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Saturday, May 8, 2021
Media Matters Lives Rent-Free Inside Tim Graham's Head
Topic: Media Research Center

It appears that Media Matters (disclosure: our former employer) is living rent-free inside the head of Media Research Center executive Tim Graham.

Back in February, Graham called Media Matters a "creepy censorship group" because it has pointed out the far-right extremity of Fox News' content to advertisers, which tends to make companies not want to advertise there. Never mind, of course, that Graham's MRC has its own (less effective) clone of that operation and tags every post with the advertisers of the segment they're attacking with links for readers to contact them and, well, do what Media Matters does.

Graham devoted an entire March 30 column to complaining that the New York Times used Media Matters research on a story about anti-transgender content in right-wing media: "Suddenly, the Times is outsourcing its research on conservatives to a hard-left organization – one of the most toxic character assassins of the cancel culture -- and boasting about it. The Times is swimming in revenue, but somehow it needs help discovering that 'targeting transgendered people' is a hot conservative topic." Graham didn't explain what, exactly, Media Matters did to be smeared as a "character assassin" -- never mind, of course, that the MRC engages in character assassination pretty much all the time; indeed, it pays Gabriel Hays specifically to assassinate the character of people he doesn't like.

There's also the unspoken impliction that Media Matters' research is such good quality that outside organizations consider it reliable -- not something that can be said for the "research" of the MRC, which is so biased and opaque as to be nearly worthless outside of its use as a partisan weapon, and certainly no sentient person treats as an objective measure of anything.

And in an April 12 podcast devoted to bashing an episode of CNN's "Reliable Sources" for talking about Fox News, Graham groused that host Brian Stelter "turned to Matt Gertz from Media Matters because we had to conclude the whole half-hour ripping into Fox." Perhaps that's because, again, Media Matters does its Fox-monitoring job better than the MRC does in going after the so-called "liberal media."

Yep, rent-free.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 AM EDT
WND's Farah Still Trying To Spin Capitol Riot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is still trying to spin the Capitol riot into something benign and its perpetrators as victims. In his April 19 column, he complained that the officer who shot and killed protester Ashli Babbitt not only wouldn't be charged, his name wouldn't be make public:

Even more oddly, we may never know who fired the one and only shot during the so-called "Insurrection." The only thing we know is she was shot in the chest by an unnamed federal officer.

Once again, it's proof that there are two standards of justice in America. One is the kind of justice that's for Ashli Babbitt – someone who was unarmed, not posing a danger to anyone, an Air Force veteran, who was killed in cold blood without a warning shot, without warning words expressed by the federal officer, surrounded by other heavily armed cops without apparently a concern about Babbitt.

That she was summarily shot and killed in the U.S. Capitol defied explanation.

Does it, Joe? She had broken into the U.S. Capitol with hundreds of other insurrectionists who were vandalizing the building, and Babbitt was trying to crawl through a broken window on the door of the Speaker's Lobby outside the House chamber -- a place she had no business being -- when she was shot.

Farah then lamented: "I remember another unexplained death by the hands of Capitol Police and Secret Service – a young black woman by the name of Miriam Carey who made a wrong turn near the White House. How many shots were fired is still a mystery. How her child in the back seat survived is a miracle." As we noted at the time, Farah cared nothing about Carey beyond the fact that her death occurred when a Democrat, Barack Obama, was president, so he could concern-troll her death as a cudgel against him.

Farah went on to hint that he concern-troll the Capitol riot and Babbitt's death as a cudgel for Biden-bashing: 'There are still people who remain in jail for this so-called "Insurrection." They were arrested weeks ago, months ago. They are in solitary confinement. Nobody talks about this in Joe Biden's America. And nobody talks about Ashli Babbitt's killer."

The next day, Farah worked up outrage over another storyline from the riot:

Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes, the medical examiner says.

Period. End of story.

The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says another desperate theory to blame Donald J. Trump and his "insurrection" at the Capitol Jan. 6 did not play any role in this death. First it was alleged that Sicknick was killed by being bashed in the head with a fire extinguisher. When that was proved to be false, fake and phony, a second cause of death was a "chemical irritant." That, too, was eventually ruled out.

Officer Brian Sicknick died after suffering from two strokes, said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Francisco J. Diaz. In other words, he said, "acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis" – strokes caused by blockages in the arteries in his brain and brainstem.

Except it's not "end of story" -- Farah omitted the fact that the medical examiner also said that "all that transpired" at the Capitol riot "played a role in his condition." That can be interpreted as meaning that while no single incident from the riot directly caused Sicknick's death, the riot did contribute.

Farah then complained that two people who have been charged with spraying bear spray at Sicknick, Julian Kater and George Tanios, are in jail becaus of it:

Khater and Tanios were the two guys originally fingered in the "bear spray" story. They are lifelong friends who have been in jail since January charged with the above offenses.

Even though the bear spray played no discernable role in Sicknick's death, and even though exposure to it has not been known for causing any human deaths, it may be the only "weapon" the speaker has.

Note that Khater and Tanios are not charged with Sicknick's death. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Most defendants initially plead not guilty, and onetime newspaper guy Farah very well knows that, so that's irrelevant at this point. Farah closed out with some whining:

The Justice Department has charged more than 100 defendants for assaulting officers during the protests – not "insurrection." It is unknown how many remain under arrest. By February, the investigation had stalled because of lack of evidence of any fatal injury, any firearms or any explosive devices connected to protestors.

The death of Ashli Babbitt, the only real victim among the inflated death toll of the protest, was attributed to a shooting by an unnamed federal officer. She was unarmed and received no warnings.

Some "insurrection," huh?

If that mob of insurrectionsts had been targeting Trump instead of working on his behalf, Farah would almost certainly have a different take.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Friday, May 7, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Professional Jen Psaki-hater Curtis Houck knows what his job is, and so raged in an April 1 post:

For White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, it must be quite a life knowing you’re never going to be sternly fact-checked (or fact-checked at all) by the liberal media. Thursday’s briefing displayed her refusal to live in world of facts and straightforward answers as she deflected questions from Fox News’s Peter Doocy about the Biden team’s infrastructure plan and border policies and repeatedly lied to Fox Business’s Edward Lawrence about Georgia’s voter law.

By contrast, Kayleigh McEnany had quite a life knowing that right-wing sycophants like Houck would give her only the highest praise and never have to worry about being fact-checked, even though she aggressively refused to live in world of facts and straightforward answers. The rest of Houck's post once again displayed his man-crush on Fox News' Peter Doocy and other right-wing reporters lobbing hostile questions at Psaki.

The next day, Houck found a different right-wing reporter to crush on for hostile querstioning and using to White House briefing room to push conservative talking points:

Capping off another week of repeated non-answers and outright lies, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was caught in another liberal double standard. Thanks to Real Clear Politics's Philip Wegmann, Psaki made clear the administration was opposed to the MLB All Star Game being in Atlanta, Georgia due to the state's voting law (which the MLB has since said it will comply) but will refuse to offer support for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China due to the country's putrid human rights record.

Weird, we don't recall Houck ever getting mad at McEnany for spouting "repeated non-answers and outright lies."

Houck was in full Doocy man-crush mode on April 5:

Monday’s White House press briefing picked up on many of Friday’s themes, including the Biden administration’s lies about Georgia’s voter law and their pressuring of MLB to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Fox News’s Peter Doocy repeatedly hammered Press Secretary Jen Psaki with questions about Georgia, Biden’s falsehoods, and The Masters plus the separate issue of illegal immigration.


In round two, Doocy led off with the latest moving of the goal posts by teachers unions, citing demands in Los Angeles for free childcare for teachers. Of course, Psaki said it’s a state matter and didn’t comment.

The Washington Post fact-check of Biden’s lies about voting hours in the Peach State to ask whether Biden will “change the way that he talks about” it.

Houck concluded by huffing that "Psaki cowardly ended the briefing so she could bring in the White House Easter bunny and say that reporters should be receiving a commemorative Easter egg to share with their families." Yes, Houck is mad that the White House secretary celebrated Easter. He would be cheering if his beloved McEnany had done it.

Houck was still man-crushing the next day:

Marking another day in the White House Briefing Room rotation, Fox News’s Peter Doocy had quite a Tuesday as he was able to both question Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the federal government’s border crisis and their voting disinformation campaign and President Joe Biden on China’s culpability in the coronavirus pandemic and Georgia’s voting law.

Doocy experienced a once-in-a-blue-moon moment when Biden acknowledged him after a speech about the coronavirus, so Doocy asked him about this week’s golf major in August, Georgia: “Mr. President, do you think The Master's golf tournament should be moved out of Georgia?”


A few hours earlier, Doocy was the second reporter called on during the briefing and began with immigration. He used his first two questions to press Psaki on the dangerous reality that terrorists could take advantage of our porous southern border and the other on the administration resuming construction of former President Trump’s border wall.

Proving that he's all about attacking Psaki at every opprtunity, Houck cheered another right-wing reporter who pushed those hostile questions he so loves on April 7:

Without Peter Doocy and Kristin Fisher in the White House Briefing Room rotation, it fell to other reporters to offer tough questions to Press Secretary Jen Psaki and the New York Post’s Steven Nelson delivered by getting under Psaki’s skin over Vice President Harris’s travel schedule in light of her supposed role in helping to tame the border crisis.

Nelson noted that she’s “been put in charge of addressing the root causes of the border crisis” and spoke last week with the Guatemalan president, “but she hasn’t visited the border or Central America or spoken to the leaders of El Salvador or Honduras.”

Instead, Nelson pointed out that she’s earlier this week, so he wanted to know if she’s “still working on this and can you address the perception that she’s kind of quietly backing off while the Secretary Mayorkas is pursuing some Trump-era policies, such as potentially building new border barriers and potentially prosecuting people who illegally cross multiple times.”

To put a finer point on Harris’s schedule, we would add the fact that she spent last weekend in Brentwood, California which, as Tiana Lowe noted, was a short drive from a convention center where migrant children are being housed.

Of course, Houck is just repeating a right-wing narrative that's nothing but a lame gotcha; if Harris actually went to the border as right-wingers demanded, they would still attack her for merely being a photo-op even though that visual is what they demand of her.Whe Psaki pointed out that Harris can do more than one thing at a time, Houck dismissed as her making a "personal jab." Again, McEnany did a lot of those and Houck never complained once.

Houck went back to gushing over Wegmann for the April 8 briefing:

Moments after President Joe Biden gave a lie-filled speech about gun control, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki held Thursday’s briefing with a room dominated by journalists supportive of the administration’s desire to harm millions of law-abiding gun owners. 

In contrast, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann repeatedly pressed Psaki on one of Biden’s key claims, the reasoning beyond Thursday’s orders, and whether they considered the impact a limit on stabilizing braces would affect those that already own them.

We don't recall Houck ever objecting to the "lie-filled briefings" that Donald Trump issued.

Houck closed out that week with even more man-crushing over Doocy on April 9: "Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy joined the Briefing Room rotation on Friday to cap off another whirlwind week and, as the fourth reporter called on during Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s Q&A, he brought up President Biden’s past opposition to court-packing (as he seems to be moving toward doing just that) and the latest headlines from the Biden border crisis."

So predictable. So ridiculously biased and hateful.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 9:51 PM EDT
CNS Attacks Another GOP Governor For Backing Off Anti-Trans Hate

Kristi Noem wasn't the only Republican governor for hesitating about hating transgender people as much as CNS does.

After an instance in February in which he dared to suggest that Donald Trump shouldn't define the future of the Republican Party, things were going swimmingly for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in pushing the hot-button right-wing agenda: In March, CNS published fawning articles about Hutchinson signing bils that effectively banned all abortion in the state and that "prohibits transgender 'females' (biological males) from joining real girls' sports teams at the high school and collegiate level." But when Hutchinson declined to sign a bill banning transgender treatments in the state because it was a :"vast government overreach," managing editor Michael W. Chapman lashed out in an April 6 article:

Arkansas's Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose election was endorsed by the American Conservative Union and who holds an ACU rating of 84, vetoed legislation overwhelmingly passed by the State Legislature, which would have prohibited the use of transgender medical treatments, including sex-change surgery, on children under the age of 18.

The Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, HB 1570, passed the Arkansas House 70-22 and the Senate 28-7. Hutchinson vetoed the bill on Monday, April 5, much to the disappointment of conservatives.  


The Family Research Council (FRC), which strongly supports the SAFE Act, issued a statement on Monday that said, "Asa Hutchinson appeared to yield to the sirens of the Left."

"The Arkansas legislature has demonstrated leadership and courage in the face of the Left's campaign of deception combined with spineless woke-ism of Corporate America," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "The legislature cannot stop now and deprive Arkansas's children of this much needed protection. Under the leadership of Rep. Robin Lundstrum and Sen. Alan Clark, the Arkansas legislature courageously passed the first-of-its-kind protection for minors from experimental gender transition procedures."

Interestingly, Chapman did not quote any right-wqing activist from the FRC or anywhere responding to Hutchinson's concerns about government overreach. He was, however, happy to add an editor's note to his article the same day noting that "The Arkansas Legislature voted to override Gov. Hutchinson's veto on Apr. 6, turning the SAFE Act into law."

But that wasn't the end of it. Two days later, an article by the mysterious "A. Kim" touted how Fox News' Tucker Carlson harangued Hutchinson, asking "why child chemical castration was a conservative value" and "They're not old enough to have sex, but they're old enough to be chemically castrated? How does that work exactly?"

That same day -- which, again, is two days after Hutchinson's veto was overridden, making it decidedly moot -- editor Terry Jeffrey devoted an article to Hutchinson's argument that the bill was a "vast government overreach." Jeffrey refrained from explicit editorializing, but one doesn't have to be a mind-reader, given CNS' rabidly anti-trans editorial agenda, that he didn't like how "Hutchinson claimed that vetoing this bill that would have prohibited transition procedures for minors was consistent with 'conservative philosophy'" and said that despite all the anti-trans legislation his state generated and he signed, "I want people in Arkansas and across the country to understand that whether they’re transgender or otherwise, that they’re loved, they’re appreciated and they make a part of our state and we want to send a message of tolerance and diversity."

This was followed by an April 9 column in which the FRC's Tony Perkins lashed out at "Gov. Asa Hutchinson's (R-Ark. ) cowardly veto of Arkansas' SAFE Act." Then came an April 14 column by Star Parker complaining that Hutchinson "raised ire from conservatives for vetoing legislation passed by the Arkansas state legislature that would have banned "gender-affirming" medical treatment for transgender minors," and that he "used former President Reagan to justify his thinking"; Parker insisted "It is hard to believe that, as Gov. Hutchinson suggests, Reagan's idea of limited government means standing aside as a tyrannical secularism sweeps through our nation and wipes out any remaining remnant of those traditional biblical truths."

It's clear that even the slightest deviation from the far-right anti-trans agenda will make even loyal Republicans like Hutchinson and Noem the target of hate not unlike they have unleashed at transgender people.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 7, 2021 1:36 AM EDT
Thursday, May 6, 2021
MRC's Graham Melts Down Over 'Context' Again
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham was all about context when it came to fact-checking Donald Trump. But he gets mad when fact-checks of non-conservatives add context. Thus, Graham whined in an April 2 post:

On Thursday, National Review posted a blog by Zachary Evans headlined “NBC’s Lester Holt Urges Journalists to Ditch Objectivity: ‘Fairness Is Overrated.'” This offended the "independent fact-checkers" at, who flagged the headline -- not the article -- as "False." Once again, they're complaining about a lack of context. They're arguing about spin.

As is Graham -- he's mad that Snopes applied context and pointed out that National Review took Holt out of context. He then demanded that Snopes put Holt's speech in MRC-approved context:

"Fact checkers" should read Kyle Drennen's evidence about how Holt has abandoned objectivity on his program before they pronounce he's against "ditching objectivity." He insisted "holding those in power accountable is at the core of our function and responsibility," but didn't live up to that in interviews with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, and even the foreign minister of Iran -- an actual enemy of the people.

Drennen's "evidence," of course, is the usual MRC ranting that journalists not employed by Fox News don't serve up Fox News-style right-wing bias.

Graham concluded by huffing: "Many Americans can't see much of a difference in "lanes" between Holt's show and say, Brian Williams on MSNBC. If NBC had great reverence for the truth, why does Williams still have a show?" Graham will never admit that there's no effective lane difference between Fox News "news" and Fox News opinion.

Graham had another "context" meltdown in an April 12 post:

Just like PolitiFact and other “fact check” outfits, the Reuters Fact Check team tried to take apart conservative arguments against H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act.” A Facebook post by Freedom Works made claims Reuters insisted were “partly false” – by finding liberal professors to quibble the fine points. Facebook posted "Missing Context" over the post. 

Graham presented right-wing activist Hans von Spakovsky as a credible expert on the issue of election fraud, but omitted relevant context that von Spakovsky was busted in a Kansas courtroom for presenting miseading and cherry-picked evidence on the issue that was "largely based on his preconceived beliefs about this issue, which has led to his aggressive public advocacy of stricter proof of citizenship laws."

Nevertheless, Graham whined: "Liberal media outlets quibble with conservative social media posts -- and Big Tech slaps "missing context" or "mostly false" warnings on them. This is how 'fair elections' are going to work." This from the guy who insisted that Trump's description of Meghan Markle as "nasty" omitted alleged contenxt showing he was calling her "nasty" in a good way.

Of course, Graham was totally cool with context when it came to defending his favorite conservatives. In a March 16 post, he was upset with CNN's John Berman calling out Tucker Carlson's fearmongering about coronavirus vaccines: "Unsurprisingly, CNN was taking Carlson dramatically out of context. He was mostly talking about European countries suspending their approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine, not yet approved in the United States. This does sound sympathetic to vaccine skepticism, but it's a larger message about how Team Biden needs to do more vaccine explaining, and how our public health experts are too politicized."

So: Only conservatives get context, while fact-checkers can't. Got it, Tim.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
WND Still Pushing 'Great Reset' Conspiracy-Mongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The term "Social Justice" suggests high principles that have lured many naive but well intentioned people to embrace it. The false promise of a "Great Reset" suggests the ideal of a "Jubilee" that wipes out global debt and gives the world a new start. But in reality "Social Justice" is class warfare pitting the poor-to-middle-class against the lower strata of "the rich," and the "Great Reset" is a ploy to establish a global China-style Marxist economy marrying communism and predatory corporatism. Both strategies serve only the ultra-rich – the ones the street-level Marxists never seem to target, and the populist conservatives always unthinkingly defend in their unexamined, reductionist definition of "capitalism."

-- Scott Lively, March 22 WorldNetDaily column

Two "Great Reset" buttons are now before each one of us. The world did not ask for this choice; it almost never does. The way things have always been, love them or hate them, is nearly always our first choice. We just keep plugging along, doing what we've always done, hoping that maybe, just maybe, next time everything will turn out better.


The button itself may have originated while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state under Obama, during the time we thought she was just reading emails while sitting on the toilet with her private server. Russia's foreign minister seemed amused when she presented him the first button, but probably not for the reasons Hillary assumed.

Considerable information has been uncovered about what the opalescent white button might do once pushed. The world's economy will be "reset"; communism (the favored elitist system) will be ushered in as a one-world government; and our tech overlords will provide monthly subsistence payments to cover the cost of housing, food and the psychological drugs needed to overcome the side effects of worldwide communism.


The first button, opalescent and captivating, is the product of billionaires who have been allowed to accumulate vast wealth, because the Creator wanted to see how they would use it. Broadly speaking they each had two choices: Greed, or generosity. Greed worships self and makes for an ugly world; generosity considers others and their needs first, and makes for a beautiful world. The Bible paints a simple picture: "By their fruits you will know them." You can decide which path the world's wealthiest people have chosen.

The second button's solid gold construction speaks of a Creator who controls both the natural and supernatural, who has resources without limit, and who seeks to dispense these resources to those He has come to know and trust within a love relationship.


The Bible refutes the watchmaker theory of the universe: the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ refutes it, and the existence of two Great Reset buttons now before us refutes it. If God were not actively involved, there would only be the one button, and mankind would be relegated to the role of white mice in their experimental laboratories, while they remake us to serve them.

God wants to conduct the Great Reset. Push the solid gold button. The tech billionaires want not only your body today, they want your soul tomorrow. Don't give it to them.

-- Craige McMillan, April 2 WND column

A counter-Vatican conference "Truth Over Fear" will air live to combat the globalist "Great Reset" agenda being promoted by Pope Francis. Patrick Coffin told War Room his online summit will expose the "tyranny in plain sight" surrounding the covid-19 pandemic. "Our Conference Truth Over Fear is going to give you natural and supernatural immunity to the real virus summit, which is the one put on the Vatican."

"It's not just a garbage event they're holding, ... Chelsea Clinton, Tony Fauci, the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer, the noted virologist Joe Perry from the Aerosmith medical group. This is a rogues gallery of people on the wrong side of history."

The conference will feature a Holocaust survivor, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, and others on the left, right, and center who will expose the tyranny the world faces.

-- April 23 WND article via Pandemic War Room

(WND has promoted the "Great Reset" conspiracy theory before.)

Posted by Terry K. at 5:26 PM EDT
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

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