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Sunday, July 18, 2021
CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer, Round 2
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com kicked off its summer of sending its interns to pester members of Congress with gotcha questions by asking them about federal deficits (while not really caring about them when Donald Trump was president and Republicans controlled half of Congress). For the next round, the interns invoked the hot-button issue of abortion: "The Supreme Court this fall will review a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Is an unborn baby at 15 weeks a human being?" They also asked a follow-up gotcha for those -- namely, Democrats -- who did not give the conservatively correct answer: "If an unborn baby is not a human being, what species is it?" Democrats who declined to give a direct yes-or-no answer to CNS' questions -- undoubtedly recognizing the gotcha nature of these questions -- got the headline accusation that they "dodge[d]" the question.

Here are the senators wwho were the victims of this ambush:

Again, these questions are nothing a biased partisan exercise, designed to give Republicans a platform to virtue-signal on the evils of abortion and to shame Democrats for not restricting the rights of women or being eager to overturn a half-century of Supreme Court precedent.

CNS thought this was such an important question to attack Democrats with that it widened the scope of its targets. An intern was sent to Nancy Pelosi's weekly press conference to ambush her:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) did not directly respond to a question from CNSNews.com—predicated on the upcoming Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—on whether a 15-week-old unborn baby is a human being.

“Let me just say that I’m a big supporter of Roe vs. Wade,” Pelosi said.

[...]

Without answering that question, Pelosi turned and pointed to another reporter, who she recognized by saying: “Yes. Yes, ma’am.”

The goal of that exercise was to get bigger play out of the gotcha, and that's exactly what happened. Another media outlet noted the question, and Cruz bashed Pelosi for not answering the question, and CNS got an article out of that too.

CNS even sent what passes for an actual reporter, Melanie Arter, to White House press secretary Jen Psaki's daily press briefing to ask the question, wich got Psaki slapped with the "dodge" label:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday dodged the question of whether President Joe Biden believes a 15-week-old unborn baby is a human being.

Instead, Psaki said Monday that Biden supports a woman’s right to choose.

At the White House press briefing, CNSNews.com asked Psaki: “Does the president believe a 15-week old unborn baby is a human being?”

“Are you asking me if the president supports a woman’s right to choose? He does,” Psaki replied.

This is the first time in recent memory that CNS has sent a reporter to a White House press briefing. The fact that it used that rare appearance to ask a politicized gotcha question says much about the state of journalism at CNS these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EDT
Saturday, July 17, 2021
How Is The MRC Hating LGBT People On TV Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The rampantly homophobic Media Research Center reliably melts down anytime the non-right-wing media refuses to hate LGBT people the way it does. Let's look at how it's been doing that lately, shall we?

Veronica Hays lashed out at Nickelodeon in a June 4 item:

Just in case kids haven’t gotten the message that gender confusion is cool, Nickelodeon is offering yet more LGBTQRX (and sometimes Y) propaganda for juveniles.

A new episode of the live-action series Danger Force will feature the first-ever transgender character and actor in Nickelodeon’s history. Sasha A. Cohen, a 13 year-old transgender boy, in reality, a biological female, was handpicked by the show’s creator Michael D. Cohen (no relation) to accomplish this groundbreaking moment in TV history.

The young transgender caught Cohen’s attention as one of the applicants for his Trans Youth Acting Challenge meant to help trans and binary youth excel in the entertainment industry. (And to promote the Trans agenda to teens.)

[...]

The poor girl-turned-boy is being used as a prop to further promote a system of insidious lies surrounding biological sex that manifests itself in the destruction of otherwise normal children.

Meanwhile, Hays clearly wants to destroy transgender people by keeping them from holding jobs and to make the world hostile (if not violent) to them.

Dawn Slusher did some hate-watching on June 7:

Does the "+" in Disney+ stand for LGBTQ+? If we go by Disney+'s brief history of constantly inserting the LGBTQ agenda into its many shows, the answer would likely be yes. And now the streaming service has featured a lesbian kiss among underage girls (possibly its first) in its “family” sports drama Big Shot that has a target audience as young as age 8. We've sadly come a long way from innocent Mickey Mouse cartoons.

There have been hints of Disney’s agenda in the other “family” shows I watch on their streaming service, such as The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers in which one young character let everyone know he has two moms in almost every episode. But when they actually depict a physical, lesbian kiss between two minor girls for an eight-year-old audience, that’s definitely going too far.

Slusher didn't explain what this supposed "LGBTQ agenda" is.

Gabriel Hays, meanwhile, was mad that Fox Broadcasting, unlike its news division, doesn't hate LGBT people:

Pride month seems to be more like an obsession than a celebration this year with every media outlet, including those devoted to kids’ programming, pandering to the vegetable soup community.

The FOX TV network is the latest  to go all in on the pro-gay programming, releasing very flamboyant advertisements for Pride Month teasing the gayest moments of recent and upcoming seasons over some “rainbow-themed” original music.

FOX TV hit the Pride Month ground running, featuring an ad on June 1st dedicated to the festivities. FOX posted the ad to its Twitter account with the caption, “Happy Pride Month! Join me and my FOX Fam in celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and achievements. #TVForAll.” 

Oh interesting. Know that “LGBTQIA+” stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender,” so yeah FOX TV is not just about tolerance for different sexual persuasions, it’s about promoting the reality-denying transgender/non-binary/genderfluid tenets pushed by the extreme radical left.

Basically the floodgates have been opened, and huge mainstream channels like FOX are now down with whatever the LGBTQIA+ activists say they need to be down with. Will they be marketing to kids with cartoons promoting puberty blockers next?

Hays also referenced the "LGBTQ agenda," but like Slusher didn't explain what it supposedly is. Does it stop being a threat that scares the MRC's readers if it's explained?

On June 21, Eiise Ehrhard fretted about what is apparently an even bigger threat than the "LGBTQ agenda," -- the "LGBTQIA agenda" -- as she complained about a show on Hulu: "No doubt in the ideal radical activist LGBTQIA world, Christian rituals and theology would be replaced by the almost ritualistic celebration of homosexual activity that accompanies gay pride month, often without any regard for children present." Unspoken by Ehrhard: In the radical right-wing homophobic world she clearly wants, LGBT people would be suppressed, if not punished for their behavior.

And even though the MRC has no audience in Australia, Veronica Hays hates LGBT people enough to spend a June 22 post complaining about a show Down Under that failed to hate them:

Pay no attention to what you have down under, kids, gender is fluid! Australian public broadcaster ABC, funded by Aussie taxpayers is culpable for the latest instance of the LGBTQ’s targeting and indoctrination of children. 

Courtney Act, a drag queen made famous by RuPaul’s Drag Race, guest stars alongside elementary school children for a segment called “Little Kids, Big Talk.” The five-minute long video was posted to the ABC Kids Community Facebook page. The flamboyant man dressed as a woman engages in a back and forth with little children about “gender fluidity” and other nonsense such as pronouns and cross dressing.

Some parents let their child hang around with a mentally ill man, and allowed a video of it, which was posted on Friday, to reach 900,000 viewers so far.

[...]

It's not “teaching tolerance,” it is abuse. If anything, children should be taught the harms of distorting true femininity and masculinity. It is more appropriate that we instill within them a holy fear of such immorality and unnatural behavior. Only then can there be a renewal within this increasingly decaying society.

Hays offered no evidence to support her assertion that drag queens are "mentally ill." And it's more than abundantly clear that she wants children to be taught to think they are -- and to hate them for it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 AM EDT
WND Lets Hirschhorn Push More COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Hirschhorn spent his June 21 WorldNetDaily column the way he usually does: raging at Anthony Fauci for purportedly blocking approval of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 as part of some grand conspiracy theory. He went on to write:

Recently, a physician in India made this fascinating observation: "In the 1985-86 edition of 'Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine' [a highly recommended book for students in medical school], Dr. Fauci wrote that HCQ worked as an anti-viral agent despite being an anti-malarial drug. There was no COVID-19 back then. HCQ's anti-viral properties were known."

Did Fauci forget what he knew 35 years ago? He had no hesitancy in ignoring a mountain of evidence for the effectiveness of HCQ against the COVID virus. Maybe that can be explained by the fact so ignored by big media that Fauci is not a trained virologist. As a loyal friend of the drug industry, he has shown no skill in following any science that conflicts with that industry's interests.

This reference to such an early work explains why physicians in Europe and the U.S. in the early months of 2020, when the pandemic was just exploding, thought to use hydroxychloroquine. Dr. Vladimir Zelenko in New York became famous for his cocktail based on HCQ that worked to safely cure his mostly elderly patients hit with the COVID virus. In France, Dr. Didier Raoult was one of the earliest to discover its usefulness. He treated over 1,000 patients with azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine, and almost 99% recovered.

We've already written about how Zelenko's methods were questionable and poorly documented. But who is Didier Raoult? Well, he published a study touting hydroxycholoroquine early in the pandemic that President Trump latched onto. Soon after, however, other scientists raised questions about how it was conducted and other ethical issues, which resulted in revelations about Raoult's own dubious scientific background, which resulted in him facing disciplinary action over the study. Which, ultimately, resulted in Raoult suing one of the scientific whistleblowers for exposing his shoddy research whiile also doxxing her online. So: the kind of person Hirschhorn would trust, which means the rest of us shouldn't.

Nevertheless, Hirschhorn went on to rant:

To sum up, the preponderance of all the medical evidence has always been that HCQ worked to safely and cheaply treat and prevent COVID. Yet big media refuse to admit this, as does Fauci. Anyone who says otherwise is a pandemic liar who belongs in hydroxy hell, because so many American deaths – over 500,000 – and so much suffering could have been prevented. The American public deserves the truth. When more people know the truth, maybe the judicial system will prosecute those responsible for so many deaths, especially Fauci.

In his July 5 column, Hirschhorn touted a "citizen petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop the full approval of COVID vaccines until many serious concerns and issues are genuinely addressed," adding: "There has been no significant coverage of this historic petition by mainstream and corporate social media. This cancel action is itself as remarkable as the petition itself. This is a concerted effort to keep the public uninformed about the many problems with the COVID vaccines. Any person who spends the time to peruse the 20-page petition would most likely have a very negative view of the vaccines."

Which, of course, is Hirschhorn's goal. He went on to tout how "the biggest name on the list of signatories is the esteemed Dr. Peter McCullough of Baylor University. He has been very outspoken and honest about many pandemic issues. He has said that, considering the high numbers of deaths and serious health impacts associated with taking the vaccines, FDA should do what it has done in the past when new medicines and vaccines had high negative impacts. Take them off the market." But as we've documented, McCullough is a major misinformer about the vaccines (where WND lets him do so without question), falsely portraying that deaths and other adverse effects to a government reporting system as indisputable evidence of the effects to the vaccines; in fact, no deaths have been linked to any COVID vaccine. Hirschhorn then engaged in his usual whining:

People who have not fallen victim to the endless propaganda of the political, big media and public health systems promoting COVID vaccine jabs may not be willing to seriously examine the medical and scientific details of the petition. The problem is cognitive dissonance. Too many people will not easily resolve their propaganda-induced positive views of the vaccines with the medical and science details in the petition. But that is what must happen. People must temper their fear of COVID infection with awareness that vaccines are now experimental and have not been sufficiently proved safe for all users.

The potential frustration and fear if the vaccines were deemed insufficiently safe could be mitigated by advocating for early home/outpatient treatment and preventive use of a number of cheap, safe and fully approved generic medicines.

He's just mad people are listening to the truth instead of his propaganda. And WND is irresponsible for giving him space for a column that is apparently not fact-checked.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 17, 2021 10:50 AM EDT
Friday, July 16, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Guest Writer Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck took a break from his biased reviews of Jen Psaki's White House press briefings in mid-June, so we were spared his usual sanctimoniousness. But not entiresly, since Scott Whitlock pinch-hit for a couple days. on June 22, Whitlock pretended to read the minds of reporters to make the headline claim that "SULKING White House Press Whine About Implosion of Voting Bill, Nasty Red States":

The radical attempt by Democrats to nationalize voting across the country appears to going down to defeat on Tuesday. So at the White House press briefing, the assembled partisan press whined that the administration didn’t do more to save the legislation.

ABC’s Cecilia Vega spoke directly for Democrats, telling Press Secretary Jen Psaki the difficulty is with red state Republicans: “But the problem, as Democrats at least see it, is not problems in blue states, state legislatures. It's Republican-controlled states where many of these decisions are already being made. So what leverage do you actually have? And what realistically do you think you can accomplish in some of these red states?”

Talk about a Democratic cheerleader.

No, Scott: A reporter repeating what a person's or group's viewpoint is on an issue does not equal endorsement of that viewpoint. That's just laziness on Whitlock's part.

The next day, Whitlock echoed Houck's man-crush on Fox News reporter Peter Doocy:

Finally, it was announced by the White House on Wednesday that Kamala Harris would be, at long last, visiting the border on Friday. And while many journalists and media outlets have downplayed the unfolding disaster there, Fox’s Peter Doocy called out the cynical decision to send the Vice President there. 

At Wednesday’s White House briefing, Doocy demanded, “So about today's announcement. Why is the Vice President visiting the border this week when earlier this month, she dismissed a trip like that, saying it would be ‘a grand gesture.’”

Houck was back the following week, meaning the Doocy man-crush could resume in full. Stay tuned.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
WND's Front-Page Smear Of Schumer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 14 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh lectured Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for using the word "retarded" to describe people with developmental disabilities:

The Spread the Word Inclusion website explains that actor John C. McGinley of "Scrubs" believes calling people the "R-word," or "retarded, "is wrong."

"When you pepper your speak with 'retard' and 'retarded,' you are spreading hate," he said.

Further, Karleigh Jones, a New Zealand athlete at the Special Olympics, explained, "The word retard is considered hate speech because it offends people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the people that care for and support them."

None of those opinions, however, prevented Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, from using that label, according to the Washington Examiner.

He labeled disabled children with the "retard" designation during an interview on a podcast called OneNYCHA.

"One of the hosts, Saundrea Coleman, mentioned a new initiative in New York intending to shelter homeless people even though there are some opponents to the plan, which prompted Schumer to discuss his experiences," the report said.

Schumer said, about those who are skeptics of the proposed project, "I have found that my whole career. I wanted to build, when I first was an assemblyman, they wanted to build a congregant living place for retarded children, and the whole neighborhood was against it."

Unruh added, "Schumer has been working on a reputation for some pretty outlandish comments." You know who else has a reputation for outlandish comments? WND.

In the promotion of Unruh's article on WND's front page, it received the incredibly snide subhead, "Was he looking in the mirror when using the R-word?"

Unruh wrote an article the next day noting Schumer's apology for using the word. There was no apology from WND for its smear of Schumer.

As you'd expect from WND, this piety is utterly hypocritical:

There's no reason to expect anything less of WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:49 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 16, 2021 7:50 PM EDT
MRC Melts Down Over Racist History of Birdwatching Being Exposed
Topic: Media Research Center

How much of a snowflake is Matt Philbin, the Media Research Center managing editor for culture? We've already seen him freak out over plastic bricks refusing to hate LGBT people as much as he does. In a June 7 post, he has a total meltdown over exposure of some of the racist history of birdwatching and the people some birds are named after, a screed that includes a bizarre, fact-free fantasia of how conservatives actually think newspapers work:

Washington Post Editor: “We’re not stirring enough woke outrage. Who haven’t we smeared as racist yet?”

Washington Post Editorial Flunky: “Ornithologists.”

Washington Post Editor: “Genius! Get me 2,000 words on bird bigots.”

You don’t think that’s how decision-making is done at The Post? Well how else do you explain “The Racist Legacy Many Birds Carry?” It’s a long June 3 piece by Darryl Fears that tackles “The birding community’s … difficult debate about the names of species connected to enslavers, supremacists and grave robbers.”

So they’re havin’ a go at the birds now. The problem seems to be that birdwatching isn’t immune to wokeness and the deeply stupid pieties that come with it. Therefore ornithologists may need “to change as many as 150 eponyms, names of birds that honor people with connections to slavery and supremacy.”

Fear wrote: “Even John James Audubon’s name is fraught in a nation embroiled in a racial reckoning.” It seems the great bird artist and cataloger owned slaves and didn't think much of emancipation. “Some of his behavior is so shameful that the 116-year-old National Audubon Society — the country’s premier bird conservation group, with 500 local chapters — hasn’t ruled out changing its name.”

[...]

How about you leave it packed and go back to watching birds? It’s an option. Maybe it’s all the public hand-wringing that’s making the legacy painful for black, indigenous, etc. Maybe those people just want to see a belted kingfisher or an American yellow warbler. Maybe they’re healthy, well-adjusted individuals who understand that, however odious Audubon’s views on slaver are, his contributions to the science and study of birds is worthy of acknowledgement.

[...]

Fears quoted J. Drew Lanham, “a Black ornithologist and professor at Clemson University in South Carolina”: “Conservation has been driven by white patriarchy,” this whole idea of calling something a wilderness after you move people off it or exterminate them and that you get to take ownership.”

There you have the issue, such as it is, in a nutshell: resentment. The crimes of Audubon et al don’t matter. Wokies are simply angry they have to use names they (or people that look like them) didn’t come up with. They hate that history has ordered the world a certain way and they harbor the jacobin dream of starting over from Year Zero. 

Birdwatching is now a profoundly political act. Bird-brained? You bet.

Thoush not as bird-brained as Philbin's utterly serious belief that racist birdwatchers are too important to be held accountable for their racism -- or that racists shouldn't be head accountable, period, simply because they're long dead and must continue to be honored no matter what.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 16, 2021 1:41 PM EDT
CNS Ramps Up Word Police Action Against Biden
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves to play word police with President Biden, busting him for omitting selected words from his speeches. No less than editor Terry Jeffrey serves as chief of word police in a June 16 article:

At a press conference today after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, President Joe Biden said he explained America’s commitment to human rights to Putin while referencing the “idea” articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

But while referencing the language and idea of the Declaration at his press conference, Biden left out any reference to the Creator.

The Declaration of Independence says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“We don’t derive our rights from the government. We possess them because we are born, period. And we yield them to a government,” Biden said at one point in his description of his discussion with Putin.

Actually, according to the transcript Jeffrey attached to his article, Biden acquitted himself quite well in explaining the American system of government to Putin and pointing out U.S. concerns about Alexei Navalny (whom Jeffrey weirdly described only as someone "whom the Congressional Research Service says is an imprisoned Russian ‘anti-corruption activist’").

But Jeffrey doesn't care about that, as he would if Trump had said it. CNS has an anti-Biden agenda, and Biden must always be targeted with negative coverage -- even if he has to nitpick over a single missing word. 

This is CNS -- a partisan talking-point factory, not news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 16, 2021 9:00 AM EDT
Thursday, July 15, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Parade Marches On
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck spent the month of March sticking to his template: trashing White House press secretary Jen Psaki while cheering Fox News' Peter Doocy and other hostile right-wing reporters. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EDT
MRC Cries Again When It Gets Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've documented, the Media Resarch Center loves to lash out at fact-checkers, but it can't deal with its own content getting fact-checked. Kayla Sargent served up the whining in a June 14 post:

Facebook has slapped an unfair fact-check label on yet another post from the Media Research Center. 

Facebook fact-checker Health Feedback fact-checked a video from MRCTV Managing Editor Brittany Hughes for “Partly False Information.” Health Feedback particularly took issue with a statement made by Hughes concerning comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Health Feedback claimed that “The claim that Fauci knew ‘masks don’t work’ commonly referred to his response to Sylvia Burwell, a former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, sent on 5 February 2020.

Facebook slapped a label on the MRCTV video that stated: “Partly False Information: The same information was checked in another post by independent fact-checkers.”

In an email to the Media Research Center, Health Feedback called Hughes’ characterization of Fauci’s statement “inaccurate.” It claimed: “The spread of viruses can be reduced by masks in two ways: one is by protecting the wearer from other people’s infectious material; the other is by protecting other people from an infected person’s respiratory droplets, also known as source control. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends mask-wearing primarily as a means of source control.”

Fauci’s comments about masks originated in a collection of thousands of his emails that were released via a Freedom of Information Act request. Fauci said: “Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection.”

At no point did Sargent explain what, exactly, was "unfair" about Health Feedback's ruling -- but also notice that she didn't directly quote what Hughes said that got her in trouble with the fact-checker. Here's what Hughes ranted:

Meanwhile, [Fauci] was busy covering his own butt in telling the public that [coronavirus] originated naturally, all while telling them to smother themselves with face masks that he was also telling his own co-workers didn't actually work. Now, we learned all this from a giant email dump that's come out while the administration is busy trying to bribe half the country to get a vaccine that millions of people have already decided they don't want to get. Why? Well, see, billy goats don't like being bossed ardound by little narcissistic trolls who think the run the universse, and the American people are really sick of being lied to.

Sargent also failed to tell what, exactly, Health Feedback said about the claim that Fauci was lying about the effectiveness of masks:

It is important to note that Fauci’s statements above are consistent with mask-wearing guidance at that point in time, when masks weren’t recommended for the general public. This was because health authorities were concerned about a potential shortage of masks, which are needed to protect healthcare workers at high risk of contracting the disease.

But in early April 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its stance on community mask use, after scientists discovered that seemingly healthy people could spread the virus.

In keeping with the change in guidance spurred by the emergence of new scientific evidence, Fauci has since encouraged mask-wearing numerous times in the media (see here,here, and here), as Reuters pointed out in their fact-check.

In other words: Hughes is attacking Fauci for old guidance that evolved as new facts about COVID were uncovered. She's mad he changed his mind as the situation changed. So, yes, there's nothing unfair about this fact-check -- it's well deserved.

Because Sargent doesn't have a case, she decided to attack Facebook and its fact-checkers, rehashing old talking points:

Facebook clearly has not learned its lesson from censoring information about COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, Facebook and its “fraudulent” fact-checker program censored claims that COVID-19 was manufactured in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. However, the platform later reversed course and confirmed that it would no longer censor the Wuhan laboratory theory in light of new information. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” a Facebook spokesperson told MRC Free Speech America in a statement. 

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said in a tweet: “Facebook, which claims to be fighting ‘misinformation’ essentially admitted today that THEY have been spreading misinformation for over a year. Yet another reason to remove the protections Facebook and others receive from section 230.”  

Facebook’s fact-checkers are all part of the liberal Poynter Institute's International Fact Checking Network, which received $1.3 million from liberal billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar. Facebook’s fact-checkers must be approved by the Poynter Institute[.]

Hughes is not known for her honesty. We caught her a few years back making a Fox News appearance in which she hyped a claim that illegal immigrants committed a crime, but she refused to apologize when the claim turned out to be false.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 PM EDT
WND Still Misinforming Readers About Ivermectin Study
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detaiied how WorldNetDaily reporter Art Moore promoted a study promoting the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, conducted by an organization formed to promote treatments like ivermection -- and continued to promote it after the journal that originally had the chance to publish it ultimately declined due to the authors' clear conflict of interest. It turns out Moore promoted the study at a different journal that ultimately decided to publish it without telling readers about the controversy over it.

Moore wrote in a May 10 article:

Meanwhile, a new peer-reviewed study published by the American Journal of Therapeutics concludes that ivermectin can end the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviewed by a team that includes three top U.S. government senior scientists, the research finds the drug significantly reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 when used regularly.

In February, a study published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology found ivermectin reduces COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%. In more than 30 trials around the world, the drug causes "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study.

In fact, those studies are the same study -- Frontiers of Pharmacology rejected it, then it was picked up by the American Journal of Therapeutics.

In a May 31 article promoting a study claiming to show that ivermectin was a successful treatment in Mexico City -- while omitting the facts that the study is based on a database analysis, not clinical study, and it was a preprint that had not been peer-reviewed -- Moore wrote:

A study by the American Journal of Therapeutics that analyzed 18 randomized controlled treatment trials found ivermectin elicited "large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance" in COVID patients.

The study concluded that “the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.”

In February, a peer-reviewed study found that invermectin reduces coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%.

Ivermectin, in more than 30 trials around the world, causes "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study, which was published in the U.S. American Journal of Therapeutics.

Moore got his facts wrong here as well. The study originally surfaced in February at Frontiers of Pharmacology as a preprint -- where studies appear before they're peer-reviewed --  but never formally published there. It was published by the American Journal of Therapeutics in May.

Moore promoted the study again in a June 23 article: "Worldwide, more than 50 peer-reviewed studies have shown the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment and prophylaxis against COVID-19. A recent study by the American Journal of Therapeutics that analyzed 18 randomized controlled treatment trials found ivermectin elicited 'large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance' in COVID patients." He added:

Known for his congressional testimony about the effectiveness of ivermectin, Dr. Pierre Kory is urging White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci to reconsider his opposition to ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.

Kory, the chief medical officer of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, or FLCCC, noted Wednesday in a tweet Fauci's statement in a recent interview hat it's "essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves ... that's the way science works."

Moore didn't report that Kory was one of the co-authors of that study, or that the FLCCC paid for that study.

Moore repeated his false claims again in a June 30 article:

Worldwide, more than 50 peer-reviewed studies have shown the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment and prophylaxis against COVID-19. A recent study by the American Journal of Therapeutics that analyzed 18 randomized controlled treatment trials found ivermectin elicited "large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance" in COVID patients.

A peer-reviewed study released in February found that invermectin reduces coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%.

In more than 30 trials around the world, the drug caused "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study, which was published in the U.S. American Journal of Therapeutics.

Again, the study was not published in the American Journal of Therapeutics in February.

Such misinformation and false claims are just more reasons thats WND can't be trusted.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 16, 2021 11:14 PM EDT
CNS Attacks Pelosi For Not Being Catholic Enough
Topic: CNSNews.com

As they have with President Biden, the uber-Catholics who run CNSNews.com have -- as part of their multi-pronged war on her -- have deemed Nancy Pelosi to be insufficiently Catholic and hare taken numerous potshots at her faith. Despite the fact that it utterly failed in playing gotcha on her by refusing to understand that epiphany is more than a Catholic religious day, CNS labored to try to own her on her religion.

An anonymous CNS writer seemed upset with Pelosi in a January article in which she "expressed her view that pro-life Catholic and Evangelical voters had been responsible for electing Donald Trump president in 2016 after responding to Trump’s 'dog whistle' about Supreme Court justices." The anonymous writer didn't dispute that but instead got nitpicky by noting that Brett Kavanaugh wasn't originally on the list of judges Trump said he would appoint.

CNS also trotted out the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, where Pelosi is from, to attack Pelosi:

  • A anonymously written Jan. 22 article featured the archbishop "sharply criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.)—who represents San Francisco—for attacking Catholics who voted for President Donald Trump to advance the pro-life cause of protecting unborn babies from abortion," quoting him as saying, "To begin with the obvious: Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the Catholic Church."
  • A May 3 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman hyped how the archbishop "explains why Catholic politicians (and other public Catholics) who support abortion must not receive Holy Communion and why they must stop pretending that advocating for abortion is compatible with the Catholic faith," though he admitted that the archbishop did not specifically name Pelosi or Biden.
  • Chapman promoted the archbishop again in a May 17 article quoting him saying that Pelosi advocates "practices that are gravely evil" and that it's his job to determine whether she deserves to receive Communion.

CNS also got mad that Pelosi had opinions about her faith and how she practices it. Craig Bannister complained in a May 14 article that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who supports legalized abortion, said at her press briefing on Thursday that she can use her "own judgement" on whether to take Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass," adding that "she was “pleased” with a recent letter on the subject of pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving communion the Vatican sent to U.S. bishops" urging them against a blanket refusal to Communion to Cathollic politicians who support abortion rights. (The May 17 Chapman article was in response to this.)

CNS even got upset at Pelosi for merely referencing her faith. An anonymously written April 9 article carried the headline "Pelosi: ‘Here It Was Good Friday…as a Person Who Is Catholic–and in California--the Most Holy Time’" -- even though it was just a passing reference in an article about Pelosi's commenta on security issues at the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the shooting death of a Capitol Police officer on Good Friday.

CNS even takes stealth potshots at Pelosi over her support for abortion rights. An anonymously written Jan. 22 article noted that Pelosi issued a statement "celebrating the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that declared abortion a constitutionally protected right" -- while including an undated file photo of Pelosi holding a baby. An anonymous  June 21 article noting that Pelosi "put out a statement on Sunday to mark World Refugee Day and note that every 'precious life torn apart by violence and catastrophe is a tragedy'" is illustrated with the same photo.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Did The MRC Inflame Anti-CRT Emotions At School Board Meeting?
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 20 post, the Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that NBC's Chuck Todd "tried to lie to viewers by claiming that parental opposition and outrage to Critical Race Theory was “manufactured at Fox [News]," claiming that the claim was "even more obviously untrue" because Todd had on a reporter who "had covered the 'dozens and dozens and dozens of parents' that turned out the Loudon Country school board meeting in Virginia to speak out against the racism inherent in Critical Race Theory."

Well, Todd's not completely right, just not in the way that Fondacaro wants you to think. Not only is anti-CRT outrage manufactured by Fox News, it's also manufactured by the MRC.

On JUne 22, the day of a Loudon County school board meeing, the MRC sent out an email to subscribers declaring that the "MRC will be at the Loudoun County school board meeting today as teachers and parents fight Critical Race Theory, 'Trans' In Any Bathroom, and 'Genderless Pronouns' In Loudoun County, Virginia Schools." The email went on to rant (random bolding in original):

On Tuesday, June 22, staff from the Media Research Center (MRC) will be on hand to cover the incendiary Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Board meeting, in Ashburn, VA, as concerned parents, teachers, and students fight the leftist agenda to cement Critical Race Theory, the admission of “trans” students into any bathroom or locker room, and the banning of “gendered speech” in all district schools.

[...]

The LCSB meeting begins at 4pm ET, and its agenda includes “adoption of Policy 8040” as well as discussion of the bathroom/locker-room policy, and word is spreading that this will be a powerful moment for the kids, parents, teachers, and ALL taxpayers forced to pay for the increasingly progressive agenda being pushed by the bureaucracy.

As an MRC Action member, we want you to know what the MRC team is doing, right there, on the scene, to keep families and friends informed about this very important battle, and the ideology against which the Loudoun residents fight.

Transgenderism, the claims of “inherent racism” leveled against innocent people by the pushers of Critical Race Theory, the destruction of the language, and even the inclusion of biological males in girl’s bathrooms — it’s all being exposed, today, at Ashburn.

Thanks to you, the MRC will be there.

Please keep us and the good folks who fight for their kids and their tax dollars in your prayers.

The MRC went on to tout one of the people who spoke out against the school board:

You also might have seen MRC chatting, in person, with Lilit Vanetsyan, a Fairfax County-based teacher who, at a recent Loudoun board meeting, also railed against the LCPS policy proposals, especially Critical Race Theory, explicitly saying that the proposed policies will push a radical lesson plan prompting kids to “root for socialism by the time they get to middle school."

[...]

Now, Vanetsyan and others are pushing for the removal of six LCPS Board members and the vanquishing of these anti-family, anti-reality, collectivist agendas, this afternoon, at 4pm ET.

The MRC didn't tell you that Vanetsyan is no mere school teacher -- if she is that; it's unclear which school, if any, in the Fairfax County district Vanetsyan actually teaches at -- she's a right-wing activist who's affiliated with Turning Point USA and is a former reporter for the highly biased Right Side Broadcasting Network. (Also: Why is a teacher in one school district trying to speak out against policies in another school district? Isn't that out of her jurisdiction?)

The MRC got the provocation it was seeking at that meeting -- chaos reigned, and at least one arrest was made. But the MRC couldn't have been more delighted, as an email it sent out the next day showed (typographical effects in original):

Leftist Local VA School Board SHUTS DOWN Dissent Over Critical Race Theory, Trans In Bathrooms - AND The MRC Was There

Local Loudoun, Virginia, residents who have become national heroes turned out in the hundreds on June 22 to oppose the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Board plan to adopt Critical Race Theory and perverse sexual “identity” rules in schools across Loudoun County, Virginia, and the Media Research Center (MRC) was on the scene.

As MRC Action members likely are aware, both CNS News and MRCTV have focused time and manpower to bring tell the nation about the plight of Loudoun County taxpayers, children, and numerous teachers, as the LCPS board prepared plans to force racist Critical Race Theory ideology into classrooms and as it prepped its scheme called “Policy 8040.”

Policy 8040 would require schools to admit “trans” students into any bathroom or locker room, and would ban “gendered speech” — i.e. pronouns that conform to the correct biological sex of the individual being addressed — in all district schools.

On Tuesday, June 22, the board abruptly ended the public comment period, even as taxpayers lined up to add their voices to the scant number that the bureaucrats allowed to speak. Tuesday also saw Sheriff’s Department police ARREST individuals who tried to be heard while the board members walked off.

But Tuesday saw the courage that is lighting fires nationwide — fires that could help others stop Marxist Critical Race Theory and Trans-permissive bathroom, locker room, and speech policies from being imposed on them, other taxpayers, and kids.

[...]

MRCTV’s Libby Kreiger Tuesday also reported on the meeting, revealing how these bureaucrats — formerly insulated from public outcries by COVID-related lockouts of the public — shut down dissent, and police cuffed and arrested citizens who tried to voice their protestations, claiming they were engaging in “unlawful assembly.” Which is curious, since the First Amendment prohibits the government from infringing on the right to peaceably assemble for redress of grievances…

Clearly, the leftist Loudoun way is not the American way.

[...]

This story is receiving far less national news attention than it is from conservative and libertarian talk radio hosts and web commentators, and MRC Action and the Media Research Center will follow this, thanks to YOU.

Your care about freedom and the generations to come are the fuel for our never-ending efforts.

The MRC, meanwhile, cares about fomenting and exploiting chaos to advance its right-wing political agenda.

P.S.: It's not like the MRC went through any huge effort to turn this school board meeting into a launching pad for activism. Loudon County is just a few miles from the MRC's headquarters in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, so it just cost MRC employees a little gas money.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 9:27 PM EDT
Newsmax Massages Ratings Numbers To Claim Trump Speech Was Popular
Topic: Newsmax

Anthony Rizzo enthused in a June 8 Newsmax article:

Former President Donald Trump's speech to the North Carolina Republican Convention last Saturday drew more than 1.8 million viewers to Newsmax as the network beat Fox News in a key demo rating.

Newsmax reported Trump's 8 p.m. ET speech, his second major address since leaving the White House, drew a total audience reach of 1.1 million viewers across traditional cable platforms, according to Nielsen.

But Newsmax also drew a massive OTT audience as well, with the company reporting its streaming audience exceeded 700,000 total viewers during Trump's speech.

"OTT" stands for "over the top," TV industry parlance for streaming platforms (because they go "over the top" of cable boxes).

But Newsmax's version of the speech's ratings may be more corporate puffery than actual reality. The Associated Press reported:

Former President Donald Trump reached less than a million measurable television viewers over the weekend in his return to the public stage at a North Carolina political event.

Newsmax averaged just under 700,000 viewers between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday when Trump spoke, the Nielsen company said. His speech was also carried live on One America News Network and C-SPAN, but their audience is not measured by Nielsen.

Fox News Channel did not carry the speech by the former president beloved by many of its viewers. The network averaged more than 1.5 million viewers for its typical Saturday night fare of Jesse Watters and Jeanine Pirro.

Although Trump couldn't eclipse Fox's regular lineup, at least for Newsmax, showing the former president live appeared to be a good business decision for the network. So far this year, Newsmax has averaged 202,000 viewers in prime time, including the more heavily trafficked weeknights, Nielsen said.

Later on Saturday, Fox's debut hour with conservative media personality Dan Bongino reached 1.8 million people, making it the most-watched cable news show of the weekend.

Rizzo seemed to be conceding Fox News' overall ratings victory during the speech, because he selectively reported on an alleged demographic win: "Nielsen reports Newsmax beat Fox in the coverage rating for the key 35-64 demo, taking a .56 to Fox News' .46 during the speech." He did admit that "Newsmax drew a .58 for total P2 audience, close to Fox News' .77 for the same time period," then immediately tried to qualify that victory by complaining that "Fox News is available in 56% more television homes than Newsmax. The coverage rating shows audience penetration against total households available for a network."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EDT
CNS Parrots MRC Parent In Attacking Teen Who Gave Speech On Abortion
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center's "news" division, CNSNews.com, is even more blatantly abandoning any pretense that it's a legitimate journalism orgniazation and is simply the MRC in inverted-pyramid format -- what with the corporate whoring and parroting of what the MRC writes about -- and the latter has happened again.

We've noted how the MRC went on the attack against a teenager who gave a graduation speech about a new, onerous anti-abortion law in Texas. CNS intern Julia Johnson did the same in a June 4 article:

Paxton Smith, valedictorian of her class at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, delivered a pro-abortion speech in lieu of her previously approved remarks on Sunday, an unexpected speech that went viral on social media. 

“I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I'm raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts for my future will no longer matter,” Smith said.

[...]

D Magazine reported that Smith was originally planning on speaking about media and perception but felt compelled to speak about the recently passed Texas “heartbeat bill.”

Her school had approved her speech on media and had no idea what they were in for next. Smith prepared the second speech ahead of time, even sharing it with her parents, according to D Magazine.

“I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is, how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you,” Smith said.

Before the speech, students were warned that if they deviated from the pre-approved remarks, their microphones would be cut off, Advocate Lake Highlandsmreported.

But that didn’t happen to Paxton Smith. It is unclear why this particular speech was allowed, or whether a conservative version would’ve received the same discretion.

Johnson used biased language throughout her article, calling Smith's speech "pro-abortion" while describing the anti-abortion bills as "pro-life." She showed her bias again by complaining that "Smith has received an onslaught of fawning reactions from the leftist media, including glowing coverage from Vice, NowThis, and Teen Vogue. The teenager told Advocate Lake Highlands that she was 'overwhelmed' by the positive response." Johnson offered no evidence that any of those publications are "leftist."

The original headline on Johnson's article -- "High School Valedictorian Deceives Officials and Delivers Pro-Abortion Screed" -- was just as biased. The headline was later changed without explanation to the more bland (yet still biased) "High School Valedictorian Delivers Pro-Abortion Speech."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Uses Fear to Accuse Democrats Of Spreading Fear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The theme of last month's issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine is "Merchants of Fear," and if you thought it was being critical of itself or it sfellow right-wingers, you would be quite wrong. David Kupelian summed up the premise in his opening piece published at WND proper on June 8:

During Joe Biden’s appallingly divisive speech in Tulsa last week, he basically claimed little has changed in America since a century ago when millions of white supremacist Ku Klux Klansmen routinely lynched innocent black people for fun. “Millions of white Americans belonged to the Klan,” Biden insisted, and their “hate became embedded systematically and systemically in our laws and our culture.”

Got that? America is still a bastion of hateful, low-IQ, white-supremacist terrorists – and people of color aren’t safe anywhere.

Biden’s comments were carefully crafted by his handlers to stir up and incite racial guilt, resentment, fear and loathing in today’s Americans, who live in the least racist nation on earth.

Why do our elites keep doing this? There is a pattern.

Kupelian, of course, is not going to give Biden credit for accurately stating Klan membership over the years -- he has a narrative to push and some blame to throw around -- and fear to peddle -- like blaming Democrats for pointing that a scary pandemic was, yes, scary:

There’s the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdown and mask mandates, plus the relentless campaign to pressure everyone to be vaccinated with an experimental drug even if they’re young and healthy and have virtually no risk from the virus, or are pregnant, or have recovered from COVID and thus already possess superior immunity to that which a vaccine could confer. Likewise, there’s the official demonization of early outpatient COVID treatments, including repurposed proven-safe-and-effective drugs like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, currently being successfully used by physicians and governments around the world to treat COVID patients and save countless lives, but officially disparaged and demonized in America;

[...]

uring the 2020 presidential campaign, many pundits astutely observed that Biden’s real running mate was not the shallow, dishonest, cackling and uniquely repellant Kamala Harris, but COVID-19. The pandemic allowed Biden to hide in his Delaware home and avoid answering questions that would easily have exposed his excruciatingly evident physical and cognitive decline, while subjecting him to inquiries about his decades-long history of lying and serial plagiarism, as well as his epic personal and family corruption. The public might also have discovered why Biden manages to be almost preternaturally wrong about everything. As Robert Gates, secretary of Defense for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, put it: “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Instead, the coronavirus pandemic allowed the Democrat-Media Complex to shield Biden from public scrutiny under cover of COVID – while simultaneously stoking fears of then-President Donald Trump, whom they continually compared to Hitler – and essentially to pick Biden up, hold him high overhead and carry him across the finish line without his ever really having to come face-to-face with the American people.

Since his January inauguration, Team Biden has done its very best to keep Americans in a constant state of fear and confusion with regard to COVID. In the name of “fighting COVID” or “COVID relief,” the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress are pushing astronomical spending bills, Democrat-socialist wish lists, big payoffs to Democratic constituent groups and a never-ending list of perverse, reckless, revolutionary, unconstitutional, corrupt and just plain stupid initiatives – all by invoking the fear-inducing magic word, “COVID!”

Actually, WND has a history of lying to its readers about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin and about the supposed dangers of COVID vaccines. It seems Kupelian actually wants you to believe that a virus that has killed more than 600,000 people in the U.S. alone is safer than the vaccine to protect against it.

(And, yes, Kupelian is still hypocritically complaining that some people likened Trump to Hitler even though WND literally spent years likening President Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis.)

Kupelian also wants you to have fear about the election process, peddling the Big Lie that Trump actually won:

Many – perhaps most – Americans today are afraid of honestly expressing what they really think. Last November’s presidential election was likely the most fraudulent of our lifetime – and yet, no one in the media is supposed to say that anymore. If a news or opinion host says “the election was rigged,” he or she is likely to be censored or banned. Pretty soon, most people in such an environment become self-censoring: If they know they’re going to be shut down, they never say it in the first place.

We've caught WND spreading lies about the election results and never-proven claims it was rigged. Perhaps that alleged "fear" is the knowledge that lies are being spread and fear that they will be held accountable for spreading them.

How ironic that Kupelian used a fear-mongering screed to accuse Democrats of spreading fear. No wonder nobody trusts WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT

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