NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy): November/ December 2021 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck seemed to be getting bored with his job, as his Psaki-bashing and Doocy-gasming became more sporadic as the year came to a close. Read more >>
The unemployment rate keeps going lower, so CNSNews.com changed tactics a few months ago to attack President Biden: reviving its Obama-era attack of cherry-picking the labor force participation rate. Susan Jones did that once again in her article on December's employment numbers:
The Labor Department's final employment report of 2021, released on Friday morning, shows steady improvement since January a year ago.
But labor force participation remains a concern, as does the number of Americans counted as not in the labor force -- not working and not looking for work, for whatever reason. Those are just two of the Labor Department measures of economic health that have not rebounded to their pre-pandemic levels.
And notably, today's report does not fully account for the recent holiday omicron surge.
As she has throughout the past year of reporting on unemployment numbers, Jones made sure to give shout-outs, both explicit and implicit, to how great things were under Donald Trump before the pandemic started:
Last month’s 3.9 percent unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since the 3.5 percent in February 2020.
The labor force participation rate reached a seven-year high of 63.4 percent in January 2020, the final year of Trump's presidency and just before the onset of COVID.
CNS didn't serve up its usual sidebars on government or Hispanic unemployment this time. Instead, it focused on promoting other attacks on the numbers. An article by Craig Bannister hyped Fox Business host Stuart Varney claiming that "December’s numbers actually underestimate the weakness of the nation’s job growth, because the harmful effect of the Omicron virus in the second half of the month is not factored in." Bannister followed that by writing what began as a press release for the Republican National Committee:
On Friday, while RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel declared December’s Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) jobs report the worse of Joe Biden’s presidency, Biden touted the positive records set during the full year of 2021.
Following Friday’s release of the latest monthly BLS report, McDaniel issued a statement noting the disappointing level of job creation in December – and warning that the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to force small businesses to fire unvaccinated employees will hurt employment:
Bannister copied-and-pasted several paragraphs from the RNC press release trashing Biden over the employment numbers, though he also repeated tweets from Biden and conceded that "there is, indeed, both good news and bad news in the latest employment picture."
Meanwhile, Melanie Arter went into stenographer mode to report that "President Joe Biden painted a rosy picture of Friday’s jobs reports, calling it a 'historic day' for the economic recovery, despite adding less than half the number of jobs in December that analysts expected."
How Has The MRC's War Against Facebook Been Failing Lately? (Part 2) Topic: Media Research Center
It's time to play more catch-up on the Media Ressarch Center's flailing efforts to bash Facebook, now advancing into September and October.
A Sept. 23 post by Alexander Hall complained that Facebook wanted to improve the quality of its news feed:
Facebook openly announced its plans it uses to demote content, but at least it’s attempting to be transparent about the process. Right, Facebook?
The release said it was “to share more detail on how content is distributed on Facebook.” But, in reality, it was about how content is not distributed on Facebook. All for the Facebook offense of being “problematic” or of “low quality.”
Facebook — not users — decides what content is important or high quality in its News Feed.
Hall went on to complain that "Facebook has interfered with user News Feeds before, especially around elections," going on to cite its well-worn complaint about it disabling links to the New York Post's dubious October surprise over Hunter Biden before the 2020 election. Nor did he explain why a private business did not have a right to improve the product it offers to its customers.
Autumn Johnson offered a similarly themed complaint in an Oct. 13 post:
According to The Intercept, Facebook has a secret blacklist of “dangerous individuals and organizations.”
The article explainedthe list was created to bar “users from speaking freely about people and groups it says promote violence.”
Again, Johnson didn't explain why this was a bad thing.
Hall returned on Oct. 18 to huff that Facebook cracking down on "so-called hate speech" was also a bad thing:
Facebook has run right back to censorship gaslighting after having taken a metaphorical beating in the liberal press and from the Hill in recent weeks. The platform has let the world know that it has cracked down on so-called “hate speech” with extreme prejudice.
Facebook released a devastating report about censorship on its platform — a bad omen for those who care about freedom of speech. “Our technology is having a big impact on reducing how much hate speech people see on Facebook,” Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen explained in an Oct. 17 report. “According to our latest Community Standards Enforcement Report, its prevalence is about 0.05% of content viewed, or about 5 views per every 10,000, down by almost 50% in the last three quarters.”
Hall then tried to explain why this was somehow a bad thing by attempting to potray the MRC as a victim:
Facebook’s history with content moderation is problematic at best. The platform has allowed its leftist-funded International Fact-Checking Network appointed fact-checkers to penalize conservative content that is demonstrably true.
For example, PolitiFact came after the Media Research Center (MRC) for citing a graphic first released by the CDC. PolitiFact tried to combine three fact-check categories into one. It failed to note its issue as one of context, and chose to instead label the entire graphic as “FALSE,” but called it “partly false information” on Facebook.
But as we documented, the CDC data was incomplete and, thus, did not support the partisan (and, in retrospect, false and dangerous) point it was trying to claim, that the Delta variant of COVID was nothing to worry about.Facebook was correct to flag the MRC's bogus graphic.
Hall devoted an Oct. 25 post to touting a Wall Street Journal article attacking Facebook:
Facebook management have reportedly been locking horns with their radical far-left workers over how far they can go to censor conservative speech online.
It’s Facebook’s worst nightmare as the platform’s internal debates over purging conservative outlets and the sinister tools to censor them were exposed in a recent Wall Street Journal report. The Journal reportedly revealed one scandalous internal conversation calling for Breitbart News to be removed from the News Tab on the platform: “Get Breitbart out of News Tab,” said an employee. The conversation condemned multiple straightforward headlines from Breitbart about rioting for allegedly “[painting] Black Americans and Black-led movements in a very negative way,” with many Facebook workers reportedly agreeing.
An employee working on the Facebook Audience Network also reportedly rationalized censorship as an ethical responsibility. “My argument is that allowing Breitbart to monetize through us is, in fact, a political statement,” said the employee, according to The Journal. “It’s an acceptance of extreme, hateful and often false news used to propagate fear, racism and bigotry.”
At no point did Hall dispute the Facebook employee's alleged description of Breitbart as peddling "fear, racism and bigotry," which means he's portraying that as mainstream conservative content. And he censored the fact that the Journal report also stated that "The documents reviewed by the Journal didn’t render a verdict on whether bias influences its decisions overall," and that it also found that Facebook employees were "alleging that Facebook is giving the right-wing publishers a pass to avoid PR blowback." Instead, Hall pushed a claim elsewhere in the article that Facebook managment feared that cracking down on far-right content would be seen as, in Hall's words, "verified proof of anti-conservative sentiment or censorship within the company."
Nevertheless, the MRC loved the Journal story so much that its "Editor's Pick" that day was a writeup of the article at right-wing website RedState.
CNS Runs A GOP Press Release Disguised As A 'News' Article Topic: CNSNews.com
Susan Jones has long been a highly biased reporter for CNSNews.com. She took it to another level in a Dec. 14 article, in which she effectively wrote a press release for the Republican Party:
The Democrats' multi-trillion "Build Back Better Act" (BBB) includes a one-year extension of the Child Tax Credit program, which pays families up to $3,000 for every child ages 6-17 and $3,600 for every child under age 6.
Families get the money, depending on their income level and regardless of whether anyone in the family actually works and pays taxes.
BBB is currently stuck in the Senate, and unless it passes by year-end, the final Child Tax Credit payment will go out tomorrow, December 15.
Democrats are using the tax-credit expiration as an urgent reason to pass BBB, which includes most of their leftist agenda.
But Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee say don't be fooled -- the child tax credit "has been turned into the largest welfare-without-work program in existence by President Biden and Congressional Democrats."
"Good jobs and rising paychecks do more to lift Americans out of poverty than dependence on never-ending government checks," Ways and Means Republicans said in a news release dated Dec. 13. "There are a number of factors contributing to poverty. Rewarding work and helping the poor become self-sufficient is the surest path out of poverty."
JOnes even directly copied-and-pasted several parapgraphs of those purported "myths and facts" from that GOP press release. To paraphrase Tim Graham of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center: CNS story? GOP press release? Who can tell?
Jones made a point of highlighting that "Committee Republicans note it was the GOP who doubled the Child Tax Credit to $2,000 in the Tax Cut & Jobs Act of 2017, a move that Democrats opposed at the time," but she buried the fact that it was lumped into a tax cut bill, and it was that, not the Child Tax Credit specifically, that Democrats opposed. She also didn't explain why the GOP effort to increase the Child Tax Credit wasn't also "welfare."
Any alternate viewpoint was buried in the final four paragraphs of Jones' 27-paragraph article, which quoted White House press secretary Jen Psaki discussing prospects for Democrats to pass a child tax credit. Jones allowed nobody to directly rebut the GOP attacks -- she's effectively an employee of the Republican Party, after all.
Newsmax's Trump-Pardoned Columnist Keeps Up The Trump-Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
Trump pardon beneficiary Conrad Black continued his embrace of Trump's Big Lie about the election in his Dec. 17 column. First, though, he took shots at "pompous, insubordinate hypocrite Gen. Mark Milley" at "the woke Fifth Column inserted by President Barack Obama" into the military, then moved to complaining that everything was great under Ronald Reagan until George H.W. Bush succeeded him, than "allowed the political charlatan Ross Perot to steal 20 million mainly Republican votes and bring on the Clintons." When Black transition to huffing about "the monstrous falsehood that Trump had wrongfully connived with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election," it was clearly time for more Trump hagiography and whitewashing:
Hillary Clinton, in her book about the election, stated that "Trump's treason" was one of the principal reasons for her defeat and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper publicly stated his belief that Trump was "a Russian intelligence asset." Former CIA Director John Brennan repeatedly accused Trump of treasonable activity.
By their hysterical claims that Trump was threatening democracy, they understandably incited Trump and his vast army of followers to believe that the political establishment that Trump had previously thought of as only incompetent, was, in fact, the real threat to democracy.
Meanwhile, a number of swing states altered their voting and vote counting rules, supposedly to facilitate voting during the pandemic, with the chief consequence of producing more than 40 million ballots that were not cast by the voters identified with them in a process called "ballot harvesting" that is impossible to verify.
In these circumstances there was plenty of room to question the validity of the election result as a flip of only about 53,000 votes spread between Pennsylvania and any two of Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin, would have given the election to Trump.
Trump again disserved himself by a somewhat helter-skelter series of legal challenges over individual complaints. But the media effectively suppressed the fact that all 19 challenges to the legality of the alteration of the voting and vote counting rules (because they violated the constitutional disposition of that authority to the state legislatures and failed in the duty to assure fair elections) were rejected on process grounds.
Both sides felt confirmed in their views by the invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6. To Trump's enemies, he had attempted an "insurrection." To Trump and his followers, his enemies had failed to listen to warnings that hooligans would attach themselves to the Trump meeting on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, and attack the Capitol.
Legislators assumed a posture indicative of their courage and hid under their desks wearing ridiculous gas masks when the warning was sounded, and have responded with this new malicious fiction of "insurrection." Of course, the "insurrection" is utter nonsense, and even after detaining hundreds of the trespassers and sweating them in the usual abuse of the plea bargain system, extorting false inculpatory testimony with dire threats and interrogation but a promise of immunity from perjury charges if the "evidence" extorted is useful, no hint of insurrection has emerged.
The last thing Trump wanted was any illegalities at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and the only person who died violently in the incident was an unarmed Trump supporter, mysteriously shot dead by Capitol Police.
The anger of Trump and his 75 million followers was, in the circumstances, understandable. Approximately half the country thought the election was stolen, and the other half believes that it was fairly decided and that the losers attempted to overturn the result by assaulting the Capitol.
The House of Representatives' investigation, in which the Republican side is composed of nothing but anti-Trump zealots probably on their way out of politics as the Republicans nominated by the House minority leader were cavalierly rejected by the speaker — is clearly another rabidly partisan anti-Trump assassination squad.
Black concluded by asserting, "Political conditions are more dangerous than at any time since the bottom of the Great Depression 90 years ago, and there is no FDR at hand." He will never admit Trump's central role in ratcheting up the danger by spreading lies about the election.
Superspreader: WND's Root Brags About Hiding His Active Case Of COVID Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wayne Allyn Root had a lot of news to tell in his Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily column:
Yes, it's true. I beat COVID-19 in 48 hours with ivermectin. Before I get to that story, I have more news guaranteed to make liberals' heads explode.
I was married last week. That has to enrage liberals. The left hates marriage. But they really hate it when a man who knows he's a man marries a feminine woman who knows she's a woman. I married the stunning, beautiful, sexy, Cindy Parker.
This was truly a Republican wedding.
My new wife is on the board of directors of many Republican organizations in Nevada. We had a large wedding with 200 guests from all over the USA – almost all Republicans, conservatives and patriots. I remarked to the crowd, "There are so many Republican politicians in this room, we could hold a Republican National Committee meeting right here."
I opened the wedding by asking all the military veterans and law enforcement in the room to stand up. My guests gave them a standing ovation.
There were no masks. I'm guessing most of the crowd was unvaccinated. We were guarded by former Navy SEALs from the finest security firm in Las Vegas.
If liberals' heads haven't exploded just yet, here's the clincher. The highlight of our wedding was former Fox News host and bestselling author Rita Cosby reading a personal, handwritten letter from former President Donald Trump celebrating our wedding.
Nobody's head was exploding over Root turning his wedding into a virtue-signaling superspreader event. Note that he didn't say how many of his guests came down with COVID after the wedding. Anyway, on to the other news:
Want to watch liberals' heads triple explode? Here's the best story yet. I was healthy and strong at my wedding because of ivermectin.
I caught COVID-19 for the first time a few weeks ago.
I beat COVID-19 in 48 hours with ivermectin and massive doses of vitamins – including intravenous vitamin C.
But ivermectin is truly a miracle drug. I had COVID-19 for a day when I decided to take ivermectin. From that point on, COVID-19 was gone in 24 hours. Yes, ivermectin and vitamins turned the dangerous, deadly, run-for-your-life, lock-down-the-economy, mask-up-for-life, vaccinate-or-die COVID-19 into a minor common cold. And then it was gone in 24 hours.
Ivermectin made my COVID-19 bout so mild, I never missed a day of work. Yes, I hosted my three-hour national radio show every day, with COVID-19 – and no one noticed.
Does it get better? Root wants you to think it does:
Wait, it gets better. My book, "The Great Patriot Protest & Boycott Book," is out, and I was on a book tour promoting the book. I was a guest (over the phone) on over 20 radio shows that week, with COVID-19 – and no one noticed.
And I appeared on multiple national television shows (via Zoom or Skype) that week to promote my book, with COVID-19 – and no one noticed.
Ivermectin and megadoses of vitamins turned deadly COVID-19 into a minor cold that never slowed me one bit. No one could even tell I was sick.
But lest you think I got a mild case: not true. On the first day of COVID-19, I had fever, chills, a bad cough, mucus filling my lungs, awful pain in every muscle of my body, terrible exhaustion, and I lost my sense of taste. Sound familiar? It's every symptom of COVID-19. I took two COVID-19 tests just to be certain. I tested positive twice.
One day of ivermectin and it was gone. No one ever knew. Until now.
In other words, Root had an active case of COVID, during which time he was likely contagious -- and he told nobody. That's highly irresponsible, and it put other poeple's lives in danger. Root is self-absorbed enough to think it was a wonderful thing that he hid from people that he had an active case of COVID -- the protocol for which is that you quarantine for several days, giving that a with an active COVID infection can still spread it even if they're asymptomatic. How many of those people around him on those TV shows and his book tour caught COVID from Root? He's not going to tell us. He has graduated from being a COVID misinformer to a COVID superspreader.
Root went on to sing the praises of ivermectin, finally declaring: "Hey, liberals, are you listening? Have your heads exploded yet?" Only at your selfish irresponsibility, Wayne.
MRC's Graham Can't Stop Lashing Out At Fact-Checks He Doesn't Like Topic: Media Research Center
The fact-check fails are piling up again for Media Research Center executive Tim Graham. He played whataboutism in a Nov. 22 post:
On November 15, Rep. Cori Bush (radical D-Mo.) tweeted that “When we marched in Ferguson, white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us.” Where were the “Fact Checkers”? FactCheck.Org? No. The Washington Post? No. PolitiFact ignored it, although they posted two “False” ratings on Kevin McCarthy on November 19.
Graham didn't dispute the accuracy of the "false" ratings on McCarthy. Instead, he complained that other fact-checkers wouldn't declare Bush's claim to be false, only "unproven" -- even though there were reports at the time of shots being fired at protesters andlocal officials would not explicitly denied any such incident took place. Graham then insisted that if it had happened, we would have heard about it: "Ferguson was one of the biggest stories of 2014 and 2015, similar to the Kyle Rittenhouse controversy. If some white nationalists were shooting at black activists, that would have hardly gone ignored by liberal reporters, like the one who wrote a book with the inflammatory title They Can't Kill Us All."
In a Dec. 13 post, Graham got mad that his fellow right-wingers got fact-checked for taking an apparent gaffe from President Biden out of context:
Over and over again, we find "independent fact checkers" come rushing to President Biden's defense when he says something that sounds wacky. Spencer Brown at Townhall complained Friday in an article titled "The White House Sicced Fact Checkers on Townhall...for Quoting Biden."
Not-so-independent PolitiFact quickly followed (and quoted) Team Biden in crying "missing context" on Biden saying they would make sure Americans are "paying their fair share for gas." What does that mean? He meant a fair price. But he bumbled it, mixed his liberal metaphors.
Conservatives had fun with the gaffe, and that is apparently not allowed. A half hour later, White House Rapid Response Director Mike Gwin accused Townhall of "lazy, deceptive editing."
The "lazy, deceptive editing" would be anyone who ignored that Townhall's video clip BEGAN with Biden "noting falling gas prices." Gwin should be fact-checked, not Townhall.
Graham ignored that the "falling gas prices" statement does not appear in the text of the Townhall tweet -- that part was indeed taken out of context. Graham also didn't fact-check the Townhall writer's claim that the Biden White House "sicced" fact-checkers on it; he merely complained that a "PolitiFact hack" also called out Townhall. He then went on another one of his rants about context that he does when his fellow right-wingers get called out on it:
PolitiFact wants to edit all conservative tweets for "context" that they can approve as "true" -- as in Biden doesn't look bad. Social-media sites then scream "Missing Context" on conservative posts.
There is no "Truth-O-Meter" rating on this, so Townhall was not "Mostly False" or something. But PolitiFact's knee-jerk Biden defending is still obvious.
The next day, Graham had another made-up fact-check outrage, this time over Biden's completely legal use of tax avoidance schemes:
In Sunday's Washington Post, "fact checker" Glenn Kessler took up Joe and Jill Biden's tax avoidance during the Trump years by channeling funds through an "S corporation." There were no "Pinocchios" awarded. It simply seemed like Kessler wanted to establish that the Bidens were totally okay to use tax loopholes that President Obama tried to close.
The target in this case was Rep. Jim Banks: "In recent weeks, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has touted a study by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that he says shows “multimillionaire Joe Biden’s use of corporate loopholes to avoid paying taxes.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the story “has been debunked.” A reader asked us to sort this out, so let’s take a look."
Kessler noted at least Biden released 23 years of tax returns, unlike Donald Trump.
Graham, of course, offered no criticism of Trump for using tax-avoidance schemes. Instead, he uniroinically whined: "Somehow, this became a 'hypocrisy check,' not a fact check. And even then, Kessler proclaimed the matter was 'in the eye of the beholder.'"
Ah, but there is hypocrisy. The MRC, Graham included, never criticized Trump for refusing to release his tax returns during his presidency, and bashing Biden for his tax returns is the height of hypocrisy. Graham is simply too much of a partisan -- and too much in need of more than a little willful blindness -- to see it.
WND Columnist: Trump's A Brilliant, Misunderstood Comedian Topic: WorldNetDaily
In her Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily column, Rachel Alexander seemingly wants to blame Saul Alinsky for the state of Donald Trump's political fortunes:
The left has mastered many clever tactics to defeat the right in recent years, not based on substantive arguments but rather on tricking people. One is straight out of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," and the right is falling into the trap.
Rule No. 5 states, "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." It basically consists of using fourth-grader insults to coerce people into a herd attack mentality. They mastered it with former President Donald Trump, "orange man bad."
Alexander then complained that nobody understands what a great comedian Trump is, and that his alleged jokes were taken out of context to disparage him:
Trump wasn't much different than Reagan in terms of policy. But by pouncing on his sarcastic tweets and off-the-cuff remarks, his opponents were able to create this faux impression of him. The reality is Trump has a gifted sense of humor. In another life, he could have been a comedian. Now imagine holding comedians up to everything they say on stage – which ironically is what the left is starting to do to them, especially Dave Chappelle.
Everyone knew Trump was joking when he made his insults. They were over the top and made you laugh. But the left pretended they were serious. The left mastered taking his remarks out of context. They took it to a whole other level when they tried to claim his remarks called for violence on Jan. 6, resulting in criminal investigations.
A hundred years ago, Trump could have been a funny leader and no one would have batted an eye. But in this politically correct era of snowflakes where everyone pretends to be constantly offended, the left can make traction against someone like that. Think of how many people on the right you know who bought into it; people who ranted about Trump's mouth and don't want him to run again in 2024.
Trump had the same mouth – if not worse – before he got into politics and was wildly popular. "The Celebrity Apprentice" lasted for eight seasons, excellent for a reality TV show. At its debut, viewership rivaled "Survivor" and "American Idol" at their heights. And by its last season under Trump, it performed better than "Shark Tank" and "Dancing With the Stars." It has since bombed under Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Trump accomplished as much as Reagan, if not more. The inroads he made into picking up minority votes alone were incredible for a Republican president in the modern era – especially considering how the left's main criticism of the right today is that we're racist. But this new era of judging politicians by how politically correct they are will never allow him to be considered one of the great presidents. They've disqualified him based on his clever sarcastic wit.
Alexander lamented that other conservatives are being destroyed for taking the same approach:
Any other conservatives at the top fond of saying provocative things are also gradually being destroyed. In Congress, the biggest targets are Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Josh Hawley and Matt Gaetz. Can you remember anything they've said that was over the top? Probably not, because taken within the entire context of how they were saying it – sarcasm, metaphor not literally, merely a coincidence, etc. – the comments weren't particularly remarkable. Only if you distort their statements and believe that they really want to do things like murder fellow Americans could you take them seriously. Never mind that The Squad has said far more provocative things.
It seems like the lesson here is that Trump and the others shouldn't say provocative (or obviously mean-spirited) things that can be easily taken out of context. That, of course, is not the lesson Alexander is taking. She insists that her fellow right-wingers support these folks anyway: "You may not personally like the flamboyant style of some of these outspoken leaders on the right and prefer that more well-spoken conservatives run for office. But even if that happens, the left is going to come after them eventually for minor statements."
Newsmax Bashes Fox News' Carlson For Supporting Putin Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's little war on Fox News has even gone after the channel's current golden boy, Tucker Carlson, calling out his defense of Russia and leader Vladimir Putin for his aggressions toward Ukraine. Former NATO commander (and onetime Democratic presidential candidate!) Wesley Clark went after Carlson in a Dec. 13 column:
Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson made the surprising claim that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was justified in mobilizing military forces to threaten Ukraine.
Carlson’s comments betrayed a growing fault line in the Republican Party and American democracy itself.
The host went on to say that the buildup on the Russian-Ukrainian border was really NATO's fault for "tormenting" Putin.
Carlson is not only wrong in his analysis, but his claims have no basis in fact or history.
There are many in the GOP who still see Putin, rightly, as a danger to America and our interests.
But there are a growing number, like Carlson, who are embracing Putin, despite his near dictatorial control of Russia and his brutish menacing of his neighbors.
Fox News’ lead host Tucker Carlson is behaving like the discredited appeasers of Adolf Hitler in the prelude to World War II.
The lesson of 1930s appeasement is that it does not work, does not gain peace, and leads to even greater tragedy.
Today, Carlson is making excuses for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and his increasing threats against Ukraine.
Carlson even makes the fantastical claim that NATO has “tormented” Putin. He implies the North Atlantic alliance bears responsibility for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Morris reiterated this in a Dec. 15 appearance on Newsmax TV, in which he declared: "If Vladimir Putin is the new wave of Hitler gobbling up country after country and threatening everyone else, then Tucker Carlson is the new Neville Chamberlain, the appeaser who makes excuses for him and undermines the will of the democracy — which is to stand up against him."
Morris wrote another column bashing Carlson on Dec. 17, in which he did something he has rarely done in the past two decades, praised his former employer Bill Clinton:
I've been flooded with responses, almost all positive, since my recent column "Tucker Carlson's Putin Play Mirrors Hitler Appeasement."
It's indeed worrisome for many that Fox News’ lead host has become such an ardent defender of Vladimir Putin, criticizing the U.S. while defending the Russian dictator’s territorial ambitions by saying he "just wants to keep his western border secure."
When I advised President Bill Clinton during the 1990s, he always stressed that Ukraine was "the key" to stopping the emergence of a new Russian empire in Eastern Europe.
Clinton grasped that supporting a free Ukraine while admitting Poland and Hungary into NATO created a "land bridge" from Western Europe to the former Soviet empire.
Morris also repeated his Hitler comparison: "Like Putin, Hitler claimed repeatedly that his aggression was 'defensive' because of his need for secure borders. Amazingly, the Carlsons of the 1930s bought Hitler’s fantastical claims hook, line, and sinker, just as the Fox News host does today."
Newsmax TV host Grant Stinchfield took a, um, different approach, arguing that Carlson is "operating under duress" and suggesting that "the leftist leaders of this Trojan horse of a so called conservative network has compromised" him. Stinchfield offered no evidence that Fox News is run by "leftist leaders."
Like MRC Parent, CNS Rooted For Biden To Release Oil From Reserve -- Then Scoffed When He Did Topic: CNSNews.com
Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com pushed the idea that President Biden should release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower gas prices -- then dismissed its impact when he did. Let's look at how CNS pushed the idea:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the plan on Tuesday when asked about whether the president will tap the Strategic Oil Reserve if gas prices reach a certain price.
“On the economy, I don’t know if you saw The New York Times this morning about the cost of Thanksgiving could be some of the highest that we’ve seen in a long time. Obviously, you heard the president talk about gas prices at that CNN town hall. Would there be a price that gas would have to get that the president would say, okay, now’s the time to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?” a reporter asked.
The president has not yet said whether he will tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, although "he's certainly looking at that," Granholm said. She said it depends on the price forecast due out in a few days.
The White House on Tuesday said that it is “closely and directly monitoring” gas prices after a group of 11 Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to explore options like banning crude oil exports and tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices at the pump.
When Biden made the decision to release oil from the SPR, CNS quickly went into attack mode. We already noted how CNS published numerous false claims by Donald Trump about the SPR that went unchallenged, and how reporter Susan Jones scoffed that it "may lower fuel prices just a little for a short time."
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman similarly dismissed in a Nov. 23 article:
President Joe Biden's decision to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices is "less than three days of U.S. oil consumption," and will have "no meaningful impact on gas prices," said Steve Milloy, a former Trump EPA transition member and the founder of JunkScience.com.
In a Nov. 23 tweet, Milloy wrote, "Joe Biden is going to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That is less than three days of US oil consumption (18 million barrels/day during the pandemic year of 2020). The release will have no meaningful impact on gas prices. Ridiculous."
Chapman censored the fact that the SPR release was coordinated with releases from other countries to have a greater impact on prices.
The next day, Jones returned to dismiss the SPR release anew as "an attempt to temporarily reduce gasoline prices by a few pennies," then mocked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for not answering a question about how much oil the U.S. uses daily to her satisfaction.
Taht sort of lockstep movement between CNS and the MRC appears to show that the "news" organization has no editorial independence from its parent -- and is little more than a right-wing propaganda rag.
How Has The MRC's War Against Facebook Been Failing Lately? Topic: Media Research Center
It's been a while since we last checked in on the Media Research Center's failing waragainstFacebook -- a war that's failing because it clings to its discredited talking point that Facebook is exclusively "censoring" conservatives solely because they post things in the conservative mainstream. (That faulty narrative has forced the MRC to mainstreammany right-wing extremists as garden-variety conservatives.) We've shown how the MRC is lashingout at Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for no real reason other than she's not an exreme right-winger like the "big tech" whistleblowers it has showered attention on in the past and that her criticisms have gotten more traction than anything the MRC has done. Let's go back to late July and August to see how that war has continued to fail.
Alexander Hall devoted a July 28 post to complaining -- under the ridiculously alarmist headline "Free Speech Armageddon" -- that Facebook had added another fact-checker called Meedan to focus on health misinformation: "Censorship incoming? Facebook makes a massive partnership with a leftist-supported organization to assist its so-called fact-checking about COVID-19 vaccines." He went on to issue personal attacks on Meedan personnel, including one board member who he claims "is part of a group of leftwing activists who created a pretender Facebook Oversight Board urging far more stringent censorship for Facebook."
On Aug. 6, Hall took a pro-censorship viewpoint (since said censorship makes conservatives look somewhat better than they would otherwise): "Leftists are furious that Facebook disabled research accounts analyzing the 'spread of misinformation on the platform,' according to Cybersecurity for Democracy. The real furor is because the left uses 'misinformation' as a synonym for conservative content they are desperate to censor." Hall offered no evidence to back up his claim that that the data was used only by "the left" to "censor" conservatives.
Putting "misinformation" in scare quotes or dismissing it as "so-called" is another way the MRC pushes its victimization narrative. That theme continues in later posts.
Gabriela Pariseau used an Aug. 17 post to rant: "Members of Facebook’s Oversight Board revealed that the board prefers to operate under the guideposts of globalism and so-called consistency — not American values enumerated in the First Amendment." Why? Because "the Facebook Oversight Board’s priorities lie in alleged consistency and globalism rather than the American values of free speech and free expression." Pariseau declined to admit that the First Amendment offers no protection to misinformation and lies.
Autumn Johnson pushed a government-facebook conspiracy in an Aug. 19 post:
Facebook is taking action after pressure from the White House. The Biden administration blamed the platform for the majority of coronavirus “misinformation.”
The news comes after the White House blamed accounts on the platform for spreading misinformation.
"There's about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Johnson offered no evidence that any "pressure" from the White House directly led to Facebook taking the action, despite going on to claim that "Some argue pressure from the federal government should classify Big Tech social media platforms as 'state actors.'" That list of 12 people who spread COVID misinformation, by the way, came from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which the MRC impotently attacked a couple months later for putting it on a list of groups that misinform about climate change.
Facebook is reportedly creating an election commission to weigh in on political affairs across the globe, according The New York Times.
The commission is expected to be announced just in time for the 2022 midterm elections in the United States. It seems that Facebook wants to use the commission to make decisions about the content it chooses to allow on the platform in an effort to shield itself from criticism.
Facebook has been in the sights of both liberals and conservatives in recent weeks for its content moderation decisions.
Johnson went on to claim that "Facebook's alleged fear of looking bad to the left and its media allies shouldn't go unnoticed," ciring the infamous "poll from the Media Research Center, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, shows 36 percent of Biden voters were NOT aware of the evidence linking Joe Biden to corrupt financial dealings with China through his son Hunter." Johnson failed to disclose that McLaughlin was Trump's election pollster, throwing doubt on the poll's accuracy and impartiality.
An Aug. 31 post by Pariseau featured her boss, Brent Bozell, whining that Facebook's plan to "reduce political and news content in its News Feed" will “disproportionately” affect conservatives. Johnson went on to inadvertently debunk the MRC's narrative that conservatives are victimized and "censored" on Facebook:
Bozell’s criticisms are not unfounded. Facebook wrote a blog last year that showed which Facebook pages generated the most engagements on posts that included links during the week of Oct. 23 through Oct. 29, 2020. The blog post showed that three of the top five pages and six of the top 10 pages included prominent conservatives, news organizations and groups including: Dan Bongino, Fox News, Breitbart, Ben Shapiro, USA Patriots for Donald Trump and Donald Trump for President. The Twitter account Facebook’s Top 10 shows that the weekly trend has similarly continued to the present.
CNS Finds Another Anti-Vaxxer Catholic Priest Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael P. Orsi isn't the only Catholic priest with right-wing anti-vaxxer leanings to which CNSNews.com has given a platform. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Nov. 30 article:
In his sermon on Sunday, Nov. 21, the day when the Catholic Church celebrates Jesus Christ as king of Heaven and Earth, Rev. Ed Meeks, apparently in reference to COVID vaccination mandates, said "no earthly king or president or public health official ... gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies."
If you seriously believe that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, given to you by God, then "no earthly king or president or public health official or billionaire technocrat gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies – into these temples of the Holy Spirit," said Rev. Meeks. "Because that’s between us and God."
Is Meeks saying that getting vaccinated against COVID is a violation of the idea that one's body is a "temple of the Holy Spirit" and, thus, disrespects God? That's a harmful thing for a Catholic priest to say. Even though he's not exolicitly portraying himself as an anti-vaxxer, he's leaning hard into it -- which would seem to violate Pope Francis' dictate that getting the COVID vaccine is a "moral obligation." The pope is Meeks' ultimate boss.
Chapman did not explain why Meeks is differing so drastically from the teachings of the head of his church -- or even tell readers that Meeks was, in fact, doing so. Indeed, the only times that CNS has referenced the pope's statement is in twoarticles around Easter complaining that President Biden had endorsed the statement.
WND loves that, of course. In June, WND's Art Moore touted Malone "warning that Americans don't have enough information to decide whether or not the benefits of getting the shots outweigh the risks" and that he opposed vaccinating children. Moore's headline falsely called Malone the "Inventor of mRNA vaccine." An August article by Bob Unruh repeated Malone -- whom he claimed "is recognized as knowledgeable" -- trying to muddy the waters over the Pfizer vaccine by making a big deal over the Pfizer vaccine that was "approved by the FDA is not the same as the one that's already been in use." In fact, the two vaccines are biologically and chemically the same thing despite having different legal designations.
A Nov. 8 article by Moore highlighted Malone's appearance at a" COVID summit" in Florida:
Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology employed by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines: Inoculating 28 million children 5 to 11 years old could lead to "1,000 or more excess deaths" while the risk from COVID-19 for healthy children is "about zero" and appears to be lower than the seasonal flu.
As we noted, that "summit" was put on by fringe anti-vaxxers , and several of the attendees came down with COVID afterward -- a fact WND has yet to report.
Moore devoted a Nov. 22 article to Malone's rantings, again falsely calling him in the headline the "vaccine inventor":
Americans should pay attention to the severe coronavirus-related restrictions on civil liberties in Australia, Canada and now Austria, said the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology, warning the virus increasingly is becoming a "platform for advancing other agendas."
"The future of global totalitarianism is here, it's just not evenly distributed," said Dr. Robert Malone, an immunologist and virologist who researched the use of messenger RNA in vaccines at the Salk Institute in the 1980s.
He said in an interview Monday with Steve Bannon's "War Room" that Austria -- the first country to require that every citizen be vaccinated -- is "the most egregious example" of "the deployment of a totalitarian approach to this whole thing."
The European nation and others, Malone said, are using what professor Mattias Desmet of Ghent University in Belgium calls "mass formation psychosis."
"Basically, it's the madness of crowds," Malone said. "And a lot of these governments have been overtaken by this form of psychosis or hypnosis.
"They believe that these vaccines are effective. They clearly are not."
Moore did an fawning interview with Malone for a Dec. 2 article (whcih again falsely called him the "vaccine inventor" in the headline):
In a wide-ranging video interview with WND, the vaccine researcher who invented the messenger RNA technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna shots explained why he opposes universal vaccination for the COVID-19 virus and why he's been willing to risk the reputation he's cultivated over three decades and weather the scorn of the government and health-care establishment.
Dr. Robert Malone cited the evidence for his concerns about the vaccines, the mandates and policies he believes are causing serious harm, particularly to children, but he also offered insight on his personal journey during the pandemic that has rocked the world.
Unknown to most critics and allies alike, he said in the 80-minute interview, is that he's not "right wing."
"My wife and I are Central Coast Californians by birth and youth, and we actually come from slightly center-left on the political spectrum," he told WND.
Malone said the reason he is speaking out, in spite of the considerable personal risks, is simple.
"It's because I'm bloody well pissed off. It's not right, it's not fair, it's hurting people, it is breaking the rules, left and right, people are lying continuously, they're manipulating data," he said.
He believes the consequences will be fundamental, with a "damaged" hospital and medical-care delivery system and a loss of faith in the government.
The insertion of the government in the affairs of the family, with the lockdowns, school shutdowns, and the vaccine and mask mandates, is causing damage that is "deep and profound and will last for decades," he said.
"Evil can sometimes be intentional, and sometimes it's unintentional, but right now what we're seeing happening with our children is fundamentally evil," he said.
Moore made no apparent effort to challenge anything Malone has said about the vaccines, which is probably why he agreed to the interview with Moore; instead, he unironically complained that "Some of Malone's critics have insisted he's either lying about or embellishing his role in the development of mRNA vaccine technology" -- says the guy who put "vaccine inventor" in the headline -- and gave him space to repeat his claimed role in developing mRNA technology and huffed that "inventorship" is established by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and not by "fact-checkers that haven't graduated from college yet" or journalists.
In a Dec. 6 article also taken from the interview, Moore touted Malone's highly questionable assertion that "more than 500,000 American lives could have been saved if Dr. Anthony Fauci and the government health establishment did not undermine effective COVID-19 early treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine." Moore went on to tout "a peer-reviewed study published in February by the American Journal of Therapeutics that found that ivermectin reduces coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%." But Moore got the date wrong; as we documented when Moore previously hyped this study, it had originally been set for publication in the journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, but was ultimately reject because the authors promoted their own ivermectintreatment instead of doing genuinely objective research. The study was ultimatley published in the American Journal of Therapeutics a few months later in May.
In a Dec. 13 article, Moore cheered how Malone "has issued a video statement explaining why more than 15,000 physicians and medical scientists around the world have signed a declaration that healthy children should not be vaccinated for COVID-19." in which Malone says fearmongering things like "Ask yourself if you want your own child to be part of the most radical medical experiment in human history." Strangely, Moore did not link to the declaration, which is essentially a form anyone can fill out, and there's no apparent mechanism for vetting the signatures to ensure those who signed it are actual "physicians and medical scientists," let alone proof that 15,000 of them signed it.
Malone did another interview with Moore for a Dec. 20 article that started out speculating about the impact of the Omicron variant, then went conspiratorial:
Malone also commented on the new release of emails showing that outgoing National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins asked White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci to carry out a "quick and devastating published takedown" of the Great Barrington Declaration in the fall of 2020.
Collins told Fauci the declaration came from three "fringe" epidemiologists, meaning Dr. Martin Kulldorf of Harvard, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford and Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford.
Malone told WND the email showed the "hubris" of Collins, who doesn't have the training and experience in epidemiology that the three scholars possess.
"We have now clear, clear evidence of collusion by senior government officials to suppress scientific discussion and debate about one of the most crucial issues that we’ve addressed over the last two years, which is whether or not lockdowns make sense," Malone said. "And the data are overwhelming. They don't."
In fact, the Great Barrington Declaration is an anti-vaxx-adjacent document that pushed dangerous "herd immunity" before COVID vaccines were developed and was so poorly vetted that the declaration includes fake names.
And, yes, Moore yet again falsely calls Malone the "vaccine inventor" in the headline. That demonstrates the low level of journalistic accuracy at WND -- and, again, is the likely reason why Malone has agreed to do interviews with Moore.
Miles Taylor Derangement Taylor Syndrome At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
When Trump administration official Miles Taylor came forward in 2020 as the author of an anonymous article (and later book) stating how he was part of a group in the White House keeping President Trump from acting on his worst instincts, the Media Research Center lashed out, dismissing him as merely a low-level staffer (he was actually a Cabinet secretary's deupty chief of staff, hardly the low-level flunkie" the MRC insisted he was) who did it for the money -- while failing to prove anything Taylor said was false.
The MRC has continued to bash Taylor whever he appears on TV to talk about Republican extremism. We noted that in September, when Taylor defended Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley from Republican accusastions of treason when it was revealed that he secretly contacted Chinese officials to assure them that the U.S. wouldn't attack amid Trump's increasingly unstable behavior after losing the 2020 presidential election, Mark Finkelstein sneered that "There's something of the callow youth about the 33-year-old Taylor."
When Taylor appeared on TV again to call out Republicans' disturbingly casual attitude toward the COVID pandemic, Finkelstein returned to have a Miles meltdown in a Nov. 30 post:
Miles Taylor is one of those Trump-loathing "Republicans" that the liberal media likes to trot out. The sort that can be relied upon to take shots at their supposed fellow party members.
Taylor's the guy who, as "Anonymous," in 2018 wrote an op-ed for the New York Times vaingloriously describing himself as part of the anti-Trump "resistance" inside the White House. At the time, the Times billed Taylor as a "senior" official in the Trump administration. But when the curtain was pulled back, Taylor was revealed to have been at the time of writing the op-ed nothing more than a mere deputy chief of staff at DHS: a " low-level flunkie," as our former colleague Rich Noyes put it.
This was elevated into a book deal as well -- ka-ching. There's gold in those Trump-bashing hills.
As if Finkelstein wasn't getting paid for writing this tirade. Maybe he's jealous that nobody will give him a book deal.
After noting in passing that Taylor dismissed a Republican congressman and claimed that "Republicans are quite literally murdering their base of support with their disinformation," Finkelstein didn't even respond to it -- a clue that he knows the statement is true, no matter how much he complains that it was said. Instead, he continued to spew personal attacks against Taylor:
Various questions arise around Taylor's truthfulness. Although he describes himself as a Republican, Taylor has admitted to having supported and donated to Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign.
And remember, Obama wasn't running against one of those scary, far-right Republicans. His opponent was John McCain. If you ditched McCain to support Obama—the man with the most liberal voting record in the Senate—it's fair to say you ain't no Republican. Question: if McCain wasn't good enough for Taylor, did he turn around and vote for Trump in 2016—or did he seek and accept a position in his administration under false pretenses?
And then there's the matter of Taylor having flat-out lied about his identity. When CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed him in 2020, Taylor, who at the time was a paid CNN contributor, denied being Anonymous. When the lie was revealed, CNN said that Taylor would nonetheless "remain a CNN contributor."
But Taylor doesn't mention a CNN affiliation in his Twitter profile, and in his LinkedIn profile, he describes himself as having been a CNN contributor in "2020, less than a year."
Sounds like CNN might have quietly dumped the mendacious Taylor. But the apparent CNN reject is still good enough for the likes of Nicolle Wallace and MSNBC . . . just so long as he's willing to reliably spew colorful anti-Republican attacks.
Perhaps Taylor's best bet would be to slink back into anonymity.
Nasty, partisan personal attacks are not "media research," but Finkelstein apparently thinks they are. And rants and insults are what the MRC has desended to these days.