As with the previous month, the unemployement numbers for February were so good that CNSNews.com had trouble trying to find a negative spin to put on them. So for her lead story, Susan Jones went to an old standby: they're still not as good as they were under Trump before COVID:
Non-farm payrolls added a whopping 678,000 jobs in February, well above the consensus estimate of 400,000; and the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 3.8 percent, the lowest of Biden's presidency, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate dropped as low as 3.5 percent during the Trump administration, before COVID hit.
The number of Americans counted as employed increased by 598,000 in February, to 157,722,000, the highest it's been since the record 158,866,000 people counted as employed in February 2020.
The labor force participation rate also moved in the right direction, reaching 62.3 percent.
The participation rates was 61.4 percent when Biden took office. Today's number is the highest since he became president.
(The labor force participation rate reached a seven-year high of 63.4 percent in January 2020, the final year of Trump's presidency and just before the onset of COVID.)
The only sidebar this time around was, again, editor Terry Jeffrey's complaint about government jobs, this time that "Government in the United States grew by 24,000 employees in February." He went on to note that "Government employment hit an all-time peak of 22,879,000 in February 2020" -- but he didn't mention who was the president at that time.
Since this was the somewhat scarey number -- and since CNS doesn't like to publish good news about the Biden administration -- Jeffrey's story was the one given the most prominence on CNS' front page on March 4, the day employmeent statistics came out.
MRC's Graham Mad Fact-Checkers Sought The Truth About Canadian Trucker Protest Topic: Media Research Center
For an organization that claims to be about "media research," the Media Research Center sure gets mad when anyone else does "media research" that doesn't fit its right-wing narratives. In a Feb. 5 post, MRC executive Tim Graham saw a conspiracy in fact-checkers investigating memes related to the protest:
Wherever the Left is challenged, you can count on the so-called "independent fact-checkers" to fan out and attack...followed by Twitter promoting what "fact-checkers say."
This week, it was the Canadian trucker convoy arriving in Ottawa to protest the COVID vaccine mandate imposed by socialist prime minister Justin Trudeau. There were false impressions to check, but they all seem to run one way.
First, Twitter promoted checks around the theme "Miscaptioned images from around the world are being falsely associated with the trucker protest in Canada, fact-checkers report." That included images of a 2018 event in Alberta and a 2021 event in Italy.
But mostly, the liberal pack wanted to downplay any large estimates of attendance.
Yes, Graham has decided that all fact-checkers are on "the Left" because they fact-check right-wing narratives. At no point, by the way, did Graham dispute the accuracy of any of the fact-checks or offer any numbers to back up the memes he's implicitly supporting -- he's complaining they were done at all. It's hard to attack fact-checkers for bias when you can't actually identify any.
Graham even whined that a meme containing a false statement from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was fact-checked, huffing in response: "No one has fact-checked Trudeau. Because he's on the Right Side of History." Again, Graham faiiled to offer an instance of a Trudeau statement he believes should be fact-checked.
Fake News: WND's Anti-Vaxxer 'MIT Scientist' Has No Medical Training Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's resident COVID misinformer, Art Moore, struck again in a Jan. 18 article:
An MIT scientist is warning of possible long-term damage to the brain from COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, saying it's likely there will be an "alarming" rise in several major neurodegenerative diseases.
And that's likely to happen increasingly among the younger population, according to Stephanie Seneff in an academic paper titled "Worse Than the Disease? Reviewing Some Possible Unintended Consequences of the mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19" published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research.
Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday night it's "outrageous to be giving vaccines to young people because they have ... a very, very low risk of dying from COVID."
"So, they don't get a benefit," she said. "And when you look at the potential harm from these vaccines, it just doesn't make any sense."
And repeated boosters, Seneff added, will be "very devastating in the long term."
The MIT scientist said she has done a lot of research on the subject and is "beginning to understand how the process takes place."
Well, not so much -- she has no demonstrated expertise in medical issues. Moore hinted at it when he called her a "senior research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory"; in fact, her doctorate is in electrical engineering and computer science -- not in anything medical.
Before becoming an anti-vaxxer, Seneff's claim to medical infamy -- again, she has no formal medical training -- was devising a claim that autism is caused by exposure to the weed killer glyphosphate, a claim that has been embraced by quack doctor Joseph Mercola.
Meanwhile, the Genetic Literacy Project reported that Seneff's dubious COVID vaccine claims have gotten the attention of anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr. -- again, not the kind of company credible people keep. Further, despite Moore's portrayal of the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research -- the journal that published Seneff's paper -- as "peer-reviewed," the Genetic Literacy Project noted that nobody outside the fringe-wacko community treats it as a credible publication. (One scientist observed that publishing something there "seems to be no different than self-publishing a book on Amazon Kindle." Further, Seneff is actually a member of the journal's editorial staff, which also raises credibility and independence questions.
Moore's insistence on promoting the dubious claims of discredited people doesn't make anyone want to take either him or WND seriously as a credible source of news. It's something WND should keep in mind as it tries to avoid going out of business, but surprisingly, it hasn't thus far.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's COVID Sports Selfishness Brigade Topic: Media Research Center
Led by sports bloggers Jay Maxson and John Simmons, the Media Research Center labored to turn Aaron Rodgers and Novak Djokovic into heroes for deceiving officials about their COVID vaccination status. Read more >>
Fake News: CNS' Claim That Ice Cream Withdrawal From Occupied Territories Tanked Owner's Stock Isn't True Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com spent a notable part of the past several months being incensed over the decision of Ben & Jerry's ice cream deciding not to no longer sell its ice cream in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel:
Patrick Goodenough highlighted how "Israel responded frostily to Ben & Jerry’s announcement Monday that it will stop selling its ice cream in the disputed territories, with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid appealing to U.S. states that have passed anti-BDS measures to enforce them against the “progressive” Vermont-based company."
Loopy rabbi Aryeh Spero framed the disputed territories as "the biblical regions of Judea and Samaria" and declared that "Singling out the Jewish people or the Jewish nation for boycott and divestment is blatant anti-Semitism and not social justice." Given that both Ben and Jerry are Jewish, Spero's claim that what they're doing is "anti-Semitism" is absurd.
Goodenough cheered that "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday set in motion a process that could result in the state being prohibited from buying any assets in the ice cream maker’s British-based parent company."
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in September that "Because ice cream giant Ben & Jerry's decided to boycott Israel by ending sales of its product in the "Occupied Palestinian Territory," the Arizona Treasurer's Office is pulling all of its state funds from Ben & Jerry's parent company. It is against Arizona law for the state to invest in entities that boycott Israel." Actually, the ice cream will continue to be sold in Israel, making his claim that it's doing a "boycott" of Israel factually inaccurate. Chapman went on to play whataboutism: "Although Ben & Jerry's claims it has a 'long history of advocating for human rights, and economic and social justice,' it has made no effort to boycott Communist China, which has killed 65 million of its own people for political reasons, and operates concentration camps."
Chapman similarly cheered in a Dec. 27 atticle when Illinois pulled its funds from Ben & Jerry's owner, Unilever, over the decision to stop selling ice cream in the "so-called occupied territories." Chapman repeated his whataboutism: "Ironically, Ben & Jerry's has taken no action to cease sales in Communist China, which operates concentration camps, forced abortion, sterilization, and organ harvesting."
Chapman took his anti-ice cream jihad to the lext level in a Jan. 24 article:
Since it decided last summer to stop selling Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the so-called occupied territories in Israel, multinational giant Unilever has seen its stock drop 20.7%, which equals about $26 billion, according to Israel Today and other media.
Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever. In a statement last July, Ben & Jerry's said, "We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).... Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement."
The stock drop apparently is the result, in part, of numerous U.S. states that have withdrawn their investments in Unilever because they have laws against boycotting Israel.
But Chapman is serving up correlation without proving causation. Neither Israel Today (a right-leaning outlet that was bankrolled by right-wing activist Sheldon Adelson) nor the other news source he cites -- the Jewish News Syndicate, which also has a right-leaning bias -- offer any direct proof that Unilever's stock decline is directly attributable to the Ben & Jerry's decision.
In actuality, none of these reports cite actual stock prices or even the dates being compared -- which appears to have been done deliberately to hide the fact that temporary drop in Unilever's stock price was exploited. On Jan. 18, a couple days before the Israeli outlets did their stories, Unilever stock dropped 10 percent at the start of trading, in apparent reaction to the company failing to purchase another operation; the next day, however, Unilever stock rose 10 percent. It's entirely possible -- and entirely dishonest -- for these outlets to base the drop in stock price on what happened Jan. 18. More honest accounting shows that the stock prices had dropped only about 6 percent in the past year, providing more evidence that the low number was dishonestly cherry-picked and putting the lie to the claim that reaction to Ben & Jerry's occupied territories withdrawal was the sole cause of Unilever's stock drop.
A closer look at the actual numbers shows that the stock price of Unilever on July 20, the day the Ben & Jerry's decision was announced, was $58.82. The stock price on Jan. 18, the day of the big 10 percent plunge, was $46.45 -- a drop of 21 percent, the closest we get to the figure cited in Chapman's article. In the previous six months before that, however, Unilever stock was mostly hovering between $52 and $57 a share. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the Ben & Jerry's decision had any direct effect on Unilever's stock price.
That's called a journalistic fail. But Chapman decided his story was too good to fact-check against the actual numbers.
The MRC's Hypocritical Tolerance Of Trucker Convoy, Part 3 Topic: NewsBusters
Believe it or not, the Media Research Center stillwasn't done defending the Canadian trucker protesters even though they engaged in the same protest tactics the MRC deplored when non-right-wingers used them.
Reliable New York Times-basher Clay Waters huffed in a Feb. 12 post: "The New York Times continued to smear the Canadian truckers’ protest against vaccine mandates, a protest that has attracted other Canadians, sick of the country’s overzealous Covid regulations under smug liberal leader Justin Trudeau." He added the usual MRC whataboutism: "This sudden concern for small businesses was rich, considering how the paper ignored the plight of burnt-out businesses and shuttered shops that occurred after mass rioting on the streets of American cities connected to George Floyd-inspired protests."
P.J. Gladnick freaked out over what he insisted was a conspiracy theory in a Feb. 13 post:
The claim by the American intelligence community that the Hunter Biden laptop story is just a result of Russian disinformation is so 2020. Old news. The new hotness for 2022 is that the protesting truckers and their supporters in Canada are being manipulated by Russian agents.
And what both reports have in common is that the claims are/were based on exactly nothing. The latest iteration of Russian subversion comes to us by way of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. However, if you didn't know any better you could be forgiven for thinking that the video interview was produced by the Babylon Bee mocking the CBC for giving credence to a completely unhinged conspiracy theory.
By contrast, one Canadian writer pointed out that Russia propaganda network RT provided more obsessive coverage of the protest than even Fox News -- more than 1,200 stories -- adding that "prominent supporters of the Ottawa occupation like Ontario MPP Randy Hillier have urged Canadians to trust Russian state media over established news outlets in their own country." (This was a few weeks before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which caused RT's English-language service to be pulled from prettly much all Western distribution.) So, yes, there clearly is some synergy going on there; meanwhile, Gladnick wants you to think that this CBC interview shows "just how desperate the CBC is to demonize the Canadian truckers and protesters by using an "expert" who, based on zero evidence of Russian agents, claims the government must crackdown on social media to keep the citizenry from being exposed to prohibited thoughts."
Tim Graham served up more whataboutism in a Feb. 14 post: "NPR provides a dramatic example of the national media's adoration of Black Lives Matter in dramatic contrast to their panic over "extremist" Canadian trucker protests. Don't forget that NPR embarrassed themselves trying to deny the obvious fact that the BLM founders are self-proclaimed Marxists. That was "disinformation" on the internet!" At no point did Graham dispute the claim that the trucker convoy organizers were "extremist."
Waters returned to serve up another dose of whataboutism: "Where were the police during the Canadian truckers protest against vaccine mandates? That’s what the hypocritical media is suddenly demanding, now from the front page of Sunday’s New York Times: “Ottawa’s Police Reacted Slowly As Protest Built.” The online headline: “In Ottawa Trucker Protests, a Pressing Question: Where Were the Police?” (Black Lives Matters protesters in the U.S. were apparently unavailable for comment.)"
Joseph Vazquez served up his own whataboutism-laden meltdown:
New York Times economist Paul Krugman spewed bile at the so-called “vandalism” by Canadian truckers protesting the country’s draconian COVID-19 policies. He did this while dismissing the 2020 Marxist Black Lives Matter riots across the U.S. that reportedly caused at least around $2 billion in damages.
His hyperbole-laced rant of an op-ed, headlined “When ‘Freedom’ Means the Right to Destroy,” buried the extent of the damages caused by BLM riots scattered across different states.
"so-called 'vandalism'"? Vazquez was too busy playing whataboutism to offer any proof for his assertion that there was no vandalism. Ironically, a couple weeks later his boss, Tim Graham, would complain about overuse of the "so-called" dismissal in the media (but he didn't criticize his employees for doing the exact same thing).
Waters, meanwhile, continued to be angry that the New York Times didn't cover the protest like Fox News would. On Feb. 18, he whined that the Times "remains breezily supportive of their socialist dreamboat Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his authoritarian crackdown on COVID protests, including even the deployment of troops. " Waters was presumably cool with authoritarian crackdowns on BLM protesters. Two days later, he was back in whataboutism mode:
The New York Times continues to smear the Canadian trucker protest against vaccine mandates as crazed angry haters, treatment that is nearly 180 degrees from the sympathetic tone it took with Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests turned riots fueled by George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police in the summer of 2020.
The latest example appeared in Wednesday’s New York Times, with Sarah Maslin Nir and Natalie Kitroeff reporting on “The Group Trying to Steer Ottawa’s Restive Protesters.”
As usual, right-leaning protests are characterized as well-organized and conspiratorial, not as organic.
Waters offered no proof the protest was organic. Nevertheless, he repoeated the complaint in a Feb. 27 post:
After its smear-filled coverage of the Canadian truckers’ protest over anti-vaccine mandates, now shuttered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authoritarian government, The New York Times is stoking fears of similar protests in the United States and New Zealand.
“A Truck Caravan With Far-Right Links Heads to Washington, D.C.,” Shawn Hubler and Alan Feuer reported from California for Thursday’s edition. Typically, the reporters characterized right-leaning protests as conspiratorial, not organic.
waters went on to sneer, "Apparently, protests destabilize democracies when they're against Democrats ." And violent protests are apparently cool with Waters and the MRC when their fellow right-wingers run them.
CNS Hides Vance's Abrupt About-Face On Ukraine Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Feb. 21 article:
Celebrated author, venture capitalist, and Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Ohio J.D. Vance said he did not really care about what happens in Ukraine, but stressed that he does care about the massive amounts of fentanyl coming across America's southern border causing the deaths of thousands of Americans ages 18 to 45.
“I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine," Vance tweeted on Feb. 19.
"I do care about the fact that in my community right now the leading cause of death among 18-45 year olds is Mexican fentanyl that’s coming across the southern border.”
Thbree days later, though, Vance had a different story to tell, and Chapman was on hand to be his stenographer again:
Conservative author, venture capitalist, and U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio J.D. Vance said in a statement today that the U.S. "spent $6 billion on a failed Ukrainian army" and "foolishly pressured" Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s, which killed any major leverage it might have had against Russian aggression.
Vance also stressed that U.S. or NATO intervention in the war would be a "disaster" and should be opposed. Moreover, "Congress must demand a debate on any further deployment of resources to that region," he said.
"Russia's assault on Ukraine is unquestionably a tragedy, especially for the innocent people caught in the crossfire," said Vance. "It's also a stark reminder of our own failed leadership."
"For decades, elites pursued a policy of isolating Russia, which has only had the effect of driving Putin directly into the arms of the Chinese Communists," he said. "We wouldn't be watching the tragedy we're witnessing today if Russia didn't have Beijing's backing."
Strangely, Chapman made no mention of the fact that Vance's new stance on Ukraine was a complete flip-flop of what he was saying just three days earlier -- a stance Chapman had eported on. Since he didn't do that, there's also no mention of why Vance would have done such an abrupt flip-flop-- reasons having to do with the near-universal criticism Vance faces over his remark to the notable Ukrainian population in Ohio.
Chapman also made no mention of Vance's ignorant Twitter war around the same time against former Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey. After McCaffrey pointed out that Vance's original Ukraine comments made him "unsuitable for public office," Vance ranted back: "Your entire time in military leadership we won zero wars. You drank fine wine at bullshit security conferences while thousands of working class kids died on the battlefield. Oh, by the way, how much do you stand to gain financially from a war with Russia, Barry?" McCaffrey reminded him that his children and grandchildren have served in the military (and doesn't drink win), while another commenter pointed out that McCaffrey nearly lost an arm in Vietnam and led an infantry division into battle in Operation Desert Storm while Vance's military experience was limited to being a public affairs officer.
It's as if Chapman only wants to do PR for Vance and is censoring the fact that he's a terrible candidate and even worse person. That's not journalism.
Newsmax's Parade Of 'Non-Clinician' COVID Misinformers Keeps Marching On Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax continues to allow its columnists to peddle misinformation about COVID and its vaccines, then tries to weasel out of taking responsibility for the misinformation with a disclaimer noting that a "non-clinician" wrote the column. Nicholas Chamberas and Conrad Black have done so recently, but they're not the only ones.
Dick Morris insisted in a Jan. 11 column that because the Omicron variant "is very unlikely to kill people, especially children," that means "an unvaccinated person poses little risk to others but significant risk to himself" and, thus, "it is neither anti-social nor irresponsible not to get a shot. It is simply an individual’s right to decide." In fact, five times as many children were hospitalized with Omicron than with previous variants.
Larry Bell argued in his Jan. 12 column that Omicron could "actually be a blessing — not just for my family and me, but also for many millions of others — perhaps serving as nature's vaccine."
Michael Reagan -- who likes to misinform about COVID -- complained in his Jan. 14 column that the CDC put an advisory against taking cruises at the height of Omicron because "these days a cruise ship is actually one of the safest places on the planet": "Passengers and crews are 100% vaccinated. Masks are mandatory in public spaces except when eating or drinking. Ships are not booked to full capacity. And there is a hospital with doctors and nurses on board." He then conceded a conflict of interest: "As I've mentioned before, my wife is a travel agent who books people on cruises and I often tag along."
In a Jan. 18 column, Christine Flowers attacked a study claiming that "schools that had mask mandates had fewer cases of COVID-19 than those without," though another study has since come to the same conclusion.
Judd Dunning ranted in his Jan. 18 column: "Brainwashed faithful lapdogs are getting unauthorized 4th and 5th COVID shots. Many in our own elite military forces and professional athletes across the globe are protesting vaccination injury risks while others, like [Novak] Djokovic, have been publicly paraded COVID detention like prisoners. Life insurance firms are reporting a spike of over 100,000 deaths a month beyond COVID." Dunning is implicitly blaming vaccines for the supposed deaths "beyond COVID," which isn't true.
Chamberas returned to rant in his Jan. 19 column: "In 2022 we are experiencing a requiem of the era in which "bloodletting" is passionately defended at all costs. The modern-day version of arrogantly supporting bloodletting is the stubborn defense of vaccine mandates!" He added: "This is no longer about healthcare but a Robespierre-inspired reign of terror against those deemed non-compliant to a persuasive loyalty oath for the regime in power. Comply or your life as you know is over instantly. This type of violent coercion runs counter to the ideals upon which our nation was founded."
Marc Schulte hurled his usual blizzard of numbers in his Jan. 19 column, while at one point claiming, "A possible contributing cause for the colossal 42% increase in COVID deaths between 2020 and 2021, in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, is President Biden's insane policy, since Inauguration Day, of allowing millions of untested migrants to cross the southern border with Mexico." Medical experts disagree.
Michael Dorstewitz claimed in his Jan. 26 column that "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted last week that standard cloth masks are ineffective. They're just for show, to announce to everyone you meet that you're superior because you're wearing a mask. And vaccines aren't much better." In fact, the CDC didn't say that cloth masks were "ineffective"; they're just not as protective as N95 or KN95 masks.
Jared Whitley huffed in a March 7 column: "The insanity over masks has been particularly pronounced, especially because they accomplish virtually nothing to stop the spread of disease."
Gene Crume declared in a Feb. 23 column that "There is no such evidence for mandates" for vaccines or masks.
Reagan (with Michael Shannon) returned in a March 8 column: "When a swine flu vaccine was rushed to market in 1976 the VAERS database reported 25 deaths and the vaccine was judged too dangerous and pulled from the market. The same VAERS database lists 24,402 deaths from COVID-19 vaccinations and your federal government continues to claim the jab is just fine." Reagan and Shannon are just the latest anti-vaxxers deliberately misinterpreting VAERS data; reports of deaths there are unverified.
Instead of lazily slapping a "non-clinician" disclaimer on these columns, wouldn't Newsmax improve its credibility if it fact-checked columnists before publishing them?
Wayne Allyn Root COVID Misinformation Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wayne Allyn Root's Jan. 31 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "The COVID-19 storyline is the greatest scam in world history," began with this rant reviewing some of his misinformation-laden greatest hits:
This week has been eye-opening. Even for me – and I'm the guy who has warned for over a year, in commentary after commentary, and often for three hours a day on my nationally syndicated radio show, that the COVID-19 vaccine could be dangerous and deadly and could lead to catastrophe.
I stuck my neck out like no other talk-show host in America to warn the vaccine may not even prevent illness; in fact, it could damage the immune system, thereby causing more illness and death. And not just from COVID-19, but also injuries and death linked to the COVID-19 vaccine itself.
Eight months ago, I warned it was time to suspend the vaccine program pending an investigation of mounting deaths, grievous injuries and permanent disabilities. I titled my commentary, "What if This Experimental COVID Shot Is Killing People? Don't Americans Have a Right To Know?"
Four months ago, I was courageous enough to scold New York Times medical reporters about the unfolding disaster that they have ignored. I titled my commentary, "What I Just Told the New York Times About the Complete Failure and Disaster of the COVID-19 Vaccine."
Three months ago, I was the first to warn that Americans were dropping in record numbers of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. I titled my commentary, "If the Vaccine Is So Great, Why Are So Many People Dropping Dead?"
Root then purported to relate "the FACTS that have come pouring out of the closet just in the past week" -- which, of course, are largely right-wing conspiracy theories that are largely devoid of fact, a lot of which lack sufficient information to properly fact-check. His first bullet point:
Israel is the most vaccinated major nation in the world. Almost the entire population is quadruple vaccinated. Yet right now Israel is No. 1 in the world for COVID-19 infections. Over one half of 1% of their entire population is testing positive for COVID-19 PER DAY.
The most perfect control group ever is the U.S. military. Every young soldier got the COVID-19 vaccine in the past year. To follow the results is the very definition of science. Military whistleblowers have come forward with Department of Defense medical data showing since the start of the vaccine program cancer is up about 300% among military members; female infertility is up 500%; miscarriages are up by 300%; and there was an astronomical 1,000% increase in neurological disorders from 82,000 to 863,000 in one year.
These are young men and women who were in perfect health … until the vaccines. It appears the vaccines are literally crippling our national defense.
In fact, those numbers are misleading because the database they are pulled from had underreported those conditions in previous years.He continued:
One more control group of formerly healthy young men and women: FIFA soccer players in the EU. Deaths from cardiac arrest increased by 500% in 2021. An astounding 183 professional athletes and coaches collapsed "suddenly" in 2021.
Worst of all is the news from the CDC that non-COVID-19 deaths in the age range of 18 to 49 increased by 40% in the past year. No one has ever seen anything like this. Why are working-age Americans dying in record numbers? Only one thing changed in 2021: vaccine mandates at the workplace.
Root concluded by declaring, "This is the greatest scam in world history. It would make Bernie Madoff blush." The only scamming we're seeing isRoot pushing bogus statistics to push his narrative.
Root served up a variation on this theme in his Feb. 21 column under the headline "COVID: The world's biggest-ever 'get-rich-quick' scheme." He began with a complaint about a friend who allegedly received a $115,000 bill for a day in the hopsital after a suspected heart attack, which turned into a rant about the health care system that President Obama supposedly screwed up, followed by claiming that COVID is somehow a profit-making "Ponzi scheme" for people he doesn't like:
Here's a simple explanation of the world's biggest "get-rich-quick" Ponzi scheme.
First, President Joe Biden, Fauci, the CDC, FDA, Democratic politicians and the media scare people to death over a flu with mostly mild to moderate symptoms, with a 99.9% recovery rate. They whip Americans into a frenzy. This turns Americans into paranoid hypochondriacs and hospital junkies.
Everyone involved gets rich quick: the hospitals; doctors; Big Pharma; ventilator makers; mask makers; COVID-19 antigen test makers; vaccine manufacturers; the media that books billions of dollars in Big Pharma ads; and, maybe most of all, the politicians.
Think how much money the hysteria, panic and fear porn, combined with vaccine mandates, have made each Democratic politician that owns stock in publicly traded hospital, health care, drug and vaccine companies.
And this is all separate from the obscene bonuses reportedly paid by government to hospitals for each patient that tests positive for COVID-19, dies with COVID-19 and gets put on those deadly ventilators.
In fact, while the federal government did increase reimbursement to hospitals for Medicare patients treated for COVID, there's no evidence hospitals have tried to exaggerate COVID numbers to get more in Medicare payments.
Root then repeated a couple more of his greatest misinformation hits:
I haven't even mentioned all the Americans who may be experiencing heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and advanced cancer directly from the COVID-19 vaccine itself. See the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System list. There's another multibillion-dollar income stream.
And this scam is made possible by a conspiracy of government and media slandering and banning the only cheap, highly effective miracle drugs and vitamins that work for pennies on the dollar, like ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc and vitamins C and D3.
The hits are apparently playing for his right-wing audience, so it's unsurprising he's sticking with them, no matter how many times they've been discredited.
The MRC's Hypocritical Tolerance Of Trucker Convoy, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
We showed how the Media Research Center was an early supporter of the trucker convoy in Canada -- even though the disruptive and occasionally violent protest tactics the truckers used were deplored by the MRC when used by non-right-wing activists. The MRC maintained that support throughout the protest.
In a Feb. 8 post, Curtis Houck claimed to be alarmed that White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted evidence that the truckers were getting help from right-wingers in the U.S.: "The horror! She made it seem like conservatives are a cabal that could have a tunnel network to Canada, envelopes filled with money, disguises, and all the bells and whistles."When a reporter asked Psaki about whether the Biden administration would look further into that aid, Houck screeched that this was a "call to prosecute political dissent" that was "insanity."
CNN’s anti-Freedom Convoy correspondent Paula Newton was at it again Wednesday as she desperately tried to smear the peaceful Canadian protest against their COVID restrictions. In reports throughout the day, Newton suggested that they should be feared and were a threat to the country. She even suggested that their “civil disobedience” can’t be “tolerated” because “what can happen next?”
Fondacaro added the MRC's approved whataboutism talking point: "This is the same CNN that supported the Black Lives Matter Riots of 2020 and dubbed them “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL.” They also didn’t have an issue with the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle, Washington where people were being killed." He didn't mention that just a few days earlier, his MRC colleague Houck unironically repeated a description of the the convoy protest as "mostly peaceful."
Tim Graham described his Feb. 9 podcast on the protests this way, summarizing all the support and whataboutism:
The liberal media have been truly hostile to Canadian truckers protesting vaccine mandates with a convoy in Ottawa. You can feel their mood when they call it the "so-called Freedom Convoy," as so-called objective networks do. Canada's socialist prime minister Justin Trudeau acts like these are the worst Canadians imaginable.
But that's not the worst of it. American networks have called the trucker resistance an "insurrection" and touted [left-wing] locals saying they're being held "hostage" by protests. They suggested the protests were populated by Nazis, Q-Anon, and Confederate flag-wavers, and repeated claims protesters stole food from the homeless. It's been a real hatchet job. Even the "independent fact checkers" lined up against them.
They even panicked that the Canadians had hot tubs, pizza ovens, and Plinko games. The contrast with American protests, like the "Autonomous Zone" in Seattle in 2020, is stunning. The networks then said these were the most peaceful protests imaginable....even as rapes and murders happened.
You can tell that liberals think that protests are Their Thing, and that when conservatives protest, it's somehow a frightening attack on democracy!
Clay Waters served up some of the same whataboutism in yet another attack on the New York Times for its coverage of the protest in a Feb. 10 post:
The Canadian trucker protest in Ottawa against vaccine mandates and overzealous Covid restrictions is certainly not getting the fawning Black Lives Matter treatment from The New York Times. Tuesday’s front-page story was crammed with contempt for the protesters, smeared for allegedly committing the same sort of acts that BLM protesters did during the often violent nationwide protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020: Theft, disruption, and “desecration” of statues.
The reporters had to admit the “festive” atmosphere in Ottawa, before switching back to condemnation that “[m]any Ottawa residents are besides themselves.”
Strange, how The Times never cared about how city residents felt about noise and closures that resulted from mob violence during the Floyd protests of 2020.
The Times is also suddenly against vandalizing statues, though on Tuesday it ran a story that approved of destroying a statute of a British slave-trader.
During a softball interview with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas aired on Thursday’s CBS Mornings, the broadcast network treated Canadian truckers protesting draconian COVID regulations like terrorists and fretted to the Biden cabinet official that the demonstrators posed a “potential security threat” to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the ongoing out-of-control crisis at the U.S. southern border was completely ignored.
When CNN contributor pointed out that the truckers were delilberately disrupting international commerce by blocking border crossings between Canada and the U.S. and suggested solultions to shutting down such an illegal protest, Fondacaro screamed that she was a PSYCHO":
Harvard professor, former Obama DHS official, and CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem was channeling some real Carrie Underwood energy (Before He Cheats) as she took to Twitter Thursday to lash out at the Canadian Freedom Convoy, demanding that Canadian authorities “slash” their tires and “empty the tanks” then somehow “move the trucks.” And as she deserved, Kayyem was called out and ridiculed for it.
Kayyem began her rage-fest by whining about the truckers getting support from “right wing [sic] media” and suggesting the truckers were a threat to American national security. “The Ambassador Bridge link constitutes 28% of annual trade movement between US and Canada. Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks,” she wrote.
Instead of offering logical arguments against her, Fondacaro huffed that she was filled with "toxic elitism" and "petty authoritarianism." As if blocking border crossings is somehow elitism and authoritarianism?
Alex Christy got bent out of shape over CNN's John Avlon noting that the protester "constitute a 'right-wing Trucker tantrum' supported by Americans who hypocritically call themselves pro-life" and are seeking "special exemption from public health laws."Christy grumbled in response that Avlon wasn't "taking time to consider that maybe public health laws need to change or that one-size-fits-all rules are not necessary" and non-scientifically insisted that a vaccination rate of 75 percent was sufficient: "With so many vaccinated, there is no justifiable reason to keep emergency measures in place." Of course, that still means 25 percent of the population isn't vaccinated, giving plenty of room for COVID to spread; most people who died from catching the Omicron variant were unvaccinated.
Graham tried a weird bit of whataboutism in a Feb. 11 post:
At the end of Thursday’s All In on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes mocked the Fox News Channel for promoting Tea Party rallies in 2009, and then he compared that to promotional coverage of the Canadian Freedom Convoy. He protested it as a “Truly incredible display of the unique role that one network plays in American political life. For many years, Fox News has been operating this flatly propagandistic fashion.”
It might be fair to suggest it’s funny to promote an occupation of an urban area when it’s Canada and then oppose it with say, Occupy Wall Street. But Hayes seems oblivious to the idea that when the shoe was on the other foot in 2011, it was his company doing the “flatly propagandistic” stuff, like “ Slow Jam The News: Fallon And Brian Williams Make Occupy Wall Street Sexy.”
That's the comparison Graham is going to make? Really? No wonder the MRC keeps losing credibility.
WND Defends Joe Rogan And His COVID Misinformers Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has long loved prolific COVID misinformers Robert Malone and Peter McCullough, so when podaster Joe Rogan got in trouble for having them on and letting them spread their misinformation unchallenged, WorldNetDaily became a fan.
WND's Art Moore first promoted their appearances on Rogan's show -- and helped them play victim. Moore declared that Rogan's interview with McCullough "would not have been allowed on YouTube," and he used a Dec. 31 article to hype Malone's "highly anticipated interview with No. 1 podcaster Joe Rogan," which came after Malone was suspended from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation. Mooire never mentioned all the misinformation spread by both McCullough and Malone during their Rogan interviews.
When Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called Rogan spreading misinformation, Moore wouldn't admit they misinformed anyone in a Jan. 25 article:
The surgeon general of the United States believes Joe Rogan's top-rated podcast should be censored because of its interviews with prominent health scientists who come to conclusions based on assessments of data and studies that contradict some of the evolving stances of the Biden administration.
Rogan had two blockbuster interviews in December, drawing more than 40 million views in a nearly three-hour conversation with renowned cardiologist and highly published scientist Dr. Peter McCullough. And his show has garnered more than 50 million in a longer interview with Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology on which the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based.
Moore remained in denial about COVID misinformation in a Jan. 31 article noting Rogan's backpedaling after days of criticism:
The controversy over Joe Rogan airing a total of nearly six hours of conversation with two highly educated and accomplished health scientists whose views contradict the evolving government and establishment media narrative on COVID-19 opened a new chapter Monday, with the No. 1 podcaster pledging to do his best to group together interviews with people who have opposing opinions.
Rogan's 10-minute video on Instagram has been interpreted in various ways, including as an apology for spreading "misinformation" arising chiefly from an interview with Dr. Peter McCullough that drew more than 40 million views and another with Dr. Robert Malone that garnered an additional 50 million.
But Rogan -- while acknowledging what his platform Spotify has had to suffer financially with the withdrawal of the music of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in protest of his interviews -- made it clear he has a problem with how the term "misinformation" is being used.
He pointed out that "many of the things we thought of as misinformation a short while ago is now thought of as fact." They include claiming people can catch COVID-19 vaccination, saying cloth masks don't work and suggesting it's possible the pandemic originated in a lab in China. Previously, those statements, which are now accepted, got people removed from social media platforms, he pointed out.
Moore then weirdly quoted someone going full George Costanza by claiming that Malone and McCullough can't possibly be misinforming anyone because they don't believe they're serving up misinformation:
Prominent science writer and agnostic Michael Shermer, known for his collegial debates with believers in God, said the claim that Rogan and his guests are "intentionally spreading misinformation" is wrong.
"They don't think what they're saying is misinformation — They think they have a valid point," he wrote on Twitter. “They may be wrong but that's different. Instead of accusing them of lying, explain why facts say otherwise."
Moore devoted a Feb. 6 article to Moore "challenging a 'fact check' of some of his statements by a reporter for Britain's Daily Mail." Malone, to our knowledge, has not challenged the fact-check issued by Health Feedback, which is focused on medical misinformation and is much more comprehensive.
Meanwhile, WND columnist Michael Brown -- who suffers fromwishy-washiness on the issue of COVID despite having suffered through a bout of it himself -- felt the need to weigh in on Rogan in his Feb. 7 column. He started by issuing a pass because "Rogan himself does not seem to be an ideologue" -- in fact, his guest list leans unambiguously right -- who "seems to be more focused on having interesting conversations with a wide range of guests, learning for himself as he goes." He added, "This was Joe Rogan being himself, and that meant following the evidence where he thought it led." Brown then tried once again to both-sides the issue:
Since Rogan's podcast is front and center in the news today, and since he has a massive viewing and listening audience, why not use the show to host a debate/discussion between two of the most articulate voices on either side of the COVID-vaccination debate? Or perhaps even host several debates (at least two), allowing each side to present its case and respond to challenges.
The discussion would not be about the mandates, which are often opposed even by strong vaccination advocates. The discussion would address the safety or efficacy of the vaccines and the wisdom of our current health policies.
He went on to suggest that Malone be a guest for this debate, along with "a respected pro-vax professional." That's not likely to happen given Malone is not known for sharing the stage with anyone who might challenge him, which was probably a big reason he appeared on Rogan's show in the first place.
Dick Morris Still Pushing Fantasy Of Hillary Run In 2024 Topic: Newsmax
wrong Newsmax pundit Dick Morris just can't stop pushing the idea of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2024. His latest attempt to breathe life into a claim that lacks supporting evidence was detailed in a Feb. 20 article:
The next presidential race is shaping up to be a rematch of the 2016 contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, political strategist Dick Morris predicted Sunday.
Speaking to "The Cats Roundtable" radio show on WABC 770 AM hosted by John Catsimatidis, Morris called the showdown "a pretty good bet."
Morris explained his rationale by laying out a timeline of what he thinks will happen, starting with the Democratic Party forcing President Joe Biden to announce that he is not running again after the party suffers a major defeat in the midterm elections later this year.
Morris outlined an outlandish -- and completely evidence-free -- scenario in which the Democrats would cycle through candidates to the point that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will run -- "she’ll be three months old enough to be president in 2024," Morris added -- which will supposedly "force the establishment to rally behind Hillary to stop AOC ... just like they rallied to Biden to stop Bernie Sanders in 2020."
Morris comes off as a guy who wants to feed right-wing fantasies as a ploy to appear on radio and TV -- never mind the fact that his reputation as a wildly wrong political prognosticator precedes him.
UPDATE: He's not the only one at Newsmax pushing this fantasy, though. A Feb. 28 article by Luca Cacciatore hyped a CPAC poll claiming that "a plurality, 22%, believe Hillary Clinton has a greater chance of being the Democratic Party's 2024 nominee than President Joe Biden." Cacciatore also referenced "an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal last month from Democratic insiders Douglas E. Schoen and Andrew Stein pushing for her to make a 'political comeback' in 2024." Actually, Schoen is no "Democratic insider"; he's a Fox News Democrat brought on to trash Democrats, and he has donated to and raised money for Republican candidates. Charlie McCarthy referenced the CPAC poll in a March 16 article noting Hillary's dismissive response to Vladimir Putin sanctioning her and other Democrats.
Dishonest Catholic Donohue Lets His Homophobic Flag Fly Topic: CNSNews.com
Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue has expanded from his usual brand of homophobia -- falsely blaming them for clergy sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church -- to a more generalized form. In his Feb. 7 column, Donohue decided that the reason COVID vaccination rates are lower among those with HIV, according to a CDC study, is because they are "irresponsible" because, duh, they're gay and they have HIV:
The CDC says that LGBT individuals "historically experience challenges accessing, trusting, and receiving health care services."
Nowhere do the multiple authors of this study suggest that it is the behavioral choices made by those who engage in risky sexual activities that accounts not only for their HIV status, but for the prevalence of their comorbidities.
Nowhere do the authors suggest that it is the irresponsible behavior that marks a disproportionate segment of the LGBT community that accounts for the health disparity.
The CDC has not hesitated to recommend draconian lockdowns to combat COVID, and it certainly hasn't hesitated to recommend restrictions on houses of worship. Why, then, does it not exercise the same aggressive policy recommendations when it comes to LGBT people?
Once again, the CDC is showing that politics counts more than science in driving its conclusions. It also shows that the ruling class has a problem treating sexual minorities as equals, the same way it has a problem treating racial minorities as equals.
In fact, the study states that vaccination coverage is lower among younger patients, those who are not white, those who had not achieved viral suppression and those who had not received care. The study went on to state that "Unmeasured factors, including socioeconomic status, might further explain the lower COVID-19 vaccination coverage among" those living with HIV.
But Donohue hates gay people, so the facts don't matter to him.
Donohue spent his March 1 column defending the Staten Island St. Patrick's Day parade for barring LGBT people from participating:
Staten Island's St. Patrick's Day Parade is the last of the big New York City parades of this kind to remain true to its heritage. Unlike the other St. Patrick's Day Parades, which have turned the march into an inclusion event, the Staten Island contingent remains resolute in exclusively honoring St. Patrick.
The last time the Catholic League marched in the most heralded of St. Patrick's Day Parades — the one up Fifth Avenue — was 2014. I pulled our group in the fall of that year from forever marching again after I was lied to by parade officials.
News Flash: The St. Patrick's Day Parade is a celebration of St. Patrick. Period. Those who truly believe in diversity should defend the right of every legitimate demographic group to determine their own parade strictures.
The intolerance of gay activists, and their straight supporters, shoving their way into these parades is stunning. They have their own parade, but that is not enough. As always, they have to draw attention to their master status, which is their sexual identity, not their ethnicity or religion.
Of course, Donohue is showing his own intolerance by cheering the exclusion of a group agaisnt which he is paid well to hate for a living.
Donohue's March 10 column was a letter he wrote to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal complaining that Twitter had suppended the account of a Missouri political candidate who claimed that transgender women are "men pretending to be women," adding: "Telling the truth can be painful, but as Catholics we are called to do so."
Donohue thinks he's "telling the truth," but all we see is his vicious hatred for anyone who doesn't act or think exactly like him.
The MRC's Hypocritical Tolerance Of Trucker Convoy Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Reserach Center was enthusiastic supporters of the trucker protest in Canada last month. A Feb. 1 post by Curtis Houck cheered the "massive resistance"and downplay reports of violence and disruption:
Despite warnings of violence and claims from the likes of Toronto’s Global and Mail that “calling the Ottawa protests ‘peaceful’ downplays non-violent danger” and the presence of some repugnant images such as the Confederate flag and Nazi symbols, the BBC said Monday it was “mostly peaceful” aside from “the behaviour of some members of the crowd,” which The Guardian said includes desecrating the National War Memorial.
We remember when the MRC used to make fun of people who called protests "mostly peaceful." Also note Houck's weird wording of "repugnant images," seemingly absolving the actual people involved in the protest of waving those Confederate flags and Nazi symbols. All the better to protect that "mostly peaceful" narrative, eh?
As the truckers' violent behavior became more apparent, Clay Waters went into whataboutism mode in a Feb. 4 post when the New York Times reported taht protesters were "desecrating war memorials, wielding Nazi symbols and stealing food from the homeless":
The racial protests toppled statues, blocked streets and freeways and caused massive property damage and looted Nike stores and Targets and high-end stores in New York City, set fires and burned flags and smashed police cars, not to mention stabbings and shootings. The Times covered it all neutrally, with no social distancing lectures at a time when outdoor weddings and funerals were limited or banned. Meanwhile, protestors danced in the streets.
(There was plenty of “desecration of monuments and other threatening behavior” in major U.S. cities during the BLM-linked riots, and radical marauders roamed the streets intimidating people eating at restaurants, without Times condemnation.)
But we thought the MRC wanted neutral coverage from the Times, as opposed to all that "liberal bias" it supposedly pumps out.
Waters did the same whataboutism in a Feb. 6 post as he complained about the Times using "second-hand anecdotes" to criticize the truckers using air horns and other tactics:
If these second-hand anecdotes are indeed part of the picture of the protest, one is vividly reminded of similar, though much worse, incidents from the George Floyd racial protests of the summer of 2020 in multiple major U.S. cities.
But there weren’t just air horns in Minneapolis, New York City, and Portland (among dozens of other cities) but actual killings. The riots that grew out of some of the U.S. protests featured massive looting, vandalism, arsons, adding up to $2 billion in insurance claims and multiple arrests. Meanwhile, the Ottawa police, for all their insults, have yet to make a single arrest at the truckers’ protest.
Houck returned on Feb. 7 post to bash media coverage of the protest for having "dismissed them as standing in the way of Canada’s “efforts to control” the virus and making life difficult and violent for those in the capital city of Ottawa," lamenting, "So, instead of trying to understand them, the media have decided to condemn them."We don't recall the MRC ever trying to "understand" any of the protesters against police brutality.
Nicholas Fondacaro also chimed in by falsely claiming the convoy protest was "peaceful " and complaining that CNN was "being sure to pick some of the most incendiary quotes." He also complained that it was pointed out that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's life was threatened and thatCNN "chose to parrot talking points from the petty authoritarians in the Ottawa Police Department and the Liberal Canadian government." He too played whataboutism: "Meanwhile, in 2020, CNN supported the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots that destroyed people’s livelihoods and homes and resulted in deaths."
The same day, Kevin Tober cheered the "massive crowds" allegedly greeting the protest and how the truckers were disrupting international commerce by blocking a bridge between Detroit and Canada, then complained that one reporter "tried to smear the protesters by citing outlier instances of 'national monuments desecrated, and some protesters displaying symbols of hate,' as if that justified a 'state of emergency.'" He too played whataboutism on reports of violence and disruption:
It's a safe bet you didn't hear this type of language in the summer of 2020 during the networks' coverage of the actual occupation in downtown Seattle, Washington in the form of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ/CHOP) where multiple people were killed and businesses were being extorted. NBC highlighted the Ottawa businesses annoyed with the truckers but they didn't care about those Seattle residents.
As if that justifies Tober praising violence and disruption in Canada.
Needless to say, the MRC frowned on the truckers' protest tactics when they were used by non-right-wingers. In an October 2020 post, Alexander Hall was alarmed that "Fox News warned in a report yesterday that 'Shut Down D.C.' is 'setting the stage for mass gatherings in D.C.,' amid the election. Fox news added that Shut Down DC, according to the Federalist, is reportedly calling for 'potentially blockading the White House, blocking traffic, shutting down government office buildings and even Amazon fulfillment centers.'" Hall repeated his manufactured concern a few days later. And a week after that, Kayla Sargent cited another news report claiming the group "plans civil action that may include stopping traffic in the U.S. capital, with dozens of other groups" in complaining that Facebook hadn't taken down the group's page.
In a November 2020 post, Jay Maxson defended police breaking up a pre-election march with pepper spray because "marchers disobeyed police orders and impeded traffic by blocking a road and driving vehicles in the wrong direction on that road. Police ordered the unlawful assembly to disperse, but the warning went unheeded." Brad Wilmouth similarly defended the crackdown because "they were blocking traffic and refused commands to move."
In July, Kyle Drennen grumbled that "MSNBC on Thursday complained that Cuban-American protesters who blocked traffic in Miami were not arrested," noting a new Florida law that permits the arrest of protesters who block traffic. Drennen conceded the point, then tried to change the subject:
Obviously no lawful protest should ever block traffic or endanger public safety and the local authorities would have had every right to arrest the few dozen demonstrators who shut down the intersection shown on screen. However, rather than go talk to the Miami Police Department about how the situation was handled, MSNBC immediately rushed to blame Florida Republican Governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis instead.
[Correspondent Kerry] Sanders read a statement from the Governor’s office: “Under preexisting Florida law, blocking or obstructing a roadway without a proper permit has long been illegal. It’s puzzling that some media outlets are attempting to claim otherwise.” In response, the reporter feigned ignorance of anyone in press having an agenda: “Of course, this is us as reporters reporting what others are saying. This is not an agenda of any reporter, at least that I can see here.”
There's plenty more convoy hypocrisy from the MRC where that came from. Stay tuned.
CNS Editor Hides Full Story Of Praying Coach Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey devoted his Feb. 23 column to trying to turn a high school football coach into a martyr because he demanded to pray in the middle of the field after a game:
On Oct. 16, 2015, the varsity football team at Bremerton High School took on the varsity team from Centralia High School. After the game, there was an all-American moment. It involved a longstanding postgame activity engaged in by Bremerton assistant coach Joseph Kennedy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has provided a description of it.
"Kennedy is a practicing Christian," said the court. "Kennedy's religious beliefs required him to 'give thanks through prayer, at the end of each game, for what the players had accomplished and for the opportunity to be a part of their lives through football.
"Specifically," the court continued, "'(a)fter the game (was) over, and after the players and coaches from both teams met to shake hands at midfield,' Kennedy felt called to kneel at the 50-yard line and offer a brief, quiet prayer of thanksgiving for player safety, sportsmanship, and spirited competition.' Kennedy's prayer usually lasted about thirty seconds. Kennedy's religious beliefs required that his prayer occur on the field where the game was played, immediately after the game concluded. This necessarily meant that spectators — students, parents, and community members — would observe Kennedy's religious conduct."
The Bremerton School District had barred Kennedy from engaging in this postgame prayer.
"When BSD's superintendent became aware of Kennedy's religious observances on the 50-yard line with players immediately following a game, he wrote Kennedy informing him what he must avoid doing in order to protect BSD from an Establishment Clause claim," explained the 9th Circuit.
The 9th Circuit concluded that had the BSD allowed Kennedy to continue engaging in his quiet on-field prayer after football games, the school district would have violated the Constitution's ban on establishing a religion.
"We hold that BSD's allowance of Kennedy's conduct would violate the Establishment Clause," said the court, "consequently, BSD's efforts to prevent the conduct did not violate Kennedy's constitutional rights, nor his rights under Title VII."
In sum: This court claims that allowing a public high school assistant coach to quietly pray after a football game is effectively equivalent to establishing a government religion.
Jeffrey is not telling the whole story. The ruling also stated that Kennedy made a point of not cooperating with the district and would play victim in order to generate media coverage:
In response, Kennedy determined he would “fight” his employer by seeking support for his position in local and national television and print media, in addition to seeking support on social media. In a letter from his counsel, he informed BSD that he would not comply with its instructions, and that he intended to continue engaging in the kind of mid-field religious exercises he had been told not to perform. Answering Kennedy’s solicitation, scores of parents, a state representative, and students from both teams rushed to mid-field after a game to support Kennedy against BSD’s efforts to avoid violating the Constitution. All of thiswas memorialized and broadcast by local and national TV stations and print media.
While his prayer may have been brief, the facts in the record utterly belie his contention that the prayer was personal and private. As noted, Kennedy engaged in a media blitz between October 14, 2015—when Kennedy’s attorney informed BSD that he would be reinstituting his prior practice that included allowing students to join his prayer —and October 16, 2015. Kennedy’s deposition included the following exchange: “Q. So you appeared on the media because you wanted to spread the word about what you were doing? A. I was sharing the word, yes, sir.”
When Kennedy declared in a Facebook post that "I think I just might have been fired for praying," the school district "was flooded with thousands of emails, letters, and phone calls from around the country" regarding the conflict over Kennedy’s prayer, "many of which were hateful or threatening."
There was also an expectation that players were expected to take part in Kennedy's prayer and feared consequences if they did not. The ruling noted "a parent’s complaint that his son 'felt compelled to participate' in Kennedy’s religious activity, even though he was an atheist, because 'he felt he wouldn’t get to play as much if he didn’t participate.'"
The ruling also noted that the school district "had a compelling state interest to avoid violating the Establishment Clause, and it tried repeatedly to work with Kennedy to develop an accommodation for him that would avoid violating the Establishment Clause while nevertheless offering him options that were narrowly tailored to protect his rights."
Nevertheless, Jeffrey continued to put his fact-free spin on things: "The Supreme Court will decide this spring whether a public school football coach has a First Amendment right to say a quiet prayer on a public field after a game. Of course he does." True, but not the way the coach was actually going about doing it, according to lower courts -- and Jeffrey hid that information from his readers.