MRC's Attempt To Discredit 1/6 Hearing Witness' Testimony Doesn't Age Well Topic: Media Research Center
How devastating was former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony at the June 28 hearing of the House committee looking into the Capitol riot, particularly her account of Donald Trump lunging at the steering wheel of a presidential vehicle driven by a Secret Service officer when told he was being taken back to the White House instead of to the Capitol to egg on rioters? The Media Research Center -- which had been vociferously denying that the hearings even qualified as news in order to conform with mandated Republican narratives -- saw fit to attack Hutchinson. Kevin Tober led the attack:
On Tuesday, it was revealed that former President Trump had allegedly lunged at his Secret Service limo driver and attempted to grab the steering wheel on the morning of January 6, 2021, when he was told he wouldn’t be allowed to go to the Capitol after his speech at the White House Ellipse.
This was made public by former top aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson during Tuesday’s congressional hearing into the January 6 Capitol riots.
Predictably all three evening news broadcasts led with the allegations against former President Trump. Six minutes before the three networks went live, NBC’s chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander tweeted that both Secret Service agents involved “are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.”
CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell and congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane were quick to hype the now false allegations[.]
While ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News both reported on the testimony given by Hutchinson but each noted that the Secret Service denies it and both agents are willing to testify under oath.
On World News Tonight, chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reported that “a source close to the Secret Service just told me to expect that the Secret Service will push back against any allegation of an assault against an agent or President Trump reaching for the steering wheel.”
Note that Tober immediately labeled Hutchinson's testimony "false" despite having no evidence in hand to prove it. And doesn't the MRC repeatedly warn us about the "liberal media" citing anonymous sources -- no alleged Secret Service agent purportedly willing to testify against Hutchinson was identified by name -- as being self-serving and designed for ratings? Nevertheless, Tober self-satisfyingly ranted: "All three networks have spent the entire duration of the Pelosi-picked January 6 hearings hyping every allegation that it spewed. With the fact that none of these hearings allow for any cross-examination of witnesses, a blunder like this was only a matter of time."
Tober's post has not aged well, because as of this writing, the Secret Service agents who declared they would testify to the committee that Hutchinson was lying have yet to do so nearly a month later; instead, they have lawyered up and refused to testify and they have been identified as Trump loyalists and yes men.Meanwhile, other witnesses have corroborated key parts of Hutchinson's testimony.
A June 29 post by interns Wallace White and Michael Ippolito compiled right-wing tweets attacking Hutchinson, none of which prove her wrong. Curtis Houck did a time-count follow-up later in the day:
With the liberal media all-in on Tuesday’s January 6 Committee hearing featuring former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, it wasn’t a surprise Wednesday morning to see the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC downplay the strong pushback from the Secret Service regarding Hutchinson’s tall tale that President Trump assaulted a Secret Service agent and tried to seize the steering wheel of his presidential SUV on January 6.
A NewsBusters analysis found that ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA), CBS Mornings, and NBC’s Today spent four minutes and 42 seconds on Hutchinson’s claim, but only two minutes and 33 seconds on the pushback from her colleagues and the Secret Service, including offers from the latter to have the agents involved testify under oath that none of that was true.
The liberal media have harped on the January 6 Committee and its members as harbingers of truth. But if they’re unwilling to firmly call out and push to correct the record on a claim that’s on rapidly thinning ice, it should serve as a reminder that they continue to suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).
Yeah, that one's not aging well either.
Mark Finkelstein served up some serious whining in a July 2 post:
Never pass up an opportunity to plug your book—even when discussing what you consider to have been a grave national crisis!That would appear to be Mika Brzezinski's credo. On Wednesday's Morning Joe, Brzezinski managed to work the title of her book into her praise of Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide who testified before the House January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday.
The praise for the anti-Trump witness was extravagant. Joe Scarborough called it "some of the most compelling testimony on Capitol Hill since Watergate." Willie Geist touted "a White House aide became the conscience of the nation! She's a couple years out of college, and she was the adult in the room, surrounded by those ostensible adults and ostensible leaders of our country who stood by and let it happen."
Aside from a couple passing references, the MRC hasn't touched Hutchinson's testimony since. And it has offered nothing so far beyond passing references to new revelations that the Secret Service deleted text messages from its agents that day. Remember, the MRC's mission is to protect Trump and Republicans, not to do "media research," so don't expect them to correct the record.
CNS' Jones Defends The Honor Of Yachts (And Shills For The Oil Industry) Topic: CNSNews.com
In case you were wondering who CNSNews.com's core audience really is, Susan Jones answered it in a June 21 article in which she defended the honor of yachts and the super-rich people who buy them as job creators:
President Joe Biden made another pitch to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans on Monday, telling reporters gathered on a Delaware beach: "If you're going out and buying a yacht, it doesn't help the economy a whole lot."
People who buy yachts, of course, keep yacht-sellers and yacht builders in business. And the yacht owners need to hire crews to run their ships, so job-creation is also part of the yacht-buying experience.
But, if yacht-buying doesn't help the economy, Biden does believe that lowering the price of insulin -- and buying expensive electric cars -- will help.
Talking down electric cars, however, harms a different CNS constituency: Tesla chief Elon Musk, whom it has cheered for his efforts to buy Twitter and touted his opinions on various and sundry sujbects.
But Jones wasn't done. When Biden pointed out that oil companies are sitting on 9.000 leases to drill on public lands and that they've "they’ve cut back on refining," Jones went into oil industry PR mode and copy-and-pasted talking points from the American Petroleum Institute offering "seven realities" that supposedly explain "what is happening in global energy markets and (provided) concrete and practicable solutions for addressing today’s high-price environment" -- none of which address the fact that oil companies are sitting on 9.000 leases to drill on public lands.
Jones uncritically repeated the API's narrative on refining -- which blamed "conversions to renewable fuel production" for decreases in refining capacity but then insisted that "ExxonMobil is expanding the capacity at its Beaumont, TX refinery and Valero at its Port Arthur, TX refinery for a combined total of 300,000 barrels per day" -- while ignoring the fact that U.S. refining capacity dropped more than 900,000 barrels per day just in the past two years, while worldwide refining capacity has dropped by 3.3 million barrels a day since 2020.
Jones did not give Biden or the White House an opportunity to respond to API's talking points. Then again, CNS loves shilling for the oil industry.
UPDATE: Jones ran to the oil industry's defense again in a June 22 article:
President Joe Biden is no fan of oil companies, and his sarcasm was on full display Tuesday, when a reporter asked the president about a letter the Chevron CEO wrote to Biden.
Michael Wirth, the Chevron's chairman of the Board and CEO, noted that "your Administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry. These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve."
Asked for his reaction, Biden sneered: "He's mildly sensitive. I didn't know they'd get their feelings hurt that quickly.
When Biden again referenced the 9,000 leases on public lands the oil companies are sitting on, Jones again resorted to copy-and-paste PR From API:
Biden's stock response regarding the "9,000 leases" is misleading because it suggests that oil companies can just put a straw in the ground and suck up the oil waiting below.
First, not all leases are productive. And second, establishing a working oil well takes considerable time and bureaucratic effort.
According to the American Petroleum Institute:
"The (Biden) administration discouraged production of natural gas and oil starting with its first moments in power. On Day One, the President signed an executive order to impose a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing activity in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR); withdrew offshore areas in Arctic waters and the Bering Sea from oil and gas drilling; and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
"Days later, the administration acted to indefinitely pause all new oil and gas lease sales on federal lands and offshore waters, immediately restricting the industry’s opportunities to explore and invest in new areas.
"Even where the administration hasn’t blocked federal leases, it has been an unwilling partner, openly admitting the sales are not aligned with their policies."
Further, API notes that wells and leases -- those 9,000 leases -- "are not like faucets and spigots. It takes months for new wells to start producing and it can take more than five years for some fields to go from discovery to production, thanks in part to regulatory and legal hurdles along the way.”
Nowhere in that copy-and-paste PR did the API reveal what, exactly, they are doing will all of those 9,000 oil leases besides sitting on them. Hopefully the API is sending a little money Jones' way for being such a loyal stenographer (well, copy-and-paster).
MRC's Double Standard On Graphic Photos Of Dead Children Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alex Christy loudly complained in a June 2 post about the idea that graphic images of the victims of gun massacres should be made public as a way to move people into doing something aboaut them:
On Thursday’s CNN Newsroom, host Ana Cabrera and pediatric trauma surgeon Dr. Chethan Sathya claimed the country needs “an Emmett Till moment” in order to do something about “these automatic weapons.”
The Till reference comes from an op-ed in the Washington Post from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, which Cabrera read from, “in order for change to happen, we need an Emmett Till moment. Johnson writes in part this -- and I'm quoting here – ‘I lack the moral standing to tell a parent to accept and approve for the greater good the public display of photos of his or her dead child, nor do I suggest the release of any images in particular, but something graphic is required to awaken the public to the real horror of these repeated tragedies.’”
Till was brutally membered and dismembered in a racist attack while his body was left to sink in a river. Here, Johnson and CNN are talking about punishing innocent people for someone else’s crimes.
Cabrera then introduced Sathya and declared “This is such an important discussion” and asked “What do you think about what the secretary there wrote about this idea of people seeing with their own eyes what it looks like, a gunshot wound in a child? Do people need to see what you see?”
Sathya did agree, “One hundred percent. This has been something that we’ve been seeing as physicians, trauma surgeons for decades, right? You know, we are talking right now about mass shootings. We're talking about children being killed. This is something we see on a daily basis.”
Mark Finkelstein similarly whined in a post the next day:
Pro-abortion liberals rage against laws requiring ultrasounds before women can get an abortion. But whereas liberals oppose having people see living babies, many liberals are now clamoring to force people to view dead babies and children—the victims of mass shootings.
On Thursday's Nicolle Wallace Deadline: White House show on MSNBC, substitute host John Heilemann led the charge on the issue.
Heilemann's guest, Dave Cullen, a gun-control advocate and author, heartily agreed: "I think we desperately need some new, fresh tactics and creative thinking. And, I like this!"
So, should we look for gun-control extremists to call on MSNBC, CNN, and other liberal outlets to implement their ghoulish proposal, and begin displaying the bodies of children killed in mass shootings?
Note: Heilemann isn't the first liberal TV host to promote the viewing of dead bodies to promote his cause. Back during the Iraq War, Walter Cronkite proposed showing the dead bodies of American soldiers in order to turn people against the war.
Finkelstein didn't that that right-wingers have pushed graphic images to be displayed in public -- those of abortions, as a ploy to gain sympathy for the anti-abortion cause. Indeed, one of Finkelstein and Christy's co-workers, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, not only demanded that be done, she stuck graphic images in her April 20 post:
It’s Episode 34 of CensorTrack with TR. This week we talked about how Big Tech is hiding the truth about the biggest tragedy our world faces today — abortion.
A group of pro-life activists discoverd the remains of 110 babies, five of which may have been killed illegally, according to National Review. “The Five” children were found on March 25th and were suspected to be around the late second or early third trimester of pregnancy when they died. This is a story that needs to break the news cycle. The world needs to see these images and know about the true tragedy of abortion. But apparently, Big Tech doesn’t think so.
A pro-life group called LifeNews tweeted out a picture of one of the five babies. The group told MRC in an email that they explicitly added a sensitive warning over their post to alert users that the content was sensitive in hopes of avoiding Twitter’s censorship. Unfortunately, Twitter disagreed. Twitter told LifeNews to delete the tweet, locked LifeNews out of its account and threatened a permanent ban.
Why? Because it showed the truth of abortion?
LifeNews told the MRC, “That's what makes Twitter's decision to force us to remove the tweet and potentially ban our account even more absurd, as we followed their own policies to ensure that a sensitive image was marked sensitive before posting it. We didn't just post it willy nilly with no warning like thousands of images of porn and violence are posted on Twitter every day with no action taken against those accounts.”
It's a pretty good bet that Mandelburg will never do an episode of "CensorTrack With TR" demanding that graphic photos of gun massacre victims be allowed on social media so that people can see "the truth" of gun violence. And she's never going call her fellow activists "ghouls" for obsessively trying to inject those photos into public spaces.
NEW ARTICLE: The Bogus Mule Team At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily went all in to promote the dubious election-fraud film "2000 Mules" -- then tried to ignore how the film was repeatedly being discredited. Read more >>
From Honoring To Heathering: The MRC Turns On Alyssa Farah Topic: Media Research Center
We're almost starting to feel bad for Alyssa Farah. We've noted the rift between her and her father, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah (who says he wasn't invited her to her wedding earlier this year), presumably stemming from his continued embrace of Donald Trump and his false election fraud conspiracy theories even after he incited the Capitol riot, actions that caused Alyssa -- who at one time was the Trump White House communications director -- to break with him.
In a December 2020 post, Curtis Houck was happy to tout her White House job as a retort to incoming President Biden having the first all-female White House communications staff. In October 2021, Kristine Marsh came to Farah's defense during a guest-host stint on "The View" when the other co-hosts "badgered and berated her for working for the Trump White House at all"; Marsh noted that Farah "explained that Trump’s rhetoric around denying the election results was what caused her to resign and told the View hosts she didn’t vote for him in 2016, which was a small relief to them."
But Farah's refusal to defend Trump not matter what and to not hate Democrats and President Biden as much as right-wing dogma demands -- not to mention her apparent desire to be a permanent host on "The View" -- has made the MRC slowly flip-flop and turn her into a victim of its Heathering process, in which it attacks fellow right-wingers for straying ever so slightly straying from that dogma because no dissent is tolerated. In a Jan. 16 post, Tim Graham complained that Farah -- now Alyssa Farah Griffin after her marriage -- didn't spew hat at Biden during an appearance on Brian Stelter's "Reliable Sources": "At least Stelter asked Alyssa Farah Griffin about the lack of press conferences. She didn't exactly attack the White House for hiding Biden."
Marsh did praise Farah Griffin for bashing former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a Feb. 8 post, though she did make a point of noting that she "now works for CNN." The next day, Marsh praised her again for defending the notorious Florida "don't say gay"bill. In a March 14 post, however, Nicholas Fondacaro criticzed Farah Griffin for advocating a no-fly zone over Ukraine, delcaring that would be an "escalation" of the conflict there; he did praise her on March 17 for arguing with co-host Whoopi Goldberg in a way that when Goldberg responded, she "refus[ed] to look Farah in the eye."
Fondacaro's hostility to Farah Griffin increased after that. When Biden's sister appeared n the show to promote her book, Fondacaro sneered in an April 12 post that "self-proclaimed Republican Alyssa Farah Griffin couldn’t think up an original question and essentially asked Hostin’s again." Translation: Farah Griffin wouldn't spew hate her at the woman for the sin of being a Biden. The next day, Fondacaro ranted against the co-hosts favored sensible gun regulation and that Farah Griffin "didn’t push back on any of this nonsense."
Fondacaro seemed to be complaining that Farah Griffin wasn't an obnoxious enough right-winger in a May 10 post on the show's co-hosts discussing abortion in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade: "As self-described Republican and guest co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin was trying to bring up how “there was an anti-abortion clinic that was targeted violently,” Goldberg interrupted to wave off any mention of the topic." The next day, Fondacaro whined that she has "honestly been rather squishy with defending conservative and Republican policies." He was still Heathering Farah Griffin will agreeing with her in a May 13 post noting that "self-described conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin got to the heart of the debate and why the pro-life side was so adamant about their position."
Fondacaro set the tone for the MRC's rage at Farah Griffin in a May 24 post:
During a contentious appearance on ABC’s The View on Tuesday, former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway frazzled the cast in the way only she can. There to promote her new book, Here’s the Deal, Conway confronted the liberals with President Biden’s failures and blasted the liberal media for targeting her family. She also called out sell-out conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin for abandoning conservative principles for her selfish interests.
The sparks really flew when Griffin tried to portray herself as a defender of America and democracy citing her exit from the administration after the 2020 election. “I left three months before you did, for my children. I have four of them. And I said less drama, more mama,” Conway shot back. “I think you stayed a whole month after the election that you were having a problem with.”
Griffin rudely interrupted Conway to proclaim she supposedly stayed in order “to help my junior staff get jobs.” She then took a cheap shot at Conway by suggesting she took an oath to support Trump and not the Constitution.
Building off that false premise, Griffin tried to suggest Conway was for the Capitol Riot but Conway had receipts showing her opposition. Conway then called out Griffin’s self-serving actions of abandoning conservative principles in an attempt to be a media staple for bashing Republicans:
Alyssa, if you're saying that somehow you think we're supposed to think that you've seen the light and not just see your name in lights, that's not fair.
“That’s such a cheap shot,” Griffin whined at the truth.
Given that neither Conway nor Fondacaro describe exactly how Farah Griffin supposedly "abandoning conservative principles" or described the "selfish interests" for which they were purportedly abandoned -- or even for what, exactly, she "sold out," that truly was a cheap shot.
Again: The only criticism the MRC has ever laid on Farah Griffin has been not loving Trump enough and not hating Biden enough. That's Heathering at its finest -- and, apparently, reason enough to try and destroy her for no longer being part of the cool kids club.
Interestingly, there was no mention whatsoever by the MRC of Farah Griffin's pedigree as the daughter of the operator of one of the most virulent fake-news conspiracy websites out there. So it hasn't thrown her completely under the bus (yet).
CNS' Jones Gets Annoyed When Oil Industry Profits Are Brought Up Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com serves as reliable stenographers for the oil industry, so it's no surprise that it's a bit sensitive about folks pointing out oil industry profiteering. Susan Jones grumbled in a June 6 article:
President Joe Biden and his administration continue to blame Russia's war on Ukraine for spiking gasoline prices. But some administration officials also blame oil industry profiteering.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told ABC's "This Week" that "the price of gasoline is not set by a dial in the Oval Office."
"And when an oil company is deciding, hour by hour, how much to charge you for a gallon of gas, they're not calling the administration to ask what they should do; they're doing it based on their goal of maximizing their profits.
"It's been very striking right now to see these oil companies, who have become almost ridiculously profitable, and you hear these oil executives on the record talking about how they're not going to increase production. Why would they? They're doing great right now.
As we've previously noted -- and Jones didn't -- the Dallas Federal Reserve office surveyed 139 oil and gas companies in March about trends in the industry, and one of the questions asked, "Which of the following is the primary reason that publicly traded oil producers are restraining growth despite high oil prices?" Nearly 60 percent responded, "Investor pressure to maintain capital discipline"-- i.e., investors want prices high so they can make money.
Still, Jones complained every time oil industry profits are brought up. In a June 10 article blandly headlined "Biden: ‘Every Once in a While Something You Learn Makes You Viscerally Angry’ " -- that thing was the exhorbitant rates foreign shipping companies charge -- Jones later noted:
At the end of his speech, a reporter asked the president if he planned to go after Exxon’s profits.
“We are going to make sure that everybody knows Exxon's profits. Why don’t you tell them what the profits were this quarter? Exxon made more money than God this year. And by the way, nothing has changed. And by the way, one thing I want to say about the oil companies. You talk about how they have 9,000 permits to drill. They are not drilling,” Biden said.
“Why aren't they drilling? Because they make more money not producing more oil, the price goes up, number one. And number two, the reason they’re not drilling is they are buying back their own stock, which should be taxed, quite frankly, buying back their own stock and making no new investments, so I always thought Republicans were for investment. Exxon, start investing, start paying your taxes,” he said.
Again, Jones didn't dispute it. Jones expanded that into a larger complaint in a June 15 article:
President Joe Biden reportedly has sent a letter to various U.S. oil and gas executives, "talking about record high profit margins, saying you need to raise your output, raise your refining capacity as well," CNBC's Brian Sullivan reported early Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Reading from the letter he'd just obtained, Sullivan said, quoting the president: "You and your companies have an opportunity to take immediate action to increase supply of gas, diesel, other refined products."
This time, though, she did give a platform to the industry to respond, stating that "Forbes magazine reporter David Blackmon asked ExxonMobil for a response to Biden's criticism and received this reply," which was largely a non-answer answer justifying the record profits because of losses early in the pandemic:
"We reported losses of more than $20 billion in 2020, and we borrowed more than $30 billion in 2019 and 2020 to support our investments in production around the world. In 2021, total taxes on the company’s income statement were $40.6 billion, an increase of $17.8 billion from 2020."
Jones served up a similar complaint in a June 23 article:
President Joe Biden "wants to do everything" he can to lower gasoline prices because "he understands the importance of it," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
But doing "everything" does not include attending today's meeting with oil company executives, whom Biden continually vilifies as profiteers.
This time, Jones didn't dispute the characterization.
The MRC-Fox News Pipeline Grows (And One MRCer Quietly Disappears) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center pipeline to Fox News continues, as two more MRC staffers have followed in the footsteps of Lindsay Kornick and Gabriel Hays to peddle their right-wing bias at a presumably more lucrative employer.
Alexander Hall, the MRC's chief crier of "censorship" by "big tech" and its one of its Elon Musk fanboys, left the MRC at the end of May to become and "associate editor" for Fox News Digital, where he started in mid-June. interstingly, the MRC has disabled Hall's archive in an apparent attempt to keep people like us from perusing them for even more examples of bias.His Fox archive, however, doesn't disclose that he used to work for the MRC -- all the better to maintain the "fair and balanced" fiction, it seems.
Around the same time, Kyle Drennen similarly decamped for Fox News to become an editor at Fox News Digital. His departure could be considered something of a surprise because he had been at the MRC since 2007, where h was associate editor of NewsBusters and had the title of "senior news analyst" at one point; his association with the MRC actually began in 2005, when he was an intern. Drennen's MRC archive hasn't been disabled, so the bias he brings to Fox News is available for all to see. One his main jobs at the MRC before his departure was choosing daily "Editor's Picks" of media ttacks from other website; it may or may not be coincidence that in the month or so before he left the MRC, three of those picks were fromFoxNews.
That's quite a pipeline. No wonder the MRC so vociferously defends Fox News from any criticism -- can't afford to offend a future employer, after all. The pipeline is such, however, that the MRC really should disclose the conflict of interest of so many Fox News employees being former MRC workers, and that Fox News can't claim to be "news" with the hiring of so many obviously biased "editors."
Meanwhile, another longtime MRC employee also went away -- but under more mysterious circumstances. Dan Gainor was a loyal MRC apparatchik who who was also a vice president who ran its Free Speech America operation that was dedicated to crying "censorship" whenever right-wing extremists were held accountable for their words. Just a year ago was the beneficiary of a fluffy profile from the right-wing Washington Examiner, and as recently as April he was appearing on Fox News shilling whatever MRC "study" had been released. But sometime in May, Gainor and the MRC parted ways; he describes himself on his Twitter page only as a "freelance opinion editor for Fox," which we suspect is not a full-time job, and an occasional Fox News columnist. HHis Fox News archive has the same new bio, while his MRC archive, like that of Hall, has been disabled.
It's unclear what happened -- neither Gainor nor the MRC are talking. Gainor clearly did not leave for a more lucrative opportunity, and he also did not retire, since he didn't get the same fawning treatment Rich Noyes got. But it seems Gainor's loyalty has gone for naught if he can be disappeared from the MRC so quickly and quietly. He has a lot more time to spend on Twitter, though, judging by his feed.
WND Columnist Complains About Modern Art Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerry Newcombe complained in a June 7 WorldNetDaily column:
A recent visit to a museum of modern art got me thinking about how much of it is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes begins with these famous words: "Vanity of vanities … All is vanity." All is meaningless.
As a book in the Bible, Ecclesiastes is a terrific precursor to the Gospel of Christ. It shows us how life apart from God has no ultimate purpose. Ecclesiastes shows our great need for Jesus, who by His broken body and shed blood has purchased peace with God and everlasting life, which He has made available to all who believe.
But, alas, much of modern art today reflects a nihilistic worldview. Much of art today is just "vanity of vanities."
Some modern art is interesting, but how is a painting with an eye over here and a leg over there and a grotesque uglifying of the human form "art"?
Every time I see eyesores that pass for modern art – for instance, the weird sculptures prominently displayed at some airports – I think, "That artist must be laughing all the way to the bank." My wife adds, "Why should they call it art when a 3-year-old could create it?"
Dr. Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries, which teaches a Christian worldview to youth, has written an upcoming book, "Truth Changes Everything." For this article, he gave me a sneak peek of the art chapter and permission to quote him.
Myers writes: "I appreciate many works of modern art, but often I'm left wondering what it was about that previous age that give us Michelangelo's David, while our age's 'famous' works include Marcel Duchamp's 1917 display of a urinal, entitled 'Fountain,' symbolizing that everything is waste to be flushed away. It is impossible not to notice the difference. Today's attention-getting art exhibits often feature blank canvases or galleries scattered with random objects. According to postmodern author Glenn Ward, this is not a lack of skill, but an intentional effort to 'disrupt bourgeois fantasies about art.'"
Because our elite class has rejected God, they are left with a purposeless, absurd universe – and their art and writings reek of despair. Such a worldview isn't creative – it's anti-creative.
Newcombe then seemed to be arguing for directly representational art:
The New England Primer sold 120 million copies and was used as a textbook for several decades. This little book taught many of our Founding Fathers how to read and even taught them theology. It included the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which is used to this day in many Presbyterian and Reformed churches.
The opening of that catechism famously says: "Q. What is the chief end of man? A. Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever."
Life with God has meaning. Life without God is meaningless.
Newcombe seems to have forgotten what happened the last time a leader openly despised modern art ("degenerate art," one might call it) and championed classical representations of the human form.
MRC's Graham Boosts Corporate Narrative Of Jean-Pierre As Incompetent Diversity Hire Topic: Media Research Center
In case you didn't think that Curtis Houck's hatefulnarrative of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as an incompetent official who got her job only because she checked off diversity points for the Biden administration (for being black and LGBT) came straight from the top levels of the Media Research Center, his boss Tim Graham reinforced it in his July 1 column:
The reviews are in for the new White House press secretary, and it’s not good. Politico ran a story headlined “Karine Jean-Pierre’s tough debut: Unforced stumbles and press corps grumbles.”
Reporters Max Tani, Alex Thompson, and Allie Bice wrote “it’s been a rocky first month” for Jean-Pierre, so bad that she’s already “increasingly found herself sharing the podium or splitting briefings with John Kirby,” who appears to be a “co-press secretary."
“Some black communications officials in and outside the administration” complained the White House “has set her up to fail” by having Kirby “hovering nearby and taking the lead on foreign policy."
Worse yet, she’s become a GOP “punching bag,” and “her stumbles in several instances have made her appear underprepared — in moments quickly weaponized by the right.”
Radio host Vince Coglianese calls her “Ka-ringe Jean-Pierre.”
Anyone who tunes in the briefings can see it. She’s woefully under-prepared. She’s like the Kamala Harris of press secretaries. Being a pioneering example of diversity in hiring only takes you so far.
Note that Graham described Coglianese only as a "radio host," failing to note that heis also the editorial director of the right-wing Daily Caller. Graham is trying to hide that most criticism of Jean-Pierre is coming from the right, which was already predisposed to attack her because, as an employee of the Biden administration, she is the enemy.
Graham went on to whine:
It’s clear that the “objective” White House press corps strangely misses the days of Trump, when they could be praised as bold defenders of democracy. Now, all these Biden voters don’t really relish being an “a–hole” and asking challenging questions at the risk of angry tweets from leftists comparing them to those dastardly Fox News questioners like Peter Doocy.
The network bosses have no interest in displaying clips of their correspondents sparring with a Democrat press secretary, as they did under Trump. All we can expect is anodyne press-secretary talking points.
Then again, Graham and the rest of the MRC absolutely loved talking points when the press secretary was the beloved Kayleigh McEnany, who relied on a binder of notes as much as Houck and Graham complain that Jean-Pierre does. And he and Houck certainly didn't spar with McEnany during an April interview, preferring to lob slow softballs instead.
CNS Lets Ron Paul Whine About The Capitol Riot Hearings Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has spent its time this summer whining about the first hearing of the House committee looking into the Capitol riot, then effectively censoring the rest of them. It also called on Ron Paul -- whom CNS also let rant about NATO and cheer his son's efforts to obstruct U.S. aid to Ukraine -- to complain about the hearings as well. In a June 13 column, Paul invoked the usual right-wing talking points that the hearings are a distraction from problems facing President Biden and that they will hide evidence that so many of them were secret "government informers":
With so much going wrong in areas Americans are most worried about, the Democrats have for some reason decided that the ticket to electoral success in November is to bring back “Insurrection Theater” in the form of new hearings on the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
The House Jan. 6 Committee even hired former ABC News President James Goldston to make a show of June’s primetime hearings. That makes sense, because like all mainstream media productions, these hearings have had nothing to do with getting at the truth behind the events of Jan. 6 and everything to do with trying to drum up more partisan anger and fear.
What we won’t see in the hearings is any of the 14,000 unreleased hours of surveillance. What little we have been able to see so far has raised more questions than answers about the official telling of the events. We also won’t hear anything about how many of the “insurrectionists” were actually government informers or even provocateurs. And we certainly won’t get any answers as to why the police actually seemed to be opening the doors and inviting the people inside.
Maybe that’s because the Jan. 6 Committee is a star chamber, where the only Republicans – the deeply unpopular Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – have been hand-selected by Nancy Pelosi.
Paul also played the trope that the hearings are a failure because nobody was watching them:
As we have seen over the past two years of COVID lies and deceptions, pushing fear and anger can be very effective in politics, and both parties are guilty. But this time it doesn’t seem to be working. Though all major networks except Fox News preempted their prime-time programming to carry the hearings live, Americans did not flock to the production.
While the low-ranked MSNBC and CNN did see a boost in viewers, the Democratic Party production hardly took the U.S. viewing audience by storm. As The Daily Caller reported, “CBS News’s ‘Capitol Assault Hearings’ had 3.36 total viewership and 780,000 in the 25-54 demographic, according to TV Series Finale.”
As we've pointed out, about 19 million people watched the first hearing over all outlets, which puts the lie to the claim that nobody watched it.
Paul concluded by inserting his tired old war against the Federal Reserve:
The Democrats are betting that selling fear and anger is a winning ticket for November. While Republicans share a good deal of the blame for the current economic crisis, pretending it’s all the Democrats' fault will likely bring in big returns.
Meanwhile, no one at all wants to talk about how the Fed, with the participation of Congress, is leading us to economic disaster.
WND Mourns Death Of COVID Misinformer And Dubious Doc Zelenko Topic: WorldNetDaily
From the early days of the COVID pandemic, WorldNetDaily was a huge fan of Vladimir Zelenko, a doctor in a Hasidic Jewish community in New York who declared that his treatment of hydroxychloroquine, zinc and other drugs for COVID cured every single patient he tried it on -- never mind the statistical improbability of that, or that he had no competent documentation to prove it. Zelenko departed the community shortly afterward when community leaders rebuked him for making irresponsible claims, but he went on to fame and fortune in the right-wing community that WND occupies, in which legitimate doctors are ignored and denounced and fringe figures like Zelenko whose research is shady at best -- and whose "Zelenko protocol" still lacks any legitimate research into its effectiveness -- are treated as the real experts. WND loved Zelenko so much, in fact, that earlier this year it made a business deal with him to offer readers a discount code to buy a supposed COVID preventer called Z-Stack from his website.
Zelenko died last month -- surprisingly, not from COVID but from cancer -- and chief WND COVID misinformer Art Moore served up a hagiographic obiturary in a June 30 article:
When Dr. Vladimir "Zev" Zelenko countered the government and medical establishment orthodoxy in his development of a successful treatment for COVID-19, he knew he was on borrowed time.
On Thursday, his colleagues at Zelenko Labs announced "with immense sorrow" that he has died after a four-year battle with cancer.
In 2018, Zelenko was diagnosed with pulmonary artery sarcoma, an extremely rare disease that has a 100% mortality rate. He had open heart surgery and lost his right lung, then had very difficult chemotherapy treatment. More surgery and more chemotherapy followed in subsequent years.
"My purpose in life has really become to try to relieve pain and suffering. Not to think about myself."
He attributed the discovery of his "Zelenko protocol" for COVID-19 of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, azithromycin, steroids and other drugs to divine intervention.
He published a peer-reviewed paper of his data showing an 84% reduction in hospitalization of high-risk patients with his out-patient treatment. Teaming with Prof. Martin Scholz of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany and Dr. Roland Derwand of Munich, Germany, the paper was published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
About that "peer-reviewed paper": A blogger reported that Zelenko's co-authors are hydroxycholorquine enthusiast, and the journal where it was published is linked to another HCQ enthusiast, Didier Raoult, which has published other dubious studies on the medication with equally dubious links between the authors and Raoult, raising questions about editorial independence. Raoult also tried to sue and doxx his critics for demonstrating his shoddy research, showing a certain lack of temperament for research.
Moore spent the rest of his article defending the honor of hydroxychloroquine and touting how Zelenko's so-called research got attention from Donald Trump and was criticized by Anthony Fauci. He didn't disclose the business deal WND had with Zelenko.
MRC Hates Crossover Dems In GOP Primaries -- But Loved Limbaugh's 'Operation Chaos' Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center executive Tim Graham devoted a June 14 post to complaining that not enough attention was being given to Democrats supporting extremist Republicans in GOP primaries in the hope of having an easier candidate for Democrats to defeat in November:
We’ve seen the liberal networks and the top liberal newsmakers lament at great length about the deadly grip that Donald Trump has on the GOP. So let’s put this story on the desk for CNN and the rest: Why are the Democrats funding Trump die-hards in GOP primaries?
Sophia Cai at Axios reports under the header "Democrats play with fire in GOP primaries":
Liberal journalists were highly agitated when Rush Limbaugh ran an "Operation Chaos" campaign in 2008 urging Republicans to vote in open primaries for Hillary Clinton to drag out the primaries. So they should at least report on this.
Kevin Tober similarly grumbled about the tactic in a June 30 post:
On Thursday night's Don Lemon Tonight, Lemon and two of his guests CNN commentator Nia-Malika Henderson and Republican political strategist Scott Jennings discussed anti-Trump Republican Liz Cheney's primary challenge and whether she can survive it, or if she will be ousted on August 16.
"Liz Cheney is doing well in terms of raising tons of money but we all know that that doesn't necessarily translate to votes" Henderson claimed adding that "she's essentially kind of pleaded with Democrats to cross over and help her win this primary in August because she knows that the writing is on the wall for her."
Lemon jumped in and cut her off to claim "that makes sense" and asked "why wouldn't they do it? I mean if they really cared they should do it!"
Lemon is now using CNN's airwaves to lobby for Democrats to sabotage the Republican primaries in Wyoming. Keep in mind the leftist media melted down when conservative talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh launched "Operation Chaos" and encouraged his listeners to switch parties and vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic Primaries to prolong the process.
There is a double standard here, of course (this is the MRC, after all): Graham and Tober didn't mention that their employer approved of Limbaugh's operation in 2008. Graham himself was upset when one writer suggersted drossover voting was illegal, and Matthew Balan complained that one news report "brushed aside the possibility that Rush Limbaugh’s 'Operation Chaos' strategy to meddle in the Democratic primaries might be a partial explanation" for why Republicans were becoming registered Democrats. P.J. Gladnick similarly demanded that Limbaugh get credit:
I have to give the Christian Science Monitor credit for at least discussing Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos which is his plan for Republicans to register as Democrats in order to vote for Hillary Clinton so as to cause yet more disorder in the Democrat party [sic]. One can search in vain in Google News for dreaded term "Operation Chaos," but with the exception of the Christian Science Monitor, the mainstream media shuns any mention of it despite the fact that registrations of Democrats in Pennsyvania are at record levels due to "mysterious reasons." Often when reading or watching media outlets describe the record number of Democrat registrations in the Keystone State without giving credit to Operation Chaos, I feel like channeling the late great comedian, Sam Kinison, who was famous for yelling: "Say it! SAY IT!!!"
Graham, ghostwriting for his boss Brent Bozell, declared in April 2008 that "Mrs. Clinton's situation is so dire she's relying on Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos," calling on his multitudes of listeners to vote for Hillary to keep the race going." Gladnick returned to cheer how "Rush Limbaugh's 'Operation Chaos' has caused disarray among the Democrats" and that, again, he should be given credit. Matthew Sheffield hyped somebody's rap video "inspired in part by Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos.
Finkelstein himself noticed how then-MSNBC host Chris Matthews "mused about the potential impact of Operation Chaos on the upcoming primaries -- but he did not criticize it like he did Democratic crossover voting. Warner Todd Huston whined that CBS wouldn't give Limbaugh his deserved credit for "egging on these crossovers." Again ghostwriting for Bozell, Graham endorsed the operation by claiming that "Voting for Hillary in the primaries through Operation Chaos is about as naughty as they are willing to be" (years before the Capitol riot proved this benign interpretation of right-wing radio listeners wrong). Noel Sheppard pondered: "Are 'Totally in the Tank for Obama' media members focusing on Rush Limbaugh's 'Operation Chaos' in order to force Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton out of the race?" Sheppard later gushed at the idea a "second phase" might be "in the works" if Clinton challenged Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
Graham reprised his hypocrisy by complaining in a 2012 post that the head of Daily Kos urged followers to ape Limbaugh by adding chaos to the Republican primairies. And Gladnick cheered a possible return in a 2016 post:
Oh you rascal!
Rush Limbaugh today announced that he might launch Operation Chaos 2. For those of you who have forgotten, the original Operation Chaos was launched by Rush during the 2008 primary season in order to help Hillary Clinton with the goal of prolonging the Democrat primary season.
Keep in mind that for Operation Chaos 2 to work, a Republican candidate will need to be the obvious winner of the primary season early on so that voters can cross party lines, where permitted, in order to cast their votes for Bernie. At the very least this could help make the Democrat primaries more fun to watch as they stretch on and on and.....
Graham and Tober don't get to accuse people of hypocrisy when theyand their employer have exhibited the exact same hypocrisy. Sit this one out, boys.
Farah Declares WND Is Saved, Doesn't Prove How Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has been cranking out a lot ofmoneybegs over the past few months to try and save WND from the latest "existential threat," insisting he needed $100,000 by the end of June -- while refusing to admit that he is largely to blame for that threat because of his insistence on publishing misinformation, falsehoods and conspiracy theories. In his June 30 column, he abruptly declared that WND has been saved for now:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support, for all your assistance and comfort, and for the generous bounty and relief granted to WND and all our staffers in the last couple of months.
God is truly answering our prayers for help in transitioning from dependence on Big Tech and the worldly ways of doing the seemingly impossible, to alternate ways of sustaining this mission for the long haul. Through your generosity, we have been given a blessed reprieve from the urgent and imminent financial crisis we have been facing.
During our recent fundraising campaign, we have raised a little over $200,000 (to be precise, $210,694.42), which has met our urgent needs and taken us out of crisis mode. In addition, we have been promised, by one particularly generous donor, another very significant contribution in the next week. Thank you all so much for your kindness and generosity in stepping up and partnering with WND in this way.
Farah said nothing about who donated to WND or the identity of the "particularly generous donor" who promised "another very significant contribution." Shouldn't Farah tell us all of this in the interest of full disclosure and transparency about where his money is coming from? Then again, it's not like he has cared about financial transparency before; he rarely discloses the names of the folks who pay for his increasingly frequent bailouts.And, as usual, he doesn't disclose exactly what all this money will be going for -- another important thing given that he has offloaded much of WND's so-called journalism to the nonprofit WND News Center. He also doesn't break down how much went to the News Center and how much went directly to the still-for-profit WND.
Farah then went all gushy:
I am now convinced beyond doubt that WND, America's first conservative, independent, Christian online journalism organization, now in its 26th year, will continue its calling of bringing you the REAL news, grounded in TRUTH, and not in deranged ideology or power politics. Certainly, there has never been an era in American history when lies were more ubiquitous and destructive, and Truth more desperately needed, than right now. So, we are energized and happy to carry on, as we have every day 24-7 since 1997, shouting the Truth from the rooftops, so to speak. HALLELUJAH!
This, of course, is all lies. Remember that WND thought Barack Obama's birth certificate was "REAL news" for eight years, and WND's record on telling the truth is, well, lacking. WND hasbeenrabidsupporters of Donald Trump for years, so its claim that it's not based in "deranged ideology or power politics" is a lie as well. And Farah's statement that "there has never been an era in American history when lies were more ubiquitous and destructive" is particularly ironic because the misinformationWNDhaspublished about COVID and its treatments have been particularly ubiquitous and destructive (in that there's a good chance a WND reader or two has died because of that).
Farah concluded by gushing:
We will continue to have challenges in this world. But we can and will do all that He requires of us.
Jesus said in Matthew 21:22: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
That's what I plan to do – just as Jesus said. Because I have faith in what He promised, for meeting our immediate needs.
Once again, thanks to all of you for proving out God's Word.
Meanwhile, Farah has yet to prove out God's word by asking for repentence for all the lies WND has published over the past 25 years, nor has he given any indication he will change his deceitful methods -- meaning there will be another "existential threat," and more money begs, coming sooner than later.
Newsmax's Hirsen Thinks New 'Top Gun' Film Saved Manhood Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen spent a good oart of his May 31 Newsmax column gushing over Tom Cruise and recounting the long production process of his new film, "Top Gun: Maverick." He then declared that the filme has saved both America and manhood:
In part because the new movie is a sequel to a film released over three decades ago, it includes themes that a whole lot of people have been hungering for. It is unapologetically pro-America, pro-military and pro-manhood.
Social media posts tell the story of spontaneous hoots and hollers from gleeful movie attendees being emitted at cineplexes around the globe.
In Taiwan specifically, according to the Central News Agency of Taiwan, audiences who were present at the premiere of the film broke into applause and cheered at the sight of their national flag being displayed onscreen in the movie.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is one of the first slices of entertainment media in quite a while that is not just entertaining. It is a nod to visceral manhood, which over time has been relegated to the cutting room floor.
Hirsen didn't explain what his defintion of manhood is or how the film fulfills that particular vision. Apparently guys flying jets is what passes for manhood in Hirsen's world. Hirsen went on to lament:
Once upon a time Americans had a common bond in the television that they watched and the movies that they viewed. Hasn’t been that way for a while now.
But there really are palpable things that serve to bind any society together as a culture. One of these things is having a common body of literature, or in modern-day terms, a common body of entertainment fare. Something that everyone is tuned into at a given time.
These media components have the capacity to serve as a kind of glue that secures people together in a life experience. It also can translate into a unifying cultural dynamic.
Hirsen didn't mention that conservatives like him did a lot to destroy common culture because they deemed it too liberal. A couple months earlier, Hirsen smeared the Pixar film "Seeing Red" as "occult" because it showed the Chinese culture that millions of people live -- he was apparently mad that they weren't Christians -- and attacked film's allegory of puberty as "debasing" even though it's an experience a full one-half of the planet has.
It seems Hirsen will attack any "common culture" that doesn't reflect his right-wing political sensibilities. If society won't bind around his own personal interests, he would rather ensure it stays unbound.
Shady Men's Rights Activist Still Writing CNS Columns, Hating Women Topic: CNSNews.com
A few days after we documented the shady history of men's rights activist Edward E. Bartlett after he wrote a few columns that CNSNews.com published, CNS apparently decided that was the excuse it needed to publish more stuff by him. We've already noted Bartlett blaming women for men committing gun massacres, but there's more.
A May 17 column featured Bartlett complaining that "leftists began their long march to politicize and weaponize Title IX, expanding its focus during the Obama Administration to include sexual misconduct. And now we’re seeing Title IX being harnessed for the purpose of promoting a radical transgender agenda." Bartlett clearly despises Title IX, so it's weird to see him defend it against the "radical transgender agenda," which he never actually defines.
Bartlett served up some old-school anti-communism in his May 19 column by ranting about the Frankfurt School, which led him to whine about the purported existence of "critical feminist theory," which he claims is based on "the widely held belief that feminism is working for the utopian goal of 'gender equality.' In reality, feminism has very little to do with promoting equality of the sexes, as revealed by the federal Violence Against Women Act. Anyone who has been following the riveting Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial knows that female-initiated partner violence is a major problem in our society." He concluded by huffing: "Celebrate women, negatively stereotype men, and overturn capitalism. It’s all part of the CFT agenda. And for most persons, it continues to fly pretty much under the radar."
Bartlett spent his May 26 column complaining about gender identity and cheering right-wing backlash to it: "At long last, however, we are witnessing a culture shift on the issue. Parents are seeing their parental rights eroded into thin air, and female athletes are predictably losing to their stronger and taller transgender counterparts. Even more troubling is when as boys and girls are told that their normal adolescent insecurities are evidence of long-suppressed gender dysphoria."
Bartlett opined more about the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial in his June 6 column, embracing the misogynist narrative that Heard was the evil feminist aggressor and Depp the victim:
Why does progressive gender ideology appear to incline women to mental illness?
Many forms of mental illness are the result of a cognitive disorder -- in other words, distorted thoughts about oneself and the surrounding world.
But feminists do not believe there is such a thing as “objective truth.” One writer revealed the women’s studies courses she had taken “led into an absurd intellectual alcove where objective truth is subordinate to academic theories used as political propaganda.” And one feminist treatise referred to science as a “masculine disorder.”
So imagine abandoning one’s rational faculties, and instead going through life subject to the whims of your feelings -- as well as a series of vacuous slogans such as “gender equality,” “women rule,” and “the future is female.”
Bartlett rehashed that narrative in his June 21 column blaming feminists for allegedly excluding fathers from the lives of their children:
So how do we explain America’s failure to assure the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives? Analyst Robert Franklin reveals the cascade of father-removing policies that begins the day a woman files for divorce:
Family courts that fail to abide by common-sense joint custody policies, and judges that refuse to enforce child visitation arrangements.
Rules that impose unreasonably high child support payments, unconscionably causing low-income dads to be put in jail for non-payment.
The states that allow children to be placed for adoption without even telling the dad.
In addition, domestic violence training programs routinely depict the father as the abuser, when in truth, the majority of partner violence cases involve the woman as perpetrator and the man as victim.
Bartlett blames Marxism for this, of course, for making women think they're people with worth. Can't have that in Bartlett's world. Yet he never demands that men be the kind of person that women will want to stay married to.