That's 14 articles to kick off the year. And, no, none of them disclosed the conflict of interest of Cruz employing Jeffrey's daughter.In addition, there was a March 13 column by Brian Garst of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity touting Cruz's purported expertise on drug prices under the gushy headline "Trust Ted Cruz, Not Lina Kahn, on Drug Pricing Reform!":
The Senate recently held a hearing to discuss the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Transparency Act, S. 127. The goal of the law is laudable: to make prescription drugs more affordable. Unfortunately, the legislation is just political theater.
There’s little reason to believe greater government involvement in PBMs, which health plans use to negotiate with (and secure savings from) drug manufacturers, is in consumers’ interest. At the hearing, Sen. Cruz pointed out “the FTC has previously conducted robust economic analysis of PBMs and found that PBMs benefit consumers by lowering drug prices.”
Sen. Cruz said that “it seems the FTC has become a ‘catch-all’ agency that Congress and the White House can use to regulate complex markets like prescription drugs or gas prices even when those markets might be reflecting problems caused by other government policies.”
He’s right; and making matters worse is the fact that the FTC under [Lina] Khan is a disaster. Americans for Tax Reform has already called her out for “[taking] aim at numerous industries including agriculture, health, telecommunications, and technology companies.”
Cruz clearly has a (family) friend in the media at CNS. Too bad CNS is too dishonest to do its proper journalistic duty and disclose that to its readers.
New Year, Same Hunter Biden Derangement At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center began 2023 much the way it ended 2022 -- so invested in trying to personally destroy Hunter Biden that one might call it aderangementsyndrome. Indeed, the derangement started right on Jan. 1 with a post by Kevin Tober:
NBC’s was off to a bad start on their first program of the new year when moderator Chuck Todd went the entire hour on Sunday without mentioning Twitter’s suppression of Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 presidential election, and in so doing rigged the election in favor of Joe Biden, as the Media Research Center has proven. Despite this omission during their hour-long program dedicated to the role of social media in our government and society, guest Jeh Johnson whined about the Russians using social media to “invade our American conversation.”
“But this is an issue that we've really yet to get our arms around because it does implicate free speech,” he added.
Yet Johnson apparently has no problem with Twitter suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 presidential election. That had a much larger impact than anything Russian bots did in 2016.
In fact, the MRC has "proven" nothing beyond its financial ability to buy a couple biased polls, including one from Donald Trump's own election pollster, upon which to build this conspiracy theory.
Two days later, Curtis Houck whined that the Hunter conspiracy wasn't getting traction outside the right-wing media bubble:
Is Chris Licht interested in changing CNN or is he asleep at the wheel? Such was the case on Tuesday, during the coverage of the vote for speaker of the 118th Congress when it felt as though old puppetmaster Jeff Zucker were still in the control room, as so-called journalists smeared Republicans and wondered if voters actually want Congress to do anything about Hunter Biden’s life of corruption.
After State of the Union co-host Dana Bash lamented how Congress has been held hostage for “12, 15 years” by a “small band of extremes” in the GOP, her fellow co-host and The Lead host Jake Tapper tossed to outgoing Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) by similarly bemoaning the “ultra-right-wing, MAGA group...is, by the way, in some analyses, the reason why there wasn't a red wave.”
Davis made a more general point about how “candidate quality matters” and has been an issue for multiple cycles, but then pivoted to insisting that, by holding up a Kevin McCarthy speakership, they’d put at risk their promises to voters “to hold Hunter Biden and Joe Biden accountable.”
Tapper snidely dismissed this: “You think that voters sent the Republican majority to the House of Representatives to hold Hunter Biden accountable?”
Earth to Jake, would that be the case to spend years talking about the Oath Keepers or Trump’s tax returns or Stormy Daniels?
Houck made no atempt to actually prove that the Hunter Biden story is important outside his partisan bubble.
Tim Graham spent a Jan. 16 post having a fit that the New York Times reported that "Republicans have yet to demonstrate that the senior Mr. Biden was involved in his son’s business deals or took any action to benefit him or his foreign partners," huffing in response: "This is false, and Hunter Biden's laptop had that information....if the leftist media hadn't so aggressively squelched it before the 2020 election and argued it had all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation." Despite this being purportedly indisputable, Graham offered no links to support his claim. He also complained that the Times pointed out that they were focusing on Hunter in order "to inflict damage on his father as he prepares for a likely 2024 re-election bid," whining in response: "The Times is transparently in the business of Biden damage control. " He didn't dispute the accuracy of the statement.
Curtis Houck was mad that Hunter Biden's team is fighting back in a Feb. 2 post:
On Thursday morning, NBC’s Today rediscovered Hunter Biden’s “much talked about laptop” (which in and of itself is comical for a liberal outlet to assert) in order to trumpet Hunter’s “aggressive new legal strategy” to force his father’s Justice Department and allies in Delaware law enforcement to open criminal investigations of those that shared and promoted its contents, which resulted in “a series of salacious and frankly damaging media stories”.
He went on to cite a right-wing website to claim that computer guy John Paul Mac Isaac had every right to rummage around Hunter's laptop because it was abandoned property, "no different than someone dropping off their suits and never picking them up from the dry cleaners."
Tober returned on Feb. 5 to whine that the Hunter story remained stuck in the right-wing bubble:
On Sunday's edition of Fox News Channel's MediaBuzz, frequent guest and NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson said the quiet part out loud when she admitted that the lack of media coverage of Joe Biden's crackhead son Hunter is not expected to change and as a result, the political calculus on whether the growing list of crimes Hunter is accused of is enough to hurt President Joe Biden isn't expected to change either.
This discussion arose because of the news this week about Hunter's new lawyer who has sought to help the President's delinquent son go on the offensive against the few media outlets who dare to cover his crimes.
It's unclear whether this is a prediction on Liasson's or a promise on her behalf. You can bet that if she has anything to say about it, she will continue to ignore the Hunter Biden laptop scandal at taxpayer-funded liberal National Public Radio (NPR).
Tober claimed that Liasson was acting "petiulant" when she said this, but he offered no proof of this claim.
The whining and lecturing continued throughout January and February, part of which involved complaints that coverage of the House Republicans' hearing on the "Twitter files" didn't focus solely on Hunter (and instead pointed out how Donald Trump tried to get Twitter to censor Chrissy Teigen calling him a "pussy ass bitch"):
And it wouldn't be the MRC if it wasn't trying to run up the numbers on purported Hunter scandals, so we have a Feb. 7 post by Geoffrey Dickens titled "10 Brand NEW Hunter Biden Breaking Stories the Nets Are Burying," By our count -- based on the articles claiming "new" scandals -- the MRC wants you to believe there are at least 45 separate and distinct Hunter Biden "scandals," which seems to defy logic.
Is Newsmax Paying Trump To Speak The Title Of Horowitz's (Newsmax-Published) Book? Topic: Newsmax
We've noted how Newsmax has been hyping the new book by right-wing activist David Horowitz without disclosing that it was published by Newsmax's publishing division, Humanix. Now it has not only gotten Donald Trump to endorse the book, it appears to be getting him to drop the book's title as he faces escalating legal peril. The endorsement came in a March 9 article by Sandy Fitzgerald:
Former President Donald Trump is praising author David Horowitz's latest book, calling it "great" and encouraging his followers to read it.
"My great friend and author of "Dark Agenda," David Horowitz, is out with a new book, "Final Battle: The Next Election Could Be the Last," Trump posted through his social media page on Truth Social.
"It is great!" Trump wrote.
In his book, Horowitz exposes the left's plans to destroy democracy and says that the 2024 presidential election could be the nation's last, as Democrats are posing a "deadly threat" to freedom with their goal of creating a one-party state and turning America into a socialist nation.
"Final Battle" is already a No. 1 Amazon bestseller and is available at bookstores.
Four days later, Trump latched onto the words "final battle" to describe his purported political mission, as described in an article by Eric Mack:
Former President Donald Trump laid out his pitch to 2024 Iowa Caucus voters Monday night, calling it the "final battle" to defeat the "corrupt establishment" and finishing his speech with a unique Q&A with supporters.
"2024 is the final battle. That's it," Trump told his Davenport, Iowa, crowd in a speech that will be replayed in its entirety Tuesday afternoon on Newsmax. "If you put me back in the White House, the corrupt establishment will be gone and we will be back to normal.
"America will be a free nation once again. We are going to complete our mission."
Mack and Newsmax apparently didn't note the publicity potential at the time, but they up for thatin a March 25 article after Trump did it again:
Former President Donald Trump returned to the campaign rally trail Saturday night in Waco, Texas, saying "2024 is the final battle."
"That's going to be the big one," Trump told his crowd at the rally, which aired live on Newsmax. "You put me back in the White House, their reign will be over, and America will be a free nation once again.
That was followd by a promotional paragraph designed to make sure nobody missed the connection (bolding and coloring in original):
Important:Trump’s ‘Final Battle’ refers to David Horowitz’s new book exposing the dangers he faces in 2024, and why he must win! Trump says “get it” – see FREE Offer for ‘Final Battle’ andsave $28 – More Info Here
As Trump flew to New York from Florida to be arraigned on fraud charges on April 3, he dropped the words again,and Mack was there to do the promotional duty:
As former President Donald Trump took flight aboard Trump Force One on Monday afternoon, he issued a press release making reference to his call for a "final battle."
Trump's release simply stated: "ICYMI: 'Trump: '2024 Is Final Battle'; 'We're Only Ones Who Can Stop Them.'"
The release urged supporters to read a Newsmax article detailing Trump's use of the term "final battle" at his rally last month in Waco, Texas.
Trump returned to the campaign rally trail in Texas, saying "2024 is the final battle."
"That's going to be the big one," Trump told his crowd at the rally last month. "You put me back in the White House, their reign will be over, and America will be a free nation once again."
Newsmax's article noted that Trump was clearly referring to the new bestseller by David Horowitz, "Final Battle: The Next Election May Be the Last."
Previously Trump has praised Horowitz's "Final Battle."
Trump wrote in February: "My great friend and author of 'Dark Agenda,' David Horowitz, is out with a new book, 'Final Battle: The Next Election Could Be the Last.' It is great! Get your copy!"
In "Final Battle," Horowitz had predicted that the leftists, so fearful of Trump's return to the White House, would stop at nothing, including indictments against the former president.
The effort is apparently backfiring, as Trump's campaign says its raised $7 million since the indictment and polls show support for his candidacy growing.
The promotional paragraph plugging the book was there too.
This went full circle in a April 5 article by Fitzgerald, in which Horowitz touted Trump touting his book title:
Former President Donald Trump has dubbed his 2024 campaign as the "final battle" for the country's democracy, and bestselling author David Horowitz, whose book "Final Battle: The Next Election May Be the Last," tells Newsmax that the charges against Trump show how the Democrats are endangering the nation's democracy.
Horowitz, appearing Tuesday on "The Chris Salcedo Show" on Newsmax, noted that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as part of his claims against Trump, accused the former president of election interference, but he has not shown that.
Horowitz said his book came out in January and Trump recently dubbed his campaign "final battle," but "he's the one who taught me…we're practically at the end of our tether in this country…we cannot survive as a constitutional democracy if the Democrats have their way."
Trump has praised Horowitz's "Final Battle," writing in February that "my great friend and author of 'Dark Agenda,' David Horowitz, is out with a new book, 'Final Battle: The Next Election Could Be the Last.' It is great! Get your copy!"
Again, the promotional paragraph plugging thte book was included. None of these articles, however, disclosed the conflict of interest that Newsmax is promoting a book it also published.
One has to wonder if Newsmax is sending a little kickback Trump's way for every time he says the words "final battle."
After A Brief Stop In Reality, WND's Hirschhorn Back To COVID Vaccine Fearmongering Topic: WorldNetDaily
The last time we checked in on Joel Hirschhorn, the WorldNetDaily columnist seemed to actually be trying to back off a bit from his usual COVID vaccinefearmongering. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, and he was back to his own factually questionable tricks in his Feb. 23 column:
All the new research on vaccine impacts comes from just two years of vaccine use. Thus we still do not have good information on the long-term health impacts. There is a reasonable probability that the negative health impacts will become even worse as time for impacts on bodies and for research goes on.
Another point is that even though the percentage of people impacted may seem quite low, it is important to remember that there are huge numbers of people vaccinated, hundreds of millions of people, in fact. This means that very large numbers of people may be impacted by a host of diseases that at first seem minor.
Lastly, it is possible that some people may become victims of several vaccine-caused health problems. Just another factor to consider when high excess death rates continue to be observed nearly everywhere.
There has been limited analysis and data on cancers being caused by the COVID mRNA vaccines. Now comes a creative new analysis by Ronald Kostoff. The article title is: "Are COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Cancer Rare Events?"
The key word here is "creative," meaning that he's making stuff up. In fact, COVID vaccines do not and cannot cause cancer. Still, Hirschhorn served up another "innovative" fearmongering analysis:
A very innovative analysis is presented in the new article: "Age-stratified COVID-19 vaccine-dose fatality rate for Israel and Australia." What is noteworthy is that the detailed analysis for Israel and Australia leads to a generalization applicable to the United States. The paper points out that "it is not unreasonable to assume an all-population global value of vDFR = 0.1 % [vaccine dose fatality rate]." This is for vaccine doses. For the U.S., 670 million doses have been given, so the estimate is 670,000 people have been killed by the COVID vaccines in the U.S.
There is little about this study online besides the usual anti-vaxx suspects promoting it, but it's worth noting that a anti-vaxx-promoted study on purported vaccine deaths in Australia that came out a few weeks later has been discredited.
Hirschhorn followed with a case study of psychosis possibly linked to the vaccine and another study trying to link cases of shingles to it (though that doesn't appear to be a real issue) as well as another one trying to link cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children to the vaccine. He concluded by ranting: "When it comes to the legitimacy of the COVID vaccines, the worst is yet to come. The intensity and range of bad health impacts will become a horror story in coming years."
Hirschhorn spent his March 16 column ranting against the vaccines:
A new Harvard study shows enormous federal spending to develop and distribute a deadly COVID vaccine that makes billions for drug companies.
This is truly a medical establishment publication. The title is "U.S. public investment in development of mRNA covid-19 vaccines: retrospective cohort study."
Here is the most outrageous statement:
"These public investments translated into millions of lives saved and were crucial in developing the mRNA vaccine technology that also has the potential to tackle future pandemics and to treat diseases beyond covid-19."
The great Dr. Peter McCullough has correctly noted:
"While [the study] falsely claims mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives, the reality is just the opposite with estimates of U.S. vaccine casualties topping half a million deaths usually within the first few days of taking the shot." Half a million deaths! And just in the short term.
The fact that Hirschhorn thinks a repeatedly discredited COVID misinformer like McCullough is "great" tells you all you need to know about Hirschhorn. Still, he seized upon the article to manufature a conspiracy theory:
Bottom line: There has been a massive, expensive and criminal fraud perpretrated by the United States government. Looks like until now the government has spent more than $50,000 per person killed to make two big drug companies a fortune. All this shows the wisdom of the adage "follow the money."
Hirschhorn used his April 5 column to hype a biased poll:
Looks like there has been massive under-counting of COVID and vaccine deaths.
A new poll by Rasmussen has some data that validates what many of us already believe, namely that the vaccines are dangerous, not "safe and effective" and need to be pulled from the market immediately.
The survey of 1,078 American adults was conducted March 27-29, 2023, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
A key finding is that nearly as many Americans believe someone close to them died from side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine as died from the disease/infection itself.
Hirschhorn didn't mention that Rasmussen polls are highly biased, raising questions about their accuracy and motives. And Hirschhorn made sure to peddle his own anti-vaccine propaganda:
Please keep in mind that it is now widely accepted by those who follow the data that the COVID vaccines available in the United States do not prevent infection, replication, or spread of SARS-CoV-2, and do not prevent either hospitalized disease or death from COVID-19. Given these facts, references to these biologic medical products as "vaccines" is merely propaganda. They clearly do not "vaccinate" in the classic sense. But they make billions of dollars for vaccine makers.
More than three years after "15 days to slow the spread" of COVID-19, most voters have less trust in government health experts – and in the news media, too.
And Hirschhorn has been doing his part to manufacture that mistrust. All he's doing here is being happy his narrative has traction -- which has nothing to do with whether it has any basis in fact.
NEW ARTICLE -- Classified Docs At CNS: The Double Standard, Part 2 Topic: CNSNews.com
After defending Donald Trump over his possession of classified documents, CNSNews.com lashed out at President Biden when classified documents were found at his properties -- at least until some were also found at Mike Pence's house. Read more >>
MRC Complains Networks Won't Cover GOP Stunt Hearings -- But Praises Fox News For Doing So Topic: Media Research Center
The field hearings House Republicans held in Feburary and March along the southern border were publicity stunts designed to advance Republican narratives about the "Biden border crisis" -- so much so that Democrats declined to play along. Heck, Republicans even have a 15-page guide on how to use field hearings for publicity purposes. So, naturally, the Republican Party PR division known as the Media Research Center made sure to hype the sepublicity stunts by complaining that non-right-wing channels were ignoring them. Kevin Tober fed the PR machine in a Feb. 23 post:
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held its first official congressional field hearing in Yuma, Arizona on the crisis at the southern border. The GOP members of the committee showed up to hear testimony from Border Patrol agents and other members of the community who had been negatively affected by the Biden administration's refusal to secure the southern border. Every Democrat member of the committee boycotted the hearing. Democrats claimed it's a political stunt and that they weren’t given advanced notice, which Townhall has reported was a lie. All three network newscasts ignored the Democrats boycotting the hearing. Not only that, but there was no coverage of the hearing at all.
Instead of reporting on the Democrats playing hooky, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News spent considerable time on local weather forecasts, while NBC Nightly News whined about a challenge to the constitutionality of abortion pills.
Tober then went on to praise the PR efforts of its fellow GOP press agents at Fox News:
On Fox News’s Special Report, national correspondent Bill Melugin reported how “Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee [were] sounding off in Yuma, Arizona this afternoon as the committee holds its first field hearing on the border crisis.”
Providing details on the trip that the Democrats irresponsibly skipped, Melugin revealed how “Republicans met with leadership at Yuma Regional Medical Center, Yuma's only hospital,” and that “the CEO there says they are on the verge of financial collapse after the hospital spent more than $20 million in six months providing care for illegal immigrants with no reimbursement and nobody to foot the bill.”
“Last night Fox News was with the Republican delegation as they received a tour of the Yuma sector from the border patrol union. The tour they say Democrats should not have boycotted,” Melugin added.
It’s obvious why the three leftist networks ignored the story. It maade Democrat members of the House Judiciary Committee look terrible. ABC, CBS, & NBC couldn’t have Democrats looking bad so they refuse to cover it.
Of course, by that same logic, it's obvious that Fox News covered the hearing to make Republicans look good. But Tober wasn't going to mention that.
Tim Graham spent a March 2 post throwing a fit that C-SPAN didn't schlep out to Arizona for the hearing because it was a publicity stunt that Democrats declined to dignify by their presence, prompting him to play the whataboutism card:
By that standard, C-SPAN should have decided not to cover any of the House January 6 Committee hearings. The Republicans were denied their right to select their own members. They would argue that the Pelosi-picked Republicans made it bipartisan, but anyone watching it knew it was unanimous in its political mission. It was not a debate and there was no balance.
Those hearings -- which often was more of a TV show than actual live testimony -- were held inside the Capitol.
This was clearly a failure by C-SPAN to offer a thorough and balanced presentation of congressional business. One can guess they were worried about being slammed by the liberal media.
Or you know, it could be a budgetary issue -- it costs money to send a crew and cameras to Arizona, then provide a live video link to its system to broadcast the hearing, and C-SPAN is not known for sitting on a pile of cash. Graham offered no evidence that House Republicans offered to cover the cost of doing that.
When Democrats skipped another publicity-stunt hearing in March, Toer returned in a March 13 post to do up GOP PR duties -- and, of course, praise Fox News again for helping with the PR:
During Fox News’s Special Report on Monday evening, national correspondent Bill Melugin broke the news to Fox viewers that once again, Democrat [sic] members of the House Homeland Security Committee planned to boycott a field hearing at the border which was scheduled for Wednesday. Sadly, but not surprisingly, all three evening news networks ignored the Democrats’ latest snub.
Instead of reporting on this shameful stunt by Congressional Democrats, the networks decided to instead dedicate airtime to Bruce Springsteen canceling one of his concerts (ABC), a study on a racial disparity in infant deaths (CBS), and a story about AI voice cloning (NBC).
Speaking to Special Report Bret Baier, Melugin reported that “the House Homeland Security Committee is set to have a field hearing about the border crisis right here in the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday.”
According to Melugin, Homeland Security Committee chairman Mark Green was “notified that all Democrats on the committee are pulling out from attending that hearing this Wednesday.”
Tober seemed to hae learned this time around, declining to portray non-right-wing networks' non-coverage of the publicity-stunt hearing as tacit support for Democrats so as not to beg the question of how Fox News' coverage of Republican stunts shows their support for Republicans.
Groupthinking WND Columnist Warns Of (Non-Right-Wing) 'Groupthink' Topic: WorldNetDaily
How many times in history has the cult-like obsession, groupthink, prevailing view derided the real truth? The world is flat. HIV/AIDS is a heterosexual disease. Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone gunman. The Viet Cong fired on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. Affirmative action would fix race disparities. Educational achievement disparities are a function of race-based discrimination. The Constitution maintains that abortion is a woman's right. Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Inflation that started in early 2021 was temporary. High oil prices from restrictions on oil production and massive government spending did not cause inflation. COVID came from monkeys at a wet market. Shutdowns and masks and vaccines would stop the spread of COVID. Increased trade with our enemies would secure world peace (Bretton Woods). Equal rights and equal opportunity means equal results.
Experts and their "consensus" opinions have gotten it wrong often. And because of those opinions, many wrong decisions cost Americans tremendous losses in wealth, time, security and happiness.
These five supposed consensus views are about to cost Americans again:
1. "Man's dependence on oil is the cause of climate change." This unproven assumption is accepted by so many experts that it is unchallenged and used to justify incredible changes to the American economy and culture. The anti-oil religion has based its entire war on oil on this one assumption when history shows that it has proven to be wrong over and over again in the last 100 years. Ice ages did not happen. The seas did not rise. The predictions in the Al Gore movie did not happen. Polar bears are not extinct. Yet, these cultists continue their assault on one of the most important assets of America: oil, to the destruction of the U.S. economy.
2. "There was no election fraud in the 2020 and 2022 elections." The media, pundits, some courts and the Department of Justice continue to ignore the questionable impacts of ballot harvesting, unsolicited mailouts of ballots, no voter ID, drop boxes and extended early/late voting, while most other industrial countries have banned all of those practices. How did the U.S. go from voting on the second Tuesday of November to all these other practices that are ripe for abuse? How? Because supposed experts proposed them.
3. "China is our friend." Because globalist U.S. investors and companies made horrible decisions to invest in China, Americans are suffering from it. Imports. Denial of China impacting our politics and policies. Trade deficits. Spy balloons. Excuses for abuses under communism/socialism. Joe Biden. Hunter Biden. China first instead of America first.
4. "Wokeims, CRT and socialism are good for America." How did a bogus consensus enable any of this? How did those experts not see how those theories were divisive, destructive, incomplete and wrong? Because they did not want to see it. Groupthink. Liberal groupthink.
5. "Illegal immigration, a low internal birth rate, inflation and trade deficits do not harm America." What happens when the growth to any population is dependent on immigration and the offspring of those immigrants? Destruction of the incumbent culture. What does inflation do? Makes the rich people richer as the values of assets increase and makes the average workers poorer as wage increases don't cover inflation. And why are trade deficits so bad? Because they remove capital from the country. Trade deficits are the transfer of wealth from one country to another country. In 2022, under Biden, the U.S. recorded its largest trade deficit in history at almost $1 trillion, or 4% of GDP. Four percent of USA GDP was transferred to foreign countries in just one year. And those experts, pundits, consensus opinion makers do not see how that is bad for the United States Why? Because they have lots invested in those foreign countries. They invested their money, reputations and pride, which are now driving more bad decisions.
It is obvious that consensus, groupthink, cult-like obsession and prevailing views have derided truth that harmed Americans, regarding more than just Alzheimer's and ulcers. That is the real harm from censorship by the cancel culture each of us must guard against, must stop, must destroy.
Freakout Over Trump Indictment Continued At Newsmax Topic: Newsmax
After spending daysmeltingdown over Donald Trump's failed prediction that he would be "arrested" on March 21, Newsmax got to do a justified meltdown when a grand jury indicted Trump for real on March 30. That meltdown continued into April 1 and 2, weekend days when not much news typically happens and Newsmax has to fill its airtime with something:
That's 24 more pro-Trump ro anti-indictment articles over two days, making for 51 articles over the four days since Trump's indictment was announced for real on March 30. Newsmax did slip in a couple of actual news articles as well:
Thjere was also an April 1 column by Michael Reagan ranting about the indictment and weirdly insisting that Trump looks bad by acting like the criminal he appears to be by submitting himself to the justice system:
Tiger Trump and his claims of the "attack on our country" morphed back into Paper Tiger Trump and he announced he will meekly travel on his own dime to Manhattan and submit to the kangaroo indictment to be followed by a kangaroo court.
By knuckling under Trump gives the indictment standing it does not merit.
If the indictment is "Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history" why doesn’t he reject Bragg’s authority and stand his ground in Florida?
Just in case Trump has forgotten about the year’s long legal attack on his businesses, the pre-dawn SWAT raid on his home at Mar-a-Lago for classified documents and the leak of his tax returns by the IRS we would like to remind him the two–tiered justice system only applies to him and his supporters.
But even Reagan appears to be tiring of the Trump show, concluding: "Here’s our final prediction today. The indictment probably guarantees Trump’s nomination, followed by another Trump defeat in November 2024."
An April 3 column by Larry Bell was filled with defenses of Trump and Biden and Hillary whataboutism:
Whether a nationally initiated and orchestrated Democrat strategy or local New York act of political arson, the indictment of former President Donald Trump on transparently weak charges have ignited a raging inferno that has irreversibly blackened America’s electoral landscape.
Whichever the original agenda, all sides — liberal, conservative and in-between — are witnessing a dangerous precedent for election interference which would make Stalin’s head of secret police Lavrentiy Beria blush with pride: "Show me the man and I'll show you the crime."
And the FBI-DOJ raid on Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago for classified documents with no similar invasion of Joe’s personal stashes located at five locations including his garage also used by Hunter?
Let’s keep in mind throughout this 2024 presidential campaign season that none of this ongoing clown show charade has anything whatsoever to do with assuring that no one is above the law.
That distinction of justice has come to exclude Democrat-Socialist partisans so long as they are allowed to hold power.
It’s urgently time to remove the ‘For Sale” sign on the White House lawn.
Strangely, Newsmax felt the need to preface Bell's column with this "editor's note" disclaimer: "The following article has been authored by a non-lawyer, and does not constitute a legal opinion; nor does it consitute an endorsement for any candidate, or political party, by Newsmax." That's laughable given how Newsmax has defined itself since the 2020 eletion as an aggressively pro-Trump outlet. What legal action does Newsmax think it's averting through this disclaimer? Or is it getting a little exhausted of the Trump show too?
CNS Columnists Blame Biden, Not Railroad, For Ohio Derailment Topic: CNSNews.com
In addition to its biasedcoverage of February's Ohio train derailment, CNSNews.com served up even more biased commentary that similarly tried to exploit the disaster to score political points. The Heritage Foundation's Jack Spencer wrote in a Feb. 22 commentary:
Under the best of situations, we would all be well off to be skeptical of Washington bureaucrats telling us that we need not worry about the massive burning chemical plume of toxins rising above our neighborhoods, but these are not normal times.
We are faced with an administration that tells us the sky is falling every day. They tell us that we are going to drown in rising seas and that nearly every storm is because of our insistence on burning gas and oil.
Instinctively, we know that this is hyperbole at best and a lie at worst.
What is happening in Ohio is unacceptable. How our leaders are responding is unacceptable. And the environment of mistrust they’ve created is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, it's also all so predictable.
Spencer made no mention of the railroad that caused the derailment and whose responsibility it is to make things right.Nor did he explain why it's the government's sole responsibility to respond when conservatives like him have spent decades sowing mistrust of government.
Armstrong Williams similarly used a Feb. 23 column to blame everyone but the railroad and engage in gratuitous bashing of Biden-bashing:
A catastrophic train derailment has unleashed toxic fumes and pollutants into the air and water of East Palestine, Ohio, leaving the town's inhabitants reeling with uncertainty about their future. The once-thriving community now stands in a state of disarray, with residents left wondering whether they will face long-term health consequences and whether their town will ever be the same again.
Despite the severity of the situation, weeks after the disaster, President Joe Biden has failed to visit. To make matters worse, he decided to instead visit Ukraine. This move has only served to exacerbate the sense of betrayal felt by the people of East Palestine. With this move, he has turned the concept of "America first" on its head, treating Americans last, and leaving many Americans feeling as if they are last in line for his attention and concern.
The people of East Palestine are not political pawns to be ignored or overlooked. They are hardworking citizens who deserve compassion, empathy and a strong leader who will take their concerns seriously. Rural America has been hit hard in recent years, and East Palestine is no different. It is time for our elected officials to prioritize the needs of all Americans, regardless of their location or background, and work toward creating a brighter future for everyone.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Biden's actions risk conveying the impression that he is out of touch with and unsympathetic toward struggling Americans.
This perception could alienate swing voters who are already discontented with the direction of the country. The people of East Palestine are in urgent need of assistance, and it is the responsibility of the federal government to collaborate with state and local authorities to provide not only the necessary support and relief to alleviate the current crisis but also a sign of empathy and care by our elected officials to show that they care more about them than they do about their votes.
He too failed to mention the railroad that caused the derailment.
Heritage's Jarrett Stepman spent his Feb. 28 column doing more bashing of Biden (and the "woke ruling class," whatever that is) while also defending Donald Trump:
The massive train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio, created one of the worst ecological disasters on U.S. soil in decades. On top of that, it exposed the looming, pervasive incompetence and callousness of the woke ruling class.
One would think all this would elicit some kind of response from President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats, who are always so concerned by various environmental causes.
But this disaster elicited crickets. Biden didn’t show up in East Palestine, nor did his administration or the media seem to pay much attention.
Eventually, the president showed up. Well, the former president, Donald Trump.
It was an excellent example of Trump’s reaching out to the Forgotten Man—in this case, literally forgotten—and showing that not only did he feel their pain, but also could remind them when times were good and fun. This was Trump at his best.
Only after Trump arrived on the scene in Ohio did the Biden administration finally respond to the emergency in a public way. Biden was, of course, too busy to show up himself since he was going to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Priorities.
Instead, his administration sent an ambassador. In stepped hapless Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeig [sic].
Stepman did at least make a passing reference to the Norfolk Southern Railroad, but not its responsibility for the disaster and the cleanup.
MRC Offers Tepid Defenses, Whataboutism Of Fox News Over Dominion Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was extremely reluctant to weigh in on the scandal revealed through the Dominion lawsuit showing that Fox News lied to its viewers by telling its viewers that the 2020 presidential election was stolen when it knew that it wasn't. Once it finally did -- two weeks after the story broke -- Tim Graham took the tepid approach, tsk-tsking over how the scandal makes right-wing media look (because "liberal media" can cite it as a example) but offering little direct criticism of Fox News itself (MRC employees appear on the channel, after all -- don't want to jeopardize that). After that, though, the MRC started to feel a little more comfortable defending Fox News -- while still contorting itself in doing so. Nicholas Fondacaro took the aggressive approach in a March 8 post by bashing the ladies of "The View" for daring to criticize Fox News:
NewsBusters has repeatedly had to fact-check ABC’s The View for the stream of misinformation they’re constantly pumping out of their cesspool. But according to raging co-host Whoopi Goldberg, the First Amendment doesn’t protect those who “willing lie.” That was the basis of her suggestion that the people who work at Fox News needed to be prosecuted by the Department of Justice for “recruiting” “domestic terrorists.”
“I have a question. I have a question,” Goldberg announced during their collective conniption about Fox News host Tucker Carlson airing January 6 footage. ldquo;How come this is not thought of as being recruiting? How come they’re not thinking about this as radicalizing?” she ominously asked.
Racist Sunny Hostin wanted a little clarification by asking, “Like recruiting domestic terrorists?” Goldberg confirmed the premise: “Why is this not being scrutinized in the way that they scrutinize other things?”
She never explained what those “other things” that got scrutinized were.
Yes, Fondacaro is still libelously labeling Hostin a "racist" because he doesn't understand how metaphors work. When Goldberg argued that "the First Amendment doesn't allow you to willingly lie," he lamely responded; "That’s not to say lying was right, it’s just pointing out there was no such limit on the right to free speech. If so-called 'hate speech' was protected by the First Amendment, why wouldn’t a lie be?" Of course, Fondacaro may find that out soon if Hostin sues him for defamation over his false slander of her as a "racist."
Fondacaro then tried to distract from Fox News by complaining that Hostin aas ":falsely claiming the military was filled with white supremacists, adding: "Now, what was that about lying being illegal?" In fact, military officials have warned of the threat of white supremacism in the ranks.
Mark Finkelstein played whataboutism to distract from more criticism of Fox News in a Marcy 9 post:
To paraphrase Luke 4:23: MSNBC, heal thyself!
On today's Morning Joe, discussing revelations that Fox News people said critical things in private about Donald Trump, but something very different on the air, David Ignatius said:
"You have a sense that Fox is chasing what it imagines its viewers, the public on the right, want to hear. And that's just never a good position."
Yes, Ignatius was talking about Fox News. But upon hearing it, you might have thought Ignatius had Joe Scarborough in mind.
Because if there is one person in cable news who has changed his views, molding them to fit the desires of his liberal audience, corporate suits, and elite social milieu, it is Scarborough.
Curtis Houck spent a March 10 post whining about the coverage:
With disclosure after disclosure of e-mails and text messages from Fox News executives, hosts, and journalists released over the last month as part of a Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) giving Tucker Carlson’s team access to January 6 surveillance, Fox News has been in the headlines and, sure enough, the liberal networks that want to see the network eradicated have spent nearly an hour obsessing over the two so-called scandals.
The MRC looked at the flagship morning, evening, and Sunday morning political talk shows of “the big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC from the February 17 Dominion disclosure through March 10 and found the trio have wasted 57 minutes and 37 seconds being consumed with the happenings of a competitor. For reference, this was 27 times larger than the time they spent on the Twitter Files (two minutes and eight seconds).
Separate out the two stories and they’ve doled out 35 minutes and 28 seconds tut-tutting on FNC’s supposed grave and 18 minutes and 57 seconds smearing Carlson for “press[ing] a series of phony claims” and “spinning a false narrative.”
CBS was well out in front with 23 minutes and 13 seconds across the CBS Evening News, CBS Mornings, and Face the Nation. ABC was second with 18 minutes and 37 seconds on Good Morning America, This Week, and World News Tonight, and then 15 minutes and 47 seconds for Meet the Press, NBC Nightly News, and Today.
Houck didn't regale his readers with tales of how Fox News covered the story so much better -- perhaps because managment has forbidden it to be discussed on the channel (something he didn't disclose to his readers). Instead, he simply repeated a statement from the channel criticizing the lawsuit, then bashed coverage of it again:
As for Dominion, Fox has said the lawsuit poses a genuine threat to free speech and the news media while Dominion argues Fox should pay a price for having aired false claims about their voting machines.
We know which side the liberal media are on in their quest to ensure Fox News ceases to exist and assert control over what Americans learn (and don’t learn) about the world around them.
Houck didn't mention all the attacks Fox News has launched on its competitors over the years -- particularly CNN -- let alone argue that Fox wanted CNN to cease to exist in order to "assert control over what Americans learn (and don’t learn) about the world around them."
Finkelstein returned for a March 11 post that downplayed all that lying-to-its-viewers stuff to manufacture a little outrage at Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell's suggestion that members of the military should perhaps not be permitted to watch Fox News in the wake of the scandal:
Note Swawell's ominous last line, "I don't think we are without complete recourse." Translation: "we have ways of making Fox Newsstop talking!"
Imagine the Biden administration creating a Bureau of Television Truth—Armed Forces Division, with the power to ban shows not to its liking! And as its first commissar, why not . . . Eric Swalwell!
Graham came back for a March 12 post under the headline "Comedy! Leftist Radio Host Asks Jean-Pierre If the FCC Can Pull the 'License' of Fox News." But not only did commentator Dean Obedallah not say that, he explicitly acknowledged that wasn't possible because Fox News is on cable, and Graham even quoted him saying that: "They can lose their license on a network. It doesn’t apply to cable." Graham also huffed:
Rational people can excuse Obeidallah's censorious enthusiasm since he loves stirring the pot with "comedy" like suggesting in 2016 that we exchange Trump with Mexico for the murderous drug lord "El Chapo."
You're going to find zero enthusiasm at CNN and MSNBC for extending the FCC's authority from broadcast TV to cable TV...not to mention raunchy cable networks. They prefer the leftists just pressure cable companies to drop Fox without the government getting too involved.
Graham refused to criticize Fox News and barely referenced the scandal at all, euphemistically noting only that "the cable news network's communications were revealed in the Dominion defamation lawsuit."
WND's Farah Declares That Likening Politicians To Nazis Is Cool Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily regularlyhasa cow whenever someone likens Republicans in general or Donald Trump in particular to Nazis -- even though it spent the entirety of Barack Obama's presidency playing the Nazi card against him. But it appears that WND editor Joseph Farah has decided that it's cool to smear politicians as Nazis again. he wrote in his Feb. 27 column:
What comes to mind when thinking about those who select people based on race.
Democrats? Joe Biden? Adolf Hitler?
Yes – you better believe it.
Identity politics is all the same.
Democrats also win the prize on and gender – something that never occurred to the Nazis.
And that is all Tulsi Gabbard did. She told the truth, once again, about Biden and Democrats. Remember, she's a former Democrat and former Democratic presidential candidate.
Last week Gabbard hit out at "identity politics" across the Democratic Party, which she claimed was "proud" to appoint people to federal posts based on their race and gender.
The 41-year-old called the trend "sickening and alarming," claiming it echoed the core principles of Nazism. It is the second time she has compared Biden to the German dictator on the Jesse Watters show on Fox.
It wasn't a German thing, however. Hitler virtually invented and personified racial hatred and phony religion.
Democrats and Joe Biden are doing the same thing. In fact, they're doing him one better. Not only are they making a mockery of the Constitution, they are making a travesty of God's Word with the fantasy that there are more than only two sexes.
It's time to challenge all of this nonsense before there are any more elections.
Farah didn't explain why the Nazi smear is suddenly permissible again after spending years attacking anyone who did so against a Republican.
Farah played the same card again in his March 15 column:
The Nazis canceled people – in the worst way possible. They left in their wake nothing but ash.
Cancel culture is something we've never really known in the West – in the USA. Not until the rise of Big Tech.
But history repeats itself. And though it hasn't reached the level of Germany's death camps, there are some parallels emerging.
Today the Democrats are unrepentant. I never expected the lies they would tell, the crimes they would commit.
I thought: "Not in America, the nation I loved."
And what does it have to do with Big Tech? They made it all possible. They are the new authority on all things under the sun – under Big Tech. It's the new Tower of Babel.
When did journalism become so mean? When did liberals become so mean? Honestly. When did they begin seeing the world so bleakly? Their hearts have been hardened to God.
I'll say it again. Big Tech became a combination goose-stepping SS and fascist Brownshirts – the Rat Patrol. Is it time to stop working with them – completely? To pretend they don't exist?
History is repeating itself – with the help of Big Tech. They are all Josef Goebbels.
Actually, the spreaders of disinformation and misinformation are Farah and his WND minions, who have made fake news and conspiracy theories the WND brand and whine loudly whenever they're called out on it. The only person to blame for WND's current predicament is Farah, not the "big tech" folks who decided they no longer want to do business with such a dishonest "news" organization.
MRC Uses Right-Leaning Media Monitor For Another Political Attack On Google Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez hyped in a Feb. 28 post:
A new analysis follows MRC Free Speech America’s lead in exposing the enormous left-wing political bias that undergirds Big Tech giant Google.
AllSides — a media solutions company that purports to “expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world” —released a report Feb. 28 illustrating how Google News “displayed articles from left-wing media sources far more often than sources from the right.”
Specifically, AllSides said that its analysis revealed that a whopping “61% of media outlets presented on Google News’ homepage over a 5-day period were from sources AllSides rates as on the left, with just 3% from outlets on the right.”
“The jig is up,” MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said in a statement. “It’s no accident when Google News promotes left-leaning outlets twenty times more than right-leaning outlets. Google cannot pretend to be unbiased any longer. Our own research has shown it. AllSides is corroborating it.”
Note that Vazquez parrots AllSides' euphemistic description of it self as a "media solutions company" (twice!). In fact, AllSides is a right-leaning media monitor that the MRC can count on to peddle its anti-media narratives and vice versa -- and that is what's happening here. AllSides is embracing the MRC model of insisting that any non-right-wing media outlet is on the "left," and the main complaint here is that Google News uses too many stories from CNN, as Vazquez rantingly summarized:
AllSides also called out Google News for giving a noticeable preference for leftist propaganda outlet CNN:
When researching the term “Trump” over a five-day period, the AllSides report showed that “32% of articles were from CNN (Left bias), 20% of articles were from The Guardian (Lean Left).” It continued: “[Six] of the 25 (24%) articles pulled were about Trump’s financials and tax returns, and 6 out of 25 (24%) were about Trump’s potential presidential run in 2024.” For the term “Biden,” AllSides said that “Six of the 25 (24%) articles” were from CNN. In addition, “[f]our (16%) of the articles were from The White House and five (20%) were from Politico (Lean Left).”
But here was the damning part that was true for both the Trump and Biden results: “No Lean Right- or Right-rated outlets were present in these search results”[emphasis added].
But in addition to buying into a biased model, AllSides appears to have messed up its own labeling. In its study, it insisted on calling CNN as "left" even though its own info page on CNN currently describes it merely as "lean left." It also appears that AllSides examined only the purported bias of outlets, not any alleged bias in any individual story, making this a broad-brush attack that doesn't go nearly deep enough to justify the headline findings -- in other words, the kind of so-called study the MRC loves for advancing its right-wing narratives.
Vazquez also claimed that the AllSides study "corresponds directly with MRC Free Speech America’s Oct. 25, 2022 study, which showed that Google buried the campaign websites of Republican senate candidates in hotly contested races while elevating their Democratic opponents." As we documented, the MRC "study" used search terms normal humans do not use, and it did not explain why those search terms should have returned the results it demanded.
This is yet another of the politicalattacks the MRC has launched against Google over the past several months -- and this time it's using AllSides as cover for doing so. And its embrace of AllSides as friendly to its agenda contrasts greatly with its waronNewsGuard for pointing out the relative unreliability of right-wing websites.
NEW ARTICLE -- Classified Docs At CNS: The Double Standard, Part 1 Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com followed the lead (and the agenda) of its Media Research Center parent in helping Donald Trump play victimhood over getting raided by the FBI over classified documents he took. Read more >>
MRC Whitewashes Another 'Twitter Files' House Hearing Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's wavering over Elon Musk has ceased for time being, because there's some agenda-feeding to be done. Autumn Johnson did her part in a March 8 post:
A congressional Interim Staff Report revealed that The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made apparently “partisan” demands of Twitter owner Elon Musk.
According to the Interim Staff Report released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, The FTC sent “over a dozen” letters to Twitter’s legal counsel and made “more than 350 specific demands” for information. The report slammed the FTC for having blatantly abused its power. “[T]he Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is orchestrating an aggressive campaign to harass Twitter,” the report critiqued. “These demands have no basis in the FTC’s statutory mission and appear to be the result of partisan pressure to target Twitter and silence Musk.”
The FTC reportedly asked Twitter to hand over “[e]very single internal communication ‘relating to Elon Musk’ by any Twitter personnel” since he bought the company. Additionally, Twitter was asked to "’[i]dentify all journalists’" who were granted access to the internal files and explain why the company fired Jim Baker, the company’s ex-deputy general counsel and former FBI lawyer.
The Interim Staff Report also accused the FTC of making “partisan” demands with no “rational basis in user privacy. "The timing, scope, and frequency of the FTC’s demands to Twitter suggest a partisan motivation to its action,” the report noted.
The Interim Staff Report shows exactly the type of damning federal government overreach that the Twitter Files helped expose.
But Johnson is censoring the full story. As an actual news organization reported, the FTC's investigation is part of a 2011 consent decree Twitter signed with the government over protection of user data, and the change in Twitter's ownership did not absolve the company's responsibility in living up to it; an FTC spokesman explained that "Protecting consumers' privacy is exactly what the FTC is supposed to do."
After that came another Republican-led House hearing inspired by the "Twitter files," in which the most interesting revelations included Matt Taibbi laughably pretending that Musk wasn't his source for his "Twitter files" reporting (even though he was using selected internal Twitter files Musk allowed him to peruse), a Democratic congresswoman pointing out Taibbi's self-interest in serving as Musk's stenographer, Taibbi being unsure whether Kayne West's anti-Semitic tweets should have been deleted, and the failure of Taibbi and fellow Musk stenographer Michael Shellenberger to report on Donald Trump pressuring Twitter to censor Chrissy Teigen over that glorious "pussy ass bitch" tweet. But as with the previous House hearing in February, the MRC didn't want its readers to know about anything that didn't conform to the predetermined right-wing narratives. Curtis Houck huffed in a March 10 post:
On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing on the bombshell Twitter Files and the implication of the government colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech. The lively hearing featured two of the Twitter Files authors, Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi. And throughout, Democrats tried to demean their work and lambaste the free press as their reporting has reflected poorly on their friends in the federal bureaucracy.
Of course, the major broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC were not interested and ignored the story on their flagship Thursday evening and Friday morning newscasts. Instead, they spend 44 minutes and seven seconds previewing Sunday’s Oscars, otherwise known as Hollywood’s biggest night of self-gratification.
Houck went on to lavishly praise Fox News for adhering to the narrative:
The Fox News Channel’s flagship evening newscast, however, took a different tract as Special Report opened with a three-minute-and-two-second report.
FNC’s Jesse Watters PrimeTime followed Baier and opened with a brutal, 10-minute-plus breakdown. Watters said the work of the Twitter Files team was “exactly the type of corruption journalists are supposed to air out” and “should be celebrated,” but aren’t since “Democrats aren’t happy” since they “only like a free press if the press works for them.”
Watters reemphasized that leftists were “caught conspiring with the FBI and Big Tech to censor free speech and freedom of the press and they’re not even denying it,” but instead “accusing the reporters who broke the story of being in it for the money and hounding” and “strangl[ing] them”.
Ironically, he said, these are “the same people who spent years telling us not to bully the media, remember, and how important the free press was to democracy” while their friends in the press “got book deals and Pulitzer Prizes” for “fake collusion” claims.
Catherine Salgado used her own March 10 post to offer her version of the narrative:
Republican lawmakers and self-professed liberal journalist testifiers bashed Big Tech coordination with "weaponized government" while Democrat lawmakers attacked the testifiers at a congressional hearing Thursday.
The House Judiciary Committee held a March 9 hearing on the bombshell Twitter Files, which exposed that the government coordinated with Big Tech and pressured Twitter to censor Americans. “We are here focused on a weaponized government, a whole-of-government approach that has been turned against the American people,” Congressman Matt Gaetz said. Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Twitter Files journalists and testifiers Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger shared Gatez’s sentiment as they ripped government-Big Tech censorship.
Salgado insisted that anyone who doesn't adhere to the right-wing pro-Musk agenda is opposed to free speech:
House Democrats were less pro-free speech, as expected. In fact, they harassed Taibbi in an attempt to uncover his sources. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) even accused Taibbi of essentially profiteering off his Twitter Files reporting, because his Substack subscriptions greatly increased after he first released The Twitter Files.
“[New Twitter CEO] Elon Musk spoon-fed you his cherry-picked information, which you must have suspected promotes a slanted view point or, at the very least, generates another right-wing conspiracy theory,” Wasserman Schultz sneered condescendingly.
But there is no “conspiracy theory.” Democrats have openly advocated ever harsher censorship and unequivocally demanded only one narrative be allowed online.
Salgado and the rest of the MRC think that holding conservatives accountable for false or hateful speech equals "censorship." Also, she didn't dispute Wasserman Schultz's assertion that Musk fed Taibbi selective and biased information -- and if you're doing that to manufacture a partisan political narrative that would not exist in the presence of fuller information that is currently being hidden (by Musk), you are, in fact, creating a conspiracy theory.
Renata Kiss served up more Musk-fluffing in a a March 13 post:
Twitter owner Elon Musk recently doubled down on his pro-free speech rhetoric, saying free speech cannot be lost because “you don’t get it back.”
Twitter CEO Elon Musk shared his vision for Twitter in an open web forum on Tuesday emphasizing his continued commitment to more open public discourse on the “town square of the internet.”
2:26 “What is the bedrock of a functioning democracy?” he asked. “It has to be free speech and a level playing field. That’s why it’s the First Amendment.” He went on to say that “once you lose freedom of speech, you don’t get it back. So that’s why we must protect it at all costs.”
Musk explained that Twitter isn’t limited to the narrow point of view of legacy media. On the contrary, Twitter empowers the public to choose a narrative for themselves.
Kiss didn't mention that Musk suspended the Twitter accounts of journalists who reported on him, demonstrating that his supposed commitment to "free speech" is little more than lip service.
Johnson returned to do stenography for Musk stenographer Taibbi as he whined about being criticized:
One congressional Democrat seemed unprepared for the response she received after she implied that Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi wasn’t really a journalist.
"This isn't just a matter of what data was given to these so-called journalists before us," House Ranking member Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) said at last week's Twitter Files hearing. Plaskett directed her comments at independent journalists Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger who each testified at the hearing. Taibbi, the first journalist to report on the Twitter Files, immediately responded by reminding Congress of his list of credentials.
"Ranking Member Plaskett, I'm not a so-called journalist," he said during the hearing. "I've won the National Magazine Award, the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and I've written 10 books, including four New York Times bestsellers." But Taibbi didn’t leave it at that. He responded once again in a Racket News Magazine article Friday.
In his article, Taibbi wrote that Democrats could not care less about free speech and were only concerned with pushing their own agenda.
Again: If Taibbi and Shellenberger are Musk's compliant stooges serving up stenography for him, they are not "independent journalists."
CNS Joins Right-Wing Narrative Campaign To Blame Bank Collapse On ESG Policies Topic: CNSNews.com
Just as its Media Research Center parent did, CNSNews.com sought to exploit the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank by imposing right-wing narratives to blame things that didn't actually happen.
Susan Jones kicked off things with an unusually straightforward story, though she still found a to inject bias with a snarky shot at President Biden, claiming that a statement on the collapse released by the White House was done "in President Joe Biden's name." Then it was narrrative-pushing time, as Jones wrote an article baselessly suggesting that the collapse was caused by the bank following ESG policies (a narrative CNS has been heavilypushing lately):
"Our values guide everything we do," says Silicon Valley Bank's "Environmental, Social and Governance Report" for 2022.
"We start with empathy, take responsibility, speak and act with integrity, embrace diverse perspectives, and keep learning and improving," says the introduction written by (former) SVB President and CEO Greg Becker.
Federal regulators took over the failed bank on Friday, following a run by depositors. The Biden administration says all of SVB's depositors will get their money back, even those who exceed the $250,000 limit for federally insured deposits.
SVB's 66-page ESG report lays out the following social justice initiatives that were important to the bank, which mainly served technology startups:
Jones then hyped that "Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2024 presidential Republican candidate, says he would not bail out Silicon Valley Bank, if it were up to him," for the purported sin of taking ESG into consideration. Later in the day, managing editor Michael W. Chapman gave Ramaswamy -- a right-wing darling CNS' MRC parent helped hype into a presidential run -- his own article to rant (and to further the anti-ESG narrative):
Commenting on the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Vivek Ramaswamy, a highly successful asset management chairman, best selling author, and GOP presidential candidate, said the bank should not be bailed out by the government but should be allowed to fail, "if needed."
Bailing out SVB is nothing more than "crony capitalism," he added, noting that we saw all this happen before with the bank bailouts in 2008.
The anti-woke money manager also criticized the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) agenda followed by SVB.
"Silicon Valley Bank just last year made a $5 billion commitment to sustainable finance to ensure a better and more sustainable planet," noted Ramaswamy. "If they had actually sought for a more sustainable balance sheet, they would have better done their job."
Jones returned to gush over partisan commentator and Fox Business host Charles Payne -- whom she laughably described as a "financial journalist" -- weighing in on the bank's collapse:
"First and foremost, for me, that was a bailout of Silicon Valley. Not Silicon Valley Bank -- of Silicon Valley. And everyone needs to be clear on that. This was not a bailout of hard-working Americans with small accounts. This was a bank that only catered, for the most part, to Silicon Valley and their customers.
"So how did Silicon Valley (Bank) get so big? All the money that cascaded into our economy at the beginning of the pandemic helped to spur...over a thousand IPOs (initial public offerings)," Payne said. He said 59 percent of those IPOs were SPACs.
(A SPAC, or Special Purpose Acquisition Company, is one without commercial operations that is formed to raise capital through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company).
Payne said 90 percent of the SPACs were "pure crap."
"The others all went out overvalued," he continued.
Jones didn't mention that Donald Trump's social media website Truth Social is linked to a SPAC.
Funding ideological environmental, social and governance (ESG) causes, instead of the most profitable ventures, helped cause last week’s failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) – and most clients don’t even know their retirement account managers are investing in ESG, Republican 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says.
"Silicon Valley Bank just last year made a $5 billion commitment to sustainable finance to ensure a better and more sustainable planet," Ramaswamy told CNN on Sunday.
"If they had actually sought for a more sustainable balance sheet, they would have better done their job," he noted.
Bannister did not quote Ramaswamy providing any direct evidence of a link between ESG and the bank's collapse.
When questions were raised about a bank deregulation law signed by Trump that may have contributed to the bank's collapse, Melanie Arter contributd a March 14 article featuring a Republican trying to change the subject:
Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, said Tuesday that the failed Silicon Valley Bank was not because of a failure of banking regulations, and more regulation on regional banks “is not the answer.”
Instead, he said, it was fueled by “overspending by the Democrats, which fueled inflation,” among other things.
“Well, what we need to be doing right now, what we need to be focused on is not assigning premature blame but instead focusing on vigorous oversight of the financial regulators to make sure we prevent systemic risk and restore financial stability,” Barr told Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
There were a few more articles that, of course, mostly leaned right: