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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC vs. White House Press Secretaries
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center can't stand it when other media outlets won't hate Jen Psaki or Karine Jean-Pierre as much as it does -- but it sees no irony in its gushing over Peter Doocy or tossing softballs to Kayleigh McEnany. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
MRC Can't Stop Pushing Lie That Networks Accused Border Patrol Of 'Whipping' Migrants
Topic: Media Research Center

The saga of Border Patrol agents being accused of whipping migrants may be over -- but the Media Research Center's misinformation campaign about it isn't. An April 25 post by Scott Whitlock began with a lie:

All three broadcast networks in the fall of 2021 smeared border patrol agents as monsters who “whipped” illegal immigrants in “horrific,” “alarming” video. The footage showed a small number of agents on horseback struggling to stop migrants from crossing the Rio Grande. 

As we documented, the MRC never quoted the broadcast networks accusing Border Patrol agents of "whipping" migrants. Whitlock continued to mislead:

Back in the fall of 2021, ABC hammered the story for five days straight (From September 20th through the 24th) on Good Morning America and World News Tonight, smearing the agents for seven minutes and nine seconds. CBS Mornings and the CBS Evening News came in second with three minutes and 12 seconds and NBC pushed the now-false claims for three minutes and four seconds on Today and Nightly News. 

With no evidence of malice, the networks uncritically assumed the worst. On the September 21, 2021 Today, co-host Hoda Kotb scolded, “But this morning, a new controversy: Shocking images of border agents appearing to whip migrants.” 

The September 23, 2021 CBS Mornings featured radical Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, sliming the agents as racist: “We witnessed cowboys, with their reins again, whipping black people, Haitians, into the water.”

Kotb's observation is factually correct: It did, in fact, look like Border Patrol agents were whipping migrants. And CBS merely quoting Waters is not the same as Whitlock's false claim that the netework itself made the "whipping" claim.

Whitlock went on to praise Fox News for adhering to right-wing poliical narratives by hyping the clearing of the Border Patrol agents and whining that the Biden White House should apologize to them, when added: "It would also be nice if journalists would come out and apologize for smearing these border agents with accusations of racist whipping attacks. They highlighted the accusations, claims that have now fallen apart. They need to cover the story, even if it makes Joe Biden — and the press — look bad."

It would also be nice if Whitlock and the MRC stopped lying and apologized for their previous lies, but that's not what they do. Indeed, Curtis Houck perpetuated the lie in a July 11 post:

On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report through Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) that cleared the agents maligned and falsely accused of using horse reins as whips against illegal immigrants from Haiti trying to cross into the U.S. while also proposing punishment for using “poor judgement” and “vulgar” language.

But given that first part debunking the liberal media-led push to claim the illegals were whipped, the flagship morning and evening newscasts and ABC and NBC steered clear of this report and have yet to give it a second.

CBS Mornings and CBS Saturday Morning also ignored it, which left the CBS Evening News as the lone newscast to cover the findings for a measly 21 seconds (not including a nine-second tease). Even that, however, was tilted and chose not to exonerate the agents.

As expected, Houck cited no evidence to back up his claim that the networks accuwed the agents of "whipping" migrants -- because there isn't any. Instead, he sucked up to Fox News for pushing the narrative: "Over on the Fox News Channel’s Special Report, the indefatigable Bill Melugin showed viewers that there are still a few great journalists left, giving one minute and 38 seconds to the report."

Nowhere in the exerpt that Houck reproduced did Megulin specifically cite any example of someone else claiming the agents "whipped" migrants, simply calling it a "false narrative." But then, as far as Houck is concerned, if a right-wing journalist is pushing right-wing narratives -- and, more importantly, doesn't step on the MRC's own false narrative -- he must be considered "great."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 9, 2022 10:54 PM EDT
WND Targets LGBT Government Official For Being Too Kinky
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WND staffer began a February article by whining that "There have been homosexuals, lesbians, even transgenders appointed to or hired for lucrative state and federal jobs before. Even elected." No explanation was provided as to why this should be considered a bad thing, though the staffer went on to complain that "Gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis took the nearly $800 million sale of the online artistic work his parents created for their Blue Mountain Arts greeting card company and, his critics have charged, first bought a seat on the Colorado Board of Education, then a congressional seat, and now the governor's office." Nothing inherently wrong was cited -- after all, rich people using their money to boost their political fortunes is a story old as time.  Finally, the staffer who was afraid to put his or her name on this article got to the (homophobic) point:

But now a report reveals that there's a new standard for those who choose alternative sexual lifestyles to reach in government.

The Washington Examiner reports the Biden administration has picked Sam Brinton to be a new deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition at the DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy.

He's studied engineering at MIT.

And his sexual fetishes include "tying up his partner while he eats dinner and watches Star Trek," the report said.

Again, the anonymous WND writer offered no evidence as to why Brinton is not qualified for the post he holds or why his personal life should have any bearing on whether he's allowed to have this job. Instead, he or she delved into the prurient details of Brinton's "lifestyle choice," which adds nothing to the story aside from inflaming the hate of WND's anti-LGBT audience.

After a few months of silence on Brinton, Bob Unruh served up a July 6 article featuring a new attack on him:

A "kink-and-pups" drag queen chosen by Joe Biden to be deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy lacks the basic required qualifications to hold that post, according to a letter to Norbert Vint, the deputy inspector general in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The letter is from a "long serving public servant" at the U.S. Department of Energy and challenges the Biden decision to give a critically important federal post to Samuel Brinton, requesting a full investigation.

WND reported months ago that the Brinton appointment set a new mark for extremes in federal appointments.

Unruh, however, buried the fact that this story is months old -- the letter was issued in early February and reported by other outlets at the time. It's not until near the end of his article -- which copies-and-pastes much of the anonymously written WND article from February, so the purirence about Brinton's private life is also regurgitated -- that Unruh admits the letter was "sent to the OPM several months ago."

The anonymous letter seems to be largely a personal attack on Brinton designed to manufacture purported lack of expertise as an excuse to fire or demote him. As a nuclear industry publication pointed out, the letter does not assert "that Brinton is unqualified, on the merits, to serve as a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Energy"; rather, the chief complaint is that Brinton is not qualified for the government pay scale he was given.

Both articles also lied by portraying Brinton as an appointee of the Biden adminstration.; in fact, Brinton's job is a career position, not a political appointment. So that also stays within WND's shoddy journalism standards.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:13 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 9, 2022 6:15 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Make Clarence Thomas Look Better Than Biden
Topic: Newsmax

Larry Bell started his July 11 Newsmax column by complaining:

Recently decrying the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and rebuking Justice Clarence Thomas for the “tragic error,” President Biden himself reversed his own 1982 position when he cast a Senate vote to do exactly the same — a Senate Judiciary Committee constitutional amendment proposal to allow individual states to determine abortion rights.

Biden’s harsh criticism of Justice Thomas bears witness to dramatic personal and career contrasts between the two men that warrant long-neglected public attention.

Bell then spent several paragraphs putting a positive spin on Thomas' life story. When he got to the part about Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations against him, he served up more spin:

Senate hearings to confirm Thomas’s nomination were savagely disrupted by televised show trial allegations of African-American Anita Hill, his former special assistant in the U.S. Department of Education civil rights office, who accused him of sexual harassment.

Nevertheless, Hill had continued to contact Thomas voluntarily even after he helped arrange for her subsequent appointment as a law professor at the University of Oklahoma.

Denying any wrongdoing, Thomas emotionally characterized the televised ordeal as a "high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

Thomas added: “it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured, by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree.”

That sad Senate spectacle was chaired by Joe Biden who then said: "Sexual harassment is a serious matter and, in my view, any person guilty of this offense is unsuited to serve not only on the nation's highest court but any position of responsibility, of higher responsibility in or out of government.”

That justice standard clearly didn’t apply during the 2020 presidential election campaign when Tara Reade, a former staffer in Joe Biden's U.S. Senate office, alleged that he sexually assaulted her in 1993 in a Capitol Hill office.

Although Reade had previously filed her charges in a formal police report at the time of the alleged incident, mainstream media showed no interest in her claim whatsoever.

Bell glossed over a couple inconvenient facts here: 1) Hill's charges against Thomas were never proven false, and 2) Reade has a documented history of manipulative and deceitful behavior that made her account untrustworthy. And, needless to say, Bell said nothing about the controversy of his wife being such a right-wing political activist that it arguably jeopardizes any claim to judicial impartiality he might have.

In contrast with his loving account of Thomas' life, Bell served up a less-that-flattering account of Biden's life, and even then he struggled to find things to fill it out, like this: "In 2010, then-Sen. Biden eulogized his former Ku Klux Klan leader friend Sen. Robert Byrd whom he described as "fiercely devoted to his principles," a '"friend,' 'mentor' and a 'guide.'" Bell failed to mention that Byrd spent the final decades of his life renouncing his KKK association and becoming an advocate of civil rights, to the point that the NAACP positively eulogized Byrd after his death.

Bell concluded by whining: "Whereas Justice Thomas’s legal essays and written arguments supporting his opinions are clear, well researched, and consistent, Biden’s tele-prompted messaging follows and equivocates each most recent self-inflicted policy disaster. America has chosen both wisely and foolishly."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
Pro-Choice Jews Don't Get The Stenography Treatment From CNS

We've documented how gave an uncritical and unchallenged platform to the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation to spout anti-abortion extremism.But when CNS does a story on a pro-choice Jew, it shows its right-wing bias yet again by making sure to have Jewish anti-abortion activists comment.

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman set up his bias in a May 16 article, framing the Jewish abortion debate as being between "liberal Jewish leaders and organizations" and "traditional rabbis" -- never putting a political label on the latter since it comes from CNS' favorite group of rihgt-wing rabbis:

Some liberal Jewish leaders and organizations have denounced the leaked Supreme Court opinion arguing for the overturning of Roe. Wade, claiming that a reversal would violate "religious freedom" and prevent "Jewish women" from practicing their religion.

However, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents more than 2,000 traditional rabbis, rejected that claim and said abortion " violates all Jewish ethics and morals."

After Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's opinion was leaked to Politico on May 2, several liberal Jews spoke out on Twitter and other media.


However, the Coalition for Jewish Values states, "Abortion is antithetical to Torah principles. The act of abortion, and the industry that promotes and benefits financially from it, violates all Jewish ethics and morals."

In an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of the Mississippi law that Justice Alito's opinion is based on, the CJV says, "The history of Judaism includes many existential threats to Jewish life in the form of state sponsored mass murder. This makes us especially sensitive to the plight of the child in the womb, whose protection under the law was completely abrogated by Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This tragic human rights violation must be remedied."

Yes, that would be the same brief signed onto by the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation that contains several factual errors. Chapman went on to uncritically quote the CJV as claiming that opposition to abortion "is the authentic Jewish view, as determined by Rabbinic texts and legal codes stretching back to Sinai," which ignores that there are, in fact, Jewish teachings that do not view a fetus as having a soul until it is born and that the fetus belongs to the mother's body until birth.

Intern Lucy Collins used a June 29 article to again set up the CJV to comment on a Jewish pro-choice activist:

A nine-months-pregnant joined with activists outside the Supreme Court on June 24 to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade, where she said her religion teaches “that life begins with the first breath. It's in the Torah, and it's in the Old Testament."

However, Rabbi Yaakov Menken with the Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents more than 2,000 rabbis in matters of public policy, said such a claim was not accurate.

CNN and NBC News reported that Amanda Herring, a 32-year-old self-described “Jewish educator,” showed up to join pro-abortion protests in front of the Supreme Court last Friday with her one-year-old son and the words “Not Yet a Human” written in ink across her very pregnant stomach. She told NBC that her due date was Saturday, June 25.

“I feel like it’s important for me to be out here and let everyone know my religion says that life begins with the first breath,” Herring said. “It's in the Torah, and it's in the Old Testament.”

Collins actually got in touch with Herring for a comment -- and, presumably, to see if she aborted the child just before birth -- then, apparently disappointed that Herring couldn't be further exploited, added that "CNS News is happy to report that Ms. Herring and her newborn baby are doing well." Then it was time for Collins to cue up more lecturing from Menken:

Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values. He told CNS News, “It's not accurate to say that it's only considered a life at birth. Because we know that Rebecca [in Torah] was told that the different natures of her twins [Jacob and Esau] explained what was going on in the uterus. And Jeremiah was told that he was sanctified from the womb.”

The rabbi also made the argument from the perspective of Jewish law, which has a “total prohibition” on any violations of the Sabbath except to save a life, and, “In the event that the mother is dying, or has died, one is allowed to perform a C section on the Sabbath, even though it involves a total prohibition, to save the life of the fetus.”

“So, whether you call that alive or the same status as a born child, it's very clear that that life has inestimable value, like all human life,” said Rabbi Menken.

Collins apparently did not give Herring an opportunity to respond to Menken's lecture, which would have been truly fair reporting. Instead, she simply set up Herring to get lectured. Nor did she talk to a non-right-wing Jewish rabbi would might have been able to tell her about Jewish support for abortion rights.

Collins did a little better job at balance in a July 7 article:

A Florida synagogue is suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over a new Florida law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. In the lawsuit, the synagogue says “the right to abortion is a critical aspect of Jewish practice” and thus the law “prohibits the free exercise of the Jewish religion.”

In June, Rabbi Barry Silver filed suit on behalf of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor to fight the new Florida abortion law (HB 5) scheduled to take effect on July 1. HB 5 bans abortion after 15 weeks and makes exceptions if abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother, prevent serious injury to the mother, or if the baby has a fatal birth defect.


The lawsuit claims this is a common view held by Jewish organizations. As it reads,  “According to the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) ‘Judaism permits Abortion. Full stop. The Constitution gives us the right to have abortions. Full stop.’ This view reflects the view of most Jewish organizations.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values, the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America that represents over 2,000 traditional rabbis, takes a different position. In a June 24 statement, they wrote, “Judaism regards all human life as sacred, including when a fetus is yet to be born. Jewish law permits abortion only in truly extraordinary circumstances. This does not describe the situation in America today, where the overwhelming majority of abortions are done as an elective procedure.”

In speaking to CNS News, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, criticized Jewish pro-abortion activists who claim a fetus is not yet a life by appealing to Jewish law. He said there is a “total prohibition” on any violations of the Sabbath except to save a life, and, “In the event that the mother is dying, or has died, one is allowed to perform a C section on the Sabbath, even though it involves a total prohibition, to save the life of the fetus.”

“So, whether you call that alive or the same status as a born child, it's very clear that that life has inestimable value, like all human life,” said Rabbi Menken.

Again, though, Collins failed to contact a non-right-wing rabbi or Jewish religious authority to respond to Menken's claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT
Monday, August 8, 2022
MRC Hypes Chicago Crime To Distract From Gun Massacre In Chicago Suburb
Topic: Media Research Center

When right-wingers bring up crime in Chicago, it's usually to advance a narrative or deflect from something. The Media Research Center's "news" division,, loves to do it, mostly for the former. The MRC itself did it for the latter -- specifically, to distract from and minimize the July 4 gun massacre in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, which it has already been doing. Mark Finkelstein showed how it's done in a July 7 post:

Over the July 4th weekend:

  • Seven people were shot to death in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb.
  • Ten people were shot to death in Chicago .

One is rare, and the other is routine. But some liberal outlets are noticing the attention gap.

The Washington Post ran a front-page story on Thursday that lamented "There are no crowdsourced charity drives raising millions for victims’ families in Chicago, where the holiday weekend death toll reached at least 10 with 62 injured — numbers that exceed the toll in Monday’s mass shooting at a July 4th parade in nearby Highland Park, Ill. In that affluent lakeside suburb, the violence was an anomaly. Here, it is a grimly regular occurrence."

But on her MSNBC show on Tuesday, Nicolle Wallace focused exclusively on the seven Highland Park shooting deaths. Not a word about the 10 shooting deaths in Chicago. Note that in 2021, there were  3,561 shooting incidents in Chicago, and 797 homicides.

Finkelstein went on to complain that Wallace and her guest Peter Strzok, the Trump-hating, ex-FBI agent, focused on the race of the Highland Park suspect," while there was "no mention of the age or race of the Chicago shooters. Wonder why?" Wonder why Finkelstein is so sensitive about people pointing out the fact that the perpetrators of recent gun massacres are young white men.

Later that day, Curtis Houck highlighted a Washington Post story that followed the MRC's Chicago distraction narrative:

In a front page and above-the-fold story for Thursday’s print edition, The Washington Post discovered a reality that dozens of people are shot and killed every week and weekend in Chicago, Illinois, but there’s barely any national attention given to the plight of Chicagoans in contrast to the equally horrifying mass shootings in suburbs and other more economically prosperous areas.

Reporter Robert Klemko penned the story under the print headline “Toll on South Side eclipsed suburb’s, but drew no furor” (and “With little outcry, Chicago’s bloody weekend eclipsed Highland Park toll” online) that gave away the media game of fixating on certain acts of gun violence, but not others.

Of course, the Post wasn't using the Chicago ahootings to distract from the Highland Park massacre like Houck is.

On July 10, Kevin Tober similarly praised a non-right-wing outlet for pushing its narrative:

On CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper confronted Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on a common theme that even casual observers of leftist politicians and media have noticed. That is they always focus on tragic one time incidents like mass shootings, yet ignore the daily shootings in Chicago which cause more deaths on a weekly basis than mass shootings. 

After discussing the terrible mass shooting in Highland Park on Independence Day with Pritzker, Tapper correctly noted that “the fourth of July weekend death toll in Chicago, as you know, surpassed the Highland Park shooting.”


The fact of the matter is the American people are paying more attention to the Highland Park shooting not because of the weapon used but because the media focuses on mass shootings more than the deadly shootings that occur every weekend in Democrat run cities like Chicago, Los Angeles or New York City. 

All these incidents are tragic and should be given equal treatment.

Actually, Tober doesn't want any attention at all given to the Highland Park massacre because it outlines the destruction caused the conservative movement's all-guns-everywhere-no-questions-asked policy and its glorification of gun culture that emboldens disaffected young men.

The MRC only cares about Chicago violence when it serves its purposes to do so -- and the proof of that is that it devoted only one more article related to the Highland Park massacre, a July 10 item by Finkelstein complaining that "the media's favorite youthful gun-grabber David Hogg" argued that the massacre's perpetrator was a "white nationalist" and brought up "the trauma and PTSD that black and brown communities have from experiencing a disproportionate about of gun violence" and historical issues like redllining. Rather than try to prove Hogg wrong, Finkelstein sneered, "Why do liberals always want to have 'conversations around' issues? Anyhow, bonus woke points to Hogg for working redlining into his spiel."

Of course, conservataives like Finkelstein and his fellow MRC writers want no conversations at all about gun violence lest they lose on the facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
SHOCK: CNS Actually Does Balanced Story On Ben & Jerry's, Occupied Territories

Earlier this year, we caught punctuating its coverage of Ben & Jerry's ice cream deciding not to sell its ice cream in occupied Palestinian territories to protest Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with an article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman falsely claiming that the decision is directly link to a drop in the stock price for the company's owner, international conglomerate Unilever. CNS tiptoed back into the story with a July 8 article by Ben Kelley:

On July 5, Ben & Jerry’s filed a lawsuit against its parent company, Unilever, in an attempt to block the sale of their Israeli business to an Israel-based licensee. Ben & Jerry’s founders stopped selling their product in the disputed territories in July 2021. A new licensee would essentially reverse that policy and permit the ice cream to be sold in those areas.

“The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the sale announced last week threatened to undermine Ben & Jerry’s brand integrity, for which its board retained independence to protect when the Unilever conglomerate acquired it in 2000,” reported Haaretz.

The story is actually well balanced, much more so than the usual CNS "news" story. The only failure is that Kelley didn't take the opportunityto correct the record about the earlier false claim linking the withdrawal to Unilever's stock price drop. Still, it's a better journalistic record that his fellow CNS interns this summer.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard On Alleged IRS Misbehavior
Topic: Media Research Center

When it was revealed that both former FBI director James Comey and ex-FBI deputy James McCabe were targeted with IRS audits after being fired from their jobs under the Trump administration -- events considered highly suspicious -- the Media Research Center, no fan of the IRS, rushed to its defense in a July 7 post by Nicholas Fondacaro complaining that the media was reporting the story despite "no evidence" to support it:

On Wednesday, The New York Times via Washington correspondent Michael Schmidt published a fairly weak article suggesting former President Trump had ordered the IRS to conduct audits of former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Despite the blatant inconstancies and admitting there’s “no evidence,” the liberal media’s ‘it rings true’ barometer carried the day on Thursday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC.

“So, what are the chances of two Trump foes getting audited by the IRS? Well, it's about one in 82 million according to a New York Times calculation,” Mitchell pompously announced as she came back from a commercial break.

Well, since, she brought it up. In his article, Schmidt hid the fact that McCabe’s audit didn’t begin until “October 2021, nine months after Mr. Trump left office.” It was a key fact he didn’t get around to mentioning until paragraph 44 (of 54). Comey’s happened in 2019.

The supposed connection was Trump-appointed commissioner, Charles Rettig, who still runs the agency and has denied involvement. And something Schmidt failed to address in his article: if Trump was brazen enough to order an IRS audit after he left office, then why hasn’t he ordered them to drop the audit he’s allegedly been facing for years?

Because Trump repeatedly used that as an excuse to never release his tax returns while president and demanding that the audit end would remove that excuse and that talking point? Just a guess, and something Fondacaro apparently never considered.

Fondacaro also seems to have forgotten that his employer and other right-wing organizations spesnt years playing the victim over the IRS under President Obama purportedly targeting conservative nonprofit groups for investigation without any real evidence. The truth was that the IRS was also investigating progressive nonprofit groups as well amid a flood of such groups seeking nonprofit status. Nevertheless, Curtis Houck ranted in 2017: "What about the IRS until President Barack Obama? Try Google searching for why Lois Lerner is living a comfortable life in secrecy nowadays. Conservative groups were unfairly targeted by the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status and it occurred on Obama’s watch. Plain and simple." Because conservatives squealed the loudest, the conservative groups got a settlement, which the MRC touted as "VINDICATION."

The MRC was accusing the IRS under Obama of being directed by him to harass conservative groups (which, despite Houck's assertion, wasn't really true). Yet Fondacaro wants us to believe that Trump's IRS is incapable of doing something equally terrible in demanding audits of Trump's political enemies? Please.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: 25 Years Of Mendacity At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah marked the silver anniversary of his website by begging for money and rewriting history by portraying his most biased, dishonest and outright false reporting as something noble. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EDT
Sunday, August 7, 2022
MRC Tries To Deflect From Guns Again After Highland Park Massacre
Topic: Media Research Center

As it did after gun massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, the Media Research Center spent the days after the gIndependence Day gun massacre at a parade in Highland Park, Ill., trying to blame everything else but guns for the massacre, even though the shooter would not have been able to kill so many people if he had not had a gun. In a July 5 post, Curtis Houck whined that TV shows had on the mayor of Highland Park to talk about gun regulation:

In the aftermath of Monday’s Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois that left six dead and dozens hurt, CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today partnered Tuesday with Mayor Nancy Rotering (D) as the latter called for the discussion of the suspect’s disturbing social media history (and thus the missed warning signs) and instead focus on banning “weapons of war.”

Rotering first appeared on NBC and, after being asked to provide an update on the case, co-host Hoda Kotb noted that, nine years ago, Rotering “signed an assault weapons ban that was in place and is in place,” >meaning it didn’t prevent the shooting.


Rotering went unchallenged as she lashed out at those who disagree with her city’s views on gun control, smearing Americans as having “values” that “are askew” to the point that millions of Americans robbed them of happiness on the Fourth of July.

“[B]ecause of this gun culture, our nation turned its back on us and turned its back on our celebration. We, as a country, have to have a very strong conversation with ourselves...[I]t’s one of those things where you ask yourself: If this reflects the values of who we are, then what does that say about us as a nation,” she added.

Kotb tried to turn the focus back to the investigation, but Rotering not only dismissed the idea of talking about the warning signs, but she called for discussion of the suspect’s social media to “be diminished.” What’s clear, Rotering argued, was that the deranged individual “had a — a mental breakdown” and “weapons of war” allowed him to escalate his hate.

Houck didn't dispute the accuracy of Rotering's words, instead using his leadline to label her a "lefty" despite offering no evidence to back it up other than her criticism of guns, as if that in and of itself is a reliable indicator of political preference,

John Simmons attacked Australian-born baseball player Liam Hendricks for speaking from experience in his own country and having opinions that didn't conform to right-wing pro-gun orthodoxy by pointing out that "suicide rates dropped drastically, our gun-related homicides dropped infinitely" after the country instituted a gun ban following a massacre:

To be fair, Australia has had only one mass shooting since the government implemented their mandatory buy-back program in 1996 (note the word “mandatory,” something Hendricks did not mention). But the low number of mass shootings has come at the expense of Australians being able to defend themselves from an overreaching, tyrannical government. 

Australia had some of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the world. They enforced an incredibly draconian stay at home order for several months, and police officers would go to people’s houses to make sure they were staying inside. The government could afford to oppress its citizens in large part because Australians would not be able to resist in any meaningful way since they had no access to firearms. 

This is why the Second Amendment is such an important right for Americans. Men much smarter than Hendricks saw that tyrannical governments can easily oppress citizens who cannot defend themselves, which is why each American has a constitutionally protected right to own firearms. Of course, mass shootings happen and those are undeniably tragic, but to say that taking guns away to stop them from happening will leave its citizens at the mercy of its government to treat them fairly, which history shows is not a good course of action.

Hendricks really missed the strike zone on this assessment.

Simmons didn't explain why commonsense health measures to try and mitigate a deadly pandemic that has killed millionps of people around the world were "tyrannical"; then again, he is a rabid anti-vaxxer.

Emma Schultz asserted that CNN's Laura Coates "tried to whip the audience into a hysteria" and "pushed her personal overly concerned thoughts and phobias on the audience" by accuirately noting that the masacre might make some people afraid to go out in public.Schulta also claimed that Coates "introduced fabricated data from the anti-gun rights Gun Violence Archive to back up her opinions stating that “there have been 319 mass shootings just this year and 17 in the first four days of July.” As we've documented, those numbers aren't "fabricated" at all -- those people are still dead -- they are just counted in a way that the MRC disapproves of because the higher number makes guns look bad.

Nicholas Fondacaro complained that CNN's Alisyn Camerota "proposed Orwellian laws designed to monitor and profile gun owners and bar them from exercising their Second Amendment rights." He didn't mention that his employer has endorsed the Orewllian monitoring of women to make sure they don't cross state lines to have an abortion.

Kevin Tober ranted that coverage of a gun massacre focused on the inescapable gun part and pointed out that right-wingers like him don't want to talk about said gun part:

On Wednesday night's episode of MSNBC's All In, host Chris Hayes and leftist journalist Aaron Rupar admonished Fox News for not covering the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois in the manner they demand. To Hayes and Rupar, if you don't cover mass shootings from the leftist gun control perspective, you aren't covering the story properly. Any solution other than gun control is inadequate according to them. 

"There is a ritual that is set in on the right in the wake of the horrifying and regular spectacle of mass gun violence. In the aftermath, Republicans and right-wing media have a series of decisions to make about what to do to take attention away from what is the most obvious source of the problem" Hayes proclaimed.

Tober went on to grouse after red-flag laws were discussed: "As always, the solution to leftist policy failures is more of the same. Double down and when it continues to backfire, blame conservatives and Fox News for pointing out how the left's agenda has failed."

Brad Wilmouth whined that another logical point was made, that cities with tough anti-gun laws are undermined by surrounding jurisdictions where gun laws are much looser, claiming that itwas irrelevant because the shooter's guns were bought in Illinois, further whining that "Journalists and other liberals like to blame the more conservative state of Indiana for crime in Illinois, which has been run by Democrats continuously since after the 2002 elections." In fact, one of five recovered guns used in crimes in Chicago came from Indiana.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 7, 2022 10:15 PM EDT
CNS Publishes More Extremist Rhetoric From Far-Right Jewish Anti-Abortion Group

We're trying to write about the extremist anti-abortion rhetoric employed by the far-right Jewish Pro-Life Federation, which is in turn amplified by the biased editors at but we keep getting distracted by managing editor Michael W. Chapman adding (or deleting) excerpts from the group's Supreme Court amicus brief in the decision that ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade that are factually inaccurate. Let's see if we can stay on point this time, shall we?

In a March 14 post, Chapman highlighted foundation leader Cecily Routman making a exceedingly tone-deaf rant seemingly suggesting that Ukraine deserved to get invaded by Russia because the country didn't hate abortion enough:

In an email about the destruction and death resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation criticized the chief rabbi of Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, also a Jew, for denouncing the war's consequences but not saying anything about the estimated 75,000 Ukrainian children who were killed by abortion in 2019.

"Why doesn't President Zelensky urge Jews to shout against the ongoing holocaust against preborn Ukrainian civilians?" said Cecily Routman, president of the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation, in an email.

"Perhaps because preborn Ukrainians don't vote nor do they have the sympathy of a mostly secular Ukrainian citizenry that fails to recognize an existential threat until they themselves are in the enemy's sights," she wrote.


Routman also noted that Rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman, the chief rabbi of Ukraine, denounced the war but apparently has not said anything about the extermination of children by abortion in Ukraine.

Chapman did not indicate that Routman made any criticism of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, Chapman gave Rothman another platform to make specious comparisons in a March 29 article:

While speaking against a proposed amendment to Connecticut's constitution that would permit nearly unrestricted abortion, the head of the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation emphasized that "Judaism prohibits abortion," and explained that the language and laws used by the Nazis to perpetrate the Holocaust "provided sanction for systemic racism and genocide in current American abortion law."

"Abortion was weaponized against Jews in the Holocaust in pursuit of the Final Solution," said Cecily Routman, president of the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation, in remarks before Connecticut's Government Administration and Elections Committee on March 25.

"Legal slaughter of ‘sub-human parasites’, as we were deemed, codified systemic racism and genocide," she said.  "This language and legal precedent provided sanction for systemic racism and genocide in current American abortion law. Every Jew and every person of conscience ought to oppose SJ 30 because it viciously attacks innocent victims and maximizes another existential threat to Jews in the future."

In contrast to Rothman's assertion that "Judaism prohibits abortion," there are Jewish teachings that do not view a fetus as having a soul until it is born and that the fetus belongs to the mother's body until birth. Chapman let Rothman rant further:

"Easy access to the chemical abortion pill RU-486 increases life threatening risks to women and teens. Originally manufactured by a subsidiary of IG Farben, the chemical company that manufactured Zyklon B used to eradicate Jewish ‘parasites’ at Auschwitz, RU-486 is now the favored method of killing ‘parasites in the womb’ - at a huge profit for abortion providers with no accountability for medical malpractice or malfeasance."

Rothman mangled her corporate history here. IG Farben ceased to exist after World War II because the conglomerate was broken up into its original component companies (which included Bayer and BASF). Another one of those component companies, Hoechst, had partial ownership of a French company that developed RU-486 in 1980. Thus it's a giant stretch for Rothman to claim that the company that made Zyklon B also made RU-486.Also: Nobody calls the drug RU-486 anymore outside of anti-abortion activists who want to demonize then ame; it's better known today by its generic name, mifepristone.

(An aside: That Supreme Court brief Rothman's group filed made the utterly false and malicious claim that RU-486 was "originally called Zyklon B.")

In the wake of the leak of a draft opinion (in the Supreme Court case Rothman's group filed the bref in) that would ultimately reverse Roe v Wade, Chapman let Rothman rant in a May 6 article at a non-right-wing Jewish group for not hating abortion while launching another specious abortion-Holocaust comparison:

In its weekly newsletter released today, the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation sharply criticized the "abortion radicals" at the National Council of Jewish Women as sounding like Nazis in Germany who opposed closing the "concentration camps and the mass extermination of the Jews."

The Foundation also condemned abortion in general, explaining that real Judaism "in no way sanctions child murder, and that saving a life is the paramount value of Judaism."

"No difference between 99+% of abortions and the ovens of Auschwitz," reads the newsletter, written by Cecily Routman, founder of the Foundation. She then notes her organization's "unease and distress as we watch and listen and read Jewish abortion radicals protesting abortion limits."

Actually, there is no possible way to link the two since an abortion clinic is not Auschwitz and an abortion provider is not Josef Mengele. Additionally, Chapman refused to give the National Council of Jewish Women an opportunity to respond to Rothman's smears, further cementing his status as a propagandist instead of the journalist he thinks he is.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
Saturday, August 6, 2022
MRC Not A Big Fan Of Juneteenth
Topic: Media Research Center

With the first celebration of Juneteenth this year as a federal holiday, the Media Research Center lashed out at it seemingly because Republicans hadn't thought of it. Wallace White grumbled about the holiday, the Juneteenth flag and its creator in a June 15 post:

There’s a flag for nearly everything left-wing nowadays, and now the newly Biden-mandated federal holiday “Juneteenth” has one of its own. Vox reports the flag has been around since the 1990s, but of course, no one cared until now, as the left pushes the faux holiday upon all Americans.

Juneteenth was christened as a federal holiday by no other than Joe Biden in 2021. The holiday falls on the anniversary of Union Forces reaching slaves in Southwest Texas in 1865 to deliver the news that they were finally free. The holiday, largely unknown outside Texas, came to national prominence during the Trump presidency, where it was used to attack Trump. 

The creator of the flag, Ben Haith, told Vox that he was “just doing what God told me.” Apparently, then, God must have also told him that he should oppose a gay couple starting a foster home for two young boys in 1985, and God spoke through him when he said that it was “it ultimately as a breakdown of the society and its values and morals.”

The flag itself is nothing remarkable. A simple red and black bisected rectangle with a star and asymmetrical burst surrounding it. Some leftists, according to Vox, take issue with its use of the colors of America, instead of the pan-African colors, since America was the oppressor. The left eating their own, what else is new?

In a June 20 post, Nicholas Fondacaro was offended at the idea that Juneteenth could ever be considered on a par with July 4 -- especially if the hjated hosts of "The View" were suggesting it was:

The new national holiday of Juneteenth is worth acknowledging because it marks when the last of the slaves were emancipated years after the Civil War. But the left is seemingly trying to elevate this commemoration above that of July 4 and the birth of the country. This endeavor was on full display during Monday’s Juneteenth episode of ABC’s The View, with co-host Sara Haines arguing it was the “more authentic” “celebration” of “American freedom” than the Fourth of July is.

Haines began by opining about how she (and assumes others) “go into autopilot for a holiday” and don’t think about why they’re celebrating something, “even Fourth of July.” “That we were celebrating Fourth of July which was freedom of America, when freedom of American people didn't happen until Juneteenth,” she whined. “So, in some ways, the celebration feels more authentic on Juneteenth.”

Ironically, Haines said she feels “really silly at times;” not about what she just said but rather that she didn’t know about Juneteenth until relatively recently.

Fondacaro didn't mention when he first heard of Juneteenth.Instead, he reminded us of his issues with women by smearing co-host Sunny Hostin as "mentally unstable" over an anecdote in which she got revenge on a boyfriend.Perhaps a guy who consistently and hatefully describes the "Vew" hosts as a "coven" has no moral standing to judge women.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 AM EDT
WND's Cashill Touts Charlatan Filmmaker's Latest Obama Hit Job
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on Jack Cashill's Obama obession, he was hinting about a new film by charlatan filmmaker Joel Gilbert -- who made a 2014 film that pushed the immediately discredited claim that Barack Obama's mother posed nude for longtime Obama conspiracy target Frank Marshall David -- claiming that Michelle Obama will run for president in 2024. Cashill gave Gilbert's latest factually questionable hit jjob the full promotional treatment in his July 6 column:

With prominent Democrats – Hillary Clinton, Gavin Newsom, Amy Klobuchar – openly jousting for the Democratic 2024 presidential nod, it seems a little bit suspicious that the Dems are not promoting their most formidable candidate, Michelle Obama.

Suspicious, that is, to everyone but Los Angeles filmmaker Joel Gilbert, producer of the stunning new documentary and complementary book, "Michelle Obama 2024: Her Real Life Story and Plan for Power."


Gilbert's slogan speaks to the vulnerability of Michelle's candidacy: "Only the truth can stop her." The truth is not Michelle's best friend. Gilbert makes the case that she has been pretending to be something she is not since she first emerged on the national scene as her husband's demure helpmate in 2004.

From the beginning, Gilbert argues, Barack's handlers have positioned Michelle as the "South Side" girl, the descendant of slaves, the ordinary, everyday black working mom in contrast to her husband's airy elitism.

In fact, as Gilbert shows, Michelle has been running from the black community her whole life and, when not running from it, exploiting it.

Unlike most pundits on the right, Gilbert pounds the pavement to get his story. With chutzpah to spare, he talks about Michelle to people most oppositional journalists would not dare approach, including her mother, her hairdresser and, perhaps most tellingly, Michelle's thesis adviser at Princeton with whom he had three lengthy conversations.


Unfortunately for Michelle, Gilbert did his homework. It wasn't easy, but he discovered that the guidance counselor who discouraged Michelle from Princeton was a highly respected black female educator who knew Michelle intimately.

And the counselor was right. Michelle was not Princeton material. Her test scores were not good at all. She floundered academically before finding refuge in Afro-American studies. Her godawful senior thesis confirmed her counselor's caution.

"To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be 'read' at all, in the strict sense of the verb," said the late great Christopher Hitchens. "This is because it wasn't written in any known language."

Barack Obama won the presidency promising racial healing. At that task, he failed spectacularly. Michelle will run implicitly threatening racial strife if she loses. At that, she might have more success. Only the truth can stop her.

Unfortunately for Gilbert, he's not known for caring about the truth. This is a guy, after all, who was revising the promos for his anti-Obama film on the fly as its claims were discredited, and whose claim that Obama's wedding ring contains Arabic writing turned out to be so demonstrably false that even birthers were moved to debunk it.

The truth is also not a friend to Cashill, who inexplicably stands by Gilbert despite his lengthy and inescapable record of mendacity. Then again, he's a lot like Cashill in that he's also a conspiracy freak who has trouble with basic facts (remember when he spent a column attacking the wrong newspaper?).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 AM EDT
Friday, August 5, 2022
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck spent his writeup of the July 18 White House press briefing cheering that right-wing reporters pushed their biased narratives -- and, of course, keeping up his narrative of smearing Karine Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire:

During Monday’s White House press briefing (which was the first in six days due to President Biden’s Middle East trip), White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Economic Council (NEC) member Jared Bernstein would have emerged unscathed if it weren’t for tough questions from Peter Doocy, James Rosen, and Philip Wegmann about gas prices, inflation, and the Vice President comparing the end of Roe to slavery.

Wegmann had the first track of this trio, asking Bernstein a simple question of whether there’s “an estimate for how much the administration’s regulatory changes have combated or contributed to regulation — to inflation.”

Bernstein insisted they’ve “been talking about a lot of that already” with “the E15 ethanol waiver” and release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve having been benefits, but he otherwise ignored the question.


Skip ahead to Jean-Pierre’s latest attempt at trying to not embarrass herself, she did her best “the dog ate my homework” impression as Doocy asked whether President Biden agreed with Vice President Harris that ending a supposed nationwide right to abortion was akin to slavery[.]


After an exchange on whether Jean-Pierre herself heard President Biden ask the Saudi Crown Prince about the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Doocy zoomed out: “[U]ltimately, we get back from this trip, there’s no new peace talks in the Middle East, there’s no new commitment to increase oil production in the Gulf, so what was the point of this trip?”

Like the lazy press secretary that she is, Jean-Pierre replied that she “just read out earlier, Peter, of all of the things that had occurred,” including the acknowledgment that the Middle East is “a critical region” worth visiting.

Doocy wasn’t impressed: “Why not insist on a commitment though? He gets back with no commitment, and the price of oil per barrel shot up. Is that what the President wanted, to go there and have the price of oil get more expensive?”

Jean-Pierre again trotted out the line about “34 straight days” of lower gas prices, but Doocy returned fire with the hard truth about how prices remain crippling[.]

For the July 19 briefing, Houck switched tactics and cheered that Jean-Pierre was being his "from the left" (of course, any reporter who's not as far right as Doocy, Rosen and Wegmann is on "the left" as far is Houck is concerned):

With scorching heat across the globe and the climate change drumbeat ramped back up, the White House press corps acted in kind during Tuesday’s briefing as they repeatedly grilled Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and senior adviser John Kirby from the left by demanding the administration do more to force through their side’s far-reaching agenda.

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny went there first, trying to appeal to Kirby’s ego by boasting that he’s “long talked about how climate change is a national security issue for the country.”


Moving ahead to Jean-Pierre’s portion, the Associated Press’s Will Weissert opened her Q&A with climate: “It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a climate emergency announcement this week. I want to make sure that’s still on the table and I wanted to ask if the White House has any concerns that the President might be relying on executive action too much.”

The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker was also on the case, plainly stating her complaints:“First, why did the White House decide that tomorrow is not the day to declare a climate emergency?”

After Jean-Pierre said Biden’s “going to do everything that he can to take action” to thwart the “climate crisis” (so thwart the rising seas, stop major hurricanes, etc.), Parker followed up: “If and when it does happen, can you talk a little bit about what specific tools it would then give the administration and what specifically you would use it for and do?”

Houck dished out more hatred of Jean-Pierre in his writeup of the July 21 briefing:

Thursday wasn’t supposed to feature a White House press briefing due to a presidential visit to Pennsylvania, but President Biden’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis meant Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was thrown before the press corps and, like most stays, she stepped on plenty of rakes.

Over the course of the briefing, she failed to answer and scoffed at basic questions about how the President contracted the virus, whether she herself is a close contact, and why the administration has kept Biden’s personal physician from reporters. And worse yet, the questions came from reporters across the ideological spectrum.

The hits came early from a reporter in the Associated Press seat, who had perhaps the most benign question of the briefing: “Where exactly was the President infected?”


The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker was also in this camp as she inquired about “[w]hat precautions did you take for the person who filmed” a short video of President Biden on the White House balcony updating the public on his positive test.

Jean-Pierre actually answered this question well, saying the person “wore an N95 mask,” was six feet away from Biden, and that it was safe because it was taped outside.

Going back to the nonsensical answers, The Wall Street Journal’s Catherine Lucey drew out a rather silly response when all she wanted to know was Biden’s testing regiment [sic].

If Houck can't get his own words right -- or have a copy editor who can d o that for him -- perhaps he's in no position to constantly attack Jean-Pierre.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EDT
WND Hypes Colbert Staffers' Arrest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily hates Stephen Colbert enough to be gleeful that several of his staffers were arrested for allegedly being in a Capitol office building without authorization. But Bob Unruh took it to a new level in a June 21 article portraying comedy show writers filming skits as being just like the right-wing Capitol insurrection:

Hundreds of protesters were arrested for being in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, without authorization. Democrats have claimed their actions were an attempt to overturn the government of the United States, and many of the apparent trespassers remain in jail – more than a year after the fact – on what ordinarily would be considered minor charges.

Now a team of employees of leftist entertainer Stephen Colbert have been caught in the same predicament – being in the Capitol without authorization.

And GOP members of Congress are insisting that Capitol police provide them with all the reports, witness statements, surveillance footage and photographs concerning the arrests.

"These individuals were arrested and charged with unlawful entry after causing 'disturbances' at the offices of several Republican members, including 'banging' on their office doors," the letter to the police agency from Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said.


CBS officials said the crew was at the Capitol for authorized interviews with members of Congress.

However, Fox News said the crew members were arrested about 8:30 p.m. last Thursday in the Longworth House Office Building and charged with unlawful entry.

The report said they had, earlier in the day, done interviews with members of the Jan. 6 Select Committee, including Schiff, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla, and Auchincloss, D-Mass.

But they didn't have the proper press credentials and were removed from the building.


"Much has been made lately about unauthorized access to House office buildings, including debunked Democrat allegations that Republican members led so-called reconnaissance tours of the Capitol Complex in advance of January 6," the letter said.

"Unlike the Democrat allegations of reconnaissance tours, however, the events on June 16 actually resulted in arrests for unlawful entry," the Republicans wrote.

Of course, Unruh is quite delusional if he thinks that filming comedy skits without authorization is exactly the same as invading the Capitiol with the intent of murdering the vice president to keep him from authorizing the resuults of an election that Donald Trump (still) can't admit he lost.

WND was just like the MRC, though, in censoring the fact that all charges against the Colbert staffers were being dropped a month latert because they didn't "invade" the building as Unruh suggested but, rather, were legally let in by a congressional aide. Apparently, following up on a story that didn't turn out the way he wanted was a skill Unruh lost when he turned his back on real reporting to make a career out of right-wing hackery.

CORRECTION: WND did publish a story on the dropping of the charges against the Colbert staffers. More here.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:09 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2022 5:56 PM EDT

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