MRC Continues Fake Concern Over Manchin, Sinema Being Targeted By 'Crazed' Protesters Topic: Media Research Center
A while back, we noted how the Media Research Center was serving up fake sympathy for two Democratic senators who were facing aggressive protests over being roadblocks for Democratic initiatives -- even though it never complained when anti-abortion activists used those very same protest tactics against abortion clinic employees. Scott Whitlock tried to keep that hypocritical narrative alive in a Dec. 20 post:
Joe Manchin on Sunday likely doomed Joe Biden’s massive $2 trillion spending plan and the media reaction was predictably hyperbolic. There were audible gasps on ABC when the news that he would vote no broke.
The New York Times on Monday’s front page accused him of “deserting” the President. Incendiary talk by liberal journalists has been amplified by real-world bullying of Manchin and his fellow moderate Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
So the question must be asked: Do journalists care about the safety of Manchin and Sinema? For the last few months, the two centrists have endured an escalating series of incidents in which leftist protesters follow them, yell in bathrooms, and show up at their homes. What has the response from ABC, CBS and NBC been? They've mostly buried the abuse.
Needless to say, the MRC has never reported on the "abuse" of abortion clinic workers by anti-abortion protesters using those exact same tactics, let alone refer to those protesters as "crazed" or "unhinged," the epithets it has used against the anti-Manchin and Sinema protesters. The MRC clearly believes that if you work in the abortion business, you deserve that kind of abuse. The most notorious of that abuse, of course, is the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller inside a church by an anti-abortion protester; at the time, the MRC and the ConWeb wanted to pretend that Roeder wasn't a "mainstream" protester and fretted more about how bad the murder made the anti-abortion movement look than about the tactic of harassing Tiller in church.
Also needless to say, no major MRC website -- NewsBiusters, CNSNews or MRCTV -- has reported to their readers how a fire that destroyed a Planned Parenthood clinic in Knoxville, Tenn., has been ruled an arson.
Whitlock concluded by huffing: "Now that the moderate Manchin is a 'no' on spending an extra $2 trillion, you can assume that the harassment and bullying will only escalate. So, to the question, 'Do journalists care about the safety of Manchin and Sinema?,' the answer, it appears, is no." By the same standard, the MRC does not care about the safety of anyone who works at an abortion clinic, and we can assume that, by its silence on what happened to that Planned Parenthood clinic, it also approves of arson as a legitimate protest tactic.
S.D. Governor Hates Transgender Athletes, Returns To CNS' Good Graces Topic: CNSNews.com
Last year, CNSNews.com fell out of love with Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, displaying its anger that she woulddn't immediate rush headlong with her fellow right-wingers in spewing hate at transgender athletes by banning them from sports. It's been a slow climb back for her to return to CNS' good graces.
After the transgender kerfuffle, CNS didn't devote an article to Noem for five months. A Sept. 8 article by Craig Bannister praised Noem for serving up right-wing red meaty on a different culture-war issue:
On Tuesday, Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2021-12, directing the state’s Department of Health to establish rules preventing telemedicine abortions in South Dakota. The executive order also restricts chemical abortions in the state.
The executive order is one step in her effort to protect the unborn from the Biden Administration’s efforts to thwart state pro-life measures and make abortions easier to obtain via telemedicine, Gov. Noem says in a statement released on Tuesday:
Two days later, an article by Susan Jones listed Noem among Republican governors who were virtue-signaling by "threatening to sue the Biden administration for its 'blatantly unlawful overreach' on COVID vaccination." In a Sept. 20 article, Melanie Arter complained that former Food and Drug Administration leader Scott Gottlieb singled out Noem for uniquely terrible handling of COVID, resulting in "one of the highest death rates per capita."
Arter returned for a Nov. 5 article praising Noem for more right-wing virtue-signaling on vaccines:
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Thursday that President Joe Biden doesn’t have the authority to force people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their job, and he doesn’t have the authority to compel weekly testing for COVID.
That’s up to the states and people, she said, which is why she and other Republican governors are suing the Biden administration now that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an "emergency temporary standard " Thursday compelling private sector companies to do just that.
When Noem ran for governor, she promised the people of South Dakota that she would protect them from federal government intrusion,” she said, “and exactly what we are doing today is America versus Joe Biden or Joe Biden versus America, because several governors and states are joined together, and we’re filing litigation in the morning, and we will see him in court, and we will win.”
The governor accused the Biden administration and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID), of promoting a socialist agenda and using COVID-19 as a weapon to take away the freedoms of the American people.
It wasn't until December that Noem fully retuned to CNS' good graces, when she found an anti-transgender bill she could suppoort, as Bannister lovingly documented in a Dec. 14 article:
On Tuesday, Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem released the text of draft legislation to defend fairness in girls’ sports at both the K-12 and collegiate level, after having vetoed a similar bill back in March.
“Common sense tells us that males have an unfair physical advantage over females in athletic competition. It is for those reasons that only girls should be competing in girls’ sports,” Gov. Noem said, announcing the draft of her bill.
Bannister made sure to rehash CNS' earlier criticism of Noem, highlighting how her refusal to support the earlier bill for having "problematic provisions," despite having "previously declared that she was 'excited to sign,'" declaring that "Noem was quickly and harshly rebuked following her about-face, with 47 pro-family, conservative organizations publishing a letter accusing her of sending female athletes “back to the sidelines."
That level of hatred of transgenders is what it takes for CNS to like you. Congratulations, Gov. Noem.
'Saved By The Bell' Reboot Not White, Heterosexual Enough For The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center had a meltdown over the first season of the rebooted "Saved By The Bell" for not being heterosexual enough. Now that the latest seasons of the show has dropped, that freakout has continued. Elise Ehrhard served up said freakout in a Dec. 4 post:
Anyone who was a tween or teenager in the early 1990s knows that an appeal of the original Saved by the Bell was cute boys dating cute girls. In the 2020s version, it is now a cute boy dating a trans female who is really a biological male while his former girlfriend announces she is bisexual and dating a female in the new season. The reboot trades cuteness for sexual confusion.
There are a few token heterosexual teens in the series. The sweet heterosexual boy, Gil (Matthew Sato), dates the pretty heterosexual girl, Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez), but he turns out to be a liar who is just wooing Daisy to win a contest. Those darned heterosexuals are so messed up! Or as one lesbian character puts it about straights at a school dance, "God, it's going to be so tragic with all the straight kids flossing to the 'Friends' theme song or whatever it is they do." Straight people are passé.
Daisy does start a relationship with Mac (Mitchell Hoog), a handsome lead character with no deceptive intentions towards her, in the season's final episode. So, the token heterosexual high schoolers at least get one good relationship.
This second season also beats its audience over the head with pro-trans messaging. In episode 5, 'From Curse to Worse,' parents from a competing high school petition to have a biological male turned trans female kicked off the soccer team. Trans girl Lexi (Josie Totah) then tries to "solve transphobia" by writing a play in which "the Pope gets trampled by a cow." The cow represents Harvey Milk, the notorious pederast who is revered by the radical LGBTQIA movement. (In another episode, Lexi reads a book of "Monologues for Sex Positive Sluts.") The Pope turns out to be the tv character Olivia Pope.
Right-wing Catholic Bill Donohue wouldn't call Milk a "pedarest" -- a line Ehrhard lifted from a hostile attack on him by the rihght-wing Federalist angry that the Navy named a ship after him -- since Donohue insists that priests who had sexual contact with postpubescent youths (the Federalist names nobody under the age of 16) could possibly be a pedophile. Also, Ehrhard falsely and maliciously suggests that his alleged pederasty is the only reason Milk has gotten attention.
Ehrhard's metldown continued over the show not being friendly to right-wing white tweens:
The word "white" is often used as a pejorative in the series just as it is in most television shows nowadays. Characters speaks in a derogatory tone about "white girls", the "white man" , and "rich white kids." Daisy, who is the school's president and is Latina, investigates whether or not "the Founder's Dance is racist" and concludes, "It is."
The show admiringly references left-wing women throughout, from Hillary Clinton to Sonia Sotomeyer. (Is the left finally over its obsession with Ruth Bader Ginsburg?) Daisy and Aisha rant on the bus to school about how they believe rich, famous black (or biracial) women from Megan Markle to Michelle Obama have been mistreated by society. (Yes, really.) And the dialogue on the bus somehow manages to even accuse Ivanka Trump of stealing fashion ideas from one of the original show's fictional black characters, Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies).
A generalized wokeism pervades every aspect of the series, from a BLM/LGBT poster casually in the background of a classroom to trans Lexi's masculine boyfriend unironically dressed in a gown for the talent show. As with most Hollywood shows, there is no God, but the characters constantly reference "the universe" watching over them.
After not appreciating that mythology gag, Ehrhard concluded by whining once more about reboots failing to be as white and heterosexual as she demands:
As an inside joke in the final episode, Lexi remarks on the problem of "all these reboots of teen shows from the '90s. Like get a new idea, Hollywood!" Precisely. All Hollywood can seem to do anymore is retread popular old series. The big "updates" are just to make the reboots' characters gay/trans/bi/pick-a-letter and insert big chunks of dialogue about race. Such reboots are not original, just boring and broken.
Much like Ehrhard's borderline racist and homophobic criticism?
WND's Brown Continues To Reject Going Full MAGA On Trump Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown may hate LGBT people, and he may have labored to find excuses for right-wing evangelicals like himself to love Donald Trump as president, but credit where it's due -- he has largely rejected going full MAGA by pushing bogus election fraud claims and admitting the Capitol riot was a bad thing. He has also largely been alone among WND columnists in doing so. Brown wrote in his Nov. 15 column:
The purpose of this article is not to mock, ridicule, or insult. Nor am I here to gloat or say, "I told you so." Instead, I want to make a simple, two-fold appeal: First, can we be realistic and recognize that Trump will not be restored to the White House by some kind of military act or miraculous event (other than simply running again in 2024)? Second, can we be mature enough to acknowledge our errors, learn from our mistakes and move on? In short, can we make this a teachable moment?
When I announced on radio on Jan. 6 that Trump would not be returning to the White House (meaning, without being reelected in the future), the response from many was outrage. I was a traitor. I had given up the cause. I was like one of the ten Israelite spies who brought back an evil report (in contrast with Joshua and Caleb, who believed God's report). I was a Never Trumper. I was bought out by the Deep State. I was a Communist infiltrator.
You get the drift.
The fact is that, whether there was fraud or not, Joe Biden is our president, as recognized by our Congress and courts.
As for Trump, he is not our president, and he is not going to be miraculously restored to the White House any time soon. (Again, this is apart from him potentially running in 2024.)
Can we finally admit that this is the case and move on? Or will we be setting dates for the military to remove Biden in 2022 (or 2023), in keeping with yet another conspiratorial fantasy? I certainly hope we will not.
To the contrary, as the risk of alienating some readers, my only concern is that those who were deceived or misled or misinformed would come to grips with reality, learn from their mistakes, and come out as better men and women for it. As for those leaders who misled or misinformed others, now would be a good time to say, "It looks like I was wrong, and I apologize for speaking falsely and getting your hopes up for nothing. I intend to learn from this and not repeat such errors."
Brown even advoacted that Trump not run in his Dec. 13 column, blaming the "collateral damage" he has:
Donald Trump's greatest accomplishment as president may not have been the policies he enacted or the justices he appointed. Instead, as important as those accomplishments were and are, it is possible that the most important thing he did as president was to say to the political world, "I will not play your games. I am the champion of the people, not a member of the good old boys club."
But now that he has broken the mold, thrown out the old rule book and forged a new path of leadership, it will be best in 2024 for another conservative leader with backbone and conviction to take the lead. Trump simply brings too much collateral damage with him (and, I remind you, I voted for him in 2016 and 2020).
the prompt for this, thought, is an odd one: Trump rejecting corrupt former Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu for congratulating Biden on his election. Brown continued to ask people not to pursue the election-fraud stuff because it may keep right-wingers from getting elected:
But this is not the primary political battle we need to be fighting now, even if you feel 100% sure the election was stolen.
The primary political battle is to get the right people in office, first in the midterms, then in 2024, all while continuing to push for election integrity on every front. (For the record, our electoral system seemed to work pretty well last month, didn't it?)
And we certainly don't need to reelect someone who will make loyalty to himself, demonstrated by the public affirmation that the election was stolen, cloud his judgment as president.
Brown criticized election truthers again in his Dec. 15 column:
Some of my most respected ministry colleagues are absolutely convinced that the 2020 presidential elections were stolen. Some of them, including scholars with advanced degrees in statistics and a long list of bona fides, feel sure that the evidence for election fraud is overwhelming. But that doesn't mean that I am convinced and am denying the truth, let alone that "everyone" is convinced and living in open and willful denial. Perish the thought.
But, to repeat, I do not know that the election was stolen, despite waiting in vain for the great smoking gun.
Attorney Sidney Powell has still not delivered the promised Kraken. (Trust me. I was really hoping to see it.)
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell failed to deliver the promised bombshell revelations in August. (Feels like a long time ago now, doesn't it?)
None of the audits or court cases have produced anything that would conclusively demonstrate fraud on a national level.
Even Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the most consistent and respected conservative voices in America, does not seem to believe there is evidence that the elections were stolen.
Brown hasn't completely rejected Trump, though. In his Dec. 22 column, Brown praised Trump's religious lip service (though surely he understands Trump didn't mean a word of it); he did concede that "the distance between Donald Trump on his very best day (or, any of us on our very best day) and Jesus Himself is the distance of infinity."
In his Jan. 6 column on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Brown tried to split the difference, admitting that Trump "is to blame for inciting the crowds with his irresponsible rhetoric, even if he never wanted to see the Capitol stormed." But he sought to somewhat downplay the riot itself: "So, what took place one year ago was not an insurrection. But it was a day of shame and infamy. Let's learn our lessons well."
MRC's Double Standard On The Privacy of Text Messages Topic: Media Research Center
When the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot released text messages from Fox News hosts to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows begging then-President Trump to do something about the riot he helped incite, the Media Research Center was curiously quiet about it -- even though it has long raged about the allgedly cozy relationships between members of the "liberal media" and Democratic politicians. Only one MRC post commented on those texts at length -- a Dec. 18 column by Jeffrey Lord whining about the purported violation of privacy:
The other day in a new episode of the January 6 Committee sham, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked Republican ally, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, took it upon herself to violate the privacy of Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade by reading aloud their private texts to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from January 6.
Safe to say – and unsurprisingly – all three were recommending President Trump speak out against the increasing evidence that the gathering of protestors at the Capitol was turning into a riot.
What seems not to occur to Cheney is that she is a member of the US government – and the idea of a government official targeting members of the press by reading their private communications is the stuff of Orwell.
The problem here is obvious. The results of the 2020 election are utterly irrelevant to the fact that the Fox hosts have a constitutional right to their free press rights. Those rights do not change no matter the subject under discussion. It could be the events of January 6th or Hunter Biden’s latest craziness or American policy towards China or who will win the Super Bowl or any of a limitless number of topics. The principle that there is a free press, with members of the media having the right to privacy in their communications with anyone – newsmaker or not – is inviolate.
Make no mistake. The reason these three media hosts have seen their right to journalistic privacy tossed to the wind is because, but of course, the real target here is Donald Trump.
The Mediaite Moment, a daily segment on “Dan Abrams Live,” strives to hold cable news shows accountable by scrutinizing clips from multiple networks. On Wednesday, Dan aired clips of Fox News hosts discussing other private messages.
“Fox News has now obtained the text messages between the FBI agent Peter Peter Strzok and his FBI lawyer girlfriend Lisa Page,” Hannity said on Dec. 12, 2017.
Chris Cuomo’s personal text messages to his brother’s aide were reported on Kilmeade’s show “Fox and Friends” just this month. And who could forget the Hunter Biden messages mysteriously leaked from his laptop?
“Senator, your reaction to that story from the New York Post today, based on emails between Hunter Biden and Burisma officials,” Ingraham said on Oct. 15, 2020.
<>As for their own leaked messages, all the hosts defended their efforts to try to get Trump to stop the attack on the Capitol, but still implied that the messages were released in an effort to smear them.
“I think the Fox News hosts did the right thing in writing to Meadows, but you just can’t have it both ways,” Abrams said.
We've documented how the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, had no problem with repeating Strzok's and Page's text messages to hype their affair while they were trying to distract from the news of Trump's affair with a porn star. The MRC itself was similarly obsessed with the Strzok story as revealed through those leaked texts -- and neither outlet expressed any concern for Strzok's or Page's privacy the way Lord demands we respect the privacy of Fox News hosts.
Perhaps sensing he was on shaky ground, Lord quickly switched to another angle:
Question? Most knowledgeable political observers are predicting that the 2022 elections will bring a Republican majority. And if that turns out to be true, the tables will be turned. All those subpoenas directed by the Pelosi-run January 6 Committee at Republican House members, ex-Trump staffers and allies can easily be turned around and directed at Speaker Pelosi herself, not to mention her staff and the rest of the Democratic House leadership. The object: to find out why Pelosi failed to protect the physical security of the Capitol.
WND Columnist Rehashes Bogus Praise For Old Immigrant Deportation Program Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in 2016, we called out WorldNetDaily columnist Brent Smith's misinformation-laden praise of Dwight Eisenhower's efforts to expel undocumented immigrants from the U.S., known as "Operation Wetback," in the 1950s. Well, Smith is at it again -- and spinning the same misinformation -- in his Dec. 3 column:
Putting aside those who are freely crossing into our country expressly to do us harm – i.e., terrorists (yes, they still exist) – there are untold amounts of illegal immigrants from every corner of the globe just walking across the border, with no end in sight.
From what I can see, practically no one is being denied entry – which leads me to reiterate my theory that this has been the left's plan since the Obama years and before. Only now they've added steroids to the mix. It's an effort to overwhelm the immigration system, a la Cloward-Piven.
President Trump showed that it could be possible to seal the border, so left has flipped the script from, "it's impossible to seal the border," to, if you try, you're a racist, xenophobic white nationalist.
So is there a way to take care of the illegal-alien infiltration in America?
Well, yes there is. But it would take someone of iron will, who cares nothing of his/her media image, popularity, reelection, or even potential impeachment. One like a supreme commander of Allied Forces, say like Dwight D. Eisenhower, said supreme commander and 34th president of these United States.
"I like Ike" – for giving us the blueprint.
At the time Eisenhower took office in 1953, at least 3 million illegals had already crossed the border and were residing in the United States. It doesn't sound like much by today's pitiful standards, but again, that was almost 70 years ago.
The illegals very quickly understood that Eisenhower wasn't messing around. Consequently, illegal immigration decreased by 95% in the '50s.
After Ike left office, it was back to a relaxed attitude under Kennedy and every other president since, including Reagan.
Eisenhower proved it could be done, if one has the will of a supreme military commander. Simply give the order that it be done and charge the right people to do it – period.
Ike was able to rid us of the flood of almost 3,000,000 illegals with little more than 1,000 agents, so never accept from anyone that it "Can't Be Done"!
But as Vox reported, Operation Wetback was largely a PR stunt in which the deported immigrants were held and transported in deplorable conditions; it's likely that the first year of the program deported fewer immigrants that had been deported without fanfare the year before. The actual number of deported immigrants was far less than 3 million -- and it's likely far less than the usually cited number of 1.5 million. And it also created an expansion of legal immigration into the U.S., since many of the targeted immigrants were actually farm workers who crossed the border to work on U.S. farms.
Smith wasn't correct about the program in 2016, and he's not correct about it now.
MRC Continues To Insist On Being A Jerk To Alec Baldwin Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is still having trouble deciding whether to be decent people -- and then choosing not to be -- when it comes to Alec Baldwin simply because he said mean things about conservatives. This time it was Scott Whitlock's turn to be a heartless jerk in a Dec. 3 post:
For a long time, it’s been impossible to call ABC News an actual news outlet. But Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos reminded the world of that this week as he participated in a gross PR attempt to rehabilitate fellow Democrat Alec Baldwin in the wake of his on-set shooting of a crew member.
The interview was backed by dramatic music, slow motion, a trailer and assurances by Stephanopoulos that Baldwin is a “broken,” “crushed” man. Clearly leaving the realm of news, here is the almost two minute trailer for the ABC exclusive, complete with attempted heart-grabbing score.
The trailer was so bad that even liberal Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC was appalled. On Friday, she ranted: “But just the music and the producing of it... is just so cringeworthy.... And they put this dramatic music as if almost to make sure they get a lot of viewers and they play up the drama or I don’t know, I am so uncomfortable.”
On Friday, Good Morning America devoted 16 minutes of the show to the mostly supportive interview with Baldwin. Vouching for the actor, Stephanopoulos assured, “I have known Baldwin for years and never seen him so crushed. Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger of the prop gun, which shockingly contained a live bullet.”
So if Baldwin and Stephanopoulos are friends, did it occur to anyone at ABC that he might not be the right man for the job?
Whitlock -- like his boss, Tim Graham -- can only be a seething jerk when it comes to things Baldwin -- which ments that in the MRC's twisted view, he's the right man for this sick job.If Baldwin was a right-winger, they would be praising the production values and cheer the rehab campaign.
But Whitlock wasn't done being a jerk to Baldwin, huffing in a Jan. 8 post:
This week saw the one year anniversary of a violent mob attacking Congress. On the night of the ugly January 6, 2021 riot, Alec Baldwin, who later in the year would accidentally shoot and kill a filmmaker on the set of a movie, viciously tweeted, “Put Ted Cruz in the stocks and throw rotten fruit and buckets of horse piss at him. Then ride him on a rail. Then tar and feather him. And film it. For Netflix.”
This wasn’t the only time the hypocritical actor would call for violence against his political opponents, while decrying it elsewhere.
It seems that Whitlock (and Graham) can dish it out but can't take it -- and that they care little about the humanity of anyone who's not in ideological lockstep with them.
CNSNews.com likes to pretend it's a "news" organization, but it's really a conservative talking-points enforcer with occasional stabs at "balance" to keep up the pretense of balance. We can show this with an example of both that add up to a textbook example of bad journalism. First, we have a Dec. 13 bit of stenography from Susan Jones, to the point where she just copied-and-pasted part of a direct transcript:
Democrats have put a $1.75 trillion price tag on their "Build Back Better Act," which they insist is "fully paid for."
No, it's not, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told "Fox News Sunday." He pointed to a Congressional Budget Office estimate that says the entitlement programs established in the bill, if they run for ten years instead of just two or three, would cost close to $5 trillion:
Democrats, to bring down the cost of their social agenda bill, gave some of the entitlement programs a short shelf life, fully anticipating that once established, they will never go away.
"President Biden said the bill was fully -- fully paid for," Graham said on Sunday:
Vice President Harris said it was paid for. Schumer, Pelosi, Secretary of Treasury Yellen. The CBO says it's not paid for. It's $3 trillion of deficit spending. It's not $1.75 trillion over 10 years, it's $4.9 trillion.
What does this mean? The House should re-vote. The vote in the House was based on a fraud. This bill doesn't cost $1.75 trillion, it costs almost $5 trillion. It doesn't add $300 billion to the deficit, it adds $3 trillion.
There is not a plan to pay for it. If there is, I missed it. So, give it to me. Give it to the American people. Before we vote in the Senate, show me how you pay for this bill.
And you know why I wrote a letter to CBO, because Joe Manchin came to me and he said, I think this bill is full of gimmicks, that these programs won't go away, Lindsey, and if you score them for 10 years, I think the bill will double. Well, it didn't double, it was almost 2.5 times.
So, I hope that this will be a showstopper for Build Back Better.
Since this was stenography, Jones made no effort to fact-check anything Graham said.
More than 11 hours later, CNS published an article by Melanie Arter -- again stenography, but stenography that blows up Jones' article:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the CBO score for President Biden’s Build Back Better Act “fake,” because it’s based on a modified version of the bill ordered by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that shows how much it will cost over a period of 10 years if its provisions were made permanent.
“The president says that Build Back Better won't add a penny to the deficit. The CBO has this new score where they assume social programs are going to be made permanent, and in that case, it would add $3 trillion. Does that mean that President Biden will commit that these programs won't be made permanent?” Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked.
“What we’re talking about here is a fake CBO score that is not based on the actual bill that anybody is voting on. This was a ask request by Senator Graham to score a bill that is not currently being debated,” the press secretary said.
“That is his prerogative to do, but what our focus is on is on the existing bill that will lower the deficit, that will also over an additional 10 years pay for the $2 trillion tax cuts that Republicans didn’t pay for. They’re welcome for that,” Psaki said.
“So I would say, Peter, to your question, the president has conveyed very clearly, multiple times publicly that he would like programs if they’re extended to be paid for,” she said.
<“That remains his commitment, but it’s important to understand that when you-- when anybody raises a question about this new CBO score. It is a fake score about a bill that doesn't exist, and we should really focus on the actual bill everybody’s going to vote on and considering in Congress right now,” Psaki added.
Jones deliberately obfuscated about what Graham did, potraying his CBO estimate as legitimate when it's not (and even obscuring the fact that Graham had sought that estimate). And for all of Arter's stenography, she didn't link to or even reference her colleague's article in which she uncritically repeats Graham's deceptive attack on the bill.
This is bad journalism -- pro-Repubican stenography is unchallenged, and Arter's window-dressing stenography doesn't exactly undo it. But then, if it wasn't for bad jouranlism, there really wouldn't be any journalism at CNS.
Shoddy MRC Reserarchers Attack Work Of Another Media Researcher Topic: Media Research Center
It's something of a spectacle to see the Media Research Center -- home of some of the shoddies "media research" -- lash out at the allegedly shoddy media research of others. Taht's what Tim Graham did in a Dec. 4 post:
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote a column that was so slavishly pro-Biden that it was retweeted by Biden's chief of staff Ron Klain. The preposterous title was "The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here’s proof."
As often happens, liberals avoid actually reading articles. That's so old-fashioned, having an actual human read prose. Instead, they assign some cold computer algorithm to make their argument.
I cry "BS," a mountain of BS. You don't assign a computer to read for adjectives in 200,000 articles and claim media bias. There's no way we at NewsBusters would be able to read 200,000 articles in 15 minutes and say "Voila!" But who needs a human media analyst? Milbank's clown car is speeding down the information superhighway:
We've cried BS over the MRC's shoddy studies, whichwe'vedocumented as focusing on a small sliver of media (yet somehow never Fox News) to make dubious conclusions about "the media," denies the existence of "neutral" coverage, pretends that subjective concepts such as "spin" and "bias"can be identified objectively, and refusing to make the underlying data public so readers can judge for themselves.The MRC method of handcrafted research by biased researchers works no better -- and, arguably, much worse -- than Milbank's method.
Following Milbank's finding that "Biden’s press for the past four months has been as bad as — and for a time worse than — the coverage Trump received for the same four months of 2020," Graham unironically accused Milbank of being biased:
Naturally, Milbank thinks the "mainstream" media should have a dramatic bias in Biden's favor, since that's in favor of "democracy." Their arrogance in dismissing the entire Republican half of America is perennially breathtaking.
Then again, Graham thinks that all media should have a dramatic bias in favor of Donald Trump and all other Republicans.
Bill D'Agostino followed up with a Dec. 5 post similarly attacking Milbank:
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Brian Stelter entertained the laughable notion that the media have been harder on President Biden than they were on his predecessor, President Trump.
Stelter got this ridiculous idea from a piece by Dana Milbank, who claimed to have analyzed the “tone” of hundreds of thousands of news articles with artificial intelligence. And supposedly, this analysis found that yes, the media were in fact being tougher on Biden:
Let’s leave aside the notion that harsh coverage of Biden amounts to “the murder of democracy,” and instead talk about Milbank’s conclusion that Biden has been treated at least as harshly as Trump was. To a reasonable person, findings this transparently at odds with reality would suggest there was a problem with either the methodology or the AI the researchers used. As they say in statistics, “garbage in, garbage out.”
D'Agostino, being a loyal MRCer, went on to cite his employer's so-called "research" as if they were legitimate:
As it happens, the Media Research Center has done its own research comparing coverage of Presidents Biden and Trump. Back in April, analysts took an exhaustive look at all evening news coverage from the top three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and found that during the first three months of each President’s term, the coverage of Biden was 59% positive, while for Trump it was 89% negative.
While Milbank references this three-month “honeymoon” for Biden in his analysis, he does not seem aware that relative to the rest of Trump's presidency, those first three months were also something of a honeymoon for him. Between 2017 and 2021, the coverage of Trump averaged between 90% and 92% negative. Is Milbank suggesting that the current numbers are just as bad for Biden?
Note that the study from last April made no evaluation of right-wing media outlets for comparison purposes, which makes one wonder what the MRC is afraid of. Similarly, the summary of studies purporting to examine "the media" only examined the three networks' evening news -- not a representataive sample of "the media" -- pretended "negative" coverage was determined objectively, again excluded any analysis of Fox News, and refused to release the raw data.
Despite the utter lack of credibility of the MRC's "media research," D'Agostino concluded by pretending otherwise and insisting one didn't need actual research to see the purported bias: "We could go one like this, but there’s no point. Granted, the above research focused on television coverage, but it's not as though the print media were drastically softer on Trump. Milbank’s findings are as much a reflection of reality as a scientific paper concluding that goldfish are more intelligent than dolphins — and that’s obvious to almost everyone. Except to Stelter and [guest Eric] Boehlert, that is."
The MRC wasn't done beating up on Milbank for coming to forbidden conclusions. When a New York Times article referenced Milbank's work, Clay Waters sniped in response in a Dec. 11 post: "Actual humans know Trump’s coverage was far more negative than Biden’s has been, no matter how a computer algorithm may parse coverage." He linked to Graham's post as purported evidence of that.
Graham returned on Dec. 16 to bash Milbank some more:
From the Department of I Told You So: Washington Examiner media reporter Becket Adams discovered that Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank's "study" comparing Trump coverage to Biden coverage using a computer turned out to be hot garbage, despite being quoted and celebrated on CNN and MSNBC.
Or as Adams put it, "after some additional digging, most notably by Don’t Walk, Run! Productions, which did the lion’s share of assessing FiscalNote’s data, it turns out Milbank’s theory is even flimsier than initially suspected."
What Graham left unmentioned: At least Milbank released the raw data of his study -- something Graham's MRC has never done on any of its "media research."
WND's Cashill Unironically Cites RFK Jr. to Prove That COVID 'Crackpots' Were Right Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill's Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily column begins as the kind of right-wing screed you'd expect from a WND columnist:
Although I will put my COVID-skeptic credentials up against anyone's – I tried to organize a public protest on day one of the lockdown – I confess to having seen Big Health's actions as merely misguided. I was wrong.
The "crackpots" were right. The Big Health involvement did not progress along the Eric Hoffer spectrum from a good cause to a movement with benefits to a racket. It started as a racket, a massive racket that may go down as a Mao-worthy crime against humanity.
But then it quickly goes south bevcause of who he cites to defend this view:
As the princeling of America's reigning Democratic dynasty, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has his blind spots, but his dissection of Big Health's war, not on COVID, but on those who are actually warring with COVID, is this century's must-read book.
Most of the rest of Cashill's column was advocacy for ivermectin focused around a conversation between two researchers:
Rather than summarize Kennedy's "The Real Anthony Fauci," allow me to excerpt one particular conversation that speaks to the enormity of the debacle. The conversation, recorded on Zoom, involves two scientists. One is Dr. Tess Lawrie, a world-renowned data researcher from the U.K. with an international reputation for integrity. The other is World Health Organization researcher Dr. Andrew Hill, a senior visiting research fellow at Liverpool University.
Lawrie and 20 of the world's leading experts had recently performed a meta-analysis of the research done on ivermectin (IVM), and the data overwhelmingly supported its value in treating COVID-19.
Lawrie is a rabid advocate for ivermectin and an anti-vaxxer. The meta-analysis to which Cashill is apparently referring was published last year by the American Journal of Therapeutics. Contrary to Cashill's claim that "20 of the world's leading experts" wrote it, it carries the names of only seven authors, including Lawrie; PolitiFact reported that all of these co-authors are affiliated with a pro-ivermectin group. By contrast, a different meta-analysis released around the same time concluded that ivermectin was not a "viable option" for treating COVID.
From there, it was Cashill conspiracy time, as he attacked Hill for supposedly suspiciously changing his mindabout ivermectin:
Like Lawrie, Hill had been a major IVM proponent before making a very suspicious about-face. As a WHO gatekeeper and adviser to both Bill Gates and the Clinton Foundation, Hill's opinion mattered. His hasty counter-thesis blocked a worldwide ivermectin rollout.
"How can you do this?" Lawrie asks him. "You are causing irreparable harm."
Hill explained that he was in a "tricky position" because his sponsors were pressuring him, the most important of which was Unitaid. Chairing the executive committee of Unitaid, an international quasi-governmental consortium, was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation representative. Apparently, a $150 million donation buys the best seat at the table.
One can understand how an apparatchik could buckle before a Stalin or a Hitler, but a Bill Gates? Dante would need a special Circle to accommodate bureaucrats as easily intimidated as Hill.
Cashill didn't mention a more logical and less conspiratorial reason why Hill might have changed his mind: His investigation of research on ivermectin found that many of the papers on the subject appeared to be flawed or biased, and his own meta-analysis of ivermectin found little benefit. Nevertheless, Cashill keeps up the conspiracy-mongering:
Lawrie does not shy from telling Hill what he refuses to see: "All other countries are getting ivermectin except the U.K. and the USA and Europe are owned by the vaccine lobby." Lawrie concludes by telling Hill, "I don't understand how you sleep at night, honestly."
As Kennedy documents, the racket runs deep. When I googled Lawrie's name the first item to show up was a BBC article headlined, "Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid 'miracle' drug."
When I googled Dr. Andrew Hill, the first article Google served up was this gem from the Guardian, "How my ivermectin research led to Twitter death threats."
If it takes a crackpot to think that Big Pharma, Big Health, Big Tech, Big Media and Bill Gates would engage in a conspiracy so vast and so lethal, well then color me a "crackpot."
Note that Cashill doesn't rebut any of the claims Hill makes in those articles -- he has found his fellow crackpots, and he has a new conspiracy to flog.
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.