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Wednesday, August 18, 2021
What Does This Article Even Mean?
Topic: CNSNews.com

An anonymously written July 16 CNSNews.com article states:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) held a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday to celebrate the first payments of the Biden Child Tax Credit and twice during that press conference, according to the transcript Pelosi published of the event, she declared: “Oh, my God.”

“The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever--and as of July 15th, most families are automatically receiving monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action,”explained a statement on the White House website.

At the event, Pelosi mentioned the Paycheck Protection Program and Rep. Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.) efforts in promoting it.

[...]

Pelosi also said “Oh, my God” in response to a question a reporter asked her about the spike in drug overdose deaths over the past year.

We're having trouble figuring out why this article exists. Is it an attack on Pelosi? If so, it's a bizarre one. "Oh, my God" is a common enough expression that it shouldn't be particularly offensive to anyone, even the uber-Catholics who run CNS and have deemed Pelosi insufficiently Catholic because she's not anti-abortion.

But some anonymous someone at CNS was apparently so offended by Pelosi's use of this common expression that he or she even made screenshots of the transcript of Pelosi's presser with the words "Oh, my God" highlighted. Yet that person was not so offended that he or she couldn't be bothered to explain to readers exactly why. It's lashing out for no good or obvious reason -- which may serve as a demonstration of how much CNS hates Pelosi than of any actual news value.

Consider this a very strange entry in CNS' multi-pronged war against Pelosi.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EDT
Newsmax's Black Actually Thinks Trump Can Be Calm And Moderate
Topic: Newsmax

The political scene is evolving so quickly that I presume to offer some advice to President Trump: He can now win in 2024 by being the potential candidate of calm and moderation.

The Democrats have become a Babel of contending extremists, suddenly and implausibly blaming the Republicans for defunding police forces and miraculously discovering the virtues of voter identification, after having denounced it for six months as the resurrection of Jim Crow.

[...]

Thus far, the one great accomplishment of the Biden administration, apart from a rising stock market, has been the reduced decibel level of the Biden White House — something gratefully appreciated by many Americans.

The constant tumult of the Trump years grated on almost everyone, although Trump’s assailants often were equally, if not chiefly, responsible for the clangorous quality of those years.

But the increasing concern about the human wave of illegal immigration across the southern border, about sharply rising rates of violent crime and inflation, will soon attract the interest of even the most slavishly anti-Trump media, however tepidly. And Democrats already are showing their nervousness over those and other foreboding prospects.

[...]

While the Democrats’ pseudo-legal harassment of Trump — the Russia collusion fraud, the two spurious impeachments, the hysterical COVID-19 smears (replete with early charges that no vaccine developed under Trump’s auspices could be trusted), the accusations of him instigating an organized, heavily armed insurrection by his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — continues.

It has spiraled down to Speaker Pelosi's pathetic commission with Rep. Cheney as a sorceress’s apprentice. They will make a last political stand to try turning the hooliganism at the Capitol into something on the scale of Pearl Harbor or 9/11, as suggested by many in politics and the media.

The fact that the former president has come through all of this is a great personal victory and a true wonder of political staying power.

Now, as time passes, the public irritation with Trump’s bombastic behavior, of his being in the nation’s face day and night for four years, will recede and gradually be replaced by the spectacle of a comatose Biden administration, floundering and dissembling, fecklessly struggling with the various crises it has created.

There will be, soon enough, nostalgia for Trump instead — and if he is wise, he can become a winning figure of comparative Olympian serenity.

-- Conrad Black, July 19 Newsmax column

(Black has never actually observed Trump, has he?)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:45 PM EDT
WND Fearmongers, Misinforms About Door-To-Door COVID Vaccine Effort
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there's one thing WorldNetDaily is good at -- aside from publishing falsehoods and misinformation -- it's fearmongering, and the Biden administration's attempt to increase the number of Americans vaccinated against coronavirus by having health workers go door-to-door provided another opportunity to do that.

A July 6 article by Art Moore introduced the idea in a surprisingly fair manner -- but then he called on notable COVID misinfomers to shoot it down. He repeated Peter McCullough's wildly wrong claim that "The Delta variant is the mildest one we've seen so far" with a "very low mortality," followed by Harvey Risch's utterly disproven assertion that "This is a very mild variant, and the cases are going to go up ... whereas at the same time the mortality is flat, near zero."

Bob Unruh ramped up the fearmongering in a July 9 article:

When President Biden's latest extreme COVID move – a door-to-door visit to Americans to promote the vaccines – was announced, one of the reactions was from South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, who said those decisions are "personal" for his residents to make.

"Enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating, or pressuring anyone to take the vaccine is a bad policy which will deteriorate the public’s trust and confidence in the state’s vaccination efforts," he said.

One member of Congress openly suggested while the door knocks this year may concern COVID vaccinations, those next year might be about collecting Americans' guns.

But a a report from Press California explains Oregon already is considering ways to implement Biden's agenda, and "one tactic could be to send out the National Guard to neighborhoods."

The state actually has some 70% of is residents vaccinated, but "that’s not enough, according to zealous public health bureaucrats," the report said.

Surprisingly, Unruh did balance out his artile withh a view from the other side -- albeit in the very last paragraph -- auoting White House vaccine coordinator Jeffrey Zeints as saying that "organizations that are feeding misinformation and trying to mischaracterize this type of trusted messenger work" are "doing a disservice to the country and to the doctors, the faith leaders, the community leaders and others who are working to get people vaccinated, to save lives and help to end this pandemic."

A July 12 article by Unruh tried to portray instructions to the door-to-door workers as somehow sinister and Nazi-esque:

It's not taking long for President Biden's plan to dispatch federal representatives to your front door to ask you about your COVID vaccine to become reality.

One county in Illinois already has posted instructions for those interrogators on how to act when they confront you, including for them to ignore "No soliciting" signs.

No mention, however, of whether they're supposed to ignore "No trespassing" directives.

"We went from 15 days to slow the spread, to Biden's gestapo knocking door-to-door to see your papers," wrote Jenna Ellis. "Who did Nazi that one coming?"

[...]

There's no mention of possible conflicts with HIPAA, the federal medical information privacy requirements which are supposed to prevent an individual's medical details from being released to members of the general public, like a door-knocker.

In fact, it is not a HIPAA violation to ask whether a person has received the COVID vaccine.

On July 14 Unruh touted how "A new national poll has found Americans giving a thumbs down to Joe Biden's agenda to send strike forces 'door-to-door' across America to convince people to take the COVID vaccinations." Unruh didn't explain why he called health workers giving vaccinations "strike forces." Later that day, Unruh rampted up the fear and hateful rhetoric:

The newest version of Joe Biden's "Big Brother" agenda, which already features strike forces going door-to-door asking people about their COVID vaccinations, now has members of a coalition knocking on doors and giving shots on the spot.

A report from PJMedia explains, "Joe Biden wasn’t kidding. When his spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration would send people door-to-door to convince people to get the COVID shot, there was a chill sent down the spines of freedom-loving Americans everywhere. Many people took it as a threat.

"Now those door-to-door COVID-shot salespeople are here and they've brought back-up: injectors," the report said.

It was not explained why health workers offering vaccinations would not have the vaccines with them when doing so, or why that is a "threat."

Unruh devoted a July 16 article to invoking Karl Rove to manufacture a sinister political motive to the plan:

But now longtime political analyst Karl Rove is suggesting that there is an unwelcome political influencer making the decisions on what campaign is being done where.

"If you’re in the White House and you’re attempting to solve this problem, do you really want to pollute it with a big draw-up of highly partisan and ideological groups rather than focusing on the mission at hand? Are these people around in, let’s say, Nebraska? Are these people around in let’s say Rhode Island?" he said.

"In fact, the list I’ve seen is virtually only states that are swing states, close states from the 2020 election. Somebody in the White House and somebody at the Department of Health and Human Services has to be held to account. Who’s making these decisions? Who’s allowing politics to enter into something that ought to be as far away from politics as possible?"

A commentary at The Gateway Pundit was blunt: "Are Joe Biden's vaccine teams going door-to-door in swing states doing more than promoting vaccines? Americans need to know."

Of course, all this scaremongering from Unruh -- complete with Nazi references -- is just parroting right-wing narratives designed to keep their followers afraid of the government, not to report truthfully on what is actually happening.

Unruh really needs to go back to Zeints' criticism of fearmongerers like himself and ask whether the fearmongering and misinforming he's doing is actually doing a disservice to the country and its health workers -- and whether that's worth doing for a website that's on the precipice of failure.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 12:50 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
MRC Hurls Hate At Another Interview of Psaki
Topic: Media Research Center

Part of the Media Research Center's unhinged hatred of White House press secretary Jen Psaki is that any interviewer who won't trash her the MRC demands must also be trashed. We saw this with CNN's Brian Stelter, and Nicholas Fondacaro ramped up the childish insults and condescension in a June 24 post on another Psaki interview under the deliberately hateful headline "SPIT SHINE: MSNBC’s Wallace Tries to Beat CNN in Licking Psaki’s Boots":

MSNBC Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace apparently saw Brian Stelter’s bootlicking interview with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and thought ‘challenge accepted.’

And during a Thursday interview with Psaki, Wallace rhetorically told Stelter to hold her beer as she gushed about how the mostly liberal press pool gave her “high marks,” including “some of the President's detachers” who give her “grudging respect.”

Wallace began the doting interview by opining about how she’s spoken to “folks on the frontline of trying to protect not just voting rights but avoid voter nullification which a lot of people feel is the most ominous and haunting parts of these voter suppression bills.”

[...]

The grossest praise for Psaki came when Wallace tried to relate to her. “Jen, I've walked in similar shoes to the ones you walk in together probably 23 and half hours a day. I’m guessing. How do you feel like it's going,” she wondered, speaking with the cadence of a ditzy high school girl.

Wallace seemed to up the ante from Stelter’s request to have Psaki knock around the press a bit by just telling the Press Secretary how great she was, and suggested even the opposition bowed to her grace:

[...]

At different points in the interview, Wallace expanded her bootlicking to President Biden. “He is very popular not just in the Democratic Party but, I know he and you all point out, with Republicans in the country who supported the COVID relief package overwhelmingly, whose support likely contributed to Republicans coming to the table on infrastructure,” she gushed.

Adding: Would he play a similar role in bringing Republicans to the White House to work on a bipartisan compromise on voting rights?”

This isn't "media research" -- it's partisan bile, pure and simple. It seems as if there is a contest inside MRC headquarters regarding who can hurl the most immature insults at its political enemies and the non-right-wing media. It's unprofessional and embarasssing, and if Fondacaro was capable of the emotion, he should be ashamed.

The sin of not trashing Psaki extended to a July 1 post by Geoffrey Dickens complaining that "lefty journos" committed the offense of having "sucked up to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki with the likes of CNN’s Brian Stelter asking her 'what do we [journalists] get wrong?' and MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace gushing, 'You get such high marks from the vast majority of the people in the [press] room.'"

If the MRC had ever complained about suck-up interviews at Fox News to the likes of Kayleigh McEnany, it might have a point.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:15 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 10:08 PM EDT
Newsmax's Hirsen Fluffs Ex-'Superman' Actor, Censors How Ignorant His Captain America Criticism Was
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen began his July 12 Newsmax column by sucking up to Dean Cain:

Dean Cain gained a whole lot of fame when he starred in the hit 1990s television series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

Cain played the dual role of the understated Clark Kent and his alter-ego Superman, with actress Teri Hatcher co-starring as Lois Lane.

At the height of its popularity, “Lois and Clark” brought in roughly 15 million viewers per show. Its influence spawned a series of novels, trading cards, and a comic book, which all worked to solidify Cain's brand as a major player in the “Superman” legacy.

Not only does Cain have the looks to take on the Man of Steel role, he’s got the athletic cred under his belt to make the media magic believable.

All this sucking up, though, was an attempt to build credibility for the actor to justify his right-wing attacks on the new Captain America comic series. Hirsen obliquely introduced this section by stating that "Cain recently became the subject of a Twitter trend, due to some statements that he made about a new Captain America comic book series." Hirsen didn't note, of course, that the reason Cain became a Twitter trend was beause he never read the comic he was criticizing -- and, thus, probably didn't understand much about Superman, the character he played on TV for a few years, around which Hirsen was trying to build his critical cred. It appears Hirsen has not only not read the comic as well -- he only quotes the one line that his drawn right-wing ire but omitting the entirety of what Captain America actually said on the subject -- his own research into Cain was factually deficient, crediting a Hollywood Reporter story on Cain's remarks when, in fact, the Reporter was detailing was said on Fox News:

The new sub-patriotic comic book character states that the American Dream is really “…two dreams. And one lie,” adding that for some, it “isn’t real.”

Cain has a sense that the change of direction for the title character is anti-American in nature and appears to be shoehorned into the content of the comic book.

Quoted in the Hollywood Reporter Cain says, “I love the concept of Captain America, but I am so tired of this wokeness and anti-Americanism.”

“In my opinion, America is the greatest country in history. It’s not perfect. We are constantly striving for a more perfect union, but I believe she’s the most fair, equitable country anyone’s ever seen, and that’s why people are clamoring to get here from all over the globe,” he adds.

Cain wonders aloud about whether today's U.S. critics realize what life is like in other countries around the world.

“Do these people ever travel outside of America?” he asks. “Do they go to other countries where they have to deal with governments who aren’t anywhere near as fair as the United States? I don’t think they do. I do it all the time, and I kiss the soil when I get back.”

But as the Twitter folks who demolished Cain's remarks pointed out, superheroes tend to be woke creatures, with Superman in canon helping the disadvantaged and repeatedly taking down the empires of evil capitalist Lex Luthor. Also, Captain America fought Nazis.

It managed to be even more stupid than the Media Research Center's meltdown over Captain America. Maybethat's why Hirsen concluded his column with more Cain-fluffing, laughably insisting that "he has generally been private about his religious convictions" despite most of his recent film projects he listed being made with an explicit right-ring and/or religious.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 6:48 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND And The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has repeatedly defended Donald Trump over his comment that there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville violence -- but censors one important fact that undermines it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

As with the previous month, July's employment numbers were too good for CNSNews.com to attack. That meant Susan Jones had to really struggle to find a negative spin to embrace:

Amid the recent emergence and rapid spread of the delta variant in the United States, and with expanded unemployment benefits and monthly child tax credits (stimulus) payments flowing to millions of Americans, the Labor Department on Friday nevertheless issued an encouraging report on the U.S. employment situation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says nonfarm payroll employment rose by a strong 943,000 in July, following increases of +938,000 (revised) in June and +614,000 (revised) in May. (Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal were expecting nonfarm payroll to increase by 845,000 jobs in July.)

The unemployment rate declined by half a percentage point to 5.4 percent from 5.9 percent last month. That is the best showing since the 4.4 percent unemployment rate in March 2020, just as COVID began causing massive economic dislocation.

Still, Jones did bring in a right-wing activist to at least allude to negativity:

Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy group, noted on Friday that job growth is following vaccination growth.

"Even in the midst of a vaccine-induced recovery, only 10 percent of small businesses say they’ve fully recovered from the pandemic, according to the latest JCN Foundation Monthly Monitor Poll of small businesses, and that's only a 1 percent increase from the previous month.

"Even these gains are in danger," Ortiz warned, as blue state governors and mayors impose new mandates...on small businesses that are already experiencing staffing shortages."

The only sidebar this time was the usual complaint by editor Terry Jeffrey that governments added jobs, as if they don't count as real jobs or that the people who hold them don't do real work.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Monday, August 16, 2021
MRC's Double Standard On Outing Political Donations
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Abigail Streeman was oputraged in a June 21 post:

Here's a "coming out story" the media won't be hyping for Pride month. Scott Cawthon, creator of the popular video game franchise “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” (FNAF) has just come out as a Christian conservative after the left-wing cancel mob decided to look up his name on opensecrets.org. The famous video game designer has donated to several Republican candidates over the years, including Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell. 

Cawthon has also donated to Tulsi Gabbard, but that is of little importance to the rage monsters who find enjoyment in attacking people who don’t hold mainstream left-wing views. Members of his ‘fanbase’ have even said that Gabbard “is specifically targeting gay and transgender people with her policies.” 

A group of fans reportedly took to social media platforms after discovering the game designers' donation records to whine about how Cawthon was spending his well earned money. Cawthon has never openly expressed his political views, but that didn’t stop wing nuts  from coming after him. The entitled gamers were so upset that Cawthon and FNAF were trending on Twitter for multiple days in a row. How dare he donate his money to a cause that he supports! 

[...]

The entrepreneur released his most popular game in 2014. His politics weren't an issue until somebody went looking for his political donations.

So looking up political donations is something that only a "left-wing cancel mob" does, and you shouldn't be shamed for donating to a cause you support? A person's political donations shouldn't be made an issue by anyone "looking for" them? Somebody tell that to the MRC. Joseph Vazquez, a writer for MRC Business, has regularly rooted OpenSecrets for donations with which he could attack people with. For instance:

Is Streetman going to demand that Vazquez stop doing a significant part of his job, since it's so mean to look into someone's political donations? Unlikely -- it's yet another double standard thte MRC runs on.

Curiously, Streetman airbrushed out the core issue regarding his donations: Fiv e Nights at Freddy's has a large contingent ofg LGBTQ fans, and Cawthon's political donations went to politicians who have worked against the LGBTQ community. Instead, Streetman rushed to defend Cawthon without mentioning that highly relevant fact:

Thankfully, Cawthon has a backbone and he isn’t planning on bending his knee to the left’s fear tactics. In a Reddit post last week the designer took the time to type up a very thoughtful response to the crazies that are targeting him. He explained that he was debating whether he should even address the issue, “I'd like to think that the last seven years would have given me the benefit of the doubt in regards to how I try to treat people,” he said.

[...]

“All of this explanation, I fear, is wasted, as people don't want to discuss with one another anymore; they want endless apologies and submission,” Cawthon said. “People who are expecting those from me will get neither.”

The lefties look even more like fools than usual for attempting to cancel someone who is as intelligent and caring as Cawthon is. There is no empathy coming from their side unless you fall in line with their way of thinking.

But as Kotaku's Ash Parrish summed up the controversy:

I’ve never met Cawthon. I’ve played and enjoyed his games, and from the fan testimonies I’ve seen online, I’ve no doubt that he is every bit the genuine and kind person people say he is.

But none of that excuses the irreparable harm he’s done to the people he purports to love.

There’s an unfortunate but prevailing sentiment among non-marginalized people that in order for one to be racist, homophobic, or transphobic, one must be an active and malicious participant in racist, homophobic, or transphobic actions, or shun the people racism and homophobia affects. It’s the “Black friend” defense. Cawthon can’t be homophobic or transphobic, look at all the LGBTQIA+ people he’s befriended.

[...]

So while Cawthon could be the loveliest person that walked God’s earth, the fact that he willingly enabled, with thousands of dollars, the people directly responsible for making queer peoples’ lives objectively worse undermines whatever his personal feelings are for his queer fans.

Two hours later, a post by Alexander Hall attacked Parrish for pointing out the anti-LGBTQ nature of the politicians Cawthon donated to -- bizarrely describing Kotaku as a "liberal news source" in the process -- while also lamenting that Cawthon has now been "scared" away from the franchise he created. But Hall offered no actual rebuttal to Parrish, nor did he dispute any of the facts in the Kotaku post. Instead, he sighed that "Cawthon’s contribution to gaming culture since 2014 is hard to overstate. He created a horror game series that went viral." Like Streetman, Hall also failed to call out his fellow MRC employees for doing rooting through OpenSecrets the way Cawthon's critics did.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 PM EDT
CNS Thinks Cuomo's Daughter's Sex Life Is Your Business
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is weirdly concerned with the sex lives of children of liberal politicians. Back in 2018, it made a big deal out of the daughter of Sen. Chuck Schumer -- whom CNS has repeatedly bashed for his support for LGBT issues -- "entering into a lesbian marriage," and later did an article on how Schumer was with "my daughter Alison and her new wife" when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

In that tradition, we have a July 7 article by Elizabeth Nieshalla:

Twenty-three-year-old Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, daughter of Kerry Kennedy and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (divorced in 2005), has labeled herself as “demisexual” but has also said that “trying to label ourselves only limits us.”

In an Instagram Live conversation with author and speaker Donato Tramuto, Michaela said,“When I was in elementary school, I feared that I was lesbian. When I was in middle school, I came out to my family and close friends as bisexual. When I was in high school, I discovered pansexuality and thought, ‘That’s the flag for me.’”

She added, “I’ve recently learned more about demisexuality and have believed that that identity resonates with me most.”

The term “demisexual,” according to the PFLAG National Glossary of Terms, is: “Used to describe an individual who experiences sexual attraction only after forming an emotional connection.”

Um, so? What business is it of CNS to do a story on this person's sex life? It has nothing to do with her father, who has his own issues. Being the daughter of a politician doesn't make her newsworthy in and of itself. There's no news value in Cuomo's sex life. There's no reason for this article to exist other than to feed into a right-wing anti-LGBT agenda that CNS is obligated to push as an ideological entity.

We would ask if CNS should bea better "news" organization than that, but we know it's not.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT
WND Brings Back Longtime Misinformer To Misinform About COVID Deaths
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann was one of the most dishonest reporters WorldNetDaily has ever employed (and that's saying something given the motley crew of writers it has had over the years. He's best known for being an Islamophobe and for forcing WND to stealth-edit articles he wrote to remove claims in which he falsely accused yogurt maker Chobani of importing Muslim immigrants to work at a manufacturing plant in Idaho.

Despite this spotty history, WND has welcomed Hohmann back as a writer -- or, more accurately, republishing articles that first appeared on his own website.But it's clear that Hohmann has not changed his ways. He wrote in a July 20 article:

Attorney Thomas Renz filed a lawsuit in federal court in Alabama on July 19 that alleges a massive government cover-up of vaccination-related U.S. deaths that number “at least 45,000.”

The suit, filed on behalf of America’s Frontline Doctors in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, is based on a sworn statement by a government insider under federal whistleblower protection.

Speaking at the Re-awaken Tour event held July 17-18 in Anaheim, California, Renz made the bombshell announcement he says is based on a whistleblower with access to government computers and can prove that “at least 45,000” Americans have already been killed by the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA.

[...]

The CDC’s own reporting system, called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, provides numbers of people, updated weekly on Fridays, who have been reported as having died or been injured by vaccines in the U.S.

The COVID vaccine deaths reported to VAERS stood at just under 11,000 as of last Friday, July 16. This represents more deaths reported from all other vaccines combined since the VAERS system was established in 1990.

Hohmann didn't bother to fact-check anything, of course. But an actual fact-checker did and found that it's yet another deliberate misunderstanding of how the VAERS reporting system works, and that reports of adverse effects and deaths are not verified and cannot be used to establish a definitive link between vaccines and those alleged adverse effects:

The number tracks back to a woman who did not reveal her method for calculating the figure and who has not been publicly identified. She based her calculations on reports of deaths in VAERS, according to a lawsuit. But the number does not align with data contained in VAERS — and even the reports of death entered into that system do not prove that those people died as a result of receiving a vaccine. VAERS is an open system that contains reports that can be submitted by anyone and are not verified.

Finally, the claim was part of a lawsuit by America’s Frontline Doctors, a group that has peddled many false and conspiratorial claims about COVID-19 and vaccines.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Hohmann went on to uincritically quote more misinformation from Renz:

The injections from Pfizer have an 80% failure rate in Israel, Renz said.

“They don’t work. The absolute risk reduction of these vaccines is 1 percent,” he said.

Renz was referring to the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials, which showed the absolute risk reduction for those getting the vaccine was 1% less of getting a severe case of the virus compared to those who got a placebo.

In fact, the Israel data lacks context and is being used in a misleading manner:

Misleading posts on social media are now twisting data from Israel to falsely claim the country’s vaccination program is a failure due to the number of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among the vaccinated.Medical professionals say Israel’s vaccine program is making remarkable progress against the virus.

[...]

Experts say the country’s high vaccination rates are keeping case numbers down and reducing hospitalization and deaths even as the delta variant is provoking an uptick in infections. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows Israel documented 1,118 new cases on July 21 -- which is less than a tenth of the 11,934 new cases the country had at its peak on Jan. 27, before vaccines were widespread.

“It doesn’t mean vaccines don’t work,” Dr. Robert Cyril Bollinger, Johns Hopkins University professor of infectious diseases, said about Israel’s data. “They have very low rates after vaccination versus where they were before vaccination.”

Others, meanwhile, have pointed out that the Israel numbers are outliers that are based on a small numbwr of cases, which raises question about their accuracy.

Spreading lies does not seem like a good use of the money WND just raised to keep itself alive. Apparently, WND believes its audience wants to be lied to and misled.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Sunday, August 15, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck loves it when reporters are as hostile and biased as Fox News' Peter Doocy -- but only if they, like Doocy, advance right-wing talking points. So he was pretty darn happy when writing about the July 20 White House press briefing:

Tuesday’s White House Press Briefing was a welcome reprieve as Fox News’s Peter Doocy found himself with more than a few colleagues willing to join him in grilling Press Secretary Jen Psaki as ten reporters (including Doocy) lobbed one question after another about Texas Democrats fleeing Austin for Washington D.C. and triggering a superspreader of coronavirus cases.

By the time Doocy spoke, he was the third reporter to inquire about how Texas Democrats have spread COVID on both Capitol Hill and in the White House. Doocy, however, went where his colleagues wouldn’t with the use of the word superspreader.

“More than 10 percent of the traveling party with these Texas Democrats now claim to have a breakthrough case. Is there any concern that this trip that was intended to advocate for voting rights is now a superspreader event in Washington,”he asked.

An abrasive Psaki griped “that’s not a characterization we’re making from here,” but rather insisted that these “breakthrough cases” among unvaccinated individuals was proof that vaccines work in preventing from “death,” “hospitalization,” or even “serious illness” (which is entirely correct).

Note that Houck couldn't simply admit that Psaki was right about something; he also had to smear her as "abrasive," something we're pretty sure he never said about Kayleigh McEnany. Also, calling the coronavirus cases among Texas Democrats leaving the state to slow down a voting-restriction bill a "superspreader event" comes straight from Republican leadership, so Houck may as well be congratulated for adhering so close to partisan messaging (as well as exposing himself as a blindly partisan hack).It's also not accurate; all the Democrats who caught the virus were fully vaccinated, which is actually a lesson about how transmissible the Delta variant iseven among vaccinated people.

On July 22, Houck cheered that "Thursday’s White House press briefing gave us another welcome surprise as Press Secretary Jen Psaki found herself under the gun from not just Fox’s Peter Doocy, but a variety of reporters on issues such as Covid cases inside the administration, Critical Race Theory, Hunter Biden’s artwork, and masking." And, as usual, Doocy got special attention -- and whitewashing how he got owned by Psaki:

Doocy came next and things didn’t get any easier for Psaki. First, he wanted to know whether the Education Department will ensure that a pro-critical race theory group isn’t included in school curriculums seeing as how they had claimed its inclusion in new guidance was a mistake.

Psaki tried to minimize it, saying it was one small footnote and insinuated Doocy was lacking the full context.

Here's how that exchange actually went down:

Doocy asked if the Biden administration “will follow up with school districts to make sure that the Abolitionist Teaching Network material is not in lesson plans.”

Psaki replied, “Just to be clear, for the context, because I know you love context of what you’re asking about here, what you’re referring to is a citation in a report of which there were a thousand citations, so I’m quite impressed with your researchers for finding one of a thousand citations.”

Psaki went on to say that “it was an error in a lengthy document to include this citation. The specific site does not represent the administration’s view and we don’t endorse the recommendations of this group and I believe it’s been removed or is in the process of being removed.”

Doocy’s network has been covering outrage over CRT and its tenets extensively.

Houck is not going to admit Psaki won that exchange, nor will he admit that Doocy was parroting his employer's agenda. He didn't even bury the transcript in the item -- he simply censored it. 

That's the bias -- and hostility to anyone not as right-wing as he is -- Houck brings to his so-called reviews of Psaki's press briefings.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 PM EDT
CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer, Round 6
Topic: CNSNews.com

The sixth round of CNSNews.com interns' ambush questions to members of Congress were perfect gotcha questions -- they called for a yes-or-no answer on a complex issue, one where a yes-or-no answer benefits Repubican narratives, which is the entire point of this exercise. The subject this time was immigration with two questions:

  • “Should illegal aliens be given a pathway to citizenship?”
  • “And is our southwest border secure now?”

CNS hit up a lot of the usual suspects again:

One Democratic senator, however, called the gotcha nature of the questions, and that didn't do down well with the questioner:

Asked whether the U.S. southwest border is secure, Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said, “We’re certainly making every effort to make sure that is it,” but refused to answer the question directly.

At the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should illegal aliens be given a pathway to citizenship?”

Senator Peters said, “That’s part of comprehensive immigration reform. We’re gonna have to take a look at all that.”

In a follow-up question, CNS News asked, “And is our southwest border secure now?”

“Is it secure? We’re certainly making every effort to make sure that it is,” he said.

CNS News asked again, “And is it?”

Senator Peters said, “How do you define that? Yeah, I’m not going to play that game with you.”

But playing games is also part of this exercise as far as CNS is concerned -- to annoy Democrats by demanding yes-or-no answers on complex issues. For questioning the premise, Peters was given an unflattering stock photo illustrating his article.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:09 AM EDT
Saturday, August 14, 2021
MRC Melts Down Over Captain America's Verson Of The American Dream
Topic: Media Research Center

At the Media Research Center, superheroes are not allowed to talk about anything but superhero-ing -- especially if that involves talking about things that don't reinforce right-wing narratives. So when Captain America said some non-jingoistic things about the American dream, Abigail Streetman was there to smear him as a commie in a July 6 post:

The Marvel Commies have struck again. This time they’re attempting to indoctrinate the readers of “The United States of Captain America” by telling them that the American Dream “isn’t real.” In the first issue of the comic written by Christopher Cantwell, the patriotically dressed Avenger promotes an anti-American view of our country on the weekend of Independence Day. 

The left-wing propaganda packed comic book was released on June 30. Marvel’s website then published an articlempromoting the new comic on July 3 titled “Spend the Fourth with these Captain America Reads.” They described the series as a celebration of “the character’s incredible legacy.”

The story begins with the hero going on a journey to find his stolen shield and running into everyday people or “Captains” who have been protecting their communities by taking on the identity of "Captain America." However, the story that is actually told is one of divisiveness and politically charged commentary. 

What did Captain America actually say that got Streetman so riled up? Well, she chops up his words and takes them out of context for full rant value, but he said that the "white picket fence" version of the American dream is a lie because it lies outside of the reality for many Americans, and that his version of the American dream is centered around freedoms for all. Streetman somehow translated this into right-wing rage-speak:

The more than 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the U.S. may have something different to say about that. Releasing this kind of hateful rhetoric on the weekend of Independence Day is one of the most anti-American acts to come from the publishing company, and Marvel seems to be constantly promoting left-wing insanity. 

The character continues to promote the biased viewpoint by discussing the “white picket fence” view of America and insists that this does not actually exist. According to the comic, the existing version of America is one that “doesn’t get along nicely with reality. Other cultures. Immigrants. The poor.” The Captain then says “a good dream is shared. Shared radically. Shared with everyone. When something isn’t shared, it can become the American lie.”

No, Marvel. That's called equity. That is the false utopian belief that's constantly pushed by deranged leftists. The true American dream is equality of opportunity for everyone and the promise that if you work hard you will achieve great things.

One of the characters portraying a version of "Captain America" continues to manipulate the readers even further, saying, "A while back, we told the world they could come here for a better life. But too often we turn our backs on them."

Freedom of thought is slowly being destroyed by companies like Marvel that push fallacies onto unsuspecting citizens. We now have to question comic books because the left-wing nuts can’t help but insert their radical beliefs into places where they don’t belong - like a comic book that's supposed to appeal to a mass audience.

Defund Marvel.

It seems that Streetman is making stuff up so she has something to write about. How else to explain her insisting that calls for full equality for all Americans as "left-wing insanity"?

Ranting for ranting's sake appears to be more important than making sense, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 AM EDT
WND Columnist Wrongly Rants About Things
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rohini DeSilva ranted in a July 22 WorldNetDaily column:

Remember how they rioted during President Trump's 2020 GOP Convention? How they put him under a guillotine and called for his death? How the rioters set fires, pulled down statues, set fires to a historic church, tried to break down the fence and trash the White House? How they sneered when President Trump was moved to the basement for his safety? How they physically attacked attendees leaving, including Sen. Rand Paul and his wife? How, to confuse us, they used social media as their agents to delete all photos from the internet and pretended it never happened?

Now, Biden calls all Trump supporters "worse than slave-owning Confederates" (even though it was Democrats who owned slaves and fought to prevent their emancipation.) Then Biden demonized all Trump supporters by calling them "insurgents."

It has become clear that Biden is using the FBI and CIA as his personal Communist Gestapo. They are betraying our country while breaking the law, violating our constitutional rights and spying on us with impunity. Remember how immediately after Jan. 6 the FBI ordered Bank of America to hunt through everybody's credit card files and locate who bought tickets to D.C. and who purchased anything in D.C. during that time? Then the feds used Google's facial recognition software to hunt down Trump supporters, broke into their homes and jailed over 500 Trump supporters, without charges and without attorneys, some for over six months. Remember? Yet, for the past year, this same FBI was unable to track down a single Antifa/BLM rioter!

No, Biden did not call all Trump supporters "worse than slave-owning Confederates." That direct quote does not exist -- ROhini took that out of misleading right-wng paraphrases of what Biden actually did, which was point that unlike Confederate forces, the Jan. 6 rioters never breached the Capitol.

Also, hundreds of people were arrested in last summer's protests but very few of them were associated with extremist groups.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 AM EDT
Friday, August 13, 2021
MRC Returns To Promoting Rep. Greene -- And Hiding Her Extremism
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent months portraying Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as a victim of "Big Tech" while censoring the fact she's a far-right politician who faced sanctions from social media for her extremism. It appears that the MRC believes enough time has passed since her extremism was so exposed that even the MRC couldn't hide it that it can revive the victim narrative for her again. Alexander Hall wrote in a July 20 post:

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) returned from her recent Twitter suspension to compare the Big Tech platform to totalitarian censors in China.

“Twitter said on Monday that it was suspending Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from its service for 12 hours after she posted messages that violated its policy against sharing misleading information about the coronavirus,” The New York Times reported July 19. After her suspension was over, Greene claiming, “[it] banned me for 12 hrs, censoring me, & violating my freedom of speech.” She then compared Twitter’s leadership to state censorship by “CommunistChina.”

A Twitter spokesperson explained to the MRC that “[w]e took enforcement action on the account you referenced (@mtgreenee) for violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the COVID-19 misleading information policy (Tweets here and here).”

The spokesperson linked to Twitter’s so-called “ COVID-19 misleading information policy” page.

First: It's not a "so-called" policy -- it's a real policy with a real name. Second: Not only did Hall censor Greene's extremist background, he didn't even quote the offending Greene tweets -- perhaps out fear that the false claims would get the MRC into trouble as well -- he simply links to them.The first tweet falsely claimed there have been "6,000 vax related deaths," and the second conspiratorially referred to COVID vaccines and masks "human experimentation."

Instead of telling his readers the truth, Hall acted as Grteene's PR rep, touting how "Greene made it clear in a Newsmax interview that Big Tech censorship is one of her core political talking points." Perhaps Greene -- and Hall -- should be making it clear that they care about truth more than false partisan talking points.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT

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