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Thursday, May 12, 2022
CNS Publishes Men's Rights Activist
Topic: CNSNews.com

In February and March, CNSNews.com published a trio of columns by Edward E. Bartlett with a curious theme. Bartlett's Feb. 7 column was dedicated to deflating the "hoax" that domestic violence against women increases during the Super Bowl, declaring, "So on Sunday, Feb. 13, let’s invite everyone to relax, enjoy the big game, and not be distracted by dishonest claims of a 'spike' in domestic violence or human trafficking."

In his March 8 column, Bartlett complained that the Violence Against Women Act violated the constitution and insisted that "men and women were equally likely to engage in domestic violence" and that VAWA became "a feminist crusade to stereotype men as abusers, weaken the family, and expand the power of the state."

Barrett ranted in his March 11 column:

With the federal Violence Against Women Act currently being considered in Congress, one would expect that all forms of domestic violence, including female-on-female abuse, would be the focus of vigorous debate. But it’s not. For example, during the recent Oct. 5 Senate hearing on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, not a peep was said about abuse in same-sex relationships.

So what’s going on?

The Centers for Disease Control suggests that among all partners, female-initiated physical (not sexual) violence is more widespread than the male-perpetrated variety. Each year in relationships, 4.2 million men suffer from physical violence, compared to 3.5 million women.

When you zero in on abuse rates in same-sex lesbian couples, the numbers fly off the charts.

[...]

The typical framing of partner abuse as men abusing women does an enormous disservice to persons in abusive lesbian relationships. Each year, half a billion dollars of taxpayer money goes to the Violence Against Women Act. Republican and Democratic lawmakers should join together to assure this milestone law is rooted in science and fact, not gender ideology.

Bartlett clearly wants to push the idea that women are aggressors and liars and that men are docile victims. The CNS bio of Everett describes him only  as "president of the Coalition to End Domestic Violence." But there's much more going on.

As the Nation documented, Bartlett is a so-call men's rights activist who is also the head of a group called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, part of a group of right-wing organizations that claim there is a crisis of false rape allegations against male college students. (Interestingly, the Nation identifies SAVE's primary funder as Hans Bader, an attorney who is also a CNS columnist.) Bartlett also works in the Department of Health and Human Services, and he used his position as well as his presidency of SAVE to help nudge Trump Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to develop new rules for handling sexual assaults on college campuses that narrowed the scope of what colleges are allowed to investigate, increased the evidentiary bar that must be met for colleges to take action and removed some protections from victims.

Even more interestingly, SAVE has been affiliated with an organization that procures mail-order brides from Russia. A woman who worked at both SAVE and the bride service, Natasha Spivack, fought to strip protection for immigrant women under a 2012 revision of the Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that they were supposedly abusing the system by making false claims of abuse -- presumably in part because her mail-order bride company was ordered to pay $434,000 in damages to a Russian immigrant woman who was abused by the man who paid the firm to procure her.

Again: The guy who runs this organization is a person CNS has decided would make a great columnist.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
CNS Questions Russian Money To 'Anti-Energy Activists,' Silent On Russian Money To GOP
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister wrote in an April 5 CNSNews.com article:

Twenty congressmen are calling on House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to hold a hearing to investigate potential efforts by Russia to undermine U.S. energy independence by funneling funds to anti-energy-production environmental groups in the U.S.

“Given the current global conflict, it is crucial that the Committee exercise its investigative powers to shine a spotlight on alarming reports of Russia’s attempt to buy influence in U.S. politics through domestic environmental groups,” says the letter sent to Maloney on Thursday.

“Russia’s energy sector plays an important role in facilitating its militaristic ambitions. Russia’s energy sales substantially support the current attack on Ukraine,” the letter explains.

The 20 members of Congress are requesting a hearing on alleged coordinated attempts by Russian entities to buy influence and finance U.S. environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in an effort to reduce the energy security of the United States.

Bannister was silent, however, on Russian money being funneled to Republican politicians. For example:

  • Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S.-British citizen with ties to Russia, donated more than $6 million to Republican PACs, many linked to GOP politicians in 2015-15.
  • Two Republican operatives were charged last year with funneling money from a Russian national to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
  • Russian oligarch Andrey Muraviev was indicted in March for funneling donations to Trump through two men who had already been accused of making illegal donations.
  • A donor to Republican Sen.Tom Cotton has received donations from a hedge fund investor who's making money off Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Donation pleas at the end of every CNS article claim that it "covers the news as it should be, without fear or favor." If that was true, wouldn't Bannister have mentioned all this Russian money going to Republican politicians?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
MRC Writer Frets Over Those Poor, Canceled Russian Athletes
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center sports blogger John Simmons started writing about the  Russian war on Ukraine the right way, with a Feb. 22 post cheeriing European soccer officials for pulling a tournament final out of St. Petersburg -- though he couldn't resist getting in a needless partisan dig, sneering that moving it "would be more nerve than President Biden had when he had the choice to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics, but chose not to." That was followed by a Feb. 28 post on how "more and more Ukrainian athletes have chosen to take up arms to defend their homeland, then a March 3 post on Riussian oligarch Roman Abramovich deciding to sell his Chelsea soccer team in Britain.

Since then, however, Simmons' focus has been on how unfair it allegedly is that Russian athletes have been barred from competing in various world events. He lamented in a March 8 post:

The ostracism of a Russian presence from sports leagues continues.

On Monday, the NHL announced they cut ties with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), a professional hockey league based in Russia, making it nearly impossible for the NHL to sign anyone playing in that league.

[...]

Unfortunately, Russian businesses have not been the only ones to suffer because their globally ambitious government decided to launch an invasion.

At the start of the 2021-2022 NHL season, five percent of all players on opening day rosters were Russian. That's not a lot, but it seems many of these athletes have received an unjust amount of abuse and ridicule in recent weeks.

Thanks to the invasion, Russian and Belarusian-born hockey players who play in both the NHL and other professional and amateur leagues in North America have received numerous discriminatory comments based solely on their origin.

Simmons tried to walk a fine line on the issue:

While the sports world was right to remove numerous international competitions from taking place in Russia, this level of hatred towards the players specifically is way out of line. The majority of these players and organizations (like the KHL) do not support Putin’s actions and have no power over their leaders or what they decide to do. As long as they do not post “Down With Ukraine” messages on social media or say anything that would imply that they are happy with what is going on, they should not receive this level of hatred.

The day after, though, Simmons cheered former NHL star Jaromir Jagr for raising money to help Ukranian victims of the war.  On March 10, though, he was back to lamenting that the Chelsea soccer team was facing sanctions due to Abramovich's ownership:

So basically, a soccer team that had nothing to do with Abramovich's potentially shady business dealings or status within Russia now has their traveling funds slashed, their revenue stream strangled, and the ability to keep their players under contract stripped from them. This begs a question: how much of this is a serious attempt to hold Putin and his cronies to account and how much is simple cancel culture?

In this particular case, no one within the Chelsea organization has supported the war or condoned Russia’s actions, and yet everyone in Chelsea’s camp is suffering major consequences -- right down to the fans.

Well, yes, shady dealings tend to have a lot of collateral damage involving innocent people. Simmons lamented some more about collateral damage in a March 18 post:

The future of Russian soccer just took a massive blow.

Russia had been suspended and prevented from competing in World Cup qualifiers, and the nation appealed and pleaded for FIFA’s (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) ban to be removed. But on Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) denied Russia’s request,meaning that Russia will still be suspended.

[...]

Just like the economic sanctions placed on Premier League team Chelsea F.C., it's difficult to know if these measures are really all that effective in holding Vladimir Putin accountable. Most Russian athletes have not supported Putin, so punishing the players and sports teams who have nothing to do with him seems like an overreach.

Simmons' whining on behalf of Russian athletes continued in an April 20 post:

Apparently, the sports world still has a thing for banning Russian athletes from competitions.

Wimbledon announced that Russian and Belarusian tennis athletes will not be allowed to compete in the iconic tournament, but those same athletes can compete in the French Open as neutral athletes.

"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships. It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022," the All England Club said in a statement.

The desire to hold Russia accountable for their actions is noble, but punishing athletes that have nothing to do with the war seems to be a miscalculation of what will solve the problem.

Simmons whined somemore about the decision in a post the next day:

Wimbledon's senseless decision to ban Russian athletes from the iconic tournament has drawn lots of backlash from the tennis community at large.

Novak Djokovic, who knows a thing or two about being on the receiving end of stupid decisions from governing tennis bodies, blasted the decision as "crazy."

[...]

?Nearly all Russian athletes across sports have said they do not support any actions from the Russian government involving the invasion of Ukraine, and are being treated unfairly for something they are not involved in. No athlete, regardless of the country, should be held to that standard.

Yes, Simmons still thinks that it was a "stupid decision" to bar a selfish unvaccinated athlete from playing a tournament in the middle of a disease surge that wash killing hundreds of people a day during a raging pandemic.

The complaining continued in an April 26 post about how Wimbledon decided to let unvaccinated athletes like Djokovic play but not Russian athletes: "Logic would suggest that you should not hold athletes who have nothing to do with a major conflict accountable for a country’s decision. But then again, logic is in short supply these days." Logic would also suggest that athletes who choose to remain affiliated with a warmongering authoritarian leader should have to feel the consequences of that decision, but that seems lacking on Simmons' side.

Simmons was at it again in an April 29 post:

At least one tennis player is disgusted with Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian athletes from this summer’s tournament.

Victoria Azarenka, who at one point in her career was the No. 1 tennis player in the world, wants the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to protest and combat the ban.

"If you are asking me if I agree with Wimbledon or see their reasoning after being on a personal call with them, I don't see their reasoning,” Azarenka said. “It does not make sense and it does not connect to what they are saying. I have made my stance very clear on the issue. I will never, ever support war.”

Azarenka gets it. It’s not like any Russian or Belarusian tennis player is a sellout for Vladimir Putin and his political actions, so it doesn’t make sense that anyone born in those countries should have to face this wacky form of punishment.

Simmons didn't mention that Azarenka is from Belarus.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 9:36 PM EDT
CNS Sneers At New NFL Hiring Requirement
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman sneered in an April 1 article:

The National Football League (NFL) announced this week that it is requiring all 32 teams in the league to hire an offensive coach who is either "a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority" to help enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, reported ABC News.

In other words, they must hire someone based on their genitalia or their skin color -- but not any white males.

But Chapman largely ignored or buried why the NFL is instituting this policy, as reported in the ABC article he cited: the NFL's players are 70 percent black, but there have been only five black NFL head coaches, including the two current ones, and only two NFL teams have non-white owners. NFL head coaches tend to be former offensive coaches.

Nevertheless, Chapman felt the need to end his article:

In his famous "I Have a Dream Speech" of Aug. 28, 1963, then-Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

Chapman was silent on the fact that the existence of so few black NFL head coaches suggests they continue to be judged by their skin and not their ability. Conservatives love to claim King as their own based on that speech but forget the fact that they hated him back in the day.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 6:02 PM EDT
Newsmax Portrays Fired Radio Host As Victim, Censors Previous Inflammatory Tweets
Topic: Newsmax

An anonymously written April 5 Newsmax article ramped uyp the victimhood for a fired right-wing radio host:

A talk show host claims she was fired from a Washington radio station because she deigned to make light of an outfit worn by Vice President Kamala Harris during last month's State of the Union address.

As reported by The Daily Mail, Amber Athey also works for conservative magazine The Spectator.

Athey is a conservative host with a job on a morning show at news station WMAL.

She got into hot water, she said, when she wrote a light tweet about the color of the suit Harris was wearing -- a brownish hue.

'Kamala looks like a UPS employee — what can brown do for you? Nothing good, apparently,' Athey wrote in the March 1 tweet, making reference to a longtime UPS tagline.

She said there was no sign of any offense for days. But in time, she said, some comments about transgender issues earned her the wrath of left-leaning activists and the tweet was recast as racist.

Just because nobody was immediately offended doesn't mean Athey's tweet wasn't offensive. The "left-leaning activists" who purportedly "recast" Athey's tweet weren't identified; again, there's no need to "recast" something as offensive when it was always that way.

Newsmax also censored the fact that this is not the first time Athey has gotten in trouble for offensive tweets. In 2019, Athey issued an apology over racist and anti-Semitic tweets which she tried to dismiss as having been made "when I was in high school," adding that "I understand now that they are not funny and are in fact extremely harmful." Of course, the vast majority of high school students graduate without ever making racist or anti-Semitic tweets.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 PM EDT
WND's Mercer Keeps Taking Russia's Side Against Ukraine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've already noted that Ilana Mercer is among the WorldNetDaily columnists who have embraced Russian disinformation in the form of allegations that the U.S. is operating biolabs in Ukraine. That's not the only time she has taken Russia's side against the U.S. in Russia's war against Ukraine. Mercer suggested in her March 3 column that it was "reasonable" for Russia to invade Ukraine because of its "security concerns":

America is still the undisputed leader in attacking sovereign nations and killing their kids. Russia's foreign meddling since the early 1990s is insignificant by comparison.

[...]

We were warned. Surround Russia with NATO members, refuse to negotiate in good faith and Putin will go to war. Yet, the stance on both sides of the Atlantic has been dismissive, even contemptuous, of Putin's reasonable, long-standing security concerns.

Mercer linked to a version of her Jan. 27 column, in which she insisted that "'the struggle for Ukraine' is a chapter in a series of U.S. orchestrated provocations, which began with the expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eastward to abut Russia's borders" and declared that "Russia finds itself between Scylla and Charybdis – allow a buildup on its border, or act, for it has legitimate security concerns."

Mercer then argued that Ukraine should simply have capituated to Russia's demands:

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky – who is the toast of the town simply because he did not skedaddle from the mess in which he mired his country – to this ass with ears goes a special award for recklessness. Not fleeing a situation largely of your making does not a hero make. Curiously, we Americans have offered Zelensky the coward's way out, when we ought to have forced him to sit down with his foes.

[...]

Ukrainians, for their part, are tireless and wily lobbyists in Washington, way more cunning than their American counterparts. For all intents and purposes, Zelensky, head of the corrupt American client statelet that is Ukraine, had tethered the fate of his country to America, NATO and the EU, constantly trying to bend these foolish and feckless entities to his will – too much of a clown to look out for his countrymen's safety, rather than his own popularity in the West.

In her March 24 column, Mercer dismissed Zelensky as a "failed leader" because he didn't capituate to Russia to stop its invasion:

To normies, a leader who doesn't plead for the lives of his people is a failed leader. Diplomacy, negotiations, a cease-fire: that's the nomenclature clear-thinking people ought to wish instinctively to hear when they see the immiseration of Ukrainians and their cities. To my knowledge, not before the war and not now has Zelensky initiated, or partaken in, or been urged to pursue serious, high-level talks with Putin.

And while there is some indication that Zelensky might be inching closer to acceding "neutrality for Kyiv and security guarantees for Moscow," publicly, Zelensky has done nothing but snarl his contempt for Russia, roaring at the Kremlin to "hold peace talks now or suffer for generations." This is not diplomacy, but yet more political posturing and provocation. (But then Zelensky, an actor, could be prepping to appear before the central, universal seat of asininity: Hollywood's Oscars.)

The Hebrew Testament (though "Old," it's never out-of-date) is bedecked with examples of leaders pleading, even bargaining, for the lives of the Stiff-Necked People. Abraham haggled ingeniously with The Almighty over Sodom and Gomorrah. Queen Esther petitioned mighty King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) on behalf of Persian Jews, and Moses did the same for his enslaved people before Pharaoh. Another Hebrew has written that "he who saves you from war is better than he who sends you to war." That's what real leadership is about – uphold and fight for the people's natural right to live peacefully.

By these reasonable and rational criteria, Zelensky and Biden are failed leaders for doing nothing but bait and goad the Russian Bear.

Mercer continued to lament poor Russia in her April 7 column:

All nations now are expected to have found religion on Ukraine. As I pointed out at the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, from COVID submission, we the zombie subjects of the new, global order – for citizens we are not – were directed to shuffle along, shipshape, into a new compliance, this time over Ukraine.

In other words, agree with the U.S.'s Disneyfied, angels-and-demons foreign policy, which has now thoroughly infected the world, or face the consequences.

And, unless Russia is made over in the cloying, sloganeering, self-righteously woke image of America – it will not be allowed to stand. Not in its current iteration. That's the message transmitted by the Biden administration, echoed by the Republican Party.

After smearing Zelensky as a "puppet President," Mercer cheered how Ukranian refugees are largely stayingin countries of similar ethnic makeup:

From the elephantine impact of the United States around the world, to the elephant in the proverbial room: Before our very eyes we see a peaceful, almost-seamless integration of millions-upon-millions of Ukrainian refugees into Poland, predominantly, as well as into surrounding countries such as Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. How so? No one will say what is so plain to see.

Those fleeing and those welcoming them with open arms are all almost exclusively of the same Slavic European racial groups, sharing similar habits, habitat and history. It's both natural and easy to welcome people so like you into your midst. For their part, grateful Ukrainians are already begging their benefactors not for handouts but for … jobs. Clearly, in homogeneous, smaller societies, the trust quotient and fellow feeling among people is high.

"Social capital" is how social scientist Robert Putnam termed this. Social connectedness, as in the "networks of organized reciprocity and civic solidarity," is high in these similar, smaller societies. If you doubt this statement of reality, just imagine the uproar that would have ensued if 3 million Syrian and Libyan refugees were preparing to flood Poland.

As befits someone who laments the end of apartheid, Mercer is not a big fan of swarhy, dark-skinned people hanging out with her fellow white Christians.

Mercer framed her May 5 column around a writer named Boyd Cathey -- a far-right activist who helped racists take over the Sons of Confederate Veterans -- who is defending Putin as a traditionalist:

Vladimir Putin, argues Dr. Cathey, has rejected the West's culturally, racially and sexually decadent ways. For this reason, the Russian president has been targeted by the United States for an excruciatingly slow demise. Led by the U.S., the West is destined to bleed Russia dry, the eventual outcome being "regime change" in Moscow (yet another "color revolution").

A trickier question for those of us on the Old Right is this: Putin is a Russian patriot. This, in-depth interviews with the Russian president amply evince. He adores and is deeply acquainted with the nation's "ancient faith," its history and traditions. But could it be that we of the Old Russell Kirk Right, nostalgic for the very same things absent in our own societies, are romanticizing the Russian people? This writer shares Dr. Cathey's love of Tsarist Russia's great culture before communism.[...]

Finally, although it is possible to justify Putin's war with reference to the more statist scholastic Just War Theory – the libertarian axiom of non-aggression won't permit such justification. Putin's war in Ukraine is a war for which there are plenty of reasons, all of them vindicating Russia; Russia is in the right! Reasons for war, however, are not the same as justification for war. A war of aggression is seldom justified.

Yes, Mercer really thinks that Russia is perfectly justified in trying to destroy Ukraine.It's telling that of thes columns, her other ConWeb outlet, CNSNews.com, has published only the April 7 column.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 1:23 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome: The So-Called Study
Topic: Media Research Center

Of course, the Media Research Center had to work a misleading "study" into its Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome, and Geoffrey Dickens did the honors in an April 18 post:

It was a bombshell story that could have swayed the 2020 presidential election. 

Just weeks before Election Day, the New York Post printed an explosive story on the morning of October 14, 2020, that alleged Hunter Biden had corrupt business dealings with Ukraine and Joe Biden knew about them.

The Post story was full of stunning revelations. The “No.3 exec” of the Ukrainian firm Burisma (the firm that was paying Hunter $50,000 a month) asked Hunter Biden for “advice on how you could use your influence” to help the company. “The blockbuster correspondence&rdquo countered Joe Biden’s assertion that he “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” The “correspondence” came from emails found in a laptop dropped off at a Delaware computer store. Also found in the laptop was video evidence of Hunter’s “raunchy” sexual behavior and drug use.

[...]

Broadcast networks systematically buried the devastating laptop story. From October 14, 2020 (the day the New York Post broke the laptop story) through the morning of April 18, 2022 — a period of 18 months — MRC analysts looked at the ABC, CBS, NBC evening and morning shows and their Sunday roundtable programs. That analysis found the total amount of time spent on the Hunter Biden laptop story came to a miniscule 25 minutes, 6 seconds.

LIke his MRC co-workers, Dickens convenient omits the fact that the Post offered no independent verification of the laptop or the information on it, and the fact it is a pro-Trump, anti-Biden media outlet repeating information from pro-Trump, anti-Biden activists like Rudy Giuliani. Those factors made it easy for media outlets outside of the MRC's right-wing bubble to ignore the story. The fact that information on the laptop couldn't be confirmed until just a couple months ago further demonstrates how questionable the original sourcing was.

As usual for an MRC "study," there was no attempt to document how much time Fox News spent on the story, let alone the amount of time Dickens and the MRC believe should have been an adequate amount for non-right-wing outlets to spend on the story. After all, if you're complaining that too little time was spent covering a story, you need a metric to determine what, exactly, "too little" actually means.

He went on to huff:

It all worked. Research conducted by The Polling Company for the Media Research Center after the 2020 election found that the media’s censorship of Biden scandals had a significant impact on the election. The survey found that 45.1% of Biden voters in seven key swing states said they were unaware of the financial scandal enveloping Biden and his son, Hunter. According to our poll, full awareness of the Hunter Biden scandal would have led 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate, flipping all six of the swing states he won to Trump, which would have given the former president 311 electoral votes.

Dickens didn't disclose the fact that, as we've noted, The Polling Company was founded by former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, raising the issue of another conflict of interest and throws doubt on the accuracy of the poll.

In short, yet another shoddy, biased, incomplete MRC "study." Did anyone expect anything different?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 PM EDT
WND Defends Conspiracy-Mongering Over Biden 'New World Order' Reference
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leave it to the conspiracy-mongerers at WorldNetDaily to defend conspiracy-mongering. Art Moore wrote in a March 22 article:

Twitter is among the media platforms taking to task "conspiracy theorists" who spotlighted President Biden's mention in a speech that "there's going to be a new world order."

The Big Tech giant said "New World Order" is a trending term on the platform as "unfounded claims" are being spread.

At a meeting Monday in Washington of the Business Roundtable lobbying organization, Biden declared: "Now is a time when things are shifting. We're going to — there’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. And we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it."

The Independent newspaper of London reported Biden "has inadvertently drawn the attention of conspiracy theorists with remarks he made at the end of a speech about the implications of Russia's assault on Ukraine."

The paper said the "'new world order' conspiracy theory dates back decades." The British stated that the theory "holds that a nefarious elite led by the United Nations and other shadowy forces is planning to install a single transnational global government via the use of force – possibly with the involvement of US agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which some believe is preparing to put Americans in concentration camps."

However, regardless of what Biden meant when he used the term on Monday, his administration is an advocate of the World Economic Forum, the globalist organization that calls for a "Great Reset" of capitalism and national sovereignty while boasting of regularly assembling "the world's most powerful decision-makers."

Biden has adopted WEF's term "Build Back Better," which captures the idea of a "Great Reset" of the world order in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Moore then rehashed purported evidence that claims to support such conspiracy-mongering:

Fact-checkers have dismissed the "Great Reset conspiracy theory," but WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab made it clear in June 2020 that the COVID-19 pandemic should be exploited as an opportunity to advance the globalist agenda promoted by his Davos conferences, which have pushed for numerous proposals, such as a worldwide carbon tax, to redistribute wealth and shift sovereignty from nation states to global entities.

[...]

One year ago, Pope Francis called for a "new world order" in a book titled "God and the World to Come." He described the new order as a shift from financial speculation, fossil fuels and military build-up to a green economy based on inclusiveness.

After the coronavirus pandemic, the pope said in an excerpt of the book released by the Vatican, "the world will never be the same again."

Did Moore think the world would remain the same after a global pandemic that killed millions of people?

Moore pushed the conspiracy theory again in a March 31 article:

Considerable attention recently has been drawn to the World Economic Forum's "Great Reset" initiative, which regards the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to accelerate the globalist objective of increasingly exchanging national sovereignty for international governance.

A lesser known entity, the starkly named World Government Summit, met this week in the ultramodern Gulf emirate Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.

Its 2022 meeting opened Wednesday with British journalist and CNN Abu Dhabi-based anchor Becky Anderson asking, "Are we ready for a new world order?"

Anderson said "the organizers here are nothing, if not ambitious" for tackling the subject, warning that the world "has hit an inflection point."

Moore then rehashed his complaints about conspiracy theorists like himself getting called out for latching onto Biden's "new world order" reference.

WND's columnist joined in the conspiracy-mongering as well. Oliver North and David Goetch wrote in their April 4 column:

On March 21, shortly before leaving for his NATO summit in Europe, President Joe Biden told the Business Roundtable about "a new world order out there, and we've got to lead it." Unlike so many of Biden's other jaw-dropping comments made before, during and after the summit, nobody raced to "clean up" or "correct" this one. White House, State Department and Pentagon officials and staffers tried to set the record straight about sending the 82nd Airborne into Ukraine, regime change in Russia and an "in-kind" response if Russia used chemical weapons against Ukraine and other Biden gaffes.

Yet no Washington or media elites tried to "walk back" Biden's "new world order" comment. Why? Because far-left globalists have been pressing for a new world order since 1940, when prolific British writer H.G. Wells published his nonfiction work, "The New World Order."

North and Goetsch went on to detail their imagined, hateful version of Biden's "new world order" to instill fear in their readers:

By allowing himself to be controlled, manipulated and scripted by the far left, Biden's new world order is one where the U.S. suffers spiraling inflation, undependable, unaffordable energy, second-class status on the world stage, out-of-control crime, increasing racial discord, food shortages, supply chain tie-ups and millions of immigrants illegally flooding our country.

In Biden's new world order, our federal government will dictate whether Americans must foreswear fossil fuels while our "elites" fly around in private jets – without wearing masks. The Bidenistas apparently believe we will allow the left to pack the Supreme Court, federalize voting laws, eliminate the Electoral College and – lest we forget – replace traditional energy sources with wind, solar and battery power. Do they really believe the eco-loons can control how hard the wind blows and how long the sun shines?

In the Biden new world order, the Peoples' Republic of China will remain ascendent in economic and military power. Through its global Belt and Road Initiative, the PRC will soon attain control over the world's most precious mineral resources and seize control over Taiwan's invaluable scientific microchip production.

[...]

Biden's pusillanimous vision of a new world order should not be America's future. We can still turn our country around before it goes over the cliff behind our bumbling, cognitively impaired, ethically miasmic and timorous president. Preventing the Biden administration's dreams of a new world order from coming to fruition is still possible, but it will require a "regime change" in Washington. 

Of course -- the whoie point of "new world order" conspiracies are to instill fear, no matter how far from reality they are.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:45 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 12:17 AM EDT
Newsmax's Gizzi Cheers Orban's Re-Election, Hides How He Rigged It
Topic: Newsmax

John Gizzi gushed over an authoritarian's re-election in an April 4 Newsmax article:

As the Biden White House and the European Union no doubt looked forlorn, near-final results from Hungary showed Monday morning that Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his conservative Fidesz Party scored a resounding 53 percent of the vote in national elections.

The vote is even more reassuring because of the significant opposition Orban has faced from within and outside of Hungary.

Both the strong economy and what supporters call Orban's "sensible conservatism" — policies that increased the birth rate and kept Hungary neutral in the Russo-Ukraine War — were key to the big win by Fidesz.

Hungarian sources told Newsmax that Orban's conservative agenda has meant a strong economy, and he translated that into a big win in parliament.

The election result means Orban will hold a record fourth consecutive term as prime minister — with 135 seats for Fidesz and the six-party opposition alliance only 56 seats.

So crushing was the victory by Fidesz that opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay lost his own district where he had been a popular mayor.

Gizzi omitted one big reason why Orban won -- his years in power allowed him to rig the election to undercut his oppostion. The Washington Post reported:

Hungary’s electoral playing field is heavily tilted against the opposition. In 2010, Orban amended the Constitution to cut the size of the parliament in about half, after which he gerrymandered the entire country. The districts, drawn with no input from the opposition, spread Fidesz voters across many small districts in rural areas while concentrating opposition voters in much larger districts in the cities, thus giving them fewer chances to win.

After this redistricting, in 2014, Orban’s party won 45 percent of the vote — but 91 percent of the districts (under Hungary’s electoral system, 106 of the seats are awarded through single-member districts, while the other 93 are awarded through a nationwide electoral list). Similarly, in 2018, Fidesz won 48 percent of the vote and 86 percent of the districts. On election night 2022, with 98 percent of the vote counted, Orban won 53 percent of the vote but 83 percent of the districts. The absentee voters are divided between liberal expats who oppose Orban and conservative Hungarians in neighboring countries who are likely to support him in larger numbers.

[...]

Facing a united opposition, Orban then changed the rules again to wrong-foot them. A November law introduced “voter tourism,” allowing any Hungarian citizen to legally register to vote in any district. Before the election, evidence surfaced that voters were being strategically moved into districts that might otherwise be close, with hundreds of voters registered at single residences. On Election Day, monitors documented minibuses delivering clusters of voters to polls.

Beyond rule-rigging, Orban so dominates the broadcast and print media landscape that the opposition could hardly get its message out.

In addition, Fidesz spent almost 10 times more than the opposition on billboards, overshooting legal campaign finance limits on billboards alone. But Fidesz has repeatedly escaped enforcement of campaign finance rules because it controls the office that enforces them, while other parties have been fined nearly out of existence.

Hiding Orban's obvious election fraud and rigging is ironic given how Newsmax has enthusiastically promoted Donald Trump's discredited election-fraud claims.

Gizzi also touted Orban's allegedly neutral stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine:

Despite the international media repeatedly dubbing Orban a "Putin Ally" and citing his convivial relationship with the Russian president, Hungarian voters apparently liked their prime minister's policy of neutrality toward Russia and Ukraine.

Hungary has criticized the invasion and taken in refugees, but has not offered to assist Ukraine's military resistance.

Despite repeated urging from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to send arms and impose sanctions on Russia, Orban has refused.

But as CNN reported, Orban has long been close to Vladimir Putin -- to the point that Putin congratulated Orban on his victory -- and much of Hungary's energy comes from Russia; in his victory speech, Orban called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky one of the "opponents" he had to overcome during the campaign.

Gizzi further gushed that Orban's "pro-family policy," in which "mothers who have four children are exempt from federal income taxes for life," has resulted in "an increase in the fertility rate of 24% in the last decade," according to Minister of Families Katalin Novak, who was elected "Hungary's first woman president" in the election.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EDT
CNS Logic: Schools Don't Ban Books, But Amazon Does
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Daily Signal's Katrina Trinko huffed in an April 28 CNSNews.com column:

Once again, Amazon has shown it’s on the side of leftist activists, not free speech. 

Matt Walsh, a popular conservative podcast host and writer at The Daily Wire, just released a children’s book titled “Johnny the Walrus.” The book, according to the description on Amazon, tells the tale of Johnny, who likes to pretend to be a dinosaur or a knight. 

But one day “when the Internet people find out Johnny likes to make-believe, he’s forced to make a decision between the little boy he is and the things he pretends to be — and he’s not allowed to change his mind,” states the description.  

Amazon is clearly trying to squash Walsh’s book.

According to Walsh, his picture book has been removed from the category of children’s books and moved to political books. Ads for the book on Amazon also have been rejected by the tech giant as not being “appropriate for all audiences” — an umbrella term for standards that ban advertising for books promoting incest and pedophilia, among other things. 

Trinko didn't mention the fact that Walsh is a raging, hateful homophobe who falsely tried to dupe transgender people into appearing in a film that his minions portrayed as a positive film about transgenders but was secretly an anti-trans film. Thus, it's not "squashing" Walsh's book to properly categorize it as a political book, because his transphobia sure isn't for children.

Trinko further complained that "Amazon also banned Ethics and Public Policy Center President Ryan T. Anderson’s book 'When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment'"without mentioning that 1) it too us an anti-trans screed and 2) Amazon, as a private business, has the absolute right to decide what it wants to sell.

Trinko then hypocritically complains about the "shockingly robust selection of propaganda books for little leftists" -- as if Walsh's book isn't propaganda fior little right-wingers-- going on to whine that "another Big Tech company is making clear that there’s one set of rules for leftists and another set for conservatives," again ignoring the fact that Amazon, as a private business, is under no obligation to sell every single book ever published. She would never demand that, say, "I Am Jazz" -- a book about transgender girl Jazz Jennings and among the titles she cited as propaganda books for little leftists" -- be sold at the online store of her employer, the Heritage Foundation or complain that her employer has two sets of rules based on ideology.

Ironically, CNS cheered the idea of books being banned from school libraries just a month before -- albeit by redefining what it means to ban a book. David Harsanyi tried to pull that sleight of hand in a March 29 column (which also appeared at WorldNetDaily):

Accusations of left-wing free-speech authoritarianism -- whether through corporate restrictions, the state targeting "misinformation," the shouting down of dissent in universities, or the canceling of dissenting voices -- are well-documented. Attempting to even the ledger, liberals have begun alleging that conservatives are engaging in "book bans" in public school districts.

The newest outrage on this front comes from a ProPublica investigation in which Superintendent Jeremy Glenn of Granbury Independent School District in North Texas is taped saying chilling things like: "I don't want a kid picking up a book, whether it's about homosexuality or heterosexuality, and reading about how to hook up sexually in our libraries." ("Minutes later," reports ProPublica, "after someone asked whether titles on racism were acceptable, Glenn said books on different cultures 'are great.'")

ProPublica repeatedly refers to the efforts of a volunteer committee set up to review titles as a "book ban." This is a category mistake. Public school curriculum and book selection are political questions decided by school boards. Schools have no duty to carry every volume liberals demand.

[...]

Refusing to carry a book is not tantamount to the heckler's veto, now regularly used by woke college students to shut down ideas in institutions where ideas are meant to be debated. Elementary-school-age kids do not get to choose the topics they learn. Adults do. The debate is about who gets to make that decision: parents or administrators?

So it's not banning books if you're physically stopping them from being available -- but Amazon properly classifying a book is tantamount to a ban. Go figure.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 1:39 AM EDT
Monday, May 9, 2022
MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome: Fact-Checking Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

It wouldn't be a full Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome outbreak at the Media Research Center without some whining about fact-checkers. And chief fact-checker-whiner Tim Graham did his bit in a March 24 post:

In the wake of the New York Times whispering in print on page A-20 that the Hunter Biden laptop emails were authentic, the "fact checking"/censorship complex is in need of scrutiny. Jacob Siegel of Tablet Magazine wrote up a tart piece titled "Invasion of the Fact-Checkers" that explored how private media power and the Democrats engage in shutting down narratives they don't like. 

Like the rest of his MRC crew, Graham ignores the fact that the Hunter Biden story would not have been so easily dismissed if the New York Post had simply provided independent corroboration that  the laptop and the information on it was genuine to the point of effectively countering speculation that it was Russian disinformation, and its provenance originating with Rudy Giuliani and anti-Biden activists did nothing to boost its credibility. Thge fact that it tookmore than a year to actually verify the emails shows that the media was not wrong in initially dismissing it.

Joseph Vazquez lashed out a fact-checkers again in a March 28 post:

So-called fact-checkers should be eating crow following authentication of the emails from Hunter Biden’s notorious laptop by The New York Times. But a new analysis shows they’re being as brazen as ever by not updating old articles challenging the credibility of the story.

Leftist fact-checkers like FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and Lead Stories published stories within the past two years that tried to take down the New York Post bombshell. The outlets did this by either referring to the story as coming from “questionable sources;” labeling the emails as “unverified” or outright doubting their authenticity.

Vazquez too failed to acknowledge the fact that the Post offered no independent corroboration of the laptop and its contents when the story came out. He went on to whine:

Lead Stories in particular, targeted an “exclusive” Daily Caller story on one of the laptop emails considered to be the “smoking gun” in the Post story. The Daily Caller said in a tweet of its story that a cybersecurity expert concluded the “@nypost's smoking gun April 2015 Hunter Biden email from a Burisma executive discussing an introduction to then-Vice President Joe Biden is 100% authentic.”

Specifically, the expert that the Daily Caller cited used a “cryptographic signature [DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)] found in the email’s metadata” to verify Burisma advisor Vadym Pozharskyi thanking Hunter for “‘inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together.’” Lead Stories tried to swat the story down in a fact-check: “That's a stretch: DKIM can validate who sent an email and what text and other content was included. But it does not prove if the content consists of true statements.”

Vazquez didn't explain why the Post and the Daily Caller should have been trusted implicitly when the story came out, given their status as conservative, anti-Biden outlets who had a mission to help Donald Trump win re-election in 2020.

Again: All of this could have been avoided if the Post had offered unassailable verification at the time. It didn't, so it was perfectly reasonable to dismiss the story as coming from biased sources. Graham and Vazquez bashing fact-checkers for not immediately verifying somthing that even the source publication couldn't be bothered to do is dishonest and unfair.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 12:16 AM EDT
WND's Farah Revives Old Conspiracy Theories To Attack Garland
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah spent his March 14 column lashing out at Attorney General Merrick Garland over the possibility that he might be named FBI director, dredging up some golden-oldie conspiracy theories in the process in order to label him "the fascist-fixer for the Deep State":

Garland has always been a loyal and radical Democrat – one with close ties to former Deputy Attorney General Jaime Gorelick under Bill Clinton. Does anyone remember Gorelick? She was the mastermind of the policy that created a wall between the FBI and other intelligence agencies on terrorist threats – one of the reasons no one connected the dots leading up to the catastrophe of 9/11. To ensure she never got the blame, Gorelick was then appointed to co-author the report of the 9/11 Commission.

In fact, what Garland is most well-known for is the investigation he led into the other big terrorist attack – the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. It was Gorelick, his college buddy, who appointed him to that task. It was Garland who rushed Timothy McVeigh to be executed even though there was ample evidence of other conspirators and suspects.

In an Atlantic article in 2016, McVeigh's attorney. Stephen Jones, had this to say about that key decision: "I think some of the decisions (by Garland) made later on boiled down to a pragmatic approach" not to pursue other accomplices.

"Pragmatic" decisions not to pursue other accomplices?

Does that sound like the kind of person who should be the next FBI director, let alone attorney general?

We remember Jamie Gorelick -- and how right-wingers like Farah falsely accused her of erecting that "wall" between the FBI and other intelligence agencies. As we documented way back in 2004, Gorelick explained that the "wall" was actually erected in 1978, and the 1995 memo she wrote that has been described as erecting the wall actually loosened from what was the norm.

Further, why should anyone take the word of the lawyer for a mass murderer for anything, like Farah is doing for McVeigh's lawyer? Farah also conveniently ignores that Jones also said Garland is "a top-notch professional, fair, reasonable, objective, discreet and reticent" and has the potential to be a great attorney general. The context of the "pragmatic approach" statement, by the way, came within even more Jones praise of Garland and appears to refer to the choice not to spend resources chasing down right-wing conspiracy theories of accomplices like the imaginary "John Doe No. 2."

Farah went on to tout "the work of intrepid reporter Jayna Davis, author of 'The Third Terrorist,'" without mentioning that WND published her book (it's listed as a Thomas Nelson title because all WND Books published under the deal with Thomas Nelson stayed with it after their publishing deal ended). WND apparently no longer gets money from those books and it's out of print anyway, but still, it's a disclosure Farah should have made.

Farah went on to rant about Garland prosecuting participants in the Capitol riot:

Most Democrats call it an "insurrection."

But it was a tempest in a teapot – or really an admission of what they had done to the scourge of Donald Trump and the American people. They had to use such fiery words to justify what they had done – rigged an election.

"We are not avoiding cases that are political or cases that are controversial or sensitive," the attorney general said in an exclusive interview with NPR. "What we are avoiding is making decisions on a political basis, on a partisan basis."

Garland was in a celebratory mood. He got the convictions of the first two Jan. 6 defendants, Guy Reffitt, a Texas oil worker, on charges of seditious conspiracy, and an Alabama man, also convicted on seditious conspiracy.

Farah forgot to mention that Reffitt's own son testified against him because his father threatened him with death if he turned him in by stating that "traitors get shot."

Farah also falsely claimed that Garland was "finding concerned parents whom he calls 'domestic terrorists'" over school issues.

So Farah continues to lie and smear -- and he still wonders why WND is slowly going out of business.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 9, 2022 3:28 PM EDT
MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome: NewsGuard Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome has spread to its failing war on website-rating company NewsGuard. When the New York Times stated that it confirmed the validity of emails found on Biden's alleged laptop, Kyle Drennen hyped on March 18 how "The Federalist’s Western Correspondent Tristan Justice reported on leftist media outlets that refused to cover the Hunter Biden scandal in 2020 still somehow passing with flying colors when graded on their credibility by left-wing news rating group NewsGuard." Less than a Hour later, Joseph Vazquez ranted:

NewsGuard CEO Steven Brill outed himself as completely biased before The New York Times’confirmation of the existence of Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop emails.

The New York Times recently confirmed what conservatives already knew — the Hunter Biden laptop emails were legitimate. The Times reported on Hunter’s laptop, tying emails found on the computer to a federal investigation.

Ruthless podcast host Comfortably Smug created a timeline in a Twitter thread outlining how NewsGuard attempted to bury the New York Post’s story and the newspaper’s credibility. Comfortably Smug called out Brill for claiming in an October 2020 interview that the story about Hunter’s laptop was a “hoax perpetrated by the Russians.” The podcast host also tweeted: “3/16/22: Huge ad agency [Magna] says they'll use NewsGuard to avoid placing ads on ‘unreliable’ news [.] 3/17/22: NYT says the laptop is real.”  

[...]

Brill went on the Oct. 15, 2020, edition of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street to rail on how social media companies that tried to ban the Poststory “know absolutely nothing about what they’re doing.” Brill said those companies should follow Microsoft’s lead and use tools like NewsGuard to curate articles, supposedly for quality control. 

Brill flaunted his leftist bias during this interview, even touting the disproven RussiaGate conspiracy theory: “My personal opinion is there’s a high likelihood this story is a hoax, and maybe even a hoax perpetrated by the Russians again.”

Vazquez didn't explain how "conservatives already knew" the story was legitimate in 2020, given that the Post offered no independent corroboration of its story and there was plenty of reason to doubt it given its October surprise nature peddled nby the likes of Rudy Giuliani in the midst of a heated presidential campaign. He also smeared NewsGuard as "neither a reliable nor trustworthy source," citing only the MRC's highly biased attacks against it.

Vazquez continued his ranting in a March 22 post under the laughable headline "Devil Wears Pravda":

Internet traffic cop NewsGuard outed itself as a pathetic joke by giving perfect grades to outlets that tried to quash the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Left-wing news organizations Politico, The Washington Post, Axios and USA Today all maligned the Biden bombshell by the New York Post as possibly part of a 2020 “disinformation” campaign.

[...]

Both Axios and Politico currently enjoy 100/100 scores from NewsGuard. But that’s not all. The Washington Post’s phony fact-checker Glenn Kessler floated “that the [Hunter] emails could be part of a broader disinformation campaign.” His newspaper got a perfect rating via NewsGuard’s heavily skewed ratings system.

Fellow NewsGuard-approved partner in pravda USA Today was no better. Its story ripped the Post as a “tabloid”: “A tabloid got a trove of data on Hunter Biden from Rudy Giuliani. Now, the FBI is probing a possible disinformation campaign.”

Only from the far-right perspective of Vazquez and the MRC could anyone consider Politico, the Washington Post and USA Today "left-wing" or a "partner in pravda." And again, Vazquez failed to acknowledge the inconvenient fact that there was no independent corroboration of the story at at the time, making it unfair to judge those stories by coroboration that didn't happen until a year and a half later (which, again, the New York Post didn't see a reason to offer at the time) -- just as it tried to do with the Steele dossier.

That's unfair and deceitful "media research" -- but does anyone expect any different from the MRC?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' War On Ketanji Brown Jackson
Topic: CNSNews.com
Despite claiming to be a "news" organization, CNSNews.com's coverage of Brown's Supreme Court nomination was wildly biased, heavy on Republican talking points and cherry-picked statements while censoring questioning from Democratic senators. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Sunday, May 8, 2022
MRC Squees Over Musk Buying Part Of Twitter, Forgets All About His Cozying Up To China
Topic: Media Research Center

We documented how the Media Research Center was acting like an Elon Musk fanboy for saying right-wing-friendly things -- then abruptly stopped when MRC sports blogger Jay Maxson pointed out how Musk was "sucking up to China." It wasn't even two months before the MRC started praising Musk again; a Feb. 21 post by Joseph Vazuqez gushed how Musk "decimated" David Frum by calling him a "hypocritical megadouche!" for responding to a hit job about him on the highly biased right-wing site the Post Millennial. That was followed by a March 9 post by Jeffrey Clark noting that Musk has called for increased domestic oil producction.

But when Musk turned his focus to Twitter -- against whom the MRC has been fighting a failing war for years -- all that China stuff was apparently forgiven. Autumn Johnson hyped in a March 25 post:

Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeted in support of free speech and questioned Twitter’s “adherence” to it.

Musk asked his followers to vote “yes” or “no” in a poll that asked users whether the platform supported free speech. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” he tweeted on Friday. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”

Over 1.5 million people had voted in the poll as of Friday evening. Approximately 70 percent of users voted “no” while only 30 percent voted “yes.”

Musk added that the tweet’s “consequences” would be “important.” “The consequences of this poll will be important,” he said. “Please vote carefully.”

Two days later, Johnson amped Musk's musing that "he is giving “serious thought” to creating a new social media platform to rival Twitter. On April 4, though, Alexander Hall went into full squee mode over the news that Musk bought a chunk of Twitter under the headline "Game Changer!":

A newly released government filing revealed that Tesla CEO and Big Tech censorship critic Elon Musk reportedly became Twitter’s biggest shareholder.

Musk put his money where his mouth is after condemning Big Tech censorship. The world’s richest man, worth $298 billion, according to Forbes, bought a massive share of Twitter stock. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated April 4 revealed that as of March 14, Musk now owns “73,486,938” shares totalling a sizable “9.2%” of Twitter’s stock.

[...]

Musk has a history of criticizing Big Tech for its stranglehold on online speech.

Musk famously slammed Twitter for censoring political debate in recent weeks. He also mulled over starting a new tech company altogether. Musk tweeted March 26, “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.”

[...]

Vice President of Free Speech America and Business for the Media Research Center Dan Gainor praised the idea in a tweet: “Please do this, but be prepared for epic opposition from the left/NGOs and government. They fear free speech as we have truly witnessed the last two years especially.”

The next few days featuring even more squeeing over the prospect of Musk joining Twitter's board and lashing out at anyone who would dare criticize Musk:

The MRC also didn't like the inconvenient truth that Musk may not be as favorable to free speech as it fervently wants to believe. Joseph Vazquez accused a Bloomberg writer of "two-bit whining" for pointing out Musk "alleged history of firing employees at Tesla, suing whistleblowers and threatening lawsuits against anonymous bloggers" -- none of which Vazquez proved to be wrong -- and going on to rant that Twitter is purportedly "one of the most anti-free speech, censorship-obsessed platforms on the internet." 

Johnson similarlly lashed out in an April 10 post: "In an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post, former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao slammed Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s investment in Twitter and, to put it mildly, his support and vision for free speech. Put simply, she called for Democracy Dying in Darkness." Johnson further complained that Pao said Musk "willfully ignores that private companies are free to establish some limits on their platforms"but offered no rebuttal to that argument.

When Musk decided not to join the Twitter board, Vazquez went into squee mode on April 11 over the possibility of Musk staging a hostile takeover:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk declined a seat on Twitter’s board of directors after becoming the platform’s largest shareholder with a massive 9.2 percent stake. But this move could end up signifying an even greater play by Musk to seize control of the platform, according to CNBC.

Leftist Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted late April 10 that the world’s richest man “decided not to join our board.” Agrawal seemed to admit the quiet part out loud when he said that having Musk “as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward.” Musk’s appointment was supposed to take effect April 9, “but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the [B]oard. I believe this is for the best,” Agrawal claimed.

There could be another reason why Musk chose an about-face. He could attempt a hostile takeover of the company. 

Vazquez did not explain why he called Agrawal a "leftist." Hall amped up the hostile takeover speculation, and Fondacaro complained that CNN's Brian Stelter also talked about it. Kyle Drennen, meanwhile, got mad that someone on CBS opined that "a lot of people think Elon Musk is sort of like a Bond villain now. That is a very Bond villain move to pull." He didn't prove the assertion wrong, though.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 12:02 AM EDT

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