MRC Tried To Turn Dubious Durham Filing Into Massive Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
We've said it before: the Media Research Center's true name is the Right-Wing Talking Point Manufacturing Center. One story the MRC particularly wanted to manufacture right-wing talking points about was the filing by special counsel John Durham suggesting that Hillary Clinton's campaign was spying on the Trump White House. The MRC has been trying for a while to force non-right-wingers to take Durham's minor filings seriously; every thing he does is somehow, in Nicholas Fondacaro's words, a "massive development."
When the latest Durham story dropped (on a Saturday night), the MRC was so desperate to push it outside of its right-wing bubble that it pumped out a whopping 41 posts that referenced Durham in just six days, between Feb. 13 and Feb. 19.
Kevin Tober set up the basic narrative in a Feb. 13 post centered on a common MRC complaint, that non-right-wing media won't embrace its partisan narratives:
On Saturday evening, recently released court papers from Special Counsel John Durham's investigation showed that former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman paid a tech company to infiltrate computer servers at Trump Tower and the White House while Donald Trump was President in order to somehow tie him to Russia.
Despite this bombshell report, none of the Sunday morning talk shows (Face The Nation (CBS), State of the Union (CNN), & This Week(ABC) covered the story, or even mentioned it. NBC’s Meet the Press was preempted by Olympics coverage.
Instead of covering this story, the Sunday shows decided to focus on a different Russia story: what Russian President Vladimir Putin might or might not do in regards to Ukraine, as well as obsessing over the January 6 Capitol Riots that happened over a year ago. Both CBS & CNN had the opportunity to ask Biden Administration National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about the Durham news but they both failed to consider it.
By contrast, of course, Tober praised Fox News' "MediaBuzz" for lavishing attention on the story.
The "why won't the non-right-wing media cover this right-wing story we're hyping" theme was the focus of several MRC posts over the next day or so:
But when those non-right-wing outlets finally paid attention to the story and saw it for the nothingburger it was, the MRC got mad about that too. Alex Christy huffed in a Feb. 15 post:
On Tuesday morning, MSNBC finally got around to covering Special Counsel John Durham's latest filing that revealed Democratic operatives obtained internet data from the Executive Office of the President and other Donald Trump-related entities in an attempt to spin the Russian collusion narrative. Meanwhile, CNN had only its second mention of Durham.
Unfortunately, both dismissed it with MSNBC's Morning Joe spent 27 minutes and 48 seconds treating it as a Benghazi-like, Fox News-hyped non-troversy while CNN's New Day had two minutes and 23 seconds calling the new revelations "very vague" and wondered if Durham had his facts straight. In contrast, ABC, CBS, and NBC remain uninterested.
Prior to an alleged deep dive into why there's nothing important to see, the MSNBC table viciously mocked and dismissed the claims as being peddled and ingested by "stupid" people while others are "deliberat[e]" liars and dismissed the argument that the allegations were anything close to or worse than Watergate[.]
Former RNC chair and MSNBC Republican Michael Steele summed it up by declaring that "it just reminds me of just how many times we get caught in the Donald Trump stupid trap and how many times, you know, you watch this process unfold, Joe, in which Donald Trump and his ilk are out there massaging and trying to maneuver the messaging around."
Steele added it's "grist for the mill for Fox News to out and, and further gum up the works, to create a whole lot of noise about nothing. That at the end of the day like Benghazi, after all of the noise and all of their sabre rattling comes to what, right?"
Kyle Drennen got mad at NBC's Chuck Todd for accurately pointing out how the story is a product of the right-wing media bubble:
On his MSNBC show Tuesday afternoon, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd acknowledged the bombshell news from the John Durham investigation but promptly attempted to dismiss evidence of the Hillary Clinton campaign spying on Donald Trump as just something being promoted by “the right-wing echo chamber.” He later sneered: “Sometimes facts get in the way of a good meme.”
Correspondent Tom Winter immediately tried to downplay the potentially massive scandal: “Well, there’s an analogy that’s being thrown around that this is a modern-day Watergate and that’s an analogy that’s not based on fact....Durham doesn’t allege that at all.”
Christy returned to complain that the story got mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show, but only "to mock those who actually care about the allegations."
Meanwhile, the MRC was still squeezing a couple more posts out of its why-isn't-our-biased-right-wing-story-getting-covered narrative:
Even MRC Latino writer Kathleen Krumhansl joined Team Durham, lashing out at coverage on a Spanish-language channel she didn't like:
Four days after special counsel John Durham revealed new findings in the investigation into the Trump-Russia collision, which states that close associates of Hillary Clinton were monitoring internet traffic at Trump properties and the White House in order to create a “narrative,” CNN En Español broke the Spanish-language media's silence with a report that downplayed the news as same-old-same-old material hyped by the conservative media.
Watch as anchor Juan Carlos Lopez duly dismisses the whole Durham affair as nothing more than Trumper rubbish.
Lopez's fixation with the conservative media as evil purveyors of misinformation -- rule #1 at CNN -- came through right from the beginning: "You may have heard a particular version in the media, especially conservative media,"; and then "Contrary to what conservative media and followers of former President Trump himself say"; and, to wrap it up: "Contrary to the headlines you may have seen.." It appeared that the idea here was to blame everything on conservatives and distract from the real subject in question: Hillary Clinton.
Krumhansl went on to whine about how some "stories were reported on for weeks on end despite there being no evidence whatsoever to support them. For example: Trump's taxes and the 'suckers and losers' hoax, just to name a few." We don't recall the story of Trump allegedly calling members of the military "suckers and losers" to have been covered for "weeks on end" -- or that it was ever definitively proven to be a "hoax." (It's unproven at best.) And Trump himself is responsible for the media attention given to his taxes because of his adamant refusal to publicly release them like every other president and presidential candidate over the past 40-plus years.
CNS' 'Climate Experts' Are Right-Wing Activists Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 25 CNSNews.com article by intern Emily Robertson carries the headline "Climate Experts: Biden’s ‘Failed Energy Policies’ Are Benefitting Russia and Putin." But none of the people Robertson quoted in her article were "climate experts" -- they are right-wing anti-climate activists who have been funded by fossil fuel interests. Robertson kicked things off this way:
Nearly 40% of the Russian Federation's revenue comes from oil and natural gas production, and because President Joe Biden has strangled U.S. fossil fuel production since he entered office Russia is benefitting from today’s higher fuel prices, said James Taylor, president of the Heartland Institute, during a media call on Thursday.
“By having to pay higher energy prices as a cost of doing business, American businesses have been inflicted with a very powerful and unnecessary handicap when trying to compete with businesses in China and elsewhere,” he added.
The Heartland Insitute is a right-wing group dedicated denying the existence of manmade climate change to that has received oil industry money in the past. It also once put up a billboard likening those who acknoiwledge global warming to Osama bin Laden and the Unabomber.
Further, Robertson clearly didn't do any fact-checking, or else she wouldhave noted that Taylor's claim that Biden has "strangled U.S. fossil fuel production since he entered office" is highly misleading. The one notable actione he took was to pause the issuance of new oil and gas leases on federal land; the moratorium has since been lifted, and the Biden administration has issued more drilling permits on federal lands than Trump did.
RObertson noted that Taylor cited "ending the Keystone XL pipeline project" as an example of something negative to U.S. energy policy that Biden did. But as we've noted, much of the pipeline's oil products were destined for export.
Robertson went on to note:
In addition to Taylor on the press call were Ben Lieberman, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Steve Milloy, founder of Junkscience.com. All three experts spoke about Biden’s climate agenda, which included discussion of energy independence, the increase in fuel/energy prices, and their effect on the American people.
Also, as we pointed out the last time Robertson pulled this stunt, discussion of the Keystone XL pipeline in the context of U.S. "energy independence" is ridiculous because the pipeline's oil would have come from Canada. Indeed, she again falsely stated that "With the cancellation of the keystone [sic] pipeline, the U.S. has not only lost jobs, but gas prices have increased." There's little evidence to support the claim that the pipeline's caccellation had any effect on oil prices.
AIM Laments Crackdown On Fake News -- Then Spreads Fake News Topic: Accuracy in Media
John Ransom used a March 7 Accuracy in Media article to liken criticism of fake news -- largely promulgated byt right-wing media outlets -- to the crackdown in the free press in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, insisting that calls to criminalize fake news or other misinformation is an assault on "free speech":
Of course, Western liberals don’t advocate for criminal penalties for free speech yet.
Or do they?
Seth Abramson, a journalist and lawyer on Substack, with a million followers on Twitter, in fact, has endorsed the idea of criminal penalties for “fake news.”
“America will continue to see conspiracies to commit election fraud in the form of mass disinformation campaigns targeting federal agencies and American voters until such schemes are treated as the federal crimes they are. And the same people will keep committing them,” Abramson wrote on Twitter.
Abramson is the same guy who said that voter fraud is “vanishingly rare,” thereby introducing the vanity use — and overuse — of the word “vanishingly” by liberal journalists who need to hit you over the head with their ideas to make a point.
And Abramson is not alone in advocating criminal penalties over free speech.
Ransom didn't explain why he considers fake news and misinfomration on the same level as "free speech," or why they are worthy of the same protection. But then Ransom added his own bit of fake news:
And then there is the case here at home where parents attending school board meetings were declared “domestic terrorists” for speaking out about the maladministration of their kids’ schools.
As we've documented, no parent was ever called a "domestic terrorist" simply for speaking up at a school board meeting -- the ones who made violent threats or otherwise acted in a threatening manner were given that label.
AIM has continued to make itself irrelevant in the past couple of years with numerous personel and management shakeups. This doesn't help.
Joseph Farah was in a ranting mood in his Feb. 10 column:
Before he even took office as "president," Joe Biden told the people he was in favor of open borders. Why? Probably because he wanted to rig the 2020 election by using phony voters. Remember how he called for a "surge" of the border? I guess most people didn't take him seriously. I didn't.
As far as I was concerned, two years ago Joe Biden didn't have a ghost of a chance of becoming president. First, he's so uncommunicative, so cognitively challenged and so prone to verbal misfires that he is unlistenable to the average person. Don't doubt me. I have had five strokes myself – but I could take him in a debate!
But I digress. In January of 2021, he began doing what he said – "surging" the border.
He kept doing it all year, letting in millions of foreigners – not just Latin Americans – with no regard to their identity, their character, their worthiness, their fitness. He allowed in one year an estimated 2 million souls without determining anything about them – and he's still at it! While most of Americans were locked down by a pandemic, forbidden from traveling, the restriction didn't apply to Biden's marauders. How did he do it? In the dark of night! And he used the drug cartels to aid him.
What has Biden heaped on America?
We just found out that fentanyl has just become the No. 1 drug in America. How could that have happened? Where does it come from? It comes from Mexico, of course, and China.
It is a powerful opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and 100 times as deadly.
We just found out it's become, according to the CDC, the No. 1 killer of Americans ages 18-45.
DID YOU HEAR ME, AMERICA?
In that age range, it kills far more that the coronavirus, more people that traffic accidents. It certainly kills a lot more than "climate change."
This is now a nightmare, a man-made disaster created by Joe Biden. He has caused it – 100%. And still fentanyl continues to pour into the country.
Who needs a pandemic?
Actually, that's not true. According to PolitiFact, fentanyl seizures at the Mexican border have been higher overall through the first year of the Biden administration than they were during the Trump administration, and the seizures are continuing at roughly the same rate as that of the last half of 2020 under Trump. In other words, there has been no drop-off in seizures from Trump to Biden -- and, thus, no logical reason to blame Biden for all drug overdoses ... unless Farah will also blame Trump for all drug overdoses during his administration.
Further, the statistic that fentanyl is the top killer of people ages 18-45 covers data covers data compiled between April 2020 and April 2021. And who was president during most of that time? Donald Trump. So much for Farah's attempt to blame Biden for deaths that happened before he became president. But Farah is not about to let the facts get in the way of a good (or bad) rant:
He's killing our youth – Joe Biden, that is.
He must be removed from office at the earliest constitutional opportunity – which means when Republicans are empowered in January 2023. Kamala Harris, too – his so called "border czar."
Where have their loyalties been?
They don't lift a finger to find out the genesis of the Chinese plague, and then start killing Americans with another plague?
MRC Frets Over Death, Injury Of Fox News Personnel In Ukraine -- But Effectively Censors Mention Of Non-Fox Correspondent Killed Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long served as the PR division of Fox News, and nowhere was that more apparent when the MRC ostentatiously mourned -- and aggressively defended -- Fox News correspondents injured or killed while covering the unrest in Ukraine. Nichoolas Fondacaro was in full garment-rending mode in a March 14 post:
On Monday, terrible news broke that Fox News State Department correspondent Benjamin Hall was hospitalized while reporting outside Kyiv, Ukraine. And according to accounts, he was in a non-military area and the damage may be in regards to his legs.
A little before 2:00 p.m. Eastern and before Hall’s identity was confirmed, Fox News anchor John Roberts broke the news that “we hate to pass along to you, but it’s obviously what happens something in the middle of conflict” in that a reporter had sustained injuries while in harm’s way.
There does seem to be some early accounts of Hall condition and they’re not pretty.
Fondacaro even added two updates to his post for the latest on Hall's condition.
The next day, it was reported that a Fox News cameraman and another local journalist, both of whom were with hall at the time of the attack, died from their injuries. Cue the literary waterworks from Fondacaro (excessive bolding in original):
Fox News announced Tuesday morning that longtime cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed Monday outside of Kyiv while covering Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war against a sovereign Ukraine in an incident that also killed Ukrainian reporter Oleksandra Kuvshynova (who was working as a Fox News producer) and gravely injured Fox State Department correspondent Benjamin Hall.
Coinciding with a memo from Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, America’s Newsroom co-host Bill Hemmer broke the news about Zakrzewski to viewers, saying he had “some very difficult news to share with you now” as “Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski has died in Ukraine” while “working with our Benjamin Hall when incoming fire hit their vehicle outside of Kyiv.”
Hemmer called him “an absolute legend at this network” who’s “been with us for years covering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria” and described his passing as “devastating.”
Fondacaro added an update with more comment from another Fox News host.
In a touching and inspiring segment on Tuesday’s Special Report, anchor Bret Baier narrated the story of cameraman Pierre “Zak” Zakrzewski; covering his love of journalism and how many of his colleagues and friends remember him. He was killed by Russian artillery fire outside Kyiv, Ukraine on Monday. Fox News producer Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova was also killed and State Department correspondent Benjamin Hall was hospitalized in the same attack.
“As mentioned, this has been a very difficult day for the Fox News family because two of our co-workers have died in Ukraine: cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and journalist and translator Oleksandra Kuvshynova,” Baier announced. “They were working with correspondent Benjamin hall outside of Kyiv when fire hit their vehicle. Benjamin was seriously wounded and is in the hospital.”
National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin also had words and feelings to share as she concluded her report on the weapons going to Ukraine and a Russian journalist who protested the war on state TV. “The loss and pain we feel is enormous, but if ever there were a time when the world needed journalists, reporters risking their lives to tell these stories, to tell the truth, it's now,” she said.
Griffin grew emotional, understandably, as she declared that “[w]ithout a free press the autocrats win. We will redouble our efforts to honor these colleagues and all reporters in harm's way tonight.”
Baier likely put it best as he told Griffin: “Your feelings are our feelings, tonight.”
But when some weren't as broken up about this as the MRC demanded people should be -- and mentioned certain inconvenient truths in the process -- it was time for Fondacaro to lash out:
On Tuesday, we got more terrible details about the fate of the Fox News crew that came under fire by Russian forces as they were newsgathering outside Kyiv on Monday where one was left hospitalized and at least were two killed, including cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and local reporter/producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova. Of course, this meant that some of the classless ghouls in the liberal media were eager to crawl out of their holes and use those deaths to strut around and attempt to score political points.
The first to sprint to prove how low they could go was New Yorker staff writer and CNN global affairs analyst, Susan Glasser. “What a tragedy. A cameraman died covering the war for a TV network that airs a pro-Putin propagandist as its top-rated primetime host,” she gloated in a tweet.
Fondacaro didn't dispute the existence of the "pro-Putin propagandist" at Fox News or acknowledge the irony; he was too budy demanding that everyone feel the as bad he he did.
Tuesday brought the sad news Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and local journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed covering the war in Ukraine. As part of the coverage on MSNBC's Deadline: White House, liberal host Nicolle Wallace and journalist Sebastian Junger covered what they considered an important angle to the story and person who supposedly ties it all together: Donald Trump.
Wallace followed up by elaborating, “And obviously, he — he — was unnamed by you, I’ll — I’ll — be the spoiler alert here, Donald Trump famously called journalists the enemy of the people. The editor of The New York Times went to see him and made the case that it endangers not journalists here, exclusively, but to your point, journalists around the world that don't operate in a free society.”
War correspondents are incredibly brave and, contrary to media behavior during the Trump years, those reporters actually put their lives on the line to bring the news, but they are absolutely not comparable to the partisan talking heads who appear on MSNBC. Criticizing people who work in the safety of a New York or Washington office does not make one a Putin or ISIS enabler. As despicable as Wallace and Junger’s comments were, they were hardly alone in politicizing Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova’s deaths.
Of course, if the deceased journalists had worked for, say, CNN, Fondacaro and his MRC buddies would undoubtedly be trashing them the way he's accusing others of doing to Hall and his compadres -- after all. they like Trump believe any journalist who doesn't have a right-wing bias is the "enemy of the people." That is, of course, if their deaths get mentioned at all.
How do we know? The day before the incident that injured or killed the Fox News journalists, journalist and filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot and killed in Ukraine while covering the war. The only mention of his death at the MRC came at the very end of Fondacaro's post on Hall's injury when he added almost as an afterthought: "Hall wasn’t the first American journalist to become a victim in the conflict. Over the weekend, an award-winning filmmaker for TIME Studios and former New York Times photographer, Brent Renaud was killed while also reporting on the war outside Kyiv."
Because Renaud didn't work for Fox News or another right-wing outlet, his death meant nothing to the MRC. He wasn't an right-wing ideologue or working in the service of right-wing ideologues, so down the memory hole it goes, as far as the MRC is concerned.
WND's Vliet Ramps Up COVID Fearmongering, Wants You To Harass Public Officials Topic: WorldNetDaily
The last time we checked in on medical misinformer Elizabeth Lee Vliet, she was fearmongering about medical care for COVID. In her Feb. 16 WorldNetDaily column, she's fearmongering about a bunch of things.
Vliet began by suggesting that talk of conflict in Ukraine may "signal an orchestrated plan moving toward increasing totalitarian control over Americans and other Western democracies," while also claiming that it "more importantly provides legal 'cover' for forced vaccination of all military members, as well as forced quarantine and compulsory vaccination of American civilians similar to the violent tyranny taking place in Australia and Austria." She did not provide evidence of anyone in American facing "forced quarantine." The fearmongering continued:
Meanwhile, other infectious disease threats are emerging. A hantavirus hemorrhagic fever broke out in China just prior to the Olympics, followed by the abrupt departure of Russian President Vladimir Putin after China's opening ceremonies, reportedly due to several of his security team becoming ill with this serious viral fever. Dr. Li-Meng Yan, Chinese virologist and now whistleblower about China's plans, presented evidence Feb. 12 of China's next biological warfare attack with hemorrhagic fevers.
Then came reports of two other hemorrhagic fever outbreaks: Marburg virus cases in West Africa and South Africa, and two Lassa fever cases in Britain. Is the Olympics being used as a "superspreader" event similar to the October 2019 Military Games in Wuhan, China, which might have started the global spread of COVID-19?
Yan is a conspiracy-mongerer whom even WND agrees has been discredited. Vliet then goes far afield from her alleged medical training:
Military and Border Patrol whistleblowers report a greater than 1,000% increase in "masked flights." These are private charters contracted by the Department of Homeland Security that originate from U.S. southern border airports and take planeloads of illegal migrants to facilities around cities across America – at taxpayer expense. Why is such a buildup of mostly military-age unvaccinated migrant males, in America illegally, taking place across America at the same time our own experienced military service members are being purged from the military for requesting a vaccine exemption?
At the same time, Americans are subjected to draconian efforts to stifle free speech through collusion of Big Tech, media, global corporations and government at all levels, exemplified by the Department of Homeland Security's recent designation of COVID and vaccine educational programs counter to the government narrative now being considered "misinformation" and a domestic terrorism threat.
The confluence of all these events should concern every thinking American. There are many unanswered questions, but "connecting the dots" creates a potentially chilling picture. Could all these events serve the globalist agenda of continuing the takeover of America's Constitution and our Bill of Rights?
What does this agenda mean for Americans? Are globalists planning to take control of YOUR life under cover of "protecting" you from a crisis they are creating?
Vliet's first two bullet points for action involve harassing public officials: "File criminal complaints with your state attorney general" and "Investigate the use of the surety bond process with public officials who are not following the rule of law and duty to serve the public." Surety bonds are used by governmental entities as a form of liability insurance; far-right anti-mask activists are filing claims against those bonds to harass and intimidate public and school officials and attempt to mess up their funding.
Vliet also plugged making a "kit of supplies with medicines, supplements, medical records and other supplies you would need in event of any disaster such as hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes or a new pandemic." She linked to her own anti-vaxx group, Truth for Health Foundation, for instructions on how to make such a kit. The fact that she still calls the COVID vaccines "experimental" tells you all you need to know about dubious medicine involved in this venture.
Newsmax Censors Why People Might Think Rittenhouse Is A White Supremacist Topic: Newsmax
Solange Reyner wrote in a Feb. 25 Newsmax article:
Kyle Rittenhouse says he wants an apology from "cowardly" President Joe Biden.
"Biden called me a white supremacist," Rittenhouse told Newsmax's Eric Bolling: The Balance.
"I tried to reach out to him five times to have an interview but he was too cowardly to sit down and talk to me so we may be sending him a letter. I want him to apologize; what he said was wrong. I want him to sit down with me and learn the facts of what happened to me."
Rittenhouse, who beat homicide charges after killing two people at a Kenosha, Wisconsin, protest, on Wednesday announced plans to sue Biden, along with NBA star LeBron James and actress Whoopi Goldberg for allegedly defaming him.
However, Reyner failed to tell her readers the reason why people might think Rittenhouse could be a white supremacist: He hung out in a bar in Wisconsin with members of the white nationalist Proud Boys, where he allegedly drank three beers -- he was 18 at the time, meaning he committed a crime -- posed for photos with members of Proud Boys and flashed a “white power” hand sign, all while wearing a T-shirt that said "Free As F**k." That seems important and highly relevant to this story.
Rittenhouse is now claiming that the bar visit was set up by his attorney at the time and he didn't know what the "white power" hand sign was. That's relevant as well and also needed to be part of the story. But Reyner's suggestion that Rittenhouse was being called a white supremacist apropos of notihng is dishonest and leaves a false impression.
It's not as if Reyner wasn't aware of this. In a February 2021 article, she wrote that prosecurors, in requesting that Rittenhouse be arrested for violating bail, "wrote in their filing that Rittenhouse 'demonstrated his carefree attitude by going to a bar immediately after his arraignment on Jan. 5, 2021, and drinking 3 beers in the company of known 'Proud Boys' while flashing white supremacist signs and wearing a 'Free as (expletive)' shirt.'" It seems that Reyner is trying to memory-hole this inconvenient little fact.
At a Monday meeting with the nation's governors, President Biden mentioned "border security," a topic he rarely addresses, despite record flows of illegal immigrants into this country, a situation that stems from his administration's lax policies.
Biden today said it's a question of figuring out "why they're leaving in the first place."
"Border security. We're working a lot with neighboring countries," Biden said at the conclusion of his opening remarks to the governors.
A lot to do, there's a lot, I think -- I think one of the fundamental things we gotta do, in addition to some of the changes we'll make, I won't get into today, but -- is that if we figure out why they're leaving in the first place.
It's not like people sit around and say, in Guadalajara -- 'I've got a great idea, let's sell everything we have, give it to a coyote, takes us across the border, leave us in the desert, in a country that doesn't want us, we don't speak the language. Won't that be fun.'
You know, there are gangs we're working on. There's a whole lot of illegal -- um, um, movement, but ah, there's also a way to begin to deal with the reason they're leaving in the first place. And I’d love to talk with you personally about that, in a little bit, if I may.
One doesn't quote someone's filler sounds unless one is trying to make the person being quoted sound like a senile idiot -- and that's clearly what Jones is doing here.
When Biden committed minor violations of syntax during his State of the Union address, CNS got not one but two articles out of it. Craig Bannister complained in one article:
President Joe Biden measured people in pounds – and energy in inches – during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Biden referred to “A pound of Ukrainian people” who “pound for pound” are “ready to fight with every inch of energy that they have,” as he discussed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine:
“Putin has unleashed violence and chaos, but while he may make gains on the battlefield, he will pay a continuing high price over the long run.
“And a pound of Ukrainian people – proud, proud people – pound for pound, ready to fight with every inch of energy that they have.
“They have known thirty years of independence and have repeatedly shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.”
While Biden may have misspoken, even the official translation on the White House website quotes Biden’s use of “pound” and “inch” analogies.
President Joe Biden used a malapropism in his State of the Union Address when speaking about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“He met with a mall,” Biden said.
Biden meant to say: He met with a wall of strength.
Why was considered a "news" article? CNS doesn't explain.The fact that CNS has an editorial agenda to find ways to humiliate Biden in any way it can says volumes about how it has stopped being a "news" organization (if it ever really was) and has fully turned into a right-wing talking point generator.
MRC Tries To Build Right-Wing Narratives On SCOTUS Retirement, Nominee Topic: Media Research Center
It's not the Media Research Center, it's the Right-Wing Talking Point Manufacturing Center. And the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer set off another manufacturing operation.
First up was denial that Breyer was any sort of moderate. A Jan. 26 post by Scott Whitlock claimed that Breyer was "far-left" -- of course, the MRC thinks anyone who's not as right-wing as them is "far-left" -- and complained that MSNBC was "pretending that he was a “conservative or moderate” or “pragmatic” at times." Kevin Tober asserted that it was a "liberal narrative" that Bryer was pragmatic -- ironic since Tober is trying to help manufacture a right-wing narrative claiming the opposite, though he offered no evidence to support it.
Similarly, Alex Christy complained the next day that ABC correspondent Terry Moran "reacted to the news by hailing Breyer's "moderate tone" and downplaying his liberal ideology and portraying him as a "pragmatic liberal," adding: "Maybe he was more of a liberal ideologue than ABC and the rest of the media are portraying." Whilock whined further in a Jan. 28 post, arguing that anyone who didn't side with conservative arguemnts could not have been a centrist or pragmatist:
Where did this pragmatism manifest itself? Certainly not on abortion. Breyer was a reliable vote against any pro-life legislation. On guns, he was in the minority on the historic 2008 Heller vs. D.C. decision establishing the Second Amendment as an individual right. On economic issues, the Justice allowed eminent domain to go wild as the key fifth vote in 2005's Kelo v. City of New London.
In reality, according to the New York Timesback in 2014, Breyer agreed with the very liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg 88 percent of the time. Sonia Sotomayor? They also concurred 88 percent of the time. According to Ballotpedia, he is the second most liberal justice currently on the Court, behind only Sotomayor. Moderate? Centrist? Hardly.
From there, the MRC's job was to denigerate anyone President Biden would nominate to take Breyer's place as irredeemably liberal and radical -- based solely upon Biden's promise to nominate a black woman to fill his first Supreme Court vacancy. That narrative was so important to bet out there, MRC chief Brent Bozell did it himself in an appearance on Fox Business:
Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. Monday morning, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell slammed President Biden’s Supreme Court nominating process being dictated by “the power of the radical, militant, and in some cases Marxist left.” On another topic, he warned that “the woke, radical left wants to make you rethink your belief system.”
Bozell went on to argue that any nominee would be just like Kamala Harris, whom he asserted was "a disaster by any measurement. She’s a laughingstock." Never mind, of course, that Biden was a month away from actually naming his nominee. Bozell also won't remind you that President Trump caved to anti-abortion extremists by vowing to appoint only justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, which established a right to abortion.
Tober grumbled that ABC "failed to cover their own poll showing an overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden limiting his search for a new Supreme Court Justice to just black women." He then whined that ABC "then decided to go back over forty years and bring up Ronald Reagan's commitment to nominating the first woman Supreme Court Justice as a way to make Republicans seem hypocritical."
That last part is a bit of a sore point for the MRC, not to mention inconvenient to its narrative. Christy tried to argue it away in a Feb. 2 post:
[CNN correspondent Abby Philip] then tried to accuse Republicans of hypocrisy in a desperate attempt to defend Biden: "I also want to just note, what Susan Collins said about Ronald Reagan is just not the case...it's the exact same thing. He’s promised, in a campaign, he would put a woman on the Supreme Court and he did that, and that's exactly what Joe Biden is doing here when it comes to black women."
They are not exactly the same thing, the difference between eliminating 50% of qualified candidates versus 94% is significant, but both fail to consider the nominee's actual beliefs, as conservatives found out the hard way with Sandra Day O'Connor.
Christy went on to huff that "it was Biden who made the race-based promise in order to win votes." As if Trump wasn't trying to win votes when he vowed to appoint only justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Christy whined about this talking point again in a Feb. 24 post:
In an attempt to help himself get elected, President Biden engaged in identity politics by promising to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. Despite that fact, for CNN senior political correspondent Abby Phillip and New Day host Brianna Keilar on Wednesday, it was actually Republicans engaging in identity politics for pointing it out.
For Phillip, it was not just that Republicans were playing identity politics and Biden isn’t, but that the GOP is playing white identity politics: “...the Republican Party right now is running against what they call identity politics, but they're doing it by running on white identity politics. Telling white Americans that they are being discriminated against by efforts to level the playing field for non-white people. That's a core -- that's core to the Republican Party's platform right now.”
Christy also huffed that "Philip claimed that Biden’s pledge is no different than Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump pledging to nominate a woman," though he didn't engage in his percentage comparison this time around.
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.
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 >>
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 pointedout, 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.
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.
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.
Another Super Bowl Halftime Show, Another MRC Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
Despite its regularmeltdowns 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 hugecomplex 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.
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.”