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Tuesday, September 7, 2021
MRC Gets Mad When Cuomo's Sexual Harssment Likened To Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

In our summary of how the Media Research Center was gleefully dancing on Andrew Cuomo's political grave, we overlooked one instance in which the MRC got all huffy about Cuomo's sexual harassment scandal being likened to Donald Trump's long history of sexual harassment. In an Aug. 4 post, Alex Christy complained that for PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, "one of the takeaways is that, unlike Republicans, Democrats have no tolerance for such behavior":

Repeating that Cuomo has no intention of resigning, she declared:

He is someone who thinks he can hold on and when I'm talking to people, Democrats, they are also pointing to people like former President Trump who held on after dozens and dozens of women accused him of sexual harassment, of abuse and rape he was able to continue to still be president and now has a lot of power in the Republican Party, that's in some ways what Andrew Cuomo is trying to hang on to power and act a bit Trumpian here.

According to Alcindor, the analogy falls part because, "Democrats don't seem to have the same appetite for this sort of behavior that the GOP has." 

Mitchell agreed, "Yeah, 21 women and also holding on after the Access Hollywood tape was revealed when he was first running for office. So that is the playbook to just outlast the outrage, if he can."

At this point, we will remind you that the MRC went on a huge whataboutism kick regarding the "Access Hollywood" tape, playing the Clinton Equivocation card, and also that the MRC denigrated the women who made claims of sexual harassment (and worse) against Trump.

If you guessed that Christy would follow MRC tradition in attempting to rebut Alcindor, you would be correct. Cue the whataboutism and Clinton Equivocation:

For the media, it's as if Bill Clinton and his impeachment never existed. Liberal hero Sen. Ted Kennedy, "the lion of the Senate," left a woman to drown after a car accident, and, with fellow liberal Sen. Chris Dodd, allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the infamous 1985 "waitress sandwich."

So no, Democrats do not have the moral high ground and it is easy for them to say Cuomo should resign when they know that the blue state governor will be replace [sic] by another Democrat.

Yes, Christy has to go all the way back to 1998 and 1985 and 1969 to deflect from Trump's actions in the much more recent past. And Cuomo eventually did resign under pressure with nobody on any side defending that behavior -- something that can never be said about Republicans and Trump, even though a resigned Trump would have been replaced by another Republican.

Christy never mentioned Trump again, by the way, so perhaps he was conceding that Trump is terrible to women -- he just doesn't want to have to say the words out loud.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
Monday, September 6, 2021
MRC Has Lost Its Love For Lindell
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent the first part of the year inserting MyPillow guy Mike Lindell into its "censorship" victimization narrative because of his wseirdly aggressive defense of Donald Trump and his promotion of the never-proven conspiracy theory that the eleciton was stolen. The last time we checked in April, the MRC was gushing over the idea that Lindell planned to launch his own social media platform, as well as comtinuing the victim narrative by complained that Lindell's falsehood-filled video "Absolute Proof" got pulled from a couple video platforms, claiming he faced a "constant barrage of Big Tech censorship." Of course, if Lindell and other right-wingers want to live in "a world without the constant barrage of Big Tech censorship," they should stop telling lies and respect the terms of service of social media platforms.

The MRC continued to promote Lindell's ventures. An April 13 post by Joseph Vazquez touted how Lindell "is launching an online store to combat Big Tech giant Amazon’s hold over e-commerce," which Lindell insisted would be “a patriotism-themed e-commerce platform.” The site has apparently launched, though we haven't heard much about it since; Lindell was planning to launch an IPO for the operation, but claimed that his getting sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion over false claims he allegedly made about the company supposedly put those plans on hold. Still, Vazquez went on to rehash Lindell's victimhood bona fides:

Just recently, both YouTube and Vimeo removed Lindell’s documentary Absolute Proof. The documentary called the results of the 2020 presidential election into question.

The Washington Post celebrated Dominion Voting Systems launching a lawsuit against Lindell for his election claims in a news item that read like a venom-spewing op-ed: “Mike Lindell made his bed with Trump’s bogus conspiracies. Now, he gets to lie in it.”

In January 2021, Twitter banned Lindell from the platform “due to repeated violations of our Civic Integrity Policy,” a spokesperson told MRC Free Speech America.

But Lindell’s election claims are not the only reason why he’s been attacked by the far left. His faith as a Christian has also come under heavy fire.

On April 15, Alexander Hall promoted the launch of Lindell's social media operation:

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell chose to take matters into his own hands after Twitter banned him in January. He has now created a new social media platform called “Frank” that is reportedly close to launching for conservatives seeking to speak their minds in a more wholesome atmosphere.

Lindell explained the idea behind the platform in a short video on the FrankSpeech website before its limited April 16 opening: “This is gonna be a platform like no other. It's kinda like a YouTube-Twitter combination.” Lindell made sure to assure viewers: “We’re going to be attacked, but I have my own servers and everything,” he explained. “We’re not gonna be worried about Amazon taking it down or YouTube or Google or Apple.” 

Lindell also explained that his plan for a more family-friendly platform was a feature, not a liability: “You don’t get to use the four swear words: you know, the c-word, the n-word, the f-word or God’s name in vain,” he explained. “Free speech is not pornography. Free speech isn’t, ‘I’m gonna kill you.’”

Well, actually, it kinda is. If you block certain kinds of speech you find objectionable, -- even to create "a more wholesome atmosphere" -- you're no longer a "free speech" operation.

Hall didn't bother to do any follow-up on the issues it had at launch that prevented people from actually signing up (which Lindell blamed without evidence on a "massive attack" against the operation), or about the event promoting the operation in a half-empty Corn Palace in South Dakota.

In a May 7 post, Vazquez got some amusement out of the Democrats allegedly compiling an opposition-research file on Lindell in case he does something political in the future: "Allies of President Joe Biden are apparently so worried about his political future that they decided to compile an entire opposition file on MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell." Actually, that's smart political work, because it's a good idea to be prepared for anything in the political arena.

That, however, was the last post dedicated to Lindell (he received passing mention in two posts in August). The Frank platform appears to have not caught fire (unless you count the dumpster fire of its launch) -- the MRC seems to have put its rhetorical chips on GETTR, the site run by former Trump aide Jason Miller (which also has its dumpster-fire aspects). And it may be that Lindell has become too crazy for the MRC -- which would be an achievement given the kind of extremists it has portrayed as mainstream conservatives who are being "censored" by "Big Tech" in order to pad its victim narrative. The MRC did not promote last month's "cyber symposium" hosted by Lindell, and it didn't even note that Fox News "censored" Lindell by refusing to run ads for it, causing Lindell to pull all his MyPillow advertising off Fox News.The abject failure of the symposium made Lindell look even worse than he already did.

Too crazy for the MRC? Not exactly a pillow-soft landing for Lindell.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 6, 2021 10:23 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard On One-Day Dow Drops
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center -- proving that it's a partisan political organization and not a "media research" one -- loves to embrace whatever the Republicans' anti-Biden talking point du jour is, only to abandon it when it proves to be overblown or outright false (while not explaining that fact to readers). Joseph Vazquez gave it the ol' biased try in a July 19 post trying to exploit a large one-day stock drop to blame it on President Biden:

CNBC had the spin on the massive stock market sell-off story so fast it was as if the outlet was just waiting to protect the Biden administration from any bad news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a whopping 725.81 points July 19 as “anxiety mounted over the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant and its potential impact on the global economy,” The Wall Street Journal reported. It was the “worst session since October” for the index.

But CNBC seemed to already know how it would spin the story at 10:42 a.m. when the market was in the heat of its nosedive: “Stock market volatility can be an opportunity for investors. Here’s why.”

CNBC pulled the nothing-to-see-here angle from its back pocket and pontificated how “[w]hile volatility can be troubling for investors, experts caution against any hasty selling when markets fall.” Really? 

The outlet ran two subheadings in its piece that were just as absurd given the extent of the market downturn. The first was “Volatility is common.” The second was “Volatility can be your friend.”

Vazquez went on to insinst that "CNBC’s gaslighting of the potential effects of the market’s drop made the news outlet’s irresponsible behavior toward the stock market news all the more egregious."

Later, Curtis Houck complained that "the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC played the role of PR professionals for the White House" becuase it didn't sufficiently report on "the pitiful day on Wall Street."

But the MRC never brought up this attack again. Why? Because the very next day, the Dow increased 549 points -- and by the end of that week on July 23, the Dow had increase more than 1,000 points from the July 19 close. In other words, CNBC was right about stock market volatility, and Vazquez's attack was bogus.

As one can assume, the MRC has a double standard on this. In 2019, the MRC complained that the media covered an 800-point Dow drop -- a much bigger drop than the one Vazquez fearmongered over because the Dow average was lower at the time -- and even quoted CNBC's Jim Cramer to demand that the media "dial back the hysteria." Vazquez and Houck didn't pick up that lesson, apparently.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 6, 2021 4:55 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Give Trump Jr. A Pass On Cashing In On His Father's Presidency
Topic: Media Research Center

In July, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell sat down for an interview with Donald Trump Jr. (And we though the MRC hated softball interviews.) An excerpt posted to NewsBusters featured Don Jr. spouting the MRC's anti-"Big Tech" narrative against "censorship" of conseravatives online (though no proof was offered that mainstream conservatives are solely being targeted), but the MRC's "news" division,, was given a clip of Don Jr. unironically accusing Hunter Biden of trying to cash in on his father's presidency:

“People have to wake up; they have to get their news from alternative sources,” Donald Trump, Jr. tells Media Research Center President Brent Bozell in an exclusive interview discussing the left-wing media’s bias and hypocrisy when it comes to the treatment of presidents’ family members.

The former First Son explains that, while his father was in the White House, the liberal media would never have allowed him to claim to be an artist and sell paintings for half a million dollars to anonymous buyers, as President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, is doing.

Even some Picassos sell for far less than what Hunter is charging, and yet the media looks the other way, Trump, Jr. says:

“I take that one pretty personally, because I went through a lot. What do you think would happen, Brent, if for, I don’t know, for example, Donald Trump, Jr. started finger-painting, like Hunter Biden, and started selling them to unknown buyers for half a million dollars?

Bozell positioned this issue in an incredibly softball way, effectively playing T-ball with Don Jr. He made no mention of the fact that Don Jr. did, in fact, cash in on his father's presidency to perhaps an even greater degree than Hunter Biden was accused of doing.

The big one was that the Republican National Committee bought $300,000 worth of copies of Don Jr.'s book -- a massive bulk purchase that dishonestly put the book on the bestseller list. Interestingly, Don Jr. self-published his book, so gets all to keep that RNC money for himself. Bozell even plugged the book in question, "Liberal Privilege," during the interview, but at no point did he acknowlege it becamae a best-seller because the RNC bought a bunch of copies -- the epitome of cashing in on a presidential father's fame.

But there's more: In 2019, Don Jr. made $50,000 for giving a single speech, and as Business Insider summarized: "He also works at his father's company, overseeing the business empire since his father took up the presidency. Most of his present-day media profile comes from discussing his father and his presidency."

No MRC employee is ever going to call out Bozell for his softball interview of Don Jr. -- not if they want to keep their job, that is.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
MRC Falsely Labels Film It Doesn't Like As A 'Hollywood Film'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Gabriel Hays ranted in a July 13 post headlined "Filthy Hollywood Film With Lesbian Nuns and Virgin Mary ‘Dildo’ Makes Waves at Cannes":

Surprise! A French shock Jaques director hates the Catholic Church and has created a movie calculated to outrage the faithful and win plaudits from the elites. Showgirls director Paul Verhoeven's latest flick is an anti-Catholic porno.

Benedetta is a profane trash heap about 17th century lesbian nuns that’s full of violence and extremely gratuitous sex scenes between women whose vocations are supposed to involve a life of dutiful chastity before God. Supposedly it’s based on a true story. And of course this kind of disgusting, subversive content sets just the right mood for the foreign film fest circuit, and apparently Benedetta is all the rage at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

One little problem with Hays' rant: "Benedetta" is not a "Hollywood film." According to Wikipedia, the film was shot in Europe in the French language. The film's two main producers, Said Ben Said and Jerome Seydoux, are Tunisian-French and French, respectively. A third producer, Michel Merkt, is also French.

This is simple stupidity on Hays' part, making a lazy assumption that all films are "Hollywood films." People in other parts of the world make movies too, but Hays is apparently too ideologically nearsighted to realize that. And apparently the MRC has no editors (or at least none who do anything meaningful), so Hays' lazy mistake slipped right on through, even though it's right there in the headline.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 AM EDT
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
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 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, 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 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
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
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
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
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:,” 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
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
MRC Got Mad When It Was Pointed Out That Right-Wing Rage Against Critical Race Theory Was Manufactured
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 20 post, Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that NBC's Chuck Todd "tried to lie to viewers by claiming that parental opposition and outrage to Critical Race Theory was 'manufactured at Fox [News].'" He claimed that Republican activist Brad Todd disproved the idea simply by saying (without offering proof) that the controversy was "a parent-led backlash at the grassroots level."

Fondacaro won't tell you because he's not being paid to tell the truth, but Todd is correct: In the three and a half months before Fondacaro's item was published, Fox News referenced critical race theory more than 1,200 times. That right-wing monomania extends the the MRC itself: According to a ConWebWatch search of the NewsBusters archive, critical race theory was referenced in a whopping 132 posts between April 1 and Aug. 31. Fondacaro went to highlight a reporter noting a controvesy over CRT in schools in Loudon County, Virginia -- where the MRC later sent its followers to inflame emotions at a school board meeting a couple days later. Fondacaro claimed the reporter's account of "dozens and dozens and dozens of parents" attending a school board meeting there as further evidencethat Tood was lying, though no apparently no proof was offered that those protesters actually had children in that school district.

Despite all that, the MRC continued to feel the need to melt down every time it was (accurately) pointed out that Republicans are ginning up anti-CRT outrage. On July 7, Tim Graham complained that Politico reported that "Republicans are hoping to turn that discord [over CRT] into political capital," offering whataboutism in response: "This carries the usual Democrat spin: it somehow leaves out that the Democrats and their race-based interest groups like the NAACP somehow aren’t waging 'culture wars,' and somehow the Democrats aren’t driving a narrative on race to beat the Republicans." Graham further grumbled:

This links to another Politico story on how "Trumpworld bets big on critical race theory," and "Republicans aren’t coy about what they are trying to do. It’s not just about changing curricula. It’s about taking back Congress." That story doesn't prove conservatives have no evidence. Instead, it notes that black journalists and entertainers are pushing "systemic racism" education. 

The focus of the Politico story was in Loudoun County -- and Graham failed to disclose that the MRC encouraged agitators to make noise at the meeting.

Fondacaro returned on July 9 to melt down over CNN's Chris Cuomo calling right-wing attacks on CRT "fake outrage":

As the saying goes, you know you’re over the target when you start getting flak. And that’s exactly what’s been happening with the liberal media franticly trying to protect critical race theory. On Thursday, it was CNN Prime Time host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo’s turn to flat-out lie, gaslight, and try to rehabilitate the image of the racist and socialist propaganda. Fredo even teamed up with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten to claim CRT wasn’t being taught but yet it was.


But see, here’s the game that Cuomo was playing: full-blown critical race theory might not be tough as its own course but it influences lesson plans and approved reading material. As CRT critic Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute has documented, “At least 25 public school districts in 12 states are now teaching ‘Not My Idea,’ a book that claims ‘whiteness’ is the devil, luring children with the promise of ‘stolen land [and] stolen riches.’”

And the left was trying to proliferate it. But the media knew full well that’s what was happening.

Graham's column the same day groused that "'Critical race theory' has become the latest 'Republicans pounce' story, "going on to darkly warn: "The new courses are coming. The new targets are white Americans who are presumed guilty of exploiting racism for 'their own political and financial gain.' And the new media misinformation is that none of this is happening at all, it’s just right-wing panic and propaganda." Graham didn't prove that right-wingers weren't spreading panic and propaganda.

In a July 13 video, Bill D'Agostino used clips of media folks blame Fox News and right-winger for manufacturing outrage over CRT -- which he didn't disprove -- then went on offer what CRT means to "the average person," which conveniently conforms to the right-wing narrative about it. He concluded with the usual right-wing fearmongering: "Consider doing your own research into what a bunch of suits on TV try to tell you about the world. And, hey, maybe consider skimming through your kids' textbooks when they get home from school."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EDT
Monday, August 30, 2021
MRC's Latest Transphobic Hate Targets: An Actor, A Model, A Muppet And More
Topic: Media Research Center

How has the Media Research Center been hating transgender people lately? Let us count the ways. Gabriel Hays -- a huge transphobe -- melted down on June 29 over the idea of the transgender woman winning a beauty pageant:

One of the world’s premiere beauty pageants has fallen for the transgender craze and will be allowing a biological male to compete with the country’s most beautiful women for the crown of Miss America.

A transgender woman – or anatomically speaking, a dude – just beat out 21 real women for the title of Miss Nevada giving 27 year-old Kataluna Enriquez the chance to be crowned Miss USA in the larger beauty competition. Our hearts go out to all the women who have so far been deemed less beautiful than a literal man.

And we thought models had to deal with intense pressure, before they had to compete with men.

On July 13, Streetman repeated her assertion that being anything other than heterosexual is a manifestation of mental illness. In complaining about a Courtney Cox-hosted series about non-traditional couples navigating having a baby -- a concept she insists is "grossing everybody out" -- Streetman huffed:

The series is currently on season three and in June it released an episode featuring a trans couple who swapped roles. Cox describes this couple’s story as one of overcoming “trans discrimination.” The woman in the relationship identifies as a man but is pregnant, and the man identifies as the mother and had implants in an attempt to breastfeed the baby. No, I am not making this up. Watch for yourself:


That poor child is now being raised in a household with two mentally ill parents who are supposed to help their kid through life but don’t even know their own gender. God bless that baby.

And God help Streetman learn that people who are different from herself shouldn't be automatically hated or dismissed as mentally ill.

Hays served up more ranting in a July 14 post:

Ah, history is made yet again in our budding United States Socialist Republic. Hollywood has nominated its first ever biological male in a top Best Actress category.

And, no, this wasn’t some third rate awards show, like the BAFTAs or BET Awards, or even the SAG Awards. ‘Twas the primetime Emmys that pushed this gender-destroying, reality-bending boundary. On Tuesday July 13, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that actor Mj Rodriguez became the “first transgender performer to be nominated for a lead acting role in a primetime series” for the 73rd annual Emmy Awards.

Rodriguez was nominated for the “Best Lead Actress in a Drama” Emmy category. The awards ceremony is set to be held in September. 

Rodriguez – a biological male – starred in the latest and final season of FX’s LGBTQ centric series Pose, a show which featured ldquo;the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore and Hailie Sahar.”

Hays concluded by sneering, "Yeah, it’s one small step for trans kind, and one giant, disastrous leap backwards for literally everyone else.

On July 20, Abigail Streetman had a similar meltdown over a transgender woman becoming a Sports Illustrated swimsult model, under the hateful headline "Your Model's A Man, Baby!":

Sports Illustrated has gone completely anti-truth and released a new cover which features Leyna Bloom, who is a biological male. Despite what Bloom’s Twitter bio said, he is not helping to make the world or this country a better place. 

Sports IllustratedSwimsuit posted an announcement for the new swimsuit cover model’s on Twitter. As always the magazine releases three different covers for each edition, but Bloom was the first and only man to ever be promoted as a woman.


Sports Illustrated also wrote an article on Bloom on June 17, titled “Leyna Bloom Is On A Mission.” Yeah, a mission to distort the truth and deny reality.


Bloom further stated: “This is a huge milestone. When I was crying in MJ and Tyra [Banks’] arms, I was like, ‘This magazine is going to change the world.’” 

Maybe, but it definitely isn’t for the better.

Hays returned on Aug. 2 to spew hate on the idea of a transgender (or even cross-dressing) Muppet:

Disney continues to corrupt everything it touches. Since it now owns the rights to Jim Henson’s The Muppets that means The Muppets gets ruined, and by extension our children’s opportunity for quality entertainment. Recently the Disney Muppets spin off TV show, Muppet Babies made beloved character Gonzo into a trans woman, because anyone can be any gender these days.

Pop culture outlet Vulture reported on Gonzo’s new transgender iteration recently, praising the fact that the show for “3 to 8" year-olds is making such a pro-LGBTQ statement. Though this is disturbing propaganda that insists that parents trying to raise boys and girls normally aren’t doing it right.

Not to mention it’s super confusing for impressionable children.

This gender-subversive TV episode features the boy alien/thing (we’re pretty sure Gonzo has been a guy throughout Muppets’ history) donning a dress and becoming “Princess Gonzarella.” Apparently that’s the height of freedom and expression for Gonzo, who usually has to suffer through wearing boys’ overalls, t-shirts and sneakers out on the playground.

Hays further whined, "This is Disney propaganda so none of the Muppets found it weird. In fact they all loved it." Hays, of course, would be waiting outside the school to beat up this (completely fictional) character for being a little too swishy for his comfort. It must be such a sad existence Hays leads, being so consumed with people for people (real and fictional) who are different from him.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 30, 2021 10:28 PM EDT
Sunday, August 29, 2021
MRC Complains About 'Hit Piece' On GETTR That Echoes MRC' Hit Pieces On 'Big Tech'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Casey Ryan complained in an Aug. 2 post:

GETTR CEO Jason Miller fired back against Politico after the media outlet launched an attack against his new platform claiming that it is a hotbed for terrorist activity.

Politico reported that free speech alternative platform GETTR was “inundated with terrorist propaganda spread by supporters of Islamic State.” The liberal media outlet further reported that GETTR “features reams of jihadi-related material, including graphic videos of beheadings, viral memes that promote violence against the West and even memes of a militant executing [former President Donald] Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in Guantanamo Bay.” The story ended with a statement that Politico reportedly obtained from Miller. However, the GETTR executive said that Politico is “refusing to print [his statement] in its entirety.”

In his response on GETTR, Miller attacked ISIS and called out Politico for its reporting: 

“ISIS is trying to attack the MAGA movement because President Trump wiped them off the face of the earth, destroying the Caliphate in less than 18 months, and the only ISIS members still alive are keyboard warriors hiding in caves and eating dirt cookies. Buried beneath a misleading and inflammatory headline, however, even Politico acknowledges GETTR has a robust and proactive moderation system that removes prohibited content, maximizing both cutting-edge A.I. technology and human moderation.”

Politico’s hit piece against GETTR was headlined, “Jihadists flood pro-Trump social network with propaganda.” Several other media outlets also dogpiled GETTR and appeared to gleefully cover the story.

Ryan won't tell you that the thing Miller is complaining about is the exact same thing his MRC co-workers regularly do in their attacks on "big tech":

  • On Jan. 8, Kayla Sargent grumbled that Twitter suspended Trump after the Capitol riot ,but "it has ignored blatant pro-genocide propaganda from the communist Chinese government."
  • On June 2, Alec Schemmel complained that "Facebook has had no reservations about censoring conservative accounts. Yet, it allows accounts of state-controlled propaganda outlets from the genocidal regime of China to flourish. Forty accounts on Facebook, amassing over 751 million followers, are managed by Chinese state-controlled media outlets.
  • Schemmel wrote on June 16 that "Conservative lawmakers condemned Facebook for censoring former President Donald Trump while simultaneously allowing the Chinese Communist Party to post propaganda freely on its platform."
  • Schemmel asserted on June 28 that "Facebook continues to allow China to lie to the world about its human rights violations against Uyghurs, while simultaneously banning the former president of the United States from its platform."
  • On Aug. 1, Alexander Hall hyped that "Left-wing author of Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism Jillian C. York condemned former President Donald Trump for fomenting unrest in the past, but expressed wariness over Facebook’s ban of the infamous Taliban.
  • On Aug. 26, Schemmel dutifully reported a complaint from the CEO of Parler that Taliban representatives have Twitter accounts . Of course, he failed to disclose that Parler's chief financial backer, Rebekah Mercer, is also a leading financial backer of the MRC.
  • The same day, Hall touted how "former Secretary of Defense Chief of Staff Kash Patel torched Twitter for hosting the Taliban, following horrific terror attacks on American troops in Afghanistan."

Ryan sounded like a paid mployee of GETTR -- as all MRC employees do -- in trying to serve up some positive spin for Miller's benefit, touting how "the Washington Examiner previously reported that GETTR passed '1.5 million users in just 11 days.'" But as we've noted, that number turned out to be bogus; according to a report from the Stanford Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center (h/t Wonkette), GETTR didn't actually reach 1.5 million users until the first week of August. Ryan went on to insist that despite a claim from the Daily Beast that GETTR "has struggled to gain much traction," "several prominent personalities have joined the platform."

The MRC is so determined to serve as the PR division of GETTR, in fact, that it devoted a second post the next day to Miller's complaints about the Politico article. That article, by Autumn Johnson, is mstly a repeat of what is in Ryan's piece, though it added a biziarre accusation from Twitter that the Politico piece was "funded by GETTR’s competitors in the tech and social media marketplace." Johnson apparently made no effort to seek substantiation of this claim from Miller, for none is provided; instead, Johnson linked to a commentary by Miller at the right-wing National Pulse website, in which he complained that data for the Politico piece came from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue," which he ranted " is funded by a list of GETTR’s Big Tech competitors." Which, of course, proves nothing; Miller offers no evidence to further his conspiratorial claim.

Interestingly, neither piece noted whether or not GETTR took down the jihadi accounts after they were made public.Johnson rehashed GETTR's moderation policies as cited in Miller's National Pulse piece, but he too did not explicitly state that the jihadi posts have been removed. Miller did ry to make excuses, stating that "To combat Islamic extremist content is a continuous battle, as our competitors can attest, and much of the objectionable content on our platform was posted before our official launch."

Again, the MRC's function here is PR, not fact -- just like it has been with Parler.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 29, 2021 11:18 PM EDT

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