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Sunday, October 25, 2020
MRC's Double Standard On Judging Another's Mental Health
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck lectured in an Oct. 8 post:

On Thursday’s ReidOut, MSNBC host Joy Reid continued what’s been years of shameful behavior by some in the liberal media to treat mental health as something to joke about in context of President Trump, with journalists playing the role of doctor, pharmacist, and psychologist.

Regarding Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, Reid asserted Trump went on a “roid-rant” Thursday morning and “not a man who sounds well” that shouldn’t be trusted with children, let alone the country. Throughout the first segment, she continued to ostracize the use of steroids (something people dealing with chemotherapy take) and asserted Trump wasn’t “in control of his emotions.”

Of course, Houck immediately undercut his criticism by judging Reid's mental health, smearing her as "ever-hateful and miserable." But dismissing someone as "crazy" or "insane" or "unhinged" because they say something the MRC doesn't approve of is something the MRC does all the time.

For instance, here's whom the MRC has proclaimed to be "unhinged" in the past month or so alone -- all of these at NewsBusters, of which Houck is managing editor:

Further last month the MRC's Joseph Vazquez guffawed because CNBC's Jim Cramer called Nancy Pelosi "Crazy Nancy" to her face, then the next day defended Cramer from a "Twitter woke mob" who criticized Cramer, in which he dismissed actress and singer Bette Midler as "loony"and insisted Cramer's remark was just a "Freudian slip."

And literally the next day after Houck scolded Reid for judging Trump's mental status, Scott Whitlock wrote a post screeching that Keith Olbermann was an "unhinged lunatic," disturbed," and, according to the all-caps headlind, "STILL NUTS" for issuing a comment about Trump and his Supreme Court candidate Amy Comey Barrett.In other words, he was playing the role of doctor, pharmacist, and psychologist -- something his editor purports to hate.

You want civility in political commentary, Mr. Houck? Back off your ridiculous hypocrisy and demonstrate some of your own first.

(Houck loves to lecture against invoking another's mental health issues in political commentary yet plays the victim when he's held accountable for his own words.)

UPDATE: A couple more recent examples of this hypocrisy via the Twitter world. MRC writer Nicholas Fondacaro tweeted a NewsBusters post about Nancy Pelosi, adding the comment "Nutty Nancy is off her pills again." Meanwhile, the NewsBusters Twitter account retweeted a tweet by MRC executive Tim Graham regarding NPR's Nina Totenberg using a GIF stating, "She cray cray."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 10:50 PM EDT
CNS Spins Trump's COVID Diagnosis

When President Trump underwent treatment for coronavirus, ramped up its usual pro-Trump spin even more.

Patrick Goodenough's initial story was highly sympathetic, avoiding any mention of how Trump's own behavior in largely refusing to wear masks and leading mostly mask-free rallies may have contributed to him catching the virus. The real spin began with a follow-up article by Susan Jones, who touted Trump telling Fox News' Sean Hannity before his diagnosis was announced that coronavirus is "a very, very tough disease,"in an apparent attempt to potray Trump as having taken the disease seriously despite his long record of doing otherwise. Melanie Arter, meanwhile, pushed the White House narrative that Trump's coronavirus symptoms were mild.

Another article by Arter complained that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar -- whom CNS despises -- accused Trump having spread coronavirus during a campaign visit to Minnesota two days before his coronavirus diagnosis was announced. It has since been revealed that the Trump campaign refused to follow health guidelines and state regulations for the rally by letting in many more people than were allowed.

The spin continued with an article by Craig Bannister on the experimental drug cocktail Trump was given, followed by Jones featuring a Trump campaign adviser Stever Cortes "took reasonable risks, not reckless ones" and scoffing at the fact that several people who attended a Trump White House event before his diagnosis was announced had since tested positive for coronavirus.

CNS also did the usual complaining when liberal-leaning celebrities like Kathy Griffin, Michael Moore, Chris Rock and Rob Reiner weren't sufficiently sympathetic to Trump, as well as a piece by Jones headlined "Chinese Communist Party Editor Mocks Trump, Then Deletes Tweet and Pens Self-Righteous Article."

Jones was in full Trump rah-rah mode when parroting his insistence that he's 'learned a lot about COVID ... by really going to school," adding that he made a motorcade drive around the Walter Reed Medical Center grounds "amid media anger over the perceived lack of transparency about his doctors' health briefings." (That's the only reference to that lack of transparency at CNS.) Later, she cheered how Trump sent out "at least 18 tweets in rapid succession, explaining what's at stake in the upcoming election" while still in the hospital. In that same vein, Arter pulled stenographer duty by uncritically repeating a Trump campaign spokesman sneering that "with COVID, with a quarantine, at Walter Reed, this president still did more events yesterday than did Joe Biden."

Editor Terry Jeffrey grumbled that "A maskless Chuck Schumer—the Senate Democratic Leader--stood on a sidewalk in New York City on Sunday and ranted about President Donald Trump holding a 'super-spreader' event at the White House where many people in attendance did not wear masks as Trump announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court." In fact, no less than Dr. Anthony Fauci later called the Barrett announcement a "superspreader" event -- something CNS has censored.

Finally, Jones gushed at how Trump "faced the cameras and pointedly removed his face mask" upon his return to the White House and issued a message saying Americans shouldn't let the virus "dominate you." She did note that "at least 197,029 people have died from COVID in this country," but didn't venture an opinion on whether they died because they allowed the virus to dominate them.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
Saturday, October 24, 2020
MRC Annoyed When Its 'Junk News' Is Critiqued
Topic: Media Research Center

As much as it loves to bash and insult those it purports to critique, the Media Research Center has never been good at taking criticism. In an Oct. 5 MRC post, Corinne Weaver complained that the Oxford Internet Institute -- which she attacked last year for keeping an eye on right-wing "junk news" sites like the MRC's NewsBusters -- once again called out NewsBusters for serving "junk news":

In the briefing published on Oct. 5, 2020, the institute slammed nine pieces written and published in American conservative outlets such as NewsBusters, The Daily Caller, The Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, BizPac Review, The Daily Wire and The Blaze. According to the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), these sites are considered “junk news.”

OII defined “junk news” as “... sources deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news about politics, economics or culture. This content includes various forms of propaganda and ideologically extreme, hyperpartisan or conspiratorial news and information.”


The briefing named a piece by NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck as an example of the  “sharp criticism … levied against the reactions of mainstream media.” Even though the article in question was merely a wrap-up of quotes from NBC concerning the presidential debate that took place on Sept. 30, OII considered it “one of the best-fitting articles in the topic model of the previous section.” The issue with this characterization of the piece as “junk news” is that in the previous section, the only model given about pieces concerning the debate was that it “included words such as ‘Biden’, ‘debate’, ‘Trump’, ‘Wallace’, and ‘election’. This topic concerned the first US Presidential debate held on Tuesday night.”

Weaver is being disingenuous about the nature of OII's criticism of Houck's piece. It pointed out how right-wing websites' reactions to the debate fell into certain patterns: attacking moderator Chris Wallace, criticizing Biden's language without criticizing Trump's similar language, and bashing the media's reaction to the debate. That last point is what Houck's post got dinged on. Here's what OII wrote, since Weaver won't tell you:

Further, sharp criticism was levied against the reactions of mainstream media. A Daily Wire article with over 20,000 engagements detailed a CNN’s panel response to the debate, and although it mentioned Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy, it also claimed that Biden was the one that sunk to personal insults. Another article from NewsBusters that had comparatively few engagements at over 3,000 but was one of the best-fitting articles in the topic model of the previous section employed a similar strategy with NBC’s panel reaction.

Weaver didn't offer any rebuttal to OII's criticism -- just complained that it was made. Instead, she noted OII's definitionvof "junk news" and huffed, "By this definition, BuzzFeed would be 'junk news.'"

That's how you know the MRC is not engaged in "media research."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 AM EDT
WND Defends The Honor Of the Proud Boys
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long dabbled in white nationalism, so maybe it's not a surprise that it came to the defense of the right-wing thugs in the Proud Boys after they were suggested to be white supremacists during the first presidential debate. So we have Art Moore penning an Oct. 1 article on this:

The national leader of the Proud Boys – a black-Hispanic American – said Wednesday that Joe Biden made a mistake during the presidential debate by casting his group as white supremacist.

"We've been called many names," said Enrique Tarrio in an interview with Britain's Sky News, "and probably the most inaccurate name you can call us is white supremacists, as your viewers can see."


Tarrio's group says it officially rejects white supremacy. In November 2018, after media reported the FBI had classified the Proud Boys as an extremist group with ties to white nationalism, bureau officials held a briefing denying the claim.

The FBI agents said it was not their intent to classify the entire group but to characterize a possible threat from certain individuals. However, the agents suggested using the website of the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource. The SPLC has broadly labeled people who hold traditional views on subjects such as marriage as "extremists" or members of "hate groups."

Interestingly, that's the only reference Moore makes regarding what the Proud Boys actually are, and his pre-emptive dismissal of the SPLC fact sheet on the Proud Boys is suspicious. According to the SPLC, the Proud Boys do, in fact, have white nationalist leanings, Tarrio's ethnicity notwithstanding, with group founder Gavin McInnes having racist-right views. They are probably better known for their misogyny and Islamophobia, as well as their violence.

Moore didn't see fit to mention any of that stuff. Very strange.

Moore also played cleanup for President Trump for telling the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by": "Trump's use of the term 'stand by' was interpreted by media as an order for the Proud Boys to be on alert for further instructions. But Trump, as was indicated in his remarks to reporters Wednesday, apparently meant to affirm the term Wallace used, 'stand down.'"

This was followed the next day with an anonymously written article on how McInnes is threatening to sue Joe Biden and media outlets for calling the Proud Boys white supremacists. Not only did WND ignore the Proud Boys' and McInnes' white nationalist pasts, it laughably and counterfactually touted how the group "portrays itself as a patriotic counterbalance to Antifa."

The fact that WND is defending such an offensive, violent group tells us once again that maybe it doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, October 24, 2020 1:24 AM EDT
Friday, October 23, 2020
MRC Latino Lies In Denying Hispanics Are Disproportionately Affected By COVID
Topic: Media Research Center

Kathleen Krumhansl ranted in an Oct. 3 MRC Latino post:

As the presidential election draws closer, the nation’s liberal Hispanic nets are scrambling to shoot any and all propagandistic weapons in order to rid themselves of Donald Trump. At Univision, this meant turning the COVID pandemic into a Latino problem, and portraying Latinos as eternal victims.

Watch as midday anchor Carolina Sarassa opens the segment about a multimedia report on Hispanics and coronavirus, making the absurd claim that “we (Latinos) were the first to get sick, to die and to be out of a job.

CAROLINA SARASSA: To be Hispanic in the time of COVID-19 has had serious consequences. We were the first to get sick, to die and to be out of a job. Now, a Florida neighborhood shows how the virus severely hit a community marked by poverty. We now connect live with journalist Ana Elena Azpurúa to tell us more about what Hispanics face in the midst of this pandemic. Go ahead, tell us.

Not only is the claim baseless, but it comes across as yet another attempt to validate the segregation of Latinos as a Pan-Ethnic group living in the United States, and not as Americans.

According to the journalist interviewed by anchor Carolina Sarassa, the idea behind the study that features a Latino community in Florida, “was to show the double blow that Hispanics have suffered”, “and they have also been particularly affected by the economic crisis, unemployment and business lockdowns as well.” Sorry to break the bubble, but while Latinos have in fact, been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic for a number of reasons, every other ethnicity not only in the United States, but worldwide, has suffered from the effect of COVID-19 in their health, income and wellbeing. COVID does not discriminate.

In fact, as even Fox News concedes, coronavirus has hit Hispanics disproportionally; CDC data from May through August shows that 24.2 percent of coronavirus deaths were among Hispanics, though they comprise 18.5 percent of the population. Dr. Anthony Fauci has pointed out that COVID-19 hospitalization rates are 359 per 100,000 among Latinos, compared with 78 per 100,000 in whites.

Further, Hispanics have been harder hit financially, expressing more worries about paying rent, child care or student loans than whites, and at the initial peak of the pandemic, Hispanic unemployment reached 18.9 pecent -- a record and much higher than that of whites.

In other words, Krumhansl is effectively lying to you. But she has a larger partisan goal in mind: At the end of her item, she demands that you read MRC chief Brent Bozell's "letter in strong opposition to the proposed rule change that would allow Univision to become 100% foreign-owned." She's so obsessed with Univsion, however, that she weirdly misidentifies Bozell as the "Univision founder."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020 4:21 PM EDT
WND's Anti-LGBT Columnist: Tinky Winky, Rainbows Are Gay 'Grooming'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In 1999 the late Rev. Jerry Falwell exposed an example of indoctrination of young children in the British-originated "Teletubbies" TV program. One of the four characters, Tinky Winky, was defined by a mocking journalist: "purpleness (the gay pride color), [an inverted] triangle (the shape of the gay pride symbol) and 'magic bag' [a purse] as evidence for Tinky Winky's same-sex preference." The U.S. distributor replied, "To think we would be putting sexual innuendo in a children's show is kind of outlandish." [The effrontery!], but the article did admit "Tinky Winky has been a gay icon in Britain since the show premiered there in 1997." The ridicule of Falwell was so relentless that few would defend him for what we front-line pro-family activists instantly recognized as unmistakable toddler-targeted conditioning, called "grooming" in criminal justice terminology.

I'll be mocked for reviving what the left thought they killed with ridicule, but bring it on! Christians need to see examples of leaders who can survive the smears without backing down or apologizing. I've made a career of doing that.

I'll now double-down by contending that the ubiquitous "rainbow unicorns" and similar rainbow imagery for children is a more recent example of intentional LGBT grooming of very young children. To be sure, the rainbow has long been an element of the entertainment culture of American children, so the scoffers have more ammunition for scorning this analysis. But, given the nearly quarter-century long worldwide effort the LGBTs have made to hijack (God's) rainbow as their exclusive brand, modern designers of children's toys and entertainment cannot claim innocence of their potential effect on children's association of rainbows with goodness, planted in young minds like seeds lying dormant until puberty – when these same pre-conditioned kids will be ripe for recruitment.


One other thing. We must stop reinforcing the LGBTs' claim on God's rainbow as their brand. We need a new symbol for our side to use as a graphic depiction of their movement. Send me your ideas in graphic form – suitable for all ages – and I'll do a follow-up article featuring the entries.

-- Scott Lively, Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020 2:07 PM EDT
Cleanup Mode Again: CNS Does Damage Control on Trump's Non-Denial of White Supremacy

As we documented, it took nearly a day for to report the big news from the first presidential debate -- that President Trump couldn't quite denounce white suprmacism and right-wing extremism. But once it reported that, CNS was forced into damage control, a position it's familiar with.

Carig Bannister complained that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cited an "incomplete quote" of Trump to declare Trump a white supremacist, claiming that "Trump twice answered 'Sure' to [moderator Chris] Wallace’s question about whether he was 'willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups'" constituted an actual condemnation. Editor Terry Jeffrey did the same thing in responding to Nancy Pelosi's claim that Trump "would not disassociate himself" from white supremacists, declaring that "In fact, during the debate when moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump whether he was 'will tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups,' Trump said: 'Sure.'"

Melanie Arter did this as well, first noting Joe Biden's post-debate "cease and desist" response to Trump telling the far-right thugs of the Proud Boys to  "stand back and stand by," and then declaring that "As previously reported, Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists and militia groups at the presidential debate, to which Trump said, 'Sure, I’m willing to do that. I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing. I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace.'"

CNS then brought out the big guns: former pro football player Hershel Walker asserting that "Trump is not a racist." This was followed by a reworking by Craig Bannister of a piece from CNS' parent, the Media Research Center (who similarly played damage control over this) counting the "19 times" Trump has denounced racism, hufing that "two days after the first Trump-Biden presidential debate, the media continued to badger Pres. Trump, alleging that he hadn’t yet condemned white supremacists and, in particular, a group called the Proud Boys. And, once again, the president issued a clear, unequivocal condemnation of all racists and racist organizations."

Finally, CNS resorted to Charlie Daniels Jr., who's now writing a column at CNS in place of the one his late father wrote. He sarcastically whined that "the only sensible plan I can think of to allow President Trump to put this to rest once and for all" is that Trump "shall henceforth be required to condemn white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and all forms of racism every hour on the hour for the remainder of his life, and if he fails to do so, everyone will know with absolute certainty that he’s a racist."

Daniels even defended the honor of the Proud Boys: "the only problem is that they are NOT a white supremacist group. They aren’t even exclusively white. Their leader is -- in fact -- Cuban."

Not a good look, CNS (and Mr. Daniels).

UPDATE: CNS also went surprisingly crankypants on an ideological ally, Fox News correspondent John Roberts, complaining that he "badgered Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnanyover whether President Trump denounces white supremacy today – even though McEnany told him the president did so the day before" and that "Roberts’ wife, Kyra Phillips, was actually one of those Trump personally denounced white supremacy to on Wednesday."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020 2:35 PM EDT
Thursday, October 22, 2020
MRC Acts As Trump's Defense During His COVID-19 Sickness
Topic: Media Research Center

Despite the fact that it so hates anything that could possibly be declared "liberal" that it would be partying from the rooftops if Joe Biden had contracted coronavirus, the Media Research Center got upset that there was maybe a little bit of karma at work when President Trump -- who had been notoriously dismissive of masks and discouraged mask-wearing at his rallies -- came down with coronavirus earlier this month, the MRC went ballistic. Just read the headlines:

Again: The MRC would have no problem acting evil, sick, cruel or ghoulish, or hitting new lows, if a liberal politician or member of the media caught coronavirus in the manner that Trump did. That's simply how soulless they are.

They even got a greatest-hits piece out of all this. The pinnacle, though, was an Oct. 5 piece by resident MRC ragebot Nicholas Fondacaro carrying the headline "They Wanted Him Dead: Nets Whine POTUS Got Cutting-Edge Medical Care." That was apparently too much for his bosses -- Fondacaro offered no evidence whatsoever of an explicit death wish -- for after posting, the words "They Wanted Him Dead" were de-escalated to "Did They Want Him To Suffer?" (Fondacaro's regular lying, apparently, isn't an issue for he still has a job there.)

The funny thing, of course, is that  the MRC really do want journalists dead. We've documented how its writers have callously dismissed journalists' concerns about their safety while covering Trump ralliee, where Trump has whipped up anti-media sentiment, as them being self-centered.

The MRC only really seemed to care about how Trump's reckless behavior while being treated somehow owned the libs or the media. When Trump took a superfluous car ride on the Walter Reed Medical Center grounds, potentially exposing his security detail to the virus, Duncan Schroeder baselessly claimed the media was "showing utter dismay his state hadn't taken a turn for the worse," further whining that "CNN hates Trump so much that it will attack him even for how he handles his battle with COVID."

Mark Finkelstein chortled when CNN co-host expressed that Trump's stunt removal of his mask after returning to  the White House set a bad example:

Berman's implication: Trump's gesture will encourage others to act in ways that will endanger them and others.

But what gave away Berman's game was that his show had already played the clip—twice!—before Berman made his dramatic demand. So Berman wasn't trying to save lives: he was just engaging in a virtue-signaling stunt. Never mind that most people -- even infected people -- take off their masks when they arrive at home. The only difference is most people aren't posing before a battery of cameras.

Never mind, of course, that Trump was engaged in his own virtue-signaling (or lack of same) with the mask-removal stunt. But Finkelstein -- and the rest of the MRC -- endorses that "virtue."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:19 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020 2:43 PM EDT
George Noory Hosts Jerome Corsi, And It Goes How You'd Expect
Topic: Newsmax

George Noory is the host of an overnight radio show that delves into paranormal happenings and conspiracy theories. Jerome Corsi, well, you know who he is 0-- a sleazy, discredited peddler of conspiracy theories. When those two get together, you have an idea of what to expect. Here's how Noory summarized his radio interview with Corsi in his Oct. 13 Newsmax column:

Recently I had an opportunity to chat with Dr. Jerome Corsi on my radio show.

Corsi, who received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Political Science in 1972, shared his analysis of current events, including the November election.

Corsi concurs with President Trump's contention that mail-in balloting is problematic, and cited the comparatively recent report of irregularities in a Pennsylvania election.

Further, he has concluded that election polling, which shows Joe Biden in the lead, is inaccurate because Democrats are over-sampled. Trump continues to draw enthusiastic and loyal crowds, he pointed out, while he described Biden as a noncharismatic figure who has not excited his base.

You know you're in for a load of hooey when Noory feels he has to pump up Corsi's credibility with his Harvard doctorate, which is unrelated to any of the shoddiness he has put out since then.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
CNS' Debate Bias: Rebuttals And Snark For Biden, Stenography For Trump
Topic:'s coverage of the first debate between President Trump and Joe Biden tracks with its usual pro-Trump slant: Statements by Trmp were presented without comment, while statements by Biden tended to be rebutted or snarked it with added editorial comment.

First, let's look at the Biden coverage (judged by Biden's prominence in the headline):

  • Patrick Goodenough -- who loves to fact-check Biden while giving Trump a pass -- complained that "Joe Biden in Tuesday’s presidential debate accused President Trump, again, of not asking China to allow U.S. health experts to visit Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak – a claim that has been debunked."
  • Goodenough also wrote that Biden "seemed eager to get across during Tuesday night’s combative presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio was that he is his own man, not beholden to the left wing of the Democratic Party," adding that his campaign worked with "democratic socialist senator" Bernie Sanders on a 110-page "manifesto" that "if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR."
  • Melanie Arter wrote that Biden "said Tuesday that he does not support the Green New Deal, which President Donald Trump pointed out would cost Americans $100 trillion, and Trump said by not doing so, Biden 'just lost the radical left.'"
  • Susan Jones huffed that Biden declined to "answer the simple question" of whether he "would support Democrat [sic] calls to end the Senate filibuster and add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court."
  • Another Jones article featuring Biden's "reopening plan" for the coronavirus pandemic had several paragraphs of transcript before Jones snarked that Biden "finally addressed the topic."

CNS published only two Biden-centric debate-related articles that were a relatively straight retelling of what happened:

By contrast, CNS published only three articles that keyed in on comments by Trump as indicated by the headline, and all three simply uncritically repeated what he said:

That's not surprising, given that both were written by chief Trump stenographer Melanie Arter.

Because Trump was not seen to have won the debate, CNS quickly issued a couple attacks on moderator and Fox News host Chris Wallace -- from its favorite right-wing radio host, Mark Levin, and in a blog post by editor Terry Jeffrey complaining that Wallace "personally engaged President Trump in a debate on 'climate change' that lasted for about 3 minutes and 45 seconds."

It was not until more than 18 hours after the end of the debate that CNS bothered to mention the big news from it: Trump's refusal to explicitly disavow white supremacists and his telling the Proud Boys hate group to "stand back and stand by." This being written by Arter, it's written blandly and plays whataboutism by also putting in the headline that Biden said Antifa is "an idea, not an organization."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2020 12:26 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Biden Microaggressions
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center pushes mini-scandals and conspiracy theories in the hopes of making Joe Biden look bad. But nobody else seems to care. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
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

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