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Wednesday, November 23, 2022
NEW ARTICLE -- New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: September 2022
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is still maliciously depicting Karine Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire, and Curtis Houck is still man-crushing over every utterance from Peter Doocy. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EST
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
MRC Stayed On Message, Whined About Final 1/6 Hearing
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent the summer complaining about the House committee hearings into the Capitol riot -- and when one more hearing was held last month, the MRC complained about that too. We've already noted that MRC executive Tim Graham complained that the "liberal media" covered the hearings but not John Durham's latest failed prosecution (which the MRC also largely ignored), butthere was other whining as well. Curtis Houck grumbled in an Oct. 13 post that hearings cut into valuable airtime pushing right-wing narratives about inflation:

On Thursday morning, ABC and CBS showed what matters to them most. They combined to have spent more time on the last hearing of the House Select Committee on January 6 and the latest leaks against former President Trump than Americans struggling to make ends meet amid record-high gas prices, soaring food costs, and surging inflation.

All told (and when you add in NBC), ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and NBC’s Today spent a total of 12 minutes and 50 seconds on January 6 and the Mar-a-Lago raid and 11 minutes and 50 seconds on inflation. 

It should be noted nearly three quarters of the inflation total (eight minutes and 34 seconds) came from NBC’s Today, which was the only network to give more time to the state of the economy than January 6 and Trump (three minutes and 49 seconds).

In contrast, ABC and CBS gave far more time to their pet projects than showing any real concern for Americans wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

Houck didn't explain how he invented the claim that the Capitol riot hearings are the "pet projects" of TV networks. Kevin Tober engaged in similar whining later that day:

On Thursday, American consumers awoke to the news that they have been experiencing all along. That inflation continued to soar in September at a rate of 8.2 percent year-over-year and 0.4 percent over the previous month. This despite the Federal Reserve's steady interest rate hikes meant to curb inflation. Yet, the three evening news broadcasts gave that news a back seat to the latest January 6 hearing into the riots at the Capitol. 

ABC's World News Tonight was the worst offender on this contrast in coverage. The network led with the news of the January 6 Committee voting to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify before the committee. ABC devoted eight minutes and six seconds to the news while giving just 45 seconds to the red-hot inflation numbers.

Mark Finkelstein used an Oct. 14 post to complain that people on TVpointed out how the hearings made Republicans look bad:

After the House January 6 committee held its final hearing before the election, Morning Joe wasted no time on Friday's show in trying to translate those hearings into a blatant appeal to vote Democrat in the coming midterms. The election of a Republican majority is a vote for cheating, violence and the end of democracy.

First, looking directly into the camera, Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman turned member of the disgraced Lincoln Project, beseeched people to make the obvious choice for democracy and vote Democrat:

Finkelstein didn't dispuite the accuracy of anything that was said -- he just whined that it was said out loud. Meanwhile, Graham returned to spend his Oct. 14 podcast complaining about the hearings and tried to push the old right-wing narrative that nobody cares about them:

The final pre-election hearing of the Pelosi-picked January 6 Committee was overtly designed as midterm messaging for the Democrats -- including in fundraising emails. The media coverage suggests one party is in favor of democracy, and the other one is a mortal threat to democracy.

On MSNBC, Nicolle Wallace insisted to Rachel Maddow that "democracy issues" were a top midterm issue, but the January 6 hearings themselves aren't breaking through.

Politico just reported that "Overall, less than 2 percent of all broadcast TV spending in House races has gone toward Jan. 6 ads." CNN's Stephen Collinson wrote with great concern that "Voters may care more about the cost of French fries than January 6 panel’s compelling evidence."

We discuss the patterns with NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck, and he breaks down the major themes of this last hearing. It's safe to predict that if Republicans retake on or both houses of Congress in 2023, the networks that have provided all this live coverage will immediately lose interest in covering oversight hearings. They all think Trump scandals are urgent, and Biden scandals are a distraction.

As usual, Graham is confusing his right-wing media bubble with what happens in the real world. He also didn't explain why he apparently believes Trump should never be held accountable for his actions in instigating the Capitol insurrection.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 10:11 PM EST
WND Promotes Dubious Study Claiming COVID Virus Was Made In A Lab
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore wrote in an Oct. 24 article under the headline "Study finds Dr. Fauci's 'fingerprint' on origin of COVID virus":

A new pre-print study has concluded the virus that causes COVID-19 has a unique "fingerprint" indicating it originated in a laboratory rather than in nature.

Dr. Alex Washburne, a mathematical biologist, worked with researchers in the U.S. and Germany who studied the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence and compared it to previously discovered coronaviruses.

They detected "peculiar patterns" they concluded were the hallmark of a manufactured virus, describing it having a "synthetic fingerprint."

Moore is being dishonest here -- in fact, contrary to his headline, the pre-print study does not mention Fauci at all. Moore continued:

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sachs, chairman of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, a task force that investigated the origins of COVID-19, has concluded after 22 months of study that SARS-CoV-2 probably was laboratory-generated and that the technology likely came from gain-of-function research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The "synthetic fingerprint" discovered in the new study led by Washburne, says Sachs in an article published by Children's Health Defense, points to the work of Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist at the University of North Carolina known for his NIH-funded gain-of-function research in cooperation with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Mopore didn't mention that Children's Health Defense is the group of famously anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists headed by Robert Kennedy Jr., so the fact that Sach's paper was published there is immediately disqualifying. 

In fact, it's not until the 19th paragraph that Moore finally gets around to referencing Fauci -- andit's devoted to whining that he largely discredited the notion that the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab:

Another critic, Kristian Andersen, a virologist at Scripps Research in California, famously joined with three other virologists in a January 2020 email to Fauci stating they saw strong evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 was engineered in a lab, as WND reported. But after a teleconference the next day with Fauci to discuss the virologists' conclusion, Andersen began dismissing the lab-leak possibility as among "crackpot theories" that "relate to this virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case."

In April 2020, Fauci was asked by a reporter during a White House briefing if the research at the Wuhan lab might be responsible for the pandemic. Fauci insisted a "group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists" had concluded the virus was "totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human."

The next day, Peter Daszak – the EcoHealth Alliance founder who received funding from Fauci's agency to conduct research engineering coronaviruses – sent a thank you email to Fauci. Daszak thanked the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Disease director for "publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

"From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins," Daszak wrote to Fauci on April 18, 2020.

At no point did Moore prove his headline claim that a lab-manufactured COVID virus was Fauci's "fingerprint" -- that derives from old anti-vaxxer attacks on Fauci accusing the NIH of funding gain-of-function research. Moore then whined that Andersen attacked Washburne's study:

he new study by Washburne, Andersen said, is "so deeply flawed that it wouldn't pass kindergarten molecular biology."

"The study is a clear example of motivated reasoning with a heavy dose of technobabble to make it sound legitimate – but it's nothing more than poppycock dressed up as science," said Andersen.

"In plain language — this is uninformed nonsense and it's simply not worth engaging with."

Moore also quoted Washburne pre-emptively attacking criticism of his study:

In a post on Substack, Washburne reacted to criticism that his study was "very poorly controlled" and "cherry-picked."

"The topic is personally relevant to every person capable of being infected by a virus or impacted by pandemic policies," he wrote. "I invite people to prove us wrong and, if they do so, even if there are flaws in their work, I will not call them names or attack their credentials.

"I will celebrate their ingenuity and commitment to the Truth, and if I am proven wrong I will change my mind," he promised.

Washburne said science "can save lives and revolutionize our civilization, but only if scientists and our broader society remain honest, curious, and open-minded."

Meanwhile, Washburne's study is not holding up to scrutiny. In an article at Vox, Kelsey Piper argued that the study "doesn’t help resolve the question of how SARS-CoV-2 originated" and is based on "statistical inferences from the idea that a particular cloning strategy was used to modify the virus." Piper added:

Even scientists who think a synthetic origin for Covid-19 is a very real possibility — such as Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who has made the case we need a full investigation to determine whether Covid was naturally or synthetically occurring — told me they thought this paper couldn’t prove the strong claim it was making.

Needless to say, Moore never followed up his stenography by doing actual reporting on what other experts think.That would have interfered with thenarrative he's paid (sporadically, given WND's financial issues) to promote, that there's some secret conspiracy that created and unleashed the COVID virus on the world.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 PM EST
CNS Uses Whataboutism And Whining To Deflect from Paul Pelosi Attack
Topic: CNSNews.com

Mimicking its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com reacted to the violent hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, by complaining that Republican anti-Pelosi rhetoric was being blamed mixed with whataboutism. The first article referencing the attack was an Oct. 31 piece by Susan Jones complaining that a Democratic senator referenced "election deniers" in condemning the attack:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is among the many Americans condemning the violent attack on Paul Pelosi. And she laid some of the blame on supporters of Donald Trump, who "have been expanding into our politics."

"This has to end," Klobuchar told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"And there are several things we can do from the security standpoint, which I'm happy to share with you...but it is also about making sure we don't add more election deniers into our political system."

Host Chuck Todd asked Klobuchar, "What's the bigger challenge, getting Republican leaders to deescalate or figuring out how to get these tech companies to stop amplifying this garbage?"

"They're both humongous challenges," Klobuchar said:

Jones became a one-person content mill after that, following this article literally just eight minutes later with an article quoting Vice President Kamala Harris' condemnation of the attack while weirdly leading with President Biden saying that Harris is "making me look good." And 20 minutes after that, Jones cranked out an article repeating Biden's condemnation of the attack and adding that "you can’t condemn the violence unless you condemn those people who continue to argue the election was not real, that it’s being stolen, that all the — all the malarkey that’s being put out there to undermine democracy." An hour or so later, she moved to documenting Republican whining that they're being blaming for fomenting the attack, while sneering at another critic:

Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said it's "unfair" for the Washington Post to blame "Republicans' increasingly violent and threatening rhetoric" for the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi.

In an op-ed published Saturday, the Post said: "For many Democrats, the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband represents the all-but-inevitable conclusion of Republicans’ increasingly violent and threatening rhetoric toward their political opponents — a phenomenon that escalated under former president Donald Trump."

"Well, I think that's unfair," McDaniel told "Fox News Sunday."

[...]

MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, her voice quivering with rage, took her cue from the Washington Post on Monday, saying that “years of Republican propaganda and Trump-fueled fascism led 42-year-old David DePape to break into Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home, with the intent to harm her."

"There is no mischaracterizing what happened," Brzezinski said: "Are we to insist this attack was not the direct result of the dangerous, violent rhetoric we have heard from Donald Trump's Republican party over the last six years? The deranged man who violently assaulted Paul Pelosi got his idea from somewhere...

Jones didn't explain why it was somehow bad form for Brzezinski to be "quivering with rage" over the attack.

Later that day, Craig Bannister served up the whataboutism:

On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) wife responded to a flashback video tweet recalling how one MSNBC host made light of a 2017 assault that blindsided her husband and left him with six broken ribs.

After a vicious attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband on Friday, Jason Howerton posted the flashback video in anticipation of left-wing media attempts to blame the attack on Paul Pelosi on right-wing rhetoric:

“I remember when @RandPaul was viciously attacked and an MSNBC anchor accidentally let her true feelings come out: ‘...the incident that left Senator Rand Paul with six broken ribs, this might be one of my favorite stories...’"

Kelley Paul replied:

“I do too, @kasie. I was caring for Rand as he struggled to breathe in terrible pain as you called his attack and injuries ‘one of my favorite stories’ on air. Yet you still have a job.”

While Bannister plucked the "one of my favorite stories" quote out of context to manufacture right-wing outrage, he did surprisingly include the full statement by the anchor in question, Kasie Hunt -- who, it turns out, said it was one of her "favorite stories" because "the first assault on a sitting U.S. senator in decades" involved a dispute with a neighbor over lawn care, not politics.

Melanie Arter served up more mundane Republican denunciation of the attack:

For her first article on Nov. 1, Jones went to the whataboutism well to whine about heated Republican rhetoric being blamed for the attack, while making sure to describe the alleged attacker as an "deranged, homeless nudist" in an effort to further distance Republicans from him:

Democrat [sic] activists, particularly those with cable TV platforms, berated Republicans on Monday for stoking the violence unleashed by a deranged, homeless nudist on Paul Pelosi, who is recovering from hammer blows to the head and body.

Not so fast, said Republican lawmakers Steve Scalise and Rand Paul, both of them badly injured at different times by people opposed to their conservative politics.

"I mean, there's an eagerness on the left to make this political and immediately to start blaming Republicans, but where's the sympathy, even from the left, for Paul Pelosi?" Sen. Rand Paul asked.

[...]

"Laura, my thoughts and prayers are with Paul Pelosi," Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Monday night. "[W]e need to be praying and hoping that he fully comes out of this and we stand up against any kind of violence, that is something I have been hearing loud and clear from all ends of the political spectrum, as it should be.

Jones served up further whining from a Republican candidate:

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake says she's being "attacked by the media," because "I'm speaking the truth" about topics that a leftist media has "prohibited."

"You know, you can't talk about vaccines. You can't talk about elections," Lake told Fox News's Tucker Carlson on Monday night:

"You can't talk about Paul Pelosi, now you can't talk about Nancy Pelosi, and you can't talk about the elections, and you can't talk about COVID. And I'm talking about all those things because I still believe we have a little bit of the First Amendment left."

Lake said another thing the media won't talk about is illegal immigration and its effect on Americans:

She noted that the man suspected of breaking into her opponent's campaign headquarters is an illegal alien, but "you can't say that now because you can't talk about that. It's insensitive. And the press won't report that.

Jones didn't mention that Lake is an election denier of the type Klobuchar warned about. Bannister wrote up whining and whataboutism of the Fox News variety:

The husband of the House Speaker was brutally attacked, and all Democrats and their media cohorts can talk about is how they want to blame the attack on conservatives, in order to influence the midterm elections, Fox News Channel late-night host Greg Gutfeld said Monday.

In the opening monologue of “Gutfeld!,” the comedian-commentator mocked the left’s lone obsession regarding the vicious home-invasion assault on Paul Pelosi: scoring political points.

While Democrats and liberal media are desperately trying to tie the home-invasion attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband to Make-America-Great-Again (“MAGA”) extremists and criticism of liberal politicians, Republicans are actually focused on the issue of crime, like the one committed against Paul Pelosi, Gutfeld said:

[...]

“It’s MAGA extremists behind this - because they always attract illegal alien nudists who live in school buses, who think they’re Jesus Christ,” Gutfeld mocked.

But, the people freaking out never mention attacks on conservatives, Gutfeld noted: “Remember how many jokes were made about Rand Paul getting his ribs broken, ‘Ha, Ha, Ha.’”

Bannister contributed even more Fox News-assisted whataboutism in a Nov. 7 post:

On Sunday, President Joe Biden claimed that his party never glorifies violence, ignoring times in recent years when prominent Democrats have been criticized for doing just that.

Speaking at a campaign event supporting the reelection of Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Pres. Biden said he couldn’t recall another time since the Civil War “where violence is condoned.”

Biden accused Republicans of inciting violence and engaging in dangerous rhetoric. He also accused unnamed Republicans of “making fun of” and “making excuses” for, the recent, brutal, home-invasion assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband, Paul – but, provided no examples:

[...]

However, on Sunday, Fox News recalled just some of instances when prominent Democrats have appeared to support violence, based on their political goals:

The first alleged example Bannister noted was "Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) threatened Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in 2020 during a pro-choice rally." In fact, Schumer merely said in that rally that right-wing justices "have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price." There was no endorsement of violence in that statement.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 10:20 PM EST
Newsmax Forced To Spin Away Trump's Insult of DeSantis
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax did its usual servile stenography for Donald Trump on his Nov. 5 pre-election rally in Pennsylvania for Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, courtesy of writer Eric Mack:

All of these articles made sure to note that Trump's rally "aired live on Newsmax." But Mack did one other article on the rally -- but he had to go past his usual stenography to help Trump:

Former President Donald Trump dropped a nickname on Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis Saturday night — and the crowd went wild.

"We're putting them up," Trump told his Latrobe, Pennsylvania, crowd at his Save America rally, which aired live on Newsmax, as he showed the latest 2024 hypothetical presidential polls. "We're winning. We're winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody's ever seen before.

"Let's see: There it is: Trump at 71%. Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%. Mike Pence at 7% — oh, Mike's doing better than I thought. Liz Cheney, there's no way she's at 4%. There's no way. There's no way, but we're 71% to 10% to 7% to 4%. Ted Cruz is doing a good job, by the way, he didn't like me for a while, but we got to be friends."

Trump famously trolls his political rivals and DeSantis was no exception: This one targeting the very popular Florida governor Trump had once endorsed as a House member and the next governor of his new home state using the word sanctimonious.

To date, Trump has held off criticism of DeSantis — and held off making an official 2024 presidential campaign declaration.

[...]

Trump's mocking nickname of his longtime ally comes on the eve of a Save America rally in Miami on Sunday (starting at 5 p.m. ET on Newsmax). Trump will be stumping for Florida GOP midterm candidates, but notably DeSantis will not be there.

That last paragraph identified a sore spot that Newsmax needed to treat tenderly. An Oct. 26 article by Brian Pfail noted thatTrump "will hold a third rally for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio just ahead of the midterm elections" but "did not include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis," adding that "The Florida governor is regularly second to Trump as the most popular potential presidential contender for 2024."

So Mack was forced to help Trump walk back that "DeSanctimonious" remark in one article on the rally, downgrading the insult to a "quip" while also advancing a stealth slight:

One night after labeling him "Ron DeSanctimonious," former President Donald Trump called on his Miami supporters Sunday to vote for the popular Florida GOP governor in Tuesday's midterm election.

[...]

Trump's "DeSanctimonious" quip in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, made headlines, but he did not repeat it stumping for Republicans in Miami less than 24 hours later.

He was specific, however, to say he was stumping for Rubio in Miami, making a rare call in saying it was his rally.

"Is there any better place to be than a Marco Rubio rally?" Trump said, eschewing his usual "Trump rally" cry. "This is a Marco rally. We've got to make sure you win big against a radical-left crazy person — one of the worst."

Mack and Jeremy Frankel served up the requisite Trump stenography elsewhere: Trump Teases '24 Call: 'Stay Tuned' for Monday Night in Ohio.

Mack did more cleanup in a Nov. 7 article on an election-eve Trump rally in Ohio: "When showing the 2024 presidential polls, Trump passed on repeating his 'Ron DeSanctimonious' moniker, calling Florida's governor, most carefully, Ron DeSantis this time. There's been much speculation that the two may wind up competing for the party presidential nomination."

Meanwhile, as we noted, Newsmax columnist Michael Dorstewitz fretted over the "DeSanctimonius" slight, complaining that "There’s no need and little reason to draw the blood of other Republicans." On election day, a video report by Leonardo Feldman emphasized that Trump voted for DeSantis that day, and an election-night article by Theodore Bunker made sure to note that "Although Trump recently mocked the governor as 'Ron DeSanctimonious' during an appearance at a Pennsylvania rally, he said on Monday that there is no 'tiff' between them."

Even after the midterms, Newsmax stayed in cleanup mode. A post-election Nov. 9 paywalled article by Marisa Herman framed the insult as merely "only the latest in a long line of biting nicknames that Trump has used to brand his political and personal foes – with many of the monikers proving to have staying power." Mack returned for a Nov. 10 article that featured Trump using the insult again on social media, which required even more spin:

Former President Donald Trump's promised announcement is still on for Tuesday — and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has not said a thing — but the salvos are flying already.

Trump blasted the media for being "all in" on to trying to foment primary challengers, and "Ron DeSanctimonious" for lacking loyalty after Trump claims he pulled the governor across in finish line in 2018.

"Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!" Trump wrote in a Save America statement Thursday night, posted to Truth Social. "The fake news asks him if he's going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, 'I'm only focused on the governor's race, I'm not looking into the future.' Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that's really not the right answer."

[...]

Trump laments DeSantis' unwillingness to publicly back off a 2024 primary campaign, allowing the media to foment more ways to attack him.

A Nov. 12 article by Mack featured Newsmax TV host Greg Kelly portraying the insult as both no big deal and totally justified:

The media, and even conservative media, is "getting it all wrong and overreacting" to former President Donald Trump firing salvos against Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to >Newsmax's Greg Kelly.

"All right, calm down, everybody — they don't know what they're talking about," Kelly said in his Friday night "Greg Kelly Reports" opening monologue. "Going after Ron DeSantis? You call this an attack?"

"This is child's play, what's happening between the DeSantis and Trump right now, and it's also politics. It's no big deal."

[...]

The "Ron DeSanctimonious" nickname is not only harmless by political standards, but it is fitting, according to Kelly, after a Florida gubernatorial campaign ad suggested DeSantis was delivered to Florida by the hand of God on the eighth day.

[...]

"Whoa! Whoa! He's the governor of a state, relax, all right?" Kelly said after playing portions of the sanctimonious campaign ad. "And there's a lot of politicking and glad handing. Easy there, please.

"I mean, 'DeSanctimonious' that totally works."

Mack was spinning for Trump once more against DeSantis in a Nov. 17 article:

While major media has been billing Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as a threat to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 GOP primary field, the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll taken just after the election still shows Trump holding a large lead.

Morning Consult's poll has Trump as a 14-point favorite over a very large field of potential candidates.

Trump made his official 2024 presidential campaign declaration Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago in an address that aired live in its entirely on Newsmax. Other networks, including Fox News, cut away from Trump's speech at times.

[...]

Results such as these in past polls were read by Trump during a Saturday, Nov. 5 Save America rally in Pennsylvania when Trump coined the controversial term "Ron DeSanctimonious."

Do you think writers like Mack get tired of promoting just how much in bed their employer is with Trump?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2022 7:50 PM EST
Monday, November 21, 2022
MRC Repeats Unscientific 'Research' To Again Dubiously Accuse Google Of Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center invented search terms to dubiously accuse Google of bias because Republican campaign websites didn't show up high enough in the results -- without offering any evidence, scientific or otherwise, that those results were supposed to be the result of those searches. The MRC's dubious methods got promoted a few days later with more shoody research highlighted in a Nov. 2 post by Brian Bradley:

Google is burying the campaign websites of its fiercest critics on Capitol Hill. 

Shortly after MRC Free Speech America released its study showing that Google suppressed Senate Republicans’ campaign websites in its search results, it now appears that Google is hitting members of both the House and Senate who have been critical of Google’s tactics. This is happening just as the country is gearing up to vote during the midterm elections on Nov. 8.

"First, Google was caught sending GOP emails to spam. Then we found Google suppressing the campaign websites of Republican Senate candidates. Now, we have evidence that Google is punishing Republicans who dared to speak out or take action against Big Tech by hiding their campaign websites in search results,” said MRC President Brent Bozell. “If this isn’t election interference, I don’t know what is."

MRC Free Speech America analyzed search results from Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo for 10 key congressional races involving current politicians who have aggressively acted against Big Tech, either legislatively or vocally. Our researchers caught Google — again — burying Republican Party campaign websites while highlighting their Democratic and independent opponents’ campaign sites in organic search results. The results follow up on MRC Free Speech America’s previous search engine studies on hotly contested Senate races, and also House races, where polling shows the House does not hang in the balance.

MRC Free Speech America researchers found that Google search results highlighted the Republican’s challenger in all 10 of the total House and Senate races reviewed.

  • Google buried the campaign websites of lawmakers critical of Big Tech. Google censored the search results for Big Tech critics 100 percent of the time, either ranking their sites lower than that of their challengers or totally omitting Republican Big Tech critics’ campaign sites from the first page of results entirely.
  • Google completely hid seven of the 10 total campaign websites of Republican Big Tech critics in page one organic search results. Seven of 10 Big Tech critics’ campaign websites did not appear on page one results using Google’s organic search. At the same time, Google put 67 percent of the campaign websites of the Big Tech critics’ opponents in the top six items of organic search results.
  • Google showed egregious search bias when compared to Bing and DuckDuckGo. By comparison, when performing the exact same searches, Bing’s search results were relatively more neutral. Bing’s results highlighted the Republican opponent’s campaign websites 5 out of 10 times. DuckDuckGo elevated Republican opponents’ campaign websites in 4 out of 10 races.

The suppression could significantly impact the 2022 midterm elections, as over 90 percent of all searches are conducted on Google, according to Business Insider.

The methodology is trhe same as it was before:

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

Example(s): “Andy Biggs House Race 2022” and “Javier Garcia Ramos House Race 2022.”

And, as before, Bradley offered no explanation of why those particular search terms were chosen, that these are common search terms normal people use, or why these particular terms should have placed a candidate's website at the top of the results. That tells us this is a partisan work and not one that involves genuine research. Indeed, Bradley went on to hype right-wing activists portraying these results as somehow legitimate evidence of an election law violation:

Hans von Spakovsky, attorney and Election Law Reform Initiative manager with The Heritage Foundation, stated that Google’s suppression of search results could violate election law.

“It’s illegal for a corporation to make a direct financial contribution to a candidate, but the law and the regulations also prohibit [unreported] in-kind services,” von Spakovsky, a former Federal Election Commission (FEC) member, told MRC Free Speech America. “If, in fact, Google is burying the website and therefore restricting information on one candidate as opposed to another, that’s an in-kind service for that campaign.”

[...]

FEC rulings often come down to party lines and legal interpretations of the commissioners deciding the case, Foundation for Accountability and Civil Trust Executive Director Kendra Arnold told MRC Free Speech America. 

The case for Google’s search suppression of certain candidates carries an extra layer of complexity because the technology aspect of how Google’s search works would need to be fully explained and proven, she said. Google is notorious for keeping its search algorithms under wraps. Failure to hold accountable Google and the tech industry writ large risks rendering future elections “meaningless” as it would let Big Tech “get away with subliminal manipulation,” liberal psychologist and researcher Dr. Robert Epstein, Ph.D said during 2019 Senate testimony.

Proving an election law violation would be more difficult in the case of Google search suppression, “because by nature it’s less visible and is more factual-intensive than other cases, which are quite simple,” said Arnold, who gave the example of “an advertisement running that everyone can see.”

Epstein was quoted in the MRC's other "study" as well, even though, as we've noted, Epstein's research alleging Google search bias in the 2016 election has been discredited. You can tell that Bradley is trying to boost Epstein's credibilty by adding "Dr." and "Ph.D." to his name.

Of course, the point of all of this was not to conduct legitimate "research" but to manufacture results for political exploitation. Which is why Bozell went on Fox News on Nov. 4 to rant about it:

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell on Thursday blasted Google on Fox News at Night after yet another MRC study exposed the Big Tech giant’s left-wing bias just days before the historic 2022 midterm elections. 

Bozell didn’t hold back on the anti-American, anti-free-speech “Googlers” attempting to subvert American elections. “This is an illegal corporate contribution by Google, trying to affect elections,” Bozell said. “Anyone running for office, if you’re a voter, you want information, in seven out of ten cases, you couldn't find the candidate if he was Republican.”

Bozell then went on Fox Business on Nov. 8 to rant fuerther:

“Google is manipulating information.” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell demanded Google be held accountable for its anti-American and anti-free-speech attempts at influencing American elections during a Monday segment on Fox Business.

“This is, I believe, an illegal contribution they’re making to the democratic process,” Bozell stated on the Nov. 7 edition of Fox Business’s The Evening Edit. He continued: “They have got to be investigated. The Democrats don’t want to do it. If the Republicans take over, they have got to investigate what Google is doing because I think democracy is in danger when they can manipulate the voters this way.”

Bozell knows nobody at Fox News or Fox Business will ever seriously question him about the shoddy, unscientific methodology his employees are using -- he'll be able to rant at length and the hosts will just nod and smile. That's how the right-wing outrage machine gets fed, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 21, 2022 10:23 PM EST
CNS Complains Conservative Writer Won't Hate Transgender People
Topic: CNSNews.com

Micky Wootten grumbled in an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com article:

As the government of Florida seeks to clarify its state guidelines on how to treat minors experiencing gender dysphoria, The Bulwark published an article criticizing the “authoritarian” Governor Ron DeSantis (R) for seeking to prohibit what they call “gender affirming care” for minors.

"What’s happening in Florida has nothing to do with science; it’s all about fueling political polarization," writes Alberto Cairo in The Bulwark. "Ron DeSantis is a man of theoconservative and authoritarian inclinations, as his rhetoric and actions suggest, and he has presidential ambitions. He’s also a keen observer of what his most ardent supporters want, such as the desire to attack those whose existence they find offensive while claiming that they do it for our own good."

On April 20, 2022, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Lapado released the following guidelines on the “Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents”:

[...]

Cairo calls Lapado a “political hack of a surgeon general”and claims his guidelines are “part of a broader campaign against transgender care which at times has been motivated by ignorance, zealotry, and rank partisan politics.”

Additionally, the article claims that Lapado’s guidelines run contrary to “current standards of care used by all major medical organizations,” and are “based on cherry-picked and misrepresented evidence.”

Wootten is being sloppy here -- the Florida surgeon general's name is Joseph Ladapo, not Lapado. He also ignored evidence that Ladapo, is, in fact, a political hack.

While Wootten didn't disprove anything Cairo wrote and acknowledged that Cairo backed up his assertions with facts, that wasn't good enough for him, because he bashed Cairo for not acknowledging claims that favor anti-trans activists like him and, even worse has a bias because he understands as a parent what the "experience" is like:

The author of the article makes clear that he has a personal relationship to the matter: “Let me tell you what youth gender-affirming care looks like based on my experience as a parent: It is a long, cautious, and individualized process that involves teams of therapists, psychologists, medical doctors, patients, and families.”

The author does not mention the fact that England’s NHS has recently opted to abandon its model of providing gender-affirming care to minors.

The author also does not mention information gathered by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW), which led the country to reverse its course on its transgender care policies in February 2022.

This information identified a rising number of de-transitioners that experience post-transition regret, and found the risks of hormonal interventions to outweigh the potential benefits.

Again: Wootten made no effort to disprove anything Cairo wrote -- he was simply mad that an opposing opinion wasn't offered. Of course, if Wootten really wants to make sure commentary isn't one-sided, there is plenty of that at his employer.

Wootten also censored the fact that the Bulwark is a conservative-leaning website -- presumably to not have to admit that right-wing anti-LGBTQ activism is failing.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EST
MRC Deletes Post Trying to Justify Kanye's Anti-Semitism
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had trouble criticizing Kanye West's fits of anti-Semitism after years of praising his embrace of right-wing narrative. The most egregious example of this is an Oct. 13 post by Jason Cohen that actually tried to argue that West's banning from various outlets and platforms following those anti-Semitic remarks was proof that his hatred of Jews was correct.

Cohen began his argument this way: "In the past week, Ye made outrageous antisemitic posts and claims, but banning him may only prove his point." After rehashing his posts and whining that "Ye got banned from Instagram for inferring that P-Diddy is controlled by Jews, an antisemitic trope," he added: "People assumed this terrible tweet implied violence, but that seems a little ridiculous. It is difficult to believe anyone would think Ye wants to carry out violence against Jewish people. But maybe with all the propaganda framing him as a crazy white supremacist, they truly did." Cohen then bizarrely argued that Jewish groups who responded to Kanye's anti-Semitism was as bad as the anti-Semitism itself:

Ye even tweeted, “Who you think created cancel culture?,” seeming to suggest that the Jews created it and the bannings are proof. 

American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) are two Jewish organizations that both rightfully condemned Ye. However, they each used extreme language. AJC called his posts “dangerous” in a video that was produced before the “death con 3” tweet. So it was solely based on Ye using Jewish stereotypes such as greed and power.  

ADL took it up a notch, tweeting: “The behavior exhibited this week by @kanyewest is deeply troubling, dangerous, and antisemitic, period. There is no excuse for his propagating of white supremacist slogans and classic #antisemitism about Jewish power, especially with the platform he has.” This tweet was also before the “death con 3” comment. 

Ye has said terrible things before, but never has he been canceled to this extent. He was only banned from social media in the past for harassing his ex-wife, which is a much more agreeable reason. And he was never banned by a bank. 

It would be more productive to condemn him, debate him, ask him to apologize, etc. Anything but canceling or condoning.

Hopefully, these institutions come to their senses and uncancel Ye. And hopefully, Ye comes to his senses, apologizes, and adapts his views. But if he continues to be canceled, they may be cemented instead.

What? Anti-Semitism is not an "agreeable" reason to take action against someone? It woudl be "productive" to "debate" Kanye about anti-Semitism? Why would anyone -- let alone anyone on the right -- elevate anti-Semitism to a subject worthy of debate? And it's merely "cancel culture" to shun someone who promotes an ugly and, yes, dangerous ideology?

The MRC eventually saw the folly and tone-deafness of Cohen's argument, because according to the Internet Archive, his post was deleted by Oct. 17, four days after it was made live -- the URL to his post now returns a 404 error on the NewsBusters website -- but the MRC told nobody about it, and it definitely didn't apologize for posting it in the first place. But the internet is forever, and Cohen's highly misguided post lives on.

As we noted, Cohen followed up on Oct. 27 with a similarly misguided post playing the "cancel culture" card again by complaining that Ye's anti-Semitism got his music dropped from streaming services -- though Cohen strangely refused to use the word "anti-Semitic" to accurately described what Ye did. It's still live as of this writing.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:22 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Gets Burned By Kanye
Topic: CNSNews.com
Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com used to hate Kanye West until he started spouting right-wing-friendly talking points -- and it was similarly reluctant to criticize Ye's turn toward anti-Semitism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:00 PM EST
Sunday, November 20, 2022
MRC Embraces Chaos At Musk-Led Twitter While Censoring The Worst Of It
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserach Center cheered when Elon Musk finally decided to live up to his word and buy Twitter at the price to which he agreed, alternating between writing PR pieces for him and mocking the critics who pointed out that he's sending the site into chaos. Paiten Iselin served up the former in an Oct. 31 post:

Musk is on the move. In a win for free speech, Twitter removed a warning label from a Just the News ballot harvesting story after self-dubbed “Chief Twit” Elon Musk interceded on the news site’s behalf.

The warning label originally appeared on Just the News (JTN) Editor-in-Chief John Solomon’s account Friday. He shared his report titled “Democrat blows whistle on alleged ballot harvesting scheme, Florida opens criminal probe.” JTN said Twitter applied a warning label to the post, claiming it included “misleading” content that “could lead to real-world harm.”

Solomon and Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton challenged Musk about the story’s censorship. “Election censorship returns as @Twitter flags ballot harvesting report,” Fitton tweeted. “@ElonMusk should immediately examine how the company is now interfering in the election on behalf of the Left.”

“I will look into this,” Musk replied Sunday morning. “Twitter should be even-handed, favoring neither side.”

As of Monday morning, the warning had been removed.

Musk seems intent on unraveling the anti-free-speech bias initiated by Twitter's former leadership.

A warning label is not "censorship," of course, but calling it that is designed to advance the MRC victimhood narrative. Iselin offered no evidence to dispute the label's claim that the story was "misleading."

Autumn Johnson served up another Musk PR piece the same day uncritically repeating unproven claims from Musk that "Twitter’s board 'deliberately' hid evidence from the court in its lawsuit against him." Johnson didn't mention that Musk's complaint, even if true, is irrelevant because he waived due diligence in agreeing to purchase Twitter. We've already noted now the MRC gave a pass to Musk for using his Twitter account to spread a sick right-wi9ng conspiracy theory about the vicious hammer attack on Paul Pelosi.

The MRC also made sure to continue to mock liberal criticism of Musk's actions:

  1. GET A GRIP: Reuters Editor Freaks World ‘Worse Off’ with Musk Twitter Ownership
  2. ‘The Nation’: Musk Trying to Turn Twitter Into ‘Far Right Forum’
  3. WashPost Pens List of Twitter Alternatives After Musk Takeover
  4. TIME Freaks at Potential Trump Return to Twitter
  5. NY Times’ Deluded Social-Media Censor Frets Twitter Under Musk on Side of Thugs
  6. A 'Threat' to Free Speech: Media Meltdown Over Musk-Twitter Deal
  7. Joe Rogan MOCKS Liberal Meltdown Over Musk's Censorship Declaration

Tim Graham even devoted part of his Oct. 31 podcast to the "leftist Twitter meltdown."

A Nov. 4 post by Jason Cohen cheered Musk arbitrarily firing half of Twitter's staff:

Cue the Great Twitter Freakout Phase Two. 

Geraldo Rivera reported on Twitter that “Elon Musk has declared All-Out war on his former staff. At 9am Pacific time, Massive Layoffs go into affect at Twitter. With no formal notice and gut-wrenching efficiency, Musk and his inner circle have eliminated about half of its pre-Elon workforce. 3,700 Twitter jobs gone.”

Liberals think they are so clever in responding that billionaires are supposed to create jobs, not get rid of them. A top tweet by GQPHypocricy is “I was told Billionaires need our Tax Money because they're job creators.” 

So ignorant. The left thinks CEOs should not lay off employees even if they are inefficient or otherwise unqualified.

Cohen offered no proof that any of the fired employees were "inefficient or otherwise unqualified." Indeed, he mocked a fired employee as "unstable," followed by more sycophantic hero worship of Musk:

Well, if this employee exemplifies Twitter’s culture to any extent then these layoffs are extremely essential. Unstable, overly emotional people should not have control over such a high proportion of speech in our country. 

And the left needs to understand that billionaires like Musk do not become so successful for no reason. There is a method to his madness, and it likely makes sense to lay off all these employees. Only time will tell. 

In reality, Musk's mass firings were so botched that the company asked some employees to return because they did work essential to keep the platform running.

Rich Noyes grumbled in a Nov. 5 post:

If you listen to liberal journalists who think Americans need experts like them to sort out the facts, Twitter is going to be a desolate wasteland of misinformation on Election Night because Elon Musk downsized his staff on Friday.

“Hundreds of people are now without a job, including some that work on U.S. elections to help police misinformation and malicious content on Twitter,” ABC’s Reena Roy warned on Saturday’s Good Morning America.

“Bad actors will now try to take advantage, experts say,” NBC’s Jacob Ward predicted on Today. His expert, Joan Donovan from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, blamed “right-wing actors” for what’s about to go down: “The environment on Twitter is going to degrade and erode, especially as we see a lot of motivated far-right actors jumping in, creating hate, harassment and incitement content because they know that it’s not going to be removed.”

Note Noyes' misquote of Donovan here -- he clearly says "far-right actors," not "right-wing actors." He also censored the fact that hate, harassment and incitement content did, in fact, increase after Musk's takeover.

Johnson used a Nov. 6 post to play whataboutism when President Biden pointed out the amount of misinformation on Twitter:

At a campaign event Friday, President Joe Biden complained about upcoming changes to Twitter’s censorship rules.

It seems the president is not happy that Musk plans to implement the platform’s content moderation rules fairly. 

Politico  reported that Biden said that Twitter is “an outfit that spews lies all across the world.”

Last week, NewsBusters reported Musk’s declaration that Twitter’s new content moderation team would consist of “widely diverse” viewpoints.

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

Changes to the platform’s content moderation rules are long overdue.

During the 2020 presidential election, the rules overwhelmingly benefited Biden and other Democrats who ran for election.

In April, MRC Free Speech America published its report of 646 cases in its CensorTrack database of pro-Biden censorship between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2022.

That "report" didn't fact-check the claims that were supposedly "censored," and it also falsely portrayed filters placed over misleading content as "censorship." Johnson also didn't explain why right-wingers should be allowed to spread misinformation about Biden (or anyone) without facing any consequences whatsoever for doing so.

Johnson returned to PR mode in another post the same day gushing over Musk's claim that “Twitter will not censor accurate information about anything.” Yet another post that day by Johnson gleefully documented Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's groveling:

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey lamented Saturday that he grew the company too fast amid new Twitter head Elon Musk’s sweeping changes, some of which include its censorship rules.

Musk purchased the platform for $44 billion last month and immediately made changes, including layoffs that heavily impacted the content moderation team at Twitter. 

Dorsey apologized for growing the company “too quickly” and also encouraged the “resilient” former employees.

[...]

Dorsey previously endorsed Musk’s plan for Twitter to become a pro-free speech platform.

Johnson didn't note how pathetically sycophantic Dorsey's groveling was.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 1:03 AM EST
CNS Promotes GOP Attacks On Biden For Using SPR To Reduce Gas Prices
Topic: CNSNews.com

The oil industry helpmates at CNSNews.com always made sure to blame President Biden for rising gas prices despite never offering any actual proof that policies like discontinuing the Keystone XL pipeline played any role in that. So when Biden released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to lower prices, CNS attacked him for that too. Susan Jones huffed in an Oct. 6 "news" article:

President Joe Biden has been draining the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve at a rapid clip, and he's not done yet.

On Wednesday, on the way to Florida, Biden's spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre announced that the president "is determined" to make progress in bringing down gasoline prices:

"At the president's direction, the Department of Energy will deliver another 10 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the market next month as part of the historic 180-million-barrel release the President ordered back in March. And the President will continue to direct SPR releases as necessary," she said.

Whoa, say critics, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

"Well, it's called the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It's not the political petroleum reserve," Cotton told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Wednesday night.

Jones then complained that Biden was inaccurate about how the SPR oil was being released:

On November 23, 2021 -- three months before Russia invaded Ukraine -- President Biden announced that he would release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower "elevated gas prices at the pump" and home-heating bills.

Then, on March 31, 2022, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden announced that he was authorizing the release of 1 million barrels of oil a day -- over 180 million barrels -- from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for six months.

"This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply until production ramps up later this year," Biden said at the time. "And it is by far the largest release from our national reserve in our history. It will provide a historic amount of supply for a historic amount of time — a six-month bridge to the fall."

The Energy Department said the latest 10 million barrel release is part of Biden's earlier, 180-million barrel announcement. So the SPR was not depleted by a million barrels for 180 days, as Biden said it would be.

The same day, Melanie Arter uncritically quoted Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty repeating the same RNC-assigned talking point: "What is supposed to be the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, what they're calling it now I think is the Strategic Political Reserve, because their eyes are on the November elections. They’re trying to get gas prices down, and that’s what this is all about. They're out pleading with Iran, with Venezuela." Hagerty didn't explain why it's a bad idea to want to lower gas prices.

Jones grumbled in a Oct. 17 article that a Biden administration official pointed out that there's plenty of oil in the SPR:

"There are still 400 million barrels of oil in the Strategic Reserve. It is more than half full," Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told "Fox News Sunday."

"I think people don't quite have the capacity number in their head," Bernstein said. "And the largest draw that we've ever done that President Biden presided over in March is 180 million barrels.

"So, the fact is, there is capacity to use the SPR to deal with some of the energy shocks we're seeing in the world. But I'm not saying we will. That's up to the president to decide; he hasn't made that decision yet," Bernstein said.

[...]

At the end of September, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve had dropped to a 38-year low, with 416,389,000 barrels of oil -- 34.74 percent below the 638,086,000 barrels at the end of January 2021, when Joe Biden became president. The SPR's current maximum capacity is 714,000,000 barrels.

An Oct. 20 article by Jones noted Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm pointing out that the U.S. bveing "on a wartime footing" justified an additional SPR release, then peddled more RNC talking points:

President Biden, in announcing the SPR release on Wednesday, dismissed Republican claims that the move was a politically motivated bid to lower gas prices ahead of the midterm election.

“Look, it’s makes sense,” Biden told reporters after making the announcement at the White House. “I’ve been doing this for how long now? It’s not politically motivated at all.”

Arter followed that with an article the same day on how Biden "denied Wednesday that his decision to release an additional 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is politically motivated," and intern Lauren Shank added her own article on White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that "the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created for this time, for a moment just like this, when there is a supply disruption that is – has been caused by Putin’s war." But Jones returned to parroting Republican talking points:

"The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists for national security," former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News on Wednesday, after President Joe Biden announced another drawdown – 15 million barrels -- in an attempt to bring gasoline prices down before the midterm election.

Biden said the move was not politically motivated.

But Pence said the drawdown "doesn't make any sense."

Patrick Goodenough wrote an article that day headlined "Rubio: ‘Oil Reserves Do Not Exist to Win Midterms; They Exist to Help This Country in an Emergency'" -- even though the first part of the article repeated Biden's stance on releasing more oil from the SPR and the Rubio quote didn't appear until the 11th paragraph of the article.

Goodenough used an Oct. 27 article to tout a Saudi Arabian official taking a swipe at the Biden administration tapping into the SPR as a response to the country reducing oil production:

As the Biden administration ponders the path ahead in its strained relationship with Riyadh over oil production cuts, the Saudi energy minister has warned that decisions by some to use emergency oil stocks “may become painful in the months to come.”

Abdulaziz bin Salman said that “people” were using emergency oil reserves to manipulate markets rather than their intended purpose of mitigating shortages of supply.

In a further apparent swipe at the United States, he insinuated that the U.S. reaction to the October 5 decision by OPEC+ to reduce oil production by two million barrels a day had been an immature one.

The comments by the minister, at a major investment forum in Riyadh with a number of Americans present, are a further sign that the kingdom is not backing down in the dispute with one of its most important and longstanding allies.

Jones fretted again in a Nov. 4 article -- echoing Republican talking points, of course -- that Biden used the SPR to lower gas prices:

Ahead of the midterm election, President Biden often takes credit for reducing gasoline prices, but the reduction comes at the expense of the nation's emergency oil stockpile.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has just dipped below 400 million barrels, a low not seen since May 1984.

For the week ending October 28, there were 399,792,000 barrels of oil in the SPR, a 37.34 percent decrease from the 638,086,000 barrels in the SPR when Biden took office. The maximum capacity is 714,000,000 barrels.

The chart below shows the Biden drain, which hasn't stopped.

Jones then rushed to the defense of the oil industry, as CNS often does:

President Biden, meanwhile, continues to vilify the U.S. oil industry as greedy, even anti-American.

On the campaign trail in New Mexico Thursday, Biden again threatened to hit oil companies with a windfall profits tax:

"Putin’s invasion of Ukraine sent gas prices soaring around the world," Biden said.

[...]

Biden came into office vowing to “end fossil fuel, and I am not going to cooperate with them,” he said in 2019.

The American Petroleum Institute this week released a plan to "restore U.S. energy leadership."

CNS has previously done stenography for the API to help it deflect from valid criticism that oil industry profits are obscenely high.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 21, 2022 8:23 PM EST
Saturday, November 19, 2022
MRC's Graham Gets Ratioed For Trying to Slut-Shame Monica Lewinsky
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham thought he was being cute. After Monica Lewinsky tweeted out a link to an article she wrote for Vanity Fair aboaut the importance of the midterm elections in protecting reprodiuctive rights, issued a tweet that sneered: "Don't be shocked: the intern who has sex with a married president wants the right to abort." Lewinsky responded by linking to his tweet and tweeting a response: "correct." That generated dozens of responses a large number of which supported Lewinsky and called out Graham's lame attempt at slut-shaming.

Being the professional complainer he is, Graham spent part of his Oct. 28 podcast complaining that he got ratioed and lashed out anew at Lewinsky's article, and took more sexist shots at Lewinsky  -- yes, he really did call her a "thong-snapper" -- as well as bizarrely accusing Margaret Atwood of being a drug user:

I got ratioed for tweeting over Lewinsky's tweet about her article. I said, Don't be shocked: the intern who has sex with a married president wants the right to abort." Oh, this made theliberals mad. Monica Lewinsky reweeted me and simply said over it "correct" with a check mark. This is what Monica Lewinsky wrote in this article, in part: "It's a bit odd to think about this election, though. I find myself asking, 'Could Tuesday, Nov. 8, be the last election where representative democracy actually works?' (I'm not being melodramatic.)" Uh, yes, you are. Anybody who says this is going to be the last election in America is being melodramatic.

[...]

Monica Lewinsky's article continues: "The sad truth and consequence of the coming election, the most significant midterm in memory" -- people always say that -- "makes it all the more incumbent to make bloody sure we give our consent to be governed." Yes, do use the phrase "make bloody sure" when you're talking about abortion. "One subject above all others is on the ballot: a woman's body. It's the gateway issue. Once our bodily autonomy is gone ,we are on a one-way ticket to the Republic of Gilead. Or in other words, for the 2 percent of you who haven't seen or read 'The Handmaid's Tale': It's the autonomy, stupid."

Yes, I haven't read "The Handmaid's Tale" because it's a pile of crap. I only know of the show because they can't stop talking about it and trying to compare modern-day America to somebody's marijuana-driven imagionations, or whatever it is Margaret Atwood was smoking. Canadian! I guess being Canadian isn't all bad, but we don't want the Canadians lecturing America about what a dystopia we are.

Yes, Monica writes: "This is the first major election after the Trump-led Jasn. 6 insurrection, which rocked our foundation of decency and democracy like a 6.0 earthquake." Yes, Monica, lecture us about or decency, thong-snapper!

[...]

Lewinsky summed up: "We need to vote because representative democracy isn't a right but a privilege, one that can be upended by judicial decisions, by presidential policies, appointees and executive orders, by secretaries of state, attorneys general and governors, and by an extremist Supreme Court." Yes, I would argue the people who passed Roe v. Wade were a extremist Supreme Court, but that's me.

Even though he refused to apologize for his misogynist slut-shaming -- and even added to it in his podcast -- Graham ultimately decided it was a bad look and deleted his tweet. Unfortunately for him, the Internet is forever.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EST
Untrustworthy WND Unironically Promotes Poll On Lack of Trust in Media
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh unironically wrote in an Oct. 18 WorldNetDaily article:

"Disinformation" has been a big player in the media in recent years.

There was that "disinformation" about the Biden family's international business deals, that really wasn't disinformation, but it likely changed the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Then there was Joe Biden's attempt to set up a government board that would regulate "disinformation."

And there have been all of those social media company attacks on "disinformation" that always seems to go one political direction.

The result?

According to Gallup, nearly 4 in 10 Americans (38%) have "no trust" in America's media, including newspapers, TV and radio.

The political divide is stark. Only 14% of Republicans and 27% of independents trust the media, but 70% of Democrats, whose agenda largely has been adopted by reporters and publishers, trust the media.

Overall, 34% of respondents trust the mass media to report the news "fully, accurately and fairly."

Unruh is pegging the irony meter hard here -- after all, his employer is one of the biggest spreaders of disinformation and misinformation in media. From COVID misinformation to election fraud lies, WND discredits itself on a seemingly daily basis. Unruh also doesn't seem to realize when he's talking about the poll showing distrust in the media, WND is also part of the media -- so he's admitting his own work can't be trusted. Given that Unruh amply displayed his right-wing bias by hyping attacks on Biden, there's good reason for that distrust.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Friday, November 18, 2022
MRC Serves Up Even More Whataboutism On Paul Pelosi Attack
Topic: Media Research Center

After serving up the usual distractions in attempting to deny that the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi wasn't inspired by heated right-wing rhetoric against Nancy Pelosi, it was time for the Media Research Center to advance to more formal bouts of whataboutism. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed in a Nov. 2 post:

With less than a week until Election Day, the liberal media are trying to milk the heinous attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) husband, Paul Pelosi, for all it’s worth. Despite the fact that political violence has hit both parties, the liberal media show far less concern when conservatives are involved. NewsBusters examined the first five days of the Pelosi attack and found that it was 11 times larger than the amount of coverage on the major broadcast network (ABC, CBS, and NBC morning, evening, and Sunday morning shows had given over the same period to the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

[...]

The liberal media have spent so much time on the Pelosi attack to stoke fear of Republicans ahead of the midterm elections, with the Pelosi attack weaved into segments warning of intimidation and possible attacks at the polls.

Fondacaro didn't mention that there was no genuine "attempted assassination" of Kavanaugh -- the alleged assailant's gun was unloaded and he turned himself in before he actually did anything -- and that inherently makes the story less newsworthy.

That study got repeated on the MRC's podcast that day, guest-hosted by Fondacaro, who wrote: 

On this episode of the NewsBusters Podcast, managing editor Curtis Houck and I discuss how the liberal media aren’t letting a good crisis go to waste as they use the heinous attack against Paul Pelosi (Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) husband as a prop to help Democratic chances in midterm elections.

We break down a new NewsBusters study exposing how the liberal broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given the Pelosi attack 11 times the airtime of the assassination attempt of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. With the Kavanaugh attack falling out of the cycle in 24 hours.

Kevin Tober tried playing whataboutism with a different incident in a Nov. 3 post:

The leftist media spent most of the past week wringing their hands over an allegedly politically motivated attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul but they have been silent on a shooting that took place at the home of Republican North Carolina congressional candidate Pat Harrigan's parents. The shooter fired a gun through the window of the home where his children were sleeping, but thankfully no one was injured or killed.

ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News all ignored the incident on their Thursday evening newscasts. Instead of reporting on the latest violent attack against Republicans, the three networks decided local weather reports and a cotton shortage allegedly caused by "climate change" were all more important stories than a Republican candidate's family's home getting shot at.

Tober downplayed the fact that the incident happened on Oct. 18 -- a full two weeks before it was reported in the media -- and there has been no evidence presented thus far that the incident was politically motivated. Still, Tober didn't let that distract him from staying on the message he's being paid to deliver:

If Harrigan was a Democrat, the networks would've reported on this and used it as another example of Republican rhetoric killing "democracy." 

We already know the leftist media seeks to downplay violent attacks against conservatives while hyping violence against leftists.

Rich Noyes served up his own unhappy whataboutrism angle in a Nov. 5 "flashback" post:

An exceptionally repulsive feature of journalism these days is when media figures use tragedies to smear their political adversaries as dangerous threats. That’s clearly happening now, in the wake of last week’s savage hammer attack on Paul Pelosi — first thing Monday morning, for example, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski flatly blamed “years of Republican propaganda and Trump-fueled fascism” for the crime.

It also happened in April 1995, after the horrific truck bomb in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people, including many young children at a day care center. Stung by liberal losses in the 1994 midterms, Democratic politicians and the media smeared conservative talk radio as culpable. “Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence,” NBC’s Bryant Gumbel smarmily suggested, “but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue.” (Read more here.)

And it happened in January 2011, weeks after Democrats lost control of Congress in midterm elections. Mere minutes after a mentally-ill man shot Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and 18 other citizens, killing six — and before any actual information was known about the shooter and his motive — irresponsible journalists accused the conservative Tea Party for the bloodbath.

It was disgusting, and utterly without foundation. Yet in the days that followed the attack, the news was filled with accusations that harsh political rhetoric was at fault, and singled out conservatives by an eight-to-one margin. Then as now, liberal journalists exploited a terrible tragedy, perpetrated by a delusional schizophrenic, in order to discredit the wider conservative movement.

The now-retired Noyes didn't mention that his former co-workers heavily hyped the story of a Republican campaign volunteer in Florida being beaten in order to link Democrats to the violence -- before it was discovered that the volunteer was a notorious white supremacist and the attack apparently had nothing to do with politics.

Once again, the MRC is criticizing someone for doing the exact same thing it does.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EST
WND Falsely Frames Pelosi's Desire To Punch Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an Oct. 14 article:

A newly released video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just as the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol was developing reveals the frustration she felt after having failed in her attempt a year earlier to impeach and remove him.

Her dislike for Trump boiled over into a threat in which she promised to "punch" him.

"I hope he comes, I'm going to punch him out. I've been waiting for this, for trespassing on the Capitol grounds. I'm gonna punch him out and I'm gonna go to jail and I'm gonna be happy," she said.

[...]

She earlier had been so enraged at President Trump that she publicly ripped up a copy of his State of the Union address, while standing behind him in the U.S. House.

Unruh is lying. At no point in her statement -- made as a Trump-inflamed right-wing mob was invading the Capitol -- did she reference "frustration" at "having failed" to remove Trump from office. Nor was her ripping up her copy of Trump's 2020 State of theUnion address a sign of her being "enraged" (let alone having any conceivable link to her desire to punch him); it was simply a response to Trump's divisive speech.

It wasn't until the ninth paragraph of his article that Unruh finally got around to reporting the proper context of his remarks -- and even then, he was desperately spinning the violent riot Trump inspired:

Pelosi's threat came as Trump was holding a rally nearby. Trump had said he would join the crowd to march to the Capitol to protest the election processes, but Secret Service objected and the president did not go with the crowd.

A few hundred from that crowd eventually turned to rioting, breaking windows and doors and doing other vandalism at the Capitol. Hundreds of people have since been arrested, many with SWAT raids on their homes in the early morning hours, and they've been charged with offenses like trespassing and parading.

Pelosi's special committee, partisan because she refused to seat GOP members nominated by the minority party, has worked to obtained statements and evidence that suggest Trump's liability for actions that day.

However, there's been no provision for cross-examining any witnesses, who were chosen by anti-Trump members of Congress exclusively. The committee also refused to look into any liability on the part of Pelosi, who as speaker is partly responsible for the security of the Capitol, after she refused Trump's offer of National Guard troops to be on hand that day.

[...]

n fact, Trump pointed out Pelosi's failure to seek protection for the Capitol.

"Why didn’t Crazy Nancy Pelosi call out the ‘troops’ before January 6th, which I strongly recommended that she do. It was her responsibility, but she ‘didn’t like the look.’ Crazy Nancy failed the American People!" Trump wrote Thursday afternoon.

In fact, Trump never signed an order to deploy National Guard troops that day, so Pelosi could not possibly have turned it down.

Unruh then turned this into a kitchen-sink article of Trump's (and, thus, his own) grievances, complete with whining about the purportedly stolen election and how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was criticized for threatening Anthony Fauci, declaring that that someone "needs to grab with little elf and chuck him across the Potomac." Unruh offered no evidence that Fauci ever put DeSantis' life in jeopardy the way Trump put the lives of Pelosi and other members of Congress in danger by formenting a riot.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:38 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 18, 2022 5:40 PM EST

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