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Thursday, December 8, 2022
WND Still Cynically Pushing Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily cynically peddled lies and baseless conspiracy theories about the death of Democratic staffer Seth Rich -- things WND almost certainly knew were lies -- for the sole excuse of having something else with which to attack the Clintons. WND somehow avoided being sued by Rich's family for the malicious lies it spread -- though outlets like Fox News did -- and WND censored news of those lawsuits and the settlements those outlets were forced to make to atone for those lies. Throughout it all, WND has refused to apologize or correct the record, even as it tries to further those bogus conspiracy theories. WND's latest attempt at ghoulish cynicism came in a Nov. 2 article by Bob Unruh that contradicts itself right out of the gate:

Virtually all of the details of the death of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee worker who was shot and killed as he walked to his Washington, D.C., home about 4 a.m. on July 10, 2016, remain a mystery.

There was evidence of a struggle, with his hands, knees and face bruised, yet he had two shots in his back. Police said it was a robbery, but his wallet and other items weren't taken.

That's a lot of information for something that he had just called a "mystery." Unruh went on to rehash:

Two weeks later, WikiLeaks began releasing DNC emails damaging to Hillary Clinton, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mentioned Rich on Dutch TV: "Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There's a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington."

Assange has never offered any proof that Rich leaked those DNC emails to him -- indeed, the evidence is clear that the Russians stole those emails and gave them to Assange. That was followed by more rehashing:

To further the mystery, the FBI earlier released a tidbit of information, a cryptic note about the idea that someone would "pay for his death."

that's based on a 2021 article Unruh wrote. As we noted, blogger Emptywheel explained that the claim proves nothing; the document in which the "pay for his death" statement appears "may reflect the FBI investigation into allegations that someone tried to hack Rich’s email." Indeed, the whole tranche of FBI documents being referenced isn't worth much since the FBI didn't do the primary investigation into Rich's death.

Not that Unruh will tell you any of this, of course -- he's too committed to his employer's lies. Besides, he has a new thing to peddle:

Now Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, has written a commentary at Stream.org pointing out the additional mystery of why "does FBI want Seth Rich records sealed for 66 years?"

He pointed out at one time, the FBI claimed to have "no records" relating to Rich's murder.

"Now they’re asking a federal court for an order to seal the records that they said they didn’t have — they have them, all right — for 66 years," Huckabee explained.

Huckabee's source for this claim is a report from an obscure, sketchy-looking site called Slay News, which in turn references a paywalled story by the Epoch Times, best known for being pro-Trump stooges and spreading lies and misinformation about COVID vaccines. Neither of these sources appear trustworthy, and Unruh made no apparent effort to fact-check anything they wrote; instead. Unruh went on to rehash conspiracy theories peddled by Ty Clevenger, who we've documented is in it because he hates the Clintons, not because he cares about facts.

Meanwhile, in related happenings: A book about Rich's death, by Andy Kroll, has been published that reveals the false and hateful conspiracy theories spread about it, and Rich's parents have given interviews about the ordeal they have been put through because of the lies and conspiracy theories spread about their son's death peddled by the likes of WND. Unsurprisingly, WND has hidden these events from its readers.

UPDATE: And that's not all. An Oct. 31 column by Scott Lively portrayed Rich as the victim of murder by a vindictive Hillary Clinton:

Enemy No. 1 was not, surprisingly, Donald Trump. It was Seth Rich, because he was the Benedict Arnold of the Army of the Dems – the one who (I am convinced) ratted her out to WikiLeaks and created the fatal email-scandal that she never really recovered from. Ironically, "Bernie Bot" Seth Rich was (I am convinced) seeking revenge on Hillary for her seriously dirty tricks against the Bern-Meister in the 2016 Democratic primary. (Remember that charnel-house chapter of the internal Democrat civil war? Wow!)

Technically, Seth Rich was murdered on July 10, 2016, four months before the election, but the sin for which he was struck down did not bear its ultimate fruit until Nov. 3. Rich's murder (to use the satirical term I invented during law school) was an act of "anticipatory retaliation" on Hillary's part (allegedly).

Needless to say, Lively offered no evidence whatsoever to support his bizarre conspiracy theory.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 5:56 PM EST
MRC Keeps Up The Performative (And Possibly Paid-For) Outrage Against TikTok
Topic: Media Research Center

Since the last time we checked in, the Media Research Center has continued to throw hate at TikTok. One was a Sept. 1 post by Gabiela Pariseau:

The Chinese Communist Party-tied TikTok is muzzling conservatives and free thinkers by shutting down their accounts, typically with no explanation.

Using our exclusive CensorTrack database, MRC Free Speech America researchers found that TikTok canceled accounts associated with no fewer than 11 pro-free speech organizations since January 2019. Satire accounts, various pro-free speech groups and commentators, pro-life groups and even the MRC’s own MRCTV account, are among those that TikTok shut down. 

[...]

Censorship doesn’t belong in America, but TikTok seems to think it does.

The platform has deep ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP has a board seat at TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, which also sold a 1-percent stake to WangTouZhongWen Technology, a Beijing company owned by three Chinese state entities, according to Reuters.

Pariseau's description of the groups being "banned" is inaccurate. All are right-wing groups and individuals, and few of them support "free speech" when it supports non-conservative causes, like the existence of LGBTQ people.

Unsurprisingly, Pariseau censored the fact that Facebook has paid a Republican PR firm to spread attacks against its competitor TikTok  -- attacks the MRC has dutifully repeated. That paid shilling undercuts the MRC's anti-TikTok narrative, even if there might be some truth behind it.Finally, shre refused to explain how pulling the MRC's video makes TikTok inherently "anti-American." Afer all, it's not like the MRC is any sort of official ambassador for the country.

Also unsurprisingly, MRC executive Tim Graham used a Fox News appearance later that day to parrot the complaint, adding: "When they don't like freedom, when they don't like videos that attack communism, you might just guess it’s a communist channel.”

In a Nov. 9 post, Pariseau served up some performative outrage about yet another MRC video getting "censored" by TikTok:

Chinese Communist Party-tied TikTok censored the latest episode of MRC’s free speech video series on Monday, the day before Election Day. 

Paiten Iselin, host of MRC Free Speech America’s CensorTrack with Paiten, reported on the leftist media’s absolute meltdown after Elon Musk purchased Twitter and started restoring free speech on the platform.

MRC posted the episode to TikTok on Friday, and the anti-American app allowed the content to remain for three days before removing it just in time for Election Day. 

The platform claimed that “This video violates our Community Guidelines,” when it notified MRC of the removal. “We remove content and accounts that involve spam or fake engagement, impersonation, or misleading information that causes significant harm,” the platform notification only vaguely attempted to explain.

It’s unclear how exactly MRC’s video exposing anti-free-speech leftists who complained about Twitter’s free-speech makeover qualifies as “spam” or “impersonation.” But the platform also forbids “misleading information that causes significant harm,” which could refer to literally anything the platform does not approve of. It appears the leftist, CCP-tied TikTok disapproves of MRC Free Speech America’s latest video.

Pariseau didn't explain why it has a TikTok account in the first place if its video repeatedly get "censored" -- unless it's done for the express purpose of writing about the videos getting pulled to push its anti-Big Tech narrative.She also censored the fact that Facebook funneled anti-TikTok attacksto it through a Republican PR firm.

Meanwhile, the presumably-paid-for attacks on TikTok continued, usually with emphasis on the company's alleged ties with the Chinese government -- a talking point pushed by the GOP PR firm hired by Facebook:

The MRC seems not to understand that it has tainted its brand by being fed anti-TikTok narratives by Facebook, if it hasn't accepted money directly itself --just like its attacks on Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen were also fueled by Facebook, which similarly enlisted right-wing advocacy groups to slime her. It's clear that its performative outrage against TikTok is as phony as its complaints whenever TikTok pulls an MRC video (which is the whole point of posting them) -- and until the MRC can come clean and admit it was bought off by Facebook, there's no reason to believe its anger at TikTok is anything but bought and paid for.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 4:36 PM EST
Two Days After Midterms, CNS Finally Admits How Bad Repubilcans Did
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com spent the day after the midterm elections largely sticking to pro-Republican narratives and praising the GOP candidates who did won. It wasn't until the day after that, on Nov. 10, that it got around to acting less like an arm of the Republican National Committee and more like the "news" organization it likes to claim it is by actually going somewhat in-depth on how bad Republicans did in the midterms compared with typical expectations.

First out of the gate in the morning was Susan Jones, who led with GOP cheerleading on how "Republicans are jockeying for leadership positions" in the House, but the headline quoted one Republican saying that "I actually believe the outcome would have been better last night if the voters trusted Republicans." Jones then touted weirdly sour grapes from Republicans who actually won and blamed Democrats for GOP underperformance:

Sen. Marco Rubio says his Democrat opponent out-raised him 2 to 1, but he easily won re-election in bright red Florida Tuesday night. Republicans elsewhere did not fare as well, and it's no wonder, Rubio told Fox News's Sean Hannity:

"Literally everything in our society and culture is aligned against Republicans. It's a miracle Republicans win anywhere. Virtually every major television and media outlet in America is against us. All the celebrities. All the movie actors. I mean, you name it. It's just constant. The tech companies. The list goes -- now major American corporations.

“So it's amazing that Republicans are even competitive, much less winning these seats. Look, I think we're going to win the House. We still have a real chance. We're going to win Nevada. I think Arizona.”

Rubio called the delayed vote totals in Arizona "an embarrassment," especially compared with the state of Florida, which "had every vote tabulated" on election night.

Following Rubio on Hannity's show, Sen. Ron Johnson said "lies," amplified by the media, account for his narrow victory over a leftist Democrat.

Then came some actual Republican laments (for the most part) in an article by Lauren Shank:

The talk of a “red wave” coming to the polls and pivoting the election results to a landslide Republican majority did not live up to expectations as final congressional races are called.

[...]

A major upset in the lack of an apparent “red wave” caused a variety of responses from the GOP, attempting to identify why Republican-sweeping results did not turn out.

President of the Heritage Foundation Kevin Roberts tweeted, “The lesson thus far from the non-wave election: bold leadership, with a clear policy plan, matters. Conservatives, as I’ve said all year, needed a bolder plan, and much earlier.”

I understand things didn’t go as well as we wanted them to last night, but I find the utter depression I’m seeing to be a little melodramatic and unhelpful,” conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted. “1) We had some great wins last night and 2) Jesus is the same yesterday, today, & forever (Heb 13:8).”

[...]

Texas Congresswoman Mayra Flores suggested, “The RED WAVE did not happen. Republicans and Independents stayed home. DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT THE RESULTS IF YOU DID NOT DO YOUR PART!”

As we've noted, Shank failed to mention that Flores lost her election.

CNS still made sure to tout a couple more GOP wins:

Shank then took a nasty shot at winning Democrat John Fetterman, under the headline "Fetterman Wins PA Senate Race, Victory Speech Consists Mostly of ‘Thank You’":

Democrat John Fetterman beat his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, and claimed the title for Pennsylvania’s next senator. Fetterman gave his winning speech Wednesday, focusing mostly on thanking everyone who helped him secure the win.

Supporters cheered Fetterman as he stood on stage in his infamous hoodie attire, and began his speech with, “Yeah, I uh – I’m – I’m not really sure really what to say right now, my goodness,” and “I am uh – yeah.”

“Yeah, I mean, uh – so I am – I’m so humbled, thank you so much, really, thank you, thank you,” Fetterman said.

Shank didn't mention that Fetterman is recovering from a stroke, but she didn't have to. She was parroting the nasty attacks on Fetterman by CNS' parent, the Media Research Center.

For her first article on Nov. 11, Jones did what CNS hasn't done for years -- make Donald Trump look like the crazy, unstable person he is by accurately quoting him:

In a flurry of statements on Thursday, former President Donald Trump dumped on his possible Republican rival, whom he has branded Ron "DeSanctimonious"; he slammed CNN and other media outlets; and he called Pennsylvania a corrupt state.

Then he sent an email to supporters, asking: "Would you vote for me a THIRD TIME?"

Trump has teased a "big announcement" on November 15th, when he's widely expected to announce a third run for president.

His statements came after The Wall Street Journal declared that "Trump is the Republican Party's biggest loser" in the midterm elections; and after the New York Post hailed Gov. Ron DeSantis as "DeFuture" of the Republican Party, sidelining Donald as "Trumpty Dumpty."

Shockingly, Jones included no spin at all. Will that cost her her CNS job?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 18, 2022 2:51 PM EST
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
MRC Gets Mad When The Right-Wing 'Skyrocketing Crime' Narrative Is Exposed As Bogus
Topic: Media Research Center

In early October, Washington Post writer Philip Bump documented how coverage of crime increased on Fox News, creating the perception of a rampant crime wave that didn't mesh with reality -- and, thus, helped to elevate crime as a issue with Fox News' conservarive viewers. Unsurprisingly, the Media Research Center bought into that narrative as well -- their goal is to help conservatives get elected, after all -- and they got huffy any time someone pointed out the flawed narrative and the manipulation behind it. An Oct. 31 post by Brad Wilmouth labored to spin away an uncomfortable crime-related truth, that crime rates are higher in red states than blue states:

On Tuesday, MSNBC hosts Nicolle Wallace and Chris Jansing both picked up on misleading statistics trying to link high crime levels to Republicans. Without informing viewers that even Republican-leaning states have crime-ridden cities run by Democrats, both anchors recited a list of the top 10 states by crime rate in which most of the states are run by Republicans statewide.

Speaking with gun control activist Fred Guttenberg on Deadline: White House, Wallace brought up the topic: "When you look at Republicans running on crime, the most deadly places to live in America -- the places where gun crime is the worst, where you have the greatest risk of dying, are all states run by Republicans. So I just don't understand how we communicate that in the two weeks left to go before the midterms."

Guttenberg accused Republicans of promoting a "big lie" on the crime issue, and blamed them for more shootings:

[...]

Over at HotAir.com, Buck Sexton recently responded to a similar argument against Republicans made by liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, with Sexton noting that the crime-ridden areas in Republican states tend to be run by Democrats, and citing a Washington Post op-ed by Marc Thiessen..

Wilmouth didn't disclose that both Sexton and Thiessen are right-wing commentators, which makes the argument more partisan than factual.

Kevin Tober used a Nov. 1 post to try and shout down CNN's Jake Tapper for telling the trth about crime:

On Tuesday's CNN Tonight host Jake Tapper gave an in-kind contribution to the Democrat Party [sic] by kicking off his low-rated program insisting that crime is not skyrocketing across the country. Despite all available reputable evidence crime is indeed up. Tapper can't admit that because that would upset his friends in the Democrat Party.  

"The notion that violent crime is on the rise has left millions of Americans scared," Tapper moaned. Adding that the GOP is trying to "harness the power of that fear" for political gain.

Going into sanctimonious lecture mode, Tapper asked "is life in America actually more dangerous than it used to be?" 

The question was rhetorical of course since he then claimed that "after years of decline, national rates of violent crime did rise during the COVID-19 pandemic."

[...]

He ended his fact-free monologue by lecturing Americans that their personal experiences aren't based on reality. "Your personal experiences might not be reflected in data. If you don't feel safe, if you or someone you care about has been accosted or assaulted, that's your experience. Fear is primal. It's a crucial emotion."

Tapper is basically saying: Who do you believe? Me or your neighbors who informed you that your house was broken into when you were at work? 

Of course, Tapper is wrong. Crime rates continue to surge even according to the flawed crime report from the FBI that Tapper quoted from.

The question, of course, is not whether crime has increased; it's whether that increase matches the hype Fox News and the MRC have been spouting.

Clay Waters got mad at the New York Times in a Nov. 4 post for pointing out the Fox News-GOP hype on crime with ... COVID whataboutism:

The front page of Friday’s New York Times admitted voters were worried about crime, which may bode well for Republicans in Tuesday’s elections – but the reporters also did their best to chip away at that argument in “Fear of Crime Looms Large for Voters, to Republicans’ Advantage.”

After anecdotes from three crime-concerned voters from across the country, reporters Julie Bosman, Jack Healy, and Campbell Robertson consistently worked to deflate the Republican arguments, as if the American people were suffering false consciousness and just imagining a crime wave around them.

The report even suggested crime wasn’t really affecting most people, just those in certain cities, or their “friends and neighbors”:

[...]

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was also found guilty of baselessly scaring voters: “Ms. Lake often accuses Democratic-run cities like Phoenix or Tucson of failing to support the police and of coddling criminals. But her attacks are less about data than about stoking voters’ feelings of unease”.

The real irony, though? It's that this came from the paper that has been trying to scare readers with COVID hysteria for almost three years.

Nicholas Fondacaro went on a tired in a Nov. 5 post when NBC's Lester Holt pointed out the difference between GOP hype and reality:

With Election Day just four days away, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester “Fairness Is Overrated” Holt was desperate to keep Democrats afloat. So desperate that his last option on Friday was to tell Americans not to trust their lying eyes and ears and that the nationwide crime wave didn’t actually exist. He openly scoffed at Republican campaign messages and suggested fears of crime were not “fueled” by “reality” but rather “by videos,” as if they weren’t real. And he leans on a “civil rights attorney” he failed to disclose was a liberal activist.

As is Holt’s way, he opened the segment with one of his holier-than-thou lectures. “As candidates fine-tune their closing messages ahead of Tuesday's vote, an issue finding traction for many campaigns is voter worries about crime. But as we found, the state of crime in America is not always what it appears to be,” he began.

At the top of the video report he filed, Holt lamented that “fear is on the ballot. Crime now the centerpiece of campaigns across the country.” He then played a soundbite of New York Congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin campaigning to crack down on crime. But Holt openly scoffed, saying, “[Fear] fueled, some argue, not by reality but by videos of rampant lawlessness … and some unsettling headlines.”>

Is Holt saying the viral videos showing swarms of people looting stores, people getting pushed onto subway tracks, carjackings, and drive-bys are all fake? Does he think they’re staged? Zeldin was nearly assassinated at a campaign event and his family was almost shot in their home. He knows first-hand that crime is a problem in New York.

Fondacaro made no effort to prove Holt wrong. Instead, he lashed out at an interviewee who said "Any candidate who tells you that bail reform is causing crime is lying to you," trying to smear her as "a far-left-wing group that advocates for destructive bail reform policies" without proving any of that to be true either. Then again, name-calling is what passes for "media research" at the MRC these days.

The Post's Bump recently pointed out how references to crime on Fox News dropped substantially after the midterms -- further proving that it was only a narrative. The MRC hasn't said a thing about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2022 9:48 PM EST
Newsmax's Morris Still Trump-Fluffing -- But Won't Talk About Trump's Latest Scandals
Topic: Newsmax

Even as he was making his grandly incorrect prognostications about how well Republicans would do in the midterm elections, Newsmax pundit Dick Morris made sure to plug his (Newsmax-published) pro-Trump book as well during his Newsmax TV appearances. An Oct. 22 appearance sucked up to Trump by lamenting the trouble Steve Bannon created for himself:

It was "tragic" for Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, to be sentenced to four months behind bars for defying the Jan. 6 committee's subpoena, political strategist Dick Morris said on Newsmax Saturday. 

"Steve is one of my heroes," Morris, the author of the bestselling "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback" told Newsmax's "Saturday Report." "He is one of the most brilliant people I've ever met."

Bannon was behind Trump's winning election strategy in 2016 to focus on voters in the nation's so-called "flyover country," or "what Hillary [Clinton] called the 'deplorables,' the high school graduates, working-class voters, who don't live on the coasts," said Morris. 

"Trump discovered these people and said their needs have not been made public, and that 'nobody's focusing on them, but I am,'" Morris continued. 

And while those voters were being mocked as "deplorables, clinging to their guns and Bibles," Trump said he'd pay attention to them and put them first, said Morris. 

"That strategy came right out of the fertile brain of Steve Bannon," he said. "I once told him he and I belonged to a very exclusive club of about five people who are still alive who ran the successful campaigns of people for president. I've got such respect and admiration for him. It's tragic that he's going to have to go to jail."

[...]

"This is designed to distract everyone from inflation, crime, immigration, [President Joe] Biden's failures," said Morris. "Abortion is fading, so this gives them something to talk about. Jan. 6 gives them some talking points that they can use."

Morris rehashed one of the pain theses of his book -- that Hillary Clinton will run against Trump in 2024 -- in a Oct. 25 appearance:

Dick Morris, a best-selling author, TV host, and adviser to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, has a simple explanation for Hillary Clinton's seemingly out-of-the-blue rant about the Republicans, or "right-wing extremists literally" having a plan to "steal" the 2024 presidential election.

From Morris's perspective, Hillary Clinton will pursue the Democrat [sic] Party nomination two years from now — regardless of President Joe Biden's final determination of his own plans.

"By Hillary getting out here and saying this, it means she's running for president," Morris told Newsmax on Tuesday afternoon, while appearing on "American Agenda" with hosts Bob Sellers and Katrina Szish.

Morris did even more pre-election Trump-fluffing in an Nov. 6 appearance in which he had to play cleanup after Trump insulted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as "Ron DeSanctimonious":

"The key thing is that the day after tomorrow, all of Trump's candidates will win," said Morris. "That will send a message to the Republican Party that Donald Trump cannot be beaten in a Republican primary."

Further, anyone thinking about running will understand that "Trump is going to win that nomination," said Morris. "If they get in his way they just can be destroying their own political career."

In fact, not that many Trump-endorsed candidates won, and even those that did underperformed. Nevertheless, Morris spun further for Trump in anticipation of his announcement he was running for the 2024 nomination. After the announcement, he served up even more Trump-fluffing in a Nov. 19 appearance:

Dick Morris, adviser to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, told Newsmax Saturday that Trump can and will make history in his third run at the presidency.

Responding to a question from "Saturday Report" on whether Trump will get the Republican nomination in 2024 and make "history," Morris said, "yes and yes."

"I predicted this in my book 'The Return,'" Morris says. "I think he'll win the nomination. I do not think he will have a serious primary. I think DeSantis and all the others will take one look at the polls and run screaming."

"I think Trump will win the election," Morris continued. "I think the economy is further falling apart. I think that, basically, any Republican can win in '24, and certainly, Trump can win."

Morris did more of the same in a Nov. 21 appearance:

Author and advisor to former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, Dick Morris, told Newsmax Monday that Attorney General Merrick Garland's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Trump "won't make a damn bit of difference" in his 2024 candidacy, or with his supporters.

"[Democrats are] taking this nonsense with an all-Democratic grand jury in Washington, D.C. Twist them and shape them so that they could actually find a real violation of law and indict Donald Trump," Morris said during "American Agenda" Monday. "I don't think it's going to make a damn bit of difference. Republicans are going to recognize this for what it is, which is an attempt to manipulate the [2024 presidential] nomination."

A few days later, however, it was revealed that Trump had dinner at his Mar-a-Lago compound with not only anti-Semite Kanye West but also white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Since that revelation on Nov. 25, however, Morris has discussed Trump (in a way that warranted a article, anyway) just once -- in a Nov. 28 appearance in which he complained about the Department of Justice appointing a special counsel to take over its investigation of Trump -- and was not asked about the dinner.

Unsurprisingly, Morris has also not weighed in on Trump demanding the suspension of the Constitution so he could be re-installed as president.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:40 PM EST
WND Briefly Attempts Serious Post-Election Analysis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Before the results of the midterm elections came in, Larry Tomczak declared in his Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column: "Knowing that the only hope for America in our dark time is another Great Awakening, we should celebrate the midterm elections as a sign of God's intervention to set our nation back on the right track as we follow "the General's" example of personal passion for God that helps ignite nationwide revival and reformation." Well, that didn't quite work out -- there was no "red wave" as Tomczak and other WND denizens were fervently hoping for.

Joseph Farah set the tone in his Nov. 9 column by going Luddite and making harder for people to vote:

Do you remember the days when elections were normally settled in one day?

Whatever happened to those days?

Kari Lake, the most important leader to emerge in 2022, said it best: "Another election run by clowns, and we're not gonna take it anymore."

The other most sensible observation of an insane Election Night came from Tucker Carlson: "What happened today in Maricopa County [Arizona] where some huge percentage of voting machines, electronic voting machines … 30 percent, they claim these are Dominion voting machines, but it almost doesn't matter. Electronic voting machines didn't allow people to vote apparently. And that, whatever you think of it, the cause of it, it shakes people's faith in the system. That is an actual threat to democracy. And it points up the core problem, which is, we're not really very serious about democracy if we're using electronic voting machines, or not requiring photo ID to vote. We could have secure elections. But until we do, you're going to have these moments where everybody in the country fears volatility, because one side doesn't believe the result is real."

Bingo!

What's wrong with our election system?

No more election machines! Get rid of them. They're insecure. They're dangerous. They don't deliver reliable results under the best of circumstances. What's wrong with paper ballots? No more "ranked choice" gimmicks to help people like the corrupt Lisa Murkowski of Alaska remain as perpetual incumbents. Make certain only U.S. citizens vote. And, we ought to outlaw routine mail-in ballots other than absentees. Period.

Actually, the main reason why Arizona election results were slower to come in was an influx of mail-inballots dropped off at voting locations in Election Day instead of being mailed in in advance as they were intended. And the only "voting machines" the state uses are tabulation machines that count votes, and even when they malfuncrtion, all votes will still be counted eventually, just not immediately.

Michael Brown attempted his own spin:

For a number of reasons, I would have preferred to see the Republicans take back both the House and Senate in fairly decisive ways. This would have effectively thwarted the implementation of what I believe to be a very destructive leftist agenda. And I voted accordingly in my own state.

But I am not in the least bit discouraged or downcast, since the "red wave" I am really looking for is a spiritual one, not a political one. As I tweeted on Oct. 20, "I have voted Republican for many years, but my vision for a 'red' America is for a nation washed in the blood of Jesus."

Laura Hollis' Nov. 10 column on "8 key takeaways from the midterms" was heavy on sore-loser takes like "Early voting is problematic" and "Democratic Party is deliberately running candidates who are empty shells, absent from (or disastrous on) the campaign trail and/or demonstrably incompetent." but she was getting tired of Donald Trump's antics:

Trump's policies as president were immeasurably superior to those of the present administration. Trump continues to draw tens of thousands to his rallies, and he is at his best when his focus is on the issues that concern huge swaths of Americans: crime, illegal immigration, the economy, inflation. But when he attributes a candidate's success or failure to loyalty to him personally, the message falls flat. His jabs at failed Republican Senate candidates Don Bolduc and Joe O'Dea are examples. This self-absorption is mildly amusing when Trump's candidates win. But Tuesday has even diehard Trump supporters rethinking the future. Support within the MAGAverse on Twitter was shifting toward DeSantis even before the implosion of Republicans' midterm hopes. Now the sentiment is spreading that DeSantis' approach worked; Trump's didn't.

Odds are Trump will be announcing his candidacy for the presidency in 2024 next week. A Trump-DeSantis ticket presents interesting possibilities. But if Trump thinks he's going to parlay "Ron DeSanctimonious"-style barbs into a preordained anointing as nominee, I think he's mistaken. Trump already faces powerful headwinds from every institution controlled by the left: the Deep State, the media, academia, woke CEOs, Hollywood. If he fragments his own base into chunks, he'll go down and take the party with him. It would be an unforced error of catastrophic proportions to hand such a victory to the left.

Nicholas Waddy lamented in his Nov. 11 column that "the Dems' big bet on abortion in their ad spending was not in vain, and the GOP effort to make crime a centerpiece of the 2022 election fell somewhat flat. Again, the pre-election polling mostly suggested it was the Dems who were barking up the wrong tree, but electoral realities do not always take shape in the way pollsters predict." He added that "played an outsized role in helping Republicans to choose some of their most important candidates, and some of those candidates were demonstrably flawed." He was also critical of Republicans as a whole:

Republicans must heed their own warning signs. Even before the 2022 election was finished, Donald Trump had begun to direct criticism at DeSantis, who he understandably perceives as a potential rival. That Trump intends to run again appears obvious. That many Republicans, especially in the leadership of the party, have grown weary of Trump and fear that he could lead them to abject defeat in 2024 is equally obvious. Whether DeSantis, or someone else, can best Trump in the primaries, however, is doubtful, given the immense leads Trump has in virtually every poll of Republicans' preferences.

Whoever emerges as the GOP nominee in 2024, there is a strong possibility that candidate will be scarred by a long, vicious internecine battle that may damage the party fundamentally. Tens of millions of Republican voters are loyal and passionate Trumpers – and whether they would continue to vote in support of a party that spurned their idol is the $64,000 question that Republican Party leaders, and potential candidates like Ron DeSantis, now have to weigh. In other words, Republicans and conservatives need to ask themselves: Can Trump win in 2024? And, if the answer is no, then the next question has to be: Can anyone else on the Republican side win, absent Trump's blessing and enthusiastic support?

But such sober analysis was sparse at WND, which ultimately did what it usually does and blamed Republican failures on Democrats cheating. More soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Fetterman Fail
Topic: Media Research Center
Once it realized it could exploit his stroke to help his Republican opponent, the Media Research Center waged war on Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman -- and even whined that Oprah endorsed him. Fetterman won anyway. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 AM EST
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
MRC Complained That Biden Trying To Lower Gas Prices Was An Election Ploy
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center repeatedly blamed President Biden for high gas prices but refuses to give him credit for gas prices dropping. That hypocritical narrative continued as the midterm elections neared. Curtis Houck spent an Oct. 19 post attacking Biden for trying to lower gas prices and dismissed it as an election ploy:

Hours before President Biden’s formal announcement that he’s releasing a puny 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the major broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC heralded this nonsensical effort to take oil from a collection meant for serious emergencies and use it to try and rescue Biden and his party’s chances in the midterm elections.

ABC’s Good Morning America was most enthused. Co-host Robin Roberts gushed in a tease that they’ll cover “[h]ow President Biden is taking on” and “tackling” “rising prices and the other major issues taking center stage as we count down to the midterm elections.”

Tossing to senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce, Roberts reported with the same objectivity as if she was a staffer with the Democratic National Committee: “[W]e’re going to begin with President Biden set to address the issue of gas prices later today announcing action from the administration in an effort to drive prices down with inflation, as we know, rising across the board.”

Always one to peddle Team Biden’s narratives, Bruce shared that Biden would “be announcing more steps to try to ease gas prices and voters’ concerns about rising costs” with 15 million barrels of oil from reserves even though the U.S. goes through “about 20 million barrels every day.”

Houck didn't mention how his post readlike he was a staffer with the Republican National Committee.

Houck repeated his attack on Biden (and the media who wouldn't follow his right-wing talking points) in a post  the next day:

For yet another day, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC used their Thursday morning news shows to fluff the White House up in their hapless attempt (which some argue is purposeful) to save their party’s midterm prospects and lower gas prices through a puny release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

ABC’s Good Morning America again played the starring role, offering praise akin to what you see on state-run media in authoritarian countries. Co-host Michael Strahan had this embarrassing tease: “Gas price push. President Biden taking action to ease the pain at the pump. What he says could come next as he gets set to hit the campaign trail ahead of midterm elections.”

[...]

White House correspondent Kristen Welker said “there’s a lot of concern about gas prices which have ticked up a bit over the past month” before hilariously claiming “it’s not clear” if the SPR release “will have a big impact on gas prices.”

She added that it does give Biden a political talking point to insist he cares about struggling Americans. Better yet, the proof she presented was clownish: “I talked to the White House chief of staff Ron Klain. What’s the first thing he does every morning? Check gas prices”.

Talk about being stenographers for power.

You mean like Houck and the rest of the MRC was during the Trump presidency?

Alex Christy contradicted Houck's description of the SPR release as "puny" by calling it a "raid" in an Oct. 20 post:

During his opening monologue on Wednesday’s All In, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes defended President Biden’s decision to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because gas prices have to be lowered in order to save American democracy from Republicans and their allies in Saudi Arabia and the fossil fuel companies.

The SPR exists to provide an oil infusion in case of emergency, but for Hayes, it exists to save him from the consequences of his terrible energy policy and lack of diplomatic skill, “You know, there is not a lot that American presidents can do to control gas prices, even though their political fate often depends on whether they’re going up or down. They do have the one trick up their sleeve. ... It’s known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserves... a kind of emergency source to protect the U.S. from having to deal with a sudden supply crunch, which is basically what we’re dealing with now.”

[...]

After playing a montage of presidents of both parties being criticized for high gas prices, Hayes claimed Republicans actually want high gas prices, “Republicans for their part are pretty mad about Biden’s move because of course, they don’t want lower gas prices, they want to be able to attack Democrats on the price of the pump. And again, there’s good reason for that. There is really robust evidence the price of gas is one of the -- if not the most important factors in a President’s approval rating.”

No, Republicans are mad because Biden is using the SPR as his electoral plaything.

[...]

Or maybe, if Biden had better energy policies and wasn’t a lousy diplomat, we could have lower prices without having to raid the emergency stockpile.

In typical MRC fashion, Christy refused to identify any Biden energy policy he could blame for a specific increase in oil and gas prices.

Houck returned for a Nov. 1 post whining that oil companies were being called out for their exhorbitant profits this year:

ABC's Good Morning America did its best Tuesday to earn brownie points from its friends in the Biden White House as they touted their hapless attempt to trash oil companies and threaten them with new taxes if they don’t (artificially) lower prices and surrender their profit margins.

As we’ve repeatedly covered ... multiple attempts from Fox’s Peter Doocy, Jacqui Heinrich, and Edward Lawrence to point out either they can’t simply lower prices (to whatever Biden views as reasonable), that there hasn’t been price gouging, or explain why the administration’s stance toward fossil fuel companies have harmed domestic production. But that didn’t matter to ABC.

“Biden versus Big Oil. The President accusing companies of war profiteering, his new threat, and the response from Big Oil,” boasted co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos.

Fellow co-host Michael Strahan also did his part and gushed that “President Biden is trying to take on Big Oil, threatening to impose new taxes on the industry's record profits,” since there’s “just seven days until those midterm elections” and half of voters saying in a new ABC News poll that the economy and inflation are their top issue.

Houck didn't dispute that oil companies were making record profits, which would indicate that they do indeed have some say over pricing.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EST
WND Complained That All Ballots Would Be Counted In Pa. Midterms
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily didn't want all the ballots counted in the midterm elections -- at least, if it seemed those ballots might help Democrats. So it pitched a fit over a Pennsylvania case involving whether to count mail-in ballots that had not been properly signed or dated. An anonymously written Oct. 18 WND article cheered how "Republicans have sued the state of Pennsylvania over its decision to count flawed mail-in ballots, such as those without a date, even though the Supreme Court indicated that really isn't acceptable." By contrast, a Nov. 8 article by Art Moore complained that the Democrats had lawyered up -- and specifically attacking the lawyer:

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman has hired controversial Hillary Clinton lawyer Marc Elias to spearhead his federal lawsuit contending mail-in ballots with an incorrect or missing date should be counted.

The lawsuit filed Monday challenges the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that such ballots cannot be included in the vote count because state law requires voters to write the date on the outer envelope. Fetterman, who is running against Republican nominee Mehmet Oz, argues that not counting the votes violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars election officials from denying someone the right to vote based on an error on the ballot that is "not material" to determining whether the individual is qualified to vote.

However, constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley – noting former Virginia Democratic governor and Clinton acolyte Terry McAuliffe's use of Elias one year ago in the race against Glenn Youngkin backfired – points out that the legislature "clearly concluded that such dates are material to the security of the vote-by-mail system."

Turley recalled that reporters alleged Elias falsely claimed that the Hillary Clinton campaign did not fund the bogus Steele Dossier, which was used to launch the Obama Justice Department's evidence-free Trump-Russia collusion case. Elias was sanctioned by the courts, and the Clinton campaign was sanctioned by the FEC for hiding the funding of the dossier through his prior firm, Perkins Coie.

Editor Joseph Farah then spent his Nov. 8 column whining about it:

You are probably going to be waiting a long time for the Pennsylvania results in Tuesday night's midterm elections.

This was predictable.

It's probably because of John Fetterman – one of the guy's competing in the election.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday it is because the reining lieutenant governor who's seeking a U.S. Senate seat has joined the legal fight over whether mail ballots with no date or the incorrect date should be counted in the election. You know, it's the guy who had the stroke.

The Democratic campaign sued Pennsylvania elections officials Monday asking a federal judge to order that all mail ballots be counted regardless of what date, if any, voters wrote on the outside of the envelope.

The request was quite remarkable.

[...]

The federal court in Pittsburgh has not yet set a hearing for either the Fetterman suit or the one filed by voting rights groups Friday. And that's why we wait … and wait … and wait.

This is 2022, after all. The Republicans "won" a big victory. But nothing comes easily.

Fetterman defeated Oz, which made the ballots a moot issue. Still, Farah was quick to play the voter fraud card in his Nov. 9 column: "John Fetterman 'won' the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania over Mehmet Oz. Fetterman can barely communicate because of a stroke. But the fix was in, nevertheless, for Fetterman. ... Pennsylvania has a long history of voter fraud – and this was further evidence things have not changed." Farah offered no actual evidence of voter fraud in this election.

UPDATE: Mike pottage went into conspiracy mode over the Pennsylvania lawsuit in his Nov. 8 column:

The polls had not opened on the West Coast when Democrat partisan and Hillary Clinton sycophant Marc Elias had filed a challenge to the Pennsylvania vote count. Elias characterized the action as an effort to protect the most vulnerable voters against the burdensome rules of despotic Republicans. Pure bovine excrement.

Arguing the logical issue "to count or not to count" is not the true purpose of the Marc Elias lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in federal court, ignoring the constitutional assignment of elections to the states. Why? Because with some careful judge shopping Democrats will be able to piece together federal case law and nationalize elections.

Once nationalized, elections will have no more meaning than the vote in Beijing or Moscow. The U.S.A. will be in one-party lockdown mode.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 11:57 PM EST
Newsmax Makes Another Right-Wing Propaganda Film About Capitol Riot
Topic: Newsmax

Earlier this year, Newsmax marked the first anniversary of the Capitol riot by bankrolling a biased "documentary," "Day of Outrage," which claimed to "accurately and fairly detail the events related to the Capitol siege of Jan. 6" but was merely cosnpiratorial agitprop from right-wingers whining that the insurrectionists were being treated like, well, insurrectionists or any other common criminal. Well, Newsmax has bankrolled another "documentary" on the same subject, with some of the same people including director Jack Thomas Smith, making some of the same complaints. as detailed in a Nov. 11 article:

Newsmax announced that its new documentary, "Shame of a Nation," will air Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

"Shame of a Nation" (click here to see trailer) was produced by Newsmax to accurately and fairly detail not only the events of Jan. 6, 2021, but the civil-rights violations against many of the protesters.

The civil rights of the Jan. 6 defendants, including those currently being detained, are being violated. Many being held in jail have been held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods and have not received proper medical care.

In addition, the Jan. 6 committee created a one-sided narrative to the public to cast former President Donald Trump, his family, his staff, and his supporters in the worst possible light. In the process, the committee is making it impossible for the Jan. 6 defendants to have a trial by a fair and impartial jury.

The film includes an examination of the Jan. 6 committee and the unprecedented weaponization of the Department of Justice and the FBI for political purposes.

Aside from Smith, others returning from Day of Outrage" include Sebastian Gorka, the Gateway Pundit's Cara Castronuova and right-wing Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Newsmax hasn't made the "documentary" available for watching online. One sob story apparently covered in the film is recounted in the preview article: "One detainee, Chris Worrell, was denied cancer treatment and the prison warden was held in contempt of court." Presumably there is no mention of the fact that Worrell is part of the violent thugs in the Proud Boys who pepper-sprayed police and, thus, and brought this upon himself. Also he appears to have violated the conditions of his release by talking in public about the riot when he was explicitly instructed not to.

Also appearing in the film is insurrectionist Brandon Straka. As we documented, Newsmax columnist Michael Dorstewitz tried to whitewash Straka's participation oin the riot and portray him as a victim who allegedly had to make false admissions of fact in order to avoid a harsher punishment. Unfortunately for Straka, federal prosecutors and judges don't look kindly on that sort of thing, and it may put him in more legal jeopardy.

"Ryan Nichols' wife Bonnie Nichols" also appears. Ryan Nichols was filmed at the insurrection wearing tactical gear and a ballistic plate, carrying a crowbar and shouting, "They are labeling us as anarchists. They are talking about using lethal force against us as we storm the capitol. They are talking about using lethal force against you." He also said in a video posted to Facebook later that day, "Ryan Nichols stands for violence." He is currently in home confinement in the custody of his wife awaiting trial.

The article tried to argue that facing the consequences of participating in the Capitol insurrection is worse than the insurrection itself:

Real crimes were committed by protesters on Jan. 6. Yet, in the aftermath, the political party in power weaponized the Department of Justice, FBI, and other agencies — leading to unprecedented civil-rights violations of U.S. citizens who engaged in those protests.

"The civil rights of the Jan. 6 defendants are being violated. Every American has a right to a fair and speedy trial. But in many cases we're not seeing that with the J6ers," said Jack Thomas Smith.

Smith added: "The Department of Justice has been politicized and weaponized. ... The Democrats are using the Jan. 6 defendants and detainees as pawns to paint Trump supporters as domestic terrorists and to keep President Trump out of the White House in 2024."

"Shame of a Nation" details the Jan. 6 committee's one-sided, false political narrative and relentless pursuit against Trump, his family, and staff, and the Department of Justice's tactics to break the Jan. 6 defendants and detainees financially and psychologically.

If Smith's film includes nobody who's not an insurrectionist or an apologist for one -- just like his earlier film did -- Newsmax's claim that it will "accurately and fairly detail" what happened is a lie.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EST
After Election Losses, CNS Still Mostly Spins For Republicans
Topic: CNSNews.com

After CNSNews.com spent the runup to the midterm elections peddling Republican narratives, reality hit as voters rejected a predicted red wave." Patrick Goodenough kept up the pro-GOP bias with an article published late on Nov. 8 noting mixed Republican results: "In Three Key Virginia House Races, Republicans Unseat One Incumbent, Fail to Eject Two Others."

CNS' Nov. 9 coverage began with Goodenough expressing sadness that right-wing anti-abortion measures lost at the ballot box:

While abortion was indirectly on the ballot for many voters across the nation in Tuesday’s midterm election, it was also the subject of specific ballot measures in five states – with results disappointing for pro-lifers.

In California, Michigan and Vermont, voters were considering measures enshrining abortion “rights” in the constitutions of each state (abortion is already legal under state law in California and Vermont), while in Kentucky and Montana, voters faced decisions on ballot measures designed to limit access to abortions.

As of at 2 AM Wednesday eastern time, support for Montana’s Legislative Referendum 131 was lagging behind, by around 45.5 points to 54.5, although with only around half of the votes tallied.

The referendum asked voters in Montana to adopt the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which declares that babies born alive, including after an attempted abortion, are legal persons.

[...]

“The measures in CA, KY, & MI are deeply disappointing & show the need to redouble our efforts of education & persuasion on the value of human life,” tweeted LiveAction president Lila Rose.

“Our movement must match & exceed the reach & resources of the abortion industry, especially on questions directly before voters.”

“Extremely sad day to be a Californian,” Rose said. “Killing children on demand, through all nine months of pregnancy, enshrined into law. May God have mercy on our state.”

Planned Parenthood Action was celebrating the results in the five states.

Of the projected defeat of the Montana measure that seeks to ensure that all babies born alive are cared for, the abortion advocacy group said, “Montana voters — you did this!! You voted for reproductive freedom, rejecting a dangerous attempt to put politicians in charge of our personal medical decisions.”

Note that Goodenough used biased right-wing nomenclature like "pro-life" and "abortion advocacy" to describe the sides fo the debate.

But rather than dwelling on Repubolican losses, CNS cranked out several articles touting Republican wins and talking points:

CNS also cranked out unsurprisingly unbiased -- albeit anonymously written -- articles on a couple of the top Senate races:

There were also a couple of articles complaining that Democrats were too mean to Republicans:

Neither Gingrich nor Donalds explained how those tactics are any different from the usual one Republicans use against Democrats.

Melanie Arter had the duty of covering President Biden's post-election remarks:

President Biden began his post-midterm election press conference on Wednesday by pointing out that there wasn’t any election interference and that the “giant red wave” that was predicted by pundits and the media didn’t happen.

“Our democracy has been tested, but with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven again that democracy is who we are. The states across the country saw record voter turnout. The heart and soul of our democracy, the voters, the poll workers, election officials, they did their job,” the president said.

[...]

The president said that voters spoke clearly on the issue of abortion.

“Another thing that we know is that voters spoke clearly about their concerns, about raising costs, the rising costs and the need to get inflation down. There's still a lot of people hurting. They're very concerned. It's about crime and public safety. They sent a clear and unmistakable message that they want to preserve our democracy and protect the right to choose in this country,” Biden said.

Arter followed this with another article on Biden:

Now that Republicans are poised to retake the House and the Senate is still up for grabs, President Biden said Wednesday that he’s prepared to work with Republicans.

However, he said he would not be willing to support any proposal that will worsen inflation, and he pointed to Democratic legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Because it was the stenographer Arter writing these articles and not the editorialist Susan Jones, they're written in a straightforward manner.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Monday, December 5, 2022
Bad Faith: MRC Complains Media Ignored Oz's Muslim Faith (Like The MRC Did)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center doens't like Muslims. It generally writes about them only in the context of attacking them -- i.e., Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib -- and whining about conservatives being (accurately) described as Islamophobic. So when the MRC suddenly wants to talk about Muslims in a nice way, one has to assume bad faith is part of the argument. And that's exactly what we got in a Nov. 4 post by Jason Cohen:

Dr. Oz is a Muslim and would be the first ever Muslim senator if elected. But based on media coverage, there is a good chance you didn't even know about this. 

In fact, HuffPost had the nerve to leave him out of their piece titled "American Muslims In The Midterms Aren't Long-Shot Candidates Anymore." 

FOX News reported that “A spokesperson for HuffPost declined to comment.”

Hm, interesting.

Mike Cernovich pointed out this lack of coverage in a tweet saying, “If the regime media thought Republicans hated Muslims, they’d be touting that Dr Oz could become the first Muslim Senator in U.S. history. But they are quiet about that. Says it all.” 

Glenn Greenwald also noted how groundbreaking this would be:

[...]

It seems to show how accepting the right is that they are not making any issue of Oz’s religion whatsoever. And it shows the left is disingenuous in regard to diversity. 

Leftists only like diversity when they support the same sentiments.

Cernovich likes to fearmonger about "Muslim rape culture," so maybe he's not the best guy Cohen could be citing to praise Muslims. Also missing from Cohen's post: any questioning of why his fellow right-wingers haven't been celebrating Oz's Muslim faith the way they would if he was an evangelical  Christian. Indeed, there was no mention whatsoever of Oz's Muslim faith at the MRC before Cohen's post.

There's also another  question missing from Cohen's post: If this achievement is so historic, why wasn't Oz himself touting it? Because he didn't want to. In contrast to Cohen's portrayal, the non-right-wing media has noted Oz's historic status -- and also noted how Oz is downplaying his faith. For example, on Oct. 14 -- three weeks before Cohen's post -- ABC News reported:

Dr. Mehmet Oz rarely talks about his faith on the campaign trail – but, if he wins, the son of Turkish émigrés could make history as the first Muslim elected to serve in the U.S. Senate.

"Pride and honor," Oz, the Pennsylvania GOP nominee, said in an interview last month when asked by ABC News' Linsey Davis what being the first Muslim in the chamber would mean to him.

He is already the first Muslim ever to be nominated by a major party for a Senate seat.

[...]

"Sufism is just kind of like, 'I'm spiritual,'" Imam Abdullah Pocius, the leader of a mosque in Philadelphia, explained to ABC News. "It's like when an American says, 'Well I'm not really into organized religion, but I'm spiritual,' you know?"

Pocius, who is not politically affiliated and said he has never voted, said Oz is rarely discussed among Muslims in Pennsylvania that he knows. Oz, too, rarely discusses his Muslim background on the campaign trail unless asked.

Despite his historic nomination, Oz feels distant from the Muslim community in Pennsylvania and is not "visible" in that role, Pocius said: "He definitely does not excite us. He's not even a blip on the radar."

Clay Waters served up a similar argument -- tyhis time attacking the New YOrk Times -- in a Nov. 9 post:

On Sunday, New York Times religion correspondent Liam Stack became the latest Timesreporter to devalue what would have been a historic achievement by a minority group politician, due to the politician in question being a conservative: “Oz Could Be the First Muslim U.S. Senator, but Some Muslim Americans Are Ambivalent.”

In quite the twist, a Times reporter is suspicious of a political figure (Dr. Mehmet Oz, running for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania as a Republican) for not pushing or emphasizing their religious beliefs. This after years of the paper bashing the supposedly dangerous theocratic tendencies of the Christian Right.

While Waters did include article excerpts pointing out that Oz has downplayed his Sufi Islam faith and refused to take part in events at mosques that would emphasize it, he went on to play whataboutism anyway:

Stack used Oz’s lack of firebrand religiosity to fault the Republican Party en masse and Trump especially, while blatantly fawning over a controversial Muslim Democratic figure.

[...]

Ellison, now Attorney General of Minnesota, weathered sexual harassment controversies and accusations of links to the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Lewis Farrakhan, which Stack conveniently failed to mention.

Even after Oz lost the eleciton, the MRC tried to push this narrative. In a Nov. 12 post, Alex Christy attacked history professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat for noting that Republicans care mostly about helping white Christian men. Rather than offering a coherent argument, Christy chose instead to make personal attacks on Ben-Ghiat, sneering that she proves that "PhDs are too easy to obtain nowadays" (not that Christy would know, since all he has is a poli-sci degree). He went on to huff:

It's telling that Ben-Ghiat is just a hack with a fancy degree when she cites someone who was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, but that she and the rest of the media couldn’t be bothered to tout the potential Dr. Mehmet Oz had to be the first Muslim senator or, speaking of Georgia, their attacks on Herschel Walker.

Christy didn't mention that his own employer had suppressed the fact of Oz's faith until just a week before.

It appears right-wingers like Cohen, Waters and Christy care only about diversity when they can use it as a cudgel against liberals to push a political narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:58 PM EST
WND's Midterm Coverage As Biased As You'd Expect
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily -- as you'd expect from a bunch of election deniers -- embraced the never-proven narrative that Democrats were going to steal the midterm elections even before the polls closed. Bob Unruh promoted a Federalist article making that argument on the early evening of that day (based on the inescapable fact that some election results will not be completely tabulated on election night) while rehashing old denier grievances:

Democrats, reacting to President Trump's claims of a stolen 2020 presidential election, launched into a campaign against "election deniers" that they still pursue, despite the fact members of their own party are outspoken "election deniers" after any election won by a Republican.

Of course, after the fact, we learned that in the 2020 race the FBI lobbied Big Tech to suppress damaging information about the Biden family's business dealings, and Mark Zuckerberg handed out, through foundations, $400 million plus, and the evidence shows either one of those factors likely changed the election winner from President Trump to Joe Biden.

ut they still claimed that Trump was doing anything to hold onto power.

Now THEY will, charges John Daniel Davidson, senior editor at The Federalist.

In a column at that publication, he pointed out that Democrats and corporate media on their side "have been pushing hard the message that we won't know the results of key races for days, maybe weeks."

"It’s not just about counting absentee ballots, it’s about getting the rigging in place, either to claim victory or deny the legitimacy of the vote. Whatever Democrats say they fear Republican 'election deniers' might do, they themselves are preparing to do the same or worse," he wrote.

He pointed out Democrats have built their power by aligning "with elite interests and woke morality," and now control the White House and the administrative bureaucracy and are supported by corporate media and Big Tech.

WND's main article by Art Moore on the midterm results -- which has been updated since its original publication, something Moore didn't disclose even though the article still carries a Nov. 8 publication date while containing developments from the following day -- ultimately framed the Georgia Senate race as determining control of that body while also complaining that Democrats in Pennsylvania want all the votes counted:

Control of the Senate could once again be decided by a Georgia runoff, with neither incumbent Democratic Sen. Rafael Warnock nor Republican challenger Herschel Walker garnering 50% of the vote.

Earlier Wednesday, Dr. Mehmet Oz conceded the Pennsylvania race to Democrat John Fetterman, meaning the GOP has lost a seat in its bid to regain the majority. In the final days before the election, Fetterman, who suffered a serious stroke in May, signaled that the outcome of his race might not be known for days as all the votes are counted. On Monday, after hiring controversial Hillary Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, he filed a federal lawsuit contending mail-in ballots with an incorrect or missing date should be counted.

In his (also stealth-updated) summary on House races, Bob Unruh seemed happy that Republicans will take control of that body and gleefully hyped the obstruction they plan to implement, though he insisted on hyping early numbers that were later superceded by reality:

Republicans, as had been predicted, likely will be the House majority in the new Congress after the first of the year, and should that happen there will be a lot of changes in Washington.

The party held the lead in House seats throughout Election Night, taking the lead immediately and being up by as many as 60 seats before the last few dozen seats were heading for decisions. At about 2 a.m. Eastern, Republicans were up 189 seats to 154 for Democrats.

If they are the majority, Nancy Pelosi no longer would be speaker, losing her privileges, special status and extra pay.

"When you wake up, we will be in the majority, and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority," Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

Pelosi's partisan Jan. 6 investigation commission? Likely on the scrap heap.

Instead, investigations of Anthony Fauci and COVID. And Hunter Biden and his laptop. Possibly even Joe Biden and those payments to the Biden family empire that appear to have come from unusual sources in China and Russia.

Further, Joe Biden's spending will be tempered by the GOP agenda and its priorities. Unless, of course, Biden jumps off into the ocean of random executive orders more.

And don't forget impeachments. Some GOP members already have discussed using it as a political tool against Biden, as Democrats did against President Trump. A simple majority in the House could leave Biden, as Pelosi charged against Trump, "impeached forever," even though involuntary removal from office would be unlikely.

Another article by Moore cheered the denial of reality from Republican candidates in Arizona:

On Tuesday night, amid voting machine breakdowns and other irregularities, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake trailed Democratic rival Katie Hobbs by 100,000 votes. But Wednesday morning the margin had narrowed to 10,000, with only 62% of expected votes counted.

And by Wednesday afternoon, Hobbs' lead was narrowed to about 4,000 votes with 67% reporting, 50.1 to Lake's 49.9, with 72% of votes reported.

The popular Trump-backed candidate – who had a substantial lead in opinion polling – condemned the state government's handling of the election in an address to supporters late Tuesday night but said she expects to win after all the votes are counted. Lake said that in the latest vote drops, she was winning more than 70% of the vote.

The Arizona elections are under the leadership of Lake's opponent, Hobbs, the secretary of state.

Lake called the voting machine problems in Maricopa County "another stark reminder that we have incompetent people running the show in Arizona," promising her "first line of action is to restore honesty to Arizona elections."

The next day, Moore hyped a sting by the discredited activists at Project Veritas:

Project Veritas journalists at a Philadelphia polling station Tuesday captured hidden-camera footage described by the group's founder as evidence of illegal electioneering for Democratic candidates John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro.

Fetterman narrowly defeated Republican Mehmet Oz, and Shapiro won by double-digits over Republican Doug Mastriano.

Needless to say, Moore didn't do what a reputable news organization did and point out Project Veritas' reputation for dishonesty:

The videos are edited, and O'Keefe and Project Veritas have a history of selectively — and at times misleadingly — editing their videos. While they have previously posted raw footage, they have not done so with these latest stings.

Another political operative who appears in the video says this is a case of misleading editing. Immigration reform activist Caesar Vargas wrote on Facebook that "they just edited the video to distort the story."

Instead, Moore played stenographer by repeating what was in the video witout alerting his reader to the fact that it was likely edited to promote a conservative agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EST
MRC Continues To Embrace J.K. Rowling's Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center

At the Media Research Center, J.K. Rowling made the flip from being hated for writing about wizards to being loved for hating transgender people as much as it does. The MRC is still praising Rowling's transphobia. An Oct. 14 post by Tierin-Ros Mandelburg cheered Rowling's snarky answer to a critic:

J.K. Rowling is a freakin’ savage.

An internet troll tried to piss off the Harry Potter author for losing a “whole audience” over her personal beliefs - namely, that men can't be women. Luckily, Rowling couldn’t care less about cancel culture’s numerous attempts to get rid of her, especially since she’s still a major success.

"How do you sleep at night knowing you’ve lost a whole audience from buying your books?” the troll wrote on Twitter.

Rowling’s response dropped jaws when she blasted back, “I read my most recent royalty cheques and find the pain goes away pretty quickly.”

[...]

As a matter of fact, Rowling should change her last name to Rolling, because she’s J.K. Rolling in lots of dough. 

Her net worth is literally $1 BILLION. From Harry Potter alone, Rowling has reportedly made over $700 million.

Mandelburg didn't mention that Rowling made that fortune writing books her employer spent years attacking before the transphobia flip.

An Oct. 25 post by Matt Philbin praised an actor in the Harry Potter movies for not criticizing her transphobia:

Well, it’s not every day the New York Times publishes something that isn’t biased, deceitful or bat-guano crazy. Certainly not something that bucks the LGBT mafia. 

Yet there it was on October 22, in a profile of actor Ralph Fiennes by … Maureen Dowd? (Signs and wonders!) Fiennes famously played Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies. He Who Must Not be Named may have lacked a schnoz in the flicks, but he has a pretty good nose for BS in real life, and he knows the hatred of Potter author J.K. Rowling has the stench of bovine evacuation.

Rowling is a liberal, but she refuses to play along with most extreme elements of the transgender movement. She ’s been publicly adamant that dudes pretending to be chicks are not chicks. Women, she maintains, are women and not “people who menstruate.” For this, she has had to face down the full fury of the Twitter mob – for years. What’s more, many of the actors she made famous with her stories deserted her, and sad sacks who made leagues out of her “Quidditch” game renamed it in order to distance themselves.

Not Fiennes, though. Asked about Rowling’s trans travails, he was appalled at her treatment.

“J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings. It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centered human being,” he said. “The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling. I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”

So Harry and Hermione won’t stand up for common sense and for the woman to whom they owe their careers, but the evil wizard Voldemort will. Truth is stranger than children’s fiction.

Speaking of attacking Harry, John Simmons did just that in a Nov. 2 post:

J.K. Rowling, the author and Harry Potter franchise, has been a favorite target of the progressive mob ever since she spoke out against radical transgenderism in the summer of 2020.

[...]

It’s unsurprising that many people outside of the franchise came for head, but now she’s also dealing with hatred from some of the actors that played key roles in the iconic franchise.

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the film series by the same name, spoke with the IndieWire about a letter he wrote for the Trevor Project’s website shortly after Rowling posted her tweets in which he voiced his support for transgender people.

“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing ‘Potter,’ I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” Radcliffe told IndieWire. “And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”

Identified with Potter on what level? The only thing that remotely makes sense is that both people might be considered the outcasts of society, but even that comparison falls short because trans people are not only not outcasts anymore, but widely celebrated by governments, businesses, sports teams, etc. The sheer amount of hatred Rowling has received for her stance is proof. The fact that a high-profile actor also supports the gender confusion of children and adults is disappointing.

Actually, transgender people continue to be outcasts because peole like Simmons, Philbin and Mandelburg -- along with their fellow MRCers -- demand that they be so and continue to spew hate at them and defend fellow haters like Rowling.

Simmons' post was headlined "Daniel Radcliffe Explains Abandoning Rowling to Trans Mob" -- as if Simmons and the rest of the MRC aren't leading an anti-trans mob.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:41 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Bill Donohue's Year of Bad Takes
Topic: CNSNews.com
The dishonest Catholic and CNSNews.com columnist spent 2022 spreading lies and misinformation about George Soros, Alfred Kinsey, a graphic novel about the Holocaust and more. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EST

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