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Friday, February 26, 2021
CNS Columnist Still Whining About Minorities Getting COVID Vaccine
Topic: CNSNews.com

Back in December, CNSNews.com columnist Hans Bader argued (badly) that Blacks and Hispanics don't deserve early acceess to a coronavirus vaccine because they are "not inherently at greater risk of contracting the virus" (which is not true) and that it's their fault they tend to work in jobs that expose them to greater risk of catching the virus. Apparently that argument didn't gain any traction, for he tried it again in a Jan. 21 column:

Oregon plans to give minorities preference over whites in access to the coronavirus vaccine, which is unconstitutional.

After vaccinating healthcare workers, teachers, and seniors, Oregon plans to vaccinate "people in communities of color, specifically those most impacted by the pandemic: 'Black, African-American, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, indigenous peoples, tribal and urban-based native communities, and Pacific Islanders.'”

[...]

The racial differences in disease rates aren't based on genetic susceptibility. Hispanics, who have a lot of white DNA, are the most disproportionately impacted: they account for 36% of COVID-19 cases in Oregon, despite being only 13% of Oregon's population. People who have looked at similar or larger disparities in other states have concluded that they are not due to racism, but rather due to other factors, such as Hispanics being a disproportionate share of the essential workforce exempt from government lockdowns, or their living in densely-populated apartment buildings.

[...]

There is nothing special about their genes that puts them in danger. It is just that their jobs, neighborhoods, and backgrounds tend to put them in more frequent contact with people who already carry COVID-19. As medical school professor Sally Satel observes, the risks of exposure for blacks and Hispanics "are increased because they are more likely than whites to work lower-paying jobs that require interaction with the public and to travel to those jobs by public transportation. Blacks and Hispanics are also more likely to live in homes with many family members sharing close quarters."

So it is those characteristics -- not race -- that Oregon can legally consider in handing out the vaccine to individuals.

[...]

It might be argued that blacks live in densely-populated areas plagued by coronavirus partly due to discrimination, such as redlining by banks, or discrimination by landlords. But the Supreme Court has ruled that "societal discrimination" against a minority group is not a valid reason for giving priority to members of that group. (See Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989)). So even if black and Hispanic people experience discrimination that shunts them into lower-paying jobs with increased risk of catching the coronavirus, that wouldn't be reason enough for Oregon to give them a racial preference.

It seems that Bader is just searching for legal loopholes to keep Blacks and Hispanics from getting the vaccine ahead of him. And, strangely, he doesn't seem all that eager to give vaccines to those essential workers whose jobs put them more at risk.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EST
Thursday, February 25, 2021
MRC Pushes Bogus Anti-Transgender Angle On Biden Executive Order
Topic: Media Research Center

Tierin-Rose Mandelberg's Jan. 22 Media Research Center post was dramatically headlined "Biden’s Title IX Order Erased Women on His First Day. Twitter Noticed." In fact, Mandelberg was a woman before Biden's order, and she remained one afterward. Mandelberg then served upher definition of what President Biden's executive order to cover gender identity and sexual orientation under the Title IX guidelines governing women's sports:

Essentially, Biden’s trans-friendly order expanded the nondiscrimination protections of the LGBTQ community, prohibiting all workplace and educational discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation. But, in addition to at least recognizing the existence of a right of association, Trump’s policy supported the difference between biological women and confused men.

Title IX was originally intended to ensure equal access and academic experience for women in higher education. But it has since progressed to locker rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, creating plenty of potentially uncomfortable (at the minimum) situations for women. 

But the liberal overreach does real harm. In sports, for example, a biological male identifying as a “female” is inevitably going to beat out a real female if allowed to compete against her. As this situation gets more common (and the Trans industry very much wants it to) it will start depriving women athletes of scholarships, advancement opportunities, and honest victories. Biological men will dominate a sphere constructed solely for women.

Liberals claim to fight against male dominance --- ironic. This isn’t about inequality or being transphobic. It’s about taking away the honor of being born a woman.

Notice how quick she was to define Biden's order as "liberal" and smears transgender women as "confused."

In fact, as a fact-checker points out:

The executive order does not address athletics beyond the mention of discrimination in "school sports." Further, transgender amateur athletes already have policies they must follow in order to compete.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which oversees 24 sports at over 1,000 colleges and universities, gender confirming surgery or legal recognition of a player's transitioned sex is not required in order for transgender players to participate on a team.

When hormones are used, the NCAA requires one year of hormone treatment for trans female athletes prior to competing on a women's team, and trans male athletes remain eligible to compete in women's sports until the athlete begins a physical transition using testosterone.

[...]

For K-12, according to Transathlete.com, policies vary by state and and school district, with 16 states having policies in place that facilitate the full inclusion of transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students in high school athletics. There are 14 states that require medical proof, and 10 states that did not issue statewide practices but allow schools to create their own policies on a case-by-case basis. 

So Biden's executive order barely mentions school sports, but Mandelberg falsely tried to portray the order as mostly about it. That's a mischaracterization that, unsprurpisingly, occurred across right-wing media.Nevertherless, Mandelberg concluded by ranting: "Do they not realize they take the special part of womanhood away by allowing anyone and everyone to identify as one at any time? Where does women’s empowerment go if anybody can just decide to be a woman? Obviously, it doesn’t take strength or power. Tomorrow, you can identify as a woman, too, and then go back again the next day, if you'd like."

No, Tierin-Rose, that's not how being transgender works.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EST
WND's Farah Recycles A Column
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Josephy Farah devoted his Jan. 19 column to ranting about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnel and his wife, former Trump transportation secretary Elaine Chao. He complained that "McConnell congratulated Joe Biden for being president-elect on Dec. 15, while President Trump was still trying to 'Stop the Steal,'" while bashing Chao's "ties to Chinese business" and her father, who allegedly "had a cozy relationship with then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin and owned a shipping company that does business with the Chinese government." He concluded, "While we're working on cleaning out the dead-wood RINOs like Rep. Liz Cheney, we had better take a long look at Mitch and Elaine too."

If Farah's Feb. 17 column resulted in a sense of deja vu, there's a reason -- it's mostly the exact same column, right down to the headline. Without telling readers, Farah recycled the column.

The main difference is that he appended Donald Trump's petulant attack on McConnell in its apparent entirety, then added a few lines perpetuating the Big Lie about election fraud:

Let's remember, Donald J. Trump got more votes than any other president – including Biden!

He's going to get even more if the next presidential election is not rigged.

Mitch McConnell doesn't have a future in the Republican Party. We're tired of being the party of good losers.

Farah is the guy who spearheaded WND's years-long birther lie against Barack Obama, so we already know he's a sore loser. Apparently, election fraud is the new birtherism (which, in turn, was the new Vince Foster).


Posted by Terry K. at 5:28 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC vs. Twitter, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
After Twitter suspended President Trump for his repeated violations of the company's terms of service, the Media Research Center couldn't wait to portray Trump as an innocent victim -- and Twitter as irredeemably evil. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 PM EST
CNS Touted -- Then Deleted -- Extremist GOP Rep Mocking Her Critics
Topic: CNSNews.com

In our overview of how CNSNews.com reacted to the mass condemnation of the extreme views of Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that CNS had been hiding from its readers for months, we overlooked an article -- but there's a good reason.

In a Feb. 5 article written after the House had stripped Greene of her committee assignments for her extreme-right views, Susan Jones was letting her have a little victory lap, -- under the headline "Rep. Greene tweets: 'I Woke Up...Laughing, Thinking About What a Bunch of Morons the Democrats...Are'" -- while also trying to enforce the new narrative of CNS' owner, the Media Research Center, that Greene's views don't reflect those of the Republican Party:

Stripped of her two committee assignments, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene nevertheless tweeted on Friday that she woke up "laughing" about Democrat "morons" who are giving someone like her "free" publicity.

On Thursday, the House voted 230-199 -- with eleven Republicans joining Democrats -- to remove Greene from both the Education and Budget Committees, after Republican leaders declined to do so.

Greene's critics, including many Republicans, have condemned her espousal and apparent endorsement of kooky conspiracy theories and implied violence. Democrats and their media allies have painted Greene as representative of the entire Republican Party.

On Friday, Greene tweeted: "I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time. In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway."

Speaking on the House floor during Thursday's debate, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said the Democrat resolution to punish Greene "sets a dangerous new standard that will only deepen divisions within this House."

McCarthy said Democrats are declaring that "the majority has veto power over the minority members' selections for committee." He called it an unprecedented abuse of power by Democrats who are "blinded by partisanship and politics."

McCarthy said Rep. Greene's past comments and posts as private citizen do not represent the values of the Republican Party: "As a Republican, as a conservative, s an American, I condemned those views unequivocally. I condemned them when they first surfaced, and I condemn them today."

McCarthy said Greene has apologized for her past comments and acknowledged that House members have a responsibility to hold themselves to a "higher standard."

"I will hold her to her word and her actions going forward," he said.

Well apparently someone at CNS thought better of this article, because it was deleted sometime after its publication. The original link goes to an empty page, and the article is no longer listed in Jones' article archive. CNS has not explained why it deleted Jones' article; perhaps it decided after the fact that it was a bad look to cheer on Greene's sick burn of the Dems when it's trying to distance itself and the entire conservative movement from her.

But because the internet is forever, Jones' article remains for perpetuity at the Internet Archive.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:17 AM EST
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
MRC Changes Its Victimization Narrative On Extremist GOP Rep.
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time we checked in, the Media Research Center was still aggressively portraying Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as a victim of "censorship" by social media over her extreme and crazy views -- all while censoring any mention of what those extreme and crazy views are to its readers. But when Greene's views became so extreme (and so publicized in non-right-wing media) that the couldn't be ignored, the MRC switched tactics.

Alex Christy firmly threw Greene under the bus in a Jan. 30 post demonstrating the MRC's new narrative, insisting that Greene's views don't represent Republicans and conservatives as a whole:

Are you opposed to massive job killing climate regulations? Do you believe that the Laffer Curve has some basis in reality? If so, CNN's John Harwood said on Friday that the rise of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her history of insane and bigoted conspiracy theory beliefsthat include 9/11 trutherism, Parkland trutherism, and anti-Semitic claims that Jewish space lasers caused California's wildfires in 2018 is the logical conclusion of your beliefs.

Harwood's remarks came after days of the media trying to make Greene the face of the Republican Party. CNN Tonight host Don Lemon asked, "John, President Biden is trying to get Republicans on board with the COVID relief deal but how is he suppose work with a party standing by the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene?"

[...]

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a blot on the Republican Party, but if the media truly wants to see her marginalized, blaming people who just want lower taxes is not going to bring about those results.

Unsurprisingly, Christy failed to discuss the issue of why the MRC spent months defending Greene if her views were "extreme and crazy" and she "is a blot on the Republican Party."

In a Feb. 2 post, Scott Whitlock echoed the under-bus-throwing by noting "the repellant actions and comments from freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene," making sure to add that "Mitch McConnell has condemned her conspiracy theories."In his Feb. 3 column, Tim Graham referenced "nutty extremists like new Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene," then attacked a "liberal" New York Times columnist who he claimed wanted to "shut down the opposition’s media outlets" in order to stanch such extremism.

Mark Finkelstein didn't take it well when MSNBC's Joe Scarborough shot down efforts by Republicans to pretend that Greene is simply the Republican version of GOP-loathed Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by pointing out that unlike Greene, AOC "never actually threatened to kill" anyone:

Scarborough made his remark for purposes of contrasting Ocasio-Cortez with unhinged, bizarre conspiracy-supporting Marjorie Taylor Greene. Scarborough noted that Greene liked a tweet calling for the assassination of Nany Pelosi, and spoke of strategies for hanging Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. That's when Scarborough offered his backhanded compliment about AOC never having actually threatened to kill a Republican.

According to Scarborough, it was unfair of Republicans to try to attach Ocasio-Cortez's politics to Pelosi and Biden. Scarborough cited the fact that, soon after AOC was elected, Pelosi mocked her and her Squad on 60 Minutes, saying "your caucus is like five people."

But, argued Scarborough, it is fair to stick the Republican House with Greene, since they "won’t criticize her, won’t take away her committee assignments, won’t rebuke her."

That remains to be seen. And on the Senate side a number of Republicans have voiced forceful condemnations of Taylor Greene.

Kristine Marsh, meanwhile, defended comparisons of "nutty, fringe" Greene to another Democratic House member right-wingers loathe, Ilhan Omar, declaring her to be a "radical Democrat" and attacking NBC's Seth Meyers because he "left out every similarly offensive comment made by the Democrat rep. He constructs a straw man, scoffing that “Medicare for All” is what Omar’s biggest controversy is; not her repeated patterns of anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, anti-Israel hate or her sick comments downplaying 9/11."

Nicholas Fondacaro whined on Feb. 4 that "The liberal media were making a full-court press in an effort to try to make freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and her loony conspiracy theories the face of the entire Republican Party," allegedly ignoring "a new government report detailing excessive levels of toxins and heavy metals found in multiple baby food brands" to do so. He concluded, "It’s a shame that ABC and NBC were willing to put toxic baby food in the backseat as they accelerated their efforts to divide America further." In another post the same day, Fondacaro complained that CNN's Chris Cuomo "was desperately trying to use the craziness of freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to smear the entire Republican Party."

Christy returned to labor once more to turn the spotlight away from Greene, complaining that Omar appeared on CNN "to attempt to debunk Republican comparisons between her and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene," adding that "And while the media has spent the past week trying to make Greene and her crazy conspiracy theories the face of the Republican Party, despite three separate polls showing a majority of Republicans do not even have an opinion of her, back then the media covered for Omar, either ignoring her comments or even defending her.

Christy came back once more to huff that a former Republican congressman "pleased CNN by trying to portray conspiracy theorist and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as& more popular than she really is." Christy ignored the inconvenient fact that she was obviously popular enough to get elected in the first place.

And, again, Christy -- like his fellow MRC writers -- failed to mention that Greene was the same person they had been painting as a victim because that very same extremism they now admit is "nutty" and "fringe" got her "censored" by social media, which feeds into a separate (and bogus) MRC narrative.

The MRC has to always forward a victim narrative, and the case of Marjorie Taylor Greene shows how cynical and calculated that strategy is.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
Newsmax Columnist Touts (Bogus) Fox News Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Newsmax

In a Feb. 11 Newsmax column bashing Dr. Anthony Fauci, Tom Borelli writes:

Finally, it’s also possible that Fauci was in denial because the NIH funded research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) where an enhanced virus could have accidentally escaped.

Fauci discounted the possibility that COVID-19 was a result of a lab accident from the WIV, but the lab origin hypothesis is getting more attention.

Fox News's "The Next Revolution" host Steve Hiltons investigative reports on the possible lab origin of COVID-19 raise some very compelling information leading to the possibility that Fauci could potentially be indirectly responsible for the pandemic.

Hilton reveals Fauci as an early advocate of gain of function research where scientists tinker with naturally occurring viruses and deliberately give them traits, such as the ability to infect human cells and/or give the virus the capability to spread through the air.

The goal of such research is not nefarious.

The objective is to make viruses more dangerous in the laboratory so scientists could find cures and vaccines if humans were to encounter naturally occurring viruses with lethal traits.

Hilton isnt the first to raise the possibility COVID-19 was the result of a lab accident of an enhanced virus but he did an excellent job in summarizing abundant circumstantial evidence pointing to it with the added twist of showing details of Faucis NIAID funding research on bat coronaviruses at the WIV.

[...]

NIH denied it funded gain of function research but the major point is researchers at the WIV genetically altered naturally occurring bat viruses to study them, according to Hiildton.

Its unknown what other types of experiments were conducted including the possible development of deadly viruses.

Hilton's work has been discredtied -- as noted above when WorldNetDailiy had to walk back these claims, experts agree there's no evidence that the coronavirus was bioengineered, and thus, his claim that Fauci's agency funded creation of the coronavirus is utterly bogus. As an actual fact-checker found, there's no evidence that U.S. money funded gain-of-function research.

Will Borelli and Newsmax do the same walkback that WND did? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EST
Ouch: WND Has To Walk Back Yet Another Bogus Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily continues to have a serious problem with the whole journalism thing, still insisting on publishing bogus claims that it's forced to walk back later. This time, it's a Feb. 1 article by Art Moore:

China, the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Institutes of Health have dimissed the theory that the virus causing the global pandemic that has killed more than 2 million people and devastated economies worldwide escaped from the Wuhan, China, lab funded by the United States.

But there's no disputing the fact, as Newsweek reported in April 2020, that NIH executive Dr. Anthony Fauci promoted a highly controversial type of research involving the manipulation of viruses to explore their potential for infecting humans. And it's known that more than 200 scientists pressured the Obama administration in 2014 to temporarily halt U.S. funding for that research because of the risk of a manipulated virus accidentally escaping a lab and igniting a pandemic. Nevertheless, under Fauci's direction, the dangerous virus engineering resumed in 2017 and continued until April 2020.

Now, documentary evidence makes it a "near certainty" that the coronavirus pandemic originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, where so-called "gain-of-function" research was funded by Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to Steve Hilton, who is leading a special investigation for his Fox News show "The Next Revolution."

Politifact subtly dragged WND in a fact-check: "WorldNetDaily has since dialed back on many of its claims, issuing three separate corrections, all of which cite scientists pushing back on the notion that SARS-CoV-2 was manmade. It has also placed a question mark at the end of the original headline. However, the bulk of the article text has not been updated."

Indeed, the original headline, 'New evidence ties COVID-19 creation to research funded by Fauci," now ends with a question mark, and Moore's article is topped with a massive correction that was added a week later:

UPDATED Feb. 8, 2021: A fact check by USA Today from March and April 2020 indicated the coronavirus is not man-made or engineered, but its origin remains unclear. It said, "There is no evidence to suggest that the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory. "It is probable, likely, that the virus is of animal origin," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said.

The Scripps Research Institute released a study that rejects the notion that the virus was man-made. Researchers concluded that if the virus were engineered, its genome sequence would more closely resemble earlier and more serious versions of the coronavirus.

FactCheck.org stated on Feb. 7, 2020, "There is no evidence that the new virus was bioengineered, and every indication it came from an animal. ... All lines of evidence point to the virus coming from an animal. That's consistent with what scientists have learned about the ecology of coronaviruses in the last 20 years," according to Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It fits with the fact that the virus shares 96% of its genome with a bat virus.

"The genetic data is pointing to this virus coming from a bat reservoir," he said, "not a lab."

While publishing false information does not inspire confidence in WND's product, having to issue massive corrections doesn't either, especially when you're trying to get other websites to publish your content, as the WND News Center is trying to do -- not to mention getting people to donate money to fund the nonprofit effort.

There's clearly a fundamental dysfunction in WND's editorial process that no "news" organization in existence for 23 years should have. The continual walkbacks -- while a refreshing change from its usual practice of refusing to correct false claims unless someone threatens to sue -- make us wonder if, even after finally making concrete efforts to save itself from its ongoing financial crisis, WND deserves to live.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
MRC Defends Trump's Barely Existent COVID Vaccine Distribution Plan
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center -- in apparent excersing of its pro-Trump defense reflex -- strangely went all in on defending the Trump administration's coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, even though there really wasn't much of one.

Curtis Houck ranted in a Jan. 21 post:

On Thursday morning, CNN White House correspondent MJ Lee filed an anonymously-sourced story on behalf of her fellow lefties that set the agenda for Zuckerville and like-minded outlets (which our friend Drew Holden chronicled in another legendary thread): “Biden inheriting nonexistent coronavirus vaccine distribution plan and must start ‘from scratch,’ sources say.”

But as we would learn hours later from Dr. Tony Fauci of NIH, the Biden administration “certainly [is] not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution.”

Huh. So, in other words, Lee’s story was nothing more than pants-on-fire fake news. Trump should ask Bernie Sanders how it felt to be on the receiving end of Lee’s propaganda.

[...]

If the plan was nonexistent, how come there have been 18.4 million shots given, according to Bloomberg?

Because, as others have pointed out, the plan, such as it was, wasn't a very good one -- it was concerned only with shipping the vaccines to states, which were then on their own in figuring out distribution. PolitiFact summarized: "There are many criticisms of this process, including that it took too long to give states money to implement their plans and a lack of communication from the top about how the rollout would work. But that was the plan they drew up." The Biden administration has said it will help the states much more closely than the Trump administration did.

But the MRC had its narrative -- Trump had a rock-solid plan, CNN was lying -- and it was running with it.

Tim Graham huffed in his Jan. 22 column:

Nonexistent? If the Trump administration had a “nonexistent” vaccine strategy, how was the vaccine distributed across the country? This is self-evidently false. CNN somehow didn’t have the talent or intelligence to Google the 11-page HHS document on their Operation Warp Speed vaccine strategy. Instead, CNN reporter MJ Lee was relying on anonymous Trump-trashing sources for her dishonest spin.

[...]

Trump is easily portrayed as saying any strategy he unveiled was the best strategy ever. The CNN/Biden approach is the exact opposite, a wild and boastful exaggeration that there was zero planning, zip, nothing. You could argue Trump’s plans were insufficient. But that wasn’t enough: they had to lie for effect.

MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted in a Fox Business appearance: "The plan called, had it all set up for distribution in every state, in every territory, tribal distribution, even local distribution. You're entitled to your opinion. You're not entitled to lie. And CNN flat-out lied to its viewers. Its viewers need to understand it is not biased, they're not spinning it, they're flat out lying. That just wasn't true.”

Graham returned to complain on Feb. 15:

Isn't it fascinating that the liberal media lecture us about all the dangers of misinformation about the coronavirus, but now the Biden-Harris team just keeps repeating nonsense about how they had to start "from scratch" on the vaccine? That there was "no plan"? 

Even after CNN fell on its face running this claim from an anonymous source, only to be corrected by media darling Anthony Fauci, Vice President Kamala Harris said it out loud to Axios reporter and co-founder Mike Allen for the website's HBO show. Allen just accepted this garbage.

[...]

Can we expect ANY "independent fact-checkers" to locate this obvious misinformation, just lying there?

Of course, we can't expect Graham to tell his readers that whatever plan Trump had was wholly inadequate to the task. 

On Feb. 17, Joseph Vazquez cheered how Fox Business host Larry Kudlow was eager to rip apart a lie Vice President Kamala Harris told Axios about the vaccine rollout effort of former President Donald Trump’s administration," even happier that "Kudlow shot back over a hot mic: 'Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!'"

The same day, Kristine Marsh accused Fauci of "backtracking from his own prior statements so he could defend Vice President Kamala Harris’s “starting from scratch” lie" by saying (accurately, not that Marsh or the MRC will admit it) that "the actual plan of getting the vaccine doses into people's arms was really rather vague."

Kyle Drennen groused that a later interviewer of Harris "ignored Harris lying in a recent interview about the Biden administration having to 'start from scratch' in its COVID response after President Trump left office," claiming that the questions that were asked "conveniently took the place of any attempt to hold Harris accountable for lying in a recent Axios interview about the Biden administration supposedly having to 'start from scratch' in its COVID response, as if the Trump administration had not done anything to combat the pandemic. Something even Dr. Anthony Fauci said was false."

Graham harped on it again in a Feb. 20 post, pretending to be outraged that the Washington Post gave Harris only two Pinocchios for Harris' statement, trying to split hairs in offering a defense:

In this case, Kessler thinks it's fair game to say there was "no national strategy" since it was "state-centric." You can't have a "state-centric national strategy"? He did think it was "trouble" to say "starting from stratch," even though he elastically allowed they have "fill in the blanks" a bit. 

[...]

"Starting from scratch" is not "trouble." It's non-factual. There is no evidence of such a claim, if we may use the liberal-media argot. For people who lecture about the importance of facts and truth, they seem to be extremely willing to sculpt falsehoods into all kinds of puzzling shapes and then pronounce they're well, half-true.

Remember: For the MRC, narrative is everything. The truth -- that Trump's plan was apparently only marginally better than no plan at all when it came to the end goal of vaccines in people's arms -- is secondary.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:35 PM EST
WND Columnist Thinks Trump Is John Wick
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What? Another movie analogy? Yep. It's life imitating art, or art imitating life, or something like that. It works – that's all I know.

In the "John Wick" trilogy of movies, Wick (Keanu Reeves) is the world's most feared assassin. But as feared as he is, even amongst his peers, there is another, even more menacing. It is the body that controls all underworld/criminal activity worldwide. It's called the High Table. In short, the High Table is a council of the highest-level crime lords, which governs and oversees the underworld's most powerful criminal organizations.

There are strict rules that must be followed to "serve under the High Table," and one must pledge his absolute loyalty to the Table.

As the trilogy progresses, John Wick runs afoul of these rules. For this the consequence is his elimination. An "Open Contract" is placed on his head, and his peers get to work to try to fulfill the contract.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should.

Donald Trump is John Wick, and all those who oppose his policies are officials on the High Table council.

For the crime of not pledging his undying loyalty, for non-adherence to Deep State dogma and attempting to undermine the authority of this criminal enterprise, an "Open Contract" of sorts has been placed on "Don" Wick's head.

The American High Table is the merger of Democrats, deep state Republicans, Big Tech, media and finance. They have a full-court press on to ruin Donald Trump. They are literally hitting him from all sides, working toward this common end.

Trump has been the bane of their existence since he announced he was running for president in 2015. And like John Wick, Trump, to them, is the most dangerous man in America.

-- Brent Smith, Jan. 15 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EST
After Months of Censorship, CNS Finally Admits Greene's Extreme Views
Topic: CNSNews.com

For months, CNSNews.com has been trying to mainstream extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene by making sure nobody knows about her support for QAnon or other far-right views. But when those very views would become the subject of a controversy in the House -- coming after the revelation of even more extreme views -- would CNS finally tell its readers the truth?

The start of the controversy didn't bode well. In a Jan. 28 article, Susan Jones highlighted Nancy Pelosi saying that the enemy was "in the House of Representatives":

A reporter asked Pelosi, "What exactly did you mean that the enemy is within?"

"It means we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress," Pelosi said.

Earlier, Pelosi mentioned freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, by name, blasting Republican leaders for assigning her to the Education Committee, given some of Greene's controversial and offensive social media posts.

Greene, a staunch Trump supporter, has been labeled a conspiracy theorist by the partisan media.

Nope, Jones wasn't ready to admit that Greene's views were extreme -- or even exactly what those views were -- given how quick she was to blame the "partisan media" and not, you know, common sense.

The same day, Craig Bannister complained that Midler as "'fantasizing' about three Republican members of Congress getting lost at sea, and that she isn’t joking." TYe list included Greene and Lauren Boebert -- another extremist congresswoman whose extremism CNS won't acknowledge.(CNS has a thing for repeating Midler's thoughts, for some reason.)

It was not until House leaders threatened to remove Greene from her committees that Jones finally felt compelled to discuss Greene in detail in a Feb. 2 article, though she took a somewhat lazy way out and simply quoted Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell:

The House Rules Committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss "removing a certain member from certain standing committees of the House of Representatives."

The member in question is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman Republican from Georgia, who sits on the House Education and Budget Committees. Greene has been blasted as a "menace" by Democrats and as a "cancer" on the Republican Party by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

In a statement released to the media on Monday, McConnell wrote: 

Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country. Somebody who's suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.'s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.

Jones also added a few defiant tweets from Greene, such as a rant that "If Democrats remove me from my committees, I can assure them that the precedent they are setting will be used extensively against members on their side once we regain the majority after the 2022 elections.

The next day, however, Jones was serving up revisionist history, minimizing what she said as having been done before she was elected and engaging in more media-blaming:

Greene has come under fire for some of the comments and opinions she's aired on social media before taking office -- speech that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called "looney lies and conspiracy theories."

She is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, and partisan cable outlets are giving her plenty of unflattering coverage as a way to tarnish all conservative Republicans.

Jones was defending Greene again in a Feb. 4 article:

As Democrats in Congress and the media go all-out to make freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) the face of the Republican Party, today they'll go beyond demonizing her (and her fellow Republicans) by stripping Greene of her House committee assignments.

Greene, who has espoused or endorsed a number of crackpot theories, nevertheless says 13,000 "America First Patriots" have raised $175,000 in the last 48 hours "to defend my seat in Congress."

"The people have my back," she tweeted on Wednesday.

Even Republicans who object to Greene's remarks say her congressional service should be up to the voters in her district -- not to Democrats:

"Tomorrow, they (Democrats) are going to take the unprecedented action of substituting the will of Washington for the will of people in this country," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night. "And when we get the majority back, we better apply the same standard."

[...]

With Thursday’s vote, House Democrats want to get Republican lawmakers on record as supporting Greene by voting not to strip her of her committee assignments. It’s always about the next political campaign, in other words.

Rep. Ted Lieu is among the Democrats – and there are many of them – who is using Greene to paint all Republicans as wacky conspiracy theorists: "Marjorie Taylor Greene has become the voice and face of the House @GOP Caucus," Lieu tweeted on Wednesday.

Jones didn't admit that CNS wouldn't tell its readers the details of Greene's "crackpot theories" until the issue was forced in the House. Curiously, CNS didn't devote a story to Greene's House floor speech the same day in which she claimed to express regret for the extreme views she espoused.

But on Feb. 8, Melanie Arter whitewashed Greene's views even more, bizarrely claiming that she had merely made "years of misstatements." She did, however, quote Republican Rep. Liz Cheney admitting that "The things that she has said don't have any place in our public discourse, and we as a Republican conference should deal with that issue. We should have dealt with it."

UPDATE: A Jan. 29 article by Jones didn't mention Greene by name, but it gave Republican Rep. Steve Scalise a platform to complain that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing a 'dangerous kind of game' by demonizing Republican lawmakers as the 'enemy,'" going on to approvingly cite Fox News host Laura Ingraham declaring that "Democrats, by making an overwhelming show of security at the Capitol and demonizing colleagues who exercise their right to carry guns, 'are setting the stage to make a run on the guns of law-abiding citizens...I think that is exactly right, whether it is going after ammo with obscene taxes on ammunition or other types of restrictions, I think you have just nailed it. I think that's exactly what's going on.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 2:14 PM EST
Monday, February 22, 2021
MRC Censors News Of Bozell's Son Getting Arrested For Capitol Riot
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, it was revealed that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell's son, Leo Brent Bozell IV, was arrested for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The youinger Bozell has apparently worked as a girls' basketball coach in Pennsylvania, and he was identified in part because he was wearing a sweatshirt from a school in the town where he coached (though, apparently, not one that employed him).

You will not be surprised to learn that the MRC doesn't want you to know about Bozell IV's arrest. We could find no mention of it on any MRC-operated website, including its "news" division, CNSNews.com. Bozell has made no comment about it on his personal Twitter account, and the MRC has issued no statement from Bozell regarding it. It appears that the MRC wants it to blow over quietly through censorship and radio silence. (ConWebWatch even requested comment from the MRC on Bozell IV; we have heard nothing back.)

Interestingly, Bozell kinda-sorta endorsed the riot his son was arrested for being involved in. While he claimed to deplore the violence and was worried about its effect on the conservative movement, he justified the violence because "they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them." Bozell has continued to cling to his conspiracy theory that pre-election polls showing Joe Biden with a huge lead were deliberately faked by the media, and that the election was "stolen" because the media didn't sufficiently parrot pro-Trump talking points.

Bozell is not going to admit that he was wrong, or that his son was wrong, because he has a very Trumpian impulse not to admit his mistakes. Just like no apology ever came when it was revealed in 2014 that Tim Graham ghost-wrote Bozell's syndicated column (Graham was simply added to Bozell's byline, and he was granted sole credit for the column last year), and just like when Bozell asserted that President Obama looked like a "skinny ghetto crackhead."

As Bill Clinton has said, it can be better to be strong and wrong than weak and right. Bozell has decided to live that -- even though it may harm the credibility of the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EST
Newsmax Columnist Rants About Suspiciously High COVID Death Numbers (That Later Got Fixed)
Topic: Newsmax

You might remember Newsmax columnist Mark Schulte as 1) the guy who likes to spout conspiracy theories about coronavirus death counts, and 2) the guy whom Newsmax has to put a disclaimer on his column stating that he is a "non-clinician." Well, he struck again in his Feb. 4 column, and he thinks he has something this time:

President Joe Biden, during his first full day in the White House on Jan. 21, released a 100-plus-page report detailing a "National Strategy for COVID-19."

Biden's introductory letter promised his "fellow Americans" that "our national strategy will be driven by scientists and public health experts," and that his administration "will always be honest and transparent with you about both the good news and the bad."

Eleven days later, on Monday, Feb. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest "Provisional Death Counts" for COVID-19, which are published daily Mondays through Fridays, and which totally discredit Biden's promise of honesty and transparency.

On Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 the CDC issued these fatality totals:

  • 369,453 COVID deaths
  • 3,446,816 deaths from all causes

(since Dec. 28, 2019)

On morning of Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, these deaths tolls were published on the CDC's website:

  • 413,196 COVID deaths
  • In three days, the COVID death toll skyrocketed by a stupendous 43,743, or 12%. Deaths from all causes jumped by just 59,875, or 2%.

COVID deaths account for a highly anomalous 73% of deaths from all causes added during these three days.

[...]

In conclusion, while I have written a number of articles in Newsmax since April 2020, documenting the "Fake COVID Epidemiology" disseminated by leading Democrats, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, New Gov. Phil Murphy and Joe Biden, the mind-boggling increase of 43,743 COVID deaths, reported by the CDC between Jan. 29 and Feb. 1, is the most brazenly dishonest and invalid.

Of course, these were provisional numbers likely to change due to errors and other anomalies -- and that's exactly what happened in the days after Schulte rushed his conpsiracy theory to publication. Here are the number of deaths currently listed by the CDC for those days:

  • Jan. 29: 3,543
  • Jan. 30: 2,873
  • Jan. 31: 1,949
  • Feb. 1: 1,696

That's a total of 8,311 over that four-day period, and more in line with the trends of that time. If only Schulte had bothered to wait until all the numbers were fully analyzed -- but then, he wouldn't have a column.

Schulte, by the way, has not corrected his column as of this writing or admitted that he rushed to judgment.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:28 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC vs. Twitter, Part 1
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center repeatedly claimed that President Trump was being "censored" on Twitter (in fact, his lies were merely labeled as such), and it falsely portrayed political donations by Twitter employees as coming from the company. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:45 PM EST
AAPS' Dubious Doc Jane Orient Still Pushing Shady Websites On Coronavirus
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In her Dec. 23 WorldNetDaily column fearmongering about the then-upcoming coronavirus vaccines, Jane Orient -- the dubious doc from the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- concluded, "For more information on protecting yourself, see "A Home-Based Guide to COVID Treatment." For a variety of treatment protocols and physician resources, see c19protocols.com."

The former is a free PDF booklet you have to give up your email address to get; we're not in a hurry to do that, given Orient's and the AAPS' history of promoting conspiracy theories and dubious treatments for coronavirus.

But what is c19protocols.com? It's simply a list of links to various alleged treatments.But the fact that the third link involves a protocol from Vladimir Zelenko -- an AAPS-promoted doctor who got notoriety early in the pandemic for pushing hydroxychloroquine despite lacking documentation for his claims -- does not inspire confidence. The website also links to America's Frontline Doctors, a right-wing group known for pushing dubious treatments despite its members lacking experience treating COVID-19 patients.

The website itself is a one-page generic-looking WordPress design, and there's no indication of who runs it -- which also doesn't inspire confidence in its contents. But a look at the WHOIS information for the domain name indicates that it's run by Orient's AAPS. It's strange that the AAPS wouldn't put its name on this website, and it makes one wonder what they're trying to hide by keep it somewhat secret. It's especially ironic given that Orient has written a column, published Dec. 30 by WND, attacking health authorities for putting out "fake news" and "scaremongering," adding that "Public health authorities are very worried about loss of public trust."

If that sort of obliqueness sounds familiar, it is. We've written about websites such as c19study.com (which c19protocols.com links to) and HCQTrial.com, which are completely anonymous websites -- their owners have been hidden on WHOIS -- pushing dubious claims and pseudoscience. It's been speculated that AAPS also runs those websites, given that Orient and other AAPS-linked writers have touted them.

Orient has continued this lack of transparency in her WND columns. In her Jan. 11 column, Orient declared that "Lack of early treatments for which there is substantial and growing evidence may cause more than 100,000 needless deaths," in which she linked to c19protocols.com and c19study.com without disclosing the links between them and her AAPS. She unironically added, "Those who are for protecting human lives are against censorship, central planning and unfettered, unaccountable government – and for freedom and individual rights."

In her Jan. 13 column, Orient fearmongered again about coronavirus vaccines, declaring them to be "not a magic bullet." She again linked to c19protocols.com, this time in a bullet list at the end of her column along with the AAPS "Home-Based Guide to COVID Treatment." 

In her Jan. 18 column, Orient wrote about the mutating coronavirus and touted how "Re-purposed old drugs – ivermectin and antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine – act by mechanisms that do not depend on a stable virus." In addition to linking to c19protocols.com and the AAPS guide, she also linked to a article from something called Physicians for Civil Defense -- which, as we've noted, is little more than a blog run by Orient.

Orient devoted her Feb. 12 column to attacking  mask mandates, insisting that "natural immunity, sensible precautions and early treatment" makemore sense (which conveniently ignores the fact that a significant amount of coronavirus cases are spread by asymptomatic carriers). In her bullet list at the endof the column, Orient promoted not only c19protocols.com, the AAPS guide and Physicians for Civil Defense, but also webnites touting vitamin D and zinc as treatments -- apparently run by the same anonymous folks behind the other COVID-related operations.

Orient seems more interested in making political arguments and pushing anonymous arguments than genuinely trying to help people. That just makes her look even more dubous and untrustworthy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EST

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