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Thursday, December 3, 2020
Uber-Catholics At CNS Suddenly Doesn't Want To Talk About Predatory Bishop

When former Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was defrocked after revelations of sexual abuse of children came to light, the uber-Catholics at worked to try and tie McCarrick to Democratic politicians -- ignoring the fact that he also had ties to Republican politicians as well. Curiously, both of the stories in which CNS tried to tie McCarrick to Democrats have been mysteriously deleted without explanation.

Still, CNS continued to use McCarrick's behavior as a cudgel, this time to attack Pope Francis, whom those CNS uber-Catholics see as too liberal:

  • In a March 2 article, managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how far-right Archiishop Carlo Vigano "alleged that Pope Francis knew about the homosexual abuse of teen boys and seminarians by then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick but stayed silent; Pope Francis even allowed McCarrick to carry out diplomatic and fundraising missions for the church."
  • On April 23, Chapman restated that in claiming that "In 2018, Vigano publicly called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly ignoring the homosexual abuse practices of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick."
  • In touting a pro-Trump rant by Vigano on June 8, Chapman again noted that he "called on Pope Francis to resign in 2018 for reportedly covering up the sexual abuse history of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick."

In a June 17 column, dishonest right-wing Catholic Bill Donohue declared McCarrick to be the church's "poster boy for sexual abuse crimes," then complained: "What Catholics want to know is not one more anecdote about McCarrick's homosexual adventures—which is all the story offered—they want to know who knew what and when about his behavior. The Catholic clergy and laity have been waiting for more than two years for the Vatican report on him. Why the delay? Never once do the reporters mention this."

CNS even snuck in a stealth attack in an Oct. 22 article stating how much the Catholic Church is supposed to hate gay people while omitting the context of Pope Francis expressing his support for same-sex civil unions (which CNS was in mid-meltdown over) included a file photo of the pope "reaching out to hug" McCarrick (which not referencing McCarrick's scandal).

Well, that Vatican report on McCarrick finally came out last month, and nobody looks particularly good, least of all Pope John Paul II, who elevated McCarrick to archbishop despite warnings about his behavior. Pope Benedict XVI -- like John Paul, a conservative-leaning pope in line with what CNS thinks a pope should be -- removed McCarrick as archbishop but not from ministry and did not do a full investigation into claims about McCarrick. Even Vigano doesn't come off well, with the report finding that he didn't investigate McCarrick when ordered to by the Vatican in 2012, and that he invited McCarrick to event while serving as the papal nuncio to the U.S.

In other words, there's a lot here that's worth reporting, especially to the Catholics who run CNS. But that didn't happen -- CNS devoted no news article to the McCarrick report. The only mention of the report at CNS came in a Nov. 11 column by Donohue -- who was not interested in discussing what was in it:

Having read the 449-page report by the Holy See on former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and having completed a manuscript on the subject of clergy sexual abuse (it is scheduled to be published later next year), I am in a position to assess its findings. That will be done soon. 

My immediate interest is in assessing the Report's critics. They are a mixed bag. Some are reasonable, others are not.

So, yeah, that's pretty much it. It seems that the uber-Catholics at CNS have decided that if they have to admit that their preferred popes and their favorite pope-basher were also complicit in letting McCarrick get away with his predatory behavior for decades, they weren't going to talk about it at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2020 12:50 AM EST
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
MRC vs. Twitter: More Bogus 'Censorship' Claims
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is still falsely claiming that Twitter enforcing its rules of service against President Trump is exactly the same thing as "censorship."

Corinne Weaver complained in a Nov. 23 post that "Twitter has labeled Trump’s tweets 52 times since Nov. 16. Team Trump’s tweets have been labeled 16 times as well in the past week. Overall, Trump and his campaign have been censored 262 times since May 31, 2018. Meanwhile, Biden and his campaign have received no such censorship." Weaver updated the numbers on Nov. 30: "Overall, since May 31, 2018, Trump and his campaign have been censored by Twitter 325 times. By comparison, neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor his campaign have been censored on the platform."

As before, in neither post did Weaver identify any Biden post that violated Twitter's terms of service the way Trump's false claims about election fraud do. Further, those  Trump posts aren't even actually "censored": they are labeled and "de-amplified," but anyone can still read them.

The fact that Twitter's actions against Trump's misinformation-laden posts isn't actual censorship, however, is not keeping the MRC from falsely calling it that. Take, for instance, this Nov. 16 post by Alexander Hall:

Twitter has continued its censorious campaign against sitting President Donald Trump.

On Sunday evening Trump proclaimed, “I WON THE ELECTION!” denying that former Vice President Joe Biden had won the presidency. Twitter quickly retaliated by flagging his tweet with the statement: “Official sources called this election differently.” Twitter’s fact-check led to an events page declaring: “Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election,” according to “projections by The Associated Press, NBC News and other news outlets.” This events page provided no mention whatsoever of the numerous legal challenges that may change the election’s outcome.

Trump’s posts were labeled in the following hours for numerous other statements, ranging from calling the 2020 presidential election “Most fraudulent Election in history” to sharing a clip discussing how Dominion voting machines could be hacked with the statement This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Twitter flagged other statements today as well.

Again: Flagging isn't "censorship." Neither Hall nor Weaver has explained why it's using that false terminology.

Nevertheless, Hall did it again, ranting in a Nov. 19 post that "Twitter censored multiple conservative commentators shortly after they were retweeted by President Donald Trump." Actually, according to the article from the right-wing site Reclaim the Net that Hall sourced for his item, the accounts in question were suspended for, yes, violating Twitter's terms of service. Typically that means simply deleting the offending posts to restore service.

On Nov. 20, Heather Moon complained that "Dan Bongino, conservative commentator and a partner in Twitter alternative Parler, was censored by Twitter." As usual, Bongino wasn't "censored"; Twitter flagged the post for promoting bogus information. Sadly, Moon was utterly incurious about why an investor in a "Twitter alternative" still has an account on Twitter. (And she failed to disclose that another Parler investor is Rebekah Mercer, who is a major funder of, and board member at, the MRC.)

Meanwhile, a Nov. 13 post by Kayla Sargent brought more anti-Twitter (and bogus "censorship") drama:

It’s no secret that Twitter takes its self-proclaimed role as the arbiter of truth seriously, but a recent report released by the company shows just how far it’s willing to go to censor its opponents.

Twitter proudly announced in a Thursday update: “Approximately 300,000 Tweets have been labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy for content that was disputed and potentially misleading. These represent 0.2% of all US election-related Tweets sent during this time period.” 

Twitter censorship is now no longer something that the platform denies or conceals: it now publicly lists the number of people it has censored with impunity.

Sargent is lying when she claims Twitter is "censor[ing] its opponents," and she provides no evidence whatsoever that anything was done outside its Civic Integrity Policy. She's also forced to concede that "a few on the left were censored as well" -- undermining the MRC's entire victim narrative that conservatives are solely targeted by social media -- but bizarrely listing former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci as being on "the left." No, Kayla, criticizing Trump does not automaticlally place you on "the left."

Meanwhile, the MRC's Dan Gainor had a piece published at Fox News ranting that "Trump has been the enemy of leftist Twitter for his entire presidency, despite having nearly 89 million followers on the site. While the site refused to shut him down, it has censored him and his campaign nearly 200 times. Most of those have come this month" and claiming the site as "censored" Trump. As with the others, he didn't bother to explain why Trump's repeated violations of Twitter's terms of service were "censorship."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 8:57 PM EST
ConWeb Triggered By Harry Styles In A Dress
Topic: The ConWeb

Pop star Harry Styles did a photo shoot for Vogue magazine in which he wore dresses, and unsurprisingly, the ConWeb melted down over it. Todd Starnes ranted in a Nov. 16 WorldNetDaily column:

Harry Styles, the former boy band singer, is making national headlines in the fashion world. He's the first man to grace the cover of Vogue. He was also wearing a dress.

Mr. Styles says society should dismiss the idea that there are clothes for men and clothes for women. He went on to say that wearing ladies' garments is "amazing."

Vogue prides itself in being the industry leader when it comes to fashion and style – and if they have their say, hairy-legged men with burly chests will be painting the town red in Gucci gowns with matching handbags.


It's a direct assault on cultural norms – this idea of gender fluidity. The left wants you to believe there's no such thing as male or female. They want you to believe that you actually exist on some sort of spectrum.

They want to create a society where it's perfectly acceptable for Doris and Sally to wear jock straps. And we should celebrate if Cousin Leroy meanders through Walmart wearing ladies' unmentionables.

At, its favorite dishonest black conservative, Candace Owens, was given space for her own meltdown:

“There is no society that can survive without strong men,” Owens tweeted on Monday. “The East knows this. In the West, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. Bring back manly men.”


She trended on Twitter at the number two spot because of the tweet and received criticism from many fans of Styles.

“You’re pathetic,” Olivia Wilde responded to Owens. Wilde is a filmmaker who cast Styles as the lead in her upcoming movie Don’t Worry Darling.

Vox’s Carlos Maza said Owens sounded “like the pearl-clutching puritans who've been around since the 50s and 60s. Genuinely impossible for them to be cool for even one second.”

Candace tweeted after she began trending to clarify her position, “I meant: Bring back manly men. Terms like ‘toxic masculinity,’ were created by toxic females. Real women don’t do fake feminism. Sorry I’m not sorry.”

And at the Media Research Center, Sergie Daez was aghast that anyone would criticize Owens for her meltdown:

Who would look more manly? A gnarly-faced Scot who’s clad in a kilt, sporting a fierce beard, brandishing a claymore and wearing a scowl that could kill a snowflake? Or a smooth-faced boy with styled hair who’s wearing a dress that resembles a ball gown from the 1800s? 

While appearance doesn’t reveal everything about one’s character, it can send off a message about one’s beliefs. Harry Styles, British vocalist of the band One Direction, seems to think that it’s alright for men to wear dresses, as evinced by his latest photo shoot with Vogue magazine. Conservative political activist and author Candace Owens found the sight revolting, and she tweeted on November 14, “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.” reported Owens’s disgust in an article published on November 16, where they called Owens a “hater” and “conservative firebrand.” They also presented a number of tweets defending Styles from Owens’s comments, including a tweet from actress Olivia Wilde, who is known for acting in the medical drama House.

Billboard’s headline indicated that Wilde was defending Styles from Owens, but it sounded more like a childish attempt to avenge an injury.

Actually, Daez is the childish one here, responding to actor Zach Braff's tweet that people are "free to be whatever the f*** yoiu want jto be" by retorting, "Clearly it’s more important to Braff to be what one wants to be rather than to be what one is, that is, oneself," going on to further sneer, "Styles might have his own issues to deal with, but it’s important to just be yourself."

But it's clear Daez doesn't want Styles to "be yourself," especially if that self involves wearing a dress in a photo shoot.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:13 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 6:19 PM EST
WND's Brown Not Ready to Quit Trump Yet
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown has long been an apologist for President Trump, demanding that we ignore his impossible-to-ignore amorality and the fact that he's an objectively horrible person and support him because he has delivered the right-wing goods. Even after the election, as Trump pushes increasingly dubious charges of election fraud, Brown still can't quite quit him.

In his Nov. 4 column immediately after the election, Brown cited several "takeaways"' from the election, among them being "If Trump does get reelected, it will be with God's help," "Trump succeeded in increasing his black and Latino support," and "People of faith should keep praying and putting their trust in God for His desired outcome, whatever that may be." But he did hedge a bit, admitting that the country's "massive crisis of trust" was driven in part by "Trump's masterful way of creating distrust," and adding in another takeaway that "Charismatic prophets are about to be vindicated or humiliated."

On Nov. 6, Brown wrote:

I personally hope that the seemingly impossible happens, that Trump is proven to be the rightfully reelected president and that the prophecies about him prove true.

But what if a Biden-Harris presidency was needed to reveal the dangerous radicalism of the left, leading to greater spiritual desperation in the church, leading to a spiritual awakening in the society? What if the worst-case scenario for tens of millions of conservative voters resulted in the transforming of even more millions of hearts in the years ahead?

Brown, as usual, is ignoring the possibility that if Trump's election was ordained by God, he was sent as a warning and not as a deliverance, and that Biden is the actual divine deliverance.

Brown tried to play both sides in his Nov. 9 column, admitting that he appreciated Joe Biden's claims for unity, but he seemed to put the onus on Biden much more than Trump to make that happen:

But as long as there are strong beliefs that the election has been stolen, there will be no healing in sight.

Conversely, should the courts overturn the current vote, there will be no healing.

And when crowds dance in jubilation at the defeat of Trump, there will be no healing.

And when BLM and Antifa remain as radicalized as ever, there will be no healing.

And if Biden becomes our next president and seeks to enact many of his promised policies, as his constituents would expect him to do, there will be no healing.

And if Biden and Harris continue to advocate for the legality of slaughtering the unborn, there will be no healing.

And if Biden is serious about making transgender rights the civil rights issue of the day, there will be no healing. (Note his specific mention of "Gay, straight, transgender" in his speech.)

Even with something as simple as a national mask mandate, it would only deepen the divide.

Brown sounded very much like a Trump supporter in his Nov. 11 column:

Right now, legal officials and the courts are weighing the question of a fraudulent election. But regardless of the final verdict, we can say for sure that the odds were already stacked against President Trump.

Just think of what might have happened had the mainstream media reported the story of the Hunter Biden laptop the way they reported the alleged Russian collusion story (among other anti-Trump stories).

What might have happened if the internet giants didn't suppress conservative voices?

More broadly, what might have happened if COVID-19 did not crush the thriving economy, or if the virus did not pave the way for tens of millions of mail-in ballots, opening the door wider to potential fraud?

But he did seem to concede just a little that Trump may not be divinely ordained: "Again, this does not mean that God is with Trump and against his political opponents. This does not mean that, unless Trump is reelected, God's purposes have failed. And this doesn't mean that Trump did not create his own problems. But it does mean that all these obstacles, multiplied endlessly, are no match for God. Not even close. If He wants Trump in office, it will happen."

On Nov. 13, Brown ranted against the "radical left" and claimed to speak for Biden's black voters: "I do not believe that a large majority of blacks who voted for Biden were also voting for socialism or for transgender activism or for disrupting the nuclear family. (Note also that Trump did increase his support among black voters by 4% from 2016.)" He admitted that " most Americans also resist the agenda of the radical right, but that agenda tends not to make its way through society via our schools and the cultural elitists."

Brown both-sided it again in his Nov. 20 column -- even though the rancor is coming mostly from his side -- but he does seem to understand the stakes:

Allow me to state the obvious. Barring divine intervention, which would include the miraculous changing of the hearts of millions of people, there is no good outcome to the current electoral crisis. Absolutely none.

If, by some miracle, Trump still prevails and wins reelection, the outcry will be greater than anything we have yet seen.

It will be greater than the riots that have convulsed our country this year. Greater than the riots of 1968. Greater than anything in our history, short of the Civil War.

And be assured of this. The outcry against Trump will not stop.

After all, if his legitimate election in 2016 was fought tooth and nail for the last four years, what would happen if the courts pronounced him president for another four? The opposition against him, in the media, in politics and on the streets, would be intense beyond words. "Hysterical" would be a better description.

On the other hand, if Biden prevails and is sworn in Jan. 20, tens of millions of Americans will believe the election was stolen, and Trump would likely keep stoking the fire. Or do you think he and his followers will just say, "Hey, we tried, but the better man won, fair and square"?

As I said, barring divine intervention, this is not a likely outcome, in which case the Biden presidency will be marked by constant derision and scorn, with countless people even refusing to acknowledge his authority.

How can we survive in a state like this?

But rather than state the obvious -- that it's Trump's responsibility to turn down the heat -- Brown wimps out, first quoting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach bragging that "American irrationality is part of our greatness" (while smearing Biden as someone who "might have mentally left the reservation," a characterization Brown apparently has no problem with), and then declaring that God will save us all, in whatever form: "The God we worship and serve can bring light out of darkness and order out of chaos. The God we adore uses the foolish to confound the wise and the weak to confound the strong. The God we honor brings resurrection out of crucifixion. And when all seems lost, He is often at work the most. As the old saying goes, man's extremity is God's opportunity."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 20, 2020 12:40 PM EST
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
MRC Launches Misleading, Nitpicky Attacks On Ga. Senate Candidate
Topic: Media Research Center

Almost as if acting on orders from their Republican overlords, the Media Research Center is going on the attack against the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic candidate in one of the Georgia Senate races that will help determine control of the body for the next two years.

Scott Whitlock went on a misleading anti-Warnock tirade in a Nov. 18 post under a headline laughably calling Warnock "Radical Raphael":

Journalists have already shifted from attack dogs for Donald Trump to cuddly puppies in how they cover Joe Biden. But they’ve been strangely quiet on the background of a man who could help the Democratic Party win the U.S. Senate in a Georgia runoff election.

Raphael Warnock is facing incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler,. He is also a radical leftist who has condemned serving in the military and trashed America’s ally Israel. Yet ABC, CBS and NBC have shown no interest in these incendiary beliefs that could torpedo his campaign and Democratic control of the Senate.

Here are some of the shocking things Warnock has said or been connected to. Network journalists should do their jobs and investigate, something that cable outlets have at least attempted. 

As Fox News reported, Reverend Warnock told church parishioners in 2011 that one could not serve in the military and be a good Christian: “America, nobody can serve God and the military. You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”

No, Scott, Warnock did not claim that "one could not serve in the military and be a good Christian." In full context, Warnock was fleshing out the old "cannot serve God and mammon" Bible verse and was speaking out against militarism, not military service.

In his Nov. 20 column, Tim  Graham declared Warnock to be an "acolyte" of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom the right-wing media spent years inveighing against for his links to Barack Obama. Graham also took Warnock's remarks about God andthe military out of context, listing it as among his allegedly "extreme sermons" (even though it's based on a Bible verse) and sneering, "If that’s about violence, he hasn’t claimed nobody can serve God and Planned Parenthood."

Since Warnock once said something nice about Wright, that gave the MRC license to bring up all the old attacks on him, including the notorious "God damn America" quote. When someone pointed out that the remark was taken out of context and that the right-wing outrage against both Warnock and Wright seemed to stem in part from the fact that both are black, Mark Finkelstein retorted in a Nov. 23 post that "When it comes to attempting to explain away the unexplainable, nothing's more hackneyed than claiming the offensive statement was 'taken out of context,'" then insisting that Loeffler wasn't being racist by attacking black pastors: "If Warnock had been defending a pastor of pallor who made the same despicable statement cursing our country, Loeffler would surely be bringing it to the attention of Georgia voters in a similar way."

Graham returned in a Nov. 30 post for yet another nitpicky meltdown against a fact-checker for checking facts. He whined that PolitiFact ruled that Warnock's statement that Loeffler is for "getting rid of health care in the middle of a pandemic" was "half true," huffing, "By the extremely literal logic that PolitiFact often applies to the GOP, it could be interpreted that 'getting rid of health care' means 'closing all the hospitals and forbidding doctors to work.'" Of course, getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, as Loeffler wants to do, without a replacement option means that you are, in fact, getting rid of some people's health care, at least in the form and at a price they're familiar with.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' 2020 Election Bias, Part 1
The pro-Trump and anti-Biden bias was blindingly obvious in the run-up to the election. Reporting only on polls that made Trump look good was just the start. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 AM EST
Monday, November 30, 2020
MRC Enlists Another Biased Pollster To Push Its Election Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been building a conspiracy theory that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. First, it baselessly claimed that pre-election polls showing Joe Biden with a big lead over Trump were faked. Then -- after attacking political polls as unreliable or faked -- it paid for a poll (from Trump's pollster, McLaughlin, who clearly has a conflict of interest) claiming to find that some voters wouldn't have voted for Biden if they knew about the dubious right-wing narrative on Hunter Biden.

Now, it's out with another "special report" by Rich Noyes under the overheated headline "The Stealing of the Presidency, 2020":

The left-wing news media didn’t just poison the information environment with their incessantly negative coverage of President Trump going into the 2020 election. They also refused to give airtime to important arguments of the Republican campaign — both pro-Trump and anti-Biden — which meant millions of voters cast their ballots knowing only what the media permitted them to know about the candidates.

To measure the true effect of the media’s censorship on the election, the Media Research Center asked The Polling Company to survey 1,750 Biden voters in seven swing states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), six of which (all but North Carolina) were called for Biden (survey details below). We tested these voters’ knowledge of eight news stories — all important topics that our ongoing analysis had shown the liberal news media had failed to cover properly. We found that a huge majority (82%) of Biden voters were unaware of at least one of these key items, with five percent saying they were unaware of all eight of the issues we tested.

This lack of information proved crucial: One of every six Biden voters we surveyed (17%) said they would have abandoned the Democratic candidate had they known the facts about one or more of these news stories. A shift of this magnitude would have changed the outcome in all six of the swing states won by Joe Biden, and Donald Trump would have comfortably won a second term as president.

First: Noyes didn't mention the fact that the MRC denounced election-related polling immediately after the election, and he gave no reason why this poll should be trusted.

Second:  Noyes didn't disclose the fact that The Polling Company was founded by former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, raising the issue of a conflict of interest. Conway sold The Polling Company to Republican PR firm CRC Public Relations in 2017 after joining the Trump White House, giving her a windfall of up to $5 million -- and also, a company to which the MRC has paid more than $3 million for its services over the years.

Third: The MRC poll was clearly designed to push respondents toward Republican narratives.At one point, Biden is referred to as "the Democrat candidate" -- a deliberate grammatical error designed to denigrate Biden. The poll also asked biased pro-Trump questions like:

  • At the time you cast your vote for president, were you aware that in just the five months from May through September, the economy created more than 11 million new jobs?
  • At the time you cast your vote for president, did you know that the president had negotiated three different peace agreements between Arab countries and Israel, something never done before, and for which he’s been nominated for three separate Nobel Peace Prizes?
  • At the time you cast your vote for president, were you aware that Joe Biden chose as his running mate and successor Kamala Harris, rated the most left wing Senator in America, even more leftist that Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist?
  • At the time you cast your vote for president, were you aware of the Trump administration's unprecedented $10 billion effort to expedite effective treatments to fight COVID-19, with the promise of 300 million doses of a safe vaccine available to the public as soon as next year?
  • Are you aware that Facebook and Twitter censored President Trump or his campaign 65 times in the past year, but neither platform censored Biden or his campaign a single time?

As we've noted, the Nobel Prize stuff is effectively meaningless, and the stuff about social media "censoring" Trump and not Biden is MRC-directed language and censors the fact that Trump violated Facebook's and Twitter's rules while Biden did not.

Fourth, and most crucially: The poll did not ask respondents about their news-watching habits, so the poll could not possibly determine that the "left-wing news media" didn't sufficiently push GOP talking points. It also did not ask respondents whether they knew about negative attacks on Trump -- it asked about the sexual misconduct allegations against Biden from Tara Reade, but made no mention of the sexual assault accusation made against Trump by E. Jean Carroll -- so there is not a baseline upon which to establish how much the "left-wing news media" allegedly didn't report about Biden.

Of course, this is all getting the play inside the right-wing bubble that the MRC wants. Rush Limbaugh touted it, of course, making sure not to ask the questions that we did. MRC chief Brent Bozell also appeared with podcaster (and MRC board member) Bill Walton. Bozell didn't disclose that McLaughlin was Trump's pollster but did admit that the Polling Company was "Kellyanne Conway's old company (but didn't mention that Conway was a Trump adviser), then laughably claimed that both pollsters were "highly, highly respected" (in fact, McLaughlin as a C-minus rating from FiveThirtyEight, while The Polling Company has a middling B/C grade). Bozell also crowed that these results were "scientific," but he made no mention of (and Walton didn't ask about) his own attack on pre-election polls as deliberately fake. Presumably since he's on the MRC board, Walton did almost no pushback on Bozell's increasingly outlandish and dubious claims.

With all these conspiracy theories, it seems the Trump years have made the MRC even more WorldNetDaily-like than ever.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EST
Again Defying Its MRC Parent, CNS Finds Another Pandemic Silver Lining

Remember when the Media Research Center went hypocritically nuts over people found silver linings to the coronavirus pandemic -- i.e., reduced pollution and a healthier environment -- while its own "news" division,, was touting its own silver linings (i.e., increased spirituality)? Well, CNS is pushing the double standard again. A Nov. 12 column by John Stonestreet and Shane Morris is positively giddy at the idea that divorce rates have gone down during the pandemic:

Divorce rates in the United States have declined, and marriages have grown stronger — during the pandemic.

Predictions of a COVID-induced divorce surge never materialized. And according to Dr. Bradford Wilcox, director of the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project, divorce filings in five states that display them in real time are down between 10 and 20 percent since last year. While Wilcox admits that these numbers may also reflect “deferred” divorces, unhappy couples unable to get to the courthouse during lockdown, more and more data trickling in suggests trends more surprising and encouraging than initially assumed.

Last year, according to the American Family Survey, 40 percent of married Americans surveyed reported their marriages were in trouble. This year, that number is down to 29 percent. According to the same survey, 58 percent of married people between the ages of 18 and 55 report that their appreciation for their spouse has increased during the pandemic. Also, 51 percent report a deepened commitment to their marriage during COVID, while only 8 percent report a weakened commitment to their marriage.


For instance, during the pandemic, fathers have spent more time at home and have helped out more with household chores. The marital benefits of a father’s presence go far beyond the division of labor. Wilcox believes that the increased time men spend engaging in home life makes an incredible difference relationally with both spouse and children. Even more, for many during this pandemic, the home became the center of work, play, meals, and even worship, a trend far more significant than it sounds. In effect, COVID has at least temporarily reversed a long-term trend in which the home has been largely de-centered from modern life.

As Aaron Renn, a researcher with the Institute for Family Studies, pointed out back in March, pre-industrial families organized shared lives around shared labor, shared meals, shared recreation, and shared education. During the pandemic, however, families were forced to stop treating their homes as nothing more than shared bunk spaces and food repositories. As Renn predicted, many families have now rediscovered what he calls “the productive household.” And as Wilcox believes, a backyard garden, renovations, cleaning the garage, family projects, and even board games can re-center families.

And, maybe, instead of just leaving when conflict started, couples were forced to stay together. Maybe they experienced the long-term relational and personal improvements that comes when conflict is faced and resolved, as opposed to running away from each other.

Stonestreet and make sure to ignore that in some areas, the divorce rate has increased during the pandemic. So, maybe not the total silver lining they're touting.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:57 PM EST
WND Can't Stop Pushing Hydroxychloroquine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is still -- still! -- pushing hydroxychloroquine to treat despite the complete lack of credible evidence that it works. Joel S. Hirschhorn ranted in a Nov. 11 column:

Hard to believe, but very few Americans have doctors who are using a safe, proven protocol for early home/outpatient treatment for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result. If they had, some 180,000 deaths could have been prevented so far.

How could this happen? Two main reasons. First, The National Institutes of Health have not sanctioned any treatment for home/outpatient use – but only treatment promoted for hospital use. Second, the Food and Drug Administration does not approve of the use of the key cheap, safe and generic drug used in the U.S. since 1955, namely hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

Hirschhorn cites the usual dubious suspects in support of his argument: Harvey Risch, Vladimir Zelenko, and the bogus HCQ statistics assembled anonymously and touted by the group to which Hirschhorn belongs, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.And as befits a guy who put Anthony Fauci before a"grand jury" impaneled in his own fevered brain, Hirschhorn ranted that "The media-hyped meme that Fauci is a trusted expert is nonsense.

A Nov. 19 "news" article by Art Moore touted a congressional hearing that was designed to defend hydroxychloroquine -- Risch testified at it -- with one congressman claiming that "the drug hydroxychloroquine was used as a "weapon" in the presidential election after it was promoted by President Trump. While Moore gave some space to Dr. Ashish Jha, the sole witness who accurately testified about studies showing not only that hydroxyvchloroquine didn't work but also that some studies showed patients who took HCQ had a higher death rate than those who weren't, he also let another witness attack Jha's testimony as "wreckless [sic] and dangerous for the nation."

Hirschhorn returned on Nov. 24 to complain that "The leftist press has totally ignored the hearing and the main messages delivered by senators and distinguished doctors who testified." He attacked Jha as a "shill" for Democrats and accused Fauci of "malpractice," then proclaimed: "The big reveal of the hearing was that Democrats have no interest in expanding access to proven home treatments for COVID and saving lives. Right now, leftist Democrat politics are causing tens of thousands of preventable COVID deaths. All those who voted for Biden should know that Democrats are a fundamental cause of the rising numbers of COVID hospitalizations and deaths."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EST
Sunday, November 29, 2020
How Is MRC Sports Blogger Hating Gays Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Jay Maxson, the Media Research Center's mysterious sports blogger who has no internet presence outside the MRC and may not even be a real person for all we know, is still feeling the anti-LBGT hate as much as ever.

Maxson complained in an Oct. 12 post:

Black Lives Matter protest is so passé now that the National Football League's weekend focus Sunday was on "National Coming Out Day." The league released a 30-second long "National Coming Out Day PSA" on YouTube Saturday, which aired during early-game Fox broadcasts Sunday.


Let's be real here. Sports leagues frequently suck up to the LGBT pressure groups' agenda, to stay on their good side, to prevent boycotts and nastiness. They're fearful of being labeled "homophobic."

Now it's not important to just be a great athlete. By coming out of the closet NFL players are sure to get the Jason Collins treatment. The president, commissioners, coaches and athletes fawned all over the former NBA player for cravenly coming out as he retired from the NBA in 2014.

Maxson is clearly not fearful of acting like a homophobe, as exhibited by his depiction of an athlete's coming out as "craven."

On Oct. 21, Maxson whined that the teams in the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, were being noted for catering to their LGBT fan bases, sneering that they earned " LGBTQ alphabet points" and that "Tampa's lesbian mayor" threw out the first pitch at a game, adding that "The Dodgers were one of the first baseball teams succumbing to pressure to feature Pride Nights, hosting what is believed to be the first Gay and Lesbian Night in August of 2000."

Maxson ranted against transgenders in a Nov. 6 post:

Boise, Idaho, you can kiss your inclusion in March Madness next spring good-bye. The NCAA prefers a different version of inclusion for its host sites, one that doesn't ban males from participating in female sports like Idaho does. College sports fans, trans inclusion is rolling down the tracks and little can stop it.

SB Nation Outsports reports that the NCAALGBT hasn't yet rescinded its agreement for NCAA Tournament games in Boise, but the sport's governing association is in the tank for transgenders.


As if social justice activism hasn't ruined people's enjoyment of sports enough, it's just a matter of when college sports become more defined by the letters NCAALGBT than by biological gender and notions of fairness.

On Nov. 16, Maxson retorted against an article noting that longtime baseball coach Tonny Lasorda refused to acknowlege his son is gay by declaring him to be on his deathbed:

Can't a 93-year-old critically ill man be allowed to die in peace? Not if he is Hall of Fame former baseball manager Tommy Lasorda. Then SB Nation Outsports will dog him to his dying day because he never admitted his late son was homosexual.

Outsports writer Dawn Ennis goes lower than low in a shameful assault on Lasorda (seen in photo delivering his Hall of Fame speech), who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976-1996, won 1,599 games and two World Series. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, Lasorda is currently in an intensive care unit in a Los Angeles-area hospital.


Tommy Lasorda is not a "legend" because he didn't get on his knees to the LGBT fascists and say his son was homosexual. Ennis is a "legend" for contributing to cancel culture with her crassness, disrespect and lack of civility.

That's what passes for sports commentary at the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EST
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch

For unexplained reasons (but probably having something to do with the lack of a student intern), published no Mark Levin stenography for just over a month, from Aug. 14 to Sept. 16. But with an election coming up (and a new fall intern in the building), CNS didn't want to ignore Levin's right-wing rants any longer. Let's look at the Levin stenography CNS published in September and October:

Despite the late start, that's 15 articles over the two-month period. That makes for a total of 76 articles in 2020, a little off the pace of the past three years, when it devoted at least 96 articles annually to Levin.

CNS also gave Levin space to whine on Oct. 5 that Facebook had restricted the visibility of"constitutional scholar, best selling author, and conservative talk-radio host" Levin over his promotion of fake news. Interestingly, the article by Lucy Collins doesn't explain exactly what the content was that got his page restricted. A couple days later, Craig Bannister followed up by repeating Levin's assertion that Facebook "backed down on censorship of his page."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 PM EST
Saturday, November 28, 2020
MRC Attacks Reagan Film It Hasn't Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a long tradition of attacking the alleged content of TV shows or movies it hasn't actually seen. A new Showtime documentary about Ronald Reagan is another example. The show didn't debut until Nov. 18, but the MRC already had its knives out. Brent Baker huffed in a Nov. 13 post, personally attacking the film's director, Matt Tyrnauer, since he couldn't credibly go after content he hadn't seen:

The Showtime pay cable channel, owned by ViacomCBS, has become the latest media outlet to promote specious leftist attacks meant to destroy the credibility and respect for a political leader admired by conservatives.

On Sunday night at 8 PM EST (repeating at 11:30 PM and 1:30 AM EST, matching times in the West coast feed) Showtime will debut a four-part documentary series, The Reagans, devoted to smearing President Ronald Reagan as an anti-civil rights user of racist “dog whistles” who, in the words of its director, served as a tool of “plutocrats” who “in many ways paved the way for Trump.”


Reciting a series of mendacious liberal cliches, Tyrnauer asserted: “What really happened during the Reagan presidency is ignored: the advancement of the system of the one percent, the dismantling of the New Deal social safety net. He may not have seen himself as a cruel man, but when you look at the effect of his policies, he was, and he got away with it because he knew how to manipulate the media-industrial complex with his myth. It’s time to take a fresh look at it.”

No surprise that Tyrnauer come out of a liberal political background. In his Thursday review for the New York Times, Adam Nagourney recalled: “I met Tyrnauer while covering the 1988 presidential campaign; he was an assistant at the Boston headquarters of Michael Dukakis, the Democrat who would lose to George H.W. Bush.”

Baker's post carried the declarative headline "Showtime Documentary Smears Reagan as Racist Precursor to Trump" even though, again, he can't possibly know this is true having written this five days before the documentary aired.

Clay Waters did much the same thing in a Nov. 15 post -- three days before airing:

The cultural elite are sliming the legacy of President Ronald Reagan and using him as a cudgel to attack President Trump, reducing the former president to a racist proto-Trump, while suggesting the press and academia have actually been too soft (!) on Reagan’s legacy.

New York Times California-based reporter Adam Nagourney wrote a full profile Thursday on Matt Tyrnauer and his four-part documentary “The Reagans,” which begins airing on Showtime Sunday night: “Parsing the Seeds Reagan Sowed.” The text box: “A documentary about the former president examines the practice of dog-whistle politics.”


Still, Nagourney wanted Tyrnauer’s “harsh portrait of Reagan” to spur a “reappraisal” of his legacy, before teeing the filmmaker up for more of the tiresome “dog whistle” rhetoric.

Waters then attacked a Times review of the series as being "similarly receptive to the left-wing revisionism," further attacking the reviewer of having a "liberal worldview."

Interestingly, neither Baker nor Waters specifically rebutted anything they claim is in the film beyond denouncing it as "liberal."

The sole MRC post on the series that actually appeared after its debut was a Nov. 21 post by right-wing film reviewer Christian Toto -- and even he didn't review it. Instead, he wrote, "The just-released docuseries The Reagans does little to hide its rage against the nation’s 40th president. Early reviews highlight the film’s critical take on his presidency and cultural impact." Toto linked to Baker's attack on the director, which, again, isn't an "early review" since Baker hadn't seen the film.

Rather than actually bothering to see the film he's attacking, Toto denounced it as "It’s why another Reagan project is so very necessary, at the very least to add balance to the pop culture record." He went on to gush about a Reagan biopic currently in production starring Dennis Quaid as the president, also noting that the film also features Jon Voight and Robert Davi -- though he didn't note those two are wildly conservative. He also didn't mention that the film's production had to take a break due to a coronavirus outbreak on the set.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 28, 2020 11:21 AM EST
WND Finally Launches Subscription Option, Is Still Lying To Its Readers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's taken nearly two years after the start of its current, ongoing financial crisis, but WorldNetDaily has finally -- finally -- created a formal subscription option for readers.

As described in a Nov. 18 article, the "WND Insider" program offers ad-free content for a minimum of $50 a year, with higher subscription levels offering things like discounts at its online store and subscriptions to its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine. Of course, in making that announcement, WND made sure to portray itself as a victim of "Big Tech":

WND is currently under greater attack than ever by Big Tech, which wants to destroy the internet’s oldest independent news website.

But we have a solution.

First, a few of the latest assaults:

  • Since early September, Facebook has massively suppressed WND’s traffic – down to about 10% of what it was previously on Facebook. This hurts us tremendously. When asked repeatedly why WND has been put in “Facebook jail,” the social media giant’s reps offer no reason – ever.
  • During the same period, three major online advertising companies – TripleLift, AppNexus/Xander and Teads – all simultaneously “canceled” their engagement with WND, citing vague breaches of their terms of service (one company said WND engages in “hate speech”), which has seriously reduced the ad revenue on which we rely to fund WND’s operation and pay our journalists.
  • Google has written WND out of its search algorithm so thoroughly that unless you specify “” in your search terms, a WND story rarely shows up.

Other examples abound but you get the idea.

WND is deliberately vague about exactly why it faces such issues -- because it publishes fake news, as we point out every time WND insists that it doesn't. But it's still trying to gaslight its readers by insisting that it's the non-right-wing media that's the real "fake news" and that WND is the "desperately needed counterbalance":

For those who may be somewhat new to WorldNetDaily (WND): Since 1997, before almost all other online news sites even existed, WND has provided a desperately needed counterbalance to the one-sided, dishonest and ever more unhinged fake news media. WND is staffed by veteran professional journalists who, unlike most of today’s media, are unapologetically Christian, pro-American and pro-Constitution. In the last two decades, we have broken many huge stories, defended the Constitution, championed Americans’ God-given rights, boldly upheld the sanctity of life, exposed corruption and abuse, and endeavored to fulfill the Founding Fathers’ notion of a truly free press.

The Founding Fathers probably didn't support a "free press" that is as blatantly biased and has published as many falsehoods as WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EST
Friday, November 27, 2020
MRC Thinks Conservative Misinformation Is Just Asking 'Honest Questions'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is in active denial about Facebook's attempts to mollify conservarives -- and now it's simply lying to itself about it and denying that conservartive misinformation about the presidential election was misinforming anyone. Alexander Hall ranted in a Nov. 10 post:

A liberal tech writer has blasted Facebook for allowing conservatives to ask honest questions about the controversial 2020 election. He also lamented that Facebook has allowed conservative posts to become wildly popular.

New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose tweeted screenshots of multiple trending stories on Nov. 9 that showed allegations of voter fraud. Roose lamented above the screenshots: “Facebook is absolutely teeming with right-wing misinformation right now.” He followed up by later conceding that “The tricky thing, for Facebook, is that some of the most viral stories aren't strictly false.” He continued to complain: “But they are feeding a stolen election narrative that is going to be hard to dial back.” 

Yes, Hall actually claimed that deliberate conservative misinformation was merely asking "honest questions" about the election. He then crowed that "Roose was then scorched by The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon for brazen hypocrisy," but all Dillon actually did was play whataboutism, whining that Roose "never mentions 'left-wing misinformation.'"

Hall went on to portray conservative misinformation as normal -- note his biased dichotomy between conservatives "swaying public opinion" and "far-left influencers indoctrinating" people"-- but he's also forced to concede that not only does Facebook not actually censor conservative views to the extent the MRC insisted it has, conservative posts dominate the site:

Roose was disturbed not only by the fact that conservative news outlets are able to speak, but also at how popular they are. He mentioned what he called, “A Newsmax video full of debunked voter fraud conspiracy theories (dead people voting, poll watchers barred, software glitches)” and remarked on how it “is the 3rd most-shared post of the past three days. 15 million views, 345,000 shares.”

Roose acknowledged that Facebook has labelled conservative posts in an attempt to discredit them, but derides that tactic as useless:


To Roose, it seems that any conservative swaying public opinion is radicalizing people, whereas far-left influencers indoctrinating them is just creating upright citizens. He has frequently tweeted lists of Facebook’s trending topics and users, complained that the platform is often dominated by conservative commentary. 

Having admitted that, Hall then labored to return to the misleading right-wing narrative by huffing that "Contrary to Roose’s recent accusation of Facebook enabling conservative election skeptics, Facebook has cracked down on conservative information in the past year." But he cited only one example, that of the New York Post's dubious Hunter Biden story -- and he won't even vouch for the veracity of the story, stating that it was based on "purported emails."

It appears that Hall wants conservatives to be able to mislead and lie with impunity.

UPDATE: Hall did the same thing in a Nov. 12 post claiming that "A Biden campaign staffer is furious that conservatives are still allowed to question the integrity of the 2020 election online" and was "slamming the platform for giving conservatives a voice." In fact, the staffer accurately pointed out that "Donald Trump voter fraud and election victory lies represented 17 of the top 20 posts on FB between 11/3-11/8. While Twitter disabled sharing of Trump’s election disinformation, Facebook continued to actively promote the posts in feeds." Hall again claimed that "Contrary to liberal critiques, Facebook has cracked down on conservative information in the past year, specifically that which could hurt former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid for the presidency," but again he cited only the New York Post story.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 28, 2020 10:22 AM EST
CNS' Jones Uncritically Pushes Pro-Trump Election Narratives

One of the leaders at of perpetuating biased pro-Trump narratives in the immediate aftermath of the presidential election was reporter Susan Jones.

Jones was very busy on Nov. 9. First, she complained that Joe Biden has "been declared the winner by major news outlets," then gave Republican Sen. Roy Blunt space to refuse to acknowledge Biden won and huff that "the media doesn't get to decide who the winner is. There is a canvassing process."

Of course, Jones couldn't admit Biden won either. She demonstrated that denial in another article that day transcribing President Trump taking credit for the first announcement of a coronavirus vaccine, which she wrote "comes six days after the election that Democrats insist Joe Biden won, despite the continuing vote count and legal challenges in a few swing states."

After that, Jones indulged in pushing the right-wing (and CNS) narrative that Biden getting a record number of votes doesn't really matter because Trump got nearly as many: "Democrat Joe Biden won more than 75 million votes, the most of any presidential candidate; but President Donald Trump won 70 million votes, the second highest total in history."

Jones continued to promote pro-Trump narratives over the next few days, with minimal pushback if any, regarding the president's increasingly desperate challenges to vote counts across the country:

It wasn't until Nov. 19 that she wrote her first article on the reality of Trump's failing election challenges, under the headline "Georgia Secretary of State: 'We Have Not Seen Any Widespread Voter Fraud'." But even then she wasn't willing to competely give up the conspiracy theories, complaining that "partisan host Jake Tapper" pointed out that speculation about election software allows certain people to change vote tallies is "frankly crazy stuff, tin foil hat stuff."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EST

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