NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Parler Game Topic: Media Research Center
There's a big reason the Media Research Center has given a lot of attention to alt-right Twitter alternative Parler: key MRC funder and board member Rebekah Mercer also funds Parler. Not that it will tell you that, of course. Read more >>
WND Pushes Yet Another Bogus COVID Claim Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily writer Art Moore has had to walk back an article or two in recent weeks after getting busted for pushing false and misleading information. And it looks like it's time for him to walk back another one. He wrote in a Feb. 10 article:
A peer-reviewed study contends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention violated federal law by inflating Coronavirus fatality numbers.
The figures were inflated by at least 1,600%, according to the Public Health Initiative of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, which published the study, titled "COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective."
The study asserts that the CDC willfully violated multiple federal laws, including the Information Quality Act, Paperwork Reduction Act and Administrative Procedures Act, reported the National File.
Among the notable findings in the study is the conclusion that the CDC "illegally enacted new rules for data collection and reporting exclusively for COVID-19 that resulted in a 1,600% inflation of current COVID-19 fatality totals," the watchdog group All Concerned Citizens said in a statement provided to National File.
"The research demonstrates that the CDC failed to apply for mandatory federal oversight and failed to open a mandatory period for public scientific comment in both instances as is required by federal law before enacting new rules for data collection and reporting," the group said.
Moore's biggest mistake here is trusting the National File, which is a right-wing conspiracy site that has been busted for publishing lies and currently being sued by a senator after publishing photos it falsely claimed were him in a Hitler costume.
The falsehoods start right off the bat with Moore's claim that the study was "peer-reviewed." As one fact-checker pointed out, the journal in which it was published "did not show up in rankings designed to measure how often journals are cited or used," and its editor also happens to run the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge. And the institute has been busted for false information on coronavirus in the past, as PolitiFact detailed:
On top of that, the other fact-checker noted, Lyons-Weiler has ties to the anti-vaccine movement. And even then, the study does not say what National File claims it says, according to PolitiFact:
In this case, the study does not definitively say that the CDC inflated COVID-19 deaths. Rather, it calls into question guidelines the CDC issued in March 2020 that were designed to more accurately capture mortality data related to the coronavirus. The study’s authors called the guidance "a capricious alteration to data collection has compromised the accuracy, quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of their published data."
Ultimately, the study’s ten authors — at least one of whom is not a medical expert — conclude that "further federal investigation is justified." They do not prove or conclude that the CDC inflated COVID-19 death data or violated federal laws.
Additionally, experts who study the data say that it is far more likely that official counts of coronavirus deaths are too low.
Further, Moore parroted the National File's reference to a "watchdog group" called All Concerned Citizens. A Google search turned up no evidence of the existence of the group outside of that reference, but yet another fact-checker noted that a Facebook post referencing the alleged organization identifies as its spokesman one of the authors of the study -- self-dealing at its worst and most unethical.
In short: This is a bogus story all around. When will we see that walkback, Mr. Moore?
MRC's Favorite Right-Wing Fact-Checker Is Spinning Facts Again Topic: Media Research Center
According to the Media Research Center, the only real fact-checkers are the ones with a right-wing bias, which is why the MRC and its "news" division CNSNews.com love Just Facts and its leader, James Agresti. We'vepreviouslydocumented the bias and logical flaws in Just Facts' "facts," and they struck again in a Feb. 5 item published by the MRC. Agresti brought his nitpicky approach to a single protester at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot:
A PolitiFact article written by Bill McCarthy declares “there’s no proof that” a left-wing anti-Trump activist named John Sullivan incited rioting at the U.S. Capitol. As a result of this claim, Facebook flagged and reduced distribution of a post which accused Sullivan of doing so.
However, video footage indisputably proves that Sullivan encouraged people to storm and vandalize the Capitol. Moreover, Sullivan was subsequently arrested and charged with “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds” and “interfering with law enforcement” during the riot. In the wake of these revelations, PolitiFact “updated” its article twice but has not changed its conclusion despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
What Agresti is doing here is an alternative verson of the ConWeb argument that Sullivan's arrest somehow disproves that the Jan. 6 riot was a right-wing-driven event -- despite the fact that hundreds of those arrested are clearly right-wingers and Sullivan is apparently the only non-right-winger to have been arrested.
Indeed, Agresti goes on to complain that PolitiFact claims that "claims there is “no credible evidence” that the crowd that stormed the Capitol was 'infiltrated or led by antifa activists in disguise.'" But Agresti identifies nobody other than Sullivan and his accomplice who has been identified among the hundreds of rioters.
Agrestic also sounded like a defense lawyer in offering a very narrow defense of Donald Trump over accusations he incited the riot:
In contrast to PolitiFact’s claim that Sullivan’s calls to “storm” and “burn” down the Capitol don’t constitute incitement, PolitiFact has not fact-checked any of the hundreds of Congressional Democrats who declare in their mpeachment resolution that President Trump incited the riot. This is in spite of the fact that Trump didn’t call for violence and emphasized in his speech on that same day that people should go “to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Yet, the impeachment resolution alleges that Trump is guilty of “inciting violence against the Government of the United States” because he stated in his speech: “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” This quote is taken out of context, as Trump used the word “fight” 20 times in the speech, making clear that he was speaking about legal, not physical, fighting. For example, he said that Rudy Giuliani has “guts, he fights.”
Agresti also engaged in some context-ripping, as the resolution also noted that "In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. There, he reiterated false claims that 'we won this election, and we won it by a landslide'" -- thus making it clear the incitement wasn't confined to what Trump said immediately before the riot.
Not Meeting In The Middle: CNS Attacks Springsteen Over Super Bowl Ad Topic: CNSNews.com
Quinn Weimer spent a Feb. 8 CNSNews.com article ranting at Bruce Springsteen over a Super Bowl ad for Jeep that implored Americans to meet in "the middle":
Rock-and-roll star Bruce Springsteen called for a “ReUnited States” in a sentimental Jeep commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl. "The Boss,” who wishes for Americans to meet in “the middle” socially and politically, has a long history of radical views, including support for abortion, socialized medicine, and allowing transgender biological males into girls' restrooms.
Despite his call for Americans to meet in the middle, Springsteen himself has repeatedly endorsed and supported left-wing causes such as allowing transgender “women” (biological males) into girls’ bathrooms and supporting abortion across the board.
At an Obama rally on Oct. 24, 2012, Springsteen claimed he was very grateful for “universal healthcare” (socialized medicine), a “more regulated Wall Street,” and added, “I’m concerned about women’s rights and women’s health issues around the world.”
“I don’t have to tell you the danger to Roe v. Wade,” said Springsteen. “I’m also concerned about the growing disparity of wealth between our best-off citizens and our everyday citizens.”
Springsteen has an estimated net worth of $340 million.
Regarding transgenders and bathrooms, Springsteen canceled a 2016 show in Greensboro, North Carolina because the state passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which designated bathroom use based a person’s biological sex, and prohibited transgender “women” (biological males) from using real women’s restrooms.
Weimer apparently believes that meeting in the middle requires liberals to abandon all their sincerely held beliefs and become right-wingers like her, and that she is not required to adjust her views at all. Meeting in the mddle requires compromise, and Weimer clearly doesn't think she has any obligation to do so.
How ironic that Weimer twisted a plea for compromise into a partisan political attack -- declaring any view that doesn't align with her right-wing worldview to be "radical" -- and a nasty personal attack on the person who made it.
MRC Repeats A Lie To Attack Fact-Checkers Topic: Horowitz
As is his wont, the Media Research Center's Alexander Hall spent a Feb. 4 post complaining about fact-checkers and their attempts to push for a more factual discourse:
There is no greater or more ironic threat to free speech than liberal journalists and fact-checkers. PolitiFact Editor-in-Chief Angie Drobnic Holan’s piece for Poynter is a great example.
“We’ve entered an intense period where false words are inspiring violent deeds,” Holan exclaimed in the opening remarks of her piece condemning free speech. “Opinion: To control online misinformation, we need real-world solutions,” published Feb. 2 expressed repeated outrage over conservatives questioning the 2020 election and the Capitol riot. Holan’s righteous condemnations conspicuously ignored mentioning this past summer of left-wing terror and years of the phony leftist Russia collusion narrative. She went on to call for a solution for misinformation from “every sector of society,” particularly “from technology companies and government.”
Her prescription for this crisis of truth, in true left-wing fashion, was to purge speech. Her first suggestion was for Big Tech companies to “be more consistent in their penalties for spreading misinformation.” Being “consistent” here was not about restricting left-wing conspiracy theories. Her goal was to restrict the speech of anti-establishment “politicians and candidates” with the same penalties used on a common citizen.
Of course, if Hall had bothered to read the Mueller report, he would have found that "leftist Russia collusion narrative" was not "phony," it simply didn't rise to a prosecutable level. He also seems to have forgotten that "conservatives questioning the 2020 election" is one of the things that instigated the Capitol riot. And, of course, "left-wing terror" is just a Trumpian code word used to push the right-wing narrative that all racial justice protesters are violent.
Hall went on to devote a paragraph of alleged "Antifa" and "Black Livews Matter" crimes (while refusing to acknowldging the crimes of his fellow right-wingers at the Capitol riot). On example he gave: "Tucker Carlson claimed that Smash Racism DC had '[broken] his oak door and one person mentioned a pipe bomb, as heard on a security video,' USA Today summarized." Funny how the supposely irredeemably "liberal media" outlet USA Today is suddenly credible when it's uncritically quoting a conservative, eh?
Just one problem with that story, though: There's no evidence that Carlson's door was damaged duyring the protest at his house. As we documented the last time the MRC pushed this story, Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple actually went to Carlson's house after the attack and found that the front door "appeared to be in working condition," and that a person he talked to at the house offered no evidence of damage. A week later, Wemple pointed out again that the door "seemed sturdy and fully intact. A woman who answered a knock looked it up and down and appeared to conclude it was in fine shape," and the police report on the incident mentioned no damage to the front door. Protesters also agreed that nobody in their number damaged the door.
But Hall was simply not into reporting facts, even when criticizing a fact-checker. He went into guilt-by-association mode, declaring that "The Poynter Institute has gained well over a million in donations from liberal megadonors such as George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) and The Omidyar Network in the past." Which has nothing to do with anything, especially if he can't be bothered to get his own facts straight.
WND's Cashill Still Caught In The Throes of Obama Derangment Syndrome Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've documented WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill's continuing obsession with the Obamas, even though they left office four years ago. With the publication of Barack Obama's presidential memoir, Cashill was on Obama patrol yet again.
IN a Nov. 18 column, Cashill whined that the book "reads as though Ward Cleaver had written it about winning a seat on the Mayfield City Council," repeating his discredited claim that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's first book "Dreams From My Real Father." On Dec. 2, Cashill approvingly cited Dinesh D'Souza's even morediscredited book "The Roots of Obama's Rage," declaring that "Although I have dissented in the past from D'Souza's thesis [that Obama's hold anti-colonial "rage"], Obama left enough clues in "Dreams" and elsewhere to make that thesis viable." He pushed the idea that Obama's father was little more than a sperm donor, then went to conspiracy territory by adding, "As some suspect, Barack Hussein Obama may not even have been that."
Cashill devoted his Dec. 9 column to whitewashing Obama birtherism pushed by the likes of WND and Donald Trump:
In March 2019, an attorney familiar to those who follow the "birther" movement softened the ground for Joe Biden's candidacy with a lengthy salvo in The Atlantic.
Bob Bauer used the pretext of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's House committee testimony to launch his attack on the president.
"Trump repeatedly hawked the lies that Obama was born in Kenya," wrote Bauer. This was false. Trump did question the mystery surrounding Obama's origins, but despite their digging, the media could find no instance in which he claimed Obama was born in Kenya.
Cashill touted Philip Berg's 2008 efforts to push the birther issue, then suggested that it was Obama's fault the birther issue festered by waiting until 2011, when Trump made it an issue, to release his "long-form" birth certificate: "If it was all so easy, one has to wonder why Bauer did not get a copy when Berg first brought suit." Perhaps because the original birth certificate Obama released was legitimate and even the long-form certificate didn't stop WND and others from pushing the birther lie.
In his Dec. 16 column, Cashill huffed that "Obama has been ridiculing Trump for challenging election fraud," but he launched his political career by gettinghis opponents thrown off the ballot for a congressional race by challenging the signatures on petitions to get them on the ballot -- nevert mind that petition signatures and ballots are two very different things. Still, Cashil whined, "If they gave a Nobel Prize for hypocrisy, that is one award Obama would actually deserve."
Cashill returned to the Bill Ayers angle in his Dec. 30 column, still suggesting the bogus ghost-writing claim, though he shunted any purported evidence to that effect into a book plug: "To learn more about Ayers' involvement in "Dreams," please read my new book 'Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency.'"
Cashill used his Jan. 27 column to bizarrely suggest that if Trump could be impeached after leaving the president for inciting the Capitol riot, Michelle Obama could be impeached for unrest after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 because ... she once told a story of a Target shopper asking for her assistance as if it was assumed she was an employee.Cashill went on to try and deny Barack Obama's experience as a black man: "To seem more like an authentic African American, he has been inventing racial grievances all his adult life."
On Feb. 24, Cashill ranted against Barack Obama's podcast with Bruce Springsteen:
In Springsteen, Obama has found the perfect partner, someone whose life is as inauthentic as his own. Obama claims that he and Springsteen have "a shared sensibility about work, about family and about America."
The shared sensibility about work is that neither has ever had a real job. According to Time, Springsteen labored for a few weeks at age 18 as a gardener. And that was it.
What the two grifters do have in common are multiple houses, including massive shore homes: Springsteen a 378-acre horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey, and Obama, a $12 million waterfront estate on Martha's Vineyard.
Maybe they can do one of their unifying podcasts on the effect global warming will have on the resale value of beachfront property. I am sure the rest of us yahoos will identify.
Maybe Cashill needs to seek some treatment for his Obama Derangement Syndrome.
MRC Can't Stop Defending Melania Trump Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was such a safe space for Melania Trump that it couldn't get outraged over the surfacing of her nude photos, which would likely have gotten her labeled as a slut had she not been married to a Republican presidential candidate (and later president). On her way out the door, the MRC was defending her -- and it still is.
Former First Lady Melania Trump can’t ever catch a break. According to a new poll, Donald Trump’s wife has been labeled the least popular first lady in history. Of course we all know it has much less to do with Melania than with a media whose unhinged hate for her husband sloshed over the entire family.
The CNN poll, published in January, found that only 42% of people polled found favor with the First Lady at the end of her tenure. Not only was that the lowest approval rating of her time under the title, but according to the outlet, it was the lowest rating among First ladies in the history of the poll.
According to popculture.com, which published the findings of the CNN survey, Michelle Obama departed the White House with a 69% favorable rating, Laura Bush at a 67% favorable rating, and Hillary Clinton at a 56% favorable rating. Compared to those numbers, Melania’s measly 42% meant she practically left the White House in disgrace.
But the real story is that Melania received much the same press treatment that painted her husband as the literal worst president in American history. This hostility, which she herself has called “shameful,” no doubt contributed to her low favorability. Most first ladies who’ve kept as low a profile as Melania haven’t been targets. (Hillary Clinton, elected to nothing at the time, stepped into the policy arena in the first year of her husband’s administration. Michelle “I’ve never been really proud of my country before” was the lefty media’s fantasy FLOTUS.)
As Fox News Contributor Joe Concha said, Melania was “treated the worst of any first lady we’ve seen in the modern era.”
Hays whined that Michelle Obama got more fashion shoots than Melania did, not-so-subtly suggesting that Melania deserved it more because she's better-looking:
Another over-the-top display of bias towards Melania Trump involved fashion magazines like Vogue snubbing the former supermodel from its cover shoots, but putting First Ladies like Michelle Obama on the cover of its fashion magazine on multiple occasions. InStyle acknowledged that Obama graced the cover three times over the years, though reported that the Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, admitted they’d never put Trump on the cover in the near future.
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when Michelle Obama gets Vogue three times during her time as First Lady and a former supermodel-turned First Lady can’t get even a spread in Home & Garden, then you know the media has it out for her. It’s fair to say that making the beautiful Melania look bad in the public eye was their goal and the poll proves they tried their damndest.
Of course, Hays gets paid to make non-conservatives like Michelle Obama look bad in the public eye, so he's just projecting here.
Tim Graham similarly whined in his Feb. 19 column:
Melania Trump began her tenure as First Lady behind the Eight ball. First, the liberal media always adores First Ladies who are Ivy League-educated lawyers or career educators, not just – ick – wives. Second, Melania Trump’s beauty was deployed against her: she was seen as “arm candy,” a “trophy wife.” She resisted any attempt at public affection for the cameras. Comedians mocked their marriage, insisting she wanted to claw out of it, like it was a prison. She didn’t go for magazine cover articles or go “out and about in Washington” for fear of all the poison pens.
The same media outlets who treated the Trump marriage as a cynical ongoing negotiation lunged to portray Bill and Hillary Clinton as an inspiring romance, a baby-boomer Belle and the Beast.
Of course, part of the MRC's right-wing agenda over the past few decades was to denigrate both Hillary and Michelle, so he's projecting too.
WND Won't Fact-Check MyPillow Guy's Bogus Election-Fraud Film (But Will Promote It) Topic: WorldNetDaily
We know WorldNetDaily is capable of fact-checking when it wants to -- but it's also gotten caught publishing false information that it's had to sheepishlywalkback. WND writer Art Moore -- who's had to do some of that walking back of late -- presumably doesn't want that to happen again. So he was stuck in bland PR stenography mode with minimal bnackground information in a Feb. 5 article:
One of President Trump's most fervent supporters, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, released on Friday a two-hour video documentary titled "Absolute Proof" presenting the claim that fraud and irregularities affected the outcome of the 2020 election.
It's available on a website Lindell createdand was scheduled for airing on the One America News cable network three times on Friday, at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern time.
"Everyone needs to share it with everyone you know, because anyone that sees it, even if it's nine Supreme Court justices, everyone will say, 'Wow, this is an attack on our country,'" Lindell said in an interview Wednesday with The Revival Channel on YouTube.
"Once you guys see what I've seen you're gonna be so excited," he said.
OAN has put a disclaimer on "Absolute Proof" stating it is paid programing and "opinion only."
Following threats of a lawsuit, the network, along with Newsmax TV and others, has distanced itself from claims that equipment by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic USA were designed for fraud and were manipulated to steal the election from President Trump.
As he has before, Moore refused to do a fact-check of Lindell's film, just promoted its existence -- even though fact-checks areout there that prove the film is filled with lies. Moore undersold the disclaimer OAN put on Lindell's video, which was much lengthier than he described.
Moore also repeated a falsehood in claiming that Lindell saw the "withdrawal of his products by several major retailers in response to his claims of election fraud. The consumer organization Media Action Network launched a boycott of Bed, Bath & Beyond, which saw its stock plunge 36% in one day of trading last week." As we've documented when Moore first reported it, the boycott had nothing whatsoever to do with the stock drop.
A few days later, Moore still couldn't be bothered to do a fact-check, but he did do an article on Dominion officials saying that Lindell's film has basically invited a lawsuit. The closest thing to a fact-check he referenced was a note that "Larry C. Johnson, a former analyst for the CIA and the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism, outlined what he saw as the strengths and weaknesses of Lindell's documentary in a post for the Gateway Pundit blog on Monday." But Moore didn't mention that Gateway Pundit is one of the most discredited far-right websites out there, or that Johnson is best known for discrediting himself by promoting a hoax that there is somewhere out there a secret tape of Michelle Obama using the word "whitey."
Moore also noted that "Newsmax TV and others also have distanced themselves from claims that Dominion and Smartmatic systems were designed for fraud and were manipulated to steal the election from Trump" -- but he didn't mention that WND has left itself open to a lawsuit because of a column by James Zumwalt repeating an apparently false and inflammatory attack on a Dominion official (which somehow is still live and uncorrected on WND's website despite the fact that the Dominion official has sued others for publishing it).
CNS Mocks Tlaib For 'Sobbing' While Recounting Capitol Riot Topic: CNSNews.com
As a sidebar to its attack on Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for expressing her sincere fears regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the Republican members of Congress she believes help instigate it, CNSNews.com felt the need to mock AOC's colleague, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, for telling her story of the day's events, making sure to highlight that she was "sobbing" as she told it.
Under the headline "Sobbing Rashida Tlaib Talks About Death Threats, Capitol Attack: 'This Is So Personal'," Susan Jones wrote in a Feb. 5 article:
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is "so personal" for her -- even though she wasn't there at the time -- because of the threats she's received since the day she took office.
At times, comforted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib told the following story:
"I asked to go last because I did -- (she cries) -- because this is so personal," Tlaib said:
Jones did not explain why she felt the need to emphasize that Tlaib was "sobbing." Was it to push the idea that she is a weak, emotional Democratic woman who can't handle the rigors of her job (even though she did endure a armed insurrection on her workplace)? We may never know -- execpt that CNS has previouslyattackedTlaib for the sin of being an outspoken female Democratic, non-Christian politician.
Even The MRC Won't Defend Texas In Winter Storm's Aftermath Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Resarch Center was quick to rush to the defense of Texas after an unusual winter storm wreaked havoc on the state's power grid. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed in a Feb. 16 post:
Parts of Texas were in a dangerous situation Tuesday as back-to-back freezing weather systems left the Lone Star state with rolling blackouts as the power grid struggled to heat homes. But while the broadcast networks gawked at their plight, one even blaming it on a lack of federal control, they failed to tell viewers the truth: so-called green energy systems such as wind turbines were freezing over, preventing them from generating the much-needed power.
But Fondacaro was peddling his own (unsurprising) lie of omission: the reason the wind turbines froze over is beause they weren't properly winterized. It's not, as Fondacaro would link you to think, an issue solely of wind turbines that operate just fine in colder climates. And all forms of power generation, not just wind, were affected by the cold.
In a Feb. 18 post, Alex Christy complained that the media has pointed out why Fondacaro's argument was bogus, then tried to pivot toward a new defense:
MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle asked correspondent Morgan Chesky the question that was on a lot of people's minds Wednesday morning: "why is this power grid failing so badly" in Texas? According to both of them, it's because Texas' conservative energy policies led to companies putting profits over people, which resulted in the failure to properly winterize equipment.
According to Chesky, the attempts to blame wind turbines that have stopped working in the low temperatures are misguided because, "that only makes up a small portion of the massive sources of energy that Texas has at its disposal."
Chesky, instead pointed to the "natural gas pipelines that froze up because they're being built without any insulation. And we saw a nuclear plant that provides energy have to temporarily shut down due to a safeguard caused by the cold."
At this point it would have been useful for Chesky to point out that Texas has not only seen very cold weather, but has shattered temperature records that are in some cases well over 100 years old.
That's quite a shift from blaming wind turbines to eclaring it an act of God that nobody could have prepared for (except, you know, by winterizing their power generation equipment).
This was followed by Tierin-Rose Mandelberg complaining:
Earlier this week wintry storms hit the southern part of the United States and so far, more than 20 people have died and 4.1 million people are left without power. This storm is a natural occurrence and everyone knows that ... except everybody’s favorite pagan Bette Midler who thinks it's some sort of retribution from God.
Apparently Midler is so close to God she knows exactly who’s on His naughty and nice list. According to her, since Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn (R-TX) have not accepted Joe Biden’s win, God wanted to punish the state they represent, Texas.
It’s disconcerting that this type of behavior is common among leftists. The storm that hit Texas had nothing to do with politics or mother gaia. But, Tinseltown village idiots love jabbing the right however they can … even if it means telling conservative Texans they deserve to freeze in an ice storm.
Mandelberg seems so unhappy that it can't blame liberals for the storm, so she has to go to the celebrity-bashing well (and the MRC, for some reason, loves to obsess over Midler).
The MRC finally landed on an argument it could live with (if an ancient one), as detailed in a Feb. 22 post by Kyle Drennen: "Over the weekend, NBC’s Today shows on both Saturday and Sunday eagerly tried to exploit the deadly winter weather in Texas to push the Biden administration’s radical climate change agenda. ... The leftist media are never shy about using a crisis to help Democrats force through their agenda." As if attacking non-conservative media outlets for pushing an "agenda" isn't also an agenda.
And that's really all the MRC did. When the Texas storm's aftermath is so severe that even a right-wing apparatchik like the MRC won't come to the defense of a solidly Republican state -- as it became clear that state power officials ignored warnings about generation facilities vulnerable to cold weather and deregulation caused massive price spikes for electric power -- you know things in Texas are bad.
Posted by Terry K.
at 10:04 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:45 PM EDT
WND's Brown Backsliding To Old Trump-Defending Ways Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've given WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown credit for evolving away from his efforts to get his fellow evangelicals to rally around the creepily amoral Donald Trump. But as he attacks President Joe Biden for not hating abortion and gay people the way he does, Brown is slipping into some old bad habits.
In a Jan. 27 column warning against political saviors, Brown noted that Trump was "drawing massive crowds to his rallies, a man prefigured in biblical prophecies, with a cult-like power over his followers. Even Trump's opponents attributed god-like powers to him." But Brown then attacked Biden for having allegedly been ascribed those same powers (though he cited nothing but right-wing websites making that claim):
But if it is not for his great charisma or oratory skill or cult-leader powers, why has he become so exalted by the left? It can only be because he is the anti-Trump, the one to replace Orange Man Bad, the leader who unseated the menace. Is there any other explanation?
If he were simply hailed a decent human being calling for unity (a description which many would still challenge), that would be one thing. But 78-year-old Joe Biden, the latest demigod? Really?
Brown will never admit that the purported "demigod" treatment of Biden is nowhere near as pervasive as the "demigod" treatment Brown's fellow right-wing evangelicals gave to Trump.
In his Feb. 1 column, however, Brown was back to justifying his support for Trump because he served up the right-wing goods:
For the last four years, those of us who voted for Donald Trump and who identify as committed followers of Jesus have been asked incessantly, "How could you vote for him? If you truly believe in what is written in Scripture, how could you vote for a man like Trump?" Now, the tables are turned, and that same question must be asked of those who identify as committed followers of Jesus and who voted for Joe Biden. How could you do it? Did you not see the radical, destructive, anti-Christian policy decisions he would make?
As for the justification of our vote for Trump, our argument has been simple: We agreed that Trump's character and personality could be negative and destructive. But we hoped that the good policy decisions he would make, decisions of massive, life and death proportions, would outweigh his character flaws.
And so, when it came to fighting against the slaughter of the unborn, numbering more than 60 million to date in America since 1973, Trump was our clear choice over Hillary Clinton or Biden. Jesus cares about "the least of these," which most certainly includes the defenseless babies in the womb.
When it came to preserving our religious liberties and our freedoms of conscience and speech, Trump was our clear, hands-down choice.
Later Brown was slightly introspective, but only as a windup to bash Biden:
Were all these gains worth the negative effects of the Trump presidency? In the end, did he do more harm than good? Did he help evangelical causes while damaging the evangelical cause? Did he advance the things we stood for while degrading and defiling us in the process?
Those are fair questions to ask, and I respect those who answer in the negative. That's also why I always respected those Christians who could not vote for either candidate in conscience before God.
But for those Christians who voted for Biden, were you not aware that he would be the most aggressively pro-abortion president in our history (with an even more radical vice president by his side)? Are you surprised that he not only invalidated the Mexico City Policy but has also revoked the Hyde Amendment, all by executive fiat? If you consider yourself pro-life, can you look me in the eye and say, "I'm glad I helped empower President Biden make these life-destroying decisions"? Can you say, "I'm glad every American taxpayer will be forced to fund abortion with the help of my vote"?
Brown is partially lying here; while Biden did reverse the Mexico City policy, he has not "revoked" the Hyde Amendment, though he has switched from supporting it to opposing it. But Brown wasn't done lecturing:
But just as I welcomed those who questioned my vote for Trump, I urge every Christian who voted for Biden to welcome my questions now.
Did you not hear us when we warned about his radical, leftist agenda, only a portion of which was highlighted here? And if you did know these were his plans, can you really justify your vote?
So, here's my totally unsolicited (and perhaps unwanted) advice.
If you voted for Biden, how about a little less self-righteous posturing toward those of us who voted for Trump?
How about all of us acknowledge that the hope for America will not be found in our elected officials but in the gospel, not just preached but lived out?
Well, sure. Perhaps you need to admit once again that you and your fellow evangelicals sold your souls to an immoral, narcissistic adulterer to gain political power.
NEW ARTICLE -- WND's Coronavirus Conspiracies: Even More Bad Takes Topic: WorldNetDaily
From mindless Fauci-bashing to declaring that a vaccine would be the mark of the beast, WorldNetDaily's columnists have been busy spreading fear and bogus claims about COVID-19. Read more >>
CNS Gushes Over Hungary's Anti-LGBT 'Family Values,' Cesnor Its Right-Wing Authoritarianism Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has longbeen a fan of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing authoritarian currently bent on exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to make a power grab that would let him rule by decree -- but that doesn't matter to CNS because Orban hates gay people and swrthy immigrants as much as CNS does.
In a Dec. 15 article, managing editor and noted homophobe Michael W. Chapman cheered:
The pro-family, pro-Christian government of Hungary, headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, passed a law on Tuesday that says a child's sex is determined at birth; that children have a right to grow up in a culture with Christian values; and that homosexual couples are prohibited from adopting children.
Only married couples -- one man and one woman -- are allowed to adopt children in Hungary because every child has a natural right to a real mother and father under the new law. Single people who want to adopt must have their requests approved by Hungary's office of family affairs, which supports the traditional family model, reported NBC News.
"Hungary protects children’s right to identify as the sex they were born with, and ensures their upbringing based on our national self-identification and Christian culture,” states the law.
Chapman mentioned nothing about the authoritarian nature of Orban's goverment that permits him to make such sweeping pronouncements.
Then, in a Feb. 4 article, the mysterious A. Kim -- whose author archive lacks a bio so nobody knows who or what sex this person is -- shilled for the Hungarian government's purportedly pro-family policeis:
Katalin Novak, Hungary’s Minister for Family and Youth Affairs, said societies pursuing low fertility and arbitrary “families,” not the traditional nuclear family -- dad, mom, and kids – are “condemned to death.” She added that, “rejecting family values and promoting immigration go hand in hand.”
“The left does not believe in the role of nation and nation states or identity,” Minister Novak said in an interview with the Portuguese website Dies Irae, and translated into English by journalist Marco Tosatti. “They wish to replace traditional values and identity with a new identity, stripped of heritage. We have seen several attempts at this in history.”
“Rejecting family values and promoting immigration go hand in hand,” she said. “If family, childbearing, and common heritage have no value, then illegal immigrants do not pose any risk and mass immigration is just a matter of numbers required on the labor market.”
Novak continued, “In Hungary, we believe our culture and heritage are worth protecting and transmitting to future generations, so we focus on building a society where marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman, where families are defined by marriage or parent-child relation, and society values children and rewards childbearing.”
“That is why we have been building a family-friendly country since 2010,” she said. “The goal is to enable young couples to realize their family goals on one hand, and on the other, to strengthen families already raising children. We have built up the most extensive family benefit system in the Western world. [Our] central budget allocated to support families is two-and-a-half times higher than it was in 2010 and it amounts to 5% of the total GDP.”
It wasn't until the 19th paragrah that Kim mentioned criticism of Hungary's anti-LGBTQ policies, which Kim let Novak handwave by blithely claiming, "if we are attacked by the left, it must mean that we are not pursuing leftist ideologies but conservative values. This is what we were elected to do." Kim also mentioned nothing about Hungary's repressive, anti-democratic authoritarianism, instead parroting Novak by touting Orban's party, Fidesz (of which Novak also happens to be a top official), as "a conservative political party that supports strong borders, a strong national defense, and Christian morals."
MRC Throws Ex-Parler CEO Under The Bus (And Still Won't Talk About Rebekah Mercer) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall sounded a lot like a paid hype man-slash-PR representative for Parler in a Feb. 15 post:
The wildly popular free speech platform Parler has made a sudden return after being nuked from the internet by Amazon Web Services back in January.
“Parler, the world’s #1 free speech social media platform with over 20 million users, is announcing its official relaunch today, built on sustainable, independent technology and not reliant on so-called ‘Big Tech’ for its operations,” the social media platform revealed on Monday in a press release. “Parler’s relaunch—open to Americans of all viewpoints—is available immediately.”
Parler’s interim CEO Mark Meckler explained how Parler has risen from the ashes of being deplatformed earlier this year: “When Parler was taken offline in January by those who desire to silence tens of millions of Americans, our team came together, determined to keep our promise to our highly engaged community that we would return stronger than ever.”
The platform explained in its press release that “Parler’s new platform is built on robust, sustainable, independent technology.” It also specified that the platform will only be available first for “its current users only in the first week, with new users being able to sign up starting the following week.”
The email assured readers that Meckler is a “free speech advocate” with “expertise in launching, growing and developing effective business and technology models for two of the largest grassroots organizations in modern American history, Tea Party Patriots and Convention of States.”
The mention of Meckler as interim CEO might come as a surprise to MRC readers who weren't told that the former CEO and co-founder, John Matze, was fired a few weeks earlier. But Hall was eager to throw Matze under the bus:
Meckler has been tapped to temporarily lead the company as it overhauls its leadership after its previous CEO left amid controversy.
Ex-Parler CEO John Matze explained to Axios on HBO that Parler’s negotiations to bring Trump onto their platform never materialized. "I didn't like the idea of working with Trump, because he might have bullied people inside the company to do what he wanted. But I was worried that if we didn't sign the deal, he might have been vengeful and told his followers to leave Parler," Matze stated.
Matze had also written a memo to employees with dubious claims regarding why he had been terminated. “However, Fox News contributor and Parler co-owner Dan Bongino doesn’t see eye to eye with Matze’s version of the ousting,” Fox news reported. “Bongino said there were ‘two separate visions for the company’ and the ‘free speech vision’ originated from Bongino and other owners of the company.”
Hall linked to a Fox News article on the controversy that included a fuller quote from Matze stating that "the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO."Yep, that's the same Rebekah Mercer whose family has donated millions of dollars to Hall's employer and sits on the MRC board.
Weird how Hall didn't mention that detail; indeed, Hall made no mention of Mercer at all, evn though she's reported to have played a major role in firing Matze. As NPR reported:
In an interview with NPR, Matze claimed that there was a dispute with Mercer over just how far Parler would take its openness to free speech. He said that if the company wanted to succeed, Parler would have crack down on domestic terrorists and any groups that incite violence, including the Trump-supporting conspiracy theory QAnon.
"I got silence as a result," Matze said.
Matze said that after the attack on the Capitol, he felt that the site had to step up its content-policing efforts.
"To me, it was a clear indication of what could have happen if we didn't change the ways were being done," he said.
It has since been claimed that the Parler board stripped Matze of his entire ownership stake, despite his being a co-founder. Further, seemingly contrary to its right-wing reputation of allowing all speech no matter how offensive, Parler has not only reportedly banned far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, it also allegedly suspended Matze's account for a time. Meanwhile, despite having an interim CEO, Mercer appears to be the one running the show at Parler.
But fully reporting the happenings around Parler was not Hall's concern. It was time for him to go back into hype-man mode:
Conservatives and free speech commentators are abuzz over the fact that Parler has come back online.
“The internet is a better place with @parler_app!” Conservative commentator Brigitte Gabriel proclaimed on Twitter.
Parler had originally been kneecapped by multiple tech companies in January.
Hall conveniently didn't mention those pesky posts filled with hate and threats of violence that were the actual reason Parler was "kneecapped." But the truth isn't really his concern.
Newsmax Still Getting Defensive Over Its Biased Reporting Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax got busted parroting Donald Trump's bogus claims about the election being stolen from him, and it seems to have left a mark, because it's gotten quite defensive about it.
In a Feb. 17 article on Dominion Voting Systems suing MyPillow guy Mike Lindell for defamation, Newsmax tried to distance itself from the controversy (and avoidgetting sued by Dominion itself):
The suit is the latest in a series of multibillion-dollar court actions taken by voting machine companies against high-profile supporters of Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, claiming they spread disinformation about voter fraud.
Newsmax received a letter from Dominion in late December threatening litigation.
While Newsmax covered and reported on allegations made by President Trump and his attorneys, it never claimed such allegations were true. Newsmax published and aired several stories and reports sharing Dominion’s response to the President’s allegations.
To further clarify its position, and before any legal action was threatened against it, Newsmax stated that it had had found no evidence that Dominion manipulated voting software during the 2020 election.
As we've pointed out, Newsmax did, in fact, present those claims without question, never subjecting them to the kind of fact-checking one would expect from a legitimate news organization -- thus implying to its readers that the claims are true -- and it wasn't until Newsmax received a cease-and-desist letter from another voting firm, Smartmatic, that Newsmax unequivocally stated that the claims were false.
In a Feb. 22 article, Marisa Herman complained about a letter from two "Democrat [sic] House lawmakers" who are "demanding answers from cable television providers on the role they play in the 'spread of dangerous misinformation,'" one of them being Newsmax:
Newsmax issued a statement Monday decrying what the company said was an attack on the First Amendment. The Newsmax statement read:
"The House Democrats' attack on free speech and basic First Amendment rights should send chills down the spines of all Americans. Newsmax reported fairly and accurately on allegations and claims made by both sides during the recent election contest. We did not see that same balanced coverage when CNN and MSNBC pushed for years the Russian collusion hoax, airing numerous claims and interviews with Democrat leaders that turned out to be patently false."
Newsmax noted that the Eschoo-McNerney letter makes several false or misleading characterizations of its coverage.
While Newsmax reported on President Trump's contest of the 2020 elections, covering the claims he and his attorneys made, the Democrats said such reporting was "incendiary."
The letter also states, "As a violent mob was breaching the doors of the Capitol, Newsmax's coverage called the scene a ‘sort of a romantic idea.'"
The claim was made on Newsmax by a Touro College law professor and prominent liberal, Thane Rosenbaum, who was describing the rally before any violence or illegal activity had taken place at the Capitol.
In fact, Newsmax hosts began condemning the illegal activity that took place at the Capitol in real time, and did so repeatedly throughout the day.
The article was accompanied by compilation clip of Newsmax TV's Jan. 6 "news coverage." But it's hours of coverage condensed to less than two minutes, which means that Newsmax edited out any coverage that wasn't critical of the riot -- including the "sort of a romantic idea" statement. (Also: Newsmax couid only find two minutes of people denouncing the riot on its TV channel across hours of programming?)
Many of these claims are repeated in a Feb. 24 article by Eric Mack touting a letter from Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy responding to the House members' letter:
"In general, Newsmax reported fairly and accurately on allegations and claims made by both sides during the recent election contest. Newsmax called the election for President Joe Biden as soon as the states had certified their election results. Further, Newsmax forcefully and repeatedly used its airwaves to condemn the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6."
Ruddy's letter to the committees also provided myriad examples of Newsmax TV's Jan. 6 coverage of the storming of the Capitol, in which on-air talent said, "We condemn the violence" (">Greg Kelly Reports"); "We certainly don't condone" violence (Tom Basile on "America Right Now"); and "This is un-American, this is not what we do. We are better than this and we must denounce this" (Sean Spicer on "Spicer & Co.").
Ruddy again threw Rosenbaum under the bus without proving a clip of the full segment in which he appeared.
Newsmax needs to give the public access to the entirety of its Jan. 6 TV coverage -- not a highly edited two-minute highlight reel -- so we can judge exactly how biased it was that day.