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Friday, April 22, 2022
Before The War, CNS Loved Gay-Bashing From Putin, Russian Orthodox Church
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com may be questioning the Russian Orthodox Church now that it is Vladimir Putin's handmaiden in keeping the Russian people supporting its war against Ukraine. But it will not surprise you to learn that CNS -- particularly managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who is already on record as endoring Putin's gay-bashing moves -- thought the Russian Orthodox Church was pretty cool when they expressed a similar hatred of LGBT people and was getting cozy with Putin.

A November 2015 article he wrote featuring Franklin Graham bashing then-President Obama for not hating gay people enough featured a photo (though only the caption remains) showing Graham "meet[ing] with Patriach Kirill of Moscow and All Russia," and it also quoted Graham cheering how he "very much appreciate[s] that President Putin is protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda, if only to give them the opportunity to grow up and make a decision for themselves."

Chapman wrote in a November 2016 article:

When asked his opinion of laws promoting homosexual "marriage" and LGBT "rights" in Western Europe and the United States, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, said such laws "are at odds with the moral nature of human beings" and cause people to rebel against them, and he stressed that perverting marriage and reproduction -- children in families -- "poses a significant threat for the existence of the human race."

"What’s happening in the Western countries is that, for the first time in human history, legislation is at odds with the moral nature of human beings," said Patriarch Kirill in a Nov. 21 interview on RT.com (Russia Today). 

He added that the legal and social pressure to accept homosexual marriage and related phenomenon "is very reminiscent of what was happening under Soviet totalitarianism."

Chapman even touted another Orthodox leader's Russian leanings. A May 2017 article featured Greek Orthodox bishop Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus demanding that Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan "convert to Orthodoxy or face 'eternal and unending' suffering in Hell, along with Muhammed and his followers," adding that he "further advises Erdogan to be instructed and then baptized in the Orthodox church and to ask his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, to be his godfather."

Pat Buchanan -- for whom CNS editor Terry Jeffrey worked during his presidential campaigns in the 1990s -- has also long been a fan of Putin and the Russian Orthodox church's entanglements with him. He defended Putin's land grabs in a 2014 column:

Is Russia really reconstituting the Soviet Union? True, Putin seeks to bring half a dozen ex-Soviet republics, now nations, into an economic union to rival the EU. But where the state religion of the USSR was Marxism-Leninism, i.e., communism, Putin is trying to restore Russian Orthodox Christianity.

There is a difference, as there is a difference between Stalin murdering priests and Putin prosecuting Pussy Riot for blasphemous misbehavior on the high altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

(CNS reporter Penny Starr cheered in a 2014 article that Pussy Riot members were "convicted in 2012 of hooliganism after desecrating Cathedral of Christ the Savior, a Russian Orthodox church, by dancing and chanting obscenities on its altar" and complained that members of Congress hailed their bravery in taking a stand against the church's closeness with Putin.)

Buchanan gushed in a November 2016 column that "With Communism dead, Vladimir Putin invokes the greatness and glory of the Russian past and seeks to revive the Orthodox faith."

Buchanan did even more sucking up to Putin in a July 2017 column: "Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars." He added that "The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West."

Buchanan hyped the ties between Putin and the church in a May 2018 column:

After being sworn in for a fourth term, Vladimir Putin departed the Kremlin for Annunciation Cathedral to receive the televised blessing of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The patriarch and his priests in sacred vestments surrounded Putin, who, standing alone, made the sign of the cross.

Meanwhile, sacred vestments from the Sistine Chapel were being transported by the Vatican to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art to adorn half-clad models in a sexy show billed as "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." One model sported a papal tiara.

The show proved a sensation in secular media.

[...]

One Europe is turning back to God; the other is turning its back on God.

And when Vladimir Putin and Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko are standing up for traditional values against Western cultural elites, the East-West struggle has lost its moral clarity.

In a July 2018 column that particularly didn't age well, Buchanan tried to portray Putin as benig: "The ideology that drove its imperialism is dead. There are parties, demonstrations and dissidents in Russia, and an Orthodox faith that is alive and promoted by Putin. Where, today, is there a vital U.S. interest imperiled by Putin?

One vary rare voice of dissent, however, was a September 2016 column by Eric Metaxas warning his fellow conservatives against cozying up to Putin over his anti-gay edicts because he was trying to shut down non-Orthodox religions, including other Christian sects.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Thursday, April 21, 2022
MRC Claims YouTube Is 'Censoring' Gabbard (By Making You Click A Button First)
Topic: Media Research Center

Like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center has always had a soft spot for Tulsi Gabbard as a Fox News Democrat who would appear on the channel for saying Fox News-friendly things while pretending to be a Democrat. In 2019, it came to Gabbard's defense after Hillary not-inaccurately called out her pro-Russia leanings. 

Gabbard's embrace of right-wing social media earned the MRC's approval as well. Last August, Alec Schemmel touted her as among the "thought leaders" joining right-wing video site Rumble,  and a December post by Gabriela Pariseau hyped right-wing radio host Dan Bongino listing Gabbard as a "liberal Rumble user."

So when Gabbard got in trouble again for her pro-Russia leanings after Russia invaded Ukraine, the MRC was more than happy to turn her into the latest "victim" of "big tech." Alexander Hall did exactly that in a March 14 post under the headline "YouTube CENSORS Gabbard’s Fox Interview: ‘They Wanna Turn Ukraine into Another Afghanistan’":

YouTube labeled a Fox News interview featuring former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard as being potentially “offensive” or “inappropriate.”

Since when is calling for peace inappropriate?

Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham asked Gabbard in an early March interview, “Congresswoman, why are we talking about no-fly zones instead of the fact that for the first time we have President Zelensky stepping back from his earlier NATO wishes and even demands?” 

Gabbard indicated shock that few people are discussing a statement by Zelensky on ABC News that “he's open to the fact of saying, ‘Hey, yeah, maybe we'll set this NATO membership thing aside,’ and he's willing to talk with Putin directly to negotiate.”

Hall went on to complain that YouTube "slapped the Fox News video with two layers of censorship" -- none of which are actually censorship since the video could still be watched on YouTube; it simply put filters on it for viewers to click through. Hall also hid the fact that Gabbard used her fox News appearance to effectively demand that Ukraine capitulate and unconditionally surrender to Russian demands over NATO in order to stop the war,though there's no guarantee Vladimir Putin would do so even after getting what he wanted.

Hall devoted a March 17 post to letting Gabbard whine about being a victim:

Former Democratic Rep.Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii skewered Big Tech for having “CENSORED” an interview of hers where she criticized Western interference in Ukraine. 

“YouTube/Google are offended by my criticism of the Military Industrial Complex and my advocacy for negotiated settlement in Ukraine, because they are the social media arm of that warmongering Power Elite/MIC,” Gabbard explained in a March 16 tweet. Her tweet features a video of an internet user having to go through several complicated steps to see anIngraham Angle interview with Gabbard.

[...]

YouTube smeared the Fox News video with two censorship filters: one suggesting that “This video may be inappropriate for some users,” requiring viewers to click or even sign in to verify their age, according to Gabbard’s video. Another filter claimed “the following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”

What's so "complicated" about clicking through a couple (non-censorship) filters? Hall doesn't explain.And given the MRC's support for Florida's "don't say gay" law, it's nonsensical for Hall to demand that age restrictions be lifted on a video that discusses the bloody business of war and goes into paranoid rantings about the "Military Industrial Complex."

Hall's manufactured victimhood for Gabbard resumed in a March 24 post:

At it again? Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard torched Big Tech companies, saying she was censored again for cautioning against the U.S. going to war. 

Fox News’s Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham asked Gabbard in a late March interview: “Why is calling out what many have called the Military Industrial Complex now offensive to Big Tech?” Gabbard acknowledged that a previous interview of hers was censored with multiple filters, but also said she was censored yet again: “Just before coming on your show today, I found out that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is also suppressing my voice.” She said her reach on the platform for that particular post shrunk by approximately 90 percent.

Like CNS before him, Hall didn't mention that Gabbard's Instagram traffic drop coincided with Instagram being banned in Russia, where Gabbard had an audience for her pro-Russia, anti-Ukraine rantings, which seems relevant.

A few weeks later, when Russian TV argued that Gabbard should be Donald Trump's running mate in 2024, the MRC remained silent.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 22, 2022 12:45 AM EDT
Fake News: WND Touts Analyst's Bogus COVID Stats
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The fake-news hits on COVID just keep coming from WorldNetDaily. Like this March 13 article by Art Moore:

CDC data show the Millennial generation suffered a "Vietnam War event," with more than 61,000 excess deaths in that age group from March 2021 to February 2022, according to an analysis by a former Wall Street executive who made a career of crunching numbers to make big-dollar investment decisions.

Edward Dowd, who was a portfolio manager for the multinational investment firm BlackRock, posted the results of an analysis he did with an insurance industry expert on the social media platform Gettr.

In an interview Thursday with Steve Bannon on "War Room," he said that what they found was "shocking."

The Millennials, about ages 25 to 40, experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality over that period, he said, describing it as the "worst-ever excess mortality, I think, in history."

It was the highest increase in excess deaths of any age group last year, seven times higher than the Silent Generation, those who are older than 85.

And the increase coincided with the vaccine mandates and the approval of the booster shots.

"Basically, Millennials experienced a Vietnam War," Dowd said, noting 58,000 people died in the conflict.

Moore liked Dowd's spiel so much, apparently, that he interviewed Dowd for a March 16 article in which he repeated those conspiracy theories:

In a video interview Wednesday with WND, a former Wall Street executive whose analysis of CDC data shows an alarming rise in deaths among Millennials over the past year amid the COVID vaccine rollout said he's hoping to start a national conversation that will penetrate an establishment media "blackout" by emboldening people across government and private industry to speak out.

"That's my goal, to just change the conversation, to give people cover," said Edward Dowd, a former portfolio manager for the multinational investment firm BlackRock.

[...]

Dowd said the implications of his conclusions are "grim" and "mind-boggling."

"If I am correct – and let's assume I am for the sake of this argument – we have the greatest, colossal financial and human fraud endeavor in the history of the globe."

Unlike Moore, Reuters fact-checked what Dowd -- who is not a medical professional -- said on Bannon's show, and given WND's track record of promoting fake news, it's totally wrong:

While Dowd claims the deaths are due to vaccine rollouts, this CDC data represents excess deaths from COVID-19.

The CDC also notes on the page that there are several limitations to the data, saying it is provisional and incomplete. “The estimates presented may be an early indication of excess mortality related to COVID-19, but should be interpreted with caution, until confirmed by other data sources such as state or local health departments,” the CDC says on the page.

CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) told Reuters via email that the provisional data on CDC’s WONDER database ... does not show that the percent increase since 2019 reaches 84% in any month for the 25-44 age group.

“And these excess deaths should most certainly not be attributed to specific events or causes – they just represent an overall higher number of deaths in this age group relative to previous years and could be due to any number of different factors (missed COVID-19 deaths, missed emergency care for conditions like heart disease, increases in drug overdose deaths and motor vehicle traffic fatalities, etc.),” NCHS said.

[...]

Kyle Sheldrick, a medical doctor and researcher, also debunked the video in a Twitter thread (here). Sheldrick explains how Dowd and the unidentified man who examined the data created their graph using CDC data (here), and points to the spread of the dangerous Delta variant as the more likely reason for spikes in deaths in the second half of 2021.

WND really should know better than to give a platform to sketchy anti-vaxxers with questionable, easily debunked data. But it doesn't, and that's why it's on the verge of extinction.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:57 PM EDT
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
Topic: CNSNews.com

A while back, we highlighted how CNSNews.com 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
Topic: CNSNews.com

Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com 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 CNSNews.com 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: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com 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: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com 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

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