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Tuesday, December 22, 2020
WND Columnist Invents 'Constitutional Receivership' For States
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If a WorldNetDaily columnist can empanel a grand jury in his own brain to "indict" Dr. Anthony Fauci, why can't one invent a constitutional concept for the partial purpose of helping President Trump stay in the White House. Thus, we have Craige McMillan devoting his Nov. 20 WND column to inventing "constitutional receivership" for states:

One of the hallmarks of failed states is that they have elections, but the votes of citizens are meaningless. The current regime is always reelected. This happens either because there is no meaningful (or long-lived) opposition candidate, no real discussion of the issues (media control), and the ruling political party runs the machinery that counts the votes.

Do I have your attention yet? Did you think it would never happen here?

Would it surprise you that America's Constitution actually has a clause that deals with failed states? They weren't talking about Venezuela. What they were thinking about was states that might want to be a part of the United States, but with a form of government that was different than republican.

[...]

That's what makes Article IV, Section 4, of our Constitution so interesting: It doesn't say who guarantees a republican form of government; only that each state shall have one. The U.S. Supreme Court had two opportunities to become involved in having a say in this, but it declined both times. The court said it was a matter either for the Congress or the president.

[...]

But if you live in a failed state, just what are you requesting? I've called it "Constitutional Receivership." It's a term from the business world, not as severe as bankruptcy (although it can lead there).

A state placed into Constitutional Receivership by the president would have someone assigned to run the state's affairs and clean things up until new leadership could be elected by the citizens.

If there were riots, the Receiver would call for the National Guard to restore order. If there were corrupt elections, the Receiver would launch an investigation, probably in conjunction with the U.S. attorney for that state. The guilty would face trial and be sent to prison for their crimes. There are a lot of federal assets a Receiver would have immediate access to, and without the say-so of state officials.

Corrupt or incompetent businesses aren't allowed to go on forever. They are either turned around by a Receiver, or their assets are disposed of in bankruptcy and given to their creditors. Article IV, Section 4, can be used this way.

[...]

So-called battleground states now control the national elections through corrupt election practices in just their states. Secret voting agreements with one political party, vote-switching machines entrusted with providing honest totals that are pre-programed for the desired election outcome, and counting rooms with the opposition party's monitors placed at impossible observation distances or completely removed during the vote counting process. The level of corruption in the media, big tech and most blue states election efforts indicates there will never be another chance to change this. Their corruption threatens the very existence of the American republic.

As President Trump has said on numerous occasions, "This can never be allowed to happen to another president, ever again!" I would add, "This can never be allowed to happen to another citizen, ever again," as well.

Whether it does happen again depends on what we do to stop it now. Forget social media for now. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Find the influencers in your community. Meet with your public officials. Get the ball rolling, today. We owe it to our posterity. We owe it to those who sacrificed so much to give us a republic, not a monarchy or a dictatorship. Will you call for Constitutional Receivership now? There won't be another chance.

Anything to keep Trump in the White House, eh?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EST
In The Tank: CNS Promoted Frivolous Pro-Trump Texas Election Lawsuit
Topic: CNSNews.com

The fact that all of President Trump's legal efforts to overturn an election he lost have failed in court has not stopped CNSNews.com from uncritically promoting them. The attempt by the state of Texas to interfere in the elections of other states through a lawsuit it brought straight to the Supreme Court was no exception.

A Dec. 9 article by Susan Jones uncritically repeated Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton touting the lawsuit on Fox News. Two days later, another article by Jones admitted that Paxton faced "blistering criticism" for filing the lawsuit and actually detailed the responses from the states being sued -- but led off with Paxton delcaring (on Fox News, of course) that "we ought to have the chance to be heard at least once."

After the Supreme Court swiftly rejected the lawsuit, CNS didn't do a story on it. instead, two days later, Jones rehashed a Fox Business appearance by Paxton lamenting that "I don't know what else we could have done, other than ask the court to at least hear our arguments." Details on what the Supreme Court said in rejecting the lawsuit were buried in an unbylined article that cited Nancy Pelosi describing the lawsuit as an example of how "Republicans are engaged in an election subversion that imperils our democracy." That was followed by an stenography piece by Melanie Arter in which she detailed Trump's ranting that "it's not over" despite the court's swift rejection of the Texas lawsuit.

CNS also published a Dec. 14 op-ed by Zack Smith of the right-wing Heritage Foundation claiming the Texas lawsuit raised "serious issues regarding election integrity and constitutional law that ought to be addressed going forward."

CNS was pushing Trump's narrative elsewhere as well. In a Dec. 14 article, Jones touted how Republican Rep. Jim Jordan demanded that Congress debate the presidential vote on Jan. 6, the day when it is supposed to sign off on the election. But even Jones conceded the Republicans' effort at obstruction would be doomed: "A simple majority vote in both the Senate and the House is required for any objection to a state’s electoral results to stand. Because the House is controlled by Democrats, that certainly would not happen."

Even the Electoral College officially declaring Biden the winner couldn't be reported straight. Jones dismissed Biden's speech after the Electoral College vote as "an attempt to bolster his legitimacy as the next president," then complained: "Biden repeated that he will be president 'for all Americans,' many of whom remain bitter about the expansion of ripe-for-fraud mail-in voting; affidavits alleging vote fraud; changes in voting laws made not by state legislatures but by election officials; and vote tallying that was shielded from view -- or conducted in the absence -- of election observers." (The article was originally headlined "Biden, Voice Hoarse, Praises 'Honest,’ ‘Free’ & ‘Fair' Election, 'Integrity' of Election Workers.")

An anonymously written article was devoted to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lamely conceding that "the Electoral College has spoken." Craig Bannister huffed: "Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election despite winning the popular vote, cast an electoral vote for Joe Biden on Tuesday – then, called for abolition of the Electoral College, which cost her the presidency."

Melanie Arter uncritically wrote about how Ken Blackwell, initially identifed only as "former Ohio Secretary of State," insisted that "the clock didn't stop" with the Electoral College vote; it wasn't until the fourth paragraph that she noted that Blackwell is "a Trump elector."She didn't mention at all that Blackwell was a Trump campaign surrogate who also served in Trump White House posts, which meshes with CNS' overall lack of disclosure when it publishes Blackwell's pro-Trump columns.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 7:00 PM EST
Monday, December 21, 2020
MRC's Mysterious Sports Blogger Parrots Trump's Election-Fraud Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Media Research Center

The mysterious Jay Maxson is usually hectoring athletes and sportswriters for injecting politics into sports in his Media Research Center writings (when he's not going on anti-LGBT tirades, anyway). But Maxson has become an MRC leader in pushing wildly dubious claims of election fraud by the Trump campaign.

On Nov. 13, Maxson grumbled that USA Today sportswriter Christine Brennan asked golfing legend Jack Nicklaus -- who endorsed Trump before the election -- to  offer advice to the president on "how to accept defeat." Maxson huffed that Brennan "blew off the whistle blowers and -- like other media lemmings -- dismissed any evidence of voter fraud," adding: "Many in the media derided Republicans for using a landscaping business in Philadelphia last weekend to announce forthcoming election-related lawsuits. But now a left-stream media lemming is pathetically trying to use a golf tournament and an octogenarian golfer to settle the outcome of a disputed presidential election."

In a Nov. 28 post, Maxson complained that the Washington Football Team "mocked President Donald Trump on their uncensored Twitter account Thursday. The team's political statement about an election night remark by Trump prompted Newsweek magazine to pile on and promote the left-stream media theme that there is no evidence of election fraud," further whining that Newsweek was trying to "perpetuate the left-stream lie about Republican efforts to prove election fraud." Maxson then started channeling his/her inner Sidney Powell:

Victory according to whom? Biden's compliant media, of course.

Dead people voting is of little concern to left-stream media, who attempt to deny it.

Disenfranchising millions of Americans who cast legitimate ballots is of no concern to Cancian, either. They think that only Black voters are disenfranchised.

A lack of transparency for GOP election observers over mail-in ballots? A trifling matter.

Hundreds of eyewitness accounts of troubling polling place irregularities get a pass, too.

This is further proof that sports media should stick to sports.

[...]

There is plenty of evidence and eyewitness testimony on election fraud, but many in the media prefer to ignore it and stick it to the president.

In a Dec. 8 post, Maxson accused legendary Washington Post sportswriter Thomas Boswell of "guzzling the Democrats’ spiked fair election Kool-Aid" by arguing that Trump should just admit he lost the election:

Boswell insists each generation improves the methods of monitoring cheating. Especially when it comes to preventing voter suppression and re-districting, oft-cited diversions used by the far Left party. He omitted dead voters and says it’s just about counting votes (rather than manufacturing and re-counting illegitimate ballots).

As a matter of Boswell’s checkered facts, America is “damn good” at preventing election cheating. Republican and Democrat election observers are allegedly making sure of that. Except for polling places in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and other locations where irregularities have been reported, where GOP observers were out-numbered, harassed and removed. Hundreds of thousands of regular, decent people are maintaining the honesty of the process, if one doesn’t believe testimony to the contrary in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona."

One might say that Maxson's blatant shilling for the Trump campaign is further proof that sports media should stick to sports.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:44 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 21, 2020 7:44 PM EST
Newsmax Walks Back Attacks On Smartmatic After Getting Legal Notice
Topic: Newsmax

Last week, Newsmax was among right-wing media outlets who received a legal notice from Smartmatic, an election technology company that his been named in various election fraud conspiracy theories, demanding a retraction of false and defamatory claims made about the company. Newsmax has censored news of Smartmatic's letter on its website, but it defended itself in a statement to CNBC:

Newsmax, in a statement, said that “Newsmax itself has never made a claim of impropriety about Smartmatic, its ownership or software.”

“Individuals, including plaintiff’s attorneys, Congressmen and others, have appeared on Newsmax raising questions about the company and its voting software, citing legal documents or previously published reports about Smartmatic,” Newsmax’s statement said.

“As any major media outlet, we provide a forum for public concerns and discussion. In the past we have welcomed Smartmatic and its representatives to counter such claims they believe to be inaccurate and will continue to do so.”

But late on Dec. 19 (a Saturday night, a news dead zone), it quietly published an unbylined article, credited only to "Newsmax Wires," headlined "Facts About Dominion, Smartmatic You Should Know."

Newsmax began by stating that "Newsmax would like to clarify its news coverage and note it has not reported as true certain claims made about these companies." Then, the walkbacks began:

There are several facts our viewers and readers should be aware. Newsmax has found no evidence either Dominion or Smartmatic owns the other, or has any business association with each other.

We have no evidence Dominion uses Smartmatic’s software or vice versa.

No evidence has been offered that Dominion or Smartmatic used software or reprogrammed software that manipulated votes in the 2020 election.

Smartmatic has stated its software was only used in the 2020 election in Los Angeles, and was not used in any battleground state contested by the Trump campaign and Newsmax has no evidence to the contrary.

Dominion has stated its company has no ownership relationship with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's family, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's family, the Clinton family, Hugo Chavez, or the government of Venezuela.

Neither Dominion nor Smartmatic has any relationship with George Soros.

Smartmatic is a U.S. company and not owned by the Venezuelan government, Hugo Chavez or any foreign official or entity.

Smartmatic states it has no operations in Venezuela. While the company did election projects in Venezuela from 2004 to 2017, it states it never was founded by Hugo Chavez, nor did it have a corrupt relationship with him or the Venezuelan government.

Newsmax has uncritically forwarded false attacks on Smartmatic and Dominion. On Nov. 15, for instance, Eric Mack uncritically quoted Rudy Giuliani ranting: "Dominion, when you look into it with just a little bit of investigation, you find out that Dominion uses a software, Smartmatic, which is a company that goes back to 2004. It was founded by two Venezuelans and Cesar Chavez. It has a terrible history of having fixed elections in Argentina, having fixed elections in Venezuela. It was all outlined in 2008 by the House of Representatives."

On Nov. 17, it uncritically quoted Dick Morris saying on a Newsmax TV show, "I do not necessarily believe it was a retail fraud, you know, vote by vote, count by count. ... I think it may well have originated in the Dominion software, in the Smartmatic software that the polling people, voting people used."

One can even go back to 2016, when a Newsmax article documented an appearance on Fox News by Trump supporter Betsy McCaughey, who claimed that "More investigation is needed to be made into Smartmatic, a British voting machine company that is 'very involved' with billionaire George Soros' 'left wing globalist enterprises." McCaughey went on to claim that there is "airtight case against Soros to tilt this election," as he's "very close to Hillary Clinton."

Like Fox News -- which did a similar walkback after receiving a similar legal notice from Smartmatic --  Newsmax does understand the power of a threatened lawsuit over something it couldn't possibly defend.

UPDATE: Newsmax TV host John Tabacco read on the air the article Newsmax posted on its website. 


Posted by Terry K. at 11:08 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 21, 2020 6:53 PM EST
WND Publishes Fake News About 'Suitcase' Ballots In Georgia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As part of its conspiracy-mongering about the presidential election, an anonymous Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily article claimed:

State senators in Georgia on Thursday were handed a hot political potato: a video showing election workers being sent home before supervisors pulled out hidden boxes of ballots from under a table and counted them.

The video, posted on Twitter by the Trump campaign, was introduced at a hearing held by the Georgia State Senate on allegations of vote fraud.

[...]

A Twitter user who posted the video said it shows a "lady telling Republican watchers (and everyone) to leave for the night," but then four individuals remain.

Just one problem: the video is not what WND claims it is. Numerous fact-checkers have debunked right-wing claims about the video; in fact, as FactCheck.org summarized, the ballots in question were opened and prepared for counting earlier in the night in full view of observers, and affidavits from Republican field organizers discredited the claim that GOP poll watchers were directly told to leave. Georgia election officials also debunked claims made about the video by WND and others, pointing out that the video has been investigated and shows normal ballot processing.

A few days later, WND stole a commentary from the right-wing site The Federalist loudly insisting that the fact-checks aren't real because "relying solely and uncritically on government officials’ claims" was something fact-checkers shouldn't have done.

Presenting debunked information as factual is not making WND look good (just as it never has).


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EST
Sunday, December 20, 2020
MRC Drags 'Big Tech' Into Its Stolen-Election Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember when Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell flogged his conspiracy theories about the election purportedly being stolen from President Trump by declaring, "what we're going to break next week is going to blow you away." Well, it took two weeks for that revelation, and frankly, we felt little more than a mild breeze.

A Dec. 17 "special report" by Corinne Weaver expanded the MRC's conspiracy theory to "big tech":

Big Tech companies, outraged at President Donald Trump’s win in 2016, put everything they had into ensuring that he would lose in 2020.

In seven key swing states, one in seven Biden voters (14 percent) said they primarily relied on sites such as Facebook or Twitter for their election news, according to a survey from the Media Research Center conducted by The Polling Company, which polled 1,750 Biden voters in seven swing states. But on Twitter and Facebook, conservatives, Trump supporters, and news that damaged the Biden campaign were regularly stifled, especially in the months leading up to the 2020 election.

Campaign messages only have value when they are heard. Trump and his campaign suffered the most in the censorship melee. Before the election, Twitter and Facebook had censored them 65 times but left former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, unscathed. Twitter was the bulk of the problem, with 98 percent of all the instances of censorship.

[...]

The denial of facts from the liberal media left voters in the dark. Many Biden voters were not aware of the broad censorship Big Tech companies used to silence conservatives and Trump supporters.  Thirty-four percent of Biden voters were not aware that Trump had been censored by Twitter and Facebook, while Biden was not censored at all, according to the poll from The Polling Company. Fifty-two percent of Biden voters were not aware that Antifa pages were allowed on Facebook, while many conservative pages had been taken down. Sixty percent of Biden voters were not aware that Facebook and Twitter prevented users from mocking or posting satire of Biden and his campaign.

The not-so-special "special report" is just a rehash of the MRC's anti-"big tech" victimization narratives over the past year -- much of which we've already discredited. The complaint that Twitter "censored" Trump and his campaign while not doing the same to Biden overlooks the inconvenient fact that the MRC has never provided evidence that Biden violated Twitter's terms of servie the way Trump has and, therefore deserved to be "censored" (in reality, Trump's violating Twitter posts are simply flagged as false and remain visible to readers).

Oh, and The Polling Company was founded by Kellyanne Conway, former Trump adviser, so its fairness and accuracy can be reasonably questioned. Not that Weaver will mention that, of course.

Weaver is clearly gaslighting with this victimization narrative -- but then she accuses others of gaslighting by pointing out that there's no evidence social media outlets are exclusively targeting conservative content:

But Big Tech denies it censors conservatives every time while finding new ways to suppress, label, and remove information posted on their platforms. The liberal media insist that tech companies are not removing content, but still urge Facebook, Twitter, and Google to do more to remove ideas and opinions that go against their established narrative. From criticism of mail-in ballots to satirical posts about Biden, Big Tech took them all down. YouTube’s latest policy that will ban content that contests the 2020 election results is proof of the overwhelming direction toward censorship.

The Gaslight Strategy

The liberal media covered up the fact that Big Tech companies censored conservatives. “Republicans and right-wing media outlets have been all too happy running with the narrative that social media companies are censoring conservatives, regardless of the facts,” stated CNN Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy. Vox Associate Editor of Politics and Policy Aaron Rupar tweeted in 2018: “.@foxandfriends gave @GOPChairwoman a platform to tout, without any pushback, hoax stories about conservatives being ‘censored’ on Twitter.” Popular Information founder Judd Legum tweeted in 2019: “The core claim, that conservatives are being censored on social media IS TOTALLY MADE UP.” Media ignored Big Tech censorship reports, hearings in the House and Senate, and labeled censorship concerns as a “conspiracy theory.” The strategy was to make it seem as if censorship wasn’t happening.

Weaver aded more conspriacy-mongering:

Companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter picked sides before the election and used all their power to further the win. 

Ninety percent of donations from Twitter and Facebook employees went to Democratic campaigns, according to OpenSecrets.org. Facebook contributed 91.68 percent ($2,409,464 out of $2,628,040) of its donations to Democrats collectively between individual donations ($2,400,269) and PAC donations ($234,000) equaling $200 or more. Affiliates of Alphabet, Inc., Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple donated $10,243,589 to the Biden campaign during the 2020 presidential race, according to OpenSecrets. Trump received only $427,047 from the aforementioned Big Tech companies.

When the left embraced mail-in ballots, so did Big Tech. But that meant a hasty suppression of any criticism of mail-in voting. A letter from the Biden campaign, obtained by Axios, proclaimed that Donald Trump Jr.’s public statements of concern over mail-in voting were dangerous to democracy itself. Biden specifically condemned the platform for allowing “this dangerous claptrap to be spread to millions of people.” The liberal media, including CNN and TechCrunch, previously had warned about the dangers of mail-in ballots. “Yet votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show,” wrote The New York Times in 2012. 

Trump was fact-checked by Twitter for condemning “Mail-In Ballots” as “substantially fraudulent” in May 2020. GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called out Twitter for censoring critiques of mail-in voting earlier this year: “Twitter falsely claims there is no evidence of mail-in ballot fraud.” She added: “That’s odd since NJ’s all-mail primary this month was ‘plagued’ by fraud concerns, with 3,000 votes set aside.” The censorship seemed to come as a response to criticism from the Biden campaign.

Weaver is -- as the MRC has long done this year -- falsely conflating political donations by individual employees of a company with corporate donations. And Weaver ignored McDaniel's hyping of alleged fraud in a local election in New Jersey showed that the system for detecting such possible fraud worked ... and demonstrated exactly how difficult it would be to do so on a national scale without detection the way Trump's "censored" Twitter posts have claimed.

Weaver concluded by fully buying into to Trump's false stolen-election narrative: "If liberal Big Tech companies have so much power and influence to manipulate an election, can any election really be fair? That’s the question that both political parties, Congress and the federal government must address. Before the next election." Because the MRC has decided that the very integrity of elections must be undermined -- desipte no solid evidence to back it up -- in order to preserve Trump's legacy.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EST
CNS Gives Platform To Non-Verified Claims That Non-Citizens Stole Election From Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has provided an uncritical echo to claims that the presidential election was stolen from President Trump through various means of purported fraud. Another example of this is a Nov. 9 column by James Agresti:

Based on current population data from the Census Bureau and voting data from previous elections, my organization,  Just Facts, has conducted a study to estimate the number of votes illegally cast by non-citizens in the battleground states of the 2020 election. The results—documented in this spreadsheet—show that such fraudulent activities have netted Joe Biden the following extra votes in these tightly contested states:

  • Arizona: 51,081 ± 17,689

  • Georgia: 54,950 ± 19,025

  • Michigan: 22,585 ± 7,842

  • Nevada: 22,021 ± 7,717

  • North Carolina: 46,218 ± 16,001

  • Pennsylvania: 32,706 ± 11,332

  • Wisconsin: 5,010 ± 1,774

If the lower end of these illegal vote estimates were removed from the vote tallies as of Nov. 8, 2020, 2:00 AM EST, Donald Trump would be leading in states that have a total of 259 electoral votes, or 11 shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency. If the upper end of the illegal vote estimates were removed, Trump would be leading in states that have 285 electoral votes, or 15 more than needed to win the presidency.

These estimates account for just one type of election fraud, and they tend to understate it because they depend on Census surveys, which are known to undercount non-citizens.

Agresti also threw a statement from "a Ph.D. scholar who specializes in data analytics who floridly declared: "Instead of adding politics, vitriol, and bias to this timely, heated topic, this study provides a credible data analysis that supports a strong hypothesis of non-citizens having a significant effect on this election. Any serious critic should try improving on these estimates, as opposed to dismissing them with unproven claims."

As we've documented, Agresti's group has a clear right-wing bias that leads it to bend the truth to fit conservative narratives, meaning that Just Facts is, in fact, adding politics and bias to support the conservative narrative that the election was stolen from Trump.

Agresti went on to complain: "A common argument used to dismiss facts about election fraud is that President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity failed to find widespread evidence of such malfeasance. This claim is a classic half-truth because it neglects to reveal that the Commission existed for less than a year because its work was blocked by the refusal of states to turn over voter data and a flurry of lawsuits." Agresti failed to note that the reason states frefused to turn over election data to the commission was because it was never a legitimiate attempt to study "election integrity" and was seen by many as merely a tool to implement additional roadblocks to voting (another longtime conservative narrative), evidence of which was that it was stacked with conservatives and the Democrats on the commission were largely out of the loop regarding the group's proceedings.

Well, USA Today looked at Agresti's study and pointed out that it's all unverified speculation and that few non-citizens are likely to vote because of the harsh penalties -- i.e. deportation -- for doing so, and that the "Ph.D. scholar" who floridly signed off on the study is not an election expert. As you might imagine, Agresti didn't take that well, resulting in a Nov. 30 CNS column:

A “fact check” by USA Today is defaming a Ph.D.-vetted study by Just Facts that found non-citizens may have cast enough illegal votes for Joe Biden to overturn the lawful election results in some key battleground states. The article, written by USA Today’s Chelsey Cox, contains 10 misrepresentations, unsupported claims, half-truths, and outright falsehoods.

Furthermore, Facebook is using this misinformation to suppress the genuine facts of this issue instead of honoring its policy to “Stop Misinformation and False News.” Compounding this malfeasance, a note at the bottom of Cox’s article states that USA Today’s “fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.”

Most of Agresti's attack on the fact-check are picayune -- three involve attacking Cox for noting that neither of the scholars he cited as having "vetted" the study having relevant experience in elections -- and involve rants such as these: "Yet Cox describes this stunning array of documented facts with the phrase 'Agresti argues' and then rejects all of them in favor of an unsubstantiated claim from a progressive lawyer. That’s not fact-checking but propagandizing." As if Agresti isn't trying to do his own propagandizing in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EST
Saturday, December 19, 2020
MRC Latino Finds A Way To Be Offended By An Obama Statement
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its perpetual seething hatred of Barack Obama, he Media Research Center has to reinterpret to find a way to be offended by what he says. Thus, we have a Nov. 27 post by Jorge Bonilla attempting to claim that Obama's statement that "People were surprised about a lot of Hispanic folks who voted for Trump" because their "views on gay marriage or abortion" supercede any outrage at Trump's racist smears of Hispanics was really offensive, not just a statement of fact:

President Barack Obama’s interview with The Breakfast Club, released the day before Thanksgiving, garnered significant news and reaction due to a simple line about Hispanic evangelicals who vote their conscience. But by narrowly focusing on what Obama said, most (if not all) subsequent analyses miss the broader point about which is why that remark is offensive.

[...]

The widely cited partial quote (starting at “People were surprised…”) comes off as factual and non-controversial, as if Obama were merely stating that there do, in fact, exist Hispanic evangelicals who give greater priority to life issues than they do to immigration. But he didn’t really just make an assertion of fact. Viewed within its full context, Obama’s remark was an expression of contempt similar, in tone and substance, to his infamous “bitter clingers” remark- the exact opposite of an acknowledgment of ideological diversity within the Hispanic community.

Obama’s smears, though, are nothing new to us. And if he feels free to vent about conservative Hispanics who don’t toe the line, it is because there is on the left a permission structure to do so.

Bonilla then asserted that an earlier statement by Obama that "the religious issue, the importance of family, the abortion issue ... explains, in part, why one out of three Hispanics vote for Donald Trump and is so conservative" -- for the vast majority of people, just an uncontroversial statement of fact -- was somehow just as offensive:

The common thread between these statements is, aside from the whiny sense of entitlement to the Hispanic vote and seething contempt for those who don’t toe the line, a default labeling of Hispanics who voted for President Donald Trump as social conservatives. But this reveals a further disconnect with the community that both Obama and Ramos claim to champion. 

Trump’s 2020 Spanish-language messaging was narrowly limited to anti-socialism, economic empowerment, and law-and-order. There were no Trump ads about abortion or the Supreme Court. The Trump coalition is diverse and the same is true for Trump supporters within the Hispanic community, from Miami-Dade to the Rio Grande Valley and from Lawrence, MA to Los Angeles. 

And therein lies the offensive nature of Obama’s remarks. They are not merely a statement of fact but an expression of sneering contempt for those Hispanics who do not conform to what is expected of them. The expectation being, in this case, that Hispanics be single-issue immigration voters that turn out en masse for whomever flings open the border- La Raza über alles. Economic empowerment, personal liberty, school choice, free exercise of religion- all these other issues must become subordinate to immigration and if you vote your conscience or, as Ramos puts it, “feel totally identified with this country” then you are a race-traitor. That’s precisely the point Obama was trying to make within his broader discussion of what gets taken for granted in big liberal cities.

Obama’s been out of office for four years but his demagoguery game, aided and abetted by a Spanish-language media that looked the other way as he smeared a big chunk of the community they claim to champion, is as strong as ever.

It seems that Bonilla is reading into Obama's statements something that really isn't there and just looking for something to be offended by. Then again, that's part of his job as director of MRC Latino as well as a way to keep up the MRC's war on Hispanic media and hosts such as Jorge Ramos.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EST
Your Weekly Mychal Massie Meltdown, Obama Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I've never in my life been more offended by two people than I am by Obama and the contumacious ingrate he calls a wife. Together they're offensive on every quantifiable level. They are boorish and epitomize the most unflattering characteristics of those viewed as common and uncouth.

But that doesn't stop them from disparaging others for personal gain. Yet the very people they belittle and malign, afford them almost godlike status. Even more condemnable is that they advance the sadistic characterization of the thick-lipped, nappy-head, shiftless coloreds who are unsophisticated, uneducated troublemakers who destroy and reduce neighborhoods to rubble wherever they go. They're worse than white liberals who do same.

Obama's most recent put down of blacks was when he claimed that white people object to defunding the police because they're afraid if that happens, black predators will come into their neighbors and cause trouble.

These two skin-color mongers and those like them prostitute divisionism based upon accusations of "white privilege" and accusations of white people being unconscious racists/bigots. But, they would have you overlook one important fact.

The Obamas and those like them are the people who hold blacks in contempt and are lauded for proffering the lowest opinion of black people.

[...]

My friends and I are blessed, because we've watched our children grow up to exceed our expectations, raising the bar of expectation even higher for their children.

But those like Obama and his disgusting spouse look at blacks as being uneducated life forms that behave poorly and in an uncivilized manner. The fact that when they publicly say that and it's accepted without rebuke, proves my point.

The Obamas package their remarks as primary causal reasons and/or factors for white people not wanting to defund police and moving out of neighborhoods blacks move into. But what they are really saying is that blacks are like locusts, i.e., wherever they go they soil and destroy.

-- Mychal Massie, Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column

(Ironic statements coming from a black man who usually sounds like a white supremacist.)


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EST
Friday, December 18, 2020
MRC Whines That 'Big Tech' Will Turn Over POTUS Social Media Accounts To Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates "Big Tech" so much -- and is such a Trump sycophant that it won't admit he lost the election -- that even an uncontroversial decision like giving Joe Biden control of the presidential feeds on Facebook and Twitter when he takes office is yet another sign of the conspiracy. Alexander Hall huffed in a Nov. 23 post:

Big Tech has declared that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will receive the official verified presidential accounts from Twitter and Facebook/Instagram in late January, despite the fact that several states are still contested.

“Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc will transfer control of the @POTUS account to the Joe Biden administration on Jan. 20, the social media companies said on Saturday,” Reuters reported Nov. 21. The @POTUS accounts on both Facebook and Twitter are distinct from President Donald Trump’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account and the @DonaldTrump Facebook page that Donald Trump has used to write the majority of his most popular posts.

Twitter reportedly informed Reuters this past weekend that the company is “actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021.” The same spokesperson added that this action is being taken “As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records.”

[...]

Twitter chomping at the bit to coronate Biden should come as no surprise after it did all-but pull the voting machine levers to help him prior to the election.

No, Alex, the election was not "still contested" when you wrote this.The Trump campaign filing baseless lawsuits filled with discredited evidence was not a serious attempt at "contesting" the election. Trump had requested a recount in Georgia the day before Hall wrote his post -- possibly the only serious attempt at contesting election results -- but that and even a subsequent recount showed that Biden still won the state.

Biden won the election, which -- despite Hall's protestations to the contrary -- was clear on Nov. 23. He's just mindlessly attacking "Big Tech" because that's his job.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EST
CNS Lamely Defends Pompeo Over Georgia Visit
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough wrote in a Dec. 7 CNSNews.com article:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swatted away criticism Monday over his plans to deliver a speech this week in Georgia – where crucial Senate runoff elections are looming – suggesting that no-one had raised flags when his predecessors had domestic engagements during their tenures at the State Department.

Pompeo, already under scrutiny for activity deemed inappropriately political during the recent election campaign, is due to speak at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on Wednesday, on “the China challenge to U.S. national security and academic freedom.”

[...]

Interviewed on “The Guy Benson Show” on Monday evening, Pompeo laughed off the criticism.

“I’m just chuckling,” he told Benson when asked about the kerfuffle. “I promise you, when Secretary [of State John] Kerry traveled to Massachusetts or Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton traveled to New York, those were coastal elite states – those were all fine for secretaries to travel to.”

But Goodenough waited until much later in his article to reveal that what Pompeo's doing and what he accused Clinton and Kerry of doing are, well, not quite the same thing:

A non-exhaustive review of travel by Pompeo’s two Democratic predecessors at the State Department finds that Kerry delivered occasional speeches in Massachusetts (including one at Harvard in 2015 and another at MIT in early 2017) and visited a wind technology testing center in Boston with his British counterpart in 2014.

Clinton took part in numerous events in New York City while serving as secretary of state from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2013 – not including those relating to the United Nations – delivering speeches at policy institutions, schools, galas, benefits, award dinners, and other events.

Goodenough offered no evidence that any of those Kerry and Clinton speeches he referenced took place in a state with an active major political contest going on at the same time.

And it wasn't until the very last paragraph of his 17-paragraph aticle that Goodenough conceded one major mitigating factor: "Kerry and Clinton did represent Massachusetts and New York respectively during their U.S. Senate careers."

That's right -- Kerry and Clinton actually lived in those "coastal ellite states" they gave speeches in. (And Goodenough never explained what, exactly, was relevant about Pompeo's sneering at "coastal elite states.") By contrast, Pompeo is from Kansas, not Georgia.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EST
Thursday, December 17, 2020
MRC Mad That Cop Shows Mirror Current Events
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent a good part of November complaining that scripted network TV shows that focus on police have taken the summer's events regarding racial justice and policing into consideration.

Elise Ehrhard devoted a Nov. 11 post to ranting about one show's treatment of the issue:

This fall's network television line-up of cop shows has begun and that means endless lecturing of the Black Lives Matter narrative. Audiences are being hectored that police officers are inherently racist towards black men and nothing has changed in the U.S. since Jim Crow.

Hollywood has been beating this drum for many years now, from shows with officers shooting innocent black people to cops covering up killings of innocent unarmed black suspects, but they vowed a renewed focus after the death of George Floyd. 

The latest installment in the "cops are inherently racist and always will be" genre was the season 4 premiere episode of CBS's S.W.A.T, titled "3 Seventeen Year Olds," on November 11. The premiere was set on the anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. 

Since 1992, major reforms have taken place in the Los Angeles Police Department that have led to substantive improvements. Even corporate media sites like CNN have written pieces acknowledging that the LAPD had "what Harvard researchers would later call one of the most ambitious attempts at police reform ever attempted in an American city."

But you would know absolutely none of that from the conclusion of S.W.A.T.

Karen Townsend complained in a Nov. 12 post: "The eighth season of NBC’s Chicago P.D.began airing on November 11. From the beginning of the first episode, titled 'Fighting Ghosts,' it is obvious that the groundwork is being laid for an ongoing conflict between police reformists and those who want to protect racist, corrupt cops." She then attacked theshow for "portraying the police as racists and always the ones in the wrong." Given that the previous time the MRC devoted a post to the show was 2017 (when it complained about an episode regarding illegal immigrants), we're pretty sure it does not "always" portray police as "in the wrong."

The same day, Lindsay Kornick groused about another cop show reflecting current events in an episode based on the notorious Central Park dog walker story, with added racial profiling. "No, this wouldn’t have happened if people didn’t assume every cop was an evil racist. More importantly, this wouldn’t have happened if networks weren’t so desperate to appeal to BLM activists that they claim the characters in a show over twenty years old are now racist," Kornick huffed.

Ehrhard hate-watched "S.W.A.T." again for a Nov. 25 post, which featured "another BLM storyline, with a discussion of the movement to defund the police," further huffing that the storyline "only fuels the dangerous police abolitionist mentality that is causing the greater loss of life in our country.

Even non-cop shows were not immune from the MRC's lashing out. Ehrhard devoted a Nov. 16 post to grumbling about the "woke legal drama" "All Rise" for "repeating the Black Lives Matter narrative," declaring, "This is the poison Hollywood pushes on our culture to sow constant racial division."

The MRC had to work to find a show that reflected its pro-police, anti-racial justice narrative. But Kornick did, and gushed all over it in a Dec. 5 post:

Despite an occasional dip into political correctness, CBS’s Blue Bloods usually takes the rare stance in defending the police in media. Thankfully, the latest episode continues that trend with the show standing up against the charge of “systemic racism” in the NYPD at the height of anti-copaganda. Christmas season is truly the time for miracles.

[...]

It shouldn’t be so bold that a TV police officer would defend his own profession, but after Chicago P.D. and Law & Order: SVU both surrendered to the anti-cop narrative, Frank Reagan is clearly the exception not the rule for cops in 2020 television. Let’s hope he can continue to be exceptional the rest of this season as well.

Not surprising coming from a "media research" outfit that sought to demonize all Black Lives Matter supporters as Antifa terrorists.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:23 PM EST
WND Columnist Misleads About Masks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been a while since we checked in on how WorldNetDaily columnists are misleading about coronavirus. Our focus this time is on a Dec. 1 column by Barry Shaw, who begiins but writing:

Around the world there is a manic mask mandate on steroids. But do masks stop the spread of COVID-19?

The answer depends on who you ask. That's science for you. It's precociously contrarian at a time you want definitive answers.

If you had followed the American experts, from the Centers for Disease Control to Dr. Anthony Fauci, you would have seen a 180-degree swing in statements about masks. And yet, despite the bold certainty of both that masks prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are studies that cast doubt on that certainty.

A Danish mask study, a 4,800-person randomized trial that took place in the spring and early summer, found little statistical difference in infection rates between a group that wore masks and a group that didn't.

Ultimately, 42 of 2,393 people (1.8%) in the mask group and 53 of 2,470 (2.1%) in the no-mask group became infected.

Actually, the study authors have said the study's results "should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection," and an accompanying editorial pointed out that the study "does not disprove the effectiveness of widespread mask wearing."

Dr. Christine Laine, editor-in-chief of the Annals of Internal Medicine, said masks "are not a magic bullet."

"There are people who say, 'I'm fine, I'm wearing a mask.' They need to realize they are not invulnerable to infection," she said.

But Laine also pointed out that the Danish study was inconclusive. From there, Shaw moved onto another favorite right-wing narrative:

Sweden is a country that defied both mask-wearing and lockdowns.

Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist for the Swedish public health authority, has relied heavily on the public adopting a strategy of herd immunity to allow them to build up antibodies. Although admitting that the use of masks could be considered when visiting busy and confined places, he has been against mass mask mandates.

"The evidence is weak," he told Science magazine. "Countries that have masks are not doing the best right now. It is very dangerous to try to believe that masks are a silver bullet."

Swedish authorities actively discouraged people from wearing face masks which, they said, would spread panic, are often worn the wrong way and can provide a false sense of safety.

In Sweden, they took active steps to prevent fear from influencing their open society to the extent that individuals, particularly medical professionals, were punished for wearing a mask.

And what's been happening in Sweden lately? Coronavirus cases have hit record levels, prompting folks to rethink the whole discouraging-masks thing.

Shaw then descended into the usual right-wing anti-Fauci and pro-hydroxychloroquine rants:

Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, said about Remdesivir on April 29: "Remdesivir has a clear-cut significant positive effect in diminishing time to recovery for patients with COVID-19. This will be the standard of care. A drug that can block this virus."

We can trust science, can't we? Well, apparently we can't.

A month later, Dr. Peter Breggin released a report titled "Fauci's Remdesivir: Inadequate to Treat COVID-19 and Potentially Lethal." His opening statement read, "We have found that Remdesivir is a failed antiviral drug that will probably do more harm than good for many coronavirus patients."

As Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a New York state physician who has treated thousands of COVID-19 patients, told me in August: "For early stage COVID-19 patients Hydroxychloroquine is much safer than Remdesivir. Remdesivir causes dangerous cardiovascular problems such as atrial fibrillation (6%), hypotension (8%), and cardiac arrest (1%). Remdesivir also causes hepatic toxicity (23%), kidney damage (19%), and serious lung damage (10%) such as ARDS."

So whose science are we supposed to follow? Certainly not that of Dr. Fauci.

Breggin's article on remdesivir was published on his own website in May and has apparently never been peer-reviewed. Actual scientists doing actual research, meanwhile, have found some benefits for remdesivir in treating coronavirus. Zelenko, of course, is the doctor whose unverified claims about hydroxychloroquine WND has previously promoted.

Shaw concluded by scaremongering about a coronavirus vaccine: "Are there long-term side effects? Nobody knows."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's efforts to spin November's unemployment numbers began early, with a Dec. 1 article by Melanie Arter that "More than half of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April due to COVID-19 shutdowns have been regained, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday." Arter uncritically repeated Powell's claims that the Federal Reserve Board took "forceful actions to provide relief and stability, to ensure that the recovery will be as strong as possible, and to limit lasting damage to the economy."

When the numbers for November came out a few days later and looked, well, not very good for CNS' pro-Trump purposes, Susan Jones started off with an unusually downbeat main story:

As COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise in this country, the nation's labor force awaits mass vaccination. In the meantime, some states are now ordering another round of business shutdowns, a burden that falls heavily on bars, restaurants and other small businesses that have had to lay off workers.

The monthly jobs report issued today shows a less robust improvement than we've seen in recent months.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says the economy added 245,000 jobs in November, the smallest number since April.

And after six straight months of post-pandemic employment gains, the number of employed people in this country dropped by 74,000, to 149,732,000 in November.

Jones even had to concede that while the unemployment rate dropped, it was because people dropped out of the labor force.

The number of manufacturing jobs -- the focus of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's usual sidebar -- showed anemic growth, so much so that Jeffrey didn't outright state what that number was and instead touted how "The United States has added 764,000 manufacturing jobs since jobs in that sector hit a pandemic-era low in April of this year." Craig Bannister's sidebar was the only that that was upbeat, proclaiming that "The unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos improved for the seventh consecutive month in November as the nation’s businesses continued reopening from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown."

But that clearly wasn't enough pro-Trump rah-rah for CNS. That would seem to explain Jeffrey's cherry-picking follow-up article desperately spinning the numbers by comparing them to, um, Obama's first term:

The 6.7 percent unemployment rate that the United States had in November was lower than the unemployment rate for any month during President Barack Obama’s first four years in office, according to the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In fact, the unemployment rate never dropped below 7.7 percent in Obama’s first term in office, and was climbing upward as that term came to an end.

In January 2013, when Obama was inaugurated for his second term, the unemployment rate was 8.0 percent.

[...]

In September 2012, as Obama’s first term approached an end, the unemployment rate finally fell below 8 percent, hitting 7.8 percent.

But then by January 2013, it had risen again to 8.0 percent.  By the end of 2013, the first year of Obama’s second term, it had dropped to 6.7 percent—the rate it saw in November of this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeffrey failed to acknowledge that there is a huge difference between a major recession and a pandemic-driven shutdown.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EST
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC’s Ongoing Facebook Deception
Topic: Media Research Center
Facebook is dominated by conservative-leaning posts and it has given a pass to President Trump and his supporters who broke its rules, but the Media Research Center is still peddling the lie that the platform uniquely discriminates against conservatives. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EST

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