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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MRC Can't Bash Rihanna At Super Bowl, So It Bashes 'Black National Anthem' Instead Topic: Media Research Center
When Rihanna was announced as the performer at the Super Bowl halftime show, the Media Research Center -- which loves to freakoutover Super Bowl halftime shows -- tried to get ahead of things. John Simmons pre-emptively ranted in a Sept. 26 post immediately after the announcement:
Do you feel it coming in the air, hearing the screams from everywhere? That’s the sound of all the people that are ecstatic that woke singer Rihanna will be performing at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show.
While her status as an icon and her talent are not in doubt, she has a long history of supporting anything woke.
In June, Rihanna, along with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, pledged $15 million to organizations that combat climate change and its particular effect on people LGBT members and minorities (because climate change is homophobic and racist).
Furthermore, her beauty company, Fenty, released a series of ads that showed gender-bending men wearing lipstick. She’s also an avid supporter of abortion, but that shouldn’t be a surprise in today’s celebrity culture.
Hopefully, her concert doesn’t have any underlying woke messages in it and we can just enjoy a halftime show simply as a concert. But given her track record -- and the fact that this is an NFL-organized event -- that might be too much to ask.
Bur Rihanna's halftime show came and went, and the MRC found nothing to get outraged about. So Simmons ranted instead about "Lift Every Voice And Sing" being sung before the game:
Kickoff hadn’t even happened in Super Bowl LVII before we got a heavy dose of progressive agendas being shoved down our throats - along with nachos and wings.
There were two major elements of the pregame ceremony that has something to do with wokeness:
1) Singing Of The Black National Anthem: Singer Sheryl Lee Ralph performed her rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” marking the first time that the song - also widely referred to as the unofficial “Black National Anthem” - was sung before the Super Bowl.
Of all the backwards ways in which progressives try to elevate black voices so that they are viewed as “equal,” this might be the most counterproductive method they choose.
If one ethnic group sings an anthem that only represents themselves and not the rest of the country, doesn’t that mean they are choosing to further the divide they claim is a problem that needs to be addressed?
Our national anthem is one of the few elements of culture where Americans recognize that no matter how we disagree, we are all citizens of the same country. If we are going to start having every ethnic group have its own national song, we’re not going to be a united country for very long.
Yes, Simmons thinks a song that first appeared in 1900 is "woke." He cited no lyrics from the song he considered to be overly "woke" or objectionable.
Simmons went on to complain that the all-female crew who conducted the annual flyover of the stadium had "a lot of wokeness mixed into it. After all, a progressive organization like the NFL will do anything to magnify the voices and accomplishments of oppressed groups like women." Simmons didn't explain why that was a bad thing.
MRC Touts, Defends Tony Dungy's Right-Wing Christian Leanings Topic: Media Research Center
Like its co-workers down the hall at CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center loves former NFL coach Tony Dungy and, more specifically, his right-wing leanings. In April 2022, John Simmons defended Dungy after he was criticized for appearing with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he signed a bill claiming to boost fatherhood initiatives, calling it "just another installment of unhinged individuals with nothing better to do with their time than tear someone else down." (Um, isn't that pretty much an accurate description of the MRC as a whole?) Simmons followed up two days later with another post praising Dungy: "Instead of caving to the mob and rescinding his support to get back in their good graces, Dungy doubled down on his stance." More defenses and promotion came after that:
When Dungy was called out for hanging out with an anti-LGBT preacher, Jay Maxson used a Jan. 12 post to defend Dungy ... and homophobia:
Openly Christian NFL broadcaster Tony Dungy, a former NFL player and coach with a Super Bowl championship on his resume, is being targeted for his faith by the alphabet mob. Outsports is doing a two-part series examining his “anti-LGBT past”, starting with a smackdown over his upcoming appearance at a Christian conference in March.
Dungy and CBS football host James Brown are both speaking at the Charis Bible College’s Men’s Advance 2023, March 9-11. They’ve been featured for years at the event hosted by “rabidly anti-gay Christian evangelist Andrew Wommack,” who has equated being gay to murder, according to Outsports co-founder and Christian shamer Cyd Zeigler.
Wommack’s anti-LGBT rhetoric uses “cruel language,’’ Zeigler charged. Two years ago, he claimed homosexual behavior is hazardous to people’s lives. Which, according to much social science research, is absolutely true.
“If you are a Christian, if you claim to be a Christian, and you promote homosexuality as an accepted lifestyle ... if you believe that, you are taking a stand completely against the word of God,” Wommack has stated in the past.
It’s going to be a bitter pill to swallow for LGBT people “to learn these two men openly embrace someone who has made such cruel public comments about the LGBT community,” Zeigler said, adding that 96 percent of Outsports Twitter comments expressed “discomfort with listening to someone who has embraced an anti-gay preacher discuss the NFL on television.”
Wow, only 4 percent of Outsports followers reject Zeigler’s Kool-Aid. With its in-your-face alphabet agenda, Outsports hardly qualifies as a credible source on public opinion.
It’s horrible that these two heretics to LGBTQABCD orthodoxy are going to be front-and-center during the NFL Playoffs the next three weekends, Zeigler moans. Mainstream America does confirm them and their religious freedom.
A Jan. 21 column by Jeffrey Lord similarly ran to Dungy's defense after it was questioned whether his right-wing sympathies made him suitable for being a featured NFL commentator:
Well. Message received. If you are a black man, you are expected to be Left. But Dungy has had the temerity to walk off the liberal plantation and think for himself - and he should be fired post-haste.
Where have we heard this bigoted line of thought before? Oh yes. Recall this 2020 headline at CNN: Biden: ‘If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black’
Which is to say, if you’re black and don’t think the way white liberals demand, then “you ain’t black.”
In the case of Tony Dungy, this kind of woke bigotry is being used to demand that he be fired.
Maxson returned to whine in a Jan. 25 post that Outsports continued to criticize Dungy:
The ravenous LGBTQABCD mouthpiece Outsports says that, after posting six anti-Tony Dungy rants this month alone, there is “no agenda” against the Christian NFL football commentator. Talk about blathering out of both sides of your mouth!
The “gay agenda” has not returned; it never left. LGBTQABCD fascists have completely captured pro sports and the left-stream media, who bow to them. They’re angry over the last few non-compliant sports commentators.
Dungy’s defenders are bludgeoning the alphabet mob with debate by taking a “rhetorical steel chair to the head,” Schultz roared. Despite Outsports’ outburst of anti-Dungy attacks, he defends it by contending Christians have the freedom to express their beliefs. It just doesn’t shield them from criticism … or month-long attacks.
Thus, “Destroy Dungy Month” aims to cancel him for expressing his Christian beliefs. Schultz still insists that the mob is not engaging in an anti-God agenda, and his post should strike everyone as being eminently reasonable.
This is clearly the eminent reason of an alternate universe where God-fearing people are despised.
After Dungy got busted for spreading a false story about classrooms installing litter boxes for children who identify as cats, it was Tim Graham's turn to play defense in a Jan. 27 post:
Sports-section columnists can be the most aggressive liberal jerks in the opinion business. In Tuesday’s Washington Post, columnist (and University of Maryland journalism professor) Kevin Blackistone aggressively played guilt by association when Hall of Fame NFL coach and NBC football analyst Tony Dungy attended the March for Life last week.
The headline was “Dungy shows the regressive and intolerant worst in sports.” Inside the paper, a similar headline: “Dungy has offered his voice to the cause of intolerance.” Obviously, Blackistone doesn’t believe “black lives matter” when it comes to abortions.
Blackistone tried to tie Dungy to anyone who ever spoke at a March for Life, starting with Sen. Jesse Helms (in the Reagan years), Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, and Donald Trump. Now imagine how he’d freak out if we started talking about that photograph where Barack Obama is beaming next to Rev. Louis Farrakhan.
He vaguely mentioned a tweet that Dungy deleted about the rumor/joke that high schools are putting litter boxes in the bathrooms for students who identify as cats. Dungy apologized: “I saw a tweet [Tuesday] and I responded to it in the wrong way. As a Christian I should speak in love and in ways that are caring and helpful. I failed to do that and I am deeply sorry.”
He concluded by noting Dungy is speaking at an anti-gay minister’s conference, warning: “Dungy should know going through with that appearance could be hazardous to his career.”
Before the March for Life, USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour also trashed Dungy for his kitty-litter tweet, although she at least explained what it was. the headline was "Tony Dungy shows his true values with hateful tweet that puts transgender kids at risk."
Armour somehow thinks you can only measure God's word from the words Jesus actually said in the New Testament, and you can ignore everything else the Bible says about God making humans male and female -- "assigning them at birth." That God is apparently a bigot.
Graham provided no evidence that the kitty litter story was a "rumor/joke," and Dungy made no claim to that effect in his apology.
Maxson served up a Feb. 12 post praising Dungy yet again, this time for encouraging prayer:
Years ago, when Tony Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs, the NFL issued all teams a “no prayers on the field” edict. The whole world saw that directive get blown off when Damar Hamlin’s heart stopped beating in Cincinnati this past season. Dungy and other football greats kept the faith talk rolling in their appearances before 2,000 people attending Saturday’s Athletes In Action Super Bowl Breakfast in Phoenix.
“It’s okay to pray, and God answers prayer,” Dungy said Saturday. God is going to use Damar, and He showed us God is real. Bills’ quarterback and Hamlin teammate Josh Allen said he wasn’t too spiritual, but he saw what was happening, confessed that God is real and is using Damar for His glory.
Maxson concluded: "It’s refreshing to know that, during this era of woke sports franchises and athletes, there are still stand-up, inspirational athletes with deep faith who are setting good examples by standing on God’s Word." Maxson didn't explain what "woke" means.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's 'Secondhand Censorship' Scam Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center invented a metric designed solely to generate wildly inflated "censorship" numbers to further the right-wing Big Tech victimhood narrative. Read more >>
Anti-Trans Mocking And Misgendering: MRC Spews Hate At Rachel Levine Topic: Media Research Center
Not only does the Media Research Center hate transgender people in general, it has particular loathing for individual transgender people like Dylan Mulvaney. Another target has been transgender Biden administraiton official Rachel Levine, and it showed all through last year. Gabriel Hays sneered ina March 2022 post:
So we have another very serious, highly respected “Women of the Year” list given to us by USA TODAY and would you look at that? A biological man has been included among the roster of the influential and powerful women.
Oh wow. What an amazing, groundbreaking historical moment we have here!
The world’s first Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary to be considered a woman (even though he’s a biological man), Dr. Rachel Levine, now has the honor of being called one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year.
So a man is now woman of the year? And damn right, it’s our duty as politically correct Americans to nod along while clapping vigorously for her achievement.
Suzanne Hackney wrote the outlet’s entry on Levine’s new honorable female status on March 13, stating, “Rachel Levine is one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year, a recognition of women across the country who have made a significant impact.” Ok first of all. He’s not a woman, and secondly, how does Hackney feel knowing that she has helped the patriarchy insert a male into a “woman of the year” category?
He’s not a freaking woman – no matter how much of a looker he is with his long gray hair cascading down over his spiffy new female-styled HHS Naval uniform.
And USA TODAY, how do you feel about taking this spot away from a real biological woman? Does that feel like true equality to you? Or might it be that you’re actually taking away from the achievements of actual women?
Shortly afterward, the MRC did a lot of complaining on behalf of right-wingers who faced consequences for their transpobic reactions to Levine. A few days later, it whined that Twitter temporarily locked the account of unfunny right-wing "satire" site The Babylon Bee "after the satire site posted that Rachel Levine was the site’s “Man of the Year.” Levine is a transgender woman." That was followed by a post from Alexander Hall citing another transphobe facing consequences:
Twitter censored Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk for declaring that United States Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine had lived for many years as a male.
Who’s the man? It depends on who you ask, apparently. “Charlie Kirk, founder of TPUSA, talk radio host and outspoken conservative commentator, was suspended from Twitter on Tuesday after identifying President Joe Biden's assistant health secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services as a man,” The Post Millennial reported March 22. Kirk reportedly called out Levine and slammed the fact the official was awarded for being a notable “woman” by USA Today:
“‘Richard Levine,’ Kirk wrote, ‘spent 54 years of his life as a man. He had a wife and family. He “transitioned” to being a woman in 2011, Joe Biden appointed Levine to be a 4-Star Admiral, and now USA Today has named “Rachel” Levine as a “Woman of the Year”[.] Where are the feminists??’"
Kirk reportedly explained to The Post Millennial that "Everything I said was precisely accurate” He noted further that "Twitter still suspended my account. That should terrify every American, even those who disagree with me. What they want is submission. They have become the enemy of the truth."
That was followed by Joseph Vazquez insisting the Bee's insult was just "benign humor" -- apparently, that's how right-wingers treat all mocking of transgender people -- and whining that another Bee employee had his account suspended for spreading it. Then came a post by Autumn Johnson grumbling that a right-wing Federalist writer also got his account suspended for misgendering Levine. Tierin-Rose Mandelburg returned to whining in promoting her April 6 podcast:
Rachel Levine is the Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Levine is also “the first female four-star admiral of the [U.S. Public Health Service] Commissioned Corps.” Ironically, the left has labeled Levine as transgender, despite the fact that Levine spent 54 years as a male before transitioning to a “female.”
Levine’s biological sex is male. Levine has the X and Y chromosomes, and scientifically is a male. Mention of that fact on social media, however, apparently draws censorship.
Big Tech allows false narratives to spread rapidly, but censors any content that doesn’t fit within the constructs of the left’s woke ideology.
Yes, not hating transgender people and treating them with the respect that every human deserves is apparently a "woke ideology."
Tim Graham spent a May 1 post complaining that anti-trans right-wingers weren't quoted in an NPR story about Levine:
The most ridiculous joke that airs daily on National Public Radio is that their evening news program is called All Things Considered.
On the Friday night commute, NPR listeners witnessed an audio press release of sorts for the Biden administration. Transgender activist and assistant HHS secretary Rachel Levine is giving a speech to an LGBTQ health conference at Texas Christian University, and NPR promoted it like a press secretary. No opposing view was considered, certainly not about the "Christian" part.
Conservatives are forced to fund this one-sided propaganda. They are not considered.
Conservatives like Graham don't want people like Levine to exist, let alone be gainfully employed. Why would anyone think that's a legitimate argument that deserves amplification? Nevertheless, he further whined about this in his podcast the next day.
A June 23 post by Gabriela Pariseau complaining that anti-trans right-wingers were "censored" for things like attacking Levine dishonestly framed that hate as affirming "science." In a July 20 post, Pariseau and Brian Bradley factored Levine into their completely made-up "secondhand censorship" metric, insisting that all those transphobes suspended by Twitter for insulting Levine were merely being "critical of the left's transgender narrative."
Matt Philbin ramped up the misgendering and mocking of Levine in a Nov. 7 post that we can assume he considers "benign humor":
You can’t keep a good man down. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine is proof. Already an admiral of some sort and a USA Today Woman of the Year, Levine was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
It’s another honor, sure, but it’s also another responsibility for someone so busy berating opponents of child mutilation (Rachel is proof you can have it all, ladies!)
One day he’s at a Boston chop shop “to highlight the importance of the work that they are doing for vulnerable, transgender and gender diverse children and their families,” to warn that opposition to double mastectomies for 14 year-olds is “the tip of the spear of the culture wars.” (Stop snickering!)
Another day he’s in California warning state governments to mind their own business when they see electrical storms and eerie lights up at Castle Frankenstein.
So in light of his good work and achievements, and as his political party makes ready to reap the electoral fruits of its focus on these important kitchen table issues, we offer up this heartfelt original musical tribute to the Good Doctor. With apologies to the memory of Muddy Waters, please enjoy “Mannish Girl” by The Unwoke.
A Dec. 30 post by Catherine Salgado complained that Levine advocated for a crackdown on anti-trans hate, which she unsurprisingly falsely framed as "censorship":
Transgender activist and Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine reportedly tried to galvanize doctors to demand increased censorship from Big Tech.
Levine actively encouraged state medical board doctors to pressure Big Tech platforms to censor criticism of transgender ideology, Daily Signal Managing Editor Tyler O'Neil wrote in an op-ed Thursday.
Levine’s transgenderism has been linked to Big Tech censorship before. Satire site The Babylon Bee named Levine its “Man of the Year” and was suspended on Twitter until recently restored by new Twitter owner Elon Musk.
Levine falsely claimed that any such critiques were “medical misinformation” because there’s supposedly no “scientific or medical dispute” about the positives of experimental drugs and “transgender” surgeries.
There is actually a great deal of scientific and medical debate, and not just from conservatives. Even the leftist New York Times recently published an in-depth piece on the potential severe long-term effects of puberty blockers on “trans” kids. Activists like Levine claim that “transgender” people are likely to commit suicide unless they can get drugs or body-altering surgeries to “change” their sex.
Salgado concluded: "This is advancement of leftist dogma through the means of biased censorship." But right-wing transphobia is not a "dogma"?
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.