WND Flip-Flops, Suddenly Finds A Vaccine It Likes Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has spent the past couple years spreading fear, misinformation and lies about vaccines in general and the COVID vaccines in particular. So it was a bit of a surprise to see this anonymously written Aug. 12 article:
Polio, extremely rare since the disease was virtually eradicated years ago, now has been detected in the sewage system in New York City, alarming state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett, according to a new report.
Bassett said local and federal officials are trying to determine how far it has spread, according to a report from CNBC.
The disease raged across the United States in the 1920s, when the Iron Lung machine was developed to assist breathing for patients who had been paralyzed by the health threat. Those encased a person's body, and created a negative air pressure, essentially "breathing" for the paralyzed victims.
The report noted some 14% of New York City children ages 6 months to 5 years have not finished their vaccination series against polio.
In fact, the report said there are some areas of the city where fewer than 70% of the children have fully vaccinations completed.
There is no cure, and one in 25 infected will develop viral meningitis and one in 200 will be paralyzed.
"The risk to New Yorkers is real but the defense is so simple – get vaccinated against polio," warned New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan.
That's right -- WND has apparently found a vaccine it can support.
Newsmax Kept Up Post-Raid Pro-Trump Stenography Topic: Newsmax
We've documented how Newsmax went into full Trump defense mode immediately after after the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago compound for classifed documents. It continued that defense mode for several days afterward. Its coverage on Aug. 11, three days after the raid, relegated Attorney General Merrick Garland's statement that he approved the raid to a wire story. featured the usual stenography of pro-Trump toadies:
Newsmax did offer a little more balance this day, though: One article noted that "Former White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said 'somebody very close' to Donald Trump tipped off the FBI before the bureau's raid at Mar-a-Lago, another noted a Washington Post report that "classified documents relating to nuclear weapons" were being sought in the search, and yet another article surprisingly highlighted how hated Republican Rep. Liz Cheney "blasted her fellow GOP lawmakers for the ''sickening'' attacks they have directed at the FBI agents who executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, saying the comments are putting lives at risk."
The top stories on Aug. 12 involved the pro-Trump talking point of the day, that the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago were supposedly declassified by Trump before he left office. One article touted how Trump claimed he had "the power to classify and declassify documents," while another, by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy, hyped that "White House documents that former President Donald Trump brought with him to Mar-a-Lago had been declassified, Trump allies said," while burying the balancing viewpoint that "Trump foes, however, reject the notion a president can declassify documents so easily" in the last few paragraphs of the article.McCarthy also whined that "Former CIA Director Michael Hayden made a comment on social media that seemed to promote execution for leakers of nuclear secrets."
Former President Donald Trump said former President Barack Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, many of them classified, and speculated that quite a few pertained to nuclear weapons.
Trumps comments came in a statement released Friday: "President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots."
A New York Post column claimed Tuesday that at the end of his presidency, Obama took 30 million pages of his administration's records, vowing to digitize them and put them online. The column, by author James Bovard, said the National Archives reveals that no pages have been digitized or disclosed.
In fact, the Obama records that were moved to Chicago are unclassified and remain in possession of the National Archives; the classified documents remain at a National Archives facility in Washington, D.C. Obama has no personal possession of any of those documents.
It did, however, also publish a wire story noting a report that "A lawyer for former U.S. President Donald Trump signed a statement in June that said all classified material held in boxes at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence had been returned to the government" -- an apparent false statement, which governmental agencies tend to frown upon.
Even more pro-Trump stenography was delivered on Aug. 14:
There was also an article on a statement by press secretary Karine Jean=Pierre that the White House is not interfering or otherwise "involved" in the investigation into Trump.
On Aug. 15, McCarthy returned to serve up some painfully unironic stenography of Trumpoffering "to do 'whatever I can to help the country' during 'a dangerous time' following the FBI's raid of his Mar-a-Lago home." and that the "temperature has to be brought down" McCarthy didn't mention, of course, that Trump is primarily responsible for raising that temperature -- even though a few hours earlier, he wrote an article touting Trump's inflammatory claim that the raid was "a 'sneak attack on democracy' that was conducted purely for political reasons." The usual cascade of Trump lackeys followed:
Newsmax also served up a reader poll asking if the raid was "an abuse of power" and if FBI director Christopher Wray should resign, adding, "Newsmax will provide the results of this poll to major media outlets. Newsmax's results also will be shared with popular radio talk-show hosts across America." It's a meaningless poll nbecause it's an opt-in poll for a highly biased audience.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Implicitly Blaming Democrats For Federal Spending Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey is continuing his dishonesttradition of implicitly blaming Democrats for spending too much money and taking in too much revenue, even though he refused to offer any blame, implicit or explicit, to Donald Trump and Republicans for high deficits during his adminstration. He wrote in a June 10 article:
The federal government collected a record $3,374,629,000,000 in total taxes in the first eight months of fiscal 2022 (October through May), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
Before this year, the largest October-through-May federal tax collections came in fiscal 2021, when the Treasury collected $2,833,846,070,000 in total taxes in inflation-adjusted May 2022 dollars.
Jeffrey waited until much later in the article to admit that federal spending has actually decreased from last year:
While federal spending has declined this year from last year’s record high, this year’s spending in the first eight months of the fiscal year is still more than the federal government spent in the first eight months of any year prior to fiscal 2020 (when it spent $4,445,575,070,000 in constant May 2020 dollars).
Jeffrey went on to repeat previous complaints that Health and Human Services and Social Security take thelargest chunks of the budget while defense only comes in fourth.
Jeffrey updated the numbers for a July 18 article:
The federal government hauled in a record $3,835,390,000,000 in total taxes in the first nine months of fiscal 2022 (October through June), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
That was up $502,438,730,000—or 15.07 percent—from the then-record $3,332,951,270,000 (in constant June 2022 dollars) that the federal government collected in taxes in the first nine months of fiscal 2021.
Jeffrey repeated his complaint about spending priorities, but he didn't mention that spending has dropped from last year.
The numbers got another update for an Aug. 10 article:
The federal government collected a record $4,104,725,000,000 in total taxes in the first ten months of fiscal 2022 (October through July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
That was up $503,787,000,000—or 13.9 percent—from the then-record $3,600,938,000,000 (in constant July 2022 dollars) that the Treasury collected in taxes in the first ten months of fiscal 2021.
Again, Jeffrey complained about spending priorities but censored that spending is lower than last year.
MRC Flip-Flops On Kansas Abortion Vote Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been more than a bit sensitive about a vote in Kansas on a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the state to ban abortion. When questions rose about the amendment's confusing language -- in which one must vote no to say yes to keeping the current rigtht to an abortion, and vice versa -- Alex Christy rushed to defend it in a July 23 post:
Kansas’s wording is not that confusing. The question is “the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.”
If voters are genuinely confused by the inclusion of word “not,” then right beside the question on the state’s official voter guideon the question is the meaning of yes and no votes. The measure also has to be worded that way, because pro-lifers are seeking to amend the state constitution in response to a Roe-like Kansas Supreme Court ruling.
Christy offered no proof that this was the reason the amendment "has to be worded that way." Indeed, given that the amendment is driven by right-wing anti-abortion ideologues, the confusing language is meant to be deliberate.
Christy returned for serve up the same unsupported defense in an Aug. 2 post complaining that "CNN Newsroom host Alisyn Camerota teamed up with pro-abortion activist Ashley All of Kansas for Constitutional Freedom to accuse pro-lifers of using trickery in the wording of the ballot measure.":
It is one thing to say this could be confusing, it is another to say this was some malicious trick played by pro-lifers, but that is exactly what Camerota suggested, “Is this intentionally convoluted?”
The correct answer is no. The Kansas Constitution, like the federal constitution, does not mention abortion anywhere, but that didn’t stop the state supreme court from saying that it does. Therefore, any amendment to reverse the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling is going to have to include the word “not.” Any confusion is the fault of the activist court.
However, CNN viewers are not provided access to such inconvenient facts.
Again, Christy did not back up his claim, nor did explain how the Kansas Supreme Court was "activist" in issuing its ruling.
When the anti-abortion amendment was decisively defeated, the MRC switched to complaining that the defeat was considered news. Scott Whitlock complained in an Aug 3 post:
On Tuesday, a pro-life referendum in Kansas went down in defeat that would have removed abortion rights from the state’s constitution. Showing that there’s no bigger supporter of the abortion agenda than the liberal media, MSNBC devoted a whopping 65 minutes to touting the vote. And that was just in a 12 hour span.
At 7:21 p.m. Eastern, far-left host Joy Reid talked about Kansas for 10 minutes and 51 seconds. She assailed the threat of violent pro-lifers: “Anti-abortion violence is a current domestic terrorism threat that began in the early 1970s. We're talking vandalism, arson, bombing, along with threats of harassment and intimidation.”
In reality, it’s pro-abortion terror groups like Jane’s Revenge that fire bombed and committed arson against pro-life pregnancy centers. Of course, journalists weren’t interested in covering that.
Curtis Houck similarly complained that news shows were covering news in another post that day, which he bizarrely and hatefully described as a "celebration of murder":
The broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC were ebullient Wednesday morning as they basked in what they deemed a “resounding victory” and “earthquake” for abortion in Kansas as there was a “massive show of support” to defeat a referendum that would have given the state legislature the power to enact pro-life measures in the Sunflower State.
ABC’s Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts hyped that “voters...[made] a statement about abortion rights” that would have “remove[d] protections” for women to kill their unborn child. Currently, Kansas law bans abortion after 20 weeks.
Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos called it a “surprising” result on a referendum that must have “triggered a strong backlash” in “a deep red state where there are far more Republicans than Democrats.”
Nowhere in ABC’s coverage (and on CBS and NBC) was the fact mentioned that not only does Kansas have a Democratic governor, but three of the last five have been Democrats.
When "so-called 'Republican' Ana Navarro" quipped on CNN that the amendment lost because "Republicans have young girls, young daughters who get pregnant too. Because Republicans have mistresses," the humor-impaired Kevin Tober refused to find that funny:
Of course, Navarro never explained how this amendment would take rights away. Neither did she provide any statistics that prove there are enough voters with “mistresses” to defeat a statewide ballot initiative. Nor did she explain what the two have to do with each other.
Nobody should be surprised at Navarro’s hateful and fact-free comments. One only has to be reminded that she once proclaimed that children in foster care and her disabled relatives should’ve been aborted<. This is the kind of person she is. She’s perfect for CNN & The View.
Christy was tapped for an Aug. 4 post again omplaining that news was reported:
The three main broadcast networks spent Thursday morning hyping the defeat of a pro-life Kansas ballot measure as “blowback” for the Supreme Court’s Dobbsruling, left conservatives “flat-footed,” and has the potential to motivate Democrats to vote in November.
CBS Mornings/em> was the worst offender. Host David Begnaud introduced a report by Steven Portnoy by hyping, “The backlash to the Supreme Court's decision to throw Roe v. Wade has taken on new shapes. One day after Kansas voters rejected a measure to remove abortion rights from the state's constitution, President Biden announced a new executive order to assist abortion seekers.”
As part of his recorded report, Portnoy declared, “The loss has left conservatives flat-footed.”
Christy then tried to downplay the importance of the vote by insisting that Kansas merely voted to keep the status quo:
Portnoy also played up the idea that the Kansas vote proves Republicans are in trouble, “he defeat of the proposed constitutional amendment which was aimed at undoing the effects of a state Supreme Court decision girding abortion rights shows not only how the issue has galvanized Democrats, but how it could also threaten Republicans.”
To try to prove his point, Portnoy showed counties that voted for Donald Trump also voted against the amendment. For CBS, this shows abortion is popular, as University of Kansas political science Prof. Patrick Miller explained, “To those of us who watch politics, that abortion is not as polarizing as really we think… On this one issue when they were allowed the opportunity to vote on abortion they did so, and they expressed their preference.”
Kansas voted to leave things the way they are; it did not vote to embrace the Democratic line of no restrictions. If pro-lifers had put forth a more specific question, the results could’ve been very different.
Still, Portnoy then highlighted the four states that will have abortion-related ballot measures in November. One of those is Montana, where “Republicans have proposed an amendment requiring care for any infants that might survive attempted abortions.”
Surely, that cannot be considered controversial. No doubt the media will still try.
Well, yes, it can be considered controversial when those protections already exist and the the apparent goal of such legislation is to scare doctors out of performing abortions.
An Aug. 4 post by Jorge Bonilla began by ranting taht "Univision’s report on the Kansas ballot initiative regarding abortion simultaneously managed to disinform viewers, promote a pro-abortion agenda, and undermine our democratic institutions. It is not surprising, then, that Hispanics continue to lose trust in corporate media." Bonilla then contradicted his employer's previous narrative on ballot language by arguing the initiative lost because anti-abortion activists were confused:
Furthermore, no explanation is given with regard to the confusing ballot language, which was essentially a double negative and could’ve easily led a number of pro-lifers to believe that they were voting to ban abortion.
So now the amendment's language is an issue because anti-abortion forces lost? Bonilla didn't mention that anti-abortion forces wrote the amendment.
WND's 'News' Coverage Of Mar-a-Lago Raid Was Highly Biased Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's sadly indicative of WorldNetDaily's aggressively right-wing bias that its initial "news" story on the Aug. 8 FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound, by Art Moore, leads with several paragraphs of Trump whining about it:
Former President Trump said Monday evening his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, was "under siege" by a "large group" of FBI agents in a predawn raid.
"Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," he wrote in a statement.
"After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate," Trump said. "It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections."
Trump said that such "an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries."
"Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before," Trump said.
He alleged the FBI agents broke into his safe.
What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee?" he asked. "Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States."
Moore's story is filled with quotes of outrage and speculation from Republicans and Trump toadies, including Alan Dershowitz -- he made no effort to quote anyone who wasn't, aside from a mention that "An FBI source confirmed to [Fox News] that FBI agents from Washington, D.C., conducted the raid.
Moore returned to uncritically spout right-wing talking points attacking the judge who signed off on the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago because he allegedly "was a donor to President Obama and represented employees of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein." Moore didn't mention that Dershowitz, whom he quoted in his initial article, was Epstein's defense attorney and, thus, has a much closer connection to Epstein than the judge did -- indeed, he was the guy who engineered "the controversial 2007 deal that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges rather than federal crimes" that Moore referenced in this article. Funny that Moore didn't mention any of that when quoting Dershowitz defending Trump.
Unruh echoed his hyping of Kerik in an Aug. 12 article under the alarmist headline "Leftists now suggesting executions over Mar-a-Lago raid":
Kerik said he was "deathly afraid" for the former president when federal authorities, weaponized against their political foes by the Biden administration, went to Mar-a-Lago.
Those fears gained added substance on Friday when Michael Hayden, a government official under George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, "responded approvingly" to social media demands for "executions" for those who "spill nuclear secrets."
There have been claims that the FBI raided Trump's home in search of documents containing nuclear secrets. There also have been claims the FBI was there to hunt for anything Democrats could use against Trump in 2024, that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago and even that the FBI planted listening devices there.
It is former CIA chief Michael Hayden who went on social media to endorse a suggestion for "executions" for those who spill nuclear weapons.
Unruh didn't explain how, exactly, a former CIA chief could be considered a "leftist" beyond noting that he endorsed Biden for president in 2020.
MRC's Transgender Meltdown, AP Stylebook Edition Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's hatredoftransgenderpeople extends to being mad that the Associated Press will treat them with respect by using respectful words -- which, of course, Tim Graham frames as "trans activist terminology" in a July 25 post:
Abigail Anthony at National Review reports The Associated Press Stylebook, the longtime style manual for most news organizations, has issued a “Topical Guide” for transgender coverage that encourages writers to use “unbiased language” and to “avoid false balance [by] giving a platform to unqualified claims or sources in the guise of balancing a story by including all views.”
You know there’s a heavy dose of politics when they claim it’s “unbiased” to “avoid false balance.”
Of course, the agenda of Graham and the MRC is to politicize journalism and treat everything journalists do that don't advance right-wing narratives as "biased."
When the AP stated that "A person’s sex and gender are usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants and can turn out to be inaccurate" and that "Experts say gender is a spectrum," Graham raged in response:
The gender “assigned at birth” is merely a social construct that can “turn out to be inaccurate.” Remember that AP sells itself to the public as “Advancing the Power of Facts.” When they consult "Experts," then "Facts" go out the window. In 2017, the AP Stylebook commissars embraced “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun.
Graham then complained that right-wingers like him hate transgender people:
The AP explicitly sides against conservatives. A section on “legislation” explains: “Starting in 2020, conservative-leaning U.S. state legislatures began considering a wave of bills aimed at transgender youths. Many political observers assert that the legislation is being used to motivate voters by falsely framing children as under threat.” This is an interesting claim, since transgender activists routinely frame any opposition to their agenda with threatening 'trans' children with suicidal thoughts.
Graham never explained what the transgender "agenda" is, nor did he admit that conservatives have an anti-transgender agenda. He went on to grumble that "In today's leftist media, the 'marginalized' people are the powerful influencers, which means 'marginalized' isn't an accurate term, either," without mentioning that he gets paid to try and keep transgender people marginalized.
Grahanm concluded by ranting some more:
The most Orwellian terminology is describing hormone treatments and even the amputations of breasts or penises as “gender-confirmation procedures” and “gender-affirming care.” the guide explains that “treatments can improve psychological well-being and reduce suicidal behavior.” AP will insist everyone ignore examples of people who were more suicidal after gender-denial surgery.
Graham linked to a 2021 piece by subordinate Curtis Houck in which he maliciousluy smeared people who raised concerns about a "60 Minutes" piece on transgender people who de-transitioned as "Woke-O-Haram" -- as in the terrorist group Boko Haram. Who's the one pushing an "agenda" here, Tim?
Graham frequently gets mad when non-right-wing media outlets don't use biased right-wing terminology. We recently caught him trying to Heather Fox News for the sin of using the universally mediall term "fetus" to describe a fetus.
NEW ARTICLE: The Gun Defenders At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Following in the footsteps of its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com spent its time following a rash of gun massacres trying to defend guns and deflecting criticism of the right-wing-beloved race-oriented replacement theory. Read more >>
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Curtis Houck began his attack on Karine Jean-Pierre's Aug. 24 White House press briefing by unironically whining: "Thanks to President Biden’s seemingly endless vacations, Wednesday marked the first White House press briefing in 15 days." Houck never complained that White House briefings under Donald Trump were irregular at best -- with one press secretary refusing to hold any briefings at all -- and we don't recall him complaining about how much time Trump spent away from the White House at his properties. From there, it was back to his usual smears that Jean-Pierre was "stammering" and lacking "succinctness" while praising right-wing reporters Peter Doocy and Philip Wegmann as being "locked and loaded":
Wegmann got her [sic] turn in the first portion of the briefing with NEC Deputy Director Bharat Ramamurti when he asked Ramamurti whether it’s“really bottom up, middle out” considering the fact that they “structure[d] this policy in a way that would provide up to $40,000 in debt [relief] for a married couple making up to $249,000.”
Once her crutches (i.e. Ramamurti and [Domestic Policy Advisor Susan] Rice) were taken away, Jean-Pierre was on her own. Doocy eventually got his crack and, like usual, started with a short question: “[H]ow can the country afford such a massive handout?”
Jean-Pierre actually had the gall to reply that “Ambassador Rice said that she’s happy to have that discussion” and that it’s because Biden “brought down the deficit” by “$1.7 trillion” “at the end of the fiscal year.”
Doocy countered: “And might spend $300 to $900 billion extra. So you can do that and not increase the deficit?”
Jean-Pierre had already run out of bullets, so she spent the remaining three-plus minutes with Doocy insisting “we are doing this responsibly” as it’s &ldDoocy kept asking who’d cover the tab for these student loan wipeouts, but she had nothing [.]
With that filibustering answer at the end, Doocy interjected to put a stop to this and asked six more times, but all Jean-Pierre could utter was that she had “laid out” how it’ll be done[.]
As if Doocy asking the same question six more times because he didn't like the answer he was given wasn't its own form of filibustering.
Houck wsent on the attack again over the Aug. 25 briefing:
Thursday’s White House press briefing represented the massive political landmine that’s become the Biden administration’s plan to forgive $10 to $20 million in student loans for Americans making under $125,000 as, for the second day in a row, reporters from across the political spectrum had serious concerns about its legality, purpose, and rollout.
Actually, it's $10,000 to $20,000 -- so much for attention to factual accuracy, which surely translates to giving readers no reason to trust his highly biased attacks on Jewn-Pierre. Indeed, Houck blew past his factual error to fluff another right-wing reporter for spouting biased talking points:
Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich got her first crack at Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a some time by pointing out a basic truth about the disconnect between the alleged legal justification for the bailout and the administration’s rhetoric about the pandemic:
The Heroes Act hinges on student debt cancellation being tied to the pandemic and that being a national emergency, but the administration argued in court that the pandemic is over at the southern border to lift Title 42. It’s so over that the government is going to stop buying vaccines in the fall and shift to the private sector.
“[H]ow is COVID a national emergency when it comes to student debt,” she asked.
Jean-Pierre insisted “it’s a good question and I’m glad you asked it,” explaining the Heroes Act (which was enacted after 9/11 for first responders) fit “because there are going to be some people when we lift the pause that's still going to suffer” with their remaining student loan payments.
Heinrich asked if it’s due to the economy, but Jean-Pierre insisted it was based on their earnings versus the payments since “the economy has been turned back on because of the work that this President has done.”
Jean-Pierre inadvertently walked right into Heinrich’s next point:
[T]he President often says...we're not in a recession because we've got...record job market, record low unemployment, businesses investing in America at record rates. So why are those appropriate conditions to forgive student debt?
Despite the record inflation and high gas prices, the press secretary acted as though Heinrich had done her a favor and thanked her “for laying out all the work that the President has done.”
Heinrich closed with the reality that even the liberal “Washington Post editorial board says that...it, you know, takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up workers who didn’t go to college, to subsidize education debt of people with valuable degrees.”
Heinrich added how, beyond that, “there are critics that are saying this is not about the pandemic. It’s not about those conditions. This is about getting people to vote ahead of the midterms, that the real national emergency is Democrats in the midterm elections.”
Jean-Pierre hit back that she “disagree[s] with everything that you just laid out” and noted that some Democrats are unhappy because it wasn’t big enough.
The MRC was cointinuing to denigrate Jean-Pierre's TV appearances as well. Kevin Tober huffed in an Aug. 25 post:
On CNN’s Don Lemon Tonight on CNN, host Don Lemon asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to explain what President Joe Biden meant when he accused Republicans of holding a political philosophy of “semi-fascism.” Since nobody in the country including, presumably, the President knows what that means, Lemon thought it would be wise to ask his spokesperson Jean-Pierre. Unfortunately for Lemon, it was clear she was struggling to define it as well.
Lemon got right to the question at the beginning of the interview: “the President likened what he called extreme MAGA philosophy to semi-fascism. What exactly is semi-fascism, Karine?”
Jean-Pierre went into a long monologue about what Biden has allegedly done for the country:
Clearly frustrated with her filibustering and avoiding the question posed to her, Lemon interjected “with all due respect. We have a short amount of time. I want to get to all those things But if you'll answer my question, we can get to those things.”
Instead of answering, Jean-Pierre got snotty with Lemon shrieking “by having this back and forth we are actually taking away from the time.”
Jean-Pierre falsely claimed Republicans are “attacking our democracy, they are taking away our freedom, and they are trying to put on the chopping blocks Medicare and Social Security.”
Despite her lies and not actually defining what “semi-fascism” is, Lemon responded, “thank you for answering that question.”
Tober didn't disprove any of the alleged "lies" Jean-Pierre told.
CNS Still Treating Chicago Crime As An (Intermittent) Political Issue Topic: CNSNews.com
As we detailed last year, CNSNews.com loves to invoke crime in big cities -- and particularly in Chicago -- as a way to accuse non-right-wing politicians and prosecutors of being purportedly "soft on crime." It did so last summer in an article popsted just a week after we posted our analysis of its highly selective crime coverage, with the headline "Chicago Weekend: 77 People Shot, 5 Dead." Craig Bannister followed a couple weeks later in a July 2021 article, writing that "Homicides and gang violence are so out of control in Chicago that the city needs federal and state help, political commentator and Journalist Geraldo Rivera said Monday," adding reports from another biased source: "As Fox News reported Monday, at least 40 people were shot, 11 fatally, in Chicago over the weekend."
CNS then got bored with the issue for a while, until Bannister located a Republican politician who found it useful in an April 26 article:
“We’re going backwards here on crime, general,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland during Monday's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.
Using rampant killings in Chicago as an example, Sen. Kennedy pressed Garland on his failure to recommend a policy of “stop, question and frisk” to state and local law enforcement and officials:
Garland replied by saying the federal government doesn’t get involved in policing at the state and local levels:
Bannister then hyped how Kennedy interrupted Garland to demand a different answer then the accurate one he gave.
For a May 27 article, Bannister found some Chicago crime he apparently approved of, since the victims were members of the media that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, exists to heap hatred upon:
As Fox 32’s “Good Day Chicago” was in the middle of a live broadcast Thursday, about the steep rise in gun violence in the city, a pedestrian walked on-camera and pointed what appears to be a gun at the camera, crew and reporter.
“Around 7 a.m., at the corner of Clark and Hubbard, while our reporter was in the middle of a live report about Chicago gun violence, a man walked up and pointed what appeared to be a firearm at our crew,” Fox 32 reports.
“Good Day Chicago’s” Joanie Lum was reporting on the 66% surge in shooting incidents in the city from 2019 to 2021 when the unidentified man came up from behind and, apparently, pointed a gun.
After skipping down the sidewalk, the man then stops and points the object in his hand at something across the street, before continuing on.
Melanie Arter sent more love Fox News' way in a June 3 article:
When asked Thursday what gun laws would have prevented 47 people from being shot in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre cited red flag laws, which allow the police or family members to petition the court to take away guns from someone deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
“You got Chicago, for example. They already have plenty of very strict gun laws — some of the strictest in the country. Forty-seven people shot there over the Memorial Day weekend. Nine of them died. So, which law would have prevented any of that? Do we think that all these people in Chicago who are shooting each other are legally buying their guns?” Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked.
Arter didn't explain her impication that Jean-Pierre is wrong.
The worlds of Fox News and Chicago crime merged again in a July 7 article by intern Stephanie Samsel:
Following the murder of his younger brother in Chicago in June, Fox News political analyst Gianno Caldwell pleaded for justice amidst weekly reports of violence, stating, “Living in Chicago should not come with a death warrant.”
Caldwell condemned the city’s “soft-on-crime policies” and called for reversing some of them, a move he told Fox News “could have prevented [his] brother’s death.”
Samsel didn't fact-check anything Caldwell said.
Another intern, Lucy Collins, crannked out a summer of weekend crime in Chicago for an Aug. 8 article:
Fifty-four people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, leaving eight dead and 46 wounded. Police Superintendent David Brown acknowledged the spike in violent crime and said, “Every neighborhood is seeking more and more police officers right now.”
Brown has pledged increased police presence in Chicago’s public transportation system but has faced criticism for a recent policy change that some claim will “handcuff” the police. There have been 399 homicides in Chicago so far in 2022.
Collins did eventually get round to explaining that policy:
Superintendent Brown faced criticism earlier this summer, when his department released a new policy that limits when police officers are allowed to engage in foot pursuits. The new policy requires that the chase only be done “if they believe a person is committing or is about to commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor such as domestic battery, or a serious traffic offense that could risk injuring others, such as drunken driving or street racing.”
This policy was enacted a year after two Chicago police chases ended in the deaths of a 13-year-old suspect and a 22-year-old, both of whom were fleeing from police and were armed.
Collins went on to repeat Caldwell's criticism of purportedly "soft on crime" Chicago officials, without explaining how it's "soft on crime" to have a policy against a suspect for a minor offense without a trial.
Nixon Revisionism: MRC Cheers His Media Hatred, Complains That He Was Besmirched Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been peddling Watergaterevisionism for some time in order to portray Richard Nixon as a victim. Mark Fionkelstein served up a mocking version of this in a July 12 post in a discussion of Donald Trump's apparent crimes:
Those old enough to remember Watergate, or who have studied it, know just how hyperbolic the liberal media and the Democrats were in terms of the threat to democracy they claimed Nixon posed.
As you'll see, the liberal media are now prepared to let Nixon off with a parking ticket! Liberals today are happy to soft-pedal the seriousness of Nixon's misconduct—in order to emphasize the gravity of Trump's alleged culpability for January 6th.
Going hand in hand with that is Nixon revisionism. A July 16 post by Scott Whitlock recalled Nixon's petulant 1962 press conference after his loss in an election for California, the one on which he infamously whined that "you don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."Whitlock didn't mention that or his overall petulance, of course; the point was to proclaim that Nixon was right about media bias:
As conservatives gear up for a contentious midterm election, Republicans such as Ron DeSantis have been battling the bias and dishonesty of the press. As those on the right know, it’s not a new complaint. But it predates 2022, as well as Donald Trump, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. Way back on election night in 1962, after Richard Nixon lost his bid to be governor of California, he called out the liberal slant of the press.
In the so-called “last press conference,” Nixon blasted the assembled reporters, highlighting his days as an anti-communist crusader: “For 16 years, ever since the Hiss case, you've had a lot of- a lot of fun...You've had an opportunity to attack me and I think I've given as good as I've taken.” He lectured the press: “If they're against a candidate, give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.”
Showing just how long the liberal press has been a problem, Nixon argued:
I would hope that in the future, as a result of this campaign, that perhaps they would try at least simply to see that what both candidates say is reported, that if they have questions to ask of one candidate they ask the same questions of the other candidate.
Whitlock didn't mention that Nixon "acknowledged well into his remarks that the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 did not allow his campaign to get his message across during the final two weeks in his election bid" -- which would seem to undercut his media bias complaint.
When Nixon was unflatteringly depicted in a TV miniseries, Whitlock returned to comolain in a July 30 post:
The vile new TV series Gaslight has mercifully ended. The show, centered around Richard Nixon and the Watergate burglary, went out in gross fashion. Even considering how Hollywood hates Republicans, the Starz serieswent way beyond, finding it necessary to feature Nixon farting, showering, and a shot of his bare behind.
Those images, such as a scene of Nixon tucking his t-shirt into his underwear, were contrasted with shots of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the overall grandeur of the White House.
In case you were too dense to understand the metaphor, the show’s creators decided to spell it our for you. Farting/naked Nixon was unworthy of such a high office. Get it?
First, Whitlock got the name of the series wrong -- it's called "Gaslit." Second, rather than engage in any actual defense of Nixon -- perhaps because he knows he can't -- Whitlock instead plays whataboutism by detailing "a few of the things alleged sex predator John F. Kennedy is accused of doing in the White House." Which would make sense if JFK was mentioned in any form in the miniseries -- but he offers no evidence of that. Instead, more whining ensued:
In 2011, the History Channel willfully complied with the Kennedy family to remove a miniseries that portrayed the family negatively. It wasn’t until 2018 that Hollywood got around to making a movie about Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick.
So don’t expect a movie or TV series tearing down JFK as a bullying, disgusting sex monster who destroyed the majesty and dignity of the White House. The legend must be preserved.
Whitlock, by the way, did not explain exactly what was "vile" about the series -- no MRC writer reviewed it, let alone complained about it.
Larry Elder Still Engaging In Trump Revisionism Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Larry Elder is a Donald Trump suck-up and apologist who has pretended that Trump didn't mock a disabled reporter and didn't praise neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. He took another stab at Trump revisionnism in his July 27 column:
In an editorial called "Trump's Silence on Jan 6 Is Damning," the New York Post wrote: "His only focus was to find any means – damn the consequences – to block the peaceful transfer of power. There is no other explanation, just as there is no defense, for his refusal to stop the violence. It's up to the Justice Department to decide if this is a crime. But as a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country's chief executive again."
Former President Donald Trump felt robbed, understandably so. NPR's Domenico Montanaro said, "Just 44,000 votes in Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin separated Biden and Trump from a tie in the Electoral College."
Elder rehashed the usual attacks on mailing ballots to all voters in Michigan and greater access to drop boxes, complaining that the Trump campaign's challenges to them were dismissed on procedural grounds -- but offered no proof that any of those things resulted in any election fraud.
Elder then insisted that Trump did no incite the riot by citing ... another Trumo yes-man:
As to fomenting an "insurrection," Kash Patel, chief of staff for the acting secretary of defense, said that on Jan. 4, "Mr. Trump unequivocally authorized up to 20,000 National Guardsmen and women for us to utilize should the second part of the law, the request, come in. But those requests never did." Patel says he testified under oath to the Jan. 6 committee that he was in the room when Trump made this authorization.
What part of "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard" – as Trump said in his Jan. 6 speech – do the Jan. 6 committee members not understand? Yes, the speech ended with, "We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." But politicians have long used rhetoric like "We're going to fight," or "We're going to take back America," or "This is war."
Trump made unsuccessful legal arguments against the certification of the election, as did congressional Democrats following the presidential elections of 2000, 2004 and 2016. But when they did so, the media did not characterize them as "undermining our democracy."
Perhaps because Democrats kept their objections in the proper legal venues, accepted the results and did not incite a riot inside the Capitol to attempt to overthrow the election.
MRC Gloats Over Stelter's Departure From CNN Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has hated CNN's Brian Stelter for year for daring to criticize right-wing media in general and Fox News in particular, and it has not-so-quietly begged for CNN to fire him for those offenses. A February post by Kyle Drennen hyped a an anonymously sourced Fox News report calling for Stelter's firing over "not exposing CNN president Jeff Zucker’s romantic relationship with another high-ranking colleague." On June 7 -- a day after he whined that Stelter was telling Fox News what to cover (as if the MRC doesn't repeatedly tell the non-right-wing media what to cover?) Tim Graham hyped a report that CNN's new owners and bosses were planning to fire Stelter "if he can’t adopt CNN’s new tone of being more straight-ahead news and less partisan trash talk" (a complaint we don't recall Graham ever making about Fox News).
So when CNN did, in fact, fire Stelter and cancel his show "Reliable Sources," it was like Christmas at the MRC, except with more giddy gloating. Curtis Houck rejoiced in an Aug. 18 post:
CNN’s chief media correspondent and liberal media janitor Brian Stelter — perhaps one of the most polarizing liberal journalists of all-time —is being pushed out of the network and his show Reliable Sources being cancelled following a final episode this coming Sunday.
Stelter confirmed the news Thursday to NPR media reporter and fellow lefty David Folkenflik, saying he was proud of his work that showcased “the media, truth and the stories that shape our world.”
According to Folkenflik, the decision to move on from Stelter came down late Wednesday from new CNN boss Chris Licht, who’s promised to make changes to the network (see here, here, here, and here) following years of sagging ratings and exponential levels of partisanship under former puppetmaster Jeff Zucker.
Yes, Houck is still using the anti-Semitic "puppetmaster" slur against the Jewish Zucker., with bonus points for the hateful "media janitor" smear of Stelter. And, yes, the right-wing media bubble would find a critic of said bubble to be "polarizing."
Graham quickly pounded out an Aug. 19 column taking some of his last shots, rehashing old complaints about CNN's promotion of Michael Avenatti (as if the MRC and Fox News didn't promote its own off-the-rails lawyer in L. Lin Wood) and didn't call out hyperbole on CNN -- then played whataboutism to avoid having to express offense to hyperbole on Fox News:
On June 27, 2021, after watching a pile of Sean Hannity shows, he disparaged Hannity for uncorking a montage of words like "socialist, stalker, weak, failure, shameless, psychotic, indoctrination, hell holes." But in the same segment, Stelter used "authoritarian, poisonous, abusive, propaganda, Big Lie, filth." He proclaimed Hannity wasn’t offering “opnion,” he was offering “poison.” Did Stelter ever reflect on his own harsh verbiage?
CNN launched a ridiculous “Facts First” advertising campaign as it veered ever more heavily into opinion. But Stelter underlined the arrogance: “We’re not anti-Trump. We’re pro-truth.” When Kellyanne Conway referred to his side of the aisle, Stelter acted offended: “I’m not on a side of the aisle.”
CNN has a long way to go to get out of its “side of the aisle.”
Graham has never demanded the same from Fox News, which delegitimizes his attacks on Stelter.
Geoffrey Dickens followed with a roundup post purporting to detail "Stelter's ludicrousness," further alleging that Stelter "ineptly attempted to play the role of objective media critic" and "exposed his leftist bias in his copious criticisms of Republicans and news outlets (like Fox News) that refused to carry water for Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden." Dickens didn't complain about right-wqing media critics who issued copious criticisms of outlets that refused to carry water for Donald Trump -- perhaps because carrying water for Trump was (and remains) the MRC's main mission.
We won’t have Brian Stelter to kick around anymore because Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN is officially no more. This last episode of Reliable Sources did have plenty of cringeworthy moments and leftist chest pounding over the media’s failure to go after “anti-democratic” Republicans enough.
Stelter sent shockwaves throughout the nation with the horrifying admission that his show is “a part of journalism school curriculum” and that “teachers use segments from this show all the time in classrooms, in lessons, guiding and teaching the next generation.”
Unless teachers use Stelter’s show as an example of what not to do as a journalist, the journalism profession is in more trouble than originally thought.
Perhaps proving why the show was canceled in the first place, Stelter brought on disgraced Watergate-era journalist Carl Bernstein who wailed that the media needs to cover how “the pendulum [is] swinging against democracy all over the world.”
If there was any doubt that Stelter believes his show is more important than it is, he showed it in his closing remarks where he claimed “I believe America needs CNN to be strong. I believe the free world needs CNN to be strong. And it will continue to be. Because all of us are going to help make that happen. The free world needs a reliable source.”
Apparently, CNN doesn’t think the free world needs a reliable source because they canceled his show. Or perhaps CNN knows there was nothing reliable about Stelter’s “ Reliable Sources.”
Goodbye Stelter! You won’t be missed.
Tober followed up with another post hyping attacks on Stelter from Fox News' Howard Kurtz:
The news of CNN canceling Brian Stelter’s Reliable Sources wasn’t just relegated to chatter on CNN, towards the end of the only other national media analysis show MediaBuzz on the Fox News Channel, host Howard Kurtz had his own thoughts to share. What many people may not remember is Kurtz hosted CNN’s Reliable Sourcesbefore Stelter took the reins and ruined the show’s reputation. So it’s fitting that he spoke out about the show’s inevitable demise.
Kurtz started by informing viewers why he’s kept quiet about CNN’s Reliable Sources since coming to Fox: “When I came to Fox nine years ago to launchMediaBuzz, I made it a personal policy not to talk about the rival show on CNN. Well, that program has now been canceled.”
Quick not to look like he’s gloating, Kurtz quickly followed up by noting “TV is a tough business. Ratings bounce around, talents get let go, including hard working staffers, so I'm not going to get personal, not going to knock anybody, just wish them well.”
Kurtz ended by gloating that his show is the last media analysis show standing: “We've shown there's a loyal audience that grades fairness over partisanship. So now there's only one media analysis program on national television, and you're watching it.”
Well deserved! Congratulations to Howard Kurtz and the entire Fox News team! This shows viewers want serious media analysis and criticism, not someone who will defend the media and apologize for them even if they’re wrong.
Tober isn't going to complain about the right-wing, pro-Fox News bias of Kurtz and his show -- perhaps because that bias is one the MRC heartily approves.
Desperate to attack anyone who would dare to say nice things about Stelter, Clay Waters devoted an Aug. 31 post to complaining that a writer at Slate lamented Stelter's firing:
After CNN’s new ownership cancelled its media news show Reliable Sources and fired its host, the reliably liberal Brian Stelter, Slate magazine’s Justin Peters came to Stelter’s defense, while bashing his many conservative critics as “bad-faith” actors, in “A Reliable Source of Concern -- Why Brian Stelter’s axing is a very bad omen for CNN.”
New CNN chief Chris Licht is moving away from liberal opinion toward a more balanced news product, which spelled doom for Stelter, who took over Reliable Sources in 2013 but came into his fiery own when Donald Trump entered presidential politics, giving him a villain to focus on along with Fox News.
Meanwhile, Stelter made no efforts to hold his own network accountable, skipping former chief executive Jeff Zucker’s personal and professional controversies, but remaining fixated on Fox -- as is Peters himself, judging by his oeuvre.
Waters didn't explain why Stelter's "conservative critics" -- you know, like him -- are not bad-faith actors.
CNS Marks Ex-Reporter's Death By Recounting A Manufactured Controversy Topic: CNSNews.com
When former CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr -- who moved on to Breitbart -- died in mid-August, her former employer's first attempt at a tribute was to repost a 2010 article by her in which she "discovered that the National Portrait Gallery was hosting a Christmas-season exhibit that featured an ant-covered Jesus."
We remember that story well. As we documented at the time, it was a completely manufactured controversy from a reporter known for manufacturing controversies. By using right-wing buzzwords like "homoerotic" and "ant-covered Jesus," Starr was able -- with a little help from the outrage machine of CNS' parewnt, the Media Research Center -- to turn it into a culture-war issue. She also spammed Republican congressmen with emails hyping the story to draw responses from them demanding that the exhibite be censored and shut down. The controversy provided a platform for right-wingers like her boss, MRC chief Brent Bozell, to spew homophobia and engage in rants that stereotyped LGBT people, while omitting the fact that the person who manufactured the controversy was on his payroll.
Starr got a more formal obituary in an Aug. 15 article by Craig Bannister:
Veteran Investigative Reporter Penny Starr, who spent a decade with CNSNews.com exposing news that drove the national debate, died over the weekend, following a bout with cancer.
On Monday, Breitbart.com was the first to report of her death. She joined Breitbart in December of 2017, following ten years with the Media Research Center’s (MRC) CNSNews.com news division. When she joined CNSNews.com, she had more than 25 years of experience in print journalism.
Bannister rehashed the bogus art exhibit story, as well as some of her other alleged greatest hits, with added comments like these:
“Penny was a hard-working journalist and unabashed conservative. She wanted to make an impact with her reporting and the movement needs more like her,” former MRC colleague and current Fox News Digital freelance Opinion Editor Dan Gainor said Monday.
Starr's use to the conservative movement was as a propagandist -- and, as such, she could never be considered a true "investigative reporter" since she only "investigated" things that advanced her ideology.She cared about reporting only certain truths, not anything that reflected badly on her fellow right-wingers.
MRC Finds 'BIG TECH COLLUSION' In Axios Sale Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really hates it when successful non-right-wing media operations demonstrate their success by being sold to other people. When Politico was sold to German publisher Axel Springer last fall, the MRC desperately tried to portray Politico as "left-wing" and its new owner as similarly oriented -- even though the company is on record as publishing conservative newspapers in Germany and and starting a Fox News-esque cable TV operation. When the online news operation Axios (coincidentally, founded by the same people who founded Politico) was sold to Cox Media Group, an Aug. 9 post by Catherine Salgado carried the screaming headline "BIG TECH COLLUSION?" How? Because Facebook is a sponsor of Axios' email newsletters:
Meta (Facebook) helped liberal outlet Axios’ growth allowing it to secure a $525 million sale price, part of a wider problem of tech companies funding D.C. media outlets, according to a new report.
Facebook helped recent media startup Axios sell itself to Cox Enterprises for $525 million only five years after Axios’ founding, according to Vox’s Peter Kafka. Tech companies are “pouring” money into Washington, D.C. media organizations, Kafka reported.
Axios is “a five-year-old media startup, backed by venture capital, that succeeded journalistically and financially,” Vox explained. The culmination of that financial success was the Cox purchase. Vox said that tech companies, including Meta and Google’s parent Alphabet, have been funding “digital publishers” focused on D.C. recently in an effort to repair their reputations. Axios isn’t alone. Liberal outlets like Politico and Punchbowl News are also among the media organizations that received tech company funding, Kafka wrote.
How typical that Salgado thinks any non-right-wing outlet cannot possibly make it on their own without help from "big tech" -- ironic, since major right-wing publications like the Washington Times and the New York Post are money-losers that in business only through the grace of rich, ideologically motivated owners (and her own paycheck depends on the good graces of right-wing moneybags like Rebekah Mercer).
Salgado then tried to tar Axios with the "leftist" tag, using two incredibly lame examples:
Axios is a leftist news outlet, that has demonstrated bias multiple times. Axios claimed the New York Post’s report on the now New York Times-authenticated Hunter Biden scandals “rings all the foreign-disinformation alarms in the book.” Axios also urged families in 2021 to have Thanksgiving “bouncers” to deny entry to any holiday guests who would not show a negative COVID-19 test.
Salgado didn't mention the pertinent fact that the Post offered no independent authentication of Hunter's laptop at the time of publication before the 2020 election, and the story's origin among right-wing fever swamps like the Post and Trump operatives like Rudy Giuliani provided no reason to take it at face value. She also didn't explain how taking care to avoid contact with possibly infected people in the middle of a pandemic is inherently "leftist."
Salgado went on to accuse Axios of the grave offense of [checks notes] selling ads:
While Big Tech companies like Facebook parent Meta make billions of dollars every year, publishers like Axios can thrive on the portion of tech companies’ profits spent on ads. Axios can allegedly charge as much as $300,000 for a week-long ad campaign, Kafka wrote.
Kafka also noted that various companies’ “corporate responsibility ads” in D.C. publications may account for $350 million spent yearly, with as much as one-third of that coming from tech companies.
Um, isn't that called capitalism? We thought the MRC liked capitalism.