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Tuesday, May 25, 2021
CNS Running Out Of Ways To Downplay COVID Deaths
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com spent 2020 downplaying the number of deaths in the U.S. caused by coronavirus in an effort to boost President Trump. With Trump leaving office, CNS took a two-month break before briefly resuming death counts in February. vSusan Jones, the CNS reporter who was in charge of doing those body-count articles, hasn't done one since, however.

But the following month, editor Terry Jeffrey tried his hand at minimizing things, first serving up this bit of spin in his March 17 column:

American children 14 years and younger are more likely to be murdered than to die because of COVID-19, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[...]

These 911 murdered children were not some abstract statistic. They were human beings — at the beginning of their lives. Had the major television networks and newspapers been inclined to treat this pandemic of child murder as a major story, they could have led with it every day — telling the stories of the young and innocent victims, revealing the facts about those who murdered them, and following the actions of the law enforcement officers and prosecutors responsible for bringing those murderers to justice.

It seems, though, that Jeffrey is treating children who died of COVID as abstract statistics and not human beings because there weren't enough of them for him to turn into a cause. Does he think that all of the nearly 600,000 U.S. deaths of all ages from COVID is an abstraction too?

Jeffrey did something similar in a March 27 "news" article:

Of the 526,028 deaths in the United States involving COVID-19, as officially reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 238 have been in children 17 and younger.

That equals 0.04 percent of all COVID-19 deaths reported in the United States.

But Jeffrey gave up on that angle as well, with CNS choosing instead to do things like publish an April 21 rant by anti-vaxxer Michelle Malkin complaining that children "are being bombarded by an inescapable public relations campaign by all the Bigs — Big Pharma, Big Government, and Big Tech — to brainwash them about the COVID vaccine," adding, "While children under 18 remain at the lowest risk of COVID-19, peer pressure to get the experimental jabs is enormous."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 12:34 AM EDT
Monday, May 24, 2021
MRC Whines That Oscars Talked Too Much About Black People
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the things the Media Research Center pays its employees to do is to spew hate at Hollywood and the Oscars in particular, seemingly because the best films never star right-wing actors like Kevin Sorbo or Kirk Cameron. Needless to say, it predictably hated this year's Academy Awards.

Lindsay Kornick kicked off the hate by complaining that presenters and others talked about black people:

Even in a pandemic, we can always count on The Oscars. Or rather, we can always count on The Oscars to give us a night of insufferable political preaching. And Sunday night’s ceremony delivered political rantings in record time.

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards kicked things off with actor/director Regina King, representing her film One Night in Miami. She was there to introduce the nominations for Best Original Screenplay, but in true Oscar fashion, she started by bringing up the George Floyd murder trial and protests in Minneapolis. She even lectured viewers who loathe Hollywood preaching, claiming, “As a mother of a black son,” she needed to speak.

[...]

Lecturing the audience still willing to put up with your nonsense is not going to win you any more viewers, ABC, no matter what the Los Angeles Times tells you. Between that and Regina King’s further attempts to explain away Hollywood’s hypocrisy for not wearing masks while the cameras are on, the show was already faker than the movies.

Elise Ehrard continued the whining over black people being talked about, lashing out at a dorector for saying that "Today, the police will kill three people":

This year's Academy Awards show was an unwatchable train wreck of BLM& virtue-signaling and bad lighting. A freshman film student could have produced a better show than this mess.

The shout-outs to BLM reached peak cringe during the acceptance speech of Travon Free. Free shared an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film with co-director Martin Desmond Roe, for the Netflix film Two Distant Strangers. Two Distant Strangers is about a young black man murdered by police.

[...]

So, we must repeat once again, for the people in the back: The Washington Post’s own database of fatal police shootings lists only 14 unarmed Black victims and 25 unarmed white victims in 2019. In 2020, 1,021 people were shot and killed by police but only 55 of them were judged by The Washington Post to be unarmed, so 95% were armed and a threat to others. While any death is a tragedy, there is no epidemic of cops killing unarmed victims. It is manufactured outrage designed to fill up left-wing activist coffers and promote racial division.

But Free didn't specify that unarmed people were killed by police, and even Ehrhard's own numbers back up Free's point that black people are disproportionately shot by police. And isn't Ehrhard also trying to stir up racial division for the purpoise of filling up the MRC's coffers?

Karen Townsend perpetuated the tone:

From the beginning until the end, the 93rd Annual Academy Awards was loaded with Black Lives Matter wokeism. Airing on ABC on Sunday night, the show began with self-described "preaching" from actress/director Regina King on the Chauvin trial in Minneapolis and the dangers faced by black men.

The tone was set and the show was none the better for it. It was an unusual set up for the Oscars this year, with no host, and a non-theater location. There were none of the traditional time constraints for acceptance speeches, no music suddenly beginning as a cue for the winner to wrap it up, little to no movie clips - the pacing and production quality were shockingly bad for Hollywood.

Presenter and actress Laura Dern was insufferable to endure. She spoke slowly and added her own twist to introducing nominees for Best Supporting Actor, saying, "Each of these five artists presented us with themes of equity and social justice in their own unique and extraordinary ways." She personalized the introductions as though she was the center of attention. It was awkward to watch.

[...]

To say that this awards ceremony was boring is an understatement. It is no wonder that ratings have been so bad for these shows – who wants to turn in and listen to Hollywood one-percenters scold their audience about the hardships presented because of social injustices? The pandemic has shown us that the entertainment industry has forgotten how to entertain us. The movies up for awards were all filled with messages, not entertainment. The industry is more focused on social activism, not entertaining their consumers.

Gabriel Hays kept up the MRC's race-obsessed coverage by unironically accusing the Oscars of being race-obsessed:

Oh, it’s Oscar season, baby, and once again that means fixating on all the political things Hollywood wants to talk about rather than actual movies. In the year of the pandemic, big Hollywood movies seemed hardly relevant, but our moral betters in Tinsel Town weren’t going to pass up a chance to lecture us.

The Oscars awards show was a parade of diversity -- the hollow kind the left specializes in. And the media lapped it up. The Hollywood Reporterw as so impressed with its industry’s commitment to minimizing whiteness in Hollywood that it put out a little scorecard on just how many different races were awarded.

So much for not making race a thing.

Hays followed up by cheering the lower-than-usual ratings for the Oscars:

Sure, you may feel annoyed about all the woke, self-righteous stuff Hollywood actors have directed at conservatives during the Academy Awards, but the silver lining is that they’re only hurting themselves.

According to Nielsen ratings – as reported by The Hollywood Reporter – April 25’s 93rd Annual Academy Awards was the worst rated in the awards show's history. Even worse, this year’s Oscars ratings were literally twice as bad as last year's, and that one had previously ranked as the worst in Oscars history. 

Yikes.

Hays unsurprisingly buried the actual reason: theaters have been closed for much of the past yer due to the pandemic. But that truth is inconvenient for Hays, so he made sure to steer the story back to the MRC's narrative: "We can’t rule out the fact that these awards shows are also losing ratings due to them getting even more political with each consecutive year. "


Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Bashes Biden's LGBT Nominees
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com irrelevantly illustrated stories about transportation secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg with photos of he and his husband kissing -- and it went totally transphobic on HHS official nominee Rachel Levine. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
WND Promotes Discredited Coronavirus Claims From Nurse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written April 28 WorldNetDaily article claimed:

A nurse who responded during America's 2020 fight against COVID-19, traveling from Florida to New York to help in one of the hospitals in that pandemic-struck city, reports the health care system was about as bad as the pandemic itself.

"I recorded them murdering patients. I recorded just the complete and absolute disregard for human life," Erin Maria Olzewski said during an interview with LifeSiteNews.

She previously has gotten attention for her reports of "fraud, negligence, and greed" in the system that "led to unnecessary deaths" during the nation's war against the virus that apparently was unleashed in China and since has spread around the globe, killing millions.

She sat down with LifeSiteNews during a recent Health & Freedom Conference. The sold-out 4,000-person event was held at Rhema Bible College.

WND didn't tell you that Olzewski's claims have been debunked months ago. Media Matters summed up:

Several of Olszewski’s Elmhurst colleagues contacted Dr. Zubin Damania, a hospital reform advocate “dedicated to improving healthcare for everyone” who publishes videos under the name ZDoggMD, to express disgust at and offer detailed refutations of Olszewski’s claims. 

A physician fellow at Elmhurst who wishes to remain anonymous wrote to Damania, “As someone who worked in those units and know the individuals and patients she referenced I can say without question that she spoke from a place of ignorance. That she would use lazy and faulty conclusions based on superficial observations to assign motives to and assassinate the character of people who worked tirelessly is unconscionable.” They went on to explain that the patients who had a negative COVID-19 test but were still categorized as COVID-19-presumptive cases were examples of “false negatives” and that “those patients all had horrendously deranged inflammatory makers (with distributive shock on pressure) and chest x rays clearly demonstrating lung injury.” According to the physician fellow, “Each of her other arguments/points could be similarly refuted by anyone with first hand knowledge of the situation.”

A traveling nurse that worked at Elmhurst with Olszewski also refuted her claims about non-COVID-19 patients being categorized as such and emphasized that Olszewski “is NOT a critical care nurse,” but rather is an emergency department nurse who had to be taught much of the care that was being provided to COVID-19 patients. The traveling nurse also claimed that Olszewski was “terminated by Elmhurst and Krucial staffing for accusing a physician of murdering her patient.” Of Olszewski’s claims, the nurse wrote, “To express the level of betrayal, hurt , doubt, pure disgust and anger is something I can not put into words” and that their “heart hurts for the regular staff at Elmhurst-they are good nurses-they have good docs(and bad docs) but who doesn’t. But, the amount of mistrust, doubt, and fear that her video portrays to an otherwise already underprivileged city hospital-that’s not ok.”

[...]

Damania published his own debunk of Olszewski’s claims, pointing out that she lacked the knowledge base to make the claims that she did. Damania described how he was initially sympathetic to Olszewski’s claims of being an advocate for COVID-19 patients but after viewing the documentary in its entirety, he doesn’t “believe a single word that she says.”

For example, regarding Olszewski’s “insane” claim that patients with breathing problems were often just suffering from “anxiety,” Damania noted that anxiety cannot lower blood oxygen levels “enough that would trigger physicians to put a breathing tube in you.” Damania also criticized Olszewski for showing patient charts with “minimal redaction” and called her “a criminal, unprofessional con artist who is trying to get attention” by smearing Elmhurst hospital workers. He also criticized Olszewski for promoting anti-vaccine views and noted her obvious agenda, which included using social media to cast doubt on the coronavirus pandemic before working at Elmhurst, her promotion of hydroxychloroquine, and her repetition of talking points from the viral conspiracy theory video Plandemic.

By not telling the full truth about Olszewski, WND has effectively lied to its readers and did them a disservice -- meaning that WND managing editor David Kupelian's fanciful insistence that WND reports the truth has been proven yet again to be a lie.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Sunday, May 23, 2021
MRC Predictably Attacks Biden Speech, Media Reporting On It
Topic: Media Research Center

The longtime modus operandi of the Media Research Center is that merely saying anything even remotely positive about a Democratic politican automatically makes you part of the "liberal media." And that's the way the MRC treated President Biden's address to Congress on April 28. Nicholas Fondacaro set the tone in a pre-speech item:

With just a few hours until President Biden delivered his first address to Congress on Wednesday, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News couldn’t hold back their excitement as they trumpeted Biden’s call for an additional $4 trillion in federal spending on mostly liberal pet projects. CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell kicked off the newscast by celebrating the return of big government, while NBC’s Lester Holt parroted Biden’s on-the-record comments attacking Republicans.

O’Donnell was arguably the most excited by the prospects of Biden’s massive spending spree, soon to be $6 trillion total. “25 years after Bill Clinton declared that the era of big government is over, President Biden will argue the opposite,” she cheered, “saying that ‘Government still works’ and can deliver for the people, as he attempts to sell trillions of dollars in new federal spending on everything from universal pre-K and free community college to elder care and infrastructure.”

As for Holt, he started his program with a tacit admission that he was working as a puppet of the administration as they fought against the congressional Republicans:

Fondacaro would never say that, by the same standard, Fox News was a puppet for the Trump administration for the past four years. But then, he's a right-wing puppet too.

Speaking of puppets, Curtis Houck acted like one in echoing Fondadcaro in another pre-speech item:

Showing they were so enthralled with President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress before he even said a word, ABC and NBC had already started on Wednesday night gushing over his plans, bringing out movie trailer-like opens and boasting of his “hope for an America returning to normal” filled with an agenda that’s extremely “popular” with all Americans.

After the speech, the MRC issued its usual predictable anti-media attacks on anyone who refuses to hate Biden as much it does:

The MRC's resident would-be insult comic minus the "comic" part, Gabriel Hays, raged against Biden's speech and anyone working in entertainment who liked it:

President Joe Biden’s first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 was completely devoid of substance, and filled with cheap platitudes intended to get slow-witted Americans to consent to less freedom and even bigger government. Of course, Hollywood loved the hell out of it.

These entertainers are as shallow and mendacious as they come. The liar-in-chief is a man after their own hearts. Actors like Jeffrey Wright, Alyssa Milano, and Rob Reiner turned on the melodrama in response to Biden’s boring, but radical, speech from Wednesday night. They claimed to be “proud” of Biden and expressed relief that we finally have a president who “cares about us.” 

One even mentioned that they were “ugly crying” because they were so happy he was president. These people need to get lives.

MRC chief Brent Bozell even got the chance to rant about Biden and the media in a cushy solo appearance on Fox Business (though curiously omitting the network's name from the post on it):

According to Brent Bozell, journalists are either “fully vested” in the radical socialism of Joe Biden or they are simply lying with their spin of the Democrat’s “bold,” “ambitious” agenda. Appearing on Varney and Co. Thursday, the MRC president declared, “What Joe Biden is recommending makes Barack Obama a piker by comparison. For them to say he was pragmatic, for them to say this was feel-good, for them to say this was bipartisan, these are lies, Stuart. These are lies.” 

Calling out the complicit press, he added, “They know it. Or... if they're not lies, they're fully vested in socialism themselves. This is not a news media anymore.” He concluded, “Look, last night what did we see by any objective America sure? You saw the proposal for the greatest expansion of the federal government in the history of the United States of America.”

We don't recall Bozell attacking Fox News as being "complicit" with or "fully vested" in the Trump administration and right-wing politics.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 24, 2021 9:51 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:19 AM EDT
Saturday, May 22, 2021
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 AM EDT
Farah Is Sad Drudge Dropped Its Link To WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah lamented in his April 27 column:

It was a good ride.

Drudge and WND. Matt Drudge and Joseph Farah.

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 so much fake news 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.

In fact, Farah lost that lawsuit because he knew the Esquire article was satire and even admitted as such -- until it became inconvenient for him to do so. Having Larry Klayman as his attorney didn't exactly help, either.

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?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:26 PM EDT
Friday, May 21, 2021
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:19 PM EDT
WND Can't Stop Perpetuating Bogus Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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.

Thus, we have an April 26 article by Bob Unruh:

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EDT
CNS Managing Editor Freaks Out Over More LGBT Biden Nominees
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com can't handle the mere existence of LGBT nominees in President Biden's administration, as its attacks on Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine have shown. LGBT-hating managing editor Michael W. Chapman continues to attempt to manufacture outrage over these nominees. He complained in an April 29 article:

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."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 21, 2021 1:38 AM EDT
Thursday, May 20, 2021
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."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 20, 2021 9:38 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Keeps Being On The Wrong Side of History
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aside from his obsessive hatred of Barack Obama, WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has an uncanny knack for choosing the wrong people to defend and work with, be they George Zimmerman or Joel Gilbert. He's still picking 'em.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EDT
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.

Jeffrey followed up with an April 26 article:

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 20, 2021 2:38 PM EDT
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

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