ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, June 8, 2023
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade: Transition Time
Topic: Media Research Center
After helping Ron DeSantis win another term as Florida governor, the Media Research Center is now trying to pave the way for his presidential ambitions. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Transgender Lawmaker's Rhetoric Gives MRC The (Hypocritical) Vapors
Topic: Media Research Center

When Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who is transgender, gave a passionate speech in which she warned her fellow lawmakers they would have "blood on your hands" if they approved an anti-transgender law -- which got her barred from the legislative floor for the rest of the session while that law passed -- the Media Research Center got the vapors over the remark (as if its haven't attacked its enemies with greater vitriol; see George Soros). Tim Graham spent an April 21 post complaining that people who aren't transphobes weren't scandalized by Zephyr's rhetoric:

This could be a poll question: Which speech is more offensive? 

--"Misgendering" a trans woman as a "he"? 

--Telling someone who opposes trans amputations and chemicals they have "blood on their hands"?

The Washington Post picked (A). Their headline was "Montana Republicans misgender trans lawmaker in letter calling for civility." Reporter Maria Luisa Paul explained state Rep. "Zooey Zephyr" claimed Republicans were shameful for making gender-dysphoric kids go through puberty without chemicals:


So telling people they have blood on their hands for failing to support amputations sounds like it needs a fact check as well as a civility check. Who's eroding norms here as they nuke the gender binary? 

Graham won't tell you that accusing others of having blood on their hands is not uncommon in political rhetoric -- even on the website he manages. Last June, for example, John Simmons said that doctors who perform abortions have "blood on their hands, and in December, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg declared that those who support abortion rights "are stained with the blood of the 63 million + babies who have been killed as a result of Roe." And in January 2022, as we've documented, the MRC praised singer John Ondrasik for writing a song called "Blood On My Hands," which attacked the Biden administration over the messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Graham was also being hypocritical about inflammatory language, bashing Zephyr's rhetoric while maliciously portraying being transgender as all aboaut "chemicals" and "amputations."And his outrage over Zephyr's remarks is doubly hypocritical given his own history of inflammatory rhetoric, most notoriously trying to slut-shame Monica Lewinsky.

The next MRC writer to get the performative vapors over Zephyr's rhetoric was Curtis Houck, who ranted in an April 26 post:

Wednesday’s broadcast networks brought the first batch of broadcast network stories trashing the push to protect women and girls from biological men and children from medical castration by the Montana state legislature and cheering the latest leftist hooliganism. 

Worse yet, they cheered transgender Representative Zooey Zephyr (D) — a man pretending to a woman — threatening anyone who supports such legislation means they wholly support murder and suicides of transgender people since they’ll have “blood on [their] hands.”

So much for civility. It’s hard to have a country and civic society when the left and their media allies accuse tens of millions of eagerly supporting mass killings and suicides. Remember that the next time the press insists they’re for all Americans.

As if nastily smearing Zephyr as "a man pretending to a woman" is not designed to be inflammatory.

Clay Waters was next up to whine in an April 29 post:

The tax-funded PBS NewsHour on Wednesday night was the latest outlet to leap upon the cause of Montana legislator and transgender Democrat Zooey Zephyr, barred from the House chamber for violating rules of decorum during a debate on a bill that would ban so-called “gender-affirming care” for gender-dysmorphic minors wishing to surgically or chemically “transition.”

The vote came after a nasty speech by Zephyr, a biological male, accusing colleagues who oppose such care: “If you vote yes on this bill, I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.” Zephyr also claimed failing to provide such care was “tantamount to torture.” But those inflammatory quotes, delivered on the Montana House floor, didn’t make PBS’s hagiography.

Nawaz hosted Zephyr (who for a legislator representing 11,000 constituents certainly gets their share of publicity) and the resulting conversation was more therapy session than journalism: "You know, when you spoke in your defense before the vote today, you said that you felt you were being asked to be -- quote -- 'complicit in the eradication of your community.' What did you mean by that?"

Yes, Waters' complaint that Zephyr got too much publlicity while giving her publicity came without a hint of irony.

Graham name-checked Zephyr in his May 5 podcast devoted to complaining that "While the national liberal networks tout Democrats fighting the GOP in red state legislatures, radical left-wing bills in blue states are going ignored." He similaly whined in his May 10 column: "Just as allegedly prestigious outlets like NPR have championed transgender legislator Zooey Zephyr in Montana and the Bullhorn Justins in Tennessee, the only point of view worth exploring and defending in state politics right now is on the radical left. "

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
WND Promotes False Attack On Trudeau From Fake-News Website
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an April 6 WorldNetDaily article:

Canada has moved, on several issues, to an extreme, such as assisted suicide (freely available), transgenderism (a protected class), and speech limits.

Now it apparently is trying to take the point in the move to make drugs legal. That would be hard drugs – for children.

A report from Newpunch has revealed, "Justin Trudeau has announced plans to legalize hard drugs for children, including heroin and crack cocaine, as part of a new radical policy aimed at destigmatizing drug addiction."

The report said the city of Toronto is setting the pace.

Unruh's source is actually named NewsPunch, not "Newpunch," though it has since changed its name to The People's Voice. Media Bias Fact Check calls NewsPunch/The People's Voice a "clickbait news website that promotes extreme right-wing conspiracy theories and pseudoscience misinformation," where "Headlines use loaded emotional language" and "story selection almost always favors the right through negative stories regarding liberal policy and politicians." It concluded: "This website has zero credibility due to the routine publishing of fake news." Ad Fontes Media similarly calls the website "unreliable" and notes that it "has been accused of publishing misinformation and conspiracy theories."

Indeed, the article's claim that "Justin Trudeau has announced plans to legalize hard drugs for children" is unsupported; no proof is offered that he has announced that specific plan. In reality, Trudeau has allowed provinces to decriminalize drug possession on a province level in pilot projects in an attempt to treat drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one. While the Toronto pilot would decriminialize drug possession for all ages, it is false to claim that equals "legalizing hard drugs for children," given that the sale of such drugs is still illegal.

Unruh clearly doesn't understand the difference between decriminalization and legalization, because later in the article he falsely called Toronto's pilot "drugs-for-all policies."

Repeating a false story from a known fake-news operation is not the way WND should be trying to rebuild its lost credibility among readers, and it will only keep the website on its lengthy death spiral.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:56 PM EDT
MRC Still Trying To Cover Up Musk's Twitter Blue-Check Debacle
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has done its best to bury the debacle that is Elon Musk's plan to deprecate Twitter's blue-check symbol from offical assurance that an account is authentic to a meaningless dot that proves only that the user is enough of a sucker to pay Musk $8 a month to have one. When a tiny fraction of people actually bought the blue checks -- understanding the ruse -- Musk arbitrariily slapped the blue check on accounts that didn't even pay for it, including celebrities (even dead ones). (Meanwhile, Twitter awarded a gold verification badge, which reportedly costs $1,000 a month, to a fake account purporting to respresent the children's channel Disney Junior.)

But the MRC would rather you not talk about any of this. Instead, it's doing Musk PR by raging at the hated George Soros for buying a blue check (even though it shows he's a smart businessmann by refusing to pay for something that offers nothing of value in return). An April 24 post by Clay Waters was another PR piece that lashed out at a report that pointed out how Musk had rendered the blue check meaningless:

A double panic attack took place on Friday’s edition  of the talk show Amanpour & Co, which co-airs on CNN and PBS, over Twitter chief Elon Musk no longer handing out account verifications (i.e. “blue checks”) to liberal journalists willy-nilly, but instead giving them to anyone willing to pay the fee.

Liberal journalists like the New York Times’ Paul Krugman have developed a complex over blue checkmarks, with Musk himself< seeming to enjoy toying with their fragile self-regard online.

Musk’s move apparently threatens an onslaught of “disinformation.” Amanpour fill-in host Bianna Golodryga’s overwrought fears were on display in her introduction:

Waters then tried to fame former Twitter executive Vivian Schiller pointing out that the blue check means nothing as a complaint coming only from "liberal elites":

Liberal elites are impressed by their blue-check status, suggesting concerns about “misinformation” are window-dressing over their real concern, that the hoi polloi can now pay $8 a month for the mark of prestige previously reserved for themselves, although Schiller defensively denied such thinking:

When it was pointed out that Musk is rolling back anti-hate policies such as dropping punishments fordeliberately misgendering transgender people, Waters tried to play the victim card:

The liberal whining began in earnest, with Golodryga asking Schiller about Twitter “quietly rolling back some of its protections, specifically for transgender people,” including “misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

Schiller: ….the policy specifically called out transgender individuals who we already know are subject to a lot of abuse online. And by removing that line and keeping it broadly, targeting of others, it removes tha added protection…

Conservatives get smeared and cursed and throttled on Twitter thousands of times a day, often by radical transgender activists. Yet it’s transgenders who require “added protection” from being called by their birth names?

Waters appears not to have considered the possibilty that he and his fellow right-wingers could simply stop obsessively hating transgender, and he didn't explain why right-wingers must misgender people.

Luis Cornelio turned a Twitter user's confusion about the proliferation of various colored check marks for Twitter users (he thought the blue check for President Biden's account had been dropped; instead, it had been changed to a newly invented gray check given to accounts of government officials)into an April 25 post which cheered right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro ranting about it, then tried to relitigate Donald Trump's social media suspensions:

Shapiro’s slap-down response to Dobrofsky’s tweet made reference to Big Tech’s censorship efforts to ban then-President Trump from all major social media platforms amid the January 6 Capitol riot.

At the time, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, Chinese communist-tied TikTok and even Shopify participated in the coordinated effort to ban a sitting president. Digital store Shopify went as far as to block stores that sell Trump-related content.


According to an MRC Free Speech America study, the same Big Tech companies that banned Trump allowed seven dictators, including embattled Russian President Vladimir Putin, to post government propaganda, reaching approximately 50 million followers.

Cornelio omitted the fact that Trump was credibily accused of inciting the Capitol riot through his false claims of election fraud. He aldo didn't menetion that his fellow right-wingers like Putin's policies, particularly his similar hatred of LGBT people.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Root of COVID Misinformation Continues To Grow
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Wayne Allyn Root just can't stop spreading false and misleading claims about the safety of COVID vaccines -- even creating a rigged lie detector test to spread them. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
MRC Still Spewing Hate At Dylan Mulvaney, Bud Light
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long hated transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for failing to be heterosexual, and it hates Bud Light for doing a promotion with her, joining other right-wing haters in irrationally trying to destroy the company for doing so.' An April 19 post by Matt Philbin -- his last before he mysteriously parted ways with the MRC, a departure neither he nor the MRC has discussed publicly -- was a total insult-fest complete with misgendering:

Dylan Mulvaney is “trying really hard to maintain a relationship with God.” Admirable. Of course, it might be easier if Mulvaney didn’t reject His handiwork. 

If you didn’t know (and if you didn’t you’re one of a happy few), Mulvaney is a 26 year-old actor and TikTok pest who publicly “transitioned” to being a “woman” and now runs around as a campy Audrey Hepburn look-alike.

For this, he’s been celebrated by leftist elites and received lucrative endorsement partnerships with Bud Light and Nike. Apparently, actual women are hard to come by in giant corporations. You can buy swag from his website. Mocking God’s Creation seems to be a good way to earn your daily bread.

According to Neil Munro at Breitbart, back in March somebody interviewed Mulvaney about faith and Relevant Magazine posted it because of the Bud Light brewhaha. “I don’t think He made a mistake with me, and that maybe one day, I will actually be grateful for being trans, that this isn’t some curse, but it’s just a different path to the same destination,” Mulvaney said. 

Maybe, Aquinas. But self-obsession and acute narcissism are a tough place to start.

Philbin's apparent obsession with Mulvaney sure didn't keep him from losing his MRC job.

The next day, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg cheered the right-wing hysteria over Bud Light while mixing in a little vicious transphobia:

No matter how many times we say “get woke, go broke,” it seems like it never really clicks for the left.

Amid the weeks-long controversy surrounding Bud Light’s marketing choice to use a transgender person, essentially a biological man parading as a little girl, for a partnership, the company seems to face more and more backlash daily. As a matter of fact, a Rasmussen poll indicated that 50 percent of middle-income earners are less likely to buy Bud Light over it’s new transgender face.

When Bud Light’s Marketing VP suggested the use of Dylan Mulvaney, a man who makes his living from sponsorships with tampon brands, makeup companies and social media, its aim supposedly was to generate more “inclusivity.” Well, if you know anything about Bud Light, its main demographic is men, typically middle-aged men who like cracking open a cold one with their buddies out fishing, by a fire, grilling hamburgers, etc. Men who like doing manly stuff, not men who like pretending they’re Eloise at the Plaza.

Obviously the marketing move was a flop. Bud Light has lost more than six billion dollars since its partnership with Ms. Man and after “5,600 news articles were published about the controversy in two weeks,” things aren’t looking great for the future of the company.

Mandelburg didn't mention the right-wing bias of Rasmussen polls. And contrary to her assertion, the dip in valuation of Bud Light's parent company AB InBev, is making the stock a recommended buy. Still, she insisted that "it's kind of funny to watch the left squirm when their plans yet again fail." Finally, she forgot to mention that the company's facilities have been the target of violent threats, presumably from people who hate transgender people as much as she does.

Alex Christy devoted an April 25 post to complaining that "The Daily Show" defended both Mulvaney and Bud Light:

Each of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show temp hosts have used their time to talk about issues they care about and Desi Lydic was no exception, using Monday’s show to talk about the status of women in the workplace, but before she did that she undermined any point she would make when she defended Bud Light’s Dylan Mulvaney marketing campaign, “I am so sick of this ‘trans women are not real women.’ Having a vagina does not make you a woman.”

Lydic began the show by referencing the Bud Light-Mulvaney partnership, “and I just have to talk about it.”

She then proceeded to declare, “Okay, so last month, Bud Light did a social media campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and conservatives absolutely lost their shit over it. They were filming themselves shooting cans, running over cans, hitting cans with a baseball bat. It was like a Saw movie but starring Bud Light, but now their meltdown has even its own merch.”

Lydic then played a video from Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders that parodied Bud Light’s Real Men of Genius ads by focusing on “real women of politics” and fellow female GOP Govs. Kristi Noem, Kay Ivey, and Kim Reynolds.

Curtis Houck spent a May 5 post whining, as the MRC usually does, that that non-right-wing media didn't rush to parrot right-wing narratives, this time regarding Mulvaney and Bud Light:

After over a month of silence as corporate liberalism suffered a massive blow as ordinary Americans rose up against Anheuser-Busch InBev and dumped Bud Light (and the company’s sales) for worshiping at the alter of transgenderism and Dylan Mulvaney, NBC’s Today cracked one open Friday with the first story from a broadcast network morning or evening news show about the fallout.

Despite the controversy having started back on April 1 with Mulvaney’s infamous video announcing Bud Light had sent a can with their face on it to commemorate “my day 365 of womanhood,” NBC’s Today acted like this had happened only recently.

Right-wing transphobes shouldn't be confused with "ordinary Americans." But Houck pushed that narrative anyway, claiming that "As the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles and others have explained, conservatives successfully had their morals make an imprint on business (as opposed to the church of wokeism)." Irrational hate is not "morals," and Houck forgot to mention that Knowles is the guy who demanded that "transgenderism must be eradicated," a form of extremism that typically turns into the eradication of actual transgender people.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2023 10:11 AM EDT
CNS Got In One Last Lazy 'Meathead' Shot At Rob Reiner Before Shutdown
Topic: had a weird inability to separate an actor from his role when it came to Rob Reiner, repeatedly insisting on referring to him as "Meathead" -- even though he hasn't played that role in nearly half a century -- as a lazy form of revenge for his criticism for his criticism of Donald Trump. CNS did this one last time before it was shut down, in an anonymously written (of course) March 22 article, which made sure to prominently place "Meathead" in the headline:

Rob Reiner, who played Archie Bunker’s son-in-law (“Meathead”) on All in the Family, sent out a tweet on March 18 stating that the reason he joined Twitter was to have a platform for attacking former President Donald Trump.

“When Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for president in 2016, I joined Twitter,” Reiner said in a tweet.

“I wanted to speak out against a man who I knew to be a Pathologically Lying Misogynistic Racist who was an is an existential danger to our Democracy,” Reiner continued.

“The elimination of this scourge is upon US,” he said.

The anonymous writer did not fact-check Reiner's tweet, or was it explained why the tweet was so important that it deserved its own "news" story -- aside, of course, from yet another opportunity for CNS to try to lazily dunk him by throwing around the word "Meathead." And, yes, the article was illustrated with a nearly 50-year-old photo of him and Carroll O'Connor from "All in the Family."

Maybe this insistence on presenting lazy partisan attacks as "news" was one reason the Media Research Center pulled the plug on CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 5:47 PM EDT
WND Muted On Fox News-Dominon Settlement ... Except For Wayne Allyn Root
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's coverage of Fox News' $787 million settlement with Dominion over defamation was muted, receiving only a story stolen from evil "liberal media" source NBC. That is perhaps understandable, given that WND did some of the things Fox News was accused of doing and would likely not want to remind people of it. Not only did it uncritically promote baseless accusations that Dominion and fellow voting-tech company Smartmatic changed vote tallies, columnist James Zumwalt forwarded the false attack that a Dominion official confessed to changing vote totals and worked with Antifa. That official is suing the originator of that false claim, far-right podcaster Joe Oltmann, and other promoters of it for defamation; WND and Zumwalt have so far escaped being sued.

But WND columnist Wayne Allyn Root apparently didn't get that memo, so he spent his April 22 column loudly insisting that the settlement doesn't affect his longrunning election fraud conspiracy theories:

I feel like Paul Revere for patriots. Except I'm shouting, "The elections are being stolen! The elections are being stolen!"

I grew up on the mean streets of New York. I am very familiar with bait and switch. Walking the streets of New York City, I saw three-card Monte con men setting up shop on sidewalks every day. Their goal was to distract you from picking the right card ... and to separate you from your money. We all just witnessed a bait and switch in the news headlines earlier this week. This is three-card Monte on STEROIDS.

Fox News settled with Dominion over claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Fox News will now pay Dominion $787 million because Fox News claimed the election was rigged by fraudulent voting machines.

Because Fox News settled with Dominion, now the Marxist-controlled mainstream media will go into full bait-and-switch mode. They will claim "the case is settled and closed. It's now proven the 2020 election wasn't rigged and stolen."

What a scam. What a con. This is the all-time bait and switch.

I may be the TV and radio host most associated with reporting the 2020 election was rigged and stolen. I've said it thousands of times on radio and TV. I've said it from the day after the 2020 election to today. I'll never stop saying it – because it's true.

The 2020 election was stolen.

And I believe elections are still being rigged and stolen. The 2022 midterms were almost as bad as the 2020 presidential election. One race is Exhibit A. Democrats clearly stole the Arizona governor's race from Kari Lake. Arizona Democrats rigged the vote by making sure vote tabulators didn't work on Election Day in heavily GOP districts.

Democrats are rigging and stealing elections like the Swiss make clocks – with precision. It's what they do. They rig, cheat and steal.

Yet in all these many years of my reporting and shouting and warning about stolen elections, I've never mentioned Dominion, or their voting machines. Because there are so many other simple, easy, low-tech ways Democrats steal elections.

He then listed numerous ways this purportedly happens, but he offered no proof that any of this happened in 2020. Then he came in for the (supposedly) big one:

And the big one...

No. 12: We now know the FBI rigged the election. They paid Twitter to change the news feed in favor of Biden and silence conservative voices on social media. See emails released by Elon Musk. The FBI rigged the 2020 election. FACT.

Wrong. As we pointed out when the Media Research Center parroted this same "Twitter files" claim -- and as fact-checkers also noted -- the FBI paid Twitter to fulfill document requests, not to "siilence conservative voices."

Nevertheless, Root concluded: "So, a FNC settlement with Dominion settles nothing. You and I know the 2020 election was rigged and stolen from a hundred directions. Don't fall for the bait and switch." Then again, Root also wants you to believe that literally everything is evidence of election fraud.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: March 2023
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was happy to have Peter Doocy to fluff again, and it praised a reporter for an obscure African website for throwing temper tantrums in the White House briefing room. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EDT
Monday, June 5, 2023
MRC Spread Falsehoods About Swalwell And Spy -- But Won't Correct The Record Now That He's Been Cleared
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, the House Ethics Committee closed its investigation into Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell over allegations he had a relationship with a woman who turned out to be a Chinese spy, making no findings of wrongdoing. Swalwell had never been credibly accused of any wrongdoing, and he cut off all ties to her when he learned about her spy activity in 2015.

The Media Research Center won't tell you this, however, because it's been attacking Swalwell over the alleged relationship for years.

In a November column, for instance, Jeffrey Lord cheered that Swalwell might be removed from House committees by Republcians for what he described as "a decidedly ill-advised affair with an alleged Chinese spy," touting how incoming House speaker Kevin McCarthy "clearly thinks" he showed "appallingly bad judgement and cannot be allowed to sit on the Intelligence Committee."

Whe the GOP officially took over the House, the MRC cheered Republican attacks on Swalwell, just as it did  over attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar similarly designed to force her off House committees for not being a right-wing toady:

  • A Jan. 12 post by Bill D'Agostino complained that "CNN cut away from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s press conference after he made a series of unflattering claims about Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA)."
  • A Jan. 18 post by Nicholas Fondacaro raged that when Swalwell appeared on "The View," the hosts "didn’t even question Swalwell about his possible sexual relationship with Chinese Spy Fang Fang. Instead, she simply asked him to give his response to what Speaker McCarthy has said about him when he announced his intent to strip the compromised Congressman of his seat on the House Intelligence Committee."

Fondacaro ranted in another post the same day:

Not long after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warned on Tuesday that he received a classified intelligence briefing from the FBI about Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) that concerned him enough to pull his Intelligence Committee assignment, some of CNN’s purported journalists on The Lead – including host Jake Tapper – pretended not to know why the compromised Congressman shouldn’t be allowed to serve on the committee. Essentially, gaslighting their viewers.

In December 2020, Axios reported that Swalwell’s campaign was infiltrated by a Chinese spy that went by the name Fang Fang. They noted that Fang installed an intern in Swalwell’s office and had sexual relationships “with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities.” Swalwell has never been publicly grilled on whether his relationship with Fang was also sexual.

Fondacaro censored the fact that Axios also reported that Swalwell immediately dropped the relationship after being alerted to Fang's spy activity and no one has accused him of wrongdoing.

Tim Graham spent a Jan. 23 post whining that a fact-checker found McCarthy's attacks on Swalwell and others to be "specious" -- but rather than rebut any points in the fact-checker, he grumbled: "This is where liberal-media 'fact-checking' is annoying. They use their own partisan incuriosity against Republicans." Kevin Tober served up his own whining fit in a post the next day:

Apparently having sex with a Chinese spy as a member of Congress isn’t enough for MSNBC. During Monday night’s The 11th Hour on MSNBC, frequent guest Jason Johnson lashed out at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for daring to express his desire to prevent Democrat Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, the latter of which had reportedly had sex with a Chinese spy, from serving on the House Intelligence Committee. 


Johnson then said with a straight face and without any hint of irony that “there's no legitimate reason to keep Schiff or Swalwell off the intelligence committee. In fact, if anything it's to lock out people who are primarily concerned with this country from knowing the dangers that perhaps other colleagues on the committee provide to this country.”

Alex Christy complained that "As House Republicans prepare to kick Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the Intelligence Committee, CNN Newsroom co-host Erica Hill condemned Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday for not following 'tradition.' Apparently, Hill forgot that history did not begin yesterday." Hethengroused that Hill did not say why Swalwell was a "target," but he refused to mention the fact that nobody has credibly accused Swalwell of wrongdoing.

Tober came back on Jan. 29 to cheer how Swalwell and other Democratic members of Congress targeted by the GOP were asked about those accusations on CNN, and he noted (relucantly, we presume) that Swalwell responded by noting that "three different times, [the FBI] came out and said two things. All I did was help them, and also, I was never under any suspicion of wrongdoing."

With the Republicans having ultimately done its partisan duty and kicking Swalwell off the intelligence committee, the MRC went silent about him for a while, though a March 11 post by Mark Finkelstein complained that Swalwell advocated blocking access to Fox News to military bases in the wake of revelations in the Dominion lawsuit shwoing that Fox News deliberatly lied to its viewers about election fraud in thte 2020 election. But when a defender popped up on TV, Tober was there to rant about it in an April 21 post:

On MSNBC’s The ReidOut, host Joy Reid returned to one of her favorite Republican targets in the United States Congress: Marjorie Taylor Greene. The source of her rage this time was Greene’s comments during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing where she pointed out that her colleague Eric Swalwell (D-CA) was reported to have slept with a Chinese spy. Despite the allegations being legitimate enough to have him booted off the House Intelligence Committee, Reid still insisted it was nothing more than a “right-wing conspiracy theory.”

Republicans acting in a partisan manner against Swalwell does not equate to the allegations against him being "legitimate."

Tober, like the rest of his MRC co-workers, will not tell you that a Republican-led House ethics committee found no wrongdoing, just like every other authority who has looked into it. And it's even less likely that the MRC will apologize to Swalwell for spreading falsehoods about him and correct the record.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
Newsmax Quietly Deletes Many Guo Wengui-Paid Propaganda Pieces
Topic: Newsmax

Is Newsmax suddenly ashamed of taking money to publish propaganda?

We've documented how, over the past couple of months, Newsmax has published numerous "sponsored" articles written by moonlighting right-wing writers who were paid to churn out articles defending Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui (a.k.a Miles Guo), who was arrested on fraud charges. One of those writers was Matt Palumbo, who works for right-wing radio host Dan Bongino. The other main writer was Kelly John Walker, a right-wing podcaster who 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. These were some of the articles he wrote:

But some of these articles -- along with many of those written by Palumbo -- have since been deleted by Newsmax. No explanation was provided; perhaps the Guo checks cleared and they no longer wanted to seen as a willing provider of paid propaganda. 

We've also noted that the Guo propaganda pieces on Newsmax have a listed "sponsor" of Token Team -- which happens to be the name of a company with whom Newsmax partnered a few years back to accept cryptocurrency as payment for ads. The two prinicpals of Token Team were John Tabacco, later a Newsmax TV host, and Vito Fossella, whose congressional career ended in disgrace when it was discovered he had two families, one in Washington and another back home in Staten Island.

Well, we found another connection: A show called "Wise Guys with John Tabacco" airs weekly on Newsmax, and the March 26 edition of his show featured Nicole Tsai, spokesperson for a Guo front group called the New Federal State of China. The interview was filled with softballs, and Tabacco challenged none of the talking points Tsai promoted, including her suggestion that federal agents set Guo's apartment on fire shortly after his arrest. Co-host Cara Castronuova, with a group called Citizens Against Political Persecution, fed the narrative too, hyping Guo's ties to Donald Trump and claiming he's a victim of "political persecution," conspiratorially adding: "I'm not going to throw out accusations, but I do think Biden and his son have ties to the CCP."

Neither Tabacco or any of the other interview panel participants -- who also included defense attorney Lou Gelormino -- disclosed any ties with Guo and his businesses and movements. And Guo interests clearly loved this segment because it has been reposted elsewhere with Chinese subtitles.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:33 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2023 8:55 PM EDT
WND Tries To Make Tucker Carlson's Firing Another Ray Epps Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Unsurprisingly, WorldNetDaily was unhappy that Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, a fellow right-wing cosnpiracy theorist. A month before Carlson's firing, for instance, WND was eagerly touting cherry-picked footage from the Capitol riot given to Carlson to push the false narrative that the riot was peaceful.

In an April 24 article about his departure, Bob Unruh gushed that "Always a leader in breaking the news, Carlson had interviewed President Trump multiple times and just finished airing a series of interviews with Elon Musk," conspiratorially adding that "multiple reports from left-wing media noted the departure comes just days after Fox reached a $700 million plus settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over the network's coverage of the 2020 election." That was followed by an article by Unruh citing right-wingers complining about Carlson's firing and a reprint of an article by the Daily Caller (which Carlson co-founded) touting Carlson's presidential prospects.

But WND needed someone to blame for Carlson's firing, and it tried to find one in an old scapegoat: Ray Epps the Capitol riot whom WND has insisted without evidence was a secret FBI agent whose job it was to provoke other rioters into committing crimes and violence. As it so happened, the day before Carlson was fired, "60 Minutes" did a segment on Epps that recapped the right-wing conspiracy theories falsely smearing him and highlighting the threats that have targeted him as those conspiracy theories spread in the right-wing media bubble.

Editor Joseph Farah spent his April 24 column ranting that Epps had called out Carlson for falsely targeting him, and even went so far as to call CBS interviewer Bill Whitaker a "hitman":

On Sunday night, "60 Minutes" whitewashed the shameless Jan. 6 provocateur Ray Epps. And Fox and Tucker Carlson coincidentally parted ways.

In case you missed "60 Minutes," it was surreal. The whole thing.


And who do they blame for the "confusion" surrounding Epps for the "Insurrection"?

Tucker Carlson. It took "60 Minutes" three years to try to explain this to the American people – and to try to blame Carlson for Ray Epps' insidious actions. Epps is portrayed as a tragic figure, even though he is always on the front lines of the Capitol, even the night before, encouraging protesters to go "inside the Capitol!"


Once again, he blamed it all on Tucker Carlson.

"He's obsessed with me," says Epps. "He's going to any means possible to destroy my life and our lives."

"Why?" Whitaker asks.

"To shift blame on somebody else," Epps suggests. "If you look at it, Fox News, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, Gaetz, they're all tellin' us before this thing that it was stolen. So you tell me, who has more impact on people, them or me?"

Instead of actually rebutting anything Epps said, Farah simply quoted from the interview.

Peter LaBarbera furthered the claim that Epps got Carlson fired in another April 24 article:

One day after the airing of a sympathetic CBS "60 Minutes" interview with controversial, videotaped, alleged Jan. 6 instigator Ray Epps — in which Epps played the victim and sought to shift blame for J6 violence to Tucker Carlson — the most popular host on Fox News was ousted by the network.

In the "60 Minutes" interview Sunday, Epps claimed Carlson is "obsessed with me," and said, "He's going to any means possible" to destroy his life to "shift blame [for J6] on somebody else."

LaBarbera complained that the "left-leaning" Los Angeles Times pointed out the right-wing conspriacy theory about Epps:

"Murdoch also was said to be concerned about Carlson’s coverage of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol," the Times reported. "The host has promoted the conspiracy theory that it was provoked by government agents, and Carlson has called Ray Epps — a Texas man who participated in the storming of the Capitol but did not enter the building — an FBI plant, without presenting any evidence."

That description by the left-leaning newspaper misses the salient point of why Epps and his non-arrest by the Justice Department have drawn so much attention on the right: he is shown so clearly on film doing more than other J6 attendees who were arrested and jailed for entering the Capitol.

Moreover, Gateway Pundit, which has been at the forefront of coverage on J6 issues, reported that Epps is wrong when he claimed (in congressional testimony) that he never violated the law on Jan 6. GP reports that while several J6 protesters were prosecuted for touching a large Trump sign that was thrown at police, Epps was not, although he also is allegedly shown on video touching the sign.

LaBarbera didn't give Gateway Pundit an ideological label, even though it's a far-right conspiracy rag that's currently being sued for spreading lies. He then repeated right-wingers manufacturing conspriacy theories about Epps' "60 Minutes" appearance:

Many conservatives saw the "60 Minutes" piece Sunday as only the latest effort by liberal elites to distract the public from the federal government's role in stoking the J6 "insurrection" narrative to disparage Trump supporters and undermine Trump's pursuit of another presidential term in 2024.

Conservative radio host Dan Bongino said "60 Minutes" was attempting to exonerate Epps to salvage the left's J6 narrative for the 2024 presidential election.


If the object of CBS' "60 Minutes" was to neutralize conservatives' suspicions of Ray Epps as some sort of federally aligned actor instigating criminal behavior on Jan. 6, their puff piece interview with him and his wife Sunday certainly did not achieve its objective.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted Monday, along with video of Cruz's Senate interrogation of the FBI official: "Ray Epps is the only person I’ve seen on video January 5th and January 6th urging and directing people to go into the Capitol. In a text message on January 6th he bragged that he orchestrated it. Why do democrats and the media portray him as the victim? So bizarre."

Twitter conservative Greg Price tweeted: "There’s also another thing: Ray Epps has never been arrested by the FBI despite them throwing everyone who was near the Capitol in solitary confinement and him being the only person on tape on J6 telling people to go into the building."

It wasn't until the 15th paragraph of his article that LaBarbera got around to noting that Epps' lawyers had sent a cease-and-desist letter to Carlson and Fox News, which sent him into Carlson defense mode:

"Mr. Carlson and Fox News have repeatedly peddled claims about Mr. Epps that lack any foundation in fact," states the letter by attorney Michael Teter. "Mr. Carlson and Fox News guests and contributors have incorrectly called Mr. Epps a federal agent, accusing him of acting as a provocateur of the riots. Oddly, Mr. Carlson now also espouses the view that those rioters were akin to peaceful tourists. This leads to the obvious question: is Mr. Carlson now accusing Mr. Epps of provoking peaceful protests."

Carlson consistently said on his Fox broadcasts that violent J6 protesters deserve to be prosecuted. His coverage alluded to disparagingly in Teter's letter concerned J6 video coverage unearthed by Carlson's team in March that exposed overzealous DOJ prosecution of the supposed J6 "ringleader," Jacob Chansley. The infamous horned "QAnon Shaman" was shown being led around peacefully by Capitol Police on Jan. 6, a spectacle at odds with the left's "violent insurrection" narrative. Weeks later, Chansley was released 14 months early from his federal prison sentence, after his lawyer objected to the government hiding the exculpatory video.

Teter's letter also says Carlson's on-air statements about Epps "have always been nonsensical fantasies disproven by videos and accounts by those attending the January 6th events. Selective and creative editing cannot overcome facts."

As we've noted, Carlson's footage of Chansley was cherry-picked and ignored his behavior before his arrest, and even his own attorney said Chansley's release from prison had nothing whatsoever to do with the video.

Farah used his April 25 column to rant that Carlson's firing was "election interference" -- even though Carlson isn't running for anything -- and again cited the "60 Minutes" story on Epps, "the one man safe from the Liz Cheney's House Unselect Committee of Jan. 6," as a contributing factor: "One would have to be blind or a Democrat not to see the fix was in."

A May 4 article by LaBarbera tried to drag Epps into the trial of several members of the Proud Boys over their actions regarding the riot, repeating claims by far-right writer Julie Kelly referencing "multiple sightings in evidence of the still-uncharged Ray Epps."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC Flips Over Elon Musk, Part 10: The Hearings
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center touted hearings spearheaded by House Republicans based on the "Twitter files" Elon Musk released -- but largely ignored inconvenient facts that showed how the hearings didn't go well for right-wing narratives. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Sunday, June 4, 2023
MRC Flip-Flops Between Musk-Fluffing, Whining That Right-Wing Hate On Twitter Is Still Monitored
Topic: Media Research Center

When it wasn't cheering Elon Musk's own-the-libs stunt of arbitrarily relabeling NPR's Twitter feed as "state-affiliated media" (which ended up making things worse when Musk ultimately, and just as arbitrarily, dropped the label for not only NPR but actual state propaganda from other countries), the Media Research Center ontinued to vascillate between Musk stenography and complaining that Musk still hadn't given right-wing hate a sufficiently free space to spread on Twitter. Gabriela Pariseau served up another example of the latter in a March 31 post:

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced late last night that Twitter’s “Algorithm goes open source at noon Pacific Time” (today). But the tweet begged a couple of questions: What does that mean and why is he doing this? MRC Free Speech America asked industry insiders. 

Musk released the news just hours after the Media Research Center released a damning study revealing that Twitter censorship has actually increased under Musk’s leadership. But the move seems to be more of a distraction from Twitter's ongoing problem with censorship.

As we've noted, that "damning study" is mostly whining that right-wing hate is still monitored and blocked. Also, Pariseau's list of "industry insiders" is highly dubious, given that one is her boss, Dan Schneider. Three are anonymous -- two former Twitter employees and "a high-level employee at a social media company who asked not to be identified," which would seem to run counter to the MRC's regular attacks on anonymous sources. Her final source was Nathan Leamer of something called the Digital First Project, which we can assume that beyond its website's platitudes is nothing more than a right-wing advocacy group given Leamer's previous employment at Republican strategy firm Targeted Victory, whom you might remember is the firm Facebook hired to plant stories in right-wing media -- including, presumably, the MRC -- attacking competitor TikTok. The MRC has never told its readers about this, nor has it disclosed whether it was a beneficiary.

The MRC reverted to its Trump-fluffing norm soon enough. Mark Finkelstein spent an April 21 post whining that a TV host expressed a little schadenfreude over Musk's public failures (which the MRC didn't really talk about otherwise):

Elon Musk has become the liberal media's second-most-hated man, behind only Orange Man Bad. Witness today's opening of Morning Joe, wherein Mika Brzezinski proclaimed "Thursday was a very rough day for Elon Musk," gloated over Musk's SpaceX Starship exploding shortly after liftoff yesterday.

To our knowledge, after countless hours of suffering through Morning Joe, Mika has never been equally enthused about a North Korean rocket going kaput! Then again, Kim Jong-un is merely a nuclear-armed dictator and enemy of America. Whereas Musk occasionally makes life a bit uncomfortable for liberals!

Brzezinski also exulted over Musk's Twitter travails, with his plan to eliminate free blue checks running into opposition, and Tesla's share price having dropped. We can report the Twitter accounts of @Morning_Joe, @JoeNBC, and @MorningMika now reflect they haven't paid for their Twitter Blue check.


Warning sent to any entrepreneur who dares to cross the liberal/ESG line: the MSM will revel in any misfortune that might befall you!

Finkelstein is being utterly hypocritical, given how his employer repeatedly takes pleasure in the misfortune of its sworn enemies.

Luis Cornelio baselessly tried to claim victory in an April 24 post by cheering a Twitter policy change that will allow right-wingers to maliciously misgender transgender people:

Elon Musk’s Twitter halted part of its hateful conduct policy that has explicitly been used to censor those who oppose transgender ideology on the platform.

On April 18, Twitter removed parts of the policy that prohibited the “deadnaming” and “misgendering” of transgender individuals, marking a partial victory for free speech.

The policy change, which was not publicly announced, came after MRC Free Speech America tracked hundreds of censorship cases of individuals who cited the scientific fact that there are two genders. A March MRC study revealed that Twitter censorship is shockingly on the rise after his takeover.


The platform implemented similar anti-speech policies to muzzle individuals who affirmed the existence of two genders or pointed out the biological differences. In December 2021, MRC Free Speech America tracked 100 examples of Big Tech censoring content that stated the scientific-based statement that there are two genders. Big Tech companies, and particularly Twitter under its previous regime, identified such content as so-called “hateful conduct.” Meta and YouTube labeled similar content as “hate speech.” LinkedIn, in contrast, used “bullying” and “harassment.”

Cornelio didn't explain what purpose it serves for right-wing activists to deliberately misgender transgender people. His post also weirdly contained the MRC's "Anti-Americanism" tag, as if malicious misgendering is some sort of American virtue.

Pariseau was back to fretting that Musk wasn't kowtowing enough to her fellow right-wing haters in an April 26 post:

While Twitter is still throttling content, the platform will now notify users when it limits an account’s reach. It was the least the platform could do.

“Freedom of Speech, not reach,” Twitter Safety euphemized in a Monday tweet announcing that the platform rolled out its new visibility filter labels. A Twitter Safety blog post last week explained that the platform would soon “add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating our policies letting you know we’ve limited their visibility.”

Twitter Safety attempted to justify its “freedom of speech, not reach” stance in its blog post. “Twitter users have the right to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship,” Twitter Safety wrote. “We also believe it is our responsibility to keep users on our platform safe from content violating our Rules.” 

Twitter Safety attempted to justify its “freedom of speech, not reach” stance in its blog post. “Twitter users have the right to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship,” Twitter Safety wrote. “We also believe it is our responsibility to keep users on our platform safe from content violating our Rules.” 

While the new policy marks a victory for transparency, MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider warned that policing speech is not Twitter's responsibility. “Our skepticism of Twitter becoming a haven for free speech has just been justified,” he said. “It’s not Twitter’s responsibility to limit speech. That should be left up to individual users who can decide what they like and dislike. Censoring or throttling speech is what authoritarians do. It should never take place in a free society.”

Yes, those repeated paragraphs exist in the original.

Of course, Schneider and Pariseau very much want speech censored or throttled -- as long as it's speech they disagree with. They, however, don't believe they should be subject to any rules even though those platforms don't belong to them.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:26 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 11, 2023 6:47 PM EDT
CNS Catholic Priest Turned Right-Wing Pundit Continued Pushing Political Talking Points

Jerry Pokorsky, like Michael Orsi, is a Catholic priest who'd really rather be a right-wing pundit. gave him a platform to feed those ambitions, and it continued doing so until its shutdown in April. Pokorsky spent his Dec. 30 column spouting talking points and cosnpiracy theories to laughably claim that right-wingers have been silenced:

Government and media elites throttled reasoned dissent based on evidence during the pandemic. We were not allowed to question these assertions: Bats transmitted the COVID virus. The US never funded the gain of function research in the Wuhan lab. The COVID virus never escaped from the Wuhan lab. Lockdowns were necessary and should remain in the government arsenal. Masks and rigorous social distancing prevent the spread of COVID. COVID vaccines are safe for everyone and prevent the spread of COVID. Vaccination is a moral obligation.

Conventional wisdom deemed unassailable by corporate media, politicians, and government agencies include:
  • Obamacare: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.
  • Lois Lerner’s IRS did not target tea party conservatives.
  • Medical facilities do not traffic in aborted baby parts and do not use them to develop pharmaceuticals.
  • Trump colluded with the Russians to get elected in 2016.
  • BLM riots were largely peaceful.
  • The Hunter Biden laptop was likely Russian disinformation.
  • There is no significant voter fraud in US elections.


  • Homophobes and Catholic teaching threaten the mental health of the LGBTQ community.
  • With surgery or hormone treatment, a person can change his or her sex.
  • Monkeypox (like AIDS) threatens the entire population.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are inviolable moral precepts that transcend and replace the Ten Commandments.

Taken individually and in isolation, these assertions may represent aberrations from the cultural norm. Taken together and in historical context, we have sufficient evidence to conclude that immoral authoritarianism threatens the culture. The verdict is in. The facts are good enough for conclusions that require our testimony and action. Most of our elites – government, corporate, the media, and even some in the Church -- are liars. They depend upon our silence to accomplish their evil purposes.

He then falsely claiming that right-wingers have been silent about all of this:

Every cultural crime scene needs careful analysis to compile sufficient and persuasive evidence for the pathology report. Speak honestly and freely. We’ve been silent too long. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Romans 13:12)

A resolution for a happy new year!

In his March 16 column, Pokorsky accused LGBT people of being involved in "blood worship" and maliciously described President Biden as supporting the "butchering of young people":

It is perplexing to realize that most of our population fails to distinguish between a surgeon and a butcher. It is breathtaking to realize that many parents and school systems around the United States have become butchers.

The mutilation of children in blood worship of the LGBTQ ideology has become common practice. At long last, emerging as a political point of contention, such liturgical butchery is now a standard part of many government school programs.

It is even more shocking to read that the president of the United States – a self-professed Catholic -- has elevated the butchering of young people as a moral imperative:


Liberals have supported the butchery of abortion for over 50 years. If butchering unborn babies is a yawner, it is even more acceptable to butcher the genitals of children after birth. 

These non-butchers behaving like butchers give the profession a bad name. Perhaps the butcher industry association (there probably is one) should protest. 

President Biden besmirches the reputation of honest butchers -- and Catholics. And his mother.

For his final column before CNS' shutdown, on April 6, Pokorsky bizarrely tried to argue that not discriminating against people is a "heresy" against the Catholic Church:

The “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) heresy undergirds the LGBTQ agenda and the promotion of female ordination. The diversity component stresses our differences more than unity (family, tribal, national, or religious). The equity component is unachievable because there will always be differences in physical and intellectual abilities and opportunities. The inclusion component is unintelligible. Why does it exclude pro-life Christians, for example?

The DEI heresy views man as a “ghost in a machine” with interchangeable parts. The various forms of sexual debauchery derive from the heresy. Church teaching is realistic: Man is an embodied spirit. Our masculine and feminine attributes express who we are.

Within the context of sound doctrine (based on Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, and Magisterium), theologians are free to speculate under the watchful eye of the Church. The study of theology – like Mary’s pondering of the Angel Gabriel’s greeting – deepens our understanding of God’s revelation.

Let’s consider a rebuttal of the DEI ideology based on the Catholic theology of "sacramental sexuality."

But Pokorsky raged against his imaginary version of DEI by emphasizing "the nuptial dignity of male and female as God created us -- which has nothing to do with what actual DEI is.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« June 2023 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google