When speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City on Tuesday, President Joe Biden falsely claimed that his administration had cut the federal "debt" by $1.7 trillion during his first two years in office.
In fact, according to the U.S. Treasury, during Biden’s first two years in office—Jan. 20, 2021 through Jan. 20, 2023—the federal debt increased by approximately $3.7 trillion.
Biden may have been mistaking the federal deficit for the federal debt. The deficit is the amount that the federal government spends in excess of its revenues in a given fiscal year. The debt is the money the federal government borrows to cover its deficits.
From fiscal 2020—the year the COVID-19 pandemic hit—to fiscal 2022 (the last full fiscal year on record), the annual federal deficit did drop by $1,756,431,000,000. In fiscal 2020, the deficit was $3,131,917,000,000. In fiscal 2022, it was 1,375,486,000,000. Thus, even though the deficit dropped $1.756 trillion from its pandemic-year high of $3.131 trillion, it still remained above a trillion dollars last year at $1.375 trillion.
Jeffrey failed to disclose the fact that Donald Trump was president when the fiscal year 2020 budget was created, and that Biden was operating under a budget approved under Trump when he took office in January 2021. Indeed, the word "Trump" does not appear at all in this article.
Then, in a Feb. 17 article, Jeffrey did it all again:
In a speech at Lanham, Maryland, on Wednesday, President Joe Biden falsely claimed for the second time in less than three weeks that he had cut the federal "debt” over the past two years.
When Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, the total federal debt was $27,751,896,236,414.77, according to the official numbers published by the U.S. Treasury. As of the close of business on Feb. 15, 2023—the latest day for which the debt numbers are currently available—the total federal debt was $31,454,875,345,039.44.
Thus, during Biden’s presidency the federal debt has increased by $3,702,979,108,624.67.
Biden has not reduced the federal debt; he has increased it by 13.3 percent in a little over two years.
Jeffrey then pedantically lectured Biden:
Does Biden not understand the difference between the annual deficit and the accumulating debt of the federal government? In his Wednesday speech, Biden said that the Republicans were “not going to pay the national debt, which took 200 years to accumulate.” Then he said: “This is a 200-year obligation that’s been accumulated.”
The “deficit” measures the difference between a given fiscal year’s revenues and expenditures. The “debt”—as Biden rightfully pointed out, while claiming he had “cut” it--is the amount that the government has borrowed over the past 200-plus years and has not yet paid back.
Jeffrey then answered his own condescension by admitting that "In his State of the Union Address on Feb. 7, President Biden used the terms 'debt' and 'deficit' accurately and claimed in that speech that he had 'cut the deficit'—not the debt—'by more then $1.7 trillion' in two years." But that forced Jeffrey to do something he has rarely, if ever, done -- explicitly call out Trump by name in acknowledging the debt increase under his presidency:
In his State of the Union, Biden attacked the Trump administration for increasing the “debt” by running a “deficit.”
“Under the previous administration, the American deficit went up four years in a row,” said Biden. “Because of those record deficits, no President added more to the national debt in any four years than my predecessor.
“Nearly 25 percent of the entire national debt that took over 200 years to accumulate was added by just one administration alone—the last one,” said Biden. “They’re the facts. Check it out. Check it out.”
During Trump’s presidency the deficit did in fact increase every year. In fiscal 2017, the year Trump took office, it was $665,446,000,000, according to OMB. In fiscal 2018, it rose to $779,138,000,000. In fiscal 2019, it rose to $983,592,000,000. And, in fiscal 2020, the year the COVID pandemic hit, it skyrocketed to $3,132,439,000,000.
On Jan. 20, 2017, the day Trump took office, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal debt was $19,947,304,555,212.49. On Jan. 20, 2021, the day that Biden succeeded Trump, the federal debt was $27,751,896,236,414.77. Thus, under Trump, the debt rose $7,804,591,681,202.28.
But since CNS is obligated by its partisan agenda to portray Democrats as worse financial stewards than Republicans, Jeffrey tried to spin Trump's deficits by insisting that Biden's not-yet-existing deficits would be much bigger:
Biden’s fiscal 2023 budget proposal, however, called for deficits in excess of $1.1 trillion every year for the next decade. By contrast, Trump ran an annual deficit that exceeded $1 trillion only in fiscal 2020 in the face of the COVID pandemic.
By fiscal 2032, under Biden’s budget proposal, the annual federal deficit would exceed $2 trillion—hitting $2,014,000,000,000
MRC Continued To Exploit Ohio Train Disaster To Push Its Partisan Narratives Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's campaign to exploit a tragedy for political purposes with the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, extended to its ongoing misogynistic war against "The View." Nicholas Fondacaro used a Feb. 23 post to falsely frame a co-host's statement as claiming the town's residents deserved the disaster because they supported Donald Trump:
After 20 days, the vile coven of ABC’s The View finally decided that the train derailment and ecological disaster in East Palestine, Ohio was finally worth mentioning during their Thursday Hot Topics segment. Of course, this was only after Pete Buttigieg, the absent-at-the-wheel Transportation secretary finally arrived in the town. But the joyless Joy Behar took things to a disturbing place when she proclaimed that the residents got what was coming to them because they supported former President Trump.
“Let’s talk about regulations for a second. Because it seems to me that the Republicans are obsessed with the notion of the free market. And they don't like a lot of regulations,” Behar announced.
After hysterical Sara Haines falsely blamed Trump for the derailment (despite the fact that the final report hasn't been released), Behar shouted at the residents of East Palestine through the camera (pictured above) and blamed their voting history for the disaster in their town:
I don't know why they would ever vote for him. For somebody who – By the way, he placed someone with deep ties to the chemical industry in charge of the EPA’s chemical safety office. That's who you voted for, in that district. Donald Trump, who reduces all safety. He did, in those days.
“Do they realize that?” racist Sunny Hostin asked of self-described conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin.
But as a more honest observer pointed out, Behar simply pointed out that the town's residents should be taken in by optics and pay attention to Trump's actual record. Being the highlydishonest "media researcher" he is, Fondacaro never bothered to correct the record. (And, yes, he's still smearing Hostin as a "racist" because he doesn't understand metaphors.)
Fondacaro, joined by Curtis Houck, spread this lie anew in their Feb. 24 podcast, which featured Fondacaro ranting that it "grinds my gears ... to weaponize politics in that way" -- never mind, of course, that the only reason the MRC is interested in covering the derailment in the first place is to weaponize it -- and denouncing people who tried to correct his dishonesty by insisting that what he claimed she said is "implied."
Houck then appeared on Fox News three days later to parrot Fondacaro's lie about Behar:
Shifting to Behar, she said Thursday on The View that East Palestine residents got what they deserved with potentially long-term health problems via the train derailment because they voted for Trump.
Gallagher couldn’t believe it, saying she “says more offensive things than anybody on television.”
Houck pointed out this was par for the course as, she said recently “that people who own firearms have a mental health problem.”
“[I]t’s hard to find a show more repulsive than The View. Imagine if someone on this network in this studio said something like that. CNN and MSNBC, they’d be talking about this forever,” he concluded.
Because at the MRC, narrative is more important than facts -- an odd stance for an organization that claims to be all about "media research."
But the MRC was far from done with exploitng this tragedy to score political points. A Feb. 24 post by Jorge Bonilla complained that one Spanish-language newscast "suggested that “the power of suggestion” is to blame for any symptoms that people might be feeling, rather than the effects of huge chemical fire after a catastrophic derailment" -- odd, since the MRC believes that the power of suggestion turns people gay or transgender. The same day, Kevin Tober declared that "ABC's World News Tonight anchor committed a random act of journalism and challenged Biden on a number of controversies from his administration's abysmal handling of the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio to Biden's irresponsible handling of classified documents in his multiple homes and offices." At the MRC, it's only "journalism" if it advances right-wing narratives.
Three weeks after the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio created an environmental disaster for the working-class residents in town, the leftists on ABC's This Week are finally getting around to second-guessing whether their ally President Joe Biden made a mistake in not visiting and touring the damage and comforting the people who are suffering with the aftermath of the disaster. Of course, the focus of the debate is not on the well-being of the people in East Palestine who are overwhelmingly white working-class Trump supporters. Instead, their only concern is Biden's reputation.
When the Washington Post called out right-wing exploitation of the derailment to score political points (as well as homophobic attacks on Buttigieg), P.J. Gladnick complained in a March 2 post while adding more partisan attacks to the mix:
Despite even some Democrats criticizing Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's response to the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, the Washington Post chose to ignore that and focus in on Republicans who are "seizing" (formerly "pouncing") on the accident to attack poor Buttigieg. Reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb, Ian Duncan, and Justine McDaniel acted more as a Buttiegieg defense team than as journalists on Wednesday in "Republicans seize on train derailment to go after Buttigieg."
The reporters on the Buttigieg defense team conveniently avoided mentioning that long before both the derailment and his term as Transportation Secretary, Mayor Pete even failed to perform the basic task of mayors, namely to fill in potholes on the city streets of South Bend.
During some future presidential primary, you can bet that Buttigieg's Democrat opponents will be "seizing" at the opportunity to slam him for his many failures as Transportation Secretary.
The MRC hates it whenever the bad-faith partisan nature of their attacks are exposed.
The MRC has almost completely ignored the derailment story since then -- apparently, its value as a partisan attack line has been exhausted, so it no longer cares about those affected by the disaster.
Newsmax Columnist Thinks Trump Saved His Life Topic: Newsmax
Bill Robinson's Jan. 23 Newsmax column carried the headline "How Donald Trump Saved My Life." It began with an brief account of Robinson's need for a new kidney, then jumped to an interview he did with Donald Trump:
During my recent interview with President Trump. I was elated, of course, to be alive which is an omnipresent emotion for me these days. The president picked up on this immediately and radiated kindness throughout.
As my interview began with President Trump, I blurted out, “I wanted to thank you for saving my life and thousands of others, President Trump.”
He was surprised that the writer he was talking to was a kidney patient himself. “Oh! Is that true? Are you somebody who had the work done?”
“President Trump,” I started emotionally, “I had been on dialysis for more than two years when you signed your order and six months later, I got the call as I was walking out of church on Christmas Day, 2019, that they had a kidney for me. I got that kidney from a new Hepatitis-C clinical trial program that was really kicked into high gear by your order.”
In the most caring way, President Trump inquired, “And how has it been?”
“Oh, it’s a brand-new world for me, Mr. President.”
President Trump is the only president who ever cared (much less did anything) to help the 40 million-plus Americans afflicted with an epidemic-level contagion sweeping America: kidney failure, dialysis, and, most often, death.
I asked Trump, “Why did you help struggling and dying kidney patients like me? Did you have friends or a family member that were in kidney failure?”
“Well, over the course of years, I’ve known people with this problem, like your problem and over the years, it just sounded like something could be done and it wasn’t being done. So, this was something that could be solved and we thought we could do that.”
Robinson had more gushing to do, so this was followed by a column the next day headlined "How Donald Trump Saved My Life -- Part II":
“Now that you’re off dialysis, I’ll tell you a little story,” President Trump began again, “we had a lot of opposition to doing this … but I said ‘what’s the lifespan of people going through dialysis?’ and they said ‘it’s very low’ … because they ‘have to work so hard’ … they were telling me it’s so hard, dialysis … they die literally of overwork. Does that make sense to you?”
“It’s so true Mr. President,” I agreed wholeheartedly, remembering what it was like for me.
“These people were suffering and dying when there was no reason to die. They said they died of hard work, literally,” the president continued, “you have to be a tremendously hard worker to live. And their lives were devoted to it, to living. And it made an impression on me.”
When President Trump heard about the unbearable difficulty of dialysis, he said to them, “you’ve got to be kidding me. Let’s go!”
“So let me ask you,” the president pursued me, clearly understanding the gravity, “is it like you have a perfect kidney, or has it been a little bit less than that?”
“I am not complaining Mr. President, not at all. I’m steadfastly grateful for the additional life I’ve been given.”
“So, you’re leading a very normal life then, huh?”
“President Trump you wouldn’t believe all the life I’m enjoying. I got to see my namesake grandson turn 4 and the birth of my granddaughter who’s now 2, it’s meant so much to me.”
So, as I pursue an incredible gift of continuing life, I am always thanking and praying for my anonymous deceased donor and their family; my transplant surgeon; President Trump and God Almighty.
Without any of that help, I would not be here today.
The thing that supposedly saved Robinson's life is to the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative that Trump signed in 2019, which had little opposition. But in neither article did he explain what, exactly, in the initiative helped him find a new kidney.
But Robinson is all about sucking up to Trump, and he did even more of that in his Feb. 23 column:
President Trump is a real person with very real feelings.
He’s not a politician, not an elected official, not a bureaucrat.
He’s got a big heart; ask anybody who knows him.
Strange as this sounds to say about a billionaire who was president, Trump is a regular guy with great manners, a super sense of humor and a keen ability — and get this, because it’s one of the reasons he became president — to be unconditionally with somebody when they are speaking to him. He makes you feel like you’re the only person in the world even in a room with 1,000 people.
I experienced this twice in the 1980s in New York when I attended his “Art of the Deal” book launch and a Wall Street event and he gifted me with two minutes of his personal attention, really listening to whatever minutiae I had to share with him.
And we have God Almighty to thank for these traits and for Donald Trump himself.
I’m a New Yorker too, just like Trump. And we recognize each other as human beings. In conversations with me, he always starts by asking how I am doing with my medical condition. He cares.
I can tell you with every fiber of my being that President Trump cares deeply about people he doesn’t know very well or at all.
Robinson served up more Trump-fluffing in his Feb. 28 column touting the "right-to-try" bill Trump supported when president:
It strikes me as very unlikely that Obama or Biden would sign such an important law into effect, as they seem much more interested in closing pipelines, a heinous Cap & Trade program, the shockingly botched Obamacare, censoring conservatives and starting endless wars to feed the all-consuming military-industrial complex.
And what sickening dolt would vote against this compassionate, loving bill trying to give dying people hope? Well, 169 House Dems did. Get that? Can you say “Big Pharma puppets?” Parenthetically, ZERO Republicans voted against it.
Actually, Democrats questioned whether the bill would actually help anyone and argued that it would provide false hope to people. But Trump-fluffing comes before facts, and Robinson ended with a flourish: "I’m hard-pressed to find even one other president who saved lives with the stroke of a pen, much less two as President Trump did."
WND Pushes Another Misleading Claim About COVID Vaccines It Plucked From Anti-Vaxxer Site Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has a badhabit of uncritically repeating misleading COVID-related articles it found on anti-vaxxer websites. An anonymously written Feb. 8 article served up another one:
Dr. Anthony Fauci ended up looking arrogant and narcissistic when he was making demands that Americans wear COVID masks, take experimental shots and such during the pandemic.
After all, he had the nerve to solemnly announced, "I am science."
It was just as he was leaving his highly paid government post that reports started appearing about "dirt" on him.
That came as members of Congress pointedly said he'd be needing to answer their questions.
Now a report from Just the News makes Fauci look even worse.
It cited a paper produced by the government, including Fauci, that suggested federal health officials "knew COVID vaccines were doomed from the start."
"Decidedly suboptimal," was the conclusion.
The report explained, "Anthony Fauci knows why COVID-19 vaccines have been so unreliable at halting infection and transmission beyond a few months. He waited until he stepped down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to publicly explain it."
The medical journal Cell Host and Microbe has published a "perspective" led by Fauci's office in the government showing NIAID had "good reason" to think the experimental shots "would fail."
Because this comes straight from social media and not actual journalists, you will not be surpised that our anonymous WND writer's interpretation is highly misleading. As an actual news organization reported:
“The article DOES NOT say these vaccines don’t work, just that they don’t work as well as we want them and need them to work,” Morens wrote in an email Friday.
In their paper, the authors acknowledge that current vaccines for the flu, COVID and other respiratory viruses aren’t effective in protecting against any and all illness over a person’s entire life, whereas vaccines for other respiratory illnesses such as measles, mumps, and rubella effectively confer lifetime immunity.
They then suggest exploring new approaches to respiratory virus vaccines. That includes, among other things, utilizing a “nasal spray or even a lung spray; trying different vaccine schedules and repeat doses; seeing if there is a way to boost the innate immune system,” according to Morens.
“The only thing new in this paper is the tying together of well known scientific and public health knowledge into a bigger picture of challenges to development of new vaccines,” he wrote. “It asks, in essence, OK, these vaccines aren’t perfect, so what are some of the things we might try to do to improve them?”
Fauci, in a separate email, stressed the COVID-19 vaccine has proven effective in preventing the severest symptoms that could lead to hospitalization and death.
“That is the life-saving aspect of the vaccine,” he wrote. “Point in question: I got infected even though I was vaccinated and boosted, but I had a very mild infection. Given my age, if I had not been vaccinated, the chances are that I might have gotten severely ill.”
Juliet Morrison, a microbiology professor at the University of California, Riverside, agreed that the social media posts are misleading.
“There is no ‘bombshell’ here,” she wrote in an email, referencing how some online are characterizing the piece. “The paper is saying that the current approach doesn’t work as well as it could, so we need to explore new approaches.”
Megan Ranney, deputy dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, added that credible scientific research backs up the paper’s premise.
“That claim is hogwash,” she wrote in an email. “The data is clear (and the paper is clear) that Covid vaccines have significantly decreased severe disease and hospitalization, and that they decrease (but do not eliminate) infection and transmission.”
WND won't tell you any of this, of course -- instead, it tried to manufactiure a conspiracy theory: "The report noted the paper was published with no evidence of peer review, raising the possibility 'that authors Fauci, his senior scientific adviser David Morens, and Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section Chief Jeffery Taubenberger could time the submission so its publication wouldn't cause problems for the then-NIAID leader.'"
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax's Victimhood Blitz Topic: Newsmax
DirecTV dropped Newsmax from its TV lineup, and it has been loudly playing the victim ever since, recruiting every right-winger it can find to help it complain -- but the Media Research Center is not really helping. Read more >>
MRC Exploits Ohio Train Derailment To Push Anti-Biden Agenda Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center didn't care about the derailment of a train in East Palestine, Ohio, carrying hazardous chemicals when it happened on Feb. 3. It was only when it decided it could be politically exploited to bash the Biden administration and advance its anti-media agenda that it started paying attention. Thus, on Feb. 14 -- 11 days after the derailment -- Curtis Houck and Bill D'Agostino penned the MRC's first post on the derailment, accusing the TV networks of ignoring the story and baselessly implying it was because the town's population is mostly white:
On February 3, East Palestine, Ohio was rocked by a train derailment carrying a host of toxic chemicals, leading to a five-day-long evacuation order for nearly 5,000 Ohio and Pennsylvania residents. Three days later, the rail operator triggered a controlled burn of the toxic chemicals to prevent an explosion and declared the operation a success.
But the fallout is far from over. There have been widespread reports of chickens and fish dying, new chemicals discovered, pets falling ill, and residents complaining< of health complications. Unfortunately, the liberal broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have completely moved on from the story.
For the broadcast networks to revisit East Palestine now would be to admit that their prior abandonment of it was an error born out of laziness and a lack of curiosity.
Unfortunately for East Palestine, their demographics and location in a red-tilting state like Ohio make them a wholly unappetizing topic for the corporate liberal media. According to the latest breakdown, East Palestine is 93.5 percent white, three percent Hispanic, and only 0.36 percent black.
But at least not all of the TV news media lost interest so quickly. Along with CNN, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and NewsNation, even the taxpayer-funded leftists at PBS have had their priorities in order.
Houck and D'Agostino didn't explain why they and the MRC had totally ignored the derailment until now. Of course, the MRC would demonstrate its own laziness and lack of curiousity shortly afterward by ignoring the bombshell revelations that Fox News lied to its views as revealed in the Dominion filings.
On Tuesday, NewsBusters reported that the broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC had abandoned the environmental fallout from the February 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio on their flagship morning and evening shows with zero seconds on ABC and only a minute and 42 seconds on CBS and NBC after an evacuation order was lifted on February 8.
But since the study’s publication and public outcry about the threats posed to the community’s air, food, residents, and water supply, the liberal networks rediscovered the issue Wednesday morning for a combined six minutes and 42 seconds with Tuesday’s CBS Evening News having a 31-second brief.
Houck offered no evidence that the MRC had anything whatsoever with the networks resuming coverage of the story. Tim Graham also hyped the lack of coverage in his Feb. 15 podcast.
Alex Christy spent a Feb. 16 post being mad at a late-night TV host for noting how train safety rules were rolled back during the Trump administration:
NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers has a theory on Wednesday as to why the train carrying toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio, derailed: Donald Trump. This theory was basically a retelling of the talking points being spouted off by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
During his “Closer Look” segment, Meyers declared, “And by the way, rail workers and their unions have been warning for years about deteriorating safety conditions and demanding better work standards. Instead, these massively profitable rail companies poured money into stock buybacks and dividends and lobbied for safety regulations to be repealed. For example, in 2018, the Trump Administration rolled back a train braking rule meant to keep oil tankers from exploding near communities. I mean, of [bleep] course he did.”
Christy then tried to give Trump a pass: "Rule or no rule, since 1990 there has been an average of 1,704 derailments per year." Which, of course, raises the question of why the MRC is so desperate to give this particular one coverage.
Indeed, Houck served up a Feb. 17 post complaining that the networks weren't giving sufficient coverage to the derailment, then going on to defend comparing coverage to that of Fox News:
Oftentimes, NewsBusters will point out a contrast between networks with the Fox News Channel on cable conveying the seriousness of a story either downplayed or ignored on the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC). In this case, take notice of how radically different two broadcast networks were in their framing compared to the third.
Houck is being dishonest. The actual reason the MRC does this is beause Fox News is a leader is establishing right-wing narratives -- after all, it wouldn't cover a story if those narratives weren't served. The MRC can then use Fox News' coverage of that story as a cudgel to attack the "liberal media." That's how the right-wing media bubble works.
When the New York Times pointed out right-wingers' obsession with politicizing the derailment story for partisan purposes, Clay Waters complained in a Feb. 19 post:
Stuart Thompson, who patrols the “online information flows” beat for the New York Times, hit out at “right-wing” outlets for not trusting the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this month that spewed the carcinogen vinyl chloride and resulted in evacuations for miles around. Thompson dismissed concerns, at least those by conservatives on Friday: “‘Chernobyl 2.0’? Feverish Speculation After Derailment, Fire and Toxic Smoke.”
Yes, the same paper trying to make you terrified of gas stoves is downplaying the crash of a train carrying toxic materials and criticizing those who question the federal response. And perhaps Thompson of all reporters shouldn’t jump too soon and immediately dismiss accusations as right-wing conspiracies?
The Times seemed more concerned about conservatives gaining traction against the Biden administration's response than the actual unfolding ecological disaster.
And the MRC is more concerned with expoiting a disaster for partisan gain than the actual disaster. Meanwhile, Christy lashed out at another late-night host while serving as an apologist for the rail company that caused the derailment:
CBS's The Late Show host Stephen Colbert admitted on Monday that he doesn’t know if deregulation and capitalism are to blame for the East Palestine train derailment, but that did not stop him from encouraging Sen. Bernie Sanders to use the situation to hype his book It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism.
Starting the third segment with Sanders, Colbert proclaimed that, “There were some regulations that were put into place under the Obama Administration. They may or may not have had any effect in this case but they were definitely rolled back all during the Trump Administration, after heavy lobbying from Norfolk Southern and other railroads.”
Colbert does not appear to realize that he broke his own embargo on the word “Trump,” but more seriously, buried near the bottom of a fact-check of Occupy Democrats on the claim “Obama imposed stricter rules on trains carrying toxins. Trump killed them,” that PolitiFact declared “mostly true,” were two sentences that would suggest the opposite, “The Facebook post includes an image of the aftermath of the train derailment in Ohio. However, this rule, if it had remained in effect, would not have applied to that Norfolk Southern train as it was not categorized as ‘high-hazard.’”
Houck spent a Feb. 21 post complaining that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is not being personally blamed for causing the derailment:
The East Palestine, Ohio train derailment entered a new phase this week as the liberal media blamed Donald Trump for the toxic dump of hazardous chemicals into the air and water supply, and painted the semi-present Biden administration and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as heroes for this working-class town who’ll crack down on the train operator, Norfolk Southern, for any mishandling of the clean-up.
Among the critics last week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called for him to resign (which led to some pathetic spin from Buttigieg’s media allies), the area Congressman gave Buttigieg a failing grade, and many noted it took Buttigieg ten days to even comment on the derailment. Even the far-left magazine The Nation panned his response to the crisis.
But because Stephanopoulos gingerly went about presenting the blowback, Buttigieg ran out the clock by saying he “plan[s] to go and our folks were on the ground from the first hours” nd suggested his presence would interfere with an investigation into the derailment’s cause.
“[W]hen I go, the focus is going to be on action. Look, I was mayor of my hometown for eight years. We dealt with a lot of disasters, natural and human,” he stated, adding that he’d be a man of action and not someone “there to look good and have their picture taken.”
We thought right-wingers like Houck opposed government intervention in local matters. From there, it was more whining from Kevin Tober that Trump administration policies were called out as possible contributors to the disaster, followed by a gleeful post from Joseph Vazquez that PolitiFact (which the MRC normally despises for committing the offense of fact-checking conservatives) found that the Trump-era regulation rollback did not factor in the cause of the derailment, which "flies in the face of liberal media outlets infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome trying to use the deregulated 2015 Obama rule as a cudgel to wantonly blame Trump for the derailed train." Vazquez didn't explain why he found PolitiFact so trustworthy all of a sudden.
Mark Finkelstein, meanwhile, was annoyed that MSNBC's "Morning Joe" highlighted how Fox News defending President Biden for not immediately rushing to the scene of the derailment -- which is to day, it did what his co-worker Vazquez had done regarding PolitiFact:
Fox News is the network that Morning Joe loves to hate. Similar to the way the show will often refuse to even mention Donald Trump by name, referring to him only as "the former president," Morning Joe will often make a sneering reference to "certain networks," while obviously targeting Fox.
So it was what we could call a Sudden Respect moment when today's Morning Joe praised Fox News in general, and Brit Hume in particular, for their defense of President Biden's trip to Ukraine before making a possible visit to East Palestine, Ohio in the wake of the train derailment there.
Morning Joe played a clip of Bret Baier mentioning that it has not been historically common for Transportation Secretaries to visit the site of train derailments, especially when there are no fatalities. Baier pointed out that during the Trump administration, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao didn't visit train-disaster sites, including ones involving loss of life, whereas there was no loss of life in East Palestine.
Morning Joe then played an extended clip of Hume opining that a president's key duty is to the security of the United States, and in that context, Biden's visit to Ukraine took precedence over a visit to East Palestine.
"Morning Joe" is, of course, the show that Finkelstein loves (and gets paid) to hate.
WND's Lively Has Conspiracy Theory Involving Obama And Pope Francis (With Added Homophobia, Of Course) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Recently, Catholic writer and editor Rod Dreher of The American Conservative published a stunning article titled "Benedict XVI: It is The Time of Antichrist," sub-titled "In 2015, [Pope Benedict XVI] wrote letter to Catholic statesman Vladimir Palko, urging prayer against the 'expanding power of the Antichrist.'" The short missive was a note of appreciation for Palko's book "The Lions Are Coming: Why Europe And America Are Heading for a New Tyranny" (not available in English). Palko's personal embargo of the letter ended with the Benedict's death, and Dreher is apparently the first to reveal its contents, the essence of which is just one sentence long:
"As one sees the power of Antichrist spreading, one can only pray that the Lord will give us mighty shepherds to defend His Church against the power of evil in this hour of need."
In 2015 when this letter was written, Benedict had been in seclusion/captivity in Vatican City for over a year after what I and many Catholic leaders and lay-persons believe was a forced abdication orchestrated by Barack Obama to install his ideological ally Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina (who became Pope Francis in March of 2013). My detailed arguments supporting this conclusion are published here:
One especially significantly fact is that this Vatican coup occurred shortly after a report Pope Benedict had commissioned finally confirmed the existence of a powerful "gay mafia" in the Vatican (an open secret that had been publicly hinted at by his predecessor Pope John Paul).
I have been unapologetic in stating I believe Barack Obama is both a homosexual and (still) a prime candidate for the Antichrist, and that I believe the widespread societal embrace of so-called "gay pride" will be the issue that triggers the wrath of God against the world under the reign of the Antichrist. I believe Obama is the puppeteer controlling Joe Biden and is thus the choreographer of today's expanding geopolitical chaos. And we must never forget that it was the tag-team of Obama and Pope Francis that launched the current globalist blueprint for one-world government, the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" at the United Nations in 2015.
Following a private meeting with Obama on Sept. 23 of that year, Francis gave an unprecedented address to Congress the next day (gushingly reported), and then on the 25th officially launched the "2030 Agenda" with a speech to the U.N. General Assembly. It is in the context of these events, whose Vatican City preparations began long before Francis' trip to the U.S., that Pope Benedict penned his Antichrist warning.
No sooner had I filed my Tuesday column, "Pope Benedict and his recently released Antichrist letter," contending in part that "Pope" Francis had been installed by Obama to push the LGBT agenda, when news broke that Benedict had authorized the posthumous publication of a book highly critical of Francis for his obvious pro-homosexual sympathies and creeping advocacy of the agenda. Benedict specifically condemned the spread of open homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, especially in America, where it is not merely tolerated but approved.
This is no secret to conservative Catholics, many of whom call Francis an "Anti-Pope" and believe that Benedict was "the restrainer" of 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Bolstering their theory, Francis followed that breaking news with a bombshell of his own, calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality around the world – the very same thing President Trump shamefully allowed Ric Grinell to do as ambassador to Germany (the perversion capital of Europe). This suggests a globalist game-plan is in play for flipping conservatives using the same incrementalism that snared the liberals in decades past. (Beware this snare, you MAGA patriots, and encourage Trump to repent of that compromise!)
I have long supported the re-criminalization of homosexuality (and adultery) here in America, along with a policy of very light enforcement like the 1950s – primarily to prevent the public advocacy of it or endorsement by government. Don't ask, don't tell should be culture-wide. An interim step solving many of our social crises today would be to adopt the Russian law banning LGBT propaganda to children.
There is no legitimate basis in the church or the larger society for whitewashing God's warning in Leviticus 18 (reaffirmed in Romans 1) that social acceptance of sexual perversion, especially homosexuality, will cause the land to "vomit out" its inhabitants. Any church or pastor – or pope – who does this is biblically untrustworthy at best.
Newsmax Tried To Defend Republicans Over Cutting Social Security, Medicare Topic: Newsmax
Like otherConWeboutlets, Newsmax did what it could to defend Republicans against the (accurate) claim President Biden made during his State of the Union address that some Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare. First, though, there was a dismissive prebuttal in the form of a Feb. 6 article by Jay Clemons: "Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich already has begun criticizing President Joe Biden's upcoming State of the Union address, predicting it will be a 'very boring' speech, highlighted by a number of 'untruths' designed to get Democratic Party members of the House and Senate 'desperately cheering.'"
When the speech turned out not only to be not boring but also featured Biden calling out Republicans for their desire to cut Social Security and Medicare, Newsmax sprung into defense mode. Charlie McCarthy had a roundup of Republicans attacking the speech, including far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene calling Biden a "liar" for making that claim. Then it was time for Newsmax to have a parade of Republicans attacking the claim (despite the fact that numerous Republicans are on the record as expressing their desire to cut Social Security and Medicare):
Newsmax's columnists whined about this as well. Michael Dorstewitz denounced the claim in his Feb. 8 column: "This is a common claim made by Democrats. But it’s unfounded for one simple reason — it would be disastrous to the party." Larry Bell complained in his Feb. 10 column:
Republicans booed and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shouted “liar” when Joe falsely stated that some among them proposed to “sunset” Medicare and Social Security.
He was apparently disingenuously referring to Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. who only suggested that all federal legislation be subject to renewal every five years in order to “fix” and “preserve” those social programs so that they are financially solvent for the long term.
A Feb. 10 article by Charles Kim served as Scott's PR guy, helping him clean up the mess that Biden called out:
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced his bill Friday to strengthen Social Security and Medicare after President Joe Biden accused him of trying to cut the entitlement programs during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
"I have been fighting since Day One to protect and preserve programs like Social Security and Medicare for Florida's seniors, and today I am proud to announce new legislation, my Protect Our Seniors Act, to safeguard the benefits of these critical entitlements," Scott said in a press release Friday.
Republicans attending the speech on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol heckled Biden, calling him a liar for the accusation.
Scott said Friday that his bill would rescind funding for 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents approved earlier this year in the Inflation Reduction Act, and redirect to funds to strengthen the programs for seniors.'
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., updated his Rescue America plan to exclude Social Security, Medicare, and the U.S. Navy from his proposal to sunset all federal legislation in five years.
Scott's changes come after his sunset proposal was blasted by President Joe Biden, Democrats, and some Republicans.
Scott wrote that his sunset proposal "was obviously not intended to include entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security — programs that hard-working people have paid into their entire lives — or the funds dedicated to our national security.
"I have never supported cutting Social Security or Medicare, ever. To say otherwise is a disingenuous Democrat lie from a very confused president. And Sen. Mitch McConnell is also well aware of that. It's shallow 'gotcha' politics, which is what Washington does."
Scott further said that Americans outside of Washington knew what he intended when he first released his Rescue America plan.
Living up to his name, McCarthy served only as a shill for Scott and avoided mentioning the obvious point that Scott would never had bothered to amend his plan if it was actually true that "Americans outside of Washington knew what he intended." Newsmax followed this with an anonymously written article noting that the Biden White House was making fun of Scott for amending his plan.
Biden's strategy was so successful, however, that a Feb. 20 article by Theodore Bunker highlighted Republicans trying to fight the claim:
Republicans are looking to push back against claims by Democrats that the GOP is looking to cut Social Security and Medicare, the Washington Examiner reports.
President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address that some Republicans want to put those programs "on the chopping block," a claim that some are hoping to counter.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., hit out at critics in an opinion piece released on Friday rejecting claims made by critics that his plan to sunset federal programs after five years unless extended by Congress is an attempt to cut Social Security and Medicare.
"I have never supported cutting Social Security or Medicare, ever." he wrote. "To say otherwise is a disingenuous Democratic lie from a very confused president."
Bunker didn't mention that Scott's plan to sunset all federal programs was the impetus for Biden claiming that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Then, a Feb. 22 article by Craig Bannister repeated a slanted Rasmussen poll of the kind CNS loves to promote:
Nearly three in four U.S. adults agree that “It’s okay to be white,” results of a new Rasmussen survey reveal.
In a survey of 1,000 American adults, conducted February 13-15, Rasmussen asked:
“Do you agree or disagree with this statement: ‘It’s OK to be white.’”
In response, 58% said they “strongly agree” that it’s OK to be white and another 14% said they at least “somewhat agree.”
Bannister didn't mention that the phrase "It's OK to be white" has been promoted by white nationalists -- and, in a poll, is a loaded question designed to generate specific answers that advance right-wing narratives. This poll, however, set Adams on a racist tirade in which he declared that "the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from black people" -- a rant that caused hundreds of newspapers to drop "Dilbert" and publishers to drop book deals with him.
CNS devoted no news coverage to this story, even though it was major news. Instead, it published a Feb. 28 op-ed by Jeff Charles, "socio-political corresponcent" at right-wing site Liberty Nation, that talked about the controversy and tried to whitewash things:
It all started with a poll. After looking at a Rasmussen survey supposedly revealing that almost half of the black American population does not think it is okay for white people to be white, Dilbert creator and political commentator Scott Adams went on a rant that set social media ablaze and likely set a world record for the number of pearls clutched in one day.
Those familiar with Adams’ work speculated that he was deliberately poking the bear, eliciting outrage to prompt a larger conversation. In subsequent broadcasts and an appearance on social media influencer Hotep Jesus’ YouTube channel, the cartoonist clarified his remarks that set the record straight but likely did not quell most of the handwringing outrage coming from folks on both the left and right. If his conversation with Hotep Jesus is “Act Three,” as Adams indicated, where will this film take us next?
Charles didn't mention that "Hotep Jesus" (real name: Bryan Sharpe) is best known as an anti-Semitic media troll, meaning he may have not have been the best person for Adams to seek help in clearing his racist name.He did, however, acknowledge that white supremacists have embraced the "It's OK to be white." Nevertheless, he insisted on continuing totrying to clean up Adams' reputation and portray him as nothing more than an "out-of-the-box thinker":
The conversation between Adams and Hotep Jesus covered a variety of topic, mostly pertaining to race. In the discussion, Adams acknowledged that he made his incendiary remarks to provoke a conversation on the subject. Indeed, those who have watched his work over the years know that while Adams is an out-of-the-box thinker, there seems to be a method to his madness and that he is known for expressing viewpoints that are out of the ordinary.
Nevertheless, as Adams knew would happen, folks are trying to destroy his career and source of income, which doesn’t seem to matter to the cartoonist as he explained that he plans to retire in the near future. Moreover, he indicated that this is only the third act of this particular movie, so perhaps we should expect to see more of the fallout in short order.
Actually, Adams did a fine job of destroying his own career -- nobody mnade him say that, and Charles' attempt to bestow victimhood on him for saying it falls very flat.
MRC Not Helping Much With Newsmax's Victimhood Narrative Topic: Media Research Center
When DirecTV dropped right-wing channel One America News last year in the wake of defamation lawsuits the channel faced over false claims about election fraud it aired during the 2020 election, the Media Research Center did surprisingly little with it, offering only perfunctory victimhood over the cancellation and a bare minimum of coverage. The MRC has taken the same approach over DirecTV dropping Newsmax in a fee dispute. It did start out strong, however, in a Jan. 25 post by Joseph Vazquez touting how MRC employees went on Newsmax to push the channel's talking points:
There appears to be a trend going on at liberal video programming distributor DirecTV. The company dropped Newsmax from its channel lineup just months after it nixed One America News from the platform.
Newsmax reported Jan. 25 that DirecTV “cut” the outlet’s “signal, immediately shutting the network off from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse." Newsmax said it 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 Media CEO Christopher Ruddy didn’t mince words about the implications of what DirecTV did: “‘This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.’”
“Is this a new form of red-lining where Big Media is trying to keep conservatives out of the marketplace?” asked MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider. “Newsmax is a highly-rated network that has proved its market value. Conservatives should be very concerned about what’s going on.”
On Wednesday morning, NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham and Managing Editor Curtis Houck joined Newsmax's National Report to react to DirecTV's decision. Speaking to hosts Shaun Kraisman and Emma Rechenberg, Houck also said it was “very concerning” and noted that Newsmax is closer to CNN and MSNBC in the ratings than the two far-left networks are to the Fox News Channel.
For his part, Graham called out the fact that, while liberals object to Newsmax being allowed on TV packages, Americans haven't had a choice as to whether their tax dollars go to fund far-left news outlets in NPR and PBS.
Vazquez noted the lawsuit OAN failed against DirecTV over getting dropped, but he didn't note that OAN lost a key ruling in the lawsuit just a couple weeks earlier.
Vazquez peddled more pro-Newsmax talking points in a Jan. 27 post:
Even a liberal media outlet raised questions about DirecTV’s standard of fairness in how it’s treating Newsmax in comparison to the leftist channels distributed on its platform.
Newsweek’s Jan. 26 headline didn’t beat around the bush: “Newsmax Ratings Compared to Vice Raises Questions About DirecTV Fairness.” Newsmax reported after having its signal cut that it 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.”
After propping up DirecTV’s excuse that it didn’t give Newsmax a “carriage fee” due to supposedly low ratings, noted Newsmax’s point that the leftist “Vice TV receives full carriage and license fees from DirecTV, despite having an audience of [only] 60,000, according to USTVDB figures.”
Actually, Newsweek has moved conservative in recent years, meaning that Vazquez's description of the operation as "liberal' is inaccurate. And as we've noted, Vice is included in a package of other channels by its owner, A&E Networks, and DirecTV pays one fee to get all of that provider's channels. Further, Vazquez failed to report in either of these posts that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, which means any argument about viewpoint censorship is moot.
Jeffrey Lord seved up his own right-wing victimhood spin in his Jan. 28 column:
There is nothing really new here. Whether it is barring some conservative speaker from speaking on a college campus or de-platforming an entire conservative TV channel or demanding that the late Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or any other talk radio or TV host be yanked off the air, the objective is always the same: in the name of democracy, shut down free speech, the central pillar of any democracy.
In contrast to Vazquez, Lord gets credit for not only noting that DirecTV repaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel but also disclosing that "I am a NewsMax contributor."
The MRC then went silent for a month. But Vazquez resurface with a March 2 post to spread a conspiracy theory:
It appears that DirecTV dubiously dropping Newsmax and One America News within months of each other may be connected to the lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against the two news outlets.
AT&T, which holds the majority ownership stake in DirecTV (70 percent), is overseen by its liberal Board Chairman William Kennard, who’s been accused of directly interfering in the decision by DirecTV to drop OAN April 2022. This development happened just under a year after it was reported that Dominion Voting Systems, the voting tech company that was the subject of controversy during the 2020 election, had launched billion-dollar lawsuits against both OAN and Newsmax in 2021 for spreading what NPR called “misinformation” about “rigging the ballots.” DirecTV has since deplatformed both outlets.
Kennard is one of the three executive board members of Staple Street Capital, the middle market private equity firm that — along with the Dominion Voting Systems management team — acquired Dominion Voting Systems in 2018. Kennard’s executive role at Staple Street Capital — of which he reportedly joined in 2014 — involved “principally focus[ing] on the communications and media sectors and other regulated industries.” Kennard also joined AT&T’s board in 2014, and was named AT&T chairman just three days after the tumultuous 2020 election.
In other words, the chairman of the company that owns the programming distributor that dropped OAN and Newsmax, is also an executive board member of the firm that owns the voting company that’s suing both outlets.
Note how Vazquez tried to undercut Dominion's allegations -- which are, in fact, valid enough that its lawsuit against Newsmax is continuing -- by dishonestly framing them as "what NPR called 'misinformation.'" He also didn't metion that Newsmax retracted false claims made on the channel about a Dominion official.
Vazquez didn't explain why a "news" outlet that has demonstrably forwarded false information so eghregious that it's being sued over them is solehow entitied to a permanent slot on DirecTV to keep spreading falsehoods.
Meanwhile, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has barely noted the situation, publishing only columns by Craig Shirley and Bill Donohue (both of which were also published by Newsmax) decrying the situation and devoting no "news" articles whatsoever to the story.
WND's Mercer Wants Republicans To Help White People More Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ilana Mercer likes to complain that Republicans aren't helping white people enough, and she did so again in her Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily column. She started out by complaining that Republicans took the "bait" of classified documents in President Biden's possession and are caught arguing "the differences between the infractions of the Democrats' guy (Biden) and our guy's transgressions (Trump's)," then complained that Republicans are "unserious about its rights-based constitutional obligations to the voters." You will not be surprised to learn that the "obligations" about which Republicans should be as obsessed as her are heavily on hating immigrants and helping white people:
Impeaching Biden for the country having been invaded and consequently permanently altered. The demographic tipping point has arrived, and Biden had heralded it in opening the border by presidential decree. From here on in, America will be what I term in the book "Into the Cannibal's Pot" a dominant-party state.The Vandals and Huns, the Goths and Visigoths are here to stay by invitation of the American treason class.
Demanding day-in, day-out that the 4-5 million outlaws invited into the country illegally be rounded up and deported, and not one more penny be confiscated from taxpayers to pay for their keep and safe passage into American communities.The overtone window alludes to a range of ideas once considered unthinkable, but now normalized. With their flaccid, crushingly stupid responses to most situations, for example the self-induced "crisis" on the southwestern border, Republicans have normalized an open border, through which millions of impoverished people are flowing.
Forthwith repealing all manner of COVID restrictions, including the ban on white, unvaccinated non-citizens from vising the U.S.Why do I assert that the travel ban on the unvaccinated is anti-white? Simply because the regulation stipulates that foreigners from "countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability" may be forgiven for entering the United States unvaccinated! Witness the southwestern border. The rule banning unvaccinated non-citizens is thus a proxy for race, engineered to privilege brown and black Third Worlders and disfavor those Westerners who, while having had the good sense to reject the kill shot, travel from countries in which the "mRNAgent Orange" is abundant.
Defunding all institutions that practice woke anti-whiteness starting with public schools, tertiary, secondary, primary and kindergarten. Add gender ideology. Yes, the Democrats are the party of sexual-offenders-by-proxy, of violent criminals, outlaws and scofflaws. If not by commission, Republicans are guilty by omission, having allowed the normalization of the unthinkable.
Exploring the launch of Civil Rights action against any financial institution engaged in financial deplatforming of innocent individuals, based on thought crimes harbored and impolite speech spoken.
Yes, she really did write "overtone window." Apparently, neither she nor WND has editors who would catch that sort of thing.
Mercer also included a video of her talking about this with podcast partner David Vance, who had been kicked off Twitter a few years back for spewing racism. That tells you the kind of people she hangs out with -- not surprising, given that the South Africa native has a soft spot for apartheid.
MRC Loved 'Dilbert' Cartoonist's Right-Wing Leanings -- But Is Silent On His Racism Topic: Media Research Center
Even before it published an error-ridden post last September falsely claiming that his "Dilbert" comic was dropped by a newspaper chain for making fun of liberals, the Media Research Center was a longtime champion of the right-wing turn of cartoonist Scott Adams:
A 2013 post noted that a Paul Krugman-like character had been added to the comic strip, adding that "Paul Krugman is now both literally and figuratively a cartoon."
A June 2016 post by P.J. Gladnick complained that Adams' right-wing turn was called out, insisting in response that "Adams has been so amazingly correct in his analysis of why Trump is winning."
A November 2016 post by Gladnick hyped Adams criticizing CNN for the purported "lengths they go to in order to avoid mentioning Hillary Clinton's name or her troubles."
A March 2017 post by the disgraced Tom Blumer touted how Adams "spotted the Donald Trump phenomenon early on" and repeated his attacking on a New Yorker "hit piece" about him.
In a May 2017 post, Gladnick gushed over how Adams "had a good laugh" over a tweet by Keith Olbermann regarding Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey.
A few days later, Aly Nielsen hyped a "Dilbert" storyline in which "Dilbert’s boss invited a climate scientist to explain how climatologists predicted the impact of climate change. The result was a hilarious send-up of how such scientists respond."
A December 2018 post by Gladnick featured Adams complaining that images of him in a Google search are manipulated images of him as a Nazi and how "Adams gave Google a deadline to remove those offensive images."
Gladnick followed with a February 2019 post noting that Adams "brought up an interesting thesis in a Tweet on Friday about whether Trump Derangement Syndrome could be used as a legal defense in the future for people who acted criminally or immorally."
Then came last month, when Adams went on a racist tirade (which would seem to show that the manipulated Nazi images were merely prescient) that caused his comic to be dropped by hundreds of newspapers. Neither Gladnick nor anyone else at the MRC has referenced this incident or Adams since -- not even to denounce Adams even though that would be the easiest thing in the world to do. It was also silent when Elon Musk defended Adams in a tweet he later deleted -- which also would have been an easy layup.
NEW ARTICLE: Joseph Farah's Trump Restoration Project Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily editor's wild plan to return Donald Trump to the presidency by first making him House speaker actually got slightly closer to reality for a very brief time (though he may have to fight Wayne Allyn Root over credit for the plan). Read more >>
But you didn't read about any of this at the Media Research Center because it remains a group of Musk fanboys and his PR operation. A Feb. 10 post by Catherine Salgado cheerily touted a far-right congresswoman naming a bill based on the selectively released "Twitter files" after Musk:
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) issued a press release on Thursday announcing that she introduced the Exposing Lewd Outlays for Social Networking Companies Act, or the ELON Act, to audit Big Tech’s collusion with the government to censor Americans. The ELON Act also puts a year’s moratorium on FBI payments to tech companies.
The congresswoman quoted Elon Musk who tweeted that, “Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.”
Renata Kiss quoting Musk-fluffing from others in a Feb. 14 post:
Renowned podcast host Joe Rogan and Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi hashed out Elon Musk’s quirky business strategy at Twitter that ticked off many on the left.
On Monday, podcast host Joe Rogan released a conversation with guest Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi where they discussed “eccentric billionaire” Twitter owner Elon Musk’s leadership style and the platform’s sudden turn towards free speech despite media backlash. Rogan said Elon Musk “truly believes that censored social media is a threat to democracy.” He added, “I believe it too.”
The pair discussed the radical transparency Musk has brought to the platform through the Twitter files.
Kiss added that "Joe Rogan has been adamant about the liberal media’s silence over The Twitter Files, which he equated with a Watergate level scandal on a previous episode" -- which, of course, the MRC previously hyped.
The next day, Kiss cheered Musk's recitation of right-wing talking points:
Elon Musk says Big Tech oligarchs in San Francisco shouldn’t impose their values on the world for the sake of the future of our civilization.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk warned against Silicon Valley elitism at the World Government Summit in Dubai. He referred to the rampant censorship under Twitter’s previous leadership and said it was important “for the future of civilization to try to correct that thumb on the scale,” and to “have Twitter more accurately reflect ... the people of earth.”
Musk highlighted the stark contrast between “the rest of the world” and the “niche ideology” of Twitter headquarters and its progressive San Francisco neighborhoods.
“That’s the general idea to reflect the values of the people as opposed to imposing the values of essentially San Francisco and Berkeley–which are somewhat of a niche ideology as compared to the rest of the world.”
Needless to say, none of these posts mentioned Musk's own elitism in demanding that everyone see his tweets whether they want to or not.Meanwhile, Autumn Johnson had a new "Twitter files" drop to uncritically promote in a Feb. 20 post:
The latest drop of Twitter Files shows that a United States senator's campaign director pressured the company to target his political opponents.
Independent journalist Matt Taibbi posted a thread of tweets illustrating how government officials intentionally targeted constituents and political rivals as "Russian-controlled." Taibbi’s reporting revealed that Sen. Angus King's (I-ME) campaign director and Mark Lenzi, a State Department official, each separately pressured Twitter to censor certain accounts on the platform.
A 2018 email from a Twitter official indicated that King's campaign director flagged< approximately 354 "suspicious" accounts to Twitter. Some of the accounts appear to have included supporters of his opponent at the time, Maine Republican State Sen. Eric Brakey.
But as Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall pointed out, King flagged both conservative and liberal accounts that were considered suspicious -- but Taibbi wrote only about the conservative ones. Taibbi effectively confirmed his laziness in a later tweet. Johnson never updated her post to note the whole story -- she seems mot to understand that if all Taibbi is doing is serving as a servile stenographer for Musk, he's not an "independent journalist."
Instead, the Musk-fluffing continued in a post the same day by Joseph Vazquez:
It appears the liberal media doomsaying over how Twitter owner Elon Musk was supposedly going to make the company implode by cutting the old regime’s censorship-obsessed workforce in half was nothing but noise. And even a Washington Postcolumnist had to eat crow.
Post columnist Megan McArdle was blunt in her Feb. 19 op-ed: “How Elon Musk fired Twitter staff and broke nothing.” She admitted right off the bat that she was “incredulous” when “Musk said he was going to cut up to 75 percent of Twitter’s workforce last year.”
McArdle noted that she initially viewed Musk’s workforce overhaul as “over the top,” “so obviously irrational” and she pointed to an October 2022 column where she lambasted Musk’s method as nonsensical.
“Layoffs of that magnitude mean critical operations running at half strength,” she said at the time. But now, in retrospect, it seems McArdle has had a change in perspective. “[S]ure, in the end he only laid off half the staff, but … half the staff! Yet the site is still running,” she said.
But it turns out that Vazquez's serving of crow to McArdle was a bit premature: Twitter suffered a severe outage a couple weeks later, which was described as "the second Twitter glitch in less than a week and the third in under a month."
A Feb. 22 post by Salgado complained that others engage in the same type of activism against Musk that the MRC does against "liberal media":
Leftist billionaire and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is bankrolling a sketchy “dark-money group” that is pushing a corporate boycott campaign against Twitter owner Elon Musk.
The Omidyar Network gave Accountable Tech $509,500 between 2021 and 2022, according to Omidyar Network records. The Washington Free Beacon, who also reported on the funding, said Omidyar also gave $2 million more to other groups attacking and writing pieces slamming Musk for his takeover of Twitter.
One leftist Omidyar-funded group, Free Press, claimed in a statement Musk’s pro-free speech Twitter plans would make it a “free-for-all of hate and harassment.”
Accountable Tech and other Omidyar-funded groups have issued demands for investigations into Musk and campaigns aiming to pressure corporations into boycotting Twitter. An Omidyar Network spokeswoman reportedly verified the funding to Free Beacon but claimed the network did not direct the boycott campaign.
Salgado did not disclose which shadowy right-wing billionaires pay her to defend Musk.
CNS Keeps Riding On Right-Wing Anti-ESG Bandwagon Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com continued its ideologically mandated right-wing bandwagon campaign against investments that take environmental, social and governmental issues into consideration with a Jan. 4 article by Craig Bannister:
As 2022 drew to a close, all 10 of the largest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funds left investors suffering double-digit percentage losses in the value of their portfolios, an analysis by Bloomberg reveals.
What’s more, the report finds that eight of the ten largest ESG funds, measured by assets, performed worse than the S&P 500:
But actual analyists point out that this is a "very narrow interpretation of the data" and that ESG investments have done well on a long-term basis:
The problem with this argument – ESG products are bad investments and take returns off the table for hardworking pension funds investors – is that it relies on a very narrow interpretation of the data. Looking at both a short- and long-term horizon, the figures are much better. In the third quarter (the latest figures available), global ESG median return was -6.09% compared with a broader global equity peer group return of -6.87%. Nearly two in three funds – a full 65% outperformed the index.
More important is looking at longer term results. On a one-year basis, 63% of global ESG products underperformed. This reflects the overall underperformance of growth products, as 73% of these investments underperformed the index. But looking at a three-year time horizon is different. Seventy-four percent of ESG products outperformed the benchmark, with a median return of 5.9%.
Neertheless, Bannister quoted a right-wing activist insisting that these numbers "dispelled the myth that ESG is a worthy investment" and demanding tyhat it be "challenged and defeated politically."
Bannister continued to crank out biased anti-ESG articles throughout January and February, many of which were reprinted at its Media Research Center parent's NewsBusters blog (so much for any purported wall between news and opinion at the MRC):
When the Biden adminstration established a new rule that allows retirement plans to more easily consider ESG factors, Bannistert had a preordained freakout over it in a Jan. 30 post:
A new Biden Administration rule took effect Monday, allowing retirement plan administrators (fiduciaries) to base investments on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, rather than only on the maximum financial benefit of their clients.
The U.S. Department of Labor released the final rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to allow plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when they make investment decisions and when they exercise shareholder rights, including voting on shareholder resolutions and board nominations.
The Biden rule eliminates a 2020 Trump Administration rule requirement that fiduciaries consider only the monetary benefit (“pecuniary only”) to their clients when choosing investments.
In other words, it's not a new rule but simply reverses a Trump policy and returns things to the previous status quo. Later that day, Bannister served up some related PR for the fossil fuel industry (which CNS loves to do):
An alliance of two hundred companies engaged in oil and natural gas exploration and production has joined with the attorneys general of 25 states in a lawsuit seeking to stop a new Biden Administration rule allowing retirement account managers to invest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts, even if they’re not the most profitable for their clients.
The complaint, filed in Texas, seeks a preliminary injunction and permanent relief, in the form of a declaration that the ESG rule violates both the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and is arbitrary and capricious.
“This rule is an affront to every American concerned about their retirement account. The fact that the Biden Administration is now opting to risk the financial security of working-class Americans to advance a woke political agenda is insulting and illegal,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is co-leading the lawsuit, said in a press release announcingthe complaint:
But if the policy simply reverts to previous norms, it makes no sense to call it "aritrary and capricious."
Bannister touted his employer's activism on theissue in a Feb. 1 article:
Every Republican senator and Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) are introducing a resolution opposing President Joe Biden’s new ESG investment rule because it politicizes and threatens the value of Americans’ 401Ks.
Led by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), the senators condemn the rule, because it allows fiduciaries to consider ideological factors – specifically, environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals – when investing, rather than just rate of return.
The Media Research Center (MRC), along with more than a hundred other conservative organizations, have endorsed the resolution in the following letter to Congress:
Bannister failed, however, to dlsclose that the MRC operates CNS -- meaning that there's a conflict of interest here. So much for CNS being a responsible "news" organization.