CNS Columnist Rants About Nonexistent Education Policy Change Topic: CNSNews.com
Hans Bader huffed in his April 26 CNSNews.com column:
"The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system," reports Fox News. It is doing this to promote "equity," reports the Washington Times. The VDOE also& seeks to funnel all Virginia students into classes that focus on vague "concepts" rather than "computation and routine problem practice."
Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin says that “as currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade....All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6. All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7. All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10. Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses.”
A spokesman for the VDOE did not disagree with Mr. Serotkin’s description, while claiming that teachers will be allowed to provide "differentiated instruction" within a single class.
Bader's problem is that he uncritically trusted biased, antipublic education right-wing media that manufactured outrage without bothering to get the whole story -- and Bader couldn't be bothered to do much more in-depthh research. A credible news outlet reported on the whole story:
Facing attacks from right-wing pundits and scrutiny from lawmakers, Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction said on Monday that the state is not eliminating advanced high school mathematics courses.
Superintendent James Lane said the Virginia Department of Education is in the early stages of a regularly scheduled revision of its mathematics Standards of Learning, which guide school systems in their course offerings across all areas of instruction. As part of that revision process, which takes place every seven years, state officials recently began workshopping some ideas as to how Virginia could teach mathematics in a way that better prepared children for college and the workforce, Lane said.
Lane added that these suggestions are still just that — suggestions. The department is currently gathering public feedback and has yet to draft a new version of its mathematics standards. The earliest a draft could come before the Virginia Board of Education is school year 2022-2023, Lane said, and the earliest any Virginia students would begin learning math under the new paradigm is school year 2025-2026.
In multiple rounds of video calls with reporters Monday, Lane said this assertion [that accelerated math classes would be eliminated] is false. He said the initiative does not propose eliminating accelerated math classes, nor does it require all students in a grade to take the same math class no matter their level of ability. Under the initiative, students would still take higher-level classes tailored to their grasp of mathematics, he said.
Lane also noted that those kinds of decisions — how an advanced student should best progress through middle and high school math classes — would be made by local school officials, not the Virginia Department of Education, as has always been the case. Every school division has vast discretion in how it uses state standards to formulate its curriculum, he said: “Ultimately the school divisions decide what courses look like.”
Serotkin went on to retract his earlier claims, conceding that after seeing the full policy state from the education department, “some parts of this are quite different than their previous messaging and information provided, and alleviates much of my concern.”
Nevertheless, Bader went on to cite more right-wing attacks on the nonexistent policy changes, including a guy named James Bacon, whom he again disingenuously identified as "former publisher of Virginia Business" to obscure the fact that these days he's little mnre than a right-wing blogger.But narrative over facts is what the right-wing media -- which includes Bader -- is all about these days.
Hypocrisy: MRC's Graham Complains Of 'Stealth Edits' -- A Day After MRC Stealth-Edits One Of Its Own Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center executive Tim Graham huffed in his April 28 column:
Twitter's sidebar came to the rescue on April 22. One of its article headlines read, "Stacey Abrams encouraged Americans to invest in Georgia-based businesses after new voter laws were passed, according to journalists and fact-checkers." That sounds contrary to the spirit of what Abrams wrote.
Then came stealth edits by Abrams at USA Today. In the original article, Abrams said she wasn't opposed to individuals choosing to boycott the "racist, classist" Georgia voting bill that had just been passed.
"Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what's at stake, I can't argue with an individual's choice to opt for their competition," she wrote. She hedged a little by saying boycotts can cause "hardships" and added, "I don't think that's necessary — yet."
The article was "updated," but really, it was a substantial rewrite. The sentence about her not being able to "argue" about a boycott was removed. And she added a complaint that Major League Baseball's boycott "could cost our state nearly $100 million in lost revenue" and then blamed Republicans for caring more about voter suppression than people's "economic well-being."
According to the Internet Archive digital library, the op-ed was revised on April 6, but a notice acknowledging it was "updated" wasn't added until April 22.
Graham might have more credibility on this issue if the MRC's NewsBusters -- of which he is the executive editor -- hadn't stealth-edited an item just the day before.
As we documented, the MRC's Curtis Houck touted his man-crush, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki about "reporting from the New York Post that 'every' illegal immigrant child brought to one U.S. facility 'is being given a copy of her children's books, Superheroes Are Everywhere,'" then insisted that Psaki "played dumb" with her answer.But the story was utterly false.
Houck's article got stealth-edited to delete a reference to Doocy asking about the book issue in the headline and the section where Houck touted Doocy asking about it was completely rewritten to instead describe "an exchange about a now-dubious claim from the New York Post about Vice President Harris's children's book being given out at one U.S. detention center for illegal immigrant children." It's not until the very end of Houck's post that there's any evidence that it was altered, where an editor's note stated that the post was "updated."
If Graham wants to complain about stealth-editing, he might want to first address the way his own organization does it.
They started the internet's news revolution together, friendly and daring, 24 years ago. It took one day, April 26, 2021, to drop the original name, WorldNetDaily, and all links from drudgereport.com.
That's when Drudge – or whoever is calling the shots at the DrudgeReport – finally "canceled" WND.
For many years, WND included a permanent link to Drudge above the fold. That was when a Drudge link was a sign of the kind of site you ran – a Drudge-type site.
In the early days, WND had the distinguished honor of having more links back on Drudge than any other website. Joseph Farah was the second one. How did I achieve it way back in the '90s? I simply asked for it. Yes, Drudge and I had a real relationship. That's how I knew in recent years that it wasn't Drudge in charge. He sold it – or sold out.
Of course. It couldn't be that WND has published somuchfakenews that even Drudge was embarassed by the association. Speaking of fake news, Farah reminisced about some that he and Drudge peddled:
Drudge had a great sense of humor. One day he called me with an idea. He loved Jerome Corsi's new book in 2011 – "Where's the Birth Certificate?" He told me he was going to tease it with a shameless display on his website, pointing to its No. 1 position on Amazon. You might remember he was not afraid of anything or anybody then – not even Barack Obama.
I knew what that would mean: Obama was going to have to RELEASE an actual birth certificate – real or fabricated!
Sure enough, he did. That was the first time I saw the media close ranks against me. They did it with reckless abandon. The most amazing shot across the bow came from Esquire magazine, owned by Hearst, my old employer – in which the "reporter" made up the whole imaginary story about my pulling the Corsi book from bookshelves. It's still there at Amazon 10 years later to make my point. (After the story initially went up, Esquire posted an "update" hoping to cover for its fraud.)
We sued the magazine and received a 2-1 loss before the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, Nov. 26, 2013.
But it wasn't the end of the birth certificate story.
Perkins Coie, the international law firm, played "fixer" for Obama. They "found" the birth certificate that could not be found even by the governor of Hawaii. They also showed up later to pull another rabbit out of a hat in directing Joe Biden's "victory" in the 2020 election. You'll be hearing from them again. They're in solid with Obama and Biden.
Farah ended his column by trying to spin a couple more conspiracies:
I swear, the five massive strokes I experienced in 2019 were in part due to the tremendous pressure I was under as my business crumbled. Matt Drudge apparently cracked up, too. I know for a fact he has passed the baton and is definitely not "running the show." And, who knows what happened to the late Andrew Breitbart?
But I have a plan to survive and flourish in the future. In fact, I'd love to be there with questions for Trump's second term. That will be a joyous day, won't it?
Maybe Drudge can come back, too. I hope so. But I'm not holding my breath.
Actually, we know "what happened to the late Andrew Breitbart" -- the autopsy showed he died of natural causes. But when did the truth ever matter to Farah?
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Even when the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck doesn't have Peter Doocy to man-crush over at Jen Psaki's White House press briefings, he can still indulge in the ol' MRC tradition of trying to play cancel culture on public broadcasting. For Psaki's April 20 briefing, Houck declared his outrage at PBS' Yamiche Alcindor refusing to play along with right-wing narrative by screeching "DEFUND PBS" in the headline:
Hours before the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, White House reporters stepped up Tuesday afternoon and did their due diligence in a briefing filled with harsh questioning. At least six reporters went toe-to-toe in slamming Press Secretary Jen Psaki over President Biden’s earlier comments demanding a guilty verdict and the White House’s refusal to call out Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) for comments threatening the jury.
However, PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor was still a holdout in defending Waters. After a serious questions seeking clarification on Biden’s comments, she asked if she “could speak to Americans who feel on edge” and “anxious,” but “especially African Americans who have seen so many verdicts, so many trials happen.”
Alcindor’s subsequent question was the epitome of liberal partisanship and why PBS shouldn’t be able to engage in partisan activity using our tax dollars as she went to bat for Waters against “an onslaught of attacks” from Republicans:
Houck found another right-wing reporter to fawn over for the April 21 briefing:
Near the end of Wednesday’s White House press briefing, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson irked Press Secretary Jen Psaki with a basic question about whether President Biden “acknowledge[s] his own role” in major crime legislation that leftists argue contributed to the “systemic racism” his administration has claimed they will work to eradicate[.]
Nelson used most of his time to continue his pattern of pressing Psaki on matters concerning federal marijuana policy and its affect on administrative staffing.
After four questions about marijuana, Nelson pivoted to Biden’s comments following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in which he said the murder of George Floyd “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism in the United States.”
Nelson argued Biden said that despite the fact that “he’s an architect of multiple federal laws in the 1980s and ’90s that disproportionately jailed black people and contributed to what many people see as systemic racism.”
Citing Cornell West as having called Biden one of the core “architects of mass incarceration” that needs to atone for, Nelson wondered: “To what extent does President Biden acknowledge his own role in systemic racism? And how does that inform his current policy positions?”
Houck put Nelson in his hostile right-wing reporter pantheon: "Like Fox’s Peter Doocy and Kristin Fisher and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann, Nelson has established quite the track record of asking probing questions aimed at soliciting answers from Psaki, but have instead left her both perturbed and stumped."
Houck never described his other crush, Kayleigh McEnany, as having been "perturbed and stumped" by "probing questions" from reporters -- he was too busy attacking the reporters who asked them.
Houck then skipped a few days of briefings because they were "uneventful" -- meaning that Doocy and Co. weren't there to ask hostile questions. But for the April 27 briefing in which Doocy made his first appearance back from his honeymoon, Houck excitedly squealed, "He's Back!":
After a few uneventful White House press briefings, Monday’s episode drew a number of interesting exchanges on the border crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, masking, schools, and President Biden’s Wednesday address to a Joint Session of Congress.
And after having been off to get married, Fox News’s Peter Doocy returned with a bang in an exchange on the administration’s continued masking despite having long been vaccinated.
This was the briefing that Houck later stealth-edited to obscure the fact that Doocy pushed fake newsby repeating a false claim that federal officials were giving copies of a book written by Vice President Kamala Harris to immigrants. And Houck hates Psaki so much that he refused to mention that Psaki congratulated Doocy on his marriage (or that Psaki blew up Doocy's mask questions).
This was followed the next day by Houck pushing (through another right-wing reporter, Wegmann) another boghus story, about "former Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly selling out Israel to his friends in the terrorist-loving Iran." As we've noted, Houck is joining his MRC buddies in choosing to trust an enemy of the United States over a Democrat.
Even though the Seth Rich conspiracy theories WorldNetDaily heavily promoted were false -- and it's likely that it knew they were false at the time it was reporting them -- it refuses to correct the record, even as key figures who joined WND in promoting those conspiracy theories, such as Fox News and Ed Butowsky, have retracted their claims as part of settling defamation lawsuits against them filed by Rich's family. Even though WND has thus far avoided getting sued itself, it continues to perpetuate the false conspiracy.
The FBI, in its release of heavily redacted documents regarding murdered Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, has included a cryptic "pay for his death" note.
Rich was the DNC employee who was shot and killed as he walked to his Washington, D.C., home at about 4 a.m. on July 10, 2016. There was evidence of a struggle, with his hands, knees and face bruised, yet he had two shots in his back. Police determined it was a robbery, but his wallet and other items were not taken. Two weeks later, WikiLeaks began releasing DNC emails damaging to Hillary Clinton, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mentioned Rich on Dutch TV: "Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There's a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington."
Now, One America News reports the FBI's release of records in reponse to a Freedom of Information Act request "appear to show that an undisclosed entity either wanted to pay or actually paid a lot of money to get Seth Rich killed."
An FBI document dated Nov. 7, 2017, states: "Given [redacted] it is conceivable that an individual or group would want to pay for his death."
Unruh, however, is too committed to the conspiracy to tell reader that this proves nothing. As blogger Emptywheel explains, the document in which the "pay for his deaeth" statement appears "may reflect the FBI investigation into allegations that someone tried to hack Rich’s email." Indeed, the whole tranche of FBI documents isn't worth much since the FBI didn't do the primary investigation into Rich's death.
In other words, this is a lot of nothing. But Unruh's mandate is to perpetuate the conspiracy, so he uncritically quotes OAN complaining that "Democrats and mainstream media have baselessly dismissed Rich’s murder as a 'conspiracy theory' and claimed it was a robbery, although none of his valuable items was taken."
Needless to say, Unruh was silent on all the retractions and apologies its compatriots have made to Rich's family.
On Tuesday, April 27, Democratic President Joe Biden announced that he had nominated Gina Ortiz Jones to be the Undersecretary of the Air Force, the No. 2 position at that military branch. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Jones will be the first openly gay, Filipino woman to serve in that post.
On Jones's nomination to be Undersecretary of the Air Force, Jennifer Dane, executive director of the Modern Military Association of America, which advocates for LGBTQ+ service members and veterans, told the Dallas Morning News, “We are beyond thrilled. She represents diverse intersections of minority groups.... She knows firsthand what damaging effects discriminatory policies like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ have on the health and well-being of the force.”
The LGBTQ Institute tweeted, "The Biden Administration continues to prioritize qualified out voices -- and @GinaOrtizJones record of dedicated public service speaks for itself. We're with you, Gina! Congratulations!"
On May 5, Chapman expressed outrage at other LGBT nominees by highlighting the two LGBT nominees and ignoring the other five nominated at the same time:
In addition to nominating an openly lesbian Filipino woman to serve as the No. 2 at the Air Force, President Biden nominated a transgender "woman" and a lesbian to serve in two other prominent positions at the Department of Defense (DoD).
On Apr. 23, President Biden announced seven nominees, including Brenda Sue Fulton for Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at DoD, and Shawn Skelly for Assistant Secretary for Readiness at DoD.
Skelly, a transgender "female" (biological male), served as a Naval Flight Officer for 20-plus years flying the S-3 Viking. She retired as a Commander in 2008. In 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Skelly as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
Brenda Sue Fulton, an open lesbian, is a graduate of West Point and a former Army officer. She was honorably discharged as a captain. Felton then spent 25 years working in brand management for Fortune 100 companies.
Chapman's CNS is obsessed with tagging transgender women as "biological males."
MRC Embraces Highly Dubious Story About Kerry And Iran Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro screeched in an April 26 post:
It was a heck of a way to start a week as the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, NBC, and Spanish-language networks CNN en Español, Telemundo, and Univision completely blacked out the bombshell leaked audio that suggested former Secretary of State John Kerry backstabbed Israel and shared secrets with Iran’s terrorist-backing regime.
The audio of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and an Iranian journalist was leaked to The New York Times and an Iranian outlet based in the U.K. And according to Zarif, Kerry had confirmed Israel’s involvement in operations against Iranian forces in Syria. If true, it constituted a massive betrayal against the U.S.’s biggest ally in the region. But it didn’t garner an iota of airtime on any of those networks.
Instead of covering that major story, all three of the major broadcast networks gushed about the Oscars and how woke they were. Only the CBS Evening News noted how terrible the ratings were, without going into detail. And the Spanish-language networks touted the Latinos that won awards.
Because the MRC is the PR agent for Fox News, Fondacaro added: "Fortunately, Fox News Channel wasn’t beholden to the Biden administration and wasn’t an ally to the Iranian regime, like those networks were. 'Breaking tonight, what could be a major breach of national security and international relations at the hands of former Secretary of State and current climate adviser John Kerry,' announced Special Report anchor Bret Baier at the top of the newscast."
After a few more paragraphs of gushing over Fox News pushing this story, Fondacaro got around to mentioning -- in the 11th paragraph of his item -- a crucial bit of information that undermines his declaration that Kerry "backstabbed Israel and shared secrets with Iran’s terrorist-backing regime": the information was already public.
Indeed, it appears that may have been the case. As an actual news outlet pointed out, we don't know the date of that leaded Zarif conversation, but "in July 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told fellow world leaders on a hot mic that Israel had struck Hezbollah dozens of times in Syria. By August, an Israeli general confirmed Israel had struck Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys nearly 100 times in the previous five years. And by September 2018, a senior Israeli official upped the number to more than 200, specifically citing Iranian targets struck in the previous two years." Kerry has explicitly denied there was any such conversation. Also, it could be argued that Zarif "was effectively venting about his lack of influence in the Iranian government — the idea that he would hear this kind of thing from an American diplomat rather than his own government," adding that "it’s worth being skeptical about the private gripes of an Iranian leader."
Buit because he has been so thoroughly indocrtinated in the MRC's system of vicious hatred of anyone who's not a right-winger like himself, Fondacaro has chosen to believe an enemy of the United States over Kerry.
Indeed, the rest of the MRC apparently has too. Curtis Houck ranted in an April 27 post that White House reporters didn't "ask Press Secretary Jen Psaki about former Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly selling out Israel to his friends in the terrorist-loving Iran." The same day, MRC executive Tim Graham appeared on Fox News, where he "railed against the liberal media's purposeful lack of interest in recordings purporting to show Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif bragging about former Secretary of State John Kerry having informed him of Israel intelligence operations against his country."
Graham then devoted part of his April 28 podcast to the story, effectively justifying running with a story it almost certainly knows is dubious at best because the "liberal media" peddled questionable stories about Donald Trump. Which tells us that MRC has chosen to put its right-wing narrative before the facts.
Another reason we can surmise the MRC knows this has been debunked: it hasn't touched the story since -- not even to apologize to Kerry for claming he "backstabbed Israel."
Last year, Cashill tried to do some image rehab for right-wing Republican Rep. Steve King, insisting that any racially charged remark he was accused of making was taken out of context . Despite the fact that even the Iowa Repuiblicans who had put him in office in the first place finally tired of him and chose a different candidate in the 2020 Republican primary, Cashill still won't give up on him. In his March 3 column, Cashill attacked Liz Cheney -- and played the victimization card on King -- by complaining ther her criticism of King makes her part of the "Cancel Culture Caucus" in the GOP:
The popular, outspoken King – a self-identified Christian conservative constitutionalist – won his congressional race in 2016 with more than 60% of the vote, the seventh out of eight races in which he topped the 60% mark.
In 2016, Liz Cheney, a recent transplant to Wyoming, won an open seat to represent her new state in Congress. After winning again in 2018, the former vice president's daughter was named chair of the House Republican Conference, the third-most powerful position.
King also won in 2018, but this time he was running against not only his Democratic opponent, but also the GOP's emerging CCC.
One stratagem of cancel culture was to make criticism of George Soros off limits. As a result of King's attack on Soros, in 2018 Democrats in Iowa began running ads saying that King was an anti-Semite.
Given that King had a 100% record with Israel, this charge would have had little impact had not the GOP CCC weighed in on the side of the Democrats.
To save his committee assignments, King commissioned a Lexis-Nexis data search that showed the use of the phrases "White Supremacist" or "White Nationalist" in Big Media was virtually non-existent until November of 2016, not coincidentally the month Trump was elected.
King argues, in fact, that the spike in usage correlates perfectly with a George Soros-led "Resistance" conference that was being held in Washington in November 2016 and favorably covered by the media.
In 2020 the CCC supported King's primary opponent, an off-the-shelf Republicans whose mission was to not make waves, and ousted the principled King.
Cashill had another set of alleged victims to dubiously defend in his April 28 column: George Tanios and Julian Khater, the two Capitol rioters charged with assaulting police officer Brian Sicknick:
Khater, 32, and Tanios, 39, restauranteurs and long-time friends, made the trek from Pennsylvania and West Virginia respectively to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 to register their discontent with the election process.
The Department of Justice believes their motives were more sinister. An affidavit for a search warrant claims the two "were working in concert and had a plan to use the toxic spray against law enforcement."
The two men were arrested on March 14 and charged with several crimes including four counts related to possession and use of a "deadly or dangerous weapon."
That alleged weapon was a can of chemical spray. Police use such sprays themselves because, however irritating, they are not deadly or dangerous.
If true, this was obviously an act unworthy of a Trump supporter. That said, a Portland cop catches more abuse on the average weeknight. The average Portland cop abuser, however, is usually back out on streets by the next night's riot, not locked in solitary confinement in a D.C. prison.
Incredibly, Khater and Tanios are among "the dozens" of protesters currently being held in D.C. jails while the Justice Department slow walks their cases through the courts. The pair faces up to 20 years in prison.
The case against the two men lost its emotional punch last week when the D.C. chief medical examiner announced that chemical irritant exposure played no role in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
Cashill, like his WND bretheren, is ignoring 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. That presumabing includes getting sprayed in the face with bear spray, which -- deadly or not -- still counts as assault of a police officer. Still, Cashill went on to rant:
In truth, no one knows what happened on Jan. 6 any more than one knows what happened on Nov. 3, including the judge. Although he acknowledged Tanios did not use the spray and had no criminal record, he ordered him to jail nonetheless.
The prosecution is relying almost exclusively on videotape to make their case against Khater, Tanios and the other protesters, and they are not willing to share much of it with the defense attorneys.
The media strategy to date has been to shame elected Republicans into silence on this transparent injustice. Unfortunately, the strategy seems to be working.
Actually, there is plenty of videotape of Jan. 6, so we have a good idea of what happened -- and, thus, can identify Tanios and Khater as two people who assaulted a police officer.And the utter lack of credible evidence that anything untoward happened in the Nov. 3 election tells us that we know what happened there too, even if Cashill doesn't want to accept reality.
Of course, spinning conspiracies is Cashill's business. He still has yet to apologize for all the ones he has proven to be wrong about.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Complaing About Deficit, Still Won't Admit Trump's Role In Creating It Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey has a serious double standard about federal spending -- he'll criticize Democrats all day long for running up deficits, but he's loath to bring up the fact that a Republican president and a Re[publican-controlled Sente ran up trillions of dollars in federal deficits over the past four years. And with a new Democratic president, he's back into his pattern of hypocritical Democrat-blaming.
In addition to the usual complaints CNS made against President Biden's coronavirus relief bill, Jeffrey had his usual culture-war attacks on it, as summarized in the headlines of the articles he wrote on it:
In the former, Jeffrey groused that thte National Endowment for the Arts gave $25,000 to a theater group to put on a production calling itself "a groundbreaking trans and queer examination of American masculinity's deep roots in Trouble." Because he clearly has not seen the production and cannot attack it beyond its non-heteronormative subject matter, Jeffrey ranted about whether the NEA should get any money at all: "Did federally funded artists produce any great masterpieces in this period? Did American taxpayers get their money's worth? Should we now use a bill allegedly designed to fight COVID-19 to pay the NEA an additional $135 million?" He went on to suggest the production was "bad 'art'" even though, again, he has never seen it.
In the latter, Jeffrey bashed the NEA again, as well as complaining that "The bill also funds rental assistance and housing vouchers." He didn't explain why helping people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic pay their rant is such a terrible thing.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey returned to his old trick of airbrushing Republicans out of his complaints about spending. He wrote in a March 31 article:
The federal debt has increased by more than $1 trillion in the first six months of fiscal 2021, according to the official figures published by the U.S. Treasury.
On Sept. 30, 2020, the last day of fiscal 2020, the federal debt closed at $26,945,391,194,615.15. At the close of business on March 29, it was $27,990,843,257,187.65.
Thus, the federal debt has risen $1,045,452,062,572.50 so far in fiscal 2021.
Jeffrey failed to mention the fact that for the first 3 1/2 months of fiscal 2021, there was a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate, thus making Repubicans responsible for a good part of that debt. But the article is illustrated with a file photo of Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
Federal taxes, spending and the federal deficit all set records in the first six months of fiscal 2021 (October through March), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
Federal taxes climbed to a record $1,703,949,000,000 in the October-through-March period, while federal spending climbed to $3,410,194,000,000.
Again, Jeffrey failed to tell readers that there was a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate for the first 3 1/2 months of the fiscal year. Again, he illustrated his article with only Democrats -- this time Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
On May 12, Jeffrey lazily recycled that article but with updated numbers, ominously adding: "This is the first time that federal spending has exceeded $4 trillion in the first seven months of a fiscal year." Once more, he censored the fact that there was a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate for the first 3 1/2 months of the fiscal year, and he again illustrated his article with only Democrats -- this time Biden, Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.
As usual, there's a tag at the end of these articles stating, "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Is Jeffrey really serving Wold's memory with his journalistic deception and dishonesty?
Jeffrey's bias was mirrored by anti-Biden CNS reporter Susan Jones, who complained in an April 28 article about spending under Biden headlined "In His First Hundred Days, Biden Calls for $6.2 Trillion in Taxpayer Spending." She also baselessly implied a quid pro quo to the Obama by claiming that a program to improve nutrition standards in school meals was "a billion-dollar nod to former First Lady Michelle Obama." Jones did not explain why nutritional meals for children are a bad thing.
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 >>
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 pushingforyears, 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.
Newsmax Columnist Rants: Vaccine Is 'Leftist Weapon of Hate,' Has Killed Thousands Topic: Newsmax
We'velearned 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?
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 justloves 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.
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.
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.