CNSNews.com is going all in on anti-Biden bias by promoting right-wing attacks on his nominees to Cabinet posts. Read more >>
Monday, May 10, 2021
WND Back to Peddling Bogus Election Fraud Claims
An April 12 article by Bob Unruh highlighted how the Nevada state Republican Partycensured secretary of state Barbara Cegavske, "accusing her of failing to fully investigate the fraud allegations" made by Donald Trump in the 2020 election. He added: "The Gateway Pundit noted that besides the hundreds of ballots cast in the name of dead voters, more than 42,000 people in Nevada voted more than once."
Neither of those things are true. USA Today summarized how they are false:
Unruh offered no supporting evidence for that last claim. The one relevant case we're aware of took place in Pennsylvania, where its secretary of state made changes before the election; election law experts have said that the executive branch has the authority to decide how to implement election law, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the secretary of state's decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the case.
Peddling the Big Lie -- which, by the way, editor Joseph Farah has gone all in on -- is not going to make readers trust WND, whcih seems to have forgotten that its embrace of conspiracy theories is one big reason the operation has been teetering on bankruptcy for the past few years.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
The MRC's Mini-War on Seth Meyers
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hates it when late-night host Seth Meyers calls out conservatives. It's been hurling insults at him for years, trying to tag him as "socialist," "nasty" and a "liar" (weird, we thought fact-checking humor was a lame thing to do). But this year, the MRC has gone off on Meyers even more.
On Feb. 11, Alex Christy tried to hang another insult on him -- "unfunny hack" -- and complained that "former comedian turned Democratic hack" Meyers "alleged early Tuesday morning that allowing Bush officials off for their supposed wrongdoing led Trump to believe he could get away with similar wrongdoing. Is this really what anyone would come to at the end of the day before bed? It's certainly not funny."
Christy ranted at Meyers again on Feb. 26: "During his typically humorless monologue early on Thursday, Late Night host Seth Meyers praised President Biden's vaccine distribution record, contrasting it with that of "President Outbreak Monkey." But, it was not all good news, as he also condemned Biden for not being far enough to the left."
Christy complained yet again on March 3:
Krstine Marsh took over the insult part fo a March 9 post:
Nothing says "reliable research" like Marsh's deliberate inability to get the Democratic Party's name right.
Christy returned on March 11 to complain about a sketch featuring a Melania Trump impersonator mocking her post-presidency "Office of Melania Trump," of which he huffed, "None of this routine was funny." The MRC is quite protective of Melania.
IN a March 16 post, Scott Whitlock called Meyers a "FRAUD" and a "far-left hack host," grousing that Meyers refused to buy into the right-wing attack narrative against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo but "finally, belated" got with the program.Three days later, Kyle Drennen declared Meyers to be "UNHINGED" in complaining that "radical leftist host Seth Meyers spewed Democratic Party propaganda for 15 minutes straight during one of his notoriously hackish Closer Look segments, this time preaching the brazen effort by left-wing lawmakers to undermine election integrity. The unfunny shill, who abandoned comedy long ago, desperately argued that 'nuking' the filibuster in the Senate was a “moral necessity” in order to help Democrats rig future elections in their favor." He unironically complained that "In the mind of left-wing hacks like Meyers, a 'level playing field' is one in which the rules are always changed to make sure that Democrats never lose another election" -- even though Republicans are in the midst of changing state laws to make sure they never lose another election.
Christy returned once more on March 26 to huff that Meyers, "trying to compensate for his lack of comedic talent, spent his late Thursday show parading around his potty mouth, instead" by noting that "The modern conservative movement seems concerned above all else with preserving their solemn right to be dicks to everyone else around them." Has he forgotten all the insults he and his fellow MRCers have been hurling at Meyers? That's dickishness personified.
Whitlock huffed on April 15: "Late Night hack Seth Meyers pretends to be a comedian, but he’s really just a shill for the left, shifting his nightly harangues to whatever his Democratic bosses would like. So it’s no surprise that he’s suddenly excited about pulling troops out of Afghanistan, but wasn’t when Donald Trump was president." Whitlock didn't mention whether he did any research to see if conservatives who supported withdrawal with Trump proposed it now oppose it under Biden.
CNS Reporter Still Touting, Defending Trump
CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough has been a longtime defender of Donald Trump, particularly championing his administration's moves in getting minor countries to sign normalization deals with Israel. He's also been doing nitpicking fact-checks of Presient Biden, something he never did of Trump. Even though Trump is out of office, Goodenough has continued serving as his champion and defender.
Despite the fact that he's ostensibly CNS' international correspondent, Goodenough is the one who wrote a Feb. 24 article on Trump appealing the suspension of his Facebook account, lamenting that "Thirty-three million Facebook followers have been denied access to Trump's views for more than six weeks." But it was not until the 18th paragraph that Goodenough noted the reason why Trump's account was suspended, and that occurred only because he was quoting an organization that note Trump's incitement to violence and that he "spread lies and false information on Facebook."
Goodenough gushed again over Trump's Middle East policy in a March 15 article:
Goodenough served up even more Trmp-gushing in a Marcb 22 article:
Goodenough completely failed to tell readers why Trump was suspended from Twitter, complaining only that it came following "sparring with Trump for many months over posts relating to unrest in American cities, the coronavirus pandemic, and election results." No mention of the false claims and misinformation he spread.
Goodenough came to the defense of the Trump again in a March 31 article:
In an April 7 article, Goodenough got upset at the reversal of another Trump policy:
Goodenough is a bit obsessed with the idea of refugees.
There was more defense in an April 15 article noting that "the Biden administration on Thursday conceded that the intelligence community has only 'low to moderate confidence' regarding one of the issues that has been under review – claims that Russia offered terrorists bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan," adding that "White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday dodged a question on whether the president now regrets that."Goodenough went on to complain that Biden called Trump "Putin's puppy" and highlighted that the claims were "denied by both Moscow and the Taliban." But as others have pointed out, "low to moderate confidence" in the story does not necessarily mean it was false, and paying bounties to kill U.S. soldiers is not exactly out of character for Putin.
Goodenough seems more interested in pushing a political agenda than doing straight reporting -- but that's not a surprise given that he works for CNS.
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."
WND's Farah Still Trying To Spin Capitol Riot
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:
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:
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:
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:
If that mob of insurrectionsts had been targeting Trump instead of working on his behalf, Farah would almost certainly have a different take.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
CNS Attacks Another GOP Governor For Backing Off Anti-Trans Hate
Kristi Noem wasn't the only Republican governor CNSNews.com 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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
WND Still Pushing 'Great Reset' Conspiracy-Mongering
-- Scott Lively, March 22 WorldNetDaily column
-- Craige McMillan, April 2 WND column
-- April 23 WND article via Pandemic War Room
(WND has promoted the "Great Reset" conspiracy theory before.)
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 >>
CNS Promotes Candace Owens' Anti-Vaxxer Claim
CNSNews.com -- 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:
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.
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:
Christy returned to play wahtaboutism on March 19:
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:
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:
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.
CNS Commentary Editor Mad That Jan. 6 Insurrectionists' Funding Is Exposed
CNSNews.com commentary editor Rob Shimshock had a little meltdown in a March 29 column:
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:
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.
Newsmax Columnist Falsely Blames Harris for COVID Vaccine Hesitancy
Tom Borelli vcomplained in an April 6 Newsmax column:
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:
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."
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