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Thursday, September 16, 2021
CNS Echoes MRC's Meltdown Over (Allegedly) Cross-Dressing Muppet
Topic: CNSNews.com

Following in the footsteps of its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com similarly melted down over the idea of a supposedly male Muppet wearing a dress.

Craig Bannister gave right-wing activist Candace Owens a platform to rant about it in an Aug. 2 article:

Conservative commentator Candace Owens says she’s in disbelief that even the “Muppet Babies” childrens’ cartoon is preaching transgender ideology to kids.

“This is sick and PERVERTED,” Owens tweeted on Sunday, embedding a video clip of recent episode of the cartoon, in which the character Gonzo turns into a cross-dressing “Gonzorella.” “You all expected me to look a certain way. I didn’t want you to be upset with me,” Gonzorella says following the transformation and revelation.

Everyone should be disturbed by the cartoon’s predatory effort to inflict gender dysphoria on children, Owens writes:

“I can’t believe I’m tweeting this but.. they are pushing the trans agenda on children via muppet babies. This is sick and PERVERTED. Everyone should be disturbed by predatory cartoons meant to usher children into gender dysphoria.

“Bring back manly muppets, anyone?”

Owens apparently provided no evidence of how she knows Gonzo is a "manly" Muppet who should remain that way. Bannister, meanwhile, was silent about how Owens got dragged in social media for her bizarre, hateful comment, where it was also pointed out that Gonzo has worn dresses for decades.

Meanwhile, LGBT-hating Bill Donohue got an entire Aug. 5 column to rant about it and invent a conspiracy theory:

Why would Disney, the alleged family-friendly entertainment giant, want to encourage kids to reject their sex? And why aren't the media covering this story?

The Muppet character, Gonzo, has "transitioned" to a girl, Gonzorella. That is why he is wearing a dress to the "royal ball." He does more than wear a dress—he instructs Miss Piggy and Summer that "doing things a little different can be fun." 

The message to children is: a boy can be a girl, and vice versa. Making this choice, they are told, is not something abnormal, it's just "a little different." Moreover, it can be "fun" to reject your sex and pretend that you belong to the opposite sex.

This needs to be called out for what it is: child abuse. Anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about what sex transitioning entails—the physical and psychological problems that boys and girls experience are multiple—knows how pernicious this process is. Seven in ten of those who transition are girls wanting to be boys, and the extent of their suffering is well documented. 

So why is it that, aside from some gay and conservative news sources, this story is being ignored by the most influential newspapers, as well as the broadcast and cable news networks? Is it their insouciance that is driving their passivity? Or cowardice?

Donohue weirdly concluded: "This is not about treating everyone with respect—that is not the issue—it is about shielding our children from those who want to sexually engineer them." But Donohue has never respected LGBTQ people, so it clearly is an issue with him. He just doesn't what to be called out on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Mean Girls At CNN Insist On Immaturely Mocking CNN's Allegedly Low Ratings
Topic: Media Research Center

How do we know that the Media  Research Center is a partisan attack dog that cares nothing about actual "media research"? Because actual media researchers wouldn't engage in abject gloting when a channel's ratings drop. But that's what the MRC -- mostly NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck -- has been doing for months when reporting on ratings at CNN.

Houck immaturely cheered back in March under the sneering headline "How Refreshing":

Showing just how far CNN has fallen as they continue to struggle with symptoms of Trump withdrawal, Reliable Sources and host Brtian Stelter suffered their worst rating of the year on Sunday as Nielsen Media Research showed a scant 936,000 total viewers subjected themselves to his hour of hate against Fox News and conservative media.

Worse yet, CNN’s ratings overall plummeted to their worst week of 2021.The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi dug into the Nielsen ratings on Monday and found CNN had hemorrhaged “45 percent of its prime-time audience in the past five weeks” with MSNBC down “26 percent in the same period” and the Fox News Channel only off by six percent.

Houck went on to huff: "On this past Sunday, Stelter’s show was more of the same, spewing hate in his never-ending quest to send Fox News employees to the unemployment rolls" -- as if Houck doesn't want to do the same to Stelter and every other CNN employee -- and complained he said of Fox News, “Bottom line here, you are what you watch and it could make you sick.” Houck retorted, "Trust us, Brian. The feeling is mutual."

In April, Houck chortled under the immature headline "Sad Trombone":

On Monday, CNN’s Brianna Keilar began her new gig as New Day co-host after just over two years helming CNN Right Now and the weekday afternoon edition of CNN Newsroom, where she had come to establish herself as a condescending, far-left, Fox-hating, smug pundit with commentaries masquerading as journalism. 

Unfortunately for Keilar, the ratings were in and the show was down 30 percent in total viewership from last year and 33 percent in the 25-54 demographic. This should come as no surprise, but that would mean that the show had continued to reign as the least-watched show on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC.

Nielsen Media Research ratings revealed that Monday’s debut featured a paltry average total of 495,000 viewers and a minuscule average of 122,00 viewers in the 25-54 demographic.

Houck was back in May to mock CNN ratings again:

Along with its ongoing ethical problems, a deceptive marketing campaign, and a continued hatred for non-liberal voices, it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for the Jeffrey Zucker-led CNN. And as per the latest Nielsen ratings, CNN has continued to hemorrhage viewers with primetime and entire day total viewership down over 70 percent since January.

Nielsen Media Research has the breakdown and it’s not pretty, no matter how the Zucker Borg would spin it. Since a January high of roughly 798,000 primetime viewers and 530,000 total day viewers in the 25-54 demographic, CNN has fallen off a cliff and into the pit of misery with the network fetching only 229,000 in primetime and 152,000 in total day over the past month.

That, dear NewsBusters readers, would represent a cratering of 71 percent for both metrics. Granted, January saw the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the second Trump impeachment, and the Biden inauguration, but to lose anything by such a large metric wasn’t anything one should brag about.

Houck loves to portray Zucker -- who is Jewish -- as CNN's puppetmaster, an anti-Semitic trope. As if Roger Ailes didn't do the exact same thing at Fox News, which Houck presumably had no problem with at all. Houck actually uses the racially charged "puppetmaster" insult to mock CNN's ratings again in a June 2 post:

On Monday, one could have diagnosed CNN’s New Day co-host Brianna Keilar deciding to eat cicadas as the show’s “shark jumping” moment, but that would have meant that the show was successful to begin with when, in reality, it’s been a dumpster fire since its April 19 reboot.

Nielsen Media Research has the numbers and, unless you’re puppetmaster Jeff Zucker and his minions with their heads in the sand, they’re not pretty with an audience of under 500,000 total viewers for five weeks in a row (with only the first week being north of that).

Houck's weird CNN-hating obsession continued on June 29:

When it rains, it pours. And when it comes to ratings at the Jeffrey Zucker-led clown show known as CNN, it’s a monsoon. The second quarter’s ratings came out on Tuesday and the immature, noxious, and repugnant network suffered its worst month in total viewers and the 25-54 demo since June 2019. And that's not to mention that primetime ratings have tumbled 71 percent in total viewers and 78 percent in the demo since January.

Meanwhile, the Fox News Channel continued to assert its dominance over the competition with its 78th consecutive quarter leading cable news and sixth straight win in all of cable, led in part due to the continued success of shows like The Five, Gutfeld!, and Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Scott Whitlock took tie CNN mocking stick from Houck for a July 23 post: "Apparently, Americans don’t want to watch 80 minutes of CNN’s Don Lemon sucking up to Joe Biden. The July 21 town hall special bombed the ratings, losing not only to Fox News (which would be expected), but even MSNBC."

So pathological is the MRC's hatred of Stelter that it even tried to blame him for tanking the ratings of someone else's show , as Abigail Streetman did an an Aug. 13 post:

Stephen Colbert is wrong about a lot, but his biggest mistake yet was allowing Clown News Network’s Brian Stelter onto his show this week. The Late Show saw a drastic decrease in viewership during Colbert’s segment with the news anchor who scrambled helplessly in an attempt to defend Chris Cuomo.

[...]

When Stelter appeared on the show, ratings for his interview revealed it as Colbert’s least watched segment of the night. Wow, shocker! People hate Stelter’s show and it seems like they can’t even stand to watch him on Colbert’s show. 

Demonstrating she's a Mean Girl with nothing to offer but lame, juvenile insults, Streetman concluded, "The Lame Show will be no more if Stelter ever makes an appearance again."

Yet the MRC wants to be treated as serious "media researchers." Go figure.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 PM EDT
Newsmax Interview With Nunes Omits Mention Of Previous Failed Lawsuits
Topic: Newsmax

A Newsmax interview with Rep. Devin Nunes, as summarized in an Aug. 13 article by Sandy Fitzgerald, touts the one defamation lawsuit he filed that hasn't been dismissed outright:

Rep. Devin Nunes, who is suing both MSNBC and The Washington Post over reports they'd made tying him to actions with Russia, said Friday on Newsmax that the legal actions are being taken to "hold the fake news accountable."

The California Republican told Newsmax's "National Report" that he scored a rare win this week, when a Washington, D.C., judge ruled that his libel lawsuit against The Washington Post could proceed. 

In a Nov. 9, 2020 story from the Post about Nunes' one-time chief of staff Michael Ellis, the paper alleged that Ellis, who became general counsel of the National Security Agency, had helped the congressman obtain information from the White House on intelligence files to back his claims that the Obama administration had spied on Trump Tower, reports Reason.com.

"That was never true that I had, you know, James Bond-style jumped, rolled out of cars, jumped over the fence at the White House at midnight," said Nunes. "They knew from prior reporting that that was totally false ... they acted with actual malice. They've been doing it for years. Thankfully a judge saw."

But the Post never reported Nunes did "James Bond-style" stuff. The article originally stated that Nunes went to the White House in a "midnight run" to find evidence that the Obama administration was spying on Trump Tower, which the Post later corrected to say happened during the day, and misattributed a statement about spying to Nunes instead of Donald Trump. Nunes didn't tell Newsmax that part of his lawsuit against the Post was dismissed.

Unsurprisingly, neither Newsmax nor Nunes made no mention of all the other Nunes lawsuits against media outlets that have ended in swift dismissal. For instance, a different suit Nunes filed against the Post last year was dismissed. Most infamously, Nunes tried to sue Twitter over a couple of parody accounts -- one stating itself to be "Devin Nunes' Cow" -- mocking over his dubious claims of being a farmer, among other tihngs, and failed. Those cases have since been completely dismissed as well.

Nunes is clearly unable to handle any sort of public criticism, so he's trying to strip his critics of the right to criticise him by forcing them to spend money defending themselves in court. Newsmax doesn't want to report any of that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Vacation Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com did not serve up a summary of federal employment numbers for August because Susan Jones -- the biased CNS reporter in charge of that monthly duty -- was off that week. (You'd think that a "news" organization would have someone else write that story, given how it's "news" and all, and how it is a predictable staple of CNS coverage.) Instead, the only article was the usual sidebar from editor Terry Jeffrey on government jobs, complaining that "The federal government added 3,000 civilian employees in August."

Instead, Craig Bannister stepped into the breach with an article accusing Nancy Pelosi of spinning the "disappointing" numbers to push federal spending:

“Today’s job report is further evidence of the need to Build Back Better for our economy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday, reacting to August’s steep drop in job growth from its year-long trend reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As the BLS reported in its monthly Employment Situation Summary, August’s 235,000 job growth was less than half the average monthly job gain recorded so far this year, coming in at just  235,000. To-date in 2021, the U.S. economy has added an average of 586,000 per month:

Bannister didn't mention that the lower numbers were driven by the Delta variant harming restaurant and hospitality jobs.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Spreads Election-Fraud Lies On Ex-WND Columnist's Show
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The claims that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump presented in the most recent issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine were easily disproven -- but that's not stopping WND managing editor David Kupelian from trying to promote it, something he rarely goes out to do. So we were graced with an Aug. 15 article pushing his dishonest PR:

At a time when even suggesting the November 2020 presidential election was unfair or rigged will get journalists censored, “fact-checked” and condemned – and perhaps fired – WND’s popular Whistleblower magazine apparently didn’t get the memo.

“Over at Whistleblower magazine,” announced TV host Dr. Gina Loudon on her popular “Dr. Gina Prime Time” show on America’s Real Voice network, “they devoted the entire issue this month to election fraud. The front cover says, ‘YES, THE 2020 ELECTION WAS STOLEN.’ That is putting it in no uncertain terms!”

Stop right there. WND offers no evidence that Loudon's show is "popular," and the article gets the name of the  channel wrong -- it's Real America's  Voice, not America’s Real Voice. Also, you might remember that Loudon is a former WND columnist who tried to armchair-diagnose President Obama as a psychopath and demonstrated some serious pathology of her own by spreading lies. YOu might also remember her for trying to make hay off her teenage daughter being in a relationship with a 57-year-old actor-- then later making sure WND deleted the column she wrote on it.

So Loudon was the perfect "popular" host to regurgitate Kupelian's lies. The article continued:

“David,” she said to her guest, Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian, “We’re not crazy! The election really was stolen. And that’s a big statement. We’ve heard it from some, but most people have been very, very reserved on this. If you say this, you’re branded crazy or a conspiracy theorist, David, though it’s looking more like those are compliments than insults these days.”

Asking Kupelian to highlight some of the many ways the 2020 election was rigged, Loudon first prompted Kupelian to explain how Google, with or without voter fraud, can and does swing American elections.

“For this issue of Whistleblower, Gina, we interviewed Robert Epstein, who’s the preeminent Google researcher,” said Kupelian. “He used to be editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, a very sharp guy – and by the way, a Democrat … so there’s no political motivation here. But he’s an honest man and he wants us to have free and fair elections.” Epstein, who has developed very sophisticated and accurate methodologies for measuring how Google sways public opinion and therefore elections, determined that Google, “because of its tainted search algorithm, swung at least 6 million voters to Joe Biden!” said Kupelian.

“We’re told that the election hinged on 44,000 votes total in three states,” added Kupelian, out of “161,000,000 votes, a record number of votes cast. Forty-four thousand votes – that’s a close election! Well guess what? Six million is a lot more than 44,000 votes, it’s like 130 times 44,000 votes!”

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

More from the article:

Citing another example from “YES, THE 2020 ELECTION WAS STOLEN,” Kupelian told how, after Twitter scandalously banned the New York Post’s devastating reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop just weeks prior to the election, “the Media Research Center polled Biden voters.” It turns out, Kupelian revealed, that “36% had never even heard about the Hunter Biden laptop story in the New York Post, thanks to Twitter, and listen to this: 4.6% of Biden voters said that they would not have voted for Biden had they known what was in this story – the dirt, the total corruption not just of Hunter Biden, but of Joe Biden. So that right there would have been enough to have given Trump 289 electoral votes and he would have been elected to his second term.”

As we've documented, the MRC poll was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates -- the same pollster employed by Trump's campaign -- so the trust factor is quite low. Kupelian added:

“Back in 2016, Gina, I did an article on five different Washington Post writers who explicitly compared Donald Trump to Hitler in the run-up to the election. And you ask yourself, why would they do that? It’s because, if you and I, Gina, were alive in Hitler’s Germany, would we cheat on an election in order to save six million Jews, to slay this dragon and stop a terrible war? Of course we would’ve cheated on the election! This was the left’s subliminal but undeniable message to America: It’s not only that it’s OK to cheat – it’s immoral NOT to cheat, if you’re getting rid of Hitler, the worst person to ever live, which is what they were saying about Trump.”

We've pointed out how WND -- which, again, Kupelian is an executive at -- repeatedly likened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis and had no moral qualms about that. (Also, the Antichrist.) Is Kupelian saying that by doing so, it was immoral for WND NOT to lie about Obama's birth certificate and various other things during his presidency? It appears so, making him a raging hypocrite as well as a liar.

The article concluded:

Added Kupelian, who has been WND’s vice president and managing editor since 1999 and editor of Whistleblower the entire time, “I just want the gaslighting to stop. This was the most corrupt, dirty election, certainly in our lifetimes, and I believe anybody who reads this issue of Whistleblower – and I don’t care if they’re a Democrat or Republican – if they’re just decent, half-way fair-minded people, they will come away believing that this was a stinking, dirty election.”

Actually, the only person gaslighting here is Kupelian, and he has no intention whatsoever of stopping -- the grift is just too alluring, even as all those conspiracy theories have pushed WND to the edge of insolvency.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:09 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
MRC Rushes To Defend DeSantis Over COVID -- Again
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center fawned all over Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his hands-off approach to the coronavirus epidemic in his state -- then had to switch to defense mode when the state became an epicenter of COVID infection. Well, Florida has become an epicenter of the Delta variant this summer, and the MRC is back in defense mode.

Alex Christy complained on July 17 that CNN's Chris Cuomo spread "disinformation" by "insinuating" that DeSantis isn't encouraging people to get vaccinated, then made excuses for DeSantis' abhorrent behavior: 

DeSantis has been vocal in his opposition to vaccine passports, mandates, and is selling anti-Fauci merchandise, but has never said "don't get vaccinated." The anti-Fauci fundraising is about masks and lockdowns, not vaccines. If Cuomo can't understand the difference between being against mandates and being against vaccines, that's on him, not DeSantis.

Christy also falsely identified guest Leana Wen as "Planned Parenthood president" -- she hasn't worked there for two years, and even then was the group's president for only nine months. (the MRC is weirdly obsessed with tagging Wen as tied to Planned Parenthood even though it's irrelevant to her current TV appearances as a health expert.) Christy then justified people who refuse to get the vaccine by blaming others, not them, for their own behavior:

The people who remain unvaccinated need to be convinced and telling them that nothing will change regardless will just confirm their suspicions that restrictions will last forever, or worse, that the vaccines don't work. That is far more damaging to the vaccination campaign than any anti-Fauci beer koozie. 

Christy returned on July 31 to portray any criticism of DeSantis' handling on COVID as an effort to derail his potential 2024 presidential camapign:

It is obvious that the media view Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a 2024 threat; hence every discussion about COVID and the Delta variant must include an implication that Florida is a uniquely dire situation.

On his Friday show, CNN's Chris Cuomo blamed Florida for the CDC's revised mask guidelines, saying the country was being "held hostage" because of DeSantis' anti-science governance.

Mark Finkelstein peddled the same angle in an Aug. 2 post:

As the number of COVID cases rises in Florida, opportunistic liberal talk shows are taking more pot shots at Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate. It's never too early to bury him.  

Morning Joe regular Dave Aronberg, the Democrat Palm Beach County State Attorney, twice claimed today that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's stance on Covid constitutes—of all things—"socialism." 

Mika Brzezinski melodramatically teed him up by suggesting you'd oppose DeSantis, too, if "you’re actually getting correct information on the science, and not a bunch of stupid, crazy, Trump-driven conspiracy theories that could kill you."

Clay Waters complained that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman "pointed out that over 10,000 Floridians are currently hospitalized with Covid, then blamed DeSantis," adding that "Krugman was obliged to note, but strenuously attempted to discount, the inconvenient fact that Florida is actually doing just fine with vaccinations." Waters then huffed:

Speaking of life, DeSantis kept Florida schools open, as the luckless children under blue state regimes suffered developmental setbacks and loneliness. How rejecting masks for the upcoming school year could possibly impact case levels in the present day is a baffler, but intellectual consistency has never been Krugman’s strong suit.

After MSNBC's Joe Scarborough pointed out that DeSantis' pandering to his right-wing supporters on COVID made him sound a bit like "Simpsons" character Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel, Finkelstein returned to sneer: "Was Joe Scarborough ever a good ol' Southern boy, as he still likes to portray himself? In any case, that persona has definitively disappeared. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough exposed himself as the worst kind of condescending Upper West Side snob."

As the COVID death toll mounted in Florida, Kristine Marsh helped DeSantis distract and play whataboutism while decrying a new nickname for the guy:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has increasingly become one of the left’s favorite targets. So it should come as no surprise that he drew the ire of the media on Thursday after he fired back at President Biden for lecturing him on his coronavirus leadership.

After Biden publicly rebuked the governor for banning mask mandates in Florida schools, DeSantis slammed the president for allowing COVID positive illegal immigrants into the country and flying them to states like Florida. Both Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and The View’s Sunny Hostin went after DeSantis this morning in a pathetic effort to defend Biden.

On The View, Hostin maliciously smeared the Governor as “directly” responsible for people dying from COVID. She touted debunked allegations that he “hid” the death toll in his state, calling him “DeathSantis:”

Christy then served up more defense for DeSantis on Aug. 5 by insisting that he's not terrible on COVID, he's merely average:

The media's obsession with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continued on Tuesday as Katy Tur Reports guest host Geoff Bennett let gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried spread multiple untruths about DeSantis' pandemic response. That Fried was allowed to spread such claims was not surprising as Bennett's questioning relied on similarly false premises.

Ironically, before the segment even started, Bennett showed why the segment should never even happened as he went to a commercial teasing, "Still ahead, summer surge. At least 42 states are seeing COVID infection rates spike over 100 percent in the last two, we’ll go live to the new pandemic epicenter which is Florida."

If 42 states are seeing over 100% increases, then it can not simply be boiled down to politics or the governor's policies, but that didn't stop Bennett from trying. Leading Fried with a false narrative he asked, "What's your take-away about what's to come?...Why are do you think so many Floridians still aren't vaccinated?"

Florida's vaccination rate is essentially the same as the national average. As of August 3, 58.2% of Floridians have received at least one shot compared to 57.9% of all Americans.

Christy is rather desperately understating the situation in Florida. As week after his post, Florida alone accounted for nearly 18 percent of all new COVID cases in the U.S. And if the vaccination rate of Florida and Texas had been higher, 70,000 hospitalizations and 4,700 deaths could have been prevented through July.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
WND Promotes False Conspiracy Theory About 'Fake' Biden Photo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an Aug. 16 WorldNetDaily article:

An online posting that looks closely at a recent image released by the White House – of Joe Biden in a situation room, sitting alone at a large table, with a series of screen images on the monitor on the wall, is raising questions about photoshopping.

You know, that computer trick where you can insert the image of a person in a room where he actually isn't. Or you can remove someone from a picture of an event where he actually was.

And other assorted tricks.

It is Citizen Free Press that has posted several images, and pointed out that there is a problem.

Under the headline, "Did the White House use photoshop in Biden image?" the commentary openly wonders how much about the image is accurate.

Because the image shows London time at 16:29, and Moscow time as 19:29.

Of course the two cities are not in the same time zone.

Nor are they three hours apart, the Citizen Free Press explained.

"Moscow will not be three hours different than London until November 7, 2021," the report explained.

Citizen Free Press, by the way, is a far-right Drudge-esque news aggregator run by an anonymous person, so it hasn't really earned the right to be trusted. And it can't be trusted on this either.

Because Unruh has put WND's hate-Biden agenda before the truth, he dismissed the most obvious possibility: one of the clocks was wrong. As a fact-checker pointed out:

Moscow is sometimes three hours ahead of London. However, the United Kingdom is currently on British Summer Time, a period when the clocks are turned ahead an hour so that there’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings. 

We found no evidence the photo was staged, and claims that say so ignore a more likely scenario – that the clock was not updated for British Summer Time.

But Unruh -- and WND as a whole -- clearly despise Biden so much, they'd rather embrace a conspiracy than report the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:42 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:12 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Defends Poland's Right-Wing Authoritarianism
Topic: Newsmax

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz wrote in an Aug. 16 Newsmax column:

A few weeks ago Brussels chastised Warsaw’s judiciary, media, and sexual issues as incompatible with EU law. The saga continues as Poland has passed a new law to regulate its media market with particular attention to foreign influences, including America’s Discovery Channel.

First, in an ongoing dispute over sovereignty, the EU’s top courts ruled that Poland’s Disciplinary Chamber, a judicial watchdog to counter corruption and maleficence in the courts, is incompatible with EU legislation because it is allegedly not independent.

Not so, says Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. First, the verdict contradicts the Polish Constitution which is the supreme law of the land; second, the judicial watchdog is independent.

It has displayed independence in a number of its rulings vis-à-vis the ruling Law and Justice party. And it certainly is independent in comparison to Poland’s former rigged post-Communist judicial system which never attracted the ire of the EU.

In other words, Brussels, go fly a kite. The government of Poland was democratically elected. The courts are democratic and so is the Constitution. Its letter is binding for the nation.

Actually, there's plenty of evidence that the Disciplinary Chamber lacks full independence. Just ask Igor Tuleya, who was disciplined by the chamber, opening him up to criminal charges, for allowing media to cover a politically sensitive case. Additionally, the Disciplinary Chamber's legitimacy has been rejected by the Polish Supreme Court itself. At any rate, it's now a moot point because the day after Chodakiewicz's column appeared, Poland agreed to shut down the Disciplinary Chamber.

Chodakiewicz wasn't done, going on to somewhat defend Poland's efforts to squelch media dissent. He admitted that efforts to force partial Polish ownership of media outlets in the country is "silly" and that state-controlled media "are little more than [Law and Justice Party] propaganda loudspeakers." Still, he criticized the channel TVN -- owned by a branch of the U.S.-run Discovery Channel -- should switch to right-wing propaganda anyway:

Currently, its liberal message is hardly distinguishable from the American leftist narrative. In the Polish context it is particularly repellent and loathsome because it is perceived as a foreign media entity attacking Poland’s Christianity, patriotism, and tradition.

To add insult to injury it is done in Polish by woke hirelings. And they are much more sophisticated, better funded, and more internationally connected than the Polish public TV apparatchiks.

Poland’s leftist opposition, the EU, and the Discovery Channel have already made it about freedom of the press. Ultimately, however, it is about sovereignty.

Discovery should drop its woke programming and switch to Christian and patriotic offerings. It would corner the market in Poland in no time and defeat in ratings the nation’s public TV. But that would not be congruent with EU legislation, would it?

Chodakiewicz offered no examples of the "liberal" and "woke" content he claims TVN offers, let alone that said content attacks the country.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT
CNS Repeats Harassment Claims Against Cuomo -- But Belittled Or Hid Those Made Against Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com dedicated three articles to specific allegations made by women accusing former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, all of which were anonymously written:

  • The first repeated a claim that "Cuomo 'grabbed the butt' of a state employee."
  • The second repeated a claim that "Cuomo 'grabbed' the breast of one of his female assistants.
  • The third, published Aug. 9 but mysteriously deleted without explanation sometime later -- CNS seems to have forgotten that the internet is forever -- recounted how former Cuomo executive assistant Brittany Commisso recounted "two instances when she alleges Cuomo sexually harassed her at the New York state governor’s mansion."

By contrast, when Stormy Daniels revealed that Donald Trump paid her hush money to keep quiet about their extramarital affair, CNS at first treated her as She Who Must Not Be Named, then moved to belittling her for revealing the affair and hush money, and finally decided to give Trump a pass because "Trump's womanizing hardly comes as a shock to the American people" and merely talking about it advances "the politics of personal destruction."

Around the same time, an Aug. 5 article by Susan Jones stated:

Given the mostly softball questions normally tossed to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, this one was surprising:

"A lot of men in politics have been accused of sexual harassment, a reporter told Psaki on Wednesday:

"President Biden was accused by female Secret Service agents of skinny dipping in front of them, offending them, according to former Washington Post reporter Ronald Kessler, who's an author as well. His former Senate aide Tara Reade accused him of sexual assault. The Washington Post and the New York Times published multiple accounts of women who objected to the way President Biden touched them.

"Should there be an independent investigation of allegations into the President as there was into Governor Cuomo?"

Jones complained that "Psaki gave a non-response response."

Actually the question was not surprising at all, given that the questioner was Steven Nelson of the New York Post, a notoriously right-wing, anti-Biden newspaper. And we recall how much CNS heavily hyped Reade's accusations, parroting its Media Research Center parent -- while it effectively censored news of E. Jean Carroll's accusation that Trump sexually assaulted her.

In other words: Only women who make sexually related accusations against a liberal are considered news at CNS. If a woman makes similar accusations against a consevative, she is belittled and denigrated, at least when she's not being completely ignored.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 12:56 PM EDT
Monday, September 13, 2021
MRC Runs The Larry Elder Defense Committee, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center

We've detailed some of the Media Research Center's defense of right-wing California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder -- and burying of credible claims of misbehavior with women -- and it has continued. But first, Rich Noyes rehashed a complaint about how the media covered the 2003 recall in California: "Arnold Schwarzenegger is no conservative, but the liberal media are smearing him as if he were." But the MRC also defended Schwarzenegger as if he were, playing Clinton whataboutism to complain that it was "last minute dirty tricks" for the media to cover accusations of alleged sexual misbehavior (and  Schwarzenegger praising Hitler).

Gabriel Hays whined that actors are donating money to Newsom:

Hollywood is dead. The movies are derivative and most of the industry’s big name personalities have destroyed their popularity with their incessant leftwing politics. Though that doesn’t seem to stop them. In a mad dash to kill off whatever remaining dignity any of them had, several actors, producers and showbiz moguls are campaigning for Gavin Newsom (D-CA), one of the worst governors in American history.

[...]

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who has a sizable lead in polling, could become the governor of one of the bluest states in the union. Though Newsom is still slightly favored to survive the recall, Elder as California governor is a terrifying prospect for the leftists in Hollywood.

Actually, the article Hays linked to back up his claim stated that "only about a quarter of the electorate supports" Elder, which would not be a "sizable lead" in any real election. Also, Hays is the guy who can't even correctly define what a "Hollywood film" is, so maybe he should sit this one out.

Kyle Drennen complained that MSNBC "brought on far-left Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero to hurl invective at the organizers of the effort and leading Republican contender Larry Elder. She ranted that the recall was fueled by “anti-immigrant nativists” who would spell doom for California and the Democratic Party," adding that she "was particular aghast [sic] that the conservative Republican wanted to rollback radical left-wing policies like sanctuary laws, driver’s licenses, and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants." Drennen complained that "Guerrero was never challenged on any of her outrageous rhetoric against Elder or Republicans in general" -- though he didn't dispute anything Guerrero said either.

Kristine Marsh groused that MSNBC host Joy Reid couldn't hide her disdain for black conservative radio host Larry Elder, on her show last night while talking about California’s upcoming recall election. The Chicken Little commentator panicked that if Elder was elected governor, the state would go to hell in a handbasket (as if it wasn’t already?) and turn into “nightmare” states California [sic: Florida] and Texas."

Marsh returned on Sept. 9 to try to make a big deal out of someone throwing an egg at Elder:

The big three networks this morning didn’t seem to care that a black man running for office was assaulted by a white woman in a gorilla mask yesterday. Probably because that man was conservative radio host, Larry Elder, running for governor in the blue state of California.

Only ABC and CBS covered part of the vile incident on their morning shows Thursday, while NBC ignored it all together.

[...]

This attack surely would've been labeled as racist by the media had Elder been a Democrat running in a red state.

This was followed by Curtis Houck giving Ben Shapiro a platform to complain about "the liberal media refusing to give real airtime to the egg attack

We would remind Houck and Marsh that the MRC has amply demonstrated its indifference to the safety of journalists who aren't also right-wing activists, so perhaps they should sit this one out as well.

Tim Graham served yet another Brian Stelter whine-a-thon in a Sept. 12 post:

Brian Stelter just adores new Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero. He put her on his Reliable Sources podcast and now he's put her on his Reliable Sourcesshow to keep repeating her smears of black conservative California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder. On Sunday, she repeated the slur that he's the "black face of white supremacy."

[...]

Stelter never asks Guerrero to explain herself on this bizarre comparison. But then, Stelter doesn't push back when his guests suggest Donald Trump will kill more people than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined. 

Then again, Graham spent the past four years attacking fact-checkers for daring to fact-check Trump while refusing to concede that Trump ever lied about anything, so he needs to do some sitting down as well.

None of these posts, by they way, mentioned the credible accusations of sexual harassment and gun-waving made by an ex-girlfriend of Elder. The MRC is doing quite a job of trying to shove that down the memory hole.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 13, 2021 9:41 PM EDT
WND's Farah Walks A Fine Line On His COVID Vaccine Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As befits someone who's best known as a conspiracy theorist, WorldNetDailiy editor Joseph Farah loves his COVID conspriacy theories. But in his July 27 column, he tried to walk a fine line -- praising Donald Trump for the COVID vaccines, but trying not to step on WND's fearmongering over it:

Yes, there are vaccines apparently capable of mitigating though not negating the effects of the deadly virus, developed in record time in the first year of the pandemic to the credit of ONE MAN – President Donald Trump. These mRNA vaccines arguably would be appropriate for protecting the most vulnerable in the population, meaning the very elderly and people with other conditions of high risk – but only when each person can freely evaluate the risks and benefits of the vaccine and receive it if they so choose.

But instead of that very American, commonsense approach, we've listened to “experts” who are demanding that little children get the still-experimental vaccine – even though school-age children face at worst a .07 in 100,000 risk for contracting COVID.

Meanwhile, while Trump shut our southern border, but Joe Biden has opened it up wider than ever – during the surge of a more contagious variant of the virus!

So the vaccine is great, but only as long as nobody is mandated to take it.Got it.

Then, as he has before, Farah made his way to Fauci Derangement Syndrome:

Then there's the equivocal Dr. Anthony Fauci, who certainly shares a lot of responsibility and blame – yet who remains on this nation's payroll as the most highly paid of experts. He invested American taxpayers’ money in the Wuhan biolab's monstrous experiments that should be investigated as bio-warfare.

Of course, Biden shows no interest in that – neither does he show any effort to discourage immigration from around the globe. He has refunded, with our tax dollars, China's best coverup tool – the World Health Organization.

Do I have this about right?

Could there be a greater contrast between the Trump and Biden administrations? Absolutely not!

Actually, even the U.S. intelligence community has rejected the idea that COVID-19 was developed as a bioweapon.

From there, Farah descended into yet another bout of Biden Derangement Syndrome, followed by begging for cash to keep WND alive. It's nothing we haven't heard before.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:31 PM EDT
CNS Commentary Editor Rants Against Grad School
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com commentary editor Rob Shimshock's Aug. 20 column is headlined "Smashing the Grad School Shibboleth," and in the process, he perpetuates a shibboleth of his own:

If education is preparation to make it in the world, why is it that in 1940, almost 95 percent of Americans were prepared by age 18, whereas in 2017, only 66 percent could say the same, with a third of the country choosing to spend at least four extra years of valuable youth having their wallets plundered to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by a viciously partisan apparatus which incubates in impressionable minds far-left mantras that then spread far and wide to Congress, Hollywood, the media, Silicon Valley, etc.?

“Modern professions require that much more schooling” is an arrogant answer. Alexander Hamilton served as a brilliant lawyer despite having never stepped foot in a law school. Harvard started the world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in 1908; are we to believe that multiple millennias’ worth of 22 to 24-year-old entrepreneurs, merchants, and the like missed out on some special “secret sauce” that could only be imparted by someone with a “professor” before his name?

It’s time to face the facts. Academia is postponing the age by which Americans are deemed ready to begin giving back to the world and accumulate wealth, all the while saddling them with the huge financial negative of student debt and perhaps even larger moral negative of anti-Christian and anti-white bias.

[...]

Holding both a bachelor's degree and graduate degree will become the norm and, soon enough, these two will be accompanied by yet another special hundred-thousand-dollar piece of paper, this one requiring you to withstand left-wing agitprop until age 26 or later. 

There will come a day when schools, banks, media outlets, and other parties with a vested interest in seeing debt soar will hype PhDs or Super Graduate Degrees equally as pricey, time-consuming, and rife with indoctrination as the new baseline gateway to the upper echelons of American society.

Shimshock may have a point on the cost of grad school, but the idea that colleges exist only to indoctrinate students to be "far-left," anti-Christian and anti-white" is a long-held right-wing talking point that has no real basis in reality. Actual educators know that it's difficult to get a student's mind to open up at all.

As far as indoctrination goes, Shimshock appears to be both victim and perpetrator. It's clear that he was fed that right-wing nonsense about colleges churning out brainwashed liberals ... even as he touts his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in his bio. But the CNS commentary section he manages carries only right-wing and libertarian writers -- there nary a liberal columnist in sight. Isn't he engaging in the kind of indoctrination he purports to despise? What is Shimshock so afraid of that he won't let a liberal opinion sully his commentary section?

Seems like Shimshock may need to head back to college ... to take a remedial course or two in journalistic fairness and balance.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 PM EDT
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

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