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Monday, September 13, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: The WND Funding Crisis Du Jour
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah put out a lot of bluster and conspiracy theories to cajole readers into keeping his company alive -- though he had to stealthily extend his self-imposed deadline a couple weeks in order to (barely) meet his goal. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 AM EDT
Sunday, September 12, 2021
MRC Runs The Larry Elder Defense Committee
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is undoubtedly happy Larry Elder came along to be the leading Republican canddiate in the California governor recall election. Otherwise, it would have to continue to fight its transphobic urges as it played defense for Caitlyn Jenner.

The MRC began by touting Elder's chances against the incumbent facing recall, Democrat Gavin Newsom. On July 28, Scott Whitlock gushed that Fox News was touting Elder was emerging as the frontrunniner ina "perfect storm" against Newsom (and that non-right-wing media outlets weren't reporting on an state election that was a month and a half away). On Aug. 12, Kyle Drennen complained that non-right-wing outets weren't repoirting that Newsom "was beginning to crack under the pressure of an upcoming recall election that looks increasingly likely he may lose." Kristine Marsh wrote on Aug. 16 that CNN "tried to help out the embattled Democrat Governor Newsom with a puff piece that completely ignored his critics and glossed over his failures" while it "actually helped Newsom attack his conservative competitor, radio host Larry Elder, as the next Trump." Marsh didn't dispute that characterization.

But as Elder started drawing more attention -- much of it negative -- the MRC got upset. On Aug. 18, designated New York Times-hater Clay Waters whined that the paper was "smearing the idea of the recall and Newsom's leading conservative opponent, black conservative talk show host Larry Elder" and that it was "calling Elder a liar for accurately stating that no one knows how much human action contributes to rising global temperatures." Brad Wilmouth then came to Elder's defense over a sexist view he espoused that CNN correspondent Kyung Lah highlighted:

After showing a couple of clips of Elder -- one complaining that welfare has hurt women, and the other complaining about the many accusations of racism and sexism made by the left -- Lah read from a piece published by Elder in May 2000 in which he asserted that women are less informed about political issues than men. The CNN correspondent recalled: "In May 2000, Elder penned this editorial, writing, 'Women know less than men about political issues, economics and current events,' adding, 'The less one knows, the easier the manipulation.'"

But Lah omitted Elder's few sentences which demonstrated that his claim wasn't just an unsubstantiated opinion, but that it had been verified by a recent University of Pennsylvania study involving left-leaning researcher Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

As criticism of Elder mounted, the MRC made sure to emphasize the more strident ones, thus suggesting that all criticism of Elder was outlandish:

  • Tim Graham complained of the "mudslinging tactics" of a Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith that called Elder "the Black face of white supremacy." Graham he huffed that "No 'fact checker' will check any of this lying garbage," but he identified no "lies" that needed to be fact-checked.
  • Marsh claimed that an MSNBC guest and newspaper columnist painted Elder "as an apostle of white nationalism who would “make life harder” for black and Latino Americans," going on to smear the commentator as someone Divorced from any sort of rational analysis" and "believes voters can’t think for themselves," and adding that she shows "just how far removed liberal journalists are from the average American" (though she's a columnist, not a journalist).

But even the MRC couldn't ignore accusations about Elder's history with women -- so it was time to downplay those claims. Waters was first up complaining that an ex-girlfriend's claim that Elder showed a gun to her while high on marijuana was merely "personal attacks and speculation in a way that under-substantiated allegations made against Democrats never get (see: Tara Reade)." Does this mean we can say the MRC was indulging in "personal attacks and speculation" when it uncritically repeated and breathlessly touted Reade's accusations?

Graham similarly played Reade whataboutism -- and 30-year-old Anita Hill whataboutism -- in an Aug. 26 post:

NPR's public editor Kelly McBride confessed in 2020 that NPR was slow to address Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. But NPR wasn't slow at all to highlight an ex-fiancee's allegation that black conservative California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder waved a gun at her while high on marijuana during a breakup in 2015. It dominated their segment on the California recall on Wednesday's Morning Edition. 

It's easy to recall that NPR jumped first on the unproven allegations from Anita Hill that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. Their California expert, Scott Shafer from San Francisco affiliate KQED, implied there was probably more dirt on Elder they hadn't dug up yet.

Graham added: "The ex-fiancee is Alexandra Datig, who has endorsed Republican Kevin Faulconer in the recall election. Politico's Carla Marinucci first reported Datig's claims on August 19. What about the timing? California expected counties to begin sending mail-in ballots on August 16." Funny, we don't recall Graham or anyone else at the MRC questioning Reade's motivations or her timing.

Marsh returned on Aug, 27 to mock Smith for highlighting the hate mail she received about her "Black face of white supremacy." Jeffrey Lord followed with an Aug. 28 column attacking Smith and another Los Angeles Times columnist, and he too played Anita Hill whataboutism -- while being completely silent about the accusations Elder's ex-girlfriend made.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 10:29 PM EDT
CNS Repeatedly Promotes Anti-Vaxxer's Months-Old Anti-Mask Screed
Topic: CNSNews.com

Back in March, CNSNews.com published a commentary by Jim Meehan -- a anti-vaxxer, QAnon-supporting doctor in Oklahoma with no professional experience in epidemiology (he's an ophthamologist by trade) -- promoting that untrue claim that healthy people should not wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus and the utterly false claim that "Surgical and cloth masks do nothing to prevent viral transmission." We detailed Meehan's conspiratorial, medically unsound views at the time and wondered why CNS went full WND in giving Meehan a platform.

Months later, CNS is still promoting Meehan's medically unsound column on Twitter. Multiple times a week, CNS' Twitter account has promoted Meehan's false claims. For instance, here are the days CNS has done so over the past month or so:

Reminder: Meehan's commentary was published in March, and it has been utterly discredited. It's hihgly unusual for any Twitter user to promote an old article without a news hook -- particularly one that claims to be a "news" organization. And it's an especially bad look for a "news" organization seeking credibility, since this appears to prove that CNS isn't really about reporting "news" at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:18 PM EDT
Saturday, September 11, 2021
MRC Got Mad Apple Store Removed Anti-Vaxxer Dating App
Topic: Media Research Center

How determined is the Media Research Center to align itself with the worst, most extreme people to perpetuate its dubious (and false) narrative of conservatives being deliberately and solely "censored" by social media? It's complaining that an anti-vaxxer dating app was removed from the Apple store. Autumn Johnson wrote in an Aug. 2 post:

Apple has removed a dating app from its App Store for violating its COVID policies.

Unjected, a dating app focused on partnering individuals who are opposed to getting the COVID vaccine, was removed from the store.

Shelby Thomson, the founder of the app said the removal was deliberate censorship on Apple’s part.

“Apparently, we are considered ‘too much’ for sharing our medical autonomy and freedom of choice,” she said in a video.

“[W]hen one report gets you deleted off every platform instantly. We must be doing something right,” the app’s Instagram page posted with a screenshot of an article discussing the app.

Because Johnson is so busy defending the app's right to exist, she didn't mention that it was busted for spreading COVID misinformation. She linked (but didn't otherwise acknowldge the contents of) a Bloomberg article that apparently got the app the boot, which noted the bogus conspiratorial claptrap the app was promoting: "A routine update to the app triggered a review by Google Play that found it hadn’t sufficiently policed user-generated content for misinformation. In emails to Unjected, Google flagged posts that included claims of vaccines being 'experimental mRNA gene modifiers,' 'bioweapons' and 'nano-technology microchips' used to link people to the 5G network."

But because she want to paint the app's makers as victims, Johnson doesn't point out the obvious regarding Thomson's defense: If your app is so irresponsible that "one report gets you deleted off every platform instantly," you are not "doing something right" -- your wrongness and irresponsibility is simply that obvious.

The inability of Johnson and the MRC to see that an anti-vaxxer dating app is such an objectively bad idea that it shouldn't be defended shows just how far down the victimization rabbit hole they have descended.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2021 10:34 AM EDT
WND's Massie Goes The COVID Vaccine Misinformation Route
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie loves to melt down about various things, and especially LGBTQ people. He's now expanded his meltdown repertoire to COVID vaccines. He ranted in his Aug. 9 WorldNetDaily column:

It would be impossible for me to be any clearer regarding my personal and family position regarding the hyper-aggressive tactics being employed to force legal U.S. citizens to be injected with an experimental drug. My position has been and remains that there is no scenario, zip-nada-none, that will force me to permit the infecting of myself or family member with same. None!

I concede that there's a flu of quasi-questionable origins that has been responsible for certain deaths in the United States. However, I will not concede that the flu alone is killing people.

More than a dozen of my personal friends and acquaintances have had this flu and recovered just fine. Some have shared it was very unpleasant, while others said it was little more than a mild cold. It's important to note that only two of them got the experimental drug.

[...]

My resistance is due to the falsity involved in this faux pandemic. If this were the monstrously deadly, death-resulting juggernaut it is being made out to be, there would be no need to make up numbers. There would be no need to encourage and reward Hitlerian practices of spying on neighbors and secret tip-lines where people can call and report those they determine to be violating whatever edicts were set in place.

My refusal to be infected with an experimental drug is in great part because the government, i.e., politicians and their harlots of agitprop, have created a zeitgeist of fear, panic and borderline insanity over a flu.

No, Mychal, COVID is not the flu. But wait, there's more repetition of the greatest hits of both WND and Massie:

They claim there's insufficient data to know if ivermectin should be considered a treatment for this flu. But the wholly untested and unproven, debilitating and death-inducing experimental drug is being pushed. Hydroxychloroquine has been safely and successfully used decades with virtually no side effects – but it's rejected for this flu?

Why isn't this administration going after illegal aliens who are known carriers of prolific diseases long ago successfully eradicated in America that are now being reintroduced in some instances at factually epidemic levels? Why isn't the media breathlessly blathering about this factoid?

I am familiar with the Tuskegee experiments where blacks were secretly experimented upon with syphilis. The so-called study, which was to last three years, went on for 30. What about the LSD experiments on prison inmates? Visit VFW posts and ask how many Vietnam veterans are suffering from unknown diseases contracted from tests performed on them. What about Maafa 21, which exposed the secret sterilizations of black women in the South?

Actually, as we've noted, "Maafa 21" is a dishonest anti-abortion propaganda film. Then he gets even more weird:

Why would there be unambiguous censorship against anyone who raise a single kernel of disagreement based upon real science? Why are many of the most prolific and world-renown medical scientists in the history of medical science being censored and ignored because they are sounding warning alarms against people poisoning their systems with this experimental drug? Why has Stanford University been silenced in its findings that facemasks are ineffective and actual can cause severe health deterioration and death? Why is the public only being told the absolute worst when in fact this flu was manageable from the start?

I'm not telling anyone what he or she should or shouldn't do. However, I would be remiss as a minister, if I didn't remind people that the buildup to the anti-christ and the Mark of the Beast as referenced in the Revelation begins well ahead of the Great Tribulation. Then again, the only ones who need be concerned about this yet to be fulfilled biblical prophecy are those persons who won't be gathered with Christ Jesus when He gathers us in the air with Him.

Actually, Stanford disavowed the study, and its conclusions have been discredited.

Massie kept up the counterfactual ranting in his Aug. 16 column:

How many more men, women and children must die before the Biden-Fauci cabal is recognized as an existential threat to the foreseeable future of America? What is the Biden-Fauci cabal's plan, if the horrific "vaccine" side effects we are witnessing this early explode exponentially within the next two years?

Americans (and the world), are being lied to and intentionally misled into voluntarily having an experimental drug injected into them. Only fools believe otherwise.

[...]

The only things different with this global coup being perpetrated upon the people are the lengths the Biden-Fauci cabal and Big Tech are willing to go to ensure every single person is infected with these poisonous drugs.

As I was writing this piece, a dear acquaintance contacted me to share that three friends had received the experimental drug and died. That's three people in this person's sphere of personal association who received the drug and died after being injected!

[...]

I raise the question that begs an answer: If the dirty little secret of Obamacare was an attempt to save Medicaid from going belly up, as Neil Cavuto and I discussed on his show, what is this flu-demic and the deadly toxins being promoted as vaccines for a flu that isn't a threat designed to conceal?

What if the population-control crowd, like Bill Gates et al. isn't in it for the money or personal gain? What if they are perpetrating genocide on the gullible public for a much more nefarious reason?

Massie is a conspiracy theorist like many other WND writers, so he sees "nefarious" things everywhere.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Friday, September 10, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Bombing-Psaki Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck buries any news of a #PsakiBomb -- he'd rather bomb Psaki. Amid the fall of Afghanistan, Houck showed he was mnre interested in taking partisan shots than suypporting America with his near-orgasmic glee over White House press secretary Jen Psaki taking tough questions from reporters on the subject -- and without his man-crush Peter Doocy on duty. Houck harrumphed after the Aug. 17 briefing:

Though most of it didn’t make the Tuesday network evening newscasts, the White House press corps made an effort to raise tough questions with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Press Secretary Jen Psaki amidst the collapse of Afghanistan, showing that neither had the answers to basic questions about how they’ll ensure the safe departure of American citizens and Afghan allies, the plight of Afghan girls, and what this means for our commitments around the globe.

[...]

With Fox’s Peter Doocy not in the room, the most effective reporter fell to his colleague Jacqui Heinrich (who only questioned Psaki) and, surprisingly, CBS’s Weijia Jiang, who did the opposite of Shear with short, pointed questions.

Doocy was back for Houck to swoon over (anlong with fellow right-winger Philip Wegmann) for the Aug. 23 briefing:

To go along with two horrendously bad Pentagon press briefings and another at the State Department, the White House joined in Monday afternoon with a shellacking at the hands of the press corps on Afghanistan. For this installment, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Press Secretary Jen Psaki took fire from all angles, ranging from Fox News to NPR.

Led by Fox’s Peter Doocy and Real Clear Politics’ Philip Wegmann, Team Biden was grilled about whether Americans have been “stranded” by their own government, whether Americans outside Kabul will be rescued, and how can the U.S. take to heart anything that emanates from the Taliban.

[...]

Fast-forward a few minutes to the one-two punch of Doocy and Wegmann, which featured the latter telling Sullivan that Biden “has criticized his predecessor,” “the Afghan army,” and “the Afghan government for all of their failures,” but not the Taliban.

It was a full-on Doocy-gasm, however, for the Aug. 24 briefing:

Appearing almost four hours late in the White House Briefing Room, Press Secretary Jen Psaki faced more excellent questions Tuesday afternoon over the Biden administration’s handling of Afghanistan. As was the case on Monday, Fox’s Peter Doocy led the way with questions about vetting Afghan refugees, whether she’d take back her claim that people aren’t “stranded” in Afghanistan, and whether the Taliban now has “the same kind of influence over military planning as” Biden.

Called on sixth, Doocy got right to work: “Is there any concern that maybe trying to reach this deadline and get everybody out, mistakes are being made, now that there is a report that at least one of the Afghan evacuated to Qatar has suspected ISIS ties?”

Psaki replied there’s “a stringent vetting process which includes background checks before any individual comes to the United States” and thus is something the administration has taken “incredibly seriously.”

Psaki also had a Baghdad Bob moment as she proclaimed that “this is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history” and thus “I would not say that is anything but a success.”

Houck's beat ( or, perhaps, the beating off) continued for the Aug. 25 briefing:

After almost an entire week away on vacation (aside from an August 23 briefing), The Psaki Show hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly for the Biden administration and, like Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday was no exception as Press Secretary Jen Psaki had little in the way of friendly reporter questions as Fox’s Peter Doocy had the cavalry on his side in pressing on issues surrounding the collapse of Afghanistan.

In Doocy’s case, he called out Biden cracking a joke about the humanitarian disaster, why did Biden spend so much time on Tuesday talking about his Build Back Better, and does the U.S. still have a policy of not negotiating with terrorists since we’ve had to lob constant pleas at the Taliban to not attack U.S. troops or those fleeing the country.

Doocy led off with how Biden had brushed aside NBC reporter Peter Alexander’s Afghanistan question hours earlier during a pool spray about cybersecurity by saying this when asked what he’d do for Americans still in Afghanistan after the August 31 deadline: “You’ll be the first person I call!”

Doocy posed a simple question: “So, what’s so funny?”

Houck thinks it's quite hilarious any time he can denigrate Psaki. That does seem to be where he gets his jollies these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
WND Is Still Spreading Hirschhorn's COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Hirschhorn has been one of WorldNetDaily's biggest COVID misinformers over the past year, and even though we've repeatedly proven him wrong, WND continues to give a platform to spout more misinformation. He ranted in his Aug. 2 column:

One of many COVID pandemic falsehoods is that if people just get vaccinated, all will be well for the individual and the nation. This is pure deceit. Why is the government feverishly spewing out this message? One simple reason, namely to promote even more vaccination. In the fight against vaccine hesitancy and rejection, the government must keep reassuring the public that once you get vaccinated you are home free.

So why is the government now mandating masking even for the vaccinated and in some places more lockdowns? Aside from a huge amount of data on deaths (now more than 50,000) and injuries from the experimental vaccines themselves, there is big media suppression of data on how the vaccinated are suffering from reinfection, called breakthrough infections.

You may hear that getting reinfected after vaccination is better than not getting vaccinated and getting COVID for the first time. But this argument fails to fully acknowledge all the deaths and serious injuries from getting any experimental vaccine in the first place.

Hirschhorn is lying when he claims thgat COVID vaccines have claimed "more than 50,000" deaths. He knows he's lying, because he's deliberately misinterpreting federal data on vaccine side effect. Yet he continues to tell the lie, and WND lets him do it. He also linked to an anonymous website purporting to gather data on vaccine side effects but appears to be geared toward dishonestly scaring people out of getting a vaccine.

Hirschhorn then tried to blame breakthrough infections on the purported ineffectiveness of the vaccine by citing data from Israel:

Data from other countries also shed light on the problem.

Data from Israel found that "more than [new COVID] 3,000 cases – or approximately 40% – occurred in people who had received a COVID-19 vaccine." The same fraction has been reported for U.K. Any indication by the government that the situation is very different for the U.S. is nonsense.

Hirschhorn's source is an article on a far-right website written by one of the most notorious COVID misinformers, quack doc Joseph Mercola, so there's no reason to trust it. But as an honest medical expert explained, there may be more cases of severe COVID among vaccinated people in Israel because there are so many vaccinated people; a far higher percentage of unvaccinated people in Israel are catching COVID, compared to the percentage ofvaccinated people.

Hirschhorn spread m ore vaccine fearmongerin in his Aug. 19 column:

Admittedly, people face a difficult decision on whether or not to take an experimental COVID vaccine. So much information tells the ugly story of people who have suffered illness or death because they were not vaccinated. But there are increasing stories of breakthrough infections despite vaccination. Why? Because these vaccines are not working very well.

How can Americans make good, informed decisions about the vaccines? Especially those who have refused to capitulate to the coercion and propaganda? They need good information, especially about blood clots and bleeding that have injured and killed many people worldwide.

They will not get that from the mainstream big media. They will get it from this article.

No, they won't. Remembner that it has been found that you're more likely to get a blood clot from a COVID infection than a COVID vaccine.

Hirschhorn went on to cite a "medical research article" published not in a journal but, rather, at a website called Doctors for COVID Ethics -- a shady fringe group that is "demanding the immediate withdrawal of all experimental gene-based COVID-19 vaccines" -- that ranted about "spike protein" from the Pfizer vaccine, calling it "poisonous"; Hirschhorn added, "The strong language used by these doctors is worthy of respect." Actually, one of the authors, Sucharit Bhakdi, is a rabid anti-Semite who has claimed that Jews "learned the evil" from the Nazis, and that Israel is "a living hell." This is who Hirschhorn this is "worthy of respect."

But it wasn't until nearly the end of his lengthy, fear-filled article that Hirschhorn conceded the truth: "Of course, the risk of getting serious blood clots seems much higher for those who get a serious case COVID-19 then it is for those who get vaccinated. They tend to be acute, near-term impacts amenable to various treatments, though sadly not lifesaving in all cases."

Hirschhorn has been proven wrong too many times to be trusted. The fact that WND does -- and continues to give him a platform to spout his misinformation -- is yet another reason WND can't be trusted.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 PM EDT
CNS' Double Standard On Back-Turning
Topic: CNSNews.com

When track athlete Gwen Berry turned away from the American flag during a medal ceremony at an Olympic trial competition, CNSNews.com was quick to attack:

  • Melanie Arter surprisingly did offer Berry's side of the story, but also complained that White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended "the right of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest."
  • CNS published a column by Ben Shapiro ranting that "Berry just saw an opportunity to maximize her profile," going on to huff that "America currently rewards an entitled sense of grievance."
  • An article by Craig Bannister repeated a claim by Caitlyn Jenner calling Berry's protest "disgusting" and "kind of her last hurrah." In keeping with CNS' hatred of transgender people and its confusion about how to handle Jenner now that she's outed herself as a right-wing Republican, Bannister also made sure to add that Jenner is "a transgender 'female' who used to be Bruce Jenner."

But when police officers showed a similar lack of respect by an instance of back-turning, CNS was all for it. From an Aug. 10 article by Bannister:

Chicago police officers turned their backs on Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot Saturday evening after two of their fellow officers were shot, one fatally – and Lightfoot deserved it, the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police said Monday.

As ABC 7 Chicago reports, the two officers were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where “hundreds of officers gathered after 10 p.m. to stand guard and pray”:

[...]

“For the two-and-half years that she has been mayor, she has vilified the police,” John Catanzara, president of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox News on Monday, noting that Lightfoot ignored being told she was not welcome at the hospital where the officer was in Intensive Care:

“The men and women of this police department have no respect for this mayor, and it was as palpable as you could possibly imagine outside that hospital at the University of Chicago two nights ago.

“The mayor was told: Do not come up to the seventh floor of that hospital and speak to the family or the officer who was still injured, fighting for his life, Officer Yanez.

“But, yet, the mayor still thought she knew best and went up there, against the advice of the family. And, the officer’s father gave her a piece of his mind and the officers up there all turned their back to the mayor - and rightly so.”

No lecture from Bannister or anyone else at CNS about how a city leader deserves some sort of respect or how police were deciding they knew better than city officials on how to handle the situation.

Seems that the same form of protest should be treated the same. Not at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Thursday, September 9, 2021
MRC Censors News That Whistleblower It Attacked Got A Government Settlement
Topic: Media Research Center

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic past year, the Media Research Center was attacking anyone who dared to question how President Trump was handling the crisis or pointed out he was handling it poorly. ONe of those targets was Rick Bright, a federal employee who was fired as head of a HHS agency because he didn't promote Trump's pet drug hydroxychloroquine. The MRC insisted that Bright was "discredited' because a Politico article attempted to contradict his claims -- but it did so by citing only anonymous Trump officials, and we know how the MRC feels about anonymous sources.

Well, it tiurs out that Bright may have been more correct than the MRC will ever admit. Last month, Bright settled with HHS in "a financial agreement that compensated him for losses including salary, benefits and pension contributions after he was abruptly removed in April 2020 from his role as the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority." Bright even got HHS to say nice things about him:

In a statement, an HHS spokesman confirmed the settlement on the whistleblower claim.

"The Agency would like to thank Dr. Bright for his dedicated public service and for the contributions he made to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic while he served as BARDA Director. We wish him well in his new endeavors."

Bright's attorney added that Bright is working with the government on a second complaint he made to investigate "the prioritization of the Trump political agenda over the health of the American public constituting a grave danger to the public health and safety, and the circumvention of established protocol in order to award lucrative contracts without scientific merit."

Needless to say, the MRC has completely censored this story, and its certainly not going to update any of its previous attacks on Bright to reflect that he was right enough to get a nice settlement from the government.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:11 PM EDT
Doctor's COVID Misinformation Was Too Good For WND To Fact-Check
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily article:

An Indiana physician has delivered a stunning scolding to his local school board for listening to the "counterfactual" propaganda being delivered to America by the Centers for Disease Control about the COVID-19 virus that appeared out of a Chinese lab in Wuhan.

Dr. Dan Stock of McCordsville, Indiana, delivered to his board in the Mt. Vernon Community School Corp. a thumb drive containing studies about COVID, and said the problem is that people aren't using the facts when they want to fight coronavirus.

"I would suggest the reason we still have a problem is because we're doing things that are not useful and we're getting our sources of information from the Indiana State Board of Health and the CDC who actually don't bother to read science before they do this," he said.

He said first, masks don't help. And then, "No one can make this virus go away."

"You will be chasing this the remainder of your life until you recognize that the Center[s] for Disease Control and the Indiana State Board of Health are giving you very bad scientific guidance. And instead read the articles that are coming in the email and on this flash drive and listen to the people in this audience here tonight who actually have recognized the advice they are getting from the CDC and the NIH is counterfactual."

[...]

The doctor's testimony, online, shows he is a family medicine physician, trained " in immunology and inflammation."

"Everything being recommended by the CDC and the State Board of Health is actually contrary to all the rules of science," he alleged.

Viruses, he said, spread by aerosol particles that aren't stopped by masks.

[...]

Further, he asked why is a vaccine "that is supposedly so effective having a breakout in the middle of the summer when respiratory viral syndromes don't do that?"

In fact, handing out vaccines during the virus, can "causes the immune system to actually fight the virus wrong and let the virus become worse than it would with native infection."

And he said there are other treatments.

"I can tell you, having treated over 15 COVID-19 patients, that between active loading with vitamin D, ivermectin and zinc, that there is not a single person who has come anywhere near the hospital."

This was all too good for Unruh to fact-check, given that Stock's claims are in line with WND's conspiracy-driven editorial agenda. Actual, responsible journalists who fact-checked Stock, however, found his claims filled with misinformation:

Unruh offered no explanation as to why he refused to act like a journalist and fact-check Stock when many other actual journalists did.

But COVID misinformation, not facts, is what fuels WND these days, and the load of hooey served up by Stock -- who's a right-winger who took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- is right up WND's alley. Never mind that it's this kind of misinformation that has kept WND on the edge of financial failure for the past three-plus years.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:04 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 9, 2021 5:13 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy): The Profiles
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck can't handle it when White House press secretary Psaki doesn't face hatred in media interviews -- or that Fox News reporter Doocy's right-wing bias gets called out. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 PM EDT
CNS Trying To Downplay COVID Deaths In Children
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've documented, CNSNews.com's editorial agenda regarding its coverage of coronavirus is, in part, to downplay the number of children that have been killed by it, presumably as a component of the right-wing campaign to open schools for in-person learning and fight mask mandates. We saw it already with a question CNS' summer interns ambushed members of Congress with regarding whether schools should be able to mandate that students be vaccinated (even though no vaccine has been approved for children under 12). But it's been done other ways as well.

Susan Jones -- who was CNS' leader in 2020 in downplaying COVID deaths to try and make President Trump look good -- was serving up a different kind of downplaying in a July 20 article:

Since the start of the pandemic 18 months ago, in January 2020, a total of 335 children ages 17 and under have died of COVID-19, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In that same 18-month time period, a total of 49,725 children ages 0-17 have died from all causes. So COVID deaths account for 0.673 percent of all deaths among children under 17, based on death certificates submitted so far to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Jumping to the next age group, 18-29, 2,446 have died of COVID-19, or 2.607 percent of the total 93,796 deaths for this age group since January 2020.

[...]

Although children under 17 -- and people under 29 -- are less likely to die from COVID than older people are, the CDC and the Biden administration are pushing hard for everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated.

Taht last paragraph, we assume, is there to make it clar that Jones is making a political argument, not a medicine-based one.

Jones repeated her claims in another article that day complaining that experts are advising masks in schools:

"As the director of the CDC, it is my priority to get our children back to school for safe, in-person learning," Rochelle Walensky told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday.

That includes COVID vaccination for everyone 12 and older; and it requires "layered prevention strategies," which means face masks for all.

(The American Academy of Pediatrics also is recommending< "a layered approach to make school safe for all students, teachers and staff...That includes a recommendation that everyone older than age 2 wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.)

The CDC and the rest of the Biden administration are pressing hard for the vaccination of everyone 12 and older. Studies are now underway on vaccinations in children as young as two.

Jones waited until late in the article that the Delta variant of COVID is surging and causing hospitalizations and deaths, even among children.

Craig Bannister devoted a July 28 article to Donald Trump ranting, "We won’t go back. We won’t mask our children," while saying nothing about Trump's abysmal record on fighting COVID during his presidency, and waiting until the end of the article to note an actual medical expert stating that the Delta variant "prompted CDC's updated masking guidance for fully vaccinated people, including school kids."

On Aug. 2, Jones railed at another medical expert: "Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on Sunday that mask-wearing for schoolchildren may be 'inconvenient,' but it makes good 'common sense.'"And on Aug. 5, Jones had a body-count update:

As of Wednesday, August 4, a total 349 children ages 0-17 have died of COVID since the pandemic began in January 2020, based on death certificates submitted so far to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

In that same time period, CDC counts a total of 606,389 COVID-involved deaths in the United States. So children account for 0.057 percent of all COVID-involved deaths, or those coded toICD–10 code U07.1.

CDC does not disclose what, if any, underlying conditions those 349 children may have had.

Since January 2020, the CDC has recorded 51,892 deaths from all causes in children 0-17, which means the 349 COVID-involved deaths equals 0.67 percent of the deaths in children from all causes.

Jones did not highlight the fact that 14 children had died of COVID the previous month. And she waited until the eighth paragraph to mention that cases and deaths are rising overall, while still complaining that "Amid the Biden administration's intensive push to vaccinate reluctant Americans, we hear a lot about the transmissibility of the delta variant."

Jones tried to play statistics gotcha with Anthony Fauci in an Aug. 13 article:

At a news conference on Thursday, a reporter asked Dr. Anthony Fauci if the delta variant is more virulent in children.

"There's no doubt that there are more children getting infected," Fauci responded, without giving any numbers:

[...]

But it's not yet clear if more children in the hospital will lead to a spike in children dying.

According to the most recent (August 11) data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 354 children ages 0-17 have died of "COVID-involved" illness in the United States since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. This is based on death certificates submitted so far to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Jones then effectively conceded CNS' spotty reporting while also repeating statistics show deaths among children have gone up as the Delta variant has spread:

CNSNews.com periodically tracks the number of children ages 17 and under whose death certificates list COVID.

On March 24, 2021, that number was 238; On July 20, the number had increased to 335; on July 28, the number was 340; August 4, the number was 349; and one week later, as noted above, the number had increased by 5 to 354.

Although the number of children dying because of or with COVID is likely to increase, children continue to be a very small percentage of all COVID-involved deaths.

The 354 children 0-17 who died of or with COVID as of August 11 represent 0.0579 percent of the 610,425 total COVID deaths in this country (based on CDC's most recent death certificate data).

Jones was on the warpath again the following week. On Aug. 16, she grumbled that Collins "made the case for children wearing masks in school, a CDC recommendation based on 'more than a dozen publications showing that evidence'" -- then three days later, again downplayed COVID risk to children:

Most reported cases of COVID-19 in children under the age of 18 are asymptomatic or mild.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hospitalization rates for children, while far lower than that for adults, are increasing in school-age children, ages 5-17.

Some of these children are at risk for severe COVID, CDC says, particularly those with underlying medical conditions.

She waited until the final paragraph to note CDC research showing that "SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs more easily in high schools than in elementary schools, and outbreaks have been associated with high school extracurricular activities. Vaccination of adolescents is expected to reduce the risk for COVID-19 in these settings."

In yet another body-count article on Aug. 19, Jones pushed a talking point about comorbidities:

The CDC told CNSNews.com that the National Center for Health Statistics does not track health conditions that may have contributed to the deaths of children in that specific 0-17 age group, although it does track co-morbidities in the broader 0-24 age group, based on information from death certificates.

In the 0-24 age group, which mixes adults with school-age children, the most prevalent co-morbidities listed on death certificates are respiratory illnesses, influenza/pneumonia, obesity, diseases of the circulatory system, and sepsis.

It's a right-wing talking point to downplay the number of COVID deaths by raising the question of comorbidities, even though COVID unquestionably contributed to their deaths. Meanwhile, Jones is discounting the deaths of those children because there apparently aren't enough of them for her to care about.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
No, MRC, Demonitization Of Piers Morgan Column Is Not 'Censorship'
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to describe things as "censorship" that are not censorship at all. Casey Ryan took that to a new level by complaining in an Aug. 4 post:

Talk about Olympic-sized censorship. Google admitted that the platform demonetized a column from former talk show host Piers Morgan that merely criticized Olympic gymnast Simone Biles for abandoning her team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In a column for the Daily Mail headlined “Free speech is dying and woke Google is helping to dig its grave,” Morgan said Google demonetized a column he wrote critical of Biles only eight hours after it was published. “This meant they banned all adverts from appearing alongside it, so the Mail would receive zero revenue from the column appearing on Google,” Morgan wrote.

He emphasized that the platform’s censorship was “a big deal” because “Google and Facebook have a virtual monopoly on online advertising revenue, hoovering up 80% of the entire market between them.” In a response to MRC Free Speech America, Google admitted to demonetizing Morgan’s column.

Google did not accuse Morgan of making a racist or bigoted remark, but accused readers leaving comments under his column of racist activity. “Our systems detected racist content in the comments under a recent MailOnline article from Piers Morgan so we blocked ads from showing against the article in accordance with our policies. The article remains on MailOnline, but advertisers using our ad tech will not see their ads running alongside it while those comments remain,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

This was not "Olympic-sized censorship." Indeed, it was not "censorship" at all. Nobody was prevented or even mildly inconvenienced from reading Morgan's column. No commenter was prevented or inconvenienced from commenting.  The column is stil available. The Daily Mail -- a notoriously biased and inaccurate newspaper -- just can't make any money from people's eyeballs. And the last time we checked, private companies still have the choice to not associate themselves with content they find offensive.

Nevertheless, Ryan continued: "No website appears safe if Google is willing to censor stories with anonymous comments." Again: Morgan was not "censored," and the comments section was not "censored." Ryan never called out the Daily Mail's responsibility to run a comments section that's properly moderated and free of racism and bigotry, or that perhaps Google's demonitization of Morgan's column might nudge the Daily Mail toward accepting that responsibility.

THe MRC and its Free Speech America project will continue to discredit themselves if it continues to false describe any criticism of a conservatve "censorship."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EDT
Priest At CNS Issues Right-Wing Lecture Against Welfare
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's not often you get a right-wing lecture against welfare from a Catholic priest, but that's what Rev. Michael Orsi served up in a Aug. 9 CNSNews.com column headlined "Quit Misinterpreting Jesus: Free Food Isn’t Free."

Orsi began by recounting Jesus' miracle of the loaves and fishes, then deciding that Jesus leaving the scene rather than letting the crowd crown him king had a political intent: "Was this the Lord’s way of showing He didn’t want people to become dependent on government?" Unlikely, and Orsi knows it, going on to add: "Forgive me for letting my political predilections carry me away. Sometimes I just can’t help myself."

Of course, interpretation of Scripture should have nothing whatsoever to do with the reader's political predilections, but that didn't stop Orsi from sounding more like he was reciting Republican talking points instead of being a helpful interpreter. He decided to interpret Genesis as saying "We need to work, to develop ourselves, physically and intellectually, to gain a sense of virtue," then sounded even more like a Republican by rehashing how bad the Soviet Union was. Then came the lecture against welfare and even meaningful pandemic assistance from the government:

Now, to be sure, the lockdown hit plenty of people, and it hit them hard. Jobs were lost, businesses closed. And of course, there are those who would be incapable of supporting themselves, regardless of the pandemic. We have assistance programs for good reasons.

But there are plenty of other people who are perfectly capable of working — and who could readily find work at the many companies currently recruiting desperately — but who have gotten used to being taken care of by “Uncle Joe” in the White House.

Businesses all over the country are reporting unfilled positions. But people are responding to the perverse incentive to lay back on the stimulus checks. And so jobs go begging.

This has consequences. As it’s often been said, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” When you do nothing good, you’re likely to do something bad.

And so we’re seeing an increase in drug overdoses. People are dying as a direct result of these government checks and the excessive, unhealthy leisure that money has brought. With no meaningful way to spend their time, no sense that their survival and the welfare of their families depend on them, people are destroying themselves.

Nothing is free. There’s always a price to pay.

Government handouts are not a blessing. At best, they are a temporary expedient to address a short-term emergency need. But as an ongoing way to operate a society, they don’t work. And the proof of that has been seen everywhere. They’ve failed in Russia, in Cuba, in Venezuela. And the signs of failure are appearing here as well.

Meanwhile, in reality, Americans aren't lazy, and they have used the  expanded unemployment benefits to hold out for better jobs with better pay. Orsi seems to think that Americans must accept whatever job is open, regardless of the pay, the danger (and exposure to coronavirus is very much a danger) or their suitability to the position.

Orsi further lectured that welfare is a failure "because they encourage us to act in that less-than-human way. And so we become less than human." He said nothing about the responsibility of employers to provide a safe, welcoming environment with pay that is commensurate with the risk involved.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
Newsmax Tries To Blame Obama Party for Martha's Vineyard COVID Spike
Topic: Newsmax

Sandy Fitzgerald wrote in an Aug. 14 Newsmax article:

Martha's Vineyard is experiencing a COVID-19 spike with 74 people testing positive for the virus after hundreds of people converged on the wealthy enclave to dance and party — maskless — at last Saturday's bash celebrating President Barack Obama's 60th birthday.

[...]

Last Saturday, hundreds of guests flew in from around the country to party under tents on his estate in Edgartown, but in the nights before the celebration itself, Obama also met with friends Thursday at the Barn Bowl & Bistro and then Friday at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort.

The party continued Sunday when Obama enjoyed a brunch at the Beach Road restaurant under a marquee that was built for him by the water in Vineyard Haven.

But even as Fitzgerald was writing that, she (or he) was also admitting that there was no evidence to back it up:

Health officials are pointing out it is still too early to know if the cases were related to the workers and guests who gathered for Obama's weekend extravaganza, The Daily Mail reported in an exclusive Saturday.

[...]

Even before the week celebrations, though, Martha's Vineyard was already having a surge of cases, with 48 people falling ill in the week before the party. Of those people, about half had gotten their vaccinations, said health officials.

Indeed, even the right-wing Washington Examiner has admitted that the COVID surge on the island has nothing to do with Obama's party.

As political attacks go, this one lame, not to mention completely false. It doesn't help Newsmax's efforts to be seen as a legitimate "news" source.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT

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