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Monday, April 18, 2022
MRC Tries To Drag Teachers Into Its War On NewsGuard
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's increasingly desperate war against website rater NewsGuard for committing the offense of documenting the low quality of information at right-wing websites extended to an attempt to interfere with its business operations by bashing a teachers union taht contracted with the company. Catherine Salgado raged in a Jan. 26 post:

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

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

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

Salgado then rehashed the MRC's bogus attacks on NewsGuard, followed by a quote from her boss:

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

Rating the quality of websites is like critical race theory? That's a new one. But, hey, narratives are the MRC's business, and Bozell had to cram in the latest buzzwords.

The MRC tried to ramp up the war on NewsGuard and the AFT by calling its right-wing buddies in to screech at it, as Salgado wrote in a March 3 post:

The Media Research Center and more than 40 other conservative leaders warned governors about the left-wing bias of ratings firm NewsGuard.

The joint letter, signed by MRC founder and President Brent Bozell and dozens of other free speech advocates, sounded the alarm both on NewsGuard’s leftist bias and the ratings firm’s dangerous and growing influence in the educational arena. NewsGuard recently partnered with the American Federation of Teachers to bring its online “credibility” ratings and other resources to teachers and school children.

The letter itself featuring some of the MRC's lamest attacks on NewsGuard as purported evidence of its bias, such as arguing that HuffPost got a high rating despite "an attack piece on then-conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh following his death" (the letter clearly wasn't well edited, given the odd description of Limbaugh as "then-conservative") and that Planned Parenthood's rating should be lower because it "performed 9 million abortions as of July 2021" while anti-abortion websites got lower ratings (the MRC cited no misinformation on the Planned Parenthood site and censored the misinformation found on those anti-abortion sites).

Ironically, some the letter's signatories are well known for publishing highly biased misinformation, such as David Kupelian of WND, Floyd Brown of the Western Journal and Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.

In a March 8 post, Brian Bradley got mad that the MRC's attempt to crash a webinar held by NewsGuard CEO Steven Brill and AFT president Randi Weingarten failed:

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said she’s happy that NewsGuard highly rates some news outlets that have been critical of her. And her group’s new partner was right by her side.

During a webinar Thursday, she and NewsGuard CEO Steven Brill weren’t even willing to answer a question about their clear left-skewed political leanings.


Given Weingarten’s transparent partisanship and the formation of the new partnership, MRC asked the two executives how anyone can take NewsGuard’s claims of neutrality seriously. They totally ignored the question, even as they answered several questions posted in the Zoom Q&A chat.

Bradley then boasted that a notorious misinformer attacked NewsGuard:

Also on the health front, Weingarten lamented that “anti-vaxx” group Children’s Health Defense, headed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., “ attacked ” NewsGuard’s ties to Big Pharma in a Feb. 28 blog critical of the NewsGuard-AFT partnership.

The post links to marketing materials that note the health division of Publicis Groupe, a major early funder for NewsGuard in 2018, boasted “13 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies” as clients. However, it’s also worth noting that Publicis Groupe divested its health care division in 2019.

“If there’s anyone who has been viewed as an enemy of Big Pharma, it’s you,” Weingarten hailed Brill.

Brill then pivoted the conversation to talk about alleged health “misinformation,” “anti-vaxx decisions plaguing the world,” and so-called 5G conspiracy theories. He lauded U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for calling out alleged health care “misinformation” as a big obstacle, and he complained that programmatic ad revenue had contributed to alternative COVID-19 narratives. Then Brill used rhetoric to lash into Kennedy.

“The really good news about the internet is that anybody can be a publisher. You know, any teacher, you know, in this audience who has an important thought or an important contribution, you know, can be a publisher,” Brill said. “The really bad news about the internet is that anybody can be a publisher, and anybody is a publisher. And if your name is Kennedy, uh, you get a lot of attention, which is just really sad and is a whole ‘nother sad story about that.”

It's unclear why Bradley put scare quotes around "anti-vaxx" when describing Children's Health Defense, because it is very explicitly and unambiguously an anti-vaccine group. And Bradley made no effort to debunk anything Brill said.

Bradley concluded by whining that "The problem is that politics is embedded in NewsGuard’s framework and in AFT’s leadership." Actually, the problem is that the MRC is trying to use the might of the right-wing media machine it helped build to try and censor and silence NewsGuard because it is in apparently desperate need of a scalp to hang in MRC headquarters. Unfortunately for the MRC, however, its lame attacks on NewsGuard -- and its embrace of extremists like Children's Health Defense in this own-the-libs bid -- aren't exactly making that case.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- WND Profiles In COVID Misinformation: Peter McCullough
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves giving a platform to McCullough, a doctor who has been wrong about so many things related to the COVID pandemic. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 AM EDT
Sunday, April 17, 2022
MRC Predictably Pans Biden's State of the Union Address
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's coverage of President Biden's State of the Union address was what you'd expect from a right-wing narrative factory -- lots of emphasis on denigrating Biden and trashing his address.

Nicholas Fondacaro pretended he could read the minds of people he hates, claiming in a Feb. 28 post that  ABC was "lamenting that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “forced” Biden to change his speech and was "bemoaning how, 'this is going to be a very different speech than the one the President was probably envisioning, just a few weeks ago.'" He offered no evidence of how he was able to interpret a simple reporting of facts into "lamenting" and "bemoaning."

The next day, Mark Finkelstein whined that "David Frum has gone from being a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, to being a cable-news speech adviser for Joe Biden." One of those suggestions was to "try to shift the blame for inflation from Biden to Putin, and accuse any politician who dares mention inflation of hurting Ukraine!" and Finkelstein didn't like this disruption of right-wing talking points:

Nice attempted two-part Democrat spin, David! Take the inflation onus off Biden, and silence critics who hold Biden responsible for inflation.

It's not going to work, because Americans have already suffered enough inflation pain to know who is really responsible. And good luck when it comes to silencing Biden critics. Nobody's going to believe that it is "undermining" Ukraine to hold Biden responsible for his domestic failures.

Kevin Tober served up his own attempt at mind-reading in another March 1 post:

This is where the leftist media’s priorities lie. On Tuesday evening, while previewing President Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address Tuesday, both CBS’s Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell and NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin could potentially “upstage” Biden during his speech by launching a “deadly attack” on Ukraine. 


You can bet that if a Republican was President today, O’Donnell and Holt would not be worried about the President getting upstaged. Instead, they would hope for it. 

Like Fondacaro, Tober didn't explain what divine revelation he received that showed him that reporting on something equated to being "worried" about it. Or why such reporting equates to making one "leftist."

After the speech, the MRC predictably lashed out at anyone who didn't hate the speech as much as it did:

The MRC also got mad at anyone who critiqued the Republican response given by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Alex Christy groused that "CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash defended Biden from attacks from Reynolds on his Russia record," followed by Tober huffing in a March 2 post:

The Democrat [sic] Party often wonders why it can’t compete with Republicans in rural midwestern states. If they look at their favorite cable network's rhetoric they will know why that is. Moments after Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds finished her response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell mocked her.


[Maddow] then attacked Governor Reynolds’s performance:“I will say it is traditionally thought that the opposing party's State of the Union response is sometimes seen as a testing ground or maybe even a springboard to national ambitions. I don't think that will -- I don't think there's any risk of that this evening.”  

After that moment of incivility, Maddow thought the best person to bring on would be fellow MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell who is known for his vitriolic commentary. 

O’Donnell attacked Governor Reynolds by bringing up a past GOP State of the Union address by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio:“the difficulty for this speech for Republicans and response has actually been dramatically lowered since the threshold was set by Marco Rubio. She cleared that because there were no water accidents at all. During this speech.”

Attacking a female Governor from the formerly swing state of Iowa is not the way to win over rural voters.

Never mind all those MRC post attacking Biden for giving the speech. Then, Tim Graham served up another of his fact-check fails:

The CNN "Facts First" fact-checkers evaluated 12 claims from President Biden's State of the Union address but only found one of those that they would describe outright as "false." It looked like an A for effort. They sounded notably tougher on three claims from the Republican rebuttal from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, and tagged one as false -- that "the Department of Justice treats parents like domestic terrorists.”

CNN's Marshall Cohen claimed it was previously "debunked." It is correct that the "terrorist" language was used in a letter by the National School Boards Association, and not in official memos by the Attorney General. But the NSBA letter was requested by the Secretary of Education and they sent it to the president.

Neither of which have nothing to do with the fact that the NSBA never referred to all parents who spoke out at school board meetings as "terrorists" -- which Graham concedes. Graham failed to mention the fact that, as the CNN fact-check also noted, Attorney General Merrick Garland also never used the word "terrorist," making the claim doubly false. And as we noted when the MRC pushed this bogus narrative, only parents who made threats to school boards were the subject of concern, not all parents who ever spoke at a school board meeting.

Graham used his March 4 column to defend extremist Republican Rep. Laurent Boebert for heckling Biden during the speech:

Biden was speaking about soldiers getting cancer from serving in areas with toxic burn pits. He said “When they came home, many of the world’s fittest and best trained warriors were never the same. Headaches. Numbness. Dizziness. A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin. I know.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert yelled “13 of them,” referring to the U.S. service members lost in a terrorist bombing in Kabul during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Democrats booed energetically. So Biden was heckled before Beau was mentioned.

Then Biden added “One of those soldiers was my son, Major Beau Biden,” and then he said "We don’t know for sure if a burn pit was the cause of his brain cancer." No one asks whether Beau was anywhere near burn pits in Iraq. No fact-checkers stir.

Heckling a president during the State of the Union (especially a Democrat president) is not polite or politically smart. But the liberal journalists who were scandalized by the heckling never take exception to Biden’s very repetitive citations of his son, so much it reeks of exploitation.

Note that Graham does not explicitly criticize Boebert for her heckling -- she's a fellow pro-Trump Republican, after all, and the MRC doesn't criticize their ideological peers (even if she's as much of a nutjob as Marjorie Taylor Greene).

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 18, 2022 12:46 PM EDT
How Have CNS' Putin Appeasers Reacted To Russia's War In Ukraine?

We've documented how columnists were very much Putin appeasers before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a stance that has not held up well. Let's look at how have they have taken the invasion as the war has continued.

Before the war, the Cato Institute's Doug Bandow was very much in appeasement mode, declaring in January that "Nothing suggests that Putin wants what can never be given. He went full isolationist in a Feb. 28 column, writing of Ukraine: "Stuck in a bad neighborhood, it faces a limited invasion by Russia. Such a conflict, though horrific, would have little direct impact on America." He then seemed to justify the invasion: "No doubt Kyiv is stuck in a bad neighborhood and Moscow is acting badly. However, throughout most of America’s history Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union."

Bandow continued his isolationism in his March 2 column, while finally admitting the war is not justified:

Russia has done a great wrong against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. And the American people personally need not remain "impartial in thought as well as in action," as President Woodrow Wilson once demanded. Even now many are organizing to aid Kyiv’s cause.

However, Washington must stay out of the conflict. As painful as it might be to some, America’s role really is to look "on from a distance." In that way it best serves those to whom it is responsible, the American people.

In his March 7 column, Bandow's isolationism continued:

Vladimir Putin’s government bears responsibility for the terrible crime of invading Ukraine. However, American arrogance, ignorance, and recklessness contributed to today’s crisis. As Washington responds to Russian aggression it also should learn from its past mistakes. Otherwise, history seems bound to repeat itself with deadly consequences.

That link goes to a coumn he wrote last ytear complaining that talk of admitting Ukraine into NATO was not "reassuring for Moscow"  and that it "turned the Putin government hostile."

In his April 4 column, Bandow was still trying to find a way to blame to U.S. for Russia's invasion by talk of NATO:

Vladimir Putin and his ruling coterie are responsible for the unjustified and illegal invasion of Ukraine. Western policy toward Moscow since the Soviet collapse was foolish, even reckless, but that in no way justified the Russian attack. The Putin regime is responsible, and its crime will prove disastrous for the Russian as well as Ukrainian people.

Yet blame for the tragedy now befalling Ukraine – thousands of dead, millions of refugees, major cities bombarded, economy disrupted, society ravaged – is shared by the U.S. Washington again has demonstrated that its policies matter to the world. Usually in a horrifically negative way.

As has been oft detailed in recent days, the U.S. and European states blithely ignored multiple assurances made to both the Soviet Union and Russia that NATO would not be expanded up to their borders. The allies also demonstrated their willingness to ignore Moscow’s expressed security interests with the coercive dismemberment of Serbia, "color revolutions" in Tbilisi and Kyiv, and especially support for the 2014 street putsch against Ukraine’s elected, Russo-friendly president.

Whether such actions should have bothered Moscow isn’t important. They did, and perceptions are what matter. In this case, perception was reality. Indeed, Washington would never have accepted equivalent behavior by Russia in the Western hemisphere – marching the Warsaw Pact or Collective Security Treaty Organization up to America’s borders, backing a coup in Mexico City or Ontario, and inviting the new government to join the military alliance. The response in Washington would have been explosive hysteria followed by a tsunami of demands and threats. There would have been no sweet talk about the right of other nations to decide their own destinies.

Prior to the war, Ted Galen Carpenter -- like Bandow, a fellow at the Cato Institute -- was similarly blaming the Russian invasion on talk of letting Ukraine join NATO. In a March 22 column, Carpenter complained that "The dominant media narrative is that the U.S. government (and all Americans) must "stand with Ukraine" in the latter’s resistance to Russian aggression," adding that "the purpose of the current propaganda offensive is to generate public support in the United States for Washington’s military intervention on Ukraine’s behalf. This time, the American people need to recognize pro-war propaganda in the news media for what it is, and not take the bait."

Lawrence Vance of the Mises Institute was parroting the isolationism of Ron Paul as an argument to not get involved in Ukraine. In an April 4 column, Vance huffed that "Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some conservative hawks — like those connected with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) — have been squawking about the need for the United States to not only pay close attention to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, lest China attack and conquer Taiwan, but also to increase aid to Taiwan." He also touted how "Russia’s issue with Ukraine has been admirably explained by David Stockman"; in one column, Stockman called Ukraine a "rump state" run by "anti-Russian fascists and oligarchs" and that the "obvious solultion" to the war is for Ukrainian leader Volodomyr Zelensky to resign, give Russia the Crimea and the Donbas region and amending Ukraine's constitution "to prohibit its joining NATO or any similar western alliance, while reducing its military to a domestic law enforcement agency."

Ryan McMaken, also of the Mises Institute, was insisting that Russia wasn't that much of a geopolitical threat. He used a March 8 column to complain that the U.S. won't recognize Russia's claimed spheres of influence while pushing its own.

And then, of course, there's Pat Buchanan, pet columnist of CNS editor Terry Jeffrey, who worked on Buchanan's presidential campaigns in the 1990s. Before the war, he was rooting for Putin and blaming Russian aggression on, yes, talk of admitting Ukraine into NATO. He has kept that narrative up during the war:

  • In a March 4 column, Buchanan complained that the U.S. would be obligated to defend Estonia if Russia invades it because it's a NATO member, further whining that "Whether we go to war for a nation that was formerly part of the Soviet bloc should be a matter for decision by the Americans of that day and time — not mandated, not dictated by our signature on a 73-year-old treaty, devised for another era and another world."
  • Buchanan raged against NATO again on March 8, pondering, "Did Ukraine's trolling for membership in NATO trigger Putin's war?"
  • Buchanan was upset in his March 11 column about the prospect of Sweden and Finland joining NATO: "But Finland is the size of Germany and has an 833-mile border with Russia, which would be NATO's largest. Is it really credible that the U.S. would declare war or go to war with Russia to secure Finland's border?"
  • He argued for isolationism in his March 18 column: "America's desire today may be to inflict a defeat on Putin's Russia. U.S. vital national interests, however, dictate a negotiated peace."
  • In his March 22 column, Bechanan demanded "a formal declaration by Kyiv that it will never join a NATO alliance created to contain Russia and, if necessary, defeat Russia in a war" as a condition to end the fighting.
  • Buchanan used his March 25 column to blame Ukraine for fighting back and making Russia think about using nuclear weapons against it: "When did the relationship between Russia and Ukraine become a matter of such vital interest to the U.S. that we would risk war, possible nuclear war, with Russia over it?"
  • Buchanan was calling for capitulation again in his April 8 column, after noting that "Ukraine and Russia have suffered greatly" from the war: "Thus, the sooner this war ends, the better for us and our friends — even if it means having to talk to the man Biden cannot stop calling a war criminal and clamoring for his prosecution."
  • He freaked out again about Sweden and Finland joining NATO in his April 15 column: "Why is it wise for us to formally agree, in perpetuity, as NATO is a permanent alliance, to go to war with Russia, for Finland? ... Russia's invasion of Ukraine today is partly due to the U.S. and Ukraine's refusal to rule out NATO membership for Kyiv."

CNS sure seems to like columnists who will blame anyone but Russia for invading Ukraine.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:58 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 18, 2022 12:43 PM EDT
Saturday, April 16, 2022
MRC Gives Trump A Pass On Praising Putin -- But Bashes 'View' Host
Topic: Media Research Center

It's Media Research Center policy to never offer unqualifed criticism of Donald Trump, no matter how badly he behaves. And when Trump praised Russia's Vladimir Putin for his actions in invading Ukraine, the MRC unsurprisingly gave him a pass on that too, only getting upset when others criticized him and then playing whataboutism.

In a Feb. 24 post, Alex Christy complained that political analyst John Heilemann "falsely claim[ed] in a twisted train of thought that Republicans and the 2016 election are to blame for Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin is using the moment to weaken President Biden because he wants to see Donald Trump to win in 2024." Christy ignored Trump's praise of Putin even though it was referenced in the segment he was criticizing, leaving it buried in a transcript; instead huffing that "Putin didn’t need a divided America in order to invade Ukraine and, more importantly, he didn't launch an all-out war against Ukraine during the Trump years. So, if Trump is a Russian agent, would Heilemann's argument then call for Putin to put Trump in power first?"

The next day, Mark Finkelstein attacked Hillary Clinton for bring it up in a "Morning Joe" appearance, twisting her criticism to claim that she wants to kill Trump:

Hillary began her spiel by attacking Trump [without deigning to mention him by name] for praising Putin's "genius" and "smart move." That led Scarborough to denounce the Trump right as "useful idiots." Hillary upped that ante, accusing them of giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy. That is the very definition, under US law, of treason, and is punishable by death. Is that what Hillary has in mind for her political opponents?

Tim Graham actually did criticize Trump in a Feb. 27 post -- but then played whataboutism on the good (read: right-wing-friendly) things Trump said:

Trump praised Putin's smarts again (and mocked Biden's sanctions again) at a fundraiser for Senate candidates.  "I mean, he's taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions," Trump said. "I'd say that's pretty smart. He's taking over a country — literally a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, and just walking right in."

Ukraine is not just a hot piece of real estate to build some malls, and Trump has a bad habit of praising the smarts of some horrible people. But the Democrats and their media colluders tend to ignore or downplay the next passage, where Trump says this invasion wouldn't have happened if he were president.

That same day, Kevin Tober cheered a Republican senator for not deviating from right-wing talking points by refusing to comment on Trump's Putin praise, instead attacking ABC's George Stephanopoulos for asking him about it:

On Sunday’s episode of This Week, anchor George Stephanopoulos used his interview with Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton to continue to obsess over Donald Trump. 

Following up on an issue raised in the previous segment with White House press secretary Jen Psaki over whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is mentally stable,  Stephanopoulos asked Cotton if he agreed with Senator Marco Rubio that “something is off” about Putin. 

Cotton didn’t take the bait, responding that he wouldn’t “play psychologist from 7,000 miles away.” Cotton turned the conversation back to the topic that mattered: “Ms. Psaki said that we all made the mistake of viewing Vladimir Putin as someone who sees the world through global norms. George, I never made that mistake. I have always seen Vladimir Putin as a ruthless dictator who wants to reassemble the greater Russian empire.”

In a March 4 post, Nicholas Fondacaro criticized a co-host of "The View" for praising a Putin strategy:

There was a serious case of whiplash during ABC’s The View on Friday as co-host Sunny Hostin called Russian dictator Vladimir Putin “smart” for attacking the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, an accolade that was deemed a treasonous act earlier in the week after former President Trump said something similar.

Of course, Fondacaro couldn't be bothered to criticize Trump when he said it, something he didn't disclose in his piece.

And that's the last time the MRC mentioned Trump's praise of Putin. Can't let reality interfere with right-wing narratives, y'know.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 AM EDT
Farah Now Blaming Media Matters, George Soros For WND's Impending Demise
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah was in full conspiratorial froth in his March 9 WorldNetDaily column:

You can't make this stuff up.

Never, even in my fertile imagination, would I have guessed that we would find a smoking-gun 49-page memo revealing how George Soros operatives, including David Brock, were there at the genesis, the planning stages, with their hands on the ignition key, of the most concerted, well-funded, diabolical attack on free speech in the history of America.

But here it is, so you have the evidence. It's called "Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action."

Millions saw it on the DrudgeReport – including, no doubt, President Trump, Vice President Pence and Republican congressional leaders. But most Americans still know nothing of its existence – because it was not reported among the Big Media. And, today, the Big Media includes the DrudgeReport. They don't want you to know about it. They would be embarrassed if America found out how they have been used and manipulated – from their focus on "Russian collusion" to other wild conspiracy theories targeting their No. 1 villain, President Trump.

It was nothing short of a plan to turn Google, Facebook and other social media into hyper-partisan Democratic Party activists, promoters, cheerleaders and off-the-books donors in an effort to turn the country into a one-party state.

Actually, the memo didn't do any of that -- it's a fairly standard political strategy memo about how to counter the Trump administration after its victory, likely not so different from strategy memos prepared by conservative groups to counter Democratic president -- and probably not so different from memos created at WND to decide how to deceive and lie about Barack Obama. Also, Brock's Media Matters only received one donation from Soros more than a decade ago, so it's a bit of absurd for Farah to call the group a bunch of "Soros operatives."

But Farah was still in a conspiratorial mood -- which, of course, evolves into a money beg:

The strategies were – get this – impeachment, expanding Media Matters' mission to combat "government misinformation," ensuring Democratic control of the Senate in the 2018 midterm elections, filing lawsuits against the Trump administration, monetizing political advocacy, using a "digital attacker" to delegitimize Trump's presidency and damage Republicans, and partnering with Facebook to combat "fake news."

Did this diabolical strategy work? UNFAILINGLY!

Media Matters boasted then that it had "access to raw data from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites" so they could "systemically monitor and analyze this unfiltered data."

Brock's memo also says Media Matters gave Google "the information necessary to identify 40 of the worst fake new sites" so they could be banned from Google's advertising network.

Yeah, tell me about it. Now we have Joe Biden. Russia's invading Ukraine. Gas is close to $5 a gallon, even more in some cities. Hyper inflation is near. There are 2 million new illegal aliens in the country.

Our free elections are gone. Our free press is gone. We lost them both. You can't have one without the other.

I'm not here to say I told you so. I'm here to try to equip you for the titanic effort to bring those two freedoms back.

Here's what you can do to help WND and, literally, save the nation.

Yep, he's blaming Media Matters -- and, by extension, George Soros -- for basically running WND out of business. Never mind that if WND had committed to publishing facts and acted responsibly instead of embracing conspiracy theories and fake news, it might not be going down the tubes as we speak. But then, Farah remains in denial mode about the impending demise of WND.

(Disclosure: We used to work for Media Matters, and Farah hates us for that, among many other reasons.)


Posted by Terry K. at 2:42 AM EDT
Friday, April 15, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Blame-Biden Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

In the days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck continued to push anti-American attitudes in his summaries of White House press briefing by emphasing Biden-bashing over unity. His lashing out at press secretary Jen Psaki during a March 1 Fox News appearance was typical:

Previewing President Biden’s State of the Union address, White House press secretary Jen Psaki joined FNC’s America’s Newsroom on Tuesday and squared off against co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino over President Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and specifically the administration’s refusal to budge on domestic oil and gas production and the timing of the CDC dropping its mask recommendations.

After opening with questions about whether the U.S. believes the violence from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s military constitutes war crimes, Hemmer noted “[w]e buy Russia's oil and we don't need to” before asking whether Biden “will...make an appeal...based on some sort of shared sacrifice” that Americans “will consume less in order to help Ukrainian people and hurt Putin more.”

Psaki refused to budge from her talking points, insisting Biden wants to “maximize the impact on President Putin, on the cronies and the oligarchs who have been benefiting from so much corruption in Russia” and “squeeze the financial system there,” while also “minimizing the impact on the global markets and the American people.”

Hemmer tried again, but Psaki stood pat despite conceding that “standing up for democracy versus autocracy is not without cost” and “any instability in the global oil marketplace is the result of the actions of President Putin.”

Note that Houck did not accuse Hemmer and Perino of pushing talking points -- perhaps because he's singing from that very same script. He also didn't mention that he, Hemmer and Perino were setting up Psaki and Biden -- despite blaming Biden for not moving quickly enough to cut off oil exports from Russia, they would also blame Biden for the gas price spike once that oil was cut off. It's the right-wing script that Biden must always criticize him no matter what he does -- even if he does what right-wingers told him to do.

Houck did an ever-so-brief section at the end of his item touting how "reporters also came loaded for bear"at that day's press briefing, giving an seemingly MRC-mandated shout-out to Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich.

Houck gave Heinrich a more extensive gushing-over in his summary of the March 3 briefing for pushing that same talking point:

After having two days off for President Biden’s State of the Union and trip to Wisconsin, Thursday brought the return of The Psaki Show and, with the Biden administration still refusing to ban the import of Russian oil, the questions were fierce. 

They included a slew from Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich with one presenting Psaki with the notion that the U.S. is “financing” Russia’s “war” against Ukraine “as long as we’re buying Russian oil,”  which would square with the fact that oil and gas sales make up 36 percent of its national budget.

Heinrich started, however, by poking holes in the administration’s logic of refusing to expand domestic gas and oil production, but pushing for it in other areas to help drive down the price of goods:

Houck went on to sneer that "Psaki stuck to her previous answer, blaming oil companies for allegedly thousands of unused leases." He didn't disprove Psaki's statement, but instad he continued his Heinrich-fluffing:

Psaki engaged in a bait-and-switch, ignoring Heinrich’s point about money coming into Russia from U.S. oil purchases and instead saying Russian oil only makes up “about ten percent of what we're importing” even though cutting it off “would...raise prices.”

To her credit, Heinrich reached that point thanks to Psaki stonewalling from past questions, starting with two from the AP’s Colleen Long about Putin benefitting from higher prices so long as a ban remains off.

Houck's summary of the March 7 hearing was devoted to reporters -- with special attention given to right-wingers Steven Nelson of the New York Post and (credibly accused sexual harasser) James Rosen of Newsmax -- complaining that reporters didn't get to ask enough questions. After noting that White House Correspondents Association president and CBS News Radio correspondent Steven Portnoy pointed out that Psaki “made a conscious decision to try to honor the long-standing traditions of the room” since “the people before [her] [had] a different view.” Houck huffed in response: "This was a swipe at press secretaries for then-President Trump." Of course, Houck thought it was cool that those press secretaries wouldn't take questions and acted like jerks toward reporters.

Houck also made sure to get in his "Doocy Boom" fluffing from that briefing in a separate post:

Prior to Monday’s explosive post-briefing kerfuffle (which NewsBusters was able to audio from), the regularly scheduled Psaki Show featured the return of Doocy Time as the Fox News correspondent battled the press secretary over who or what’s to blame for high gas prices and why there’s been, at best, an apprehension to increased domestic oil and gas production as Russia’s war on Ukraine rages on.

Doocy started with the reality that prices were already on the rise prior to Russia’s formal invasion: “It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?”

Sure enough, Psaki painted a rosy picture on energy prior to Russia’s unprovoked actions, saying “there’s no question that...the anticipated continued a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine.”

Houck then decided he could read Psaki's mind:

To Psaki’s chagrin and pleas to “let me finish,” Doocy reminded here that “President Biden signed an executive order his first week that halted new oil and gas leases on public lands.”

Psaki ignored that fact in favor of saying she had to “give you the facts here — and I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”

She gave away the game of many using the crisis to force burdensome so-called clean energy sources on Americans, Psaki said Americans need to “make the shift to secure a...clean energy future” even as “[w]e are one of the largest producers with a strong domestic oil and gas industry” with oil companies holding us back.

Houck censored the fact that the moratorium on new oil and gas leases has been left and, as a result, the Biden administration has issued more leases than the entire Trump administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 27, 2022 9:24 PM EDT
WND Serves Up Bogus Old-School Anti-Hillary Dog Whistle
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's bob Unruh wrote a Feb. 16 article with the headline "Hillary breaks out the other N-word in response to spying charges." It's not about any offensive word she might have said -- it's about her dismissing the claim from John Durham that she was spying on Donald Trump as "nonsense." (Which it is.) Unruh went on to note that "She then linked Vanity Fair, saying it was a "good debunking" of the 'nonsense'" -- but instead of rebutting what was in the Vanity Fair article or even linnking it it, he instead parroted Republican talking points on the Durham filing.

The headline is actually a stealth shout-out to old-school Clinton-haters -- after all, Clinton-hating is what WND was built on -- referring to a 30-year-old manufactured scandal.It dates back to Bill Clinton's presidency, when Hillary was accused of using the N-word in private. But as we noted back in 2006 the last time WND tried to revive it, the claim came from former Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson, whose motivations were highly dubious given the massive grudge he held against the Clintons. When Patterson went under oath to didscuss his claims, he usually walked back his claims.

What does it say about WND that it's willing to drop a stealth reference to a deep-cut alleged Clinton scandal a few decades after the fact? Perhaps that time has passed it by and that it doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 PM EDT
CNS Jim Jordan Stenography Watch

We've documented how Republican Rep. Jim Jordan has been a favorite subject of stenography from -- while also hiding credible accusations that he did nothing regarding a doctor who had been accused of sexual abuse by wrestlers on a college team where Jordan was a coach. The CNS stenography continued in the first three months of this year:

That's eight articles to kick off the year, in line with the pace of previous years, Additionally, a Feb. 7 article touted Jordan's appearance on Mark Levin's Fox News show.

And since this is stenography, there was no indication that Jordan's claim about "DOJ, FBI going after parents" is false. CNS promoted this false narrative last year.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Thursday, April 14, 2022
ConWeb Embraces Bogus, Extremist Wis. Election Report
Topic: The ConWeb

When a Republican-generated report in Wisconsin called for overturning the 2020 presidential election because a foundation funded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg donated money to help finance putting on elections, some of which went to get-out-the-vote efforts, the usual ConWeb suspects -- and even some unusual ones -- embraced it. Of the former, Bob Unruh gushed in a March 1 WorldNetDaily article:

It's already been confirmed by a study that Mark Zuckerberg's decision to donate some $420 million to various leftist elections officials across America to "help" them accommodate COVID during the 2020 president race essentially "bought" the vote for Joe Biden.

Now a report from the Office of Special Counsel in the state of Wisconsin has determined that those actions also violated the state's bribery statutes.

Margot Cleveland at the Federalist has posted an explanation of the stunning verdict.

In Wisconsin, Zuckerberg's money, some $9 million, went "solely to five Democratic strongholds" and the special counsel's report to the Wisconsin Assembly said those actions violated the ban on bribes.


The report, 136 pages, said it was not challenging the certification of the 2020 results in Wisconsin, one of several battleground states that went narrowly for Joe Biden. Its goal, instead, is to recommend ways to avoid another election that results from criminal activity.

Unruh is lying. The author of the report, Michael Gableman, argued in a hearing discussing the report that the Wisconsin legislature "ought to take a very hard look at the option of decertification of the 2020 Wisconsin presidential election," and the report itself offered instructions on how it thinks that can be done.

Unruh then highlighted the report's key claim that money went to the apparently horrible offense to encouraging people to vote:

The Federalist reported, "According to the report, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg providing financing that allowed the Center for Tech and Civic Life to offer nearly $9 million in 'Zuck Bucks' to Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay counties. In exchange, the 'Zuckerberg 5,' as the report called the counties, in effect, operated Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts. Those grant funds then paid for illegal drop boxes to be placed in Democratic voting strongholds."

But as the Washington Post's Philip Bump noted, the report's idea that it's somehow "cheating" or even illegal to encourage people to vote -- particiluarly if those people voted for a candidate opposed by the report's author -- is dumb:

Well, if you want to increase turnout among less frequent voters, you’re going to target groups that turn out less often, which, given the change from 2012 to 2016, means focusing on counties that have more non-White voters to turnout. In Wisconsin, that means counties such as Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Dane, Sawyer, Brown, Ashland and Rock. Each of those counties has a non-White population that makes up at least a fifth of the population. Understandably, then, an effort to bolster election access in Wisconsin focused on the cities of Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay — in Milwaukee, Dane, Racine, Kenosha and Brown counties.

Would increasing turnout among low-propensity voters in those places probably increase the number of Biden voters? Yes. Is that cheating? Of course not. These efforts aren’t suppression of White turnout or giving non-White voters some sort of unfair leg up. Instead, they’re efforts to reduce the barriers that cause poorer, non-White citizens to vote less often.

That’s not how Gableman frames the efforts. His report is blatantly obvious in its efforts to imply wrongdoing. ... The “Zuckerberg 5” sounds like a domestic terror cell from the 1960s, which is the goal.

Bump went on to note that Gableman portrayed efforts to increase turnout as an inherently partisan Democreatic effort, even though turnout for Trump increased as well, and that turnout for Democrats was up nationally, not just in Wisconsin. Bump also pointed out that Gableman's effort to portray money to municipalities to help increase turnout as "bribery" has already been rejected as a valid legal theory. Bump concluded:

Here again, nearly 500 days after the 2020 election, we see a familiar pattern play out. Republican elected officials want to make Trump supporters happy by treating their unfounded claims of fraud as serious rather than actually confronting those claims. They hire an investigator who is starting from the conclusion that votes were stolen, here. Then the investigation serves as a giant, costly smoke machine so that the investigator can tell the legislators and Republican voters that, while you can’t see it, somewhere in that cloud is a raging fire.

In this case, that fire consists of trying to increase voting among those who have historically faced institutional difficulties in doing so. If that’s cheating, then so is offering SAT tutoring to students in disadvantaged school districts. Sorry if that expands the pool of Harvard applicants your kid is competing against.

Unlike Unruh, a March 1 Newsmax article by Brian Freeman admitted that Gableman wants to overturn the eleciton, and he also included comments from the Democratic head of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which Gableman wants tio eliminate, callingthe report "full in crazy conspiracy theory.",  meanwhile, publishsed a March 3 column by the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins ranting how Gableman's report exposed "bad actors" (the "bad act," of course, was to boost voter turnout), then had to parse exactly what was bad about that:

To be clear, the report does not allege widespread voter fraud. There was no violation of the "one citizen, one vote" principle. What the report does show is a well-funded effort by government-run election boards to systematically turn out more votes in regions known to lean towards one political party. Political parties and candidates are allowed to do this; in fact, GOTV efforts are essential parts of every modern political campaign. What is illegal here is that election administrators put their thumb on the scale for one political party. In the words of the report, they "crossed the line between election administration and campaigning."


How many votes can you buy with $350 million? Possibly enough to swing a close election. But to know for certain, we would have to prove how many votes would not have been cast if the money had not been spent, and that's impossible. The money was spent unfairly, but this is one wrong that can't be righted retroactively -- at least, not by human judges.

Perkins' idea of "unfair," of course, is turning out voters who might vote for a candidate Perkins doesn't apporove of.

Given what a ridiculous, misleading, conspiracy-laden report it is, it's surprising that the Media Research Center embraced -- though perhaps not so surprising, given how long the MRC has been trying and failing to attack Facebook. A March 2 post by Alexander Hall -- complete with the headline "Zuck Bucks!" -- was in full spin mode, right down to uncritically repeating a description of Gableman's piece of work as an "election integrity report":

An election integrity probe reportedly found that a nonprofit funded by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg swayed the 2020 election “in violation of Wisconsin law.” 

Could this be the scandal that shakes up America’s electoral integrity? “A 2020 election integrity probe in Wisconsin reported findings Tuesday that a nonprofit group funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg committed election bribery when it targeted $8.8 million in get-out-the-vote funds to five heavily Democratic jurisdictions,” The Washington Times reported March 2.“The report details a ‘bribery scheme’ implemented by the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life, a liberal voter advocacy group heavily funded by Mr. Zuckerberg.”


The report’s findings, if true, implicate that “Election officials in the five jurisdictions, the report found, may have broken the law ‘by not treating all voters the same in the same election … a bedrock of principle of election law.’” 

Hall has no idea if the claims are true because he made no effort to investigate it -- and neither did the article he cited. Hall conveniently chose a Washington Times article to summarize because it's a right-wing publication that can be counted on to offer conservative-friendly spin; the article includes only two paragraphs of criticism of the report buried toward the end, neither of which was substantive.

But that's what happens because the MRC cares less about being authoritative and much more about owning the libs through any means necessary, no matter how discredited and WND-esque they are.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
Hans Bader's Selective Statistical Ignorance on SCOTUS Appointments
Topic: columnist Hans Bader spent much of the pandemic fretting that non-white people would have the same, and maybe even better, access to COVID ttesting, reatment and vaccines as him, a white man. Now he's fretting there will be too many black people on the Supreme Court. He wrote in his March 18 column, headlined "Biden SCOTUS Nomination Fueled by Statistical Ignorance":

President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, following through on his campaign vow to name a black woman. Three-quarters of Americans disagreed with Biden's decision to consider only black women for the Supreme Court vacancy; in an ABC news poll, they wanted Joe Biden to consider "all possible nominees," regardless of their race or gender.

Progressives support this race-based appointment based on the assumption that blacks are underrepresented on the Supreme Court. But Jackson's confirmation would make the Supreme Court 22% black, even though America is only 13% black, and the legal profession is 5% black. One of the nine Supreme Court justices is already black (Clarence Thomas); Jackson will be the second. Two out of nine justices is 22%, well above the percentage of Americans who are black.

Bader omitted a more relevant statistic: Of the 115 people who served on the Supreme Court in all of American history (before Jackson's appointment), 108 have been white men, four have been white women, and only three have been non-white (Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor). Historical underrepresentation is at least a valid a statistical metric as current representation, but Bader pleads ignorance of the fact that more than 180 years of American history passed before a non-white man was allowed to serve on the court. He goes on to push his racist-adjacent argment that there are too many black people on the court:

But even if Jackson were not appointed, blacks would still comprise 11% of the Supreme Court, which is similar to their percentage of the population (around 12%). As a Supreme Court Justice, Jackson would not be an "underrepresented member of a marginalized group" (as The Signal's Soorin Kim claimed) or the voice of a "marginalized and underrepresented" group (as NAACP board member Theresa Dear claimed). Her group would have nearly a quarter of all seats on the Supreme Court.

Nor is the federal judiciary as a whole a bastion of white supremacy. Black judges are actually overrepresented compared to the percentage of black lawyers (4.8% of all lawyers are black, and federal judges are drawn from the ranks of experienced lawyers). Under that measure, “African Americans are& overrepresented by a factor of nearly three: They make up 12.7 percent of active federal judges while accounting for only 4.8 percent of lawyers,” noted former Justice Department lawyer Ed Whelan in June 2021. Moreover, “black men are overrepresented in the federal judiciary: They account for 7.9 percent of active federal judges but only 6.8 percent of the population,” says Whelan.


Liberal journalists constantly imply that blacks are "underrepresented" in powerful positions, no matter how many blacks hold such positions. That misleads the public into wrongly thinking a big share of the population must be black, when only one-eighth of all Americans are black.

Biden's nomination of judges like Jackson based on their race violates the Constitution. Setting aside positions for a particular race violates Constitutional equal-protection guarantees, unless that race has been subjected to recent, intentional discrimination in access to those positions.

It could be argued that SCOTUS positions were set aside for white men for nearly 200 years of the nation's history. But he invoked a no-takeback clause: "Racial set-asides can’t be used to remedy discrimination that occurred long ago. Federal appeals courts have struck down racial preferences designed to remedy discrimination that happened 14 or 17 years earlier, saying that such discrimination in the distant past is irrelevant." Still, he slaved away at his increasingly dubious talking point:

Blacks have not been discriminated against in appointments to the Supreme Court in recent years. Indeed, there has been a black Supreme Court justice ever since 1967, even though blacks have never been more than 13% of the U.S. population during that period, and blacks have usually comprised less than 3% of the legal profession during that period. (It is the black percentage of the legal profession, not the black percentage of the general population, that is legally relevant in assessing whether blacks are "underrepresented" in the judiciary, according to Supreme Court rulings like Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio (1989)).

It would be entertaining to see Bader cling so desperately to his argument if it didn't make him look ridiculous to the point of being more than a little racist.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 18, 2022 5:53 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Flip-Flop On Biden's Employment Numbers
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center will eagerly talk down the economy under President Biden in months with less-than-favorable employment numbers -- but it will stay mostly silent in the months when those numbers look good. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
WND Finds Another Extremist Anti-Vaxxer Doctor It Can Turn Into A Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves an extremist who can be turned into a victim, and it found one in an anti-vaxxer doctor from Maine. Art Moore wrote in a Jan. 14 article:

A Maine medical licensing board has temporarily suspended the license of a veteran physician for allegedly spreading "misinformation" about COVID-19 as it conducts a 30-day investigation that will require her to undergo a psychological examination.

Dr. Meryl Nass, who been a board-licensed internal physician for more than 40 years, was the subject of two complaints based, among other things, on her statements that the vaccines have serious safety issues and are ineffective at stopping infection and transmission of the virus. She called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a "criminal agency," pointing out that federal health officials have suppressed the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID while pushing newer, more expensive treatments.

It's not until well down in thge article that Moore gets around to mentioning what exactly Nass did to get suspended: she lied by claiming that a patient had Lyme disease so she could prescribe the patient hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID (even though few legitimate medical professionals believe that it works). Moore framed this as her being "forced to lie," then incritically repeated her claim that "it should not have been unnecessary for her to lie" to get HCQ, but "Maine's Pharmacy Board had threatened pharmacists, and nearly all of them stopped dispensing both ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine."

Moore also reframed her anti-vaxxerism by claim that "she did not recommend or discourage vaccination but spells out for patients the benefits and risks to help them decide for themselves." In fact, as a more legitimate media source reported, Nass has said "there may be things in these vaccines that the government wants to inject in us," and suggested that vaccinations of children are being encouraged "for some other nefarious reason."

Moore's article was republished on March 2 for unexplained reasons, perhaps as accompaniment to another article from Moore that day in which Nass' victimhood is ramped up:

In an article published by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Children's Health Defense, she tells "The Extraordinary Story of How Governments Suppressed Effective COVID Treatments and Targeted Physicians Who Prescribed Them."


Nass has compiled a "stunning collection" of more than 50 ways authorities and pharmaceutical companies in multiple countries stopped the use of chloroquine drugs for COVID.

"'Avoiding the Trump drug' served as a great cover story. Taking hydroxychloroquine for COVID was equated to drinking bleach," she wrote.


She pointed out that while ivermectin was not identified in the studies, in early 2020 it was found to be effective against COVID-19. The French company MedinCell, working with Monash University and supported by Bill Gates, was developing an injectable version.

But after ivermectin exploded in popularity as a treatment for COVID-19, doctors were threatened with the loss of their licenses for prescribing it, and pharmacists for fulfilling the prescriptions.

"You couple that with a huge media offensive, and threats from an industry of medical 'nonprofits,'" Nass wrote. "You invent 'misinformation' as a medical misdemeanor, studiously failing to define it. You make people think the legal prescribing of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine is a crime, even though off-label prescribing is entirely legal under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

"Did Fauci give the order? Was it CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky? Maybe it was acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock?" she asked. "It was probably some combination, plus the public relations professionals managing the messaging and the media."

Pro tip: If you want to treated as a credible medical professional, you do not associate yourself with Kennedy Jr.'s notorious anti-vaxxer group. It is, however, the thing you want to do if you're portraying yourself as a victim to the right-wing fringe -- and WND is happy to encourage that bogus victimhood.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
MRC Continues Its Obsessive Hatred Of Transgender Swimmer
Topic: Media Research Center

The transphobic sports bloggers at the Media Research Center predictably melted down over transgender college swimmer Lia Thomas, and that meltdown continued since the last time we checked in on them. A Jan. 18 post by the mysterious Jay Maxson (whose gender, ironically, we're not even sure of) was filled with hate and deliberate misgendering:

In a gag-worthy twist, the latest from the PennU trans swimming pool is that Lia Thomas says he is the Jackie Robinson of transgender athletics. Strange, but I don’t recall anything about a “Jacquelyn” Robinson, major league baseball’s first black player with Brooklyn in 1947, later joining the Rockford Peaches women’s baseball team (1943-54) and batting .990!

Robinson was a man’s man, U.S. Army veteran and a great, Hall of Fame baseball player. He was hard as nails for taking the horrible racial abuse he suffered. He would have scoffed at the idea of men playing with the girls.

To be compared to Thomas, who previously swam on the Penn men’s team and now leaves female rivals in his distant wake, would be absurd, shocking and absolutely insulting to Jackie.

Maxson went on to cite an anonymous person who claims to be a swimmer on the Penn team who was critical of Thomas: "Additionally, we learned from this Penn swimmer the self-absorbed Thomas is 'not sympathetic or empathetic at all' and has never talked with teammates to find out if they accept a man on their team. It’s all about him." Donald Trump has those same characteristics and we've never heard Maxson complain about that.

The same day, John Simmons bashed champion swimmer Michael Phelps for accurately noting that Thomas' situation is complicated, whining that "his stance on transgenderism leaves a lot to be desired." before going into right-wing lecture mode: "People cannot simply take testosterone suppressants or have reassignment surgery to 'change their gender.' You are either born a male or a female, anything else you do is a feeble attempt to change the fundamental identity you were born with. So we should never be 'comfortable in our own skin' if we are living a lie, but our Phelps seems perfectly okay to let that one slide."

Maxson returned on Jan. 21 to whine that "the NCAA is changing its rules because of Thomas," further huffing: "Maybe being the BTOC (Big Transgender On Campus) wasn’t such a hot idea after all for Will 'Lia' Thomas. She’s growing more and more unpopular with her teammates." A Jan. 28 post by Matt Philbin -- under the weird, creepy headline "Women’s Locker Room Gets Teste Over Thomas" -- was also outraged that Thomas allegedly has Trump's personality (and is weirdly obsessed with the state of Thomas' genitals):

There’s still junk in Davy Jones’s locker, and the gals don’t wanna see it.

Whether you believe he is a she (he isn’t), or whether he/she should compete on the University of Penn women’s swim team (he shouldn’t), all Americans can come together and agree on a single, simple truth: Lia Thomas is a selfish jerk.


Just ask Thomson’s teammates. Some of them told the Daily Mail that Thomas sometimes doesn’t cover her as yet unmutilated male genitalia. “While Lia covers herself with a towel sometimes, there’s a decent amount of nudity,” says the Mail. Swimmers say they “have had a glimpse at her private parts.” Uh, ew.

“‘It's definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,’ one swimmer on the team told in an exclusive interview.” Apparently, says the Mail, “Lia has told her teammates that she dates women.”

So he is becoming a she so she can …?  Whatever. The point is that the nudity is just another indication that Thomas doesn’t seem to give a water rat’s patootie about the actual women trying to compete in actual women’s swimming. The women who are his ostensible teammates. (There's no I in TEAM, but there sure is in LIA.)


In an era when people are using the word “performative” unironically, it’s impossible to know how sincerely Thomas believes his own shtick. But would anyone really be surprised if his college career ends and Thomas never completes the transition to Lia? Far-fetched? Not in the Age of Trans.

It seems that both Philbin and Maxson have forgotten that their employer considers anonymous sources to be untrustworthy. Maxson forgot it again in a Jan. 30 post:

The Will (aka “Lia”) Thomas controversy with Penn University women’s swimming is on a collision course with postseason events and potential NCAA rules changes regarding transgender athletes. An anonymous member of that team told Fox News she overheard Penn administrations speaking of a potential lawsuit if Thomas is prevented from NCAA national competition in March.

The anonymous swimmer, who fears LGBT retaliation if she reveals her name, told Fox New, “I have a feeling that if USA Swimming changes their rules, they will be filing a lawsuit for Lia (see Thomas photos as male, upper right, and female, upper left) to swim, but they wouldn’t do that for us. That’s just really upsetting.”


While anonymous Penn swimmers feed inside information to the media, a group of left-wing law groups published a public letter last week in The Daily Pennsylvanian in support of Thomas and the hysteria surrounding transgender athletes. 

Actually, the folks generating that "hysteria" are transphobes like Maxson. Speaking of transphobia, Simmons served up a helping of it in a Feb. 22 post:

Left-leaning, publicly-funded media outlet National Public Radio (NPR), like a large contingent of the American population, loves the fact that trans-woman Lia Thomas is dominating the swimming competition in the Ivy League. They love it so much they are willing to sacrifice basic journalist principles to make sure it's seen as nothing but an accomplishment that everyone should celebrate. 

Michaela Winberg, a general assignment reporter who covers LGBTQ people and culture for Billy Penn (in Philadelphia), produced a radio feature for Morning Edition that NPR posted on their website as a reaction piece to Lia Thomas’ record-setting weekend at the Ivy League’s women’s swimming championships (the transcript for which is here ). However, Winberg did not conduct a single interview with someone who may have opposed the fact that a man is swimming against women, and all the quotes from her sources voiced nothing but support for the delusional athlete.

Then it was lecture time again from Simmons:

There were no interviews with biological women, no quotes from parents who would rightfully feel enraged about their daughters losing to a man, no perspective from the other side. Nothing.

This situation lacks all semblance of basic moral principles and common sense, which is perhaps exactly why NPR published the story in the first place. 

But, the reason why no opposing voices are allowed to be heard is because they all just want to be accepted. The media and the wackos who support this ideology want to purport a narrative that says anyone who wants to indulge in their delusions should be allowed to do so, and no one should attack them or make them own up to their actions. But if you’re going to be so bold about your stance, shouldn't you be able to take a little heat from the other side?

Seems to me like you should.

If so, Simmons should start inside MRC headquarters, where its "news" division serves up bias and unbalanced reporting on a regular basis.

Philbin returned to spend a Feb. 28 post in full whine mode over an Associated Press report that accurately pointed out how right-wingers like him are hyping transgenderism in general and Thomas in particular as wedge issues for political purposes:

Long before “Republicans Pounce!” they had “wedge issues.” They used them to divide people and, according to an AP report, they still do. 

Today’s GOP wedge issue of choice is transgenderism – you know, the mental health problem that’s sweeping the nation? Conservatives and Republicans (and lots of other normal folks) are bewildered and revulsed by the trans craze, and so it’s coming up in GOP primaries.


Worse, these cynical troglodytes aren’t even following transgender industrial complex-approved protocols. McMillan and Levy huffed that a Missouri senate candidate’s ad called swimmer Lia Thomas “by her by her deadname and saying ‘women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women.’” Horrifying. Except that Lia was a mediocre men’s swimmer named Will until he started, well, pretending to be a woman.

Another campaign had the effrontery to use “inaccurate terminology to describe transgender women” when it said its candidate doesn’t believe that “biological males should compete in women’s sports.” Okay Jeff and Marc, we get it. You guys are hip to the acceptable terminology, and virtuous in your insistence on correcting others.

“The efforts to make political hay of transgender and other LGBTQ people extend well beyond just campaign ads,” the Wonder Woke Twins write. “At least 10 states have banned transgender athletes from participating in sports in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.”

Philbin's mocking tone disguises the fact that no point does he deny that that he and his fellow right-wingers are whipping up transphobic hysteria for political purposes.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 8:25 PM EDT
WND's 'News' Side Also Pushes Biden-Bashing, Putin Appeasement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just like its opinion side, WorldNetDaily's "news" side has served up a dose of Biden-bashing and Putin appeasement in writing about Russia's invastion of Ukraine.

A Feb. 24 article by Bob Unruh hyped how "Former President Donald Trump is charging that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is playing Joe Biden "like a drum" and the just-launched attack on Russia's neighbor, Ukraine, would not have happened were he still in the White House." Unruh admitted that Trump "stirred up his critics in both parties by describing as "savvy" Putin's strategy of declaring two parcels of Ukraine as independent and then claiming Russia's forces were invading as 'peacekeepers,'" but tried to dismissing by noting one source of criticism was Liz Cheney, "who was removed from her GOP leadership post for her earlier attacks on Trump."

A Feb. 26 article by Unruh seemed to be justifying Putin's invasion as a ploy to reverse "demographic winter" in Russia:

A commentary in the Washington Times recently called demographic winter "The plague of the century."

Elon Musk has warned about it, telling a forum recently, "One of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and rapidly declining birthrate."

Simply, there are not enough people being born in some nations to replace those seniors who die. Populations will be declining.


Now the Ruth Institute is suggesting that this threat could be part of why Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, his neighbor.

"Most observers are missing the demographic dimension of the war in the Ukraine," said Ruth Institute Communications Director Don Feder. "Russia needs people, and in Ukraine there are 41 million people who are ethnically identical to its own.

"By absorbing Ukraine, it will increase its population almost 30% overnight."

We've documented how the "demographic winter" concept is largely a racial one, with only white babies the ones that advocates are genuinely fretting about. Unurh was silent about the racial aspect.

In a March 3 article, Art Moore gave space to an analyst who was effectively arguing for Ukraine to capitulate to Russia to keep Russia from bombing it:

The fall of the major Ukrainian city of Kherson on Thursday marks a major turning point in the war, because Ukrainian forces mounted very little resistance and, consequently, the city of 300,000 was spared, contends Russia analyst Clint Ehrlich.

"The message to other cities is clear: Fight and be leveled or surrender and be treated kindly," he wrote in a thread on Twitter presenting his conclusion that the Ukrainians must face the grim reality that they are outmanned and Russia has shown in the past that it will show no mercy if it meets resistance.


Ehrlich said there's "a real risk that we're selling the Ukrainians a false bill of goods – just like we did when we promised them NATO membership."

"They keep asking for a NATO no-fly zone because they know they can't win without it," he said. "We aren't going to give it to them."

That leaves the West with a "troubling moral quandary."

"Are we really helping the Ukrainians by encouraging them to fight?"

Ehrlich said he is "awed" by the bravery of the Ukrainians.

"But if the end result is watching [Ukraine] get viciously torn to pieces, was it really worth it?

Moore didn't mention that Ehrlich is actually a pro-Trump and pro-Russia enthusiast who once started a website to defend them both and now currently works as a computer scientist at a blockchain company. So, maybe not the most credible person to comment on the issue (unless you're WND).

Posted by Terry K. at 4:59 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 8:52 PM EDT

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