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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Newsmax Columnist Thinks Trump's COVID Brought 'Transformation' In Him
Topic: Newsmax

One has to wonder in what parallel universe Wendy Patrick observed this behavior from President Trump in an Oct. 13 Newsmax column:

Not only did the world learn President Trump had contracted COVID-19, they witnessed the transformation.

Appearing pale and much less energetic than his usual self-confident countenance, the president allowed the public to observe his infirmity — which was visually apparent in a video message he recorded from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

He wore a suit jacket — but did so uncharacteristically, without a tie.

Research reveals how these observations can impact us as well.

The thing is, Trump is not known for compassion, empathy and vulnerability, and his coronavirus diagnosis did not bring him any.Indeed, he remains such a bully that he's trying to destroy the son of his political opponent, mainly because he can.

The bulk of Patrick's column is how people can feel compassion for people who have caught coronavirus and how it shows our "shared humanity," which 'strikes without regard for demographics or politics." But shse doesn't explain why one must feel compassion toward a man who is so clearly lacking in that quality.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:10 PM EDT
Anita Hill Derangement Syndrome Continues At The MRC After All These Years
Topic: Media Research Center

After nearly three decades, Anita Hill continues to live rent-free inside the collective heads of the Media Research Center. This year alone, Tim Graham -- the MRC's chief Hill obsessive -- ranted aboiut Hill when he was pushing Tara Reade's unproven sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden, and the MRC attacked her again in September when it was again pushing Reade.

Kristine Marsh was on Hill patrol for the MRC in an Oct. 9 post:

Anita Hill was warmly welcomed to The View on Friday, where she was immediately asked about her endorsement for Joe Biden. But the hosts refused to press her on the hypocritical nature of the #MeToo advocate endorsing the candidate who has been accused of sexual assault.

In fact, the hosts completely ignored Tara Reade, just like CNN and CBS did when they hyped Hill’s Biden endorsement. Instead, co-host Joy Behar asked the Clarence Thomas accuser how she could endorse Biden, given he “wasn’t really on her side” during the Supreme Court Justice's confirmation hearings in 1991[.]

Marsh further grumbled that "The hosts spent the rest of the interview talking about the activist's work combatting sexual harassment in the entertainment industry with the non-profit she chairs, The Hollywood Commission. " She then dismissed the segment as "ABC's work helping Democrat candidates get the approval of left-wing activists," though she failed to identify what, if anything, is "left-wing" about Hill.

True to form, Graham unloaded on Hill yet again in his Oct. 22 column bashing NPR's Nina Totenberg, huffing that she "made Anita Hill a legend with sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas that were never proven. It was the very definition of a 'politically driven event,' a story leaked to Totenberg by Senate Democrats to sabotage the Thomas nomination. No one at NPR said that was an unvetted waste of time, a 'pure distraction.'" Graham is not going to admmit that his framing of Hill's accusations of Thomas as"never proven" also means they were never disproven.

One didn't even actually have to be Anita Hill to be trashed like her. Right-wing film critic Christian Toto attacked actress Kerry Washington because she "speaks out on political matters, campaigns on behalf of Democratic candidates and stars in projects with overt progressive agendas," citing her "starring role in Confirmation as Anita Hill" as an example.

What does it say about the stagnant research skills of the MRC that it remains so triggered by a woman who credibly made a sexual harassment charge against a conservative icon?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 2:36 PM EDT
WND Columnist Labors To Distance Trump From His Fetal Cell-Tested COVID Treatment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

CNSNews.com wasn't the only ConWeb outlet laboring to distance President Trump from the fetal stem-cell origins of the Regeneron antibody cocktail he was given to help him recover from coronavirus. Michael Brown devoted his Oct. 12 WorldNetDaily column to fretting over this:

How should pro-life Trump voters respond to these concerns?

Let's say that Regeneron was actually developed with the help of fetal tissue. Does anyone actually think that doctors came to Trump and said, "Mr. President, we have an experimental drug that was tested and developed using tissue from an aborted baby from the 1970s. How do you feel about using this?"

Only the most hardened anti-Trumper could imagine such a scenario. In the world of reality, the very thought of it is absurd. And, even if the fetal tissue charges are true, who knew about this? Was this something that any of the doctors would have been aware of? I very seriously doubt it, especially when, as we shall see, Regeneron itself denies the charge.

It is therefore completely ridiculous to claim that Trump is being hypocritical in using Regeneron, as if he knew the alleged history of the drug.

Like CNS, Brown invoked people with the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute to further distance Trump from any fetal-cell links, concluding: "I'm not a medical doctor or a scientist, but it seems clear from these descriptions (and from what I could glean from Regeneron's technical article published in the journal Science, also cited above) that there is hardly a direct connection between the drug and an aborted baby." Brown then spun further on hypocrisy claims:

My answer to those accusing the president with hypocrisy is threefold. First, as stated here, it's unlikely in the extreme he had any idea of the alleged abortion connection. Second, scientists from Regeneron deny any connection to human fetal cells, and Trump would presumably take them at their word. Third, if Regeneron had been developed with the help of an aborted baby, there would then be a serious ethical debate as to its use.

Still, with all that being said, it is grasping at straws to question the pro-life commitment of these organizations (along with that of President Trump). That's because we are comparing the willful killing of more than 60 million babies in the womb, often out of convenience, with the possible, distant connection of a life-saving drug to a baby aborted in the 1970s. Who would seriously make such a comparison?

Brown -- an incessant Trump apologist and excuse-maker -- concluded:

My answer to those accusing the president with hypocrisy is threefold. First, as stated here, it's unlikely in the extreme he had any idea of the alleged abortion connection. Second, scientists from Regeneron deny any connection to human fetal cells, and Trump would presumably take them at their word. Third, if Regeneron had been developed with the help of an aborted baby, there would then be a serious ethical debate as to its use.

Still, with all that being said, it is grasping at straws to question the pro-life commitment of these organizations (along with that of President Trump). That's because we are comparing the willful killing of more than 60 million babies in the womb, often out of convenience, with the possible, distant connection of a life-saving drug to a baby aborted in the 1970s. Who would seriously make such a comparison?

Who would seriously argue that voters should ignore the sleazy, amoral person Trump is and vote for him anyway because he panders to evangelicals, which has been Brown's defense of the man for the past few years?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
MRC Thinks Social Media Enforcing Rules Means Trump Is Being 'Censored'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver and Alec Schemmel ranted in an Oct. 19 post:

Big Tech has caused serious damage to President Donald Trump’s ability to be heard on social media.

Twitter and Facebook have censored the president’s social media accounts and the accounts belonging to his re-election campaign at least 65 times. In contrast, the companies have not censored former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his campaign accounts. At all.

Twitter composes the bulk of the problem, with 98 percent of all the instances of censorship. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Twitter has made the decision to censor major headlines about the Biden family, particularly when it came to the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine.

The Media Research Center’s Techwatch department analyzed two years of social media posts from Trump, Biden, and their respective campaigns. The analysis did not include any ads from PACs or super PACs that had made ads in favor of either candidate. It also focused on social media posts, not paid advertisements, from the campaigns. These numbers were collected from between May 2018 to October 16, 2020.

An alternative -- and, one can say, more reality-based -- reading of those statistics taht Weaver and Schemmel won't acknowledge: Trump broke the rules at Facebook and Twitter 65 times, and Biden didn't break them at all. As Media Matters' Parker Mallow aptly pointed out, enforcement of the rules is not "censorship" or "bias," and the fact that Trump is continued to be allowed to use Facebook and Twitter despite these multiple violations of the rules is actually a pro-Trump bias on their part; for instance, when someone makes a claim that a video Trump tweeted uses music and images that are copyrighted and the copyright holder objects, Twitter has a legal obligation to remove them. (We've previously noted how the MRC -- ostensibly conservatives who value private property rights -- loves it when those rights are violated for pro-Trump purposes.) Indeed, the examples Weaver and Schmmel cited are not "censorship" but, in fact, instances of Trump breaking the platforms' rules.

A few days earlier, the MRC's Joseph Vazquez helped further this narrative under the false headline "Facebook and Twitter Contribute Over 90% to Dems." In fact, once you get past Vazquez's ridiculously hyperbolic assertin that Facebook and Twitter "snapped into the full-on Orwellian Ministry of Truth," the vast majority of those donations came from employees of Facebook and Twitter -- who have free will in donating to who they please, and whose donations are not necessarily reflective of any purported "bias" on the platforms, however fervently the MRC wants that to be true -- not the company itself.

Weaver and Schemmel reference Vazquez's post but couldn't get their factstotally straight: "In addition, Twitter and Facebook employees have funneled money into Democrat campaigns. In a previous study released by MRC Business, the numbers showed that Facebook and Twitter had given over 90 percent of their political contributions to Democrats in 2020." Like Vazquez, the two didn't prove that such donations by employees equated to "bias" or "censorship" of conservatives.

The core of the MRC's argument here, Malloy added, is that it believes social media rules shouldn't apply to themselves and Trump. Sounds about right.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 10:51 PM EDT
Coronavirus Bad Takes At WND, Trump-Caught-It Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For our Republican president and first lady, COVID-19 has ironically always been perhaps the biggest elephant in the White House situation room! Of course, the leftist looting, maiming and killing in our riotous streets are also at critical mass, but now, with President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump having contracted the virus, throwing the nation and the world into more chaos, I again have to raise the compelling question, as I have been doing in my daily podcasts and weekly radio show, why our government – and I use the term very loosely – has done nothing – repeat, nothing – to hold the Communist Chinese leadership in Beijing accountable for the huge damage they have caused to our health, economic and emotional well-being of our once-mighty country.

[...]

In so doing, Freedom Watch and our Israeli counterparts have amassed a team of medical and other experts who have and will testify under oath to what now is the obvious. The COVID-19 pandemic had its roots in our own military viral laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland. The virus was sent to the Wuhan lab in Communist China for testing and study, which legally could not be performed in the United States, and there the ChiComs engineered it into a bioweapon. As the French would sarcastically say, "Quel surprise!" Of course, the "geniuses" who hatched this scenario were none other than the now self-styled leftist guru of virology Anthony Fauci and his accomplice, former President Barack Obama, who sent millions of dollars to the Communist Chinese to pay for so-called research, which has now put our president and first lady in jeopardy of potential serious illness or even losing their lives.

The experts – and one in particular, Dr. Judy Mikovits, who closely worked with Fauci at Fort Detrick and elsewhere – know what happened, but predictably have been banned from social and other media, ridiculed and made "lepers" by the leftist media and even many on the conservative side. 

[...]

Now that the president and first lady have themselves become the victims of COVID-19, one can only hope that The Donald will instruct his heretofore worthless attorney general, "Blowhard Bill" Barr, to have our so-called Justice Department intervene in and support Freedom Watch's class action lawsuit in federal court in Dallas, Texas, seeking redress for American citizens for the huge damage China has caused to our health, financial well-being and emotional lives. 

-- Larry Klayman, Oct. 2 WorldNetDaily column

The Deep State is allied with Democrats and has failed to protect our president against this Chinese viral invasion. Apparently tanks and planes are easier to repel than a virus, particularly if genetically designed to cause harm.

All of Fauci's horses and all of Fauci's men have been useless in protecting Trump and our country. The reliance on testing obviously failed to keep the virus out of the White House.

[...]

Participants in the White House nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett were tested as urged by Fauci acolytes, but that test could not screen out those in recent contact with the virus on an airplane or in a car. Roughly a dozen attendees at that event have since contracted COVID-19, including the president himself.

But the president did not test positive until six days later, so perhaps he and others did not contract the virus at the mostly outdoor event after all. The CDC sought to perform contact tracing on all the attendees in order to conduct surveillance of all their activities, but President Trump wisely blocked that Big Brother monitoring.

Many who attended that event are political activists or conservative senators whose daily movements should not be subjected to the prying eyes of the Deep State. Endless mischief would result from intrusive inquiries into whom certain conservatives met with in celebrating the nomination of Judge Barrett or helping on her confirmation.

-- Andy Schlafly, Oc t. 6 WND column

A lack of wearing masks is not why President Donald Trump has caught the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. As Andrea Widburg explained, Trump is always surrounded by a protective screen in which everyone is checked for temperature and symptoms.

But the lie that Trump does not take any virus seriously is simply insupportable. From 2019:

"The president's admitted germaphobia [sic] has been a fixture throughout his career – from real-estate deal rooms to casino floors – and it's now popping up in more public ways. It could create another round of tactile challenges as Trump launches his 2020 campaign, during which he might try to steer visitors toward his signature thumbs-up selfies and away from handshakes for the next 16 months." [Daniel Lippman, "The Purell presidency: Trump aides learn the president's real red line," Politico, July 7, 2019.]

"And the first thing he often tells his body man upon entering the Beast after shaking countless hands at campaign events: 'Give me the stuff' – an immediate squirt of Purell.

[...]

Trump is being falsely smeared, once again, because he is one of the few national leaders giving correct information. Expert guidance has always been, first, don't wear masks at all, and then never mind that now; either social distance or wear a mask – not necessarily both. Just because the president does not wear a mask when speaking from the podium or in social distancing situation does not mean he is "anti-mask."

-- Jonathon Mosley, Oct. 7 WND column

Now that President Trump has returned to the White House after a very brief bout of COVID-19, the left is predictably unhinged. The left's reactions are exactly what we would expect them to be when a lone individual, the most hated man in their universe no less, single-handedly destroyed their narrative that to contract COVID-19 is to be sentenced to death.

The left has worked very, very hard crafting this narrative so that it operates on an emotional level, because they know the facts won't cut it for them. Their allied propaganda outlets have terrorized the American people day after day with body counts reminiscent of the Vietnam War. Leftist politicians have closed everything they could for as long as possible. Several leftist governors actively increased the body counts in big ways by ordering COVID-positive patients to be housed in nursing homes full of vulnerable victims. CDC is clearly using cooked numbers.

So, for a single man to utterly obliterate the left's COVID narrative in just a few short days is simply too much for them to handle.

[...]

Many have argued forcefully that the terrorizing of America and the subsequent lockdowns have dwarfed the problems caused by the virus itself. Now that the shroud of terror has been torn away, perhaps our nation will move forward from its leftist-imposed purgatory of emotional terrorism.

-- Michael Schisler, Oct. 7 WND column

 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 5:55 PM EDT
MRC Writer Thinks Widow Is A Jerk For Calling Out Trump's Insensitivity
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center's Gabriel Hays has no problem whatsoever politicizing people's tragedies and belittling celebrities who commit the sin of not being as far-right as he is. One recent Hays target was the widow of an actor who died from coronavirus, so he tried to be somewhat kinder and gentler than his usual schtick -- but he still couldn't keep himself from being insensitive, because defending Trump means Hays doesn't care about anyone else's feelings.

In an Oct. 6 post, Hays makes it clear that he thinks the grieving widow is the jerk for daring to question Trump, who he clearly worships right down to his unserious reference to coronavirus as "Chinese Virus: and "Wu-Flu":

Chinese Virus is dangerous and it’s killed many people. Does that mean anyone dealing with the diagnosis with a level of optimism and courage is a jerk lacking empathy?

Amanda Kloots, the widow of Nick Cordero, a Broadway actor who died from Wu-Flu earlier this year, was driven to tears by Trump’s bravado in following his own bout with the coronavirus.

After Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday October 5, a mere three days after his diagnosis, the president tweeted that he was feeling well and urged Americans, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

The grieving Kloots took it personally and condemned Trump’s behavior in multiple social media posts, accusing the president of “bragging.” She called his statements “hurtful,” and “disgraceful” as well. Well, what should the President of the United States be doing? Telling everyone to panic?

As Kloots told her story and reminded people of exactly how many people have died of coronavirus under Trump's watch, Hays continued to condescend:

Kloots is clearly hurting, and so are many others. But does that preclude optimism, especially on the part of the U.S. president? She accused Trump of having “no empathy” for “all the lives lost.” In addition she said, “He is bragging instead. It is sad. It is hurtful. It is disgraceful.”

Though perhaps the president is trying to encourage Americans – many who are arguably more crippled by the fear of the virus than the virus itself – to not obsess over the danger and to live life as close to normal as possible in the circumstances. But Trump will not get the benefit of the doubt -- certainly not from Hollywood.

Hays concluded by sneering, "Perhaps [Trump] should have apologized for surviving." We'd be happy with Trump apologizing for causing needless deaths by botching the government's response to coronavirus -- even if Hays clearly thinks Trump can do no wrong.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 PM EDT
CNS Rushes To Attempt To Distance Trump's Antibody Cocktail From Aborted Fetal Cells
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has long fearmongered about the use of fetal cells or tissue derived from abortion in the devlopment of vaccines and other medicines. In 2016 it touted a House committee report claiming that "Fetal tissue has not been directly linked to a single medical cure in 90 years of fetal tissue research, followed by an op-ed from an anti-abortion activist discouraging the use of fetal cells to develop a Zika vaccine. Editor Terry Jeffrey heavily lobbied against the federal government funding research that made use of fetal cells from abortions, even if the research was developing vaccines. And earlier this year, another anti-abortion activist cheered the discontinuation of that funding, declaring that "None of the vaccines, treatments, or FDA-approved cellular and gene therapy products on the market use human fetal tissue from elective abortions that rely on ongoing abortions."

So when it was reported that the antibody drug cocktail given to Presient Trump was derived from fetal cells, CNS quickly went into spin mode. Lucy Collins did the first piece on Oct. 12, citing people from the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute:

In a press call on Friday, biochemists David Prentice, Ph.D., and Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., disputed claims that the treatment President Donald Trump received to combat his coronavirus infection was made from aborted fetal cells or tissues.

Prentice is the vice president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Lee is a senior fellow in Life Sciences at the Institute.

Lee described the recent news stories about Trump receiving an antibody cocktail that may have been made from an aborted cell line or aborted tissue as a “complete misunderstanding of Regeneron antibody cocktail.”

[...]

“The [fetal] cells were not used to create the antibody cocktail itself,” Prentice explained, “They were used, however, to test the potency of the antibody product, so these studies were separate from production of the antibody cocktail that's actually used to treat the Covid 19 patients, including President Trump. As Regeneron itself said, they were used in any other way.”

The biochemists conceded that the drug was tested, albeit not manufactured, by using a 50-year-old cell line originally derived from aborted fetal cells. Prentice and Lee  said this specific practice is widespread and not the same ethical dilemma as using “fresh” aborted fetal tissue or cells.

“It was tested using fetal cells, but ones that are almost 50 years old, certainly not fresh aborted fetal tissue or any new cells,” said Prentice.

But Collins apparently still wasn't convinced that wasn't an "ethical dliemma":

CNS News sked Lee if the cocktail produced by Regeneron and tested with the fetal cells was the only one available for treatment for President Trump or if he could have chosen a drug that was not tested using a fetal cell line.

Lee said, “That company made the choice to use the fetal cell line, they could have chosen to use a different cell line that would not have created the controversy.”

“Our point about this is that those cells were not used in any way in terms of the production, that the ethical choice there then does not rest on the recipient of the particular treatment or vaccine,” said Prentice.

In an effort to further absolve Trump of violating whatever anti-abortion pledge he may have made by taking the cocktail, Melanie Arter wrote an article the same day featuring the CEO of Regeneron similarly insisting that "our drug is not manufactured using fetal cells" after CBS pointed out that the cell line from which the antibodies were derived "were harvested from the kidney tissue of an aborted fetus" and that "the Trump administration last year has suspended federal funding for research projects that involve fetal tissue from abortions."

CNS apparently considers the subject closed now, for it has done no more articles on the subject of fetal tissues in coronavirus treatements nor even published an op-ed on the subject. Its writers are not getting paid to make Trump look bad, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Monday, October 26, 2020
MRC Is Shocked To Learn People Don't Trust Trump White House
Topic: Media Research Center

Conservatives have told people for years that we shouldn't trust the government to tell us the truth. So it's something of a surprise that the Media Research Center is offended (or at least pretending to be) when the media stated that the Trump White House or his doctors couldn't be trusted to fully disclose the extent to which President Trump was suffering from coronavirus.

In a totally unsurprising development, the MRC's Kristine Marsh blamed the media for not implicitly trusting Trump:

The media will never take any responsibility for why Americans find them so untrustworthy; all they can do is reflexively blame President Trump. ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl perfectly displayed this point while visiting Friday's The View, discussing President Trump’s positive COVID-19 test. He indulged the left-wing hosts’ in stirring up a conspiracy that the White House was lying about President Trump’s health.

[...]

The longtime ABC correspondent blamed this mistrust on Trump’s “war on truth” as having caused the nation to split into two camps of conspiracy theorists: Those who won’t believe anything coming out of the White House and those who won’t believe anything in the newspaper or on The View[.]

Joseph Norris took much the same tack, even linking back to Marsh's post:

Nearly all of CNN’s New Day on Friday was devoted to the news that President Trump has tested positive for COVID-19. During this media frenzy, one narrative was constantly pushed, that the American people cannot trust the President. Co-host John Berman tried to defend the irresponsible rhetoric: “When you lie about the little things it's hard to trust you on the big things and that’s where we are this morning.”

This has not only been a common thread on CNN, it has been prevalent throughout the leftist media. During The View they ran the exact same story challenging the credibility of the White House, especially regarding the pandemic. Neither show could provide evidence on why the American people should not trust the President.

[...]

It is troubling that the liberal network is so quick to accuse White House officials of lying and say that the American people cannot trust the information released without any evidence.

Like Marsh, Norris offered no reason why everything from the White House should be taken at face value and without question.

The MRC even defended the evasive answers given by Trump's doctors regarding his condition and treatment. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that an ABC host "lashed out at Trump’s doctor at Walter Reed Medical Center for “dodged key questions about his health.” Of course, she omitted how Dr. Sean Conley still needed to follow the HIPPA [sic] privacy pledge even though he was the doctor for America’s top public official."

Marsh returned to be mad that "The View" brought in respected surgeon Atul Gawande to discuss Trump's health, dismissing him as a Joe Biden supporter (though she offered no evidence that anything he said had a political motivation) and complaining that one co-host "even got the good doctor to suggest the president was only feeling well because he was high on drugs and his medical team was concealing his severe condition." She further whined of co-host Sunny Hostin: "Hostin worries that Americans can’t trust doctors anymore, and so she brings on a partisan medical doctor to combat this dilemma? The View hosts didn't mention how Gawande  endorsed Biden for president, called the Republican Convention an “autocracy,” touted ex-WH aide Olivia Troye, and sent many other tweets blaming Trump for coronavirus deaths."

John Shannon, meanwhile, decreed that only people with medical degrees can critique Trump's doctors (despite his colleague Marsh having just trashed a doctor for doing that):

Despite not having a medical degree between the three of them, Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough, and Willie Geist had very strong professional opinions on Tuesday morning about how poorly the White House Medical Unit has handled President Trump’s battle with the coronavirus.

Seeming to lament the President's improving condition after leaving Walter Reed Monday evening, the trio wailed that his doctor must be lying.

[...]

Wondering why in the world any physician would not loudly echo the talking points of the leftist media, Geist added: “But if you’re a doctor, you don’t have to get re-elected. What’s the cost of telling the truth? (...) If the president fires you, okay, you go back to your job with the respect of other doctors and of your colleagues.” Does the Hippocratic Oath require medical professionals to be liberal activists? Evidently so.

[...]

Scarborough remarked that “[A] doctor has a responsibility to not lie to the American people and the world.” Apparently, journalists are held to much lower standards.

Shannon described the "Morning Joe" sergment as a "shameless attack on medical professionals" -- again, ignoring that's precisely what Marsh did to Gawande.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 PM EDT
CNS Again Cheers Low Refugee Caps Under Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

Earliler this year, we documented how CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough spent years obsessed that the U.S. was letting in too many Muslim refugees and not enough Christian ones, and he was extremely happy that President Trump not only cut down on the number of Muslim refugees but sharply reduced the number of all refugees. Well, Goodenough is back on the refugee beat, again apparently happy that Trump is keeping refugee numbers low.

Goodenough cheered in a Sept. 22 article that "With fewer than ten days of the fiscal year to go, the Trump administration has admitted just 10,233 refugees into the United States since October 1 last year – 56.8 percent of the record-low cap of 18,000 admissions in FY 2020, which it set last fall." Then he fearmongered about the Democratic candidate for president:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, however, has pledged if elected to set a cap of 125,000 refugees a year, with the aim to raise it further “over time commensurate with our responsibility, our values, and the unprecedented global need.”

Biden’s promised ceiling would be the highest since 1993, when a cap of 142,000 was established (although actual admissions that year were somewhat lower, just below 120,000).

The highest ceiling on refugee admissions fixed during the Obama-Biden administration was 85,000, in 2016, while under President George W. Bush the annual caps ranged between 70,000 and 80,000, and under President Clinton between 78,000 and 142,000.

Goodenough didn't explain why any of this was a bad thing. He did, however, return to his religious refugee body counts, noting that "Refugees identifying as Christians comprise 73.6 percent of FY 2020 total" and that "Refugees identifying as Muslims account for 22.5 percent of the total, comprising large majorities among the groups of refugees from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Afghanistan."

Goodenough followed up on Oct. 1, pronouncing that "Fiscal year 2020 ended overnight with the smallest number of refugees resettled in the United States in more than 40 years, and the Trump administration setting a cap on 15,000 refugee admissions for fiscal year 2021," making sure to add that "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back at a reporter’s question on about whether the U.S. was doing enough to ease the global refugee crisis" by claoming that "There’s no more generous nation anywhere in the world when it comes to alleviating human crises around the world."

Goodenough was in full defense mode the next day as he gave the Trump State Department the floor to defend its record-low refugee cap:

Amid criticism over the Trump administration’s move to set a new record-low limit of 15,000 refugee admissions in fiscal year 2021 – reducing the annual ceiling for the fifth consecutive time – the State Department said Thursday the proposal reflected a “continuing commitment to prioritize the safety and well-being of Americans, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

It also took into account a massive backlog of asylum-seeker cases, it said, referring to more than 1.1 million people already inside the U.S. whose applications for asylum are pending (as opposed to applicants for refugee status, who apply outside the country for resettlement through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.)

The department said in its announcement it expected “more than 290,000” new asylum claims to be received during FY 2021, which began on Thursday.

It also contended that the number of refugees resettled should not be seen in isolation from broader U.S. humanitarian-based immigration activity.

Goodenough did concede the low cap is being "heavily-criticized." Not by him, of course.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
MRC Melts Down Over 'Turncoat' Ex-Pence Aide
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, Olivia Troye, former homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Vide President Mike Pence, declared she'd had enough and would be supporting Joe Biden for president because o the Trump administration's insistence on putting re-election concerns ahead of mounting a coherent response to the coronavirus epidemic. Needless to say, the pro-Trump Media Research Center had no interest in listening to her message, obsessed instead with her "betrayal" of Trump and Pence.

When Troye appeared on CNN, Joseph Norris whined, "What’s the quickest way to become a CNN contributor? Announce in a high-profile way that you’re a former administration staffer who is now supporting Joe Biden," further huffing, "These staffers constantly speaking out are obviously part of the media's effort to help Democrats, just over two months before the election." Norris made sure to parrot the Trump White House's attacks on her:

CNN neglected to report on the response of the administration to Ms. Troye’s exit. But President Trump gave a brief interview Thursday afternoon where he claimed that the former aide was fired from her position and later gave a “beautiful letter” praising the administration before she left.

Vice President Pence commented that “it reads to me like one more disgruntled employee that has decided to play politics during an election year.”

The next day, Alex Christy complained how CNN hosts "welcomed the betrayal of Pence aide Olivia Troye, who made a pro-Biden ad for "Republican Voters Against Trump." The two had a mutual fondness for the word "damning" to describe Troye's attack on President Trump's COVID record. Pace even lamely claimed Troye, the self-proclaimed "McCain Republican," helps Biden pitch himself as "more of a moderate," referring to the segment as a "cheer-the-turncoat segment." He further attack Troye's story: "Why would a disgruntled employee narrative be that implausible? Anyone who leaves the White House and bashes Trump gets at least 15 minutes of fame on CNN, with many getting book deals as well."

Kristine Marsh went on the attack against the "Republican turncoat" as well: "Former Mike Pence aide Olivia Troye made the media salivate last week when she came out trashing President Trump as an uncaring monster who is undermining scientists in the task force’s coronavirus response," Marsh lamented that "Troye only faced one question about her former boss calling her a disgruntled employee who was fired from the task force months ago."

Norris returned to dismiss Troye once again as a "disgruntled ex-White House staffer Olivia Troye" who "has appeared on leftist media outlets several times to attack Trump." Marsh later similarly dismissed Troye as a "Never Trumper."

Like Trump, the MRC thinks loyalty is more important than competence.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:49 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Promotes Bogus Project Veritas Story, Won't Correct It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily article breathlessly reported:

A Project Veritas undercover investigation released Sunday night alleges paid workers in the district of Rep. Ilhan Omar in Minneapolis are illegally gathering absentee ballots from elderly Somali immigrants.

Members of the Somali community interviewed by Project Veritas charge Omar and the state Democratic Party, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, are behind the "ballot harvesting."

The investigation features alleged ballot harvester Liban Mohamed in a Snapchat video with piles of ballots on his car dashboard.

WND offered a follow-up the next day:

An undercover video investigation by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas revealed a Minnesota-based source describes Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as the mastermind behind a cash-for-ballots, voter-fraud scheme.

"Nobody would say that Ilhan Omar isn't part of this," said Omar Jamal, a Somali community insider and the chairman of the Somali Watchdog group. "Unless you're from a different planet, but if you live in this universe, I think everybody knows it."

One little problem: none of this appears to be true. The Daily Dot reports that Jamal's Somali Watchdog Group may not actually exist, with its website getting registered only two months ago -- about the time that Project Veritas started its alleged sting -- and it couldn't find anyone else associated with the group other than Jamal. Jamal also claimed he worked with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department, which couldn't be verified and which Project Veritas didn't provide verification of.

Meanwhile, Liban Mohamed Osman says that Jamal offered him $10,000 to claim he was taking part in voter fraud for Omar. And Jamal himself has backtracked on claims he made in Project Veritas videos and says he hasn't met anyone who received cash in exchange for a vote.

Neddless to say, WND hasn't told you any of this, nor has it updated or corrected any of its original reporting. The only other reference to this story it has done is an Oct. 4 item repeating a Fox News piece on alleged Democrat Tulsi Gabbard promoting the story. Needless to say, WND did not report that Gabbard has since apologized to Omar.

Promoting bogus stories and refusing to correct the record when they've been exposed as bogus? That's the WND we know.

P.S. One of the Project Veritas employees desperately trying to defend their work is Jered Ede, its chief legal officer. That name might sounda little familiar for his previous work of fraud: He was an intern for CNSNews.com in 2005, when he falsely accused Paul Begala of claiming that Republicans "want to kill us." Further, his idea of "journalism" when he was editor of a conservative magazine at Johns Hopkins University was to illustrate an article with a picture of a dog defecating on a picture of Bill Clinton -- the kind of work that would seem to make him a sadly good fit for Project Veritas.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EDT
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
Topic: CNSNews.com

When President Trump underwent treatment for coronavirus, CNSNews.com 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

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