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Friday, February 19, 2021
CNS Walks Back False Attack On Va. Governor Candidate
Topic: CNSNews.com

WorldNetDaily isn't the only ConWeb component to have to do embarassing walkbacks of false claims. Rob Shimshock thought hehad a great gotcha piece in a Jan. 28 article headlined "Mega-Rich GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Supported Anti-Christian SPLC":

A new Republican entrant to the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race matched donations to several left-wing groups just last year, when he headed a massive private equity firm.

Former Carlyle Group Co-CEO Glenn Youngkin, who has an estimated net worth of $265 million, announced his bid for the office of Virginia governor Wednesday, choosing to run on the Republican side. But he and his fellow co-CEO, Kewsong Lee, offered to match donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and the NAACP Legal Fund, organizations which have been hostile to conservatives.

But sometime after publication, the walkback happened. An editor's note at the top of the article states that "This story's headline and lede have been amended to clarify that support for these left-wing groups came from Carlyle Group, the private equity firm Glenn Youngkin headed at the time, and not Youngkin in his personal capacity." The headline is now the more cumbersome "GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Was CEO of Firm That Pledged to Match Donations to SPLC, Which Put Conservative Christian Groups on 'Hate Map'," and the lead paragraph now states that the donations came from "A private equity firm led by a new Republican entrant to the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race."

It's not in the editor's note, but reaction from Youngkin's campaign was also added after publication that actually calls out Shimshock's error:

"This is a false and deceptive smear from political opponents who are scared of Glenn, a conservative outsider and leader from the private sector who can win," Youngkin campaign spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told CNSNews. "Glenn has never donated to the SPLC and does not agree with them. He is a Christian and a conservative who is pro-life and served in his church for years."

Other deceptions, however, remain. In his attack on the SPLC, Shimshock wrote:

The SPLC regularly demonizes conservative groups as "hate" groups, often with dire consequences. Amazon employs the SPLC's "hate group" list to bar Christian, conservative groups like the pro-religious liberty Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from participating in its AmazonSmile program, preventing the nonprofit from receiving donations consumers can make when completing a purchase. And in 2012, a gunman raided the headquarters of Family Research Council (FRC), shooting the building manager in the arm before getting tackled. The gunman reported finding the FRC on the SPLC's website.

Shimshock omitted the pertinent fact that the SPLC has explained in detail why it considers the ADF and FRC actually are "hate groups": they do, in fact, clearly hate LGBT people and fight against them having rights, especially when they conflict with the rights of right-wing Christians like those who run those organizations. And despite Shimshock's implication, the SPLC did not incite Corkins; all he found on the SPLC website was a list of anti-LGBT groups, of which the FRC is undeniably one, and absolutely no direction or exhortation to act.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 19, 2021 1:42 AM EST
Thursday, February 18, 2021
MRC's Houck Cheers Right-Wing Fox News Reporter's Perfomance At WH Press Briefings
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck has become the Media Research Center's designated hater of Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki. It's a bit of a change given his previous job as the MRC's designated worshipper of Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany -- for one, he has to work harder, given that Psaki is giving briefings every weekday whereas McEnany held them only sporadically.

But Houck still has to adhere to the MRC's narrative, which is that all reporters for non-right-wing outlets are evili while all right-wing reporters are virtuous beings who can do no wrong. Thus, Houck has switched his worship instinct to Fox News reporter and nepotism hire Peter Doocy. Houck gushed over Doocy in a Jan. 25 post:

With liberal reporters continuing to act as no more than lapdogs for the Biden administration or attack dogs from the left, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy has continued to separate himself from the pack (as he did during the campaign) by asking tough but respectful questions of Press Secretary Jen Psaki and President Joe Biden himself. 

On Monday, Doocy did just that with questions about the coronavirus vaccine, left-wing violence in Portland and Seattle, and a shifting of the goal-posts on how much control Americans had over the virus.

Doocy had two rounds with Psaki and, in the first, he had three questions.

[...]

Unlike the belligerence and condescension we saw with the press corps under Donald Trump, Doocy has been able to ask tough but respectful questions of Biden and his team. What a novel concept.

Unsurprisingly, Houck absolutely refuses to award any credit to Psaki for letting a hostile reporter asks three rounds of questions -- something his beloved McEnany would never have let a "liberal" reporter do. While Houck was cheering Doocy for asking hostile questions of Psaki, he attacked reporters who dared to ask even slightly challenging questions of McEnany.

The next day, Houck was slobbering over Doocy again:

With former National Security Adviser-turned-Domestic Policy Council head Susan Rice appearing at Tuesday’s White House press briefing, the mood was one of ebullience as the liberal press corps felt at home with key allies, as Rice and Press Secretary Jen Psaki talked about creating an America based on “equity” to atone for its life of sin. 

But amidst all the softballs, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy came with actual questions, ranging from FEMA funding to the impeachment trial to left-wing violence (and then later question about the Olympics).

Doocy wasn’t granted a question for Rice, but he got the third spot in Psaki’s pecking order.

Again, Psaki received no credit for taking questions from a hostile reporter.

On Jan. 28, Houck was sad that Fox News was "out of the rotation for White House Briefing Room seats," but he claimed that "Thursday’s briefing left plenty of space for reporters from the liberal media to step up and commit random acts of journalism. Thankfully, some did with pointed questions calling out President Biden’s plethora of executive orders and the reality that the administration had sided with teachers' unions over “science” when it came to keeping schools closed." Then he added: "Unfortunately, there were still reporters that were far more casual and friendly, lobbing either bland or outright softballs."

We don't recall Houck ever criticizing right-wing reporters who asked softball questions of McEnany.

Houck offered a summary in a Jan. 29 post:

Friday concluded the first full week of Biden White House press briefings and, by this point, we’ve noticed a few trends. Aside from Press Secretary Jen Psaki refusing to answer any number of questions, two takeaways are the lack of condescension and hostility from reporters and biting responses from the press secretary. Instead, we’ve seen plenty of softballs, reverence for administration officials, bland questioning, and on Friday, the end of Brian Karem’s charade.

Whether it be FNC’s Peter Doocy or surprise entries from liberal outlets, there have been plenty of tough questions. 

Houck didn't mention that McEnany was the one supplying all the  condescension and hostility during her tenure. Instead, he sighed fondly "whenever Kayleigh McEnany, Sarah Sanders, or Sean Spicer schooled a reporter."

Houck couldn't be bothered to offer such a granular analysis of McEnany's performance -- he was too busy crushing on her.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2021 9:02 PM EST
WND's Farah Can't Stop Pushing Election Fraud Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

To nobody's surprise, one of the biggest pushers of election fraud conspiracy theories has been editor Joseph Farah. Even after the Capitol riot -- and despite the utter lack of credible evidence that the election was "stolen" from Donald Trump -- Farah is still riding the Trump conspiracy train.

Farah huffed in his Jan. 21 column:

How does a president of the United States lose an election when he has a majority of likely voters behind him?

That's the disturbing mystery still surrounding November's election.

It also provides a trifle more evidence Donald Trump is right about the steal – the theft, the swindle, the biggest hijacking in the history of the U.S.

In Rasmussen's final presidential tracking poll for President Trump, 51% of likely voters approved of his job performance.

If translated into votes, this have been enough to deliver to Trump the kind of massive victory over Joe Biden that he expected.

Farah didn't mention that Rasmussen has a notorious pro-Republican bias and shoddy polling methods, making its polls less than trustworthy. But Farah wanted to conspiracy-monger some more:

When you watch returns coming in on election night with Trump way ahead, did you figure there was a reason counting STOPPED? Was that the first time it occurred to you this was going to be an election unlike any other?

When you watched the record crowds attending rallies during a pandemic and Joe Biden unable to draw flies by comparison, was that the best evidence of all?

When you heard the horror stories of voters in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin and Nevada, did you think Americans would ever get to hear about the most important defrauding in election history?

When you saw that Georgia once again was denied a free and fair election in the same way, had you lost all faith?

When you saw the way the networks and Big Tech managed to squelch any reporting on the fraud charges, did you think America would ever descend lower?

[...]

But, people, take heart.

Stick to your principles.

Don't panic.

We're playing the long game.

I know it does not seem like we have a card to play.

But just remember who we've got in our corner – God.

Is there anything too difficult for Him?

IN his Jan. 26 column, Farah wrote that he "underscore some of the facts surrounding the election that was "stolen" from President Donald J. Trump," but he just rehashed the same old conspiracies:

Most Republicans and some Democrats know that Trump was on the way to a mandate-style victory with a likely tally of more than 400 in the Electoral College. Just remember where you were election night, when the vote was going all one direction … and then it stalled. As Trump explains it, he was getting calls for most of the night congratulating him. And then they stopped counting votes – in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. In Georgia, they blamed an outage at a water main – but that turned out to be a lie. By the next day, it was no mystery what had happened.

[...]

Now here's something others have not considered: The role played by Chinese Communists. You say there's no evidence? It was their pandemic, launched upon the world, knowingly – a world quite unprepared for such an eventuality. Would that not be, shall we say, newsworthy? It would also be logical. Now, how much fake news was fed to us regarding the utter fantasies about supposed "Russian Collusion"? It was used pretty much as a four-year media crusade against Trump. I don't know if the pandemic was a planned operation entirely. But it was used by the Chinese to do something evil. For instance, they sent thousands of people contaminated with the virus to the U.S. and elsewhere, but prevented infected people from traveling within China.

The manipulation of the presidential election was good for the Democrats, the fake news, Big Tech and the Chinese. They all got what they wanted from the "Steal." They're all banking heavily that it works. They all have a lot at stake. There's just one thing that could upset their apple cart – just one man.

Donald J. Trump.

How will he do it?

I'm not sure.

But payback will be sweet.

Oh, how I can taste it now.

Farah offered more of the same in his Feb. 3 column:

Some, like me for instance, think it would be appropriate to bring back the asterisk for Joe Biden's presidency. There's no doubt that Joe is sitting in the White House. He's called the president by CNN and even Fox News. But I know there at least 75 million reasons that he shouldn't be sitting in that residence and not being called by that title.

It seems an asterisk is the best way to denote the electoral steal most Americans know about (no matter how bad George Stephanopoulos feels).

Let's face facts. According to the actual vote, Donald J. Trump should still be president. I think the least we can do is to put an asterisk next to Biden's name as the 46th president. If we lived in a time of free and fair elections and freedom of the press, it wouldn't take us very long to prove the fraud to the right authorities. But we live in a time in which you cannot speak of the fraud, not write of it, not broadcast about it without seeing those ever-present warning labels, like this one that appeared shortly after Nov. 3: "The AP has called the Presidential race for Joe Biden." Those labels appeared even though it is unconstitutional, not to mention patently absurd, that any news organization should have a roles in "calling" or "deciding" the winner.

Big Tech is playing mind control.

[...]

I believe Trump got considerably more than 75 million votes, by the way. If we ever find out what the totals were for the winner, Trump, and the loser, Biden, we'll see how lopsided it truly was, a virtual landslide.

You know how you can tell?

The Democrats are so mad about any passing mention of election fraud. They use the television waves to tell us how mad they are – at the Republicans! They are all steamed in their appearances on the fake news networks. It's the dead giveaway. They stole the election, and they're planning to steal the next one – but they get angry at any Republican who won't agree that Biden won fairly! That's why they won't give up until we forget about the last election.

I don't want to forget.

I won't.

I want to stay as mad about this with every executive order that Biden signs.

Of course, staying mad is a good way to induce another stroke, which Farah has spent the past two years recovering from.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:27 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: How The MRC Embraced Trump's Bogus Election Fraud Conspiracy
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center took Donald Trump's election loss almost as badly as Trump himself did, and it helped Trump by promoting his never-proven claims that the election was "stolen." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EST
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

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