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Thursday, May 4, 2023
MRC Can't Stop Hating Rachel Levine
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's hatred for transgender Biden administration official Rachel Levine has unsurprisingly continued into this year. A Feb. 20 post by Matt Philbin raged at Levine for, of all things, supporting capitalism:

There’s no question “Admiral” Rachel Levine, Biden administration assistant secretary for health, is a Trans true believer. After all, Richard put his money where his Richard was to become Rachel. But the Daily Caller tells us that Levine’s not averse to somebody turning a profit while advancing the cause.

Megan Brock, a Pennsylvania parents’ rights activist, obtained some 2018 emails in which Levine, PA’s then-acting secretary of health, and pediatrician Rollyn Ornstein of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital talked about selling sex changes to kids in terms of cold, hard cash. In fact, Ornstein’s use of terms like “ROI” and “downstream” revenue and talk about hooking in underage kids to exploit the opportunity to upsell them later would warm the heart of any regional sales manager.

Philbin didn't explain why wanting to make money was suddenly a bad things despite conservatives like his employer normally being in favor of things like being paid for providing a service. Instead, he ranted about "Big Trans," whatever that is.

Philbin merged the MRC's Clinton derangement with his hatred of Levine in a Feb. 24 post:

I should write a kids book that’s going to be part of the Great Muscle Cars series. It’s called “The Yugo Persisted.” It’s the inspirational story of how the plucky upstart from behind the Iron Curtain challenged the status quo and took its place beside the Mustangs, GTOs and Camaros of the world.

What’s that? The Yugo isn’t a muscle car? Well, it doesn’t have a V8 engine, and it’s been criticized as a hamster-powered deathtrap made of recycled communist ration cards. But it identifies as a muscle car, and who are we to question its lived experience? 

I mean, “Rachel Levine: The Dude Abides” would work, but “ShePersisted?” Anyway, if Chelsea can sell 6-9 yr-old kids Rachel (nee Richard) Levine as a woman, I can darn sure try to convince them the Yugo is a road-eating monster of ferocious power.

Yeah, Admiral Levine is joining the likes of  Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor and Greta Thunberg on Chelsea’s pantheon of inspirational leftwing battle axes.

Weird how Philbin thinks that any woman who isn't as right-wing as he is is a "battle ax."  Sounds like he has some issues. Indeed, he dismissively refers to women as "gals" in the headline of a March 1 post raging that a future Smithsonian women's museum would include transgender women, which he likened to a museum having the exhibit "'The Trail of Tears Down My High Cheekbones: Elizabeth Warren and the Tragedy of the Cherokee Nation' at the National Museum of The American Indian. (Tip: take a break at the museum cafe, 'Pow Wow Chow.'[)]" (Philbin offered no evidence that Warren deliberately lied about her heritage.) He smeared the museum director as a "queer-obsessed social justice drone" and referenced a potential future "Rachel Levine exhibit" that linked to a earlier post of his that mocked Levine with the purported parody song "Mannish Girl."

A March 3 post by Philbin sarcastically cheered that  all the women on Time magazine's "Women of the Year" list "have actual lady bits!" and didn't include "Admiral of the Fleet and Goddess of the Seas Rachel Levine," which again linked to the "Mannish Girl" post.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
CNS Continued Mocking, Nitpicking Biden To The End
Topic: loved to nitpick President Biden and mock any verbal misstep -- in a way it refused to do regarding Donald Trump when he was president -- and it continued to do so until its demise. Susan Jones wrote in a Jan. 6 article under the headline "Biden Confused":

"Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing this country," the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said on December 20, when it announced the seizure of "50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder this calendar year."

That amounts to "379 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl," DEA said.

The president of the United States tried to make the same point on Thursday in his speech on border security, but he failed, apparently not reading the teleprompter correctly:

"[S]ince August of last year, Customs and Border Patrol [it's Customs and Border Protection] have seized more than 20,000 pounds of deadly fentanyl," President Joe Biden said. "That’s enough to kill — kill as many as 1,000 people in this country. Twenty thousand pounds of fentanyl. It’s a killer. It’s a flat killer," Biden said.

The White House posted a transcript of Biden's words, not putting a correction in brackets this time, as it often does.

Jones sneered in a Jan. 31 article:

In case anyone hasn't heard the stories he loves to repeat, Joe "Amtrak" Biden reminisced about riding the rails on Monday, during a stop at a Baltimore train tunnel that will undergo a $4-billion replacement.

"Back in Delaware, I’m known for riding Amtrak, for being their senator all those years," Biden said:

"And most of you know that a senator — as a senator, I rode the train between Washington and Wilmington, and back and forth, every single day that the Senate was in. And they tell me it was about an average 200- — 117 days a year, about 265 miles a day. I put over a million miles on Amtrak — not a joke — including as Vice — including as Vice President.

"Amtrak wasn’t just a way to get home to family," Biden continued:


(The Daily Mail reported that this is the eighth time Biden has repeated that debunked story about a conductor congratulating him for logging a million miles on Amtrak. "The conductor had been dead for more than a year – and retired for more than two decades – before the earliest moment Biden could have had this conversation as vice president," the newspaper said.)

Jones served up even more nitpicky whining in a Feb. 21 article:

In remarks at a meeting with Polish leaders on Tuesday, President Joe Biden -- as usual -- recalled his childhood in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he said he was self-conscious about his Irish surname.

Mr. President, the connection between Polish and -- Polish and American people is extremely strong and deep," Biden said.

"I was kidding with the (Polish) president. I was, as a young man, I was born in a coal town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, northeastern Pennsylvania, in an Irish Catholic neighborhood.

"Then when coal died we moved down to Delaware, to a town called Claymont, Delaware, which was a working class town, and ah, but everyone in town was either Polish or Italian. I grew up feeling self-conscious my name didn't end in "s-k-i" or an "o."

Craig Bannister proclaimed a "Biden Blunder" in a March 24 article:

Today, I applaud China for stepping up,” President Joe Biden accidentally said in a speech in Canada on Friday, adding another public gaffe to his legacy of public speaking miscues that have gone viral on social media.

“Excuse me. I applaud Canada,” Biden then said, prompting laughs from the members of the Ottawa parliament.

Bannister hyped another purported miscue in a March 29 article:

“Voters resoundingly and roundly rejected the voices of extremism” in the November 2022 national elections, President Joe Biden bragged Wednesday – even though his party lost control of the House and picked up only a single seat in the Senate.

Biden made the boast during remarks at the Summit for Democracy Virtual Plenary in Washington, DC:

Bannister failed to mention that those results were much better than what a party holding the presidency typically sees in a midtern election, meaning that there is some accuracy to Biden's claim.

Jones took yet another shot at Biden in an April 11 article:

President Joe Biden sometimes has trouble exiting the stage, not sure which way to go, and yesterday was no exception.  

After speaking to the crowd gathered on the South Lawn for the annual White House egg roll -- brief remarks he read from notes in his hand -- the president asked his wife, "We walk off?"

"We walk off, yep," Mrs. Biden said.

CNS was shut down nine days later.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
MRC Whines When Right-Wing Narrative of Soros Directly Funding Bragg Gets Challenged
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center went hard on trying to link DA Alvin Bragg to George Soros to distract from Donald Trump's criminality (and vehemently denying that playing the Soros bogeyman was an anti-Semitic dog whistle) -- but the link between Bragg and Soros isn't as clear-cut as the MRC would like to you believe. As the Washington Post documented, Soros donated $1 million to a group called Color of Change, which had pledged to to spend $1 million on Bragg's election campaign before the donation; it ended up spending only half that, and the campaign itself raised much more than that though Bragg was far outspent (yet still won) by an opponent who was largely self-funded.

Just as the MRC got mad when folks pointed out the anti-Semitic dog-whistle stuff, it was annoyed that they also pointed out that the link between Bragg and Soros isn't as direct or consequential as it wants you to believe. Luis Cornelio desperately tried to spin away the ambuguity and nuance brought up by the Post and others in a March 24 post:

The legacy media is yet again defending the indefensible. This time, they claim the Soros-backed Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, is not actually backed by Soros.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump, CNBC’s Brian Schwartz, and The New York Times fact-checker dismissed the fact that Soros donated $1,000,000 to the Color of Change PAC in 2021 just days after the organization endorsed Bragg and pledged to donate the exact same amount to his campaign.

One might think that one million-dollar donation from a Soros-backed group, would be enough proof of a Soros-Bragg tie, but that’s not enough for the legacy media. 

The Times’ fact checker went so far as to claim that “neither Mr. Soros” nor his “Democracy PAC” contributed directly to Bragg’s campaign. That claim is partially true but clearly ignores that other Soros family members did indeed directly contribute to Bragg’s race, per a March 21 Fox News report.

CNBC’s Schwartz dismissed the ties claiming that Soros never met Bragg, per a “Soros advisor.” He also downplayed the donation by noting that the Color of Change PAC ran independent expenditures on behalf of Bragg.

WaPo’s Bump defended Bragg’s ability to fundraise, claiming he “raised more than $2 million in direct contributions.” However, are we supposed to ignore the fact that a group backed by Soros single-handedly gave nearly half of what Bragg and his team raised on their own? I guess so.

Cornelio went on to rant: "Regardless of which came first, the rise of Soros-backed prosecutors is well documented. The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund detailed in a scathing report how Soros’s 'shell organizations' and 'affiliates' usurped prosecutors’ races through the funneling of multi-million dollar donations." Corneiio didn't mention that the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is a right-wing group that opposes prosecution of police officers for malign actions, nor did he mention that Bragg's opponent raised more than triple the campaign money that Bragg did.

When Soros pointed out that he had never met Bragg and didn't contribute to his campaign, Cornelio  raged in a March 31 post hyperbolically (and falsely) headlined "MORE LIES!":

George Soros is attempting to save Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg from GOP critiques by distancing himself from him–but the truth is that there is a money trail that arguably helped bolster Bragg’s efforts to become Manhattan’s DA.

Echoing the legacy media, George Soros dismissed his million-dollar donation to a pro-Bragg PAC. “As for Alvin Bragg, as a matter of fact I did not contribute to his campaign and I don’t know him,” the leftist billionaire megadonor said in a text message exchange with Semafor magazine published on March 31, attempting to distance himself from the radical Manhattan DA who pushed to indict former President Donald Trump.

Soros, who donated $1,000,000 to the Color of Change PAC in 2021 days after it endorsed Bragg, is downplaying his ties to the leftist Manhattan DA. Color of Change earmarked $500,000 from that donation to help seat Bragg as the Manhattan DA. The other $500,000 was revoked after “disturbing” allegations were raised by an unnamed woman.

“Soros is a bald faced liar,” wrote MRC President Brent Bozell in a tweet. “He paid for the political persecution of Donald Trump.”

Not only did Cornelio actually identify any lie that Soros told, he's clearly afraid to fact-check his own boss and point out that Soros did not actually lie.

Alex Christy insisted that the right-wing anti-Soros narrative is more important than inconvenient facts in an April 1 post:

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler was the April fool on Saturday as he gave those claiming that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is currently prosecuting former President Donald Trump, is funded by George Soros three Pinocchios. Even worse, Kessler claimed such claims were “incendiary” and play “into antisemitic conspiracy theories.”

Kessler’s first attempt to rebut the claims is that “the intense focus on Soros is misplaced. Soros never directly funded Bragg, but instead contributed to a group that supported Bragg and other liberal candidates seeking to be prosecutors.”

Soros gave money to a group and that group gave money to Bragg, most people would say that means Soros funded Bragg. If Soros didn’t want his money going to people like Bragg, he would not be giving it to groups that support him.


He also wrote, “Soros supports candidates through occasional direct contributions, but mainly though his Democracy PAC or to groups that support candidates with what are known as independent expenditures... Independent expenditures are not coordinated with a campaign but work in support of one, such as through sending mailers or operating phone banks.”

Another distinction without a difference. Kessler continued to painfully attempt to argue Soros’s relationship with Bragg is not what conservatives are alleging. He reported that on May 8, Color of Change announced it’s plan to spend $1 million supporting Bragg and that on May 14, Soros sent Color of Change $1 million.

Kessler goes to great lengths to say that Soros’s donation had no impact on Color of Change’s endorsement, but again that misses the point. If Soros didn’t support Bragg or people like him, he would never have given Color of Change the money. Indirect support is still support.

Kessler also stresses “there is no evidence Soros has influence over Bragg,” but, once again, Kessler misses the point. Soros has an ideologically soft-on-crime preference for people like Bragg and donates money to groups who support prosecutors who share those preferences.

Christy also claimed it was "absurd" to point out the whole anti-Semitic dog-whistle thing, even though his employer has explicitly invoked that against Soros.

Curtis Houck ran to Fox News to push the narrative and baselessly insist that media outlets reporting  facts about Soros' relationship with Bragg were somehow "shamelessly defending" him:

Houck picked the fact-checking of the supposedly esteemed fact-checkers who’ve set out to defend Soros by insisting he didn’t bankroll Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s campaign promising to hammer away at former President Trump.

Houck cited NewsBusters, Twitter Community Notes, and Washington Free Beacon as examples of outlets that pushed back on the insane notion “that George Soros has nothing to do with the Alvin Bragg campaign.” In reality, the Color of Change PAC was connected to Soros as, after having promised they’d give $1 million to Bragg, Soros then gave that same amount.

Tim Graham whined about all of this in his April 3 podcast:

The liberal media's "fact checkers" are furiously spinning how Trump and conservatives shouldn't say Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is "Soros-backed," even though that is a fact. Washington Post fact-finagling scold Glenn Kessler claims "the intense focus on Soros is misplaced." Anyone who's focusing is playing with fire: "The incendiary focus on Soros raises more difficult questions. Given the tenuous connection between Soros and Bragg, it’s a dangerous game that plays into stereotypes of rich Jewish financiers secretly controlling events." 

MSNBC "disinformation" specialist Ben Collins uncorked a tweet insisting "Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ron DeSantis have all claimed Alvin Bragg is 'Soros-backed' or aligned since the news of the indictment dropped. In reality, Soros 'has never met or spoken to Alvin Bragg,' according to a CNBC story last week.”

By this logic, Ben Collins can't be accused of being "NBC-backed" if he hasn't met the CEO of NBCUniversal.

Um, that's not how that "logic" works -- a second-hand campaign donation is not direct employment.

Joseph Vazquez spent an April 4 post trying to parse imprecise wording from CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale to claim he really was admitting that Soros was directly funding Bragg  through Color of Change:

At the bottom of his piece, Dale said that Color of Change PAC “ended up spending about half of what it had planned [to support Bragg due to the allegations], [Color of Change President Rashad] Robinson said, and kept the rest of Soros's donation for other uses.” Ah, so Soros' money was in fact used?  [Emphasis added.]

Dale must not have realized the implication of his framing. But Dale still tried to tell readers to ignore their lying eyes by quoting Robinson, who deflected: “‘Soros didn't give us money to give to Alvin Bragg. Soros made a donation to Color of Change.’” Per Dale’s framing, some of Soros’ money was used to support Bragg. But Dale dismissed this by zeroing in on how Soros didn’t make a “direct” contribution to Bragg and didn’t speak to him.  For Dale, Soros' connection to Bragg was just "indirect."

“Soros did not make any direct contributions to Bragg's 2021 election campaign, and a Soros spokesperson, Michael Vachon, told CNN last week that the two men have never once communicated in any way,” Dale gaslighted. Newsflash Dale: Soros doesn’t have to make a “direct” contribution to indicate his backing of Bragg. He just needs to fuel radical leftist groups that support his views with his cash and they take care of the rest. The benefit of indirect funding is that Soros can then claim plausible deniability when it suits him, just as he’s done in Bragg’s case. Either Dale doesn’t know how a money trail works and accidentally said the quiet part out loud or he does know and just doesn’t care. 

Christ again whined about the anti-Semitic dog-whistle stuff being called out, insisting that it was a "tired leftist tactic." Has he not seen the anti-Semitic tropes his employer has invoked against Soros (for which it has never apologized)? It's not a "tactic" if it's absolutely accurate.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 4, 2023 11:57 AM EDT
Newsmax Joins ConWeb War On NewsGuard For Pointing Out Deficient Right-Wing Media
Topic: Newsmax

The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet lashing out at website-ratings service NewsGuard for demonstrating that right-wing websites are less reliable than non-right-wing ones. A paywalled January 2022 article, for instance, complained that a teacher organization purchaed NewsGuard licenses for 1.7 million teachers, "sparking fears that students will be isolated from news outlets not deemed sufficiently liberal or even potentially penalized for using them as sources." (We're not paying Newsmax money to read the rest of it.) But it also published an April 2022 Associated Press article favorably quoting NewsGuard pointing out Chinese-generated misinformation about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Soon enough, Newsmax got on the right-wing anti-NewsGuard bandwagon and started cranking out more attacks conforming to that narrative. Nicole Wells wrote about blacklists that deny ad revenue to misinformation-spreading media outlets in a Feb. 9 article, suggesting without evidence that only right-wing outlets are being targeted and quoting Trump-era State Department official Mike Benz complaining that "The implementation of ad revenue-crushing sentinels like Newsguard, Global Disinformation Index, and the like has completely crippled the potential of alternative news sources to compete on an even economic playing field with approved media outlets like CNN and The New York Times."

Sandy Fitzgerald uncritically peddled the narrative  in a March 2 article:

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is warning left-wing "media monitor" group NewsGuard that he is ready to leverage the power of his office to protect any Florida businesses the company targets.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Patronis says that the company's actions are in line with the "environmental, social, and governance" (ESG) standards that the Florida Legislature is targeting in its upcoming session, and that its efforts appear to be a larger push to create "social credit scores" that will resu>Florida, he explains, took a stand against ESG standards "because as fiduciaries, we cannot undermine those in our pension plan from gaining the best returns possible in the name of political outcomes."

NewsGuard, which says it devises credibility ratings on news and information for advertisers, agencies and other businesses, declares on its website that it provides "online safety ... while promoting safety for readers, brands and democracy."

NewsGuard’s ratings have been used by major advertising agencies, including Publicis Groupe and Magnite. The agencies, in turn, are using the rating system to ban conservative media outlets from receiving advertising revenues.

Fitzgerald offered no evidence to support her claim that NewsGuard is "left-wing," but she did regurgitate the MRC's hatred:

In December 2021, an analysis of NewsGuard’s rating system by the Media Research Center said that the company gave an average high score of 93 (on a scale of 1-100) to "left" or "lean left" news outlets, based on classifications by the company AllSides, which rates organizations based on bias. At the same times, outlets that were deemed "right" or "lean right" received an average score of 66.

Last month, MRC released its 2022 review of NewsGuard and found a similar bias in its ratings. "Discredited leftist website ratings firm NewsGuard has had a year to prove that its ratings system isn’t prejudiced against conservative media, but it’s failing miserably," the recent MRC January report stated.

As we documented, the MRC offered no evidence that NewsGuard did anything wrong nor made any attempt to prove that right-wing outlets were more reliable than NewsGuard ruled they were -- it just ranted that right-wing websites' ratings were lower. Indeed, the MRC's entire anti-NewsGuard strategy seems to be to rant about it without ever bothering to prove them wrong.

Fitzgerald did eventually get around to the reason why it's suddenly interested in all this: "Newsguard negatively rates leading conservative outlets like Washington Times, Newsmax, Breitbart, Federalist, Epoch Times, Red State, Prager U, Daily Wire, and others." We've caught Newsmax spreading misinformation and lies about COVID and election fraud, so it has very much earned that "negative" rating.

The same day, Newsmax CEO sat down for a discussion at CPAC in the midst of his war with DirecTV, and he also attacked NewsGuard:

Ruddy called out left-leaning rating groups like the Global Disinformation Index and NewsGuard for exerting influence over recent decisions to silence conservative voices. They present themselves as independent fact checkers and have even received federal funding.

"All the liberal sites like CNN and New York Times get great scores no matter what they do," he explained. "Think about what CNN did — all the problems, the scandals, the Cuomos, the Russian collusion — and they're among the highest-rated by NewsGuard."

Despite the clear biases, Ruddy said, big advertising agencies use data from those groups to "block conservatives from getting advertising revenue."

"What they're trying to do is demonetize conservative media, and it's a threat to our constitutional freedoms."

Like Fitzgerald, Ruddy provided no evidence to prove NewsGuard's ratings are wrong.

Hey, we have an idea: If Ruddy wants to get higher ratings from NewsGuard, Newsmax should stop spreading lies and misinformation. Seems simple, no?

Posted by Terry K. at 8:11 PM EDT
WND Tries To Whitewash Jan. 6 Rioter's Actions, Falsely Portray Him As A Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Peter LaBarbera tried to turn an insurrectionist into a victim in a March 15 WorldNetDaily article:

Tucker Carlson used his popular Fox News show to highlight the case of Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn, who faces up to a year in prison for entering the U.S. Capitol and leaving within one minute, committing no violence of any kind.

Carlson interviewed Goodwyn and his attorney, Carol Stewart, and played surveillance video released to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The J6 video aired by Carlson shows Goodwyn entering the Capitol building ("through an open door," Carlson notes) and then exiting less than a minute later after being asked to leave by police.

As video plays in the background showing the footage of Goodwyn amongst the crowd in the Capitol, Carlson states, "This is video of a man called Daniel Goodwyn walking through the Capitol, through an open door, on January 6, 2021 at exactly 3:32 PM. That is long after the doors were breached.

"In it you can clearly see that Goodwyn was inside for less than a minute. When he was asked to leave, he left!" Carlson said. "There's no dispute about any of that. It's all on tape." He said the footage was also provided to Goodwyn's attorneys.

"But the DOJ is still trying to send Goodwyn to prison, and in the meantime they have wrecked his life," he said.

Because LaBarbera is serving as Carlson's stenographer and not as a reporter -- right down to uncritically repeating his bogus statement that "January 6th, I think, is probably second only to the 2020 election as the biggest scam in my lifetime" -- he failed to tell his readers important information about Goodwyn that helps to explain his current situation.First of all, Goodwyn considers himself a member of the Proud Boys, a violent right-wing militia group, and that several members of that group are facing charges of seditious conspiracy for their actions in the riot. He had posted images of the Proud Boys logo with the words “Stand Back, Stand By” -- the phrase Donald Trump spoke during a presidential debate that the group adopted as a rallying cry. And contrary to his claim that he did nothing beyond entering the building, prosecutors said he egged on other rioters.

LaBarbera also censored the fact that Goodwyn disrupted his legal proceeding by refusing to wear a mask at a time when COVID was still spreading rapidly, prompting the judge at one point to ask him, "When did you go to medical school, sir?"

Even though LaBarbera's article has a section called "Background on Daniel Goodwyn," he failed to include this highly relevant background; instead, he simply regurgitated things from a pro-Goodwyn website that portray him as a victim. But the government is not the one who "wrecked his life" -- Goodwyn wrecked his own life by choosing to take part in a violent insurrection and is now falsely portraying himself as a victim because he has to face the consequences of his actions.

LaBarbera is, of course, a right-wing activist and not a reporter, so it's unsurprising that he would hide information that conflicted with the narrative he was being paid to push.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Dishonesty And Hate Toward Transgender People
Topic: Media Research Center
So filled with anti-transgender rage is the Media Research Center that it will publish dishonest and misleading claims about transgender people -- and bury or censor the fact that those claims have been debunked. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
MRC Mad That Anti-Semitic Dog Whistle Of Linking DA To Soros Was Called Out
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center offering aid and comfort to Donald Trump by attacking district attorney Alvin Bragg as a "Soros-backed prosecutor" has been accompanied by a series of defensive articles denying that it's invoking an anti-Semitic dog whistle by hyping the George Soros bogeyman (even though it has a history of doing just that). Kevin Tober whined in a March 22 post:

On MSNBC's The ReidOut, host Joy Reid and her three guests, who all appeared to resemble a Mount Rushmore of stupid, engaged in another smear fest against Republicans. This time, they accused the GOP of engaging in a dangerous "dog whistle" for simply pointing out the amount of death, destruction, and decay that George Soros has caused in American society. Reid and her assembled panel had no facts to support their arguments. So, like good leftists, they simply maligned the intentions of their political opponents.

Reid turned to former CIA officer Tracy Walder to cry about conservatives being mean to Soros for merely pointing out he's a puppetmaster behind every destructive force in the United States: "[T]he fact that they keep throwing George Soros’ name, we’ve talked a lot in our show meetings, is it definitely feels like a dog whistle that is dangerous." 

Walder agreed with Reid, adding: "[I]t absolutely feels like a dog whistle that’s dangerous. Look, most of these groups, the Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Boys, Proud Boys, they all subscribe to what you are all referring to as the great replacement theory." 

She never explained what these fringe groups that the overwhelming majority of Americans of all sides have never heard of have to do with evoking the name of George Soros.

Yes, Tober is effectively -- and falsely -- accusing Soros of murder. His example of Soros causing "death" was that a "Soros-backed prosecutor" dropped a gun-related charge against a man who later killed three people at Michigan State University. But as we pointed out, the gun charge that was dropped involved carrying a concealed gun without a permit -- something conservatives heartily support. Sounds like Tober needs to engrave himself on that "Mount Rushmore of stupid."

Tober lashed out at Reid again in a March 31 post for making the same point centered around another figure for whom the MRC serves as PR flacks:

After news broke Thursday that the leftist prosecutor Alvin Bragg and his Grand Jury voted to indict Trump, Florida Republican governor Ron DeSantis took to Twitter with a statement defending Trump and letting Americans know he would not help extradite the former President to New York to be arraigned. This news triggered the always unhinged MSNBC ReidOut host Joy Reid who used to occasion to claim DeSantis’s statement was a dog whistle that African Americans like Bragg are controlled by Jewish millionaires. 

“The governor of Florida does not know the facts so he cannot talk about questionable facts in this case he doesn't know them. Only the Grand Jury knows them and this is a sealed indictment,” Reid huffed.


Nowhere in her incoherent ramblings did she explain how attacking Bragg amounted to a “dog whistle” that he’s controlled by “Jewish millionaires.”

Tober never explained why it wasn't. Joseph Vazquez similarly defended DeSantis from the dog-whistle criticism the same day:

Don’t criticize leftist billionaire George Soros’ agenda to overhaul the criminal justice system or you’re an anti-Semite! At least, that’s the ridiculous pejorative that MSNBC host Joe Scarbough hurled at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R).

Scarborough railed at DeSantis’ tweet signaling that he would not be cooperating with “Soros-backed” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the extradition of former President Donald Trump following his vendetta to indict him on dubious legal grounds. Scarborough, apparently ignorant of the fact that Soros himself made his agenda to elect leftist prosecutors across the country widely known, set up a strawman argument by arbitrarily making DeSantis’ criticism seem like a swipe at Soros’ race. “It’s just Jews. They’re attacking Jewish, international bankers. It’s what anti-Semites have been doing for hundreds of years — attacking Jewish, international bankers,” Scarborough spewed on the March 31 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe

Scarborough repeated himself like a broken record and used an overused left-wing strategy by likening DeSantis to Nazis: “That’s what they do. They try to blame everything on Jewish international bankers. It’s Germany 1933.” MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider, who is Jewish, ripped Scarborough apart on Twitter for his senseless comparison of DeSantis to Nazi Germany: “@JoeNBC diminishes the evilness of the holocaust and anti-Semitism by blabbering such [treif]. THAT is evil.” Schneider later said in a follow-up statement: “Scarborough diminishing the evils of anti-Semitism this way is anti-Semitism. I call on him to apologize to all Jews.”

This plays into the MRC's narrative that Soros is a Jew conservatives are permitted to hate -- something Vazquez and Schneider didn't mention. Instead, he huffed that "to Scarborough, DeSantis simply criticizing Soros for using his enormous influence to further his soft-on-crime agenda — which in practice has led to significant spikes in urban crime rates — makes DeSantis an anti-Semite."

(Schneider's tweet tried to be gratuitously Jewish by using the word "traife," a Yiddish word describing non-kosher food, which Vazquez for some reason changed to "treif," though both appear to be accepted spellings.)

Alex Christy tried to defend the attack line in an April 1 post:

PBS NewsHour twice accused GOP critics of Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg and left-wing political donor George Soros of anti-Semitism on Friday’s show. Those doing the accusing were not cantankerous liberal guests, but host Amna Nawaz and White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez.

Barron-Lopez was up first. Talking about the potential for violence when former President Trump is arraigned on Tuesday, she lamented that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene plans to travel to New York to lead protests and that Fox News’s Tucker Carlson “is telling his viewers that it’s probably not a good time for them to get rid of their AR-15s.”

Greene and Carlson’s remarks come at a time when “Trump and a number of his allies have been using dog whistle attacks, anti-Semitic attacks against—when they attack D.A. Alvin Bragg by saying that he is backed by George Soros, who is Jewish.”

Of course, Barron-Lopez provided no evidence that criticizing Soros is anti-Semitic other than simply declaring it. However much the media may strain to claim he is, Soros is not a code word for all Jews and the conspiracy theory that Jewish money controls the world. Soros is an individual person with dangerous beliefs about law and justice.

Christy didn't explain how having beliefes about law and justice that differ from right-wing narratives are, by definition, "dangerous."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 4:42 PM EDT
WND Vastly Overstates Kari Lake's Minor Legal Win
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh gushed in a March 23 WorldNetDaily article:

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who was leading in the polls but was told she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs at the ballot box, has scored a victory in her legal challenge to the legitimacy of that election.

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that a part of her lawsuit must go back to trial court – where it must be determined whether Maricopa County followed the required signature verification practices in 2022.

According to Just the News, the lower court was told, "IT IS FURTHER ORDERED remanding to the trial court to determine whether the claim that Maricopa County failed to comply with A.R.S. § 16-550(A) fails to state a claim pursuant to Ariz. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for reasons other than laches, or, whether Petitioner can prove her claim as alleged pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-672 and establish that 'votes [were] affected 'in sufficient numbers to alter the outcome of the election'' based on a 'competent mathematical basis to conclude that the outcome would plausibly have been different, not simply an untethered assertion of uncertainty.'"

Lake has brought up several allegations of election system failures after the election. For instance, she charges that Republican voters, who more likely vote on election day rather than by early voting methods, were disenfranchised when vote machine in at least 60% of the voting centers in Maricopa County failed on election day.

Lake, in a statement released after the court decision, said, "I am thrilled that the Supreme Court has agreed to give our signature verification evidence the appropriate forum for the evaluation it deserves."

Unruh failed to report that Lake actually saw most of the claims she made rejected. As a more honest and truthful media outlet reported, Lake made seven claims, and the court rejected six of them. He also censored the fact that the court also ruled that state officials can seek sanctions against Lake for bringing frivolous claims. Unruh failed to do any sort of analysis of Lake's claims, and thus ignored one observer who pointed out that even if errors are found in the signature verification process, it's unlikely to be widespread and even more unlikely to overturn Lake's loss.

The only allusion Unruh made to the fact that many other things happened beyond this narrow ruling came in the very last paragraph of his article, when he quickly noted that "The state court declined to review other points that Lake had raised." That's it. No wonder nobody takes WND seriously as a "news" outlet.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT
Yes, Dick Morris Is Still A Total Trump Sycophant
Topic: Newsmax

We've shown how perpetually wrong Newsmax pundit Dick Morris has been peddling more faulty Biden-bashing prognostications of late, buthe hasn't forgotten his first love of sucking up to his current gravy train, Donald Trump. He already tried to give Trump credit for making Kevin McCarthy House speaker, but he's done other Trump sycophancy as well. For exampe, there's that Jan. 21 TV appearance:

Polls showing former President Donald Trump's numbers climbing for his chances of a GOP nomination in the 2024 presidential race as the field of potential candidates grows because the "anti-Trump vote gets sliced into different pieces," Dick Morris, a Newsmax contributor and author of "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback," said on Newsmax Saturday. 

"The Trump people are polling this weekend and we'll have accurate data from John McLaughlin early next week, but two earlier polls, two private polls, one by Harvard-Harris, which is usually pretty accurate, and the other by Economist/YouGov both show Trump with a huge gain in the last month or two in his favorability," said Morris on Newsmax's "Saturday Report."

The results are "really graphic," because Trump's favorable numbers were underwater by 21 points last month, but now are down by three points, he added.

It's questionable that McLaughlin will supply 'accurate data" since he's at least as much of a Trump sycophant as Morris is. You will not be surprised to learn that Morris' sycophancy continued:

Morris also contributed to the Newsmax freakout over Trump getting indicted, bizarrely portraying alleged criminality as strength:

Indeed, Morris is arguing that Trump should be allowed to do whatever he wants and not be bound by anyone else's rules, not even those of his own political party. He huffed in a March 4 appearance:

Political author Dick Morris decried on Newsmax the notion of former President Donald Trump signing a pledge from the Republican National Committee that would have him support the Republican presidential nominee in exchange for his chance to appear on the GOP presidential debate stage.

Speaking to "Saturday Report" on Trump signing the pledge, Morris, author of "The Return: Trump's Big 2024 Comeback," said, "Oh, it's ridiculous. He's 18 points ahead. He's clearly likely to be the nominee. And he does not want to give a blank pledge supporting anyone who wins the Republican nomination; doesn't mean he's going to run as a third party."

"The significant thing," Morris said, "is everyone else taking that pledge. But this is a phony issue. They're using it to try and trip Trump up ... And it would be appropriate if he were two or three points ahead, and it was a close horse race, but 18 points ahead, come on."

As if Trump didn't have a reputation of lying to people or not living up to his word.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 1:51 PM EDT
Why Did The MRC Kill CNS So Abruptly?

The Media Research Center's shutdown of was shocking but perhaps not surprising. The way it did it, though, may be even more shocking.

CNS was founded by the MRC in June 1998 -- meaning that it was killed two months short of its 25th anniversary. Most of the people working that at the time of its shutdown had been with theMRC for quite some time:

The only other major on-staff contributor, commentary editor Georgiana Constantin-Parke, had only been with CNS a few months before shutdown. The only person of this group of this group who appears to remain at the MRC is Bannister, who's still cranking out blogs under a severely depleted CNS nameplate at MRCTV. 

That means the others have apparently been relieved of their MRC jobs after years of employment -- and relived in a very rude and abrupt manner. Whatever happened at CNS happened quickly; there was no evidence of a impending shutdownbeforehand, with stories continuing to be posted as usual through April 20, when the site ceased being updated. Then, after being in stasis for a few days, it was abruptly wiped away, with the domain being redirected to the CNS page on MRCTV. An alert box on MRCTV -- which took a few days to become visible to all readers -- promised to create "a new conservative media platform" through the merger of CNS and MRCTV, but it still looks like rant-filled MRCTV with an added CNS box of Bannister blog posts. Hardly a new "media platform," and it speaks to the haste in which the dismantling of CNS was done.

Longtime MRC employees were summarily dismissed and their work erased (though we found an archived version of the CNS website that the MRC has not publicized). They were not allowed to say goodbye or to celebrate the work they did. Heck, the MRC couldn't even be bothered to issue a press release to announce the shutdown and thank those longtime staffers for their years of work (or even to explain their fate).

That tells us that something more is at play. Did someone at CNS do something that drew legal scrutiny? Is the MRC hard up for cash and desperate for places to cut? (According to the 2022 annual report, 13% of the MRC's budget was spent on CNS.) Is there a link between this and all the staffers fleeing the MRC to work for Fox News? Inquiring minds want to know. (Have a tip? Let us know.)

Despite the shocking treatment CNS got in being shut down so abruptly, it isn't surprising. Online metrics suggest that CNS' website traffic has been dropping over the past few months, its audience was aging, and other right-wing websites draw much more traffic. Also, having longtime employees running it meant that they may have been stuck in their old ways. It seemed to be caught between two worlds: It wasn't as nimble and aggressive as other right-wing "news" operations, yet its fuddy-duddiness wasn't used to its advantage, staying content to merely peddle right-wing talking points (and Ted Cruz press releases to help out Jeffrey's daughter, a Cruz staffer) instead of doing any sort of reporting that would boost its credibility.

Perhaps the biggest piece of evidence that the death of CNS was not a surprise: nobody seems to miss it. There are no news stories in other media about the shutdown -- not even in other right-wing media. The only place to have noted the shutdown is ... here.

The MRC spent millions of dollars over the past 25 years building a "news" operation and a brand that ultimately went for naught and was blown up quickly in a day. Doesn't seem like the way one should treat something so expensive.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 AM EDT
Monday, May 1, 2023
MRC Melts Down Over Pride Nights At Hockey Games, Defends Players Who Won't Take Part
Topic: Media Research Center

The sports bloggers at the Media Research Center not only hate LGBT people, they hate sports teams that refuse to hate them -- and the defend professional athletes who do. When an NHL player refused to wear a pride-themed warmup jersey, though, it was MRC executive Tim Graham who rushed to his defense in his Jan. 20 column:

On January 17, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov infuriated sports journalists when he refused to wear a rainbow jersey for warm-ups during “Pride Night,” citing his Russian Orthodox faith. “I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”

On the NHL Network, analyst E. J. Hradek trashed Provorov, who moved from Russia to Pennsylvania when he was 13, saying he should go back to Russia and fight in Ukraine. “Ivan Provorov can get on a plane any day he wants and go back to a place where he feels more comfortable, take less money and get on with his life that way if it's that problematic for him,” he said. “If it bothers you that much, there's always a chance to leave, go back to where you feel more comfortable — I understand there's a conflict of sorts going on over there, maybe get involved.”

For their part, the Flyers didn’t punish Provorov, but offered their usual corporate expressions of support for LGBTQ “pride.”

Graham responded by playing the religion card, as if that makes it OK to hate LGBT people:

Journalists should know that sometimes, religious people are trying to put themselves on the right side of God, not the so-called “right side of history.”


Here in America, we still have freedom of religion, even if our sports journalists no longer believe in it. Here in America, people still watch sports for the action, not for the political woke-stakes. Here in America, we can’t imagine why someone would want to live in the suffocating censorship that’s emerging in Canada. Let freedom ring.

Jeffrey Lord's column the next day quoted Graham's defense, then added a defense of his own with an assist from Fox News:

Got that? Hockey star (and Russian) Ivan Provorov had the nerve - the nerve!- to stand up for his religious beliefs, making it plain that “I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”

And with that the NHL Network’s analyst E. J. Hradek freaks out.


Notably, there was also this from Fox News: Ivan Provorov jerseys selling out online after media condemned him for not wearing Pride-themed jersey

Imagine that. Hockey fans who rebel against being forced to be woke.

One can only wonder what Hradek would say if Provorov were a Muslim, and said he wouldn’t wear the “gay pride” jersey because it would violate his Islamic faith. One suspects the cat would suddenly have Hradek’s tongue.

Sports blogger John Simmons raged at a minor-league hockey team's pride night in a Feb. 17 post:

Pride nights are not just a major occurrence on the schedules of NHL teams. Minor league hockey clubs are going to great lengths to host LGBT-themed events as well.

The Manitoba Moose - the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets since 2015 - announced that it will host a Pride Night on Saturday that will serve as a fundraiser for Rainbow Resource Centre.

"The 2022 Pride Game aims to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere where all fans feel welcome regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation,” a press release from the team announced. So by implication, the rest of the Moose games are lawless, horrific scenarios of tribal bloodletting -- "The Lord of the Flies" with beer and donuts.

But on Pride night, the fans put away their sharpened sticks and beat their scalping knives into rainbows. “This game showcases that hockey holds no biases and truly is a game for everyone.”


Not only did a hockey team come up with a way to legitimize the derangement of people who think their “spirit identity is fluid,” it now presumes to lecture fans on how to be more inclusive with their words. Come for the hockey, stay for the authoritarian speech moderation in the name of “inclusivity.”

Am I the only one that wishes for the days when we could watch sporting events at all levels without wondering if we were going to get the LGBT agenda shoved down our throats?

Simmons cheered in a March 8 post when an entire NHL team declined to wear pride-themed warmup jerseys:

The Minnesota Wild hosted the Calgary Flames last night and lost 1-0 in a shootout. However, it was what happened before the game that was upsetting - even disgusting - to people from all sorts of fanbases.

Last night was supposed to be Minnesota’s “Pride Night,” but just before warmups, the Wild opted to not wear their pride-themed pre-game jerseys. Some players still had rainbow tape on their sticks, but that’s all the support the LGBT agenda got from star forward Kirill Kaprizov and his teammates.

The Wild released a statement saying they still supported the LGBT community despite the choice to not got through with wearing the jerseys. But If you’ve watched how fans reacted to similar decisions by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov and the New York Rangers, you can probably guess that the LGBT zealots and their lefty supporters said all sorts of hateful things about Minnesota as an organization, and its players.


It's sad. The LGBT agenda inevitably corrupts those who buy into it. A large contingent of American citizens have thoughtlessly supported an agenda that makes them hateful, intolerant, and bent on shaming those who disagree with them.

What the Wild did was courageous; if they don’t agree with the LGBT lifestyle, they shouldn’t be expected to wear pride jerseys. But the reactions of the people who gnashed their teeth at these hockey players for expressing their views serves as a sobering reminder of what political LGBT is really about, and a warning to never embrace it.

Simmons would never describe being a homophobic right-winger as being a "lifestyle."

Simmons cheered another non-participating hockey player in a March 20 post:

Courage is contagious, and a slew of NHL players and teams are providing courage for millions of normal Americans who might be afraid to take a stand against the LGBT agenda.

The San Jose Sharks hosted a pride night on Saturday before playing host to the New York Islanders. The team used its Twitter account to publish facts about the LGBT community instead of providing updates about the game (which San Jose lost, 4-1), and all players wore pride-themed warmup jerseys.

All players, except James Reimer, that is.

The Sharks goaltender chose to abstain from this PR stunt and instead provided a statement on how his religious beliefs led him to make this choice. San Jose, to its credit, also posted Reimer’s response on Twitter, which may have dialed down the force of backlash he would inevitably get from the progressive media.


What’s happening is more and more athletes in the NHL are recognizing that they do not have to accept the agenda that people like Slone evidently support. They are gaining enough courage to stand against the toxicity of the LGBT movement and inspiring others to do the same.

Simmons didn't explain what is supposedly "toxic" about being LGBT or what is supposedly courageous about hating LGBT people.

Jay Maxson spent a March 23 post raging at minor-league hockey player Luke Prokop for criticizing players who refuse to take part:

Prokop scolded the dissidents for refusing to focus on the NHL’s initiative to grow advocacy for the rainbow cause. Gee, I mistakenly thought the cause was pursuing the Stanley Cup. My bad.

"Everyone is entitled to their own set of beliefs but I think it's important to recognize the difference between endorsing a community and respecting individuals within it," Prokop whined.

Well trained in the LGBTQABCD mantra, Prokop said he "strongly" believes that the NHL can become "an environment where every player feels comfortable bringing their authentic selves to the game" if teams and players can "prioritize diversity and inclusion."

That’s all so much nonsense distracting hockey teams and players from pursuit of the Stanley Cup. Let sports be sports … without the rainbow shenanigans. Hockey rinks, football and baseball fields are not the place for people to come out of the closet and affirm their true selves.

It appears Maxson is well trained in homophobic mantras.

When reports surfaced that the NHL may get away from pride nights, Maxson praised the idea in a March 30 post:

At long last, one professional sports league gets it. The National Hockey League is thinking about discontinuing pride night events, due to the increasing number of team and individual opt-outs. 

Commissioner Gary Bettman (appearing in photo) indicated the NHL may reevaluate the future of taking a knee to LGBTQABCD pressure groups and team sponsorship of pride events. 

"This is the first time we've experienced that, and I think it's something that we're going to have to evaluate in the offseason," Bettman said. "This is one issue where players, for a variety of reasons, may not feel comfortable wearing the uniform as a form of endorsement." 

The NHL was the last of the four major North American leagues to start schmoozing the alphabet mob. Dropping pride night would be unthinkable for the woke NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball.

Hockey players and three teams this season said “no thanks” to helping spread pride propaganda. For some, it was a matter of upholding their religious beliefs. For Russian players, it was due to their nation’s refusal to celebrate rainbow nonsense and the fear that family members back home could be punished by the government for their decision to wear pride-themed uniforms.

Like Simmons, Maxson thinks that hating LGBT people deserves some sort of badge of courage:

The commissioner bravely defended those who resisted the LGBTQABCD mob, which has canceled people and threatened the careers of resisters. 

Left of center media do not share that respect. Sports Illustrated and The Athletic trashed the Rangers, accused them of "bungling" pride night and warned that any "retreat on Pride Night" would send a "somber message to younger, closeted players." 

By standing firmly on their beliefs, the NHL players and teams proved that courageous stands can achieve positive results, namely the right to live out one’s faith and preserve freedom of conscience. Such values are in short supply in these troubling times.

The MRC, however, does not believe that LGBT people have any rights or should have "freedom of conscience."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EDT
CNS Commentaries Also Pushed Bogus Narrative Blaming ESG Policies For Bank Collapse
Topic:'s commentary side joined its "news" side in pushing the bogus right-wing narrative that caring about environmental, social and governmental issues is the reason Silicon Valley Bank failed in March. A March 13 commentary by Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the right-wing Heritage Foundation acknowledged some management issues at the bank but also tried to blame ESG:

While neglecting critical risk management, the bank’s 2023 proxy statement records 40 mentions of the environmental, social, and governance—or ESG—movement currently in vogue at many corporations and financial institutions.

In a “key change,” the board expanded the Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee’s oversight role in ESG.

The committee’s oversight includes, according to the proxy statement, “environmental sustainability, climate change, the Company’s external diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) initiatives, Board diversity, as well as our philanthropic strategy and advocacy activities.”

This shows a misplaced sense of priorities. The four members of the Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee (including Garen Staglin, who operates a Napa Valley winery) were among the six members of the Risk Committee. In retrospect, more time devoted to the Risk Committee would have been advisable.

A March 20 commentary by Hans Bader actually started by trying to reflexively blame President Biden, claiming that his "massive government spending caused inflation ... led to the collapse of a big bank, by shrinking the value of its long-term loans and bonds," then criticized "woke San Francisco Fed Chief Mary Daly" for allegedly focusing too much on ESG stuff and attacked bank officials for the same thing:

The head of financial risk management at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) UK spent the months leading up to the shocking bank collapse launching and leading LGBTQ campaigns for the company. Jay Ersapah, the head of financial risk management, organized a month-long pride campaign, a space for employees to share their coming out stories, and co-chaired the European LGBTQ Employee Resource Group, as the bank was at the brink of collapse.

Bader offered no direct evidence that any ESG-related action is directly responsible for the bank's collapse, but he did complain that "Bank officials gave money to Democratic politicians."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:11 PM EDT
MRC Can't Stop Whining About NewsGuard
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's latest loud and lame attack against website-ratings service NewsGuard for committing the sin of pointing out how unreliable right-wing media is came in a form of a particularly lame March 20 gotcha post by Catherine Salgado and Gabriela Pariseau:

Leftist ratings firm NewsGuard claimed that it’s not federally funded after journalists accused the organization of receiving government money at the recent Twitter Files hearing. But NewsGuard lists the Department of Defense and State Department as Partners and received a substantial Department of Defense “grant” in 2021.

NewsGuard’s co-CEO Gordon Crovitz claimed in the wake of the recent Twitter Files Congressional hearing that the leftist ratings firm is “not a non-profit funded by government grants,” according to an email screenshot tweeted March 10 by Washington Examiner Investigative Reporter Gabe Kaminsky.” But a payout of nearly $750,000 from the Department of Defense (DoD), which NewsGuard itself previously called a “grant,” seems to indicate otherwise. NewsGuard also lists DoD and the State Department as “partners” on its website.

MRC Free Speech America reached out to NewsGuard General Manager Matt Skibinski about the DoD funding it had received. Skibinski did not deny the government contract, and then doubled down on the co-CEO’s claim that NewsGuard is “not” government funded. 

“That’s like saying the Wuhan laboratory wasn’t government funded,” said MRC President Brent Bozell. “They were just providing a service for the government.”

Salgado and Pariseau are trying to exploit imprecise wording to attack NewsGuard, seizing on a clearly mistaken description of the DoD contract as a "grant" to claim that NewsGuard is lying. They even trotted out an old trick it has previously used in attacking Planned Parenthood for taking federal money for non-abortion-related services, the "fungible" canard:

MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider said, “All money is fungible. Whether it’s a contract or a grant, NewsGuard still received funds from the federal government and has exhibited an obvious leftist bias.”

Salgado and Pariseau concluded by regurgitating the MRC's usual whining that NewsGuard rated right-wing outlets lower than "left-leaning" ones for accuracy without providing any evidence that the ratings are in any way wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:37 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2023 3:38 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Joel Hirschhorn Can't Stop Misinforming
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Despite the occasional visit to reality, the WorldNetDaily columnist continues to baselessly fearmonger about COVID vaccines. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 AM EDT
Sunday, April 30, 2023
MRC Cheers Musk's Arbitrary Re-Labeling Of NPR's Twitter Account
Topic: Media Research Center

When last we checked, the Media Research Center was getting irritated with Elon Musk's Twitter for doing the thing that the MRC's year of Musk-fluffing was designed to do: keep it and its fellow right-wingers from being held accountable for posting offensive content. Musk knew he had to distract from that growing critical narrative, and it was with what has usually worked: tossing out right-wing red meat. Joseph Vazquez eagerly took Musk's bait for an April 5 post under the hateful headline "GET WRECKED":

Elon Musk’s Twitter finally confirmed what the Media Research Center has been saying for years: National Public Radio is nothing but state propaganda.

Twitter slapped a “state-affiliated media” label on NPR’s account. Musk responded to conservative personality Benny Johnson celebrating that Twitter tore off NPR’s fake veneer of objective journalism.  “Seems accurate,” Musk tweeted. MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider took a blowtorch to NPR following the news.

“NPR is not just state media. It is a mouthpiece of the Deep State,” he said. “It has worked to deceive American taxpayers about its real role, but it’s so obvious that it really is just a state-sponsored tool for the left to silence half of Americans and create propaganda for the other half.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats inserted $75 million in the coronavirus stimulus bill earmarked for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to maintain NPR and PBS stations. This was on top of the $465 million already granted to the CPB (itself an increase of $20 million in annual funding). NPR even proclaimed on its website how “[f]ederal funding is essential to public radio's service to the American public and its continuation is critical for both stations and program producers, including NPR.”

One look at how NPR historically covered the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates why it’s a rubber-stamp for false government and deep state narratives.

The MRC raged hard at that money going to public broadcasting, hyperbolically suggesting that this relatively tiny amount in a $2 trillion bill was killing people (and, by extention, arguing that public broadcasting employeees should die instead). Of course, Vazquez did not mention that his employer got its own share of this largesse, receiving as much as $2 million in pandemic relief money.

Given that Vazquez is also the MRC's designated George Soros-hater, it's unsurprising that he took a tangent into Soros derangement:

But NPR doesn’t just receive tax funding. It is also financed by some of the most notorious liberal billionaire activists in American politics, including Bill Gates and George Soros. MRC Business recently released a study on leftist billionaire Soros and his enormous influence over world media, including NPR. 

Soros funds NPR directly, meaning that a Soros-funded organization also happens to simultaneously be a prominent news outlet. His direct funding of NPR gives him influence over NPR’s entire legion of at least 1,800 journalists and 400 reporters and editors in over 200 member stations across the country. The leftist content that NPR has been spewing as a result of both its state-funding and iberal billionaire funding has been nothing short of nutty.

Vazquez didn't mention which "nutty" billionaires (cough*Mercer*cough) have influence over his own content.

When NPR pointed out that Musk's new label violated Twitter's own definition of "state-affiliated media" and that the government does not dictate NPR's content, Vazquez raged in an update: "if a news outlet is getting funding from the government, it's not 'free press.'"

The next day, Curtis Houck cheered that a former Fox News personality (though not identified as such) reinforced Musk's anti-NPR narrative:

Wednesday night on NewsNation, On Balance host Leland Vittert battled woefully unprepared liberal strategi Tuesday night with a “US state-affiliated media” label with Vittert noting it does, in fact, derive part of its budget from the U.S. government. 

Shroff hilariously denounced the label, but unintentionally proved the label’s accuracy by proclaiming countries are better off with a state-run outlet to compete against everyone else.

When Musk adjusted his label on NPR to make it "government funded media," Luis Cornelio lamented it as a defeat in an April 10 post:

Twitter owner Elon Musk appeared to cave to leftist pressure and switched  NPR’s “state-affiliated media” account label for the more euphemistic “government funded media.”

The move came days after NPR and left-wing allies decried Musk’s designation of NPR’s Twitter account as “state-affiliated,” a label used for outlets that vomit government-run propaganda. While NPR is not directly run by the government, the media outlet has routinely positioned itself as a mouthpiece for leftist causes and Democratic politicians, including the Biden administration.


“The label change is little more than a distinction without a difference,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “One thing remains clear: NPR does the bidding of the left, including protecting leftist policy prescriptions and federal politicians, many of whom it relies on to receive grant money.”

Cornelio repeated earlier whining that "Democrats funneled $75 million through the coronavirus stimulus bill in 2020 to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the purpose of supporting NPR and PBS stations" without disclosing that the MRC also got government money or that Donald Trump, a Republican, signed off on all that funding.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EDT

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