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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
WND's Farah, Kupelian Hypocritically Rant About Things
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For her Oct. 9 video -- taking a break from peddling far-right politics under the guise of "DIY Bible study" and now claiming to offer "Truth in the Booth" -- WorldNetDaily's Elizabeth Farah interviewed the guy she's worked along for the past two decades-plus, WND managing editor David Kupelian.

In the hour-long interview, Farah declared the election to be a "spiritual battle," and Kupelian of course concurred. He ranted:

What we're seeing in the whole charade of the Biden-Harris campaign right now where the entire media are playing along pretending this is a real person, pretending this is a person who has a mind, pretending he has any original thoughts going on at all right now, it's all a huge pretense. What we're seeing really is a -- what has infected all these people, the Democratic Party, the news media, culture, the incubator for all of it which is our colleges and universities, is something that we call Marxism, OK? But again, that's just a label. What it really, really, really is is a rebellion against God, a rebellion against God's laws and his son and his morality.

He also argued that people are "either channeling good or channeling evil." Of course, Kupelian and Farah (her husband, Joseph, too) have been channeling evil for years through the lies and conspiracy theories WND has spread -- highly ironic because both Farah and Kupelian like to seem themselves as, in Farah's words, "firmly footed in reality -- truth"and anyone who disagrees with them, or even points out they're wrong, are the evil ones who are engaging in projection.

Kupelian also complained, as he has before, about Trump-Hitler comparisons , calling them "grossly irresponsible and reckless" and declaring that the only way liberals "can sleep at night" and "look right into the camera" and tell lies is to make such a comparison. But he fails to acknowledge the very same argument can be made about him -- after all, WND spent eight-plus years of likening President Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis, and we assume Kupelian slept very well at night after spreading such smears and birther lies because he believed he was saving the world, or at least his right-wing vision of Christianity, by fighting Hitler. He and Farah would never consider themselves "grossly irresponsible and reckless" for their multitudes of Obama smears and lies.

(He also repeated the "Charlottesville lie" lie.)

Kupelian went on to rant that Nancy Pelosi calling Trump the "enemy of the people" was "treason" is "so irresponsible" that "you are asking people to go out and do horrible things." We would remind Kupelian that WND likened Obama to the Antichrist. Does he think that was irresponsible and that it asked WND readers to go out and do horrible things? And they certainly don't see themselves as irresponsible or reckless for portraying everyone they disagree with as not just wrong but evil, which may also spur people to do horrible things.

Farah, meanwhile, declared that "it's a moral obligation to vote for the Republican Party and Donald Trump this year" because "it's a biblical choice you're making, a spiritual, moral, ethical choice, and if we're walking in the feet of the Messiah, the shoes of the Messiah, the way, we can do nothing but vote for Donald Trump." Kupelian responded that "I could not agree more."

Kupelian went on to continue to deny Biden's humanity and push his conspiracy theory of him as a senile puppet, at one point calling him "Joe Biden, quote-unquote, the Trojan horse of Joe Biden. ... Joe Biden is really not there anymore, he's a puppet, he's a Trojan horse, everybody knows it."

Farah also gushed over Trump by going the divine-Doinald route: "He is like a Samson, in that he is -- you know, I m not going to speak for God spike fo him, but he is in office doing God's work." Kupelian then laughably claimed that Trump "has grown in office" and shown "grace" in the face of "unprecedented attacks." Again, Kupelian forgot there is, in fact, a precedent in WND's smears of Obama.

Farah also put in a plug for the new edition of WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine, which portrays Biden as, yes, a Trojan horse; the writeup also smeared him as "a feeble, constantly lying, unprincipled, corrupt career politician whose mental disintegration is now so apparent and advanced that he can barely speak coherently."

Even though they are WND company officials who played key roles in running the website into the ground because of the above lies and smears (and, of course, questionable business decisions and shady practices), Farah and Kupelian didn't talk about the current financial state of WND -- though they really should sometime if they want people to take them seriously.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
MRC Defends And Deflects Over Trump's Debate Failure on White Supremacy
Topic: Media Research Center

When President Trump couldn't quite denounce white supremacy and the thuggish right-wingers in the Proud Boys during the first presidential debate, the Media Research Center -- as you'd expecct from the media arm of the Trump campaign -- launched into the usual defense-and-deflection mode it has had to do so many times.

Gabriel Hays kicked off the defense by complaining that Joe Biden "called Trump a 'racist' and repeated the thoroughly-debunked lie that Trump praised white supremacists in Charlottesville." (Yeah, not so much.) Hays then tried to explain away"lefties in Hollywood" pointing out that Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by": For the hyenas of Hollywood Twitter, the only interpretation of this moment was that Trump was sidestepping the condemnation of white supremacists and telling a group of racist militiamen to hold their villainous action until he gives the order. Though Trump has specifically condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis at least twice now."  Then he played whataboutism: "But, again, as Trump pointed out in the debate, where’s the condemnation of ANTIFA and the Black Lives Matter left which has inspired most of the violence on city streets since May?"

Curtis Houck whined that one commentator criticized Trump "for having supposedly failed to denounce hate groups." Nicholas Fondacaro, insisted that Trump actually did denounce white supremacists and militia groups when he merely agreed to do so without actually doing it:

But the full context, the transcript showed that Trump had mentioned the Proud Boys after demanding moderator Chris Wallace to give him a name of a group to condemn, and Joe Biden chimed in with the name. And the main take away was Trump saying “sure” after Wallace had asked: “Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups?”

Kristine Marsh linked to Fondacaro's post in claiming that Trump's failure to condemn white supremacists was "another lie from the media." Joseph Morris asserted that Trump merely "inartfully answer[ed] a question about a white supremacist group," adding, "While Trump's response was not the best wording, it was not a call to violence." He too played whataboutism, huffing that "Joe Biden refused to even acknowledge the existence of far-left violent extremists, falsely proclaiming: 'Antifa is an idea not an organization.'"

Houck once again served up more embarrassing gushing over White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany by parroting her attempted defense of Trump:

After Tuesday’s exhausting presidential debate and Wednesday’s 20-minute cage match between Chris Cuomo and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thursday’s White House press briefing was an unmitigated disaster thanks to meltdowns from reporters demanding President Trump and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany denounce white supremacist groups on what must be a near-constant basis, regardless of what Trump has said in the past.

Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts went first and asked McEnany “for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection” of Trump “denounc[ing] white supremacism and groups that espouse it, in all their forms.”

McEnany noted that it was answered on Tuesday at the debate and on Wednesday (thanks to a question from Roberts’s wife Kyra Phillips of ABC) and noted three direct instances of when he’s denounced hate during his presidency.

Norris returned to rant: "Appearing on CNN's New Day on Thursday, unhinged left-wing commentator Errol Louis was given free reign to fabricate wild claims that President Trump was sending a clear signal to violent extremists, militia-type organizations” and telling them 'That he does want them, in fact, to go out and help disrupt the elections.' Not only was there no challenge of the false smear, the cable network has actually been actively pushing such hysteria."

Noirris served up another reframing of Trump's remarks, claiming he was being criticized for "not denouncing white supremacy the way they demanded him to."

Jorge Bonilla got in on the action, claiming that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos -- a longtime MRC target -- "twice pushed the lie that President Donald Trump has not denounced white nationalism generally, or the proud boys specifically."

This was capped by an anonymously written piece with video headlined "19 Times Donald Trump Has Denounced White Supremacy" -- which included the debate clip in which Trump didn't actually denounce white supremacy. The unnamed author added whataboutism: "Oddly these same journalists don’t demand that Joe Biden repeatedly denounce Antifa."

It's almost as if the Trump campaign paid the MRC to crank out that last piece. And all the other defenses and deflections.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 9:27 PM EDT
CNS Keeps Up The Spin On COVID Case Numbers

Over the past few months, -- mostly reporter Susan Jones -- has been heavily spinning coronavirus case and mortality numbers, obscuring the summer surge by comparing it to the initial surge earlier this year. The spin hasn't let up.

A Sept. 15 article by Jones carried the headline "COVID-19 Deaths in Last Week of August Down 83.8% From April Peak and touted how "the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 has now declined for at least five straight weeks since late July." Jones shifted her spin in a Sept. 22 article:

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 283,358 new cases of coronavirus in this county in the last seven days -- 37,417 reported yesterday -- for a total of 6,786,352 presumed or diagnosed cases since the first reported cases in February.

Yet based on death certificates submitted so far to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, have decreased for at least five straight weeks since July 25.

For the final week of August, or the week ending August 29, NCHS recorded 4,306 presumed or confirmed COVID deaths, a 20.71 percent decrease from the 5,431 COVID deaths reported in the prior week; a 45.55 percent drop from the 7,909 deaths in the week ending July 25; and a 74.75 percent decrease from the record 17,055 deaths reported for the week ending April 25.

In another Sept. 22 article, Jones tried to shift blame for the virus in an article headlined "CDC: Adult Obesity, a Risk Factor for COVID, Is Increasing," making sure to highlight that obesity "increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19."

Jones' Sept. 29 article was a bit of a corrective, but still featured her old spin:

As more death certificates are tabulated by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, it now appears that the COVID death toll ticked up, not down, in the week that ended on August 1, by the very smallest of margins.

For the week ending August 1, NCHS counted 7,974 COVID-19 deaths, just two more than the 7,972 recorded in the prior week.

That second COVID death peak of 7,974 is 53.24 percent below the first peak (17,055) in mid-April.

Jones had somewhat less spin and more reality in her Oct. 6 article:

Updated numbers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that since mid-July, approximately one thousand people have died every day in this country from COVID-19.

That's well below the mid-April peak, when 17,063 people died in the week ending April 18.

But it's an acceleration from the six-week stretch in June and early July, when the number of weekly deaths ranged from 3,777 (week ending June 27) to 5,665 (week ending July 11).

Jones tried to spin harder in her Oct. 13 article, lamenting "new cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the last seven days, with the highest per-capita increases in the upper Midwest/West" but declaring that "at the same time, data based on death certificates submitted to CDC show deaths have been dropping since the week ending August 1."

Patrick Goodenough tried his hand at spinning COVID in an Oct. 13 article by finding a new way to count dead people: "As a proportion of the national population, the United States has accounted for fewer deaths attributed to the coronavirus this month than any other major country in the Western Hemisphere except for Canada, although still more than those in Western Europe."

That's what spinning for Trump is all about.

UPDATE: Jones spins even more in an Oct. 20 article, noting a rise in coronavirus cases but declaring that "while cases are rising in most states, deaths are not rising at the same rate: CDC counts 0.2 deaths per 100,000 people in the last seven days."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:52 PM EDT
Monday, October 19, 2020
MRC Parrots Trump's Needless Freakout Over Ballots Thrown Away
Topic: Media Research Center

As the media arm of the Trump campaign, the Media Research Center believes it is its duty to bash media outlets for not reporting stories the way President Trump wants them reported -- even the facts don't exacctly back Trump up. Thus, we have Mark Finkelstein huffing in a Sept. 25 post:

It was another one of those liberal-media, "move along, nothing to see here" moments. 

On CNN's New Day this morning, the crew did its best to utterly dismiss the significance of nine military ballots, seven of which were identified as being for President Trump [the two others apparently still sealed], having been found discarded in a Pennsylvania dumpster.

Co-host Alisyn Camerota conducted an echo-chamber conversation with CNN election analyst and ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman. The pair took turns downplaying the importance of the troubling event:

  • "It hardly suggests any sort of widespread problem, whatsoever." 
  • "There’s really nothing about this that would suggest a larger problem."
  • "It does not suggest an overwhelming problem . . . I just don’t think that there’s any evidence of that."  
  • "We don't know what 'discarded' even means."

Camerota put a dismissive capper on it, calling the ballots in a dumpster just "hiccups." Hold your breath and they'll go away.

Later that day, Kyle Drennen went full-on Trump defense, accusing MSNBC's Chuck Todd of saying that Trump was making up a story related to the case because "when we asked the White House for information to back up this claim about Trump votes being thrown in the trash, they sent us a report that did not back up his claims one bit.reported that the story was not only completely true but being investigated by the Justice Department."

But Trump's wording about case was misleading at best, suggesting that the ballots were throw away because they were votes for Trump. There's no evidence then or now that this was the case. Nevertheless, Drennen ranted: "It’s interesting that any story that goes against the leftist media narrative is immediately disregarded and deemed irrelevant. Todd was so deep in the tank for Democrats that he preemptively called the President a liar, even as the anchor himself lied to his viewers."

But it turns out that CNN and NBC were right in their reporting that this was an isolated case. An actual news outlet reported that the ballots were incorrectly thrown away by a temporary contractor, who was removed when the incident was discovered.

Weirdly, neither Finkelstein nor Drennen thought it was odd that Department of Justice officials investigating the incident disclosed what candidate the unidentified -- after all, ballots aren't supposed to be counted until election night. One former DOJ official quoted by the actual news outlet found it "bizarre and disturbing."

MRC readers will never know the outcome of this case, however. Having performed its Trmp-mandated duty of fearmongering about mail-in voting, it hasn't mentioned the story again.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Alveda King Can't Stop Shilling for Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Alveda King has long been a pro-Trump sycophant, and she went further into it in her Oct. 2 Newsmax column, gushing over President Trump's pandering to blacks, linking to Trump websites to back up her claims:

The first 2020 presidential debate was an eye-opener for America. Regardless of media bias, we saw and heard President Trump defend America's families, America's economy, America's babies, America's environment and America's security.

Just days before the debate, POTUS released his PLATINUM PLANfor boosting the underserved communities of America. Therein he declared that lynching is a hate crime, and that ANTIFA and the KKK are domestic terrorists.

All of this compassion and progress from President Donald John Trump: His history of fairness in the African-American community extends far beyond his first term as president of the United States.

Now that we are just a few days from the 2020 elections, in many instances the media is rushing to amp up their portrayal of President Trump as a racist. In response, I ask America to consider President Trump's record during his first term of office, and his agenda for the next four years.

Promises made, promises kept.

As President 45, Trump has done a lot to Make America Great Again. And he's still not racist.

We don't know who owns the "still not racist" website King links to; the owner has hidden their identity.

(And, yes, Newsmax is still letting Trump call herself "Dr." even though her doctoral degree is honorary.)

In her Oct. 5 column, King tried to rather lamely explain why she's a Trump supporter:

During the 2016 presidential race Donald John Trump was one of my top five candidate preferences. In 2020 it is easy for me to answer the question, "Why Trump?" Over the last four years, I have had a front row seat watching President Trump fight for religious liberties not only here in America, but around the globe. I have watched him champion the rights of the unborn. I have watched him advance opportunities in Black America.

With POTUS I've taken a page from my Granddaddy's journal. I've put faith and expediency over church denomination and politics. Donald J. Trump is my president. I've got my vote, and my prayers. Both are in favor of President Trump and his "promises made and promises kept."

Again, let's pray for healing and better days ahead.

Trump is not exactly known for healing anything -- witness 210,000+ coronavirus deaths under his watch -- but you do you, Alveda.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:05 PM EDT
The Coronavirus Vaccine Fearmongering Continues At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A coronavirus vaccine doesn't even exist year, yet WorldNetDaily has spent months fearmongering about it. And as vaccine candidates move closer to approval the fearmongering has continued.

Barbara Simpson ranted in her Sept. 25 column that the idea a vaccine will "suddenly fix everything" couldn't be "further from the truth," citing relatively rare cases in Africa where some people have caught polio from the vaccine. From there, it was quickly onto Bill Gates conspiracy territory:

It doesn't help that there are some big names associated with the program. The vaccine being used in Africa comes from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) – which is supported and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Interesting, isn't it, that news media have ignored this growing catastrophe. Is it because it's in Africa – or because of the name "Gates"? You decide. Despite the failures, the vaccine campaign continues.


In fact, the Gateses also fund the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which is running COVID-19 vaccine human trials in South Africa along with the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, which is also another Gates-funded institution.

My question is, given the result of the failure of the polio vaccine in Africa, why isn't there more pressure being put on the Gates people, and indeed the U.N. and WHO, concerning the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine?

Daniel Joseph served up an Oct. 2 video by Daniel Joseph asks the question, "Is a forced COVID vaccine the Mark of the Beast?" His answer appears to be yes, declaring that "this has the Antichrist written all over it." (No, we didn't sit through the entire tedious hour-and-a-half video.)

Brent Smith's Oct. 9 column went anti-vaxxer, declaring that "if your diseased child doesn't negatively affect me or my family, it isn't my problem," adding: "The science is all there. Any parent can research the safety and warnings of vaccines and make an educated decision to vaccinate their children and themselves, or not. This may seem rather selfish, but that's the price of freedom, and your stupidity and fear shall not trump my liberty."

This followed up on a column Smith wrote in August declaring that getting the vaccine is a matter of "My Body, My Choice." He invoked both Saul Alinsky and Chinese "social credit" schemes in the process, the concluded by claiming: "They're already taking away our right to choose how we vote. Soon, I fear, we may have to make a hard decision to choose, or not, to be vaccinated. And if we choose the latter, there will be consequences, as we move closer to the Chinese model."

(We overlooked this when it was first posted, but Scott Lively spent a column in July freaking out over the remote possibility that the Supreme Court could mandate a vaccine, adding that "the only hope I can see for avoiding mandatory vaccines is a Trump reelection accompanied either by 1) full GOP control of Congress, or 2) a quick flip of SCOTUS to a conservative majority." This being the gay-hating Lively, he also took a detour to rant about gay marriage.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 19, 2020 1:02 AM EDT
Sunday, October 18, 2020
MRC Frets That Colbert's Trying To 'Weaken The Morale' Of Trump Supporters
Topic: Media Research Center

Sergie Daez began a Sept. 30 Media Research Center post ominously: "Stephen Colbert is attempting to weaken the morale of religious conservatives who support Trump."

How? According to Daez, he made a joke about Trump being a "religious man" in that "he pays taxes like a church." This led to a lecture in which Daez handwaved Trump's general awfulness as a person because he sucks up to the religious right and that Joe Biden is somehow an even worse person for supproting abortion rights:

Colbert's suggestions could easily be true, but where’s the proof? Trump's marital infidelities? Those affairs of the past may have already convinced people then that Trump was irreligious, but at the same time, it goes without saying that any staunch Christian or Atheist is capable of adultery.

However, it doesn’t matter if Colbert’s assertions are correct. Even if religious voters are turned off by Trump’s supposed indifference to religion, they still are unlikely to turn to Joe Biden or even abstain from voting because Biden has made himself unappealing to religious voters. Biden supports many policies that religious voters cannot endorse in good conscience. He may call himself a practicing Catholic, but he publicly supports agendas and communities that regularly attack Christian principles and institutions. 

That is why religious voters will probably still turn out for Trump. Biden is running on an extremist platform which has already gained notoriety for being the “Most Pro-Abortion in History.” Trump, on the other hand, has spoken up in defense of Christians, and he endeared himself to religious voters by publicly supporting pro-life institutions and values. Christians need protection, and Trump has generously been offering it. On the other hand, as vice president, Biden has been unwilling to help Christians, such as when he failed to stop Obama’s administration from forcing nuns to pay for birth control.

Stephen Colbert wants to do his bit for Biden by attempting to sow doubt in the minds of religious voters. He’s hoping that his words will compel them to seriously reconsider which candidate to vote for. But one has wooed religious voters; the other has alienated them. So even if Trump pays his taxes like a church does, he’ll probably receive numerous votes from religious voters since he makes a point to look out for them.

The MRC wants you to think this Trump campaign ad is "media research."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 PM EDT
CNS Notices Only Polls That Make Trump Look Good

Joe Biden is leading President Trump by a large margin nationwide -- but you'll rarely read about that at, despite it claiming to be a "news" operation. Because CNS is operated by the Media Research Center, the media arm of the Trump campaign, the polls it promotes are cherry-picked to fluff Trump and avoid bad news about his campaign.

For example: An Aug. 21 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman ignored the national numbers to promote a poll claiming that "Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump are statistically tied in the presidential race" in Minnesota, which Trump lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Needless to say, Chapman ignored theoverall polling that shows Biden with a sizable lead; instead, he pushed polling from the Trafalgar Group, which "weights its polls to account for a 'social desirability bias,' or the so-called shy Trump voters who are embarrassed to tell pollsters they support his candidacy." Trafalgar'spolling gets a C-minus rating from FiveThirtyEight.

Speaking of unreliable pollsters, CNS loves reporting on polls by Rasmussen, which has a notorious pro-Trump bias (on top of being on the unreliable side -- only a C-plus from FiveThirtyEight). Here are the Rasmussen polls CNS touted over the past couple months:

Even with more reputable pollsters like Gallup, CNS worked to cherry-pick results. Chapman found another cherry-picked -- and irrelevant -- finding to push in a couple articles:

Chapman found another weird (and meaningless) Gallup poll finding in an Oct. 7 article: "In a new poll on President Donald Trump's job approval rating, Gallup found that a majority of Americans predict Trump will win reelection -- only 40% said Biden will win. AndCraig Bannister did a lot of reading into another Gallup finding in an Oct. 13 article, working in an attack on Biden in the process:

Far more registered voters say they’re better off now than they were four years than say they’re worse off, a national Gallup Poll conducted September 14-28, 2020 reveals.

Fifty-six percent (56%) said they’re “better off” now than they were four years ago, while just 32% said they’re worse off.

As President Donald Trump seeks reelection, the 56% reporting that they’re better off now than four years ago tops the scores of four other presidents – Barack Obama, George Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan - at the end of their first terms, Gallup reports.


On Monday, WKRC-TV asked Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden why the 56% of registered voters who feel they're better off today should vote for him. Biden's response: "They probably shouldn't."

But as CNN's Chris Cillizza points out, the finding conflicts with Trump being behind in the polls and other findings showing that people don't personally like Trump, meaning that voters are not necessarily crediting Trump for making them "better off."

UPDATE: CNS also likes fake polls too. Like its Media Research Center overlords, it touted a Twitter poll claiming that a majority of respondents declared Trump the winner of the first debate.And even more than the MRC did, CNS hid the fact that it was an easily manipulated online poll that is utterly meaningless.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:12 PM EDT
Saturday, October 17, 2020
MRC Censors Full Story To Brand Bloomberg As Seeking 'Criminal Votes'
Topic: Media Research Center

Joseph Vazquez ranted in a Sept. 22 Media Research Center post:

It apparently wasn’t enough that  liberal cash cow Michael Bloomberg was spending $100 million to help Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to win Florida.

Now, the billionaire owner of Bloomberg News is trying to solicit donations to ensure that convicted felons in the Sunshine State are given the chance to vote Biden into the White House.

Bloomberg and his team “have raised more than $16 million to pay the court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions,” according to The Washington Post on Tuesday. The Post said that the point of the effort was to boost “turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.”

Vazquez never explains why Bloomberg helping "convicted felons" vote is a bad thing, or why convicted felons should not be allowed to vote at all.Mosdt important, Vazquez censored information about why this was even necessary in the first place. As the Post article he cites summarized:

Florida voters passed a statewide constitutional amendment in 2018 that gave former felons, except those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses, the opportunity to vote in upcoming elections. The Republican-controlled legislature subsequently passed, and the Republican governor signed, a law that conditioned their return to the voting rolls on the payment of all fees, fines and restitution that were part of their sentence.

Subsequent court challenges upheld the power of the legislature to condition voting rights on the payment of debts by former felons. Judge Barbara Lagoa, who is under consideration by President Trump as a possible replacement for Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cast a concurring opinion on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the state law requiring payment of debts.

The Republican effort is expected to limit what some viewed as a political benefit to Democrats of the constitutional change, which passed by ballot initiative with 65 percent support.

In short: Convicted felons have the right to vote in Florida -- indeed, were granted the right to do so by an overwhelming majority of Florida voters -- and Republicans conspired to make it as difficult as possible by demanded that all related debts be paid off in addition to completing the sentence.

Again: Vazquez never explains what the problem is. Perhaps he's just into voter suppression. Not a good look.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:08 AM EDT
WND's Brown Complains Of Trump-Hitler Comparisons, Forgets He Writes For WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown complained in a Sept. 25 WorldNetDaily article:

This past Wednesday morning, Donny Deutsch, a frequent guest on MSNBC and a former program host, claimed that there was "'no difference' between President Donald Trump's rhetoric and what 'Adolf Hitler preached' in Germany in the 1930s." He added, "And we're here and what is the difference between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump? I'm not saying there is a Holocaust, but when you look at the tactics, that is where we are right now."

This is as outrageous as it is ignorant, and Deutsch needs to be called on the carpet for his ugly and inflammatory comments. As stated by the National Council of Young Israel, "To in any way liken President Trump to Adolf Hitler, who is arguably the most heinous anti-Semite in world history, is unequivocally repugnant, and trivializing the Holocaust to make a cheap political point on television is a tremendous insult to the victims and their progeny."


I have no desire to deny Trump's many flaws or to downplay the divisive nature of his rhetoric. But to compare him to Adolf Hitler, also comparing his followers to Hitler's Nazis, is simply obscene, not to mention a terrible slight on Hitler's victims. Deutsch should be ashamed of himself.

Surely Brown cannot be unaware that the publisher of his column -- as we documented when managing editor David Kupelian recently made a similar complaint --  frequently likened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, then defended doing so. We don't recall Brown ever expressing outrage about that, or saying that Kupelian, Farah and Co. should be ashamed of themselves for slighting Hitler's victims.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 AM EDT
Friday, October 16, 2020
MRC Kept A Secret: The 'Liberal Media' Hated Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes huffed in a Sept. 29 post:

Four years ago, the liberal networks pounded Republican nominee Donald Trump with bad press, yet he won the White House anyway. Now, ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts are giving Trump the same hostile treatment, but they’ve significantly softened their approach to Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Not only is Biden facing much less negative coverage than the President, he has received only one-sixth as much negative coverage as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received during the early weeks of the 2016 general election when she was Trump’s opponent. Instead of criticizing Biden for his “hiding in the basement” approach to the campaign, the networks are rewarding it by focusing nearly all of their negative scrutiny on Trump.

Wait, what? Hillary Clinton got negative coverage in the media, even by the MRC's bogus, highly subjective "evaluative statements" metric that examines only a tiny sliver of media? Please go on, Rich:

In 2016, the networks spent less time on candidate Clinton (262 minutes, or about two-thirds of Trump’s total airtime), and there were many fewer negative statements about that year’s Democratic nominee compared to Trump. But Clinton still faced a decent amount of scrutiny: 90 negative statements vs. 17 positive statements, for an overall spin of 84% negative).

This year, Biden has received less airtime than Clinton garnered four years ago, and far less attention than his GOP opponent: just 148 minutes during the period we studied, which included the virtual Democratic National Convention. (Four years ago, both parties held their conventions in July, before the study period.)

Compared to Clinton four years ago, Biden’s press has been completely toothless: just 15 negative statements vs. 19 positive statements, for an overall score of 54% positive. Even though their election preference was pretty clear four years ago, the networks still managed to air six times more negative statements about Clinton in 2016 than they have about Biden during the same period in 2020.

Yet "Hillary Clinton gets negative media coverage," while true, runs counter to the MRC's "liberal media" narrative. So back in 2016, Noyes buried that inconvenient fact by loudly complaining that the media was even more negative toward Trump and didn't cover Clinton's alleged scandals to his satisfaction. As Noyes put it in a October 2016 post:

The results show neither candidate was celebrated by the media (as Obama was in 2008), but network reporters went out of their way to hammer Trump day after day, while Clinton was largely out of their line of fire.

Our analysts found 184 opinionated statements about Hillary Clinton, split between 39 positive statements (21%) vs. 145 negative (79%). Those same broadcasts included more than three times as many opinionated statements about Trump, 91 percent of which (623) were negative vs. just nine percent positive (63).

Even when they were critical of Hillary Clinton — for concealing her pneumonia, for example, or mischaracterizing the FBI investigation of her e-mail server — network reporters always maintained a respectful tone in their coverage.

This was not the case with Trump, who was slammed as embodying “the politics of fear,” or a “dangerous” and “vulgar” “misogynistic bully” who had insulted vast swaths of the American electorate.

So, to Noyes, the "liberal bias" on Clinton was that it wasn't negative enough about her. And Noyes also made sure not to put those negative Clinton numbers in a graphic in his 2016 post -- though he did this year, because doing so suits this year's narrative.

Oh, and yet again, Noyes refuses to make the raw data public. What is he afraid of? That the subjective fakery of his metric will be exposed?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:05 PM EDT
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has been doing what he does -- complaining about federal deficits while refusing to explicitly assign blame where it lies: on the Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate. Jeffrey complained in a Sept. 11 article:

Federal spending has topped $6 trillion for the first time in any fiscal year in the nation’s history and the federal deficit has topped $3 trillion for the first time, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for August that was released today.

There is still another month left in fiscal 2020, which runs through the end of September.

As per usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" do not appear, and it's illustrated with one of his favorite stock photos of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- falsely implying that Democrats share equal blame for the sice of the deficit when it controls only one-half of one relevant branch of government while Republicans control one and a half branches.

Jeffrey followed up on Oct. 2 with a similar complaint: "The debt of the federal government topped $27 trillion for the first time on Thursday, October 1, when it climbed from an opening balance of $26,945,391,194,615.15 to a closing balance of $27,026,921,935,432.41, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury Department." Again, Jeffrey avoids mention of who's actually in charge of the government, and he uses another stock photo suggesting that Democrats share equal blame.

Both articles note: "The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Would Wold actually be happy with Jeffrey's biased, incomplete reporting here? We suspect not.

Ironically, an opinion column published by CNS was (somewhat) more balanced than Jeffrey's supposedly objective reporting.  A Sept. 24 column by Hans Bader actually told the truth that Jeffrey won't, but unfortunately went into speculation whataboutism: "Trump let budget deficits rise. Joe Biden will likely increase budget deficits far more."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, November 16, 2020 9:59 PM EST
Thursday, October 15, 2020
MRC Thinks Reporting It Doesn't Like Is 'Fake News'
Topic: Media Research Center

If anything in the media does not conform with the Media Research Center's pro-Trump bias, it's branded as "fake news." Curtis Houck did exactly that in an Oct. 1 post:

On Thursday morning at, reporter Julia Ainlsey filed a story that alleged Trump officials “were told to make public comments sympathetic to Kyle Rittenhouse” after the Kenosha riots according to a Department of Homeland Security document. Across the interwebs and on TV, it was offered with the implication that Trump aides wanted an encouragement of vigilantism.

But as it turns out (and like we saw with Ainsley’s overwrought Russian reporting in the Mueller probe), the hubbub was all for naught. In actuality, a basic reading of the article and memo obtained by NewsBusters revealed what Ainsley peddled was fake news and charged DHS officials with compiling what was known about Rittenhouse’s case using — get this — news reports.

At the time of this blog’s publication, this hitjob and disgust with a government document offering facts fetched 22 minutes and 11 seconds across CBS, MSNBC, and NBC programs.

Houck's defense of the memo is that the talking points aren't actually talking points because they weren't labeled as such -- just "Situation" and "Response" -- that offered "basic facts of the case" (which just happened to take the most Rittenhouse-friendly view of things, such as declaring "He took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners"). Houc then wrote:

Further, sources tell NewsBusters the document was only compiled for acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinnelli to give them — as memos do — the best set of available facts. 

According to two officials with direct knowledge, the document was prepared for the August 30 Sunday shows as, sure enough, Wolf appeared to discuss the deadly summer of violence on American streets.

Who are the sources? Houck doesn't tell us, which conflicts with the hypocritical MRC policy against anonymous sources (unless those sources adavance right-wing causes).

The only thing here that's "fake" is Houck's concern for the truth. In depicting a refusal to offer the right-wing spin he prefers as an example of "fake news," he proves nothing more than his desire to spin things at least as badly as any media member he accuses of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: At CNS, Fairness Is In Cognitive Decline
Topic: has spent months pushing the Trump-approved narrative that Joe Biden has issues with senility and dementia, which it also imposed on Nancy Pelosi and others. But CNS will never portray Trump's mental slips as anything serious. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
MRC Is Mad Media Won't Promote Russian Disinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro hyperventilated in a Sept. 29 post:

In a bombshell letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe detailed how the Russian collusion narrative pushed by Democrats and the media was an alleged plot approved by then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Not only that, but President Obama was allegedly briefed on the matter by anti-Trump CIA Director John Brennan. The night’s presidential debate proved to be a great distraction as the broadcast networks spent their time proclaiming Joe Biden had the advantage.

While ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News were busy promoting their candidate ahead of the debate, the host for the night’s event, Fox News made sure to inform their viewers of the bombshell allegations.

Fondacaro, as you'd expect from a professional prevaricator, omitted a couple of things. First: Fox News, by promoting this story, was working on behalf of their candidate,. Donald Trump. Second: The evidence Ratcliffe released has been discredited.

Politico reported that the documents Ratcliffe declassified were "previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis," and that critics pointed out it "effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election."

Business Insider. meanwhile, pointed out that "Ratcliffe's decision to release disparaging information about Clinton from Russian intelligence sources appears to mirror Moscow's ongoing disinformation campaign against the former secretary of state," quoting one commentator noting that "this is old news, meaning the IC has had years to corroborate it and hasn't been able to do that." Another commentator noted that "Ratcliffe is serving up political chum to the President's allies on-demand, seeming to disregard whether it's A) accurate or B) in service of a foreign disinformation campaign." 

Fondacaro does concede that the information in the document dump can't be verified, but he handwaved the idea that Ratcliffe was pushing Russian disinformation by repeating a claim by Ratcliffe that it's not (though he offered no evidence to prove that).

Embracing Russian disinformation to own the libs? Sounds like a very Fondacaro-esque -- and MRC-esque -- move.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT

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