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Wednesday, March 9, 2022
WND Interviews Fringe COVID Doc -- And Tries To Cash In On Him
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The only bit of original "reporting" that WorldNetDaily has done in recent months is a series of video interviews reporter Art Moore has done with prominent COVID misinformers like Robert Malone. But Moore has been adding some less prominent misinformers to his interview slate -- and one with a money-grubbing twist.

For a Feb. 8 article, Moore interviewed Viadimir Zelenko, an early proponent of the questionable drug hydroxychloroquine whom WND enthusiastically promoted early in the pandemic despite a lack of proper documentation for his claims. Moore touted how Zelenko "has developed an over-the-counter formulation to treat COVID-19 called Z-Stack that contains zinc, quercetin, vitamin D and vitamin C," adding, that "Zelenko has explained that the key virus killer is zinc, which has a known antiviral effect, and it's drugs like hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin and quercetin that  "open the door to the cell and let the zinc in." In fact, there's little evidence that zinc works against COVID, and there's little evidence that Zelenko's supplement works as advertised.

But it's not until the end of the article that it's revealed the whole thing is a cross-promotional deal:

IMPORTANT NOTE: WND IS NOW OFFERING DR. ZELENKO’S FAMED over-the-counter treatment Z-STACK: An early champion of hydroxychloroquine for combatting COVID, even advising President Trump about its use, Dr. Zelenko saved hundreds of lives even during the earliest months of the pandemic. As his reward, he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, vilified by the media, and New York’s governor blocked his patients’ access to hydroxychloroquine.

But Zelenko didn’t stop. He kept researching and working – and discovered a way to help people with an over-the-counter solution he calls Z-Stack.

[...]

If you’d like to try Z-Stack, Dr. Zelenko has made available a special link for WND readers. By purchasing through this link, you’ll also be supporting and benefiting WND.

Order Z-Stack today for immune system support – and use code WND for a discount!

In other words, there's a reason Moore didn't ask Zelenko any challenging questions -- the're both trying to sell you something.

Note to Moore and WND: If you're effectively running press releases as a fund-raiser to keep your website alive, you've stopped being a "news" operation.That fact that it has taken sides on the COVID debate for money means its "journalism" cannot be trusted (though, frankly, it hasn't been trustworthy for years before this).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EST
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
MRC Dances On Jeff Zucker's CNN Grave, Smears Him As 'Puppetmaster' Again
Topic: Media Research Center

Jeff Zucker has long been a nemesis of the Media Research Center, where Curtis Houck has repeatedly smeared the Jewish Zucker with the anti-Semitic "puppetmaster" trope -- putting him on the same level of hate that it places George Soros. When Zucker resigned as CNN chairman last month over an improper relationship with a subordinate, Houck was positively gleeful in response, repeating his immature sniping at CNN's ratings and hurling the "puppetmaster" slur again:

On Wednesday morning, CNN president, longtime overlord, and puppetmaster Jeff Zucker resigned effective immediately from the failing, far-left network after nine years over what he called “a consensual relationship with my closest colleague” with fellow CNN executive Allison Gollust that he had failed “to disclose...when it began.”

[...]

It remains to be seen who will take over the network (which has lost ratings battles to the likes of a Hallmark movie, Moonshiners, My 600 Pound Life, and Pepa Pig [sic]) in this surprising move ahead of its merger with Discovery but, almost a year ago, former CNN media reporter Dylan Byers reported Gollust was a frontrunner.

Houck also huffed: "Given CNN's recent track record of alleged and verified allegations of sexual misconduct, one could give them a new slogan offered up by NewsBusters deputy managing editor Nick Fondacaro: This is CNN, the most pervy name in news.

Needless to say, both Houck and Fondacaro memory-holed -- along with the rest of the MRC -- the pervasive sexual misconduct at their favorite channel, Fox News, and its longtime leader, Roger Ailes.

A couple hours later, Houck lashed out at CNN anchor Brian Stelter for praising Zucker's work at CNN, even though Stelter, as a CNN employee, is much more familiar with it than he is:

Playing the role of Baghdad Bob after the 2003 fall of the Iraqi capital to U.S. troops, CNN’s Reliable Sources host and chief media correspondent Brian Stelter crawled out of his shell to spinelessly shill for Jeff Zucker moments after his resignation from CNN and “pioneering figure” and their “rock” who’s left them in “a stunner.”

As if some national hero had passed on, Stelter coached those watching inside CNN to continue covering “the news” as he would want them to do.

CNN has been anything but in Zucker’s nine years and instead a shell of itself, having become one of American’s most hated media organizations and hemorrhaged viewers in both prime time and total day since he took over in January 2013.

By contrast, when the Ailes scandal broke, one NewsBusters blogger insisted that Ailes shouldn't be blamed for the pervasive culture of sexual harassment at Fox News, and another claimed it was "liberal bias" for anyone to even discuss Ailes' sexual harassment issues -- or, for that matter, anything remotely critical about him, no matter how accurate.

Houck's obsessive attack on any CNN employee who praised Zucker continued the next day:

CNN spent Wednesday in mourning as if CNN boss Jeff Zucker had passed away when, in fact, he was pushed out for having carried on an inappropriate relationship with fellow CNN exec Allison Gollust, calling him “incredible,” “remarkable,” “larger than life,” and “singular” person who brought “a clarity of mission” to the network. 

In other words, it was something North Korean news reader Ri Chun-hee would have found creepy.

With praise so gushy and reports those inside CNN are some combination of despondent and enraged over Zucker’s ouster, it’s safe to wonder whether CNN can ever be saved as a serious, sober news organization considering their desire to stay the course from what Zucker made them.

Houck again called Zucker a "puppetmaster."

If Houck wants to read obsequiously gushy praise for a terrible person, all he needs to do is read his boss Bren Bozell's sickening tribute to Ailes upon his death in 2018, which fawned that "The good Roger did for America is immeasurable" and censored all the harassment stuff.

Houck entered his third day -- yes, the third day -- of shrieking at CNN employees for praising Zucker in a Feb. 4 post (and, yes, he hurled the "puppetmaster" slur again):

Through a series of stories this week, it was evident CNN’s current staff have no interest in being salvaged as a serious news organization and anything other than a far-left propaganda outlet worthy of being some combination of mocked and ignored. Instead of seeking to move on from their disgraced former boss Jeff Zucker after his Wednesday ouster, they’ve tried to canonize him as a tent pole of American democracy.

[...]

To underline the level in which Zucker was some combination of puppetmaster and hand-holder for these sheep, he quoted chief political correspondent Dana Bash as having said “the punishment didn’t fit the crime” and it went against Zucker’s morals in giving people “a second chance.”

Without a sense of irony for how CNN has shown nothing but hate in seeking to treat conservatives as enemies of the state, chief political analyst Gloria Borger lamented Zucker wasn’t given “a lot of dignity” with Kasie Hunt fretting the Zucker news will cloud the launch of CNN+.

Houck is clearly lacking irony for how his obsessive hatred for all things Zucker and CNN makes his rantings look like an unhinged hatchet job and not "media research."

Houck called those who praised Zucker part of a "cult" in the headline of his piece, and that theme was also pushed in Tim Graham's Feb. 4 podcast: "We were all sitting around reading these stories saying, CNN should never again try to talk about somebody else as a cult, whether it's the followers or Trump or anyone else, because these people, when they talk about Zucker, it's just kinda creepy." Of course, Graham and his fellow MRC employees are all cultish followers of Trump -- not to mention cultishly devoted to Ailes desipte his disgrace -- so he's a little sensitive on the issue.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EST
Michael Brown's COVID Agony, Part 2: Keeping The Wishy-Washy Status Quo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Even after being sick for several days with a moderate case of COVID, WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown couldn't stop waffling on the issue of vaccination (he wasn't, which likely made his case worse than it needed to be) and misinformation (because free speech, or something). And the waffling hasn't stopped. In his Jan. 17 column, Brown joined the Media Research Center in praising tennis star Novak Djokovic for sticking to his anti-vaxxer guns, which cost him a spot in the Australian Open. While conceding that "the Australian Open has the right to determine what vaccination policies it will follow, and players can choose to comply and play or not," Brown added, "But was it right to deport him simply because of potential thought crimes? Was this yet another shocking example of Australia's draconian efforts to combat COVID?" He continued:

Once again, I am not for a second belittling the very real dangers of COVID, as I said repeatedly for almost two years now. And I am not minimizing for a moment the difficult decisions that governments must make during this pandemic.

But to ban one of the world's top athletes from playing in your country simply because his personal choice not to be vaccinated might influence others is to set a very dangerous precedent, confirming the worst fears of many within Australia. How far will this go?

Brown took a different approach in his Jan. 24 column, pondering the spiritual dimension of COVID, which included the purportedly demonic feeling fighting the disease some feel as well as knowing people who have died from it. Brown admitted to "tormenting thoughts" while fighting COVID, adding:

Again, there could be a perfectly natural explanation to this. And it's even possible that COVID affects the body in such a way that one's emotions are impacted as well. After all, the brain is part of the body.

I can't comment on that possibility at all because of my lack of medical knowledge.

But I can say this. I do know my relationship with the Lord. I do know the reality of my faith. And I do have some understanding of the spiritual realm.

That's why I don't discount for a moment the demonic nature of some of these fears and emotional assaults. (By demonic, I mean originating with the devil, who is as real as you and I are, and actualized by demons, who are also quite real.)

After all, one of Satan's greatest tools is fear. And the greatest fear of all is the fear of death (and, in some cases, fear of what is coming beyond death).

But even after all of this, Brown still couldn't bring himself to take a stand.  He pondered in his March 7 column:

For those in the pro-COVID-vaccine camp, there is a two-fold concern for those who choose not to be vaccinated. First, they are endangering their own lives. Second, they are potentially endangering the lives of others should they get infected and spread the virus.

For those who are skeptical about the vaccines, there is also a two-fold concern. First, do these vaccines really work? Second, long term or short term, could these vaccines do more harm than good?

ccordingly, there has been passionate debate about these issues, with many in the pro-vaccine camp seeking to censor or deplatform those who raise questions about the vaccines. After all, the pro-vax camp reasons, with your anti-vax misinformation, you are dissuading people from getting vaccinated, and that could be fatal.

I'm not here to weigh in on these issues (other than to say that everyone should be allowed to present their relevant views publicly without fear of censorship). I want to focus instead on something far more dangerous than alleged vaccine misinformation, namely, our active promoting of unhealthy foods that lead to obesity and death.

Yes, he shifted the debate from COVID to obesity:

In this case, we know for a fact that obesity is deadly. We also know for a fact that much of our American diet contributes to obesity and premature death. Yet we celebrate our unhealthy culture with a constant bombardment of sumptuous ads on TV and internet, calling us to feast afresh on the latest decadent meals.

Or do you actually think that a steady diet of sugary drinks (like Coke), pizza, donuts, ice cream, pasta, burgers and fried foods is not dangerous, but COVID is?

That's not the issue, and Brown knows it. Getting vaccinated and struggling to deal with body issues and orienting oneself toward healthy eating are two wildly different things. He finally acknowledged that at the end of his column:

That being said, I know how powerful food addictions can be, and I do not sit in judgment of you or your weight or your lifestyle. Not for a split second.

I'm simply saying that with today's hyper-charged atmosphere when it comes to alleged COVID misinformation (on either side of the debate, understandably so), I find it quite ironic that, at the same time, we advertise and celebrate a decadent lifestyle that is undeniably deadly.

Perhaps this deserves more attention.

Of course, nobody's seriously claiming health benefits from junk food, and most poeple understand how advertising works, as well as that junk food is not good for you in the long run. By contrast, anti-vaxxers are promoting demonstrably false and misleading claims about COVID vaccines, and people have been misled into believing it. The problem here that Brown still doesn't really want to do anything about COVID misinformation -- a presumably non-insignificant portion of his audience is anti-vaxxers, and he doesn't want to take a stand lest he lose them.

Such wishy-washiness serves neither him nor his audience well.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:39 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 4:41 PM EST
Newsmax Defends Trump Against Conservatives At National Review
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax remains firmly in Trump suck-up mode, and that was made clear again in a Feb. 6 "news" article by Eric Mack defending Donald Trump against the conservatives at National Review, complaining that "the magazine ran a lead editorial criticizing the Republican National Committee for censuring Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., calling the move "both morally repellent" and "political malpractice of the highest order." Mack huffed in response: "National Review did not criticize the House Democrats for not seeking accountability for the one in charge of Capitol security on Jan. 6 -- Pelosi."

In fact, Pelosi was not in charge of the Capitol police nor a member of any committee supervising it at the time of the Capitol riot.

Mack further complained: "While National Review has embraced progressive talking points on the Jan. 6 protests, it has not excoriated Democrats to the same degree for embracing months of violent George Floyd protests, nor has it called for Congressional hearings into the mayhem." In fact, the vast majority of protests against police brutality in 2020 were peaceful.

Mack also grumbled: "Last year, National Review's lead legal writer and Fox News contributor, Andrew McCarthy, even called for Trump's conviction after Democrats brought forth a politically motivated impeachment on legally dubious grounds." Mack didn't mention that McCarthy agreed that Trump's impeachment was "politically motivated" -- as all impeachments are -- he would have voged to impeach because "Impeachable conduct for which condemnation is warranted did in fact occur."

Meanwhile, Charlie McCarthy lived up to his name by uncritically mouthing Trump's words in a Feb. 8 article:

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning said President Joe Biden wouldn't have needed to threaten closure of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if he had continued Trump administration policy.

Biden on Monday warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. would "bring an end" to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russian troops invade Ukraine.

"Well, I stopped it, but I stopped it differently," Trump said Tuesday during an interview on Fox Business. "I stopped it with the threat of tariffs and with various other things. And it was stopped. It was dead. It was absolutely dead.

"Biden came in and he opened it. And he killed our pipeline, Keystone XL. But I stopped it. I had it stopped … I didn't know what he was doing, he came in and he said, 'Proceed with that [Nord Stream] pipeline.' "

In fact, the Trump White House, through then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, issued guidance that exempted the project from sanctions measures passed by Congress in 2017; at the time, Trump was trying to cozy up to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. It wasn't until later in his administration, Decmeber 2019 -- after the pipeline continued construction for three years during his administration -- that Trump sanctioned the entities building the pipeline, effectively stopping construction on it. The project was restarted in late 2020 as the entities found a way around the sanctions; Biden lifted the sanctions after he took office because it was clear they would no longer stop the project, and they were replaced in July 2021 with an agreement that the U.S. and Germany would impose costs on Russia regarding the pipeline if it harmed Ukraine or other European countries -- which is what happened when Russia invaded Ukraine.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EST
CNS Promotes Right-Wing Rabbis Bizarrely Bashing The ADL Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com -- particularly managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- just loves the pro-Trump right-wing rabbis who call themselves the Coalition for Jewish Values, even when they're doing nonsensical things like defending Tucker Carlson's racist "replacement theory" and bashing the Anti-Defamation League for not being Jewish enough. Both of those attacks were renewed -- with the additional feature of portraying George Soros as a Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate -- in a Jan. 28 article by Chapman:

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents more than 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of American public policy, sharply criticized the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today for attempting to smear Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson as a peddler of antisemitism.

The ADL described Carlson's new documentary on left-wing billionaire George Soros, Hungary vs. Soros: The Fight for Civilization, as a "dangerous antisemitic dog whistle."

"It is disappointing that the ADL has doubled down on what we called 'grossly misplaced charges of antisemitism' last spring, aimed once again at a favorite target," said CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes in a statement. "The ADL has a pattern of saying that Carlson is using 'dog whistles' when he expresses political viewpoints with which they disagree."

In reference to the documentary, The Daily Beast wrote, "Carlson echoed antisemitic tropes that Jewish people wish to upend Western civilization, claiming Soros’ goal was 'destruction aimed at the West' and aims to make society 'more dangerous [and] dirtier.'"

[...]

In the documentary, Carlson documents many of the left-wing organizations and policies that Soros' foundations fund. Carlson also interviews Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a conservative, who states that Soros is  "the condensed symbol of everything the Hungarian right hates."

Actually, Orban is much more than a "conservative"; as we documented when CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, bizarrely embraced him as a hero of "free speech" for wanting to control social media, he's a right-wing authoritarian leader who suppresses disssent and free speech, and his portrayal of Soros as an enemy of the Hungarian people is a part of that.

While Chapman doesn't quote anyone from the CJV criticizing Soros, he made sure to denigrate Soros' heritage on his own: "George Soros, 91, was born into a non-observant Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary.  In interviews, Soros has said he does not believe in God. Soros has a reported net worth of $8.6 billion."Chapman also referenced a MRC "special report" attacking Soros, though he didn't mention his employers bad habit of using anti-Semitic tropes to bash Soros.

Chapman then rehashed the CJV's defense of Carlson for pushing the "replacement theory" conspiracy that Democrats are conspiring to replace American voters with, in Carlson's words, "more obedient voters from the Third World," and quoted a CJV official as saying this is "exactly, precisely what the Biden-Pelosi-Schumer Democrats now are endeavoring to do."

A Feb. 2 article -- this one anonymously written -- featured the CJV lashing out at Amnesty International as anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel's treatment of Palestinians:

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents more than 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of American public policy, denounced a new Amnesty International report that paints Israel as an apartheid state, and charged the organization with being an "antisemitic hate group." 

[...]

In a statement, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, said, "The Amnesty International report, which we have seen and examined, is openly antisemitic. No one should pretend it is about a political dispute when it is rife with hatred against individual Jews.

Neither the CJV nor the anonymous CNS writer explain how criticizing how Israel treats its neighbors is inherently and reflexively "anti-Semitic."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EST
Monday, March 7, 2022
MRC Shows Its Partisan Colors In Its War on NewsGuard
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been waging war on website credibility firm NewsGuard for the sin of finding that right-wing websites are less credible than mainstream news or even liberal websites -- though the MRC has never been able to prove NewsGuard wrong despite a lot of ranting about "left-leaning" (a claim it also hasn't supported with credible evidence). The ranting continued in a Jan. 26 post by Catherine Salgado against a new NewsGuard initiative:

Biased online ratings firm NewsGuard is taking its information war to schoolchildren through a deal made with the American Federation of Teachers.

School children depend on the internet for homework help. NewsGuard is now stepping in to “filter” online sources for so-called “misinformation.” The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union is buying NewsGuard licenses for its 1.7 million member teachers, according to an AFT press release. The partnership will make NewsGuard available to tens of millions of students and their families for free.

The NewsGuard partnership will foist the company's “real-time ‘traffic light’ news ratings and detailed ‘Nutrition Label’ reviews, via a licensed copy of NewsGuard’s browser extension” on students using news stories for research.

NewsGuard isn’t a reliable source, however. A recent MRC study found that outlets rated “left” or “lean left” by AllSides received an average NewsGuard score of 93/100. Sites considered “right” or “lean right” by AllSides had an average NewsGuard rating of 66/100.  The news “credibility” rater also has a major partnership with leftist Microsoft to fight alleged “disinformation.”

As we've documented, that MRC "study" offered no evidence to dispute NewsGuard's findings, and AllSides is a right-leaning fact-checker with sloppy labeling whose work has been touted by the MRC before, making it immediately suspicious. Salgado went on to parrot an absurd attack issued by her boss:

MRC President Brent Bozell blasted the AFT-NewsGuard partnership, suggesting it is worse than critical race theory in public schools. “The left has found a dangerous and equally disingenuous new way to indoctrinate our children, without their parents knowing. NewsGuard is partnering with a national teacher's union to bring their biased ratings into classrooms nationwide. This is as bad as CRT. In fact, it's worse. Like CRT, it is designed to push a leftist ideology on children, but unlike CRT, the left is not going to give it a name this time. This is purposely designed to go under the radar of public scrutiny.”

Judging a website's credibilty is "worse" than critical race theory? Only in Bozell's fevered brain.

Speaking of that bogus study, an anonymously written Feb. 1 post -- curiously credited only to "NB Staff," not any of the MRC writers who have been attacking NewsGuard for months -- tried to mount a counterattack when NewsGuard similarly stated that the study was "fundamentally flawed," leaning on AllSides' endorsement of the study to defend itself:

The leftist ratings firm NewsGuard criticized a Media Research Center study of the site’s ratings, calling it “fundamentally flawed.” 

NewsGuard General Manager Matt Skibinski’s letter made multiple inaccurate claims about the study, which analyzed the NewsGuard ratings of media outlets. Skibinski claimed the study was “based on a tiny sample of cherry-picked data.” He continued: “NewsGuard has rated more than 7,500 news and information websites, but the NewsBusters analysis looked only at ratings of 24 websites it defines as right-leaning and 31 websites it defines as left-leaning--meaning the study examined a cherry-picked sample of just 0.7% of the websites we've rated.” 

However, Skibinski’s claims that the list was “cherry-picked” and that MRC defined which sites were right-leaning and left-leaning are completely inaccurate. The MRC study relied on a list provided by AllSides — an independent organization given credence by the Poynter Institute — as a gauge. Skibinski claimed the “NewsBusters analysis looked only at ratings of 24 websites it defines as right-leaning and 31 websites it defines as left-leaning.” This is false. The characterizations of outlets as “left,” “lean left,” “right” and “lean right” were provided by AllSides, not the MRC.

Skibinski must not have read the disclaimer written in bold black letters at the bottom of the study, which clearly pointed this out. The complaint that the MRC didn’t look at all 7,500 sites it rated also mischaracterizes the purpose of the study. The study was based on a popular list compiled separately by AllSides which classified outlets by their “bias” on a left-to-right scale. The average NewsGuard score for “left” and “lean left” outlets was a high 93/100, while the average rating for “right” and “lean right” outlets was a low 66/100.

Even AllSides supported the MRC’s findings in its own separate report:

Again, AllSides is a right-leaning operation, so the MRC touting how AllSides endorsed its so-called "study" is circular logic. And of course Skibinski's description of the sites the MRC chose for its study as "cherry-picked" was absolutely true; in a part of his letter the anonymous MRC writer decided not to highlight, NewsGuard has given perfect ratings to numerous sites, including a few on the AllSides list the MRC used, whcuh as Reason and the Deseret News (which the MRC insists is "liberal" based on two stories seven years apart despite the fact that the paper is owned by a division of the not-liberal Mormon Church). Skibinski also noted that NewsGuard has given another prominent conservative operation, the  Daily Signal, a perfect rating, though it wasn't on the AllSides list.

The anonymous MRC writer didn't comment on another allegation Skibinski made -- that it made no effort to contact NewsGuard for a response to its study. By contrast, he wrote, "NewsGuard contacts websites for comment and feedback if it looks like they will fail any criteria." By noting that, Skibinski has exposed an inconvenient truth  about the MRC: It's a partisan political operation, not a "research" organization, and putting out attacks without allowing anyone to respond beforehand is what a partisan political operation does.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
Michael Brown's COVID Agony, Part 1
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown's musings about COVID, he was giving anti-vaxxers a pass for spreading misinformation because holding misinformers accountable is worse than the information (or something like that) while denying that he's an anti-vaxxer but refusing to say whether he was vaccinated. That wishi-washiness would be put to the test, as he explained in a Jan. 4 column matter-of-factly headlined "So, I finally got COVID."

Brown admittted that he and his wife, who also caught it, "have been far sicker at other times in our lives, and compared to how others have suffered over these last two years, our cases appear to be fairly mild." He still wouldn't disclose whether he was vaccinated, howver; his silence could arguably be an admission that he wasn't -- that and his ivermectin stash, along with his need to bolster the credentials of the doctor who prescribed it to him:

On a more practical note, my personal doctor, Mark Stengler, who in October 2020 was given the "Doctor of the Decade" award by the International Association of Top Professionals, wanted me to have ivermectin on hand in case I came down with COVID.

So, he wrote a prescription for me, but I could not get it filled in North Carolina. That's because Dr. Stengler is a naturopathic doctor, and by law in N.C., pharmacies do not fill prescriptions written by naturopaths. Talk about being behind the times.

As the International Association of Top Professionals noted, "Dr. Stengler's impressive repertoire of roles have included his activities as a medical expert on several television shows as well as his own weekly television show. Dr. Stengler was the host of a PBS educational and fundraising show, 'A to Z Guide to Healing Yourself.' He was also the host of the highly successful 'Beyond Chemo' documentary. Dr. Stengler also served on a medical advisory committee for the Yale University Complementary Medicine Outcomes Research Project."

Yet he cannot write a simple prescription in North Carolina. Wow.

Despite expressing sympathy for COVID victims, he seemed to draw no insight from his illness beyond "May the politicizing of COVID (from all sides) finally come to an end."

Brown spent his Jan. 12 column lamenting the death of a friend from COVID:

I have no positive spin to put on this, no spiritual sounding platitude to soften the blow. This is a loss, a terrible, tragic loss. And I believe God Himself grieves over it. Evil COVID has killed again.

I first met Brad Kauffman in the mid-1980s while teaching at a Bible school on Long Island. He was just 17, and I was only 28. He would sometimes babysit for our two daughters.

Brad had a very tender heart and was a tremendously gifted worship leader, piano player, singer and songwriter. And as the years went on, he would sometimes travel with me, ministering in music before and after I spoke. What beautiful times those were!

Instead of calling his followers to do what the can to fight this "evil" -- you know, with things like getting vaccinated and behaving responsibly in public -- Brown went biblical, stating that "I do know that God remains trustworthy and that soon enough, we will all be rejoicing before His throne, perhaps with Brad leading us in worship. What a day that will be!"

Brown finally answered the vaccination question in his Jan. 14 column: "Although I myself have not been vaccinated (more on that shortly), I have never been remotely anti-vax, nor have I ever downplayed the lethal nature of the coronavirus. Not for a second." From there, he went on to admit "how virulent this coronavirus is," criticized people who "mock its reality" and noted that nearly all of the people he knew who died of COVID were unvaccinated.He then repeated his own split-the-difference approach:

And as I write these words, another colleague is fighting for his life, now on a ventilator and needing a miracle. He was a very strong anti-vaxxer but told his wife before being sedated that he now wished he had been vaccinated. How many similar stories have we heard?

On the other hand, there remain many serious concerns with the vaccines, concerns raised by leading scientists and doctors. Do we simply dismiss them out of hand, especially when they have nothing to gain by raising their concerns?

And what are we to think when social media bans their material? Doesn't this only underscore the warnings they are bringing?

Added to this is the draconian nature of the vaccine mandates, not to mention their apparent illegality, and everything becomes more complex still.

And what about those documented cases where otherwise healthy people have died of blood clots (or related conditions) within hours or days of getting vaccinated? Why so little reporting on this?

Brown then turned the issue to his own experience:

As to why I was not vaccinated before, I weighed the issues carefully, as did my wife, Nancy. I also consulted my primary care physician and got advice from some other top doctors. And I watched how a large number of my friends and co-workers contracted COVID and were back to normal in a matter of days or weeks.

In the end, because of my 100% commitment to healthy living and eating, dating back to Aug. 24, 2014 (without any deviation from that healthy routine for a single day since then), I was advised not to be vaccinated given the strength of my immune system and my overall vibrant health. (The blood tests for my annual physical can be as many as 35 pages long, so my health is very carefully analyzed.)

And, during these last two years, I have been in many crowds of multiple thousands, standing together in close quarters. It appears that my immune system had been doing quite well. Plus, my doctor had already prescribed ivermectin for me, along with some other recommended supplements, in the event that I did contract COVID. So, I was prepared in the event of getting sick.

That being said, watching other friends die over these months and now having to recover from COVID myself, I continue to wrestle with the question of vaccination. (Thankfully, I have finally developed natural immunity.)

Of course, he could have saved himself some agony by getting vaccinated, the protection from which is equivalent to "natural immunity."Brown continued to agonize:

Yet I am terribly grieved over the divisions in the Body of Christ over the vaccines, with some accusing the vaccinated of lacking faith or branding mask-wearers as spiritual wimps. What kind of madness is this?

To those who mock, I ask, "Who appointed you God and Lord? Who anointed you the arbiter and judge of the faith of others? Who gave you the right to criticize those who feel it is important to act with extreme care and caution?"

But I am also grieved at those who pass judgment on the unvaccinated rather than recognizing that these are complex and difficult issues.

And I know pastors who felt that the Lord told them not to yield to fear but to go on with their public services, and in two years, they have not had a significant COVID outbreak of any kind. Shall we tell them their own faith is not real?

Yet there are pro-vaxxers who use reports of the latest COVID death as their personal bully pulpit, with posts like, "Well, your friend wouldn't have died if he had been vaccinated!" And they do this in Jesus' name, at that. What a cruel game to play!

Right now, America and the nations are hurting. The death toll continues to rise. Confusion continues to dominate. And human suffering continues to increase.

Let us, at least, walk with respect and grace toward those who hold to different perspectives. And let us be vigilant and diligent to preserve our own health.

And rather than throwing stones at others, let's offer a helping hand. If we ever needed to work together, it is now.

The problem with Brown's approach is that outside of legitimate medical issues, there's no real reason not to get vaccinated. COVID vaccines are as safe and effective as any other vaccines, and Brown could have shortened his suffering though a COVID infection by getting vaccinated. Most of the arguments anti-vaxxers use to defend their views really are misinformation, and it's not a terrible thing for that misinformation to be exposed fprwhat it is. This is not an agree-to-disagree issue -- one side of the issue is a threat to public health.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:24 PM EST
MRC's Double Standard On Politicians' Social Security Numbers
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock huffed in a Feb. 8 post:

The bullying of moderate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema ratcheted up to a new level on Monday as a far-left media site obtained the Senator’s Social Security Number. This warranted no objection from the network morning and evening newscasts on Monday and Tuesday.

And it comes after similar collective yawns by ABC, CBS and NBC after Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for “brass tacks” to be used against Sinema, later demanding that Sinema’s life be made “as difficult as possible.” 

The Gawker article trumpeted the SSN with this excited headline “WE HAVE KYRSTEN SINEMA’S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.” The number was given to Gawker because a change made in Arizona to protect privacy didn't go into effect until the 2000s. Writer Tarpley Hitt bragged, “The records also included some other intriguing information. Specifically, they included Sinema’s social security number, bank account information, and drivers’ license number.”

Gawker even disgustingly included a fake SSN at the top of the article so as to provide click bait for the angry, leftist base. Here’s the phony number: 

[...]

Later in the article, Hitt pranked, “For the record, out of respect for Sinema and because we like our jobs, we won’t be publishing her [real] number.”

By contrast, we don't recall anyone at the MRC being bothered that its fellow right-wing activists obtained what it claimed was Barack Obama's Social Security number in an attempt to claim either that he stole the number from a dead person or that he otherwise was not an American citizen -- let alone refer to those activist as "vile," as Whitlock did in his headline. The closest it apparently came was a 2010 post by Tim Graham complaining that the New York Times referenced a tabloid article claiming that Obama "uses a phony Social Security number as 'part of an elaborate scheme to conceal that he is not a natural-born U.S. citizen'"in order to "illustrate how the president is bedeviled by lies." While Graham dismissed the claim as a "tabloid concoction," he certainly didn't criticize the Globe or any other anti-Obama activist for obaining the number in the first place.

Whitlock went on to rant:

One could say that Gawker even doing this article is a blueprint for any nefarious individual or organization who wants to obtain her Social Security Number. And after all, this is the same Gawker was forced to pay wrestler Hulk Hogan $31 million after obtaining and publishing his sex tape. Not exactly a bastion of journalistic integrity. 

One could more accurately say that this is not the same Gawker: Gawker Media Group filed for bankruptcy after the verdict in 2016, and Gawker itself remained dormant after that until being revived in July 2021.

Whitlock complained further: "Last December, I wrote about instances of bullying or harassment that Sinema and fellow moderate Democrat Joe Manchin suffered. " As we've noted, the tactics the MRC criticized are largely the same ones that anti-abortion activists use against clinic doctors and other employees, and the MRC has never expressed any concern about that. Call that another big yawn.

Nevertheless, Whitlock concluded by ranting: "Obtaining Sinema’s Social Security Number, Reich joking about violence against her, the harassment and bullying of the last two moderates in the Democratic Party is escalating rapidly. But journalists don’t seem to care. Do the ends of ends justify the means?" If you didn't care when these same tactics were used against your political enemies, Scott -- meaning that you clearly thought right-wing ends justified the means -- you've given us no reason to care now.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 7, 2022 3:00 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Catholic Priest Or Right-Wing Activist?
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is giving Rev. Michael Orsi a platform to spout right-wing talking points and anti-vaxxer attitudes that seem incongruous with the fact that he's supposed to be a Catholic minister. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 AM EST
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Rogan Patrol: Faced With Defending Rogan's Use Of N-Word, The MRC Plays Whataboutism
Topic: Media Research Center

When you commit to something the way the Media Research Center has to defending Joe Rogan's COVID misinformation, you're pretty much stuck defending everything he does. A Feb. 1 post by Jeffrey Clark got mad at Rolling Stone magazine for pointing out how Rogan was joined by right-wing guru guy Jordan Peterson to spread misinformation about climate change:

The left-wing orthodoxy has spoken: Podcast host Joe Rogan must be banished from society. Rolling Stone slammed Rogan and clinical psychologist and University of Toronto professor emeritus Dr. Jordan Peterson in a self-righteous hit piece. Rogan and Peterson’s crime? Having the nerve to discuss climate change.

Rolling Stone contributing writer Jack Crosbie, who also writes for the self-described “leftist politics and culture site” Discourse Blog, appeared to be especially outraged. In a Jan. 26 article headlined “ Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson Wax Idiotic on Climate Change and What It Means to Be Black,” Crosbie declared Rogan, a world-famous podcast host, and Peterson, a renowned clinical psychologist, “two of the dumbest people on earth.” The controversy stems from a conversation Rogan and Peterson had on The Joe Rogan Experience, posted Jan. 25 to Spotify.

To Crosbie, the “four-hour marathon conversation on The Joe Rogan Experience” was “stupid.” He griped, “Their topics were varied, but almost all of them were intensely stupid, if not incoherent.”

[...]

Peterson noted: “There is no such thing as climate. ‘Climate’ and ‘everything’ are the same word.” Rogan pushed Peterson to clarify, and he explained: “[T]hat’s what people who talk about the ‘climate apocalypse’ claim in some sense: ‘We have to change everything.’” Peterson continued, “And the same with the word ‘environment’ … it means so much that it actually doesn’t mean anything.” 

Crosbie interpreted Peterson’s comments as “a theory on climate change loaded with circular arguments that all come back to the same point: It’s not real.” 

That is unfair and untrue. Peterson never said in this interview that “climate change” was a hoax. If he did, Crosbie almost would have likely clipped Peterson saying that. Peterson instead criticized believers in “climate apocalypse” who think “the planet has too many people on it.” For Rolling Stone to arbitrarily cast Peterson’s comments as “intensely stupid” and “incoherent” is just babble wrapped in hyperbole.

Note that Clark barely quotes from the podcast to defend Peterson, suggesting there's probably a lot more to Rolling Stone's analysis that he's ready to admit. Also note that  Clark doesn't state the obvious, that neither Rogan nor Peterson have any demonstrated expertise on the issue of climate, as demonstrated by Peterson's bizarre assertion that there's no such thing as climate.

Meanwhile, a new Rogan issue was brewing. Autun JOhnson hinted at it in a Feb. 5 post noting that "Spotify has removed approximately 70 episodes of" Rogan's podcast, though she misleadingly complained that "Many on the left have attacked Rogan for his promotion of alternative treatments of COVID-19" without proving any link between the two. Meanwhile, a Feb. 6 post by Clay Waters complained that a New York Times opinion piece "called for the massively popular podcaster Joe Rogan to be censored by his hosting platform Spotify" (invoking hte ag populum fallacy again). When the writer noted Rogan's history of transphobia and racism and his giving a platform to the likes of Alex Jones, Waters played whataboutism: "Wait until these benighted folks discover the history of Sirius XM podcaster (and former radio shock jock) Howard Stern."

What happened was that a clip compiliation was released on Feb. 4 summarized Rogan's enthusiastic use of the N-word. Alexander Hall couldn't even acknowledge the existence of that clip in a Feb. 7 post, vaguely stating only that there "outrage over past language" and cheering Spotify for continuing to stand by him. Hall also complained that tech writer Kara Swisher called out Rogan defenders for claiming that his critics want to "silence" him when they haven't really done that.

Brian Bradley went full whataboutism in a Feb. 8 post, expressing faux shock that -- gasp! -- rappers say the N-word:

The platform continues to host a ton of content brimming with references to the racial slur, including one Lil’ Jon song that belts the N-word a whopping 152 times. This is after 70 episodes of the well-known Joe Rogan Experience podcast were removed from Spotify over the weekend, reportedly because of the host’s past use of slurs.

[...]

Spotify didn’t respond to a Media Research Center request for response on whether the platform plans to remove any of the above songs/purge all content containing the N-word, or whether its policy on removing racially insensitive content applies only to Rogan.

Spotify clearly knows better than to try to engage with a bad-faith actor like the MRC.And Bradley certainly won't concede that black rappers use the N-word in a much different context than a white podcaster does.

Johnson served up more whataboutism in a Feb. 10 post:

Since many on the left have called on Spotify to remove Joe Rogan’s podcast from its lineup, it is worth noting that the podcasts of convicted criminals and alleged racists are still up.

Rogan has faced criticism on the left for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about COVID-19. Earlier in the week, Newsbusters  reported that several songs on Spotify contained obscene material that included various uses of the N-word, while Rogan was singled out after he quoted someone who used the word.

Fox Business reported that Spotify “rarely censors content” and first pointed out that Louis Farrakhan’s podcast was still listed on the platform, despite the fact that he is notorious for his anti-Semitic comments. Gary Glitter, a convicted pedophile and glam rock singer, also had his podcast present, as well as that of R. Kelly, who was found guilty of sex trafficking, kidnapping, and more.

The same day, Hall lovingly wrote of "legendary podcaster" Rogan defending himself, with a little added defense of his own:

The embattled legendary podcaster Joe Rogan defended his right to speak his mind on his podcast.

Rogan, host of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, slammed recent Cancel Culture witch hunts against his show: “This is a political hit-job, and so they're taking all this stuff that I've ever said that's wrong and smushed it all together,” he declared in a Feb. 8 podcast episode. While Rogan suggested that “you should apologize if you regret something,” he warned that there is a very clear line that must not be crossed: “I do think you have to be very careful to not apologize for nonsense.”

[...]

A major Cancel Culture campaign began in late January, when musician Neil Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify that he would remove his music if Rogan were to keep questioning Covid narratives. Later, 70 episodes were removed from Spotify after Rogan was criticized for past use of the N-word, despite its common usage in rap songs on Spotify.

Again: Rogan was not criticized for "questioning Covid narratives"; he was criticized for spreading documented misinformation. The MRC apparently doesn't understand the difference between the two.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 6, 2022 10:11 PM EST
CNS Falsely Suggests Keystone Pipeline Would Lower Gas Prices
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, like a good right-wing apparatchik, was predictably outraged when President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline ahortly after taking office. A January 2021 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, for example, complained that then-nominee for secretary of transportation Pete Buttigieg said that workers who had been employed in building the pipeline can get other jobs andlaughably portrayed Republicans as a defender of unions in trying to save those jobs. Another article that month by Melanie Arter quoted a Repubican senator claiming that the pipeline's cancellation will raise gas prices.

As oil and gas prices have risen over the past year, that last talking point has gained prominence. After Biden released oil from the Strategeic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to lower prices -- something CNS demanded he do then dismissed it when he did -- Craig Bannister wrote in a Nov. 29 article:

The U.S. could be getting 900,000 barrels of oil a day if President Joe Biden hadn’t stopped the Keystone XL pipeline, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, says.

In a statement released Tuesday, Sen. Manchin criticized Biden’s decision to order a one-time release of 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s petroleum reserve, instead of allowing more U.S. production.

[...]

If the pipeline did deliver that much oil, it would it would a take a little under two months (56 days) to surpass Pres. Biden’s one-time release of 50 million – and keep going.

Just one problem: Fact-checkers have found no evidence that the Keystone XL pipeline would have any impact on gas prices in the U.S.

A Feb. 4 article touted the mini-propaganda film made by CNS' parent, the Media Research Center:

During a screening and panel discussion of the Media Research Center’s new documentary on the Keystone XL pipeline,  House Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) detailed how the canceling of the pipeline by President Biden is hurting workers and the economy in Nebraska. He also stressed that it was “outrageous” for Biden to support Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

[...]

The mini-documentary shows how the pipeline expansion, which was supposed to run from Canada south though the Midwest United States to refineries at the Gulf of Mexico, would have created tens of thousands of jobs and pushed America further towards energy independence.

The report highlights news stories on the pipeline, including its energy, jobs, and economic impact, as well as interviews with U.S. workers and public officials who discuss how its cancellation has hurt their communities.

As we documented, thte MRC's little film wildly overstates how many jobs the pipeline would have created, and it censors the fact that much of the petroleum products created from pipeline oil would be exportted -- not made for use in the U.S.

The article went on to quote participants -- which excluded supporters of the pipeline's discontinuation -- speculating over Keystone's impact on gas prices while ignoring evidence that it would have no impact.

Despite its lack of actual proof of a link between the pipeline's cancellation and higher gas prices, CNS continued to suggest one anyway. A Feb. 11 article by Susan Jones on Biden pledging to work to lower gas prices pointedly referring to him as "the man who canceled the Keystone XL pipeline." Jones further suggested a link in a Feb. 16 article:

In his push for green energy, Biden has targeted fossil fuels, signing executive orders pausing oil and gas leasing on federal lands and scrapping the Keystone pipeline as soon as he took office.

Between January 2021 and January 2022 -- President Joe Biden’s first year in office -- the price of unleaded gasoline increased 40.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Needless to say, Jones offered no evidence that any Biden energy policy, including the Keystone XL shutdown, has been directly linked with the increase in gas prices. And she censored evidence that U.S. oil companies have been slow to increase domestic oil production and have not rushed to expand drilling on land leases they already own.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 10:40 PM EDT
Saturday, March 5, 2022
MRC Promotes Attempt To Whitewash Anti-Gay Conversion Therapy
Topic: Media Research Center

A few months back, we caught WorldNetDaily trying to whitewash warmed-over anti-gay conversion therapy as "reintegrative therapy." Now, the Media Research Center is taking a stab it it. Gabriela Pariseau wrote in a Jan. 20 post:

YouTube “terminated” the Reintegrative Therapy Association’s channel for alleged “hate speech,” accusing the group of pushing “conversion therapy.”

The Reintegrative Therapy Association (RTA) specializes in “established, evidence-based treatment interventions … to treat trauma and addiction.” Joseph Nicolosi, Jr., a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of the RTA, told MRC Free Speech America that YouTube banned RTA’s channel overnight.

"Our channel went from 0 strikes against us — and having tens of thousands of views — to permanent suspension for all videos indefinitely, overnight," Nicolosi explained. "Our video content ranged from client testimonials to research explainers. None of that mattered."

[...]

RTA explicitly distinguishes reintegrative therapy, which it said, “seeks to identify and resolve past traumatic memories,” and “conversion therapy” in which “[s]exual orientation change is the goal.”

However, it acknowledges that a “client's sexuality can sometimes change on its own.” The organization also clarifies that it uses “the same approach, regardless of the client's sexual orientation or gender” 

YouTube’s block of the RTA channel came after a recent report by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE), which conflated reintegrative therapy and conversion therapy and put pressure on Big Tech companies to remove accounts like the RTA YouTube channel.

Pariseau, however, censored the fact that Nicolosi is the son of Joseph Nicolosi, one of the biggest promoters of conversion therapy, whose legacy Nicolosi Jr. isn't exactly running hard to get away from. Video touting reintegrative therapy on Nicolosi Jr.'s website are titled "This changed my sexuality" and "The science behing my sexuality change" -- meaning his therapy is unambiguously being marketed as having a anti-gay goal. Further, despitte Pariseau's declaration that Nicolosi Jr. is "a licensed clinical psychologist," his doctorate came from a school that wasn't accredited by the American Psychological Association at the time he received it.

Pariseau also made sure not to quote from the GPAHE report, which detailed the father-son link and noted that research claiming to validate "reintegrative therapy" was published in the Journal of Human Sexuality, which is published by the successor group to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, the anti-gay organization founded by Nicolosi Sr.

Pariseau, meanwhile, was too busy trying to paint Nicolosi Jr. as a victim:

Nicolosi, however, told MRC Free Speech America that Big Tech censorship and organizations like GPAHE ultimately hurt those in need of real help. “Everyone should be free to find therapy and support to help them achieve their desired goals and outcomes. Not Big Tech, or any political organization. Clients should be in the driver’s seat of their therapy,” he said.

“Ultimately, it’s the public who suffers— it’s the sex-abuse victims, seeking out alternative therapy options, for example. We can’t be educated on any topic if we only have access to one point of view. Our clients —and the general public— deserve better.”

The MRC is anti-LGBT enough to want to help Nicolosi with this dishonest whitewashing. Its "news" division, CNSNews.com, recently lamented a conversion therapy ban in Canada.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EST
WND Cheered Anti-Vax Trooper -- But Censored His Death From COVID
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore cheerfully wrote in an Oct. 18 article:

Signing off for the last time after 22 years with the Washington State Patrol, a trooper who refused to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee's vaccine mandate had a few parting words for the Democratic leader: "Kiss my ***."

As the deadline for getting vaccinated passed Monday and the state patrol braced for the loss of as many as 100 troopers, Robert LaMay of Yakima County in central Washington videoed his final call on the radio, thanking his colleagues for their work and support, reported Jason Rantz of KTTH Radio in Seattle.

Only three years from full retirement, LeMay, a Christian with religious objections to the vaccine, said Friday night it's about religious liberties and freedom.

"This is my final sign-off. After 22 years of serving the citizens of the state of Washington, I'm being asked to leave because I am dirty," LaMay announced, referring to his unvaccinated status. "Numerous fatalities, injuries, I've worked sick, I’ve played sick. We’ve buried lots of friends over these years. I’d like to thank you guys. I’d like to thank the citizens of Yakima County as well as my fellow officers within the valley. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have been very successful. And you kept me safe and got me to my family every night. Thank you for that."

LaMay, a married father of four, became visibly emotional as he continued.

"I wish I could say more, but this is it, so state 10-34, this is the last time you'll hear me in a state patrol car. And Jay Inslee can kiss my ***."

But a couple months later, a painfully ironic thing happened:

A former Yakima area-based Washington State Patrol trooper whose resignation over mandated COVID vaccination for state employees went viral has died.

The State Patrol announced Robert LaMay’s death Friday. He was 50.

While the State Patrol statement did not include LaMay’s cause of death, other news outlets have reported that he died after contracting COVID-19.

That's right -- a trooper who profanely quit his job rather than get a vaccine died of the disease the vaccine was designed to prevent. It will not surprise you to learn that WND censored the news of LaMay's ultimate outcome from its readers, even though it happened more than a month ago. It's not alone: The Fox News hosts who feted LaMay upon his resignation also wouldn't report his death.

Refusing to report news that undermines your editorial agenda is not the way to build trust in your news operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, March 5, 2022 12:11 AM EST
Friday, March 4, 2022
The MRC's Pro-Misinformation Brigade Stays On Rogan Patrol
Topic: Media Research Center

Just because Joe Rogan quasi-apologized for spreading misinformation doesn't mean the Media Research Center had finished defending his right to spread it. Curtis Houck kept up the whining that Rogan was being held accountable in a Jan. 31 post:

All three major broadcast networks continued on Monday morning to do their part in the push to remove Joe Rogan from the public square over his top-rated Spotify podcast under the guise of COVID-19 falsehoods. In the case of ABC, CBS, and NBC, they ratcheted up the rhetoric from when they first covered it last week, calling his show and views “dangerous” “misinformation” with one implicitly tying him to Americans who’ve died from the virus.

CBS Mornings was the most sinister, insisting they support “free speech” and First Amendment rights while also demanding Rogan be prevented from having a “massive” “platform as large as Spotify” because “a lot of people do listen to” him.

“What to Watch” host Vladimir Duthiers reported on “developments in the controversy over misinformation...on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast” with rocker Neil Young having his music removed from Spotify because he “and others say...Rogan’s show promote[s] false information about COVID-19 and the vaccines.”

It should be noted Young’s 2006 tour was entitled “Freedom of Speech” as a slight against George W. Bush. How the tables have turned for this hippie!

Only at the MRC would it be considered "sinister" to hold someone accountable for their behavior. And Houck offered no evidence that "freedom of speech" protests lies and misinformation.

Nevertheless, he went on to rant that this was all an "open example of collusion to censor those the liberal media oppose." Never mind that his job is to censor the speech of people right-wing activists like him oppose.

Alex Christy took a predictible shot at the evil (in the fevered brains of the MRC minions, anyway) Brian Stelter of CNN, complaining thathe said that CNN ismore trustworthy than Rogan -- an indisputable truth.Still, Christy felt the need to sneer in response that "Stelter's claim that CNN can better discern what is true than the average Joe Rogan listener is not something backed by evidence" -- though he offered no direct comparisons of CNN vs. Rogan.

Catherine Salgado, meanwhile, screamed "DOGPILE!" in the headline of her post:

Leftists called on Spotify to ban popular podcast host Joe Rogan over alleged COVID-19 “misinformation.” Rogan has interviewed doctors on his show who dissent from the left’s COVID-19 narratives.

Rogan’s enormously popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” is exclusive to Spotify, but leftists railed against the streaming platform and demanded he be deplatformed. Rogan interviewed both experienced cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough and mRNA vaccine patent holder Dr. Robert Malone.

The left has repeatedly vilified Malone and McCullough for scientifically dissecting many touted COVID-19 narratives. By calling for Rogan to be banned, leftists have made it clear that anyone who disagrees with them shouldn’t have a platform to speak freely.

Notice all the fallacial appeals Salgado invoked -- the ad populum fallacy in touting how Rogan is "enormously popular," and the credentials fallacy in hyping the medical and research credentials of McCullough and Malone and ignoring the fact that both have been repeatedly discredited. And her insistence on putting scare quotes around "misinformation" shows that Salgado is never going to admit Rogan, McCullough and Malone ever misinformed people -- even as she refuses to lift a finger to prove that claim correct, as proven by her false statement that they stand accuse of "dissent[ing] from the left’s COVID-19 narratives." No, they're accused of dissenting from established medical reality, and the fact that Salgado considers medical reality merely a "narrative" from "the left" tells you all you need to know about how the MRC and the rest of the right-wing media have politicized COVID.

Salgado went on to complain:

Many “theories” were aggressively dubbed “misinformation” earlier in the pandemic, such as the lab leak theory of COVID-19 origins and the fact that vaccinated individuals can contract COVID-19. These same “theories” have now been shown to be plausible or true, and authorities have now acknowledged the veracity of emergent facts. Furthermore, while a letter to Spotify from medical and scientific professionals has hundreds of signatures, over 17,000 scientific and medical professionals have signed the Rome Declaration condemning many touted COVID-19 measures.

As we noted when Rogan claimed it, the lab leak theory has yet to be proven conclusively true, andthere's little evidence that COVID-19 is a Chinese-made bioweapon. While there is a Rome Declaration on COVID -- created last May by the European Union -- that's not what Salgado linked to. Instead, she linked to a different declaration from a group of fringe doctors and researchers -- including Malone and McCullough -- who oppose COVID vaccines and have pushed dubious treatments such as ivermectin.

Pro-misinformation advocate Alexander Hall complained that the White House wanted to do something about it in a Feb. 2 post:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called on music and podcast streaming platform Spotify to tighten its grip on speech to stop so-called “misinformation.” It’s a culture-war tactic often used by the left: Accept some subservience by others to its agenda, but say that’s only a start.

Psaki gave minor praise to Spotify for announcing it will add disclaimers on podcaster Joe Rogan’s podcasts, but said that is only a fraction of the censorship it should be doing.

Hall is lying -- Psaki is not calling for "censorship," and Hall knows it. Nevertheless, he kept trying to put that word in her mouth.

Clay Waters used a Feb. 3 post to attack a New York Times reporter over his article on Rogan:

New York Times tech reporter-columnist Kevin Roose took on the controversy between hugely popular podcaster-interviewer Joe Rogan and the music-media streaming provider Spotify over supposed misinformation Rogan spread about Covid vaccines in an interview with a controversial doctor. The story dominated the front of Tuesday’s Business section: “Staying Power Of an Uproar.” 

It wasn’t hard to spot Roose was setting Rogan up for a fall. His jittery fear of conservative “misinformation” online has only increased during the COVID era and the Black Lives Matter riots:

[...]

It’s clear how Roose wants it to end, given his obsession with “misinformation.” As if Rogan is purposely spreading lies (and who decides what is “misinformation” on Covid anyway?), as opposed to drawing out controversial figures in interviews.

It's not hard to identify COVID misinformation, Clay. You and the rest of the MRC pretend that there is no such thing as objective misinformation in order to give you and other right-wing media outlets a lane to spread more.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 9:36 PM EST
Fake News: WND Pushes Bogus Claim About COVID Cases In Israel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root wasn't the only WorldNetDaily writer to fall for a bogus viral anti-vaxx claim out of Israel. Art Moore wrote in a Feb. 3 article:

Most of the severe COVID-19 cases at one of Israel's largest hospital complexes are people who received at least three shots, according to the director of the coronavirus ward.

The Middle East nation has one of the world's highest rates of vaccination, about 90%, with many high-risk patients having received a fourth shot.

Prof. Yaakov Jerris told Israel's Channel 13 News that "most of our severe cases are vaccinated," Israel National News reported.

"They had at least three injections. Between 70 and 80 percent of the serious cases are vaccinated," said Jerris, who works for Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, also known as Ichilov Hospital, the nation's second largest.

"So, the vaccine has no significance regarding severe illness, which is why just 20 to 25 percent of our patients are unvaccinated."

As a fact-checker found, there is no Yaakov Jerris -- his name is Jacob Giris, and even the Israel National News article Moore cites calls him Jacob Giris.Moore also botched the name of the hospital -- the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center hasn't been known as Ichilov Hospital for decades, according to the fact-checker.

Moore also misled about what Giris said, presumably for clickability's sake. He hped the claim that most serious COVID cases in the hospital are of vaccinated, but waited a few paragraphs to attempt to tell the full truth: that it involved people who are seriously ill. Indeed, as the fact-checker also found, Giris said that the patient population is older and has more comorbidities, so it's less relevant that they are vaccinated. Giris also an earlier statement (in Hebrew) noting that the mortality rate is low, they were admitted for other heatlh issues and later discovered to have COVID, and that COVID is not the cause of death for these patients.

Moore waited a couple more paragraphs before cleaning that up:

At an Israeli government cabinet meeting on Sunday, Jerris tried to clear up confusion regarding how COVID cases are reported.

"Defining a serious patient is problematic," he told the ministers. "For example, a patient with a chronic lung disease always had a low level of oxygen, but now he has a positive coronavirus test result which technically makes him a 'serious coronavirus patient.'"

That isn't accurate, he said.

"The patient is only in a difficult condition because he has a serious underlying illness."

All of which negates the entire premise of Moore's article. In most legitimate newsrooms, that would have kiled the story -- but because WND's journalistic standards are so abysmal, the false claim remained the lead claim.

No wonder Google no longer wants to do business with WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:43 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022 6:48 PM EST

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