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Tuesday, February 22, 2022
WND Responds To Biden's Jan. 6 Speech With Right-Wing Talking Points
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like its ConWeb compatriots at Newsmax, the Media Research Center and CNS, WorldNetDaily spent the anniversary of the Capitol riot playing defense and distraction and whining that the coverage might make people think bad thoughts about Donald Trump and Republicans. Unlke them, though, WND tried to cram a lot of it into a single article. Bob Unruh set up the premise in a Jan. 6 article that's ostensibly a "news" story about President Biden's speech that day:

Joe Biden on Thursday, the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, unleashed a vitriolic attack on "former president" Donald Trump, but ignored the evidence that there were, in fact, issues coming out of the 2020 presidential election that should cause concern for Americans.

Those issues are that a review of the impact of the decision by leftist legacy and social media companies to suppress accurate reporting about Hunter Biden and his foreign dealings, some apparently involving Joe Biden, revealed that had those reports been carried more widely, enough people would have withheld their vote for Joe Biden to keep Trump in the White House.

Further, an analysis confirmed that the $420 million that leftist Mark Zuckerberg of Meta handed out to mostly local election officials often with instructions to recruit Democrat voters changed enough results to turn the White House over to Biden.

What followed was a lengthy rehash of various and sundry pro-Trump, anti-Democrat grievances WND has been peddling oer the past year:

  • He complained that "Biden described last year's events as an 'armed insurrection,' when the rioters were neither armed nor have they been charged with 'insurrection.'" The police officers who were beaten by rioters using fire extinguishers and flagpoles would beg to differ on them not being "armed."
  • Another complaint: "Vice President Kamala Harris, whose office has been beset in recent weeks by multiple departures of key staff members, likened the riot, for which some 700 Americans are facing mostly trespassing and vandalism charges, to the thousands of Americans killed on Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001." Unruh didn't explain the relevance of mentioning turnover issues in Harris' office, n or did he explain how there were different from turnover issues throughout the Trump White House.
  • He whined that "While GOP legislatures in states have been working on election integrity laws, Democrats in Washington are demanding that they be given authority to control all elections nationwide."
  • He touted Trump's response to the speech, in which he "noted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan special committee to "investigate" the Jan. 6 events, which is recognized by many as a Democratic way to incorporated those circumstances into their campaigns against Republicans, and wondered why it was not investigating the full events of the 2020 race."

Unruh also rehashed a weird attack involving another right-wing bugaboo, the moneyFacebook's Mark Zuckerberg made available through his foundation to help fund the 2020 election:

WND reported earlier when research revealed that Zuckerberg handed over a total of $419.5 million to the Center for Technology and Civil Life and the Center for Election Innovation and Research leading up to the 2020 presidential election, and the two groups used it to buy Democrat [sic] votes.

Essentially.

With that money, a person could purchase 137,540,983 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Or 276,550 new Ferrari F8 Tributos, or 278 homes in San Francisco. Or one presidential election.

The warning came from William Doyle, a principal researcher at Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute in Irving, Texas, who explained his findings in a report at The Federalist.

He said Zuckerberg's money was used "to turn out likely Democratic voters."

The fact that the Caesar Rodney Institiute made its presentation about the so-called "Zuckerbucks" at the right-wing Federalist is all you need to know about the report's bias. The fact that Unruh felt the need to quickly add the word "essentially" to his claim that the money was used "to buy Democrat [sic] votes" also shows that's not what the money actually did. As we've noted, Zuckerberg made money available to all election agencies regardless of political leanings, which was used for various purposes, and even a report from the right-wing Foundation for Government Accountability offered no substantive evidence the money was used for partisan purposes.

Unruh noted that the Caesar Rodney report claimed that "in Wisconsin, for example, 'vote navigators' helped voters 'to answer questions, assist in ballot curing … and witness absentee ballot signatures,'" but didn't explain why this was a bad thing or why it equatd to turning out Democrats. He further groused:

The report noted of 26 grants of $1 million or more that CTCL gave to cities in Arizona and six other states, "25 went to areas Biden won in 2020."

In Wisconsin, "The CTCL funds boosted Democratic-voting Green Bay resources to $47 per voter, while most rural areas still had the same $4 per voter. Similar funding disparities occurred near Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Flint, Dallas, Houston, and other cities that received tens of millions of dollars of CTCL money."

He didn't mention that, again, money went to both Democratic and Republican-leaning counties, and the distribution is reflective of who applied for the money. Republican-leaning counties could have applied to receive money but chose not to.

Unruh had another right-wing talking point to push:

WND also reported that more than one-third of voters who chose Joe Biden were not aware of the evidence linking the former vice president to corrupt financial dealings with China through his son Hunter.

Had they known, according to the survey commissioned bv the Media Research Center, President Trump would have won at least 289 Electoral College votes.

The survey found that 13% voters of the voters who said they were unaware of the scandals would not have voted for Biden had they been made aware.

That amounted to 4.6% of Biden’s total votes.

As we've documented, that survey was done for the MRC by McLaughlin & Associates -- which worked as the pollstert for Trump's 2020 campaign. That means the poll is hardly an objective representation of things.

The fact that Unruh is all about tired, copied-and-pasted talking points and nothing about actual journalism is one more reason why WND is going down the tubes.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 5:43 PM EST
Newsmax Gives Loving, Uncritical Coverage to Trump Rallies
Topic: Newsmax

The sucking up to Donald Trump continues apace at Newsmax, which is quite desperate to remain in his good graces.

For his rally in January in Arizona, he got a Dec. 31 article from the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy announcing it. McCarthy proclaimed that "Trump and his allies have said that voter fraud in several key battleground states, including Arizona, gave Biden the election," which was surprisingly followed with a little bit of pushback: "A Republican-backed review of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, Arizona's largest county, ended without proof that the election was stolen." A Jan. 11 article by Nicole Wells followed up by touting how "Trump announced the program speakers Tuesday for his first 2022 rally in the battleground state of Arizona."

The rally itself generated a barrage of "news" articles, even though the rally could easily have been summed up in a single article:

These were all straight stenography pieces, with no attempt to fact-check anything Trump said, even though his history of being truthful is less than stellar.The same for a Jan. 17 article featuring an interview Trump did with Newsmax TV host John Bachman before the rally.

As the interview showed, Newsmax is continuing to work hard to be symbiotic witih Trump. A Jan. 20 article touted how good Newsmax's ratings were for its rally coverage:

Donald Trump may have left the White House a year ago, but ratings for Newsmax’s live coverage from his recent Arizona rally suggest the former president is as popular as ever.

Newsmax’s start-to-finish broadcast of Trump’s Jan. 15 rally in Florence, Arizona, drew 2.9 million viewers in total audience reach on cable alone, according to Nielsen.

A total of more than 5 million Americans watched the Trump rally when OTT streaming platforms that carry Newsmax are included, network data shows.

The new year and Joe Biden’s falling approval ratings seem to be increasing interest in the 45th president.

Newsmax’s cable audience for the rally was up almost 40% over his last rally, held in Iowa on Oct. 9.

Newsmax did the same thing for Trump's rally in Texas the a couple weeks later: a story on the speaker list, then one touting that Newsmax would air it, complete with an "IMPORTANT" note at the end: "Get a reminder about the rally time and latest Trump news from Newsmax, just text REMIND to 39-747 and you’ll be on the Trump List!" Then another barrage of articles on the rally itself:

Again, that was followed by an article touting the rally's ratings, this time with a focus on trying to own Fox News:

Newsmax was the big ratings-winner with its exclusive cable coverage of former President Donald Trump's rally in Texas last weekend.

Some 2.9 million cable viewers tuned in to watch the event live from Conroe — and 1.1 million of them were adults ages 35-64, the demographic craved by advertisers.

Though Newsmax is carried in 20 million fewer homes than Fox, total audience impressions for both networks during Trump's speech was almost at parity, both drawing around 1.4 million viewers per minute, according to Nielsen.

Reporter Bill Hoffmann even promoted a  Washington Post article that detailed how ridiculous its coverage was:

"Newsmax treated the Texas rally like a Super Bowl, with pre-game coverage and postgame analysis from Bill O'Reilly and Ben Carson — both former Fox News personalities — as well as an on-screen poll asking viewers whether they want Trump to run again," the Post's media reporter Jeremy Barr wrote.

Hoffmann doesn't seem to realize the Post may have mocking Newsmax for such over-the-top coverage. Or maybe he did: he didn't reproduce a statement in the article noting that "At one point, the network split the screen between Trump’s rally and an advertisement for Newsmax-branded hats."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 PM EST
CNS Recruits More Bishops To Advance Right-Wing Talking Points
Topic: CNSNews.com

The uber-Catholics who run CNSNews.com love to call on right-wing Catholic bishops to parrot anti-abortion attacks and other right-wing, anti-Biden narratives. Let's see how that campaign has been going recently.

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman invoked a bishop to complain about Biden in a Nov. 12 article:

By saying he rejects the fact that life begins at conception, President Joe Biden -- who is portrayed as a devout Catholic by the liberal media -- is not just dissenting from church teaching, but is "explicitly dissenting" from "sound science," said Salvatore Cordileone, head of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. 

"[I]t’s not a matter of religious belief when life begins," said the archbishop in an interview with America magazine. "Science tells us life begins at conception. The church affirms that. So he [Joe Biden] is explicitly dissenting not only from church teaching but from sound science."

Another article the same day by Chapman again hyped Cordelione -- whom Chapman and CNS love to quote for his dedication to bashing Nancy Pelosi -- this time elikening abortion to lynching because both involve "the killing of innocent human beings." Both articles come from the same interview in America magazine; there seems to be no journalistic reason for Chapman not to have combined them into a single article.

Chapman found a ranting bishop for a Dec. 20 article:

By signing into law a bill that repeals the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has granted a "victory to evil" and, like a "hit man," has "promoted and facilitated murder," said Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, head of the Diocese of Springfirled in Illinois.

“Governor Pritzker’s signing of HB 370 [on Dec. 17], the deceptively titled Illinois Youth Health and Safety Act, which repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, marks a dark and disgraceful moment in the history of the State of Illinois," said Bishop Paprocki in a statement.

"Those legislators who promoted and voted in support of this legislation, and the governor who signed this unjust law, have granted a five-part victory to evil in our state," said the bishop. 

Chapman returned on Jan. 17 for another bishop bashing another governor for signing a bill protecting abortion rights:

After New Jersey's Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, a Catholic, signed a bill into law last Thursday that essentially allows abortion across the board, Catholic Bishop Joseph Strickland said Murphys is "not a good Catholic," and had "bowed to the culture of death."

The Catholic bishops of New Jersey also issued a statement condemning New Jersey's Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, "which codifies into state law an individual’s right to an abortion, including late-term abortions."

"This new legislation absolutely and forthrightly extinguishes the human and moral identity of the unborn child," added the bishops.

Chapman waited until the seventh paragraph to note that Strickland is is actually the bishop of the diocese of Tyler, Texas -- more than 1,500 miles away from New Jersey, making his opinion jurisdictionally irrelevant.

Chapman kept up his agenda in a Feb. 2 article:

In response to Rep. Susie Lee's (D-Nev.) recent commentary in defense of abortion, the Catholic bishop of Las Vegas, George Leo Thomas, has called on all pro-abortion Catholic politicians in the Diocese of Las Vegas to voluntarily stop receiving Holy Communion. 

"If a politician from the Diocese of Las Vegas finds himself or herself at odds with the church's teaching on the sacredness of human life, I ask him or her voluntarily to refrain from the reception of Holy Communion while holding public office."

Chapman went on to quote retired Pope Benedict -- a favorite of right-wing Catholics -- advocating excommunication as permissible of Catholic politicans who aren't sufficiently anti-abortion.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 1:17 AM EST
Monday, February 21, 2022
The Pattern Continues: MRC Hypes Bad Biden Job Numbers, Buries The Good Ones
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez has a biased tradition of bashing President Biden when employment numbers don't look so good, then staying silent when jobs numbers improve the following month. He's determined to keep that tradition going.

When December's job numbers came in below expectations, Vazquez was quick to post a Jan. 7 item attacking CNN for allegedly spinning things:

CNN just can’t catch a break in its crusade to spin President Joe Biden’s atrocious economy in a way that benefits his image.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released an awful jobs report showing that the economy only added a “dismal” 199,000 jobs against a 422,000 projection by economists. That’s a miss of 223,000. The labor force participation rate remained stagnant from November at a low 61.9 percent. CNN scrambled to spin the news in it’s write-up headlined, “Jobs disappoint in December, but unemployment falls to 3.9%.” After conceding that the “fewest jobs added in any month of 2021” was a “major disappointment,” CNN put asinine spin on the news: “Even so, 2021 will go down in history as a year of record-breaking jobs growth: America added 6.4 million jobs last year, the most since records started in 1939. Every single month brought jobs gains.” Ironically, CNN included a graph in its article that undercut its entire argument. [Emphasis added.]

The graph tracked the trend of the recovery of the jobs market following the February 2020 freefall. However, the caption for the graphic read, “The United States lost a total of 22 million jobs in March and April of 2020. By December 2021, the number of jobs were 3.6 million shy of February 2020 levels.” CNN is saying the quiet part out loud. No, the jobs market is not experiencing “growth” because it hasn’t even fully recovered the jobs it lost in 2020. In fact, Biden’s disastrous economic policies may be why the jobs market still hasn’t been able to fully recover.

Vazquez's evidence that Biden's economic policies are "disastrous" and suppressing job growth is a less-than-biased editorial from the right-wing New York Post. Also, it is undeniably true that 6.4 million jobs were added last year -- not that Vazquez will concede that. Indeed, on Jan. 17 Vazquez found someone to push the right-wing media's preferred narrative that those jobs somehow don't count because they weren't additions to pre-COVID Trump-era numbers:

A top economist at the ADP Research Institute slapped down the asinine leftist narrative that the United States is experiencing explosive jobs growth. ADP Chief Economist joined CNBC Squawk Box following the shocking news Jan.12 that inflation had spiked a whopping 7 percent year-over-year in December, the highest level since 1982.

After noting that real wage earnings, “which are  negative,” Richardson said whatever wage increases the media has been propping up as a bellwether for a peachy economy was driven by “labor shortages.” Richardson then dropped the hammer: “The economy — and this is an important point — hasn’t added one single job from the 2019 high watermark. Not one. All the jobs that we have seen gained are recovered jobs that were lost.” She continued: “We are not yet producing new jobs. In fact, we’re still about nearly four million jobs short. So these wage gains are coming on top of a shrinking workforce.” 

So much for CNN’s recent whitewash of poor December jobs numbers. “Even so,2021 will go down in history as a year of record-breaking jobs growth: America added 6.4 million jobs last year, the most since records started in 1939. Every single month brought jobs gains,” CNN wrote earlier this month. Yikes. [Emphasis added.]

Vazquez curiously didn't mention who was president in 1982 when inflation was so high.

Needless to say, when a whopping 467,000 jobs were added in January, Vazquez followed his extablished pattern and stayed silent -- it's against MRC policy to say anything nice about a Democrat if doing so doesn't advance right-wing talking points.It took a few days for Vazquez to figure something to attack, andhe found it for a Feb. 9 post:

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board threw a big wrench into the media machine celebrating President Joe Biden’s so-called win on the better-than-expected January jobs report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a Feb. 4 report showing the economy added 467,000 jobs, which blew past estimates. The media swallowed the news whole. CNBC’s headline was: “Payrolls show surprisingly powerful gain of 467,000 in January despite omicron surge.”

ABC News salivated: “US economy defies omicron and adds 467,000 jobs in January.” But The Journal had a surprisingly different take, and it was an eye-opener: “Who knows what to make of Friday’s report on January jobs? The employer survey showed a blowout of 467,000 net new jobs for the month, but the numbers were skewed by major Labor Department revisions for the U.S. population and civilian employment.”[Emphasis added.]

Here was The Journal’s bombshell conclusion: “Without those changes, the jobs number would have declined.” It continued: “Add the complexities of adjusting for winter weather and Covid’s Omicron variant, and no one should make too much of this one monthly report.” [Emphasis added.]

Of course, none of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows thought The Journal’s narrative-shattering context was worth mentioning when they touted the jobs numbers on their Feb. 4 evening broadcasts.

Actually, the only person swallowing things whole is Vazquez. The Journal editorial in which those assertions were made provided no evidence to back up the claim. In the absence of such evidence, that makes this an opinion, not fact.

Meanwhile, MRC colleague Kathleen Krumhansl was playing whataboutism to distract from those numvbers. in a Feb. 9 post, she grumbled that in a Univision report on the January numbers, "not a word was said about how many of the new “over 460,000 jobs” were actually for Hispanics- their actual audience." Then it was Trump whataboutism time:

Let's take a look back to the Trump jobs miracle. As MRC Latino noted in 2018, the lowest ever Hispanic unemployment rate was IGNORED by the Spanish-speaking media. Never mind that at the moment, the 4.6% unemployment rate among Hispanic in the United States had reached its lowest level in the 45 years since the agency first started keeping records on the statistic, back in 1973.

One would think that such a historic achievement would be heralded over the nation’s leading Spanish-language television news programs, but that was not the case despite Hispanic unemployment dropping to around 3 percent, with a booming economy and record numbers of Hispanics entering the workforce. In fact, Latino-interest media didn't focus on a Trump jobs report until the Covid-induced employment collapse of April 2020.

The MRC just can't let Trump go, it seems.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EST
Fake News: WND Uncritically Repeats Trump's False Claim About Pelosi, National Guard
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh subserviently wrote in a Jan. 21 article:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan congressional committee assigned to review the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot hasn't put her on the schedule for questioning.

And they're not likely to, as they apparently are trying to send the message that all of the fault rests with President Trump.

But Trump said it's Pelosi who actually holds a responsibility for the events of that day.

He said during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, according to a report from Just the News, that he authorized 20,000 National Guard troops to be on hand that day.

But Pelosi refused them.

The 20,000 troops would have handled, easily, the few hundreds who went to the building and broke windows or doors, and entered and vandalized. Many hundreds others simply walked through open doors, sometimes held for them by security officers, to walk around and take selfies.

Hannity asked Trump if he authorized use of the National Guard for that day.

"100%," Trump said. He said there are many witnesses to that decision.

He continued, "They turned it down. Nancy Pelosi turned it down."

[...]

Trump said he wanted 10,000 Guard members available, and upped that to 20,000 based on a suggestion from Kash Patel, chief of staff to the acting secretary of defense.

"I wanted to have soldiers and/or National Guard, and Nancy Pelosi turned it down, and if she didn't turn it down, you would not have had any problem," Trump said.

Unruh is not going to tell yuou that Trump's claim is false. As one fact-checker wrote, "There is no evidence Trump made any formal request about deploying 10,000 National Guard troops before the rally":

A government memo about the events leading up to Jan. 6, statements from Pelosi’s office and the Pentagon and testimony from the former House sergeant-at-arms show Trump did not request 10,000 troops ahead of the rally.

Drew Hammill, Pelosi's spokesperson, told USA TODAY that Pelosi’s office was not consulted or contacted regarding any request for the National Guard ahead of Jan. 6, and he noted the speaker of the House does not have the power to reject that type of request.

Trump's claim that Pelosi was in charge of security at the Capitol on the day of the riot is also not true: "The Capitol Police are overseen by a number of entities and individuals, none of whom are Pelosi."

The fact that Unruh has no interest in reporting is one major reason why WND is going down the tubes.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EST
MRC Thinks Right-Wing Misinfo Being Exposed Is Just As Bad As Authoritarian Censorship
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Clay Waters wrote in a Jan. 18 post:

The New York Times is concerned about media censorship and bias -- in Serbia. “Eastern Europe Tests New Forms of Media Censorship,” by Andrew Higgins from Belgrade, appeared in Monday’s paper and it was both ironic and rich to see the Times devote 1,500 words to a story of how governments in Serbia, Poland, and Hungary are leaning on independent media outlets that don’t toe the government line.

Meanwhile, Times has long embraced Big Tech squelching supposedly offensive viewpoints cross the pond, with their reporters taking the role of self-appointed hall monitor of internet speech.

Conservatives in the United States might recognize some parallels between the kinder, gentler state-thuggery in Eastern Europe and the myriad ways (documented at MRC's #FreeSpeech America) Silicon Valley tech leaders at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Amazon, etc., try to control the nation’s political conversation by suppressing voices that displease the liberal elite.

What's an example of an "offensive viewpoint" promoted by conservatives? This is pretty much all Waters had: "While in the United States, there was timely social media censorship of an accurate story (the contents of Hunter Biden ’s laptop) inconvenient to the Democratic presidential campaign on the eve of a presidential election. How is that not electoral inference?"

In fact, only right-wing sources are claiming the laptop story is "accurate,"and it was a sketchy enough story that even Fox News wouldn't break it (that honor went to its Murdoch corporate sibling, the New York Post).To this day, no ironclad proof of the laptop's provenance and chain of custody has emerged, and there's still no reason to treat it as anything other than the sketchy October surprise it was, incessantly hyped by right-wing outlets desperate to derail Joe Biden's election.

Waters offered up another example: "In the U.S., Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has funneled money to Democratic counties in the name of helping 'election administration,' through the Center for Tech and Civic Life." In fact, the foundation funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made money available to all election agencies regardless of political leanings, which was used for various purposes, and even a report from the right-wing Foundation for Government Accountability offered no substantive evidence the money was used for partisan purposes.

Waters conmtinued to whine:

Over here, Big Tech has outsized power over American politics and uses it to muzzle or limit distribution of stories and ideas it doesn’t approve of, with skepticism about masks, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns serving as particular targets for online censors.

Noting the plight of the one independent channel in Serbia, Higgins wrote: “A huge new housing area under construction for security officials near Belgrade, for example, has refused to install SBB’s cable, the company said.”

Over here, there are calls for cable providers to remove conservative media outlets like One America News and Newsmax, even conservative chat sites like Parler. Calls for media personalities that offer independent viewpoints on Covid, like uber-popular podcaster Joe Rogan, to be squelched in the name of public health.

Note that Waters pulled that criticism out of context for what they were being criticized for, in order to falsely suggest these outlets and plaforms were being attacked for merely being conservative. According to the Washington Examiner article to which Waters linked, OAN, Newsmax  and Parler were criticized beause they amplified false information about election fraud and helped incite an attempted insurrection at the Capitol. And Rogan was, in fact, hurting public health by uncritically promoting misinformation about COVID.

Waters concluded: "The parallels between Eastern Europe government censorship and U.S. Big Tech censorship aren’t exact. But even for the typical reporter who loathes the conservative press, aren’t they far too close for comfort?" In fact, they're not close at all. Those authoritarian leaders are actively supprssing dissent for simply dissenting; conservatives are playing victim because they get caught spreading misinformation and face consequences for doing so.And the fact that right-wingers have uinelashed a slew of social-media apps prove that they're not being "censored" at all.

One other note: the MRC has previously praised the authoriterian leaders of Poland and Hungary for criticizing "big tech" despite their aggressive censorship attempts on their own people.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 5:23 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Financial Non-Accountability At CNS: The Inevitable Biden Flip-Flop
Topic: CNSNews.com

Now that a Democrat is president, CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey is all about being a deficit hawk again and blaming Biden for the increasing national debt. Read more >>


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 PM EST
MRC's Graham Spins Trump's Inability To Deal With Journalist's Questions
Topic: Media Research Center

In the eyes of the Media Research Center, Donald Trump can do no wrong -- especially when he's bashing the "liberal media." So when Trump petulantly hung up NPR reporter Steve Inskeep rather than questions he didn't want to answer about his false claims regarding election, MRC executive Tim Graqham went into spin mode in a Jan. 12 post, pinning most of the blame on Inskeep for committing the offense of asking questions of Trump while an NPR employee and playing whataboutism over previous NPR interviews of Democratic presidents:

In his first presidential campaign and during his presidency, Donald Trump was interviewed by many liberal outlets but he never granted an interview to NPR and PBS. He understood that he was running as a populist and they are elitist channels. They’re taxpayer-funded, but sound like they’re Democrat-owned.

That streak just came to an end as Trump granted an interview Tuesday to NPR morning anchor Steve Inskeep. They planned a 15-minute interview – and Trump ended it at nine minutes. Inskeep began by asking Trump about the coronavirus and vaccines, but soon shifted into a battery of inquiries about the 2020 election and how Trump has not been able to prove he somehow won in a landslide. That went on long enough that Trump decided he had said enough:

[...]

There are two takeaways from Inskeep's presidential interviews: 

1. For the most part, Steve Inskeep's questions to Trump were hardballs, but fact-based hardballs. Other than nudging Trump that the election was all about him -- as if the pro-Biden media didn't run it that way? -- he didn't lecture Trump. He presented quotes and information to Trump. Full transcript here.

2. For the most part, Steve Inskeep's many "unusually relaxed" interviews with Obamaoffered softballs. His overall record remains tough on Republicans, soft on Democrats. See Inskeep's gush over radical-left failed Biden nominee Soule Omarova. Then see him get offended when a pro-life guest used the word "abortionist."

Even Graham couldn't find fault with Inskeep's line of questioning -- but he has committed the original sin of being an employee of NPR and, thus, must always be criticized.

When personal enemy Brian Stelter of CNN claimed that "It is exceedingly rare for Trump to talk to any broadcaster who isn't a MAGA media loyalist. It basically never happens," Graham ranted in response:

What? "It basically never happens?" Lesley Stahl? Lester Holt? Long nasty town hall with Savannah Guthrie? Stelter should tell us how many interviews Biden has granted to conservative media. Trump has obviously granted more interviews to liberal media over his presidency than Biden has been doing. President Biden has not granted an interview yet to NPR or PBS. But we can guess it will be soft whenever it arrives.

Graham thinks any interviewer who doesn't suck up to Trump the way he accuses "liberal media" journalists of sucking up to Democrats is automatically biased. He has never criticized a right-wing journalist for softball interviews of Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 AM EST
WND Totally Buys Into Imaginary 'Mass Formation Psychosis' Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in November, WorldNetDailiy touted COVID misinformer Robert Malone's claim that promotion of COVID vaccines was nothing but "mass formation psychosis," his version of the madness of crowds. That's not really a thing, of course -- it's not a legitmate psychological term -- but it sounds good coming from a guy who's trying to sound smart in peddling his misinformation, and WND ate it up. Michael Schisler manufactured a definition for it in his Jan. 6 column:

In humans, Mass Formations, whether naturally occurring such as the case within plagues, or synthetic constructs such as witnessed in Nazi Germany, have often been exploited for political gain.

Mass Formation theory holds that the left's insistence that only two binary categories of vaccination status exist (i.e., a person is either fully vaccinated or is unvaccinated) is a tactic to pit various segments of the population against each other in an effort to coerce the unending compliance of all.

Which, of course, is a political end goal of a greater plan.

Also, according to Mass Formation theory, the more absurd the narrative becomes, the more strongly many believers of the narrative cling to the absurdities. This phenomenon occurs because believers are so fearful of the pre-narrative threat that going along with any absurdity is preferable as long as it is accompanied by a promise of delivery from the threat.

That's a definition that fits anti-vaxxers like Malone and WND much closer than vaccine advocates. But no, Schisler says:

Mass Formation thought says to deny the existence of early treatment regimes.

Mass Formation thought says to withhold all treatment until the disease has progressed to the final phase, and then give oxygen and blood thinners.

Mass Formation thought says only to administer anti-virals after viral replication is complete and the body so weakened that it cannot withstand the toxic effects of the administered anti-viral.

Would medicine ever advocate for ineffective vaccines and extremely aggressive screening, only to send each and every patient having stages one, two and three cancer home, and completely refuse any and all treatment until the disease has progressed to stage four? And then only give them chemo known not to work, some heparin and some oxygen?

This is exactly what is happening with COVID patients due to Mass Formation thought.

A Jan. 25 article by Bob Unruh hyped how ex-guitar god and current anti-vaxxer Eric Clapton has bought in as well:

Famed rock guitarist Eric Clapton says he was duped into taking one of the experimental COVID-19 jabs by "subliminal messaging" and "mass formation hypnosis" and others shouldn't fall for it.

Clapton's recent comments came in an interview posted to a YouTube channel called the Real Music Observer.

Clapton, 76, described the "disastrous" side effects he sustained after taking the jab, explaining his hands were "either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless.

Unruh surprisingly admits thatClapton has been mock for his anti-vaxxer activism,quoting one critic as saying, "When virologists and epidemiologists start playing a killer version of 'Layla,' I'll start listening to Clapton on science."

Scott Lively touted the nonexistent psychosis and Malone's promotion of it in his Jan. 31 column, adding, "My point in this article is not primarily to help spread the word about this important topic but to caution everyone on the right that people on BOTH sides of a polarized society are susceptible to mob psychology. My greater purpose is to remind/explain how an authentic biblical worldview provides immunity from this psychosis." He, unsurprisingly, turned things to his own homophobic obsession:

Dr. Malone uses "mass formation psychosis" to explain the behavior of the left in their intellectual surrender to the official COVID-19 narrative. I would argue that their surrender to the LGBT agenda, especially the truly insane aspects of transgenderism, is a better example.

I would also argue that the QAnon narrative is an example of the same phenomenon on the right, and is very likely driven by the exact same puppet masters from their alphabet-soup agency bunkers. (I'm still getting occasional emails from QAnon holdouts – or agents pretending to be holdouts – predicting imminent mass arrests of the Biden administration and its co-conspirators)[.]

Lively, however, did not criticize anti-vaxxers as an example of "mass formation psychosis," even though they have chosen to believe things that are so easily disproven.

Andy Schlafly praised Malone for promoting it in his Feb. 8 column:

In Rogan's Dec. 30 interview of Robert Malone, M.D., the respected scientist likened mass vaccination to "mass formation psychosis," in which "anybody who questions" the prevailing narrative is attacked. Liberals forced removal of that podcast from Spotify and YouTube, but Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, placed a transcript in the Congressional Record where Nancy Pelosi has not censored it.

Again, if it applies to anyone, it applies to anti-vaxxers who attack anyone who conflicts with their false "prevailing narrative."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EST
Updated: Monday, February 21, 2022 1:09 AM EST
Sunday, February 20, 2022
MRC Praises Right-Wing Reporters Hurling Hostile Questions At Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center cares nothing about journalism -- it cares only about owning the libs. So when President Biden held a press conference on Jan. 19, Curtis Houck's summary piece was all about right-wing reporters -- not that he identified their ideology -- hurling hostile questions:

In a press conference Wednesday that ran nearly two hours, President Biden faced over 60 questions from 24 different reporters, but it wasn’t a surprise that the most contentious moments and questions that were most probing came from reporters that usually give Press Secretary Jen Psaki a run for her money in Fox’s Peter Doocy, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann, and newly-minted Newsmax correspondent James Rosen.

Biden was ready to give up 77 minutes into the affair when he wondered: “How — how many more hours am I doing this? I'm happy to stick around.”

Doocy was then spotted by Biden, who offered the quip that Doocy “always ask[s] me the nicest questions” even though “none of them make a lot of sense to me.”

Doocy said he has “a whole binder here” and, though Biden would only grant him one quesiton, he made it count: “New year. Why are you trying so hard in your first year to pull the country so far to the left?”

Biden replied to this scorcher by saying he’s “not” because he doesn’t “know what you consider to be too far to the left if in fact we're talking about making sure that we have the money for COVID, to put together the bipartisan infrastructure, making sure we were able to provide for those things that...would significantly reduce the burden on working class people.”

[...]

&Two reporters later, Rosen received his first crack at Biden. Saying he wanted “to raise a delicate subject, but with utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the office you hold,” the former Fox journalist invoked questions about Biden’s cognitive health:

A poll released this morning by Politico/Morning Consult found 49 percent of registered voters disagreeing with the statement, Joe Biden is mentally fit. Not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement. 

“Well, I’ll let you all make the judgment whether they're correct, thank you,” said Biden.

Rosen wasn’t done as he invited him to speculate about “why...such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness.”

With a smirk, Biden blurted out that he had “no idea.”

Houck didn't mention the reason why Rosen is a "former Fox journalist."

When Biden made a verbal stumble suggesting he might allow a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine to go unpunished, Kevin Tober cheered that "all three evening news broadcasts were flabbergasted" by the misstatement from the "geriatric president," going on to huff: "This is stunning candor from the networks. The networks must’ve known there was no way to hide these comments from their viewers, so they were forced to report on them. We applaud them regardless."

The next day, Houck returned to take "a look at the other questions from more establishment, (supposedly) objective, and/or traditional outlets." Of course, no right-wing outlet asked any of the "worst" questions, and his "best" question came from a reporter from 'the delightfully objective and refreshing NewsNation." As we've noted, the idea that a "news" operation run by former Fox News executive (and short-lived Trump White House communications director) Bill Shine and featuring ex-Fox Newsers like Leland Vittert is no reaonable person's definition of "objective."

On Jan. 21, Houck joined his boss Tim Graham's podcast to slobber over Doocy and the other right-wing reporters -- Graham would only describe them as "our side of the media, as they would see it," and not having an unambigious bias. Graham fawned over Doocy's highly biased gotcha question: "This question, Curtis, is a perfect summation of the kind of questions conservatives in general put to Biden. It putt the whole onus of the Demcodratic Party as a part of the left, you as president has been a part of the left. ... What on earth is Build Back Better? That's not a capitalist bill."

Houck nonsenically insisted Doocy's gotcha question was "about important issues of the day." Houck also sneered that Biden "is clearly not in charge of his faculties," which led to both of them cheering Rosen's question, and Graham complained that this would be treated as a "Brian Stelter question," adding that it was "a challenging question. It could be seen as a rude question, but it was stated politelyas the way James Rosen typically does these things." He too failed to mention why Rosen slid down the right-wing media food chain from Fox News to Newsmax -- apparently, sexual harassment is totally cool with Graham and Houck as long as the offender is polite about it. They also praised NewsNation without, again, mentioning that ex-Fox News staffers run it.

This was capped off with a Jan. 22 column by Jeffrey Lord declaring that Rosen "was doing his job as a journalist" with his hostile question about Biden's mental fitness, going on to whine that similar questions were asked about Donald Trump, which were not based on "facts in a poll" but on people's opinions. He added in another fit of whataboutism: "This is real journalism, something that was rarely to be seen in the Trump years as CNN and others spun, for example, the fantasy tale of Trump-Russia collusion." Lord didn't explain why, if there was no Trump-Russia "collusion," the Trump campaign met with Russian operatives dozens of times during the 2016 campaign. He too failed to mention the sexual harassment claims against Rosen.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Monday, April 4, 2022 12:27 AM EDT
CNS Columnist (And Its Editor's Buddy) Pat Buchanan Roots For Putin, Against Biden and U.S.
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com just loves it when Vladimir Putin lashes out at the U.S. and President Biden. So it's no surprise that CNS' opinion columnists are also siding with Putin and against Biden.

Chief among them, of course, is Pat Buchanan, whose 1990s presidential campaigns CNS editor Terry Jeffrey helped run. Buchanan has been on this for a while now: In his Dec. 14 column he declared, "Most autocrats are nationalists, not transnational crusaders. It is not Putin who is dividing the world based on ideology," going on to complain that Biden "sees the world as divided between saints and sinners, democrats and autocrats and, by coercion and conversion, seeks to grow the camp of the saints."

In his Dec.21 column, Buchanan demanded that ther U.S. give in to Putin's demand that Ukraine never be allowed into NATO (never mind that it has not been ninvited to join), declaring that "the chickens of NATO expansion are coming home to roost." He came to Putin's defense again in his Jan. 4 column, asserting that "The heart of Greater Russia as one ethnic, cultural and historic nation consists not only of Russia but also of Belarus and Ukraine" and that "What the U.S. should do in this Ukrainian crisis is to avoid a war with Russia, avoid an escalation, and leave our adversary with an honorable avenue of retreat."

Buchanan ranted against further NATO expansion in his Jan. 11 column in order to placate Riussia: "With NATO's continuous post-Cold War expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, America has to ask: If the risk of war with Russia grows with each new member on its borders admitted to NATO, why are we doing this? Is there no red line of Putin's Russia we will not cross?" He used his Jan. 18 column to again demand that Biden capituate to Putin and not let Ukraine or any other former Soviet countries into NATO: "Indeed, if the purpose of NATO is the defense of Europe from a revanchist Russia, why would we extend NATO so far to the east that it provokes Russia into attacking its neighbors in Europe?" Buchanan repeated that caputiation message on Feb. 1: "What the U.S. needs to do is to say with clarity that while Ukraine is free to apply to NATO, NATO is free to veto that application, and the enlargement of NATO beyond its present eastern frontiers is over, done."

In his Feb. 8 column, Buchanan portrayed Putin as an American-style president who's just seeking his own Monroe Doctrine:

Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to send his 100,000 troops now on the Crimean, Donbass and Belarusian borders of Ukraine into the country to occupy more territory we do not know.

But the message being sent by the Russian army is clear: Putin wants his own Monroe Doctrine. Putin wants Ukraine outside of NATO, and permanently.

[...]

Again, Putin's demands that ex-Warsaw Pact countries and Soviet republics be kept free of NATO installations, and that the enlargement of NATO end, if agreed to, would leave Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus permanently outside.

But if Moscow is going to push to remove NATO forces from its borderlands, this means an endless series of diplomatic-military clashes or a U.S. recognition of a Russian sphere of influence where NATO does not go.

In short, a Putin Monroe Doctrine.

Buchanan used his Feb. 18 column to cheer that Putin has effectively won -- and Biden has lost -- the first round of the Ukraine crisis:

Again, if Putin has been given private assurances that Ukraine will never be a member of NATO, he would appear to have gotten his nonnegotiable demand, as long as he does not crow about his victory.

And if Ukraine is not going to be a member of NATO, Georgia, a far smaller and far less populous nation, even farther east than Ukraine, is not going to become a NATO member either.

Who in the West, outside of Kyiv, is now demanding it?

[...]

Putin does not threaten any vital interest of the United States and does not want war with the United States. But, as a great power, Russia claims a right to secure, peaceful and friendly borders, free of military alliances designed to circumscribe, contain and control it.

And the protests Moscow is making are not without validity?

Now that the Soviet Empire is dead, the Soviet Union is dead. Communism is dormant, and the USSR has devolved into 15 nations; why did we move our Cold War alliance onto Moscow's front porch?

Would we tolerate this?

[...]

Can we not understand the rising rage in Moscow as we convert all its former Warsaw Pact allies and ex-republics of the USSR into member states of a military alliance established to contain and control Russia?

Because Jeffrey is such a close buddy of Buchanan, he can't see how bad it makes CNS look to have such a pro-Putin, anti-American columnist.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 20, 2022 1:16 PM EST
Saturday, February 19, 2022
MRC Attacks As 'DERANGED' The Opposite Version Of An Argument It Made A Month Before
Topic: Media Research Center

In November, the Media Research Center's Bill D'Agostino made an interesting declaration in a Nov. 30 declared: "If Darrell Brooks were a white man who drove a car into a crowd of black people, the media would still be talking about Waukesha." We pointed out in response that it could easily be proven that the MRC and other right-wing media gave disproportionate attention to the incident in Waukesha, Wis., in which Brooks allegedly ran down people on a parade route, killing six, is precisely because Brooks is black -- and that the MRC gave short shrift to a school shooting in Michigan around the same time because the shooter was white and his parents were Trump supporters.

The MRC ignored us, but when MSNBC's Chris Hayes made a similar argument, Kevin Tober went into full meltdown mode in a Dec. 30 post:

Chris Hayes has a long history of making absurd and hateful claims on his nightly MSNBC show, but it appears there is no comment or bizarre conspiracy theory that’s too low for him. On Wednesday night’s edition of All In, Hayes spent an entire segment dismissing America’s rising crime rates, and questioned the motives of any network that dared to cover them.

During the second-to-last segment of the show when Hayes came back from a commercial break, he went into a diatribe in which he dismissed the fact that shoplifting in the United States had spiked in recent months. Hayes started off by whining about one of his favorite targets, Fox News and “right-wing media,” made the story a priority:

[...]

Hayes in response, as he is known to do, completely drove the conversation into tinfoil hat conspiracy theory land by accusing Fox News of loving to show their viewers footage of black people stealing merchandise from stores: 

There is nothing that Fox loves more than surveillance footage of particularly black people stealing a thing. And they will run that 24/7 if they can.

Again, this argument is merely the opposite of the one Tober's colleague made just a month before, yet Tober calls Hayes "DERANGED" in the headline for making it -- he'll never say that to D'Agostino. Yet there is plenty of evidence that Fox News engages in race-baiting, and that it extends to its crime coverage.

Interestingly, Tober doesn't even bother to rebut Hayes' claim outside of trying to shout it down -- perhaps because she knows he can't honestly rebut it. Instead, he tried to reinforce the Fox News narrative: "MSNBC can keep denying reality all they want but that won’t make the problem of skyrocketing crime go away. All indications are that the policies and politicians they support are the main drivers of the crime that we are seeing in so many of our nation’s major cities."

Of course, Tober offers no proof that "all indications" prove this -- apparently he's forgotten that the pandemic upended a lot of things, civility being one of them. But he gets paid to push a narrative, not necessarily to adhere to facts while doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 AM EST
WND's Farah Mad That The Truth Interferes With His Ashli Babbitt Martyrdom Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is desperate as the rest of WND to manufacture a martyr narrative around Ashli Babbitt, the insurrectionist shot and killed by police at the Capitol riot. He ranted in his Jan. 5 column:

The Associated Press, once a great news service, asked a question this week about Ashli Babbitt, the one woman to lose her life at the Jan. 6 Capitol kerfuffle to an assassin under the cover of law.

Is she a "martyr"? Yes, AP, she is!

Michael Biesecker, the hitman for the AP, victimized the Air Force veteran once again, after she was deprived of her life without even a warning by a "law enforcement officer" intent on killing her. What was her "crime"? At most, trespassing.

The story's headline asks the question: "Ashli Babbitt a martyr? Her past tells a more complex story." The "complex" story was beneath contempt. Since when does American journalism tell the ugliest smears about a crime victim, who never got a chance to confront her assailant or have her day in court or to rest at peace?

Answer: When the Jan. 6 Capitol is the scene of the heinous, inexcusable, unjustified crime of murder.

In the story, Babbitt is characterized as "the future insurrectionist." She never lifted a finger! She walked into the U.S. Capitol, without a weapon, and a few minutes later, was shot to death by a law enforcement officer who fired his gun against all police procedure in any jurisdiction of the land. Babbitt never saw it coming.

At no point does Farah dispute any of the facts in the AP story, nor did he provide a link to it -- he simply whined that they were made public. Andhe made sure not to mention the fact that AP reported that "Babbitt had become consumed by pro-Trump conspiracy theories and posted angry screeds on social media. She also had a history of making violent threats."

Instead, Farah huffed that the officer who killed Babbitt was "cleared of murder by Nancy Pelosi's goon squad – which we remember this day, the anniversary of Jan. 6." Needless to say, Farah offers no evidence to back up his "goon squad" claim. That interferes with his martyrdom narrative: "Ashli Babbitt was 35 years old the day she died. She 5-foot-2 and 115 pounds. That was the only 'victim' of the so-called Capitol riot, though the reporter claims a total if five deaths."

But, again, Farah disputes no fact in the AP story. He's mad that the truth interferes with his narrative -- and he still doesn't understand that clinging to false narratives like this, and not a "big tech" consoiracy against him, is what's killing WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2022 1:14 AM EST
Friday, February 18, 2022
MRC Melts Down Over Transgender 'Jeopardy!' Champion
Topic: Media Research Center

Given that's official Media Research Center policy to hate transgender people, it's not surprising that the MRC would have a meltdown over any trans person who's positively portrayed in the media. So when transgender woman Amy Schneider became the highest-winning female contestant on "Jeopardy!", Gabriel Hays delivered the hate-filled goods in a Dec. 29 post:

Maybe this sounds petty, but seriously the highest earning woman Jeopardy! player should be a distinction reserved for an actual woman, not a mentally ill man pretending to be a woman.

In yet another competition – in addition to high school sports or the Olympics – a literal man is being acknowledged as being one of the top women in its contest.

Jeopardy! contestant and trans woman Amy Schneider (a biological man) has had a great run on Jeopardy!, recently topping off his winnings on the contest at an enviable $768,600. 

And yeah that’s awesome! Good for him! Granted that’s nowhere near that all-time greatest earnings from other male Jeopardy! winners like Brad Rutter and his nearly $5 million in earnings.

When previous top female winner Larisa Kelly, in Hays' words, "denounced her own achievement to praise the trans man as the new female record holder," Hay's derangement ramped up:

No Kelly, you don’t have to sacrifice your remarkable achievement at the altar of wokeness! I know it may feel as though it's the right thing, but it's not! 

But it was too late. She let the destructive force corrupt her and freely gave her record to a man.

“Congratulations to Amy on becoming the woman with the highest overall earnings in the show's history,” she concluded in her tweet. That’s it. Game over. The patriarchy has now subverted Jeopardy!’s best female player.

[...]

Apparently, a woman doesn’t mean anything anymore, beyond being a person in a wig who may or may not have female genitalia. And then to watch someone like that talk big as if they were the Susan B. Anthony of answering questions on a game show, oh it’s ridiculous and so smug.

But we all know the truth. Schneider is a fifth-place man and NOT A WOMAN!

Just the mindless hate we'd expect from a professional transphobe.

This was not all. A Jan. 8 post by Autumn Johnson conferred victim status on right-wing blogger Matt Walsh -- a notorious homophobe and transphobe whose stunt of pretending to  move to a Virginia school district for the sole purpose of spewing anti-LGBT hate at a school board the MRC enthusiastically promoted -- for betting suspended from Twitter for complaining about Schneider, among other things:

On Friday, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh was suspended from Twitter for daring to tweet about transgenderism in light of their dominance over female records in everything from Jeopardy! to female sports.

“The greatest female Jeopardy champion of all time is a man,” Walsh tweeted. “The top female college swimmer is a man. The first female four star admiral in the Public Health Service is a man. Men have dominated female high school track and the female MMA circuit. The patriarchy wins in the end.”

Walsh doubled down, adding: “I am not referring to an individual person as if she is two people. Everyone else can run around sounding like maniacs if they want but I will not be participating. No thank you.”

His twelve-hour ban starts after he deletes the tweets, but in discussing his Twitter suspension with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, he said he was “suspended...because I pointed out that biological males are men.”

To the folks at the MRC, Walsh's transphobia isn't hate -- it's just another day at the office.

Meanwhile, Schneider has taken all this transphobic hate in stride: "I’d like to thank all the people who have taken the time, during this busy holiday season, to reach out and explain to me that, actually, I’m a man. Every single one of you is the first person ever to make that very clever point, which had never once before crossed my mind.”


Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2022 9:05 AM EST
WND Still Pushing Bogus Ashli Babbitt Martyr Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh downgraded the Capitol riot to a "ruckus" in a Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article attempting to turn Ashli Babbitt into a martyr:

It's already known that internal police documents about the shooting death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt by a U.S. Capitol police officer during the ruckus on Jan. 6, 2021, show there was no reason for her to die.

Now an analysis by the Epoch Times reveals it was Babbitt who "desperately tried to prevent rioters from vandalizing the doors leading to the Speaker's Lobby at the Capitol that day, even stepping between one troublemaker and officers guarding the doors."

Democrats, and their allies in the legacy media, have portrayed her over and over as a rioter who was an the Capitol as part of an "insurrection," which likely is more a political claim that anything else.

The Epoch Times said its "frame-by-frame video evidence" confirmed that the veteran was shot and killed by a police officer who, according to witnesses, did not issue a verbal warning, as she tried to get through a broken window.

"Video clips appear to show she tried to prevent the attack, not join it," the Times reported.

But because Unruh doesn't bother to do any fact-checking, he ignores the fact that the Epoch Times -- a biased pro-Trump publication -- could be wrong. PolitiFact documented just how speculative the Epoch Times account is:

The article largely ignored the actions that prompted Babbitt’s fatal shooting, when she tried to push through the window to the Speaker’s Lobby. In an interview after the riot, Baranyi said the police were warning her to stop, but that "she didn’t heed the call."

The article instead focused on the buildup to that moment, claiming that the footage captured by those who were there, when slowed down, showed Babbitt trying "to prevent the attack, not join it." Some of that footage came from John Sullivan, an activist controversial on both sides of the political spectrum, whose presence fueled the antifa falsehood, and who faces several charges.

The Epoch Times’ evidence for its assertion: that Babbitt had "looks of shock and concern" on her face; that she was "so distressed at the violence, she jumped up and down in frustration"; that she "confronted" Alam before he punched the window she later climbed through; that she winced at his punch; that and she at one point shouted, "Stop! No! Don’t! Wait!"

Those claims are speculative and unsubstantiated. Videos of the incident do not clearly capture all that Babbitt was saying and doing, let alone feeling, at the time.

[...]

Experts in multimedia forensics told PolitiFact it’s nearly impossible to discern from Sullivan’s video what Babbitt was saying. She’s far away from Sullivan’s microphone in a loud room with many people shouting, making it difficult to attribute speech directly to her. 

"This is a classic ‘cocktail party effect’ recording of an unknown number of speakers, overlapped, speaking loud," said Catalin Grigoras, director of the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, Denver. Grigoras and other experts said the science available to experts would likely be unable to isolate Babbitt’s voice from Sullivan’s video.

So, no, the Epoch Times article doesn't actually support the claims it's making.  But Unruh doesn't care if those claims are true -- they were made, they fit into WND's far-right narrative to turn Babbitt into a martyr, and that's all that matters.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:44 PM EST

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