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Sunday, August 23, 2020
CNS Invoking Chicago Violence To Help Trump Get Re-Elected
Topic: loves to invoke reports of inner-city violence, particularly in Chicago, when it decides that it's advantageous to its right-wing political agenda to do so. Right now, President Trump has to be re-elected, and emphasizing such incidents is a key part of that. Thus, as a loyal Trump supporter, CNS has ramped up what it's already been doing.

In a June 29 article, Craig Bannister promoted a Chicago pastor who "called for a three-step response to the violence in his city that took the lives of 13 people, including a one year-old child, last weekend" in an appearance on Fox News.

John Jakubisin dutifully reported in a July 13 article: 'New York City and Chicago saw another weekend of violence with shooting victims totaling 64 in Chicago and 28 in New York City, including a 1-year-old boy, reported the local media Chicago Sun-Times and The New York Post." Jakubisin also repeated mostly conservative-friendly explanations of the violence: "The cause of the uptick in shootings remains unclear. Some have pointed to the economic downturn following COVID-19, while others have said the cuts to police budgets and presence have caused the increase. Officials with the NYC Police have indicated that prison releases and bail reform might be a significant factor as well."

Jakubisin did this again on July 20: "Violence continued in Chicago as 40 shootings left 58 people wounded and 9 dead over the weekend, according to WGN 9. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced an “End Gun Violence” plan in reaction to the recent rise in shootings." He also highlighted "a $1 billion cut to the NYPD budget, supported by Mayor de Blasio." This continued over the following weeks:

  • July 27: "In Chicago over the weekend, 56 people were wounded and 3 others were killed by gun violence. The wounded included a 13-year-old girl, according to the Chicago Sun-Times." Jakubisin also called Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot a "left-wing Democrat."
  • Aug. 3: "Chicago saw another violent weekend in which 33 people were shot, 9 fatally, including a 9-year-old-boy, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News. The weekend capped off the month of July which experienced a 139% increase in murders  in comparison to July of 2019."
  • Aug. 10: "Over the weekend in Chicago, 40 people were shot, four fatally, and riots swept through the city Sunday night. In the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, 20 people were shot at a block party, including a 17-year-old who was killed."

This was joined by CNS featuring partisans invoking the violence for political reasons.

A July 7 article by Melanie Arter featured White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany complaining that reporters were "not asking about the shootings that took place over the weekend in cities like New York City, Atlanta and Chicago."

Jakubisin touted how CNS' favorite right-wing radio host Mark Levin claimed that "Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Democrat party [sic] had offered no policy or response to the recent uptick of inner city shootings."

Susan Jones gushed at how Republican Rep. John Kennedy asserted on Fox News that "Chicago is now the largest outdoor shooting range in America,"

Arter promoted on July 22 how "President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he is sending “a surge of federal law enforcement” into Chicago to help quell inner-city violence that has increased recently under the leadership of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and eventually into other U.S. plagued by an uptick in violent crime," uncritically repeating how he claimed that politicians have “put the interest of criminals above the rights of law-abiding citizens” for decades and are now embracing “the far left movement” to break up police departments as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, “causing violent crimes in the cities to spiral … out of control.”

Bannister featured how right-wing activist Dan Bongino "praised the president for not taking the advice of those telling him to let Chicago continue to suffer the consequences of the anti-police polices of its Democrat leaders" in, yes, a Fox News appearance.

Arter was in stenography mode again in a July 23 article featuring Trump claiming that "Former President Barack Obama was at fault for the increase in homicides in Chicago in 2016, because he was invited in and could have solved the problem."

In an Aug. 11 article, Bannister touted how Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera claimed that "his friends in Chicago tell him they’re terrified by what’s taking place in their city."

Jakubisin wrote in an Aug. 13 article on how "Chicago looters and rioters ruined the birthday celebration of 2-year-old Owen Buell, who lives with his family at the Chicago Ronald McDonald House while being treated for Stage 4 neuroblastoma, reported the Gateway Pundit."Jakubisin didn't mention that Gateway Pundit is a notoriously unreliable website that nobody should be quoting authoritatively.

Arter served up even more stenograhy on Aug. 17, featuring how "President Donald Trump posed the question to voters on Monday whether they want “the radical left policies” of Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco imposed on the entire country" and invoking "the failed policies" of Lightfoot and other "left-wing Democrats."

Make no mistake -- CNS is focusing on Chicago violence to help Trump get re-elected, not because it cares about reporting news.

UPDATE: An Aug. 24 post by Bannister touted another fearmongering complaint by Rivera, touting how he "tweeted out the tally of shootings in Chicago over the weekend, introducing video of his Sunday commentary on how Democrats are ignoring the violence when blacks shoot and kill other blacks."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 24, 2020 4:59 PM EDT
Saturday, August 22, 2020
The MRC's Summer Of Swooning Over McEnany
Topic: Media Research Center

In his July 10 column, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham took exception to some media commentators complaining about White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's "walk-offs," in which she demans an insults a reporter then, apparently believing this to be a mic-drop moment, hustles out of the briefing room. Graham quoted one observer saying that "these mic drops create delight for Trump and 'the universe of Trump-friendly websites,' who turn these commentaries into clips "for the MAGA-sphere." That's true. McEnany's commentaries are great clickbait for people who want to see arrogant reporters get a dose of their own medicine."

Indeed, a significant percentage of the MRC's content over the past few months has been over-the-top gushing over McEnany's walk-offs and other media-bashing. A sample, many of which were written by Curtis Houck:

Notice that several of those clips focus on CNN in general and Jim Acosta in particular, whom Houck has a pathological hatred of.

Nevertheless, Graham played whataboutism over the criticism of McEnany, insisting that it was reporters who asked provocative questions, and not her, who were grandstanding, while taking a shot at Politico reporter Ryan Lizza's "live-in girlfriend":

Lizza isn't being honest, because he represents "pure theater" and "negative partisanship" from the other side of the exchange. On May 26, he asked McEnany this beanball question repeatedly: "We're about to cross the 100,000 dead American milestone...on Election Day, what does the White House view the number of dead Americans where you can say that you successfully defeated this pandemic? Is there a number?"

Recently, Lizza asked her facetiously, "Does President Trump believe that it was a good thing that the South lost the Civil War?"

Lizza's live-in girlfriend, Olivia Nuzzi of New York Magazine, beat him to the sleazy punch when she asked Trump on April 27, "If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be reelected?"

This kind of question is performance art. It's a look-at-me spectacle, a Jim Acosta bump and grind. There's nothing "quaint" about it.

Strange how Graham is apparently scandalized by two reporters living together without benefit of marriage while giving a pass to a president who paid hush money to porn stars.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EDT
WND's Brown Whiffs On Playing The Alinsky Card
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown devorted his July 24 WorldNetDaily column to ranting about Black Lives Matter, going back in time to invoke Barack Obama and Saul Alinsky:

While Saul Alinsky can be connected directly to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, I'm not aware that such a clear connection exists between the founders of the BLM movement and Alinsky, who died in 1972. But there is no doubt that they share his philosophy of cultural revolution.

In his insightful, 2009 mini-book, "Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model," David Horowitz quoted an SDS radical who wrote, "The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution."

As Horowitz explained, "In other words the cause – whether inner city blacks or women – is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution. That was the all-consuming focus of Alinsky and his radicals."

When it comes to BLM, the purported issue, namely, that Black Lives Matter, is not the ultimate issue. Instead, a larger cultural revolution is the ultimate issue. (As many have noted, the founders of BLM are both Marxists and radical feminists, with two of the three women identifying as queer activists.)

And so, the mantra that "Black Lives Matter" specifically means blacks who are victims of white police brutality. Black lives in the womb do not matter. Blacks getting gunned down in gang violence do not matter. Black toddlers killed in random shootings do not matter. Not even blacks killed by black police officers matter – at least not nearly as much as blacks killed by white officers.


BLM is playing by the book. Alinsky's book.

For good reason Gregory A. wrote on, "It's time to stop supporting this anti-American organization that is working to sow division, spread lies, and destroying the country. Their playbook comes straight from 'Rules for Radicals' by Saul Alinsky who dedicated his book to Lucifer. They aren't looking for unity, but to destroy anyone who doesn't agree with their radical Marxist philosophy. Black Lives Matter leaders know how to cause chaos and to turn us against each other. Individuals and corporations must stop pandering to this organization that is working to tear the country apart."

Precisely so.

Brown is writing like someone who has never read anything by Saul Alinsky and knows him only as a bogeyman to invoke when trying to make liberals sound scary. And he clearly didn't read the 12 Alinsky rules for grassroots organizing he linked to; if he had, he would have seen there was nothing inherently politically "radical" in them. Alinsky wasn't an socialist or communist ideologue; he was a political organizer on the left.

Brown's invoking of Horowitz is deceptive; he apparently doesn't know that Horowitz thinks enough of Alinsky's tactics that he advocates that conservatives use them.

Finally, Brown uncritically repeated the right-wing lie that Alinsky "dedicated" his book "Rules for Radicals" to Lucifer. In fact, the book is dedicated to his wife; the beginning of the book also offers "an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history ... the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 23, 2020 9:24 PM EDT
Friday, August 21, 2020
MRC's Hypocrisy On Nazi Comparisons Rears Its Head Yet Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck whined in a July 24 post:

MSNBC’s The ReidOut barreled into Thursday with another hour priming viewers to hate law enforcement and dismiss urban crime as a fake, racist narrative concocted by President Trump to scare white people. But things went a step further when host Joy Reid refused to call out Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for comparing federal agents to Nazis.


After introducing her lead-off panel, she spewed more lies about federal agents, claiming they’re mysteriously “snatching people off the streets” and have been both “unnamed.”

This gave Krasner the green light to hurl hate and venom at men and women who, like him, take an oath to uphold and defend the laws of our country. Without a challenge, he compared them to Nazis his father and uncles fought in World War II [.]

The MRC clearly knows who the real Nazis are, and it's ... social media?

Yep. MRC chief Brent Bozell unironically went there four days later in attacking social media operations for shutting dodwn a misinformation-laden video about coronavirus that had been retweeted by President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. (emphasis added):

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all worked in concert to mass censor material from President Donald Trump, his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Facebook event hosted by the Tea Party Patriots that involved doctors discussing COVID-19.

Yet these tech companies are about to be grilled in Congress on July 29 at an antitrust hearing. 

The Big Tech Gestapo are at it again! Facebook, Google, and YouTube went insane yesterday and again shut down free speech, removing a viral @BreitbartNewsvideo of a @TPPatriots event. Big Tech can’t be allowed to choose whose voice is heard,” said MRC President and founder L. Brent Bozell on Twitter.

Needless to say, Bozell wasn't about to acknowledge that the video contained misinformation about treating coronavirus, and there's no evidence that any of the doctors in the video had ever, in fact, treated it.

Bozell seems pretty proud of going Godwin, but it undermines any MRC criticism of someone in the media using Nazi references to criticize Trump or other conservatives. Then again, the MRC has a long history of hypocrisy on the issue

Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
CNS Editor Bizarrely Likens Biden To King Henry VIII

With his rabidly anti-Biden editorials, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey doesn't inspire confidence in the fairness and balance of the "news" organization he runs.

In his July 22 column, Jeffrey ludicrously tried to liken Joe Biden to King Henry VIII, though try as he might, even he labored profusely to make the case that beheading Sir Thomas More and having insurance policies cover contraception is the exact same thing:

As punishment for following his conscience rather than a tyrant, Henry VIII beheaded More.

Now, More lives as a saint in heaven — and Henry VIII's name lives in infamy.

As noted, Biden says on his campaign website, "I'm a practicing Catholic."

But when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration, that administration issued a regulation that Catholics and other Christians could not in good conscience obey.


"If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions," Biden said.

Unlike Henry VIII, Biden will not behead those who refuse to act against their consciences and obey his mandate.

He will merely fine them millions of dollars — every year.

In his Aug. 12 column, Jeffrey ranted that "Joe Biden did not look to his right for a running mate. He picked someone whose policy prescriptions — like his own — are unambiguously on the left. Not only does Kamala Harris support Medicare for all, she would allow non-heterosexual people to be part of government:

She not only promised to appoint "transgender" people to "leadership roles" in her own presidential administration, but she also argued that "transition-related care" needed to be part of "comprehensive health care."

"And I will be intentional about appointing LGBTQ+ people — including transgender and gender non-conforming individuals — to leadership roles throughout my administration, from my cabinet to the federal bench and beyond," Harris said in an op-ed published on Nov. 1, 2019, in the Las Vegas Spectrum, which describes itself as a "news magazine geared to the LGBTQ and progressive community."

Does her commitment to appoint "transgender" individuals to her cabinet mean she would advocate for a biological male who says he is a female to be nominated to Biden's cabinet?

Would she advocate that a biological male who says he is female be appointed secretary of state? Secretary of defense?

Jeffrey didn't explain why such a thing would matter beyond CNS homophobes like himself and managing editor Michael W. Chapman.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Thursday, August 20, 2020
AIM Is Mad The Truth About Herman Cain And Coronavirus Is Told
Topic: Accuracy in Media

We've noted how the Media Research Center threw tantrums when media pointed out the likelihood that Herman Cain picked up the coronavirus that ultimately killed him during a rally for President Trump in Tulsa in June. Now Accuracy in Media publisher Don Irvine is treating this fact as a smear in a Aug. 3 post:

In a headline Sunday, Reuters insinuated that former presidential candidate Herman Cain’s death from COVID-19 was due to his refusal to wear a mask.

Cain, 74, died Thursday after spending most of July in an Atlanta-area hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 29, which Reuters noted was just nine days after a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that Cain attended without a mask.

The Reuters story also pointed out how many Trump supporters — of which Cain was one — are against wearing masks, mentioning his tweet about Trump’s July 4 celebration at Mount Rushmore.

“Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”

Cain was a successful businessman and talk-show host and did not deserve to be smeared by Reuters for exercising his rights as an American to not wear a mask.

It's not a "smear" to report a fact. It's indisputable that Cain largely refused to wear a mask, and you don't have to be a "smear artist" to point out the basics of how viruses spread and how that played into Cain's illness.If you don't wear a mask while attending crowded events like Trump rallies, there's a chance you'll catch something. Unfortunately for Cain, the bug going around this year is coronavirus, which can kill you.

Irvine's post is of the old-school media attack in which reporting inconvenient facts about conservatives equals "liberal bias."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:37 PM EDT
Yes, MRC, Kanye's Presidential Campaign Is A GOP Trick
Topic: Media Research Center

Michael Dellano wrote in a Aug. 6 Media Research Center post:

The Biden-backing media have been dumbfounded for weeks with the presidential campaign of rap star Kayne West, and by their twisted logic, the rational move was to blame it on Republicans.  On Wednesday night’s All In, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, alongside other leftist hacks, accused Republicans of propping up West’s campaign.

Hayes used the topic as a cover for all of his other absurd theories about Trump’s 2020 campaign:

Republicans are obviously pinning their hopes on Kanye West to siphon off enough votes to squeeze Donald Trump through. But that's just one part of the strategy, right, that alone is not enough. You also needed to make it hard for people to vote, to suppress the votes of Democratic voters, which the Republican Party is aggressively trying to do. And then they also have to hope in the next few months, say, Russia delivers, or some other foreign adversary. 

It doesn’t matter whether or not Hayes has any evidence for his wild claims, he was just using it as a way to delegitimize the results of the 2020 election in case Trump wins. Hayes just wanted to fantasize that West’s presidential bid was another way for the election to be “hacked” by the GOP.

West has been talking about running for president as far back as 2015, saying he wanted to run in 2020, then changed his mind to 2024 after sitting down with President-elect Trump. So the entire narrative that West’s vanity project is some sort of “dirty trick” by Republicans has no basis in fact.

Except, you know, for all the evidence to the contrary:

  • Efforts to get West on the ballot in at least five states are being led by Republicans.
  • Another group gathering signatures in Wyoming to put West on the ballot there made a point of telling would-be signatories that putting west on the ballot would "take votes" from Joe Biden. As Newsmax noted: "The tactic appeared to work, as the journalists witnessed several people sign the document. One woman expressed her excitement at helping Trump win another term in office."
  • West met with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a few weeks ago.

The MRC would rather that you forget how much it used to hate Kanye West until he started sucking up to Trump.

And don't expect the MRC to issue a correction -- it doesn't do so when that would interfere with its anti-media agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:29 PM EDT
FAIL: CNS Managing Editor's Fact-Check Gets It Wrong
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in an Aug. 17 article:

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues in Congress about President Trump's alleged manipulation of the U.S. Postal Service, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) falsely claims that "Social Security benefits" are delivered by mail.

This is not true because, as the Social Security Administration states in its own literature, "If you get Social Security benefits, you must receive your payments electronically."


However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped mailing benefit checks to retired Americans many years ago. 

In its brochure on receiving Social Security benefits, the agency states: "If you get Social Security benefits, you must receive your payments electronically. You can do so by signing up for direct deposit, which sends payments directly into your bank account. Or, you can have your benefits automatically deposited into your Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® account."

The SSA then goes on to explain how you can set up a direct deposit account with your bank or credit union online or by telephone.

Well, that's somewhat less than true. As Media Matters documents, while most Social Security recipients do get their money electronically, about 550,000 people still receive checks in the mail, and an additional 300,000 people receive other Social Security-related money through the mail.

Numerous right-wingers issued the false fact-check on Pelosi, and Chapman just parroted it, refusing to be bothered to look into the facts himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The Florida Men At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center touted Florida and its Republican governor as an example of how to handle coronavirus -- then had to go into defense mode when the state became an epicenter of coronavirus infection. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EDT
WND's Schlafly Remains Obsessed With Hydroxychloroquine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Andy Schlafly is not a doctor -- he's an attorney who works for the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and is trying to trade on his being the son of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly to build his own right-wing cred. But you'd think he has some medical background the way he rants about hydroxychloroquine being the magic bullet to cure coronavirus despite the fact that studies have been varied and inconclusive. He still won't shut up about it.

In his July 28 WorldNetDaily column, he actually demanded that President Trump issue an executive order promoting hydroxychloroquine:

Liberal, anti-Trump tech monopolies are on the rampage with their modern equivalent of book burning. Twitter suspended the account of the president's son, Don Jr., because he dared to tweet out information favorable to HCQ, and Twitter deleted retweets by the president, too.

Amid this blatant censorship, it is time for President Trump to go directly to the American people. By executive order he should command release of the more than 50 million doses of HCQ that are being withheld from the public in the Strategic National Stockpile.

President Trump should also order his secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar, to post updated lists of where the public can access COVID medication without interference by Never-Trumpers and comrades of Anthony Fauci, who has again disparaged the effectiveness of HCQ despite its success in numerous studies and many countries for treating COVID.

President Trump was right to retweet complaints about interference by Democrats with timely, early treatment for COVID. The election may hinge on whether people are allowed to obtain early treatment for the disease, and blocking access interferes with Trump’s reelection.

Schlafly also went on an anti-vaxxer tear, dismissing a possible coronavirus vaccine as "liberal fool's gold" and bragged about how his fellow right-wingers have claimed they won't get a vaccine -- even though a vaccine would be better protection against COVID-19 than hydroxychloroquine.

In his Aug. 4 column, Schlafly remembered the late Herman Cain, touting how he "spoke out against the political interference with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an effective preventive and early medication for COVID-19, and despite tweets from the hospital there is no indication that he timely received that beneficial treatment." He didn't mention the possibility that Cain contracted coronavirus at a June rally Trump held in Tulsa. 

Instead, he ranted further about HCQ:

At age only 74, he was younger than the Democratic nominee Joe Biden who undoubtedly would receive essential early treatment to overcome COVID-19 if Biden ever does contract it. Biden would not languish in a hospital for weeks as Boris Johnson and Herman Cain did, with Cain tragically not surviving.

Georgia continues to interfere with the use of HCQ to treat victims of the Wuhan virus, by enforcing unprecedented regulations written especially to block access to this medication. Liberal bureaucrats in Georgia imposed an emergency regulation to prohibit access to HCQ by Herman Cain and others unless the prescription has a diagnosis "consistent with the evidence for its use."

According to the opponents of Donald Trump (and Herman Cain), that regulation prevents a prescription for HCQ from ever being filled to treat COVID in Georgia. Yet had Cain been exposed to COVID in any of dozens of foreign countries that allow access to HCQ, then he could have received it early in the course of the disease and still be with us today.

For his Aug. 18 column, Schlafly imposed his HCQ obsession on the presidential election by telling Trump to give it away like candy at his rallies:

To win comfortably in less than three months, President Trump needs to find 10 million new votes. The prospect of millions of dubious mail-in ballots adds further pressure on Republicans to attract votes.


But in fact the 10 million new votes for Trump are there for the asking, and we even know where to look. They are among the roughly 20 million Americans who watched and supported the July 27 news conference by a group of white-coated physicians who endorse early treatment of COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

That massive audience, younger and many times the size of the viewership of cable news shows, contains the votes Republicans can have for the asking. The Big Tech monopolies certainly knew how seriously that audience threatened the candidacy of Joe Biden, so they took down the video almost as quickly as it was posted.

Trump can quench the thirst of those 20 million viewers of the HCQ press conference. Neither addictive nor expensive, HCQ is reportedly consumed like water in Africa, where it is routinely used by residents and visitors alike to protect against malaria. Trump will win if he makes it available.

According to Trump's liberal opponents, attending a Trump rally could be as dangerous as visiting a malaria-infected region of Africa. Just as HCQ is prescribed for travelers to Africa, it should be prescribed as a prophylaxis for attendees at Trump rallies where liberals say that participants risk deadly exposure to COVID-19 merely by attending.

Better yet, Trump could arrange for open-minded pharmacists to be there to fill the prescriptions for HCQ on the spot. After taking this preventive medication, attendees would then rock the rally with new confidence and enthusiasm.

Imagine the twin benefits that would yield for the 20 million Americans seeking access to HCQ: They would obtain the protective medicine they want and also have the opportunity to help reelect Trump. This would be a "win-win" for everyone except Joe Biden, who would ramble incoherently against it.


Victory in November requires saying no to unreliable mail-in voting, but yes to inexpensive, preventive treatment of COVID-19. Let the Trump rallies return with confidence, and carry him to victory.

Again: Schlafly is not a doctor -- he's just parroting his equally HCQ-obsessed AAPS colleagues.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 12:49 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
MRC Is Mad Pelosi Deepfake Videos Accurately Identified As Deepfake Videos
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loes manipulated "deepfake" videos designed to make Nancy Pelosi look bad, and they can't understand why social media operations want to label the deepfakes as deepfakes.

In May 2019, Alexander Hall and Corinne Weaver got mad that a Pelosi deepfake video was identified as such:

Journalists freaked out over a slowed-down video that made Nancy Pelosi look silly and have sparked a debate over what videos should and shouldn’t be permitted online. The result was a pile-on with the media calling for speech to be silenced,


Several liberal journalists from major news sources condemned the video as a sinister deep-fake threatening American democracy. One of the most prominent tech journalists,Times contributor and Recode co-founder Kara Swisher condemned Facebook for allowing the video to spread.

”This week, unlike YouTube, Facebook decided to keep up a video deliberately and maliciously doctored to make it appear as if Speaker Nancy Pelosi was drunk or perhaps crazy,” she wrote. 

Other journalists, if not publishing articles criticizing the video openly loathed the free-for-all nature of social media for allowing misinformation or “hate” speech.

Hall and Weaver went on to complaine that "Liberals blamed hate speech even though the Pelosi video simply mocker [sic] her."

Hall followed up in a Aug. 3 post about the treatement of another Pelosi deepfake:

Liberal journalists are once again panicking over a video that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look foolish.

“Facebook's fact-checkers on Sunday labeled it as ‘partly false’ a video that it said was manipulated to make it appear as if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was drunk or drugged,” CNN reported August 3. The video had reportedly circulated on Facebook for a few days and has reached more than 2 million views. 

The clip was shared with the caption, "This is unbelievable, she is blowed out of her mind, I bet this gets taken down!" The Hill summarized that the footage in question was a “55-second video from a May press conference in which Pelosi addresses comments President Trump made about MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, an outspoken critic of the president.”

Notoriously liberal fact-checker, Lead Stories, fact-checked the post on Sunday, commenting that the "Tempo of the video was slowed and sections edited out to make it appear Pelosi was drunk." While it has indeed been labelled as “partly false,” it has not been removed from the platform.


The August 2020 Pelosi video has also been purged from Twitter and YouTube. YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo reportedly explained to CNN that the video had been removed for violating manipulated media policies.

Hall's evidence that Lead Stories is a "notoriously liberal fact-checker" was a post of his from March  complaining that it fact-check a Democratic presidential debate.

Endorsing deepfakes to own the libs? That sounds like the MRC we know all too well, siding with the worst of the internet to advance "free speech," no matter how vile or fake.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

For its coverage of July's unemployment numbers, makes sure to shill for President Trump. In her lead story, Susan Jones conceded that improvement has slowed, but she also wants to remind us how great Trump made things befor the pandemic:

It's been almost five months since the emerging COVID pandemic crashed what had been a strong and record-breaking employment streak under President Donald Trump.

On Friday, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the employment picture continues to improve, as 143,532,000 people were working in July, up 1,350,000 from the 142,182,000 employed in June. This is the third straight monthly increase in the number of employed, although it’s a smaller increase than June’s (+4,940,000) and the one in May (+3,827,000).

The number of employed broke 25 records under President Trump, most recently in December 2019 when 158,803,000 people were counted as employed.

It's not until the sixth paragraph that she gets around to mentioning the number that matters: the unemployment rate.

Craig Bannister served up his usual sidebar on the Hispanic unemployment rate, while editor in chief Terry Jeffrey did the same on government employment.

And, as it has refused to do since Trump took office, none of these CNS articles report the "real unemployment rate" -- the U-6 rate that includes "marginally attached" employees as well as part-time workers seeking full-time work -- despite the fact it was a favorite metric when President Obama was in office. (It was 16.8 percent in July.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Monday, August 17, 2020
MRC Concedes Trump Is A Racist
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in a July 22 post:

After once dubiously omitting his answerto a question about his senility, CBS Evening News via political correspondent Ed O’Keefe acted as a campaign surrogate for Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday, boosting his lie that President Trump was America’s “first racist president.” NBC Nightly News also got in on the act. Between pushing the lie and praising a new campaign video, does this mean the networks committed federal election violations?

As CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell pivoted to the segment, she was clearly excited to be talking about Biden teaming up with former President Obama to trash Trump.

The funny thing here is that Fondacaro doesn't dispute that Trump is racist, beyond noting that one network offered "the White House’s response" in the form of Trump claiming that he's "done more for black Americans than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. He did dispute that Trump was tghe first, huffing that "The U.S. has had racist presidents such as Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR (all of them Democrats). Boosting the claim also disproved their decades of smears against Republican presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan."

Note that Fondaaro partakes in his usual rhetorical dishonesty -- calling something a "lie" when he can't possibly know Biden's statement was deliberate, and pretending he can read O'Donnell's mind by claiming she was  "learly excited to be talking about Biden teaming up with former President Obama to trash Trump."

The next day, Kyle Drennen complained about Biden's statement in a dubiously factual "Facts Feared By The Leftist Media" piece. Like Fondacaro, he didn't dispute that Trump is racist, only that he was the first as he went on to rehash "the facts about the Democratic Party’s abhorrent history of racism."

So it seems that Biden won the argument here. The MRC was so busy trying to score points against Democrats for their long-ago racism that they effectively admitted that Trump is being a racist right now. So much for the MRC being crack "media researchers."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 17, 2020 9:29 PM EDT
WND Repeats Roger Stone-CNN Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written July 26 WorldNetDaily article rehashed an interview increasingly extreme Christian conservative radio host Eric Metaxas did with sleazy political dirty trickster Roger Stone, who's currently flaunting his self-proclaimed conversion to Christianity in right-wing circles. WND also gave space to Stone to push a conspiracy theory:

Stone was indicted Jan. 24, 2019, by a federal grand jury for obstruction, false statements and witness tampering in the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller probing alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Mueller found no such collusion. And he couldn't find evidence of the claim that Stone collaborated with Wikileaks to release emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The next morning, at 6 a.m., 29 heavily armed FBI agents in 17 armored vehicles arrived at Stone's home, with a helicopter overhead and frogmen jumping off boats in the canal in his back yard.

CNN "just happened" to be on hand to record it all.


The 73-year-old woman [Stone's wife], who has rheumatoid arthritis, was then "frog-marched out in the middle of the street in her nightgown and bare feet."

She wasn't charged with any crime, Stone noted, but apparently "it was important that CNN got great footage of all that."

Stone's implication is that CNN was tipped off to his arrest, possibly by Mueller or his investigators, to make Stone look bad in the media. This conspiracy theory is so pervasive in right-wing media that even has embraced it. CNN has denied being tipped, pointing out that the investigation left public clues about what could happen, and Mueller has denied tipping off anybody.

Things like this, David Kupelian, are why people accurately portray WND as the home of conspiracy theorists.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Lies: MRC Keeps Portraying Media Settlements With Sandmann As Victories -- Though It Can't Possibly Know For Sure
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center's rage against any media outlet that's not reflexively pro-Trump led it to wholehearedly embrace lawsuits against media outlets filed on behalf of Nick Sandmann, a Catholic high school student caught in a 2019 protest whom the MRC wants you to believe was libeled by initial reports of the protests that were all ultimately corrected as the full picture. As some of those media outlets reached settlements with Sandmann's grandstanding lawyers, the MRC is lying to you by portraying those settlements as victories, since the terms of the settlements have not been disclosed and the outlets were not required to issue any additional apology or correction.

After Sandmann's lawyers settled with CNN in january, Curtis Houck cheered how "despicable" CNN was somehow forced to settle after "CNN decided to falsely tar and feather Sandmann and his fellow students as racist rascals" and "comes as the Jeffrey Zucker-led left-wing activist network faced yet another year of pathetic media coverage." Houck concluded by sneering, "So, congrats were in order to Baldwin, Briggs, Cuomo, Cupp, and Marquez for this lawsuit being settled...or something."

As even Houck conceded, the terms of the settlement are confidential, so it's entirely possible that Sandmann's lawyers didn't get anything more than a token amount to just go away.

Nevertheless, a few days later Houck huffed that CNN "all but ignoted" the settlement in on-air coverage "and had help with blackouts from ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and NBC," while gushing over the minutes of attention Fox News lavished on the settlement. He quoted one Fox News commentator calling the settlement a "legal win" despite the fact there's no way to know.

In March, Houck again played the go-to MRC "media outlets we hate won't report news that advances our right-wing agenda" card by ranting that the media won't report that "Sandmann and his legal team intend to keep up the fight against the liberal media that tried to ruin his life" by filing more specious lawsuits.

When Sandmann's lawyers reached a settlement with the Washington Post -- again, a confidential settlement in which the terms were not disclosed and the Post was not made to issue any correction or apology -- the MRC again rushed to falsely portray this as a victory. In a July 24 post, Houck cheered that "Sandmann racked up another legal win against these same partisan tools that tried to ruin his life," adding, "With Sandmann having been both a minor and private citizen at the time of the incident and the liberal media’s reports being completely false, Sandmann looks poised to add more settlements before things are all said and done.

MRC chief Brent Bozell joined in on the false "victory" celebration. He first tweeted: "Congratulations to Nick Sandmann on his victory against The Washington Post! These reporters are lying scum who tried to destroy a teen just because he was pro-life. Big mistake. He just beat the crap out of them like he did to CNN. I hope it costs the Post millions of dollars." This got expanded to a full press-release statement in which he repeated the bogus "victory" claim and the "millions of dollars" payout wish.

But the MRC does seem to suspect that Sandmann's "victories" aren't that at all, as a July 28 post by Kristine Marsh suggests:

After recent Covington Catholic High school graduate Nicholas Sandmann won yet another lawsuit against a media giant this week for their defamatory coverage of him, bitter CNN journalists took to Twitter to try to dunk on the eighteen-year-old with gossipy tweets as an act of revenge. But Sandmann’s eagle-eyed lawyer Lin Wood caught the tweets and called them out for breaking the two parties’ confidentiality agreement.

Even though CNN already settled with Sandmann back in January Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter was clearly still reeling from the suit, as he decided to weigh in on the Post's payout. He retweeted a liberal attorney, also not involved in the court hearing, who mocked Sandmann getting a “nuisance value settlement.”

Actually, lawyer Wood would seem to be the one violating the confidentiality agreement by getting so riled up over this speculation. After all, if Wood had gotten anything more than "nuisance value" for his client, it would have been substantial enough to get a public concession regarding it from CNN or the Post. Remember, when WorldNetDaily rather abruptly settled the lawsuit filed against it by Tennessee car dealer Clark Jones, who claimed defamation in a series of WND stories attacking Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election, the terms of the settelement were confidential but WND had to state publicly that the smears it published about jones were not true.

Nevertheless, Marsh declared, "Looks like CNN might be facing another lawsuit from Sandmann’s attorney. " She did not explain why speculation presented as nothing else but speculation could be considered potentially libelous. Nor did she explore why, at the time he was ranting about this, Wood has in his Twitter bio the hashtag #WWG1WGA -- short for "where we go one, we go all," the slogan for the far-right-fringe QAnon conspiracy theory, or why Sandmann would have such a fringe extremist as his lawyer.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 PM EDT

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