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Sunday, February 27, 2022
More CNS Columnists Laud Putin, Bash Biden And NATO
Topic: CNSNews.com

Pat Buchanan is not the only CNSNews.com columnist who is advocating that President Biden and the U.S. capitulate to Vladimir Putin's demands over Ukraine. Some just want to avoid war, while others simply love Putin or hate Biden that much.

Doug Bandow is the former camp in his Jan. 27 column, beginning by whining, "What is it about Republican legislators that makes them so fond of wreaking death and destruction upon others?" He then went on to write that "Nothing suggests that Putin wants what can never be given." The same day, a column by Ted Galen Carpenter lamented that "U.S. assistance to anti-Russian guerrillas would further poison bilateral relations" and that "actively assisting Ukrainian resistance forces could prove embarrassing and discrediting for professed U.S. commitments to liberty and democracy." Carpenter went on to blame the U.S. for the situation: "If Washington had not foolishly pushed the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders and interfered in Ukraine’s internal affairs, turning the nation into a Western political and military client, Moscow would have few reasons to make trouble for the United States."

Michael Letts used his Feb. 14 column (also published at WorldNetDaily) to accuse Biden of wagging the dog over Ukraine:

My question is: Why do anything? The U.S. has no vital interests there. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. So there is only one possible compelling reason Joe Biden has to pull the Russian Bear’s tail, putting the U.S. at risk of receiving anything as fundamental as cyber attacks to full-scale thermonuclear World War III.

The reason is ratings.

Historically, being a wartime president is synonymous with high public approval ratings.

George W. Bush was not doing that well until 9/11, when he shot up to a 90 percent approval rating.

But are high poll numbers worth the risk? No.

Are high poll numbers even guaranteed to raise Biden’s chances in a future election? No.

Laurence Vance, a writer for a libertarian think tank, devoted a Feb. 16 column to parroting non-intervention talking points from uber-libertarian Ron Paul to argue against interfering in Ukraine: "Non-interventionism is practical, sane, moral, just, and right. It is the foreign policy of the Founding Fathers — and Ron Paul."

Jose Nino argued for dissolving NATO in a Feb. 21 column because it "has done scant little to uphold middle American interests" and "would incentivize countries to pursue more independent foreign policies and start taking defense matters into their own hands, like any self-respecting nation that believes in sovereignty should." He also touted "populist presidential candidates like Eric Zemmour" in France, who "have explicitly called for a rapprochement between Russia and France."In fact, Zemmour is a far-right politician, an anti-immigration Islamophobe who has been fined for peddling hate speech.

Carpenter returned for a Feb. 22 column whining that "Foreign policy hawks in the United States habitually equate a noncommunist Russia with the totalitarian Soviet Union, insisting that today's Russia is not the USSR and softpedaling Putin by comparison: "Politically, Putin’s rule embodies a conservative authoritarianism, not the outsized, revolutionary ambitions of the USSR’s communist rulers."

On Feb. 24 -- several hours before Russia invaded Ukraine -- R. Emmett Tyrrell suggested that Putin might be hesitating on an invasion, making sure to take a shot at Biden: "A couple of weeks ago, I saw something in Putin's eyes that I had not seen before. He seemed to lapse into hesitancy. For the first time ever, he seemed a bit flabby. Is he keeping with his martial arts regimen? Frankly, he looked stunned and put me in mind of our almost 80-year-old president, President Joe Biden. Could Putin be giving his grand design a second thought?"

The same day, Ryan McMaken complained that "countless media stories" were trying to link Russia with China, insisting that "Russia is not the geopolitically secure juggernaut many Russophobes apparently believe it to be."

Nino returned for a Feb. 25 column once again blaming NATO for Russia's invasion:

With Russia launching a military invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, the corporate press has grown shrill in its calls for punishing Russia with draconian sanctions, supplying Ukraine with increased military aid, and diplomatically isolating the Eurasian power as much as possible. The two-minutes hate against Russia has been cranked up to 11, thereby making any nuanced analysis of why the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has reached such a point almost impossible.

The failure of policy wonks to understand why Russia took decisive action against Ukraine is emblematic of a flawed grand strategy that has dominated D.C. foreign policy circles since the end of the Cold War. Once the dust settled from the Soviet Union’s collapse, international relations specialists were convinced that the U.S. had entered an “end of history” moment where liberal democracy would become the governing standard worldwide. Former Soviet Union (FSU) states would be the preliminary trial ground for this new liberal democratic project.

Carpenter served up another NATO-blaming column the same day: "Vladimir Putin bears primary responsibility for this latest development, but NATO’s arrogant, tone-deaf policy toward Russia over the past quarter-century deserves a large share as well." He also insisted that "It was entirely predictable that NATO expansion would ultimately lead to a tragic, perhaps violent, breach of relations with Moscow."

Meanwhile, Buchanan served up more praise for Putin and NATO-bashing in his Feb. 25 column:

Putin did exactly what he had warned us he would do.

Whatever the character of the Russian president, now being hotly debated here in the USA, he has established his credibility.

When Putin warns that he will do something, he does it.

[...]

Whatever we may think of Putin, he is no Stalin. He has not murdered millions or created a gulag archipelago.

Nor is he "irrational," as some pundits rail. He does not want a war with us, which would be worse than ruinous to us both.

Putin is a Russian nationalist, patriot, traditionalist and a cold and ruthless realist looking out to preserve Russia as the great and respected power it once was and he believes it can be again.

But it cannot be that if NATO expansion does not stop or if its sister state of Ukraine becomes part of a military alliance whose proudest boast is that it won the Cold War against the nation Putin has served all his life.

President Joe Biden almost hourly promises, "We are not going to war in Ukraine." Why would he then not readily rule out NATO membership for Ukraine, which would require us to do something Biden himself says we Americans, for our own survival, should never do: go to war with Russia?

Buchanan's column is only a couple days old, but it's already not aging well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2022 5:21 PM EST
Saturday, February 26, 2022
MRC Loves Gutfeld's Cruel 'Humor'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a cruel streak, as seen by its immature gloating over CNN's allegedly low ratings. It loves when others are cruel to its preferred targets too, which brings us to this Jan. 24 post in which Nicholas Fondacaro enjoys Greg Gutfeld's casual cruelty:

In a hilarious and pointed segment on the Fox News Channel’s The Five on Monday, co-anchor Greg Gutfeld unloaded on CNN’s Brian Stelter for taking swipes at Fox News for reporting on the fact that violent and other forms of crime were on the rise throughout President Biden’s America. Even Democratic co-host and former Congressman Harold Ford (D-TN) took Stelter and his henchman Oliver Darcy to task.

After playing a clip from CNN’s so-called “Reliable Sources” where Stelter and Darcy whined about Fox’s reporting, Gutfeld declared: “It's got to be gross to work at CNN where all you do is push these elaborate hoaxes while denying actual human suffering.”

Gutfeld recalled his jokes about Stelter being “fat,” “bald,” and “homely” and how CNN host Don Lemon and disgraced former host Chris Cuomo would repeatedly mock the rise in violent crime on-air[.]

Yes, Fondacaro thinks mocking someone's looks is "hilarious." And Gutfeld's justification for his cruelty isn't any better:

People ask me why do I constantly point out how fat Brian Stelter is, how fat and bald and homely he is. And I always tell you that no insult is worse than their ideas, as long as they mocked the black-on-black crime and death in the streets, which there is tape of Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo laughing about it. As long as they believe that I got a pass on it, then everything is on the table. You can make fun of them about anything. Right?

So, they chose this hill to die on while cops and civilians are literally dying.

How does the fact Gutfeld doesn't agree with Stelter's criticism of Fox News' cirime coverage justify Gutfeld's viciously smearing Stelter over his looks? It doesn't. But Gutfeld thinks it does -- and Fondacaro thinks his cruelty is hilarious.It's clear neither of them see Stelter as a human bein, only an enemy to be destroyed for failing to conform to right-wing groupthink. That's how conservative cancel culture works.

Which tells you all you need to know about Fondacaro and the mindset that runs the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EST
Joseph Farah's Biden Derangement Syndrome Watch, New Year Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joe Biden took the presidential oath of office Jan. 20, 2021, repeating these words: "I, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

Does anyone seriously question the words "solemnly swear," "faithfully execute," "to the best of my ability," and, most of all, "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God"?

I do.

I question every word he now speaks.

I always did.

[...]

There's so much oppression in this country. It represents the proof we have needed to know that Biden was always evil, out of touch with America, fully corrupt. Does anyone need convincing that he would steal an election if he could?

Again, I repeat what he said in his oath of office.

Does anyone seriously question the words "solemnly swear," "faithfully execute," "to the best of my ability," and, most of all, "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God"?

-- Joseph Farah, Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column

Whether it was done through the voting machines, phony ballots, illegal votes, Big Tech collusion, or just plain old corruption like Joe Kennedy once played in 1960 in the state of Illinois, anyone who still has doubts that there was widespread cheating in the 2020 election must have his head examined.

Does anyone think that Joe Biden actually got a record number of popular votes, more than Barack Obama – some 81.2 million – that year? How in the hell could he do that while hiding in his Delaware bunker?

Meanwhile, Donald Trump was drawing record crowds all over the nation. He supposedly only received 74.2 million votes.

Come on, man!

This was shameful! And we're only figuring it out now – and Joe Biden is seemingly figuring it out along with us.

What's the proof? Look at Biden now! He's so angry. He hates the American people. He blames THEM for his own failures!

How can the president of the United States not have respect and reverence for the people who (supposedly) put him in office?

[...]

Joe Biden has got all the trappings of power – and it will do him no good.

This was all predictable. I think of Barack Obama's words: "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to f–- things up."

That was stated in more normal times. But today we're witnessing Biden under extraordinary pressure – on the verge of losing his power to fool people. He's irrational. He condescending. He's frustrated. He's embarrassing himself and this once great nation.

Joseph Farah, Jan. 18 WND column

The toughest question of the night came too late.

It was a question posed by James Rosen of Newsmax. It was about a Politico poll that found a majority of voters don't think Biden is "mentally fit." He proved that point in this press conference.

What did Biden say?

He broke into a wide grin and said, "You all make the judgment that they're correct."

Rosen continued: "If you'd let me finish … why do you suppose such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness?"

"I have no idea," was Biden's response.

It was the only truthful thing Biden said the entire night.

-- Joseph Farah, Jan. 21 WND column

We don't have an actual president.

We don't even know who's calling the shots.

We don't have a vice president.

We don't have a Congress, either.

America is in a free fall.

These are the most dangerous times the nation has experienced – ever!

[...]

A recent poll shows the president is "incompetent," with 52% wanting him to take a cognitive health test and release the results. Only 43% believe him.

-- Joseph Farah, Feb. 11 WND column

You might remember, back in the administration of Barack Obama, there was a popular ditty by Victoria Jackson, late of "Saturday Night Live," called "There's a Communist Living in the White House."

​Jackson had joined the Tea Party. She had already endorsed my buddy Rush Limbaugh for president, who died just a year ago. And she came on a WND cruise to Alaska with us. She just loved to strum her ukulele while singing odes to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee.

And the funniest thing she ever sang was "There's a Communist Living in the White House."

I was thinking about that recently. If Obama was a communist, what do we have today in the White House?

A pretender? A fascist? A dunce? An incompetent? A traitor to these United States and everything they stand for? A guy who is few French fries short of a Happy Meal? A tad cognitively challenged?

Biden sees Americans as domestic "enemies." Remember when he called Americans who believed in voter integrity racists like George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis – all Democrats?

And we're supposed to believe that this is the guy who won a record number of popular votes – 81.2 million – in 2020? I wouldn't be surprised if he actually got less than half of that. For being part of that fraud, he will always live in infamy, shame, dishonor and contempt.

He's irrational. He condescending. He's frustrated. He's angry. He's embarrassing himself and this once great nation.

[...]

What is there to like about Joe Biden? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

-- Joseph Farah, Feb. 23 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 AM EST
Friday, February 25, 2022
The MRC's Mean Girls Mock CNN's Ratings Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to gloat childishly over the allegedly low ratings on non-right-wing channels. Curtis Houck is the designated childish mocker of CNN's ratings, and he brought the immature hate again in a Jan. 21 post:

CNN’s New Day co-host and insufferable liberal pundit Brianna Keilar received her turn this week to audition for the vacant 9:00 p.m. Eastern slot and, instead of it being called CNN Tonight, it was labeled Democracy in Peril. According to Nielsen Media Research, no one seemed to care as she drew fewer viewers than shows like Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, Game Show Network’s Chain Reaction, TLC’s My 600 Pound Life, and reruns of The Andy Griffith Show.

Needless to say, we’re not surprised that few seemed to tune in for a nightly dose of her penchant for spewing venom against just about anyone who disagrees with her. If they want fear porn about your conservative coworker or spouse, they probably watch MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace instead.

[...]

No matter how you slice it, things aren’t going well for her and the divisive, snarky kind of politics she espouses (masquerading as news).

That act normally wouldn’t fly in the eyes of any reasonable executive worth spending millions to make permanent, but given the way Jeff Zucker has operated, it wouldn’t be surprising if Keilar and Democracy in Peril receive the permanent nod.

Since the MRC has made CNN's Jim Acosta its longtime personal enemy, it's no surprise that lazy potshots were taken at him too.Kevin Tober whined about Acosta's turn in that timeshot for a Jan. 24 post:

If you are like the overwhelming majority of Americans and did not tune into Jim Acosta’s debut of the low-rated CNN show Democracy in Peril, you weren’t missing much. In fact, you can probably guess what was said by Acosta and his conga line of leftist guests. 

The first guest Acosta had on was the left-wing election attorney Marc Elias who spewed all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories on the show. Jim Acosta was the first one out of the gate, asking Elias “how likely is it in these upcoming midterms that we're gonna see a scenario of multiple elections across the country becoming such a huge circus because of these bogus fraud claims?” 

As expected Elias didn’t scoff at this notion, instead he fearmongered that “we are one, maybe two, elections cycles away from a real constitutional crisis.”

Tober made no effort whatsoever to disprove or counter anything that was said on the show, so maybe it's not as "crazy" as he would like us to believe.

Sure enough, a few days later, Houck served up another dose of immaturing in mocking Acosta's ratings:

Following New Day co-host Brianna Keilar’s spectacularly bad week hosting CNN’s poisonously partisan Democracy in Peril special, carnival barker Jim Acosta received his chance to audition for the primetime slot formerly held by Chris Cuomo and, through three days, Acosta did even worse. Among the shows he lost to, Acosta fell behind a Hallmark movie, History’s Forged in Fire, a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, Property Brothers, and, yes, My 600 Pound Life.

Yes, Houck sure seems to find fat people eminently mockable, doesn't he?

This petty gloating doesn't exactly make people want to the MRC seriously -- Houck comes off as a jerk, not a serious person.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:16 PM EST
WND Touted Quack Doctor's Video On 'Mass Psychosis'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The anti-vaxxers at WorldNetDaily eagerly embraced dubious doc Robert Malone's evenmore dubious concept of "mass formation psychosis" in an attempt to discredit COVID vaccines. As part of that, it promoted a version of the bogus theory coming from an even more discredited doctor. An anonymous Jan. 2 article stated:

Popular Dr. Joseph Mercola says we're in the middle of "an epidemic of madness" that occurs when a "large portion of society loses touch with reality and descends into delusions."

It's happening he says due to the "relentless fearmongering coupled with data suppression and intimidation tactics of all kind."

He cited a 20-minute video, "Mass Psychosis – How an Entire Population Becomes Mentally Ill," created by After Skool and Academy of Ideas, explains the tactics used to seed and nurture mental illness – on a grand scale.

A number of mental health experts have expressed concern over the blatant panic mongering during the COVID-19 pandemic, warning it can have serious psychiatric effects.

Dr. Mercola cites S.G. Cheah's report which said, "Even when the statistics point to the extremely low fatality rate among children and young adults (measuring 0.002% at age 10 and 0.01% at 25), the young and the healthy are still terrorized by the chokehold of irrational fear when faced with the coronavirus."

"It's one of the reasons why you're seeing so many people who'd happily approve the silencing of any medical experts whose views contradict the WHO or CDC guidelines," Dr Mercola suggests. "'Obey the rules!' becomes more important than questioning if the rules were legitimate to begin with."

WND won't tell you that Mercola is a documented quack witih a history of making false and even illegal claims and pushing drugs of questionable value. Instead, the anonymous writeruncritically touts Mercola's quacky claims:

It's adults who are inflicting this emotional trauma on an entire generation, Dr. Mercola insists.

Worst of all, mass delusion is leading us into slavery.

"The mass delusion must also be addressed because it's driving us all, sane and insane alike, toward a society devoid of all previous freedoms and civil liberties, and the corrupt individuals in charge will not voluntarily relinquish power once we've given it to them," he says. "Totalitarianism actually begins as psychosis within the ruling class, as the individuals within this class are easily enamored with delusions that augment their power."

The anonymous WND writer made no effort to ponder if the quack Mercola was the one suffering psychosis through his need to lie to people and fleece them to enrich himself.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:40 PM EST
MRC Is Upset M&M Characters Getting A Design Update
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, the Media Research Center was a top combatant in right-wing culture wars, whining about everything from cereal to Legos to Muppets mostly for failing to hate non-heterosexual people enough. It's a new year, but the MRC has the same old culture-war things to complain about -- like the female M&M characters being made less stereotypically female. Gabriel Hays was the designated complainer in a Jan. 20 post:

What a time to be alive! M&Ms has made its Green M&M mascot less sexy. All is well with the world.

Yep that’s a real news development and it’s not just about the green M&M losing her high heels and having her “come hither” demeanor turned way down. All the zany M&Ms characters that fill the candy product’s ads are getting their toxic personalities adjusted for the sake of inclusivity, as declared M&M’s parent company Mars.

Well this is downright pathetic.

[...]

I previously enjoyed M&Ms because I really loved objectifying the anthropomorphized piece of green candy-coated chocolate and her sexy voice. 

Thankfully pervs like me will be snapped out of this lust by such soul-saving corporate decisions.

Well, we wouldn't call Hays a "perv," but he does seem unnaturally obsessed with transgender people, so...

Anyway, Hays wasn't done sneering:

And Ms. Green M&M isn’t the only sexpot that’s being told to put some clothes on. The brown female M&M has “transitioned from high stilettos to lower block heels and a fresh pair of glasses.” Oh yes, because she’s sexy AND smart. 

Though I don’t know, Mars. You might be playing right into the hands of guys who fetishize the sexy librarian look. Might we suggest putting her in a brown paper bag to be completely safe. Or how about putting her in a Burka? Actually yeah! Think of it! You’d get even more diversity points!

[...]

In addition to this marketing idiocy, Adweek mentioned that M&Ms “will stop attaching prefixes to the characters’ names to prompt people to focus more on their unique personalities rather than their gender.”

Well even if they removed peanut M&Ms from their candy lineup, M&Ms will always contain nuts. This is insane stuff.

But, really, what's more insane -- a company updating its image, or a right-wing activist getting paid to write several hundred words whining that the image update doesn't conform to his preferred gender stereotypes?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 AM EST
The Softest Of Softballs: CNS Editor Interviews Boss To Plug His New Book
Topic: CNSNews.com

As much as the Media Research Center loves to complain about "liberal media" figures giving softball interviews to people, it has no problem when the softballs are coming from its fellow right-wing media sources. And of course, the softest of softballs are gently tossed from inside MRC headquarters.

Thus, we have a Feb. 1 CNSNews.com article in which editor Terry Jeffrey interview his boss, Brent Bozell, in a blatant plug for Bozell's new memoir -- you know the one for which Bozell has been using the MRC to promote, in possible violation of nonprofit rules that govern use of those resources for personal purposes. The unchallenging gushiness is there from the beginning:

L. Brent Bozell III, the founder and president of the Media Research Center, has published a memoir in which he recalls the days of his youth and points to the direction in which he believes America should go now.

“We have to tell a story to the next generation about not just the good old days, but an aspirational story about what society could be if we so chose,” Bozell said in an interview about “Stops Along the Way: A Catholic Soul, A Conservative Heart, An Irish Temper, And a Love of Life.”

“And the more I thought about this book on airplanes, the more I thought: Time to tell the story,” he said.

Parts of this story take place in the Virginia countryside, where Bozell’s family moved when he was a boy. Others take place in El Escorial, Spain, where he and his brother attended a high school run by Augustinian monks. Yet another takes place in Washington, D.C. as the Reagan Revolution unfolded—and still another takes place in Sandinista-controlled Nicaragua.

Jeffrey never explicitly states that Bozell is his boss, outside of noting that CNS "is a part" of the MRC.As Bozell spins his tales unchallenged, Jeffrey is reduced to obsequiously saying things like "wow" and "my gosh."

Because this is both a trip down memory lane and a paid ad for Bozell, Jeffrey has no reason to ask -- or perhaps has been forbidden from asking -- challenging questions of his boss. Thus, you will find no mention, for instance, of the ghostwriting scandal in which Bozell slapped his name on syndicated columns that were actually written by Tim Graham. There will also be no discussion of the MRC's unseemly aggressive defense of Rush Limbaugh after he got into serious trouble for calling Sandra Fluke a "slut," or a discussion of Bozell's smearing of President Obama as a "skinny ghetto crackhead." And there will definitely be no mention of Bozell's son getting arrested for particpating in the Capitol riot.

No, only the softest of softballs for Jeffrey's boss. And they want us to think CNS is a real "news" organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 25, 2022 12:25 AM EST
Thursday, February 24, 2022
MRC Turns Djokovic Into An Anti-Vaxxer Hero
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall, the Media Research Center was cheering tennis player Novak Djokovic as "the hero in a greater cause" because of his refusal to get a COVID vaccine in preparation for the Australian Open tournament, even though Australia was requiring all visitors to be vaccinated. The tourney's ultimate decision to allow unvaccinated players in as long as they undergo a two-week quarantine period was declared by MRC sports blogger John Simmons to be a victory and a "convicted stance against tyranny." But as the tournament neared and auestions were raised about the medical exemption Djokovic claimed to have received, Simmons rushed to his defense again in a Jan. 5 post:

Tennis player Novak Djokovic has received a medical exemption from taking the COVID vaccine, allowing him to play in the prestigious Australian Open tournament. However, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison is attempting to intimidate the star beforehand, threatening that Djokovic will be sent home if his medical exemption does not meet Australia’s standards.

Both Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews expressed that they will not be afraid to enforce their tyrannical vaccine mandates, even if that means sending the world’s best tennis player back to his native Serbia:

Simmons went on to laud Djokovic becaise "he has already won the fight against medical tyranny in several ways" by finagling his way into the tournament without being vaccinated" and declaring him a "rebel" fighting against the island's "draconian ways."

A Jan. 8 post by Clay Waters ranted about the New York Times' "judgmental hysteria over vaccines"in writing about Djokovic. He went on to proclaim that "As the world’s No. 1 tennis player, he’s presumably in above-average physical condition, in relatively little danger from the virus," and that "the Omicron variant is significantly less deadly than the Delta variant it is replacing." He didn't mention that Omicron is far more contagious than Delta.

Jay Maxson used a Jan. 12 post to complain that Howard Stern argued Djokovic should be banned from tennis for not being vaccinated. Maxson retorted: "Well, guess what, Howard? Djokovic already had COVID-19. How many more times does Stern think he’ll catch it without the vaccine that needs multiple booster shots to actually finish the job and prevent COVID-19 forever?"

Simmons hyperventilated in a Jan. 14 post:

Novak Djokovic’s intense battle to have his visa approved by the Australian government took a turn for the worse when Immigration Minister Alex Hawke revoked the tennis star’s visa and threatened him with deportation, even though Djokovic has done nothing wrong.

[...]

So far, Djokovic’s legal team has shown that he has sufficiently met every requirement necessary for a medical exemption and even had an Australian judge say that he would be cleared to stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open (which begins Monday). So how in the world does overriding a judge’s ruling just so you can flex your power benefit anyone?

In fact, Djokovic did do something wrong: he messed up his visa paperwork, and he never disclosed what exactly the reason is for his medical exemption -- and then it was revealed that Djokovic had caught COVID the month before, which had not been previously disclosed.

Rather than tell his readers those relevant facts, Simmons raged that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is someone "many rightly consider a tyrant," then praised Djokovic again as a hero against the purported hellscape that is Australia:

The result of those sacrifices has created a world in which policemen can fire rubber bullets into a crowd of protestors and get away with it and where police have the authority to separate a child from its mother. Australians are not free, the government is in full control over everyone and everything, and that’s how people like Morrison and Hawke want to keep it.

So when a high-profile, widely respected individual who is not bowing down and groveling to Australia’s vaccine tyranny steps onto the scene (potentially inspiring millions of others to stand up), it would only make sense that Australia’s officials would do what they can to not let Djokovic into their country.

Djokovic loast his appeals and was barred from playing at the Australian Open. Simmons returend to cheer again in a Jan. 26 post when player Daniil Medvedev said he was losing a match until he asked himself, "What would Novak do?" (Unmentioned was the fact that Medvedev did something Djokovic didn't do: he had his visa papers in order and he didn't try to deceive Australian officials.) Simmons went into full gush mode again:

It is quite comical to see that Djokovic has caused quite the stir Down Under, even when he was deported back to Serbia for “not having a legitimate enough reason” to be in Australia to compete in the Australian Open. The man is not even in the country, and he’s still living rent-free in the minds of those who are mad that he had the nerve to stand against Australia’s pervasive and restrictive vaccine mandates.

He’s even influencing the tournament despite not being in it!

But Simmons still wasn't done fawning over Djokovic, upgrading him to full-blown martyr in a Feb. 15 post:

Novak Djokovic was crucified by the media and deported by the Australian government after not providing “sufficient enough information” to receive a vaccine exemption so he could participate in the Australian Open. Despite all the trials he has had to endure because of his stance, his resolve to defy medical tyranny has not wavered.

Djokovic told the BBC that trophies are not as important to him as the freedom to choose what goes into his body. He currently sits tied for second all-time in the men’s division with Roger Federer for most Grand Slam titles won with 20, just one behind his contemporary Rafael Nadal (who won the Australian Open Djokovic was forbidden from playing in). But if he is forced to get the vaccine to pursue becoming (statistically) the greatest men’s player ever, Djokovic will not chase that illustrious achievement.

[...]

The majority of celebrities today will sacrifice any of their convictions just to roll with the flow of the political and social environment as long as it does not affect their livelihood. But Djokovic’s rigid determination is a reminder that there are still people who value freedom and their beliefs over material gain and who understand that life is more than money, trophies, and fame if you have to compromise who you are to get there.

In reality, Djokovic exposed himself as a selfish jerk who cares only about himself and not about the society in which he lives. No wonder conservatives like Simmons love the guy.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EST
WND Dishonestly Covers Anti-Vaxx Rally, Censors Offensive Statement By Speaker RFK Jr.
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore used a Jan. 21 article to deceptively tease an upcoming rpotest rally:

Drs. Robert Malone and Peter McCullough will join Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and many other opponents of COVID-19 vaccine mandates at a rally at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this Sunday.

The event, Defeat the Mandates, will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Washington Monument with a march to the Lincoln Memorial.

But Malone, McCullough and Kennedy aren't just opponentsd of vaccine mandates -- they're opponents of COVID vaccines, period. Moore is falsely soft-pedaling the underlying purpose of the protest.

Reporting on the protest itself two days later, Joe Kovacs found a way to be completely dishonest in noting Kennedy's remarks:

Despite frigid temperatures, thousands of Americans showed up Sunday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to voice strong opposition to COVID-vaccine mandates.

"Every time you comply, you get weaker," said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a featured speaker at the "Defeat the Mandates" event. "Every time you say 'yes,' you're getting pushed back to a weaker position."

"The hill that you're going to die on is the hill you're on right now," he said, "and they're coming for our children."

Kennedy hammered the companies that manufacture the experimental vaccines being mandated in many locations worldwide, with no legal liability.

"You think they found Jesus suddenly ... and they're suddenly concerned with public health?" he said. "These are the companies that gave us the opioid crisis. These are not good citizens, these are criminal enterprises."

He warned of what he called "turnkey totalitarianism," as dark powers look "to control every aspect of behavior."

"Today the mechanisms are being put in place so none of us can run and none of us can hide," Kennedy said, warning of efforts to cut off the food supply.

Kovacs is lying by calling the vaccines "experimental" -- the fact that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have received full government approval discredits that talking point. But more disturbingly, Kovacs censored the fact that Kennedy made an offensive Nazi comparion in that speech. As a more reliable news outlet reported:

At a rally against vaccine mandates in Washington, DC, on Sunday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. likened vaccine policies in the US to the actions of a totalitarian state, even suggesting Anne Frank was in a better situation when she was hiding from the Nazis.

"Even in Hitler Germany (sic), you could, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did," said Kennedy, a prominent anti-vaccine advocate, in a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. "I visited, in 1962, East Germany with my father and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible. Many died, true, but it was possible."

Kennedy's historically inaccurate anti-Semitic remark ignores the fact that Frank and some 6 million other Jews were murdered by Nazis. Frank, who was a teenager at the time, hid in an attic in the Netherlands, not Germany, before she was caught and was sent to a concentration camp, where she died.

It's unknown why Kovacs didn't consider that wildly inflammatory statement to be unworthy of mention -- perhaps because he knew it discredited him, and WND has an interest in keeping Kennedy viable as an anti-vaxxer. Indeed, back in November, Moore lavished an article on Kennedy misusing VAERS statistics to falsely claim that, in Moore's words, "the COVID-19 vaccines are deadlier than all vaccines combined over the past 30 years."

And since Kovacs didn't report the original statement, WND certainly did not report that Kennedy was shamed into semi-apologizing for it a couple days later. Kovacs did, at least, tacitly concede that the rally was really against the vaccines, not the mandates:

Kennedy was joined by doctors who have been censored by Big Tech as they warn of the dangers of the COVID shots.

Among them was Dr. Robert Malone, one of the developers of the technology being used in today's vaccines.

"These vaccines do not prevent omicron infection," Malone declared. "These products cannot achieve herd immunity and stop COVID."

"They are not completely safe and the full impact of their use remains unknown."

"The dark winter predicted by our president and pushed by the fear-mongers in our media, is failing to materialize," he continued.

He also did notte on of the crazier speakers in passing: "Rizza Islam, an author and minister for the Nation of Islam, said the devil is behind the current madness, saying 'Satan [is] the one who has obviously declared war on all humanity.'"But Kovacs didn't question why the anti=vaxxers he loves so much is hanging out with a member of the Nation of Islam, which WND is normally quick to attack as far-left radicals (and black ones at that).

Kovacs also refused to report just how extreme the crowd was, so we hae to turn to a more reliable news outlet for that:

The marchers carried posters and flags that included false statements such as “Vaccines are mass kill bio weapons” and “Trump won.” A bus was parked beside the Washington Monument, wrapped in “Arrest or Exile” signs and displaying pictures of Anthony S. Fauci, Bill Gates and Jacob Rothschild — the last an echo of antisemitic conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild family.

[...]

As speakers took to the stage — including a group of doctors in white coats — the crowd roared its approval at lines comparing vaccine mandates to the actions of authoritarian regimes such as Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union and railing against the news media for its reporting on the scientific evidence supporting the coronavirus vaccines. 

The protesters also harassed employees at area restaurants, refusing to wear masks to enter in violation of city policy.

It could be that Kovacs agrees with many of these extreme views, so he didn't see them as newsworthy. But overall, WND's shoddy, hole-filled coverage of the rally shows why nobody trusts WND as a "news" source.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 24, 2022 11:06 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Anniversary of Distraction
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's coverage of the first anniversary of the Capitol riot featured nothing about its role in helping to incite it and everything about deflecting attention away from it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Shocking-Lack-Of-Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

One way to stop CNSNews.com from picking at the Biden administration over employement numbers is to turn in impressive ones. That's what happened in January, and even Susan Jones could find little to complain about in her main article:

Even before the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its January employment report, the Biden administration signaled that it was expecting a "blip" in today's data.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN on Thursday morning that "this will be an an unusual month, potentially," because of the surge in omicron cases during the reporting period.

This morning, BLS delivered the "blip" referenced by Raimondo, but it was a very positive one:

The economy added 467,000 payroll jobs in January, way above the consensus estimate of +150,000. Some analysts were expecting 6-figure job losses for January.

The number of employed Americans increased by 1,199,000 in January to 157,174,000, the strongest showing in two years and just 1,692,000 below the record high of 158,866,000 in February 2020.

Because the number of unemployed Americans also increased (to 6,513,000 from 6,319,000), the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 4.0 percent.

Impressively, the labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 points to 62.2 percent in January.

Jones, who is normally so good at cherry-picking numbers to denigrate the overall picture, couldn't find any this time.

The only sidebar this time was the usual grousing by editor Terry Jeffrey about government employment, but even he found a bright spot: "Government in the United States grew by a net of 23,000 workers in January with all of the government employment growth coming in local governments—particularly public schools--as state governments and the federal government actually decreased their employment."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EST
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
MRC Denies Conservatives 'Triggered' By Biden-Doocy Kerfuffle -- As It Spends Days Covering It
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just couldn't get enough of the kerfuffle over President Biden calling sainted Fox News reporter Peter Doocy -- so much, in fact, we couldn't contain it in only one post. Picking up from where we left off: Tim Graham spent his Jan. 26 podcast insisting that the kerfuffle "is not tthe biggest thing in the world ... it's kind of a one-day story," even though by this time the MRC was on Day 3 of writing about it, and Graham's podcast was the 10th NewsBusters post referencing it. He then gave a pass to Donald Trump calling NBC's Chuck Todd a "sleeping son of a bitch" because he purportedly did it "to get laughter and claps at a rally," going on to whine that journalists think they're immune from criticism. This from a guy who runs an organization taht repeatedly runs to the defense of Fox News because it thinks the channel should be immune from criticism.

Keeping up that pattern, Graham lashed out at people like Seth McFarlane and Jimmy Kimmel for criticizing Doocy (he's immune from criticism like every Fox News employee, after all). He then defended Doocy as polite in his right-wing biased, especially compared with longtime MRC enemy Jim Acosta: "Peter Doocy is no Jim Acosta. Jim Acosta was the guy who said obnoxious things. Peter Doocy asks questions, and he generally asks questions respectfully. He's a lot more respectful of Joe Biden than Jimmy Kimmel's been ever resectful of anybody with an R after their name." He then rehashed the MRC's earlier false attack on CNN's Jake Tapper for saying Fox News wouldn't come to his defense by citing examples of Fox News defending CNN -- but Tapper didn't reference defending CNN, just himself.

In the 11th post referencing the story, on the fourth day of the MRC covering, Curtis Houck devoted a Jan. 27 post to bashing NBC's Seth Meyers for arguing that Republicans have been "triggered" by the Biden-Doocy story:

Even though President Biden and Fox White House correspondent Peter Doocy have both moved on after the former called the latter “a stupid son of a bitch” on Monday, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and NBC’s Seth Meyers decided on Thursday to spend nearly 15 minutes falsely claiming that the Republican Party has spent the week obsessing over Biden’s expletive when, in reality, it’s the far-left “comics” who seem to have nothing else to talk about.

Later that day, P.J. Gladnick grumbled that a Politico piece argued that Biden should do more trash-talking: "Right now Joe Biden and his administration are deeply unpopular . So how to reverse this situation? Return to enforcing immigration laws at the border? Cut wild spending in order to rein in inflation? Open up the Keystone pipeline and encourage drilling to lower the cost of gasoline? Naw! The secret is... TRASH TALK!"

On day 6 of the MRC's coverage, Graham devoted his Jan. 28 column whining about the kerfuffle he earlier insisted was just a one-day story:

When Joe Biden called Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a bitch,” he didn’t need to borrow from a speechwriter. But he’s not “well-equipped” to demonstrate decency or empathy to a journalist who isn’t obsequious to him.

[...]

When Trump called the press “fake news” or mocked individual reporters as terrible people, Jim Acosta & Co condemned this was not only somehow undemocratic, but would lead to violence against reporters. The problem with Biden’s angry cursing at Doocy is that it violates that campaign promise of decency. It also allows conservatives to remind liberals that this used to be painted as a violence-inducing offense against the First Amendment.

People sticking up for Doocy don’t have to insist that Trump was civil with reporters. It’s just that they all pretended Biden was going to be so much more “pro-press,” which is transparently false, both in tone and in media access.

Even more than a week later, Graham couldn't let this"one-day story" go.In a Jan. 31 post, he whined that a New York Times reporter called it s feel-good monent," huffing further: "The most annoying part of this spin is how it exploits Doocy's willingness to shrug it off, and not pose righteously as some sort of Wronged Statue of Liberty like Jim Acosta." And on Feb. 3 -- 12 days after the story began -- Graham cranked up the whining in the 14th post referencing it, this time over a game show referencing the story:

National Public Radio airs a weekly game show on Saturdays called Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! Over the years, we've found liberals on that show making fun of ads promoting Jesus and church-going, smearing George W. Bush as a White House drunk, and playing along as Obama adviser David Axelrod "joked" that socially conservative Miss California Carrie Prejean was tried out for White House dog. The latest episode included jokesters adoring President Biden calling Fox News correspondent Steve Doocy a "stupid son of a bitch."

Regular host Peter Sagal was off, so they replaced him with Negin Farsad, an Iranian-born Muslim comedian -- oh, but she defines herself as a "social justice comedian." That's apparently the funniest kind. 

The first game was called "Who's Bill This Time?" Announcer Bill Kurtis -- formerly an anchor for CBS News -- impersonates a public figure saying something in the news. So they started with "stupid son of a bitch," and predictably, the liberals joked that many thousands of people agree Doocy is an idiot:

[...]

The panelists then made jokes about Biden's angry insult. Josh Gondelman, who writes comedy for Desus & Mero on Showtime, said "I was surprised. Like, I feel like Joe Biden's public persona is so folksy. Like, you could run over his foot with a motorcycle, and he'd just be like, 'taffy on a stick,' you know?"

Alzo Slade of Vice News added "I feel like Joe Biden is that old dude that just can say whatever he feels like saying, and because... Of his age, nobody is going to care. It's like, yeah, just - you know, that's Uncle Joe. Just let him be. And sometimes you got to call it like it is. If you think he's a son of a [expletive]..."

This is exactly how the liberal media have dismissed Biden's gaffes -- isn't Uncle Joe a character?

Remember, Graham is the guy who gets mad that right-wing satire site Babylon Bee gets fact-checked (but hides the fact that it gets fact-checked because right-wingers have a bad habit of present ingits satire as fact).

Graham concluded by adding, "NPR is paid for by ... you." But he offered no proof that any tax money actually went to the show's production.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EST
CNS' Resident Homophobe Decries Conversion Therapy Ban In Canada
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman is virulently anti-LGBT, so it's no surprise that he came out against Canada's new law banning anti-gay conversion therapy. He wrote in a Jan. 25 article touting fellow homophobes:

After Canada passed a law banning conversion therapy for people who may want to escape homosexuality, an estimated 4,000 Christian leaders in Canada and the U.S. spoke out on Jan. 16 against the ban, describing it as "totalitarian" and a clear threat to religious freedom.

Many Canadian pastors expressed concern about what they could now say in public about the Bible's admonitions against homosexual behavior, and U.S. pastors warned that similar draconian measures are coming to America.  Violating the new law in Canada could lead to a five-year prison sentence. 

Pastor John MacArthur, head of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, sent a letter to pastors about the new law and warned of its consequences. "I am eager to support our Canadian brothers and to preach on biblical sexual morality on January 16, and I invite you as a faithful pastor to do the same," he wrote.

"Our united stand will put the Canadian and the U.S. governments on notice that they have attacked the Word of God," he added. "We are all well-aware of the evil power and destructive influence of the homosexual and transgender ideology. Our government is bent on not only normalizing this perversion, but also legalizing it, and furthermore criminalizing opposition to it."

What Chapman, didn't do, of course, is report why conversion therapy was banned: it doesn't work and tends to be harmful to the therapy target. As a less biased news organization pointed out, medical associations around the globe have discredited it, given that it's based on the false premise that sexual orientation and gender identity can or should be "cured."

Chapman offered on explanation for why LGBT people must be turned into heterosexuals -- forcibly if necessary. Instead, he quoted other anti-LGBT pastors ranting about "totalitarianism" and the purported destruction of "Western civilization," nad he tossed in his favorite non-Catholic preacher, Franklin Graham, warning of "legal oppression." Chapman closed by quoting anti-gay Bible verses.

This is what CNS considers to be "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:31 PM EST
Newsmax Hires Even More Dubious On-Air Talent
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is continuing its recent history of making questionable hires. One of them was announced in a Jan. 26 article:

Newsmax Media Inc. announced Wednesday that 21-time Emmy Award-winner Wendy Bell on Saturday will premiere her new show, "Wendy Bell Common Sense," which will examine the news of the day with a lively approach to national issues.

The 28-year broadcast veteran of nationally syndicated and network affiliate news will delve deep into topics and concerns with interviews and roundtables in her weekly show airing 4:30 p.m. ET Saturdays on Newsmax. The show also will air Sundays at 3:30 p.m. ET.

"People are hungry for common sense in this country, and that's what this new program is about," Bell said. "Telling the truth, having great conversations, talking about what really matters. It's going to be outstanding."

[...]

"Wendy Bell has had a remarkable career as a television journalist and radio host, and throughout it all has been an advocate of common sense and American values," Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy said. "We are glad to have her on the Newsmax team." 

While the article noted Bell's previous radio gigs, it didn't tell the whole story about her. As the Daily Beast detailed, she has a history of making inflammatory statements on radio in Pittsburgh:

Bell was fired by WTAE in March 2016, after nearly 20 years at the station, over comments she made on Facebook that sparked accusations of racism. Following a deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh-area cookout, she wrote: “You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago... they are young black men, likely in their teens or early 20s.”

While opining that the shooters likely “have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs,” Bell—who is white—also praised a Black teen she said she saw working hard in a local restaurant. “He’s going to Make It,” she wrote.

 [...]

After landing at KDKA-AM radio, Bell sparked controversy again in September 2020 when she was yanked off the air after openly advocating for park rangers to shoot “on sight” protesters who pull down problematic monuments. 

Newsmax has also hired Bianca de la Garza as a co-host of a midday show. Prior to that, she had worked on TV in Boston, then moved on to TV production and other various business ventures. But as the Daily Beast also detailed, "de la Garza’s lifestyle and production company were financed by millions worth of embezzled funds": A close friend, Richard Hajjar, embezzled $30 million from the shoe company where he was chief financial officer, and more than half of that went to de la Garza in the form of money transferred to her and gifts and vacations lavished on her. She was never charged, and she denied knowledge of where all the money came from. Pretty much all the money was spent, and she r"eached a confidential settlement" with the shoe company to return what little was left.

The Daily Beast also noted that de la Garza's job status at Newsmax is a bit under the radar: "The network never publicly acknowledged de la Garza’s hiring. Despite anchoring the midday broadcast, she is not currently under contract with Newsmax, suggesting she’s trying out with the network in a freelance capacity."

Newsmax sure knows how to pick 'em, doesn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
WND Publishes False COVID Claim, Stealth-Edits To Try And Fix -- And Still Gets It Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore wrote in a Jan. 10 WorldNetDaily article:

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky acknowledged Monday the premise on which advocates of a pandemic response of "focused-protection" rather than universal restrictions have relied -- that the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 are among people who already were seriously ill.

"The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities," she said Friday in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America.

"So really these are people who were unwell to begin with," Walensky said.

The CDC chief's remarks drew considerable criticism on social media from people who thought she was minimizing the deaths of people who are critically ill.

However, her statement was spotlighted by epidemiologists who have been calling for "focus protection" of the vulnerable in light of the fact that age and underlying conditions are a significant risk factor, and the healthy have a minuscule risk.

Except that's not what she said. ABC edited out the fact that Walensky was summarizing a study of 1.2 million vaccinated people , in which severe COVID later occurred in .003 percent of patients, or 189 of them, and of those, 36 died; it's from that number that the 75 percent figure is pulled as having four or more comorbidities, for a total of 29.

Moore did something interesting: He stealth-edited his article to try and make it less wrong -- without noting that the article had been edited and even retaining the original timestamp -- but he still managed to get it wrong. He changed the headline from "CDC chief: 75% of COVID deaths in people already seriously ill" to "CDC chief: 75% of vaccinated people who die of COVID already seriously ill," which still isn't quite right; it's 75 percent of an extremely tiny number of people who caught severe COVID after vaccination who died with several preexisting omorbidities. Moore's rewritten article made the same factual error:

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky's remarks characterizing the health of vaccinated people who die from COVID-19 stirred controversy over the weekend.

"The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities," she said Friday in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America.

"So really these are people who were unwell to begin with," Walensky said.

Her reference was to a recent CDC study of vaccinated people, but a clip of her interview that left out that qualification was regarded by many on social media as an admission that the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 are among people who already were seriously ill.

In fact, critics of the federal government's response to the pandemic pointed out more than one year ago that the data on the CDC website indicated that only 6% of all recorded COVID-19 deaths were from COVID alone, with 94% having an average of 2.6 comorbidities.

That last paragraph is one talking point WND likes to harp on -- but it ignores the fact that the vast majority of those people with comorbidities would likely still be alive if they hadn't caught COVID, meaning that COVID did, in fact, kill them. That attitude also devalues the lives of those people, and we thought WND was "pro-life."

If WND can't even get a basic correction right -- let alone disclose to readers the fact that the article in question was corrected -- it's no wonder that WND is in deep trouble.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST

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