ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, March 28, 2023
WND Parrots Questionable Witness Testimony On Purported Election Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily continues to promote false narratives about election fraud, despite an utter lack of credible evidence. Bob Unruh cranked out this Luddite gem for a Feb. 17 article:

A computer programmer who previously has testified to Congress on the integrity of voting machines has warned lawmakers in Arizona never to trust them.

"Don’t use machines, because you can never, ever trust them to give you a fair election. There are too many ways to hack them. You can hack them at the level that I did when you first build them, you can hack them from the outside, you can hack them with programs that load themselves on the side. It’s impossible to secure them. You will never beat the programmer. The programmer always owns the universe," explained Clinton Eugene Curtis to the Arizona Senate Election Committee, a report from the Tennessee Star said.

He's a Democrat to has worked as a programmer for NASA, the Department of Defense and other government agencies. He had testified in 2007 to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that he could program voting machines so he could manipulate the results, and he'd never be detected.

His testimony included confirmation that he could use only a few lines of code to change the results of an election.

"He said county election officials would not be able to detect it unless they had access to the source code or could compare the count to the paper ballot count," the report explained.

He said, "Nothing happens on that machine that the programmer doesn’t make happen. … I control the vote, you guys don’t. I’m here to address the lies and to show basically, how my program works and how any other program can work."

He said, "Twenty-four lines of code can change it and there’s nothing you can do. You can’t catch it. You can’t find my module, and it can erase itself right after it does."

The article by the right-wing Tennessee Star on which Unruh's article is based was written by Rachel Alexander, a WND columnist and election denier. In it, she attached a video of what she called "2007 testimony to Congress" about election fraud (which Unruh uncritically repeated, because he doesn't fact-check anything that echoes his employer's narratives). In fact, as a real fact-checker found, the video is from 2004, and Curtis' main accusation during the testimony was that he accused Republican then-state representative (and later congressman) Tom Feeney of paying him to write a program. According to the fact-checker, Feeney denied any knowledge of the software or even meeting Curtis --who ran against Feeney in 2006 -- and Curtis himself says he has no knowledge that the software he claimed to have written was ever used.

Meanwhile, another media outlet more interested in facts pointed out that at the time of the purported scheme 2000, Florida didn't use electronic voting, and that a computer expert noted that there is no such thing as "one-size-fits-all software" and that a programmer would have to have specific knowledge about a specific vendor's system and software -- which Curtis didn't have in 2000 because electronic voting wasn't used in Florida until two years later.

Needless to say, none of this appears in Unruh's article -- he simply parrots the stenography Alexander did in her article. Is that the kind of "journalism" WND thinks readers should pay it for?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EDT
Newsmax Returns To DirecTV -- But Has To Walk Back Its Previous Attacks
Topic: Newsmax

After more than 258 articles attacking DirecTV for dropping its TV channel and trying to goad Republican politicians into demanding government interference into a business decision, Newsmax mysteriously stopped the attacks after March 10. The apparent reason why later became clear: Newsmax was in serious negotiations to get back on DirecTV. When that return was announced on March 22, Newsmax published not a biased news article crowing about it defeated the evil DirecTV  and its "censorship" but, rather, a press release apparently written by DirecTV (if its insistence of putting DirecTV in all caps is any indication) in which Newsmax was made to walk back its incendiary anti-DirecTV rhetoric and emphasize that it was, in fact, a business dispute over carriage fees:

DIRECTV and Newsmax Media, Inc. announced today that they reached a business agreement for a multi-year distribution deal that will return the Newsmax channel to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse on March 23, 2023.

When the two companies were initially unable to agree on financial terms to extend their carriage agreement, DIRECTV lost the rights to distribute the programming on Jan 25, 2023. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the pay TV industry, and often consumers are caught in the middle.

“Newsmax recognizes and appreciates that DIRECTV clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax. “As a standalone company, DIRECTV gave Newsmax its start nearly a decade ago as it continues to do with upcoming news networks, which is why we are pleased to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will deliver our network to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse customers over the next several years.”

“This resolution with Newsmax, resolving an all-too-common carriage dispute, underscores our dedication to delivering a wide array of programming and perspectives to all our customers,” said Bill Morrow, Chief Executive Officer for DIRECTV. “Through our persistent negotiations, we reached a resolution under mutually-agreeable business terms allowing us to deliver the conservative news network at the right value – a reflection of the free market at work.”

[...]

This agreement marks DIRECTV’s latest successful resolution of a carriage dispute, an unfortunate but increasingly frequent occurrence involving nearly every pay TV and streaming provider attempting to keep rising consumer costs in check. Over the past five years alone, the industry has endured no less than 140 distinct disputes pitting programmers or station groups against their primary distributors. While some resolve in as little as a few hours to days or weeks, others last several months to more than a year. During that same timeframe, DIRECTV has resolved public disputes with approximately 50 programmers or station groups, typically lasting a few days or weeks, but routinely extending to several months in some instances.

It appears that one of the conditions for Newsmax to return to DirecTV was that it had to walk back its weeks of attacks over purported "censorship." As we've noted, Newsmax rarely noted that DirecTV replaced Newsmax with another right-wing channel, The First, since doing so would undermine that argument.

Newsmax published a minimum of crowing about the restoration from the same folks it called out to attack DirecTV -- but even then, it counteracted the rhetoric to stick within the terms of that apparent agreement. An article touting how Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said that Newsmax's return means a “victory for free speech over powerful corporations that want to put their thumbs on the scale of the national conversation” also includes the Ruddy quote about how DirecTV "supports diverse voices, including conservative ones." Other articles did the same thing:

Another piece of evidence suggesting that the walkback was mandatory: For a few days after its return, Newsmax ran a message in its top-of-page breaking-news banner space stating: "Newsmax returns to DIRECTV, a leader in conservative news. DIRECTV never sought to limit conservative voices."


The banner also linked to the press release announcing Newsmax's return. After that, Newsmax began running a box on the right side of its home page stating an almost identical message.

In the end, it's not sure what was gained was worth the cost. Newsmax got its place back on Newsmax, but it's unclear whether it got an licensing fee -- the press release stated that it's returning "at no additional cost to customers," sugesting it's not getting one -- but it's clearly being forced to tone down its rhetoric and previous malicious attacks on DirecTV in doing so. Of coruse, given the legal trouble Newsmax has found itself in over the past couple years regarding its false and incindiery rhetoric, that's not exactly a bad thing.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Desperately Tries To Blame Pelosi For Federal Debt Approved In Part By Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com continues to have a hard time weaning itself away from attacking Nancy Pelosi as she stepped down from House Democratic leadership. Showing how desperate the situation is, an anonymous Jan. 27 post claimed that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent out a tweet on January 22—the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s now-reversed Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a right—that said the “Republican-controlled Supreme Court” was jeopardizing women." Yes our anonymous writer still thinks Pelosi is speaker.

Meanwhile, editor Terry Jeffrey -- who has something of a psychological block regarding the fact that the federal debt increased significantly during Donald Trump's presidency -- desperately tried to spin things after President Biden pointed out that fact by making Pelosi the villain in a Feb. 9 article -- though he first had to concede that Biden was right:

During the two periods that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) served as speaker of the House, the total federal debt increased by $14,762,858,559,299.17, which is 46.93 percent of the total debt of $31,455,106,801,791.45 that the federal government held as of the close of business on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday drew attention to the significant increase in the debt that took place when President Donald Trump was in office.

“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.”

In fact, when Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, the total federal debt was $19,947,304,555,212.49, according to the data published on the Treasury Department’s “Debt to the Penny” webpage.

When Trump left office four years later on Jan. 20, 2021, the total federal debt was $27,751,896,236,414.77.

Thus, during Trump’s administration the total federal debt increased by $7,804,591,681,202.28.

That is 24.81 percent of the total federal debt of $31,455,106,801,791.45 that the government maintained as of Feb. 7, 2023, the day Biden delivered his State of the Union Address.

However, the debt increased far more during the Trump administration when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) was speaker of the House than it did when then-Rep. Paul Ryan was speaker.

Jeffrey then went into further spin mode by blaming COVID spending for the most of the  debt increase under Trump:

Almost three quarters—74.61 percent—of the $7,804,591,681,202.28 that the debt increased during the Trump administration occurred when Nancy Pelosi was speaker. Only 25.39 percent occurred when Ryan was speaker.

One cause for the escalation in federal spending—and the resultant debt—in the second half of the Trump administration was the COVID-19 pandemic, which first hit the United States in early 2020.

In March and April of that year, Congress enacted four laws in response to the pandemic that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the deficit by a combined $2.404 trillion from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2030.

These COVID-19 response laws included the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), which CBO estimated would cost $1.721 trillion; the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which CBO estimated would cost $483 billion; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which CBO estimated would cost $192 billion; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which CBO estimated would cost $8 billion.

But the debt that accumulated during the Trump’s administration was significantly less than the debt that accumulated during the two periods when Pelosi served as speaker.

Jeffrey left unspoken the fact that Trump was president and had ultimate authority over all that spending. Of course, not only did Jeffrey not give Biden that same pass, he attempted to portray Pelosi as wildly powerful on spending matters even though she led only one branch of Congress and was never the president who had final authority:

The total of $14,762,858,559,299.10 that the federal debt increased during Pelosi’s two periods as speaker of the House equals 46.93 percent of the federal government’s total debt of $31,455,106,801,791.45 as of Feb. 7.

As speaker of the House, Pelosi had considerable constitutional leverage over federal spending. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states that: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” No federal law can be enacted unless it is approved by the House of Representatives that the speaker leads.

Since Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, a little more than two years ago, the federal debt has increased by $3,703,210,565,376.68—rising from $27,751,896,236,414.77 to $31,455,106,801,791.45.

This slightly-more-than-two-year increase in the debt under Biden equals 11.77 percent of the entire federal debt.

Jeffrey's article concluded with the usual tagline that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Woudl Wold really approve of such biased and dishonest reporting?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Monday, March 27, 2023
MRC Gushes Over Gutfeld -- But Excludes Him From Its Late-Night Analyses
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just loves right-wing Fox News late-night host Greg Gutfeld, and it continues to tout how much better ratings reportedly are compared with other late-night hosts:

  • A Sept. 13 post by Elise Eharhard complained that the Emmys ignored "non-woke" late-night hosts: "Notably absent from the list of nominees was the man whose late-night talk show ratings beats them all, Fox New's Greg Gutfeld."
  • An Oct. 8 post by Tim Graham touted how "Joseph Wulfsohn at Fox News reports that audiences are leaving the Old Media late-night "comedy" shows now the Trump era is over," going to quote Wulfsohn whoring for his employer by noting that Colbert is "losing his title as King of Late Night in recent months to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, whose show 'Gutfeld!' has edged out the CBS rival with 2.2-2.4 million viewers as of late." (Of course, the MRC would never call out Fox News for this blatant example of corporate whoring that it routinely attacks non-right-wing networks for doing.)
  • An Oct. 16 post by Kevin Tober whined that CBS noted how Jon Stewart was a trailblazer for liberal-leaning late-night hosts: "This is obviously comical since the left is even failing in the late-night ratings to the new king of late-night Greg Gutfeld."
  • The MRC's Curtis Houck gushed in a Dec. 11 appearance on Fox News that the "venom" shown by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel "is exactly why your lead-in, Greg Gutfeld, is just destroying the competition. ... [Y]ou look at the ratings. Kimmel down 28 percent. You have Fallon down 48 percent. Colbert down 17 percent as of late. You know, as my colleague Alex Christie said, you can take Kimmel out of The Man Show but you can’t take The Man Show out of Kimmel."
  • Chrstian Toto complained in a Dec. 31 post that an end-of-year New York Times review of late night TV ignored Gutfeld: "Gutfeld! quickly established itself as a sly alternative to the other, hard-Left showcases. This year, Greg Gutfeld’s showcase finished either first or second in the late-night ratings race. A cable-based show with no A-list stars or fawning media coverage became the format’s biggest news story since David Letterman hung up his mic."

So if Gutfeld is such a late-night powerhouse that his presence shouldn't be ignored, why does the MRC studiously ignore Gutfeld when it purports to evaluate late-night content? A Nov. 14 post by Alex Christy complained about late-night guests being too liberal:

The late-night comedy scene has been reliably liberal for a long time, but the 2022 midterm election was a regular messaging machine for the Democrats, a NewsBusters study has revealed.

MRC analysts found that during the fall campaign, from Labor Day through the Monday night before Election Day, liberal guests outnumbered conservative guests 47 to 0. It was 100 percent liberal and/or Democrat.

The study looked at the daily six late night comedy shows: ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Fox's Gutfeld! was not included.

Christy did not explain why he refuse to evaluate the highest-rated late-night show. He did, however, take time to explain why he listed Anthony Fauci as a partisan: "despite serving under both parties, [he] was listed as a Democrat due to him taking on a new role as President Biden’s chief medical advisor." Which is nonsensical because being a medical adviser is about as nonpartisan as it gets.

Christy repeated his selective exclusion for a Feb. 6 post:

The late-night comedy shows ended 2022 with a unanimously liberal guest count and that trend continued until the very last day of January, a NewsBusters study has revealed.

MRC analysts found that from Labor Day through January 31, liberal guests outnumbered conservative guests 93 to 1. It was 99 percent liberal and/or Democrat. The one exception was My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell who Jimmy Kimmel put on to mock.

This is follow up to MRC’s late night guest election campaign study.

The study looked at the daily six late night comedy shows: ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and 2023 guest hosts. Fox's Gutfeld! was not included.

Again, Christy refused to explain why the highest-rated late-night host was deliberately excluded from his analysis. But he did explain that "George Conway and Adam Kinzinger are identified as liberals for their active opposition to Republicans" -- never mind that they apparently remain Republicans though they harshly criticize Donald Trump and his apologists. Apparently, criticizing Trump in any way makes one a "liberal."

Thus, once again, narrative trumps facts at the MRC. Adding Gutfield to its late-night evaluation would skew the guest disparity numbers and make them much smaller, and the MRC needs that distorted number for clicks (just like the made up "secondhand censorship" metric). Gutfeld is useful only for ratings fodder, not for "media research."

Indeed, Christy's research blind spot was followed by a Feb. 10 post by Joseph Vazquez chortling over how "Fox News host Greg Gutfeld had a field day roasting the leftist C-suite hacks at the disenchanted Walt Disney Company for their ongoing obsession to out-woke themselves despite their bottom line taking a financial beating." That was followed by a Feb. 13 post by P.J. Gladnick mocking "Daily Show" creator Lizz Winstead over "the very true fact that Gutfeld leads in the late-night ratings for comedy" and because she inadvertently exposed how including the show in MRC "research" would skew things, noting that if she ever appeared on Gutfeld's show, she "would just get trolls in your Twitter field from here to eternity." Gladnick huffed in response: "You know what else is gross, Lizz? Your Daily Show which are in the basement, which is why you have such rage against Greg Gutfeld who has overwhelmed your old TV show in the late-night ratings."

Gladnick didn't mention that Winstead hasn't been involved with "The Daily Show" since 1998, though she did appear as a guest last month.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 27, 2023 10:07 PM EDT
WND's 'Clinton Body Count' Discredited Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's lingering case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome is such that it blames any death of anyone even remotely associated with Bill and Hillary Clinton on a conspiracy theory of the couple targeting their enemies (never mind all evidence to the contrary). Last June, WND tried to cynically add another name to the list, and Bob Unruh updated this ghoulish conspiracy in a Feb. 22 article:

A former Clinton aide who signed Jeffrey Epstein into the White House multiple times was found dead in 2022 with a gunshot wound to his chest, an extension cord tied around his neck and attached to a tree.

No gun was found in the vicinity.

But his death now has been determined to be a suicide, according to a report assembled by the Daily Mail.

It's just one of a long list of suspicious deaths that have been documented among those who were in the circle of people that included Bill and Hillary Clinton.

[...]

Newsweek said the "Clinton Body Count" "conspiracy" dated to the 1990s when a now-deceased attorney "railed against the Clinton administration's deadly 1993 Waco, Texas, siege of the Branch Davidian church that resulted in more than 75 deaths."

The late talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh discussed the "Clinton body count" in 2016, citing a report from Rachel Alexander at Townhall.com titled "Clinton body count or left-wing conspiracy? Three with ties to DNC mysteriously die."

Limbaugh said at the time he recalled Ted Koppel, then anchor of ABC News' "Nightline," routinely discussing the issue following the July 20, 1993, death of White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster.

Just one problem: The Daily Mail published an article the next day that debunked the conspiracy theory that it and WND had been pushing:

A shotgun WAS found near the body of the Clinton White House aide who killed himself on a ranch in Arkansas, the local sheriff is now saying. 

And more details of how cops now believe Mark Middleton killed himself have been released. 

Papers released earlier by Perry County sheriff Scott Montgomery said deputies who were called to the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, an hour west of Little Rock, after an abandoned BMW SUV was found there specifically said there was no gun in the car.

But now a further set of papers has been released to DailyMail.com that says a weapon – a Stoeger 12-gauge coach gun – was found on the ground 30 feet from Middleton’s body.

In the new papers, Sergeant Keenan Carter gives a detailed explanation of how he believes Middleton – an aide who signed pedophile Jeffrey Epstein into the White House several times during Bill Clinton’s presidency – took great lengths to ensure his suicide bid was successful - after writing a text to his wife saying he had ‘found a perfect place for a nap in the sun.’

[...]

Carter said in this report that the gun landed so far from Middleton’s body ‘due to the recoil from the discharge and the height and angle of the ground.’ 

‘This officer didn’t find any evidence to indicate that there was anyone else present with Mr. Middleton at this scene or any evidence that there was any type of struggle and or foul play.’ 

WND has not updated or retracted Unruh's article, nor did it published a separate article with the evidence that debunked it. Similarly, the Daily Mail never updated its original story to add the correct information debunking its premise.

Nevertheless, Unruh repeated other purported entries on the so-called "Clinton body count." One was "former U.N. official John Ashe, founded [sic] dead in his New York home. Officials said it was a heart attack, but local police said his throat had been crushed by a barbell." As Snopes detailed, Ashe -- who is on the alleged list because he was about to go on trial on corruption charges, which WND had previoiusly misleadingly portrayed as linked ot Hillary Clinton -- did indeed die in a barbell accident, and his death was originally erroneously reported as from a heart attack.

Unruh also cited "attorney Shawn Lucas, 38, who helped serve the DNC with a lawsuit claiming then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz 'rigged the [2016] primary for Hillary Clinton' and days later was found dead in his bathroom. The cause of death wasn't determined." In fact, Lucas' cause of death has been determined: a medical examiner called the death accidental due to the "combined adverse effects of fentanyl [a synthetic opioid pain medication], cyclobenzaprine [a muscle relaxant], and mitragynine [better known as kratom]."

Unruh went on to mysteriously reference "Another man, an MI6 spy who had illegally hacked secret data on Bill Clinton, [who] was found dead, naked, padlocked and stuffed in a duffel bag in a London hotel bathtub. Scotland Yard said it was a suicide." Unruh is referring to Gareth Williams, who died in 2010, and he's misleading about what Scotland Yard said about Williams. It reported that Williams had unorthodox sexual tastes and had apparently visited bondage and sadomasochism websites, including several related to claustrophilia, a desire for confinement in enclosed spaces. A source close to the inquiry said that "They have been unable to find any trace of anyone who should not have been in the flat and every reason to believe that Gareth may have climbed into the bag himself and been unable to get out."

WND leaned into this direction regarding thet death of Dana Hyde, who worked in both the Clinton and Obama, as the result of an in-flight incident. It reprinted a March 7 article from the Western Journal (which began life as a right-wing nonprofit founded by WND editor Joseph Farah) under the headline "Another Clinton official dead"; though the article itself did not push any Clinton conspiracy, a reader poll attached to the article asked, "Does working for the Clintons increase anyone's chances of dying mysteriously?" A reprinted March 26 Western Journal article on the full cause of Hyde's death, however, carried a headline identifying her only as an "Obama official."

The "Clinton Body Count" was discredited a long time ago, well before we did our first exploration of it way back in 2005.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:31 PM EDT
Comedy: MRC Exec And Fox News Lover Graham Frets Over Decline Of Media Objectivity
Topic: Media Research Center

It always makes for great unintentional comedy when the Media Research Center -- which runs the highly biased "news" operation CNSNews.com -- demands objectivity from all media outlets outside the right-wing bubble, and Tim Graham did jsut that in his Feb. 1 column:

The establishment media have shuffled forth to announce that their Objectivity is dead. They don’t realize that it’s like announcing that Jack Benny is dead. It’s not “news.”

Former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie was the announcer, proclaiming that he and former CBS News president Andrew Heyward surveyed 75 sources in the media elites and found a “generational shift.” Voila, no one is objective any more.

The headline was “Newsrooms that move beyond ‘objectivity’ can build trust.” Objectivity is in scare quotes because it was always corrupt, according to this enlightened white male.

The people who loathe “bothsidesism” are fervent believers in “one-sideism,” and seek to enforce the media norm that there should be no space or respect granted to the “wrong side” of climate change, LGBTQ+, “Black Lives Matter,” and so on, and so on. There’s no right and left, only Right and Wrong.

[...]

Downie laments that the Old Media are “coping with economic and digital disruption” and “increasing competition from misinformation on cable television and the internet.” This is how the “mainstream” media define the conservative media – they are bluntly categorized as “misinformation” that is harming their market share.

Obviously, when you make everyone painfully aware you will avoid “false balance” and exclude the “wrong side” from your “news” stories -- unless you’re destroying them and their favorite leaders -- the “wrong side” goes out in search of journalism that addresses their concerns.

Note that Graham never references right-wing media like Fox News when he demands "objectivity." That's because he actually doesn't want objectivity -- he wants all media outlets to have the same right-wing bias as Fox News. He'll never genuinely call out Fox News -- even when they are caught red-handed lying to its viewers -- because he and his MRC subordinates appear on the channel and need the PR from it, but it will nitpick the "liberal media" for every perceived slight. And if Graham really cared about media objectivity, he would marching down the hall at MRC HQ to CNS' newsroom and demand that Terry Jeffrey and crew clean up their act and start following the rules of objectivity he demands of others.

Instead, Graham concluded by whining:

The more they’ve dumped objectivity, the more the public trust in the press has plummeted. Last October, Gallup found only 34 percent of Americans trust the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly,” and that’s because 70 percent of Democrats say they trust them.

Earth to the media: You spurned the “wrong side” as undeserving of your attention, and you received the distrust that you wanted. Try to make profits by only serving the “marginalized.”

Graham didn't mention that his employer spends millions of dollars every year to undermine trust in the media and to hype biased media like Fox News that pushes the same right-wing narratives it endorses. No sane media observer agrees that Fox News covers things "fully, accurately and fairly," amd Graham is certainly never going to criticize it for doing so -- indeed, it lashes out anytime Fox News inadvertently deviates from those narratives.

You want us to believe you care about media objectivity, Tim? Criticize right-wing media for having a right-wing bias. Of course, we already know he'll never do that because fealty to the partisan narrative that pays his salary is more important than intellectual consistency.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Flips For Elon Musk, Part 1
Topic: CNSNews.com
Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com didn't much like Elon Musk until he showed interest in buying Twitter -- then it became one of his right-wing PR agents. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Sunday, March 26, 2023
After Years Of Feuding, MRC Makes Up With CPAC, Uses It To Promote Its Agenda
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had hot-and-cold relations with the conservative political gathering CPAC over the years -- one year MRC chief Brent Bozell withdrew all his subordinates from the conference in a snit becuase CPAC wouldn't give him a prominent enough speaking slot. Over the past several months, though, the MRC has been on good enough terms to promote CPAC and bestow victmhood on it over perceived slights -- and censor bad news about it from its readers.

We've already documented how the MRC was an apologist for Hungarian strongman Victor Orban ahead of his speech at a CPAC gathering last August. AFter YouTube removed video of CPAC speechs for hate and misinformation, Brian Bradley awarded victimhood in a Sept. 29 post:

YouTube on Friday removed “an entire day” of content posted by the Conservative Political Action Conference with no warning, CPAC said in a statement Wednesday.

A CPAC event in Dallas that took place Aug. 4-7 featured “high-profile conservatives,” including former President Donald Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

CPAC spokesperson Alex Pfeiffer told MRC Free Speech America in an email Thursday that YouTube told his organization it removed the video because of so-called “misinformation.” 

“YouTube continues to operate as an arm of the Democratic Party,” Pfeiffer said in a brief interview. “It shuts down all dissent. But they’re not going to win. We’re going to continue to talk about election integrity. Those fascist dorks in Silicon Valley won’t succeed.”

Bradley made no attempt to contact YouTube for comment -- presumably because doing so would distract from his victimhood narrative. (The MRC also complained when YouTube deleted CPAC videos from earlier in the year because they spread lies about election fraud.)

But a couple days later, when CPAC's Twitter account referred to areas of Ukraine that Russia's Vladimir Putin illegally annexed as "Ukrainian-occupied territories" -- prompting some serious backpedaling on CPAC's part -- the MRC was silent.

A Nov. 22 post by Kathleen Krumhansl (also in Spanish) complained that a Spanish-language channel planned Donald Trump speaking to a CPAC gathering in Mexico:

Univision, where journalists routinely advocate for abortions, transgender rights, the sexualization of grade school children, same sex marriage, et. al, has now become the watchdog of virtue – that is, Donald J. Trump's, who “does not practice any religion and has five children by three different women'', yet dared urge a group of supposed ultraconservatives gathered in Mexico City, to "defend God, Family, and Country." 

The virtue signaling came in the form of a story published in Univision.com, under a generic Univision byline, regarding a pre-recorded message from Trump that was aired at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in Mexico City this past weekend.

Krumhansl also complained that the newscast "cast aspersions" on CPAC Mexico chief Eduardo Verástegui because he got his start as an actor.

In a Dec. 22 post, P.J. Gladnick rushed to defend Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for attending a Christmas party at the home of CPAC leader Matt Schlapp with a lame bit of whataboutism: "These reporters and their appointed experts never cared when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was being celebrated by leftists at the Sundance Film Festival or the Glamour magazine "Woman of the Year" awards."

As the main CPAC gathering approached, Curtis Houck gushed in a Feb. 27 podcast how he and fellow MRCer Nicholas Fondacaro "teased the MRC’s presence at CPAC and told listeners to be sure to come say hi if you’re making the trip to National Harbor!" Fondacaro followed in a March 1 podcast: "And once more, be sure to check out the MRC’s presence at CPAC including the panel discussion with our Founder and President Brent Bozell!"

There was no mention of the fact that a month earlier, CPAC leader Schlapp had been slapped (or Schlapped, if you'd like) with a lawsuit accusing him of "unwanted groping" by a male staffer on Herschel Walker's doomed Senate campaign. That would have created drama between the MRC and CPAC, and the MRC was planning to milk CPAC for all it was worth.

Bozell apaprently finally got that prime speaking slot he demanded, so Kevin Tober served as servile stenographer for the March 2 speech:

During the first official day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Media Research Center (MRC) founder and President Brent Bozell tore into the dishonest and corrupt media for the way they cover (or don’t cover) the news. Bozell declared that they are no longer liberal, they are full-blown Marxists. 

Joined WMAL radio host Larry O’Connor, TownHall senior columnist Kurt Schlichter and Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik, on a panel aptly titled “Don Lemon is past his primetime,” Bozell expertly tore apart the media and explained how their bias has gotten so much worse in the years since the MRC was founded in 1987. 

Looking back to when the MRC was founded, O’Connor observed to Bozell that “back then it was a quaint notion of media bias. I think we’ve come a long way from just media bias haven't we?”

“When we started in 1987, we went after this thing called liberal media bias. It doesn't exist anymore,” Bozell explained. “We're not talking about a liberal media, you are talking about a media that could care less about the news. They don't report the news. They’re weaponized. They’re Marxist! Many of them are Marxist,” Bozell added. 

He pointed out that if they want to do what they do as “opinion writers” then they can go ahead but from them “to say that they are CNN, that they are CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, that’s an insult to America to do this.”

Garbriela Pariseau touted more MRC propagandizing in another post that day:

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider at the CPAC Big Tech panel Thursday that Big Tech is “one of the most relevant issues to our daily lives right now.” 

Schneider led a panel entitled, “Big Tech- Break ‘em Up, Bust ‘em Up, Put ‘em in Jail.” Schneider and Moody were joined by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes to discuss just how big Big Tech is, the harms it causes and whether the industry of giants still needs Section 230 liability protections.

Paiten Iselin had a gushy post headlined "EXCLUSIVE: Backstage at CPAC ft. Bozell, Libs of TikTok, O’Connor & More!" Catherine Salgado served up more stenography in a post touting how Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt "slammed Big Tech censorship and issued a call to protect free speech at CPAC 2023 Thursday." Anti-abortion extremist Tierin-Rose Mandelburg also worked the CPAC floor as well by doing an interview with (who else?) a fellow anti-abortion activist.

When CPAC was criticized, the MRC snapped to defense mode, such as is this March 3 post by Alex Christy:

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel reacted the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference with his usual hurling of insults as he labeled attendees as both “fascist” and “racist.”

During his monologue, Kimmel declared that, “In Washington, the fascist and the furious have gathered to praise their lord and savior, Donald Trump, at the annual CPAC convention. This is a convention for all your worst aunts and uncles.”

[...]

Getting back to CPAC attendees, Kimmel claimed that, “This CPAC event, it’s kind of hard to explain, every, like, low-rent radio host and podcast racist with a dye job and a fleece vest shows up to try to out-crazy each other.”

Clay Waters similarly complained in a March 5 post:

PBS NewsHour anchor Amna Nawaz introduced an unfriendly segment on the Conservative Political Action Conference's (CPAC) annual gathering in the Maryland suburbs of DC. Laura Barron-Lopez’s solemnly intoned field report on Friday evening was interspersed with her own opinions about the “white grievance politics” and the so-called “false belief” about teaching Critical Race Theory.

[...]

She noted many potential candidates were sitting out CPAC, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and interviewed Al Cardenas, the former chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the annual conference. Cardenas now has the same liberal politics as his wife, Ana Navarro.

Neither Waters nor Christy disclosed the conflict of interest that their employer had a major presence at CPAC. Waters' post, however, contains the only reference by ther MRC to Schlapp's sexual misconduct scandal, though buried in a transcript at the end of the piece and not otherwise highlighted or remarked upon.

Jeffrey Lord spent his March 4 column defending CPAC against more reporting he didn't like:

It is an amazing thing to watch. In the lead-up to the annual winter convening of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just outside of Washington, there was the Associated Press running a story headlined:

Trump set to headline diminished gathering of conservatives

As this is written, I am at CPAC. And there is nothing “diminished” about it. Thousands of energized conservatives are surging through the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland. They have been listening to all manner of speakers -- U.S. Senators and House members, presidential candidates and, on Saturday, former President Trump himself. Yet what occurs in reading that Post article is that yet again the liberal media is simply unable to report fact.

But Lord quoted nothing from the AP article outside the headline; the article explained how the gathering is "diminished" due to the absence of former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. and presumed presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, as well as "congressional leaders and governors, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, and several potential presidential prospects, including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who has been building buzz among some donors." The article also pointed out thatthe right-wing Club for Growth "will hold a competing event, a donor summit in Florida, that is attracting DeSantis, Pence and others."

Instead, Lord unironically criticized the "mainstream media" for purportedly not engaging in "'just the facts' jorunalism."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 26, 2023 10:07 PM EDT
CNS Follows MRC Parent In Trying To Exploit Ohio Train Derailment For Partisan Gain
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is little more than the biased Media Research Center in an inverted-pyriamid format -- so much for editorial independence -- so it's no surprise that CNS parroted its MRC parent in trying to exploit the chemical-leaking train derailment in Ohio for partisn purposes. Like the MRC, CNS ignored the derailment for 11 days after it happened on Feb. 3; its first article was a piece by Melanie Arter quoting White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on how the Environmental Protection Agency is reacting to the derailment. That was followed the next day by another article from Arter quoting EPA administrator Michael Regan.

Then it was time to play politics, which Craig Bannister did in a Feb. 16 article:

On Thursday morning, a train carrying hazardous materials derailed in Michigan, a day after Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg demanding an explanation of what caused a train derailment in Ohio, which released hazardous materials, causing citizens to evacuate.

Local Detroit station WXYZ reports that at least six trains cars derailed in the Van Buren Township – one of which contained hazardous cargo. The EPA has, reportedly, dispatched a team to assess and address any potential threat.

On Wednesday, Senators Rubio and Vance sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, questioning whether adequate staffing could have prevented the East Palestine, Ohio derailment's environmental catastrophe.

At issue is the rail company’s use of a cost-cutting practice called “precision-scheduled railroading” (PSR), which employs fewer workers to move more freight, the senators write:

After that came a Feb. 17 article by Arter featuring an appearance by Regan on Fox News, as well as another emphasizing Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine saying the disaster did not qualify for FEMA assistance; DeWine went on to explain why, but that didn't make it sinto the headline.

Bannister then devoted a Feb. 20 article to corporate whoredom, repeating MRC co-worker Joseph Vazquez's conspiracy theory that the TV networks reduced coverage of the derailment because the hedge funds that own part of them also own part of Norfolk Southern Railroad and publicizing the disaster would hurt  ESG investing:

Vanguard and BlackRock, giant asset management firms known for their commitment to investing in liberal Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) causes, aren’t just the top two shareholders of Norfolk Southern, whose train derailment created an environmental disaster, they’re also among the top shareholders of the parent companies of the broadcast networks that have abandoned coverage of the ongoing toxic threat.

Last Tuesday NewsBusters reported that, while reports of health problems feared to be associated with the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio have continued, broadcast network news coverage has all but vanished:

[...]

As NewsBusters noted on Thursday, the Vanguard and BlackRock ties to the train disaster reflects poorly on their ESG credentials, while also raising a question about their connection to the broadcast media who have lost interest in covering the ongoing concerns about the derailment:

Bannister did not disclose that NewsBusters, like CNS, is a division of the MRC. Or did he explain why, if the derailment story is so important, why both CNS and the MRC ignored the story for 11 days.

For a Feb. 21 article, Arter did stenography for a former Trump official:

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe criticized President Biden for visiting Ukraine on President’s Day instead of visiting East Palestine, Ohio, where residents are dealing with the aftermath of a train derailment that resulted in hazardous chemicals being released into the environment.

“Even if you look at how badly the Biden administration has mismanaged Ukraine up to this point and a war that many of us believe a strong president could have avoided. We believe that it was Biden's weakness in Afghanistan that prompted Putin to move on Ukraine in the first place,” Ratcliffe told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Monday.

Arter failed to tell her readers that no Trump official visited the site of a train derailment during his administration.

Susan Jones spent a Feb. 22 article trying to blame Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the disaster by not showing up there in a sufficiently speedy manner:

It's been 19 days since dozens of Norfolk Southern freight cars, some of them filled with toxic chemicals, derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, but Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has not yet visited the devastated town.

Neither has President Joe Biden. But former President Donald Trump will be there today.

"I am planning to go," Buttigieg told MSNBC's Ali Velshi on Tuesday, amid criticism that he has ignored a crisis that falls under his jurisdiction.

"And when I'm on the ground, it's going to be about action. It's not going to be about show or politics," he said.

The spill itself and the toxic smoke have left anxious residents in despair, many complaining of health problems they blame on the chemical contamination -- and many asking, "Where's Pete?"

Like Arter, Jones failked to disclose that no Trump official visited the scene of a train derailment.Jones' attack is also in line withJones trying to blame Buttigieg for holiday flight delays that were, in fact, caused by the airlines.

Bannister gushed over Trump's politically motivated trip to Ohio in a Feb. 22 article:

On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump visited East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment unleashed toxic materials on residents earlier this month, to meet with members of the community and local officials.

Trump is reportedly donating thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies and 13 pallets of water, each of which holds the equivalent of a couple of thousands of water bottles, to the ravaged community. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has been facing heavy criticism for its delayed, inadequate response to the February 3 tragedy.

Bannister followed that with an article the next day gushing over how "Twitter users were quick to post video clips of scenes from Trump’s exploits, as he bought Big Macs for local emergency responders, provided clean water and cleaning supplies to the town, and interacted with citizens, sharing his concern for their plight and appreciation of their support."

When Buttigieg did visit East Palestine, Jones whined about that too in a Feb. 23 article -- and quoted Trump before quoting Buttigieg:

Three weeks after a train derailment left East Palestine, Ohio contaminated with toxic chemicals, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg finally arrived there this morning, to hear from officials on the ground -- and maybe to hear from the furious and frightened residents.

His visit comes one day after former President Donald Trump went to East Palestine to commiserate with the town's people.

"In too many cases, your goodness and perseverance were met with indifference and betrayal,” Trump said, referring to the Biden administration's slow response to the disaster.

"Happy to discuss timing of our Ohio visit," Buttigieg tweeted on Wednesday. "[B]ut starting to think some in Washington want that to be the main focus so that there aren’t too many questions about rail safety regulation, who is for and who is against. We will hold the line on railroad safety and accountability."

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) said the response of Buttigieg and the entire Biden administration has been "a day late and a dollar short."

Another article that day by Jones noted the preliminary cause of the derailment, though she didn't go as far as her MRC co-workers to explicitly state that the cause purportedly absolves the Trump admimnistration from all blame for advocating deregulation of the train industry. An article by Arter that day complained that Biden will not visit the scene of the derailment while again censoring the fact that no Tump official ever went to one.

Bannister then served up his third article praising Trump's visit to East Palestine:

During their separate visits to East Palestine, Ohio this week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and former President Donald Trump had much different messages for the citizens of the community being ravaged by a toxic train derailment.

Buttigieg told the community that he’s now ready to “move on” to policymaking, where he’ll leverage the tragedy to impose new regulations.

Trump told the community that he won’t forget about them and that – if the Biden Administration doesn’t attend to their needs – he’ll come back to do help do it himself.

Bannister uncritically repeated Trump's false statement that "Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid to East Palestine, under any circumstances. They’re not going to send aid, and I thought that was a strange statement." In fact, as we noted when Bannister's employer made the same claim, the East Palestine derailment falls outside federally mandated FEMA guidelines for disaster aid because it was caused by a private company that is obligated to help people it hurt, not by natural forces, and there was no property damage.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Saturday, March 25, 2023
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 American magazine 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 surface the 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:

Some of the most bizarrely “woke” material is online-on ly, with a wider potential reach. The most notorious recent example is a January 6, 2023 opinion piece, cynically seizing on the on-field collapse of a Buffalo Bills player to label the NFL racist: “Damar Hamlin’s Collapse Highlights the Violence Black Men Experience in Football -- The “terrifyingly ordinary” nature of football’s violence disproportionately affects Black men.” It’s written by Tracie Canada, who is, no surprise, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology.

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."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2023 10:53 AM EDT
WND Obama Derangement Syndrome, Craige McMillan Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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.

-- Craige McMillan, Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Friday, March 24, 2023
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.

In addition to quoting him in several posts, the MRC continued to promote Ramaswamy's pontifications:

When Elon Musk started showing interest in Twitter, Alexander Hall made sure to get a comment from Ramaswamy, and he weas later given a post to gush further over Musk:"Vivek Ramaswamy Praises Musk on Fox News: He Paved Way for Shareholders to Fight Twitter Censorship."

When ESG became mandated for right-wingers to rage against, Ramaswamy give the MRC plenty of content:

In October, the MRC hyped Ramaswamy reacting to its bogus research purporting to show pro-Democratic Google search bias:

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2023 12:42 AM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:36 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2023 6:47 PM EDT
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."

 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
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 >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« March 2023 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google