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Sunday, September 18, 2022
MRC Smears Businesses Who Cover Abortion (And The Women Themselves) As Serving Moloch
Topic: Media Research Center

In a 2012 Media Research Center post, Paul Wilson was offended that a Washington Post opinion piece after the Sandy Hook gun massacre referenced another opinion piece that described America's gun culture as "our Moloch," whining that teh gun lobby was described as "sacrificing children to a pagan god" and "American gun-owners as idolaters." But Wilson pointed the way to how his fellow right-wingers should properly use the reference: "But the “Moloch” rhetoric might come with more weight from a woman who doesn’t actively defend the murder of thousands of children in the womb each day."

The MRC eventually started leaning into that attack. An October 2021 post by Matt Philbin touted a highly restrictive Texas anti-abortion law: 'The law has all the usual feminists, sexual revolutionaries and Moloch worshipers in a tizzy."

After the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, the MRC -- already anti-abortion extremists to the point that it endorses an Orwellian surveillance state for women who might cross state lines to have one -- ran with the narrative that supporting abortion, and having one, was the equivalent of making sacrifices to Moloch. A May 12 post by Matt Philbin invented what he called the "Moloch List" of businesses who would pay travel expenses for employees who have abortions:

Abortion as an employment benefit? If you work for the right companies. Whether the Dobbsdecision reverses Roe v. Wade or not, the left’s meltdown over the draft decision has offered some big corporations a new way to virtue signal. They’re boasting that if employees must travel out of state to obtain legal abortions, the companies will pick up the travel costs. 

So far, they’re mostly the Big Tech usual suspects, but some other industries represented on the Moloch List. The list is probably incomplete and the number of companies subsidizing infanticide will, tragically, grow.

Michael Ippolito bumped up the number to the "Moloch 20" in a June 27 post:

With the left completely melting down over Roe v. Wade, woke corporations have found a new way to virtue signal: Abortion access as a fringe benefit.

MRC Culture is keeping a running tally of companies offering to help employees from states where abortion is illegal to travel to murder their children.

Ippolito ranted in a July 25 post: "The left’s fight for abortion continues to become more desperate than they are willing to work with the billionaires they hate. Glad to see the teamwork done to feed Moloch!"

Philbin devoted an Aug. 19 post to attacking Google for covering abortions:

Yeah, it’s funny to remember the days when Google’s corporate motto was “Don’t be evil.” And yet it seems that a lot of the company’s employees don’t think it’s evil enough. They think Google should be a leader of the Moloch List – companies that lavish time and money on employees to kill their unborn children.

In the antiseptic, NARAL-approved language of The Washington Post, “Google staffers are calling on the tech giant to take greater steps to protect workers’ reproductive health, including by expanding travel benefits for medical services to contractors and halting political donations to antiabortion groups.”

Google gives money to antiabortion groups? Who knew?

Philbin also makes it clear that he thinks women who have abortion are sluts:

You know, those salt-of-the-earth laborers with the powered scooters and $14 coffee drinks? They’re organizing for the right to convenient sex. The capitalist exploiters are already shaking so much they can’t keep their monocles on.

An Aug. 23 post by Philbin lashed out at "Moloch List" member Yelp for putting accurate descriptions of crisis pregnancy centers on its website:

For the abortion-worshipping left, every live baby is a missed opportunity. For every unterminated pregnancy there’s a woman who can no longer have a big powerful career, carefree autonomy and meaningless casual sex. It’s a  feminist nightmare.

So it helps to have tech companies like Yelp on their side. And make no mistake: Yelp has definitely chosen a side. It was an early entrant to the Moloch List, corporations who made a public show of offering to pick up abortion (and “gender affirming”) travel costs for employees who live in less bloodthirsty states. 

Now, as reported by Axios, Yelp is putting warnings on listings for crisis pregnancy centers, lest babies slip through the abortion net.

Philbin didn't explain why accurately identifying crisis pregnancy centers as the anti-abortion activists they are is such a bad thing.

The MRC was also directly attacking women themselves as serving sacrifices to Moloch. Ippolito complained in a July 19 post about a Teen Vogue article on pro-choice men:

The next pundit was Bryan, who portrayed abortion as the savior of his family. Bryan, who forced his girlfriend to have an abortion, was happy that his mom also got an abortion because of his cool stuff. “The many opportunities that [decision] afforded us later in life, things my siblings and I probably took for granted at the time, like organic food, extracurriculars, cultural enrichment, and having our in-state tuition paid for,” he stated. Glad to see Bryan thought his sacrifice to Moloch was worth it. 

Ippolito went on to suggest his manhood was being threatened by this article: "Instead of wanting strong men to raise families, Teen Vogue wants weak men to waive responsibility and encourage the murder of children."

Two days later, Ippolito lashed out at actress Jennifer Grey for having an abortion as a teenager, dismissing her as an "irrelevant Hollywood lefty is coming out of the woods to give another dumb take on abortion" and sneereing, "Once again, another Hollywood leftie decided to have a meltdown over the inability to sacrifice her child to Moloch."

At the MRC, if you don't agree with them, you're not just wrong, you're evil.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:34 PM EDT
CNS Continued To Push Pro-Trump, Anti-FBI Narrative After Raid

After the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, predictably started spouting right-wing talking points and largely censored the legal justifications, and it continued to do so. An Aug. 11 article by Melanie Arter on Attorney General Merrick Garland admitting he approved the search warrant that led to the raid complained that "The attorney general did not address why the raid was conducted in the manner it was instead of issuing a subpoena. He also did not say what the FBI was looking for in the raid.

in a series of posts on Aug. 11 and 12 posts, CNS latched on to the right-wing narrative du jour that the raid is somehow evidence that the FBI is corrupt:

Susan Jones tried to further the Republican narrative in an article accusing Democrats of pushing a narrative and mocking her for giving a "convoluted answer":

At her Friday news conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) advanced the Democrat/media narrative that comments from former President Donald Trump and his Republican supporters following the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago are inciting threats of violence against law enforcement.

Pelosi told reporters, "You would think there'd be an adult in the Republican room that would say, just calm down, see what the facts are and let's go from that, instead of, again, instigating assaults on law enforcement."

The same day Jones bashed Pelosi, a man who professed his desire to kill FBI agents in posts on Trump's Truth Social website following the FBI raid fired a nail gun at an FBI office, then led law enforcment on a change and died in a shootout. CNS censored news of this violent crime against law enforcement from its readers, vaguely alluding to it only in an Aug. 15 article by Jones mostly dedicated to criticizing Democrats who called out Trump, noting that "Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), a member of the House intelligence committee, condemned violence by anyone, including Trump supporters."

CNS cranked out more anti-FBI and pro-Trump stenography on Aug. 15 and 16:

Another Aug. 16 article by Craig Bannister quoted onetime acting Trump attorney general Mark Whittaker claiming that "The Justice Department (DOJ) can “lower the temperature” of the anger against the department for its raid of former President Donald Trump’s home, by simply releasing the affidavit used to justify the raid and answering the public’s questions." He too did not mention the gunman who talked of killing FBI agents on Trump's social media site then tried to kill them. Also that day, Bannister wrote an article touting poll from right-skewing Rasmussen to claim that Garland "has a negative favorability rating among voters, and more think he’s doing a worse, not better, job than most who’ve held his job in the past," adding that "The national poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted August 11 and August 14, following the August 8 raid on the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump, which Attorney General Garland has said he personally authorized."

An anonymously written Aug. 16 article, however, played the ol' Clinton Equivocation card to distract from Trump's misdeed by rehashing the Hillary Clinton email controversy:

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice released a report in June 2018 that stated that the FBI had “identified ’81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails that were classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels…and sent to or from [Hillary] Clinton’s personal server.”

The IG cited the information from a “letterhead memorandum” (LHM) that the FBI produced about its investigation of the matter.

The IG report also noted that “[n]one of the emails…included a header or footer with classification markings.”

CNS made no mention of the fact that Hillary's email controversy was much different from the illegal hoarding of classified documents Trump is accused of doing.

Arter uncritically quoted CNS' favorite alleged legal expert to attack the FBI and defend Trump in an Aug. 18 article:

The warrant used to search former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago was unconstitutional, because it’s too broad, conservative talk show host Mark Levin said Thursday.

Furthermore, he said that the Espionage Act doesn’t apply to a president, regardless of what these federal prosecutors are trying to concoct.”

But all the right-wing FBI-hating apparently got to be too much for CNS, even in defense of Trump. An Aug. 22 article by Arter highlighted that "Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said last week that the GOP shouldn’t blame the FBI agents who raided Mar-a-Lago, because they were just doing their job and carrying out “a lawful search warrant that a magistrate signed off on," adding that "if the GOP is going to be the party of supporting law enforcement, law enforcement includes the FBI."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EDT
Saturday, September 17, 2022
MRC Finds A Content 'Censorship' Policy It Likes (When Liberal Views Are Involved)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tierin-Rose Mandelburg unironically wrote in a July 26 post:

Democrats may not be able to govern their way out of a paper bag, but they're champion complainers.

The Disney backed streaming service Hulu is under fire after refusing to stream advertisements for certain democratic campaigns that smeared Republican rhetoric, according to The Washington Post.

Hulu is a video streaming platform that plays movies, tv episodes and even Hulu original series. The platform also includes advertisements and commercials for a short time between segmented clips. Typically those ads are about lotion, new cars or new menu items at a fast food chain but occasionally, campaign ads are run. 

Hulu has a policy that prohibits ads on its platform that are “deemed controversial.” Supposedly the “Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Governors Association tried to purchase joint ads on abortion and guns on Hulu on July 15” and Hulu never ran the ads.

Hulu’s advertisement committee probably just didn’t want viewers grumpy at them if they were to show ads that leaned heavily on one side or the other for topics as hot button as abortion and guns. 

In natural lefty fashion, Democrats threw a tantrum.

Yes, you read that right. The MRC -- which regularly throws tantrums and screams "censorship" whenever a right-winger gets caught violating the terms of service of social-media sites -- is suddenly respectful of the private property of others and is demanding that users obey the rules.

It gets better. After citing a few examples of critics of Hulu's policy (including "One she/her/hers blue check"), one of which called it "censorship," Mandelburg huffed:"Good lord. These people need hobbies." No more so than Mandelburg and the rest of the MRCers who freak out at any attempt by private social media companies to enforce their terms of service.

She went on to complain that Hulu partially capitulated (the way the MRC demands social media companies do every time a right-winger gets busted violating terms of service):

In the end, Hulu did run the ads of one Democratic candidate, Suraj Patel, that showed images from Jan. 6. Supposedly someone familiar with Hulu’s advertising policies said that Hulu “does not publicly disclose its advertising guidelines but that they prohibit advertising that takes a position on a controversial issue, regardless of whether it is a political ad. The ads are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with edits sometimes recommended to the advertiser.” 

Perhaps Hulu should just stick to the burger and shampoo ads as it appears that chaos is going to erupt no matter what they choose to air!

Mandelburg has never made that demand of social media companies given that chaos (in the form of organized right-wing media swarms formed in part by the MRC) will erupt no matter what they do.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 AM EDT
WND Columnist Still Defending Putin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Several WorldNetDaily columnists took Russia's side around the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, and some have continued to. One of those is David McQuade, who was still insisting in an Aug. 1 column that Russia still has some sort of moral high ground against Ukraine and the West:

Not to suggest the oligarchy ruling class is any better for the average Russian, but after the fall of the Soviet Union and communism, religion and biblical values at least made a powerful resurgence and now play a vital role in the region. As a result, values, or the perceived lack thereof, serve as a cudgel on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Western values – whatever they are at the moment, inexplicable and forever morphing – are directly fueling the world's escalating and volatile geopolitical conflicts.

To be clear, Vladimir Putin is no saint. However, we've made it an easy lift for him to leverage what he calls "decadent Western values" against us and seize moral high ground with other world powers and his citizens alike. That includes the influential Russian Orthodox Church.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week:

"In Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, blessed Russian troops and proclaimed the war in Ukraine a metaphysical conflict between the faithful of God and a 'decadent West.'"

Regardless of what our culturally naïve political class indignantly insists, it was perceived a moral imperative for Putin and his religious allies to take back critical territory along his border that for a century was a part of the Russian state, lest it too become a "decadent," card-carrying, missile-carrying member of NATO with a president chosen and groomed by the U.S. (talk about "foreign interference").

Ukraine's corrupt oligarchy has thrown in with "decadent Western values" so completely that its newly sainted president dances in high heels and drag when not sitting for Vanity Fair features. No wonder he's proven such an iconic hero to the modern left – and such an enemy of the Orthodox Church.

Months after most rational people -- and even most rational right-wingers -- stopped trying to justify Putin's war, McQuade was stiil giving it a shot:

Putin perceives a clear and present danger from the leftist West – the "decadent" and corrosive abandonment of any and all traditional values.

From his perspective it would be like ignoring a fast-metastasizing cancer. Waiting was not an option.

Still, war is hell, and innocents are being brutally crushed in Ukraine as we go broke prolonging their suffering. The nightmare unfolds in living color 24/7, even if not materially different from ongoing conflicts in Africa that go uncovered by Western media.

But regardless of what we think of his war, shoring up Russia's autonomy and centuries-old cultural identity was a timely, now-or-never proposition for Putin, further painted into a corner with threats of regime change.

McQuade also peddled the not-aging-well claim that Putin's war of choice is somehow America's fault:

America's abject weakness and humiliating capitulation in Afghanistan wasn't lost on Putin. Nor was the sad fact that our sitting president is beholden to his family's benefactors to include Ukrainian oligarchs and the CCP. He also couldn't help but notice our dangerously divided nation with a generation of American-flag-loathing ideologues.

His timing was perfect. As it will be for China when it makes its long awaited move on Taiwan soon. America will then be forced to choose between multiple theaters of engagement, otherwise known as a "world war." Or as arrogant, globalist leftists like to think of it, "the Great Reset," a golden opportunity to instantly reduce population and war profiteer. Fallout shelters are being built for such nihilistic elitists as we speak.

McQuade concluded by declaring that the only thing that can save us is turning to his right-wing version of God:

Fellow Americans, we are down to a single saving hope to preserve our once "Nation Under God" as a free and prosperous land and force for good rather than evil: Revival. Otherwise, I'm sorry to say all bets are off. And our day of reckoning is closer than we think.

McQuade's bio describes him as having "founded cable channel Z Music Television, "The Positive Alternative" to MTV" -- which is to say, a failed cable channel that attempted to be the Christian version of MTV. The fact that he still insists on taking Russia's side in this war tells us that he's in need of a lot more than revival.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Friday, September 16, 2022
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

In his writeup of the Aug. 29 White House press briefing, Curtis Houck unsurprisingly cheered Peter Doocy's biased questions regarding pet MRC victim Novak Djokovic (which he dishonestly framed as "basic") to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, whom he yet again portrayed as an incompetent diversity hire:

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had quite the Monday as, near the end of an otherwise lackluster briefing with little in the way of pressing exchanges, Fox’s Peter Doocy leveled some basic questions about a double standard on the border and the coronavirus that left Jean-Pierre spinning her wheels.

Having quipped that she “could have walked away” to end the briefing (as the AP’s Zeke Miller had given the hook) and Doocy’s plea that he’ll “make it worth it,” he started with simple premise in light of the U.S. Open getting underway: “How come migrants are allowed to come into this country unvaccinated but world-class tennis players are not?”

With Doocy having alluded to former world number one men’s tennis player Novak Dojokvic being unable to enter the U.S. because he’s unvaccinated, Jean-Pierre declined comment because “visa records are confidential under U.S. law” and the U.S. also can’t “comment on medical information of individual travelers.”

Jean-Pierre seemed to have thought she really threaded the needle by passing the buck to the CDC as their “requirement for foreign nationals,”  but Doocy tired to keep her on subject by wondering why then can anyone walk across the southern border, regardless of their vaccination status (or any requirement for that matter).

Incredibly, Jean-Pierre claimed “that’s not how it works,” leaving an exasperated Doocy to fact-check her (click “expand”):


Representing anyone feeling incredulous after having listened to that excuse, he called out the spin: “I know that that’s not what you guys want to happen, but that is what happ— what is happening.”

Jean-Pierre made matter even worse for herself by replying that “it’s not like somebody walks over” before stammering and leaving Doocy with an opening to forcefully reply:

That’s exactly what’s happening. Thousands of people are walking in a day. Some of them turn themselves over. Some of them are caught; tens of thousands a week are not. That is what is happening.

The hapless White House official retreated to her binder with a lengthy answer about “what we have done under this administration” with “new border technology and set up joint protocols with Mexico and Guatemala” to target human traffickers and dole out “record levels of funding for the Department of Homeland Security.”

For the Aug. 31 briefing, it was more cookies for Doocy and Philip Wegmann for advancing right-wing narratives and criticizing non-right-wing reporters for not doing the same thing:

Ahead of President Biden’s Thursday night address set to call over 70 million people a national security threat because they vote Republican, Wednesday’s White House press briefing featured a robust defense by the press corps of such dangerous rhetoric while CBS’s Nancy Cordes and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann pushed back. On a separate topic, Fox’s Peter Doocy hammered the administration on how border policies exacerbate drug overdoses.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre laid the groundwork, telling the AP’s Chris Megerian that Biden believes half the country poses “an extremist threat to democracy,” “freedoms,” and “rights.” This left Reuters’s Jeff Mason to commence the softballs, asking whether Biden and his administration are “satisfied that FBI agents are getting the protection that they need as a result of these threats” by Republicans.


Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann respectfully pushed back on this insanity, twice asking whether Biden’s talking about such a large swath of the country: “When it comes to voters, how does the President differentiate between the ultra-MAGA folks who he sees an extremist threat to democracy and the average GOP voter?”

Jean-Pierre insisted their problem is with “the MAGA Republicans in leadership,” but she changed her tune and broadened it out to “an extreme part of...the party” after he asked a follow-up: “So, for folks sitting at home, when the President is talking about preserving the soul of the nation and those threats to democracy, he's not referring to those individuals. He's talking about Republican leadership?”

Doocy took things in a different direction on Overdose Awareness Day: “There’s a big problem now that rainbow fentanyl, which is designed to target children, has been found in 18 states. What specifically is the President doing about this?”

Jean-Pierre insisted that, along with “observing” that day, she argued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will spend $80 million on “drug prevention.” 

Obviously, this didn’t fly with Doocy: “But 300 over doses a day now. We know how the fentanyl is coming into the country. It’s coming right across the southern border. The DEA administrator says so. So, when is the President going to do something more to stop this?”

Jean-Pierre boasted that it’s being addressed since there’s been “a 200 percent increase of fentanyl seizures,” but Doocy cut through with this devastating reality: “[L]ife expectancies are going down at a rate not seen in a century and part of that is being driven by drug overdoses, so what is the President going to do to stop this?”

Things got even worse after Jean-Pierre falsely claimed the Biden administration has been “securing the border” and giving “record levels of funding” to “DHS, so they can stop illicit drugs.”

The usually aggressive but even-keeled Doocy seemed to have had enough. Pathetically, Jean-Pierre argued it was offensive for Doocy to argue the administration wasn’t addressing this crisis[.]

Houck didn't mention that the decline in life expectancy began under President Trump, who apprently did not do enough to intercept fentanyl at the border, given how much more fentanyl has been seized under Biden than under Trump.

Houck obsessed further over a speech that hadn't yet been given in his writeup of the Sept 1 briefing:

On Thursday afternoon, White House reporters rallied from the embarrassing effort many gave the day prior in lobbying softballs to inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and showed skepticism that President Biden’s Thursday night address on how the American right poses a threat to the country wouldn’t be political.

Reuters’s Jeff Mason was one of those reporters who redeemed himself, starting with a short, Doocy-like question: “Is tonight a political speech?”

Jean-Pierre sowed her fate when she immediately show back: “No. It’s not a political speech. This is an opportunity — again for the President to directly have a conversation with the — with the — the American people.”


Giving away the game, Jean-Pierre snarked that “we understand we hit a nerve” with the American right “trying to hide and we understand that ultra-MAGA officeholders want to play games here and dodge accountability for their extreme proposals and actions, but they're just telling on themselves.”

She falsely added that Biden has “always squarely targeted his criticism on elected leaders” and he would continue to “not...shy away” from slamming them though Thursday’s “speech...will be optimistic.”

Salgado took over the mocking duties for the Sept. 2 briefing, whining heavily about the speech given by President Biden the night before calling out the danger MAGA Republicans pose to the country, and whining even harder that Doocy didn't get to ask a question. So Fondacaro was left to spout right-wing talking points about the speech in his stead:

In the wake of President Biden’s extremely divisive Thursday night speech featuring tinges of authoritarian themes, the Friday White House press briefing was noticeably lacking critical questions about the dangerous rhetoric in the address. And with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre skipping over tough questioners like Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy, the few questions that were asked about the speech only addressed how “political” it was and why they decided to use Marines as props.


Absent from the briefing room were critical questions about the optics of the President being wreathed in blood-red lights and inky shadows while waving his fists in the air as he claimed over 70 million Americans were a threat to the country and enemies of the state. Online, these optics drew comparisons to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, V for Vendetta, The Hunger Games, the empire from Star Wars, and other popular media featuring authoritarian demagogues.

Diamond did dip into questions about the stagecraft of the speech, noting it “very much sounded like a politically charged speech as an official event” that was “taxpayer-funded, with two Marines in uniform, in particular, flanking him and visible on camera throughout his speech.”

“Denouncing political violence is not political. Defending rights and freedom is not political. Making clear the challenges facing the nation is not political. We don't call any of that political,” Jean-Pierre defended their arguably unethical actions.

Catherine Salgado did her own own version of mocking Jean-Pierre for a separate piece on the briefing:

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stuttered a refusal to answer a question about the Biden administration’s alleged collusion with Big Tech to censor Americans.

Fox Business Network White House correspondent Edward Lawrence asked Jean-Pierre on Sept. 2: “On social media companies, did the administration give Twitter and Facebook, ah, talking points, um, over flagging what the president describes as misinformation?”

Jean-Pierre asked Lawrence to repeat his question. Lawrence did, adding, “How much coordination is there between the administration, um, and social media companies?”

Jean-Pierre then stammered, “So, I–I–I don’t have anything to–to share with you on that, and I’m not going to comment on–on that right this time.”

Salgado went on to reference "Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s revelations Thursday of a vast 'censorship enterprise' between Big Tech platforms and the federal government in colluding to censor Americans’ free speech online," touting how the so-called investigation "cited original research from Media Research Center and its unique CensorTrack database to support its underlying allegations." She offered no reason why a biased investigation from a Republican attorney general that seems to be merely parroting right-wing talking points should be trusted.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:58 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 16, 2022 9:51 PM EDT
CNS Unironically Accuses Biden Of Cherry-Picking Economic Numbers

We've long documented how cherry-picks economic numbers -- particularly regarding employment, where it emphasizeas arcane numbers like the labor force participation rate in order to downplay drops in the overall employment rate -- to make Democratic presidents look bad. So it was more than a bit amusing to to see CNS uniroinbically accusing President Biden of cherry=picking numbers on the economy, as Craig Bannister did in an Aug. 10 article:

“Our economy had zero percent inflation in the month of July. Zero percent," President Joe Biden boasted Wednesday, citing a lesser-used Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measure, rather than the more commonly used statistic, which shows inflation actually jumped 8.5%.

Pres. Biden led off a press event with the claim:

"Before I begin today, I want to say a word about the news that came out relative to the economy. Actually, I just want to say a number: zero. Today, we received news our economy had zero percent inflation in the month of July. Zero percent.

“Here’s what that means: while the price of some things went up last month, the price of other things went down by the same amount. The result: zero inflation last month. But, people are still hurting. But, zero inflation last month.”

And, yes, if you’re comparing the seasonally-adjusted change from June 2022 to July 2022 for “urban consumers,” that’s true, as the BLS report released Wednesday notes:

(CPI-U) was unchanged in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.”

However, the more broadly analyzed and reported inflation statistic is the year-to-year (July 2022 vs. July 2021) increase in inflation for “all items” – which rose 8.5% - as in the next sentence of its release:

Bannister then gushed that "Social media was quick call out Biden and post video of his disingenuous boast," though he cited only a single right-wing Republican senator doing so. He then went into the weeds by claiming that "Biden also appeared to conflate his 'zero percent inflation' statistic with the 'core inflation' number - which excludes price increases for food and energy products." Of course, doing so lets Bannister ignore that gas prices have been dropping throughout the summer, which CNS as a whole is trying to ignore.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:14 PM EDT
WND's Root Is Rooting For Trump-DeSantis Ticket In '24
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root started off his  Aug. 6 WorldNetDaily column by gushing over a far-right election denier winning a Republican primary in Arizona:

Congratulations to Kari Lake and to the people of Arizona. Kari may very well be the best GOP candidate in America, and she will make the best governor Arizona ever had. If she is elected in November, I guarantee you we'll have fair and honest elections moving forward in Arizona. Which means in 2024, former President Donald Trump wins Arizona.

After Tuesday's GOP primaries, this is now 100% the Trump "America First" Republican Party. Trump won. Establishment RINOS lost. The D.C. swamp lost. The "deep state" lost. You won't hear that in the media. 

Secondly, I love what Lake's victory represents. The media ignore the fact that the McCain brand is now finished in Arizona ... while the Bush brand is finished in Texas and Florida. Within days, the Cheney brand is finished in Wyoming. And although he isn't running this year, Sen. Mitt Romney is finished as well. I'm on vacation in Utah right now. Romney is the most hated Republican in the history of Utah. He will never run again.

All these famous Republicans have ruined their political careers and legacies with their insane "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

Of course, Root has reverse Trump Derangement Syndrome -- he can't stop slobbering over the immoral, corrupt liar. Root went on to describe his new Republican dream ticket for 2024:

I just sent out a poll to my 20,000-fan mailing list. I asked a simple question: Who do you support for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination? I gave no options. I just left it up to 20,000 people to tell me what they think.

Ninety-five percent picked Trump. Five percent picked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

What does my poll indicate? DeSantis is fantastic. He is the best governor in America. He is my personal favorite governor ever. But he will not be the GOP nominee in 2024. To say otherwise is pure fantasy.

Trump is the 2024 GOP nominee – PERIOD. An overwhelming percentage of Republican voters understand only one man can clean up Biden's disaster and put the U.S. economy back on track: Donald J. Trump.

There's a little hitch in his plan, though:

But there is a problem: Trump cannot run with DeSantis. DeSantis is disqualified by the rules of the Electoral College. As I understand it, two candidates cannot run from the same state, or your ticket loses the electoral votes of that state (for either president or VP). No Republican can ever afford to give up the valuable electoral votes of Florida. 

No one seems to know this. So, I'm making sure everyone knows this problem before they are shocked and disappointed. Trump is precluded by the rules of the Electoral College from running with DeSantis.

Unless ...

Trump gives up his Florida residency. Which is easy, but costly. If Trump registers to vote in New Jersey, everything changes. Yes, Trump's income taxes will go way up, but if Trump switches his legal residency from Mar-a-Lago to Bedminster, his New Jersey mansion and golf club, we all get the 2024 dream ticket of Trump-DeSantis.

Not only do we win the election with the perfect ticket to supercharge the economy and save us from COVID-19 insanity forevermore (no more masks, vaccine mandates or lockdowns), along with four more years of Trump dismantling the D.C. swamp, but we set up eight years of President Ron DeSantis from 2028 to 2036.

So, there's the solution. If we all want Trump-DeSantis, that's the only way to make it happen and save the nation we all love.

Actually, Biden is doing a fine job of saving the country from the degredations of the Trump years.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Dirty War on George Soros, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center dialed back the more explicitly anti-Semitic attacks on the liberal billionaire -- but its obsessive attacks still frame him as the Jew conservatives are allowed to hate. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Thursday, September 15, 2022
MRC Still Making Djokovic A Victim For Selfishly Refusing A COVID Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall and earlier this year, Media Research Center sports blogger John Simmons served as a cheerleader for tennis star Novak Djokovic for being a selfish jerk in refusing to get the COVID vaccine, portraying him as a victim because he was blocked from entering major tennis tournaments because of that. Simmons has continued to be a cheerleader for Djokovic's selfishness. In a March 17 post, Simmons gushed that Djokovic "has refused to cave to political pressure" on getting vaccinated" and that he got to play in the French Open, letting him laughably claim that "I was never against vaccination," leaving it uncommented that his refusing to get a COVID vaccine demonstrates beyond a doubt that he is, in fact, against vaccines.

IN a July 11 post, Simmons complained that a tennis writer called Djokovic an "anti-vax posterboy" -- which Simmons even more laughably insisted "couldn’t be further from the truth" based on Djokovic saying once that "he had received vaccines as a child -- then cheered that Djokovic's wife ran to her husband's defense by retorting that "He simply responded what HIS body choice is." Simmons concluded by declaring:

Novak is not planning on playing in the U.S. Open because of his vaccination status, but he doesn’t need to. He’s already proven he’s won of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time, and a man of strong convictions. Anything else he accomplishes in his career is simply an addition to an already glittering legacy.

Yet the MRC manufactured drama about Djokovic playing in the U.S. Open anyway. Fellow sports blogger Jay Maxson -- who wrote a post earlier this year filled with falsehoods about athletes purportedly dying because of the COVID vaccine, a post that remains live and uncorrected at this writing -- huffed in a July 12 post: "It’s a mad, mad, mad sports world, to say the least! Tennis great Novak Djokovic can’t even enter the United States because he is not vaccinated, but a cyclist from Luxembourg who tested positive for COVID has won a stage of the Tour de France. " In fact, doctors tested the cyclist, Bob Jungels, and found that his viral load was low enough that it was unlikely he was infectious.

Even though -- again -- Djokovic was already not planning to play in the U.S. Open, Simmons manufactured some victimhood for him in a July 21 post:

The Biden Administration’s COVID travel restriction policy preventing unvaccinated foreigners from entering the United States is so darn selective it smells to high heaven. Immigration officials are allowing unvaccinated illegal aliens to cross our border, but the greatest active tennis player in the world -- Serbia’s unvaccinated Novak Djokovic -- is barred from our country. 

Djokovic is fresh off his seventh – and fourth straight -- Wimbledon title. Due to the Biden Administration’s ridiculous ban on unvaccinated people entering the country, he will not be allowed to enter the U.S., let alone play in next month’s U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. He says he is a proponent for the freedom to choose one’s health options. 

Thousands of people who want to see Djokovic play in the U.S. Open are rallying in his support. A petition has gathered 17,500 signatures, in hopes of generating 25,000.

Simmons quoted from the petition, which stated, "The vaccine is NOT an extra line of defense. Natural immunity is stronger." If Simmons had bothered to fact-check the statement, he would find that it's false; as we've documented, research has found that the best protection is a combination of "natural immunity" (raad: a previous infection) plus a vaccine.

Simmons continued his manufactured U.S. Open drama in an Aug. 12 post:

The U.S. government is serving up some nonsense to tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Under the current rules of entry for the United States, the Serbian star and defending Wimbledon champion cannot participate in the final installment of the Grand Slam because he is not vaccinated.

The ban still stands despite the fact that U.S. Senator Marsha Balckburn (R-TN) has recently written a letter to Rochelle Walensky, M.D., the director of the CDC, asking that this sham of a health organization remove its ludicrous COVID policies and allow Djokovic to play.

Remember: Djokovic already said he wasn't planning to take part.

Simmons devoted an Aug. 15 post to touting former tennis great John McEnroe criticizing the vaccine regulations (despite, again, Djokovic already saying he wasn't planning to take part), adding: "The all-time great further said that a world-class athlete like Djokovic is incredibly particular about what he puts in his body and that he is in peak health, which should render his vaccination status as irrelevant. You’re not the only one who feels that way, McEnroe."

Just before the U.S. Open started, Simmons wrote an Aug. 25 post declering what everyone (including himself) knew weeks earlier, that Djokovic would not be playing:

It’s official: Novak Djokovic will not be playing in the U.S. Open, the final tournament in tennis’ Grand Slam circuit.

The Serbian star and defending Wimbledon champion has withdrawn from the running since the U.S. still prohibits foreigners who are not vaccinated from entering the country. This is the latest incident that proves Djokovic meant it when he said he would sacrifice the opportunity to win titles in order to remain unvaccinated (he was barred from the Australian Open earlier this year for the same reason).


Djokovic continues to be a shining example of conviction in the face of an incredible cost. Even though he has already accomplished so much, it still costs him chance at a title to cement his legacy as the greatest men’s tennis player ever. For an ultra-competitor like him, that’s a high cost.

Buying into conspiracy theories is hardly a "shining example of conviction," John.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2022 10:04 PM EDT
Cognitive Dissonance: WND's Brown Mocks VP Harris While He's Denying Doing So
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown complained in his July 27 WorldNetDaily column:

Speaking to a group of disability advocates, and wanting to be thoughtful of those who were blind or vision impaired, Vice President Kamala Harris began her talk by saying, "I am Kamala Harris, my pronouns are she and her, I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit." But what, exactly, did she mean by those words? What, after all, is a woman? And what do we learn about Harris from her preferred gender pronouns?

In raising these questions, my purpose is not to mock the vice president. Rather, it is to mock the cultural madness that set the stage for her comments. We must not become accustomed to this social insanity!

To be sure, others found VP Harris' comments to be quite condescending, including Mary Chastain, who describes herself as nearly vision impaired.


Indeed, unless you were living under a rock, you would know that the vice president is a woman regardless of whether you were seeing or blind.

Ah, but mocking her is exactly Brown's point (the denials are a common tactic he uses). He seems determined to gloss over the fact that Harris was using those descriptors for the benefit of the "blind or vision impaired" -- which Brown himself noted at the beginning of his column -- and mindlessly join the homophobic right-wingers piling on Harris. Indeed, Brown went on a rant about Harris referencing her preferred pronouns:

As for Harris' preferred gender pronouns, the fact that she felt it proper to share that information reminds us yet again of how deeply we have fallen off the cliff of reality.

We should be alarmed. We should be shaking our heads. We should be asking how on earth we got to this point.

The vice president of the United States giving her preferred gender pronouns at the beginning of her talk? Really? (For another shocking illustration of just how far we have fallen, see my article, "Biden Administration is a Vivid Illustration of LGBTQ+ Activism on Steroids.")

Of course today, a woman could say, "My name is Rachel, and my pronouns are he-his," since Rachel might choose to live as a woman and yet identify as a man. Why not?

These pronouns simply explain how we want people to refer to us. They tell us nothing about their biological sex.

Then, after attacking transgender people lilke Lia Thomas, Brown again denied doing so:

I do not deprecate those who genuinely struggle with gender identity issues, as I have said time and time again. My heart goes out to them in their struggles.

And I do pray for God's best for the vice president. May the Lord guide her into all truth!

But I absolutely will continue to draw attention to the cultural madness into which we are descending. And I will continue to shout, "The emperor has no clothes!"

This is becoming more and more evident every day. Let's keep shouting!

By shouting his hatred of transgender people, Brown is very much deprecating and mocking. All his denials don't change that.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:06 PM EDT
MRC Attacks Doctor Who Performed Abortion On Young Rape Victim
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center, along with other right-wing media, tried to discredit the story of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio was forced to go to Indiana for an abortion due to Ohio's highly restrictive yet ambiguous anti-abortion laws, then complained when they were called out for not apologizing when the story was found to be true and instead pivoting to hyping that the alleged perpetrator was an undocumented immigrant. It should be no surprise that the MRC is complaining that the doctor who performed the abortion on the girl is being allowed to appear on TV to discuss abortion and related issues. Curtis Houck groused in a July 27 post, making sure to tag Dr. Caitlin Bernard with the pejorative tag of "abortionist":

Since the overturning of disinformation campaign seeking to terrify women into believing miscarriages will be criminalized and women will die from medical complications related to pregnancies. It’s been so sinister that it would make even the Russians jealous.

In turn, it made sense CBS would spend Tuesday and Wednesday worshipping Dr. Caitlyn Bernard, the Indiana abortionist who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.

The interview first aired on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News with anchor Norah O’Donnell, who said Bernard’s interview came amid protests in Indiana over a debate among lawmakers for an abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother Of course, O’Donnell chose to deceive viewers by leaving out that last exception.

Houck censored the fact that many "life of the mother" execptions are vaguely written and can keep a doctor from acting in the best interest of the mother out of fear of being criminally charged. Houck continued:

To close out, O’Donnell invited Bernard to “address concerns by conservatives or those with deeply held religious beliefs that abortion is immoral and wrong.” 

Bernard insisted that “if you don't believe that you would have an abortion, then don't have one” and thus one shouldn’t “stop other people from accessing medical care that they need.”

Considering the Obama administration sued nuns and a Biden administration order would force religious hospitals (such as Catholic-backed institutions) to perform abortions, that’s also a lie.

Houck didn't explain why Catholic or religious hospitals should be allowed to refuse to perform an abortion in an emergency, which is what the Biden administration executive order would do.

A July 31 post by Jorge Bonilla complained that "corporate media" coverage of the rape story wasn't embracing the right-wing shift to obsessing over the immigration status of the perpetrator and that "coverage continues to center around abortionist Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who corporate media have decided to simultaneously cast as both the true hero and 'real victim' of this horrendous story." Bonilla censored mention of the right-wing media's failed attempt to frame the story as a hoax that created a victim narrative for Bernard.

When Bernard appeared on TV again, Aidan Moorehouse was there to complain about it -- and pretend there are no issues with such narrow exceptions -- in an Aug. 5 post:

Since she performed an abortion on a 10-year-old Ohioan rape victim, Indiana abortionist Dr. Caitlin Bernard has become something of an icon to the post-Roe pro-abortion movement. New Day co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Bernard on Friday morning to voice her opposition to Indiana’s pending abortion bill, despite the bill containing exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother (the most commonly accepted exceptions).

After outlining the contents of the bill (which can be read here), Keilar played the interview, which had been taped prior to it being shown live. She began by asking Dr. Bernard, “You've treated many patients who would fall into these categories. What, to you, is the problem with relying on those exceptions?”


On the question of enforcing the exceptions, Bernard fretted the laws would cause doctors to second-guess themselves when the mother’s life is in danger, “The impact on the physicians means that they can't take care of patients the way that they need to be able to and patients will be hurt.”

This line has been repeated ad nauseam by abortion advocates and their allies in the media, but it doesn’t apply at all in this case because, again, the law in question makes an exception to save the life of the mother. To put it bluntly, any failure to act in such a situation would rest on the doctors who failed to understand the full implications of a law that so closely impacted their profession.

Moorehouse concluded by huffing:

When a pro-life bill imposes a total ban on abortion, the pro-abortion crowd laments the cruelty of leaving out exceptions for rare and traumatic circumstances. But when a pro-life bill carves out exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, it suddenly becomes a question of medical privacy. And the liberal media will eagerly promote both angles whenever they get the opportunity.

Moorehouse didn't mention that the MRC supports even more extreme restrictions on abortion, including creating an Orwellian surveillance state to monitor women who might cross state lines to have one.

UPDATE: Houck is being dishonest by claiming that "the Obama administration sued nuns." In fact, the opposite is true: the nuns sued the Obama administration in an effort to keep it from having to cover birth control in its health insurance.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 18, 2022 3:46 PM EDT
CNS Pushing Right-Wing Fearmongering About IRS, Censors The Truth

The revelation that the Inflation Reduction Act would including funding for the IRS to hire 87,000 employees over the next 10 years was quickly warped into a right-wing attack point -- and did its part in advancing it.

An Aug. 8 article by Susan Jones quoted a Texas congressman (who surprisingly wasn't Ted Cruz) snarking, "I don't want to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, I want to hire 87,000 new Border Patrol agents." Another article that day, by Melanie Arter, featured Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham fearmongering that the agents "come after “waitresses, Uber drivers and everybody else to collect more taxes.” But don't worry, the boss of CNS editor Terry Jeffrey's daughter did get yet another Aug. 8 article from Arter dedicated to his repetition of those same right-wing talking points:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned Sunday that the Democrats through the Inflation Reduction Act are trying to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, which will double the size of the IRS making it bigger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI and Border Patrol combined.


“They're not designed to come after the billionaires and the big corporations, they're designed to come after small businesses and working families across this country. The Democrats are making the IRS bigger than the Pentagon plus the Department of State, plus the FBI, plus the Border Patrol combined. The IRS is going to be bigger,” he said.

“This is a massive power grab, and I've got to say it's amazing, Maria, watching these Democrats amendment after amendment, common sense amendments they vote against. I introduced an amendment to say don't create 87,000 new IRS agents, every Democrat voted no,” Cruz said.

An anonymously written article in Aug. 8 upped the fearmongering byquoting the bill out of bontext: "The 755-page “Inflation Reduction Act” that passed the Senate yesterday on a 50-50 vote—with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking 51st vote—would provide the Internal Revenue Service with an additional $70,963,800,000 to target American taxpayers with 'enforcement activities' and 'enforcement programs.'"

An Aug. 9 article by Jones quoted Newt Gingrich declaring, "And when you look at the Democrats who are trying to add 85,000 IRS agents [he meant 87,000] to the already existing 77,000, that would mean 162,000 IRS agents compared, for example, to 29,000 people that we have on the border trying to control the border."

It wasn't until an Aug. 9 article by Arter that CNS first attempted to tell the other side of the story, quoting White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pointing out that Republicans were being "dishonest" in their attacks on the IRS funding, though Arter didn't actually quote Jean-Pierre specifically debunking the right-wing narrative.

From there, it was back to fearmongering, and Jones was happy to oblige in an Aug. 11 article by suggesting that all the new agents will be armed:

As Democrats defend their plan to hire 87,000 additional IRS agents, the Internal Revenue Service already is trying to hire special agents who are "legally allowed to carry a firearm" and are willing to do so; are "willing to use deadly force, if necessary," and are "willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments."

"Click here to apply today!" says the message on "IRS Careers" webpage.

"The IRS is making one of the greatest power grabs I have ever seen in governmental history with 87,000 new agents," said Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, who served as the Director of the National Economic Council during the Trump Administration from 2018 to 2021.

Jones did attempt a lame attempt at balance:

Democrats insist that the 87,000 new IRS agents authorized by the Democrats' Inflation Reduction Act will go after wealthy tax cheats, not lower- and middle-class taxpayers.

White House Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein told Fox News on Wednesday that the "long-term defunding of the IRS" has facilitated "tax evasion by wealthy evaders."

Citing the IRS Commissioner, Bernstein said, "IRS resources will not add to audits for households under $400,000, and those same households will not see one penny increase in their taxes based on proposals in the Inflation Reduction Act."

Other analysts disagree, however.

Jones did not name any of these "analysts."

None of these articles, of course, seriously challenge the right-wing narratives for which they're serviing as servile stenographers. As a more responsible and factually dedicated news outlet reported, the 87,000 number is what is needed to mainstain IRS staffing levels over the next decade, given that 50,000 current employees are expected to retire or otherwise depart the agency in the next five years alone. And not all of them wil be agents: A significant number of them will work in customer service and information technology in an attempt to modernize tax return processing and make the agency more consumer-friendly. The IRS has stated that more experienced personnel are needed to handle the sophisticated audits needed to deal with high-income taxpayers, and there is no desire to increase the number of audits of lower-income taxpayers. Further, only a tiny amount of agents in a special unit are armed.

But rather than tell its readers the truth, CNS would rather spread fearmongering right-wing talking points. Jones did this again in another lazy Aug. 11 article:

The Biden administration insists that hiring 87,000 new IRS agents will not increase the current audit rate of taxpayers earning less than $400,000. It's the wealthy tax evaders they say they'll go after.

Nonsense, said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who appeared together on Fox News Wednesday night. Both men agreed that the IRS will go after conservative nonprofits and people who don't use accountants to do their taxes:

"What's going to happen is the low-hanging fruit is what gets picked first, and that's the people who file their own tax returns," Huckabee said:

Craig Bannister quoted anti-tax activist Grover Norquist claiming without evidence that "They’re going to have 1.2 million new audits. There are less than less than a thousand billionaires and only 500 companies in the Fortune 500. The rest of them are us." Bannister also served up meaningless comparisons in another Aug. 11 article:

The 87,000 hiring total is more than the entire population of President Joe Biden’s home town of Wilmington, Delaware. In 2020, Wilmington had a population of 70,898, according to that year’s census, a number the Census Bureau estimates fell to 70,750 as of July 1, 2021.

Other notable populations surpassed by the 87,000 additional IRS employees include the entire British army and the Roman Coliseum:

  • Pres. Biden’s home town of Wilmington, Delaware (approx. 71,000)
  • 2 Washington Nationals stadiums (41,313 X 2 = 82,626)
  • 1.7 Roman Coliseums (50,000 X 1.7 = 85,000)
  • Entire British Army 82,000)
  • The Stadiums of Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo FC, Los Angeles FC and FC Dallas combined (approx. 20,000 each)
  • The entire personnel on all 11 U.S. aircraft carriers.

What's more, some of those 87,000 new IRS agents would even “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force.”

Jones brought her own meaningless comparison in an Aug. 12 article:

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) objects to many of the bill's provisions, including the plan to hire 87,000 new IRS agents:

"Get this, Maria," he told Fox News's Maria Bartiromo on Friday:

"The Clemson football stadium holds 83,000 fans. It won't even hold IRS agents that they are -- they're getting ready to hire. It's a total -- they're doing this for effect, and the American people don't deserve this.

An anonymously written Aug. 16 article upped the gun fearmongering again:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) said in a speech on the House floor on Friday that the Internal Revenue Service has "4,600 guns and 5 million rounds of ammunition.”


“You are going to double the size of the IRS,” McCarthy said—addressing his remarks to “Madam Speaker,” who is Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.)

 “They have 80,000 employees,” McCarthy said. “You know what the IRS also had? 4,600 guns, 5 million rounds of ammunition. Why?

“Democrats want to double its already massive size,” he said. “You are going to spend $80 billion of hard-earned American taxpayer money to hire an army of 87,000 new IRS agents.

The anonymous writer made no effort to fact-check anything McCarthy said, even though his statement that the new agents will "double" the agency's size is highly dishonest.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
MRC's Quibbling Over Definition Of Recession Continues
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been hypocritical about coverage of the economy and how the media should cover it. During the Trump years, it attacked the non-right-wing media for allegedly talking down the economy:

  • An April 2019 post by Julia Seymour huffed: "In spite of growing wages, extremely low unemployment and nearly 3 percent economic growth in 2018, the liberal media are becoming obsessed with recession. It didn’t matter that CFOs were confident the U.S. economy “will not experience a recession” in 2019. They were fixated by recession prospects in March anyway. Every. Single. Day."
  • In August 2019, Ryan Foley hyped how "FNC host Martha MacCallum reported that 'fears of a recession seem to be running high and some in the media seem almost giddy that an economic downturn would hinder President Trump’s chances in 2020,'" adding that "MacCallum slammed the 'unpatriotic' and 'inhumane' media for rooting for a recession in the hopes that an economic downturn will cause him to lose re-election."
  • In another August 2019 post, Kristine Marsh touted how Fox Business host Charles Payne complained about "how the media is now openly hoping for an economic recession under President Trump. Payne called the media’s newest obsession a 'deliberate' attempt to derail the good economy under Trump, and argued there was 'no economic data' to suggest a recession was near."
  • An August 2019 post by Julia Seymour,noted that "Fox News MediaBuzz anchor Howard Kurtz had an important question for anchor Maria Bartiromo: could negative media talk damage the U.S. economy?" adding: "Her answer was yes. She argued that the media could impact consumers and their spending decisions and that could harm the economy and said, 'Yes, you can actually have the media talking us into a recession.'"
  • Kyle Drennen grumbled in a September 2019 post about an ABC poll showing a "dramatic drop in the President’s approval rating" that "seems to be fueled by real concerns about the economy": "Following weeks of the media rooting for a recession to hurt Trump’s reelection chances, the ABC morning show appeared thrilled that tactic was working with some of its viewers."
  • Then, in a January 2020 post, Trump cheerleader Joseph Vazquez crowed that "President Donald Trump’s economy has continued to stupefy prognosticators going into the new year," quoting one analyst calling it "nearly recession-proof." That certainly didn't age well, did it?
That concern over the media talking down the economy disappeared when a Democrat became president. The MRC rushed to blame President Biden for uneven economic numbers early in his presidency that are more logically blamed on uncertainty in the midst of a pandemic -- a pattern it kept up throughout 2021. In a June 23 post, Kevin Tober actually attacked a MSNBC host for using the same argument that the MRC was praising Fox News hosts for using about whether the media can talk down the economy, while going ont to, yes, talk down the economy:

On Wednesday’s The 11th Hour on MSNBC, in her discussion with NPR business correspondent David Gura, host Stephanie Ruhle proved once again that she knows very little about economics or even basic business. While Americans are suffering under crushing inflationary pressures, Ruhle let the Biden administration off the hook and claimed the media and people with political agendas are leading the United States into a recession and enabling businesses to use the constant drum beat of inflation chatter as an excuse to raise prices. 

While Ruhle did tacitly admit that the amount of stimulus pumped into the economy helped lead to the forty-year high inflation, she excused the spending because we were in a once-in-a-century pandemic.


Ruhle then jumped in to claim her audience who she just whipped up into a panic, by explaining “a recession does not mean the great depression, they happen, they happen every few years. Sometimes for a long period, time sometimes for a short period of time, it is a normal part of our economic cycle.”

That is comforting to Americans who will lose their jobs if there is a recession to know that it could last for a “short period of time.”

We've also noted how the MRC has been quick to scream "recession!" -- indeed, it was rooting for one even though one definition of it, two straight quarters of non-positive GDP, had not even been confirmed yet. In a July 26 post before that number came out, Jeffrey Clark lashed out at a Biden economic adviser -- who he denigrated as a "lackey" in his headline -- for committing the apparent heresy of arguing that two straight quarters of negative GDP might not be the only standard:

President Joe Biden’s chief economic advisor claimed that the economy is “demonstrating resilience” and attempted to split hairs over the definition of a recession to protect his boss at the expense of the American people. 

Asked whether a recession was coming, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese nitpicked the “technical definition” of a recession on the July 25 edition of CNN’s New Day with John Berman and Brianna Keilar. “Certainly, in terms of the technical definition, it’s not a recession, the technical definition considers a much broader spectrum of data points.” Deese did not provide an example of the “broader spectrum of data points” to fit his spin.


And to Deese’s gaslighting on the economy, U.S. GDP fell 1.4 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to CNBC. If GDP falls once again — as the entire country will learn this Thursday — then the U.S. will enter a recession. But that seems to be a very inconvenient truth for the Biden administration.

When the GDP numbers finally did come in and showed a second  straight quarter of negative growth, Clark returned with a July 28 post under screaming headline "RECESSION":

Four liberal outlets peered into their crystal balls and declared that the economy would show signs of growth, not shrinkage, just days and weeks ahead of the government’s second-quarter GDP report. 

There was just one problem with that sordid attempt to get out in front of the news: The economy ended up contracting for a second quarter in a row, meeting the practical and long-held definition of a recession.

Bloomberg News, CNN, Reuters and MarketWatch promoted absurd predictions that the economy would expand in the second quarter, not contract. The federal government’s GDP statistics released this morning proved every single one of these outlets completely wrong.

Clark didn't explain how not pushing right-wing narratives about the economy made all four of those outlets "liberal." Still, he huffed that "These stories followed a barrage of articles from the liberal pravda machine attempting to shield President Joe Biden from any responsibility for a recession." As if Clark wasn't working for a right-wing pravda in talking down the economy.

A July 29 post by Vazquez whined that PolitiFact and even Siri wouldn't adhere to the newly preferred rigid right-wing definition of a recession:

Facebook fact-checker PolitiFact played the role of the village idiot by fact-checking an Instagram post that dared to slam the Biden White House for redefining the word “recession.”

PolitiFact ran one of its so-called “fact-checks” July 27 with a headline that blared: “No, the White House didn’t change the definition of ‘recession.’” PolitiFact senior correspondent Louis Jacobson chose to attack an Instagram post that used Siri to define the meaning of a recession. “The White House is now trying to protect Joe Biden by changing the definition of the word recession,” said Dear America podcast host Graham Allen. Allen then asked Apple's Siri, which defined recession as a “period of temporary economic decline” that is “generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.” But Jacobson, in all his wisdom, accused Siri of having just “plucked” the definition from an “online dictionary." “ This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed,” Jacobson squealed.

Vazquez found a biased economist from the libertarian American Institute for Economic Research Research to complain that the National Bureau of Economic Research is not "the official arbiter of recessions," as PolitiFact suggested.

Tim Graham grumbled in a post promoting his July 29 podcast on the subject:

When the fact emerged that we've had two quarters of negative economic growth, marking a recession, the so-called "reality-based press" suddenly folded and let the Biden people "push back" at reality.

Let's talk about recession denialism. Recession denial is worse than "climate denial." There's a traditional definition by economists that now is all "informal" and "not definitive."

Graham didn't mention that he and his employer have been working to make "misinformation" a subjective thing lest he and his fellow right-wingers be accused of spreading it.

That was echoed in a July 30 column by Jeffrey Lord, under the headline "Journalists Tank Their Remaining Credibility With Recession Denial":

As noted here in NewsBusters, the liberal media’s reflex to protect Biden is yet again on display, this time with the Biden problem being that yes, indeed, the U.S. has just experienced two quarters of negative economic growth — considered by economists as the official sign the US is in a recession. (For more, see Accuracy in Media's comprehensive round-up of media spin.) 

But wait! That’s Joe Biden in the White House, not Trump or some other Republican! The media has quickly rolled out its latest “protect Joe” campaign.

Says the guy who spent years protecting Donald Trump and has tanked what little credibility he has by defending the corrupt, falsehood-laden right-wing channel One America News.

Clark then showed how much more important pushing a political narrative is to him by using an Aug. 3 post to promote another discredited activist: "Glenn Beck RIPS Biden: The President ‘Refuses to Recognize Truth’ on Recession, Inflation." On at the MRC would a charlatan like Beck be considered a credible observer.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2022 9:45 PM EDT
Newsmax Continues To Take Shots At Its Fox News Competition
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax loves to take shots at its much bigger competitor, Fox News, by trying to portray it as insufficiently right-wing and pro-Trump. It has continued to do so. Dick Morris delivered in a July 28 Newsmax TV appearance:

Rupert Murdoch's media empire is only hurting itself, not former President Donald Trump, by turning away from him in the wake of the Jan. 6 committee hearings, political strategist and author Dick Morris told Newsmax.

"I don't know if it will have an impact on Trump, but I think it will have a big impact for Fox News," Morris, the host of Newsmax's show "Dick Morris Democracy" and author of the bestselling "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback," said on Newsmax's "Prime News" Tuesday night. "I think that the Murdoch policy, which is making Fox flip and turn on a dime, is going to really hurt them.

"You know, Trump is very popular with the Republican base and is going to win that nomination, overwhelmingly. I don't think he'll even have a primary fight, and I think Murdoch is making a big mistake."

Morris' comments were in response to an opinion piece on Politico that said Murdoch is "finally done" with Trump and points out not only Fox News but opinion pieces in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal and the New York Post that criticized Trump and show the media giants have "viciously" turned against him, potentially in favor of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Fox News has quit covering Trump's rallies and did not cover his speech in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, said Morris, adding that only a couple of the network's stars, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, are still pro-Trump, but Brett Baier is "openly hostile" to the former president.

Newsmax, of course, remains in full Trump suck-up mode -- particularly Morris, who has a new pro-Trump book to sell.

A couple days later, Rudy Giuliani popped up on Newsmax TV to similarly whine about Fox News:

Fox News' shadow ban of former President Donald Trump shows it is feeding into anti-Trump propaganda of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee "liars" over the Trump truth-tellers, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax.

"I don't get how they're buying into the Jan. 6 committee fraud — I mean, completely fraudulent committee," Giuliani told "Saturday Report=." "Look, the people on the Jan. 6 committee are the same ones that told us that there was Russian collusion. Trump and I — and the people that Fox apparently is banning — said there wasn't any Russian coalition. The people running the Jan. 6 committee were lying about that, and we were telling the truth.


Giuliani noted Fox News' reported ban of Trump comes less than a year after the network blocked him from appearing to talk about the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks on New York.

"They blacked me out, or banned me, for I don't know how long," Giuliani said of "interviewing me, mentioning me," adding it has continued through attempts to cover raging New York crime and ignoring the former mayor who once had it held in check.

"And of course, they're covering crime in the city, and the person who probably knows the most in New York City about crime is me, and they will never put me on," he continued.

The same day, Eric Mack wrote an article hyping that "The New York Times is reporting that Fox News has not had Donald Trump on its network in over 100 days, which the paper said was part of a larger strategy to eliminate the former president as a major GOP player." He then promoted Morris' book claim that "Trump will easily win the upcoming Republican primary, but is the only GOP candidate who can win against the Democrats in 2024" -- but he didn't mention that Newsmax published Morris' book.

For an Aug. 1 article, Newsmax found a "roving media critic" to help it trash Fox News for not liking Trump enough:

Fox News' decision to ignore or shun former President Donald Trump is "not surprising," roving media critic and former New York City Commissioner Brian Andersson says.

Last Friday, The New York Times reported Fox News has decided to downplay Trump and has not had him on-air for over 100 days.

"I would say they are shunning him," Andersson told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now," predicting Fox News will very occasionally have Trump on air.

Newsmax surprisingly had on a New York Times reporter on Aug. 2 -- though he was there to talk smack about Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a particular Newsmax target for siding with Russia in its war against Ukraine:

Days after reporting on Fox News' shadow ban of former President Donald Trump, The New York Times' Jeremy Peters told Newsmax's Eric Bolling on Monday night that star host Tucker Carlson didn't vote for Trump and thinks little of his supporters.

Videos surfaced over the weekend of Carlson laughing it up with Trump at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course as supporters broke out into boisterous "Let's go, Brandon" cheers.

But Peters insists Carlson is not a Trump fan.

"There are a lot of people, Eric, who snicker behind Trump's back, who say that they support him publicly and they like his ideas, and they like him, but privately, it's a different story," Peters said.

"In private, what [Carlson] says about Trump is very different than what he says about Trump in public, and it benefits him to be seen having photos taken with Trump at the golf course and everything," Peters said.

Peters ultimately argued, however, that the alleged war between Fox News and Trump is at least somewhat contrived:

Both Fox News and Trump ultimately benefit from the ongoing tension, Peters continued.

"The media loves tension," the Times media analyst said. "We love stories about fights, especially, if you're in my position: fights among Republicans."

Trump and Fox News have had a long contentious relationship, including the 2016 presidential campaign and the 2020 presidential election night coverage, but one where both need each other, according to Peters.

That's probably close to Newsmax will come to admitting that it may be hyping tension between Fox News and Trump so that Trump ultimately benefits.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
WND Columnists Freak Out Over Mar-a-Lago Raid
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've shown how WorldNetDaily's "news" coverage of the FBI search at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound was highly biased. Its pro-Truum popinion columnists were even more hyperbolic. Here's a sample:

Fresh off the Democratic Party empowering the Internal Revenue Service with 87,000 new agents, many of them armed to the teeth, the FBI conducted one of its famous early morning raids – the first ever against a former president, the one widely thought to have been cheated out of the last election, the popular Donald J. Trump.

It was one of darkest days in America – Aug. 8.

It came on the anniversary of another dark day – exactly one year to the date that 18 RINO senators joined the Democrats to break a filibuster and advance the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to a final vote, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joining the Democratic majority.

These are the betrayers of America, the Deep State. They include ALL elected Democrats, the intelligence agencies and much of the federal bureaucracy, which is at war with the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and decency. These are people who are at war with America.

The unprecedented raid of Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago, his castle, was slammed hard by most Republicans for overwhelming evidence of abuse by Joe Biden and the Department of "Injustice" for political weaponization. But not McConnell. He's part of the Deep State.


The date of the raid also coincided with the date of Richard Nixon's televised resignation for Watergate.

If Donald Trump's home is not safe from this kind of raid by the FBI, is anybody's home safe? Of course not. America has indeed become North Korea or China.

What's the answer? We must give a stunning victory to the new brand of Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections. Then we must we must return Trump to the presidency by 2024. And then we must remember how Democrats reigned like they did – like fascists – when they had the chance.

Remember in November – or we may not have another chance.

-- Joseph Farah, Aug. 9 column

By launching a surprise attack on President Trump's home in Florida, while Trump was away, the Biden administration has breached even its own low standard for decency. Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland should resign immediately for allowing it.


No, the real reason for this raid on Trump is as plain as the advancing dementia on Joe Biden’s addled face. With each successful election result this year, Trump is on track to win back the White House in 2024, and panicky Democrats are exploiting their control of the federal government to try to prevent that from happening.

-- Andy Schlafly, Aug. 9 column

Having watched the Department of Justice in action these last 20 or so years, I see the raid on Mar-a-Lago as unprecedented only in its conspicuousness.

After Al Gore's bitter loss in 2000, Democrats across the board have dedicated themselves to bureaucratic sedition, enabled by an equally embittered and increasingly imbalanced media.

The FBI and the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, are riddled with leftist careerists, many of them in key positions. The symptoms of rot have been hard to avoid since at least 2004.

-- Jack Cashill, Aug. 10 column

Without the raid, the media would be forced to continue to focus on inflation and economic disaster, the classroom chaos brought by a communist-spawned CRT curriculum, the death and destruction wrought by the criminal class, repeated foreign-policy debacles, the abandonment of America's borders, massive homelessness, record drug abuse and general failure of the Democratic Party in Congress and the White House.

But with this raid, the media, which are 99.9% pure Democratic leftist, will be able to focus on their Nemesis, Donald Trump. Let the nightly shock and awe begin.

To make sure the scandal runs the up to Election Day, the U.S. Justice Department and FBI "will not comment" on "an ongoing investigation," which leaves the press free to speculate.

The press speculation will portray Donald Trump as the worst criminal in history. No insult will be left unsaid. As the partisan work of the faux Jan. 6 Committee fades into nothingness, like the two impeachment trials before it, the chief players in the justice system have set the table for a Democratic victory in November. A Nov. 8 victory is the Democrats' target, not Donald Trump.


A fair-minded person might ask, since Donald Trump had nothing to do with the packing of those boxes, why would he be held responsible for the content? If he knew there was classified material in those boxes, why did he grant access to the FBI? Since the boxes were in a secure, locked room, a room that had been locked according to the direction of FBI agents, how could Donald Trump be guilty of carelessness? If the content was not secure, since the FBI ordered a lock, the FBI is responsible.

--Mike Pottage, Aug. 15 column

Now, Donald Trump's home has been raided in an unprecedented move by 30 FBI agents. It's like a nightmare come true. No other president has had his post-White House estate invaded in an unannounced attack. It was sanctioned by Attorney General Merrick Garland – "the highest law enforcement official in the land," a joke!

The stakes just went up. He's been investigated more than any president without cause. There's nothing the left will not do him – nothing. He's enemy No. 1.

America loved this man. And this man loved America. That's why he scares the ruling class so much.

They won't be happy until he is gone – out of the public conversation. That's how they protect their interests.

-- Joseph Farah, Aug. 16 column

More than a week after the Gestapo-like raid of President Trump’s home, the Democrat-controlled Justice Department has disclosed nothing to justify the unprecedented action against America’s leading presidential candidate. As a first step among many to come, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland, who admitted that he approved the raid.


Garland's conduct is an affront to our democratic republic, and it improperly disrupts our upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024. His armed raid on the home of the leading presidential candidate while refusing to disclose the basis for it cannot stand.


Political prosecutions hide behind secrecy, and transparency would help stop them. There was no justification for federal agents to demand that Mar-a-Lago staff turn off the surveillance cameras so that the agents could violate limits on the scope of the warrant without accountability.

Despite the deliberate intimidation caused by more than 30 armed agents ransacking Trump’s home, his skeleton summer staff courageously refused the agents’ improper demand to turn off the cameras. Yet there remains no accountability for how federal agents tried to hide their own misconduct from surveillance.

-- Andy Schlafly, Aug. 16 column


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT

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