ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, April 21, 2022
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 81: Upbeats And Beatdowns At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves washed-up musicians who spout right-wing political and COVID narratives -- and lashes out at the ones who won't. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 PM EDT
Gabbard's DINO And Pro-Russia Leanings Get More CNS Love

A while back, we highlighted how was giving a platform to Democrat-in-name-only and Russia enthusiast Tulsi Gabbard to push anti-Biden and pro-Russia narratives. Litterally the same day we published that, CNS published a March 11 article by Emily Robertson serving up more of her schtick:

“It’s all about the Kamala Harris show,” former Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard told Fox News Host Sean Hannity Thursday night. “This shows that the suffering of the Ukrainian people really are just – they’re actors in her– in the Kamala Harris show.” 

Gabbard appeared as a guest on "Hannity," grading Harris’ fulfilment of the roles of vice president. Harris would receive lower than an "F" if possible, according to Gabbard, due to what she characterized as a lack of effort on issues ranging from illegal immigration to inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war.

A March 25 article by Craig Bannister let Gabbard play the victim by making the typical right-wing complaint that she was being "shadow banned: on social media:

“I’ve gotten some questions from people who are not familiar with the term ‘shadow banning’ and are asking exactly what it is. So, I want to take a minute to show you,” former Democrat [sic] Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) says in a video posted to social media Friday.

In the video, Gabbard shows screenshots of how her account didn’t show up in an Instagram search, how attempting to “@” her account yielded a “misinformation” warning, and of how an attempt to tag her resulted in an error message saying the activity is restricted in order to protect the Instagram community.

But as Mediaite noted, her drop in Instagram traffic coincided with the banning of Instagram in Russia, where she had fans due to her anti-Ukraine rhetoric; "Gabbard has taken a hardline stance against assisting Ukraine as it fends off an invasion by war criminals. That might have turned off some of her followers." Neither Gabbard nor Bannister mentioned that relevant fact.

Bannister returned for an April 5 article that took refuge in her DINO status to let her repeat right-wing anti-LGBT arguments:

“Parental rights are under attack all across the country as the government tries to usurp parents’ rights and responsibility to raise their own children,” former Democrat [sic] presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard warns in a video defending Florida’s new Parental Rights in Education law.

Gabbard doesn’t just defend Florida’s new law, which her fellow Democrats have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay,” she says the law doesn’t go far enough to protect children and the rights of their parents:

"We should all support the Parental Rights in Education bill that recently passed in Florida which very simply bans government and government schools from indoctrinating woke sexual values in our schools to a captive audience. A captive audience that is, by law, is required to attend.

"But, as I read the legislation, I’ve got to tell you, I was shocked to learn that it only protects kids from kindergarten to third grade. Third grade? What about twelfth grade? Or not at all?"

In none of these articles did Robertson or Bannister permit a dissenting voice to rebut what Gabbard said. So much for CNS' mission statement that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2022 9:28 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
MRC Loves Tossing Around 'Grooming' Smear
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserach Center has been tossing around the "grooming" smear about anything that doesn't denigrate the LGBT community long before thecontroversy over Florida's "don't say gay" law. Last May, for instance, Elise Ehrhard threw around the S-word while melting down over a drag queen reading a children's book on a public TV station:

Drag queens continue to groom preschoolers with the help of entertainment media and woke "educators."

This spring, a PBS Station in New York aired a drag queen storytime and sing-along with "Little Miss Hot Mess" on a program for children aged 3-8.

Lil Miss Hot Mess read her "children's book" The Hips On the Drag Queen Go Swish Swish Swish on the preschool program Let's Learn, for WNET, a New York PBS affiliate. Let's Learn is a partnership of WNET and the New York City Department of Education.

Ehrhard didn't say what the drag queen was "grooming" children for, perhaps thinking it was best to not define the term for maximum psychological horror for her right-wing audience.

In June, Veronica Hays similarly lost it over a "Pride Parade Sing-Along" posted on the "Blue's Clues" YouTube channel, in which she not only used the G-word, she hatefully insisted that LGBT people are mentally ill:

You children can sing along: “this family has two mommies” and “this family has two daddies” and “these babas are non-binary.” And “Ace, BI and Pan grown-ups you see can love each other so proudly.”  

Won’t it be fun to hear them chant, “This house is a family of kings and queens, they love each other so proudly.” At last, as if to signal the completion of your child’s brainwashing, the song concludes with “Love is love is love you see, and everyone should love proudly.” 

This seemingly innocent kid’s cartoon looks like an aggressive grooming campaign. There’s an astonishing level of attention to detail within each moment of the video to push blatant LGBT motifs.


Of course, if you disagree with a kid’s show teaching your susceptible children that mutilating perfectly healthy bodies is okay and rejecting your God-given sexuality is right and proper, you are a bigot. Celebrating and encouraging mental illness in such a glaring manner should be enough to radicalize every person against these sickos. In the meantime, hide your kids, hide your wives, hide your husbands, and throw the TVs out. 

A couple days later, Gabriel Hays lashed out at actress Stephanie Beatriz, who purported "will be grooming her new baby with LGBTQ propaganda as soon as possible" by taking it to a pride march, further huffing: "Here we go with the early indoctrination of children into the immoral sexual milieu. It’s one thing for a consenting adult to choose these things, but for a kid who has no real concept of sexuality at a young age to be thrown into it is depraved." Hays didn't explain what, exactly, the "grooming" is. Later in the month, Veronica Hays returned to bash a children's show in Australia for having a drag queen on, quoting an anonymous person allegedly commenting, "This is disgusting. Little kids don’t need big talks. Let kids be kids and leave the perverted grooming out of it."

Another June post, by Alexa Moutevelis, freaked out over a Washington Post op-ed writer  who claimed that she hoped her children would "encounter kink" at a pride march so they can "learn about the scope and vitality of queer life": "And, there it is. She said the quiet part out loud and pretty much admitted grooming; copping to what conservatives have long feared but told their fears were not only unfounded but homophobic." Actually, Moutevelis remains quite the homophobe, since she doesn't complain about depictions of heterosexual behavior being shown to children and doesn't explain what "grooming" means in her fevered, homophobic brain.

In an August post whining about the existence of new sequel series to "The L Word," Ehrhard let her hate flag fly: "Watching The L Word: Generation Q feels like older LGBTQIA writers gasping for relevance as the child-grooming drag queens and trannies taking over women's sports (and yelling at shopkeepers) get all the pop culture attention."

The following month, Ehrhard rushed to defend Sean Hannity from a "Family Guy" quip that he "peddle[s] hate for money," huffing in response: "The attack on Hannity's views on immigration and sexual ethics particularly missed the mark considering the country is facing an immigration crisis at the border and parents are having to fight off radical LGBT grooming in schools and the larger culture."

In a Dec. 27 post, Ehrhard lashed out at actress Busy Philipps (whose name she can't be bothered to spell correctly) for the offense of having a child who "came out as a lesbian at the age of 10" and and "uses they/them pronouns": "That is what happens when your mother, an abortion-loving fanatic, grooms you for 'genderqueer' parts on Amazon Prime shows."

Even fictional children came be "groomed" in Ehrhard's hateful world. A Jan. 18 post scramed "Child Grooming!" in the headline about a TV show plot:

For a show based on the concept of protecting victims from sexual predation, you would think NBC's Law and Order: SVU would not encourage the early sexualization of children. But in the contemporary wave of Gay Inc., madness and child grooming is just "LGBTQUIA+ affirming." 

Thus, in the episode, 'Burning with Rage Forever,' on Thursday, January 13, Capt. Olivia Benson's (Marisa Hargitay) 8-year-old son, Noah (Ryan Buggle) came out as bisexual.


Once again, Noah is prepubescent and as yet has little sense of what having a "boyfriend or girlfriend" means in a deeper romantic and sexual sense. The words being used by the boy in that scene don't even sound like the dialogue of an early elementary school student. It's ideological brainwashing spewing out of a vulnerable child. 

Its clear that "burning with rage forever" is Ehrhard's default mode when it comes toher dealings with anyone who's not a right-wing hater like herself. It's apparently a requirement of being employed at the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2022 12:58 PM EDT
CNS Parrots MRC Parent In Trying To Defend Ginni Thomas' Right-Wing Activism

Like its Media Research Center parent, has taken stabs at defending Ginni Thomas and her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as evidence of Ginni's behind-the-scenes agitation in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election becomes known. CNS devoted no "news" space to the growing scandal, however; the defenses of the Thomases were all given in commentaries.

A Feb. 28 commentary by Ed Meese and Ken Blackwell sought to praise the Thomases for purportedly exuding "integrity in public service":

The militant Left is attacking the principled public service of Justice Clarence Thomas again, this time by targeting his wife Ginni in a malicious attempt to delegitimize Supreme Court decisions that are faithful to the original meaning of the Constitution.


This is cancel culture taken to a level that threatens our institutions of government. What began years ago as the politics of personal destruction has metastasized into attempts to delegitimize a distinguished and senior member of the best-functioning branch of the federal government by smearing his wife for making a private-sector career out of her principles and patriotism, doing it in a manner that avoids an appearance of impropriety by not engaging in her husband’s realm of responsibility.

Such demonization must end. Citizens will no longer want to participate in our constitutional republic if they conclude that doing so will incur years of relentless harassment targeting their spouses. And federal judges in particular have lifetime appointments so they can rise above politics, and not be subject to a lifetime of political attacks. We must rise above this noxious miasma and frame these facts truthfully, starting with the Thomases. 

That truth is this: Clarence and Ginni Thomas show how a top federal judge can have a patriotic spouse with a public career, where both can faithfully pursue their respective callings with honor and integrity. We should commend their example to our fellow citizens.

On March 23 -- following new revelations that Ginni Thomas attended the "Stop the Steal" rally that turned into the Capitol riot -- it was Star Parker's turn to play cleanup, with a heavy dose of whataboutism that in part invoked right-wingers target du jour, Hunter Biden:

Liberal journalists only look for smoking guns when conservatives are the target.

Where were all the liberal journalists when The New York Post broke the story 17 months ago about emails on Hunter Biden's laptop showing he was doing business deals, profiting on his vice president father's position? He even cut his father a piece of one of the deals. The story went unreported through the presidential election. Only now is The New York Times reporting it as real.


There is no decision that Clarence Thomas has ever made on the Supreme Court than cannot be traced directly to his rigorous and principled scholarship and commitment to the U.S. Constitution. Period.

Similarly, Ginni Thomas, who sat on the board of my organization, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, for some 15 years, is motivated by one thing — preservation of our nation as a free nation under God.

The real bottom line is one liberals don't want to hear. The way to limit questions about ethics in government is to keep government limited and small. It's exactly what America's founders had in mind and the exact opposite direction in which liberals have taken our nation.

We owe thanks to Clarence and Ginni Thomas for their relentless struggle to preserve the integrity of our Constitution and the principles that keep our nation free, despite being under endless siege by the liberal media.

Shortly after that, emails from Ginni Thomas to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows were released that show her directing agitating for the election to be overturned. That resulted in an April 1 column from Tony Perkins in full defense mode:

To most people watching the spectacle made by the Washington Post and CNN over her exchanges with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the motives were obvious: embarrass Ginni Thomas and damage her husband.

"There are text messages that had nothing to do with Jan. 6," Ken Blackwell of my organization, Family Research Council, argued on "Washington Watch." Like a lot of Americans, she was concerned about the integrity of the election and, as a fixture of the conservative movement, wanted to make sure everything was being done to fight the suspected fraud. The two friends texted on and off the next couple of months -- including through the riots, which Ginni insisted "are not representative of our great teams of patriots."

The Wall Street Journal predicted that this was all a plan to de-legitimize Justice Thomas -- and within hours, they were proven right. Squad Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) wasted no time kicking a smear campaign into gear, whipping up the mob over a possible "conflict of interest."


At the end of the day, this is a nothing burger meant to give desperate Democrats a chance to finish what they started three decades ago. At Thomas's confirmation, which was a few handmaidens shy of Brett Kavanaugh's scorched-earth circus, people accused the Left of a high-tech lynching.

It says something that CNS left it to opinion writers to handle this growing scandal and refused to let its "news" reporters, such as they are, do anything on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EDT
Newsmax Continued To Promote Greitens Until New Abuse Allegations Surfaced
Topic: Newsmax

Last year, Newsmax and columnist Bernard Kerik gave promotion to Eric Greitens, who had resigned in disgrace as Missouri's governor over allegations of blackmailing a mistress with sexual photos and election spending shenanigans and is now running for a Senate seat in the state. That promotion continued in the first part of this year.

A March 4 article by Charlie McCarthy hyped how "Donald Trump is telling people he's open to endorsing Eric Greitens in the Missouri U.S. Senate race despite having criticized the former governor over the scandal that forced him from office," adding that "Trump allies say the former president's flirtation with Greitens largely centers on the candidate's opposition to McConnell – something other Missouri candidates haven't expressed." McCarthy did note Greitens' record of scandal and fears he would lose the election if nominated.

Perhaps as a sweetener aimed at Trump, the Trump-fluffers at Newsmax also gave Greitens a March 9 column to rant about a foundation funded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg funding election efforts in Missouri in 2020 and that where the money was given"Democratic candidates far out performed their traditional turnout while Republican candidates did not." He cited no source for this claim beyond obliquely and weirdly referring to "the reportage of the present day."

Newsmax's coverage wasn't completely devoid of reality, though. A Dec. 8 article featured right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt begging Trump not to endorse Greitens because he "will lose the seat," The article noted that Greitens "resigned from the statehouse in 2018 amid a scandal that involved alleged misuse of a mailing list for a charity he founded to benefit fellow veterans and an affair with his hairstylist at the same time he was married to his second wife."

The positive coverage Greitens was receiving, however, came to a screeching halt a couple weeks later when Greitens' ex-wife came forward with new allegations of domestic abuse. Newsmax turned against him quickly after that:

  • A March 22 article by Eric Mack featured Republican Sen. Ron Blunt, who currently holds the seat Greitens is running for, calling on him to drop out of the race.
  • An article the next day by Sandy Fitzgerald featured Missouri's attorney general calling on Greitens to drop out, declaring that "Eric Greitens belongs in a prison cell, not on the ballot for U.S. Senate. He should withdraw his candidacy immediately."
  • A March 28 article by John Gizzi noted that Greitens has dropped in polls since the accusations went public, adding that sources claimd that "Trump — once thought to be leading toward an endorsement of the former governor's comeback bid — would now remain neutral in the primary on Aug. 2."

Gizzi also arote a March 31 article stating that "Two days after St. Louis beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine entered the Democrat [sic] primary for U.S. senator from Missouri, there were increased calls on the Republican side for controversial former Gov. Eric Greitens to exit the race," adding that "Busch Valentine's surprise entry into the race comes as a just-completed Trafalgar Poll shows the charges against Greitens have taken their toll."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:03 PM EDT
WND Spreads Russian Propaganda Over Ukraine Biolabs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is a longtime fan of Russia's Vladimir Putin, so it's probably not a surprise that it would help him spread disinformation and propaganda to boost his war prospects and bash the U.S. Laura Hollis started the ball rolling in her March 3 column, beginning with a complaint that the U.S. has said mean things about Putin:

Putin, on the other hand, claims not only that parts (if not all) of Ukraine belong to Russia; he has intimated that the United States has been funding the development of possible biowarfare agents at laboratories in Ukraine, and that these pathogens could be used as weapons against Russia.

Until recently, most of us would have tended to believe the statements of our own government over the inflammatory accusations of a former Soviet strongman. But two-plus years of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that our own government lies to us continuously and repeatedly.

In fact, the similarities between the "Ukraine biolabs" story and the theory that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology are remarkable.


A Washington Post article from 2005 opens with this statement: "The United States and Ukraine agreed yesterday to work jointly to prevent the spread of biological weapons, signing a pact that clears the way for Ukraine's government to receive U.S. aid to improve security at facilities where dangerous microbes are kept." The two U.S. senators spearheading that initiative were Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana, and Barack Obama, then a Democratic senator from Illinois.

So, "dangerous microbes" are at these Ukrainian laboratories, and the United States government has been providing funding. For what, exactly? To "improve security."

This hardly inspires confidence.


Predictably, any suspicions about the work conducted in Ukrainian laboratories and funded by the U.S. government are now being dismissed as "disinformation." Foreign Policy published an article yesterday insisting that the "Ukrainian lab bioweapons" claims are just "conspiracy theories" being advanced by (of course) the Russian and Chinese governments and (wait for it) QAnon supporters who are spreading misinformation on social media as part of the "dogma for the right wing of the Republican Party."

Sound familiar?

So, what's really going on in the Ukrainian laboratories? Who do you believe?

Well, certainly not Hollis or WND. As the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler pointed out, "The Russian claims about Ukrainian labs bear the earmarks of the Soviet Union’s long-running campaign of false allegations that the United States used biological weapons," which resumed in earnest a couple decades ago and have been repeatedly debunked -- which rdidn't stop ight-wing media from embracing the disinformation upon Russia's war on Ukraine.

A March 9 article by Art Moore furthered Russia's disinformation effort:

The United States continues to dismiss as "Russian propaganda" the claim that Ukraine is developing biological weapons.

However, the U.S. State Department's top Ukraine official made a startling admission to a Senate committee in response to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's question, "Does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?"

Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland did not deny or confirm that Ukraine has chemical or biological weapons. She apparently surprised the senator and the panel by acknowledging the European nation does have "biological research facilities" that are a source of concern amid the Russian invasion.

But Kessler noted that right-wing outlets were parroting a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who insisted that Nuland’s comment was proof of the United States’ "illegal and criminal activity on Ukrainian soil." Moore ewaited until the end of his article to report rebuttals to Russian claims about the biolabs.

Moore followed up with a March 12 article that lavished attention on how "Russian ambassador Vasily Nevenzya claimed the U.S. Department of Defense funded and supervised a network of at least 30 biological weapons research laboratories in Ukraine." Unusual for WND, Mooregave space to U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield to rebut the claims as the disinformation they are -- though he again mentioned how Nuland "gave a guarded answer in which she neither denied or confirmed" that Ukraine has bioweapons. Moore then called on one of his favorite COVID misinformers, Robert Malone, to claim that the U.S. partnership with Ukraine over the labs is providing Russia with "some semblance of political cover for military actions."

In between, however, WND published a March 10 column by Ilana Mercer that totally embraced Russian biolab disinformation and justified Russia's war on Ukraine:

The finding of American-installed WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) laboratories located in Ukraine, near the Russian border, is certainly a reminder of the extent, the depth and the gravity of the American State's lies about this conflict and its genesis. Put it this way: If Russia had American privileges, namely the right to invade sovereign countries while retaining its virtue, these biowarfare facilities – copped to by Victoria Nuland, one of the American architects of the February 2014 coup in Ukraine – would have served as casus belli (provocation) for war.

I abhor what is, on its face, a Russian war of aggression. However, knowing the history of the conflict leaves no room for doubt: The Russian Bear was poked, and poked and then some.

An anonymously written March 15 article was devoted to pro-Russia ex-politician Tulsi Gabbard throwing a fit over being called out by, of all people, Mitt Romney for spreading the biolab disinformation:

Just the News reported Gabbard had explained on social media her concerns about the "25-plus, U.S.-funded" locations.

Those, if breached, she warned, "would release & spread deadly pathogens to US/world."

Romney launched his attack on social media, claiming, "Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives."


She said, to Romney, "MittRomney, you have called me a ‘treasonous liar’ for stating the fact that “there are 25+ US-funded biolabs in Ukraine which if breached would release & spread deadly pathogens to US/world and therefore must be secured in order to prevent new pandemics."

"Please provide evidence…" she charged.

"If you cannot, you should do the honorable thing: apologize and resign from the Senate."

The anonymous WND writer made no mention of the numerous debunkins of the biolab claims or that it originated with Russian propagandists.

Shari Goodman embraced the disinformation in a March 17 column:

Additionally, while the Biden administration at first denied the existence of biological weapon labs in Ukraine, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland later admitted under oath in a congressional hearing that there were in fact 20 to 30 bio labs in and around Ukraine. We are to believe that these labs with dangerous pathogens were there for scientific study in a highly unstable country that just happens to share a border with a nuclear arch enemy of ours.

Meanwhile, Craige McMillan ranted in an April 8 column:

Back to our original concerns about Resident Biden's continued health, and the exposure of his son Hunter's financial relationships with Ukraine and the biolabs the U.S. built there to conduct experiments and research that would have been illegal in this nation, and most other nations. China (think Wuhan), the United States and Ukraine seem to have been not too concerned about the kinds of experiments going on in biolabs. These facilities seem to have been cathedrals for those who worship "science" at any price, even the destruction of humanity and the rest of God's creation.

It's not a good look for WND to be so actively spreading Russian propaganda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 6:01 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
MRC Melts Down Over Russian Disinformation Being Identified As Such
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center cheered the death of Russian propaganda channel RT on U.S. television (while censoring the fact that a couple of its fellow conservatives had shows on the channel). That was followed, however, by backpedaling as it freaked out over social media outlets taking similar action against Russian propaganda. Catherine Salgado complained in a March 11 post:

Browsing app and search engine DuckDuckGo, formerly a go-to for free speech advocates sick of Big Tech censorship, is now going to downrank sites it deems connected to “Russian disinformation.”

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg tweeted, “Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine.” He added, “At DuckDuckGo, we've been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.” Weinberg did not detail what qualified as “Russian disinformation.”

While DuckDuckGo previously defined itself in opposition to Google and pledged “unbiased results,” the latest decision seems to make DuckDuckGo just another player in the Big Tech censorship game. 

Salgado didn't explain why DuckDuckGo must treat Russian propaganda the same as more credible information -- after all, like any other search site, the company wants to serve its customers by delivering high-quality results without a lot of junk and misinformation. For this commonsense move, however, salgado has decided that DuckDuckGo is no different than the rest of "big tech":

The question remains whether DuckDuckGo will go beyond targeting only Russian “disinformation,” and how the latter will be defined. Government entities, for instance, admitted they were wrong about things formerly dubbed COVID-19 “misinformation” earlier in the pandemic, such as the Wuhan laboratory leak theory of the virus's origins. The so-called “misinformation” of today may be widely acknowledged as fact tomorrow, and Big Tech can’t be trusted to be objective.

Actually, as we've noted the last time the MRC pushed this, the lab-leak theory has yet to be conclusively proven, and there's still plenty of evidence that discredits the theory.

The next day, Autumn Johnson seemed upset that YouTube cracked down on Russian propaganda on its platform:

YouTube blocked all Russian media outlets globally.

Previously, YouTube only blocked RT and Sputnik’s channels in Europe. The channels are state-funded.

“We began blocking RT & Sputnik’s YouTube channels across Europe,” YouTube tweeted at the time. “Since Russia began its invasion in Ukraine, we’ve been focused on removing violative content & connecting people to trusted news & information.”

YouTube changed this stance on Friday evening.

We thought the MRC liked it when Russian propaganda was called out for what it is. Make up your minds, guys!

Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 PM EDT
WND Presents Fox News Democrat As A Real Democrat
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in a March 14 WorldNetDaily article:

Those who are likely to vote in this fall's midterm elections see Democrats as out of touch and largely ineffective, which bodes ill for the party that is trying to cling to the narrowest of majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate.

That's according to a longtime Clinton pollster: Douglas Schoen.

He and his business partner, Carly Cooperman, wrote this weekend in a commentary for the Hill that it looks like the party could be looking at substantial losses in November.

"Indeed, the findings of our survey — which was conducted among likely 2022 midterm election voters — show that the electorate is increasingly pessimistic about the direction in which President Biden and Democrats are steering the country and feel that the party’s priorities do not align with their own," the two said.

Just one problem: Schoen hasn't been a real Democrat for years. As we documented when tried to portray him as a allegedly reasonable Democrat, Schoen was and is a Fox News Democrat -- using his history of working for Democratic candidates to bash Dems in a way that right-wingers find entertaining -- who has donated to, and helped raise money for, Republican candidates. He now works for Newsmax, where he's presumably doing the same thing.

Unruh didn't report any of that in his article -- narrative before fact, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EDT
Newsmax Uniroinically Complains That The Media Lies
Topic: Newsmax

Gene Berardelli ranted in a March 18 Newsmax column under the headline "There's No Denying It Anymore: The Media Lies to You":

Once upon a time, corporate media put in some effort to try to convince us that it was fair and impartial purveyor of news and current events. These days, news has given way to narrative.

If you needed further proof, you need not look further than the New York Times, who buried the lede when it confirmed the legitimacy of the New York Post’s much-maligned stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the middle of its coverage of The Justice Department’s investigation into his business dealings.


Sorry cannot be good enough. Not anymore. We, the duped, cannot allow this latest instance of media malfeasance to go unnoticed. We must remember those like Psaki and CNN and everyone else who embraced narrative over news, and hold them to account.

We can no longer tolerate hatchet jobs based on nameless and faceless “people familiar with” whatever the issue may be.

The time for half-measures is over. The benefit of the doubt is gone. Either corporate media returns to its reporting roots, or it’s time we get our news from those committed to reporting the news, not becoming the news.

Berardelli made no mention of the irony of his column being published by Newsmax, which is currently being sued by voting-tech companies Dominion and Smartmatic for spreading fake news about them, and which also settled a defamation lawsuit filed by a Dominion executive last year  out of court.

Perhaps Berardelli should be looking closer at media malfeasance at the place that publishes his column before he casts aspersions elsewhere.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:09 PM EDT
CNS Remains Weirdly Obsessed With Buttigieg's Private Life
Topic: ahs been weirdly obsessed with Pete Buttigieg, from attacking him for being gay and having a spouse when he was nominated as transportation secretary to smearing him as "Trans Secretary Pete" and illustrating a story about him discussing policiy issues with a photo of him kissing his husband. CNS has continud to be obsessed with Buttigieg's private life.

Last fall, CNS reporter Susan Jones attacked Buttigieg for taking family leave to help care for his newly adopted children. Jones complained in one article that Buttigieg "hasn't had much, if anything, to say about the disruptive, multi-day Southwest Airlines flight cancellations that have stranded thousands of passengers; or the nation's supply chain logjam, where dozens of container ships wait off the California coast for the opportunity to unload" -- though she never explained what, exactly, Buttigieg was supposed to be doing about them.A couple weeks later, Jones huffed that "Buttigieg is just getting back to work after two months of unannounced paternity leave, a time when supply chain bottlenecks worsened at the nation’s ports," even though he pointed out that he was working during that time. Again, she didn't say what he was supposed to be doing, but she did sneer, "Buttigieg's newborn twins have two fathers -- no mother in sight."

An anonymously written Jan. 7 article was a couple weeks late to the party in finally getting around to Buttigieg's Christmas message:

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg marked his Christmas Day celebration by tweeting out a photograph of himself with his husband, Chasten, and their adopted twin babies.

“From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!” Buttigieg said in the tweet.

The photo showed Buttigieg and his husband sitting on a carpet in front of a Christmas tree with each one of them holding one of the twins.

There was no explanation of why CNS thought this was worth a "news" story, aside from the undercurrent of freaking out its right-wing audience by showing a same-sex couple.

A Jan. 25 article by Melanie Arter seemed to be annoyed that "Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, told CNN that a bill that a House committee in Florida passed, which bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools 'will kill kids.'"

The anonymous CNS writer was a little more on the ball in a Feb. 16 article in being aghast that Buttigieg expressed his love for his spouse on Valentine's Day:

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent out a tweet on Monday that featured a photo of him hugging his husband Chasten from behind and wishing this spouse a happy Valentine’s Day.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, my love!” Buttigieg said in the message he inserted above the photo.

Again, there's no news value here, given that CNS published no other politician's Valentine's greetings to their loved ones. It's pretty clear that, as with the Christmas message, CNS wants its right-wing readers to be appalled that a gay man has a loving and healthy relationship. The article also made a point of highlighting the children Buttigieg adopted -- despite this news being months old -- for, again, no reason but inflaming CNS' homophobic audience.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Monday, April 18, 2022
MRC Has Been Mostly Quiet About OAN's Cancellation by DirecTV
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has done only the bare minimum to defend far-right channel One America News from criticism against it. We noted that it touted "angry letters" from OAN to critics including MSNBC's Rachel Maddow who pointed out that an OAN staffer also worked for Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik News. (OAN later filed a libel lawsuit against Maddow that was swiftly tossed out of court, something the MRC never reported to its readers.) The MRC also had a fit earlier this year when NewsGuard -- which it's currently waging a failing war against -- rated OAN low for trustworthiness, but failed to mention the falsehoods and conspiracy theories OAN pushed that earned it that abysmal rating.

When DirecTV -- the biggest carrier of OAN -- announced in January it was dropping the channel, the MRC was surprisingly silent, even though OAN aired the MRC's shoddy, biased mini-documentary "Killing Keystone" the month before. The frist reference to it took place two weeks after the announcement was a Jan. 29 column by Jeffrey Lord when he noted it as an example of alleged censorship of conservative outlets.

The MRC didn't mention it again until a month later, as cable and satellite companies dropped Russian propaganda channel RT over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A Feb. 28 post by Curtis Houck highlighted a NewsNation segment on RT's content while also noting that the segment "allud[ed] to the public campaign to have DirecTV drop One American News Network (which, unfortunately, was successful) and suggested that, if people spent resources kvetching about OANN having a platform, the same could happen with RT."

The MRC finally got around to bestowing victim status on OAN over its DirecTV cancellation in a March 1 post by Catherine Salgado:

While DirecTV only just dropped RT America, the satellite provider already refused to renew its contract with One America News Network (OAN), which will expire this year, Newsmax reported in January. Did DirecTV consider OAN more untrustworthy and controversial than Russian state propaganda?


The question the network didn’t answer is, why would DirecTV wait to drop RT America’s programming until days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while the satellite provider had already dropped OAN?

Lord followed up with a March 5 post noting that "In his recent speech at CPAC, former President Trump felt compelled to speak up for One America News" because of its cancellation by DirecTV, fully putting OAN into the victim sphere:

Taken all together and there is one stand out fact in the case of the American left: America’s free press is under assault.

The very point of a free press and free speech in America is to allow one and all to stand up for their beliefs in the public square so they can be debated and defeated if need be.

What is happening instead is that this or that group of left-wing corporate media elites, urged on by Democrats in Congress, are removing choice from the American audience because they detest conservatives and Trump, and therefore have determined to silence both as expressed in the media.

Lord (and Salgado) didn't mention that OAN has, in fact, seen its beliefs in false reporting and conspiracy theories debated and defeated. And censoring that reality is the only plausible way the MRC can treat OANn as a victim of a liberal conspiracy instead of its own misguided (and falsely defamatory) programming choices.

Autumn Johnson joined in the victimhood game in a March 12 post on OAN suing DirecTV for alleged breach of contract in cancelling OAN, uncritically fowarding claims of a liberal conspiracy:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and several other attorneys general penned a letter slamming DirecTV for dropping OAN.

They said the company initially favored “viewpoint diversity” but that all changed when Joe Biden was elected president.

“Those values appear to have changed drastically in late 2020 when the legacy media decided Joe Biden was the next president.”

Like the others, Johnson said nothing about the lawsuits OAN itself faces over its false and defamatory reporting.

Interestingly, the MRC has published nothing about OAN or its lawsuit since. Even they seem to realize OAN is not worth defending aggressively.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2022 12:26 AM EDT
CNS Plays Gotcha On Biden, Transgender Official, And The Irish
Topic: loves to play gotcha with President Biden -- something it never did with Donald Trump. A March 16 article by Susan Jones is another example of this:

"Welcome to Women’s History Month celebration," President Biden told a large group of mostly females on Wednesday. "We’re honored to have what may well be the most inspiring event we’ve had at the White House so far."

In his opening remarks, the president singled out various members of Congress and his administration, even the first lady of Iceland. But -- notably -- the president did not name his male-born, transgender Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Rachel Levine, who was at the gathering -- and was recently named USA Today's "Woman of the Year."

On top of that, Jones complained that "Biden began his remarks by noting that Vice President Kamala Harris was absent. But Biden mistakenly called Harris the "first lady," prompting a correction from his wife Jill, who is the first lady."

Jones continued her weird obsession with nitpicking Biden's words in a March 18 article:

President Joe Biden frequently invokes his own childhood and quotes his own parents and grandparents in the speeches he gives.

On Thursday, at a St. Patrick's Day celebration at the Capitol, Biden outdid himself, scattering two dozen references to his own family in his tribute to Ireland and his own Irish heritage.

He mentioned his "mom" once; his mother by name (Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden) once; his "mother," four times; his "grandmother" twice; his "dad" five times; his "father," twice; his "grandfather," once; his "grandpop" once; his great-grandfather twice (one of those time referring to his mother's grandfather); his "parents" four times; and his "great-great-grandparents" once.

Jones didn't mention in either article what the news valueof them were other than to take partisan potshots  that it would never do if the president was a Republican.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EDT
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

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« April 2022 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google