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Monday, March 21, 2022
CNS' Donohue Lies About Riot Punishment Disparity
Topic: CNSNews.com

Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue complained in his Feb. 23 CNSNews.com column:

On Feb. 15, Edward McAlanis was sentenced to six months probation, 60 hours of community service, and $500 in restitution. He was previously fired from his high-salary job in financial services; he is now a pizza delivery driver. What did he do to merit these punishments? On Jan. 6, 2021, he joined a protest outside the U.S. Capitol, and entered the building without authorization. He posed for a picture in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. That was it.

By contrast, Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters killed innocent persons, set buildings on fire, assaulted the police, looted department stores, and participated in illegal street demonstrations. Practically nothing has been done to any of them.

[...]

The disparate treatment afforded those who participated in the non-violent Jan. 6 riot and those who participated in the violent Antifa and BLM riots, is a national disgrace. This has everything to do with politics, not justice.

Donohue is lying. In fact, thousands of people were arrested as a result of protests in the summer of 2020 -- more than 17,000 by one count. As of August 2021, more than 120 people had been convicted or pleaded guilty to federal crimes including rioting, arson and conspiracy. More than 70 had received an average of about 27 months behind bars. At least 10 received prison terms of five years or more.

Donohue ignored one other big difference: Even though McAlanis was apparently nonviolent, he still took part in a mob insurrection to attempt to overturn an election and effectively overthrow the government. The vast majority of protests against police brutality were peaceful, though some turned violent. Donohue provided no evidence that "Antifa and BLM" were solely responsible for all violence or called for violence.

Donohue sent on to claim that "Antifa and BLM rioters" were to blame for damage at Catholic churches during the unrest. But none of the links he provides proves that any BLM or Antifa member committed the offenses or that any BLM or Antifa official ordered the damage to be done.

Thus, once again, Donohue lives down to our "dishonest Catholic" name for him.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:21 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Goes On Rogan Patrol, Part 1
Topic: Media Research Center
When podcaster Joe Rogan got called out for spreading COVID misinformation, The Media Research Center rushed to his defense -- largely by pretending that misinformation is a subjective concept when a right-winger spreads it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EDT
WND Interviews Another COVID Vaccine Misinformer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Interviewing COVID misinformers like Robert Malone and Vladimir Zelenko is pretty much the only original "journalism" WorldNetDaily does these days (rewriting press releases and other people's articles doesn't really count). Art Moore served up another one in a Feb. 14 article:

But over the past two years, a data analyst with a PhD in computational biology and postdoctoral degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology has been conducting a thorough analysis of the data in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System website.

In a video interview with WND, Jessica Rose argues that the whole point of the VAERS database is to watch for "safety signals" that may have been missed in clinical trials.

And the data, when interpreted according to a standard method of determining causation used by the World Health Organization, is signaling red alert.

"It's not debatable that something is going on here," she told WND.

Last fall, Rose got busted for pushing (along with a co-writer) dubious statistics claiming that 150,000 people have been killed by the COVID vaccines.Mooregave Rose a platform to try and weasel out of the bad data:

The FDA charged that they "misinterpreted" the data.

"If we made a mistake, tell us what the under reporting factor is," Rose said.

ut the CDC and the FDA won't give a straight answer to that question and many others she has posed.

"It's like tumbleweeds blowing by for months, and probably going on a year now," she said.

Rose emphasizes that she uses raw data rather than "interpretative" data.

"When you're talking about injecting 1 billion people with an experimental product with ... a clear correlation with adverse event arisal, and somebody provides you with strong evidence of causation using certain criteria – for example the Bradford Hill criteria – then it's time to start listening," she said.

Moore added: "The VAERS data is consistent with, among other things, the alarming trend observed in the insurance industry, the spike in sudden deaths and heart attacks in healthy athletes, the testimonies of vaccine-injured people and the more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies presenting evidence of vaccine-related adverse events. We've already debunked Moore's claim about insurance data claiming that COVID vaccines are killing people; there's also no evidence there's any actual increase of "sudden deaths and heart attacks in healthy athletes." The claim of "more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies presenting evidence of vaccine-related adverse events" is bogus too -- according to PolitiFact, not only are studies repeated for different adverse reaction catetgories, most of the studies say that the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the small risk.

Moore began his article by comparing the purported massive deaths from COVID vaccinees to the reactino to the swine flu vaccine in the 1970s:

In 1976, after 32 deaths were attributed to the swine flu vaccine, the U.S. government halted the mass vaccination campaign.

But now, despite the VAERS database run by the CDC and the FDA reporting more than 23,000 deaths related to the COVID-19 vaccines, the messaging from establishment media and top health officials such as Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Anthony Fauci essentially is that no one has died or suffered severe adverse effects from the largest rollout of an experimental vaccine in world history.

As others have pointed out, the swine flu outbreak did not result in a pandemic, and none of those deaths were definitively linked to the vaccine. By contrast, nearly one million people have died from COVID in the U.S. alone.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Sunday, March 20, 2022
MRC Pretends Texas 'Election Integrity' Law Isn't Suppressing Vote
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is fully on board with the talking point that Republicans aren't trying to suppress the vote of anyone they dislike by changing election laws, they're merely engaging in "election integrity." Even when such a law has been mismanaged to the point that it sure looks like disenfranchising voters was the goal, the MRC stayed on message.

Nicholas Fondacaro was in full defense mode over a botched Texas law in a Feb. 15 post:

The liberal media are so desperate to find a single instance of so-called “voter suppression” that they’re resorting to suggesting voters incorrectly filling out forms and clerical snafus were evidence of Republicans stealing the right to vote from black Americans. Or, as they ridiculously call it, “Jim Crow 2.0.” This was the case on Tuesday afternoon's CNN Newsroom as they spoke with a Texas voter.

The segment was helmed by co-host Alisyn Camerota, who leaned on hyperbole to drive the narrative. She suggested “[t]he controversial voting law passed in Texas last year is already creating problems for voters,” and declared: “the worst fears are already coming to pass…”

For the supposedly blatant example of voter suppression, Camerota brought on Pam Gaskin of the League of Women Voters who had her application for a mail-in ballot rejected twice.

But according to her own account, Gaskin filled the form out incorrectly. The first time, the elections officials for Fort Bend County had put up the form from 2021 instead of 2022:

[...]

As NewsBusters described in our explainer video (embedded below) on the media’s big lie about “voter suppression,” this is a procedural mishap.

Fondacaro is lying. The woman did not "fill out the form incorrectly"; she weas given the wrong form to fill out. He went on to complain about the second example:

The second rejection was convoluted as Gaskin contradicted her own testimony. “This time because I did not include the form of ID that was used when I originally registered to vote which was 46 years ago in this county,” she explained.

Gaskin admits that “they wanted me to include the last four digits of my social security number” but she instead used her driver’s license number despite knowing that “my driver's license number was not in my original voter record. I didn't use that to register to vote.”

So the woman was supposed to remember what form of ID she used 46 years ago? Apparently. Fondacaro is very much invested in blaming the victim instead of the system:

So, clearly, this case was a combination of poor housekeeping work by elections officials by keeping the wrong form on the website and a poorly filled out form. And perhaps the language on the document could be cleaned up. But again, these are procedural mishaps and not efforts to suppress the vote.

But that’s not how Gaskin would see it. Proclaiming herself “a super voter,” she grew indignant at the idea she may not have filled the form out correctly. “I know what the rules are. I follow the rules. I tell folks I have a degree from the University of Texas at Austin in English. I know how to read and follow directions,” she said.

But a short time later, she couldn’t remember the rules for who could apply for a mail-in ballot in Texas: “They're very few people in Texas who can vote by mail. You have to be 65 or over, which that's the class I fall into. Disabled, out of the county or -- I forgot what the last one is.”

And providing no evidence outside her own bungled application, Gaskin concluding by suggesting, “This law is, I think, intentionally, designed to allow legislators to pick their voters instead of voters to pick their legislators.”

These aren’t facts. They’re conjecture, which makes sense because this is CNN.

And Fondacaro is victim-blaming because this is the MRC and the victim can't advance its right-wing agenda. He didn't tell his readers that the woman was far from an isolated case -- one large county in Texa saw a mail ballot rejection rate of 40 percent.

When the woman showed up on ABC to tell her story, Fondacaro ranted at her again in a Feb. 21 post, dismissing her as an "elections activist," whatever that is:

Early voting in Texas has been going on for a week but Monday’s Good Morning America on ABC highlighted a supposed voter suppression case where they complained it took the woman “28 days” to cast her ballot. It was the case of Pam Gaskin, the same woman CNN highlighted last week with the same convoluted, conflicting, and now-evolving story about how Republicans were suppressing her right to vote because she filled out the application incorrectly.

[...]

“It took three forms, 28 days, several calls, and some guessing before her mail-in voter was accepted,” Scott proclaimed, failing to note that the early voting window only opened last Monday (and runs until the 25th).

Fondacaro was still in victim-blaming mode, accusing the woman of having filled out "the wrong ballot application form from the local elections website" while downplaying the fact that it was the "wrong form" because that's what was provided to her.He grumbled that the reporter "made it clear that her concern was the proliferation of election integrity laws," but he also conceded thatthe procedure might be an issue and that "if the form could be more succinct, that would get worked out before the midterms."

Needless to say, Fondacaro again censored the fact that the woman's case was far from isolated and that numerous ballot applications were being rejected. Indeed, election results from the March 1 election showed that mail-in ballots were rejected at a stateewide rate of 13 percent -- far higher than the usual 1 percent rejection rate and twice as high as the rejection rate for any state in the 2020 presidential election -- and even higher rejection rates were found in counties that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

So, yes, it appears that Republican-backed "elec tion integrity" laws seemed geared toward disenfrancising Democratic voters. Not that Fondacaro will ever admit that fact, of course -- he's being paid to deny that truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
CNS Intern-Pestering Round Spreads False Keystone Talking Point
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's next round of the current semester of intern-pestering came after the Russia invasion of Ukraine, when intern Emily Robertson asked senators, “Should the United States prohibit petroleum imports from Russia and if not why not?” She got these senators to respond:

Nobody Robertson talked to was opposed to the idea, and she also got a roundup article out of it, Of course, the Republican-skewing lineup was given the opportunity to virtue-signal overincreasing the production of U.S. oil. But the boilkerplate text included in each article also stated this:

With President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the United States is no longer energy independent. Rather, it relies upon other countries for energy resources such as gas and oil.

First, that statement is logically and factually wrong. The oil the pipeline would have carried would have come from Canada, so it wouldn't have contributed to America being "energy independent." Further, as we've noted, it's likely that much of the oil that came through the pipeline would be exported, which also would not have contributed to American energy independence.

The boilerplate in each article also claimed that "The effect of the pipeline cancellation has led to higher gas prices." In fact, as we also documented (and fact-checkers agree), there's little evidence the pipeline would lower gas prices or that the cancellation of the pipeline caused gas prices to rise.

Again, we're seeing that CNS is more interested in teaching its interns how to peddle right-wing talking points then to engage in factual journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 20, 2022 8:40 PM EDT
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Another Super Bowl Halftime Show, Another MRC Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

Despite its regular meltdowns over Super Bowl halftime shows, the Media Research Center surprisingly didn't launch a preemptive strike on this year's show, even though it featured rappers it has hated over the years like Eminem, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. However, it found plenty to complain about afterwards. In a Feb. 13 post, Elise Ehrhard groused that Eminem -- who she dismissed as an "aging rapper" -- took a knee during his performance:

This year's Super Bowl halftime show was a late nineties/early aughts throwback featuring a number of  rappers whose biggest musical hits are twenty years old. Perhaps to stay relevant, one of those rappers, Eminem, took a knee during his performance.

The rapper who once sang, ”All the girls I like to bone have big butts/ No they don’t, ’cause I don’t like that n—– sh–/ I’m just here to make a bigger hit” and ”Blacks and whites, they sometimes mix/ But black girls only want your money, ’cause they’re dumb chicks” is now ready to fight for racial justice!

Left-wing media from NPR to Yahoo said Eminem's knee moment was done in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. I guess saying it was in solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM) no longer plays now that the domestic terrorist organization has taken corporate shake-down money and run.

Gotta love how the MRC are suddenly experts on rap lyrics and the N-word when it comes to dismissing opinions they don't like (or to distract from Joe Rogan's use of the word). The MRC has a huge complex about Kaepernick, of course, and it labored mightily to make Black Lives Matter -- but even Ehrhard provided no evidence to back up her wild claim that BLM is a "domestic terrorist organization."

After citing a few right-wing Eminem-bashers, Ehrhard added more of her own:

Eminem did it anyway, but that hardly makes his actions courageous. The middle-aged rapper faces no risks in towing the contemporary left's cultural line. Authentic cultural risk-taking can cause financial and professional loss, such as Enes Kanter Freedom getting cut from the NBA for speaking out against Chinese Communist Party genocide. Kanter, unlike Colin Kaepernick, will receive no multi-million deals from the corporate oligarchy for his actions.

Eminem's most successful days are long behind him. If anything, taking a knee gives the has-been a brief moment of old attention. Sad.

The MRC's chief halftime show-basher, Jay Maxson, joined in on Feb. 15, first by mocking praise for the show in the"left-stream media," whatever that is. When one writer referenced the NFL's purported effort through the halftime show “to connect with fans and artists who felt alienated by the league’s stance on Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem demonstration against police brutality and racial injustice," Maxson had a performative meltdown over He Who Must Always Be Denigrated:

Fact-checking pause: Kaepernick, who blew off an NFL tryout in 2019, used his disgusting anthem protests in the 2016 season as a springboard to a lucrative career as a professional race-baiter. One who’s bank-rolled by a Nike endorsement, Netflix and ESPN documentaries and other sources of big money. Yet he’s often portrayed by knuckleheads like Jemele Hill and now, Schiavocampo, as a poor, unemployed cast-off.

Maxson eventually got around to dissing the halftime talent as well:

What to conclude? The NFL is now annually peddling rap at the intermission of its marquee event. It just featured Snoop Dogg, rated No. 2 all-time among hardcore gangsta rappers by one source, and Dr. Dre, ranked No. 6 by another source. Kendrick Lamar, who, in 2013, released a song with lyrics threatening to murder his rap rivals, was also on stage Sunday. It’s all so fitting for the National “Felons” League, which saw the former child-beater Adrian Peterson arrested again Sunday, at LAX for yet another episode of domestic violence.

With NFL arrests practically a weekly thing, it’s appropriate that Super Bowls also feature questionable talent on the big halftime stage as well.

That;s rich coming from an organization that's apparently cool with Ted Nugent's proclivity for underage girls as long as he keeps spouting right-wing rhetoric.

The next day, Maxson served as stenographer to right-wing sports guy Jason Whitlock, who ranted against the halftime show because “gangsta rappers are not appropriate for Super Bowl halftime" and “Gangsta rap is lyrical pornography. It’s to be ingested in the privacy of your headphones.” Whitlock also huffed that the Super Bowl was somehow “a stage to promote the Left’s vision of equality, a utopia where a handful of powerful elites select winners and losers based on skin color, sexuality, and gender.”


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2022 10:56 AM EDT
Not Aging Well: WND's Lively Touted Putin As Champion of 'True Human Rights'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A lot of right-wing praise for Russian leader Vladimir Putin stopped aging well around Putin's invasion of Ukraine. But they were praising him pretty much right up until then. One example of that is Scott Lively spending a Dec. 27 WorldNetDaily column trying to convince us that Putin's not so bad:

But this article is not just another COVID-tyranny complaint from the aggrieved citizenry (as valid as that would be). It is a challenge to the MAGA movement to awaken to the danger of a separate class of false and manipulative propaganda most do not recognize as such: the demonization of Putin and Russia.

Some readers will blanch at that characterization and start mentally parroting all the anti-Putin and Russia talking points we've heard relentlessly since 2014. Why do some conservatives feel comfortable aligning with Obama, Clinton, Bush, Soros and the corporate media on Russia but virtually nothing else? Is it because Russia is truly still the Evil Empire of the Soviet years? Or because there really are no effective pro-Russian advocates of stature in the U.S. to counter the anti-Russian arguments of the left and the neocons?

[...]

Now, I'm not claiming Putin and Russia are faultless. No leader or nation (or political candidate) can survive scrutiny of their conduct against the standard of perfection. Maybe Putin did assassinate political rivals, or maybe that's just CIA spin or propaganda. We'll never really know, but let's just suppose it's true. Does his body count approach that of the Clintons? Is there any leader or nation today with purely clean hands in such matters? Has there been anything like honest two-sided debate on ANY of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian talking points for the conservatives to base their opinions on?

My objective here is to encourage people to ignore the talking points and simply compare Putin and Russia with Biden and the U.S. on how each handles the issues we say are important to us, most of which fall under the category of human rights.

And you know what that means: Lively is about to tout Putin as a champion of "true human rights" -- defined as hating LGBT people as much as he does:

It is with a very heavy heart as a man who loves his country that I admit today that Russia has surpassed America as a defender and protector of true human rights.

True human rights are those that have been recognized as such through the history of human civilization, not the Marxist wish list of moral, cultural and political perversions that have been aggressively forced upon the world by the United States since the Clinton administration and slammed into hyper-drive by Barack Obama. And yes, I condemn the Bush 43 administration as well, having fought an unsuccessful battle in Riga in 2007, alongside the late great Pastor Ken Hutcherson, to stop the U.S. Embassy under Bush from forcing a "Gay Pride Parade" down the throat of Latvia's 90% pro-family majority. (Trump did better than Bush, but not by much.)

Just last week Putin reminded the world how a rational world leader handles cultural Marxism, saying, "I am a proponent of the traditional approach that a woman is a woman and a man is a man. … A mother is a mother, a father is a father. And I hope that our society has the internal moral protection dictated by the traditional religious denominations of the Russian Federation."

Lively then gushed over Putin's rationality on Ukraine:

He also addressed the Ukraine situation with similar rationality: "Our actions will depend not on the course of negotiations, but on the unconditional guarantee of Russia's security. We made it clear that NATO's movement to the east is unacceptable. The United States is sitting with missiles on the doorstep of our home. How would the Americans react if someone delivered missiles to the border with Canada or Mexico. And who owned California before? And Texas?"

On these and many more issues, the U.S. has abandoned both rationality and respect for natural rights in favor of the naked self-interests of corrupt special interests, from "the big man" Biden who ran the Ukraine shakedown for Obama, all the way down to the lowliest BLM/Antifa street thugs pushing anarchy.

Lively concluded with a view of Russia that was pretty much in fantasyland even before the invasion:

From the integrity of its elections – where Putin has genuine massive popular support – to his balance of basic civil rights with legitimate state security through such means as banning George Soros' entities – to the fine-tuning of Russia's military as a fighting machine and not a laboratory for woke social experiments – Putin and the Russians have flipped the script on human rights and world leadership compared to the United States.

And the MAGA patriots' failure to recognize and highlight that fact helps the Marxists tighten their grip on America. How can we stop deceived Americans from drinking the Marxist Kool-Aid on woke topics when we're drinking a different flavor of the same stuff – demonizing the people who should be our strongest international allies?

If Putin had "genuine massive popular support," why did he poison his biggest rival, Alexei Navalny, then throw him in prison on trumped-up charges? And why were last year's elections rigged?

Nope, Lively's Putin-love wasn't aging well when he wrote it, and now it's a total dumpster fire. Yet at the start of the invasion, Lively was still defending Putin. He ranted in his Feb. 24 column:

The corporate media are spinning this conflict as unprovoked Russian aggression, but it's really a logical Russian reaction to deliberate un-ignorable provocation by the Biden/Obama administration. Biden has created this crisis both to deflect attention from serious political trouble at home and to create a scapegoat for the "Great Collapse," which I believe is imminent.

The start of this mess was Joe Biden's sudden, arbitrary and unilateral push to fold Ukraine into NATO, essentially to put anti-Russian nukes on the Russian border. It was the political, geographical and diplomatic equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse, with Vladimir Putin in the role of JFK.

[...]

Setting up Russia to have essentially no choice but to respond militarily was exactly what Obama, Biden, Clinton and Soros did in 2014 with their coup to remove Ukraine's pro-Russian president and replace him with an Obama puppet. As I've said many times before, that coup – especially regarding the Crimean Peninsula and its centuries-long military importance to Russia – was the geopolitical equivalent of Russia taking Hawaii away from the U.S. We would never accept that. To protect his legitimate national interests Putin had no choice but to annex that territory, an action overwhelmingly ratified by the mostly ethnic and culturally Russian inhabitants of Crimea.

[...]

President Trump, who would never have gotten into this situation in the first place, will be the main beneficiary of this crisis IF the MAGA movement keeps its eye on the prize of retaking the country and doesn't get caught up in anti-Russian jingoism. We may see American deaths in Ukraine (where we have had Special Forces personnel all along), triggering a pre-set full-court media blitz to gin up patriotic furor amidst a call to "rally behind our president," with accusations of treason if we don't. (The antiwar movement will stay curiously silent at best, or join the war chorus at worst). We may see some sort of false flag event on our soil blamed on Russia – my best guess is a cyber attack on our energy grid in the northern states. I have argued that Obama staged the now-forgotten fake power shutdown in Vermont in 2017 as part of a plot to start a hot war with Russia during the Obama/Trump transition – so there is precedent for this.

Through all of this, never forget the blame belongs to Biden!

Lively continued giving Putin a pass in his March 1 column, while also manufacturing a conspiracy theory:

Let's leave aside the question of whether Christian Russia – which has both honored God and protected normal marriage in its new constitution – has any right to use military force to stop the Obama/Biden/Clinton/Soros-created LGBT Woke-ocracy of Ukraine from putting anti-Russian nukes on the Russian border.

Let's instead ask whether God is using Barack Obama's avatar, Joe Biden, to punish our own country. I'll answer with another question: "Politically speaking, what is the last best hope for saving America?"

Isn't it the MAGA movement?

[...]

The bottom line is this. Biden's Ukraine war and Russia scapegoating is part of a larger strategy for killing the Red Wave in 2022, and if we're not smart enough to see that and make a course correction back to unity and focus on the essentials, he/they might just pull it off.

For his March 18 column, Lively folded China into his conspiracy theory:

This next answer may shock you if you've allowed the propagandists to define reality for you, but what country represents the greatest threat to China in the world today?

It is the largely re-Christianized nation of Russia. Christianity has ever been the nemesis of Marxism, but even more importantly, Russia is by far the most significant country ever to have overthrown its Marxist government and replaced it with a Christian one (or at least heavily Christian-influenced one). That rejection of Marxism for Christianity so infuriating to the Western elites, especially on the issue of sexual morality, is the real reason we get non-stop anti-Russian dogma in our media. (Though China, like the former Soviet Union, only pushes destructive sexual perversion OUTSIDE its borders).

Today's Russian culture may still seem overly authoritarian to Americans, but to the enslaved billions of China it is a beacon of freedom whose very existence threatens Communist rule.

Who really benefits from the Ukraine war? It's not Russia, which knew it would suffer severe consequences for a preemptive attack but feared that less than NATO encirclement. It is China, who used its American puppets to create the Ukraine crisis to drive Russia, with all its vast resources and virtually uninhabited eastern lands, into it's waiting economic arms – and which eagerly hopes to re-enslave Russia's population to Marxist ideology and government.

Or, you know, Putin simply could have chosen not to invade Ukraine, which would avoided the position of having to seek help from China. But Lively doesn't seem to have considered that possibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Friday, March 18, 2022
MRC Still Defending Joe Rogan, Gushing Over His Crude Insults
Topic: Media Research Center

Believe it or not, there's still more to document regarding the Media Research Center's aggressive defense of podcaster Joe Rogan over his promotion of COVID misinformers. Catherine Salgado wrote in a Feb. 11 post:

The leftist group PatriotTakes was part of the release of a controversial video that attacked podcasting star Joe Rogan. PatriotTakes just happens to be reportedly partnered with leftist SuperPAC MeidasTouch, which was funded by actress Bette Midler. 

Leftist star Bette Midler donated at least $53,000 to MeidasTouch in 2020, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data.

[...]

Midler has collaborated more than once with MeidasTouch to produce brazen propaganda videos, according to MeidasTouch itself. One video from February 2021 with Midler doing vocals claimed (with explicit language) that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), among several other Republican lawmakers, encouraged “insurrections” and ought to be locked up. The video ends with a snapshot of America being “great again without” the Republicans with a person waving a Biden 2020 flag. Another video that MeidasTouch proudly touted on its website, produced “in collaboration with Bette Midler,” was a petty and vindictive attack on then-President Donald Trump, from his hair to his tweets. It ends with the phrase, “Vote For Joe Biden.” MeidasTouch’s article called Trump “the most dangerous threat facing the country.” [Emphasis added.]

Salgado curiously didn't mention the content of that "controversial" Rogan video -- that's because it was a compilation of Rogan repeatedly using the N-word on his podcast, which the MRC considered damaging enough that it played whataboutism to try and deflect from. Salgado was in whataboutism mode here too, complaining that "MeidasTouch reportedly has skeletons in its closet, which makes the PatriotTakes hit job on Rogan hypocritical."

(Also, it's strange how the MRC continues to obsess over what Midler does despite insisting she's not relevant.)

It was not until the second-to-last paragraph of her post that Salgado finally told readers that "PatriotTakes put up clips of Rogan supposedly defending or using the N-word slur." But she weirdly tried to soften the damage by claiming the clip packages "supposedly" show that -- in fact, they indisputably demonstrate that Rogan is doing so by using actual clips of Rogan, and Salgado made no attempt to prove otherwise.

Christian Toto used his Feb. 26 column to gush that "Joe Rogan continues to share his Spotify podcast far and wide despite one of the most aggressive Cancel Culture campaigns in recent memory":

Rogan made some missteps along the way. He apologized to critics who weren’t open to apologies. He agreed to remove dozens of “Joe Rogan Experience” episodes to appease the mob.

Said mob wasn’t appeased, but Spotify stood by him. Maybe it’s because we just learned the podcaster’s $100 million deal with the audio platform is actually worth double that amount?

Meanwhile, the MRC continues to gush over Rogan's grossness to their shared poiitical enemies. Joseph Vazquez cheered in a Feb. 28 post:

Podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan is clearly fed up with uber-liberal mega-billionaire Bill Gates and his incessant claims that meat-eating is sinful and unhealthy, while at the same time allegedly not being in the best shape himself.

[...]

Rogan didn’t mince words and called out Gates for looking “like shit” physically while lecturing the rest of the world to change its diet. Rogan also suggested Gates could be profiting off of his alternative-meat push. Gates reportedly “invested in [a] range of ‘synthetic meat’ startups including Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats and Hampton Creek Foods,” according to Australia-based Beef Central.

“If you’re eating those, those plant-based burgers or whatever the f*ck you’re doing — like, you’re obese,” Rogan snarked. The podcaster didn’t let up in slamming Gates’ hypocrisy: “A guy like that telling people about– he’s got these breasts and this gut — and I’m like, this is crazy.” After pointing out that Gates’ billions allow him access to some of the best nutrients available, Rogan said Gates’ behavior was “literally like a non-athlete trying to coach professionals. Like, what the f*ck are you talking about?” 

He continued: “How are you giving any health advice when you look like that? Your health is piss-poor. I’m not a doctor, but when you’ve got man-boobs and a gut and you’re walking around — you have these, like, toothpick arms — I’m like, ‘Hey buddy, you’re not healthy.’”

Hey, at least Rogan managed to restrain himself from calling Gates a "motherfucker" -- then again, Vazquez would've been giddy about that too.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 21, 2022 3:47 PM EDT
The Farah Family Feud Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Farah family feud continues over at WorldNetDaily. It began when Joseph Farah's daughter Alyssa -- who had worked in the Trump White House, something her dad was apparently proud enough of that WND scrubbed her byline from most of the articles she wrote there while a moonlighting college student --  broke with Donald Trump over his promotion of the Big Lie about election fraud, a lie Joseph Farah still believes. Joseph Farah then attended Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally -- you know, the one that turned into a riot at the Capitol -- while Alyssa refused to go, which resulted in some under-bus-throwing from her dad. Last fall, Trump launched a nasty tirade at Alyssa over her stint on "The View," about which Joseph Farah stayed silent.

Things appear to have escalated. Joseph Farah's Feb. 14 column began with a few Bible verses and a declaration of how much he loves his family:

To speak on intimate, private family matters in public, affects all of them. Their privacy is important to me. More than that, the pain caused by exposing their family life to public scrutiny is a consequence that I do not take lightly – because I love them – I love them all.

Think on any complex family disagreement in your life. Try to think of a way to fully vindicate someone, or yourself – someone who is being accused of something. Just how would you do that without telling every detail of what every person involved did and said? And think about how that would play out – then everyone else in the family has to "give their side." You've had similar circumstances. How could I do that to everyone involved in this question? And how absurd and narcissistic for me to do so publicly.

This turned into a discussion of how he had been accused of "boycotting" Alyssa's wedding (whose name he didn't use anywhere in his column), then complained he was responding publicly because "I am put in the unenviable situation of having to 'defend' myself, at least my character." Oddly, he never seems to feel that compelled to defend himself when confronted with WND's long history of long history of publishing fake news and conspiracy theories , which have led it to its current precairous financial state. (Also: We did not make the accusation he's complaining he has to respond to; we merely noted the fact tyhat he said nothing about her wedding in his column.)

After dropping a few more Bible verses, Farah finally got to the point:

As my daughters have asked me to limit my response, I am going to respect their wishes.

But I guess you deserve to know, seeing as you've read this far.

Why didn't we go to the wedding? A father dreams of going to his daughter's wedding. WE WEREN'T INVITED!

And ... that's it. That's how the family schism is continuing. It's sad to see, but actions have consequences.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EDT
MRC Looking Forward To Seeing WNBA Star Rot In Russian Jail
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has never been a fan of WNBA star Brittney Griner, mainly for her failure to be heterosexual. In 2018, for example, Jay Maxson noted that Griner "came out as lesbian," parenthetically sneering, "yawn; that's not news in that league." So it's no surprise that the MRC is more than happy to see Griner rot in a Russian jail in the middle of a war. Maxson huffed in a March 7 post:

When Moscow airport screening officials discovered vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil in Brittney Griner’s luggage in February, they detained her. Now the 6-foot-9-inch WNBA player is looking at 10 years in a Russian prison for “large-scale transportation of drugs.”

Note how easily Maxson is taking the word of a corrupt, warmongering government at face value. Never mind, of course, that the Russian government has not offering anything remotely resembling evidence of Griner's alleged misdeed.

Maxson, however, spent most of his post lashing out at a writer who pointed out that Griner was making so little as a WNBA star that she felt she needed to play overseas for a Russian team to make more money. Maxson whined that the writer was "quick to excuse Griner’s drug indiscretions" -- again, no proof that any "drug indiscretions" were committed has been made public -- going on to huff:

[The writer] says players like Griner can make much more money playing overseas than in the WNBA, with its league maximum salary of $227,900. That’s not exactly chump change, but it certainly deflates the merits of the Insider sob story. In fact, Griner’s WNBA pay is nearly five times the average U.S. salary. She also earns $1 million from Ekaterina, pushing her total salary to 25 times the average U.S. salary. 

Long story short, Griner is loaded, she doesn’t need two jobs and Cash’s story is a joke. Griner is one of 11 players who has won championships in the WNBA, NCAA, the Olympics and the EuroLeague. She is paid exceedingly well for exhibiting that resume.

Maxson's comparison is deceptive; he (or she) should really be comparing Griner's salary to that of other athletes, not the general population. And is Maxson really saying that Griner earns enough money -- indeed,too much -- and shouldn't be working so hard to try and make more? How socialist.

Maxson also complained that the writer "suggests the Russian war on Ukraine might just make Griner’s situation more perilous. The basketball star could be used as a pawn 'in a fiery feud between two global superpowers' Cash got this idea from the New York Times." He (or she) then summarized the writer's position as "Griner could have avoided jail time in a 'hostile foreign power' if only she was on the same pay scale as LeBron Jame$, letting loose with another sneering retort: "That’s never going to happen because the WNBA is nowhere close to the marketability and the revenue of a major male sports league." 

In short: Maxson is taking Russia's side, cheering Griner's arrest by a hostile foreign power to spite women in general and LGBT women in particular. 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2022 2:07 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2022 1:20 PM EDT
Thursday, March 17, 2022
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.

Graham really isn't very good at this.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EDT
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.

(There's another familiar name on that editor list: Russell Blaylock, who has spent years peddling anti-vaxxer claims at Newsmax.)

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 17, 2022 10:36 PM EDT
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 >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 AM EDT

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