WND's Schlafly Whines About Insurrection-Related Texts Being Released Topic: WorldNetDaily
Andy Schlafly continues his love of insurrectionists with a Dec. 14 WorldNetDaily column that not only resumes his whitewashing of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- which he declares was just an exercise by "First Amendment-exercising Americans" -- he predictably lashed out at the House committee looking into the insurrection:
As it votes to hold President Trump's top aides in contempt of Congress, the Democrat-controlled House showed its own contempt for the separation-of-powers doctrine that makes a presidency co-equal rather than subservient to it. Contrary to the grandstanding congresswoman Liz Cheney, President Trump had no obligation to remove First Amendment-exercising Americans from the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Cheney selectively released some private texts and emails involving Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and quickly distorted their meaning. She falsely insists that they show "supreme dereliction of duty" by Trump even though he was not the recipient of the communications.
Cheney, who is no longer recognized as a Republican by her own Wyoming Republican Party, is illustrating why feeding the Never-Trumpers by giving them texts and emails is a mistake. In generating some headlines in the liberal media, Cheney exaggerated their significance and violated privilege.
Cheney asserts that there were "dozens of texts" to Meadows on Jan. 6, but the smattering of texts Cheney improperly read to the public show nothing illegal. Cheney should release to the public her own private communications against Trump, which would show how unfit she is to sit on a committee that falsely pretends to be impartial.
Cheney also released some private texts by a Trump family member and Fox News commentators, while concealing the identity of fellow lawmakers who texted Meadows. Apparently, Cheney does not want to incur further wrath by Republicans for breaching their privacy, but she is fine with invading Trump family privacy.
We don't recall Schlafly having a problem with Republicans invading Peter Strzok's privacy by releasing his private texts, so he's being a total hypocrite here. But never mind that -- Schlafly is on to his other mission of absolving Trump of any responsibility for the insurrection:
"The text messages leave no doubt that White House knew what was happening," Cheney blustered, as though a building itself can have knowledge. Cheney-the-lawyer surely realizes that knowledge by one person is not imputed to another, and what Meadows knew is not proof of what Trump knew.
Moreover, Trump did not command the Capitol police force, or act as a custodian for House members who are fully capable of dealing with political protests without hand-holding by a president. Cheney is well-connected with liberals who run the House and could have taken action herself to stifle the protests as she now insists Trump should have done.
Cheney ranted on Monday about texts sent to Meadows concerning the rally on Jan. 6, but there is nothing objectionable in those communications. A few wanted Trump to intervene in the rally in the Capitol, but that is not the job of a president.
Schlafly also whined again that insurrectionists were being treated like the criminals they are instead of the liberators he imagines they are: "None of the distortions by Never-Trumpers Cheney and others has worked against Trump, and none will. Nearly a year after the Jan. 6 political rally, many Americans are angry at how Democrats and the Deep State continue to whine about it and even imprison peaceful participants without a trial."
Because the real problem here is not that a violent mob tried to overthrow the government, it's that "Democrats and the Deep State" remind people of that fact.
CNS' Catholic Priest Spreads More Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael P. Orsi, the Catholic priest who'sputtingmore emphasis on right-wing activism than being a Catholic priest, continued to mix politics into his religion in his Dec. 15 CNSNews.com column, headlined "How Would John the Baptist View Wokeness?":
If ever there were a time that called out for John’s intercession, it’s today, an age that seems devoted to obscuring truth and promoting confusion. The indications are everywhere.
I recently read an article about law school admissions that described how one New York law school asks its applicants to specify their genders, choosing from among 13 different designations. Mind you, this is an institution that trains attorneys, a profession supposedly dedicated to identifying truth and clarifying facts.
In the spirit of “wokeness” prevalent in higher education right now, the school has apparently abandoned reason, moving beyond the simple, observable reality that God made human beings either male or female.
But it’s on display in more than just sports, and involves more than just sex and gender. Virtually all academic subjects have been infected with the spirit of “wokeness.”
By now, everybody has heard of how critical race theory is being applied to history, literary analysis, and the rest of the humanities. But even scholarly fields thought of as fact-based are yielding to ideological interpretation.
Believe it or not, there’s such a thing as “woke” mathematics. The idea is that schools ought not to insist that everybody achieve the same result when working through a mathematical calculation.
Such “woke” nonsense would be laughable, except that it’s harmful. In particular, it’s harmful to young people, whose minds are no longer being trained to reason, to assemble and analyze facts, and to arrive at logical conclusions — to live their lives competently.
It seems Orsi would rather that young people be trained to hate anyone different from them.
Orsi served up more of the same in a Jan. 5 column headlined "Channel the Wise Men to Fight Secular Tyranny":
Shamefully, the dominant class in our own country seems to have embraced the idea that it can demand everyone’s loyalty and direct everyone’s thinking.
Consider the censorship of religious ideas and moral opinions taking place on social media. In case you’re not aware, Christian writers are being “cancelled” left and right.
Add to that government edicts — issued in the name of public health — to restrict worship services and faith-related events, as well as efforts to circumvent religious reservations about mandated vaccinations.
And don’t forget the pressure being exerted on pastors against upholding the traditional understanding of sex, and defending moral standards of behavior. That pressure is often expressed in direct or implied threats about removal of church tax-exempt status.
Such things are happening more and more, and they have practical consequences.
Religion invites us to focus on the transcendent. And in the eyes of worldly rulers, nothing must transcend their assumed position of all-knowing leadership.
They’ve been highly successful in persuading people to accept their assumptions. Religious influence has declined markedly, as polling numbers demonstrate.
It could also be argued that the desire of religious figures like Orsi to cloak their politics behind religion is another reason religious influence is declining, as well as drawing calls to withdraw the tax-exempt status of churches.
Reflecting more of his anti-vaxxer attitudes, Orsi actually equated wanting to follow the science on COVID to following a pagan religion -- which was followed by a paranoid depiction of it as a tenet of the "New World Order" right-wingers like to warn us about:
Others search the Internet for new versions of ancient pagan religions with which to identify themselves, and give meaning to their lives. Some actually take part in shamanistic rituals, or embrace the cultic practices of the ancient Druids.
This reflects a basic emotional need of human beings for the transcendent, for some kind of “higher knowledge.” And you don’t have to experience the solstice sunrise at Stonehenge to observe it.
At the everyday level, you can see it in the devotion to “following the science” that’s become an obsession of the pandemic. On a more exotic plane, it’s expressed in the growing fascination with so-called “trans-humanism,” or with psychology-based “religions” such as Scientology.
There are rich and powerful people who see increasing the secularist character of society as conducive to their vision of extending monopolies, introducing new currencies, and tightening centralized control over the flow of wealth.
This vision is referred to by several terms, including the “Great Reset” and the “New World Order.” And it’s being promoted by many elements: the tech firms, the media, the sports and entertainment companies, the banks and financial institutions, the pharmaceutical giants.
(There’s good reason to assume that mandates, quarantines, vaccination passports, and other concepts to emerge from the pandemic are being exploited as means to advance this vision. That makes sense, since they bring our lives more thoroughly under official scrutiny.)
It’s obvious that all of this involves extensive coordination.
What can maintain such a high level of control? Who can direct it?
Is there a Herod of our day? Is there a central entity totally obsessed with raw power — and thus willing to distort the reality God has created — working diligently to overwhelm traditional Faith with a tsunami of secular influences?
A Catholic priest who spouts anti-vaxxerism and far-right conspiracy theories should not -- and cannot -- be treated as a serious religious or leadership figure. CNS clearly believes otherwise.
MRC Mad That Its Agenda Of Using Jussie Smollett To Delegitimize Media Is Called Out Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's coverage of the trial of actor Jussie Smollett over his apparent false claim that he was the victim of an assault by a MAGA mob largely consisted of rehasihng attacks on media outlets that originally reported his claims before questions were raised about them. Typical was a Nov. 29 post by Kristine Marsh, who baselessly asserted: "Smollett's fake story wasn’t believable to any reasonable person from the beginning, but the media still ran with it because it fit their narrative." That sort of tone continued:
For an organization that loves to attack other for pushing "fake news," the MRC has promoted a surprising amount of fake news. The most notorious of them, of course, was its promotion of the fake 2016 Fox News storyabout Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indictment, which it embraced harder that any outlet it has based for reporting on Smollett's original assault claim -- and which it still, after five years, has not told its readers was fake news.There are a few others as well:
It also hyped the idea that a Border Patrol agent was skilled by an undocumented immigrant, but still hasn't told readers that an investigation found that the agent apparently died in an accidential fall.
Fondacaro and fellow MRC writer Curtis Houck falselyaccused some media outlets of reporting that "whips" were used by Border Patrol agents on horseback against a group of immigrants, despite never quoting them using that word.
Don't look for the MRC to apologize for spreading all of that fake news -- the MRC never apologizes for any of its screw-ups.
Meanwhile, CNN's Oliver Darcy -- mortal enemy of Houck for ceasing to be the right-wing hack he remains and turning into a real journalist -- called out Fox News (and, by extension, the MRC) for using the media's early reporting of Smollett's story to discredit the media as a whole (bolding in original):
The tactic is dishonest, yet simple: Take an actual act of deception, in this case one that was perpetrated by an actor and covered heavily by the press, and then use it to suggest that anything reported by mainstream sources cannot be trusted. Everything is a hoax.
Propagandists know that their power increases substantially when they can convince their audiences not to trust other sources of information. And so, Smollett's case is very valuable to them. They can hold up Smollett's guilty verdict and then attempt to extrapolate it onto other stories which are politically inconvenient for them.
When you cannot argue on the facts, it is much easier to dismiss a story in its entirety and go after the credibility of the press for reporting on it. It's the timeless play — one that played on repeat during the Trump administration — and one that is only growing more and more popular in right-wing media...
Unsurprisingly, Tim Graham spent an entire Dec. 11 post whining about it:
When Jussie Smollett was convicted on five of six counts for his hate-crime hoaxing in Chicago, CNN's "Reliable Sources" newsletter Thursday on the media didn't spend some time eating humble pie about being swindled. Instead, Oliver Darcy turned the occasion into an attack on Sean Hannity and the right-wingers. Like nothing demands CNN humbly examine themselves. Everything that happens calls for an attack on the right-wingers.
This is mildly funny when his cohort Brian Stelter wrote an entire book on Fox News titled Hoax, which quite obviously attempts to convince their audience not to trust that source of information. So is he a "propagandist"? Or are all propagandists conservative? Did everyone who hammered the false Smollett narrative escape the term "propagandist"?
Note that Graham doesn't deny that's what Fox News is doing -- instead, he goes straight to whataboutism by attacking yet again Stelter's book (and doesn't address, let alone rebut, its content).
When Darcy went on to cite Trump and Russia, COVID and the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as other examples of the right-wing media trying to reframe a story that's counter to the facts, Graham took offense to that as well by slinging more whataboutism:
CNN never admits that its dominant narrative of the Trump era -- that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the 2016 election -- did not turn out to be true. CNN's Democrat minions energetically spread conspiracy theories funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign, starting with the phony Steele dossier.
Darcy wasn't going to engage on what CNN did to argue against conservatives as Smollett's story collapsed. After the guilty verdicts, conservative Twitter replayed Brian Stelter's attempts to suggest "we may never know" the truth, which doesn't seem like the proper pose for journalists who boast of being "pro-truth."
The "CNN Media Unit" should be doing an examination right now about how the "mainstream media" that endlessly proclaims it is "pro-truth" should have been more careful. It should not have immediately rushed to judgment when someone cried "hate crime in MAGA hats," without confirming basic facts. Instead, it's all Fox News is terrible, Trump is terrible, and we have never done anything wrong, ever.
Again, no defense is offered for the tactics used by Fox News or even his own employer. He may as well be officially acknowledging that Darcy is correct, and that delegitimizing the media is the MRC's (and Fox News') goal. C'mon, Tim, say the quiet part out loud.
Farah Sounding More Desperate To Keep WND Alive -- But Still Won't Admit Reality Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is stillrefusing to take personal responsibility for the fact that his website is going down the drain (again). As he has since the start of WND's current funding crisis -- sparked by the end of a ad-hosting business deal with Google -- Farah has falsely framed this as a conspiratorial "de-monetization" and won't concede Google's business decision was based on the extremist content and outright misinformation WND publishes on a regular basis. Farah played the victim again in a Nov. 22 column:
A few years ago, we were one of the most successful sites in the world. But Google began punishing us relentlessly in 2016 when we began fairly covering Donald Trump's campaign. It was the beginning of a nightmare. For 20 years, we were on top of the world – doing extensive, intrepid investigative reporting and having a great time with an outstanding team of professionals.
In three years, Big Tech ruined our traffic, our reputation and our revenues.
They began calling WND "extremist" with "dangerous or derogatory content" and "unreliable and harmful claims."
This month, Google demonetized us – adding insult to injury.
Farah doesn't deny that WND is WND "extremist" with "dangerous or derogatory content" and "unreliable and harmful claims" -- he simply begs for money from readers.
You know what Donald Trump accomplished as our 45th president.
I would say he has been a Godsend to America.
But there are powerful forces still trying to eliminate his influence, even bring him down.
It's the same with WND. Beginning with the president's victory in 2016, WND and others in the independent media have faced a scorched-earth assault on our traffic and revenues from Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, et al. – the Speech Code Cops, the Digital Cartel, the most powerful media monopoly on the planet.
How did they do it? As the internet's gatekeepers, they have developed power through search engine technology and social media technology to starve us of traffic, most of which comes through their portals. They have also starved us of advertising revenues, of which they control at least 75% in the digital marketplace – leaving us with the scraps.
Why did they do it beginning in January 2017? It was an effort to go after Trump by attacking media that were fair to him or supportive to him, to hinder his sweeping policy changes and deprive him of reelection in 2020, if they couldn't see him impeached and removed from office before that.
Farah offered absolutely no proof to support that bit conspiracy-mongering, of course. He then played the religion card:
Today I'm not just asking for your financial contributions, I'm asking for your fervent prayers. Because this is very much a SPIRITUAL WAR, not just a matter of corrupt, politically motivated crony monopoly capitalism at its worst.
We at WND serve a Power higher than this cartel. And we ask for your prayers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Jesus of Nazareth, the One and Only Mediator and the Coming King.
It's doubtful that God approves of the lies, hate and misinformation WND publishes, so the focus of those prayers seems to be misdirected.
As the new year came, though, Farah's pleas began sounding a little less conspiratorial and a lot more desperate -- evidence, perhaps, that reality is slowly registering on Farah. He spent his Jan. 10 column rehashing his life story from self-proclaimed "left-wing radical" to Christian and Reagan acolyte, which ultimately led to him running a paper in Sacramento, Calif., where Rush Limbaugh was a then-local radio host he convinced to write a daily column: "Suddenly, our circulation lines were ringing off the hook. Thanks to a hometown hero who literally owned the market, the subscription scheme was red-hot! People called in from all over Northern California where KFBK was heard – not just Sacramento." Actually, as we documented, the paper's circulation dropped during Farah's editorship.
Farah wouldn't give up the conspiracy-mongering completely, of course:
To say WND was a hit from the start, and for at least the first 20 years, would be a gross understatement.
And then, GOOGLE BECAME A MONSTER – and Facebook and the rest of Big Tech. I've told enough of the story about that – even obsessing about it, crying about it, nearly giving up hope over it.
But that will never happen. Even a series of five strokes could not get me to quit. We here at WND have contracted from a high of $15 million in revenue a year to about $1 million now – completely de-monetized by the Internet Cartel, basically running on fumes.
Why did they decide to go after us? Two words: DONALD TRUMP! It started in 2016 when he ran for president. The attacks started gradually, but I could see what was happening. The site was first trashed, called racist, demeaned and defamed. At first I believed I could handle it, but soon I was overwhelmed by it.
Farah concluded by again begging for prayers and money.
I didn't want to write this letter. I really didn't. It is tough for me to write.
Many people counseled me against it.
So, I prayed about it. And then prayed some more.
And here's the message I finally got.
"My Son allowed Himself to be humiliated, beaten, tortured, marred more than any other man and nailed to a cross. He did this knowing He would be resurrected. Do you have that kind of faith?"
What could I say?
Here's the thing: I have enough faith in the God of Israel to die for Him. After all the miracles He has performed for me – personally and professionally – I am not afraid to suffer, to go to jail, or even to die.
But, I have been afraid to FAIL.
And because of that fear of failure and what the world tells us about business, I have avoided sharing something with you, the very people who have, with God's help, provided the sustenance for this very first pioneering, alternative, and yes, Christian online news site, now in its 25th year of publishing.
The something I have failed to tell you, until now, is this: WND faces the very real threat of … FAILING.
I won't go into all the details for a number of reasons. Some might sound like excuses. WND has been an important opposition voice. People have clung to it. They have wanted to hear the truth. And they still do.
Now, in a climate of wall-to-wall lies, WND is needed more than ever, but we are profoundly hurting.
But WND doesn't tell readers "the truth" --it lies and misinforms, potentially hurting those readers who insisting on clinging to it. WND is contributing to that "climate of wall-to-wall lies" -- and Farah unironically repeated some more in the middle of this. After rehashing his Google conspiracy theory, he wrote, referencing his own health:
Then the other shoe dropped: I had a series of five strokes that left me unable to speak at all. I'm just now getting my speech back, but I'm not the same person. I have a long way to go for full recovery.
But at least, we all figured, we still had Trump.
He was making America successful! And we figured he would help find a solution to Big Tech's total war against the free press – sooner or later. We were confident he would easily win reelection in 2020. After all, he was running against a nasty, senile man who never left Delaware, couldn't draw a crowd of more than a couple hundred people, and failed in every conceivable way – yet who suddenly received more "votes" than any other presidential candidate in the history of the republic – by far!
Indeed, I could relate countless examples of how God has pulled us through when I didn't see any hope. Now I'm hoping God's Holy Spirit will move upon the hearts of His people to pull us through. I'm still praying. But it's not guaranteed we'll still be here.
This is a tough letter to write because so many of you have already done so much for WND over the years. I know you will answer the call the best you can, because you always do. But this letter is also intended to prick the hearts of those many people who quietly cheer WND on, but don't support us financially.
By the way, there's so much more we could be doing in these trying times. That's part of my frustration. I want this enterprise to grow, not just survive.
But WND will never grow or survive in its current form.The only Farah has a chance of saving WND is if he repents of, and earnestly corrects, the decades of lies and misinformationthat are the real reason for WND's current extinction-level event. He needs to ask God for forgiveness for all those year of deceiving his readers by putting ideology and conspiracy theories before facts.
But however "tough" that last money-beg was for his to write, Farah will never truly repent. He will never admit he was suckered by a lie, and that he has lied to others -- a history that is well-documented here, no matter how loudly he insists that WND publishes "truth." To do so would be to admit that the past few decades of his life have been a hollow waste -- a pursuit of political and ideological power that squashed any journalistic mission he claimed to have -- and he's clearly not ready to handle that truth.
MRC Whines At The Idea That Anti-Vaxxers Should Face Consequences Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center doesn't want anyone who refuses to get a COVID vaccine to face consequences for their behavior (outside the increased risk of hospitalization or death if/when they do catch COVID, anyway). Witness Mark Finkelstein's Dec. 15 freakout over political strategist David Frum's suggestion that hospitals move unvaccinated people to the end of the line for treatment:
Frum wasn't merely proposing that the unvaccinated be given emergency care last only for Covid, but for ALL emergencies. Gunshots, car accidents, etc. — unvaccinated to the back of the line.
There was pure malice and vindictiveness in Frum's suggestion that hospitals do this "quietly." If Frum actually wanted there to be a public benefit, he would have proposed that hospitals prominently announce their intention. That might encourage some to get vaccinated. His proposal reveals a malicious desire to covertly punish the unvaccinated with an inordinate death rate.
Brianna Keilar repeatedly expressed understanding, if not necessarily agreement, for his proposal. But when she expressed sympathy for his desire to to "shake someone into the realization of what they can do for themselves and for others," she conveniently ignored Frum's proposal that hospitals deprioritize the unvaccinated "quietly." So no one would be shaken. They would simply die in disproportionately greater numbers.
To her credit, Keilar did ask Frum to defend the morality of his proposal: "How is it moral to propose that?" Frum defended: "I wasn't writing a management treatise on hospital emergency rooms. This was a tweet where I was trying to give voice to the [inaudible] frustration that people who have been doing the right thing feel toward people who are doing the wrong thing..."
Frum also accused politicians and media figures who express doubts over vaccine of sending their followers out on "suicide missions." And he claimed that they also are intentionally trying to keep the pandemic going as long as possible to hurt Biden, and Democrats at large, politically.
Frum isn't some harmless mutterer. He is actively wishing potential death upon millions of people.
Note that Finkelstein doesn't criticize the defiantly unvaccinated for refusing to do their part to help the country during a health crisis or argue that they should face some kind of consequence for their refusal. No, he bashed Frum for suggesting that they do face consequences. He does not criticize the purveyors of COVID misinformation -- which include his fellowMRC writers -- for "actively wishing potential death upon millions of people" through their misinformation; he attacks Frum for criticizing that misinformation.
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Unemployment Reporting: Back To The Future Topic: CNSNews.com
As the unemployment rate dropped under President Biden, CNSNews.com reverted to an old Obama-era tactic by cherry-picking a different statistic to emphasize. Read more >>
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.