MRC Is Mad Scientific American Isn't Pushing Right-Wing Narratives Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Clay Waters devoted a Feb. 10 post to ranting that the magazine Scientific American failed to advance right-wing narratives:
Scientific Americanmagazine has been around since 1845, evolving into a reader-friendly purveyor of hard science, a respected, slightly intimidating denizen of supermarket checkout lines. But judging by the recent ridiculous trend of stories and editorials, it’s been wholly captured by the woke blob.
On the surfacethe monthly still does what it says on the label in providing long articles, short reviews, and cool photographs for an intelligent audience, with almost-comprehensible stories on the physics of black holes for science buffs, and stunning photos of deep-sea creatures for the rest of us.
But then there’s the ludicrously left-wing ideology that seeps into every issue. A NewsBusters perusal of the contents of each 2022 regular-release monthly issue revealed 34 stories grounded in liberal assumptions and beliefs, nearly three per issue. That’s even after skipping stories with liberal themes that were nonetheless science-based -- for example, a cover story on melting glaciers in Antarctica wasn’t included.
Of course, the COVID pandemic in particular tugged the magazine toward government interventionism and the smug rule of health “experts.”
Following scientific consensus on COVID makes one "smug"? Apparently it does in Waters' right-wing media bubble. His analysis got dumber from there:
So what’s the solution? Surely Canada wouldn’t recommend banning blacks from the National Football League for their own protection?
But plenty of bizarre pieces fill the print edition. Here’s a headline from the July 2020 issue of this purported science magazine: “The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity.” Yet a June 2019 SAarticle argued that the nation’s “biggest health problem” was obesity. So is Scientific American, for being concerned about obesity, by its own bizarre standard racist as well?
One can be concerned about obetity while also being concerned that society discriminates against obese people, just as it can also be pointed out that football is a violent sport and that blacks, which make up a majority of NFL players, are disproportionately affected by it.
Waters also whined about an article that advocated accurate teaching of American history because it criticized the right-wing war on critical race theory: "The movement against teaching Critical Race Theory in schools was dismissed in hysterically biased terms: 'This regressive agenda threatens children’s education by propagating a falsified view of reality in which American history and culture are outcomes of white virtue. It is part of a larger program of avoiding any truths that make some people uncomfortable, which sometimes allows in active disinformation, such as creationism.'" Note that Waters didn't say this view was inaccurate.
Waters also complained that the magazine failed to spew hate at transgender people:
A notorious September 2017 magazine story with graphics and text by Amanda Montanez was seemingly conjured to enable the most biologically ignorant trans-activists to pretend that the clear binary of male and female was actually a spectrum of disorders of sex development (DSD), “which, broadly defined, may affect about one percent of the population -- represent a robust, evidence-based argument to reject rigid assignations of sex and gender.”
So much for basic reproductive anatomy knowledge at SA (testes produce sperm, ovaries produce eggs; there is no “spectrum”). Montanez concluded: “I am hopeful that raising public awareness of intersex, along with transgender and non-binary identities, will help align policies more closely with scientific reality, and by extension, social justice.”
Indeed, many Scientific American articles boil down to “social justice,” not science.
In Waters' world, not hating transgender people and arguing that gender is not binary for some people makes one "notorious."
Rumor has it Barack Obama is becoming discontent with running the Biden administration from the White House basement. The great policies that are destroying the nation are his – and he wants the spotlight again. "Hey, look at me! I was groomed to run the world during the Great Reset!"
Or maybe Obama just won that coveted post after Hillary Clinton botched the Great Reset. Do you remember her presenting a red plastic "reset" button to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during her tenure as secretary of state? Wasn't that already covered on her uber-secret internet server located in her bathroom, where Huma sent all the State Department's most important emails? Not as secret as Joe's garage, of course, but right up there. Hopefully, they both kept the doors closed while they were in there.
Democrats, of course, would be more than happy to give the Obama smokescreen another term as president; then another, and another, and on until he reached parity with Big Joe's mental clarity of today. The great resetters paid a lot of money and got squat for grooming Obama to run their newly designed world – the one that they expected to be up and running just as soon as … well, as soon as hell froze over.
If the great resetters had a single normal IQ among them, they would recognize that pissing off the Creator, Owner and Operator of the Universe by mishandling His creation and then taking credit for it is not a recipe for success – not in this world and certainly not in the next. Given this, it may be an open question as to whether it is the great resetters or Satan who has the bigger ego. Who wakes up in the morning and says, "Oh, today I think I'm going to appropriate the Creator's creation for myself, enslave everyone else and destroy whatever and whoever I don't need to rule over the universe. Oh, I just know He will be so proud of me!"
Obama, the great resetters and the intel agencies can just relax and rock on. Repentance is not in their DNA. Pity, that. Repentance is the only currency God deals in on this side of eternity. Rock on, boys. Satan is busy making sure that hell doesn't freeze over before your arrival.
MRC Helps Launch Ramaswamy's Presidential Campaign Topic: Media Research Center
Right-wing financier Vivek Ramaswamy recently announced his presidential campaign -- but he had a head start in building name recognition thanks to helep from the Media Research Center. He first popped up at the MRC in a June 2021 post by Gabriela Pariseau:
Philanthropy Roundtable board member and author Vivek Ramaswamy gave Big Tech an ultimatum for its Section 230 protections: Uphold the First Amendment or lose immunity privileges.
Ramaswamy, founder of Roivant Sciences and a Philanthropy Roundtable board member, tweeted: “It’s time to amend Section 230. Either you operate like a normal company, without the federal blanket of immunity, or you agree to abide by the First Amendment in return for that immunity. Tech companies can’t have it both ways.”
He has pushed back against Big Tech censorship multiple times leading to the release of his forthcoming book, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.
Woke Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy reacted to a new MRC Free Speech America study by ripping Big Tech giant Google for manipulating search results to favor Democrats in highly contested senate races.
The Strive Asset Management executive chairman unleashed on Google during the Oct. 26 edition of Fox Business Tonight: “We hear alot about the threats to our democracy. Well, guess what! I think this is a big threat to our democracy,” he said. To give “one autocratic actor the chance to tilt the scales of what the public can and cannot see about the candidates that they’re asked to vote for in November” is a "threat to democracy.”
A Nov. 3 post by Jeffrey Clark gushed over Ramaswamy spouting his talking points on CNBC:
Woke Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy crushed CNBC hosts for railing against freedom of speech in what turned out to be a heated debate — even a two-on-one cage match — over a basic Constitutional right.
Ramaswamy unleashed an onslaught of arguments in defense of free speech and free markets on the Nov. 3 edition of Squawk Box. “First rule of the road is no viewpoint-based discrimination,” Ramaswamy said. “Spam, porn content, moderate that — get it out of the feeds. But that means no viewpoint discrimination and here’s the rub, that means hates speech goes away as a category, because as heinous as it may be, hate speech is just someone else’s opinion.”
Ramaswamy continued on to school the CNBC hosts for using “misinformation” as an excuse to censor Americans. “If you’re going to take down false speech, I believe a cardinal rule is that the company bears the obligation to prove that the speech was false before removing it, and then if in doubt, here’s a tiebreaker, give the power back to the user,” he said. “Let the user decide what protocols they opt into and not.”
More Ramaswamy worship followed under the gushy headline "Vivek Ramaswamy Rips Centralized Digital Currency as 'Cancer' Symptom of 'New World Order'." But interestingly, the day Ramaswamy's candidacy was announced, Feb. 21, was also the day a post by Pariseau touted a "three-part series" of interviews between Ramaswamy and her boss, Brent Bozell, in which tjhey "discussed how anti-Americanism has infected American society and plagued American institutions including Big Tech." But nowhere in Pariseau's post did she mention that Ramaswamy was a presidential candidate -- instead, there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the accompanying video: "The Media Research Center is a 501c(3) non-profit and does not endorse any candidates or campaigns. This video was recorded on 2/16/2023."
A March 3 post touted an interview Ramasway did with MRC podcaster Paiten Iselin -- part 2 of the series -- in which they "discussed the question: 'Is there hope for America?'" Again, there was no disclosure in the post, just a disclaimer at the beginning of the video but changing the interview date to Feb. 17. Renata Kiss touted what was apparently part 23 in a March 8 post:
In an exclusive interview with MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider, Woke, Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy condemned ESG efforts and offered a free market alternative based “exclusively on an excellence centric vision.”
Ramaswamy warned the public of how companies that subscribe to woke environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards use American citizens’ money to try to push “one-sided political agendas,” and “correct” so-called societal “injustices.” He also explained why the need for alternative solutions motivated him to create Strive Asset Management.
Once again, the post did not disclose Ramaswamy's candidacy but stuck a disclaimer at the beginning of the video. That disclaimer is disingenuous, of course -- it's unlikely that the MRC didn't know Ramaswamy would announcehis candidacy a few days after the interviews, and the first video appearing on the day of the announcement was no coincidence. It is indisputably coordinated promotion of his candidacy and looks more than a little shady. Someone should probably alert the Federal Election Commission about this.
Newsmax Columnist Thnks MLK Would Oppose Critical Race Theory Topic: Newsmax
Beware of white people talking about black people and civil rights to advance right-wing agendas. And that's what we had when Scott Powell invoked Martin Luther King to attack his version of critical race theory in his Jan. 9 column:
In King’s most famous I Have a Dream speech, delivered from Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial (Aug. 28, 1963), it was as if the Almighty was calling America to rise up and fulfill its spiritual destiny.
To the self-evident truth of all people having equal value, King added an equally timeless truth, that people "should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Were it possible to transport King into the present, he would be shocked by the stark regression in America in the nearly three generations since he led the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
He would reject the eclipse of group, gender and ethnic identity evaluation paradigm over the individual merit and character-based approach for assessment, acceptance and advancement — whether in school admission or hiring and promotion in workplaces
King would condemn Wokeism and Critical Race Theory (CRT) because they perpetuate negative racial stereotypes, albeit in a reversal, that denigrate the white race.
He would also find them fundamentally flawed because they exacerbate division rather than bring people together through constructive dialogue and concurrently seeing all people as individuals made in God’s image.
As it so happens, Tyler Parry wrote about the kind of thing Powell is doing in a 2021 article for the African-American Intellectual History Society, after now-Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said something similar on a podcast:
McCarthy’s claim exposes how King’s legacy is sanitized by rightwing figures. He asserts that CRT does not only go against MLK’s “dream” in 1963, it goes against “everything Martin Luther King has ever told us.” This statement provides the crux of the issue. By emphasizing it goes against everything the Civil Rights leader “ever” told Americans about race relations, McCarthy and his conservative counterparts assume that the totality of King’s teachings are encapsulated in a single statement of one speech he gave in 1963.
But the question remains: where do King’s teachings stand in comparison to critical race theory? To start, it is necessary to understand that within the 2016 edition of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, editors Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic argued that CRT followed in the “American radical tradition” of Martin Luther King, Jr. (5). They positioned Critical Race Theory as a successor to his social justice philosophy that condemned American imperialism, classism, and anti-Black racism, noting that King’s legacy had been co-opted by “a rampant, in-your-face conservatism” designed to impede racial progress (30). So, despite conservatives’ lazy efforts to place King in opposition to CRT, many of the theorists themselves wholly embraced him as a precursor to their own scholarship.
In reality, the CRT debate is just another moment in the American tradition of misappropriating MLK, ranging from the contests over affirmative action; the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement; and the debates over socialism vs. capitalism, to name a few. When CRT is no longer politically useful, conservative pundits will find another point for their fearmongering and recycle the same colorblind King as a prop to misrepresent their target. Though it is tiring, scholars and activists must continually respond to these misrepresentations on all available platforms. The true believers of the conservative cause may willfully ignore the evidence, but as we make such blogs and essays more widely available, we can reach many others and introduce them to a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who believed that achieving a better society requires an honest reckoning with history; who unapologetically fought for the downtrodden and the poor; and who envisioned a “genuine revolution in values” in creating a more just and equitable society (201).
In other words, actual scholars familiar with King believe that CRT is very much in line with King's beliefs.
Nevertheless, Powell went on to cherry-pick King for his own purposes, citing him as warning against "the dangers of groupthink" -- though the right-wing anti-CRT campaign is very much a groupthink operation.
WND Columnist Remain As Obsessed As Ever With Purported 2020 Election Fraud Topic: WorldNetDaily
The fact that election fraud has never been proven in the 2020 presidential election hasn't kept WorldNetDaily columnists from continuing to be obsessed with it. Richard Blakey used his Feb. 10 column to portray alleged election fraud as "the elephant in the room":
Wow! What enormous topic or question could our legislative body in Washington be ignoring? Well, for it to be an enormous topic, it seems it should involve our country.
Let's see. It could involve our Constitution. Oh, what else?
Well, we have a republic. Hmm, that is a representative type of government where people are elected to represent the people.
What could possibly be enormously important about that?
Well, elections in a republic are supposed to be what is termed "free and fair." "Free and fair" elections have been defined to mean, an election involving "political freedoms and fair processes leading up to the vote, a fair count of eligible voters who cast a ballot (including such aspects as electoral fraud or voter suppression), and acceptance of election results by all parties."
What elephant in the room could cause: 1) an online newspaper to be demonetized because it pointed at the elephant, or 2) make a large "conservative" news agency's lawyers tell their staff "not to touch it," concerning a well-documented documentary addressing proven aspects concerning the elephant, or 3) make it so a well-respected former mayor for one of our countries largest cities has to face persecution for talking about the elephant.
What could this elephant be? It seems that if this elephant is not addressed, it will still be around and could impact things in the future – for his size is enormous.
Blakley's first bullet point refers to WND being "demonetized" by "big tech" -- which happened because WND publishes fake news and conspiracy theories, not because it addressed purported election fraud. The second bullet point references allegations that Fox News refused to promote Dinesh D'Souza's film "2000 Mules" which -- contrary to Blakley's claim that it is "well-documented" -- has been repeatedly discredited. The "well-respected former mayor" Blakley is referring to in his final bullet point is Rudy Giuliani, who is being "persecuted" for making claims in a lawsuit that were unsupported by evidence, not for talking about purported election fraud.
Wayne Allyn Root similarly clung to those delusions as he used his Feb. 11 column to declare what Sarah Huckabee Sanders should have talked about in her Republican response to President Biden's State of the Union address:
The first one she missed was RIGGED AND STOLEN ELECTIONS.
I hate to break it to the GOP establishment, but your entire base believes the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
And because the GOP and the RNC are afraid of their own shadow, they have done absolutely nothing since 2020 to fix the problem. Result: we got robbed again in the 2022 midterms.
Look no further than Kari Lake's defeat in Arizona. That's the biggest rip-off since Bernie Madoff. The whole Arizona election was pure voter fraud. We all know it. Sen. John Fetterman defeating Dr. Mehmet Oz is another ludicrous example. It sure would be nice if our GOP leaders mentioned rigged and stolen elections.
Why was it important to mention this in a SOTU response? Because elections have consequences. I believe Biden and Democrats stole 2020. And then they used this illegitimate presidency to destroy this nation from a thousand different directions.
Sarah mentioned all the problems in America: the crime wave, the worst inflation in modern history, exploding debt, declining economy, open borders and an invasion of millions of migrants waved in. It could be that all those terrible problems exist because Democrats stole the election and we let them get away with it.
If we don't address voter fraud and rigged elections, we will never win another election.
Root listed one of his other bugaboos, "the COVID-19 vaccine disaster," as something else Sanders should have brought up, going on to add that "One other thing Sarah left out: She never mentioned the name of the greatest president of my lifetime, Donald J. Trump."
NEW ARTICLE: Pelosi Derangement Syndrome At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center not only greeted Nancy Pelosi stepping down from House Democratic leadership with more hate, it attacked her daughter for making a film about her. Read more >>
MRC' Vazquez Spreads Wild Anti-Biden, Anti-ESG (And Russian) Conspriacy Theories Over Ohio Train Derailment Topic: Media Research Center
As part of the Media Research Center's strategy to exploit a train derailment strategy in Ohio to advance partisan agendas, a Feb. 16 post by Joseph Vazquez tried to manufacture a conspiracy theory by dragging in right-wing-mandated anti-ESG talking points:
ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s premature abandonment of coverage of the environmental disaster in East Palestine, Ohio may have been a gambit to protect the leftist pro-environmental, social, governance (ESG) standard giants tied to the incident.
It turns out that ESG-obsessed investment giants like The Vanguard Group, JPMorgan Investment Management and BlackRock Fund Advisors, are Norfolk Southern’s largest shareholders. The combined stake between the three shareholders is valued at a sizable $9,392,760,704 as of Feb. 16.
“It truly is incredible, the lackluster coverage that the train derailment and subsequent evacuation in East Palestine, Ohio has received from the Big Three,” asserted MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “Can you imagine if the same sort of ecological disaster had occurred under the Trump administration? Undoubtedly, the Big Three would be doing all that they could to somehow pin the blame on the former president of the United States. But now, with the Biden administration at the helm — not much more than crickets.”
Strikingly, both Vanguard (Norfolk Southern's largest shareholder) and BlackRock have been at the center of a leftist movement to radically change American culture through the force of ESG standards in corporate America.
ESGs provide a smokescreen for left-wing bigwigs in C-suites to force radical leftist politics onto shareholders, according to former McDonald’s CEO Edward Rensi. Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks called ESG “the greatest threat to our freedoms in America today without question,” during an< exclusive interview with MRC Business.
The fact that ESG-obsessed companies are tied to the Norfolk Southern disaster blows their eco-virtue signaling on sustainable investment completely out of the water and makes the Big Three prematurely dropping the coverage look even more despicable.
Could it be that the Big Three are doing everything they can to protect their shareholders’ investment in Norfolk Southern?
But doesn't the fact that these funds invest in Norfolk Southern actually prove that they are, in fact, not "EDG-obsessed"? Despite all of the right-wing ferarmongering on the issue, nobody's actually being forced to invest in ESG against their will -- it's simply an option being made available for those who care about it.
In a Feb. 17 post, Vazquez showed the MRC's political agenda again and manufactured another conspiracy theory:
The Big Three networks ignored news that the Biden administration denied disaster assistance to Ohio’s pro-Trump Columbiana County following the toxic train derailment in East Palestine.
Fox News reported Feb. 16 that Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) spokesperson Dan Tierney said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied federal aid because it “believed the [train derailment] incident didn't qualify as a traditional disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane, for which it usually provides assistance.” The incident led to a controlled explosion and the spewing of hazardous fumes into the atmosphere, with reports of groundwater damage, dead animals and health issues circulating. Newsweek even reported the turmoil could evolve into a “Full-Blown Ecological Crisis.” The denial of aid calls into question why the U.S. government is willing to commit more than $24.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration but not an American town in turmoil.
Additional context may provide some insight as to why Biden’s FEMA did not pursue providing aid for that particular area, and why the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows chose to ignore the story between Feb. 16 - Feb. 17.
Biden released details on a new executive order advancing racial equity on Feb. 16, the same day as the Fox News report. Biden claimed his goal was to “advance an ambitious, whole-of-government approach to racial equity and support for underserved communities and to continuously embed [racial] equity into all aspects of Federal decision-making.” According to the latest breakdown, East Palestine is 93.5 percent white, three percent Hispanic, and only 0.36 percent black.
In addition, Columbiana County, where East Palestine is located, 71.7 percent of the vote went overwhelmingly for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
But in pushing this wacky conspiracy theory that the Biden administration wants white Trump voters to die, Vazquez omitted the one relevant piece of context: The derailment falls outside of federally mandated definitions for a disaster in which FEMA can assist -- namely, it was caused by a private company, not natural forces, and no property damage occurred in the immediate aftermath. Vazquez also censored ther fact that other federal agencies have provided assistance and that President Biden contacted Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to pledge federal help.
Vazquez went on to rehash his bogus ESG conspiracy and concluded by huffing: "By ignoring Ohio being denied disaster aid by a partisan, racially-charged Biden administration, now the media look even more asinine." That's right -- a guy who spreads asinine conspiracy theories thinks everyone but him looks "asinine."
When the Associated Press reported that Russian-linked Twitter accounts spread conspiracy theories about the derailment that echoed conservatives' own talking points, Vazquez had another freakout in a March 20 post:
The Associated Press attempted to blame Twitter owner Elon Musk and “pro-Russian” Twitter accounts for Americans’ distrust of Big Daddy Government and liberal media gaslighting about the toxic Ohio train disaster. Talk about a ridiculous attempt at a stretch.
AP whined in a Mar. 18 story — “Pro-Moscow voices tried to steer Ohio train disaster debate” — that “anonymous pro-Russian accounts” used “Elon Musk’s new verification system” to spread “misleading claims and anti-American propaganda” about the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment. The train’s derailing led authorities to create a controlled explosion that released toxic fumes into the atmosphere.
“The accounts, which parroted Kremlin talking points on myriad topics, claimed without evidence that authorities in Ohio were lying about the true impact of the chemical spill,” AP complained.
Apparently AP didn’t learn anything from the Twitter Files. Just because left-wing talking heads call an account “pro-Russian” doesn’t mean it is, and a deeper dive into AP’s sources just makes its propaganda seem more like a pathetic attempt to protect government talking points.
Actually, Vazquez is the one trying to protect talking points -- in this case, right-wing and anti-Biden talking points that have been opportunistically used to exploit the derailment.Indeed, he dragged out olther faulty talking points to attack the AP:
AP said London, U.K.-based group Reset identified the “pro-Russian” accounts. Ben Scott, the group's executive director, was “the technology policy advisory group” lead for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign — the same campaign that served as the genesis of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, which AP itself mindlessly promoted.
AP didn’t bother mentioning this in its write-up, and neither did CNN has-been Brian Stelter plastered the story on his Twitter feed. Journalist Glenn Greenwald raked Stelter over the proverbial coals for his thin veneer of media analysis bonafides and lack of critical thinking skills.
Vazquez offered no evidence that Reset was involved in the "the Trump-Russia collusion hoax" (which, by the way, wasn't a hoax). And it appears that Vazquez is suffering from Stelter Derangement Syndrome like his fellow MRC employees.
Vazquez then invoked the MRC's own alleged "media research":
AP was content to throw spaghetti at the wall and see if something would stick. Some of the so-called “verifiably false” “pro-Russian” claims that AP tried debunking included the “suggestion that the news media had covered up the disaster.”
But a recent, non-Russian affiliated MRC study revealed that the Big Three broadcast network’s morning and evening news shows all but dropped coverage of the Ohio disaster once the county permitted residents to return home Feb. 8. All six shows fell just shy of spending a combined 30 minutes on the topic between when the incident first occurred on Feb. 3 and when the evacuation order for East Palestine was lifted on Feb. 8.
The networks regurgitated the public relations gaslighting by the Norfolk Southern Corporation, the owner of the railway responsible for the derailed train. The Big Three rediscovered the topic Feb. 14 - Feb. 15 – nearly a week after the evacuation ended – once it became clear that they were the three most prominent networks that had stopped covering it.
But in AP’s world, the notion that the media provided lackluster coverage of the Ohio train disaster is a “verifiably false” and “pro-Russian” claim.
Insisting that the MRC study was "non-Russian affiliated" is something someone affiliated with Russians would say (and he offers no evidence or reason to trust his word). But as we documented, the very first article the MRC published about the derailment was that study -- 11 days after the derailment occurred. Why? Who did the MRC strategize with to determine that this tragedy needed to be exploited for political purposes? Did they have Russian accents? And why is the MRC so comfortable pushing the same narratives that Russian bots are?
Vazquez's post actually raises more questions than it answers -- questions he clearly doesn't want to answer. He seems to be protesting a bit too much about the Russian stuff.
An anonymously written Feb. 5 WorldNetDaily article stated:
The legacy media in America are cutting their own throats, shooting themselves in the feet and calling for their own termination, according to an analysis by constitutional expert Jonathan Turley.
It's because of the abandonment by leaders in the industry of neutral, or objective, reporting. It's the idea that both sides of a story, or even three sides, should be described, letting readers make their own determinations.
He noted the rise in recent years of "advocacy" journalism, those reports that portray themselves as news but in reality provide only one side, pushing one story line on readers.
"If there is little difference between the mainstream media and alternative media, the public will continue the trend away from the former," he warned. "MSM has the most to lose from this movement, but, as individual editors, it remains popular to yield to advocates in their ranks.
"As media outlets struggle to survive, these media leaders are feverishly sawing at the tree branch upon which they sit," he said.
The irony, of course, is that WND wouldn't know objective journalism if it walked up and slapped Joseph Farah's face.
The really funny part, though, comes in the boilerplate beg at the end of the article for subscriptions to "WND Insider," which touts its "uniquely truthful reporting." Yes, "uniquely truthful" is one way to describe WND's penchant for fake news and conspiracy theories.
MRC Hasn't Retracted Discredited Attack On Transgender Clinic Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's chief transphobe, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, hyped in a Feb. 10 post:
The left needs to consider this a warning.
In an op-ed for The Free Press, Jamie Reed, a queer woman with a trans husband, explained her deep regret and guilt after treating transgender kids with life altering medicines and procedures. Her piece titled, “I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle,” should serve as a wake-up-call to the left that thinks gender-affirming procedures aren’t harmful.
Reed worked as a case manager at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She claimed that the center’s “working assumption” was that the sooner you treat kids' gender dysphoria with life altering measures, the better. Reed’s specific role at the clinic was patient intake and oversight and she saw around 1,000 confused kids during her four year employment at the center.
After seeing the kids leave with “life-altering consequences — including sterility,” Reed quit. “I could no longer participate in what was happening there. By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to ‘do no harm.’ Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care,” she said.
Reed claimed her testimony puts her at personal and professional risk but noted that what’s happening to kids is “morally and medically appalling” and is “far more important than” her “comfort.”
As it turns out, Reed is also at "personal and professional risk" because her story appears not to be true. As Erin Reed wrote in a detailed debunking of Jamie Reed's claims:
Delving into Jamie Reed’s allegations and story makes it clear that she is not an ideologically neutral individual on the care and respect of transgender people. Her statements and omissions reveal a clear ideological bias, and the organizations and representation she has chosen to work with contradict her claim that she “supports transgender people.”
Throughout her story, she frequently misgenders her patients. In fact, I am not aware of a single case where she genders her trans patients correctly. Out of the thousand or so patients she has seen, she only references a half dozen specific anecdotes of what she relays as poor experiences for transgender youth patients - anecdotes I will cover in detail. Even in these anecdotes, she often omits long term net harm. She leaves out the stories of what must be the rest of the thousand patients who, as we have seen in numerous testimony in hearings this year, saw their mental and physical health improve dramatically. Ultimately, she calls for stopping gender affirming care for trans youth - something that would result in actual harm and death to this patient population.
She is not a doctor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and does not have direct medical diagnostic experience with patients. She is a case worker, someone who navigates insurance claims and takes intake calls. Throughout her story, she places her own interpretations of events above those of medically educated providers, therapists, and the families and patients that work with them. She claims to know better for these patients, and has acted to sabotage their care.
Mandelburg hyped Jamie Reed claiming that "many of the patients were on the autism spectrum or claimed that they had other disorders like Tourette syndrome, tic disorders or multiple personalities, all of which she said they didn’t." Erin Reed responded:
Here Jamie repeats anti-trans talking points here blaming gender dysphoria on all other things than being trans. Bizarrely, she includes obesity here. While many transgender people have concurrent disorders, there is no established research showing being “trans” is caused by anything else. Furthermore, research into autistic transgender individuals has stated that being prevented from transitioning due to an autism diagnosis could “cause increased levels of depression and anxiety.” The idea that autistic individuals cannot be LGBT+ unfairly targets autistic people who have pushed back hard against the idea that their diagnosis means they cannot experience genuine gender identities or seuxal orientations.
Mandelburg repeated Jamie Reed's claim that "The center literally prescribed a cancer drug as a puberty blocker for boys who wanted to be girls"; Erin Reed responded by pointing out that the drug in question, bicalutamide, "is also used to treat hair loss and excessive facial hair in cisgender females."
Mandelburg also repeated Jamie Reed's claim that "She encountered a situation where a mother convinced her daughter that she was trans when the child's father protested, the woman went to court in a custody battle over the 11-year-old after . A doctor at the center sided with the mother and so did the court." Erin Reed responded that "Jamie is upset that the doctors testified on a patient’s behalf that the best medical practices were followed. An entire court case happened around this proceeding where a judge weighed all of the evidence and statements and came to a verdict. We are supposed to put all of that aside because of a vendetta that Jamie has with her own place of employment."
Even the parents of children who attended the clinic have debunked Jamie Reed's claims.
Mandelburg concluded by claiming: "At the end of the op-ed, Reed pointed out that this isn’t a political matter. This shouldn’t be a divisive issue. This deals with the safety of our children and shouldn’t result in culture wars." In fact, as Erin Reed pointed out, Jamie's testimony was withheld in order to have maximum impact on anti-trans bills in the Missouri legislature, meaning that Jamie is totally cool with playing politics with this issue -- just as Mandelburg is.
Mandelburg has not updated her post to reflect how Jamie Reed's claims have been discredited, nor has she written a new one retracting her earlier post. Remember, narratives are more important than facts.
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.