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Thursday, May 20, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: Tim Graham's Fact-Check Failures
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center executive's attempted dunks on fact-checkers for doing their job sometimes end badly for him. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
MRC Thinks It Can Critique The Research Of Others
Topic: Media Research Center

Despite lacking any credibility in conducting legitimate research -- and despite said alleged "research" being filled with bias -- the Media Research Center think it can judge the research of others. Kayla Sargent wrote in a March 5 post:

A New York University-affiliated organization has joined the left-wing bandwagon to attack conservative media on Facebook. In so doing, it ignored the social media platform’s obvious bias against conservatives.

A study from Cybersecurity for Democracy claimed that “far-right” news sources received greater engagement on Facebook than news sources from other political parties. “When we look only at the far-right, we see that misinformation sources significantly outperform non-misinformation sources,” the authors of the study claimed. “Being a consistent spreader of far-right misinformation appears to confer a significant advantage.”

Essentially, the study claimed that right-leaning news sources outperform left-leaning or “center” sources in an attempt to ignore or downplay Facebook’s constant barrage of censorship against conservative voices.

[...]

Unsurprisingly, the study did not mention the obvious bias against conservatives on Facebook. Facebook fact-checkers attacked a meme about Dr. Seuss, and the platform deleted content from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Yes, the MRC really is mad that Facebook pointed out that a meme falsely portraying "The Cat in the Hat" was containing "inappropriate content" was flagged for missing context. Of course, the discredited narrative of a "constant barrage of censorship against conservative voices" is something the MRC has been pushing for years, and this study discredits it further. Knowing that, Sargent has to distract by attacking the organizations cited as sources in the study, NewsGuard and Media Bias Fact Check:

The two sources that the study used teemed with liberal bias. NewsGuard co-CEO contributed four times more money to Democratic candidates than Republicans in 2018. 

Media Bias Fact Check’s liberal bias was astounding. The organization said that the liberal Soros-funded Poynter Institute is “a leader in distinguished journalism and produce[s] nothing but credible and evidence based content.” It also called PolitiFact, a Facebook fact-checker affiliated with the Poynter Institute, “simply the best source for political fact checking.”

The MRC loves to dismiss media organizations that don't parrot its right-wing agenda as "liberal."

On March 16, Heather Moon attacked a study claiming that Instagram uses its recommendations to promote "dangerous misinformation and conspiracy theories," complaining that "the study was vague about what that even means." Moon then went after the allegedly "leftist" Center for Countering Digital Hate, which issued the study: "The leftist group responsible for the study has been pushing to deplatform sites like The Federalist and ZeroHedge. It was founded by a self-described 'expert in online malignant behaviour' who is unabashedly anti-free market. Exemplifying the study’s lack of objectivity, the leftist group behind the study decided what constituted “'dangerous misinformation' and selected Instagram accounts that might generate the most concerning recommendations." Because the study cited fact-checkers to identify stories with misinformation, Moon issued a typical anti-fact-checker rant:

There are many problems with fact-checkers. Facebook’s fact-checkers are all part of the liberal Poynter Institute's International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), which received $1.3 million from liberal billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar. A report from December 2020 also revealed that one of the certifiers working at IFCN was a highly partisan Clinton supporter. Lead Stories, which has performed a significant percentage of the fact-checks on Facebook at times, is run by eight former CNN alumni. USA Today, reportedly used college interns to help with its fact-checking.

College interns work at the MRC. Does that mean the MRC is even more discredited? Moon didn't say.

Moon went on to complain that "some examples of suggested posts that the study deemed “dangerous” instead appear to simply be contrary to the left’s narrative," citing as an example of this a post about COVID tests that claimed "It’s now common knowledge that PCR tests produce absurd numbers of false positives, so the data we have is severely inflated." In fact, the rate of false positives for COVID PCR tests are close to zero, with most false-positives attributable to how the test was conducted rather than the test itself -- making this a poor example for Moon to cite, as she seems to be arguing that misinformation is a conservative attribute.

Nevertheless, Moon devoted a March 29 post to bashing another study she didn't like:

A new study from a George Soros-funded group used flawed methodology to claim Facebook failed to prevent more than 10 billion views of so-called “misinformation.” 

The study used Facebook’s fact checkers, shown to be inaccurate and biased, to compile a list of “misinformation” posts. It then jumped through some convoluted hoops in order to arrive at an attention-grabbing 10.1 billion preventable views of so-called “misinformation.” The group behind the study wouldn’t even release the lists of posts or pages used in the study because the focus of the study is Facebook’s algorithm. Withholding such information prevents the study from being objectively and thoroughly reviewed, giving the impression of a pseudo-scientific study that wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny.

We would remind Moon that her employer conducts "studies" that fail to make underlying data public about the subjective judgments it makes about the content being reviewed. By Moon's definition, the MRC is putting out pseudo-scientific studies that won’t stand up to scrutiny.

Moon recycled her "problems with fact-checkers" rant, then went after the group that issued the study, Avaaz, as having supported "highly divisive, radical leftist causes.Later, she was in the uncomfortable position of quoting Facebook itself criticizing the Avaaz study.

So Facebook is suddenly trustworthy and not evil because the MRC needs it to advance its attack against Avaaz? No wonder nobody trusts the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Rants: Vaccine Is 'Leftist Weapon of Hate,' Has Killed Thousands
Topic: Newsmax

We've learned that when Newsmax feels the need to top a column about thte coronavirus pandemic with the cautionary note that "the author is a non-clinician," we're in for some craziness. And so, in that tradition, we have a May 3 column by Judd Dunning in which he rants that Democrats have turned the COVID vaccine into, yes, a "weapon of hate," a form of "bigotry" alongside exploiting racism and hating Donald Trump:

This brings the third leftist weapon of hate — the vaccine. “The jab” is the new other and the new leftist keystone of the power to polarize. The jab is the hottest hate they have left to create the separation that keeps them in power.

The New York Times stated: “Anti-vaxxers are most concentrated in the counties that Trump won in 2020. In fact, Republicans to date are eight times more likely than Democrats to say they will likely never get vaccinated. According to a recent Monmouth poll, that`s 43 percent of Republicans.”

MSNBC’s Joy Reid similarly infected viewers. “So it`s this weird tribalism that has taken place, tribalism, compounded by this recklessness. (Sic) — The Republican Party`s problem is no longer just Donald Trump. It`s all that he has unleashed, and this legacy of anti-silence, anti-science recklessness, you are still hearing from people like Ron Johnson. It’s dangerous. No one has the right to give someone else COVID. COVID can kill people. You do not have the right to spread deadly diseases. That is not liberty. That is reckless endangerment.”

She falsely stated such personal refusal was illegal and that noncompliers should be prosecuted. Rachel Maddow claimed that getting the jab “wasn’t for you but for others,” further vax-shaming Americans about something optional.

The left has elevated vax-shaming from cancel culture to the even more dangerous consequence culture.

Avoid being “the other.” Sidestep those without valid grounds and disengage. Take Buddhist teacher Chris Niebaurer’s philosophy of “No self, no problem” and adapt it to “No other, no problem.”

COVID vaccines are not federally required by law. They remain in the FDA experimental period until 2023. Yet to complete the rush to market under Operation Warp Speed, pharmaceutical companies were given limited liability for future vaccine problems. 

Eighteen percent of Americans got vaccinated for a disease with an approximately 99% survival rate. There have been 60,000 vaccine injuries and 3,000 vaccine deaths. Avoid the Big Brother jab bandwagon and blind trust in Big Pharma and Big Government.

What to put in one’s body is no light decision. Don’t take the hate bait or pressure. Vaccination remains your private and personal choice.

In the midterm elections we can choose to vote against those who tried to force medical tyranny on America’s free-thinking right.

Dunning is lying about "3,000 vaccine deaths" -- there is no proof that the vaccines have directly killed anyone. But what else would you expect from a non-clinician?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:09 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2021 9:21 PM EDT
WND's Dubious Doc Serves Up Even More COVID Vaccine Fearmongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dubious doc Jane Orient of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons just loves to spread coronavirus conspiracies -- about both the virus itself and vaccines to stop it. Needless to say, she hasn't stopped. In her April 9 WorldNetDaily column, Orient mixed coronavirus fearmongering with an old AAPS standby, fearmongering about swarthy, filthy immigrants:

Migrants are pouring in from Central America and Mexico, where there are large outbreaks, traveling under crowded conditions where good hygiene is impossible.

Some of the migrants are tested for COVID-19. According to the National Sheriff's Association, as many as 50% may test positive in some areas. In February, the Border Patrol apprehended more than 100,000 illegal immigrants at the southern border, and about 26,000 evaded capture. Of course, none of the latter are tested.

What would one expect the rate to be after three days in Border Patrol facilities for unaccompanied children, where more than 4,100 may be crammed into space intended for 250?

These migrants are probably on their way to where you live, maybe by bus, maybe by charter flight.

Of course, Orient plugged her favorite dubious medication as something of a solution: "Give all the migrants and the agents caring for them a dose of ivermectin, repeated in 48 hours. This would wipe out the COVID threat, along with scabies, head lice and all manner of parasites. It has been safely taken by billions of people since 1981. Why not protect the migrants, along with people who will be in contact with them?"

In her April 20 column, Orient touted the Great Barrington Declaration, a far-right project that advocated herd immunity to get past coronavirus pre-vaccine, though  it's still unclear how long antibody protection lasts after what is essentially a global chicken pox party. Then it was time to fearmonger about the vaccine and downplay deaths caused by the virus:

They are coming for the children. First with experiments — although minors cannot give informed consent. Likely then with warp-speed mandates that are illegal for not-yet-FDA-approved products given under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Why?

Does COVID-19 kill children? Almost never. Do children infect Grandma? Almost never. Does the vaccine keep you from transmitting disease? Possibly — but keep wearing that mask.

Pregnant women were excluded from early trials but are getting the jab anyway. Some, who were hoping to give their baby antibodies, miscarried or had a stillbirth. Agencies will investigate and surely come up with statistics on "extreme rarity," but let's see independent forensic pathology on the placentas and dead babies.

[...]

Concerns about effects on fertility have sparked many reports stating that "there is no evidence" that vaccines cause infertility — ask Google. And where is evidence that they don't? Animal trials were skipped.

Orient served up even more vaccine fearmongering in her May 10 column:

Of all COVID deaths, only about 0.1% have been in 15-to-24-year-olds. Yet young people can suffer death or serious disability after getting the jab. (Authorities point out that it is not necessarily because of the jab.) According to a controversial independent analysis, the aggressive Israeli vaccination campaign killed more than 200 times as many young persons as the coronavirus itself could have killed during the same 35-week period.

In fact, fact-checkers found no evidence the vaccine caused any fatal reactions in Israel. But never mind, Orient was in a fearmongering mood:

We do not know the precise number of post-vaccine "adverse events," because of incomplete reporting, or the percentage that were caused by the jab and not coincidental. But one can see the number and types of events reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) or the more user-friendly British Yellow Card system. These include death, clotting or bleeding problems, paralysis, blindness and miscarriages (213 of the latter in VAERS as of today).

The long-term adverse events cannot yet be known. The prospect of most concern to the young women calling our office is infertility. There is no evidence that the products currently available cause infertility. And also no evidence that they don't. There are plausible reasons to worry. Viral spike protein has been found in placentas from mothers who gave birth after having COVID. And the spike protein itself, without any virus, can attach to the lining of blood vessels and many tissues, and even cross the blood-brain barrier, and wreak havoc.

Orient surely knows that a report of an adverse effect to VAERS does not mean there is a link to those events and the vaccine. Indeed, VAERS states, "the inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality." But telling you that would interfere with the fearmongering.

A good part of Orient's column was devoted to ranting about colleges requiring that students get vaccinated before returning to campus full-time -- even going so far as weirdly advising students to get a job or study at a library rather than go to school:

There is no abundance of caution in forcing this product onto students entering their prime reproductive years. No concern about "reproductive rights."

It is unlawful to use coercion to gain acceptance of products available only through an Emergency Use Authorization, but colleges are confident of quick FDA approval, even though trials won't be complete until 2022 or 2023.

he Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has written to college administrators urging them to withdraw the mandate but has received no reply. Grants from ACHA, which receives grants from Pfizer and CDC, probably talk louder.

So, what can students do? Be cheerful or reluctant participants in a massive uncontrolled experiment and hope for the best? Seek an exemption? Or pause their education plans – and outrageous tuition?

There are "help wanted" signs everywhere. For learning, there are libraries, and more on-line opportunities will spring up. A college degree may be unnecessary or can wait. The biological window for having a family will close. How much risk of infertility should young people take?

It's probaby a lower risk than the risk of misinformation and malicious fearmongering one is getting from Orient.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:11 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
MRC Cheers Tucker Carlson's Attacks (And Resulting Threats) On A Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center doesn't merely hate journalists who refuse to be right-wing shills, it has no problem with them being the target of violent threats for said refusal -- which we already know. That hasn't stopped, as the MRC has been cheering Fox News host Tucker Carlson's attacks on journalists.

The latest round actually started last July, when Carlson claimed to be unnerved by the New York Times doing a story on him -- or, in the words of the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro, "he exposed how the radically leftist New York Times had assigned a so-called 'journalist' and photographer to hunt him down, find out where he lives, and print it for all his haters to find him." Actually, the Times never published Carlson's address -- and then Carlson's viewers unearthed personal information about the Times reporters working on the story and harassed them. Apparently Fondacaro is totally cool with that.

On March 10, Waters huffed that another Times reporter, "self-appointed social media hall monitor" Taylor Lorenz was a "hypocritical snitch" for complaining about being an online target, playing the blame-the-victim card by highlighting a Washington Examiner commentary headlined "Taylor Lorenz Did This To Herself." 

And what did Lorenz do to warrant such attacks? She apparently committed a minor act of misattribution that kicked off a campaign of hate against her, which kicked off an online hate campaign against her. In February, Waters went after Lorenz for being a "politically correct hall-monitor" because that misattribution came in a story about politically incorrect speech on the invitation-only social media app Clubhouse, which she found a way to infiltrate.

In a March 11 post, Fondacaro touted Carlson's attack Lorenz, for complaining that Carlson sicced his followers on them:

What started out as a small section of a larger segment about elites claiming they were somehow oppressed during Tuesday’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, blew up Wednesday after The New York Times and social media reporter Taylor Lorenz claimed the Fox News host directed online harassment at her. But during his show later that night, Carlson shot back at the newspaper for absurdly equating criticism to harassment when they were the ones who harassed his family last summer by trying to dox them.

In fact, there was no evidence presented that the Times ever tried to dox Carlson, and Fondacaro did not explain how, exactly, the Times "harassed" Carlson's family. And he forgot to mention that Carlson effectively sicced his followers on the Times reporters to dox them.

Fondacaro pretended that no reporter has ever been unjustly criticized by anyone on Fox News and scyophantically repeated Carlson's defense and his attack on a Times statement defending Lorenz:

In the statement in question, The Times claimed “Tucker Carlson opened his show last night by attacking a journalist” and described it as “a calculated and cruel tactic, which he regularly deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target.”

“We were embarrassed for Taylor Lorenz. She spends her entire life on the internet, so, of course, after a while, you become a deeply unhappy narcissist. That’s what the internet does to people,” Carlson explained. “And we assumed her bosses would be embarrassed for her too. Little did we know, that they are all exactly like she is.”

After denouncing harassment and saying he would condemn a mob bearing down on her home (which happened to him), Carlson debunked what she claimed was harassment:

So Carlson -- and, thus, Fondacaro -- doesn't think that doxxing reporters and sending them death threats because they didn't like something that was reported constitute "harassment"? Interesting.

Jeffrey Lord tried on pile on in a March 13 post with more blame-the-victim ranting: "One doesn’t know whether to laugh at the ridiculous Lorenz tweet or The Times statement. It is The Times itself, not to mention all manner of left-wing television and print/Internet outlets that routinely 'unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol' at Tucker. The Times loves to write articles reporting on Tucker advertisers who have been intimidated by leftists into leaving. It has outright lied in saying that he 'derides immigrants.' On and on go the attacks. Even on his home, with his wife quivering inside." He concluding by spouting a right-wing talking point: that this episode proves "the American left - in particular The New York Times - wants to silence conservative media. Period and for good."

Then, in a March 15 post, Donovan Newkirk pretended the undisputed claim that Carlson's attacks on journalists isn't true. When a CNN analyst noted,that "when Tucker Carlson puts you on his target board, people throw out crazy threats and death threats, he sneered in response, "Apparently stating someone’s name more than once in a sentence constitutes endangering the welfare of 'a lot' of people."

Yep, the MRC would be quite happy if a deranged Tucker fan followed through on threats and harmed a reporter Tucker targeted.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 9:47 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Bashes Biden Nominees
Topic: Newsmax

Following in the footsteps of CNSNews.com, Michael Dorstewitz used his April 16 Newsmax column to lash out against President Biden's nominees, declaring that they "are becoming an embarrassment — not just for his administration, but for the United States as well." He attacked David Chipman, nominated to head the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, by claiming:

During a September 2019 "Ask Me Anything" session in Reddit, Chipman falsely claimed that Branch Davidians shot down two government helicopters during the 51-day standoff and subsequent massacre.

"At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters," he wrote in his answer. "It is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often."

Although several helicopters sustained fire, none were shot down, and no government personnel manning them were injured. Chipman knew his claim was a lie — he was an ATF case agent in the Branch Davidian trial.

That's not quite the gotcha Dorstewitz thinks it is. The fact that Branch Davidians didn't shoot down any government helicopters doesn't mean it's any less horrific that, as he concedes, the helicopters were shot at with the intention of shooting them down. And why is Dorstewitz defending the honor of cult members wholacked the sense to get out of a burning building, anyway?

Dorstewitz also dutifully repeated the right-wing narrative on Kristen Clarke, nominated to head the Justice Department's civiil rights division:

Finally, while serving as Harvard's president of the Black Studies Association in 1994, Clarke wrote a letter to the Harvard Crimson describing her views on "race science."

She explained there were genetic differences among the races due to the pineal gland and "neuro-melanin."

Clarke believed that Black people had "'greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities' than other races due to higher levels of melanin."

Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson called those statements "legitimately shocking" in a recent broadcast, adding, "That is a direct quote from the person Joe Biden is about to put in charge of this country's civil rights laws."

As we've pointed out, Clarke was engaging in satire in response to the racially charged book "The Bell Curve."

Dorstewitz concluded by whining: "Early on, Biden promised to appoint a cabinet that "looks like America." Evidently, he thinks America is populated with liars, cop-haters, bigots, race-baiters, America apologists, and anti-Semites." Says the guy who's defending the honor of a violent cult that refused to save its own members from a fire.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
CNS Feeling The Need To Once Again Exploit Chicago Crime For Political Purposes
Topic: CNSNews.com

The last time we checked on CNSNews' sporadic, agenda-driven obsession with violence in Chicago, it had spent last summer touting it. Despite that emphasis -- and despite the need to portray Donald Trump as a law-and-order president and get him re-elected -- CNS didn't do much with Chicago as the election got closer. A Sept. 9 article by Susan Jones touted how an initiative launched under Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr called Operation Legend that "dispatched more than one thousand skilled federal agents to Chicago and eight other cities to fight violent crime" was allegedly a success," with Jones uncritically writing:

"Operation Legend's success is perhaps most dramatic here in Chicago," Barr continued. "When the operation was announced on July 22, homicides in the city were up 51 percent over 2019. Over the previous weekend, more than 60 people had been shot in Chicago with over a dozen fatalities.

"Other violent crime, including looting and rioting, was increasing also. And the signs pointed to the problem getting even worse with the campaign to demonize and defund the police gaining traction, and criminals increasingly believing they could operate with impunity."

Barr said federal agents and grant money, working in partnership with local law enforcement, have now made more than 500 arrests in Chicago, and of those, 124 people face federal charges. "Many of those defendants are now detained pending trial rather than causing harm on the streets."

Barr said in the first five weeks of Operation Legend in Chicago, murders dropped by 50 percent over the previous five weeks. August saw a 45 percent decrease in murders compared to July and a 35 percent decrease compared to June.

"The bottom line is that Operation Legend has played a critical role in cutting Chicago’s murder rate roughly in half since before the operation."

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- the leader of the Chicago obsession -- did only one body-count article before the eleciton, an Oct. 13 article stating that "Although the national media largely ignore the rampant gun violence in the Windy City, the local media in Chicago reported that 53 people were shot, five fatally, over this past weekend (Oct. 9-12)."Chapman did not mention Barr's Operation Legend, which supposedly cut crime in Chicago.

Chicago crime wasn't mentioned again for seven months. Now, with Joe Biden as president, Chapman could implicitly blame him. He wrote an April 13 article:

According to the Chicago Tribune, which maintains an extensive database on homicide and death by gunfire, at least 585 blacks were killed in the last 365 days in the Windy City. These homicides far exceed the number of Hispanics killed (71), whites (43), and Asians (2) in the last 365 days.

In addition, The Tribune reports that 155 blacks have been killed so far in 2021, which is the highest number for the first three months of a year since 2017.

[...]

Also during the last 365 days, there were 203 homicides which involved death by shooting. 

On top of that, 585 blacks were homicide victims during the last 365 days. The data show that most of the homicide victims are in their 20s and 30s. 

Unsurprisingly, Chapman didn't mention the Trump administration's Operation Legend, which supposedly solved this issue.Also: Isn't the Tribune part of the evil "liberal media" that CNS and its parent, the Media Research Center, trash for a living? Chapman didn't explain why he considers this "liberal media" source to be credible.

Chapman served up more body counts in an April 21 article that began by noting that "Over the weekend in Chicago, at least 27 people were shot, three of whom died, including a 7-year-old girl who was sitting with her father in a car at a McDonald's drive-thru when she was killed." It was again based on Tribune reports. Chapman followed with an April 28 article: "4 people were killed and 21 wounded in shootings. The majority of the homicides in Chicago are the result of gun volence, according to the Chicago Tribune, and the "majority of the victims of homicide in Chicago are young, black men."

Chapman inexplicably took a week off -- perhaps there weren't enough shootings for him to write an article about -- but retuirned on May 11:

Chicago experienced another violent weekend with 26 shootings, 5 of which were fatal, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. As homicide data show, the majority of victims in Chicago are young, black men. In the last 365 days (through May 10), 590 black Chicagoans have been killed, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Isn't the Sun-Times also part of the "liberal media" too? Apparently, if the numbers are right -- and can be exploited for political purposes -- they're suddenly trustworthy too.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Monday, May 17, 2021
MRC Cheers How Fox News Advances Right-Wing Talking Points
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is essentially the PR arm for Fox News, so it loves to reward the channel for giving copious play to the right-wing narratives it so loves (though it will never out-and-out state that it's rewarding it pedding right-wing propaganda). Nicholas fondacaro wrote in a March 18 post:

It had been days since the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC delivered any kind of substantive follow-up to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nursing homes deaths and cover-up scandal, even as new damning information developed. This was not the case for the Fox News Channel’s Special Report as they aired an exclusive interview on Thursday with a nursing home administrator who sat in on phone conferences in which Cuomo was consigning many elderly folks to death.

Throughout the day, Fox News had aired portions on other news shows. And it’s common for the broadcast networks to use such clips from each other to pad out their programming. This was not the case Thursday, as all three of them gushed about President Biden calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer.”

In stark contrast, Fox News correspondent Aishah Hasnie spoke to an insider who wanted to speak out about Cuomo’s disastrous leadership. “Michael Kraus is the administrator of Silver Lake Specialized Care Center in Staten Island, New York. And for the first time, he and his team are telling us what really happened behind closed doors when Governor Andrew Cuomo issued that controversial March 25 order,” she reported.

The headline on Fondacaro's piece? "Real Journalism." Of course, he thinks anything on Fox News that goes into own-the-libs mode is "real journalism."

The next day, Joseph Vazquez gushed at how sibling channel Fox Business "wasn't having it" on the Biden administration's  statements on tax hikes by uncritically putting forward right-wing financial types to attack it:

Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes agreed with DeAngelis and said that the tax hike on “families” was the “first of the many taxes to come when they do that next reconciliation bill where they’re going to have massive tax increases.” Forbes said the tax hikes would include the “very destructive capital gains tax.” In addition, Forbes warned about Democrats trying “to ease the restrictions on state and local tax deductions. So, they’ll raise the rates more, but allow more deductions. [It’s] another way of bailing out people who are living in the [badly managed] blue states.”

Forbes lambasted the leftist tax agenda: “Big tax increases, convoluting the code and hurting economic growth. All this happy talk about ‘great economy ahead,’ I take it with a grain of salt.”

[Correspondent Jackie] DeAngelis turned to Strategic Wealth Partners CEO Mark Tepper: “Mark, you did talk about the capital gains tax and how that could impact the markets as well.” She continued: “[Raising taxes on families] would certainly impact the markets because it would come down to families, households — have less money to spend, they have less money to put into the economy, um, and they’re going to have to sort of really pull and shore up those budgets. That impacts people.”

Under the headline "This Is How You Do It," Brad Wilmouth declared on April 2:

In a Wednesday morning segment debunking just some of the left's lies about the Georgia voting law, the Fox News Channel again demonstrated for consumers why the network not only delivers important information (while others parrot leftist propaganda), but clean-up in the ratings.

For this instance, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade brought on Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) to methodically walk through some of the left's false claims, including their disinformation campaign around topics such as early voting and access to food and water while waiting in line.

Unlike if he had appeared before some belligerent CNN or MSNBC host, Kemp was allowed to explain that anyone can still supply water or food to voters as long as they stay outside a minimum distance from both the polling place and the voters. After Kilmeade explained that poll workers can still have refreshments at the polls, Kemp recalled that, in fact, anyone can do so at the proper distance:

Yes, Wilmouth was quite happy that Fox News let Kemp spread his talking points without challenge. Oh, and that boast of Fox News cleaning up in the ratings was linked to a Fox News press release, as a good Fox News lackey would.

In a headline blaring "Instead of Going With Dem Word Games Like Lib Media, Fox Calls Them Out," Fondacaro cheere: "During Tuesday’s edition of Special Report, Fox congressional correspondent Jacqui Heinrich walked viewers through how Democratic lawmakers were twisting and perverting the English language to fit their political machinations. This support for words have meaning ran counter to the liberal media, who just didn’t go along with the Orwellian redefining of words but actively took part and promoted it." Speaking of Orwellian, we don't recall Fondacaro getting upset at Fox News redefining "fair and balanced" as promotion of right-wing talking points.

Fondacaro gave Fox News another cookie for essentially repeating the MRC mission statement on April 14:

It’s become obvious to most people paying attention over the past four to five years that the liberal media had become activists consumed by their hatred of President Trump; it’s a fact that’s indisputable. And ever since Joe Biden became President, the liberal media had shifted their focus towards beating down all Republicans and gaslighting their viewers into thinking they’re the enemy. Well, on Wednesday’s Special Report, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz walked viewers through the media’s schemes.

“Tonight, we take a closer look at what appears to many viewers to be a seismic and long-term shift left on the part of the mainstream media. So, is it happening? And, if so, what are the reasons and the ramifications,” anchor Bret Baier teased at the top of the segment. The segment itself was very detailed as Kurtz showcased the liberal media’s favoritism for Democrats at different levels.

Kurtz -- and, thus, Fondacaro -- didn't explain why Fox News isn't considered "mainstream media" despite the fact that, as Fondacaro's co-worker Wilmouth pointed out, it regularly cleans up in the ratings, nor did they explain why Fox News shouldn't be held just as accountable for its heavy right-wing bias.

Wilmouth returned to gush on April 15: On Wednesday, Fox News Channel again demonstrated that it's keeping people well-informed about important issues while other networks were spreading misinformation. At 6:07 am, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade explained that the accidental shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minnesota was a "tragedy," but he had a serious crime on his arrest warrant."

It's almost as if the MRC is on the Fox News payroll.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EDT
CNS Complained About Slow U.S. Sanctions Against Russia -- But Barely Reported On Them When They Happened
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's coverage of Russia has become oddly anti-American under President Biden. Patrick Goodenough served up another example, complaiing in an April 14 article:

The Biden administration has been pledging “costs” and “consequences” for malign Russian behavior for several months but at a time when a large troop buildup on Ukraine’s borders has sent tensions soaring, a senior State Department official on Tuesday called for patience, while suggesting that steps may be coming soon.

“Be patient,” the official told reporters accompanying Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a visit to Brussels dominated by the crisis. “Stay tuned.”

On the day of President Biden’s inauguration the White House announced that he had tasked the intelligence community to carry out a review of Russian actions including hacking, election interference, the attempted assassination of dissidents, and allegations of bounties offered on the lives of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Since then administration officials have repeatedly cited the review, asserting that there will be consequences for Moscow’s damaging actions.

The Biden administration announced sanctions against Russia the very next day -- but Goodenough did not see fit to devote a story to that. Instead, it was given only passing mention in an article in which the headline was that the administration admitted “low to moderate confidence” in a claim that Russia had offered terrorists bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan which "Joe Biden repeatedly flayed President Trump over the allegations" during the presidential campaign, hyping how "White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday dodged a question on whether the president now regrets that." OF course, Goodenough didn't mention others have pointed out that "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's Russia.

In between, Goodenough wrote an article featuring how "Russia is “working actively” to move away from the U.S. dollar and Western payment systems, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a visit to Iran this week" -- thus implicitly blaming Biden for the situation. But later in the artiucle, he admitted that "Russia has been pivoting away the dollar since 2014, when the U.S. and many European governments targeted senior Russian officials and sectors of the Russian economy for sanctions in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine," while also adding that "some economists have argued in recent years that Washington’s sanctions policies could weaken the dollar’s global leadership in the long run."

That's some severe anti-Biden bias happening at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:49 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 17, 2021 5:51 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Joseph Farah Loves The Big Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily editor is clinging so fiercely to bogus election fraud conspiracies that he has even thrown his own daughter -- who worked in the Trump administration -- under the bus. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 AM EDT
Sunday, May 16, 2021
MRC Obsesses Over Farakhan Link To Capitol Attack -- But Wouldn't Identify Massacre Suspect As Christian
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was quick to seize on alleged links between Noah Green, who struck and killed a Capitol Police officer with his car before he was shot and killed, and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Kristine Marsh huffed in an April 5 post:

The media quickly lose interest in investigating the political beliefs of murderers if they don’t happen to be right-wing white guys. Last Friday afternoon, a black man who called himself a follower of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, rammed his car into the Capitol building barricades, killing one police officer and injuring another. But on this morning’s broadcasts, both NBC and CBS completely omitted that inconvenient detail.

After months of wailing over fears of right-wing extremism, NBC and CBS couldn’t be bothered to note the radical beliefs of the attacker. Instead, both networks used their reports to fret about the January 6 attack and push for more fencing around the Capitol.

Marsh did update her post to note that NBC later "decided to take note of Green's radical views."

Tim Graham complained on April 8 that the Washington Post didn't give Green's link to Farrakhan link the prominence he demanded: "So there are only three stories that mentioned Green's fandom for Farrakhan -- it was never mentioned in a headline, and was routinely buried in late paragraphs on an inside page. That's how you downplay an angle you do not like one bit." Graham offered no evidence that the angle was deliberately downplayed.

GHraham returned on April 18 to complain further -- and to implicitly defend a participant at the Jan. 6 pro=Trump Capitol riot:

On Friday's NBC Nightly News, they focused on recent political violence against the Capitol Police, but they were obviously more interesting in tagging the "far right" for recent violence, and not the "far left." When the April 2 Capitol cop killing came up, the assailant Noah Green was not named, and his love for Louis Farrakhan was also spiked.

Lester Holt touted “a milestone today in the investigation of the deadly riot at the US Capitol, the first guilty plea.” He turned to NBC Justice Department correspondent Pete Williams, and they were naming names and applying labels.

In a brief report, Williams reported "It was a member of the far-right Oath Keepers who has agreed to tell investigators what he knows" about the January 6 Capitol riot. John Schaffer of Indiana, 53, pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol with bear spray and trying to obstruct the electoral vote count. The government dropped a charge of assaulting Capitol Police with the spray." Schaffer called himself a "founding life member" of the Oath Keepers, Williams underlined. 

[...]

Schaffer may have shown criminal intent in his behavior on January 6 but he didn't kill a Capitol Police officer. But he was named, and Noah Green was not. 

Graham omitted the fact that, unlike the Oath Keepers with Schaffer or any other Capitol riot participant, the Nation of Islam disavowed Green's actions -- which Graham knows happened because he repeated it in his April 8 post while complaining that the Washington Post "allowed the Nation of Islam to defend itself intensely."

Speaking of inconvenient facts, there's one thing you won't find at the MRC: a post identifying Robert Aaron Long, the suspect in the Atlanta massacre that killed eight people -- six of them Asian -- as a Christian, even though he was an active member of an evangelical Christian church. The church kicked him out after the shooting, but it has not spoken about the church's beliefs that may have led him to commit the massacre. On the other hand, the MRC did try to deny the very existence of anti-Asian hate crimes in the wake of the massacre.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 16, 2021 10:11 PM EDT
CNS' Jones Still Complaining Trump's Mental Health Was Questioned
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has spent the past year pushing the malicious right-wing narrative that President Biden is purportedly suffering from "cognitive decline." Now that he's president, CNS has been shamelessly pushing that smear every chance it can, making him look as bad and senile as it can by pulling incidents out of context:

And CNS' big headline from Biden's March 25 press conference was that he purportedly suffered a "four-second mental meltdown," whatever that is.

 All of which makes an April 19 article by Susan Jones doubly petulant. nShe started by complaining: "At the end of a joint interview with Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Sunday, 'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace cornered Cornyn for questioning whether President Joe Biden is 'really in charge.'" After lamenting that "Cornyn was defensive" in his response by denying he was questioning Biden's mental health, she huffed: "Message to viewers: It's not okay to question Biden's mental competency when it was not only okay -- it was imperative -- for Democrat [sic] partisans to question President Donald Trump's."

By that standard, Jones and her CNS co-workers are Republican partisans because they apparentluy believe it's imperative to question Biden's "cognitive decline," given all the articles they have published on it.

Jones, by the way, is bizarrely sensitive about people questioning Trump's mental health, even though there was ample evidence to do so. In August she groused, "Liberal activists in the media are now focusing in particular on Trump's mispronunciations ("Yosemite") and twisting his words ("It is what it is") to make it look like he doesn't grasp the severity of the pandemic, for example. The intent is to portray Trump as cognitive impaired." And her April 19 article contains a like to a 2017 article she wrote complaining that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough went on an "anti-Trump diatribe" staing thim "to be mentally unfit for office and in the early stages of dementia."

Jones appears to be conceding that, by her own definition, she's a Republican activist, not a reporter, and it's never OK for a CNS employee to question Trump's mental heatlh.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 16, 2021 9:48 PM EDT
Saturday, May 15, 2021
MRC Throws 'Whore' Slur At CBS -- Despite Its Own Whorish Behavior
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center likes to slur media outlets as "whores" for doing the same kind of promotional things for corporate siblings that the MRC's own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, does for its parent org (yet our use of the word has put us in Twitter jail). It has done so again, but for a slightly different reason.

An April 6 item by Scott Whitlock carries the headline "CBS WHORES Out for Crony Capitalism, Backs Biden Billions to Electric Cars in 'Infrastructure'." He went on to rant:

CBS This Morning on Tuesday went all in on the billion dollar boondoggle for electric cars in Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” bill. With no explanation of just how expensive this part of the plan is, the journalists backed the idea of GM (with the heavy hand of the government) switching to all electric by 2035. 

Co-host Gayle King cheered, “Part of President Biden's infrastructure bill would help people buy greener electric cars which you know are more expensive. General Motors plans to stop making gas-powered cars by 2035.” Reporter Ben Tracy gushed, "The tail pipe is an endangered species."

He parroted, “Automakers are also counting on the federal government. President Biden's infrastructure plan calls for 500,000 EV charging stations across the country by 2030.”

Of course, by his own definition, Whitlock is a whore because he's parroting right-wing talking points in the service of his employer and the larger conservative movement, for which he receives payment (which, of course, makes him closer to an actual whore than CBS). His insistence of imposing motives on CBS' reporting where there may not be any is a form of whoredom as well. And for all his whining about "crony capitalism," we're pretty sure Whitlock didn't care as much when the cronies were part of a Republican-led government.

Meanwhile, CNS has contined to whore itself out for its owner by serving up even more stenography of its boss:

This kind of whoredom, of course, is the entire reason CNS exists. Do you really think Bozell and Co. are interested in running a truly independent, fair and balanced "news" operation?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT
WND's Farah Cheers Dubious Ariz. Election Recount
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has long embraced bogus election conspiracy theories, so it's no surprise that he's all in favor of the Republican-driven recount in Maricopa County, Ariz., as expressed in his April 23 column:

They're busy counting votes in Arizona, again.

You might recall this was the state that was called early on election night by the Fox News team – but took days to reveal a "victory" by Joe Biden by 10,000 votes of 3.2 million supposedly cast. Why were they so sure?

Oh, and for the record, there were no illegal alien votes disqualified. None! They were not searched for. Neither were the voter rolls cleaned. And don't forget about the people who went to the polls and were told, "You've already voted. You're not eligible."

If you believe that, you probably voted for Joe Biden because he was the most articulate, most prescient, most lucid, most visionary, most capable presidential candidate in American history.

It's just that some voters in Arizona are stubborn. They can't believe that Biden got some 81 million votes nationwide in the election, more than Donald J. Trump's 74 million and Barack Obama's 69 million. He did this without campaigning! He got just enough votes to outpoll the most popular president and beloved leader ever.

Farah offered no evidence that anyone in Arizona went to the polls and was told they already voted.

HE went on to assert that "Republicans have chosen an independent firm called Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity company" to run the audit -- but Cyber Ninjas is not "independent" at all, given that its CEO has been spreading the same kind of elecction conspiracy theories Farah has.

Farah also claimed, "And just so no one will be disappointed by the results, the audit will be livestreamed for public viewing, and officials say there will be 24-7 private security inside and outside of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix throughout the process." In fact, the audit has been far from transparent; it took a court order to force Cyber Ninjas to make its policies and procedures public, violations on pen color usage were found, it wasn't until days after the audit started that journalists were granted full access to it, and reporters are being barred from observing the audit for specious accusations like a tweet deemed to be objectionable.

Still, Farah ranted:

Why would we want to know the truth? How could we not insist on knowing the truth?

Was Joe Biden's win legitimate, or was Donald Trump robbed? We must know!

[...]

This may be the beginning … of getting to the truth.

This may be the beginning … of getting our country back!

IN his April 28 column, Farah defended the audit from critics such as Rachel Maddow:

So what is Rachel Maddow afraid of? Is she afraid that we're going to overturn the whole national election? Or is she afraid we might learn how they perpetrated the biggest election fraud ever? And what are the hosts and guests on CNN and other networks afraid of? Why are they resorting to hysteria, rage, insanity?

And why is Fox News not even paying attention to the Arizona audit? Why are they pretending nothing is happening here?

Something's happening here, all right.

Ordinary Americans are holding their leaders accountable. Nay, they are being leaders, and they are going to continuing being leaders. They realize we don't have any choice in our system of government. This is the state of our nation we've been left with.

As criticism mounted of the audit -- to the point that even the Justice Department has expressed concerns about it -- Farah used his May 7 column to, um, conterintuitively claim that all the criticism means the audit is being run perfectly, or something:

It seems the Justice Department wants to be sure no one uncovers proof of shenanigans in the election of 2020. Why?

Because Cyber Ninja may engage in rooting it out by personally canvassing voters – looking for actual fraud. For instance, the suspicion is that illegal votes were cast by voters registered to certain addresses. The Justice Department does not want Cyber Ninja to ask them about the addresses, because this supposedly would be construed as "voter intimidation."

The Justice Department did not want to conduct the investigation – and they sure don't want anyone else conducting one.

Hmmm.

Who else opposes the audit?

How about every Democrat you can think of.

What do they have in common? They all know that the fraud will be uncovered and ultimately send Joe Biden packin'.

That's not the case in the short term. The hand count will not change the results because officials in the states have already certified them. Sen. Fann insisted that the audit is meant to restore trust in the system and influence changes to the law.

But President Donald Trump has celebrated the audit, insisting it will show Arizona was a "scam election" state. And this is what bugs the Democrats. He'll likely be running for the president in 2024, and if cheating occurred, it won't be Republicans to blame.

This is the kind of thing that only makes sense in Farah's conspiracy-addled brain.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Friday, May 14, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

How has Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck been attacking White House press secretary Jen Psaki and man-crushing on hostile Fox News reporter Peter Doocy since the last time we checked? Let's find out!

Houck was heavy on the man-crush 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.

And on the courts, Doocy got a key assist from none other than CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

Doocy started with the Supreme Court and brought up comments Biden made in 1983 in light of Biden’s appointing of a commission to study court reform (which should be read as nothing more than a leftist power grab). 

When he brought up 1983 before his question, Psaki interjected with a weak dad joke about how she was impressed with Doocy’s trip aboard the “time back machine.”

Weird how Houck believed that Kayleigh McEnany could be as snarky as she wanted to be, while Psaki gets shut downb for allegedly making a "weak dad joke." It's almost as if his severe right-wing bias influences these posts of his.

On April 12, Houck didn't have to man-crush on Doocy because "New York Magazine correspondent Olivia Nuzzi put Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the defensive as she asked about whether the Biden administration’s continued mask usage despite having been vaccinated and discouragement of social interaction has contributed to vaccine hesitancy." Houck failed to mention that one of the groups with the largest rate of vaccine hestiancy is Republican men, who likely aren't taking their cues from Biden.

Houck whined of the April 15 briefing that "Thursday’s White House press briefing quickly devolved into a predictable pattern of near emptiness in terms of answers from Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who ducked questions on issues such as the debunked Russian bounties story, the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, and her party’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court." Of course, Houck loved when that "emptiness" from the podium emanated from McEnany.

Houck grew outraged that pressers from both Biden and Psaki on April 16 didn't entertain hostile right-wing reporters -- and, because he's incapable of seeing anything in other than black-and-white terms, he pushed the MRC narrative that if hyou're not a hostile right-wing reporter like Doocy, you're a pro-Biden sycophant:

The White House press corps has never been a fan of guns or the Second Amendment, so it was no surprise on Friday when multiple reporters hammered President Joe Biden and Press Secretary Jen Psaki from their left flank on gun control. In one instance, a reporter compared gun violence to the coronavirus pandemic and demanded their responses be of equal vigor.

Capping off his first foreign head-of-state visitor to the White House in Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Biden wrapped up his week with a brief, joint press conference with Suga (which followed the traditional two-and-two model of two reporters from each country’s press corps being called on).

[...]

ABC’s Maryalice Parks likewise sounded like someone from Everytown or the Giffords Center, expressing frustration with hearing Psaki<“talk over and over again about the President’s support of the House bills, but right now it just doesn’t seem like they’re — you guys have those votes in the Senate.”

Houck had a different hostile Fox News reporter to cheer on -- and even more sneering hatred of Psaki -- for the April 19 briefing:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki began her week with a briefing so bad that there’s no way to go but up. On Monday’s episode, Psaki arrived with a short fuse and clashed with multiple reporters over basic immigration questions, and blew a gasket at the Fox News Channel’s Kristin Fisher over the administration’s mixed messaging on the refugee cap.

Fisher started with an admission of confusion and an open invitation to clear things up on the White House’s flip-flopping on what number of foreign refugees could be allowed entry into the U.S.: “I’m still just a little bit confused about what changed between 1:00 pm. on Friday and around 4:30p.m. on Friday to go from, ‘We’re not raising the refugee cap to, we are raising it by May 15th.’ What – what changed in those three and a half hours?”

By then, Psaki had fielded numerous questions on it, but Fisher merely wanted the record corrected. Instead, Psaki claimed “we never said we’re not raising the refugee cap” and the administration had always been clear.

Fisher tried to interject, but Psaki demanded she be allowed to in order to reassert that there was never a doubt that they would maintain Trump immigration levels (though that’s exactly what they had said they would do).

Remember: In Houck's world, Fox News reporters are always right and Psaki is always wrong. That's because narratives are more important at the MRC than the truth is.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:03 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 14, 2021 9:06 PM EDT

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