Newsmax Goes Full Victim After Getting Dropped By DirecTV Topic: Newsmax
There's nothing right-wingers like to do better than play victim when they feel even the least bit slighted. So when satellite provider DirecTV dropped Newsmax TV from its lineup last week in a dispute over carriage fees that Newsmax demanded and DirecTV didn't want to pay -- admittedly, a fairly large slight -- so it has been calling in all the favors it can to help it act like a victim of "censorship" (even though Newsmax is available though other means such as streaming platforms). An anonymously written Jan. 25 article started the squealing:
At midnight Tuesday, AT&T's DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal, immediately shutting the network off from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse.
This is the second time in the past year AT&T has moved to cancel a conservative channel, with DirecTV deplatforming OAN in April.
Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a "cost-cutting" measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.
DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries. Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax.
"This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax said.
"The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T's DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed," Ruddy added.
The article did not name those "22 liberal news and information channels" DorecTV continiues to carry, suggesting that the number may be a bit inflated. The article then tried to reframe the situation in its favor by accusing DirecTV of lying:
As news reports indicated the likelihood of a Newsmax deplatforming Tuesday night, DirecTV representatives made false claims to the media about Newsmax and its negotiations.
DirecTV falsely claimed to media outlets that Newsmax is asking for a fee but still wants to keep a free stream on OTT platforms (over-the-top service is a type of service offered directly to viewers).
But this is false; no operator pays a fee while Newsmax streams free and DirecTV was fully aware the free stream will end this year.
"We've discussed with Newsmax on several occasions that we'd like to offer their programming, however, the network is now seeking significant fees that we cannot pass on to our broad customer base," a DirecTV representative claimed in a statement.
But an analysis shows that Newsmax was seeking a fee with a 75% discount to its market value, and compared to fees currently paid by DirecTV, almost all 50 channels below Newsmax in ratings get higher fees.
Newsmax did not make this alleged analysis publicly available, making it impossible to verify its claim. Newsmax was certainly not going to ask DirecTV for a comment.
The article also added that "AT&T DirecTV's decision to drop OAN and Newsmax comes on the heels of a February 2021 letter written by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and then-Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., demanding that cable and satellite TV providers explain their alleged role in the 'spread of dangerous misinformation' by carrying conservative networks." But it did not admit that Newsmax and OAN did, in fact, spread misinformation about the 2020 presiential election -- specifically, repeated false attacks on election tech company Dominion -- over which Dominion has sued Newsmax and OAN. Newsmax eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with a Dominion executive who faced threats as a result of the false reporting, so yes, one can consider that misinformation quite dangerous.
Newsmax also failed to tell readers that this particular channel slot would continued to be occupied by a right-wing channel; DirecTV replaced Newsmax with The First, whose biggest name is disgraced ex-Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
Over the next few days, Newsmax seemed to devote a significant amount of its programming to whining about being dropped by DirecTV and soliciting comment from other right-wingers, if the articles and clips posted on its website are any indication -- where threatening DirecTV owner AT&T with government harrassment and boycotts was also a theme:
Former President Donald Trump Wednesday night joined the outcry against AT&T DirecTV's removal of Newsmax from its satellite and cable systems, calling it "disgusting" and saying that the move was a "big blow to the Republican Party and to America itself."
In a post on his Truth Social, Trump wrote:
"WOW. AT&T DIRECTV REMOVES NEWSMAX FROM ITS CHANNEL LINEUP. This disgusting move comes after “deplatforming” OAN last year. The Radical Left seems to have taken over the mind and soul of AT&T. This is a big blow to the Republican Party, and to America itself.”
Trump continued: “For DIRECTV to drop very popular NEWSMAX, without explanation, will not be accepted. I, for one, will be dropping all association with AT&T and DIRECTV, and I have plenty. This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!"
Very few, if any, of these articles, mentioned that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel -- probably because admitting that fact would blow up the "censorship" and "cancel culture" arguments its commentators were making.
Speaking of which, Newsmax also got mad that Twitter did a fact-check exposing the controversy as the business dispute it is. The apparently uniroinically named Charlie McCarthy huffed in a Jan. 26 article:
Twitter has added what it claims is a user-generated context description to at least one tweet concerning DirecTV's decision to drop Newsmax from its service.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., tweeted Wednesday afternoon that "it would be unacceptable to de-platform Newsmax, a popular news channel that many of my constituents in #NY21 depend on for news." She also attached Newsmax's story reporting on DirecTV's move.
Stefanik's post now includes a gray-shaded box with a bold headline: "Readers added context they thought people might want to know."
"Newsmax wasn't cancelled, as it can be streamed for free on YouTube and directly on Newsmax.com still," the box's text reads. "DirecTV and Newsmax couldn't reach an agreement on the new rights or licensing fees after they were free for years."
The context verbiage included links to two stories (Newsweek, Daily Beast) and a link to Newsmax's YouTube page.
Even McCarthy couldn't argue with that. Still, he uncritically repeated his employer's talking point that "DirecTV continues to carry 22 liberal news channels, many with low ratings and all get paid hefty license fees" without naming those channels or listing the "hefty license fees" they supposedly receive.
CNS Tried To Blame Buttigieg For Holiday Flight Delays Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has had a grudgeagainst Pete Buttigieg ever since he ran for president and then became transportation secretary for the offense of not being heterosexual. So when flight disruptions caused by bad weather happened over the Christmas holidays, particularly involving Southwest Airlines, the first reaction CNS had was to blame Buttigieg -- even if it could not actually name anything he did or didn't do to cause them. Susan Jonbes began a Dec. 27 article this way:
"Anybody seen @PeteButtigieg lately? Our airline system is imploding. Vacationing again?"
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg responded to that question, posed by someone on Twitter, on Monday night, saying: "I'm tracking closely & will have more to say about this tomorrow."
(“Tomorrow” is today -- Tuesday. Buttigieg did not say where he is.)
This is not the first time stranded Southwest Airlines customers have asked, "Where's Pete?"
As CNSNews.com reported in October 2021:
Buttigieg, President Biden's transportation secretary, hasn't had much, if anything, to say about the disruptive, multi-day Southwest Airlines flight cancellations that have stranded thousands of passengers; or about the nation's supply chain logjam, where dozens of container ships wait off the California coast for the opportunity to unload.”
As it turns out, Buttigieg was on (unannounced) paternity leave at that time.
Earlier this month, Buttigieg went to Portugal on vacation as a rail strike loomed.
Jones did not explain how Buttigieg is personally to blame for any of that. The next day, Jones did seem to understand that the blame lay at the feet of Southwest, not Buttigieg:
In a "travel advisory" posted on its website, Southwest Airlines warns of "irregular operations," meaning a majority of its flights continue to be canceled today and through the new year.
The advisory said Southwest is experiencing "high call volumes and busy signals," meaning thousands of customers are stranded in airports, some for days, with no opportunity to rebook their canceled flights.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NBC News Tuesday evening that Southwest needs to "take care of" its passengers and employees. He called it an "unacceptable situation" and said "cash refunds" need to happen:
NBC asked Buttigieg on Tuesday how travelers can have faith in the Transportation Department "as a watchdog, if these problems keep happening?"
"Well, what we did, especially over the course of the problems we saw this year, was press the airlines to increase their customer service commitments. They did that. They did that in writing,” Buttigieg said:
In a Dec. 29 article, though, Jones was content with uncritically spreading Republican talking points from a GOP congresswoman, though she was more into attacking the Biden administration as a whole thought she threw some blame Buttigieg's way:
"The House Republicans will be different," Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) vowed on Wednesday, pointing to various problems, including air transportation, that keep "getting worse" during the Biden administration.
"We're going to pass bills to push for energy independence and for border security and to address supply chain issues. We're going to do it, and let's see what the Senate does in turn. That's the only leverage we have," she told Fox News.
"What's really frustrating here is that (Transportation Secretary) Pete Buttigieg brought all of these airlines in, he said he was holding them accountable, and he was going to push them to fix their operation so there wouldn't be cancellations. And he actually said coming out of these meetings that they were going to be prepared for the holidays -- he had fixed this for the holiday season.
"And then look what happened. I think that's what's really frustrating to the American people is, you always hear this administration talk about accountability and fixing things and then yet we find out the same problem keeps getting worse.
Two Republican congresswoman had blunt words for President Joe Biden and his "unqualified" transportation secretary on Wednesday, as thousands of Southwest Airlines travelers remain stranded, separated from their luggage, or both.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said the weather-induced flight debacle hit close to home for her, as her teenage children "got stranded in Baltimore trying to make it home on Christmas Eve. And even today, five days later, we still don't know where their luggage is right now," Mace told Fox News on Wednesday night.
Appearing with Mace, Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) said, "It's not just that Biden that goes on vacation when he's most needed. You look at Buttigieg -- from the beginning, this guy was not qualified to take this job. He's a Cabinet secretary.
Jones waited until the very end of this article to not that "Buttigieg has promised to hold Southwest "accountable" for failing to live up to its written customer service plan" -- which is hardly fair and balanced after paragraphs of Republican attacks.
CNS also published a Jan. 6 commentary by Dustin Suggins of the anti-abortion website LifeSiteNews attacking Buttigieg for not doing enough to fix this (even though conservatives generally don't want government to intrude into business affairs) while admitting this is largely out of his hands:
In short, there seems little for the Department of Transportation to actually do to “protect” customers from Southwest’s mistakes. Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s TV appearances and statements appear to be more about opportunism and virtue signaling than doing anything substantive.
If only we could say the same about the federal government.
CNS never addressed those issues again -- perhaps as a tacit admission that the blame really did lie with Southwest rather than Buttigieg. When the air traffic control system went down for a few hours on Jan. 11, Jones was surprisingly restrained in quoting Buttigieg issuing updates on the situation.
MRC Complains Netanyahu's Government Is Accurately Labeled As 'Right Wing' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just hates it when right-wing things are accurately labeled as right-wing, and so it goes for the new government of right-wing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It actually started at the time of the election, as Curtis Houck fretted in a Nov. 3 post:
Thursday’s CBS Mornings lived up to the liberal media’s deep-seated disdain for longtime Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu as election returns from Israel’s fifth election in four years appeared to put Netanyahu on a path to return to his post as prime minister after nearly a year and a half out of power.
Over the course of the nearly two-minute hit, CBS bemoaned his “right-wing coalition” would be revived thanks to the “extreme right” and take the turn on a “sharp shift rightward.”
Co-host Tony Dokoupil fretted with halting language the further he went along: “Netanyahu appears to be on the brink of being the current Prime Minister again. Once again.”
Dokoupil explained that Netanyahu’s “right-wing coalition has the most votes as of now” and would mark a comeback for Netanyahu as he’s “still currently on trial” for “corruption charges.”
Tossing to foreign correspondent Imtiaz Tyab, Dokoupil had to reiterate: “Imtiaz, they are saying, it could be the most right-wing government in Israel in years, if not ever.”
After the election, Kevin Tober complained in a Dec. 4 post:
When people say the inside the Beltway media are out of touch, this is exactly what they’re talking about. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, anchor Margaret Brennan expressed her concern to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the incoming Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and his government will ban “gay pride parades.” Considering many extremist Palestinians and Muslims across the Middle East want to behead gays, simply banning "gay pride parades" might not be a bad alternative for the left.
Brennan fretted to Blinken that Netanyahu has “been allying himself with figures who have spewed anti-Arab, anti-gay hate as well as discrimination against nonorthodox Jews. One of them wants to cancel gay pride parades,” and “at least two have called for mass deportations of Palestinans. Including the man who may head Israel’s police force.”
Brennan couldn’t get over her apparent hatred of Netanyahu and doubled down on her attacks against his incoming government: “But this extreme right wing government as it has been described put together does complicate your relationship,” she cried.
On Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu returned as Israel’s prime minister with a right-of-center government led in part by his Likud Party. But just as was the case following Israel’s latest election (its fifth in four years), CBS Morningsmelted down over Netanyahu’s latest coalition “as Israel’s most far-right government” in history that could result in the “targeting” of American Jews, gays, non-orthodox Jews, Palestinians, and women.
Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz began the 92-second segment by lamenting Netanyahu’s “government...includes ultra nationalists and religious parties that were once on the fringes of Israeli politics.”
Inocencio attempted to foreshadow what leftists insist is Israel future by arguing Netanyahu’s partners could go after “Palestinians, Jews who are non-orthodox, women, to prevent them from serving in the military alongside men, and the LGBTQ community.”
Neither Houck nor Tober disputed the accuracy of the label in any of these posts.Nicholas Fondacaro tried to dismiss the label as a "slur" from the "liberal media" does in another post the same day:
The term “right-wing” has become a slur the liberal media sling around to describe politics they don’t like in an attempt to turn off the public to right-of-center politics. As an example, just look at how CNN reporter and fill-in anchor Sara Sidner chose to talk about the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, during Thursday’s CNN Newsroom.
Coming back from a commercial break, Sidner announced that “18 months after being ousted from power, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister for the sixth time” and warned viewers that he would bring with him “Israel's most right-wing government in its history.” An obvious talking point circulating in the industry since CBS used a very similar string of words.
Of course, it could be just as easily -- and much more accurately -- argued that Fondacaro is using "liberal media" as a "slur" to describe journalists who won't slavishly confine themselves to advancing right-wing talking points and narratives. He'll never concede that point, of course -- and neither did he make the case that "right-of-center-" is a more accurate label for Netanyahu's government than "right-wing."
Showing that this labeling complain comes straight from the top, Tim Graham whined in a Dec. 31 post:
Thursday's PBS NewsHour broke out every term for extremism in reporting on the new Israeli government. The online headline for the segment was "Netanyahu once again prime minister with most far-right government in Israel’s history."
Anchor Judy Woorduff began with the C-word: "Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as prime minister today in Israel, but his Cabinet and his government's platform are controversial."
She turned to PBS reporter John Yang, who ran a perfunctory soundbite of Netanyahu, followed by savage soundbites from the left.
Yang announced "After two months of intensive negotiations, Netanyahu assembled Israel's most far right ultranationalist government ever...The hard-line tilt of the new government worries some Israelis."
But he too refused to dispute the accuracy of any of those labels. Instead, he concluded with a whataboutism whine: "PBS presents itself as straight down the middle, but in reality, they can't locate a 'hard left' in Israel and they're not warning about a 'hard left' in America."
If Graham and the MRC actually cared about accuracy in labeling, they would have examples ready of anybody it has ever described as "right-wing" or "hard right" as instruction for how it believes the lable should be applied. Otherwise, there's no reason to treat this complaining as anything other than a partisan narrative to downplay extremism on the right.
CNS' Jeffrey Still Dishonestly Cherry-Picking Pockets Of High Unemployment Topic: CNSNews.com
A Dec. 29 CNSNews.com article by editor Terry Jeffrey stated:
The surge of migrants seeking to cross the southwest border into the United States is not the only crisis that this country is seeing along that border: It is also the site of the U.S. metropolitan areas that have the highest unemployment rates.
The El Centro, Calif., metropolitan area led the nation with an unemployment rate of 16.7 percent in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That was 4.9-times greater than the national unemployment rate, which was just 3.4 percent in November.
The city of El Centro sits about 13 miles north of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station on the border between Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali, Mexico.
The Yuma, Ariz., metropolitan area had the nation’s second highest unemployment rate—16.3 percent—in November. Yuma sits in the southwest corner of Arizona--just north and east of the Mexican border.
“Yuma, AZ, had the largest over-the-year rate increase in November (+5.0 percentage points),” said BLS.
We've documented how Jeffrey loves to cherry-pick the El Centro and Yuma areas because they have high unemployment that makes President Biden look bad -- something he notably does not do when a Republican is president, even though high unemployment in those areas are endemic because those areas offer little more than seasonal agricultural work.
Jeffrey continued to pile on:
Six of the remaining positions in the Top Ten metro areas with the highest unemployment rates were taken by metro areas situated in California’s Central Valley—the state’s primary agricultural region.
These include Visalia-Porterville, which ranked third with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent; Merced, which ranked fourth with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent; Hanford-Corcoran, which tied for fifth (with Yakima, Washington) with an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent; Bakersfield, which ranked seventh with an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent; Fresno, which ranked eighth with an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent; and Yuba City, which tied for tenth (with Madera, Calif.) with an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.
The Texas border metro area of McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas rounded out the top 10—coming in ninth with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent.
Jeffrey is falsely suggesting that illegal immigration is the cause for this unemployment when, in fact, it is clearly seasonal agricultural work combined with few other opportunities in those areas that are the main driver for high unemployment. He then tried to dishonestly rub it in:
By contrast, the metropolitan areas with the nation’s lowest unemployment rates in November were far from the southern border. In fact, three of them were in North Dakota, another three were in Minnesota, and yet another was in South Dakota.
The metros with the lowest unemployment rates included: Fargo, North Dakota which ranked first with an unemployment rate of 1.5 percent; Mankato, Minnesota, and Rochester, Minnesota, which tied for second with an unemployment rate of 1.6 percent; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which placed fourth with an unemployment rate of 1.7 percent.
Bismarck, North Dakota; Columbia, Missouri; Grand Forks, North Dakota and Logan, Utah, all tied for fifth with an unemployment rate of 1.8 percent.
And Billings, Montana; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; and Provo-Orem, Utah, all tied for ninth with an unemployment rate of 1.9 percent.
Jeffrey stayed silent on the difference between these and the other areas -- lack of dependence on seasonal agriculture and a more diversified economy. But when the economy is still doing well enough that CNS' usual tricks to downplay good unemployment numbers can't be invoked, Jeffrey seems to be grasping for whatever he can.
MRC's Graham Joined CNS In Bashing Biden's Christmas Message For Being Too Inclusive Topic: Media Research Center
CNSNews.com wasn't the only arm of the Media Research Center that felt the need to nitpick President Biden's Christmas message. Tim Graham spent his Dec. 27 column similarly whining that Biden said "Son of God" instead of "Jesus Christ" and complained he acted like the president of all Americans and not just the Chrstian ones:
Imagine being a speechwriter for a so-called “devout Catholic” president and being asked to write a Christmas speech. It sounded like the first instruction was: don’t say the words “Jesus Christ.”
There’s mention of “the birth of a child — a child Christians believe to be the son of God; miraculously now, here among us on Earth, bringing hope, love and peace and joy to the world.” There are citations of “O Holy Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” but there’s no “Jesus.”
Christmas, according to Biden, isn’t the arrival of our eternal salvation, but just a message of “hope, love, peace and joy.” It’s a message that “speaks to all of us, whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith, or no faith at all.”
Jesus did bring a universal message, but it carried with it a message of conversion. Accept Christ and put faith in Him. It’s more than a Hallmark-card sentiment. It can be controversial, and politicians try to manage controversy very carefully. A Democrat whose loyal voters often have “no faith at all” don’t want a Jesus appeal in their political Christmas pudding. Their ACLU antennas are always attentive.
Graham then went political, using the Christmas mesage as an excuse to bash Biden with right-wing talking points:
Sure, Biden wants to take a brief timeout and say hey, let’s not see each other as “Team Red or Team Blue.” That sounds nice. But within a day or two, the White House was out screaming about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sending buses loaded with 100 illegal immigrants to unload near the vice president’s residence in DC. The White House called it a “shameful stunt,” and the “news” network publicists helpfully repeated it.
It didn’t matter to Biden’s narrative shapers that illegal-immigrant advocates were standing outside the bus to receive them. As advocate Amy Fischer told NPR, “We had volunteers ready to meet the buses and then immediately transfer onto buses that were provided by the city to transport them to a church that had volunteers, hot food, clothes waiting for people, toys for the kiddos.”
There were no apologies from Biden for allowing a record 2.7 million illegal border "encounters" in fiscal year 2022 – a new record – with the promise of an even greater surge as Democrats push to erase the COVID restrictions of Title 42. It’s a “Team Blue” move to maximize immigration and suggest your opponents hate humanity when they advocate for restrictions.
Similarly, “devout Catholic” Biden never apologizes for trying to override any restrictions on abortion. Just last week, it was reported that Stephanie Carter, an Army veteran and nurse practitioner at a Veterans Administration hospital in Texas, is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs for forcing her to handle and distribute abortion pills in violation of her religious beliefs.
The Biden administration is aggressively searching for loopholes to provide “abortion access” in states that now ban abortions. But there are no loopholes for Christians like Carter to opt out of handing out death pills.
Graham concluded by cheering how one Catholic bishop -- who, by the way, does not speak for all Catholic bishops -- "recently tweeted Biden is 'an evil president' who 'promotes' the'"murder of the unborn at every turn.' Somehow, that message isn’t appropriate for Christmas." Says the guy who can't stop being a hateful partisan for two seconds, even at Christmastime.
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Big Lie Moves To Arizona (Again) Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily was quick to embrace Kari Lake as a right-wing Republican to love -- and even quicker to tout her discredited conspiracy theories about election fraud there. Read more >>
MRC Spends Holidays Defending Musk And Twitter, Lashing Out At His Critics Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really doesn't like it when non-right-wing media expose the manipulation Elon Musk is trying to do with his selectively released "Twitter files" to handpicked journalists, and Joseph Vazquez whined quite loudly in a Dec. 23 post when CNN's Oliver Darcy did exactly that by pointint out the fact that the FBI paid Twitter to fulfill document requests, not "censor" anyone:
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy acted like a flunky for the FBI, throwing a conniption over Twitter owner Elon Musk’s revelations that the bureau paid the platform millions to “censor” Americans.
Darcy flailed in a Dec. 20 so-called “analysis” that Musk was “misleading the public — again.” He editorialized that “[t]he embattled billionaire, perhaps seeking to distract from the chaos he has wrought at his social media company, is making grossly misleading claims about Twitter and the FBI.” Darcy couldn’t handle Musk’s criticism that the FBI paying Twitter $3.4 million through a “reimbursement program” for staff time dedicated to “processing requests from the FBI” was related to censorship.
Darcy tried to portray Twitter as some kind of symbol of transparency. “Twitter’s guidelines for law enforcement, posted publicly on its website, openly disclose: ‘Twitter may seek reimbursement for costs associated with information produced pursuant to legal process and as permitted by law (e.g., under 18 U.S.C. §2706).’” This is the same platform that lied to the public about its shadowbanning.
Darcy painted himself as a legal savant by preaching how the “law” he cited effectively meant “the money Twitter collected had nothing to do with censoring anyone.” Rather, “The money was simply given as reimbursement for the processing of legal requests, similar to how a journalist might have to pay a fee for a government agency processing a Freedom of Information Act request.”
That Darcy managed to equate a journalist paying to get information from government via FOIA to government placing pressure on a Big Tech platform over gaining access to user data and processing “requests” on flagged accounts is appalling at worst and outright idiotic at best.
Vazquez is acting like a flunky for Musk by perpetuating a lie. Is that appalling or idiotic on his part? Also, there was nothing secret about its "shadowbanning" given that Twitter's terms of service specifically state that it may "limit the distribution or visibility" of any content on its site. Still, Vazquez desperately clung to his lie, this time with added boldface:
Darcy called the $3.4 million “reimbursement” a typical feature of “mundane procedures” that companies exercise when working with government entities. [Emphasis added.]
Newsflash Darcy: The FBI wasn’t “simply” paying Twitter for acquiescing to “mundane” government “requests.” In fact, the FBI’s “requests” may have violated the First Amendment. Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovksy told Fox News that “when a private company is censoring information based on direction, coordination and cooperation with the government, then legally it may be considered to be acting as an agent for the government, and it may be found to be violating the First Amendment.” [Emphasis added.]
The FBI should have never communicated with Twitter about private user data outside of standard legal procedures. Period.
Vazquez concluded by spewing more anger at Darcy for letting reality intrude on his right-wing pro-Musk narratives:
But Darcy injected his own definitions of “facts” and “information,” letting readers know he’s supposedly concerned about both of those things. “Facts be damned in the world we now live in. Musk’s claim [about the FBI paying Twitter for censorship] has absolutely saturated right-wing media,” Darcy wrote. “[T]he poisoning of that information well is also confusing others, who hear the nonsense and aren’t sure what to believe.”
Given Darcy’s sordid history of “poisoning” the “information well” with his ongoing leftist drivel, it’s unclear why anyone would take him seriously as a truth gatekeeper anyway. This is the same guy who flailed that Fox News as a network "works to cater to the fears of White America." He would have us all believe that he’s a keyboard warrior for plebeians against misinformation, a self-aggrandizing image that is confusing others, who hear and read his nonsense and aren’t sure what to believe.
Vazquez made no effort to disprove Darcy's assertion that Fox News "works to cater to the fears of White America."
Jeffrey Lord spent his Dec. 24 column parroting the usual MRC complaint that Musk's Twitter files weren't getting much pickup outside the right-wing media bubble, actually likening them to the Pentagon Papers:
The Twitter files story is every bit a major story as the Pentagon Papers were in the day. Yet there are no Grahams and Bradlees here. To the contrary, just as Breitbart has reported and Shellenberger is noting, today’s media - per Breitbart that would be The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico Playbook, Punchbowl News, and the Los Angeles Times - simply ignored Shellenberger’s ace reporting Monday and into Tuesday of this week.
Whatever else this shows, it is a vivid illustration of a hard fact about today’s media. Long gone are the days when it would launch serious journalistic efforts to get to the facts of a major story and publish them. See: Watergate.
Today the first, gut instinct of the liberal media is to simply suppress the facts, suppress the story. And hope that the new conservative media - Fox, NewsMax, talk radio, The New York Post, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, NewsBusters, Conservative Review, The American Spectator, National Review etc etc - can’t get the story out.
Thankfully, they can.
That's because there's a huge difference between the two. The Pentagon Papers were suppressed by the government and the person who leaked them faced criminal charges for doing so. Musk's Twitter files, by contrast, are selectively chosen and given to his handpicked journalists and parroted by the very outlets Lord touted, all for the purpose of advancing political narratives, not learning a higher truth. In other words, NewsBusters is no Daniel Ellsburg.
Tim Graham picked up the whining stick for a Dec. 27 post complaining that a Washington Post article detailed how Musk ruined his genius reputation by his impulsive, partisan management of Twitter:
Once Elon Musk took over Twitter and started mocking the liberal media, the liberal media was bound and determined to portray him as ruining his reputation. On Christmas morning, the headline on the front page ofThe Washington Post was "Musk's Twitter drama depletes his stature: Erratic leadership spurs a crisis of confidence across tech empire."
Twitter brings Elon Musk’s genius reputation crashing down to earth." This hit piece by tech reporter Faiz Siddiqui was loaded with bitter anonymous sources.
The story began with an unnamed Twitter employee challenging Musk when he said Twitter's code needed a complete rewrite: "One of the participants asked what he meant -- pushing for him to explain it from top to bottom." Musk then apparently said "Amazing, wow...You're a jackass...what a moron." Then Siddiqui added: "The incident highlights the new reality facing Musk, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX: a crisis of confidence in his once-unquestioned brilliance."
This is what people should hate about recreated conversations from anonymous employees. We don't have an actual quote challenging Musk, so we can judge just how hostile it was. But it's created a "crisis of confidence." His reputation for brilliance is "unraveling."
The Post would never do this to their owner, Jeff Bezos. Anyone challenging him in an internal staff meeting would actually never be quoted, ever.
In fact, the Post did do that to their owner to a certain extent as layoffs were announced at the paper. Then again, Bezos hasn't mismanaged the Post the way Musk has mismanaged Twitter.
But if Musk was running Twitter like a "liberal"company, Graham would be cheering all these "bitter anonymous sources." He thinks Musk continues to be a genius because of a shared own-the-libs attitude, not any business judgment he has exhibited so far in managing Twitter.
Meanwhile, the MRC didn't forget to uncritically promote the latest "Twitter files" release, even when it happened on Christmas Eve -- which pretty much guaranteed nobody would pay much attention to it. Paiten Iselin wrote in a Dec. 27 post:
While airing out Twitter’s dirty anti-free-speech laundry, new platform CEO Elon Musk exposed Big Tech for its routine collusion with the federal government as it attempts to censor Americans.
A Twitter Files thread released by journalist Matt Taibbi on Christmas Eve revealed the wide scope of the government’s role in censoring content online. But Musk pointed out that the company he bought was not the only bad actor involved.
“Most people don’t appreciate the significance of the point Matt was making,” Musk wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “*Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government.”
Taibbi’s thread detailed the ongoing relationships of Big Tech writ large with government agencies, including the CIA and FBI.
Of course, if those files really were newsworthy, Musk wouldn't have released them the day before Christmas, and he wouldn't have used such a sleazy dude as Taibbi to do it.
A Dec. 26 post by Autumn Johnson touted a post-Christmas file drop -- another holiday dump seemingly designed to be ignored and, perhaps, deliberately designed to fulfill expectations that it wouldn't be covered outside the right-wing bubble.
CNS Continued To Follow MRC Parent's Lead To Promote 'Twitter Files' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has largely followed the lead of its Media Research Center parent in gushing over Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter. When Musk selectively released internal Twitter documents to hand-picked journalists, CNS stayed on those same right-wing pro-Musk talking points. Susan Jones cheered ina Nov. 30 article:
Elon Musk has promised to "soon" release the "Twitter Files on free speech suppression." As he tweeted on Monday, "The public deserves to know what really happened..."
The incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), says he's "pretty certain somebody affiliated with this government in Washington, D.C., was calling Twitter, telling them to suppress conservative speech."
Bartiromo asked Comer if he thinks the Twitter documents will show "how the White House called Twitter and others to say, censor the Hunter Biden story, don't let anybody know about Hunter Biden influence-peddling, making money on Joe Biden's name."
"Well, somebody called Twitter," Comer said.
Melanie Arter tried to turn Musk in to a victim in a Dec. 1 article that noted "White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the White House monitors the news and 'the misinformation that’s out there' after being questioned about whether the White House would try to shut down Twitter if they see something they don’t like," adding that "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that he found it 'offensive' that the White House wants to keep an eye on Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter."
As those "Twitter files" started coming out, CNS piled on the accolades (and the bashing of those who woiuldn't blindly follow the narrative):
CNS also gave Musk praise for his claimed focus on removing child sex and sex exploitation materials from Twitter (as if pre-Musk Twitter wasn't also trying to do that).Intern Luaren Shank gushed in a Dec. 2 article:
Business magnate Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, SpaceX, and Tesla said eliminating child exploitation on Twitter will “forever be our top priority.” At the same time, the idea of an OnlyFans competitor on the social media platform remains in question.
Musk tweeted on Nov. 29, “This will forever be our top priority,” after Liz Wheeler, a conservative political commentator publicly thanked him for his actions to remove child pornography and child trafficking hashtags from Twitter.
That was followed by a Dec. 8 post by Craig Bannister repeating how Fox News host Greg Gutfeld "lampooned liberals and left-wing media for trying to find excuses to criticize Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, for purging child porn from the social media platform" -- though he provided no evidence anyone is actually doing that.
(Musk does not seem to be doing a good job of this, by the way; hashtags and thinly veiled terms were still being found on Twitter a month later. Those particular terms were blocked only after NBC reported on it.)
Bannister served up talking points on behalf of a right-wing actor in a Dec. 6 article:
After new Twitter owner Elon Musk released Friday the first batch of tweets showing that Democrats had called on the giant social media platform to suppress opposition posts, conservative actor James Woods told Musk he’d gladly be a plaintiff in a Musk-funded class action suit.
Woods, appearing on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Channel show as the tweets were being released, said that his career had been destroyed by the targeting of conservative celebrities:
“Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free speech, with no judicial review, is,” Musk tweeted Friday, commenting on the release of a trove of tweets suggesting Democrats directed the censorship of conservatives.
“Agree. How would you like to fund a class @elonmusk,” Woods offered, replying to Musk’s tweet.
Bannister didn't mention that one of the "opposition tweets" from Woods that was "suppressed" was of an image of Hunter Biden with his penis exposed, which violated Twitter policies against non-consenual nudity then and now.
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman used the files as an excuse to spend a Dec. 7 article rehashing the MRC's election-fraud conspiracy theory that suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story stole the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. As we've documented, that dubious conclusion is based on polls the MRC bought from Trump's own 2020 election pollster and a polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Of course, CNS' commentary side was similarly laudatory of Musk and help advance the narrative:
A Dec. 12 commentary by two employees of the right-wing American Institute for Economic Research chimed in as well:
Victims of Twitter’s practices include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford professor of medicine and co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). Weiss’s thread and The Twitter Files confirm what we’ve long suspected. Seeking to prop up Anthony Fauci and the lockdown policies he promoted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter (and other Big Tech companies) intentionally blacklisted, censored, suppressed, and targeted the GBD and its signers.
Posts referencing the GBD were popular Reddit threads such as r/COVID-19 and r/Coronavirus, and large online communities with millions of members. Google also played a role. In the week after the GBD’s release in October 2020, Google’s news site search algorithms suppressed mainstream coverage of the document by outlets such as Fox News and th Wall Street Journal.
Instead, it steered news searches for “Great Barrington Declaration” toward anti-GBD hit pieces in fringe venues such as the Byline Times, a blog featuring 9/11 conspiracy theorist Nafeez Ahmed. Google algorithms reportedly prioritized an anti-GBD political editorial in Wired Magazine that Anthony Fauci also mined for his own anti-GBD talking points in the press.
These acts of censorship occurred at a time when government officials were working hard behind the scenes to discredit the GBD and its authors. Most notably, NIAID director Anthony Fauci and NIH director Francis Collins collaborated to wage a “devastating published take down” campaign against the GBD, labeling it “nonsense” or “misinformation.”
As we've pointed out, the Great Barrington Declaration pushed dangerous "herd immunity" at a time when COVID was killing large numbers of Americans before vaccines were developed -- a strategy most virus experts opposed -- so it actually was misinformation. The declaraton had numerous fake signatures, and even Bhattacharya himself walked back his support for it.
MSNBC Analyst Busts MRC's Graham For Falsely Framing His Words Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center executive Tim Graham hasn't had a good year on Twitter, given how thoroughly he was ratioed after he tried to slut-shame Monica Lewinsky. He lost on Twitter again when the analyst whose words he falsely framed called him out on it. It bevan with a Dec. 30 post by Graham that began:
On Thursday's Deadline White House, Nicolle Wallace suggested she was interested in the "truth" about domestic terrorism and January 6, but MSNBC analyst Donell Harvin uncorked a wild claim that somehow, the national media were "ignoring" violent right-wing extremists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph since the 1990s. That is completely false, but this is MSNBC, so no one questioned it. No "fact-checkers" evaluate MSNBC bloviations.
But Harvin never said the "national media" ignored McVeigh and Rudolph. What he said was this: "And I want to push back on the on the narrative of Republicans that I generally don`t get political, but strictly from a Homeland Security and Intelligence standpoint, the radical violent right is not nearly as dangerous or well-equipped to attack the Homeland as the left. We've been ignoring the violent right for decades. You can go back to Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph." Nevertheless, Grahamranted:
In reality, the networks were intensely interested in Timothy McVeigh for his mass-murder with a truck bomb at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. They smeared McVeigh on Republican politicians -- we had an article sarcastically headlined "McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" -- and they smeared his attack as emerging from conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh.
Harvin never said that either -- and he responded to the NewsBusters tweet promoting Graham's post in order to point that out:
This is hilarious, thanks.
You misquote me when everyone can hear the video: "the national media were "ignoring" violent right-wing extremists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph since the 1990s."
The "national media" was never said. You made that up.
Happy new year
Then Graham himself got involved, quoting the NewsBusters post on his item and sneering at Harvin: "Sounds like @donell_harvin was born yesterday." Harvin retorted: "Sounds like you can't even properly quote someone. As far as being born yesterday? You tell me brother.." His tweet was accompanied with a picture of him working at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.
First of all, it's a lie to suggest that somehow 'we' ignored Eric Rudolph or that 'we' ignored Timothy McVeigh. I mean, we wrote an article at the time with the headline "Timothy McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" because they tried to smear Timothy McVeigh all over the Republican Party, and this is what they're doing today. They're suggesting that those hotheads, those Trump-loving hotheads who, you know, went and beat up cops, oh, that's the Republican Party, guys, And they use a term like domestic terrorism, which is very loaded, and bloodbath? You know, again, who was shot on January 6? One person was shot by a Capitol policeman, so there was a little bit of a bloddbath there, and they never want to discuss her.
Graham didn't mention that Ashli Babbitt was breaking and entering into the Capitol. But Harvin responded to Graham's rant: "This is amazing reporting. Thanks!" Graham lamely huffed: "Your sarcasm game is just as impressive as your pundit game." Harvin then harshly called him out:
I'm hardly a pundit, nor a reporter.
I am someone that's placed my body in harm's way for over 30 years to protect the public.. And I don't misquote people and manipulate video to create a story for myself.
There's far more honorable ways to make a living, my friend.
I'll make you an offer. Happy to go on Newsmax w you and apologize to the world.
You just have to:
1. Find the part where I said the "media". I was referring to those in homeland security
2. Find the part where I or anyone calls Republicans "terrorists"
I'll wait, my friend
Unsurprisingly, Graham never responded -- he doesn't apologize, and he doesn't go on Newsmax to have an honest debate with anyone; it's where he goes to spout his daily talking points unchallenged because he knows whatever Newsmax host has him on will never challenge him.
WND's Lively: Trump Could Win In 2024 If He Starts Hating LGBT People Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pride is the greatest flaw of our great political hero of 2016, Donald Trump. We all know it and have overlooked it for political expedience because he has been such a great champion against the truly wicked deep state. At the human level, pride is not such a huge problem as to disqualify someone from leadership, and in fact most if not all of our leaders have suffered it to one degree or another. And Trump's openness about his pridefulness has, to a point, actually been a refreshing change from the pretense of false modesty and the self-serving guile that has come to define the political class.
"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good" (Ezekiel 16:49-50). This was the sequence that destroyed Sodom, then ancient Israel, and now America. Pride leads to abomination, specifically the sexual perversion of male homosexuality, which defined Sodom and which justified God's genocide of the Canaanites – in His own words (Leviticus 18:22-30).
But pride in the sense of spiritual impertinence toward God is the yuugest of problems as King Nebuchadnezzar learned, when he declared, "'Is this not Babylon the Great, which I myself have built by the might of my power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?' While the words were still in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven: 'It is decreed to you, King Nebuchadnezzar, that the kingdom has departed from you'" (Daniel 4:30-31). Is an attitude much like this the reason why God allowed Trump to be dethroned in 2020?
More likely, it was Trump's embrace of the LGBT agenda and the dangerous empowerment of open homosexual activists like Ric Grenell.
There aren't many Christian leaders left in America these days who actually adhere to the Bible on this most fundamental of truths relative to human civilization. They've been bought off by Soros, or intimidated into compromise by fear of LGBT wrath (which is, as I know firsthand, very fierce), or shamed into silence by their own sexual self-indulgences they keep so carefully hidden in terror of being called hypocrites (forgetting that the only true hypocrite is the one who pretends to be sinless). But as God has promised, there always remains a remnant to be a witness to the truths the world does not want to hear.
Today, I call for that remnant to rise up across this land and challenge Donald Trump to repent of his embrace of what he calls "gay rights" but what we know is the spiritually and socially deadly act of approval of sodomy, which is literally the harbinger of God's wrath from Genesis to Revelation. And while we are at it, let us issue that same challenge to Tulsi Gabbard, Kari Lake and every other MAGA-aligned leader who has sold out God to curry favor with the world.
Make no mistake; my purpose here is to help President Trump, not to hurt him. In my view as a staunchly Bible-grounded pastor and 30-year missionary to the global pro-family movement, Trump cannot win God's favor in his pursuit of the White House in 2024 if he does not repent of his approval of what God had declared not just a sin but an ABOMINATION. This is AMERICA! – the nation founded upon the Bible in the model of the Israelite Republic, and it cannot be made great again by defying the God of the Bible and dishonoring the sacrifice of the Founders who bequeathed this land to us by trampling their moral code into the mud!
But what could happen is that, like King Saul who started right but turned evil, Trump could end up being like one of the very tyrants we raised him up to overthrow. No one who intentionally suppresses the truth of God on one issue stops with one. Sin is progressive; it spreads like a cancer in your heart and mind. That's the main lesson of Romans 1! Only repentance puts that cancer into remission and stops your slide toward the "reprobate mind." Trump went from an initial tepid acceptance of open homosexuals in his support base in 2016 to a full-throated advocacy of "gay rights" on the very day the "Defilement of Marriage Act" became law last month. Next he'll endorse parts and then all of the transsexual agenda, then transhumanism. It's an inevitable slippery slope of the mind for a politician (which, unfortunately, he seems to have become). UNLESS he repents, if he is capable of it.
I have been one of Donald Trump's strongest defenders. I ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2018 on the motto "Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Trump." But for real Christians, when it comes to choosing Trump or the Bible, there is no contest: Trump must lose as a matter of preserving our spiritual integrity. If 2024 comes down to just another choice of the lesser of two evils – both aligned with the King of Sodom – I may not even vote. But while there is still a chance in these early days of the election cycle to win Trump back from the clutches of the Rainbow Reprobates, his Christian base should go all out to do so, and only then fully back him.
Note that some of these items are lashing out at Soros-linked efforts to remove disinformation on social media, which are dishonestly framed as "censorship" or framed as "so-called disinfo," as if there was no objective definition of the word.
We've already noted how the MRC has pushed the bizarrenarrative that Soros dictates Wikipedia articles and its dishonest branding of an investor group tangentally llinked to Soros buying a group of Spanish-language radio stations as "Radio Soros," as well as how it cheered the anti-Soros propganda of of the right-wing Convention of States.The MRC even attacked a Twitter whistleblower as being tied to Soros because he wouldn't stick to pro-Elon Musk narratives.
Unsurprisingly, the MRC tried to work its hatred for Soros into its pro-Elon MusknarrativesregardingTwitter. A Nov. 17 article by Jeffrey Clark complained that "Two groups linked to failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and liberal billionaire George Soros are behind a massive pressure campaign aimed at sinking Twitter and destroying its advertising revenue after Elon Musk took control of the platform," complaining further that "Soros gave $450,000 to UltraViolet Action, the lobbying arm of UltraViolet, in 2020 alone." Joseph Vazquez ranted in a Nov. 30 post:
A group funded by liberal billionaire George Soros is pressuring the federal government to investigate the world’s richest man simply because he now owns Twitter.
A press release by The Open Markets Institute (OMI) promoted a Nov. 16 letter it sent clamoring for the U.S. government to investigate Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s “purchase and management of Twitter and his ongoing management of Starlink.”
The letter itself was saturated with absurd fear-mongering language that a Musk-owned Twitter meant doom for the world: “[P]eople across the United States and around the world are watching Mr. Musk potentially destroy – out of greed, recklessness, or incompetence – a service that has proven critical to their safety, and around which they have institutionalized entire systems of emergency response.”
As if the war on Soros by Vazquez and the rest of the MRC wasn't heavily based in absurd fear-mongering language.
A Dec. 21 post by Vazquez parroted claims from hand-picked "independent journalist" Michael Schellenberger (who was taking his orders from Musk, so there's lots of questions about just how "independent" he is) about how "A radical group heavily funded by leftist billionaire George Soros has now been linked to Twitter’s FBI-influenced effort to squash the Hunter Biden laptop scandal" -- specifically, the Aspen Institute. Vazquez never explained what, exactly, made this group so "radical"; more of that absurd fear-mongering language, apparently.
CNS' Coverage Of Santos Lies Almost Entirely On Commentary Side Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Nov. 9 CNSNews.com article, Micky Wootten gushed: "In an election night highlighted by the GOP’s underwhelming performance nationwide, four of New York’s congressional seats flipped from Democrat to Republican." His first example: "Republican George Santos, a gay Trump supporter, defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman." That, believe it or not, is the only "news" coverage CNS has done of Santos. As Santos' trail of lies became increasingly exposed, the deflections and whataboutism -- following in the footsteps of CNS' Media Research Center parent -- were left to the commentary section.
A Dec. 19 column by Daniel Mitchell was actually early in noting the story (days before the MRC did), highlighting how "The New York Times has a fascinating look at how a freshman Republican apparently created a fictional life story during his successful campaign for Congress." But then he immediately played an incredibly lame bit of distraction:
As reported by Thomas Catenacci of Fox News, the Secretary of Transportation is a big believer that global warming is a major problem.
But that does not stop him from using taxpayer-funded private jets to advance his political ambitions.
I have an entire page dedicated to "Honest Leftists," but maybe I also need a page for "Hypocritical Leftists." Buttigieg definitely qualifies.
Though the real scandal isn't his use of private jets rather than commercial flights. It's the fact that he's the head of a department that shouldn't even exist.
Santos didn't get mentioned again at CNS until a Dec. 30 column by Laura Hollis -- another writer it lifted form WorldNetDaily , where this column was also published -- that went full whataboutism:
Once upon a time, this would have produced outrage. Now, it barely registers. A "senior GOP leadership aide" reported to the New York Post that Santos' -- ahem -- "embellishments" of his background were well known and a "running joke" with Republicans.
Democrats, of course, are demanding that Santos resign. But they are in no position to point fingers. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, infamously claimed to be a "native American" on the basis of her family stories. She continues to serve as a United States senator and even ran for president.
Speaking of presidents, Joe Biden has made a career out of lying. He has said he graduated at the top of his law school class at Syracuse University (he graduated in the bottom 10%); that he was the Outstanding Political Science student at the University of Delaware (he wasn't); that he received a commission to the Naval Academy (nope). He plagiarized a paper in law school. He later plagiarized a speech originally given by former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. He claimed to be the first in his family to go to college (he wasn't). He said he got arrested in South Africa in the 1970s trying to see Nelson Mandela (he didn't). He exploits public sympathy for the tragic deaths in his family, claiming that his son Beau died in Iraq (he died of cancer in a Maryland hospital) and that a drunk driver killed his first wife Neilia and their 1-year-old daughter Naomi (the other driver was not drunk, and Neilia Biden was at fault in the crash).
CNS also published a Jan. 4 syndicated column by Star Parker taht also went the whataboutism route -- What did Santos fabricate any more than the "1619 Project" fabricated about what American history is about? -- while playing the distraction card as well, calling him "a child of woke America" where, supposedly, "a sense of objective right and wrong has widely disappeared, there are no rites of passage, and many remain perpetually children."
The next reference to Santos on the "news" side came in a Jan. 26 article by Melanie Arter, but only as a passing reference as the running joke Hollis said it would become, in a quote from Republican Sen. John Kennedy: "President Biden says my party, I, want to gut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and that's not true. Not even George Santos would make up a whopper like that, and the president knows that." Arter added; "Kennedy was referring to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who was caught lying about his background"; of course, nobody who gets their news from CNS would actually know that.
Dick Morris Still Clinging To Meal Ticket Trump Topic: Newsmax
Dick Morris had a little detour in a Christmas Eve appearance on Newsmax TV in which he hyperbolically declared that a scientific breakthrough in nuclear fusion is "most incredible thing for mankind since the fire, potentially and, of course, the greatest gift we've received since the presence of our Lord," but otherwise, Morris' hyperbole was largely focused on his current meal ticket, Donald Trump over the Christmas holiday. He latched onto Elon Musk's selectively released "Twitter files" to proclaim Trump a victim in a Dec. 26 appearance:
The continued drip of Twitter Files revelations are showing a rigging of the social media giant by governmental forces often at political odds with former President Donald Trump, political adviser Dick Morris told Newsmax.
"Trump emerges from this as the victim in chief," Morris told Monday's "American Agenda." "He's the one who was victimized when the Hunter Biden laptop was suppressed, and the FBI wouldn't let us see it two weeks before a presidential election.
"And when the special prosecutor comes after Trump and says, You lied to endanger the national security when you said the election was fixed and rigged, Trump can come back and say, Lie? We now have proof that the FBI was suppressing the laptop, which made it impossible to have a fair election, because nobody had any idea that Biden was cooperating with the Chinese Communist Party. Both Bidens were."
Morris inserted Trump into another talking point in a TV hit the same day:
Not only can former President Donald Trump run on Democrats and President Joe Biden spending $1.7 trillion on the omnibus spending package, presidential campaign adviser Dick Morris told Newsmax, but even Trump's Republican rivals are exposed by it.
"McConnell's robbing the Republicans of their right to control spending" is a 2024 campaign winner, Morris told Monday's "Rob Schmitt Tonight," denouncing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for "jamming this through" and leaving Republicans "with no power over the debt limits."
McConnell's GOP leadership-backed candidates and even Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis might try to oppose Trump in 2024, but they will have to answer to their benefiting from massive spending in this $1.7 trillion omnibus, according to Morris.
A Dec. 29 column by Morris reframed those talking points as advancing the premise of his recent Newsmax-published pro-Trump book (bolding and italic in original):
Out of office and out of power, Donald Trump could be searching for relevance as he starts his 2024 campaign.
But he isn't.
He has a plan.
It's in my new book "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback."
Events are clearly moving in his direction.
Two serendipitous things happened and just dumped into Trump's lap issues that will make him president again.
First, the Twitter Files exposé is one of the most shocking examples of government censorship and collusion with the FBI and Big Media ever.
Second, there's the big spending, budget-busting omnibus bill Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., backed, effectively castrating the new Republican House majority.
"The Return" – Trump needs to run against the Swamp and the GOP establishment.
McConnell is the very personification of the Swamp.
So Donald Trump has two great issues to ride: free speech and fighting McConnell.
Morris had a TV hit that day rehashing a previousassertion that Republicans need to embrace early voting because Democrats are beating Republicans with it. But he returned to his pro-Trump talking points the next day, this time trying to cut down Trump's current biggest threat in the 2024 election, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with help from a pro-Trump pollster:
Political expert Dick Morris said Friday on Newsmax that former President Donald Trump would beat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis before he even decides to challenge him in 2024.
On "Eric Bolling The Balance," Morris joined pollster John McLaughlin to discuss the likely contenders in the next Republican presidential primary, with the potential battle between Trump and DeSantis at the forefront.
"I think the issue is Trump will beat DeSantis before he even runs," Morris said. "And I think most likely he'll deter him from running because DeSantis has a clear shot in 2028."
Meanwhile, McLaughlin said that polling data from McLaughlin & Associates has only confirmed that Trump is still the front-runner heading in 2024, demonstrating only a slight decline in the past year.
The author of this article, Luca Cacciatore, failed to mention that McLaughlin's pre-midterm polling predicting a "red wave" was wildly wrong.
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade: Migrant Division Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center became a cheerleading squad for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after he dishonestly flew duped migrants to Martha's Vineyard for an own-the-libs moment. Read more >>
MRC Lashes Out At Nancy Pelosi's Daughter For Making Documentary About Her Mom Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nancy Pelosi Derangement Syndrome has extended to her daughter for making a documentary about her. Right-wing film critic Christian Toto spent a Dec. 3 post complaining that the documentary has a certain bias (you know, like a lot of documentaries do):
The new documentary, debuting December 13 on HBO, is directed by Alexandra Pelosi. Yes, that’s the House Speaker’s daughter, a veteran filmmaker whose body of work reflects her family’s progressive bona fides.
To be clear, HBO hired Nancy Pelosi’s filmmaking daughter to shoot a documentary about mom. Just imagine a platform like HBO or Showtime releasing a docuseries on President Donald Trump produced by Ivanka or Eric Trump.
It’s not possible because it wouldn’t happen. Nor should it.
HBO’s marketing team makes no effort to hide the nepotism on full display, to its credit. The film’s synopsis, though, suggests an attempt to place the outgoing speaker in the context of modern history … as seen through the eyes of a daughter who shot, produced and directed the film.
Even if Alexandra Pelosi could capture her mother’s political life in an unflinchingly neutral fashion HBO shouldn’t choose her to film such a project.
Recent documentaries like Fauci,Bring Down the House andHillary similarly fawn over their subjects, pushing objectivity to the curb.
At least Pelosi in the House silences any chance of a fair and balanced look at a consequential Democrat right from the start.
We suspect Toto has never criticized a right-leaning documentary for being biased.
Kevin Tober spent a Dec. 11 post being angry that the Pelosis were -- gasp! -- promoting their film, with a little petty Brittney Griner-bashing mixed in:
On Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley opened her show by fawning over her pal and fellow Democrat, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pauley gushed that it “might be an understatement” when Forbes Magazine named Pelosi in their top 100 most powerful women in the world.
“This past week, Forbes Magazine named House Speaker Nancy Pelosi one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. That might be an understatement. Nancy Pelosi is our 52nd Speaker of the House, the first woman to hold the job and second in line to the presidency,” Pauley swooned like a starstruck teenager.
She never explained why this warranted the opening segment of CBS’s flagship Sunday morning news program despite there being much bigger and more important news, like the Biden administration leaving Marine Paul Whelan behind enemy lines in Russia while securing the release of an anti-American WNBA player.
Perhaps because nobody has ever accused "Sunday Morning" of being a hard-news show, airing as it does on Sunday morning?
Tim Graham devoted his Dec. 14 column to spewing rage at more film promotion:
On December 12, CBS Mornings gushed over filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, who’s made a series of political documentaries for HBO. But the latest is Pelosi in the House, a valentine to her mother and her career. This isn’t a first for HBO. Ten years ago, Rory Kennedy made a film about her mother Ethel, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. At least, Ethel Kennedy didn’t have her own political legacy to promote. But these are more like home movies. What makes them interesting is daughters making films about their mothers.
CBS, like other supine publicists, touted Alexandra’s “extraordinary access,” which is actually quite ordinary for mother and daughter. She ridiculously claimed “I was never actually given permission” to film. CBS, like other soft-touch outlets, let Alexandra claim “I’m not a political person.” This is transparently false. You can’t make political documentaries and claim you’re not a political person.
Graham went on to whine that the "bitter" Alexandra Pelosi said that the violent attack on her father, Paul Pelosi, was likely inspired by what she said could be traced to "hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to demonize Nancy Pelosi over the years”:
This doesn’t make her unique. Hundreds of millions of dollars and endless hours of “news” have demonized the Trump family. Partisans have demonized the Reagans, the Bushes, the Clintons, and so on. But no one at CBS was going to curtail this rant, and no one was going to wonder out loud how the attack on her father happened – in the presence of police. Conservatives had to be blamed.
Political people know that politics isn't always noble. Dividing and demonizing is often how you win the game and get the votes. Democrats and their media enablers do plenty of that. Blaming conservatives across America for the Paul Pelosi attack before all the facts are in is just the latest attempt.
Graham didn't mention that a few million of those dollars were spent by his employer, or that his employer spent money and time making Paul Pelosi a target.
Later that day, Alex Christy trashed the documentary itself by listing what are purportedly is "worst monents" that he called "a gushing look at Pelosi’s career with plenty lowlights from the cringe worthy to the outrageous" -- though those are really mostly Pelosi defending herself against criticism over the years from the likes of right-wingers like Christy.
A Dec. 15 post by Graham again smeared Alexandra Pelosi as "bitter" for pointing out that right-wing attacks on her mother likely primed the attack on her father by pointing out that "I watch Fox News, I would hate Nancy Pelosi, too." Graham made no effort to rebut the claim this time, and he didn't explain why someone criticizing partisan political activists who appear to have incited a violent attack on her father must be attacked as "bitter" and not, say, praised as a realist.
Nicholas Fondacaro attacked Alexandra Pelosi as well for pointing out that uncomfortable yet logical realization, going on to twist her words:
According to her, Republican rhetoric was responsible for what “happened to Steve Scalise.” In reality, the terrorist that attacked the Republican congressional baseball practice was a liberal extremist and rabid MSNBC viewer.
Fondacaro named no anti-Scalise rhetoric that was equivalent to the anti-Pelosi hate that spewed on a near-daily basis from Fox News and the MRC.