CNS Still Fretting About Afghan Refugees In U.S. -- But Silent About Ukraine Refugees Topic: CNSNews.com
After the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, CNSNews.com made sure to fearmonger about refugees coming to the U.S. from that country, with lots of fretting about whether they had been properly vetted. Months afterward, the fearmongering continued: A Jan. 27 article by Craig Bannister complained:
A number of refugees from Afghanistan, part of group of as many as three hundred being temporarily housed in a bankrupt hotel by the federal government, recently breached security and wandered onto the golf course of a gated resort community in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The refugees from the defunct hotel are unsupervised and free to come and go as they please, so they simply roamed onto the golf course of the Gainey Ranch and Golf Club, the AZ Free News reports:
What’s more, Scottsdale citizens report that the Afghan refugees have been panhandling in the area. A spokesman for the mayor’s office and council told the AZ Free Press that the refugee-hotel project “is a federal government activity over which the city of Scottsdale has no oversight.”
'Bannister didn't explain why these refugees must be treated like children with constant supervision. The next day, editor Terry Jeffrey groused:
The Department of Homeland Security put out two press statements on Wednesday announcing that the last Afghan refugees have been released into the United States from Camp Atterbury in Indiana and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
“To date, more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country,” said DHS.
Jeffrey rehashed an earlier attack from an interview he did with Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who "raised concerns about the vetting of the Afghans brought into the United States."
The complaining continues to this day: A May 18 article by Susan Jones made the headline claim from DHS that "approximately 74,000 Afghan nationals have come to the United States as part of OAW, the largest number of foreign evacuees arriving at one time in nearly 50 years."
By contrast, the idea of refugees from Ukraine fleeing from Russian aggression and possibly settling in the U.S. has drawn virtually no concern from CNS. While several CNS articles have referenced the refugee crisis, only two have made them the focus: A pre-war Feb. 22 article by James Carstensen predicting a crisis if Russia invades Ukraine, and a March 9 article by Carstensen noting the growing crisis but not referencing the U.S. There has been nothing since -- for more than two months.
For all of its fretting about Afghan refugees, CNS has been almost completely silent about Ukrainian refugees coming to the U.S., even though President Biden has launched a program to bring 100,000 refugees into the country and CNS has freaked out over a smaller number from Afghanistan. Why? Is it because the Ukrainians are presumed to be Christian and the Afghans are not, something that has been a longtime CNS obsession? Whatever the reason, the double standard is glaring.
Enemy: MRC Tries To Destroy Reporter For Telling Truth About Homophobic Right-Wing Activist Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has irrationally considered reporter Taylor Lorenz to be an enemy for a while now. Last year, for example, it cheered when Fox News host Tucker Carlson attacked her -- which led to threats against her by his rabid fans -- for doing a story on Carlson. And in an April 1 post, Alex Christy complained that MSNBC "blamed Fox News, Tucker Carlson, and Glenn Greenwald for online death threats and sexual harassment directed at female journalists, which includedWashington Posttech columnist Taylor Lorenz tying such attacks to her PTSD, then gave Carlson a pass for his hate: "The point of Carlson’s segment wasn’t mocking Lorenz for being encountering the worst parts of the internet, but pointing out that she claims to be against harassment but, because she isn’t very good at her job, she ends up being what she claims oppose [sic]." Christy did eventually concede that Lorenz writing about things "doesn’t justify death threats or sexual harassment," but he won't admit Carlson helped incite those threats and harassment.
So when Lorenz wrote a Washington Post story exposing the woman behind the Twitter account Libs of TikTok -- which reposted videos from TikTok of LGBT people talking about things, which typically resulted in attacks and threats on the video subject by the account's followers -- the MRC was enraged. Kevin Tober kicked off the rage against Lorenz in an April 18 post for doing the simple reporterly act of seekoing comment from people and going to people's houses to interview them:
In a stunning act of hypocrisy, Washington Post columnist and technology reporter Taylor Lorenz who weeks ago cried on national television that people were harassing and threatening her online, reached out to Governor Ron DeSantis’s press secretary Christina Pushaw to help her expose the person behind the popular Twitter account “Libs of TikTok.”
Late Monday evening, Pushaw posted to Twitter an email from Lorenz seeking comment about her story " exposing the woman behind the ‘Libs of TikTok account.”
Amongst the predictable uproar on social media, The Babylonbee's social media manager posted from her Twitter account @Morganisawizard to reveal she has confirmation that not only has she reached out to Pushaw, but Lorenz also knocked on the door of a relative of the woman who runs Libs of TikTok, and has been calling numerous family members.
Because no MRC employee ever worked as an actual journalist, Tober clearly doesn't understand that seeking comment about a story and going to someone's house to interview them regarding a story is Journalism 101 -- which is why he huffed, "Needless to say, this is Orwellian stuff.
The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro lashed out at Lorenz for writing the story at all:
If you dare to expose the lunatics, groomers, and general extremists of the left (particularly those exposing it to kids) via the videos they themselves put out, The Washington Post and hypocritical malefactor Taylor Lorenz have declared Tuesday it’s okay to run down them, their family, and those on the periphery in an attempt to open them up to retaliation and life-threatening danger. They’ve effectively set the rules of engagement in the culture war in targeting and doxxing @LibsOfTikTok.
In a totally serious segment for MSNBC on April Fools’ Day, Lorenz cried crocodile tears about how she lived in fear of information about her getting on the internet. “You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life and it's so isolating,” she said, claims she has “PTSD” and had “contemplated suicide.”
But that’s exactly what she wanted to happen to Libs Of TikTok account owner Chaya Raichik when she and The Post outed her identity to the world in a piece titled, “Meet the woman behind Libs of TikTok, secretly fueling the right’s outrage machine.” A piece packed with quotes from leftists from the ACLU and Media Matters who were eager to spit venom.
Fondacaro then tried to whitewash Raichik's intent in maliciously posting the videos with the goal of harassment:
The content shared by the account is just reposts of videos put out by the liberal teachers and activists themselves. The videos have illustrated how their enthusiastic subversion of parents and intense indoctrination of gender and political ideology. Essentially, it's provided examples of why Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill was needed.
But Lorenz takes issue with the truth being exposed to the world and frames it as just stoking “outrage” for the sake if the “right-wing” “machine”:
If Raichik was doing nothing malicious and hateful, there would be no reason for her to hide behind anonymity and no reason to complain she was outed.
Deliberately oblivious to the fact that Libs of TikTok has a mission to demnonize people Raichik hates, Fondacaro went on to rant:
Lorenz was out to demonize Libs Of TikTok and make an example of anyone even vaguely in the same orbit. Libs Of TikTok shared a Twitter message she received from an account with a similar name as her real one, in which Lorenz threatened to ruin their life if they don’t respond to her message. “You’ve been mentioned as the administrator of the ‘Libs of TikTok’ account … you’re being implicated as starting a hate campaign against LGBTQ people…” she wrote.
Actually, that's called reporting. If there are two Twitter accounts out there with similar names, Lorenz obviously wanted to make sure she had the right person. Again, that's reporting, not a "threat." (And Fondacaro identified no threat in Lorenz's message anyway.) Nevertbhess, he went on to rant:
Unironically, and without evidence, Lorenz tied the “popularity of Libs of TikTok” to purported doxing and execution calls of school officials. She also lamented the “chilling effect” caused by just reposting the videos that are already out there.
Libs Of TikTok seemed to have gone into hiding after Lorenz’s doxing. “Thankfully I’m currently holed up in a safe location. I’m confident we will get through this and come out even stronger,” she tweeted. “Words cannot express how appreciative I am of the support I’m receiving right now … Grateful for all the thoughts and prayers[.]”
Who's being unironic here? Fondacaro's sputtering rage -- which seemed to be on the verge of going violent -- is a perfect reason for Lorenz to go into hiding. And there are even more unhinged right-wingers than Fondacaro out there who would be happy to do personal harm to a reporter for commiting an act of journalism, and people could very well be inspired to act on the rage spewed by Fondacaro and his fellow right-wingers.
In another post that day, Alexander Hall baselessly called Lorenz an "infamous disgraced journalist" despite identifying nothing in her article that was incorrect. He went on to cite a couple of right-wingers (while not identifying them as such) attacking Lorenz over her story, counterfactually insisting that Libs of Tik Tok is merely an "innocuous content aggregator," despite the fact that Lorenz's article exposed Raichik's real-life homophobia.
CNS' Jones Peddles NRA Propaganda Topic: CNSNews.com
Susan Jones spouted all the proper right-wing talking points in an April 12 CNSNews.com article presented as "news":
As he has done many times before, President Joe Biden on Monday blamed guns ("ghost guns" this time) for rising crime in the United States.
He announced a crackdown on "do-it-yourself" kits that allow people to assemble guns without serial numbers -- as if the so-called "ghost guns" are driving the recent crime wave.
But completely missing from Biden's speech was any mention of soft-on-crime prosecutors who release criminals to offend again. (Read the "fairness and safety" memo issued in January by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who declared his "commitment to making incarceration a matter of last resort.")
"If Biden were serious about real solutions to violent crime, perhaps he should take a look at sentencing reform to address the issue of violent criminals with long criminal histories being released after serving only 40% of their sentence -- especially when they commit another violent crime," the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm wrote in response to Biden's speech.
"Instead, GC (Gun Control) Joe continues to blame guns, and propose 'solutions' that will only affect law-abiding gun owners."
The National Rifle Association's lobbying arm accused Biden, sinking in the polls, of pandering to the anti-gun crowd.
Jones didn't mention that the NRA never actually addressed the entire "ghost guns" issue -- that's because this is little more than an NRA press release, and Jones may as well been on the NRA payroll when she wrote this. Indeed, the whole of CNS is effectively a division of the NRA -- it has censored news about financial shenanigans at the organization even though (or, perhaps, because) it was publishing an NRA board member, Allen West, as a columnist.
WND's Lively Likens Farah To Stonewall Jackson Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Scott Lively is a vociferous defender of Vladimir Putin as a champion of "true human rights," so maybe he's not the best person to use as a character witness. Yet Lively's March 7 column is a defense of WND editor Joseph Farah as, according to the headline "the Stonewall Jackson of America First media." Let the weird slobbering begin:
Many years ago, in my capacity as California state director of the American Family Association, I had the great privilege of sitting at the head table next to Hollywood legend Jane Russell at a special banquet of Eagle Forum California in honor of its founder (and Ms. Russell's traveling companion), Phyllis Schlafly. Phyllis gave the most hopeful and inspiration speech I have ever heard, detailing her eyewitness view of the rise of the conservative movement from Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan. It was one of the most memorable milestones in my career as a Christian social and political activist.
I don't remember if she specifically cited Joseph Farah by name, but the closing crescendo of her speech emphasized the amazing potential of the internet to facilitate a quantum leap forward for the conservative movement. And, of course, Joseph Farah was THEE pioneer of online conservative media through his WorldNetDaily internet news site, whose power and influence began a meteoric rise after its founding in 1997. WND was the first online news organization to gain official recognition in the Washington, D.C., press pool (after a hard-fought battle), and Farah himself was having a profound influence on conservatism as the ghostwriter of Rush Limbaugh's second book "See, I Told You So" (which sold 4 million copies in the first two months).
Of course, the left recognized the threat to their media hegemony posed by WND and pushed back hard with every weapon in their arsenal, including lawsuits – but in the midst of that intense battle Joseph Farah stood like a stone wall, giving strength and encouragement to the hundreds of budding conservative journalists who had joined the battle in the cause of truth. Indeed, there might never have been a "new media" if not for Joseph and WND. I highly recommend his 2007 "inside story of the new media revolution" titled "Stop the Presses," which reads like a culture-war version of the history of World War II. It is really must-reading for anyone interested in overthrowing the corporate "news" industry, which President Trump famously (and truthfully) branded "the enemy of the people."
We read Farah's book, and found it to be highly mendacious piece of self-puffery because he doesn't practice what he preaches journalistically. Sorry to interrupt your slobbering, Scott:
Just days ago, I experienced another memorable career milestone when I met Joseph Farah in person for the first time, when my wife, Anne, and I took him and his wife, Elizabeth, to lunch in a suburb of Washington, D.C. The next day I went back to get a selfie photo with him to put on my office shelf right next to my picture with Rush Limbaugh. It is so very satisfying to finally meet one of your culture war heroes and to discover he is just as much a champion of right and truth in person as in the image portrayed to the public.
I confess I felt something of an urgency in wanting to have this meeting at this point in time, because I am very concerned about the survival of WND. As you may know, WND and Joseph Farah were early targets of the "cancel culture," and there has been a concerted effort by the hard left to totally destroy them. Google's "demonitizing" of WND nearly killed it, and put such strain on Joseph as he tried hold things together that he had a series of debilitating strokes. That was three ago. It has been a great struggle for him to regain his health. Meanwhile, the news site continued to fight through the herculean efforts of a core team led by another of my heroes, WND Vice President David Kupelian.
To the eternal shame of the truly evil editors of the Washington Post, they ran one of the nastiest hit pieces of all time against Joseph personally, while he lay in a hospital bed just days after a massive stroke, clinging precariously to life. Thank God he survived and has recovered nearly to his former self.
That would be the Post piece that WND has never offered a rebuttal to, let alone prove that anything in it about Farah's reported financial shenanigans was false. Lively also forgot to mention that WND used Farah's stroke -- which it had kept secret for a few weeks until the Post called WND for a response to its report -- as an excuse to not respond to it, and when managing editor David Kupelian finally responded, he didn't challenge anything and insisted that Farah, who was conveniently out of commission, was "the only person situated to respond" to it. Thus, there is no factual basis for Lively to dismiss it as a "hit piece."
Finally, Lively got around to the dubious likening of Farah to a failed Confederate general who helped lead a violent rebelion against his own country in order to preserve the institution of slavery (and, of course, beg for people to donate to WND):
Stonewall Jackson's courage and resolve would not have been enough to prevail against the superior numbers and power of the opposing army that day in Manassas if reinforcements had not rallied to him because of his inspiring stand.
We must not let the enemy destroy the Stonewall Jackson of the conservative media: Joseph Farah and his WND. I strongly urge you to rally to his support by giving generously to the nonprofit WND News Center and to educate all of your America First friends and allies that they owe Joseph Farah and WND far more honor and respect than they realize.
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC War on Ketanji Brown Jackson, Part 2: The Bogus Attack Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center embraced a false attack on the Supreme Court nominee -- and hid from readers the fact that even its fellow right-wingers had discredited it. Plus: The MRC obsesses over Jeffrey Toobin's peener! Read more >>
Pushing A Narrative: MRC Demands Biden Be Blamed For High Gas Prices Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center began slaving away after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on pushing the narrative that President Biden, and only him, is responsible for high gas prices. That narrative building continued throughout March. Clay Waters whined in a March 12 post:
One Wednesday, the New York Times ran a biased story by official fact-checker Linda Qiu in defense of President Biden and high gas prices: “Invasion and Pandemic, Not Policies, Are Driving Up Gas Prices.” The online headline was more partisan: “Republicans Wrongly Blame Biden for Rising Gas Prices.”
As with his other MRC co-workers, Waters offered no evidence that the Times was wrong, instead playing whataboutism: "However much control a president actually has over the price at the pump, the Times’ defensive attempt to circle the wagons for Biden against Republican criticism was nothing like the gas attacks it ran against Republican President George W. Bush."
A March 17 post by Jeffrey Clark cited only biased right-wing activists to counter the Washingotn Post disporving theidea that Biden is responsible for high gas p[rices:
The Washington Post’s editor and chief writer of “The Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler pushed misinformation about President Joe Biden’s responsibility for sky-high energy prices in the U.S..
Kessler absurdly claimed in a March 15 article that there is “little evidence that Biden’s policies have had any direct impact on oil production.” Is that so, Washington Post?
American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Benjamin Zycher pointed out that the administration’s war against fossil fuels contributed to reduced output, lifting prices. “[A]n expectation that future investment will be constrained artificially has the effect of raising prices today. Why might the market expect such constraints on future investment? Look no further than the Biden administration’s policies for the answer. The ‘net-zero’ crusade against fossil fuels is an obvious attempt to force a sharp decline in current and future production,” Zycher noted. [Emphasis added.]
Zycher clearly illustrated the “direct impact” — as Kessler put it — of the Biden administration’s policies, completely upending Kessler’s argument.
Despite his claim, Vazquez did not quote Zycher actually providing evidence of a "direct" link between a specific Biden policy and higher gas prices.
Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. Thursday morning, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell previewed an upcoming MRC study showing that the leftist media are trying to blame everyone and anything else for high gas prices except the “incompetent” energy policies of President Biden. Bozell went on to call out the environmental “zealotry” within the administration.
“Look at this tweet, it’s from President Biden, he’s blaming high gas prices on Putin and also the oil companies,” host Stuart Varney noted at the top of the segment. He then turned to Bozell and wondered: “Brent, is the media buying the President’s story that it’s the oil companies and price gouging and Putin that’s screwing around with gas prices?”
Varney called out those who were actually responsible for surging fuel costs:
You have to say that John Kerry, the climate czar, a couple of senators, AOC, the Greens essentially, the global warmers, the global climate warriors, these are the people who are really responsible for the rising price of gas because they cut production of fossil fuels. It’s their fault to some degree – a large degree.
Bozell replied: “Stuart, top to bottom, this administration is being run by incompetent zealots. Their incompetency is everywhere to see, but there zealotry is one that doesn’t recognize their incompetency.”
Neither Bozell nor Varney offered any evidence to back up the claim.
In another March 17 post, Kevin Tober cheered Fox News for pushing the narrative: "On Thursday afternoon’s episode of Fox News Channel’s The Five, co-hosts Judge Jeanine Pirro and Greg Gutfeld ripped into the leftist media for parroting the Biden administration’s propaganda which falsely blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the increase in gas prices. Despite the fact that gas prices have risen every month since Biden took office."
Bad news for anyone still holding out hope that the media will eventually start blaming Biden for record-breaking gas prices and inflation: it’s not going to happen.
For months the media’s talking points on skyrocketing energy costs have been in lockstep with the Biden administration’s own blame-shifting, and that trend doesn’t show any signs of letting up.
He offered no evidence to show that it was accurate to solely blame Biden.
On March 24, Scott Whitlock served up the inevitable lame MRC "study":
Americans over the last month have been enduring painful, skyrocketing gas prices. The impacts are echoing out to all parts of the economy and squeezing already stressed wallets. But if you watched the morning and evening network newscasts, you would think almost all the blame for this falls on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Joe Biden? His role has almost entirely been ignored.
From February 24 to March 21, the networks put the culpability squarely on Russia by a 11-to-1 margin. ABC, CBS and NBC blamed Russia a whopping 33 times and the Democratic president just 3 times. (The breakdown by network: NBC blamed Russia 16 times, CBS 11 times and ABC 6 times.)
Whitlock rehashed earlier Biden rhetoric and actions but offered no proof that they constitute evidence that Biden is solely to blame for high gas prices:
As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to “get rid of fossil fuels” and pledged “no more coal plants.” On the first day of Biden’s presidency, he killed the Keystone Pipeline. In the last 14 months, the three network evening newscasts have allowed a scant 29 seconds to the move (16 seconds on NBC, 10 on CBS and just 3 on ABC)
Biden also paused oil and gas leasing on federal lands. In May of 2021, he removed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring gas from Russia to Germany a major win for Vladimir Putin.
Whitlock didn't explain what, if anything, the Nord Stream pipeline -- which isn't even in the United States -- had to do with high gas prices here.Whilock then concluded with a fit of Trump-fluffing:
In November of 2020, the Media Research Center conducted a poll about the 2020 election and what Americans actually learned from the media. As then-Research Director Rich Noyes noted, “More than half (50.5%) of Biden voters said they did not know about [Trump moving to make us energy independent]. If the information was known by all, 5.8% of Biden’s voters say they would have changed how they voted.”
America became a net exporter of oil for the first time in September of 2019. But you wouldn’t have known that from watching ABC, CBS and NBC in the Trump years. They buried this accomplishment. And during Biden’s presidency, the networks are doing everything they can to censor his crippling energy policies.
As we've noted, that poll was conducted by The Polling Company, founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway then later sold to a Republican PR firm, so the independence and reliability of the poll results are very much in question.
As actual news organization and fact-checkers continued to demonstrate that Biden was not to blame for high gas prices, the MRC continued to shout its narrative all the louder. A March 31 post by Clark screeched at a PolitiFact post disproving it by citing one energy analyst claiming that the Biden administration made a "pretty stark miscalculation of the amount of supply we would need to keep energy prices at affordable levels'" -- whcih, if true, is not a policy issue -- and, again, biased analyst Zycher. Clark also complained that PolitiFact "downplayed the effect of the Keystone XL pipeline on the U.S. oil supply" without offering any evidence to counter it.
An April 1 post by Christy complained that MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle apperared on TV "to absolve President Biden of any blame for high gas prices" without offering any countering evidence. And Tim Graham whined on April 11:
When the network news divisions take public opinion polls, and President Biden looks terrible in them, they have a tendency to downplay them. ABC reported on their latest poll with Ipsos under the headline " Most Americans blame Vladimir Putin, oil companies for high gas prices: POLL."
They sent the same message on Twitter:
Graham made no effort to prove it wrong. Instead, he nitpicked: "The headline is, technically true -- but it's not an either-or choice. "Most" do blame Putin and oil companies - but, majorities also blame Biden (51%) and Democrat policies (52%). In terms of "a great deal of blame," the results for Dems/Biden/Oil companies are pretty much the same: Biden 33%, Dem policies 31% and oil companies 35%, and Putin at 39%."
If the headline is "technically true," there was no reason for Graham to attack it. But the narrative must be fed, and outrage must be manufactured.
WND Embraces Quack Doctor's Conspiracy Theory About Oscar Slap Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Mercola is a quack doctor whose conspiracy theories WorldNetDaily is a fan of -- witness its embrace of his his version of "mass formation psychosis." So when Mercola cooked up a new conspiracy theory, WND's Joe Kovacs was all ears in an April 6 article:
One of the theories regarding the slap heard 'round the world at this year's Academy Awards is that Will Smith smacked Oscar host Chris Rock on behalf of Big Pharma sponsors, who are developing new drugs to combat alopecia, the hair-loss condition suffered by Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Among those raising that question is Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of the best-selling book, "The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing The Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal."
"The Will Smith-Chris Rock drama during the Oscars may have been nothing more than a subliminal publicity stunt for Pfizer's upcoming alopecia drug," writes Mercola in his Wednesday analysis titled: "Big Pharma advertising dollars are at an all-time high."
"Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Incyte and Exact Sciences even sponsored the 2022 Academy Awards, which was 'an unusual turn for the industry,' according to some biopharma professionals," Mercola says.
"Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia areata, which is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. Isn't it amazing, then, that Pfizer, a primary sponsor of this year's Oscars, is working on an alopecia drug? They announced 'top-line results' from a Phase 2b/3 trial in August 2021.
"It's especially curious since three of the other sponsors – Eli Lilly, Incyte (partnering with Lilly) and Novartis – also have alopecia drugs nearly ready to go. Coincidence? Or a cleverly disguised publicity stunt for soon-to-be-released drugs? If the latter, it would put a whole new spin on the concept of subliminal advertising."
Kovacs did eventually get around to conceding -- in the seventh paragraph of his article, after credulously presenting Mercola's conspiracy theory -- that "The self-proclaimed, so-called "fact-checkers" at Politifact, who partner with Facebook as arbitrating what is accurate and what is not, has rated the claim false.
Despite Mercola's conspiracy being proven false to a point that even Kovacs had to concede it, he nevertheless tried to argue that Mercola was right in an extremely general sense:
Irrespective of whether the slap was staged for Big Pharma, Dr. Mercola used the question to examine how the public can be swayed by the industry's vast sums of money it spends on advertising, as he prominently displayed a montage of Pfizer sponsorships in a video posted to YouTube in November.
Mercola says major media are controlled through advertising dollars:
"Big Pharma advertising dominates, making up a large portion of a given media outlet's revenue, and that funding gives Pharma the power to dictate what ends up in the news and what doesn't. While Big Pharma has frequently spent more on advertising than on research and development, over the past couple of years, ad spending has increased to new heights.
And Kovacs spread a different bogus conspiracy theory from Mercola, that "the U.S. government purchased favorable media coverage for a novel and poorly tested gene transfer injection that is now killing and disabling hundreds of thousands of Americans, while simultaneously calling for the censorship of anyone who dared to address the risks of this novel treatment."
The fact that Kovacs falls so easliy to conspiracy theories pushed by documented quacks doesn't bode well for the veracity of the Bible book WND is dishonestly stealth-advertising for him in weekly "news" articles in violation of journalistic ethics (not that WND cared about following them anyway).
Newsmax Lets Trump Lie About Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- Again Topic: Newsmax
Back in November, Newsmax let Donald Trump falsely claim that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was "low or virtually empty" when he took office and that filling it up was a great act of political courage. In a March 31 article, Nicole Wells let him lie about it again:
As President Joe Biden weighs releasing a record amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down soaring gas prices, former President Donald Trump predicts that Biden will soon empty it.
Citing someone familiar with the matter, CNN reports that the Biden administration is considering a plan to release approximately 1 million barrels per day from the reserve in the coming months.
A decision could come as early as Thursday, when Biden is scheduled to speak about gas prices from the White House.
"So after 50 years of being virtually empty, I built up our oil reserves during my administration, and low energy prices, to 100% full," Trump said in a statement Thursday. "It's called the Strategic National Reserves, and it hasn't been full for many decades. In fact, it's been mostly empty."
As we documented, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was more than 80 percent full -- not "virtually empty" -- when Trump filled them, it took no political courage on Trump's part to do so given that oil prices were at rock bottom at the start of the pandemic. And contrary to Trump's later claim that the SPR is "supposed to only be used for large-scale emergency or conflict,"Trump also signed a bill while in office mandating the sale of 100 million barrels of SPR oil to fund the government.
CNSNews.com managing editor wrote in a May 11 article:
Although former President Donald Trump endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania's Senate GOP primary, claiming he is pro-life and pro-veteran -- a decision ridiculed by many conservatives -- the grassroots non-profit CatholicVote endorsed veteran and mother Kathy Barnette for the Republican nomination, stating voters can trust her on "the right to life and other critical issues."
“Catholics don’t have to worry whether Kathy Barnette is sincere," said CatholicVote President Brian Burch in a May 10 statement. "The other candidates in the race are working to cover up or explain away their past positions, but Kathy Barnette doesn’t have that problem."
“If Pennsylvania Catholics and other faith voters want to know if they can trust Kathy Barnette on the right to life and other critical issues, all they need to do is look at her life story," he said. "Kathy Barnette’s life itself is a testament to her convictions. We know she will fight hard for life, family, parents’ rights, and our American way of life."
Barnette is a conservative and strong supporter of America First.
Because Chapman is writing a combination of press release and endorsement -- and because it is also prettymuch the extent of CNS' coverage of the Pennsylvania Senate race, even though the race also features Trump-endorsed candidate Mehmet Oz -- he's not going to tell CNS readers the full truth about Barnette's extremism.
Barnette has declined to answer basic questions about her background asked by the right-wing Washington Examiner, despite the fact that she's running in large part on her life story, which includes the anti-abortion-friendly claim that she was, "conceived through rape," as Chapman made sure to note.
MRC Blames Biden For High Gas Prices -- But Won't Provide Proof Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been working for months to push the narrative that President Biden is solely to blame for high gas prices -- but it has offered little evidence to back up the claim. The MRC was setting up that narrative as soon as late February after Russia's invasion of Ukraine; a Feb. 28 post by Jeffrey Clark unritically quoted highly biased Fox Business host Stuart Varney playing the Biden blame game:
But Varney wasn’t finished. He went on to argue that Biden, not a distant war in Ukraine, was the original driver of high gas prices. “You’ve got to go back to the very first day of the Biden administration,” he said. “When they canceled the Keystone pipeline and then cut back on the drilling for oil and natural gas and restricted our energy independence, that gave Putin leverage.”
Varney predicted the devastating effects Biden’s policy blunders will have on regular Americans.
As we've documented, non-biased energy experts agree canceling the Keystone XL pipeline has no effect on current gas prices because 1) the pipeline wouldn't be ready now and 2) much of the pipeline's products would be designated for export.
On March 2, Clark similarly cheered how "CNBC host Joe Kernen embarrassed President Joe Biden’s environmentalist cheerleaders who fought to keep oil in the ground because of so-called “climate change” while blaming former President Donald Trump for high gas prices. It’s as if leftists want to have their cake and eat it too." The next day, Kevin Tober touted an MSNBC host calling for resuming the Keystone pipeline while censoring the fact that it would not lower gas prices.
Joseph Vazquez spent a March 7 post being angry at CNN for reporting on a "meaningless" drop in gas prices late last year, declaring that "the disturbing news on energy prices skyrocketing makes CNN’s pro-Biden spin on the matter look ridiculous." Of course, Vazquez looked ridiculous by pretending there wasn't a Russian invasion of Ukraine that made gas prices skyrocket.
A post the same day from Scott Whitlock noted a news report on high gas prices then complained there was "no mention of the Biden administration’s war on energy independence," going on to hype that "The Media Research Center last year produced a documentary on energy independence and how the Biden administration ended the Keystone Pipeline." The MRC's so-called documentary is a shoddy, biased piece of work, and besides, since that oil would be coming from Canada and much of it would have been designated for export, it would have no efffec ton U.S. "energy independence."
Another March 7 post, by Kevin Tober, complained that Biden was claiming to do "everything except ramping up domestic oil production in the United States so we wouldn’t need to rely on other countries like Russia for energy." In fact, U.S. oil production is already ramping up.
A March 8 post by Kyle Drennen lashed out at CBS for accurately reporting that Biden has not impeded oil production -- or, in his highly biased an inaccurate words, "CBS went to work spewing White House propaganda that the administration’s left-wing environmental agenda was 'not hurting oil production in this country.'" Drennen offered no evidence that any Biden policy had any direct effect on oil production, instead ranting: "Real journalists would be questioning the administration’s radical environmental policies and pressing the White House on why increasing U.S. domestic energy production was being treated as a matter of national security. Instead, the stenographers at CBS and NBC just repeat what they’re told."
Alex Christy similarly ranted in another March 8 post: "Before President Biden gave a speech on Tuesday announcing the ban of Russian oil imports, the cast of At This Hour on CNN warned that gas prices will go up and that Biden has no good options to fix that problem -- as if his own policies have no impact on the situation." He too failed to offer any actual evidence, vaguely whining only that CNN "omitted any mention of Biden’s record."
A March 9 post by Nicholas Fondacaro whined that a CNN segment "compared oil production from Trump’s FIRST YEAR in office (2017) to the first couple of months of 2022" and "conveniently skipped over how Biden reduced our domestic oil production in 2021." Fondacaro did not explain how, exactly, "Biden reduced our domestic oil production in 2021," falsely suggesting it was some kind of shady machination and not, you know, that was a raging pandemic.
Christy used a March 10 post to complain that an MSNBC commentator told the truth about Republican anti-Biden narratives:
For Alcindor, this was “a smart point” because even though both parties agree, “there is really this political risk…Senator Chris Murphy, he has said, the moment that he be -- the moment that gas prices start to surge even more, he believes that Republicans are going to be using this against the president.”
Trying to prove Murphy right, Alcindor cited House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “who has said that while President Biden is trying to blame Russia and world events for the historic gas prices this is really, he said, bad policies.”
Of course, McCarthy is correct.
Ruhle and Alcindor are too, but Christy will never admit that -- his job is to peddle McCarthy's narratives, not tell the truth.
CNS Obsesses Over Pelosi's Annual Noting of Ramadan Topic: CNSNews.com
There's a lot of stuff CNSNews.com doesn't cover -- especially if it makes conservatives look bad -- but one thing it has oddly done has cranked articles on Nancy Pelosi's statement marking the month of Ramadan nearly every year since 2017. And even more oddly, all of those articles were written anonymously so we can't see which CNS staffer is so obsessed by this.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) released a statement on Friday in observance of ‘the Holy Month of Ramadan.”
“Ramadan reminds us of the rich diversity of our nation, and of the many contributions that Muslims have made to our country as public servants, members of our Armed Services, scholars, artists, athletes and engaged citizens,” Pelosi said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) issued a statement on Tuesday in observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
“Ramadan offers all Americans an opportunity to honor the remarkable contributions that Muslim Americans make to our nation,” she said. “In every corner of the country, this beautiful heritage enriches our nation and reminds us all that in diversity there is strength.”
CNS inexplicably skipped the 2019 letter, but our anonymous writer was back to complain that a 2020 letter included Ramadan with references to Easter and Passover:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter yesterday to her fellow members in the U.S. House of Representatives telling them to have a Happy Easter, Passover and Ramadan.
“May the glory and challenge of this Holy Season be a source of hope and a time of reflection and renewal for us all,” Pelosi wrote.
“May our respect, gratitude and especially our support be a source of strength to our heroes – our health care, police and fire, food, postal and other essential workers,” she said.
“May God Bless America! Happy Easter, Passover and Ramadan!” she said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put out a statement on Monday in honor of the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that is marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset.
“During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Muslim families around the world celebrate their faith by engaging in the sacred process of self-reflection and spiritual renewal,” said Pelosi.
“After the darkness and difficulty of the past year, this special season offers the promise of hope that better times are within reach,” she said.
“Our vibrant, diverse Muslim communities are essential to the American fabric,” said Pelosi.
An April 4 article marked this year's Ramadan grumbling:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put out a statement on Friday welcoming the start of the month of Ramadan and paying tribute to America’s Muslim community.
“For generations, America’s large and diverse Muslim communities have been essential to our nation’s success: whether serving on the frontlines of the pandemic, advancing the fight against injustice in our communities or enriching our cultural tapestry,”Pelosi said.
This was followed by an April 11 article -- also anonymously written -- under the headline "Pelosi Sends ‘Dear Colleague Letter:’ ‘As We…Continue to Celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan’":
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to fellow House Democrats on Friday noting that they were entering “the season of Easter and Passover” and continuing “to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan”
“As we enter the season of Easter and Passover and continue to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan, we reflect on two reproductive weeks in the People’s House,” Pelosi said.
The fact that CNS put Ramadan in the headline means it's complaining about Pelosi putting it on a equal footing with Easter and Passover. Plus,both of these articles are illustrated with photos of Pelosi with Rep. Ilhan Omar, whom CNS hates for being a liberal Muslim.
And that's really the reason CNS studiously devoted nonprofit resources over a period of several years to documenting all these letters -- it's Islamophobic, it doesn't understand why other people don't hate Muslims as much as it does, and it's dog-whistling to its right-wing, Muslim-hating audience.
WND's Orient Complains Her COVID Misinfo Is Being Called Out Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's been a while since we checked in on Jane Orient, leader of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who is one of the main purveyors of COVID misinformation at WorldNetDaily. Unsurprisingly, the misinformation is continuing. In her March 21 column, Orient was complaining that medical experts don't think anecdotal stories don't hold quite the same weight as actual medical research:
Even if you have had COVID, and some restrictions in your area have been lifted at least temporarily, life is definitely not normal, especially in medicine. We live under an increasingly authoritarian regime that falsely claims to "follow the science," but is really based on fear.
Warning: Much of what follows is "anecdotal," scorned by the "evidence-based medicine" establishment. We can no longer believe our eyes and ears. Of course, a single or a few observations must be replicated before we change medical practice or societal policy – unless they support a politically correct objective. But what to do in the meantime? Wait for a study that will probably never be done because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will not fund it?
Or at least listen to our patients and their associates?
For COVID, the dogma is that repurposed old drugs are dangerous and don't work, that vaccines are all "safe and effective," and that measures never shown capable of containing an already widespread respiratory virus must be followed under pain of professional death (delicensure).
In her April 18 column, Orient clung to the idea that everything should simply return to normal as if an pandemic that killed a million Americans never happened:
It is not normal to wear a face mask and stay six feet away from other human beings. As soon as the pressure is removed, the students, even at a woke universities, are maskless and interacting normally – talking, laughing, hugging. Their natural immune systems are functioning normally.
It is not normal to stay locked indoors. Without police coercion, people will go out when they think it essential or safe.
It is not normal to worry constantly about a virus that in most people is no worse than the flu. Once the daily case counts and death statistics stop, people may believe their eyes and ears telling them that most of us are OK … unless those making the evaluation have been turned into obsessive-compulsive germophobes.
It is not normal for people to bully or exclude or malign family members and friends who choose not to take a novel experimental injection. That takes constant propaganda portraying the refusers as lifelong lepers. But once the mortar of human relations is weakened, will the masonry crumble?
It's also not normal for right-wing activists like Orient to try and discredit medical experts by fearmongering about vaccines and other researched treatments sinply to advance a political narrative -- dishonesty that resulted in the needless deaths of thousands of people. She's also lying by continuing to smear vaccines as a "novel experimental injection" and, later, "a massive, uncontrolled, non-consented experiment. ; the vaccines have been fully approved by the FDA.
Orient's May 11 column complained that the COVID misinformation she has been peddling was being called out:
Today, "mainstream media" are mostly owned by a few conglomerates, who all seem to be on board with the current Narrative about this "war" on COVID.
We can tell something about the Agenda from the accounts Twitter has banned: views of election fraud that favors Democrats; evidence of corrupt dealings with foreign governments by certain highly placed officials, say, from Hunter Biden's laptop; and information contradicting the official narrative on COVID-19.
With COVID, disinformation is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Skepticism about masks and lockdowns, information about early treatment with cheap, repurposed drugs, or anything that might lead to "vaccine hesitancy" are anathema.
Who writes the message? According to Dr. Scott Atlas, who was briefly a member of President Trump's COVID Task Force, in his book "A Plague upon Our House," the nationwide message was dictated by Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx and Robert Redfield, even over the president's objection. Was it "the Science"? Dr. Atlas immersed himself in the deluge of scientific articles and brought copies to meetings. They were ignored. Birx, he writes, relied on unreliable or outdated data to dictate "mitigation" measures. No one else was willing to confront her. The deadly results of useless lockdowns were not of interest.
Who is Deborah Birx to have the power to destroy Americans' livelihood and lives? Most of her work had concerned the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Orient didn't mention that Atlas has no specific expertise in epidemiology, infectious diseases, or virology and dubioiusly pushed for herd immunity to COVID despite the fact that it has now killed 1 million Americans. She also ranted against Pfizer's COVID treatment Paxlovid and suggested that the old right-wing standby drug ivermectin is somehow better:
Pfizer has so far spent $2.8 million on the commercial and expects to earn $22 billion from Paxlovid sales for 2022, paid for by taxpayers.
What would happen if Twitter allowed compare-and-contrast information for Paxlovid vs. ivermectin, which share a common mechanism of action? Number of studies: three for Paxlovid, 82 for ivermectin; number of patients studied, about 5,000 vs. more than 129,000; duration of experience with use, months vs. decades (ivermectin was approved in 1987); number of patients who have taken drug, thousands vs. billions.
But, such a comparison might be bad for Pfizer's sales.
Orient makes sure not to comment on how many of those ivermectin studies were of high quality -- an important point, since a lot of them aren't. She also linked to an anonymously run website -- which may be secretly run by her AAPS -- purporing to document those results, which doesn't instill confidence.
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC War on Ketanji Brown Jackson, Part 1: Building the Narrative Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was manufacturing a right-wing talking point by smearing every potential Supreme Court nominee as a left-wing radical well before Jackson was actually nominated. Read more >>
'Cackling Coven': MRC's Fondacaro Has Issues With Women Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Nicholas Fondacaro appears to have issues with women, if his insistence on smearing the co-hosts of "The View" is any indication. A coven, of course, is word used to describe a gathering of witches, so it's clear that he believe "The View" hosts are evil simply for expressing opinions he is paid to hate. (We assume he'a not referring to the band that had a 1971 hit with "One Tin Soldier.")
Fondacaro seems to not understand that spewing insults and denigrating women as ugly sub-human evildoers who would cast a spell on anyone they feel like is not "media research" and does nothing to make anhone believe that the MRC is a credible operation. Then again, it keeps paying Fondacaro to make those vile insults, so perhaps destroying its crediblity is the ultimate goal.
Fondacaro clearly hates his neighbors and thinks he's doing it in the name of heaven (in his version of "heaven," it's the right-wing narratives he gets paid to perpetuate). Maybe he ought to listen to that song to see what it says about judgment day and what is beneath that stone.
CNS Mad Biden Doesn't Hate Transgender People Enough Topic: CNSNews.com
It's effectively a corporate mandate at the Media Reearch Center that all employees are to hate transgender people and anybody who doesn't, and its "news" division CNSNews.com has fallen in line with that ditkat. When President Biden marked the Transgender Day of Visibility, CNS was ready to lash out. Susan Jones was first out of the gate with a March 31 article complaining about an administration decision on passports -- and the length of the accompanying fact sheet:
"Today, the Biden-Harris Administration recognizes Transgender Day of Visibility, an annual celebration of the resilience, achievements, and joy of transgender people in the United States and around the world."
So begins a very, very lengthy White House "Fact Sheet" of what the Biden administration is doing to "support the mental health of transgender children, remove barriers that transgender people face accessing critical government services, and improve the visibility of transgender people in our nation’s data."
For starters, the Department of State is announcing that beginning on April 11, 2022, all U.S. citizens will be able to select an “X” (instead of 'F' or 'M') as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application.
Although the first sentence of the news release talks about the "joy of transgender people," the news release later notes that transgender children "are put at higher risk of attempted suicide or mental health challenges when they face bullying, rejection, or denial of health care."
The administration says it plans to provide more mental health resources for transgender youth. This includes a new Health and Human Services website that "that offers resources for transgender and LGBTQI+ youth, their parents, and providers. These resources include best practices for affirming an LGBTQI+ child, and information about suicide prevention services."
Later that day, Craig Bannister melted down over Biden saying that transgender people were "made in the image of God":
“Our entire administration sees you for who you are: made in the image of God,” President Joe Biden tells transgender Americans in a video released Thursday.
In a video celebrating a “Transgender Day of Visibility,” Biden reassures the nation’s transgenders that his entire administration “sees” them:
“To everyone celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, I want you to know that your president sees you – Jill, Kamala, Doug - our entire administration sees you for who you are: made in the image of God, and deserving of dignity, respect and support.”
According to the Bible (Genesis 1:26-28), however, God created only males and females: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them.”
It was left to an anonymous CNS writer to complain in an April 1 article that "The White House released a 'fact sheet' on Thursday outlining the 'advances' it says the administration has made in “equality and visibility for transgender Americans.'" The anonymous writer somehow managed to avoid complaining about the length of the fact sheet.
We've already noted how managing editor Michael W. Chapman lashed out over a transgender being flown outside of a federal agency building, and how right-wing ex-transgender person Walt Heyer attacked Biden for promoting "institutionalized child abuse" for refusing to hate transgender people as much as he does.
CNS' columnist also turned their anti-trans hate toward Biden. An April 11 column by dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue spewed:
It was reported on April 1 that President Biden took the opportunity on "Transgender Day of Visibility" to commend the parents of transgender children for "affirming your child's identity," saying it is "one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy."
This was not an April Fool's joke. No, this is the mindset of the president and an administration that purports to being compassionate, but in reality is promoting child abuse on a massive scale. No need to impute malicious motive — cluelessness will do.
Note that Biden sees this issue in terms of discrimination, not mental or physical health. This is the kind of robotic response he has been trained to develop.
Of course, chemical castration and body mutilation are the real issues, not discrimination. Nobody thinks that eight and ten-year olds are being discriminated against because they cannot drink alcohol, drive a car, or vote. Responsible adults are committed to the psychological and physiological wellbeing of children — they don't allow them to be exploited by irresponsible adults.
At some point in the future, historians will look back at this period in history and wonder why so many prominent Americans aided and abetted child abuse. That day can't come too soon.
John Stonestreet and Wayne Stender used their April 11 column to fight for the right of Christians to hate transgender people:
A little over a week ago, the White House issued a series of documents for the “International Transgender Day of Visibility.” Even more than revealing a new progressive “baseline” when it comes to politics and gender, these documents foreshadow new and real threats to religious freedom.
Transgender ideology falsely promises hope and instead brings harm to people who bear God’s image. When government forces and federal departments are co-opted to advance this ideology, religious freedom is placed in a precarious and fragile position.
Christians in this cultural moment cannot abandon truths about the human person, sexuality, and religious freedom whenever a new administration roars. With clarity and courage, we must teach our kids, build our institutions, and take all necessary stands based on what is true about men and women, sex, marriage, and freedom.
Donohue returned to spew more hate in an April 22 column:
There is no such person as a transgender — you are either male or female — but there is such a thing as transgenderism: it is an ideology that promotes the fiction that the sexes are interchangeable.
To win, proponents are bent on getting to children, prompting little kids to question whether they are satisfied being a boy or a girl. If they are in doubt, they should be advised to at least consider making the switch.
There is no more rabid advocate of transgenderism in America than the president of the United States. Indeed, transgender mania has gripped the White House.
Within months, the Biden Administration will finalize changes to Obamacare that will make it easier for persons seeking to transition to the opposite sex. The Department of Health and Human Services is leading the way, treating gender identity as a status worthy of being covered by laws against sex discrimination. Changes will also be made to healthcare plans, so that sex-transition procedures can be covered.
This is a classic case of top-down politics. There is no national outcry demanding that those who want to flip their sex should be given the green light. If anything, there is a growing consensus that we need to hit the pause button on this subject.