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Friday, October 29, 2021
AIM Goes On Anti-'Woke' Tirade Against General
Topic: Accuracy in Media

John Ransom goes off the rails quickly in a Sept. 28 Accuracy in Media column:

As the military’s top general, Mark Milley, prepares to testify in front of a Senate committee tomorrow about the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, it’s important that we remember the media’s complicity in the disaster.

Too often the media has been willing to let incompetence slide, if that incompetent someone is ideologically safe, as is U.S. Gen. Mark Milley.

It’s especially alarming now given the cognitive decline in the White House.

That escalated quickly! But the only evidence of "cognitive decline" is an anti-Biden op-ed at Forbes that doesn't even reference "cognitive decline" until the third-to-last paragraph. Not exactly the proof that one would need to live up to the whole accuracy-in-media thing.

Ransom's osensible real point here is to attack Milley for acknowledging thing like systemic racism, citing another flawed item -- a Fox News article that quoted only anonymous people -- claiming that Milley andhis staff "spend time each week meeting about 'culture war' issues while never meeting about U.S. military readiness." He continued:

And in these activities, much of the media cheered them on.

For example, they reported on the partisan aspects of teaching Critical Race Theory in the military under Milley and other woke-enabled group-think, especially when Milley illogically tied them to events like the January 6 riots or the riots in Lafayette Park to discredit conservatives.

The media hurrahed the creation of Milley’s new military, a political military that could help progressives defeat conservatives.

Never mind that these activities had nothing to do with successfully advancing the actual mission of the military to protect the country, the citizens and ultimately the military itself.

“Until recently, critical race theory was anything but a household phrase,” NPR told readers as a cover for Milley when he defended the force-feeding of the radical CRT to U.S. troops, while pretending he didn’t understand what the fuss was about — even as he apparently ignored Afghanistan.

Ransom didn't explain why cracking down on extremism in the military ranks is a bad thing. And Milley specifically said he wanted to understand "white rage" -- which we assume Ransom is exhibiting here -- to figure what drove "thousands of people to assault this building [the Capitol] and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America." Doesn't Ransom think that's worth figuring out?

Ransom then weirdly listed Rep. Liz Cheney as among those receiving "the get-out-of-jail-free card issued by the liberal press to anyone smart and brave enough to regularly denounce conservatives, as Milley does." What crime is Ransom accusing Cheney of committing? Last time we checked, it was not a crime to hold Donald Trump accountable for his behavior.

Yep, lots of accuracy missing in Ransom's media missive.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 PM EDT
CNS Editor Takes Lazy Shot At California Over Unemployment Rates
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey intoned in a Sept. 30 article:

Nine of the sixteen U.S. metropolitan statistical areas with the highest August unemployment rates, as ranked this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were in California.

The El Centro metropolitan area, which sits in Imperial County, California, just north of Mexicali, Mexico, led the nation’s 389 metropolitan areas in August with an unemployment rate of 19.4 percent, according to BLS.

That compared to a national unemployment rate for August of just 5.3 percent.

It's unclear why Jeffrey wrote this article, beyond a quick and dirty shot at California -- all he does is recite BLS statistics. An intern could have done that.He made no effort to investigate why these areas have high unemployment; perhaps his goal is to suggest that Californians are lazy bums. So he's not going to tell you that the El Centro region had a poor economy before the pandemic (and under President Trump). An actual news outlet reported in 2019:

While the United States is enjoying the healthiest job market in half a century, the metropolitan El Centro area has what the U.S. Labor Department says is an unemployment rate of 16.2%, the highest in the nation. By comparison, the rate for the country as a whole is 3.6%.

[...]

Many of the jobs here are agricultural: The Imperial Valley is home to thousands of acres of farms that grow cauliflower, potatoes and spinach and require a large seasonal workforce. Some of the farmworkers live here; many others cross the border from Mexico a few miles away to work every day.

Once they become too old to work in the fields, however, few jobs are available other than retail and fast food.

[...]

"Our economy is not diversified. It's a very narrow economy. It's either farm or government or teaching or low-income, with a few other exceptions," says Sara Griffen, executive director of the Imperial Valley Food Bank.

Jeffrey went on to wrote that "The Yuma metro area, which sits on the Mexican border in southwest Arizona, had the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate this August. It was 18.2 percent." Again, Jeffrey couldn't be bothered to explain why. but as it turns out, Yuma's economy is much like El Centro's -- impoverished, undiversified, overly dependent on farming, and has been that way for years.

But telling readers that would have required doing actual research and reporting. Jeffrey just wanted to perform stenography for a lazy, partisan shot. It doesn't inspire much confidence in CNS' brand of journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Thursday, October 28, 2021
MRC's 9/11 Meltdown: Mad When It's Pointed Out That Real Extremism Is On The Right
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks whining that it was pointed out that the biggest terrorist threat today comes from the American right. Clay Waters huffed in a Sept. 10 post:

Respected economist turned partisan Democratic hack Paul Krugman marked the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks in his own inimitable fashion in his column Friday by playing his usual despicable partisan games: “Foreign Terrorists Have Never Been Our Biggest Threat.” The text box: “Before 9/11, domestic fanaticism was already on the rise.”

Instead of trying to rebut Krugman's arguments -- even as he insisted that Krugman "offensively suggested the real enemy to American democracy was within" -- Waters simply rants: "Krugman is the last person on earth with the moral authority to lecture anyone on 9-11, given how shamelessly he’s abused the tragic anniversary in the past."

Alex Christy had a meltdown over a similar point in a Sept. 11 post:

Never let the marking of a dark historical day go to waste, right? On Friday's edition of The 11th Hour, MSNBC's resident partisan hack historian Michael Beschloss declared that we should remember the heroes of 9/11 and honor their memory by fighting back against GOP efforts to suppress the vote and possible attempts to steal congressional seats.

It all began with guest host Chris Jansing asking an appropriate enough question, "What’s the importance, Michael, of marking these moments of history, of preserving these stories? And frankly, bringing people together around them?"

Instead of giving the appropriate answer of never forgetting or hailing the values of selfless sacrifice, Beschloss went political, "Because all of us should be able to unite around the idea that we're saving our democracy. That's what those people were doing, those heroes were doing on Flight 93 and elsewhere 20 years ago tomorrow. Our democracy tonight is as much in danger, I think, as it was in 1860 before the Civil War and in 1940 before Pearl Harbor."

Rather than any coherent response, Christy simply huffed: "The right to vote is not being taken away and Beschloss is among those undermining the legitimacy of elections by saying that it is."

Tim Graham, meanwhile, used the 9/11 anniversary to downplay the violence at the Jan. 6 pro-Trump Capitol riot:

On the night before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the PBS NewsHour pundit team agreed on the proposition that Trump's backers are a bigger terrorist threat than ISIS. Jonathan Capehart proclaimed "I think MAGA and the domestic terror threat is much more worrisome than any foreign threat we could face," and David Brooks nodded in assent. 

The liberal elites (including Brooks) love to commingle 9/11 and 1/6, and even sometimes insist 1/6 was worse. They can't imagine beyond the horror of the riot at the Capitol that factually it's not comparable to 3,000 Americans dying with jets being used as weapons. You can look at the people pleading guilty to charges that aren't murder, but for the offense of taking videos for social media inside the Capitol:

[...]

That's not a violent offense. One man pleaded guilty after texting he wanted to put a bullet in Nancy Pelosi's head. That's at least an actual threat. But they're all "domestic terrorists" in Capehart's telling. 

Apparently, it's not a big deal to Graham that Americans looted and destroyed the seat of American government in an atempt to overturn an election. That's not what he believed immediately after the riot; he's apparently adopting the view of his boss, Brent Bozell, that the riot was justified.

Being offended that other things were compared to 9/11 (and downplaying Jan. 6) was a thing at the MRC. A Sept. 10 post by Gabriel Hays whined:

September 11, 2001 is the single worst day in U.S. history -- other than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor perhaps. That day saw 2996 innocent Americans killed on U.S. soil by a foreign enemy. Serious people know and respect this. But many in corporate media aren't serious people. They cheapen it with ridiculous comparisons meant to smear people and political movements they don’t like, i.e. President Donald Trump. Media have embraced the dismal trend of selling every new threat to their dominance as worse than the worst day in our history. 

That should get Americans concerned.

[...]

In order to get Americans to do the ruling class’ bidding on climate change, gun control, white supremacists and of course the bogeyman, Donald Trump himself, commentators for far left rags and for idiotic cable news talk shows have claimed that each one has presented as bad or worse a threat than 9/11.

Can you believe that? Climate change, white supremacist terrorists, and a duly elected American president are worse than that terrible day the towers fell and we lost 3000 Americans? Well if you love CNN, MSNBC or Huffington Post, maybe you do believe it.

Of course, Hays simply wants to shut down debate over the behavior of Trump and right-wing activists.He also discounted what happened on Jan. 6: "Sure, only one person, (a Trump supporter) died at the scene at the Capitol, not to mention that the FBI found scant evidence that the riot was organized by antigovernment groups, but according some, the 6th deserves to go down in history on par with 9/11." The riot sure caused a lot of damage for being "unorganized," eh, Gabe? Imagine what an "organized" right-wing attack on the Capitol would have accomplished.

Nicholas Fondacaro made it clear that he will make sure America never unites the way it did after 9/11 until another right-wing Republican is elected president, and that America must remain divided because his feelings were hurt about the best ways stop stop the spread of COVID:

The day after the country marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11, NBC’s Sunday Today was brazen and callous enough to complain that the fight against the coronavirus wasn’t as unifying as that tragic day was; disingenuously ignoring how they weaponized COVID coverage to attack former President Trump. They also suggested that opposition to the Biden administration’s mask and vaccine mandates were akin to opposing the Civil Rights movement and not fighting the Nazis.

[...]

[Host Chuck Todd] lamented that the “arc of American history” would show that opposition to COVID regulations and mandates would prove to be less like when we unified to fight the Nazis and more like when people (Democrats) tried to oppose the Civil Rights movement:

And, you know, Willie, thinking about this all week, when you actually – sadly you look at the arc of American history, polarization in some ways is more common than us coming together. We came together to beat the Nazis, we came together at times during the Cold War, we came together after 9/11. But we also spent a lot of time fighting each other whether it’s dealing with race in America, or invisible fights.

He then issued an ominous warning about what such opposition would mean for fighting climate change. “Right now it is COVID, just wait until we try to deal with climate mitigation,” he said. “If you think COVID has been polarizing on the country, wait till some of the tough decisions that are going to have to be made regarding water and things like this.”

Again, no attempt was made to rebut the argument -- just a lot of juvenile name-calling, which is apparently what Fondacaro believes qualifies as "media research."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 PM EDT
WND's Gaslighters Accuse Others Of Gaslighting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WND promotes another edition of its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine:

In the classic 1944 film “Gaslight,” an extraordinarily evil criminal, who has recently gotten married, psychologically manipulates his perfectly sane wife into believing she’s going insane as a means of distracting her from uncovering his horrendous crime spree.

From the movie emerged the modern psychological term “gaslighting,” which means, “to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.”

News flash: America’s current ruling elites – including not only the Biden-Harris administration, but most of the Democratic Party, Big Tech, Big Media, the “Deep State,” academia, and even an increasing number of major “woke” corporations – are literally gaslighting the rest of America every single day, from morning until night, in a dizzying and ever-expanding variety of ways.

Truly, gaslighting has become the No. 1 psychological-spiritual warfare principle of America’s ruling class.

The most obvious example of Biden administration gaslighting is its ongoing campaign to not only demonize but induce paralyzing doubt, guilt, fear and self-loathing in tens of millions of thoroughly decent, patriotic, law-abiding, conservative Americans by continually denouncing them as “racists,” “white supremacists,” “violent extremists” and “domestic terrorists.”

In fact, in every area of life, culture and government policy in today’s America – from the COVID-19 pandemic, to election fraud, to the January 6 "insurrection," to Biden’s exit from Afghanistan, to illegal immigration, to abortion, to transgender madness, to the Second Amendment – those currently in power continually portray large segments of the American population as essentially immoral, deplorable and irredeemable, indeed almost subhuman.

As with all gaslighting, the intended purpose is to confuse, confound, distress, dispirit, intimidate and bewilder people to the point they doubt obvious truths they once knew and instead live in fear and anxiety, thus disabling them from being effective in the ongoing war for America’s future.

Of course, the real gaslighters here are Joseph Farah, David Kupelian and the rest of their (remaining) WND crew.

WND has spread documented lies to portray the eleciton as "stolen" from Trump and shamelssly insist they're true -- that's gaslighting.

WND wants you to believe that unproven medications will cure COVID while approved vaccines will kill you -- that's gaslighting.

WND wants you to believe its financial problems are caused by "big tech" conspiring against it, while staying silent about readers staying away in droves because of its years of false information and conspiracy theories -- that's gaslighting.

WND wants you to believe that the right-wing extremists who run it and (barely) still read it are normal and right about everything, while anyone whose political view is even slighting to their left are the real "extremists" -- that's gaslighting.

But WND is desperate to avoid self-reflection. So it must project:

And just as the villain in “Gaslight” was superficially charming, intelligent, apparently thoughtful, caring, knowledgeable and supposedly looking out for the interest of his wife, in today’s America the power elite pretend to care about the people they rule, but their true motivations are entirely selfish, narcissistic, and revolve around their desperate addiction to power, wealth, glory, privilege and worship.

In a word, they want to be gods. And to perpetuate this desperate pretense, they must gaslight.

As must WND -- their conspiratorial, extremist world is shrinking, yet they still believe they should be gods within it. It will never admit what it's done (unless there's a court order). It will never rebut us because they know we're right and that engaging with us will give away their game. A gaslighter does anything to avoid being held accountable.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Olympics of Hate
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent the Tokyo Olympics rooting against America because the U.S. team wasn't heterosexual or right-wing enough. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EDT
CNS Can't Quite Back GOP Governor Candidate In Va., But It Will Attack the Democrat
Topic: CNSNews.com

Earlier this year, CNSNews.com did a horribly botched hit job on eventual Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, falsely claiming that he personally donated to "several left-wing groups" when, in fact, the donations were made by the private-equity group he headed. Even though Youngkin is running as a Republican in the state CNS (and its Media Research Center parent) is headquartered in, it has had trouble embracing him even though he's unmistakably Trump-adjacent.

In a Sept. 19 article, editor Terry Jeffrey was upset that  Youngkin wouldn't go fullTexas extremist on abortion:

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, said in a debate on Friday with Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe that he would not sign an abortion ban like the one enacted in Texas law.

That law bans abortion when a baby has a detectable heartbeat, which occurs at about six weeks.

Youngkin indicated that he would sign a bill that banned abortion when an unborn baby feels pain, which occurs at about 20 weeks.

An Oct. 19 article by Susan Jones was devoted to recounting the eduction policy of Winsome Sears, "the black Republican candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor." Youngkin wasn't even mention until the end, when Jones complained that Youngkin's Democratic opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, "is taking every opportunity to tie Youngkin to Trump, who has not campaigned for Youngkin, although Trump did endorse him.Youngkin didn't get an article from Jones on his own eduation policy until the next day.

With that tepid support for Youngkin, CNS is taking the passive-aggressive way out: by attacking McAuliffe.

Jeffrey spent his Oct. 6 column attacking McAuliffe for supporting "government schools" even though he attened Catholic schools as a child: "McAuliffe's own parents did not send him to government schools. But now he not only wants to keep other people's children in government schools; he wants to prevent parents from telling those government institutions what they should teach."

Jones served up her own attack on McAuliffe in an Oct. 11 article:

Democrat Terry McAuliffe, hoping to serve a second term as Virginia governor, made it clear on Sunday he's running against Donald Trump, who isn't on the ballot and hasn't actively campaigned for McAuliffe's challenger, Republican Glenn Youngkin.

Yet in the course of his 12-minute interview with CNN's "State of the Union," McAuliffe mentioned Trump's name 18 times -- so often, in fact, that host Dana Bash joked, "I'm glad I have two cups here, so I can keep drinking when you mention Donald Trump's name."

McAuliffe said several times that he's "running against a Donald Trump wannabee." He accused his opponent Youngkin of wanting to do a "Donald Trump-Betsy DeVos education system," whatever that is.

Um, isn't it a reporter's job to explain what terms mean instead of blithely dismissing things by saying, "whatever that is"? Jones clearly sucks at her job.

In another Oct. 11 article, Jones tried to make a big deal out of McAuliffe endorsing representative government, which Republicans tell us is the greatest form of government by insisting that we're a republic and not a democracy:

"I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," Democrat Terry McAuliffe said in his last debate with his Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin. The two men are running a tight race for Virginia governor.

On Sunday, CNN's Dana Bash noted that McAuliffe is "getting pummeled" for the remark: "So, the question is -- the fact that you are getting pummeled by Republicans, who say it shows that you don't think parents should have a say in their children's education. So, my question is, do you think parents should have a say in their children's education?"

"Of course," McAuliffe said. "And they do. First of all, they get to elect school boards, and if you don't like them, then you get rid of them. But let's talk education," he said, changing the subject and talking about his "very serious plan" to invest $2 billion to raise teacher pay, provide universal broadband and educate at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds.

CNS even published a published an Oct. 14 column by R. Emmett Tyrrell calling McAuliffe a liar for calling out (in 2007) the factually dubious Clinton scandal-mongering Tyrrell's American Spectator magazine churned out in the 1990s.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
MRC Still Won't Admit That COVID Misinformation Objectively Exists
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wants you to believe that misinformation about COVID and its vaccines isn't really misinformation -- it's just someone's opinion, man, and nobody should be "censoring" it even though it could be so dangerous that it gets people killed. Because it furthers the MRC's victimhood narrative, it is clinging to that belief. Autumn Johnson complained in an Aug. 19 post:

Facebook is taking action after pressure from the White House. The Biden administration blamed the platform for the majority of coronavirus “misinformation.”

The news comes after the White House blamed accounts on the platform for spreading misinformation.

"There's about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

[...]

Still, Facebook has not removed every account linked to the original 12 accounts, saying that "the remaining accounts associated with these individuals are not posting content that breaks our rules, have only posted a small amount of violating content, which we've removed, or are simply inactive."

Some argue pressure from the federal government should classify Big Tech social media platforms as “state actors.”

But public health and politics are two very different things. The MRC was a loyal pro-Trump defender during his presidency; did that make it a "state actor"? Note also that Johnson won't admit there's COVID misinformaton on Facebook -- she uses scare quotes and refers to "so-called COVID-19 misinformation."

Alexander Hall repeated that narrative in an Aug. 23 post:

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy nagged social media companies for not doing more to censor so-called misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Murthy in an August 22 appearance of CNN’s State of the Union, the American people are so-called “superspreaders” of misinformation by questioning the government narrative, according to the Biden administration. America’s current surgeon general responded to Facebook’s most recent transparency report by scourging social media

Murthy commented on the “profound cost of health misinformation,” observing that “we’ve been seeing the health misinformation as a problem for years, but the speed, scale and sophistication with which it is spreading and impacting our health is really unprecedented.”

But rather than why he's ranting about "so-called misinformation" instead of admitting that misinformation objectively exists, Hall played victim: "In contrast to Murthy’s claims, Facebook has been notoriously sloppy and all too  quick to censor conservatives and narratives with which it disagrees. Facebook fact-checker PolitiFact came after the Media Research Center (MRC) for citing a graphic first released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." As we documented, that was an inaccurate graphic that the MRC used to create a false meme that the Delta variant was nothing to worry about -- meaning that the MRC got busted for pushing misinformation.

Gabriela Parseau continued the denial/victimhood narrative in an Aug. 27 post:

YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said in a recent blog post that the platform has “removed over 1M videos” with information on COVID-19 since February 2020. He justified censorship in favor of “accountability” and “balance” on the platform.

Mohan downplayed the censorship when he said that YouTube removed allegedly “dangerous coronavirus information.” He claimed that YouTube attempts to “strike a sensible balance between freedom of speech and freedom of reach” and implied that censorship on an “open platform” offers “greater accountability to connect people with quality information.”

The YouTube executive also cited that the platform removes “nearly 10 million videos a quarter.” He admitted, however, that removing too much content can be dangerous. “An overly aggressive approach towards removals would also have a chilling effect on free speech,” said Mohan. “Removals are a blunt instrument, and if used too widely, can send a message that controversial ideas are unacceptable.” [Emphasis added.]

He ignored the fact that YouTube seemingly sends that exact message every time it censors users and health care professionals.

Mohan all but conceded that people define misinformation in different ways but stopped short of admitting that YouTube subjectively defines misinformation and acceptable conversation for its users. “One person’s misinfo is often another person’s deeply held belief, including perspectives that are provocative, potentially offensive, or even in some cases, include information that may not pass a fact checker’s scrutiny,” he said. [Emphasis added.]

Of course, Pariseau and the rest of the MRC believe that any idea that doesn't advance right-wing agendas are "unaccepable," and Parseau won't admit that she's subjectively defining misinformation to advance that very agenda.

Jiohnson wrote in another Aug. 27 post:

In a blow to Big Tech, Reddit is refusing to censor so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19, instead choosing to allow “debate, dissent, and protest.”

The online platform is well-known for its users who have anonymous usernames to discuss a wide range of topics, such as politics, sports, video games and more.

Reddit has previously faced criticism for >caving to the left and censoring content, including banning "r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse, and about 2,000 other communities," according to The Verge June 29, 2020. The platform also suspended over 7,000 subreddits for alleged “hate” content, despite Reddit's acknowledgement that it is not always able to identify precisely what "hate" means.

Now, Reddit is going against the recent social media platform trends that censor alleged misinformation about COVID-19 and its vaccines.

Actually, the r/The_Donald was notorious for its hate and incitement to violence, and one did not need to "identify precisely what 'hate' means" in order to determine that. Or is Pariseau so morally compromised that she doesn't see anti-liberal hate as "hate"?

The talking point was rehashed again in a Sept. 14 post by Catherine Salgado:

Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to Amazon last week demanding that the company more stringently censor so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.”

Warren (D-MA) wrote her letter on Sept. 7 to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy warning about the spread of “misinformation about COVID-19.” She suggested Amazon enables misinformation by promoting books which the senator claimed contain “falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and cures,” even going so far as including such books on the website’s best-seller list. She accused Amazon of “an unethical, unacceptable, and potentially unlawful course of action.”

Warren stated that when her staff searched the Amazon site with terms such as “COVID-19” and “vaccine,” they discovered that books like The Truth About Covid-19: Exposing the Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal were included in the top results. The book, written by Dr. Joseph Mercola, is listed as the #1 best-seller in both the “Censorship & Politics” and “Political Freedom” book categories.

The senator asked Amazon to prevent “misinformation” books from becoming best-sellers or showing as top results.

Salgado failed to tell her readers that Mercola is an indisputable quack and his book has been utterly discredited as, yes, misinformation. But because and the rest of the MRC she believes there's no objective definition of misinformation -- except, of couse, when non-conservatives do it -- a dangerous quack gets a pass.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
CNS Parrots GOP Congressman's Factually Deficient Claim About Waiting 'Months' For A Microwave
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister gave a right-wing senator space to rant in a Sept. 21 article:

President Joe Biden’s “$5 trillion tax-and-spend bill masquerading as an infrastructure bill” will worsen the rampant inflation he’s already inflicting on American families, House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) warned Tuesday.

Americans are already paying more for everything they’re buying – even having to hold off for months before buying microwaves – Scalise said at a press event, explaining how Biden’s plan to raise and create taxes will hurt low-income families:

Scalise did not offer any proof to back up his claim that microwave ovens are in such short supply that one must wait "months" to buy one, and Bannister clearly did not ask for any. In fact, while chip shortages and supply chain issues are affecting supplies many appliances, there's no evidence microwaves are particulartly affected -- or that anyone is being forced to wait "months" to buy one. Indeed, for instance, Walmart appears to have dozens of microwave models in stock and ready to ship.And neither Bannister nor Scalise identify how President Biden is supposed to fix this nonexistent problem.

This claim is simply too good to fact-check -- but applying simple logic causes to to crumble. Is that the way to run a "news" organization?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EDT
MRC's Uber Driver Complaint Over Texas Abortion Law
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Mark Finkelstein ranted in a Sept. 10 post:

Journolist is no more. In 2010, the online forum where leftist journalists congregated to decide on the liberal talking points of the day was shut down by its founder Ezra Klein when the group was exposed.

And yet, leftists still manage to spout remarkably similar lines. When it comes to the Texas abortion law, the liberal trope of the times is the poor, besieged, "Uber driver." The notion is that Uber drivers who transport women to abortion clinics will be sued by private citizens under the law, seeking an award of up to $10,000.

On Friday's Morning Joe, MSNBC liberal analyst Jonathan Lemire, who also poses as a "reporter" for the Associated Press, mouthed the "Uber driver" line. We've put together a mash-up of multiple liberal worthies, starting with Lemire, all trotting out the "Uber driver" trope. leftists prefer to focus on supposedly beleaguered Uber drivers even though very few are likely to be sued because they want to deflect attention from what the true target of the law would be: the abortionists themselves.

Among those making appearances are Joy Behar, Gloria Allred, Laurence Tribe and Chris Hayes. Most egregious is CNN's Ana Navarro, who whines that an Uber driver could be sued by "a deer hunter in Alaska." Nice two-fer, Ana: not only sliming those crazy pro-lifers, but somehow working in a swipe at Bambi-killing gun nuts!

Here's the defense Finkelstein offered up:

The "Uber driver" trope is a flaming red herring. It would be difficult if not impossible for a plaintiff to prove that a driver knowingly transported a woman for purposes of an abortion. The plaintiff would first have to prove that the driver knew that the woman was pregnant. According to Planned Parenthood,  92 percent of abortions are performed within the first 13 weeks, when pregnancy might well not be visible. 

And even if it could be proved that the driver somehow knew that the woman was pregnant, the plaintiff would also have to prove that the driver knew that she was going to seek an abortion. After all, Planned Parenthood claims that only three percent of its services are abortion. For all the driver knew, the woman was going for one of the other 97 percent of services.  Bottom line: few if any people are likely to waste their time suing Uber drivers.

But Finkelstein offers no evidence that the Texas law exempts Uber drivers if they did not know they were transporting a patient for an abortion -- which means that they are open to liability. If not, both Uber and Lyft would have felt no need to offer to pay legal fees of drivers charged under the law.And if Finkelstein doesn't bellieve anti-abortion activists would spend the time and effort to prosecute an Uber driver in the hopes of racking up a $10,000 bounty, he clearly has not seen their zealotry in action. (Has he forgotten how many abortion doctors have been murdered by protesters?)

Despite the holes in Finkelstein's defense, the Uber-driver complaint became a thing at the MRC. The next day, Autumn Johnson noted the Uber and Lyft defense funds in a story about Salesforce offering to move employees who object to the law out of its Texas office. And on Sept. 12, Kristine Marsh complained that HBO host John Oliver "whined about how the law allows for suing Uber drivers who assist in transporting women to get abortions"; her only attempt at rebuttal was to link to Finkelstein's post.In a Sept. 28 post, Marsh quoted Trevor Noah noting the Uber driver exposure but did not rebut it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
WND's Dubious Doc Fearmongers More About COVID Vaccines, Defends Dubious Drugs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is the de facto leader of WND's COVID misinformers, so it's not a surprise she has continued to violate the Hippocratic Oath and misinform people. In her Aug. 30 column, she's continuing to cling to pushing dubious meds taht eve she admits are "primitive":

In the war against COVID, the U.S. is counting on its magnificent pharmaceutical industry to deploy novel drugs and vaccines. Meanwhile, it is engaged in unilateral disarmament, trying to thwart the use of the primitive remedies being used in less affluent countries that for some reason have much lower COVID death rates.

By March 2020, there were reports of successful treatment with chloroquine (CQ) or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), derivatives of one of the oldest lifesaving remedies known, quinine from cinchona bark. The Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy was able to acquire 62 million doses of these drugs before both China and India shut off their exports to the United States. Health and Human Services Secretary Azar directed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug (IND) authorization for HCQ. Instead, with the advice of Janet Woodcock, who is now acting FDA commissioner, then-BARDA Director RickBright restricted access through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to hospitalized patients only.

No EUA is needed for "off-label" use of an approved drug. But combined with official pronouncements about alleged danger to the heart and the lack of "sufficient" evidence of benefit, few patients received HCQ. Supporting the global and U.S. fear campaign against HCQ were the federal government's many allies: state medical and pharmacy boards, organized medicine, Big Tech and the mainstream media. Hundreds of thousands of patients may have died needlessly for lack of early treatment, but "the science" was saved.

Now ivermectin, another drug that has been used safely by hundreds of millions of patients for decades, is coming under attack by the disarmament advocates. Master of sarcasm Rachel Maddow is ridiculing people trying to save their lives by taking "horse dewormer." That is one of many uses for this Nobel-Prize-winning drug. 

Orient continued to fearmonger about vaccines: "So far, more than 5,000 cases of myocarditis/pericarditis, more than 6,000 heart attacks, nearly 18,000 permanent disabilities and nearly 14,000 deaths post jabs have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). So far, no cardiac damage from HCQ has been reported." As Orient well knows, VAERS reports are not verified, so she's lying by suggesting they are. Also, there are plenty of documented side effects to using HCQ to treat COVID, which include blindness, heart failure, and renal toxicity -- she's just playing dumb in order to demonize vaccines.

In her Sept. 13 column, Orient declares her fealty to a right-wing authoritarian -- and went on a right-wing anti-Biden rant -- because of vaccine mandates:

Today we have two contrasting quotations from world leaders. One said: "Mandatory vaccinations will never be allowed because [this] is a free country and its people are sovereign." The other said: "This is not about freedom or personal choice."

The first was by Vladimir Putin. Russia, a free country! The second was by Joe Biden.

The U.S. is no longer a free country, and the people are not sovereign. Nor are the once-sovereign states. If state governors won't cooperate with Biden, he says he'll "use my power as president to get them out of the way." It is not clear exactly how he would accomplish that. Invade the state and occupy its capitol and its courts? Arrest the governor and perhaps the legislature and throw them into prison without bail like some Jan. 6 demonstrators? Already, many states are suing over the latest mandate – perhaps we will learn whether the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has any meaning.

Who would have believed that a U.S. president would ever say such things?

That answer to that is a president who cares about the public health of his country. If Orient likes Putin so much, maybe she should move to Russia.

Orient's Sept. 21 column was all about following WND in defending the honor of ivermectin:

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned that doctors were writing 88,000 prescriptions a week for ivermectin, mostly for COVID-19, it apparently felt it necessary to message the yahoos of America on Twitter.

From @US_FDA: "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it."

I, for one, agree completely. I am not a horse. In particular, I am not their horse, or their cow, to be ridden, milked, or slaughtered for the greater good. They do not own me and have no right to decide that I must take the COVID-19 vaccine, supposedly to protect the vulnerable of the herd. By the way, it doesn't.

The FDA also has NO authority to dictate or deny medical treatment. Once it approves a drug for safety for any indication, it does not have the legal right to tell physicians that they can use the drug for this, but not for that. Or veterinarians either. The only reason to go through a billion dollars' worth of studies to get a new "on-label" indication is to allow a company to market a drug for that use. If it's a cheap, non-patentable drug, why would a company make such an investment? But doctors are allowed to talk about it, and journals may publish articles. Normally, such discussions are not automatically smeared as "harmful misinformation" by social media fact-checkers.

[...]

Message to the FDA: Americans are not livestock on a government ranch – or lab rats. This massive human experiment can hardly be called scientific, since the control group is being wiped out through coercion.

Americans are human and have fundamental human rights – inalienable rights, not canceled by a virus.

People taking unapproved drugs like HCQ or ivermectin to treat COVID are lab rats too. But Orient will never admit that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
MRC Suggests There Isn't Enough Anti-Abortion Violence
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh wrote in a Sept. 6 post:

In the mixed up world of far-left MSNBC, the real threat of violence at an abortion clinic is not from the doctor performing the gruesome killing, but from pro-life activists picketing or praying outside. During at least two shows on Monday, MSNBC hosts and guests had full blown meltdowns over Texas’s new law restricting abortions and smeared pro-life activists as violent extremists terrorizing vulnerable women.

On Deadline:White House always rational host Nicolle Wallace whined like a teenager who just got grounded. “There are women in Texas today who feel like their lives are over,” Wallace wailed. “I just think we can't lose sight in our political analysis of the daily hell now that is any woman who doesn't have this choice available to her,” she moaned, adding that every woman is Texas is now “a victim.”

Her guest, MSNBC legal analyst Matthew Miller, hailed the Department of Justice touting how they would not “tolerate violence” against anyone seeking an abortion in Texas. He insisted that this was a routine occurrence: “And it's important that the department said that because every time this issue is in the news, the threat of violence does unfortunately rise at clinics and the department has an obligation to police that.”

This "threat" is overstated, to put it mildly. According to the pro-abortion National Abortion Federation’s latest report, there have only been 11 people that have been killed in attacks at abortion clinics since 1977. Contrast that with the 600,000+ babies killed in abortion in this country, every year.

Marsh's comparison of the amount of people killed in "attacks at abortion clinics" -- note that she doesn't admit that anti-abortion protesters are responsible for those murders -- to "the 600,000+ babies killed in abortion in this country, every year" comes off as a challenge: She seems to be saying that her fellow anti-abortion zealots need to kill more "killers."

 (Also, note how Marsh denigrated Wallace's concerns, claiming she "wailed," "moaned" and "whined like a teenager who just got grounded." That's highly unprofessional behavior and is not likely to make anyone take the MRC's "media criticism" serious.)

Lest you think we're exaggerating here, Marsh concludes by furthering the point: "The media is constantly trying to tarnish anyone on the right as a violent extremist, without any basis, while they ignore blatant violence from the left. Not to mention, the irony of worrying about violence outside a murder clinic is lost on them." First: Who does Marsh think killed those 11 people in "attacks at abortion clinics"? Second: By calling abortion clinics "murder clinics," she's making it clear there isn't nearly enough violence happening outside the clinics to providers and others. After all, if abortion is "murder," and conservatives believe murderers deserve the death penalty, there is no reason whatsoever to do what a person deems necessary to stop it, including murder. Life for a life, right?

Marsh didn't mention that her employer has been spending the past year and a half trying to tarnish anyone on the left as a "violent extremist," a Marxist or an member of Antifa simply for speaking out about police brutality and social justice.

In other words, Wallace's concerns seem quite valid. Marsh ably proved that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist: GOP Should Be More Like Boebert, Greene
Topic: Newsmax

Kenny Cody ranted in a Sept. 21 Newsmax column:

Over the last month, the United States has witnessed two shocking actions raken by President Joe Biden. Not only did Biden leave behind hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan, but he's now acting like a tyrant by recently signing an executive order imposing a vaccine mandate for millions of Americans.

In the EO, if a business with 100 employees or more does not force their employees to get weekly COVID-19 testing or a COVID vaccine, the federal government will fine them up to $14,000.00 per violation.

While congressional Democrats impeached President Donald Trump for a phone call and words spoken at a rally, Republicans have been mostly silent in terms of bringing some action against the 46th president.

Neither the Senate or House GOP leadership has called for the impeachment or removal of the president beyond tweeting ambiguous messages. A question arises, especially before the 2022 midterms, why neither of the Republican conferences is attempting to fight harder against a foreign policy disaster and an authoritarian executive order.

The Senate and the House GOP leadership need to learn from how Reps. Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado approached these atrocities.

The congresswomen worked on calling for the impeachment of the president, as well as worked on actual articles to send to the House floor. These women, freshman members of the GOP congressional delegation, set the tone for how the GOP needs to stand up against the Biden administration.

Tone-setting is the name of the game when it comes to politics.

Yes, it is a definite statement to let Greene and Boebert -- two women obsessed with bogus far-right conspiracy theories -- set the "tone" for your party, though probably not in the way Cody intended. And when a president's "words spoken at a rally" helps to incite a riot that heavily damages the seat of democracy in the United States, he can and should be impeached for it. Or is Cody trying to downplay the Capitol riot like other Republicans?

Cody had previously called for Biden to be impeached over the Afghanistan withdrawal, which may explain why he's so eager to align hismelf with two of the most extreme members of Congress to try and make it happen.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 8:43 PM EDT
Joseph Farah And 'Contempt Prior to Examination'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah wrote in his Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily column:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination."

Some of the best historical quotes – like the one above – are unattributable with any degree of certitude. It has been attributed to several people including Edmund Spencer and William Paley as far back as 1794.

Still, there is wisdom in these words – especially in regard to their meaning in our times insofar as what we have come to know as "fake news" and "conspiracy theories."

Think about it.

The key words in this parable are "contempt prior to examination."

It means making up your mind before the facts are in. We're all guilty of it sometimes. But it has become de rigueur for far too many.

Farah will never admit it because he's shameless and dishonest, but he is among that crowd. That has been the modus operandi for how Farah has run WND for the past 25 years. On story after story -- from Barack Obama's birth certificate to Seth Rich to election fraud -- he first came to a conclusion that reflected his vengeful far-right ideology, then directed his minions to backfill with claims regardless of their accuracy. That utter disregard of the truth has put WND in the precarious financial position it is in today -- not to mention making it so radioactive that almost no credible people want to do business with it. 

Rather than admit those inconvenient facts, Farah went on his usual tirade against the "deep state" and "Russia collusion" and painting Donald Trump as a victim, huffing that "Visceral hatred of Donald Trump, his manner and his ideas are tearing America apart, destroying our social fabric, rendering justice and self-government nearly impossible."

Does Farah think his visceral hatred of Obama and Joe Biden isn't divisive and destroying the social fabric? He has chosen to believe a lie about the 2020 election and is spewing Biden derangement -- which, yes, renders justice and self-government nearly impossible. He is a major contributor to the conditions he purports to decry.

Nevertheless, Farah continued to indict himself:

No matter what you might believe about Donald Trump, is it inarguably true that "contempt prior to examination" is foolishness, error, absurdity, craziness?

If so, why do we practice it? Why just accept what you hear from those with the biggest megaphone?

It has to do with the survival of the greatest society the world has ever known. The time is short.

If Farah wasn't so utterly gutless, he needs to ask himself that question. It would make his call for atonement less hollow, since he's amply demonstrated that he's a religious hypocrite who has no intention or desire whatsoever to atone for his legacy of hate, lies and divisiveness -- not to mention contempt prior to examination.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.con went back to an old Obama-era tactic in reporting on Septembner's employment statistics: downplay the decline in the unemployment rate by focusing on the labor force participation rate. Susan Jones pushed that in the headline of her main article on the numbers, "BLS: Labor Participation Rate Stalls, With 61.6% of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population Working":

September was a month of slow job growth, with a measly 194,000 nonfarm payroll jobs added -- the worst number of the year.

It was well below analysts' expectations of 500,000, and it follows the disappointing (revised) 366,000 payroll jobs added in August, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The unemployment rate fell, but so did the important labor force participation rate, which has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. And the number of people who are not in the labor force -- have no job and are not looking for one -- is the highest it's been since March.

Jones suggested that "pandemic-related unemployment benefits have ended," which should have pushed employment higher, but did note that "Labor Secretary Marty Walsh put some of the blame on the delta variant." Still, she also included a Republican congressman ranting that President Biden "has lost the confidence of the American people to lead the economy."

CNS didn't offer its usual sidebars on goverment employment or the jobless rates for Black or Hispanic workers. But it did publish a couple of follow-up articles that pushed its anti-Biden editorial agenda. An Oct. 11 article by Melanie Arter uncriticaly repeated Republican Rep.  Steve Scalise insisting that "President Joe Biden’s policies are to blame for last month’s disappointing job numbers." Arter did add that "Biden blamed the Delta variant" for those numbers, but did not quote Scalise making mention of that. She did note that Fox News host Chris Wallace said the numbers were disappointing even though extra unemployment benefits ended at the beginning of September, but quoting Scalise blathering about "other welfare programs."

That was followed by an Oct. 12 commentary by Nick Stehle of the right-wing Foundation for Government Accountability weirdly cheering over the end of the "job-killing federal unemployment bonus." Stehle was silent on the disappointing numbers, which in his theory should have been better due to the end of those extra benefits.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Monday, October 25, 2021
MRC Cheers Another Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader's Attacks on 'Big Tech'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's long tradition of embracing right-wing authoritarian leaders who hate "big tech" as much as the MRC does coninues in a Sept.9 post by Gabriela Pariseau:

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro made a bold move, marking one up for free speech in his nation. The embattled president signed a provisional measure that will make it illegal for Big Tech to arbitrarily remove legal social media content.

The Government of Brazil claimed in a tweet thread that the law was sparked by concerns of Big Tech’s actions “that have been perceived as harmful to healthy debate and freedom of expression in Brazil.” The provisional measure “forbids selective deplatforming” and “the removal of content that may result in any kind of ‘censorship of political, ideological, scientific, artistic or religious order,’" according to the Twitter thread. The Brazilian government account said it “hope[s] [the law] will serve to help restore online political dialogue in the country.”

The measure protects freedom of expression but excludes illegal content “such as nudity, drugs and violence, or if they encourage crime or violate copyrights,” reported The New York Times. Tech companies also purportedly need a court order for permission to remove any other content, according to The Times.

Actually, Bolsonaro is more a threat to free speech than the champion Pariseau wants you to think he is. In 2020, Bolsonaro enacted a law that effectively opens his critics to arrest under the guise of "national security." Since then Bolsonaro revived a law from the country's dictatorship era to arrest critics of his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, last year Facebook suspended a network of accounts it said were run by employees of Bolsoaro and his family to spread divisive political messages, so it's clear Bolsonaro knows his way around misinformation.

Still, Pariseau was determined to make him a part of the MRC's bogus "victimhood" narrative:

The Brazilian president is up for reelection, and like former President Donald Trump, has been repeatedly censored by Big Tech. YouTube removed 15 of his videos for so-called COVID-19 misinformation in July, according to the BBC. The New York Times reported that “[l]ast year, Facebook removed statements by Mr. Bolsonaro after he promoted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus. Around the same time, Twitter deleted posts from the far-right Brazilian president for pushing [allegedly] false remedies and calling for an end to social distancing.”

In July, the MRC declared that Bolsonaro was "censored" for having "dared to question the liberal narrative concerning COVID-19" -- which translates into getting caught spreading COVID misinformation that the MRC will never admit is misinformatoin.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:31 PM EDT

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