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Friday, April 29, 2022
CNS' Donohue Has A Belated (And Ahistorical) Meltdown Over 'Maus'
Topic: CNSNews.com

A good couple of decades late to the party, dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue tried to capitalize on the current right-wing obsession with banning the graphic novel "Maus" in his March 23 CNSNews.com column:

Over 200 leaders of Polish American organizations have signed a letter to members of Congress asking that a book which offers a vile depiction of Poles during the Holocaust be discontinued in the schools. 

The letter has been distributed to members of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. It follows a decision by a Tennessee school district to drop the book from its curriculum.

The best-selling graphic novel, "Maus," by Art Spiegelman, which is targeted at children, features illustrations that are outrageous and needlessly offensive. But it is the lies, and the vicious insults hurled at Poles, that merit the most serious condemnation.

The letter by the Polish American coalition, led by Edward Wojciech Jeśman, president of the Polish American Strategic Initiative, lists several reasons why "Maus" does not belong as an assigned or recommended book in the schools.

  • The book offers a flagrantly inaccurate account of the Polish experience during the Holocaust. Poles are portrayed as Nazi sympathizers, which is a lie — they were the victims of Hitler's genocidal agenda. Polish deaths were proportionately the greatest of any nation in World War II, which is why the deaths of Poles and Polish Jews constitutes a double Holocaust. Moreover, many Poles, drawing on their Catholic upbringing, risked their lives to save Jews. 
  • Poles are depicted as pigs. "Pigs in popular culture are viewed as disgusting, filthy animals," the letter notes, "while in Jewish culture, pigs and pork are unclean in a way other animals are not. 'Maus' employs the same imagery of Poles found in Nazi propaganda, where they are routinely referred to as 'Polish pigs.'"
  • The takeaway for Polish schoolchildren who are required to read this book is that their people are morally debased and that their heritage is evil. No child deserves to be psychologically raped by educators.

It's clear that neither Donohue nor any of those Polish-Americans have read the book or even bothered to look into the story behind the depiction. Spiegelman himself explained it in an interview that pointed out his Polish-Jewish heritage as he discussed being asked about the depiction by a Polish embassy employee:

The day came, I went up to talk with the guy—entirely cordial. He indicated that they would be granting the visa, but he, too, wanted to know, very concerned: Why Poles as pigs?

“My initial reply, I suppose, was a bit facetious: ‘At first,’ I told him, ‘I tried to render Poles as noble stags, but I eventually found it just too hard inking in all those antlers.’ But then I went on, trying to explain how in the American cartoon tradition, pigs simply don’t carry any particular negative connotation: Porky Pig, for instance, is every bit as cuddly and beloved a figure as Mickey Mouse. Although it wasn’t lost on me that as far as my mother and father were concerned, the main thing about pigs is that they weren’t kosher. Beyond that, in terms of the narrative conventions of the text, the main thing to be noted about pigs is that they are not part of the book’s overriding metaphorical food chain. Pigs don’t eat mice—cats do. Pigs are relatively innocuous as far as mice are concerned.

“The embassy guy nodded politely, but clearly he wasn’t buying my explanations. ‘Mr. Spiegelman,’ he said gravely, at length, ‘the thing you don’t seem to understand is that in Poland calling someone a swine is a much, much greater insult than seems to be the case here in America. Swine, you see, is what the Nazis called the Poles.’

“‘Exactly!’ I replied. ‘And they called us vermin. That’s the whole point.’ You see, I didn’t make up these metaphors, the Nazis did. I was just trying to explore them, to take them seriously, to unravel and deconstruct them. I must say, I keep waiting for some Pole to take umbrage at the fact that I portray Jews as rodents—I mean, I’m not holding my breath or anything, though it would be nice.

“But actually, it’s interesting when you look at those metaphors in the context of the sort of suffering competition that so seems to define Jewish-Polish relations nowadays. Because if you think about the Thousand-Year Reich as a sort of animal farm, to borrow a metaphor, Jews as rodents or vermin were pests to be destroyed and exterminated first thing, indiscriminately, as a matter of course. Whereas Poles as pigs, like all the Slavic races in the entire Nazi conception, while not to be coddled, weren’t to be indiscriminately destroyed: They were to be put to use and worked for their meat. Neither status was enviable, but it’s a distinction worth noting nevertheless.

Meanwhile, another observer noted:

Polish critics who rejected Spiegelman’s work seemed unable to see themselves in this story of a Polish Jewish man who survived the Holocaust and encountered both kind and cruel Polish people along the way. For some, the simpler response was to reject the cartoon image of themselves. As [researcher Biz] Nijdam put it, “Instead of being upset about the history, they’re upset about the pigs.” 

Because Donohue couldn't be bothered to do basic research, he doesn't understand that Spiegelman had a reson for doing what he did. Instead, he gives in to his usual historically ignorant performative outrage and demands that the book be banned:

Removing books from a school's curriculum should never be taken lightly, but when the book in question (a) maligns an entire ethnic group (b) is historically indefensible and (c) is aimed at innocent, unsuspecting children, then to make it available in the schools is nothing short of educational malpractice. 

Those who defend assigning "Maus" would not assign a book which characterized blacks as pit bulls or American Indians as piranhas, never mind distort their historical heritage by depicting them as savages. 

Interestingly, Donohue ended his column with this note: "Many thanks to Ronald Rychlak, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi, for bringing this issue to my attention. He is a member of the Catholic League's board of advisors." Rychlak was the public face of onetime Soviet Bloc spymaster Ion Mihai Pacepa, who served for many years as a useful tool for WorldNetDaily for anti-communism and Clinton-bashing, even endorsing Donald Trump for president despite his sketchy ties to Russian operatives. So it's not a surprise to see Rychlak have a hand in this ahistorical rant.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 29, 2022 1:02 PM EDT
Thursday, April 28, 2022
MRC Still Mad False GOP Attacks On Jackson Were Exposed As False
Topic: Media Research Center

When we last left off, the Media Research Center was hyping Josh Hawley's bogus attack on Ketanji Bown Jackson's sentencing record in child porn cases while pretending it hadn't been discredited. That obsession coninued, with a couple of additions.

Now, the MRC has been obsessed with Jeffrey Toobin's peener ever since he got busted pleasuring himself on a Zoom call, referencing the incident at every opportunity, and Nicholas Fondacaro kept the penner obsession up(!) in a post criticizing Toobin for criticizing Republican questioning of Jackson:

Day two of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings brought direct and pointed questions from Republican Senator Josh Hawley (MO) about her history of going easy on child porn cases. But CNN masturbation expert and chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin took strong issue with Hawley’s focus on the serious issue many Americans care about.

[...]

“This is about appealing to the QAnon audience, this cult that is a big presence in Republican Party politics now, that is – where Senator Hawley is trying to ingratiate himself with that group and run for president with their support,” Toobin asserted.

Adding: “This has very little to do with Judge Jackson who, as has come out throughout the hearing today, is one of many judges who have found the sentencing guidelines in these child porn possession cases excessive.”

Perhaps the concerning takeaway is that “many judges” think “the sentencing guidelines” for pedophiles and child porn offenders are “excessive.”

Is that more or less concerning than demandinbg that judges hand out only maximum sentences and not take individual circumstances into consideration?

Curtis Houck followed by rehashing right-0wing grievances of the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Comey Barrett in defending Republican attacks in Jackson:

During an afternoon break Tuesday in Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings, CNN Newsroom mocked and dismissed questions from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) about critical race theory (CRT) as “below the line” and “reek[ing] of desperation” from “a clown” who “put on a performance” in “the surreal.”

To be clear about how CNN views things, it’s out of bounds to ask about matters of race and concerning a place where Jackson serves on the school’s board, but it was perfectly fine to smear someone’s deeply-held personal beliefs and accuse another of being a serial gang rapist who threw ice, didn’t deserve due process, and had racist and sexist supporters.

He too rembraced the peener obsession and referenced "Chief legal analyst and infamous masturbator Jeff Toobin," then insisted that Cruz was just "asking a Supreme Court nominee about major issues in American society." He didn't mention that the sentencing attacks have been discredited.

Kevin Tober lashed out at MSNBC's Joy Reid again:

When the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown's nomination to the Supreme Court wrapped up Tuesday, MSNBC's Joy Reid only had five minutes left of her show,The ReidOut, to squeeze in as much venom and hatred against Republicans as she could. To her credit, she was successful. In the five minutes she had to react to Tuesday's hearings she managed to call Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) "thuggish" multiple times and accused Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) of never attending law school classes at Harvard.    

How does that compare to the bnumber of times the MRC references masturbation every time it brings up Toobin? Tober didn't say. Instead, he again huffed that "it's a complete bald-faced lie to say Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was credibly accused of rape."

Tim Graham, meanwhile, embraced the idea of Republicans trashing Jackson as revenge for how he thinks Kavanaugh was treated -- not to mention indulging in the MRC's 30-year-old bitterness at Anita Hill:

Monday's edition of The NPR Politics Podcast sounded a little bizarre to conservatives. NPR congressional reporter Susan Davis marveled at "just how much bitterness lingers among Republican senators over the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh." It was mildly comical that their discussion of Kavanaugh didn't describe the actual subject of the bitterness -- unproven allegations of teenage sexual assault. Would NPR reporters be bitter if they were accused of rape?

[...]

Nina Totenberg -- who slimed Clarence Thomas in 1991 with Anita Hill's unproven charges of crude sexual banter -- somehow sounded mournful about the bitter partisan tone, as if she and NPR had nothing to do with it.

Graham rehashed that bitterness again in his March 23 column complaining about how Clarance Thomas was treated:

The liberal media have treated the Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson as a glorious and historic occasion. Nobody needs to care about where she stands on things, since she and the media share all the “correct opinions.”

Associated Press issued a story under this tweet: “For Black girls, the possibility of Ketanji Brown Jackson being the first Black woman on the Supreme Court is a moment of promise, hope and the breaking of yet another barrier.”

But on July 1, 1991, when President Bush nominated Clarence Thomas, the networks were horrified. He was a conservative, so he wasn’t black. On ABC’s World News Tonight, reporter Tim O'Brien said that a “prominent black legal scholar called Thomas’s nomination to the Supreme Court insulting.” It was Harvard's Derrick Bell, the architect of Critical Race Theory, who angrily claimed “To place a person who looks black, and in conservative terms thinks white, is an insult.”

[...]

Journalists tout black “lived experience” for the high court, but they savagely attack minorities who are conservative. Forget their experiences. The outpouring of media hostility felt like what Thomas described as a “high-tech lynching of uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.”

The MRC continued to whine that Republicans' bad-faith attacks were getting called out:

Graham returned to have a meltdown over a Republican senator's attacks on Jackson getting fact-checked:

The Democrat-backing “fact checkers” of PolitiFact jumped to the defense of Ketanji Brown Jackson by slapping conservative Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee with two negative verdicts on Tuesday:

First, Tom Kertscher rated Blackburn “False” and in a headline said she was “wrong” on Jackson’s citation of critical race theory in sentencing. 

When PolitiFact pointed out that Jackson was talking about sentencing policy, not critical race theory, Graham huffed: "Huh? Isn’t sentencing a crucial part of judges making decisions on the bench? Obviously, Judge Jackson’s alleged leniency in sentencing is a vital part of these hearings." Of the other fact-check, Graham complained that Blackburn was called out for cherry-picking Jackson's words but that she "quoted Jackson accurately."

The whining that Republicans were being busted for repeating discredited attacks continued in another post by Houck:

Wednesday’s CBS Mornings went above and beyond to prop up Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson with almost 11 minutes of eye-rolling spin, denouncing Republican queries as unrelated to Jackson and instead to please their base, mocked concerns about her history on sentencing child sex predators as having “no there there,” and described Republicans as having failed to “strike a match.”

Worse yet, one CBS liberal even questioned the need for the confirmation hearings and process because there’s so much “grandstanding” (by which they meant Republicans, not Democrats).

[...]

Congressional correspondent Nikole Killion adopted liberal spin, offering zero pushback to insane assertions about GOP questions being beyond the pale: “[T]he White House and Democrats are dismissing some of these questions from Republican senators. They say they cross the line and are even pushing on smears based on conspiracy theories.”

Killion hyped that Jackson “addressed the elephant in the room” about sentencing in child sex crimes, “refut[ing] debunked claims by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley that she issued lenient sentences in child pornography cases.” In the clip used, Jackson played up the emotional argument that she still views sex crimes as “egregious” and “heinous.”

Houck offered no evidence to dispute the fact that the claims have been discredited.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2022 10:22 PM EDT
WND Touts Anti-Vaxxer Haranguing Scientist For Admitting Ivermectin Doesn't Work
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Researcher Andrew Hill has told the tale of how he initially highlighted how ivermectin seemed to be effective for treating COVID -- but turned against that conclusion when he discovered medical fraud in previous pro-ivermectin studies and that the remaining non-tainted ones showed no benefit for the drug. He wrote of the abuse and threats he received in response to that finding:

I was sent images of Nazi war criminals hanging from lamp-posts, Voodoo images of swinging coffins, vivid threats that my family were not safe, that we would all burn in hell. This was happening most days – I opened my laptop in the morning to be confronted with a sea of hate and disturbing threats. Twitter did nothing after I reported these threats. So I had to shut down social media.

There were also threats to my scientific reputation on email. I know many other scientists who have been threatened and abused in similar ways after promoting vaccination or questioning the benefits of unproven treatments like ivermectin. If scientists cannot communicate for fear of threats and abuse, how can all the misinformation be controlled?

Back in December, WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill touted a harangue against Hill by Tess Lawrie -- whom Cashill insists is "a world-renowned data researcher from the U.K. with an international reputation for integrity" but who is in fact a rabid anti-vaxxer and equally rabid ivermectin enthusiast -- made in a Zoom call between the two. In it, she screeched that Hill was bought off by lobbyists, insisted that "All other countries are getting ivermectin except the U.K. and the USA and Europe are owned by the vaccine lobby," and sneered to him, "I don't understand how you sleep at night, honestly."

Well, that harangue has been compiled into a video, and Art Moore devoted a March 8 article to promoting it, with an emphasis on attacking Hill:

At a time when the nations of the world were recording about 15,000 COVID deaths per day, Dr. Andrew Hill of the University of Liverpool was about to publish a meta-analysis for the World Health Organization and other leading health agencies indicating the remarkable effectiveness of a repurposed drug in treating COVID-19, reducing hospitalization by some 80%.

But when he published his highly influential pre-print paper on Jan. 18, 2021, his stated conclusion didn't match the study's findings.

Instead of urging physicians around the world who were desperate for solutions to try the safe and effective drug, Hill wrote: "Ivermectin should be validated in larger appropriately controlled randomized trials before the results are sufficient for review by regulatory authorities."

The English researcher's turnabout didn't go unnoticed.

A colleague, Dr. Tess Lawrie, confronted Hill in a remarkable Zoom video conversation that was recorded and featured in a short documentary produced by Oracle Films.

Lawrie, the director of the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Bath, South Africa, got Hill to admit that his non-profit sponsors, UNITAID, pressured him to alter his conclusion.

[...]

Lawrie noted to Hill that he is not a clinician.

"You're not seeing people dying every day. And this medicine prevents deaths by 80%. So, 80% of those people who are dying today don't need to die because there's Ivermectin."

Hill argued that the National Institutes of Health would not agree to recommend ivermectin.

"Yeah," Lawrie replied, "because the NIH is owned by the vaccine lobby.

"This is bad research. So at this point, I am really, really worried about you," she said.

Needless to say, Moore made no effort to contact Hill for his response to being targeted in such a way, nor did he report on the death threats he received for following the science.Nor did he subject Lawrie's claims to any sort of fact-check -- he supports her narrative, being an ivermectin enthusiast himself, and is more than happy to be her stenographer.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:31 PM EDT
MRC's Maxson Pushes Bogus Claims Of Mass COVID Vaccine Deaths In Athletes
Topic: Media Research Center

We've written before about the WorldNetDaily-ization of the Media Research Center, and mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson embodies the current version of that with his (or her) anti-vaccine activism. But an April 21 post by Maxson -- also published at MRCTV -- is so completely based in a discredited falsehood that it really should have appeared at WND. Maxson began:

The risk of death from COVID among young adult athletes is so rare that it is considered inconsequential. On the other hand, the number of young adult athletes suffering and dying from COVID vaccinations and booster shots is mounting.

Nearly 800 young adult athletes suffered adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots, the Good Sciencing team of investigators, news editors and journalists discovered. Between March 2021 and March 2022, athletes suffered 890 cardiac arrests and other serious issues among athletes, while 579 died following COVID-19 shots. Some 769 athletes collapsed during competition.

The scientific investigators stated: “It is definitely not normal for so many mainly young athletes to suffer from cardiac arrests or to die while playing their sport, but this year it is happening. Many of these heart issues and deaths come shortly after they got a COVID vaccine. While it is possible this can happen to people who did not get a COVID vaccine, the sheer numbers clearly point to the only obvious cause.” 

One America Network found that the average age of the ailing and dying athletes was just 23. Dr. Joseph Mercola also said the unprecedented surge in cardiac arrest and other heart issues among elite athletes coincides with COVID-19 jabs

The idea that hundreds of athletes are dropping dead because of COVID vaccines has been discredited some time ago. That said, Maxson's sources don't inspire confidence either. Good Sciencing is an anonymously run website (remember that the MRC purports to hate anonymous sources) and OAN is not known for accurate and unbiased reporting about, well, anything.

Note that Maxson doesn't even link to the OAN website for this story; the OAN link goes to an article at something called Oval Media, which is apparently based in Germany, and an article written by notorious anti-vaxxer quack Dr. Joseph Mercola.The other two links go to articles at Children's Health Defense, run by another notorious anti-vaxxer, Robert Kennedy Jr.

Maxson then wrote: "Earlier this month, 15 vaccinated tennis players dropped out of the Miami Open due to adverse vaccination reactions. Among them were Jannik Sinner (appearing in above photo), ranked 12th in the world, and Paula Badosa." In fact, neither Sinner, Badosa nor any of the others who withdrew from the Miami Open cited the vaccine as a reason: "Official tournament records cite injuries and illnesses, which are backed up by multiple news reports and social media accounts from the players themselves."

Maxson then cited examples of actual athletes who claimed to have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, which is the one section of the post that has some basis in reality; for instance, "Kyle Warner, a 29-year-old professional mountain biker, received his second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 shot last June and suffered a reaction so severe that he spent months in bed." But according to PolitiFact, Warner's doctor did confirm that he suffered myocarditis after receiving a vaccine but that "a follow up cardiac MRI and stress test were normal."

Maxson concluded:

Despite evidence contrary to the left-wing narrative, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, are discounting the seriousness of these problems. 

If you had not heard this news, it’s not surprising. Big Tech and the media are suppressing it. 

Or perhaps it's not actually true and most sentient people don't immerse themselves in the discredited conspiracy-theory websites that Maxson is apparently marinated in.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EDT
CNS' Coverage Of SCOTUS Nominee Was Balanced ... At First
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com initial coverage of the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson was surprisingly balanced at the time, doing an unusually decent job of serving up both sides with most articles written by rote stenographer Melanie Arter:

That was quickly followed, however, by a March 2 column by editor Terry Jeffrey in which he attacked Jackson for having co-authored an amicus brief 20 years ago endorsing the idea of buffer zones outside abortion clinics to protect patients from getting harassed by protesters:

For Jackson, presuming she agreed with the amicus brief that she co-authored, it was a good and constitutional thing for someone to approach a pregnant woman outside an abortion clinic for the purpose of escorting her inside to kill her unborn child.

But it was a bad thing — that a state could prohibit by law — for someone to approach that same woman outside that same clinic to try to persuade her to save her child.

Jeffrey didn't explain why a woman should be forced to be subjected to a message she has indicated that she doesn't want to hear.

CNS, even more surprisingly, largely left her alone for the next few weeks, save for a March 18 column by Hans Bader's dumb racial take complaining there would be too many black people on the Supreme Court if Jackson was confirmed.

But as Jackson's confirmation hearing neared, it was time for CNS to fully embrace the anti-Jackson talking points its Media Research Center and fellow right-wing activists were unleashing on her. Susan Jones devoted a March 21 article to Repubican Sen. Mitch McConnell's complaint that Jackson wouldn't take a stand on "court-packing." Abortion-obsessed Jeffrey rehashed his 20-year-old complaint against Jackson in another article the same day:

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who co-authored an amicus brief for Mass. NARAL while working for a private law firm in 2001, and has now been nominated to the Supreme Court by President Joe Biden, offered her thanks to God at her Senate confirmation today.

“Your careful attention to my nomination demonstrates you’re dedication to the crucial role that the Senate plays in this constitutional process. And I thank you,” Brown told the committee.

“And while I’m on the subject of gratitude I must also pause to reaffirm my thanks to God. For it is faith that sustains me at this moment,” she said.

Jeffrey didn't explain how the act of co-authoring a legal brief is contradictory to having faith in God, as he suggests.

CNS would eventually abandon all pretense of journalistic balance and go all in on amplifying right-wing anti-Jackson narratives. More on that soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
MRC Embraced 'Pedo' Attack On Jackson, Ignored That It Was Discredited
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent the days leading up to Ketenji Brown Jackson pushing right-wing narratives about her purported radicalness and false claims about "leniency with pedos." Curtis Houck continued that whining, complaining that Jackson's nomination was being described as "historic" and pretended that Republican  Sen. Josh Hawley's attacks on sentencing record hadn't been so discredited that even right-wing legal analyst Andrew McCarthy of the conservative National Review denounced it as "meritless to the point of demagoguery":

Monday morning, prior to the start of Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, ABC, CBS, and NBC shoveled White House talking points that reveled over Jackson’s “historic nomination” and the “legal and political gauntlet” ahead and fretted Republicans are ready to “attack” with “fireworks” that could trigger “a political bounce” for President Biden. 

[...]

On the facts raised by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) about her leniency concerning convicted child sex predators, Haake boasted before a clip of Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) saying Republicans are incapable of “empathy”: “Judge Jackson’s allies disputing those claims in what could be a preview of contentious hearing days to come.”

[...]

Going lastly to superficial Good Morning America on ABC, co-host T.J. Holmes swooned over “the historic hearings” as well as “a new Monmouth University just out suggest[ing] Americans back her appointment by a two-to-one margin.”

Of course, one would wonder what her name ID actually is and if things would change once voters were made more aware of her record besides the president that picked her and her skin color.

Nicholas Fondacaro similarly ignored that Hawley's attack had been discredited as he attacked people on TV who pointed that out:

Monday was the first day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings and she’s expected to be grilled by Republican lawmakers on her record. With that on their minds, CNN journalists and analysts on At This Hour rushed to defend Jackson from accusations that she’s lenient with sex offenders and child porn peddlers given some of her rulings. They even lashed out at Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), calling his scrutiny on her record “extreme” and “toxic.”

“And [Senator] Dick Durbin [D-IL] already alluded to this when he said earlier, ‘these baseless charges aren't fair,” host Kate Bolduan proclaimed before she even addressed what the charges were. “Durbin's likely specifically talking about some of what's been lined up as a line of attack coming from Republicans like Senator Josh Hawley.”

After playing a short clip of Hawley on Fox News speaking about the allegations, Bolduan asserted, without evidence, that “his assessment’s been fact-checked, found to lack significant content at the very least.”

Fondacaro then unironically quoted Hawley's press secretary defending Hawley, demonstrating how much of a slave he is to right-wing talking points.

Kyle Drennen ranted about "swooning coverage" of Jackson's first day at the hearing and pushed thte narrative that TV networks "went to work hailing her performance and preemptively declaring her immune from any Republican criticism." Houck followed up by getting mad that a reporter dared to qeustion Hawley about his smears, which he of course framed as as a victory for Hawley:

Monday afternoon, during a break in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, ABC congressional correspondent Rachel Scott embarrassed herself in having tried to corner Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) over concerns with Jackson’s light sentencing for child sex predators. Repeatedly, Hawley called her out for “gotcha” questions using “White House talking points,” rendering her speechless.

It’s doubtful ABC and Scott would air this smackdown in full, so Hawley’s staff published audio of the back-and-forth on his Senate Twitter account in a move that harkened back to the Trump White House taping President Trump’s 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl.

The recording began with Scott asking Hawley: “You mostly voted for judges that were light on child porn offenders. So isn’t that a double standard?”

Hawley snuffed out the trap: “Not for this court I haven’t. Not for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Kevin Tober grumbled that "all three networks hyped her qualifications and background, not all gave equal time for Republican criticism," insisting that said criticism was "substantive" but mentioning only Hawley's discredited "pedo" attack. Tober also claimed that "MSNBC's The 11th Hour host Stephanie Ruhle was clearly frustrated by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) broadcasting his questions Jackson regarding her history of giving those convicted of viewing or distributing child porn light sentences" and that she called it "dangerous" and "character assassination,"going on to grumble that Ruhle's guest was "proclaiming, without evidence, that Republican objections to Jackson's nomination are 'not about her, it’s about this larger, political fight, and I think, the less we play into their narrative, the better it will be.'" Tober provided no evidence that it wasn't.

Alex Christy, meanwhile, had a fit over late-night jokes about GOP treatment of Jackson:

ABC's left-wing late night host and alleged comedian Jimmy Kimmel tried his hand at Supreme Court analysis on his Monday show and failed miserably as he accused Republicans of treating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings as a “subtle racism jamboree.” He then declared the prospect of her being approved to the high court by a party-line vote in the Senate to be the GOP's “ultimate nightmare.”

[...]

Wrapping up his thoughts on Jackson, Kimmel proclaimed: “She could get confirmed without a single, she doesn’t need any Republican votes to get confirmed because the vice president is the tie breaker. Which would be, that would be the GOP's ultimate nightmare having this decided by two black women whose names they can't pronounce.”

Somebody certainly seems to be obsessed with race, but it sure isn’t Senate Republicans.

Democrats aren't the ones who attacked Biden for simply vowing to appoint a black woman, Alex.

Meanwhile, the MRC continued to push its tired performative outrage that the media won't hate Jackson the way Republicans do:

When Jackson testified that she looked at the circumstances of each individual case and took victims into consideration while pointing out that judges are not mandated to impose the greatest possible sentence, Fondacaro somehow interpreted this as her saying she was "loosening the sentences for those with less child porn because there were some with more of it," which he insisted was a "questionable argument" and then complained that the hosts of "The View" called this very routine sentencing review "very normal."

Tober returned to lash out at MSNBC's Joy Reid for criticizing Republicans as harshly as they had been criticizing Jackson:

When the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown's nomination to the Supreme Court wrapped up Tuesday, MSNBC's Joy Reid only had five minutes left of her show, The ReidOut, to squeeze in as much venom and hatred against Republicans as she could. To her credit, she was successful. In the five minutes she had to react to Tuesday's hearings she managed to call Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) "thuggish" multiple times and accused Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) of never attending law school classes at Harvard.    

[...]

She then turned her rage against Senator Cruz "supposedly, Ted Cruz went to law school, apparently, only Ketanji Brown-Jackson was in class and he was probably skipping classes and sleeping because he doesn't know what critical race theory is." 

Reid didn't stop with Cruz. She then melted down over Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) questioning Jackson over her sympathy for pedophiles, before turning her rage against all the GOP Senators who dared to ask tough questions of Jackson: 

When Reid stated that Brett Kavanaugh was "accused, credibly, of rape," Tober raged:

Of course, it's a complete bald-faced lie to say Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was credibly accused of rape. Reid was clearly chomping at the bit to get on the air and go ballistic on Republican Senators who wanted to use their constitutional duties to question a Supreme Court nominee. She knows she has no intellectual response to Justice Jackson's comments sympathizing with pedophiles so she had to lash out and lie about Justice Kavanaugh. 

Because Tober had no intellectual response to what Jackson actually did and said, he chose to smear her as "sympathizing with pedophiles." At no point did Tober or anyone else at the MRC address how Hawley's "pedo" attack on Jackson had been discredited.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2022 12:38 AM EDT
CNS Columnist Can't Handle Minnie Mouse In A Pantsuit
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've already covered how the Media Research Center melted down (in your mouth, not in your hand?) over the M&M candy characters getting a design update that resulted in the female M&M being made less stereotypically female. Over at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Crystal Renaud Day -- operator of something called SheRecovery, "a community devoted to helping women recover from pornography and sexual addiction" -- used a Feb. 21 column to melt down over not only that but a Disney promotion with designer Stella McCartney that put Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit for a promotion:

Women are being erased by the very people and companies that claim to support women’s rights. Disney has changed Minnie Mouse’s outfit from a red polka dot dress and heels to a blue pantsuit with flats and M&Ms has de-feminized its green and brown commercial characters. Those are just the tip of the iceberg of how our culture is erasing women today.

It may seem silly when cartoons and candy characters in advertisements cannot be represented as distinctly feminine, but real life is worse. Women are not allowed fair competition, are not allowed to complain when a man walks into their& locker room, are pressured or coerced into aborting their daughters, and are vilified if they dare to use or define the word “woman.”  

For generations before us, women have been fighting for the right to be seen, to vote, to play, to equal pay, to be a voice, to preach from the pulpit. And now, all in the name of being “evolved” or “woke” or “relevant,” women are being erased and our uniqueness slowly diminished.

From the beginning of time, the very creation of women has been under attack because the enemy of our souls hates us. He was jealous of Eve for she was uniquely made and beautiful. Women were sought out from the beginning to be destroyed because Eve meant life for humanity instead of death (Genesis 3:20). It was not a coincidence that the serpent chose the woman to tempt first. Yet God created women on purpose. In scripture, with all the men ignoring or belittling the women, Jesus made a place for them, comforted them, and healed them (Mark 5). Women were created with great intentionality. Women were given the ability to pray, empathize, instruct, and use their voices — the first people Jesus appeared to as the Risen King were women (Luke 24). Even on our most molecular level, women are uniquely designed and made in the image of God.

Interestingly, the example she supplied of purported outrage over defining the word "woman" was of a Dr. Phil appearance by notorious homophobe Matt Walsh.

Day went on to recount her struggle to break what she claimed was an addiction to pornography -- but she said nothing about the hypersexualized stereotypes of women depicted in pornography (which may or may not include skirts or go-go boots), or even how women are depicted in TV advertising. Day's protestations to the contrary, Minnie Mouse is no less female because she's wearing a pantsuit, and the green M&M is no less female because she's wearing sneakers instead of go-go boots.

Day then blows up her own argument by admitting that she does not dress like Minnie Mouse or the green M&M in real life:

I do not wear makeup most days, I never wear dresses, I prefer my hair in a messy bun, and I have not worn heels since high school show choir. I cannot relate to the Green M&M with her heels and long lashes. Those things do not make me female - God did. I am proud to be a woman and as a woman, I want to see other women achieve their dreams, have careers, become mothers. As a counselor, I want to see other women heal, thrive, and fulfill their purpose. While she does not have to do it all in heels and pearls, we must let women be women and empower them in whatever position they are in. If we let men, companies, and supposed women’s rights groups lead this cultural charge to tear away everything that makes us unique as women, soon we will have nothing left to call our own. We must stop allowing ourselves to be erased and instead write out our own futures in pen.

It could also be argued that men, not God, made Minnie wear a dress and the green M&M wear go-go boots. They have not been erased as female characters because they're not wearing stereotypical female clothing -- just as Day is no less female for not wearing a dress or heels. She's wearing what feels comfortable to her, and there's nothing wrong with that for any real or fictional character.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Jay Maxson's Year In Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center
The mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger spent a good part of 2021 lashing out at transgender people in sports -- ironic, since it's unclear what sex Maxson even is. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:12 PM EDT
Farah's Money Begs Ramp Up Again As WND's 'Existential Threat' Grows
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You can tell when Joseph Farah is running out of money to keep his WorldNetDaily alive -- he ramps up the begging for money ... and prayers.

The latest round kicked off with a March 18 column asking for prayers and adding: 

Now let me be totally transparent with you. WND is on the edge. Yes, we're doing somewhat better, but it's not always easy to pay unexpected bills, often resulting from some new lawsuit or attack or other. And boy, do we have unexpected bills. I know everyone does – which makes it harder to ask for help.

But I don't want to FAIL YOU, after so many years. I don't want to FAIL AMERICA, in its most desperate hours.

[...]

What did we do wrong? Well, in addition to upholding Christian moral values, the sanctity of human life and the Constitution at every turn, we also strongly supported Donald Trump for president in 2016. He was a total breath of fresh air, telling America exactly what he thought – unheard-of for a politician – and proclaiming a boldly pro-America agenda. And he won the election in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. What a relief!

However, Big Tech never forgave us for championing Trump; they throttled us in every possible way, eventually demonetizing us. And because of Google and Facebook, which together control the vast majority of online advertising – up to 99% – WND lost a huge amount of advertising revenue that had largely sustained us year after year.

Actually, what Farah did wrong is publish fake news and promote conspiracy theories, but he'll never admit that, even as he went on to uniroinically complain about "this climate of wall-to-wall lies" (which he, in fact, helped to create).

In his March 21 column, Farah claimed to offer "my (and WND's) official story – the good, the bad and the ugly" -- though he didn't mention his first marriage, out of which came his estranged eldest child, Alyssa. It unsurprisingly ended in his usual conspiracy theory about being a victim of "big tech" and, of course, a money beg: "If you love WND for what it does, there's a way for anyone in these hard times, these increasingly evil times, to help us, even if you don't have two plug nickels to rub together."

Farah noted WND's upcoming 25th anniversary in his March 29 column, adding, "So let me ask you, as we approach our 25th anniversary: If you appreciate what we have done and what we still do here at WND, would you please prayerfully consider helping us right now?" He also wrote: "If everyone who cares about WND's continued existence and would like us to continue to report faithfully and TRUTHFULLY every single day – 7 days a week as we have for the last 25 years – if all of you could just do your part, some more, some less, I have no doubt we'll make it. And hopefully make it for another 25 years!" Farah seems to have forgotten that we have the receipts for all the untruthful reporting WND has published.

The next day, however, Farah was sounding a little more dire -- but not before laying out his old conspiracy theories first:

America invented freedom of the press, in case you didn't know.

Now, the shock troops of Google and the rest of Big Tech are destroying it, brick by brick, with their "official news." If your news presentation does not support Joe Biden and the DEEP STATE, you don't make it into Big Tech's news feeds, which is where so many tens of millions of people get their news.

Thus, for example, no dissent is tolerated with regard to the "pandemic." No dissent is tolerated regarding the 2020 presidential election. No dissent is tolerated regarding LGBTQ issues. No dissent is tolerated. Period.

Thus, WND has been officially and permanently DEMONETIZED by Google – with the emphasis on DEMON.

As we documented, WND was demonitized by Google because it no longer wanted to do business with a website best known for publishing fake news and conspiracy theories.Then came the more specific money beg:

I'll lay it out for you straight. Because of the costs involved in defending WND against a multitude or attacks and lawsuits and Big Tech cancellations, we need to raise a minimum of $100,000 over and above our normal expenses in the next three months – by June 30. We'll keep you posted on our progress. We had to take out a loan this week just to pay our bills.

The deck is stacked against the independent press, and not just due to attacks and boycotts by the cultural elite and malicious lawsuits intended to silence us. The same forces that have been mobilized against Donald Trump have been directed also at WND, since our pro-American, pro-Constitution, pro-life and pro-biblical worldview is now considered so offensive as to merit being shut down.

I'm asking for the help of those who recognize the unique role WND plays in reaching the God-fearing American audience that, like us, supports limited government, national sovereignty and the traditional Judeo-Christian values that made America truly great.

Please, help us to weather this storm by giving as much as you can to support us in this critical hour.

In his April 15 column, Farah was playing victim again along with his favorite president (and he's not referring to Joe Biden, who he is actively trying to sabotage):

When both the president of the United States and WND, a leader in the media for 25 years, can be so sabotaged in plain sight and without recourse, you know the First Amendment is in real danger.

[...]

For 25 years next month, WND, or WorldNetDaily, has championed the cause of "a free press for a free people," performing the vital job of fearlessly reporting the truth – something the "mainstream media" pretend to do, but, as is now painfully obvious to almost everyone, does not.

Even though Elon Musk may buy out Twitter, there's no billionaire coming to rescue us.

There are no millionaires or billionaires supporting WND, as is the case with other top-tier alternative media organizations. We at WND have always earned our own way. The good side of that arrangement is, we've never been beholden to anyone other than the Good Lord and you.

I'm asking you to help us in this time of urgent need. It's not easy to make a plea like this to you, our faithful readers, and I do so in all humility.

I'll lay it out for you straight: To survive the many current attacks against WND that threaten to shut us down and – very frankly – make it almost impossible for us even to pay our dedicated journalists, we need to raise $100,000 as quickly as possible.

Farah drove the point home by putting "existential threat" in the headline.

Farah used his April 22 column to once again hype WND's upcoming 25th anniversary -- and, of course, beg for money. He included a picture of WND's first headquarters, described only as being "on a ranch in Selma, Oregon"; as we've documented (but Farah doesn't mention), that ranch was owned by accused cult leader Roy Masters and his Foundation of Human Understanding. Farah then listed what he claimed were some of WND's accomplishments:

One of the proudest moments for me was our sustained coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. WND was the only news outlet that covered the saga of this young, disabled woman, who was eventually starved to death by court order, following it closely for two years before it became, for a short time, the biggest story in the world. I am convinced that without WND's coverage, few would even know the name Terri Schiavo today.

In fact, WND falsely accused Terri's husband and supporters of being murderers, refused to let them respond , fell for a false April Fool's joke about him, and a book about the case by a WND reporter was even more biased.

Farah also referenced " the killing of another innocent: Miriam Carey, a young black dental hygienist from Connecticut who was gunned down by Secret Service and Capitol Police on the streets of Washington for making a wrong turn near the White House." In fact, it was clear from the outset that Carey's death was a tragedy -- she was driving suspiciously and erratically in a nervous Washington, D.C., just two weeks after a shooter killed 12 people at D.C.'s Navy Yard -- and that she was merely a pawn in Farah's failed war on President Obama. He also is exceedingly proud of this:

I can't forget WND's dogged pursuit of Barack Obama's eligibility issue, culminating in its book "Where's the Birth Certificate?" going to No. 1 at Amazon, forcing the White House to retrieve what it claimed was the legitimate document from Hawaii a day later. The pursuit of this story, it should be recalled, got Donald Trump involved in arguably his first major controversial political act. And who was dispatched to Hawaii to magically find the elusive "birth certificate" so easily when the governor said it couldn't be found? The fixers at the Democratic Party's favorite law firm, Perkins Coie.

This was a turning point for the nation!

The only turning point we're aware of is that WND's eight years of insisting that a clearly false story was true demonstrated once and for all that WND cared obnly about pushing conspiracy theories, not engaging in factual reporting.

Then Trump became president and Farah was very happy.Until...

Then the unexpected happened to me. I had my first stroke – a minor one. Then, tragically, a devastating series of FOUR! I was left unable to speak or write. My wife stepped in as chief operating officer while I concentrated on healing. It was a long shot at best – and meanwhile, Google, Facebook and Amazon had their way with us. The toll? Over the next year, I watched from the sidelines as America stood at the brink, during what was literally the best of times and the worst of times. For the first time, I was reduced to spectator status.

I went through hell – as did the company, which over the last few years lost revenues at a record pace. We went from $15 million in annual revenues to about $1 million. We lost our book division, our film division and more as we teetered toward bankruptcy. But the first independent online news service survived and reinvented itself as best it could – adding a nonprofit component, the WND News Center, and tax-deductibility to sustain its unique journalistic niche.

Then there was another calamity – COVID-19. It may have been part of a diabolical attack on the world when it was unleashed by China. Or else it was an inconvenient accident of which Beijing took full advantage. Whatever it was, it left America reeling and the cabal of Tech Tyrants running things even more completely.

No mention, of course, of the allegations of financial shenanigans at WND reported by the Washington Post in 2019 that Farah and Co. have yet to publicly address (WND actually tried to distract from it by announcing that Farah had suffered a stroke, which it had kept secret for a few weeks).

Farah was sounding a little desperate at the end of his column:

At almost 67, I'm not a kid anymore. But I'm giving WND my all for the time I have. Pray for us. Pray for Donald Trump, who has proven to be the only man capable of taking on the Tech Tyrants. Join with us. Support us. We're not through. We're still here. We plan on ushering in better times for America!

Make America Great Again, indeed – in the name of God!

And in the meantime, we do need money, because we've been permanently DEMONITIZED by Google and YouTube and suppressed, abused and defamed by the rest of Big Tech. So we have to hold out our hands to friends like you – people who appreciate us!

Just go to HELP WND to become one of the few, the proud, the supporters of WND! We are currently attempting to raise at least $100,000 by the end of June, so that we can continue to serve you for many more years. Thank you and God bless you. And please HELP WND.

The problem here is that Farah may be showing humility by begging for money, but he's showing no remorse for his key role bringing WND to this point. His strategy of blaming everyone else but himself when everyone can see his editorial strategy of conspiracy theories and fake news drove away readers has failed is not the true humility people need to see from him, and the fact that the same failed editorial strategy is continuing today demonstrates he has yet to learn the lesson he needs to learn from this self-created crisis.

The question is whether he will learn that lesson before it's too late -- for him and for WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2022 10:21 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
MRC Sharpened Knives, Spread Narratives To Attack SCOTUS Nominee Jackson
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war on Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson began before she was even nominated, attacking any possible nominee President Biden would name as a radical. When was nominated, MRC executive Tim Graham tried to otherize her by using only her first name. followed by his underliings laboring to tar her as extreme despite not knowing much about her, attempting to build on the right-wing narrative it was pushing a month earlier about a yet-to-be-named nominee. The demonizing of Jackson -- and defense of her demonization -- continued ahead of her Senate nomination hearing.

Kevin Tober rushed to defend Fox News host Tucker Carlson for "daring to ask for Biden Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s LSAT scores," ignoring that it was pointed out by MSNBC's Joy Reid that Carlson had never demanded the LSAT scores of any other SCOTUS nominee. Tober tried to pretend Carlson's requestr wasn't rooted in racism:

The fact of the matter is, that is not Carlson's argument. His problem with Biden nominating her is not because she's black, but because Biden nominated her because she was a black woman. That's not to say she isn't qualified, but Carlson wants to see Biden tout her credentials and not her skin color.

[...]

America is the ultimate meritocracy where anyone can achieve their dreams if they put in the work and earn it. Appointing Judge Jackson because of her skin color, is not just unfair to those who may be more qualified who aren't black, but it is also unfair to Jackson that her accomplishments and life story are being boiled down to her skin pigmentation. Joy Reid is the real racist, not Tucker Carlson.

The MRC then did its usual whining that non-right-wing media wouldn't trash Jackson like a common Fox News:

  • Curtis Houck groused that an ABC show "decided to give the Biden White House an assist in its PR campaign to confirm far-left judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court by interviewing three 'lifelong friends' 'who know her best' on 'what' we need 'to know.'"
  • Scott Whitlock summarized what he called media "puff pieces" on Jackson, huffing that one can "expect the liberal media to do everything they can to pave the way to an easy confirmation for President Joe Biden’s pick.
  • Kyle Drennen grumbled that CBS "offered a 'lovely' profile of the federal judge by chatting with her 'oldest friends.' The members of Jackson’s self-described 'hype team' were given a national platform to swoon over the “brilliance” of their BFF," further whining that "Completely missing from the sycophantic coverage was any critical examination of Judge Jackson’s actual record."

The MRC also got mad that Republicans were being called out for already dismissing Jackson out of hand, even though they voted to confirm her for lower courts. Alex Christy tried to blame Democrats for this: "After decades of Democrats politicizing Court nominations going all the way back to Robert Bork, CNN waited until a Democratic appointee to lament that the general partisan nature of the process. A few days later, Christy complained that a "confused" Judy Woodruff tried to nail down Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell -- who had weirdly suggested that Jackson's refusal to take a position on "court packing" was a reason to disqualify her -- was not rushing to endorse her; he toured how McConnell claimed that "Republicans will treat Jackson respectfully, unlike how Democrats treated Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh."

That did not happen, of course. Indeed, the very same day of Christy's post on McConnell, the MRC received its marching order to build a new anti-Jackson narrative as forwarded by, yes, one of McConnell's fellow Senate Republicans, as Kevin Tober detailed:

On Wednesday, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) posted a lengthy Twitter thread with damming evidence of Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record of being soft on child porn offenders. All three evening news broadcasts (ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News & NBC Nightly News) ignored Hawley’s allegations. This comes in stark contrast to the way the networks treated the baseless allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process in the fall of 2018. 

While the networks ignored these troubling allegations, they were busy reporting on the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Food deserts, and the weather.

Nicholas Fondacaro similarly whined under a headline that referenced Jackson's purported "leniency with pedos" that "The View" hosts "avoiding the apparent evidence of Jackson going easy on sex offenders and child porn peddlers. Instead, they came to her defense by arguing that she’ll 'very literally' 'outshine each and every one'of the conservative justices nominated by former President Trump."

Christy returned to complain that Republicans' gutter strategy was being called out:

For his Friday show on MSNBC, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd tried his hand at comedy as he confidently proclaimed that Republicans will blame Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for inflation because that is all they have. Giving the “Republican” perspective for the panel discussion was former party chair Michael Steele who agreed and claimed Jackson’s confirmation hearings will provide Republicans good opportunities to raise money.

[...]

Todd then interrupted to affirm Steele’s take, by dismissing Senator Josh Hawley's concerns about Jackson and her record on pedophiles and child porn peddlers. “Well, Hawley apparently, is only, appears to be interested in this for his fundraising…Just put one out today,” he scoffed.

Christy then touted one guest as "accurately explaining the Republican view" by pointing out that "Republicans would attack Jackson as soft on crime and for representing Gitmo detainees." He didn't explain why it was a bad thing for someone who worked as a public defender, as Jackson had, to defend criminals in her job.

Tober lashed out at one commentator who claimed Hawley's attack on Jackson could get her killed, insisting that Hawley was just "attempting to hold a Supreme Court nominee accountable for her record on the bench." He didn't mention that Hawley's accusations had already been discredited -- narratives are more important than facts, after all.

Mark Finkelstein then felt the need to circle back to defending Carlson demanding Jackson's LSAT score, despite conceding that no other SCOTUS nominee's LSAT score had ever been provided, let alone demanded:

So . . . just exactly what is wrong with asking for her LSAT score? If we were choosing among doctors, would it be "repugnant" to ask for their MCAT scores?  [Jomathan] Capehart must see this as a suggestion that Jackson is black, therefore she's unqualified. Before Jackson was named, Capehart suggested because she was black, she'd be more qualified and brilliant than anyone who came before her.

[...]

Brown Jackson's LSAT score [like Obama's college transcripts] will probably never be publicly disclosed. It's not usually done in Supreme Court confirmations. But let's ask: Would the MSNBC suits really have fired Capehart if he had cursed Carlson? It seems more likely that, to the contrary, his viewers and bosses would have applauded him.

Unsurprisingly, Finkelstein did not demand or even advocate that, say, Brett Kavanaugh's LSAT score be released.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 11:00 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Misinterprets COVID Study To Fearmonger About Myocarditis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chief WorldNetDaily COVID misinformer Art Moore wrote in a March 6 article:

Members of an FDA panel were worried about the risk of myocarditis when they approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot for children last fall, and now there is more cause for concern.

A new study published by JAMA Pediatrics found adolescents were seven times more likely to be hospitalized for myocarditis after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The researchers in Hong Kong found an incidence of 39 cases of myocarditis per 100,000 inhabitants. That means that for every 2,563 teens vaccinated with two doses, one was hospitalized for myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Moore is being misleading and deceitful about the study's results. Note that Moore omits what the "seven times more likely" is in comparison to, resumably to fearmonger about the vaccine. In fact, it's in comparision to those receiving a single vaccine dose. Moore also hides the fact that the 43 cases of myocarditis hospitalization that were noted in the study came from a pool of 224,560 adolescents who had received at least one vaccine dose.

That puts the lie to another statistic he cited. Nowhere in the study does it state tha tthere were "39 cases of myocarditis per 100,000 inhabitants" or that one of "every 2,563 teens vaccinated with two doses" were hospitalized for myocarditis. Based on the numbers actually cited in the study, it's one of every 5,222 adolescents. Needless to say, Moore failed to mention that the risk of serious illness or death among unvaccinated adolescents who catch COVID is much greater than vaccine-related myocarditis.

Moore went on to mislead:

The study, published Feb. 25, argued that vaccination policy "for adolescents should consider the trade-off between risks and benefits."

"Among the 343, 700 adolescents in Hong Kong, no COVID-19-related death has been reported, and the only one admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit due to COVID-19 was an imported case, indicating that the risk of death or complications from COVID-19 is extremely low among adolescents in Hong Kong."

Moore is selectively quoting from the study, which also noted that "Since May 2021, no local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has occurred in Hong Kong, with stringent nonpharmaceutical interventions."That's because Hong Kong, like much of China, has a controversial "zero COVID" policy that quarantines anyone found to have  COVID and mandates testing and lockdowns -- a policy Moore itself has criticized, bashing Anthony Fauci for noting that it is effective.

Moore then called on his usual coterie of COVID misinformers, like Peter McCullough:

Prominent cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough has found from his review of studies that the rate of myocarditis produced by COVID-19 is mild and "inconsequential." However, myocarditis caused by the vaccine can be severe, he said, citing pre-clinical studies showing the lipid nanoparticles – which deliver the spike protein in the mRNA system – "go right into the heart."

"When the kids get myocarditis after the vaccine, 90% have to be hospitalized," McCullough said in a podcast interview in December. "They have dramatic EKG changes, chest pain, early heart failure, they need echocardiograms."

McCullough is wrong -- but Moore will never tell you that. Moore also touted Robert Malone:

Malone, on his SubStack page, said there is increasing evidence that vaccinating young people for COVID-19 is "bad medicine, bad policy and shows poor decision making by the FDA on the rushed decision to grant EUA status to these vaccines, particularly for male adolescents and male young adults."

He urged parents to "consider very carefully before making the decision to vaccinate children."

Malone's wrong too -- but, again, Moore is hiding that fact from you.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
Newsmax Keeps Up Trump Rally Stenography, Hides His Screw-Ups
Topic: Newsmax

As befits its status as a pro-Trump suck-up, Newsmax is continuing to serve up stenograhy of Donald Trump's various rallies, touting what he says without bothering to fact-check -- so much so, in fact, that Newsmax's TV website has a standing page promoting how "Newsmax will air these rallies live!" while "Most major cable news channels including Fox News have restricted or censored live coverage of these Trump rallies." For his March 26 rjally in Georgia, reporter Eric Mack cranked out stenographic articles, including a couple that summed up an interview Trump did with Newsmax TV host John Bachman: 

Mack was silent on the fact that the crowd for Trump's rally was a small one, especially compared to previous rallies. He also refused to report that Trump yet again praised Russia's Vladimir Putin as "smart" and praised other authoritarian leaders like China's Xi Jinping and North Korea's Kim Jong-Un by saying that "the smartest one gets to the top."

The following week, thiere was another Trump rally, and after a preview touting the rally featuring contributions from Mack an another article toting, more stenography by Mack:

Again, Mack censored statements from Trump that were false or made him look bad. He caimed that he was once named Michigan's man of the year -- an assertion nobody in Michigan understands -- and he also mocked the spelling of local businessman and Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, whose challenger for the GOP nomination Trump endorsed because Meijer voted to impeach him. Not only is Meijer crushing said endorsee in fundraising, he's also a member of the family that founded a hugely successful namesake superstore chain with locations in and around Michigan, so everyone at the rally already knows how to spell and pronounce his name.

But Newsmax is not about the truth when it comes to Trump -- its job is to make him happy.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EDT
CNS' Non-Heterosexual Flag Meltdown
Topic: CNSNews.com

In keeping with its obsession with Pete Buttigieg and his husband, CNSNews.com's Craig Bannister complained in a March 10 article (scare quotes in original):

A video showing U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s “husband,“ Chasten, leading gay teenagers in a distorted version of the Pledge of Allegiance went viral on social media Wednesday night.

The video, tweeted and denounced by the Richmond, Virginia chapter of gay group Log Cabin Republicans, shows Buttigieg leading the teens – holding their hands over their hearts – in reciting the following “pledge” to the LGBTQ rainbow flag:

"I pledge my heart to the rainbow of the Not So Typical Gay Camp. One camp, full of pride, indivisible, with affirmation and equal rights for all."

Buttigieg, then, waves the rainbow flag in celebration.

Bannister offered no proof that the video went "viral" outside of right-wing anti-LGBT sites (including, weirdly, the supposedly gay Log Cabin Republicans).

CNS' resident homophobe, managing editor Michael W. Chapman, had another anti-flag moment in an April 5 article:

For the first time in U.S. history, the "Transgender Flag" was flown outside of a federal building on March 31, the Transgender Day of Visibility.

The white, pink, and blue striped transgender flag was flown just below the U.S. flag on the flagpole in front of the Department of Health and Human Services building in Washington, D.C.

Chapman went on to whine: "In February 2021, President Biden nominated Rachel Levine, a transgender woman (biological male), to be the Assistant Secretary for Health at the HHS. Levine was confirmed by the Senate (52-48) to that position on March 24, 2021.  Only two Republicans joined with the Democrats to confirm Levine." CNS repeatedly attacked Levine during her nomination process.

Thne, an April 12 column by dishonesst Catholic Bill Donohue cheered a Catholic bishop who lashed out at a Catholic middle school that flew a gay pride flag:

Flying a gay pride flag at a Catholic school sends an unmistakable message: We don't buy the Church's teachings on sexual ethics. As such, it is not a plea to respect homosexuals: on the contrary, it is an in-your-face rejection of Catholicism. That this should take place at a time when child abuse is taking place in some schools, and parental rights are under attack — in the name of sexual orientation and gender identity — makes the flag issue all the more reprehensible.

Donohue has repeatedly lied in trying to blame homosexuality for the epidemic of clerical sexual abuse in the Cathollic Church.

Donohue also endorsed the bishop's complaint that the school also flew a Black Lives Matter flag, claiming without evidence that it's "an organization that is responsible for the murder of at least 25 persons and has engaged in arson, vandalism, and looting, often in black neighborhoods" and huffing, "How ironic that these brave Catholic students are still defending an organization whose leaders have ripped off the public — no one more than blacks — by buying mansions for themselves, leaving the black community high and dry." Donohue has unsurprsingly spread lies about BLM as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Monday, April 25, 2022
Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome: MRC Obsesses Over Laptop Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been a major cheerleader in the right-wing media bubble in trying to personally destroy Hunter Biden -- adhering to the official Republican script during Donald Trump's first impeachement, obsessing over his alleged laptop and mocking him for writing a book. A poll the MRC bought from Trump's pollster focused on Hunter Biden was the center of the MRC's own version of Trump's Big Lie about election fraud.

You can call this Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome.

After the New York Times apparently verified the authenticity of emails found on what has been alleged to be Hunter's laptop, Curtis Houck went into derangement overdrive in a March 17 post:

In a story posted Wednesday night, The New York Times finally came around to implicitly admitting to what many knew in 2020 but, like the intrepid New York Post, were censored for saying: The emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop are indeed real. And, worse yet, the specific e-mails that The Times confirmed involved Burisma.

Worse yet for Hunter, it was revealed he took out a loan to pay millions in back taxes while a “broad federal investigation” of his life has expanded, including testimony from the woman who’s alleged he fathered a child with. Of course, this was of no interest to Thursday’s broadcast network morning newscasts on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

[...]

Speaking of burying information, The Times ended with five paragraphs about Luden Alexis Roberts, a former employee of Hunter, former stripper, alleged baby mama that sued him “for child support and paternity in 2019” and spoke with both prosecutors and the grand jury.

Hours before The Times piece, the Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit covered the news about the FOIA request.

Of course Houck praised a Fox channel for pushing the story -- he's effectively Peter Doocy's PR agent, after all.And note his enthusiasm for the more salacious details of the story, showing his ultimate motive here is personal destruction, not factual accuracy, something that can be said for many of the right-wing promoters of the story.

What he didn't do, however, is explain why this story should matter to anyone outside his right-wing bubble, or even why the pro-Trump New York Post should have been taken at face value when the story first surfaced there. As Vox pointed out, the story about the alleged Hunter laptop surfaced before the 2020 presidential election as an obvious attempt at an October surprise, the laptop itself had been handled only by pro-Trump operatives, no verification was offered of the laptop and its contents at the time and even the owner of the repair shop the laptops were dropped off at -- who is conveniently blind so he couldn't even identify who dropped them off -- is a Trump supporter. (One New York Post reporter refused to put their byline on the story.) Even though the emails may be real, it doesn't mean the laptop belonged to Hunter Biden; its provenance and chain of custody remain a mystery. The emails also failed to prove any actual corruption they could like to Joe Biden; as Vox noted, "The emails didn’t dominate mainstream media because, at least so far, they didn’t have the goods."

But when has a lack of goods stopped anyone in the right-wing media from embracing a narrative they think will work? The MRC cranked out numerous posts about it in the following days:

Some of these posts went beyond established fact to claim the entire "Hunter Biden laptop story" has been proven real -- which it hasn't.And all of these posts avoid mentioning the fact that the story would have been believed much earlier had irrefutable verification of the contents of the laptop been presented at the time to overcome the natural reflex to not believe salacious claims made during the heat of an election.

Then again, offering logical arguments are not the intent of this torrent of content -- keeping a dubious story alive by flooding the zone is. And despite this torrent, the MRC has yet to explain why anyone outside of its right-wing bubble should care about Hunter Biden for reasons that don't involve the obsessive right-wing war against the Bidens.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 11:03 PM EDT
Joel Hirschhorn COVID Misinformation Watch, Long COVID Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been a while since we checked in on serial COVID misinformer Joel Hirschhorn. He's been turning his attention lately to long COVID, a good and medically justifable thing -- but, unfortunately, he's trying to blame COVID vaccines for being a factor.

In his Feb. 3 column, he asserted that "vaccines create the same blood clot problem as COVID itself in many people," which for which he offers no evidence. In fact, the blood clot complications are extremely rare and mostly limited to the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines (the latter of which is not used in the U.S.), and that you're much more likely to get a blood clot from COVID than a vaccine. Hirschhorn continued:

Months ago, in July 2021, a brave and smart Canadian doctor, Charles Hoffe, went public with his findings on COVID-vaccinated patients. Using the d-dimer test of blood, he found that 62% of hundreds of his vaccinated patients had high numbers indicating the presence of micro blood clots. A d-dimer test measures the amount of degraded fibrin in the blood.

He did more than just release that finding. He said that the use of mRNA vaccines would "kill most people through heart failure."

[...]

In plain language he said that the mRNA shots are programmed to turn a person's body into a spike protein "factory," and that over time these mass-produced spike proteins cause progressive blood clotting.

He said what other medical experts have expressed, namely that only 25% of the "vaccine" injected into a person's arm actually stays in the arm. The other 75% is collected by your lymphatic system and literally fed into your circulation so these little packages of messenger RNA invade your body. And in a single dose of Moderna "vaccine" there are literally 40 trillion mRNA molecules.

In fact, the spike protein used in COVID vaccines is not toxic, nor does it linger in the body at any toxic level after vaccination. Hoffe is currently facing a disciplinary panel in Canada for spreading CPOVID misinformation.

Hirschhorn went on to cite "the work of Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi. He has noted 'immune and blood-related categories of risks from vaccines: (1) Clotting from the direct action of spike protein in the bloodstream; (2) Further clotting from the immune system attacking spike-producing endothelial cells.'" As we noted the last time Hirschhorn cited him, Bhakdi is a rabid anti-Semite.

Hirschhorn used his Feb. 21 column to hype isolated cases of myocarditis in young men who got the vaccine -- a rare but acknowledged risk -- and one case of a woman who died of anaphylaxis from getting a vaccines, then went into devil's advocate to spread doubt. He conceded that the CDC says allergic reactions to the vaccine happen in only 5 in one million people, then added, "But are the people giving the shots capable of predicting who is at significant risk of a deadly allergic reaction?" He similarly acknowledged that most medical professionals say that the risk of dying of COVID far exceeds the risk of being hurt by the vaccine, then added: "Which side are you on? Can most people reasonably estimate their risk from COVID vaccine shots?"

Hirschhorn concluded by playing the fear card again:

The main point is that people really are dying because of COVID vaccine shots. In some cases, there are no symptoms acting as a warning of a deadly outcome.

It is often argued by pro-vaccine people that no causality has been proven between COVID vaccine shots and subsequent deaths. That is not true. Autopsies are critically important. Timing by itself does not prove causality. The CDC position is: "Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem."

One can only imagine how many thousands of post-vaccine deaths could have been shown to be caused by vaccine shots if detailed, first-rate autopsies had been done and the results made public. Word is seeping out that hospitals are persuading families of their dead loved ones to cremate their bodies to avoid autopsies.

Note that a new analysis concludes: "As of 6 February 2022, based on publicly available official U.K. and U.S. data, all age groups under 50 years old are at greater risk of fatality after receiving a COVID-19 inoculation than an unvaccinated person is at risk of a COVID-19 death. All age groups under 80 years old have virtually no benefit from receiving a COVID-19 inoculation, and the younger ages incur significant risk."

This review shows that it is time for vaccine coercion and mandates to stop. The truth is that vaccine shots are not always safe.

That "analysis" probably shouldn't be trusted. First off, neither of its authors are medical professionals; Stephanie Seneff is a computer scientist who, as we documented, loves to spread medical misinformation, and Kathy Dopp is a mathematician who's an aggressive anti-vaxxer. The fact their study has been embraced by the likes of quack doctor Joseph Mercola is another reason not to trust it.

Hirschhorn continued to baselessly link vaccines to long COVID in his March 9 column:

There is a very high probability that recovered COVID victims succumbed to all the government coercion and propaganda and got the vaccine shots, even though they have natural immunity governments have not given credit for.

hysicians also are likely seeing "COVID" patients who never had proven COVID infection but were vaccinated. Surely there have been millions of Americans who might have been infected but were asymptomatic and did not have a positive test result. They may assume they were infected! And they very likely got vaccinated. Physicians seeing these people who are complaining of long COVID symptoms may actually be seeing people suffering from vaccine impacts. The medical reason is that spike proteins cause micro blood clots, and the main mRNA vaccines pump bodies full of spike proteins.

Hirschhorn went on to rehash Hoffe's conspiracy theories, which tells us he has no information to impart and must keep relying on the misinformers he has previously embraced.

He was still at it in his April 19 column. Surprisingly, he actually found an mainstream article that discussed the possibility, though he barely acknowleged the fact that the article called any possible link between vaccines and long COVID extremely rare. He hyped a protocol that a physician, Bruce Patterson, developed to treat long COVID, but didn't mention that Patterson has fought to keep his protocol from beingendorsed by anti-vaxx activists like the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. Indeed, Hirschhorn seems to be miffed that Patterson isn't buying into his conspiracy theories about long COVID: "In none of Patterson's considerable writings is there any mention of micro blood clots, nor has he invoked them as explaining the vascular inflammation his treatment protocol addresses."

Hirschhorn eventually complained about the lack of data on the effectiveness of Patterson's protocol -- which others have also noticed, meaning that he can get things right on occasion -- and concluded: "Sometimes it is necessary to consider whether something is really not as good, safe and effective as it's marketing proclaims, especially for a medical cure. If something seems too good to be true, it just might be false. It comes down to trust." The same can be said about Hirschhorn's conspiratorial claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2022 9:05 PM EDT

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