ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Chuck Norris Turns His Column Into A Paid Ad, And WND Helps
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a blatant abuse of editorial content for profit-making purposes, Chuck Norris turned his March 10 WorldNetDaily column into a commercial for the gold-selling company he just became a spokesman for:

In December 2020, Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes business magazine, answered the question, "Will Gold Prices Skyrocket in 2021?" with a definitive "YES!"

Forbes explained why: "The reason is an age-old one: the government churning out too much money. Since the coronavirus crisis shut down the economy, Washington has spent trillions of dollars in relief efforts. The national debt has increased more in recent months than in the previous 10 years put together. Help was needed, but most of the spending came from money being created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve. This is a formula for inflation – and traditionally that means the price of gold will be moving up, big time."

When my wife, Gena, and I decided that I would become a spokesperson for GOLDCO, it wasn't a hard decision at all. We've been a big fan of gold and other precious metals for over 40 years. Gold has always been a part of our financial portfolio. Our gold's return has also helped us make future investments and even bailed us out of tough economic times. Let me explain.

And so Norris did, all the way down to "our most prized personal use of gold. On very special occasions, giving gold coins to someone has proven much more valuable than other gifts. Gold and silver gifts are not only personal and tangible, but also provide a great memory and sentimental moment that increases their net worth as well." He also tossed innumerous exhortations that gold will skyrocket -- with the implicit claim that his readers should buy their gold at the company that hired him to say all that.

As if that wasn't enough blatant shilling, WND's Bob Unruh followed up with a "news" article that tried to play up Norris' history of paid endorsements as some kind of seal of approval:

Legendary tough-guy actor Chuck Norris has done a number of endorsements and appeared in commercials.

He became a spokesman for the gun maker Glock when the company said it was looking for a spokesman to fit its "commitment to perfection, relentless innovation and disciplined precision."

Toyota, in an ad, played on his reputation as a man so tough he can't appear on Mt. Rushmore "because the granite there isn't tough enough for his beard."

Now, the WND columnist and author of "Black Belt Patriotism" has become a spokesman for the precious-metals investment company Goldco, explaining in a column that Joe Biden's economic policies could lead to a spike in gold prices.

The company plans to produce a monthly "Special Report" from the "Walker, Texas Ranger" actor about precious metal news and investment strategies.

Unruh then rehashed Norris' column, concluding with a few random "Chuck Norris Facts."

Hopefully Goldco threw some ad money WND's way -- lord knows they need it -- for this embarrassing episode of pretending that a commercial is "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
MRC Back To Hiding Marjorie Taylor Greene's Far-Right Extremism
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time we checked in, the Media Research Center was finally forced to stop hiding the extreme far-right views of QAnon adherent and newly minted U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after they became too well known to ignore. It's been a few weeks since then, and the MRC has apparently decided it can hide those extreme views again now that she's in the news for more MRC-friendly reasons.

One of those is hating transgender people. Mark Finklestein groused in a Feb. 26 post about an MSNBC interview with Democratic Rep. Marie Newman, which was "was devoted to what has been described as a feud between Newman and Greene. Newman, who has a transgender child, put a transgender flag in the hallway outside her House office, which happens to be located directly across from Greene's office. Greene responded by putting up a sign saying 'There are TWO genders MALE & FEMALE. ‘Trust the science!’' Greene also made a tweet referring to Newman's 'son,' Quinn, who now identifies as a female named Evie."

Donovan Newkirk similarly complained that "left-wing" Newman appeared on CNN, while taking the side of the far-right Greene:

Tagging Greene, Newman pettily tweeted, “Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door.” The videographer was careful to pan wide enough to ensure that viewers could see Greene’s office diametrically across the hall.

Does that sound like expressing "support" for her child to you?

In response to Newman’s flag placement, Greene tweeted her own video of her mounting a sign — accurately — proclaiming that there are only two genders.

Clay Waters grumbled that the New York Times "focused on controversial Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in a childish spat with Democratic Rep. Marie Newman, reframing the debate to make the transgender activist side 'emotional' and sympathetic and the biological reality side 'ugly' and abhorrent."

On March 4, fact-checker-basher Tim Graham melted down when PolitiFact invoked the Newman-Greene skirmish to point out that gender is not the same as gender identity:

On Thursday, PolitiFact took sides in the hallway Twitter battle between freshmen congresswomen Marie Newman and Marjorie Taylor Greene over the so-called "Equality Act" being debated. "We checked, and the science is clear: Gender identity goes beyond male and female."

How can you trust any "fact check" from people who are this slippery with obvious facts? On Thursday, PolitiFact wasn't subtle by illustrating their "check" with a picture of left-wing activists holding up a sign reading "TRANS EQUALITY NOW."

From there, it was on to other things. Gabriel Hays backslid in a March 12 post by admitting Greene's extreme views -- but only to claim it's somehow not crazy or extremist to hyperbolically describe abortion as genocide:

So pro-life rhetoric has been used by crazy people, so all pro-life rhetoric is crazy?. Some Capitol rioters believed in pro-life values and some even believed in anti-abortion conspiracy theories, so therefore pro-life values can lead to “insurrection?” 

Seems like it. Take a look at this example: “It is no coincidence that, for example, the Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon promoter who has blamed deadly wildfires in California on a ‘space laser’ financed by the Rothschild banking firm, has also called abortion ‘genocide.’”

So because a woman – who has fallen for Q propaganda in the past – is pro-life, that makes her abortion standpoint crazy? And because some crazies in the past have considered abortion “white genocide” are we supposed to associate Taylor-Greene’s use of the word “genocide” as an allusion to that?

Of course not. Abortion has killed 62 million unborn children in America in less than 50 years. Millions of people call it a genocide because it absolutely is. You don’t have to be a Q supporter to put that together.

Alexander Hall returned to an old defense of Greene in a March 19 post complaining that her Twitter account was briefly suspended (accidentially, it turned out). Hall lamented that this "alleged attempt to silence Greene" came "as her political future hangs in the balance," as she faced an effort to oust her from Congress. Hall made no mention of why Gomez introduced that resolution: because she promoted conspiracy theories that "advocated violence against our peers, the speaker and our government." You know, the same conspiracy theories that the MRC was (finally) running from just a month and a half earlier.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:25 AM EDT
WND Columnist Cheers Extremist GOP Members of Congress
Topic: WorldNetDaily

W. Scott Magill -- who we've caught spreading coronavirus conspiracy theories and maliciously lying about Anthyony Fauci -- gushed in his March 4 WorldNetDaily column:

Nov. 3, 2020, was a day of reckoning for the Republican Party in a number of different ways. The surprise election loss of President Trump and the voter fraud that played a significant role in his electoral defeat will be issues that the party and the country will be grappling with for years to come. But just as a Phoenix rises from the ashes of a fire, several new and impressive conservative leaders were elected to the House of Representatives in that same 2020 election. With them, they have brought an exciting new enthusiasm that can serve as a path forward and a template for the future of the Republican Party.

New leaders like Reps. Madison Cawthorn, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene have emerged to breathe much-needed life back to Republicans after a stunning election defeat in November. Unlike D.C.'s anti-American swamp elites, who only care about their own interests and investments, these members of Congress represent the true heart of America and champion the kind of populism that propelled President Trump to the White House in 2016.

Of course Magill -- who once asserted that protests for racial justice were part of a "continuing Revolution to utterly overthrow America and permanently suspend our Constitution by the Domestic Enemy" -- to side with two far-right women who have endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories and a man who lied his way into Congress. Magill didn't mention Greene's far-right loyalities in further defense of her, he laughably described Cawthorn as someone who "stood up for truth":

Rep. Greene has been faithful to herself and her constituents! She has shown herself to be the fearless warrior America needs by confronting head-on the smear campaign launched by today's "Tokyo Rose– the mainstream media." For this reason, she was recently applauded by many members of her conference when addressing these allegations. Meanwhile, Rep. Cawthorn stood up for truth, honoring our founders' values and ideals, disavowing the blatant weaponized hypocrisy that has infected Washington, and calling out the despicable swamp creatures who voted for impeachment. He even went as far as to call out his home state's Richard Burr, exposing his untrustworthiness for calling impeachment unconstitutional and then voting to convict Trump.

Americans and America need warriors like this who are not afraid to wield the sword of truth on the invisible battlefield of ideas. As President Eisenhower observed, "History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid," for as Thomas Jefferson noted, "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Magill concluded by actually invoking the language of QAnon: "Progressives and the liberal media may have the 'Squad,' but a conservative alternative – the 'Storm' – is brewing."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 7:19 PM EDT
Disgraced Ex-Cop Cheers Disgraced Ex-Governor
Topic: Newsmax

Bernard Kerik gushed in his March 12 Newsmax column:

It’s a time for courage in America. Of all the people who might step forward in the United States Senate race in Missouri, there is no stronger supporter and advocate for President Donald Trump and his America First policies than former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

That is why we need him to fight for us in the U.S. Senate.

The liberal Democrats currently have complete control of Congress.

We need to take back the Senate. And take it back with fighters like Eric Greitens.

We have seen what weakness looks like, especially in the Senate. They bend to the political winds, instead of standing strong through the storm.

As a Navy SEAL and former Missouri Governor, Greitens stood up the political establishment—the same establishment that opposed President Trump. Because he was such a threat, Democrats colluded with the establishment political class and mainstream media to attack Greitens during his time as governor.

As governor, Greitens prohibited lobbyist gifts, killed-a pay raise for politicians, and ended a corrupt tax credit program that lined the pockets of insiders at the expense of Missourians.

He got rid of bureaucrats who failed our veterans.

He backed our cops.

Let me say that again; He backed our cops.Every. Single. Day.

He was the most pro-police governor in the country.

The only hint that Greitens might not be the shining example of manhood that Kerik depicts him as came in this brief paragraph: "No surprise then that a Soros-funded prosecutor attacked him. Greitens has now been fully exonerated and those who perpetuated the witch hunt against him are being prosecuted. They are facing seven felonies for going after a MAGA-warrior."

Kerik didn't explain what, exactly, Grietens had been "fully exonerated" of -- perhaps because he actually hasn't been.

Greitens was accused by a woman he allegedly had an affair with of taking a photo of her in a compromising position for blackmail purposes.  The "Soros-funded prosecutor," Kim Gardner, didn't "attack" him over this -- she launched an investigation of the claim after it became public, and a grand jury indicted him on felony invasion of privacy charges. The charges were dropped not because he was "exonerated," but because a private investigator Gardner hired in the case was accused of perjury and withholding information (and is the person facing the "seven felonies" Kerik referenced). The alleged compromising photo was never found, but it was discovered that thousands of files had been mysteriously deleted from Greitens' phone.

Greitens was also accused of misusing a donor list from a nonprofit he once headed  in his political campaign, but the investigation was ultimately droppednot because he was "exonerated," but because Greitens resigned as governor. Separately, the Missouri Ethics Commission fined the Greitens campaign $178,000 over other misdeeds.

People then "go after" Greitens for being a "MAGA-warrior" -- they went after him because he's a sleaze. Given that Kerik is a convicted felon for deeds commited while New York City police chief, it seems that he has found a kindred spirit.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT
CNS Keeps Up Right-Wing Attacks On HHS Nominee Becerra
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Feb. 20 CNSNews.com article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how right-wing activists "launched a $2 million-plus campaign to expose how President Joe Biden's call for "unity" in the country is questionable given the radical left background of some of his executive branch nominees, who are pushing extreme agendas that mirror the desires of the dark money donors who put Biden in office." It seems CNS may have gotten some of that money, because it joined in the attacks on one of the group's targets, Health and Human Services nominee Xavier Becerra.

We've already documented how CNS bashed Becerra upon his nomination, and it kept up those attacks as his confirmation hearing approached.

A Feb. 5 commentary by Bill Donohue -- who had previously ranted that Becerra is ""an enemy of the Catholic Church" -- listed "16 reasons why Becerra should not be confirmed," one of which was that "he brought charges against pro-life activists who went undercover to film Planned Parenthood officials trafficking in aborted baby parts. He brought felony charges against them." In fact, a jury ruled in 2019 that Daleiden should pay Planned Parenthood $870,000 in punitive damages for his attempt to try and destroy the organization under false pretenses.

Donobhue also claimed that "Few Attorneys General in the United States fought more ferociously to deny the Little Sisters of the Poor their religious rights than Becerra." In fact, Becerra initiated no legal action against the religious order; Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the Little Sisters of the Poor later filed to intervene and chose to become a party to the suit.

Donohue repeated his bogus attacks on Becerra in a Feb. 24 column, huffing that "Becerra is no victim of anti-Catholicism. In fact, he is a master sponsor of it." The same day, editor Terry Jeffrey highlighted hostile Republican questions to Becerra during his confirmation hearing:

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, who President Joe Biden has nominated to be the secretary of Health and Human Services, dodged a question at his confirmation hearing today about whether he believed an unborn child who is targeted for a late-term abortion should be given anesthesia to minimize the pain the child will suffer.

[...]

Rather than give a yes-or-no, Becerra gave a long-winded answer that talked around the question.

In a Feb. 26 article, Emma Riley touted how "63 pro-life leaders urged the lawmakers to reject Becerra, stating he is “an enemy to every pro-life policy and law, and has demonstrated complete disregard for the religious and moral convictions of those opposed to the brutal act of abortion.” Similarly, a March 11 article by Quinn Weimer highlighted how "some conservative leaders told CNS News why they oppose Becerra. Pro-life leader Lila Rose, in particular, stressed that, “Becerra is a pro-abortion activist and friend of the abortion industry, with no medical background.” Weimer didn't mention that most HHS secretaries have had no medical background; like Becerra, their background is in government.

CNS acknowledged Becerra's confirmation only in a March 18 article by Melanie Arter that began with an attack on on him by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, "saying he is 'woefully unqualified to lead that department,' because he has no medical or science experience or in logistics, having 'never so much as distributed French fries at a McDonald’s.'" Arter didn't mention that the HHS secretary under Trump, Alex Azar, also has no medical or science degree (though he was the former head of drugmaker Eli Lilly).

Riley returned with some conservative sore-loser complaining the next day, repeating how "pro-life leaders denounced the vote, stating that the confirmation is a 'blow to all Americans who value religious liberty and the sanctity of life.'" There was no mention of the $2 million campaign right-wing activists ran against Becerra, let alone that it could only be described as a failure.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Monday, March 29, 2021
MRC Plays Down Sexual Harassment At Washington NFL Team
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been weirdly defensive of the name of the Washington Redskins, and considered it a sign of weakness that it finally abandoned that now-offensive name. In a March 3 post, the MRC's Matt Philbin is bizarrely angry that the Washington Football Team (the interim name of the team) is switching out its cheerleaders for a coed dance team:

The Washington Castrati … er, I mean The Washington Football Team, is dropping its traditional all-female cheerleading squad. It was once known as The Redskinettes. Then, for a season, the, um, Footballettes? Now it’s going to be a “coed dance team.” 

Because that’s what football fans really want to fill those commercial breaks and time outs … but no, it really isn’t. It's just  the price of doing business in 2021. The team has hired Petra Pope as senior advisor in charge of buzzwords and being all sensitive, and she told USA Today it’s going to be a super “modern and diverse” dance squad, with a “skillset of being super athletic, which is what we're really honing in on.”

But it wasn't until the sixth paragraph that Philbin got around to hinting why the team made the move (while somehow blaming it on a newspaper, for some reason):

It’s been a bad year for the Washington Used-to-bes. After a decade of defying its greatest foes (sports journalists) team management panicked last summer when BLM started burning stuff. Although 90% of Native Americans rather liked the team name (or at least had better things to do than whine about it) The Redskins ceased to be. Then in August came allegations of sexual harassment by former Redskinettes (in The Washington Post, of course).

That episode ended in an out-of-court settlement. But clearly, owner Dan Snyder feels the team’s fans haven’t suffered enough through two decades of lousy football, exorbitant beer prices and the indignity of having to root for the team to be named later.

Actually, the settlement involved only one female employee who wasn't a cheerleader. Philbin isn't going to tell you the cheerleader-related incidents weren't any sort of run-of-the-mill sexual harassment -- there were things like a secret video of outtakes from a calendar photo shoot that captured the cheerleaders in the nude.

It seems like Philbin is bizarrely wistful for the days when men could objectify women without consequence.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 29, 2021 10:16 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Unemployment Reporting: The Pandemic Flip-Out, Part 1
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's reporting on employment numbers has been aggressively pro-Trump, but even it couldn't hide reality when the coronavirus pandemic caused rates to skyrocket. Plus: CNS' double standard on reporting the "real unemployment rate." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
WND And Its Dubious Docs Tout Another Dubious COVID Treatment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As if hydroxycloroquine wasn't enough, WorldNetDaily and its columnists found another dubious treatment for coronavirus to embrace: ivermectin. The dubious fringe-right docs at the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- who touted hydroxychloroquine -- were another the top backers:

  • In September, Elizabeth Lee Vliet listed ivermectin among "cheap, safe, FDA-approved medicines" that could treat coronavirus, even though none of them has ever received FDA approval for that particular purpose.
  • AAPS president Jane Orient touted how "Many scientific papers have been written in the past 40 years about the antiviral effects of many antimicrobials" like ivermectin, though again, they have not been approved for coronavirus treatment.
  • Vliet repeated in October her claim of "cheap, safe, FDA-approved medicines"like ivermectin that can treat COVID.
  • Orient, in a December column, cited "Early at-home treatments, including hydroxychloroquine, antibiotics, corticosteroids and ivermectin," though emphasizing early treatment ignores the fact that coronavirus infection is often asymptomatic in its early stages.
  • In a January column, Marilyn Singleton clainmed that "Other countries are using ivermectin, a safe antiparasitic used to treat scabies." Singleton links to an anonymous website purporting to list studies that claim ivermectin is effective -- but like other similar websites, the people behind them won't make themselves known, and they might actually be secretely operated by AAPS.
  • The same month, Orient touted "re-purposed old drugs" like "ivermectin and antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine."
  • In a March 16 column, AAPS member Joel Hirschhorn complained about "the rigorous, time-consuming and expensive randomized clinical trials that so many experts say is the gold standard for evaluating drugs," adding that "This absence was used by the government to condemn and block the use of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin."

Non-physician WND columnist Dennis Prager declared on Feb. 8 that "I put my medicines where my mouth is. I have been taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc (as well as vitamin D and selenium) on a regular basis for half a year, and ivermectin for the past three months," adding, "Given how safe hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are, what could we have possibly lost by allowing millions of people to take these medicines?"

WND writer Art Moore has also contributed to the pro-ivermectin propaganda. In December, he cheered how a doctor in a Republican-led Senate hearing on COVID treatment claimed that "another blocked drug that is inexpensive and widely available, ivermectin, prevents infection and saves lives." Later that month, Moore claimed to cite "many health experts who decry the politicization of COVID-19 treatments such as the cheap, proven and widely available drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin." Moore then gushed in a Feb. 25 article:

A new, peer-reviewed study finds that one of the cheap, widely available drugs that has been dismissed by the left, establishment media and many in the health establishment as a treatment for COVID-19 reduces infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%.

Ivermectin, in more than 30 trials around the world, causes "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study, which will be published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, DailyMail.com reported.

The evidence is so strong, the researchers believe, the anti-parasitic drug should become a standard therapy everywhere, hastening global recovery.

But Moore has yet to report what happened next: A week later, the journal withdrew the article before actual publication, stating that it contained unsubstantiated claims and violated the journal’s editorial policies.

The study was manufactured by something called the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, which was formed to push unapproved treatments like ivermectin. The journal that ultimately rejected the study noted that the authors, who are key officials at FLCCC, "promoted their own specific ivermectin-based treatment which is inappropriate for a review article and against our editorial policies."

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has taken a pretty solid stance against ivermectin absent genuine, objective research:

There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called ivermectin to treat humans with COVID-19. Ivermectin is often used in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals.  The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.

[...]

The FDA has not reviewed data to support use of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients to treat or to prevent COVID-19; however, some initial research is underway. Taking a drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous. This is true of ivermectin, too.

There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong. 

Even the levels of ivermectin for approved uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.

But that's not what WND wants to hear, unless that opposition can be twisted into an anti-government stance. The narrative is more important than the truth at WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 29, 2021 1:56 AM EDT
Sunday, March 28, 2021
MRC Forgets It Tried To Cancel Dr. Seuss First
Topic: Media Research Center

"Cancel Culture Comes For Dr. Seuss," intoned the headline on Lindsey Kornick's March 1 Media Research Center post, attacking a newspaper columnist who argued for rethinking Dr. Seuss. Kornick said of the columnist, "Imagine someone in the world finding 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish' offensive" -- even though the columnist never mentioned that book, let alone expressed offense at it.

Kornick also repeated a bogus attack claiming a Virginia school district "took steps to “cancel” Dr. Seuss in their annual “Read Across America” event on Dr. Seuss' birthda" before walking it back.she then huffed: "This ignores the fact that Theodore Geisel was a liberal Democrat in life and supported many left-leaning policies and causes including in his books (read: The Lorax) which should deem him anything but 'racist.'"

Thus, Kornick inadvertently admitted that the MRC are the ones who have been trying to cancel Dr. Seuss.  She linked to a 2012 MRC post raging against a movie version of "The Lorax" because if offered environmental tips for children alongside the film, thus appeasing "thousands of left-wing zealots." (The MRC also complained that the movie indulged in "liberal indoctrination" for pointing out that plastic water bottles are wasteful.) But that's not the only attempt: In 2019, the MRC tried to blame Dr. Seuss for a massacre in El Paso because the alleged shooter referenced "The Lorax" in a manifesto.

But that has to go down the memory hole because it currently serves the MRC's political agenda to portray Dr. Seuss as a victim. For instance, Curtis Houck whined that Biden press secretary Jen Psaki wouldn't give a straight answer addressing "the woke mob’s canceling of Dr. Seuss."

But the MRC also got a little defensive about the whole Seuss thing. Alex Christy complained that NBC's Seth Meyers pointed out conservatives' obsession with culture war issues, adding, "If conservatives are detached for merely responding to the left's culture war offensive, what does that make Meyers' fellow leftists, considering they are now also trying to cancel Dr. Seuss?"

Christy followed by grousing that "MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday smeared conservatives for caring about cancel culture, calling it unimportant" and pointing out that it was Seuss' publisher and the Seuss estate that agreed to pull six lesser Seuss books (out of the dozens he published) for outdated racial imagery. He retorted, "While Ruhle is correct that it was Dr. Seuss' publisher that suspended the books, they did so because left-wing culture warriors have saying for years that some of his books are racists."

Houck returned to rant that "Thursday’s ReidOut featured more radicalizing rhetoric meant to send MSNBC viewers into a fury of hatred against anyone on the right, falsely claiming the Fox News Channel and the GOP are exclusively obsessed with cancel culture and controversies surrounding Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss." But Houck offered no evidence that anyone said Fox News was "exclusively obsessed" over Dr. Seuss, citing as evidence the claim was false a thread from his Twitter account featuring various random screencaps from Fox News talking about other things. But when Reid pointed out that Fox News had done "33 segments since Monday on Dr. Seuss" -- which has a basis in fact -- Houck offered nothing in rebuttal.

Tim Graham similarly complained in his March 5 column: "The hottest theme in liberal punditry is mocking conservatives for their objections to Woke Culture doing its long march through American entertainment conglomerates. It's not 'real news.'"Needless to say, Graham didn't mention the times it tried to cancel Dr. Seuss over "The Lorax."

Graham complained further: "This debate needs more precision, not less. What pages in the Dr. Seuss books are objectionable? TV stories on it won’t show any images. Some images of African savages clearly seem like antiquated stereotyping, but others are more debatable. You can’t debate it if no one will show it." Well, nothing's stopping the MRC from publishing those images. And doesn't the MRC operate a "news" division, CNSNews.com, that also played the "cancel culture" card on this story while not showing any of the actual images in question? Yes, it did.

Gabriel Hays touted how usually-despised late-night host Jimmy Kimmel "warned that cancel culture’s current destruction of once-thought innocent pop culture staples like Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head and The Muppets will get Trump elected a second time." Like his boss Graham, hays didn't mention that his employer played the cancel-culture card on Dr. Seuss first.

Duncan Schroeder ranted in a March 8 post where he was defensive about the conservative obsession over this, while also falsely blaming President Biden for it:

On Friday night’s CNN Tonight, host Don Lemon joined in with the liberal media’s obsession with bashing Republicans and Fox News for defending Dr. Seuss after books were cancelled by woke leftists. Lemon unspooled a five-minute commentary freaking out over House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeting out a video of himself reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham that went viral.

Lemon lunged to complain that the Democrats had nothing to do with Dr. Seuss. (McCarthy didn't say they did.) "It has nothing to do with Democrats. Nothing at all. As a matter of fact, that particular one by Dr. Seuss is still in distribution. So none of it makes any sense. They’re playing you. Are you going to fall for it? He is trying to stoke the fake outrage machine."

[...]

“The President” does indeed have something “to do with” the cancellation of Dr. Seuss because Biden left Dr. Seuss out of his “Read Across America Day” proclamation, which is celebrated every year around March 2 because March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Furthermore, it is a false liberal media narrative that Fox is “covering every single angle” of the cancellation. Lastly, it is objectively false that “nothing is being canceled about Dr. Seuss” because they pulled six of his books from the sales shelf.

Schroeder is the one with the fake outrage here. As we've noted, Biden didn't metnion Dr. Seuss because Dr. Seuss is no longer exclusively associated with Read Across America Day -- the contract giving the Seuss estate exclusivity for the event ended in 2019. And, of course, Schroeder didn't mention the MRC's attempts to cancel Dr. Seuss.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
CNS' New Anti-Trans Narrative: Describe Trans Women As 'Biological Males'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Is CNSNews.com bucking for a social media ban it can exploit?

On Feb. 3, CNS published a column by its favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, raging that Twitter temproarilty blocked the account of right-wing Catholic "news" outlet Catholic World Report because reporter Matt Hadro (a former staffer at CNS' parent, the Media Research Center) referred to transgender Biden HHS nominee Rachel Levine as ""biological man identifying as a transgender woman." Apparently taking inspiration from that -- and furthering its hateful transgender freakout -- CNS has used "biological male" phrasing in many of its transgender-related articles, when it didn't before:

  • A transgender "woman" is, in reality, a biological male (XY chromosomes), and does not have a real vagina or a uterus. -- Emmy Riley, Feb. 11
  • Transgender "female" (biological male) soccer player Mara Gomez. -- Michael W. Chapman, Feb. 22
  • Transgender "female" soccer player Maria Gomez, who is a biological male. ... Transgender "female" cyclist Rachel McKinnon, a biological male. ... Transgender "female" Rachel Levine, a biological male and President Biden's nominee for Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, testifies before her confirmation hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2021.-- Michael W. Chapman, Feb. 26 (as with the previous item, all these accompany file photos obtained from Getty Images, who we're willing to wager didn't describe them as "biological males" in the captions they supplied)
  • Nadler made the remark in response to a speech that Rep. Greg Steube (R.-Fla.) had delivered in opposition to the Equality Act, which would force schools to let biological males play on girls’ sports teams and use girls’ locker rooms, restrooms and dressing rooms.-- "CNSNews.com Staff," March 1
  • In a speech opposing the Equality Act, which would force public schools to allow transgender “women” (biological males) to play on real girls’ sports teams and use their bathrooms and showers, House Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) said that claiming a gender that does not match one’s natural anatomy is “gender confusion” and a “clear rejection of God’s good design.” ... Rachel McKinnon, a transgender female (biological male) cyclist. -- Michael W. Chapman, March 4
  • Miss. Governor Plans to Sign Bill to Protect Women’s Sports From Transgender ‘Females’ (Biological Males) ... The Mississippi House voted (81-28) on March 3 to ban transgender “females” (biological males) from competing in real women’s sports in the state’s public schools and universities.-- Quinn Weimer, March 5 (who also added a photo of "U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas, a real, biologically female athlete")
  • Rachel Levine, a transgender "female" (biological male) nominated by President Joe Biden to be assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. ... Actress Elliot Page, a transgender "male" (biological female). ... Nats Getty, right, the great-granddaughter of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, is a transgender "male" who had her breasts removed to appear more like a man.-- Michael W. Chapman, March 8
  • To combat President Joe Biden's executive order mandating that schools permit transgender "women" (biological males) to play on girls' sports teams and use their bathrooms and showers, House Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) introduced a bill to "protect women and girls" from the Democrats' "radical gender ideology." --= Michael W. Chapman, March 9 (who repeats the phraseology in captions for pictures of Levine and McKinnon)
  • On Feb. 25, a Senate confirmation hearing was held for Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender “woman” (biological male) nominated by President Biden to be assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. -- "A. Kim," March 16
  • Their testimony explained why competing against biological males (transgender “females”) is unfair and likely will destroy women’s sports. ... In practice this would mean, among other things, that transgender “females” (biological males) would be allowed to play on girls’ sports teams and use their bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. ... Transgender "female" (biological male) athletes transgender Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller. -- Emma Riley, March 19
  • Although South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem, who promotes herself as a firebrand conservative, strongly implied she would sign legislation barring transgender "females" (biological males) from participating in real girls' sports -- and using their bathrooms, locker rooms and showers -- she delayed last week, did not sign the bill, and now wants changes that would essentially gut the legislation, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). ... The ADF currently represents three high school girls in a lawsuit against rules that allow transgender females (biological males) to compete in girls' sports. -- Michael W. Chapman, March 22
  • As many other state legislatures are doing, GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced legislation this week to protect girls' sports by prohibiting transgender "females" (biological males) from playing on girls' teams.-- Michael W. Chapman, March 24
  • S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem's (R) office now claims that conservative criticism of her veto of a bill to protect girls' sports from transgender "females" (biological males) is "uninformed cancel culture" from the right. In response, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) said that exposing bad decisions and "criticizing Gov. Noem for caving to woke corporations is not cancel culture. It’s accountability." -- Michael W. Chapman, March 25 (whcih also included a photo of "Real girls playing field hockey")
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed legislation into law on Mar. 25 that prohibits transgender "females" (biological males) from joining real girls' sports teams at the high school and collegiate level. -- Michael W. Chapman, March 26 (he repeated the "Real girls playing field hockey" photo but somehow shlipped in failing to identify McKinnon as a "(biological male)")

So far, it appears social media hasn't taken CNS' bait, depriving it of an opportunity to play victim to boost its right-wing anti-trans cred.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2021 12:29 PM EDT
Saturday, March 27, 2021
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.

That turn of phrase reminds us of Graham's attempt to dismiss Trump's barrage of falsehoods during his presidency: He's not a liar, he just has "a casual relationahip with the truth."

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Friday, March 26, 2021
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.”

McEnany's attack on Karem is part of a grudge against him that dates back months.

What McEnany (and Houck) don't seem to understand is that respect has to be earned, and because McEnany spent her sporadic press briefings attacking reporters who ask reasonable questions and telling them lies 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 26, 2021 6:33 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« March 2021 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google