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Thursday, May 6, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: A Tale Of Two Fact-Checkers
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center dismissed Lead Stories as "liberal" because it fact-checks conservatives -- but it loves Just Facts because it reinforces the MRC's right-wing political narratives. Plus: The MRC finds a "media technology group" that serves as its echo chamber. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EDT
CNS Promotes Candace Owens' Anti-Vaxxer Claim
Topic: -- mostly writer Craig Bannister -- continues its love affair with right-wing activist Candace Owens, believing that pretty much every hateful rant of hers is worthy of its own article. Let's see how those have stacked up since the last time we checked in:

So enamored is Bannister of Owens that he even touted her anti-vaccine rant -- and a related rant that it got flagged by Twitter for spreading misinformation -- in an April 1 article:

Twitter labeling her tweet about coronavirus vaccines “misleading” won’t compel her to get her or her kids vaccinated, conservative commentator and BLEXIT Leader Candace Owens says.

In a post on Wednesday, Owens called it “a type of child abuse” to subject children to the vaccine, since they are at virtually no risk of dying from the coronavirus:

“Experimental vaccines on children who have an approximate 0% chance of dying from the virus for which they are being vaccinated against is a type of child abuse.

“ZERO long term trials conducted. I just cannot understand parents that would allow their kids to be guinea pigs.”

Twitter slapped an exclamation mark and the following label on Owens’ post, along with a link to the social media platform’s rebuttal, which simply argues that vaccines are safe “for most” people:


Shortly after midnight, Owens posted two tweets condemning Twitter’s censorship and advocacy for “Big Pharma.”

This may be the first time that CNS has permitted a rebuttal to an Owens rant. She clearly can't handle criticism -- and Bannister and CNS will certainly do their best to avoid subjecting her to any. Indeed, in the post about Cardi B -- which recounted Owen's appearance on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show raging against Cardi B's "sexually charged performance" of her song "WAP" -- there was no mention of the fact that Carlson and Owens claimed to be so offended by the performance that video of it aired on a loop during the segment. Which would seem to undercut their performative outrage.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
MRC Tries To Downplay The Very Idea of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center followed orders and pushed the Trump-approved narrative that coronavirus should only referred to as the "China virus." In March, following the mass shooting in Atlanta that killed six people of Asian descent, the MRC got defensive about whether the demonization of Chinese people and others of Asian descent that has happened since then was even a thing, and bristled at the idea that Trump's demonization might have played a role in such violence, including the massacre.

Alex Christy complained on March 17 that "MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Wednesday proved, yet again, that there's no vile slander he won't use in order to harm the Republican Party. On Morning Joe, the show's cast blamed the Republican Party for the murder of eight people, including six Asian-American women, in Atlanta on Tuesday" due in part to Trump encouraging use of terms like "China virus" and "kung flu."Christy added some whataboutism: "If calling COVID-19 the China Virus is racist and xenophobic, that's bad news for the media which has spent the last several weeks and months worrying about British, South African, and Brazilian variants."

Gabriel Hays ranted the same day:

How convenient. President Trump has been out of office for almost two months now and his most zealous haters in Hollywood are still blaming him for problems happening today.

Longtime Trump Derangement Syndrome-suffering actors, including Rob Reiner and George Takei, blamed the former president for the very recent and very tragic murder of eight people at three separate Atlanta, Georgia, spas that happened on March 16. According to investigators, six of eight people killed were of Asian descent and despite the fact that the lead suspect in the case denied a racial motive in the killing, blaming instead it on his “sexual addiction,” celebs like Reiner are doing what they do best and blaming the killings on the rhetoric of our former “Racist-in chief.”


And, again, the alleged Atlanta spa shooter “gave no indicators that this was racially motivated,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds. The clearly deranged murder suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron, claimed his intention was to eliminate his sexual temptation. Apparently, massage parlors were an occasion of sin for the young man. 

But, no matter. If all the crimes of the world are branded onto Trump and then he’s forced to walk the plank or jettisoned out of the airlock, then there should be peace on earth. Isn’t it so nice that in order to achieve that result, Reiner’s confusing the story on a very serious and deadly criminal case? What a guy!

Christy returned to play wahtaboutism on March 19:

Despite the fact that Atlanta police have still refused to say race played a factor in Tuesday's mass shooting -- and the FBI is suggesting race was not a factor -- CNN Newsroom still blamed Republicans like former President Trump for the shooting on Thursday and wondered if the country has moved beyond things such as World War II internment camps. And who was president then? They never mentioned liberal hero Franklin Roosevelt did that.

Clay Waters went for a different kind of deflection, complaining that New York Times articles on the shooting "blamed year-old Trump statements accurately pointing out the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, and other fingers pointed at amorphous white racists allegedly targeting Asians -- even as official Justice Department statistics show most “hate crimes” against Asians are committed by minority groups."

By March 20, Brad Wilmouth was huffing that "On Wednesday's Deadline: White House, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace not only blamed President Donald Trump and Republicans for anti-Asian violence over the past year, but she even recklessly claimed that they were deliberately 'attempting' to 'shift blame' for the pandemic onto Asian Americans even though they were actually blaming the authoritarian government of China." He added, "It was also not acknowledged that, last year, President Trump condemned the targeting of Asian Americans." Wilmouth didn't mention that this defense of Asian Americans came only after criticism of his obsession with the "China virus" label.

Hand in hand with this is denial that Asians are being increasingly targeted for violence. Duncan Schroeder huffed on March 14:

On Friday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Anthony Mason brought on chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett to swoon over Joe Biden's COVID speech. Mason highlighted that Biden introduced the topic of violence against Asian Americans and Garrett honored Biden for inserting that topic himself, wildly asserting that there is an “epidemic."

The media constructed this narrative due to their loathing of Trump’s use of the term “China virus” so they could claim that he is racist and blame him for attacks on Asian Americans. Beware any time a reporter calls anything an "epidemic" that isn't an outbreak of disease. Do we really need bad "epidemic" metaphors during a pandemic?

Schroeder then turned to a writer for the right-wing National Review citing a New York Times op-ed claiming that it's difficult to know the extent of anti-Asian hate crimes because of a lack of data. He then went the whataboutism route: "No one should applaud yelling at Asian Americans, like every one of them is responsible for the pandemic. But it’s strange how the hacks in the liberal media love Biden’s first speech on COVID, but attacked Donald Trump’s first address on COVID and labeled it xenophobic. It’s almost like they are extremely biased or something." Schroeder didn't say how many times Trump used "China virus" in that speech.

In an April 2 post, Dawn Slusher complained about a TV show referencing anti-Asian hate crime:

Thursday’s episode of A Million Little Things was so heavy-handed in pushing the latest cause-du-jour (“Stop AAPI Hate”) that the entire episode played out more like one giant PSA on a supposed “epidemic” of hate and violence towards Asian Americans, with whites and Trump to blame, of course, despite strong evidence to the contrary.

For her "strong evidence," Slusher cited two right-wing outlets, Commetary magazine and Quillette, who like the MRC are ideologically invested  ijn pretending there's no such thing as hate crimes targeted toward Asians.

After noting that a character on the show referenced "China virus," Slusher came to Trump's defense even though he's no longer president: "This was an obvious jab at Trump for initially referring to COVID-19 as the 'China virus,' which the left believes is the cause for the supposed uptick in violence towards Asians, despite the media also repeatedly calling it the 'Wuhan' or 'Chinese Coronavirus.' Yet, Trump simply called it the “China virus” because that’s where it originated, just like West Nile virus, Spanish Flu, Ebola, Zika, Lyme and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) were all named for their place of origin."

Remember, at the MRC the narrative is more important than the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 10:04 PM EDT
CNS Commentary Editor Mad That Jan. 6 Insurrectionists' Funding Is Exposed
Topic: commentary editor Rob Shimshock had a little meltdown in a March 29 column:

USA Today has appointed itself arbiter of who does and does not deserve to hire legal representation. And if you disagree, you will be labeled a harasser.

This is the takeaway from a Sunday piece entitled "Insurrection fundraiser: Capitol Riot Extremists, Trump Supporters Raise Money for Lawyer Bills Online" -- an archived link of which can be found here if you, too, would like to avoid funding left-wing activism disguised as "investigative journalism" -- as well as the subsequent Twitter firestorm.

"The Capitol riot extremists and others are engaging [payment processors] in a game of cat-and-mouse as they spring from one fundraising tool to another, utilizing new sites, usernames and accounts," state USA Today authors Brenna Smith, Jessica Guynn, and Will Carless.

Note the use of the term "cat-and-mouse" here. Smith, Guynn, and Carless want you to know that if you use technology to pursue your constitutional right to legal defense, you are the aggressor. Meanwhile, they themselves are objective journalists, despite their repeated hounding of payment processors who dare to host fundraising campaigns linked to their political adversaries.

USA Today contacted Stripe, Our Freedom Funding, GoGetFunding, Venmo (owned by PayPal), and Cash App regarding pages devoted to legal fundraising for Capitol defendants, as well as a far-right streamer. The latter two platforms deleted accounts associated with these figures after being approached by the publication.

Make no mistake: "please comment" is journo-mafia-speak for "silence this person we dislike and remove his ability to fundraise in the new public square, or we'll make an example out of you."

In fact, nobody's constitutional rights are being violated. The defendants are free to hire any lawyer they can afford, and if they can't, their right to a state-appointed and state-funded defense attorney -- just like every other criminal defendant in the country -- has not been abridged. Shimsock is quite deliberately obscuring the fact that people are rightly upset by crowdfunding platforms being used to raise money for people who tried to overthrow the U.S. government and who vandalized the U.S. Capitol. USA Today simply pointed out that was happening, and that's what Shimshock is mad about -- and he doesn't offer a counterargument to that or even understand why anyone might have been offended by the Trump-instigated insurrection.

Still, Shimshock went on to rant:

While a basic understanding of American freedoms and a resistance to mob impulse may be enough to elude the media lynch mob, when it comes to payment processors, the way forward is less clear. 

Conservatives can advocate for reform to the Communications Decency Act's Section 230 that will expose platforms that act in an arbitrary and partisan manner to litigation. In the meantime, they can patronize payment processors like Our Freedom Funding that do not cave to media agitators and sue those that violate their terms of service in giving users the boot. Of course, when the companies they wish to prosecute are the very ones that control the digital wallet they'd use to do so, conservatives -- and anyone who opposes the totalitarian academia-media-Big Tech hydra -- face a bit of a quandary.

Actually, Shimshock is the one who's engaging the "mob impulse" against the media, ludicrously attacking the story as "left-wing activism" and the work of a "journo-mafia." It's not "left-wing activism" to document how insurrectionlists are trying to fund their legal defense.

We don't recall Shimshock complaining about his fellow Media Research Center co-workers grinding out post after post attacking George Soros for funding various and sundry non-conservative causes, so he's being more than a little hypocritical here.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:13 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 6:16 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Falsely Blames Harris for COVID Vaccine Hesitancy
Topic: Newsmax

Tom Borelli vcomplained in an April 6 Newsmax column:

The behavior of then-candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris regarding the COVID-19 vaccine 2020 development timeline shows that Democrats, aided by the media, are more than willing to exploit disease and illness for partisan purposes, even if it continues to put Americans’ health at risk.

Throughout 2020, Biden and Harris questioned the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. The anti-Trump media in turn criticized President Trump’s ambitious timeline for the vaccine, letting many Americans believe that the vaccine would neither be safe nor available any time soon.

This political strategy rested on the effort to undermine the safety of the potential COVID-19 vaccine. This was done to cover up the fact that President Trump had provided the American people with a solution to ending the pandemic.

Now in power, President Biden and Vice President Harris are trying to undo the damage to public perception that they foisted upon the American people.

But most of the comments Borelli quotes from Biden and Harris should beviewed in the context of overall trust of Trump, especially given how he had been teasing a vaccine around election time as a ploy to get votes. He went on to write:

In early September 2020, when asked if she would be willing to get vaccinated prior to election day, Harris said, "I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us," and added she didn’t "trust Donald Trump."

During the vice presidential debate, Harris politicized the vaccines again, saying that she would refuse to take the vaccine if President Trump told Americans to get it.

Their allies in the media understood the leftist talking points, and did their part to increase doubts about the vaccine.

Borelli omitted the full context of what Harris said from the first statement, which is that she believed health officials "be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days, and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he’s been a leader on this issue when he’s not,” adding that "“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about."And here's the full context of Harris' statement at the debate: "If Dr. Fauci, the doctors, tell us that we should take it, I'll be the first in line to take it," Harris said. "But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I'm not going to take it."

Borelli also doesn't mention that one of the groups with the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy are white Republicans -- you know, people who are unlikely to believe anything Biden and Harris have to say and, thus, to have influenced their vaccine hesitancy.

Still, Borelli huffed that "President Biden and Vice President Harris put politics before the truth when they questioned the vaccine during the campaign. In the effort to win at any cost, science and public health were casualties in the Democratic mission to get President Trump out of the White House."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EDT
AAPS-Affiliated WND Columnist Pushes More Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Hirschhorn is affiliated with the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, so he's prone to doing things like promoting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat coronavirus and put Anthony Fauci before an imaginary grand jury. He's still at it.

In his April 6 column, Hirschhorn was still pushing hydroxychloroquine and promoting the latest alleged research of Vladimir Zelenko, a doctor who was one of the early touters of hydroxychloroquine (and, thus, touted by WND), insisting that he used "real world evidence" to achieve his dubious findings. He went on to insist that "In my recent book, 'Pandemic Blunder,' I used RWE to conclude that 70 to 80% of COVID deaths could have – and still can be – prevented by using the cheap and effective protocols."

Hirschhorn whined further on this subject in his April 16 column:

In our pandemic world, the battle between good and evil boils down to this: advocates for wide use of cheap and effective early home COVID treatment vs. stronger forces pushing contagion controls and vaccines. Herein I will explain why the home-treatment movement has had little impact in that battle.

It is sinful that people infected by COVID are still requiring hospitalization and some dying. Early home treatment has been used by relatively few doctors, explaining why 70 to 80% of COVID deaths, over 300,000 Americans, have not been prevented. As I detail in Pandemic Blunder," a massive amount of Real World Evidence, sanctioned by the 2016 federal Cures Act, supports this life-saving pandemic solution. It should have been a major national positive news meme. A pandemic solution, however, was not what powerful forces wanted to tell the public.

Unforunately, entities supporting the early home treatment solution to COVID have not cooperated and united to have the strength necessary to combat unified, collusive mainstream media, political and medical establishment powers.

The latter have prevailed in propagating propaganda, endlessly giving the public negative information, promoting fear. The public is showered with negative data on numbers of cases, hospitalizations, deaths and inadequate vaccine doses.

The negative paradigm has intentionally killed medical freedom to act quickly to help infected patients. Instead, powerful forces have favored freedom-killing contagion controls like lockdowns, school closings and mask mandating as well as expensive medicines for hospitalized victims and experimental vaccines (still lacking FDA approval) that the vast majority of people do not need.

And it wouldn't be Hirschhorn rant if he wasn't bashing Fauci:

In the final analysis, one person deserves the most credit for the limited success of the early home COVID treatment movement: Fauci. He skipped right over early medical actions to keep pushing contagion controls, expensive drugs for hospitalized patients and now vaccines.

Just days ago, Fauci said he would have been horrified if he knew a year ago that 500,000 Americans would eventually lose their lives to COVID-19. (Interestingly, the real number is over 560,000 deaths.) He has never taken responsibility for blocking early home treatments that could have saved most of those lives. It seems that doing so does not weigh on his conscience. The leftist media will continue to make him a pandemic hero. What a lie that is.

It's clear that wide use of the cure protocols requires unity and cooperation to stand any chance of success against Fauci and his allies.

How can WND be considered a trustworthy source of information when it publishes  inaccurate, conspiratorially minded columnists like Hirschhorn?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
MRC Plays Whataboutism on Scandal-Ridden Matt Gaetz
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center blogger Mark Finkelstein started an April 2 post by writing:

For the liberal media, when it comes to Republicans, it's often a case of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't.

Take the case of Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who is facing accusations regarding his personal behavior ranging from the tawdry to the criminal. To date, no charges have been filed against Gaetz, and he has asserted that he has been the victim of an extortion plot. 

If Gaetz's fellow Republicans refuse to distance themselves from him, the liberal media would surely accuse them of covering for a miscreant. But what if Republicans do denounce Gaetz? Well, that doesn't win them any brownie points either in the eyes of the "facts first" media.

Take MSNBC analyst John Heilemann on today's Morning Joe. He launched a pre-emptive strike against Republicans, with the goal of ensuring they'd receive no real moral credit should they denounce Gaetz.

Then it was time to bring in the whataboutism:

On that matter, Heilemann has some first-hand experience in dealing with a colleague enmeshed in a sex scandal. For years, Heilemann worked closely with Mark Halperin. The pair co-wrote two books about presidential campaigns. For three years, Heilemann and Halperin co-hosted a political analysis show on Bloomberg TV and MSNBC. Heilemann also co-starred with Halperin in Showtime's documentary series The Circus, a behind-the-scenes look going out on the road for the 2016 presidential election.

In 2017, Halperin was the subject of a major sex scandal. A dozen women came forward, accusing Halperin of sexual abuse. He was ultimately fired by NBC, MSNBC, and Showtime.

So how did Heilemann handle the scandal? Did he throw his long-time partner under the bus? Defend him? Nope: Heilemann went for the credulity-stretching claim that he was totally, completely, unaware that Halperin had ever been involved in anything sketchy. Talk about a "cynical public-relations-driven approach"!


If Heilemann was telling the truth, and had no "inkling" of Halperin's misbehavior despite years of working so closely with him, Heilemann must be incredibly obtuse—hardly a desirable quality in a TV "analyst."

Needless to say, Finkelstein offers no proof that Heilemann is lying when he claimed he knew nothing of Halperin's behavior toward women. Also needless to say, Finkelstein didn't mention what Halperin's current image -rehab gig is: working for fellow right-wing outlet Newsmax.

Finkelstein wasn't the only MRCer to go the whataboutism route on Gaetz. The same day, Duncan Schroeder grumbled that MSNBC's Joy Reid "asserting that, because Trump and now Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) have both had sexual assault allegations leveled against, Republicans must support sexual assault. No word on whether she thought Democrats like herself support sexual assault and sexual miscreants because of the party being the home of Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and lesser known figures like former Senators Brock Adams (WA), Charles Robb (VA), and former Congressmen Tim Mahoney (FL), Mel Reynolds (IL) and David Wu (OR)." He further declared that "sex scandals have unfortunately plagued both parties."

Meranwhile, an April 5 post by Veronica Hays complained that "Saturday Night Live" lampooned Gaetz, "touch[ing] on all the scandalous accusations brought against him this past week, such as sex trafficking and an indecent relationship with a minor." On April 15, Curtis Houck huffed that Gaetz was criticized on MSNBC again "despite the fact that Gaetz has denied any and all wrongdoing and called the leaked news stories 'smears' that 'range from distortions of my personal life, to wild — and I mean, wild — conspiracy theories.'"

None of those items, it's worth noting, explicitly condemn Gaetz's alleged behavior. We've already noted that the MRC's "news" division,, has gone completely silent on the Gaetz story despite devoting numerous articles to his highly clickworthy (to right-wingers, that is) liberal-bashing.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Rewrite History of Capitol Riot
Topic: Newsmax
Incoming U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stumbled and hesitated but eventually stated that the most complicated investigation facing his department was the events of January 6.

This cannot possibly be true, because even the implausible surviving head of the thoroughly discredited FBI, Christopher Wray, acknowledged in congressional testimony there was no evidence whatever that those events were coordinated or organized by elements connected to the former president.

Every informed person in the world knows that the events of January 6 were the result of a loose sequence of facts that were only allowed to aggregate into the assault on the Capitol because of the malice or incompetence of Trump’s enemies.

The U.S. political system tolerated a great many interventions in the techniques for voting and counting votes in the presidential election, especially in six states that were known to be closely contested: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Many of these changes were not adopted by the state legislatures as the Constitution requires, but by executive or judicial action within the states.

There were, counting the action of the attorney general of Texas supported by 18 other states, 28 lawsuits by the Republicans concerning the election.

The courts refused to adjudicate any of them.

Excuses and technicalities were found to avoid judging the claims.

The immense and justified outrage of President Trump and his 75 million followers never led to violence or illegality and the gathering in Washington on Jan. 6 demonstrated solidarity with the outgoing president.

He urged "peaceful and patriotic" action and avoided any incitement to improprieties.

A few thousand of the large number of professional hooligans in the country saw an opportunity and were present.

Because the mayor of Washington, D.C. and the speaker of the House had ignored the requests of the head of the Capitol police for reinforcements, the thugs forced entry into the Capitol.

National legislatures are frequently attacked by crowds, but normally the officials responsible have the intelligence to ensure an adequate level of security.

The damage was not particularly serious and the only fatalities were Trump supporters and one Capitol policeman whose fate was grossly misrepresented by the anti-Trump media.

The most accurate reflection of the spirit of the occasion was the image of the senators hiding under their desks wearing ludicrous protective headgear: the apotheosis of the "world’s greatest deliberative body."

The most asinine legislative initiative in the modern history of the country ensued: the impeachment of the president for an incitement he did not utter to an insurrection he did not seek — and, indeed, one that did not occur — in order to remove him from an office he no longer held.

-- Conrad Black, March 30 Newsmax column

Black is lying whem he claimed that "the mayor of Washington, D.C. and the speaker of the House had ignored the requests of the head of the Capitol police for reinforcements" the day of the riot. In fact, DC metropolitian police were on the scene, and Capitol Police requested National Guard backup early on, but that had to also be approved by the Defense Department, which didn't do so until much later in the day.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
WND Commentary Editor Weirdly Boasts Of Catching COVID At Church
Topic: WorldNetDaily
I caught COVID at church – praise God!

That's a peculiar headline, I suppose – but one that expresses my gratitude for the opportunity I have had to worship with other Christians, maskless (shhh!), over the last few months, mindful of the risk.

Despite specific and quite arbitrary restrictions the governor of my (unnamed) state has demanded of churches, and the First Amendment implications of those rules, my own (unnamed) church decided to prioritize the Word of God over the word of the State. (By the way, do you remember when we didn't need to hide information when we expressed opinions because our government overlords had far less power to hunt us down and punish us?)

While some churches in town were either shut down for in-person worship or were meeting but with nearly unworkable COVID restrictions, my church took a simple, liberty-based approach to in-person worship: The main room has no social distancing, and face masks are optional; another room, where the service is video-fed, requires masks and social distancing; and online streaming of the service is an option for those who choose to stay at home.

The church leadership, without consulting the latest restrictions from the governor's office, made a decision that gave the people a choice of how to participate – while still having an in-person worship service every Sunday.


I knew the risk of worshiping close to other Christians, but decided to take that risk. I knew the risk of inhaling and exhaling in unison with other Christians as we sang praise to God, but decided to take that risk. I knew the risk of looking a brother in the eye – and, maskless, in the nose and mouth – greeting him and offering a firm handshake and smile, but decided to take that risk.

Despite the risk and despite my having endured COVID-19 after taking that risk, I would do it all over again. For me the gathering of God's people in weekly worship and fellowship is too valuable an activity to put on the shelf for months on end. And the beauty of liberty is that other people can choose to do otherwise. Others can take different risks to participate in other activities, church-based or not. It's called living life.


So, why do I praise God that I caught the virus at church? Because, unlike so many, I had the opportunity to take the risk to worship corporately with the Body of Christ, and in that activity God has blessed me immeasurably. Unlike the leaders of the church in Dallas, those leading my church decided to gather in a way that respects their people, their responsibilities and, most importantly, their God. And for that I am most grateful.

-- Ron Strom, WorldNetDaily commentary editor, April 1 column

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
CNS Appears To Take Putin's Side Against Biden

It's disturbing when a "news" operation appears to be taking the side of a foreign country against the president of the United States, but that's what appears to have done.

In March, President Biden referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer" in reference to a poisoning attempt on Putin critic Alexei Navalny. CNS didn't do a story on that, but a March 18 article by Dimitri Simes hyped Putin's response that "it takes one to know one," going on to call the exchange "a serious diplomatic row" that Biden created.

The next day, CNS reporter Patrick Goodenough sounded like he was writing for Russian state media than a U.S. "news" outlet:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged President Biden to take part in an urgent livestreamed dialogue amid a diplomatic chill following Biden’s portrayal of the Russian president as a “killer.”

Putin says he’s available on Friday or Monday, although the White House gave no indication it was interested in taking up the invitation.

Meanwhile Dmitry Medvedev, who as Russian president had dealings with then-Vice President Biden during the Obama administration, suggested that the remark which sparked the spat could be attributed to Biden’s age and state of health.

Asked during an ABC News interview aired on Wednesday if he thought Putin was a killer, Biden replied, “I do.”

Fallout over the comment, accompanied by a declassified U.S. intelligence assessment that Putin had authorized “influence operations” to undermine Biden’s presidential campaign, has already seen Moscow recall its ambassador for consultations.


Meanwhile, Russian media quoted Medvedev, who served as president from 2008-2012, as telling reporters, “I met with incumbent U.S. President Joe Biden at various international events. He gave the impression of a reasonable person then.”

“However, it seems that time hasn’t been kind to him,” he said.

Medvedev, who now chairs the Russian Security Council, added, “I can only quote Freud: ‘Nothing in life is more expensive than illness and stupidity.’”

Goodenough omitted mention of Navalny, thus taking Biden's "killer" comment out of context -- an assessment even the conservative Heritiage Foundation agrees with.

The same day, CNS pubiished a column by Pat Buchanan -- whose 1996 presidential campaign CNS editor Terry Jeffrey managed --  complaining about the comparison: "What is Biden doing? Do we not have enough enemies? Does he not have enough problems on his plate?"

Also on March 19, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman  touted his favorite evangelical, Franklin Graham, bizarrely playing whataboutism over the exchange by invoking the abortion card:

After President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "killer," Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the late Pastor Billy Graham, noted that President Biden and his administration support abortion, the "killing of the innocent," and that since Jan. 1 "more than 185,000 babies have been murdered through abortion in this country."

"We will be held accountable by God," said Rev. Graham.

CNS published another column by Buchanan on March 23 in which he complained that "Biden is himself responsible for the poisoned relations with Russia, after telling ABC that, yes, Vladimir Putin is "a killer" whom he once told to his face that he had no 'soul.'"

That same day, Goodenough wrote an article suggesting the Biden remark was pushing Russia toward Chinabecause it caused an "an uptick in U.S.-Russia tensions," and he uncritically quoted Russian officials accusing the U.S. of standing in the way of the “rise of a truly multipolar democratic world.” Goodenough didn't mention that Russia is not a democracy.

It's just not a good look for CNS to take Russia's side against Biden.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Monday, May 3, 2021
MRC Is Angry Superhero Show Talked About Race
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to rant about its supposedly favorite superheroes failing to conform to its favorite right-wing heteronormative stereotypes. That failure continues to be a steady source of content for the MRC. Veronica Hays whined on March 17 that a "transsexual woman" artist helped make Captain America non-heteronormative:

Someone switched out the super soldier serum. Captain America is now gay. Our beloved champion is now a social justice warrior, taking on the form of a gay teen with tattoos, multiple piercings, and an edgy, shaved haircut. Make sure you refer to him with the correct pronouns, or else..


Naturally, the press and creators must make a big fuss over this new gay character. “Marvel Comics is proud to honor Pride Month with the rise of this new  LGBTQ+ hero." It is clear that the heads at Marvel entertain politically correct motives as we’ve seen before, and oftentimes at the cost of quality storytelling. This stunning and brave addition to Marvel’s universe will most likely appeal to a very limited target audience, but when sales reflect that, Marvel will be able to blame U.S. homophobia. Will they face the reprisal of the “go woke, go broke” phenomenon? Time will tell. 

The MRC then shifted its focus to being angry about superheroes talking race on a related show. On March 29, Lindsay Kornick ranted about "the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) decline into wokeness" because the Disney+ show "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" included racial themes as a central storyline, huffing, "Disney+ and Marvel might have to focus on actual heroics if they want their superhero shows to succeed." Kornick returned on April 8 to promote an anonymous YouTube video citing unverified streaming data to claim that "massive number[s]" of people stopped watching the aforementioned episode when that storyline became prominent. (We thought the MRC hated anonymous sources.) Kornic then put her own spin on this: "Of course, Overlord DVD’s personal take on the matter is subjective, though, if this discovery is in fact true, it is a moment of revelation for The House of Mouse. Americans are tired of the “wokeism” of mainstream media and the entertainment establishment."

Kornick was back on April 18 to attack yet another episode of the show:

Marvel’s latest series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has proved to be the polarizing propaganda the media hoped it would be. Now on its penultimate episode, the Disney+ series is stepping things up by asserting that nothing's changed in 500 years and no black man should want to be Captain America.


The show once again seems determined to act like America was, is, and always will be racist in some way, even if we’re nowhere near as discriminatory as we were in the 1940s and '50s.

In fact, Isaiah, a black man, is the only person who declares that a black man won’t and shouldn’t be Captain America. No one in conservative media is claiming Sam can’t be the next Captain America. No one else in the series says Sam can’t be the next Captain America. All that’s there is the assumption that racist America wouldn’t want a black superhero, despite Black Panther being a huge success. This series itself is far more racist than anything it purports America to be.

This whole point becomes moot since Sam indeed chooses to take up the shield and presumably will become the next Captain America. All that means is that this scene was just lip service to a bunch of social justice warriors who likely never cared about Captain America in the first place. Let’s hope the finale isn't worse than this.

We would remind Kornick that her employer has dismissed "Black Panther" as a a film promoted by "Hollywood's PC police for an apparent mystical celebration of African American culture," complained that it had too much violence, and attacked its lead actor (whose name it got wrong) for committing the offense of criticizing Donald Trump.

On April 23, Kornick predictably complained about the show's finale:

Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been a mixed bag of action sequences and blatant political messages. The Disney+ series ended things with a bang by making one last racial jab at audiences and Captain America fans.


Sam: I’m a Black man carrying the stars and stripes — what don’t I understand? Every time I pick this thing up, I know there are millions of people who are going to hate me for it. Even now, here, I feel it. The stares, the judgment, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Yet I’m still here. No super serum. No blonde hair or blue eyes. The only power I have is that I believe we can do better.

Again, I’m going to need actual sources of these millions of people who supposedly hate the idea of a black Captain America. The Americans in this show don’t hate him since dozens cheer as Sam rescues a van full of hostages and proudly call him Captain America. Real-life Americans clearly don’t hate him if Disney and Marvel were willing to spend millions to give him his own show about becoming Captain America. In fact, millions of people seemed excited at the idea since it was first introduced at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Instead, those fans and several others are thrown under the bus for social justice posturing. Even worse, they’re thrown under the bus for posturing and terrorist sympathy. America is definitely ready for a black Captain America, but millions of Americans will definitely not tolerate being lectured by these twisted priorities. The future of Marvel is looking pretty bleak.

If Kornick and the MRC really have no problem with a black superhero, why have they spent so much time and speace complaining that it's being talked about?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 3, 2021 9:38 PM EDT
CNS Presents Reporter's Anti-Trans Rant As 'News'
Topic: hates transgender people so much that it doesn't even bother to keep up the pretense of being an objective "news" organization to push that hate. That was demonstrated in a March 31 "news" article by reporter Susan Jones:

Happy "Transgender Day of Visibility."

That is today's message from your government -- the Biden State Department, to be precise:

“On the occasion of Transgender Day of Visibility, the United States proudly recognizes transgender and gender non-conforming persons and their continued struggle for a life of equality, security, and dignity.”

So begins the declaration attributed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


The problem many Americans have with visibility -- is visibility; namely, the idea of opening female bathrooms and locker rooms to people born male who say they identify as female.

A related concern involves transgender females playing on girls' athletic teams, where the immutable physiology of males may give them a competitive advantage, including for athletic scholarships.

Jones offered no proof she speaks for "many Americans" in her hatred of transgender people. And people who "say they identify" as the opposite sex is not the defintion of a transgender person. And, again, this rant was presented as "news," not commentary.

This is not Jones' first anti-trans editorializing. In February, she was mad that Republican Sen. Rand Paul's hostile questioning of transgender Biden admin istration nominee Rachel Levine was called out, huffing that "It is now offensive and inappropriate in the U.S. Congress for a lawmaker to question a transgender physician about her views on minor children making the decision to change their sex through hormone use and surgery."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Feels The Pressure
Topic: Newsmax
Facing lawsuit threats from voting-tech companies, Newsmax has had to walk back the pro-Trump conspiracy-mongering it had done since the election pushing bogus claims of election fraud. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EDT
WND Fearmongers, Spreads Misinformation About COVID Vaccine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been fearmongering about a coronavirus vaccine even before one became available, and it has spread false rumors about boxer Marvin Hagler's death being linked to getting a vaccine. So it's not a surprise that vaccine fearmongering has been a key part of WND's coronavirus coverage in recent months as vaccines have been released. Let's look at how it has done so, largly by amplifying rare and alleged side effects:

That last article came from the far-right Liberty Sentinel and uncritically repeated claims from Peter McCullough, promoted in the article as "the doctor with the most citations in the National Library of Medicine on these topics." McCullough has previously been busted for spreading misinformation about the vaccine, falsely claiming that there's no reason for anyone under age 50 to get it and that there's no such thing as asymptomatic spread of the virus.

The story from March on the "healthy" mom dying after getting the vaccine, taken from a Utah TV station, is nothing but fearmongering. The Utah state medical examiner has since said that nobody in the state has died from the vaccine, including that woman.

This sort of irresponsible, fearmongering coverage doesn't exactly build trust in WND's news coverage.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 3, 2021 5:36 PM EDT
Sunday, May 2, 2021
Insecure? MRC Freaks Out Over Report That Pollution May Be Shrinking Men's Private Parts
Topic: Media Research Center

A recent study revealed that evangelical Christianity's emphasis on a certain definition of masculinity makes evangelical Christian males insecure about the size of their private parts. One has to wonder if that ind of insecurity is behind a March 30 Media Research Center post lranting about a theory that environmental pollution is causing said private parts to be smaller, because Joseph Vazquez is sure irate about it:

We’ve reached a point of media insanity where liberal outlets are trying to convince people that pollution causes their private parts to shrink.

Sky News, PinkNews, VICE, Business Insider and TMZ all pushed stories propagandizing a bonkers theory from a new book by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Professor of Environmental Medicine & Public Health Shanna Swan. Swan’s theory alleged that “Penises are shrinking and genitals becoming malformed because of pollution,” according to the Sky News characterization. None of the outlets mentioned that Swan was a donor to President Joe Biden, according to Federal Election Commission records. Biden is planning to spend between $3 trillion and $4 trillion to juice the economy again, but “[t]ackling climate change and shifting to clean energy will underpin virtually every part of the package,” The New York Times reported.

Sky News, PinkNews and VICE parroted Swan’s fear-mongering that pollution-induced shrinking “penises” was an “‘existential crisis,’” reflected in decreasing fertility rates. PinkNews panicked that “global warming is coming for your penis.” It continued: “If that’s not a wake up call, we don’t know what is.”TMZ sounded the eco-extremist alarm too: “And you thought a cold pool was bad ... sound the alarm!!!” Business Insider’sstory on the matter was headlined, “Boys are being born with testicles in the wrong place, and pollution could be to blame.”

VICE’s report was arguably the most cringeworthy. Its entire story on “Shrinking Human Penises” was headed up by an image of phallic-shaped fruit and vegetables.

Not that rather to disprove anything Swan wrote, Vazquez instead twists it into a political attack by citing a single $100 donation to Biden's campaign Swan once made -- as if that has any relevance whatsoever to the kind of research she's doing. Vaquez did, however, claim that "JunkScience founder Steve Milloy has been critical of Swan’s work on the matter as recently as 2019. Not only is that also irrelevant to the matter at hand -- no evidence is cited of Milloy doing anythinbg other than whining about Swan's work -- Vazquez failed to mention that Milloy is a right-wing activist and climate denier who has received funding from polluters such as tobacco and pesticide makers.

That large-scale activism seems a lot more relevant to mention than a single $100 political donation, but Vazquez apparently doesn't think so.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT

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