Shoddy MRC Research Chief Rich Noyes Retires Topic: Media Research Center
We're a little slow to getting around to this, but Rich Noyes retired at the end of September after 22 years at the Media Research Center, where he most recently served as research director. That means he was the guy behind some of the MRC's most biased "media research" of recent years -- so-called studies that purported to quantify "liberal bias." Aswe'vedocumented, the studies claimed to document things such as "spin" -- something that lacked any objective definition -- and "positive" or "negative" coverage, particularly during the Trump years, that had numerous flaws:
They focused only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and falsely suggests it's indicative of all media, even as it ignores the highly Trump-friendly Fox News.
They pretended there was never any neutral coverage of Trump. Indeed, the study explicitly rejects neutral coverage -- even though that's arguable the bulk of news coverage -- dishonestly counting "only explicitly evaluative statements."
They failed to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story.
They failed to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. If the MRC's work was genuine and rigorous, wouldn't it be happy to provide the data to back it up?
An organization dedicated to genuine, scientific research would not tolerate such shoddy methods, but that's not the MRC is -- the results are what mattered, and Noyes merely had to tailor a method that would generate those results.
MRC executive Tim Graham did an exit interview or sorts with Noyes on the Oct. 1 edition of his podcast. Noyes got his start working for Robert Lichter, a conservative-leaning researcher who was one of the first people who tried to put an academic sheen on "liberal media bias" -- he and fellow reserarchers co-wrote a book called "The Media Elite," which helped cement that narrative among conservatives -- and whose work is the foundation of the MRC. Noyes huffed that journalists "are not an even-steven group of people. They're not a group of people reflecting the audience they claim to be working for. They are an extremely liberal group of people. As a constituency, they are far more liberal the the most liberal district in California."
From there, it was a rehash of the MRC's greatest hits: Noyes called liberals on TV "flamboyantly aggressive" but referred to nobody in conservartive media that way; Graham described Edward R. Murrow as a "hack"; Noyes referenced his studies on "negative" coverage of Trump without discussing the flaws in those studies; Graham bashed fact-checkers as having too much "arrogance." Noyes then placed responsibility for correcting media bias solely on liberals -- not only any right-wing outlet like Fox News.
In that way, people like Noyes and Graham are the arrogant ones -- they take potshots to further the "liberal media" narrative, but they will never hold their fellow right-wing outlets to the same standards. That shows how the folks at the MRC are merely partisan activists, not actual "media researchers."
CNS Lashes Out At Biden For Supposedly Being Too Old To Get A Colonscopy Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has issued its share of bizarre, petty attacks on President Biden, and another one came in the form of a Nov. 19 article by Susan Jones:
"This morning, the President will travel to Walter Reed Medical Center for a routine physical. While he is there, the President will undergo a routine colonoscopy," the White House announced on Friday morning.
But according to guidance issued by the American Cancer Society, colonoscopy should not be routine for people older than 75. President Biden will turn 78 years old tomorrow.
Yes, Jones is really attacking Biden for undergoing a normal health procedure. Yet she went on to quote ACS guidance stating that "For people ages 76 through 85, the decision to be screened should be based on a person’s preferences, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history." That would seem to be self-debunking, but Jones stuck with the smear anyway.
This is how viscerally Jones and the rest of CNS despise Biden.
Bernard Kerik started off his Dec. 3 Newsmax column with an unhinged screed against Stacey Abrams:
In a move that everyone saw coming, far-left radical Democrat Stacey Abrams announced this week that she was once again running for governor in Georgia, in the 2022 election.
Having come within inches of being elected governor in 2018, there is one thing abundantly clear for next year: If Vernon Jones isn’t the Republican candidate, Stacey Abrams will be Georgia's next governor.
Abrams is a strong advocate for destroying the integrity of our elections by overhauling the system in a way that would allow anyone to cast a ballot — regardless of who they are, where they live, and whether there a citizen or not.
From woke far-left policies that will destroy Georgia as we know it, Abrams will usher in a new era of authoritarian mandates that will make us feel as if we live in communist China.
She’ll follow Biden’s attacks on our Second Amendment, mandate Critical Race Theory (CRT) in our schools, impose vaccine mandates at every turn, and seek legislation and laws that weaken our criminal justice system and villainize the police.
Stacey Abrams will victimize criminals.
Unless Georgian’s want a state that replicates California or New York, Republicans must elect a strong leader in next year’s gubernatorial Republican primary, and this writer believes that Vernon Jones is the best man for the job.
You might remember Jones as the Georgia state legislator CNSNews.com repeatedlypromoted because he was a self-proclaimed Democrat who sounded like a right-wing Republican.He has since acted more honestly by actually becoming a Republican. Kerik is raising money for Jones -- a conflict of interest he failed to disclose in his column. We could find no reference from Jones as to why he's associating himself with a convicted criminal who did jail time (but was later pardoned by Donald Trump).
Kerik then went on to assailc urrent Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for not buying into Trump's Big Lie about election fraud:
Brian Kemp failed the people of Georgia, he failed our nation, and he not only failed President Donald Trump, but intentionally did everything in his power to ignore the substantial election improprieties and overwhelming voter and election fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election, that put Joe Biden in the White House.
He let the Democrats use the pandemic to overhaul Georgia’s elections in a manner that allowed them to win the presidential election in Georgia, as well as both Senate seats.
Then as the improprieties and corruption in the 2020 elections were exposed over the past 12 months, Kemp retreated into the governor’s mansion and did absolutely nothing to address them.
Kerik offered no evidence of independently verified "improprieties and corruption" in the election that would have caused Trump to lose there. Instread, he went on to attack another candidate in the race:
As Kemp’s popularity has diminished, the rumors have begun that former Senator David Perdue would jump in the race. And, while some have respect for the work accomplished by former Senator David Perdue, it’s no secret that he no longer has the electability in a statewide race in Georgia in today’s political climate.
After spending $97 million to run for a U.S. Senate seat, he lost to a virtual unknown left -leaning radical, because he was afraid to fight and fight hard, and he had no help from his pal — Governor Kemp.
The reality is that neither Kemp or Perdue can defeat Stacey Abrams in a general election in today’s modern and political environment — and they know it.
Where were Kemp, Purdue, and the good old boys in the Georgia state house when Jones was screaming at the top of his lungs, calling for a statewide forensic audit.
A few days later, Perdue did join the race -- and was endorsed by Trump. Apaprently Kerik didn't send a copy of his column to The Donald.
WND Still Uncritically Pushing McCullough's COVID Misinfo Topic: WorldNetDaily
One of WorldNetDaily's favorite COVID misinformers is Peter McCullough, and he continues to be a favorite despite -- or perhaps because -- of that that misinformation. Art Moore uncritically wrote in a Dec. 1 article:
The newly discovered omicron mutation of the novel coronavirus will likely be a "minor" variant, according to epidemiologist Dr. Peter McCullough.
"It's simply not going to be as infectious" as the delta variant, he said, citing researcher Jacques Fantini of the University of Aix-Marseille in France.
"It doesn't look like it's going to have the evolutionary efficiency to become a dominant strain," McCullough told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Tuesday night. "I think it's going to be like the lambda and the epsilon variants previously described during the most recent year in COVID-19.
"It will become a minor variant," he said. "So I certainly wouldn't be looking for wrapping up on new vaccines or boosters to try to target this variant, until we have more data."
McCullough added that the omicron variant first reported last week arose among travelers in Botswana who were vaccinated.
"So I think it's clear now that this variant is an evolutionary mistake that arose within the vaccinated."
Just as he was wrong about the delta variant being "very mild," and he's wrong here: A few weeks after this article appeared, omicron became the dominant strain in the U.S.While vaccinated people are more exposed to catching the omicron variant because of its extremely high transmissibility, those who catch it appear to be feeling only mild symptoms, while unvaccinated people will likely feel more severe symptoms and be more prone to hospitalization.
Also: Fantini is the same French researcher cited by WND columnist Joel Hirschhorn to similarly claim that omicron "will not be very transmissible.")
Moore then worked to boost McCullough's medical credentials -- "McCullough has 600 peer-reviewed publications to his name. Many have appeared in top-tier journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet" -- while complaining that he lost jobs because of "powerful forces at work, far more powerful than we can possibly think of" -- but he won't describe the misinformation he's been caught spreading (of course, much of that spread thanks to Moore's help).
WND republished a Dec. 10 article from right-wing website American Greatness featuring McCullough claiming that "myocarditis in young people post vaccine is far more dangerous than the COVID version of the heart disease." A medical fact-checker found his claim to be false.
Moore returned to serve as McCullough's servile stenographer in a Dec. 19 article, letting him play victim again:
In a podcast interview that would not have been allowed on YouTube, medical scientist Dr. Peter McCullough charged that media and government censorship related to COVID-19 treatments have caused untold harm, contributing to many deaths.
Joe Rogan, the nation's No. 1 podcaster, told McCullough that on nearly every other online platform, including YouTube, their conversation would be censored.
"But what you're saying is incredibly important," said Rogan, whose podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," is streamed by Spotify.
"Censorship that has suppressed for two years information on safe and effective early treatment and censorship on vaccine safety has led to large numbers of deaths, hospitalizations and permanent disability," McCullough said.
Moore did an interview with McCullough for a Dec. 23 article, where the sympathetic victimhood was ramped up and President Biden was attacked for calling out COVID misinformation despite the fact that he never criticized McCullough by name:
The Wikipedia entry for Dr. Peter McCullough states matter of factly in the second paragraph that the renowned cardiologist and medical scientist with 600 peer-reviewed published papers to his name has "promoted misinformation and falsehoods about COVID-19, the vaccines and treatments."
President Biden picked up on that charge Tuesday in his introduction of measures against the new omicron variant, centered on more vaccination and exponentially expanded testing. The commander-in-chief undoubtedly was referring to McCullough and a number of the scientist's colleagues when he charged that the "vaccine hesitancy" of an estimated 40 million Americans has been "fueled by dangerous misinformation on cable TV and social media."
Biden called on "the purveyors of these lies and misinformation to stop it." The president described as "immoral" their distribution of data on safe and effective early treatments along with reports of vaccine injuries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website amid suppression of traditional scientific debate.
In a 30-minute video interview with WND on Thursday discussing the government's response to the omicron wave along with the latest on vaccines and treatments, McCullough was asked how he reacted to Biden's statement.
"Just like this interview today, I'm just giving Americans the data," he replied. "These are the published papers, and I cite them. So, I'm not giving misinformation. I'm not giving information. I'm just giving data, and that's for individuals, doctors, scientists and the public at large to interpret."
McCullough, who said he has been vaccinated for COVID-19, told WND the way forward is to simply "drop all the rhetoric and all the angst regarding the discussion here and just constantly – like we did today – dispassionately review the published data."
Moore is too much of a McCullough fanboy to call him out on his misinformation, despite the fact that it's easy to find. For instances, Moore did note that omicron had become "73% of new cases and more than 90% in much of the country," he didn't mention McCullough's declaration just a few weeks earlier that omicron would be a "minor variant." Instead, he let McCullough notonly promote dubious drugs like ivermectin, but also another drug that anti-vaxxers have embraced:
But the biggest advance in treatment of COVID-19, he said, is an oral nasal treatment that long has been used by doctors to treat viral and bacterial sinusitis.
The lead agent, he said, is sold as Betadine, which is 10% povidone iodine. It can be purchased at a pharmacy or online for about $10.
A small amount of Betadine can be squirted into a shot-glass sized container – enough to cover the bottom – and the rest of the glass can be filled with water.
The solution is administered in the nose with a nasal bulb or spray syringe.
"Squirt it up the nose over the sink. Sniff it back and then spit it out," McCullough advised. "Do that in both nostrils and then gargle with the rest, spit it out in the sink.
"I tell you, that has a tremendous effect. People should do that after their Christmas dinner, their congregant setting, [after] they've been around people."
In fact, Betadine is an antiseptic that has no impact whatsoever on COVID and could be dangerous to people who overuse it. He continued to misinform about another medication:
Food-grade hydrogen peroxide would be a "second best" substitute for anyone who doesn't tolerate Betadine.
"I want every American, instead of focusing on hand sanitizer," to use the treatment regularly, he said.
"It's not a hand infection," he said of COVID-19. "It's not even spread by the hands; it's actually in the nose."
In fact, inhaling hydrogen peroxide is very bad for your health. But Moore won't tell you that -- he's too in thrall to McCullough to tell readers he's a chronic -- and dangerous -- misinformer.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:22 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 29, 2021 12:51 PM EST
Hypocrisy: MRC Freaked Out Over Kathy Griffin, Virtually Silent Over Gosar's Threat Topic: Media Research Center
Remember the outrage the Media Research Center spewed at Kathy Griffin for the photo of her holding a fake severed head of Trump? She had channeled ISIS, they harrumphed; it was delcared that "Griffin managed to unite people around one cause: decency in political satire" (which it judged that Griffin's image wasn't), cheered that CNN dropped her as a host for its New Year's Eve broadcast over it, whined that the non-right-wing media didn't obsess over it enough (then whined some more), Brent Bozell insisted she did it because "the left believes there is no line that you can cross," then pondered whether Trump deserved it, then joined Tim Graham in complaining that "Griffin has long used smears on conservatives and Republicans to boost her career." and were glad she finally got her comeuppance.
But when Republican Rep. Paul Gosar posted a video lifted frrom an anime series edited (via the magic of superimposed faces) to depict him as killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and lunging with swords at Presient Biden, you'd think that the MRC would be just as outraged, given its pontifications about the limits of political satire regarding Griffin.
Nope. Mostly crickets:
A Nov. 14 post by Kristine Marsh referenced only in passing "Democrats moving to censure Arizona Republican Paul Gosar over his violent anti-AOC tweet" but refused to issue a judgment about it, instead complaining that "The media will bend over backwards to label all violence the right's fault."
Clay Waters used a Nov. 18 post to complain about a New York Times article on Gosar's censure by playing whataboutism: "Never mind months of violent left-wing street riots nationwide, multiple assaults on Sen. Rand Paul, an attempted assassination of Republican congressmen at a ballfield. The New York Times is wringing its hands over an animated video issued by a far-right Republican congressman, smearing the entire party as coursing with violence." Waters refused to criticize the Gosar video.
Another post the same day by Alex Christy groused that NBC's Chuck Todd "tried to paint Gosar as representative of the Republican Party as a whole" -- but he wouldn't even describe the content of Gosar's video, let alone issue a judgement on it.
On Nov. 19, Curtis Houck huffed that MSNBC's Joy Reid was "warning of a 'dark Republican future' with the censure of Congressman Paul Gosar," but he too refused to describe what Gosar did that got him censured.
The MRC's whitewashing was complete by a Dec. 6 post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who described as merely "controversy-prone," like fellow GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (whom the MRC has also been whitewashing).
And that's pretty much it, aside from references in transcripts that MRC writers didn't even bother to highlight.
Remember this hypocrisy the next time the MRC melts down over some random liberal outrage that needs to be exploited to push its agenda.
Posted by Terry K.
at 10:08 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 29, 2021 12:33 AM EST
WND Embraces Sleazy Smear of Harris Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh gleefully wrote in a Nov. 2 WorldNetDaily article:
Americans in large numbers recognize – and even approve of – the recently appearing chant criticizing Joe Biden that goes "Let's go Brandon."
It's a euphemism for the very graphic "F--- Joe Biden" that first appeared, and it came about more or less because a reporter at a NASCAR event, hearing the original chant while interviewing a driver named Brandon, noted on-air that the crowd was encouraging the driver with "Let's go Brandon."
Now those critics are including Vice President Kamala Harris in their verbal barrage, and it's not at all genteel.
In fact, it could be viewed as downright insulting.
Reports explained the chant appeared as protesters gathered at New York's Carnegie Hall where Harris was attending a show.
The crowd's reaction started out with booing, then deteriorated into the "Kamala is a wh---!" slogan.
Another video was posted of the same protesters citing Biden, only this time they weren't using the PG-rated version, they were using the original, so that video cannot be posted here.
A commentary at a pro-Trump blog pointed out, "If people are this angry against Biden and Kamala in NYC, imagine the red wave rising across the rest of the nation."
And without making any insinuations, USA Today reported back when Harris was launching her own bid for the presidential nomination that while she was his "girlfriend," Harris was appointed to several state positions by then-California Assembly Speaker and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
Needless to say, Unruh is very much making insinuations, and he and the rest of WND heartly endorse this sleaze. WND has been pushing this smear for some time, through columnist Mychal Massie. And if Unruh had been concerned more about reporting facts that offering wink-wink-nudge-nudge "insinuations," he could have reported that the claim that Harris launched her career by sleeping with Brown is not true.
But such is the abysmal quality of journalism at WND that we do not expect Unruh to behave like a real reporter, because his actual job is to push right-wing narratives (and insults).
MRC Lashes Out At CNN's Stelter For Criticizing Fox News On Its 25th Anniversary Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's line on Fox News is that 1) it should never be criticized for having a right-wing bias, even though the MRC's stock in trade is attacking what it thinks is "liberal bias" in media, and 2) should never be criticized at all, unless it's by them for not being right-wing enough. So when Fox News marked its 25th anniversary in October, the MRC was ready to lash out at the haters -- particularly CNN's Brian Stelter, whose recent book on Fox News the MRC predictably trashed.
Nicholas Fondacaro was dishing out the Stelter haterade in an Oct. 3 post:
Invoking a tone one would expect a parent to use to inform a child of something tragic, CNN’s Brian Stelter concluded Sunday’s so-called “Reliable Sources” by informing his meager viewers that Fox News would be celebrating its 25-year anniversary the coming week. Warning them that they could see commercials for it, Stelter lashed out at his ratings superior by equating them to the diseased heart of the Republican Party, ready to give out at any moment. He even suggested Fox had torn apart families.
“You'll probably hear a lot about Fox News this week. The network is turning 25 and running lots of commercials celebrating its birthday,” he announced in his clownishly sober tone. “But you won't hear any honest assessment of Fox on Fox of how the network has changed America.”
After hawking his trashy anti-Fox News book, yet again, Stelter suggested Fox was about to have a heart attack, grotesquely whining about them being patriotic after 9/11, and bashing them for being pro-America:
The idea that someone with Stelter’s physique would say Fox had “clogged arteries and weak muscles” was as rich as his favorite chocolate cake.
Because attacking your target's physical appearance is always a sign your underlying intellectual argument is sound.
When Stelter brought up Fox News' culture of sexual harassment as practiced and exemplified by founder Roger Ailes, Fondacaro went into paroxysm of whataboutism:
“But for all the fun, there's so much darkness in Fox's history,” he sneered as he brought up Roger Ailes:
You won't see Roger Ailes in the retrospectives, but his abuse of women, his leg cam, his paranoia, his rage; it’s what translated into the network that exists today. Full of rage, anger. It’s the whitelash on TV, although, often delivered with a smile. Ailes also brought us Donald Trump.
Do you know what you won’t see in any CNN retrospectives? How they helped Saddam Hussein peddle propaganda, how they tried to defame a teen as a racist and were forced to pay him money, how both Cuomo and Lemon were accused of sexual assault and weren't fired, how boss Jeff Zucker has torn down the company and its reputation, or how they’ve eviscerated journalistic ethics.
And as he was wrapping up his vapid rant, Stelter equated Fox News to a tool of arsonists, declaring: “…the political science research is clear: Fox is not just a mirror, it's an accelerant.” He then touted the coming release of another anti-Fox News book “The Brainwashing of My Dad and it’s about exactly what you think.” “ For the families who feel they have been torn apart by Fox, this week is not a happy anniversary,” he squeaked.
In reality, it’s the leftist kids who just can’t accept the fact that their parents had different opinions and were rabid enough to ruin their relationship over it.
Given that, again, the book had not yet been released, Fondacaro cannot possibly know its contents or that it's solely about intolerant "leftist kids."
Needless to say, Fondacaro's boss and fellow Stelter-hater, Tim Graham, wanted in on this action too, so he dedicated his Oct. 4 podcast to similarly dumping on Stelter fot committing the greivous offense of criticizing Fox News. He began by perpetuating the fiction that Fox News is "fair and balanced" -- to Graham, it meansuncritically repeating right-wing talking points -- and continued to refuse to admit it has any sort of bias, instead speaking in code that "we like Fox News precisely because it breaks the monopoly and monotony of the liberal media. ... They don't get to constantly put conservatives on defense and then have no idea what it feels like to have to go on defense."
Then it was Stelter-trashing and whataboutism time, starting with echoing Fondacaro's insult about Stelter's appearance, which Graham claimed to want to avoid but we doubt he ever disciplined Fondacaro for making it:
Now, I'm not going to go exactly where Nick Fondacaro went by mocking Brian Stelter's dieting habits and whether he has clogged arteries -- no fat-shaming here, I'm a llittle too fat -- but mocking the opposition channel that kicks your keister down ratings street on and daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis is a really interesting analogy coming from CNN.
Let's have some fun with this. Let's sort of count the ways of what Stelter is saying is wrong. First of all, who is CNN to say another network is far too aligned with a political party? As usual, they have to fall back on the idea that almost every media outlet has clogged arteries for the Democrats. They're all pumping out liberal, partisan talking points. Fox seems alone, it somehow stands alone. It is the outliler so it is the Cloggy McCcogged-Heart. The overall sound you get from this is the liberals wishing ths conservative channel had never been born. They wanted it aborted like Ralph Northam took it outside, made it comfortable and then made sure it didn't happen.
When Stelter brought up Fox News founder Ailes' history of sexual harassment, Graham retorted with mroe whataboutism: "You can lament the way Roger Ailes treated women. But it's a little odd to find all the darkness over there, Brian, where there at your own CNN you have Jeffrey Toobin unpunished for spanking the monkey on a Zoom call in front of the females, you have Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon both accused of sexual harassment as well. Where's the darkness in CNN's history?" Note that Graham doesn't actally "lament" Ailes' harassment history, let alone criticize it. He then added to the whataboutism by blaming the media industry as a whole for patterns of sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, the MRC-approved, conservatively correct take on Fox News' anniversary came in Jeffrey Lord's gushy Oct. 9 column, in whcih he praised Ailes for having "combined an instinctive understanding of both television and American politics that proved to be an invaluable asset in the creating of Fox News" but being careful not to mention his history of sexual harassment.He too attacked Stelter for his book about Fox News that purportedly had "no self-awareness that it was CNN that spent the Trump era falsely purveying the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, a classic conspiracy theory endlessly pursued not just by CNN but the rest of the liberal media." Lord clearly didn't read the Mueller report.
He concluded with this glurgy tribute: "So on the 25th anniversary of Fox News, let it be said that the term visionary, exactly as Jonathan Swift defined it as 'the art of seeing things invisible' is exactly what describes Rupert Murdoch and his vision of the once invisible dream of Fox News."
That's what the MRC wants the entire media to sound like.
God will stop protecting America through His grace if the U.S. becomes a nation where federal law makes it legal to abort an unborn child at any point during pregnancy, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) warned on Tuesday.
In remarks on the House floor, the congresswoman implored her colleagues to vote against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755) when it comes up for a vote this week.
Stan Greer of the National Institute for Labor Relations Research tried that trick on another bill in an Oct. 15 column, stating that "There is no doubt that teacher union bosses scored a $200 billion victory over taxpayers with the adoption of the so-called 'American Rescue Plan' in March." The American Rescue Plan is, in fact, the actual name of the plan and the legislation it was passed through.
Right-wing Catholic priest Michael P. Orsi referred to the "so-called 'infrastructure' bill" in his Oct. 27 column. The name of the bill is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, so "infrastructure bill" is what it's actually called.
The biggest abuser, though, has been Susan Jones, who has repeatedly dismissed the Build Back Better plan as "so-called":
As for the so-called Build Back Better/reconciliation package, Manchin said he agrees with some of what's in it. -- Nov. 4
Sanders spoke shortly after Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, told "Fox News Sunday" that he is a "no" on the so-called "Build Back Better Act (BBB)," which is many Democrat bills in one. -- Dec. 20
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Sunday that his fellow Democrats are well aware of the "difficulties" he's had with the so-called "Build Back Better Act." -- Dec. 20
Jones also uncritically quoted Republicans referring to "the so-called Build Back Better"-- Kevin McCarthy on Nov. 19, Virginia Foxx, also on Nov. 19 and Rob Portman on Dec. 15.
MRC's Right-Wing Film Critic Whines That 'Eternals' Is Too Woke (Read: Not Heterosexual Enough) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's right-wing film critic, Christian Toto, has deemed himself the judge of all that is "woke" and not "woke" in filmdom -- which explains why he hates the recent Marvel movie "Eternals." It also explains why his Nov. 6 review of the film began with a lenghy rehash of his ideologically motivated attack on the 2016 all-female "Ghostbusters" reboot, in which he denied hating the movie because the genders of the leads were changed but, rather, because the movie purportedly used ""victimization storylines ripped from today’s snowflake-encrusted headlines." Yeah, we wouldn't want a movie to have any relevance to the real world, would we?
Toto eventually gets around to attacking "Eternals" for being similarly "woke," which seems to come down to not having enough heterosexual characters, from the obtuse angle of bashing an article noting the complaint:
The new MCU film Eternals, in theaters Nov. 5, is earning tepid reviews prior to its release. Even the positive critiques are far from glowing, and the movie hovered around the “rotten” mark at RottenTomatoes.com before falling to 53 percent at the moment.
That’s a first for an MCU film.
Enter TheHill.com to the rescue.
The left-leaning outlet, citing a thinly sourced story from TheDirect, said audiences are savaging the film, sight unseen, due to its LGBTQ content. “Eternals” features an openly gay hero, played by Brian Tyree Henry, and offers a series of casting and plot choices that fall squarely in the “woke” category.
TheHill.com is a serious news outlet. Why would it write the story in the first place? The headline itself sounds hyperbolic – ‘War erupts over new Marvel blockbuster’s gay superhero’
It’s the Ghostbusters media template, take two. Reporters view Eternals as part of the woke revolution, and they feel compelled to protect it at all costs.
And because it's "woke," Toto feels compelled to trash it. Also, The Hill isn't a "left-leaning outlet"; media observers view it as being in the middle, and it regularly publishes right-wing media critic Joe Concha.
Toto then insisted that LGBT content in movies is no longer a problem for people: "Gay and lesbian stories abound in pop culture today. They’re everywhere in an industry that once tried to hide a lesbian star’s relationship with another actress, Anne Heche. So why would the tiny LGBTQ moments in Eternals evoke such an allegedly hostile reaction?"But if LGBT content is no longer a problem, why did Toto's publisher, the MRC, publish an attack on a bisexual Superman? Toto continued:
TheHill.com piece also notes that other MCU properties, including Avengers: Endgame and Loki, also feature LGBTQ characters. Has either one been “review bombed?” If not, why not?
Some of the early comments tied to Eternals could, in theory, reflect anger at the sexuality on display. Or, more likely, it captures an audience exhausted by woke virtue signaling in their favorite shows and movies.
So, if you redefine LGBT content as "woke," then you can justify hating said content. (Also, the MRC trashed "Loki" for being gender-fluid, putting another hole in Toto's theory of acceptance.)
Continuing to deny the reality of people hating LGBT content in films, Toto -- who also seems unaware that the MRC has additionally lashed out at non-heterosexual characters in "Supergirl" and "Batwoman" -- continued to play dumb: "Audiences eagerly embrace actors of all races, assuming they deliver fine performances in entertaining content. If the 'review bombing' phenomenon were as real and pernicious as we’re told, we’d see it across the pop culture landscape."
By contrast, Toto was much kinder to a different Marvel film. A Dec. 18 review gave his "anti-woke" imprimatur to "Spider-Man: No Way Home" for not having "dabbled in wokeism" and for being a "course correction, a sequel that adores its audience, its lore and the ability to transport us for two-plus glorious hours." He did not mention the existence of any LGBT characters in the film, which presumably is the reason is "woke"-o-meter didn't go off.
CNS Hypes Biden's Travel Expenses -- But It Buried Trump's Much Higher Expenses Topic: CNSNews.com
Back in 2018, we documented how CNSNews.com served as a servile stenographer for right-wing legal group Judicial Watch -- at least 46 articles that year alone. After a couple years of relative inactivity because Judicial Watch was giving Donald Trump's corruption a pass -- indeed, Judicial Watch was such a Trump stan that CNS published an article after the 2020 election featuring Judicial Watch leader Tom Fitton embracing Trump's Big Lie by ranting that "'Joe Biden is not 'president-elect'' despite what the liberal media claim, and they do not have the constitutional authority to declare the winner of a presidential election."
But it appears CNS is firing up the stenography machine again. An anonymous "CNSNews.com Staff Writer" wrote in a Nov. 18 article:
A new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) report from Judicial Watch shows that the Secret Service's travel costs for President Joe Biden to go to his home in Delaware, and several other domestic stops, total at least $2,252,600.50.
Those costs cover from the start of his presidency in January through Aug. 8, 2021. However, the full costs are likely much higher because the Air Force has yet to provide information on the Air Force One travel costs, and the Secret Service has not provided cost records for other Biden trips to Delaware, reported Judicial Watch.
“The costs of presidential travel and security is of obvious public interest,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. “It is frustrating that after years of litigation through two presidential administrations, the Secret Service and Air Force are still stonewalling the costs of presidential travel.”
The anonymously written article was conveniently lacking context -- specifically, any mention of a certain former president who liked to spend his weekends away from the White House. After all, doing so would make Biden look good by comparison.It was reported that Trump's weekend trips to Florida's Mar-a-Lago -- of which Trump made four during the first three months of his presidency alone -- cost about $3 million each, or the total of Biden's trips to Deleware over the first seven months of his presidency.
The funny thing is, Judicial Watch tracked Trump's travel expenses too, which is also omitted from the CNS article -- and, curiously, from the Judicial Watch press release that was rewritten for this CNS article. Perhaps that's because Judicial Watch found that Trump's travel expenses in thefirst year of his presidency surpassed $13 million, a pace that far outstripped Biden's expenses.CNS dedicated no article exclusively to Trump's huge travel expenses; instead, a November 2017 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman hyped that "travel expenses for President Barack Obama and his family totals $114.6 million, including trips in 2017," adding as an aside that "travel costs for President Donald Trump and his family, so far, total $10.3 million."
That's how CNS' right-wing bias works. It had similarly complained about "taxpayer funds" being spent to build a fence at Biden's Delaware beach house while censoring that the government was still paying for security upgrades at Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
MRC Responds To Criticism Of Biased Texas Redistricting With Lame Whataboutism Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's defense of Republican-controlled redistricting plans that disproportionately favor Republicans is a lame one, featuring a massive dose of whataboutism. Lydia Switzer showed off this non-argument in an Oct. 22 post:
The liberals at CNN want you to believe that they care about upholding democracy, but the evidence shows that they turn a blind eye when it’s the Democrats rigging the system.
On Thursday’s “Reality Check” on New Day, John Avlon dramatically proclaimed: “Defending democracy doesn’t take a day off.” He then went on to complain about Republican congressional redistricting while ignoring the blatant gerrymandering happening in states run by Democrats.
Texas, which gained two congressional seats after the most recent census, was Avlon’s main target: “[Republicans] weren't about to make the congressional districts more representative of the actual electorate. No. So they went to work drawing districts that artificially increased their own advantage, connecting suburban districts with sprawling, rural communities, consolidating minority-heavy areas and generally painting Texas red.”
Unsurprisingly, neither Avlon nor New Day co-host John Berman brought up the obviously partisan redistricting proposals in states like liberal Illinois, which will lose a congressional seat. The proposed new congressional map for Illinois was so unfairly partisan, benefiting Democrats, that it received criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
Avlon accused Texas of being “a textbook case of politicians choosing their voters rather than voters choosing their politicians,” but didn’t have a single word on the transparent attempts of Illinois Democrats to slash Republican power.
Brad Wilmouth served up a combination of irrelevant whataboutism and reflexive defense of anything Republican in atatcking criticism of Texas' congressional redistricting in a Nov. 4 post:
In the past couple of weeks, CNN and MSNBC have shown multiple double standards by peddling misinformation about Texas's congressional redistricting plan to accuse Republicans of cutting minority representation in the state while ignoring aggressive gerrymandering by Illinois Democrats. It was even wrongly suggested that Republicans would prevent any black members of Congress from being elected in Texas.
Additionally, the liberal networks -- each of which only has one Hispanic host anchoring on weekdays (and until recently had zero) -- pushed for racial quotas to guarantee more representation for Latinos, and even understated the number of minority majority districts.
Contrary to reports that Texas Republicans hoarded both of the state's new congressional districts, the GOP legislature handed one new seat to Democrats by drawing the 37th district in the Austin area where Joe Biden received 75.2 percent (according to data recently released by the Texas Tribune).
CNN's Ed Lavandera, jumping to the conclusion that white voters equal Republicans, claimed both districts would likely elect Republicans while coverage did not acknowledge Democrats would get a new seat, sometimes emphasizing the total number of white majority districts.
And without informing viewers that the GOP increased the number of minority majority districts (based on eligible voters) from 14 to 15, both networks seized on the solidly Democratic 35th district having its Hispanic percentage trimmed from 53 to 48 percent to claim that a Hispanic district had been eliminated.
In total, in 10 districts (or 26 percent) Hispanics would be the most numerous group, although only a majority in seven. In five other districts, a majority would be nonwhite without any particular group holding a majority.
It is noteworthy that, while CNN cited U.S. Census reports that 39.3 percent of Texas residents are Hispanic, CNN's exit polling found that, on Election Day 2020, only 23 percent of voters in the state were Hispanic.
Wilmouth conveniently didn't mention the fact that the Republican-controlled redistricting process exploited that low number of active Hispanic voters in rejiggering things -- which later drew the ire of the Department of Justice, who sued Texas over the redistricting. Politico reported on the DOJ's concerns:
The suit takes particular issue with the 23rd Congressional District — a sprawling West Texas seat now held by GOP Rep. Tony Gonzales — accusing Texas Republicans of intentionally eliminating its status as a district where Latinos could elect their candidate of choice.
More than 50 percent of the voting age population in the new 23rd District is Latino, but the Department of Justice claims — as it has in previous litigation against other iterations of this seat — that GOP mapmakers swapped out Latinos who vote regularly with low-propensity Latino voters.
The end result, the suit says, is “an effort to strengthen the voting power of Anglo citizens while preserving the superficial appearance of Latino control.”
The suit also noted the lack of a new Latino opportunity seat in Houston's Harris County and accused the legislature of having “surgically excised minority communities from the core of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW) by attaching them to heavily Anglo rural counties, some more than a hundred miles away.”
The suit also singles out the new 24th Congressional District, held by freshman GOP Rep. Beth Van Duyne. By reducing the district’s swath of northwest Dallas County, the mapmakers dropped the Latino citizen voting age population from 40 percent to 23 percent. The suit says the map again strengthens the Anglo voting bloc.
GOP mapmakers created three new deep blue seats — in Austin, Houston and Dallas — to accommodate a growing number of left-leaning voters and keep them from overwhelming the red-leaning districts surrounding them. None of those seats have a Latino-majority. Republicans will likely control at least two dozen of the state’s 38 seats under this new map.
Wilmouth returned for a Nov. 22 post complaining that CNN's John Avlon was "condemning the Republican-backed redistricting plan in Ohio which improves the GOP's strength in the state's congressional delegation." Wilmouth admitted that the GOP plan would allow Republicans to "hold 13 out of 15 districts in the state," but he buried in atranscript the fact that Trump won only 53 percent of the 2020 vote in Ohio, which makes this look an awful lot like gerrymandering. He then played the whatboutism card on Avlon, rehashing his Texas criticism and addint: "So Avlon seems to want racial gerrymandering, which often means oddly shaped districts, if it results in a minimum quota of minority-majority districts, but voices opposition to gerrymandering at the same time.
When the DOJ announced its action against Texas, Kyle Drennen used a Dec. 7 post to absurdly frame it as the DOJ "trying to bully Texas into changing its electoral map to benefit Democrats" -- as if the GOP plan benefited all Texans instead of just Republicans. He then a sserted that an NBC reporter "was indistinguishable from the liberal partisans" ... for stating facts like "The state was allocated two more congressional seats after the 2020 census, but did not draw a single new district with a majority of black or Hispanic voters" and that the Texas plan is "part of a national wave of states redrawing their voting maps, many controlled by Republican lawmakers, that could impact next year’s midterm elections and those for years to come."
Drennen once again proved Steven Colbert right when he stated at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association dinner that "reality has a well-known liberal bias."
NEW ARTICLE: Jack Cashill And The Wrong Side of History Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist seems to enjoy defending the worst people -- like insurrectionists, racist congressmen, charlatan filmmakers and killer cops. Read more >>
MRC Defends Aaron Rodgers For Not Getting Vaccinated Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was already giving love to pro football quarterback Aaron Rodgers in an Oct. 20 post, when the mysterious Jay Maxson gushed over how Rodgers "became the latest celebrity to speak out against cancel culture. A blight on the nation, cancel culture is part of a soft society that attempts to shrink and silence people, the Packers’ quarterback observed on the Pat McAfee Show," adding how "The quarterback said American society is “soft” and intolerant of people’s right to disagree. He criticized how people can’t have “back and forths” disagreements without somebody feeling offended."
In retrospect, one wonders if Rodgers was trying to buy himself a little right-wing inoculation against an upcoming scandal -- which broke a couple weeks later when itwas revealed that Rodgers lied to his Green Bay Packers team about being vaccinated against COVID (his insistence that he didn't notwithstanding), falsely claiming he was "immunized" when actually he was taking dubious medications like ivermectin. He then tested positive for COVID. Of couirse, the MRC -- whose sports bloggers havebeenpushing anti-vaxxer arguments for a while now -- launched a full-throated defense of Rodgers.
Matt Philbin devoted a Nov. 5 post to Rodgers saying all the conservatively correct things in defending his selfishness:
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has suddenly become one of the great villains in pro sports. He caught the covid this week and it turns out he never got vaccinated. Thus, sneering sports mandarins like Nancy Armour cast him out into the darkness as “anti-science.”
It won’t help that Rodgers isn’t contrite. In fact, he’s fighting back. Appearing on the Pat McAfee Show, the sidelined (for the week) superstar said, “I realize I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now,” and he wanted to address some of the issues about him and the vaccine, “before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket.”
Sounds like a guy who knows exactly what’s going on. He called the hysteria around athletes’ reluctance to get vaccinated “a witch hunt..” He also pointed out that "Every member of the left" was anti-vaccine until Joe Biden took office. And he’s right. There are plenty of examples of lefties expressing reluctance to take any drug developed during the Trump Administration.
Actually, he's wrong. Aswedocumented when Philbin's fellow MRC workers pushed this right-wing narrative, Trump was cynically using the promise of a vaccine as a re-election ploy and thus couldn't be trusted about the vaccines' efficacy (not to mention his being a congenital liar), and top Democrats including Joe Biden and Katherine Harris said they would trust credible medical officials.
Philbin went on to uncritically quote Rodgers insisting that "I'm not an anti-vax, flat-earther,” and that he had allergies to two of the available shots, though he didn't demand evidence from Rodgers to back that up or explain why Rodgers should be taken at his word.
But the MRC is blindly loyal to anyone who spouts their agenda, and Rodgers is their new champion. Maxson used a Nov. 9 post to defend Rodgers from criticism by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
When athletes like Rodgers say something stupid, “the public trust in athletes lowers and sponsors might consider avoiding players in favor of actors, pop stars, or social media influencers.” Woke athletes like Stephen Curry and LeBron James don’t have to worry about that (by parroting left-wing narratives), but young, rising stars might be denied lucrative advertising deals.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer went through a whole litany of statistics in defending vaccinations, calling Rodgers ignorant for not doing likewise and taking the jab. He said it’s a lie that Rodgers is passionate about people’s health.
The hardcore lefty never questioned his pal James’ veracity when the current Lakers’ star said blacks are hunted by police and that racist remarks were spray-painted on his L.A. mansion. It's the outrageous social justice and race-baiting like that which has crushed the NBA's favorability ratings.
Maxson went on to sneer that Abdul-Jabbar "has often been judged by the weak content of his character," but linked only to his (or her) own posts as evidence of that "judging."
The defensive whining continued:
A Nov. 9 post by Kristine Marsh cheered that "Rodgers pushed back against the “woke mob” for pushing for his cancellation from sponsorships and the excessive media criticism of him" and bashed "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin for criticizing him, huffing that "'Tolerant' leftists want to punish anyone who mocks their totalitarian impulses."
Maxson returned to play whataboutism that the Packers "were subjected to a massive fine over COVID-19 protocol violations, while Henry Ruggs III and Deshaun Watson, who allegedly committed far greater offenses, have not been fined a penny." He (or she) then tried to soft-pedal Rodgers' lie to his team: "It was learned that in preseason he was immunized, but not vaccinated. He then engaged unsuccessfully with the NFL in an attempt to get the league to approve of the immunization. He’s been accused of intentionally lying about being vaccinated."
The next day, Maxson played whataboutism on Abdul-Jabbar for criticizing Rodgers while his son "received a ridiculously light sentence for stabbing a man to within an inch of his life."
Maxson served up even more whataboutism on a sportswriter who critricized Rodgers while also being a defender of Colin Kaepernick, whom Maxson obsessively hates: "There is no real comparing Rodgers’ refusal to take shots or wear a mask in public with a malcontent who led countless athletes astray and a deepening of the American divide.
Maxson whined on Nov. 15 about vaccinated NFL players who contracted COVID being treated differently than Rodgers:
Vaccinations are not fool-proof preventers of COVID-19. They are, however, “vaccinations” against objective reporting by out-and-out dishonest sports media. The stories of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Minnesota Vikings guard Dakota Dozier and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are living proof.
As most people know by now, the media went berserk over Rodgers, who said he had been “immunized” before catching COVID-19 and sitting out last week’s game. Dozier and Roethlisberger were vaccinated and still caught the coronavirus, but they both got treated with kid gloves by woke media hypocrites.
Maxson didn't mention that one big reason for the disparate treatment is that those players didn't lie about being vaccinated, like Rodgers did.
In a Nov. 18 post, John Simmons cheered that the NFL "hilariously outsmarted by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on their vaccine policy," whic his a funny way of describing how Rodgers lied to his team and embraced dubious treatments instead of actually getting vaccinated. He went on to grumble that "The overreaching, nonsensical, and fear-based protocols the NFL has implemented throughout the year have ignored science, disregarded personal choice, and divided the league between the good (vaccinated) and bad (unvaccinated) people.
On Nov. 28, Maxson sympathetically reframed Rodgers being a jerk into him merely telling a joke that people who aren't his fans didn't get:
The Wall Street Journal didn’t get the joke. After Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers confirmed he has a broken toe last week, he humorously called it “COVID toe.” That remark was in reference to massive media coverage of him previously catching the coronavirus after not having been vaccinated. The WSJ took the joke as truth – hook, line and sinker – and ran a story on it.
Nonetheless, a day later, the WSJ’s Andrew Beaton reported that Rodgers is dealing with “a mysterious and painful toe injury.” He reported “COVID toe” is a real ailment related to people with the coronavirus and sore toes.
Maxson offered no evidence that Rodgers was, in fact, telling a joke beyond uncritically quoting Rodgers complaining about the coverage of his statement.
Simmons was still defending Rodgers in a Dec. 17 post, this time against Presdient Biden:
Let’s get one thing straight: President Joe Biden has proven in his tenure in the White House that he is not an expert in … well, pretty much anything, and certainly not in how individuals should handle their own health.
That is why one cannot help but laugh at Biden’s latest quip on what he thinks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers should do regarding the COVID vaccine.
While visiting communities in Kentucky that were devasted by tornadoes this past weekend, Biden had an interaction with a woman wearing a winter hat with the Packers logo in which he told the people that Rodgers should get the vaccine. The people laughed at his quip, and Biden continued to inspect the devastation.
But the truth is, Rodgers should not get vaccinated just because someone else wants him to or because outside voices are pressuring him – not even when it’s the President of the United States.
You know who else isn't a health expert? Aaron Rodgers. It's clearhe did not confirm with his own team's health experts before lying to them about being vaccinated. But Simmons is more than happy to give him a pass on that lie by insisting his claim of being "immunized" actually means something (and because he's now a right-wing hero):
Rodgers stated before the beginning of the season that he was “immunized” against COVID, but was crucified when the media found out that he was not vaccinated. Everyone from sports reporters to talk show hosts painted him as a dangerous, anti-science attention seeker when it was further discovered that he consulted Joe Rogan on what medications he should take to keep himself healthy.
But those same people are perfectly fine when governments, businesses, and even some people’s family and friends demand that we take the vaccine because they think it is the only way to salvation from COVID-19. Furthermore, it’s always funny how our government leaders think that they hold the monopoly on all the effective treatments to fight sicknesses. Our bodies and other methods have helped us do just fine for thousands of years before vaccines came on the medical scene.
So, even if the most powerful man in the free world thinks that you should get the vaccine, neither you, nor Rodgers, nor anyone should feel like they have to. Make your own choices, and do not apologize to anyone once you do.
It should also be noted that Simmons has offered no health expertise either -- he's just spouting right-wing anti-vaxxer rhetoric.
CNS Catholic Priest Columnist Pushes More Anti-Vaxxer Attitudes Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how Rev. Michael P. Orsi uses his CNSNews.com columns to sound much more like a right-wing activist than thet Catholic priest he's supposed to be. He has continued to place activism above religion in his CNS columns. He served up a dangerously contradictory message -- and perpetuated his previously expressed anti-vaxxer notions -- in his Oct. 21 column, praising medical professionals who have worked through the COVID pandemic, then fearmongering about COVID vaccines and cheering doctors and nurses who refuse to get vaccinated:
“Following the science” has also brought us to an ironic situation where we’re under extreme pressure to accept vaccines whose effectiveness is highly questionable, and for which evidence is accumulating that they can be harmful.
This is unprecedented. In the past, when some new vaccine or medication was seen to cause harm, it would be pulled from the market immediately.
Among those who are most hesitant about the vaccines — and most vocal in their skepticism — are medical professionals themselves. Numerous doctors are sacrificing hospital privileges over their refusals to be inoculated. Nurses are quitting their staff positions. We face an actual healthcare crisis because of it.
Many of these folks have gone on record with public statements, social media posts, and online videos warning about the vaccines. They’re making their case with frightening accounts of negative reactions, including heart damage, blood clotting, loss of physical capacities, and deaths, even among the young and otherwise healthy.
Suddenly, those who recently were hailed as heroes find themselves criticized and shunned, even mocked and belittled, by health agencies, hospitals, government officials, and the news media.
Perhaps worst of all, the general public — we who so often find ourselves as patients dependent on medical expertise — have been thrown into a state of utter confusion. The credibility of the entire healthcare profession has been seriously undermined.
Whose advise are we to trust, when there’s a multiplicity of conflicting claims and theories, when the recommendations and guidelines and official pronouncements of our purported authorities keep changing from day to day?
To whom can we turn when we need help and healing?
Orsi then lamented the "profoundly negative effect on the social and moral fabric of our country, on our sense of community, driving wedges between people, alienating friends and family members"-- but he qiuickly went conspiratorial, declaring that "it all feels highly contrived. It could very well be intentional — an element in some plan of those who seek to weaken our nation and diminish American influence in the world. And you can be sure there are plenty of such people, who are willing to do the devil’s work, who won’t “let a crisis go to waste,” as it’s been said. In fact, Satan is having a field day right now." It appears never to have occurred to Orsi that the people spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines are the ones doing the "devil's work" here.
Orsi concluded this column by serving up another contradictory message:
Make no mistake, this virus is real. It’s brought genuine tragedy. Colin Powell is only the latest high-profile example of the many folks who’ve died of COVID and its complications. I’ve known plenty of others.
Though I have received the vaccine myself, I take no personal position on its efficacy or safety. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so the feelings I express are based only on what I hear and read. I can’t offer definitive proof of my own, one way or the other.
I simply don’t know.
It does seem to me, however, that this pandemic is being exploited to achieve objectives that have very little to do with protecting public health — and much more to do with socialist-inspired ideological dreams.
Doctors, nurses, and others who are resisting the mad vaccine rush are doing an inestimable service in raising critical questions at this critical time. They’re forcing us to take a closer look at an increasingly desperate situation.
Once again they are proving themselves to be real heroes.
Orsi is trying to have it both ways -- admitting that "the virus is real" and that he got vaccinated while trying to take "no personal position on its efficacy or safety" and praising doctors and nurses who have fallen for conspiracy theories and endangering others and themselves by not getting vaccinated. But if Orsi is vaccinated, he has, in fact, taken a "personal position" on the issue, and he's acting irresponsibly and hypocritically by encouraging anti-vaxxer attitudes. He's trying to make "heroes" out of people who aren't heroes at all.
By remaining deliberately obtuse about the vaccines' safety and efficacy, Orsi is contributing to the exploitation of the pandemic -- not by "socialist-inspired ideological dreams" but by radical right-wing reactionaries who care even less about public health. That's a place no Catholic priest should choose to be, but that's exactly where Orsi is.
Orsi echoed this attitude in his Nov. 9 column, in which he huffed: "What we’ve always assumed to be basic rights have been seriously eroded. The issue of vaccine mandates is only the most visible area in which the assault on personal autonomy is taking place. At any time we could be called upon to defend ourselves, our families, or our beliefs."
Orsi is again sounding like a right-wing activist, not a Catholic priest, pretending that public health doesn't matter and individual freedom trumps everything.
Does MRC's Promotion Of Bozell's New Book Violate Nonprofit Rules? Topic: Media Research Center
For the past few months, the Media Research Center has been giving aggressive promotion to chief Brent Bozell's new memoir, "Stops Along The Way," mainly in the form of numerous emails to the MRC's mailing list. One email, for example, has the usual conservative talking heads serving up blurbs for the book, though it didn't correct Pat Boone calling the MRC the "Media Research Council." The MRC's various websites have also run prominent ads promoting the book.
It's unclear, though, how this effort to soften Bozell's image meshes with the guy who's best known for calling President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."
Those emails, though, usually state that they are "a product of MRC." But is that even legal? It's clear that Bozell's book is a personal memoir that's not tied to the MRC's mission -- which means the MRC could be violating IRS nonprofit tax law by allowing its assets, such as mailing lists, to be used for the personal use of another. We also don't know if Bozell has compensated the MRC for use of its mailing list for personal use or for the website ads. We asked the MRC about this in a message, but it hasn't gotten back to us.
Meanwhile, the MRC's NewsBusters has been shilling for Bozell's book in ostensible "news" items -- another use of a nonprofit's resources for personal use. An anonymously written Dec. 10 post linked to a 20-minute-long segment devoted to Bozell and his book by right-wing radio host and MRC buddy Mark Levin (with whom the MRC may or may not have a cross-promotion deal with), which got this mushy introduction:
“I thought now would be a perfect time to bring back one of the great American patriots on this program, one of the people who each and every day – mostly behind the scenes but publicly when he’s called upon – is fighting for your liberty,” Levin declared in his gracious introduction of Bozell. Levin added: “And in doing so, he is taking on the American media, because he knows that they’ve turned into a propaganda and tyrannical organization pushing an agenda and an ideology, but he knew it before most of us.”
The rest of the interview was just as softball. Funny, we thought the MRC hated softball interviews.
Another anonymously written post, on Dec. 14, touted Bozell's book-shilling appearance on Newsmax with host Greg Kelly, with more promotional mush:
“There is Brent Bozell, he is the President and founder of the Media Research Center, and he is also the author of the new book, Stops Along The Way: A Catholic Soul, A Conservative Heart, An Irish Temper, And A Love of Life,” host Greg Kelly introduced at the top of the segment. He then cited this “gem” form the book: “If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, then a right-wing nut job is a liberal who just survived a communist machete attack.”
Kelly read another line: “It is that unflinching knowledge of both sides of any issue that makes a conservative out of a liberal. And it is the reason why conservatives always outscore liberals on political knowledge tests.” He remarked: “Number one, I did not know that about the political knowledge.”
Bozell might want to get right with the IRS -- or explain to us why he already is -- before he uses his MRC again to shill for his personal purposes.