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Monday, May 22, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: Still More Catholic Than The Pope
Topic: CNSNews.com
The uber-Catholics who ran CNSNews.com continued to lash out at anyone -- even Pope Francis -- it deemed not to be right-wing enough or who failed to sufficiently hate LGBT people. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Sunday, May 21, 2023
MRC Censors Taibbi's Bad 'Twitter Files' Reporting, Split With Musk
Topic: Media Research Center

Elon Musk stenographer Matt Taibbi had a rough April. First he came out on the losing end ("smoked like a salmon," as one observer noted) of a contentious interview with MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan in which he was called out for falsehoods in his "Twitter files" stories (you know, the selectively edited "files" Musk gave to hand-picked writers like Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger) and his refusal to criticize Musk for censoring content in India at the apparent request of government officials. The interview ended up exposing and destroying the entire "Twitter files" narrative.

Shortly afterward, he split acrimoniously with Musk because Twitter was blocking links to Substack -- where Taibbi had an account and which had just announced a Twitter-esque platform of its own -- complete with back-and-forth allegations about who was telling the truth , Musk posting (and then deleting) screenshots of said feud, and Musk shadow-banning Taibbi's tweets, and ultimately, Taibbi removing his "Twitter files" tweets from Twitter. (It got so bad that not only did Musk reportedly stop following Taibbi's Twitter account, he also stopped following accounts of Shellenberger and another early "Twitter files" stenographer, Bari Weiss.)

Because the Media Research Center is a part of Musk's PR operation, you read nothing about this at any major MRC outlet. Instead, there was an April 9 post by Tim Graham that touted Taibbi opining about somethjong else entirely:

One article hotly circulating in conservative media circles is Matt Taibbi's breakdown of MSNBC's complete collapse of journalism standards under Trump in a piece titled "Eat Me, MSNBC." 

Taibbi begins by describing a January 13, 2017 appearance on the Chris Hayes show to talk about the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory in its infancy. His opponent was Malcolm Nance.

That's right -- Graham and Taibbi are commiserating about six-year-old stories. Graham didn't mention that Taibbi's post began with noting that he was about to be interviewed by Hasan -- indeed, there's no mention of Hasan at all -- which suggests that Taibbi's post was intended to be a prebuttal of sorts in case the MSNBC interview went south for him (which it did). Instead, Graham tried to insist that Taibbi was not a right-wing hack despite pushing right-wing narratives:

Leftists can claim that Taibbi switched sides, and it's certainly true that all his fans now are largely on the right. But if people cared about journalistic accuracy first and ideology second, they'd do more to consider how much the "mainstream" media distorted the 2016 election throughout most of the Trump presidency.

Graham, of course, is much less concerned about journalistic accuracy when right-wing outlets like Fox News are the ones not engaging in it.

Hasan's interview with Taibbi finally got (briefly) mentioned by the MRC a couple weeks after the fact -- in an April 21 column by Jeffrey Lord complaining that a Democratic congresswoman reminded Taibbi that false testimony to Congress (based on errors in his "Twitter files" work) could be considered perjury. Lord declared that this was a "threat" and that Taibbi had simply made a "typo" (it was actually much more), going on to uncritically repeated a claim from the right-wing Daily Caller that the claim was based on a "debunked allegation" by Hasan, then rushed to impose the tired right-wing victimhood narrative on the situation:

Taibbi’s offense? As Fox News reported, Taibbi had merely made a typo in a Tweet, in which he cited an MSNBC journalist, which Taibbi corrected. And note? The irony here is that Taibbi is famous as a left-leaning journalist. No matter.

[...]

They want to threaten a journalist with jail, have the government “regulate” Fox - read: silence - or simply set about “trashing (‘redecorating’) the offices of legislators who resist” their policy proposals. 

[...]

For silencing both conservative media and conservatives anywhere, using government when possible or flat-out threats of violence if needed. They are, in fact, the real threat to democracy.

If the whole Elon Musk Twitter files episode has revealed anything it is the massive degree to which the U.S. government colluded with lefties running Twitter to silence conservatives, whether former President Trump or just Joe Average. Whether it is conservatives on social media or college campuses or in Hollywood or on woke corporate boards (hello, Budweiser) and more, the instinctive response of those on the Left is not to debate it is to silence.

Lord didn't actually discredit anything Hasan said in that interview, nor did he mention that Taibbi split with Musk over his censorship of Substack links.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 18, 2023 11:33 AM EDT
CNS Continued Its Musk-Fluffing Until The End
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com did a lot of Musk-fuffing as he pursued Twitter, and that continued right up until CNS' demise last month. Craig Bannister unironically wrote in a March 7 article:

“If an organization portrays itself as balanced, but is not, it should be labeled to inform the public,” Twitter Owner Elon Musk said Monday, when asked about reports that CNN staff had previously been ordered not to investigate the origins of COVID-19.

Of course, such a label would have applied to CNS as well,  given how its mission statement (falsely) claimed to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." Bannister also hyped Musk trolling a congressman in a March 9 article:

When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted a condemnation of Fox News airing January 6, 2021 video from the U.S. Capitol, Twitter Owner Elon Musk replied to Schumer by retweeting a viral video clip of the footage - to ask the New York Democrat if he wanted it deleted.

“Do you want us to remove this video?” Musk replied to Schumer Wednesday, including a video clip tweeted by @StevenVoiceover, in which the narrator pretends to be a tour guide for the “insurrection” inside the Capitol.

The selected scenes included in the video clip are those of seemingly peaceful trespassers, not violent insurrectionists trying to overthrow the government.

As we've noted, such cherry-picked video ignores the reality of what happened that day. The next day, Bannister touted a Republican congressman sucking up to Musk:

“God bless Elon Musk,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, when asked if he had a message for the billionaire who, after his purchase of Twitter, allowed two demonstrably liberal journalists to publish “The Twitter” files, exposing the censorship of conservatives that took place under the social media platform’s previous ownership.

On Friday, Jordan tweeted a video clip from his appearance of “The Benny Show,” in which Host Benny Johnson asked the congressman what he had to say to Elon Musk:

“You’ve now held multiple hearings about Twitter. What is your message to Elon?” Johnson asked.

“God bless him. God bless Elon Musk for standing up for the First Amendment – and recognizing how important that is to the greatest country ever, protecting those freedoms,” Rep. Jordan replied.

“I think, what a service he has done for the country,” Jordan added.

CNS' coverage of the February hearing was highly biased and incomplete (more evidence for that label Musk wants). Bannister attempted to do more of that regarding the March hearing:

This week, Rep. Jordan took part in a House subcommittee investigation of the “weaponization of the federal government,” with regards to Twitter. During the hearing, Democrats attacked, and tried to discredit, the two publishers of The Twitter Files: progressive journalist Matt Taibbi and former California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger.

One Democrat, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), accused Taibbi and Shellenberger of being right-wing shills for conservatives. Democrats also bucked the First Amendment by trying to pressure the two witnesses to reveal their sources – which Rep. Jordan later condemneW. d in a Fox News interview:

Given that Musk was obviously their source, it was absurd for them to claim any sort of privilege by not acknowledging that. Also note that Bannister offered misleading descriptions of Taibbi and Shellenberger -- "progressive journalist," "former California Democratic gubernatorial candidate" -- to suggest there's some kind of balance when, in fact, both writers have indisputably moved to the right and are simply Musk's servile stenographers.

CNS continued its own brand of Musk PR:

CNS also echoed its Media Research Center parent in cheering Musk's trolling of NPR by arbitrarily labeling its Twitter feed as "state-affiliated media." Managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered the decision in an April 5 article, purporting to add context:

Examples of other "state-affiliated media" on Twitter include Sputnik (Russia state-affiliated media), RT, People's Daily (China state-affiliated media), and Periodico Granma (Medios afiliados al gobierno, Cuba).

Chapman cannot plausibly argue that NPR is anything like those fully state-controlled outlets, and, indeed, he made no effort to -- he was doing Musk PR, after all. Instead, he quoted other right-wingers, including a couple of his fellow MRC employees (not that he disclosed that conflict of interest, of course) cheering Musk's trolling.

When Musk trolled another media outlet, Patrick Goodenough cheerfully wrote about it in an April 18 article:

A widening controversy over Twitter’s decision to label media outlets that receive government funding took a new twist Monday night when the platform changed its label for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to “69% Government-funded Media.”

Twitter had previously labeled CBC “70% Government-funded Media,” which in turn was a change from the original “Government-funded Media” label that had drawn sharp complaints from the broadcaster.

Drawing attention to the most recent label change, Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted, “Canadian Broadcasting Corp said they’re ‘less than 70% government-funded’, so we corrected the label.”

The same day, CNS published a column by right-wing writer Joe Schaeffer insisting that the $100 million the federal goernment provides toward public broadcasting equals "100 million reasons why NPR is journalistically compromised in its reporting on the ruling establishment in Washington."

Two days later, the MRC abruptly shut down CNS, for which it has yet to offer an explanation, let alone publicly acknowledge.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023 5:57 PM EDT
Saturday, May 20, 2023
MRC Whines That Pro-Trump Channel Busted For Spreading Lies
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is always eager to help a fellow right-winger play victim, and Luis Cornelio was happy to oblige in an April 4 post that suggested a conspiracy theory under the headline "INTERFERENCE":

Anti-free speech Big Tech platform YouTube slapped RSBN with a seven-day ban the day prior it was scheduled to cover former President Trump’s NYC arraignment.

The Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) slammed YouTube for blocking the media outlet’s ability to live-stream its on-the-ground coverage of Trump’s Tuesday arraignment. With over 1.5 million YouTube followers, RSBN is one of the largest pro-Trump networks in the nation.

Trump appeared before a Manhattan courtroom and pleaded not guilty to 34 dubious felony charges related to alleged hush payments. The charges were filed by Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg who made prosecuting Donald Trump and his organizations a “number one issue” of his campaign in 2021.

RSBN will feature its live stream on its official website. 

RSBN’s account was temporarily banned after reportedly violating YouTube’s “elections misinformation” policies, according to a statement the outlet shared on Twitter. “On Monday, RSBN said it received a notice from YouTube informing us that due to content violating their ‘elections misinformation’ policies, the platform has removed several videos. These include President Trump’s most recent rally in Waco, Texas, his remarks at CPAC, and our exclusive sit-down interview with him at Mar-a-Lago.”

Note how Cornelio hit all the corporate right-wing talking points the MRC has beenusing to defend Trump: the charges are dubious, Bragg is owned by Soros. Also note that Cornelio refused to describe RSBN as biased, stating only that it's "pro-Trump" -- if the MRC agrees with your bias, you can't possibly be biased.

Cornelio also gave space to an RSBN offical to laughably reframe what his channel does as offering "conservative opinions that counter the left’s narrative" and that it would continue to "give a voice to his millions of supporters as political persecution continues." Yes, only in the right-wing media bubble is calling out lies considered "political persecution." meanwhile, a more honest media outlet told the full story that Cornelio wouldn't:

Media watchdog group Media Matters supported YouTube’s decision but said it was a long time coming for an organization that regularly comes close to violating the platform’s misinformation policies.

“YouTube has allowed Right Side News Broadcasting to routinely violate its terms of service by broadcasting election lies as it uses the platform to build a mainstream audience,” MMFA Vice President Julie Millican told Gizmodo. “RSBN is a megaphone for insurrectionists and gleefully flaunts YouTube’s rules by airing election conspiracies while advertising its Rumble page where it promises ‘Trump Exclusives’ with ‘No Censorship.’”

Neither Cornelio nor RSBN offered an explanation of why RSBN continues to spread known lies, or why RSBN should not face any consequences for lying to its viewers or for violating reasonable YouTube policies.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023 1:42 PM EDT
WND's Farah Loves Elon Musk's Right-Wing Turn
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is particularly excited to see that Elon Musk is turning into a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Sarah spent his April 14 column cheering Musk's hatred for his transgender child:

Who said this? Doctors or parents who approve or conduct sex-change surgeries on minors should be jailed for life.

Absolutely. Right on! You are making me jealous I never said it. The guy is making me ashamed.

It was Elon Musk – the former liberal. He sounds like a Christian or Jew, for heaven's sake!

The billionaire Twitter and Tesla boss put it this way: "Any parent or doctor who sterilizes a child before they are a consenting adult should go to prison for life."

The comment came in response to a discussion about new rules approved by medical boards in Florida banning so-called gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers for kids under 18.

He's already paying the price in his personal life. Musk's "transgender daughter" – i.e., a biological male – said last year he wanted nothing to do with his father after being granted a legal request to change his name and "gender identity" when he turned 18. "Vivian Jenna Wilson's" petition was approved by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in June.

Musk should probably write "Vivian" out of the will, but that's not my business.

[...]

In October last year Musk blamed America's colleges for turning his boy against him. In an interview with the Financial Times, he blamed "neo-Marxists' in elite schools and universities for the estrangement between him and his daughter." He's not alone in feeling that way. More and more are speaking out. Many are now taking the next step – not sending their children to these indoctrination centers.

He added, for good measure: "It's full-on communism ... and a general sentiment that if you're rich, you're evil."

Elon Musk is becoming downright smart.

Farah did not contemplate why Musk is apparently such a terrible father that his own child no longer wants any association with him, even though he's a very rich man (though somewhat less so since he bought Twitter).

Farah gushed even more over Musk in his April 18 column:

Who has done more to save the nation from the tentacles of Big Tech?

The answer could well be Elon Musk.

When he paid far too much to buy Twitter, he found out, among other things, that his new property was essentially controlled by the nation's intelligence agencies.

He told Tucker Carlson Monday night on Fox News Channel: "The degree to which government agencies had full access to everything happening on Twitter blew my mind. It blew my mind."

[...]

He's probably done as much, potentially, to save free speech as anyone in America. Who would have predicted that?

In the meantime, Trump is still trying to raise the money he needs to make his own Truth Social platform what it needs to be. In other words, Big Tech's control over the internet is still a reality – a very real reality. Trump resists using Twitter for his own reasons. But why not consider it soon as the presidential campaign really gets ramped up?

Except, you know, for the part where Musk suspends journalists who report on him. Farah didn't explain how that furthers "free speech."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Friday, May 19, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck spent an April 11 post cheering that White House press secretary was pressed on why President Biden wasn't holding the number of press conferences deemed to be sufficient by the White House press corps:

In the final White House press briefing ahead of President Biden’s trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland, a few reporters blasted the administration for yet again shielding the bumbling, stumbling commander-in-chief from even friendly questioners in the press corps. And seeing as how the Bidens would rather talk to Drew Barrymore and Al Roker, it’s safe to say anyone in their position would be miffed.

The Wall Street Journal’s Ken Thomas kicked it off with a simple question for inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s frequent crutch, John Kirby: “Do you expect a news conference on this trip? I’m sure the press corps would be interested in one.”

Kirby actually laughed at this idea, saying he doesn’t “expect there’ll be a news conference on this trip.”

The question came back when Kirby had left the room and the AP’s Zeke Miller sounded off: “It’s a four-day trip to two countries. You know, why can’t the President take questions from the press?”

Jean-Pierre tried to brush this off by reiterating there wouldn’t be any press availability for Biden even though he “always loves to take your questions.” Miller shot back, “Apparently not.”

She pushed back with mumbo jumbo:

Houck thinks anyone who fails to parrot right-wing talking points like he does is speaking "mumbo jumbo." And because Houck is apparently contractually obligated to fluff Fox News evern time he attacks Jean-Pierred, he added: "Also in the briefing, Fox Business’s Grady Trimble questioned whether the Biden administration was concerned with China inserting its tentacles into the electric vehicle battery industry. Of course, Jean-Pierre ducked."

Houck's writeup of the April 19 briefing was all about the Doocy-fluffing:

Wednesday’s White House press briefing featured ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre being super-glued to talking points about Republicans supposedly holding the country hostage over the debt ceiling, so it fell to reporters like Fox’s Peter Doocy to focus her elsewhere. 

On his turn, he grilled her on China, economy anxiety, and exposing the White House for seemingly having little regard for the victims of the Covenant School shooting and instead all the care in the world for the so-called Tennessee Three.

Doocy’s third question focused on Jean-Pierre’s announcement at the top of the briefing that the three far-left lawmakers would be rewarded for their disruptive antics with a White House visit on Monday. This led Doocy to wonder: “Have any of the victims or the victims’ families been invited to the White House?&rdquo

This stopped Jean-Pierre in her tracks: “I don’t have anything to read out to you about any invite.”

When Doocy followed up with “why,” she did as leftists have done in abandoning the victims and the wider Covenant Presbyterian Church community and instead lifted up the dark-blue Democrats demanding mass gun control.

Houck didn't mention that the connective link to the string of gun massacres over the past few years is guns, and he didn't explain why wanting a certain level of gun regulation is a bad thing.

Kevin Tober served up his usual malicious incompetent-diversity-hire narrative  on Jean-Pierre in writing up the April 20 briefing, apparently believing like Houck that failure to parrot right-wing talking points is "sub-par":

Another day, another sub-par performance from incompetent Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (KJP) during Thursday's White House press briefing in which Jean-Pierre struggled through basic questions ranging from the recent IRS whistleblower in the Hunter Biden tax fraud investigation to the looming fight over the debt ceiling. Each time, KJP mumbled her way through the briefing. Even her frequent crutch, John Kirby couldn't save her. 

After what WMAL radio host Vince Coglianese calls the "adult press briefing" conducted by Kirby concluded, it was KJP's turn to butcher the English language and stonewall reporters in the room. The first reporter to challenge her was the Associated Press's Chris Megerian who brought up the IRS whistleblower who alleged the Biden administration is protecting Hunter Biden from the consequences of his own actions.

Tober was also annoyed when the MRC's transgender enemy of the moment got mentioned:

By far the dumbest question of the entire briefing was when CBS's Nancy Cordes complained about people being mean to transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney after he appeared in that preposterous Bud Light ad campaign. To make matters worse, Cordes played into his delusions and referred to Mulvaney as "she."

"The transgender actor and influencer Dylan Mulvaney has been the target of a barrage of attacks from anti-trans individuals online after she did an ad with Bud Light a couple of weeks ago," Cordes whined before asking if "anyone here at the White House reached out to her since she became the target of these attacks?"

Jean-Pierre replied by lecturing that "When a transgender American posts a video about a brand of beer they enjoy and it leads to bomb threats, it’s clear that that level of violence and vitriol against transgender American has to stop."

But hate and vitriol against transgender people is pretty much all the MRC has.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 PM EDT
Newsmax Still Spouting Right-Wing Talking Points To Attack NewsGuard
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how Newsmax (like the Media Research Center) has joined in spreading right-wing narratives attacking website-rating service NewsGuard for pointing out that right-wing websites aren't very reliable. The narrativ-eparroting in a March 10 article by Theodore Bunker:

NewsGuard, a left-wing media monitoring organization which claims to rate the credibility of news websites, was awarded nearly $750,000 from the Department of Defense in 2021 according to publicly available records.

The revelation comes in the latest "Twitter Files" post by Matt Taibbi.

In a series of posts detailing internal communications among Twitter executives, Taibbi suggests a collaboration of government and the company of what appears to be a coordinated effort to censor or slant information available to the public and individuals — particularly conservatives.

[...]

NewsGuard defended the contract, saying it was not "government funded."

As we pointed out when the Media Research Center hyped this same talking point, receiving a government contract to perform a specific service does not equal being government funded. Nevertheless, Newsmax let a right-winger rant about it, as documented in a March 12 article by Eric Mack:

Former Amb. Ric Grenell called out NewsGuard's taking government contracts to potentially demonetize conservative speech and Biden administration dissent.

"Look, I see what's happening with NewsGuard: They're trying to be the referees, and instead of really calling out misinformation, which I think the State Department could do, they're calling out dissenting information," Grenell told Newsmax's "The Count." "They're trying to figure out who is against the narrative that the political types in Washington, D.C., want to push.

"This is how regimes control the narrative. This is how they control the media. And what's happening right now with NewsGuard is that they are absolutely a far-left organization taking taxpayer dollars and finding ways to manipulate the rating system and control Big Tech and all of the other tools of the media.

"And they're trying to push out conservative media. They're calling conservative media, you know, disinformation machines. We all know that that's not true. It's just dissenting information."

Grenell and Mack didn't mention that Newsmax is currently being sued by voting-tech company Dominion over disinformation it spread about the company.

Newsmax also gave right-winger Dennis Prager space to rant about NewsGuard after it dinged his PragerU for spreading misinformation (not that he'll admit that's what happened), as noted in a March 16 article by Jeremy Frankel:

PragerU, a nonprofit that creates videos promoting American values and distributes them on its website and on social media, has been targeted by leftist monitoring organizations such as NewsGuard for "disinformation." NewsGuard uses its ratings system to pressure advertisers to boycott companies with which it disagrees. Most recently, video-streaming service JW Player bent to pressure and stopped servicing PragerU.

NewsGuard gave PragerU a red light, which indicates misinformation, for saying that the word "vaccine" has been "retranslated or reinterpreted," and JW Player used NewsGuard as an excuse for ceasing to host PragerU, Prager said.

In response to host Rob Schmitt's claim that the left wants to silence its opponents because it can't handle opposing views, Prager said that the reason leftists protest when conservative speakers visit universities is that "we can undo in 90 minutes what they indoctrinate over four years; and, of course, they would never acknowledge that deep down, they know it."

"Truth is far more powerful than lies," Prager stated.

Frankel did not mention if Prager offered any evidence to disprove what NewsGuard said about the PragerU video. And Prager is certainly not going to admit that he's trying to indoctrinate people too.

A March 28 article by Luca Cacciatore let a Republican congressman spout the usual right-wing talking points against NewsGuard:

Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., called out fact-checker NewsGuard on Monday for claiming to be independent yet targeting conservative networks and websites.

Dunn, a House Energy and Commerce Committee member, made the comments during a communications and technology subcommittee hearing focused on "preserving free speech and reining in Big Tech censorship."

"The company NewsGuard defines itself as a journalism and technology tool that rates the credibility of news information and tracks online misinformation," Dunn started.

"However, they are partnered with Big Tech, Big Pharma, the National Teachers Union, and even, government agencies," he continued. "In fact, $750,000 went from the Department of Defense to NewsGuard in a government contract."

Dunn repeated those talking points on Newsmax TV the next day, which Cacciatore dutufully transcribed:

Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., told Newsmax that the Department of Defense's nearly $750,000 grant to fact-checker NewsGuard was "appalling."

Joining " Prime News" on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee member also said the funding was clearly "a violation of the First Amendment."

"We actually have a government grant funding a fact-checker to censor American citizens," Dunn said. "That's pretty appalling, and it certainly is a violation of the First Amendment."

He said the government can neither censor free speech nor support companies like NewsGuard that do, calling it "axiomatic."

Dunn's comments arrive two days after he called out the fact-checker, which claims to be independent, for partnering with "Big Tech, Big Pharma, the National Teachers Union, and even government agencies."

"Why is the Biden Admin using YOUR taxpayer dollars to pay for liberal-leaning NewsGuard to 'fact-check' & change your news?" the congressman asked on Twitter after the hearing.

Again, a government contract is not a "grant." And Cacciatore refused to allow NewsGuard to respond in either article to Dunn's biased attacks. And none of these articles proved anything NewsGuard has documented about conservative websites to be wrong.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
WND Irresponsibly Touts Anti-Vaxxer Group's Call To Withdraw COVID Vaccines
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's spreading of misinformation about COVID vaccines continued in an anonymously written March 22 article:

Although ignored by most of the news media, the CDC's own internal database for documenting reports of vaccine-caused injuries, the “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System,” or VAERS, currently tallies over 34,000 reported deaths related to the COVID-19 vaccines – far more than any vaccine, ever – not to mention 18,000-plus heart attacks, 26,000 myocarditis and pericarditis cases, 64,000 cases of permanent disability, almost 5,000 miscarriages and many other "adverse events" following vaccination.

And yet, a CDC panel in October unanimously voted (15-0) to add the controversial COVID vaccines to the recommended regimen of routine childhood shots, virtually guaranteeing that untold numbers of very young children, who have the least risk from COVID of any demographic, would receive the flawed shots.

As numerous fact-checkers have pointed out, VAERS information is unverified and, thus, is not proof that a vaccine caused someone's death.WND's source for its claim is a website called OpenVAERS, which is filled with misinformation, so its data shouldn't be trusted.

Then came the fearmongering:

However, now a respected U.S. physicians group has announced that, because of the extraordinary amount of data demonstrating that the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines are neither safe nor effective (causing the CDC to actually change the definition of “vaccine” in 2021 to accommodate the flawed COVID shots), the organization is officially calling for the COVID vaccines to be removed from the market entirely.

Founded in 1943, the Arizona-based Association of American Physicians and Surgeons briefly introduces its bold 10-point statement, released March 21, as follows:

Is your doctor pressuring you to “get boosted”?

Most doctors probably are. And so are radio ads. An annual COVID shot may become the “new normal,” along with the flu shot.

“Safe and effective” is a constant refrain. But most people probably assume that it is – or else our protective government wouldn’t allow it! Right?

A number of physicians, some former vaccine enthusiasts, are now warning about adverse effects – including sudden death – and saying “it’s time to stop the shots.”

That intro is followed by the AAPS’s 10-point statement:

The first point includes a falsehood: " COVID-19 injections are under Emergency Use Authorization and must be considered experimental." In fact, the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have been fully approved by the FDA.

The "points" went on to fearmonger about side effects -- as if  no other medication has ever had side effects -- and used biased, disparaging language to describe the vaccines, such as "genetic injections." And, of course, this is the AAPS we're talking about, which is a fringe-right anti-medical hive of anti-vaxxers motivated more by pushing right-wqing talking points and not, you know, sound medicine (which vaccines are).We've caught AAPS chief Jane Orient spreading the bogus claim that a COVID vaccine was the reason for the on-field collapse of NFL player Damar Hamlin.

The fact that WND treats the AAPS seriously is a reason not to treat WND seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: It's Not Book Banning When The MRC Does It!
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center embraced right-wing attacks on books that don't push preferred narratives -- but it's upset at being called censors for supporting the bans. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT
Thursday, May 18, 2023
MRC Continued To Lash Out At Expelled (And Reinstated) Tenn. Legislators
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just couldn't stop lashing out over the fact that the Tennessee legislators who were expelled for taking part in an anti-gun protest following a gun massacre in Nashville got media attention (though they downplayed the fact that if the Republicans in the Tennessee legislature hadn't rushed so quickly to expel them, they wouldn't have received all that attention). Tim Graham spent an April 11 post complaining people said nice things about the expelled legislators returning:

In Tennessee, the Bullhorn Justins -- ousted state legislators Justin Jones and Justin Pearson -- routinely employ the metaphor of crucifixion in reference to their expulsion, and now resurrection. Lindsey Kornick at Fox News reports these same metaphors comparing the Democrats to Jesus are broke out Monday night on MSNBC.

On The Beat with Ari Melber, Rev. Mark Thompson, who hosted a leftist talk show for Sirius/XM satellite radio for almost 20 years, spoke live from a rally for the two men, after Jones are voted back in by the Nashville Metro Council (a similar vote is expected for Pearson in Memphis on Thursday).

Thompson said: "The word is right. It’s jubilant. Last week they sent these two gentlemen home, but it’s Easter weekend. So they’ve been resurrected. They’re back in their seats. And whatever the Republicans here were up to has been thwarted for now."

Guest host Melissa Murray agreed, "This is an Easter miracle of sorts, the resurrection of the political careers of these two men, or what will be two men if Memphis does the same thing." Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson merely hailed them as "mega-political stars," not quite Jesus.

Graham didn't mention that Kornick is a former MRC employee who is part of the great exodus of employees to Fox News.

On April 13, Kevin Tober grumbled that it was pointed how bad a look it was for a group of white  Republican politicians to expel two black legislators:

On Wednesday night, The Grio's April Ryan spent her time on MSNBC's The 11th Hourgloating and hurling allegations of racism at Republicans in the Tennesee legislature because they held two of the three Democrat insurrectionists accountable for stirring up a mob on the House floor. Leftists in the media like Ryan apparently believe insurrections are a good thing so long as it's in pursuit of their agenda. If you try to hold them accountable, they cry racism. 

Host and MSNBC's resident dunce Stephanie Ruhle teed up Ryan by proclaiming "Both of these then-expelled, now soon to be reinstated, lawmakers have a huge national platform." Ruhle then asked "Did this whole thing completely backfire on Republicans? Did they not know how the rules even worked?"

"Yeah, it completely backfired," Ryan agreed before smearing Republicans as racist: "They wanted their guns by any means necessary, even if it meant expelling two young African Americans who are fighting for the right for children to be able to live and learn in school. And just people to be able to live."

[...]

This is the kind of commentary you get on MSNBC. Everything is racist. But if everything is racist, then nothing is racist. 

Does that mean if everything is biased, as the MRC repeatedly tells us, then nothing is biased?

The same day, Clay Waters groused that a PBS host "used PBS’s favorite euphemism for gun control, 'gun safety,' while NPR’s [Tamara] Keith fiercely defended the left-wing legislative disruptors and emphasized race, while wondering why the Biden administration didn’t do so initially as well." He made sure to add that the shooting was perpetrated "by a trans-man (i.e., a biological woman) at a Christian school."

An April 14 post by Brad Wilmouth tried to push back on the fact that Republicans have heavily gerrymandered the Tennessee legislature to their advantage:

On Tuesday's CNN This Morning, the show used the recent expulsion (and eventual reinstatment) of two Democratic state legislators in Tennessee as an opportunity to promote the discredited liberal trope that Republicans were only able to solidly majorities in some states because of gerrymandering, which then allegedly leads them to enact extreme agendas against the will of voters who were unable to vote them out.

[...]

What went unmeantioned was the 2020 presidential election results when Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden in the state by a whopping 61 to 37 percent. Trump also won 92 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. The three counties that Biden did win -- Davidson, Shelby, and Haywood -- contain only 24 percent of the state's population, so it's not shocking that Democrats only hold about one in four seats in the state house.

But as observers have noted, Republicans hold 27 of the 33 seats in the state Senate (82%) and 75 of the 99 seats in the state House (76%) -- clear evidence of gerrymandering.

It wouldn't be the MRC if there wasn't a coverage-count item, and Geoffrey Dickens predictably whined that non-right-wing channels didn't follow right-wing narratives attacking the legislators:

The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) fell in love with their new heroes, the so-called “Tennessee Three” as they devoted a full week to cramming their evening and morning shows with clips of the unruly gun-grabbing trio and their supporters.

MRC analysts looked at 92 minutes, 22 seconds of network evening and morning coverage of the ousting of the disruptive and disrespectful Democrats from April 6 to April 13 and discovered a whopping disparity in clips with the leftist Tennessee threesome and their supporters overwhelming conservative Republicans by a 107 to 24 count. 

Yes, viewers of these programs were four times (4 to 1) more likely to hear from the leftist Tennessee State Representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, Gloria Johnson and their vocal supporters like Vice President Kamala Harris than Tennessee Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton and State Representative Sabi Kumar. 

Instead of focusing on how the three Democrats had flouted the rules, network anchors and hosts largely spent their time advancing the narrative that these two Democratic black legislators and one white female were bravely facing down a bunch of racist pro-gun GOP lawmakers. 

Not only did the networks quickly brush-past the disorderly conduct of the “Tennessee Three,” they completely ignored State Representative Justin Jones’ charges for misconduct for his assault of a driver at a 2020 “racial-justice” protest.

As usual, Dickens failed to document how Fox News covered the story to provide an example of how he believes the story should have been handled (you know, with lots of right-wing bias).


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 21, 2023 11:25 PM EDT
WND Tries To Whitewash Another Capitol Insurrectionist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The latest in WorldNetDaily's series of attempts to whitewash the background of Capitol riot criminals and falsely portray them as victims was served up in an anonymously written March 30 article:

There's a lot of review going on now of the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, where hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump followed his instructions to go to the Capitol and protest the suspect Joe Biden election victory peacefully.

Of course, there were a few who got out of hand, breaking windows to enter and then vandalizing.

Democrats for the last two years have released cherry-picked segments of video to try to portray the events as an actual attempt to overthrow the U.S. government, even though there was no plan, no military involved, no leader and such.

Now, the Republican party, in the majority in the U.S. House, is releasing more video, and it shows that the "insurrection" storyline is anything but true.

Likewise are the facts of some individual cases misleading.

For example, the Gateway Pundit cited the case against Jake Lang, who attended the protest and rally "because he believed the election was stolen from Donald Trump."

After Trump's rally, he "walked to the U.S. Capitol where he was gassed and trampled when Capitol Police pushed Trump supporters down the stairs. Jake was nearly killed. The woman next to him was gassed, knocked down, trampled and then beaten with a stick by police. She died on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Her name is Rosanne Boyland."

The report continued, "Jake Lang was next to Rosanne when she died. Being a former wrestler, Jake was able to crawl out of the pile. He then went back and saved Phillip Anderson who was knocked unconscious next to Rosanne Boyland. Jake was not able to rescue Rosanne but he saved the life of another man that day."

The result that he was accused of taking "swipes" at police after they killed Boyland, and was arrested.

He's been held in prison without trial ever since – a total of 800 days.

Of course, what Lang actually did is much worse than the whitewash WND attempted:

Lang is allegedly seen on video picking up a police riot shield and slamming it to the ground near law enforcement, according to prosecutors. He is also accused of swinging a baseball bat at police officers multiple times, striking the officers’ shields.

Lang, for his part, seemed proud of his actions, according to court filings.

“This is me,” Lang reportedly posted on Instagram, using an animated finger symbol to point himself out at the front of the crowd facing off against police.

Funny that WND didn't mention the shield or baseball bat.

WND went on to falsely claim that Lang faces "misdemeanors " -- in fact, the chrges against him include multiple counts of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement, which are felonies. WND also repeated Gateway Pundit's assertion that Lang is "a political prisoner of the regime," which is also not true. He was denied release last year pending trial because he assaulted police officers:

The Appellate Court upheld the Sept. 20 decision by Judge Carl J. Nichols, writing: “The evidence proffered by the government shows that, over the course of two and a half hours on January 6, 2021, appellant repeatedly pushed, punched, and kicked at police officers defending the Lower West Terrace entrance to the Capitol building. He also slammed a door against one officer’s head and struck other officers first with a stolen riot shield and later with a metal baseball bat.”

The Appellate Court referenced another Jan. 6 case, United States vs Munchel, in their ruling: “As we explained in Munchel, ‘those who actually assaulted police officers ... are in a different category of dangerousness than those who cheered on the violence or entered the Capitol after others cleared the way.’”

WND is so desperate to minimize the Capitol insurrection that it feels it must lie to and mislead its readers in order to keep a bogus narrative alive.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2023 9:17 PM EDT
MRC Gives Violent Athlete A Pass For Loving Trump, Hating Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center regularly rages against athletes who talk about politics -- but only if those political views don't agree with those of the MRC. (See: Brittney Griner.) For a glimpse of how the MRC treats athletes with conservatively correct views, here's an April 10 post by Jay Maxson:

Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship 287 event in Miami will likely be remembered far more for its politics than what happened in the octagon. With former President Donald Trump in attendance, ultimate fighting fans gave him a huge ovation and chanted “USA!” Trump fan Jorge Masvidal, a 20-year UFC star who lost his fight and immediately announced his retirement, praised the former president and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Fans chanted for the USA when the ex-president stood and waved to them. UFC fight audiences are also no friend to President Joe Biden, and they affirmed that sentiment as well. 

As for the UFC fight card, Masvidal suffered his fourth consecutive loss, to welterweight rival Gilbert Burns. After his loss, he praised the ex-prez and Florida’s governor, during an interview with Joe Rogan. Pointing to Trump, he said:  

"I wanted to say, greatest president in the history of the world sitting right there. I love that guy. 

"We also got the greatest governor of all time here in Florida. Let’s keep Florida free, a red state. And let’s take back – you know who, Let’s go, Brandon motherf***er … replace him." 

The “Let’s go Brandon” chant is a direct insult aimed at President Biden and actually means “F--- Joe Biden.”

Trump previously tweeted his support for Masvidal, calling him a “Great fight Champ!”

By contrast, an April 23 post by Maxson cheered former NBA coach Phil Jackson for criticizing the NBA for bein, in Maxson's words, "ridiculously woke," approvingly adding that "Jackson said politics should stay out of the game because “it doesn’t need to be there.” Indeed, Maxson used the word "woke" seven times in this post as well as in the headline.

Masvidal's political rant appears to have earned him forgiveness by Maxson for bad behavior. Maxson waited until the very last paragraph to note that "Masvidal had also gotten into previous legal trouble when he attacked rival Colby Covington, another Trump supporter, and seriously injured him." By contrast, Maxson has been much more willing to criticize bad behavior; a Feb. 27 post cheered right-wing sports guy Jason Whitlock for blaming a "culture of death" for an incident in which a Alabama college basketball was allegedly linked to a murder, which Whitlock blamed on "racial idolatry" and "gang culture" that allegedly hates police. Maxson further huffed regarding the incident in a March 13 post:

It was one of the ugliest, most disgusting, abominable moments in recent sports history. An Alabama fan attending the Southeastern Conference (SEC) men’s basketball tournament wore a shirt stating, “Killing our way through the SEC.” The fan was referring to the fact that a former member of the Crimson Tide basketball team – rated among the top teams in the nation -- has been arrested for murder, and the current star of the team provided the murder weapon. 

Has the fan no sense of shame? No, apparently none whatsoever.

But apparently, athlete violence and rowdy fandoms are OK if the athlete and fans love the correct right-wing politicians and hate the same people Maxson does.

This is far from the only instance in which Maxson has given the UFC a pass on bad behavior for political reason. Maxson and the MRC have regularly lavished praise on UFC commissioner Dana White for his support of Trump. Maxson himself (or herself) repeatedly touted how White was "taking a leaf out of President Donald Trump's book on media criticism" over his attempts to evade health restrictions during the early days of the COVID pandemic by continuing to state fights. But at a New Year's Eve party, White slapped his wife during an argument caught on video; he faced no discipline from UFC for doing so. Maxson (along with the rest of the MRC) has been silent about the incident.

It seems loving -- and hating -- the right people allows one to get away with all sorts of things as far as the MRC is concerned.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2023 11:04 AM EDT
After Arraignment, CNS Still Defended Trump, Attacked Bragg
Topic: CNSNews.com

As Donald Trump moved toward arrignment last month, CNSNews.com continued to do what it did when indictment talk started swirling around him: Defend the guy and attack the prosecutor, district attorney Alvin Bragg.

The day before the arraignment, an article by Craig Bannister complained that Bragg "is known for being soft on crime – but, not in the case of a 61 year-old bodega worker who fatally stabbed an attacker last July." He went on to misleadingly claim that "Alvin Bragg’s DA campaign received a $1,000,000 donation from far-left billionaire philanthropist and activist George Soros through a political action committee called 'Color of Change.'" As we've documented, Soros didn't make a direct donation to Bragg -- he donated to Color of Change, which had pledged to support Bragg. An article by Susan Jones complained that a CNN anchor asked a Trump lawyer "the questions that will have some Trump-haters salivating," such as if there would be a "perp walk" for Trump. (Jones is clearly a Trump-lover.)

The morning of the arraignment on April 4, Jones served up some pre-emptive defenses:

Coverage of the arrignment itself was left to Bannister, who chose to give more attention to a separate legal judgment against Stormy Daniels, a hush-money payment to whom is the focus of the criminal charges against Trump:

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was arraigned in one court on charges related to payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels – which prompted Daniels to post a vulgar tweet – while another court ordered Daniels to pay Trump more than a hundred thousand dollars.

Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon tweeted news of the award to Trump, noting it is based on Daniels’ previous “meritless litigation” against Trump:

For her part, the porn actress responded to the news of Trump’s arraignment by posting a vulgar tweet, saying she’d rather have sex than be arrested.

“Stormy Daniels gloats over Trump arraignment with X-rated tweet,” Fox News headlined one article, which notes that Trump pled not guilty to all charges of 34 felony counts stemming from an investigation into alleged hush money payments to former Playboy model Stormy Daniels.

By contrast, Jones devoted an article to Trump's post-indictment whine-fest, complaining that non-right-wing networks didn't air it in its entirety:

Cheers and chants of "USA! USA!" greeted former President Donald Trump as he spoke to friends, family and all Americans who tuned in last night to hear his reaction to a legal case that even his detractors describe as flimsy.

In what was essentially a campaign rally, the declared presidential candidate discussed the many ways Democrats have tried to undermine him with their "fraudulent investigations"; he called out his political enemies by name, including his latest nemesis, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg; he derided other, ongoing investigations into his activities; and he warned that "our country is going to hell" under President Joe Biden.

Notably, CNN cut away from the speech about 23 minutes into it as Trump described "where we are as a nation."

MSNBC refused to air the Trump speech, because, as Rachel Maddow put it, it was "basically a campaign speech in which he is repeating his same lies and allegations against his perceived enemies."

Despite presenting herself as a journalist, Jones made no effort to fact-check anything Trump said, preferring to serve as his stenographer instead.

The Trump defenses continued in the following days:

Jones did write an article that purported to attempt balance -- Two Views – Bolton: Don't Delay Trial, It Benefits Trump; Barr: The Case Seems to Lack 'Any Legal Basis' -- instead, she devoted only four paragraphs to the views of John Bolton (whom she called a "bitter Trump foe") but lavished 15 paragraphs on the pro-Trump views of William Barr, whom she identified only as his title as former attorney general.

An anonymously written article complained that Bragg's office website states that "Our office is a safe place for undocumented immigrants to report crime." The anonymous writer didn't explain why this statement was so offensive. More attacks followed:

Meanwhile, CNS editor Terry Jeffrey wrote an April 5 column that appeared to be an exercise in whataboutism by rehashing the impeachment of President Clinton and complaining he wasn't hauled into court for perjury for "intentionally false" testimony regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 21, 2023 10:01 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
MRC Cheers Right-Wing Campaign To Destroy Bud Light For Not Hating Dylan Mulvaney
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the Media Research Center's biggest targets in its dishonest war on transgender people has been Dylan Mulvaney, who has committed the offense of being popular oni TikTok while detailing her transition journey. So popular, in fact, that she worked on a promotion for Bud Light -- which prompted right-wingers to wage war against Bud Light. Matt Philbin cheered this war in an April 6 post:

You know things are really messed up when a singer changing the kind of beer served backstage looks like a brave act of civil disobedience. But here we are.

Country star Travis Tritt is nixing anything related to Budweiser or Bud Light from his concert green rooms. The move is a reaction to a newly-announced Bud Light partnership with transgender “influencer” (God help us) and activist Dylan Mulvaney, who recently had surgery to help him pretend he’s a woman.

"I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider. I know many other artists who are doing the same," Tritt tweeted on Wednesday.

Sure, it’s not "Letter from Birmingham Jail," nor is it nearly as dramatic as Kid Rock’s protest, but it’s something, and it’s well-deserved.

Yeah, it is something -- but it's definitely not the  "brave act of civil disobedience" Philbin wants you to think it is. More like the reactionary tantruam of an ideologue who's so filled with hatred for transgender people that the mere thought of someone he doesn't like drinking the same brand of beer as he fills him with bizarre revulsion. Nope, no bravery there. Still, Philbin tried to link Mulvaney beingn allowed to drink beer to a massacre:

It was only last week that a transgender lunatic murdered six people in a Christian school in Nashville. The media and the LGBT mob has spent the days since arguing that the real victims were transgender people, not the three nine year-olds and three adults she purposely targeted. Against that background, Bud Light’s announcement is a middle finger to grieving families, Christians, and anybody else unwilling to genuflect to the fashionably mentally ill.

Philbin didn't explain why he believes all transgender people are potential spree killers, nor why he believes that all transgender people must be punished for the actions of one.

The MRC's chief transphobe, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg, raged at Bud Light's maker for the Mulvaney promotion in an April 10 post -- and at Mulvaney herself, maliciously likening her to a drug addict :

We say this time and time again. Get woke, go broke. 

Bud Light’s Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid sparked nationwide controversy when she explained her strategy to implement more "inclusive" marketing the Bud Light brand, including spotlighting a man who pretends to be a woman.

As you’re probably aware by now, Dylan Mulvaney, a biological man who gets paid to act like a little girl, became the new face of Bud Light beer. Earlier this month, Mulvaney posted a video saying Bud Light sent him a commemorative can with his face on it to celebrate his “365th day of girlhood. Mulvaney also filmed himself bathing in a bubble bath while drinking the beer - but, as MRCTV’s Brittany Hughes put it, “there’s not enough bleach in the world.”

When I picture Bud Light’s demographic, I think of men (actual men) outside, maybe shooting, likely listening to country music, maybe even on a boat with an American flag in the background. I don’t picture Dylan Mulvaney, with his bulge tucked into a mini skirt, dancing around like a child on crack cocaine. 

Yet, that’s apparently exactly who Bud Light’s VP of marketing was trying to reach.

Mandelburg referenced Tritt's tantrum and also noted that "Kid Rock shot up a few cases of Bud Light in a video and then proclaimed 'f**k Bud Light and f**k Anheuser-Busch' with his middle finger raised."Why does she think these hate-filled people is a desirable target audience for any product? (She didn't mention that Kid Rock presumably had to buy all that Bud Light he shot up, so company still profited.)

To quote Mandelburg herself, it's almost laughable.

Mandelburg went on a tirade about a different promotion involving Mulvaney in an April 13 post:

If you haven’t heard of Dylan Mulvaney, you’re better off for it, but, if you have, you’re probably well aware by now how he’s one of the most popular he/she’s on the market. 

Mulvaney is a biological man who transitioned to a girl a little over a year ago. He recently celebrated his 365th day of “girlhood” and even endured a facial feminization surgery. Word on the street (and according to photos where he’s in tight fitting pants) he’s still got his dinglehopper intact but that hasn’t stopped him from fully embracing girlhood and companies and the media are helping him. 

Mulvaney was recently sponsored by Olay makeup, Bud Light, Kate Spade, Tampax and none other than Nike which I personally think should be renamed as Wokie. As a form of protest, a Ban Bra Challenge began trending on social media where women would burn their Nike sports bras to show their disapproval of using Mulvaney for their ads.

She happily reposted someone spewing hateat Mulvaney, engaging in similar rage that Nike selected "a little boy with no breasts and some junk in his pants to represent real women." No evidence was offered that Nike fired any female spokespeople to make room for Mulvaney, which tells us that Nike hasn't stopped working with "real women."

When Axios pointed out the utter transphobia behind right-wingers lashing about at Bud Light over the Mulvaney promotion, Curtis Houck objected in an April 18 post:

Axios used its lead story Tuesday morning to shack up with trans provocateur and leftist god Dylan Mulvaney, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and trans people against conservatives for the crime of tanking Bud Light sales after its endorsement deal with Mulvaney.

Worse yet, they suggested conservatives need to be held to account for holding deadly political views that contain a “lack of perspective or grace,” “toxicity,” and “viral vitriol” toward trans individuals.

Co-founder Mike Allen and writer Eleanor Hawkins bemoaned the lack of universal adulation and saintly endorsement of Mulvaney as proof of “How Bud Light became a microcosm of America in 2023” with still too many Americans possessing “cultural, political and social toxicity.”

As Erick Erickson has preached (and despite any attempts to claim otherwise), you will be made to care. And not only care, but celebrate certain behaviors and views.

The trans gyrating was turned up a few notches in a section entitled “what this captures.” In point one, Allen and Hawkins huffed this incident illustrated “[t]he inflamed politics around transgender rights,” which was an artful way of bellyaching that people weren’t bending over backwards to celebrate someone playing god with their anatomy.

Point two was the worst as they said this showed “[t]he lack of perspective or grace from vocal transgender opponents.”

“Lack of perspective” about lopping off your genitals? That’s rather hard to pull off.

And a “lack of...grace?" Since when does one have to warp their religion to support funding someone’s selfish ambition? Then again, this is the same side that believes Christians should be forced to fund abortions and bake cakes for trans celebrations.

Houck got even more enraged when Axios called transgender people "marginalized":

How was it that a group can be “marginalized” when their “issues are talked about a lot now,” especially in the press? And was there a group that’s more celebrated, defended, and glorified in the corporate liberal press today than trans people?

[...]

Rewind to the beginning and they led off a recap of what happened with Mulvaney receiving “an influencer package — a glorified swag bag — to celebrate the one-year mark...coming out as trans,” and, in response, conservative disgust “radically changed beer sales and stock prices — literally overnight.”

“That set conservative, anti-trans pockets of social media on fire,” they whined, citing a count from NewsWhip of “5,600 news articles...published...in two weeks” with the company losing $6 billion.

Houck didn't explain why all transgender people must be hated and destroyed, and that any company that does business with them must receive the same vicious fate.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:43 PM EDT
What Is 'Token Team,' Which Is Buying Pro-Guo Articles At Newsmax?
Topic: Newsmax

We've documented how Newsmax is among right-wing websites that are running "sponsored" articles publicizing and defending Guo Wengui, who was recently arrested for financial fraud. The name listed as serving as a "sponsor" for the Newsmax articles is "Token Team," which we have assumed is a shady, mysterious Guo front company -- but it appears it may be more than that. A November 2018 Newsmax press release declared:

Newsmax TV, the fastest-growing cable news channel in the nation, announced today it is joining with blockchain ad-tech innovator The Token Team, LLC, for accepting advertising payments.

The relationship immediately provides Newsmax TV with access to a cutting-edge portfolio of blockchain and digital asset technologies and services.

[...]

“More and more we have seen companies in the crypto business seeking to advertise with us, or make payments with us,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc. “The Token Team brings the expertise with their suite of crypto, blockchain, and digital asset services and technologies that will expand the playing field for both our companies.”

The Token Team, a digital marketing and ad-tech company, services the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and digital asset communities. With this agreement, Newsmax TV gives The Token Team exclusive access to its television and digital distribution channels for crypto, blockchain, and digital asset advertisers.

Token Team Chairman Vito Fossella said, “As Newsmax Media, especially Newsmax TV, continues to grow and break ground, The Token Team is proud to join forces and provide blockchain technology and crypto entities the opportunity to tell their stories.”

Newsmax TV has continuously pushed the boundaries to establish itself as a leading provider of new age, innovative digital multimedia advertising.

“This new venture with Newsmax TV is an exciting development for our company as we continue to define ourselves as THE go-to crypto-blockchain-focused ad-tech/media and marketing company. This monumental venture allows our company to further expand our service offering to the rapidly growing crypto community,” said Token Team founder John Tabacco. “We are excited to see what other innovations this joint venture will spark for the global digital asset community.”

If the names associated with Token Team sound familiar, they should. John Tabacco had a show on Newsmax TV for a while, "Table Talk," which Newsmax claimed was a "political reality show" purporting to take viewers "behind the scenes and to dinner tables of regular everyday Americans" (but only if they were conservative, apparently). He also filled other host roles on the channel, most notably when he was designated to read an on-air statement trying to stave off defamation claims by voting-tech companies Dominion and Smartmatic after the channel falsely accused them of taking part in voting fraud in the 2020 presidential election.Tabacco is currently working as the VP of "digital asset strategy" for a "cannabis holding company" called MJ Holdings and is trying to launch a cryptocurrency aimed at conservatives.

Fossella is a politician whose career as a member of Congress infamously imploded in 2008 when an arrest for DUI led to the revelation that he was living with a woman and their child in Washington while also maintaining a wife and family back home in Staten Island. Fossella has since wormed his way back into politics, currently serving as Staten Island borough president.

The link between Newsmax, Token Team and crypto is interesting because one of the schemes Guo was arrested for involved a cryptocurrency scam.

Are Tabacco, Fossella and Token Team linked to Guo or his scam? Is Tabacco and Fossella's Token Team the "Token Team" buying this propaganda? We have no idea. But it's weird that the buyer of the pro-Guo paid articles would have the same name as Tabacco and Fossella's company and that they have a previous relationship with Newsmax.

Side note: One of the authors of the Guo propaganda, aside from Dan Bongino lackey Matt Palumbo, is a right-wing podcaster named Kelly John Walker. It appears that Walker was arrested and convicted last year for threatening to zip-tie an elementary school principal because a friend's child missed a school field trip because had to quarantine due to COVID exposure. That's the caliber of people who are moonlighting by spreading Guo propaganda.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT

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