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Friday, September 2, 2022
CNS Summer Interns Push More Culture War Issues
Topic: CNSNews.com

As part of their summer of right-wing narratives, CNSNews.com's summer interns also made sure to work in some hot-button culture war issues as well. Lucy Collins complained in an Aug. 1 article:

The newly published Star Wars novel geared toward middle and high school-aged children has passages suggesting that beloved character Obi-Wan Kenobi is bi-sexual.

"Padawan," published on August 26th, is written by Kiersten White and aims to tell the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a teenager training to be a Jedi. The young adult novel is recommended by Amazon for kids between the ages of 12 and 18.

Many on social media were alerted to a specific passage in the book that suggests that the young Jedi is bisexual, or attracted to both men and women.

Following a conversation with a fellow teen about romantic relationships, Kenobi is described as questioning his sexuality.

[...]

Previously in Star Wars iterations, Obi-Wan Kenobi had a female love interest named Satine Kryze of Mandalore. The Padawan author said that she did not include any love plots for Kenobi in the book because of that relationship.

Collins suggested only "social media" as the source of this purported controversy, but she cited no specific criticisms of the book -- after all, ages 12 to 18 is when young people start questioning their sexuality, and it would seem entirely appropriate that a young Obi-Wan, as a human being, might do so as well. Perhaps more importantly for fandom purposes, Collins doesn't identify where this situation falls outside Star Wars canon.

In an lengthy Aug. 3 article, Micky Wooten -- who is technically CNS' new "Investigative Journalism Fellow" but started at the same time as the summer interns and has been doing intern-level work -- cheered a British man who smeared LGBT people by sharing an image that fashioned the pride flag into a swastika:

After sharing a photo on social media of LGBT pride flags arranged in the shape of a swastika, three Hampshire police officers arrested British war veteran Darren Brady for causing “anxiety.”

On June 26, former-actor-turned-conservative activist Laurence Fox tweeted a photo of four rainbow Pride flags rearranged to make a swastika. Fox was temporarily suspended from Twitter over the Tweet.

London Assembly member Caroline Russell called on the metro police to investigate Fox for his tweet.

[...]

CNS News contacted the Hampshire Constabulary to ask if police officers are taught that words can equate acts of physical violence, as implied by the female officer’s comments. Additionally, CNS Newsasked for the number of years of experience for each of the three arresting officers.

Yes, CNS actually spent money for Wootten to place international phone calls to report this story. He went on to huff that "This latest viral incident comes amidst a trend in UK policing of logging so-called 'hate incidents' that are not technically crimes but involve instances of wrong-think."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:57 PM EDT
WND's Hirschhorn Continues To Spread COVID Misinformation (And The Occasional COVID Fact)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been a while since we last checked in on prolific COVID misinformer Joel Hirschhorn. Let's check in and see how he's misinforming people now, shall we? Well, he spent a June 30 column fearmongering about COVID vaccines for children:

The greatest failure of the public health establishment has arrived. Public revolt is now urgently needed.

Of all the many insane aspects of the pandemic, nothing compares to what is now going on: The federal government and public health establishment is pushing COVID vaccines for infants, young children and adolescents. Parents succumbing to this are either grossly uninformed or just plain victims of pro-vaccine propaganda.

Two key questions are paramount: Do infants and children really face such high COVID risks that they need vaccination? Are parents well-informed about the many known and unknown negative side effects of COVID vaccines?

[...]

Yet another sad aspect of this lunacy is how nearly all physicians have succumbed to the pro-vaccine dogma and propaganda. Every parent with a doctor embracing vaccination of their children should question that doctor's competence and independence.

Hirschhorn spent his July 11 column discussing long COVID in a way that was surprisingly medically accurate (by his standards). He tried to blame vaccines again for long COVID, but even he had to concede that any link between them happens only in rare cases and that vaccines may offer some protection against getting long COVID after an infection.

Hirschhorn's Aug. 4 column was spent enthusing over the boosting vitamin D to ward off a COVID infection -- again, not a bad idea since many people have vitamin D deficiencies. Still he felt the need to undercut his surprisingly sound advice with a conspiracy:

Here is the big point: If public health agencies had pushed the wide use of vitamin D early in the pandemic, especially 5,000 units or more daily, there surely would have been virtually no pandemic. And no big need for COVID vaccines. It is a disgrace that governments worldwide have not promoted use of D and that physicians have not urged their patients to take it. All this is inexplicable, unless you recognize the evil influence of Big Pharma. All the U.S. government officials who pushed vaccines over vitamin D, especially Tony Fauci, should be criminally prosecuted.

Hirschhorn was back to unsound conspiracies in his Aug. 12 column, fretting about the summer incrase in COVID deaths without once mentioning that the Omicron variant, against which current vaccines offer less protection. Still, he ranted:

The main propaganda line is that vaccines and boosters are "safe and effective" and prevent severe illness and death. These are lies, as shown by the data.

COVID propaganda lies set a record in the history of the human race. The propaganda has killed millions of people.

[...]

Why are more people dying from COVID?

Because what hospitals are doing is ineffective. It's not working.

Have the vaccines and boosters wrecked the immune systems of many people? As the transmission of the virus continues, people are getting sick enough to die.

If more people took a high dose of vitamin D, this high death rate could be prevented. See my previous column on Vitamin D.

When will the truth about the vaccines and boosters be widely seen?

Another explanation may be the vast numbers of illegal aliens coming across the southern border. Many likely have poor immune systems and have not been vaccinated. But hospitals are not reporting whether such people are dying from COVID.

As much as Hirschhorn wants it to be, undocumented immigrants are not to blame for a summer COVID surge.But he had a new conspiracy to peddle, that the vaccines cause cancer:

A researcher who queried the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) discovered a 10,661.4% increase in cancer reports as a result of experimental COVID-19 gene-based vaccines as compared with all FDA-approved vaccines over the last 30 years.

It's important to always remember that VAERS likely only reports as little as 1% of actual impacts because it is voluntary and burdensome reporting most doctors and others do not take the time to use.

Brian Shilhavy, who is the editor of Health Impact News, traced his steps in the search, providing links to documentation of his various findings.

Shilhavy and his website netweork have been exposed as COVID misinformation superspreaders, so there's no reason for Hirschhorn -- or anyone else -- to trust his research.  But Hirschhorn had one more misinformer to promote:

In March 2021, board-certified pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole reported that he was seeing a massive "uptick" in various autoimmune diseases and cancers in patients who have been COVID-vaccinated, LifeSiteNews reports.

There are still many unknowns, but one is becoming clear: There is a connection between COVID and CANCER!

Cole's claims have been discredited, and LifeSiteNews was kicked off Facebook for spreading COVID misinformation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: James Hirsen's Moral Projection
Topic: Newsmax
The Newsmax columnist spewed false pro-Trump election conspiracy theories, then abruptly changed his tune after the Capitol riot. But rather than apologize for spreading lies, he simply shifted to hyping right-wing culture wars. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EDT
Thursday, September 1, 2022
MRC's Fondacaro Can't Stop Heathering Alyssa Farah Griffin
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has spent much of the year Heathering former Trump White House official (and daughter of the guy who runs WorldNetDaily) Alyssa Farah Griffin for ceasing to be a Trump toady after the Capitol riot. The abuse has unsurprisingly continued. Head Heatherer Nicholas Fondacaro sneered once again in a July 26 post at the possibility that Farah Griffin might become a permanent co-host on "The View":

The rumors appear to be true that The View’s months-long search for a conservative to replace Meghan McCain is ending with the selection of faux conservative Republican Alyssa Farah Griffin. That’s according to the U.K.-based Daily Mail which reported on Tuesday that “ABC will announce her new position imminently.” They also have some purported outrage from inside the network that’s pretty hilarious.

“Farah Griffin, 33, will be named as Meghan McCain's full time [sic] replacement on the panel from September for the show's 26th season,” wrote senior reporter Claudia Aoraha. “Three insiders with knowledge of the discussions with Farah Griffin have told DailyMail.com that ABC will announce her new position imminently.”

The article also included quotes from those insiders critical of the pick and hilariously calling out Farah Griffin for the opportunistic operative that she is:

[...]

It’s obvious that Farah Griffin’s views and allegiances change based on who is lining her pockets. As NewsBusters reported in June, she was eager to learn which Democrat her future co-workers supported so she could push them too: “I’m curious. Like who are the Dems going to run? Where is like the Obama energy that we could bring?”

And she even walked back comments pointing out the apparent red wave coming in the November midterm elections when pressed by Whoopi Goldberg, who seemed to suggest she was trying to suppress Democratic voter turnout.

Of course, Fondacaro himself can easily be described as an "opportunistic operative," since his literal job is to be given the opportunity to act lke a right-wing operative and lash out at others who are purportedly not as pure as him, and continuing to do so is what is lining his pockets. So he's being more than a tad hypocritical here.

Even when Farah Griffin is actually repeating the right-wing talking points that Fondacaro is such a slave to, he still can't keep himself from insulting her. In a July 28 post, he managed to complain that "While the rest of the cast was praising the so-called 'Inflation Reduction Act,' which introduces billions in spending that will likely increase inflation, sell-proclaimed [sic] Republican Alyssa Farah Griffin dared to bring up the news that we’ve seen the second quarter of negative economic growth."

That is a literal Republican talking point. How could Fondacaro possibly object?

When Farah Griffin was finally named a full-time co-host, Fondacaro rehashed his vitriol in an Aug. 4 post:

The months-long search for someone, anyone to fill the “conservative” seat on The View, vacated by former co-host Meghan McCain, ended Thursday with the poorly kept announcement that they would be hiring faux conservative Republican Alyssa Farah Griffin. But not only were they set to add one pretend right-winger to the coven, but they also doubled down and announced that rotational co-host Ana Navarro would be going full-time (eventually).

First to be announced in the latter half of the show, with a gushy video introduction, was clout chaser Farah Griffin. “Thank you. Thank you. If anyone had ever told me I would be sitting at a table with Whoopi Goldberg, I would have said, ‘you are crazy.’ It is such an honor to be with you ladies every day on this set, and it's particularly exciting for me today,” she said.

Farah Griffin said she was “honored” and opined about how “Barbara Walters had this vision for bringing women from totally different backgrounds, lived experiences, careers, to talk about the tough issues that, frankly, our elected officials often aren't tackling and we do that every day.”

[...]

And despite being born into a well-off family with many connections in Washington, D.C., which she utilized, Farah Griffin whined about her career path and was thankful The View was giving her a “voice.” “I was, you know, a president’s spokesperson, I was a vice president’s spokesperson, I was way too many Republican mens' of Congress spokesperson, but now it is my voice,” she said.

In reality, no one made her take those jobs.

Fondacaro provided no evidence that Farah Griffin was "born into a well-off family with many connections in Washington, D.C." In fact, Farah's father, Joseph Farah -- who's constantly begging for money from readers to keep his fading WorldNetDaily alive -- might take issue with being a "well-off family."

Fondacaro then appeared on his boss Tim Graham's Aug. 5 podcast to whine some more about Farah Griffin, ranting that she got on the show because she was willing to act like a "martyr[] for the cause of anti-Trump." He didn;t explain why being opposed to a clearly mentally ill man who's trying to overthrow American democracy is a bad thing. Graham speculated that Farah Griffin won't be right-wing enough for him: "I don't think she's going to have the courage to put a lot of dissent in there. She wants Whoopi's approval."

Nothing says "opportunistic operative" like hopping on his boss' podcast to spout his spiel -- are we right, Nick?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2022 9:45 PM EDT
WND Promotes Anti-Vaxxer's Poll Promoting A Fallacy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore did his best to fearmonger in a July 31 article:

Stories abound of healthy people, including athletes, suddenly dying or suffering severe illness without explanation.

Many who have posted links to the reports on social media have suggested a possible relationship to the experimental COVID-19 vaccines. When four practicing physicians in the greater Toronto area died unexpectedly in the past two weeks, their hospitals made a point of insisting their deaths were not related to the vaccines. A fifth area physician, just 27 years old, died Thursday after collapsing during a triathlon.

Now, a national survey by Zogby Strategies has found 17% of adults who received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine say they were diagnosed with a new condition within weeks to several months after getting the shot. The figure was 15% for those who had received at least one shot.

The respondents also were asked if someone they personally knew had been diagnosed with a new medical condition within the same time frame. Overall, 26% reported yes, while 63% reported no.

Moore waited until the sevent paragraph to disclose that "The survey was commissioned by Children’s Health Defense, the organization founded by Robert Kennedy Jr. that says it's mission is 'to end the childhood health epidemics by working to expose causes, eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable, seek justice for those injured, and establish safeguards to prevent future harm.'" That fancy boilerplate hides the fact that CHD is a rabidly anti-vaxxer group.

Which, of course, explains why it would try to discredit COVID vaccines by playing the correlation-equals-causation fallacy. Just because some people may think that conditions that surface after getting a vaccine are because of the vaccine, it doesn't mean that it's the case. Indeed, nowhere in the survey are respondents ask to prove that the condition is directly related to the vaccine.

To the contrary, the COVID vaccines may actually prevent or delay certain illnesses. A study released in May found that the risk of long COVID symptoms and the incidence of new onset hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease were lower among vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection versus those with COVID who were unvaccinated. Moore didn't report a thing about that, of course; instead he let a CHD spokesperson ramp up the fearmongering:

Laura Bono, the executive director of CHD, noted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 232 million Americans ages 18-65 have taken at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

She said the result is "concerning and needs further study."

"The mRNA vaccine technology is new and clinical trials naturally have no long-term data. CHD believes this survey points to the need for further study," she said.

As is WND editorial policy, Moore did not allow anyone to point out that CHD is a bunch of wacky conspiracy theorists and shouldn't be trusted.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Heathers Fox News For Straying From Right-Wing Terminology On Abortion
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is usually loath to criticize its beloved Fox News -- all the better to keep the TV hits coming and the revolving door of employment rotating. On the rare occasions that it does, it's usually a Heathering situation, an attempt to keep the channel in lockstep with right-wing orthodoxy -- for instance, it lashed out at Fox News in June for failing to spew hate at a transgender teen. In a July 2 post, Tim Graham took Fox News to task for straying from biased right-wing terminology regarding abortion (something he's prone to doing):

Sometimes even Fox News uses all the liberal lingo in abortion stories. On Saturday, FoxNews.com posted an article headlined "Texas Supreme Court blocks ruling that said abortions could resume." 

Fox's Lawrence Richard wrote a story that included a note at the end that "The Associated Press contributed to this report," but the whole article sounded like it worked from the liberal AP Stylebook. It began:

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday blocked a lower court order that permitted some abortions.

The decision is the latest development in a wild couple of weeks for the state of Texas.

On Friday, June 24, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutionally-protected abortion rights across the country.

Richard added the Texas law is commonly referred to as a "heartbeat law" as it "outlaws abortions once a heartbeat is detected in a fetus." So unborn babies were dehumanized, and abortionists were "service providers."

Graham will never admit that "fetus" is the correct, medically accepted term for an unborn child. We don't recall Graham ever complaining that referring to an undocumented migrant as an "illegal" -- as the MRC frequently does -- is "dehumanizing."

Graham also thinks it's "liberal lingo" for refer to anti-abortion activists as being "anti-abortion" and someone who favors abortion rights as favoring "abortion rights." He doesn't explain why these completely accurate terms are somehow "liberal."

Graham's sneering reference to the AP Stylebook as "liberal" reflects the point of view of a biased non-journalist (indeed, the journalism-hating MRC is filled with people who never worked a day in actual journalism jobs) who puts ideology beofre the facts.  The stylebook offers a standard reference guide forjounralists to refer to a plethora of things -- something anathema to people like Graham who put ideology ahead of the truth and honesty.

Graham concluded by huffing:

If they are seeking a pro-life audience outside their offices in Manhattan, Fox News might want to at least attempt more neutral terms that abortion supporters find insensitive, like "abortion doctors" if not "abortionists." And there shouldn't be anything inflammatory about calling the womb occupants "babies."

Only in Graham's right-wing bubble is "abortionist" considered a "neutral" word. And it further demonstrates that he neither knows nor cares about journalism -- only about advancing a narrative and agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
CNS Donohue Cites 'Bell Curve' Author To Justify Schools That Mistreated Indigenous People
Topic: CNSNews.com

Bill Donnohue is a deeply dishonest man, desperate to smear others to protect his particular brand of right-wing Catholicism. He demonstrated this again in a July 27 CNSNews.com column that began:

Pope Francis is in Canada apologizing for Christians who cooperated with Canadian government officials in assimilating Indigenous persons into society. The most serious charge against them, as outlined on p. 1 of the Introduction to the Report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, is that of "cultural genocide."

"Cultural genocide" is defined as the destruction of the "structures and practices" of a particular population; it seeks to eradicate their "political and social institutions."

Bur rather than address the issue at hand -- the Catholic Church's role in Canadian schools for indigenous children that sought to wipe out their heritage -- hew reanted that "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is carrying out "cultural genocide" against his own people" by not hating LGBT people and abortion the way he does, screeching that Trudeau "was born to privilege, evolved into a white supremacist, and is guilty of committing cultural genocide against his own country."

Donohue finally address the school issue in his Aug. 2 column, where the first thing he did was downplay Catholic involvement in them:

There has been much recent discussion about the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It found that 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their homes and forced to attend schools that would assimilate them into the dominant culture.

It was the Canadian government that made the decision to suppress the culture of Indigenous persons, sending children to residential schools operated by the government, Catholic religious orders, and Protestant denominations.

The majority of the schools were not run by Catholics.

Donohue then ranted that Pope Francis referred to what happened at the schools as "genocide" and huffing that  reporter "succeeded in entrapping the pope" to say that. He then denied there was any "genocide," cultural or otherwise:

The truth is Canada never witnessed "cultural genocide," never mind "genocide." Don't take my word for it—read p. 6 of the Report.

"Despite the coercive measures that the government adopted, it failed to achieve its policy goals. Although Aboriginal peoples and cultures have been badly damaged, they continue to exist." That is a true statement and it undercuts what was said on p. 1 about residential schools being an example of "cultural genocide." True genocides allow for few, if any, survivors.

Donohue then justified what the schools did to indigenous children by citing ... Charles Murray, the racist-adjacent author who is best -- and most noroiously -- known for book called "The Bell Curve," which pushed junk science about IQ and race:

The Report accurately notes that "The residential school system was based on an assumption that European civilization and Christian religions were superior to Aboriginal culture, which was seen as being savage and brutal." Without justifying anything the schools did, there were very good reasons for thinking this way.

Charles Murray tallied approximately four thousand first-time accomplishments in history. He found that nearly 100 percent of the scientific and technological breakthroughs in history originated in Europe or North America. He came to the conclusion, which he did not anticipate, that the key to understanding this phenomenon is Christianity.

What Murray said is incontestable, making absurd the statement in the Report that "there is no hierarchy of societies." This is morally and historically indefensible. Are we to believe there is no difference between a society run by Norwegians and one run by Nazis?

Donohue then tried to insist that no children of note died at the schools:

The Report cites not a single person who was killed in the residential schools. So where was the genocide? There are two testimonials about killing in the 535-page Report. One was made by an Indigenous woman who said she witnessed her older brother kill one of her other brothers when she was nine.

The other cites a 2014 document that claims that "1,017 Aboriginal women and girls were killed and 164 were missing." If this is genocide, then it has nothing to do with the residential schools. These killings took place between 1980 and 2012. The residential schools were closed in 1969.

If the residential schools were guilty of genocide, surely the Report would find instances of torture, if not whipping. But no incidents of torture were cited. One instance of whipping was mentioned and it was committed by a government teacher in 1895.

Donohue didn't mention that there are reports of hundreds of children buried in unmarked graves at the school sites ; at least 4,100 children have been confirmed to have died at the schools, and the number may actually be as high as 6,000.

Donohue completed his whitewashing attempt this way:

If we don't distinguish between cultural imperialism and cultural genocide—never mind "genocide"—we are belittling what happened to Jews in Hitler's Germany. We need to stop with the drama and the hyperbole—there was no genocide, cultural or otherwise, in the Canadian residential schools.

So Donohue is embracing racism and imperialism to minimize Catholic involvement in the operation of this schools. Sigh.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2022 12:40 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
MRC Still Hates Griner For Trying To Make More Money Playing Basketball
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the arguments the Media Research Center has used against Brittney Griner to justify her rotting away in a Russian prison is that she shouldn't have been working so hard to make money as an athlete by supplementing her paltry WNBA salary by playing overseas. They're still attacking her for that, and even justifying how low WNBA salaries are.

The MRC's chief Griner-hater, Jay Maxson, used a July 26 post to lash out at sportswriter Stehen A. Crockett Jr. for making the logical point that Griner would not have  to play overseas if she made more here:

After bitterly complaining about hatred for black athletes, Crockett returns to the script: the so-called economic disparity between men’s and women’s sports. Females are forced to eat mystery meat sandwiches, and Stephen Curry makes $471,000 more per game than the WNBA’s annual average salary. Tennis star Roger Federer’s worth is $550 million, and Serena’s is a pathetic $260 million.

Blinded by race, Crockett never comes close to the painful truth of the matter.

Women’s sports do not generate the wealth that men’s sports do, and that’s because far fewer Americans attend women’s athletics or watch them on television. It took decades before a woman could dunk a basketball. Michael Jordan, Hank Aaron, Carl Lewis and Tom Brady were all crushing it in their respective sports, and there’s never been a female athlete or team who could approach their level of play.

[...]

The Left can moan all it wants about hatred for black women, but the facts and figures reveal that Americans realistically view women’s sports as minor league when compared to men’s athletics. With no hatred of black women involved. 

Maxson, meanwhile, has made his (or her) hatred of Griner as a black lesbian athlete all too clear.

Mark Finkelstein repeated the same talking point in a July 30 post, declaring that "the disparity between Griner's salary and that of NBA stars is a function of the free market at work":

Per this article, in a recent year, the NBA generated $7.4 billion in revenue. The WNBA generated. . .. $60 million. That's a ratio of 123:1. 

Per the same article, the average WNBA salary is $71,635. Applying that 123:1 ratio, the average NBA salary would be $8,881,105. But, in fact, NBA players are paid $6.4 million on average. So by that metric, it could be said that it is the NBA players who are underpaid!

WNBA rosters have 12 players. If the players on just one team were paid the $6.4 million NBA average, it would more than wipe out the earnings of the entire league! 

Along similar lines, NBA games in 2021-2022 averaged over 3 million viewers. WNBA games in a recent year averaged 205,000 viewers. And the NBA plays more than five times more games than the WNBA. So the total viewership is even more lopsided.

Neither Maxson nor Finkelstein explain why, exactly, Griner should be satisfied making paltry sums in the WNBA and playing basketball elsewhere was somehow too ambitious for her.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EDT
WND's Root Takes Another Ride On The COVID Conspiracy Train
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Serial COVID misinformer Wayne Allyn Root spewed some more of it in his July 23 WorldNetDaily column:

Yes, you read correctly. There are (so far) 33 friends and relatives dead or sick since our wedding eight months ago. I've done the research. All 33 were vaxxed. Every one of them.

This is a "vaccine death and disease cluster."

This is like the Love Canal, New York, cancer cluster of the 1970s. It can't be ignored when you see so many people dead or very ill in just one group.

You will not be surprised to learnn that Root provides no medical documentation whatsover that any of these people -- let alone all of them -- died because of the COVID vaccines. He continued:

But it has nothing to do with our wedding. Open your eyes. This is happening everywhere. Non-COVID-19 deaths are up dramatically in the United States (and all over the world). Life insurance companies report non-COVID-19 deaths are up 40% or more among young, working-age Americans. Lincoln National reports death benefit payouts are up over 163% in the year since COVID-19 vaccines came out. These are death increases not seen during World War II.

Read the headlines: Every day a new celebrity, actor, rock star, athlete or CEO is dropping dead "suddenly and unexpectedly." Most of them are way too young to die or suffer strokes or heart attacks. I'm betting they all have one thing in common: they are VACCINATED.

He went on to list a number of people who died but, again, offereed no medical documentation that the died from COVID vaccines, or even that they were vaccinated. The ranting continued:

I've personally compiled a detailed list of studies released by governments and medical authorities around the world that all point to three absolute conclusions:

A) The COVID-19 vaccine is a horrible failure.

B) The COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous and deadly.

C) Those who take two or more vaccines may be much more likely to get COVID-19, to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and to die from COVID-19.

But it gets much worse. The vaccinated are dropping like flies from heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer and are being disabled by a multitude of illnesses and diseases.

Two of the latest credible studies show:

The COVID-19 vaccine may damage and destroy the immune system like a form of AIDS.

And, 91% of those in the U.K. who have died of COVID-19 this year are triple or quadruple vaccinated.

Have you heard about these studies in the mainstream media? Why not?

Probably because Root is misrepeanting those studies. In the first item to which Root refers, he links to a comment published in a different medical journal about a study in the medical journal The Lancet which, as Health Feedback documented, misrepresented the results of the Lancet study  which simply documented that COVID vaccines wear off over time.The second, which is not a "credible study" but an article from a trashy UK website, also misrepresents data.

Root then circled back to his own story:

Now we come to my personal story. It's been only eight months since I wed my beautiful bride, Cindy Parker Root. And in that time, people we know and love have been dying and suffering deadly non-COVID-19 illness in huge numbers.

Thirty-three of them.

Thirty-three dead, or injured, crippled or disabled in only eight months. That's a lot of friends and relatives. That's a "death cluster" that should be investigated by scientists, MDs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a story that should garner media headlines. But wait, there's more ...

All 33 were vaccinated.

[...]

ait, here's the clincher. Among my friends and family who are unvaccinated, not one of them has died or been sick since my wedding eight months ago.

Do you detect a pattern here? Even Democrats have to notice a pattern, right? Even Dr. Anthony Fauci has to notice a pattern, right? Even President Joe Biden has to notice a pattern. Well, let's not get carried away. Nursing home patients with dementia can't be expected to understand simple patterns.

Again, Root offers no proof whatsoever to substantiate his claims. Don't forget that Root himself was a COVID superspreader, doing a media tour while hiding the fact he had COVID, and he bragged that nobody wore masks at his wedding even though a new COVID wave was beginning.

Root concluded by ranting: "This is either the biggest health scam and cover-up in world history, or mass murder on a grand scale. Or both." How many people got sick or even died from close proximity to Root during his COVID-infected media tour? That's something he won't be rushing to document.

Root followed up with a July 29 column in which he rehashed his story of people dropping dead of COVID vaccines -- again providing no medical evidence to prove that was the case -- then related the allegedly huge response he got from spreading the story on some right-winger's show on Lindell TV (yes, the MyPillow guy's got a TV channel of some kind. He went on:

At this point, I realized a couple of interesting things. First, I have one heck of a unique story about the COVID-19 vaccine that Americans want and need to hear.

Second, Mike Lindell has been mocked and slandered by the liberal media, but it turns out he is a hero to average, everyday Americans. Based on the remarkable, over-the-top response after my guest appearance, it appears that Lindell has an audience of millions of Americans on his streaming TV network. Lindell TV's audience responds in numbers bigger than Fox News! And the mainstream media haven't got a clue.

Third, because the mainstream media and social media have banned or censored all the government data and studies from across the globe that suggest the COVID-19 vaccine is the worst disaster in the history of health care, it's clear the American people are clamoring to finally hear the raw truth.

So, rather than continue to sit in front of my computer for hours a day sending out my list one by one to thousands of wonderful Americans who want to hear the truth, I've decided to just release the entire list right now, right here, for all the world to see.

I hope you appreciate my thousands of hours of research. I don't believe anyone else has yet compiled it, categorized it and put it in one place for the whole world to see.

I'm not an inventor, or creator, or adventurer. I haven't ever discovered cures for disease. I know my role. I'm a conservative talk-show host. I'm Paul Revere updated for the 21st century. My job is to spread the news, loudly, from the highest mountaintops. Except I've updated Paul Revere's warning from "The British are coming! The British are coming!" to:

"The vaccine is a killer! The vaccine is a killer!"

What Root ended up doing is posting a list of "literally all significant studies and government data releases from across the globe that show once and for all that the COVID-19 vaccine is the most dangerous and deadly disaster in history" on his website.  We don't have time to go through the entire list, but suffice it to say that it's filled with anonymous Substack accounts, discredited "news" sources like LifeSite and the usual misinformer suspects like  Steve Kirsch, Ryan Cole and Robert Malone. It looks like something Root slapped together after a couple hours wading through conspiracy websites than the "thousands of hours of research" he claims he did. 

If you need to see all your COVID conspiracy theories in one place, this is it. Root can be thanked for that, we suppose.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2022 6:09 PM EDT
Newsmax's Attempt To Tell 'Truth' About Trump, National Guard At Capitol Riot Fails Miserably
Topic: Newsmax

A July 26 Newsmax article by Marisa Herman purported to offer "the truth" about Donald Trump's alleged order to deploy the National Guard before the Capitol riot:

If former President Donald Trump's word is not enough, an official Capitol Police timeline and Pentagon memo also back up his assertion that he authorized the use of the National Guard in the days before the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Trump and several of his aides have steadfastly maintained he offered to send at least 10,000 National Guard troops to Washington to aid in crowd control, but his overture was rejected by Congress and D.C. officials.

That version of events has been disputed by the House Jan. 6 select committee — composed entirely of Democrats and Republicans who have criticized Trump. That group has alleged Trump that ultimately instigated what it terms an "insurrection," and committee members argue there is no evidence Trump made such an authorization for National Guard troops, or that anyone stood in the way of an order if one was made.

Trump disputes leading any violent protests and points to a speech just before the Capitol breach at which he urged supporters to protest "peacefully and patriotically."

An official timeline of the events leading up to Jan. 6 that was constructed by the Capitol Police and the Pentagon provides key evidence Trump and his administration took steps to provide National Guard troops and sought to have a peaceful event, contrary to the House committee's claims.

Of course, Trump's word is "not enough" for anything, including this. Herman sought to describe Trump's actions as benignly as possible, claiming that a couple days before the riot, "Trump brought up the number of protesters expected on Jan. 6 and discussed making sure it was a safe event by providing a National Guard presence," which she followed with this:

A Vanity Fair reporter who followed [then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher] Miller in the last weeks of Trump's administration detailed the remark in a report published later. The reporter indicated the exchange took place Jan. 5, while the inspector general placed it on Jan. 3. After discussing Iran, the Vanity Fair report stated that the conversation suddenly "switched gears" when Trump asked Miller how many troops the Pentagon was planning to deploy on Jan. 6.

When Miller told the president they would supply any National Guard support that was requested, Trump replied: "You're going to need 10,000 people." Under the law, a president can authorize the use of the National Guard; however, local officials must request the National Guard for domestic deployment.

All of this is negated by the fact that there is no documented proof that Trump ever issued a formal request for National Guard troops that day. And the same day Herman's article came out, Miller's deposition to the House committee investigating the insurrection was released, in which he made it clear that Trump never formally ordered him to deploy National Guard troops. Herman also completely omitted the fact that for the first three hours as the riot unfolded, Trump did nothing at all -- and he certainly did not order any troops to be deployed.

Herman did not update her article to reflect these facts -- which puts the lie to her claim of offering "the truth."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: More Gun Deflections From The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
How else did the Media Research Center try to distract from gun violence? Quibbling over the definition of a mass shooting, lashing out at Beto O'Rourke and rejecting Matthew McConaughey's unity message, among other things. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
MRC Returning To Squeeing Over Musk, Defending Efforts To Terminate Twitter Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

We noted that the Media Research Center seemed to be backing off its hero worship of Elon Musk after he tried to back out of his deal to buy Twitter for the overpriced amount of $44 billion. Well, the MRC must have read our post, because it started picking up the pace shortly afterwards, embracing Musk's defense of backing out of his Twitter deal and bashing Twitter for trying to enforce it. Autumn Johnson complained in an Aug. 2 item about the latter:

Twitter is figuratively dragging Elon Musk’s friends to court.

The Washington Post on Monday reported that Twitter asked Musk’s friends for “checklists, timelines, presentations, decks, organizational calls, meetings, notes, recordings” and any information about bot or spam accounts on the platform.

The subpoenaed friends include investors Marc Andreessen, David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and Chamath Palihapitiya.

Joe Lonsdale, another Musk associate, also received a subpoena but said he had “nothing to do” with the transaction.

Johnson lovingly detailed Musk's countersuit against Twitter in an Aug. 5 post:

In his countersuit against Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk alleges that the company misled him about the number of spam accounts on the platform.

Insider, which obtained a copy of the countersuit in advance of the October trial, reported Thursday that the 146-page countersuit claims Twitter misrepresented its user metrics to Musk and his team.

NewsBusters reported last month that Musk would file a countersuit after he was sued for backing out of the deal to purchase the platform for $44 billion.

According to Insider, the countersuit says that Twitter’s lawsuit to enforce the deal is "filled with personal attacks against Musk and gaudy rhetoric more directed at a media audience than this court" and "is nothing more than an attempt to distract from these misrepresentations."

"Twitter played a months-long game of hide-and-seek to attempt to run out the clock before the Musk Parties could discern the truth about these representations, which they needed to close,” the lawsuit reportedly says. “The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them."

Johnson censored mention of Twitter's response to Musk's countersuit.

Johnson served up more Musk stenography the next day, touting how he "tweeted early Saturday that his deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion will go through if the company backs up its claims about its number of spam accounts."

Johnson continued being a Musk stan in an Aug. 8 post:

On Saturday, Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate in which the Agrawal would be invested to prove his claims about the number of bot accounts on the platform.

“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Musk tweeted. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!”

He then pinned the tweet to his profile and polled Twitter users on whether Twitter’s claim that less than five percent of its monthly daily active users are “fake/spam” is true. The options were “Yes” with three robot emojis or “Lmaooo no.” 

Approximately 64.9% of users voted no, indicating that survey participants think Twitter is not telling the truth about the bot accounts. In reference to the poll, Musk then proclaimed that “Twitter has spoken.”

Johnson didn't explain why Musk thinks it's a good idea to handle a legal dispute through a debate and a Twitter poll.

Christine Salgado complained that Twitter was doing actual legal-related things to the lawsuit in an Aug. 10 post by subpoenaing Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, boint on to attack "the leftist leadership of Twitter." She didn't provide proof that Twitter's leadership is "leftist."

Johnson returned to cheer a minor court victory for Musk  in an Aug. 17 post:

On Monday, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that Twitter must give Elon Musk documents from its former head of consumer product.

The Verge reported that although Musk requested documents from 22 Twitter employees, the court granted just one of his requests. According to an order obtained by Vox.com, Judge Kathaleen McCormick ordered Twitter to “collect, review, and produce documents from Kayvon Beykpour.”

The court ordered that Twitter produce documents from a previously agreed 41 custodians in addition to Beykpour. "The plaintiff is not required to collect, review, or produce documents from any other of the defendants’ proposed 22 additional custodians," the order reads. "The plaintiff need only collect, review, and produce documents from the 41 custodians to which plaintiff has agreed to date and Mr. Beykpour."

Twitter fired Beykpour in May when company CEO Parag Agrawal decided to “take the [company] in a different direction,” Beykpour tweeted.

Johnson also continued to complain that Twitter was doing the same thing Musk is doing in seeking information from witnesses in an Aug. 20 post under the headline "Twitter Is Harassing Everyone Musk Knows About Deal," repeating how Musk "reportedly complained that Twitter is requesting information from people who know nothing about his deal to purchase the platform." Of course, there's no reason to trust Musk's words at face value, yet Johnson does anyway.

There's still some old-fashion Musk hero worship happening as well. An Aug. 17 post by John Simmons was devoted to recounting how Musk "jokingly claim[ed]" to offer to buy the Manchester United soccer team.

Meanwhile, the MRC didn't say a thing about Musk unironically contributing an opinion piece on using technology "to help achieve a better future for humanity" to a magazine published by the Chinese government agency that oversees online censorship -- you know, the thing Musk proclaims he is going to end by buying Twitter. There was also no mention of the fact that the creator of the online tool Musk is citing as evidence that Twitter has more bot accounts than it claims says that the tool has its limitations and was surprised that the multibillionaire Musk didn't spend actual money to build a more sophisticated tool or hire experts to prove his claim.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2022 10:32 PM EDT
WND Censors The Violent Truth About Whining Insurrectionist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in a July 26 WorldNetDaily article:

One of the protesters caught up in the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol – a man who has not yet been convicted of anything – has unleashed on the federal government during a telephone interview with The Gateway Pundit.

It is Andrew Taake, 33, of Houston, who said in the interview that he'll take punishment if it's something he deserves.

ut he wants those who were on the other side – the side of the government – who violated the law to face their punishments, too.

"I have said since day one, I will stand for my JUST punishment with my head held high, as long as the officer who sprayed me with pepper spray as soon as I walked up near the building smiling and holding my hands up empty gets his due justice. Same for the baton wielding, boot stomping officer who mangled my hand so badly, that I now am faced with having half my ring finger amputated as it is too far gone to ever repair. What about officer Lila Morris who murdered Roseanne Boyland, by beating her relentlessly in the head with a baton (as seen on her own body camera footage I personally have watched), or Lt. Michael Byrd who shot Ashli Babbitt in cold blooded murder? What of the officer I watched time concussion grenades to explode right by peoples’ heads, of which two other protesters were killed, and then lied about saying they died of 'natural causes'? When do the people murdered at the hands of Nancy Pelosi’s Stormtroopers get any justice?"

But Unruh is censoring what Taake did during the insurrection -- and the fact that he was much more than "caught up in ... events." (Yes, Unruh has downgraded the insurrection to an "event."

Taake has been charged with numerous felonies and misdemeanors, including "assaulting, resisting or impeding" law enforcement officers, and the charging document includes pictures of Taake "using what appears to be a metal whip and pepper spray to attack law enforcement officers." Further, Taake effective incriminated himself by bragging about taking part in the insurrection on a dating app, and the target of his failed affection turned him in. He is currently in custody at a federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa., awaiting trial but his lawyers are trying to get him moved to a jail closer to Washington while also trying to negoitate a plea deal.

Much of Unruh's article is devoted to uncritically repeating Taake's rantings about how badly he supposedly is being treated in prison -- apparently oblivious to the fact that it's how most criminals are, in fact, treated and that there's no reason to treat this violent criminal otherwise. Unruh also failed to correct Takke's false assertion that Babbitt was the victim of "cold blooded murder"; in fact, she was a domestic terrorist preparing to rush at law enforcement when she was killed by one of her potential targets.

Unruh also wrote that "One of the schemes of the Biden administration has been to detain offenders suspected of minor crimes such as trespassing without bond – and then not even try to hold trials "until 2023 or later" -- again failing to disclose the violent nature of Taake's crimes, none of which involved being charged with trespassing.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:35 PM EDT
Newsmax Heavily Defended Trump After Mar-a-Lago Search
Topic: Newsmax

When the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort looking for classified documents that he refused to return after leaving the presidency, Newsmax -- one of his most loyal media supporters -- went into freakout mode, cranking out not only Trump's defense but also defenses of him by other Trumpies and attacking the search itself. First up was an Aug. 8 article by Jack Gournell uncriticially quoting unsupported attacks on the raid from Trump and his attorneys as politically motivated. That was followed the rest of the day by a bunch of articles, mostly based on appearances by Trump supporters and lackeys on Newsmax TV, making similar unsupported attacks:

The day after the raid, on Aug. 9, Newsmax remained on spin patrol with an article by Jeffrey Rodack about a video Trump posted seeking to distract from/capitalize on the attention, which he spun as "a campaign-style ad on social media calling America 'a nation in decline,' but vowing it will become great again." That was joined by an article by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy quoting "two prominent Democrat lawyers" issuing tweets suggesting that the raid "could prevent the former chief executive from holding any political office in the U.S." Then came the daily avalanche of Trump lackeys and others in full spin mode:

Newsmax did, however, did attempt a little bit of balance by including points of view that weren't from Trump lackeys:

But it did go into darker territory by attacking the judge who signed off on the search warrant with an Aug. 9 article by Nicole Wells accusing him of having "ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein." Wells didn't mention that Trump also had ties to Epstein, as did a key Trump defender Newsmax has been promoting, Alan Dershowitz.

Newsmax's coverage on Aug. 10 was led by an article by Eric Mack uncritically repeating Trump's unproven allegation that FBI agents planted evidence during the raid. That was followed by the usual daily parade of Trump lackeys:

Newsmax did mix in a couple other articles for the illusion of balance, focuing in part on who among the Trump camp might have alerted the FBI to the documents being improperly stored there:

Still, Newsmax's bias is all too clear -- it loves Trump and it will devote any amount of airtime and website space to defending him no matter what he does.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2022 6:49 PM EDT
CNS Summer Interns Spent Less Time Pestering Members Of Congress Than In The Past
Topic: CNSNews.com

The summer interns at CNSNews.com larely kept themselves busy by pushing right-wing narratives and pretending they were doing journalism -- a change from previous years when their main task was to pester members of Congress with loaded questions (that also pushed right-wing narratives). The interns did manage to squeeze in a few rounds of pestering, though few congresspeople got hit up with the same question. We've already noted one question regarding President Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia and another about minimum ages to purchase guns; here's a summary of what they asked and who the targets were.

“Majority Leader Schumer publicly declared in 2020 that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh had ‘released the whirlwind’ and ‘won’t know what hit them’ if they joined an opinion limiting abortion. Was that appropriate rhetoric for a Senate leader?”

“The Second Amendment gives people the right to keep and bear arms. Should the Constitution be amended to remove it?”

“The Constitution requires that the president must be at least 35 to take office. Do you think that there should be an age maximum?”

“The Women’s Health Protection Act would legalize abortion nationwide. Do you believe killing an unborn child is moral?”

“The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Do you believe that a baby has a right to a mother? Or are two fathers just as good as a mother and a father?”

“CDC data indicate that abortion disproportionately targets black babies. Do you think Congress should do something to protect those babies?”

“Senator, the economy has now contracted for two straight quarters. What do you believe is causing that contraction?”

“Should Speaker Pelosi have gone to Taiwan?”

“There are two babies eight months past conception: One is in the womb; and one is born. Are they both considered ‘persons?’ Or is personhood defined by the baby's location?”

“As the Senate moves on with the CHIPS bill, is there more that should be done to help American manufacturers compete with China?”

“The federal government collected record taxes in the first nine months of this fiscal year, but still ran a $515-billion-dollar deficit. Will Congress ever balance the budget?”

“The Ukrainian Center on Countering Disinformation has compiled a list of people they accuse of promoting Russian propaganda. The list includes a member of Congress and a former member as well. Do you believe that other members of Congress are promoting Russian propaganda about Ukraine?”

As usual the list skews Republican, but the surprise is how many questions were targeted at only one or two members of Congress. It's hard to tell if that was a deliberate strategy or the interns simply running out of time. The pestering is mainly destined for resume-padding when the interns try to find real-life jobs.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2022 8:15 PM EDT

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