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Friday, March 4, 2022
MRC Misleads About DeSantis And The Nazis
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is continuing to serve as an apologistand cheerleader for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.  Curtis Houck huffed in a Feb. 2 post:

Tuesday night on CBS’s The Late Show, far-left host Stephen Colbert engaged in the latest smear against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), falsely claiming he was “silent” on alleged neo-Nazi gatherings and deceptively edited a clip to claim he only commented so far as to attack Democrats for using it against him. In reality, DeSantis slammed the white supremacists as “jackasses.”

[...]

Citing the “Nazi rallies in Orlando,” Colbert noted that it was a “terrible” thing before launching into his DeSantis smear:

[T]he easiest thing in the world to condemn, unless you're Ron DeSantis, who “remain[ed] silent.” It's been said the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to say nothing. It's also bad when Ron DeSantis says nothing.

Colbert added the Governor was “cornered by...reporters wanting to know things like, ‘Hey, gov: So Nazis? Where do you come down on that whole deal?’”

Instead of showing a fuller clip of DeSantis condemning what happened during a Monday Q&A, Colbert played a fragment of his comments and said the only thing DeSantis did was spot “the true enemy: Democrats.” Then, he played this from DeSantis calling out the left’s attempts to tie him to Nazis:

What I'm going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to do with it — we're not playing their game. 

Put simply, Colbert proved DeSantis’s point.

What the governor actually said was that, in addition to condemning what took place, he promised “state law enforcement is going to hold them accountable...and they should,” and insisted Jews have “tremendous support” in the Sunshine State.

Houck omitting important facts about DeSantis' statement. First, it took two days for him to issue a response, and it happened at a Q&A with reporters that was originally about another issue -- so  the claim that DeSantis had been silent on the issue is not without merit. Second, DeSantis' press secretary, Christina Pushaw, issued a tweet (since deleted) suggesting the Nazis were actually Democrats in disguise, and she continued to make that baseless suggestion on her Twitter account and in other statements.

It remains ironic that the MRC -- which gets mad when right-wing Babylon Bee's satire gets fact-checked because other right-wingers present it as fact -- works so hard to fact-check jokes it doesn't like.

Kevin Tober similarly claimed to DeSantis' defense, this time from Rachel Maddow, in a Feb. 3 post. Like Houck, Tober omitted the fact that it took DeSantis two days to respond and censored the fact that Pushaw's posts pushed the unproven idea that the Nazis were disguised Democrats.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 2:11 PM EST
CNS Touts Anti-LGBT Activist's Hate -- But Censors Him Getting Busted For Fake Documentary
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's no surprise that the notoriously homophobic CNSNews.com would give space to notoriously homophobic right-wing activist Matt Walsh -- whose stunt of prtending to move to Virginia so he could spew his hate at a school board CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, absolutely loved -- and Craig Bannister did just that in a Jan. 24 article:

“I think you are narcissists and bullies,” conservative commentator Matt Walsh responded after two married non-binary LGBTQ activists claimed they were driven to nightmares and depression because Walsh challenged their ideology on the “Dr. Phil” show last week.

“It sounds like your conscience is trying to tell you something,” Walsh tells activists Addison and Ethan in a social media video:

“I think you represent something that is, not only anti-scientific and irrational, but evil. And, I think you have evil intentions. I think that you are bad people. And, I think you are neither correct nor well-meaning.

“And, if one person in the whole world – in your whole life – saying this to you causes you to spiral into depression and be plagued by nightmares, then maybe that should clue you in. It sounds like your conscious is trying to tell you something.”

What’s more, Addison and Ethan don’t care who gets hurt, “as long as your ideology wins the day,” Walsh says, condemning liberals’ harmful open bathroom and transgender sports demands:

As could be expected from CNS, Bannister made no effort whatsover to give Addison and Ethan a change to respond to Walsh's hate. Nor did he admit that Walsh has made it more than clear that he cares only about hurting people who aren't as right-wing and heterosexual as he is.

Meanwhile, CNS remained utterly silent about Walsh getting busted for a deceitful stunt in which he pretended to be making a pro-transgender documentary that was secretly going to be turned into an anti-transgender film without the participants' knowledge.

As the Daily Beast reported, a prominent trans activist was contacted by a production assistant to appear in the film. After a little digging, it turned out that  the assistant worked on Walsh's podcast, and that the purported organization that claimed to be making the film was another Walsh associate. After the activist exposed the hoax, the assistant deleted her Twitter account, the associate took his private, and the purported organization's Twitter account was suspended.

You'd think such a deceptive scheme being exposed would be news -- and it is at most news organizations. But because CNS hates LGBT people as much as Walsh does, Walsh's dishonesty must be suppressed.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 1:06 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Can't Stop Failing In Its War Against Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center discredited its own narrative that Facebook is "censoring" conservatives by bragging about how well its conservative content does there. It also whined about Facebook having a protected VIP list -- but censored the fact that Donald Trump was on the list for years. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Thursday, March 3, 2022
MRC Tried To Give Republicans A Pass For Being Putin-Curious
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center may be gung-ho against Vladimir Putin and Russia now that it has invaded Ukraine, but it has been Putin-friendly in the past. As we've documented, Putin was one of the right-wing authoritarian leaders the MRC has praised for spouting its anti-"bi tech"narrative; a March 2021 post by Alexander Hall praised Putin for "fight[ing] back against Silicon Valley, suing five companies to force removal of posts supporting anti-Putin protests." That's right -- the MRC was cheering Putin for trying to censor his critics, which would seem to be the opposite of what it claims to do with its "free speech" initiative.

The MRC even tried to defend Fox News host Tucker Carlson's pro-Putin leanings before thte invasion. Kevin Tober did this in a Jan. 25 post:

On CNN Newsroom during their coverage of the ongoing border dispute between Russia and Ukraine Tuesday, they quickly switched gears and slimed Fox News star Tucker Carlson and the entire Republican Party as having a "soft spot for Russia".

CNN Newsroom co-host Alisyn Camerota kicked off the slime fest by lying about Fox host Tucker Carlson claiming "one of the primetime hosts doesn't see the difference between Vladimir Putin and the leader in Ukraine, doesn't see the difference between an autocracy and a fledgling democracy." Camerota then aired a soundbite of Carlson arguing it is not in America's national interest to get in the middle of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: 

[...]

After displaying a small dose of common sense, Browder decided to join Camerota in knocking Carlson by wailing that he "is clearly an ignorant man, he doesn't understand what Putin is up to." 

Browder then listed a litany of crimes and murders Putin had committed and then ended with another broadside shot at Carlson demanding that he "keep his mouth shut when it comes to Vladimir Putin."

After that unhinged rant, Camerota brought up an unsubstantiated allegation Democrat Congressman Tom Malinowski made blaming Carlson for his constituents calling his office to request that the United States side with Russia.

Tober then tried to distance Republicans a little from Carlson -- but he also insisted there was nuance in Carlson's argument:

It's typical of CNN to slime conservatives as having "a soft spot for Putin." While NewsBusters does not take a position on the Ukraine conflict, it is fair to say that conservatives like Tucker Carlson who believe we should not get involved in another conflict in a foreign country is not having "a soft spot for Putin."

But of course, those nuances don't compute with the simpletons like Alison Camerota and the other leftists at CNN. 

Of course, Carlson did much more than argue against getting involved in "another conflict in a foreign country" -- he was a cheerleader for Putin, complaining that "Democrats want you to hate Putin" and argued that Putin was doing nothing wrong in his aggression toward Ukraine. There really wasn't a lot of nuance there, and certainly not as much as Tober wants you to believe there was.

That wasn't a smart take then, and it has definitely not aged well since.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
WND Misrepesents Letter To Editor As Research In 'Prestigious' Journal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's parade of COVID misinformation continued in a feb. 2 article by Art Moore:

The prestigious British medical journal The Lancet has published an article by a University of Colorado infectious disease scientist concluding vaccine mandates should be reconsidered in light of studies finding the vaccines are not stopping transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Carlos Franco-Paredes of the University of Colorado's Division of Infectious Diseases, wrote that "the impact of vaccination on community transmission of circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be not significantly different from the impact among unvaccinated people."

The scientific rationale for mandatory vaccination in the USA relies on the premise that vaccination prevents transmission to others, resulting in a 'pandemic of the unvaccinated," he noted. "Yet, the demonstration of COVID-19 breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated health-care workers (HCW) in Israel, who in turn may transmit this infection to their patients, requires a reassessment of compulsory vaccination policies leading to the job dismissal of unvaccinated HCW in the USA."

Meanwhile, a fact-checker looked into the article:

[T]he text forms part of "correspondence" authored by Carlos Franco-Paredes, an infectious diseases expert and associate professor at the University of Colorado, which was published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal in January.

In other words, the text forms part of a letter to the editor.

According to a spokeswoman for The Lancet Group, such letters represented the views of the author and "not necessarily the views of The Lancet journals".

Moore falsely suggested the article was research when it was actually the research journal's equivalent of a letter to the editor, and he got it wrong by falsely claiming the article was published in The Lancet when, in fact, it appeared in a separate specialty journal.

Moore also curiously omitted the very first sentence of Franco-Paredes' letter, in which he declared: "Vaccine effectiveness studies have conclusively demonstrated the benefit of COVID-19 vaccines in reducing individual symptomatic and severe disease, resulting in reduced hospitalisations and intensive care unit admissions."

That's a lot of deception and inacuracy for a single article. No wonder nobody trusts WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 3, 2022 9:20 PM EST
CNS Tried To Clean Up After RNC's Resolution Attacking Cheney, Kinzinger
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com knew the Republican Natoinal Committee had a debacle on its hands when it passed a resolution censuring Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for taking part in the House's committee to examine the January 2021 Capitol riot incited by President Trump as Congress was certifiying his defeat. In a Feb. 7 article under the headline "RNC Blasted for Seeming to Describe January 6 As 'Legitimate Political Discourse'," Susan Jones complained that the poorly worded resolution "handed Democrats a damaging talking point":

In a resolution censuring Republicans Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the Republican National Committee has put a glaring spotlight on itself and handed Democrats a damaging talking point.

In laying out the case against the two lawmakers, the resolution's final "WHEREAS" references Cheney and Kinzinger's participation in the House Select Committee on the events of January 6, 2021:

"Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse, and they are both utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purposes, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee hereby formally censures Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and shall immediately cease any and all support of them as members of the Republican Party for their behavior..."

Critics, including some Republicans, pounced not only on the censure itself, but especially on the phrase "ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse."

Jones gave space to the NRC chairwoman to try and clean things up:

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, in several tweets on Feb. 4, blasted a New York Times headline, which read: "G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack 'Legitimate Political Discourse."

"This story from the New York Times is completely false," McDaniel tweeted. "It’s not journalism, it’s the worst type of baseless political propaganda."

In another tweet, McDaniel wrote: "Cheney and Kinzinger chose to join Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol. The NYT needs to correct this story now, or again expose themselves as political hacks."

And in a third tweet, McDaniel wrote: "I have repeatedly condemned violence on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, this committee has gone well beyond the scope of the events of that day."

The problem, of course, is that what Daniel said is not what the resolution says. Jones did report on Republicans criticizing the resolution and its language, but she also claimed that "Murkowski and Romney often go against the party line" -- without mention that the "party line" has been to discredit the House committing investigating Jan. 6 and allow Trump and his cronies to go unpunished for their actions.

The next day, Melanie Arter unhappily reported on the Biden White House commenting on the resolution:

The White House on Tuesday condemned the Republican National Committee (RNC) for using the phrase “legitimate political discourse” in a resolution censuring Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wis.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for investigating what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Your reaction to the RNC declaring what happened on January 6 as legitimate political discourse, and Democrats on the Hill today are being very vocal about this. Hakeem Jeffries says the C in RNC stands for cult. Does the White House agree with that?” a reporter asked.

“I think it’s clear to Americans that what happened on January 6 was not legitimate political discourse. Storming the Capitol in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power is not legitimate political discourse. Neither is attacking and injuring over 140 police officers, smashing windows and defiling offices,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Arter rehashed parts of Jones' article featuring Daniel uncsuccessfully trying to explain away the resolution, but she also noted that "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized the RNC for censuring Cheney and Kinzinger."

It seems, though, that CNS ultimately decided the resolution wasn't worth defending. A Feb. 14 article by Arter quoted Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan defending "sane Republicans" and saying, "To say it's legitimate political discourse to attack the seat of our Capitol, and smash windows, and attack police officers, and threaten to hang the vice president, and threaten to overthrow the election, it's insanity, and it's a -- there's a circular firing squad where we attack Republicans." And a Feb. 18 article by Arter uncritically quoted Hillary Clinton as saying, "When the Republican Party officially embraces violent insurrection as legitimate political discourse, when storming the Capitol, assaulting police officers, trying to overturn an election are being normalized, we are in uncharted territory, and make no mistake, our adversaries around the world are watching."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
MRC Continued To Defend Joe Rogan's Right To Misinform People
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so dedicated to defending COVID misinformation that when podcaster Joe Rogan was busted for letting anti-vaxxers like Robert Malone and Peter McCullough, it rushed to shoehorn Rogan into its right-wing victim narrative. As criticism of Rogan continued, the MRC doubled down on its defense. When rock legend Neil Young demanded that Spotify either drop Rogan or stop streaming his music, Alexander Hall sneered on Jan. 25:

Neil Young has reportedly demanded that Spotify become a safe space for him. The Once-legendary Canadian-American singer delivered an ultimatum to Spotify, according to Rolling Stone: Get rid of the massively popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast or lose his music. 

A questionably relevant singer demanding the removal of perhaps the world’s most popular podcast is a hard sell. “Neil Young posted a since-deleted letter to his management team and record label demanding that they remove his music from Spotify,” Rolling Stone reported Jan. 24. “‘I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,’” he wrote, according to Rolling Stone.“They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” 

Young later accused Spotify of “spreading fake information about vaccines” and “potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation,” according to the magazine.

Hall didn't dispute Young's statement that Rogan spreads misinformation -- perhaps because he knows it's true. And insisting that misinformation not be spread is not the same thing as hiding in a "safe space."

The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro put "misinformation" in scare quotes when talking about what Rogan has done -= because the MRC will never unequivocally acknowledge any right-winger spreads misinformation -- but he seemed surprised that "The View" co-host Joy Behar came to Rogan's defense. On Jan. 27, Hall tried to feel superior over Young after Spotify chose Rogan over Young's music, claiming that "Young may have drastically overestimated his popularity and influence" and sneering again, "Old man, look at your life." The same day, Autumn Johnson joined the scare-quote brigade:

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on Big Tech to remove Joe Rogan’s podcast because of so-called COVID-19 “misinformation,” on Tuesday.

Murthy was discussing what he considered to be COVID-19 “misinformation” on social media platforms with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. Brzezinski asked Murthy what he thought of Rogan’s podcast, which reached 11 million people per episode. Rogan has been criticized for promoting alternative treatments for COVID-19.

[...]

Murthy said that Big Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter should do more to remove alleged “misinformation” online. He said, however, that change should be the responsibility of the platforms themselves, not the government.

Johnson made no effort to prove that Rogan wasn't spreading misinformation, making her scare quotes a lazy way out.

On Jan. 29, it was Jeffrey Lord's turn to lash out at Young for standing up for truth, falsely declaring of him, "Who knew rocker Neil Young was into censorship?" He claimed Rogan and other anti-vaxxers were spreading misinfomation but, rather, "different views on the vaccine," going on to huff: "Make no mistake. America is involved in a battle royal with leftist censors who are determined to silence any and all views on any and all subjects they don’t like."

Johnson returned on Jan. 30 to complain about "another aging lefty rocker" criticizing  Rogan:

Spotify has faced more criticism for its decision to keep Joe Rogan’s podcast on the platform. Last week, artist Neil Young challenged the music streaming platform to remove the podcast or remove his music. Spotify removed his music.

And now, singer Joni Mitchell also asked that her music be removed from the platform.

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell said of her decision. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Johnson didn't dispute Mitchell's contention that Rogan was irresponsibly "spreading lies." But she waited until nearly the end of her post to admit that "Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the company will now add a content advisory on podcasts that mentions COVID-19. The user will then be directed to information about the virus from physicians and other health officials.

The next day, Rogan issued a video addressing the controversy surrounding him. Hall was bizarrely gleeful that it could be considered a "non-apology" and seemed absolutely giddy about labeling him a "world-famous podcaster":

World-famous podcaster Joe Rogan stirred up controversy with Cancel Culture mobs by interviewing medical professionals who questioned shifting narratives of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, rocker Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify in protest, causing Spotify and Rogan himself to respond.

The Joe Rogan Experience host released a video that could be described as a “non-apology” to the people offended by so-called “misinformation” in his podcast interviews. “The problem I have with the term ‘misinformation,’ especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact,” he explained in a video on his Instagram page.

He provided examples of claims that went from alleged “misinformation” to widely accepted facts after a few months. Then, he noted how he had discussed many of those exact, now acceptable, narratives with qualified professionals: “All of those theories that at one point in time were banned, were openly discussed by those two men that I had on my podcast that had been accused of dangerous misinformation.”

One example of this that Rogan cited, according to Hall, regarded the origin of COVID-19, which he "claims that were censored for being so-called “conspiracy theories,” but now are the predominant explanations for the course of the pandemic. Hall linked to an old NewsBusters post complaining that an article at the unreliable far-right site ZeroHedge claiming that COVID-19 was weaponized by China, citing another article claming the virus was a leak from the Wuhan lab as evidence that this is now the "predominant explanation" -- even though that wasn't exactly what ZeroHedge was claiming. Meanwhile, there's still plenty of evidence that discredit the lab-leak theory.

Hall also wrote:

“If you said, ‘I don't think cloth masks work, you would be banned from social media. Now, that’s openly and repeatedly stated on CNN. If you said ‘I think it's possible that COVID-19 came from a lab’ you’d be banned from many social media platforms, now that's on the cover of Newsweek.”

But cloth masks do have a level of effectiveness, though not as good as N95 or KN85 masks. Rogan is lying when he claims they don't work at all.

Hall seemed disappointed to report that Rogan said "he would accept disclaimers on his podcasts about COVID-19 'saying that you should speak with your physician and that these people and the opinions that they express are contrary to the opinions of the consensus of experts.'" And, curiously, he again repeated Young's contention that Spotify hosts like Rogan were "spreading fake information about vaccines" and "potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation" without making an effort to dispute the claim.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor Wanted U.S. To Capiutlate to Putin
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a bad habit of being a supporter of Russia's Vladimir Putin -- especially when he trashes its designated enemies: President Biden, "big tech" and "woke" culture. So it's not a surprise that CNS managing editor took Putin's side in the Ukraine conflict, effectively agreeing to Putin's demand that Ukraine be barred from NATO, in an uncritical Feb. 10 article:

In a speech on Monday in Moscow, following diplomatic talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that if Ukraine joins NATO and tries to retake the Crimea, Europe "will be automatically pulled into a war conflict with Russia."

If NATO executes Article 5 of its charter, which calls for the collective defense of its members, "you won't even have time to blink your eye," said Putin. "There will be no winners."

Lest it not be apparent that Chapman was siding with Putin here, he went on to write of others endorsing Putin's idea:

NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was established in 1949 primarily to provide collective security to Europe against possible invasion by the Soviet Union. The USSR collapsed in 1991, and all Soviet troops were removed from Eastern Europe. 

Commenting on NATO, Cato Institute scholar Doug Bandow said, "Russia is no Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin is no Joseph Stalin. The Russian Federation is an unpleasant actor but has reverted to a pre‐​1914 great power, insisting on border security and international respect. There is no prospect of a Russian attack on the U.S. and little more chance of one on Europe, Old or New. Although plausible, even a successful grab of the Baltic States would yield little benefit for much cost."

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan commented last week, "Is the territorial integrity of Ukraine a cause worth America's fighting a war with Russia? No, it is not."

When NATO was created, there were 12 member countries. Today, there are 30.

Bandow is one of the Putin capitulators CNS has published; he argued in a Jan. 27 CNS column that "Nothing suggests that Putin wants what can never be given. Buchanan, of course, is a longtime Putin capitulator who has a spot on CNS' commentary page because CNS editor Terry Jeffrey ran his presidential campaigns in the 1990s.

CNS' pre-invasion demands for Biden to capituate to Putin are not aging well.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EST
Conrad Black's Russia Appeasement Idea Didn't Age Well
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax columnist Conrad Black has long been a Trump lackey (as well he should be, given that Donald Trump pardoned his financial crimes), but has been opining about Russia lately as well. And, uh, that hasn't aged too well. In his Jan. 25 column, Black endorsed President Biden's misspeaking about a "minor incursion" to argue in favor of appeasing Vladimir Putin and Russia by letting him have a piece of Ukraine:

It is not unreasonable for Russia to have reservations about the complete sovereign independence of Ukraine; nor is it unreasonable for the West to consider Russian pretensions to having a right of veto over which countries may join NATO to be intolerable.

[...]

It is likely that substantial numbers of Russian Ukrainians would prefer to be Russian rather than Ukrainian. The complexity of Ukraine's current status, including its poor performance at self-government, is mirrored by the complexity of the Western world's responses to it.

In this respect, Biden's mumbled confusion about invasions and incursions is plausible, though such reflections are usually formulated carefully and delivered in secrecy to the appropriate parties.

[...]

Putin has some right to seek to alter the status quo, but he has no right to threaten the entire Ukraine. The best settlement of this problem — though at the moment no one is in sight who has the stature to lead the intricate discussions that would be necessary to achieve it — would include the following elements: a referendum could be conducted by international authorities of unquestionable integrity in the heavily Russian districts contiguous to Russia on the question of whether the inhabitants would prefer to reside in Russia or Ukraine.

Those heavily Russian areas that wish to do so could join Russia over a one year period in which those who wish to remain in Ukraine would be facilitated in relocating within its new boundaries. Russia would accept, even tacitly, that it has no standing to comment on what countries are in NATO. Ukraine would become eligible for NATO and EU membership if it shaped itself up to a civilized standard of democratic self-administration.

Black devoted his Feb. 7 column to scoffing at the notion that Putin would actually invade Ukraine:

If Putin intended to invade Ukraine he would do so as he did with Crimea in 2008 and attempt to achieve some element of surprise. Instead he has made an international public spectacle of amassing six to 10 divisions on the Ukraine border, which every informed person in the world knows is inadequate to defeat and dominate a resistant country of 40 million people.

This is theater: Russia pretends to threaten to be going to war; America pretends to react strongly, the NATO allies send forces to neighboring countries that are not under threat while asserting that they will on no account deploy forces into Ukraine, but will apply sanctions to Russia; some even propose preemptive sanctions against Russia although it has not actually done anything objectionable. (Russia could never be more than moderately inconvenienced by sanctions, especially if China and Germany ignore them.)

The president of Ukraine says a Russian invasion is not imminent.

[...]

Biden knows that Russia is not likely to invade, and he may reason that the reiteration of the NATO position that Ukraine is not now acceptable in NATO can be seized by Putin as a tactical victory, while Biden can claim to have been a forceful defender of the national and alliance interest and of the rights of Ukraine as an underdog nation struggling to become a functioning national democracy, as the tension subsides.

Putin may even be astute enough to know that this is all that could raise Biden's standing among his countrymen and prevent the landslide in favor of the harder-line Trump Republicans, with or without Donald Trump himself.

He may even be astute enough to know that an appreciable number of Republicans could embrace, and some audibly have embraced, paleoconservative Republican isolationism, and have attacked any concept of helping defend Ukraine as asinine George W. Bush Iraq-style open-ended warmongering.

[...]

If Russia can be granted an unvexed relationship with the Russian minorities in neighboring countries, even if some borders have to be redrawn, conciliated respectfully but deterred effectively from traditional Russian expansionism and attracted instead by solidarity with the West in the front rank of western nations with such eminent comparative newcomers as Japan, India, and even Germany, the preeminence of the West, as long as we act sensibly and deserve the leadership of the world, will be relatively secure, and we can make arrangements with China from a position of strength.

That's not the way any of that turned out. Nope, didn't age well at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EST
Wayne Allyn Root COVID Misinformation Watch, Civil War Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root is ramping up the fearmongering to go along with his COVID misinformation. In his Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column, he melted down over Washington, D.C.'s mandate regarding vaccinated people:

Thursday wasn't a good day for President Joe Biden. First, the Supreme Court shouted "LET'S GO BRANDON" by killing his prized private-employer vaccine mandate. Then Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema destroyed his dreams of banning voter ID to ensure one-party rule in America.

After hearing all that bad news, I'm guessing Biden put a lid on it and headed for the White House basement where his wife prepared baby food, fed him milk from a bottle and then tucked him in with his favorite blankie.

But we can't afford to rest because of two short-lived victories. We have much work to do to save America from a communist/fascist takeover.

Washington, D.C., is Exhibit A. Did you hear the latest plot twist in Washington? Two steps forward, one step back.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser just announced people cannot leave their home or hotel without proof of vaccination, or "papers," 24/7. You can't enter any restaurant, bar, retail store, department store or gym, or even walk the streets, without government-issued photo ID, plus proof of vaccination.

This is happening in America.

People "like me" are banned from Washington, D.C. I'm not certain: Is it because I'm Jewish, Republican or unvaccinated? Maybe all three?

Nobody cares that you're a right-wing Jew, Wayne. They do care, however, that you're overly proud to be a COVID superspreader. Nevertheless, he continued to go Godwin:

Today's unvaccinated American is being called the same words Jews were called in Nazi Germany: dirty, filthy, dangerous, diseased, criminal, disloyal, selfish, someone who should be banned from society, no longer allowed to eat at restaurants or have a drink among normal people. 

What's next? Yellow stars? Well, that's already happening. In many schools in America, children are being separated by vaccination status.

Why? Because COVID transmissibility was highly elevated and vaccines work. Root just doesn't want to admit those inconvenient facts.

Root went off on a really weird tangent in his Jan. 24 column, insisting that Democratic support for vaccine mandatesmakes them just like pro-slavery confederates:

Understand I'm not talking about today's American South. I love the South. If it weren't for the patriots and conservatives of Southern states today, we wouldn't have a Republican Party. We wouldn't have lower taxes, prosperity, plentiful jobs, economic freedom or capitalism. We wouldn't be America. God bless the Southern states. You are my heroes.

But the Confederate South of the Civil War period is a different story. The Confederate South was built upon slavery. The Confederate South believed one group of Americans was subhuman and had no rights. Enslaving any group, for any reason, is pure evil. Slavery is the biggest stain on America's history.

I repeat, today's Democrats are the new Confederates.

It's happening again today. It's time to admit demonizing one group of Americans, taking their rights away and enslaving them is evil. It's un-American. These views don't belong in American politics. They don't belong in America.

It's time to tell the raw truth – no matter how ugly. Democrats hate us: Republicans, conservatives, capitalists and, most intensely, the unvaccinated. Democrats want no dissent. No freedom of speech. They want to destroy our lives. It's all out in the open now. They want to imprison us, censor us, ban us and take our jobs and businesses away. They even want to take our children away.

In short, they want to make us serfs and slaves. Over a mild flu, or common cold bug, with a 99.9% chance of recovery. The excuse for slavery in the 1800s was cotton. Today it's COVID-19.

Root tried to top that in his Feb. 7 column by calling for a Canada-esque trucker blockade outside the Super Bowl:

It's time to use civil disobedience to kill the vaccine mandates. In America we need our courageous "Mother Truckers" to blockade the Super Bowl. It's time for thousands of 18-wheeler trucks to surround SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Just like 57,000 trucks in Canada have blockaded Ottawa, Canada's capital. They aren't leaving until Canada is free again. Until they've driven a stake through tyranny. Until the vaccine mandate is dead.

That's how we catch the attention of America's corrupt media, corrupt politicians and the dumb, clueless NFL that demands both vaccines and masks the entire game (outdoors) for the Super Bowl. I think truckers should blockade the Super Bowl.

And after that, if the morons of the Biden administration and the corrupt, clueless Democrat governors and mayors won't listen, it's time for "A Million Man 18-Wheeler Mother-Trucker Convoy" across this nation, to blockade every state capital and, most importantly, Washington, D.C. No one gets in, or out, until this vaccine mandate is dead. No goods get delivered to market until this vaccine mandate is dead.

The truckers of America are uniquely positioned to win this battle – because they can single-handedly shut down this nation. Without truckers, there's no gas, no goods, no groceries. And if they block the streets of government capitals, there's no more hot air from politicians. Good riddance.

Of course, Root had some misleading information to attempt to bolster his call for civil disobedience. He hyped that "More Israelis have COVID-19 infections (per capita) than anywhere else on the globe," though that's actually more of a function of aggressive testing tham actual infection levels. He added:

How about hospitalizations? According to professor Yaakov Jerris, director of Ichilov Hospital's coronavirus ward: "Right now, most of our severe cases are vaccinated. They had at least three injections. Between 70 and 80 percent of the serious cases are vaccinated. 

Root is repeating a viral anti-vaxx claim. In fact, the name of the professor and hospital are wrong, and the claim about vaccinated patients was taken out of context -- he actually said that hospitalized vaccinated patients typically have other comorbidities. Root also wrote:

Life insurance giant Aegon just announced life insurance payouts skyrocketed 258% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 2020. What changed? Vaccines didn't exist in 2020.

In fact, higher payouts were being driven by deaths from the Delta variant and deferred medical care during the pandemic, not vaccines.

Root has a track record of dishonest COVID claims, and he lived down to that yet again.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EST
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Preemptive Strike: MRC Pushed Biden-Is-Weak Narrative Ahead Of Russian Invasion
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center had a mission in covering tensions between Russia and Ukraine and role the U.S. played in trying to avert an invasion or other crisis: Blame Biden, no matter what. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the MRC was doing just that. Nicholas Fondacaro used a Feb. 11 item to revive an old anti-Biden narrative to use against him over Ukraine:

In an apparent attempt to not repeat the bad optics and moral travesty of failing to get Americans out of Afghanistan by an arbitrary/self-imposed deadline, President Biden has decided to simply not try to get Americans out of Ukraine at all if Russia invades. And almost as shocking, the liberal broadcast networks, who were actually tough on Biden’s abandonment a few months ago, didn’t share the same outrage at what’s essentially a morbid promise by the President.

At no point did any of the networks invoke the Afghanistan withdrawal disaster, nor did they air any concern or criticism of the decision to leave Americans in a war zone. They treated it as the Biden administration giving them fair warning and getting out is on them now.

Mark Finkelstein devoted a Feb. 15 post to bashing MSNBC's Jeremy Bash for the sin of saying nice things about how Biden was handling the Ukraine crisis. Then, on Feb. 20, Kevin Tober cheered a right-wing attack on Biden under the ridiculous headline "GOP Guest Wipes the Floor With CNN Libs Over Biden's Russian Weakness":

On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, during a panel discussion on the tensions between Russia and Ukraine CNN contributor and former Bush administration advisor Scott Jennings schooled host Dana Bash and her fellow leftist panelists on Russian sanctions. 

At the beginning of the segment, Bash turned to Jennings and lectured him on the GOP’s stance on Russia. “you have a Republican Party which historically, largely, almost entirely has been about pushing back on Russian aggression” Bash observed before turning around and trashing the GOP. “And now you have some pretty loud voices in the GOP, Scott Jennings, from Fox News to Capitol Hill, questioning why the U.S. even cares about this, whether there's even an interest there?”

Jennings set the record straight “I would just point you to January when the Republican Party led by Ted Cruz in the Senate tried to put sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden and the Democrats led a filibuster, a Jim Crow filibuster, their words, not mine, against these sanctions.”

Neither Jennings nor Tober mentioned that forcing those sanctions in January -- Cruz's motivation for which was the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, not Russia's aggression toward Ukraine -- would have broken the U.S. away from working with Europe in acting against Putin and might have even provoked Putin into attacking Ukraine earlier.

A Feb. 21 post by Kyle Drennen complained that ABC was "lobbing softballs" at national security adviser Jake Sullivan "and even suggesting the U.S. should appease Vladimir Putin with 'concessions.'" Drennen didn't mention that his fellow right-wingers were demanding that Biden appease Putin by declaring that Ukraine would not be let into NATO or even by dissolving NATO altogether.

As threats of sanctions by the U.S. and European countries failed to convince Putin to back off and he invaded into Ukraine, the MRC's narrative shifted to portraying Biden as a failure (not that Putin was a madman who would not have been deterred no matter what Biden did, including the NATO appeasement the MRC's fellow right-wingers wanted). A Feb. 22 post by Curtis Houck, for example, complained that "major broadcast network newscasts largely chose Tuesday to absolve President Biden and his team for Putin feeling emboldened to take another step in what he views as reclaiming the old Russian empire." The MRC's attacks continued:

And when commentators pointed out that Donald Trump's actions and policies toward Russia may have played a role in Putin feeling emboldened to invade Ukraine, the MRC lashed out. Alex Christy complained that "Morning Joe" on MSNBC "bizarrely tried to point a finger of blame at former President Trump instead. Hosts and pundits claimed the only reason Vladimir Putin didn’t further dismember the eastern European nation during Trump's presidency was because the Republican already gave Putin everything he wanted. " Christy sneered in response:

If Putin didn’t feel threatened by Trump and if Trump gave him everything he wanted, then what was stopping him from recognizing the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine or possibly conducting a full scale invasion?

[...]

Still, if Ukraine is defenseless, she declared that it's Trump’s fault: “...why didn't Putin do this during the Trump Administration? Because he thought Trump was weakening Ukraine, especially on these grounds. So this, the problem with Ukraine being unfortified goes back several years and—and-- much of the fault lies in the Trump Administration.”

Like Jordan’s explanation, Appleabaum’s theory makes no sense. Trump did more in terms of military support for Ukraine than the Obama Administration did as the latter refused to provide lethal aid. If Ukraine was so defenseless because of him, why wait until he was no longer president?

Christy didn't mention that Trump tried to blackmail Ukraine by threatening to withhold some of those weapons unless it came up with dirt on Joe Biden.

Houck devoted a Feb. 24 post to grumblling that some critics "took the farcical route by suggesting the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was to blame." Houck never offered a coherent response to the idea, instead mocking it as a conspiracy theory and "galaxy brain opinions." When Alex Vindman -- the officer whose military career was destroyed by Trump for telling the truth about what Trump tried to do to Ukraine -- argued that Republicans have "blood on their hands" over the invasion because of how  Trump emboldened Putin, Houck simply sneered in response: "Maybe making such an ardent liberal partisan the poster child for civil and military service in 2019 and 2020 wasn’t the best idea."

It's clear that Houck still can't see that clinging to Trump after five years of his lies and inciting an insurrection isn't the best idea either.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EST
WND Magazine's Issue Of Whataboutism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last month's edition of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine was called "The Real Insurrection," which insists that Democrats are the ones trying to overthrow the country:

Of course, the Left is always trying to “reset,” “reform” or “transform” the world, as it holds a fundamentally revolutionary worldview. Barack Obama, just prior to being elected president in 2008, famously boasted, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Echoed Joe Biden, before he was elected president in 2020, “[We] won’t just rebuild this nation – we’ll transform it.” And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, breathlessly anticipating the Georgia runoff races that would give control of the U.S. Senate to the Democrats, announced with a flourish: "Now we take Georgia, and then we change America!"

[...]

Under the banner of the “Great Reset,” progressive-Left elites in America, as well as globally, are totally obsessed with leveraging every crisis – whether real (COVID-19) or fake (the earth will be totally unhabitable in 10 years due to man-caused “climate change”) – into the establishment of a completely new authoritarian system. With them in charge.

Now, there’s an insurrection for you.

As if right-wingers like WND wouldn't be unhappy with Donald Trump as an authoritarian ruler.

Managing editor David Kupelian's introductory essay is, unsuprisingly, filled with distortions and lies to further the theme. He started with being butthurt about what President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said on the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection:

One year after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, President Joe Biden gravely informed the nation that the incident, during which exactly one person, an unarmed female pro-Trump protester, was killed – unnecessarily shot to death at close range, without warning, by a Capitol Hill policeman – was “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.”

Biden delivered this extraordinary assessment immediately after Vice President Kamala Harris solemnly equated the out-of-control D.C. protest to both the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2,403 Americans and injured 1,178, and the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed 2,977 Americans and injured over 6,000. The Civil War killed an estimated 750,000 Americans.

How, wonder normal Americans, is it possible that the nation’s top political leaders could make such obviously insane statements? More important, what do such bizarre pronouncements say about where the progressive elites are secretly leading the nation?

Of course, Babbitt was in the midst of committing a crime inside the seat of government, and the officer who killed her had every right to stand his ground.

The projectionist Kupelian, also unsurprisingly, accused liberals of projection: "But first, understand that those on the revolutionary Left are, and always have been, slaves of projection: the compulsion to accuse others of the very sins and crimes of which they themselves are guilty. It’s in their nature, they can’t help it, it’s reflexive and automatic." Yet to this day, Kupelian and his boss, Joseph Farah, cling to the Big Lie that Trump actually won the election, and they would be perfectly happy to see the government overthrown to re-install Trump in the White House.

Another Kupelian whataboutism bullet point is built on a lie:

The Biden administration daily refers to regular Americans – say, parents who attend school board meetings to protest the Marxist indoctrination of their own children, or citizens who object to Biden’s tyrannical and dangerous COVID mandates – as “violent extremists.” But when actual violent extremists – virtually all on the Left, including Black Lives Matter and Antifa – were on full display during the summer of 2020, destroying, looting and burning down dozens of major American cities, killing dozens, wounding over 2,000 police officers and causing 1,300 times the damage as the Jan. 6 riot, Democrats and the major media blithely praised the massive, destructive riots as “mostly peaceful,” noble and historic civil rights protests.

In fact, nobody ever portrayed parents who merely speak out at school board meetings as "violent extremists." Does Kupelian think that parents who advocated violence or issue threats against school board members should be punished for their extremism? Probably not.

Kupelian also whined: "The Democrats then endeavored relentlessly, throughout the entire Trump presidency, to wrest control of the government from America’s elected leaders – including two fraudulent impeachment trials, in addition to the fraudulent Mueller investigation. Yet today, Democrats claim Republicans, conservatives and Trump supporters are trying to mount a multifaceted “insurrection” to illegally take control of the government." In fact, both impeachments were legitimate, as was the Mueller investigation -- which, despite Kupelian's insistence that it found no evidence of collusion, actually did find evidence suggesting collusion between Trump and Russia.

Kupelian further complained:

Historically, from Stalin to Mao to Chavez, Marxist/socialist leaders have never been truly interested in everyone being equal. That’s just happy talk to seduce the masses. First and foremost, these sociopaths crave power over other people, they want to be the arbiters of reality, they want wealth and privilege for themselves, they want glory, they want revenge on their enemies, and they want worship.

In a word, what they really want is to be gods.

As if Trump doesn't want to be a god, to rule by fiat, to have power over people? The fact that Kupelian can't breeak out of his Trump delusion to see that everything he's accusing liberals of applies at least as much to right-wingers like Trump, Farah and himself makes his commentary utterly partisan and unreliable -- and another reason why WND is going down the tubes.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:18 PM EST
Newsmax's Kerik Battles With Jan. 6 Committee, Touts Another Congressional Candidate
Topic: Newsmax

Disgraced ex-New York City police chief Bernard Kerikjhas been keeping himself quite busy over the past several months.

Kerik has doing a little dance with the House committee looking into the Capitol riot, which would like to hear from him because of his presence in the "command center" at a Washington, D.C., hotel -- which Kerik initially paid for, and later got reimbursement from the Trump campaign -- for Donald Trump's efforts to try and overthrow the presidential election he lost. Newsmax reported in November that Trump was waiving attorney-clilent privilege to allow Kerik to testify to the committee (never mind that Kerik is not an attorney, let alone under Trump's employ at the time). A month later, Newsmax noted that Kerik said he would publicly release some documents the committee was seeking, while also whining that he didn't "trust" the committee. Kerik did eventually do a document drop on New Year's Eve, which is more interesting for listing the stuff Kerik won't release.

After much wavering, Kerik eventually agreed to a "voluntary interview" with the committee, during which he would not be placed under oath. That took place on Jan. 13.

In the meantime, Kerikhas been linking himself to some extreme local candidates in upcoming elections. We've noted how Kerik signed on to help Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens -- best known for being forced to resign as Missouri governor over accusations he tried to blackmail a woman he was having an abusive affair with -- as well as fringe Georgia governor candidate Vernon Jones.

Now Kerik is trying to lend his dubious magic to another congressional candidate. Scott Kaspar, who's running for a House seat in suburban Chicago -- is such a Kerik-lover that Kerik was by his side when he announced his candidacy in an effort to bolster a tough-on-crime image (never mind that Kerik spent years in prison for breaking the law). To that end, Kerik and Kaspar co-wrote a Jan. 31 Newsmax column pushing the usual tough-on-crime talking points:

Scott Kaspar lives in a sleepy corner of Orland Park, in suburban Cook County, Illinois. There, leaving your garage door open all day while your kids play in the neighborhood is common.

Doors usually are unlocked during the day, and traffic in the area is minimal.

In many ways, up until recently, his neighborhood was the closest thing to a Norman Rockwell painting.

However, we’ve seen crime explode in suburban Chicagoland in the past couple of years.

The occasional carjacking in 2020 has been replaced by weekly carjackings in Orland Park, if not more frequently.

Everyone in Scott’s community knows of a neighbor who has been the victim of a carjacking.

[...]

Solving the problem of crime plaguing Chicago and its suburbs is the real challenge.

Leaders at all levels in government do not have to reinvent the wheel — they can lean on experts like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and like the co-author of this article, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

They are reflective of leaders who have a proven record of driving down crime in their communities.

When Mayor Rudy Giuliani took office, New York City was the crime capital of the country with over 2,200 homicides per year. That’s more than Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles combined. And by the time Mayor Giuliani and New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik left office in 2001, there were approximately 400 homicides per year.

Parents in some of New York City’s most dangerous neighborhoods used to put their children to bed at night in the bathtub so they wouldn’t get hit by stray bullets in the middle of the night — while they slept.

Under the leadership of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New York City, saw a significant reduction in crime. By giving police more power and utilizing "stop-and-frisk" policies, homicides dropped by 70%, and in the black communities, by 80%.

No mention, of course, that Kerik is a convicted felon (whom Donald Trump pardoned) or that Giuliani has utterly beclowned himself in his efforts to attempt to overturn an election Trump lost.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2022 12:52 PM EST
Double Standard: CNS Covers Biden's Prayer Breakfast More Harshly Than Trump's
Topic: CNSNews.com

When President Biden spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast last month, CNSNews.com rushed to frame it as negatively as possible. Its lead article, by Melanie Arter, hyped that Biden used an outdated racial term:

President Joe Biden referred to blacks as “colored” during a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday during Black History Month.

Biden was telling the story of seeing “colored kids” on a bus when he moved from Scranton, Pa., to Claymont, Dela.

“I remember going to a little Catholic grade school in Claymont, Delaware, which is a steel town that was dying, and the bus would --- my mother would drive me to the school parking lot. It’s called Holy Rosary School from a little—it was called Brookview Apartments, used to be Section 8 housing later, and I got out of the bus-- I got out of the car, and that’s where I-95 runs parallel to these days,” the president said.

“And I said mom, ‘Why are all those kids’ – who was then called colored – ‘Why are all those colored kids in that bus?’ Because in Scranton, there weren’t any. There were very few blacks. [My mother] said they’re not allowed to go to school with us here in Delaware. So you know, and Milton wasn’t what you might call the epicenter of desegregation, and so you’ve been through a lot, but you’ve done a lot as well, and I thank you,” he said.

Biden using the word "colored" was the only takeaway Arter got from him telling that story -- even though he explained that the word was in common use when he was growing up.That's the sign of a highly biased news outlet desperate to find negativity and hype it.

That was followed two and a half hours later not by another article on what else Biden might have said but, rather, by a column from CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, bashing Biden's speech, which he turned into a partisan rant having nothing to do with religion:

It's a good thing that Vice President Kamala Harris didn't speak first at the National Prayer Breakfast. She would have made President Joe Biden look bad.

She gave a very good speech, ending with a prayer. He personalized his address, offering a mumbling account of his interactions with congressional colleagues, past and present.

Instead of rehashing old war stories and making silly comments on how "the world is changing," Biden could have taken the opportunity to address one of our most pressing social problems — the war on the police. He said not a word about the cop-killing spree that has become a national embarrassment. Oh, yes, he mentioned gun violence, but not in reference to police being shot.

[...]

The real reason crime is increasing at an alarming rate has everything to do with the leaders of Biden's party. Democrat-run cities with George Soros-funded DAs have sent criminals and cops a message: social justice means fewer penalties for violent criminals and less interest in the welfare of the police.

Biden blew it. He had a chance to make substantive remarks about real-life issues that the public is facing. Instead, he sounded more like an old man reminiscing about days gone by.

The headline of Donohue's column originally read, "Biden's Prayer Breakfast: Flashbacks and Silly Comments but No Discussion of Cop-Killing," but was later changed to the slightly more benign "Biden Failes At Prayer Breakfast Event."

It was not until an hour and a half after Donohue's negativity was posted that CNS got around to doing an article -- anonymously written, of course -- that reported on religion-related things Biden said at the prayer breakfast:

President Joe Biden addressed the National Prayer Breakfast today, which was held in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and attended by many members of Congress from both parties, and said the he prayed that “we follow what Jesus taught us.”

“I’ve attended many of these prayer breakfasts over the years—with our nation at war, in struggle, in strife, peace, in times of prosperity, when everybody was getting on, but a nation in prayer,” said Biden.

“Jill and I have been humbled by the prayers of so many of you, and it means everything to us,” he said. “We pray for our nation as we face an inflection point in our history.”

“You know, at a moment of great division of our democracy is at great—grave risk,” Biden said a moment later in his speech. 

“I pray that we follow what Jesus taught us: to serve rather than be served,” said Biden. “I don’t always do it. I hope try. I don’t always do it. 

“I pray to keep the faith,” he said.

By contrast, CNS' coverage of President Trump's speech at the 2020 prayer breakfast -- which came shortly after he was acquitted by Republicans in his first impeachment trial -- was much different. First up was an article by Arter uncritically repeating Trump's whining about being criticized:

One day after the Senate acquitted him on two articles of impeachment, President Donald Trump opened his speech at the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday by lashing out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats for trying to impeach and remove him from office.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president has been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country,” he said.

[...]

Without naming names, Trump lashed out at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) for being the lone Republican to vote to remove Trump from office and referencing his faith before the vote. The president also lashed out at Pelosi, who attended the National Prayer Breakfast.

Without mentioning Pelosi by name, the president said he doesn’t like people who say “I pray for you” when they know they don’t.

“I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that that's not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can't let that go on, and I will be discussing that a little bit later at the White House,” Trump said. 

That was followed by more uncritical stenography from Arter of Trump using a prayer breakfast to brag about himself:

The U.S. economy is doing so well that employers are running out of people to hire and are employing ex-cons like never before, President Donald Trump said in a speech at the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

“We are lifting up the citizens of every race, color, religion, and create a period of bringing hope to forgotten communities and more Americans are working today, 160 million - a little bit short, just a little bit - 160 million, we have never been even close than ever before,” he said. 

But CNS censored the fact that many faith leaders objected to Trump using the prayer breakfast to unleash political attacks on his critics. Nevertheless, Craig Bannister felt the need to play gotcha with Nancy Pelosi over her criticism of Trump's performance:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she doesn’t know exactly what President Donald Trump said about her or Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) earlier at the National Prayer Breakfast – but, she’s sure it was inappropriate.

At a press event following the breakfast, Pelosi first accused Trump of saying something “completely inappropriate” about Romney:

“So, yesterday, the Senate acted – first time in history that a senator has voted against his own president in a decision regarding impeachment. God bless him for his courage.

“This morning, the president said that, when people use faith as an excuse to do – I don’t if he said, ‘bad things’ – but, whatever he said was just so completely inappropriate, especially at a prayer breakfast.”

Pelosi, then, assumed that Trump had referenced her when he said he didn’t like people who claim they pray for him (as Pelosi has claimed), but don’t actually do so.

Bannistser then huffed that  "In fact, Trump did not actually mention either Pelosi or Romney by name in his prayer breakfast remarks, CNSNews.com reports" -- then quoted from the part of Arter's article in which she explained that Trump didn't use their names, it was clear who he was referring to. Which, of course, completely undermines his argument.

This is just the latest example of CNS treating Biden more harshly than Trump for doing similar things.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 13, 2022 10:18 AM EST
Monday, February 28, 2022
Flooding The Zone: The MRC's War on Whoopi, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center

When last we left off, the Media Research Center played flood-the-zone over Whoopi Goldberg's misguided comments about the Holocaust and achieved its objective: she was suspended from "The View" for two weeks. Somehow, this was not the end of the MRC hammering away on this story.

The day after Goldberg's suspension, Mark Finkelstein lashed out at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough calling the suspension too harsh: "Anyone recall Morning Joe complaining about a conservative being canceled?" Nicholas Fondacaro returned tpo complain about "Whoopi Goldberg’s (stage name) anti-Semitic remarks about the Holocaust" anew, this time griping that despised MSNBC host Joy Reid thought that the incident should have been turned into a "teachable moment" instead of a suspension (which Fondacaro sneered was "a vacation":

She made it clear in the second tease that keeping Whoopi on TV was the goal. “Coming up, ABC suspends Whoopi Goldberg for her recent remarks on race and the Holocaust. Did the network miss out on a prime opportunity for discussion and learning,” she wondered.

In reality, Reid wouldn’t extend such grace if Whoopi was a conservative or espoused right-wing politics.

Fondacaro again complained that Goldberg "had been absolved of all wrong doing by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt." Also, of course, Fondacaro would not be spewing so much hate if Whoopi was a conservative or espoused right-wing politics.

Fondacaro then appeared on Tim Graham's Feb. 2 podcast -- the second podcast he devoted to the issue. Graham gushed how Fondacaro "broke the story" of Goldberg's remarks despite the fact that "The View" has an audience of millions. Both Graham and Fondacaro lamented that token conservative Meghan McCain was no longer on the show. After Fondacaro again falsely called her remarks "anti-Semitic," Graham surprisingly pushed back: "I would say it wasn't anti-Semitic; it was very insensitive." They did both complain that Goldberg, in Fondacaro's words, "got atonement from the ADL."

Alex Christy got testy when George Soros got thrown into the conversation:

On Thursday's New Day, CNN's John Avlon rushed to defend liberal View host Whoopi Goldberg from charges of anti-Semitism after her offensive comments about the Holocaust. As part of one of his "reality checks," Avlon instead tried to deflect the controversy by claiming critics of left-wing billionaire George Soros using his immense wealth to push a radical political agenda were the real villains. 

[...]

Criticizing mega donors is cool when the left does it, but when Fox does it, it suddenly becomes anti-Semitic. And of course, Avlon won't criticize his CNN colleagues for their Nazi comparisons and conveniently forgot to mention various progressive lawmakers engaging in the same anti-Semitic themes.

Christy didn't mention that the MRC has used anti-Semitic imagery to portray Soros as a "puppet master" and at one point declared him a Jew you're allowed to hate.

Alexander Hall renewed the MRC's attack on the ADL, accusing it of having "altered its definition of racism following The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s outrageous Holocaust remarks," adding: "In short, it appears that ADL has altered its own definition of racism multiple times to respond to modern events. When an influential organization like ADL updates a definition, it may signal a sea change for liberal organizations to follow its guidance." Hall also played the Soros card on Greenblatt, rehasing a claim from the right-wing New York Post that he once "directed an initiative at the Aspen Institute, a George Soros-financed, left-leaning nonprofit."

The MRC also published a  Feb. 3 column by right-winger Ben Shapiro attacking Goldberg, followed by a post by Elise Ehrhard touting right-wing actress Gina Carano -- whom the MRC turned into a victim last year when she was fired from "The Mandalorian" for spouting dubious right-wing views -- opining on the case. (She's an employee of Shapiro's.)

For those counting at home, that's 14 Whoopi-centric post over four days. That's the definition of flooding the zone.

When Goldberg returned to "The View" following her suspension, Fondacaro served up a rehash-driven, glory-hounding, poorly edited Feb. 14 post to mark the occasion:

Whoopi Goldberg (stage name) was back on The Views [sic] Monday, a day earlier than her two-week suspension suggested. She was suspended after making anti-Semitic comments claiming the “ Holocaust isn't about race” but rather just "white people doing it to white people" (which NewsBusters was the first to report). But according to her boastful returning message to viewers, they were going to continue to have the “tough conversations.”

“Well, hello, hello, hello, and welcome to The View. And yes, I am back,” she boasted at the top of the show. Her return came a day early, having been suspended on a Tuesday but returning on a Monday.

[...]

“And I hope it keeps all the important conversations happening because we're going to keep having tough conversations,” she declared. “And in part, because this is what we’ve been hired to do.”

The idea that The View has tough conversations is laughable. They all occupy the same liberal bubble and are openly hostile to anyone who doesn’t share it. That truth is evident by the fact that the show is struggling to find a real conservative woman to replace former co-host Meghan McCain.

If Fondacaro is so concerned about ideological balance, why doesn't he walk down the hall and demand that the MRC's "news" operation, CNSNews.com, add a liberal columnist?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 28, 2022 10:19 PM EST

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