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Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Fake News: WND Continues To Present Election Fraud Lies As Fact
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently, there are articles so ridiculous, even WorldNetDaily's writers won't put their byline on it. Thus, we have a May 10 article credited only to "WND Staff" that starts off by citing loopy right-wing activist Wayne Allyn Root attacking the Associated Press for dismissing as "fraud fantasies" Republican demands to conduct audits on state ballots in the 2020 presidential election. WND gave Root space to rant:

He wonders why Michigan "had a dump of 149,772 votes at 6:31 AM on November 4th – with 96% of the vote going to Biden? How did Wisconsin find 143,379 votes at 3:42 AM on November 4th , just about all of them for Biden? How come you could only produce numbers like this for Biden with no GOP witnesses in the room?"

And why were Philadelphia Democrats so desperate to keep Republican witnesses out of the counting room?

"Why did you refuse entry of Republican witnesses even with a court order in hand? Why did you cover the windows with pizza boxes so no Republican could see in? In Detroit, there are videotapes of vans pulling up in the middle of the night with boxes of ballots. In Atlanta, there are videotapes of suitcases with thousands of fake ballots suddenly appearing after a fake water main break was used to force all GOP witnesses out of the counting room. Why can’t we discuss these videotapes?"

Since the anonymous WND writer refused to fact-check Root, it's up to us to do so.

Suspicious ballot dump in Michigan? False.

Suspicious ballot dump in Wisconsin? False.

Republicans barred from ballot counting rooms in Philadelphia? False.

Ballot-counting rooms covered "so no Republican could see in"? False.

Vans with boxes of ballots late at night in Detroit? False.

Suitcases of ballots in Atlanta? False.

Fake water main break? False.

They have been discussed, and they have been found to be false. The anonymous WND writer didn't epxlain why he or she didn't believe that was newsworthy. Yeah, we can see why this writer didn't want to be named -- it would have proved just what a hack he or she was.

Continuing to present repeatedly debunked lies as indisputable facts is not the path to financial solvency for WND. In fact, it pretty much guarantees that nobody will want to read or trust it and that doesn't deserve to live.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:41 PM EDT
CNS Can't Stop Promoting Extremist GOP Rep (And Hiding Her Extremism)
Topic: CNSNews.com

The last time we checked, CNSNews.com was happily promoting far-right Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert's goofy pronouncements without telling readers that her origin story is a lie. Meanwhile, CNS has decided that enough time has passed after the full exposure (despite CNS' best efforts to hide it) of even more extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's wacky conspiracy theories that she could be promoted again, so Boebert continues to get the fawning CNS treatment.

Craig Bannister touted a mean so-called joke from Boebert in a May 18 article:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) says Americans should “Get ready for new videos of Joe Biden sniffing people to start surfacing again” – and that she’s got a plan to ensure she doesn't become one of them.

“Now that the mask mandate has been lifted for vaccinated people, get ready for new videos of Joe Biden sniffing people to start surfacing again,” Boebert tweeted on Tuesday.

Her solution: “I’m going to continue to social distance from him.”

On May 21, Melanie Arter promoted whining from Boebert and other Republicans about mask requirements on the House floor:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and fellow House Republicans are fed up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) rule that all House members must wear a mask on the House floor whether they are vaccinated or not.

As CNSNews.com reported, Pelosi said Thursday that she will be guided by the attending physician, who says lawmakers and staff must continue to wear masks in meetings and on the House floor. This despite CDC guidance saying that they can forgo masks indoors.

[...]

“Everyone is just hearing about them, because we are finally ripping them off saying, ‘To heck with this. Nancy Pelosi kiss my mask.’ So there were many of us who actually stood and said, ‘We're done with these games. You don't know more than the CDC, and if you do maybe that means COVID is more dangerous in the House of Representatives chambers than it is in the hall right outside,’ because there we don't have to wear a mask and there is no fine,” she said.

Arter didn't mention that Boebert is apparently refusing to geta COVID vaccine, which would help Pelosi want to lift mask mandates in the House.

Bannister returned on June 8 to promote a Boebert stunt:

Since Border Czar Kamala Harris won’t visit the U.S. southern border to see the crisis unfolding, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) took a cardboard cut-out of the vice president there at told her to “Stand here and look at what you’ve done.”

“I traveled down to McAllen, Texas to the Rio Grande Valley sector to see what’s up at our southern border,” Rep. Boebert says in a video posted to her Twitter page.

Netierh Boebert nor Bannister explained why Harris must be forced to visit the border when they would likely denounce even that move as well.

Meanwhile, CNS has yet to tell its readers that Boebert has just bought into a conspiracy theory that the Clintons caused the death of a reporter -- or any of the other extremist conspiracy theories she has latched onto, like QAnon. One might call that biased and dishonest reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Monday, June 21, 2021
Media-Hating MRC Writer Suddenly Feigns Concern Oer Journalists
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wouldn't mind a bit if all journalists died in a fire (or, perhaps, in an Israeli airstrike) -- particularly the ones who aren't the right-wing sycophants the MRC wants them to be. So any claim that they suddenly care abour journalists' welfare is suspect at best and rank narrative-pushing at worst. Thus, we have this abrupt concern from Scott Whitlock in a May 18 post:

Imagine if Donald Trump had jokingly threatened to murder journalists standing in front of him. They probably wouldn't have laughed. Yet that’s what Joe Biden did on Tuesday and the assembled reporters just chuckled at the funny threat. While test driving an electric Ford F-150, ABC's Cecilia Vega broke up the adoring queries about the car by actually asking, “Mr. President, can I ask you a quick question about Israel before you drive away since it’s so important?”

Biden, who was sitting in a truck at the time, sneered, “No, you can’t. Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I’m only teasing.” The off-camera journalists awkwardly snickered in reply. Biden then drove off, having threatened the press and then not answered the serious question.

Just prior to a real question, the reporters acted as Democratic hacks, offered up sycophantic queries about the photo-op. They included, “How does it feel to be behind the wheel, sir?”  and “Mr. President, how fast were you going?” Biden was happy to answer those.

We don’t actually have to imagine how the networks would react if this were Trump. In July of 2017, the then-President tweeted a video of a wrestling video in which Trump grappled with a superimposed CNN logo. On the July 3, 2017 Today, Hallie Jackson warned, “A spokesperson for the cable network saying, ‘It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters’...”

Then-CNN political commentator Sally Kohn fretted, “Both sides have a problem with hateful crazies. The difference is the left denounces theirs. The right elects theirs president.” Journalists on the networkdeclared Trump a “dangerous” madman who will get members of the press killed.

What Whitlock conveniently overlooks is that Trump wasn't joking -- he hates journalists as much as the MRC, which absolutely loves him for it. And the MRC absolutely loved him for it, mocked concerns over their safety as going"overboard," and even justified the violent threat because of "the President's criticism of the cable channel. Journalist-hating MRC writer Nicholas Fondacaro gushed, "If there were two things President Trump knew how to do well, it’s tweet and get under the skin of the folks at CNN."

So convinced was Whitlock that he had a surefire argument here that he devoted another post to it the next day:

Joe Biden’s joking threat to murder an ABC reporter didn't bother the network press at all. ABC and NBC on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning completely skipped the cringe-y moment. CBS allowed a scant 15 seconds, dismissing the attempted humor about running over a journalist as “brushing off a question.”

[...]

The CBS Evening News on Tuesday provided the only coverage, just 15 seconds. Reporter Ed O’Keefe dismissed, “ But later, while test driving an electric truck, the President brushed off questions about the [Middle East] violence.” A joking threat of violence is “brushing off”? He then played the clip. 

[...]

As I noted on Tuesday, journalists melted down when Trump in 2017 retweeted a dumb, old clip of him fighting a digitally superimposed CNN logo at a wrestling match. We can certainly imagine how they would handle Biden’s comments, if they were made by Trump. 

Again, Whitlock omitted the fact that he and his fellow MRC co-workers didn't think Trump's tweet was "dumb" -- heck, they absolutely loved it. Nor does Whitlock make the case that Trump was ever joking in his rage-filled anti-media attacks, something Biden made clear immediately.

In his first post, Whitlock actually bashed journalists for being "cowardly." But he omitted inconvenient facts and context that would have undercut his argument. So who's the real coward here?

P.S.: Note that in both of these posts, Whitlock refuses to identify Biden by his title of president, introducing him only as "Joe Biden." Is he an election truther who won't admit Biden won fair and square? Sure sounds like one.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 21, 2021 11:07 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Highly Selective Crime News Coverage
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com only sporadically expresses concern about crime in Chicago and other big cities -- typically, when reporting on it advances CNS' right-wing editorial agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
WND's Hirschhorn Spreads More COVID Conspriacies, Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Joel Hirschhorn -- an affiliate of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- has distinguished himself with his love for coronavirus conspiracies and his bizarre hatred of Anthony Fauci. Hirschhorn indulged in the latter in his May 14 column, which began by pushing hydroxychloroquine and moved quickly into Fauci Derangement Syndrome:

Many months passed between the time COVID treatments were blocked and COVID vaccines became available. Again, call this the "Fauci kill zone." This is assuming the vaccines actually save lives. Those data are not yet available. But what we do know is that use of the early treatment protocols could have prevented at least 70 to 80% of COVID deaths, as documented in "Pandemic Blunder." Well over 400,000 lives were lost unnecessarily in the Fauci kill zone, and even more from the indirect lives lost because of government actions, like lockdowns.

With all the mismanagement, there is just as much a disinformation pandemic as a viral one. This "false" pandemic based on the political goal of creating public fear ruined the American economy destabilized society and inflicted enormous pain and suffering.

[...]

The disastrous actions of Fauci are contrary to all these traditional concepts and responsibilities. Americans should ask:

How can we believe that our entire medical and public health system, facing a most historic lethal pandemic, failed us in such a profound way?

How could our government not protect our lives by standing in the way of frontline doctors taking the earliest possible action to address potentially devastating COVID impacts?

But that is exactly what has happened.

For his May 26 column, Hirschhorn went into full conspiracy mode:

Starting in early 2020, powerful people, government agencies and private sector entities coalesced around a pandemic strategy. Evil globalists were active behind the scene as the world was mesmerized by a wildly spreading viral pandemic. This strategy was never explicitly and publicly described. It could not be … because it was sinful.

It explicitly accepted that millions of people would die until the strategy could be fully implemented. Loss of lives was necessary to ensure that trillions of dollars would eventually be made – a classic case of profits over people. The pandemic was seen as a marketing bonanza for big drug companies, a global financial opportunity of epic historic proportions. Public health was sacrificed at the altar of corporate greed.

The most charitable interpretation of the strategy is that vaccine proponents envisioned a life-saving pandemic solution eventually. But the race to invent and produce COVID vaccines, as we now know, did not produce thoroughly tested and safe vaccines. Now we have unsafe experimental vaccines. And the truth about them must be hidden from public view. Otherwise, the truth would cause the collapse of the entire public health pandemic effort. Faith in governments would melt away as the public realized they were akin to guinea pigs in a vast global experiment.

Hirschhorn then told a verifiable lie: "As of May 7, there have been 192,954 adverse-event reports associated with COVID vaccines reported to the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), including 4,057 deaths. Previous studies, including one from Harvard University, estimate that only 1 to 10% of all vaccine-related ill effects get reported to VAERS." If Hirschhorn were an honest man (which he isn't), he would know that report of an adverse effect to VAERS does not mean there is a proven link to those events and the vaccine.

Hirschhorn also wrote, "Dr. Joseph Mercola said the vaccine actually is gene editing, which impairs your body's natural immune response." One: Mercola is a quack who's into even more bogus conspiracy theories than Hirschhorn is, and two: the mRNA coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna do not edit your genes.

He also asserted:

Israel has been praised for having the highest vaccination rate per capita in the world. The Israeli People's Committee reported in April that there have been 1,000-1,100 deaths in proximity to COVID vaccination and a total of 2,066 adverse events. Noted was the absence of media coverage of the ill effects of vaccination. The report concluded: "Never has a vaccine injured so many!" Note that the population in Israel approaches just 9 million, making the level of vaccine negative impacts very significant.

As a fact-checker found, the Israeli People's Committee does not do legitimate medical research, and the report itself states that it "should not be relied upon for medical or other purposes, and it certainly does not contain any medical recommendation."

That would have been a big warning sign for Hirschhorn, but pushing conspiracy theories is more important to him than telling the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Obama Derangement Continues At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

President Obama has been out of office for more than four years, but the Media Research Center still -- still! -- can't stop themselves from going ballistic anytime he or his wife, Michelle, make a media appearance. In an April 24 post, Scott Whitlock whined yet again that "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King once vacationed with the Obamas and yet still "interviews powerful politicians." No mention, of course, of the ethics of the MRC repeatedly promoting Parler without disclosing that the woman who funds Parler also funds the MRC.

That seemingly was a setup for the MRC's latest manufactured outrage against Michelle Obama -- that she committed the offense of appearing in the media to promote a new project (you know, like pretty much every person with a project has ever done).Whitlock further raged in a May 7 post about King's purportedly "troubling conflict of interest" with the Obama:

In the world of CBS, conflict of interest apparently doesn’t exist. Gayle King is a Democratic donor and Barack Obama donor. She has vacationed with the family. Yet, who lands the exclusive interview with Mrs. Obama? Gayle King of course. Sounding like a PR Democratic hack, King gushed on Friday, “Michelle Obama is still speaking out on the issues that she championed as First Lady. She is now the star and the executive producer of the Netflix show Waffles and Mochi.”

[...]

The CBS puff interview was four minutes with more air time promised on Monday. As I wrote in an August 2020 fact sheet for NewsBusters, King has donated “over $33,000 to the DNC, $7300 to Barack Obama, $1000 to Democrat Harold Ford Jr.” In 2017, she vacationed on a yacht with the Obamas.

Again, Whitlock remained oblivious to the troubling conflicts of interest by his own employer.

Whitlock returned to complain on May 10 (needless bolding in original):

CBS This Morning has a special connection to Democratic stars Barack and Michelle Obama. That connection's is named co-host Gayle King, an Obama donor who partied at the White House. Whenever the Obamas want a lot of air time, they can count on Gayle King. On Friday, she devoted 3 minutes and 58 seconds to fawning over Mrs. Obama. Monday saw another 14 minutes and 48 seconds for a grand total of 18 minutes and 46 seconds. 

The two discussed racism in America, as well as the former Fist Lady's new Netflix series on healthy eating. King sounded like a PR operative: “In the year since her family left the White House, Mrs. Obama could have taken some well-earned time off, but she told us she does not take for granted the reach of her voice and the unique platform of a former First Lady.”

The headline on Whitlock's post ridiculously called this a "donation," though Michelle Obama is not running for any political campaign. The MRC has never called Fox News' years of fawning over Donald Trump a "donation" to him even though it certainly played a role in turning him into a politcal candidate.

Two days later, Whitlock huffed:

CBS is cementing its status as the official network of the Obamas. After donating 18 minutes to Michelle Obama from Friday to Tuesday, Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night offered up his entire show to her, totaling 23 minutes towards promoting the former First Lady. That’s 41 minutes in five days. Back in November, the network devoted 48 minutes to promoting Barack Obama’s memoir. 

[...]

Can anyone imagine Republican presidents and first ladies getting this level of adoration from the news media? 

Whitlock has apparently never watched Fox News -- which, last time we checked was a part of the "news media" -- and its relationship with Donald Trump.

That wasn't the only Obama meltdown at the MRC recently:

  • On May 20, Kristine Marsh pretended to be aghast that Barack Obama used some F-bombs to describe Trump and that they were reported in the media.
  • Lindsay Kornick took a break from complaining about superhero TV shows to complain on June 2 about a new Obama-produced show on Netflix, purportly to be shocked that it has "decidedly political content" in the form of ... civics lessons. She concluded by whining, "This Fourth of July, try to truly educate yourself by avoiding this series."
  • Whitlock returned for a June 5 "flashback" of people praising President Obama. Has he never read the fawning his fellow right-wing media folks did for Trump?

When Barack Obama did an inter view with ABC, Kyle Drennen complained on June 18: "Even after years of him being out of office, ABC’s Good Morning America still swoons over Barack Obama." YIs that like how even after years of him being out of office, the MRC still attacks him?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EDT
CNS Gets Bored -- Again -- With Crime In Chicago
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've noted, CNSNews.com once again renewed its sporadic interest in crime in Chicago in April, presumably in an attempt to blame President Biden -- and despite touting President Trumo's alleged success with a crime-reducing program in the city. That politifally motivated interest continued for a while longer. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman made an odd comparison in a May 18 article:

Since the violence erupted in Israel on May 10, a reported 232 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed, a total of 242 victims. These people were killed primarily by airstrikes (bombing) and rocket attacks. It's essentially a war zone there.

For comparison, since Jan. 1 through May 10, at least 210 people have been killed in Chicago, most of them by gun violence. The majority of the victims are young black men, according to the Chicago Tribune.

[...]

In the year 2020, there were 774 murders in Chicago. Also, there were 3,237 shootings (which was up from 2,120 in 2019), reported The Sun-Times. (Emphasis added.) 

For comparison, 27 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in 2020, according to Al Jazeera, and three Israelis were killed reportedly by Palestinians.

CNS went to an anonymous article credted only to "CNSNews.com Staff Writer" (but put into the system by Chapman, according to the CNS archive) for a May 24 article:

At least 55 people were shot, 12 fatally, over the weekend in Chicago, according to the local media in the Windy City. One of the fatalities was a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head.

Nearly all of the shootings occurred in neighborhoods in the South and West sides of the city, areas that were identified by the city "last fall as 'priority community areas' where police and other resources were to be boosted," reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

And ... that was it. CNS has not devoted another article exclusively to Chicago crime since then. There were references in a couple other articles, though. A May 25 article by Melanie Arter hyped Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asking White House press secretary Jen Psaki about "the spike in violent crime in the past year" and seemingly upset at Paski pointing out that the spike began under the Trump administration. And a June 10 article touted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham hounding Attorney General Merrick Garland over increases in violent crime (though, of course, no equal space was provided for questioning of Garland by Democratic senators).

It's quite clear that CNS cares about crime in Chicago and other big citiees only when doing so helps its right-wing political agenda. Isn't that the kind of thing that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, loves to attack the "liberal media" for doing?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 20, 2021 11:01 PM EDT
Saturday, June 19, 2021
MRC Has A New Wealthy Liberal To Fearmonger About
Topic: Media Research Center

For years, the Media Research Center has attacked George Soros as an evil spectre for his donations to liberal causes -- so vicious is their hatred, in fact, that it has used anti-Semitic "puppet master" imagery against hi and even portrayed him as a Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate. Now there's a new rich liberal donor the MRC has decided to fearmonger about. Joseph Vazquez wrote in a May 4 post:

It turns out that the left has no problem taking “dark money” when it benefits their own political ends.

The New York Times published an explosive report naming liberal Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss as “one of the most important donors to left-leaning advocacy groups and an increasingly influential force among Democrats.”

New tax filings showed that two of Wyss’s organizations “donated $208 million from 2016 through early last year to three other nonprofit funds that doled out money to a wide array of groups that backed progressive causes and helped Democrats in their efforts to win the White House and control of Congress last year,” according to The Times. Officials from Wyss’s organizations reportedly worked on President Joe Biden’s transition team or joined his administration.

Wyss’s organizations have reportedly donated “tens of millions of dollars since 2016 to groups that opposed former President Donald J. Trump and promoted Democrats and their causes.”

Vazquez tried to make an issue about Wyss' citizenship status -- only U.,S. citizens are allowed to donate directly to political campaigns but may give to advocacy groups. No evidence is offered that Wyss broke the law.

Vazquez went on to huff: "Wyss’s organizations 'do not have to disclose many details about their finances,' so it isn’t clear 'how they have used the money originating from Mr. Wyss’s operation,' according to The Times. Wyss’s organizations also don’t have to disclose 'which donations are used for which projects,' The Times said." Vazquez has expressed no similiar concerns about dark money in conservative politics.

Vazquez found a way to work Soros into this conspiracy in a May 12 post:

A leftist “dark money” group funded with millions of dollars from both liberal billionaires George Soros and “foreign national” Hansjörg Wyss is attempting to make the atrocious and un-American H.R. 1 election overhaul bill a reality.

In addition, the group is also trying to sway lawmakers on “ D.C. statehood” and the “Voting Rights Act Amendment.”

Fox News reported yesterday that the leftist Sixteen Thirty Fund “has spent $1.3 million on internal lobbyists to push the reforms while dishing out $480,000 to outside firm Keefe Singiser Partners between 2019 and 2020, according to disclosures.” In addition, “ Maura Keefe, the former chief of staff for Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, heads up the shop.” The Fund also “paid $100,000 to Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid to advocate on democracy reform and election integrity, including H.R. 1,” according to Fox News. Soros gave at least $16,568,483 to the Fund between 2016 and 2019. Wyss, who is of Swiss origins and has not disclosed publicly if he is even a U.S. citizen, gave a whopping $135 million to the Fund between 2016 and 2020.

Dark-money groups have been working to push Republican-backed laws across the U.S. that hinder voting rights, but Vazquez has said nothing about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2021 7:03 PM EDT
Joseph Farah's Fauci Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah loves his conpsiracy theories, so it's no suprrise he would latch on to some of the most noxious one regarding the coronavirus and Anthony Fauci. Farah ranted in his May 12 column:

Thanks to the excellent work by Fox News host Steve Hilton, we now know a lot about Dr. Fauci, our own Dr. Frankenstein, and the coincidence of the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. He'd been involved in the controversial gain-of-function research beginning 10 years earlier in that Dutch research lab.

The gain-of-function research quickly spread to labs all over the world, and the money was flowing in from all corners of the globe, including the United States. At the forefront, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Except that didn't actually happen. An actual news organization talked to the folks who acctually got the money Fauci OK'd:

But Robert Kessler, a spokesman for the nongovernmental organization EcoHealth Alliance that NIH funded, said claims about funding gain-of-function research are based on a misunderstanding of the grant’s role in the research. He said EcoHealth provided WIV $133,000 a year, except for $66,000 in 2020 (when the grant was terminated by the Trump administration), for a total of about $600,000.

“The NIH has not funded gain-of-function work,” Kessler said in email exchanges. “EcoHealth Alliance was funded by the NIH to conduct study of coronavirus diversity in China. From that award, we subcontracted work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology to help with sampling and lab capacity.” He said the citation in the paper was mainly the result of researchers’ desire to cite any possible research that contributed to the findings, with much of the funding coming from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. (Another funder listed was USAID’s Predict program, which helped collect animal viruses and also funded EcoHealth.)

“As described in the paper, all but two of the viruses cultured in the lab failed to even replicate,” he said. “None of them had been manipulated in order to increase their ability to spread, all the researchers did was insert S [spike] proteins in order to gauge their ability to infect human cells.”

Kessler added that “much of that work [described in the grant] wasn’t done because the grant was suspended. But GoF was never the goal here.” As he put it, “gain of function research is the specific process of altering human viruses in order to increase their ability (the titular gain of function) either to spread amongst populations, to infect people, or to cause more severe illness.”

But Farah doesn't care about facts -- he has an enemy to try and destroy from his diminished, financially challenged platform. So he ranted some on in his May 25 column:

It's time for him to go.

The man in charge of finding out to truth of how the deadly COVID-19 virus came to be.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the highest paid man on the U.S. government's payroll.

[...]

Fox's Tucker Carlson Monday provided shocking details of Fauci's "lies."

They are legion.

He knows China has been hiding the truth as he has.

Meanwhile, those of us that pursued the truth have been vilified, shunned, canceled.

The Chinese-controlled World Health Organization abruptly lost funding from the U.S. government during President Trump's reign. But it was reinstated by Joe Biden, without preconditions and with full funding, ensuring the cover-up would continue.

Is there something that needs investigation more?

The virus played such an important role in the U.S. election. Should we start by investigating that?

Think of all the disinformation that has been spun since Trump left office.

Heaven help us!

Farah is making the mistake of trusting a fellow conspiracist in Carlson, whose attacks on Fauci have fallen apart.

The next day, Farah tried to make a big deal out of Fauci saying in 2017 that he expected President Trump to have to deal with a surprise disease outbreak during his presidency -- a threat all presidents have had to face. But Farah downplayed that part, instead adding: "Can anyone think why it would not be a surprise to Fauci? He helped develop it!"

On June 4, Farah went on a tirade about Fauci being an evolutionist:

I don't believe in evolution. I believe it's a fairy tale. I believe God made us in His image – just as the Bible describes. Why should we not believe God about the way mankind was created but believe He sent a Messiah who could give us eternal life and forgive our sins?

Evolution is not a theory worth science's time – and time is what it needs, desperately.

But Fauci gave it all away. He was a phony from the beginning. And Trump tolerated him. Every president makes mistakes. This one was a doozy.

It's not surprising that Fauci got away with it – citing, as it were, "evolutionary theory."

This disease, COVID-19, the China virus, came out of the Wuhan Lab. That's where it was birthed. But Fauci very much wants to blame God for his mistake. And Fauci helped invent the virus with his funding of research at the lab. Whether it was a mistake or not, Fauci was hoping it would be a Frankenstein monster he helped to create.

He got his wish.

He was in on it – the whole enchilada. The Big Steal – everything. He gave it away – plus his career.

But there's something else he gave away. His humanity – even his very soul, unless I'm wrong and he plans to repent of his ghastly sins.

When a doctor turns into a villain whose actions lead to the death of millions to get his way, it's beyond sick.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Fauci should be prosecuted. They would look good together in a prison cell.

That's our Joseph Farah:thinking everyone else is evil, but the lies he has published at WND are totally justified.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2021 10:48 AM EDT
Friday, June 18, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck is always knives-out against White House press secretary Jen Psaki and always man-crushing on Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. that's demonstrated yet again in his so-called review of Psaki's May 21 press briefing, in which he bragged in the headline that Doocy and other reporter had been "eating their Wheaties":

Friday’s White House press briefing was quite a doozy as numerous reporters offered either challenging, interesting, or yes, lefty questions to Press Secretary Jen Psaki on boycotting next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, Egypt’s role in the Hamas-Israeli ceasefire, and government spying on reporters.

As usual, Fox News’s Peter Doocy played a leading role with two rounds of Q&A. Round one started on what Doocy had tried to make into a light-hearted moment as he noticed Psaki use the phrase “the art of seeking common ground” to describe infrastructure negotiations, so he quipped: “At some point, does that become the art of the deal?”

Initially, Psaki didn’t seem to completely catch his drift: “I don't know. I think you're the professional here, Peter.”

Doocy noted he was making “a joke,” so Psaki channeled Fox-obsessed CNN host Brianna Keilar: “You're the TV star, you know? What's the Fox chyron gonna be?”

Thankfully, Doocy played along, noting that “[a]rt of seeking common ground does take up a lot of characters,” so he’ll “have to check with the control room” and only then did Psaki joke about how “art of the deal” sounded great as long as it was one “for the working people.”

We don't recall Houck cheering that reaporters ate their Wheaties when they questioned his beloved Kayleigh McEnany.

Houck was man-crushing on Doocy again over the May 24 briefing:

While Monday saw a change in the White House Briefing Room with an increase in capacity from about a dozen reporters to two dozen reporters, other aspects remained the same with Fox News’s Peter Doocy setting the tone in battling Press Secretary Jen Psaki over a bombshell Wall Street Journal story about a possible origin of the coronavirus.

And as we’ve seen on occasion, Doocy’s lines of questioning drew follow-ups from his more-liberal colleagues.

[...]

Doocy closed by asking Psaki whether the White House would assign “any amount of casualties from COVID in this country” as a red line for when they would decide to go it alone.

Clearly not amused, Psaki lectured Doocy that “the family members of the loved ones whose lives have been lost — and deserve accurate information, data, not the jumping to a conclusion, without having the information necessary to conclude the origins” and the administration shared that belief.

Like a good right-wing activist, Houck became obsessed with the issue of the source of the coronavirus in China, using the headline of his May 25 review to irrationally scream, "Answer The Question!":

With little in the way of an answer on Monday about whether the Biden administration was taking the possibility of a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology seriously, Fox News’s Peter Doocy was back on the case during Tuesday’s White House briefing asking Press Secretary Jen Psaki about Wuhan. Just as he did on Monday, he received help coming in the form of Team Biden suck-up Annie Linskey of The Washington Post.

And on another topic, Doocy also made a second attempt at seeking comment on the rising crime across major U.S. cities.

[...]

Seeing as how he wasn’t going to get anywhere, Doocy moved to crime and cited a rise in homicides over the last year of “113 percent in Minneapolis, up 38 percent in Philly, up 22 percent in Chicago” as a way to have Psaki restate what she had appeared to have done on Monday in blaming it on the volume of guns.

Psaki seemed to imply she wasn’t sure Doocy’s numbers were accurate and when she tried to pass the buck to the Trump administration, the FNC reporter interjected.

Did Houck ever demand so forcefully that McEnany answer a reporter's question Not that we can recall.  And did Houck ever give a non-right-wing reporter the pass he gave Doocy on whether his information was accurate? Again, not that we can recall.

Houck even whined when someone other than Psaki gave the briefing. Apparently angry he didn't have Psaki to kick around for a day, Houck sneeringly dismissing deputy press secretary as both a diversity hire who may not be qualified to hold the job and -- even worse by MRC standards -- a former MSNBC contributor:

The Psaki Show took a break on Wednesday from the White House Briefing Room and instead gave way to a guest episode led by her top lieutenant in Principal White House Deputy Press Secretary and former MSNBC contributor Karine Jean-Pierre. Naturally, this led more than a few liberal journalists and pundits to wax poetic about her becoming the second Black woman to lead a briefing and the first lesbian to do so.

In other words, it was quite the day for the liberal media and their never-ending guest to play diversity bingo.

The briefing itself was fairly routine, but ABC senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce gleefully asked “a personal question” about how Jean-Pierre’s “presence here today is making history,” so she wanted to know“if you could share your reflections with us.”

Way to show that you care about the plight of minorities, Curt.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EDT
WND Writer Makes Even More Bogus COVID Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As much as we hate to pile on WorldNetDaily writer Art Moore, he has been a fake-news machine on the issue of coronavirus. And another one of the articles in which he falsely claimed that an article promoting ivermectin had been published in a journal that rejected it has other bogus claims as well.

The main thrust of Moore's May 10 article was to tout an interview Fox News' Tucker Carlson did with Dr. Peter McCullough, an aggressive promoter of questionable treatments like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, in which he attacked COVID vaccines, claimed thousands of people have died from them, and insisted that immunity obtained from having coronavirus is better:

He insisted it's a "false narrative that you can get the infection twice."

After 17 years, people who had the first SARS virus are still immune, and that virus is about 80% the same as the current SARS virus. And of the 111 million people in the world believed to have had COVID-19,  there have been only about 100 cases of claimed reinfection.

But in nearly every case of claimed reinfection, McCullough said, it's turned out to be a misintrepretation of a PCR test, which commonly delivers false positives.

[...]

All of the vaccines produce a viral spike protein that is pathogenic and can cause blood clotting and damage blood vessels, he explained.

[...]

Noting the risk the vaccines pose to COVID-recovered people, he said a clinical diagonosis of COVID-19 should be enough to confirm immunity.

"I hope some rational thinking comes down in America to say, Listen, proof of having COVID or proof of being a survivor recovered will be good enough," he said.

[...]

People say: "Oh, there are studies out of Denmark where there were some ambient antibodies here and people got COVID here. You must be able to get reinfected."

But those are "little red-herring cases."

"I said, Look at your nursing homes, is grandma going in the ICU over and over again? No. Does it seem like everybody gets it one time? Yes.

There's a lack of common sense. we just have to use our clinical common sense. The immunity is robust, complete and durable. Let's move in."

WND has already had to walk back the bogus claim that PCR tests are prone to false positives. Meanwhile, a fact-checker has pointed out how misleading McCullough's claims are (as well as other claims he had that Moore didn't note):

But what McCullough didn’t tell viewers is that acquiring immunity through infection comes with the risks associated with the illness. The relatively low mortality rate of COVID-19 is commonly cited as a reason not to worry about catching the virus. But this focus on mortality rate alone doesn’t account for the fact that the virus is highly contagious, and can therefore still cause many deaths when it spreads widely. To date, more than 590,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, while COVID-19 deaths worldwide have exceeded 3.6 million.

Furthermore, COVID-19 can lead to other outcomes besides complete recovery and death. For example, a proportion of COVID-19 survivors have persistent health problems even after recovering from the infection. Some of these problems include difficulty breathing, cognitive deficits, joint and muscle pain. This condition is termed long COVID.

[...]

As explained above, natural infection does produce protective immunity in most cases, but reinfection can and does happen. This suggests that not all survivors develop protective immunity from infection alone. It’s unclear how many COVID-19 survivors experience reinfection, as there isn’t enough data to make conclusions, although reinfection is thought to be uncommon.

Vaccination can help enhance COVID-19 survivors’ protective immunity. Firstly, vaccine boosters designed to target variants can further improve the immune system’s ability to respond to an infection by a variant, as Cassandra Berry, a professor of immunology at Murdoch University, explained in this article published by The Conversation.

Secondly, reinfection is difficult to predict, but individual variability in immunity can arise due to factors such as genetic susceptibility, age, and the amount of virus a person was exposed to (also known as infectious dose). Since vaccines are designed to produce optimal immunity, as Berry explained, vaccination can help to bridge the immunity gap in a survivor that didn’t generate protective immunity from infection alone.

[...]

Overall, McCullough’s claim that vaccine-induced spike protein poses a danger to people isn’t substantiated by evidence. In fact, the available evidence contradicts his claim.

Don't look for Moore to correct his article -- it has already served its purpose of instilling fear into WND readers.And it's clear that for Moore, pushing the right-wing talking point du jour is more important than basic fact-checking.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Good-News-Is-No-News Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last month, CNSNews.com had a field day with April's lower-than-expected job growth numbers, happily hyping the low numbers and falsely blaming generous unemployment benefits for it. When May's numbers came up not only much better than April's but also much closer to expectations, CNS really didn't want to talk much about it. Susan Jones' story about it was about as straightforward as CNS gets, while also sniping that the numbers still didn't reach some estimates and still aren't as good as they were under President Trump:

Following a disappointing employment report in April, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday produced an improving picture as the nation continues to emerge from its COVID slump.

The economy added 559,000 jobs last month, below Bloomberg's median estimate of +661,000, but easily beating the lackluster 266,000 added in April (the April number fell far short of estimates as high as 1 million).

The unemployment rate, after rising a tenth of a point last month to 6.1 percent, dropped three-tenths of a point to 5.8 percent; and the number of employed Americans increased for the 13th consecutive month.

In May, 151,620,000 Americans were working, 7,115,000 fewer than the record 158,735,000 employed in December 2019 when Donald Trump was president. As COVID crashed the economy, the number of employed Americans fell to 133,370,000 in April 2020, a number not seen since 1999.

Interestingly, that was the only story CNS did. For someunexplained reason, no sidebars on government employment or Hispanic employment -- regular CNS staples until now -- never appeared. Perhaps CNS decided the numbers were so good that it didn't want to draw additional attention to them; after all, that would run counter to its aggressively anti-Biden editorial agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Caitlyn Jenner Is So Right-Wing, The Transphobic MRC Is Defending Her
Topic: Media Research Center

It was just a couple years ago that the viciously transphobic Media Research Center hated Caitlyn Jenner so much that a post attacking her -- promoted under a headline insulting her as a "trannie" -- was deemed so offensive that it was deleted without explanation. Now that Jenner is running for California governor as a conservative Republican, the MRC has been forced to do the unthinkable: defend a transgender woman.

It started out dismissive of her chances, of course. In a April 7 post, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg complained that "It’s interesting that she thinks she is qualified for a role like governor. For crying out loud, she’s never had a place in the political sphere but her drive for transgender activism as a Republican is apparently enough credibility," adding, "But honestly, when are celebrities going to stay in their own lanes?" Did Mandelburg (or anyone else at the MRC) ever say that about Donald Trump?

But as Jenner's conservative leanings became more apparent, the MRC decided she was worthy of defense, as Veronica Hays did in an April 26 post:

A celebrity with no political expertise who is also a transgender woman running for California Governor? That’s a match made in heaven. But add in the inconvenient fact that she’s running as a Republican and this liberal fantasy is destroyed.

On Friday April 23, Caitlin Jenner, former Olympian and Kardashian stepfather, now trans woman, confirmed her run for Governor of California. The potential election of the first trans woman Governor of California should be a shining moment for the LGBTQ community, however Jenner’s conservative leanings immediately disqualified her from gaining their endorsement.

[...]

Funny how these heterosexual individuals have the gall to condescend to a trans woman and tell her what to do. Where is the moral outrage? Even worse is the hypocrisy of the LBGTQ community which prides itself on inclusivity, to disown one of their members for having forbidden political views. Truly, these people are deranged.

Um, doesn't the MRC condescend to non-conservatives and insist on telling them what to do?

In a May 1 post, Scott Whitlock complained that "The View" co-host Joy Behar "denounced the reality TV star as an inexperienced Trump stooge," adding that she also Jenner has got this "guy Brad Pascal [sic] running his campaign. ... I mean that guy was accused of using campaign funds to enrich himself." Whitlock didn't explain who Behar was referring to; perhaps that's because it was actually Brad Parscale, former manager of Donald Trump's re-election campaign, who has indeed been accused of pocketing millions of dollars from both Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee. We can see why Whitlock wouldn't want to bring up that unpleasant history.

When Jenner strangely came out against transgender youths taking part in sports, she felt even more MRC love. Mysterious (and transphobic) sports blogger Jay Maxson complained on May 4 that a sports blogger declared that "Jenner is trash because the California gubernatorial hopeful says it’s unfair for boys to compete in girls’ sports." The same day, Curtis Houck lumped Jenner among "minorities who refuse to be pigeon-holed" when MSNBC's Joy Reid criticized her stance, then without a shred of irony attacked Reid as "someone whose entire show has existed to prime viewers to hate those on the opposite side the of spectrum and rage about how they are to blame for what ails the country." Houck might as well have been talking about himself.

On May 6, Veronica Hays gushed over Jenner and her right-wing views following a Fox News interview:

As if the Hollywood left didn’t have reason enough to hate Caitlyn Jenner, the former man, Olympian and reality star now running for California governor gave Sean Hannity an hour-long interview on Wednesday night.

In her first exclusive interview as gubernatorial candidate, the transwoman discussed her political stances on a wide range or topics; from immigration and covid restrictions to taxes and transgender persons in sports.

When asked directly to assess Trump, Biden and Kamala Harris, Jenner told Hannity that what she liked about the former president was that he was a “disrupter,” and that what Biden’s doing “scares me.”

[...]

Jenner was once considered a brave champion by the left after her transition but has since been ostracised by both her own LGBT community and other Hollywood elites for her past Republican affiliations and stance against biological males performing in women’s sports. Her interview with Hannity has revealed her conservative vision for California and will likely face the betrayal of liberal backlash once more, perhaps even more severely this time.

Hays returned on May 11 to complain not only that comedian Sarah Silvermancriticized Jenner on her stance on transgender athletes but that Yahoo News backed her up by pointing out that the bans "are backed by no real-world evidence, with Republican lawmakers unable to give examples of this issue outside their own heads." She concluded by whing, "Will any of the LGBT community stand up for Jenner? No." Weird, Hays and the rest of the MRC hates the LGBT community whever it stands up for anything. Two days later, Hays touted how right-wing commentator Dave Rubin "ripped into comedian Sarah Silverman on Tuesday for dragging Caitlyn Jenner during her podcast," adding, "The rest of intelligent society is likely to agree."

Of course, the MRC would be trashing Jenner the way it complains  "the LGBT community" is trashing  her if her political views were even remotely liberal.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EDT
WND Pushed Bogus Claim That 'Trump Drugs' Cut COVID Cases In India
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily writer Art Moore has repeatedly promoted a biased study advocating thte use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, falsely claiming it was published in a medical journal that ultimately rejected it because of unsubstantiated claims. But that's not the only problem with one of the articles Moore used to push the bogus claim. Moore wrote in a May 17 article:

India has become the center of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but a drop in cases has coincided with the national health ministry's promotion of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine treatments.

The India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare updated its guidelines on April 28 for treating the asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms of COVID-19

Since then, the data show cases have plunged in some areas, reported a leading promoter in the United States of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, Dr. Pierre Kory, the COVID blog reported.

On Monday, Indian officials announced the country's daily COVID-19 cases fell below 300,000 for the first time in 25 days.

In fact, as PolitiFact pointed out, there is no proven link between the decline in cases and use of vermectin and hydroxychloroquine:

Daily COVID-19 cases in India decreased in the days before May 17 —  but only after a nearly vertical rise that started in April and peaked May 8. The Indian government has recommended limited use of the two drugs for COVID-19, but there is no evidence that their use led to the drop in cases.

[...]

Confirmed new COVID-19 cases in India declined in the days before the article was posted, based on a seven-day rolling average — but only after reaching a peak following a sharp increase that started in April. 

The seven-day average of new daily cases was 319,497 on May 17, the date of the post, down from a peak of 391,232 on May 8, according to Our World in Data. The U.S. average was 32,036 on May 17.

Many experts caution that the Indian government’s official tallies of confirmed cases likely vastly underestimate the actual infection figures because testing remains limited and the volume of cases has crippled the health care system in some areas. So the actual extent of the decline is not clear.

Hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are being widely used in India for COVID-19, according to news reports. But there is no evidence they led to the recent decline in confirmed cases, given the lack of clear scientific evidence that they are effective at all in prevention or treatment.

Nevertheless, Moore has clung to his coronavirus conspiracies. He asserted, without evidence to back it up, that "there are 219 peer-reviewed studies indicating the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment and prophylaxis against COVID-19. And 54 peer-reviewed studies show the effectiveness of ivermectin as treatment and prophylaxis against COVID-19."

So in thrall is Moore to the propaganda he must believe as an employee of rabidly pro-Trump WND that the headline of his article laughably calls the medications "Trump drugs." It's actually kind of sad that he feels he must do that.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2021 5:50 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Curtis Houck's War On Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy)
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center writer flip-flops, turning his love for Kayleigh McEnany into seething hatred for the current White House press secretary -- and hatred of the "liberal media" into gushing over biased, hostile Fox News reporters like Doocy. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT

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