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Monday, September 6, 2021
MRC Is Weirdly Obsessed With Insisting Mormon-Owned Paper Is 'Liberal'
Topic: Media Research Center

Rich Noyes devoted a July 20 post complaining that the editor of the Deseret News, a local newspaper in Salt Lake City, says his paper doesn't have a "leftist agenda." After noting that the editor cited "quasi-scientific sources" to prove his contention about the paper lacking ideological bias, Noyes huffed in response:

Bottom line: these charts may satisfy the Internet’s desire for a quick side-by-side comparison of news sources, but they don’t offer any substantive examples to back up their grades. Just trust them.

That’s not how we study media bias here at NewsBusters. Our daily output consists of endless examples, with transcripts and embedded video so everyone can see the coverage themselves. Our empirical studies focus exclusively on content, rigorously examining all coverage on a specific topic, from one or more designated news sources, for a specific period of time. In my 30+ years of experience, that’s the only way a study’s conclusions have merit.

But the MRC's approach is even less "quasi-scientific" than the bias monitors he dismisses. Yes, the MRC loves cranking out anecdotal examples, but they are used to push partisan narratives, not support legitimate "media research." Further, the MRC always starts with the conclusion -- the non-right-wing media has a "liberal" bias -- and searches for evidence to support that claim while ignoring everything else that might disprove it, as we documented with the methdology its uses in many of its "studies" of "bias" (a subjective measure), which focuses on a tiny sliver of all coverage, ignores neutral coverage, won't make the raw data public and completely refuses to apply the same standards to Fox News.

Noyes then wrote:

And as it happens, I’ve managed two studies of the Deseret News, and both showed coverage skewed pretty heavily against conservatives.

In 2013, our analysis showed the Deseret News tilted 6-to-1 (24 stories vs. four) against Utah Senator Mike Lee and other conservatives’ strategy of holding up government funding as a way to oppose ObamaCare. This wasn’t as lopsided as coverage at the neighboring Salt Lake Tribune, which tilted 41 to zero against the conservative strategy, but it’s hardly a “lean right” result.

Then last year, we looked at coverage of the 4th Congressional District race between incumbent Democrat Ben McAdams and Republican challenger Burgess Owens. Our analysis showed Owens, the conservative, received significant negative coverage, while McAdams faced none. That’s not the work of a paper that “leans right,” either.

As it happens, we critiqued both of those alleged studies at the time. The underlying premise for both -- as it is for much of the MRC's "media research" -- is that any criticism of a conservartive, no matter now newsworthy or justified, is ipso facto evidence of "liberal bias." For the 2013 study, we noted that Noyes was admitting false balance by conceding that public opinion was largely against Lee's strategy of forcing a government shutdown as leverage to defund Obamacare, meaning that the two newspapers were at least somewhat accurately reflecting public opinion. For the 2020 study, Noyes was complaining that several scandals involving Owens were being reported by the News -- even though he seemed to concede that the negative coverage was justified -- while not offering any evidence of scandals involving McAdams that should have been reported but were not.

And in both cases, Noyes censored the fact that the Deseret News is owned by a division of the Churst of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- a.k.a. the Mormons -- meaning that it has little genetic incentive to be a "llberal" media outlet. Nevertherless, Noyes insisted:

To be clear, I do not think the Deseret News is on the same level as a woke/progressive/leftist newspaper like the New York Times. But when we’ve analyzed their political coverage, it reads more like Democratic talking points than a “leans right” newspaper.

The fact that Noyes has determined that the Deseret News is nothing but a "Democratic talking points" based solely on two tiny, highly flawed "studies" done seven years apart tells us all we need to now about just how "quasi-scientific" the MRC's methodology really is. That, and the fact that he apparently believes that "woke," "progressive" and "leftist" mean exactly the same thing.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 6, 2021 1:54 AM EDT
Sunday, September 5, 2021
How Is The MRC Freaking Out About George Soros Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Joseph Vazquez is the Media Research Center's designated George Soros-hater, and he's continued to crank out the hate since the last time we checked in.

A February post by Vazquez listed Soros as among a group of "America’s most notorious liberal billionaires" who are purportedly targetingFox News host Tucker Carlson, though he (and apparently Carlson) never stated how, exactly, Soros is targeting Carlson. Vazquez kept up the piling on of hyperbolic accusations:

Vazquez even tried to blame Soros for things he had nothing to do with. On August 2, he pushed a  salacious story under the headline "SICK: 6 Women Sue Soros ‘Right-Hand Man’ After BDSM in His ‘Sex Dungeon'.' In fact, the person in question, Howard Rubin, hadn't worked for Soros Fund Management since 2015. Vazquez also sourced his claim largely from the notoriously unreliable Daily Mail, which offered no evidence to back up its claim that Rubin was ever Soros' "right-hand man,'" and from the New York Post, which has a notorious right-wing bias.

In June, Vazquez complained that a "A U.K.-based fact-checking outlet financed by liberal billionaire George Soros tried as early as February 2020, to swat down the idea that COVID-19 had leaked from a laboratory in communist China." In fact, there is still little proof to substantiate that theory (though that's in no small part because the Chinese have been less than cooperative), and it remains at least as likely that it is a naturally occurring virus and was not genetically altered in the Wuhan lab.

We've previously noted the MRC trying to blame a "Soros-funded group" for what it called a "flawed" study of Facebook being used as a platform for misinformation, and Vazquez attacklng Swiss financier Hansjörg Wyss as the next Soros in the "evil liberal billionaire" sweepstakes. We also caught Vazquez cheering a ProPublica report on how little in taxes rich people play when it exposed Soros -- only to flip-flop a few days later to condemn that very same report because it exposed the financial info of non-liberal rich people.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 9, 2021 3:49 PM EDT
CNS Deflects Trump From Blame Over His Deal With The Taliban
Topic: CNSNews.com

As the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan led to the unexpectedly quick takeover of the country, CNSNews.com knew what it had to do, besides blaming President Biden: absolve and deflect President Trump from blame for his role, given that he negotiated the peace and withdrawal deal with the Taliban that Biden was carrying out.

In an Aug. 13 article, Patrick Goodeneough -- who has been CNS' leader in defending Trump after his departure from office --  touted a Trump statement in which heclaimed that “I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable,” then tried to defend Trump's Taliban deal:

In fact, the U.S.-Taliban agreement did make the withdrawal of U.S. forces by May 1 contingent on the Taliban meeting certain obligations: It declared as “interconnected” and “interrelated” the timeline for the troop withdrawal on one hand, and on the other a Taliban commitment to “prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.”

The agreement did also call for a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” but to be negotiated and agreed upon in “intra-Afghan” talks. Those talks have yet to produce an agreement.

On Aug. 15, Goodenough highlighted how "Chuck Todd pointed out that Biden has walked away from other decisions he inherited from the Trump administration that he considered 'bad,'" then hyped a right-wing activist dragging Barack Obama and Benghazi into the argument:

Pushing back at the blame-Trump talking points, Heritage Foundation vice president for foreign and defense policy studies James Jay Carafano said Biden “can make all the excuses and spin all the narratives he wants, but a narrative can’t stop a bullet.”

“The situation did not collapse until he withdrew troops – and it is impossible not to conclude this happened because of what he decided.”

Carafano placed the decision in the broader context of the “Obama-Biden foreign policy,” recalling the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011 – and resulting rise of ISIS – and a response to the Libya crisis which, he said, included “the spiraling decline in the security situation until our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi were smoking ruins.”

Susan Jones did more of her usual editorializing in an Aug. 16 "news" article:

From the moment he took office on January 20, President Joe Biden began signing a flurry of executive orders to undo or reverse many of the policies instituted by President Trump.

But Biden did not scrap Trump's plan to withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan. And in a statement on Saturday, Biden -- who has not been seen since his departure for Camp David on Friday -- blamed Trump for the mess he "inherited."

Jones then uncritically repeated Trump and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defending the peace deal with the Taliban and excluding the Afghan government from taking part.

Later that day, Jones complained that Republicans Ben Sasse and Liz Cheney criticized Trump's role in setting up the situation in Afghanistan, and that Cheney reminded people that Trump had at one time invited the Taliban to meet with him at Camp David.

Craig Bannister complained on Aug. 17:

In a speech on Monday, President Joe Biden blamed his predecessor, Donald Trump, and the Afghan people, for his administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover of the country’s capital by Taliban forces.

As a candidate, however, Biden repeatedly promised that, if elected, he would “take responsibility” and not blame others.

In fact, Biden said in the speech that "I stand squarely behind my decision," adding that "Nor will I shrink from my share of responsibility for where we are today and how we must move forward from here. I am President of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me." Meaning that he did, in fact, take responsibility for how the withdrawal played out, which does not preclude him for pointing out that Trump felt the need to negotiate with the Taliban.

Two days later, Bannister was back defending Trump's Taliban deal:

The Taliban committed to honor five conditions stipulated in the agreement it signed with the United States on February 29, 2020 regarding the planned U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

As the Associated Press reported at the time, in the deal struck by President Donald Trump’s State Department, the Taliban promised to oppose terrorist threats to the U.S. and thwart efforts by terrorist groups seeking to establish a safe have in Afghanistan, while the U.S. agreed to withdraw its troops by May of 2021:

Bannister later touted how "On Tuesday, Trump said that President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will go down as one of the most disastrous evacuations in world history." His article was weirdly illustrated with a file photo of Trump awkwardly hugging a flag.

On Aug. 23, Melanie Arter served up more uncritical defense of Trump's Taliban deal from a former Trump official:

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley equated negotiating with the Taliban to negotiating with the devil, but “you have to negotiate with the devil from a point of strength,” and the United States has no leverage with the Taliban right now, she told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

[...]

“Well, I think let's be clear, President Trump very much wanted to see soldiers come out of Afghanistan, so it's not about soldiers coming out. It's not what you do. It's how you do it. He would never have pulled our soldiers out without making sure Americans and all of our equipment and our weaponry was out beforehand,” Haley said.

“He would never have allowed the Taliban to take over Afghanistan without conditions. So anyone that wants to say this was already set in motion, it's not what was going to happen. It was how it happened, and this happened in the most embarrassing, humiliating way that has-- really angers soldiers like my husband and all those that-- that sacrificed,” she said.

Arter followed up on Aug. 26 with an article claiming that Biden "said Thursday that he bears responsibility for what “happened of late” in the Afghanistan withdrawal, but he blamed former President Donald Trump for making a deal with the Taliban in the first place to withdraw U.S. forces from the region by May 1," repeating an exchange Biden had with biased Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.

In a Sept. 1 article, Bannister uncritically repeated claims by retired general and Fox News talking head Jack Keane that "Biden not only misrepresented former Pres. Trump’s conditions-based deal with the Taliban, but also 'blew off those conditions, just like he blew off the military advice and intelligence advice,' in order to set an arbitrary withdrawal deadline of August 31."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2021 6:23 PM EDT
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Newsbusters Blogger, Ex-CNS Reporter Randy Hall Dies
Topic: Media Research Center

An unbylined July 27 NewsBusters post stated:

We at the Media Research Center and NewsBusters are sad to report that veteran journalist and MRC employee Randy Hall passed away on July 16, 2021 at the age of 66. Hall suffered a stroke in 2020 and had been dealing with health issues since last October.

Randy spent the bulk of his career at MRC serving as a writer and editor for the CNSNews.com news division, where he covered a broad range of political, cultural and human interest issues. A versatile writer, Randy produced every type of content for CNSNews.com, from quick, breaking news posts to hard-hitting, meticulously researched investigative stories.

[...]

From March of 2007 to October of 2020, Hall was a contributing writer for NewsBusters.org. He often wrote about conservative media figures fighting back against the left. 

In actuality, he was a biased writer, dating abck to his days as a CNS reporter, according to the ConWebWatch archives:

  • In 2005, he reported on then-President George W. Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations without mentioning the fact that the reason Democrats had blocked his appointment was bacuase of the Bush White House's refusal to turn over documents related to Bolton.
  • In 2007, he pushed bogus right-wing talking points about a proposed hate-crimes law and weirdly described LGBT peopole as "individuals who engage in homosexual behavior."
  • Hall repeated unsourced claims about a critic of a right-wing college professor who blamed biased college officials for denying him full professorship.
  • He also hyped a sex scandal involving a Kansas attorney general, but ignored apparent improprieties involving the previous, Republican attorney general.
His work for NewsBusters largely involved parroting whatever right-wing blather needed amplification, but he had its share of bias and misinformation as well:
  • He promoted then-Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren gushing over Sarah Palin's return to Fox News after a yearlong absence without any mention whatsoever of certain notable conflicts of interest: that Van Susteren's husband served as a Palin adviser or that Van Susteren herself played media handler for Palin's husband.
  • He served as the PR division for an anti-abortion group by falsely portraying the reason it got banned from Pinterest.
  • He whined that Nancy Pelosi called then-President Trump and Republicans "enemies of the state" -- but he had no problem portraying the media as the enemy by falsely blaming Rachel Maddow in part for a shooting of Republican congressmen. 
  • He gloated that a film about Fox News' sexual harassment scandals bombed at the box office, but ignored that a film pushing anti-media narratives that falsely smeared a real-life reporter bombed even harder.
  • He insisted that Fox News anchor Bret Baier was impartial -- but didn't mention hisf alse hit job on Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election (which the MRC also heavily promoted but still hasn't corrected the recored).

It's unfortunate that Hall has passed away, but the MRC will likely have no problem finding someone at least as biased to take his place at NewsBustesrs.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 AM EDT
Farah Gushes Over Trump And His Lawsuit Against Big Tech
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As you'd expect with his history of Trump fanboying and his embrace of Trump's Big Lie, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah can't stop gushing over Donald Trump. He was especially gushful when Trump filed his dubious lawsuit against social-media operations that banned him after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that he played a key role in instigating. Farah slobbered in his july 7 column:

Former President Donald Trump, who has long complained about censorship by social media giants, filed class-action lawsuits Wednesday against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

That's it: Trump is my hero!

[...]

Trump's suit likely faces an uphill battle, according to experts, who say the First Amendment can't apply to private companies, even if they do benefit from government policies like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

But that is one of the reasons I love the guy. He thinks big. Trump thinks the power of social media companies is growing too great. Who doesn't agree?

Farah gushed again over Trump's lawsuit, along with actions by other states against tech operations in his July 9 column, adding: "I'm looking at filing my own lawsuit against Google for wrecking the oldest online news service, WND.com, in case anyone can point me to a high-profile nonprofit attorney. I seek to recover lost revenues of at least five years and then some." But Google didn't "wreck" WND -- Farah did, by insisting on publishing conspiracy theories instead of reporting facts.

Farah's gush-a-thon continued in his July 12 column:

President Donald Trump said it so anyone could understand why he was suing Big Tech.

He said something everyone should be able to understand:

"If Big Tech can censor me, they can censor you."

I never believed it would come to this. I didn't think brute censorship could ever come to America. But I saw it begin in earnest in 2016 – as a response to Trump's unexpected election victory that year.

Of course, Trump hasn't been "censored" -- private companies have simply exercised their right not to give a platform to someone who repeatedliy violated their terms of service, which is completely legal. By that same standard, we could sue WND for blocking us from using its commenting platform, even though we have never violated any posted terms of service. That's a lot closer to "censorship" than what happened to Trump.

Nevertheless, Farah continued to play victim: "Big Tech calls the shots as if they were in charge of the press. Of course, they are not – but they act as if they are. They terrorize independent, conservative and Christian sites like WND. They TELL our site what we can publish and what kind of audience we will be limited to. They see themselves as the only arbiters of 'truth.'" We've repeatedly documented how WND publishes lies, so maybe this isn't the hill that Farah should want to die on.

The next day, Farah cheered the alleged chances of success of Trump's lawsuit:

Donald Trump's First Amendment suits against Facebook, Twitter and Google are being panned in the media.

But never count him out. He's way underrated!

They say the First Amendment ordinarily applies only to government – not private companies. Many make this mistake, especially conservatives.

When the plaintiffs claim in their class-action lawsuit that the tech companies should be treated as state actors and therefore are bound by the First Amendment when they engage in selective political censorship, they have precedent to back it up. Big Tech censorship constitutes state action because the government granted them immunity from legal liability, has implicitly threatened to punish them if they allow disfavored speech, and has colluded with them in choosing targets for censorship.

Actually, courts have a history of ruling that tech companies are not state actors when they enforce their terms of service. But Farah was much more interested in once again playing victim:

But Trump's lawsuit also is important for this independent news agency. We have been severely hurt – singled out, slammed, maligned by Big Tech. They have done everything possible to squeeze us – including things you don't know.

Since Big Tech suppressed, de-monetized, maligned and banned us – and also destroyed the advertising-based business model on which we have long depended – to survive we have regrouped and established the WND News Center, an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit, which allows us to receive your tax-deductible donations. WND used to be a wildly successful for-profit enterprise – bringing in some $15 million dollars a year. We published books then, and made movies too. But it was all too much for Big Tech to take.

Now we're fortunate if we survive.

Given WND's long history of misinformation and outright lies, WND's survival would not be "fortunate" for anyone who cares about accurate and balanced journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Friday, September 3, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Hide-The-#PsakiBomb Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck spent his summary of the Aug. 10 White House press briefing so enraged that non-right-wing reporters asked inconvenient questions about a Republian governor that he almost forgot to mention his man-crush, Peter Doocy:

Yet again, reminding viewers that they’re scared to death of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), White House reporters and the Biden administration played off each other during Tuesday’s press briefing and presidential press conference to lob barbs at DeSantis for refusing to bring back mask mandates and/or threaten to bring back Covid restrictions from 2020.

He did, however, express joy that CBS reporter Ed O'Keefe "laid a trap for Biden by asking him to assess" resigned Newe York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "performance on policy," then touting how other reporters "realized the insanity of this endorsement amid the claims he sexually assaulted and harassed at least 11 women." Never mind, of course, that Houck and his MRC co-workers will defend to their dying day Donald Trump's performance in office, demanding you ignore his paying hush money to a porn star,the 20-plus women who have adcused him of sexual harassment, the pandemic, and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Houck waited until the final paragraph to mention in passing "questions from Fox’s Peter Doocy on inflation and immigration." But don't worry -- Houck made up for it the next day:

For the Hump Day edition of the White House press briefing, Fox’s Peter Doocy grilled Press Secretary Jen Psaki on whether then-candidate Joe Biden and his campaign created vaccine hesitancy because of their efforts in 2020 to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the coronavirus vaccines since they were developed during the Trump administration.

[...]

Doocy started off easy by asking Psaki about something Biden was asked a day earlier about when he plans to appoint a permanent FDA commissioner. But the small talk went out the window when he fired off this hardball about how Biden said during the campaign that Americans shouldn’t “trust Donald Trump.” 

Of course, Psaki replied that Biden and company had always been on board with the vaccines because approval came from government health experts (ignoring the fact that now-Vice President Kamala Harris directly questioned their efficacy)[.]

Houck offered no evidence that Harris ever "questioned their efficacy." The MRC has repeatedly and falsely attacked Harris over this by taking her remarks out of context. Houck's astonishment that Doocy asked that question -- as suggested by "How About THAT" his headline -- is manufactured, since it's not exactly a surprise that Doocy, a biased right-wing reporter, would inevitably push this biased right-wing talking point.

Psaki got a zinger back at Doocy that Houck downplayed because showing Doocy's screw-ups doesn't serve his agenda. Houck complained in passing that "Psaki dismissed Doocy’s line of questioning by citing Trump’s bleach comments," the exchange was much more withering; as Mediaite documented -- and Houck refused to quote in his item, relgating it instead to a transcript attachment -- Paski told Doocy, “I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure Covid. So I think that’s a relevant point.”

The #PsakiBomb ownage is total, and it exposes Doocy as the biased right-wing reporter he is -- which is why Houck didn't want to call more attention to it than he had to.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:21 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 4, 2021 10:38 AM EDT
WND Suggests Capitol Police Officers Who Committed Suicide Were Actually Murdered
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 2 WorldNetDailiy article by Joe Kovacs started sanely enough:

In an unnerving trend, a third police officer who responded to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has reportedly committed suicide.

The latest case involves Officer Gunther Hashida, who was assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division of Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department.

The MPD says Hashida "was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29."

"We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends," the department said.

But because Kovacs works for WND, the article quickly went off the rails as he decided to embrace fact-free conspiracy theories that the officers who committed suicide were actually murderred:

"You can't tell me that's just a coincidence," said President Trump supporter Lauren Witzke, who made headlines herself in June when Wells Fargo mysteriously canceled her bank account without warning and explanation.

"They are either overwhelmed with guilt or were about to release information about the federal government & intelligence agency's involvement," she added.

"Don't be fooled, something here is very, very wrong."

[...]

Some commenters online are openly questioning the statements that the officers killed themselves, with some saying:

  • "Suicide or suicided???"
  • "Or they were actually murdered which is what usually happens when people are going to blow the whistle."
  • "That is too far out of the statistical [likelihood] to be ignored. These men being suicided have families; families which the coup d'etat participants don't give two squirts about."
  • "Suicide my a**. They've been Clinton'd."

Unspurprisingly, Kovacs doesn't list wheere he found these "commenters online" or cite any actual evidence to back up their speculation. Also, Witzke is a wacky QAnon conspiracy theorist who hangs out with anti-Semitic folks like Rick Wiles, and last time we checked, the prinicples of capitalism give the right to private businesses to run them as they choose.

This is a cynical, ghoulish piece of work from Kovacs, exploiting someone's tragedy for political gain -- just like it exploited the death of Seth Rich to pursue its anti-Hillary conspiracy theories. Kovacs apparently has no better way to spend his life than dancing on the ruins of other people's tragedies.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Defends The Right To Misinform People
Topic: CNSNews.com

Unsurprisingly, CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has embraced the mantra of his Media Research Center parent that misinformation is a squishy term that means nothing and is entirely subjective. Then again, he is the head of what purports to be a "news" organization, so deffending the right to misinform people is not a good look.

In his July 21 column, Jeffrey did some hand-wringing over the Biden administration apparently working with Facebook to address misinformation and false claims on the platform regarding coronavirus and vaccines. He tried to portray White House press secretary Jen Psaki as making dark accusastions about who is spreading that misinformation:

"There's about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," Psaki said. "All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including ones that Facebook owns."

Psaki did not name these 12 people.

Actually, that list of 12 people is not a secret -- it was released in May by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

Jeffrey then defended misinformation as speech, as if all speech has merit and should be treated the same:

Obviously, a person can make a true statement about a particular subject or a false one. They can also make a statement that presents a reasonable hypothesis based on facts, or that presents an unreasonable hypothesis based on the same facts.

Or they can make an unreasonable hypothesis based on no facts or on blatant falsehoods.

But whatever the merits or demerits of a person's thoughts and conclusions, when they express those thoughts and conclusions, they are invariably engaging in speech.

But the headline of Jeffrey's column is "What Type of Speech Will Biden Ask Facebook to Suppress Next?" so his point is that nothing should be suppressed. He's lying, because that's what he does for a living.As the head of "news" organization, he picks and chooses what gets covered and what doesn't -- and, thus, has the power to suppress speech he doesn't agree with or doesn't advance his and his employer's partisan political narratives. And Jeffrey is suppressing facts, not misinformation.

Jeffrey concluded by taking his argument to the absurd by shoehorning abortion into it:

Now, put this in the context of a subject other than COVID-19 where human lives are also at risk.

In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood said that in fiscal year 2019, its affiliates did 354,871 "abortion procedures."

In a 2012 vice presidential debate with former Rep. Paul Ryan, as this column has noted before, Biden presented a scientific fact as if it were a religious position.

"Life begins at conception," Biden said. "That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life."

On its Facebook page, by contrast, Planned Parenthood presents abortion as a form of "health care" provided by "heroes."

"Abortion is an essential part of health care," Planned Parenthood said on Facebook on July 17.

"Abortion providers are heroes," it said in a March 11 posting.

Does Biden — who said life begins at conception — believe it is misinformation to call the deliberate taking of a human life "health care" and those who do that taking "heroes"?

Does he believe Facebook needs to take action "against harmful posts" that promote the taking of unborn lives?

Does Jeffrey really think that trying to fight misinformation about COVID vaccines is the same thing as political arguments about abortion? Of couise, we know what information Jeffrey would suppress: anything that makes the argument that abortion is a human right or that shows the extremism of some anti-abortion activists. And because you will never find a balanced discussion of abortion at CNS, he has clearly already done that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 3, 2021 1:12 AM EDT
Thursday, September 2, 2021
MRC Shows Partisanship Over 'Media Research,' Gleefully Dances On Andrew Cuomo's Political Grave
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center unsurprisingly showed it's all about partisan politics, not "media research," when it completely embraced Fox News meterologist Janice Dean's attacks on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over moving COVID patients to nursing homes , despite the fact that there's little evidence to support her core lione of attack, that the transfer of those elderly COVID patients to nursing homes directly resulted in the deaths of her in-laws. So it was unsurprisingly gleeful that a scandal erupted over Cuomo's alleged sexual harassment of women while governor, which ultimately forced him to resign.

As a result, the MRC was cranking out items like an Aug. 3 item by Bill D'Agostino recounting how "the media’s lovefest with the disgraced Democratic New York Governor looks all the more embarrassing in hindsight."

another item the same day, by Scott Whitlock, recounted that Joe Biden said Cuomo should resign if the harassment charges were confirmed and huffed: "So, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, you going to hold Biden to his words? While they are at it, they might want to point out the hypocrisy of Biden speaking out against sexual misconduct, given what accuser Tara Reade has said about him." Biden actually did call for Cuomo to resign that very same day, but Whitlock couldn't be bothered to update his post.

Nicholas Fondacaro touted an interview with one of Cuomo's victims, presumably swallowing his pride a little because it took place on CBS and not a right-wing channel. He gave CBS no credit for doing the interview, of course -- since pretty much nobody was defending Cuomo over the harassment claims, the MRC lost a key attack point. It could only claim that the non-right-wing channels weren't attacking Cuomo enough, such as in an Aug. 5 post by Fondacaro grousing that one single evening newscast didn't hammer on it for a third straight day.

Indeed, the only defender of Cuomo on the harassment charges the MRC could find -- Geraldo Rivera -- was on Fox News, and even then Tim Graham had to contort himself in an Aug. 7 post to insist that he isn't a genuine Fox Newser:

Geraldo Rivera may be on Fox News today, but when it came to Andrew Cuomo, he came rushing to the allegedly feminist Democrat harasser's defense just as fervently as he did nightly for Bill Clinton in 1998 on his CNBC show Rivera Live.

First he lamented the career-ending sex harassment of Sen. Al Franken: "Al Franken is the ghost that should haunt people who are, you know, pulling the trigger already." He said there will be "regret."

He pointed to the report by New York Attorney General Letitia James and said "Pick that thing up again, Jesse [Watters].This, ladies and gentlemen, for all its impressive heft, is not a legal document. That is a political document. A document put together by the furthest-left politician in elective office in this far-left state. Letitia James, I've known her forever. She is absolutely furiously longing for Andrew Cuomo's job. I'm not saying that the allegations are false, I make no judgment about that. I just want people to know this is not proof. This is politics.

It never matters what the accused Democrat power abuser actually did -- he makes "no judgment" about it, it doesn't matter whether it's proven or unproven. How can he read this report and say "this is not proof"? He needs a body camera on Cuomo?

This is exactly the craven stand Rivera took about Kenneth Starr prosecuting Clinton back in 1998.

Or, you know, the craven stand Graham and the MRC took when Donald Trump was accused of sexual harassment (and worse), smearing and trashing Trump's accusers.

The MRC did ultimately give non-right-wing media credit for covering the Cuomo story. An Aug. 9 item by Whitlock proclaimed it "real journalism" hat CBS "devoted 14 minutes and 1 second (three segments)" to interviewing one of Cuomo's accusers." Of course, nobody at thte MRC considers it "real journalism" when the media reported on Trump's harassment scandals.

But even that had to be joined by the usual MRC criticism (and more sucking up to Fox News). A post that day from Fondacaro cheered how "Fox News media reporter and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz called out the media for acting like political operatives and minimizing the allegations early on as they now “play catch-up” to make themselves look good."

Even after getting what it wanted -- Cuomo's resignation -- the MRC wasn't ready to stop heating up on him or anyone else who acknowledged he did other good things. When a CBS correspondent argued that Cuomo had the COVID pandemic well, Whilock sneered in response: A masterful job? Ask Janet [sic] Dean." You'd think the MRC would be so enamored of Dean for her partisan work attack on Cuomo that the least it could do is spell her name right.

And on Aug. 13, Maesa Vicente complained that someone brought in Trump for comparison:

CNN En Español’s Directo USA anchor Juan Carlos Lopez repeatedly compared Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as a result of extensive sexual harassment allegations to the impeachments of President Donald Trump. What’s worse, the comparison was a favorable one to Cuomo.

[...]

It is unclear which impeachment Lopez is comparing Cuomo’s case with. Regardless, Trump was never convicted and served a full term. Although Lopez focused on Cuomo’s denials of wrongdoing, there was no mention made of Trump’s denials, or that he was never convicted by the Senate. In Cuomo’s case, he has been under scrutiny for over a year. In that timeframe, all the charges against him have proven to be true. Trump’s impeachments have nothing to do Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandals, or with his executive order on nursing homes, which led to the deaths of over 15,000 seniors in New York. López’ references to “that other New Yorker” were cheap and forced, and seemed to be an attempt to distract viewers from Cuomo’s wrongdoing.

Actually, the transfers did not cause 15,000 deaths -- many nursing homes already faced COVID issues before the transfer process started.

A better comparison for the CNN En Español anchors -- not being convicted in an impeachment trial is hardly an achievement given how afraid of Trump Republican members of Congress have shown themselves to be -- to have made would be to Trump's numerous sexual harassment scandals. But we assume that Vicente would be as hypocritical as the rest of the MRC on that.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2021 10:19 PM EDT
WND Tries To Hide It Promoted Lindell Election Event After It Was A Bust
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There are failures even WorldNetDaily wants to distance itself from, it seems. An Aug. 9 WND article, credited only to "WND Staff," gushed all over the then-upcoming Mike Lindell event promising "irrefutable evidence" that the election was hacked:

Promising "irrefutable" evidence that hackers backed by China switched votes in favor of Joe Biden in the November presidential election, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell will open a three-day "cyber symposium" in South Dakota on Tuesday.

The event will be live-streamed beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Lindell's FrankSpeech.com website.

Lindell believes his evidence will be so convincing that it will result in a unanimous Supreme Court ruling to overturn the November election.

"Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, this will be the greatest uniting of our country ever," he told the Washington Times in an interview. "Because this isn't about politics. This is about free and fair elections and about the 2020 [election]. And you’ve got to get that righted."

Lindell said former President Trump has no involvement in the symposium.

The Minnesota entrepreneur has spent about $15 million on election-fraud investigations and the cyber symposium. But the toll on his company has been much higher, with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses as retailers have pulled his products.

He told the Times that nearly 500 people have registered for the symposium, including politicians or their delegates from 45 states.

He has offered $5 million to anyone in attendance who can disprove his claims.

Lindell said a number of people came to him in early January saying they had recorded "packet captures" in real time on Election Day. He then hired a team of experts, who spent months validating the material and organizing evidence.

CNN reported last week that election officials in more than a dozen counties that Lindell has claimed were hacking targets said their voting machines are not connected to the internet. They also insisted the results are confirmed by paper ballots, and in some instances official reviews have verified their counts.

'Everyone in the world is going to be curious'

Lindell said his symposium will be "the most seen event in history."

"I believe that because everyone in the world is going to be curious and to see this," he said. "And they're going to be talking, going, 'You got to see this. This is real. The United States was, their election was taken, hacked into by China.'"

Lindell already has produced several documentaries presenting his claims, including "Absolute 9-0," a reference to a unanimous Supreme Court ruling.

But Lindell's event proved to be a total bust --  the evidence proved to be quite refutable, as even Lindell's hand-picked cyber expert showed that the packet captures did not show anything of value, let alone evidence of election fraud. And, no, Lindell did not give him the $5 million.

In the aftermath, an interesting thing happened at WND. Not only did it not cover the failure of Lindell's event to provide any evidence of election fraud, the above article was competely rewritten sometime between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14 to remove most of the Lindell fanboying, change the headline and make it a completely different article under the same URL:

On the second day of his three-day cyber symposium promising evidence that China hacked the 2020 election, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell got a boost from former President Donald Trump.

Trump on Wednesday joined Lindell in chastising Fox News for not covering his event, which began Tuesday morning, the Washington Times reported from the site of the event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

"Fox doesn't understand that it is missing a rating bonanza by not covering the 2020 Election Fraud, the Crime of the Century, which is being exposed throughout many states on a daily basis," Trump said Wednesday in a statement. "They are also doing a disservice to our Country. People have turned them off!"

Lindell has stated, however, that Trump has no involvement in the symposium.

He promises, before the event ends Thursday, to present 37 terabytes of "irrefutable" evidence that hackers backed by China switched votes in favor of President Biden.

The event is being livestreamed on Lindell's FrankSpeech.com website.

After Fox News refused to advertise the symposium last month, Lindell pulled ads valued at more than $1 million per week from the network.

On Tuesday, Lindell said it's "disgusting" that Fox hasn't "talked about this election."

"At least we know where CNN and all these terrible outlets come from. At least they attacked, and then we can at least get the word out," he said.

On Wednesday, Lindell asked: "Where's Fox? Today Fox should be livestreaming this."

Lindell believes his evidence will be so convincing that it will result in a unanimous Supreme Court ruling to overturn the November election.

"Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, this will be the greatest uniting of our country ever," he told the Washington Times in an interview. "Because this isn't about politics. This is about free and fair elections and about the 2020 [election]. And you’ve got to get that righted."

Despite the article being completely rewritten, the article retained the original timestamp, and no notice was given that the article has been substantially changed from the original.

Again, WND did not report the complete failure of Lindell's event. Instead, it puiblished an Aug. 11 article by Bob Unruh on a poll allegedly showing that Lindell as a higher favorabilty rating than "far-left" Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It also published an Aug. 12 article from the right-wing Western Journal featuring Lindell's claim that "he was physically assaulted in a South Dakota hotel on Wednesday amid a symposium on alleged fraud and interference in the 2020 presidential election." But it turns out that wasn't true either; Lindell later claimed that he had merely been aggressively poked by someone seeking a selfie.

This is terrible, dishonest journalism by WND. Not only did it refuse to tell readers what actually happened at Lindell's conference, it stealth-edited an article it did promoting it to tone down the promises Lindell made. It appears this was done in part to preserve the issue of its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine issued a couple weeks earlier, which contains numerous false and misleading claims about election fraud.

WND wants you to give it money to produce shoddy, dishonest journalism like this.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:08 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 79: When Narratives Trump The Truth
Topic: Media Research Center
A Media Research Center writer relied on an unreliable pollster and a dishonest right-wing journalist to push bogus right-wing narratives about election fraud and Joe Biden's finances. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
CNS Attacks Pelosi For Pushing Commission To Probe Capitol Riot
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a sequel of sorts to promoting right-wing attacks on Nancy Pelosi trying to pin blame on her for the (Trump-driven) Capitol riot, CNSNews.com felt the need to promote right-wing attacks on Pelosi over the commission investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

An anonymously written June 30 article on Pelosi's announcement she would form the commission was relatively benign, though it dishonestly added, "The House had previously passed legislation to create a special independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, but the bill did not get through the Senate." In fact, the independent commission was blocked by Senate Republicans, forcing Pelosi to take this route.

The next day, Melanie Arter gave space for House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to complain that Pelosi named Republican Rep. Liz Cheney to the commission and to rant that Pelosi has "played politics with this."  Arter didn't mention that Republicans played politics by blocking an indepdendent commission.

Also on July 1, Craig Bannister complained that Pelosi "blamed the attack on attitudes of white supremacy, anti-Semitism and islamophobia," which he tried to counter: "However, the comments from the FBI and DHS cited by both Pelosi and her legislation do not actually claim the January 6 attack on the Capitol was the result of these bigoted attitudes."

When Pelosi called out McCarthy's tactics, Bannister devoted a July 7 article to complaining about it:

Citing left-wing media reports attacking Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday, accusing Rep. McCarthy of being pro-extremist and conspiracy theory and anti-truth.

“In Kevin McCarthy’s House Republican Conference, defending the truth is the worst crime a Member can commit,” Pelosi says in a post titled “McCarthy’s GOP: Leaving No White Nationalist/Extremist Behind” on the House Speaker’s website.

Quoting stories from CNN, The New York Times and a local Arizona paper, Pelosi criticizes McCarthy for discouraging fellow Republicans from serving on Democrat Pelosi’s commission seeking to blame Republicans for the January 6 attack on the Capitol, allowing Republicans to visit the border with “a conservative YouTuber” who “has not been charged for unlawful entry at the US Capitol on January 6” and allowing fellow Republicans to associate with people deemed by left-wing media as far-right extremists:

Yes, Bannister really thinks that CNN and the New York Times are "left-wing" outfits. That highly skewed take is an indication of just how right-wing Bannister and CNS are.

Bannister returned on July 21 to cite a highly biased Rasmussen poll claiming that "More U.S. voters support the launch of a Congressional probe of the violent 2020 protests than support the Democrat-backed House committee created to investigate the January 6, 2021 invasion of the U.S. Capitol."

They next day, Bannister devoted an article to Republican Rep. Jim Jordan attacking the commission because Pelosi wouldn't let him be on it, but he didn't mention that Jordan has a history of spreading disinformation about the 2020 presidential election -- the kind that helped incite the Capitol riot. With that record, he doesn't appear that he would have been an honest broker on the comission.

On July 26, Bannister brought back McCarthy to whine about Pelosi rejecting his picks of two disruptive pro-Trump Republicans for the commission (including Jordan), which caused McCarthy to take his ball and go home and huff that the commission "will not conduct a credible investigation." Bannister made no mention, of course, of how Republicans have endeavored to make sure the investigation would not be "credible."

The same day, Susan Jones huffed that Pelosi "has named a second anti-Trump Republican" to the committee, Adam Kinzinger, but she devoted more space to a Republican congressman attacking the committee, then editorialized with Republican talking points in what is supposed to be a "news" article:

Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her pre-conceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation.

The Speaker has structured this select committee to satisfy her political objectives. She had months to work with Republicans on a reasonable and fair approach to get answers on the events and security failures surrounding January 6.

Instead, she has played politics. Lost in much of the news coverage is the fact that the Senate has already conducted bipartisan investigations that should serve as a roadmap for the House.

Speaker Pelosi’s departure from this serious-minded approach has destroyed the select committee’s credibility. The U.S. Capitol and the men and women who protect it suffered a massive leadership failure. We must make sure that never happens again and that is what Republicans will be focused on.

Jones didn't mention that Republicans have a political objective to achieve by obstructing the committee and trying to delegitimize it -- a effort Jones and CNS are helping Republicans to carry out.

Another anonymously written article that day noted that Pelosi appointed Kinzinger,to the commission, but was apparently more bothered by the fact that Pelosi alao said that "insurrectionists attempted to overthrow the government" on Jan. 6.

Jones pushed Republican talking points again on July 27 in writing about how "a group of Republicans blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for excluding from her select committee two Republicans who would have asked questions she prefers to avoid." Again, she failed to mention that Republicans are playing politics in trying to delegitimize the committee.

No attempt was made to fact-check anything McCarthy or Jordan said the way they tried to fact-check Pelosi. And, of course, no CNS writer, anonynmous or otherwise, admitted their employer's mission of a multi-pronged war on Pelosi.

UPDATE: In a July 28 article, Jones touted how Jordan said he couldn't be bothered to see the entirety of testimony from Capitol Police officers who survived the riot -- he just saw "bits and pieces" of it, further demonstrating he woiuld have been an inattentive member of the committee -- then groused that "the Democrats want to keep talking about January 6, because what the heck else are they going to talk about?" Jones also wrote that "Jordan noted that President Trump on January 6 told his supporters to march to the Capitol 'peacefully and patriotically.'" But Trump also told his followers to "fight like hell" and used the word "fight" in some form 20 times during his speech, while Rudy Giuliani used his speech before the riot to call for "trial by combat."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2021 10:36 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
MRC Seeks Revenge On Fact-Checker That Called Out A Dubious MRC Graphic
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center is completely unable to handle criticism, lashing out whenever it work is examined by fact-checkers. Now it's taking those tantrums to the next level. First, Alexander Hall grumbled in an Aug. 9 post:

Facebook’s approved fact-checker PolitiFact rated a graphic from the Media Research Center as “FALSE,” even though the image merely shared a chart from the Center for Disease Control.

Facebook’s trusted flagger PolitiFact came after the Media Research Center (MRC) for citing a graphic first released by the CDC. “A conservative group that focuses on exposing what it describes as leftist bias in the news media misled its Facebook audience by claiming that fewer than 2,000 people are currently hospitalized in the United States with COVID-19,” Politifact reported. 

PolitiFact executive director Aaron Sharockman informed the Media Research Center: “We will soon be publishing a fact-check of this image.” The Facebook fact-checking partner acknowledged that “[t]he image cites the CDC, and we were able to locate the same data,” but claimed that it did not have appropriate context:

“However, the data represents just 10% of the population and does not include places like Texas and Florida. Those two states alone have nearly 20,000 current COVID hospitalizations, according to HHS and state data. These disclaimers were attached to the CDC data but not to your graphic. Florida is experiencing record hospitalizations, according to state data.”

MRC spokesperson Iris Miller explained to PolitiFact that “This is the same chart that is on the CDC's website, found at: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/covidnet/COVID19_5.html,” and quipped, “If you disagree with the data or the chart, you should fact-check the CDC.”

PolitiFact acknowledged that “while the Media Research Center copied the CDC data accurately, it failed to include a very important CDC-issued disclaimer.” Claiming to need a five-paragraph disclaimer for merely citing a graphic from a major institution is the new rule now apparently. PolitiFact tried to combine three fact-check categories into one. It failed to note its issue as one of context, and chose to instead label the entire graphic as “FALSE,” but called it “partly false information” on Facebook.

Hall omitted the fact that it was using the incomplete CDC data to push the right-wing narrative that the Delta variant wasn't that bad and didn't warrant any special attention or directiveds to keep the variant from spreading, and "the media" was making much ado about nothing. Because the graphic's data lacks the context that it's only a tiny number of the total amount of cases, the graphic's message is false.

Having been caught red-handed peddling misinformation, Hall then tried to play victim and attack PolitiFact -- and, irrelevantly, the Poynter Institute because PolitiFact's editor in chief wrote a piece published at Poynter calling for further crackdowns on misinformation, a commonsense idea that Hall felt the need to maliciously interpret as "more censorship." Hall did not explain why he thinks lies and misinformation are "free speech."

But the MRC's tantrum didn't stop there-- it's now lashing out  at PolitiFact for busting it. An Aug. 25 post went into full victimhood mode, declaring that "Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, in conjunction with the Free Speech Alliance, joined 10 other conservative leaders in demanding the International Fact-Checking Network remove PolitiFact as a fact-checker for violating IFCN’s Code of Principles. More than 40 conservative leaders have signed on to the open letter led by the Free Speech Alliance and MRC’s Bozell."

The letter rehashed Hall's complaint -- and his omission that the incomplete data the MRC used was done so in order to forward a false agenda, huffing that "This is an egregious, unmerited and overtly biased action against a viewpoint the liberal PolitiFact disagrees with." The letter provides no evidence that PolitiFact "disagrees" with the MRC graphic's message because it's "liberal."

The letter never explicitly claimed that PolitiFact's fact-check of the MRC violated the IFCN's principles -- instead, it hauled out other grievances against PolitiFact to list the priniciples it claimed were violated, then went on an unsubstantiated partisan tirade:

PolitiFact’s crusade against conservatives is especially troubling given the ubiquitous censorship of conservatives on social media. The backdrop of this controversy is a huge push by the federal government to censor online content. The White House disturbingly announced that it was colluding with social media companies to censor so-called “disinformation” regarding COVID-19. This coordination has overwhelmingly harmed conservatives who are naturally more skeptical of Big Government mandates. 

This Orwellian behavior on the part of the federal government is, in its own right, potentially fatal to the health of a free society and fascistic. But together with the behavior of organizations like PolitiFact and the censorship of conservatives by Big Tech, the current situation poses an existential threat to our free and open society. 

If dissenting viewpoints are dropped down the memory hole, if only those voices that are acceptable to the state and Big Tech are allowed, our civil and political society are in jeopardy.

Yes, the MRC is once again trying to justify lies and misinformation by conservatives as "free speech." The IFCN should be able to easily see through the MRC's partisan ranting and see their complaint has no basis in reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EDT
Dominion Sues Newsmax Over Bogus Voter Fraud Claims
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's legal troubles over its aggressively pro-Trump reporting after the 2020 presidential election have yet to end. Last month, Dominion Voting Systems -- the company that supplied some of the voting technology used in elections -- sued Newsmax, along with fellow pro-Trump outlet One America News Network and others, for their role in pushing false claims about the company.

A Newsmax spokesperson tried to push back by playing victim: "“While Newsmax has not reviewed the Dominion filing, in its coverage of the 2020 Presidential elections, Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress — Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press.” But the lawsuit makes it clear what Newsmax did and why Dominion thinks it was done:

Dominion’s attorneys opened their Newsmax complaint with a series of quotes, including one from Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy in which he said, “In this day and age, people want something that tends to affirm their views and opinions.”

Among other things, the lawsuit singled out one of the network’s signature shows, Greg Kelly Reports, for a segment called “Democracy or Dominion,” based on Powell’s claim that Dominion and Smartmatic software shifted millions of votes.

“Throughout this time, Newsmax recklessly disregarded the truth; indeed, Newsmax knew the statements it repeatedly broadcast about Dominion were lies,” the lawsuit stated. “Specifically, Newsmax knew the vote tallies from Dominion machines had been confirmed by numerous independent audits and hand recounts of paper ballots following the election.” Dominion’s attorneys also pointed to statements from figures such as then-Attorney General William Barr and then-Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs, debunking the claims.

The lawsuit also pushed back against Newsmax’s argument that it was merely reporting on the election claims.

“Newsmax made the intentional and knowing choice to depict—and then publicize, endorse, and fuel—the lies about Dominion as truth, creating and promoting an alternate reality that duped millions of Americans into believing that Dominion stole the 2020 election from President Trump. It repeatedly broadcast the lies of facially unreliable sources — lies which Newsmax itself adopted, endorsed, promoted, and manufactured,” the lawsuit states.

“In short, this lawsuit is not about Newsmax covering President Trump; it is about Newsmax courting President Trump, by feeding its audience a torrent of lies that supported the false narrative that President Trump won the election.”

As we've documented, Newsmax tried to forestall a lawsuit from Dominion and fellow voting-tech company Smartmatic last December by issuing a statement pushing back against right-wing attacks on the companies -- even though Newsmax made those same attacks on TV and its website. In April, Newsmax settled a lawsuit from Dominion executive Eric Coomer by, in part, issuing a statement defending him.

Newsmax's own article on the latest Dominion lawsuit, by Marisa Herman, gave a further hint at its possible defense:

After the 2020 election, Newsmax interviewed and reported on the statements made by  Trump, his attorneys, elected officials, and others who made claims about Dominion.

During its election results coverage, Newsmax made several requests for an interview with Dominion’s spokesman, who declined to come on the network.

Newsmax also hosted and aired multiple guests who claimed the election was not stolen or rigged and disagreed with the Trump campaign claims.

On Dec. 19, 2020, Newsmax issued a statement clarifying its coverage, noting that “No evidence has been offered that Dominion … used software or reprogrammed software that manipulated votes in the 2020 election.”

In correspondence with Dominion, Newsmax also noted that though the Trump campaign did not provide evidence of software manipulation, this does not mean the voting company never acted wrongly.

That appears not to have swayed Dominion enough to keep it from suing Newsmax, so it's unclear how that would hold up in court.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:02 PM EDT
WND's Magazine Doubles Down On Trump's Big Lie About The Election
Topic: WorldNetDaily

These days, WorldNetDaily is very much into dedicating its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine to amplifying the lies and misinformation that infest its main website. It did that with coronavirus, and now it's doing so with election fraud.

Doubling down on editor Joseph Farah's embrace of Trump's Big Lie, the July-August issue of Whistleblower is titled, "Yes, the 2020 election was stolen." The introductory promo taken from David Kupelian's essay touts how greatDonald Trump supposedly was and how terrible Joe Biden supposedly is, then asks: "In short, was the 2020 election truly fair? Or was it rigged?" Kupelian is then quoted:

"This Whistleblower issue," says bestselling author and Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian, "takes a 30,000-foot view and explores all of the components of what was in reality a rigged 2020 election – from actual conventional voter fraud, to Google’s turning an estimated 6 million 'undecided' voters to Biden, to social media and major news organizations and the 'deep state' all working together to suppress damning information about Joe Biden just before the election, to encouraging voter fraud under cover of COVID, to the Democrat-Media Complex's  underlying message that voter fraud is morally permissible because 'Trump is another Hitler' – and lays out an overwhelmingly convincing case that the 2020 election was the most corrupt in generations."

(Have we mentioned that WND repeatedly likened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, thus effectively pushing the underlying message that spreading lies about him -- such as its years-long birther obsession -- was morally permissible?)

The problem here, as it was in the COVID issue, is that many of the articles selected for the magazine were discredited at the time they were originally published on the WND website. They include:

  • “How we know Democrats rigged and stole the 2020 election: 10 questions Americans aren't allowed to ask, let alone answer” by Wayne Allyn Root

This first appeared as a May 10 column by Root that was turned into a "news" article the same day. We documented how seven of the questions have already been answered -- but they showed Root was repeating false claims.

  • “Audit team reports 74,000-ballot discrepancy in Arizona county’s mail-in votes”

This appears to be a repeat of a July 15 article by Bob Unruh. As we've noted, fact-checkers have found that the claim from the folks running the highly dubious audit in Arizona because it "appears to have come from a lack of understanding of the data contained in early voting reports."

  • “Shocker: Vote recount in 1 county had 60% error rate”

This is from a July 14 article by Unruh that cited the highly unreliable Gateway Pundit and the right-wing voter rights group in the state run by a conspiracy theorist. As we noted, a fact-checker debunked the claim, pointing out that given how Georgia election ballots had been recounted three times, "there is no chance that a large number of ballots were double counted."

  • “Texas probing hundreds of election fraud cases”

This comes from a June 28 article by Unruh. As we noted when CNSNews.com repeated this same claim, as made by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, an actual news outlet reported that the Texas Attorney General's office did report 534 cases of voter fraud in which people were charged -- but they date back to 2004. By contrast, nearly 94 million votes were cast in Texas elections since 2004, making the 534 cases of voter fraud an infintesimal issue. While there were also 510 cases being investigated at the time of the report, only one involved the 2020 election.

  • “Google can turn an election without 'vote fraud'” by Art Moore, on top Google researcher Robert Epstein, a Democrat, who warns of Big Tech’s dire “threat to democracy”

This appears to be from a July 6 interview Art Moore did with Epstein. As we've documented, his anti-Google reserarch is dubious at best. As for his star claim, as repeated by Kupelian, that  Google "turn[ed] an estimated 6 million 'undecided' voters to Biden," the Washington Post's Philip Bump noted: "Of course, the idea that people primarily base their decisions on what they learn from Googling candidates — particularly at the presidential level — is dismissible on its face. President Biden got a record level of support from Democrats even as Trump earned near-universal support from Republicans. Which of them was influenced by his or her search results?"

But Kupelian and WND aren't into publishing facts -- they want to push a narrative, and they don't care that it has been repeatedly discredited. The fact that it's so wiliing and eager to publlish lies -- not any "big tech" conspiracy against it -- is the reason WND remains at death's door.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 11:21 PM EDT

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