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Thursday, February 18, 2021
CNS Muddies Debate On COVID Vaccines And Abortion Stem Cells
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last October, when then-President Trump caught coronavirus, CNSNews.com worked to distance him from claims that the Regeneron treatment he received made use of a stem cell line derived from an aborted fetus, thus relieving him of any culpability that might tarnish his anti-abortion credentials. Now, with a coronavirus vaccine becoming more widely available, CNS is reviving that debate again. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman pushed the issue in a Jan. 4 article:

The Vatican recently issued a statement explaining that it is "morally acceptable" for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine that relied on the "cell lines from aborted fetuses" to produce.  But the Vatican stressed that vaccination "must be voluntary," not compulsory. 

People who object to vaccines "produced with cell lines" from aborted babies must take other measures to protect themselves from becoming carrriers of the virus, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that clarifies and enforces the Church's moral teachings.

However, some Catholic bishops have stated it is immoral and not acceptable to use such vaccines because the recipient's "body is benefitting from the 'fruits' (although steps removed through a series of chemical processes) of one of mankind’s greatest crimes," abortion.

But Chapman never asked -- let alone answered -- the most pertinent question: Are the two vaccines approved so far for use in the U.S., from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, derived from aborted fetuses?

As it turns out, the answer is no. It was, however, tested on those cell lines -- which was also the case with the Regeneron treatment Trump received. That, again, was something CNS laboriously explained was a permissible use of the line that didn't taint the treatment with ethical concerns.

By refusing to explain that to his readers, Chapman muddied the debate on the issue by inserting complications that don't apply and which he had previously handwaved when they applied to Trump. A news organization should make things clearer, but that's not what happened here.

Chapman hasn't returned to the issue since, even though he should in order to clear things up and do some honest reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2021 12:32 AM EST
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
MRC Gets The Vapors Over AOC Talking About Capitol Riot
Topic: Media Research Center

When Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz "almost had me murdered" through his embrace of President Trump's election fraud conspiracy theories and attempts to overturn the election that that played a major role in inciting the Capitol riot, the Media Research Center went on the attack.

"AOC Lies! Ted Cruz ‘Almost Had Me Murdered’ While Twitter Yawns" screamed the headline of Corinne Weaver's Jan. 28 post, further ranting, "Twitter censored 668 tweets from former President Donald Trump before banning his account, claiming his tweets were inaccurate and that some were a 'risk of violence.' But when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) falsely accused a U.S. Senator of attempted murder, Twitter did nothing at all." Weaver delcared AOC's claim to be false while censoring any mention of the bogus conspiracy theories Cruz embraced.

Thus, the MRC's dishonest narrative was established:

  • The next day, Scott Whitlock huffed that "far-left Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dripped venom as she accused Ted Cruz of “almost having me murdered” and actively “trying to get me killed.”
  • Kayla Sargent cheered that "A sitting congressman and senator have called to condemn Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for falsely accusing Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX) of attempted murder. " She called Ocasio-Cortez's statement a "wild lie" while, like Weaver, censoring any mention of the conspiracy theories he embraced.
  • Whitlock returned to grumble that "Despite a combined six hours of air time, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today on Friday censored Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s slime that Ted Cruz was trying to get the Democrat 'killed.'"He called AOC's claim "blatantly false" without mentioning Cruz's conspiracy theories.
  • Krstine Marsh asserted: "Democratic socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed she has little interest in uniting the country let alone being a decent human being, by her tweet reply to Senator Ted Cruz on Thursday, accusing her colleague of trying to have her “murdered." 

When Ocasio-Cortez told her story in an Instagram of hiding in her office from rioters, the MRC attacked her for that too by nitpicking her story. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed on Feb. 2:

You could feel the unity surging on Tuesday's CBS Evening News as the network gave a boost to the vile smears from Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), suggesting the Republican Party was just a bunch of domestic and sexual abusers. On top of that, there was also incredibly lazy reporting from congressional correspondent Kris Van Cleave, who failed to tell viewers that the person banging on Ocasio-Cortez’s door during the Capitol riot was a Capitol Police officer.

[...]

According to his report, a simple bathroom door was all that stood between the mob of insurrectionists and the Congresswoman. But he left out a key detail: the person banging on her door was a Capitol Police officer looking to protect her.

But in the next paragraph, Fondacaro added the context that undermined his attack,  while accusing the reporter of leaving context out: 'Now, the officer allegedly didn’t announce who he was. So, it would be understandable for Ocasio-Cortez to fear who was outside. But we now know who it was, thus CBS should have included it in the report to give the full context."

But this dishonesty became part of the already dishonest MRC narrative. Alexa Moutevelis accused AOC of giving a "performance" in her video, as if she was lying about what happened to her, then sneered that it was too long:

It’s only Wednesday and the Left’s favorite rising socialist star has already gotten rave reviews for her Monday night Instagram Live performance telling the tale of the January 6 Capitol riot from the likes of Variety and Rolling Stone.

The Instagram Live presentation on her account was a 90-minute stemwinder that saw Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) stare into the camera and claim to have been sexually assaulted in the past as a way to explain her current “trauma,” compare Republican reaction to the riot to “the same tactics of abusers,” and dramatically recount being terrified she “was going to die” when a man pounding on her office doors came looking for her (he turned out to be Capitol police).

Moutevelis even baselessly suggested that AOC was lying about a sexual assault that happened to her that was mentioned in her video: "It's almost as if, by refusing to deal with any claims other than the unprovable sexual assault, they don't have to face all the holes in the rest of her story."

Whitlock complained that CBS "played the congresswoman's Instagram recounting of the attack, failing to mention that the person who came to find her was a police officer, not a member of the mob. " He also tried to revive the MRC's manufactured outrage over Tara Reade's never-proven accusation of sexual misconduct against Joe Biden, saying of AOC that "Of course anyone recounting such trauma must be painful, but Reade’s retelling didn’t get similar sympathy."

Tim Graham, meanwhile, got mad at Snopes pointing out that right-wingers like him were engaging in "bad-faith smears" portraying AOC as a liar because the office she was hiding in was in a separate building from the Capitol, which the rioters never made it to (though Graham offered no evidence that AOC knew it at the time). He went on to whine, "Decrying a 'right-wing disinformation machine' guilty of 'minimizing' AOC's January 6 story isn't "fact-checking." It's left-wing blogging."

Graham followed that up with a column that did more whining that AOC wasn't being nitpicked by the media the way he was doing it: "Everyone should understand the fear and trauma of the riot. But is everything based on emotion here? Did anyone contemplate asking AOC for more details? Apparently it’s rude after a traumatic event to check. No one used the phrase 'claimed without evidence.'"

Graham continued to play his dishonest "fact-check the fact-checkers" game in a Feb. 6 post: "Snopes went first among liberal "fact checkers" in defending Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against conservative critics of her Instagram Live testimony about the trauma of the Capitol riot, but other aggressive defenders followed, at AP and PolitiFact and The Washington Post. Only CNN decided to flag AOC for saying some unproven things."

But it was time to push the narrative again. Kayla sargent declared that AOC "apparently expects her supporters to cover for her lying." Sargent later ranted that AOC "lied and falsely accused Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) of “trying to get [her] killed”, and has now refused to apologize for her lie. Twitter still has not taken any action against the tweet or against Ocasio-Cortez. ... Apparently, the left can accuse a sitting U.S. senator of attempted murder with no repercussions." In neither post did Sargent prove that AOC "lied."

Graham couldn't give up his AOC obsession, devoting his weekly podcast to "explor[ing] the depths of the "Ocasio-Cortex" and how the socialist Congresswoman from New York has told an engrossing tale of how frightened she was during the Capitol riot on January 6," whining yet again that "The "independent fact-checkers" as a pack surrounded AOC in a defensive crouch, denouncing 'bad-faith smears' by conservative websites like RedState and the Daily Wire."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:58 PM EST
Newsmax Heathers Fox News' Wallace For Liking Biden's Inauguration Speech
Topic: Newsmax

Heathering Fox News anchor Chris Wallace for failing to be sufficiently right-wing is not limited to the Media Resarch Center. A Jan. 21 Newsmax article by Marisa Herman complained that Wallace liked President Biden's inauguration speech:

Fox News’ Chris Wallace didn’t hold back when it came to praising Joe Biden’s inaugural address. The “Fox News Sunday” anchor called it one of the “best” that he’s “ever heard,” outraging conservative viewers.

After Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wallace said he thought it was “a great speech” and the “best inaugural address I ever heard.” Quoting Biden’s “we must end this uncivil war” line from the speech, Wallace put the address right behind John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 “ask not” address.

His accolades for Biden are in stark contrast to the comments he made about Trump’s inaugural address four years ago.

“This was Donald Trump seizing power, in the sense that there is a new sheriff in town,” Wallace said of Trump’s 2017 speech. "'The American carnage must stop right here, right now.' ... This was the speech of an insurgent, the leader of a revolt that has won and taken control of Washington.”

Fox fans began ditching the network in droves after its 2020 election night coverage. Those who tuned into the station’s inauguration coverage quickly took to social media to complain about Wallace’s bias toward Biden.

“I flipped over to Fox News only to hear Chris Wallace said this was the ‘best Inaugural Address’ he’s ever heard,” Aaron Carpenter, a Republican city councilman in Marysville, Ohio, tweeted. “I was then reminded of the reason I stopped watching Fox News last November.”

Brigitte Gabriel, a New York Times bestselling author and former news anchor in the Middle East, called Wallace a “fake news HACK!” on Twitter. In a series of tweets, she called out Wallace’s comments and Fox News. She asked if Fox News was “even trying anymore?” and then wrote that Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama were “all gifted orators and objectively speaking Biden is not” when discussing Wallace’s ranking of Biden’s address.

[...]

Another wrote that Wallace showed his “leftist cards a long time ago.” Many reiterated that is exactly why they abandoned watching Fox News for Newsmax.

Newsmax has been trying to positiion itself as a more right-wing version of Fox News, and this article makes it clear praise of anything Biden says or does would never be permitted at Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:04 PM EST
WND Walks Back Yet Another False Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has had to walk back stories and columns with embarrassing corrections at a surprising rate of late. This happened again with an anonymously written Feb. 9 article pushing an election fraud conspiracy theory, under the headline "Election-night mystery: Film shows van delivering ballots after deadline":

A video released by the Gateway Pundit shows a white van delivering dozens of boxes of ballots to be counted in Detroit's TCF Center hours after the deadline on election night in November.

At 3:23 a.m. on Nov. 4, the blog said, a white van registered to the city of Detroit entered the center. Two minutes later, three people were seen unloading more 50 boxes of ballots "just outside the counting room."

"The ballots were then wheeled away on carts into the ballot counting room," the publication reported, and the van left.

But an hour later, it was back, with more boxes of ballots.

The deliveries happened at the same time Joe Biden's vote totals suddenly surged in the state.

It's a pattern that's been reported in several of the swing states that ultimately decided the 2020 presidential race.

Later that day, WND felt compelled to add a lengthy correction to the top of the article and change the article's headline:

CORRECTION Feb. 9, 2021 at 10:11 p.m. ET: A fact-check by LeadStories on the Gateway Pundit video on which this story is based found that "while the article may very well be correct in identifying the objects taken from the van as ballots, it is not correct in asserting that those ballots were illegal. They were legal votes that had been cast before the 8 p.m. Election Day deadline. Note that the deadline is for casting votes not counting them. Absentee ballots can arrive at counting boards, such as the TCF Center, after 8 p.m. on Election Day.

"Lead Stories reached out to the secretary of state's office in Michigan to ask about the article's claims. A spokeswoman wrote back that what took place was 'standard and appropriate practice.' She pointed us to the office's website, which offers the following explanation:

"'In many larger jurisdictions, absentee ballots that arrived on Election Day were marked as received and put through security checks at clerk offices prior to being brought to absent voter counting boards. If a ballot arrived at a clerk's office at 8 p.m., it may not move through the process and be sent to the counting board for several hours. This is why, in cities including Detroit, ballots arrived at counting boards several hours after polling places had closed.'"

The headline of the WND article has thus been updated from "Election-night mystery: Film shows van delivering ballots after deadline" to "What's the story on the election-night 'after-hours' ballots?"

You'd think that being around for more than two decades would have taught WND something about basic fact-checking before publication so it didn't have to do these massive walkbacks after the fact.

It seems that WND's newfound consideration for accuracy is driven by its newly launched WND News Center, in which it's trying to get other websites to publish its articles.Nobody wants to publish false or fake stuff -- the kind of thing that was WND's stock in trade before this -- so that increases pressure on WND to get it right, something it has apparently not been concerned with before.

Now, if WND would correct the two biggest, most notoriously false stories it published -- Obama birtherism and Seth Rich conspiracy theories -- then its journalism might start to be taken seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Sore Losers: MRC Frowns On Biden's Inauguration
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was still acting like sore losers when President Biden's inauguration rolled around, so it was bound and determined to not celebrate the event as much of America was doing.

Lindsay Kornick was already whining about it on Jan. 13 regarding the Tom Hanks-hosted special that would substitute for normal inauguration events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic:

Pro-tip to celebrities and politicians: saying the word “united” several times doesn’t actually unite people. And neither will this celebrity-filled salute to Joe Biden’s inauguration, even if it’s hosted by “America’s Dad” Tom Hanks.

On January 13, the Presidential Inauguration Committee announced a new program titled “CELEBRATING AMERICA.” According to the press release, this program will “welcome a new era of leadership” and “showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild.”

This special is supposed to celebrate “America United” and our “connection” with all Americans, yet it’s filled to the brim with Trump-hating leftist celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, and even host Tom Hanks. If the special really wanted to aim for unity, it could have attempted to include at least one Republican. Or at least not treat Biden’s inauguration like one big elitist gloatfest. I guess it should really be called “America United...except for conservatives.”

Kornick concluded by sneering, "While I definitely mourn the people who cannot see the inauguration, the same can’t be said for this special.

A companion post by Kyle Drennen complained that "the Democratic Party’s compliant media allies at ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN would all happily air the 90-minute event." But he never pointed out that by his definiton this means that Fox News, which refused to air the event, is a compliant media ally of the Republican Party.

On Jan. 19, Geoffrey Dickens cranked out a compilation post of allegedly "over-the-top adulation for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris dating back to when Biden first announced he was running for President" made by "the libs in the media." Of course, there are compilation posts to be made about the MRC's over-the-top adulation for Donald Trump, but Dickens didn't mention that.

Scott Whitlock was in a complaining mood on Inauguration Day:

It begins. Good Morning America on Inauguration Day opened the show with what can only be described as a movie trailer-style montage. The excitement was palpable as George Stephanopoulos cheered Joe Biden’s goal of “uniting and healing the nation.” Viewers were told that we’re about to enter a new era of hope and action.”

[...]

Stephanopoulos declared hope is scheduled to return at 12 noon: “How he plans to usher in a new era of hope and the action he's promising the minute he takes office.” So much for democracy dying in darkness. Expect journalist watchdogs to turn into administration lapdogs for the next four years.

Is that like how the MRC's Curtis Houck's press secretary predeliction flipped from slobbering over Kayleigh McEnany to taking shots at Jen Psaki?

MRC writer went on to rant that people said nice things about Biden and not-so-good things about the guy who instigated a riot, Donald Trump:

It sure looks like the MRC is not interested at all in any for of "unity" with Biden even though their guy soundly lost the election -- after all, viciously attacking Democrats and anyone who supports them is the entire reason the MRC exists. It's also not surprising given that MRC chief Brent Bozell is still clinging to the lie that the election was stolen from Triump.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:40 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 7:48 PM EST
WND's Lively: Trump Lost Election Because He Didn't Hate Gay People Enough
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Trump – and his base – lost the election because we did not fight the dragon at the center of the Marxist agenda, but allowed that snake inside our own camp: homosexual perversion. On this score, billionaire Trump's family had been undermined by the same Cultural Marxist social-engineering that infiltrated every poor and middle-class home in America since the 1960s. His own daughter Ivanka was seduced by the allure of "Queer Theory" pop-culture propaganda in all of its insidious forms, becoming (apparently) the Eve in the garden of Trump's own family, convincing him to eat the apple of pro-"gay" political correctness.

Despite being a self-avowed Orthodox Jew, Ivanka persuaded her father to openly defy God's unequivocal command in Leviticus 18:22 calling male homosexuality "toeva" (abomination), the harshest form of condemnation in Scripture, and expressly warning in verses 26-28, "you must not commit any of these abominations – neither your native-born nor the foreigner who lives among you. For the men who were in the land before you committed all these abominations, and the land has become defiled. So if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it spewed out the nations before you."

If God had wanted Donald Trump to remain in the presidency, nothing in heaven or earth could have dislodged him. Instead, just as first Israel and then Judah were expelled from the Holy Land by wicked conquerors for ignoring Leviticus 18, God allowed Donald Trump to be expelled from the White House by obviously corrupt and senile Joe Biden and his sneering Jezebel sidekick, riding a tidal wave of insultingly blatant election fraud.

Now, I'm not rejecting Donald Trump as a political leader as a result of this assessment. Despite his flaws he remains the single most potent human force for constitutionalism in America, and I no longer subscribe to the evangelical requirement of moral perfection in political leaders. Most importantly, I still believe Trump was God's man in the White House during his term and that God is not done with him any more than he's done maturing and shaping the rest of us to be more like Jesus Christ.

[...]

My advice to President Trump is to first apologize to God for defying His command and then, at minimum, pivot to a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" philosophy, the only workable compromise between the secular society and the MAGA millions who rightfully insist that Christian family values and traditions must be protected for the survival of not just our nation, but humanity.

-- Scott Lively, Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:53 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 4:01 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, President Biden Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

Donald Trump was president for the first 20 days days of January, but you'd never know it from CNSNews.com's coverage of January's unemployment numbers. That fact is ignored in Susan Jones' main story; instead, the focus is on blaming incoming President Biden for the not-good numbers even though he was president for only the final 11 days of the month (and, of course, remind us that the pre-pandemic economy under Trump was amazing):

The first employment report of the Biden presidency, coming just 16 days after he took the oath of office, shows the economy is improving, but has a long way to go to match the records set before the coronavirus hit in early 2020.

In January, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point -- to 6.3 percent from December's 6.7 percent -- as the number of unemployed people decreased by 606,000 to 10,130,000 and the number of employed people increased by 201,000 to 150,031,000.

The number of employed Americans has now increased for nine straight months, but remains well below the record 158,735,000 set under President Trump in December 2019.

By contrast, CNS' coverage of the January 2017 numbers was all about heaping blame on President Obama, complete with a sidebar on the "real unemployment rate" -- something CNS never reported while Trump was president even though it was actually higher for a few months following the intial outbreak of the pandemic than it ever was under Obama.

Jones took another shot at Biden:

Notably, Joe Biden came into office talking about job creation in the clean energy sector, but his first executive actions -- including cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline and his relaxed immigration policies -- are expected to cost some American citizens their jobs at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has devastated many businesses.

This was followed by "excerpts of his remarks as he promised massive job creation, even as he launched job decimation in the fossil fuel/pipeline industries."

The only sidebar this time around was one from Craig Bannister on Hispanic unemployment, which "improved in January as the nation’s businesses continued reopening from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown and 230,000 fewer Hispanics participated in the labor force." Bannister made no mention of either Biden or Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Monday, February 15, 2021
MRC Still Censoring Its Mercer Conflict of Interest When Promoting Parler
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long defended right-wing Twitter clone Parler as a purported "free speech" app -- glossing over the fact that the Capitol riot was planned in part on it and it contains racism, pornography and violent threats, and it has completely censored from its readers the fact that Parler the fact that the MRC and Parler share a deep-pocketed funder in Rebekah Mercer.

After Parler's deplatforming by Amazon Web Services, Joseph Vazquez spent a Jan. 14 post complaining that "The Washington Post Editorial Board praised the shutdown of free-speech platform Parler by the company owned by the same 'world’s richest person' that owns The Washington Post." Vazquez couldn't compain that the Post editorial didn't disclose that Jeff Bezos owns the Post -- instead, he huffily acknowledged it by complaining that the editorial "even admitted that Bezos owns both the newspaper and the company it praised for shutting down a tech competitor" -- but he didn't disclose that his paycheck comes in part from Parler's major funder.

The same day, Alexander Hall complained:

The censorship frenzy that began with the suspension of President Donald Trump put the conservative movement on notice: Conform and comply or be destroyed.

The conservative solution to Big Tech censorship isn’t as simple as “just build your own platform.” Despite years of the right being told just that. Multiple Big Tech companies worked together to deplatform free speech app Parler, a move which the platform’s CEO suggested may prove fatal.

Also on Jan. 14, Kayla Sargent cheered how Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has demanded answers from several Big Tech companies about the suppression of the free speech-oriented platform Parler." Not only did Marsh and Hall fail to disclose their financial ties to the funder of Parler, Marsh failed to tell her readers that Paxton is under federal investigation for corruption.

Alex Christy grumbled in a Jan. 15 post that folks on CNN argued that Parler can't be fixed to get rid of the hate. He worked in some good old-fashioned Soros fearmongering: "CNN was roughing up Facebook on Friday, using a report from the Tech Transparency Project -- which is described as 'nonpartisan' but is transparently funded by leftist George Soros."

Vazquez returned on Jan. 21 to help then-Parler CEO John Matze play the victim:

Parler CEO John Matze flipped the script on Amazon, which had accused his platform of inciting violence and removed it from its web services as a result.

Matze and his family have since gone into hiding after reportedly receiving death threats.

Matze accused Amazon Web Services (AWS) of running a “PR campaign” with other tech companies against his company Parler. He said that these companies claimed “falsely, you know — without any evidence really other than a couple of articles that didn’t have any evidence either — that, you know, Parler, somehow, was responsible for inciting violence.” Matze said that such an accusation against his company was “crazy because their statements alone — on the first day that it was released, you know, had over a thousand death threats to our lawyer alone. Our employees are harassed, you know. We’re harassed.”

Matze didn’t mince words during the Jan. 18 edition of &Hannity and fired back at Amazon: “[T]he one inciting violence is AWS — Amazon — who incited, you know, economic violence against our company and has, you know, created people who actually want to threaten us and our employees too.”

Vazquez didn't note any example of Matze offering evidence that anyone from Amazon Web Services explicitly threated Matze or his family. He also let Matze's denial that Parler incited violence go unchallenged, even though there's plenty of evidence to support the claim that it did. And, of course, Vazquez said nothing about the fact that his paycheck is funded partly by the same women who funds Parler.

More victimization came from Alex Schemmel in a Feb. 2 post complaining that Bezos' successor as Amazon CEO is the man who runs Amazon Web Services, "the division of Amazon that canceled services to the free-speech site Parler following the Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol building," disingenuously adding, "Parler is the free-speech alternative to Twitter that conservatives began flocking to after social media firms started aggressively censoring conservative content." Schemmel certainly knows that "conservative content" is not the reason AWS deplatformed Parler -- unless he's telling is that hate and violence is now considered "conservative." He too failed to disclose the Mercer conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, other things were happening with Parler: In a bid to get back online, it signed a deal with with a Russian cybersecurity firm that has ties to the Russian government,  and Matze was fired as Parler CEO reportedly after tanging with Rebekah Mercer. The MRC devoted no posts to those developments; a Feb. 8 post by Hall noted that Matze was Parler's "ex-CEO" but didn't explain why he was fired.

Finally: We'd previously noted a Jan. 12 post by Sargent touting a lawsuit Parler filed against Amazon, whose web services operation deplatformed Parler over the above-mentioned hate and violence. But Sargent and the MRC have yet to tell its readers that the lawsuit was swiftly thrown out of court because Amazon can't be forced to host Parler's hate because that's a breach of Parler's hosting contract with Amazon.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 8:44 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The Fake News Tally At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily can't stop publishing fake news, and it hasn't told readers the cybercurrency it gave away was a scam or that a Seth Rich defamation lawsuit was settled. Shockingly, though, it stayed away from a birther conspiracy story that was right up its alley. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:29 PM EST
Dick Morris Frets Over Biden's Legacy -- Two Days Into His Term
Topic: Newsmax

Joe Biden had been president for only two days when Newsmax published a column by Dick Morris headlined "Will Biden's Legacy Be Reminiscent of Carter's?" No, really.

Morris declared that Carter was "another president who pledged to conquer the swamp," but "his cabinet of retreads and holdovers spoke of his inability to select a team of outsiders committed to change," adding: "In the end, the Carter presidency fell into the gap between his party’s (and Speaker Tip O’Neill’s) desire to do business as usual and the commitment to change articulated by his political base." Morris then ranted about transgender people"\:

Even before he was sworn in, Biden was whipsawed between Title IX of the Civil Rights Law, mandating equality between male and female athletes and the demands of the LGBTQ community.

President Trump acted to preserve the intent of Title IX by litigating against treating trans-males as women. That likely was Biden’s preference, but, pressured by his LGBTQ supporters, he moved to the left.

That has nothing to do with Carter, only Morris' continuing love for Trump; he also claim that impeachment efforts were driven by "a hot tempered desire to kick Trump when he’s down" -- which is to be expected from a guy who relentlessly pushed bogus election fraud conspiracy theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021 6:21 PM EST
WND Corrects Columnist's False Claim About COVID Tests
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Brent Smith wrote in his Feb. 5 WorldNetDaily column, under the headline "WHO changed virus test parameter the day Biden took office":

On Jan. 20, 2021, the WHO (World Health Organization) posted an important bulletin regarding polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19. What else happened on 20 January that was important? That's right. It was the very same day Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. But I'm sure the WHO release was purely coincidental.

LifeSite News claims that the notice was released one hour after Biden took office. Although I can't confirm that exact time, the WHO guidance bulletin is dated Jan. 20, 2021.

This "new" guidance will change everything, and it has caused me not just to say, but to scream, SEE I TOLD YOU SO! The reason is that I and many others uncovered these facts many months ago – that the COVID tests were far too sensitive and that the WHO apparently was suppressing this information out of both fear and for political gain.

Likely millions of people who were told they were COVID positive, were not. Millions were forced into quarantine that shouldn't have been. Countless businesses were closed and people permanently laid off unnecessarily.

Well, that didn't actually happen. Two days later, WND changed the headline of Smith's column to "The WHO, its virus test parameter and Joe Biden" and added this correction:

CORRECTION Feb. 7, 2021: A fact-check by Health Feedback found that most positive COVID-19 PCR test results are true positives and that the WHO information notice didn't change the threshold or criteria for a positive COVID-19 test. The COVID-19 PCR test detects the presence of the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2. The test is highly sensitive, meaning that it can detect very small amounts of the virus in infected individuals, including those in the early or late stages of infection. The test is also highly specific for SARS-CoV-2, meaning that it doesn’t detect the presence of other viruses, such as other members of the coronavirus family that cause the common cold. Although no tests are 100% accurate, given the PCR test's high sensitivity and specificity, most positive COVID-19 PCR test results are true positives.

While it's nice WND is actually getting around to correcting false claims that it publishes -- though not the biggest ones, Obama birtherism and Seth Rich conspiracy theories -- perhaps it should have an editing and fact-checking process that prevents those false claims from getting published in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EST
Sunday, February 14, 2021
MRC's Graham Serves Up One Last Complaint That Trump Was Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham has spent the past four years complaining that President trump was fact-checked by the media. Now that Trump is out of office, Graham turned his whining to whataboutism in a Jan. 23 post grumbling that the fact-checkers at the Washington Post won't at this time do a running tally of President Biden's falsehoods the way it did for prolifit liar Trump:

Glenn Kessler and his Washington Post “Fact Checker” squad celebrated their end-of-term count of President Trump’s “false and misleading statements” – 30,573. Their level of aggression clearly increased as the term went on, since they announced on January 21, 2019 they had arrived at 8,158 of those – or 26.7 percent of the four-year total.

[...]

But party affiliation matters: there was no False & Misleading Statements count for Barack Obama, and there wouldn't have been one if Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Kessler told Jordan Klepper at Comedy Central "In terms of fact checking, Hillary Clinton is like playing chess with a real pro. Fact-checking Donald Trump is like playing checkers [Laughter] with someone that's not very good at it. It's pretty boring." Klepper shot back: "You find Donald Trump boring." Kessler replied: "Yes! His facts are so easily disproven, there's no joy in the hunt."

There is no "hunt" for Democrats. Only admiration for those chess pros!

Needless to say, Graham offered no evidence that Obama, Hillary or Biden have ever told falsehoods at the same rate as Trump, whom Graham has previously handwaved as merely having "a casual relationship with the truth." Graham then got mad that the Biden White House quickly responded to the Post's questions about evidence to back up the claims it has made:

On January 15, Kessler signaled his new approach in fact-checking Biden's address on the coronavirus. He boasted that Biden's team responded to him immediately. That's because Democrats care about their home-team newspapers, and Biden's team knew he would be sympathetic. 

[...]

Kessler warmly accepted Biden's use of liberal think tanks like the Brookings Institution, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and poverty analysts at Columbia University backed by liberal foundations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But when Trump used the National Federation of Independent Business for a survey of small business confidence in 2018, Kessler dismissed it as a "conservative group" whose survey didn't draw enough responses to impress him. "Misleading"! 

Oddly, Graham seemed to think it was OK that the Trump White House had little interest in proving what they said was true.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:23 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 14, 2021 9:11 PM EST
CNS Continues Obsessing Over Bette Midler's Political Thoughts
Topic: CNSNews.com

Back in September, we showed how CNSNews.com has shown obsessive interest in the political thoughts of entergainer Bette Midler for no apparent reason. It kept doing that through threst of 2020:

That's another 11 items, for a total of 40 articles CNS devoted to Midler in 2020.

CNS has yet to explain why it's so obsessively focues on Midler, but casting aspersions on her is clearly one intent being doing so. The posts are typically accompanied with photos of Midler either with Hillary Clinton or dressed in some outlandish costume for an event, as if to imply she dresses llike that all the time.

We also noted that CNS did 14 articles on Cher's tweets through September. It sseemed to be losing interest in her as the year concluded, doing only four more articles on her last year:

As with the Midler articles, the vast majority of them are credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff," but a quirk of CNS' archive search indicates that they were posted by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey.

Given that neither Midler nor Cher are terribly relevant in American culture, one can only speculate on reason for why Jeffrey is so fixated on this women that he devoted 58 articles to their thoughts last year.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:14 PM EST
Saturday, February 13, 2021
MRC Mad That Biden Led A Memorial For COVID Victims
Topic: Media Research Center

The sheer hatred at the Media Research Center for President Biden and any media outlet that doesn't relentlessly trash him that it has to attack a memorial service for victims of coronavirus because Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended, MSNBC said something nice about it, and a panelist --gasp! -- referenced the Bible.

Curtis Houck ranted in a Jan. 19 post:

Early Tuesday night, MSNBC was caught after a Joe Biden/Kamala Harris coronavirus memorial event between churning out more of their daily dreck against President Trump and returning to their Obama-era role of state-run TV. 

In the case of the latter, the event was deemed reminiscent of Psalm 147, proof that the federal government felt the pain of those lost to COVID-19, and a call to action against 74 million Trump voters as culpable for the pandemic and American division.

MSNBC contributor and Princeton professor Eddie Glaude was most unhinged, claiming America’s “selfishness” had “suffocated the land was held at arm's length” until Biden and Harris “pulled the grief and regret out of the privacy of our hearts, if just for a moment, so that we all could share it.”

He then invoked the Bible and how the event was akin to what the Psalmist has told us about the Lord: “Oh, what a first step. What a beautiful step. So, I'm going to, you know, I'm reminded of the Psalmist, you know? ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ Maybe the dead will speak to us now. Maybe they can rest now.”

Terrible, huh? Houck further whined:

Rewinding back to when the memorial ended, 11th Hour host Brian Williams hailed it as “a beautiful and fitting memorial” and Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace gushed that Biden and Harris “may have just cracked open a lot of people who were holding it all in, and I think this is the first time that anyone in a position of power has spoken to the families of 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID.”

So, according to Wallace, the entire administration — ranging from the President to Vice President Pence to HHS Secretary Azar to Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany — never said a thing about or expressed condolences about the dead? What a pathetic insult.

Wallace added that Biden’s “been processing the grief of the nation's loss due to COVID since the very beginning, because he understands that one loss, two losses, three losses was too many and understood the pain that people were feeling, and now he is our country's president.”

MSNBC contributor and former Obama official Kavita Patel agreed that Biden and Harris (and not any religion or self-reflection) were who “crack[ed] open” America’s “shell” of grief.

Houck failed to mention that the Trump administration could not be bothered to memorialize COVID-19 victims the way this ceremony did. After all, a key part of Houck's MRC job is to emphatically deny that Trump ever did anything divisive or admit that liberal disdain for him has more than a little basis in reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 AM EST
WND Reacts To The Capitol Riot, Part 3
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Even though President Trump never called for a riot, never called for an insurrection, never stated anything other than his belief that the 2020 election was won by Biden because of election fraud, Democrats and establishment politicians are blaming him for those 1/10th of 1% of people at the peaceful assembly who entered the Capital building Jan 6.

The cancel culture, Democrats and American oligarchs have gone to work against all those who agree with Trump about election fraud with more shunning, more canceling and even restricting more discussion about this in the mainstream media, social media and Congress. It's no different than what was done by tyrants all through history.

All Republican senators need to think about this: Donald J. Trump received more votes in 2020 than any Republican in the history of the nation. He has the highest approval rating from Republican voters of any president since Eisenhower. Most Republican voters still believe that Biden got more electoral votes because of election fraud, and no court has allowed any thorough investigation to allay those beliefs.

[...]

Senators, you took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution. Read the First Amendment. Free speech and peaceful assembly are American rights! If you cannot find exact words by which Donald J. Trump asked the protesters to riot, to overthrow the government, then you are in violation of your oath of office if you vote to remove him.

-- Michael Master, Jan. 13 WorldNetDaily column

Even more serious are the reactions to last week's attack on the Capitol. There is universal shock and outrage at pipe bombs left at the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters, and the injuries and deaths caused by a mob at the Capitol building. But it is equally shocking to watch public officials pretend that the violent unrest we all watched for months last year was any less serious or somehow justified. Hundreds of marches were held protesting police abuse, and most were not violent. But those that were caused billions of dollars in damage, destroyed countless businesses and resulted in the deaths of almost three dozen people. If we are to take the position that we cannot judge all protesters by the actions of a relative few, then neither can we lump all pro-Trump marchers with the small group of people who burst into the Capitol and wreaked havoc.

-- Laura Hollis, Jan. 14 WND column

Like most Americans, I'm still reeling from the reality of the coup d'état taking place under our very nose. Things are changing so fast – hour by hour, minute by minute – that doubtless this column will be out of date by the time I finish writing it.

So far leftist revenge has ranged from the massive (banning the president from all social media, taking down Parler) to the petty (Democrats drafting a bill to prevent anything being named after President Trump), but it all reveals a universal truth: Leftists hate and loathe the Constitution and Bill of Rights with a seething, burning passion. But hey, we knew this already, didn't we?

-- Patrice Lewis, Jan. 15 WND column

The prevailing and contrived "wisdom" among the mainstream media and political establishment since the events at the Capitol building a week ago Wednesday is that President Donald Trump incited violence over the election fraud that has landed Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their ultra-leftist hordes in charge of the executive branch of government, coupled with similar election fraud during the Georgia run-off, resulting in the Republican Party losing control of the U.S. Senate. To add to this phony narrative, this same mainstream media – including Fox News – and the political establishment have been spewing that right-wing radicals are solely responsible for these events.

Both of these narratives are largely wrong. Indeed, the people who attended the rally that day, before which the president spoke his mind but did not advocate violence, were surely incensed at the election fraud that has turned over the keys of government control to leftist radicals, largely comprised of socialists and communists of all colors, sexes, religions and ethnicities. And the people were also incensed that a brain-dead criminal and lying witch like Biden and Harris were about to ascend to the presidency and vice presidency – Biden in particular being perhaps the most felonious president-elect in American history given his and his son Hunter's shakedown of Communist China, Russia and Ukraine, which resulted in the laundering of millions into the family's coffers.

[...]

In short, the majority of the people who occupied the Capitol cannot and must not be written off as fringe criminals, but rather American citizens who reached the point, like the majority of the rest of us, where they could not take it any longer.

-- Larry Klayman, Jan. 15 WND column

The mainstream media breathlessly reported that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shut down social media prior to the Jan. 14 presidential election, comparing the move to President Trump's criticisms of social media here. But the reality is Museveni's actions are more comparable to what the left is doing to conservatives and Trump. He's just more bold about it. The left here finds ways to undermine our republic and elections that appear to be legal and constitutional, as long as you believe their claims. If you don't believe them, you are labeled a conspiracy theorist and risk being doxed.

[...]

So why does everyone see through the sleazy actions in Uganda but not here? It may be because the MSM here controls much of the narrative, and they hide, mischaracterize and minimize the wrongdoing. Museveni is more blatant about directly using the government to conduct abuse. The left here is sneakier. They work behind the scenes and through large powerful corporations. They don't murder their opponents, although Antifa beats Trump supporters. They've figured out how to undermine the Constitution without making it look like they are violating it. The similarities to Third World elections are disturbing and growing.

-- Rachel Alexander, Jan. 18 WND column

Tens of millions of Americans remain convinced that Trump won the recent election, as confirmed by polling. This reinforces President Trump's statement earlier this month to the huge crowd of more than 250,000 supporters who filled the large space from the White House to the Washington Monument that "we won this election."

Last week a new report from the White House explains what many ordinary Americans already perceive. Peter Navarro, Ph.D., authored this report entitled "Yes, President Trump Won," which was the latest installment in his three-volume series demonstrating that the election was stolen.

[...]

As to the phony "insurrection" on Capitol Hill, the Quinnipiac poll confirmed that 80% of Republicans do not hold Trump responsible, while 71% disagree with those who characterize the incident as a "coup attempt." Some 70% of Republicans believe that Republican lawmakers who objected to the Biden electors were "protecting" rather than "undermining" democracy.

[...]

In nearly all of the battleground states, Republicans control a majority of the legislature, which is solely authorized under the Constitution's Article II, Section 1, to establish the process for selecting presidential electors. State governors, who are Democrats in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, do not have any role in this process, and neither do courts.

These and all state legislatures should enact new rules for selecting presidential electors that are based entirely on in-person voting on Election Day, with the real winner announced soon after the closing of the polls.

-- Andy Schlafly, Jan. 19 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST

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