Collin County Judge Chris Hill for blowing the whistle on what appears to be a move in mid-May to redefine what was a "COVID" case to open the door to a massive increase — all to match the mainstream media line that a "second wave" was on the way.


The "second wave" is driven by propaganda.

Across the country, COVID testing increased from about 150,000 to more than 700,000 per day. You can’t drive through Houston without seeing a flurry of signs advertising "Free Covid test! Results in 15 minutes!"

Last week Reuters reported that tests shipped around the country by the federal government were contaminated.

Deaths from coronavirus -- even the deaths "with" coronavirus rather than deaths "from" coronavirus — are down more than 90% since the peak in April. The decline in deaths continues. That means we are closer to the "herd immunity" that will finally kill this virus.

Yet Gov. Abbott and others across the country see this as a reason to lock the country back down.

Paul is hiding the fact that it has long been argued that coronavirus cases in Texas have long been undercounted, so the change in how cases are counted is more of a corrective measure than a deliberate attempt to overinflate the number.

Paul is also lying when he claims the current wave of coronavirus cases in Texas "is driven by propaganda."Between mid-June and mid-July, the state set coronavirus hospitalization records 31 times, and it was not until about a week ago that the hospitalization number started to slightly decrease -- none of which is driven by changes in the way cases are counted. And even then, the decrease might actually be the result of incomplete data and not becuase of an actual decrease.

Paul's conspiracy theory hasn't exactly aged well, has it?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:53 PM EDT
Malkin Becomes More Extreme, And CNS Still Publishes Her

As right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin has gone even more fringe -- embracing white nationalist and anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories -- has continued to publish her, a tacit endorsement of her extremism. That extremism has continued.

In her July 1 column, Malkin defended a Kansas State University student who made a sick joke about the death of George Floyd -- which she chortled was "edgy" and "snarky" -- proclaiming him to be an "unapologetic nationalist conservative student." CNS uncritically published it.

On July 22, Malkin ranted about "anarcho-tyranny," declaring: "The late conservative columnist Sam Francis first coined the term in 1992 to diagnose a condition of 'both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny — the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes.'"Malkin didnt tell you that Francis was also a virulent racist who edited the newsletter of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. CNS didn't inform its audience that Malkin was approvingly quoting a racist.

Malkin's July 29 column was a eulogy for Mike Adams, a right-wing college professor who died and was known for being a hateful, sleazy jerk and who liked to play victim when that jerkishness was called out. Malkin hid that history, of course, gushing that he "wrote prolifically and fought valiantly against the forces of political correctness and pure evil." CNS had no problem with that one either; commentary editor Rob Shimshock promoted it on his Twitter account as a "tribute" to a "happy warrior."

The same day that column came out, Right Wing Watch reported that used a Periscope broadcast to defend the thuggish Proud Boys, a violent far-right hate group, proclaiming them to be "young patriotic, brave, strong, proud men" who "deserve medals for trying to save this country when it was still salvageable." No comment on this from CNS yet.

WorldNetDaily continues to publish Malkin's column too, but her white nationalism and anti-vaxxer conspiracies are more on-brand for WND.By contrast, CNS likes to pretend it's in the mainstream of conservatism, even as it slides into creeping WND-zation.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The Trump Talking Point Reinforcement Center
Topic: Media Research Center
If the Trump re-election campaign needs a talking point hammered home -- no matter how untrue it is -- the Media Research Center has demonstrated themselves to be partisan enough and lacking enough scruples for the job. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:00 PM EDT
WND's Dishonest Muslim-Hating Writer Is Back
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You might remember Leo Hohmann as the WorldNetDaily reporter who hated Muslims so much that he not only reguarly went into freakout mode, he spread lies about the purportedly Muslim-leaning refugee workforce at a Chobani yogurt plant in Idaho -- falsehoods that had to be quietly corrected months after the fact, presumably after Chobani's lawyers had a little chat with WND's managment.

Well, after being let go from WND in early 2018 when it hit those financial difficulties it has yet to get out of (and not, apparently, because of his Chobani lies), Hohmann is back.

In a July 9 WND article, Hohmann wrote in a fearmongering tone about how "An armed militia marched through an Atlanta-area suburban town toting AR-15 rifles and shotguns, shouting black-power slogans and demanding reparations from white motorists," going on to add that "an armed group of up to 300 “protesters” marched through the streets of Stone Mountain carrying weapons and yelling racially charged slogans." He further added: "This activity did not happen in a vacuum. The Atlanta area has been a hotspot for racial violence since the controversial shooting of Rayshard Brooks on June 12 in a Wendy's parking lot."

Because Hohmann still hates Muslims, he worked them into his article, even though they have no real connection to the scary black people that were the focus of his article:

What is known is that the Stone Mountain area contains one of the highest concentrations of Muslim refugees in the Southern United States and some of the marchers could be heard chanting “Alhamdulillah.”

“'Alhamdulillah' means 'Thanks be to Allah' and is not usually said except by observant Muslims," noted Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.

Stone Mountain is known as the symbolic birthplace of the modern KKK. This makes it a flashpoint for a triggering event.

Hohmann's main source for this article is a man named David Bores, who he benignly described as merely "a retired police chief in Woodstock, a suburban community north of Atlanta." But he apparently hates Muslims as much as Hohmann does; according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bores offers training to law enforcement that is "based in anti-Muslim rhetoric and conspiracy theories," portraying Muslims as inherently violent and prone to pedophilia, and his course materials describe as teaching how to "effectively deal with the various Islamic threats to subvert our Constitution."

In other words, exactly the kind of person Hohmann would consider a credible source.

But this isn't the only place he's resurfacing at WND. The current edition of the sparsely read Whistleblower magazine, with the theme of "Cancel America" -- which features more fearmonger about protests that have allegedly "been engineered and largely co-opted by openly Marxist/communist revolutionary groups including Antifa, Black Lives Matter and Refuse Fascism" -- includes an article headlined "America is experiencing Act 1 of an intended Marxist revolution. Act 2 is a lot worse." Sure, that sounds reasonable by Hohmann standards.

To sum up: WND's David Kupelian overlooked the fact that Hohmann apparently almost got WND sued into oblivion for false reporting in order to bring him back for a new round of hateful fearmongering. It seems Kupelian is not interested in proving that WND deserves to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Lying MRC Stands With Racist-Hiring Tucker Carlson
Topic: Media Research Center

Tucker Carlson needed a distraction from a wealth of bad news, and the Media Research Center was more than happy to help give him one.

When Carlson ranted about an upcoming New York Times story on him that he claimed would print his home address, Nicholas Fondacaro was all too willing to help him play the victim:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson closed out Monday’s edition of his show on an extremely serious note that pertained to the life and safety of his wife and four kids. For over two minutes, he exposed how the radically leftist New York Times had assigned a so-called “journalist” and photographer to hunt him down, find out where he lives, and print it for all his haters to find him. And according to Carlson, their mission was nearly complete with the publication happening later in the week.


This time, Carlson was fighting back, calling out the people targeting him by name. “The paper has assigned a political activist called Murray Carpenter [pictured above] to write a story about where we are now. They've hired a photographer called Tristan Spinski to take pictures,” he informed the world.

After noting that the story was “slated to run in the paper this week,” he blasted Times editors for knowingly putting the lives of his wife and kids in danger. “I called them today and I told them. But they didn't care. They hate my politics. They want the show off the air. If one of my children gets hurt because of a story the wrote, they won’t consider it collateral damage. They know it's the whole point of the exercise,” he exclaimed.

He added: “To inflict pain on our family, to terrorize us, to control we say. That's the kind people they are.”

Carlson offered no proof whatsoever of his claims, but Fondacaro didn't care -- he was just a slavishly willing stenographer, even helping Carlson with his alibi:

The Fox News host also predicted the sleazy paper would deny his claims, and he was correct. “While we do not confirm what we may or may publish in future editions, the Times has not and does not plan to expose any residence of Tucker Carlson’s, which Carlson was aware of before tonight’s broadcast,” they told left-wing Mediaite.

Carlson followed up by turning the situation around on The Times. “So how would Murray Carpenter and his photographer Tristan Spinski feel we told you where they lived, if we put pictures of their homes on the air,” he asked, also calling out media editor Jim Windolf. “We could do that. We know who they are.”

Fondacaro demonstrated that he's not a serious "news analyst" with his ridiculous description of the Times as "radically leftist." But then, he's a liar who apparently has Brent Bozell's approval to lie for the MRC.

Fondacaro was also careful to censor the fact that Carlson's distracting attack on the Timescame not only a couple weeks after Carlson was forced to fire his head writer,. Blake Neff, after he was exposed as a racist and misogynist (news the MRC has largely censored) but also came the very same day as news of the filing of a lawsuit against Carlson, Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities alleging sexual harassmsent.

After Carlson's  segment -- and Fondacaro's fawning defense -- appeared, Carlson's fans did what Carlson said he hinted he would do and spread the addresses and personal information about the Times reporters, upon which the fans targeted them with harassment and threats. We can assume that Fondacaro was cheering whwen he erad about that, so irrationally obsessed is he with destroying a newspaper that fails to fawn over President Trump, Carlson and other right-wingers the way he does.

So in thrall was Fondacaro to Carlson's far-right charms -- andso consumed with rage at the Times, as MRC employees are inculcated into being -- that he took his rage to his personal Twitter account, where he lashed out further at the Times. REsponding to a post from the Times repeating its statement that it never planned to publish Carlson's address, Fondacaro hissed, "Lies. This paper is a rag for extremists."

Needless to say, Fondacaro is lying again. He has no proof the Times is lying, and  only a right-wing extremist like Fondacaro would nonsensically screech that the paper is "a rag for extremists."

In another tweet, Fondacaro ranted further: "Note the tacit admission that they (via @Murray_journo) did hunt down Carlson and have his address. NOW, they say they’re not going to publish it. But they’ll probably just leak it because they hate him so much and want to see him hurt. The Times are a bunch of thugs." More lies -- Fondacaro bizarrely thinks it suspicious that a reporter would have the haddress of the person he's writing about. And Fondacaro's acting more like a "thug" than anyone at the Times.

Even after all that, Fondacaro was not done spewing his rage. When the Washington Post's Erik Wemple did an article on the story a few days later pointing that Carlson's accusation that the Times was publishing his address was false, Fondacaro harrumphed: "They're not false accusations you hack. Just because he got them to stop doesn't mean the slimebags at the Times weren't planing to expose where he lives. You really shouldn't be writing about Tucker anyway since you have a lot of personal animosity towards him given history."

Again, Fondacaro offered no evidence that Carlson's accusation was "not false" or that he "got them to stop," making him a liar yet again. ANdf it's hilarious that Fondacaro -- who is so clearly and utterly filled with rage and personal animosity toward everyone he writes about -- lecturing Wemple about the issue.

Fondacaro repeated his lie again in a tweet to CNN's Brian Stelter -- who Fondacaro has even more personal animosity for -- when he promoted Wemple's story: "Just because he called them out and got them to stop doesn't mean they weren't planning to do it. Even if they didn't publish the address in full, they would've given enough detail to put the Antifa terrorists on his trail. Stop making caveats and just admit it's wrong." Once again, Fondacaro offered no evidence to back up his claim.

Fondacaro had some harassment help this time, from MRC co-worker Curtis Houck. He was less ranty than Fondacaro, but Houck was clearly writing from the MRC's right-wing bubble, where Fox News is perfect and everyone else is evil. Targeting Stelter -- the CNN-deranged writer was not following his co-worker's instant rules about writing about someone with whom you have personal animosity -- Houck huffed: I'm all but certain Brian and Erik know that even publishing pictures of #Tucker's house would be more than enough for Antifa and other lefty mobs in their base to find their address. They get rightfully upset when they're harassed, but they don't care when it's not their side." As far as we can tell, Houck joined Fondacaro in being silent about the doxxing and harassment of the Times journalists, so we can assume he approves of that and is simply offering token criticism here.

Houck asserted in another tweet at Stelter: "#Tucker has every reason to be worried about his family, but it's all a game for Brian and Erik. A family with a history of Antifa coming to their house and threatening them would be reason to be concerned, but Brian doesn't care."

Actually, it's a game to Houck and Fondacaro too. They just want to destroy, and they don't care whose lifes are ruined, as long as it's not on their side.

The MRC has pretty much stopped being about "media research" and is pretty now just a rage-blog spewing hate at anyone who tells the truth about Carlson, Trump and any other right-wingers.

UPDATE: As blogger Oliver Willis pointed out, Carlson is being utterly hypocritical about his house being potentially exposed, since he apparently had no problem with other publications writing about his purchases of other homes in which a way that are easy to find.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2020 8:16 PM EDT
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch

It's time once again for our monthly check-in on editor Terry Jeffrey complaining about the ballooning federal deficit but refusing to admit that a Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate is largely responsible for it. He served up the usual in a July 13 article:

The federal government set records for both the amount of money it spent and the deficit it ran in the first nine months of fiscal 2020 (October through June), according to data released today in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

During the October-June period, the government spent a record $5,004,372,000,000 while it collected $2,260,069,000,000 in total taxes.

The resulting deficit of $2,744,303,000,000 was the largest the federal government has ever run in the first nine months of a fiscal year.

As per usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" appear nowhere in the article, and it's illustrated by a stock photo that includes Democrats -- in this case, Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer along with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence -- even though, again, Republicans and not Democrats are in control of the Senate and Pelosi controls only one-half of one branch of government.

This was followed by a July 15 column by Jeffrey that whined:

Back in fiscal 2019, which ended last September before COVID-19 hit, the federal government set two records.

It collected more money in individual income taxes than in any previous year — and then spent more.

Did the Americans who paid that record sum in income taxes get their money's worth?

Or were they ripped off?


Now assume all of that remaining $441,061,000,000 was used to help pay for the $600,706,000,000 the government spent on the Department of Defense and Military Programs in fiscal 2018.

After expending every dollar of remaining individual income tax revenue, the government would still need to find another $159,645,000,000 to fully fund the nation's defense.

Thus, after funding the "benefits and services for people with low income" that were counted in the Congressional Research Service report and the net interest on the debt and a portion of the Defense Department and Military Programs, there would be no revenue left from individual income tax collections to pay for such things as a Department of Justice or a Department of State.

Or a White House, House or Senate.

Again, Jeffrey failed to state the unambiguous fact that it was a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate that took the lead in allegedly ripping Americans off.

UPDATE: Jeffrey also failed to mention that he and his employer, the Media Research Center,  contributed to this growing federal deficit by accepting more than $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program money. That tells us that Jeffrey really doesn't have the courage of the conservative principles he likes to espouse.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:50 PM EDT
Monday, July 27, 2020
MRC's Graham Doesn't Exactly Say He's Opposed To Wanting Journalists Dead
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been cravenly callous about the safety of journalists, smearking them as whiners when they note the threatening behavior they receive whenever President Trump attacks the media for not being completely fawning -- it even suggested that journalists ought to feel threatened for not being Trump sycophants. Yet the MRC has the temerity to complain when this is pointed out.

Thus, we have a June 29 post from Tim Graham, who whined that "Brian Stelter lamented that Facebook was “radicalizing” people with allowing all this divisive speech on its platform. Then he welcomed on longtime PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers, who suggested it was a popular T-shirt at Trump rallies to suggest journalists should be lynched."

When Moyers stated that the sparse crowd at Trump's Tulsa rally wasn't "engaged" until he attacked a reporter, Graham huffed in response: "WRONG. First, Trump mocked a supposed CNN reporter in minute 12, and the crowd was passionate before that. Second, he was mocking “the CNN anchor, you know, did a little shave job on the head…standing in front of a burning building, saying things are very peaceful here.” That’s not female, and not even CNN: it was MSNBC’s Ali Velshi."

After conceding that Trump got the network of the CNN reporter wrong, Graham then smeared Moyers as suffereing from old-age dementia, claiming he was "stumbling through false claims at age 86."

Moyers then claimed that a "popular T-shirt out in the Trump rallies" reads "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly Required," Graham lost it again: "Stelter didn't ask for any evidence for this smear, that this awful T-shirt is "popular." He just said “Thank you very much.  Great to hear your insight.” No time for fact checks!

Well, Graham had time for fact-checks, and he performed none, failing to disprove Moyers' claim. The shirt is certainly popular enough that people wear it on airplanes -- and, yes, it has been seen at Trump rallies.

Graham gets paid well to try and destroy journalists for failing to be good Trump-bots like himself, and then he gets mad when people point out that his virluent hatred of journalists has a logical extension -- which, by the way, he ever explicitly says he's opposed to, even as his headline screams that "Stelter Sets Up Moyers to Smear Trump Fans as Wanting Reporters DEAD."

Such is life at the MRC these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 3:30 PM EDT
Newsmax Tries To (Anonymously) Back Up Bogus Trump Claim On Biden
Topic: Newsmax

It's generally agreed that President Trump got it wrong when he claimed Joe Biden wants to defund the police, and that Fox News host Chris Wallace was correct to call Trump out on that claim. But Newsmax -- whose CEO, Christopher Ruddy, is a buddy of Trump -- has decided differently.

Trump Was Right: Biden First Said He'd Defund Police" shouted the headline of an anonymously written July 19 piece. The nameless writer ranted:

It was like a "gotcha" moment reminiscent of Chris Wallace's dad on "60 Minutes."

Tapes are rolling. The president is the target.

The president says Joe Biden wants to defund the police.

Young Wallace snaps back, "No he does not."

But the facts show Trump was right. Biden had called for defunding the police.

And Trump was correct when he made the point in his interview Sunday with< Fox News host Wallace.


But earlier this month on liberal commentator Ady Barkan's podcast, Biden was asked if he supported defunding the police.

Barkan asked Biden: "[D]o we agree that we can redirect some of the [police] funding?"

Biden responded: "Yes, absolutely."

Even pro-Trump Fox News host Howard Kurtz wasn't buying this argument. Biden has never explicitly said he wanted to defund the police, and he pointed out the Biden interview with  Barkan went beyond ouir anonymous Newsmax writer's cherry-picked clip, adding that he would also "condition" funding on things like banning chokeholds. Kurtz also pointed out that defunding police and redirecting police funding aren't the same things, although "some say diverting is funding."

Our anonymous Newsmax writer went on to take refuge in conflating the two: "fter Biden's clear cut call for redirecting police funds, his campaign went into cleanup mode, denying Biden supported police defunding." he then regurgitated a Trump tweet repeating the falsehood.

But if this argument is so ironclad, why didn't our anonymous author want to put his or her name on it? It's unusual for Newsmax to publish anonymous opinion pieces. Maybe the writer is a bit ashamed of having to peddle this opinion.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:21 PM EDT
WND Still Pushing Hydroxychloroquine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Let's check in on WorldNetDaily's dubious doctors and other types to see how they're dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in terms of questionable cures and bad takes.

Andy Schlafly -- who is a lawyer, not a doctor -- devoted his June 30 column to praising the dubious benefits of hydroxychloroquine and denouncing its allegedly limited availablity to coronavirus patients as a Deep State conspiracy:

As the media sound alarm bells about a possible second wave of COVID, we should firmly reject another nationwide economic shutdown enforced by stay-home orders and mandatory masks. Republicans need an approach that gets Americans back to attending church, Trump rallies and in-person voting at local polling places.

Forcing everyone to wear a mask, even while jogging or boating, will do nothing to conquer the virus or restore public confidence. Sending the expensive new intravenous drug Remdesivir to hospitals, for COVID patients on their deathbed, will do nothing to calm public fears.

President Trump should turn instead to the approach liberals fear and oppose the most: making hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) widely available to the American people. Trump may not realize that the medication he took in May to successfully protect himself against COVID-19 is still inaccessible to most Americans.


Indeed, most world leaders have taken HCQ as a prophylaxis to protect against COVID-19, according to the president of El Salvador as quoted by CNN. And millions of ordinary folks in many foreign countries now have early access to this medication, which is helping conquer the virus outside of the United States.


Peter Navarro observed how the Deep State has been sabotaging Trump's reelection by blocking HCQ. He told the New York Times that this "is a Deep State blindside by bureaucrats who hate the administration they work for more than they're concerned about saving American lives."

It's time for others in the Trump administration to admit that Navarro was right, and make HCQ available immediately to all the American people, not just the well-connected few. Allowing a climate of fear to continue whereby Americans will not even attend church, let alone vote, is unhealthy for our country and unfair to Trump.

WND's chief dubious doc, Jane Orient, was still hyping hydroxychloroquine in her July 6 column, conspiratorially suggesting that randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of the drug were deliberately sabotaged: "They can be designed to fail, as by giving treatment too late or in an overdose that increases death or adverse effects, or they can fabricate data. Studies that had to be retracted were used to stop further research and treatment with HCQ."

Orient also tried to fearmonger about a possible vaccine, as she is wont to do: "Trials race on, but they are tainted with ethical questions. For example, demonstrators in South Africa carried signs saying 'We are NOT guinea pigs' and 'Gates, we are not your lab rats.' The African Centre for Biodiversity raised many concerns about the vaccine trial, such as withholding crucial safety information. The controversial Louis Farrakhan warns against taking the vaccine pushed by white multibillionaire Bill Gates. Do the lives of black African Africans matter if we badly need research results?"

Elizabeth Lee Vliet -- like Orient, linked to the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- gushed with an overactive italic function in her July 13 column: "Stunning positive news on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was released in early July, potentially opening up medical freedom at the time of America's celebration of our Declaration of Independence from British tyranny 244 years ago. During the first six days of July, SIX positive clinical studies of HCQ were released. ... All six studies showed that HCQ given early in COVID-19, alone or with zinc and azithromycin, reduces hospitalizations and deaths, with no serious heart or other adverse events."

Being a WND columnist and AAPS member, Vliet couldn't help but get conspiratorial: 

Americans urgently need to see this new and encouraging information to help relieve anxiety and fear about coronavirus. The mainstream media is still suppressing such information, which can both save lives and help America reopen safely.


The U.S. situation is out of control, with people dying and businesses shut down because of FDA roadblocks and governors' restrictive orders illegally overriding normal FDA regulations that allow physicians to prescribe any >FDA-approved medication (including HCQ) however they deem medically appropriate. Physicians in many states also face threats of investigation by their state medical boards for prescribing HCQ for COVID-19, and state pharmacy boards direct pharmacists to refuse to dispense HCQ for COVID patients. Such political interference with doctors' ability to treat patients has never happened before in my medical career.

At some point, the Trump administration has to take charge of this interference with effective medical treatment that is costing lives, and rein in the FDA and the state-by-state bureaucratic HCQ restrictions.

Schlafly -- again, not a doctor -- followed up on July 14 with a demand that hydroxychloroquine be made over-the-copunter:

It is time to take the bull by the horns to conquer the Wuhan virus. Drastic action is necessary, like on Dec. 8, 1941, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

President Trump should order immediate public access to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) by making the medication available over-the-counter (OTC). Liberals have interfered with public access to this medication for COVID-19 through the old-fashioned route of requiring a prescription and then having a pharmacist fill or reject the prescription.


No one credibly doubts that HCQ is safe, and safer than many medications currently available OTC. No one credibly doubts the dozens of studies showing that early use of HCQ, pre-exposure and immediately after exposure to COVID, has helped many overcome this dreaded disease.

He too went conspiratorial: "Every state board of pharmacy or medicine is controlled by left-leaning government workers who, by and large, despise President Trump and hope he loses in November. They are accomplishing their dream by choking off public access to HCQ."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Sunday, July 26, 2020
The MRC's Focused, Dishonest Campaign To Brand Black Lives Matter As 'Marxist'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent late May and early June following orders from the Trump re-election campaign, blaming Antifa for unrest in the wake of the police-caused death of George Floyd. But as it became clear that there were no roving bands of Antifa anarchists following orders from Antifa Central, the MRC had to abandon that narrative (mostly). But Trump must be served, and a scapegoat was still needed. Thus, the MRC glommed onto a new target: Black Lives Matter.

Because some early founders of BLM had stated they were "trained Marxists," that  purported extremism became the new MRC narrative. The MRC rushed to defend Fox News host Tucker Carlson paranoid rant that Black Lives Matter "is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will." Joseph Vazquez harrumphed his approval of Carlson's rant -- "No kidding" -- and bemoaned that advertisers were dropping ads on his show because did not want to be associated with such extremism. Vazquez didn't put it that way, of course, portraying Carlson as a victim who is "under threat of ad boycotts for not catering to the hive-minded mob." And Nicholas Fondacaro gushed like a schoolgirl a few days later under the hagiographic headline "Unfazed By Thought Police, Tucker Carlson Speaks Truth to BLM Power," effusing over how Carlson "was unfazed by the liberal thought police as he delivered a 17-minute-plus opening monologue Monday night speaking truth to the power of the Black Lives Matter movement. He called out their bullying tactics, manipulation of our moral values, and the brutalization of anyone who even offered mild criticism of the group."

A few days later, Clay Waters huffed: "Black Lives Matter (as opposed to the truistic slogan 'Black Lives Matter') is a political organization that has controversial positions, including defunding the police, reparations, and 'a reconstruction of the economy to ensure our communities have collective ownership' that are up for debate in a free society." And the malicious rebranding campaign was on:

  • Gabriel Hays declared that you must "recognize Black Lives Matter for what it truly is, a militant marxist movement – reminiscent of Mao’s China – aimed at shaming weak-minded individuals into denouncing their western way of life under the guise of appeasing some manufactured racial grievance." (Not wanting to be killed by police is a "manufactured racial grievance"?)
  • Hays returned to rant that "Teen Vogue is really pushing to indoctrinate young people into the Marxist designs of the Black Lives Matter movement."
  • Julie Mitchell complained that the BET Awards was "promoting the marxist Black Lives Matter movement."
  • Kyle Drennen grumbled that "Apparently NBC’s idea of patriotism is cheering on a radical Marxist organization determined on bringing about “revolution” across the United States."
  • Curtis Houck touted how White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany delivered a screed against journalists who had purportedly decided to "defend the anti-family, hateful, and Marxist Black Lives Matter organization over the Constitution and accusing the President of racism for disagreeing with BLM."
  • Duncan Schroeder asserted that "Black Lives Matter, which is a radical, Marxist organization that is responsible for the rioting, looting, and violence in recent protests." Schroeder's evidence that BLM "is responsible for the rioting, looting, and violence" is a link to a Tucker Carlson monologue that offered no proof to back up the claim.
  • Hays returned again to attack BLM as a "Marxist radical outfit."
  • Drennen equated having BLM activists on TV with "enabling Marxist radicals who preach violent action."
  • Fondacaro regurgitated a Fox News segment with Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis homeowner who along with his wife were recklessly waving weapons at protesters walking past his house, in which he stated that BLM and other groups are "Marxist and oppose everything I stand for and I hold dear and near."
  • Hays (again) huffed about "Marxist Black Lives Matter tenets."
  • Fondacaro ranted: "For almost 50 days, Black Lives Matter Marxists have been engaging in almost nightly battles with federal agents outside the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, effectively turning the streets into a war zone." Fondacaro offered no evidence that BLM played a role in the protests, even as he went on to brand the unrest as "Black Lives Matter riots."
  • Schroeder praised Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler for "correctly describing BLM as a radical Marxist organization."
  • Jay Maxson ranted about "the Marxist anarchist Black Lives Matter movement," uncritically quoting MRC sacred cow Mark Levin asking if pro athletes "know they are embracing a Marxist-anarchist movement."
  • Scott Whitlock pretended to care about civil rights in his attack: "CBS This Morningrightly honored the life and legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis on Monday. Yet, they dishonored this tribute with a softball interview of the radical, Marxist, dictator-supporting co-founders of Black Lives Matter."
  • Maxson whined that baseball players "took a knee Monday ... in solidarity with the Marxists of Black Lives Matter prior to a game."

All this reads like someone fed MRC writers talking points and their job was to use it as many times as possible. Indeed, it appears to have come straight from the top: A July 1 piece by Brent Bozell (no, we didn't see Tim Graham's byline anywhere) at the Daily Caller attacking BLM included this screed: "Black Lives Matter was founded by radical extremists who are perfectly pleased with the rioting, looting, vandalism and violence that have plagued our cities for the past several weeks. ... These are Marxists following the Maoist playbook in China during the late ’60s and early ’70s. The Maoist revolutionaries vandalized temples, tore down statues and destroyed artifacts. The opposition was marched to re-education camps."

Because the MRC has marching orders to fulfill, they're not going to tell you the truth about BLM; it must fall to actual fact-checkers to do so. Just because the BLM founders desribed themselves as "trained Marxists" doesn't mean the organization today operates as a Marxist group and that all who associated with it are automatically Marxists, let alone the strict Maoists that Bozell thinks they are. A scholar at the conservativeHoover Institution has pointed out that BLM's support for "gender identity politics sets it apart from historical Marxism," and it has not declared itself to be "expressly anti-capitalist."

The MRC is not offering any sort of cogent, reasoned analysis of the issue; it is engaged in partisan name-calling that defies facts. It knows exactly what it's doing, and who it's doing it for.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 2:21 PM EDT
CNS Reporter Pushes Anti-Dem Narrative Of His Employer
Topic: reporter Patrick Goodenough has evolved from being a relatively straight reporter to being a pro-Trump propagandist. When his reporting focuses on Democrats, that bias is clearer than evern.

In a June 25 article, Goodenough fretted over the defeat of Rep. Eliot Engel, "a 16-term veteran backed by the party establishment," in the Democratic primary for a New York House seat by Jamaal Bowman, who was "endorsed by the high-profile 'squad' member" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who similarly defeated a longtime Democratic incumbent in a party primary. Goodenough references the "squad" four times in his article, while he also rushed to defend Engel as the kind of Democrat he prefers, or at least will tolerate:

Engel ticks many of the liberal Democrat [sic] boxes, as his campaign’s Twitter feed made sure voters were reminded of on primary day, highlighting his 100 percent ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, endorsements from the Sierra Club, Stonewall Democrats, New York AFL-CIO, among others, and his “F” rating from the NRA.

He also played a leading role in the impeachment of President Trump, a point underlined by Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff in his endorsement of Engel.

But his foreign policy stance puts him at odds with progressive activists: Engel voted in favor of the Iraq War, was the most prominent of a handful of House Democrats to oppose the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal, and is viewed as one of the most pro-Israel voices in the Democratic caucus.

Goodenough also hyped Bowman's declaration that "I can’t wait to get to DC and cause problems for those maintaining the status quo" -- putting it not onlyin the article itself but also in the caption of a picture of Bowman and in the headline.

Goodenough also misled about Ocasio-Cortez's primary in stating that she "easily won her primary in the 14th district, winning around 70 percent against a centrist challenger" (which, by the way, is the only reference to AOC's victory to be found at CNS). In fact, the challenger, former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, is not "centrist": she's a Republican disguised as a Democrat -- she even wrote a book touting conservative principles titled "You Know I'm Right" -- who didn't even live in the congressional district until a few months before she entered the race, having previously lived for years in a $15,000-a-month apartment in a Donald Trump-operated building in Manhattan. She also received financial support from business groups that normally support only Republicans.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EDT
Saturday, July 25, 2020
MRC Complains About Lack Of Tara Reade Coverage -- As It Censors Fox News Sexual Harassment
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has always been hypocritial about Tara Reade, the woman who accused Joe Biden of sexual misconduct nearly 30 years ago. As we've pointed out, the MRC cares nothing about her as a person -- her only usefulness is as a cudgel to attack Biden on behalf of President Trump, even as it denigrated a woman who accused Trump of rape.

The dishonesty and the double standard continued in a June 29 post by Bill D'Agostino:

While liberal TV news outlets have fallen all over themselves in a rush to disapprove of anything involving Donald Trump, they’ve kept their airwaves largely free of any negative stories about his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden. In fact, it’s been more than a month since ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC or NBC have even mentioned the accusations of Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer who alleges that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

MRC analysts have looked at all broadcast and cable news coverage since the charges against Biden first surfaced on March 25. After a brief amount of coverage in April and May, and despite corroboration of Reade’s account, all of these networks dropped the story entirely.

But D'Agostino censored news that countered his narrative that Reade is credible: Politico looked into Reade's background and found a history of manipulative and deceitful behavior, and a PBS report that interviewed 74 former Biden staffers, many of whom disputed Reade's accusation based on their experiences with Biden.The only place you'll find these pieces referenced at the MRC is in a May 15 post by Tim Graham, who dismissed the Politico article as a "hit piece" and the PBS investigation with whataboutism, complaining that "Clarence Thomas's co-workers showed overwhelming support for Thomas and rejected Anita Hill's claims, but that didn't slow down the media's I Believe Anita boosters." At no point did Graham dispute the accuracy of either piece.

The day after Dagostino's "study," Scott Whitlock served up a post with the whining headline "In May, Hypocrite John Oliver PROMISED to Return to Tara Reade. He LIED." The whining continued:

It’s been eight weeks since HBO host John Oliver allowed a pathetic 26 seconds to the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. On the May 3 show, the HBO host promised her story would be “ fully investigated” and “I am sure that we will talk more about this as the story unfolds.” 

He hasn’t returned to it. In the seven shows that have aired since, ZERO seconds were devoted to Reade and her claim of forcible penetration by the then-Democratic senator.

While D'Agostino and Whitlock were clutching their pearls over purported lack of coverage of the Reade story, they and their MRC coworkers were actively censoring the latest tales of sexual harassment at Fox News -- something they have lots of practice with, given how often Fox News personalities have been accused of untoward behavior.

On July 1, Fox News announced it had fired pro-Trump correspondent and anchor Ed Henry after a complaint of sexual harassment against him. This follows a 2016 suspension by Fox News following news of an extramarital affair. Not even a history of denouncing Henry as not sufficiently down with the Fox News agenda for the offense of asking non-softball questions to MRC sacred cow Mark Levin didn't even draw out the MRC gloating we know so well.

then, on July 20, two women -- a former Fox News producer and a once-frequent guest on the channel -- sued Fox News and hosts including Henry, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz, accusing them of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. One woman even accused Henry of raping her.

This story too has been completely censored. The only mention of it we could find was on Brent Bozell's Twitter account, where he huffed: "I know Sean, Tucker and Howie. They are all honorable men. This stinks to high heaven. I don't believe a word of it."

In other words, he's doing what Graham complained PBS did in using people's personal experience as a n excuse to dismiss the complaint. And he's certainly not giving these women the benefit of the doubt his organization is giving Tara Reade.

It's as if the MRC's treatment of sexual harassment allegations depends entirely on the employer or political agenda of the accused.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 AM EDT

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