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Thursday, March 30, 2023
CNS Complained That Right-Wing Attacks On Buttigieg Were Called Out

Part of's political exploitation of the train derailment in Ohio was to attack Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for purportedly not responding soon enough to the disaster (despite the fact that it took CNS 11 days to write its first article on it). When there was pushback on the right-wing attacks on Buttigieg -- whcih CNS also did in December in an attempt to blame him for airline flight delays over the Christmas holidays -- CNS made sure to complain. Melanie Arter groused about the pushback in a Feb. 23 article:

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who visited East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday, three weeks after the train derailment that led to hazardous chemicals being released into the environment.

When asked if Buttigieg was in Ohio at the president’s direction, the press secretary said, “Secretary Pete went because he believed that it was important for him to go there at this time.”

As to whether it was the right time to go, Jean-Pierre said, “I think what’s important is that he was there. I think what’s important is that we saw the Secretary of the Department of Transportation there. 

“I do want to say one thing, though, which is there’s been a lot of bad-faith attacks on Secretary Buttigieg, and the reason why we believe it’s bad faith is — if you remember Elaine Chao, she was — you know, she was the head of Department of Transportation, and where — when there was these types of chemical spills, nobody was calling for her to be fired, and nobody was calling for what they’re calling on Mayor — Secretary Pete,” she said.

<“It is pure politics.  This is pure political stunts, what they’re doing.  You have seen an administration that has — because of the leadership of this president that has taken action and multi-agency action to deal with the needs that we’re seeing on the ground with the community of East Palestine,” the press secretary said.

When NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander tried to ask the press secretary about China, she turned the subject back to Buttigieg again.

Arter served up a more straightforward account of Buttigieg the next day:

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told MSNBC’s “The Reidout” on Thursday that it was “ironic” that former President Donald Trump visited the scene of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, accusing him of watering down regulations and weakening the Biden administration’s power to deal with freight train companies.

“It was definitely an ironic thing to do. You take down regulations. You water down regulations, you weaken the power of the administration to deal with freight railroad companies, and then you show up wanting to be a great friend of the people who have been impacted by a rail disaster,” he said.

Arter did go on to note that "Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called for Buttigieg to be fired, saying he was missing in action on the train derailment for three weeks," though she did add that "Buttigieg responded by claiming that Rubio had asked for the Biden administration to weaken its inspection practices."

An anonymously written March 2 article complained that the Washington Post noted the homophobic nature of right-wing attacks on Buttigieg:

The Washington Post published a story on Wednesday that carried the headline “Republicans seize on train derailment to go after Buttigieg” and then stated that some conservatives and Republicans had used the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment as an "opportunity to wrap [Transportation Secretary Pete] Buttigieg’s sexual orientation into their criticism, leading to allegations that the post-derailment criticism stems in part from homophobia."

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “homophobia” as “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or gay people.”

The anonymous writer appeared to confirm the Post's reporting by not only illustrating the article with a picture of Buttigieg kissing his husband but also going on to obsessing over him being gay and adopting kids:

According to the Britannica website, Buttigieg is “gay” and “married.” It says: “In June 2015 he came out publicly as gay in an essay published in the South Bend Tribune. He later married (2018) Chasten Glezman, a schoolteacher.”

As reported by The Guardian, Buttigieg and his husband have adopted two babies.

A Sept. 1, 2021 story posted by the Guardian carries this headline: “Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten announce the birth of adopted twins.”

“The Buttigiegs announced last month that they were engaged in the adoption process,” the Guardian reported. “Sharing a picture of the babies on Saturday, they said they were ‘beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents.’”

The anonymous writer didn't explain why "gay" and "married" were put in scare quotes.

CNS' homophobic hate of Buttigieg started when he ran for president in the 2020 campaign and continued when he was nominated as trasportation secretary.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
MRC Kicked Off The New Year With More Transgender Hate
Topic: Media Research Center

In addition to promoting a discredited attack on a transgender clinic (which it refuses to retract or correct), the transphobes at the Media Research Center found other ways to lash out at transgender people since the beginning of this year. Chief transphobe Tierin-Rose Mandelburg ranted in a Jan. 10 post:

Don’t let that door hit ya on the way out. 

Rynn Willgohs, a 50-year-old transgender woman, is trying to figure out ways to leave the United States and seek asylum abroad due feeling targeted and attacked within the nation. WIllgohs started TRANSport to help others do the same.

Willgohs told VICE that theres “like 30 states” that he would not feel comfortable driving in due to the “increasingly hostile national climate.” He also added, “All you need to do is look at the news and see how bad it’s going to get in the country. We’re accused of being pedophiles and of grooming children. We’re being accused of being a social contagion that makes every child think they are in the queer community. That’s the farthest from the truth.” 

Maybe he’s disregarding the plethora of transgender/lgbtq teachers who specifically target their students to be part of the gender spectrum. I’d consider that a “social contagion” but maybe that’s just me. I'm sure TRANSport's European destinations are more enlightened.


Presently the group has about 30 people who have expressed interest in seeking asylum abroad. Running as a non-profit organization, TRANSport can accept donations, which it plans to use to  help people legally change their gender prior to fleeing the U.S, as well as help with passport and travel fees. 

I’d be lying if I said that I hate this idea … it’s not terrible and I’ve always been an advocate for the mentality of leaving a place if you hate it so …

Mandelburg went into mocking mode in her Jan. 11 "Woke of the Weak" podcast:

This week we got to witness a transgender lady complain about feeling “sick.” Essentially he had to call out of work after feeling ill and thinks that the pain he’s experiencing is due to a sort of menstrual cycle. He’s a biological man getting pumped with female hormones and is now complaining about cramps. 

Kinda funny considering he’ll never get a period or be an actual woman, not to mention asked for some sort of negative affect on his body when he chose to try to medically change his gender.

For a Jan. 30 post, Mandelburg hyped a claim by "Ex-prisoner Amanda Benson" who "revealed she was terrified of being raped by violent transgender females during her time behind bars." Mandelburg didn't mention why Benson was in prison -- according to a UK source Mandelburg cited, she has previous convictions for assault, so it's likely she would have been able to adequately defend herself (unless she's the kind of person who delights in bullying and assaulting poeple she thinks are weak).

Matt Philbin had a freakout over fictional transgender people in a Feb. 1 post:

They’re just not gonna let kids grow up normal. If the groomers can’t get ‘em in school, they reach out and get ‘em in video games.

According to Fox News Digital: "'The Sims 4,' which calls itself 'the ultimate life simulation game' on its website, announced Tuesday that it would allow players to give characters 'top scars' that come from breast removal surgery."

Here’s the best part: the game is for kids as young as 12, so tweens can contemplate double mastectomy scars, binders, “shapewear” (tucking or stuffing, I guess) and something called “medical wearables.”

All this makes sense, given that the kiddies have been able to use “they/them” pronouns since last May. Now, in the words of Libs of TikTok, “They’re teaching young healthy girls that it’s ok to chop off their breasts.”

It’s a depraved new world.

Philbin didn't mention that the Fox News Digital article was written by Jeffrey Clark, one of the parade of former MRC employees who now works for Fox News. Looks like all that Fox News-fluffing pays off for the MRC!

Mandelburg spent a Feb. 3 post raging that transgender people would like a refuge from hatred spewed by people like her:

What could be better than a Trans mommy/daddy having two trans kiddos? Pretty much anything else.

A transgender “mother,” Amber Mum, recently testified in front of the Minnesota House regarding House File 146 to advocate for ... transgender services for kids. 

Ms. Mum testified in a pink shirt that said something about trans rights, a pink necklace that looked like it was from the dollar store, a Walmart hoodie and hot pink lipstick. He was a real sexy lady.

In his speech he said, “I am also a proud trangender woman but more importantly, a mother of two wonderful transgender and gender expansive children.”

Pause right there. A transgender having two transgender children?! Projecting much? What a Rockwell painting that house must be.

We'll pause further to note that we don't recall Mandelburg attacking women who adopt children because they can't or choose not to have biological children. You may continue your rant, Tierin-Rose:

Mum wants to castrate children, and we’re the barbaric ones. 

We're so backward that Mum and his “trans partner” have discussed plans to “flee the country.”


Towards the end of Mum’s spiel, he explained that it was “barbaric” and “morally repugnant” for parents and healthcare providers to get in trouble for helping innocent children transition. Yeah, the ones who don’t want kids getting mutilated are the “morally repugnant” ones. GOT IT!

This MAN needs to shut up for one, stop advocating for child abuse and have his own kids taken away. He, and people like it, are the emulation of the threat of the left on our kids.

Yes, Mandelburg thinks any action a parent takes toward helping their child that strays outside the rigid heteronormative ideology she follows is "child abuse." She offers no evidence that Amber Mum is a bad parent outside of her existence as transgender.

Elise Ehrhard whined about more fictional transgender people in a Feb. 7 post:

Last night, NBC's Quantum Leap reboot pushed a radical trans agenda, promoting inclusion of biological males in girls' sports and female locker rooms.

Monday's episode, "Let Them Play," was a full hour of trans propaganda. The show ignored, dismissed or derided the pain felt by young female athletes who have had their sports and privacy invaded by biological males.


This woke turn is disappointing for a show which had seemed to be avoiding the reboot curse and actually produced interesting story lines with engaging narrative arcs.

Let's hope the show returns to what makes it work and does not repeat another week of left-wing lecturing.

Philbin spent a Feb. 8 post repeating an evidence-free claim from the right-wing Daily Caller that plastic surgeons oppose anti-transgender laws because they make too much money performing genbder-affirming surgery, sneering, "Nice bread if you can make it."

On Feb. 10, Kathleen Krumhansl huffed that a Spanish-language interviewer promoted an transgender musician:

The need to remain relevant is so pressing for Univision's veteran anchor Jorge Ramos, that he has now incorporated the erasure of women under the cover of 'trans visibility' to his campaign against the traditional values of the public he claims to champion and represent.

This became evident in an interview with Puerto Rican trans urban music performer Villano Antillano (Antillian Villain), that aired over Ramos's Al Punto talk-show last Sunday, February 5th, where the key take-away was: Feminism’s new frontier lies at the threshold of the (100% machista) reggaeton -- and in the hands of women -- like her.

Watch how women- possibly Univision's most valuable demographic -- get swiftly canceled by Ramos in the name of “trans visibility”:


Reggaeton is notorious for lyrics that objectify women, something that to 'her' credit, Antillano rectified with “(reggaeton) is not very much for empowering women”, adding that “It's us women who are now like taking it in that direction.”

In what direction, we wonder. For while Ramos elevated deep-voiced Antillano to the level of feminist trailblazer- “a reggaeton and urban music singer who is breaking stereotypes and who by raising her voice with great courage, is opening spaces in music and a society that until very recently were closed to many,” it turns out that 'her' courage stems from elsewhere: revenge. 

Yes, Krumhansl really is mad that a transgender artist is trying to make reggaeton less misogynistic. She needs to rethink her priorities.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Snaps Into Trump Defense Mode Over (False) Claim His Arrest Was Imminent
Topic: Newsmax

The Trump stenographers at Newsmax sprung into action when Donald Trump proclaimed on March 18 (without evidence, of course) that he would be "arrested" the following Tuesday. Eric Mack wrote:

Former President Donald Trump expects to be arrested Tuesday in a case brought by the Manhattan district attorney's office and called on his supporters to protest in a Truth Social post Saturday.

"Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney's office, which has allowed records to be set in violent crime & whose leader is funded by George Soros, indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven, and based on an old and fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors) fairytale, the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week," Trump wrote.

"Protest, take our nation back!" Trump said.

Mack made no effort to try and fact-check Trump's claim beyond noting that the New York Times called it speculation. Nevertheless, Newsmax called onits usual torrent of right-wingers to profess horror over a development they coudln't prove was actually happening over the next day or so:

That's 12 attack articles on March 18 and 19. That's comparied with a single March 19 article by Mack on the district attorney who has purportedly issuing that indictment, Alvin Bragg, calling for claim and saying that he works "evenly and fairly"-- though much of it is made up of an attack on Bragg by convicted felon Bernard Kerik.

The right-wing attack articles on any possible Trump indictment (with an added comedian) continued on March 20:

A March 20 column by Jeff Crouere helped Trump play victim:

The vicious political persecution of Trump is akin to what occurs in “banana republics.” No longer is our country too advanced for such shenanigans to occur here. With partisan Democrats prosecuting in “blue states” and in the Department of Justice, there is an ongoing, ruthless campaign to obliterate Trump politically.


Their goals are not only to destroy Trump, but also to destroy what he represents, the “America First” agenda. The political establishment and Deep State do not want the needs of Americans at the forefront. Instead, their priorities include international affairs, global wars, and funding for the military industrial complex.


His “America First” agenda threatens very powerful interests. Thus, he has become the first American president to endure government surveillance, two impeachments, an FBI raid, and a presumed arrest. The banana republic has arrived.

Um, wouldn't a banana republic actually keep a leader who committed crimes from being held accountable for them?

But Newsmax also ran an unbylined article claiming that "A law enforcement source told Fox News Monday that authorities do not expect former President Donald Trump to face arraignment until next week as a Manhattan grand jury — which has been meeting secretly over allegations of hush money paid to a porn start to silence claims of an affair with Trump years ago — apparently has another witness on Wednesday."

Despite that effectively defusing the story, Newsmax issued more right-wing panic on March 21, the day Trump claimed he would ba arrested:

That's 38 articles over four days about something that notonly didn't happen but lacked evidence beyond Trump's highly dubious word that it would. That's a lot of airtime and website space for what was iultimately just pro-Trump propaganda masquerading as "news." But it also published a goalpost-moving article on March 21 by Mack, who cited the right-wing Daily Mail to claim that Trump "is likely to be indicted Wednesday, with his surrender and arraignment coming next week." Mack didn't mention Trump's false claim.

That, of course, kept the Trump-defense fires stoked at Newsmax. More on that soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EDT
WND Magazine Rages Against 'Wokeism' (Whatever That Is)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

February's issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine is dedicated to attacking "wokeism" and portraying it as a purported "state religion" that is somehow taking over America. The essay by managing editor David Kupelian labors to define the amorphous word in his usual fearmongering manner by portraying fairness and diversity as un-Christian and un-American:

Although one would never guess it based on the increasingly vicious and open attacks on Christians by this nation’s ruling elites, America was for many generations the most Christian nation on earth – the true secret of its greatness.

In fact, Christianity has unquestionably been the most powerful, consequential and benevolent force in all of world history. Nothing else even comes close.

Yet today, in the United States of America, a new religion has somehow become the country’s de facto official church.

Mind you, this new faith is not like a religion; it’s not cult-like. It’s a complete and total life religion, influencing every aspect of the true believer’s existence. And right now, it is being forcibly imposed on the entire American populace by virtually every major societal institution, from government, media and big tech; to academia (preschool through grad school); to entertainment and sports; and perhaps most surprisingly of all, by most of this nation’s biggest and wealthiest businesses.

This new state religion overtaking the United States of America – and increasingly, much of the Western (and formerly Christian) world – is Wokeism.

To most outsiders, the expression “being woke,” or “going woke,” conjures up notions of a person or entity claiming to be acutely sensitive (“awake”) to “systemic social and political injustice” in every form. The “injustice” being condemned by Wokeism is not simply alleged widespread bigotry against black people, but also – as noted in Joe Biden’s Jan. 20, 2021 White House Executive Order – “Latino and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.” Of course, the “persons who live in rural areas” bit was thrown in as a cynical pretense of caring about blue-collar, working-class, mostly Trump-supporting Americans, when the elites couldn’t care less about them, as their deplorable non-response to the toxic disaster in rural East Palestine, Ohio, demonstrates.) On the other hand, rest assured that the expansive “LGBTQ+” population includes every child-grooming “trans” school teacher, purple-haired, heavily pierced, “nonbinary” TikTok recruiter and mentally ill cross-dresser seducing your toddler in “drag queen story hour” events.

Bear in mind that all of these people, deemed victims of societal bigotry, are therefore regarded as intrinsically more virtuous and moral than the shameful oppressor class – primarily heterosexual white Christian males.

As a white heterosexual Christian male, Kupelian is understandably shook by the idea that he and his forebears will be held accountable for their behavior. Kupelian's manufactured horror stories continued:

Most ubiquitously of all, there is the rampant racial discrimination in employment, college admissions and every other area of life, as seen in today’s mass corporate embrace of DEI, or “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” which, stripped of its sanctimony and guilt, amounts to hiring people based on their skin color rather than their qualifications. Not only is such racial discrimination both immoral and flagrantly illegal – remember the 1964 Civil Rights Act? – but it’s also killing people. That’s what happens when, for example, you hire airline pilots and surgeons based on their skin color, rather than their abilities. And it’s happening everywhere.

Kupelian offered no evidence that diverfsification inherently means loss of quality -- indeed, he seems more than a bit racist in suggesting that minorities cannot possibly be as good as white people in the airline or medical professions.

After explaining how great Christianity is, Kupelian tried to portray"wokeism" as a religion, despite nobody actually doing so:

However, believe it or not, in the bizarre and deranged world of Wokeism, America’s new official national religion promises much the same thing as Christianity.

Wokeism promises to make sinful human beings (especially heterosexual white men) justified and free, not only from their own sins, but from the curse of the sins of their forefathers, a sinfulness that clings to white Americans like the stain of Adam and Eve’s Original Sin, no matter how many generations pass since the end of slavery and Jim Crow. It’s systemic, you see; we’re born with it.

This leads us to Wokeism’s formula for “salvation” and “forgiveness of sins,” whereby the guilt, the burden, the stain of all of our sins and those of our ancestors are lifted and washed clean, replaced by freedom, innocence and righteousness.

He then ranted that people pushing "wokeism" just want money and power:

How extraordinary that the Creator of the Universe demonstrated the greatest love imaginable, sending His own Son to suffer and die to save a broken and sinful human race – or as Paul expressed it, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And yet, multitudes today are turning away from that shining path to true freedom, only to jump into the astonishingly destructive, unjust and – in some ways, worst of all – unbelievably stupid religion of Wokeism.

Surprise. It’s all an act.

Oh, one more thing: Our dive into the official state religion of Wokeism wouldn’t be complete without pointing out that, though there are multitudes of true believers, and though tens of millions of lives are currently being disrupted, sabotaged and in many cases destroyed by Wokeism, in truth America’s top-tier political leaders – and I’m talking now about those wielding the real power over Americans – don’t believe in any of this. It’s all just a big act for them.

They pretend to care about inner-city black families, equal rights for Pacific Islanders, and “trans” men who brag about having periods and getting pregnant, but they do not care. Not a bit. They just play-act, while exploiting the ever-expanding wokeness craze for their personal benefit, so they can build and consolidate their own power, wealth, privilege and glory.


So, even though the crazy Marxist college professors and their sadly indoctrinated students might believe in the religion of Wokeism, the powerful politicians, the elite class, the deep-staters, the super-rich CEOs and the globalist schemers do not. They just pretend, and play along, because it confers a veneer of morality and righteousness onto very immoral, unrighteous and utterly self-serving sociopaths. It disguises their real agendas. And it serves to keep “the rabble” off balance, confused, divided, fearful, intimidated, reacting to one another, afraid of being “cancelled” and losing their friends, livelihood, everything – the perfect cover for the left’s “long march.”

Most of all, it is a potent tool for amassing ever more POWER and GLORY to themselves – which, of course, is their real religion.

As if Kupelian isn't also after money and power by attacking "wokeism" to keep WND's dwindling reader base fearful and subscribing -- and, thus, keep him gainfully employed.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:18 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Classified Document Double Standards at the MRC: The Trump Defense
Topic: Media Research Center
When the FBI searched Donald Trump's compound to collect classified documents he had taken, the Media Research Center reflexively came to his aid. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
MRC Tried To Distract From Michigan State Shooting By Attacking A Prosecutor
Topic: Media Research Center

It's standard practice for the Media Research Center to distract from gun massacres by focusing on anything else but guns and lashing out at anyone who points out the central role of the gun in the massacre. When a shooter killed three people on the campus of Michigan State University, the MRC followed that pattern again, beginning with a Feb. 14 post by Kevin Tober:

Late Monday night, a deranged gunman opened fire on students at Michigan State University, killing three and leaving five others in critical condition. On Tuesday evening, the three evening news broadcasts were quick to jump to their usual playbook of overblowing how frequent mass shootings in the United States are and turning to guests or victims to plea for gun control.

All three networks used completely dishonest and inflated statistics that there have been 67 mass shootings in the United States in 2023. Yet ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News & NBC Nightly News had no interest in reporting that the gunman had his prior gun charge dismissed by a George Soros-backed prosecutor in the name of "race equity."  

The only mention of the gunman even having a criminal history that banned him from owning a weapon came from NBC Nightly News when Maggie Vespa reported that "investigators highlighting Mcrae's record, most recently pleading guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge in 2021."

The "completely dishonest and inflated statistics" Tober is referring to come from the Gun Violence Archive, which describes its methodology for the numbers it uses so it cannot possible be dishonest; the MRC has attacked the GVA numbers before because it makes gun activists look bad. (Also, it's the height of irony for an organization that made up "secondhand censorship" to complain about someone else's "dishonest and inflated statistics.")

Tober uncritically quoted the right-wing Free Beacon in accusing the prosecutor in question, Carol Siemon, of reducing Anthony McRae's original felony charge of concealed carry of a gun without a permit to a misdemeanor charge in which he served probation. (Conservatives actually favor permitless concealed carry, so you think the MRC would be cheering this.) The Free Beacon article put "race equity" in quotes as a reason McRae's charge was reduced, but at no point did it quote Siemon or anyone else saying those exact words in relation to McRae's case (or at all, in fact, raising questions about the article's overall credibility). As Siemon has pointed out, McRae was a first-time offender, who typically see reduced sentences, and plea bargains are commonplace, meaning that what she did was not out or the ordinary. But because she had tangental links to Soros -- whom the MRC constantly demonizes -- she too became a target for right-wing demonization even if her attackers can't identify any deviation from standard procedure.

Alex Christy served up the gun-distraction narrative in a Feb. 15 post, complaining that Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost (whom the MRC weirdly hates) "continued the old tradition of claiming that the only reason why major gun control legislation fails in Congress is because of the National Rifle Association."

Nicholas Fondacaro opened a Feb. 15 post by grumbling that "In the wake of the tragic shooting at Michigan State University earlier this week, the unhinged gaggle of gals on ABC’s The View unleashed some truly crazy takes. Joy Behar was so unhinged that she seriously blamed Republicans wearing gun-shaped lapel pins for causing mass shootings." As we noted, the MRC didn't think it was "unhinged" to accuse members of Congress of acting "demonic" for wearing lapel pins expressing support for abortion rights.

Fondacaro returned to the blame-the-prosecutor angle in a  Feb. 16 post:

During a Thursday appearance on CBS Mornings, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio put liberal co-hosts Gayle King and Nate Burleson in their place after the former tried to suggest he was fine with continued mass shootings, and the latter misrepresented his stance on gun laws. Of course, this was all in service of the anti-gun rights narrative.

The topic of guns in America was sprung on Rubio as he was there speaking about the Chinese spy balloon and “objects” breaching American airspace. Near the end of the hostile encounter, King hinted that Rubio might not be tired of seeing mass shootings and only gave him 30 seconds to respond:

Senator Rubio, aren't you tired of this story, too? In less than 30 seconds. It's clear what we have on the books now isn't working. Aren't you tired of these stories, as we all are?

He immediately shot back; calling out “the reasons why it's not working is because we don't enforce these laws” and pointed to the Michigan State University shooter’s 2019 felony gun charge was dropped by a progressive prosecutor for a less one, allowing him to still have access to buying a gun.

Fondacaro went on to uncritically quote Rubio claiming that McRae "actually had gun charges in the past," suggesting there were multiple cases; in fact, there was just the one. He also didn't note that conservative gun activists support permitless concealed carry, the charge McRae originally faced.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
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: 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 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 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 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 -- 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
Like its Media Research Center parent, 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, 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: 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

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