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Monday, August 31, 2020
WND's Cashill Has An Anti-Obama Book To Promote
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill's new book, "Unmasking Obama," is out now, though not at WorldNetDaily's online store -- as near as we can tell, the floundering operation has not added any new products of late beyond new monthly editions of WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine. So Cashill must supply the Amazon link to the book in his WND columns promoting it. The premise of the book is that "While the major media were spinning their collective fairy tale about the Obama presidency, the alternative conservative media — America’s 'samizdat' — were telling the truth."

That is manifestly false. WND spent the entirety of Barack Obama's presidency pushing the lie that the birth certificates Obama released were inaccurate or outright faked, and Cashill himself was caught falsely claiming that a photo of Obama with his grandparents was fake because Obama was photoshopped into it when, in fact, a photo in which Obama was photoshopped out of that he portrayed was the "real" photo is actually the fake one. (It was this column, which WND refused to tell readers a correction was made on even as it scrubbed the false information from it, that caused then-editor Joseph Farah to effectively brag about how WND publishes misinformation.) 

In excerpting his book in his WND columns, Cashill demonstrates once again why he can't be trusted. On Aug. 16, he rehashed yet again his biased, racially tainted interpretation of the Trayvon Martin case, asserting that Obama's sdtatement that "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" to be the most destructive moment of his presidency." He also rehashed the film about the Martin case made by Joel Gilbert, while making sure to hide the fact that Gilbert is a lying charlatan whose film about Obama pushed the malicious lie that Obama's mother posed nude for Frank Marshall Davis.

On Aug. 18, Cashill ranted that "the mischief surrounding the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also known as 'Obamacare' – puts Obama in the Harding-Grant strata of scandal-plagued presidencies" and tried to make Obama's not-entirely-inaccurate statement that people can keep their doctors under the plan to be some kind of massive conspiracy.

Cashill's Aug. 20 column totally buys into the conspiracy tyheory that "President Barack Obama had been using an anomalous and possibly fraudulent SSN for more than twenty years." He made sure to elide the fact that releasing Obama's Social Security number as one "samizdat" member did without Obama's permission is likely illegal, despite his insistence that the random right-wing person's poking around the number was "perfectly legal." He bashed teh fact-checkers at Snopes for debunking the conspiracy, huffing that it"seemed to have no greater purpose during Obama’s presidency than to kill stories potentially harmful to the president." Cashill rejected the obvious explanation -- some clerk apparently mistyped Obama's zip code so that he was given a number normally given to those who live in Connecticut rather than Hawall, where Obama lived -- instead complaining: "Journalists who shied from learning the truth about Obama’s Social Security number were not about to ask him where he was on the night the Benghazi consulate was attacked, what he knew about the IRS war on the Tea Party, or how he came to authorize 'Fast and Furious,' let alone what role he played in protecting Hillary Clinton from prosecution or in spying on Donald Trump’s campaign."

Cashill also referenced Obama's birth certificate, "whose legitimacy may never be certified." On Aug. 26, Cashill dove into the birther issue from a different angle. He first asserted that "Barack Obama resisted sharing his birth certificate at considerable cost and very nearly to the point of political self-destruction. This much is undeniable." This is a lie; Obama released a state-generated birth certificate in 2008 and another in 2012 only after birthers like Donald Trump repeatedly pushed the issue by falsely portraying the original certificate as somehow not authentic enough. He slagged Obama's mother as once having "a crush on the eponymous Afro-Brazilian of the movie 'Black Orpheus'" -- apparently trying to dogwhistle to the more racist Obama-haters out there -- and posited that Obama was born a few months earlier than the date on his birth certificate, arguing that "the Dunham family might have claimed a home birth and called it in to the authorities in August."

In other words, Cashill's book appears to be nothing more than another highly speculative hit job from a longtime Obama-hater. Treat it accordingly.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:33 PM EDT
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Is MRC's Fondacaro Enabling Right-Wing Vigilantes?
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the shrillest and most dishonest voices at the Media Research Center belongs to "media analyst" Nicholas Fondacaro. Over the summer, he has been ranting about media coverage of racial unrest and accusing outlets who don't limit themselves to a fowarding his right-wing agenda blaming everyone but conservatives ahd President Trump of "enabling" the unrest by the "terrorists" of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. This culminated in a July 24 column written not for the MRC but for the Daily Caller -- yes, the Tucker Carlson-founded operation that loves to hire white nationalists -- that summarized his narrative. He began by ranting:

With Portland and Seattle being inundated with waves of chaos and violence at the hands of extremist leftists Antifa and Black Lives Matter, the silence from the liberal media is deafening. Despite nightly clashes in both cities (and murders in Seattle’s CHOP zone), there was nary a word from the cable and broadcast networks. But this is by design. Seeing as how the media spent years covering up, downplaying and even normalizing their base’s radicalism and the resulting violence.

Sadly, such behavior was entirely predictable after the press spent the 2016 general election blatantly suggesting one of the candidates would be the new Adolf Hitler and his supporters are modern-day Klansmen. And thus, a movement to “resist” was born.

Fondacaro then comnplained that one media outlet had on "Antifa apologist Mark Bray, allowing Bray to romanticize the terrorist group’s violent history, ignore their ties to communism and promote violence as a legitimate form of political dissent," emphasizing how "Bray was publicly disavowed by Dartmouth, where he was a lecturer at the time."

In fact, that disavowal came after a right-wing website distorted Bray's views on antifa -- he's an academic who has argued that violent protest can be appropriate response to violent actors on the right, like white supremacists and neo-Nazis -- and other Dartmouth instructors objected to the disavowal because Bray was not given a chance to make his case to the university beforehand. Bray recedived death threats afterward; we don't recally Fondacaro speaking out against that.

Meanwhile, one can arguing that Fondacaro is helping to enable violent terrorism on his end of the political scale.

When Trump-supporting teenager Kyle Rittenhouse shot three people in altercations in Kenosha, Wis., killing two of them, Fondacarto rushed to his defense based on incomplete video of the incidents, despite the fact investigations into them are far from complete and no official conclusions have been reached.

In an Aug. 26 post, Fondacaro huffed that "the viewers of ABC, CBS, and NBC were treated to lies and misinformation"in their coverage. But instead of identifying what "lies" were told, Fondacaro insisted that "Video evidence from multiple angles show 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse running into a parking lot as a violent rioter chased after him and threw something at him. As the assailant got closer, Rittenhouse turned and fired his rifle. The 17-year-old was then chased down the street as a violent mob attacked him. He fell to the ground and was beaten with a skateboard by one assailant and another brandished a handgun at him. Again Rittenhouse defended himself with his rifle."

Fondacaro refused to concede that his bias-influenced narrative is not the only possible interpretation of what was captured on those videos. Another interpretation is that people were chasing Rittenhouse because he shot a guy, then shot two of the people who were trying to stop him. Nevertheless, he arrogantly continued to push his narrative:

The next day, Fondacaro argued that one of Rittenhouse's victims deserved to die because, according to another right-wing website, "He has a criminal history that includes charges of battery & repeat domestic abuse" and was hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard when he was shot. Fondacaro didn't consider that the victim might have been a little angry because he had just witnessed Rittehnouse shoot and kill someone.Fondacaro also justified thte shooting of another Rittenhouse victim because he "has a long rap sheet whcih included weapons charges."

Despite cheering the shooting of Rittenhouse's victims, he complained in another post that CNN's Jake Tapper "appeared to call for Rittenhouse to be assaulted" and that he pointed out that Rittenhouse was "a Trump supporter."

With such lionizing of a shooter and callous disregard for the lives of his victims, it could be argued that Fondacaro is enabling right-wing vigilantes to be violent against those whose views they oppose. He'll never admit that, of course -- he's too wedded to the right-wing pro-Trump agenda to admit any fault in his thinking.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 31, 2020 9:15 AM EDT
CNS Does Damage Control For Parler
Topic: CNSNews.com

We can't prove there's a link, but it does seem a bit odd that just a few days after we detailed how the Media Research Center has embraced Parler as a "free speech" Twitter alternative even though it too has odd restrictions on speech and is turning into a right-wing echo chamber, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, went into damage-control mode.

An Aug. 5 CNS article featured an interview Rob Shimshock -- CNS' commentary editor, by the way, not an actual reporter -- conducted with Parler's CEO. It sure reads like damage control:

John Matze, CEO of social media company Parler, committed not to ban users for "hate speech," stated that his company would fix an "awkward" "fighting words" clause in its community guidelines, and called the decision by Big Tech companies to censor the America's Frontline Doctors video "ridiculous," in an exclusive interview with CNSNews.com.

"We refuse to ban people on something so arbitrary that it can’t be defined," Matze said when asked whether Parler has banned or ever will ban users for "hate speech." "You see these sites trying to enforce these arbitrary rules and you notice that people are getting kicked off for the most random and arbitrary things like misgendering people. It's absurd. So no, we won't be pursuing that policy."

The Parler CEO also commented on the subjective nature of the "Fighting Words or Threats to Harm" portion of the company's community guidelines, which, as of press time, gives as an example "any direct and very personal insult with the intention of stirring and upsetting the recipient—i.e., words that would lead to violence if you were to speak in that fashion in person."

"We just hired a chief policy officer who's a real lawyer," Matze said. "She's actually overhauling that specific clause that you brought up because she said it's a really awkward clause to have online....Our goal here is to maximize free speech, maximize online discussion, while maintaining an actual community feel."

[...]

The Parler CEO discussed with CNSNews a variety of other topics, including the platform's content moderation system, its recent growth from 1 million to 3.3 million users, its plan to implement a "groups" feature, the dropping of an indemnification clause in its user agreement, and the company's plans to combat other kinds of tech censorship.

Shimshock makes sure to gloss over the fact that Parler is only now having a "real lawyer" review its policies doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the company, as does its walking back of certain policies that contradict its reputation in right-wing media as a "free speech" platform, like not allowing users to sue Parler and forcing users to pay Parler's legal fees.

Shimshock also pushed the false idea that the only reason the America's Frontline Doctors video was taken down by other social media sites was because "a doctor posited [hydroxychloroquine] as a cure for the coronavirus." In fact, the video included several other pieces of false or misleading information; as one actual doctor summarized, video participants claimed "that there is no need for masks, and that schools can open right away without any effect on viral spread. In addition, they continue promoting the false claim that this virus is less deadly than the flu, and that tracking its spread and numbers is unimportant."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Saturday, August 29, 2020
MRC Rants Some More About 'Leftist Fact-Checkers' At Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center

In addition to hypocritically bashing Facebook for purportedly discriminating against conservatives while censoring the fact that Facebook has repeatedly sucked up to those very same conservatives (including secret dinners between Mark Zuckerberg and Brent Bozell), the Media Research Center also kept up its war on fact-checking through attacking the fact-checkers Facebook employs.

An Aug. 12 post by Alexander Hall literally declared that it's not "fair to conservatives" to fact-check them:

Two massive announcements from Facebook have revealed just how much Facebook has given up all pretense at being fair to conservatives.

Facebook announced new rules this week clarifying its hate speech policy and stating that it may even fact-check opinion pieces on the platform. Facebook sent a statement to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) Monday night, declaring that opinion pieces may not be immune from the scrutiny of fact-checkers. The next day Facebook’s VP of integrity Guy Rosen vowed that the platform will launch a new crackdown on “certain kinds of implicit hate speech” in an August 11 blog post.

Facebook’s devastating announcement about fact-checking was a turning point for the worse for any hopes that Facebook would be “moderate” in its moderation practices.

Hall went on to huff that "What conservatives and Christians know is that from Facebook’s clear record in recent weeks, opinions that are contrary to the leftist narrative are not allowed in this 'inclusive' vision of a diverse future." Hall's example of "Facebook's clear record" was a link to a post two days before complaining that a pro-Trump group's Facebook page was "censored" -- which downplayed the fact that the page was restricted for repeatedly promoting false content. Hall apprently believes that "diversity" must include the freedom to spread lies.

Hall also lamented: "Under the guise of cracking down on the most egregious forms of bigotry, this may instead lead to more censorship of the right. Indeed, it is conceivable that Facebook could begin censoring criticism of liberal billionaire George Soros as some kind of anti-Semitic canard." Hall failed to note that his employer has, in fact, used anti-Semitic imagery in criticizing Soros. He also did;t mention that the MRC has also attacked the International Fact-Checking Network as a "Soros-funded" project and, therefore, "liberal" and untrustworthy.

Hall has moved so far right on the issue of fact-checking that he's even lashing out at the Anti-Defamation League. After noting that "ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted his support for the changes" at Facebook, he then ranted:

Greenblatt served as “special assistant to President Obama,” and before that “directed an initiative at the Aspen Institute, a George Soros-financed, left-leaning nonprofit.”

As far as hate speech is concerned, Facebook would be better off if it ignored the advice of the Anti-Defamation League, whose very purpose appears to be defaming conservatives. The ADL has even alleged that the “OK” hand gesture and imagery “directed against antifa” are signs one may be a white supremacist.

Well, given that white supremacists have, in fact, labored to turn the OK symbol into a symbol of support and that they also use anti-antifa symbolism, the ADL is correct to highlight these things. Of course, Hall has complained about both of them.

It's clear that Hall wants conservatives to be able to lie on Facebook and other social media with impunity. Otherwise, there's no reason to lash out at fact-checkers.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EDT
WND Columnist: 'Democrats' Nuked Nagasaki To Stop Christianity In Japan
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lowell Ponte has always had a case of Democrat Derangement Syndrome. He took that to another level in his Aug. 6 worldNetDaily column, in which he pushed the evidence-free conspiracy theory that the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II because it was a center of Christianity in the country and the "leftist Democratic ruling elite in 1945 Washington, D.C." were "anti-Christian":

Such violence happened 75 years ago – Aug. 9, 1945 – when President Harry Truman unleashed the second atomic bomb, on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

Nagasaki had little military, but vast cultural and religious, significance. Nagasaki had been Japan's only port open to foreign ships and influence. It is the setting of Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly," a star-crossed romance between a Japanese woman and an American sailor.

Nagasaki was home to Japan's only Roman Catholic cathedral. The carefully aimed plutonium bomb "Fat Man" detonated within a quarter-mile of that cathedral.

Thousands of Japan's secret Christians went to Nagasaki, believing that Christian America would never destroy Japan's most "Christian" city. More Japanese Christians died in that atomic blast than during centuries of Japan's persecution of Christians.

They did not know that the leftist Democratic ruling elite in 1945 Washington, D.C., as now, were anti-Christian.

[...]

Who targeted Nagasaki at the last moment? This is uncertain, although pro-New Deal historians claim that FDR's globalist token-Republican Secretary of War Henry Stimson crossed out the original target, Kyoto.

Godless New Deal leftists had both opportunity and motive to destroy this center of Christian influence in Japan. If Nagasaki and its faithful survived, Japan might have become more Christian, closer to America, and stronger foes of global communism.

As actual historians point out, Nagasaki had a major shipbuilding industry and munitions factories, and the intended target that day, Kokura, had to be rejected because of poor visibility over the city.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Friday, August 28, 2020
MRC Melts Down Over A Cartoon Lesson On Racism
Topic: Media Research Center

In the grand tradition of the Media Research Center melting down over cartoons, we have an Aug. 10 post by Gabriel Hays enraged that the PBS cartoon "Arthur" dared to attempt the utterly benign thing of teaching a lesson about racism:

Apparently Elwood City, Arthur the aardvark’s hometown, has a racism and police brutality problem. 

During a recent episode of longtime PBS Kids favorite Arthur, two of the show's central characters discuss seeing a video of police killing a black person and discuss their feelings of anger and confusion over it.

PBS’s embrace of Marxist Black Lives Matter propaganda involved the publicly-funded network producing a three-minute clip of Arthur chiding our “racist” country on August 4.

During the clip, Arthur the aardvark and his best friend, Buster the rabbit, talked candidly about the horrors of “racism” against “black people” because of a recent viral video of police brutality. They spoke about how “scary” it was to witness the George Floyd video, essentially, and then get a lesson from one of their adult mentors how racism “boils” their “blood.”

The fun kids’ show opened their anti-racist lesson with a distressed video chat between Arthur and Buster. The titular character asked the rabbit, “Did you see that video?” to which his friend replied, “Yeah, I just watched it. It was awful! I can’t believe someone would be hurt like that, just because they’re black.”

Uh, what? Isn’t every single character in Arthur some sort of woodland critter? Hearing Arthur and Buster talk about “black people” makes no sense.

Hays leaned into his employer's utter hatred of the mere idea that black lives matter, insisting that "we’d recommend that the characters and animators at PBS watch this universe’s version of the George Floyd body cam footage to see that the victim resisted arrest for a long time and realize it offers no evidence that racism was involved either.  And there are also a few crime stats these young'ns could look at to dispel their fear at the great BLM lie."

Hays then huffed that the school lunch lady, Mrs. MacGrady, "touted divisive BLM mantras, like telling the boys, 'it’s not enough to say, ‘I’m not racist, it’s not my problem,'" but he didn't explain how such a phrase was "divisive." He concluded by ranting, "We don’t know, PBS, but you seem only a hair shy from telling kids to go to “peaceful” protests. Why are we the people funding this garbage?" He then demanded that his readers "contact the PBS public editor" to "let them know how you feel about this."

Why doesn't the MRC make linksfor readers to complain about MRC content so readily available? Because Hays' ludicrous meltdown over teaching that racism is bad certainly warrants one. (We'd do it, but they hate us so much that we're blocked or muted on much of their social media.)

"Arthur" is a major MRC target for some reason; last year, it raged that the show featured a teacher marrying his same-sex partner meant it pushed "the gay agenda," whatever that means.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 28, 2020 3:51 PM EDT
CNS Pushes Outlier Polls Claiming Huge Black Support for Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves to report on dubious outlier polls that make President Trump look good, particularly from Rasmussen, which FiveThirtyEight rates as skewed toward Republicans and graded at a middlling C-minus. Now CNS writer and chief poll-touter Craig Bannister has found a new pro-Trump Rasmussen poll to tout. He wrote in a July 31 article:

Approval of President Donald Trump’s job performance hit its highest level in more than five months, aided by a majority of Black and other minority voters voicing approval, Rasmussen’s daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday reveals.

The national survey of likely voters shows that 50% approve of Trump, the highest level reached since approval hit 52% on February 27. However, while 39% “strongly approve” of Trump, 43% “strongly disapprove.” Total disapproval was 48%.

A slight majority of Black voters and an even higher percentage of other minority voters approve of Trump, the poll shows.

Among Black voters, 51% said they approve of Trump – topping the president’s 47% approval among Whites. Sixty percent (60%) of voters of all other races said they approve of Trump’s job performance.

If that black approval rating for Trump sounds wildly out of line with most pollsters, you're correct.  For instance, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that black support for Trump has consistently polled in the low teens, and a June Washington Post/Ipsos poll found a mere 9 percent approval rating for Trump.

Nevertheless, CNS pushed this highly dubious narrative again in an Aug. 10 article by Andrew Davenport on, yes, another Rasmussen poll:

A recent poll from Rasmussen shows that 36% of black voters approve of Donald Trump’s job as president. 

According to the Rasmussen poll for July 2020, 36% of black American likely voters approve of the job President Trump is doing while 48% of white voters and 51% of non-white voters approve.

[...]

As president, Trump has touted economic numbers in the black community, especially highlighting low unemployment numbers. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the White House released numbers in November 2019, showing black unemployment at a record low of 5.4%.

Davenport didn't mention the earlier poll citing 50 percent approval, nor did he note other mainstream polls showing a much lower black approval rate for Trump. Instead, he touted how "the Trump campaign launched the Black Voices for Trump program, which focused on increasing black turnout in the 2020 election."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Thursday, August 27, 2020
The MRC's Very Dumb 'State-Affiliated Media' Rant
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall wrote in an Aug. 6 post:

In an era where governments use news outlets to launder their state propaganda as objective news, one Big Tech company is now beginning to take a decent stand by labeling government and state-affiliated media. 

Twitter Inc. announced that going forward, the company “will label some state-backed media accounts, as well as accounts belonging to ‘key government officials’ for certain countries, to create more transparency when governments and their leaders use the social-media platform to discuss important geopolitical issues,” Bloomberg reported August 6.

So far so good. But then Hall takes it to a very stupid extent:

It remains to be seen what other state-affiliated outlets Twitter will label. How about NPR, which, as NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham observed, “takes our tax dollars and then attacks adding the balance of our viewpoint as racist”? What about the PBS? BBC? Those three outlets fall within the United States and the United Kingdom, and none of them, as of the publishing of this piece, have labels.

What Hall doesn't admit: Graham and the MRC want NPR and PBS to be state-run media, at least when a Republican is in office. Graham and the MRC want "our viewpoint" -- in this case, conservative pro-Trump propaganda -- to be the only viewpoint heard on these outlets.

The Graham piece Hall linked to to support his claim was a June 11 post in which Graham whined about an NPR segment discussing journalistic objectivity.  If you want to see what the MRC really thinks about journalistic objectivity, you only need to look at its "news" operation, CNSNews.com, which is very much the right-wing, pro-Trump propaganda outlet they want NPR and PBS to be.

Hall's evidence for his attack on PBS, was a link to the MRC's short-lived attempt earlier this year to push for defunding of public broadcasting by complaining about how many medical supplies could have been bought with the $75 million it got from one of the coronavirus relief bills passed by Congress. But as we pointed out, at least some of that money went toward responding to the pandemic and protecting its employees -- meaning that the MRC was effectively rooting for public broadcasting employees to get sick and die. (And it ignores the fact that the MRC itself got more than $1 million in coronavirus relief, making its complaint doubly hypocritical.)

The funny thing: If the MRC got its wish to turn PBS and NPR into the pro-Trump propaganda operations they desire, Hall would be attacking Twitter's "state-affiliated media" designation. Because the MRC cares nothing about journalism and cares everything about making sure its pro-Trump propganda dominates.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:37 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Intern Antics
Topic: CNSNews.com
It seems the main activity of student interns at CNSNews.com is pestering members of Congress with biased gotcha questions. PLUS: Why has CNS let its interns from Liberty U. write fawning articles about the school and its Trump-supporting president? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
MRC Helps Conservatives Play Victim, Censors How Facebook Sucks Up To Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center insists on falsely portraying Facebok as hostile to conservatives even as the company sucks up to them (including CEO Mark Zuckerberg holding secret dinners with MRC chief Brent Bozell). Those secret dinners didn't work because the MRC has not stopped attacking Facebook.

Here's a smattering of the MRC's recent Facebook rage:

In June, when Facebook agreed to consider whether to flag falsehoods or misleading claims in posts from political leaders like President Trump, Corinne Weaver wailed that Zuckerberg succumbed to demands from "the liberal media." On June 17, Weaver complained that Facebook was working to "incentivize its users in America to vote in the 2020 election," though she offered no evidence Facebook would tell people how to vote, instead, she invoked dubious claims from Robert Epstein about purported pro-Hillary bias in 2016 simply by reminding people to vote.

On June 30, Alexander Hall got mad at Facebook for tweaking its news feed to prioritize news stories featuring original reporting and transparent authorship. He didn't explain why this was a bad thing, other than to huff: "This begs the question as to whether Facebook will respect the anonymity of journalists using pen names to avoid not just government, but being targeted by cancel culture or violent left-wing activists." Hall has apparently forgotten that his employer attacks media outlets that cite anonymous sources (in stories that make conservatives look bad, anyway; right-wing outlets can still use anonymous sources with impunity).

A July 9 post by Adam Burnett attacked a Facebook report that "slammed the tech company's choice to leave several posts by President Trump untouched," then huffed that "the report was put together by liberal lobbyist, attorney, and Democratic donor Laura Murphy," further complaining that "the left has continually sought to define free speech as only speech they like and agree with." In a July 11 post, Clay Waters claimed there was secret anti-Trump bias in a New York Times article about that Facebook report: "No one wants “hate” to flourish online. But that headline actually sneakily translates into a complaint that Facebook is not sufficiently censoring Trump and his supporters in the run-up to November."

Dan Gainor regurgitated the MRC's complaints over a new Facebook oversight board, grumbling in a July 14 post: "Facebook released the third and final version of the radical left’s audit of its operations last week. As the company caves increasingly to critics demanding more speech restrictions, it was still shocking how much Facebook works actively with the left. ... The report was filled with ways the company gave access to, worked with or made changes at the behest of the radical left." But Gainor cited one group, the American Civil Liberties Union,in his complaint, and nobody except far-right folks like Gainor thinks they're "radical left."

When Facebook tagged a Trump post raging against mail-in voting with information about how to vote by mail, Heather Moon predictably cried "censorship," even though Trump's post was not censored:

The outcome of Facebook’s outlandish new policy promoting mail-in voting was easy to predict.

The company announced a plan Friday that encourages mail-in voting so much that even if a post criticizes the concept, Facebook links it to mail-in voting.

That’s exactly what happened — to the president of the United States. 

Donald Trump posted the following to Facebook: 

“Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION”

Facebook seized this chance to add its info label that, when clicked, sends users directly to a usa.gov page on how to use mail-in absentee voting where available because of the Coronavirus.

After Facebook corrected another false Trump tweet, Alexa Moutevelis lamented: "the Big Tech companies have taken it upon themselves to arbitrate the truth during this heated election season and it's clear which side they're on."

Actually, the side Facebook is on is not the one Mouteveis wants you to think it's on - because Facebook has censored all mention of even more sucking up to conservatives Facebook has done.

NBC reported earlier this month that "Facebook has allowed conservative news outlets and personalities to repeatedly spread false information without facing any of the company's stated penalties," adding:

According to internal discussions from the last six months, Facebook has relaxed its rules so that conservative pages, including those run by Breitbart, former Fox News personalities Diamond and Silk, the nonprofit media outlet PragerU and the pundit Charlie Kirk, were not penalized for violations of the company’s misinformation policies.

Facebook's fact-checking rules dictate that pages can have their reach and advertising limited on the platform if they repeatedly spread information deemed inaccurate by its fact-checking partners. The company operates on a "strike" basis, meaning a page can post inaccurate information and receive a one-strike warning before the platform takes action. Two strikes in 90 days places an account into “repeat offender” status, which can lead to a reduction in distributionmof the account’s content and a temporary block on advertising on the platform.

[...]

The list and descriptions of the escalations, leaked to NBC News, showed that Facebook employees in the misinformation escalations team, with direct oversight from company leadership, deleted strikes during the review process that were issued to some conservative partners for posting misinformation over the last six months. The discussions of the reviews showed that Facebook employees were worried that complaints about Facebook's fact-checking could go public and fuel allegations that the social network was biased against conservatives.

The removal of the strikes has furthered concerns from some current and former employees that the company routinely relaxes its rules for conservative pages over fears about accusations of bias.

Further, Buzzfeed reported that Facebook allegedly fired an employee who collected evidence about this preferential treatment.

Another thing the MRC won't tell you about is a Twitter account that lists "the sources of the 10 top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages every day." And every day, that list list dominated by right-wing personalities and websites such as Ben Shapiro,Dan Bongino, Fox News and Franklin Graham.

Of course, telling its readers the full truth about Facebook would interfere with its victimization narrative, so the MRC makes sure to stay silent.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
SHOCKER: WND Not Biting Yet On Harris Eligibility Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Given that WorldNetDaily is best known for its eight-year embrace of the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not eligible to be president because he may have been born in Kenya (or some other reason), you'd think it would be rushing to promote the conspiracy theory that Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris isn't eligible to hold the position.

Shockingly, that's not the case -- at least not yet.

When  the question popped up several days ago, WND published only two articles on the subject, neither of which it wrote on its own: a Washington Examiner piece on President Trump declaring he'll "take a look" at the claim, which also noted that Harris was "born in the United States" and, thus, in eligible; and a piece from The Hill noting that Newsweek magazine apologized for publishing a column advancing the conspiracy theory.

That's it. WND is staying away -- at least so far. 

(Note the WND is still laughably calling these articles it steals without permission or payment "WND News Services." In fact, it pays no other "news service" for the use of other people's content, as it has since its founding, claiming that its theft of others' property is "fair use.")

Then again, there's still a couple months left before the election, so there's still plenty of time for it to start treating Harris like it did Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 1:49 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
MRC: Being Anti-Vaxxer Is Patriotic
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center continues its embrace of odious people and odious views in an Aug. 11 item by Alexander Hall:

Famous Christian public figures were censored for expressing disbelief that patriotism in the current year amounts to submitting to forced vaccinations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Benham Brothers, identical twins David Benham and Jason Benham, who previously lost their HGTV show for their conservative views have been censored by Facebook. On August 10, Jason shared a screenshot on his Facebook page and wrote, “Saw this in my notifications today. Looks like the FB social police won’t be allowing people to say things like ‘I won’t be getting the vaccine.’”

The screenshot featured a notification from Facebook that read: “David Benham’s post goes against our Community Standards on misinformation that could cause physical harm.” The post also explained: “We have these standards because misinformation that could cause people physical harm can make some people feel unsafe on Facebook.” The Benham Brothers’ post from August 7 was a scathing commentary on how the only acceptable form of patriotism in 2020 America is unquestionably obeying the government:

“Soooo… patriotism today is nothing but a micro aggression, unless it's redefined, of course, and pushed a leftist agenda. No matter where you stand on this, to be told it’s ‘patriotic’ to vaccinate is typical propaganda.”

This comes after news sources like USA Today suggested that forcing nationwide vaccinations is “patriotic.”

Yes, Hall is trying to defend attacks on vaccinations as "patriotic." If getting vaccinated against coronavirus helps people and the country, what's the problem?

He's also lying about the Benham's background. It wasn't "conservative views" that cost the brothers their TV show -- it's their extreme anti-gay and anti-abortion stances, smearing homosexuality is "demonic" and ranting outside abortion clinics that they are the "altars of Moloch." Hall can't demonstrate those are mainstream "conservative views."

And it's laughable how Hall and the Benham brothers are complaining that "the only acceptable form of patriotism in 2020 America is unquestionably obeying the government" when the MRC has done nothing to unquestioningly obey Trump for the past four years.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 PM EDT
CNS Sends The Interns To Ask Senators Another Gotcha Question
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com just loves to send its summer interns out to the Capitol to pester members of Congress with gotcha questions. Their second question for the summer was more benign than asking about biological males who identify as females use female bathrooms and locker rooms, but it was more hypocritical. This time, they asked: "So far in fiscal 2020, the federal debt has increased by $3.78 trillion. When do you predict the government will pay off the debt it has added this year?" As usual they got several responses, all from senators:

Of these eight respondents, only Hirono and Warner are Democrats; the rest are Republicans. The question also conveniently omitted the fact that this year's debt was racked up under a Republican-controlled Senate and signed by a Republican president.

The hypocrisy here -- and, unsurprisingly, it was not mentioned in the questioning -- is that CNS' owner, the Media Research Center, played a role in increasing the federal debt by applying for and receiving more than $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program.

But, then, pushing a message is more important at CNS these days then accuracy or ideological consistency -- or even reporting "news," despite the word being part of its name.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 2:00 PM EDT
Monday, August 24, 2020
Cowardice: MRC Writers Won't Bring Their Criticism Of Laura Loomer To The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how Media Research Center writer and NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck utterly lacks the courage of his convictions -- he'll express un-conservative sympathies that he can't or won't put onto the website he manages.

When right-wing extremist Laura Loomer won her Republican primary for a House seat in Florida, Houck tweeted out a "two thumbs down" GIF. When President Trump congratulated Loomer, he tweeted out a "NO" GIF. MRC writer Scott Whitlock similarly criticized Trump's endorsement of Loomer on Twitter: "Loomer is a lunatic and everyone should repudiate her. Too bad the President of the United States doesn't understand that simple point."

The next day, Houck tweeted a thread quoting right-wing activist Erick Erickson denouncing Loomer as "a grifter who is going to take people’s money that could be used in serious races with serious people to get them elected" and castigated Florida Republicans who support her, declaring that they "should be marched into the sea like the lemmings that they are."

But if you read NewsBusters -- again, the MRC for which Houck serves as managing editor -- you will find nary a disparaging word about Loomer. In fact, NewsBusters treats her as a free-speech martyr because most social media operations (and other places) have banned her for her hate-spewing Islamophobia. That's something the MRC is done for quite a while, and now Houck's operation is doing it even more now that she's a Republican candidate.

A July 6 post by Alexander Hall proclaimed that Loomer was the "GOP frontrunner" in her primary, but "her personal accounts have been banned from Facebook and Instagram, her political campaign has been restricted from creating an account or even buying advertisements." Hall refused to detail why Loomer got banned in the first place, instead gushing that "Loomer made a name for herself as a Jewish-American right-wing provocateur whose performance art and protests resulted in having multiple Big Tech and payment processing platforms blacklist her."

And on Aug. 18 -- the same day Houck denounced Loomer on Twitter -- his NewsBusters published another post by Hall gushing that she was a "conservative firebrand and Florida GOP frontrunner" who has "reportedly been targeted" by a cable company. No only did Hall provide no verified evidence to back up Loomer's accusastions, he again failed to detail Loomer's viciously hateful rhetoric, instead repeating his benign description of her as "a Jewish-American right-wing provocateur."

the next day -- the same day Houck reproduced Erickson's bashing of Loomer -- his NesBusters published a post by Corinne Weaver that once again helped Loomer play the victim:

Facebook is blatantly interfering in elections by banning the ads of a Republican congressional candidate. 

“Facebook has reportedly banned all ads on behalf of Laura Loomer, the frontrunner in the GOP primary race for House candidate in Florida’s 21st district” Breitbart reported on July 3. The article noted how her personal accounts have been banned from Facebook and Instagram, her political campaign has been restricted from creating an account or even buying advertisements.

“I’m the only federal candidate in the nation banned from advertising on Facebook,” Loomer observed. She added adding that “My competitor, Lois Frankel is running ads on Facebook to reach voters, and my campaign is shut out.” She then declared that Facebook’s moderation here is a case of “illegal election interference.”

Like her colleague Hall, Weaver refused to detail the Islamophobia that got Loomer banned, instead robotically repeating the "Jewish-American right-wing provocateur" boilerplate.

Hall returned on Aug. 24 to tout a right-wing effort to get the feds to investigate "Big Tech" and portrayed Loomer as utterly normal: "The recent GOP nomination of Laura Loomer in the U.S. House race for Florida’s 21st Congressional district shows how the electoral game has changed, and conservative organizations are taking notice. [The American Principles Project's Jon] Schweppe argued in his open letter that while Loomer has been censored by multiple platforms '[d]ue to past controversial comments,' the fact that she 'is now a major party nominee for U.S. congress' shows its high time for a reassessment." Once again, Hall was silent on the exact nature of those "past controversial comments," nor did he or Schweppe explain why they have become less controversial because she's now a Republican politician.

Houck and Whitlock are cowards, pure and simple. By censoring anyt criticism of Loomer and the real reason social media banned her, they do not have the courage of the convictions they express outside of work.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 24, 2020 11:41 PM EDT
Newsmax Gives Obama's Angry Half-Brother A Platform
Topic: Newsmax

Right-wing media outlets continue to give Barack Obama's half-brother, Malik Obama, a platform because he says all the Obama-bashing things they love. Newsmax contributed with an Aug. 1 article by Tauren Dyson that rewrote a conservative New York Post piece:

President Barack Obama became "cold and ruthless" once he took office and abandoned his family in Kenya when they were most in need, according to a book from his half-brother Malik Obama.

“He got rich and became a snob,” Malik, 62, told The New York Post via Skype. “What I saw was he was the kind of person that wants people to worship him. He needs to be worshiped and I don’t do that. I am his older brother so I don’t do that.”

In “Big Bad Brother From Kenya,” a self-published memoir that Malik Obama has been writing for the last 22 years, he details the slow but eventual fall out between him and Barack. The rift forced Malik to endorse Donald Trump for president in 2016.

As we've noted, Malik has spent years trying to ride his half-brother's coattails, and he's mad that Barack was not having it, and even Malik's fellow Kenyans have called him out on it. He even peddled a purported Kenyan birth certificate for Barack that even the rabid Obama birthers at WorldNetDaily admitted was fake.

Again: Outlets like Newsmax give Malik Obama a platform because bashes Barack Obama, and for no other good reason.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:46 PM EDT

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