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Thursday, June 24, 2021
Are You Serious? CNS' Coverage On Mask Mandates Is Partisan And Silly
Topic: CNSNews.com

Over the past couple months, CNSNews.com has engaged in reverse mask-shaming and tried to force political motives on federal mask guidance, so it clearly has no interest in treating the issue seriously.

As it is apparently mandated to do by its Media Research center parent, CNS automatically takes the side of Republicans and conservatives, as seen in a May 12 article by Susan Jones hyping how "Several Senate Republicans chided the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday for what Sen. Susan Collins called "conflicting, confusing guidance" from CDC, especially as it relates to schools, summer camps, and mask mandates." The next day, Melanie Arter served up more reverse mask-shaming under the headline "CNN Asks WH Aide Why Biden Wore Mask Indoors Meeting with Fully Vaccinated Congressional Leaders."

Arter returned on May 14 to transcribe a mask attack from Fox News:

Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier pointed out Thursday that President Joe Biden’s ultimatum on mask wearing if you’re not vaccinated leaves out people who have already had COVID and have natural immunity as well as children.

Saphier told Fox News’s “Hannity” that Biden’s tweet directing people to “get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do” was “dangerous.”

Arter did not allow anyone to respond to Saphier. Later that day, Arter scrounged up a "former acting CDC Director" to attack mask guidance.

In a May 17 article, Jones was still on her kick of manufacturing a political motive for changes in mask guidance, huffing that "Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, went on all the Sunday talk shows to explain her agency's sudden and confusing about-face on face masks," adding that "She told "Fox News Sunday" that political pressure had nothing to do with the sudden change in CDC masking guidelines." the next day, Jones complained that New Jersey wasn't ready to lift mask mandates just yet.

Arter served up another political attack in a May 18 article: "Adm. Brett Giroir, former coronavirus testing czar for the Trump administration, told Fox News on Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped the ball when it came to messaging about mask guidance and coordinating with the White House." On May 19, Craig Bannister promoted a right-wing gotcha attempt in which "Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Walensky to 'in one minute, summarize for me what the recommendations are today from your agency about wearing masks,'" conceding that "the CDC director obliged."

On May 20, Jones gave space to Republican House members whining that Nancy Pelosi won't lift mask mandates on the House floor until all House members are vaccinated:

So far this week, several Republicans -- Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina -- have been fined $500 for refusing to wear masks despite an initial warning to do so.

They face fines of $2,500 the next time.  Several other Republicans have received first-time warnings for not wearing masks.

Rep. Ralph Norman told "Fox & Friends" he's "just tired of it," and "I'm going to do it again."

"I'm not putting another mask on," he told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday.

Jones did not allow Pelosi or any other Democratic House member respond to Norman or his fellow GOP mask complainers.

Also on May 20, managing editor Michael W. Chapman gushed at how "Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed a bill into law that prohibits the public schools from imposing mask mandates on their students. Chapman devoted six paragraphs of his seven-paragraph article quoting Reynolds and two Republican state legislators touting the legislation; the final paragraph quoted a "Democrat [sic] State Rep." criticizing it. Not exactly fair and balanced, eh, Mike?

Speaking of balance, Jones finally served up a little in a May 21 article quoting Pelosi defending her House mask mandate, saying that "unvaccinated lawmakers are selfish, and she suggested they eventually may be required to vote from the House gallery instead of the House floor."

And on May 24, Bannister demonstrated the unseriousness of CNS' agenda-driven mask coverage by devoting an article to the opinions of a washed-up right-wing actor:

Conservative actor and former “Hercules” star Kevin Sorbo has a message for the businesses that are still requiring customers to wear masks in order to patronize their businesses.

On Sunday, Sorbo posted a tweet reminding business owners that the anti-mask customers they’re turning away today, despite the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) loosening its rules, are the ones who weren’t afraid to shop at their establishments - and helped keep them in business - when others were shunning them:

“To any business that has a mask policy:

“The maskless shoppers you turn away were the ones willing to support you when no one else would.”

Nothing says "legitimate opinion" quite like a guy who hasn't done much since that "hercules" role a few decades ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2021 4:04 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
MRC Plays Dumb On Crowder's Latest YouTube Suspension
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research center wants you to think that Steven Crowder is just a misunderstood comedian who keeps being "censored" because he's a conservative and not for all those nasty homophobic attacks he likes to make. Well, Crowder got himself into trouble again, and Nick Kangadis was on hand to play dumb in a May 13 post:

The “Big Tech” oligarchs will eventually come for you. After they censor and ban everyone they hate for whatever reason, they won’t stop and will go after whomever they deem is the next “offensive” entity.

YouTube has given conservative talk show host Steven Crowder a “second active strike” on his main channel and also given the first strike to his clip channel, Crowder Bits.

The censor-happy platform identified an episode of “Louder with Crowder” in which Crowder himself and his crew agreed that the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio on April 20 was justified.

YouTube gave the Crowder team a somewhat more specific explanation of why that particular episode violated their guidelines:

In particular, this video violated the aspect of the policy that prohibits "content reveling in or mocking the death or serious injury of an identifiable individual." Accordingly, the video has been removed and a strike has been applied to the Steven Crowder channel. This constitutes the second active strike on the Steven Crowder channel and, as a result, uploads are now suspended for two weeks.

That is ridiculous. As Louderwithcrowder.com's Courtney Kirchoff wrote in the article concerning the strike, the Crowder crew “didn’t revel in the death or serious injury of an identifiable individual.”

Note that Kangadis does not document what Crowder actually said so we could judge for ourselves, even though he went on to write that "Yours truly watched that episode the day it aired, and while the Crowder crew likes to have fun and make joke — whether you agree with them or not, at no point did they 'revel' in the death of Bryant."

As a more honest and responsible media watchdog did document, Crowder and his co-host were mocking the dead Bryant in general and her weight in particular, claiming she moves like "an old [George] Foreman" and claiming her "fifth DoorDash" was arriving. So, yeah, they were very much reveling in and mocking a dead woman. But Kangadis want to gaslight you, parroting the old MRC narrative that "This seems like it’s just being used as an excuse to come one step closer to eliminating the most popular conservative channel on YouTube."

If this is "the most popular conservative channel on YouTube," alleged censorship is the least of conservatives' problems.

Kangadis continued to gaslight in a May 21 post:

Conservative talk show host Steven Crowder announced on his brand-new Rumble channel that he and his lawyer Bill Richmond filed a lawsuit last Thursday against video platform giant YouTube for suspending his channel for two weeks for allegedly violating their guidelines.

[...]

As noted above, Crowder’s lawsuit stems from the platform issuing a second strike last week against the Steven Crowder channel who — according to YouTube — exhibited “content reveling in or mocking the death or serious injury of an identifiable individual.”

For the record, the show did not, but that will be for a court to decide from here on out.

The death that the Crowder crew allegedly reveled in was the justified shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant by a Columbus, Ohio police officer.

Again, Kangadis refused to tell readers exactly what Crowder said. If it was not offensive, why hide that since it would presumably boost Crowder's defense?

Then, on June 3,  Casey Ryan kept up the gaslighting on Crowder in a monthly roundup of what the MRC thinks is the month's "WORST censorship":

YouTube targeted a video where Crowder stated that the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant was justified in Columbus, Ohio. The platform said that the video had “‘content reveling in or mocking the death or serious injury of an identifiable individual,’” according to Crowder’s team. However, the Louder with Crowder team also said Bryant was never mocked. “The video they're referring to didn't revel in the death or serious injury of an identifiable individual,” the team said in a statement. “It seems YouTube is unhappy the studio crew agreed the shooting of a teenager trying to stab another was justified.”

Like Kangadis, Ryan also refused to offer a transcript of what Crowder said.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
CNS Omits Facts About GOP Congressmen's Letter On Oil, Gas Taxes
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister intoned in a May 13 CNSNews.com article:

On Thursday, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and 54 of their colleagues sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urging them to abandon plans to use their so-called “infrastructure” bill to devastate the U.S. oil and gas industry and the jobs it supports.

The letter was shared on social media Thursday by Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), who led the effort to reach out to the Democrat [sic] House leaders.

Bannister failed to report that, as Greenpeace noted, all but three of the letter's56 signatories have received political donations from the oil and gas industry, a total of more than $14 million over their collective political careers -- likely the main motivation for the letter.

Bannister went on to dutifully write:

“Every business since the inception of the tax code has used cost recovery provisions” to write-off costs, the letter says, warning of Democrats’ plan to single out and eliminate tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

Repealing write-offs of Intangible Drilling Costs (IDCs) “could result in the loss of over a quarter million jobs by 2023” and “repeal of Percentage Depletion will eliminate 84,000 mainly small business jobs per year and harm royalty owners as well,” the letter cautions.

Bannister uncritically uncritically repeated the letter's portrayal of a tax write-off as a "tax increase." As the Natural Resources Defense Council reported, the intangible drilling cost write-off is more than a century old and could certainly stand to be reviewed, and ending the write-off would bring in $9 billion in tax revenue over 10 years. As another analyst pointed out, technological advances in the oil drilling industry mean that dry wells, the main impetus behind the writeoff, are less of an issue these days. The letter -- and, thus Bannister -- never explained how the intangible drilling cost write-off was exactly the same as other business expense write-offs.

Uncritically repeating one side of a story while hiding the apparent motivations driving that argument is not reporting -- it's stenography. Fortunately for Bannister, stenography is what CNS pays him to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EDT
WND Keeps Pushing Doc's COVID Lies And Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily writer Art Moore has promoted factually dubious and potentially dangerous claims about coronavirus by Dr. Peter McCullough (who is a cardiologist, not a virologist). Moore has promoted claims by McCullough in other articles as well. In a May 21 article, for instance, Moore uncritically repeated another claim from McCullough:

McCullough warned that the randomized vaccine trials excluded people who had been infected with COVID. That means there is no safety data and no indication of the effectiveness of the vaccine for people who have been infected, he said.

Further, there are two studies from the U.K. and one from New York City that show higher rates of adverse events for recovered COVID-19 patients who are vaccinated.

"There's no evidence of benefit and only evidence of harm," he said.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who have recovered from COVID-19 receive a vaccination because having the disease is no guarantee against catching the virus again (though studies suggest that they may need only one dose of the vaccine). If there's "evidence of harm" in getting the vaccines, there's certainly a greater degree of it from the virus itself.

Moore devoted an entire article to McCullough's dubious argument in a May 25 article:

Dr. Peter McCullough, a prominent cardiologist, internist and professor of medicine who has testified to the U.S. Senate, has explained that he is not against vaccines, and many of his patients have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

But he said in a new interview this week that with increasing reports of adverse effects, it's too risky for people who have a more than 99% survival rate to receive one of the experimental vaccines.

"Based on the safety data now, I can no longer recommend it," he said in an interview with journalist and author John Leake.

"There are over 4,000 dead Americans, there are over 10,000 in Europe that die on days one, two and three after the vaccine," said McCullough.

The figure for the United States comes from reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS. Between Dec. 14, 2020 and May 7, 2021, more than 190,000 adverse events were reported, with 4,057 deaths.

As we've pointed out, report of an adverse effect to VAERS does not mean there is a proven link to those events and the vaccine, and anti-vaxxers like McCullough are simply trying to scare the public, not impart any useful information. In other words: McCullough is lying, and Moore refuses to call out his lie.

Moore touted more McCullough medical misinformation in a June 10 article:

Last November, renowned cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough was among the physicians who in Senate testimony decried the politicization of hydroxychloroquine, invermectin and other drugs as COVID treatments.

In an interview last month, McCullough told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that "something has gone off the rails" in the world's approach to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with health authorities in the U.S. and abroad suppressing safe, cheap and effective treatments while promoting experimental vaccines that have received only emergency use authorization.

Again, not true. Hydroxychloroquine has not proven effective in a host of studies, and even the one Moore promotes elsewhere in his article shows only preliminary results, is merely an observational study and not a randomized double-blind study considered the gold standard for research, and ithas not been peer-reviewed.

In another June 10 article, Moore copied-and-pasted McCullough's earlier lie about  "4,000 dead Americans" from the vaccine. On June 14, Moore recycled McCullough's bogus claim that the vaccine is "getting the vaccine is too risky, taking into account the fact that most people have a 99% survival rate" -- a claim Moore repeated in a June 15 article.

We've said it before: Lying to your readers does not build the kind of trust a news organization needs to be treated as credible. It's unknown why WND thinks it's exempt from this rule.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 12:25 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
If Bette Midler Isn't 'Relevant," Why Does The MRC Write About Her So Much?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Vernonica Hays issuedwhat she thought was a sick burn in a May 20 post: "How relevant is Bette Midler? She’s got a hot take on one of the most controversial incidents  … of 1992."

You know who else thinks Midler is so relevant that it devotes numerous posts to attacking her? The MRC. We've already documented how the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, is completely obsessed with writing about her tweets -- 40 articles about her in 2020 alone -- but the MRC proper is no slouch in that department either.

Hays' post is the fifth this year the MRC has devoted to freaking out about Midler tweeting something it didn't like. On Jan. 6, Matt Phiblin groused that the "once-relevant actress and singer" criticized Donald Trump speaking at the MAGA rally that day; that would be the one that devolved into the Capitol riot, so maybe Midler was right on that one. On Feb. 18, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg huffed that Midler declared that harsh winter weather in Texas was God's judgment on conservatives, further huffing, "This storm is a natural occurrence and everyone knows that." (Her employer didn't know that, given that it tried to falsely blame effects of the winter storm on wind and solar energy.) This was followed a few days later by Gabriela Parieseau complaining that Midler said less-than-pleasant things about Rush Limbaugh upon his death (as part of the MRC's aggressive post-mortem defense of Limbaugh).

And on May 10, Gabriel Hays whined:

The Hollywood COVID cult just continues to reach new heights in its insanity. The latest debacle  involves actress Bette Midler threatening the lives of kids with peanut allergies with a jar of peanut butter.

Mmmhmm. It’s every bit of stupid and insane you thought it could be. 

The leftist, who was saner during her gig as a cackling witch in Hocus Pocus than in real life, found a creative way to explain how she would punish parents and their kids for refusing to get them vaccinated if she could. 

On May 9, Midler tweeted out a quote, which stated (tweet also available below), “If my kid can’t bring peanut butter to school then yours can’t bring the deathly plague. Vaccinate or I’m bringing the Jiffy.”

ON top of that, Midler was referenced in nine other MRC posts this year, typically in roundups of "liberal Hollywood" figures saying things that don't fit with the right-wing MRC narrative.

And in 2020, the tally was even bigger. The MRC featured Midler in two posts, but referenced her in a whopping 38 others, in posts with headlines like "#Privileged: A Billion Way$ Hollywood Lefties Hate Americans Who Want to Go Back to Work" and "The Death of #MeToo: 95 Celebs Who Smeared Kavanaugh are Silent on Biden."

Who says Midler is irrelevant? She's quite relevant to the MRC as a punching bag in service of its narrative of hating any Hollywood celebrity who not a nasty right-winger.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:18 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 8:12 PM EDT
Newsmax Floods The Zone On Fluffy Trump Appearances On Newsmax TV
Topic: Newsmax

A May 25 Newsmax article gushed:

Former President Donald Trump will appear on Newsmax's "Cortes & Pellegrino" at 9 p.m. on Tuesday for a face-to-face interview.

The President will do a sit-down with co-host Steve Cortes, a former top advisor to Trump's 2020 presidential campaign.

Trump's conversation with Cortes will take place in New York's Trump Tower and cover major topics like China's role in the COVID virus, President Biden's spending plans, the January 6 Commission, rising anti-Semitism, the crisis at the southern border, and more.

Cortes and Jenn Pellegrino co-host the new prime-time show on Newsmax TV, now the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in America.

Since Newsmax is such a supporter of Trump that it parroted his lies about election fraud -- which resulted in some walkbacks in order to get out of defamation lawsuits -- and given that interviewer Cortes has served as a media surrogate for Trump, this would not be a hard-hitting interview. And indeed, it wasn't-- the main article, by Eric Mack, let Trump prattle on about his election fraud cponspriacy theories:

Big Tech and media Democrat allies effectively aided a rigged election by silencing stories on Hunter Biden and election fraud, President Donald Trump told Newsmax on Tuesday night in an exclusive interview.

"That's when you first saw silence," Trump told Steve Cortes on Tuesday's "Cortes & Pellegrino" of social media's blocking of the New York Post's reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop. "They silenced a newspaper. It's the oldest newspaper in our country, I believe, and it's a big one, but they silenced a newspaper in our country because they were talking about Hunter Biden.

"The other thing that they don't want to talk about – when you hear this whole culture of keeping things quiet, let's not talk about – is the election fraud."

Not only did the media rebuke attempts to investigate election fraud after the November election, the media is remaining quiet on the ongoing election audits in Arizona and more states, Trump lamented.

Since Mack didn't note it, we can assume that Cortes never bothered to confront Trump with the cobious evidence that his election conspiracy theories are lies.

Other articles from the interview simply quote Trump ranting and praising himself, again with no apparent pushback from Cortes:

And that wasn't even the full extent of Newsmax slobbering over Trump on May 25. Earlier in the day, Sandy Fitzgerald touted how Trumpo "slammed MSNBC "Morning Joe" anchor Joe Scarborough and his wife and co-host Mika Brzezinski, accusing them of launching attacks on him because their show rankings are dropping." That was followed an hour later by an article from the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy gushing that Trump "issued a statement offering condolences to Rob Carson following the death of the Newsmax host’s mother."

Those kind of quid pro quos are the things that get Newsmax things like a fluffy sit-down with Trump.

Then, four days later, it happened again -- Trump did another Newsmax interview, this time with host Dick Morris. Mack sycophantically wrote: "In a wide-ranging phone interview, Trump delivered his America First, MAGA views as only he can, ripping Fox News, lamenting the Democrats-led turn against Israel, a softened approach to China allowing it to 'get away with murder,' defunding the police movements leading to massive crime increases in the U.S., and the destruction of women's rights." Newsmax squeezed a bunch more articles out of this interview as well:

Since Morris is an extreme Trump sycophant even by Newsmax standards, we can presume he didn't offer any pushback on anything.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:20 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 5:29 PM EDT
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

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