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Thursday, December 16, 2021
Bias: CNS Devoted Article To Trump's Veterans Day Message -- But Not Biden's
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Nov. 11 article by Craig Bannister was a very gushy piece to a certain former president:

On Thursday, former President Donald Trump released a Veterans Day video, in which he expresses his extreme gratitude to all of those who have served in the U.S. military.

Trump begins by paying tribute to all of the “incredible people” who have served the nation:

[...]

"We love you, our nation respects you, the world respects you – and, we will come back,” Trump promises, noting that America has experience “very, very tough” times of late:

“Our country has gone through a lot. The last period of time has been very, very tough, watching what you had to watch. But, our country will be back and will be back stronger than ever.”

“Happy Veterans Day," Trump concludes.

As the Western Journal reports, as Commander-in-Chief, Pres. Trump was an active supporter of the U.S. military. In 2018, he made a surprise visit to troops in Iraq. He issued an executive order streamlining student loan debt-forgiveness for disabled veterans and also signed bills expanding benefits for U.S. service members.

While CNS served up a Veterans Day tribute from a man who got five deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam, one of which was based on the dubious medical diagnosis of bone spurs, it did not publish a similar article about the Veterans Day message from the current president, even though President Biden issued one.

Does CNS hate Biden so much that it thinks a Veterans Day message from a man whose aggressive avoidance of military service is well known though he once attended a military school is more important than a message from the sitting president? Apparently so.

Oh, and Bannister didn't mention that the Western Journal -- his source for Trump's alleged accomplishments -- isn't exactly a fair and balanced media outlet; Media Bias/Fact Check labels it as far right with questionable accuracy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EST
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Back To Work Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

After taking a good chunk of November off from his self-appointed duties of bashing Jen Psaki and fluffing Peter Doocy, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck tried to get back into the swing of things as December began. Indeed, he was in full Doocy-gasm mode for the Dec. 1 briefing, which also featured Anthony Fauci:

With the liberal media in a tailspin over the omicron strain of the coronavirus, Wednesday’s White House press briefing was jam-packed with both Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Dr. Antony [sic] Fauci, so Fox’s Peter Doocy naturally brought the heat and actually challenged the administration while other lobbed fear-mongering questions.

When Doocy first got a crack at Fauci, he set Fauci up with a seemingly benign question: “Dr. Fauci, as you have advised the President about the possibility of new testing requirements for people coming into this country, does that include everybody?”

[...]

Skip ahead to Psaki’s turn and, after wishing her a happy birthday, Doocy hit the administration for demanding “these vaccine mandates for workers” despite the fact that “federal courts are saying that they don’t know if they’re legal” and Biden “talks about...respecting the rule of law[.]”

Psaki said she needed to “clarify exactly what we’re talking about” and claimed “a lot of companies” are implementing mandates even without the force of the federal government because “it makes sure they have a healthier workplace,” so it’s almost irrelevant.

Doocy grew blunter in his next question: “[W]hat ever happened to President Biden’s promise to shut down the virus?”

After Psaki said they’re still “working on it,” Doocy noted that “there’s another variant” and thus has the White House’s thinking shifted to telling Americans “that the President, instead of shutting down the virus, is going to try to help people live amidst the virus and go about their lives[.]”

Of course, Psaki said people should know that the administration is “all sick and tired of this virus,” but blames it on the fact that not enough Americans are vaccinated.

Houck went on to obsequiously gush over another "zinger" question from Doocy.

Houck cheered on Doocy's partisan shots at Vice President Kamala Harris at the Dec. 2 briefing:

The omicron strain of the coronavirus continued to suck up much of the oxygen on Thursday as the liberal media’s fear machine dominated The Psaki Show, but Fox’s Peter Doocy focused on other topics as he sparred with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki over the staffing turmoil in Vice President Kamala Harris’s office and the rampant crime in American cities.

After citing the confirmed and reported staffing changes, Doocy didn’t waste any time in firing off this question: “Is the Vice President not satisfied with the staffing that she has had so far or do people just not want to work for her anymore?”

Psaki did her job as well, insisting that “working on a presidential campaign...and working in the first year of a White House is exciting and rewarding but it’s also grueling and exhausting” and thus “it’s natural for staffers who’ve thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on to a new challenge.”

After she added she wouldn’t speak to any particular announcements other than Symone Sanders’s departure and Harris’s office would have more information, Doocy pressed as to whether it’s “not a case of bad headlines...and a decision...to shake” things “up...to fix an image issue.”

Psaki made clear she wouldn’t have much else to say besides complimenting Sanders, so Doocy broadened things out and specifically whether Harris believes her “staff are to blame for her not making any kind of meaningful progress on the big things in portfolio” like immigration and voting.

Again, Psaki wasn’t interested, leaving Doocy to pivot to crime and citing how big cities are dealing with smash-and-grab robberies, a record number of police officers have been shot and killed this year.”

Apparently, Houck can't fathom why Psaki might get tired of taking hostile, biased questions from a partisan reporter.

Houck continued his role as Fox News press release writer with more Doocy-gasming at the Dec. 3 briefing:

An ill President Biden served as a focus of Friday’s White House press briefing, so it was natural that Fox’s Peter Doocy was in the middle of it in questioning Press Secretary Jen Psaki on that as well as the Build Back Better (BBB) Act and China’s refusal to allow for a complete investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. 

Similarly, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann drilled home the plight of Chinese Uighurs and Voice of America’s Patsy Widakuswara brought up new Chinese provocations against Taiwan. At the opposite end of the spectrum, others continued pushing draconian Covid mandates with one trumpeting an Orwellian move out of Germany.

Doocy led with BBB and specifically whether there was “any thought...to maybe waiting for Build Back Better until a month that you don't have this big miss in the jobs report?”

Psaki quipped there were “a lot of things gathered into that question,” but she rejected the premise by returning to past White House talking points dismissing the CBO.

[...]

Doocy thanked Psaki and said he would “include that in our coverage,” but things got even more amusing when Doocy broke the fourth wall:

PSAKI: I look forward to seeing it on Fox later today.

DOOCY: It's on Fox right now, I think. [POINTS AT THE CAMERA]

PSAKI: I bet it is.

Then again, Fox News couldn't possibly pay Houck enough for all his fangirling over Doocy.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 11:19 PM EST
Newsmax Toots Own Horn On Va. Election Projection
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has a grudge against Fox News for (correctly) calling that Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump in Arizona in the 2020 presidential election -- to the point that it took great umbrage that Fox News re-hired the analyst who made that (again, correct) call.

It was not shy, however, about making its own (and correct) early call in the Virginia gubernatorial election, so much so that Eric Mack devoted a Nov. 3 article to tooting his employer's horn, under the headline "Newsmax First to Call Virginia Gubernatorial Race for Youngkin":

Newsmax has declared GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin has defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial election, held alongside local and state races across the nation on Tuesday night.

Decision Desk HQ also made its early projection via tweet at 8:37 p.m. ET. The latest AP ballot results from Virginia will be updated live here.

A McAuliffe loss in Virginia, which Democratic President Joe Biden won by a double-digit margin over Republican then-President Donald Trump last year, would represent a demoralizing setback for national Democrats. McAuliffe saw his lead in public polls evaporate in the campaign's closing weeks.

McAuliffe came out to speak to his supporters at his election headquarters at 10:20 p.m. ET, but refused to concede the election, saying there was 18% of the vote remaining to be reported and he wanted to be sure every vote is counted.

Mack then touted Donald Trump's nastiness at McAuliffe and praise for his supporters in backing Youngkin.

This was followed by a Nov. 4 column by Dick Morris complaining that the networks didn't call Youngkin the winner, imagining that it was because McAuliffe was "preparing for a lawsuit to contest the election results" if he lost. He then lashed out at Fox News for also not calling the race early, like Newsmax did:

In 2020, in the face of massive evidence of Democratic chicanery, Fox News called Arizona for Biden 20 minutes after polls closed, largely at the reported prompting of Fox’s election decision desk director Arnon Absalom Mishkin.

Mishkin, a known Democratic operative with ties to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, should have been fired for his unseemly haste on the election night of 2020

Instead, Fox News has stated they are re-hiring him for election coverage through the 2024 election.

It made no sense that outlets like Fox News hesitated all Tuesday night before bowing to the obvious and declaring Youngkin the winner.

Apparently, Fox News only declares races prematurely when the Democrat is winning.

Morris studiously omitted the fact that Mishkin's call was correct and has since been proven correct -- and the "massive evidence of Democratic chicanery" has never credibly surfaced.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:49 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 6:59 PM EST
CNS Again Touts Right-Wing Business Group, Hides That They Share A Funder
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted how CNSNews.com loves to quote the right-wing Job Creators Network -- just as much as it loves to refuse to disclose the conflict of interest that JCN is funded by the Mercer family, which also happens to be the largest individual donor to CNS' parent, the Media Research Center. Well, JCN got some more love from CNS in a Nov. 8 article by Megan Wlliams:

One of the nation’s leading small business advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate last Thursday, citing an unnecessary exacerbation of the worst labor shortage the U.S. has experienced in decades.

The Job Creators Network (JCN) is suing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for their emergency temporary standard requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations and enforce the regular mask-wearing and testing of unvaccinated employees.

JCN’s President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a press release that OSHA does not have the authority, nor a big enough threat posed by COVID-19, to create or enforce such a mandate.

This was followed by a Nov. 10 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman hyping JCN some more:

The Biden administration apparently is concerned that its COVID vaccine mandate for private-sector employers could lose in court, according to the Job Creators Network (JCN), and this is why it is urging companies to proceed with the vaccinations despite a federal court's ruling to halt the mandate pending a review. 

“The Biden administration signals that it smells defeat on its illegal vaccine mandate by urging businesses to comply with it despite a federal court freeze," said JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz in a statement.

"By encouraging businesses to continue implementing vaccine rules for their employees, the Biden administration must be worried about losing and is trying to get as many employers to comply before its ultimate demise," he added.

[...]

JCN's Ortiz said, "We encourage the courts to listen to small business plaintiffs like us and turn this vaccine mandate temporary stay into a permanent block, freeing small businesses and their employees to get back to work bringing the economy back.”

"President Biden is completely out of touch with reality and is under the misguided impression that this unconstitutional mandate will not have a detrimental impact on the small business community," Ortiz said. "We know better and we will continue to fight until it is completely eliminated.”

Neither Williams nor Chapman acted in a journalistically responsible manner by disclosing to readers that CNS and JCN share a major source of funding.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:49 PM EST
Another WND Medical Misinformer Peddles More COVID Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Medical misinformer Elizabeth Lee Vliet wrote in her Oct. 25 WorldNetDaily column:

In a shocking departure from traditional hospital policies, admission to a hospital has become like reporting to prison. Prisoners in America's jails have more visitation rights than do COVID patients in America's hospitals.

One family member, a professional psychologist with a career focus treating victims of trauma, said that in many hospitals COVID patients are treated "little better than animals."

Shocking recordings of Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale and Banner Health System hospital executives have been released by an attorney on the Legal Advisory Council of Truth for Health Foundation, an Arizona public charity. Executives were discussing coordinated efforts to restrict fluids and nutrition for hospitalized COVID patients and to suppress all visitations for COVID patients.
The COVID Protocol hospital physicians must follow, in lockstep across the U.S., appears to be the implementation of the 2009-2010 "Complete Lives System" developed by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel for rationing medical care for people older than 50.

Weirdly, Vliet doesn't actually quote anything from these purported "shocking recordings" -- let alone that there's any link to the right-wing bogeyman that is the "Complete Lives System" -- nor does she provide a direct link to them at the Truth for Health Foundation; she simply links to the group's home page, where it's not even highlighted. Also, Vliet hides the fact that the "Complete Lives System" is about allocation of scarce medical resources, not routine medical care. We don't know what is on those recordings since Vliet would rather fearmonger than offer facts, but the discussions may actually be referring to triage, a situation that governs how medical resources are allocated when dealing with a large number of patients... such as emergency rooms and intensive care units being swamped by COVID patients.

You'd think a doctor like Vliet would know the difference. Apparently not.

Vliet's description of the Truth for Health Foundation as "an Arizona public charity" also sticks out like a sore thumb. But one has to go down pastd the end of her column to read her bio to understand why:

Dr. Vliet is the President and CEO of Truth for Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and the creator of the Foundation's innovative six initiatives that advocate for early outpatient COVID treatment, assist families of hospitalized patients denied effective treatment, defend medical freedom, and provide international educational and training programs focused on effective strategies for COVID and on the interconnections of health, faith and lifestyle approaches for restoring resilience and quality of life. 

If that sounds like her foundation is more about politicizing COVID with dubious medicine, you're correct. A list of the people involved in it is a rogue's gallery of dubious docs:

  • The chief medical adviser is Peter McCullough, a rogue doctor whose COVID misinformation WND loves to spread.
  • The chief scientific adviser is Michael Yeadon, a former Pfizer scientist who has become a right-wing anti-vaxxer hero by spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines.
  • The "Director of Evidence-Based Medicine and Research Methodology" is Paul Alexander, who is best known for piushing a highly risky herd immunity strategy while as a Trump White House appointee.
  • The "Surgery and Family Medicine Advisor" is Dierdre Byrne, whom we've noted is a pro-Trump nun and ex-surgeon who thinks people should refuse to take COVID vaccines because they were developed using fetal tissue descended from an abortion (something even the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute disputes).

Vliet went on to melodramatically write:

The heartbreaking story of Veronica Wolski, a well-known Chicago Freedom advocate, was widely publicized. Once hospitalized in ironically named Resurrection Hospital, Veronica was given Remdesivir, which she had repeatedly refused, denied proper basic medical care that could have been lifesaving, and was not allowed access to her family, priest, or health care power of attorney. Veronica was blocked from leaving the hospital when she and her attorneys demanded release. Her health care power of attorney was removed by hospital security. Veronica died alone as a medical prisoner in a Catholic hospital, denied even a priest at the end of her life.

Wolski was a QAnon supporter and anti-vaxxer who also opposed wearing masks. when she inevitably came down with COVID, she demanded to be treated with ivermectin, which the hospital refused to do. Ivermectin has not been approved for treating COVID, no matter how right-wingers like Vliet toss around dubious studies purporting to show its efficacy, and Vliet is apparently so ignorant that she doesn't understand that remdesivir is basic and potentially lifesaving treatment for COVID. Wolski was not a "medical prisoner"; she lived her life in a way that this sort of death was sadly inevitable.

Vliet then tried to manufacture a conspiracy around remdesivir:

Patients are coerced to take rapidly approved drugs like Remdesivir, in spite of known risks of kidney and liver failure, and to be placed on ventilators, both of which bring in incentive payments and create huge profits for hospitals.

As we noted when fellow misinformer Joel Hirschhorn peddled a similar conspiracy theory, remdesivir is not killing people, and patients must undergo kidney and liver tests prior to treatment to make sure it is safe for them. 

And WND wonders why nobody trusts them.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EST
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Another MRC Sports Blogger Goes The Anti-Vaxxer Route
Topic: Media Research Center

The mysterious Jay Maxson is not the only Media Research Center sports blogger who has been embracing COVID anti-vaxxer attitudes. John Simmons' second-ever item at the MRC was an Aug. 27 post complaining that at British soccer coach urged his players to get vaccinated:

However, a vaccine will never guarantee that a disease will go away. After all, people who got the flu vaccine before the COVID outbreak could still get the flu at a later date. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine’s effectiveness varies from season to season and further varies from person to person depending on age, health status, body type, and other factors.

[...]

In the end, COVID might be something that just becomes some new sickness we have to deal with as part of our daily lives. But to say that athletes must take the vaccine in order to fully protect themselves against is is absurd in every sense.

But COVID is not the flu, and it's a testament to Simmons' willful ignorance that he wants you to believe it is.

The next day, Simmons turned his attention to American football:

Imagine a world in which a professional athlete – in peak physical shape -- could be ridiculed and punished for not taking an experimental vaccine for a disease with a minimal death rate.

Sounds too ridiculous to actually happen, right? Well, not exactly.

Bills wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley already been punished  by the NFL under it's ridiculous mandates. On Thursday, the NFL fined Beasley for an infraction, with the star wideout saying on Twitter that he was “disciplined for not wearing a mask for ‘literally 5 steps’ from the entry door to the locker room after wearing it ‘the whole day.’”

[...]

The NFL has gone far overboard in creating and enforcing mask mandates. In June, the NFL said that vaccinated players will only have to get tested once every two weeks and will not have to quarantine if exposed through contact tracing, while unvaccinated players will be tested every day and will have to quarantine if they come into contact with someone who had COVID.

Think that’s absurd? Just wait.

The fines for violating the NFL’s protocols could average $14,650 per infraction. That includes an unvaccinated player attending an indoor bar or nightclub or attending an indoor concert or entertainment event. A fine of up to $50,000 applies to more serious violations, such as a player failing to cooperate with an investigation into protocol compliance.

In fact, the COVID vaccines are not "experimental" --the Pfizer vaccine was officially approved by the FDA five days before Simmons' post. But Simmons still wasn't done with the anti-vaxx whining:

Football athletes are some of the most physically fit people on the planet. They eat healthy, train for hours every day, and have vast medical resources at their disposal. Of all people, they should be able to fight COVID-19 effectively without taking a vaccine, let alone being punished if they don’t.

The NFL has turned into a microcosm of what is happening in our country today: segregation of “good and bad people” based of vaccination status and beating into submission those who will not comply with their rules.

NFL players who have not been vaccinated should stay strong and do not cave to the fearmongering wackos running the league. If they don’t want the jab, they shouldn’t have to take it, plain and simple.

Simmons complained more about vaccine mandates in pro football in a Sept. 2 post, repeating his bogus COVID-is-the-flu argument and gushing over players being perfect physical specimens before huffing that a team's decision to cut players based on their vaccine status is the exact same thing as racism:

Let it be said again, there is reason a professional athletes may not need to take the vaccine. One gander at a sideline of athletes – especially football athletes – are some of the most physically in-shape individuals on the planet. Furthermore, the NFL dedicates an ungodly amount of medical resources to ensure that their players stay healthy, so combining that with their incredible physical health and you have a demographic of people who should be the least concerned about their vaccination status.

The CDC has said that a vaccine’s effectiveness varies from season to season and person to person in terms of helping prevent sickness. So if the COVID vaccine- which has only been tested for months and not years-is just like any other vaccine, then it would be foolish for any sports team to make cuts based on something that has not been proven effective -such as the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the past, teams wrongfully used to make personnel decisions over skin color. Thankfully, we have moved past this foolish determinant of whether or not to allow an athlete to play a sport. But now, it seems we are reverting back to our old ways of discriminating against people and making them appear as second-rate citizens, this time based on someone’s medical history.

There is truly nothing new under the sun.

That statement also applies to absurd right-wing comparisons.

On Sept. 22, Simmons gushed over unvaccinated NFL Buffalo Bills player Cole Beasley for offering to buy tickets for unvaccinated Bills fans to road games, since the home stadium requires fans to be vaccinated: "In a world where burning buildings and shaming white people has become a widely accepted form of protesting against something we disagree with, this is the type of demonstration you like to see, especially from someone with a platform as big as Beasley’s. ... If only the NFL would support protesting like this, and not demonstrations that disrespect our national anthem or supporting organizations that burn down cities and promote radical ideology.

In a Sept. 27 post, Simmons frowned on the NBA's Golden State Warriors refusing to give player Andrew Wiggins a religious exemption, adding, "Wiggins has not been clear what religion he follows, but the type of religion shouldn’t matter in this situation."He didn't mention the highly relevant fact that no major religious denomination opposes vaccination, and that many people lie about having "religious" objections to vaccines. Nevertheless, he lectured:

To many of us, the most important element of life is our religion. It influences every decision we make and helps guide our conscience in matters of right and wrong. Our Constitution protects the individual’s right to practice the freedom of religion, one of the many things that make this country so special. Unfortunately, the NBA and the city of San Francisco don’t care about people’s religious beliefs.

[...]

This should be another warning sign to Americans as to the depths to which our government and business leaders have stooped to force people to conform to what the government says. Every totalitarian or communist government in history has sought to persecute those who do not view the government as the Almighty power on Earth. When you don’t comply, your life will become miserable, and they will start stripping away elements of your freedom and your values until you finally give in. That is what America is now viewing as acceptable.

Do people have a constitutional right to infect others with a potentially deadly virus? Simmons didn't say.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EST
WND Columnist Thinks It's 'Idolatry' To Get A COVID Vaccine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently feeling left out among all the other COVID misinformers published beside him, WorldNetDaily columnist Elliot Resnick decided to stake his misinformation claim in his Oct. 29 column:

On what basis can someone claim a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate? Most people think it must be narrow and specific – for example, an objection to the use of aborted fetal tissue in the development of the vaccine. But for the 100 million Americans who already had COVID, the basis can be – indeed, should be – much more fundamental. Let's begin by reviewing two facts:

1. Never in the history of vaccination campaigns have people who already recovered from a targeted disease been asked to vaccinate themselves against it. The reason is obvious: A vaccine is designed to fool the body into thinking it is being attacked by a disease so that it can build a robust defense against it. If the actual disease, however, already attacked the body, there's no reason to fool it.

2. A recent scientific study found that vaccinated people are 13 times more likely to get COVID-19 than are people who already had COVID and recovered from it.

What does any of this have to do with religion? Simple. The Judeo-Christian tradition calls on man to use the unique divine gift with which he's been blessed – the human brain – to conduct his life. If a person shuts off his brain, if he ignores clear scientific data that demonstrate that taking the COVID-19 vaccine is unnecessary, he's rejecting God's gift. He's acting like a brute animal rather than a sentient human. In short, he's committing a profoundly irreligious act.

[...]

Thus, if a person ignores scientific data – if he irrationally receives the COVID-19 vaccine despite having recovered from the disease – he is effectively adopting the pre-biblical view of the ancient pagans who engaged in superstitious practices to ward off danger. In other words, he is arguably practicing a form of idolatry.

Actually, the scientific data is overwhelmingly in favor of people who have previously contracted COVID also getting the vaccine:

  • The Mayo Clinic stated, "A recent study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than twice as likely as fully vaccinated people to get reinfected with COVID-19."
  • OSF Healthcare similarly pointed out research showing "previously infected people who received the first dose of vaccination rapidly developed a higher concentration of antibodies needed to prevent reinfection."
  • The Cleveland Clinic reported that it's unclear how long antibodies from an infection last, and a vaccine will help keep the immune system going.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine cited numerous research studies "that support getting vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19."

Instead of following the actual science, Resnick declared that refusing to get a COVID vaccine is some kind of moral imperative:

To resist such authoritarian orders is a religious imperative. Bible adherents worship one god and one god only. Only He can demand absolute obedience from us. Only He can ask us to walk with Him blindly, against all reason. No one else can. And if someone tries to, he is usurping God's role and asking us to worship someone other than Him.

In sum, for the 100 million Americans who already recovered from COVID-19, taking the vaccine means shutting off one's brain, rejecting modern science and irrationally submitting to a mortal power. All three are religious crimes, and therefore every Bible believer among them must be granted a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.

It seems Resnick may need a little remedial religious education -- though he claims to be "the former chief editor of The Jewish Press" -- on top of a scientific one.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:51 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2021 5:53 PM EST
Newsmax's Morris Likens Jan. 6 Committee to HUAC
Topic: Newsmax

As the Congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot moves to potentially subpoena members of Congress, it is emerging as the modern Democratic version of The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). 

HUAC was created in 1938 "to investigate alleged disloyalty and rebel activities on the part of private citizens, public employees and organizations suspected of having Communist ties." But, in the 1950s it became the Republican vehicle for defaming dozens of largely innocent leftists around the country for being dupes or “fellow travelers” with the Communist Party. 

HUAC and its members became particularly notorious for its smearing of many of our top Hollywood actors, writers, producers, and directors. Members even maintained a "blacklist" of alleged communists in Hollywood, which prevented job opportunities for various actors.

It seems the Jan. 6 committee is similarly awash in paranoid conspiracy theories which now reach into the House itself.

According to the commitee, a riot actually an insurrection. And unarmed protesters are now depicted as revolutionaries, perhaps the new Che Guevaras, bent on toppling our democracy and egged on by a president who, in fact, urged them to "go home" the day of the riot.

-- Dick Morris, Nov. 3 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EST
CNS Complains About Biden Security Upgrades, Censors Trump's
Topic: CNSNews.com

Megan Williams tried to work up some outrage over work at a beach house owned by President Biden in an Oct. 25 CNSNews.com article -- while also parroting a right-wing newspaper's doxxing the president in the process:

Despite the ongoing crisis at the southern border, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allocated $456,548 to a Delaware construction company to build a fence around President Joe Biden’s beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, the New York Post reported.

The Bidens purchased the beach house in 2017 for $2,744,001, according to Long & Foster Real estate. The Biden’s main home is in Wilmington, Del., in a neighborhood called Greenville.  

In September, the DHS contracted Turnstone Holdings LLC for the “Purchase and installation of security fencing at 32 Farview [Road], Rehoboth, Delaware,” USAspending.gov published. The contract runs from Sept. 21 to Dec. 31.

[...]

The surge of illegal immigrants comes after Biden reversed several of former President Donald Trump’s border security rules, particularly construction for the border wall.

“Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution,” Biden’s Jan. 20, 2021 proclamation read. “It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”

In fact, experts have stated that a border wall does little to enhance U.S. security or to stop immigrants from entering the country-- something that Williams didn't see fit to report to her readers.

Note that Williams is irrelevantly comparing work at the Biden house to "the ongoing crisis at the southern border" -- a cheap and easy political shot -- when a more direct apples-to-apples comparison would be to security work done at Donald Trump's properties during his presidency. And as it so happens, a contract was recently awarded to spend $580,600 -- bigger than on Biden's security measures -- on security upgrades at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. (And Trump isn't even president anymore!) Williams didn't see fit to report that either.

Instead, Williams went on to further blame issues at the border on Biden:

CPB seized 10,586 pounds of fentanyl in the 2021 fiscal year, over four times the amount found during the last year of the Trump Administration.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a lethal dose of fentanyl is 2 milligrams. The amount of fentanyl confiscated by the CPB could kill over 4 billion people.

Yet President Biden plans to use the border wall’s unspent funds on environmental projects like “biological, cultural, and natural resource surveys,” at the southern border, instead of addressing this crisis.

But doesn't the fact that the fentanyl was seized indicate that the "crisis" is being "addressed"? Also, Williams' numbers are misleading. An actual fact-checker looked into them:

“The stuff that’s seized at the southwest border is highly impure,” Bryce Pardo, a drug policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, told FactCheck.org in an interview. If they are seizing 10,000 pounds, the amount of pure fentanyl is a small fraction of that, he said.

More important, if stopping large amounts of fentanyl from being distributed to Americans is indicative of a “crisis” at the southwest border, as those tweets imply, it’s a problem that Biden largely inherited from his predecessor. Border officials seized nearly as much fentanyl in the last nine full months of Trump’s presidency as had been seized during the first nine full months of Biden’s.

It should also be noted that Williams is CNS' fall intern. It appears that CNS is teaching her how to spin right-wing narratives instead of fairly and accurately reporting the news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Monday, December 13, 2021
Media Research Fail! MRC Touted Dubious, Biased Polls To Bash Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center, as a partisan organization, prefers to highlight polls that advance its right-wing narratives. But MRC writer Joseph Vazquez took that to an extreme earlier this year -- ironically, under the headline "Media Fail!" The first came in an Aug. 18 post:

A new poll revealed that American voters are rejecting the false narrative that the spending-obsessed President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package has much to do with infrastructure.

Rasmussen Reports released a new survey showing that “[a] majority of voters agree with a Republican senator’s denunciation of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package” that was passed August 10. The survey of 1,000 U.S. likely voters found that “51% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy’s [R] statement” that the so-called infrastructure bill is not a “real infrastructure” bill. Kennedy’s statement, which the majority of voters surveyed by Rasmussen resonated with, ripped apart the bill as an eco-extremist and leftist wish list: “‘They told us it was a real infrastructure bill. It’s not. Only 23% of the bill is real infrastructure. The rest is Green New Deal and welfare. They told us the bill was paid for. It isn’t. We’re going to have to borrow maybe up to $400 billion to pay for it.’”

Rasmussen’s findings fly right in the face of the liberal media’s ongoing attempts to champion Biden’s infrastructure bill as an economic success story in the making. A majority of Americans aren’t buying it.

It's unclear what Rasmussen defined as "real infrastructure" -- the poll results are hidden behind a paywall -- and Vazquez didn't offer Kennedy's definition of the term. But using Donald Trump's definition of the term, more than 40 percent of the bill is "real infrastructure"; if one adds expanded broadband and electrical grid improvements, the number as high as 80 percent.

The bigger problem, however, is Rasmussen's bias and inaccuracy. Its polls heavily skew Republican, and it has a history of inaccurate results.

Vazquez managed to find another dubious pollster to embrace in an Aug. 27 post:

The liberal media have made it a mission to convince people that businesses need to mandate a COVID-19 vaccination on employees and infringe on freedom. Voters are rejecting the idea.

A newly released poll of 1,080 likely voters revealed that a 42.7 percent plurality of respondents were “more likely” (10%) or “much more likely” (32.7%) to do business with companies “NOT requiring employees [to] be vaccinated.” Even more revealing in the poll by The Trafalgar Group — in partnership with Convention of States Action — was that the percentage of voters who were “much more likely” (32.7%) to do business with companies not requiring a COVID-19 vaccine dominated all other categories. Only 34.3 percent of voters in the poll said they were “less likely” (11.8%) or “much less likely” (22.5%) to do business with companies not requiring a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The poll also found that a 43.2 percent plurality of independent voters were “more likely” (8.6%) or “much more likely” (34.6%) to do business with companies that don’t have vaccine mandates. 

The results of the poll flew right in the face of the media, many of whom have been playing the part of COVID-19 vaccination tyrants shaming businesses into forcing their employees to get the jab.

As we documented, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, heavily hyped Trafalgar polling before the 2020 presidential election because they showed Trump winning, and it quoted Trafalgar's chief pollster Robert Cahaly, claiming that Trump would win the 2020 race with an electoral total in the "high 270s." Further, Trafalgar's poll results were purchased by Convention of States Action, a right-wing effort to call for a convention of states to rewrite the Constitution to "limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials."And it wouldn't be releasing poll results that contradicted with its agenda.

Vazquez touted another poll from that same biased combine in a Sept. 13 article:

American voters are panning the media’s attempts to propagate President Joe Biden’s Orwellian vaccine mandate on businesses across the country.

A new poll of 1,098 likely voters found that a majority (58.6%) “do not believe President Biden has the constitutional authority to force private businesses to require vaccine mandates for employees.” The numbers were reinforced by a majority of Independent voters (68.2%) who rejected Biden’s mandate as constitutionally dubious. The poll by The Trafalgar Group — in partnership with Convention of States Action — revealed that a majority (55.5%) also see the mandate as setting a dangerous precedent that could be abused by future presidents, which included 58 percent of Independent voters surveyed. 

In addition, 56.1 percent of respondents support efforts by governors to oppose the nationwide vaccination mandate on private businesses. The results of this poll show that the media’s ongoing barrage of public relations campaigning for Biden’s tyranny is falling flat on its face.

[...]

The media should stop barking from their echo-chambers and recognize that the American people aren’t buying their vaccine virtue signaling. Convention of States Action President Mark Meckler was quoted in the press release, saying, “‘The numbers are clear, the American people passionately oppose Biden’s vaccine mandate, and will not tolerate a President elected by the people acting like a dictator or king.’” He continued: “‘They know full well that this precedent will quickly lead to an end to our Republic and the beginning of an oppressive new tyranny.’”

The only echo chamber -- and the only "media fail" -- we're seeing is the one that Vazquez and the MRC are engaged in. Remember, the MRC bought biased polls from Trump's election pollster to try to make its conspiratorial case that the election was stolen from Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EST
CNS Parrots MRC's Bisexual Superman Freakout
Topic: CNSNews.com

It was apparently mandated that since the Media Research Center had a meltdown over Superman being bisexual in a new storyline, someone at its "news" division CNSNews.com had to melt down too. That task fell to Megan Williams, who wrote about it in an Oct. 12 article but focused on purported right-wing backlash:

However, changing America's most beloved heroes has come with its fair share of backlash. The Post Millennial attributed the economic decline of the comic book industry to its attempts to appease the woke culture of the left. 

Noting how the comic book industry has been struggling economically since the 1990s, The Post Millennial pointed out that pursuing the values of woke culture has alienated their consumer base.

“The people that buy comics are not woke and never will be. Instead of listening to their consumer base, Marvel was listening to leftist media,” the article reads. “The consumers that buy comics are overwhelmingly white guys in their 30s and 40s.”

The shift of comic book companies to represent the 5.6% of Americans who identify as something other than heterosexual or straight, has made them the most recent victim of the “Get woke, Go broke” mantra, according to The Federalist.

Curiously, Williams refused to identify the partisan right-wing nature of the Post Millennial and the Federalist -- perhaps to hide the fact that the only people making a big deal out of this are right-wingers like herself.

Williams then went on to parrot the Federalist's comparison of the U.S. comic book industry with that of Japan:

The Federalist compared the American comic book companies’ decline to the strength of the Japanese manga industry. The main difference? Japanese manga embraces the traditional values their fans adhere to.

“What gives? Well, first and foremost, the Japanese comic book creators look at their supporters with adoration. In Japan, a culture with a much more conscious sense of respect and hierarchy, if a creator insults anyone or an actor breaks the law, they’re given the boot,” wrote The Federalist.

Attributing Japanese manga success to its reflection of its fans’ values, The Federalist noted how the total sales of the western comics industry amounted to about 10% of the sales for the single most popular Japanese comic book.

But the Japanese manga industry has always been much bigger than the U.S. comics industry -- and manga is now outselling superhero comics in the U.S. It's also worth noting that the best-selling Marvel comic title of this year is ... a Deadpool manga spinoff that's not yet available in the U.S. While the U.S. comics industry is narrowly focused on superheroes, manga has a much more diverse array of subject matter -- including titles targeted at LGBT audiences.

It can also be argued that superhero comics are in trouble not because they've gone "woke" -- it's because they're not woke enough, afraid to lose that sexist-middle-age-white-guy demographic.

It seems that the current trajectory, contrary to the Federalist, is "stay un-woke, go broke." But it seems Williams decided that her education about the comics industry began and ended with uncritically repeating the views of middle-aged right-wingers who are philosophically opposed to being fed anything different -- and certainly not that LGBT people are humans on their level.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's School Wars, Part 2: Exploitation
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center aggressively hyped a story about a sexual assault in a Virginia school to push an anti-transgender agenda and get a Republican elected in the state -- while burying the much more complicated reality behind it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EST
WND Calls On Misinformers To Fearmonger About COVID Vaccines For Children
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's role as a leading COVID misinformer has unsurprisingly expanded to fearmongering over vaccinating children against COVID. Art Moore served up a prime example in an Oct. 25 article:

As an FDA advisory panel prepares to decide whether or not to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for young children, Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch is advising parents to remove their children from any public school that forces students to get the shots.

Risch said Sunday night in an interview that children with serious chronic conditions "should be considered for vaccination."

"Other than that, if it were my child, I would homeschool them," he told Fox News host Mark Levin.

Risch, if you'll recall, is the guy who made the wildly false claim that the Delta variant of COVID would be "very mild variant, and the cases are going to go up ... whereas at the same time the mortality is flat, near zero."

An Oct. 26 article by Moore on FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 originally carried the headline "Guinea pigs," though someone later thought better of the slander and removed it. Much of the article uncritically repeated concerns about giving the vaccine to children.

Moore followed up with a different doctor in an Oct. 28 article:

As the federal government considers approving Pfizer's COVID-19 shot for children ages 5 to 11, a Harvard University epidemiologist is urging parents not to vaccinate their children.

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a biostatistician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, said in an interview with EpochTV that the risks outweigh any benefit.

A Nov. 1 column by Chuck Norris also hyped Kulldorf's fearmongering.

As we've noted, Kulldorf is one of the founders of the anti-vaxx-friendly Great Barrington Declaration, which pushed dangerous "herd immunity" before COVID vaccines were developed,and he touted a dubious Israeli study claiming that "natural immunity" from catching the virus is usuually better than immunity gained from a vaccine.

Moore found yet another doctor for fearmongering purposes in a Nov. 1 article:

Dr. Ben Carson contends the Biden administration's move to vaccinate young children for COVID-19 amounts to a "giant experiment," arguing there is no sufficient data to determine the long-term risks posed by the shots.

"Do we want to put our children at risk, when we know that the risk of the disease to them is relatively small, but we don't know what the future risks are? Why would we do a thing like that? It makes no sense whatsoever," he said Sunday in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."

Carson, renowned for his innovative surgeries to save the lives of children, is former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. He served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration.

Carson was a brain surgeon; he has no demostrated expertise in virology or epidemiology.

Moore used a Nov. 8 article to promote claims from a fringe gathering:

Following the CDC's approval of the Pfizer vaccine for young children, scientists and physicians at a summit in Florida warned against a rush to vaccinate a population with very little chance of severe infection from the coronavirus.

The Florida Summit on Covid in Ocala on Saturday addressed three big questions, reported Mary Beth Pfeiffer for TrialSite News. Do young children need vaccination against COVID? Are the vaccinations safe? Are unvaccinated children a threat to adults?

On each question, the physicians and researchers challenged the federal government's conclusions, pointing to studies and data.

But later that month, several people who attended the conference fell ill with COVID, including one doctor who bragged that ivermectin was keeping him healthy. As the Daily Beast noted, "there remains the question of why he became seriously ill in the first place if ivermectin is the wonder drug the anti-vaccine crowd claims it is, rather than primarily a treatment for parasites and head lice in humans, as well as a horse dewormer." Instead, Moore quoted one attendee who "criticized what he described as a corrupt, Big Pharma-controlled system and government that is blocking options for early treatment with inexpensive 'repurposed' drugs such as ivermectin."

Moore and WND have yet to tell their readers about this development.

Moore's parade of misinformers continued in a Nov. 19 article, repeating that "Dr. Scott Atlas, who served briefly as a pandemic adviser to President Trump, contended Friday there is no reason for people under 30 who have almost no risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 to be vaccinated." The article also featured a return of Carson, who claimed that parents who opposed giving the COVID vaccine to their children "are thinking individuals," adding, "This is still an experiment, and who wants to risk their kid in an experiment?"


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 13, 2021 6:11 PM EST
Sunday, December 12, 2021
MRC's Purported Prudes Embrace Vulgar 'Let's Go Brandon' Biden Insult
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson whined about "coarsening the culture" in a Nov. 3 post:

Between social justice protests, sordid Super Bowl halftime “entertainment” and vulgar language, the National Football League just can’t stay out of its own way. Last week’s alternate Monday Night Football broadcast on ESPN2 featured an F-bomb by guest Marshawn Lynch, and co-host Peyton Manning apologized for the off-color language.

Maxson might have been taken seriously if his MRC co-workers hadn't been spending the previous couple of weeks endorsing a euphemism for a vulgar insult if President Biden.

Despite its history of performative prudity when applied to anything non-conservatives do, the MRC has been sliding toward embracing vulgarity. Earlier this year, it cheered right-wing pocaster Joe Rogan calling CNN's Brian Stelter a "motherfucker," mostly for not being a right-wing shill. So when "Let's Go Brandon" briefly became a thing in October after a reporter misheard a crowd at a NASCAR race chanting "Fuck You, Biden," An Oct. 19 post by Gabriel Hays rushed to embrace a song based on the vulgarity:

A rap song titled “Let’s Go Brandon!” has become so popular that it is now trending at number one on Apple Music’s Hip Hop charts. 

PopVortex.com’s record of what's trending on Apple Music shows that the song is currently in the number one slot on the streaming giant’s Hip Hop charts and it’s number two in iTunes “top 100 pop songs” chart, only behind Adele’s “Easy On Me.” 

For those  who haven’t kept up with the many interesting and vital nuances of political humor these days, “Let’s Go Brandon” is not actually a song in support of people named Brandon everywhere, it’s actually a song in protest of President Joe Biden.

Yes. “Let’s Go Brandon” is actually a euphemism for the “F**k Joe Biden,” a phrase which has become a popular crowd chant at college sports games and concerts across the nation. 

Thank a fake news journalist for changing it to the more family-friendly and acceptable Let’s Go Brandon.

[...]

Yeah it’s pretty cathartic stuff, considering how the Biden administration has abused the country since he got into office. The fact that it’s Apple’s number two overall song means that many people are thinking “Let’s Go Brandon” right now.

Nicholas Fondacaro went the whataboutism route in an Oct. 24 post:

In an amazingly tone-deaf and hypocritical Saturday article for the Washington Post, White House reporter Ashley Parker and reporter Carissa Wolf bemoaned how, across the country, President “Biden’s critics hurl increasingly vulgar taunts.” This, after the paper, spent four years actively promoting such comments against former President Trump. They even took issue with the non-vulgar “Let’s go Brandon” chant gaining in popularity.

A simple search of the Post’s website for the terms “f---” and “Trump” together gets you a list of articles exposing the prevailing feeling at the newspaper toward the former President. Including: “Former Mexican president says he will not pay for Donald Trump’s ‘f—— wall,’” “She put an obscene anti-Trump message on her truck and was arrested. Now she might sue,’” and “YG’s political message is as blunt as can be.”

Despite this history of promoting anti-Trump vulgarity, Parker and Wolf complained about how Biden was in Scranton, Pennsylvania and was “greeted at the corner of Biden Street by a woman holding a handmade ‘F--- Joe Biden’ sign, with an American flag as the vowel in the offending word.”

[...]

The message was clear: the Washington Post wanted to be the arbiter of who could use such language against a president and which one was the worthy target.

As if that's not what the MRC wants. Not that Fondacaro will ever admit that, of course.

The snowflakes who claimed to be outraged that Rep. Rashida Tlaib called form impeaching the "motherfucker" Trump in 2019 actually had the temerity to bash critics of the right-wing embrace of "Let's Go Brandon" as "snowflakes," as Kristine Marsh did in the headline of her Oct. 26 post, hypocritically using Tlaib as an example:

You just have to laugh at CNN’s fake outrage. Where was CNN when a “sitting congress[wo]man” Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, shouted, “We're gonna impeach the motherf***er!,” in reference to then-President Trump. Oh right, they didn’t care. Actually, CNN tried to dismiss the controversy.

You mean like how the MRC is trying to dismiss the "Let's Go Brandon" controversy?

Meanwhile, the MRC continued to get off on "Let's Go Brandon" set to music:

  • Autumn Johnson hyped claims that the original "Let's Go Brandon" song was "banned" on YouTube and Instagram.
  • Tierin-Rose Mandelburg repeated the "censorship" claim in an Oct. 27 post, adding, "It’s a small win for conservatives. Even with censorship, the success of these songs provides a bit of hope."
  • Hays returned to gush that "four different “Let’s Go Brandon” rap songs are on the top of the iTunes chart," adding; "So, the music scene is being dominated by songs that are a euphemism for “F**k Joe Biden!” How's that for a hint as to how the Biden administration is doing?"

Fondacaro came to the defense of a Southwest Airlines pilot who signed off to passenger by saying "Let's Go Brandon," as heard by an Associated Press reporter on the flight, which he claimed "led to the AP reporter trying to break into the cockpit to confront him and CNN employees on Twitter comparing him to ISIS and baselessly accusing him of being a drug addict, all in an attempt to get him fired.He went on to assert that the story was only about "impotent rage and the story really only angering radical liberals" and fretted about "all the smears and possible libel of the pilot."

Tim Graham discussed the Southwest incident in his Nov. 1 podcast, where he pretended to be bothered by it but it didn't matter because it was "lefties" objecting:

I've mentioned that I don't love the "F the president" slogans. Cloaking it non-swear words is better. Obviously this is a divisive political message, it's not exactly something you expect on an airline flight. ... But the lefties wanted the pilot fired -- fired! -- for this alleged use of "Let's Go Brandon." I think we all know they would adore the pilot sharing their divisive political messages.

[...]

It's this whole idea that somebody making a political message as either a quick political mesage or a joke or a little bit of trolling is somehow a violation that you need to call the FAA -- don't you think the FAA would be llike, um, I think we have better things to do than take these calls. And of course, this is -- as Nick Fondacaro noted, this is the network [CNN] at tried to use "spithole" -- yes -- about 2,000 times in about 24 hours because the Democrats said Trump said it in a closed meeting.

Yes, the MRC was outraged about that too, and Graham counted them all. Yet it's totally cool with "Let's Go Brandon."

Dan Gainor -- an MRC employee who is rarely allowed to write at an MRC website -- downplayed the vulgarity in a Nov. 2 article for Fox News:

"Let’s go, Brandon." Hardly, "Give me liberty or give me death." Or even, "Remember the Alamo!"

It’s a simple slogan designed to mock two of the biggest enemies ordinary Americans have — the Biden administration and the liberal media.

[...]

The mere mention of Trump drove liberal journalists off the deep end. They ordinarily live in a world where conservative thought is all-but forbidden. Academia, journalism, government and, increasingly, major businesses forbid anything other than leftist doctrine. 

"Let’s go, Brandon," was a reminder that there’s more to the world than just their tiny bubble. And all it took to break through were three little words. 

"Let’s go, Brandon."

Kristine Marsh hurled the usual whataboutism on CNN in a Nov. 2 post:

CNN has no problem with vulgarities, crude gestures or violent threats directed at Republicans. But they will be outraged over a kid in a MAGA hat smirking or a crude joke being made about Joe Biden. 

On New Day this morning, CNN’s lack of self-awareness was obvious as they complained that political discourse in this country had reached “toxic levels” because of the 'Let's Go Brandon' joke. On screen it read, "Juvenile rhetoric: Liberals, conservatives fight over 'Let's Go Brandon' insults." No one seemed to remember “comedian” Kathy Griffin posing with a bloodied, severed head of President Trump, or singer Madonna telling a feminist crowd in Washington D.C. that she wanted to “blow up the White House” right after Trump’s inauguration. But “F-Joe Biden” was a new low in our culture, according to co-hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar.

Marsh didn't mention her employer's hypocrisy.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 12, 2021 9:31 PM EST
CNS Kept Pushing False Right-Wing Narrative About School Board Threats
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com followed in the footsteps of its Media Research Center parent and embraced the false right-wing narrative that school boards and the Department of Justice are seeking to brand as "domestic terrorists" all parents who speak out at school board meetings about right-wing hot-button issues as critical race theory and LGBT rights. Since this was largely done for the purpose of getting Republican Glenn Youngkin elected as Virginia governor, CNS continued plugging that storyline through the Nov. 2 election.

An Oct. 11 article by Megan Williams hyped a right-wing senator pushing the false narrative on the show of CNS' favorite right-wing media presence:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) slammed the Biden Administration for ignoring the “violent crime surge across our country,” and instead working “to shut down parents from speaking” out about critical race theory on Sunday's "Life, Liberty & Levin."

"This is about using federal law enforcement to try and intimidate parents because these parents are daring to stand up and criticize critical race theory," Hawley said, referencing a letter sent by Attorney General Merrick Garland to the FBI on Monday, Oct. 4.

Melanie Arter gave right-wing drama over the issue prominence in an Oct. 21 article about Attorney  General Merrick Garland testifying before Congress:

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that the DOJ “supports and defends the 1st Amendment rights of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in their schools.”

During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) questioned the attorney general about an Oct. 4 press release addressing “violent threats against school officials and teachers.”

Chabot began by asking Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for “unanimous consent” to enter into the record “an op-ed that appeared in last week’s Wall Street Journal by the author of the Patriot Act, Mr. Sensensbrenner, former chairman of this committee, entitled ‘The Patriot Act Wasn’t Meant to Target Parents.’” 

Another Arter article the same day on that hearing pushed a related distraction in order to attack Garland: "Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday about whether he sought ethics counsel before issuing a memo responding to the National School Board Association’s request for the DOJ to address threats and violence from parents upset about critical race theory being added to school curriculum. During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Johnson pointed out that Garland’s son-in-law co-founded a company that publishes and sells critical race theory to schools nationwide."

An Oct. 27 article by Susan Jones featured more testimony from Garland at a different hearing, while also making sure to give the false narrative prominence:

Critics of the memo -- including many parents, Republican politicians, and even some local school boards -- say the memo is intended to chill the speech of furious parents who may fear a knock on the door from the FBI after speaking at a school board meeting.

Garland said that his memo makes clear in the first paragraph that "spirited debate on policy matters is protected under our Constitution."  That includes criticism of school boards, he said.

Garland refused several times to say whether he considered the "chilling effect" his memorandum would have.

The National School Boards Association has now apologized for some of the language used in its letter to the Biden administration, including characterizing upset parents as potential domestic terrorists.

Jones provided no evidence that these "critics" were correct in assuming that all parents were being targeted simply for speaking out. Nor did she orthe other CNS writers explain why law enforcement is not allowed to be proactive and must wait until violence against a school member acually occurs before taking action against violent threats.

An article that same day by managing editror Michael W. Chapman pushed the false narrative in hyping criticism of the school board that originally sought help from Garland:

Although the National School Boards Association (NSBA) apologized for labeling parents concerned about left-wing curricula as potential domestic terrorists, the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) has dropped its membership in the NSBA, asserting that it rejects "the labeling of parents as domestic terrorists."

In an Oct. 25 letter to the executive director and the president of the NSBA, the Ohio association wrote that its "decision to terminate membership and affiliation with the NSBA Association is a direct result of the letter sent by you to President Joe Biden late last month."

[...]

Many parents nationwide have attended local school board meetings over the last year to complain -- often loudly -- about COVID restrictions, such as mask wearing, as well as the introduction of sexually explicit books and other materials in the classroom, including the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which posits that the United States is inherently racist and white people (or Europeans) are the enemy. 

In fact, an MRC fact-check admitted that the HSBA letter never actually calls all parents "domestic terrorists" merely for speaking out. But because right-wing activists decided that a link was "suggested" -- again, never explicitly stated -- it's a talking point to nitpick the letter and Garland's response. Which is the rationale documented in an Oct. 28 article by Jones:

Attorney General Merrick Garland's Oct. 4 memo states, "There has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff." Yet neither Garland nor his Justice Department looked into the alleged parental threats raised by the National School Boards Association.

Under sharp questioning from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he didn't know how many incidents were cited in equating angry parents with domestic terrorists.

Nor did he know how many of those incidents might qualify as violent.

Again, neither Jones nor Cruz explained that the narrative is a lie or why law enforcement is not allowed to be proactive.

Ellie Wittman of the right-wing Alliance Defending Freedom repeated the false narrative in an Oct. 29 commentary: "On top of all that, the Department of Justice is essentially treating parents as 'domestic terrorists' by directing the FBI to investigate them in what seems an attempt to intimidate them into silence."

Jones used a Nov. 2 article to uncritically quote Sen. Mitch McConnell claiming that Garland "just wrote an entire memo singling out concerned parents who speak up at their local school board meetings. Arter similarly uncritically quoted Republican Rep. Rob Wittman advancing the false narrative:

“And when they see a letter from the National School Board Association that asks the attorney general of the United States to go after parents who speak out at school board meetings under the Patriot Act and to be treated as terrorists, let me tell you folks, they are deeply concerned about that, and then when the attorney general follows suit and goes to the federal law enforcement agencies and says, by the way, look at these parents and what they’re doing at these school board meetings, what they are practicing their 1st Amendment rights to speak out and to demand that their school systems reflect what’s best for their children,” he said.

Craig Bannister served up his own version of the false narrative in a Dec. 8 article:

Since the National School Board Association (NSBA) sent a letter asking the Justice Department, FBI and Secret Service to treat parents protesting radical school policies as domestic terrorists, 17 state school board associations have left – and stopped funding – the NSBA.

[...]

To combat parents’ objections to its policies at school board meetings, the NSBA sent a letter to the DOJ, DHS, FBI and Secret Service asking them to treat parents’ protests “as a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

That portrayal is a lie, and Bannister knows it -- which is why he selectively quoted the letter (and why he did not directly link to a copy of the letter but to an Axios article about the NSBA's loss of funding). In fact, as documented in another Axios article, the letter itself (removed from the NSBA website) listed numerous examples of violence, harassment and intimidation, adding that the "classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."

That sums up the dishonesty with which CNS has treated this issue.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 12, 2021 11:59 AM EST

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