ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Friday, December 31, 2021
CNS' Donohue Continues to Misinform About Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse
Topic: CNSNews.com

Right-wing Catholic activist Bill Donohue has long been dishonest about the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church -- eager to heap blame on the supposed exess of gay priest when the reality is that many were crimes of opportunity than of sexual orientation -- and he's made it clear he will continue to be dishonest about. Donohue complained in a Nov. 8 CNSNews.com column:

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson recently released a "Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse" that bears scrutiny. There are many aspects to it that are seriously tainted. 

In the Executive Summary of the report, it says that in August 2018, Peterson's Department of Justice announced that it was seeking information from "individuals who had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the clergy or an adult in a position of authority." 

Why were the clergy singled out for an investigation and not anyone else? The report offers no explanation. It cannot be that there has been a rash of news stories on current cases of clergy abuse — there has not been.

[...]

As I detail in my new book on this subject, "The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes," sexual abuse of minors is rampant throughout a wide range of institutions. Moreover, given the undeniable progress that the Catholic Church has made, it makes it even more indefensible to focus exclusively on it. 

Donohue is playing dumb here. Most religious denominations don't have the rigid structure and hierarchy that the Catholic Church does, which makes it easier to demonstrate the patterns of abuse and cover-ups that have been documented over the years.

Donohue then went to his go-to complaint, that gays aren't being blamed:

Then there is the proverbial cover-up. Boys are mentioned 203 times in the 174-page report; girls are cited 16 times. That's because, as always, boys were the most likely to be victimized. 

When the report says that "Many of the victims of clergy sexual abuse were teenage boys," it is being deceitful. When 91.5 percent of the victims were teenage boys, that's not "many." That's almost all. 

Why does this matter? Because 92.2 percent were postpubescent. And that means that homosexual priests were responsible for over 90 percent of the alleged cases of sexual misconduct. Yet never once in the report is the word "homosexuality" mentioned (there are four references to "homosexual" acts). 

To be sure, the cover-up of the homosexual scandal in the Catholic Church is not unique to Nebraska—it's ubiquitous. Now imagine what Peterson would have said, and the media as well, if over 90 percent of the alleged victims were teenage girls. It would have been trumpeted far and wide.

But as we've noted, researchers for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who compiled an independent study of the abuse, stated that no connection was found between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse and argued that the idea of sexual identity should be separated from the problem of sexual abuse, since one does not have to have a homosexual identity to commit homosexual acts. Indeed, Donohue offered no evidence whatsoever that any of the priests accused of sexual abuse identified as homosexual.

He then served up one of his favorite distractions: "I am calling on Attorney General Peterson to launch a probe of the sexual abuse of minors in Nebraska's public schools." He offered no proof that there's any sexual abuse scandal or cover-up that rivaled what has happened in the Catholic Church.

In his Nov. 11 column, Donohue cheered a church report showing a reduction in sexual abuse reports, which he attributed to weeding out gay priests:

There is no other institution in society where adults regularly interact with minors that can match this record. But don't expect state attorneys general to launch a probe of the sexual abuse of minors in any of them, especially the public schools, where it is sorely needed. 

What has changed is a reduction in the percent of abuse committed by homosexuals. Typically, 8 in 10 cases of abuse involve male-on-male sex, the victims being boys. The latest data show that this figure has dropped to 6 in 10. The decrease makes sense: the seminaries have done a much better job screening for candidates who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

We continue to deplore the failure of the media to cite data which contradict the false narrative that the scandal is ongoing. That is a lie. 

Donohue concluded by plugging his new book on the subject:

As I demonstrate in my new book, "The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes," the sexual abuse scandal effectively ended decades ago. The book also addresses the two major parties to the scandal: enabling bishops and homosexuals priests, and why they did what they did.

We can assume that Donohue's is as biased and dishonest as his previous work on the subject.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EST
WND Sympathetically Portrays Newsmax's Anti-Vaxxers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDailiy and Newsmax started out in the same place -- as anti-Clinton propaganda operations in ther 1990s -- but have ended up in very different ones. Newsmax learned how to generate sustainable revenue and picked the right sugar daddy in Richard Mellon Scaife while WND descended into hateful conspiracy theories, which led to things like Joseph Farah being a tad bitter that Scaife didn't send any money his way. Today, Newsmax is riding the Trump train to being a farther-right alternative to Fox News (while attracting a lawsuit or two), while WND is begging for money to keep from going out of business for good.

So it's a bit interesting that  WND's Joe Kovacs devoted a Nov. 7 article to sympathizing with the anti-vaxxers pulling shenanigans at Newsmax:

Journalists at one news agency have become embroiled in piercing controversy over reports of a company-imposed vaccine mandate and claims by its White House correspondent the COVID shot contains a satanic marker allowing people to be tracked.

On Friday, Newsmax anchor Steve Cortes indicated he would defy the COVID-vaccine mandate his own company purportedly issued the previous day.

"I will not comply w/ any organization's attempt to enforce Biden's capricious & unscientific Medical Apartheid mandate. I will not be forced into the injection, nor will I disclose my vaccination status," Cortes tweeted late Friday.

"No one should be pressured to choose between medical privacy & their job."

But as we've noted, Newsmax got tired of Cortes' shenanigans -- his weak ratings were apparently as much of an issue as his anti-vaxxer rantings -- and cut him loose at the end of November.

Kovacs went on to treat Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson's bizarre rantings about linking vaccines to Satan because of an enzyme called luciferase as perfectly reasonable:

Luciferase is a bioluminescence marker in a class of enzymes that can produce light in a chemical reaction, as when fireflies emit their own glow.

The word derives from the same Latin root used in "Lucifer" meaning "light-bearer" that appears once in the Bible to refer to Satan the devil: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12 NKJV)

Robinson's tweet has since been taken down and her Twitter account was subsequently suspended.

While the CDC maintains luciferase is not in any COVID vaccine, Robinson vociferously disagrees, and wrote an article titled, "What is Luciferase? How a firefly enzyme that glows might herald the end of the world."

In it, she alleges a diabolical plot by Big Pharma to hide the actual ingredients of COVID shots so people will remain unaware of the government's desire to track individuals with the presence of luciferase in their bodies.

"Under the cover of vaccinating people, we are really preparing to tag and track people," Robinson writes.

[...]

Elliot Jacobson, the company's executive vice president and chief content officer, said in another statement that the company is a "strong proponent that COVID-19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective."

'We have seen no evidence to suggest LUCIFERASE or LUCIFERIN are present in any vaccines or that they are used as any sort bioluminescent marker," Jacobson said.

Jacobson also told the Hill that Newsmax does not believe "the vaccines contain any toxic materials or tracking markers."

Newsmax also got tired of Robinson's shenanigans, and she too no longer works there.

WND's insistence on treating conspiracy theorists with the same gfavity as evidence-based experts and analysis is one big reason why it's in the dire financial situation it is.

UPDATE: Joseph Farah himself praised Cortes' and Robinson's anti-vaxxer rantings in his Nov. 8 column, declaring, "It was a bad day for reporters battling COVID restrictions – but maybe it actually was a heroic day." He added: "Is the nation divided? Is the world split asunder? Are families disconnected by these mandate policies? Are companies? How about the media? You betcha! And we haven't seen the end of it."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 1, 2022 11:58 AM EST
Thursday, December 30, 2021
MRC Sad That Fox News' Christmas Tree Fire Was Mocked
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center showed how much it is the (unpaid?) PR division of Fox News by being angry on its behalf that the burning of the Christmas tree outside its building in New York City could possibly be the subject of mockery. Kristine Marsh huffed in a Dec. 9 post:

On Wednesday, late night hosts found much humor in a man burning down Fox News’ towering Christmas tree outside the Fox News Channel building in Manhattan, early that morning. Thankfully no one was hurt but can you imagine them laughing at a potential arson outside an MSNBC or CNN building?

Wew can imagine Fox News and the MRC laughing heartily if that happened. Marsh continued:

The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert showed his scorn for Fox, sarcastically calling for “thoughts and prayers.” His audience wasn’t any less callous, bursting into laughter at the news that someone set the tree on fire. Colbert joked, “Now, I know what you’re thinking, but the ghost of Hugo Chavez has an alibi.” He added, “Of course, this never would have happened if the tree had a gun. Give a squirrel a gun or something like that.”

Jimmy Kimmel Live! Kimmel seemed to delight in the fire, gleefully calling it “some malicious holiday mischief.” “The fire is believed to have started after Fox News' pants caught on fire,” he boasted, before taking some more cheap shots: 

Marsh went on to try and push the never-proven conspiracy theory that the fire was "politically motivated":

The liberal comedians also scoffed at the idea the fire could’ve been politically motivated, while attacking former and current Fox hosts as responsible:

[...]

Daily Show host Trevor Noah also mocked the idea the fire could’ve been politically motivated, joking maybe “Santifa” started it.

Actually, the only folks with political motivation here is Fox News, who used the fire as an excuse to peddle right-wing narratives. Marsh tried to politicize it too by playing a little Clinton-bashing whataboutism: "What astonishingly, didn’t make the cut for late night comedy? Hillary Clinton bizarrely reading her would-be acceptance speech from the 2016 election, five years later. You can imagine how much mockery that would’ve received had a Republican done it."

The next day, Curtis Houck complained that a New York Times columnist referenced it: "In her latest column for The New York Times (posted Thursday night), editorial board member Mara Gay used the arson of the Fox News Christmas tree (allegedly committed Wednesday by a homeless man) to mock people leaving New York City due to, among other reasons, the coronavirus pandemic, the far-left local and state governments, rising crime, and subpar schools." He added, "Of course, what Gay failed to mention amid her potshots was that she’s a paid MSNBC contributor, so she naturally has an ax to grind."

Just like Houck has a ax to grind against anyone who would dare criticize the sainted Fox News?

Marsh returned on Dec. 20 to grumble that CNN's Jim Acosta (against whom the MRC has long had an ax to grind) was "smugly making light of the recent case of arson against Fox News’ Christmas tree" by saying he was making homemade Christmas cards with the image of the burning tree but filled inside with articles from CNN. She concluded by sneering: "I'm pretty sure bombarding your relatives with CNN articles as a 'gift' to make them agree with your politics has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus' gift to humanity." of course, neither does the MRC's longstanding jihad against Acosta.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 2, 2022 10:56 PM EST
Wayne Allyn Root COVID Misinformation Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Prolific COVID misinformer Wayne Allyn Root has continued to do what he does. His Nov. 15 column was devoted to recounting his interview of Donald Trump, who has done everything right  ... except for vaccines:

There is only one issue where I've ever disagreed with Trump. And I know a majority of Trump voters are on my side.

The issue is the COVID-19 vaccine.

Raw truth – Trump is dead wrong about the vaccine. And I believe it's the only issue that could derail his excellent shot at winning another presidential election. I believe Trump needs to get ahead of this issue before it comes back to haunt him.

Yes, in my book, Trump gets all the credit in the world for showing the tremendous leadership skills of a five-star general. He made that vaccine happen at a speed no expert thought possible. Bravo.

The problem is the vaccine is a failure. It was supposed to prevent COVID-19. It doesn't. As a matter of fact, the countries and counties that have the highest vaccination rates have the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

It was supposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. It doesn't. The latest data shows that vaccinated individuals often have higher viral loads than unvaccinated people.

Not true. there's actually no significant difference in viral loads between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. But his misinformation continued:

It was supposed to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. Data from across the globe shows that a large majority of recent hospitalizations and deaths have been among double-vaccinated people.

Worse, for some the vaccine itself is dangerous and deadly. Check out the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System's adverse event reports. In only 10 months, this vaccine has directly injured, disabled and killed far more Americans than all other vaccines in modern history combined. How bad will those numbers look in a year or two? Trump needs to get ahead of this unfolding disaster.

Root loves lying about VAERS data. And the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID are still among those not fully vaccinated. He then coached Trump on how to be an anti-vaxxer:

Trump isn't a doctor or scientist. He didn't create the COVID-19 vaccine. He listened to so-called medical experts. They told him the vaccine would save the world. He made sure it was available in a crisis situation.

In my opinion, Trump should be saying, "I made the vaccine happen at a speed no medical expert thought possible. I was trying to save millions of American lives. I'm proud of my role. But when it comes to the safety of the vaccine, I listened to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fauci lied and misrepresented about many things. If I had to do it over, I would never have listened to Fauci. Now there many legitimate questions and concerns about these vaccines. Americans have a right to ask questions. We should have a national debate. That's called 'science.' And every American has a right to say NO. It's your body, your choice."

If Trump says that, he can get ahead of a potential growing tsunami of vaccine injuries and deaths. He can show he's listening to the concerns of millions of Americans – most of those who don't want this vaccine are his voters.

I hope Trump comes around to my way of thinking on this vaccine. If he does, I believe he will once again become president of the United States.

Root spent his Nov. 22 column fearmongering about vaccine mandates in general and President Biden in particular:

This is the Great Vaccine Mandate Scam. President Joe Biden is using the vaccine mandate (and vaccine passport to come) as a Trojan horse. In other words, it looks like he's trying to protect America and save lives, when in reality he's using this vaccine mandate as a cover story to destroy the U.S. economy, capitalism and the great American middle class, all at once.

This is a communist takeover of the U.S. by a small minority at the top who have rigged elections and are now busy hijacking the country, as if they have some powerful mandate.

They don't. As a matter of fact, everyone hates Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. They have no popular support as they dismantle the country.

[...]

These mandates are squarely aimed only at working Americans. If you have a job, you're looking at being threatened with losing your job, your income and your pension if you choose to remain unvaccinated. Biden is threatening to destroy your life, to make you homeless.

But if you're a lazy bum, sitting home watching "Dr. Phil" and waiting for your EBT card to arrive in the mail, you're safe. Biden isn't taking a dime away from you. Only Americans with jobs are being persecuted.

Why not lose your welfare if you're unvaccinated? Why not lose your food stamps? Why not lose your Medicaid or Obamacare?

Why is it only middle-class Americans, who work for a living, who pay taxes, who bust their butts, who have families to support, who are being persecuted over this vaccine mandate?

Because the great American middle class, and anyone who works for a living and pays taxes into the system, is overwhelmingly Republican and conservative.

[...]

The country is a mess. The economy will soon be a disaster. The middle class is being systematically destroyed. This is a fast-moving tragedy. It's the end of America.

And it's all being perpetrated by a brain-dead zombie puppet with 36% approval, using a Trojan horse called the vaccine mandate.

We are the majority. We all despise Biden. The question is, are we going to let this happen?

Root has previously sounded like a guy who will not stop at simply words to overthrow Biden and reinstall Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 80: Marveling Over Superhero Meltdowns
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center shows it can hurl as much abuse at Marvel as it does at DC when their superheroes fail to comply with right-wing heteronormative narratives. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EST
CNS Intern Completes Semester Of Senator-Pestering
Topic: CNSNews.com

Megan Williams of right-wing Hillsdale College was CNSNews.com's student intern for the fall semester, and part of that job -- as it is for all CNS interns -- was to pester members of Congress with right-wing gotcha questions designed to trap Democratic politicians and give Republican ones a chance to virtue-signal. Unsurprisingly, she finished out her term the way she began it.

In early November, Williams' prescribed to senators was, "Does an unborn baby with a beating heart have the God-given right to life?" Only three senators got the question, all of them Republican:

A couple weeks later, Williams had another question to ask: "Will President Biden secure the southern border?" Some got a follow-up: "Do you know if he’s making any efforts to do so now?" She got more senators this time, most of them Republican:

In many of the articles, Williams went on to do some pro-Trump, anti-Biden editorializing: "Biden’s border neglect began the first week of his presidency when he revoked former President Donald Trump’s executive order that focused on strengthening the southern border policies to prevent illegal immigration. This included halting construction of the wall. ... Biden believed Trump’s policies were too harsh, but they worked."

Williams got in one more abortion-related question to a few (Republican) senators before her term was up: "Did the Founding Fathers believe in a right to abortion?" Like the earlier question, she got to ask it of only three (Republican) senators: Roger Marshall, John Kennedy, and Mike Rounds, all of whom unsurprisingly answered no. Williams editorialized somemore: "The Dobbs  case gives the Court the opportunity to overturn the Roe precedent, or at least adjust its standards, and return back to the intentions of the Founding Fathers."

Williams may not have learned much about journalism during her tenure as a CNS intern, but she sure seemed to learn a lot about promoing right-wing talking points.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 30, 2021 9:27 AM EST
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
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." As we've documented, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EST
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 29, 2021 3:21 PM EST
Stacey Abrams Derangement Syndrome (And Big Lie Promotion), Bernie Kerik Division
Topic: Newsmax

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 repeatedly promoted 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 AM EST
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 didn't mention that McCullough made numerous false or misleading claims on Rogan's podcast.

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
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
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).


Posted by Terry K. at 5:28 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 5:31 PM EST
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.

That would be the same Zucker who the MRC loves to tar with the vaguely anti-Semitic "puppet master" tag (Zucker is Jewish). The teen being referrred to there is Nick Sandmann, whose lawsuits agaisnt the media the MRC championed though it's not likely Sandmann received much more than token go-away money(and whose lawyer, L. Lin Wood, the MRC doesn't want to talk about anymore since he became the right-wing Michael Avenatti).

And Fondacaro wasn't done trashing Stelter:

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EST
CNS Abuses 'So-Called' To Deny The Names Of Democratic Bills
Topic: CNSNews.com

One anti-liberal trick CNSNews.com has engaged in lately is to dismissed Democratic initiatives as "so-called" -- even when the name it is being called is the actual name.

Craig Bannister did this in a Sept. 22 article during yet another attempt to mainstream an extremist Republican congresswoman:

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.

In fact, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 is the actual name of the bill.

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.

In fact, Build Back Better is the name of both the framework the Biden White House is using and the bill in Congress.

Denying basic facts is not the way CNS builds journalistic credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 1:26 PM EST
Monday, December 27, 2021
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’

War?

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 27, 2021 11:10 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