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Thursday, June 2, 2022
WND's Farah Goes All In On Discredited '2000 Mules' Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've shown how WorldNetDaily unsurprisingly embraced Dinesh D'Souza's dubious election-conspiracy film "2000 Mules." Chief among the film's cheerleasders, though, has been editor Joseph Farah. He spent his April 19 column rehashing his favorite election conspiracies, then rehashing Moore's puffery in touting how this was all going to be proven in the film:

An 18-month, data-driven probe now concludes the 2020 election was stolen.

Smartphone pings and video reveal at least 4.8 million fraudulent votes – far more than what Trump needed to win a clear electoral victory.

It's all detailed in a film coming out now that may just save the day.

Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote and Gregg Phillips of a health-care data company have teamed up with a dozen people who have put in 16-hour days for 15 months, combing tediously through cellphone geolocation data, surveillance videos and documents to see if the evidence supports their hypothesis.

What is that hypothesis? That amid the many "dirty," out-of-date voter rolls and the unprecedented distribution of mail-in ballots, a highly coordinated operation in the key battleground states collected ballots and paid "mules" to literally stuff them in the unattended drop boxes. The researchers found the smoking gun.

They say they have the hard evidence to back their finding that there were enough fraudulent votes in the states they targeted – including Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia – to overturn the election.

After the firm was released, Farah hyped it again in his May 6 column:

With the release of the film "2000 Mules," the overwhelmingly evidence, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the 2000 election was stolen, rigged and covered up becomes clear for all to see.

There were countless acts of "insurrection" involved. Democrats were successful at committing treason. It was a coup d'état. It was an outright act of rebellion, a successful revolution, an overthrow not just of a democratic election but a coordinated effort to defraud even the Founding Fathers of this great country.

What a betrayal of those Democrats' oaths of office – and the pledge of allegiance, the Constitution! What chutzpa!

But still they lie, they cheat, they defame – they'll never come clean! They will never stop.

There's a scene in the movie that suggests, "If you believe you are fighting Hitler, do you shy away from doing anything to challenge an election?"

That explains their motivation. They believed that. How many of them have said it openly? How many of the them said it under their breath?

It's time to come to our senses. Real Americans do not share anything in common with the people who committed this outrage – and covered it up! Not only did they do that, but they ACCUSED US OF WHAT THEY HAD DONE!

They claimed we were "insurrectionists"! Or maybe you don't know for sure that fraud was committed – you only suspect it. If you see this movie, you will KNOW. And God help you then. I almost wish I didn't know. I almost wish I had kept my innocence.

Farah then forwarded the baseless conspiracy theory that a draft opinion from the Supreme  Court that would over Roe v. Wade was leaked in an effort to suppress the film:

The Supreme Court was preparing to announce the decision in a month. Who leaked it? Why?

Maybe someone doesn't want you to know about this movie – "2000 Mules."

Can you think of any reason?

The Democrat machine is dirty, disgusting, defiled. They control most of the corporate world in America, most of the media, all of Big Tech. But they don't control YOU!

Farah started to get worried that D'Souza's film was getting ignored (even as his WND was downplaying the factual errors), so his May 12 column touting the film sounded a little desperate:

Have you seen "2000 Mules"?

I'm curious, because I'm disappointed that it's not making the kind of waves I expected.

Did we wait too long to definitively know the election of 2020 was actually fraudulent?

Are people just so stunned by the documentary's conclusions?

Is there just too much else going on?

Is Big Tech doing a job on it?

Do Americans even know there is a movie out that makes the case that we were robbed in 2020?

Or was it that the draft Supreme Court decision regarding Roe v. Wade was leaked at the same time as the film's release?

That's a lot of questions for you.

Then there's the virtual blackout by Fox News, the lack of commercials for it, not to mention no media coverage.

Am I mistaken, or is this film, as convincing as it is that Donald Trump was right about everything, not getting credit for the biggest story ever told – bigger than Watergate, bigger than the Hunter Biden tape from hell, bigger than all that has happened to us because of the Democrats' massive cheating scandal?

Or is it that we are more subject than most of us realize to manipulation? Or are just too stunned by its revelations? I really don't know. I'm anxious to find out.

The only person we see who has been subject to manipulation is Farah. He is still clinging to Trump's Big Lie, which should raise a huge red flag for anyone who might be thinking about considering WND to be a legitimate news organization that cares about facts.

As is so happened, Farah spent his May 15 column announcing his continued fealty to the Big Lie, whining that other right-wing outlets aren't touching the film (bolding in original):

But are ready for the shocker?

How about Fox News? Not even a mention!

How about Newsmax? Not even a mention!

Only the truly independent press is telling the truth about this movie – WND, Steve Bannon's "War Room" show and the Real America Network. You've diligently got to search for outlets that carry news about this movie.

Do you believe it?

Believe it!

Nothing from Fox News. Nothing from Newsmax. They haven't even uttered that name of the movie!

You might recall that Fox was the first network to call the race for Joe Biden in Arizona early on election night against President Donald Trump. That is one of five battlefield states that "2000 Mules" figures were won easily through blatant voter fraud against Trump. They didn't need a thorough review of the vote – they had all they needed to prove Trump won. It was stolen. He won the Electoral College in all five states.


Every day we feel more suppression, repression and tyranny in America. Most of it deals with the 2020 election results. It was a turning point. It certainly was for Trump!

We are quickly losing America's freedom – big time!

Farah's tone got desperate again in his May 23 column:

Are our elections hopelessly broken?

All you have to do to answer the question is see the movie "2000 Mules," produced by Dinesh D'Souza. It doesn't tell the whole story. It just presents a clear picture, one undeniable, seeing-is-believing American nightmare that portrays fraud on a massive scale that cannot be ignored.

Time is running short. Nothing is more important, hyper-critical to our very way of life than coming to grips with election fraud right now.

Not watching "2000 Mules" is not an option for any American. It will only keep you in the dark. It presents the stark reality of how we were all cheated in 2020 – swindled, chiseled, deceived, defrauded, duped, scammed and hoaxed.

The election was stolen. And there's no denying it, refuting it, or discrediting it. What the film reveals is the truth – not the whole story but enough to change the basic narrative and the winner of the 2020 presidential race.

Well, you might ask, what's preventing accountability for the steal?

Fear – on all sides. Disinformation. Lies.

It's ruining this country. It's threatening to take it down.

Rather than admitting his and WND's role in spreading fear, disinformation and lies -- or even report on the disinformation and lies in D'Souza's film -- Farah decided to create a new enemy in a Democratic lawyer, Mark Elias, because he "admitted hiring Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump, and that was the company that then hired Christopher Steele to create the now-discredited Steele dossier of false claims about President Trump."

Farah's May 30 column was a tirade against Fox News in general and correspondent Sandra Smith im particular for an interview with Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, who got slapped down by Smith for bringing up D'Souza's film:

Smith said it has been debunked by Reuters – by REUTERS! And for that Fox has never uttered the film's name.

Yet Brooks was not finished.

"I'm sorry, but other fact checkers are looking at it and find you're absolutely wrong, Sandra."

She's dead wrong.

Sandra Smith is a disgrace.

I will not watch her ever again – at least not until she apologizes for her behavior on the election of 2020.

As for Mo Brooks, he was great. It was one of the best interviews I've seen on TV lately.

He disagrees with President Trump, yet he remains passionate that the election was stolen.


It's not too late to see "2000 Mules."

It's a must.

And it will prevail.

Despite what Smith said about it:

"That has been looked at and fact-checked by multiple outlets, including Reuters, who have debunked that as any sort of proof that there was widespread voter fraud."

Fact checkers, please!

Fox News are CENSORS!

But Farah did not link to the Reuters fact-check he was attacking (for merely existing; at no point did Farah make an attempt to rebut anything in it), meaning that he's acting as a censor too.

Farah and WND have served up nothing regarding D'Souza's film except rah-rah promotion (making one wonder if D'Souza is paying WND for all this great press) and incessant, stenographical shouting that the film is true without proving it or actually debunking any of the criticism. It seems that a "news" organization on the brink of collapse should be working to boost its journalistic credibility, not being a PR agent for a discredited film.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2022 8:28 PM EDT
MRC Lamely Defends Trump's Social-Media Site From Jimmy Kimmel
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center may be orgasming over the idea of Elon Musk buying Twitter, but it hasn't completely forgotten about its previous love, Donald Trump's Truth Social. If you'll recall, the MRC was essentially Trump's PR agent for the launch, hyping its purported "free speech" agenda (as long as you don't make fun of Trump or Devin Nunes) while censoring what an absolute mess the app is. It has little to say about Truth Social since, but Joseph Vazquez felt compelled to speak up in an April 27 post after Jimmy Kimmel told some jokes about both:

The Trump-obsessed comedian Jimmy Kimmel thought he caught the former president in a “got heem” moment last night when trying to make fun of the former president’s Truth Social app. It aged horribly.

A review of the Apple App Store found that Truth Social has taken the No. 1 “Free App” spot, with Twitter down to No. 2. The China-controlled TikTok, another competitor, sits at No. 5.

The development comes just hours before Kimmel claimed Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s landmark purchase of Twitter put Trump in a very tough spot as a competitor in the social media market on the April 26 edition of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. “Now that he probably won’t be banned from Twitter anymore because Elon owns it, he’s kind of stuck.” Kimmel mocked Truth Social as “such a disaster, he himself hasn’t even posted on it for eleven weeks.” 

Kimmel proceeded to dig himself into a deeper hole. He flailed how Trump’s “dumb new company he conned everybody out of their money for, will become, I guess, the social media equivalent of a RadioShack.” Too bad for Kimmel, the “RadioShack” app is No. 1 for the time being.


The fact that Trump’s app has emerged from a rocky start to contend with a formerly censorship-obsessed platform that dominated the public discourse for many years illustrates the enduring relevance of the free market. Kimmel, however, was concerned with spouting yet another milquetoast rant about Trump that fell flat on its face.

Did it, though? Vazquez didn't dispute that Trump was not posting on his own platform, and it was not until a few days later that he finally started regularly posting there. A few weeks later, it was revealed that Trump is contractually obligated to make Truth Social his primary social-media outlet, and he can't repost his musings to other outlets for a minimum of six hours. So even if Musk restores Trump's Twitter account, it can't be his primary one.

(That's also the first time the MRC admitted that Truth Social has a "rocky start," though Vazquez made sure not to detail how bad it was -- which contradicted the MRC's rosy PR work -- and provided only a external link about it.)

Also note that Vazquez only cited the Apple app store as a source for his proof that Truth Social is more popular than Twitter. That's because there's no Android app yet, even though more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones run on Android -- it seems that "rocky start" is continuing. And Truth Social's user base remains a tiny fraction of Twitter's -- heck, the total number ofTruth Social users is a tiny fraction of the 89 million Twitter followers Trump had before he was removed for helping to incite the Capitol riot.

Vazquez's touting of Truth Social has not aged well. As of this writing, Truch Social is no longer even in the top 200 of free apps at the Apple app store, while "China-controlled TikTok" is at No. 4 and Twitter is at No. 42. Who's falling flat on their face now, Joey?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EDT
Is CNS Editor Promoting Ted Cruz Because His Daughter Is A Cruz Staffer?

A while back, editor Terry Jeffrey let it slip that his daughter works in the office of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz -- something he had not previously disclosed. That connectdon is worth looking into, since it seems to be skewing CNS' news coverage. The daughter in question appears to be Maria Jeffrey Reynolds, who has worked for Cruz since 2018; she was promoted to speechwriter in 2020, and she now serves as director of speechwriting and strategic communications and has been quoted in the media as his spokesperson.

CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, typically frowns on newspeople who have relatives working in partisan politics. For instance, it loves to complain about the wife of NBC host Chuck Todd working as a Democratic consultant; one writer huffed that "While Todd claims to be all for sunshine,he has refused to discuss his wife's firm's work with Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign even while he interviewed Sanders on his shows," and another groused that Todd's wife "is active in Democratic Party campaigns and co-founded a PR firm that worked with Bernie Sanders. Since Jeffrey his hidden his daughter's involvement in partisan politics until now, you can bet that the MRC won't talk about it ether.

There is at least a circumstantial link between Jeffrey's daughter working as a Cruz staffer and the large amount of favorable press Cruz receives at CNS. We've documented how CNS devoted 46 articles to the musings of Cruz in the final nine months of 2020, then 72 Cruz-centric articles in 2021. In the first three months of this year, Cruz was given 17 articles. That's a pace of one article every five days. It's highly unlikely that every single one of those articles are newsworthy; it's more likely that Jeffrey published at least some of those articles as a favor to his daughter.

CNS also generally avoids reporting anything negative about Cruz. As we noted, CNS devoted no story to Cruz's little trip to Cancun while his Texas constituents were freezing to death after a freak snow and ice storm that knocked out power in much of the state, instead limiting the story to brief mentions in other articles.

It seems that Jeffrey needs to justify CNS' obsessive focus on giving good press to Cruz and explain the link it appears to have to his daughter's employment. Otherwise, CNS shouldn't be considered any more credible than the news operations the MRC spends millions of dollars a year to attack and smear for doing the exact same thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2022 1:23 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
MRC Defended Tucker Carlson's Replacement Theory Conspiracy Before Buffalo Shooting
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was a promoter and defender of the right-wing replacement theory conspiracy well before the racist perpetrator of the mass shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store spouted it -- as we noted when it rushed to the defense of Fox News host Tucker Carlson for spoiuting it. In an April 2021 post, Duncan Schroeder criticized CNN's Don Lemon for calling out Carson as pushing a racist theory:

Lemon is lying about Carlson making his argument about race, as Carlson explicitly stated in the segment in question that his point about Democrats wanting mass immigration has nothing to do with race but that it is instead “a voting rights question.”

Lemon is also lying about Carlson’s argument being “complete nonsense” because Democrats have acknowledged that winning elections is part of why they support mass immigration. In a 2013 interview with CBS, former Obama cabinet member and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro predicted that Texas will turn blue due to “the population growth of folks from outside of Texas.”

Of course, just because Carlson denies it's a racist theory doesn't mean it's not racist.He's not complaining about white people replacing white people, after all. Further, taking note of already-occuring demographic changes is not the same thing as spouting a conspiracy theory.

The MRC labored hard to defend Carlson following his embrace of replacement theory. Five days later, Curtis Houck spent a post whining about the fact that Carlson was being criticized by the Washington Post; he didn't deny Carlson's remarks were racist, but he reframed them as Carlson would, insisting they were merely "about immigration and liberals wanting to create a system in which new immigrants would become dependent upon the state and the Democratic Party for their well being."

A couple days after that, Jeffrey Lord gushed over Fox chief Lachlan Murdoch's "serious leadership in defending both Tucker Carlson and Fox News itself," insisting that Carlson was  merely "pointing to the obvious. Which is to say the American left is deliberately creating and using the chaos at the US southern border as a way of re-populating the US, in this case with poor illegal immigrants who would presumably be the political pawns of the Democratic Party." Lord offered no proof that Carlson's conspiracy theory was factual.

That was followed by a post from Joseph Vazquez hyping how the Coalitiion for Jewish Values defended Carlson and bizarrely attacked the head of the ADL for criticizing him. As we've noted, the CJV  is a hotbed of pro-Trump right-wing rabbis, so perhaps their opinion isn't worth much.

In a May 2021 post, Mark Finkelstein defended replacement theory, approving of Carlson's "statement that the Democrat party [sic] is seeking to replace the current US electorate with more Dem-friendly immigrant voters from Third World countries. Question: how hard do you think Biden-Kamala would be clamping down on the border if, say, millions of Republican-leaning Poles were trying to enter the country?" Finkelstein didn't say whether he thought the Poles should be treated theway he demands darker-skinned migrants be treated.

In October, Houck complained that MSNBC's Joy Reid accused Republicans of "'normalizing and rubbing elbows with open white nationalism, white replacement theory, some really dangerous ideologies that are designed to whip up, you know, particularly white men' to do harm," complaining that she was engaging in "the demonization and other-izing of conservatives and Republicans." After the Buffalo massacre, that complain stopped aging well.

The MRC's resident New York Times-basher, Clay Waters, then took up the banner of defending replacement theory. He did his best to, uh, whitewash replacement theory in a Nov. 5 post complaining that ah Times article accurately pointed the racist foundation of Carlson's replacement theory:

Carlson used the term "replacement theory," but it sounds less like a conspiracy theory about a globalist cabal trying to replace current U.S. voters, and more like he thinks the Democrats favor massive immigration for political reasons, believing "demography is destiny," with more young (and grateful) new voters from elsewhere. The liberal media cannot stand that accusation, but it's easy for them to accuse Fox of airing neo-Nazi theories. Then Williamson notes Carlson was praised for these remarks.

In a Nov. 26 post, Waters groused that the Times "rounded up anecdotes from the left’s Public Enemy No. 1, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, conflating concerns over immigration with conspiratorial 'replacement theory'" in discussing the rise of right-wing racism. Then, in a May 2 post -- a couple weks before the Buffalo shooting -- Waters again insisted that replacement theory was a legitimate, mainstream conservative concept and that "'replacement theory' twists conservatives’ justified concern that Democrats want to import immigrants into America and give them citizenship – Democrats who would then dutifully pull the lever for the big-spending party who fought to get them into the country."

After the shooting, the MRC had no choice but to double down on replacement theory and pretend it's not racist. More on that soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2022 8:56 PM EDT
CNS Editor Still Blaming Continued Trade With Russia On Biden

One of the dishonest ways has been attacking President Biden over Russia's invasion of Ukraine is by implicitly blaming him for trade continuing between the U.S. and Russia as tensions heated up. That bias has continued. Editor Terry Jeffrey wrote in an April 6 article:

The United States ran a record February merchandise trade deficit of $2,080,300,000 with Russia, according to newly released numbers from the Census Bureau.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

During this February, according to the Census Bureau, the United States exported $497,500,000 in goods to Russia and imported $2,577,800,000 in good from Russia—resulting in a trade deficit of $2,080,300,000.

That is the largest trade deficit the United States has ever run with Russia in the month of February.

Jeffrey did seem to grudgingly admit that his attacks are unfair by noting that "According to a timeline published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Biden Administration imposed its first Ukraine-war-related sanctions on Russia on Feb. 21, 2022" and that "it was not until March 8 that the United States banned Russian oil imports." But hedidn't mention that, in the months before the invasion, CNS itself was cool with Russia leader Vladimir Putin trashing the U.S. in general and Biden in particular by spouting right-wing-friendly talking points -- making his moralizing over trade with Russia doubly hypocritical.

To drive home his attack line further, Jeffrey illustrated his article with an old file photo of Biden with Vladimir Putin.

Jeffrey pushed his attack line again with udated numbers in a May 4 article:

In March, which was the first full calendar month after Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. imports of Russian goods increased, according to newly released data from the Census Bureau.

In January, which preceded the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States exported $396,800,000 in goods to Russia and imported $1,959,400,000 in goods from Russia. That resulted in the United States running a January merchandise trade deficit with Russia of $1,562,500,000.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. That month, most of which preceded the invasion, the United States exported $497,500,000 in goods to Russia and imported $2,577,800,000 from Russia. As a result, the United States ran a February merchandise trade deficit with Russia of $2,080,300,000.

In March, as Russia continued its war in Ukraine, it imported only $101,100,000 in goods from the United States, but the United States imported $2,746,300,000 in goods from Russia.


The $2,746,300,000 in goods the United States imported from Russia in March was also almost 22 times as much as the $126,200,000 in goods the United States imported from Ukraine that month.

Again, Jeffrey failed to mention his "news" operation's support for Putin in the months before the invasion. And again, he illustrated it with a file photo of Putin and (the back of the head of) Biden.

Remember, Jeffrey's intent is to push a political attack -- these are stories he would not be writing if a Republican was president.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:51 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 12:29 AM EDT
Newsmax Took Part In GOP War Against Disfavored Pa. Senate Candidate
Topic: Newsmax

Before the Republican primary for the Pennsylvania Senate seat, touted the anti-abortion views of candidate Kathy Barnette and her endorsement by a right-wing Catholic group. By contrast, Newsmax was criticizing Barnette for not being conservative enough. An curiously unbylined May 13 article branded Barnette as "erratic":

Though she got high marks as a pro-life advocate, political newcomer Kathy Barnette has seen her support dwindle as conservatives scrutinize her record.

Barnette's comments in recent years have included claiming unrest in the "Black community" was due to "white racism."

And the protests — that often times turned violent — over the death of George Floyd "were for a very good reason," she said.

Surprisingly, Barnette also has criticized the nation’s first president, saying she "heard white people talking about the high and mightiness of George Washington, a former slave owner."

Just two years ago, Barnette led a petition drive to build a statue to former President Barack Obama and his family.

She said the statue would "serve as an example of how far we have come as a nation."


"Kathy lost big to a weak Democrat and would lose even more to John Fetterman — giving Democrats another seat in the Senate," GOP Senate candidate Carla Sands, a former Trump ambassador, said during Newsmax's May 4 debate at Grove City College.

"At a time when our conservative values and constitutional rights hang in the balance, we cannot afford to lose this seat."

This was all part of a conservative war against Barnette as she rose in the polls due to top candidates Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick beating each other up with negative ads. Donald Trump, to whom Newsmax is beholden, endorsed Oz, and Dick Morris dndorsed him too in a May 11 column while also dismissing Barnette as "the weakest in the field to win in November against a heavily funded Democratic candidate. There are even reports that the Democrats are helping her campaign."

A May 16 article by Solange Reyner touted a pre-election robocall Trump made for Oz that trashed other candidates including Barnette: "Barnette 'wanted to build a statue to Barack Hussein Obama and attacked the father of our country, George Washington,' said Trump. 'That's no good. Now she changes her tune, but these are not candidates who put America first and that's what we need.'"

After the election, though -- in which she finished behind Oz and McCormick and the winner remains too close to call -- Barnette appeared on Newsmax TV to do a little cleanup, as summarized in a May 21 article by Eric Mack:

Despite facing a barrage of political attacks in the final week after a well-regarded performance in a Newsmax debate, Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Kathy Barnette vows to support the eventual winner between Dr. Mehmet Oz or David McCormick.

"I support whoever comes out of this, of course, right?" Barnette told "Saturday Report." "I mean right now standing, trying to pick between the two is like trying to pick between six in one and a half dozen in another. There's very little distinction between the two.

"But whoever should prevail out of this process, absolutely I want our party to win."

Mack didn't mention that Newsmax was part of that anti-Barnette barrage, or that the reason Barnette needed to commit to supporting the election winner was that she wouldn't commit to doing so before the election.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EDT
WND Jumps Into Pushing D'Souza's Dubious Film About Election Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Because WorldNetDaily couldn't pass up a good conspiracy theory, no matter how thoroughly it'd debunked, it was quick to attach itself to the idea that thousands of "mules" stuffed absentee ballot boxes with fraudulent. In January, for example, an article touted a claim from right-wing group True the Vote that it had a video of this allegedly happening, which was a teaser for an article (like the first, unbylined) announcing that Dinesh D'Souza was making a film based on True the Vote's "explosive footage," called "2000 Mules," and that he had released a teaser video. No mention, of course, that the trailer didn't actually prove anything and that D'Souza is a convicted criminal with a poor factual track record.

As the movie's release date approached, WND got very excited. An April 15 article by Art Moore forwarded the film's claims in an attempt to build credibility for them:

Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips have been engaged in the battle for election integrity for more than a decade, and the day after the contested November 2020 vote, they made a pact.

"Catherine looked at me and said, 'What are we going to do?'" Phillips recounted in an in-depth video interview with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.

"I said, Let’s go," Phillips recalled. "She said, Let's go all in."

They eventually hired a dozen people who have put in 16-hour days for 15 months, combing tediously through cellphone geolocation data, surveillance videos and documents to see if the evidence supports their hypothesis.

Their hypothesis is that amid the many "dirty," out-of-date voter rolls and the unprecedented distribution of mail-in ballots, a highly coordinated operation in the key battleground states collected ballots and paid "mules" to literally stuff them in the unattended drop boxes that became a center of controversy.

An April 25 article by Moore touted a right-wing reporter promoting "the hard data gathering by longtime election-integrity investigators Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, and data analyst Gregg Phillips that is featured in the upcoming documentary by Dinesh D'Souza '2000 Mules'." That was followed the next day by an article by Bob Unruh promoting how True the Vote video led to "organizations that handed out cash for ballot-harvesting operations" in Georgia. (Those claims were dismissed a few weeks later, which WND never reported to its readers.)

On the day D'Souza's film release date was announced, WND published a Western Journal article detailing where the "highly anticipated documentary film? coupld be viewed. This was followed by an April 28 article by Moore detailed his softball interivew with Engelbrecht in which she declared that "The facts are the facts, and you cannot look away." Moore also interviewed D'Souza, and that bundle of softballs was featured in a May 3 article:

Feeling a bit like Charlie Brown and the elusive football, many who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 have grown weary of claims of evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.

Filmmaker and author Dinesh D'Souza understands that reaction, but he's willing to bet that even the most cynical among us will be convinced after seeing the hard evidence presented in "2000 Mules," which is debuting this week.

"This idea that this was the most secure election – I predict that this movie will blow that out of the water," he told WND in a video interview (embedded below).

"No one who sees this movie will be able to listen to that with a straight face."

D'Souza emphasized "this is evidence of a completely different caliber than anything we've seen before."

But like many things involving D'Souza, "2000 Mules" began to fall apart factually as soon as people outside WND's right-wing media bubble saw it. That means Moore went into defense mode for a May 10 article trying to fight back against an Associated Press fact-check:

The AP's primary claim was that the cellphone location data is not precise enough to determine whether or not an individual actually visited a particular drop box. Innocent people, the news wire contended, may have been caught up in their data.

However, as Wendi Strauch Mahoney of UncoverDC reports, Engelbrecht and Phillips took that issue and many others brought up by the AP into account when they designed their investigation.

In a 2018 opinion in the Supreme Court case Carpenter v. United States, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that when the government "tracks the location of a cell phone," it "achieves near perfect surveillance as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user."

And Engelbrecht points out in the movie that the data in Georgia was used by law enforcement as a test case to help law enforcement solve a cold murder case of a young girl.

That's not actually true, but since Moore is promoting the film instead of acting like a real reporter, he's not about to question anything Engelbrecht says. He also made no effort to fact-check this:

The AP also challenged the claim that the data show violent Antifa rioters were among the mules.

"There were several different violent BLM Antifa riots in Atlanta, and in one of them, we had three dozen of our mules participate in these violent riots," Phillips said. "There's an organization that tracks the device IDs. Across all violent protests around the world, we took a look at our 242 mules in Atlanta, and sure enough, dozens and dozens and dozens of our mules show up on the ACLED databases."

The reference is to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a non-profit that "collects the dates, actors, locations, fatalities, and types of all reported political violence and protest events around the world."

In fact, an official with ACLED says its data cannot be used in that way.

WND cranked up promotion of the film to try and drown out the criticism. An unbylined May 13 article claimed that "An Arizona county sheriff's office featured in Dinesh D'Souza's "2000 Mules" documentary on alleged ballot trafficking in the 2020 presidential election is working with the county recorder to investigate vote fraud" -- but the sheriff himself said there's no link between his investigation and the film. An article the same day by Moore uncritically promoted Phillips' claim that "he and his witnesses have become the target of Georgia state officials instead of the people he believes delivered fraudulent votes to help Joe Biden win the White House.

But even as WND's "news" side got tired of defending D'Souza's film, the opinion side was full of conspiracy theories designed to promote a conspiracy-laden film. More on that soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2022 6:24 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
As Mass Shootings Grow, MRC Tries To Redefine Them
Topic: Media Research Center

As the number of mass shootings has mouned in recent weeks, the Media Research Center is lamely fighting back with its usual tactic of quibbling over the definition of what a mass shooting is. Nicholas Fondacaro -- who has falsely smeared as liars anyone who failed to use his very narrow definition of mass shooting -- was at it again in an April 18 post:

Following a weekend of multiple “mass shootings,” the liberal media rushed to exploit the dead to push their demands for increasingly-unpopular gun control legislation. Part of their efforts to scare people into giving up their Second Amendment rights was to parrot a dubious analysis that claimed there have been between 130-148 mass shootings so far this year.

So, it begs the question: if there really were that many, why have only a fraction of them been reported on nationally? The simplest explanation is there haven’t been that many mass shootings and they’re being inflated to make things seem more horrendous than they really are.

When reports of a “mass shooting” break, the common understanding is that a person went to a public place (school, shopping center, est.) and started shooting indiscriminately with the intent to kill as many as possible. But what the liberal media are currently citing is data from the Gun Violence Archive, a supposed “independent” aggregator of incidents involving guns.

“And as the overall number of shootings have increased, there's been a dramatic rise in mass shootings,” reported ABC’s Pierre Thomas on Monday’s Good Morning America. “Look at these numbers. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. By last year the number spiked to 693. That's an incredible 66 percent jump.”

“We're now in an era where we can say mass shootings are chronic, sustained, and sadly routine,” he added with a graphic that claimed there have been 139 so far this year.

According to their website, the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), uses this peculiar definition of “mass shooting” for their methodology: “FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location  not including the shooter.”

Fondacaro didn't explain exactly why that methodology is so "peculiar," beyond making his side look bad. So he called out a fellow pro-gun activist (and former MRC employee) to nitpick that tally away and push a stricter, more right-wing-friendly definition:

NewsBusters reached out to the founder of The Reload, Stephen Gutowski to get an understanding of where this definition of “mass shooting” GVA uses came from. He says it was “popularized by gun-control activists on Reddit” and it “increases the number of mass shootings by a factor of ten or more.”

“It can also be misleading for most readers since many of the mass shootings are not similar to high-profile shootings like Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, or Parkland,” he warned.

Fondacaro also reminded us that he also whined about defining mass shootings a year ago. He was at it again two days later, again smearing any number that was greater than his own as "false":

As NewsBusters laid out on Monday, the “mass shooting” statistics peddled by the Gun Violence Archive are objectively misleading according to mass killings researchers and gun experts. But the truth wasn’t reached for comment on struggling CNN+ and Reliable Sources Daily on Tuesday and host Brian Stelter demanded that the media push the false statistic that there have been “145 mass shootings in the U.S. already this year.”

Stelter began the segment by admitting “‘Mass shooting’ sometimes has a very specific connotation. People think of mass killings. Maybe a dozen or more killed.” But he then campaigned to throw out that understanding in favor of a vaguer and ambiguous definition to jack the number up:

Fondacaro is lying. The GVA number is not "ambiguous"; it's quite clearly defined. Still he whined that "GVA admits to intentionally stripping out the context," though he didn't explain why context matters. People aren't any less dead because he demands their deathbe counted differently.

After the Buffalo grocery store shooting, Kevin Tober wildly escalated the inflammatory rhetoric in a May 16 post, linking back to Fondacaro's posts and declaring that anyone who didn't agree with the MRC's narrow mass-shooting definition is lying:

On Monday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell began and ended her broadcast by lying and pushing her leftist gun control agenda in the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday. 

“Tonight, this is a community in mourning -- ten people were killed, three injured, eleven of them were black,” O’Donnell announced at the top of her program, before repeating an outright lie that has been previously debunked by NewsBusters: “it was a deadly weekend here in America -- the United States has seen 202 mass shootings so far this year, four of them happened on Sunday.”

In reality, there haven’t been 202 mass shootings in America this year.

Again: The number is not a lie, let alone the "easily debunked lie in order to scare viewers into giving up their Second Amendment rights" Tober called it later in his item. Tober is the liar here.

After the mass shooting of schoolchildren in an elementary school in Texas, Tober played is desperate deflection game again in a May 24 post:

The bodies weren't even cold after the heartbreaking mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas in which eighteen elementary school children and one teacher were killed when NBC Nightly News decided to spread misinformation about the number of mass shootings in the United States this year. 

National correspondent Gabe Gutierrez started off the shameful segment by noting that “this is the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the Parkland rampage in February of 2018. As has become common now, there are already growing calls to stop gun violence which has been especially brutal this year.”


Despite what NBC and Gabe Gutierrez tell you, there have not been over two hundred mass shootings.


The other common-sense response to NBC’s absurd claim is if there have been that many mass shootings, why hasn’t NBC reported on all of them? 

NBC and Gutierrez should be ashamed of themselves for pushing fake statistics hours after eighteen young children have been shot to death.

Good question from Tober, but aimed at the wrong people.  Why won't the MRC report every mass shooting? Why does it fall to other non-right-wing media outlets to have to report them? And shouldn'tTober be the one who should be ashamed of spreading lies about legitimate and clearly defined statistics solely because they make his political side look bad?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
CNS Lets Right-Wing Rabbis Fret Over Libs of TikTok Writer Being Exposed As An Orthodox Jew

The Media Research Center relentllessly attacked Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz for exposing Chaya Raichik as the LGBT-hating woman behind the Twitter account Libs of TikTok, and its "news" division,, served up it own version of it, courtesy of its favorite group of hate-filled right-wing rabbis in an April 21 article (which curiously did not name Raichik even though it's public record now):

On April 19, the Washington Post published an article that was sharply condemnatory of the Twitter-user who posts the "Libs of TikTok" account, a writer whose name, profession, city, and religion -- "proudly Orthodox Jewish" -- were printed in the piece.

The Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents more than 5,000 Orthodox rabbis, responded by describing The Post's actions as "simply unacceptable" and "bordering on antisemitic."


The Libs of TikTok account on Twitter has 915,000 followers and is influential, especially among conservative pundits. 

In the Washington Post article, written by columnist Taylor Lorenz, the name, city, occupation, etc., of the Libs of TikTok writer are revealed, what social media users call "doxxed." This was done, according to critics, to try to intimidate and bully the writer.


The Coalition for Jewish Values issued a statement on April 20, noting that "the WaPo article highlighted that the subject had, under a previous anonymous Twitter handle, identified herself as an Orthodox Jew, a fact entirely unrelated to the larger story."

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, said, "The Washington Post’s behavior here is simply unacceptable. Jews constitute a small minority, yet are disproportionally targeted by hate crimes. An individual Jew, especially a visibly Orthodox Jew, is thus most likely per capita to be the victim of a hate crime in America today, by far."

"Given this context, identifying the Twitter user as an Orthodox Jewish woman placed her at heightened risk of physical harm," said Rabbi Menken.  "The Post not only did this, but then defended itself by insisting that her membership in our community was not a personal detail."

"That ludicrous denial is extremely offensive, bordering on antisemitic, especially at a time when media outlets routinely mask ethnicity details regarding members of every other minority group," he said.  "If this is what the Washington Post describes as its 'professional standards,' we call upon the paper to upgrade those standards immediately."

In defiance of its proclaimed mission to "cover the news as it should be, without fear or favor" -- which should involve telling all sides of a story -- Chapman made no attempt to give the Post or anyone else an opportunity to respond to the CJV. Indeed, a writer for the Cleveland Jewish Press detailed why Raichik's identity as an Orthodox Jew is a germane issue:

The Coalition for Jewish Values, an organization of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, said that “identifying the Twitter user as an Orthodox Jewish woman placed her at heightened risk of physical harm.”

But if identifying someone as Jewish subjects them to antisemitism, that seems to be a bigger and more insurmountable problem than any one journalist can address or avoid. It assumes, without evidence, that antisemitism has become so pervasive that living and identifying publicly as a Jew has become an existential risk. And it clashes with an ethos of Jewish pride and self-confidence that educators are trying to instill in Jewish schools and camps, and no doubt in the synagogues to which many of the Washington Post’s critics belong.

Jews are visible and assertive in public life, and in almost every occupation you can think of. Jews are overrepresented in activist spaces where the arguments are impassioned and sometimes unhinged. They don’t live as marranos. It’s not clear why Raishik deserves special handling, especially when she has willingly placed herself at the white-hot center of our national argument.

If Raichik was not doing something shameful, there would be no reason for anyone to fret about her religious identity.It seems like the CJV should be criticizing Raichik for acting in a shameful, hateful manner instead of fearing for anti-Semitic attacks against her.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:30 PM EDT
WND's Farah Again Ridiculously Blames Biden For All Fentanyl Deaths
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In February, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah sought to blame all fentanyl-related deaths in the U.S. on President Biden, even though he didn't blame any such deaths on President Trump when he was president. Farah tried to do it again in his April 27 column:

Fentanyl has killed 106,854 people over the course of a year ending in November 2021, according to the CDC. That's the No. 1 killer for those between the ages of 18 and 45. Since the fiscal year ended in September, we now have another six month period that will prove 2022 will be another nightmare.

Expect another banner year when fentanyl overdose deaths double.


Because of Joe Biden. It's the quiet epidemic taking place on his watch. Fentanyl deaths have increased thanks to Biden's policies of open human trafficking over the southern border. The drug cartels, allies of Biden in illegally allowing an estimated 2.5 million migrants to enter America in 18 months, also traffic in the fentanyl poison.

We expect four times more fentanyl flowing across the United States-Mexico border over the next six months.

This being Farah, he offers no evidence whatsoever to support his claim of a link between an increase in fentanyl trafficking and Biden's border policies. Indeed, as we've already noted, fentanyl seizures at the Mexican border have been higher overall through the first year of the Biden administration than they were during the Trump administration, according to PolitiFact, and the seizures are continuing at roughly the same rate as that of the last half of 2020 under Trump, and increased fentanyl seizures at the border is not indicative of a failed policy; it's easy to assume that Farah would see increased seizures as a success if a Republican was president.

But Farah wasn't done blaming Biden, as he continued to rant:

Now let me tell you why Biden is solely responsible for this holocaust.

Because he's not lifting a finger to control the cartels, open-border immigration and the national crime wave they cause. They are NOT unrelated – whether he knows it or not.

Biden hasn't held a press conference yet on what he plans to do about the fentanyl crisis – the latest one we've experienced at his hands. He's not mentioned a word about it in any venue!

But, don't worry. Joe has a plan. Even though he's not yet uttered a word about this unexpected death spiral happening in the country, his heath specialist have. You'll never guess what the administration's plan is.

t's called the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.

The administration is sticking to its plan for "harm reduction."

That means increasing access to clean needles, fentanyl test strips and naloxone. Clean needles, they say, help reduce the spread of disease. Fentanyl test strips enable drug users to check if they are about to consume this powerful opioid that can shut down breathing in seconds. Naloxone is a drug that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

In other words, they are applying the same Band-Aid that they are recommending to big cities.

Again, Farah provides no evidence between his purported claims of an "open border" (it's not) and a desire to boost "harm reduction" strategies. He's also not going to tell you that his beloved Donald Trump has been credibly accused of bungling the governmental response to increased opioid deaths by first trying to slash federal money to fund such efforts, then putting political appointees in charge of it instead of professionals in the field;in fact, there was no national national drug control strategyin the first two years of Trump's presidency.

Fartah concluded by huffing: "This fentanyl catastrophe should be one of the first articles of impeachment facing Biden come November." Weird how right-wingers hated impeachment when Trump was targeted but are now agitating for it in a desperate bid to remove Biden from office.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Snipes At The Competition
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's potshots at Fox News have largely been about it not being as right-wing and pro-Trump as Newsmax is. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EDT
Monday, May 30, 2022
This Is 'Media Research'? MRC Immaturely Cheers The Demise Of CNN+
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the Media Research Center's missions is to obsessively hate all things CNN, so when the channel announced its straming service, the MRC was on the attack from the beginning. In a July 2021 post on the announcement of ther service, Tim Graham was quick to brand it as biased even though it didn't exist yet: "So you’ll be able to watch Kamau Bell ask giggly softballs to Antifa or the CNN Films love letter to RBG, but “it’s not going to be ideological.” Morse claimed people turn to CNN for 'trust,' for 'credibility,' for "authenticity," for programming that's 'smart and entertaining.'" When CNN's Brian Stelter pointed out that Fox News' streaming service Fox News was filled with "right-wing opinion programming" but billed as "entertainment," Graham didn't dispute the description but instead deflected: "It's obvious that "growing the CNN brand" is going to rely on 'left-wing opinion programing' and 'entertainment product,' since they will expand on shows like actor Stanley Tucci's foodie tour of Italy." Of courrse, if Graham really did care about bias in the media, he'd be attacking Fox Nation the way he was bashing a CNN service that wouldn't exist for months.

When Chris Wallace announced in december he was jumping ship from Fox News to join the CNN venture, Nicholas Fondacaro lamented that "Wallace’s recent years with the network were a bit of a mixed bag" -- MRC-speak for complaining that he stopped being a ciomplete right-wing shill.

The actual launch of CNN+ at the end of March was drama-free at the MRC. But when rumors of trouble surrounding the service started popping up, it was quick to pounce. Curtis Houck used an April 12 post -- with a snotty "You Hate To See It" headline -- to hype a report that "massive cuts are expected at CNN+ in the near future after a spectacularly poor rollout" and the amount of money that had been put into "what former CNN puppetsmaster Jeffrey Zucker had tried to paint as the network’s future." (Yes, the MRC still can't stop hurling the anti-Semitic "puppetmaster" trope at the Jewish Zucker.) Fondacaro later added an update with more bad news about allegedly low subscription numbers, claiming that "this paltry number only gives credence to the notion that CNN’s new parent company Discovery will have even more leverage in extracting both budget cuts and changes to the liberal news outlet." Fondacaro sneeringly concluded, "To make a point of sarcasm, this all couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more positive and constructive group of people."

The MRC then rushed to hasten the death knells. On April 14, in an echo of its immature gloating on the ratings of various CNN shows, Houck and Kevin Tober cobbled together a list of "Eight Things More Popular Than Epic Failure CNN+," adding:

It was revealed on Tuesday that, according to CNBC, CNN+ has fewer than 10,000 active users on the streaming service a scant two weeks since its launch. Add in a report of looming budget cuts and layoffs and CNN and its executives found a way to make the brand even more pathetic and launch something even more of a failure than the parent cable network. 

To reiterate the insanity of this entire venture, consider the fact that CNN thought there would be a robust market paying $5.99 a month to watch the likes of Brian Stelter, Chris Wallace, Jemele Hill, and Anderson Cooper when practically nobody watches them on regular cable?

With there being more pagans and witches out there than CNN primetime viewers, we saw this coming from miles away.

This was followed by an April 19 post by Houck cheering that the marketing for the service had been suspended, sneering that "When it rains, it pours for the most poisonous name in news." And when CNN announced it was shutting down the service after less than a month -- seemingly due more to management changes as CNN gets absorbed into new owner Discovery than an allegedly slow launch -- it was unsemly grave-dancing time at the MRC (just like it did when Zucker left the company). Houck was first out of the hate gate:

CNN+, launched March 29 as a flaming heap of failure and narcissism, is set to be killed off come April 30. CNN and parent company Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed the death late Thursday morning. The move came a month after its birth and reportedly went off despite objections from Discovery.

Its cause of death was due to public disinterest with liberal punditry and paying money to hear more from the likes of Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and Brian Stelter. Interest was so low that CNN+ reportedly only brought in& fewer than 10,000 daily users and only 150,000 subscribers.

For a network whose daily users are less than the reported number of Jedi in Australia and brought in less revenue than a kickstarter for a random guy making potato salad, it was unsurprising that this hilariously bad idea will soon meet a fitting end.


With the exception of those of us at NewsBusters (who watch things like CNN+ so you don’t have to), one had to have been a masochist for parting with hard-earned money to watch CNN+ for pleasure.

Another post by Houck promoted a Discovery executive criticizing the service, then tried and justify the hate spewing from the MRC over it "If this were Fox Nation going under, it’s safe to say both outlets wouldn’t be so somber." Taht doesn't justify the childish hate emanating from the MRC, of course -- Houck is simply making excuses to be unprofessional.

This was followed by a post from Scott Whitlock listing things that lasted longer than CNN+, like New Coke and Tom Brady's retirement, but he didn't mention that it lasted longer than Anthony Scaramucci's tenure as communications director in the Trump White House. After that -- speaking of unprofessional -- the MRC touted Fox News folks bashing the competition:

On April 22, Fondacaro attacked Stelter for making the obvious point that CNN+ was shut down before it could have a chance to be successful, substituting right-wing anti-CNN hate for any effort at reasoned argument:

Instead of addressing the fact that they were struggling to get subscribers, had uninteresting content, and were just so full of themselves that they couldn’t see it as the folly that it was, Stelter laid the blame on conflicting visions with the new leadership:


In reality, we’ve seen the reports that CNN+ had under 10,000 daily users and barely 150,000 subscribers despite them throwing over $300 million at the pipedream and hiring talent they couldn’t support.

Jeffrey Lord devoted his April 23 column to trashing CNN+ in general and Wallace in particular for not buying into the right-wing narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump:

The real problem here is that Wallace lives in the liberal media bubble – and to be on a network with others who not only do not live in that bubble but challenge the Left’s so-called “truths” finally was just to much. “Unsustainable” in Wallace’s words.

Read his words again. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”

The fact that there are plenty of Americans who question Wallace’s “truth” – the results of the 2020 election – is not simply real world reality. The fact is that serious films, books and articles by serious people have emerged or are about to come out that exactly questions those results in detail.

Rather than blithely dismiss as “unsustainable” the issue of who won the 2020 election, a serious journalist with his own television show on CNN+ would invite, say, The Federalist’s editor Mollie Hemingway on his new CNN+ show and grill her about her book Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.

Mollie Hemingway is a journalist’s journalist. Her book is a decidedly serious, seriously detailed look at the 2020 election and the massive shenanigans that went on to, as her title proclaims, rig an election. Mollie should have been high on a Wallace list to talk to. It would have been great television! But no, instead he dismisses the argument about 2020 out of hand.

In fact, Hemingway's book is highly biased and little more than right-wing catnip.

The hate continued. When Stelter made his not-enough-time argument in a CNN discussing, Fondacaro headline his post on it "Through the Heart: Stelter Gets Confronted with CNN+’s FAILURE." Houck mocked a claim that "the liberal network hilariously claimed there are '29 million ‘CNN super fans’' out there willing to pay up for the soon-to-be-deceased streaming platform." When the service was shut down on April 28, Fondacaro felt the need to post video of what "what the final moments of CNN+ look like since you more than likely never bought a subscription like most Americans." Whitlock cranked out a post on what the money spent on CNN+ could have bought elsewhere, like pizzas and Teslas.

And the MRC couldn't stop slagging the service weeks after it was shut down. A May 16 article by Whitlock summarized an article by its fellow conservatives at the Wall Street Journal declaring that, in Whitlock's words, "It was even worse than anyone thought. At any one time, there were as few as 5000 people watching. That's in a country of 329 million." Of course, no context is provided for that number with audience counts from other streaming services in their startup phases. 

That's the MRC approach to CNN+ in a nutshell -- juvenile gloating and immature dunking on a designated enemy came before any sort of cogent analysis that could be described "media research." Perhaps the MRC should be renamed the Hateful Hot Take Center.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 30, 2022 11:59 PM EDT
MRC Continues To Be Mad That Marvel Superheroes Aren't Straight White Christians
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wants its Marvel superheroes to be straight white Christians, and it lashes out every time Marvel's creators fail to live up to that outdated expectation. Gabriel Hays devoted an April 1 post to ranting that a Marvel comic put Jesus Christ in its league of mutant superheroes:

Blasphemy against Jesus Christ Himself is now a part of the Disney/Marvel media empire’s descent into woke madness. The newest edition of X-Men comics features a story beat that explains that Christ wasn’t miraculous because He was the Son of God, but because He was a mutant with superpowers.

Basically, He’s like Professor X or Magneto, if their powers were multiplying bread and fish or raising people from the dead.


But before the explicit blasphemy, readers are given an exchange revealing a bit of the disdain Summers has for religion. Praising her powers, Exodus claims he believes that the Holy Spirit has come upon her. “Your coming rekindled the fecundity of mutants. The Holy Spirit came upon you,” he tells her, to which she abruptly responds, “The Phoenix! The Burning Space Bird came upon me! There’s no need to get religious.”

Heaven forbid God really exists in any modern comic book world. 

The real blasphemy happens when Exodus tries to woo her by stating that her mutant powers of resurrection have far surpassed those of the “Mutant Nazarene” who raised only three people from the dead in the New Testament: the widow of Nain, Jairus’ daughter, and Lazarus.

“The Nazarene Mutant inspired a church among the humans by raising a couple from the dead. I just watched you beat that in the last five minutes,” Exodus told her.

It’s obvious what Exodus is getting at here. The Nazarene Mutant, Jesus, of course, was not the Son of God, but an early mutant who used his powers to start a church and convince Christians He was God. Current mutants like Summers have far surpassed Jesus’ abilities. 

Exodus adds one more nail in the heretical coffin, telling Summers that her powers have given mutants something Christ didn’t. “And now, you have given us an actual heaven,” Exodus states.

Great job, Marvel. The edgy atheist shtick is so 2013. So much for pushing the envelope with your medium, guys.

Never mind, of course, that comic book superheroes have regularly been seen as parallels to religious figures. Hays is mad that creators made a logical extension of that idea.

John Simmons used a May 11 post to complain that Marvel doesn't hate LGBT people as he does:

It’s official folks. Marvel is gay.

In honor of pride month, which will, unfortunately, be upon us in just over three weeks, Marvel just announced that it will have a pride-themed edition of the acclaimed Marvel’s Voices podcast (created by Angélique Roché in 2018) that will attempt to highlight the voices of LGTBQIA+ artists and creators and the impact of several gay superheroes in the Marvel universe.

There's even a poster for it!


It is truly disappointing that Marvel, a company that genuinely brought fans some of the most well-produced, intricately developed, visually pleasing, and genuinely inspiring superhero stories of the past 20 years is now selling out for this harmful ideology to cater to a small portion of America’s population. There is always hope that their business could suffer should audiences be displeased with this new initiative (like what happened when Disney), but only time will tell. 

It's unsurprising that Simmons thinks being LGBT is an "ideology" the way his homophobia and anti-LGBT hate is ideology-driven.

A May 25 post by Mike Ippolito ranted that Marvel's owner was pushing "wokeism" in a trailer for the new Thor movie in which "Thor is depicted as weak and hung up on his ex-girlfriend" because, apparently, superheroes aren't supposed to have human feelings and emotions:

Since the earliest days of cinema, films with male protagonists used to be respected and strong. In the 1980s, the stereotype was every male hero was a buff man with a tough attitude. There were no quirky one-liners but good characters that embodied masculine virtues that were respected. Unfortunately, modern cinematic male heroes do not reflect those traits but instead are treated like jokes for entertainment sakes. The new Thor trailer is another example of woke companies attempting to destroy the classic male hero archetype for cheap jokes. This trailer follows the blockbuster hit movie “Avengers: Endgame,” which depicted Thor as a fat, beer-drinking, depressed man instead of a strong, determined, and courageous man. Once again, another example of woke movie studios making their once heroic characters weak to appease their woke base. 

It’s not surprising. Marvels Studios President Kevin Fiege wants diversity and wokeness to be the norm in Hollywood, and the new Thor movie is not any different. “Looking at the remarkably positive experiences we've had making sure that the room where it happens is not a room full of people that all look the same,” Fiege said “When that's not the case, when there are people from various backgrounds and genders, stories are better.” According to Fiege, diversity comes before quality stories. 

While this issue may not seem inherently important, movies play an enormous role in the culture war. For better or worse, many turn to film for lessons about life, so when movies promote a woke agenda, more will support woke policies. Cinematic heroes used to inspire a young generation of men to be better. Now movies like “Thor: Love and Thunder” show that the strong, silent types are long gone.

Of course, being a strong, silent type is not really good for men or women, so perhaps it's a good thing that archetype is disappearing -- something Ippolito clearly doesn't want to admit.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2022 12:24 AM EDT
MRC Still Clinging To False Claim That Networks Accused Border Patrol Of 'Whipping' Migrants
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center falsely accused the TV networks of falsely accusing Border Patrol agents of "whipping" migrants -- despite never presenting any evidence the networks actually did that. Kevin Tober is still spreading that lie in an April 13 post:

After spending days beating a dead horse with their fake news coverage claiming Border Patrol agents were “whipping” Haitian migrants, the liberal broadcast networks ignored the news that the agents involved were all cleared of alleged wrongdoing.

Loyal NewsBusters readers may remember in September that ABC’s World News Tonight take a victory lap after the agents were put on desk duty.

However, now that the agents are in the clear, all three networks ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News were more interested in covering local weather reports, The Library of Congress adding new songs to their registry, and El Salvador using Bitcoin as their national currency.

Tober linked to a September post by Nicholas Fondacaro making the false allegation. But as we doucmented, at no point did Fondacaro quote anyone at ABC, CBS or NBC directly accusing the Border Patrol of "whipping" the migrants.Nor did Fondacaro quote any ABC employee accusing the agents of "whipping" the migrants in what Tober called the "victory lap."

As usual, Tober lavished praise on a certain "news" outlet who did report on this story:

Despite the blackout from the networks, Fox News Channel’s Special Report made sure their viewers weren’t kept in the dark, with correspondent Lucas Tomlinson reporting how the network “has learned that officials have cleared the horse-mounted border patrol agencies of wrongdoing after they were accused of whipping migrants in September and placing them on probation.”

After that quick report, anchor Bret Baier made sure to bring the subject back up during the “All-Star Panel.” Talking to senior political analyst Brit Hume, Baier reminded viewers this incident happened in September 2021 and noted how “we are just getting to the back end of this investigation where the guys are not being punished; Brit, and remember how much coverage was given to that moment.”

Hume, in response, tore into the Biden administration and the Democratic Party:

After quoting a rant from Hume -- whose right-wing bias he did not identify; nor did he quote Hume citing any network newscast describing what happened as "whipping" -- Tober concluded by huffing: "This is why Fox News is the most-watched cable news network, and nobody trusts the liberal media, they never admit their mistakes and instead cover them up."But why should anyone trust Tober, Fondacaro and the rest of the MRC if they continually spread lies?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 30, 2022 11:50 AM EDT
MRC Suddenly Loves Russell Brand Now That He's Spouting MRC Narratives
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent years attacking actor Russell Brand as a hopeless, crazy liberal. In 2014, for example, Kristine Marsh and Matt Philbin wrote a post headlined "Branding Russell: Moonbat Ravings of a C-List Celeb," which accused him of being a "champagne socialist" who was spreading "unoriginal, often hate-filled, intolerant left-wing rants that run to conspiracy theories about corporations and “power structures, as well as "perpetually auditioning for MSNBC talking head job." The attacks on Brand regularly continued for having opinions the MRC didn't like:

But sometime after 2017, when that last post was written, the MRC changed its mind about Brand -- just as it did about Ricky Gervais and J.K. Rowling -- when he started spouting conservative correct things, shoving its previous attacks on him down the memory hole. Alexander Hall wrote in an April 21 post:

Comedian, actor and commentator Russell Brand interviewed University of Toronto Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson and took time to hammer Big Tech companies. 

Brand, a famous liberal free thinker, torched the idea that Western Civilization can thrive without personal freedom. He suggested that the flaw of modern progressivism was that it failed to observe “something that I can plainly see before my eyes, that big corporations and state power are collaborating in order to conserve power.” Brand then specified that, particularly in “Anglophonic countries” like the United States and the United Kingdom,  “people are becoming less and less able to exercise agency in ordinary life.”

Brand skewered the political and Big Tech establishment for using the COVID-19 crisis to invade the lives of ordinary people:


Brand explained his concern with modern “progressivism” as corporations have famously gone woke in order to adapt to social change while maintaining profits. Brand illustrated that progressivism has been “used to underwrite a kind of intransigence around power, and I think it’s used as a panacea to dissolve the voices of discontented people.”

Hall was silent on the fact that his employer spent the previous several years denigrating Brand for being a "famous liberal free thinker." A month later, Hall touted Brand again, this time for spreading election conspiracy theories:

Comedian, actor and commentator Russell Brand interviewed independent journalist Glenn Greenwald and raked Big Tech companies over the coals for interfering with the 2020 election. 

“Did the media and social media conspire together to keep information about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s relationship with foreign energy companies out of the media?” Brand asked in a preview video for his podcast. “The answer is: yes, they did.” Brand shared clips from his interview with Greenwald about corruption in the media.

“[R]evelations that there are financial connections between energy companies in the Ukraine, energy companies in China, and the Biden family, are troubling,” Brand explained. “That should be public knowledge. And it’s even more troubling that Twitter and Facebook and the media at large deliberately kept it out of the news because they didn’t want it to influence the election.”

This, of course, is the same conspiracy theory the MRC has been peddling.

In a December 2021 post, Hall again proclaimed Brand a "free thinker" as he promoted another pro-Trump, anti-"big tech" conspiracy the MRC loves:

Comedian, actor and commentator Russell Brand called out the fact that Twitter once represented the Wild West of free speech, but has since become a machine for controlling public opinion. The unexpected rise of former President Donald Trump propelled the shift, he observed.

Trump may have initially become famous as a liberal entertainer, but Brand called out the big reason Big Tech and the political establishment have cracked down on Trump and his supporters. “I suppose one of the things that make me sympathetic towards affiliates of Trump, aficionados of Trump, is the way that Trump is subsequently being handled and censored and controlled,” he explained in a Dec. 1 episode of his YouTube show. After reading an excerpt from investigative reporter Matt Taibbi Substack post, noting how Trump forever discredited the establishment and undermined the media to such an extent that they “couldn't put the genie back in the bottle,” Brand explained, “What I have to acknowledge, and what I’m sympathetic towards, is censorship.”

Hall used a March 1 post to tout Brand spouting more MRC talking points:

Comedian, actor and commentator Russell Brand called out the American government for criminalizing misinformation, despite the government’s deep record of pushing misinformation itself.

Brand is well-known as a free-thinker and comedian, but he gave a dire warning that even he could be under threat by new government policy. “Misinformation has newly been labeled as ‘terrorism’ by the Department of Homeland Security, so I am going to speak very carefully now,” Brand said in a Feb. 22 video. “Now let’s just be very careful how we talk because misinformation ain’t just now an inconvenience. If you’re the wrong person and the misinformation is the wrong type of mis-information, mal-information, dis-informaton, then you’re, uh, actually the same as a terrorist.”


Brand mocked the credibility of the American government, noting its history of misinformation: “if you are anti-misinformation, and you’ve got a rich history of spreading the stuff, people might think you've got another agenda at play.”

Hall served even more gushing over Brand in a May 23 post:

Comedian, actor and commentator Russell Brand wrecked the very idea of a Disinformation Governance Board and the war on disinformation itself: “Who gives a shit about disinformation? Sort out getting baby food!”


Brand observed that the rise of evil in the modern world looks remarkably different from what many people have been taught to watch out for: “We’ve been given such a clear vision of what evil looks like,” said Brand, citing past decades’ examples of terrorism or communism, saying that now, instead “tyranny looks like what’s happening now.”

Brand went on to suggest that freedom, by its very nature, is messy, but crucial to a thriving society: “Freedom is messy, people bang each other in the ribs by mistake with their elbows, tread on each other's toes, misspeak, mispronounce, miss-say stuff all the time. But misinformation and misinformation boards are not the solution to that problem.”

Funny how the MRC praises Brand as a "free thinker" only when those thoughts mirror the MRC's own narratives and talking points.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT

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