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Thursday, January 6, 2022
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Other Big Lie
Topic: Media Research Center
For the past year, the Media Research Center has been promoting the fiction that Donald Trump was banned from social media because he called for "peace" after the Jan. 6 riot (which he helped to incite). It's also denying that what happened that day was an "insurrection." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EST
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Newsmax's Hirsen -- A Longtime Buddy Of Mel Gibson -- Plugs Gibson's New Project
Topic: Newsmax

You might remember how Newsmax columnist James Hirsen was an enthusiastic shill for Mel Gibson's various film projects and conservative politics and faith -- and defending Gibson following his anti-Semitic tirades -- while hiding the fact that he was not only Gibson's friend, he's also the founder of a legal group tied to an ultraconservative Catholic sect founded by Gibson's father. (He only bothered to disclose some of that when Gibson was busted again for using abusive language against an ex-girlfriend in 2010.)

Well, Hirsen has returned to the land of Gibson promotion in his Nov. 22 Newsmax column:

Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson are starring in an upcoming faith-based movie titled “Stu,” a biopic on the life of a man who was a boxer, actor, museum manager and ultimately an ordained Catholic priest.

The main character in the film, Father Stuart Long, was affectionately known as “Father Stu,” hence the movie title.

Wahlberg began working on the project two years following the passing of Father Stu in 2014. The upcoming feature was financed in part by Wahlberg himself and is currently in post production.

Wahlberg plays the lead role, and Gibson plays the part of Father Stu’s dad, Bill Long.

The rest of Hirsen's column actually fouses on Wahlberg, since the film is his project. Still, as usual, Hirsen refused to disclose his personal and business interests with Gibson in promoting his involvement with Wahlberg's film.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EST
How Has MRC's Sports Blogger Been Hating LGBT People Lately?
Topic: Media Research Center

It's been a while since we checked in on how Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson has been spreading homophobia and transphobia from his (or her) NewsBusters perch. Let's see how that's going, shall we?

Maxson spent an Oct. 6 post whining about the existence of LGBT-themed baseball swag:

Peripheral topics scarcely related to the Major League Baseball playoffs are all the rage at SB Nation’s LGBT-obsessed Outsports blog. Writer Ken Schultz has ranked all 10 playoff teams according to their rainbow swag, and it’s no surprise that a Bay Area team emerged No. 1 on his pinkish list.

The San Francisco Giants earned the most love from Schultz, who admits to singing hosannas to them this summer for their “amazing Pride caps.” The team donated its Progress Pride cap to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and that means they “should finish No. 1 on this list,” he says.If it’s good enough for Cooperstown, it’s good enough for me,” Schultz raved.

[...]

All of this may seem trite and trivial, but it’s a subtle move by the alpha bet people to let professional sports know they’re under a microscope and expected to keep pleasing their needy LGBT masters.

Maxson seems mad that there aren't any homophobes as needy as he (or she) is.

Maxson repeated his (or her) attacks on transgender athletes, using an Oct. 8 post to cheer the right-wing Alliance Defending Freedom for "pursuing multiple lawsuits to challenge the administration’s insistence on turning female sports into a farce." On Oct. 15, Maxson accused Instagram of having "canceled a post undermining LGBT attempts to destroy the integrity of women’s sports" by removing "a post by biologist Colin Wright citing scientific studies proving that so-called male-to-female transgender athletes have clear-cut advantages over women," going on to sneer that "Instagram and its LGBT masters cannot handle the truth, and so they try to suppress it." On Oct. 27, Maxson complained that reporting on a new anti-transgender law in Texas made it so that transgender students are "banned from competing in sports," insisting that "The truth is that boys are eligible to participate in, or at least try out for, any boys team in Texas public schools."

Maxson spent a Nov. 23 post bashing basketball Dwayne Wade for the offense of refusing to hate his transgender child:

Want a “model” family that will make you a hero of the Left? Encourage one of your children to claim gender confusion and then tell the world how incredibly wonderful that is. This worked to perfection for former NBA all-star like Dwyane Wade, who said Tuesday night on Comedy Central's The Daily Show recently that his transgender son is developing into a beautiful young woman.

Papa Wade appeared with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show to promote his photo memoir, Dwyane, but the former basketball star’s support for the transgender movement is what was memorable. Noah asked him about his son Zaya (appearing at far left in photo), who assumed a female identity two years ago at the age of 12. Embracing the child’s gender confusion, Dwyane and his wife Gabrielle Union are considered among the best moms and dads ever by the Left.

[...]

Wade also said that when something like this happens to you, you have to look at in the face. Left unsaid was that he figuratively put his finger in the air to find out what reaction would get the best reaction from the LGBT Left, then go with the flow. Those folks are overjoyed and think he and his wife are parents of the year material.

Maxson concluded by accusing Wade of using Zaya "like a pawn for the transgender movement."

Maxson similarly melted down in a Dec. 22 post when the NFL similarly refused to hate non-heterosexual people:

The NFL wasn’t whistling Dixie earlier this year when it released a video identifying as gay, lesbian, queer and transgender. The NFL Network is following up on that bizarre PSA by running a GLAAD-pleasing feature right after Thursday’s 49ers-Titans game. The program, which replays Dec. 28, will profile five LGBTQ people on the impact of the Las Vegas Raiders’ Carl Nassib coming out of the closet earlier this year.

[...]

This NFL Network feature has got to be a very special achievement for Troy Vincent, a former pro football player and now the executive vice president of football operations for the NFL.

Vincent is practically the leader of the league’s virtue signaling to the LGBTQ cause. In October 2020, Vincent said to "all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we." The NFL issued a video then as well, stating “it takes all of us.” Also, NFL Films has previously featured the "National Gay Flag Football League.”

There’s no doubt about it. The National Football League is having a gay old time.

Of course, Maxson's homophobia is a form of virtue-signaling as well -- not to mention the reason he (or she) has a job writing for the MRC. You might also recall that Maxson and othe MRC writers lashed out at Nassib ealier this year when he tried out for and made an NFL team at the beginning of the season.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:08 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 9:08 PM EST
CNS Gave Trump Lies A Pass, But Bashes Biden's 'Exaggerations'
Topic: CNSNews.com

The day before CNSNews.com was presenting falsehoods from Donald Trump as unimpeachable fact, it was bashing President Biden for making exaggerations." Craig Bannister wrote in a Nov. 22 article:

President Joe Biden has added one more exaggeration to his growing list of embellishments.

Last Tuesday, Pres. Biden claimed that he “had a house burn down with my wife in it” and, then, that “a significant portion of it” burned.

But, the local fire company chief told the Associated Press (AP) at the time that “the flames did not spread beyond the kitchen.”

Bannister went on to quote from a Fox News article noting "Biden’s past dubious claims."

This is a pattern with CNS, which has consistently refused to hold Trump to this same level of factual scrutiny -- even though he has been caught making exponentially more falsehoods -- while continually nitpicking at Biden.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:44 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 11:47 PM EST
WND Now Spreading Misinfo About European COVID Data
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been one of the biggest purveyors of a particular bit of COVID misinformation: that the federal government's VAERS database is proven, verified documentation of direct links between vaccines and claimed side effects. In a Nov. 20 WND article, Art Moore is trying a new reinterpretation, deliberately misinterpreting numbers from a different database while reframing its VAERS conspiracy. He stated this way:

A total of 30,551 fatalities and 1.1 million adverse events due to COVID-19 vaccines have been reported by the European Union's official database.

The European Medicines Agency site's figures, through Nov. 13, are from reports regarding the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AztraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

The U.S. reporting site, the the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS, has reported 18,853 deaths and 1.7 million adverse events through Nov. 12.

But as with VAERS, that claim -- made about EMA's EudraVigilance database -- is not true. As an actual fact-checker found:

Reuters presented the claims to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which said: “The data circulating in many articles and social media posts are incorrect.”

[...]

“The collection of all reports of suspected adverse drug reactions is one of the pillars of the EU safety monitoring system,” the EMA told Reuters by email. “Spontaneous reporting serves as a tool to detect unusual or unexpected issues related to the use of a vaccine which may require further investigation and risk assessment.

“Reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) alone are rarely sufficient to prove that a certain suspected reaction has been caused by a specific medicine, i.e. a COVID-19 vaccine. EMA’s detailed assessments take into account all available data from all sources (clinical trials, medical literature, observational studies, etc.) to draw a robust conclusion on the safety of the vaccine.

“For most medicines and vaccines, the vast majority of suspected side effects are not eventually confirmed as side effects. For cases with fatal outcome, it is difficult to state with certainty the real cause of death even if all data, including autopsy results, are available. Please note that it is not EMA’s role to adjudicate the cause of death.”

According to the EMA’s website, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines is continuously monitored and evaluated – and have been found to be “safe and effective”.

Moore followed that with grudgingly acknowledging that VAERS isn't what WND's conspiracy-mongerers have repeatedly insisted it was -- but he then tried to fashion a new conspiracy:

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department points out that a VAERS report is not documentation that a link has been established between a vaccine and an adverse event.

However, HHS also notes that VAERS is a "passive" system of reporting, and it "receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events." Many health care workers have disclosed they are instructed by their superiors not to report to VAERS any harm caused by COVID vaccines.

And the website OpenVAERS, which compiles summaries of the data on VAERS, points to an analysis known as the "Lazarus Report," which concluded VAERS represents only 1% of vaccine injuries.

But that report covers only a period of time from 2007 to 2010, and says nothing about the reporting rate of suspected COVID vaccine side effects.And Moore's source for this claim, OpenVAERS, is a misinformation-laden website run by a California woman who won't talk to reporters that plucks unverified medical data out of contexts to cater to anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists like Moore.

That's not the only bit of misinformation Moore has spread regarding across-the-pond statistics. He wrote in a Nov. 23 article:

Vaccinated people under age 60 are dying from all causes at twice the rate of the unvaccinated in the United Kingdom, according to data compiled by the British government.

"I don’t know how to explain this other than vaccine-caused mortality," wrote former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson on his Substack page.

But Reuters also detailed how Berenson misled in pushing these statistics:

Indeed, of 1,521 over-80s who died from COVID-19 during this time, 1,272 were fully vaccinated, the data shows. Forty-three had received one vaccine dose, while 198 were unvaccinated. Meanwhile, 607 out of 801 70 to 79-year-olds who died from COVID-19 had received two vaccine doses (164 hadn’t been vaccinated) and of 411 60- to 69-year-olds, 258 were fully vaccinated (125 were unvaccinated).

However, the numbers alone miss the context necessary to understand the impact of COVID-19 vaccines. This data does not show that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are more likely to die from the virus.

When much of a population has been vaccinated, most infections and deaths are “expected to be among those vaccinated”, Dr Muge Cevik, a clinical lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology at the University of St Andrews, previously told Reuters (here).

On Sept. 19, 64.9% of over-16s in England had received one vaccine dose, with 59.5% having also received the second, according to the document.

When adjusted proportionally to display the rate per 100,000 people in all age groups, the number of COVID-19 deaths is higher in the unvaccinated population than in the vaccinated population, the data shows.

This short of sloppy, rcredulous stenography is why Moore has become one of the leading COVID misinformers on the internet -- and one big reason why WND is continuing to circle the drain.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Updated: Monday, January 10, 2022 8:23 PM EST
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
MRC Fawns Over Trump's New Social Media Operation, Censors Questions About It
Topic: Media Research Center

If you're a right-wing social media site, the Media Research Center wants to give you some free (or paid, we don't know) PR. It did so for Parler -- even going so far as to censor the conflict of interest that chief Parler funder Rebekah Mercer is also a major funder of the MRC -- it did so for the MyPillow guy's operation, it did so for GETTR, and now it's doing so for Donald Trump's new social media operation.

In an Oct. 21 post announcing the creation of the operation, Autumn Johnson put "BREAKING" in the headline even though she was breaking absolutely nothing but, rather, repeating a report from another right-wing website:

Former President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that his new social media platform will be coming soon, The Daily Wire reported.

TRUTH Social will be released next spring under the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). The platform will compete with Facebook and Twitter, like Parler and GETTR.

Trump said he is excited about the new platform’s potential.

“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” he said in a statement. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

TMTG concurred with Trump’s statement, adding that the “mission is to  is to create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the “Big Tech” companies of Silicon Valley”:

Johnson added that "Trump was permanently banned on Facebook and Twitter following the Jan. 6 riot in Washington D.C.," but made sure not to mention why.

Another thing Johnson refused to mention: questions about the operation itself. When the site launched, it was immediately overrun by trolls who snapped up registered names like "donaldtrump," "donaldjtrump," and "mike pence," and its terms of service are pretty tyrannical for a site purporting to "stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech." The app may also violate the terms of use of the open-source software it's built on. Then there's the fact that Trump in all likelihood did not "create" anything related to this venture beyond lending his name to it (for a presumably princely sum), given that TMTG refused to tell the Washington Post exactly what Trump's relationship with the company will be.

But Johnson is nothing if not an enthusiastic PR agent for Trump. In an Oct. 28 post on Trump losing a legal action against Twitter, she spent three paragraphs gushing over how he "just last week announced the creation of his own social media platform: TRUTH Social," linking to her earlier post.

Johnson returned to gush in a Dec. 5 post about the amount of capital TMTG claims to have:

A new social network being created by former President Donald Trump reportedly said it has $1 billion lined up in capital.

Trump announced his plan to create a new social network after he was banned from Facebook and Twitter. The network is a product of Trump’s new company, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), and he is the chair of the company.

TMTG plans to become a publicly listed company by merging with Digital World.

Digital World reportedly said $1 billion in capital has been lined up for the venture, while the company itself plans to invest $293 million.

Johnson was curiously incurious as to how a company formed less than two months earlier and has, as one observer noted, "no product, no users, no publicly identified executives, and no revenue," has access to such an astronomical amount of money, though there appears to be much shadiness to be investigated. Instead, she quoted from a press release, blandly stating that "Other investors have not been identified, but Digital World reportedly said the money will come from 'a diverse group' of investors."

But never mind that, there was another hot scoop to gush over. This time, Alexander Hall did the gushy honors on Dec. 7:

Is this the start of a big conservative splash in the tech sphere?? Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) will reportedly resign from his position as a congressman to join former President Donald Trump’s burgeoning Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG.) 

Trump is out of the presidency, but his company has the potential to be a major player in the social media sphere, and it just gained one major power-player. “Trump Media & Technology Group ('TMTG') today announced that Congressman Devin G. Nunes has been selected to join the Company as Chief Executive Officer,” TMTG declared in a Dec. 6 press release. “Mr. Nunes will be leaving the U.S. House of Representatives and will begin his new role as Chief Executive Officer of TMTG in January 2022.”

Hall did surprisingly suggest the cronyism involved here, noting that "Nunes has a history of backing up Trump in the most high-stakes times of crisis" and that Trump "awarded Nunes the Presidential Medal of Freedom," while Nunes was "one of the 147 House Republicans who voted to challenge President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory" on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Hall didn't however, mention Nunes' notirious litigiousness toward any critic on social media, including a parody Twitter account claiming to be Nunes' cow. Perhaps that ligitiousness is the real skill Nunes is quitting Congress to bring to Trump's operation (that, and all the potential grift to cash in on). Hall will never mention that, either.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2022 10:01 PM EST
WND Parrots Bogus MRC Attack On 2020 Election
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh spent a Nov. 23 WorldNetDaily article touting an alternative version of the Big Lie:

The problems with the 2020 presidential vote are well-documented.

For example, a poll after the election showed more than one-third of voters who chose Joe Biden were not aware of the evidence linking the former vice president to corrupt financial dealings with China through his son Hunter.

Had they known, according to the survey commissioned bv the Media Research Center, President Trump would have won at least 289 Electoral College votes.

The survey found that 13% voters of the voters who said they were unaware of the scandals would not have voted for Biden had they been made aware.

That amounted to 4.6% of Biden’s total votes.

As we documented, the survey whose results the MRC paid for was McLaughlin & Associates, who worked for Trump during the 2020 campaign, so its results are highly suspect at best. The MRC's Big Lie is a conspiracy theory on a part with Trump's own. (The creeping WND-ization at the MRC has been going on for years.)

Unruh went on to repeat another election conspiracy:

And research revealed that Mark Zuckerberg handed over a total of $419.5 million to the Center for Technology and Civil Life and the Center for Election Innovation and Research leading up to the 2020 presidential election, and the two groups used it to buy Democrat votes.

Essentially.

In fact, Zuckerberg's foundation is nonpartisan and its money was available to any election organization that wanted it. Indeed, more Republican-controlled counties applied for and got money from the foundation, though more money went to Democratic-controlled counties.Unruh didn't explain why it's a bad thing for more people to be involved in the election process.

In other words, Unruh's "essentially" actually means "not at all."

Unruh went on to tout a right-wing initiative in Michigan that is "circulating a petition to prevent voter fraud" that would "require photo ID for voting" and make it that "government officials would be barred from sending absentee voter ballot applications unless the voter asked for that." But Unruh censored mention of criticism of the initiative, which exploits a loophole in the Michigan state constitution to ram though the changes without a vote of the people and exempt it from a veto by the (Democratic) governor, as well as that the initiative does, in fact, restrict voting.

Remember, WND is a leading propagandist for Trump's Big Lie, and it won't report anything that undermines that narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EST
Newsmax Joins CNS In Uncritically Repeating Trump's Falsehoods
Topic: Newsmax

CNSNews.com wasn't the only ConWeb outlet to uncritically reprint recent false and misleading commnets from Donald Trump. Jeffrey Rodack was the stenographer in a Nov. 23 Newsmax article:

Former President Donald Trump is slamming President Joe Biden’s order to release 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to bring down energy costs

Trump said, in a statement released on Tuesday, "For decades our country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up.

"I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else. Now I understand that Joe Biden will be announcing an 'attack' on the newly brimming Strategic Oil Reserves so that he could get the close to record-setting high oil prices artificially lowered.

"We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a country?"

As we documented, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was more than 80 percent full -- not "low or virtually empty" -- when Trump filled them, it took no political courage on Trump's part to do so given that oil prices were at rock bottom at thet start of the pandemic, and Trump signed a bill mandating sale of SPR reserves to fund the government. And that $7 gas is only a one remote gas station in California; the average gas price in the state is around $4.

This is what happens when being a servile stenographer is more important than reporting facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2022 5:02 PM EST
CNS Editor's Double Standard On Deficit Spending Continues
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor and supposed deficit hawk Terry Jeffrey had no interest in blaming Donald Trump or a Republican-controlled Senate for growing deficits through 2020, but he's quick to heap blame on Democrats now that they're in control of the White House. That pattern did not change in the final four months of 2021. Jeffrey declared in a Sept. 13 article:

The federal government collected a record $3,586,456,000,000 in total taxes through first eleven months of fiscal 2021 (September through August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

The federal government also collected a record $1,829,589,000,000 in individual income taxes in the September-through-August period.

Jeffrey made no mention of how the spending continued a pattern of higher pandemic-related deficit spending established by the Trump administration in 2020. He did, however, include a stock photo of Nancy Pelosi and the back of (maybe) President Biden's head, and he also bizarrely suggested that the country wasn't spending enough money on defense and too much money on helping American citizens:

On the spending side, the federal government spent the most money through the Department of Health and Human Services, which has $1,340,131,000,000 in expenditures in September through August.

The Social Security Administration placed second, spending $1,092,771,000,000.

The Department of Defense—Military Programs spent $653,852,000,000 or less than half of the $1,340,131,000,000 spent by HHS.

Jeffrey repeated much of that, with updated numbers, in an Oct. 25 fiscal-year-end article:

The federal government collected a record $4,045,979,000,000 in taxes in fiscal 2021, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for September, which is the final month of the federal fiscal year.

Federal spending also hit a nominal high of $6,818,158,000,000 in fiscal 2021, up from the $6,551,872,000,000 that the federal government spent in fiscal 2020. However, when the $6,551,872,000,000 the federal government spent last year is adjusted for inflation from September 2020 dollars into September 2021 dollars it equals $6,905,040,760,000—thus, exceeding this fiscal year’s total of $6,818,158,000,000.

[...]

The Department of Health and Human Services spent $1,466,673,000,000 in fiscal 2021. The Social Security Administration spent $1,192,453,000,000. The Department of Defense spent $717,585,000,000.

Jeffrey didn't mention that Trump was preseident for the first 2 1/2 months of fiscal 2021. Nevertheless, he included a stock photo of Biden, Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The complaint was regurgitated in Jeffrey's Nov. 10 article:

The federal government, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, collected a record $283,927,000,000 in total taxes in October, which was the first month of fiscal 2022.

Federal spending hit $448,983,000,000 in October, which was the second highest ever for the first month of a fiscal year. The federal government set its record spending in the first month of the fiscal year last October, when the it spent $554,232,780,000 (in constant October 2021 dollars).

[...]

The biggest expenditure by the Treasury in October was for the Department of Health and Human Services, which accounted for $120,507,000,000 in spending.

The second biggest expenditure was for the Social Security Administration, which accounted for $101,055,000,000 in spending.

The third biggest expenditure was for the Department of Defense-Military Programs, which accounted for $65,482,000,000 in spending.

This time, the stock photo was of Biden, Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

It was lather, rinse, repeat for Jeffrey's Dec. 10 article:

The federal government collected a record $565,135,000,000 in total taxes through the first two months of fiscal 2022 (October and November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

The federal government also collected a record $282,094,000,000 in individual income taxes in the first two months of this fiscal year.

While collecting its record $565,135,000,000 in total taxes in the first two months of this fiscal year, the federal government spent $921,526,000,000—resulting in a deficit of $356,390,000,000 in the first two months of the fiscal year.

[...]

The Department of Health and Human Services spent more money--$254,706,000,000—in the first two months of fiscal 2022 than any other federal department or agency. It was followed by the Social Security Administration, which spent $201,487,000,000. The Defense Department-Military Programs placed third with $126,299,000,000 in spending in the October-through-November period.

This month's stock photo featured Biden and Pelosi.

Each of these articles notes at the end that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Is Wold rolling in his grave seeing hismoney paying for such lazy, rote reporting?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2022 12:44 AM EST
Monday, January 3, 2022
MRC Continued To Take Harris Out Of Context To Blame Her For COVID Vaccine Mistrust
Topic: Media Research Center

It says something about the kind of year it's been on the ConWeb that we haven't had a chance until now to further review one of the Media Research Center's most malicious and bogus right-wing narratives.

We've documented how the MRC has repeatedly taken Vice President Kamala Harris' words during the 2020 presidential campaign out of context to falsely portray her someone trying to undermine trust in vaccines developed under then-President Trump, and it continued to do so since we last checked in. In his July 24 column, Jeffrey Lord repeated the bogus Harris attack in defending Fox News host Sean Hannity from "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin:

Remember, as above, that Hannity was saying this on getting vaccinated in September of 2020: “If doctors and scientists say it’s safe my personal inclination is to take it.”

Contrast Hannity on vaccinations with Harris a mere one month later in October of 2020. Recall this headline from Fox News:

Vice presidential debate: Kamala Harris claims she won't take vaccine if Trump recommends

VP Pence slammed Harris for 'undermining public confidence' in a potential vaccine

Somehow, in some mysterious way, Hostin was, as far as I can tell, not upset about Harris saying she would refuse to be vaccinated if Trump were president. But it’s now okay to suggest that Hannity was opposed to the vaccine when, in fact, he clearly was expressing support for the vaccine while Harris was busy politicizing it by saying she would refuse to get vaccinated if Trump were president.

Note that Lord only quoted the headline which fits his narrative. He didn't repeat what the Fox News article reported that Harris also said: "If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely." He's also lying about what Harris said. She didn't say "she would refuse to get vaccinated if Trump were president"; she said she would refuse "if Donald Trump tells us we should take it." Big difference.

In other words, Harris was saying the same thing Hannity did. And given that Trump was hyping a then-nonexistent vaccine as a ploy to get re-elected and his history of being an inveterate liar, there's ample reason for nobody to trust anything he said.

In a July 26 item, Tim Graham served another one of his complaints that fact-checkers committed the offense of putting Harris' words in their proper context to debunk a right-wing narrative:

PolitiFact’s aggressive defense of Biden and Harris popped up again on Friday. They tagged it as “False” for a Tik-Tok video that “Says Joe Biden and Kamala Harris distrusted COVID-19 vaccines.”

The quotes in the video are all accurate, but they caused Facebook to flag the video as “Missing Context.” As in – the editing is too negative for their liking. Once again, they’re not “fact checking” – they’re context checking.

The short summary in Tom Kertscher's article proclaimed “Video clips appear to show Joe Biden and Kamala Harris raising doubts about COVID-19 vaccines, but they were raising concerns about the rollout by then-President Donald Trump, not the vaccines themselves.” [Emphasis mine.]

THAT is not accurate. If you suggest someone shouldn’t trust the vaccine until something happens – in this case, until the Democrats are elected – you’re sowing distrust in the vaccines.

Graham grudgingly conceded the statements were taken out of context, then laughably insisted the "aren't wildly out of context."Remember that Graham doesn't believe that Trump tells falsehoods, he just has "a casual relationship with the truth."

Kristine Marsh used an Aug. 13 post to bash CNN for a report suggesting that "blamed conservative media for vaccine hesitancy," huffing: "What [CNN host Don] Lemon won’t acknowledge is that the media’s bias has been evident throughout their reporting on the pandemic, from squashing the lab leak theory, to calling blaming China for the virus, racist, and excusing anti-vaccine comments from Democrats before the election." As evidence, she linked to an earlier MRC post that took Harris and Biden out of context, which doesn't exactly help her case.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EST
CNS Combines Transgender Freakout, Biden-Bashing In A Single Article
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com likes to have meltdowns over the idea that other people don't hate transgender people as much as they do, particularly Democratic government officials iike President Biden and Nancy Pelosi. Thus, we have a Nov. 22 "news" article by notorioiusly biased reporter Susan Jones that began by taking a shot at President Biden:

In a statement issued under his name, President Joe Biden on Saturday called transgender people "some of the bravest Americans I know."

He said 46 of them were killed "in horrifying acts of violence" so far this year, making this the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans.

And in a separate statement on Saturday, the "Biden-Harris Administration" mourned those 46 transgender Americans "who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence and hate."

We don't recall CNS ever making distinctions about "statements issued under his name" when Donald Trump was in office. Jones then found a way to take a shot at Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband by sneering at his title:

On Saturday, the White House and Doug Emhoff, the "second gentleman" who is married to Vice President Kamala Harris, hosted a first-of-its-kind vigil at the White House "to honor the lives of transgender and gender diverse people killed this year, and countless transgender and gender diverse people who face brutal violence, harassment, and discrimination in the United States and around the world."

According to the administration's statement, "The Second Gentleman lit 46 candles representing the transgender and gender diverse killed this year in the United States, and a 47th candle for those who have lost their lives to violence around the world." (The White House apparently did not release video of the event, although Emhoff tweeted a photo.)

Jones then complained that "=The White House also released a report from the "Interagency Working Group on Safety, Opportunity, and Inclusion for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals," highlighting 45 key, early actions the administration has taken," going to list a few then giving up, parenthetically throwing in the towel: "(It's a long list. You can read the entire thing here.)" Never mind that it's Jones' job to be a reporter and not pass the buck to her readers.

Finally, Jones complained:

This second White House statement uses the word "crisis" four times, as in:

"Ending the HIV crisis among transgender and gender diverse communities," "Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered (transgender) Indigenous People," "support services to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered (transgender) Indigenous People," and addressing "the crisis of anti-transgender stigma and violence..."

Never mind, of course, that copious use of the word "crisis" can be found in numerous CNS articles and columns.

Jones has previously editorialized about the Biden administration's refusing to hate transgender people as much as she clearly does.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EST
MRC Still Putting Scare Quotes Around Jan. 6 'Insurrection'
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center is trying to downplay the events of Jan. 6 by denying that it was an insurrection against the government. It hasn't stopped doing that.

A Dec. 10 post by Brian Bradley threw out the scare quotes in complaining that "leftist figurehead" Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League -- not a "leftist" organizaiton, by the way --  complained that an ADL fellow was de-platformed by Face book for "'studying' the role that company may have played leading up to the Jan. 6 so-called 'insurrection.'" It's unclear why Bradley put "studying" in scare quotes, though it's all too clear why he did that to "insurrection."

In a Dec. 12 post, P.J. Gladnick featured an article abnout the Jan. 6 committee where "one problem is that none of the supposed insurrectionists has actually been charged with insurrection. " after the writer noted "law-enforcement officers who were attacked by insurrectionists," Gladnick added: "Attacked by 'insurrectionists' who were not charged with insurrection. That could be one reason why the January 6 investigations have become 'weirdly static.'" Is Gladnick denying that law enforcement officers were attacked as well?

Jeffrey Lord embraced scare quotes as well while playing whataboutism in his Dec. 25 column:

Thus it is that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election – when it fact it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign paying for the infamous dossier.  Thus it was that all those riots in 2020 that resulted in death, looting, burning and destruction were really “mostly peaceful.” Perfectly decent high schoolers Sandmann and Rittenhouse were racist brats. And the riot by a relative handful of out-of-control protestors at the Capitol on January 6th was really an “insurrection”, with the U.S. government itself hanging by a thread, with a coup attempt incited by President Trump under way.

The results of all this garbage is that the American people, in true “show me” mood, began to realize they were not being given “just the facts” journalism in any given situation but rather they were being fed liberal narratives masquerading as facts. Or, as the shorthand became, “fake news.”

Jeffrey didn't explain exactly what was "fake news" about any Jan. 6 coverage.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The Root of COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wayne Allyn Root worked his way down the right-wing media food chain to end up at WorldNetDaily, which has shown itself to be quite tolerant of his factually deficient fearmongering about COVID vaccines. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Sunday, January 2, 2022
MRC Sports Blogger Goes Full Brandon In Cheering Biden Slur
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center has heartily embraced the "Let's Go Brandon" anti-Biden slur despite its long history of raging against any other vulgarity expressed in the media. But a couple weeks before MRC sports blogger Jay Maxson lamented how a "Monday Night Football" broadcast was "coarsening the culture" by dropping an F-bomb, his (or her) fellow sports blogger, John Simmons, was cheering a crowd chanting the unexpurgated version of "Let's Go Brandon." He gushed in an Oct. 21 post:

There are two things you can know for certain about Boston: the people there are incredibly passionate about almost everything, and it is a firmly liberal city. That’s why what happened after Game 4 of the ALCS between the hometown Red Sox and the Houston Astros might come as a surprise.

Between chants of “F--- A-rod” (former New York Yankees third baseman and Fox Sports analyst Alex Rodriguez) and “F--- (Astros second baseman Jose) Altuve,” impassioned and clear chants of “F--- Joe Biden” could be heard just outside of Fenway Park.

Now we all aren’t surprised when college campuses in the South break out in these cheers during football games (since the South tends to be conservative anyway), but a place like Boston joining in on the fun goes to show just how much our president’s approval has dropped in just nine short months.

Maybe this is a continuing sign that even liberal America is beginning to wake up to just how bad of a leader Joe Biden is.

[...]

Perhaps this is just a one-time thing, perhaps this is a pattern that will continue. Either way, it is encouraging to know that Americans are beginning to see the truth about how Biden and his vision for America will only bring ruin to us all, and that it is time we did something about it.

Simmons linked to a Fox Sports clip in which the "F--- Biden" was quite audible on the air. Simmons did not complain that the insult was "coarsening the culture."He didn't explain the MRC's double standard -- perhaps because the MRC appears to have an editorial policy in which no insult of a Democrat is too vulgar to complain about.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EST
CNS Lets Trump Spread More Falsehoods Unchecked
Topic: CNSNews.com

Biased CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones began a Nov. 23 article by bashing President Biden's decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, scoffing that it "may lower fuel prices just a little for a short time." Then she served as a stenographer for Donald Trump:

But former President Donald Trump, who returned the Petroleum Reserve to full capacity, issued a statement condemning the move:

"For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low," Trump said:

Trump is lying -- the SPR was not "low or virtually empty"; in fact, it was more than 80 percent full at the the time Trump authorized filling it further. The SPR holds a maximum of 727 million barrels of oil, and Trump's authorization was for 77 million barrels. At the time, oil prices had cratered due to the pandemic, so it didn't exactly require an act of political courage on Trump's part to do that, despite his suggestion otherwise. Even then, it took months to obtain the oil for the SPR, in part because oil producers opted to cut production rather than feed a market in which oil prices had actually gone negative due to plummeting demand.

Jones went on to uncritically quote Trump:

Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else. Now I understand that Joe Biden will be announcing an “attack” on the newly brimming Strategic Oil Reserves so that he could get the close to record-setting high oil prices artificially lowered.

We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?

Jones didn't mention that Trump signed a bill in 2018 that mandated the sale of 100 million barrels of oil from the SPR by 2027 to fund the government -- which runs counterfactually to his claim that the SPR whould be reserved only for "serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else."

This is just another example of CNS giving Trump a pass for repeating falsehoods, even as it nitpicks President Biden for any possible misstatement.

UPDATE: Oh, and Trump's reference to  gas "selling for $7 in parts of California"? That appears to be referring only to a single station in one California town that can get away with gouging consumers because it's the only station in the immediate area. The average price of gas in the state is around $4 a gallon.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 12:17 AM EST

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