MRC's Graham: Anti-Biden Claim Isn't 'False,' It Just 'Isn't ... Very Factual' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham thought he had a pretty good gotcha in a Feb. 26 post:
The reputation of PolitiFact as an "independent fact-checker" just doesn't rest on their factual accuracy. It rests on whether their selection of which facts to check demonstrate an ideological tilt (it does). Conservatives were mocking their tweet from Thursday night:
Beware of Facebook posts blaming Joe Biden for insulin price hikes. Experts said any recent price changes facing individual patients are likely due to the way insurance works, not the Biden administration.
"Beware of Facebook posts blaming Joe Biden" is what PolitiFact is specializing in right now.
Bill McCarthy was taking exception [to] a Facebook post that claimed "Insulin went from $60 to $500 with the swipe of creepy Joe’s pen..." A Facebook post with 1,100 shares is more dangerous, apparently, than national media outlets that mangle the facts for millions of Americans.
But then Graham had to concede that PolitiFact's fact-check was correct. He wouldn't go so far as to admit the claim is "false," of course, instead setting for "isn't ... very factual":
Let's stipulate that this isn't a very factual assertion. Last summer, President Trump ordered that insulin prices be reduced in the Medicare program for seniors, but it wasn't set to be implemented until January 22, and Biden suspended it (temporarily) in his wave of Trump-reversing executive orders.
In most non-MRC settings "isn't ... very factual" is the same thing as "false." But in Graham's fevered, hate-filled brain, proving that a claim about Biden is no different than being on the Democratic Party payroll, so he went on to whine that "PolitiFact underlined that the fact-checker community as a bloc was rushing to defend Biden,"further complaining:
Even so, this has not been a TV story. A quick search of transcripts in Nexis for “Biden” and “insulin” since January 20 on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC found no mention of Biden’s freeze on Trump's insulin price order. There were eight stories with these two words, all of them on the cable channels, and five of the eight were about the prospect of Texans caught without insulin in the winter storm.
Yes, that's what Graham is whining about -- that PolitiFact stopped a lie in its tracks before it could gain traction in the larger right-wing media sphere. Not that Graham and the MRC would have ever told its readers this was false absent this whining about PolitiFact. (Also note that Fox News is suspiciously absent from his Nexis search.)
This is the problem with Graham's war on fact-checking -- he doesn't actually care about facts, only in pursuing right-wing gotchas that gets clicks. The fact that he left this post up tells us he doesn't understand what an utter failure this attempt was. Then again, he's failed before, so he's apparently used to the feeling.
WND's Farah Still Hates Brett Kavanaugh Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has had a messy history with Brett Kavanaugh. He has been vocal in thte past in attacking Kavanaugh's role in purportedly botching the investigation of the death of Vince Foster while working for Ken Starr (by not charging anyone with murder in Foster's suicide, apparently) -- but when Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, Farah went silent, only to rage about him again once he was safely on the court.
So when Kavanaugh was on the majority side in deciding not to hear a complaint of fraud in Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election, Farah -- who's been spinning bogus conspiracy theories about the election, eternally unable to accept that Trump lost fair and square -- ranted again in his Feb. 24 column:
The Supreme Court sold out once again Monday morning in a failure to hear a review of a Pennsylvania case in Election 2020.
Perhaps the Supreme Court had something more important to do than hear the case. Perhaps a majority of the court was just too sensitive about how it would be viewed as a politicization of the judiciary. Perhaps there were some members too eager to get along with their colleagues.
There is one justice on the court I was quite sure would never have the guts to do the right thing.
No, the one person I KNEW would disappoint me was one I had understood so well for years – Brett Kavanaugh. Back in 2018, I begged that he not be the one selected for the high court. However, I sat through his anguishing confirmation process and actually gained sympathy for him while he was repeatedly beaten up without so much as any evidence over an alleged sexual assault of Christine Blasey Ford 38 years earlier. He won the hearts of conservatives because of the insanity of the opposition. That was just the Democrats doing their thing – much like they would do in the 2020 election!
There are six Republican justices – of a total of nine!
Only Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch sought to hear the case. Shocking! There are three Democrats that always vote as Democrats. It's in their blood. It's in their DNA. It's in their genes.
How are Americans to believe in the sanctity of elections when Supreme Court justices don't! This election had all the makings of a fraud without most people paying attention to the details.
OK, how did I know? What gave me a bad feeling about Kavanaugh – worse than a bad feeling?
I was sure he would disappoint us just as surely as all the other Republican squishes had done so – Earl Warren, Warren Burger, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor.
How did I know that Kavanaugh would betray Trump?
Simple deduction: His former mentor did the same thing to Ronald Reagan – namely Kenneth Starr.
Farah then once again rehashed his bill of goods against Kavanaugh. The problem, of course, is that there was no real case to begin with -- as we've noted, election law experts have said everything went down legally in Pennsylvania.
It should be no surprise that Farah doesn't care about the facts, since not caring about the facts has been WND's calling card for much of its existence.
MRC's Houck Gets A Chance To Crush On McEnany Once More Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck's massive crush on Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany -- in whom he can see no flaws and who performed her job perfectly as far as he's concerned -- so when McEnany resurfaced for a Fox News appearance on March 2, Houck predictably gushed over his crush once more and uncritically treated her biased complaints as the indisputable truth:
In her first interview since the end of the Trump administration, former White House Press Secretary and newly-minted Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany spoke Tuesday about what she viewed as a “disparate” and “unfair” treatment from liberal journalists who refused to give her “a modicum of respect,” while current Press Secretary Jen Psaki had been able to skate by relatively unscathed.
Speaking with Harris Faulkner, McEnany said that, when asked to evaluate how she was treated in the briefing room, it was “disparate, unfair in the sense of....a Democrat woman standing at that podium would never have had a Playboy reporter in the back of the room shouting at her as she left, and nor should a Democrat woman ever have to face that, and nor should a Republican woman.”
Building on having name-checked carnival barker Brian Karem, McEnany added that there should be “a modicum of respect that I think reporters and those at the podium in a political role should have for one another,” but was sullied by “reporters who were more interested in being political operatives, let’s say, than journalists.”
McEnany left viewers to conjure up which reporters she was talking about and, in contrast to many of the reporters she dealt with, she took the high road by making clear that “there are some incredible reporters who, to this day, represent the kind of journalism I think is good.”
What McEnany (and Houck) don't seem to understand is that respect has to be earned, and because McEnany spent her sporadic press briefings attackingreporters who ask reasonable questions and tellingthemlies starting from her very first day on the job, she didn't.
Houck also gave McEnany a pass for shirking her job at the end: "The interview also touched on how McEnany had wanted to give a final briefing to recap the administration’s many, many successes, but the events of (and the fallout from) January 6 inhibited that." There was nothing stopping McEnany from doing her job in the final two weeks of Trump's presidency;' instead, the day after the pro-Trump Capitol riot on Jan. 6, McEnany read a brief statement, refused to take questions, then fled the room, never to be seen again. She could have answered questions about the Trump administration's response to the riot -- which might have earned her a modicum of respect -- but she chose not to do her job.
But that doesn't matter to Houck. As for as he's concerned, McEnany is perfect in every way, especially in their shared loathing for journalists who refuse to parrot right-wing narratives.
WND's Zumwalt Is Still Ranting About Election Fraud Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist James Zumwalt is still writing about election fraud conspiracy theories -- something you'd think WND would let him do given that the last time he did it, he allegedly committed libel against a employee of election-tech company Dominion, who has sued other right-wing outlets on defamation charges for doing the same thing. (Zumwalt's potentially libelous column strangely remains live and uncorrected despite it opening WND to legal jeopardy; which appears real given that the Dominion employee recently beefed up his lawsuit with new claims.)
But Zumwalt remains either undaunted or oblivious, clinging to his bogus conspiracy theories. In his Feb. 17 WND column, he starts by complaining about former President Trump's impeachment trial, then dove right in to ranting about "massive election fraud":
Unsurprisingly, every Democratic senator voted to convict; surprisingly, they were joined by seven Republican senators, apparently drunk on anti-Trump kool-aid. But, the entire impeachment exercise was, and always has been, overshadowed by an issue yet to receive its due in the form of a congressional investigation: Did massive voter fraud occur during the 2020 presidential election?
When allegations swirled after Trump's 2016 election victory that he had colluded with Russia, Democrats believed the claim true and were ready to impeach him, ultimately insisting on an investigation. Years and millions of dollars later, despite a line-up of pro-Hillary Clinton investigators, the investigation proved the claim false. More recently, Democrats clamor for an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol building riot as they believe Trump was responsible for inciting the attack. In light of Trump's acquittal, they probably will get one.
Yet, despite nearly half of all voters believing massive voter fraud occurred in the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, no effort has been undertaken to investigate the matter. Instead, we are falsely told by a liberal media no basis exists to support such a claim. But evidence offered by independent experts refutes this media narrative. If voter trust in the election process is to be restored, a fair and independent investigation is needed.
As the article of impeachment had accused Trump of making "false claims" of voter fraud, one had hoped the issue might be raised during the Senate impeachment trial. That hope came close to reality after the Senate voted to call witnesses. However, once Democrats learned Trump's defense counsel intended to call Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a witness, Democrats reversed< their decision so she would not be put on the hot seat about security related matters for which she was responsible. Thus, no witnesses were called, leaving the fraud issue unresolved.
The disinterest in an investigation leaves American voters wondering whether Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has so affected Congress that it has opted to take an ostrich-like approach to the voter fraud issue, burying its collective head in the sand.
Zumwalt also weirdly pushed the idea that Trump should have "issued himself and his family members preemptive pardons" because he "could have spared himself a lot of his current legal misery."
Zumwalt rehashed his conspiracy theories in a March 17 column ranting against an election reform bill:
The 2020 election triggered numerous lawsuits and claims of voting fraud. Since all the cases to date have been dismissed, Democrats see no evil, despite the fact no case has yet been heard on the fraud evidence but were decided on procedural grounds.
The 2020 presidential election, due to the numerous substantive discrepancies Democratic leaders ignore, has shaken voter confidence to the core (39%) – not only among Republicans but Democrats as well. This should cause responsible legislators to investigate what happened in order to fix and re-instill voter confidence in the system.
With Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and their party holding the Oval Office as well, it would be fairly easy to launch such an effort. But this will not happen as evidenced by the course of action Democrats have embarked upon in the form of H.R. 1. In a nutshell, what this bill does is, among other things, memorialize the chaos that brought Democrats victory in 2020, reflected by the strict party-line vote the bill received in the House. Unbelievably, it is all being done without fully understanding what may have gone wrong in 2020.
If voter confidence is shaken to the core, as Zumwalt insists it is, that's due in no small part to people like Zumwalt who continue to spread bogus conspiracy theories about election fraud.
CNS Took 2-Month Break Between COVID Death Count Updates Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com -- mostly reporter Susan Jones -- spent much of 2020 laboing to put a pro-Trump spin on coronavirus case and death numbers. But as deaths surged after the November election that Trump lost, CNS' interest in doing them dwindled to the point that it hadn't done one since December. But when COVID deaths in the U.S. passed the 500,000 mark, CNS grudgingly marked the occasion.
An anonymously writen Feb. 22 article noted that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) issued a statement on Monday expressing her sorrow for the reported 500,000 lives that have been lost in this country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic." Even then, the anonymous writer nitpicked the count by highlighting that "TheJohns Hopkins University website on Monday was reporting that the total number of U.S. deaths as a result of COVID-19 was 499,186."
CNS piublished this with the deliberately vague headline "Nancy Pelosi: ‘Every Life Lost is a Profound Tragedy’" -- which hid the actual context of the article -- and illustrated it with a file photo of Pelosi holding a baby, an apparent potshot at Pelosi's support for abortion rights, a partian political statement that was also irrelevant to the article's subject matter.
Jones returned to action on her abandoned beat in an article the next day, which she began by highlighting an even lower number:
Since January 2020, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has kept weekly counts of "COVID-involved" deaths in the United States, based on death certificates that are submitted on a lagging basis to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
As of Feb. 22, CDC's official COVID death toll was 467,585. CDC also counts 3,715,704 "deaths from all causes" since January 2020.
Jones then seemed to be complaining taht she had to do this article at all, claiming that marking the death toll was making it"politicized" before ultimately explaining while the CDC number is so low:
So the 467,585 COVID-involved deaths are 12.58 percent of total deaths from all causes. (CDC defines COVID-involved deaths as those with "confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD–10 code U07.1.")
Almost every death, from whatever cause, brings pain and sorrow. But COVID deaths have been politicized to the point where they get special mention and attention, as they did Monday night when President Joe Biden and his wife marked a moment of silence for those killed by the virus.
Biden was marking the occasion of at least 500,000 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID. (The CDC count lags other tallies, based on when death certificates are received.)
Jones forgot to mention that she spent the past year politicizing COVID death numbers, downplaying summer and fall surges by comparing them to the initial surge last spring -- or that a CNS article the previous day dishonestly politicized a statement by Pelosi.
MRC's Double Standard on Politician's Sexual Harassment Charges Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has published dozens of articles referencing allegations of sexual harassment against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo., with the usualwhining that news networks that aren't Fox News aren't covering it enough (which, as far as the MRC is concerned, should be the lead story every single day). Many of these articles are written by Nicholas Fondacaro, who has a pathological hatred of the entire Cuomo family (he constantly denigrates Cuomo's brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, with the childish nickname "Fredo"). But non-right-wing channels covering the story still wasn't sufficient for the MRC; it managed to complain that the non-Fox nets devoted too much time to harassment claims relative to claims that Cuomo allegedly caused coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes by moving COVID patients out of hospitals to nursing homes during the initial surge of pandemic cases (even though it's hard to nail down a direct cause and effect). Sheesh, make up your minds, guys.
But as with the MRC's obsession with linking nursing home deaths to Cuomo, its obsession with Cuomo's sexual harassment accusations has a double standard.
More than 20 women have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment -- and as we've documented, not only has the MRC largely ignored them, the women they didn't ignore were mocked and denigrated. E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexually assaulting her, was dismissed by the MRC as "weird," "bizarre" and "scatterbrained."
Back to Cuomo: A March 13 post by Tim Graham highlighted a claim that the first woman who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment faced a "smear campaign." This is hypocrisy, of course; in addition to its smears of Carroll, the MRC ran a campaign of denigration against the women who accused Brett Kavanugh of sexual misconduct after his nomination to the Supreme Court -- even bizarrely portraying the women as part of some vast conspiracy (literally; a column by Graham and Brent Bozell was actually headlined "The Vast Anti-Kavanaugh Conspiracy").
The MRC doesn't really have the high moral ground here, and we know that holding Republicans accountable for their sexual harassment scandals is simply in its DNA.
However, this new crusade is not aimed at known, ultra-violent anarchist/Marxist revolutionary groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, which spent much of 2020 rioting, burning, vandalizing, looting, assaulting and killing throughout America’s major cities.
Instead, the new war on terror is focused squarely on the millions of American citizens who enthusiastically supported Donald Trump’s re-election, attended his rallies, exercise their constitutional rights, believe the election was rife with fraud, and are critical of the radical policies being implemented rapid-fire by the new Biden-Harris administration.
That’s right. The "comprehensive threat assessment" of "domestic violent extremism" Biden ordered shortly after being sworn in as president – conducted jointly by the FBI, DHS and Director of National Intelligence – targets Trump conservatives, who are lumped in with the January 6 rioters, and even likened to terror groups like al-Qaida.
The cover went on to portray these Trump supporter as "normal, patriotic, center-right American." That, of course, is a lie: There is nothing "center-right" about leading an armed insurrection against the government or promoting Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theories. And there is certainly nothing "center-right" about WND -- it's trying to move the Overton window to make its far-right extremism look mainstream and anything remotely liberal look extreme.
WND has indeed been hammering this theme. A Jan. 29 column by John Zawistowski ranted:
Make no mistake about it: This Biden "War on Domestic Terrorism" is nothing more than political posturing, and anyone in the administration or mainstream media that claims to believe otherwise is flat out lying to you.
No, a few hundred nut jobs storming the Capitol is not a "serious, ongoing national security threat"; however, the Democratic Party's inference about nearly half the country being linked to "insurrectionists" and "white supremacists" certainly is.
It is a fact that the FBI only finds and prosecutes less than 200 "domestic terrorists" per year. There is not, as this administration appears to want America to believe, a domestic terrorist or "white supremacist" hiding behind every tree. The FBI with all its resources could only find 183 of them last year out of 330 million Americans. Why, then, did the federal government order 26,000 troops to protect Washington in the days before and after the Biden inauguration?
The Biden administration's exploitation of this event to once again wrongly accuse the former president of things he clearly did not do, as well as to demonize and targeted Americans who did not vote for them and do not support their agenda for America, is reprehensible.
WND managing editor David Kupelian pushed this dishonesty further in his lead essay for the magazine, published Feb. 22 at WND:
The plain truth is, today’s ruling elite – which encompasses not just the Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress, but also the “mainstream media,” Big Tech monopolies and Washington’s massive, permanent “deep state” bureaucracy – are afraid of the 75 million American voters who supported Donald Trump, believe both the election and their nation were stolen from them, and consider the Democrats’ governing agenda to be deranged and destructive to the nation they love.
For one thing – although saying this is strictly forbidden by today’s ruling elite – it’s essential to realize that November’s presidential election was indeed rigged. Fraud was encouraged, aided and abetted in multitudinous ways, including, for example, the wanton disregard for, and flouting of, the constitutional rules governing how state elections are held in several pivotal states; this is simply indisputable. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissenting from the majority, have just warned the nation of "catastrophic" consequences if the high court doesn't address the issue of state authorities "changing the rules in the middle of the game." In fact, Thomas said, "The refusal to do so is inexplicable."
Moreover, all of the various species of election fraud came on top of Big Tech’s censorship of negative news about Biden, including the sensational – and entirely accurate – New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop just days before the election. Likewise, Big Media refused to press Biden on any tough, substantive questions about his family’s epic corruption, his history of entirely fabricating stories, his serial plagiarism, his habit of radically changing his policy positions to their opposite (i.e., fracking) during the presidential campaign, and so on.
In a word, the 2020 election was stolen, and what’s more, the progressive oligarchs know it was stolen. (That’s why Trump had to be continually compared to Hitler, because cheating to defeat someone like Hitler is not only acceptable, it’s a moral imperative.)
We will remind Kupelian onceagain that his WND repeatedlylikened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, so we can assume that was done to justify spending eight years lying about Obama and where he was born, since lying to defeat Hitler is not only acceptable, it’s a moral imperative, right, David?
Kupelian then went on to huff:
There’s more. Like all nascent totalitarian regimes, today’s Democrats feel compelled to conjure up a universally loathed and feared “enemy” for the purpose of uniting their voting coalition, one made up of wildly disparate, discontented and demanding factions with little or nothing uniting them – except a common enemy. It’s the classic strategy autocratic leaders have used throughout the ages to unite their subjects against an outside foe – and distract them from their leaders’ own malfeasance, hypocrisy and plunder.
For years, the “enemy” of choice was Donald J. Trump. But now that Trump is gone, the progressive ruling class is zeroing in on what was arguably the real enemy all along. Superficially designated “Trump supporters,” they comprise, more broadly and fundamentally, a gargantuan swath of normal, traditional-values, red-blooded, flag-saluting, Constitution-honoring, Bible-believing Americans.
Kupelian is engaging in pure projection here. Every Democratic president was the "enemy" in the eyes of him, Joseph Farah and the rest of WND, and his anti-Biden rants show how WND's editorial agenda is to denigrate Biden to a point where he will stripped of his humanity and, thus, allow even more vicious attacks that Kupelian will justify as what needs to be done to destroy the enemy.
Kupelian then laughably defended truth:
This is what undergirds this growing totalitarian impulse to crush free speech in America – to de-platform conservative voices from social media, to stage destructive riots to prevent conservative personalities from speaking on campus, to demonize conservatives as dangerous “extremists” and as a “threat to democracy.” Very simply, they represent the truth the left hates – and with which they are engaged in daily, internal mortal combat.
They literally can’t stand to hear the truth. It’s more painful than they can bear, like sunlight to a vampire; they feel as though it’s going to burn them up. They just can’t stand it.
NEW ARTICLE: When The Story Turns, The MRC Hides The Truth Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves pushing right-wing narratives. But when those narratives get overtaken by the facts and make right-wingers look bad, the MRC either gets defensive or refuses to correct the record at all. Read more >>
CNS Dishonestly Floods The Zone On Dr. Seuss Topic: CNSNews.com
When Dr. Seuss became a news item, mostly for the Seuss estate deciding to pull a few of his many books out of print due to their racist imagery that didn't age well in the decades since they were first drawn, CNSNews.com did its best to flood the zone. Craig Bannister started things in an article that got a separate but related story wrong:
The educational arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has bullied a Virginia school district into cancelling any mention of beloved children’s book Author Dr. Seuss on a pro-reading day established by National Education Association (NEA) to honor his birthday.
Every year since 1998, schools have celebrated “Read Across America Days” on Seuss’ birthday, March 2. But, the Loudon County, Virginia school system will snub Seuss this year, bowing to the demands of SPLC’s “Learning for Justice” activists, the Daily Wire reports[.]
In fact, as we've noted, Read Across America has de-emphasized Dr. Seuss and played up more diverse children's literature after the Seuss estate's contract with the National Education Association, which runs Read Across America, ended in 2019 -- which is the story the school district has told. The district also pointed out in response to bogus right-wing media stories like the one that Bannister relied on that Dr. Seuss has not been "canceled," only de-emphasized.
A March 2 article by Emma Riley on the Seuss estate's decision to no longer publish those offensive books was surprisingly balanced, though she repeated the false claim that the school district "made the decision to shun Read Across America Day after a push from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning For Justice Activists."
Riley also wrote: "In his Proclamation on Read Across America Day, President Biden made no mention of Dr. Seuss. Former President Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and former President Donald Trump all paid tribute to Dr. Seuss in their Read Across America proclamations." She failed to mention the fact that the reason Biden didn't reference Dr. Seuss is because the Seuss estate is no longer contractually linked to Read Across America.
Riley also transcribed a Tucker Carlson rant complaining that "They're banning Dr. Seuss not because he was a racist, but precisely because he wasn’t." She did not fact-check to point that the vast majority of Dr. Seuss' work remains in print and, thus, is not being "canceled."
While today’s Cancel Culture is denouncing Dr. Seuss, alleging his work contains racist content, both then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have celebrated Seuss’ beloved children’s books and encouraged young Americans to learn the lessons they teach.
On Monday, CNSNews.com reported that six of Seuss' books have been discontinued due to complaints by those who suddenly find the books offensive.
But, at a White House gathering in 2015, Pres. Obama, an African-American, said that “pretty much all the stuff you need to know” about how to treat others can be learned from Dr. Seuss, Fox News reports:
No, Craig, people didn't "suddenly find the books offensive"; they were always offensive, and if Bannister had bothered to actually read the Riley article he linked to about rthe Seuss estate discontinuing publication of the books, he would have known why. And the Obamas' praise for Dr. Seuss for the majority of his work doesn't change the fact that those books do, in fact, contain racist imagery.
This sort of dishonest "news" content is why CNS appears to have little credibility.
MRC Hides Facts To Defend GOP Governor's Abysmal COVID Death Rate Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro spent a Feb. 28 post complaining that "Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan singled out Republican Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota to be the target of her ire because of her fair handling of COVID in her state." But as we've come to expect from Fondacaro, he's being dishonest in his defense of Noem.
Fondacaro asserted that "Brennan mischaracterized Noem’s CPAC speech and whined about people cheering" -- but he never identified what, exactly, Brennan "mischaracterized" about the speech in which she took a shot at Anthony Fauci. Fondacaro sounded more like Noem's press secetary and less like the "media researcher" he purports to be as he jumped to her defense:
When Noem finally appeared on the show, she wasted no time in schooling Brennan on her lies. “Well, I’d like to respond to something that you said. You indicated I ignored medical advice, I didn't listen to my health experts. And I most certainly did,” she shot back. “In South Dakota, we took this virus very seriously. What I did though was tell my people the truth.”
Decrying how Noem refused to destroy small businesses and harm students with isolation via lockdowns, Brennan tried to distort reality by citing the state’s deaths per capita. “As of today, the CDC says your state has the eighth-highest death rate per capita in the U.S. That’s the rate of deaths per 100,000 residents. Don't you think your decisions as an executive contributed,” she sneered at her guest.
Looking at the numbers according to The New York Times, South Dakota had less than 2,000 deaths from COVID. And only seven on Saturday.
Fondacaro's claim that Brennan "distort[ed] reality" by citing per-capita deaths is quite hilarious when you know that three months earlier, the MRC's Kristine Marsh cheered Noem for citing per capita statistics as a way to "put the journalist [George Stephanopoulos] in his place" when he noted rising coronavirus cases and deaths in South Dakota. Only in the world of the MRC where Republicans must be protected at any cost would "less than 2,000 deaths from COVID" be considered something to cheer about.
Fondacaro went on to rant that "At one point, Brennan accused her of being personally responsible for seeding nearly every case in the Midwest, as if it couldn’t have come from anyplace else." But Brennan was specifically citing the annual motorcycle rally last August in Sturgis, S.D., attended by hundreds of thousands of bikers. Researchers say the rally may have been responsible for as many as 266,000 new cases of coronavirus at a public health cost of more than $12 billion. (State officials claim to have found only around 300 cases it could link to the rally.)
Fondacaro then played New York whataaboutism in an attempt to take the heat off Noem:
Back in reality, we know that New York had seeded most of the country as residents fled the state because of the lockdowns. And COVID deaths in New York nursing homes (roughly 15,000) greatly overshadowed the deaths in all of South Dakota. That’s not to mention that New York also spawned a new virus variant that’s worrying researchers.
Fondacaro provided no evidence to back up his claim that New York "seeded most of the country" with coronavirus. Also, he failed to concede that deaths in an entire state as big as South Dakota should not be competing with deaths in the close quarters of nursing homes (where, as much as he deseprately wants to, Fondacaro can't blame them all on Andrew Cuomo), let alone the entirety of New York, which has a much higher population than South Dakota.
This is yet another example of how the MRC tries to ensure the right-wing narratives it pushes trumps the facts.
In a Feb. 22 Newsmax TV appearance, claiming that the Supreme Court's failure to take up a dubious election fraud case shows that, as Brian Truesdell wrote, "the Supreme Court has been so intimidated by Democrats' threats of adding justices, it is ruling to preserve its own prestige." Morris then served up his alternative-facts version of the Pennsylvania case at hand: ""The Constitution says that the state legislatures shall set the rules, the legislature did, the [Pennsylvania] secretary of state violated them, they carried out the secretary of state's orders, congressmen sued, and they won't take the case." In fact, election law experts have said that the executive branch has the authority to decide how to implement election law, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the secretary of state's decisions.
In a March 1 column, Morris forwarded a nasty right-wing narrative in ranting about how purported senile President Biden is:
Can we begin to discern the opening salvos that could precede the unprecedented use of the 25th Amendment to oust or sideline a sitting president?
Joe Biden’s dementia has only gotten worse.
Recently, at a virtual appearance before the Munich Economic Forum he had a total brain freeze. "The most important thing . . . ," he began and then repeated, "the most important thing . . . " With added emphasis.
And then… a blank stare.
He forgot what he was saying.
Then followed five tortuous seconds of total gibberish, as he tripped over his words, about milestones and such that made no sense.
And this is the man who has his finger on the nuclear button?
If Biden shows further signs of dementia — and he will — this process could pick up steam.
And where is Vice President Kamala Harris in this possible coup d’etat?
An interesting question.
Morris pushed that sleazy narrative again in a March 9 TV appearance, summarized in an article by Truesdell:
Former presidential adviser Dick Morris suggested Tuesday that Democrats are "moving in [the] direction" of seeking to invoke the 25th Amendment that would remove President Joe Biden from office for being "unable" to carry out his responsibilities.
With growing frequency, more and more observers have pointed to Biden's confusion – such as identifying Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as Sen. Austin, his statements as incoherent, and his failure to take questions from reporters since taking office has only fueled speculation his staff fears having to put him before a crowd where he could be embarrassed.
Earlier Tuesday, a Rasmussen Reports poll showed half of the American public thought that Biden was not "mentally and physically" able to be president.
Of course a Rasmussen poll would say that -- it skews right. Truesdell didn't tell his readers that, though.
CNS Serves Up Anti-COVID Relief Bill Talking Point Twice In Two Days Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNS Loves to push the exact same talking point across multiple articles, sometimes within a few days of each other. That has happened again courtesty of CNS' managing editor, Michael W. Chapman. As part of its attacks on the coronavirus relief bill (attacks it didn't do when a Republican was president), Chapman wrote in a March 9 article headlined "U.S. Catholic Bishops Oppose $1.9T 'Relief Bill' Because It Uses Tax Dollars to Pay for Abortion":
Because the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act, does not include prohibitions against taxpayer-funding of abortions in the United States and abroad, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has urged lawmakers to vote against its passage.
The president of the USCCB, Archbishop Jose Gomez, also issued a statement on March 5, urging Congress to insert the traditional pro-life protections into the bill -- the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment.
"As a result, should this bill pass, our tax dollars will be used to destroy unborn human lives through elective abortion," said the bishops in their letter. "The many important and life-affirming provisions in this bill are now greatly undermined because it facilitates the destruction of unborn human life."
Two days later, after President Biden signed the bill, Chapman did basically the same article again, under the suspiciously similar headline "U.S. Catholic Bishops Denounce COVID Bill: 'It Funds the Destruction of Life'":
After the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed the House on Wednesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, headed by Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, denounced the legislation because it does not prohibit funding for abortions and thus will fund "the destruction of life, which is antithetical to its aim of protecting the most vulnerable Americans in a time of crisis."
President Joe Biden, a pro-abortion Catholic, signed the legislation into law on Thursday, March 11.
"There are provisions in this bill that will save people from extremely desperate situations and will likely save lives," they wrote.
“However, it is unconscionable that Congress has passed the bill without critical protections needed to ensure that billions of taxpayer dollars are used for life-affirming health care and not for abortion," said the bishops.
"Unlike previous COVID relief bills, sponsors of the American Rescue Plan Act refused to include the longstanding, bi-partisan consensus policy to prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions domestically and internationally," reads the statement.
Chapman even inserted similar gratuitously grisly corpses of aborted fetuses in his articles. It's not sure who he's trying to impress by doing so beyond his fellow militantly anti-abortion activists.
WND Gets Texas Freeze Story Wrong By Falsely Attacking Wind Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh was in a stenographic mood in a Feb. 16 article:
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is blasting the "green energy" components of the Texas power grid for catastrophically failing in this week's cold weather, leaving nearly 4 million homes without electricity.
The windmills that generate a good portion of the electricity used to heat homes were frozen.
"Who saw that coming in Texas?" Carlson said.
"If there's one thing you would think Texas would be able to do, it's keep the lights on. Most electricity comes from natural gas and Texas produces more of that than any place on the continent. There are huge natural gas deposits all over the state. Running out of energy in Texas is like starving to death at the grocery store: You can only do it on purpose, and Texas did."
Carlson said the Democrats' "Green New Deal" has "come, believe it or not, to the state of Texas."
But the Green New Deal does not exist in law anywhere in America, so it cannot possibly have "come to Texas." Nevertheless, Unruh continued to uncritically quote Carlson:
He pointed out that rather than Texas depending on its own "vast natural resources," politicians "took the fashionable route and became recklessly reliant on so-called alternative energy, meaning windmills."
He said the change has come over the last few years, and it was all working just fine "until the day it got cold outside."
"The windmills failed like the silly fashion accessories they are, and people in Texas died."
As we've pointedout, wind turbines in northern states operate just fine during the winter, so there was obviously another issue: failure on the part of Texas' power companies to properly winterize their wind turbines. Further, natural gas-fueled power plants also failed because they too weren't properly winterized. So Carlson (and, thus Unruh) blaming wind power alone for Texas' power issues is utterly false.
Unruh actually did note that -- but not until the very end of his article, which he then tried to mitigate by adding, that "some of the closures were because power had been cut to the facilities." He apparently didn't ask why a power plant wasn't using some of the power it generated to keep itself running.
Unruh also made an error of fact that apparently had nothing to do with Carlson, claiming that "Windmills make up about 25% of the state's energy production at this time of year." Infact, as an actual news outlet reported, only 7 percent of the forecasted winter capacity at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages most of Texas’ grid, was wind.
Is it time for WND to issue yet another correction? It would seem so.
MRC Hypes Cuomo Nursing Home Scandal -- But Censors News Of GOP Official Who Killed A Guy Topic: Media Research Center
For months, the Media Research Center has been hyping claims that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo caused deaths from coronavirus in the state's nursing homes by ordering COVID patients early in the pandemic to be discharged from hospitals to the nursing homes (though it usually hid the fact that it was done to open up space in hospitals during that early surge of COVID patients), and then manipuated data to hide it. It has been assisted by Fox News weatherperson JaniceDean, who has a personal vendetta against Cuomo because in-laws in New York nursing homes died early in the pandemic -- never mind that nursing-home coronavirus deaths were not necessarily caused by hospital patients transferred there, or that it's highly unlikely that the deaths of Dean's in-laws couldn't be blamed on such transfers.
The MRC even called in Donald Trump's dubious pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, to conduct a poll with the goal of blaming the "liberal media" for not covering this story in a way that drove up Cuomo's negatives to levels that the MRC and it sfellow right-wingers desired to see.
Given the MRC's rampant bias, you will not be surprised to learn that it has completely censored news of a Republican state official who actually did kill a guy, then tried to cover it up.
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed a man with his car on a dark highway last summer. He claimed at the time that he thought he hit an animal and didn't realize he struck a man until the next day when he returned to the scene. But it was later revealed that Ravnsborg had been browsing websites on his phone just before the crash, and the victim's broken glasses were found inside Ravnsborg's car. Ravnsborg has pleaded not guilty, and critics are asking him to resign, but he has so far refused.
Imagine how the MRC would have treated Ravnsborg if he was a Democrat -- it would be demanding that the "liberal media" give wall-to-wall coverage to this case the way it has done regarding Cuomo. But because Ravnsborg is a Republican, it has remained silent. The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has also refused to report on this story.
That's the protection you get from the MRC if you're a Republican.
Now, the left-wing mob has gone so far as to cancel one of the most influential authors in American Literature ever in Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, on his birthday, no less.
Usually, the first week of March aims at celebrating American literature and Dr. Seuss, especially for his contributions to the education system through "Read Across America" Week.
For years, notable guests travel from class to class, reading books by Seuss to children to symbolize the importance of literacy to children in the education system.
This week, that celebration has taken a backseat to the mob coming after yet another historical figure.
Dr. Seuss is the same man lauded for inspiring generations of young writers, illustrators, and teachers in prioritizing how important it is to teach students and imagination when they are learning.
He has led students in our country's education system to being energized about going to class, inspired to be participative in reading, and motivated to pick up a book and start learning something new.
Alas, all of these critical educational lessons have been tossed aside for the sake of awarding a vast minority of the population a win in canceling one of the most beloved American authors ever.
As we all know, it wasn't a "left-wing mob" but Dr. Seuss' own estate - which owns the rights to his books -- that decided to take six of the author's minor books out of print because they contain racist images. The author has not been "canceled" because the rest of his books remain in print.
Cody also falsely linked Dr. Seuss' de-emphasis in the Read Across America program to the decision:
This week should be about championing Dr. Seuss, who was trite and right about his anti-racism and his passion for inspiring students of all ages to embrace the beautiful nature of English language arts.
Instead, now all you can find on an internet search during "Read Across America" Week is a dismal demonization of a man who has done more for education and society than the ones that are trying to cancel him had ever dreamed of.
In fact, the contract between Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the National Education Association, which puts on Read Across America, ended in 2019, with the NEA deciding to promote more diverse book.