ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Monday, January 31, 2022
CNS Columnist: Conspiracy Theorists, Extremists Just Showing 'Vigorous Skepticism'

James Bovard used a Nov. 29 column to complain that Biden administration efforts to neutralize political extremism and conspiracy theories are too harsh, insisting that said extremists are"guilty of nothing more than vigorous skepticism":

The Biden Administration is seeking to radically narrow the boundaries of respectable American political thought. The administration has repeatedly issued statements and reports that could automatically castigate citizens who distrust the federal government. We may eventually learn that the new Biden guidelines spurred a vast increase in federal surveillance and other abuses against Americans who were guilty of nothing more than vigorous skepticism.

The Biden team is expanding the federal Enemies List perhaps faster than any time since the Nixon Administration. In June, the Biden Administration asserted that guys who are unable to score with women may be terrorist threats due to “involuntary celibate–violent extremism.” That revelation was included in the administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which identified legions of new potential “domestic terrorists” that the feds can castigate and investigate.

The White House claims its new war on terrorism and extremism is “carefully tailored to address violence and reduce the factors that…infringe on the free expression of ideas.” But the prerogative to define extremism includes the power to revile disapproved beliefs. The report warns that “narratives of fraud in the recent general election…will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year [2021].” If accusations of 2020 electoral shenanigans are formally labeled as extremist threats, that could result in far more repression (aided by Facebook and Twitter) of dissenting voices. How will this work out any better than the concerted campaign by the media and Big Tech in fall 2020 to suppress all information about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the election? And how can Biden be trusted to be the judge after he effectively accused Facebook of mass murder for refusing to totally censor anyone who raised doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Bovard omitted the fact that incel extremism has resulted in violence, and that "accusations of 2020 electoral shenanigans" have not only been proven wrong, they did result in violence in the form of the Capitol riot.

Bovard went on to defend conspiracy theorists, admitting that "In the early 1960s, conspiracy theories were practically a non-issue because 75 percent of Americans trusted the federal government," but taht the Warren report on John Kennedy's assassination undermined that, accusing Lyndon Johnson of purportedly having "browbeat the commission members into speedily issuing a report rubber-stamping the “crazed lone gunman” version of the assassination." And like any good conspiracy theory defender, Bovard brought up the specter of the CIA:

The controversy surrounding the Warren Commission spurred the CIA to formally attack the notion of conspiracy theories. In a 1967 alert to its overseas stations and bases, the CIA declared that the fact that almost half of Americans did not believe Oswald acted alone “is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization” and endangers “the whole reputation of the American government.”

The memo instructed recipients to “employ propaganda assets” and exploit “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out…parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.” The ultimate proof of the government’s innocence: “Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.”

Bovard then argued that any criticism of cosnspiracy theories was itself a conspiracy theory, and the Biden administration is currently pushing it:

“Conspiracy theory” is often a flag of convenience for the political-media elite. In 2018, the New York Times columnist James Stewart cheered, “there is a Deep State, there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law….They work for the American people.” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle proclaimed, “the deep state is alive and well” and hailed it as “a collection of patriotic public servants.” Almost immediately after its existence was no longer denied, the Deep State became the incarnation of virtue in Washington. After Biden was elected, references to the “Deep State” were once again labeled paranoid ravings.

Much of the establishment rage at “conspiracy theories” has been driven by the notion that rulers are entitled to intellectual passive obedience. The same lèse-majesté mindset has been widely adopted to make a muddle of American history.


Permitting politicians to blacklist any ideas they disapprove won’t “restore faith in democracy.” Extremism has always been a flag of political convenience, and the Biden team, the FBI, and their media allies will fan fears to sanctify new government crackdowns. But what if government is the most dangerous extremist of them all?

Spoken like a true conspiracy theorist.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:31 PM EST
MRC Leans Into Conspiracy Theory Over Ted Cruz, Apple
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been dipping its toe into the conspiracy theory pool lately. Autumn Johnson suggested another one is a Dec. 21 post:

While being interviewed by Fox News Digital on Monday, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri just happened to interrupt Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). And just what was he talking about when Siri interjected? Big Tech, of course.

"Big Tech, they are hard left. They're not just Democrats. They're to the left of the Democratic Party. And they're trying to drive the Democratic Party left," said Cruz while speaking to Fox at the Turning Point USA conference AmericaFest. "And, you know, listen, I'm someone who believes in free speech."

"Something went wrong. Please try again," Siri said from Cruz’s iPhone.

"Well, Big Tech is getting mad," Cruz joked while holding his phone. "Siri just said, ‘Something went wrong. Please try again.’"

"I'm actually perfectly happy that Siri got mad. Sorry there, Siri," he added, laughing.

Johnson gave no indication this was meant as a lighthearted post, so it appears she's serious about her suggestion that Apple was acting nefariously by intentionally having Siri interrupt Cruz, instead of the most logical explanation of Cruz accidentally turning it on (or perhaps intentionally so to create this situation).

So, yeah, we'll call this peddling a conspiracy theory. That's apparently the direction the MRC wants to go.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: WND Brings Back A Dishonest Reporter
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is republishing freelance work from former reporter Leo Hohmann -- which is just as terrible as the work he did when he was on WND's payroll. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EST
Sunday, January 30, 2022
MRC Makes An Anti-Biden, Pro-Oil Propaganda Film
Topic: Media Research Center

At the end of last year, the Media Rsearch Center released a short propaganda film with the unsubtle title "Killing Keystone XL: How Biden Destroyed American Energy Independence." The MRC describes it thusly:

On his first day in office, President Biden revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline permit via Executive Order 13990. With the stroke of a pen, Biden canceled a project that would have boosted U.S. GDP by more than 3 billion dollars, carried 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada to the U.S., and directly and indirectly provided up to 26,000 jobs — 11,000 of which were instantly lost. Climate Czar John Kerry, lent a sympathetic voice to the plight of the newly laid-off workers, “Go to work to make the solar panels.” President Trump greenlit the project in 2017, after years of delay from the Obama administration.

Though the Keystone Pipeline project received a favorable environmental review from the State Department, and construction had already started (crossing the Canadian/U.S Border), the Biden administration bowed to radical environmentalists and the religion of climate change, leaving hard-working Americans in the cold. Oil is the lifeblood of our economy and critical to our energy security, but the personal toll may be the highest cost of all. Livelihoods, hopes, and dreams dashed in an instant.

That number of 26,000 jobs is wildly inflated. Only about 4,000 jobs could be credited to construction of the pipeline -- nearly all of which would have been temporary -- and numbers of "indirect" jobs are speculative at best. One clip in the film uncritically shows Donald Trump even more wildly claiming that the pipeline would create "48,000 jobs."

That sets the tone of the film, which is little more than an anti-Biden, pro-oil industry propaganda piece. The MRC has taken funding from fossil-fuel interests.

Nearly the entire first half of the 14-minute film is news clips purporting to detail the history of the pipeline. It's heavy on Fox News clips, as you'd expect, but interestingly, there are also selected ciips from  other "liberal media" outlets that the MRC spends millions of dollars a year to inculcate mistrust in. There are also clips of Trump adminsitration officials declaring that the U.S. became an "net exporter" of oil under Trump -- another slippery, misleading claim. And all the talk about the pipeline purportedly bringing energy independence to the U.S. ignores the fact that it has been argued that a significant amount of the oil products generated from crude transported through the pipeline would be exported.

The latter half of the film briefly features the product of MRC employees Eric Scheiner and Ben Graham (son of MRC executive Tim Graham) visiting "hard-hit towns in South Dakota and Montana to interview residents and business owners to learn first-hand how Biden’s callous decision to shut down the pipeline has negatively impacted these communities." The first clip of of anofficial from a local electric cooperative complaining about "stranded assets" of electrical equipment left behind after the pipeline was halted -- but there was no mention of the fact that this equipment can easily be repurposed or sold. There were also complaints from local businesses and political officials about job and spending losses from the pipeline -- but that money was going to stop even if the pipeline continued because construction jobs would have moved on and eventually stopped after the pipeline was built.

The film concluded with another package of news clips that pushed the bogus narrative that the pipeline's cancellation led directly to higher gas prices.

So, yes, a propaganda film. So much so, in fact, that it got an airing on pro-Trump propaganda outlet One America News. And the propaganda appears to extend to how popular it is. A Jan. 5 email claims the film has "over 1 million views," but the YouTube version of the film to which the email links states its has slightly more than 11,600 views, and the version on right-wing video site Rumble claims only 4,881 views as of this writing. That's roughly 986,000 viewings that MRC hasn't accounted for and are likely not made up by the OAN airing, where ratings are apparently so miniscule that its main distributor, DirecTV, is dropping the channel.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EST
CNS Continues Pushing Biden-Is-Senile Narrative
Topic: is very much into advancing the right-wing narrative that President Biden is, or is going, senile. It has continued to do that over the past few months. One way it does that is by cherry-picking remarks out of context and putting them in the headline to make him sound crazy:

CNS also hypes explicit attacks on Biden's mental health, like this Nov. 23 article by Megan Williams:

Veteran journalist and commentator Brit Hume said it is a “far cry from certain” that President Joe Biden will run for reelection in 2024, and added that, health-wise, Biden is “clearly deteriorating, he’s clearly senile.”

On Monday’s Special Report w/Brett Baier, Hume was asked about Biden’s comment that he plans to run again in 2024.

“I don’t think it’s at all clear that he intends to run again, but I do think that as a political matter, you have to say that,” replied Hume. 


“He’s clearly deteriorating, he’s clearly senile, and his health is -- despite his doctor’s comments to the contrary,” said Hume.  “When you’re falling down stairs and so on, as he did climbing the stairs to Air Force One, that’s worrisome.” 

Williams made no effort to balance her article with the point of view of a medical expert.

Columnist Pat Buchanan -- for whom CNS editor Terry Jeffrey during both of his 1990s presidential campaigns -- has gotten into the act as well. In his Dec. 17 column, he sneered at the idea of Biden running for re-election: "Does Biden look like a signal-calling quarterback with seven years of playing days ahead of him?" He then added:

When one views his diminished mental capacities and the issues menu before him, it seems a certainty that we are not looking at a two-term president.


So where will we and Biden be at New Year's Eve 2023?

We will have an octogenarian president, in even more visible cognitive decline, faced with intractable issues of crime, a bleeding border, a pandemic and an inflation with which he has been unable to cope.

Buchanan similarly wrote in his Dec. 31 column:

Hovering over all of the above is the gnawing and growing concern among the American people about the physical and mental capacities of their president.

A month ago, a Politico poll found that while 46% of Americans believe Biden is mentally fit for his office, 48% disagree. In the same poll, only about one-half of all Americans felt Biden was "in good health."

That's how CNS helps to keep malicious right-wing narratives going.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 3, 2022 2:29 PM EST
Saturday, January 29, 2022
MRC Continues To Love J.K. Rowling's Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center used to hate "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling for things like admitting that Dumbledore is gay, but has since bonded with her over their shared hatred for transgender peopple. As Rowling has continued to say transphobic things, the MRC's love for her has only grown.

Last January, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg complained that Rowling's transphobia was brought up in response to rumors of a "Harry Potter" TV series in the works, unironically declaring that "Holding a grudge is one area the left thrives" -- forgetting that she's employed by the MRC, which has held a grudge against Anita Hill for 30 years. In March, Mandelburg hyped how the actor who played "the villianous Lord Voldemort" in the "Harry Potter" movies, Ralph Fiennes, defended Rowling against criticism of her, adding, "Thank heavens Fiennes stood up to the blasphemy of cancel culture but he should be warned that he may face it too."

Veronica Hays grumbled in May about how a book festival in New Zealand "removed a popular Harry Potter segment from the event because of author J.K. Rowling’s“transphobia.'" going on to sneer, "It certainly is madness when a popular event is removed just to appease the delicate sensibilities of some mentally-ill individuals; even to the detriment of the festival’s overall success."

It was Abigail Streetman's turn to gush over Rowling in a July post, repeating the malicious narrative that transgender people are mentally ill:

J.K. Rowling can now be deemed the queen of owning (a certain segment of) libs on Twitter. The liberal author's sarcasm and refusal to back down to the far-left trans nuts has made them even crazier, but she is firing back once again.

When Rowling shared her thoughts on only women being able to menstruate in a tweet last year hard-core trans Twitter was fuming. Despite the hatred she still managed to avoid being cancelled and continues to sell millions of copies of her Harry Potter books -- even announcing plans for a Harry Potter TV series.

The Rowling hate train never stopped although it did slow down for a bit. But there's apparently a new Tweet jihad against her.

Rowling pretty cagy, though. She screenshotted a comment on the post and quoted it in an epic clap back to the authoritarian mob that works to silence her voice but claims to support “feminism”:


Thankfully Rowling actually has a backbone, unlike most of the celebrities who have caved to the social justice warriors and embraced the idea of mutilating your body in support of mental illness. She may be a fiction, author but when it comes to transgenderism she isn’t afraid to speak the truth. 

It’s no wonder her books have done so well, Rowling really has a way with words.

Catherine Salgado helped Rowling play victim in a Nov. 22 post, lamenting how "The renowned author said she has been doxxed on Twitter for not agreeing with the left’s narrative on gender and sexuality," though thealleged "doxxing" came only from a photo on social media from people "who allegedly deliberately photographed themselves in front of her house so as to include the address."

When a group of quidditch players decided to change the name of the sport, Matt Philbin was on hand to be a jerk about it in a Dec. 20 post:

You’re an adult playing a game adapted from a children’s fantasy book about witches and magic. But you don’t want to be associated with the woman who invented the game in her children’s fantasy book about witches and magic because she’s not willing to indulge in your magic fantasies about human biology.

This really is the Gold Age of Stupid.

According to an article on, there are enough lonely, directionless people in the U.S. to form two Quidditch leagues. Yes, Quidditch from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. The one where they fly around on brooms in scenes that stretch 10 - 12 hours in the movies.

And while it’s nice that people who would otherwise be shut-ins are getting fresh air and exercise, there’s trouble in Hogwarts. US Quidditch (USQ) and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) are going to change their names, “due to trademark issues and concerns over the ‘anti-trans positions’ of the series' author, J.K. Rowling,” according to CNN.


More importantly, the move is about cancelling Rowling, "who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years," according to a statement from the leagues. Rowling’s heresy is believing the women are women and men who say they’re women aren’t. The otherwise exquisitely liberal author is concerned that the trans fad and it’s demands that the owners of wedding tackle be called women will eventually erase actual women (“people who menstruate,” as woke phrasing would have it). 

So Rowling is a "renowned author" but fans who show her renown by re-enacting scenes from her books are suddenly "lonely, directionless people" because they chose to reject the author's hate? We're confused.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 29, 2022 2:30 PM EST
WND's Massie Keeps Up The COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've caught WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie spreading COVID misinformation before, and he did it again in his Dec. 27 column:

It's a universal truth that you can always count on evil people to do what evil people do, hence the reason they're called evil.

This brings me to politicians and specifically the Erebusic apparatchiks with cloven hooves found in the ranking echelons of political parties, which brings me to COVID-19. This essentially routine flu – and anything with a 99% full recovery rate is routine in my book – is being weaponized for political gain.

There's a zeitgeist of abject fear being manufactured by the lapdog mainstream media and political hacks to provide air support for the ground game needed to win the guerrilla war in 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election.

As we told Massie the last time he claimed that, COVID is not the flu. Nevertheless, he persisted:

As of right now this flu-hoax is accomplishing two things: 1) dumping boatloads of cash into the pockets of politicians et al. from Big Pharma, and 2) softening the ground to orchestrate the next round of political extortion and ad hominem destruction necessary for Democrats to undermine their adversaries in hopes of retaining the political upper hand or reclaiming it quickly should the anticipated losses be realized.

Thus the need to keep people terrified of their own shadow and in a perpetual state of suspended reality that's necessary to believe and comply to the unmitigated dog-and-pony show being pedaled as science. The public has embraced Faucian falsity, as if it were, being read from stone tablets he received atop Mount Sinai.

This is America not Joseph Goebbels' Germany. How did we go from a two-week shutdown to flatten the curve to this? The level of schizophrenic demonicism cannot be overstated.


The most tragic part of this satanic hoax is that people are unnecessarily being poisoned with toxic elixirs. The side efforts include stillborn births, exponential increase of cancer, swelling of the brain, abnormal growths suddenly appearing on a person's body, permanent heart damage and death to mention only a few.

The Biden administration has predictably turned to Hollywood to participate in pure agitprop, using advertising to seduce children into believing being injected with deadly toxins is the "cool" thing to do.

People are dying as a side effect of the deadly toxins mislabeled as "vaccines" first to prevent the spread and now to reduce the severity of what has been presented as a pandemic-level flu virus. This requires a person have more faith in the government and Big Pharma than I will ever have.


This flu isn't the threat to you and me. The threat to We the People is the guerrilla tactics being employed by evil reprobates committed to using whatever means available to get wealthy and maintain power at the expense of We the People.

I will never bow my knee in obedience to these godless calumniators. This is America, and I'm a born-again Christian who intractably embraces Hebrews 13:5-6 KJV.

As a liar and idolator of all things Trump, there might he other Bible verses Massie should think about embracing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EST
Friday, January 28, 2022
MRC Manufactures Conspiracy Theory Over Gallup's Lack Of Most-Admired Poll
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth threw a temper tantrum over the media not sufficiently covering Donald Trump being named most admired man in its annual poll -- which didn't age very well after the Capitol riot. Gallup didn't conduct a "most admired" poll this year, so Wilmouth returned in a Jan. 2 post to peddle a conspiracy theory:

Frequent consumers of news may be aware of Gallup's annual poll measuring the "most admired man" in America which is typically announced a few days before New Year's.

The poll was done yearly from 1946 through 2020, with 1976 the only year that was skipped.

NewsBusters pointed out a year ago that liberal news media lost interest in the annual poll after Donald Trump started edging out Barack Obama for first place, whereas the networks previously enjoyed using the survey to embarrassing Trump as sitting President failing to come in first place.

This year, a Google search conspicuously shows no sign that Gallup conducted such a poll for the past year, possibly because they couldn't stand that thought having to report what likely would have been Trump coming in first again this year -- after the January 6 riot.

What evidence does Wilmouth have to support his conspiracy theory? Absolutely none --Gallup hasn't said why it didn't do a poll this year. And it's surtprising he would want to remind us that he and his fellow right-wingers are so deluded that they believe a man whohelped incite an insurrection against the government is worthy of admiration.

Wilmouth concluded his post by praising Fox News for touting Trump's status last year -- again, ignoring that guy incited a riot a few days later -- then added, "Fox & Friends was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked. Let them know you appreciate such coverage." Because sucking up to Fox News is more important than defending the country.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EST
Fake News: WND Falsely Portrays COVID Vaccine Study
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore wrote in a Dec. 28 WorldNetDaily article:

A study by Danish researchers finds that after 90 days, the COVID-19 vaccines will make you more likely to get infected from omicron, not less.

They may offer a short-term benefit from the delta variant, "but at the expense of a degradation of your overall immunity to everything else," reports Steve Kirsch. a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the Covid-19 Early Treatment Fund.

The study shows that after three months, the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines against omicron is actually negative.

The Pfizer vaccine makes recipients 76.5% more likely and the Moderna recipients 39.3% more likely to be infected than unvaccinated people.

Moore's mistake here is trusting the word of Kirsch, who is a prolific COVID misinformer. And, indeed, Kirsch is wrong here too, misinterpreting the study data -- which Moore failed to mention was published on a preprint server called MedRxiv, meaning that it has not been peer-reviewed. Meanwhile, a website that, unlike WND, cares about accurate medical information debunked that claim:

Health Feedback reached out to the preprint’s authors for comment. The first author, medical statistician and epidemiologist Christian Holm Hansen, refuted the claim, stating that the “Interpretation that our research is evidence of anything but a protective vaccine effect is misrepresentative”.

He also explained why vaccine effectiveness (VE) was observed to be negative in the study, citing the presence of bias in the VE estimates, saying that “Such biases are quite common in VE estimation from observational studies based on population data”, unlike in phase III clinical trials. Indeed, a preprint published by scientists in Ontario, Canada, which also examined vaccine effectiveness in an observational study and detected negative vaccine effectiveness, was found to have been “influenced by behavioural and methodological issues, such as the timing of the observational study, the way in which vaccine passports altered individual risk and changes in access to COVID-19 testing”. That preprint is currently being revised.

The fact-checker also reported something that Moore didn't -- that the paper "concluded in favor of vaccination, not against it."

Another fact-checker made the same conclusion:

Nowhere does it suggest that vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than unvaccinated people.

"Interpretation that our research is evidence of anything but a protective vaccine effect is misrepresentative," Astrid Blicher Schelde, one of the study’s authors wrote in an email to PolitiFact. 

As did one more fact-checker:

A study conducted using Danish data between Nov. 20 and Dec. 12 did not conclude that mRNA vaccines cause harm to immune systems. The preprint found that VE against Omicron is significantly lower than Delta and declines rapidly a few months after the second COVID-19 vaccine dose, but is restored following a booster. Negative VE estimates in the final period against Omicron suggests bias in comparison between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, a co-author of the study told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Moore's article remains live and uncorrected -- not a surprise for WND, which has published a lot of fake news about COVID and its vaccines.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EST
MRC Melts Down Over A Newspaper Canceling A Columnist
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor is a Media Research Center employee, but he's rarely allowed to write for the MRC -- most of his work gets published at Fox News. So it's usually a bit of an event when writes for the mothership. His Dec. 13 post, though, is devoted to whining that a newspaper he almost certainly doesn't read dropped a conservative columnist:

The Sun didn't make a big deal about it. Instead it chose to make the announcement with a comment in a letter to the editor. That letter was headlined “Kudos to The Sun for dropping Cal Thomas.” 


The writer, Randy Barker of Baltimore, complained about a Thomas opinion piece about Kamala Harris and wrote how he was thrilled that the paper was discontinuing Thomas’ column. “I have just learned of the Sun’s decision to not publish him. With this letter, I want to make readers aware of the Sun’s principled decision.”

Sun Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Trif Alatzas did not respond to a request for comment. And why should he care? It's not like the Sun has ever cared that it has almost no conservative voices. So one less in a sea of liberal Sun opinions doesn't mean anything to them.

Gainor's concern about the Sun's political diversityi is highly ironic, since his employer's "news" division,, not only has no regular liberal columnists, it has never published a liberal opinion piece as far as we know.Perhaps he should fix the situation inside his headquarters before lashing out at others.

Gainor then made an ad for Thomas:

Thomas is a well-known conservative columnist and author. He was on Fox News for nearly two decades and has published about a dozen books. His most-recent one came out in January, 2020, and is titled “America's Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers . . . and the Future of the United States.”

The syndicated column he writes has been around for 37 years. His most recent column, which doesn't appear on the Sun website, focused on the “Jussie Smollet Hoax.” I guess finding out about media bias was more than the Sun readership and liberal staff could handle.

If Thomas can't be bothered to spell Smollett's name correctly, why take his word on anything?It's not until the end of his post that Gainor disclosed something important: "Cal’s columns also appear on NewsBusters each week."

If Thomas' columns are easily available pretty much everywhere, why does the Sun need to publish them? Gainor never explains.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EST
CNS Presents Century-Old Story As 'News'
Topic: editor Terry Jeffrey is a big football fan -- so much so that he earned a Slantie Award for whining that Joe Biden's victory speech interrupted his football game. His Dec. 22 column was dedicated to marking the 100th anniversary of the first radio broadcast of a football game, concluding: "When college football games are played on Jan. 1, 2022, America can celebrate 100 years of football broadcasts. It is one of this nation's great traditions."

From there, though, things went a little too far. A Dec. 24 article credited only to " Staff" but almost certainly written by Jeffrey carried the headline "Police Escorted Referee from Field After He Invalidated Touchdown Pass" and illustrated with a color photo of a football referee. But the storyis not from this century, it also largely predates color photos:

Police officers had to escort a referee off the field of an Alabama vs. Tulane post-season football game played in New Orleans in 1921 after the referee invalidated a play in which Tulane scored on a 50-yard passing play.

The referee said he blew the whistle that signaled the end of the game before the play began.

If the play had stood, Tulane would have tied the score. With the play reversed, Alabama won 14 to 7.

“An attack on Referee Finley, former Virginia player, came at the end of the post-season football game between University of Alabama and Tulane, which Alabama won here today, 14 to 7,” said a report in the Dec. 4, 1921 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

The headline on the story said: “Mob Attacks Referee When Alabama Beats Tulane Eleven, 14 to 7.”

CNS has a bad habit of presenting old stories as new ones, but presenting a century-old story as something that just happened is not only ridiculous , it hurts what little journalistic credibility CNS has.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Thursday, January 27, 2022
MRC Fawns Over Softball Interview With Fox News Host
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro -- like the Fox News stan he is -- used a Dec. 20 post to frame a very friendly, softball interview Fox News anchor did with a fellow Fox News host as him "expertly defus[ing]" CNN's criticism of Fox News:

After filling in on Fox News Sunday following former anchor Chris Wallace’s exit from the show last week, Fox News Channel anchor Bret Baier appeared on the network’s MediaBuzz with anchor Howard Kurtz and took down CNN and their “just silly” criticism against their network that was designed to generate “clicks” and play for ratings.

Their prerecorded discussion began with Kurtz drawing attention to recent incendiary comments from CNN’s “Don lemon saying that Fox News should be kicked out of, barred from the White House briefing room because he doesn't like Fox.”

Baier rebuked Lemon’s attack as “just silly” and “just an effort to get clicks or eyeballs.” He then reminded viewers of how Fox had stuck up for CNN and their reporters to be members of the White House press pool during the Trump presidency:

Listen, we're a news organization that has been part of the White House pool really since the beginning, and we've been advocates of fighting for other journalists there including CNN. You mentioned Jim Acosta where we stood up as well as Kaitlan Collins who was going to be kicked out of a gaggle, and I tweeted out, we put out a statement supporting [her].

“So, listen, I think this is all about semantics and trying to get attention. But they know that we're working hard to do journalism every day,” he added.

From there, Kurtz asked his guest about the “fiction that gets perpetrated” by CNN and liberal media that “there isn't a real news division here, that you and your Special Report team and all the journalists and reporters and hosts and anchors and producers somehow don't count[.]”

Again dismissing the narrative as “silly,” Baier recalled that the criticism “goes in iterations in which the focus is all on the opinion folks who do do opinion and they stir the pot and sometimes they're very controversial, but we have a news operation that's breaking news every day.”

Funny, we thought Fondacaro and the rest of the MRC hated softball interviews. He also didn't mention the one thing that discredits Baier as a fair-and-balanced news anchor: his infamous fake-news story before the 2016 election about Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indictment -- a story the MRC enthusiastically promoted but never told readers that it had been retracted.

Like a good Fox News fanboy, Fondacaro waited until the 11th paragraph of his piece to mention the much more newsworthy part of the interview: Baier laboring to put distance between him and the aggressively right-wing Fox News hosts who had a direct line to the White House, including during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. And even then, Fondacaro soft-pedaled the controversy, meekly referencing "the recent revelation that a few members of the network’s primetime line up had messaged former White House chief-of-staff Mark Meadows on January 6." And even then, Fondacaro censored the full quote of what Baier said about the situation, as a more fair and balanced outlet more accurately reported:

Amid shockwaves over Chris Wallace’s departure to CNN, Baier on Sunday tried to distance his show from fellow Fox host Tucker Carlson, who regularly peddles pro-Trump talking points and misinformation in service of the ex-president.

“I tell people that the biggest, the loudest critics of Fox are not ones who watch Fox and see the difference between ‘Special Report’ and Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson,” Baier said during an appearance on Fox’s “Media Buzz” program. “I mean, anybody who watches sees the difference.”


Baier also made sure to argue that Wallace’s startling exit from Fox doesn’t further dilute the network’s credibility as a legit news source.

“He’s doing something different, but that does not mean that we don’t have really accomplished journalists who are breaking stories and who can cover things fairly,” the “Special Report” anchor said.

Fondacaro didn't explain why he didn't fully quote Baier. Perhaps there's an MRC rule that nobody is allowed to criticize Tucker Carlson. Besides, that's less expert defusing more desperate distancing, and Fondacaro is never going to admit any fault with Fox News.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 30, 2022 11:16 AM EST
WND's Root Spreads More Vaccine Misinfo, Because That's What He Does
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In addition to spreading actual COVID, Wayne Allyn Root spreads COVID misinformation. Like this Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily column:

The COVID-19 vaccines appear to be causing a global health disaster. There are so many warnings from all around the world. I'll list just a few in this column. But the U.S. media remain silent. They're as quiet as a church mouse. Why?

Japan's Ministry of Health just announced that "the Moderna and Pfizer Covid vaccines could cause heart-related side effects in younger males." Health experts in Japan have witnessed skyrocketing rates of myocarditis and pericarditis in young men and teenagers. And they've seen the same nonstop heart issues with middle-aged and older individuals.

All over America, and all over the world, cardiac arrest, heart inflammation and heart attack deaths are exploding. Young athletes are dropping right on the field; star soccer players in Europe are dropping dead in the middle of games; referees, coaches and even fans in the stands are having cardiac emergencies. It's something no one has ever seen before. It's an epidemic.

What do all these victims have in common? They've all been vaccinated.

In America, the media are filled with reports of hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units overwhelmed with seriously ill patients. From coast to coast, there are so many sick people lined up that there aren't enough beds or nurses. Sick patients are lying on gurneys along the hallways. Doctors and medical experts call it a "mystery" why so many Americans are sick. They can't understand what's happening.

Root sure loves his conspiracy theories, doesn't he? He seems to be referring two European soccer players -- Christian Ericken and Alex Apolinario -- who collapsed on the field; Apolinario later died. As it turns out, neither Ericksen nor Apolinario were vaccinated. Since those are false claims, it stands to reason that Root's larger claim about an epidemic of dying athletes is false too.

Also, it's quite clear what's happening with crowded hospitals: The Omicron variant is highly contagious, even for people who have been vaccinated, though it's still a fact that the unvaccionated will face much more serious symptoms and risk of death than the vaccinated.

But as a conspiracist, Root has some misinformation to pass along:

But I can solve the mystery. I believe that these are COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries overwhelming ERs and ICUs. The very illnesses that are most prevalent in this mysterious health emergency – heart attack deaths, cardiac arrest, strokes, blood clots, multiple organ failure – are all the same COVID-19 vaccine side effects listed in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). 


These brainwashed Kool-Aid drinkers can't see what's right in front of their faces. Or perhaps doctors, scientists and researchers are too afraid of losing their medical licenses, or losing multimillion-dollar government grants, to speak up.

In the case of the media, it's all about greed. Big Pharma buys a large proportion of the ads on every TV news network in America. Offend Big Pharma with stories of vaccine deaths and injuries, and the media could lose billions of dollars in revenue. Half the newsroom could be fired.

Not to mention stock prices would collapse in these media companies. There go the retirement accounts of Lester Holt, Don Lemon, Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow. So, the truth is hard to come by.

What's the truth? All anyone with a shred of credibility, morality and decency have to look at are a few key factors.

Ah, but Root lacks credibility, morality and decency, so he's spreading lies about VAERS data -- something he loves to do. But he's not done:

Now let me let you in on a terrible secret. My insider health care sources are reporting so many victims are filing reports with VAERS that the system is hopelessly overwhelmed and backed up. There may be 20,000 or 40,000 or 60,000 more deaths waiting to be processed into the VAERS system. They tell me the numbers are staggering.

Now you know why hospital ERs and ICUs are overwhelmed with people who are seriously ill.

So, my question is, shouldn't someone be investigating this escalating health disaster? Shouldn't someone in the media be reporting on this unimaginable tragedy? Should politicians be protecting us?

One thing I know: Something very bad and very evil is happening.

And we see it in Root's desire to misinform people about COVID vaccines. Root can find the source of that evil if only he's willing to look in the mirror.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:54 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2022 5:57 PM EST
CNS Spent 2021 Obsessing A Little Less Over Bette Midler

We've noted how bizarrely cares so much about what Bette Midler tweets that devotes numerous articles to them. Surprisingly, CNS has restrained that obsession; after devoting 40 articles in 2020 to Midler's musings, it cranked out only six articles on her in 2021:

Even more surprisingly, there was a seven-month gap in which CNS decided not to obsess over Midler statements, from March 1 (the Cruz tweet) to Oct. 14 (the "conservative Christians" tweet). There was a seventh related article, a Dec. 22 article about someone from West Virginia responding on Fox News to Midler's West Virginia tweet.

In another surprising development, CNS' obsession with Cher tweets dropp3ed as well, from 14 articles in 2020 to just three in 2021:

CNS has not explained publicly why its Midler and Cher output declined so much in 2021, or why it has devoted so much press to them in the first place, given their lack of relvance to today's popular culture. Perhaps it's mandated by its Media Research Center parent .which has been similarly obsessed with her.

If there's one consolation, it's that Mark Levin shouldn't feel so alone at being relatively neglected by CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2022 12:05 AM EST
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
MRC Defends Fox News Against Chris Wallace's Departure
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loved to attack Chris Wallace for not being enough of a right-wing shill like the rest of his Fox News co-workers, so it wasn't exactly broken-hearted when Wallace announced last month he was leaving Fox News to join CNN's new streaming operation. Nicholas Fondacaro alluded to that in his Dec. 12 post on Wallace's departure: "Wallace’s recent years with the network were a bit of a mixed bag. In October of 2020, Wallace complained on Fox News Channel about former President Trump’s conduct during the debate he moderated, equating it to Trump stomping on his cake."

The MRC will brook the possibility that Wallace left Fox News because of the channel's increasing far-right extremism -- its belief is that Fox News is always right and any critic of it is always wrong -- so the MRC's narrative moved away from criticizing Wallace to defending Fox News. On Dec. 14, Clay Waters whined that a New York Times article on Wallace's departure was "as a springboard to attack Fox News. Waters first played whataboutism -- "The paper wasn’t nearly so concerned about liberal black filmmaker Spike Lee spreading conspiracy theories, claiming 9-11 was an inside job in a documentary for HBO and joining the 'fire doesn’t melt steel' brigade -- then cheered that the Times "had to admit that Fox’s (honest) turn to opinionizing is filling a desire among the viewing public."

Tim Graham devoted his Dec. 13 podcast to Wallace's departure, first mocking him for leaving Fox News for CNN as being like leaving a Super Bowl champion for a minor-league version of the Detroit Tigers, then complained that every departure from Fox News is described as a "major loss." He then lashed out at journalist Julia Ioffe for noting on CNN that the Fox News "crazy sauce" is becoming more concentrated:

Excuse me? Julia, speaking of crazy sauce, this chick, this infobabe. she went on CNN, wshe ent on Jake Tapper's show and she proclaimed that Donald Trump -- this is the quote -- radicalized more people than ISIS. ... Who's boiling down the crazy sauce? Get off the burner!

We recall when the MRC denounced derogatory descriptions of women like "gal," "chick" and "infobabe." And Graham unmistakably sounded quite radicalized in his rant against Ioffe.

This was followed by a rant against anyone who's not right-wing describing right-wingers as extreme:

Left-wing media outlets oughta just -- if we want to talk about pretending, stop pretending that somehow you get to judge what's extreme. These people all run around and call themselves mainstream media. Guess what? You're losing. The mainsrream is not moving your direction.Biden is falling apart, the Democrats' numbers are bad. Who's mainstream? It doesn't seem to be you.

By that same measure, the MRC has no right to put a label on the purported ideology of anyone to his left -- it's faulty, given Graham's bizarre description of the "mainstream media" as "left-wing." The fact that Graham adamantly refuses to admit that Fox News is right-wing is even more reason not to trust his judgment on anything.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« January 2022 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google