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Friday, April 21, 2023
NEW ARTICLE -- Newsmax's Victimhood Blitz: Endgame
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax continued to loudly complain that DirecTV dropped it -- until it started seriously negotiating to return there. It was then apparently forced, as a condition of its return, to walk back all those partisan attacks that it was the victim of "censorship." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 AM EDT
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Anti-Drag Hate Continues At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center kept its rage against drag queens burning hot as 2023 progressed. Matt Philbin spent a Jan. 27 post reacting to a drag show during halftime at a pro basketball game in a freakout filled with toxic masculinity:

Well, the Milwaukee Bucks came out of the closet this week, becoming the first NBA team to declare itself queer. 

At Wednesday’s “Pride Night” game, the team gave attendees a "Bucks Pride" scarf and beanie, and announced that the Milwaukee PD officially recognized their arena as a terrific place to be gay. Team members made videos about how great the gay is, and at halftime they ceded the court to gyrating dudes in women’s clothes for a drag show. Apparently, they found time to play basketball too. All in a night’s work.

[...]

Well, if you knew it was Pride Night and you bought your family tickets anyway, you don’t much care what your kids are exposed to. And since the whole point of Pride Night is to advertise the team’s virtue, it’s hard to imagine someone not getting word before hand. 

So please join me in congratulating the Bucks for their courage, wishing them well as they continue to live their truth as the first gay pro basketball team.

Philbin seems a bit insecure in his masculinity if all he can come up with is a childish "you're so gay" insult.

Later in the day, Philbin cheered anti-drag laws in North Dakota:

We’ve reached the point where we need laws to keep men in women’s clothes from performing lewd dance routines in front of kids. Isn’t progress great? 

The North Dakota House voted 79-13 to make it illegal to do drag shows with children present. According to Fox News, “Rep. Brandon Prichard, a Republican from Bismarck, said Thursday he proposed the bill after learning of drag shows performed in front of children, including at least once on the Capitol steps.”

At leastone … 

So the question is, who were the 13 reps that think pervs and kids belong together?

Philbin did not explain who indoctrinated him with the hateful belief that all drag queen are "pervs" who only do "lewd dance routines."

The MRC's chief dragphobe and transphobe, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, got to mix both hateful obsessions in a Feb. 3 post that went on a tirade against  "drag queen turned trannie" Jinkx Monsoon, who landed a part in a  Broadway musical. Mandelburg quickly descended into your typical right-wing "drag queens are coming for your children" fearmongering:

The two then got into the growing "backlash" that drag queens have been receiving. “Drag has slayed and sashayed its way into mainstream entertainment,” [CBS correspondent Christina] Ruffini began, “it’s also become a target.” Violence against anyone is always wrong, but it's important to point out that drag only became an issue when drag queens got out of their own lane and got into the lane where children exist. 

If you wanna do drag, go ahead. You’re weird but I mean, feel free. However, the second a drag queen enters a space with children present, THAT’s when the line needs to be drawn. Children should not be subjected to such a twisted way of life and told to accept it as normal.

Whether its children attending “family-friendly” drag shows where performers execute provocative dance moves and lay spread eagle on the floor, or where drag queens host fashion shows for “drag youth,” or drag queen story hour, “drag” and “children” should never intersect.

Why is Mandelburg so afraid of drag queens? She offers no evidence that drag queens pose any sort of realisitic threat to children -- after all, children in the 1950s weren't traumatized by Milton Berle in drag on national TV (which wouldn't be allowed under some states' anti-drag laws).And one has to think that Mandelburg doesn't really mean that "violence against anyone is always wrong" when she's suggesting it would be permissible against a drag queen who got even remotely close to a child.

Kevin Tober spent a Feb. 6 post lashing out at TV panelists -- one of whom is one of the MRC's favorite targets -- who pointed out the scare tacics behind the right-wing anti-drag crusade:

On Monday's edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront, host Erin Burnett and her panelists tore into Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for the grave sin of holding companies accountable that seek to sexually exploit and indoctrinate children for the left's political gain. Most notably, panelist and co-host of The View Alyssa Farah Griffin defended parents who want to abuse their children by bringing them to drag shows and beclowned herself by admitting that she "love[s] drag." 

Burnett turned to left-wing radical Van Jones on the drag queen story hour topic and falsely claimed: “this is not a big thing, okay.”

She then added: “But to the extent that it is something that comes up, there are a lot of parents who may not be Republican or right-wing Republican or whoever who might be uncomfortable with that. Is it a smart issue to pick it? So in other words, so that you as a Democrat aren't put in a position of defending why 6-year-olds should be allowed to go to drag queens?”

Jones deflected from the question posed to him and whined: “It's cynical. And it's the kind of cynical thing a bully does. It speaks poorly to his character. I don't think that the biggest threat to American children is some drag queen thing.”

[...]

Finally, the most insane commentary was predictably given by The View co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin. 

At first, it started off promising when Griffin said she’s “not comfortable with the idea of a 6-year-old being at a drag show.”  

But then it took a turn for the worse when she embarrassed herself by admitting “I love drag. I'm 33. So, let's not ban it.”

“Let’s not have the heavy hand of the state come in and make a decision for parents. This seems like conservatism 101. Let the parent opt-in to what they want their kids to have exposure to,” Griffin lectured. 

If that’s "conservatism 101" then conservatism deserves to die a swift death. But luckily that’s not what conservatism stands for. 

This shouldn't be a political issue. Children don't belong at drag shows. Period.

Tober didn't dispute that his fellow right-wingers are using bully tactics against drag queens. And, like his fellow co-workers, he failed to expain why he believes all drag queens are all inherently evil who must ber purged from society and hidden away lest chidren see them and learn not to hate the way their parents do. And if Tober and his pals support trying to legislate drag out of existence, they're the ones who are politicizing things.

Mandelburg returned to freak out in a Feb. 9 post:

CNN is doing its part for the drag queen lobby.

The network's Erica Hill did a puff segment Thursday morning with Reverend Todd Vetter and Jonathan Hamilt, Executive Director of Drag Story Hour, to protest the GOP-backed legislation that aims to protect kids from the obscenity of drag shows. In a roughly six-minute exchange on live TV, the trio spewed lies and woke propaganda about the need for drag in kids' lives -- and in the lives of Christians.

Vetter, of the First Congregational Church of Madison, Connecticut, put on a drag bingo event to raise money for his youth group to attend a mission trip to build homes for people. Naturally, he received some backlash but he kept it up He claimed it wasn’t a “political statement” and insisted it was to signal that his church was an “open and affirming” place.

Being judgmental about anytthing and everything that offends her far-right sensibilities and ideology is, of course, Mandelburg's brand. She then imposed her rigid and narrow view of Christianity on the situation, insisting that Jesus would never hang with drag queens:

Vetter said the experience was “an affirmation of who we are as a church, how we think about the commandment to love our neighbor and I think it, whatever lessons the community has taken away from this is -- I think, positive -- but it is a great affirmation for us of who we are and who we are called to be.”

So his flock is called to hang around with perverts?

While the Bible does say to love our neighbor and that we are not to judge others, it also commands us to walk as Jesus would. If Jesus were running a church in the U.S. today, he wouldn’t be using men in dress-up clothes and wearing boob attachments to raise money for a youth mission trip. Vetter is enabling drag behavior and exposing kids to it.

Mandelburg did the stock right-wing ranting about drag queen story hours: "Most regular story-hour’s don’t and shouldn't have men with fake boobs wearing short skirts and makeup." She then went on to justify anti-drag hate by using the Orwellian framing of calling it "pro-child":

He claimed that people who are in opposition of kids being in spaces with drag queens are simply homophobic and transphobic. 

Hill then went on a tangent bashing the Republican-introduced law that would help protect kids from the immorality at drag shows. The law indicates that parents may be charged if they bring their kids to drag events, as they should, as well as insists that restaurants and bars that host the drag shows to register as sexually oriented businesses ... I mean, duh.

The bill isn’t “anti-drag,” but instead is “pro-child.” If you want to dress up in drag, go ahead, you’re a freak but not hurting anyone but yourself. But the second drag and children intersect or enter into the same place, a thick line needs to be drawn. 

Kids should not be exposed to drag. Period.

Again, Mandelburg didn't explain exactly how any child -- or any adult -- is threatened in any way by drag queens.

UPDATE: One we overlooked earlier: A Dec. 22 post by Brad Wilmouth complained that right-wing dragphobia was called out, huffing that a PBS show "devoted a segment to an LGBT activist who has been defending drag shows against efforts by conservatives to restrict their ability to involve children" and that the host "made sure to label critics of drag shows as 'far-right' as she set up the interview." Wilmouth didn't dispute the accuracy of the label.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 21, 2023 11:50 AM EDT
WND Columnist Tries To Defend Trump Call To Ga. Official
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jonathon Moseley is getting desperate in is attempt to defend Donald Trump. His March 1 column was dedicated to attacking the Georgia investigation into Trump's actions after the 2020 election he lost, insisting that Trump "a perfectly appropriate phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on or about Jan. 3, 2021. This is an astonishingly precise parallel to Trump's phone call to Ukraine and the first impeachment trial." He went on to huff:

This particular scheme out of many is the false claim that Trump tried to pressure Raffensperger to "overturn" (that is, get correct) the results of the 2020 election for president in Georgia. However, the discussions of these events are buried amidst anti-Trump hysteria. Finding the most basic details is very difficult. It is distressing that Trump's Georgia lawyers are doing so little to defend him. The effective lawyers helping Trump are Christina Bobb, Harmeet Dhillon, Alina Habba and Jenna Ellis. And Rudy Giuliani was very assertive and a fighter. Others seem to be asleep.

Moseley spent a lot of time explaining that the call was obligatory ounder certain civil procedure rules and included other lawyers on both sides and not just Trump and Raffensperger, which we don't recall anyone questioning. After making a couple points about that and alleged editing, Moseley huffed:

Third, in every election-related contest, it is a requirement to show that the challenged votes or category of votes could change the outcome. Donald Trump is heard on the call ticking off the categories and votes in each category, to show exactly that: As required, Trump was showing how the outcome of the election could have been different if the errors in the election were corrected.

Fourth, what we do not hear on the phone call is Trump saying to Raffensperger "Ignore the voting results, make me win anyway." Notice the substance of Trump's remarks. Trump lists the errors in the election and how many votes each one would have affected. Raffensperger responds that his numbers are different. Trump asks how are the numbers different – these are numbers we got from your office, can you tell us the correct numbers? In violation of Rules 26(e) to (f), Raffensperger refuses. Exchanging that kind of information immediately or delivering it under a plan is the purpose of Rule 26. Georgia's secretary of state was in contempt of court by not answering as to his position on the correct voting totals in each problem category. Raffensperger's intransigence is what jumps out.

But notice how the discussion is about which numbers are correct. There is no discussion about finding a way to make Trump win in spite of the vote totals. The entire discussion is about what the challenged votes actually are, in truth, by category. And that's the requirement under Rule 26.

In fact, the transcript of the call shows that Gergia officials challenged Trump on the false claims he was making about the Georgia numbers; Ryan Germany of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told him: "Let me tell you what we are seeing. What we’re seeing is not at all what you’re describing, these are investigators from our office, these are investigators from GBI, and they’re looking and they’re good. And that’s not what they’re seeing." Indeed, Trump's numbers proved to be false, not the ones from Georgia officials.

Also, Moseley doesn't include a single direct quote from Trump in his column,which suggests that he's trying to gloss over what Trump actually said.Trump did not have to explicitly say to Raffensperger "Ignore the voting results, make me win anyway" for that desire to be made crystal clear. Trump did say that "All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state"; it's quite easy to infer intent.

Moseley went on to complain that "The problem is that prosecutors only present one side to the grand jury, and the grand jury won't know the reasons why the phone call was innocent." Funny how the legal process is a terrible thing when prominent Republicans face accountability for their apparent crimes.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2023 10:14 PM EDT
MRC Promotes COVID Misinformer Malone
Topic: Media Research Center

As one more part of its newly fawning coverage of CPAC, a March 7 post by Paiten Iselin and Gabriela Pariseau bestowed right-wing victimhood on a fellow traveler:

The harms of Big Tech’s COVD-19 censorship continue to ripple throughout America, vaccine scientist Dr. Robert Malone told MRC Free Speech America.

“People have been prevented from obtaining informed consent because of the censorship,” Malone said at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday. Malone is an inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology used in COVID-19 vaccines. His concerns about COVID-19 vaccines repeatedly landed him in hot water with the Big Tech COVID-19 narrative police.

Malone noted that online censorship has a tangible – and potentially lethal – impact offline as well. “[P]atients aren’t getting that preventative care because the physicians are being, and the patients are being, blocked from understanding about it, and that means there'll be additional avoidable excess deaths in the future,” he said.

Malone warned of the dangers of silencing scientific discussion online. “The consequence of [COVID-19 censorship] is that physicians who might otherwise be able to provide preventative care to their patients are not aware of what the risks are,” he said.

Platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube have all attempted to silence Malone’s posts or media appearances.

In December of 2021, Twitter suspended Malone for allegedly sharing “misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” LinkedIn also ousted Malone who wrote, “No explanations, no warnings were given.”

Big Tech’s repeated censorship of COVID-19 information showcases the platforms’ aversion to truth, debate and scientific discussion.

In fact, Malone has been repeatedly exposed as a spreader of COVID-related misinformation (which is why WorldNetDaily loves him). That starts with Iselin and Pariseau's claim that he is  "n inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology"; in fact, all he did was some early reserarch into the subject. As we've documented, Malone has attacked the vaccine he "invented"; signed the "Great Barrington Declaration," which advoacated for dangerous "herd immunity" at a time when no vaccines were yet availble and COVID was killing thousands daily; and his new book has a foreword by wacky anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr. It was a misinformation-laden interview Malone did with podcaster Joe Rogan that played a key role in the MRC rushing to defend Rogan last year.

But Iselin and Pariseau don't want to talk about how Malone has deliberately misled people -- he's the MRC's kind of manufactured victim, and that's all that matters: "Big Tech’s repeated censorship of COVID-19 information showcases the platforms’ aversion to truth, debate and scientific discussion." And, of course, they named Malone's partner in COVID misinformation, Peter McCullough, as another purported victim.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 PM EDT
CNS Jim Jordan & Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Let's see how CNSNews.com did in serving up stenography for its favorite non-Ted Cruz right-wingers, shall we? Here's what CNS did on behalf of Republican Rep. Jim Jordan in the first three months of 2023:

That's just seven articles, a little off the pace of previous years. And, of course, none of them mention his alleged failure to do anything about a doctor who had been accused of sexual abuse by wrestlers on a college team where Jordan was a coach. CNS also gave Jordan promotion in a Jan. 6 article quoting GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz touting Jordan as a "trusted" conservative who would make a good House speaker.

Another CNS fave, right-wing radio host Mark Levin, did a little better:

That's eight articles, which is also off the pace of previous years. And, yes, CNS wants you to think that Levin's wife running in a benefit race is "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2023 11:03 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
MRC DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade has continued to roll along as the MRC serves as the de facto rapid-response operation for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his presumed presidential campaign. Kevin Tober spent a Feb. 21 post freaking out because someone used DeSantis tobesmirch the entire state of Florida with a description the MRC would be embracing if DeSantis was a Democrat:

As much as they say otherwise, MSNBC was terrified of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis becoming president because they know he's a real threat to their leftist agenda. To them, Trump was an easy punching bag for ratings. More proof of this came on Tuesday night's edition of The ReidOut when guest host Jason Johnson leveled another nasty attack on DeSantis, this time sliming the entire state of Florida and it’s people in the process. 

The vile and bigoted attacks came when Johnson made his best case for why DeSantis was unelectable. "In my view, there are three states that you can't really run from if you're trying to win across America," Johnson proclaimed.

Continuing to illustrate his bizarre theory, Johnson explained: "You run from New York, you're too crazy, you're a liberal. You run from California, you're too crazy, you’re liberal, you’re trying to make sure I can’t get plastic straws. You run from Florida, it's all crystal meth and alligators. Right?" 

Realizing how much he stepped in it, Johnson quickly backtracked and said he was just saying that's simply the reputation of Florida. "I mean that's what people think. I'm not saying that that's the case. I’m saying those are sort of the national reputations of those states," he said.

"So when you see Ron DeSantis running and claiming that he's going do for America what he's done in Florida, it seems like that’d be a problem," Johnson ended by saying.

So annoyed was the MRC by that description of Florida -- and so desperate was it to distance DeSantis from that reputation -- that Tim Graham spent his podcast the next day complaining about it, with Tober as his guest:

Ron DeSantis is Public Enemy #1 on the left-wing TV networks, as he stands falsely accused of ending the teaching of slavery. On The Reidout, MSNBC guest host Jason Johnson said DeSantis can't successfully run for president from Florida, which is seen as the state of "crystal meth and alligators."

Is someone confusing actual Florida with an episode of Miami Vice? Do Joy's guest hosts need to sound as crazy as Joy?

Graham returned for a Feb. 27 post whining about a bad review of DeSantis' new book:

The folks at The New York Times Book Review would like you to believe they are the nation's premier evaluators of books, fiction and nonfiction. But the evidence shows the Times evaluates political books with a reliably partisan rancor or rapture, depending on which party it is. 

Take nonfiction book critic Jennifer Szalai's takedown of the new Ron DeSantis book The Courage to Be Free, headlined "Preaching Freedom, Ron DeSantis Leads By Cracking Down."

Szalai began by painting DeSantis as an insincere chameleon:

[...]

The review also mocked DeSantis for its lack of literary merit: "For the most part, The Courage to Be Free is courageously free of anything that resembles charisma, or a discernible sense of humor. While his first book was weird and esoteric enough to have obviously been written by a human, this one reads like a politician’s memoir churned out by ChatGPT."

This is a pattern at the eagerly partisan Times.

The eagerly partisan Graham offered no evidence to rebut the reviewer's take on the book.

There was plenty of lashing out at other criticism of DeSantis as well:

Even mocking obviously mockable things about DeSantis drew MRC disapproval. Mark Finkelstein huffed in a March 14 post:

MSNBC has been spewing red-hot hate of Ron DeSantis for years now. But it's gotten so silly that Joe Scarborough is now mocking the Florida governor for his throwing motion during a playing-catch interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. 

Scarborough squealed "wheee" no fewer 11 than times this morning during a long opening segment he devoted to mocking Ron DeSantis. He said it was worse given that he had been on the baseball team at Yale. Joe also mocked DeSantis as a "goober" for keeping his suit jacket on during the throwing session.

Super sports analyst Scarborough, playing both regular-speed and slo-mo clips slammed DeSantis's throwing motion. And each time Scarborough did so, he accompanied it with a long "whee."

Scarborough suggested that DeSantis' motion was all the worse given that he had been on the baseball team at Yale.

Finkelstein even defended DeSantis' throwing action, as someone who's doing rapid response and not "media research" would do:

Note: Rather than being whee-worthy, my analysis says that DeSantis was intentionally taking something off his throws. He appeared to be standing rather close to Kilmeade. And judging by Brian's throwing motion, he is not an accomplished ballplayer. DeSantis likely didn't want to embarrass Brian by whipping a ball at him that he couldn't handle.

Now, if you want to smirk at a truly whee-worthy throwing motion, here's then-President Obama throwing out a first pitch.

Of course Finkelstein found a way to play whataboutism.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 10:39 PM EDT
Newsmax Touts Fringe Doctor Group's Anti-Transgender Claims
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Katz uncritically wrote in a Feb. 27 Newsmax article:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a national organization of physicians in all specialties, warned that there are inherently unknown long-term risks to gender-affirming care for minors, and the consequences of removing normal, healthy organs are "generally irreversible."

On Saturday, the AAPS released a statement on "transgenderism" because, it said, "a majority of large and influential medical organizations have issued treatment guidelines for gender-affirming care, but there is strong opposition."

Also, the group recommended physicians and medical professionals refuse to be "mandated or coerced to participate in procedures to which they have ethical or scientific objections or which they believe would harm a patient."

The group noted "an explosive increase in persons who identify with the construct of gender different from sex, at an age where identity is easily malleable and brain development is not fully concluded."

Katz faied to tell his readers, however, that AAPS is a fringe-right group that puts politics before medicine -- and, thus, gets prominent play on right-wing websites like WorldNetDaily. It's a group of anti-vaxxers that spread misinformation about COVID, touted dubious treatments and fearmongered about vaccines. And as others have pointed out, AAPS hates trangender people, having previously called being transgender a "pathology," and it endorses anti-LGBT conversion therapy.

In other words, not a group that should be treated seriously -- but Newsmax wants you to believe otherwise.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
Disinformation Source WND Complains Of Being On Disinformation Blacklist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily just loves playing victimhood when its years of dishonesty have consequences, and it has found a new way to do so. Bob Unruh detailed it in a Feb. 10 article:

A new report from the Washington Examiner has identified WND, a precedent-setter among online news sites that was founded back in 1997, is one among dozens of "conservative" news sites from which ad revenue is being blocked by a Microsoft subsidiary.

Among the false claims made against the sites is that they were peddling alleged "disinformation."

Other websites identified included the Washington Examiner itself, Daily Wire, Real Clear Politics, Hot Air, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Tea Party, Life News, MRCTV, Breitbart, Redstate, The Blaze and more.

As part of a series about groups tracking supposed "disinformation" and then discriminating against conservative opinions and reporting, the Examiner explained how Xandr, an advertising company that "subscribes to a left-leaning 'disinformation' group's secret blacklist," has been flagging those with comments with which it disagrees.

And it's been actively "taking steps to defund and deplatform them."

[...]

WND’s longtime vice president and managing editor, David Kupelian, is not surprised at all, revealing more of the back story: “In late 2020, three major international online ad companies that had long served ads on WND – our main source of revenue and sustenance – all suddenly decided, at almost the exact same time, to cancel WND in the run-up to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. The ad companies blacklisting WND – namely Xandr, TripleLift and Teads – all cited vague breaches of their terms of service,  including, and I quote, ‘any content that is illegal or otherwise contrary to any applicable law, regulation, directive, guideline or order, including without limitation any misleading, unethical, obscene, defamatory, deceptive, gambling-related or hateful content,’ etc. So it has nothing to do with 'disinformation.' If they don’t like your politics, you’re cancelled.”

Kupelian is lying, of course. WND has distinguished itself as a reliable purveyor of disinformation, particularly about election fraud and COVID vaccines -- it has done more than enough to earn its place on a blacklist of discredited websites.

A few days later, Unruh wrote an article on how the Microsoft subsidiary apparently backed off the blackist, copying-and-pasting Kupelian's earlier quote into it. And it wouldn't be WND if Joseph Farah wasn't trying to monetize this victimhood, as he did in his Feb. 13 column:

The truth is, the onslaught of blacklisting, banning, demonetization and suppression by every means imaginable has been constant for eight years. What could we do in the face of such never-ending attacks on us?

We turned to our most important constituency – our beloved readers who turn to us for the truth.

And we continue to rely on reader support, but it's very difficult – because Google, by far the world's largest search engine, controls how many people SEE WND. So, as you can imagine, it's tough to survive the overwhelming forces arrayed against us.

Please consider helping WND to weather the ongoing attacks against us by making a generous tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit 501(c)(3) WND News Center.

[...]

Thank you so much for your past support – including those who were so generous toward the end of 2022, since you've kept us going through January. However, WND's financial needs continue to grow because of the kind of Biden-era, anti-conservative, anti-Christian Big Tech and woke advertising company bias toward us discussed above.

We feel sorry for any reader who thinks the only place they can turn to for "the truth" is WND.

Farah harped on the siguation again in his column two days later: "The situation is bleak – especially for a Christian company like WND. It's a double threat – conservative and Christian. Imagine!" It doesn't seem to have occurred to Farah that WND could avoid this situation by publishing factual information instead of fake news and conspiracy theories.

Unruh hyped other developments in the story that benefited right-wing media like WND:

Farah penned another freakout column in his Feb. 16 column:

The Department of State has funded a deep-pocketed "disinformation" tracking group that is secretly blacklisting and trying to defund conservative media.

The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups, is feeding blacklists to ad companies with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged "disinformation," the Washington Examiner reports. This same "disinformation" group has received $330,000 from two State Department-backed entities linked to the highest levels of government.

Just a reminder – that's illegal in America.

Actually, it's not illegal to point out how some websites traffic in disinformation. Farah rehashed WND's victimhood in his Feb. 20 column:

For more than eight years, since 2014, I've told you how the Big Tech cabal – first and foremost Google – has been trying to kill off WND.

Now, as recent reports confirm, they are doing the same thing to other conservative media. You could say WND was the canary in the coal mine.

As a result, we have had to rely on reader support and prayers just to survive the continual blacklisting, censorship, cancel culture, demonetization, repression, defamation and demeaning of us, and the deprivation of our First Amendment rights.

And, of course, this sob story evolved into a money beg:

I pray every day for relief. God has provided us with daily bread as He has promised.

Government has held lots of hearings but, in the end, done nothing. And you have answered the call every time we have asked.

Still, it's been a nightmare for us.

We've lost more than 90% of our revenues since 2016. We are essentially operating on fumes.

If WND means something special to you, we continue to need your prayers and your financial blessings. While some of our friends in the independent media have billionaire patrons, you should know that we do not, and never have. We've always operated the old-fashioned way, earning our own way. We spend only what we take in through revenues and donations.

We do it because we love it. We always have. But we also love you for remembering us. Truly.

Most of all, we love God and trust Him for our daily bread.

So, please, don't forget to keep us in your prayers. We can feel their effectiveness. They give us great encouragement to keep fighting on.

These are tough and crazy times in America. I'm sure you see that. We thank you for recognizing our unique work, our determination and our fearlessness. And we thank you for yours.

Please consider helping us weather this very difficult time by making a generous tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit 501(c)(3) WND News Center.

"Unique work" is certainly one way to describe publishing fake news and conspiracy theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Double Standard On Media Ownership
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to invent tales about the purported "left-wing" owners of certain media outlets -- but it never complains about (and actually defends) the right-wing bias of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
MRC Still Attempting To Defend Fox News From Dominion Lawsuit
Topic: Media Research Center

As the Fox News-Dominion lawsuit inched closer to its scheduled trial date, the Media Research Center -- which has struggled to figure out how to defend its favorite right-wing "news" channel (when it wasn't deliberately ignoring the lawsuit, anyway) over the revelations that Fox News lied to its viewers by portrapying Donald Trump's claims of election fraud as valid when it knew they were bogus -- attemped a couple more defenses.

Jeffrey Lord spent his March 25 column rehashing a op-ed written by former Trump attorney general William Barr defending Fox News by claiming that the media should be able to "report on these matters without incurring liability for defamation because existing laws give them wide latitude to do so to encourage uninhibited discourse on matters of public concern," to which Lord harrumphed: "Exactly. They have latitude to draw conclusions based on the facts of the moment as we know them." But has the Washington Post's Aaron Blake pointed out, "there were certainly times when they went beyond treating them as 'unproven allegations' and even seemingly endorsed them."

Lord endorsed another statement by Barr, that under the "actual malice" standard established under current libel law, "a media speaker isn’t liable for defamation, even for a false statement of fact, unless he knows when he makes the statement that what he is saying is false or gravely doubts its truth." Lord added: "Again, exactly" -- but he didn't mention how it was revealed that Fox News hosts did, in fact, know the Trump campaign's claims of election fraud were bogus but they promoted the bogus claims on air anyway.

When a Fox News employee stepped forward to claim she was pressued by Fox News lawyers to lie during testimony for the Dominion lawsuit, a March 30 post portrayed her as the liar (and "disgruntled" too) while playing a lame bit of whataboutism to draw needlessly draw CNN into the picture:

As a preview to a segment that’s going to air on Thursday night’s NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today show hyped an interview between correspondent Cynthia McFadden and a disgruntled former Fox News guest booker, Abby Grossberg. Brushing over why the behind-the-scenes employee was fired without any details, the network lionized her lawsuits against cable’s number one news station. Something they refused to do when CNN fired their primetime poster boy Chris Cuomo and he sued them for $125 million.

“This morning, we are hearing from the former Fox News producer at the center of a legal battle over Dominion Voting Systems,” co-anchor Craig Melvin announced. “Abby Grossberg is suing the network alleging that she was pressured by Fox to give misleading testimony during a deposition in the case.”

NBC presented no evidence to support Grossberg’s claims.

[...]

If a loyal NBC viewer wanted to find out anything related to why Grossberg was fired, they would need to read down to paragraph 43 (of 48 total) in their online report. “Fox fired her last week, alleging she had disclosed privileged information in her legal claims despite being warned that she was ‘not authorized to disclose it publicly,’” was all they wrote about it.

Fondacaro didn't mention the difference between the two lawsuits -- Cuomo's involved personnel matters whiile Fox News was being sued for defamation -- but he continued on the whataboutism path anyway: "What’s the difference? Fox outperforms NBC’s sister network MSNBC, while CNN is in a distant third place behind them."

He concluded by huffing: "It will be interesting to see what more NBC chooses to share on air from McFadden’s interview. And also what got left on the cutting room floor." Fibndacaro apparently found nothing objectionable (or at least nothing that could the twisted to Fox News' benefit) in the interview, because Grossberg has never been mentioned by the MRC since.

Tim Graham spent his March 31 column complaining that actual journalists called out Fox News for spreading lies:

America’s journalism elite has a nasty habit of associating journalism with liberalism. They only believe in half of a First Amendment. They don’t believe in press freedom for the conservative media...because they think those outlets should be shunned as fake-news factories.

See the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), which claims it “promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens” and “fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.” But when it comes to Fox News, they put those ideals through a shredder.

The Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News has become deeply embarrassing in revealing internal discussions in the weeks after the 2020 election, a tumultuous period for the leading cable-news network. The Trump army was in full cry against anyone who suggested Joe Biden had won. Fox bizarrely called Arizona for Biden before all the liberal networks did. Then they worried about their audience leaving in droves for Newsmax and OAN.

So Dominion’s lawyers have thrilled the liberal media with texts and emails showing powerful Fox people were worrying out loud about how it was “bad for business” to fact-check Trump allies. Trump lawyers were uncorking wild conspiracy theories about voting machines that they could not prove. It’s plausible to argue these flagrant theories – combined with Trump’s self-absorbed refusal to concede he lost – led to rioting at the Capitol.

This is why the SPJ did not advocate for press freedom, but slammed Fox instead: “News organizations have a fundamental obligation to be honest in the reporting and opinion they disseminate. It is unprofessional, unethical and potentially harmful for a journalist or news organization to deliberately mislead their audience, no matter the motivation or format....No responsible journalist can accept or excuse this behavior.”

Graham didn't explain why it was was "bizarre" for Fox News to call Arizona for Biden, especially given that the call was correct. He also glossed over the fact that discovery in the Dominion lawsuit showed that Fox News portrayed Trump election fraud claims as plausible when it knew they were not -- which, of course, is the reason the SPJ criticized Fox News. Instead, it was whataboutism time again:

That sounds great as a principle, but is that applied to all media outlets? Try Googling “SPJ statement on CNN” and see if you can find them ever whacking CNN for deliberately misleading their audience on anything. If someone sued CNN or NBC, do we think we would never find juicy texts like Fox’s?

We can guess liberal journalists would defend other liberal journalists on the “deliberately misleading” part of the statement. Did the SPJ ever speak out against CNN and MSNBC journalists standing in front of raging fires at big-city riots and saying it was “not unruly”? Or was that too obviously misleading to matter?

“Professional journalists” only hate Fox, apparently. On March 25, SPJ also tweeted out an article from the liberal Nieman Lab arguing Fox News was Fake News. Their tweet promoted this quote from radical journalism professor Jay Rosen: “It’s not just journalism schools — the whole journalism profession in the U.S. has been involved in this make-believe game of Fox as a normal colleague. And now it’s slowly beginning to question that.”

Again, Graham failed to mention that Fox News knew it was spreading that fake news. He concluded by dismissing Fox News critics as nothing but haters while warning about the purported dangers of the Dominion lawsuit:

The SPJ and these other Fox haters are too lost in their negative emotions to appreciate that if Fox News loses in court to Dominion, it opens the rest of the media to lawsuits whenever they pass along allegations that turn out to be false. The legal system doesn’t have a double standard on this. Only the “professional journalists” do.

Of course, one does not have to be a professional journalist to know that Fox News deliberately lied to its viewers and that it falsely smeared Dominion.

Graham wrote a column on April 14 similarly dismissing Fox News critics as  a bunch of haters:

NPR is a platform that has demonstrated an incredibly aggressive interest in undermining the credibility of Fox News Channel and the public’s understanding of how it balances out NPR’s relentless liberal bias and censorship.

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik reflects that obsession. He’s filed 13 stories attacking Fox from various angles since February 28, and he’s not the only NPR reporter dropping bombs on Murdoch's castle.

On April 13, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross devoted an hour to New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters exploiting the negative publicity from Fox’s ongoing legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems. The suit has embarrassed Fox with all kinds of internal messages showing they didn’t believe wild conspiratorial claims of voter fraud, insisting Trump won easily.

[...]

In this anti-Fox hour, Peters underlined that Tucker Carlson is an icon of insincerity, a man who privately proclaimed hatred of Trump, but just polished Trump’s shoes in a “historic” one-hour interview. Peters said, “he thinks his audience isn’t ever going to know what he said privately because we all live in such siloed media worlds.” Conservatives are surrounded by a dominant liberal media. The idea that they know nothing about the Dominion fracas is a provocative assertion.

Graham's well-paid job is to undermine the credibilty of any media outlet who's not as far-right as he is. He's also miscontruing Peters' words about the right-wing media bubble. The issue is not that conservatives don't know about the  Dominion lawsuit, it's that they don't want to admit the truth about what had been revealed -- namely, that Fox News lied to its viewers and falsely defamed Dominion -- and they portray any negative news about Fox News as the product of a biased "liberal media," not something based in reality (as Graham has repeatedly done and is doing here).

Graham concluded with more of the same (and whataboutism too):

Peters says if Fox News loses this case, “it says that one of the most powerful media organizations in the country has to pay for the dishonest way it covered our democracy.” Peters added “I don’t know that those kinds of lessons of accountability will sink in with the average conservative.”

NPR and their liberal friends imagine conservatives are a cretinous collection of mouth-breathing dullards and conspiracy kooks. Inside their silo, they never consider that NPR could be accused of being a “powerful media organization” that can be accused of covering our democracy in a “dishonest way” in 2020. They dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop as a “pure distraction” without moving a muscle to investigate.

NPR prances about mocking Fox for supinely serving its ideologically fervent base in denial of inconvenient facts. But NPR supinely serves its own ideologically fervent base. They are icons of insincerity in claiming they’re courageously independent guardians of democracy who operate without fear or favor.

Note that Graham said absolutely nothing about Fox News needing to be held accountable for its indisputable wrongdoings. And of course, as we've pointed out, if right-wing media wanted Hunter Biden's laptop to be taken seriously before the election, they should have provided independent verification of its authenticity that would have overcome the fact that pro-Trump outlets were pushing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 PM EDT
WND's Zumwalt has A Fit of AOC Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

James Zumwalt had a fit of AOC Derangement Syndrome -- and some misinformation to serve up -- in a March 3 WorldNetDaily column:

Maybe it is just me but the more I hear the Democratic representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), rant, the more I wish her parents had been celibate. There seems to be nothing about American and Christian values she holds sacred – nor does she give much thought to actual facts in her various rants. It would be interesting to know what it is that motivates voters in her district twice now to have voted for her to represent them as one is hard pressed to identify any positive accomplishments while the negatives about her continue mounting.

Let us look at how the "Queen of Misinformation" uses her magic wand in an effort to convert facts into fiction.

AOC used the occasion of a House Oversight Committee hearing concerning Twitter's censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop to go off on one of her unhinged rants. Rather than focusing on the topic at hand, she began attacking a Twitter account posted under the name of "Libs of TikTok." This account has gained a tremendous following for exposing the most insane commenters on TikTok – most of whom are of the liberal persuasion, which was obviously an issue for AOC.

Originally operating anonymously, the account is now known to be the brainchild of a woman named Chaya Raichik. Perhaps more disturbing to AOC than Raichik's posting information critical about various outrageous leftist positions is that Raichik substantiates what she posts with real facts.

AOC went off on her rant, attacking "Libs of TikTok" for "falsely" exposing Boston Children's Hospital and its willingness to perform transgender surgeries on minors. She maligned the account, suggesting such claims, including the performance of hysterectomies on children, may well have led to a bomb threat made against it later.

But quick to set the record straight, Seth Dillon, who is the CEO of the Babylon Bee, posted, in a serious comment, "The great irony here is that @AOC is lying. Libs of TikTok has simply reported the facts about what these hospitals have said about their own services. It's all documented. But this is what they (the likes of AOC) do – they use misinformation to smear you as being a source of it."

In fact, Libs of TikTok did lie. As a fact-checker found, the hospital does not conduct transgender surgery on minors.

Zumwalt went on to bizarrely frame Ocasio-Cortez's criticism of a right-wing religious organization spending millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads promoting Jesus as not something Jesus would do as an attack on Christianity by citing a story that had nothing whatsoever to do with it:

On Dec. 18, 2022, a United Airlines flight left Hawaii for San Francisco, Barely 2,200 feet in the air, the plane suddenly took a nosedive, dropping 1,425 feet within 10 seconds before correcting its trajectory. Those seconds were long enough for two passengers, Rod Williams II and his wife, to whisper silent prayers for a miracle. Unlike AOC's fake January 6th trauma, the Williamses experienced real trauma, turning to their faith for Divine intervention. Undoubtedly, their faith has only been reinforced by this experience.

The faith exhibited by the Williams couple was of the same value as that exhibited in the Super Bowl ad. Yet AOC decided to take to Twitter to mock the latter. This is especially interesting since, in 2020, she had joined with two other members of "The Squad," as she and her progressive cohorts are known, in sending a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, demanding he "eradicate anti-Muslim bigotry from Facebook." Apparently, she sees herself as a champion for Muslim but not Christian values.

Zumwalt concluded: "AOC will be up for reelection in 2024. Hopefully by then voters in her district will have come to their senses." Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Zumwalt to apologize for falsely smearing an executive at election-tech company Dominion by claiming without evidence he was associated with Antifa and had used Dominion voting systems to rig the 2020 presidential election. Surprisingly, Zumwalt has yet to be sued over this, though Coomer has sued numerous others over the false claims, including Zumwalt's source, far-right podcaster Joe Oltmann.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EDT
Newsmax's Pro-Trump, Anti-Justice Outrage Machine Continued The Day After Indictment
Topic: Newsmax

The pro-Trump toadies at Newsmax launched an extended freakout over Donald Trump's indictment and arraignment. That continued on April 5, the day after his arraignment:

With these 17 articles, that makes 111 attack-and-defend articles published by Newsmax since the indictment became news on March 30. Newsmax snuck in the occasional bit of news that wasn't aggressively pro-Trump or anti-Bragg:

Newsmax's pro-Trump columnists contributed as well. Blaine Holt ranted in an April 3 column:

President Donald J. Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be spied on, impeached twice under a hoax, betrayed by public officials, forced to divulge tax records, raided by federal law enforcement, and indicted on timed-out misdemeanor counts elevated to felonies.

The current administration that calls any whisper of a compromised 2020 election "The Big Lie," is so insecure in their apparent victory precedent and legal standing has been thrown to the wind, to take down the 45th commander in chief permanently.

"Get Trump" at any cost is now job number one.

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg has fulfilled his campaign promise to political activist and financier, George Soros.

Hey, Manhattan -- you guys paying attention yet?

Holt providence no evidence of any "campaign promise" Bragg personally made to Soros. Mike Clancy did his own huffing in his April 5 column:

Now this weaponization of the justice system has reached an unimaginable historical crescendo: a grand jury indictment of Donald Trump, a former president and a current candidate for president.

The indictment alleges a felony of falsifying business records related to the $130,000 that former Trump associate Michael Cohen paid to quiet Stormy Daniels from publicizing her alleged affair with Mr. Trump.

All the circumstances and the anemic legal theory suggest that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pursuit of this indictment was maliciously motivated for political purposes.

For the sake of the integrity of the judicial system, the court should dismiss the indictment.

Clancy went on to purport to explain how what Trump did was not a crime, even though all the evidence has not been released yet and, thus, he cannot possibly know for sure that no crime was committed. Then it was back to ranting:

The indictment is pathetically weak. Bragg should have followed the judgment of the FEC and the U.S. Attorney, and not pursued such a frivolous indictment.

The Trump indictment is an affront to our justice system.

Worse, it is an assault on our elections.

Democrats will go to any extreme to discredit Mr. Trump as a candidate for president.

In 2016, it was Hillary Clinton and the bogus Steele Dossier.

Today, it's Bragg with an insidious, unprecedented, unsupportable indictment.

The court should end this travesty of the judicial process and promptly dismiss the case.

Let’s instead leave the election to the voters to decide.

Newsmax's "news" coverage of the Trump indictment tapered off after that,with only a relative few articles each day. Apparently that's enough to keep the outrage machine simmering at Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EDT
CNS Editor Trying To Blame Biden Again For Trade Deficit With Russia -- But Hiding How It's Decreased
Topic: CNSNews.com

One of CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey's anti-Biden tactics has been to blame him for trade deficits with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine -- even though it's impossible for one large country to immediately stop all trade with another country -- and burying the good news that trade with Russia sharply declined after the invasion. AFter months away from that beat, Jeffrey has returned to it, writing in a Feb. 20 article:

The United States ran a merchandise trade deficit of $12,742,700,000 with Russia in 2022, making 2022 the 29th straight year that the United States has run a trade deficit with that nation, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The last time the United States ran a trade surplus with Russia was in 1993. In 1994, and every year since then, according to the Census Bureau, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with Russia.

During 2022, the United States imported approximately $14,457,800,000 in goods from Russia and exported $1,715,100,000, according to the bureau. That resulted in a bilateral trade deficit of $12,742,700,000.

Immediately following those paragraphs, however, was a graph showing not only that the 2022 trade deficit was less than half of what it was in 2021 but it was also the lowest deficit since 2016. And later in the article there was another graph showing that the monthly trade deficits shrank after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia in March. But at no point did Jeffrey explicitly state any of this in his article; he noted the sanctions but complained that the deficits persisted (yet gave no credit for their decline).

Jeffrey served up similar dishonesty in a March 8 article:

This January, eleven months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States bought $508,600,000 in Russian imports, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States imposed trade restrictions on Russia.

This time, though, Jeffrey eventually admitted that the deficits are much smaller than they were before sanctions -- but not until the sixth paragraph of his article:

While importing $508,600,000 in goods from Russia in January, the United States exported only $44,600,000 to that country. The result was a January bilateral trade deficit with Russia of $464,000,000.

That was significantly less than the January 2022 trade deficit with Russia, when the United States imported $1,959,400,000 in goods from Russian and exported $396,800,000 in goods to Russia, resulting in a bilateral trade deficit of $1,562,500,000 for that month.

By the way, Jeffrey's insistence on writing out the entire number -- presumably for the partisann purpose of making them look huge and, thus, make Biden look fiscally irresponsible -- violates Associated Press style for writing out numbers that big. Putting partisan agendas before stylistic consistency with other, more credible news organizations, makes CNS look bad. He has offered no public explanation on why he's intentionally deviating from standard media style.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT
Monday, April 17, 2023
MRC Helps Babylon Bee CEO Promote Right-Wing Victimhood Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long been a partner with right-wing "satire" site the Babylon Bee in manfacturing victimhood for it, mostly over its purported "satire" getting fact-checked (but hiding the fact that this is because right-wingers promote the "satire" as reality). As the Bee continued to punch down at targets (particularly LGBT people and issues) and gottten progressively meaner and forgetting the point of satire is to be funny and not just own the libs, the MRC's admiration only increased; it cheered in November when Elon Musk restored the Bee's Twitter account, which had bee suspended for a fit of hatefulness when it proclaimed transgender Biden official Rachel Levine "man of the year." That was followed by a post from Clay Waters hyping the "comedic post" and complaining others didn't see this as a "victory for free expression."

Now the MRC is giving the Babylon Bee's CEO, Seth Dillon, space to rant about being a victim. Catherine Salgado wrote in a Feb. 27 post:

Libs hate exposés of woke leftists, and Slack is apparently caving to the outcries. Slack suspended the work channel of popular Twitter account Libs of TikTok but has not clarified why.

Libs of TikTok’s creator Chaya Raichik was suspended by Slack as of Feb. 24. While Slack’s justification was vague, Raichik tweeted that her work to expose the radical LGBTQ agenda and sexual content being pushed on kids by leftists was behind the suspension.

Libs of TikTok retweeted Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon’s Feb. 25 tweet of a screenshot from a Slack email. “We are writing to let you know that we have suspended your workspace, lott-chat.slack.com, for violations of our Acceptable Use Policy,” the purported email said.

Salgado didn't ask why the Babylon Bee is involving itself in the affairs of the evenmore hateful Libs of TikTok. In fact, Dillon is entered into a deal with Raichik “that will turn her heroic, high-risk work into a career.” As if spewing hate at people is "high-risk work."

Renata Kiss gave Dillon space to whine in a March 6 post:

Seth Dillon hit the nail on the head when he called out hypocritical defenses of online COVID-19 censorship.

Seth Dillon, CEO of the satire site The Babylon Bee, smashed the liberal logic of censoring COVID-19 content. He pointed out in a tweet Thursday that the continuously shifting goal posts for so-called misinformation are no excuse for censorship.

“I've been told that censorship of COVID ‘misinformation’ that later turned out to be true was justified because it was based on what we knew at the time. But that's not a defense of censorship. In fact, it's a knock-down argument against it,” he said. 

Dillon highlighted that rapidly changing knowledge and growing scientific discovery illustrate the need for open debate not more censorship.

Luis Cornelio was the stenographer for Dillon's rage in a March 17 post:

Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon ripped the real intent behind the leftist censorship in a fiery but mostly peaceful tweet.

“Let's not forget that the lovers of censorship are not actually concerned with stopping the spread of misinformation,” tweeted Dillon on Mar. 16 in response to Twitter owner Elon Musk’s suggestion on how to fight “misinformation.” “Best way to fight misinformation is to respond with accurate information, not censorship,” tweeted Musk. 

The major problem with Musk’s assertion, as Dillon wrote, is not that leftists are concerned about misinformation per se. Instead, their goal is to suppress opposing information whether it in fact is misinformation or not. “Their goal is to advance a narrative (often false or misleading) without opposition. Censorship guards the narrative, not the truth. This is why they angrily and forcefully reject the most effective way to get to the truth, which is open, uncensored debate,” said Dillon.

If right-wingers like Dillon care about factual information, why did Cornelio put "misinformation" in scare quotes?

Dillon then had the opportunity to grandstand at a congressional hearing, and Cornelio dutifully wrote it down in a March 29 post:

The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon exposed the dangers of Big Tech censorship and the importance of free speech in a passionate speech before the House of Representatives.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce hosted a hearing on March 28 titled “Preserving Free Speech and Reining in Big Tech Censorship,” where Seth Dillon unloaded the real intent behind the anti-free speech left. Dillon said:

“We learned the hard way that censorship guards the narrative, not the truth. In fact, it guards the narrative at the expense of the truth.” 

Dillon detailed how his satirical site, The Babylon Bee, has faced an onslaught of censorship, ultimately hindering the site’s reach. Dillon explained:

“Our experience with Big Tech censorship dates back to 2018 when Facebook started working with fact checkers to crack down on the spread of misinformation. [...] Since then our jokes have been repeatedly fact-checked, flagged for hate speech and removed for incitement of violence, resulting in a string of warnings and a drastic reduction in our reach.”

Dillon apparently didn't the Republican-controlled hearing that the fact-checks occurred because some people treated the "satire" as real. (And if Dillon cares as much about accurate information as he claims he does, why is he whining that what the Bee publishes is being fact-checked?) Dillon then tried to defend his hatred of Levine:

“Last year we made a joke about Rachel Levine, a transgender Health Admiral in the Biden Administration. USA Today had named Levine ‘Woman of the Year’, so we fired back in defense of women's sanity with this satirical headline, ‘The Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year is Rachel Levine.’ Twitter was not amused. They locked our account for hateful conduct and we spent the next eight months in Twitter jail.”

If you're trying to make a partisan argument about "women's sanity," whatever that means, you're not being funny.

Cornelio went on to gush that "Dillon is a vocal supporter of free speech in America and has repeated concerns about the dangers of  muzzling conservative voices." Apparently, it's cool if voices Dillon doesn't like are muzzled, and he would very much like it if right-wing narratives prevailed even at the expense of the truth (which is why he doesn't like fact-checkers).


Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EDT
WND's Lively Returns To Being A Putin Apologist (Yes, He's Even Calling Himself That)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Scott Lively took some time off in being a willing apologist for Vladimir Putin in justifying Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but he returned more vociferous than ever in his Feb. 13 WorldNetDaily column, in which he even admits he's a Putin apologist (as if that helps him):

An apologist is a person who argues in defense of someone who is under attack and can't defend himself. Every defense lawyer in civil and criminal law is one, preserving the fundamental right to a fair trial that is otherwise impossible when only the prosecution is allowed to speak, such as in the case of Vladimir Putin. But I don't defend Putin only because he, like every other human being, deserves the fair hearing he has so far been denied. I do it because I am trained in Christian Apologetics to defend the far more important biblical mandate of truth-telling.

Based on my own due diligence, I believe Vladimir Putin is legally and ethically in the right in the matter of Russia's "Special Military Operation" (a position I explained last March in my essay on Putin talking points and the Monroe Doctrine) and that both the U.S./U.K. deep state that orchestrated the war, and the controlled liberal and neo-con media spoon feeding its propaganda to the American people, are as thoroughly dishonest as the devil himself. Thus, as a truth-loving Christian attorney, I would not hesitate to take the role of Putin's defense counsel in the matter of the Ukraine war and, if the trial court were a genuinely just venue where all the facts and evidence (the heart of which is well summarized and documented here) could be fairly presented to a truly impartial jury, I would be highly confident in victory for my client.

This is not to deny that Ukraine has become hell on earth for the Ukrainian people – whom I dearly love in Christ, grieve for and have personally ministered to on a mission trip there and in other contexts. The issue is who is actually responsible for first unleashing that hell and then preventing Germany, France and Israel from ending it in the early stages, using Boris Johnson as their hatchet-man. The chief culprits are the OBiden (Obama-Biden) regime and its RINO co-conspirators, whose vast criminal operations there might otherwise be exposed and punished.

Saying these things is risky business these days, and I have lost some supporters over this issue, but I fear the spiritual consequences of condoning and repeating lies and slander more than the worldly consequences of defying deep-state bullies demanding and coercing allegiance to false narratives. I'd rather be John and Baptist than Pontius Pilate. And I am ashamed for the church that so many "virtue signaling" Christians – even when rightly opposing U.S. involvement in Ukraine – willingly throw Putin and the Russians under the bus while letting the actual culprits (the true enemies of everything we hold dear) off the hook.

Those "facts and evidence" Lively claimed to have was merely a repetition of Russian propaganda that Ukraine provoked Russia's invasion by bombing the Donbas region of the country where many ethnic Russians live -- a claim that lacks evidence. Lively then went further into conspiracy theory territory:

American foreign policy has been run by demons for decades, even under Trump who never had anything more than nominal control of the Departments of State and Defense or their intelligence arms. And now we're on the verge of WWIII, intentionally, to ensure their Great Collapse will set the stage for the Great Reset in furtherance of the globalists' Agenda 2030.

Just as the State Department telegraphed its plan to blow up Nord Stream 2, OBiden announced that sending tanks to his puppet Zelensky would trigger WWIII … and now they're in shipment with great fanfare. But for those of us who have been monitoring the war while ignoring the "Ukraine can win this!" controlled-media spin, the equipment escalation seems too obviously too little too late to be an actual battlefield strategy for the Donbass line where the victory of the now heavily mobilized Russian forces is a virtually foregone conclusion. And the new war narrative accompanying all of this has the feel of a child's mystery novel or treasure map with the clues highlighted and underlined so there's no chance that the plebes will wander off the path of discovery.

Lively went on to claim without evidence that crazy QAnon guy Mike Flynn's "famous phone call that triggered Obama's fury and intensive lawfare against him" to Putin actually worked to deter war, baselessly claiming that as a result "Russia turned from a table-pounding threat to expel American diplomats, to Putin himself magnanimously inviting the children of those diplomats to join his holiday celebrations, killing the Obama plan."

Lively served up more conspiracy-mongering regarding Russia and Ukraine in his Feb. 27 column:

"'Cui bono?' (Classical Latin), in English 'to whom is it a benefit?' is a Latin phrase about identifying crime suspects. It expresses the view that crimes are often committed to benefit their perpetrators, especially financially" (Wikipedia).

"Cui bono?" asked Vladimir Putin rhetorically after the Nord Stream 2 was sabotaged. We all know "OBiden" did it – but knowing and proving are not the same. Both Victoria Nuland and putative President Biden as much as threatened to do it. Legendary journalist Seymour Hersh pretty convincingly confirmed it.

In fact, Hersh's claim is based on a single anonymous source -- hardly convincing. Lively then argued there was some kind of plot "to drive the newly re-Christianized, Marxism-rejecting Russia into the arms of staunchly Communist China." And, of course, he bashes "globalists" who purportedly hate "the Judeo-Christian cultural ideals that both pre-Obama (now MAGA) America and post-Soviet Russia share."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EDT

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