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Saturday, October 10, 2020
Insensitive MRC Politicizes A Family's Tragedy
Topic: Media Research Center

Leave it to Gabriel Hays -- whose stock in trade at the Media Research Center is mocking and smearing celebrities who aren't as far-right as he is and being enraged that cartoons teach children that racism is bad -- to politicize someone's tragedy.

Hays particularly hates model Chrissy Teigen. He has previously sneered at her for responding in kind to a nasty insult from President Trump, mocked her for having "quarantined in her luxury pad with her husband, singer John Legend" and cried "BARF" when a magazine did a story on them and declared her "the spokeswoman for 'Vaginal steaming.'"So when Teigen reported having a miscarriage, Hays was eager to exploit it for his right-wing agenda, using an Oct. 1 post to gloat that the "pro-choice" Teigen admitted she was having a child:

Sometimes, even the most pro-choice people on the planet have a hard time denying the reality that their unborn child is a living human being inside of them. 

Hollywood couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen tragically lost their third child due to pregnancy complications on October 1. In their mournful social media posts about the horrific loss, they revealed themselves as a pro-life family, if only for a moment.

The Grammy award-winning singer and his model wife very much treated their unborn baby “Jack” as a very real, and very human part of their family from the moment they found out Teigen was pregnant.

Hays offered a little sympathy lip service, but that's not he's really about. But he also devoted a paragraph to disputing whether Teigen actually miscarried:

It’s not clear how far along in the pregnancy Teigen was, but media were under the impression she had suffered a miscarriage. Though that’s the term for the death of an unborn child before 20 weeks of pregnancy due to malformation in the womb. All we know for sure is that Teigen had publicly confirmed that she was having a baby boy just only a couple weeks ago.

He even put "miscarriage" in scare quotes in the headline. That's not the sign of someone who truly has sympathy for Teigen and Legend.

Hays ended by claiming that "They should take solace in the fact that they may see him again in the light of God’s presence someday." Hays, meanwhile, is taking solace in how he pushed his political agenda on the backs of someone else's tragedy.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT
Your Weekly Mychal Massie Meltdown, Double Shot Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

[T]he Democratic Party is loaded with miserable, contumacious, contentious, Erebusic harridans. Then there is Nancy Pelosi: a broom-rider who needs no introduction.

Pelosi is insulted at being expected to abide by the same rules/edicts as we commoners; after all, her hair salon visits are important. I could be sarcastic and say she is further aggrieved because the Halloween door-to-door costume events in her district have been canceled, which means she will be unable to showoff her latest ensemble, complete with pointed hat and facial contortions.

-- Mychal Massie, Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column

I believe the Democratic Party and the Biden campaign should be indicted and charged with elder abuse for what they're doing to Joe Biden. Look, I don't like rats or groundhogs, but I don't want to see them tortured endlessly for the exclusive benefit of the torturer. That's exactly how I feel about Biden.

It's a fact and attested to by his closest friends on Capitol Hill: Biden is at or near the very end of the line when it comes to brains. Newt Gingrich, among others who have known Biden for many years, admits publicly that Biden is a likable, funny guy, with no one at home upstairs.

Watching his campaign apparently pump him up with drugs and him still unable to coherently read the words on a teleprompter is beyond the pale. For them to resort to staged townhall events in which the persons asking the questions are part of his campaign team, and camera angles that conceal the fact the room/area is virtually empty save for his campaign people, and still watch him unable to answer questions lucidly is reducing Biden to a boorish joke punch line.


I'm not being mean-spirited; I'm being more honest than Biden's wife and family. I'm not making things up. There are countless YouTube and Twitter videos of Biden making one gaffe after another. These aren't doctored or edited to make him appear like a befuddled mentally challenged old man. 

Attacking anyone and everyone who questions and/or points out Biden's clearly worsening dementia and accusing them of being supporters of President Trump, as Biden's wife is now doing, doesn't help Biden. Denying that Biden has massive mental health issues isn't prolonging his life. It's doing just the opposite.


If Jill Biden were a decent human being, she would put her husband's quality of life before the pursuit of a job he couldn't competently perform if it were handed to him by fiat. Biden the candidate is the clearest example of non compos mentis in history.

-- Mychal Massie, Sept. 28 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 AM EDT
Friday, October 9, 2020
MRC Embraces Anti-Vaxxers To Own The Libs, Or Something
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just can't stop embracing fringe-right causes to advance its bogus narrative that social media is unique discriminating against conservatives. Kayla Sargent actually wrote this in a Sept. 23 post:

Regardless of your stance on vaccination, hiding information about anti-vaccine groups and content probably doesn’t help anyone. 

ZDNet, an Australian news website, reported that Facebook is attempting to hide what it deems “vaccine misinformation” from users. 

Facebook recently submitted a report to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media. In the report, Facebook stated that it is “taking a range of steps to make anti-vaccination misinformation harder to find and to elevate authoritative information about vaccines … .”

Yes, Sargent actually wrote that giving anti-vaxxers a platform is a good thing. (Also, ZDNet is not "an Australilan news site"; it's a U.S-based tech news operation owned by CBS.)

Sargent then tried to both-sides anti-vaxxers, but undermined it by rehashing its bogus narrative: 

The anti-vax movement exists on both the far right and the far left. The Washington Post noted that there were several prominent anti-vax individuals, including Andrew Wakefield and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 

Facebook, in recent months, has attempted to crack down hard on “misinformation,” but its attempts have often resulted in the censorship of conservative voices.

Meanwhile, the MRC is still fretting about QAnon conspiracy theorists getting shut down on social media. An Oct. 7 post by Alexander Hall went the whataboutism route:

Facebook has been cracking down on conspiracy theorists while allowing groups that organize and share content in apparent conflict with Facebook’s policies. That means QAnon is gone but Antifa is still allowed.

Facebook previously established policies in August “that barred QAnon groups that called for violence,” The New York Times summarized, but this wasn’t enough for liberal news outlets pressuring Facebook. The Times illustrated that since then, “Facebook acknowledged that its previous policies had not gone far enough” in an October 6 update.


While liberals panic about people sharing conspiracy theories, extreme left-wing groups are using Facebook to organize civil unrest.

Among Hall's examples of "civil unrest" were "far-left Canadian organization Adbusters" allegedly undertaking "foreign political interference" and that "Facebook allowed activists to organize on the platform to harass sitting U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at his purported home address about how he intends to vote concerning a replacement for deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 9, 2020 2:52 PM EDT
CNS Weirdly Obsessed With Pelosi's Calls To Prayer
Topic: is a bit obsessed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When it's not trying to portray her as frail and senile, it loves to detail her calls to prayer.

In 2018, CNS published a mocking column from John Horvat II sneering at her call to pray for Dreamers, huffing that Pelosi "calls herself Catholic" and accusing her of having "politicized" her call to prayer. Last October, Susan Jones mocked her again under the headline "Pelosi, After Provoking Trump, Urges Prayers for His 'Health'," blaming her and Democrats for "deliberately provok[ing]" Trump (and , of course, not Trump for being so lacking in self-control that he allowed himself to be provoked).

After touting in February how Trump lashed out at Pelosi for allegedly "say[ing] I pray for you when they know that that's not so," CNS has spent the following several months being fascinated by Pelosi's various calls to prayer:

It's unclear what CNS wants its readers to take away from its fixation on Pelosi and prayer. Its uber-Catholic editors like Terry Jeffrey and Michael W. Chapman have never respected the way Pelosi conducts her Catholic faith -- it conducted a failed hit job on her over how she had "an epiphany on Easter" -- so they obviously don't believe her calls to prayer are sincere. So why promote them at all, except as a sort of backhanded acknowledgment that even the hated Pelosi believes in prayer?

That would certainly conflict with the prevailing frail-and-senile narrative at CNS, though. So it's a mystery.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Thursday, October 8, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Doesn't Care About Tara Reade
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has embraced a woman who accused Joe Biden of sexual misconduct a few decades back -- but only because she's useful to its agenda. By contrast, it demeans women who make similar allegations against President Trump. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EDT
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

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