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Sunday, August 13, 2023
MRC Misleads About FTC Monitoring Of Twitter (And Fluffs Musk Even More)
Topic: Media Research Center

Despite his being a multibillionaire, the Media Research Center must always portray Elon Musk as a victim because he advances right-wing narratives. Catherine Salgado did this again in a July 13 post:

Is the Federal Trade Commission retaliating against Elon Musk following his pledge to support free speech on Twitter?

During a July 13 hearing, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) slammed the Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan for her apparent “harassment” and “shakedown” against Twitter after Elon Musk purchased the platform and tried to break up its censorship regime.  According to Jordan, Kahn tried to rig a disfavorable audit of Twitter's Trust and Safety operations conducted by private assessor Ernst and Young. Jordan called the situation “even worse than we could have imagined.”

Jordan noted that “The FTC…as is common practice pursuant to the consent order, required Twitter to hire an independent assessor,” whose role is supposed to be objective. Instead, the FTC tried to pressure assessor Ernst and Young into a negative report regardless of reality, Jordan explained.

MRC Vice President Dan Schneider chimed in to criticize Khan’s alleged conduct. “As the FTC Inspector General and others have shown, Lina Khan has corrupted that agency and turned it into a nuclear-armed guided missile against the Biden administration’s political opponents,” Schneider said. “She has engaged in an extortion scheme against the independent auditor and has cooked up the evidence against Twitter to punish Elon Musk for not adhering to a left-wing agenda. She should be added to the growing list of Biden officials who should be impeached.”

But Salgado and Schneider, as well as Jordan, censored the full story. As a fair and balanced news outlet reported, the FTC is trying to hold Twitter to acount for agreements made with the government by the pre-Musk ownership over the company's data security practices -- obligations that didn't stop because Musk bought the company. The private assessor, Ernst & Young, reported that it had trouble confirming compliance because Musk continually fired people put in charge of it, Twitter refused to allow on-site visits, and Twitter owes Ernst & Young $500,000 that it has refused to pay. Salgado and Schneider also failed to mention that Jordan's hectoring of Khan was highly criticized as attempting to advance right-wing narratives instead of genuinely seeking information from her.

Salgado defended Musk again in a July 17 post complaining that a magazine dared to criticize how he runs Twitter:

Foreign Policy magazine screeched Saturday that Twitter’s recent pro-free speech changes made the platform “inimical to democracy.” The outlet alleged, without specific evidence, that disinformation and “extremist” content have sharply increased on the platform under Musk’s ownership in an article headlined: “Elon Musk’s Twitter Is Becoming a Sewer of Disinformation.”

It self-righteously lectured about restrictions removed from dictatorships’ state-sponsored content. The outlet’s primary complaint about Twitter, however, simply masked fury at free speech for those with whom it disagrees.

It particularly objected to the disintegration of Twitter’s previous blue check aristocracy through Musk’s making verification attainable by all users.

Salgado went on to lash out at another Twitter critic the magazine cited:

“[H]ate and harassment” on Twitter have increased, Foreign Policy claimed. But it cited the Washington- and London-based radical leftist, anti-free speech group The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

The group found, according to Foreign Policy, that “Twitter failed to act on 99 percent of tweets by Twitter Blue subscribers reported to Twitter the [sic] using the platform’s own tools for flagging hateful conduct.” The activist organization, however, is more of a constant censorship campaign than a credible research organization. MRC President and Founder Brent Bozell called CCDH “digital brownshirts.”

Salgado didn't explain why CCDH deserves to be smeared as Nazis for pointing out hate on Twitter (which, despite her insisting that doing so is not "credible research," she makes no effort to disprove).

Salgado had to concede that "The outlet noted accurately that Twitter removed state-affiliated labels from state propaganda sources connected to authoritarian governments in China, Iran, and Russia, and that these accounts had restrictions removed." But she didn't mention that this was fallout from Musk's failed own-the-libs gotcha in which he arbitrarily labeled NPR's Twitter account as "state-affiliated media" before amending it to "government funded media" -- and then, after NPR quit using Twitter rather than be subject to Musk's whims, dropped the label entirely, but for obvious propaganda outlets from other foreign governments as well as NPR.

Salgado then tried to play whataboutism over Musk playing footsie with China:

While Foreign Policy brought up legitimate concerns such as Musk’s endorsement of China taking over the independent nation of Taiwan, it also exaggerated the influence of supposed Russian “disinformation.” The Twitter Files previously revealed that Americans were wrongly censored under the former overly zealous anti-Russian censorship effort.

Indeed, Foreign Policy seemed to have contradictory views. On the one hand, it condemned Musk for rejecting European Union regulations dangerous to free speech, while noting Musk’s history of admiring statements about the Chinese Communist Party. The outlet appears simply to pick and choose which censorship laws it demands Musk should follow.

Salgado failed to mention her employer's own contradictory views on the subject. It had previously attacked Musk for cozying up to China, but forgot all that when he became interested in Twitter.Also note thatSalgado would not criticize Musk's love for China, even as her employer continually attacks Twitter rival TikTok for allegedly being too close to the CCP. Regarding her claim that "Americans were wrongly censored under the former overly zealous anti-Russian censorship effort," she linked to a post that we've noted was largely a rehash of previously discredited attacks on a group called Hamilton 68, which pointed out that it wasn't exclusive tracking Russian bots in the effort and that it worked with right-wing outlets like the Daily Caller.

The same day, Luis Cornelio hyped a Republican defense of a pair of writers hand-picked by Musk to spread Musk-approved narratives:

The left has declared war on Twitter Files journalists—but some congressional leaders are having none of it.

Firebrand Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) got candid in an interview with Fox News guest host Piers Morgan about the Democratic Party’s latest assault against Twitter Files journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger. Donalds slammed the left and “Big Media” for turning a blind eye to the scandal-ridden White House and directing their anger to individuals who have exposed damning evidence of a Censorship Industrial Complex involving Big Tech platforms and the federal government.

“We have Democrat members of congress who are berating reporters to reveal their sources, berating reporters who by the way are not conservative columnists from The Federalist or from the Washington Times,” Donalds told Morgan on the Friday edition of Fox News Tonight. “These are what you would consider liberal-leaning journalists and berating them for being a part of Elon Musk's [supposed] scheme to defame the FBI.’”

Cornelio, weirdly, never mentioned what "the left" said about Taibbi and Shellenberger or why, exactly, it amounted to "war."He also failed to mention that both Taibbi and Shellenberger are no longer attached to the "Twitter files" project, with Taibbi departing acrimoniously after Musk blocked links to Substack -- Taibbi's main writing venue -- from Twitter posts.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2023 11:55 PM EDT
WND's Brown Insists There's A 'Radical Dominionist Takeover From The Left'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown began his June 17 WorldNetDaily column this way:

I do not for a moment downplay the danger of the radical, rightwing ideologies of white supremacists in America. Nor do I deny the existence of a dominionist, takeover mentality in some Christian circles, the most extreme of which were put on display in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. 

In reality, Brown was a massive booster of Donald Trump, pushing his fellow evangelicals to support him despite his personal amorality because he advanced their narratives and agendas -- something that, one could argue, help to give oxygen to the "radical, rightwing ideologies of white supremacists" he now claims to decry. And Brown did, in fact, push that "dominionist, takeover mentality" immediately after the 2020 election, declaring in one column that "I personally hope that the seemingly impossible happens, that Trump is proven to be the rightfully reelected president and that the prophecies about him prove true." Brown tried to play both sides of the post-election controversies until the Capitol riot, and it wasn't until the time around the riot that he started questioning the evangelical obsession with Trump (which he helped to create).

But Brown is not here to further criticize those people. He followed the above sentence by declaring, "But the real danger, the ever-present danger, the more pressing danger, is that of a radical dominionist takeover from the left. The evidence is all around us." Indeed, he spent the rest of his column doing exactly that, since criticizing his fellow right-wingers is not why he has a WND column, ranting that is "the left" that his "currently asserting its power over others in an intimidating, even life-threatening way." While Brow echoed right-wing talking points about ESG  and George Soros, his main target was LGBTQ people -- as it usually is -- so this gave him license to spew anti-LGBTQ hate and fearmongering:

More ominously, a June 11 headline on Daily Mail announced, "The new face of extremism unmasked: The UN and Republicans are watching 'Trantifa' – the hard-left transgender activists who flirt with violence to promote their radical agenda."

Trantifa! Enough said. Even the UN is on the alert.

In reality, the "trantifa" is little more than a inside joke among transgender people that right-wing activists like Brown have latched onto for the purposes of fearmongering. He continued:

In California, legislation is advancing that would remove children from parental care if the parents refused to affirm their child's perceived gender identity. Talk about an Orwellian nightmare.

Deeply alarmed after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-1 to advance the legislation (Assembly Bill 957), Republican Senator Scott Wilk said, "In the past, when we've had these discussions, and I've seen parental rights atrophy, I've encouraged people to keep fighting. I've changed my mind on that – if you love your children, you need to flee California. You need to flee."

Flee! This is how extreme the radical left is becoming. This is the dominionist takeover that should be feared.

For those who would argue that the right is doing this very thing by passing legislation outlawing the chemical castration and genital mutilation of trans-identified children, the comparison breaks down immediately.

California would remove children from parental care if the parents refuse to affirm the non-verifiable, often quite malleable, totally subjective feelings of a child. (In point of fact, upwards of 80 percent of such children will outgrow those feelings after puberty.)

The laws being passed in conservative states outlaw performing lifelong, irreversible treatments on vulnerable children, drugs which have not been fully tested regarding the long-term negative effects (in particular, the long-term, negative effects of puberty blocking hormones and the like; we already know about the long-term effects of genital mutilation; that is self-evident).

The California law would punish parents for being good parents; the other laws would prohibit doctors from being bad doctors.

Brown went on to rage about an anti-trans gamer who took offense to a fellow gamer who innocuously wrote that "Americans are in a sad place right now. Let people love who they love and live your own life" and ended up getting banned from the game:

That's because, for more than two decades now, radical LGBTQ+ activists who came out of the closet have been determined to put those who oppose their agenda into the closet. You shall not dissent!

In that same spirit, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass was dropped by his organization, in part because of an Instagram post "that called for anti-LGBTQ boycotts of Target and Bud Light over their support for the LGBTQ community and referred to the support as 'evil' and 'demonic.'"

Although he deleted the post and apologized for any hurt he had caused, he did say he stood by his personal beliefs.

That, of course, was unacceptable. Conform or be gone is often the rule, as the legendary pitcher Curt Schilling can tell you (he was fired by ESPN in 2016 for his "transphobic" posts).

Brown never explains why LGBTQ people must be hated and must be denounced and why anyone who doeesn't hate them as he does must be reepeatedly attacked. He continued to bizarrely insist that not hating LGBTQ people is a "dominionist takeover" that is "coming from the radical left." (Also, Brown misleadingly claimed that the gamer story was "reported on"; in fact, MSN merely reprinted an article from the right-wing Washington Examiner.")

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EDT
Saturday, August 12, 2023
MRC Still Lashing Out At Facebook Whistleblower For Not Supporting Right-Wing Narratives
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center loved Frances Haugen when the former Facebook official's whistleblowing revelations about the company were anonymously reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2021 -- but when she went public and it turned out she wasn't a conservative and wouldn't boot right-wing victimhood narratives, the MRC turned against her and used talking points issued by Facebook itself in an attempt to discredit her. Nearly two years later, it's still attacking Haugen. Gabriela Pariseau lashed out at her again in a June 16 post, putting a description of Haugen as a "whistleblower" in scare quotes in the headline:

CNN host Jake Tapper and Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen lamented that Facebook has lessened its assault on free speech.

Haugen, a data scientist and former Facebook employee, went on The Lead with Jake Tapperto express concerns that Facebook has not announced its plans to censor users, or in her words, ensure the “safety” of the 2024 elections. Tapper escalated the conversation to a whole new level. “These companies are worth billions … trillions of dollars,” he said. “ They can hire more people to weed out the Nazis and take down misinformation and all that. Why don’t they?” Haugen claimed that Facebook doesn’t because it doesn’t have to, ignoring the fact that Facebook has cut back on many of its unpopular censorship rules.

Remember that what Pariseau considers an "assault on free speech" are actually efforts to stem hate, falsehoods and misinformation. Pariseau continued to dishonest frame content moderation as "censorship":

Haugen also whined about the fact that Facebook cut much of its safety researchers. “I’m deeply concerned that going into 2024 we face much larger risks than we did, say, four years ago or three years ago at this point because Facebook dissolved the team that was responsible for making sure the 2020 election was safe.” 

She noted that Twitter owner Elon Musk “fired 75% of the employees” and “fired 75% of the employees” and that shortly after Facebook had layoffs. “[H]e fired over 20,000 employees. Many of my favorite safety researchers are no longer at the company, and not voluntarily. Going into the … 2024 elections, I worry that many of the people who would have kept our elections safe were cut in the name of efficiency.” 

Haugen ignores the possibility that Meta is rolling back on unpopular censorship and not simply censorship related to elections. Today the platform scaled back its restrictions against certain content related to COVID-19. “We will take a more tailored approach to our COVID-19 misinformation rules consistent with the Board’s guidance and our existing policies," Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in an updated Meta blog.

Of course, the spreaders of false or hateful content would think that being moderated is "unpopular," so it's strange Pariseau would insist on making that argument (twice).

Pariseau concluded with more attacks on Haugen: "Haugen’s complaints should come as no surprise. In her whistleblowing days back in 2021, she over the safety of users who she claimed are harmed by misinformation." Aside from links to old attacks that proved nothing, Pariseau offered no evidence that Haugen was wrong about anything.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 12, 2023 2:30 PM EDT
WND's Blakley Lashes Out At Republican For Criticizing Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Blakley is an election fraud dead-ender, so it's unsurprising that he would rush to defend Donald Trump against any alleged slight. Which explains his June 15 WorldNetDaily column, in which he attacked another Republican for daring to criticize Trump:

Responding to the latest attempt to derail reelection of President Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson accused Donald Trump of "willful disregard for the Constitution," "disrespect for the rule of law" and further stated that the former president should "respect the office and end his campaign."

This idiocy was repeated on "conservative" news broadcasts. Every time I heard it, I laughed, because the statements are so absolutely ridiculous and absurd. Maybe his cat named "Snowflake" should call Hutchinson by that name, as he has less than a snowflake's chance in hell of winning the presidency. Hutchinson's anti-Trump presidential campaign has recent poll numbers between zero and 1%. Is his candidacy a long shot? It is best described, as the shot that is not going to be heard "'round the world," for it's not even loaded.

Looking at Hutchinson's ludicrous statements, let's begin with "willful disregard for the Constitution." When did President Trump disregard the Constitution? President Trump secured our borders from invasion, fueled an economy with high rates of employment across all racial groups and then led the country through China's bio-weapon attack on the world. The country was poised for a comeback, but Biden derailed everything.

That "attempt to derail reelection of President Trump" is better known as getting indicted (again). He then played dubious whataboutim to distract from Trump's crimes:

Then Hutchinson says Trump has "disrespect for the rule of law." What happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Prosecutors take a charge, repeat the same charge 30-something times, and then all you hear is 30-something felonies committed by Trump, when in fact they are all the same thing repeated over and over again – kind of like how Democrats get votes from a copy machine.

Remember presidents have the right to declassify all documents. In contrast, Sen. Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, when they hid all their Top Secret documents in unsecure places, did not have that right. But they were not prosecuted because of corrupt law enforcement officials. How is it that law enforcement officers get to decide when the law is applied and when it is not? While James Comey, fired head of the FBI, said that Hillary and her colleagues "were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," he continued by saying, in his "judgment" no prosecutor would pursue charges against Hillary. So, law enforcement officer Comey became the judge and jury and acquitted Hillary, even though he admitted she was guilty. I think it is time to lock up corrupt law enforcement officers.

The really laughable statement Mr. Hutchinson made is when he stated that Trump should end his campaign out of "respect [for] the office." The reason there are so many attacks on Trump is that he cannot be bought, so the only way to attack him is to mar his name with allegations. Everyone hears "Trump was impeached twice." While the flaming liberal Nancy Pelosi led House of Representatives did impeach President Trump twice over nothing, the truth is that Trump was also acquitted twice. For liberals who are confused, this means he is "not guilty." Realize that liberals weren't out to impeach President Trump, they were out to smear his name. Bald-faced lying liberals keep shouting President Trump was impeached twice, yet forget that he was found "not guilty" – twice. They have no "respect for the office."

But Trump was, m fact, impeached twice. The fact that Senate Republicans acted in a partisan way in refusing to vote to convict him doesn't mean that Trump was never impeached.Blakley went on to rant:

It should be noted here that Joseph Robinette Biden when serving as vice president told the then-president of Ukraine that he was going to withhold a billion dollars in U.S. aid, if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor that was investigating the corrupt dealings of Hunter Biden in Ukrainian businesses and politics, and this is on tape.

In fact, the prosecutor wasn't investigating Hunter Biden and in fact wasn't really investigating any corruption, which is why Biden called for his firing. Blakley then tried to whatewash the Capitol riot:

Then who can forget January 6th, the day flaming liberals say was worse than 9/11. How many times have we had to hear over and over again that President Trump "incited an insurrection" at the Capitol when he expressed his constitutionally protected right to declare that the 2020 election was not free and fair and should be investigated, and then told the people to let their "voices be known" in "peaceful protest." Now of course this portion of President Trump's speech was omitted by the Pelosi-selected, leftist-skewed January 6th committee, since it did not fit their narrative – and this is even confirmed by the "fact checkers." So, the fact checkers got one right.

Blakley omitted that Trump also told the crowd to "fight like hell." He concluded by serving up more election conspiracy theories with an added dose of going Godwin:

After tallying all the votes of the 2020 election, President Trump obtained more than 10 million votes beyond that which he obtained in 2016, which he used to win the electoral vote and defeated and demoralize Hillary Clinton. This total of 74 million votes in 2020 was more votes that any incumbent president has ever won in history. However, Joe Biden went on to defeat Trump by winning 7 million more votes than the president, and Joe Biden actually won more votes than any president in U.S. history.

Trying to determine how many people were registered to vote in the 2020 election is just about as hard as trying to determine how much money we have sent to Ukraine. One of the "fact checkers" actually said, "While we may not know the exact number of registered voters on Election Day, we know it was far more than 133 million in 2020." Wow! With that fact check, I felt so reassured that the 2020 election was "the most secure election in history," as the socialists have told us over and over and over again, following the Nazi (National Socialist Party) Hitler manifesto: "Tell a lie, tell a big enough lie, tell it over and over again, and people will believe it." Of course this is independent of the thousands of sworn affidavits stating voting irregularities, no signature verification, no voter ID, unfolded mail-in ballots that all look the same, etc.

Of course, it's Blakley who's acting in the spirit of Hitler by repeating lies.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT
Friday, August 11, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Spanning The World Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck metaphorically traveled abroad to tout biased questions from right-wing reporters aimed at the Biden White House in a July 11 post:

During a Tuesday morning press briefing on the sidelines of the NATO conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson broke from the press corps’s focus on NATO and the war in Ukraine to question National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on a new twist in the Biden family’s business dealings with a Chinese state-affiliated energy company and a report alleging collusion between the FBI, Ukrainian intelligence, and Big Tech.

Houck did make sure to get in a shot at the White House press secretary he despises so much:

Later in the briefing, one reporter tried to ask Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if there was any update in the probe for who brought cocaine into the White House. Unfortunately, Jean-Pierre did what she usually does, which was deflect (and specifically to Secret Service).

Back home several days later, Houck returned to his usual rage at Jean-Pierre and hying biased right-wing questions in his writeup of the July 18 White House press briefing:

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House press briefing with the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had it all with some tense exchanges (Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich over anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party), softballs (the AP and USA Today on alleged treatment of illegal immigrants), and the delusional (a far-left blogger asking about potential violence from Trump supporters).

Heinrich began with a simple question in much the same manner her colleague Peter Doocy would do. This one touched on far-left Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) saying recent Israel was “a racist state”:“Did the President address at all Congresswoman Jayapal’s comments in his meeting with Herzog?”

Jean-Pierre played dumb before dancing around the subject and instead talking about President Biden’s view of the U.S. and Israel[.]


Heinrich tried again, but Jean-Pierre wouldn’t budge beyond stating, “It’s important that the congresswoman did indeed apologize for her comments, and we’re glad to see it.”

The Fox reporter called out the lack of a yes or no before pivoting to another simple question Jean-Pierre couldn’t muster an answer on, which was whether the administration supported a House resolution “saying that Israel is not a racist state or an apartheid state."

Since Jean-Pierre couldn’t even muster that, the sparring was on with Heinrich calling out what’s – at a minimum – a perception that Democrats were reluctant to punish their own for controversial comments[.]

Houck hyped how non-right-wing reporters helped forward right-wing narratives in his writeup of the July 26 briefing:

On Wednesday after the shocking collapse of Hunter Biden’s plea deal, there were a few White House reporters who grilled Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in her abbreviated turn at the podium (due to her use of John Kirby as her crutch for nearly 35 of the almost 58-minute briefing) on the events in Delaware as well as ongoing questions about Biden family corruption. 

Along with usual suspects in Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann and CBS’s Weijia Jiang, ABC’s Ike Ejiochi also had a real question (with process questions from the AP’s Darlene Superville and CNN’s Jeremy Diamond). In contrast, theGrio’s April Ryan, USA Today’s Fran Chambers, and another report lobbed softballs at Kirby.


Also on Tuesday, Daily Signal correspondent Fred Lucas made a rare Briefing Room appearance amid concerns he could soon lose his credentials. He was the lone reporter to ask former Hunter Biden business associate and friend Devon Archer being slated to testify next week behind closed doors to a House committee. Naturally, Jean-Pierre declined to comment.

A more frequent flier, Newsmax’s James Rosen asked pointed questions about the President’s views of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and whether he believes the U.S. is a racist country[.]

As usual, Houck failed to identify the right-wing political affiliations of Wegmann, Lucas and Rosen.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:57 PM EDT
Newsmax Also Attacked ProPublica For Factual Reporting On Alito
Topic: Newsmax

The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet attacking ProPublica for factual reporting on ethical issues involving right-wing Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito. A June 21 article by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy touted how "Alito used an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal to respond to ProPublica, which lodged the allegations against the justice."

Eric Mack parroted right-wing attacks on the Alito story in a June 22 article tagged as "news" but is clearly an opinion piece:

As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rejects ProPublica's latest conservative justice attack as it's becoming increasing clear to many observers the attacks under the guise of "ethics concerns" are coordinated against the conservative majority, while ignoring the liberal minority.

ProPublica, as reviewed by AllSides, does not treat Democrat-appointed Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, or Ketanji Brown Jackson with the same discerned scrutiny. The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and now-retired Democrat-appointed Justice Stephen Breyer were also handled most softly.

"ProPublica's stories alleging 'corruption' by Supreme Court justices have been the work of one-sided activists trying to make hay out of insignificant or irrelevant matters," RealClearInvestigation's Mark Hemmingway tweeted. "It's not respectable journalism."


The Wall Street Journal, the same publication that published Alito's preemptive defense against the leftist ProPublica attack, has an editorial features editor James Taranto who called ProPublica's investigative efforts against conservatives "propaganda, not journalism."

"The objective isn't to further public understanding but, in Alinskyite fashion, to incite animus against a political target," the Journal's James Taranto wrote May 4, referencing leftist activist and author Saul Alinsky, who infamously wrote "Rules for Radicals."

"The clearest proof of this is the absence of investigations from ProPublica and other so-called mainstream news outlets into the 'ethics' of liberal justices," Taranto added.

What Mack and the people he quoted fail to do, however, is offer any evidence that any claim ProPublica made against Alito is false in any way. That's why they attack the outlet's purported "leftist" bias and the alleged irrelevance of the allegations. One can also argue that Newsmax and other right-wing outlets have used Alinsky tactics in targeting the Biden administration in general and Hunter Biden in particular. Also, Taranto's complaint that "ProPublica and other so-called mainstream news outlets" have not sufficient looked into alleged ethics issues involving liberal justices rings hollow, since clearly those issues have already been reported. ProPublica's work on Alito and Clarence Thomas involved issues not previously known -- and if Mack and Taranto had their way, they would remain secret.

Indeed, Mack continued to attack ProPublica for the offense of reporting something right-winger didn't want people to know, hyping "the big left dollars flowing into the ProPublica coffers to attack conservatives" while failing to mention the right-wing dollars that pay the salaries of Taranto and himself.

This was followed by an article the same day by Luca Cacciatore claiming that "The Sandler Foundation, a left-leaning group that launched the ProPublica media outlet, has a history of giving millions to organizations attacking conservative Supreme Court justices." Cacciatore didn't mention that his employer was founded by money from right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EDT
WND's Root Rages Over Trump's (Second) Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily may have freaked out over Donald Trump's (second) indictment, but columnist Wayne Allyn Root is in a category all his own when it comes to Trump sycophancy, and he responded prestty much as you'd expect. He ranted in his June 9 column:

Are you getting the subtle impression that Democrats don't want former President Donald Trump to win in 2024; that they're scared to death of Trump; that they're so desperate to stop him from winning again, they want him to rot in a prison cell for life?

Congratulations. You're not a complete moron.

The feds just indicted Trump on fake, lame, trumped-up charges. But didn't Democrats just try this trick in New York? It didn't work then. It won't work now. And it won't work next week when Trump appears in court in Miami. And it won't work next month when a Georgia grand jury indicts Trump. This is Groundhog Day.


So, why is this insanity happening?

First, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Democrats are clearly mentally ill. Their irrational hatred of Trump has driven them to emulate the worst tyrants in world history, willing to do anything to destroy their opposition. Democrats are so mentally ill with TDS, they need a straitjacket, rubber room and a kiss from mommy.

Second, "I told you so." I've argued for two and a half years now that we are experiencing a communist takeover of America. This isn't "socialism." This is pure communism thug tactics. Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez would be proud of this Biden regime.

The hallmarks of communism are rigged elections; bans on free speech; silencing all dissent; censorship; propaganda; the weaponization of government; forced experimental vaccinations; police state raids on your critics; and arresting your political opponents. Look around. We are there.

Third, this is the Saul Alinsky playbook. Alinsky taught his communist disciples (which included Obama and Hillary), "the ends justify the means." He also taught his students to "look in the mirror; whatever you see in that mirror, blame the other guy." This indictment of Trump is classic Alinsky. Democrats look in the mirror and they see radical communist criminals, thugs and traitors. So, they indict Trump to cover-up their own crimes.

Classified documents in a former president's home? Really? Versus President Joe Biden's $10 million Burisma bribe in Ukraine? That's like putting Trump in prison for 20 years for jaywalking while letting Democrats skate for crimes against humanity.

Fourth, this is Democrats using WMDs ("weapons of mass distraction"). The skeletons of Biden are pouring out of the closet as we speak. Biden is a world-class criminal and conman. The extortion of countries like Ukraine and China by the Biden crime family makes the Gambino crime family look like amateur pickpockets.

Root then effectively declared war and went well beyond going Godwin:

Lastly, God is great. God always wins. This is God's plan. The Democrats in power and the people who run our government are evil. Demonic. Satanic. This isn't normal. The things they're doing are Nazi Gestapo-like, Soviet KGB-like, East German Stasi-like. God has done us a favor: He's revealed what Democrats are really like.

This is war. This is life or death. This is the end of America if we don't fight fire with fire.

But Democrats have picked a fight with the wrong crowd. America beat Hitler. America defeated the Soviet Empire. You think we're going to let a brain-dead old man with dementia and diapers trample our rights and freedoms? You're going down.

Root continued the ranting in his June 16 column, hyping how Trump's polling is up since the indictment and insisting that "he faces life in prison for an offense that no one understands, no one cares about, and everyone knows is a bunch of bogus BS and legal mumbo-jumbo." He then rattled off reasons why "the average American voter will never care" about Trump's indictment and why it purpotedly "doesn't pass the smell test":

First, it doesn't affect any of us. Trump didn't hurt one American by "mishandling" a bunch of papers. How does that hurt me? How does that affect my life? It doesn't.

Second, I believe Trump himself didn't benefit, didn't sell the papers and didn't show them to foreign enemies. They were left in boxes in his basement, and bathroom shower (according to the fake news media). So, who cares?

Third, everyone does it. Former President Barack Obama allegedly has millions of pages of classified documents in his Obama Presidential Library that he never returned. We've all seen the classified docs on the floor of President Joe Biden's garage. Even Mike Pence had classified docs. I'll bet every single U.S. senator does too. This is a ridiculous waste of time.

Root is simply parroting Trump regarding Obama's classified documents. In fact, unlike Trump, Obama worked with the National Archives to move those documents to Chicago, and Obama's foundation is paying the National Archives to digitize the documents. Root's list of reasons continued as attacks on Democrats:

Fourth, everyone can see the new Democrat motto is, "If you can't beat 'em, jail 'em." This is about one thing: stopping Trump from running for president, because Democrats are scared to death he will beat them – even with rigged elections.

Fifth, I believe Biden has committed TREASON. He sold out the American people. He sold us all down the river. He extorted tens of millions (maybe hundreds of millions) of dollars in bribes from foreign countries and companies as vice president. Compared to that, who cares about a bunch of papers in a box at Trump's home? No one. Indicting Trump is a "weapon of mass distraction" to hide Biden's serious crimes from the headlines.

Root concluded:

All of these ridiculous, bogus, hyped-up-by-the-media indictments will push more and more average working Joes and Janes into Trump's camp. You're making Trump a martyr.

Because common sense tells them if this man Trump is so hated by the whole government; the whole D.C. swamp; the whole deep state; the whole legal system; the whole DOJ and FBI; the whole mainstream media; the whole Ivy League elite … if he's such a threat to these control-freak tyrants and fascists who want to kill free speech and rule our lives …

If these creeps and criminals and scumbags are desperate enough to turn jaywalking into a serious crime … and try to put Trump in prison for life …

Then Trump must be doing something right. He must really have the goods on these creeps. He must be the guy wearing the white hat. He must be on our side. He must be our hero.

Root appears to have a strangely warped sense of heroism.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 1:31 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Lemon-Haters At The MRC (With Added Tucker Love)
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long hated Don Lemon, so when CNN fired him the same day Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, its treatment and tone was markedly different from the pearl-clutching over Tucker. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 AM EDT
Thursday, August 10, 2023
MRC Labors To Distract From Alito's Ethical Issues
Topic: Media Research Center

Clarence Thomas isn't the only right-wing Supreme Court justice the Media Research Center has had to defend from ethical questions about them being exposed. When it was revealed that Justice Samuel Alito took a luxury fishing trip with a conservative billionaire who later had cases before the court (from which Alito did not recuse), the MRC rushed to distract from it -- which is why there was a lot of whining that themedia covered it and not the congressional testimony of MRC darling (despite his recrod of failure) John Durham the same day. Kevin Tober was first up in a June 21 post:

Credit where it’s due, but NBC Nightly News was the only one of the “big three” evening news broadcasts to cover the congressional hearing where former Special Counsel John Durham testified that evidence he uncovered during his probe into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax did not warrant the FBI opening up its investigation called “Crossfire Hurricane.” Despite this and many other newsworthy moments from Durham’s five-hour testimony, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News looked the other way. 

Instead, the two networks hyped a report from the left-wing outlet ProPublica that claimed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito didn’t disclose a trip he took with a friend who happened to also be a donor to conservative causes.

Tober followed up a few hours later more fully whining about the Alito coverage:

ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News each ran stories hyping the dishonest story in ProPublica which accuses Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito of being unethical in not reporting a trip he went on in 2008 that was paid for by a Republican donor. Meanwhile, ABC & CBS ignored former Special Counsel John Durham’s five hour long testimony before Congress in which he testified that evidence he uncovered during his probe into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax did not warrant the FBI opening up its investigation. 

“This time, it's Justice Samuel Alito under scrutiny for luxury travel paid for by a billionaire Republican mega donor. ProPublica, a nonprofit media organization, reporting that in 2008, Justice Alito flew to Alaska for a fishing trip on a private jet that belonged to a hedge fund manager whose businesses brought several cases before the Supreme Court,” ABC’s justice correspondent Terry Moran lectured at the beginning of World News Tonight’s segment.

Moran added that “in a private photo obtained by ProPublica, did not pay for his flight and he did not report the trip on his annual financial disclosure forms.” 

Meanwhile on CBS Evening News, Nikole Killion snarked “Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito hoisted a big catch during a 2008 trip to Alaska that came with big perks according to ProPublica.”

“That included free travel on a private jet chartered by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer with $100,000 each way, plus lodging at a thousand-dollar-a-night resort covered free of charge by then owner, conservative donor Robin Arkley,” she added. 

Killion did add that Alito “said he was not aware Singer had an interest in any party,” and that he “argued the flight was not consequential because the seat would have otherwise been vacant.” 

It should be noted that ProPublica undermined their own reporting in the 73rd paragraph of their story sliming Alito. As our friends at The Daily Caller point out “ProPublica included a crucial detail in the 73rd paragraph of its story alleging Justice Samuel Alito violated ethics rules for failing to disclose a private jet ride he accepted: a federal judge, who went on the trip with Alito, previously asked the judiciary’s financial disclosure office for guidance on a similar trip and was told his transportation was not reportable.” 

Maybe instead of reporting on 15 year old manufactured controversies, ABC & CBS should cover real stories that happened that day.

It's quite funny to hear a guy who played the Clinton Equivocation to distract from Donald Trump's (second) indictment complain about old news being reported (and besices, it isn't old news to the rest of the country).

In a June 22 post that offered a hypocritical complaint that the judge overseeing Trump's (second) indicctment was appointed by Trump, Alex Christy added that "when it came to the news surrounding Justice Samuel Alito’s 2008 fishing trip to Alaska, it made sure that partisan affiliations were known, going 6 for 7, even if the word 'Bush' was absent."

The MRC was oddly silent on the fact that, rather than respond to a ProPublica request for comment before its article was published, Alito ran to the Wall Street Journal, where he was allowed to publish a preemptive attack on the article. ProPublica pointed out that Alito effectively lied to it by having a spokesperson say he would comment on the story, which led to an attack on ProPublica by the Journal itself, which then led to a ProPublica article detailing how the prebuttal came to be. Strange that an organization purportedly dedicated to "media research" wouldn't have an opinion on something like that.

Ana Schau served up a larger defense against criticism of Alito on the first anniversary of the Alito-written Dobbs opinion taht overturned Roe v. Wade in a June 28 post:

Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut, spent a segment of Tuesday evening’s show angrily denouncing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who she condemned for being “bitter, vindictive, and aggrieved.” She also took this opportunity to complain about Alito’s alleged conservative activism in the Supreme Court, especially with the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which he had written, and to once again point how he “really loves favors.”

Reid introduced the matter by calling Alito the Court’s “most outwardly bitter, vindictive, and aggrieved justice,” and inserting a complaint about the Dobbs decision being “the vengeful majority opinion” that she thought it was.

She then cited an opinion piece on Politico by Aziz Huq entitled, “Samuel Alito: One Angry Man,” in which he railed incessantly over Alito’s open conservatism and perceived anger issues throughout his whole career. Reid quoted the line where Huq said that the only way to understand Alito was by looking at “his anger,” and trying to see where it came from.

Reid inserted a comment here on Alito’s 2008 fishing vacation with billionaire Paul Singer, who had several cases that had gone through the Supreme Court at the time, which Alito had not recused himself from. Reid quipped:

It's sort of ironic that Alito seems so angered that his personal and religious views are falling out of favor, considering, this is a guy who really loves favors.

Schau complained that Reid "disgustedly described Alito’s activities as being nothing more than how 'he seems to revel in, like, trolling the libs'" -- but then undermined her own criticism by adding:"This may be one of the truest things she’s ever said before. Trolling the libs is quite fun." If it's "quite fun," it can't be disgusing, right?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 10:38 AM EDT
Newsmax Went Into Cleanup Mode After Trump Audio Release
Topic: Newsmax

In between indictments, Newsmax continued to serve up its usual Donald Trump sycophancy. It generated a plethora of articles out of a June 26 appearance by Trump on Eric Bolling's Newsmax TV show:

In an instane of reciprocal sycophancy, another article highlighted that Trump "praised Newsmax for its coverage of the scandals surrounding President Joe Biden and his son Hunter":

"Newsmax is doing a great job," Trump said. "I watch Newsmax, a lot of Newsmax lately, and they are doing a great job."

Trump said that while people are turning off other networks because they see what is going on, they are going to Newsmax to get information.

Before Newsmax had to start delving into defending Donald Trump from his third indictment, however, it had to continue to defend him from new issues rising from his second one. CNN obtained the audio from a previously reported incident in which Trump touted having secret classified documents, and Newsmax rushed to claim the apparently incriminating audio proved nothing. First up was an article by Sandy Fitzgerald dedicated to Trump ranting about it:

"The Deranged Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, working in conjunction with the DOJ & FBI, illegally leaked and 'spun' a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe," Trump said on his Truth Social page Monday night after the audio aired on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

"This continuing Witch Hunt is another ELECTION INTERFERENCE Scam. They are cheaters and thugs!" he wrote.

Fitzgerald then tried to change the subject: "The audio release comes as the information continues to grow concerning President Joe Biden and his son Hunter."

Next, though, was Alan Dershowitz, who actually admitted that Trump may have screwed up:

Dershowitz said on "John Bachman Now" that based on the audio that's been released, "I don't think that he can plausibly claim that what he was showing them was newspapers and magazines. It seems clear from the context he was showing them something that he believed was probably still classified."

Dershowitz noted that Trump "may have been wrong about that, there are several ways in which documents become declassified. One is the president can do it, he says he didn't do that. But there is another way and I think that's the way the Trump defense team is going to be pushing this. They can say that the content of this material, the Milley plan relating to Iran had already been made public."

After that, it was the usual Trump defense sycophancy mode:

  • Devin Nunes played the out-of-context card: ""My guess is this is a 30-minute to an hour interview, and this is what the left and the media and now, sadly, the Department of Justice and the FBI, love to do is to selectively leak. It is to take something possibly out of context. ... What I heard right there, it’s a nothing burger. There's nothing there. It appears like he's maybe referring to some article, some story maybe that had just come out."
  • Eric Mack devoted an article to noting that the classified document discussed in the audio "is not one of the documents included in his federal indictment."
  • Another article touted that "Francey Hakes, a former assistant United States attorney, told Newsmax that a CNN report that includes key leaked tapes of former President Donald Trump is 'trial by ambush.'"

Newsmax's chief Trump sycophant, Dick Morris, labored to spin the tape in a June 29 column:

Anderson Cooper, one of the last survivors at CNN, played a tape last night on the air that had been introduced into evidence to justify one of the key counts in the indictment of Donald Trump.

The special prosecutor says that Trump revealed classified information about war plans to invade Iran to a writer and two of his own staff members, none of whom had security clearance.

But that is not true.

When you listen to the tape, Trump is criticizing Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for accusing him of wanting to invade Iran while making his own plans to do so.

Trump is saying, in effect, "Milley says I wanted to attack Iran but he was the one who drew up the plans for an attack." Then Trump references a pile of papers on his desk, not showing them to anyone, as evidence of Milley's real views.


Indicting a former president and the leading opponent to Biden is outrageous in and of itself.

But to indict him based on his referring to a document that he did not show to anyone and that he mentioned to prove an ancillary point is even worse.

So sycophantic was Morris that Newsmax felt the need to attach this editor's note to the top of his column: "The following article has been authored by a non-lawyer, and does not constitute an endorsement for any political party or candidate on the part of Newsmax." Never mind, of course, that Newsmax has made being the Trump Channel a key part of its current identity.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 10:33 AM EDT
MRC Thought Fox News' 'Wannabe Dictator' Slur Of Biden Was Hilarious
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves it when Fox News lashes out at President Biden -- even though it's exactly the kind of media bias it attacks when a non-right-wing media outlet is accused of doing the same to a Republican. Kevin Tober spent a June 15 post whining that Fox News' egregious bias was called out:

Liberal media janitor and former Brian Stelter stooge Oliver Darcy threw a hissy fit in his reliably liberal Reliable Sources newsletter late Wednesday evening over a chyron that aired Tuesday night on Fox News during a split screen moment when both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden spoke at the same time. The chyron read "Wannabe dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested” while Biden was speaking on screen. This of course set Darcy and the rest of the pretentious leftists in the media into a fit of rage. 

“The White House is disgusted with Fox News — even more so than usual,” Darcy sneered in the opening line of his newsletter. “Over the last 24 hours, the right-wing talk network has targeted President Joe Biden and his administration with unseemly lines of attack, bashing the Democratic White House with smears that represent even lows for a channel that is home to dangerous and incendiary rhetoric,” Darcy huffed. 

Darcy grumbled that “Fox News outrageously labeled Biden a ‘wannabe dictator’ in an on-screen banner Tuesday night and declared that he had ordered his ‘political rival arrested.’”

“The banner matched hours of reckless commentary from the network's top hosts and personalities in the wake of disgraced former President Donald Trump's arraignment,” he added. 

Darcy was still angry despite the fact that Fox issued a statement regarding the incident: “The chyron was taken down immediately and was addressed," Fox News said in a statement.

Note that Tober uncritically accepted Fox News' claim that the situation "was addressed," showing no curiosity into exactly how. It's also worth noting that the original headline of  Tober's post called the "wannabe dictator" slur "hilarious"; in a later bit of stealth-editing, the word was removed without alerting readers to the change. Since the internet never forgets, we also know that the MRC also stealth-deleted Tober's description of the slur in the first paragraph of his post as "hilarious (and accurate)".

Instead, Tober tried to play whataboutism:

Did Darcy ever take issue with the “incendiary rhetoric” or “reckless commentary” on his own network (CNN) or MSNBC? There is plenty there. Especially during the Trump years when the vitriol was at an all time high at the two leftist networks. Surely accusing Trump of being a Russian agent with zero evidence to back it up would qualify as reckless. 

"Zero evidence"? Tober clearly didn't read the Mueller report, which documented that there were numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and that onetime Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared internal polling data with a man tied to Russian intelligence.

Tober provided no evidence of "incendiary rhetoric" on either channel that rose to the level of the Biden slur. He further whined that Darcy called out the New York Times for failing to use what Tober called "his preferred insults toward Fox News and their former host Tucker Carlson." But Darcy simply called Fox News a "right-wing talk network," and Tober didn't explain how that is an "insult." Tober then tried to defend Fox News:

Darcy would lose his mind if The New York Times described CNN as a left-wing talk network which would actually be more accurate than his preferred label for Fox. 

Unlike CNN, Fox has some straight news shows with no opinion hosts. You cannot say the same for CNN which is all liberal all the time. 

Who is the CNN equivalent of Bret Baier or Shannon Bream? They don't have one.

Again, Tober offered no evidence that CNN is the liberal equivalent to Fox News, and he ignored the copious evidence from Fox News' own staffers that the "news" side of Fox News is worthless, as revealed in the Dominion lawsuit findings, and even the conservative-friendly AllSides agrees that Fox News' "news" operation skews right (as one might expect given all the former MRC employees who work there).

As far as Tober's two examples of purportedly good Fox News journalists: Baier spread fake news in 2016 with a story claiming that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent -- a story the MRC heavily promoted but failed to correct when Baier retracted it. Bream has a history of bias as well.

Tober unintentionally demonstrated the MRC's Fox News-shaped blind spot in detecting media bias. He simply believes that there is no bias whatsoever to be found there.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2023 1:43 PM EDT
WND Columnists Continue Freakout Over Trump's (Second) Indictment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Trump fanboys at WorldNetDaily unsurprisingly had a meltdown over Donald Trump's (second) indictment and it continued for days afterward. Michael Master complained in his June 13 column:

Are you listening to the mainstream media report on the 37-count indictment against President Trump? Are you losing some faith in Trump? Are you growing some animosity toward Trump?

Well, that is exactly what the bad guys want you to do. They used the same strategy with the Russia hoax, the two impeachments, COVID, regarding Jan. 6 false accusations, the Steele dossier, Jim Comey's false claims etc. It is all meant to cause you to lose faith in Trump and the MAGA movement.

Eighty-seven percent of Republicans think that all the indictments and court cases against Trump are politically motivated (Fox News poll). In fact, the Trump lead increased by 3 points in the primary polls last weekend, after the indictment announcement. Why?

Master didn't advance the possibility that the poll itself was politically motivated, conducted as it was by a highly biased "news" channel. Instead, he whined:

Support for President Trump continues because MAGA believers did not fall prey to the deep state/Democrat/establishment strategy to stop Trump and his movement. Yes, the bad guys will eventually find something to convict Trump of … something/anything. They can do that to anyone, at any time, including to you. But that does not make Trump wrong about how to make America great again – and that is really what the bad guys are trying to kill.

Unlikely, since the rest of us weren't stealing, mishandling and lying about classified documents. Jack Cashill played Clinton-related whataboutism in his June 14 column:

"We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone," said special counsel Jack Smith in handing down a multi-count criminal indictment against Donald Trump. "Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice."

The nation may have "one set of laws," but the subsequent clause, "they apply to everyone," makes a very dark joke out of Smith's unseemly boast.

Of course, the treatment of the Bidens and the Clintons show the DOJ's "bedrock principle" to be so much Silly Putty, but no case in recent memory has revealed the depth of the DOJ's corruption like that of Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

But Cashill offered no evidence that what Berger did was at the same level of what Trump has been accused of doing.

Joseph Farah spent his June 15 column complaining that Trump was charged under the Espionage Act, "an ignored and discarded law since it was created by Woodrow Wilson, widely regarded as a racist and fascist back in his day more than 100 years ago," and that "It's the Presidential Records Act that takes precedence these days. Thank goodness." In fact, the Espionage Act covers issues well beyond espionage, and Wilson's terrible racial record is irrelevant; nevertheless, Farah devoted an additional paragraph to rehashing it.

Still, that became a bit of an obsession. Joe Kovacs hyped another complaint in a June 25 article:

While former President Donald Trump is now charged with numerous crimes, including violation of the Espionage Act, one of the most respected legal minds in America says prosecutors should not be able to voice one word in court that could prejudice the jury.


In a column posted this week by Democrat Alan Dershowitz, the professor emeritus at Harvard Law School says the 1917 statute is actually "misnamed because it covers a great many offenses that don't involve spying or giving secrets to the enemy. In fact, over the years it has been used extensively against patriotic Americans who have opposed wars and dissented from other government actions."

"In Trump's case, he is being accused primarily of unlawful possession of allegedly classified material.

"But because he has been charged under the Espionage Act, many people have been misled into believing the accusations against him have something to do with espionage, spying or even treason."

Dershowitz says use of the e-word is "extremely prejudicial" to Trump, at least in the the court of public opinion.

"It would be even more prejudicial in a court of law if the jury were to hear that word in connection with his case."

Dershowitz has been a vocal Trump supporter for years, so it's more than a bit dishonest for Kovacs to describe him as a "Democrat." Indeed, Kovacs hyped more Trump simping from Dershowitz in a June 28 article following the release of audio in which Trump showed a classified document to guests:

With Donald Trump under fire after CNN played an audio recording of the former president allegedly discussing classified documents and "secret" information, top legal analyst Alan Dershowitz is proffering an intriguing question.

"Does the former president know something that he's not yet sharing?"

In a column posted Tuesday by the professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, Dershowitz, a Democrat, said CNN's broadcast of the Trump audio recording raises important questions.

Kovacs touted how Dershowitz insisted that the incriminating audio allegedly showed that "the possibility exists that even though Trump personally believed the material to be classified, the contents had previously been made public and thus had lost its status as top secret and classified."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2023 1:21 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
MRC Tries To Undermine Justice By Baselessly Claiming DOJ Is Not Independent
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its vociferous defense of Donald Trump over his (second) indictment, the Media Research Center wants you to think he's being targeted by a politically motivated Justice Department. Tim Graham pushed this take in a June 12 post:

The PBS Friday night journalist roundtable show Washington Week sounded like State-Run TV as guest host Laura Barron-Lopez touted the “revealing and damning” Trump indictment by Biden’s Justice Department. It was the only topic for the half-hour. She methodically repeated the White House spin as her own take: 

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, GUEST HOST: And the Justice Department has been extremely careful to show how independent they are. This is a special counsel investigation, which even adds other level of independence from the Justice Department. The Justice Department is saying, we`re not talking to the White House about this. What has President Biden said so far?

Keep in mind that one way Biden can prevent public comment on the Justice Department is by avoiding the press, and the press can avoid the entire question of the Department’s independence by treating the idea as blatantly obvious, beyond question as LBL does here.

When a commentator pointed out that, like Biden, Donald Trump repeated agitated for his DOJ to go after his political enemies, Graham huffed:

President Obama also had a habit of claiming "we learned it from you guys" on scandal matters. Everyone should factor in a very different media under Trump, constantly suggesting every Trump attorney general was extremely partisan and in Trump's back pocket. They protect and repeat Biden. They savaged Trump. So media behavior affects White House behavior.

Note that Graham doesn't even bother to argue Trump's DOJ was independent -- he knows it wasn't -- so he played Obama (yes, Obama) whataboutism to distract from that.

Jeffrey Lord's June 17 column took a similar tack in whining about a New York Times piece highlighting Trump's promise to sic the DOJ on  Biden should he be re-elected president, complaining that the "central thesis" of the article "s that the Department of Justice has 'independence'":

On the one hand, there is the Times this last week with its fairy tale claiming the Department of Justice is “independent.” This the same week that, for the first time in American history, the DOJ has just indicted an American president who not so coincidentally happens to be running against the president they work for. 

Yet there is no acknowledgement by the Times of what any sentient observer is aware, as amazingly was the Washington Post a handful of days after Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017. Which is to say the Justice Department that is prosecuting Trump is filled to overflowing with left-wing career bureaucrats who are on record as hating Trump. Who, per the Post in 2017, were going out of their way to resist him when he became president. Contrary to the Times fairy tale, the DOJ is decidedly not “independent.” It is a cesspool of a bureaucracy corrupted by left-wing employees.

But now there’s a problem for the media and their Democrat allies. Having weaponized and defended the Justice Department to try and intimidate and silence Trump, they have launched a growing movement from Republicans to massively reform the federal government, including cutting the DOJ down to size.

Lor did not explain why he assumes any legal critic of Trump is a"left-winger," or why that legal criticism of Trump has no merit if it comes from someone like that.

Neither Graham nor Lord offered evidence that Biden's DOJ is not independent beyond it indicting Trump. But isn't the DOJ supposed to indict criminals? Why do they think Trump should be held to a different standard of justice because he's a Republican?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 PM EDT
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, RIP

Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue reported the death of Rabbi Aryeh Spero in his June 26 column published at Newsmax:

Rabbi Aryeh Spero passed away on June 25.

I knew him for decades and consider him to be one of the most brilliant and brave men I have ever known.

Kind and thoughtful, he was a stalwart in the conservative movement.

He was also a good friend of Catholics.

Aryeh was often called "America’s rabbi."

Probably not by actual Jewish people, though. We remember Spero as an occasional columnist for the now-defunct who, as Donohue touted, put right-wing politics before his religious calling (though Donohue probably meant it as a complement) by slobbering over Donald Trump and spreading lies about Barack Obama. We also caught him being hypocritical about Holocaust comparisons, framing right-wing talking points into "prayers" and portraying George Soros as a Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate.

Donohue went on to gush further over Spero's political activism:

As an Orthodox rabbi, Aryeh took great umbrage when a gay rabbi who claimed to be Orthodox held a same-sex ceremony in 2011.

Aryeh was one of 100 distinguished Orthodox rabbis to register his objections.

Ever the activist, in 2019 Aryeh led a sit-in at Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office.

He did so in response to Pelosi’s warm embrace of anti-Jewish Democrats, Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

Donohue concluded: "A man like Aryeh doesn’t come around too often. It was my pleasure to have known him." Donohue certainly likes people to exploit their faith as a politcial cudgel.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT
WND's LaBarbera Spent Pride Month Spewing Anti-LGBT Hate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As a WorldNetDaily reporter, Peter LaBarbera has been doing WND-like things, from portraying a murderer as a victim to shilling for Tucker Carlson to being an apologist for the violent Proud Boys to promoting the presidential campaign of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorist Robert Kennedy Jr. But at his core, LaBarbera is a homophobe -- he founded the virulently anti-LGBTQ Americans for Truth About Homosexuality -- and anti-LGBTQ is a big part of his WND work. (As we've noted, LaBarbera is likely working for WND because hating people through AFTAH is no longer as lucrative as it was, though it's unclear how much money he might be making from WND given its own financial issues.) Here are some recent examples of that content:

  • An April 19 article demanded the release of the alleged manifesto of Audrey Hale, " the 'trans'-identified mass-murderer of three children and three adults at a Nashville Christian elementary school."
  • A May 8 article whined that "transsexual 'chest reconstruction' surgeries – radical procedures performed on healthy bodies and designed to make gender-confused people feel and look more like their opposite-sex 'gender identity' –" were paid for by insurance.
  • A May 17 article hyped claims by Christopher Rufo issuing a transphobic attack on a children's hospital. LaBarbera called Rufo a "respected researcher," even though his actual history is one of making false and misleading accusations.
  • A May 26 article repeated false claims that Target was marketing tuck-friendly swimwear to children and that a designer of LGBT-related items for Target is allied with Satan. That was followed by a June 1 article touting a decline in Target's stock price due to the manufactured controversy.

As Pride Month arrived in June, LaBarbera ramped up the anti-LGBT hate. He devoted two articles to attacking "anti-Christian gay activist" Harvey Milk after the Navy veteran was highlighted by the military, calling him "a promiscuous homosexual who had a sexual taste for young men" -- and, thus, seeming to try and justify his 1978 murder. That was followed by a June 10 article raging that the military no longer hates LGBT people as much as he does:

The United States Air Force is celebrating LGBT "pride month" with a serviceman 'saluting' the activist homosexual-bisexual-transgender-"queer" "rainbow" flag.

The Air Force published a tweet Wednesday reading: "June is #PrideMonth! The Department of the Air Force proudly recognizes and celebrates generations of LGBTQI+ service members and their contributions to our #AirForce & #SpaceForce."

Tweeted Mike Garcia: "As an AF veteran, this is pathetic & embarrassing. You should focus on winning wars & not social or political issues. Disgusting."


Several people tweeted in response to the message that they will discourage their children from signing up to serve in this military, seemingly confirming widespread criticism that Biden's "woke" Pentagon policies are tied to sagging recruitment efforts.

LaBarbera did not explain why the military must spew hate at LGBT people the way he does.

A June 13 article regurgitated right-wing outrage over "the latest LGBT spectacle" in which "transsexual activists flashed their fake, opposite-sex chests at President Biden's official 'Pride celebration' on the White House south lawn Saturday." In fact, LaBarbera cited only one person "shaking his fake breasts in front of the White House," not the several he claimed there were. An editor's note at the top of the article proudly declared that it would misgender people: "Unlike most other media, WND does not use trans-activist pronouns that falsely describe people as the opposite of their true, biological sex."

LaBarbera used a June 14 article to complain that Fox News didn't hate LGBT as much in real life as it did on air:

Fox News, already reeling from its ejection of popular anchor Tucker Carlson, has come completely out of the closet, as it were, using its programming and on-air talent to celebrate LGBT "Pride Month" like never before.

The self-styled "fair and balanced" network, based in heavily gay-populated New York City, has long supported homosexual advocacy behind the scenes through its annual contributions to an LGBT "journalists association."

But in the last two years, Fox began celebrating "pride" in June in earnest by running pro-LGBT "puff-pieces" that are every bit as one-sided as those produced by left-leaning networks like CNN and ABC. Fox even ran an uncritical "Pride Month" feature story on "AIDS activist" Rev. Dr. Stephen Pieters, who espouses gay-positive "Christianity."

LaBarbera went on to complain that "One of the stunning aspects of Fox News' executives' now very public embrace of homosexual/transgender 'pride' is that it directly undermines some of the talking points of their own conservative talk-show hosts." He didn't explain why homophobia is a "brand" Fox News (and LaBarbera) should be proud of -- nor did he consider the possibility that its anti-LGBT schtick is all an act. He followed this with a June 17 article claiming to show how Fox News "is pushing a radical LGBT agenda on its employees."

A June 26 article by LaBarbera raged against pride parades in "heavily homosexual big cities" where, allegedly, there were "men exposing their genitalia, women baring their breasts, proud sadomasochists, and vulgar chants and outfits – all with children observing along the parade route." A July 29 article came to the defense of a pharmacist who refused to do his job:

Roscoe Rike, a woman identifying as a trans man, cussed out a pharmacy employee at an Oakland Walgreens store last week for refusing to dispense her cross-sex hormones. The pharmacist said it would violate his religious beliefs.

Rike then went on to condemn religious people as always having "the most [f---king] hate in their hearts."

The Daily Mail reported Monday: "Currently transitioning from female to male, Rike says he has been a customer at the store for years – picking up his HRT [hormone replacement therapy] medication to move along his conversion. ... That changed Monday when he was denied that medication by the pharmacist on staff, on the basis that giving him the pills would violate his religious beliefs."

LaBarbera didn't explain why it was OK for the pharmacist to use his religion as an excuse for denying someone medication they have been taking for years.

LaBarbera spent a June 30 article promoting a political attack on research he didn't like:

A new study finds that the mean age when people are diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" has plummeted from a median age of 28 in 2017 to 24 in 2021, and that girls experiencing severe gender confusion seek professional help at earlier ages compared to boys.

Conservatives aren't buying the lead academic's explanation for the proliferation of gender aberrance in children and the sex disparity: an average age of 11 for girls compared to 13 for boys, according to the study, authored by Ching-Fang Sun, a psychiatry resident physician at Virginia-Tech's Carilion Clinic, School of Medicine.

LaBarbera featured righrtwing activist Bethany Mandel asserting that being transgender is "a fad, driven by social media, that tells young people – particularly girls – that transgenderism is cool, far more common that it really is, and changing your gender is a snap." In fact, research has shown that the increased number of transgender people isn't being driven by social contagion -- something LaBarbera failed to mention.

Then again, biased and incomplete reporting is what WND hired LaBarbera to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT

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