MRC Dishonestly Insists Anti-Abortion Activists Are Not Targeting Contraception Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center keeps trying to argue, all evidence to the contrary, that anti-abortion activists are not planning to target contraception now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Alex Christy wrote in a Jan. 25 post:
Temp host Wanda Sykes invited The Nation’s Katha Pollitt on to Comedy Central’s Tuesday edition of The Daily Show to lament the terminology of pro-lifers, declaring there to be “no such thing as an abortion doctor” and allow Pollitt to spread some debunked talking points about what pro-lifers really seek to achieve.
On the terminology front, Sykes declared, “Now in the terminology that they use, it's like scare tactics, like, you know, like, partial-birth abortion, and abortion doctors. Like, no one goes to college and go, you know, ‘what you going to be’ ‘I’m going to be a cardiologist,’ ‘what you doing?’ ‘I don’t know; I think I’m going to work with feet.’ ‘What about you?’ ‘Abortion! That's all I'm doing. Just abortions.’ There is no such thing as an abortion doctor.”
Even if one accepts Sykes’s premise that there is no such thing as an abortion doctor, abortions are still preformed—that’s why Pollitt was on the show—and so to call that a scare tactic is simply wrong.
Shifting gears, Sykes wondered, “I am glad you said that, to hear that young women are active and they’re voting because we need them, because, you know, the House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, said that Roe’s reversal and this is a quote, he said ‘only the first phase in the battle. Now the next phase begins.’ Like, what is that next phase? What, you know, what do you think that means?”
The obviously correct answer is that while Roe’s downfall was a necessary first step, the movement is now needs to turn to legislating. For Pollitt, however, the answer was birth control, “I think it means contraception. Going after contraception. That, you know, there are right-to-lifers that believe that the birth control pill is what they call a chemical abortion. They think that the morning-after pill is what you take to prevent a pregnancy, is actually an abortion.”
That is completely false. Even Planned Parenthood felt the need to counter all the fear-mongering on the morning-after pill. Fact-checkers at outlets nobody would consider pro-life have also debunked this talking point.
Christy is being dishonest. The articles he cites as evidence that anti-abortion activists are not targeting the morning-after pill refer specifically to false claims the pill had been outlawed in Tennessee and Missouri. In fact, anti-abortion activists do believe the morning after pill causes an abortion, which makes them a target -- indeed, a proposed bill in Texas would effectively outlaw them.
Five days after Christy's post went live, his co-worker and anti-abortion extremist Tierin-Rose Mandelburg went on a tirade against the morning-after pill being available in vending machines at George Washington University, ranting that "Not only does the pill placement reemphasize how devalued the life of a child is at GW, but the vending machines serve as a signal to 1. have unprotected sex and deal with none of the consequences and 2. that you need these pills in order to succeed." Does this sound like a person who does not want to outlaw this form of contraception (or all contraeption)?
Christy went on to deceive some more:
Pollitt did not let a little fake news get in the way of a good narrative, “They think the IUD is an abortion, it's like, it's in there, it's performing abortions every day. They have their own facts and I think that we are already seeing that contraception, which should be part of -- if you are against abortion, you should be in favor of contraception, because that will prevent— but we are already seeing moves to make contraception harder to get.”
Pollitt is correct. Anti-abortion activists doargue that IUDs are an abortifacient, and Hobby Lobby argued that point in a Supreme Court case designed to get it out of having to cover contraception for its employees.
The only person whose talking points have been debunked here is Christy.
Every one of the 10 cities anchoring a metropolitan area with the most homebuyers looking to relocate, rather than enter, has a Democrat [sic] mayor, results of a new migration study reveal.
A new study of homebuyers by brokerage company Redfin examines the target destinations of prospective homebuyer searches from August through October of this year.
The study ranks metropolitan cities by their net outflow, a measure of how many more homebuyers are looking to leave an area than move into it.
San Francisco, California has the highest net outflow, followed by Los Angeles, California and New York City. Washington, D.C. has the fourth-highest net number of homebuyers looking to flee to another area, while Boston, Massachusetts comes in at number five.
Chicago (IL), Detroit (MI), Denver (CO), Seattle (WA) and Philadelphia (PA) round out the top 10 cities with the highest homebuyer net outflows.
Bannister didn't mention the fact that the Redfin study he referenced specifically cited the ability to work remotely -- not anything to do with the mayor's political party -- as the driving factor behind people moving out of large cities.
Bannister pulled a similar stunt in a Jan. 23 article:
Except for Alaska, every one of the 10 markets where consumers pay the highest prices for a gallon of gas was run by a Democrat in 2022, analysis of AAA data released Tuesday reveals.
At a national average of $3.45, the cost of a gallon of Regular gas on Tuesday was:
Up 2 cents from Monday,
Up 12 cents from a week earlier,
Up 35 cents from a month ago, and
Up 12 cents a year ago.
The highest state is Hawaii, which is an island, so gas prices have always been higher. The second highest state is California, where gas is more expensive to refine because of a state-mandated blend esigned to reduce emissions and refineries closing rather than upgrade their facilities. The price factors for those states would remain no matter which party occupied the governor's office -- something Bannister didn't bother to tell his readers.
Editor Terry Jeffrey served up his own contribution to the genre in a March 3 article:
All nine states with the lowest annual average unemployment rates for 2022 had Republican governors during that year, while all ten states with the highest annual average unemployment rates had Democratic governors.
The published the annual average unemployment rates for all fifty states.
What Jeffrey didn't mention: Most of those Republican-led states with the lowest unemployment are mostly either sparsely populated states in flyover areas or tiny states in the Northeast like Vermont and New Hampshire, while the states with the highest unemployment include three of the most populous, Illinois, New York and California.
This is an echo of an Oct. 6 article by intern Lauren Shank that claimed "the national average price of regular unleaded gas was $3.831, with top blue states charging over a dollar more and top red states charging just below the national average, which also omitted context about why gas prices are high in states like California.
MRC Dutifully Parrots Right-Wing Anti-ESG Talking Points Topic: Media Research Center
Raging against corporate policies and investing strategies that take environmental, social and governmental issues into consideration is the new hotness in the right-wing media bubble, and like its "news" division CNS, the Media Research Center did as it was told and has been dutifully spouting those anti-ESG talking points for months now, mixing in its pro-Elon Musk and anti-George Soros obsessions where it can. Here's what it cranked out during 2022:
The MRC's NewsBusters blog even republished a few CNS articles (here, here and here) to pad out its own article count for 2022, which would seem to confirm that CNS is not actually a "news" operation, if it ever was.
In a July 2022 article, Clark had a sad that college students care more about ESG-related careers than oil-related ones:
Bloomberg News revealed that U.S. college students are voting with their feet and choosing to enter the woke environmental, social and governance sector over the oil industry.
Some students have become disenchanted with the oil industry and concerned that “fossil fuels may not have much of a future given increasing pressure from politicians, activists and investors to pivot toward more climate-friendly energy sources,” Bloomberg News reported in a July 6 article.
A leading cause of the widespread loss of students’ faith in the oil industry is the “energy transition” as led by President Joe Biden and otherDemocrats.
A Nov. 29 article by Joseph Vazquez raged at his imagined version of ESG while touting right-wing activism against it:
U.S. states have reportedly had it with leftist behemoth investment companies like Vanguard Group exploiting woke environmental, social and governance standards to overhaul American culture into a leftist dreamscape.
Thirteen Republican attorneys general led by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) “filed a rare motion Monday” asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “to prevent” Vanguard Group from “purchasing shares of publicly listed utility companies,” according to Fox Business.
The reason? The company has a particular obsession for ESG investing. The AGs are reportedly asking “to hold a hearing examining whether Vanguard Group should be given blanket authorization to purchase large quantities of public utility stocks due to its support” for ESGs.
ESGs are wielded to coerce companies to change their corporate policies to abide by a leftist ideological structure on issues such as climate change and gender.
The MRC's ESG obsession in January and February were largely fed by lazy repostings from CNS, mostly written by Craig Bannister:
There was also a CNS reprint touting how the MRC joined "more than a hundred other conservative organizations" in endorsing a resolution "opposing President Joe Biden’s new ESG investment rule because it politicizes and threatens the value of Americans’ 401Ks."
There were also a couple original articles as well:
Newsmax Continued To Hammer Biden Over Classified Documents -- Until They Were Found With Pence Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax published dozens of articles in the week after it was revealed that classified documents were found at properties frequented by Joe Biden after his term as vice president ended. There was one more article as well, a Jan 10 piece centered around another vice president:
The "double standard" after classified documents were found at the Penn Biden Center, where President Joe Biden kept an office, is "troubling," as he should face the same scrutiny under a special counsel as former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday.
"Equal treatment in the law is at the very center of the expectation of the American people and of our history and our tradition," Pence told talk show host Hugh Hewitt. "What did the Biden administration say — they were going to tap someone appointed in the Trump administration to take a look at it while President Trump faces down a special counsel? ... It's deeply troubling to me."
The FBI's "massive outreach" in August during the raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was the "original sin," said Pence.
Meanwhile, Newsmax kept up the article onslaught in the second week of the story:
These 21 articles make for a total of at least 59 articles critical of Biden that Newsmax cranked out in the two weeks since the story broke. It did run one article on the other side of the story, a Jan. 17 wire service piece on the White house's response, as well as a Jan. 22 article noting the executive privilege issues in play in both the Biden and Trump cases -- but there wa also a Jan. 18 article letting Trump spin away his own classified document controversy (which Newsmax naturally defended) by claiming that some of the folders seized were empty and kept only as keepsakes.
Newsmax also published a Jan. 20 column by Fred Fleitz -- whom it had featured in five articles over those two weeks -- going on a Biden-bashing tear:
The series of explanations offered by Biden administration officials for the discoveries of classified documents in President Biden’s think tank office, home office, and home garage was not a cover-up of some kind of mistake by Mr. Biden’s former staff — when he was vice president.
Rather, they represent a brazen attempt to hide Mr. Biden’s abuse of government powerandhis arrogant attitude that the law does not apply to him.
Sadly, Biden's attitude and his playing fast and loose with both the rules and the truth are nothing new.
The American people deserve an explanation of what really happened.
But then, classified documents were found in the possession of Pence -- and, like the Media Research Center, Newsmax suddenly changed its tune. Its first story on the revelation was a wire story, followed by an article touting Trump claiming that "Mike Pence is an innocent man. He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!" There was also an article featuring Rand Paul fretting about "the overclassification of documents." A couple days later, there was a wire article in which Pence is literally quoted as saying "mistakes were made." There was also an article featuring FBI Director Christopher Wray lecturing all politicians about classified documents,
In addition, there was a paywalled piece by Marisa Herman claiming that "President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence each may want to consider issuing a mea culpa to former President Donald Trump after it was revealed that both men found classified documents that should not have been in their possession in their personal residences – and in Biden's case, in other locations, too."
Needless to say, Newsmax didn't mention to its readers that in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid, it published a wire article featuring Pence denying that he took any classified material with him after leaving the White House. And, like the MRC, Newsmax largely lost interest in the classified-document story after that
WND's Root Pushes More Evidence-Free Fearmongering About COVID Vaccines Topic: WorldNetDaily
Wayne Allyn Root loves to fearmongerabout COVID vaccines, and he did so again in his Feb. 3 WorldNetDaily column:
This story is truly incredible and shocking. But then again, I see dozens of shocking stories every week about the data from around the world regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. They're eye-opening. They're frightening. They all suggest that millions of people have died, and many more are sick and dying as I write this, not from COVID-19, but from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes, data suggests the cure is far worse than the disease.
But you don't need to see the data. The proof is right in front of your eyes. Every day we can all see the headlines of young, or relatively young, healthy Americans "dying suddenly." It's become a national epidemic. Heart attacks, myocarditis, strokes, blood clots, immune diseases and the big one: sudden death. Open your eyes and look around.
A recent poll showed that 25% of Americans believe they know someone who has died from the COVID-19 jab. The real shocker is that 75% of Americans are living in denial with their heads in the sand. Or maybe they're just watching CNN.
That poll was conducted by Rasmussen, a right-wing pollster that generates biased results, so there's little reason to trust that it accurately reflects anything but right-wing narratives. But Root has little interest in facts that contradict his narrative, so he was just getting started to promote his latest conspiracy theory:
Now comes the most damning evidence yet.
A top insurance analyst has analyzed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's own death rate data, and it matches data released by the U.K. government.
The analyst determined there is a 7% increase in death for each time you take the COVID-19 jab. In other words, your odds of dropping dead suddenly go up 7% if you take one COVID-19 jab; they go up 14% after your second jab; they go up 21% after your third jab; 28% after your fourth; and 35% after you get another dose. And so on and so on.
Using this model, once you got to jab No. 10, your odds of dying would rise by 70%. Are those deadly enough odds for you?
Let's say you had a loaded gun in your hand to play a game of Russian roulette. Each time you pull the trigger your odds of dying go up by 7%. Would a 35% higher chance of dying by trigger pull number five worry you? Would you pull the trigger one more time as the odds increase?
But I have a warning about that 7% increase for every COVID-19 jab you take. I believe that's a best-case scenario.
Root conveniently failed to link to this analysis, so it's unclear where it came from. But WND has previously invoked insurance folks to back up false claims about deaths from COVID vaccines, and previous claims have been debunked, so it's unlikely Root's mysterious claim is any more accurate. Indeed, a few weeks later, a claim by COVID misinformer Steve Kirsch that Medicare data showed that COVID vaccines increased mortality rates was similarly discredited. But, again, Root cares more about fearmongering, continuing to make more outlandish evidence-free claims:
Many respected experts report that there are as many as 3 million new Americans added to the disability rolls since 2021 when the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out.
So, your odds of dying or being injured together may be 14% or 21% per jab. Or much higher. Which means after five jabs, over a 3-to-5-year period, your odds of dying or becoming very sick or disabled for life may be literally 100%.
Still want another jab? Are you ready to pull your sleeves up and test my theory?
If my educated guess is correct, I'm concerned how our society will function in a year, or two, when there won't be enough policemen, firemen, prison guards, paramedics, nurses, doctors, pilots, military members or simply enough employees left to run businesses. Society will cease to function.
What happens when there are 20 or 30 or 40 million vaccine injured Americans, and not enough doctors left to take care of them?
It's time to demand action, a congressional investigation and an immediate suspension of this COVID-19 vaccine program.
My fear is that it's already too late.
Root's fearmongering continued in his Feb. 24 column, in which he embraced another evidence-free conspiracy theory, that NFL player Damar Hamlin's on-field collapse was due to a COVID vaccine:
Actually, it's more than a story; it's a miracle. But it's also a sin. Because it could have been and should have been what former President Barack Obama called "a teachable moment." Hamlin could have used his 15 minutes of fame to save millions of lives. His testimony could have destroyed the lies and propaganda of the COVID-19 vaccine scam once and for all.
Hamlin is the NFL player who literally dropped dead of cardiac arrest right on the football field, during a Monday Night Football game, with millions watching, back on Jan. 2.
The great news, the miracle of this story, is that Hamlin did not die. He was technically dead on that field, but the medical professionals on the scene brought him back to life – twice. Thank God for these brilliant doctors, nurses and medical personnel who saved his life. I'm thrilled for him. I thank God he's alive and doing well. I wish him well.
But here is where the story takes a turn. Hamlin was being interviewed recently on "Good Morning America" and was asked by host Michael Strahan about how this could happen to a 24-year-old world-class athlete in peak shape. Damar's answer was, "That's something I'm going to stay away from."
I'm an opinion guy. I am paid to give my opinions on national TV, national radio and in nationally syndicated newspaper columns. My opinion is that Hamlin's heart attack was a vaccine injury. I'm not alone. Millions of Americans think the exact same thing. I talk about the things out loud that most people whisper about. Twenty-four-year-old world-class athletes have never suffered massive heart attacks – until this vaccine.
Here's the thing. Damar Hamlin is now a celebrity. People know his name across the country. Hamlin is a walking miracle. Everyone listens when people like that speak. Hamlin had an opportunity to end this vaccine madness once and for all. But he chose silence.
Why do I think Hamlin is vaccinated? Well, the NFL boasts that 95% of NFL players are vaccinated, as well as 100% of NFL coaches and personnel. Since Hamlin almost died on that field in January, I've spoken to several current and former NFL players. They all believe Hamlin's heart attack was a vaccine injury. They're all scared to death. They feel like walking time bombs. But they're all afraid to speak publicly. They believe the NFL would ruin their careers.
Hamlin could have saved millions of lives by speaking up. America wants to know. We have a right to know. Our lives are on the line, too.
Root then piled another conspiracy theory on top of that, claiming without evidence that the drug industry bought Hamlin's silence:
Did Big Pharma perhaps pay for Hamlin's silence? It's a valid question. The odds are Hamlin can never play football again – which means he has no way to earn a living.
But a 20- or 30-million-dollar paycheck from Big Pharma could set Hamlin and his relatives up for life. Big Pharma has made hundreds of billions off the vaccines. They don't want the gravy train to stop. Paying Hamlin $30 million for his silence is a drop in the bucket. It's like me taking $1 out of my wallet.
The jig is almost up. Very few Americans are falling for the lies – probably because almost every American knows someone who has very possibly been injured by or died from the vaccine. As a result, very few Americans want the booster.
Hamlin's testimony would have badly damaged Big Pharma. Admitting his heart attack was a COVID-19 injury would have been the straw that broke the camel's back. No one would ever want the vaccine again. Big Pharma's stock prices would have collapsed. That's why I believe Big Pharma had to buy his silence. That's just my opinion.
I believe this COVID-19 vaccine is a killer – a heart attack machine. Something is wrong. World-class 24-year-old athletes don't have massive heart attacks. Damar Hamlin's silence speaks volumes. We all know what's happening. I just wish Hamlin had the courage to speak the truth. He could have ended this madness once and for all. He could have gone from hero ... to legend.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Autumn of Hunter Biden Derangement Topic: Media Research Center
Narratives trump facts at the Media Research Center, so it spent the fall of 2022 continuing to lash out at Hunter Biden -- while also smearing his daughter and getting mad that he's starting to fight back against all the right-wing smears. Read more >>
MRC Still Eager To Call Rep. Omar Anti-Semitic, Though It Only Reluctantly Acknowledged Kanye West Is One Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center eagerly tarred Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar as "anti-Semitic" over her criticism of Israel (and not explaining how the two are equal), even though it was highly reluctant to label Kayne West anti-Semitic over his direct attacks on Jews. As new Republican House speaker Kevin McCarthy moved toward kicking Omar off House committees as revenge for Democrats denying committee seats to extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene, the MRC hauled the label out again. A Jan. 29 post by Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC's Mark Finkelstein referenced "the danger that Trump poses to this country" during a visit to Auschwitz and brought up how Trump leans into white supremacism with Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, which Finkelstein countered with Omar whataboutism:
In decrying anti-semitism in the US, the only example Emhoff gave was of the tiki-torch-carrying white nationalists at Charlottesville. And—in a clear shot at Trump—he decried "so-called leaders who see this stuff, hear this stuff, and they know better. And they don't say a word. They don't say a word because some lack courage."
Not a peep from Emhoff about black anti-semitism —something that is by no means limited to the likes of Kanye West or Kyrie Irving. This 2022 analysis of black anti-semitism in America cites a study indicating that 36% of black Americans hold "strong anti-semitic beliefs" a percentage that rises ro 42% among black liberals.
And then there is Arab-American anti-semitism, as exemplified by Squad members Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Again, not a word on that from the Second Gentleman.
The same day, Kevin Tober cheered that in "random act of journalism," Omar was asked about her "anti-Semitic comments" in an appearance on CNN:
Finally, Bash turned to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and went through the comprehensive list of anti-Semetic comments she’s made over the years which are responsible for her pending removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I'm told that Republicans presented a list in their meeting, in their private meeting this past week, included in that list, is that you said that Israel hypnotized the world. You said that Israel is an apartheid regime,” Bash noted.
Continuing to list her disgusting comments, Bash recalled how Omar said “politicians with pro-Israel stances were all about the benjamins, which you very notably apologized for, that you support the BDS movement, which a lot of people think is rooted in anti-semitism, compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban. I want to give you a chance to respond to all of that, which they say is a clear pattern.”
Tober didn't explain how Omar's criticism of Israel equates to anti-Semitism.Alex Christy played the same evidence-free equivocation in a Feb. 2 post:
The Thursday edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC was in full spin mode as Republicans prepared to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee for her history of anti-Semitic statements, but according to Mitchell it was simply “criticism of Israel.” Meanwhile, Washington correspondent Yamiche Alcindor alleged that Republican hypocrisy is the real story.
Mitchell kicked off her show by explaining, “This breaking news, now you've just watched it on the House floor. A heated debate is under way leading up to Republicans planning to hold that vote this hour to remove Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee over her frequent criticism of Israel. She later apologized for some of those-- her comments but stood by others. Omar is a Somali refugee and one of the first Muslim Americans to serve in Congress.”
What is the criticism behind allegations of hypnotism, dual loyalty, and financial puppeteering? And what does being a Muslim and Somali refugee have to do with anything?
Still, a few minutes into the segment, Mitchell returned to the latter idea and, ignoring that Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell are neither Muslims nor immigrants from Somalia, asked Alcindor, “So, Yamiche, Congresswoman Omar is saying that she's being targeted because she's an immigrant, because she was Somali-born. She showed that picture of herself as a 9-year-old refugee.”
Instead of explaining why he believes any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, Christy complained that Alcindor accurately observed that Trump "has said all sorts of things that people see as anti-Semitic," then tried to play whataboutism with that by linking to a old Fox News article noting that Barack Obama appeared in a picture 20 years ago with Louis Farrakhan and huffing, "Alcindor should stay on topic because she probably does not want to take that argument to its logical conclusion." Yes, whataboutism would be a logical conclusion for Christy.
The next day, the MRC made Omar its designated enemy of the day. Tober attacked an MSNBC segment in who "went into an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel tirade accusing the state of Israel of being a terrorist state and turning the West Bank into an apartheid state," which he claimed "sounded like it was written by anti-Semites like Ilhan Omar." Later that day, Christy returned to whine that NBC's Seth Meyers called out McCarthy's pettiness in kicking Omar off committees and calling it right-wing cancel culture:
After playing clips of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene talking about Critical Race Theory, Meyers transitioned to a new topic, “So that's who the GOP thinks should be able to serve on committees. Meanwhile, today they voted to kick Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a refugee and one of the only two Muslim women in the House, off the Foreign Affairs Committee for the simple reason that they don't like her or her point of view.”
As for Omar, simply applying the same standard to Omar that Democrats applied to Greene is not “cancel culture.”
Christy did manage to refrain from calling Omar "anti-Semitic."
A Feb. 3 post by Finkelstein raged at Scarborugh for daring to suggest that Omar's criticism of Israel may not be anti-Semitic:
Today, Morning Joe 's virtue-signaling spotlight turned to the ouster, by a vote of Republicans, of far-left Representative Ilhan Omar from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs committee.
Scarborough spoke of some of Omar's past comments having been "considered" to be antisemitic.
"Considered?" As a sitting Member of Congress, Omar said that support of Israel by US politicians was "all about the Benjamins."
When Omar was subsequently asked who she thought was paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, she replied: “AIPAC"—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Although Omar subsequently mouthed an apology, as recently as this past weekend she claimed that when she made the statement, she was unaware of the "Jews and money" trope. Riiiiight.
With co-host Whoopi Goldberg taking here usual Friday off, most of The View cast seemed to feel empowered to confront racist Sunny Hostin after she tried to defend Ilhan Omar, the antisemitism Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman who, after spewing hate for years, was punished on Thursday for when she was stripped of her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Hostin was caught off guard, scrambling to take swipes as co-host Joy Behar led Sara Haines and Alyssa Farah Griffin in the pile-on.
In the last of five posts on Feb. 3, Tim Graham had a right-wing anti-Omar author on his podcast to help him bash her:
As the House voted to remove far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the bluest media (likeMorning Joe) said they would stand proudly with Omar and against GOP "hypocrisy." Scarborough would only say Omar's antisemitic rantings were "considered antisemitic," and hey, she apologized. CNN put on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to suggest the GOP were committing "stochastic terrorism" and Omar was being punished for being a Woman of Color.
Benjamin Weingarten joins the show to explain the whole scene. He's Deputy Editor at RealClearInvestigations, a Senior Contributor to The Federalist, and author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party. We discussed Omar's dishonest claim on CNN on Sunday that she had no idea that her mockery of Americans being bought off by Jewish money was an antisemitic trope, and how Omar had to unruffle feathers in Minneapolis about her rants before she ever moved to Washington.
Weingarten credits Republicans for laying out in a resolution all of the reasons Omar deserves to be removed from a committee on American foreign policy -- starting with her tweet suggesting America has committed "unthinkable atrocities" just like terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban. In a speech last year, he said our media "smears those who disagree with it as not only deplorable, and irredeemable, but terroristic."
Jeffrey Lord used his Feb. 4 column to cheer Omar being removed "because of her blatant and repeated anti-Semitism," going to use her to smear Democrats as a whole:
But the bottom line is that as created and as it has evolved the Democrat Party [sic] of today exists in a culture of race and racism. Everything is about race.
Which can easily explain why this latest episode with The Squad has happened in the first place. Congresswoman Omar is not viewed by The Squad as what, in fact, she is: an American. And a Member of Congress. Neither of which terms have any relationship to skin color. No. The Squad demands that she be judged on her skin color.
Where is the liberal media when it comes to educating Americans that the Democratic Party of staunch support for Jews and the Jewish state has now dissolved into a sewer of anti-Semitism?
UPDATE: In contrast to its lashing out at Hostin, the MRC was completely silent when podcaster Joe Rogan defended Omar by insisting her "all about the Benjamins" remark was "not an anti-Semitic statement" and that "she’s just talking about money." Then he arguably went further than Omar did, claiming that "The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza. It’s f—ing stupid. It’s f—ing stupid." But then, the MRC spent a good chunk of last year defendingRogan after he got called out for spreading COVID misinformation, so his anti-Semitic leanings get the same pass from the MRC it gave to Trump.
WND Promotes (Anti-Vaxxer) Doctors Saying They Won't Get COVID Vaccine Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh wrote in a Jan. 30 WorldNetDaily article:
When the COVID-19 pandemic developed in China, then spread around the world killing millions, people were in a panic.
Masks, shutting down the economy, distancing, and more all of a sudden became a priority.
So did shots that were developed on a superfast timeline that left them in "experimental" status as officials demanded people take them.
Of course, now we know the side effects include myocarditis – and worse.
So, according to a report in the Epoch Times, doctors, "a growing number," have confirmed they won't be taking any more COVID boosters until there's evidence they help.
Of course, the Epoch Times is an anti-vaxxer publication, so it would try to discredit COVID vaccines in any way it can, and that's exactly what it's doing here (and Unruh is amplifying). But who are these doctors? Let's see:
Another physician, Dr. Vinay Prasad, of the University of California in San Francisco, told the Epoch Times he's not taking more shots.
"I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt," he charged.
And Allison Krug, who co-authored a study showing teen boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after taking COVID shots, said her own doctor agreed with her when she refused a booster.
Dr. Tracy Hoeg, also from San Francisco, said, "I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines."
Unruh didn't disclose that all of these doctors are anti-vaxxers, even if they don't want you to call them that. We've previously noted that Presad (who is not an epidemiologist) has spread misinfrmaiton about COVID and vaccines. Unruh continued:
It was Retsef Levi, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said, according to the Epoch Times, "At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately. They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children."
In fact, Levi's claim has been discredited by the fact-checkers at Health Feedback: "In short, Levi’s claim that COVID-19 vaccines are responsible for deaths in young people is unsubstantiated. Although he did cite some studies as evidence, reading those studies in detail would show that none actually provide reliable evidence for his claim. His claim ignores other studies of higher quality showing that COVID-19 vaccination doesn’t increase the risk of death or heart attacks."
WND (and the Epoch Times) pushing doctors who won't help people stay healthy seems akin to the olden days when tobacco companies ran ads featuring doctors telling patients to smoke.
These 15 articles bring the total number of articles Newsmax has published attacking DirecTV since it was dropped Jan. 25 to at least 258 -- and, of course, none of them mentioned the fact that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First. This time around, however, there were no Newsmax columnists mounting a defense.
Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com covered the Feb. 8 House hearing on Twitter by focusing only on advancing right-wing narrative sand censoring inconvenient facts that didn't fit those narratives -- but even more so. The first article on the hearing was from managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who selectively focused on ranting by CNS' favorite far-right extremist congresswoman:
House Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) sharply criticized four former Twitter executives at a congressional hearing today, stating that they had "violated" the First Amendment rights of "countless conservative Americans" and had engaged in "election interference." She also explained how Twitter had suspended her personal account in the 2020 election year but did not suspend that of her Democrat opponent.
In relation to that, Greene criticized in particular Yoel Roth, Twitter's former Head of Trust and Safety, for banning conservatives but being apparently incapable of banning "child porn all over Twitter."
“You know, Elon Musk took over Twitter and he banned 44,000 accounts that were promoting child porn," Greene said to Roth at the Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing. "You permanently banned my Twitter account but you allowed child porn all over Twitter."
At the beginning of her remarks, Rep. Greene made clear that the Twitter executives present at the hearing would not be answering questions from her because turnabout is fair play.
Another article by Chapman uncritically touted another Republican congressman threatening Twitter executives:
At Wednesday's House Oversight hearing on Twitter's censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story just prior to the 2020 presidential election, House Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) warned four former Twitter employees being questioned that "this is the investigation part, later comes the arrest part." He added, "Your attorneys are familiar with that."
A Feb. 9 article by Susan Jones began by noting an interview in which President Biden said the public isn't interested in Republican investigations into his family,then segued to a summary of the hearing:
As Biden spoke in Wisconsin, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee back in Washington was questioning former Twitter executives about their censorship of a New York Post report regarding Hunter Biden's laptop in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
Although the Post had documents -- one from the FBI -- to back up the fact that the abandoned laptop belonged to Hunter, Twitter removed the story and blocked the New York Post's account for two weeks.
"Throughout his presidential campaign, Joe Biden assured the American people that he had never spoken to his son about his overseas visits," Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said. "However, the details exposed in the Post article indicate that Joe Biden lied to the American people."
Comer noted that the former Twitter officials sitting before him were "entrusted with the highest level of power at Twitter, but when you were faced with the New York Post story, instead of allowing people to judge the information for themselves, you rushed to find a reason why the American people shouldn't see it.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the Oversight Committee, told the Twitter executives he believes they were "played" by the FBI.
Later, appearing on Fox News, Jordan said he believes Twitter blocked the New York Post story about Hunter Biden's laptop "because the FBI and the government had primed and prepped them."
Micky Wootten quoted another Republican at length at the hearing in a Feb. 10 article:
During a House Oversight Committee hearing about Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) used her time to show how “Twitter worked overtime to suppress accurate COVID information,” over the course of the pandemic.
On Feb. 8, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability held a hearing entitled “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story.”
“Thank God for Matt Taibbi, thank God for Elon Musk for allowing to show us and the world that Twitter was basically a subsidiary of the FBI, censoring real medical voices with real expertise that put real Americans’ lives in danger because they didn’t have that information,” said Mace.
All four of these articles quoted only Republican members of Congress at the hearing -- no Democratic members of Congress were quoted, let alone acknowledged. That means CNS censored the biggest news to come out of the hearing: As president, Donald Trump pressured Twitter to delete a tweet by model Chrissy Teigen that called him a "pussy ass bitch." And they also didn't mention that some tweets related to Hunter Biden's laptop were removed because users tried to post nude images of him without his permission, which wasn't permitted then and isn't now.
If you read only CNS, you would not know anything about this hearing that didn't conform to right-wing narratives about Twitter and Hunter Biden. It's not much of a "news" operation.
MRC Defends 'He Gets Us' Super Bowl Ads, Hides Who Funded Them Topic: Media Research Center
While the Media Research Center normally spends its time around the Super Bowl attackinghalftimeshows, this year it chose instead to focus on commercials (as it has done inthe past) -- or, in this case, to complain about others being outraged. Tim Graham groused in a Jan. 30 post that CNN had on "a writer for 'Religion Dispatches,' a project of the far-left Political Research Associates," to discuss a certin planned ad:
On Friday, The Lead with Jake Tapperon CNN investigated the currently prominent "He Gets Us" TV ads promoting Jesus in terms meant to please centrists and liberals. Comically, CNN presented this largely as a right-wing conspiracy.
Fill-in host Pamela Brown explained: "If you're planning to watch the upcoming Super Bowl, you'll likely see a few ads about Jesus. CNN's Tom Foreman looks into the He Gets Us campaign and why some are calling this a PR stunt for right-wing politics." Notice "some" is the usual phrase for "some left-wing hacks."
In short, CNN is a sucker for the notion that any attempt to recruit people into evangelical Christianity is inherently political, and inherently opposed to the Left.
John Simmons served up a Feb. 13 post also complaining that the ads were being criticized:
Super Bowl commercials are one of the most anticipated elements of the NFL’s big game. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took exception to a pair of advertisements that were faith-based.
AOC criticized a pair of ads put out by the Non-Profit “He Gets Us,” an organization that tries to portray Jesus and his teachings from a left-of-center perspective.
Both ads focused on a message of loving your neighbor, which is nearly impossible for anyone to find something wrong with. I say nearly impossible because AOC did just that.
Neither Graham nor Simmons noted, as an actual news outlet did, that the "He Gets Us" ads come from a foundation that has found right-wing anti-LGBT and anti-contraception activism. Nevertheless, the MRC still tried to sanitize those ads; a Feb. 14 post by Alex Christy gushed, "The much-talked about He Gets Us ads were about having childlike faith and loving your enemies."
Graham devoted his Feb. 15 column to rehashing how the ads were criticized:
The high-dollar advertisements on Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl 57 were pretty light and humorous, except for the dead-serious black-and-white messages pushing the message “Jesus: He Gets Us.”
This big ad campaign clearly wants to reach young people with Christian messaging in the most contemporary terms, with ads that claim “Jesus was a refugee” or a misunderstood criminal defendant. What’s unfolded is a comedy of liberals furious that anyone would recruit people to worship Jesus, as if it were a vast right-wing Christian conspiracy.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign.” If you thought that was too lame-brained to repeat, MSNBC host Joy Reid copy-catted that a bit on TV: “I think it is fair to say Jesus Christ wouldn’t spend millions of dollars on television ads promoting His image.”
Every Christian is instructed by the Bible to share the gospel of Jesus, from person to person, or on television, if possible. It’s not “fair to say” Jesus would somehow oppose that. It’s fair to say liberals hate it because they see religion -- organized or unorganized -- as a malignant right-wing sickness that ruins the culture.
Graham only obliquely referenced the funding and agenda behind the ads, by criticizing someone who brought it up:
On February 11, weekend All Things Considered anchor Michel Martin brought on Josiah Daniels of Sojourners, a “progressive Christian” website. He threw a red flag. “I think that it's sort of the height of Christian hypocrisy to, on the one hand, say we really want to accept everyone, but then on the other hand, you're taking money from people who have worked to curb access to abortion rights or they've worked to curb LGBTQ rights.”
The glaring hypocrisy here is the secular leftist media do not “accept everyone.” With zero dissent, NPR is putting on Daniels to insist Christians “should disassociate from these groups who are working to curb marginalized people's rights.”
In the end, Jesus sounds “divisive” in the book of Matthew: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Jesus isn’t accepting of everyone. He calls everyone to accept Him. Jesus warned of “false prophets.” These networks and their conspiracy-decrying experts fit the term.
Graham didn't actually admit that the money behind the ads also funds right-wing causes he likes -- that would have been too divisive, right?
WND Hyped Doomed Lawsuit To Overturn 2020 Election Topic: WorldNetDaily
The election denial dead-enders at WorldNetDaily were desperately hoping that a last-ditch case to overturn the election would be taken up by the Supreme Court. Bob Unruh detailed the longing in a Dec. 18 article:
A lawsuit that actually could challenge American election results, and possibly overturn them, is heading for a conference in the U.S. Supreme Court in just weeks.
The case does not allege the 2020 election was stolen.
Instead, it alleges "that a large majority of Congress, by failing to investigate such serious allegations of election rigging and breaches of national security, violated their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic," according to a report in the Gateway Pundit.
A guest report at the website by Tim Canova explains the little-known case, Brunson v. Adams, was filed by four brothers from Utah, acting as their own counsel, and it actually seeks the "removal of President Biden and Vice President Harris, along with 291 U.S. Representatives and 94 U.S. Senators who voted to certify the Electors to the Electoral College on January 6, 2021 without first investigating serious allegations of election fraud in half a dozen states and foreign election interference and breach of national security in the 2020 presidential election."
The report speculated, "The outcome of such relief would presumably be to restore Donald Trump to the presidency."
The report explained the "national security interests" implicated by the allegations allowed it to bypass the appeals court and move up to the Supreme Court, "which has now scheduled a hearing for January 6, 2023.
It would require the votes of only four justices to move the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari forward, the report said.
Of course, those allegations of election fraud were not "serious," and as such, there was no obligation for members of Congress to treat them seriously. When the Supreme Court predictably refused to take up the case -- even Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis said rejecting the case was the right decision -- WND did no article about it.
But the Brunsons promised to file a motion to reconsider, and Unruh got his hopes up again in a Feb. 15 article, this time citing a right-wing outlet slightly more credible than Gateway Pundit:
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to take another look at 2020 election-fraud claims, and it will only take four votes for the case to come under a full briefing and arguments schedule.
A report from Just the News reveals the justices are to review a lawsuit charging that Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and others, including 291 members of the House and 94 senators "violated their oaths of office by refusing to investigate evidence of fraud in the 2020 election before certifying Biden as the winner."
That meant, the case charges, that Biden and Harris were inaugurated "fraudulently."
The plaintiff in the case is Raland J. Brunson, and he's seeking the removal from office of those who committed that offense.
The court last month declined to hear the case, but he filed a petition for reconsideration and now the court has scheduled a private conference for that review.
Four of the nine justices must vote to review for a hearing to be scheduled.
This time around, Unruh inserted right-wing boilerplate about the 2020 election:
Critics of President Trump's claims about election fraud say his arguments repeatedly have lost in courts – often to decisions by Democrat-appointed judges.
But what is known about the 2020 election is that Mark Zuckerberg handed out, through foundations, hundreds of millions of dollars that local election officials often used to influence the result by recruiting voters from Democrat precincts.
Even worse, social and legacy media worked together to suppress accurate reporting about the scandalous overseas business deals that were benefiting the Biden family. Dozens of intelligence experts falsely labeled the reporting, about details contained in a laptop computer abandoned by Hunter Biden, as Russian "disinformation" when it actually was the truth.
The Media Research Center later found out, through a poll, that 36% of self-described Biden voters said they were not aware of evidence linking Joe Biden personally to those deals.
Thirteen percent of those voters, 4.6% of all Biden voters, said had they known the facts, they would not have voted for Biden.
That change undoubtedly would have cost Biden victories in multiple swing states, and would have installed President Trump in his second term.
We've debunked the MRC's conspiracy theory, which is built on polls from dubious right-wing pollsters.
The motion to reconsider failed as well; WND similarly failed to do a news article on that development. Neither of Unruh's articles, by the way, offered a balanced, opposing view on the Brunson lawsuit, which would seem to further undermine its claim to be a legitimate news outlet.
MRC Pushes Imaginary 'Secondhand Censorship' Metric Yet Again To Defend Lies And Misinformation Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has spent the pastseveralmonths pushing a completely made-up metric it calls "secondhand censorship," which is nothing more than an absurdly high number manufactured for the sole purpose of advancing right-wing narratives about "censorship" of conservatives online. It pushed that bogus narrative again in an anonymously written Jan. 25 post:
Big Tech is playing games with speech. Its primary concern is with neutralizing conservative influence online. It does this by preventing users from hearing or seeing a message that the left disagrees with.
“Big Tech kept information from users on social media over 275 million times last year by blocking influential conservative voices. All users are left with is leftist-approved propaganda,” said Media Research Center President Brent Bozell. “This is secondhand censorship.”
Even new Twitter owner Elon Musk stated that witter’s new policy provides “freedom of speech,” but not “freedom of reach,” a that has been espoused by leftists for several years. The secondhand censorship numbers document that loss of reach — the real harm that results from Big Tech censorship.
“Unfortunately, Musk’s comments about Twitter policy being ‘freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach’ only underscores the true goal of totalitarian censors on the left,” noted MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “Censors seek to prevent social media users that might otherwise be influenced from seeing a message that leftists disagree with. That is secondhand censorship, and conservatives can’t sit idly by and allow it to happen.”
Using our exclusive CensorTrack.org database, MRC Free Speech America documented 517 cases of Big Tech censorship in 2022. That censorship translated to no fewer than 275,396,336 times that platforms harmed social media users by keeping information from them through secondhand censorship.
The MRC then went on to hide inconvenient facts about the so-called victims of that "secondhand censorship." For example:
Big Tech’s suppressive information practices have worked in tandem with harmful public policy measures that contributed to real-world harm.
“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” reads The Great Barrington Declaration. The document, which has over 936,000 signatories including public health experts and medical practitioners, calls out the negative health impacts of COVID-19 lockdown measures. “The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.”
Facebook censored the declaration in February 2021. A Twitter Files release also confirmed that Twitter censored individuals associated with the declaration. But Facebook and Twitter were not alone. Other platforms such as Reddit and Google also censored the declaration.
But the anonymous MRC writer censored the fact that the Great Barrington Declaration also called for dangerous herd immunity at a time when thousands of people were dying of COVID daily and no vaccines wereyet available.
The MRC also bizarrely complained that election falsehoods were blocked:
Facebook, in particular, was very busy censoring election-related content in the month of May, well in advance of the November 2022 midterm elections.
The platform targeted an election-related post by Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro in November, with the help of its fact-checking partner PolitiFact, as documented in a May 10 CensorTrack.org entry. The “fact-checker” flagged a Daily Wire article that cited political commentator Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2000 Mules.” Facebook applied a notice to the post that claimed it was “partly false.” The notice also stated that “the same information was checked in another post by independent fact-checkers.” The notice referred to a PolitiFact article about the documentary that claimed it used a “faulty premise.” The movie documentary examined voter fraud in the 2020 election by using cell phones’ geolocation data.
The secondhand censorship effect of the fact-check harmed Shapiro’s 8.5 million Facebook followers because they weren’t allowed to see information linking potential voter fraud to the 2020 election.
The anonymous MRC writer didn't explain why Shapiro should have been allowed to spread lies from a discredited film. To the contrary, Shapiro should be glad that actual fact-checkers did what he wouldn't and stopped him for spreading those lies. Meanwhile, the MRC went on to privilege more lies:
Another substantial censorship act came when both Meta platforms — Facebook and Instagram — de-platformed or unpublished the pages of the liberal Robert F. Kennedy-led group Children’s Health Defense in August at the same time, and without warning.
A screenshot shared by Children’s Health Defense indicated that both Facebook and Instagram accused the group of sharing “false information about COVID-19,” as noted in MRC Free Speech America’s CensorTrack.org database. Children’s Health Defense said that, “more than half a million followers have been denied access to truthful information.” Facebook, meanwhile, claimed the group violated its “Community Standards on misinformation that could cause phyical harm."
Children’s Health Defense had 327,480 Instagram followers and 174,266 Facebook followers at the respective times of censorship. The collective secondhand censorship effect of this suppression amounted to 501,746 times that Big Tech harmed users by hiding COVID-19 perspectives from users.
The MRC writer censored the fact that Children's Health Defense is a bunch of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists with a record of spreading misinformation, and nobody considers Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a real "liberal," as the writer wants us to believe. And, no, the writers makes no argument that lies should be allowed to spread unchecked on social media. Instead, the MRC pompously concluded:
Without being able to read opinions from both sides of an issue, we do not enjoy a free society.
The fundamental, God-given right to free speech must be protected.
Our freedom is at stake.
So spreading lies and misinformaiton is a "fundamental, God-given right" now? Since when? Meanwhile, the MRC clearly believes that there is no freedom of speech for those who call out lies and misinformation spread by right-wingers.
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Unemployment Reporting: Reluctantly Noting Good News Topic: CNSNews.com
The country's employment news was so positive during 2022 that CNSNews.com had trouble finding ways to distract from all this positivity happening under a Democratic president. Read more >>
The Fox News Defenders At The MRC Try To Ignore The Fox News-Dominion Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
On the rare occasions the Media Reserarch Center criticizes Fox News, it's usually in the form of Heathering -- for example, hating Shepard Smith for reporting facts instead of right-wing narratives or for a single news segment that didn't hate transgender poeple enough. It almost never criticizes Fox News for the same reasons it criticizes the "liberal media" regarding bias, even though it's much more biased than any of those channels. Indeed, the MRC is must more comfortable serving as Fox News' PR division and cheerleader than its critic.
So when filings by election-tech company Dominion in its defamation lawsuit against Fox News showed that the channel's hosts knew that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were lies but instead chose to spread those lies on the air rather than tell viewers the truth -- a much larger scandal than anything the MRC has ever accused any "liberal media" outlet of doing -- the initial response by the MRC was to censor it as best it could. In the first coule weeks after the revelation of the scandal, references to it were oblique or buried:
A Feb. 18 post by Alex Christy referenced only "Fox News and its lawsuit with Dominion" but said nothing about what that involved, instead playing whataboutism by promoting an attack by Bill Maher on MSNBC host Ari Melber claiming that the channel is just like Fox News in telling viewers what they want to hear.
Tim Graham waited until the 15th paragraph of a Feb. 19 post criticizing NPR for failing to sufficiently hate President Biden before noting that the NPR program in question "wrapped up with enjoying how the Dominion lawsuit against Fox ended with juicy revelations that hosts didn't believe in the election-fraud stories they were promoting after the 2020 votes were cast" before also going to whataboutism: "NPR has absolutely no time to talk about how they misled their own audience (playing to liberal sentiments) in October 2020 that the Hunter Biden laptop was Fake News, a 'pure distraction.'" Graham didn't mention that the New York Post -- a pro-Trump, anti-Biden outlet -- offered no independent verification of the laptop story at the time that would have bolstered the story's credibility.
This followed the pattern Fox itself used regarding the scandal, in which it not only censored the story, it expressly forbade its media reporter, Howard Kurtz, to talk about it. The MRC censored all mention of that censorship, though Kevin Tober wrote a Feb. 26 post touting how Kurtz "used the opening monologue of his Sunday media analysis show MediaBuzz to call out the media's double standard and selective outrage in how they deal with controversial comments from conservatives and leftists."
Meanwhile, Graham was playing the same whataboutism card on Twitter in a way he wouldn't commit to writing in an MRC post -- though he still clung to the whataboutism narrative in arguing with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. A March 1 tweet by Graham admitted the Fox News revelations were "scandalous" but instead complained that "CNN puts on David Zurawik to lecture Fox has never, ever been a 'news channel.'"He them complained that Folkenflik said that Fox News "really a business operation around which is wrapped a highly ideological and political shop, around which is wrapped the public face of a news operation." Rather than disputing anything Folkenflik said, he played Hunter laptop whataboutism:
GRAHAM: This is a scandal, to be sure. But you work in a highly ideological and political shop, wrapped in the face of a news operation. Your ardor to Get Fox is part of it.
GRAHAM: OK, buddy why don't you review how you people have covered (refused to cover) the Hunter Biden laptop?? Even your "Public Editor" embarrassed herself on that one.
Folkenflik refused to respond, presumably because he saw that arguing with Graham would be futile. As Media Matters' Matthew Gertz pointed out about Graham regarding this exchange: "Devote your career to working the refs over liberal media bias --> the right-wing outlet you prop up against it turns out to be filled with liars deliberately working to elect Republicans. Maybe just sit this one out?"
Finally, two weeks after the scandal broke, the MRC finally committed something to one of its websites regarding the scandal. Graham's promotion for his March 3 podcast offered no judgment whatsoever against Fox News -- weird given its usual love of hot takes -- even though he would be ranting hard had a "liberal media" outlet done only a fraction of what happened here:
The Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News has uncovered an embarrassing collection of messages underlining that Fox's owner and stars had contempt for wild claims about Trump winning the 2020 election, but aired lawyers like Sidney Powell, who pledged to "release the Kraken" of truth....that never arrived. Tucker Carlson, for one, called her out on TV.
CNN's Oliver Darcy, one of America's premier haters of Fox News, reported with glee in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter that text messages and emails showed that privately, Fox was much harsher with these election-fraud claims than they were on television.
Fox was worried that their pro-Trump audience would leave them for Newsmax. Ex-conservative Mona Charen claimed conservatives were more interested in "agreeable fictions" than on "complex facts." Conservative journalists and conservative media critics and conservative media consumers should never be rightly accused of seeking "agreeable fictions."
In the actual podcast, his focus was not on what Fox News did, but that CNN reported on it: "It's been a glorious week at CNN. Now, I don't mean in the ratings department -- theiy are firmly in third place -- I mean the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News has revealed a scandal I think we can call Krakengate." He then summed up the scandal as Fox News having Trump lawyer Sidney Powell making claims of election fraud I dare say that in real time, most of us listening to her thought she sounded, um, implausible?"
If so, Graham and the rest of the MRC made little effort to tell their readers that; indeed, no post by Graham from that time referenced Powell. A Nov. 20, 2020, post by Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC's "Morning Joe" noted that right-wingers criticized Fox News for the few times it reported facts instead of right-wing spin, ironically citing as an example then-Fox reporter Kristin Fisher doing a "takedown of yesterday's press conference featuring Rudy Giuliani" -- as we have learned from Dominion's filings, Fisher was criticized by her bosses for not "respecting our audience" by fact-checking Giuliani, and Fisher said she lost on-air opportunities as punishment for it. Finkelstein waited until the final paragraph to menion that a reference "an FNC primetime host 'bewildered' by yesterday's press conference with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell was presumably a reference to Tucker Carlson, who questioned the absence of evidence supporting Powell's assertions."
Three days later, however, the MRC was portraying Powell as a victim in a post by Kayla Sargent noting that Powell was dropped by Trump's legal team," which Twitter saw as the perfect opportunity to suspend her account for twelve hours." The following month, Finkelstein was complaining about criticism of reports that Trump was considering "the possible appointment of Sidney Powell as a special counsel to investigate the election"; the next day, Finkelstein did concede that "In this NewsBuster's opinion, President Trump would have been better advised not to have invited Michael Flynn or Sidney Powell into the White House over the weekend," but he did not specifically criticize Powell. Later in the month, Kristine Marsh groused that MSNBC employed "hyper-partisan spin" in naming Powell to a year-end list of dishonors.
In January 2021, however, it was back to playing the victimhood card for Powell; a Jan. 4 post by Corinne Weaver whined that video clips of Powell on Trump's Twitter account were among those that were "censored," and a Jan. 12 column by Cal Thomas huffed that Powell's Twitter account was "permanently banned as Twitter announced a purge of 'accounts dedicated to sharing content related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.'"
Graham went on to whine that CNN's Oliver Darcy reported on all this, then tried to give credit to Carlson for briefly calling her out. Graham then shockingly criticized Fox News and Trump, albeit only barely mentioning them by name and framing that criticism as coming from the "liberal media":
But conservative media outlets also have to consider that whatever good faith they've built up with people who are not as conservative could just get wiped out when the big liberal media can all unite and show that they have thte same regard for the truth that Donald Trump has. Conservative media will not be credible if doesn't have the courage to stick with what journalism is supposed to be: Do you have a story that will stand up, or doesn't it? Is it underbaked, half-baked? Is it a compost heap? It is absolutely defensible to question election results, for a news company to let the Democrats or the Republicans challenge the results in the weeks after an election. That is part of democracy. But the bottom line of election is if you lose in court, the election is over. You can't riot your way into the presidency or a second term of the presidency, or you don't really have a democracy. Trump's lawyers couldn't win in any state, so it was over. Now, from November to December you can be a news channel and put on Republican laywers or Democrat [sic] lawyers and hash it out -- I'm sure that Hillary Clinton's people would have wanted to hash out the idea that Trump stole the election with the help of the Russians. But we should all want to question wild claims of voting machines somehow stealing millions of votes from Trump or anyone else.
But Graham's employer never did any of that questioning -- instead, the MRC manufactured its own parallel conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from Trump because the Hunter Biden laptop story didn't cause Biden to lose, based on dubious polls it bought from highly biased pollsters. Graham cannot credibly denounce Trump's conspiracy theory without rejection a very similar one pushed by his employer. Graham also failed to note that the "liberal media" did not push claims or Russian election-meddling to the extent that Fox News gave a platform to Trump's bogus election claims, which shows that they are more responsible than Fox News is.
Graham continued: "We want to root for Fox News. We root for the conservative media. The liberal media in this country needs balancing. One of the things that's most important about it is the way the other news media want to say, 'X will not be a story. None of us are going to talk about it. When Fox talks about it, that's for your crazy uncle at the Thanksgiving Day table.' This is the game that is played." Graham went on to complain that right-winger Jonah Goldberg, "who took many dollars from Fox News as a contributor and now takes dollars from CNN," criticized the Fox News scandal, when whined again that the scandal let CNN credibly criticize Fox News:
But for many of us, the worst part here is how this set of texts and emails enables Oliver Darcy and company to mount their high horses and suggest that Fox News has never, ever been a news channel. CNN, next to Jonah Goldberg, put on screechy liberal David Zurawik, who said this whole Fox News channel thing has been fraudulent since is was founded in 1996. And then comes this puke-tastic part about how [speaks in hoiry-toity voice] so-called mainstream journalism, they only provide information for the citizenry and let them make good choices. This is not really a definition of what they're doing on CNN.
Graham then went on a lengthy anti-liberal media whataboutism tangent, name-checking the pee tape, Michael Avenatti and the Steele dossier, then defended poliltical operative Roger Ailes running Fox News as OK because Tom Johnson, who was once an adviser to President Lyndon Johnson, once ran CNN (but he didn't mention that the guy who runs the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, Terry Jeffrey, was a political operative for Pat Buchanan's presidential campaigns in the 1990s). then it was back to whining that CNN has a point in criticizing Fox News:
Now, for us at NewsBusters, it's most distressing when Oliver Darcy touts the Bulwark trashing the conserative media critics. He wrote in his little newsletter, "Mona Charen has an excellent piece on how conservative criticism about the press gave birth to a propaganda machine. Charen, quote: "The channel that debuted with the tagline 'fair and balanced' has become comletely untethered to any standared of integrity. Its own bias bears no comparison to that of the 'mainstream media.'" At least she put "mainstream media" in quotes. But come on. She knows better. Mona Charen used to come repeatedly to the MRC to help her construct several books about media bias. She knows how the liberal media performed. So to sit her now and say 'Fox News is so, so much worse than then palces I show up now' ... So perhaps when there's a conservative propaganda machine in this equation, Mona Charen should be whipping herself for this into a frenzy.
Graham then disavowed any role the MRC played in creating Trump and the Fox News propaganda monster (which currently employs several former MRC workers, something Graham didn't disclose):
Now, you can be a anti-Trump conservative. But what we too often see is Trump somehow turning conservatives into liberals, now suggesting that the media bias monitors caused Trump. This is just a classic liberal schtick. I hated it when Politico's Tim Alberta threw it at us years ago in an interview. Came into the building, shut the door -- oh, this is kind of off the record; oh, is it? Well ... This idea that somehow NewsBusters or Brent Bozell created the Trump monster, I hated it then and I hate it now. It's not true. What you're basically saying with that whole argument that, well, obviously, you peole should never have criticized the liberal media in the first place.
Now, Mona Charen concluded with this: "For decades, conservatives longed to get the whole story into the national news. But by demanding agreeable fiction instead of accepting complex fact, they have embarassed themselves and undermined the case -- still relevant -- for fair and balanced coverage." There's another clip, I'm gonna post that on the bulletin board. Because we as conservatives should never demand agreeable fiction.
I don't accept that's what I've been doing or what we've been doing or what most of you have been doing. None of us should be comfortable being accused of being comfortable being accused of being for agreeable fiction. you can't govern a country on phantoms and hallucinations. You need some solid facts and evidence and reasoning, and we beleive that conservatism works best, and we make that case based on facts and evidence and reasoning. There is so much good journalism being done by conservative journalists you cannot slime at all as some kind of agreeable fiction that's spit out for conservatives who hate the truth. As CNN and the others try to avoid covering the bad things happening under Biden, we cannot let them suggest, "Oh, don't listen to any stories that conservatives want to tell, that we don't want to tell," That is not workable, and that's not the way democracy should work. They would have more of a high horse to ride on if they weren't skipping and avoiding and averting stories that make the Biden adminisration look bad. And we can do this over and over again.
And there's many, many people across the United States who are going to get those stories from conservatives, who listen to them on conservative media, who need that conservative media to be credible so that these stories that are real and have real, lasting impact don't get treated by crazy crackin' crap. Let's have a high standard of information, let's demand it as media consumers, and let's try to do it as conservative journalists. Lecture over.
Note that at no point did Graham specifically criticize Fox News for any specific actions it was revealed to have committed per the Dominion filings, and that he made sure not to put what little criticism he did in writing in a way that would be easily findable in a Google search. And given that we'vefoundnumerousfalsehoods at the MRC, it's clear Graham is not holding his co-workers to those same standards he's now demanding that other right-wing media follow (otherwise, Nicholas Fondacaro and Jay Maxson would not still be employed there). And if Graham and the MRC really cared that much about how conservative media is perceived, they wouldnot have waited until two weeks after the story broke to speak about the scandal.
It should be the easiest thing in the world to criticize Fox News over this scandal -- you would never hear the end of it from the MRC if a non-conservative channel like CNN was involved. But the MRC still wants to be able to have its people appear on the channel and Fox Business to promote its narratives, so it will never perform that easy layup -- it will instead pontificate and play whataboutism to protect Fox News from actual, direct criticism and preserve the right-wing media bubble.