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Thursday, October 8, 2020
CNS Can't Let Go Of Its Biden-Is-Senile Narrative

For months, has been pushing the Trump-approved narrative that Joe Biden has some mental issues, if not actually senile (though it complains when Trump's mental slippages are highlighted). It continued to do so over the past month.

As he did in June, CNS' Craig Bannister played gotcha when Biden mistakenly said "millions" instead of "thousands" when describing the numbner of Americans killed by coronavirus. Instead of giving Biden the benefit of the doubt -- he said nothing when Trump embarassingly mispronounced "Yosemite" and "Thailand" -- he lectured:

For the second time this year, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden grossly exaggerated the number of coronavirus deaths while visiting Pennsylvania, claiming hundreds of millions, instead of thousands have died.


The U.S. population is estimated to be about 328 million people, meaning nearly two-thirds of the nation have died from COVID-19 if Biden's claim were true, when, in actuality, nearly two hundred thousand people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.

In an anonymously written Sept. 28 article, CNS took seriously Trump's taunt that Biden needed to take a "drug test" before the first presidential debate, intoning that Biden had "no comment" when asked about it. The same day, in another anonymous article, seriously portrayed Biden's obvious joke that he had first served in the Senate "180 years ago" as another example of sanity slippage, noting only that he "briefly chuckled" over the remark and lecturing, "Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, which was 48 years ago, and took his seat in January 1973, whcih was 47 years ago.

Susan Jones tried to drag Biden's wife into its narrative in another Sept. 28 article:

Delicately treading on Joe Biden's mental state, CNN's Jake Tapper gave Jill Biden a pass when she firmly rejected Tapper's suggestion that "your husband has been known to make the occasional gaffe."

"Oh, you can't even go there. After Donald Trump, you cannot even say the word gaffe," Mrs. Biden told Tapper in an interview that aired on Sunday.

Jones has previously gotten mad that "Liberal activists in the media are now focusing in particular on Trump's mispronunciations" even as she has aggressively refused to do so.

Biden's vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, wasn't immune either. In a Sept. 15 article, Bannister asserted that Harris "made the kind of verbal slip made famous by the party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden" by referring to "the Harris administration" in an interview.Bannister then hyped the "social media frenzy accusing Harris of a 'Freudian slip' based on the belief that she’ll actually be the one running the show if Biden wins the White House."

Later that day, Melanie Arter wrote that "One day after Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential running mate to former Vice President Joe Biden, referred to what 'a Harris administration' will do, Biden himself has the same gaffe." She waited until the end of the third paragraph of his article to admit that Biden"correct[ed] himself."

Months of CNS pushing this narrative (with the Trump's campaign's presumed blessing) set the bar so low for Biden at the first debate that he was easily able to surpass expectations. Thus, CNS hasn't suggested anything about Biden's purported cognitive decline again since the debate.But look for it to pounce on any future Biden gaffes in a way it will never do when Trump makes them.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Collusion? MRC Parrots Fox News With 'Ambush' Claim About Trump Town Hall
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been an aggressive defender of Fox News -- not surprising since they're both media arms of the Trump campaign. Butit seems the two might be so close they're working together to manufacture right-wing media narratives.

After President Trump sat down for a Sept. 15 town hall with ABC that didn't go the way the MRC hoped, Curtis Houck set the narrative: Trump was ambushed! Two entire posts were devoted to attacking ABC for asking Trump questions, under the headline "ABC Ambushes Trump With a Debate at Q&A, POTUS Brings the Heat." In the first, Nicholas Fondacarto complained: "What was pitched to viewers as a '20/20 Special Event' Tuesday, a town hall with President Trump, turned out to be the first 2020 presidential debate. But instead of Democratic nominee Joe Biden as Trump’s opponent, the President squared off against ABC’s chief anchor and Clinton lackey, George Stephanopoulos, who took every opportunity to battle his guest."

In the second, Curtis Houck echoed: "Billed as a presidential town hall with questions from undecided voters, ABC showed that they pulled a fast one on the American people as Tuesday’s The President and the People: A 20/20 Special Event ended up being debate prep for President Trump as, instead of Joe Biden, he faced 90 minutes of hostility from chief anchor and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos." He further whined that this was an "ambush by a liberal operative."

But not only was this take not original, it may have even been workshopped beforehand. Fox News host Laura Ingraham was portraying the town hall an "ambush."

So did they collaborate on their narrative? Who knows -- Houck and Fondacaro certainly aren't going to be forthcoming about it since they're true-believer Bozell-bots who would never, ever be critical of Trump or Fox News.

Meanwhile, Houck liked this narrative so much he clung onto it a couple days later. When a similar town hall with Joe Biden on CNN was purported less ambush-y, he invoked it again: "Illustrating the liberal media’s purposeful and shameless carrying of water for Democratic ticket, CNN’s presidential town hall was a cakewalk on Thursday for Joe Biden, thanks to no fact-checking, no snarky rebuttals, or major hostility at PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania. That stood in stark contrast to the ambush President Trump faced on ABC Tuesday night in Philadelphia."

Hey, it's a Fox News-approved narrative. Why wouldn't the MRC run with it?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Rants About Lower Alcohol Recommendations, Gets A Disclaimer
Topic: Newsmax

When your publisher has to add a disclaimer to your column, that's a sign that you're perhaps a bit out of the mainstream. But Newsmax felt moved to begin Jared Whitley's Sept. 21 column by stating, "The following article has been authored by a non-clinician."

Indeed, what follows from Whitley -- whose Newsmax bio describes him as a "long-time politico" and, indeed, not a clinician -- is one long, annoying rant against a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommendation that "moderate" consumption of alcohol be reduced from two drinks per day to one:

For DGAC to draw this hard line is basically the strictest the government has ever gotten with booze since Prohibition. And this recommendation might be as bad as some other ones they've made.

Note these are largely the same people who have defended the disastrous food pyramid, which dramatically over-prescribed carbohydrate consumption for decades and contributed to the country's obesity epidemic. They're also the ones behind our terrible corn-subsidies policy, which is a huge expense to taxpayers, bad for crop diversification, even worse for public health, and destroys the livelihoods of small farmers in the developing world.

The biggest problem with these new dietary guidelines as others have noted is that it focuses on just one of 60 available studies on alcohol intake. DGAC is conflating reasonable, regular alcohol consumption – like two beers – with actual alcohol abuse, like binge drinking five or more drinks at the same time.

If DGAC wants people to drink less, then it needs to start demanding we re-open society. People at bars don't binge drink – people shut in at home all alone do. But governments don't usually want to let go of power when they can grab it instead. Men are not angels, and this policy shows some nutritionists are drunk with power.

Yep, definitely needed the disclaimer.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:06 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:30 PM EDT
WND Columnist's Conspiracy Theory: Biden's Secretly Taking Hydroxychloroquine!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Serial ccoronavirus conspiracy-mongerer Michael Schisler is at it again in a Sept. 7 WorldNetDailiy column centered around Joe Biden and hydroxychloroquine. First , he served up a defense of the medicine:

Earlier this year Biden blasted Trump for purportedly taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a prophylaxis against COVID-19. And since Joe apparently only listens to those particular scientists who claim HCQ is ineffective and dangerous, it was an obvious opportunity for Biden to bash the current administration.

Of course, Biden has to ignore the fact that the study he relied on had to be retracted for cooking the data.

Yale professor Dr. Harvey Risch says that HCQ is an effective and safe treatment.

And Joe also has to ignore the fact that data from around the globe show the effectiveness of public policy that incorporates HCQ use:

First: The article to which Schisler links as alleged evidence of the study Biden "relied on" to raise questions about HCQ doesn't mention it at all, let alone document that Biden referenced it. Second: As we've documented, Rischhas been criticized for using cherry-picked data in his pro-HCQ research. Third: Schisler offers no source for the graphic purporting to cite ":data from around the globe" on HCQ effectiveness; the graphic states only "@gummibear737" as a source, apparently a reference to an anonymous Twitter account.

Schisler then went further into conspiracy territory by  bizarrely suggesting that Biden is secretly taking hydroxychloroquine:

The fact is that Joe Biden is towing the Democratic line when it comes to HCQ. And its Joe's public position that HCQ is dangerous, ineffective and something that science has rejected.

But given Joe's long and illustrious history of not exactly being truthful with the American public, one has to wonder whether he actually believes the party line on HCQ. The American public is right to know whether in private, Joe Biden believes what he claims to believe in public about HCQ.

While Biden might not be the most truthful person on the face of the earth, and while he might be (is) a walking gaffe machine, Joe has proven to be on some level, a smart man. Joe knows he's old, and Joe has seen the data. Joe has seen that studies supporting his public position have been retracted, and Joe is aware of Dr. Risch's as well as countless others' positions.

Given these realities, it's unreasonable for anyone to conclude that Joe Biden truly believes that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective and dangerous. In fact, I think Biden would demand access to HCQ in a heartbeat if he contracts COVID-19. He's just towing the Democratic line on HCQ for purely political reasons.

And truth be known, I think there is a good chance Biden has already secretly taken HCQ for prophylaxis. He'd be crazy not to at his age and the amount of exposure he'll soon be subjected to.


So, what's it going to be, candidate Biden? You're the one who made the claim "I'm a smart fella. I listen to scientists." And you and your lab coats are telling the American people "no HCQ access for you."

Are you going to put your health where your mouth is and swear to the American public that you have never used HCQ and that you refuse HCQ treatment under all circumstances? And are you releasing all related health and treatment records to the public? You owe these things to the American people, and it's time for you to pay up.

Unless of course you want to admit to what everyone already knows is true.

Actually, not even Schisler knows it's true. But he's not getting paid by WND to tell the truth (if WND is even bothering to pay him for his work, that is).

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
MRC Censors New Trump Accuser As It Desperately Hypes Tara Reade
Topic: Media Research Center

For months, the Media Research Center has obsessed over Tara Reade, the woman who accused Joe Biden of doing something untoward to her 30 years ago, hyping her claims as indisputably true even as it mocked and demeaned a woman who accused President Trump of assaulting her. It's still doing so.

In a Sept. 7 post, Brad Wilmouth complained that CNN had on Anita Hill -- another woman the MRC has mocked and demeaned for making sexual harassment accusations against a beloved conservative -- to talk about  Biden while "Tara Reade's accusations of sexual assault against Biden were not mentioned at all." Wilmouth further complained: "Even though Anita Hill's claims against [Clarence] Thomas were entirely about inappropriate sexual talk, in contrast with the physical assault accusations against Biden by Reade -- who used to work in his Senate office in the early 1990s -- nothing at all was mentioned about the allegations against Biden."

Kyle Drennen took his own whack at Hill in a Sept. 29 post, smearing her as a "Supreme Court nominee smear artist" (never mind that Hill's claims about Thomas have never been disproven). Drennen sneered that Hill and CBS host Gayle King "discussed Hill’s endorsement of Joe Biden for president, supposedly because he would combat sexual harassment. Tara Reade might disagree with that rationale." He added, "King refused to press Hill on Reade’s accusation, instead concluding the segment by touting: 'I’m sure Joe Biden was glad to hear you’re going to endorse him.'"

The same day, Alex Christy complained that a commentator pointed out before the first presidential debate that "Trump is not above pulling stunts," citing Reade as a possible example." Christy huffed in response: "It's not a stunt to ask the Democratic nominee if he believes in the standard of evidence he applies for himself or the standard his party applied for Brett Kavanaugh or that he himself has pledged to apply to college students as a matter of policy."

Whitlock returned on Oct. 5, going far afield to find some Tara Reade coverage that fit his antiBiden bias:

Journalists have been derelict in their duty of investigating last March's bombshell sexual assault claims against Joe Biden, providing cover for the Democratic presidential candidate. So you may be surprised to know that 60 Minutes on Sunday spent 12 minutes and 56 seconds investigating Tara Reade and talking to a witness who corroborates her story. Except... it was 60 Minutes Australia. NOT the CBS program that airs in America and might be helpful in educating voters a month before the election. 

Instead, American 60 Minutes on Sunday devoted 13 minutes and 15 seconds to comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his new book. So they obviously wouldn’t have time for Reade, right?

On the other side of the world, Australian reporter Alexis Daish talked to Reade on the subject of a slanted, biased media: “Unlike Trump’s accusers, Tara has received a barrage of scrutiny. Do you feel as though if Joe Biden wasn’t Joe Biden, your allegations would be taken more seriously?” 

Reade called out the press: “Absolutely. If he was a Republican. I think the fact that he’s an elite Democrat put him in this untouchable position and the media was biased and people were biased about it.”

While Whitlock and the MRC were continuing to flog the Reade allegations in an attempt to breathe new lilfe into them, they censored yet another Trump accuser. In mid-September, model Any Dorris stated that Trump sexually assaulted her at the 1997 U.S. Open, groping her and "shov[ing] his tongue down my throat."

Whitlock concluded his column by asserting: "Believe all women... unless they’re accusing a powerful Democrat who could be president." But he's a hypocrite; he obviously believes only women who accuse powerful Democrats who could be president, while powerful Republicans who already are president get a pass.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:41 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 9:15 PM EDT
For Some Reason, CNS Did 2 Articles On Biden's Use Of 'Despacito' At Rally
Topic: loves to make Joe Biden look as bad as possible on its "news" pages -- it is the inverted-pyramid version of the Media Research Center, the media arm of the Trump campaign -- so it's no surprise that it somehow managed to do two articles on Joe Biden using the song "Despacito" at a rally.

Patrick Goodenough complained in a  Sept. 16 article that "Democrat [sic] presidential nominee Joe Biden prefaced his remarks at a Hispanic Heritage Month campaign event in Florida on Tuesday night by playing an excerpt on his phone of the 2017 Spanish-language hit song 'Despacito,' grinning and swaying to be beat as he did so." He then went into Trump-surrogate mode:

Twitter erupted after Biden’s opening, with words like “cringe” and “pandering” featuring prominently.

Trump campaign advisor Mercedes Schlapp was among many who drew attention to the meaning of the song’s title.

“Does @JoeBiden realize that Despacito means ‘slowly’? Fits well with Slow Joe,’ she tweeted.

“What is this all about?” tweeted President Trump, linking to a spoof video in which Biden seemed to be playing not Despacito but the hip hop protest song ‘F**k da Police” by N.W.A.

Goodenough concluded by snarking, "The song – as the video makes fairly obvious – is about sex."

Later that day, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman took that last sentence and ran with it, going full-on prude by presenting himself as offended by the lyrics:

Before he began his speech at an event in Florida to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month -- and try to appeal to Latino voters -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden played part of the hit pop-song "Despacito," which is a Spanish-language song about taking romance "slowly."

But the song also strongly alludes to engaging in sex "slowly" in order to, as the lyrics say, "show my mouth your favorite places (favorite, favorite, baby)" and "to make you scream."


The lyrics are in Spanish but The Sun translated them into English for an article headlined, "Controversial Tune Despacito is absolute FILTH in English ... here is what the lyrics really mean." The Sun also reported that the song was banned on state radio in Malaysia.

As a raging homophobe, Chapman has had a longtime preoccupation with the sex lives of other people, real or fictional. But Chapman's sex obsession inadvertently undercut the "slow Joe" narrative Goodenough and Schlapp were pushing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Monday, October 5, 2020
MRC's Graham Still Jealous Of Obamas' Memoir Success
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center -- mostly Tim Graham -- has been insanely jealous at the success of the Obamas' post-presidency dealings, from their Netflix production deal to the book deal for Barack's and Michelle's memoirs to the mere idea of them making money in general and buying houses with said money.

Graham spent his Aug. 19 column whining that "the media see it as their job to praise everything Michelle Obama does with overwhelming enthusiasm," huffing:

Please try this imaginative exercise: When has a “news” professional ever asked Michelle Obama a challenging question? When has she ever been portrayed as anything less than Barack’s “not-so-secret weapon”? If you want to smell a whiff of authoritarianism in America, it feels almost illegal to speak one discouraging word about the first black First Lady.

Michelle Obama is America’s most pampered princess, the most spoiled figure in our modern political history. Her every move is carefully prepared and managed, and no one ever disturbs her peace when she’s on display. Praising her poise and her cool is mandatory, and it’s easier to show poise when no one ever, ever challenges you as less than perfect.


This is what makes all of her Oprah-esque blather about empathy sound a little humorous. How can this multi-multi-millionaire author and celebrity with the Martha’s Vineyard mansion present herself to the voters as Just Like You? She has filmmakers make gushy films about how empathetic she is as part of the lucrative family business deal with Netflix, but who else gets that privilege?

Even conservative writers and media outlets want to hail her rhetorical bilge. Let’s stop that. Someone needs to break this sickening spell. Let’s dare to treat her like just another wealthy Democrat hack, selling a siren song of socialism in her glitter boots.

Graham petulantly refused to give Michelle credit for the fact that her book sold 10 million copies, grousing: "It’s true she had one of the most successful books in recent years, in large part because of fierce Democratic loyalty, and in part because of endless, breathless promotion by fiercely loyal 'news' outlets."

Graham turned his attention to Michelle's husband in a Sept. 17 post, finding things to complain about in the announcement of the November publication of Barack's memoirs: "The guy who mocked the bitter clingers to guns and religion is going to lecture about divisiveness. Obama has now split his memoirs into two volumes. This one will cover his life up through the takedown of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Don't bother looking for Reverend Wright in the index."

Graham pre-emptively declared Obama's memoir to be a fake -- never mind that it has yet to be published -- because his memoir "Dreams From My Father" was "full of fictional tales (never mind that it says right there in the book that "some of the characters that appear are composites of people, I've known, and some events appear out of precise chronology").

Graham concluded by whining that the media was pointing out how big of a deal Obama's book is to the publishing industry and that the $65 million the Obamas received for their memoirs appears to have been money well spent, given how many copies of Michelle's book were sold.

It's sad that Graham apparently has nothing else going on in his life, giving him time to spew hateful, partisan jealousy at the Obamas.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EDT
Newsmax's Dick Morris Is In Full Trump Suck-Up Mode
Topic: Newsmax

A raft of failed predictions in 2012 sent Dick Morris into exile at Newsmax, which attempted one of its image rehab projects on him, which didn't really take given his irrelevance over the past few years as a political pundit beyond Newsmax's walls. While we weren't watching (it seems he's writing columns for Newsmax all this time), Morris has taken his pro-Trump sycophancy -- as touted in a 2016 book published by Newsmax's book division, Humanix -- to the next level. In his Sept. 16 column, the headline sums up Morris' suyck-up mode -- "Key to Trump's Victory — He Believes in America, Democrats Never Will":

The Democratic National Convention opened the door for the Trump campaign to run on a central theme: Belief in America.

The dour pessimism which oozed from every portal at the Democrats' convention sets up a beautiful contrast between the two candidates and their parties — optimism versus pessimism, That is, belief in America versus versus doubt over America.

Democrats believe the virus may conquer us.

Republicans believe we will conquer the virus.

Democrats predict a shaky economy at best and a prolonged recession at worst.

But Republicans believe the ongoing economic comeback will continue and, if Trump wins, accelerate.


So the Trump Campaign should say to the Democrats, "How can you lead a country when you don’t believe in its future?"

Republicans should respond sounding this theme: "Believe in America and make it great again."

The Biden campaign would rather make the race a personal referendum on Trump’s style, temperament, and personality. But the race will inevitably revolve around the Trump record and what it means for our nation's future.

The Democratic strategy is to throw mud at Trump with an unending series of suggestive, titillating accusations and inferences from a plethora of books to keep the president in a permanent state of rage.

But the Trump campaign, by echoing a message of optimism can cut through that miasma.


When we convert pessimists into optimists, we switch voters from Biden to Trump.

And, of course, when the vaccine arrives, its ballgame over.

On Sept. 28, Morris attempted a novel spin on Trump's tax controversy:

Contrary to the false impression in The New York Times story, Donald Trump did not avoid taxes.

He pre-paid them.

In 2016 and 2017, he requested and got an extension to file his returns.

As required, he made an estimated tax payment of $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. Then, it turned out that he did not owe that much in taxes, but, rather than demand the money back, he let the IRS keep it and apply it to any future tax he owed.

So — when he only paid $750 in taxes for the first two years of his presidency it was because he had already overpaid during the two previous years and just reduced his payment by that amount.

Over the longer term, Trump overpaid his taxes by $72 million.

Because some of that overpayment was more than two years earlier, he was not allowed to offset it against current taxes. But Obama changed the law to allow taxpayers to go further back and he offset his tax liability in future years by citing his overpayment.

So Donald Trump did not avoid paying taxes, he prepaid them.

So what's wrong with that?

Not much, aside from the fact that's not what actually happened. Trump has been trying to get a $72 million tax refund since 2010 by claiming $1.4 billion in losses in 2008 and 2009; claiming losses to avoid paying taxes is a longtime Trump schtick.

Morris wasn't done sucking up on the issue of taxes:

And, since no good deed goes unpunished in politics, the president also being skewered for taking a charitable tax deduction of $119 million for agreeing not to build homes on a 200 acre plot in Westchester, New York and a similar one in Los Angeles.

In each case, Trump bought the property planning to build a golf course and homes on them. Both times, the local zoning board refused to allow the development.

So Trump donated the right to develop develop this land to charity and took a deduction of $119 million, called a charitable easement.

So now the beautiful land in each location will be preserved forever wild as a place of refuge for people, birds, and animals.

Again, Morris is censoring the shady part of the controversy about the New York property known as Seven Springs:

Trump failed to develop the property after neighbors fought back so he took advantage of a historic conservation easement provision that allowed him to claim a $21 million charitable tax deduction when he signed a deal not to develop most of the property. He has also written off millions in property taxes as a business expense, classifying Seven Springs as an investment property rather than a personal residence, even though the Trumps appear to have used the sprawling estate as a summer "compound" and "retreat for the Trump family" for years.

Trump's tax records show that about $119 million of the $130 million in charitable contributions reported to the IRS have come from the Seven Springs scheme. The Seven Springs deduction is under investigation by New York's attorney general.

Morris concluded by invoking the right-wing defense of Trump on the tax issue: "He took advantage of every way to cut his tax burden. Do you know any taxpayer who doesn’t?"


Posted by Terry K. at 5:45 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Rehashes Old Obama Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On top of his usual potpourri of conspiracies, WorldNetDaily has been obsessing over President Obama as his new anti-Obama book neared publication. Now that it's out, Cashill's columns are promoting said book, and it's pretty much all his columns have been about of late.

In his Sept. 9 column, Cashill speculates about Obama's sexuality, based on letters he allegedly wrote to a college girlfriend in which Obama allegedly claims that "I make love to men daily, but in the imagination. My mind is androgynous to a great extent and I hope to make it more so." Cashill then lets his smutty mind run amok:

This revelation came at a good time for me. In writing my book "Unmasking Obama," I was still debating whether or not I should address the rumors of Obama's homosexuality.

There was other evidence to consider. One was Obama's adolescent relationship with CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis, an admitted bisexual with a taste for underage prey.


Then too there was the memorable Larry Sinclair. In June 2008, at the National Press Club in Washington, Sinclair related the alleged details of a two-day coke and sex romp with the then-married Obama in 1999.

Sinclair provided dates, the name of the hotel, the name of the Muslim limo driver who arranged the assignation, the specifics of their sexual interlude, and challenged the media to follow up. They did not. Instead, as was their habit during the Obama years, they attacked the messenger.

Cashill conveniently omits -- as he did a couple years back -- the inconvenient fact that documented conman Sinclair utterly discredited himself, offering no actual evidence to back up his claims and getting arrested after his bizarre presser on theft and forgery charges (and don't forget about his kilt-wearing lawyer).

On Sept. 16, Cashill declared that this summer's unrest following  the police shootings of black people "is the America Barack Obama and Joe Biden have wrought, and it is too damn late for a beer summit to paper things over," going on to make his usual complaint that "Obama tacitly endorsed the media's transformation of Zimmerman, a Hispanic civil rights activist, into a white-supremacist killer." Cashill, of course, transformed the black teen Zimmerman killed, Trayvon Martin, into a would-be thug.

Cashill played victim in his Sept. 23 column, parlaying a one-star review of his Obama-bashing book on Amazon into a "Fahrenheit 451"-style attempt to silence him, adding: "Of course, I am hoping for more abuse, maybe a smack down from big-time firemen like the smear artists at the Media Matters for America or the 'extremist' monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center. If truly successful, I might get a big fat 'False' from the faux fact-checkers at or"

They're not "smears" if it's the truth, Jack. And the truth is that Cashill has so discredited himself over the years that pretty much the only people who care about him is us, and only because he has decided to go down with the WND ship.

Cashill spent his Sept. 30 column hair-splitting over Obama's words in a 2012 presidential debate with Mitt Romney over whether he called the Benghazi attack an "act of terror."

Since WND isn't selling Cashill's book or, apparently, any other thing published in the past couple years outside of its sparely read Whistleblower magazine in its online store, it did the next best thing and published a gushy review of it by one William F. Marshall, who claims to be a "senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc." (complete with parenthetical disclaimer that "The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch"). Marshall declared the book to be "an important new work to the Obama biographical collection. It explores the many advances the cultural left made on traditional American society during the Obama era, with Barack Obama as the figurehead, at least, leading the campaign, abetted by an equally determined leftist media that protected him as zealously as any Praetorian Guard." He touted how Cashill pushed Sinclair's claims, laughably adding that "The tale is told not for its prurient value. ... They tried to discredit the man rather than investigate his explicit allegations through gumshoe reporting." Oh, but Cashill is very much aboiut the prurient value, is he not?

Marshall also fawned over Cashill's alleged "dry wit," adding, "We should all learn to laugh at the absurdities of America's political scene today. Humor helps keep us sane." He's clearly not going to mention that Cashill's record as a discredited conspiracy-monger precedes him and that all the "dry wit" he can muster doesn't wipe that way.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Sunday, October 4, 2020
MRC Tries To Pretend Trump's Fearmongering About Dems Destroying Suburbs Isn't Racial
Topic: Media Research Center

President Trump's fearmongering about low-income people moving into the suburbs was always a racial appeal, if not a racist dog whistle, but the Media Research Center wants you to think otherwise. Let's go back a little and examine how it did that.

A July 17 post by Duncan Schroeder was offended that CNN host W. Kamau Bell commented on Trump's assertion that Democrats will the suburbs by noting that "the suburbs were created for white flight: "Bell lied because the notion of 'white flight' is a myth that has no statistical basis." Actually, there are plenty of statistics to prove that white flight into the suburbs was very much a fact after World War II.

To bolster his claim that "African Americans have actually fled inner cities at higher rates than whites and the five largest suburbs in the U.S. have the fastest growing black populations in the U.S. No doubt to escape issues such as crime and poverty created by failed progressive policies," Schroeder's cited a column from right-wing columnist Walter Williams and a Fox News opinion piece by an employee of the right-wing Hudson Institute -- never mind that doing so contradicts his original assertion that white flight is a "myth."

When the Trump administration canceled a rule insituted under the Obama administration called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that sought to ensure that communities had plans to address housing discrimination and degregation with Trump himself claiming that it would keep low-income housing out ofthe suburbs, the MRC -- as you'd expect from the media arm of the Trump campaign -- tried to downplay that aspect.

A July 30 post by Kristine Marsh dismissed the rule as "radical government overreach" and highlighted "years of conservative criticism to the unfair housing rule which puts local governments and homeowners’ decisions into the hands of the federal government." She linked to a 2015 MRC post uncritically quoting then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly fearmongering that the rule would "regulate and enforce the diversity of neighborhoods (and particularly wealthy ones)."

Schroeder returned on July 31 to declare that the AFFH rule as an "Obama power grab"and claimed that a CNN correspondent "unabashedly lied by claiming that Trump rescinded the policy to appeal to 'white suburban voters' and to inflame 'racial divisions and the racial culture wars.'" Denying the racial aspect, Schroeder followed the MRC narrative by insisting:

Conservatives, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, have long opposed the AFFH. They opposed the policy because it enabled the federal government to bypass local governments and homeowners by charging the federal government with planning their neighborhoods for them. The policy increased local taxes by requiring towns to build larger water and sewer lines, add mass transportation, and increase school sizes and social services. Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center wrote that the policy perverted the intention of 1968 Fair Housing Act through “federal overreach on steroids” which “nullifies the very idea of legislative democracy.”

Schroeder also repeated his falsehood about "the myth of white flight, which says that whites fled from the inner cities to the suburbs because minorities couldn’t afford to live in the suburbs." Schroeder ignored the fact that racist covenents barred housing from being sold to Black people in many early suburbs until the practice was made illegal. Schroeder then ranted: "Thus, Trump is also speaking to the many successful minority residents of suburbs all across the country. Does [the CNN correspondent] not believe that minorities in the U.S. can be successful enough to afford the suburbs? That would be well, racist."

Michael Dellano proclaimed that a commentator admitting that some non-white people  live in suburbs negated the argument that Trump is making a racist appeal: "Trump obviously wants all suburban voters, regardless of race, to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods, but the leftist media cannot swallow that truth."

On Aug. 12, Schroeder declared the AFFH to be "onerous" and regurgitated his previous biased attack. Marsh added that "it’s only the mediawho keeps bringing up racism when Trump talks about the suburbs," linking to Schroeder's post as alleged proof.

Tim Graham tried to turn things around by claiming those accusing Trump of racism are the real racists:

Journalists boast about how they hold the president accountable for his statements. But far too often, they mangle his statements, especially the ones that can sound racially insensitive. At Wednesday night's briefing, President Trump was asked about his use of the word "invasion" to describe Democratic plans to mandate low-income housing in suburban neighborhoods, which can be expected to decrease property values, as any realtor knows. 

The word "invasion" is florid, and it's often applied to illegal immigration, so liberals are already prone to interpret it as racist or an application of racial code words. But PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor completely mangled Trump's answer into something it was not.


So he's saying that suburban homeowners are going to be financially harmed, including minorities. It's the Left that thinks "low-income housing" must mean black and brown people. How cynical is that? 

Not as cynical as pretending anything Trump says can be taken at face value, and that he's not really making a racial appeal at its core.

Marsh, meanwhile, went on her own rant:

The media has been hell-bent on making Trump’s comments about race even when they defeat their own argument by admitting the suburbs are actually diverse. Furthermore, the media actually reveals their own racism by assuming that minorities don’t want to live in safe and prospering neighborhoods. Mitchell herself has grossly mischaracterized what Trump’s said on this issue, sneering on a previous show he was really telling whites, “I’m going to protect you from black people.”

Ignoring reality is the MRC's job these days -- after all, it is the media arm of the Trump campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2020 11:53 PM EDT
CNS Managing Editor Misleads on Va. Bill To Provide Discretion On Police Officer Assault Charges
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman spent part of last month obsessing over a Virginia state legislative bill -- to the point where he played the old CNS trick of playing gotcha by pestering state legislators about it. The first attempt came in a Sept. 4 article:

Although legislation that would reduce the charge for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor has passed the Virginia Senate and is now in the House of Delegates, the office of House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) did not respond when asked if the Speaker supports the bill. 

But that's not exactly what's happening, as even Chapman admits in the question he crafted to ask that legislator; he concedes that the bill would "give a judge or a jury discretion in whether to impose a misdemeanor penalty (instead of the prescribed felony) for a simple assault of a police officer, judge, or EMS personnel." He wrote again later in the article that the bill "would not change the assault/felony statute but it would allow a judge or jury, using their discretion, to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor."

As an actual news outlet reported, the bill "give judges and juries leeway to decide whether someone who shoves a police officer without causing injury deserves the same felony assault charge as someone who punches or stabs and remove a mandatory six-month jail sentence for the offense. But Chapman did not explain why this was such a terrible thing.

Still, follow-up araticles Chapman did started with the same misleading framing. 

Sept. 9: "When asked whether she supported legislation that would allow a judge to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the office of House Delegate Amanda Batten (R-96th District) said she does not support such legislation, either the Senate version or what may eventually emerge from the House."

Sept. 9: "When asked whether they supported legislation that would reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor, the offices of six Virginia House Delegates, all Democrats, did not respond."

Sept. 11: "Democrats in the Virginia Senate voted unanimously in August in favor of legislation to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor. Senate Republicans opposed the measure."

Sept. 14: "When asked whether she supports legislation that would allow a judge to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, House Delegate Kathy Byron (R- 22nd District) said she 'adamantly opposes" the idea and added that it "sends the wrong message at the worst possible time.'"

Again, in none of these articles does Chapman explain why  this bill is a bad thing, even as he concedes that it merely provides discretion in cases of minor contact.

Chapman's bad-faith intent was made even more clear when he ignored the fact that later in the month the bill was shelved by a Virginia House of Delegates committee for further study. That shows he was trying to push an agenda instead of doing responsible reporting. But then, we don't expect anything else from CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:26 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2020 11:37 AM EDT
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Do As I Say, Not As I Do: MRC Won't Promote Right-Wing Books Graham Attacks Media For Ignoring
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham devoted his Sept. 16 column to whining that "anti-Trump" books by Bob Woodward, "the most overpraised journalist in Washington" (who was merely quoting what Trump told him during 18 hours of interviews) and more: "Also this week, the networks lavished attention on two discredited actors in Trump scandals: former FBI agent Peter Strzok, dismissed from the Robert Mueller probe for flagrantly partisan text messages, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, fresh from serving a prison sentence. Trump's niece Mary Trump is still squeezing big money out of her lurid psychological profile on Uncle Donald. She calls him 'The World's Most Dangerous Man.' It helps with the royalties."

He further complained that on that guest list, "there isn't a single author with a deeply critical book on Joe Biden, going on to huff:

Pro-Trump authors are being ignored by the "mainstream" media. Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a bestselling memoir called "Speaking for Myself," but somehow, she is considered beyond the pale, even though she hasn't been to prison like Cohen.

Washington Examiner reporter Byron York has a new book out on the Mueller probe and other Trump scandal inquiries titled "Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment's Never-Ending War on Trump." Liberal journalists will probably dismiss the book because it's published by the staunchly conservative Regnery Publishing. The networks that were so deeply invested in the fantasy of Russian government collusion with the Trump campaign won't want to hear York explain that Mueller's team of Democratic investigators knew early on there was no proof of collusion but dragged the whole charade out past the midterm elections.

Black conservative Candace Owens has a brand-new book titled "Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation," published by Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions. Does anyone think CBS will lavish attention on this book as it did for Woodward, also a Simon & Schuster author?

You know who else hasn't promoted those book? Graham's MRC.

A search of the NewsBusters archive found no promotion of Owens' book, and only one post mentioned that she wrote a book. At the MRC's "news" division,, while it loves to quote Owens (and censor her numerous controversies), a search of its archive showed the only mention of her book there is ... Graham's column.

York fared worse: The only mention of York's book at both NewsBusters and CNS appears in Graham's column. And at MRCTV, the MRC's video site, there was no mention at all of either book.

If these  books are so valuable and so insightful and so meaningful, why won't the MRC put its money where Graham's mouth is and give them the promotion on their own websites he insists they deserve?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
WND Columnist Proclaims Kenosha Shooter A 'Folk Hero'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The silver-haired Mr. Cooper, also a CNN celebrity anchor, is the son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Private property owners defending their modest residences and meager businesses is not something someone who grew up in a castle can comprehend.

Not so Kyle Rittenhouse. Young Kyle went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, because he was never confused. He attempted to do the job politicians and police have refused to do. As the city's mayor and the state's governor watched Kenosha burn, Kyle confronted the enemies of the commonweal. Unlike the flaccid men of the media and in corridors of power, the 17-year-old rose to the challenge, firing only when he was prone and was being pounded by the feral fiends.

Intent on doing a Nick Sandmann on Rittenhouse, the media hounds have been pounding the airwaves with the "right-wing vigilante" pejorative, also calling Kyle a "17-year-old man." This is a subliminal message for "charge him as an adult."


Seventeen-year-old Kyle's recent history? Working as a community lifeguard – boy, can he swim in polluted waters – cleaning "defaced storefronts," dumpster fires lit by Democratic detritus and standing sentinel in front of storefronts in downtown Kenosha, actions the local police instructed him to cease. Well, of course: The police force, in 2020, is a spent force, missing in action, flouting their constitutional obligation to protect innocents and their property.

But President Trump is still a fierce brawler. He knows that the only time you reach across the aisle to the current crop of pyromania-enabling Democrats is to grab them by the proverbial throat. With the president in the lead, I hazard that 50% of the country is behind this remarkably composed young man. ("Never Trumpers" are with the "new and radicalized Democratic coalition.")


Amid the chaos, some pettifoggers have found the wherewithal to throw the book at Kyle Rittenhouse and Steve Baca, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He, too, was chased down by a wilding pack, ran until he could no longer, and only then stood his ground. Why is Baca being prosecuted and destroyed, rather than given the key to the city?

T. Jefferson – hush, don't say a Founding Father's name out loud – passed the 1807 Insurrection Act. If it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me. Bring It. Some skulls need cracking.

Still better: Tired of waiting on a neutered, coopted, infiltrated and compromised police to come to the rescue? Let law-abiding taxpayers hire private protection of Kyle Rittenhouse's caliber.

-- Ilana Mercer, Sept. 3 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Friday, October 2, 2020
MRC Writer Whines Media Covered Woodward Book Over Trump's Nobel Nomination
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center went into full damage-control mode against Bob Woodward's new book that extensively quotes President Trump in hours of interviews he gave to the journalist -- of course, since the MRC couldn't attack Trump for misquoting Trump since it's all on tape, it bashed Trump for the usual "liberal bias" and for even writing the book at all. But the MRC's most absurd deflection over the Woodward book deserves its own post.

It came from Nicholas Fondacaro, who actually dedicated an entire post to this:

It was easy to tell the broadcast networks were in full campaign mode on Wednesday seeing as they spent large chunks of their evening newscasts hawking yet another anti-Trump book, Rage by Bob Woodward. But while they spent over 16 minutes (16:26) being up in arms over something President Trump said publicly back in April, they used it to cover-up how the President was nominated by a member of the Norwegian Parliament for a Nobel Peace Prize, for his work in the Israel-UAE peace deal.

CBS Evening News dedicated by far the most time to the book, over seven minutes (7:08) between three different segments, with one just about Joe Biden’s reaction. Next, was ABC’s World News Tonight with over five minutes (5:09), and NBC Nightly News brought up the rear with over four minutes (4:09).

Because Fondacaro is a fundamentally dishonest person, he didn't tell his readers that Trump's nomination is effectively meaningless since a fairly large group of people can make nominations. He also refused to disclose that the person whonominated Trump is a Norwegian lawmaker who's notoriously anti-immigration and who likened Muslim headscarves to Ku Klux Klan uniforms.

Instead, Fondacaro gushed over the MRC's favorite "news" channel for doing his bidding: "Unlike the networks, Fox News Channel’s Special Report managed to walk and chew gum at the same time, covering both the book and the peace prize nomination." Fondacaro lavished four paragraphs on how Fox News promoted the Nobel story. While he denounced the network journalists as "liberal hacks" rooting for Joe Biden, he refused to identify Fox News as a reliably pro-Trump outlet that would be prone to distracting from the Woodward story to tout the dubious Nobel story.

But then, Fondacaro is such a Bozell-bot true believer in the MRC's anti-media narrative that he may simply be incapable of seeing Fox News' obvious bias. Or he's lying like he usually does.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2020 9:31 PM EDT
Abortion-Obsessed CNS Editor Slams Ginsburg Upon Her Death

It took nearly a day for to do a story on the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And because highly biased editor in chief Terry Jeffrey wrote it, the story -- illustrated with an ominous-looking photo of Ginsburg -- had no interest in looking at her groundbreaking career but, rather, was focused on a single subject he could bash her on:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who defended what she argued was a constitutional “right” to partial-birth abortion, passed away on Friday night. She was 87 years old.

In the 2000 case of Stenberg vs. Carhart and the 2007 case of Gonzales vs. Carhart, Ginsburg made clear her view that the U.S. Constitution protected a “right” to abortion (as the court had ruled in the 1973 case of Roe vs. Wade and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey) and that this right extended to the practice of partial-birth abortion.

Even though the story was ostensibly about Ginsburg, Jeffrey included an excerpt from Clarence Thomas' minority opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart in which he described in detail the "partial birth abortion" procedure for no apparent legal reason but apparently for shock value.

But Jeffrey wasn't done attacking a dead woman. In his Sept. 23 column, he huffed that "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ought to be remembered for two things: her attacks on the right to life and her attacks on religious liberty." He rehashed his earlier attacks on Ginsburg's stances on the abortion-related cases -- and again repeated Thomas' gratuitious description of the abortion procedure in question, gushing at his "clinical clarity" even though Thomas is not a doctor, ranting, "How could any rational person conclude that the government had an interest in stopping doctors from jamming scissors into the skulls of partially born babies?

Jeffrey then complained that Ginsburg issued dissenting views in cases on whether employers had to cover contraceptives and "abortion-inducing drugs," grousing that in one case, "In Ginsburg's view, the federal government had a duty to force Catholic nuns to violate their religious beliefs in order to make sure their lay female employees did not have to pay for their own contraceptives."

Even the CNS editor in chief can't help but violate the "news" operation's mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT

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