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Wednesday, May 26, 2021
CNS Embraces Dubious Kerry-Iran-Israel Story
Topic: CNSNews.com

Just like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com has embraced the dubious claim that former secretary of state and current climate envoy John Kerry leaked information to Iran about Israeli military strikes against Iranian facilities in Syria.

An April 27 article by Patrick Goodenough surprisingly led with Kerry's denial that he had any such conversation with the Iranian foreign minister, whose conversations were leaked, as well as the likelihood that the attacks were likely already public knowledge -- but also made space for Republican attacks on Kerry. Two days later, Goodenough wrote an article that focused on the Iranian response to the leaked audio, in which he also highlighted that "In the U.S., the most explosive aspect of the leaked recording has been Zarif’s claim that Kerry had informed him about covert Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets in Syria." Goodenough noted Kerry's denial but not the fact that the State Department said the Israeli strikes were already public knowledge.

Despite the story not really going anywhere, Goodenough was determined not to give up on it. In an April 30 article, he effectively took the side of an enemy of the United States by trying to undermine Kerry's defense:

But Kerry dismissed the claim as “unequivocally false,” and the State Department defended him by saying the issue of Israeli operation in Syria was public knowledge at the time, thus implying Kerry was not telling Zarif anything he would not already have known.

However, if Zarif is to be believed, he did not know about the attacks before Kerry enlightened him.

[...]

The first time Israel publicly acknowledged that it had carried out secretive operations against Iranian interests in Syria – with the number 200 mentioned – was in September 2018.

As reported earlier, it’s unclear exactly when the Kerry-Zarif conversation took place – if indeed it did – and, if it did, whether it was during a face-to-face meeting or in some other form of communication.

Kerry has acknowledged having met with Zarif several times between the time he left the State Department (January 2017) and the time President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal (May 2018). Their last known meeting, in New York in April 2018, took place five months before Israel’s public admission.

Goodenough went on to claim that this so-called scandal is "being called 'Zarifgate," -- but he doesn't say who, exactly, is calling it that -- and touted how Republican senators are demanding an investigation into Kerry's purported "transactional diplomacy," though the" transaction" was never identified.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
Falsehood-Prone WND Goes After Other Media Outlets For Fixing False Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh declared in a May 3 WorldNetDaily article:

Several major legacy media organizations have been burned by their "sources," and have been forced to retract their claims that former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was warned by the FBI about a "Russian disinformation" campaign against him.

[...]

When legacy media outlets New York Times, Washington Post and NBC reported on the raid, they said that the FBI had "warned him about being targeted by a Russian influence operation."

However, all three now have retracted that claim, according to Fox.

The Times said, "An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing."

The Post's was similar, and NBC said, its original report "was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani."

They all said their reporters wrote up the claims based on information provided by "anonymous sources."

Does Unruh need to be reminded of how many times WND has been burned by sources peddling false information, resulting in the need to make corrections? We can go back to 2008, in which it settled a defamation lawsuit for falsely accusing a Tennessee car dealer of selling drugs in an attempt to smear Al Gore, but earlier this year WND was appending corrections to some articles just a few months ago that peddled false claims about election fraud and coronavirus (though certainly not all of the bogus articles it published).

WND has been burned plenty of times -- or it already knew the claims were false but published them anyway -- yet it has the temerity to take other media outlets to task for correcting the factual record, something WND is generally loath to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
MRC Pays Trump's Pollster For Another Anti-Biden Poll
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the components of the Media Research Center's election-fraud conspiracy theory was a poll it conducted claiming that some people who not have voted for Joe Biden if they knew about the Hunter Biden controversy -- but it has censored the fact that the company that did the poll, McLaughlin & Associates, worked for Donald Trump's re-election campaign, putting the poll's objectivity into question and raising questions of conflicts of interest (not to mention McLaughlin's notorious unreliability). But that's the kind of bias the MRC prefers, so it sent some more money McLaughlin's way, as detailed in an anonymously written April 26 item:

As Joe Biden nears his 100th day in office, a new poll conducted for the Media Research Center by McLaughlin & Associates finds a plurality of voters say the news media have given the President an easier ride than his predecessors.

The public’s perception of a pro-Biden bias is confirmed by a recent MRC study which found broadcast evening news coverage of the new President has been more positive than negative (59% positive vs. 41% negative). By contrast, our analysis of the same time period in 2017 found 89% negative coverage of President Trump, vs. just 11% positive.

The poll of 1,000 people who voted in last fall’s general election was conducted from April 8 to April 12. When asked if they thought the news media has been easier or harder on Joe Biden, or if Biden has been treated about the same as other Presidents, voters by a more than three-to-one margin saw the media as going easy on Biden.

Nearly half (45.3%) said the media had been “easier on Joe Biden,” compared to just 13.8% who said the media had been “harder on Joe Biden.” Just over a third (34.7%) said they thought the media had treated Biden about the same as other Presidents, while 6.2% said they didn’t know.

Again, the MRC hid from readers McLaughlin's partisan record and dubious reliability. On the other hand, McLaughlin did produce the result the MRC paid it for, so appears that narrative once again trumps facts.

That makes for great campaign oppo research. But legitimate "media research"? Not so much.

Speaking of biased polls, an April 27 item by Joseph Vazquez touted:

A newly released poll revealed that Americans aren’t putting up with big business unleashing faux outrage at states attempting to protect their electoral processes.

Rasmussen Reports released a survey of 1,000 American adults showing that 37 percent of Americans were less likely to purchase Coca-Cola products. Rasmussen said that the results were due to the company’s liberal political stance against Georgia’s recent law protecting voter integrity. In addition, the survey found that Americans opposed major businesses attempting to influence politics “[b]y more than a 3-to-1 margin.” Perhaps Coca-Cola and others should learn that leftist virtue-signaling doesn’t necessarily pay dividends.

Vazquez isn't going to tell you that Rasmussen has a notorious conservative skew, or that what he and Rasmussen call "voter integrity" -- the preferred right-wing terminology for Republican-pushed election law changes -- most people would call voter suppression.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Freaked Out That Ex-California Residents Are Making Other States More Liberal
Topic: Newsmax

It seems rational to think that people that leave California are unhappy with the Golden State. However, it appears that many are not — or at least not in a way one would think.

Recent data on expatriated Californians suggests that they leave mostly because California is just too expensive; many of them do not harbor the expected ideological grievances. On the contrary, California "immigrants" become emissaries of the welfare state when they settle in their new homes.

Empirical data suggests that transplanted Californians demand progressive policies wherever they go. The impact of the Golden State's proliferation of entitlement values is exacerbated by the fact that many Californians are moving to conservative states with a lower cost of living like Texas, Colorado, Utah, Tennessee, Montana and Idaho.

Settling there, they often advocate for subsidies and welfare state policies that they are accustomed to.

[...]

Derek Thompson, writing for the Atlantic, points out that recently Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a stern admonition via social media addressing Californians relocating to Texas: "…those high taxes, burdensome regulations, & socialistic agenda advanced in CA? We don't believe in that." This warning was repeated in various warnings in Texas newspapers about the evil "California-ing" of Texas.

Colorado, a historically conservative state, faces similar predicament to that of Texas. Migration of Californians to Colorado has dramatically impacted major facets of daily life there. From significant increases in taxes at the local, county and state levels to gun control legislation that rivals that of Illinois, it appears Californians have transplanted not only themselves but also the very policies that made the Golden State ultimately unlivable for them.

[...]

While expatriated Californians may be seeking lower taxes, more affordable housing and better job opportunities, they fail to see that in seeking the benefits of conservative-leaning states through handouts, they are killing off their hosts by bringing with them the same progressive social policies that turned California into a dysfunctional economic reality show.

Bottom line: Red states like Colorado and Texas are at risk because expatriated Californians fail to accept a value system that made those states successful. As long as California's exodus of welfare state values continues, the uniqueness of American individualism and market economics will be at an increasing risk of being marginalized.

-- Yuri Vanetik, May 3 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 6:43 PM EDT
WND Censors Fact That Pollster Trashing Biden Worked For Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an April 28 WorldNetDaily article:

A noted pollster is warning that Joe Biden's approval numbers, though slightly positive, are a dark omen because they are significantly below most recent presidents.

"The fact he's only in the low 50s right now is a really bad sign for Joe Biden," pollster John McLaughlin said in a report by Just the News.

He said the problem is that the president is governing as an extreme leftist – after having promised the American people he would be a moderate.

"He's taken what should have been very popular issues — COVID relief, infrastructure — that Americans overwhelmingly support and turned those into radical left-wing pieces of legislation," said McLaughlin said in the report. "Republicans can't wait to get into election season and talk about some of the things that are in those bills ... expanding the welfare state, tax increases, basically open borders. That's not where the American people are right now."

Biden is just at 100 days in office and his job approval ratings actually are mostly assessed in polls at being just above 50%.

But ABC has reported that the average approval rating for the past 14 presidents at this point in their terms is 66%.

The only ratings lower than Biden's were for Gerald Ford, who was under attack for his pardon of Richard Nixon, and Donald Trump, whose first term was plagued by the unrelenting – and false – claims by Democrats and their allies in the legacy media about "Russia collusion."

Unruh forgot to report one important thing: McLaughlin worked for Trump's re-election campaign, so perhaps his perspective is more than a little biased and colored by partisan politics. The Just the News report from which Unruh cribbed his article did note that fact.

Unruh also tried to obscure just how bad Trump's ratings were. According to the ABC article he referenced, Trump's approval rating in the first 100 days was a mere 42 percent, much lower than Biden's. For Unruh to blame that on the "Russian collusion" story is disingenuous, since much more was going on and Trump had mad his divisiveness all too clear. And if Unruh thinks it's "false" to point out that the Trump campaign had been working with Russians, he clearly didn't read the Mueller report.

Such dishonest reporting isn't likely to get other media outlets to take part in its WND News Center.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 2:42 PM EDT
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

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