NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Fact-Checking: Random Attacks Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has attacked fact-checkers for fact-checking its allies -- including an anti-abortion group and a Clint Eastwood movie. Read more >>
CNS' Jeffrey Keeps Up Hypocritical Complaints About Deficit Spending Topic: CNSNews.com
As we'vedocumented, CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey showed little interest in calling out President Trump for the federal deficits he was racking up -- but when President Biden took office, he suddenly became a more aggressive deficit hawk. The hypocrisy has contined.
The budget proposal that President Joe Biden released today calls for the federal government to run a cumulative deficit of $14.53 trillion ($14,531,000,000,000) over the next ten years.
Under Biden’s proposal, the lowest the deficit would ever go in the next decade is in 2027, when it would hit $1,303,000,000,000.
The proposal says that it aims to reduce deficits starting a decade from now—rather than in the next ten years.
Biden, who is 78 years old, could serve as long as eight years as president--if he is elected to a second term.
Jeffrey recycled his attack on Biden's budget in his June 2 column, right down to irrelevantly emphasizing Biden's age:
Americans, President Joe Biden's budget proposal suggests, should not worry that he plans to significantly increase federal deficits over the next eight years.
Why? Because he intends to begin reducing them — but not eliminating them — nine years from now.
Of course, even if the now 78-year-old Biden were to run for reelection in 2024 and win the presidency again, he would be out of office in nine years.
Neither Jeffrey piece mentioned Trump, who ran up trillions of dollars in deficits during his presidency.
On June 10, Jeffrey served up his monthly lament about federal spending:
The federal government set new records in the taxes it collected, the spending it engaged in and the deficit it ran through the first eight months of fiscal 2021 (October through May), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
Federal taxes hit a record $2,606,879,000,000 while federal spending climbed to $4,670,668,000,000, resulting in a federal deficit of $2,063,789,000,000.
If you'll recall, those monthly laments during the Trump administration sought to lay equal blame on Democrats and Republicans alike by including Democrats in the stock photo accompanying the article, even though Republicans controlled the presidency and Senate and Democrats controlled only the House. This time, the photo is of Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
MRC Lashes Out At Demi Lovato, Model For Being Non-Binary Topic: Media Research Center
If you're a celebrity and you're not heterosexual, the Media Research Center will try to destroy you. (Just ask JoJo Siwa.) And you don't even have to be gay to get the treatment -- any less-than-totally-heterosexual orientation will set off the MRC's hate machine. Veronica Hays devoted a May 19 post to lashing out at singer Demi Lovato, viciously questioning her mental health and petulantly ranted that she would call Lovato whatever she wents, regardless of who Lovato says she is:
Singer Demi Lovato has declared that “they” are non binary and now use they/them pronouns.
This latest manifestation of Lovato’s rapidly-declining mental health means that she has decided she no longer can be classified as one of the two biological sexes. She is neither male, nor female, nor does her identity correspond with any other invented gender. Incredible.
There is violence and terror in the Middle East, America is in political, social, and economic turmoil, a global pandemic is raging, but many news outlets are reporting on what gender, or lack thereof, Lovato deigns to assume this morning.
Charlotte Clymer, a transwoman and LGBTQ activist, tweeted that “this is going to be such a source of strength for countless trans and non-binary young people who feel alone in the world.” Clymer thanked her while also noting for the skeptics that “trans and non-binary people have always been around, and the reason you’re seeing an increase in our visibility is because its increasingly accepted to be who we really are. Instead of being cynical, you should honor that.”
Misgendering individuals through use of incorrect pronouns has become a capital offense, so be sure to always ask and use someone’s preferred pronouns unlike the author of this article. In the meantime keep Lovato and other gender-confused persons in your prayers, along with Western Civilization as we approach collapse.
If Lovato's declaration is a sign of her being mentally ill, can we also say that Hays' juvenile screed is an manifestation of mental illness as well?
But the MRC wasn't done kicking Lovato. A May 20 post by Lindsay Kornick cheered a previously unknown radio host's Hays-esque rant about Lovato:
Barely twenty-four hours after Demi Lovato’s announcement about being non-binary, and it’s already causing controversy. A radio host is starting to feel the brunt of the woke mobs for even wanting to even joke about it.
On Wednesday when singer Demi Lovato officially announced a switch to “they/them” pronouns and a “non-binary” status, radio host Matt Siegel came under fire for discussing, or rather not discussing, the news. Host of the popular Boston-based radio show Matty in the Morning, Siegel claimed the higher-ups of his show ordered him not to talk about Lovato’s recent announcement on the air.
That Wednesday, he went into a rant describing his anger at the request, seemingly threatening to quit by ending his show early.
Despite this, Siegel returned to his show on Thursday apologizing for his outburst. He claimed "I was on a roll, and I haven't been on a roll in a long time. And that's when I got the call and I just snapped. I just said, 'I can't be here anymore.’”
Kornick seems to be suggesting that it's Lovato's fault that Siegel couldn't act professionally. It's not.
The next day, Kathleen Krumhansl caught the Hays hate bug, ranting that a Spanish-language network covered Lovato:
As we’ve often noted, immigration is the topmost issue for the Latino nets, but they're also invested in pushing the entire liberal policy agenda upon their viewers. In the latest example, Telemundo force-fed the trans agenda, seizing upon Demi Lovato’s decision to come out as non-binary.
Watch as anchor Nicole Suarez asked contributor Paola Ramos: “What does it mean to belong to this group that doesn't feel like a man or a woman?” This set up Ramos’s response: “A person who has a fluid gender identity.”
Telemundo’s midday report was the last of four Telemundo stories on Lovato’s “surprise,” which added up to four minutes of air time. This, of course, meant four minutes not spent covering the crisis at the border, sagging employment, inflation, or gas prices. Changing pronouns was apparently more important, as was Ramos’s ongoing effort to unwind and remake the (gendered) Spanish language.
Actually, transgender and nonbinary are not interchangeable terms, so Krumhansl is wrong in claiming that "the trans agenda" is being "force-fed" (aside from not explaining what "the trans agenda" is or why the mere act of reporting on Lovato means it's being "force-fed"). Oh, and Krumhansl forgot to mention a key reason why a Spanish-language network would report on Lovato: she's part Hispanic. Krumhansl is apparently going to deny Lovato that too.
Apparently because her hate wasn't sated by trying to trash Lovato, Hays came back on May 21 to lash out at another non-binary person, this time a model:
Haven’t you heard? Identifying as nonbinary is the hottest trend at the moment. Demi Lovato sent shockwaves around the world just this week for coming out as "non-binary" and now Elle UK is making history for featuring their very first non-binary cover model.
Australian-British model Olly Eley, who, mind you, uses the pronouns “they/them” is starring on the latest issue of Elle UK. The strikingly androgynous, biological female poses topless on the front cover with the caption “The End of Gender? Why this model will change the way you think.” Any rational person is not likely to be swayed by the illogical nonsense Eley’s article consists of.
The piece is prefaced with “What happens when the body you’re born with doesn’t reflect the person you are? As a new generation questions the conventions of gender, model Olly Eley explains their journey of finding themselves beyond boundaries.” This does not bode well.
“The first time someone used the pronoun ‘they’ instead of ‘she’ for me, it felt like peace,” says Eley. “I’ve never felt female, but then neither have I felt male.” Eley then implies gender is a spectrum saying, “If there was a thin line that connected the two genders, I would be a dot floating somewhere between the two, but untethered to the line altogether.” … That does not make any sense. But don’t you dare question it, bigot!
Eley’s perverse gender theory makes no sense. The mental gymnastics are exhausting and pointless.
Finally, the ultimate subversion: “The truth is, this backwards society we live in wants me to have to choose between male and female. Sadly, the less ‘confusing’ I look, the safer I am in public spaces.” It is a backwards society indeed when the fundamental reality of biological sex is denied and is now viewed itself as “backwards.”
Unfortunately, Hays' vicious hatred -- and the fact that MRC pays her to spew it -- makes all too much sense.
CNS' Flip-Flop On Being Interested In The Past Topic: CNSNews.com
In May, CNSNews.com was all in favor of not looking back when it came to Rep. Liz Cheney's criticism of former President Trump, his bogus complaints about a stolen election and his role in helping to incite the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which got her kicked out of House Republican leadership. It approvingly quoted Cheney's replacement in the GOP leadership post, Rep. Elise Stefanik, saying that "Cheney "is looking backwards. Republicans are looking forward."
But when it came to an official in the Biden administration who wants to look forward and not look bad, CNS is all in. A June 3 article by Susan Jones carried the headline NIH Director Bristles: 'We Should Be Talking About How to Put COVID-19 Behind Us, Not Going Back to January 2020'":
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told Fox News on Wednesday that he never rejected the idea that the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan China, "although there was no evidence to support it."
But in his interview with Martha MacCallum, Collins did reject the suggestion that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci steered reporters away from the lab-leak theory early on.
And he "categorically" denied that NIH gave grant money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to do "anything that would have created a virus that would have been increased in its transmissibility or its virulence for humans."
Pressed for answers in the interview, Collins said he was "a little disturbed" to be "spending all this time on this issue."
"And here we are today. We should be talking about how to put COVID-19 behind us, not going back to January 2020," Collins said. "We'll get the answers. Right now, we don't have any new data," he added.
CNS did not describe any Republican official has having "bristled" regarding Cheney's focus on Trump.
Joseph Mercola is a longtime quack doctor and seller of alleged health supplements who loves promoting bogus conspiracy theories,, so it's not a surprise that the ConWeb in general, and WorldNetDaily in particular, love the guy. In 2012, for example, we caught WND editor Joseph Farah citing Mercola to scaremonger about HPV vaccines. We've already noted that WND columnist Joel Hirschhorn approvingly cited Mercola falsely attacking mRNA coronavirus vaccines as "gene editing."
But WND has given this quack even more exposure. Bob Unruh dedicated an entire April 9 article to Mercola's rantings against the use of masks to slow the spread of COVID, calling them an unsafe "ticking time bomb" that also pose a risk to the environment:
"The planet may be facing a new plastic crisis, similar to the one brought on by bottled water, but this time involving discarded face masks," Mercola wrote. "'Mass masking' continues to be recommended by most public health groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite research showing masks do not significantly reduce the incidence of infection."
The microfibers in the masks, discarded into the environment, "are being ingested by fish, plankton and other marine life, as well as the creatures on land that consume them (including humans)," he explained.
He said researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and Princeton University already have warned that masks could quickly become "the next plastic problem."
Unruh added: "His concerns about the health impact of masks where echoed by Dr. Jane Orient of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons." Orient, of course, is the quack-adjacent head of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeonswhose fearmongering about COVID vaccines and promotion of unproven treatments WND has also promoted.
On May 15, WND stole a story from fringe-right activist Steve Bannon's War Room website featauring more wild claims by Mercola:
Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of The Truth About Covid-19, says no rationale person should take the experimental covid vaccines, which have caused more deaths from all vaccines combined in the last 15 years.
“This is so reprehensible,” Dr. Mercola told War Room, Friday. “The people behind this should be put in jail, permanently.”
Mercola explains these vaccines are categorized as an “unprecedented vaccine” like HIV or malaria, which would typically take 12 to 15 years to produce.
In the War Room article, Mercola went on: "'So what do we have, operation warp speed, in less than one year,” he said. “That is technically impossible.'"
Mercola is lying. The COVID-19 virus has no resemblence whatsoever to malaria, which is caused by a parasite that can evade the immune system. While COVID-19 and HIV are both viruses -- although ones that manifest themselves in completely different ways -- the number of upfront resources thrown at creating a COVID vaccine has been exponentially greater than those given to HIV treatments, in no small part because COVID was considered a threat to everyone while HIV was stigmatized because it first surfaced among LGBT people and drug users.
Mercola is quoted in the War Room article as saying that "We have over 4,000 people who have died to date, that is more than any vaccine combined in deaths for the last 15 years," which is another lie. As we noted when Hirschhorn said it, reports of adverse effects to the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System does not equal indisputable proof that the vaccine cause the adverse effect.
Despite his atrocious track record, WND has presented Mercola's claims credulously and without fact-checking. That just adds to the pileofliesandmisinformation WND has fed readers about COVID.
MRC Obsessively Counts All The TV Shows That Didn't Hate Black People Enough Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been spendingmonthsobsessing over how cop shows on TV (and superhero shows) reflected a little bit of reality by admitting that cops aren't always good and black people aren't always evil and/or criminals. It took both Gabriel Hays and Tierin-Rose Mandelburg to summarize this obsession in a May 24 post:
A lot can change in a year. And it seems like no year has brought as much cultural change to America’s TV landscape as the year since African American man George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. In that timeframe, America endured a summer of rioting, the acceleration of cancel culture and attempts to force critical race theory into every aspect of public and even private life.
Unwilling to leave bad enough alone, Hollywood joined in the hate; 127 TV episodes promoted the self-described Marxist Black Lives Matter movement, “Defund The Police” initiatives, and peddled the myth of America as a systemically racist country.
MRC Culture’s TV blog covered the entire year of Black Lives Matter narratives and propaganda forced into TV programming following Floyd’s death and found that there were 127 episodes promoting BLM talking points. Some of the worst moments included characters referring to police as “pigs,” lies that America has been the same racist place for the last “500 years,” and racist smears against white people, arguing that each should feel “personal shame” over the death of George Floyd.
These 127 BLM TV episodes featured propaganda-ridden storylines written to depict racist cops gunning down innocent black people, for example. NBC’s Chicago PD, CW’s Black Lightningand CBS’ FBI: Most Wanted smeared cops in this way.
No mention, of course, of how TV cop shows have spent decades pushing negativeportrayalsof Blacks and normalized and justified violence by the police -- which could also be described as "propaganda-ridden storylines" -- so it could be argued that the past year was a corrective for the past.n But no, Hays and Mandelburg have to portray it as a conspiracy:
Again, it was no accident nor mere organic trend that TV exploded with this racist, anti-American propaganda in the last year. It had been done for an expressly political purpose. Kristen Marston, Culture and Entertainment Advocacy Director of the Pro-BLM civil rights non-profit, Color Of Change, stated in an interview with Hollywood Reporter, “What we see on TV, it impacts the way we vote, the way that we react to people and even the way that we either believe Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization or not.”
Take it from Marston. She was actually asked to advise ”over 100 TV shows” on how to help them move away from “unhelpful narratives” regarding police or Black Lives Matter. Her progressive non-profit also compiled a “damning 153-page report” on how entertainment TV depicts crime in such a way that “undermines racial equality,” calledNormalizing Injustice.
Um, don't most TV cop shows use actual current or former law enforcement officers as consultants? We don't remember Hays or Mandelburg ever complaining about that.
(By the way, this is all somewhat lazy blogging, since it essentially just updates a February post by Matt Philbin offering similar complaints and citing some of the same examples.)
The MRC has also continued to complain about individual shows since the last time we checked in, even throwing some non-cop shows in the mix apparently to pump up the numbers:
Before the May 4 episode of super producer Dick Wolf's FBI: Most Wanted, “Criminal Justice,” even began, we knew it was going to be yet another Black Lives Matter themed show. -- Alexa Moutevelis, May 5
At this point, which shows haven’t catered to Black Lives Matters in some way? The CW’s Kung Fu re-imagining following a Chinese-American woman returning to her hometown of San Francisco after a journey to China is only the latest to fall prey to the BLM message, even after almost criticizing it. -- Lindsay Kornick, May 5
We’ve already seen Hollywood use fictional stories to paint the police as violent racists, but Wednesday’s episode of the CW’s Nancy Drew might take first place for the most over-the-top and racially divisive anti-police storyline. Not only were police vilified, but a few white suspects who aren’t officers were thrown in as evil participants who harassed an innocent black woman for good measure. -- Dawn Slusher, May 6
On Wednesday, it was ABC’s A Million Little Things’ turn to create fear and division with lines like, “As a Black woman, I don't feel safe in my own body anywhere,” and, “There are police out there looking for a reason to take your life.” -- Dawn Slusher, May 13
NBC's Law and Order: Organized Crime opened this week's episode with an over-the-top scene of a New York City police officer crushing the bones in an innocent, unarmed black man's hand. ... I cannot imagine how hard it must be for police officers throughout the country to turn on the television and regularly see the boys in blue portrayed as the enemy by a pampered Hollywood elite that can afford private security. -- Elise Ehrhard, May 13
The CW’s high school football drama All American picked up where it left off last week, dealing with the aftermath following the shooting death of an innocent, young, black woman, Tamika Pratt, by police. And if you thought the show couldn’t possibly have any more disdain for the police than they did before, you’d be very wrong, as they claimed the police system is “predicated on [black people’s] oppression since the beginning” and that people of color are “being hunted” by the police. ... The left is creating hate, division and fear and their “plan” has no good outcome for anyone. Not for black businesses that have been burned and looted by BLM protesters, not for the innocent black and white lives that have been taken during BLM protests and in the subsequent rise in crime, not for the innocent officers who continue risking their lives to protect us, not for race relations in this country, and not for black people themselves. Nothing and no one wins in their narrative except chaos, anarchy and hate. -- Dawn Slusher, May 18
Law and Order: Organized Crime pushed the Black Lives Matter narrative again this week, claiming that police officers randomly kill innocent young black men without consequence. ... Black Lives Matter's paranoid lies about police officers have led to real police officers being murdered by BLM fanatics. In the fictionalized Law and Order: Organized Crime universe, it lead to the murder of a cop's wife. I doubt the show's writers have the self-awareness to realize the episode did not quite make the point they thought it was making. -- Elise Ehrhard, May 21
Season three of Showtime's The Chi was purposefully devoid of the police, even while a major storyline revolved around the disappearance of a black woman, and one episode featured a disturbing scene showing what sex trafficked and drug addicted young women endure. The season four premiere changes all of that when a 15-year-old is the victim of police brutality during the May 23 episode, “Soul Food.” ... After a unique season with no police, The Chi just jumped the shark and became like every other show on television with an anti-police Black Lives Matter storyline. -- Alexa Moutevelis, May 24
ABC’s A Million Little Things has added to the count of 127 episodes on television that have pushed Black Lives Matter since George Floyd’s death with their third straight week of BLM-themed episodes. In Wednesday's episode, “Not Alone,” one character claims that black Americans must wear an “armor” that gets heavier “every time another innocent black person is killed.” -- Dawn Slusher, May 27
Three episodes into season four of Showtime’s The Chi and it looks like the war with the police is here to stay. Last week’s episode saw Mayor Otis ‘Douda’ Perry (Curtiss Cook) looking to defund the police after 15-year-old Jake Taylor (Michael Epps) was assaulted by the police in the season opener. In the June 6 episode, “Native Son,” Douda enlists the help of Tracy (Tai Davis) and Trig (Luke James), providing them with the money that normally goes to the police budget so that they can run their own version of 911. Seriously. -- Alexa Moutevelis, June 7
The Showtime "comedy" Black Monday claimed this week that all cops except police dogs are white supremacists. The show, set in the 1980s, regularly attacks Christians, conservatives and Republicans. This week, the writers could not resist also tossing in contemporary BLM anti-police rhetoric despite the 1980s setting. -- Elise Ehrhard, June 13
Hays and Mandelburg concluded their summary by declaring: "It’s clear that this is all being done to change your perceptions about your country and its history. And it's all being broadcast into the safety of your suburban home. It’s way past time to just turn the television off." As if the MRC is not paying them to change perceptions about BLM and black people in general.
Newsmax Columnist Wants More Cancel Culture (Of Non-Conservatives) Topic: Newsmax
Pedro Gonzalez kicked off his May 26 Newsmax column by ranting about the Nikole Hannah-Jones and the 1619 Project, which he declared is an "anti-white, anti-American project that is somewhere between a grift and an intellectual welfare program, following by a call to destroy Hannah-Jones professionally: "Hannah-Jones should not be allowed to teach, educate, write, or publish in a professional capacity anywhere. In other words, she and those in the 1619 camp ought to be canceled wherever and whenever it is possible to do so." Gonzalez then ranted that conservatives aren't destroying the lives of enough of the people they hate:
The conservative preoccupation with cancel culture has blinded them to the fact that some people should actually be canceled, and what matters, in reality, is who is in charge of the canceling and that the only way to conserve anything is to cancel those toppling civilization.
That may seem reactionary, but reaction, as the late Mel Bradford wrote, "is a necessary term in the intellectual context we inhabit in the twentieth century because merely to conserve is sometimes to perpetuate what is outrageous."
In the twenty-first century, too many conservatives naively committed to conserving all sorts of new outrages and, most importantly, the power of their enemies, are convinced that forceless facts, logic, and truth can prevail on merit.
By contrast, progressives have no qualms fighting dirty in the war of ideas—and that’s why they have effectively routed their opposition. Reflecting on the cancellation of Lou Dobbs' show, CNN's Brian Stelter reframed cancel culture as "consequence culture."
"What are the consequences for riling up people with reckless lies?" Stelter asked.
That's a good question, one that the conservative commentariat loves to ponder but never come down from the clouds to act upon.
If conservatives and the right-liberals with whom they overlap are not willing to cancel the architects, peddlers, and profiteers of our national demise, then they cannot complain about the walls tumbling down. Nor should not be surprised that everyday Americans care increasingly little for their calls for Queensberry Rules.
Under thet headline "The enemies within," Farah's May 28 column attacked Republicans who voted for a 9/11-style bipartisan commission to examine the insurrection, declaring that "Those are the people who need to be ousted at the end of the day, the sooner the better" and the commission proposal to be "overkill, an outreach by Democrats who planned to use it to once again implicate Donald Trump when he did nothing wrong." Farah then ranted:
Republicans are the problem we face. We're losing our freedom, our God-given heritage, our constitutional republic. We need to be reunited. Democrats are. Republicans need to stand for something.
That means ensuring free and open elections – something we didn't have in 2020.
On Jan. 6, hundreds entered the Capitol, some breaking windows and some inextricably being let in by Capitol Police. The crowd was protesting what they saw correctly as a rigged election. They were not armed. They did not have bombs. By the standard of previous Capitol protests, it was cakewalk.
One person died as a result of the protest, shot without warning by an unknown policeman, though reports are still insisting that five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, were killed in the attack. They were NOT. Ashli Babbitt was the only victim of the violence. The others died on natural causes.
More than 400 people have been charged criminally in the wake of Jan. 6.
Do you believe that? It's insane. It's so over the top. This was not an "insurrection."
Farah then repeated his ownattacks on the election itself:
So why are Democrats fighting so hard against the idea of finding out what went wrong in the election?
Why should any American want to uphold a questionable election?
Democrats do. They are united behind it. They believe that Democrats should never lose another election. They want to get rid of police. What does that tell you? They don't believe in the laws of the land and, as a point in case, they want open borders. What does that tell you? They don't believe in making America great. What does that tell you?
And neither do a handful of Republicans want to make America great.
They resent Donald Trump for even talking about it, for making it his No. 1 priority.
We need at least one free midterm election between now and the next presidential cycle in which Donald Trump, the most popular presidential candidate – and the most controversial – has a chance to do his thing.
Will he have it?
I'm betting on it.
Or else this country's over.
Farah used his June 18 column to peddle another election conspiracy theory:
What do we do when it appears, later than we like, that the 2020 election was thrown after all?
The latest story from Just the News is that the Georgia audit documents expose "significant election failures" in the state's largest county.
"Documents that Georgia's largest county submitted to state officials as part of a post-election audit highlight significant irregularities in the Atlanta area during last November's voting, ranging from identical vote tallies repeated multiple times to large batches of absentee ballots that appear to be missing from the official ballot-scanning records," said the story.
This is big. And coupled with Arizona early results of an audit conducted in Maricopa County, Wisconsin, which apparently shows more votes than voters, Pennsylvania's anomalies, Michigan and several other states, it's really looking like Donald Trump won the 2020 election – and probably broke Joe Biden's crooked record.
The report from the right-wing Just the News appears to have been heavily cherry-picked. The auditor, Carter Jones, also pointed out how partisan election monitors, many of them Republican, were harassing election officials during the November vote count "seemed to feel as though they were detectives or sheriffs and that they were going to personally ‘crack the case’ and uncover a stolen election." Most importantly, Jones said that "in the nearly 300 hours he spent at various locations in the county, he did not witness 'any dishonesty, fraud or intentional malfeasance.'" But far be it for Farah to care about facts:
I don't know how it will turn out until we know two things: The full story of how the vote really went and how the election was stolen from Donald Trump, not to mention all the down-ballot confusion and suspicion and who really should be controlling Congress today.
Now you know why there was such a rush to certify the votes in Congress … and then to go after all of the "insurrectionists."
Actually, there was no "rush to certify" the presidential election in Congress; the Jan. 6 election certification is established in the Constitution and federal code.
CNS Reporter Keeps Trying To Burnish Trump's Presidency Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough has a weirdly obsessive interest in burnishing the reputation of Donald Trump's presidency. Months after Trump left office, he's still at it.
When Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki failed to give Trump sufficient credit for his administration's Middle East initiatives, Goodenough took offense in a May 19 article:
The Trump administration did little to advance peace in the Middle East, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested yesterday.
She dismissed initiatives whose crowning achievement was the securing of four normalization agreements between Israel and Arab nations in less than four months.
“Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don’t think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East,” Psaki told reporters on Air Force One accompanying President Biden to Michigan.
Psaki’s dismissive comments about the Trump administration’s efforts in the region stand in contrast to generally positive reactions by the Biden team to those initiatives, which produced a historic series of recognition agreements between Israel and Arab states.
Psaki was responding to a question by a reporter who suggested that “the thinking behind” the normalization agreements was, “forget the Palestinians, they’re not a problem. We’re just going to move on.”
In fact, the thinking behind the agreements, according to those who brokered them, was that the U.S. should not allow the recurring deadlocks in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to prevent progress in the broader region.
Then-White House senior advisor Jared Kushner described it as breaking with “the failed conventional thinking of the past.”
The visible improvement of relations between Israel and the Arab world was welcomed at the time by then-Democratic presidential nominee Biden, even as he sought to give the Obama-Biden administration credit for the achievement.
Senior officials in the Biden administration have also referred to the agreements in positive terms, with both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressing hope in January that the incoming administration could build on them.
Goodenough has effusivelypraised the Trump administration's moves to help Israel normalize relations with four minor countries.
Goodenough also demanded credit for Trump in a June 15 article:
As President Biden was attending the first NATO summit of his presidency, the lingering effects of his predecessor could be seen in the alliance’s most recent defense spending data.
Ten of NATO’s 30 allies have now reached the target of devoting two percent of their national gross domestic product to military spending. That is twice as many as hit the benchmark in 2016.
Neither Biden nor NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in their public comments Monday gave President Trump credit for that, although the former president made the issue a top priority in his often fractious interactions with some NATO allies, notably Germany.
Goodenough even worked Trump into something he had nothing to do with -- the 2002 authorization of force that led to the Iraq War -- in a June 18 article:
The U.S. House on Thursday voted to repeal the 2002 authorization for the Iraq War, with almost one-quarter of Republicans voting in favor.
Others argued that it should have been replaced by an updated one, dealing with today’s threats emanating from Iraq – primarily Iranian-sponsored proxies.
“This feels like yet another political effort to undo one of President Trump’s boldest counterterrorism successes,” House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on the House floor before the vote.
After Trump ordered the drone strike that killed Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in January 2020, the White House cited the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) as legal justification.
By contrast, Goodeneough has been much less kind to President Biden, subjecting him to nitpicky fact-checks he avoided doing when Trump was president.
MRC Puts Lipstick On A Partisan Fox News Interview Topic: Media Research Center
As part of its incessant slobbering over Fox News, the Media Research Center served up a gushing May 11 post by Kyle Drennen:
Appearing on Fox News Monday afternoon, left-wing American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten faced the kind of tough questions that her buddies in the liberal media would never dare ask. Anchor Martha MacCallum grilled the major Democratic Party backer on a range of topics from powerful teacher’s unions tampering with CDC pandemic guidance to radical critical race theory being taught in schools.
“So one third of American public school kids are still not fully back at school. The teacher’s unions have been accused at times of dragging their feet and more recently of having too much influence over the White House and the CDC,” MacCallum told viewers just moments before bringing Weingarten on her 3:00 p.m. ET hour show. She cited a bombshell New York Post report “that the American Federation of Teachers union, known as AFT, was able to coax their language directly into CDC policy.”
Turning to Weingarten, MacCallum pressed: “You can see why that would lead people to think that you all have a lot of muscle over at the White House when it comes to reopening our schools.” The hackish union chief desperately tried to deflect blame by attacking Donald Trump: “I begged the Trump administration to do exactly what the Biden administration did, which is real safety guidance, that Trump – that the former president didn’t mock every other day.”
MacCallum wasn’t buying it:
Of course, Drennen was cheering that MacCallum was pushing right-wing talking points in the name of "journalism." But as a less biased website pointed out, MaCallum was the desperate one, getting mad at Weingarten for defending how schools are run and even for daring to say something nice about President Biden.
Drennen later praised MacCallum for parroting right-wing attacks on the 1619 Project, then added:
Clearly growing uncomfortable with the topic, Weingarten resorted to juvenile Fox-bashing: “I would hope that Fox would be just as focused on lets get rid of the misinformation about what happened in this election. This election was – ”
MacCallum cut her off:
Drennen made sure not to let any criticism of Fox News enter his post, though he quoted MacCallum furiously trying to deflect, "Oh, come on, Randi, come on. This is not the topic that we’re here to talk about. I’m not going to talk about that. We’ve talked about that before. But – no, that’s a dodge, okay?"
Fox News viewers were treated to a heated debate between The Story host Martha MacCallum and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten on Monday, as Weingarten sought to hold Fox’s feet to the fire over some of the network’s biggest names spreading misinformation about the 2020 presidential election, specifically the baseless theory that President Joe Biden won the election due to voter fraud – a theory that former President Donald Trump and his supporters have continued to espouse , despite Fox’s own fact–checks of the claims.
After some more back and forth about how the history of slavery should be taught in the U.S., Weingarten pivoted again to Fox’s election coverage.
“If you’re talking about misinformation now, Martha, and I hope you are, I really would hope that Fox would really look at what happened in this election and how we can – because every social studies teacher is wrestling with this — discern fact from fiction. We have to do that.”
MacCallum responded that the outcome of the election is well-settled.
“Well we have a president, President Biden was elected in 2020, and I think all of that is quite clear. So I’m not sure why you are so concerned with that part, with that particular moment in history. Every election is significant. Nobody is hiding anything under any rocks here.”
We can see why Drennen wouldn't want to breathe a word of that -- a non-insignificant part of the MRC's readership likely believes that Trump won, and the MRC has never retracted, let alone substantiated, its own variant of the stolen-election conspiracy theory.
Despite Drennen's all-caps insistence that MacCallum TORE APART Weingarten, all MacCallum did was spout political talking points that Weingarten easily swatted away.
Drennen concluded: "A leftist partisan like Weingarten is so used to having friendly chats with compliant reporters who support her agenda that she doesn’t know how to deal with real questions about teacher’s unions damaging the American educational system." But he'll never identify MacCallum as the right-wing partisan she is, and he'll never criticize MacCallum's compliant interview with her fellow right-wingers.
CNS Commentator Is Latest To Defend Crowder's Hate Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com took after its Media Research Center parent again, this time in trying to defend right-wing videomaker Steven Crowder. A May 21 CNS commentary by the Heritage Foundation's Kara Frederick stated:
Conservative comedian Steven Crowder filed notice last week of a lawsuit against YouTube, claiming, “This is the big one, boys and girls.”
Crowder’s May 14 filing follows his second “strike” in as many months. In March, YouTube demonetized Crowder’s channel and issued his first demerit of 2021 on grounds that one of his videos contained COVID-19 misinformation. In April, Crowder earned “strike two” under the pretext of harassment and cyberbullying.
One more infraction in the designated 90-day window and he will be permanently cut off from his 5 million YouTube followers.
Note that, like the MRC, Frederick refused to say exactly what earned Crowder his second strike. No, Kara, it was not "the pretext of harassment and cyberbullying'; it was mocking a woman shot to death by police.Frederick also didn't mention that the"demerited" Crowder video containing COVID misinformation also contained a lot of racism.
Frederick then combined the comedian's pass (though Crowder isn't all that funny) with whataboutism:
Crowder is polemical—he is, after all, a comedian—but his undue scrutiny ignores a morass of unpunished “violations” that proliferate on YouTube all around him.
If the coronavirus misinformation standard were applied consistently, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s announcement in March 2020 that “there is no reason to [walk] around with a mask” would have been struck from the platform during the height of the pandemic.
If the harassment and cyberbullying standard were applied uniformly to comparable accounts, left-of-center comedian Bill Maher’s glee over billionaire businessman David Koch’s death would no longer be searchable on Maher’s show’s channel.
From there, Frederick used crowder to push the factually deficient right-wing narrative that "Big Tech" is solely targeting conservatives for saying conservative things:
As such, conservative voices like Crowder’s should not be sacrificed on the altar of Big Tech.
Yet the fight is not about Crowder. Instead, it’s a crisis of the tech titans’ own making. Inconsistent enforcement of vague rules, the opacity of content-moderation practices, and a lack of recourse are the hallmarks of Big Tech today.
Crowder’s latest legal move points to a broader, more pernicious trend taking hold in Silicon Valley and beyond. (He’s threatened to file suit against Big Tech before, as recently as February.)
The evolution proceeded slowly at first. When platforms banned gratuitous-chaos agents, such as Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, many conservatives were reluctant to defend them, even on principle. Now, social media companies are sprinting away with the goal posts.
What began as an effort to ban fringe outlets such as Jones’ “Infowars” has rapidly expanded to the restriction of traditional conservative views.
Huh? Mocking a dead woman and launching homophobic attacks against a gay journalist -- something Crowder has alsodone -- are "traditional conservative views" whose expression must be protected? And Frederick also thinks that Yiannopoulos and Jones -- who are weirdly described as "gratuitous-chaos agents" and not the ideological far-right provocateurs they are -- are pushing "traditional conservative views" too?
Frederick is playing the bogus victimhood card and trying to portray hate as "traditional conservative views." We know CNS and the Heritage Foundation have a narrative to maintain even as it's falling apart, but sheesh, guys.
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax's 'Non-Clinician' Blues Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has felt compelled to make sure readers know that several columns -- mostly making dubious claims about the coronavirus pandemic -- were written by a "non-clinician." Read more >>
Another Day, Another 'Existential Threat' At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is facing yet another "existential threat," according to a May 23 article by managing editor David Kupelian. Unfortunately, he doesn't make the best case for saving WND by lying at the very top:
Dear friend of WND,
We are in the middle of a war. No, I’m not talking about the war in the Middle East against our trusted friend and ally, Israel. I’m talking about the war inside America, which, among other things, led to the last two week’s attacks against Israel.
There is a Marxist revolution now exploding in America. That is no exaggeration.
For a reality check, consider that the top-selling books on Amazon right now include “American Marxism” by Mark Levin, currently #9, and “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military” by Matthew Lohmeier, currently #10. (Lohmeier, you’ll recall, is the Space Force officer just ousted for exposing the rampant Marxist indoctrination going on within America’s Armed Forces.) Then there’s David Horowitz’s bestseller, “The Enemy Within: How a Totalitarian Movement is Destroying America,” and so on.
This is real. And let's be totally clear as to what we're really dealing with: What we cryptically refer to as "The Left" – code words for a godless, revolutionary movement steeped in pathological anger and churning rebellion against America as a uniquely blessed Judeo-Christian, constitutional republic – is at war not with “racism” and “inequity” and Trump supporters (whom they label “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists”), but with America herself.
1) None of this has to do with an "existential threat" at WND. 2) Just because right-wingers are selling books about a purported Marxist threat to gullible readers doesn't mean there actually is a Marxist threat. 3) If anyone is expressing pathological anger, it's Kupelian.
Finally, Kupelian serves up some particulars:
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the wretched leftwing hate group that Big Tech companies rely on to identify hateful extremist organizations (and which the Biden administration just announced it is teaming up with to tackle “extremism”) characterizes WND as an “extremist group.” Apparently, your favorite news site engages in “manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications designed to further the paranoid, gay-hating, conspiratorial and apocalyptic visions … from the fringes of the far-right and fundamentalist worlds.” Translation: We’re conservative and Christian.
Kupelian finally gets the SPLC's description of WND correct -- for years, WND had falsely claimed that the SPLC called it a "hate group." (Not that it wouldn't be an accurate description.) And the SPLC's readout that WND is filled with "manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications" doesn't need to be translated, and even if it did Kupelian's translation would not be accurate.
A short while ago, WND posted a single video on its YouTube channel defending Trump mega-supporter, “MyPillow guy” Mike Lindell. As a direct consequence, YouTube de-monetized WND’s YouTube channel.
As we've pointed out, thelikely real reasonYouTube demonitized that video defending Lindell is because it included a clip from the podcast of Steve Bannon, who has been banned by YouTube for making false claims about election fraud.
A few months ago, Newsguard, the internet’s self-appointed guardian of truthful reporting, complained about a WND piece suggesting COVID-19 originated in a biolab, and not from a bat someone purchased to eat at a “wet market.” “Firstly,” Newsguard authoritatively informed us, “medical authorities have found no evidence that the virus was created intentionally or otherwise in a lab,” adding, “the CDC states that its research suggests ‘recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.” Uh huh. Today, virtually all experts (except Dr. Fauci) – including even the CDC – are publicly conceding that the coronavirus pandemic very likely originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the level-4 biolab where dangerous “gain-of-function” research was being conducted on bat viruses, secretly funded by the U.S. taxpayer thanks to Fauci’s approval.
None of which provides proof that the virus was "created intentionally" at the Wuhan lab. Oh, and the U.S. money to an alliance that was working with the Wuhan lab did not go to gain-of-function research.
Three major international online ad companies – TripleLift, AppNexus/Xander and Teads – all recently canceled WND, seriously hurting our revenues. Why? One said we engaged in “hate speech” while another specifically cited an opinion article critical of allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. The way I see it, if WND has to go out of business for affirming such self-evident and vital truths, such as defending the innocence of our nation’s children, then so be it.
It's hard to find a way to twist "hate speech" -- which, again, WND is filled with -- as "defending the innocence of our nation’s children," but Kupelian sure gave it a shot.And, of course, those ad companies are private businesses who can choose who to have as its business partners.
Since last September, Facebook has massively suppressed WND’s traffic on its platform – by up to 90% – by confining us to what is known to insiders as “Facebook Jail.” This really hurts when you have close to a million followers. Why is Facebook doing this? I spent an hour with two Facebook reps to find out, but they could provide neither a reason for the radical suppression of WND, nor any real recourse for us.
Facebook is also a private business and is under no obligation to promote WND's content -- especially given how hateful and error-ridden it is -- or to provide a reason for doing so. Kupelian then ramped up the victimization even more:
Unlike most major news organizations – even many conservative ones – WND doesn’t have a billionaire sugar-daddy pumping money into our operation as needed. We’ve always done it the old-fashioned way, earning our own way. Of course, there’s a good side to that arrangement, since we’re beholden to no one but God. However, because the leftwing elites, Big Tech and cancel culture have made it almost impossible to operate by taking over the internet and suppressing, censoring and canceling truthful news reporting, we’re really struggling right now.
Kupelian seems to have forgotten about the years in which its major funder was Robert Beale -- father of longtime WND columnist Vox Day -- a businessman who later became famous for going on the lam rather than face tax evasion charges, and then threatening a judge. And if WND is only "beholden to no one but God," we have to wonder how it's explaining to the Almighty why it publshes so much false and hateful misinformation. He can't be pleased that WND is doing that in His name.
Then, finally, we got to the sales pitch of Kupelian begging readers to donate to the WND News Center; it's amusing given how often WND has defended tax protesters to see Kupelian make a point of stating that the News Center is "approved and designated by the IRS as a public charity." Of course, Kupelian provided no numbers regarding how much money it needs to get out of its "existential threat," nor did he explain how exactly the money will be spent.
Kupelian made one last pitch: "If you help us, we will be able to boldly report, like no one else, on the tremendous forces of anarchy, insanity and spiritual darkness that are now washing over our beloved republic. Help us push back against the tide of darkness!" Notice that he didn't say anything about telling the truth.
MRC's 'Explainer Videos' On Election Laws Don't Explain Why Republicans Are Pushing Them Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has gotten into "explainer videos" as a way to advance its right-wing agenda. It has put out a couple of "explainer videos" to push Republican narratives that Republian-pushed state laws aren't design to suppress voting by non-Republicans despite the fact that only Republicans and conservatives support them.
In an April 15 video focused on GOP-pushed changes in Georgia's election laws, the voiceover said of changes regarding drop boxes: "They claim it limits drop boxes, but this one's objectively not true. Before the law was passed, there was no law rin Georgia requiring drop boxes. The law doesn't limit them, it establishes them." That's misleading and hides the full story. PolitiFact told that full story:
The state election board added drop boxes in 2020 as an emergency rule during the pandemic. The new law makes drop boxes part of state law but restricts their availability. The law says all counties must have at least one drop box but can only add more if it adds up to one drop box for every 100,000 registered voters or the number of early voting locations there are in the county. The New York Times found the new law would allow 23 drop boxes for the four counties that make up metro Atlanta, compared to the 94 those counties offered combined in 2020.
The law also restricts use of drop boxes to early voting hours, which renders moot a reason why some voters use them: to turn in ballots late at night, or after the early voting period has ended. State lawmakers also banned mobile voting buses, which Fulton County used in 2020.
In other words, the law restricts drop box usage much tighter than it did in 2020, so it is not merely an establishment of their usage as the MRC wants you to believe.
The video also framed new restrictions on absentee ballots as a voter ID issue, but as PolitiFact pointed out, the law bans counties from doing mass mailouts of absentee ballots. In its lawsuit against the Georgia law, the Department of Justice pointed out that a top Republican officials in Georgia effectively admitting that election law changes were designed to suppress votes for Democrats, including one official who quoted Donald Trump in saying that mass absentee ballout mailings are "extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia."
Regarding thte law's prohibition of giving food and water to people waiting in line to vote, the voiceover said: "Sounds extreme, until you consider what happened in Georgia's 6th District, when Democrat [sic] activists started handing out bottles of water to people in line, while urging them to vote Democrat. This is why we can't have nice things. Every state has laws against campaigning at the polls; this is just closing a loophole." The video offers no substantiation that this particular incident happened or his suggestion that only Democrats were doing this and, thus, ruined "nice things" (yes, the video put those words on screen, which is where the screenshot at upper right comes from). Yes, every state has laws against campaigning at the polls, but no proof is offered that the "Democrat activists" were violating it thorugh this particular instance of handing out water to people in line.
The video concludes by stating, "Don't fall for political talking points masquerading as news." Ironic from a video pushing political talking points masquerading as a fact-check.
This was followed up with a June 16 "explainer video" once again justifying the Republican-pushed election changes (though the video never admits Republicans were driving them), with the voiceover complaining that "durin the pandemic, states adopted a lot of new and exotic voting techniques ... so now states are moving to update their rules to make sure only eligible voters are voting." But the video offers no evidence there was any significant number of non-eligible voters who voted that would make the election law changes necessary. The voiceover then resorted to the Republican narrative that the changes are about nothing but "making elections more secure."
The voiceover then offered a defense of these Republican-pushed laws (which he won't admit) that are being targeted by evil liberals in Washington pushing laws like HR1: "Here we have a host of election laws passed in statehouses around the country by lawmakers elected by the people. For a small cadre of liberals in Washington, D.C., to override all of that on a purely party-line vote would seem extremely un-democratic." But weren't all of those state laws passed on party-line votes in majority-Republican legislatures?
The vioceover then complained that "the media" want you to "think Democrats are just trying to protect voter rights." Is that like how the MRC wants you to think that Republicans care only about "election integrity"?
The voiceover concluded bny huffing that "partisan journalists have abandoned reporting the news in favor or reporting propaganda and political advocacy." Apparently, our narrator never watched Fox News.
Again; Not once in either of these videos is it admitted that these restrictive voting laws wereput intoplace by Republicans, nor did it explain why we're not supposed to believe that Republican-promoted election laws aren't designed to help Republicans. Seems like these "explainer videos" have some more explaining to do.
For months, CNSNews.com has been attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and its aftermath -- even though she and other Democrats had nothing whatsoever to do with it, and even though it was led by pro-Trump forces on the same side that CNS is on. (Remember, CNS helped amplify Donald Trump's bogus claims of a stolen election, which played a major role in inciting the rioters.)
A January article by Melanie Arter featured how "Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told Fox News’s 'The Story with Martha MacCallum' on Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested more National Guards be sent to Washington, D.C., even requesting 'crew-manned machine guns' – a sharp contrast between how she reacted when President Donald Trump wanted to use the military to deal with the violence from nationwide Black Lives Matter protests."
In February, CNS not only served as a echo chamber for Republican arguments that she was somehow responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot but also for GOP attacks on her response to it:
An article by Susan Jones highlighted GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham's claim that the riot was "pre-planned" and adding, "What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it?"
Another Jones article featured another GOP congressman attacking Pelosi deciding to leave heightened security around the Capitol for the time being, huffing, "I'm calling it Fort Pelosi at this point. The Guard can't serve as her private security force, and we need answers and we're not getting any."
Yet another Jones article let yet another GOP congressman rant about Capitol security: "This is absolutely being done by Nancy Pelosi. Remember, this is a woman who said that walls are immoral to protect the American public and our border. And now we have this wall all the way around the Capitol."
A March 1 article written by three CNS interns stated that "House Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), along with 41 other House members, sent a letter on Feb. 5 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging her 'to remove the barbed wire fencing surrounding the Capitol and send the National Guard troops home to their families.' To date, Pelosi has not responded to the congressmens’ letter."
Another March article seemed upset that Pelosi said "'it's going to take more money to protect the Capitol in a way that enables' the public to continue to have their historic access to it and that enables 'Members to be comfortable that they are safe.'"
Later that month, an anonymous article complained that "The 'task force' of advisors that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put together after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has recommended that Congress immediately approve funding to design and install 'mobile fencing' around the Capitol."
In an April 14 article, Craig Bannister seemed to be mocking a statement Pelosi made regarding the riot:
If the rioters who invaded the U.S. Capitol last January had caught up with, she was prepared to fight back – even if it meant using her spike heels as weapons – House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says.
"Well, I'm pretty tough. I'm a street fighter. They would have had a battle on their hands," Pelosi said in an interview with USA Today published Tuesday.
Displaying her 4-inch-high stilettos to her interviewer, Pelosi joked that "I would have had these" to use as weapons.
Even though Bannister eventually said Pelosi was joking, that's not theimpression readers had from the headline, which lacked any reference to humor: "Pelosi Says She Would’ve Used Her Spike Heels to Fight Off Capitol Rioters."
Months after the riot, CNS was still complaining about Pelosi talking about it. An anonymous June 16 article carried the headline "Nancy Pelosi: ‘January 6th Was Unquestionably One of the Darkest Days in the History of Our Democracy'" -- apparently once again annoyed that Pelosi was talking about it -- but it was actially a bill to award Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement officers who tried to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6.