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Sunday, May 8, 2022
CNS' Marijuana Meltdown
Topic: CNSNews.com

The House of Representatives discussed decriminalizing marijuana recently, and it sent CNSNews.com into a tizzy. Editor Terry Jeffrey wrote a March 25 article noting that "Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) sent out a tweet on Thursday stating that 'federal cannabis legalization' is now a 'priority' for the U.S. Senate." Susan Jones followed up with a March 31 article suggesting that Nancy Pelosi wants to destroy children by supporting the legislation:

At many of her news conferences, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) talks about her concern for children -- "my reason to be here" (in the Congress), she said again on Thursday.

Also at Thursday's news conference, Pelosi expressed her support for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which decriminalizes marijuana and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana. "I'm all for it," she said.

The bill also makes other changes (see below) --  including a name change -- "cannabis" instead of "marijuana" in federal legislation:

"The MORE Act that is on the floor today," Pelosi said in her opening remarks. "It's a major criminal reform bill that helps end the racial and economic injustice of marijuana decriminalization. It, ah, it's -- we're very proud of the work that has gone into it, and we would hope that it has support in the Senate."

Oddly, despite that introduction, Jones made no argument about how any of the provisions in the bill-- like the language change from marijuana to cannabis -- are harmful to children.

When the legislation passed the House, Melanie Arter did a short, straightforward article on it. This was followed by an anonymously written article weirdly highlighting that the bill "includes a section that makes it illegal to print an 'indecent or immoral picture' on a package of cannabis that is offered for sale."

Then, CNS tried to pump up concern about the bill by sending intern Emily Robertson out to pester senators about it. In what appears to be her last major project as CNS' spring intern, she hurled this question at passing senators: “The House voted last week to legalize cannabis. Do you use cannabis and if not, why not?” with the occasional follow-up quesiton, “So, do you think it’s harmful?” She got these senators to answer:

Robertson's articles also included this bit of boilerplate:

As documented by Alex Berenson in his 2019 book, Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, "Research on individual users—a better way to trace cause and effect than looking at aggregate state-level data—consistently shows that marijuana use leads to other drug use. For example, a January 2018 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that people who used cannabis in 2001 were almost three times as likely to use opiates three years later, even after adjusting for other potential risks.”

Roberton didn't mention that, as we noted, critics found Berenson's book to be inaccurate and alarmist, or that the book's title is taken from the original title of the notoriously insane anti-marijuana propaganda film "Reefer Madness."She also didn't mention that Berenson has since found infamy for being wrong about so many things regarding the COVID pandemic -- which, of course, made the Media Research Center, CNS' parent, want to portray him as a victim for his wrongness being held to account.

CNS concluded this round of obsession with an April 19 Berenson-esque column by Bill Donohue declaring that supporters of legalizing marijuana "totally ignore what we know about the psychological and physiological effects of marijuana use" and that legalization in some areas of the U.S. "has proven to be a death sentence for too many Americans."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 9, 2022 3:36 PM EDT
Saturday, May 7, 2022
MRC's Houck Cheers Doocy Lobbing More Biased Questions At Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent days being triggered by President Biden calling biased Fox News reporter Peter Doocy a "stupid son of a bitch" (while, of course, denying it was being triggered). So Curtis Houck made sure tohype future Doocy confrontations with Biden.

Houck hyped "Doocy Tme" with Biden upon he Russian invasion of Ukraine in a Feb. 24 briefing derisively headlined "You Awake Now, Joe?" in which he also touted other reporters "call[ing] out the likelihood the latest round of economic sanctions would do all but nothing to deter Putin":

Following Vega, it was Doocy Time as the Fox News correspondent first touched on the economic impact in the U.S.:

[M]arkets are down and gas prices are up. I know you always stress the difference between Wall Street and main street, but everybody seems to be in for some economic pain. How economically painful is it going to get for people in this country?

Biden replied “markets will respond,” but it’s “highly unlikely” to have a long-lasting impact “as long as” the U.S. and its allies “stay resolved in imposing the sanctions.”

Doocy continued to press, asking whether Biden “underestimate[d] Putin” and if he’s “confident” these sanctions will “be as devastating as Russian missiles and bullets and tanks.” In both cases, Biden answered in the affirmative.

It's all aout Doocy landing punches on Biden, not whether the questions are unfair in a time of conflict.

Houck covered a March 28 press briefing by Biden in great anticipation of another hot-mic moment. Instead, Houck had to settle for crushing on Doocy for hurling more right-wing narratives at Biden and treating him has a returning hero after a two-week absence from the White House briefing room (which Houck didn't explain):

Making his first appearance during a White House Q&A since March 10 (when he asked Jen Psaki whether President Biden owns an electric car), Fox News’s Peter Doocy went toe-to-toe with Biden Monday over numerous statements the latter made during last week’s European excursion that drew condemnations from international leaders and White House walkbacks.

Doocy surfaced partway through the 13-minute availability with “an important question” after Biden needled him about “ask[ing] a really nice question”: “Are you worried that other leaders in the world are going to start to doubt that America is back if some of these big things that you say on the world stage keep getting walked back?”

Biden was incredulous, wondering: “What’s getting walked back?”

Doocy ran through three examples before Biden interrupted to say “none of the three occurred”:

It made it sound like, just in the last couple days, sounded like you told U.S. troops that they were going to Ukraine, it sounded like you said it was possible the U.S. would use a chemical weapon, and it sounded like you were calling for regime change in Russia.

On the threat of chemical weapons, Doocy asked again and Biden demurred. But when Doocy asked “what...that mean[t],” Biden quipped: “I’m not going to tell you. Why would I tell you? You gotta be silly.”

Doocy wrapped by saying it’s something “the world wants to know,” but Biden wouldn’t budge: “The world wants to know a lot of things. I'm not telling them what the response would be. Then, Russia knows the response.”

Remember that Houck's metric is if Doocy successfully delivers his right-wing talking points and makes Biden look bad, not whether they have any basis in reality -- if Biden can be harmed, that's good enough for Houck.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 AM EDT
WND's Farah Wants To Revoke Soros' Citizenship (Again)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in 2017, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah advocated revoking George Soros' U.S. citizenship because then- President Donald Trump should do it if he "wants to reform election practices in the U.S. – and, frankly, make America great again," adding that "One thing I've admired about Trump is his willingness to take the fight to the opposition." In his March 23 column, Farah rehashed the idea again, asserting that his dual citizenship is "fraudulent": 

Somehow Soros mysteriously was granted dual citizenship – in 1961! I was 7 years old at the time! Presumably, he bought it, like he tries to buy everything else he wants, including the chaos he has successfully spread in our streets, our elections, our culture.

Soros is an immigrant from Hungary, yet he still maintains his citizenship there. That's something America discourages. Dual citizenship is hard to get. Yet, he has maintained it while fomenting riots in the streets and spreading anti-American ideas with his vast wealth. Now he is trying to do the same thing in Hungary that he is doing to America. Let's see who wants this guy!

He has also been convicted of securities crimes. That should be the basis for dumping his dual citizenship.

Why is a man like this permitted to use his wealth to have such profound political and cultural influence within our country?

I haven't seen anyone else ask this question, but it's long past time to have the debate.

How and why is a foreigner allowed to contribute vast sums of money into America's election process?

If the credo is going to be America First, we should really consider kicking this guy right out of the country. It should be as high a priority as keeping terrorists out.

The question has't been asked because America is not in the habit of revoking someone's citizenship over differences in political views. Farah offered no evidence to prove his claim that there was something untoward in Soros being granted dual citizenship, and he offered no evidence that revocation of citizenship has ever been applied as a punishment for securities violations.

Much of the rest of the column is copied-and-pasted from his 2017 piece.

We'll let Soros himself have the last word: "Revoking citizenship as a form of punishment is wrong and undermines the rule of law."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Friday, May 6, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome Editon
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck made sure to fold in his employer's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome into his near-daily attacks on White House press secretary Jen Psaki as seen through biased right-wing reporters. A summary of the March 17 briefing focused on the former:

After scores of COVID and Ukraine questions at Thursday’s White House press briefing, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann and Daily Mail’s Rob Crilly finally broke through with one question each about Hunter Biden in light of a New York Times report that all but admitted the New York Post was right in 2020 about his infamous laptop. Unfortunately, Press Secretary Jen Psaki wanted nothing to do with them.

[...]

Of course, Psaki wasn’t interested, saying Wegmann should speak “to the Department of Justice and also to Hunter Biden’s representatives” because “[h]e doesn’t work in the government.”

Imagine if/when a Trump press secretary said that about Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump amid four years of the liberal media obsessing over their business careers? The horror!

A second report from Houck on that day's briefing mocked reporters for still being concerned about COVID, dismissing it as "fear porn" (as if his employer's obsession with Hunter Biden was not that):

Thursday’s Psaki Show reminded viewers of a sad but necessary reminder that too many in the liberal media will never relent on fear porn surrounding the coronavirus and their penchant for restrictions on everyday life. Such was the case with numerous reporters pushing the press secretary from the left to reinstitute them due to a new omicron variant and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff’s positive test.

The AP’s Zeke Miller started off the Q&A with a question as to when President Biden was last tested in light of Emhoff’s diagnosis and that of the Irish Prime Minister (whom he was supposed to meet with) and, when Psaki said the last test was on Sunday, Miller offered a long-winded commentary masquerading as a question.

As if the right-wing reporters Houck loves don't offer commentaries masquerading as questions. Indeed, for the March 18 briefing, he called such biased questions "hardballs":

Try as she might to ignore them and find favor with liberal reporters who won’t join in, Hunter Biden questions aren’t stopping anytime soon for White House press secretary Jen Psaki with Friday’s Psaki Show being the latest example in the form of a tense back and forth with the New York Post’s Steven Nelson.

Friday’s exchanged followed two questions the day prior (thanks to Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann and the Daily Mail’s Rob Crilly) about a New York Times story that all but acknowledged Nelson’s Post was correct when it came to emails detailing Hunter’s life of corruption on a laptop left at a Delaware repair shop.

Nelson kept his Times-specific question brief: “The New York Times reported this week that the First Son remains under criminal investigation. Does the President still intend to stay out of that case?”

Psaki largely stuck to her line from Thursday: “Yes. It's Department of Justice and I would point you to them.”

Nelson then shrewdly approached the issue of Biden family corruption from a different angle, starting with a Senate Republican report (which CNN and the other so-called fact-checkers have denounced as without evidence) that said a company connected “to the First Son received $3.5 million from the richest woman in Russia.”

Houck didn't complain that Nelson was straight-up repeating Republican talking points the way he likes to portray non-right-wing reporters for repeating Democratic talking points. He also didn't mention that Psaki served up a detailed rebuttal of Republican Sen. Josh Hawley's false smears of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on sentencing child porn offenders.

Psaki then came down with COVID again, and Houck once again lost interest in doing briefings for a while because a non-Psaki (deputy press secretary Chris Meagher) was on the podium in her stead. Houck somehow refrained from mocking Psaki for not being able to "move on" from COVID.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:44 PM EDT
WND Rushed To Defend Clarence Thomas Over Wife's Right-Wing Activism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like its fellow ConWebians at the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily has tried to defend Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from criticism over possible confllicts of interest due to the right-wing political activism of his wife, Ginni. When a New Yorker profile of Ginni Thomas came out in February, Art Moore rushed to her and her husband's defense:

During a hearing on his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas famously described Senate Democrats' handling of his nomination as a "high-tech lynching."

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, presiding over the confirmation, was Joe Biden. And 30 years later, as the Supreme Court deliberates over an abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the political left has launched another attack on Thomas, who has made it clear he believes the landmark 1973 ruling is unconstitutional.

This time, the attack centers on the political views and activism of his wife, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas.

Establishment media have seized on a lengthy exposé in The New Yorker by investigative reporter Jane Mayer titled "Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?"

The piece is subtitled "Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas's wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court."

Mayer doesn't hide her disdain for Ginni Thomas's conservative political views, labeling them "far-right" and noting the justice's wife believes fraud affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. And Democrats long have made it clear they think Clarence Thomas's judicial philosophy makes him the wrong kind of black man to fulfill their goal of diversity on the court.

But Mayer sets out to argue that Clarence Thomas is violating fundamental rules of judicial ethics, while acknowledging that Supreme Court justices are not bound by the rules regarding conflicts of interest to which lower-court federal judges must adhere.

While Ginni Thomas sits on the board of numerous right-wing organizations that have contributed amicus briefs to cases before the court, Moore added that "Ginni Thomas, meanwhile, has not been named in any case on the court's docket."

When texts surfaced in March showing that Ginni Thomas was lobbying then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to push to overturn the 2020 presidential election results while Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenting vote in a court ruling that ordered the release of documents related to the Capitol riot, it was time for Moore to play cleanup again in a March 25 article after one Democratic member of Congress called for Clarence Thomas' impeachment, prompting Moore to try and re-litigate the discredited Big Lie WND and Trump have pushed about election fraud:

All of the texts, except for one dated Jan. 10, 2021, were sent between Nov. 4 and Nov. 24, 2020. During that time, Trump and his allies began mounting a case, beginning with the inexplicable stoppage of the vote count in key Democratic strongholds of battleground states when Trump had a considerable lead. This month, a taxpayer-funded investigation of alleged vote fraud by former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman concluded the state's 2020 presidential election should be decertified.

[...]

In its story Thursday, the Post doesn't present any evidence that Ginni Thomas' activism had anything to do with the no vote of Clarence Thomas, an "originalist" justice who has been ranked by various metrics as the "most conservative" member of the court.

As we've noted, the Wisconsin report has been discredited by observers more serious than the right-wing extremist Gableman.

Moore followed up with a March 28 article featuring right-wing-friendly law professor Jonathan Turley insisting that calls to impeach Thomas "are entirely disconnected from any constitutional or logical foundation, adding that "Turley pointed out that Ginni Thomas, a well-known Republican activist and Trump supporter, simply was urging Meadows 'to pursue legal and legislative challenges to what she viewed as a stolen election.'" That was followed by a March 31 article in which Moore touted right-wing legal pundit Andrew McCarthy saying much the same thing.

A March 31 column by Nolan Lewallen also rushed to the Thomases' defense, first starting with Hunter Biden whataboutism and concluding with sappiness about meeting them:

I had the incredible honor of meeting Justice Thomas and his lovely wife, Ginni, in 2010. I was an airline pilot at the time, and they were on one of my flights from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). The agent in IAD had told us they were on-board, so when we got to the gate in DFW, I got off as quickly as I could to watch for them on the jet bridge.

When I saw Justice Thomas get off the aircraft, I fell in alongside him, and as we walked up the jet bridge ̶ at the usual fast pace after being trapped in an a tube for several hours ̶ I introduced myself and told him that I wanted the honor of meeting him. I expected a quick half-turn of his head with maybe a half-smile and a quick hand shake, while keeping up the fast pace. I was in complete awe to see him stop in his tracks (despite the "stampede" behind us), set down his briefcase, turn his entire body toward me, looked me right in the eyes, and with a warm smile told me it was his pleasure. He then introduced me to Ginni. She seemed like such a sweet, humble and gracious woman.

Look, a husband and wife should be a very close duo, as designed by God. And most individuals holding any position of authority ̶ even a president or Supreme Court justice ̶ will have opportunities to be influenced by their spouse (whether it's intentional or not). But they should be able to exercise good judgment, free from personal bias.

He concluded by declaring that "Ginni Thomas is an American citizen and has every right to have political opinions. And under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, questions about an election can be raised through a standard process."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:03 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 6, 2022 5:11 PM EDT
MRC Obsesses Over Hunter Biden's Secret Service Protection, Censors Prolifigate Trump Security Costs
Topic: Media Research Center

How endemic is the Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome at the Media Research Center? It's mad that he's getting Secret Service protection, even though he's entitled to it as the son of the president of the United States. Curtis Houck ranted in an April 4 post:

Along with CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America decided it wouldn’t do its job on Monday of covering the latest layer of the Hunter Biden saga as a new report said the Secret Service is spending “more than $30,000 a month to rent out a swanky Malibu, California, mansion” to protect the First Son. 

The outlet that reported this in a 1,433-word story, posted at 4:54 a.m. Eastern? ABCNews.com!

[...]

In contrast, FNC’s America’s Newsroom and The Faulkner Focus had mentions for 44 and 50 seconds, respectively thanks to chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel.

Houck didn't mention that Fox News has a serious anti-Biden bias.

Kevin Tober took over the whining later that day:

After ignoring the story during their morning news shows, all three evening newscasts (ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, &NBC Nightly News) continued their omission of the latest scandal surrounding Hunter Biden, as a new report out shows the Secret Service is currently spending more than $30,000 a month to rent the property next to Hunter's luxurious home in Malibu, California in order to protect him.  

As NewsBusters's Curtis Houck pointed out this morning, ABCNews.com ran a 1,433-word story on the latest Hunter saga, yet their morning and evening newscasts still ignored their own reporter's story.

Instead, ABC's World News Tonight decided to run weather reports, fearmonger over climate change, and speculate over whether or not professional golfer Tiger Woods will be making a comeback or not. NBC Nightly News also ran a climate fear segment and a weather report, and CBS Evening News< wasted airtime on March Madness and the Grammys.

In contrast, Fox News Channel's chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel covered the story throughout the day, with reports on America’s Newsroom, The Faulkner Focus, and Special Report.

Like Houck, Tober didn't mention Fox News' anti-Biden bias, which would explain the wall-to-wall coverage it devoted to the subject.

By contrast, the MRC was silent when it was revealed that the Secret Service spent $3,000 a month -- for a total of more than $100,000 over the Trump presidency -- to pay for use of a bathroom next door to the mansion where Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, lived. It was also silent about a similar inconvenient revelation, that before leaving office, Donald Trump secretly awarded six additional months of Secret Service protection for his children and other administration officials at a cost of $1.7 million, and that he also "required the Secret Service to devote agents and money to an unexpected set of people: wealthy adults, with no role in government, whom the agents trailed to ski vacations, weekend houses, a resort in Cabo San Lucas, and business trips abroad."

If the MRC actually cared about wasteful government spending, it would have pointed that out. But it cares only about politics and playing gotcha on President Biden and his family. The above posts made that clear. Houck whined that "The liberal media spent over four years losing its mind over any and all matters concerning the protection of President Trump and his family, but they’ve shown an aversion to the same posture with their own team and the Biden family," and Tober similarly groused: "If the first son's name was Hunter Trump instead of Hunter Biden, you can bet that all three networks would be setting their hair on fire with rage over this abuse of taxpayer dollars by Hunter. Of course, his last name is Biden so the leftist media is always happy to look the other way."

But if your last name is Trump (or you're married to one), the MRC is happy to give you a pass for your prolifigate security spending.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 6, 2022 1:42 PM EDT
CNS Intern Is Uncritical Stenographer for Anti-Trans Activist, Repeating An Error In The Process
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com intern Emily Robertson wrote in an April 1 article:

The Biden Administration is engaging in "institutionalized child abuse" by encouraging children to transition genders, Walt Heyer, who was formerly transgender, argued to Fox News host Laura Ingraham Thursday.

Ingraham invited Heyer, who was born a biological male, transitioned to female at the age of 17, and then detransitioned some years later, on  to share his regret of transitioning along with addressing the consequences of parents and the government encouraging children to transition.  

“This is institutionalized child abuse; they’re working on destroying an entire generation of children," Heyer told Ingraham. "None of these children need hormone blockers, they don’t need to transition. One of the things that nobody ever seems to talk about is this one word called 'consequences.'"

Robertson didn't even get Heyer's origin story straight; he transitioned at age 42, not 17. Robertson simply repeated what Ingraham had said about Heyer and didn't bother to fact-check. She also failed to describe Heyer -- who has published a few commentaries at CNS over the years -- as the right-wing, anti-trans activist he is and that his views on transgenderism are out of date. As Media Matters noted:

Heyer's experience isn't reflective of the experiences of the overwhelming majority of transgender people; he even admits that he was “misdiagnosed” and was actually suffering with “a dissociative disorder that required talk therapy, not surgery.” His views about transitioning aren't rooted in research or medical expertise. The idea that many transgender people experience “transition regrets” has been widely debunked and contradicts the positions of major professional medical organizations, which all view transitioning as an important and beneficial step for people who identify with a gender identity that doesn't correspond with their biological sex.

The fact that Robertson just did stenography (and even then got a major fact wrong) and didn't include a balanced view shows us that CNS is teaching its interns to be partisan activists, not journalists.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 6, 2022 1:06 AM EDT
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Wash. Post Sets Off Another Bout Of Hunter Biden Derangememt At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

After overstating the findings of the Washington Post's investigation into what could and could not be confirmed about the contents of what is alleged to be Hunter Biden's laptop, the Media Research Center again shifted into Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome overdrive over the following few days to hype those findings and attack anyone who didn't as politicially motivated to hype it as much as it was:

So obsessed was the MRC with Hunter Biden that at one point on March 31, of the 14 slots in the top section of the NewsBusters front page, 10 featured Hunter-related content.


 

The dishonest framing continued as well. An April 1 column by Tim Graham declared that the Post found that "a notable fraction of Hunter’s laptop contents were authentic." Actually, the Post stated that while some email messages could be verified, the vast majority of the laptop's alleged contents couldn't be because  of "sloppy handling of the data" by the right-wing activists who had been passing the laptop's contents around. Graham went on to whine that "the broadcast network morning and evening newscasts went 260 days without mentioning Hunter Biden" -- but avoided the inescapable fact that there was every reason not to trust the contents given that they came from right-wing operatives as an October surprise during a presiential campaign and those operatives provided no verification of the data.

An April 4 post by Scott Whitlock misleadlingly portrayed the laptop's contents as verifiably "accurate" from the start and what "what millions of Americans already knew," then complained that the Post highlighted that perfectly reasonable mistrust of the partisan sources as a reason the story was ignored outside the right-wing media bubble.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Pushes Dubious Story About Hunter Biden, Ukraine Biolabs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily writer Bob Unruh is clearly feeling a touch of Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome, if a March 25 article is any indication:

A stunning report from the Daily Mail on Friday linked the scandal-plagued Hunter Biden to financing a "U.S. military 'bioweapons' research program in Ukraine."

Joe Biden's son has been in the headlines over the last year or two for multiple scandals, such as his being paid tens of thousands of dollars a month from the Ukrainian Burisma gas company – even though he had no industry experience.

What he did have was a father who was vice president at that time for Barack Obama and in charge of U.S.-Ukraine policy. And Joe Biden later ordered the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor looking into corruption at Burisma.

But details about payments to the Biden family from Chinese and Russian interests, Hunter Biden's dealings with prostitutes, and many other topics, have been revealed through a laptop he abandoned at a repair shop, which was turned over to the FBI, which is now investigating Hunter Biden's taxes and international business dealings.

The Daily Mail, with access to a copy of that hard drive, said that the Russian government's claims that "Hunter Biden helped finance a U.S. military 'bioweapons' research program in Ukraine" "may well be true."

That, the report said, is according to "emails and correspondence obtained by DailyMail.com from Hunter's abandoned laptop."

Unsurprisingly, Unruh is once again in stenography mode here and made no effort whatsoever to fact-check what was in the notoriously unreliable Daily Mail.

As an actual, reliable media organization reported, this claim is rooted in  Russian disinformation about the U.S. running biolabs in Ukraine (which, of course, WND has spread as well).And the claim has been pretty much blown up:

First of all, as we have previously documented, these are not bioweapons labs, but biological research facilities focused on better detecting, diagnosing and monitoring infectious-disease outbreaks. Second, random emails can be easily misinterpreted without additional reporting.

We’ve dug into the records and discussed the deals in question with people involved. The reporting from those news outlets is false. Hunter Biden has come under scrutiny for business deals in places such as Ukraine and China that took place while his father was vice president. But he was not “financing” these labs. In fact, he was not part of a decision to invest in a company at the center of the Russian allegations, he did not profit from it as he was kicked out of the investment firm over cocaine allegations, and the company made little money from its tiny bit of business in Ukraine.

Needless to say, Unruh's bogus claim remains on the WND website live and uncorrected.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EDT
CNS Still Mainstreaming Boebert's Extremism
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a history of promoting Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert while censoring the fact that she's a right-wing extremist who has been a follower of QAnon and whose origin story of getting involved in politics because someone was killed outside her restaurant has been proven to be a lie. Now CNS is ramping up its promotion of Boebert again. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted Boebert's transphobia (as well as his own) in an April 1 article:

House Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) introduced a resolution on Wednesday to recognize U.S. Olympic and college swimmer Emma Weyant as the real 1st place winner of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming championship because transgender "female" Lia Thomas, a biological male, was awarded the winning medal.

"Whereas Emma Weyant’s first-place medal was stolen from her by a man competing in women’s swimming: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes and honors Emma Weyant as the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s 500-Yard Freestyle," reads the resolution introduced by Rep. Boebert.

[...]

Emma Weyant, a real woman, who won a Silver Medal in the 2020 Olympics and swims for the University of Virginia, competed against other women and Thomas at the event. Thomas came in first, Weyant was second, and Erica Sullivan came in third in the 500-yard freestyle race.

Emily Robertson gave Boebert to rage against the idea that LGBQ should not be hated or discriminated against in schools in an April 8 article:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called out the Biden Administration's unsettling promotion of gender reassignment surgeries on children, saying “Get out of our lives, get out of our homes, these are our children, not yours. Back the hell up," while speaking with Fox News host Laura Ingraham Thursday.

Boebert appeared as a guest on Ingraham’s show, relaying her concern about children and how American tax dollars may be used to support gender reassignment surgeries on boys and girls due to the Biden Administration and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra’s promotion of the transitioning of children.

"Laura, you know, this isn’t pleasant, but we need to know if our tax dollars are going to remove the breasts of young girls, if our tax dollars are going to remove the genitalia of our young boys," Boebert said. "These are children and my message to the Biden regime is get out of our lives, get out of our homes, these are our children, not yours. Back the hell up."

We feel sorry for any Boebert children who fail to become good little Boebert-bots as she demands.

Chapman returned to let Boebert spew hate at DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for committing the offense of wanting to counter disinformation in an April 29 article:

House Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) announced today that she is crafting a bill that would defund and prohibit the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) "so-called Disinformation Governance Board," stating that the board is a Stalinist-like "Ministry of Truth."

She also said that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is "a traitor to the Constitution" and should be impeached.

[...]

The board has been denounced by many Republicans, civil libertarians, and legal experts, and likened to the "Ministry of Truth" in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984

Chapman offered no proof that this is actually the case -- afater all, his job is to serve as stenographer for conservatives and right-wingers, not a fact-checker of them.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Psaki-Bashing And Doocy-Fluffing At The MRC, January/February 2022
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck sent sluggishly into the new year of attacking what he dismissively calls "the Psaki Show," but once he did, he continued to churn out the same old right-wing bias. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
CNS Opinion Pieces Joined 'News' Side In Opposing Jackson
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's coverage of Ketenji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination was just as unfair and unbalanced on its opinion side as it was on the "news" side. We've already noted that editor Terry Jeffrey took a shot at her shortly after her nomination was announced, followed by Hans Bader trying to (badly) play the race card. Other opinion pieces took the same anti-Jackson tack -- not a surprise, since liberal opinions are forbidden at CNS.

In his March 23 column, Jeffrey grumbled: 

Had President Joe Biden believed there was any chance Jackson would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, he would not have nominated her to the Supreme Court.

If the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee believed there was any chance Jackson would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, they would not be supporting her confirmation.

Jeffrey refused to acknowledge the obvious parallel: If Donald Trump believed there was any chance Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Comey Barrett would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, they would not have been nominated, and Republicans (and Jeffrey) would not have supported them.

Tony Perkins used his March 24 column to falsely claim that "Jackson is getting the respect that Kavanaugh and Barrett deserved" in her Senate confirmation hearing -- then showed her disrespect by complaining that "Jackson seemed to be toeing the White House line on everything from life to transgenderism," as if Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Comey Barrett weren't toeing the Trump White House line in their hearings. He then repeated right-wing attacks on her over the definition of a woman.

Speaking of toeing political lines, a commentary the next day by Nicole Russell slavishly repeated Republican attacks on Jackson over the whole define-what-a woman-is thing:

Society has known the definitions of “woman” and “man” for millennia. This was not a trick question, but probably a primer to understanding where Jackson might rule on cases that specifically address issues of gender and sex, cases like Bostock v. Clayton County, which now bars discrimination based on gender identity, just as the law bars discrimination based on sex.

[...]

By refusing to answer the definition of “woman,” Jackson leaves the door open to what she thinks about sex, gender, and controversial cases like Bostock v. Clayton County.

If Jackson knows the definition of “woman” but remains afraid to say so, this is certainly a red flag. In a free country, a Supreme Court nominee should be able to speak the truth without fear of repercussion.

If Jackson is unable or unwilling to define what a woman is in a legal sense, this can pose real problems for future cases she may hear as a sitting Supreme Court justice. How can she know what the law says on sex and gender identity if she cannot define sex? How can she rule in cases on women’s issues or rights when she isn’t sure how to define a woman?

Jeffrey spent his April 6 column repeating an attack on Jackson by CNS' most quotable senator, Ted Cruz:

The Founding Fathers, as noted, said in the Declaration that "all men are created equal" and "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

A set of written questions that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (for whom this writer's daughter works) submitted to Jackson during her confirmation hearings asked the following: "Please explain, in your own words, the theory prevalent among members of the Founding Fathers' generation that humans possess natural rights that are inherent or inalienable."

[...]

The very next written question asked Jackson: "Do you hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights, yes or no?"

Jackson responded: "I do not hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights."

So, she does not agree with the foundational principle of the Declaration of Independence?

Funny, we don't remember CNS mentioning that its editor's daughter is employed by Cruz in the dozens of stenography articles it has published about Cruz over the past few years. Most normal people would call that failure to disclose a conflict of interest.

Jeffrey then followed up his "news" side's attack on Mitt Romney for voting to confirm Jackson with an April 13 column castigating him some more, complete with irrelevantly noting that Romney was governor of Massachusetts before moving to Utah:

Today, Romney is a senator from Utah — not Massachusetts.

Now, he favors abortions only when the child being killed was conceived through rape or incest or when the abortion is to "protect the life of the mother."

[...]

What this signifies is that through most of his 30-year political career, Romney has failed to take a logical position on the most profound role of government: protecting human life.

It is a biological fact that an unborn child is a human being. A person who deliberately kills an unborn child is deliberately killing a human being.

Given that both articles have the same Massachusetts reference and similar attacks, one must wonder if Jeffrey also wrote the first hit piece on Romney, which was published anonymously. Isn't it dishonest of him to hide his authorship?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:56 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2022 11:52 AM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Defends Gabbard For Pushing Biolab Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Newsmax

A March 25 Newsmax column by George J. Marlin is devoted to defending Tulsi Gabbard:

Earlier this month, inside-the-beltway progressives went ballistic after Gabbard made a statement concerning revelations of U.S. supported bio labs in Ukraine.

Gabbard stated the fact "that there are over 25 U.S.-funded bio labs in Ukraine, which if breached, would release and spread deadly pathogens across the United States and the world."

Reacting, progressives accused Gabbard of telling "traitorous lies," promoting "Russian Propaganda," "shilling for Putin" and Instagram is "shadow banning" her.

The leftist commentator, Keith Olbermann, demanded that Gabbard be arrested for being a "Russian asset" in time of war.

The left’s favorite tool, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, also jumped into the fray.

He declared, "Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives." CNN contributor Alyssa Farah agreed: "I think Mitt Romney is absolutely right … this is … the Russians are spreading propaganda … it’s helping them get away with acts against Ukrainian civilians."

Huh?

To accuse Gabbard of treason — of betraying her country — for commenting on a matter in Ukraine is not only ludicrous but scary.

Marlin omitted the fact that Gabbard was not stating a fact. While there are biolabs in Ukraine, the U.S. is not running them and there is no evidence it is.By claiming otherwise, Gabbard is, in fact, spreading Russian disinformation. Still, Marlsin continued to falsely insist that Gabbard told the truth and that she was being persecuted by liberals, huffing that "Progressives arresting perceived dissenters is not new":

If the 1918 Sedition Act were in force today — the progressives would throw Tulsi Gabbard into the darkest dungeon for daring to speak the truth.

Yes, the left confirms Ron Paul’s maxim, "Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

Gabbard and I are on opposite sides of the political fence.

Nevertheless, I applaud her for standing up to the progressives and their "empire of lies."

I hope she continues to speak out and heeds Patrick Henry’s 1776 declaration, "If this be treason, make the most of it."

Whether it's treason is debatable, butGabbard is definitely not spreading facts and definitely is spreading Russian disinformation.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
WND Touts Dubious Election Study By Discredited Researcher
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is still publishing misinformation about the 2020 election, as Bob Unruh demostrated in a March 28 article:

Even Democrats believe there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, according to a commentary from John R. Lott Jr., formerly the senior adviser for research and statistics at the DOJ's Office of Legal Policy and now the president of Crime Prevention Research Center.

Lott explained in his commentary at Real Clear Politics that peer-reviewed research confirms evidence of voter fraud.

[...]

He said his own peer-reviewed research to be published in Public Choice confirms evidence of "around 255,000 excess votes (possibly as many as 368,000) for Joe Biden in six swing states where Donald Trump lodged accusations of fraud. Biden only carried these states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – by a total of 313,253 votes. Excluding Michigan, the gap was 159,065."

He explained his point isn't to "contest" the election results, "but to point out that we have a real problem that needs to be dealt with. Americans must have confidence in future elections."

Neither Unruh nor Lott mentioned the fact that despite his study being submitted to the journal in December 2020, it still isn't considered to be officially published and revisions are ongoing -- a suggestion that the peer review process isn't going well. Another suggestion it's not going well is that other researchers have pretty much decimated Lott's work. Politiclal scientist Andrew Eggers and a colleague submitted a brief to the journal slated to publish Lott's study is based on crucial errors and selective reporting of data that, when corrected, no longer support his conclusion. Eggers went on to state that "we’re not trying to suppress academic debate or silence efforts to uncover fraud. The paper’s main evidence is based on an error, and we think giving it a stamp of scientific approval would be bad for Public Choice (let alone democracy).

Unsurprisingly, Unruh made no effort to talk to anyone refuting tyhe research, nor did he mention Lott's history of dubious research. Such biased and selective reporting is no way for WND to rebuild the credibility it has squandered over the years.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2022 12:27 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
MRC Complains Wash. Post Did What It Wouldn't Do And Try To Confirm Hunter Biden's Laptop
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome continued with a Washington Post report on what could be confirmed as authentic -- and, just as importantly, what couldn't -- on Hunter Biden's alleged laptop. Naturally, Curtis Houck was quick to declare victory in a March 30 post:

Late Wednesday morning, The Washington Post decided that, as our Tim Graham tweeted, Democracy Has a Sunrise instead of Dying in Darkness as reporters Matt Viser, Tom Hamburger, and Craig Timberg published two bombshell articles acknowledging the existence of the infamous Hunter Biden laptop and detailing the First Son’s life of corruption as it relates to a Chinese energy company.

The trio’s admission came a year and a half after the laptop was first exposed by the New York Post and a full-court press and open collusion ensued between Big Tech, the liberal media, and the Biden campaign to censor and silence those who merely shared the New York paper’s groundbreaking story.

[...]

“Here’s how The Post analyzed Hunter Biden’s laptop” came first and did what the Daily Caller was able to do back on October 29, 2020, which was analyzed to verify its validity as “unquestionably authentic.”

Actually, the Daily Caller claimed to confirm the authenticity of only a single email, not the entire laptop -- and given its reputation as a partisan right-wing media outlet and the fact that this came in the runup to an election, there was no reason to take their word for it at face value.

Houck also proclaimed, "As we found after the 2020 election, 9.4 percent of Biden voters in swing states wouldn’t have voted for him if they had been made aware of his son’s negligence." The MRC didn't "find" this -- it paid Trump's pollster to manufacture this result in order to push Donald Tump's Big Lie about a stolen election.

Houck did grudgingly admit that much of the laptop's contents couldn't be verified because of, as the Post stated, "sloppy handling of the data" by the right-wing activists who had been passing the laptop's contents around -- which puts the lie to Houck's headline claiming that the Post story was "confirming Hunter Biden's laptop." He then whined that the Post was "downplaying the 22,000 confirmed e-mails as 'routine messages, such as political newsletters, fundraising appeals, hotel receipts, news alerts, product ads, real estate listings and notifications related to his daughters’ schools or sports teams' and 'bank notifications'" and that it "shamelessly downplayed the lies and screeches about the laptop being Russian disinformation."

But Houck is forgetting that Rudy Giuliani and the New York Post -- which sprung this story as an October surprise during the 2020 election -- failed to provide proof at the time that the laptop's contents were verified as authentic, and as the Post pointed out elsewhere, skepticism about the laptop was absolutely warranted given its origins and the fact that Giuliani and the New York Post were vociferious Trump supporters. Speculation about the laptop being Russian disinformation was not a "lie" or "gaslighting,"as Houck insists, because the chain of custody was so tainted. Additionally, the owner of the computer store where Hunter allegedly brought the laptops to be repaired, John Paul Mac Isaac, couldn't give a straight answer to questions about them.Even today, the full chain of custody of the laptop and the data has never been made fully clear.

So, yes, skepticism about the laptop's provenance were absolutely justified at the time, and the fact that only some of those questions have been resolved a year and a half after the story was unleashed confirms that skepticism. It was only pro-Trump political partisan activists like Houck and the MRC who demanded that the laptop story be swallowed whole with no questions asked whatsoever.

At least the Washington Post bothered to try to authenticate what was claimed to be on the laptop. Neither Houck nor anyone else at the MRC ever did before obsessively touting it in an attempt to damage Joe Biden's election chances and, perhaps, drive Hunter Biden to suicidal behavior. They would have been pleased with either result -- or both.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT

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