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Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Newsmax Marked Capitol Riot Anniversary By Trying To Downplay It
Topic: Newsmax

How did Newsmax mark the anniversary of the Capitol riot? By trying to downplay it, of course. It kicked things off with a behind-the-paywall piece complaining that "not one of the more than 700 people facing charges has been accused of anything close to insurrection or terrorism. (this was a few weeks before several right-wing Oath Keepers were arrested on charges of seditious conspiracy.)

That was followed by an article hauling out disgraced Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claiming that, in writer Eric Mack's words, that "President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are going to try to pin the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol on former President Donald Trump, ignoring evidence to the contrary" because, according to O'Reilly, "It's almost inconceivable that a rational person would go: Yeah, I'm going to break into the Capitol, and that's going to help Donald Trump in any way. It hurt him, and it hurt the conservative cause." Mack stayed silent about the rampant sexual harassment that got O'Reilly fired from Fox News; instead, he insisted without evidence that O'Reilly "remains a prominent  conservative voice."

Like its ConWeb pals at the Media Research Center and CNSNews.com, Newsmax didn't like President Biden's speech about the Jan. 6 riot, with Sandy Fitzgerald sticking Donald Trump's petty and negative reaction in her story on the speech; Trump was also given an anonymously written article to whine further.

Newsmax served up more right-wing reaction from Republican politicians:

  • Fitzgerald returned to tout Republican Rep. James Comer's whining that "there should be investigations into the security lapse that allowed people to be able to storm the Capitol, but Democrats have "just tried to play this from an angle of embarrassing Donald Trump and embarrassing the Republicans."
  • Theodore Bunker devoted an article to letting Mitch McConnell complain how "Washington Democrats" are supposedly "try[ing] to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated this event. It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves."
  • GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham was given his own article by Jeffrey Rodack to complain about Biden's speech and its alleged "brazen politicization" of the riot.
  • Fitzgerald touted how GOP Rep. Pat Fallon purported to be "flabbergasted, dumfounded, and speechless" to hear Vice President Kamala Harris comparing what ended up being a "small riot" to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks, while Democrats have "amnesia" about the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots in the summer of 2020, that "swept over 140 cities, caused $2 billion worth of damage and cost 25 lives."

Newsmax pundit and disgraced ex-New York City police chief Bernard Kerik led an article by Rodack featuring various right-wingers reacting badly to Harris' comparison; Kerik sneered that she is an "incompetent fool."And the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy gave Trump another article in which to vent, this time through a "scathing lengthy statement."

An article by Jack Gournell promoted an appearance on Newsmax TV by the widower of Ashli Babbitt, the rioter who was shot and killed by police inside the Capitol as she was trying to break through a door. Gournell editorialized: "Over the past several months, many on the political right have pointed to Babbitt's case as evidence that the characterization of Jan. 6, 2021, as an 'insurrection' in which the right did all the harm is grossly inaccurate."

Fitzgerald, though, did slip in an article about how a police officer wounded in the riot is suing Trump over the injuries she suffered from rioters incited by him.

Michael Reagan spent his Jan. 7 column whining about the coverage and trying to distract from it by bashing Biden:

So does insisting on calling 1/6 an “insurrection” instead of what it was – a peaceful political protest that exploded into a dangerous and disgraceful riot whose only fatality was an unarmed Trump supporter, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot to death by a Capitol police officer.

[...]

But for the Democrat Party [sic] and its flock of parrots in the media, the “deadly” insurrection of 1/6 Trump supposedly fomented has become a myth they are never going to let the country forget.

1/6 is their new national holiday. A day they can memorialize – weaponize – each year for decades for purely partisan political reasons.

For now, Democrats know 1/6 is the only propaganda weapon they have left to distract the public’s attention from the Biden administration’s never-ending list of failures.

But ordinary Americans don’t care about marking the anniversary of “Insurrection Day.” They know a fake insurrection when they see one.

They’re more worried about things that are real and things that really matter to them – today. Things like the rising price of gas and hamburger and Biden's bungled war on COVID.

Judd Dunning similarly tried to distract in his Jan. 7 column:

January 6, 2022 was about forcefully forgetting failures. Americans are ordered to forcefully forget the Afghanistan failures, our supply chain problems, our politicized COVID lockdowns tearing our prosperity and security, our decimated global foreign policy, and rampant Biden-induced inflation.

Democrats lacking any decency or tangible legislative platform excitedly brought you their January 6th “Insurrection Anger Games.” The lions, bears and crocodiles were thrown in the pit. The leftist half of the crowd hunger for red conservative Republican blood.

Dunning then portrayed the rioters as the real victims:

Forty-thousand hours of sealed footage will show the truth of the non-insurrection. Currently, zero insurrection charges have been filed.

January 6 has been blown out of proportion. Several times political objections have historically been expressed more disruptively than 1/6 on a myriad of issues. The 209 BLM riots in 2020 caused over 40 deaths and $2 billion to $3 billion dollars in property damage.

Biden bellowed out false bigotry from the bleachers, stoking the flames, referencing a “bunch of thugs, white supremacists, (conspiracy) theorists, antisemites.” Many are average citizens held over 10 months in inhumane conditions. They are pawns victimized for political reasons.

Some face 23 hours of daily solitary confinement. They have been denied lawyers, medical and legal care, and basic due process rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. They are political prisoners of war treated worse than Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

The lesson of the January 6th games is not what the left wishes their performance art would yield. Democrats’ devolution reveals they lack a true platform. They offer only weaponized elitist hate.

In fact, the vast majority of rioters are not in prison awaiting trial, and they are anything bug political prisoners.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2022 7:42 PM EST
CNS' Donohue Still Misleading Over Clergy Sexual Abuse
Topic: CNSNews.com

Dishonest Catholic and CNSNews.com columnist Bill Donohue just loves to mislead readers about the nature and extent of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. And he shows no sign of stopping, even though he probably should. He proclaimed in his Jan. 14 column lashing out at a Catholic publication for not buying into his bogus homophobic take on the scandal:

It's over. Not only is the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church over, those who helped drive it — the Catholic left — have lost. Their pitiful reaction to the 20th anniversary of the Boston Globe series on priestly sexual abuse in Boston is all the evidence we need to make this charge. 

The National Catholic Reporter ran three articles on the 20th anniversary of the Boston Globe series, and not one of them had the intellectual honesty to say that the homosexual scandal has been effectively checked.

[...]

As I point out in my book, "The Truth About Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes," the Reporter played a prominent role in fostering the scandal. 

Its relentless attacks on the Church's teachings on sexual ethics gave succor to already disordered men, effectively giving them the green light to act on their twisted id.

But the scandal was not quite done with Donohue. A week later, a church commissioned report on sexual abuse in Germany reported that Pope Benedict, while still a cardinal in Germany, committed "wrongdoing" in his handling of abuse cases there, in one case allowing a priest to receive a new assignment despite knowledge of abuse allegations against him. It took a few days for Donohue to cobble together a defense, and he finally did so in  his Jan. 25 column, and it of course involves absolving the pope emeritus while finding other people to blame:

If Benedict is guilty of anything, from what we know so far, it is that he did not always act like the "Rottweiler" he is accused of being. When he learned of a priest who was an exhibitionist, but who never physically abused anyone, he did not treat him the way he should have. He should have seen this as a red flag — normal men don't act that way. 

In all the news stories on this issue, never once do therapists come in for criticism. Yet they played a big role in persuading elites in every sector of society of their powers to transform miscreants, especially in the latter part of the 20th century. There was no one they couldn't "fix," or so they thought. Their role was pivotal in the decision of elites, including bishops, not to crack the whip.

[...]

For the record, no one in the Church has done more to stem clergy sexual abuse than Benedict. It was he who took the initiative to issue a document barring men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from entering the priesthood. He was hated by "progressives" long before this, but this decision made him their biggest enemy.

In the first year of his pontificate, Benedict removed the notorious serial molester, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, from ministry. Significantly, he defrocked approximately 800 molesting priests from 2005 to 2013.

This is hardly the first time that Benedict has been treated unfairly. He is the scourge of the left, both in and out of the Catholic Church.

After Benedict responded to the charges, Donohue cheered in his Feb. 8 column that no actual apology was given:

People who apologize for offenses they never committed — such as white people who apologize for being white — are either phonies or psychotic. 

That is why it is so refreshing to learn that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is not apologizing for offenses he never committed while serving as archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982. 

In a letter Benedict released Tuesday, he offered his "deepest sympathy" to the victims of clergy sexual abuse, saying he feels "great sorrow for each individual case." But he did not offer a personal apology, and that is because none was warranted.

Donohue again rehashed his defense of Benedict for defrocking so many alleged predator priests, and that "he correctly noted the effect of the sexual revolution on the Church, and the huge role played by homosexual priests." Donohue is a homophobe, and he has falsely blamed homosexuality for the abuse scandal when the researchers of a previous church-commissioned study found no connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse, since one does not have to have a homosexual identity to commit homosexual acts.

Donohue concluded: "Pope Benedict has nothing to apologize for. If anything, it is his vicious critics who owe him an apology." Just like Donohue will never being a homophobe?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EST
Monday, February 14, 2022
MRC's War on NewsGuard Continues
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center is current running a war against website credibility rating firm NewsGuard, and it's continued to get as nasty as it is one-sided.

Brian Bradley spent a Dec. 20 post whining that NewsGuard signed a deal with an ad-services company to help it "prevent monetization on the platform by news sites that NewsGuard does not rate as 'generally trustworthy,'" attacking NewsGuard's filtering process as "arbitrary" withoutproviding evidence to back it up. Bradley remained performatively butthurt about NewsGuard's ratings: "NewsGuard scored The Federalist, a right-of-center online publication, according to AllSides, with a 12.5 rating for “credibility,” apparently for questioning the efficiency of mask mandates, but rated socialist site Jacobin at 92.5. Jacobin vomited a piece last year heralding that “[s]ocialism is back on the agenda in the United States. Thank God.” Bradley didn't explain why a publication should be rated lower simply because it advocates a viewpoint he personally disagrees with (or why Jacobin got the "socalist" tag while the Federalist was described as being merely "right-of-center."

Note that the MRC has never done a content analysis to prove wrong NewsGuard's contention that the conservative outlets it rated as lower than the liberal ones. It is simply demanding ratings parity without any justification.

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg rahashed the MRC's attack line on NewsGuard, and its bogus study hack-job in a Dec. 29 "CensorTrack" video, again complaining that it rated Jacobin higher than the Federalist. She attacked NewsGuard's rating system as "a roundabout way to censor conservative voices," despite the fact that neither she nor the MRC have proven that NewsGuard is trying to do that or even that its scoring system has a documented bias.

Joseph Vazquez deoted a Jan. 12 post to marshaling a full right-wing attack against NewsGuard, which he baselessly labeled "left-wing" as well as pushing other misinformation:

The left-wing media’s Ministry of Truth — website ratings firm NewsGuard — is at it again, slamming conservative news outlets while promoting liberal rags. And conservative leaders are furious.

The firm’s report headlined, “Special Report: The U.S. Best and Worst of 2021,” claimed to “identify the misinformation websites with the most online engagement in 2021 in the United States.” In addition, NewsGuard alleged, “We also highlight a selection of the trustworthy sites that are producing reliable journalism, including for local and niche markets.”

NewsGuard had two lists sub-headlined “The Ten Most Influential Misinformers” and “The Ten Top ‘Trustworthy and Trending’ Sites,” respectively.

Not surprisingly, NewsGuard labeled websites like The Federalist, Newsmax, LifeNews, LiveAction and ZeroHedge “misinformation,” and mostly left-wing propaganda websites like NPR, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and NBCNews.com “trustworthy.”

Only at the MRC would established established news operations with decades of balanced journalism under their belts like the Washington Post and the New York Times be considered"left-wing propaganda," while the right-wing sites be described only as "conservative" and not the right-wing propaganda they actually are. He also didn't mention that, for example, ZeroHedge has a documented history of spreading misinformation. Instead, he let Newsmax respond:

NewsGuard flogged Newsmax, which received an absurd 35/100 score, for allegedly publishing “false and unsubstantiated claims about vaccines and COVID-19.” Newsmax said in a statement to MRC’s Free Speech America that it “strongly supported both the effectiveness of vaccines and CDC efforts to contain COVID. We frequently quote top medical experts for our reports. Not every medical expert agrees with all government policies, and Newsmax will occasionally publish such disagreements.” 

Newsmax then slammed NewsGuard: “News[G]uard is a leftwing media ‘critic’ that smears conservative media in favor of liberal outlets, as their ranking lists so well demonstrate. News[G]uard has no credibility as a neutral observer.”

In fact, we've caught Newsmax publishing numerous examples of COVID misinformation, which trying to disavow responsibility for doing so with a disclaimer that the columns were written by a "non-clinician." And Vazquex didn't mention that Newsmax is currently being sued by election-tech firms Dominion and Smartmatic for publishing false information about them in pushing Donald Trump's Big Lie about 2020 election fraud.

Vazaquez get another criticized outlet a say:

LifeNews, which got a 30/100 rating, was smeared for allegedly publishing “false health claims about abortion safety and about COVID-19.” The outlet’s founder, Steven Ertelt, told MRC’s Free Speech America that “NewsGuard is not a legitimate fact-checking outlet, but rather it's a biased left-wing web site run by former liberal media staffers that presents a one-sided view falsely alleging that pro-life content is not factual simply because it disagrees with the content.” 

In fact, LifeNews has been busted spreading false information about President Biden's views on abortion and about Planned Parenthood. Vazquez didn't mention that either.

Despite actual facts to back him up, Vazquez came back on Jan. 17 to rant against CNN's Brian Stelter for having NewsGuard officials on:

CNN’s Reliable Sources anchor Brian Stelter slobbered over the leftist website ratings firm NewsGuard as some sort of paragon of journalistic virtue. 

Stelter fawned in a Jan. 16 blog how NewsGuard announced that its business was “reliable enough to turn a profit.” But here was the senseless part: “Although there are many quibbles with specific rulings about certain sites, the results are directionally reliable, distinguishing global newsrooms that try to report fairly from fly-by-night sites that publish propaganda with no regard for reality.”

[...]

Stelter brought two NewsGuard executives on the Jan. 16 edition of his show so he could further propagandize about the firm. NewsGuard “tries to cut through the noise of misinformation and deception and helps advertisers do that by letting them know when their ads are running on sites full of nonsense,” Stelter cheered. How can Stelter cheer about “sites full of nonsense” when rags like leftist magazine The Nation publish ”nonsense” defending “property destruction” as integral to the success of a left-wing “uprising” score a high “92.5” on NewsGuard?

Again, Vazquez demands punishment of a publication simply for having a political view different from his. That's not the way to build and defend and arguemnt -- but it is the way the MRC insists on operating.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 14, 2022 10:28 PM EST
CNS Thinks GOP Politician's Insult Is 'News'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has long believed that right-wing insults of people who aren't conservative is "news" -- despite the fact that there's no legitimate journalism school that would teach this. Which brings us to a Jan. 13 article by Craig Bannister:

“I’m looking at you Jon Tester: flattop doesn’t make you any conservative,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) says in a video stressing the importance of senators, even Democrats like Jon Tester, voting against Democrats’ efforts to pass a voting reform bill that would federalize elections and strip states of the ability to ensure voter integrity.

Rep. Roy spoke out Thursday after House Democrats passed, along party lines, their voting reform bill, which now goes to the Senate, where Democrats are threating to eliminate the long-standing filibuster rule in order to pass it, despite holding only 50 of the Chamber’s 100 seats:

[...]

In his video, Rep. Roy expressed gratitude to the Democrat senators who have said they will vote against eliminating the filibuster – but, he also called out Montana Democrat Senator Jon Tester, saying that merely sporting a conservative haircut (a flattop) does not actually make him one:

“I’m glad that there’s some question over in the Senate. And it seems to be that Senator Manchin (D-WV), Sinema (D-AZ) and others may hold the line on the filibuster.

“But, let’s be clear to West Virginians, Arizonans, Montanans – I’m looking at you Jon Tester: flattop doesn’t make you any conservative – but, this vote is actually about the integrity and the ability of Montana, Arizona, West Virginia and every state in the Union to make decisions about elections.

Yes, Bannister thinks a Republican mocking a Democrat's looks is "news." Makes you wonder where he learned his ideas about journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 14, 2022 7:45 PM EST
MRC's Graham Defends Smearing Raskin As 'Milking' Son's Suicide
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how Media Research Center executive Tim Graham wrote a column viciously smearing Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of "milking" his son's suicide by writing about book about it and talking about it in relation to the Capitol riot, which took place a week after his son's death. Graham, however, is committted to being a jerk and won't apologize for the smear.

In his Jan. 7 podcast, Graham grumbled that Raskin's book was selling well, then complained that "some people think it's unfair for this column to be headlined 'milking a suicide.'" He, of course, didn't identify who those "some people" were -- perhaps because one of them was not only a fellow conservative but a former MRC intern. He continued to double down:

People can have sympathy for the idea that your son died of suicide -- that's terrible. But when you write a book about it, you probably shouldn't make it political. You should probably just say this was a terrible thing, I've learned from it and, you know, I'm moving and I think hat's what my son would want -- that would be fine. Even if you wrote a book about it, like oh, you know, call your suicide hotline. That's not what this book is. This book is basically sort of suggesting that the Republicans are a threat to democracy and causing these suicides.

Graham sneered that Raskin was allegedly on TV so frequently talking about his book that he was "the [Michael] Avenatti of suicide memorists." He then huffed:

I think it's creepy, I think it's gross, I think it's something that should, you know, something that should be sort of dsisparaged. It's distasteful. If you think I'm distasteful, well then, that's the way it's going to be. But let's not say that partisans in politics don't try to exploit death for political gain, because that's what's going on with Jan. 6! That's what they would accuse us of, oh, you guys with your Benghazi-ghazi obsessions.

Yet we don't see Graham actually admitting that Benghazi was all about exploiting deaths for political gain. Indeed, current House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy actually admitted that the Benghazi hearings were designed to drive down Hillary Clinton's poll numbers.

Graham believes he should be above criticism -- witness his failure to engage with his critics here -- because as far as he's concerned, he's speaking truth. In reality, though, he's spinning a narrative just as much as the so-called "liberal media" he accuses of doing. He would never criiticze Fox News the way he criticizes CNN -- because he thinks their right-wing bias is "fair and balanced." His criticism is always in bad faith, and there's no reason to assume otherwise.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Ivermectin Chronicles, Part 2
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily just can't stop touting ivermectin for treating COVID despite a continued lack of credible research to back up the claim -- and it's even defending the drug as people keep pointing out it's mainly for animals and isn't an antiviral. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 AM EST
Sunday, February 13, 2022
The MRC's Whining About Capitol Riot Anniversary Never Stops
Topic: Media Research Center

Even after devoting three posts to how the Media Research Center covered the first anniversary of the Capitol riot, we're still not done -- there are a few odds and ends to discuss. P.J. Gladnick tried to invent a conspiracy theory in a Jan. 7 post:

On January 6, the media was chock full of stories about the events at Capitol Hill on the day of the riot. One potentially big event that could have overshadowed what happened at the Capitol building was a couple of pipe bombs planted near the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee buildings. Fortunately neither bomb went off, but the mystery remains of who was the pipe bomber that still remains at large.

Because of the January 6 anniversary, several media outlets were speculating about the mystery of who the pipe bomber was and why the FBI has not found him despite conducting an intensive investigation. You can see stories about the investigation into the pipe bomber suspect at such sources as CBS News, the Associated Press (via PBS), and The Atlantic.

One thing the stories all have in common is what appears to be a lack of curiosity why the FBI hasn't used a very common investigative technique to identify the bomber.

[...]

Why hasn't the FBI attempted to track the pipe bomber's GPS movements via the phone pinging off the cell phone towers? We know the suspect used his cell phone at least five times since his movements were tracked by surveillance cameras such as in the one provided by the FBI below.

And since the suspect's locations and times were known from video surveillance it should be a rather easy matter to find out where he started out from and where he went after he planted the bombs via GPS tracking as well as perhaps what phone number(s) he called.

[...]

So if the FBI can use cell tower tracking to identify grandmothers just standing around at the Capitol building on January 6, why haven't they used the same technology to find the pipe bomber? 

Of course, Gladnick doesn't know that the FBI has not done this -- he's just baselessly suggesting that it has something to hide by not arresting anyone yet. Curiously, Gladnick offers no evidence that anyone in the right-wing media has done what he demands "the media" do, "pick up a phone and call the FBI or the January 6 Committee to ask them about this."

(We would also remind Gladnick that the MRC used to not care about the pipe bomb at the DNC, fretting only about the one at the RNC.)

Brad Wilmouth used a Jan. 8 post to maliciously reframe remarks by reporter Yamiche Alcindor. She pointed out the inescapable fact that most of the Capitol insurrectionists were white and that a similarly violent crowd of people of color would have been treated much more harshly by law enforcement; Wilmouth twisted this to claim that Alcindor was "possibly disappointed that more of the 1/6 Capitol Hill rioters were not shot by Capitol Police."

Meanwhile, Tim Graham was the designated MRC whiner about Vice President Kamala Harris' 1/6 speech. First , he complained that Harris' likening of the riot to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor was not fact-checked, whining that Snopes ddinged right-winger Todd Starnes for falsely claiming she said the riot was "worse than" 9/11. "They didn't fact-check the leftist. They fact-checked the conservative," Graham huffed; note his description of Harris as a "leftist" but not Starnes as merely a "conservative" even though he holds very extreme views.

(Also, we don't recall Graham demanding a fact-check when a Fox News contributor likened the burning of the channel's Christmas tree to Pearl Harbor.)

Then, he complained that PBS interviewer Judy Woodruff didn't trash Harris like a Fox News employee would:

On January 6, Vice President Kamala Harris shamelessly attempted to compare the Capitol riot to Pearl Harbor and 9-11. Later that day, she was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on the PBS NewsHour, who asked absolutely nothing about that rhetoric. Instead, Woodward complained to Harris about election lies and poor attitudes and "deep polarization" -- as if the media have no role in all this. She began with a series of 1/6 softballs: 

[...]

Then Woodruff heralded Liz Cheney for holding Trump fully responsible for creating the Capitol riot -- that he "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack" -- and asked "Is she right?" Then Woodruff suggested (as a flock of "objective" journalists have) that Trump should face criminal prosecution: "If that's the case, then does that not mean there will have to be serious consideration of a criminal prosecution?"

This is the exact opposite of how she repeatedly shamed Mike Pence at the GOP convention in 2016, that "lock her up" talk was too vicious. (Unlike "lock Trump up.")

Graham didn't explain why Pence should not be held to account for what his running mate said.

The MRC was STILL whining about the Jan. 6 coverage five days later, when Geoffrey Dickens did a roundup piece on on Jan. 11 grumbing that "STILL to this day the media are exploiting the Capitol Hill riots as a way to push the Democrat’s agenda on everything, especially their desire to federalize elections." Apparently, Fox News isn't part of "the media.

UPDATE: Graham also spent his Jan. 7 podcast summing up all the whining the MRC has done about the anniversary coverage, summing it up in the NewsBusters post promoting it: "What makes the 1/6 coverage so inauthentic is that the liberal media does not object to all rioting. They object to Trump backers rioting. When leftists riot for 'racial justice,' they are fine with it, and dress it up in terms like 'rebellion' or a 'racial reckoning.' If the media were actually interested in building "shared facts" then they might share the fact that all rioting is horrible."

In the podcast, Graham went into a whataboutism rant: "We are not going to be be lectured on Jan. 6 about rioting and rebellions from people who want to defund police, who want to defund ICE, who want to abolish the prisons. You don't get to talk to us about insurrections!" He then went on to deny that Ashli Babbitt, the rioter who was killed by law enforcement inside the Capitol, was a martyr -- then complained that the Associated Press published a "snotty piece... attacking her character."

There was more: He whined that the anniversary got more coverage than the Benghazi attack, then falsely asserted that the person who shot Republican congressman Steve Scalise was "inspired by Rachel Maddow and Bernie Sanders." And he served up an old-school rant about Barack Obama's connections to Bill Ayers.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 14, 2022 12:51 AM EST
CNS Editor Likens Vaccine Mandate to Sterilization Mandate
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor Jerry Jeffrey began his Jan. 5 column with a provocative claim:

Can President Joe Biden order your employer to make sure you are sterilized? Or can he order your employer to make sure you have been vaccinated for COVID-19?

The first question here focuses on a hypothetical. The second does not.

Yes, Jeffrey is suggesting that getting vaccinated is like getting sterilized. He followed that with a blast from the past: an attack on a longtime target, former Obama administration officlal John Holdren, whom CNS was obsessed with throughout the Obama presidency because he once advocated population control efforts in the 1970s. Holdren has no connection with the Biden administration, of course, but Jeffrey suggests that his having "served with Biden in the Obama administration" is apparently close enough, though it's a guilt-by-association fail -- especially since Holdren never advocated population-control policies during his time in the Obama White House.

Jeffrey's reference fails for another reason: Jeffrey offers no evidence that Holdren ever advocated mandatory sterliization to achieve his onetime population-control beliefs. Nevertheless, he went on to stretch his hypothetical to the limit:

Now, suppose in America we were able to develop the technology to sterilize someone simply by giving them two shots in the arm three weeks apart — just like getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Could some future president, given the environmental threat to our planet that some scientists believe is driven by population growth, order that every American who has had two or more children get these two shots?

Jeffrey concluded his column by grudginging admitting that vaccines work, then scaremongered anyway by making a sudden and unwarranted leap to abortion:

There is no doubt that COVID-19 vaccines have been good for America and for the world. They have saved lives.

But the president of the United States does not have the unilateral authority to order any American to undergo any medical procedure.

If the Supreme Court were to grant this unjustified power to Biden now, who does not acknowledge the right to life of the most innocent and vulnerable human beings (the unborn), what would he or his successors use it for next?

Jeffrey is making bad-faith arguments here, hitting right-wing hot-button issues where there's no serious discussion of the extremes he's suggesting in order to poison the wll against vaccine mandates.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EST
Saturday, February 12, 2022
MRC Sports Blogger Mocks Team On Wrong End Of Needlessly Lopsided High School Game
Topic: Media Research Center

Who has two thumbs and loves poor sportsmanship on the high school level? This guy (or gal): the Media Research Center's Jay Maxson, who devoted a Jan. 7 post to complaining that a high school girl's basketball team was criticized for needlessly stomping an opponent 92-4 -- and to mocking the losing team:

What happens when one high school girls’ basketball team comes to compete, and the other team doesn’t? If you are the head coach of the first team, and your squad wins in a wipeout, you are scapegoated and suspended for a game. We’ve seen this sort of ridiculous thing before when a sports team is severely punished for achievement, and it’s never a pretty outcome.

Sacred Heart Academy, undefeated and ranked third in Connecticut, took a first-quarter lead of 29-0, and it was 56-0 at halftime. By the end of the end of the third period, it was 80-0, and it ended 92-4. Coach Jason Kirck will sit out the next game because his last opponent, Lyman Hall High School, sucks at hoops.

[...]

In other words, Sacred Heart, the next time you play Lyman Hall, leave your “A” Game at home. 

Maxson didn't mention that Connecticut high school sports standards state that "Coaches will be aware of the competitive balance of contests and will manage the score in a manner that is sportsmanlike and respectful of opponents." Instead, he (or she) continued to pile on, Sacred Heart style:

The Lyman Hall coach went on WFSB-TV and accused his rival of “unsportsmanlike” conduct and running up the score.

Pressing is Sacred Heart’s game, but if another team repeatedly can’t get back quickly enough to stop the fastbreak, that’s on them. Furthermore, how can a school employ a coach who can’t prepare a team any better than this? It sounds like Coach Lipka got a get-out-of-jail card for not being a good coach.

Sports teach character and painful lessons as well, and coaches who complain about lop-sided losses sometimes need to look in the mirror and blame themselves for their team's bad performances. Other coaches need to yank their starters sooner when a blowout becomes inevitable. Just blaming the winning side doesn’t seem right.

If you're up 56-0 at halftime, there's absolutely no need to spend the rest of the game continuing to press for the sole purpose of running up the score.And there's absolutely no reason to leave starting players in until the fourth quarter, as Sacred Heart apparently did.

The fact that Maxson thinks poor sportsmanship is a good thing tells you all you need to know about the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
WND's Mercer Calls Capitol Riot A 'PSYOP'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The anniversary of Jan. 6 is upon us. In deranged Democrat nomenclature, it was "an insurrection" – apparently the deadliest in U.S. history. To their disgrace, Jan. 6 has indeed become the Democrats' 9/11.

Deplorables should rejoice, for the Democrats are having a fit, and that's fun. Rejoice, but do not partake in or dignify the production. Ignore Jan. 6 as you would "spam for penis extensions."

Stay away from the force-field of evil that is the Democrats' Jan. 6 Psychological Operation (PSYOP). Much like the Russia hoax – a plot to unseat a president – the Jan. 6 monomania is meant to overthrow a people, MAGA America.

Since there is nothing much to commemorate, except for the cold-blooded, unpunished murder of an unarmed protester, Ashli Babbit, Jan. 6 must be viewed as a long-term, cynical political strategy. 

[...]

Like them or not, our people are the ragtag bunch who would storm the plush seats of state power and corruption. The Democrats' people are Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Be they illegal voters and criminal aliens, or just good old vandals, rapists and murderers, the criminal class is now the armed and shielded wing of the Democratic Party: Courageously and audaciously, Democrats lionize and give license to their criminal constituents.

Odious Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Pelosi poodle and a Republican Jan. 6 reveler, is correct: There is a difference between a crime and a coup. Crimes against innocent fellow citizens are acts of cowardice; a coup against the State can be heroic – just like the American Revolutionary War was a coup against Britain.

Principled, conservative libertarians will therefore distinguish pro-Trump patriots from the criminal arm of the Democratic Party: BLM, Antifa and other riffraff. These weaponized Democrats, immunized by party leaders from criminal liability, romped through America in the summer of 2020, causing billions in damages. Like locusts, these cultural revolutionaries descended on their neighbors to menace them in places where they shop and socialize, sadistically threatening and often physically harming innocents, unless they knelt like slaves.

In contrast, the ragtag renegades of the MAGA movement, as misguided as they were, stormed only the seat of power and corruption that is the state. Once!

[...]

If Democrats can defend their rioters, the Republican Party must represent theirs and secure them their constitutional due-process rights still denied.

Above all, MAGA America must cancel Jan. 6. Consider it a civilian Psychological Operation intended to "induce" and "reinforce behavior" meant to politically and psychologically pulverize the Democrats' enemies: us.

-- Ilana Mercer, Jan. 6 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Friday, February 11, 2022
MRC Protected Fox News Over Its Jan. 6 Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

We've seen the Media Research Center preemptively whine about Capitol riot anniversary coverage, then lash out at President Biden's speech marking the occasion as well as anyone who liked the speech. Now we've reached the stage where it tries to make Fox News look good by attacking CNN and MSNBC.

Mark Finkelstein got mad that MSNBC highlighted Repubican criticism of the riot:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, per the ancient adage. And thus, as Democrats aggressively marked the anniversary of the January 6 riot to condemn Donald Trump, MSNBC took a moment to praise Liz and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove for taking a stand with the Democrats in condemning the riot. As if other Republicans didn't.

Nicholas Fondacaro, meanwhile, had a meltdown over CNN's special on the riot because it called out Fox News' role in stoking it:

For years now, the liberal media have been telling us the country is in a “cold civil war” or a “neo-civil war” because people and policies they don’t like have popularity. But according to CNN’s Anderson Cooper during the network’s January 6 primetime special (Live From the Capitol: January 6th, One Year Later) it was the folks at “other networks” – aka Fox News – that were “relishing the idea” of sparking another civil war in America.

But rather than offer any defense of Fox News, Fondacaro bizarrely focused on CNN's failure to say the words "Fox News" in its criticism, even though we all know who they're referring to: "Speaking of bravery, why couldn’t either of these men speak up and name names? Who was calling for a civil war? Who was against the police? That’s because if they did, then they would need to prove their accusations."

Curtis Houck, meanwhile, complained about how much time CNN and MSNBC spend on anniversary coverage:

It was bound to be a nauseating day for anyone who turned on CNN or MSNBC Thursday during their voluminous coverage for the first anniversary of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and, according to a NewsBusters tallying of their live programming (20 hours on CNN and 19 hours on MSNBC), they didn’t disappoint.

All told, the two far-left channels spent 1,653 minutes marking the occasion and demonizing all 75 million-plus Trump voters.

With the formal total clocking in at 1,653 minutes and two seconds (and translating to 27 hours, 33 minutes, and two seconds), MSNBC’s 838 minutes and 33 seconds surprisingly beat out the perpetually degrading and perhaps most insufferable CNN, which had 814 minutes and 29 seconds.

It's bizarre that Houck thinks telling the truth of what happened that day is "nauseating" -- what about the truth sets off that nausea? -- and the act of doing so makes one "far-left." And it's curious that Houck didn't serve up the amount of time Fox News spent on the anniversary. After all, wouldn't a comparison of coverage with his favorite TV channel be useful here?

Houck also sneered at a riot victim, huffing that "retired Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone — who’s cashing in on his service and anti-Trump rhetoric by becoming a CNN law enforcement analyst, proclaimed on New Day that the right’s 'still engaging in the same violent rhetoric' from a year ago, adding that Republicans are 'insurrectionist' 'jackasses.'" Houck didn't mention that rioters attacked Fanone with a stun gun, while another rioter yelled, "Kill him with his own gun!" Houck did not dispute any characterization of the rioters by Fanone, and for him to claim Fanone is "cashing in" on being severely beaten by a pro-Trump mob is sickening.

Houck tried for an sad little pro-Fox own in another post:

CNN and MSNBC spent over 1,600 minutes Thursday obsessing over the first anniversary of the January 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol, but it failed to translate into any success in the ratings department.

Thanks to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research, the Fox News Channel cruised to an easy victory in both total viewers with roughly 1.567 million and 245,000 in the 25-54 demographic.

According to a Fox News press release, FNC defeated CNN “in every hour across both categories” as the Jeff Zucker-led channel was only able to fetch 742,869 total viewers overall and 139,202 across Thursday in the demo.

MSNBC was able to best CNN in total viewers with about 1.049 million viewers, but narrowly lost in the 25-54 group as the Comcast-owned property garnered just 136,019 viewers.

Houck made sure not to mention the fact that CNN and MSNBC's coverage together beat Fox News, which demonstrated there was a bigger audience for that content. And, again, Houck didn't elaborate on the contents of Fox News' coverage (aside from mentioning a supposedly "challenging and substantive interview" with Liz Cheney on Fox) or how much time it spent on the anniversary.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:50 PM EST
WND Tries To Work Up Some Old-Fashioned Mosque Panic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in the day, WorldNetDaily loved to freak out over mosques getting built in the U.S., especially if religious freedom laws had to be invoked against Islamophobic officials to make it happen (even though WND approved when Christians made use of those very same laws). So, an anonymnously written Jan. 6 WND article was a bit of a throwback:

A federal judge has approved a consent degree involving Horn Lake, Mississippi, a suburb only a mile from the Memphis, Tenn., area, that requires city officials to ignore concerns over traffic, noise and potential fire hazards and allow a mosque construction project.

WREG reported the American Civil Liberties Union was boasting of obtaining a consent degree that will require the town of about 25,000 to allow a mosque project.

Local officials earlier had voted against it, and Alderman John Jones said there were unresolved issues involving traffic, possible noise violations, and fire hazards.

The federal court document requires the town to approve the building plan within 14 days and also pay $25,000 to the mosque building project.

[...]

The Gateway Pundit noted the "gigantic" mosque will "accommodate" the 15 Muslim families in the region.

The Gateway Pundit offered no evidenceto supp[ort its claim that the mosque will be "gigantic"; nevertheless, theproposed mosque is described as "huge" in the headline of the WND article. Unmentioned at all by WND was the fact that Horn Lake already has 13 churches.

The article also complained that "The ACLU claimed the town's decision was based on 'anti-Muslims bias'" but didn't mention the evidence for that: the mosque was denied even though the property was properly zoned and all paperwork was properly submitted, or that a city alderman literally said the mosque was denied "because they're Muslims."

WND also didn't mention that the ACLU lawsuit invoked the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act -- again, the same law that WND cheers when Christians invoke it. And while it hyped "traffic" as a supposed issue with the mosque, it also highlighted the mosque is being built for "the 15 Muslim families in the region"; it didn't explain how 15 families would cause traffic issues.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:31 PM EST
YouTube Temporarily Suspends Musician's Graphic Video, And MRC Turns Him Into A Victim
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall, the Media Research Center promoted a washed-up musician who performs under the name Five for Fighting -- who hasn't had a major hit in a good 15 years -- and his new song spouting right-wing anti-Biden talking points. Now he's claiming to be a victim, and we all know how much the MRC loves their right-wing victims. Alexander Hall conferred victimhood on the musician in a Jan. 11 post:

Musician John Ondrasik, also known by his stage name Five for Fighting, slammed YouTube for reportedly temporarily censoring his music video about Biden’s incompetence in the Afghanistan troop withdrawal. 

Biden mishandled the end of America’s longest war so badly that Big Tech is haphazardly handling criticism of the president. “Ondrasik spoke out against censorship on Monday during an appearance on America’s Newsroom after YouTube temporarily removed and then reinstated a music video of his song ‘Blood on my Hands,’ which criticized the U.S. for its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal,” Fox News reported on Monday. While YouTube reinstated the original video, Ondrasik slammed Big Tech leadership for being too quick to remove content. 

Ondrasik explained to co-host Dana Perino that concern over free speech has become a value Americans only protect selectively rather than universally. "This YouTube issue, umm, it seems that freedom of expression only matters when the censorship applies to our side, our tribal team," he observed. "If it’s criticizing some, somebody that is on our side, ‘Well, so what?’ Censorship, it’s all political."

If Ondrasik has a ready platform at Fox News he can run to whenever he has a complaint to make, he's not really being "censored" the way he thinks he is. Besides, even Fox News itself called the video "graphic and chilling," including "horrifying videos of those who died trying to escape the country as well as those who were hanged, beaten and tortured by the new regime in power."

In other words, it appears to be little more than an artsy version of a snuff video -- content that Hall didn't reference in his post and more than likely the reason YouTube temporarily pulled it. Ondrasik apparently didn't reference the video's graphic content when he ran to cry to Fox, since Hall didn't note it.

The problem with the MRC's victim narrative is that it usually has to hide inconvenient facts to sustain that victimhood.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EST
Updated: Friday, February 11, 2022 3:14 PM EST
CNS' Jan. 6 Distraction: FBI Agents Soliciting Sex
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com wasn't terribly happy about having to report on the anniversary of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, so about midway through the day, it apparently decided it was mostly bored with that eminently newsworthy story and decided to push one that has been an recurring obsession for CNS: employees of the FBI, Department of Justice and other similar agencies who were invesigated for alleged misconduct. An anonymous CNS reporter did the deed:

The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice issued an investigative summary on Dec. 14 in which it said that four FBI officials “solicited, procured, and accepted commercial sex overseas” and that “a fifth FBI official solicited commercial sex overseas.”

Additionally, the investigative summary reported that “a sixth FBI official committed misconduct by failing to report suspected violations of the 2015 Attorney General Memorandum titled ‘Prohibition on the Solicitation of Prostitution’ by other FBI officials.”

The investigative summary did not name the FBI officials involved or specify the foreign country where they engaged in this behavior.

The summary did say the while the inspector general was investigating this behavior by FBI officials all of the officials involved left the bureau—through retirement, resignation and removal.

While certainly an at least somewhat interesting read, it was not a timely one -- the DOJ investigative summary was issued a full three weeks before the article was published. There certainly wasn't any news hook demanding that the article be published in Jan. 6.

This article simply comes off as a feeble attempt to distract from the news of the day because that news made Republicans look bad.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 11, 2022 10:47 AM EST
Thursday, February 10, 2022
MRC Hated Biden's Jan. 6 Speech, Attacked Anyone Who Did
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's coverage of the Capitol riot anniversary started with preemptively whining about everyone else's coverage before it even aired. The coverage continued by lashing out at President Biden's speech on the anniversary and at anyone who liked the speech.  Kyle Drennen ranted at NBC's Chuck Todd for liking it, then praised other network commentators for being somewhat less effusive:

During NBC News special coverage of President Biden’s divisive speech using the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol Hill riot to attack Republicans, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd absurdly claimed the screed was not partisan “if you’re pro-democracy and pro-America.” He also predictably hailed the address as Biden at his “best.”

“I thought it was an important moment that he did do this....This is important for now and it’s important for the history books here,” Todd gushed over Biden’s remarks. The journalist then promptly dismissed anyone criticizing the speech for being divisive:

[...]

In sharp contrast to Todd, CBS Mornings host Tony Dokoupil described Biden’s address this way: “He ended the speech with a reference to the United States of America, underlining that word ‘united.’ But much of the speech was anything but a unification message.” Though to be clear, Dokoupil wasn’t criticizing, he was thrilled: “[Biden] called the former president a defeated president and ticked off three lies that he laid at the feet of that former adversary...trying to restore the country’s attention to a particular set of facts that are important and are high-stakes for future of this nation.”

Meanwhile, during ABC’s special coverage of the presidential address, World News Tonight anchor David Muir proclaimed: “You could clearly hear the passion in his voice as he told the American people what’s at stake as we mark this one year mark since January 6th. Articulating the case that this democracy is fragile and must be protected.” Correspondent Cecilia Vega applauded: “...these were his strongest words yet on former President Trump since he has taken office....these attacks were personal and they were one after the next...”

On NBC, Todd cheered Biden as nonpartisan. On CBS and ABC, the President was celebrated for being highly divisive and launching personal attacks. Were they all watching the same speech?

A few hours later, Drennen lashed out at Todd again:

The cavalcade of leftist media idiocy regarding the one year anniversary of the January 6th Capitol Hill riot reached a new low on MSNBC Thursday afternoon as anchors Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell ridiculously wailed that current divisions in the country were worse than during the Civil War. Todd went so far as to utter the historically illiterate nonsense that “Lincoln’s election was more accepted in 1860,” than Joe Biden’s election in 2020.

“The election, the peaceful transfer of power, something that since the Civil War, we have never argued about, we have never had a disagreement about – actually, since the founders,” Mitchell proclaimed early in the 2:00 p.m. ET hour. That prompted Todd to chime in: “Yeah, Lincoln’s election was more accepted in 1860.”

Apparently Todd missed history class the day it was taught that half the country seceded following Lincoln’s electoral win in 1860, sparking the Civil War, which killed 600,000 people. In April of 1865, just months after being reelected in 1864, Lincoln was assassinated.

Rather than challenge such an insane and blatantly false assertion from Todd, Mitchell agreed: “Exactly. And I was just thinking about that, even the Civil War, we did not disagree with the passing of power.”

Drennen didn't mention that his employer -- through its promotion of a version of Trump's Big Lie -- does not accept Biden's eleciton.

Curtis Houck similarly lost it in bashing another speech-lover:

Continuing Thursday’s theme of news organizations allowing all nutty comparisons to fly on the anniversary of the January 6 riot, ABC News presidential historian Mark Updegrove proclaimed after President Biden’s “powerful” speech that it belonged alongside those from “FDR after Pearl Harbor,” “Lyndon Johnson after Selma,” “George W. Bush after 9/11,” and, most egregiously, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

Appearing on the network’s streaming platform and asked by host Kyra Phillips whether “history” can “be rewritten,” Updegrove replied that “the future of the country is at stake” without heeding Biden’s words (and thus his agenda), which served as “a powerful statement about democracy.”

“This was FDR after Pearl Harbor. This is Lyndon Johnson after Selma. This is George W. Bush after 9/11. Joe Biden wasn't able to make a statement after – after January 6th,” Updegrove said, adding that Biden had “wanted to unite the nation” at his inauguration, but it was time for a change.

[...]

Unfazed by the insanity that, as per his logic, Trump supporters are akin to al-Qaeda hijackers and Japanese bombers, Phillips invited him to explain “why is it so important for us to continue to remember this moment in history as we move forward.”

Having sufficiently lashed out at Biden and anyone who likes him, it was Nicholas Fondacaro's turn to lash out anew at more coverage of the anniversary:

As NewsBusters documented Thursday morning, the anniversary of January 6 was their Super Bowl as the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) spent nearly 90-combined-minutes obsessing over the riot at the Capitol like their political careers depended on it. That infatuation cared over through half-time (to stick with the football nomenclature) to their evening newscasts where CBS and NBC each gave it over 80 percent of their total airtime.

NBC Nightly News was arguably the most political invested given their ties to MSNBC. Of their total airtime dedicated to delivering the news (18 minutes and 33 seconds) they spent 15 minutes and 27 seconds, or 83.3% on January 6 and stories related to it.

Not included in these time tallies are the opening teases, pre-commercial teases, teases of upcoming network content/reports, and commercials.

curiously, Fondacaro did not count up the amount of time Fox News devoted to the annniversary -- you know, for comparison purposes.

Kevin Tober, manwhile, was upset that NBC's Lester Holt did an interview with Nancy Pelosi:

NBC News has always been in the tank for the Democratic Party, and Thursday was no different. On NBC Nightly News during an exclusive interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the topic of the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol Hill riots, Lester Holt gave her a fluffy softball interview that was a borderline therapy session.  

The first question was probably the most sycophantic toward Pelosi where he asked about President Biden's divisive speech earlier in the day where he attacked former President Trump. Lester praised Biden's speech and wondered why he hadn't given it sooner:

[...]

Next up, Holt played therapist instead of journalist and asked Pelosi to share her experience on January 6 and how she felt: "I want you to take me into that day if you will. We all remember you being quickly escorted off the podium. I’ve heard you talk about it before. You didn't want to go." Holt empathized: "Do you think now, though, knowing what you know, do you think about what would have happened had you stayed?" 

Tober went on to pretend to be appalled that "Holt would try to portray partial-birth abortion-loving Pelosi as some kind of devout Catholic," going on to rant: "She has always been a bitter divisive partisan Democrat. The fact that Lester Holt would let her get away with this act shows how far in the tank he is for the liberal agenda."

Then again, Tober and the rest of the MRC crew are bitter, divisive, partisan Republicans, so maybe their media criticism isn't worth much.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:08 PM EST

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