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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: Midterm Stenography From CNS, Part 2
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com was still pushing Republican talking points on the day of the midterm elections, but the reality of poor GOP performance slowly sank in -- to the point that it was even critical of Donald Trump. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
MRC Complains About Griner Prisoner Swap, Censors Criminal Record Of Ex-Marine Left Behind
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson has been the Media Research Center's point man (or woman) in cheering Russia's dentention of WNBA star Brittney Griner on trumped-up drug charges (even while the MRC was acting all sad that Russian athletes were being banned from international competition due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine), going on to insist that Griner deserves all the harsh treatment the Russians could dish out because she's a black non-heterosexual who purportedly doesn't love America enough (even though speaking out against injustice is a First Amendment right). When the U.S. gained Griner's freedom through a prisoner exchange for U.S.-imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout -- whom the MRC had previously deemed too valuable to exhange for Griner -- Maxson rushed to whine about it in a Dec. 8 post:

The Biden Administration today got taken to the cleaners in the prisoner swap of Viktor Bout – the world’s most notorious arms dealer in the world -- for American basketball player Brittney Griner while a real hero rots in a foreign prison. 

This morning, Joe Biden said of Griner, “She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home.” However, American Paul Whelan, a former Marine serving 16 years in a harsh Russian penal colony, is not safe and is not coming home. He was arrested by Russia for alleged espionage in 2018. It’s no surprise that Biden failed a high-profile veteran. He left Americans behind in Afghanistan, too, just last year. 

Griner checks the political boxes for the leftist president. She is black, lesbian, woke. Griner was arrested in Moscow last February attempting to board a plane with cannabis. Later, she was convicted of drug smuggling, sentenced to nine years in prison and recently transported to a harsh prison. The Phoenix Mercury center has already been canonized by the far-Left Women’s NBA.

[...]

Griner returns to pounding a basketball. Whelan pounds sand. 

Maxson censored the fact that Whelan is hardly a saint. He received a bad-conduct discharge from the Marines following a court martial for attempted larceny, false statements and dereliction of duty, among other things. In other words, he actually committed crimes that were much worse the Russia accused Griner of doing (having a couple vape cartridges of cannabis oil) - but Maxson wants you to think his "former Marine'" status makes him virtuous.

Later that day, Nicholas Fondacaro and Bill D'Agostino played whataboutism:

On Thursday, the liberal media celebrated Russia’s release of WNBA player Brittney Griner as a triumph for President Joe Biden. But back in 2018, the same journalists were desperate to find a negative framing when the Trump administration negotiated the release of three American hostages from North Korea.

[...]

It’s right to celebrate when an American is brought home after an ordeal in a hostile country, but what the liberal media have been demonstrating is a double standard of lukewarm praise - annoyance when a Republican scores that victory.

But that defense crumbled quickly after former  Trump national security adviser John Bolton revealed that Trump had a chance to exchange Whelan for Bout but declined to do so.

Kevin Tober went on to whine that "anti-American WNBA player Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison due to the Biden administration trading away one of Russia’s most dangerous terrorists and arms dealers Viktor Bout" -- the only evidence Tober provided of Griner being "anti-American" was her protesting against injustice by sitting out the National Anthem during WNBA games, which she has the very American First Amendment right to do -- then expressed glee that "the 'big three' nightly newscasts actually gave voice to criticism that the United States shouldn’t have traded a dangerous Russian terrorist for Griner, especially while leaving U.S. Marine Paul Whelan behind." Tober failed to mention the criminal background that got Whelan kicked out of the Marines, let alone explain why such a criminal should be let back into the country.

Tober then served up some Fox News stenography a couple hours later:

On Thursday evening’s edition of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson exposed to a national audience what was revealed on investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel’s Substack, which is that NBC News originally reported that Russia reportedly offered the Biden administration a choice between freeing Marine Paul Whelan and anti-American Basketball player Brittney Griner, and Biden chose Griner. Then when nobody noticed, NBC quietly covered for Biden and changed the story to what is currently the media narrative that Russia said take Griner or you get nobody. 

After airing Biden repeating his claim that Griner was the only American prisoner they would allow to go home, Carlson mocked Biden’s apparent lie: “This was not a choice of which American to bring home. Really? Oh but it clearly was a choice and we know it was a choice because the first accounts of the prisoner swap with Russia said it was a choice.”

Unfortunately for Tober and Carlson, NBC retracted that claim the following day. Tober has yet to correct his post.

In a Dec. 9 post, Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called Republican critics of the Griner-Bout swap given how they are die-hard supporters of the "fascist" Trump, grumbling further that this was "a classic straw man diversion. Many non-conservatives, including MSNBC's own contributors, have criticized Biden's swap." Maxson returned to tout the anti-Griner rantings of a right-wing sports guy:

Due to America’s obsession with identity politics, Russian President Vladimir Putin knew we were ripe for the plucking. That's Jason Whitlock’s This explanation for Thursday’s outrageously uneven U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange that left behind American ex-Marine Paul Wheland and teacher Marc Fogel. 

Whitlock claimed on his Blaze Fearless podcast that “CRT, diversity inclusion and equity (DIE) dictated that President Joe Biden go to unreasonable and dangerous lengths to win the release of Brittney Griner. She’s black and gay. Her membership in the LGBTQ, BLM alphabet mafia makes her more valuable to the Biden Administration than (ex-)Marine Whelan and school teacher Fogel, both white men incarcerated in Russia.”

Putin used America’s commitment to racial and sexual idolatry “to fleece us in a trade,” Whitlock added. “There are rumors that Putin targeted Griner because he recognized that the Biden Administration would be forced to bow to pressure from the alphabet mafia.”

[...]

CRT and DIE have weakened the American educational system, work environment, movies and television. Whitlock says we should not be surprised when it is also evident in our foreign policy. 

Again, Maxson failed to mention Whlean's criminal record.

Brad Wilmouth used a Dec. 11 post to complain that Republicans were being called out for opposing the Griner swap because she was a black lesbian:

On Saturday afternoon, CNN was again showing how fixated on race and identity the liberal media are as CNN contributor S.E. Cupp and former contributor James Carville suggested that racism is to blame for Republicans criticizing President Joe Biden's prisoner exchange agreement with Russia that led to the release of the WNBA's Brittney Griner.

The allegedly conservative S.E. Cupp theorized that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the agreement because Griner is a "Black lesbian," and Carville declared that is it because she is "not White" and "not straight."

After host Jim Acosta showed a clip of McCarthy criticizing the plan that resulted in the release of a high-value Russian prisoner known as the "merchant of death," Carville began his response: "So, Jim, I'm going to say something controversial, but I'm going to preface it with something true."

After acknowledging that a reasonable argument can be made against doing such prisoner exchanges because of the cost, he still accused Republicans of the worst motives as he continued: "Does anyone in their right mind think that if Brittney was a blind Chi Omega from SMU that the reaction would have been the same? Of course not."

A bit later, he added: "...a lot of this like a lot of things in America are driven by the fact that this young person is not White and is not straight. And if you don't believe that, you're not in tune with American politics. I'm sorry, this is something that just has to be said."

Wilmouth didn't mention that the MRC's own Maxson specifically cited Griner being a black lesbian as a reason to oppose the exchange.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 PM EST
WND's Farah Goes Wobbly On Ukraine, Hides Reason Why Churches Are Being Targeted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah declared in his  Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily column:

I was fooled about Volodymyr Zelensky.

Yes, even I. When I'm wrong, I like to admit it. And I was horribly wrong.

How wrong was I and about the entire war in Ukraine?

Last March, I called Zelensky a courageous "Hebrew warrior." How's that? Worse yet, I jumped to conclusions about his war.

I apologize.

I even compared him to biblical heroes from the book of Judges. Sheesh! Was I ever wrong about him.

I was too quick to believe the media – something I rarely do. My whole career trained me against it.

But today, seeing is believing.

So what has he done wrong? It's legion. Zelensky has banned opposition parties. He's shut down critical media by force. He's arrested his political opponents. He has sent soldiers into churches. Zelensky's secret police have raided monasteries across Ukraine, even a convent full of nuns, and arrested dozens of priests for no justifiable reason whatsoever and in clear violation of the Ukrainian constitution, which apparently no longer matters. And in the face of this, the Biden administration has said nothing.

Last week, he announced his plan to ban an entire religion, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – more than a thousand years old – and to seize its property, all for being insufficiently loyal to his regime. A free country does not ban a major religion.

Nor is it permissible in time of war to place soldiers in churches. It's wrong to arrest dozens of priests. It's a war crime. And he's doing it to a Ukrainian church!

Joe Biden remains silent about all this – of course.

Farah is deliberately omitting a significant fact: All of these things Zelensky has cracked down on are aligned with Russia, the enemy who's trying to destroy the country, something that happens during any war. That includes the Ukrainian Orthodox Church -- which is fully labeled as the Moscow Patriarchate -- that still has ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, headed by staunch Putin ally Patriarch Kirill, who cheers Russia's war against Ukraine. A breakaway sect, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, has formed independent of Moscow, which the Russians have tried to suppress. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church monasteries were raided because it is believed that Russian special forces were involved in "subversive activities" against Ukraine inside them.

But rather than tell his readers the truth, Farah decided it was more important to fearmonger about "the Deep State – and the Uni-Party" and portray support for Zelensky as somehow evil:

You know what Big Tech and the U.S. media are like. Ukraine is worse. The Zelensky government bans all opposition voices and parties. Priests are arrested. Is that freedom?

I repent of my once-enthusiastic support of Zelensky and the immoral war in Ukraine. Not another dime for the U.S. war machine in Ukraine. Not now. Not ever. We were sold a bill of goods.

I regret my support for this quagmire – just one more permanent war for the war party.

It was never the right call – especially when we are at real risk of nuclear war.

But Farah never states the obvious: Because he has reneged his support for Ukraine, that means he has become an ally of the warmongering Vladimir Putin and RussiaIf anyone has created that "real risk of nuclear war" he purports to abhor, it's Putin, not Zelensky; Farah seems to be mad at Zelensky for fighting back and refusing to let his country be taken over by a hositile neighbor.

Farah's pro-Putin line puts him in league with WND columnists like Scott Lively and Jim Darlington.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 5:38 PM EST
Newsmax Hyped (Non-Existent) Threat Of Armed New Black Panthers In Ga. Runoff
Topic: Newsmax

Theodore Bunker hyped in a Dec. 6 Newsmax article:

The New Black Panther Party will deploy armed guards at polling locations across Georgia during the runoff between Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and GOP candidate Herschel Walker.

The New Black Panther Party was joined by Black Lawyers for Justice and other groups in the effort, which they said is intended to protect voters from violence or intimidation. They also said that they are not endorsing either candidate in the race.

"No one will come and touch, harm, threaten, do anything to any person walking into that voting booth to exercise that right," organizer Khallida Ramla Bastet said Monday during a press conference, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

"This is a legal position that we are taking. We are in position so that if anything happens to anyone, we are here to offer you legal representation. We are here to offer you security. And that's that. And may the best person win," Bastet said.

The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have both described the New Black Panther Party as a hate group.

Just one problem with this scenario: it didn't actually happen. As PolitiFact reported:

However, the New Black Panther Party told PolitiFact it decided against armed patrols.

Ahmad Muhammad, national assistant to Malik Zulu Shabazz, the chairman of the New Black Panther Party, said the group’s members appeared at polling places in Savannah and Brunswick, but decided against carrying firearms because they didn’t want to deter voters.

"We try not to have anyone feel unsafe at the polling sites," Muhammad said. 

County officials in multiple counties, the secretary of state’s office and voting rights groups said they received no reports of armed Black Panthers at voting sites on Election Day. We also found no news reports or video footage to support the claim.

PolitiFact added: "If armed individuals had shown up near voting sites, that wouldn’t be illegal under Georgia law unless they stood too close to voters or intimidated them."

Bunker's story has not been corrected to reflect that what he reported on didn't happen, and Newsmax published no follow-up stopry to that effect.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023 3:45 PM EST
CNS Ted Cruz Stenography (And Lack of Disclosure) Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Ted Cruz was having a gangbusters year of being featured at CNSNews.com -- it help when you hire the daughter of CNS editor Terry Jeffrey as your spokesperson. Here's the free promotion Cruz got from CNS in the final quarter of 2022, which throttled things back a bit from earlier in the year:

There was also an Oct. 31 article by Susan Jones giving Cruze secondhand promotion under the headline "Rep. Comer: 'I Agree With Ted Cruz': Why Have FBI, DOJ Ignored 'Credible Evidence' Involving Hunter Biden?" Not counting that one, there were only 11 Cruz-centric articles in the final quarter, which makes for a total of 65 articles in 2022. By contrast, CNS devoted 46 articles to him in 2020 and 72 articles in 2021.

As usual, CNS has never explained why it considers Cruz so newsworthy, and it definitely hasn't disclosed in any of these the fact that Cruz employs Jeffrey's daughter.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023 9:25 AM EST
Monday, January 2, 2023
MRC Is Lashing Out At NewsGuard Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent the past couple of years waging a loud, lame war against website credibility-rating firm NewsGuard for pointing out the inconvenient fact that right-wing websites are not very credible -- which, in the tunnel-vision eyes of the MRC, can only mean that NewsGuard is somehow "biased" and its rating system is faulty. That fallacious whining has continued of the fall.

An Oct. 25 post by Catherine Salgado complained that the New York Times was "citing leftist, biased NewsGuard to back up its claims" that disinformation is rife on what she euphemistically called "alternative social media platforms" -- read: right-wing sitres like Gettr, Gab, Rumble and Truth Social, which she also laughably and dishonestly called "pro-free speech platforms" -- going on to reference how "MRC Free Speech America research showed that NewsGuard’s ratings skewed in favor of left-leaning outlets, the firm rating those outlets as having substantially more “credibility” on average than right-leaning outlets." Salgado also referenced"evidence that censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story by Big Media and Big Tech helped steal the election for then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in 2020, according to a Media Research Center survey conducted by McLaughlin & Associates." As we've pointed out, McLaughlin was Donald Trump's election pollister, so a poll result that supported its client was preordained and discredits the MRC's "evidence."

Joseph Vazquez spent a Nov. 4 post complaining that NewsGuard called out the disinfomation posted at Rumble:

Leftist internet traffic cop NewsGuard is in no position to be throwing around the “hoax” label when its own CEO tried to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as a “hoax.” It's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

NewsGuard released a new self-serving report headlined: “Making YouTube Look Good: Rumble Becomes Hoax Central Ahead of the Midterms.” NewsGuard's primary complaint was that Rumble doesn’t abide by NewsGuard’s leftist ratings system like censorship-obsessed YouTube does:

“In search results, Rumble pushes twice as many sites rated untrustworthy by NewsGuard as YouTube,” which is laughable in the face of a December 2021 MRC study that showed outlets rated “left” or “lean left” by AllSides getting an average NewsGuard score of 93/100, while sites that AllSides considered “right” or “lean right” scored an abysmal average NewsGuard rating of 66/100. 

This is the same NewsGuard whose CEO Steven Brill claimed before the 2020 elections that the Hunter Biden laptop scandal reported by the New York Post was a Russian “hoax.”

Vazquez doesn't prove anything NewsGuard says to be wrong -- he simply engages in whataboutism ranting about how "authoritarian Russia and Communist China" have accounts on Facebook. He also whined that NewsGuard called out the Rumble accounts of right-wingers Steve Bannon, Steven Crowder and Dan Bongino for spreading disinformation, but he offered no evidence that they don't.

When NewsGuard highlighted how purveyors of misinformation saw increased engagement after Elon Musk bought Twitter, Brian Bradley was there to complain about it in a Nov. 15 post:

Another day, another NewsGuard mudsling against the First Amendment.

NewsGuard, a wildly biased website rating firm, attempted to tarnish Elon Musk's Twitter using its flawed rating system. Musk has expressed an eagerness to promote free speech and eschew unfair censorship on the platform, but not without a fight by NewsGuard.

“Twitter’s most popular NewsGuard Red-Rated untrustworthy accounts garnered 57.04% increase in engagement in the week following the change in ownership,” NewsGuard wrote in an article Friday.

New Twitter CEO Musk’s pro-free-speech stance has apparently encouraged “greater activity by malign actors, boosting the popularity of misinformation on the platform,” the article reads.

In fact, both Twitter and NewsGuard are private companies to which the First Amendment does not apply. Bradley even hyped a couple of those serial misinformers -- but insisted that NewsGuard is the problem, not them, because it apparently doesn't have a sense of humor:

NewsGuard took specific aim at two of the 25 accounts that it lambasted as publishing “false” claims about COVID-19: Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Mercola turned to Substack after YouTube in September 2021 banned his account for spreading so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.”

NewsGuard complained that Mercola “published numerous false claims about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic, and that Mercola’s Twitter interactions “rose from 932 to 19,259, a 1966.42% increase in engagement and the largest increase measured by NewsGuard.”

The article also included a tweet of a meme Northrup posted on Oct. 28, depicting a cartooned Musk mocking a caricatured, crying leftist.

NewsGuard portrayed Northrup as “a self-described wellness expert that has also repeatedly published false information about COVID-19.”

Maybe get a sense of humor, NewsGuard?

By not disputing that Mercola and Northrup do, in fact, spread misinformation, Bradley is basically trying to maliciously privilege misinformation by dishonestly labeling it as "free speech." He doesn't explain why misinformation shouldn't be countered, or why he's so desperate to see it spread.

After NewsGuard called out Fox News' Tucker Carlson for his rampant misinformation, Salgado went on the attack in a Dec. 6 post:

Try figuring this one out. Biased ratings firm NewsGuard reportedly gave leftist CNN’s Inside Politics a credibility score of 9/10, while Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show notched a 0/10. 

MRC Free Speech America showed in a December 2021 report that “credibility” arbiter NewsGuard has a strong leftist, anti-free speech bias. But the online ratings firm is now expanding beyond online news to TV news, Variety reported.

Variety said NewsGuard’s ratings of “140 cable, streaming, and network television shows and networks will be available to advertising agencies, marketers, and others starting January 2, 2023.”

NewsGuard’s bias is already evident based on its TV show ratings. NewsGuard scored Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight< at rock bottom, giving the show a 0/10.

NewsGuard claimed Carlson’s show “regularly advances false, misleading, and unsubstantiated claims on topics of importance such as COVID-19 and U.S. and international politics.”

"NewsGuard is a dangerous form of censorship," said MRC President Brent Bozell. "They are trashing Tucker's show and downgrading anything they don't like, then pushing advertisers to bail and force them off the air."

As with her fellow writers, Salgado made no effort whatsoever to rebut what NewsGuard actually said ahout Carlson, even though its report on him cites numerous examples of misinformation he has spread. Instead, she whined that "Inside Politics" host John King is "blatantly biased" while citing a few cherry-picked statements.

The MRC has no interest in a good-faith debate with NewsGuard about website credibility -- it simply wants to shout down NewsGuard for revealing inconvenient truths about the shoddiness of right-wing media.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EST
WND Still Defending The Honor Of Ivermectin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore is WorldNetDaily's chief defender of ivermectin as a drug to treat COVID (despite a lack of quality research to back it up), and he was in full defender mode in a Nov. 23 article:

In a lawsuit by three doctors accusing the FDA of interfering in their treatment of COVID-19 patients with ivermectin, a lawyer for the agency insisted that urging people to "stop" taking the medicine was merely an informal recommendation.

The fact that the "recommendation" – which included mocking the drug as "horse dewormer" – prompted hospitals and pharmacies to ban its use for COVID-19 doesn't mean the FDA bears any responsibility, contended Isaac Belfer in a hearing in federal court in Texas.

"The cited statements were not directives. They were not mandatory. They were recommendations. They said what parties should do," Belfer said Nov. 1, Epoch Times reported.

Attorneys for the physicians, who included Dr. Paul Marik, cited three online posts by the FDA, including a tweet, featuring a photo of a horse, saying: "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it."

The tweet linked to an FDA web page titled "Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19." On a separate page, the FDA stated: "Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19? A: No." A subsequent tweet said: "Hold your horses, y'all. Ivermectin may be trending, but it still isn’t authorized or approved to treat COVID-19."

Ivermectin – which has been a safe and effective, Nobel-prize-winning, FDA-approved treatment for many diseases – can be prescribed for COVID-19 by a physician "off label," and 93 randomized controlled trials confirm the reported success of many physicians around the world.

[...]

The lawsuit charges the FDA interfered with the doctors’ practice of medicine, violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and other laws. It asks the court to prohibit the FDA from issuing guidance on whether ivermectin should be used to treat COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, a Trump appointee, has said he would rule "as quickly as we can for ya'll."

Because Moore is getting his information from a story by the Epoch Times -- one of the more prolific outlets for COVID misinformation -- he's misleading his readers. As FactCheck.org reported:

The FDA’s lawyers also pointed out that although the doctors bringing the case allege that the statements interfered with their ability to practice medicine, the doctors also said that they continued to prescribe ivermectin for COVID-19 patients despite the FDA’s online posts.

The FDA’s description in court of its posts as recommendations didn’t constitute a change in the administration’s position.

[...]

The FDA’s website still explains why people shouldn’t use ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, and the National Institutes of Health recommends against its use for the disease, except for clinical trials.

FactChck added that "randomized clinical trials have repeatedly found that ivermectin does not benefit COVID-19 patients"-- something Moore will never tell his readers because he's too invested in the right-wing pro-ivermectin narrative. Indeed, that touting of "93 randomized controlled trials" comes from an anonymous website that, as we've noted, may be secretly run by the fringe-right, anti-vaxxer Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and there's arguably more quality research showing that ivermectin doesn't work to treat COVID.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:41 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 2, 2023 8:44 PM EST
MRC's Graham Complains Newly Elected Trans Legislators Called Out GOP Lies
Topic: Media Research Center

Part of the Media Research Center's sour grapes over the vaunted midterm election "red wave" that never materialized was whining that candidates who were young, liberal and/or non-heterosexual got elected (and got interviewed by non-right-wing media outlets). Tim Graham served up even more of this in a Nov. 20 post:

The leftists who make endless propaganda with our tax money have laid out a plush red carpet for newly elected bisexual transgender radicals in state legislatures. On Thursday, NPR's All Things Consideredtypically failed to consult an opposing point of view in a tenderly promotional eight-minute interview with Zooey Zephyr of Montana and James Roesener of New Hampshire.

Anchor Ailsa Chang set up Zephyr to assert that Republicans are causing trans suicides:

[...]

They always stoop to arguing for an end to any opposition, claiming "you're killing us!" Chang could only pose the conservative view as cruel, and no rebuttal was considered.

But Graham himself offered no rebuttal to anything said in this interview. And if Graham really cared about journalistic balance, he can start down the hall at the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, which regularly publishes statements from Republican politicians and commentators without giving the other side an opportunity for rebuttal. And only Graham would think that it's "propaganda" to not spew hate at transgender people the way the MRC does on a daily basis, or that portraying that hatred as merely an "opposing view" is responsible, accurate journalism.

Graham whined further:

This one-sided claptrap also happened on the PBS NewsHour on November 11. Laura Barron Lopez mangled plain English by claiming Montana had "a bill that blocked trans girls and women from playing in sports." She lamented there are "already some pre-filed anti-trans bills, one in particular that would restrict transgender surgery on minors."

Lopez painted Republicans as liars: "a number of Republican candidates that have falsely accused LGBTQ teachers of — quote — "trying to groom students," as well as there was a New Hampshire Republican candidate that lost, but said falsely that teachers were trying to put litter boxes in classes, so students could identify as cats, and also accusing Democrats of trying to put drag queens in every classroom."

But the litter box story really was a lie -- even as it uncritically spread through right-wing media -- as is the malicious right-wing portrayal of all LGBTQ people as "groomers." Which, of course, makes Graham's whining that "Lopez painted Republicans as liars" nonsensical because she cited two specific examples of clear Republican lies. Again, Graham made no effort to rebut the argument.

Essentially, Graham is complaining that these transgender legislators are telling the truth about Republicans. Not exactly what normal people think of as "media research."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Midterm Stenography From CNS, Part 1
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com abandoned the "news" part of its name to serve as a Republican Party mouthpiece by uncritically promoting partisan attacks, bashing President Biden and deflecting from criticism of the GOP after the attack on Paul Pelosi. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 AM EST
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Musk's PR Team At The MRC Promotes Twitter Docs Musk Released, Attacks Those Not Promoting Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center anticipated the release by Elon Musk of internal Twitter documents about regulating users and content, so when he allowed the first set to come out via habnd-picked writer Matt Taibbi, the MRC was poised to exploit them for full partisan effect. Joiseph Vazquez dutifully wrote in a Dec. 2 post:

Twitter owner Elon Musk released damning documents exposing the extent of the platform’s efforts to squash the Hunter Biden laptop scandal first reported by the New York Post.

Journalist Matt Taibbi, who first reported on the documents Dec. 2, stated that they revealed how Twitter staff and executives over time found “more and more uses” for censorship tools. Specifically, per Taibbi, “Outsiders began petitioning the company to manipulate speech as well: first a little, then more often, then constantly.” In one snapshot dated Oct. 24, 2020, Taibbi stated that “[b]y 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: ‘More to review from the Biden team.’ The reply would come back: ‘Handled.’” 

Musk’s release of the documents put an even greater spotlight on the nefarious scheme by Twitter to interfere in the electoral process to help throw the election to then-candidate Joe Biden. MRC President Brent Bozell praised Musk for making Twitter’s internal operations transparent to the American people at last: “Twitter sabotaged the 2020 elections. A big thank you to Elon Musk for releasing more information about this. The American people deserve to know the truth."

Vazquez went on to rehash some of his employer's dubious, biased "media research" on how the laptop story was "censored" by "big tech."

Manwhile, any discussion of the release that didn't conform to Musk's and the MRC's biased, partisan interpretation had to be shouted down. When MSNBC guest Brandy Zadrozny pointed out that the release "actually makes Twitter look good" because they show "People were trying to do the right thing and inside Twitter" regarding a story of uncertain provenance, Alex Christy complained:

In the actual thread, Taibbi does concede that content removal requests were available to both sides, but in practice, Democrats had a better chance of success because Twitter is a ultra-liberal company. The idea that there were conservatives inside Twitter who agreed to suppress the Post article is not anywhere in Taibbi’s thread.

What is in the thread is people struggling to accept the hack explanation, but not be willing to do anything about it. Taibbi also reports the extraordinary measure of resorting to suppression, noting that such methods were usually reserved for things such as child pornography.

Yet, Zadrozny still claimed, “it looked like, this weird story of a laptop left in some, like, repair shop, it looked like a hack and leak. That's what people inside Twitter thought it was. And so, they acted a little fast.”

The MRC then moved to whining that outlets outside their right-wing media bubble aren't parroting the Musk narrative. Christy whined that "None of the three broadcast networks covered the Friday revelations of how Twitter censored the New York Post ’s Hunter Biden laptop story on their Saturday morning shows. However, NBC’s Today did manage to blame Elon Musk for a raise in hate speech on the platform." He then served up even more Musk PR by insisting that the number of " tweets targeting black Americans" only increased "from 1,282 to 3,876 ... that is out of 867 million total tweets per day. The idea that Twitter is a racist hellscape is sensationalism." Christy didn't explain why that even that amount of hate speech is acceptable. (The MRC likes to play dumb about the increase in hate speech on Twitter after Musk's takeover.)

Tim Graham grumbled that the Washington Post wasn't parroting the right-wing narrative:

It took The Washington Post about 24 hours to acknowledge Elon Musk releasing the "Twitter files" on how the social-media company suppressed the story of Hunter Biden's laptop in the last weeks of the 2020 campaign.

Their headline on a story by Cat Zakrzewski and Faiz Siddiqui was "Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ ignite divisions, but haven’t changed minds."

[...]

They put "free speech suppression" in scare quotes. Clearly, if Twitter had shut down The Washington Post Twitter account in the last days of a campaign instead of the New York Post, these guys wouldn't use quotation marks. 

Then they added: "But by the time the dust settled Saturday, even some conservatives were grumbling that it was a dud. Musk’s Twitter Files produced no smoking gun showing that the tech giant had bent to the will of Democrats." As if throwing huge red flags to defend Biden isn't bending to the will of Democrats??? The super-aggressive censorship had the effect of a massive misinformation warning.

Of course, if Twitter had "censored" the Washington Post's Twitter account, Graham and the rest of the MRC would be cheering it. Speaking of"censoring," this is the first mention of the fact that other conservatives also called the release underwhelming. Graham censored the fact that this group of grumbling conservatives includes Miranda Devine, the New York Post columnist who helped promote the story at the time, as well as Fox News host Will Cain.

Graham followed up with a post whining that "Joe Biden and Hunter Biden aren't in the headlines" on the New York Times' article on the release, going onto huff: "This isn't about a story's reception. It's about a story's suppression. It's a story of a so-called "news media" telling everyone to be completely incurious about documents showing Joe Biden's involvement in his son's international lobbying operations." When the Times quoted a MSNBC commentator pointed out that Taibbi was hand-picked by Musk and that the document release was being orchestatred, Graham huffed further:

There's nothing funnier than MSNBC (or the Times) saying other media outlets do "PR work" for rich and powerful people in "orchestrated disclosures" in service of cynical partisan narratives and pretending it's "speaking truth to power." This just shows you how little they understand about how other people perceive their "news gathering."

Graham is never going to admit that this is the case here because he and the rest of the right-wing media bubble are huge fans of the orchestra conductor.

Meanwhile, there was a new victim to promote. Autumn Johnson wrote in a Dec. 3 post:

Actor James Woods says he is suing the Democratic National Committee after the group appa by Elon Musk revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ordered Twitter to remove his tweets for speaking out on the 2020 Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

Johnson's outrage was undercut by the fact that she made a factual error that had to be corrected in a top-of-post update:"This story has been corrected to note James Woods intends to sue the Democratic National Committee, not Twitter.

But Johnson censored the fact that the thing that likely got Woods' account suspended was his posting of a full-frontal nude image of Hunter Biden -- which violates Twitter's policy against posting of non-consensual nude images. When that inconvenient fact was pointed out, Christy whined about that too:

The men of late night "comedy" finally got the opportunity on Monday to address the Twitter Files and the revelations of how Twitter suppressed the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. However, they missed the point about how the Post was censored and insisted the real story was the censorship of nude Hunter Biden photos.

Trevor Noah kicked off his last week as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show by reporting, “Over the weekend, Elon released the so-called Twitter Files, which many conservatives had hoped would prove that Twitter colluded with Democrats to censor news about Hunter Biden's laptop during the 2020 election. Instead, they mostly just showed the Biden campaign asking Twitter to take down nude photos of Hunter Biden.”

In order to make this claim, Noah cherry-picked one tweet of nearly 40 on how Twitter censored the Post’s article, but that was a theme for Noah and others. As Noah shifted to Donald Trump’s reaction, he again missed the point, “The Republican front runner for president of the United States wants to terminate the Constitution because Twitter wouldn't allow him to see Hunter Biden's dick.”

Christy further huffed: "The decision to suppress the Post's story was wrong whether the Biden campaign had anything to do with it or not and that has nothing to do with naked photos of Hunter Biden."He didn't mention that the main folks desperate to post naked photos of Hunter included not only Woods but accounts linked to Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui, a right-wing Chinese mogul who has been bankrolling Bannon for the past couple of years.

Christy refused to opine on whether it was wrong for Woods and other people to post non-consensual photos of Hunter Biden's penis, or why it was a bad thing for the Biden camp to ask Twitter to enforce its terms of service and have them deleted.Nor does he explain why, in contradiction to pretty much everyone else, he seems to think there's a First Amendment right to post porn on social media without the consent of the person in the picture.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 2, 2023 2:18 PM EST
CNS Helps Its Fellow Right-Wingers Attack Passage of Respect for Marriage Act
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has been attacking the Respect for Marriage Act all through its journey through Congress. That continued upon its signing. Melanie Arter wrote an article that yet again focused on Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer having a gay daughter:

Senate Majority Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) celebrated the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday, which requires states to accept the same-sex marriages performed in other states, by telling saying that the tie he was wearing was the same one he wore when his daughter married her wife.

During the signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Schumer said that thanks to his Democrat colleagues and millions of others “pushing for change,” his grandchild - his daughter’s first with her wife - “will get to live in a world that respects and honors their mothers’ marriage.”

CNS is weirdly obsessed with Schumer's daughter, and it has published two other Schumer-focused articles in its coverage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

Susan Jones dedicated an article to her fellow right-wingers attacking the new law:

"Today's a good day," President Joe Biden told a cheering crowd at the White House on Tuesday after he signed the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act" into law.

No, it's not, said some conservative groups, who see the law as another opportunity for leftists to force their nontraditional ideology onto people who respect societal and religious norms.

"Today is a dark day for religious freedom," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement:

Jones went on to bizarrely embrace the Tina Turner theory of marriage:

President Biden stated on Tuesday that "marriage is a simple proposition. Who do you love and will you be loyal with that person you love? It's not more complicated than that."

But for centuries, love had nothing to do with marriage:

[...]

As President Reagan's former Education Secretary William Bennett once described it, marriage has three purposes: “protecting women, domesticating men and raising children.”

Marriage has taken different forms in different cultures, but until modern times, homosexuality was never the basis for marriage.

And certainly, in recent years, heterosexuals have marginalized marriage, through divorce or by foregoing it altogether.

Another Jones article served up even more right-wing criticism of the law:

The so-called "Respect for Marriage Act," signed into law by President Joe Biden amid a cheering crowd on Tuesday, codifies federal recognition of legally performed same-sex marriages (and interracial marriages).

But the law does not prohibit the federal government from retaliating against people or groups that hold sincere religious beliefs and moral convictions about marriage.

Conservatives warn the law will be used against them, deliberately, to attack religious freedom.

"I think they're valid concerns," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Tuesday night.

[...]

In Christian religious tradition, marriages are perform in the presence of God to join "a man and a woman" in a bond established by God, a bond signifying the union between Christ and his Church, "and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people," as one Book of Common Prayer phrases it.

While heterosexual marriage is an ancient institution, recognized in some form across many cultures, homosexual marriage is not. The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in 2004, 18 years ago.

In neither of these articles does Jones allow any supporter of the law to respond to the criticism. CNS' idea of "balance," apparently, was to complain that Cyndi Lauper appeared at a White House press briefing in an article by Arter:

Singer Cyndi Lauper said Tuesday that LGBTQ families “can rest easy” now that the Respect for Marriage Act is being signed into law “because our families are validated.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre introduced Lauper at Tuesday’s White House press briefing, saying, “I know we have some serious business ahead of us today, but as you know, sometimes a girl just wants to have fun” referencing one of Lauper’s hit songs, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

That was countered with managing editor Michael W. Chapman hyping another right-wing, scare quote-laden attack:

Gay marriage means that "gender doesn't matter" anymore -- you can marry whoever you want -- and this logically damages society across the board, said author and commentator Dennis Prager. 

He added, "The war against gender is a war against civilization."

Prager made his remarks in an interview with Dave Rubin, the host of The Rubin Report. Rubin is gay and "married" to a man; Prager is heterosexual and married. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, President Joe Biden signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act, which essentially codifies "gay marriage" into federal law.

CNS' biased coverage was capped off by an angry Dec. 16 commentary by right-wing radio host Paul Milazzo:

When Bill Clinton looks like a devout Sunday School teacher, that’s your first clue that the culture has embraced sexual anarchy!

Back on September 21, 1996, Slick Willy actually signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act. It banned federal recognition of homosexual faux marriage by limiting the definition of marriage to the union of one man and one woman. It further allowed states the right to refuse to recognize homosexual marriages granted under the laws of other states.

Tragically enough, since then, the Democrat Party’s [sic] platform has become a virtual Manifesto of Evil, championing today’s twin sins of baby-killing by abortion and sexual perversion.  If Joe Biden dared to take a similar stand today, he would be put on the first train back to an assisted living home in his beloved hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

Milazzo screeched that the 12 Republicans who voted for the bill were traitors on the scale of Judas Iscariot:

The 12 traitorous Republican Senators who voted for the “Disrespect of Marriage” Act include: Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina); Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia); Susan Collins (Maine); Joni Ernst (Iowa); Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming); Lisa Murkowski (Alaska); Rob Portman (Ohio); Mitt Romney (Utah); Dan Sullivan (Alaska); Thom Tillis (N.C.); and Todd Young (Indiana).

[...]

Despite the fact that 412,336 concerned citizens sent emails to their two Senators through the Family Research Council website, the same 12 Republican senators were unmoved by the cry of their constituents. Through a series of votes, they repeatedly embraced the sexually perverse bill with a white-knuckled grip.

Here’s the $64,000 question.

Why did these 12 Republicans betray the conservative Christians who elected them with a Judas-style kiss on the cheek?  Follow the money.

Milazzo concluded by ranting: "Now that these reprobates have championed Leviticus 18:22 , I don’t doubt that they will ultimately advocate every sexual perversion listed in Leviticus 18 as right, good, and even noble." His tone is not that much harsher than that of CNS' "news" coverage.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 1, 2023 9:38 PM EST
Saturday, December 31, 2022
MRC Attacks Indie Film For Failing To Hate Abortion And The Women Who Have Them
Topic: Media Research Center

Unsurprisingly for a group of anti-abortion extremists, the Media Research Center hates it when media portrayals of abortion doesn't hate it as much as they do. When the movie "Call Jane" -- about a service that provided clandestine abortions before it was legal -- the MRC worked to attack it, and anyone who refused to trash the film based on subject matter alone. In his Oct. 28 column, Tim Graham lashed out at the film's actors for committing the utterly normal "offense" of promoting their film like every other actor does:

In the closing days of the midterm campaign, liberals and Democrats remain convinced that the right to terminate babies is their, um, saving grace. Naturally, among those leading the charge are Hollywood feminists making propagandistic movies about the righteousness of destroying innocent life.

The news program CBS Mornings just performed two supinely promotional interviews with actresses Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Banks and their movie Call Jane, based on an underground Chicago abortion service that killed about 10,000 babies in 1968, before abortion was legal in America.

How dramatically biased was CBS? No one in either of these interviews used the word “baby” at any time. The most dehumanized Americans are the unborn.

[...]

Inside this sugary bubble of our liberal media, these actresses can bounce from studio to studio promoting the wonderful bravery of abortion and absolutely no one utters a discouraging word about killing millions of babies. No one is allowed to offer any rebuttal about the death and disease that came with that glorious “Sexual Revolution.”

Graham followed up with an Oct. 31 post again attacking Banks for engaging in routine promotion of her film:

For your daily laugh that NPR calls their evening newscast All Things Considered, on Saturday night they celebrated the new pro-abortion movie Call Jane with actress Elizabeth Banks. Over eight and a half minutes, NPR host Michel Martin had no difficult or challenging questions, just facilitations.

[...]

Banks added "If you want fewer abortions, you should give us sex education and contraception." As if our public schools don't offer sex education? As if contraception is hard to find?

The actress wanted to underline again that "abortion health care" isn't dangerous, completely overlooking the human that is murdered. Banks thought casual sex can be followed by casual abortion: "it was just making sure that we presented abortion in its reality, which is 10 minutes later, you're, you know, she was eating spaghetti." No guilt, just pasta.

Graham is much more into shaming and denigrating women who have abortions than trying to offer any meaningful help for them.

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg -- who supports the creation of a Orwellian surveillance state to prevent women from crossing state lines to get a legal abortion -- melted down over the idea that the filmmight be shown at abortion clinics, accusing the makers of "propaganda" even as she spread her own anti-abortion propaganda:

Some propaganda with your abortion?

Actor Elizabeth Banks, most commonly known from The Hunger Games, recently starred in a 1960s-set story about a mother who stumbles upon an underground abortion network called “The Janes.” The film is set to partner with local and national abortion providers to play the film inside clinics for “educational” purposes, as The Hollywood Reporter indicated.

[...]

The filmmakers want to push the idea that abortion shouldnt be something that women aren’t afraid of. It aims to “normalize” abortion.

But, the reality is that everyone SHOULD be afraid of abortions. This procedure is far from humane for the mother or the child involved and is a grave evil. Abortions should be feared for their completely vile nature.

This film is just another leftist attempt to paint abortion as gospel and the fact that it's going to premiere inside clinics that provide such vile procedures is horrific.

Right-wing film critic Christian Toto rushed to proclaim the film a failure after a brief limited release in a Nov. 5 post, insisting that it didn't bode well for Democratic prospects in the midterm elections:

Perhaps Roe v. Wade reversal. Instead, the movie arrived as evidence of a red electoral wave is intensifying, and voters are coming to grips with that reality.

Or, the conventional wisdom that abortion would be the Democrats’ best bet to defang GOP arguments never held much sway in the first place.

The film’s commercial failure is another sign Democrats may have plenty to worry about come November 8.

Of course, that "red electoral wave" never materialized, meaning that Toto's attempt to use the first-weekend box office of an indie movie to predict a major election was a major failure.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 PM EST
WND Kept Up Post-Election Biden-Bashing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Having seen its favored right-wing Republicans lose the midterm elections (and not taking it well), WorldNetDaily's columnists soon returned to their old pastime, bashing President Biden. Here are a few examples of post-election Biden-bashing:

On Nov. 9, while flummoxed Republicans were trying to figure out why their "Red Tsunami" didn't happen in this year's midterm elections, a buoyant Joe Biden held a White House news conference. His goal: change the subject. After meandering about looking forward to working constructively with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Old Joe blamed a grueling international travel itinerary for why he had to leave town on Nov. 10 before all the votes were tallied.

On Nov. 11 (Veterans Day in the U.S., Remembrance Day in many other countries), our geriatric-in-chief was lauded at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt for his oft-repeated pledge: "No more drilling" in the USA. Joe and entourage then boarded his fossil-fueled Air Force One (accompanied by no less than seven other U.S. Air Force aircraft) and headed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting and East Asia Summit on Nov. 12 and 13.

[...]

Biden appeared to have been much better prepared for this series of international meetings. He certainly had moments of cognitive disarray and physical frailty, but overall, his performance was predictable. When he returns home, honest reporters, columnists and analysts – and there are some – must determine how he will proceed on a host of post-election and post-summit details. A few "now what" examples:

What steps are you going to take to restore America's economy? What will you do to stem the nationwide crime wave threatening the lives, safety and property of every man, woman and child in America? More than 3 million human beings from nearly every country on Earth have invaded our country. What will you do about it?

-- Oliver North and David Goetsch, Nov. 14

Now that the midterm election is over, can we stop pretending Joe Biden is president of the United States?

It is embarrassing.

The entire Biden presidency is media fiction. The world knows this, with the notable exception of the Americans. Another two years of governance from the Marxist men and women behind the curtain and the nation will be too broken and too polarized to make the necessary financial and social repairs to save itself.

-- Mike Pottage, Nov. 15

I don't have any crystal ball, but I submit my appeal for Joe Biden's resignation. His governing grade is "F," and he has no real accomplishments. Things will only get worse (I'm not rooting for this, only expressing the brutal reality).

The midterm election was not a victory for Dems, but sadly, neither was it the hoped-for repudiation. It was a mixed verdict, but going forward Biden will be neutered with Pelosi gone and the power of the purse back under conservative control.

Almost 70% of Americans reject Biden's aviator "Top Gun" image and don't want him to run again. The economy collapsed, there's catastrophic crime, a fentanyl epidemic, chaos at the border, runaway inflation, a deepening recession, skyrocketing interest rates, increasing cultural rot and corruption in government and the media. Top it off with Biden's obvious cognitive decline and it all spells one thing: Whether in weeks or months, Joe's gotta go.

[...]

Biden's recent statements and behavior aren't merely embarrassing, they're frightening. He's had two brain aneurysms; displays regular neurological difficulties; Obama's former White House physician stated he's convinced Joe's cognitive decline is serious; and, while there are levels of dementia, many specialists say he's in a diminished state disqualifying him from continuing.

-- Larry Tomczak, Nov. 15


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 31, 2022 10:35 AM EST
Friday, December 30, 2022
The MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Stayed Busy This Year
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been one of the right-wing media's biggest defenders of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, even when he does odious things like spending state money to fly migrants who weren't even in Florida to Martha's Vineyard and or making high-profile arrests of people (largely non-white ex-felons) on purported voting fraud charges (who then keep getting acquittedd). But it has defended DeSantis on smaller issues over the past year as well.

Margaret Buckley defended DeSantis in an Aug. 5 post over criticism from the folks on "Morning Joe" for suspending elected state prosecutor Andrew Warren for not kowtowing to DeSantis' anti-LGBTQ agenda:

Since Warren had “vowed” to not follow ethical laws that protect unborn children from being killed and protect confused and impressionable children from groomers, it is safe to say that DeSantis had good reasons for the suspension.

In reaction to separate clips of DeSantis and Warren giving their respective statements, Joe Scarborough exclaimed to his wife Brzezinski, “I mean Mika, Ron DeSantis is such a dope. He didn't even wait for any action to take place.”

Warren was even allegedly letting dangerous people back onto the streets, only God knew what they were capable of doing to innocent people.

Buckley attacked Warren again in an Aug. 9 post when "rogue attorney" Warren appeared on "Morning Joe":

Morning Joe tried to get viewers’ tears flowing for democracy on Tuesday by bringing on Florida state attorney, Democrat, and lefty-caterer Andrew Warren. Warren was recently suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis for refusing “to enforce Florida's 15-week ban on abortion and gender-affirming care.” Warren’s response? Acting like a free-speech martyr and calling DeSantis a “wannabe dictator,” and the MSNBC cast was fine with it.

[...]

So, Warren and the minority of people he is clearly kissing up to do not feel free, all because they cannot kill unborn children, or groom young and impressionable children by encouraging them to (seemingly) change their gender. 

Tim Graham spent an Aug. 11 post complaining about an Associated Press article citing right-wingers in general -- and DeSantis in particular for his "don't say gay" law, a term Graham hates -- for fueling a rise in anti-LGBTQ hate. An Aug. 15 post by Graham whined that DeSantis tweeting out an image of the "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden flag as a license plate design was (not incorrectly) interpreted as an embrace of "a dangerous far-right extremist ideology" by NPR, serving up lame whataboutism in response:

How do you know the left-wing media is gunning for Ron DeSantis? When taxpayer-funded NPR suddenly finds the "Don't Tread on Me" flag from the Revolutionary War to be a "far-right" emblem of lies and violence.

[...]

This is a little funny, since NPR has an affinity for dangerous far-left extremist ideology. They favorably reviewed the book In Defense of Looting in 2020. Looting is a "powerful tool." NPR gets goosebumps over books about how leftist riots for racial "justice" should be called "rebellions," not riots, and should be considered a respectable form of activism.

Naturally, NPR turned to the left-wing "extremism experts," who claimed "most of the public"....thinks like NPR?

[...]

Biden won, and January 6 was awful, but smearing this Gadsden flag as associated with far-right kookery is nothing new. Liberal media stars also tried this tactic when it was a Tea Party favorite in the Obama years. Chris Matthews called it "McCarthyite," and also turned to the SPLC to decry this symbol. Juan Williams associated it with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Even porny Playboy got into the act as it ripped Glenn Beck.

Alex Christy used an Aug. 19 post to defend from CNN commentator Bakari Sellers a DeSantis-promoted law designed to censor certain discussions of race, particularly if they involve the right-wing buzzword of critical race theory:

Like abortion laws, it is clear media personalities commenting on these laws have not read them. There is nothing in the law that prohibits teachings of “racial discrimination, as well as topics relating to the enactment and enforcement of laws resulting in racial oppression.”

Sellers would argue that black people are treated differently in America, which is an argument that he would be allowed to present under the Florida law. He just couldn’t indoctrinate people by insisting it is true while ignoring Stewart’s point of view.

Actually, black people are treated differently in America.

In a  Sept. 22 post, Kevin Tober complained that "demonic" MSNBC host Joy Reid used the Martha's Vinehard flights "to harken back to when he informed high school students at a public event that they weren't required to wear masks as the same as "whipping up a mob at the University of Mississippi because James Meredith was coming and then cheering it on as four people are killed in that mob."(Needless to say, the MRC defended DeSantis over the mask incident.) Tober huffed in response: "Reid either doesn't know her history, or she's pretending that Republicans were for the evil racist violence that was so common in the old south during the early to mid-1960s. Regardless, any person with a firm grasp on reality knows Ron DeSantis doesn't support violence of any kind and is against racism."

Even book reviews were not exempt. Clay Waters complained in a Sept. 23 post that a review by Stephen King of a book that referenced a library's empty shelves lest people be exposed to "dangerous ideas" and added that "The Florida Parental Rights Bill, signed by Governor DeSantis in March of this year, is basically a free pass to text censorship." Waters huffed in response: "Wrong! It's age-inappropriate obscenity and sexual scenes, not 'dangerous ideas,' being 'censored' (as in, removed from school libraries)."

Jason Cohen spent a Sept. 29 post complaining that knee-jerk right-wing praise of DeSantis was being called as creepy and authoritarian-looking:

This is awfully unfair to the millions of Floridians and Americans who are proponents of DeSantis’s policies, which are less authoritariann than many leftwing governors’. Nobody wants to acknowledge backing a figure whose views are beyond the pale, according to the mainstream media.It naturally has a chilling effect on speech. (It also hands liberals some nasty surprises on election day, since voters won’t admit their preferences to pollsters.)

It also helps heighten the already terrible tension and tribalism setting up a false and divisive good vs. evil dichotomy. The media should be responsible enough to know better than to use such rhetoric. Criticizing politicians should be commonplace, but designating them as demons is disgraceful. “DeSatan” is literally trending on Twitter today.

Waters returned for a Sept. 30 post calling out DeSantis' hypocrisy in demanding federal hurricane relief while flouting federal COVID guidelines: "They decided to drag COVID into the act, foolishly, given DeSantis’s impressive record of reopening his state without the catastrophic consequences predicted by the Times and other liberals." Waters then added a bit of whataboutism: "Still the reporters kept itching for DeSantis to lunge at the Biden administration, while failing to mention the other side: At the height of the damage wrought by Hurricane Ian on Wednesday night, Biden attended a fundraiser to defeat Republican governors…like Ron DeSantis."

Curtis Houck used an Oct. 13 post to attack a CBS segment pointing out the right-wing obsession with labeling any critic as 'woke' and that 'a portion of the segment from socialist co-host Tony Dokoupil took aim at Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for what Dokoupil complained in a tease was 'say[ing] the word' work [sic] 'a lot.'" He added: "Dokoupil then teed off on DeSantis, lamenting that, 'in the battle to define America,' the Sunshine State leader 'has what amounts to his very own fight song,' 'a campaign ad inspired by Top Gun' and the word woke serving as the “one political target he seems to favor above all others.” Houck found none of that creepy and authoritarian, of course -- heck, he couldn't even be bothered to explain why he thinks Dokoupil is "socialist."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EST
CNS' Donohue Can't Stop Whining That People Talk About Catholic Sexual Abuse
Topic: CNSNews.com

Dishonest right-wing Catholic Bill Donohue has spent much of the year whining that people keep reminding us of the massive sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, serving up the usual dubious deflections that they don't reflect the state of the church today, some allegations are too old to be fully substantiated and even if they happened, the priests who committed the offenses were mostly gay (not actually true). Donohue whined again about this -- complete with one of those deflections -- in his Nov. 16 CNSNews.com column:

An editorial in the November 13 edition of the Washington Postclaimed that “high-level sexual misconduct and coverup in France shattered illusions of progress by the church toward establishing a culture of transparency and accountability in its hierarchy.”

The evidence? A retired cardinal and archbishop in France admitted to sexual misconduct with a teenage girl 35 years ago. Oh, yes, it was recently disclosed that allegations of abuse extending back decades were made about another French bishop; he was removed from his post.

There are over 5,000 bishops in the world and the Washington Post found two of them who were involved in sexual misconduct decades ago. The paper argues that this shatters “illusions of progress.”

What it really shattered is the credibility of its editorial board.

As I recounted in The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse, no institution has made greater progress in combating sexual misconduct than the Catholic Church.

Donohue then played whataboutism, complaining about a sexual abuse scandal at CBS that purportedly would have ended sooner if the Post hadn't killed a story about it. He concluded by huffing: "Sexual abuse should always be condemned, but when those doing the condemnation come to the table with dirty hands, they ought to shut their mouth."

But Donohue is usually too busy playing the deny-and-deflect game to actually condemn the sexual abuse that went on in the church for decades.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EST

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