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Monday, November 14, 2022
NEW ARTICLE: The Lost Cause Isn't Lost At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Both before and after Charlottesville, WorldNetDaily has been sad that Confederate statues are being taken down just because they represent institutionalized racism and an opponent that lost a war against the United States. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 AM EST
Sunday, November 13, 2022
MRC Cheers Musk's Official Takeover of Twitter
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been a giddy enthusiast for Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, even as Musk tried to get out of buying it. When it appeared the sale was actually going to happen for real, Autumn Johnson kept up the cheerleading in an Oct. 25 post:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly plans to close his deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion on Friday.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that Musk told bankers providing $13 billion in funding that the deal would close by the end of the week.

NewsBusters reported last week that Musk plans to lay off nearly 75% of the company’s employees to save money.

“'Although, obviously, myself and the other investors are obviously overpaying for Twitter right now, the long-term potential for Twitter in my view is an order of magnitude greater than its current value,'” Musk reportedly said at the time.

Musk previously said he wanted to buy the platform to promote free speech online after he criticized the company for censoring certain content.

Johnson didn't mention that, as we noted, Musk negated hs attempt to get out of his deal to buy Twitter by complaining about the number of bot accounts because he explicitly waiving his right to due diligence, meaning that his only options were to pay Twitter billions to terminate the deal or just suck up and buy the company as agreed.

When Musk finally did close the deal, Catherine Salgado served up Musk stenography in an Oct. 27 post:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a statement to Twitter advertisers following news that his deal for the platform was going through that he acquired the platform “because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square.”

Musk tweeted his statement to Twitter advertisers Thursday morning, explaining why he decided to buy Twitter to begin with and what his goals are for advertisements on the platform. Musk said he bought Twitter to create a free speech space where people from the whole political spectrum could engage in open “dialogue.”

The Tesla CEO also said he hopes to see Twitter grow into “the most respected advertising platform in the world” with “highly relevant ads” for all users.

He began by saying most speculation about his motivations has been inaccurate. “The reason I acquired Twitter is … to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”

[...]

ime will tell if Musk’s leadership will finally usher in a new era of free speech on a platform that suffered from a sordid obsession with censoring conservative opinions it didn’t like.

That's not what happened, of course; Twitter simply enforced its terms of service, as is its right as a private company, and the MRC exploited that to manufacture a narrative of conservatives being "censored" (despite never bothering to  make any serious attempt to examine if liberals faced the same issue).

When Musk fired  the existing Twitter CEO, Joseph Vazquez cheered under the headline "GOOD RIDDANCE":

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is reportedly out as head of the platform as the world’s richest man completed his $44 billion acquisition after a tumultuous negotiations process.

CNBC reported that Agrawal and Twitter Chief Finance Officer Ned Segal “left the company's San Francisco headquarters” after Musk took charge as the new owner "and will not be returning." Musk shared in his statement to Twitter’s advertisers that his free speech vision is for the platform to become a “common digital town square” which stands in stark contrast to Agrawal’s dystopian, anti-free speech nightmare. Agrawal stated in November 2020 that the company’s role was “not to be bound by the First Amendment” but to decide “who can be heard.”

Musk posted a video of himself Oct. 26 walking into Twitter headquarters holding a sink with the caption: “[L]et that sink in!” One thing’s for sure: Agrawal's censorship-obsessed career at Twitter has been officially flushed down the drain.

Musk recently updated his Twitter bio to "Chief Twit."

Of course,  Twitter was never such a "dystopian, anti-free speech nightmare" that the MRC ever left the platform -- which tells us it never was that, meaning that this overheated rhetoric is simply another manufactured MRC narrative.

When critics foresaw Musk's dismantling of moderation standards would send Twitter into chaos -- accurately, as it turned out, given that racist posts flooded Twitter after Musk closed the deal -- the MRC tried to shout them down:

The MRC censored the surge in racism on Twitter; instead, it continued serving as Musk's PR agent. An Oct. 28 post by Johnson framed Musk's "content moderation council" as a free-speech move and not the censorship move it did when pre-Musk Twitter engaged in content moderation:

Elon Musk says changes are coming to Twitter just one day after he closed a deal to purchase the platform for $44 billion.

Musk, who has expressed concern about one-sided content moderation, said a council with “widely diverse viewpoints” will set the platform’s standards for removal.

“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” he tweeted Friday afternoon. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

An Oct. 30 post by Johnson touted a fellow right-winger invoking the MRC's bogus "censorship" narrative to pressure Musk:

New Twitter chief Elon Musk said he will “look into” increased censorship on Twitter during the 2022 election season.

Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion last week, was responding to a tweet from Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Fitton shared an article alleging that the platform “flag[ged]” a ballot harvesting report.

“Election censorship returns as @Twitter flags ballot harvesting report," Fitton tweeted on Saturday.".@ElonMusk should immediately examine how the company is now interfering in the election on behalf of the Left.”

Neither Johnson nor Fitton offered any evidence that the "ballot harvesting" story -- cranked out by right-wing outlet Just the News -- was accurate and independently proven, or why unproven rumors should be allowed to spread unchecked.

Johnson wrote another PR piece for Musk later that day, touting how he "seems to be toying with a plan that would allow Twitter users to 'select' which version of Twitter they prefer." Johnson served up yet another PR piece after that:

Conservative Twitter accounts have reported gaining thousands of new followers after Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased the platform last week.

The New York Times reported last week that “far right” Twitter accounts gained thousands of new followers according to research from Memetica, a company that analyzes digital data:

[...]

Memetica's CEO, Ben Decker, said the company’s findings were alarming and told the Times that the surge in followers “could be an indication that far-right people are migrating back to Twitter as they see the potential for a more friendly environment.”

“The more followers and wider reach these accounts have, the more distribution these ideas have,” Decker added. 

Not surprisingly, Decker did not define what constitutes a “far right” Twitter account.

These comments show that Musk’s concerns about the biases of online platforms against certain viewpoints are well-founded.

Or it could be that a raft of new right-wing bot accounts have been created, a possibility Johnson didn't mention. Johnson's concern over what defines a "far right" Twitter account is hilarious given how much her employer loves to use "liberal" "left-wing" and "far left" interchangably without defining those terms.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EST
CNS' Donohue Still Trying To Distract From Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
Topic: CNSNews.com

Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue loves to try and shout down anyone who points out the Catholic Church's history of covering up sexual abuse perpetrated by its priests and then distort the facts to turn attention away from church culpability, and he's not about to stop anytime soon. He served up a different angle on this in his Oct. 4 column:

An AP story last week on mandatory reporting laws didn’t get much traction. That’s because it broke no new ground.

Written by Jason Dearen and Michael Rezendes, they found that 33 states exempt the clergy from mandatory reporting laws governing the sexual abuse of minors. “This loophole has resulted in an unknown number of predators being allowed to continue abusing children for years despite having confessed behavior to religious officials.”

The reason why no one knows how many predators have continued to abuse children for years “despite having confessed behavior to religious officials” is because no one has been able to identify a singular instance when this has happened. The real story here has less do with legal loopholes than it does with crashing the confessional.

Donohue didn't explain why the confessional is so sacrosanct that serious crimes must be hidden from authorities and, more likely than not, allowed to continue.

Donohue returned to his usual dishonest whining in his Oct. 28 column:

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued the most vacuous report, “Diocese of Marquette: A Complete Accounting,” on clergy sexual abuse ever written. We know she has been out to get the Catholic Church, but this effort makes her look incompetent, as well as unethical.

The probe of Catholic dioceses searching for instances of clergy sexual abuse began in 2018 under her predecessor, Bill Schuette; she took the reins in 2019. There has been no attempt to investigate the sexual abuse of minors by ministers, rabbis, imams or school teachers. Just Catholic priests.

This amounts to Catholic profiling. Make no mistake, this is no less invidious than a probe of violent crime would be if it only targeted African Americans. Such a selective approach smacks of bigotry.

Donohue didn't identify where those other religious denominations has exhibited a history of systematically hiding sexual abuse the way the Catholic Church has.

Donohue went on to gloat that the Michigan investigation didn't find enough sexual abuse cases for him to care about:

What they found was scratch. A grand total of 44 priests had allegations made against them since 1950. While one molesting priest is too many, how many religious or secular institutions—where adults regularly interact with minors—and are roughly the size of the Marquette Diocese, could honestly say they have a better record than this? We don’t know because Nessel has no interest in finding out.

It is important to note the limitations of this report as even acknowledged by its authors. [The emphasis is in the original.]

“The allegations are summarized here, and their inclusion does not reflect a determination by the Department [of the Attorney General] that the allegations are credible or otherwise substantiated.”

In other words, the accused did not have a chance to rebut the charges. There’s a good reason for this—32 of the 44 priests are “known or presumed to be dead.” Moreover, only 6 of the 44 cases have been substantiated by the Diocese. We cannot assume that all the others involve guilty priests.

That gloating does not sound like it comes from a man who genuinely believes that "one molesting priest is too many." He then cranked up the whataboutism:

Moreover, if Nessel were even-handed, she would launch an investigation into the public schools. In 2016, USA Today did a 50-state study of this issue, grading each state on how well they handled this problem. Michigan received an “F” for its failure to adequately address the crisis of sexual abuse in its public schools.

Why hasn’t Nessel done a probe? Is it because she is wedded to the teacher unions? What else could be it?

Or it could be that there is no evidence of systematic abuse or a coverup of said abuse in public schools the way there has been in the Catholic Church. It's as if he's trying to distract from something.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 AM EST
Saturday, November 12, 2022
MRC's Graham Whines That Right-Wing Radio Hate Was Called Out -- But He Won't Defend It
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham began his Oct. 19 column by declaring, "Liberals like to think that conservatives are very closed-minded and can’t handle listening to an opposing opinion." He the unironically proves them right by spending the rest of his column ranting about how he can't handle an opposing opinion -- in this case, NPR reporting that right-wing talk radio has divided America:

Liberals like to think that conservatives are very closed-minded and can’t handle listening to an opposing opinion. But whenever "mainstream" journalists start discussing talk radio and how it’s “bad for America,” you can surmise that they often can’t handle the other side.

On September 16, the CBS News show Sunday Morning devoted the whole show to exploring “A Nation Divided.” CBS would like you to think they don’t like division and are not divisive. That’s false.

Fill-in host Ted Koppel began: “Tens of millions of Americans get their political marching orders from the radio.” Now how insulting is that? How divisive is that? Anyone who listens to conservatives on the radio is (to borrow the old Washington Post insult) “poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

Democracy is supposed to be about persuasion, and you’re not going to persuade someone or unify the country by saying half of us are taking “marching orders” from talk-radio generals. It sounds like CBS liberals are frustrated that their “marching orders” aren’t followed.

The CBS reporter was Jim Axelrod. He's no relation to Democrat strategist David Axelrod, but they sound like brothers. He began with more insults: "35 years after the talk radio revolution, on the air is still often an exercise in off the rails." This, from the Dan Rather Channel that somehow never went off the rails into fake news.

At no point did Graham disprove anything CBS reported. Instead, the rest of his column is filled with whataboutism and personal attacks on the reporters and commentators. He concluded with more whataboutism: "To sum up, CBS journalists think conservative radio is bad for America, but when they compare conservatives to Cambodian communist crackpots who slaughtered about two million people, that’s not divisive. It’s a satchel of sweet reason."

Whataboutism is not "media research." But that's a defining feature of the MRC these days  -- and a tacit admission on Graham's part that he cannot logically defend the division and hate his fellow right-wingers spread.

UPDATE: Graham's column is derived from an Oct. 16 post by Kevin Tober complaining about this same segment for having smeared "the greatest radio host of all time, Rush Limbaugh." The cultish hero worship Tober continued to exhibit for Limbaugh got donwright embarrassing:

Axelrod and ["pseudo-historian and talk radio hater" Brian] Rosenwald are obviously jealous of Rush Limbaugh's success. They know that they don't have anyone and never will have anyone who comes close to the influence and popularity that Rush Limbaugh had in American culture and politics.

Their heroes will be forgotten once they're gone. Rush Limbaugh will never be forgotten and his influence lives within every young conservative in media or the conservative movement. 

Atlanta conservative radio host Neal Boortz once called Rush Limbaugh the "Babe Ruth of talk radio". With all due respect to Boortz, that is understating Rush's influence. Babe Ruth was the greatest Baseball player of all time, but he didn't invent the sport.

Rush Limbaugh invented nationally syndicated conservative talk radio when nobody thought it would be successful. Not only that but he stayed number one for over 32 years. Ending his long career with his biggest audience ever of over 43 million listeners. 

In 32 years nobody will remember who hosted CBS Sunday Morning. You can't say the same about Rush Limbaugh.

Tober's proof that Limbaugh's show had "over 43 million listeners" comes from ... Limbaugh himself. Not exactly an impartial source. And it's sad that Tober thinks a man who maliciously and disgustingly smeared a woman as a "slut" for taking birth control could possibly be considered "great." Then again, the boys at the MRC loved his sick misogyny.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 14, 2022 7:45 PM EST
WND Columnists Mixed On Gabbard Quitting Democratic Party
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, like CNSNews.com and Newsmax, WorldNetDaily was quite happy to see Tulsi Gabbard leave the Democratic Party -- and to pretend she was a real Democrat and that her departure meant something. Wayne Allyn Root proclaimed in his Oct. 15 column that her departure would help Republicans in the midterm elections:

I never thought I'd be thanking an ex-Democrat former congresswoman and presidential candidate for telling the truth, exposing the evil Democratic agenda and saving the GOP. But former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just broke the mold.

Tulsi, we all love and appreciate you. You are our hero. You may have changed the midterms. You may have just saved America!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your courage, strength and raw honesty. You have done something that no one could even imagine before this week. You just broke with not only the entire Democratic Party, but also the D.C. swamp, the deep state and the evil cabal of Marxist Democrat donors like George Soros and Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum. 

You just exposed the purposeful Democratic plan to destroy this country. Remarkably, you said it louder and with more truth than 99% of Republican officeholders and 99% of Republican candidates in this election.

Gabbard's exit statement in leaving the Democratic Party sounded like I wrote it. It was word for word everything I've said on my national radio show, two national television shows and podcast for years. Word for word.

Gabbard didn't just say something short, sweet and meaningless, like "I'm not leaving the Democratic Party; the party left me." She stuck a sword through their heart like a hero killing a monster. She destroyed the Democratic Party like no former Democrat officeholder has in history. She explained in detail their radical agenda.

Gabbard's exit speech read like a Donald Trump or Wayne Allyn Root stump speech. She called Democrats an elitist cabal.

IF she sounded like Trump or Root, that means she wasn't a real Democrat. Nevertheles, Root continued to heap praise on her: "Tulsi, it's great to have you on my team. Welcome to 'Wayne's World."'You may have just changed the direction of America. You may have just saved the GOP with your raw truth. God bless you."

Scott Lively, however, was less enthusiastic. He began his Oct. 28 column by claiming that he "collaborated with Tulsi Gabbard's Dad, Mike Gabbard, back in the 1990s (drafting the Framingham Declaration formally defining the natural family)," then noted her "her voting record on abortion which is very mixed." But what really made Lively skeptical about her is that she doesn't hate gay people enough:

But when push came to shove in the LGBT political battles in Congress in 2012, Tulsi apologized to the "gays" for her earlier pro-family stance and began pushing for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act – a gross betrayal of the pro-family cause on one of the most fundamental of pro-family issues: the sanctity of marriage. She then became a reliable member of the House LGBT "Equality Caucus" with a voting record consistently above 83% from the Human Rights Campaign during the same years HRC was viciously attacking me as Public Enemy No. 1 of the global LGBT agenda.

I must admit that I had a much more favorable opinion of Tulsi Gabbard before I started researching her – and I based my theme and title for this article on that prior opinion. But after a couple hours of research, I must say I really don't trust her. Her resume is impeccably tailored to help her 1) rise high in the political realm, including her attainment of the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, and 2) prove that she is pragmatic enough to serve whatever agenda the dominant power of the day demands in exchange for power of her own. She now wants power in the MAGA movement and is taking pro-family positions again on issues like the Florida Parental Rights Bill and opposition to the transgender agenda. The leftist LGBTs have renounced her, while Trojan Horse MAGA homosexuals like Glenn Greenwald (whom I respect as a writer but condemn for selfishly using children as props to normalize homosexual parenting) have defended her.

My gut tells me that Gabbard is genuinely pro-life and pro-family at heart, but doesn't consider the principles important enough to stand on at the cost of losing power. I could never do that, which is one reason I have never held political power and lost both my elections for governor of Massachusetts.

Lively then noted that "Tulsi is not a Christian but a Hindu, which brings me around to the theme of working with non-Christians on the natural rights that are common to all the world religions and the vast majority of the people of the world." He concluded:

Because I knew her Dad and respect her upbringing on natural rights issues, I welcome Tulsi Gabbard to the MAGA movement, on a probationary basis, until she proves that she really is pro-life and pro-family by publicly defending those principles at real cost to herself and not just as a political maneuver to curry favor with Trump. She brings a lot to the team, but not yet political integrity.

Again, for Lively, "political integrity" means hating LGBT people.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2022 5:38 PM EST
Friday, November 11, 2022
MRC Can't Stop Defending Kanye West
Topic: Media Research Center

Even his spewing anti-Semitic rhetoric isn't stopping the Media Research Center from defending its longtime right-wing buddy, Kanye West. Mark Finkelstein complained in an Oct. 20 post that "Morning Joe" pointed out that West was fact-checked for claiming George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose and not Derek Chauvin's knee on his neck:

At one point, Mika cited rapper Kanye West as an example of people lying. Fact checkers jumped on West for implying George Floyd was hyped up on fentanyl -- and that police officer Derek Chauvin didn't have his knee on Floyd's neck. But let's just isolate the fentanyl. Scarborough said:

Kanye West is going out, talking about George Floyd being on fentanyl. You know -- I guess people thought, Willie, in the age of Trump, that they could say whatever they wanted to say. They could spread whatever liesthey wanted to spread.

So let's take Joe's advice and read the Wall Street Journal. From the Wall Street Journal article on the official coroner's report on the death of George Floyd.

"The county medical examiner found the cause of death was 'cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.' Its autopsy results also indicated heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use."

So who's lying now, Joe?

Given that the autopsy he quoted specifically said neck compression, not fentanyl, was the actual cause of Floyd's death -- and he hid the fact that, according to the fact-check he cited, West falsely claimed Chauvin's knee was not on his neck and that nobody was denying there was fentanyl in Floyd's system -- it appears the real liar and deceiver here is Finkelstein.

Finkelstein returned on Oct. 23 to grumble that MSNBC host Tiffany Cross likened Fox News demagogue Tucker Carlson to Ye:

Cross began by playing a clip of Carlson defending Kanye West against charges that he is mentally ill. Cross suggested that the reason Carlson doesn't find Kanye crazy is that Carlson is crazy himself!

"I wonder if Tucker doesn't find Kanye to be, to have some mental challenges, maybe because it takes somebody else with the same challenges to understand him?"

Michael Steele, the former RNC chairman turned member of the disgraced Lincoln Project, agreed. Steele claimed that Tucker's defense of Kanye against charges of being crazy was "projection" on Carlson's part. According to Steele, Tucker was talking about himself, because "that's how we see Tucker. That's how a larger community of people see Tucker," i.e, as crazy. 

I find Kanye to be a few fries short of a Happy Meal. And find his antisemitic remarks repugnant. But Cross weirdly tried to claim that "this is who the GOP chooses to put out front. Herschel Walker, who has said himself, he has multiple personalities. I, this is the GOP, putting out these folks."

Finkelstein's description of West's anti-Semitism as "repugnant" is only the second time anyone at the MRC has criticized his remarks (following Nicholas Fondacaro a few days earlier), and it comes a full 14 days after the anti-Semitic Twitter post that kicked off the anti-Ye backlash that the MRC has been so reluctant to take part in. Interestingly, Finkelstein's post, like Fondacaro's, denounced Ye's anti-Semitism only in the context of criticizing people claiming their fellow right-wingers are like him.

Finkelstein didn't explain why he did mention Ye's anti-Semitism in his post defending West's false assertions about Floyd three days earlier. He also didn't mention why he and the rest of the MRC have been completely silent about the revelation that Carlson selectively edited the interview he conducted with West in early October (which set off the MRC's last round of gushing over him) to remove anti-Semitism and other craziness.

But the MRC's instinct, however, is still to paint West as a right-wing "victim" of Big Tech "censors" and "cancel culture." Which is why Jason Cohen wrote this Oct. 27 post:

It is October 2022, and people are seriously considering banning the music of an important and influential artist: Kanye “Ye” West. 

Apple Music tested the waters by removing his “essentials” playlist. 

If you click the link to the playlist, it does not load. It is just an endlessly spinning wheel. 

Apple has not made a statement explaining it yet. Perhaps the company is waiting to see the response. As of now, it has not been massive, just a few small pieces about it.

There should not even be a debate about whether banning his music is correct, but it is not surprising in today’s cancel culture.

Variety asked the question point blank in a piece by Jem Aswad titled, "Should Kanye West’s music be banned?"

Thankfully, Aswad came to the following conclusion: “Great art is sometimes made by horrible people, and whether or not a person is morally comfortable consuming that art, and earning money for that horrible person, is up to them.”

Exactly.

Huh? "There should not even be a debate"? Private businesses like Apple and  Spotify have the First Amendment right not to promote someone whose views it finds repugnant. Nobody has a "right" to force a business to promote it -- just as it is up to listeners to decide whether to continue to patronize Ye. 

Cohen continued:

It will be interesting to see what the "rights-holders" do in this situation. It would be awesome if they donated because it would likely mean substantial money for worthwhile causes. 

Also, after this is over, hopefully, Ye realizes the harm he caused and somehow attempts to amend it financially or otherwise. But it should be his choice. They should not compel him to do so through threats of banning.

Again: Private businesses have the right to "ban" or not ban someone's product based on who that person is, just like people have the right to choose not to listen to it.

Curiously missing from Cohen's post is the term "anti-Semitic" to describe what, exactly, West did. That would seem important in accurately describing the nature of Ye's offense, but shoving Ye into the MRC's victim narrative is more important to Cohen than being factual about his offense.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 12, 2022 10:24 AM EST
Whores: CNS Promotes Dubious Anti-Google 'Study' Produced By MRC Parent
Topic: CNSNews.com

In yet another example of the whoredom that gets complained about only when non-right-wingers engage in it, an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com "news" article by intern Lauren Shank is essentially a press release for CNS' owner:

The Media Research Center’s FreeSpeech America division conducted a study that caught Google burying 83% of Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites in comparison to their Democratic competitors, who appeared as the top searches in organic search results.

“Google must be investigated for its un-American efforts to sway the election,” L. Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center, told Free Speech America.

“First, researchers caught Google red-handed by proving Republican campaign emails were sent to spam," said Bozell. "Now we’ve uncovered Google manipulating search results to hide Republican campaign websites while promoting Democratic ones. This is all an effort by Google to help Democrats and interfere in the democratic process.”

As we've documented, the MRC "study" offers no research justification for the search terms it used or why they should have put a candidate's website at the top of the results -- a flaw that undermines the foundation of the entire study. But Shank is in stenography mode and wasn't about to question the results. Heck, she didn't even bother to disclose the obvious conflict of interest the MRC is CNS' parent.

Meanwhile, Craig Bannister tried to up the whoredom in an article the same day taht laughably tried to credit a declinein profits at Google to the MRC study:

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, suffered a 27% drop in third-quarter net profit, as search engine ad sales failed to meet projections.

Alphabet also recorded a double-digit percent decline in net income, through the first nine months of the year, The Epoch Times reported Wednesday:

[...]

What’s more, a new analysis by Media Research Center Free Speech America reveals that Google appears to be skewing its search engine results in favor of Democrats in order to affect the midterm elections in November.

“Anti-Democracy Google is manipulating search results to bury Senate Republican candidates’ campaign websites before the 2022 midterm elections,” the study, “Google CAUGHT Manipulating Search, Buries GOP Campaign Sites in 83% of Top Senate Races,” concludes.

Given that the financial numbers were for a time period that ended Oct. 1, there is no conceivable way the MRC "study" had any impact on them, despite what Bannister is suggesting. He too didn't disclose that his employer also produced the "study" he's hyping.

Does CNS think this is a good way to be a legitimate "news" organization? It's not.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST
WND's Cashill Still Defending George Floyd's Killer Cop
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One thing you can say about WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill is that he's ludicrously dedicated to his causes and conspiracy theories, and he'll never admit he was wrong about them despite all the evidence that shows he is. Take, for example, his devotion to Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed Geirge Floyd who Cashill has been defending as a victim of reverse racism ,or something. Despite a complete lack of credible evidence that Chauvin was not responsible for Floyd's death, Cashill's defense of him is still plodding forward. He played whataboutism with another favored victim in a July 27 column:

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and D.C. Metro Police Officer Lila Morris each encountered a likely lawbreaker of another race in distress. One attempted to arrest the lawbreaker as peacefully as possible. The other beat the distressed person savagely with a stick.

The one officer became a national pariah and is likely to spend the next 20 or so years in prison. The other officer is unknown to the major media and has not even been reprimanded. Those who insist that America is laboring under a two-tier justice system need no other example to prove their case.

Morris, the D.C. officer, is black. Her victim's name is Roseanne Boyland. She was white. Should race matter in this case? Why not? It certainly did in Chauvin's. Had George Floyd been white, Chauvin would likely still be a Minneapolis cop.

It's telling that Cashill still can't spell Boyland's first name correctly (it's "Rosanne"), suggesting a lack of commitment and overall journalistic laziness. Speaking of which, Cashill lazily peddled his previous defenses of Boyland, this time adding; "As videos by the Epoch Times clearly show, Morris picked up a long stick lying in the tunnel and struck Boyland savagely three times. She attempted to strike her a fourth time, but the stick mercifully flew out of her hand." Cashill doesn't explain why anyone should trust such unconfirmed evidence coming from a biased right-wing outlet like the Epoch Times or why a police officer doesn't have the right to defend herself against a group of violent insurrectionists. Instead, he whined:

Four people died on Capitol grounds Jan. 6. All were protesters. It is possible that all four were killed as a direct result of police action. Ashli Babbitt certainly was. And if Officer Morris did not kill Boyland, there should at least be some repercussion for beating a person already unconscious.

Derek Chauvin did nothing remotely as evil as that. In truth, he did nothing evil at all.

Cashill used his Oct. 12 column to accuse Minnesota officials of not overturning Chauvin's murder convicction beause they fear another riot:

The judges on the Minnesota Court of Appeals will soon be asking themselves the same question the jurors did in the third-degree murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

Do I save Derek Chauvin? Or do I save my own ass?

The judges will inevitably have to consider the effects on the community's well-being and on their own personal safety if they choose to overturn Chauvin's conviction.

The jurors could keep their fears to themselves. The judges will have to confront them head on. In his concise and passionate reply brief filed on Oct. 7, Chauvin attorney William F. Mohrman allows the judges little wiggle room. Says he bluntly and convincingly, "Chauvin did not receive due process."

There were many reasons why this was so.

Cashil lwent on to parrot Mohrman's argument that Chauvin could not have gotten a fair trial in Minneapollis because his trial came after the riots sparked by Chauvin's killing of Floyd: "Not since the federal civil rights trial of the cops acquitted in the Rodney King dust-up has any defendant faced so frightened a jury." As if the video of Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck for nine-plus minutes. Cashill actually defended the technique: "The maneuver looks bad, but it works, is relatively safely and has been widely used, even in Minneapolis."

Cashill concluded with yet another conspiracy:

Oral arguments, I am told, will be scheduled for January. The normal procedure is for the Court of Appeals to select three of its 19 judges to review the case as a panel.

Morhman suggested three possible remedies: reversal of the conviction, reversal and a remand for a new trial, or a remand for re-sentencing. If justice favors the first option, smart money favors the third.

Smart money also favors an early January outbreak of a new COVID variant at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. "You know I'd love to be on that panel but …"

Does Cashill think that U.S. officials are working with China to unleash new COVID variants to throw off scheduling of court hearings? It seems so.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC Flips On Kanye West: The Early Years
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hated rapper Kanye West -- until he started spouting right-wing anti-abortion rhetoric and launched a bromance with Donald Trump. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EST
Thursday, November 10, 2022
MRC's Biased "Research" Claims Google Buries GOP Candidate Websites
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is well known for concocting highly biased "studies" designed to advance partisan right-wing narratives rather than further the cause of legitimate research. (Remember its invention of "secondhand censorship" to push its victimhood narrative?) It was at it again in an Oct. 25 post that reads more like a political screed than any sort of "study":

Anti-Democracy Google is manipulating search results to bury Senate Republican candidates’ campaign websites before the 2022 midterm elections. This comes on the heels of a North Carolina State University study that found that Google’s Gmail marked 59.3 percent more emails from “right”-leaning candidates as spam compared to “left”-leaning candidates.

“Google must be investigated for its un-American efforts to sway the election,” said L. Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. “First, researchers caught Google red-handed by proving Republican campaign emails were sent to spam. Now we’ve uncovered Google manipulating search results to hide Republican campaign websites while promoting Democratic ones. This is all an effort by Google to help Democrats and interfere in the democratic process.” 

MRC Free Speech America has analyzed Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo search results for the 12 Senate races identified by RealClearPolitics as the most important to watch. Our researchers caught Google burying 10 of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites while highlighting their opponents campaign sites in organic search results. This stands in stark contrast to Bing and DuckDuckGo whose search results treated Republican and Democrat campaign websites more neutrally than Google.  

  • Google buried Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites. Ten of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites (83%) appeared far lower (or did not appear at all) on page one of Google’s organic search results compared to their Senate Democratic Party opponents’ campaign websites.
  • Google completely hid seven of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites in page one organic search results. Seven of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites did not appear on page one using Google’s organic search. Meanwhile, eight of 12 Senate Democratic Party candidate campaign websites were highlighted in the top six items in organic search results.
  • Google’s search result bias is undeniable when compared to Bing and DuckDuckGo. With the exception of two candidates, both Bing and DuckDuckGo showed both the Senate Democratic Party candidates’ campaign websites and the Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites in the top five organic search results on page one. 

The fact that Pariseau put her boss' political attack on Google ahead of the MRC's so-called "research" tells you the true intent of what was being done here. After a set of "recommendations" that began by ranting that "Google must stop its war against Democracy" -- again, not the sign of a serious researcher -- did Pariseau finally get around to describing how this "study" was done:

For this report, MRC Free Speech America has analyzed the Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo search results for the 12 Senate races identified by RealClearPolitics as the “Top Senate Races” on Oct. 7, 2022. The “Top Senate Races” included the Democratic Party and Republican Party candidates from the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin.

MRC Free Speech America created an algorithm to automate this process in a clean environment. A “clean environment” allows for organic search to populate results without the influence of prior search history and tracking cookies.

MRC Free Speech America researchers searched each candidate's name with the words “Senate Race 2022” using the algorithm. To determine bias, our researchers looked at each search engines’ results and recorded the rank(s) of each candidate’s campaign website.

Example(s): “Blake Masters Senate Race 2022” and “Mark Kelly Senate Race 2022”

What's missing, however, is any sort of reasoning why that particular search term should have put the campaign's website at the top of a given search engine's search operations -- or even why that particular term was used to test search placement.

Pariseau went on to write that "MRC Free Speech America has found that Google search results buried Senate Republican candidates’ campaign websites 83 percent of the time compared to their Democratic opponents. For more than half of these races, Google completely eliminated the Republican campaign websites from the first page of results." What she doesn't do, however, is show her work -- that is, the raw data that showed what those searches did retrieve. Remember, this "study" never explains why the only acceptable outcome for the search term it used is to put the campaign website at the top of the results, or even why that particular term is supposed to generate that particular result. After all, wouldn't someone a month before the election (theMRC conducted its searches on Oct. 7) likely be more interested in news about the candidate and campaign -- which is what search engines would likely be prioritizing -- than the campaign's website, which in most cases is filled with boilerplate platitudes?

Pariseau then cited a anti-Google activist to add a bit faux gravitas to its shoddy "research":

Over 90 percent of all searches are conducted on Google, according to Business Insider, so Google’s outsized influence makes its conduct uniquely harmful among the Big Tech companies. Because of its power and technological capability to shape elections,  liberal psychologist and researcher Dr. Robert Epstein, Ph.D., has repeatedly warned of the danger Google poses to American voters.

“Google poses a serious threat to democracy," Dr. Epstein said in his 2019 testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. He cited the fact that Google and Big Tech have the power to change 15 million votes and added that “to let Big Tech get away with subliminal manipulation on this scale would be to make the free and fair election meaningless.”

Dr. Epstein has extensively researched and monitored what users experienced while using Google products in the lead-up to the 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections. 

Dr. Epstein also noted in an interview< with Fox News host and contributor Tucker Carlson in 2020 that “Google’s search results were strongly biased in favor of liberals and Democrats.” He also said that the bias was being shown to every user but that conservative users who participated in the study received “slightly more liberal bias in their search results than liberals did.”

We've documented how Epstein's research alleging Google search bias in the 2016 election has been discredited because it was based on an absurdly small sample of 21 undecided voters.And Epstein appearing on the most biased right-wing show on the most biased right-wing "news" channel doesn't improve his credibility as much as Pariseau apparently thinks it does.

Speaking of boilerplace, Pariseau added a bunch that rehashed previous MRC attacks on Google purporting to show how "The company has aided Democrat politicians for at least a decade." That demonstrates even more that this is a partisan attack and a weak attempt at an October surprise rather than legitimately conducted research.

Propaganda in hand, Bozell was went to Fox News to hype this "research," where he knew he would face no serious questions about its shoddiness:

The MRC also got Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn to parrot the bogus results, as well as rich right-winger Vivek Ramaswamy.

When other people pointed out the study's shoddy construction, the MRC lamely fought back. Joseph Vazquez huffed in an Oct. 26 post:

The geniuses at Newsweek tried to toss the leftists at Google a lifeline by issuing a ridiculous “fact check” of MRC Free Speech America’s latest study showing Google manipulating search results to benefit Democrats in top senate races. 

MRC President Brent Bozell had a one-line response to Newsweek: “Remember Newsweek was sold for a dollar. Someone overpaid."

Newsweek’s so-called ‘fact check’ whined that the MRC< study, which caught Google burying 10 of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites while highlighting their opponents campaign sites in organic search results, “does not provide any definitive evidence to suggest Google deliberately alters their algorithm for partisan effect.”

Not only did the outlet not reach out to the Media Research Center for comment, it chose to leave out core elements of the study that upend Newsweek’s lazy work.

Bozell excoriated Newsweek and Google’s gaslighting: “Google's response and Newsweek's attack on our study are predictable for Google and Newsweek.”

Newsweek had parroted a Google spokesperson’s claim that the MRC Free Speech America “‘report is designed to mislead, testing uncommon search terms that people rarely use.’” 

The so-called fact-check’s “ruling”? “Unverified,” claimed Newsweek, which is a cute way of saying it isn’t really a fact-check. The outlet even conceded based on an expert it cited that Google is notorious for its “lack of transparency” when it comes to its algorithm.

Newsweek didn’t even bother mentioning that the MRC Free Speech America study researched the same parameters on two other search engines: Bing and DuckDuckGo. When MRC Free Speech America researchers performed the same searches on those two search engines, the results were more neutral. 

In all that whining and distraction, Vazquez never responded to Newsweek's central claim of a lack of proof of algorithim manipulation or an explanation of why those "uncommon search terms" were used.

Brian Bradley played the same distraction game against criticism from Google itself in an Oct. 28 post:

On Tuesday, MRC Free Speech America released a study “Google CAUGHT Manipulating Search, Buries GOP Campaign Sites in 83% of Top Senate Races” that showed Google manipulated data to suppress and censor Republicans in key Senate races at a time when the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance.

A Google spokesperson told Fox News Digital: "This report is designed to mislead, testing uncommon search terms that people rarely use. Anyone who searches for these candidate names on Google can clearly see that their campaign websites rank at the top of results - in fact, all of these candidates currently rank in the top three and often in the first spot in Google Search results." 

MRC Free Speech America applied the exact same methodology from its Senate study to analyze 36 top House races, where polling shows the House does not hang in the balance.

[...]

MRC Free Speech America’s methodology was not only correct, but when comparing Google’s search results with Bing and DuckDuckGo, Google’s search bias becomes even more clear.

When you can't even offer a plausible explanation for the "uncommon" search terms you use and then hid the raw data those search terms returned, that's evidence your methodology is not "correct." It's biased "research" designed to produce a predetermined result -- the exact opposite of real research.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 11, 2022 1:27 AM EST
A WND Columnist's Pre-Election 'Red Wave' Fiction
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Brad Lyles' Oct. 21 WorldNetDaily column was headlined "Will GOP leaders betray us again, post-red wave?":

It is all too likely our Republican leaders will betray us once again and will turn our Nov. 8 victory into a defeat.

It is all too likely we will once again suffer the "death of a thousand cuts" at the hands of our leadership – bleeding away the impact of electoral success and draining the life from our great movement.

Sen. Mitch McConnell will likely hold GOP leadership in the Senate; who can stop him? He likely will be erroneously credited with the success of new and MAGA Republican senators – even though he fought against the election of most of them.

Even though his leadership is uninspired and uninspiring. Even though more often than not he uses his power in opposition to both conservative and America First principles. Even though he betrays his base with clock-like regularity.

Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell are worse than Democrats. At least Democrats fight for their own. At least Democrats are loyal to their brand.

It is more than likely Republicans will also impose upon themselves a second defeat – by electing Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.

McCarthy, too, will wrongly be credited with the Republicans' victory this fall, despite his Herculean efforts to prevent the election of any Republican not loyal to him.

The existing and newly crowned MAGA candidates will likely not achieve numbers sufficient to unseat McCarthy. Once again we will be saddled with an ineffectual and inarticulate Republican leader, one already long compromised by his donors. McCarthy will persist, however, absent courage, absent vision and absent the wisdom to promote the America First ideas of his new colleagues.

Lyles' column was already speculative fiction when he wrote it, and the decided lack of a "red wave" in the midterms has made it age even more poorly. Lyles then really cranked up the hate and victimhood:

Our current leadership's betrayal, however, exceeds the limits of their own incompetence. They continue to fail to make Democratic malefactors pay a price for their fraud and deceit. No Democratic apparatchik or pawn has suffered even a whisper of a consequence – no jail time, no fines, no impoverishing protracted legal battles. Contrast this with the cruelty visited upon the hapless Trump supporter.

But our leaders do not notice. They do not harangue our tormenters. Most do not seem to care.

It is true Republican leaders have commented upon the evil embedded in the heart of Democratic politics, if only briefly, but they have yet act upon their words. Admittedly, there are a few senators and House members who speak out more forcefully – but our leaders smother most such efforts – and punish them as well.

Our leaders do not fight for us, their party, or their voters.

Worst of all, our leadership continues in silence, affirming by neglect the Regime's illegal political imprisonment – still – of dozens of January 6 protesters.

Actually, it's not illegal at all to imprison criminals. Lyles offers no evidence whatsoever to prove they aren't. Lyles then moved to lame election fraud conspiracy theories, which he also didn't bother to substantiate:

More than failing us, our leaders have failed – and betrayed – a nation. Their execrable disdain for exploring the nationwide fraud in the Nov. 3, 2020, election has forestalled any hope of building sufficient fraud-prevention measures for this coming election.

Our leaders' failure to hold Democratic miscreants to account for their fraud emboldens Democrats to defraud us again – but this time bald-facedly and despite our newfound army of poll observers.

Can we ultimately prevail, even with a midterm victory, subordinated as we are to a feckless and self-destructive leadership, and despite the ravaging of our base by every institution in America?

Lyles tried to end on a hopeful note: "But … this is America. This is the land of miracles, where even the powerless can become the mighty. So, even though our adversaries own almost everything, we own reason and we have The People. And that should be enough." But it was -- just not the way he thinks it was. "The People" largely rejected right-wing hate and fear in the midterms, as well as fraudulent electon deniers and anti-abortion extremism. And that is enough for now.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:21 PM EST
MRC Mad Its False Kamala Harris Narrative Got Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kevin Tober ranted in an Oct. 2 post:

On CBS’s Face the Nation, anchor Margaret Brennan spent much of her interview Sunday with Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) by arguing with him that Vice President Kamala Harris didn’t advocate racial equity when it comes to helping Floridians whose homes were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Ian. 

After Brennan asked Scott about her favorite topic, former President Donald Trump and comments he reportedly made about Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, Scott rightfully ignored her and brought up Harris’s divisive comments about “equity.”  

“I would also say that what Vice President Harris said yesterday—or the day before yesterday, you know, if you have a different skin color you’re going to get relief faster,” Scott responded.

“That's not what the Vice President said. She talked about equity,” Brennan blurted out, apparently unaware that what Scott described is exactly what equity is. 

Despite Tober accusing Brennan of "gaslighting" about what Harris said, the real gasligher here is Tober. As we documented when the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, did the same thing, Harris' remark was taken out of context to falsely portray it as being about hurricane relief when her full remarks show she was referring to equity in recacting to climate change, and numerous fact-checkers agree.

Which brings us to an Oct. 4 post by Tim Graham, who whined (as he often does) that his subordinate was fact-checked and, rather than point out where Tober was right or wrong, attacked the fact-checker:

On Sunday, our Kevin Tober noticed Sen. Rick Scott faced pushback from CBS Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan when he said Vice President Kamala Harris was arguing that racial "equity" should be applied in disaster relief. It was only a matter of time before the "independent fact checkers" lined up to defend Harris. 

Here in our NewsBusters Twitter notifications came a tweet from deputy White House Twitter troll Andrew Bates, lining up his helpful Democrat-enabling fact-checkers. (We're not adults? Fact check?)

PolitiFact was the first stop on the Bates list. Here's how tilted PolitiFact is: since the Biden-Harris inauguration, Kamala Harris has only four fact-checks: two Mostly Trues, a Mostly False, and a False. So it's basically 50-50.

By contrast, Sen. Scott of Florida -- where PolitiFact is based -- drew thirteen fact checks in the same time period. None of them were rated True or Mostly True, one Half True, with four False and eight Mostly False. So it's on the False side 12 of 13 times, or 92 percent.

Scott drew a False from Jeff Cercone with the summary headline: Kamala Harris said about Hurricane Ian that “if you have a different skin color, you're going to get relief faster.” That's not what she said -- in quote marks.

It can be interpreted that "communities of color" should get priority attention for "environmental justice," but it's not what she said. She spoke generally and not specifically.

[...]

So this is fact-check territory. Our problem here is target selection. Let us repeat: Joe Biden can say the Republicans are "Jim Crow 2.0," and PolitiFact naps. 

At no point did Graham admit Tober (or any other Republican who spread the false narrative) was wrong, nor did he admit that there was context missing from GOP interpretation of her remarks. He was content to instead make it another battle in his war on fact-checkers -- and hid the fact that the fact-checkers were right.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 14, 2022 1:42 PM EST
CNS Flip-Flops On Possible Hatch Act Violations Depending On Who's In Office
Topic: CNSNews.com

Just as it's intermittently obsessed with possible violations of the Logan Act (which prohibits unauthorized Americans from negotiating with foreign goverments) depending on which party controls the White House, CNSNews.com has a similar attitude toward the Hatch Act, which prohibits certain political activities by federal employees. Susan Jones complained in an Oct. 27 article:

The White House website is warning that Republicans "plan to increase inflation and costs" for Americans.

On Thursday morning, the top item on the "Briefing Room" web page -- where White House staffers post statements, “fact sheets,” transcripts, and news releases -- reads as follows:

"Congressional Republicans’ Five-Part Plan to Increase Inflation and Costs for American Families."

"Congressional Republicans have laid out their mega MAGA trickle-down economic plan clearly," the news release says. "Their economic plan will raise costs and make inflation worse. Their five part plan includes:

-- "$3 trillion in tax cuts skewed to the wealthy";

-- "Raising prescription drug costs for millions of seniors" (by repealing the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which is mostly a green energy bill with a few goodies thrown in to make it seem like cost reduction);

-- "Increasing health insurance premiums" (by repealing the so-called Inflation Reduction Act);

-- "Increasing energy bills in 2023 and beyond (by repealing the clean energy provisions, including tax credits for EVs, provided in the Inflation Reduction Act);

-- "Increasing student loan payments" (by reversing Biden's possibly unconstitutional move to cancel some debt for some students).

(Notably, the news release is not labeled a “fact sheet.”)

According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, "The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, limits certain political activities of federal employees..."

The OSC does not offer specific guidance on the White House "Briefing Room" webpage. However, it does say that all federal civilian executive branch employees, except for the president and the vice president, are covered by the Hatch Act.

[...]

On Wednesday, as the New York Post reported, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain was warned that he violated the Hatch Act by retweeting a message urging people to purchase “Democrats Deliver” merchandise.

That last criticism was reinforced in an article by Melanie Arter the same day:

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain was admonished by the Office of Special Counsel on Wednesday for violating the Hatch Act by retweeting a message from his government account from the Democratic group STRIKE PAC that included the statement, “Get your Democrats Deliver merch today.”

The tweet in question, which was posted on May 22, was about delivering infant formula.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the Office of Special Counsel’s finding during a gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Syracuse, N.Y.

The press secretary said that the Biden administration takes the Hatch Act more seriously than the Trump administration did.

You will not be surprised to learn that CNS took Hatch Act violations as unseriously as the Trump administration when Trump was in office. When Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was found by the Office of Special Counsel in 2019 to have repeatedly violated the Hatch Act and recommended her removal, Susan Jones grumbled that the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed her and that "One Republican, Justin Amash, voted with Democrats." She went on to uncritically quote Republican Rep. Jim Jordan reframing her violations by claiming that "a senior adviser to the president of the United States can sure as heck go on cable news shows and answer questions" and that she's being targeted "not just because she's in the Trump administration, but she's being targeted because she's good at what she does."

(Arter didn't mention Conway's repeated Hatch Act violations in her article on Klain.)

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech from Israel during the 2020 Republican National Convention, Patrick Goodenough complained that "some Jewish Democrats, who see it as a ploy to politicize the U.S.-Israel relationship" as well as a possible violation of the Hatch Act, while uncritically repeating Trump administration officials' insistence that Pompeo was giving the speech "in his personal capacity." A couple days later, Melanie Arter played stenographer for a Republcian congressman who appeaered on Fox News playing whataboutism to deflect from Pompeo:

Former Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that it’s ironic for Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) to call for an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, given that five cabinet-level Democrats spoke during the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Castro, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, issued a statement, saying “This action is part of a pattern of politicization of U.S. foreign policy for which President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. That undermines America's standing in the world. The American people deserve a full investigation."

[...]

“So if you're going to investigate noncompliance with the Hatch Act, if you’re going to accuse Mike Pompeo, how many cabinet-level officials spoke at the DNC in 2012? Five. So I will trade the power of incumbency. I think people understand incumbents have power – congressional incumbents do, presidential,” he said.

According to the schedule of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius - all members of the Obama administration at the time - spoke at the convention headlines by President Barack Obama.

When Pompeo got dinged again for another possible Hatch Act violation in December 2020 by campaigning for Republican candidates in Georgia, Goodenough again rushed to his defense, delcaring:

A non-exhaustive review of travel by Pompeo’s two Democratic predecessors at the State Department finds that Kerry delivered occasional speeches in Massachusetts (including one at Harvard in 2015 and another at MIT in early 2017) and visited a wind technology testing center in Boston with his British counterpart in 2014.

Clinton took part in numerous events in New York City while serving as secretary of state from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2013 – not including those relating to the United Nations – delivering speeches at policy institutions, schools, galas, benefits, award dinners, and other events.

Biut as we noted at the time, Goodenough buried the fact that Kerry and Clinton were appearing in their home states but didn't mention that Pompeo is from Kansas and has no connection to Georgia.

That, in turn, is a change from how it treated the Hatch Act during the Obama administraiton. For instance, a 2010 article by Fred Lucas suggested that "strict guidelines for the placement, size, and visibility of signs promoting the $862-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" was a Hatch Act violation. And a 2013 article by Craig Bannister toutred how "U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (O-Okla.) has launched a probe into potential Hatch Act violations by the White House in its climate agenda advocacy."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EST
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
MRC Flip-Flops On Rigging Polls
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kevin Tober ranted in an Oct. 31 post:

On Monday night, MSNBC’s Joy Reid went full-blown conspiracy kook during her show The ReidOut. She was apparently wearing her tin foil hat so tight that it was cutting off her circulation because she claimed with a straight face that over half of the midterm election polls published over the last few weeks are Republican polls that are skewed to create a media narrative that a red wave is coming. 

Discussing recent media coverage of polls that are trending in the GOP’s direction, Reid snarked that “if you believe the recent headlines, you would think that MAGA fascism is ascendant.” 

According to Reid, it’s all an illusion because “if you get past those headlines and dig a little deeper, you uncover an insidious and seemingly intentional campaign by Republican-backed polling firms to flood the zone and tip the balance of polling averages in favor of their candidates.”

Funny, the MRC didn't think this was a "conspiracy kook" claim two years ago, when it put on its tinfoil hat to make a very similar accusation, if not worse. As we documented, after the 2020 election, MRC chief Brent Bozell accused pollsters of being "deliberately wildly wrong" in their polling before the election -- that is, they were making up polls -- because they purportedly wanted to "suppress the vote" for Trump. The MRC then commissioned its own rigged poll -- from McLaughlin & Associates, the pollster for Trump's campaign -- suggesting that Biden would have lost the election had (then-unverified) reports about Hunter Biden's laptop not been "censored" bvy the media.

Tober censored how Reid's complaint mirrored that of his employer. Instead, he ranted some more about Reid:

Despite claiming that you can’t trust partisan pollsters because they spin for their side, Reid quoted from Democrat pollster Simon Rosenberg who she described as “sounding the alarm, and saying “of the roughly 40 polls taken in key battleground states” over half are “from Republican firms or groups.” 

To back up her conspiracy theory, Reid pointed to the left-wing rag The New York Times whose polls showed “Democrats either in the lead or tied with their opponent.” 

Continuing to quote from the Times, Reid claimed that “most of the polling over the last few weeks is coming from partisan outfits, usually Republican, or auto dial firms. These polls are cheap enough to flood the zone.”

Tober didn't disprove any of that, of course; his goal was to smear Reid as a crackpot because he knew he couldn't. He concluded with onemore attack he didn't back up:

She ended her delusional and conspiratorial rant by falsely claiming that "Real Clear Politics, has become more openly pro-Trump," because during the 2020 presidential election, "their polling averages seemed skewed in Trump’s favor."

In fact, Real Clear Politics' rightward bias is quite clear, and Rosenberg noted that "A polling aggregator of only independent polls has the election 3.3 pts more Dem than Real Clear."

Tober concluded by huffing: "Make sure to check out NewsBusters on election night and in the days after to see Reid’s reaction when she’s proven wrong." How'd that work out for you, Kev?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 PM EST
Newsmax Hypes Gabbard (Officially) Quitting Democratic Party
Topic: Newsmax

Like CNSNews.com, Newsmax got quite a kick of Tulsi Gabbard ceasing her charade of being a Democrat and officially qutting the party. For months, of course, Newsmax had been promoting Gabbard's attacks on her purportedly fellow Democrats for months now, so this was less news and more right-wing propaganda.

The uniroinically named Charlie McCarthy used an Oct. 11 article to parrot her words in quitting, but didn't mention she hadn't acted like a real Democrat for years. This was followed by an article the next day by Solange Reyner featuring Gabbard being transphobic on Joe Rogan's podcast -- followed by an article by Luca Cacciatore that effectively blew up any claim that Gabbard was a real Democrat by gushing that "Onetime Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has backed a Donald Trump-endorsed House Republican candidate just one day after leaving the Democratic Party." Another article that day by Eric Mack blew that up even further by touting how Gabbard woudl be going on "a barnstorming campaign tour" for Republican election-denier Senate candidate Don Bolduc.

Meanwhile, Dick Morris tried to ride Gabbard's DINO coattails for his own benefit in an Oct. 11 Newsmax TV appearance:

Dick Morris can relate to former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's high-profile defection from the Democratic Party, since he made a similar exodus from the Democrats a number of years ago.

"[Nearly] all of us were 'boat' people," Morris told Newsmax's "The Chris Salcedo Show" on Tuesday, relaying how the vast majority of American citizens have roots and heritage stories outside the United States. "And very few of us were originally Republicans."

Morris, a best-selling author, TV host, and former adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, says that disenchanted Democrats "didn't shift [their ideals]. The party shifted under our feet. ... The party of [President John F. Kennedy] and Bill Clinton" now aligns with the modern-day Republican agenda.

As for Gabbard's next political move, Morris — the author of "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback" — says, "I'd love her on [the Republicans'] side. I thought she was very good" as a politician.

Morris did more self-aggrandizing exploitation of Gabbard in a TV hit the next day:

Former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard's decision to resign from the Democratic Party is further proof that President Joe Biden has "made America unrecognizable," political strategist Dick Morris, the author of "The Return: Donald Trump's Big 2024 Comeback," said on Newsmax Wednesday.

"It's a phrase I use in my book," the host said on "John Bachman Now." "You wouldn't recognize it if told you this is a country where the government goes after political opponents and baits them and searches their homes.

"Children are told that we are in favor of racism, not against racism, where you look at gender-change surgery for children in the fourth grade … you would say I have no idea what country you're talking about," Morris added. "But you're talking about America, and I think Tulsi is really onto something when she says, 'Look, I haven't changed; the Democratic Party has changed underneath me.'"

An Oct. 18 article by Marisa Herman, hidden behind a paywall for its "Platinum" subscribers, purported to offer "5 Big Reasons Tulsi Gabbard Left the Democrats." An Oct. 26 column by Kenny Cody tried to pretend Gabbard was a real Democrat even as he admitted that she's "a constant on conservative news networks":

While Gabbard has been a constant on conservative news networks, podcasts and media shows, analyzing her background makes it all the more surprising that she left the Democratic Party. Gabbard endorsed Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, was the former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, and resides in one of the most Democratic states in Hawaii.

From her stances on foreign policy, criminal justice reform, and populism in Congress, Gabbard was often regarded as a future star who rose from Bernie Sanders' party shift after his candidacies in both 2016 and 2020.

However, for reasons that can only be attributed to Gabbard's bucking of the establishment shills in the Democratic Party, she has been ostracized, mocked, and even called a Russian agent by the party's former nominee, all because she was willing to call out warmongering tyrants like Hillary Clinton and fake progressives such as Kamala Harris.

Cody didn't mention that the whole "Russian agent" thing is not entirely out of line, given how she sided with Putin and against Ukraine, as even Newsmax documented (though Newsmax also pointed out that Gabbard spread falsehoods about purported biological labs in Ukraine). Instead, Cody framer her odious pro-Putin semtiments as being against "interventionist foreign policy" and insisted the Republicans should embrace her because the "national conservative movement within the party" embraces being "anti-war."

A couple days later, though Newsmax was touting how Gabbard was endording right-wing Republicans like Adam Laxalt and Mike Lee.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EST

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