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Saturday, August 28, 2021
MRC Defends Drummer Fired From Band Over Refusing COVID Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

It's not tquite embracing the worst people (or the UFC) to advance right-wing narratives, but the Media Research Center came somewhat close by defending the right of an ex-member of a washed-up '90s band to refuse to get a COVID vaccine. Abigail Streetman wrote in an Aug. 4 post:

Vaccine mandates have been growing in popularity over the last couple months with companies like Tyson, Walmart, Google and Disney now all requiring the shot. But it’s not just theatres and businesses now. Pete Parada, drummer for The Offspring has been booted by his own band members for refusing to get vaccinated due to possible complications related to his medical history

Parada has been a member of this band since 2007 and stated in a lengthy Instagram post that he plans to release music with his daughter now. The musician took to his social media account to explain why his fans would no longer be seeing him on stage or around the band during their upcoming tour.

[...]

He explained that for him “the risks outweigh the benefits” and he holds no grudges towards his band. But he can’t promise that many of his fans won’t be upset, and rightfully so. We don’t accept racial discrimmination but prejudice against the unvaccinated, that’s perfectly acceptable. 

[...]

Parada also explained that those who haven’t yet been vaccinated have varying reasons for their decisions whether it’s a medical condition, “conscientious risk/ benefit analysis,” or “financial instability.”  He also had a strong message for those who aren’t willing to accept perspectives that differ from their own. “Let’s avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanize and shout down at each other.” 

Streetman clipped a portion of Parada's lengthy statement, in which he mentioned "infomred consent," but said nthing else about it. That phrase is a buzzword for anti-vaxxers (like Physicians for Civll Defense, run by AAPS extremist and anti-vaxx fearmongerer Jane Orient) He also spouted more veiled anti-vaxx gobbeldygook that undermined his case. As Wonkette noted: "If he had said something like, "Please please please get your damn shots to protect yourselves and everyone else, and also to protect people like me who literally can't get the shots," that would have been OK. As it is, he kinda showed his cards.

And as others have pointed out, the band's leader, Dexter Holland, holds a doctorate in molecular biology, so Parada's dismissal is not without a medically informed basis.

Still, Streetman concluded by huffing, "If only our politicians actually knew how to control their desire for power, or at least hide it better.  Pay attention, this is only the beginning of a much larger issue." We'll take the word of a Ph.D. in molecular biology over that of an agenda-driven right-wing blogger.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 7, 2021 10:36 PM EST
Friday, August 27, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, 'Real Questions' Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

In case it hadn't been clear before, Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck all but demonstrated that Fox News correspondent (and his man-crush) Peter Doocy is a biased reporter by gushing over the bias and narrative-pushing he showed in the Aug. 2 White House press briefing:

On Monday, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy started a new week by making the most of the delayed press briefing, questioning Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the left’s Covid double standards in light of former President Obama throwing a massive birthday party and the administration letting illegal immigrants continue to flow into the country amidst a global pandemic.

[...]

Doocy was the fifth reporter called on during Psaki’s Q&A and hit the ground running with this concise question about the border: “About public health at the border, is the President concerned that migrants who are coming in in great numbers are not being tested for Covid at their first point of contact with Border Patrol?”

Houck also loved Doocy asking about Barack Obama's birthday party and how he pushed the narrative that it supposedly could "become a superspreader event."

HOuck did two articles on the Aug. 3 hearing -- which also leaned into his and the MRC's bias. The first complained that non-Doocy reporters asked about the COVID surge in Florida and Texas and the Republican governors there who refuse to do commonsense things like mask mandates. The second, needless to say, was a gushfest on Doocy and other right-wing reporters:

Tuesday marked an eventful day at the White House as not only was there a press briefing with Press Secretary Jen Psaki (and a packed onevat that), but President Biden gave a speech on the coronavirus and ended up taking questions from eight different reporters on the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), and illegal immigration. 

Of course, Fox’s Peter Doocy was a central player in questioning both, but he also had help from reporters such as McClatchy’s Francesca Chambers, the Daily Caller’s Shelby Talcott, and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann. And in an admirable move, liberal outlets joined Doocy in firing off Cuomo questions.

Houck also praised Doocy's pushing of right-wing narratives with Biden: "As for Doocy, he had a brief exchange with Biden on how he squares his concern about the coronavirus with allowing record numbers of illegal immigrants into the country."

On Aug. 4, Houck cheered how "Fox’s Peter Doocy and colleagues both in conservative media -- and even the liberal media -- had questions for Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the border crisis, China, the coronavirus, eviction moratoriums, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), and the history of allegations of inappropriate behavior against President Biden. When one right-wing reporter asked about alleged untoward  behavior by Biden, Houck made sure to add a tweet from Tara Reade complaining about "the smears and attacks on my character." Houck didn't mention how his MRC co-workers lobbed.smears and attacks against the character of women who accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.

Houck kept up his man-crush on Doocy on Aug. 5 by delcaring he's the only reporter asking "real questions" (read: real biased questions):

On Thursday afternoon, the White House press corps kept up what’s come off as a collusion effort with the Biden administration to malign Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) (and fellow Governor Greg Abbott of Texas) for his refusal to open the door to new Covid restrictions and lockdowns. 

Meanwhile, Fox’s Peter Doocy did his own thing in asking real questions of Press Secretary Jen Psaki with Thursday’s installment focusing on the viral comments rom Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) about defunding the police and Team Biden keeping out vaccinated foreigners while allowing unvaccinated illegal immigrants to flood the southern border.

Houck cheered Doocy's gotcha questions on Aug. 6:

Isn’t it always a sight to behold when liberals say the quiet part out loud? Such was the case at Friday’s White House press briefing as Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy’s questioning led Press Secretary Jen Psaki to admit that parents shouldn’t have any say in school matters such as whether their children have to wear masks.

And in defense of masking all children of all ages, Psaki insisted that her rising kindergarten likes masks and it’s concerning to her that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has put children in unsafe “environments” by banning school mask mandates.

Doocy built to this by pointing out that “DeSantis says that he may start withholding funds from school districts that don’t let parents opt out of policies that require masks in the classrooms,” “Does the President think that parents should have that kind of power?”

Houck went on to praise other right-wing reporters, because his definition of "real questions" is question that advance right-wing narratives.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:46 PM EDT
Thursday, August 26, 2021
MRC Lashes Out At 1619 Project Author Over Tenure Debate
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long attacked the 1619 Project, spearheaded by researcher Nikole Hannah-Jones as racist, false, and anti-American, working hand-in-hand with critical race theory. So, unsurprisingly, the MRC's discussion of Hannah-Jolnes' attempt to find a  tenured university position was just as bile-filled. Curtis Houck whined on May 21:

MSNBC’s ReidOut host Joy Reid joined the chorus of defenders on Thursday of the racist, America-hating 1619 Project and creator Nikole Hannah-Jones in light of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's decision to deny her immediate tenure as part of a professorship.

Reid blasted the move as an “chill[ing]” act of “cancel culture” against a (factually-challenged) series of essays that teach “a clear-eyed, factual understanding of our history.”

Houck went on to claim that "thesis that America was founded on the basis of and preserving slavery has been widely debunked." Houck's idea of "widely debunked" was to link to an article from the right-wing Federalist.

On May 23, Alex Christy worked hard to denigrate the awards the 1619 project received:

Leftists got upset at the recent news that the University of North Carolina's board of trustees decided not to give New York Times Magazine writer and 1619 Project organizer Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure, but despite this, she will still be teaching at UNC starting in July. Still, MSNBC's Ali Velshi used his Saturday show to accuse conservatives of silencing and cancelling her, because they don't support free speech.

Velshi alleged that "the UNC’s board of trustees denied Hannah-Jones tenure, reportedly bowing to conservative criticism of her most prominent work: The 1619 Project, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize." Winning the Pulitzer is just a left-wing credential, as is the McArthur "genius" grant, which Velshi also threw in.

When Hannah-Jones was ultimately granted tenure at UNC, Gabriel Hays melted down:

The world was a much better place when Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the 1619 Project, wasn’t given institutional street cred. But good things never last.

Not only has Nikole Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer for her dubious, divisive and frankly malignant critical race theory reinterpretation of American history, she has been given tenure at an actual big name university. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill actually granted her tenure on June 30, after being denied following complaints from conservative groups. In the school of journalism. Really.

Well, yeah. It is a travesty that a journalist with such a dishonest and resentful attitude toward American history would get a top tier intellectual profession. Conservatives were right to complain, and now that Hannah-Jones has received tenure, our country’s standards of higher education have suffered another major net loss.

He concluded by huffing; "The fact that UNC is elevating an activist journalist like Nikole Hannah-Jones to a tenured position proves that higher education is a joke." Se suspect Hays will not be rushing to renounced his own college degree in protest.

And when Hannah-Jones ultimately rejected UNC's belated tenure offer as tainted and chose to join Howard University instead, Hays melted down about that too:

1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones has employed her victimhood status to devastating effect in her professional career. Now, her recent suckering of UNC into giving her tenure - and then ultimately rejecting it - shows us all how race-baiters have been playing the American public for fools.

According to Slate, Hannah-Jones just rejected University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s offer of tenure after weeks of demanding the school give it to her. After finally guilting the school’s board of trustees into granting her tenure along with a teaching position they gave her in May, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist said she wasn’t interested anymore and instead took a tenured position at Howard University, a Historically Black College.

And for the nice cherry on top, the 1619 Project author claimed she thought racism was at play in UNC dragging their feet. Checkmate. Great job, UNC, you let the professional wokester castrate you.

Hays did concede that UNC initial decision not to grant her tenure "may have hinged on complaints brought up by multiple North Carolina conservative groups, which demanded Hannah-Jones not receive tenure," but he seemed cool with that -- the opposite reaction he would have if liberals tried to stop a conservative from getting a job. He mocked the idea that Hannah-Jones was denied tenue because of racism, even though every single person who held the job she was seeking for the previous 40 years was automatically granted tenure: "Oh, it was because of race - and not the fact that Hannah-Jones’ contribution to journalism is a bit of historical fanfiction that takes the founding principles of America out of context for the sake of promoting racial resentment."

On July 8, Kyle Drennen lashed out at an interview with Hannah-Jones and the UNC journalism dean:

During a gushing interview with left-wing New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones on CNN’s New DayWednesday morning, co-host John Berman also brought on University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Media Dean Susan King to hail Hannah-Jones as “an important voice in our time and in journalism” and lament that the leftist was leaving UNC. In addition, King pledged to indoctrinate her students with the radical ideas preached by Hannah-Jones.

[...]

The most important priority for the leftist media is to make sure the radical ideology they espouse gets passed on to the next generation of political activists masquerading as journalists.

Doesn't the MRC run on the radical ideology that journalists are "enemies of the people" and must be destroyed? What college professor indoctrinated Drennen and his co-workers to that idea?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's War on Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy), Part 4
Topic: Media Research Center
In May, Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck demonstrated beyond a doubt that he sees Jen Paski's White House briefings only as a source of entertainment and a way to degrade Psaki (and, yes, slobber over Fox News' Doocy). Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
MRC Freaks Out When Axios Blows Up Its 'Big Tech' Victimization Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its promotion of Donald Trump's lawsuit against social media outlets for banning him, the Media Research Center also found time for a temper tantrum. When Axios blew up the MRC's narrative by pointing out in an article on Trump's lawsuit that "To date, Trump and other conservative critics have not presented any substantial evidence that either platform is biased against conservatives in its policies or implementation of them," MRC chief Brent Bozell had a meltdown, as described in a July 7 item by Alexander Hall:

Bozell raked Axios over the coals by describing its coverage as “[b]latant lies from the leftist media.”

Free Speech America also scorched Axios for denying Big Tech censorship by summarizing some of the most infamous examples:

  • Facebook and Twitter censored the Hunter Biden story and interfered in the 2020 election 
  • Trump’s banned on 10 Big Tech sites. 
  • Our http://CensorTrack.org database has already amassed more than 2,500 examples of censorship.

What Axios didn’t tell readers is that Facebook and Twitter don’t reveal how their algorithms work. So that restricts how conservatives can respond. But it is undeniable that both Facebook and Twitter did indeed censor the Hunter Biden story in the lead up to the 2020 election.

[...]

A post-election poll from the Media Research Center, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, also sheds light on how censorship impacted our nation. The poll showed that 36 percent of Biden voters were NOT aware of the evidence linking then-presidential candidate Joe Biden to potentially corrupt financial dealings with China through his son Hunter. Thirteen percent of these voters (or 4.6 percent of Biden’s total vote) said that had they known these facts, they would not have voted for the former Vice President.

The MRC won't tell you that the Hunter Biden laptop story still has yet to be authortatively substantiated, and it has been pushed by biased right-wing outlets like the MRC with a vested interest in personally destroying Hunter Biden and his father. Even Hall doesn't buy the veracity of the story, admitting that the laptop contained "purported emails" that "reportedly exposed the alleged corrupt dealings" of Hunter.

The MRC also won't tell you that the poll it paid for was done by Trump's own pollster -- raising questions about its honesty and accuracy -- or that its CensorTrack database is highly selective, choosing only instances of "censorship" that advance the MRC's victimhood narrative and is in no way a comprehensive examination that proves social media "censors" conservarive content solely and exclusively.

Hall also rehashed the MRC's bogus talking points: "Twitter alone censored Trump 625 times between May 31, 2018 and January 4, 2021 before he was kicked off of the platform. It has since refused to allow him back on the platform. Twitter did not censor Biden at all during the same period of time. Trump was banned from at least nine other platforms after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, during which the former President called for 'peace.'" The more accurate way to say it is that Trump violated Twitter's terms of service 625 times while Biden did not violate them at all, and it's an absolute lie for Hall to claim that Trump was kicked off social for calling for "peace" at the riot he helped instigate.

The ultimate evidence that the MRC knows its talking point is bogus is that it sent out an email in April bragging about how well its content does on Facebook. Would it be making such extentive use of Facebook -- and bragging about its reach there -- if the "censorship" narrative was at all true? Doubtful.

As with the rest of its promotion of Trump's lawsuit, this is all just partisan blathering not meant to be taken seriously outside the MRC's ideological bubble.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
MRC Continued To Root Against America, Non-Heterosexual Olympic Athletes
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has spewed hate at athletes who aren't heterosexual and even rooted against America when those athletes performed in the Olympics. That continued throughout the rest of the Olympics.

On July 26, Jay Maxson cheered that Olympic viewership was relatively low, which he (or she) blamed on athletes not being heterosexual or right-wing:

Friday’s opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics provided more painful truth for Big Sports. The U.S. television audience for the event was the lowest it’s been in the 21st century, further indicating how badly Americans are rejecting woke sports.

[...]

The Tokyo Olympics were delayed for a year because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. During those 12 months, social justice warriors in sports have only given fans fewer reasons to watch when the Games finally arrived this summer.

For many fans, they’d seen enough outrageous behavior to determine they wouldn’t tolerate any more of the same. Last Tuesday’s kneeling by the U.S. and other national soccer teams may have just reinforced fans’ decisions for tuning out of the opening ceremonies.

The MRC's hatred for athletes who don't adhere to right-wing politics extends to those from other countries. Abigail Streetman whined in a July 28 post:

The Olympic games will now be adding a category for ‘best virtue signaler’ after Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado decided to throw up a fist at the end of performance in support of the Marxist organization Black Lives Matter. The 18 year old athlete defied the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines in a selfish attempt to make the games political and divisive instead of a unifying event. 

The Olympic games is supposed to be a ‘safe space’ free from “political, religious or racial propaganda” according to IOC Rule 50. The committee released these new guidelines as a result of the violence and destruction that has been caused by BLM groups and riots around the world.

Maxson returned to root against America again by lodging a similar complaint agianst an American athlete:

American shot putter Raven Saunders defied the International Olympic Committee Sunday by protesting on a victory podium in Tokyo. She claimed the Silver Medal, then broke the IOC’s Rule 50 banning victory stand protests. Saunders crossed her arms in an X symbol to protest oppression.

Radical left media like Deadspin implored the IOC to leave Saunders alone instead of punishing her. As of this morning, the organization that runs the Olympics had not taken any kind of action against her. It was looking into the highest level of protest yet seen in the Tokyo Games. Whether the protest will stand unchallenged, and whether the IOC is just a cowardly organization that doesn’t enforce its own rules, remains to be seen.

[...]

So the Olympics have come down an opportunity to speak up for the oppressed. Like the politically powerful LGBT juggernaut doesn’t have much of a voice? Come on, get real! And whose platform is it anyway? It belongs to the Olympics, not agenda-driven social justice warriors.

Nicholas Fondacaro served up whataboutism in his rooting against America in a Aug. 2 post:

On Monday, NBC Nightly News showed that they would take any opportunity to smear America on the world stage. As part of their so-called “Inspiring America” series, anchor Lester "fairness is overrated" Holt highlighted U.S. Olympic sprinter Noah Lyles as he suggested America didn’t want him as a black man and that the country was trying to kill him. Meanwhile, Holt ignored Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya who defected to Poland to escape the oppression of communism and protect her life.

Actually, Fondacaro is the one who's smearing America by trashing an athlete whose political views he doesn't agree with.

Maxson rehashed his (or her) seething hatred for transgender athietes in deciding that the IOC was suddently clueless after lauding its stances on athlete protests:

Following the Tokyo Summer Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to revise “outdated” rules governing transgender athletes. During a roundtable discussion with reporters, the IOC invoked numerous references to science that indicate it has no clue on what sound science even looks like pertaining to gender.

Richard Budgett, the IOC’s medical and scientific director, said it’s important to remember that “transgender women are women. So you’ll include all women, if you possibly can.” Surely, he must have skipped biology classes.

[...]

So now, enabling a male’s gender confusion and reducing his endurance just so he can compete in female sports is supposed to be honoring and inclusive? In the upside down world of the IOC, our old, outdated determinants of gender need to be set aside. We should no longer look at Hubbard and see Gavin (his birth name) or his brawn. It’s the hidden things we cannot see, like testosterone and hemoglobin levels, that make a man a woman.

The IOC also stressed the need for more science. To which we will add its need for objective scientists.

On Aug. 6, Matt Philbin praised a member of the U.S. women's soccer team for not kneeling with the other players "to protest racism, or sexism, or whatever was Thursday’s gripe du jour," declaring that she "finished her games (and perhaps her career) standing, with dignity and humility. Bravo." He still found a way to root against America by complaining that "perennially pissed-off Megan Rapinoe" scored two goals in the team's bronze medal-winning performance and lamenting that this showed that "cosmic justice" didn't prevail.

Philbin concluded the MRC's Olympics coverage by once again rooting against America by joining Maxson in cheering the allegedly low ratings, which he baselessly blamed on "the politics": "All the talk in the weeks leading up to the games about whether the IOC would allow political protests and what kind drove away viewers -- just as NBA and NFL fans have been repulsed by the Black Lives Matter grandstanding. "

Meanwhile, Gabriel Hays dedicated a post to the only athletes the MRC deems American enough to be worth cheering for -- right-wing Christians:

Going by the media coverage, it may seem like the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is all about the Megan Rapinoes, trans weightlifters, and non-binary gymnasts. But if you dig a little deeper into the competition’s rosters and medal winners, you’ll find that there are many humble and gracious Christians who are giving glory to God with their victories.

Hays gushed over how these athletes thanked God for their victories, even though that's as much virtue-signaling as the ant-racist activism his MRC buddies are trashing other athletes for engaging in.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 24, 2021 11:50 AM EDT
Monday, August 23, 2021
MRC Learns To Love The UFC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is slowly becoming fans of the brutal sport known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship -- if only because its fellow right-wingers are hanging out at its events and its officials are forward right-wing anti-media narratives.

Back in April, Veronica Hays praised how UFC president Dana White "doesn’t back down from any fights, especially not with the media," when he declared that "Most of these people are full of s--- and have no place writing or talking about anything." Hays went on to gush:

White’s hostility towards the media comes as no surprise. He has been targeted by ill intentioned new outlets on many occasions. White caught heat from New York Magazine because of his positive relationship with President Trump and especially during the initial Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020. White continued to schedule fights contrary to CDC recommendations and completely disregarded directions from federal and state governments, even amidst an onslaught of negative media attention. Clearly the man does what he wants. 

[...]

White’s fearless confrontation with journalists is commendable, especially now that they have become more emboldened in their efforts to manipulate and misinform the public. 

Donald Trump popped up at a UFC event in July, and systerious sports blogger Jay Maxson channeled right-wing sports guy Jason Whitlock in being upset that this didn't get played up in the media while having yet another episode of ESPN Derangement Syndrome:

ESPN’s television coverage of Saturday’s UFC fight between Connor McGregor and Dustin Poirier blacked out former President Donald Trump’s arrival to a rousing reception by fans. Jason Whitlock says it has everything to do with ESPN waging a “cold war” with traditional sports fans.

[...]

UFC fans are the people who don't look down on Trump as a pariah like Big Media and Big Tech do. They don't buy into the Jan. 6 "insurrection" narrative created by CNN, MSNBC and the Democrats. ESPN is a big part of the left-stream crowd, despite hollow denials that it is not a political organization.

Trump friend and UFC president Dana White is the antithesis of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, whose commissioners “would run from Trump as if he were a pack of Wuhan bats,” Whitlock added. He’s more like former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who marketed the league in support of traditional American values. Now, though, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell guides the league in a polar-opposite direction.

ESPN is one of many U.S. corporations bent on antagonizing the customers. Whitlock criticized the network’s “zero concern” for giving customers what they want. Everyone knows Barack Obama would have been highlighted to the hilt if he had attended UFC 264. Unlike Trump’s actual appearance there, Obama would have been interviewed by ESPN.

Hays returned to salute another celebrity guest at the the UFC event:

Two alphas met both inside and outside of the ring at Saturday’s UFC match. 

UFC 264, Connor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier was the place to be Saturday night. The star-studded event drew massive attention on social media especially with President Trump making a grand entrance to the sold-out arena. Upon Trump’s arrival alongside UFC President Dana White, the crowd went wild and broke out in chants, “USA USA.” One viral moment captured on video shows actor-director Mel Gibson saluting the President in greeting as he walks by. The novelty of such an exchange was not lost on the public.

Shortly after, sour Twitter users who have too much time on their hands with too little senses of humor, dragged Gibson for having the audacity to show deference to a former President. Old accusations of antisemitism and racism were reprised to insult the Oscar-winner.

Weird how accusastions of bad behavior get dismissed by the MRC as "old" when they involve right-wingers. By contrast, the MRC is still attacking Dan Rather over his story on then-President George W. Bush in 2004 -- even older than the anti-Semitism and racism accusations against Gibson. No MRC employee who wants to keep his or her job will ever dismiss the Rather story as "old" and thus no longer worthy of attack.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 PM EDT
Sunday, August 22, 2021
MRC Pushes Dishonest Narrative In Freaking Out Over Efforts To Curb COVID Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center sure seems to love misinformation, as we've seen from its attempts to deliberately muddy the waters by trying to redefine the word into a subjective, politically charged word that is subject to partisan interpretation. -- otherwise, it wouldn't be fighting so hard against efforts to curb misinformation.

So when the Biden administration said it wanted to work with Facebook to crack down on disinformation abaout COVID vaccines, the MRC went into full freak-out mode. A July 15 post by Kayla Sargent screamed "CENSORED!" in its headline:

The Biden administration continued its rampage against what it deems to be "misinformation" about COVID-19. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the administration is “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation” to blatantly use Big Tech to censor Americans.

This was the second day in a row where Psaki admitted the administration is either considering or taking action against free speech. Today surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy declared he was “urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.” Murthy warned in a massive advisory that such “health misinformation is a serious threat to public health.”

Psaki followed that up with the fact that the Surgeon General’s Office is “flagging posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.” She said the administration has a four-point plan to restrict COVID-19 content it didn’t agree with.

She explained that, “there's also proposed changes that we have made to social media platforms, including Facebook, and those specifically are four key steps.” Those included publicly sharing the impact of “misinformation”; “a robust enforcement strategy”; “faster action against harmful posts”; and promoting “quality information sources.”

Note Sargent's dishonest framing. It's not the White House wanting to address clear, unambiguous misinformation, according to her -- it's "what it deems to be 'misinformation'" and "content it didn’t agree with." She refused to concede that the White House "didn’t agree with" that content because it's lies and misinformation.

Sargent also served as a stenographer for her boss: "Media Research Center founder and president L. Brent Bozell III warned how dangerous the Biden plan really was: 'Biden’s team is trying to collude with Facebook to censor the whole internet. If you’re not scared yet, you should be.'" What a dumb statement: Facebook can't "censor the whole internet," it can only address content on Facebook.

Neither Sargent nor Bozell explained why right-wingers must have the right to spread lies and misinformation without consequences.

Curtis Houck pushed the narrative the next day by complaining about the Biden administration's purported "collusion with Facebook and the rest of Big Tech to crack down on dissent (under the guise of fighting misinformation about coronavirus vaccines)." Houck offered no evidence that any sort of "dissent" was being considered, nor did he explain how lies and misinformation could be considered  "dissent." A July 16 post by Autumn Johnson on the subject put "misinformation" in scare quotes.

When President Biden said misinformation on Facebook was "killing people," the MRC took offense, beause it hates Biden even more than social media. Tim Graham whined:

The president suggested Facebook’s a pile of killers, and on Friday night, the pro-Biden networks just blandly passed it along. Facebook had a statement denying they were killers, but there was zero political rebuttal or fact-checking.

Naturally, NBC was the most expansive. Reporter Gabe Gutierrez did note "Late today, Facebook fired back, saying it will not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts." The social-media sites offered statistics on how much COVID "misinformation" they removed -- which probably includes anything on the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.

Needless to say, Graham offered no evidence that was the case.

Sargent returned to come to further defense of Facebook against Biden arguing that Biden should have had Facebook's back because the company allegedly gave most of its politial donations to Democrats:

The Biden administration has appeared to turn its back on Facebook after the platform worked hard to censor the American people for the last year and a half.

Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen whined about the Biden administration’s rampage over so-called misinformation about COVID-19 in a blog post. However, Facebook has very little room to complain, as the company and its subsidiaries donated nearly eight times more money to Democrats than Republicans in the 2020 election cycle.

But Sargent was misleading about the political donations. As she later noted, the donations she was citing came from not onbly the company but also "its employees and its affiliates," lumping individual employee donations with the company.

She also invoked a conspiracy theory by claiming that "a Facebook-funded organization may have helped swing the election in Arizona to then-candidate Joe Biden," linking back to a March post on the issue citing a report from the right-wing Foundation for Government Accountability. In fact, the foundation funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made money available to all election agencies, which was used for various purposes, and even the FGA report offered no substantive evidence the money was used for partisan purposes, let alone that alleged get-out-the-vote efforts "influenced voter turnout in favor of Democrats," let alone swung the state for Biden.

Sargent also huffed that "Rosen also took the opportunity to brag about the platform’s constant censorship," adding that "Facebook could, alternatively, have upheld freedom of speech on its platform, but it chose to censor content that it disagreed with instead."Again, she did not explain why she has equated lies and misinformation with "dissent."

Charlotte Hazard went fully down the rabbit hole in a July 19 post, weirdly blaming Biden for lower than expected COVID vaccination rates despite the fact that one of the groups with the most resistance to getting vaccinated is Republican men:

On Friday, desperate to deflect blame from his administration's failure to increase vaccination rates across the country, President Biden recklessly accused Facebook of “killing people” due to the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines on various social media platforms. On Monday, MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski rushed to agree with the President's attempted scapegoating.

[...]

Brzezinski immediately sided with Biden and claimed that Facebook was to blame for the country not meeting the administration's vaccination goal by the 4th of July. “You know what? Facebook is definitely a part of the reason the goal was not mixed,” said Brzezinski, who added: “And Facebook is a large reason why Trump's lies have festered across this country.”

Staying on the corporate narrative, Hazard falsely claimed that Brzezinski's endorsement of efforts to stop disinformation meant she actually said that "social media companies should censor speech they don’t like," further misleading that "It’s so great that the media is pro-censorship and is siding with the President that Facebook is 'killing people.'"

In a July 20 post, Sargent portrayed the White House's clarification on what exactly it's doing with Facebook as a "FLIP-FLOP" (her all-caps, not ours), making sure to use the biased "so-called 'misinformation' terminology. concluded by ranting: "The White House could encourage free speech online. Instead, it has continually changed its tune and endangered the free speech of Americans. Even if the administration has 'not asked Facebook to block any individual posts,' as Psaki claimed, the fact remains that the Biden administration has no qualms about censoring the speech of its citizens."

Of course, she failed to explain how lies and misinformation -- which typically lack legal defenses or First Amendment protection -- are "free speech."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 22, 2021 10:31 PM EDT
Saturday, August 21, 2021
MRC Backs 'Leftist' Anti-Vaxxers To Push 'Censorship' Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's penchant for embracing the most fringe, extreme figures to further its highly flawed victimization narrative of "censorship" by "Big Tech" even extends to a group it can (falsely) portray as "liberal."

Under a "Fight for Free Speech" headline, Kayla Sargent wrote on May 6:

An alleged “vaccine safety” organization has fought to have its case against Facebook censorship heard in court. 

The Children’s Health Defense (CHD) appeared in court May 5 to fight a motion to dismiss its lawsuit against Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and several of the platform’s fact-checkers for censorship. San Francisco, California Senior District Judge Susan Illston heard arguments from Facebook and CHD as to whether the lawsuit should be dismissed. “A ruling is expected soon,” according to the release on PR Newswire.  

CHD’s complaint centered around an alleged First Amendment violation. The organization argued: “This is a case about how an officer and an agency within the U.S. Government ‘privatized’ the First Amendment by teaming up with Facebook to censor speech which, under the Bill of Rights, the Government cannot censor.”

Sargent repeated CHD's claims that "Facebook’s fact-checking does not accurately describe the website’s content" -- then admitted it has made false claims, while also trying to tag the group as liberal because of its "leftist" founder:

CHD was established by its leftist president, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The organization falsely claimed on its website that “vaccines can and do cause injuries including autism and many other adverse health outcomes.” It also claimed that 5G technology “poses health risks, encourages debris-generating satellite collisions, causes depletion of the ozone layer by the huge number of launches planned and is a major factor in the weaponization of space.”

But no mainstream liberals endorse Kennedy and CHD -- indeed, even Kennedy's relatives have renounced his anti-vaxxer activism. So it's wrong for Sargent to suggest he's a mainstream "leftist"when he has no consitituency there.

Why has Sargent embraced a group even she admits spreads falsehoods?Because she can exploit it for the MRC's narrative. She went on to laughably declare: "Facebook has the power to choose who can participate in debate in the public square." If Facebook were the only way to participate in the public square, she might have a point -- but there are myriad ways to participate in the public square without Facebook. And she's also forwarding the argument that Facebook, as a private company, has no right to have terms of service for its users, let alone be able to enforce them.

Sadly for Sargent, CHD's lawsuit failed. She lamented in a June 30 post:

In a second major legal win for Facebook this week, a federal judge dismissed another lawsuit that would have held Facebook accountable for censoring content it disagreed with.

California Senior District Judge Susan Illston dismissed the leftist Children’s Health Defense’s (CHD) lawsuit against Facebook. CHD had alleged that Facebook violated the First and Fifth Amendments by “labeling CHD’s content ‘False Information,’ and taking other steps to effectively to censor or block content from users,” according to the ruling.

Illston ruled that Facebook’s application of fact-check labels to CHD’s page did not violate the First Amendment because the government did not direct Facebook to do so. “CHD does not allege that Schiff (or anyone from the government) directed Facebook or Zuckerberg to take any specific action with regard to CHD or its Facebook page,” the ruling explained.

She copied-and-pasted the paragraph about Kennedy being "leftist" and CHD making false claims, which would seem to also undermine the lawsuit.

Apparently, Sargent believes that "free speech" means never having to be held accountable for falsehoods and misinformation -- a theory that can't be found anywhere in the First Amendment. But she's advanced her employer's narrative, even if she had to effectively endorse another extremist to do it.

CHD got even more narrative-advancing love in a July 23 post by Gabriela Pariseau:

YouTube applied its so-called “medical misinformation” policy more broadly than ever when the platform removed and then later restored content criticizing laws allowing 11-year-olds to be vaccinated without parental consent.

The platform removed an interview that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had with liberal anti-vax group Children’s Health Defense (CHD) President Mary Holland.The two discussed a recent law bypassing parental consent for vaccines in Washington, D.C. FRC’s legislative affiliate FRC Action reported that YouTube flagged the video for allegedly spreading “‘medical misinformation.’” “‘[T]ech giants, like YouTube, are allowing social media to be weaponized by the Left to eliminate all counter views,’ Perkins said in a press release. 

Holland told Perkins that CHD filed a lawsuit against the city for its Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020. The law, Perkins summarized, allows 11-year-old children and older to receive federally recommended vaccines "without parental knowledge or consent if the health care provider believes the [minor] is capable of meeting the informed consent standard."

Again: CHD is not a "liberal" group. Its anti-vaxxer agenda happened to cross over with right-wing narratives claiming parents have total control over their children and that they must not be allowed to do anything without parental consent, even when those parents are potentially harming the child by denying them vaccines.

Pariseau omitted the fact that Perkins and Holland falsely fearmongered over COVID vaccines, with Holland falsely claiming they have caused 9,000 deaths and ranting that "your child could die" from the vaccine, neither of which Perkins pushed back against  -- which would seem to be the actual reason the video may have been removed.

Holland also ranted against HPV vaccines and the alleged need for religious objections to getting one. If you'll recall, the MRC went anti-vaxxer on HPV vaccines because they would purportedly turn children promiscuous.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 21, 2021 10:34 AM EDT
Friday, August 20, 2021
MRC Psaki- (And Biden-, and Jean-Pierre-) Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Unsurprisingly, the Media Research Center is part of the right-wing anti-mask movement because personal inconveniences are more important than working toward the common good of slowing the spread of COVID. Curtis Houck embodied that in yet another Jen Psaki trash-fest regarding her July 27 White House press briefing:

When there’s a White House press briefing in which the press corps doesn’t appear friendly with the Biden administration, you know it was a tough day at the office. Tuesday’s briefing was one of those rare days as Fox’s Peter Doocy was joined by over a half dozen colleagues in asking tough questions Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to answer about the return of masks, even for vaccinated Americans.

The Associated Press’s Alexandra Jaffe didn’t wait for Doocy, leading off the Q&A by wondering “how will the White House get Americans to start wearing masks when they’ve gone for more than two months without them,” and if it was a mistake to say July 4 all but marked our “independence” from the virus.

After Psaki insisted we must respect CDC scientists and remember that we’re living in unprecedented times, Jaffe followed up by questioning whether the back-and-forth was “wise...considering [this] could make it tougher for Americans to take” the pandemic “seriously.”

Psaki’s answer undermined the edict to mask up, insisting that everyone should get vaccinated to be “protected from serious illness or hospitalization” while the government does what’s best “to protect more people and save more lives.”

As Mediaite's Tommy Christopher noted, this was little more than a gotcha session over masks -- but since this feeds into right-wing narratives, Houck clearly approved.

Houck was able to resume his Peter Doocy man-crushing for the July 29 briefing:

When it seemed like only a few of his colleagues were still outraged at the Biden administration’s decision to bring back indoor masking for much of the country (compared to with White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and President Biden over the regime’s inconsistent (and arguably misleading) messaging masks. 

And in the case of the exchange with President, Doocy’s fact-checking and questioning brought out the angry Biden (as opposed to the forgetful or whispering Biden).

Houck accused Jean-Pierre -- whom he had previously denigrated as an apparent diversity hire -- of offering "word salad," despite his never objecting when his beloved Kayleigh McEnany did so. He then gushed over Doocy's ambushing Biden on the mask issue:

Fast-forward to the press conference and Doocy repeatedly tried to shout a question to Biden, but unsurprisingly, he wasn’t interested.

But as Biden walked away, Doocy caught his attention: “Mr. President you said if you were fully vaccinated, you would no longer need to wear a mask?”

Doocy tried to say more, but Biden angrily cut him off with this false claim: “No, I didn't say that.”

Doocy hit back with, “you did,” but Biden realized mid-thought he had been caught: “I said if fully vaccinated in an area where you do not have — well, let me clarify that.”

This gave Doocy an opening: “In May, you made it sound like a vaccine was the ticket to losing masks forever.”

The President replied that his statement was “true at the time” as he believed the vaccination rates would be higher than they are now and he didn’t know about the Delta variant.

As Christopher also pointed out -- but Houck didn't -- this exchange came after Biden praised Fox News for getting on board the pro-vaccination bandwagon, and that Biden's statements was not as false as Houck and Doocy want you to think it was, because "the whole reason the mask guidance has changed is that people aren’t getting vaccinated."

For thet July 30 briefing, Houck decided that because the non-right-wing media had come to understand that  the Delta variant has changed the mask game, it was some kind of "liberal media" plot:

After a week that consisted of vehement pushback against the Biden administration’s new mask edict and threats of bringing back crippling Covid restrictions, the liberal media decided on Friday to fall in line during the White House press briefing with only Fox News’s Peter Doocy remaining skeptical about this sudden change.

And on the misinformation front, numerous reporters parroted Biden administration line of using a Covid outbreak earlier this month in Provincetown, Massachusetts to justify masking and other mitigation measures when, in reality, that highly debaucherous event isn’t representative of the American populace.

This is a homophobic smear; Houck is trying to blame the outbreak on filthy LGBT people who were allegedly in Provincetown for a "bear week" event. In fact, the study covered many tourists in Provincetown over a longer period than that particular event, and it turned out that three-fourths of those who tested postive for COVID were fully vaccinated -- meaning that the people in Provincetown are much more "representative of the American populace" than Houck woiuld like to admit. Nevertheless, Houck reveled in pushing the homophobic smears:

For the unaccustomed, “bears” could be defined as larger, masculine gay men with plenty of hair. And “Bear Week” in the Bay State has a reputation of involving plenty of poor life choices, including plenty of making out and gay sex.

But sure, let’s dictate public health policy off of that in the same way we’d make changes based on the inside of a frat on a Saturday night or hotel rooms during spring break in Florida.

Yes, Houck really thinks failure to be heterosexual is a "poor life choice."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 4:41 PM EDT
Thursday, August 19, 2021
MRC Gushes Over Trump Social Media Lawsuit, Offers To Help
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center alsmost couldn't contain itself when Donald Trump sued the social media platforms that suspended him, as Kayla Sargent demonstrated in a July 7 item under the headline "SEE YOU IN COURT!":

Big Tech corporations have a notorious history of silencing conservatives on social media platforms, but their tyrannical practice of censoring opinions that they disagree with may come back to haunt them. Former President Donald Trump has decided to fight back and take legal action against the Big Tech platforms that banned him earlier in the year.

Trump announced that he would file lawsuits against Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their top executives Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey at a July 7 press conference. “We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” Trump said in the press conference.  

Trump discussed the actions the lawsuit would ask the court to take. He said that the lawsuit “seeks injunctive relief” and is “asking the court to impose punitive damages on these social media giants.” Trump stated further: “In the end, I am confident that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom, and at the same time, freedom of speech.”

Sargent also repeated a couple of old MRC chestnuts in claiming that "Big Tech’s vendetta against Trump dates back several years. The first was the misleading assertion that "Twitter censored Trump 625 times between May 31, 2018, and Jan. 4, 2021, before he was kicked off the platform. ... Twitter did not censor President Joe Biden at all during the same period of time." The more accurate way to say it is that Trump violated Twitter's terms of service 625 times while Biden did not violate them at all. Sargent also declared that "Trump was also banned from at least nine other platforms after he called for 'peace' following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol" -- a lie that the MRC has pushed for months; calling for peace had nothing whatsoever to do with his suspension.

The next day, Sargent gushed further over Trump's Wall Street Journal op-ed explaning why he filed the lawsuit:

Big Tech has made a habit out of silencing conservatives for too long, but former President Donald Trump decided to fight back, launching lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter and Google. 

Trump put Big Tech on blast in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. He described the internet as “the new public square.” And the former president called out Big Tech companies for being “increasingly brazen and shameless in censoring and discriminating against ideas, information and people on social media—banning users, deplatforming organizations, and aggressively blocking the free flow of information on which our democracy depends.” 

Trump’s class action lawsuits against Big Tech could help restore free speech rights of Americans. “One of the gravest threats to our democracy today is a powerful group of Big Tech corporations that have teamed up with government to censor the free speech of the American people,” wrote Trump. “This is not only wrong—it is unconstitutional. To restore free speech for myself and for every American, I am suing Big Tech to stop it.”

No mention, of course, of any criticism of Trump's lawsuit -- particularly his nonsensical claim that social media companies violated the Constitution in suspending him; as one critic noted, "this is the former President of the United States arguing that private companies violated HIS 1st Amendment rights by conspiring with the government HE LED AT THE TIME to deplatform him." Others have noted, where Sargent didn't, that Republicans are using Trump's lawsuit to raise money, making the whole venture look more than a little grifty. Sargent also copied-and-pasted her bogus claims about Twitter having "censored" Trump 625 times and that he was suspended for calling for peace over the Capitol riot he helped instigate.

Autumn Johnson was boldly shilling for Trump and his lawsuit in a July 9 post:

Members of the class-action lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump are looking for stories from other social media users who have had their content censored by Big Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

An Instagram post by Austen Fletcher, who is involved in the suit, asked users to post about their experiences with Big Tech censorship. The post had over 15,000 likes and 3,500 comments on its first day.

“Have you been banned, censored, or shadowbanned by Big Tech?” the post reads. “Comment your story below.”

“This is not a drill! Tell me your story below,” the caption adds. “This class action lawsuit is about YOU, the people. If you’ve been shadowbanned, censored, or deleted off from any of your social media platforms tell us about it in the comments. BE SPECIFIC! I think we will have thousands upon thousands of examples! This will be the largest class action lawsuit in this country’s history!”

And wouldn't you know it, the MRC is eager to help out by serving up examples, as Sargent explained in a July 14 post:

Big Tech’s war against conservative voices has reached new heights. But MRC Free Speech America’s CensorTrack team has exposed the left’s  online censorship by amassing 2,500 individual cases to hold Big Tech accountable. 

The CensorTrack database has cataloged 2,500 cases of Big Tech silencing conservatives online since March 2020. In that time, Big Tech has booted a sitting president, silenced members of the free press like the New York Post for its reporting on Hunter Biden and shut down free speech-oriented platforms like Parler.

Twitter censored and Facebook suppressed a story from the New York Post that claimed to expose the alleged corrupt dealings of now-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Not only did Twitter ban users from posting the link to the story, but it also locked the Post’s account for 17 days. A post-election poll conducted by MRC found that 36 percent of Biden voters were not aware of the story, and 4.6 percent would not have voted for him if they had known about the scandal, which could have swung the outcome of the election.

Sargent didn't mention that poll was conducted for the MRC by Trump's pollster, so there's no reason to trust its accuracy, or that the pro-Trump New York Post deserves the benefit of the doubt for its dubious October surprise about Hunter Biden. She did, however, repeat once again the bogus assertion that Trump was suspended for calling for peace.

The same day, Alexander Hall promoted a Wall Street Journal op-ed championing Trump's lawsuit by Vivek Ramaswamy, whom Hall obliquely identifies only as a "Philanthropy Roundtable board member," though he's actually a right-wing activist.

Casey Ryan touted the success of this effort in a Aug. 5 post:

Former President Donald Trump and everyday Americans are now piling on Big Tech for their egregious acts of censorship. Trump has amended his lawsuits against Big Tech corporations and executives to include comments from what appears to be a huge grassroots army of 65,000 Americans.

The nonprofit America First Policy Institute (AFPI) announced that Trump’s amended complaints were filed in late July. Trump said that he launched his lawsuits against Big Tech “in conjunction” with the AFPI in an op-ed that he recently wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

The organization explained that it allowed people to submit examples of how Big Tech has censored them and that 65,000 Americans submitted their stories. “According to the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), Trump’s July 7 lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google is adding ‘additional censorship experiences’ from some of the nearly 65,000 people who submitted them to the institute,” The Epoch Times reported.

How many of those were supplied by the MRC? Ryan doesn't say. Perhaps he should have, so that we can see the extent that the MRC is playing partisan politics -- and pushing right-wing victimhood.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 19, 2021 10:25 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Crasser With Crowder
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center supports right-wing "comedian" Steven Crowder's vicious homophobia and hate-filled attacks because they tend to get him suspended from social media, which gives the MRC a chance to further its "victim" narrative. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
MRC Tries To Smear Texas Dems As 'Superspreaders' Because Of COVID Cases
Topic: Media Research Center

Here's more evidence that the Media Research Center stopped being about "media research" -- if it ever was -- and is all about pushing right-wing narratives no matter how false. We've already noted how the MRC's Curtis Houck promoted the Republican-approved talking point -- as ably regurgitated by Fox News' Peter Doocy -- that Texas Democrats making a trip to Washington, D.C., to break quorum in the state legislature to stop a a voting-restriction bill was a "superspreader event" because six of the 60 legislators -- who had all been vaccinated against coronavirus -- had tested positive for COVID. But Houck wasn't the only MRC writer to push this GOP-approved narrative.

Scott Whitlock made sure to put "SUPER SPREADER" in all caps in the headline of a July 19 post while complaining that non-right-wing media didn't cover this story to his satisfaction: "On Sunday night, the CBS Weekend News DIDN’T cover the super spreader Democrats. Instead, they touted the Texas voting rights legislation separately with NO mention of the Covid spike amongst the Democrats."

Houck made the RNC proud on July 21 when he repeated the narrative:

World News Tonight felt the need to defend the Lone Star State lawmakers by omitting them in a segment about the other D.C. cases.

Sensationalist anchor David Muir teased that the newscast would cover “fully vaccinated staffers from the White House to Nancy Pelosi's office, testing positive,” but when it came to conducting basic journalism, Muir and White House correspondent Rachel Scott didn’t see a need for that.

Muir later added in the lead-in to Scott: “And one more note on the virus tonight. In Washington tonight, some fully vaccinated staffers from the White House to Speaker Pelosi's office have now tested positive.”

Instead of spend the whole segment on why the superspreader happened, Scott never gave an explanation for how a Pelosi aide and White House official contracted the virus[.]

Houck again failed to mention the fact that the Texas legislators were fully vaccinated at as well.

The same day, Clay Waters whined about the New York Times pointing out how Republicans are more vaccine-hesitant than Democrats, huffing in reference to the Texas legislators that "a Democratic super-spreader event wasn’t identified as such."

Kathleen Krumhansl referred to  "Super-Spreading Texas Democrats" in a July 22 post attacking Spanish-language media for not smearing them the way she is:

Now that the publicity stunt by Texas Democratic lawmakers who fled to Washington, D.C. to boycott that state's election security laws backfired, with six of them testing positive for COVID-19, the Latino nets are doing their best to erase them.

After the news of the fiasco broke through, the previously heralded heroes and saviors of voting integrity and justice for both Univision and Telemundo somehow morphed into anonymous aides, officials and advisors to be referred to indirectly and in passing.

Watch as anchors and reporters from both networks save face for the reckless super-spreaders - –they exposed members of the Congress and the White House staff with the virus- who appear to be saved from any guilt by being “fully vaccinated”, as if that would make things any different[.]

The MRC is utterly hypocritical about this, of course. When it came to an actual superspreader event -- last September's Rose Garden introduction of Supreme Court judicial nominee Amy Comey Barrett by then-President Trump, where most attendees were unmasked (pre-vaccine) and after which several attendees, incuding Trump himself, came down with COVID -- the MRC didn't want to talk about it:

  • Houck complained at the time that it was a "narrative" to point out the indisputable fact that few people wore masks, adding in an attempt at whataboutism: "While it’s admirable to stress masking-wearing and social distancing, CNN and the left writ large lost the chance to credibly lecture anyone on public health after having shown little to no issue with packed, should-to-shoulder Black Lives Matter marches and protests."
  • Kristine Marsh also tried to downplay it by being outraged at a host on "The View" calling it the "Rose Garden massacre," insisting that just "a handful of people out of 150 present have tested positive for coronavirus," omitting the fact that among that "handful" were the president of the United States, his wife, aides and other politicians. She added: "Neither host seemed to understand that contracting a virus which the majority of people have recovered from, isn’t a death sentence."
  • John Shannon groused that "in what felt like a strange combination of ESPN and murder-mystery, Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski constructed an in-depth play-by-play of events at the nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House, the “super-spreader” event that many in the media consider to be ground zero for many positive cases, including that of the President.
  • Clay Waters unironically ranted that "The New York Times efficiently channeled the hypocritical left-wing rage over President Trump’s late-September Garden ceremony introducing his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which may have helped spread coronavirus among White House staff and others who have since tested positive."

In other words, just as hypocritical as the MRC's right-wing rage over the Texas legislators.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2021 11:44 PM 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
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

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