CNS Joins MRC Parent In Rushing To Parler's Defense Topic: CNSNews.com
Last summer, CNSNews.com joined its Media Research Center parent in doing damage control for Parler, the right-wing Twitter alternative, as it came under scrutiny for the right-wing extremists making a home there. But both MRC operations were hiding a major conflict of interest: Both the MRC and Parler share a major financial backer in Rebekah Mercer, who also sits on the MRC's board of directors.
But when Parler's extremist users got new scrutiny after the Capitol riot, CNS once again followed its MRC parent in rushing to Parler's defense -- and shared the exact same failure to disclose a serious conflict of interest (not to mention how Parler was slowly being taken over by pornorgraphy, something the conservative MRC typically opposes).
In a Jan. 8 article, CNS commentary editor Rob Shimshock got an "exclusive" interview with Parler's CEO, which he introduced with this highly biased framing: "John Matze, CEO of Parler, the free speech-oriented Twitter alternative, responded Friday to the report that Apple might kick his app off its app store if it did not censor users." Neither Shimshock nor Matze mentioned the fact that the "free speech" in question was planning for the riot and explicit threats of violence against others. Shimshock did let Matze unironically claim that Parler has "rules against violence," though.
Two days later, when it was announced that Parler's web host, Amazon Web Services, was kicking Parler off for the abovementioned riot planning and violent threats, Craig Bannister served up Parler's defense, complete woth the dishonest framing of it as a "free-speech platform": "'This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast,' John Matze, CEO of the free-speech social media platform Parler said in a statement late Saturday announcing that Amazon will be shutting all its servers."
On Jan. 11, Bannister gave right-winger Dan Bongino space to rant that Parler getting shut down meant that the U.S. was at "stage two" of a "totaliatarian" takeover. Bannister noted that Bongino "has invested" in Parler -- but not that his paycheck is funded in part by the same woman who also funds Parler.
For a Jan, 12 article, managing editor Michael W. Chapman called up the right-wing current favorite legal expert, "Jonathan Turley, a professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, constitutional scholar, and columnist," to denounce the shutdown of Parler because "Parler is based on the original concept of the Internet as an open forum for free speech." Chapman made sure to call Parler "an alternative free speech platform" and claim that "The tech giants want Parler to comply with their restrictions and apply the censorship policies that they want," but he censored any mention of the exact type of "free speech" -- violence and hate -- that got Parler in trouble in the first place.
Meanwhile, CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, was given a column to rant:
The censoring of Parler by Amazon, Google, and Apple is the most serious assault on freedom of speech we have ever seen by private companies in American history. Instead of addressing those who are responsible for abusing their free speech rights, e.g. those who are clearly fomenting violence, Big Tech is now seeking to censor conservative voices in general.
For justification, they are following the lead of pundits and activists who are blaming President Trump and his supporters for the violence that took place last week in Washington, D.C. The argument is more than absurd—it is pernicious.
Hans Bader -- last seen having a hypocritical meltdown over Jill Biden's use of the "Dr." title -- contributed a column blaming actions against Parler and other social media on "leftist officials' whims." Neither columnist mentioned the exact content that got Parler banned, and CNS didn't disclose its financial link to Parler.
The Tech giants used the claim that Parler allowed its platform to be used to advocate and coordinate violence at the capitol last week. If there was ever a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it. Homeland Security was forced to weigh-in this past summer in a letter to the social media giants saying the popular platforms appeared to play a role in facilitating "burglary, arson, aggravated assault, rioting, looting, and defacing public property."
Are Twitter and Facebook responsible for the burning of Portland or the siege of Seattle?
Then why are they holding Parler to a different standard?
We could not find that any Mercer foundation money went to Perkins' FRC.
Sore Losers: MRC Can't Stop Lashing Out At Warnock As He Wins Ga. Senate Runoff Topic: Media Research Center
We documented how the Media Research Center served as opposition research for Georgia Republicans in the Senate runoff races there through relentless attacks on one of the Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock. (Is that even legal under the MRC's nonprofit tax status?) The attacks on Warnock continued on Jan. 5, the day of the election.
Gabriel Hays sneered at Atlanta hip-hop artists turning out for the Democratic candidates, but in a more jerkass way than MRC "news" division CNSNews.com did:
Atlanta, Georgia, the “Mecca of Hip Hop'' will be using its greatest cultural export in order to usher in a future of one party Democrat rule for our nation.
Even though African Americans need only open their eyes to see the disasters that the Democrat government has afforded them in cities like Chicago and Baltimore, pillars of their rap community like rapper Jeezy, Killer Mike and 2 Chainz have been performing at and hosting events aimed at turning out the vote for far-left U.S. Senate Candidates Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff.
Why would the majority African American hip hop scene want the same party that oversees a city with “virtually the same murder rate as Chicago” in 2020, to wield major power over the whole nation. And to think that much of the Democrat [sic] Party is thinking that less police is a productive solution to such problems. Seems pretty counterintuitive.
Clay Waters complained that the New York Times was "feverishly promoting both Democratic runoff candidates ... especially Warnock, while lobbing accusations at the Republicans." Tim Graham similarly whined: "The Washington Post explicitly advertised for Rev. Raphael Warnock’s Senate candidacy in a splashy profile on the front of Monday’s Style section. There was a huge picture of Warnock with the sun shining off his face." Both Waters and Graham portrayed the respective news articles they were attacking as free ads for Warnock -- even though the MRC's negative attacks are effectively free ads fort he Republican oppoents to Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
When Warnock ended up winning over Loeffer (and Ossoff won over Perdue), the MRC didn't take it well. A Jan. 6 post by Kristine Marsh complained that "analysts and reporters echoed each other in hailing Democrat Raphael Warnock’s win as a rejection of Republicans’ racist messaging," which tried to make him a "scary black man." Marsh offered no factual rebutal of the claim other than to huff that "If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that the media will never stop crying 'racism' anytime a black Democrat is challenged on their policies."
Despite Tuesday night showing a Democratic sweep in the Georgia Senate runoff election, the mood on MSNBC was anything but joyous. Instead, various hosts and panelists threw a pity party for fellow leftists, bemoaning supposed Republican voter suppression efforts and insisting Republicans should be shamed from political life as un-American racists who won’t win another presidential election.
Taken all together, let this be yet another reminder that, even when they get what they want, liberals and progressives will always be fundamentally unhappy people.
As if he and the rest of the MRC haven't been fundamentally unhappy over the past four years in attacking any perceived enemy -- even their own fellow conservatives -- on Trump's behalf.
Kyle Drennen's complaint was eerily similar, as if there was a narrative to which the MRC was directed to adhere:
On Wednesday, anchors on all three network morning shows couldn’t contain their joy over radical left-wing Democrat Raphael Warnock winning Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoff, with each broadcast treating him to a fawning softball interview. Rather than press him on his history of incendiary comments, scandals, or far-left ideology, the hosts gushed over the Atlanta reverend’s victory being a “political earthquake” that reflected the “kind spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King.”
Again, none of the network’s bothered to ask a single challenging question of the newly elected Democratic senator or press him on his party’s leftist agenda.
Warnock even got the podcast treatment on Jan. 6, where "Executive Editor Tim Graham explains how the national newspapers and networks haven't so much covered Senate candidate Raphael Warnock as covered up for him. They only wanted voters to know he was the second coming of Martin Luther King, Jr, and he was 'no radical.'"
Newsmax Still Pushing For Bail Release of Jeffrey Epstein's Sidekick Topic: Newsmax
Last October, Newsmax columnist Jonna Spilbor devoted a column to demanding that Ghislaine Maxwell, sidekick to child-sex-trafficking criminal Jeffrey Epstein, be released on bail because she's purportedly not a flight risk and might even be innocent despite the serious nature of the accusations against her and who she was palling around with.
Well, Spilbor gave that another shot in her Dec. 21 column, which started off complaining that the judge's rejection of bail for Maxwell "was surprising to most legal scholars, because it signaled an unquestioned acceptance of the prosecution's proffers while ignoring history, justness and law," though she cited no actual legal scholars asserting that. Spilbor then lamented Maxwell's alleged conditions in prison and cited what Maxwell was proposing as a condition of her would-be bail:
Since then, Maxwell's conditions in custody have proven, in a word, punitive, and seriously impinging on her ability to assist in her own defense, down to and including waking her every 15 minutes, excessive searching and full body scans, guards and cameras that follow her every move, and mask-less, open-mouth exposure to guards who have been in proximity to inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19. Regardless of the nature of charges or the public sentiment surrounding them, no American should be treated this way.
With the benefit of hindsight, and the ramifications of a pandemic wreaking havoc inside the prison walls, Maxwell is prepared to pull out all the stops — including a nearly $23 million personal recognizance bond secured by Maxwell's entire net worth (as well as her husband's — yes, she has one), and another $5 million from numerous others who love and support her (she has those, too.)
In a most unusual (perhaps unprecedented) twist, the security company which is to guard her (at her expense) is prepared to put up a million dollars of its own money to guarantee that they won't let her slip away.
Maxwell has also, through counsel, enlisted experts both here and abroad to provide legal and other assurances to the court that, should she wake up one day stark raving mad, and decide to flee, it literally would be impossible for her to get six feet outside the designated curtilage before privately-paid security guards would release the hounds and pounce.
In the long history of similarly situated defendants whose cases wound their ways through the halls of Foley Square, Ghislaine Maxwell's proposed conditions of release are so strict, they're utterly airtight. Some would say, overkill. There was no sound reason for her bail to be denied before, and even less of one now.
Spilbor once again portrayed Maxwell as innocent and her accusers as compromised by the money they are allegedly making off their stories:
While Maxwell's release on bond should be a foregone conclusion, her guilt is far from it. Again, notwithstanding the baying of the hounds in the press.
Despite her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell was never on a "Wanted!" poster or running from the law. Prior to Epstein's death back in August of 2019, Maxwell was living her life far away from his; a respectable family life which entailed charitable work and making meaningful contributions to society. Were it not for the newly resurrected sins of an old boyfriend, Maxwell never would have become the fodder for such unceasing contempt.
There is but one place Maxwell can escape from the antipathy, and that is, in our justice system.
Maxwell is not only presumed innocent, but steadfastly proclaims it. In any case like this one, with old, unsupported, and differing versions of events, the credibility of the accusers will be called into question. It is an inevitable, inalienable right to confront one's accusers. Yet to date, the government continues to hide their identities. Ironic, to say the least, when the accusers have all but outed themselves on Twitter, Netflix and anywhere social justice is sold.
Spilbor also declared that "Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein. For Maxwell to receive a fair trial, it's imperative to stop confusing the two. Having a friend who's an alcoholic doesn't make one a drunk."
Spilbor won't mention it, but Maxwell was not terribly cooperative in a 2016 deposition, in which she "harshly pounded" a table and accused questioners of trying to "trap" her and responding, I will not be trapped."
Alas, Spilbor's concern went for naught: The judge in the case ruled earlier this month that he still believes Maxwell is a flight risk and denied bail.
Dubious WND Doc Lies About Her Column Being 'Censored' Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily column by Marilyn Singleton -- who's affiliated with the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- is headlined "The names of early COVID treatments had to be censored from this column." That's strange; WND is not known for censoring its writers -- heck, it can't even be bothered to fact-check them (which is likely to earn it a lawsuit in the very near future).
Much of Singleton's column is filled with blather about unproven coronavirus treatments, which she has long done in her WND columns. So what's different that purportedly got her "censored" this time? Well, in one paragraph she wrote, "Billions of doses of [censored] and [censored] have been safely used for over 50 years. Repurposing anti-parasitics as antivirals certainly is not out of the realm of medical innovation."
The link to the first "censored" goes to a study touting hydroxychloroquine -- a drug Singleton has long promoted. The second is a link to a study about another drug touted as a coronavirus treatment, ivermectin. That drug has been promoted by name in otherWNDcolumns -- including a Jan. 15 column by Singleton herself.
Singleton later wrote:
The COVID horse is out of the barn. We need to tame it. Let's start by educating patients, influencers and policymakers about early treatment with [censored] and preventive measures such as [censored] and the proven uselessness, arbitrariness and social and economic costs of [censored] that serve to make "poor people poorer" and erode trust in public health officials.
The first "censored" link goes to a website called c19study.com, one of two affiliated but mysterious websites designed to promote hydroxychloroquine that are filled with questionable studies and other psuedoscience. The websites' operators have remained secret -- hiding behind a wall of secrecy is not something legitimate researchers do -- but it's believed that the AAPS had some role in their creation. The second "censored" link goes to the AAPS website to send for a free booklet on "A Guide to Home-Based COVID Treatment," written by Singleton's fellow dubious AAPS docs, Jane Orient and Elizabeth Lee Vliet.
The final "censored" link goes to a study from last August claiming that lockdowns and mask mandates don't reduce coronavirus transmission rates or deaths. Given that rates and deaths have skyrocketed since then after initial lockdowns and mask mandates were lifted, it's likely no longer valid. Further, Singleton's claim that lockdowns and mandates "erode trust in public health officials" is disingenuous, since she's trying to foment that erosion of trust.
At no point did Singleton tell readers who, exactly, was "censoring" her.
We don't believe that anyone actually "censored" Singleton -- that's not how WND rolls. Her claim was nothing more than a lie and a gimmick to get people to read her column and try to overlook the fact that she was simply peddling the same right-wing conspiratorial hooey she's been dishing out for months.
Speaking of trust: Such a stunt is a textbook example of how one erodes public trust in oneself.
MRC Labors To Distance Conservatives From Trump-Instigated Capitol Riot Topic: Media Research Center
While their bosses Brent Bozell and Tim Graham had their own, um, various takes on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Media Research Center's rank and file had one mission it usually has at times like this: to distance conservatives from the attack, even though the rioters clearly believed they were acting on behalf of Trump, and even though the MRC has sought to portray fringe-right extremists of the kind that led the insurrection as a part of mainstream conservatism.
Wednesday afternoon during live coverage of the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd took a ghoulish victory lap of sorts, discarding any and all conservative and Republican denunciations of the Capitol violence as “a lot of empty rhetoric” and “empty concern” that, in his mind, means absolutely nothing.
In a moment requiring people of all political persuasions to come together in prayer and unity for peace, Todd chose to revel in schadenfreude and bragged how “a lot of people” that have long opposed President Trump (translation: only support Democrats) “are having their I told you so moment unfortunately right now.”
At a time like this, Todd decided to make fun and flaunt himself. Be sure to remember that the next time he urges viewers to choose love, patriotism, and unity.
We'll remember tyhis post the next time Houck urges people to choose unity instead of holding Trump accountable.
Wednesday saw disgusting acts of sedition and insurrection from radical elements of the far-right as Trump supporters launched an assault on the Capitol, breaching its halls and offices. The acts were roundly and justly condemned by most sound people on the right, both from lawmakers and right-wing media figures. But the CBS Evening Newswasn’t having it.
Instead, they ignored those evenhanded voices, demanded House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) join the chaos, and ignored the bomb that was discovered outside the Republican National Committee.
Curiously, Fondacaro ignored that a bomb was also discovered outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters as well.
The next day, Kristine Marsh cheered how a Republican congressman blamed the media for the riot, even though she admitted that "Trump supporters" took part while also trying to avoid blaming Trump for instigating it. Scott Whitlock echoed Houck's talking point: "The fact that scores of conservatives and Republicans have come out and condemned both the violence at the Capitol, as well Donald Trump himself, is apparently lost on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night smeared the entire GOP as “fascist,” “violent, insurrectionist party.” Joy Reid mocked Republican condemnations, saying they “don’t matter.”
Kyle Drennen had his own very special meltdown in a post smearing MSNBC anchor Katy Tur as "nasty" for the sin of pointing out right-wing culpability in the riot:
Appearing on Wednesday’s Tonight Show for a segment aired early Thursday morning, left-wing partisan MSNBC anchor Katy Tur claimed that “decades” of conservatism somehow caused the horrific assault on the U.S. Capitol. She rushed to exploit the disgraceful event and claim that “Rush Limbaugh” and “Fox News” were to blame.
After host Jimmy Fallon asked, “what’s the big picture, how do we move forward as a country?,” Tur wailed: “You know, I think it’s going to be very difficult. There are voices, very loud, prominent, influential voices, that have spent decades tearing down trust in our institutions, tearing down education, tearing down facts, tearing down the media, et cetera, and you don’t build that back overnight.”
Moments later she, made it clear who she was referring to: “Most importantly, the conservative media, people like Rush Limbaugh, people on Fox News, the ones who have been tearing things down for decades for their own benefit.”
While conservatives can and do condemn violence from the right, as we saw yesterday at the Capitol building, it appears to be too much to ask the liberal media to condemn violence from both sides as well. On Thursday’s GMA 3 on ABC (which serves as the afternoon hour of Good Morning America), co-anchors T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach pretended they were publicists for the Marxist group Black Lives Matter, whose supporters engaged in many violent riots this past Summer. But instead of pointing that out, ABC covered for the left-wing organization by inviting their co-founder to stoke racial hatred against law enforcement over the terrible events of Wednesday.
As Patrisse Cullors called into the show, Robach touted a statement from the BLM Global Network essentially calling the actions of Capitol Police racist: “Make no mistake, if the protesters had been black we would have been teargassed, battered and perhaps shot.”
Marsh added, "Robach didn't challenge Cullors repeated claims that BLM was mostly peaceful." She offered no evidence that they weren't.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Hays took a break from to huff:
In the media’s mission to associate literally everyone and their Bible-thumping grandmothers with “terrorist” attacks at the Capitol Building from this past Wednesday, outlets are beginning to blame the violent actions of a vast minority of a Trump rally-attending crowd on pro-Trump Christians in general.
In a hare-brained piece titled the “A Christian Insurrection,” Emma Green of The Atlantic decided to insinuate that because there was a plethora of Christians at the January 6 Trump rally in D.C., and that because a tiny minority of the thousands upon thousands of people there broke into the U.S. Capitol Building, Christianity shares the blame for the attack and is now a weapon utilized by Trump to promote insurrection. They sure love a balanced approach, don’t they?
OK, so because a group of crazies went into the Capitol, does that mean the throngs of pro-life, Christian grandmothers, women and children outside were dupes whose faith was “weaponized” by Trump? No. Those Christians were supporting a president whose policies aligned with their values much more than anti-Christian, pro-abortion Biden Harris regime, and doing so peacefully.
And really, haven’t we spent all Summer watching the left parse out the violent BLM people form the “peaceful protestors.” Surely even though Black Lives Matter propelled arsonists, looters and cop killers, they told us that the slogan and the ideology it represented was for good, and represented mostly by its peaceful protests.
Hays offered no evidence that Black Lives Matter specifically "propelled arsonists, looters and cop killers." In fact, the accused killer of a security officer at a California courthouse and a California sheriff's deupty was a right-wing extremist -- something the MRC has yet to tell its readers despite hyping the shooting.
WND Obsesses Over Mich. Attorney General's Sexual Orientation Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Art Moore used a Dec. 27 article -- under the headline "Lesbian attorney general: Punish any lawyer challenging election" -- to complain:
The top law-enforcement officer in the state of Michigan is looking to punish lawyers who have challenged the results of the 2020 presidential election, claiming the lawsuits include "intentional misrepresentations."
Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat and open lesbian, says she'll pursue action against attorneys who filed vote-fraud lawsuits amid claims that Dominion Voting Systems machines were electronically switching votes intended for President Donald Trump to votes for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Moore did not explain why he felt the need to include Nessel's sexual orientation or why her sexual orientation had relevance to her actions. Perhaps that's because there is none -- a hetersexual AG could have taken these actions just as easily as a homosexual one.
Perhaps Moore understands that, albeit after the fact. Sometime after Jan. 4, the headline to his article was de-gayified, with "Lesbian attorney general" changed to "Michigan attorney general." There was no explanation for that either, though it might be related to trying to make WND News Center content look a lilttle less blatantly homophobic in the hopes that someone other than WND will publish it.
CNS Reverts To Trump Defense Mode For Second Impeachment Topic: CNSNews.com
As talk heated up of impeaching President Trump again, CNSNews.com reverted to its old Trump-protectingstance of the first impeachment.
Susan Jones wrote in a Jan. 4 article that "With 16 days left in the Trump presidency, the talk on MSNBC on Monday morning turned to impeaching President Donald Trump once again, this time over his phone call with Georgia election officials," complaining that the call was "apparently taped without Trump's knowledge by a person not identified" and that "the left-wing media went ballistic" over the call.
But after the Capitol riot spurred by Trump's riling up his supporters with bogus election fraud conspiracy theories, CNS at first started out started by echoing its earlier impeachment-call article with an anonymously written piece under the headline "Pelosi Calls for Trump to be Removed or Impeached—13 Days from the End of His Term." Then it fell into the same state of shocked balance that followed its coverage of the riot itself, with a Jan. 11 article by Melanie Arter surprisingly citing a prominent Republican senator admitting that Trump committed impeachable offenses. That was followed by an article by the ususally highly biased managing editor Michael W. Chapman offering a straight recounting the article of impeachment filed in the house. Then followed a fleet of articles by commenators denouncing any possible impeachment:
Thiswas joined by a column from Pat Buchanan -- whose 1996 presidential campaign CNS editor Terry Jeffrey was manager of -- histrionically calling impeachment an attempt by "the establishment" at a "last opportunity to stomp him and his movement to death.
Once impeachment proceedings started, it was back to form by heavily focusing on defenses of Trump, whataboutism and attacks on the impeachment itself:
CNS also gave space to attacks on Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for voting for impeachment. A Jan. 13 article by Chapman highlighted how Republican Rep. Jim Jordan planned to force her out as chair of the House Republican Conference, and the next day he touted how "the Wyoming Republican Party sent her a message on Wednesday, stating that she had 'aligned herself with leftists,' was helping Democrats to 'smear the entire conservative movement,' and had 'denied President Trump due process'" by voting for impeachment.
NEW ARTICLE -- Exhibit 76: Heathering for Trump Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent part of the 2020 election lashing out at its conservative allies who failed to be as reflexively and uncritically pro-Trump as it has been. Read more >>
After President Trump's phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger leaning on him to overturn election results in that state became public, Newsmax rushed to defend him. In a Jan. 3 article credited only to "Newsmax Wires," the anonymous writer stated:
The Washington Post on Sunday released audio of a Saturday phone call between President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the two can be heard discussing election results.
The Post initially released snippets of the hour-long call in which Trump can be heard discussing election results with Raffensperger and his lawyer Ryan Germany.
Also joining the call was White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump campaign lawyer Cleta Mitchell.
Trump lays out numerous examples of double voting, dead people voting, and other ballot irregularities and anomalies.
Raffensperger and Germany counter Trump's assertions largely with simple claims that the matters Trump raised have been investigated.
Trump insists he won Georgia's presidential election on Nov. 3 and claims widespread fraud deprived him of that victory.
The Washington Post claimed that in his talk with Raffensperger, Trump "repeatedly urged him to alter the outcome of the presidential vote in the state."
This claim is false.
The transcript of the call shows Trump demanding an honest accounting of the ballots, which he says would give him more than 11,000 votes.
This is followed by excerpts of the call under headings like "Trump Lays Out Ballot Fraud, Irregularities," "Trump Says Fulton County Videotape Shows Massive Fraud," "Trump: Says Many Dead People Voted," "Trump Sees Fraud Also in Michigan, Pennsylvania," and "Trump Disputes Raffensperger." The article noted Raffensperger's response only that he "dismisses" or "disputes" or "responds" to Trump's claims.
What Newsmax never says, however, is that most of what Trump alleged has been discredited, as numerousfact-checkershavefound. And contrary to Newsmax' claim, it's not "false" to claim that Trump pressured Raffensperger to change vote totals; intimidation was clearly the purpose of the call.
Such blatant Trump toadying is keeping Newsmax from being taken seriously as a news outlet.
UPDATE: To cite another example of Newsmax's Trump toadying: A Dec. 17 article by Eric Mack uncritically promoted the "blistering 36-page report" by White House aide Peter Navarro "in which he asserted that voter irregularities and election fraud have been found in 'more than sufficient' quantities to swing the election to President Donald Trump." Even though the report has been utterly discredited, Mack would admit only that none of the legal cases the Trump campaign filed in an attempt to overturn the election "have gained significant traction" and that "Critics have rebuked Trump for advancing claims of fraud with insufficient proof and weakening the electoral process." Mack made no effort to fact-check any of Navarro's claims; he presented them as effectively factually accurate.
MRC Sells Bumper Stickers Pushing Election Fraud Conspiracy Theory Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell has made it clear that he and his Media Research Center will not admit that Joe Biden won the election fair and square and that there is no evidence of massive election fraud -- even after ther Capitol riot that was spurred by promotion of those election fraud conspiracy theories.
We see this even at the MRC's online store, which is continues to sell bumper stickers saying things like "Biden Won ... And Pigs Fly" and "Roses Are Blue. Pigs Fly. And Biden Won." There's also a bumper sticker that states "Biden 'Won' Because The Media Lied" -- which references the MRC's take on the conspiracy theory, that Trump lost because the media didn't advance right-wing, pro-Trump spin to the MRC's satisfaction ... as determined by the Trump campaign's pollster and the pollster founded by longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Meanwhile, of course, the MRC continues to express its disdain for journalism -- and, it seems, the very "news" division it operates, CNSNews.com -- to sell clothing emblazoned with the phrase, "Believe In America, Not The Media."
Such extremism and denial of reality is not a good look for an organization that presumably would like to be thought of as something other than a Trump toady.
WND's Brown Distances Himself From Right-Wing Evangelicals' Trump Obsession Topic: WorldNetDaily
When last we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown, he was starting to waver a little bit on his steadfast support for President Trump based on his right-wing, evangelical-friendly agenda, as the fact that Trump is amoral liar started to weigh on him, as well as his fellow evangelicals' obsession with Trump (which he helped create by serving as an apologist for the president).
Brown was still in defense mode in his Dec. 9 column, Denying that Trump'sappeal to white evangelicals was racial, though he conceded that "evangelicals have looked to Trump as a savior figure of sorts, a strong man who, at last, will push back against the left" and that "Trump's America-first nationalism appealed to many a white supremacist, including those on the alt-right." He then vouched for Trump's non-racism:
If he were truly a racist (or, at the least, someone who catered to white supremacy), why did he work so hard (and succeed) in expanding his minority base? Why did he reach out to black and Hispanic pastors and activists, bringing them into his inner circle? Why did he take pride in having a growing multi-racial base? Why did he respond to racial unrest in 2020 by gathering key black leaders for input and counsel?
And as much as I have been an open critic of Trump when I have differed with his words and conduct (as a Trump supporter and voter), I have never believed he was a racist. Some of my anti-Trump, evangelical friends agree with me here as well.
The issue of protecting our borders is about law and order and safety. It is not about keeping out needy refugees who want to become part of our country.
But on Dec. 14, he sided with religious scholar Beth Moore in warning against Christian nationalism: "Many Christian conservatives today are equating the fate of America with the fate of God's kingdom, making one party (obviously, the Republican Party) into God's party and the other party (obviously, the Democratic Party) into Satan's party." He added:"We should fight for what is right and against what is wrong. But the cause of Trump is not the cause of Christ, nor is the battle for the Senate a battle for the kingdom of God." On Dec. 16, Brown warned against inappropriate merging of religion and politics, "taking over our neighborhoods through intimidation and fear, forcing non-believers to live by our moral codes."
In his Dec. 25 column, Brown shot down pardoned criminal Michael Flynn's attempt to boost Christian nationalism:
We can also recognize the important role that the Bible played in the founding of our country.
But all that is a far cry from viewing America as a truly Christian nation or conflating the cross with the flag.
Rather, that is the type of Christian nationalism that can be so dangerous, the kind that non-Christians (or, even simply non-fundamentalist Christians) find so concerning.
That is the type of rhetoric that can lead to calls for a theocracy, something I want no part of until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.
That is the type of mindset that sees the battle for the 2020 elections as a battle for the Gospel, as if the anti-Trump forces are all anti-Jesus and the pro-Trump forces all pro-Jesus.
Again, Trump is not Hitler, and we who voted for him are neither Nazis nor supporters of Nazism. But to the extent that we think that true American-ness equals true Christianity, we make a serious mistake. And to the extent we wrap the cross in the American flag, we degrade the Gospel.
On Dec. 28, Brown more explictly rejected Christian nationalism expressed as unwavering support for Trump, pointing out that America "was not established as any kind of theocracy, although we had strong biblical roots":
It is that same zeal for God and love of country that moved some of us to speak up in the aftermath of the elections, as we saw a dangerous spike in Trumpism (meaning, an unhealthy looking to Trump as some kind of political messiah).
Did we do this to gain the approval of Never Trumpers or to appease a potential Biden administration? The suggestion is as laughable as it is ludicrous.
And in his Dec. 30 column, after flirting with both-sides-ism on partisan media sources -- "not everything the left-leaning media say is false, and not everything the right-leaning media say is true" -- Brown eventually comes down hard on his fellow right-wingers who reflexively reject anything not reported by right-wing media ... and more specifically himself, citing the hostile reaction he got from far-right activists after writing a column denouncing the QAnon conspiracy. (Interestingly, not only did WND not publish the column, it was reportedly deleted from the right-wing evangelical website Charisma after publication.) Brown then took apart the evangelical obsession with Trump -- one, by the way, he helped create:
As for the president, I have heard Christian leaders say that he is the only one they trust right now. I have seen posts saying that "all pastors" have been bought out by "the elites." And on and it goes.
Trump, for his part, has made clear that we cannot trust the Supreme Court. Or the DOJ. Or the FBI. Or Congress. Or the media. Or the voting system (he's been saying that for years, for the record). Or those who used to work in his administration. "Believe me," he says repeatedly, and many of us do, hook, line and sinker. He alone can be trusted. This too is very dangerous.
Added to all this is the crisis taking place right now in the charismatic church, where a substantial chorus of prophetic voices, in absolute one accord, has proclaimed that Trump will serve a second consecutive term. They prophesied this for many months before the election, and now, most of them have reaffirmed their prophecies, "Joe Biden will not serve in the White House. President Trump will be inaugurated. The tables will turn."
Can you imagine the fallout if this does not happen?
Does it simply mean these individuals cannot be trusted? Or is this an indictment on the entire charismatic movement (of which I am a part)? Or is this an indictment on the very idea of God and the Bible?
Brown concluded by delcaring, "May 2021 be the year when the sword of truth emerges to cut through the lies. And may we have the courage to follow the truth, come what may. It will deliver us from a pandemic even more deadly than COVID – the pandemic of deception." Given what happened in the days that followed, it might take more than that to get his fellow right-wing evangelicals to reject deception.
How Is The MRC Freaking Out About LGBT Folks In Entertainment Now? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center regularlycomplains that there are too many gay people on TV, and it's quite unhappy that the Hallmark Channel decided to make one of its trademark Christmas romance movies featuring a same-sex couple. So when not only the Hallmark Channel but also the Paramount Network debuted Christmas movies featuring same-sex couples, Sergie Daez was on hand to sneer at them:
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me . . . an LGBTQ movie.
That could seriously be a legitimate advertising line for Paramount Network, which is releasing an LGBTQ+ Christmas themed film called Dashing in December, according to popculture.com. Written as a romantic comedy and directed by Jake Helgren, the film will be released in its titular month on Sunday the 13th this year. Meghan Hooper, EVP and Paramount’s Head of Original Movies and Limited Series, stated that “This feel-good project captures the importance of inclusive storytelling, the power of love and the spirit of the holidays all rolled into one.”
Ah, yes, inclusive storytelling. The highest of all virtues that calls for everything to be sacrificed so that the anti-family beliefs of 4% of the country’s population can be imposed on everybody. Apparently Paramount Network believes that a lifestyle centered on pleasuring the self captures “the power of love” and “the spirit of the holidays.” Leftists will probably laud the film as the next Christmas classic along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.
This is just another attempt by the movie industry to brainwash the masses so that they can believe that a turbulent lifestyle is idyllic.
And Paramount Network isn’t the only company kowtowing to gay agenda tyrants. According to popculture.com, Hallmark Channel has also started producing content centered on LGBTQ+ characters this year. Not only did they release a film that featured a same-sex wedding in August (called Wedding Every Weekend), they are also producing a film called The Christmas House, with a plot on child adoption by a gay couple.
Naturally, Hallmark didn’t describe this as leftist propaganda, but Michelle Vicary, who is an EVP programming for Hallmark, stated that "Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever." How inclusive and virtuous these people are.
What people need at the end of a tough year is for the leftist agenda to leave them alone and stop imposing the lifestyle of the few on the many.
If those who want to see same-sex Christmas movies are "gay agenda tyrants," does that make Daez and the MRC anti-gay tyrants?
Daez is emerging as the MRC's chief gay-hater. On Dec. 2, Daez had a meltdown over the film "The Prom":
The new film The Prom is, according to Indiewire.com, “every teenage girl’s dream: The high school PTA has just announced they’d rather cancel prom than let you bring your girlfriend, when a gaggle of garishly dressed Broadway stars you’ve never heard of storms in singing, ‘We are gonna help that little lesbian…’” This sounds like a woke fantasy more than anything else.
Indiewire.com claimed that the musical romantic comedy film “has all the makings of a classic Hollywood musical: Haughty urbanites descend reluctantly on a small provincial town seeking validation and instead find love, connection, and renewed life’s purpose.” But even they admit that the description is only accurate if one puts aside “its impassioned overtures for LGBTQ+ rights.”
“All the makings of a classic Hollywood musical.” Yeah, right.
The Prom doesn’t sound like a classic Hollywood musical at all. It seems to be more of a typical Hollywood lecture on how everybody should accept the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Those types of lectures are radical left propaganda. They are not “adorable,” not “feel-good,” not “entertainment,” and definitely not what “we needed this year.”
A week later, Daez had another anti-gay meltdown, this time over Charlize Theron's idea to remake "Die Hard" with a lesbian theme:
It didn’t seem possible to make 2020 crazier than it already was, but then somebody had the bright idea of producing LGBTQ Christmas movies for the holiday season. Hijacking the holidays for new LGBTQ propaganda was bad enough, but now actress Charlize Theron is planning on ruining an old holiday film with a new remake. Obviously, film companies do this all the time, but Theron is planning to ruin the film with LGBTQ propaganda.
What a great step forward for mankind. One can already hear the gushing of Twitter’s woke mob over the “inclusivity” and “representation of minorities” in the enterprise. Why not make “replace” culture a thing and do a lesbian remake of Braveheart with Wilhemina Wallace, or of Gladiatorwith Maxine Decimus Meridius. Who would not be entertained by that.
This is a worse idea than the LGBTQ Christmas movies.
You know you’re old when you can think back on a time when Cartoon Network proudly gendered their cartoon characters. Nowadays, “The Powerpuff Girls” wouldn’t be considered inclusive enough for the children’s entertainment network. Case in point: the animation channel’s latest social media post which tells kids that being a pansexual genderqueer androgynous whatever is just as normal as being a boy or a girl.
Cartoon Network, like almost everything else in this earthly realm, is seemingly suffering from a bout of leftwing crazy.
On December 14, the channel’s Twitter account posted a series ofeducationalcomic strips featuring trans propaganda for the edification of viewers, most of which are children obviously. In any normal circles, this would be viewed as the opposite of kid friendly or educational.
Still, the channel captioned its post, saying, “Here's to not only normalizing gender pronouns, but respecting them, too. Whether you use he/she/them or something else, we acknowledge and LOVE you!” What they meant to say is, here’s to normalizing mental illness in innocent schoolchildren.
Matt Philbin had to weigh in too, which he did in a Dec. 30 post in which he served up the familiar MRC lament of too many gay people on TV:
You thought journalism was hurting? Not at all. Consider: a pandemic is raging, businesses are being starved by lockdowns, and a whole lot of people don’t believe the results of the presidential election. But back on Nov. 24, USA Today had the resources to devote 2,300 words to gay actors complaining about straight actors getting too many queer roles.
Not that the problems of a self-obsessed subset of an insular and frivolous industry aren’t fascinating. Who among us can’t say exactly what we were doing when we heard the news that Selena Gomez was going to play a lesbian mountaineer?
And nobody really wants accuracy. Oliver cited numbers from GLAAD: in 2019, 18.2% of major studio releases included characters that were “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer.” And, “On television, LGBTQ characters are projected to represent a record high of 10.2% of series regulars on prime-time scripted broadcast series.”
LGBT people make up 4% of the population. What they’re shooting for is over-representation. Yet Oliver lamented “the scarcity of roles available for out LGBTQ actors to play LGBTQ characters.” He quoted a “gender and sexuality studies professor” who says, “It would be nice if there were enough LGBT roles that anyone could play them because there wasn't any scarcity of representation, However, that’s not the case.”
It’s a real dilemma. You have too many queer actors in an industry that’s already pushed queer content and characters well beyond any semblance of realism.
Clearly, the MRC is not hurting that it can affort to have Philbin spend nearly 450 words ranting about a newspaper article that failed to hate LGBT people the way he demands.
CNS Uncritically Promotes Hawley's Exaggerated Claim Of His Family Being 'Threatened' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones sure tried to make it sound sinister in a Jan. 5 article:
In a tweet late Monday night, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said his family was threatened by "Antifa scumbags" while he was out of town:
Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence.
Hawley has made headlines in recent weeks after announcing he will object to the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6.
The threats aimed at him follow the graffiti vandalism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Louisville, Kentucky home and an apparently coordinated graffiti attack at the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this past weekend.
But if Jones had bothered to look further ihnto the story before writing about it, she would have learned that Hawley's claim of his family being "threatened" was exaggerated. As an actual media outlet reported:
Vienna police said they did not see anyone pounding on the Hawleys’ or their neighbors’ doors, did not hear any threats and did not see any vandalism other than chalk on the sidewalk. And as of Tuesday afternoon, they had not received a formal complaint from the Hawleys, Officer Juan Vazquez said. Vazquez told the Associated Press that when police arrived, they found that the “people were peaceful.”
Demonstrators with ShutDownDC, which organized the protest, also told The Washington Post that they did not engage in vandalism or even knock on Hawley’s door. shared by the group shows protesters writing in chalk on the sidewalk, chanting through a megaphone and at one point leaving a copy of the Constitution on Hawley’s doorstep.
“This was not threatening behavior,” said Patrick Young, a ShutDownDC organizer. “This is people engaging in democracy and engaging in civil discourse. … This was a pretty tame and peaceful visit to his house.”
The group’s video shows several officers asking protesters to quiet down, but then standing by as the crowd continued with its demonstration.
Hawley said protesters at his Virginia home "screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open (his) door."
This conflicts with police accounts of the event and a video showing the full demonstration. The demonstration was disruptive, but the full video shows it was not as violent as he made it sound.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
Jones has not seen fit to correct the record in this or any subsequent article, meaning that a highly misleading claim remains live on the CNS website. Is that the way a media outlet builds credibility?
Fake News: MRC Allows False Claim To Remain, But With An 'Editor's Note' Topic: Media Research Center
Joseph Vazquez -- whose main job these appears appears to go spelunking into election-donation databases in an attempt to shame the MRC's preferred targets for having donated money to Democrats -- thought he had a winner in a Dec. 22 item:
Here’s another reason CNN’s political coverage seemed slanted against President Donald Trump: Political Correspondent Sara Murray gave cash to one of the only two Democratic senate candidates to defeat a GOP incumbent so far.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) records revealed that Murray gave $1,000 to Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) campaign Sept. 19, 2020. Her contribution creates a potential conflict of interest given Murray’s role as a news correspondent covering politics for CNN.
The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics clearly states that journalists should “[a]void conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.” It also states that journalists should refuse credibility-harming “special treatment” and should “[a]void political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.”
These general rules to protect journalist impartiality are clearly lost on CNN.
The MRC later appended an update to Vazquez's post: "CNN Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic responded to this story on Twitter, claiming, 'Wrong address. Wrong person. Wrong reporting,' despite the FEC record identifying 'Sara Murray' as a 'Correspondent'" employed by 'CNN.'"
It turns out that CNN was correct -- and Vazquez was wrong. His post now begins with this editor's note:
According to FEC records, there is another Sara Murray in Washington D.C. at the same zip code whose occupation is a nutritionist. Prior to this post's publication, MRC reached out to several CNN officials for comment. All of them went unreturned. Since publication, CNN has informed NewsBusters that both CNN and Murray unequivocally deny that she's made any political donations and are looking into the donation’s origins. The Mark Kelly campaign sent a note to the FEC stating:
"This filing is to notify that on the October 2020 Quarterly report we incorrectly reported Sara Murray's occupation as Correspondent and employer as CNN. The correct information, as given by the donor who made the contribution on September 19, 2020, is that their employer and occupation are both Not Employed."
Our report on the donation record was accurate, but the FEC record was not, so we're happy to correct it.
Wrong. Because the FEC record was not accurate, Vazquez's report wasn't acccurate. The donor was misidentified, and the MRC is trying to hide behind that to mask Vazquez's errort. Bizarrely, the MRC is leaving Vazquez's false post up even though it identifies the wrong person as the donor. The fact that there's an "editor's note" admitting the piece is false is no excuse for allowing the original false claim to stand.
And that tells you all you need to know about how selectively the MRC applies journalistic ethics.
Even After Creating Lawsuit Threat, WND Is Still Letting Zumwalt Spin Election Conspiracies Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist James Zumwalt is in trouble -- not only has he written a column featuring apparently false and defamatory claims about an employee of Dominion Voting Systems that over which employee has sued others, he's been pushingother bogus election fraud conspiracy theories. Not only have Zumwalt and WND been silent about the lawsuit threat they face, WND has continued to publish even more columns by Zumwalt pushing those same bogus conspiracy theories.
Something very strange following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election has happened. Despite the occurrence on election night of numerous unprecedented acts such as the sudden vote-counting suspension in several key states where Donald Trump was leading at the time; how votes within some of these states, in mere minutes, gave rise to a mathematical impossibility of hundreds of thousands of Joe Biden votes "arriving" to offset Trump's lead as he received an insignificant number; how suitcases filled with Biden ballots were mysteriously pulled out from under tables in voting centers after observers left; the repeated feeding of the same Biden ballots into voting machines; issuance of a sworn affidavit from a truck driver who, in the dead of that night and the following morning, claimed he transported thousands of Biden ballots from New York to Pennsylvania, etc., what is most strange is the fraud indifference exhibited in the election's aftermath.
All the above, alone, were sufficient to raise the query whether fraud occurred, prompting an investigation. However, the media and government officials – mostly Democrats but also some Republicans – are rushing to inaugurate a president who may not have even been elected by the people in a fair contest. The possible consequences of this should, years later, evidence of fraud be proven would undermine every action Biden subsequently took as a fraudulently elected president, including international treaties, appointing judges, implementing immigration policies, etc. Biden himself should even embrace such an investigation to eradicate doubts of illegality that will haunt his presidency or has a chance at undermining it later.
But the media that sharpened their skills digging up the truth during times of crisis in our country's history have largely been silent.
On Jan. 6, Congress officially counts the electoral votes. Eleven Republican senators who, having now joined together, will request that day that Congress appoint an electoral commission to manage an emergency 10-day audit concerning the election results. Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the joint session of Congress Wednesday, has said he welcomes the election challenge. If any effort to restore integrity to our voting process is to be undertaken, this, at a minimum, must happen. Failing to do so plants a seed of presidential illegitimacy for Biden that will plague him for life.
Should an historical point in time of a democracy's existence occur where a line representing its strength intersects with a line representing voter indifference – the former falling beneath the latter – that democracy is on life support, its recovery unlikely. Before finding ourselves there, we need to see an investigation undertaken to ensure a meaningful 2020 vote really was held.
Now seeking to throw salt on an open wound, Democrats play their own "loyalty through fear" card. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., introduced a resolution to expel members of Congress who dared to question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. Her argument is that, simply by contesting the issue, they too contributed to inciting the Capitol riot. She hypocritically argues "We can't have unity without accountability" while ignoring "we can't have unity without knowing we had a fair election." Rather than support an election investigation to discover the truth, Democrats prefer to eliminate Republicans from office for challenging the election's fairness. Saddam would be proud.
Democrats have taken a lesson out of the old communist handbook: Those successful in limiting the freedom of the people will soon control them. At a time we hear talk about creating a third political party, failing to challenge Pelosi and her ilk could very well leave us with having just one.
It's surprising that WND is still letting Zumwalt write columns, given how much legal jeopardy he has exposed it to. Then again, WND's ongoing precarious financial status shows it's not good at making business decisions.