ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Trump Trashes Farah's Daughter -- And Farah Stays Silent
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On Nov. 15, Donald Trump went nuclear on one of his former White House staffers, Alyssa Farah, after she did a guest stint on "The View" and -- presumably more triggering -- said in a CNN interview that she had a conversation with Trump before leaving the White House in which he admitted he lost the election:

Heard that Alyssa Farah was terrible on The View – they could have asked the people who know her and saved a lot of time. She was a “backbencher” in the White House, and is now a nobody again. We put her out there to face the public as little as possible. It’s amazing how these people leave with respect and adoration for me and others in the White House, but as soon as CNN or other cameras get shoved in their face, or the losers from the The View ask a question, or money gets thrown at them, or someone writes a fake book, inglorious lightweights like Farah change so quickly. I watched this clown on television saying exactly what they wanted her to say and I watched the lies. Was she paid by low-ratings CNN? By the way, as soon as the Crime of the Century happened on November 3rd, I knew the Election was Rigged and Stolen, and never changed my view on that one bit. I did not go soft on the “Real” Big Lie, the Election Scam, and never will. Backbencher said I told her I lost the Election – never did. I virtually never even spoke to Farah (it’s like she didn’t even exist in the White House). Anybody who ever says that I thought the Election was legit, even for a moment, is wrong. All you have to do is look at the thousands of pages of documents and evidence-which continues to mount. When we told Alyssa to “hit the road,” she wrote a very nice letter stating that working for “Trump” was “the honor of a lifetime” and she was “deeply proud of the incredible things we were able to accomplish to make our country stronger, safer, and more secure.” Show the rest of the letter Alyssa, and explain why you wrote it!

And what was the reaction at WorldNetDaily, the website run by Alyssa's father, Joseph Farah? Crickets. In the month-plus since Trump's rant, Joseph Farah has not mentioned it in any of his columns, and no WND "news' story has mentioned it.

We've documented the apparent rift between Joseph Farah and his daughter. He is firmly in thrall to Donald Trump and an enthusiastic promoter of Trump's Big Lie that the election was stolen from him; Alyssa Farah, meanwhile, stepped down from her last Trump White House job as communications director about a month before the Jan. 6 riot because, she said, she could no longer stomach Trump's refusal to admit that he lost.Since then, she has said that Trump demonstrated "a flagrant lack of regard for public health and for the well-being of others" by keeping a positive COVID test secret for days until it was ultimately revealed, and she has also signed on to be a commentator at CNN, which presumably galls her father too. She also got married recently, and she happened to be on her honeymoon when Trump dropped his rant dissing her.

There's a lot going on in her life, yet you will read nothing about it at WND. Joseph Farah is clearly too afraid of the fallout from his beloved Trump if he defends his daughter against him. But even then, you'd think he would be proud enough of his daughter's marraige to declare a point of personal privilege and mention it in one of his weekday columns. Instead, nothing but crickets.

There's definitely an ongoing rift in the Farah family, and it appears it won't be repaired anytime soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EST
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
From Vile To Victim: The MRC's Flip-Flop on Dave Portnoy
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center used to understatnd that Barstool Sports and its founder Dave Portnoy were terrible, and it even called them out as such.

In October 2017, Jay Maxson cheered ESPN ending a partnership with Barstool Sports, "one of several vulgar media catering to left-wingers," which occurred after "revelations of Barstool's 2014 misogynistic trashing of ESPN's Samantha Ponder (see photograph) came to light." Maxson also noted a YouTube video by Portnoy that "viciously attacked Ponder," adding, "No self-respecting media organization would go within a hundred miles of people like this." In 2019, Maxson criticized a Barstool Sports writer for trying to "excuse away the recent arrest of [New England Patriots] team owner Robert Kraft on the charge of soliciting sex."

However, the MRC didn't heed Maxson's advice about not getting close to Portnoy. An April 2020 post by Jonas Wells touted how "Barstool Sports President, Dave Portnoy" -- no mention of the vile misogyny that goes on with him and his site -- "kept his opinion short and to the point," attacking sportswriter Jemele Hill as "absolutely idiotic" for pointing out that Kraft flying a planeload a N95 masks from China at the start of the pandemic had more to do with his being a buddy of Donald Trump than any magnamious motives.

In September 2020, as a way to attack "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin for the offenise of criticizing right-wing-friendly podcaster Joe Rogan, Kristine Marsh hyped criticism of Portnoy Hostin had made a few months earlier, noting after an interview Portnoy conducted with Trump that "over a dozen women, Barstool Sports reporters refused to sit down with HBO because they feared rape threats, he’s been on video using the n-word and, so, it’s not surprising to me that Trump would sit down with someone with that kind of reputation." Marsh linked to a Fox News article on Portnoy's response, in which he narrowly complained that Hostin told a "flat lie" because he "never made a rape threat." In Marsh's post, however, there was no reference to rape threats, only a statement that Portnoy "pushed back on saying she lied about him."

Portnoy got sanitized further in a December 2020 post by Joseph Vazquez, who gushed that Portnoy "exemplified the Christmas spirit by raising millions of dollars to help small businesses suffering under state-imposed lockdowns. The “ Barstool Fund ” has amassed a whopping $6,687,624 with 60,929 supporters so far. The funds have already helped 19 small businesses." Vazquez made not mention of the skeeviness of Portnoy or his website.

From there, it was a short trip to full victimhood, as he ultimnately met the MRC threshhold of getting brieflly suspended by Twitter. Autumn Johnson sympathetically wrote in a June 18 post:

Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, was inexplicably suspended from Twitter on Friday.

@BFFsPod, the Twitter account for the weekly podcast hosted by Portnoy and TikTok star, Josh Richards, tweeted screenshot of Portnoy's account with the message "Account suspended."

The account tweeted out the screenshot along with the newly trending hashtag, #FREEPORTNOY. The podcast added that “you’ll want to tune into next week’s episode.”

Although Twitter appeared to provide no reason as to why Portnoy was suspended, The Daily Wire reported that some users speculated that he was targeted after he threatened to “drop my nuts on your head” during a debate on Penn National Gaming stock.

However, the platform’s terms of service allow it to suspend accounts for little to no reason.

Johnson didn't explain why she didn't find that remark offensive. Instead, she continued to portray Portnoy as a peach of a guy, highlighting how "Portnoy talked with Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire about why he is willing to engage with critics on social media."

Believe it or not, the MRC went even farther than that by giving Portnoy a pass on his personal sleaziness. When Business Insider published an account of numerous women who described humiliating and violent sexual encounters with Portnoy, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg used her Nov. 17 podcast to not only declare that Portnoy was a victim of a "hit piece," shes completely refused to pass judgment on Portnoy despite the disturbing details in the article because he's allegedly a real "American":

Beleive it or not, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was just censored. Portnoy doesn't come off as politically right or left, but he does come off as American and supports the idea of saying whatever you want. That's a concept the left doesn't like. Now. I'm not going to sit here a defend Dave Portnoy. He's had his slew of sexual misconduct allegations that you could look at and and believe or not on your own time.

Having washed her hands of moral judgment of Portnoy -- even though moral judgment is kinda the MRC's thing -- Mandelburg complained that Twitter temporarily locked Portnoy out of his account, allegedly because he posted a conversation between him and Business Insider editors when the refused to appear on Portnoy's podcast. She offered noproofthis is what happened, but declared that "Insider is clearly leftist and so is Twitter, so it makes sense."

That's the level of "media research" the MRC has descended to these days -- all for the benefit of anyone who can help advance its right-wing agenda, no matter how sleazy. It's another example of the MRC mainstreaming extreme and/or terrible people to own the libs.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 21, 2021 11:27 PM EST
Yes, Mr. Brown, It *Is* Fake Outrage
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Another attempt from WorldNetDaily to push dishonest right-wing narratives about schools came in a Oct. 27 column by Michael Brown, under the headline "No, Mr. Obama, this is not 'fake outrage'":

Former President Obama made a terrible mistake when he said earlier this week in Virginia, "We don't have time to be wasted on these phony trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage, the right-wing media's peddles to juice their ratings."

Mr. Obama, the culture wars are anything but trumped-up, the outrage is quite real, and this is hardly a right-wing publicity stunt to generate ratings. Quite the contrary.

The people of Virginia – more specifically, the parents of Virginia – and the nation are saying enough is enough. You do not mess with their children.

[...]

Mr. Obama, was the Loudoun County, Virginia, school board "just trying to keep [the] kids safe" when they hid the fact that a girl had been raped in the girls' room by a boy wearing a skirt?

And was it their zeal to keep the kids safe that moved them to allow males to use the girls' bathroom based solely on a boy's preference? Really?

As we've documented when the Media Research Center tried to exploit the issue, that sexual assault was much more complicated than the transphobic Brown would have you believe. The boy and girl had previously had sexual relations before in this very same bathroom, and this encounter began with the girl inviting the boy to the bathroom for sex; the girl withdrew consent, the boy wouldn't stop, and that's when it became a sexual assault. Also, the assault occurred well before the Loudoun County schol district started discussions about transgender rights for stiudents, so the assault had absolutely no connection with it.

Brtown concluded:

For many years now, I have been saying that the left will overplay its hand, resulting in a cultural pushback. Be assured that the pushback is very real – not trumped up, not fake and not the creation of right-wing news media. Let the parents lead the way!

Ah, but it very much was the creation of right-wing media. Why? Because they wanted a Republican, Glenn Youngkin, to be elected governor of Virginia, and hyping hot-button culture-war issues was considered the best way to do that. Curiously, Brown made no mention of this race in the context of these issues being hyped, outside of a reference to Terry McAuliffe that didn't even mention that he was the Democratic candidate for governor against Youngkin. 

As we've also noted, the fact that right-wing media largely abandonded the story after it served its purpose by getting Youngkin elected more demonstrates how fake that outrage was. 

Indeed, Brown cheered how the culture wars got Youngkin elected in his Nov. 3 column, insisting that it showed "the culture wars are real, and parents have said enough is enough. Whether the issue was the dangerous, radical transgender agenda in children's schools ... or a destructive, overemphasis on racism in school curricula ... it appears that the voters spoke on these issues too." He went on to gloat that "it appears that the shocking news that the rape of a Loudoun County teenage girl in the girls' bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt was covered up by the local school board drew a sharp response from many parents. (And remember: the apparent cover-up was in the specific context of supporting transgender extremism in the schools.)"

So, yes, the culture wars were manufactured here to get a Republican elected. But Brown will never admit that truth, because his livelihbood of hating LGBT people depends on those culture wars looking as organic as he can make them. And part of that manufactured culture-war outrage is loudly insisting that it isn't being manufactured.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:27 PM EST
Newsmax Personnel Roundup: Fewer Anti-Vaxxers, More Accused Sexual Harassers (And A Turkish Propgandist)
Topic: Newsmax

It looks like Newsmax will be down a couple anti-vaxxers on its staff.

After making a huge ruckus about Newsmax's proposed vaccine mandate  policy for its employees, host Steve Cortes has left Newsmax, though it's unclear whether he quit or was fired. Numerous other issues appear to have played a part, inculding Cortes' allegedly terrible ratings. Meanwhile, Newsmax's White House correspondent Emerald Robinson has officially departed; she had been taken off the air in early November after she was caught spouting bizarre, bogus COVID conspriacy theories on Twitter.

Newsmax announced Robinson's replacement -- while remaining comploetely silent about the fact that he was a replacement -- in a Dec. 7 article by Brian Truesdell:

Newsmax announced today that veteran Washington reporter James Rosen will join the network as Chief White House Correspondent.

Rosen’s move to Newsmax — the nation’s fourth highest-rated cable news channel — marks an exciting new chapter in a singular journalism career.

As a top correspondent at Fox News and the Sinclair Broadcast Group over the last two decades, Rosen has reported from the White House, the State Department, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon, and the campaign trail. He has filed stories from nearly all 50 states and some 40 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and Haiti.

[...]

"James Rosen is not only a reporter’s reporter, but also a great thinker and author who can share complex issues on a TV screen and explain them in clear and understandable ways," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, said.

"We are pleased and proud to have him as a key part of our growing news team," Ruddy added.

Not only did Truesdell fail to mention that Rosen was replacing Robinson, he forgot to note that Rosen left Fox News under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations. NPR reported that Rosen "had an established pattern of flirting aggressively with many peers and had made sexual advances toward three female Fox News journalists, including two reporters and a producer." Adding that Rosen is "married with young children." NPR continued:

In the winter following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, a female Fox News reporter joined the bureau from New York. In a shared cab ride back from a meal, Rosen groped her, grabbing her breast. After she rebuffed his advance, Rosen sought to steal away her sources and stories related to his interests in diplomacy and national security. That's according to four colleagues who say she relayed the episode as a warning about Rosen's behavior. The reporter declined to comment for this story. (NPR has decided not to name the women in this article as they have not granted permission to do so.)

In a subsequent episode several years later, a female producer covering the State Department alleged that Rosen had directly sexually harassed her. A foreign national, she subsequently accepted a deal from Fox that enabled her to extend her stay in the U.S. in exchange for not making her complaint public, according to several of her former colleagues. The producer, who now works for a foreign-based news organization, is abroad with family and did not respond to several detailed messages left by email and phone seeking comment.

Late last spring, Rosen turned his attention to a younger female reporter, according to two colleagues who say she told them of the incident shortly afterward. Returning from a lunch together, Rosen physically tried to kiss her in the elevator ride back to the office, and once refused, attempted forcibly to kiss her again. According to a colleague, he then asked the reporter to keep the approach quiet and offered her unsolicited help in getting more time on Bret Baier's nightly political newscast, Special Report.

At Newsmax, Rosen joins Eric Bolling as another former Fox News host who is also an accused sexual harasser.

Also, Nancy Pelosi rather famously dismissed Rosen as "Mr. Republican Talking Points." Of course, being Mr. Republican Talking Points is a key reason that Newsmax hired him.

On the other hand, Newsmax seems to be taking cues from Fox News' history of objectifying females by having attractive women on-air. A Dec. 20 article announced the hiring of Sarah Williamson as New York correspondent; she comes to Newsmax from Israeli channel i24. Williamson was reportedly called the "world's most beautiful news anchor," and she allegedly left i24 after lashing out at her native country of Australia over COVID lockdowns, ranting that "brainwashed" Aussies were living in a "totalitarian society" and huffing that "I'm not proud to be Australian at the moment." Sounds like she'll fit in fairly well at Newsmax.

Meanwhile, Newsmax is pulling new hires out of much more obscure places. A Dec. 13 article announced the hiring of Kilmeny Duchart as a congressional correspondent; her previous job was as host of a U.S.-based show for the Turkish TV channel TRT World, a network that is actually a propaganda outlet for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But, hey, being a skilled propagandist is not an impediment to getting hired at Newsmax.

UPDATE: Media Matters has a list of all the accused sexual harassers working for Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2021 1:13 PM EST
CNS Falsely Portrays Biden, China's Xi As 'Old Friends'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough uncritically wrote in a Nov. 16 CNSNews.com article headlined "China’s Xi Greets ‘Old Friend’ Biden, Urges ‘Peace’ and ‘Win-Win Cooperation’":

“I’m very happy to see my old friend,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Biden on Monday evening as the two began what Biden said would be a “candid and forthright discussion.”

Speaking through an interpreter and appearing on television screens in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Xi said that the world’s two largest economies “need to increase communication and cooperation.”

Because Goodenough likes making Biden look bad, he didn't explain that despite Xi's greeting,Biden does not see Xi as an "old friend."As a news organization that cares about fully reporting on issues explained:

Asked what Xi was getting at -- and if Xi was trying to undermine the U.S. -- White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates didn't answer directly, but reiterated that Biden doesn't see Xi as an "old friend."

"I'm not going to speak for President Xi," Bates told a reporter on Air Force One as Biden headed to New Hampshire.

"But like you just mentioned," Bates continued, "you've heard explicitly from the president himself, that he has a longstanding relationship with President Xi. They've spent a great deal of time together. They are able to have candid discussions, be direct with each other, which helps them be productive. But he does not consider President Xi an old friend."

[...]

Experts have tried to interpret Xi's use of the phrase -- whether it was genuine goodwill or meant to gain control of the narrative over Biden.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, told Reuters Xi's use of the phrase is a show of genuine goodwill, while Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, told the news outlet "an 'old friend' doesn't necessarily mean he is still a real friend."

This isn't even the first time Goodenough has done this. He wrote in a June 16 article:

President Biden was asked Wednesday whether, given how much time he says he has spent in the past with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he would consider calling him up – “old friend to old friend” – and urge him to cooperate in the coronavirus origin investigation.

Biden, who was taking reporters’ questions after the U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva, disputed the characterization of Xi as an “old friend,” but did not otherwise answer the question.

Goodenough censored two things about this exchange: Biden's full, forceful response -- "Let’s get something straight. We know each other well. We’re not old friends. It’s just pure business" -- and the fact that the question was asked by Fox News' Peter Doocy. As we noted, Doocy's hostile question was such a screw-up on his part that Curtis Houck, his biggest champion at CNS's parent, the Media Research Center, buried the exchange in his usual Doocy-fluffing reports on White House press briefings.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Monday, December 20, 2021
MRC Falsely Claims Social Media 'Censored' Tucker Carlson's Jan. 6 Conspiracy Film
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Catherine Salgado complained in a Nov. 2 post:

Big Tech platforms censored Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s documentary series on the events of January 6th even before it was fully released, and media leftists have called for more.

Carlson, his show, and supporters posted and tweeted a preview trailer of the documentary series, “Patriot Purge,” last week. The stated aim of “Patriot Purge” is to uncover the “true story behind 1/6.” Facebook censored the preview with a “sensitive content” label. YouTube imposed age restrictions and a warning that the content “may be inappropriate for some users.”

Earth to Salgado: None of those things are "censorship." The preview trailer can still be viewed, and there was nothing stopping Carlson from airing it on the widely viewed channel of his employer. Salgado could also argue that Fox News has "censored" Carlson's documentary because it's available only on the Fox Nation subscription streaming service instead of Fox News proper, but she won't -- that doesn't advance her narrative.

Salgado went on to complain that a Washington Post reporter "pushed the narrative that Carlson’s documentary was a 'conspiracy theory' using 'baseless claims,'" and that a Post reporter alerted Facebook to the video being posted there. As if Carlson isn't pushing a narrative? Besides, it's not a "narrative" if it's true; as Poynter found in its review, the show "not only whitewashed what happened on Jan. 6, as supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, clashed with police and halted congressional proceedings in an effort to overturn the 2020 election. It also conjured a dystopian, alternative explanation for the insurrection, centered on a mix of conspiracy theories, including that the violence outside the Capitol was spurred on by left-wing instigators and agents provacateurs, and that the siege may have been a trap orchestrated by the FBI." Poynter went on to discredit numerous claims the show makes.

Salgado's response to all this was not to do any fact-checking on her own but, rather, to simply regurgitate what the preview claims and tout how many times it's been seen (which would seem to blow a hole in her claim that the video was being "censored":

The “Patriot Purge” preview said that the documentary series provides “the true story behind 1/6, the war on terror 2.0 and the plot against the People,” suggesting the alleged Capitol “insurrection” may have been a “false flag.” The Twitter preview has over 3 million views as of publication. The first part of the documentary series was released on Nov. 1.

From there, Salgado started repeating the MRC's boilerplate attacks on anyone who would dare fact-check a conservative:

Big Tech and its so-called fact-checkers have proven to be unfairly biased in the past. PolitiFact, which was cited by Lima against Carlson’s documentary, is a Facebook fact-checking partner. The fact-checker has relied on communist Chinese information in the past and is part of liberal Poynter Institute's International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), which received over a million dollars from liberal billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.

She also repeated an oft-repeated MRC falsehood that "Trump was also banned from at least 10 platforms after he called for 'peace' following the Capitol 'riot.'"

This complaint was rehashed in the Nov. 17 podcast from the MRC's Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, in which she praised "Patriot Purge" without bothering to fact-check anything in it (or, apparently, to even watch it before issuing her judgment):

The video is clearly an attack on the leftist ideology ther everything pro-Trump is bad, if you're white you're racist, and if you don't consider Jan. 6 an insurrection, you're someho w terrorist. Facebook added a "sensitive content" filter to his video after the Washington Post whined about it. So: Half-naked girls online don't get a "sensitive content" filter, insane violence at a BLM or Antifa riot don't get a "sensitive content" filter, and neither does the viral image of Kathy Griffin holding a bloody Trump head. But Carlson's pro-America video did.

Yeah, the MRC would think that spreading right-wing conspiracy theories is "pro-America." Pretending that what happened on Jan. 6 wasn't an "insurrection" is another active MRC narrative designed to downplay those events.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EST
WND Also Spread False Right-Wing Narrative About School Boards And Violence
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If the Media Research Center and CNSNews.com were going to glom onto the false story that a national school board group depicted all parents who spoke up at school board meetings about right-wing culture-war issues as "domestic terrorists," you can bet that WorldNetDaily -- whose standards for accuracy are much lower than that of the MRC and CNS -- wanted in on that bogus action too. Bob Unruh embranced the false narrative in an Oct. 5 article:

Only days ago the National School Board Association asked Joe Biden to use federal anti-terror laws against parents who are protesting – and fighting – the leftist agendas of their school boards, who want to install Critical Race Theory and other indoctrination in classrooms.

Now the administration has responded with orders from Attorney General Merrick Garland to the FBI to move against those parents.

Without citing any instance of criminal activity, he cited a "disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff."

Later that day, Art Moore advanced the narrative:

True to form, the "mama bear" mothers and the fathers who have been passionately speaking out at school-board meetings against "woke" curricula and mask mandates have something to say to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the National School Boards Association for effectively branding them as domestic terrorists.

"I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?" asked Asra Nomani, vice president of investigations and strategy for the non-profit Parents Defending Education. "You owe parents an apology!"

Her group, in a statement Monday night, accused activists of "weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice."

"This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America's underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced," the statement said.

Unruh returned two days later with a dubious conflict-of-interest attack on Garland in which he repeated the false narrative:

Joe Biden's attorney general, Merrick Garland, who recently unleashed a formal Department of Justice attack on parents opposing extremist ideas like Critical Race Theory in their public schools, is being accused of a conflict of interest for his agenda.

It's because his son-in-law runs a company that sells products to school districts, and those products apparently include data tools involving surveys that gauge students' "emotional and mental wellbeing" as well as surveys on sexuality and promotions of CRT, which claims that all of the United States is racist, all whites are offenders, and all blacks are victims.

Another Oct. 7 article by Unruh regurgitated an attack on an Associated Prsss fact-check about the National School Boards Association letter about the threats by dishonest anti-CRT activist Christopher Rufo, in which he deliberately misrepresents the letter by falsely claiming its warnings applied to all parents. As we've noted, even the MRC couldn't find anyplace where the group explicitly stated that parents were "domestic terrorists" simply for speaking out.

Chuck Norris ratcheted up the lie in his Oct. 11 column while repeating Fox News' alarmist take on the story:

Watching an episode of Tucker Carlson this past week, I was shocked to learn that the Biden administration is making plans to actually deploy FBI agents to round up American parents in every state who are disagreeing with public school boards.

Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the FBI to address what he called a "disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence" against educators and school board members.

[...]

Are American parents now domestic terrorists because they disagree and dissent? Are parents really a national security threat? The feds are potentially criminalizing parenting because of protests!

How excessive is federal government overreach when American parents can't even disagree with school officials about subjects pertaining to their children that they conscientiously object to? Will the American public tolerate every breech of the federal government, even when the Biden administration gets it wish for the IRS to track every bank account with $600?!

At least Norris felt just enough shame that he added, "Let me state categorically that any acts or threats of violence against school board members are wrong."

Unruh came back again for an Oct. 12 article:

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is improperly chilling Americans' speech with his attack on parents, according to prominent legal commentator Alan Dershowitz.

Garland recently released a statement that essentially threatened parents who are opposing their local school boards' leftist moves, such as promoting transgender ideology and Critical Race Theory discrimination, with FBI investigations.

Unruh went on to reference "Garland's agenda against parents."

Unruh misrepresented the situation again in an Oct. 18 article, in which he referenced "a letter from National School Boards Association to the Biden administration demanding he use the nation's anti-terror laws against parents who object to and oppose the leftist agenda items," going on to claim that Garland issued a "memo against parents."

In an Oct. 25 article, Unruh attacked the school boards group itself: "The National School Boards Association, the education industry group that suggested parents protesting leftist school-board agendas were "domestic terrorism," owes some $20 million to the IRS, according to a report."

A Nov. 12 article by Unruh complained that "the National School Boards Association coordinated with the White House before it requested that Joe Biden consider parents objecting to leftist ideology in their public school as domestic terrorists," though he didn't explain why the group and the Department of Justice were not allowed to be proactive over the situation instead of waiting for an act of violence to occur before anything would be done. Unruh then seemed to justify the attacks by playing whatabnoutism:

The dispute focuses on the leftist campaigns many school boards are adopting, including COVID-19 mandates, and the fact that parents object to those. While a handful of parents have shouted down board members, at least as often board members have ordered parents to be quiet, shut down meetings in order to silence them, and even called police to remove members of the public speaking at board meetings.

Unruh didn't explain why school boards should not be permitted to enforce order at their meetings.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:04 PM EST
MRC Writer Touts One Last Limbaugh Lie
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center had a major sad when Rush Limbaugh died -- so much so, it loudly complained that his offensive right-wing schtick was being criticized and almost completely censored that one time he call a college student a "slut" because she took birth control. Jeffrey Lord cranked up the waterworks one final time in his Oct. 29 MRC column:

It was, of course, only a matter of time.

With his passing in February of this year, there would inevitably be a last issue of Rush Limbaugh’s monthly magazine – The Limbaugh Letter. That issue has just arrived in my mail box – not the electronic one but the snail mail one as the magazine was indeed quite physical.

As a subscriber to Rush 24/7, I was a subscriber to The Limbaugh Letter. It would arrive in the mail every month like clockwork, with Rush’s latest musings for the magazine written in about 16 concise pages.

[...]

The last, freshly arrived issue dated October of 2021 features a tribute to Rush himself, aptly titled “Forever Dittos, Rush!” The piece is indeed a wonderful tribute, filled with the indelible memories of Rush that are shared by so many millions of his fans.

Among the memories is this quite accurate assessment of just why so many Americans loved Rush. It says: “You not only spoke for us, you woke us up and connected us to each other as an enormous force.” Exactly.

Lord went on to gush:

The Limbaugh Letter was a monthly treasure trove of information and spot on analysis.

Leafing through my collection of back issues the breadth of topics featured amaze. Rush on the NFL, Kim Jong Un and North Korea, and, memorably, “Democrats are exposing themselves as the wacko-radical America-hating Marxists they really are.”

In another issue, the Parkland, Florida killing of 14 kids and three teachers at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school is discussed with a focus on the startling fact that the killer, teenager Nikolas Cruz, had 39 police visits to his home by police - but was never arrested. Why? Because of a quite deliberate Obama policy called the PROMISE - Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education program. Had Cruz been arrested just once for disorderly conduct, the Letter points out, it would have raised a red flag when he bought a firearm.

But Limbaugh's story about Cruz isn't true. First of all, the PROMISE programa wasn't an "Obama policy" -- while the program launched in that school district while Obama was in the White House, no federal departments or agencies, let alone Obama himself, were involved in its creation.

Second of all: A commission created to investigate the Parkland shooting found that while Cruz was referred to the program, there's no evidence he ever took part in it. As a local sheriff put it:

"The PROMISE program didn't fail for Cruz," Pinellas sheriff and commission chairman Bob Gualtieri told reporters. "It would never in any way, shape, form, would've affected his ability to buy that AR-15, to buy the shotguns, to buy anything else, to possess them."

He added: "It's completely irrelevant, it's a rabbit hole, it's a red herring, it's immaterial, and that's why we're taking it off the table. And the community needs to know that that has nothing to do with what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14."

How fitting that one of the strongest memories Lord has about Limbaugh is based on a lie.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Learns To Live With A Republican
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com tried -- and failed miserably -- to destroy Glenn Youngkin as a Republican candidate for Virginia governor, but it ever-so-slowly came around. Plus: Like its Media Research Center parent, CNS hid the full story of a school sexual assault. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Again! MRC Hypes Bad Employment Numbers Under Biden, Censors Good Numbers The Next Month
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Joseph Vazquez has a highly biased approach to writing about the economy under President Biden -- mainly a lot of emphasis on hyping bad ndews and censoring good news. We've demonstrated one example of this: promoting less-than-good monthly employment numbers while censoring any mention of the good ones.

Vazquez kicked off another round of hyping one bad month of employment numbers in an Oct. 8 post:

Here we go again! The ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows protected President Joe Biden by censoring another horrible report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS reported at 8:30 a.m. today that the U.S. economy added only 194,000 jobs in the month of September. The BLS figure completely dismantled predictions by economists surveyed by Refinitiv who were expecting a 500,000 increase. That means predictions were off by a whopping 306,000 jobs.

CATO Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards told the MRC in response to the BLS report that “[l]arge and small businesses are surely worried about the large tax increases planned by the Democrats in Washington.”

Edwards is one of Vazquez's go-to right-wing economists when he needs a reliably biased, anti-Biden take on the economy.

Vazquez added: "News Nation Now, however, reported on the massive miss as a “major disappointment.” Perhaps the Big Three morning news shows should take notes." He didn't mention that News Nation is run by former Fox News executive and Trump White House staffer Bill Shine, who was never known for being fair and balanced.

On Oct. 12, Vazquez bashed a New York Times reporter for offering context on the numbers that he didn't like:

New York Times senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin bent himself into a pretzel spinning the atrocious Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing the economy only added 194,000 jobs in September.

Following the release of the abysmal job growth report on Friday, Irwin had the nutty spin: “The New Jobs Numbers Are Pretty Good, Actually.” Irwin had a much different reaction earlier on Twitter that undercut the gaslighting in his article. He tweeted immediately at 8:30 a.m. ET, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report dropped: “+194k on payrolls, a big miss. But unemployment rate way down to 4.8%.” He tweeted one minute later (8:31 a.m.) in his instant coverage of the BLS data: “Debating how many ‘o’s should be added to the word ‘oof’ in this circumstance.” He wrote in the lede paragraph of his article: “It’s not as bad as it looks.” That’s an interesting way of characterizing the “Slowest [Job Growth] Pace of [the] Year.”

Irwin celebrated that the economy was in a “steady expansion that is more rapid than other recent recoveries. It is being held back by supply constraints and, in September at least, the emergence of the Delta variant. But the direction is clear, consistent and positive.” He falsely stated that the unemployment rate “fell for good reasons, not bad — the number of people unemployed dropped by a whopping 710,000 while the number of people working rose by a robust 526,000.” The Wall Street Journal reported that “[m]any workers gave up the job search and exited from the labor force last month, the data showed.” It continued: “The smaller pool of labor meant that despite the slowdown in hiring, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month from 5.2% in August.”

Vazquez never explained exactly why Irwin's statement that the unemployment rate "fell for good reasons" was "false," despite later asserting that "The unemployment rate did fall for 'bad' reasons, despite Irwin's gaslighting to the contrary."

Vazquez got an assist from MRC writer Curtis Houck, who touted how a reporter "twice called out the administration’s absurd spin about the putrid jobs numbers" at a White House press briefing.

However, Vazquez failed to mention that the disappointing numbers blew a hole in one of his right-wing narratives: that unemployment benefits disincentivizes people from finding jobs. He cheered that narrative when Fox Business host (and credibly accused sexual assaulter) Charles Payne pushed it, and he wrote a July post declaring that "A new poll blew apart the media’s year-long gaslighting that extended unemployment benefits weren’t discouraging work," which claimed to find that "benefits reduced the number of accepted job offers by an estimated 1.84 million over the course of the pandemic." Never mind of course, that numerous studies have shown that unemployment benefits do not keep people from seeking work; he went on to rant that non-right-wing media outlets have "hoodwinked America on the effects of extended unemployment benefits" and "numerous left-wing outlets pounded the same gaslighting drum.

But pandemic-related unemployment benefits ended on Sept. 6, which theoretrically meant -- if the right-wing lazy-grifter theory was true -- that all those lazy people grifting off employment benefits would be forced into the workplace in September. But as the numbers showed, that didn't happen. Vazquez has been completely silent about that development. Instead, he gushed in an Oct. 19 postabout how "The Wall Street Journal editorial board didn’t hesitate to pin the labor shortage blame on the proper culprit: “Bidenomics," which included "pandemic enhanced unemployment benefits, which ended in early September" and "$300 monthly allowance per child, food stamps and rental assistance." Again, Vazquez didn't explain why the ending of pandemic benefits didn't create a surge of job-seekers.

The following month, Vazquez once again showed that good news for the country is bad news for the MRC if it happens when a Democrat is president. In October, not only did employment increase by 531,000 jobs, thenunmbers for September were revised from a increase of 194,000 to a 312,000 increase.

Vazquez censored this information from his readers. Instead, he wrote a Nov. 8 post attacking that same New York Times reporter again, insisting that the economy is "poor" and only fleetingly acknowledged the "decreasing unemployment rate" and then -- like his co-workers at CNSNwws.com do when the numbers are too good under a Democratic president -- hyped "the dismal labor force participation rate."

But the following month, Vazquez went back to his old tricks.When the employment numbers failed to meet expectations for November, he was quick to crank out a Dec. 3 post declaring that "the economy only added 210,000 jobs, 340,000 fewer than expected" and criticized CNN for reporting the projected numbers before the real ones came out. He also complained that CNN reported that many people are leaving jobs for better-paying ones, which inVazquez's revisionism meand that "CNN still tried to twist itself into a pretzel to make it seem like the struggle to find workers was actually a good thing."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 19, 2021 9:34 PM EST
CNS Loves Promoting Polls That Make Biden Look Bad
Topic: CNSNews.com

During the 2020 presidential election, CNSNews.com aggressively pushed outlier polls -- often from dubious right-skewing pollsters like Rasmussen -- touting Donald Trump's alleged popularity and claiming Donald Trump was doing well despite him being behind in most reputable polls. But after Trump's loss and Joe Biden becoming the new president, CNS has largely focused on hyping polls -- again from dubious pollsters -- claiming that Biden is unpopular as a person and with his initiatives. A June 9 article by Aslianna Kreiner was typical of this CNS genre:

A poll by the Honest Elections Project (HEP) shows only 28 percent of people who are informed about HR 1, the “For the People Act,” actually support it.

“Only 29% of voters know anything at all about this expansive legislative attempt to reshape American elections, but when they are informed, only 28% support its passage,” the Honest Elections Project said in a memo to members of Congress and state legislators.

But as we documented when CNS previously touted polls issued by this group, the Honest Elections Project is a partisan right-wing group funded by dark money whose goal is to "advocate for greater controls on elections."In other words, the group is issuing these polls with the unambiguous purpose of promoting its agenda.

Nevertheless, CNS loves this group because it share those same partisan goals. An Aug. 24 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted that "A new poll shows that 81% of voters in the United States support laws that require "every voter to show a photo ID when they vote," according to Honest Elections Project Action (HEPA), which conducted the survey of 1,200 registered voters in mid-July.

Unsurprisingly, CNS regularly plugs Rasmussen polls bdcause they too advance CNS' right-wing, anti-Biden agenda:

CNS does cite more reputable pollsters too -- but only as long as they make Biden look bad:

CNS seems to love Gallup because. despite its reputation as a top pollster, it does generate right-wing-friendly results. Last December, an article by Chapman touted how "In Gallup's 2020 poll on the most admired man, President Donald J. Trump came out on top." This was about a week before the Capitol riot, however, so that finding didn't exactly age well.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 19, 2021 1:38 PM EST
Saturday, December 18, 2021
MRC Writer Complains Americans Don't Hate LGBT People As Much As He Does
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Rsearch Center is fond of complaining that there are LGBT people are too visible in media and society in general -- which is to say, they're visible at all. We have another one in this genre in the form of a Nov. 3 post by Matt Philbin, who laments that fewer people are hating LGBT people the way he does and begins with a predictibly lame shot at a newspaper for simply reporting the story:

It’s nice that USA Today has found an identity after all these years. It never managed to be a real newspaper, and since few business travelers tote along their gerbil cages, it never really became useful to anyone.

But these days, USA Today is thriving as a PR shop for the gay agenda. On Nov. 3, Entertainment Reporter David Oliver took dictation from GLAAD for a piece in the “Health and Wellness” section fluffing the group's annual Accelerating Acceptance Study.

Here’s the good news: Ubiquity is having the intended effect. You can’t swing a leather speedo in popular culture without hitting a brave lifestyle trailblazer living his/her/their truth, and “Increased visibility educates non-LGBTQ people,” according to Oliver.

So, “The report found that 43% of non-LGBTQ people think gender is not exclusively male and female, up from 38% in 2020,” Oliver typed.

[...]

So, you celebrate and reward a behavior, you get more of it. (You may wonder how the “growing community” squares with the “born this way” argument we were supposed to accept last week -- maybe more fluoride in the water? -- but shut up, you bigot.) 

But all is not unicorns and free condoms. “Among non-LGBTQ people,” Oliver says, “45% admit they are confused by all the different terms to describe people in the LGBTQ community.”

t’s true. Normal folks have trouble keeping up with the abnormalities the activists keep inventing. You add enough cars to the LGBTQXYZLMNOP freight train and those of us stuck at the road crossing as it goes by are bound to lose count.

Says the guy who is taking dictation from homophobes and working for the PR shop for haters.

But Philbin wasn't done hating yet. After noting a survey citing LGBTQ youth being positively impacted by LGBTQ celebrities, he sneered: "So we should all relax and let Lady Gaga raise our kids. What could go wrong?"

We can assume they would probably turn out better than any children raised by a hater like Philbin.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:17 AM EST
Going Godwin Gone Wrong, WND Columnist Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In 1940, the Germans defeated the French with incredible speed. The armies of fascism and totalitarianism simply went around their opponents' elaborately constructed defenses, and the swift collapse of what had only recently been a major military power came shortly thereafter.

In a similar fashion, America's strongest bulwark for the preservation of our most cherished liberties, embodied in the Constitution, has been neatly bypassed. The forces of collectivism, socialism and tyranny, uniquely American versions of Marxism and progressive dictatorship, moved swiftly through an undefended gap.

That gap was a wildly and deliberately exaggerated health crisis. A disease that has a low mortality rate for young and healthy people was used as a pretext for draconian denials of rights that not too long before had been considered inalienable. A swift expansion of government power into areas totally outside of its legitimate mandate followed. The rule of law was replaced by the arbitrary decrees of highly dubious "experts" and power-hungry politicians, and traditional legislative processes were abandoned in favor of irrational and socially destructive lockdowns and mandates.

The advocates of dictatorial government by unelected or dishonestly elected elites have come uncomfortably close to their century-old dream of a planned society. Much more is yet to come – and if they continue to progress at their current rate of speed, the American way of life as we have known it will come to an end.

[...]

Great transformations are being achieved with extraordinary speed. Driven by false ideologies, as well as by hostility toward and contempt for what America at its very best used to be, they are striving persistently to realize their ambitions. It remains to be seen how far they will be able to go. It may very well be that the 20th-century experiences of China, Russia, Cambodia and Germany will turn out to be more relevant to us than anyone could have dreamed even a short decade ago. Yet it may also be that sufficient exposure to the deadly nature of their ideological and social reconstructions will provoke a sufficient counter-reaction, once enough Americans realize the danger they are in.

-- Joe Keysor, Nov. 11 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 18, 2021 11:18 AM EST
Friday, December 17, 2021
MRC Writer Gets Off On Gun Parts Labeled 'Let's Go Brandon'
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center hypocritically got way into the "Let's Go Brandon" euphemistic vulgarity to insult Presdient Biden. MRC writer Nicholas Fondacaro, meanwhile, was so into the vulgar insult that he's totally cool with gun parts engraved with it and doesn't see them as an implicit threat at all, trying to dismiss them as "novelty" parts. He wrote in a Nov. 1 post:

MSNBC was in a panic Monday after they discovered that companies in the firearms industry made novelty AR-15 parts featuring the anti-President Biden slogan “Let’s Go Brandon” adoring them. It also proved to be another demonstration of just how little the liberal media understood about firearms and gun laws, as they claimed the parts represented clear and present “threats” to the President. They even ran to the Secret Service to let them know and tried to link the parts to January 6.

[...]

The novelty part in question was this stripped lower receiver from Palmetto State Armory. According to the webpage for the pre-order part, the serial number range would consist of “BRANDON 0000” and the fire selector flipped between “‘F@CK!’ (Safe), ‘JOE!’ (Fire), ‘BIDEN!’ (Full-Auto)’” engravings. They sell for $59.99.

“A South Carolina gun dealer called Palmetto State Armory is selling what is known as a lower receiver, which is essentially the guts of an AR-15 assault rifle, branded ‘LETSGO-15,’” Dilanian said. “And as you said, on the weapon’s fire selector, the expletive we can’t say on television is next to the safety mode, the word Joe is next to the single-shot mode, and the word Biden is next to the automatic firing mode.”

But the horror of novelty AR parts didn’t stop there for Dilanian. “Now, after I got a tip about this, I came across two other companies marketing AR-15 ammunition magazines with ‘Let's go Brandon’ stickers on them,” he reported in all seriousness.

If they can be used as real gun parts, they're not "novelty" parts. Nevertheless, Fondacaro labored to justify tgheir existence:

What MSNBC failed to mention was the fact that since lowers are the serialized part of an AR, they needed to be shipped to a federally licensed gun store and required a background check before the part could be handed over to the buyer. This meant that those able to acquire them were law-abiding gun owners.

And just because it had a “full-auto” engraving, didn’t mean it would be utilized that way. For a law-abiding gun owner to own a rifle capable of being fully automatic, they needed a special license from the ATF, which was a long and tedious process. A buyer could get the lower and simply use a normal single-shot trigger mechanism in it, or possibly a binary trigger.

This is just another example of how the liberal media are trying to criminalize dissent and portray those opposed to Biden as violent extremists and terrorists.

Fondacaro doesn't know that, of course. And the mere fact that gun parts are being emblazoned with a vulgar insult of a president means that the violence is very much implilcit. And he seems cool with that too. You can bet he would not be so sanguine if said parts were inscribed with an insult to Donald Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 PM EST
Blast From The Past: CNS Obsesses About Obama Using First Person Singular Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

One of CNSNews.com's longtime word obsessions regarding Barack Obama has been complaining that he referred to himself too much in speeches: a 2009 column by editor Terry Jeffrey railed at Obama for this, and Jeffrey went on to devote entire articles counting how many times Obama used first person singular in a given speech. (By comparison, Jeffrey and CNS had few complaints about Donald Trump's rampant narcissism.)

When Obama spoke at November's climate summit, the powers that be at CNS decided the time was right for more Obama-bashing potshots. First up was Susan Jones to complain about the content of Obama's speech:

Addressing climate change "is going to be really hard," President Barack Obama said in a speech Monday to the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Speaking at the event in person, which means he burned fuel to fly there, Obama dedicated much of his speech to young people, urging them to make true believers of their elders and "to vote the issue -- vote like your life depends on it, because it does."

Jones made sure to note that Obama "used a personal example" by noting that he could afford to alter his lifestyle but most people can't.

That was followed by an anonymous article credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff" -- but almost certainly Jeffrey, since this is his bizarre bugaboo -- counting all the first person singular references in Obama's speech:

Former President Barack Obama used the first person singular pronouns “I” and “me” 56 times during the speech he delivered on Monday at the COP 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Here is a video of his multitudinous expressions of "I" and "me:"

Obama set the tone early on in his speech, when he used the word “I’ about once every fourteenth word.

I am a private citizen now so trips like this feel a little bit different than they used to,” Obama said. “I don’t get invited to the big group photo. Traffic is a thing again. Music doesn’t play when I walk into the room. On the positive side, I can give a speech like this without wearing a tie and not create a scandal back home. I hope. But even though I’m not required to attend summits like this anymore, old habits die hard.”

Jeffrey has never explained why Obama using first person singular sets him off so much -- and why Trump's narcissism doesn't bother him at all even though it has caused even further division in the country.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« December 2021 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google