Joel Hirschhorn COVID Misinformation Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
How is prolific COVID misinformer JoelHirschhorn misinforming people now? Let's take a look! He ranted in his April 28 column:
Here are the latest data from CDC:
Many billions of dollars spent. Not that much accomplished.
Despite massive use of COVID vaccines, COVID in 2021 was again the third-leading cause of death in the United States. COVID stayed the third-leading cause of death for the second year in a row, according to provisional mortality data collected by CDC from death certificates.
Not only has mass COVID vaccination not stopped high death levels, those who are fully vaccinated including booster shots, like Vice President Harris, keep getting new COVID infections.
hirschoorn didn't mention the anti-vaxxer movement he's part of that deliberately held down the number of COVID vaccinations, making that number less "massive" than he wants you to think it is.He also forgot to mention that the Omicron variant is much more contagious, making vaccines less effective against infection -- but that current vaccines do, in fact, protect against an infected person becoming hospitalized or dying, so it's not like the vaccine is a waste.
Hirschhorn used his May 12 column to return to the issue of long COVID, specifically focusing on the symptom of brain fog -- but, again, he tried to blame it on vaccines despite scant evidence to support it. Hirschhorn's May 16 column looked at those who didn't catch COVID despite "high exposure" to the virus; he dubiously declared that "They had no need for COVID vaccine shots."
Hirschhorn was back to misinformation mode in his May 27 column:
This is the big ugly truth many people will have trouble facing:
Only a small fraction of physicians have been heroic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some of my past writings, I have spoken about the failure of most physicians to truly understand pandemic issues and think and act independently to serve the public. Instead, they have served the interests of Big Pharma, their corporate employers and government agencies, most clearly as big pushers of COVID vaccines. They do not follow or know the medical research on many pandemic issues. They either do not have the time or interest or skills to independently follow medical research. Instead, they rely on big medical societies and government agencies.
However, the first "heroic" doctor he cited was Robert Malone -- a prolific misinformer in his own right.The second one was Vladimir Zelenko, a right-wing darling for his early advocacy of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID despite his lack of credible documentation to back it up. He continued to whine:
One terrible pandemic impact is the rational view by many people that their doctors have let them down. The many millions now suffering from long COVID and getting very little help from the medical establishment. Doctors had a choice to challenge what federal agencies were telling the public. They could have done what only a handful of doctors did, namely respect the considerable data showing ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine really did effectively prevent COVID infection when given early enough to stop viral replication. A number of other nations did what the Fauci-controlled U.S. government refused to do: namely promote early home treatment with generics. Instead, Fauci pursued a wait-for-the-vaccine strategy. And then as a lacky of Big Pharma, he lied to the public about the safety of COVID vaccines.
Doctors did not live up to their ethical commitment to first do no harm. They did harm by following the government dictates. They share the blame for 1 million dead and hundreds of thousands harmed by both COVID and vaccines. They take refuge in narrowly helping their patients with conventional illnesses, but they ignore what is all around them, namely the death and harm from COVID and vaccines.
Meanwhile, in the real world, studies claiming the efficacy of ivermectin in treating COVID continue to be retracted. Hirschhorn doesn't say how many people have died of COVID because they were deceived by charlatans and put misplaced faith in ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
Hirschhorn had a new anti-vaxx conspiracy theory to peddle in his June 16 column:
If you are a critical thinker who appreciates truth-telling about COVID vaccines, then you should be deeply concerned that there are data indicating the vaccines can produce one of the deadliest diseases known to medicine.
The disease is always fatal. Normally, only about a thousand Americans die from it annually. But now? Who knows? The government is not working hard to track Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which is known as a prion disease.
A recent French pre-print on CJD and COVID vaccination has indicated that the COVID vaccine may have contributed to the emergence of a new type of sporadic CJD disease that is a lot more aggressive and rapid in progression as compared to the traditional CJD.
The French found that within days of receiving a first or second dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines, patients got the disease.
Hirschhorn's link for this went to the anti-vaxxer Children's Health Defense, another COVID misinformer. Meanwhile, actual fact-checkers pointed out that the French preprint -- which has not been peer-reviewed -- did not establish a causal link, with a medical researcher adding, "if there was any kind of link, it would be much more present than in one patient in Turkey and in 26 cases in France."
Nevertheless, Hirschhorn went on to cite unverified anecdotal cases and huff that "many vaccine-related deaths may have been CJD and gone undiagnosed because it takes a large effort to confirm CJD."
NEW ARTICLE: Psaki-Bashing And Doocy-Fluffing At The MRC, April 2022 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck has nothing but contempt for Jen Psaki and nothing but cookies for Peter Doocy and other biased reporters who advance right-wing narratives. Read more >>
MRC Fearmongers About 'Pro-Abort' Violence, Censors Decades Of Anti-Abortion Violence Topic: Media Research Center
After the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade and, thus, the right to an abortion across America, the Media Reserarch Center was eager to hype isolated incidents of violent protest into an huge issue. A May 4 item by Kevin Tober was typical:
Late Tuesday night, violent pro-abortion mobs took the streets in Los Angeles to express their rage over the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and handing the abortion issue back to the states to decide. In videos posted to Twitter and reported online by Fox News and The Daily Caller, among other reputable outlets, the violent left-wing abortion activists were seen attacking police officers.
While all three networks mentioned protests taking place across the country, none of the big three evening news broadcast programs reported on the violence that took place across the city. Instead, they showed images of peaceful abortion advocates chanting in front of the Supreme Court or marching down the city streets with protest signs.
The fact that Tober thinks wildly biased outlets like Fox News and the Daily Caller are "reputable" reflects the MRC's own untrustworthy bias.
The MRC went on to rant that even demonstrably peaceful protests outside Supreme Court justices' homes were a threat:
The MRC then found an actual isolated incident of violence to obsess about, as Tober wrote in a May 9 post:
After a weekend of leftist abortion activists tormenting the six conservative Supreme Court justices at their homes and desecrating or setting pro-life clinics on fire, ABC’s World News Tonight decided on Monday to move on from the destruction of property and menacing behavior that took place for the simple reason that their behavior makes their demonic abortion agenda look bad.
ABC did cover it on Sunday’s World News Tonight and the overnight Monday shows World News Now and America This Morning, but left this act of terrorism in the dust by Monday’s Good Morning America.
ABC clearly realized letting their viewers witness what pro-abortion advocates are doing is detrimental to the pro-abortion cause. This is why they were moving the eyes of viewers away from images of their fellow leftists burning pro-life clinics with Molotov cocktails.
Kathleen Krumhansl highlighted this same incident in a May 12 post:
News of a violent terror attack against a pro-life clinic in Madison, Wisconsin, got the quickie treatment at the Latino networks, which spent a total of 74 seconds reporting the attack that included throwing two Molotov cocktails into the facilities, lighting a fire and posting a menacing graffiti warning that “If abortions aren't safe, then you aren't either”.
At MRC Latino we will be looking out for further reports on the arrests of the perpetrators of this intimidating and vicious attack over the Spanish-speaking press. Always watching.
Scott Whitlock ranted that "the corrupt network morning and evening newscasts" devoted "a scant 77 seconds" to the "terroristic attack" on the clinic, unironically adding, "Harassing citizens into complicity is not the way we do things in this country. And the press should call attacks like Madison for what they are: Terror."
By contrast, neither Tober nor Krumhansl mentioned an incident a few months earlier that, by their defintion, was also a violent terror attack: A Planned Parenthood clinic burned down in Knoxville, Tenn., on New Year's Eve, which investigators have determined was arson -- perpetrated, one may safely presume, by an anti-abortion activist. No fretting about something "demonic" happening here, of course.
The MRC also got mad when the history of violence from anti-abortion activists was brought up. A May 6 post by Alex Christy complained that CNN reported on "hypothetical Roe-related violence…from the 'far-right.'" A May 10 post by Christy noted that folks on CNN brought up "anti-abortion protesters outside of abortion clinics, blocking the way, making it almost impossible for women to go in and out of those clinics" as well as "sadly, bombing of some clinics,” then played whataboutism with the Wisconsin incident: "While CNN warns of right-wing violence, it makes excuses for left-wing intimidation tactics while pro-life facilities are targeted with Molotov cocktails." Curtis Houck similarly whined, right down to the same example of whataboutism, in a post the same day:
Tuesday’s CBS Mornings had a maddening end to its segment about the increasing threats to the lives of Supreme Court justices for striking down (or at least weakening) Roe v. Wade as congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane claimed intelligence shared with CBS views “extremists” (meaning the far-right) as the group to worry about amid tensions surrounding the issue.
Why, you ask? According to MacFarlane, such “extremists” could be looking to carry out attacks on “abortion clinics and government officials.” If all that sounded familiar, it is as CNN spent Friday telling its viewers the same thing.
MacFarlane should share this with Wisconsin Family Action out in Madison, Wisconsin after their headquarters was terrorized, a Northern Virginia pregnancy center whose building was defaced, and Concerned Women for America, whose building was vandalized with someone urinating on it.
The MRC appears deathly afraid of reminding people of the anti-abortion movement's decades-long history of violence and aggressive protesting. As Lauren Rankin summarized at Slate:
At Metropolitan Medical Associates in Englewood, New Jersey, where I volunteered as a clinic escort for six years, protesters would stand right by the front doors, pointing their cellphones at patients walking in while screaming “You’re a murderer!” into a bullhorn. Some of the protesters would write down the license plate numbers on the cars of my fellow clinic escorts and sometimes those of patients. I have been smacked in the face, elbowed in the ribs, and sexually harassed by anti-abortion protesters while volunteering as a clinic escort.
Eleven abortion providers and clinic staff have been murdered by anti-abortion terrorists since 1994, including Dr. Bart Slepian, who was shot and killed in his own kitchen after returning from synagogue, and Dr. George Tiller, who was gunned down while serving as an usher in church.
Anti-abortion protesters have harassed the children of abortion providers at their own schools and harassed the landlords of abortion clinics. Recently, anti-abortion fanatic Lauren Handy and her co-conspirators were charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act after they invaded an abortion clinic in D.C. The FACE Act, enacted in 1994 with bipartisan support, made it a federal crime to block access to or intimidate someone from entering a reproductive health clinic.
This isn’t an issue of the past. Operation Save America, a spinoff of the fanatical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue that blockaded clinics, laid siege to EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2017—cutting off access and supplies. Since 2010, death threats and physical threats of harm, as well as instances of assault and battery, have been steadily climbing at abortion clinics. In 2020 alone, there were five reported instances of arson at abortion clinics.
How’s that for “civility”?
Nope, the MRC isn't going to bring that up at all -- those facts conflict with its narrative of pro-choice people as the real violent ones. At no point in these posts did the MRC denounce ani-abortion terrorism, let alone admit that it exists, thus demonstrating that it is, in fact, quite cool with "harassing citizens into complicity."
Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily also sought to spin the acquittal of Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann on charges of making false statements to the FBI that were pushed by right-leaning special counsel John Durham. A May 31 "news" article by Art Moore downplayed Durham's prosecutorial failure to praise him for injecting anti-Hillary narratives into right-wing media:
A Washington, D.C, jury on Tuesday acquitted former Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann of lying to the FBI, but the most important outcome of the case for special counsel John Durham was the confirmation of Hillary Clinton's role in a plot to weaponize the FBI to launch an investigation of her Republican opponent in the 2016 election.
The jury saw compelling evidence that Sussmann falsely presented himself as a concerned citizen rather than as a member of Clinton's campaign when he gave the FBI data to support the bogus claim that Donald Trump had a secret communications channel with the Kremlin through computer servers owned by a Russian bank.
In Durham's indictment of Sussmann, he said the evidence against the Clinton lawyer reveals "a scandal much deeper than merely Sussmann's role in a second Russian hoax — a scandal that entangles the Clinton campaign, multiple internet companies, two federally-funded university researchers, and a complicit media."
The prosecution said during the trial that the material Sussmann gave to the FBI was "pure opposition research" for the purpose of concocting an "October Surprise" in the 2016 election.
The case also revealed that the FBI's top brass were excited about Sussmann's claim. An agent told a colleague in a text, "People on 7th floor to include Director are fired up about this server," referring to James Comey and the bureau's top brass.
And further, the Sussmann prosecution confirmed the Clinton campaign paid the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to produce the infamous dossier of unverified and now debunked claims against Trump compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Moore then set up the same conspiracy theory that the MRC did in blaming thepurported bias of the jury for the acquittal:
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley summarized the jury bias in an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News.
"I mean, he is facing a jury that has three Clinton donors, an [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] donor, and a woman whose daughter is on the same sports team with Sussmann’s daughter," said the George Washington University professor of law.
"With the exception of randomly selecting people out of the DNC headquarters, you could not come up with a worse jury."
Turley apparently didn't mention that it was Durham's responsibility as a prosecutor to keep potential jurors he believed were biased off the jury or, failing that, try to move the trial to a jurisdiction that might be more favorable to his anti-Hillary bias.
The next day, Bob Unruh pushed the jury conspiracy angle further:
Jury nullification in America's judicial system is the simple act of a jury deciding the outcome of a case based on what it wants, a decision that is not necessarily in alignment with the actual law.
It dates to the beginning of the nation, when in 1735 John Peter Zenger was on trial for seditious libel, at that time banning any statement against British rule, and he was acquitted.
Courts later condemned it, but it remains within the authority of jurors to decide – alone – the result of their jury room discussions.
And that's what the acquittal of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann looks like, according to several experts.
In fact, Unruh cited only two: Turley and onetime acting Trump attorney general Matt Whitaker, whose take could hardly be considered unbiased. And, like Moore's article, Unruh didn't mention that the Durham's prosecution team signed off on every one of those jurors, meaning that the existence of purportedly biased ones can be laid squarely on Durham. Instead, he repeated Moore's praise of Durham for injecting more anti-Hillary narratives into right-wing media.
Newsmax Actually Asked Zelensky If Trump Would've Stopped Russian Invasion -- Then Buried It Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has demonstrated one key streak of independence from slavish right-wing orthodoxy by being a (mostly) solid supporter of Ukraine after it was invaded by Russia -- to the ppoint that it sent TV host Rob Schmitt to Ukraine and scored and interview with Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy announced the interview in a May 31 article:
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy met Tuesday in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at his presidential offices.
Mr. Ruddy expressed his admiration for the courage and tenacity of the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom and sovereignty.
President Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to the Newsmax audience for its strong support and for the strong support of the American people in Ukraine’s struggle to defend their country from Russian aggression.
After the meeting, President Zelenskyy sat down with Newsmax primetime host Rob Schmitt for a half-hour discussion about the security situation in Ukraine and across Europe.
But even then, it can't completely stop injecting a pro-Trump viewpoint into it. According to a report from the UK Independent:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the suggestion that Donald Trump could have stopped Russia from invading his country in an interview with Newsmax.
Speaking on Tuesday with anchor Rob Schmitt, the Ukrainian leader said he “cannot predict” what would have happened if Mr Trump was still US president.
Schmitt proposed: “There are many Americans that believe that if somebody like Donald Trump was still in the White House that this invasion would not have happened. What is your position?”
“I am sorry if I’ll be saying something that you don’t like but for us as the country in war, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Democrats or Republicans,” Mr Zelensky replied.” It’s the people of the United States that support us”.
Mr Zelensky continued by saying that “anybody could become the [US] president”, including those who did not like Ukraine and those who were empathetic towards Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
“Some might like Ukraine more, some less. Some might have respect for Putin, and some might not ...but the values our country is fighting for are definitely the ones shared by the US,” Mr Zelensky said.
Meanwhile, Newsmax cranked out several articles about its Zelensky interview:
But it was only in that last one that it was mentioned that Schmitt asked, and then it wasn't mentioned until the fourth paragraph. The article, by Eric Mack, reprinted much of Zelensky's response but not the part where he said to Schmitt, "I am sorry if I’ll be saying something that you don’t like." That statement still appears in the accompanying video clip.
It seems like Newsmax knew Schmitt's question was dumb and sought to downplay it. That's a sign of self-awareness that we haven't seen from WorldNetDaily.
CNS Giving Scandal-Tarred Gaetz (But Not His Scandal) The Headline Treatment Again Topic: CNSNews.com
We've noted how CNSNews.com loved to quote Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz until last year, when he had to lay low after allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl surfaced as well as questions about whether that constituted sex trafficking. AFter a brief article when the allegations first went public, CNS has almost completely censored news of the scandal, even though a close Gaetz friend pleaded guilty to charges in the case and his ex-girlfriend was granted immunity so she could tell her story to a grand jury. (And they certainly weren't going to mention Gaetz's abysmal book sales.)
Now, it appears both Gaetz and CNS are tired of laying low -- and CNS is back to giving Gaetz free publicity. It eased into giving Gaetz the headline-stenography treatment it gave him before his scandal went public at the start of this year for spouting conservatively correct things:
There was an interlude where it didn't go well for Gaetz; when CNS sent an intern out in April to pester senators about whether they use marijuana after the House voted to decriminalize it, it noted that Gaetz was one of the few Republicans who voted for that bill.
Then, starting with an April 27 article, CNS resumed the headline treatment with four more articles:
After Sussmann Is Acquitted, MRC Blames Biased Jury, Not Durham Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center relentlessly hyped every little claim special counsel John Durham made that alluded to possible wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign as a "MASSIVE" development as it reported on the trial of lawyer Michael Sussmann for allegedly making a false statement to the FBI. But when the jury acquitted Sussmann, had to find a new narrative: attacking the justice system. In a May 31 post, Kevin Tober suggested the verdict was illegitimate because the jury was mysteriously "dubious":
In one of the most outrageous examples of leftist media bias, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News decided to finally report on the Durham/Sussmann Russia hoax trial, but only after Michael Sussmann was acquitted of lying to the FBI. Both networks had no interest in covering the trial while it was ongoing. It wasn’t until the Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer was found not guilty by a dubious Washington D.C. jury that they decided to take a victory lap. While NBC Nightly News made no mention of the jury verdict.
On World News Tonight, anchor David Muir gloated about the “major defeat” for special counsel John Durham before tossing it to the network’s chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas.
For Thomas’s part, he joyfully reported the “Washington jury handing special counsel John Durham a stinging defeat, acquitting a lawyer with ties to Hillary Clinton's campaign of charging that he lied to the FBI.”
Unlike with previous articles bashing those channels' lack of coverage of the trial, Tober did not mention how Fox News covered the verdict.
When CNN's John Avlon took right-wing media to task for its embarrassing Durham cheerleading. Aidan Moorehouse had a meltdown in a June 1 post:
If you ever feel like being lectured by someone who thinks you have the mental capacity of a toddler, look no further than CNN’s John Avlon. On Wednesday’s New Day, Avlon decided to use his five-minute monologue Reality Check to gloat over the acquittal of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and ironically tout CNN as “reality-based media” as opposed to “partisan media.”
Avlon could barely contain his glee as he recounted, “Yesterday, the hammer was supposed to finally come down. . .But instead, it was time to cue the sad trombone soundtrack, as the jury came back with an acquittal for the Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who’d been charged with a single count of lying to the FBI.”
Avlon compared the Durham probe with the Mueller investigation, which “took less than two years, and it resulted in prison sentences for five members of the Trump circle, including Paul Manafort and longtime political advisor Roger Stone — both of whom Trump later pardoned — as well as former consigliere Michael Cohen.”
He then decided to take a swipe at CNN’s rival (and much more popular) network, “The folks over at Fox News obligingly hyped up the Durham investigation big time. Get this, according to LexisNexis transcripts, they mentioned it at least 625 times on their air since 2019. The repetition reflects the alternate reality that gets created by partisan echo chambers.”
Avlon continued, “As it became evident that the trial was going sideways, right-wing media was already primed to explain away an acquittal, blaming the jury as biased and saying it contained Hillary Clinton donors. But this wasn't a close call. It was a fast six-hour deliberation followed by a unanimous verdict.”
Does Avlon think that pointing out the speed of the deliberation and clear conflicts of interest will make people trust D.C. more?
But if jury members had the "clear conflicts of interest" that Moorehouse claims, wasn't it Durham's duty to make sure those people never got on the jury, since both prosecution and defense attorneys must sign off on jury members?
Emma Schultz lodged a similar complaint in a June 2 post, grumbing that the acquittal means "outlets like CNN are suddenly excited to spike the football. On Tuesday night, Don Lemon and guests cheered the verdict as won 'fairly and squarely.' They also derided 'partisan folks' who watch such trials in bad faith." She then tried to raise the specter of a biased jury by citing a highly biased Fox News employee: "Fox News host and former Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany explained that 'the D.C. jury pool, this is an area of the country where 76 percent of people in the District of Columbia are registered Democrats. Believing that the jury did not 'buy what Durham was selling,' she feeds right into what the left thinks." Like Moorehouse, Schultz failed to mention that Durham approved this jury. Clay Waters followed with a June 4 post grousing that the New York Times pointed out Durham was just chasing right-wing conspiracy theories.
Meanwhile, MRC writer Curtis Houck was more explicit about blaming a biased jury on his Twitter account, lashing out in one tweet at an "ultra-liberal D.C. jury" and calling Sussmann their "friend" (despite offering no evidence that any jury member had any sort of "friendly" personal connection with Sussmann). He whined in another tweet that "This [is] what happens when you try a Democratic operative in a city with Saddam Hussein-like election returns for Democrats." At no point did he mention that Durham signed off on these jurors and that if he felt they were overly biased, he shouldn't have done that.
Houck further complained: "If a Trump lawyer were to be tried in a scheme similar to how Michael Sussmann was charged with lying to the FBI and faced a D.C. jury, the trial would be held in Fulton County, PA where Trump got 85.5% in 2020." But Houck offered no evidence that Durham tried to move the Sussmann trial to find a supposedly less Democratic jury.
It wouldn't be an official MRC narrative, however, if Tim Graham didn't weigh in. In his June 1 podcast, rehashing his subordinates' whining that the "liberal media" didn't cover the trial but only noted when Sussmann was acquitted, rehashed right-wing complaints about the Mueller report and even went way back to the 1990s to complain that Lawrence Walsh indiced Caspar Weinberger before the 1992 election. Graham further whined that the trial was held in "midnight-blue D.C., so pretty much every prospective juror was a Democrat." Like Houck, Graham offered no evidence Durham tried to move the trial outside D.C. He added: "Basically, the jurors came out and told reporters this was a waste of our times, which just tells you the jurors were Democrats." Graham seems incapable of admitting that jurors' assessment of Durham's case could not possibly be objective.
Graham went on to handwave Durham's failure as a prosecutor and cheer his work in perpetuating right-wing anti-Hillary narratives: "So in this case the prosecution failed, but in media terms, the John Durham probe keeps giving us details on how the media and the Clinton campaign colluded to create the Russian collusion narrative that ended up being false."
Graham regurgitated a lot of his podcast ranting in his June 3 column: "John Durham was guaranteed a hostile reception from journalists who wanted everyone to believe the most overwrought tales about Trump while they posed as the Guardians of Facts and Truth. Any attempt to dig into the manufacturing of their sensationalist narratives has to be disparaged as a 'debacle.'" And Durham was guaranteed a fawning reception from Graham and the MRC because he was advancing right-wing anti-Hillary narratives. That was too good of a story for anyone at the MRC to fact-check beyond his "MASSIVE" claims -- which might have revealed they weren't so massive after all.
Under a headline that sneeringly dismissed great employment news as merely "not bad," Susan Jones' lead CNSNews.com article on May's employment numbers still -- still! -- made a point of reminding people that things were even better in the pre-pandemic Trump years and, in CNS style, continued to obsess over the labor force participation rate since that's a number that can be used to obscure the unambiguously positive numbers:
Non-farm payrolls added 390,000 jobs in May, better than the consensus estimate of 350,000, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.
With that gain, non-farm employment is down by 822,000, or just 0.5 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
The number of employed people increased by 321,000 to 158,426,000; the number of unemployed people also increased, by 9,000, and this produced an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent for the third straight month. (The number of employed Americans set 25 records under President Trump, reaching an all-time high of 158,866,000 in February 2020.)
In a positive move, the labor force participation rate moved up slightly.
In May, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 263,679,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution, such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care facility.
Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,376,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning they were either employed or unemployed -- they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 62.3 percent in May, up from 62.2 percent in April, but still a tenth of a point lower than the 62.4 percent achieved in March.
The participation rate was 61.4 percent when Joe Biden took office. Today's number, 62.3 percent, is still below the Trump-era high of 63.4 percent in February 2020, just before COVID shut things down.
CNS downplayed this good news further by failing to place it in the lead-story slot at the top center of CNS' front page. That honor went to editor Terry Jeffrey's usual sidebar on government employment that "increased by 57,000 in May," which passes as bad news in the CNS bubble because government employment is evil, apparently. But Jeffrey didn't play the Trump game that Jones did, because the graph accompanying his article shows that government employment, like general employment, peaked in early 2020 before the pandemic -- and, thus, under Trump, whose history of prolifigate spending has also been hidden by CNS because it conflicts with the official (and bogus) narrative of him as a fiscally responsible conservative.
MRC Hypocritical Whoredom Watch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center -- specifically, writer Scott Whitlock -- loves to denigrate other media outlets as being "whores" for its owners by promoting projects by corporate siblings, despite the MRC's own longstanding practice of whoring out its "news" division, CNSNews.com, to promote MRC narratives and other projects. Whitlock did this again in an April 27 post:
If you ever hear ABC News investigate some politician or organization for doing the bidding of corporate overlords, be sure and laugh. Because it’s hard to find journalists more compromised than those at Good Morning America. On Wednesday, they devoted a combined eight minutes and 24 seconds to shilling for corporate bosses Disney.
At the same time, however, they have important, tragic stories, like the drowning of Army National Guardsman Bishop E. Evans. He drowned while heroically attempting to save migrants crossing the Rio Grande. ABC’s morning and evening newscasts devoted 20 seconds total since last Friday.
Instead, GMA on Wednesday devoted three segments to promoting Disney cruises and one to promote the Disney movie Encanto. Take a look at this clip and see if you can figure out: News story or Disney PR?
As we've documented, the MRC used CNS for a combination of whoredom and logrolling earlier this year around boss Brent Bozell's new book. The whoring began when CNS editor Terry Jeffrey did an extremely softball interview with Bozell to promote the book;' it followed that up with a fawning review of Bozell's book by Craig Shirley, after which Bozell gave Shirley a gushing review of his book, bollowed by Jeffrey tossing softballs to Shirley for a promotional "interview."
Funny how Whitlock is unable to see that ridiculous whoredom happening right under his nose. He must get paid pretty well to be able to ignore such blatant hypocrisy.
NEW ARTICLE: The Putin Boosters At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Both the "news" and opinion sides of WorldNetDaily -- already fans of Vladimir Putin -- put Biden-bashing and biolab propaganda ahead of warmongering worries when Russia invaded Ukraine. Read more >>
The MRC Can't Quit John Durham Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been positively obsessed with special counsel John Durham because of his potential for serving as a surrogate attack dog on behalf of Republicans by attacking Hillary Clinton over the 2016 presidential campaign (never mind that the MRC regularly whines about the media being obsessed with Donald Trump even though he left office a year and a half ago) and burying the fact that Durham's "massive" scoops have tended to be low on substance. Even though Durham's claims in February fizzled out, the MRC continuedto place its faith in Durham as a stealth political actor. Curtis Houck huffed in an April 18 post:
Last week, ABC, CBS, and NBC refused to cover on their top morning and evening shows not one but two new and significant happenings in Special Counsel John Durham ’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe; as not only did a judge deny indicted former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann’s motion to dismiss, but a new Durham filing alleging the CIA knew Trump-Russia ties were “not plausible” and “user-created” on Trump servers.
Houck went on to unsurprisingly praise how Fox News ran with those claims. But as the Washington Post reported, that claim was cherry-picked out of Durham's full filing, and it's not clear which exact claim is being criticized as "not plausible."
When Sussmann's trial started, the MRC ranted about how non-right-wing media was ignoring it while cheering Fox News for lovingly detailing it, starting with a May 17 post by Kevin Tober:
On Tuesday, the prosecution and defense teams in special counsel John Durham’s trial against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann delivered opening arguments. Sussmann is charged with making false statements to the FBI. During opening arguments, prosecutors revealed that Sussmann used the FBI to create an October surprise during the 2016 presidential election against then-candidate Donald Trump.
Despite this revelation that a lawyer for the Clinton campaign lied to the FBI in order to frame Donald Trump, all three evening news broadcasts ignored the story. Instead, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, & NBC Nightly News wasted airtime on local weather reports, a brush fire in Los Angeles, and an entire segment on the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.
Thankfully, Fox News Channel’s Special Report covered the new allegations against Clinton hatchet man Sussmann.
It’s clear the leftist broadcast networks are still invested in the Trump/Russia collusion fairy tale even though it’s now been thoroughly debunked as a baldfaced lie. This explains the media’s lack of interest in this trial.
In fact, the Mueller report documented dozens of contacts between Russian operatives and the 2016 Trump campaign, so it wasn't a "fairy tale" to suspect collusion.
Houck returned to hype a "MASSIVE Durham Trial Bombshell" non-right-wing didn't cover (but Fox News did) in a May 20 post:
The trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann took a shocking turn Friday when Clinton 2016 campaign manager Robby Mook revealed on the stand that Hillary Clinton herself greenlighted the leaking to a reporter of what they insisted was the possibility of ties between the Trump Organization and the Kremlin-friendly Alfa Bank.
And, as has been the case with the Sussmann case (and most of Durham’s probe), the broadcast network evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignored it.
The Fox News Channel’s Special Report provided extensive coverage to the tune of 10 minutes and 49 seconds over its hour-long runtime, including a two-minute-and-54-second news report from correspondent David Spunt.
Houck didn't explain why nearly 11 minutes wasn't an excessive amount of time to spend on this story or why that didn't further demonstrate Fox News's irrefutable right-wing bias, even as he dismissed the other channels as "liberal networks."
Tim Graham similarly whined about the allegedly insufficient coverage of this "bombshell" in a May 22 post:
A less Clinton-backing media elite might have found a -- well, "bombshell" in Friday's court testimony by former Clinton campaign chairman Robby Mook that "Hillary Clinton personally authorized her campaign to share since-debunked computer data linking Donald Trump with a Russian bank" in 2016, an attempt to paint Trump as compromised by the Russians.
At least the Durham probe made page A8, under this very bland headline: "Sussmann prosecutors take aim at Clinton, FBI, media." Is that MEANT to be passed over!? But worse than that, the Mook testimony did not appear in Devlin Barrett's overview until paragraph 25.
This is that comical way liberal journalists claim "Hey! We covered that!" Yeah, it was buried, six feet under in newspaper terms.
Mook is right that Clinton and her affiliated lawyers, campaign staffers, and opposition researchers were selling a raft of "collusion" stories to the Post and the other liberal media outlets...and the liberal media gave great coverage to them all. Now, the Durham probe is submerged.
Like Houck, Graham didn't explain why this claim deserved more prominent coverage beyond helping the MRC's pro-right-wing optics.
By contrast, the MRC has been apoplectic that the 2020 October surprise of Hunter Biden's laptop wasn't lapped up by the media outside its right-wing bubble, despite the lack of independent verification at the time.
Apparently lacking any further "massive bombshells" from Durham, the MRC then went pretty much silent on the trial until a verdict came in -- then it whined about it not going Durham's -- and, thus, the right-wing anti-Hillary narrative's -- way. More on that soon.
CNSNews.com was already engaging in a new round of attacks on Nancy Pelosi for failing to impose her Catholic faith on the entire country by agitating for abortion bans when it got an assist from her San Francisco bishop, who felt the need to insert himself into this political issue. Craig Bannister cheered in a May 20 article:
Because of her steadfast and outspoken opposition to Church teaching on abortion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been banned from receiving Holy Communion, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone announced Friday.
“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Archbishop Cordileone tweeted, linking to a copy of an open "letter to the faithful" on the archdiocese website.
According to the letter, Pelosi is banned from communion “unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” the archbishop writes. “I have accordingly sent her a Notification to this effect, which I have now made public.”
CNS was so giddy about this development that it plastered its front page that day with all the anti-abortion attacks it had published on Pelosi and President Biden over the past few months:
An anonymously written article the next day quoted Cordileone claiming that he wanted to “help her understand that it is unacceptable to kill babies in the womb," adding: "I know people will accuse me of being political, but this is not political at all. It’s pastoral."As much as we hate to accuse a Catholic priest of lying, he's clearly lying here -- he has very deliberately inserted himself into a political debate with an action he knows will give him positive attention in certain political circles (witness the above work on CNS' front page). There's simply no plausible way for him to deny being political.
The attacks on Pelosi continued. For a May 23 article, Bannister dug up a 19-year-old interview in which Pelosi claimed she "would rather have been a priest because priests have more power" (which Bannister doesn't refute). The next day, Susan Jones complained that Pelosi called out Cordileone's hypocrisy in sanctioning her on abortion while ignoring other Catholics who don't follow church teaching on other political issues (which also went unrefuted):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who often professes her Catholic faith, nevertheless supports a woman's right to abort a baby. Last week, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco publicly announced that Pelosi should not take Holy Communion until she repudiates her support for abortion.
Pelosi responded Tuesday morning, telling MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the archbishop also opposes the death penalty and LGBTQ rights, but he does not deny Holy Communion to people who don't share those views.
She also suggested that many pro-life advocates reject the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus instructs his followers to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
CNS went on to cheer that other Catholic bishops were getting on the denial bandwagon:
And, of course, the usual uber-Catholic suspects felt the need to weigh in, led by dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue:
He huffed on May 23 that Pelosi "has been begging for a confrontation with him for many years. Now she has succeeded." He then gushed over Cordileone: Over the past decade, Archbishop Cordileone has demonstrated great prudence and patience in dealing with Pelosi. He is a man of courage and goodwill, and a loyal son of the Catholic Church."
Donohue ranted in a May 24 column that Pelosi "is at war with the Catholic Church," adding: "There is not a single Church teaching on women, marriage, the family, or sexuality that Pelosi accepts, so out of touch is she with the Catholic Church. There are atheists who agree more with the Church on these issues than she does."
Donohue's June 8 column was devoted to Pelosi's responses to criticisms of various bishops and others, again huffing, "There is no Catholic politician who has a record of openly defying the Catholic Church on the issues of women, marriage, the family, and sexuality worse than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
Anti-abortion obsessive CNS editor Terry Jeffrey used his May 25 column to bash Pelosi, starting with rehashing a gotcha question a CNS reporter asked her in 2015. After a lot of lecturing, Jeffrey declared that "Archbishop Cordileone did the right thing. Now, Speaker Pelosi should do the right thing and join the pro-life cause." Like his other writers, Jeffrey didn't refute Pelosi pointing out Cordileone's hypocrisy in sanctioning her but ignoring others who violate church teachings on other issues.
MRC Sports Blogger Flip-Flops On Politics In Sports Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center sports blogger John Simmons can't quite figure out out to bew consistent regarding vulgarities. As we pointed out, he freaked over someone dropping an impromptu F-bomb on a TV show but cheered rowdy baseball crowds chanting "F--- Joe Biden."
That, of course, is the unexpurgated version of "Let's Go Brandon," which Simmons' MRC co-workers have heartily endorsed. That has caused Simmons to don another flip-flop; where he regularly deplores politics intruding into sports, he found one hateful political message from an athlete he could love in a March 25 post:
San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado is known more for being a wizard on defense than being outspoken politically, but that changed on Wednesday when he spoke with local San Diego news outlet KUSI News.
Machado took some time away from prepping for the season to conduct interviews, showing up to the media hits with a “Let’s Go Brandon” t-shirt. One reporter noted that because Machado decided to get political, his chances of getting in the baseball Hall of Fame might have dwindled significantly.
The reasons for why he chose to wear a shirt with the popular conservative catchphrase were unclear, but it is safe to say that the Miami native just made himself incredibly popular with those on the right.
By contrast, just a week earlier Simmons was whining that a college basketball team was promoting "woke ideology" and "propaganda" by including words like "equality" on their jerseys, declaring that "what they are doing is promoting messages that in and of themselves are admirable, but because they have social justice undertones, they become toxic." Simmons is certainly never going to accuse Machado of spreading a "toxic" message with his "Let's Go Brandon" shirt, even though it's shortland for a vulgar insult -- after all, he revels in that particular strain of toxicity, and his hatred for Biden has only made him even more toxic -- and, paradoxically, a more valuable employee to the MRC, which no longer cares about making coherent and reasoned arguments.
Simmons didn't explain his double standard, let alone admit he was engaging in one. It appears it's OK for right-wing haters to hate as long as it's the right hateful cause -- even when it contradicts their previously expressed principles.
What can we learn from Elon Musk's apparent shift to the right in his politics? From his perspective, as illustrated in his stick figure tweet, he has not shifted at all. Instead, the left has veered further left, because of which, by remaining stationary in his own views, it is perceived that he has moved to the right.
His graphic reminded me of an illustration I used for many years while preaching, holding the Bible high in in my right hand and using my left hand to represent the state of the society.
I would then say this: "Because we don't want to appear fanatical or radical as followers of Jesus, we tend to set our standards somewhere between the standards of God's Word and the standards of the world. But as the standards of each generation get lower and lower, our standards get lower as well.
"As a result, within a couple of generations, things are acceptable in our own homes as believers that would have been detestable in the homes of our non-believing grandparents."
Put another way, unless we actively swim against the tide of the worldly culture, we will find ourselves drifting in the wrong direction. We will simply be carried by the current.
Musk's point is similar yet different, especially since is not related at all to a faith standard or a biblical belief.
Instead, it illustrates just how far to the left the "progressive" mindset has shifted. As the saying goes, "Today's Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton." (Do you remember when the Democratic mantra concerning abortion was, "We want abortion to be safe, legal and rare"? How would that play today?)
Most of my Jewish relatives and friends from childhood are Democrats today, some of them quite staunchly.
Yet a few of these old friends are not, and when I interacted with them on social media, asking them what happened, their stories were the same.
They began to see what was really happening. They began to recognize how dramatically the "liberal" side was becoming extreme. They began to understand that the policies they once defended were actually indefensible and that the policies they once loathed actually had some merit.
Now, some of them are more conservative politically than I am.
But Musk -- and, thus, Brown -- have bought into a fallacious argument, that only the left is moving while the right has not. But Parker Molloy debunked that claim in a piece for MSNBC:
The argument being made here is a simple one: From 2008 to 2021, the political left moved even more to the left, while the right remained in the same exact spot. This I didn’t change! It was the left who left me! attitude is a pretty common trope among center-right types, but it’s simply not true. While perhaps comforting, there is plenty of empirical evidence to refute the core claim.
Look at how quickly the Republican Party turned against2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and 2012 presidential nominee (and now senator) Mitt Romney, who have both been slammed as RINOs (“Republicans in Name Only”). The face of the party is now represented by the likes of Rep. Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Arguably the highest-profile non-congressional Republican right now (besides Trump) is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has spent the last year passing a dizzying array of bills designed to cater specifically to the far-right.
And generally speaking, it makes sense that having curated a media diet heavy on the misinformation peddled by Fox News and co. or surrounding yourself with pundits screaming about how trans people are supposedly ruining everything good in the world could warp your perspective. If you spent the summer of 2020 being inundated by Fox News footage of Black Lives Matter protests, you might genuinely think that the left is out of control. This perception, however, simply doesn’t match reality.
It’s not uncommon for people to delude themselves into believing that their preferred political side is the reasonable one and that it’s the other side that’s out of control, as Musk has. That being said, if Musk actually believes the meme — which was created last year by Colin Wright, who writes a Substack mostly about gender and earlier this week attacked the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization, as part of the ongoing right-wing smear campaign targeting LGBTQ adults and children — that’s more worrying. After all, Musk is likely to soon control Twitter, a tool which, for all its faults, still wields power.
Molloy added that those "far left" views aren't as extreme as Brown wants you to think:
To take another example, while other countries have government-funded health care, the U.S. remains tied to its private-market insurance industry. As I’ve written in the past, the positions typically held by Democrats that get labeled by the press as “extreme” or “leftist” — such as bans on high-capacity firearm magazines, universal background checks on gun purchases, support for LGBTQ rights and taxing the ultra-rich — aren’t actually that extreme. These policies tend to be pretty popular with the general public, which is something you can’t exactly say about Republicans and their crusade to ban books, restrict abortion rights and attack LGBTQ people.
With The Psaki Show out to pasture until it resurfaces on Peacock, White House press briefings continued on Tuesday with Psaki’s former deputy and former MoveOn.org and MSNBC activist, Karine Jean-Pierre.
Predictably, the liberal media showered their fellow progressive with syrupy platitudes and questions from the left demanding the federal government crusade against Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for supposedly causing the Buffalo shooting.
Jean-Pierre repeatedly insisted Tuesday wasn’t about her, but she repeatedly did just that. She capped her opening remarks by stating “about how honored I am to be here with all of you today in this role, in this room, standing behind this podium” as the first “a Black, gay, [and] immigrant woman...to hold this position” and that it wouldn’t have been without “barrier-breaking people before me.”
She added that “[r]epresentation does matter...and no one understands this better than President Biden, which is why his administration is not only the most diverse in history” and moved on to the job itself by insisting “this podium, this room...belong[s] to the American people.”
Before going to the AP’s Zeke Miller, Jean-Pierre insisted she’ll make “truth, honesty, and transparency” the center of her briefings even though she “might not see eye-to-eye...all the time” with reporters.
Speaking of reporters, Jean-Pierre thanked her comrades for “the work that you all do, which I know it’s not easy” “play[ing] a vital role in our democracy, and we need a strong and independent press now more than ever.”
Miller led off with a variation of a snotty question that’s been asked of past secretaries as to whether they’d be truthful with reporters.
Houck thinks the question is "snotty" because it was asked of his beloved Kayleigh McEnany -- and she couldn't even get through that day's presser without telling falsehoods. He was also so obsessed with spewing hate at Jean-Pierre that he didn't even hype "Doocy time" from his man-crush, Fox News' Peter Doocy, instead telling readers to check out the full transcript.
For the May 18 briefing, Houck devised a new narrative that Jean-Pierre was already a failure after two days on the job, declaring in the headline that she was "flailing" as he man-crushed on Doocy for repeating the right-wing narrative du jour:
Wednesday’s White House press briefing featured five questions on the so-called pause of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) dangerously Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) and the resignation of its controversial head, Nina Jankowicz. In the midst of the questions from< Wall Street Journal’s Tarini Parti and Fox’s Peter Doocy, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the pause, but let slip that the DGB’s “work” will “continue.”
Parti broke the ice, asking whether “the White House play[ed] a role at all in perhaps expressing frustration on how it was rolled out or...any — involvement in how it — whether or not it should be paused.”
She also wondered whether the administration had “a response to” what “some experts” who’ve argued the DGB “was sort of set up to fail[.]”
Jean-Pierre went right to her binder (which she’s relied on as more than a crutch in both her tenure and back to being Jen Psaki’s understudy), insisting “the board has never convened” but would be “pausing in the sense that it will not convene while former Secretary [Michael] Chertoff and former Deputy AG [Jamie] Gorelick” conduct “their assessment.”