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Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Newsmax, Trump Promote Each Other During Post-Arrest Interview
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax got rewarded for its defend-and-attack strategy following donald Trump's (fourth) indictment): It scored an interview with Trump after he turned himself into Georgia authorities following the indictment. Of course, Trump helpfully plugged Newsmax during the interview, as detailed in an Aug. 24 article by Luca Cacciatore:

Former President Donald Trump believes that one reason he is being unfairly targeted is because he told people to watch Newsmax in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Appearing Thursday on " Greg Kelly Reports," the former president said that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy would be "thrilled" to know that the fastest-growing cable news channel was his go-to network.

"One of the things is I tell people — Newsmax. Did you know that? That was one of my tabs. I told people to watch Newsmax," Trump explained. "I got charged for telling people to watch Newsmax!"

The former president then jokingly warned host Greg Kelly: "I hope you don't get charged. You'll probably get charged because I mentioned your name, but I think you'll be OK."

"I think it's a badge of honor, quite frankly," Kelly replied.

Newsmax then squeezed seven additional articles out of the righly 20-minute interview:

The following day, Aug. 25, Newsmax kept up its attack-and-defend strategy, with the occasional more balanced piece:

Ultimately, promotion was the name of the game. As Newsmax uncritically promotes Trump, he has no problem logrolling in return.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 10, 2023 3:26 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Soros Derangement Syndrome At The MRC Continues
Topic: Media Research Center

When it wasn't melting down over "Soros-funded" prosecutors holding Donald Trump accountable for his crimes and helping Elon Musk frame him as the Jew conservatives are allowed to hate, the Media Research Center was continuing its dirty war on George Soros in the usual ways since we last checked in:

The MRC served up more detailed attacks as well. Clay Waters complained in an April 20 post that it was pointed out how right-wing attacks on Soros lean into anti-Semitism:

The House Judiciary Committee held an unusual “field hearing” in Manhattan to hear from local victims of violence -- a bank shot against Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is prosecuting a dubious case against former president Donald Trump while being accused of being soft on actual violent crime.

New York Times responded with haughty defensiveness, rallying around both the city and prosecutor Bragg in “Republicans Attack Bragg, Spotlighting Crime Victims in New York” Wednesday, as reported by congressional reporter Luke Broadwater and Jonah Bromwich, who covers New York criminal justice.

One Republican bashed him as “pro-criminal.” Another called him a “terrible” prosecutor with a habit of losing cases. A third suggested he was in the pocket of a wealthy Jewish financier frequently demonized by the far right.

That “wealthy Jewish financier” would be billionaire and leading Democratic fundraiser George Soros. After downplaying Soros’s pro-Democratic election funding in an article earlier this month, this Times article never even bothers to confirm the connection between Soros and Bragg, leaving the implication that the Republican mention of him is motivated by random anti-Semitism.

But Soros pledged $1 million to support Color of Change PAC at almost the same time the PAC announced they would put $1 million into Bragg’s successful DA campaign, making Republican criticism legitimate. Isn’t the press usually more curious about political donations -- or is that just for conservatives who receive funding from, say, Charles Koch?

Waters went on to complain that "The Times conflated anti-Soros protestors with anti-Semitism" by noting that " a man held a sign with the name of the financier George Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, along with the image of a Star of David and dollar signs." But rather than actually address the point, he playued whataboutism: "Speaking of 'dollar signs,' there was no comment from Democratic Rep. Ilhan 'all about the Benjamins' Omar, whose own anti-Semitic comments were aggressively downplayed by the same paper." He then claimed without evidence that "it's possible the sign is being held by a Democrat to help the narrative along."

A May 22 post by Joseph Vazquez cheered how a highly biased right-wing poll demonstrated how relentless attacks against Soros by the MRC and other right-wingers are apparently succeeding in demonizing him:

A majority of Americans are rejecting the media’s attempts to shield leftist billionaire activist George Soros from criticism and cast his opponents as anti-Semites.

A new survey by Rasmussen Reports and Ron Coleman’s ColemanNation podcast of 1,002 U.S. likely voters revealed that “Most American voters have a negative opinion of liberal billionaire George Soros, and nearly half agree with [Twitter owner] Elon Musk’s words comparing Soros to a comic-book villain.” Specifically, 51 percent of respondents reported viewing Soros “unfavorably,” which included 39 percent who had a “very unfavorable” impression of the billionaire. This poll’s release comes days after Musk set Twitter on fire for comparing Soros to Marvel supervillain Magneto, saying Soros "hates humanity" and for Soros for seeking to “erode the very fabric of civilization.”

Despite all the media bluster to make Soros into some kind of a victim, Americans clearly aren’t buying it. “Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters agree with [Musk’s] quote, including 35% who Strongly Agree that Soros ‘hates humanity,’” according to the survey taken between May 16-18, 2023.

Vazquez went on to quote "Bongino Report Content Manager Matt Palumbo" attacking Soros, but he didn't disclose that Palumbo moonlights by writing propaganda for arrested Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.

Tom Olohan used a June 6 post to tout an anti-Soros book by a right-wing author (whose ideology Olohan didn't disclose):

A “one-eyed King among the blind,” “some kind of god, the creator of everything,” “brilliant” and “clever;” these are just some of the disturbing bona fides a new bookanalyzes that leftist billionaire George Soros has acquired for himself over his decades-long activist career. 

“Soros is right; America is under attack; its Constitution, independence, and democracy are under attack by Soros and his army,” writes American Center for Democracy Founder and President Rachel Ehrenfeld in her new book The Soros Agenda (2023). Ehrenfeld’s work details the ungodly fortunes (over $32 billion) spent by Soros to transform society into his distorted view of an “open society,” a leftist utopia undergirded by anti-Americanism, Marxist economics, climate change extremism, abortion-on-demand and racial strife.

Ehrenfield does not shy away from controversial topics in this work, linking Soros to several color revolutions and to anti-Israel groups, while also providing evidence that Soros lacks compassion and despises his background. She also delves into the lack of transparency that is characteristic of many Soros initiatives.

The main task that Ehrenfeld undertakes with this work is to demonstrate connections that are regularly obscured or ignored by establishment media outlets, while Soros-funded fact-checkers rebuke those who do report on Soros’ actions.

Olohan made no effort to let anyone respond to Ehrenfeld's attacks -- he hates Soros as much as she does, after all.

The next day, Nicholas Schau complained that the right-wing anti-Soros machine was exposed:

NPR ludicrously claimed that the leftist Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) was not influenced by George Soros funding, despite NPR itself being funded by the leftist billionaire.

In an article published June 4, NPR complained about waning support for ERIC — an organization focused on voter registration — in Republican states and ridiculously attributed the ire over its ties to a so-called “far-right misinformation machine.” However, according to the Capital Research Center (CRC), there is real evidence that Soros’ network provided funding for the organization, which was established as a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts. According to CRC investigative researcher Parker Thayer, “NPR’s insistence that there is no connection between ERIC and George Soros is laughable and refuted by their own article.”

Specifically, as Thayer pointed out, “[NPR] admit[ted] several paragraphs into the article that Soros’s private foundation provided money to the organization that created the ERIC but spen[t] the rest of the same article insisting that there is no connection.”

Schau didn't disclose that the CRC has a biased right-wing ideology, nor did he explain why ERIC's mission of encouraging voter registration and modernizing the election process is purportedly a bad thing, let alone "leftist." He also offered no proof that any of the money Soros donated to "the organization that created the ERIC" went directly toward creating ERIC. Finally, Schau didn't deny the existence of a right-wing anti-Soros machine -- hard for him to do when he's obviously part of it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:40 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 10, 2023 3:16 PM EDT
FAKE NEWS: WND Hypes False Claims About Retracted COVID Vaccine Study
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The COVID vaccine misinformation just never stops at WorldNetDaily. Bob Unruh contributed in a July 21 article:

A new study, conducted by respected medical researchers and published in The Lancet, a renowned medical journal, indicated that the COVID shots themselves actually killed people – and the study now has been killed.

That's according to a report from Liberty Counsel, which has been one of the key fighters in court against the Biden administration's various COVID shot mandates during the pandemic.

The report said the "bombshell" study was done by Dr. Peter McCullough and others and was published in The Lancet.

But it "was quickly censored within 24 hours after its publication because it showed clear evidence that the COVID-19 shots were responsible for many deaths."

Of the 325 autopsies reviewed, "the study revealed the COVID shots directly caused or significantly contributed to up to 74% of those deaths."

But as an actual fact-checker at AFP pointed out, the study was never published in The Lancet; it appeared on a preprint server where studies typically appear before peer review, and it was never accepted for publication by The Lancet.

Unruh went on to hype the alleged credentials of the study authors:

The report said McCullough, a renowned internist, epidemiologist and "one of the most published cardiologists in American with more than 1,000 peer-reviewed publications," did the study with eight other researchers.

They included Yale researcher Dr. Harvey Risch, pathologist Dr. Roger Hodkinson and Dr. Paul Alexander, formerly of the Department of Health and Human Services.

McCullough, of course, is a prolific COVID misinformer whom WND has repeatedly touted. Risch, Hodkinson and Alexander are COVID misinformers as well.Their study was removed from the preprint server because it was highly flawed, as AFP documented:

Zhou Xing, an immunology professor at McMaster University, found the methodology to be flawed as it did not seem to factor in medical conditions and age as possible reasons that death could have occurred after vaccination.

"It seems an astoundingly ridiculous analysis and conclusion and I believe one does not have to be a scientific or medical expert to find the major flaws," Xing said in a July 12 email.

Xing noted that because a large majority of people have received Covid-19 shots, mortality rates will inevitably be higher for vaccinated individuals regardless of the cause of death.

AFP also showed how the paper's claims of having been "independently reviewed" is bogus:

Brian Ward, a professor of experimental medicine who studies the adverse effects of vaccines at McGill University, said he questioned the study's claims of independent researchers, given the physicians' histories of spreading Covid-19 misinformation could lead them to be invested in reaching a conclusion that supports their previous statements.

"The way they use the word 'independently' here simply means that each of the biased individuals sat in a separate room to reach a personal conclusion before sharing their (largely pre-determined) classifications with each other," Ward said in an email on July 12, 2023.

Ward said he believed it was unlikely the paper would ever be published in a medical journal.

AFP also noted a professor who lamented that the claims in this "zombie paper" will become part of the discourse despite its having been discredited and retracted.But the truth does not matter to WND; instead, Unruh uncritically quoted McCullough making the blatantly untrue claim that "They are trying to kill [the study] so the world doesn’t see the data."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Monday, September 4, 2023
MRC Buries How Right-Wing-Friendly Film's Inspiration And Star Embrace QAnon
Topic: Media Research Center

Despite having a history of attacking actors who make political statements, the Media Research Center makes an exception for actors who spout right-wing talking points. That's what Christian Toto did in his July 1 column touting the star of the right-wing-friendly film "Sound of Freedom":

Jim Caviezel doesn’t read off the Hollywood script on the promotional circuit.

Yes, that’s the understatement of the year.

The “Passion of the Christ” star works steadily in the industry despite his reluctance to toe the company line. Now, talking to select press for his new film “Sound of Freedom,” Caviezel has taken the shackles entirely off.

That means he’s not promoting the progressive cause du jour.

Examples?

The star mocked the mainstream media for telling lie after lie after lie.

“Hunter Biden laptop, 2 years, you told us, not true…then it’s true. For 7 years, we learn Donald Trump is a Russian spy…Durham report drops” *snaps* “he’s not a Russian spy.”

[...]

He decried sexually explicit Pride displays where children are routinely present, another liberal Hollywood no-no.

What Toto didn't mention, however, is Caviezel's embrace of far-right conspiracy theories.He has become a QAnon adherent and has promoted the wacky claim about "adrenochroming," the bizarre -- and utterly baseless -- theory that global elites are trafficking children and harvest a chemical called adrenochrome from their blood to stay young. As it just so happens, "Sound of Freedom" is based on the true story of a man who fights child sex trafficking.

Toto also noted that "The actor also dubbed the Academy Awards as the “Irrelevant Show” for ignoring films like “The Passion of the Christ” (the film earned three minor nominations – Best Score, Best Makeup and Best Cinematography)." He didn't mention that "The Passion" was criticized for leaning into anti-Semitism by blaming Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus, which makes more sense after director Mel Gibson's virulent anti-Semitism was revealed.

Alex Christy tried to whitewash how "Sound of Freedom"  leaned into QAnon conspiracy theories and Caviezel's embrace of QAnon in a July 8 post:

CNN Tonight host Abby Phillip decided to do something different for Friday’s show by doing a movie review. Specifically, Sound of Freedom starring Jim Caviezel who stars as Tim Ballard, a real-life former DHS agent who works to bust child sex trafficking rings. For Phillip and The Storm is Upon Us author Mike Rothschild, the film focuses on a real issue, but is nevertheless a “moral panic” and a plot to get QAnon conspiracy theorists to feel good about themselves.

After noting the film is battling Indiana Jones“for the top spot at the box office,” Phillip also noted “the film and its star are raising eyebrows among critics. Some say that it bends the truth about child exploitation, and it caters to QAnon conspiracy theorists. Its distributor, Angel Studios, denies those accusations. Jim Caviezel, the star of the film, is also known for openly embracing QAnon theories.”

After introducing Rothschild, Phillip led him with more of a statement than a question, “the star of this film, Jim Caviezel is coming under a lot of scrutiny for his embrace of QAnon conspiracy theories. And you seem pretty familiar with him because he doesn't really hide his association with this real wild plot that involves, you know, drinking the blood of children and things like that.”

Rothschild elaborated on that idea, “he is openly embracing and he's openly using its catchphrases and its concepts. He's speaking at QAnon conventions. And this film is being marketed to either specific QAnon believers or to people who believe all of the same tenets as QAnon, but claim they don't know what it is.”

Phillip added, “And the Sound of Freedom does focus on a real issue of sex trafficking. But that theme, it's sort of like that kernel of truth that feeds the QAnon conspiracy theory. Tell us how those two things work together.”

Christy's response to all this? "CNN is reviewing Caviezel’s personal life and not the actual movie." That's a hypocritial statement -- the MRC reviews the personal lives of actors all the time, such as Jane Fonda and Rob Reiner, when make statements that aren't conservatively correct.

Christy then cited a reviewer who noted that the movie was based on a true story, adding: "Exactly. If you want fewer QAnon conspiracy theorists then do not associate movies about fighting sex trafficking with QAnon." By thte same token, if you don't want your movie associated with QAnon, don't hire a QAnon adherent as your star. And maybe don't base your movie on a guy who repeatedly spews xenophobia and anti-LGBT rhetoric and who won't distance himself from QAnon.

The MRC then hypocritically  swung back to reviewing a person instead of his work in a July 18 post by Bill D'Agostino attacking a writer who pointd out how "Sound of Freedom" leans into QAnon:

On Saturday, Bloomberg published a guest opinion piece by the former communications director of a pro-pedophile advocacy group. The article, titled “QAnon and ‘Sound of Freedom’ Both Rely on Tired Hollywood Tropes,” was a late arrival to media crusade against ‘Always With Honor’ — a film about, of all things, child trafficking.

Freelance journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend pointed out the author of this Bloomberg piece, Noah Berlatsky, had an alarming history of defending pedophiles online.

[...]

The obvious question is: Why does Berlatsky spend so much time defending pedophiles, downplaying child sex trafficking, and demonizing parents? Perhaps the answer is just as obvious, but we don’t want to allege something we can’t definitively prove.

Instead, let’s ask: Why are Bloomberg’s editorial staff struggling so spectacularly to disavow a man who built his career around defending pedophiles?

Can we also ask why D'Agostino said absolutely nothing at all about the content of Berlatsky's column?

Toto returned for a July 22 column raging at actress Ellen Barkin for making a non-conservative statement, huffing that she and other liberal actors "never suffer for unhinged views like right-leaning stars often do," adding: "Just ask Jim Caviezel, whose sin is being an openly Christian star. The media loathes him for it., and he allegedly lost two agents for starring in 'Sound of Freedom.'" Toto censored Caviezel's QAnon endorsements, which is likely the real reason Caviezel lost those agents.

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg spent a Sept. 1 post complaining that people were still talking about the QAnon-adjacent leanings of "Sound of Freedom":

Though it seems like everyone has moved on from baselessly bashing the Sound of Freedom, CBS Mornings couldn’t find anything better to talk about Friday, as the network allotted a whopping seven minutes-and-change attempting to paint the movie as something of a QAnon conspiracy.

Apparently exposing the truths and travesties of the child trafficking network is just right-wing propaganda - that is, according to CBS. For starters, the chyron of the segment read, “‘Sound of Freedom’ Controversies.” Fill-in co-host Jamie Yuccas stated, “Sound of Freedom is a lightning rod for controversy and conspiracy theories,” adding that the movie has been embraced by “supporters of the fringe conspiracy theory, QAnon," who "falsely believe in the existence of widespread human trafficking rings run by Hollywood and so-called liberal political elites.”

In the segment, hosts spoke with writer-director Alejandro Monteverde, immediately asking how he feels about the film being at the center of so much controversy. 

Again, I don’t think the illegal sexual exploitation and abuse of children is controversial. Nobody should ever be for it, full stop. But, I digress.

Nobody is, dear, and merely criticizing this movie does not mean one is in favor of human trafficking. But we digress; Mandelburg went on to assert that the film can't possibly be leaning into QAnon because the director said it wasn't:

Despite Monteverde’s redirect to focus on the facts of the film and its real-life implications, co-host Nate Burleson asked if the choice to cast Jim Caviezel as the main character was the right selection. 

Monteverde then went on to explain that Tim Ballard, the man on whom the movie is based, wanted Caviezel to play the role due to the fact that he is a “man of faith.”

Mandelburg censored Caviezel's embrace of QAnon. She concluded by whining again that the QAnon-adjacent aspects of the film were being pointed out:

At the end, the hosts did give a nod to the movie. King insisted it was important to recognize that the movie was made “before all these conspiracy theories.” Great, so out of a seven-minute segment trying to get Monteverde to claim the movie was based on a far right-wing conspiracy theories, a whopping 10 seconds was dedicated to agreeing the movie did a good thing by exposing the horrific child trafficking epidemic.

Honestly, the hosts should be embarrassed. They couldn’t get off the schtick that this movie was supported by “QAnon” and allowed it to essentially run and ruin the whole segment. Kudos to Monteverde for sharing the truth and holding his own.

If Mandelburg really thought the film was honest, she wouldn't be fighting so hard to bury the fact that both Ballard and Caviezel are very much QAnon-adjacent. She's definitely not showing any embarrassment over her deceit.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 9, 2023 11:35 PM EDT
WND Columnist Bizarrely Equates 15-Minute Cities To 'Hunger Games'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's nothing that right-wingers won't invent conspiracy theories about. Take the concept of "15-minute cities," which seeks to place most of person's basic needs within a 15-minute radius, via walking or biking, of their house. The false fearmongering has begun, with Rolaant McKenzie ranting about "globalists" who want to imprison people in his July 6 WorldNetDaily column in which he makes the leap to "open-air prison" for no discernable reason:

Over the past several years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been promoting the implementation of an urban planning concept called the "15-minute city" (sometimes abbreviated as FMC). This is described as arranging an urban area in such a way that most daily necessities such as going to work, buying food and clothing, going to school, visiting the doctor, and engaging in leisure and entertainment can all be done within a 15-minute walk or bicycle ride from any point of the city.

According to its proponents, this would be a convenient way to reduce car dependency, promote healthy and sustainable living, improve the well-being and quality of life of city residents, and greatly reduce carbon emissions in the ongoing fight against climate change.

Under the guise of climate-change prevention, car ownership and use would be eliminated over time by making it too expensive and limiting the infrastructure to sustain it. Roadblocks and gates would be erected over time throughout the city. Along with restrictions on the freedom of movement, constant surveillance would characterize life, turning the FMC into an open-air prison similar to the districts in "The Hunger Games."

[...]

The attempts by global elitists to create "15-minute cities" where they value their progressively confined residents for what they can get from controlling and destroying them will fail, because it will be utterly overcome by the eternal city built by God, who valued lost humanity so much that He sent His own Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and rise again so that all who trust in Him will live liberated from sin, death and confinement forever.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

McKenzie noffered no evidence whatsoever that anyone wants to imprison people in their neighborhoods -- he's just that much of a far-right conspiracy theorist, and he knows WND will never fact-check him.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 4, 2023 12:36 AM EDT
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Flashback, Part 3: MRC Still Hyping Kneejerk Defenses Of Guns
Topic: Media Research Center

Our flashback series on the Media Research Center's kneejerk defense of guns continues with Nicholas Fondacaro using an April 18 post to bash "The View" for expressing concern that an elderly white man shot and killed a black teenager who mistakenly rang the doorbell at his house:

Never letting a bad situation go to waste, the ladies of ABC’s The View spent the beginning of Tuesday’s episode exploiting the tragic and allegedly unlawful use of deadly force by an elderly white man against a black teenager in Missouri. According to them, it was “unfortunate” that people had the right to self-defense at all, and insanely proclaimed that elderly people who couldn’t physically fend off an attacker shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.

During the incident in question, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot after he rang the doorbell of 85-year-old Andrew Lester thinking it was the house he was supposed to pick up his siblings from. According to reports, no words were exchanged and there was no evidence of an attempted forced entry before Lester shot Yarl twice with his revolver through the glass door. Prosecutors also allege that there was an unspecified “racial component” to the shooting.

With the details as reported, Missouri’s self-defense laws (particularly their castle doctrine) didn’t seem to apply. But nuance and attention to detail weren’t things The View excelled in.

Co-host Sara Haines repeatedly advocated for the elderly to have their Second Amendment rights stripped from them if they felt they couldn’t fend off an attacker with their bare hands:

[...]

In reality, those too weak to defend themselves physically were arguably the ones who needed guns for self-defense the most.

Haines then lashed out at the National Rifle Association, despite the fact they were not defending Lester. According to her, this incident “fuels the profit of more gun sales” and the NRA wanted to roll back “the accountability of the people shooting.”

Yes, Fondacaro is defending the man's use of his gun for "self-defense" despite admitting that's not what actually happened.

On April 20, Fondacaro lashed out at criticism of states that have permitless concealed-carry laws:

In the liberal media’s crusade to eliminate gun rights, no complaint is too absurd to be presented to their viewers as a serious point. CBS Mornings was guilty of this Thursday as co-anchor Tony Dokoupil singled out Alabama, Missouri, and Texas (the locations of recent mass shootings) for not requiring residents to obtain permits to buy rifles and shotguns. But only seven states out of 50 have that requirement.

If you'll recall, the MRC attacked a "Soros-backed" prosecutor for dropping a gun charge against a man who later committed a massacre -- but didn't mention that the charge was carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

The next day, Alex Christy was upset that a commentator pointed out that Fox News likely played a role in feeding the elderly man with fear of crime and black people -- something the man's grandson agreed with -- to the point where he killed a black teen who merely rang his doorbell:

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle used the Thursday edition of The 11th Hour to give credence to the idea that Fox News was responsible for shooting of Ralph Yarl by an 84-year old man after he wrong the doorbell. Former FBI assistant director counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi took it one step further and demanded Fox and “the firearms industry” feel “financial pain.”

Beginning the show by going through a list of recent shootings that were the result of either identifying the wrong car or a ball rolling into someone’s yard before coming to Yarl, Ruhle decalred “There is another deep troubling element to all of this and it relates to the shooting of young Ralph Yarl. The grandson of the 84-year-old man charged in that shooting put it this way.”

Christy then complained that the commentator said that Fox News should feel the pain of inculcating people that way, just as it had to with the $787 million settlement with Dominion for spreading election fraud lies (which the MRC tried to insist wasn't a big deal because right-wingers will believe whatever it sees on the channel regardless):

Figliuzzi then gave a chilling case for censorship, “Yeah, this is where I'm a strong advocate of financial pain for those who spew out propaganda. We just saw Fox News, you know, paying, you know, just under a billion dollars because of what they've been doing and the question is whether or not that is enough pain or not to make a difference.”

What is Figliuzzi’s definition of propaganda? He never says, but disagreeing with MSNBC on guns or crime is not at all the same as repeating conspiracy theories about voting machines.

When a "View" co-host criticized Fox News over the shooting, Fondacaro viciously smeared her as a "racist" for doing so in an April 21 post:

Despite her whining to the contrary, View co-host Sunny Hostin is a staunch racist and shows it often from her ABC platform. On Friday’s edition of the show, she spewed her toxic racism again when she suggested the problem with gun owners in America was that they had white skin and were “radicalized” by Fox News, thus a danger to the country.

Spurred by recent reported shootings by trigger-happy property protectors against innocent people, fill-in moderator Joy Behar wondered: “So what is going on and why are these people shooting first before they even know why somebody mistakenly went into their driveway?”

Once again, Fondacaro's alleged evidence that Hostin is a "staunch racist" involves him failing to understand how metaphors work.

Later that day, Fondacaro whined that CBS highlighted a group of moms trying to stop gun violence are "either long-time liberals or don’t have a strong political history." Fondacaro didn't explain why the moms who "don’t have a strong political history" should be attacked.

On April 24, Stephanie Hamill bashed the TV show "Gray's Anatomy" for "predictably push[ing] the anti-gun agenda while peddling the ‘weapons of war’ myth," pushing her side's pro-gun agenda in response: "And, of course, no mention about the lives that could have potentially been saved and injuries avoided had there been a good guy with a gun to immediately intervene. Also, there was no mention of the crimes committed with guns in states and cities with strict gun control laws."

After yet another mass shooting in Texas, Mark Finkelstein tried to change the subject in a May 4 post to the shooter being an "illegal immigrant":

When it comes to crime, [David] Jolly and his Democrat friends focus almost entirely on guns--rather than on the people who commit crimes. A significant portion of serious crimes in America were committed by illegal immigrants; the suspect in the mass Texas shooting among them.

[...]

If MSNBC were actually interested in reducing serious crime in America, it would be clamoring for candidates who will fight illegal immigration. Instead, the liberal media prefers to focus on "gun violence," and use it in an attempt to elect Democrats.

Christy spent a May 9 post complaining that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough pointed out that right-wing kneejerk defense of guns:

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough opened up his Monday night primetime special with a solemn, yet outrageous and profoundly unserious rant where he accused Republicans, “cowards,” “pathetic souls,” and “vacuous creatures” of being the modern equivalent of “slaveholders and segregationists.”

In Scarborough’s view of things, “Politicians idly stand by and watch as America's children and their parents are slaughtered… All because these cowards fear gun lobbyists more than they fear the next Uvalde, Parkland, or Sandy Hook.”

That accusation would be bad enough, but as is his nature, Scarborough proceeded to escalate, “Like those enablers of slaveholders and segregationists, these timid, empty, pathetic souls care more about beating back next year's right-wing primary challenge than they do saving young children's lives. But there is no doubt that these vacuous creatures willnot escape history’s thunderous verdict.”

Christy didn't rebut anything Scarborough said -- he just complained it was said.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2023 8:27 PM EDT
WND's Brown Bails Out Of His Political Analysis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown began his July 28 WorldNetDaily column this way:

Let me state clearly from the start that this is a spiritually focused article, not a politically focused article (and certainly not a partisan political article). Let me also state clearly that this article is not meant to attack any individuals, although I will be speaking quite directly about individuals. Instead, the purpose of this article is to make a spiritual point, specifically, to understand the spiritual implications of this unique moment in our country's history.

The problem with that statement is that it requires us to ignore that he spent years boosting Donald Trump and trying to get his fellow evangelicals to turn a blind eye to Trump's amoral narcissism because he was delivering the right-wing goods, and it wasn't until after the Trump-incited Capitol riot that Brown began to finally express serious doubts about whether the ends justify the means. In that spiri, when he went on to criticize Trump, he devoted at least as much space to attacking President Biden (or, more to the point, repeating right-wing anti-Biden talking points):

At present, the two leading presidential candidates for 2024 are current President Biden, now 80, and former President Trump, now 77.

As for Trump, he is the only president in our history to be impeached twice, although his defenders would surely argue that both impeachments were based on bogus charges. Plus, they would remind us, he survived those impeachment efforts. In any case, there was constant turmoil during his years in office.

As for Biden, there are growing calls for his impeachment, regardless of how plausible those calls might be.

When have we seen something like this in our history?

In addition to this, Trump has been indicted not once, but twice, with rumors swirling of a potential third indictment. Is it possible that a former president could actually do time in jail?

As for Biden, his son Hunter appears to be in ever increasing legal trouble, with the genuine possibility of jail time.

Unfortunately for President Biden, some of the allegations brought against his son potentially impugn him. Could the current president be indicted as well?

Again I ask, when have we seen something like this in our history?

Added to this are the growing concerns about President Biden's physical and mental fitness. (And who can forget the constant attacks on then-President Trump, calling his mental fitness into question?)

After admitting that age may not be the major issue here, Brown turned disingenuous again:

Also, since I am full of vigor and health and vitality and energy at 68, I recognize that 80 does not have to be that old. So, I'm not yelling for people to retire or get out of the way unless they are clearly unable to function on the job, thereby endangering others.

As for the charges and allegations concerning Trump and the Bidens, I have no ax to grind or agenda to push. I simply pray for equal standards of justice for all. And if there is guilt, my prayer is that there will be heartfelt acknowledgment of wrongs done along with genuine contrition and repentance.

In sum, I'm not rooting for anyone to fall, nor am I gloating when things look grim for someone whose political goals I reject.

Again, Brown was a big Trump booster and apologist, so he is very much rooting for one side over the other, even if he refuses to admit it. He went on to repeat more right-wing talking points:

In our case today, the trauma of COVID is not that far in the past, nor is the memory of the race riots or the election scandals or the storming of the Capitol. Then there are the growing fears of a potential World War III – a nuclear war at that – which could decimate the planet. And this, too, is only a partial list of the crises (or potential crises) of the hour.

There's also the question of trust. Can we trust the mainstream media? Cable media? Internet media? Left-wing sources? Right-wing sources? The government? The medical profession? The education system? Organized religion?

And how do we know if something is a ridiculous conspiracy theory that should be ignored as opposed to a genuinely important story that "the powers that be" are trying to suppress? How do we figure this out?

Brown seems to be reminded that the outlet that publishes his column is a prolific promoter of fake news and conspiracy theories, and much of that untrustworthy news emanates from his side of the political aisle.

But rather than address  these issues with any sort of seriousness or honesty, he turned it into a religious tract: "The good news is that times of instability, uncertainty, distrust and fear make for fertile ground for the Gospel. ... May we sow the seeds of Gospel love with tears of intercession so that, in the years ahead, many millions will come to faith with shouts of joy."

Yes, that's really how it ends.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EDT
Saturday, September 2, 2023
MRC Complains Again That Anti-Abortion 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers' Are Accurately Labeled
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to loudly complain that the media and social media websites tell the truth about so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" -- that they are virulently anti-abortion and have a penchant for misleading women in the process of coercing them into having a baby.Tom Olohan took a crack at rpomoting the approve right-wing narrative in a June 21 post, complete with hurling the sleazy "digital brownshirts" Nazi smear in his headline at the organization opointing out the dishonesty:

CNN got around to criticizing Big Tech, but only for the purpose of shaming Google for running pro-life crisis pregnancy centers ads.

CNN cited the leftist group Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in an June 15 article criticizing Google for earning “more than $10 million over the past two years by allowing misleading advertisements for ‘fake’ abortion clinics.” In other words, abortion-obsessed CNN and the CCDH apparently couldn’t stand the fact that anti-free speech Google dared to allow crisis pregnancy centers to advertise online. The CCDH report went even further, calling crisis pregnancy centers “fake reproductive health clinics” and referring to abortion mills as “genuine clinics.” The group also linked to an earlier pressure campaign against Google and cited the abortion lobbying group NARAL when it bashed crisis pregnancy centers and claimed they were “exploiting the lack of regulation.” 

Throughout the piece, CNN writer Jennifer Korn complained that crisis pregnancy centers, or “fake clinics” as she calls them, appeared in searches for abortion mills. Lest any mothers be helped or babies be saved, Korn breathlessly warned readers. “Using Semrush, an analytics tool, researchers at the CCDH identified ‘188 fake clinic websites’ that placed ads on Google between March, 2021 and February of this year. CCDH estimates that ads for fake clinics were clicked on by users 13 million times during this period.”

Interestingly, Olohan made no attempt to rebut the claim that these clincs mislead women -- instead, he complained about the "fake clinics" terminology (odd given that he enthusiastically smeared CCDH with a Nazi reference) and repeated the usual MRC attacks agains CCDH. He also attempted a lame, context-free defense o the clinics, that consisted largely of copying-and-pasting information from clinic websites:

What sort of clinics are CNN and CCDH collaborating to smear? One of the crisis pregnancy centers cited in the CCDH report, Obria Medical Clinics, offers pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, STD and AIDs testing, health education coaching, health resources and support, referrals, and prenatal care among other services. Another cited crisis pregnancy center, Alpha Pregnancy Center, offers similar services as well as adoption referrals, supplies for mothers and infants, and parenting education. These organizations and others like them offer alternatives to abortion to pregnant women and critical care and counseling, often supplied by volunteers and donated materials.

In fact, Obria has been caught misleading patients (and the government) by suggesting that they provide contraception when they only offer instruction in "natural family planning," which involves tracking menstrual cycles and abstaining from sex instead of actual contraception (which is more effective), and it also pushes the dubious claim also made by other anti-abortion activists that the abortion pill can be reversed if the dosage is not fully taken.

Olohan also complained that "the CCDH made two absurd recommendations, that crisis pregnancy centers should be forced to devote ad space to abortion disclaimers rather than pitching their services and that Google should highlight and prioritize genuine abortion clinics in search results.” In fact, Google did just that this past January when it prioritized Planned Parenthood in search results for the word pregnancy the day before the March for Life." As we've pointed out, this was another MRC search gotcha, and the MRC did not dispute the accuracy of anything on the Planned Parenthood site they were complaining about.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:17 AM EDT
WND's Orient Attacks DEI, Then Laments 'Unbridgeable' Gap Between Left And Right
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Still a bit adrift for things to latch onto after a couple years of spreading COVID misinformation, Jane Orient jumped onto the right-wing anti-DEI bandwagon in her July 17 WorldNetDaily column:

Corporations, universities, and medical societies talk constantly about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). But the other side of inclusion is exclusion, and the two always go together.

[...]

We hear about the virtuous exclusion of people who wear MAGA hats, wrap themselves in an American flag while others wave the "Pride" flag, wear a cross, assert that there are two genders, or use the "wrong" pronouns. They can be kicked out of school, refused service at a restaurant, rejected for medical care, called vile names, denied the right to receive their diplomas at graduation, or otherwise treated like an untouchable, a pariah, or even a "terrorist." They can be excluded from polite society ("canceled"). Parents who complain about pornography in school libraries at a school board meeting might even risk arrest. Pro-life activists have even been excluded from normal life by being imprisoned.

"Diversity" refers to skin color or ethnicity, not to philosophy or opinion. The categories used by the U.S. Census Bureau for diversity measurements include Hispanic, non-Hispanic White, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, and Pacific Islander. To improve their diversity score, universities need to exclude some better qualified applicants who happen to be White or Asian in order to include more persons from the other recognized groups who may be less qualified. The U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring admissions policy based on race to be unconstitutional, some fear, may have a "chilling effect" on "racial justice."

Nevertheless, Orient wanted to apply racial characteristics to her own inclusion and exclusion list:

Most of the hundreds of racial or ethnic groups in the world are excluded from the special preferences called "equity," no matter how disadvantaged they were historically or are now – e.g., Italians, Irish and Eastern Europeans.

Of course, there are people most of us would like to exclude from our lives – and from society. My list would include voyeurs, exhibitionists, child molesters, rapists, seducers and seductresses, trespassers, vandals, shoplifters, pornographers, drug and human traffickers, etc. – no matter how troubled their childhood or what race they are.

I want to include people who are respectful, punctual, orderly, honest, thrifty, loyal, competent, dependable and diligent – regardless of race or ethnicity. Don't you? Are these characteristics of "Whiteness"? Why isn't it "bigotry" to assume that? There are millions of non-Whites who meet or exceed these expectations for decent people in a civilized society.

I want to exclude people who are vulgar, insulting, tardy, slovenly, dishonest, wasteful, unfaithful, untrustworthy, incompetent, disruptive, or lazy. Don't you? There are millions of White people who fit that description. But it would be "discrimination" to exclude such a person if the person happened to be "diverse."

Orient refuses to acknowledge that there discrimination based on race and ethnicity continues despite it being illegal, and it doesn't cease being discrimination because it's not overt or blatant. Which, of course, is the entire point behind DEI initiatives. She does not explain why DEI is so bad that it apparently must be dismantled. She instead served up an somewhat dishonest plea to get along:

I want children to be taught virtue and honor – not grievances. I want them to create a better world – not tear down the work of their imperfect ancestors and leave us with chaos. I want them to live in a world of ordered liberty with equal treatment under the law – not a world of censorship, snitching, arbitrary rules and constant fear.

Our country is sharply divided into factions about what should be included and what excluded – what is good and what is evil. The gap appears to be unbridgeable. Ultimately, everyone will have to take sides.

The problem is that it seems she doesn't see her fellow right-wingers as part of the problem. Her side doesn't want the imperfections of our ancestors to be discussed at all, and it is at least as guilty of spreading "censorship, snitching, arbitrary rules and constant fear" as she accuses liberals of doing. If that gap between those factions is as "unbridgeable" as she claims, she's part of the problem, and she is making no effort to do anything about it. If she changes her mind, apologizing for spreading COVID misinformation would be a good start.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2023 10:40 AM EDT
Friday, September 1, 2023
Flashback: MRC's Kneejerk Defense Of Guns Continues
Topic: Media Research Center

Our flashback on the Media Research Center's kneejerk defense of guns continues with an April 1 column by Jeffrey Lord accusing Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, an advocate of gun regulation, of being a hypocrite because he benefits as a congressman from having a security detail:

There is Rep. Bowman shrieking all this - as he and every other Member of Congress work daily in the Capitol and surrounding House and Senate office buildings that are swarming with - yes indeed -  gun-carrying Capitol Police officers. Bowman has specifically called his Republican colleagues cowards for not supporting gun control.  Which raises the obvious question: Is Congressman Bowman a coward for refusing to give up the gun-carrying Capitol Police that protect him?

[...]

And as Rep. Bowman himself just illustrated, the Congressman adamantly opposes providing teachers in schools with guns to protect school children - but makes no move to demand the Capitol Police surrounding him give up theirs. 

In other words, the message from all these supposedly anti-gun media types and Democrats in Congress like Congressman Bowman is simple. 

“Guns for me but not for thee.”

Clay Waters complained in an April 3 post that someone on PBS was critical of guns after the Nashville shooting (about which the MRC wanted you to focus on the allegedly transgender shooter, not the guns):

Tax-funded PBS features the Amanpour & Co interview show, and the Tuesday edition featured a self-righteous gun-control rant by host Christiane Amanpour keyed to the murders at a Christian school in Nashville. Left unanswered: How would many of the proposed gun-control measures (like background checks) would have stopped this attack? Amanpour can't blame the shooter. She has to blame the gun-rights lobby. Notice there's not the slightest attempt to avoid editorializing. 

[...]

Amanpour interviewed Dr. Joseph Sakran of Johns Hopkins Hospital, who called for guns to be considered a “public health problem.” Amanpour once again called for her own bizarre version of “sensible gun control,” which looks a lot like the gun confiscation that occurred in Australia after a mass shooting there.

We don't recall Waters or anyone else at the MRC complaining that someone on Fox News failed to make  "he slightest attempt to avoid editorializing."

Kevin Tober used an April 5 post to dismiss protests in favor of gun regulation by high school students as nothing more than "tantrums":

On Wednesday, petulant leftist high school students in select cities across the United States walked out of school to demand lawmakers infringe on their fellow Americans' Second Amendment rights in the juvenile belief that this infringement would somehow keep schools safe from deranged people wanting to commit mass murder. Naturally, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News were more than happy to champion their cause and hype their truancy for at the behest of the left's anti-American gun-grabbing agenda. 

[...]

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt acted as a stenographer for the gun control activists by breathlessly reporting how "across the country, today students walked out of their classrooms by the thousands demanding that officials and politicians do more to stop gun violence."

Holt added that some of the students were apparently "saying they didn’t want to live in fear in their schools." 

Maybe if members of the media like Holt would report on these shootings responsibly and add context, like the fact that high school students have a better chance of dying in the car on the way to school than dying in their classroom, these students wouldn't be living in fear.

Tober didn't explain exactly what level of high school student being massacred in their classroom he find acceptable.

When a commentator pointed out how little Republicans care about keeping guns away from dangerous people, Tober ranted later that day:

On Wednesday night's edition of MSNBC's The Last Word, vile leftist Lawrence O’Donnell lashed out at Republicans and accused them of not having any sadness over children dying in mass shootings. To make matters even worse, he doubled down and outrageously claimed Republicans are dedicated to ensuring "America's mass murderers are the very best-equipped mass murderers in the world." O'Donnell is no stranger to this kind of incendiary rhetoric. In fact, he's made almost identical claims last year after the tragic Robb Elementary School shooting. Prior to that, O'Donnell sneered how "Republican politicians do not care how large the body count gets."

After mocking South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for being outraged at the political prosecution of Donald Trump by the George Soros-backed prosecutor Alvin Bragg, O'Donnell claimed that Graham shows emotion for Trump but not for children being killed. He then took it a step further and painted the entire Republican Party as being unmoved by children dying: "Professional Republicans absolutely do not cry for dead American children when they are murdered by AR-15s," O'Donnell falsely claimed without any evidence at all.

[...]

It appears there is no low O'Donnell is willing to stoop to in order to smear half the country as being complicit in murder. When will MSNBC hold him accountable?

Despite all his ranting, Tober made no effort to disprove anything O'Donnell said.

Tober had another meltdown in an April 10 post:

MSNBC’s The ReidOut host Joy Reid had one of her most vile meltdowns since September 2021 when she claimed conservatives “love Covid so much” that they “want it everywhere” to murder as many people as possible, and drink it in a Kool-Aid cup.” As bad as that was, Monday night’s Reid meltdown was a whole nother level of evil. Reid opened her show claiming Republicans “clearly don't give a damn if they or their friends die a painful, gruesome death at the hands of an assault rifle.”

Later on in her demonic, hate-filled program, Reid brought on turncoat former Republican consultant Matthew Dowd to kvetch about how Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott was considering a pardon of a Texas police officer who was wrongly convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter terrorist who pointed a rifle in his face.

That last claim by Tober didn't age well. As we noted, not only did the shooter provoke the confrontation, no witness saw the "Black Lives Matter terrorist" point a gun at him, and it was revealed a few days later that unsealed documents from the case showed that the shooter had a history of making racist and violent comments on social media, stating just a couple months before the shooting that “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters."

An April 13 post by Brad Wilmouth dismissed gun laws as "irrelevant":

On the morning after the shooting attack on a bank in Louisville, CNN This Morning was true to form in promoting new gun laws that were not relevant to the crime, and devoted a segment to allowing anti-gun Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) to push for irrelevant gun laws.

Even though the Louisville gunman passed a background check and purchased the murder weapon legally from a gun dealer, co-host Poppy Harlow plugged Senator Murphy's push for "universal background checks" as she opened the show at 6:00 a.m. Eastern: "We'll talk to Senator Chris Murphy later in the show, who keeps reintroducing this universal background check bill -- keeps trying, keeps trying, keeps trying."

At 8:08 a.m., Harlow recalled that President Joe Biden keeps calling for more gun control in the aftermath of each high-casualty mass shooting, playing recent clips of him. She then reiterated Senator Murphy's push for "universal background checks" as she introduced the Connecticut Democrat: "Let's bring in Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. He was a key negotiator in the previous bipartisan gun talks -- keeps reintroducing legislation for universal background checks."

It is baffling that "universal background checks" (requiring private sellers of used firearms to pay a gun dealer to conduct a background check) is so reflexively brought up when it is never relevant to any of the mass shootings that receive media attention.

Without mentioning the role that journalists and other liberals have played in stoking murder rates and shootings by portraying police officers as racists, and complaining about "mass incarceration" of criminals, Harlow blamed guns for a recent surge in gun-related deaths of children.

Wilmouth didn't explain why racist cops shouldn't be exposed or why they should be protected.

Dawn Slusher went on a tirade over the Shonda Rhimes-created show "Station 19" in an April 17 post after a character declared that "the answer to anything in this country is not more guns" (bolding in original):

Finally, “the answer to anything in this country” is absolutely more guns - more guns in the hands of the right people, to be exact. Guns in the hands of the right people have always been what’s stopped active shooter situations. Guns in the hands of the right people are what keep law and order. Guns in the hands of the right people are what people use to defend themselves and others against an attack.

Just consider the fact that authorities admitted that trans school shooter Audrey Hale targeted the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, because they didn’t have armed security and she bypassed another target because they did. That alone proves armed security works and gun-free zones do not. In fact, gun-free zones are basically an open invitation to bad people with guns like Hale.

But leave it to Hollywood to get it all backwards. In the Shondaland of make believe, facts don’t matter and propaganda reigns supreme.

Wilmouth returned for an April 19 post grousing that a CNN interview of Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu "even went so far as to try to credit strict gun laws in neighboring blue states for New Hampshire's low homicide rate," going on to sneer that "In the same vein, the liberal news network also has a history of trying to blame pro-gun Indiana for crime in the more anti-gun Illinois." He made no effort to disprove either assertion.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EDT
Newsmax Continued Trump Defense After (Fourth) Indictment
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's defend-and-attack strategy over Donald Trump's fourth indictment unsurprisingly continued well after the indictment itself. This is what it published in Aug. 16 and 17, a few days after the indictment was announced:

There were a few more articles noting the other side of the story than usual:

Newsmax slowed the pace a bit over the next few days, focusing more on highlighting Trump's whining about the indictment. It did, however, publish a wire article noting that members of the Georgia grand jury that handed up the indictment of Trump and his cronies were facing threats. But it also published an article touting how "A new Newsmax/McLaughlin national survey shows former President Donald Trump maintaining his strong national lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential primary" while failing to disclose that McLaughlin is Trump's campaign pollster -- which would suggest a certain amount of bias in the polling.

As arraignment time arrived -- which coincided with a Republican presidential debate Trump refused to take part in -- defend-and-attack mode returned:

Newsmax also upped the number of more balanced articles it published as well:

On Aug. 24, the day Trump traveled to Georgia to turn himself in and have his mugshot taken, Newsmax did its usual ramping up of attacks (with the occasional smattering of more balanced accounts):

But there was also a dissenting columnist in the midst of all this. Michael Reagan took a break from saying crazy things by spending his Aug. 18 column trying to warn people that Trump is not doing himself any favors as a presidential candidate by continually getting indicted:

But when the indictments keep rolling in — aren’t we up to four now? — it’s time to stop thinking with your heart and start thinking with your head.

In 2024 instead of being on the campaign trail, Trump is going to be spending a great deal of his time in the courtroom trying to stay out of prison.

That’s a DEFCON Level One distraction.

Rallies and news conferences on the courthouse steps do not a campaign make.

Another huge distraction are the legal bills entailed with his effort to stay among the free.

Trump must hire four different legal teams in four different jurisdictions.

That is a Ukraine-summer-offensive-level expense right there.

[...]

The best strategy for people who love Trump and/or who feel Trump is being persecuted is to nominate a candidate who can actually convert the 53% anti-Trump voters into pro-GOP voters in 2024.

A viable Republican candidate, without all Trump’s baggage — fair and unfair — has a chance to win undecided voters who will never pull the lever for our naion's 45th commnader in chief.

That victory spares the country four more years of disastrous leftist rule and allows Trump to devote all his attention to this, unprecedented, third world variety legal persecution targeting him.

On the other hand, a Trump nomination means gloom was the correct response.

We all lose. Trump, Republicans, and the United States of America.

Needless to say, the pro-Trump management at Newsmax felt the need to stick an editor's note at the top stating that "The following column does not constitute an endorsement for any political party or political candidate on the part of Newsmax."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 12:19 AM EDT
WND Pushes Another Baseless Attack On COVID Vaccine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The COVID vaccine misinformation at WorldNetDaily just doesn't stop. Bob Unruh wrote in a July 15 article:

A health emergency has been declared by officials in Peru over a sudden surge in Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a potential side effect to the COVID-19 shots used so often around the world.

National File, revealing that the development "has been linked directly to COVID jabs," said the "rare and dangerous neurological disorder" has been sweeping across the country where 84% have been "fully vaccinated."

"There has been a significant increase in recent weeks that forces us to take actions as a state to protect the health and life of the population," according to Peruvian Health Minister Cesar Vasquez, who was quoted in the report.

The report continued, "While Peru’s government and media have indicated that the outbreak of Guillain-Barre cases could be related to COVID-19, they have not acknowledged the elephant in the room; which is the question of whether or not Peru’s widespread adoption of the COVID jabs, and not the disease itself, has led to the outbreak."

In fact, as an actual fact-checker found, no information has been presented to positively link COVID vaccines to Guillain-Barre syndrome. Unruh also censored the fact that Peru has had previous outbreaks of Guillain-Barre in 2018 and 2019 -- neither of which could possibly have been caused by a COVID vaccine since they didn't exist yet -- and some of the patients in this year's cases presented with a bacterial infection that was blamed for the 2019 outbreak.

Unruh also failed to disclose that his source for this story, the right-wing National Wire, has a history of publishing medical misinformation. It's cleaer that Unruh didn't bother to fact-check anything in the article -- he was apparently content to serve as a servile stenographer to feed content into the WND machine.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Media Research Meatheads
Topic: Media Research Center
Given how obsessively they insist on identifying Rob Reiner as "Meathead" when he offers political opinions, the Media Research Center (and its now-defunct "news" operation CNS) clearly can't separate an actor from a role he hasn't performed in decades. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 AM EDT
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Flashback: MRC Started The Year With The Usual Kneejerk Defense Of Guns
Topic: Media Research Center

We know the Media Research Center is all about kneejerk defense of guns despite the carnage they help cause. But it's been a while since we checked in on how it's defending guns, so we'll back the the beginning of the year to examine the record:

  • Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 3 post that "MSNBC’s Ali Velshi kicked off the new year by guest hosting All In on Monday and looking back at 2022 with a segment that called for more gun control by comparing it to simple traffic laws and falsely suggesting that the typical American gun owner is better armed than those who fight in war," going on to huff: "We do have a lot of traffic laws and despite them, people still speed, run red lights, and conduct unsafe lane changes resulting in nasty collisions."
  • Jay Maxson ranted on Jan. 18: "The president, vice-president and members of the Golden State “woke” Warriors met Tuesday at the White House under the guise of making America safer. Which is balderdash; they were taking aim at weakening the constitutional rights of Americans to defend themselves from violent attacks. The administration used popular athletes to help gain attention for its dog and pony show for the Democrat [sic] base."
  • Brad Wilmouth groused in a Jan. 21 post about how a PBS show "devoted a segment to allowing a gun control activist to promote federal laws to control how gun owners store firearms in their own homes, picking up on recent cases of small children gaining access to the guns of their parents."
  • Christy went into comedy-cop mode in a Jan. 24 post: "The Monday edition of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show included a video package of correspondent Roy Wood Jr. in Britain asking foreigners to condemn America, trash the Second Amendment, and wonder, “How do you show people that you've got a big dick, but you don’t have a gun?” He disdainfully added: "Of course, the idea of female gun owners was lost in this idea of genital compensation."
  • In a Jan. 25 post, Mark Finkelstein grumbled that California Gov. Gavin Newsom displayed "megawatt smiles while discussing the recent mass shootings in his state that have claimed 18 lives" during a CNN interview and that "CNN anchors heartily endorsed his view that repeated mass shootings in his state should be blamed on Congress for not passing enough gun-control legislation, not on politicians in California."
  • For his Jan. 27 podcast, Tim Graham huffed: "After two mass shootings in California, ABC's The View crew is back in gun-hating mode, and Joy Behar said America needs to 'grow up' about guns."
  • Wilmouth returned on Jan. 29 to complain that PBS "returned to the energetic use of mass shootings in California to push for more gun control" but "put on gun-banning leftists and facilitate their talking points" and didn't include "conservative voices." Wilmouth didn't explain why he didn't use "right-wing" insetad of "conservative" to match his "leftist" labeling.
  • Wilmouth was at it again two days later, grousing that PBS is "promoting the Democrat party's [sic] agenda on gun control" by airing a "special on survivors of gun-related violence which also squeezed in a liberal agenda." He went on to declare that "The PBS special did not find anything positive to say about guns, like finding examples of the many times guns are used to prevent or fight off violent criminals."
  • In a Feb. 11 post, Clay Waters claimed that a PBS segment "sounded unpleasantly surprised ... by a federal appeals court ruling allowing people under domestic violence restraining orders to have guns, based on the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision in June 2022," giong on to complain that neither commentator " had much sympathy for the “originalist” philosophy of the Constitution."
  • Finkelstein complained in a Feb. 15 post that "Tuesday's Morning Joe predictably jumped on the mass shooting at Michigan State to denounce Republicans. Among many such condemnations during the segment, Joe Scarborough said, 'there's no other way to put it. It's the Republican party that's allowing this to continue to happen.'" The MRC tried to distract from the shooting by blaming it on a prosecutor who had dismissed a prior gun charge against the suspect -- even though the charge involved carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, something the MRC supports.

This kneejerk defense merged with the MRC's weird hatred of Democratic Florida Rep. Maxwell Frost in a Feb. 15 post by Christy:

Twenty-six-year-old Rep. Maxwell Frost travelled over to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on Tuesday for an interview temp host Sarah Silverman to discuss an assortment of left-wing goals, one of which was gun control with Frost urging people to vote for “morally just leaders who actually give a damn about children’s lives.”

Silverman began by telling Frost just how much she is in awe of him, “You have been, and I find this so impressive and inspiring, especially to people out here, you’ve been a gun reform advocate since you were 15 years-old. Spurred on by Sandy Hook, which was in Connecticut. You’re from Florida and you organized the March For Our Lives.”

Finally, getting around to a question, she then asked, “It’s the five-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting. There was a school shooting just last night at Michigan State. Now that you are in Congress, what do you think can be done? How can we break the cycle?”

For all the talk about Frost’s youth, he continued the old tradition of claiming that the only reason why major gun control legislation fails in Congress is because of the National Rifle Association:

Christy didn't disprove anything Frost said about the NRA, instead grousing that he was "clinging to the idea that it is the NRA’s money and not its membership that would simply find another organization should the NRA cease to exist." He concluded by sneering: "The bad news for Frost and Silverman is that ordinary Second Amendment defenders are not about to entrust their rights to somebody who says they don’t give a damn about children’s lives." However, he didn't dispute the accuracy of that statement.

Nicholas Fondacaro lashed out at more gun statistics he didn't like in a March 14 post:

With President Biden announcing new executive orders on guns Tuesday, CNN Newsroominvited Jennifer Mascia, senior writer for The Trace (an anti-gun rights publication), to share her dubious study. According to Mascia, a CNN contributor, gun manufacturers were directly in control of gun deaths in America as she suggested “when gunmakers ramped up production, gun deaths rose.” Of course, CNN gushed for this purported evidence to back their anti-gun rights agenda.

CNN’s Erica Hill boasted that Mascia had dug through ATF data to find the supposed number of guns in the U.S. “465 million guns have been produced in the last 125 years for the American market. And it's mostly – the vast majority are handguns. Whereas, you know, 30 years ago our gun culture was very much hunting and recreation. Now, it's concealable handguns for self-defense,” Mascia said.

What CNN hid from viewers was the fact that that figure didn’t take into account the number of firearms that were no longer in circulation for various reasons. Mascia did note that in her report but didn’t mention it on the air (by one estimate she noted, it was roughly 352 million).

Fondacaro then asserted that Mascia made an "outrageous accusation that gun makers were driving gun deaths":

In her study, Mascia seemed to suggest that gun makers held the puppet strings when it came to the correlation between guns produced and gun deaths: “When we charted gun manufacturing and imports alongside annual gun deaths going back to 1968, we found that when gunmakers ramped up production, gun deaths rose.”

But what Mascia’s graph (shown above but not the one CNN went with) shows was a correlation between the number of guns produced in a year and the number of deaths that year. But if we were to follow her logic, looking back at the exponential growth in the number of guns in circulation, no correlation exists. Why would gun death go down when the number of guns was increasing every year?

When  it was pointed out that handguns saw a surge in sales starting in the early 1990s, Fondacaro continued to read from the gun lobby's talking points:

But what was going on in America 30 years ago in the late 80s and early 90s? Out-of-control crime in American cities around the country. The correlation then becomes a chicken-and-the-egg scenario: did making guns lead to violence or did violence lead to more people buying guns thus production met demand? There's also the correlation of increased moves for gun control driving sales and demand, which we saw with President Obama and she notes in her report (although she tried to tie it to race).

To prove the latter, let’s look at Mascia’s own research. In 2020 and 2021, gun production and deaths spiked. What was going on at that time? Coast-to-coast riots in cities across America with progressive politicians and prosecutors letting out violent criminals, including ones charged with gun crimes.

During the pandemic, when there was a rash of attacks on Asian Americans, that demographic exploded in terms of first-time gun owners. CNN even reported on this.

And what was driving that "rash of attacks on Asian Americans"? Irrational right-wing fear -- driven in part by then-President Donald Trump -- that Asians were to blame for the COVID virus. Fondacaro didn't mention that part. He went on to try to dismiss the large number of gun suicides:

Another tripping point in Mascia’s deductions was the fact that suicides have historically made up about two-thirds of all gun deaths in America; it’s something even PolitiFact admits. In fact, Mascia actually tried to discount the correlation. “…[W]e found that the relationship between gun production — particularly handgun production — and suicides is stronger than gun deaths overall. But correlation is not causation,” she reported.

To account for this, Mascia argued that just having a gun in your home increased the likelihood of shooting yourself, either accidentally or committing suicide. And as a surprise to know one, those who get in a car and travel have an increased chance of getting in a car accident. That’s not to discount how the suicide rate is intentionally rolled into the gun deaths rate when they discuss “gun violence.” We also know suicides surged during the pandemic because of the isolation and loneliness people were suffering from, which helps to explain the gun deaths in the last couple of years in her graph.

But most motor vehicle deaths are by accident -- few people use a car intending to kill themselves . By contrast, every gun suicide is a deliberate act, one that might not have happened had there not been ready access to a gun.Which means Fondacaro is the one who's tripping here.

Fondacaro concluded: "Mascia's assertions only work if you look at them in a vacuum and don't take into account what happening in the country at these times." So once again, context is important at the MRC, though it likes to complain when conservatives are called out for not adding it.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 1, 2023 10:36 AM EDT
WND Loves Jack Cashill's New Book -- And So Does VDARE
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill took a break from obsessing over Barack Obama to write a book on a different subject. Joseph Farah gushed over him and his book in his June 29 column:

Longtime WND columnist and author Jack Cashill is a lot like me. We can reminisce about the Jersey Shore, those "Wildwood Days" growing up, or comparing Newark and Paterson for hours on end. We're kindred spirits, raised by different mothers and fathers in a not-so-different universe at approximately the same time and place.

[...]

I've admired Jack much over the years. I wish I had told him that more often. I think I will after just having read his latest exquisite book, "Untenable: The True Story of White Ethnic Flight from America's Cities." This a very serious book – in fact the first of its kind – on the subject of "white flight" written from the perspective of those forced to flee.

Yes, I suppose some white people left cities because of racism – probably a distinct minority. Others, like the Cashill family, left with regret because they loved Newark.

"By the end of the 1960s," Cashill recalls, "the state had razed many of our homes, mine included. A lethal riot had scorched the neighborhood. My friends and their families had scattered to the winds, and a twenty-foot-deep trench as wide as a tennis court forever severed the north end of Pigs (short for Pigtails Alley) from the south. To the degree anyone beyond our world noticed, it was to scold us for our own displacement."

[...]

"There is no understanding what really happened to Newark and other troubled cities without knowing a little about the white ethnics who inhabited those cities and their attachment to the neighborhoods they lived in," writes Cashill. "Almost to a person, they or their kin came to America for the very quality now sadly absent into many cities: freedom, security, the rule of law, opportunity."

Again, Cashill points out some timely common sense.

"Of course, too, white ethnics were not the only ones to 'flee,'" hel writes. "Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians left the cities for much the same reasons urban whites did, but only whites were shamed for leaving, thus the word 'white' is in the book's title."

Do you want to read a truthful telling about the continuing epic horror story of our once-great cities? You will get it in Cashill's book, his 17th, by the way.

The page for Cashill's book on the WND superstore page notes that the Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell contributed a blurb: “A startlingly honest and poignant look at ‘white flight’ from the white perspective. A necessary and overdue corrective.” It was published by the Simon & Schuster-distributed right-wing imprint Post Hill Press, which notoriously published a memoir by one of the (white) Louisville police officers who killed (black) Breonna Taylor (which S&S distanced itself from).

Given that Cashill has been obsessed not only with attacking Obama but also in trying to lionize (white) people like George Zimmerman and Derek Chauvin and denigrating the (black) people they killed -- Trayvon Martin and George Floyd, respectively -- it appears that his goal with this book is to try and absolve white people who fled major cities in the 1960s of racism as black people began to assert their rights.

Another indication of Cashill's pro-white focus comes in who else is championing it -- specifically, the white nationalist organization VDARE., which made it the subject of its book club for July, as  James Kirkpatrick explained in a July 7 blog post:

During my time within Conservatism Inc., there were a number of honorable exceptions to the ”movement”’s usual pattern of marking time and making a living while America burns. Jack Cashill is one of those exceptions. And on July 4, Independence Day, he has a new book coming out that will hopefully make a major impact on the debate surrounding race in the United States. 

Untenable: The True Story of White Ethnic Flight from America's Cities tells the story of white flight from the white perspective, explaining why Americans left their communities and the untold wealth and social capital that they had built up over generations in order to escape the ”Great Society.” It's a story that we are all living with today. For those of us who grew up in the suburbs, it's a story that literally shaped our entire lives.

It would be hard for Cashill to escape that kind of endorsement. And Cashill is not escaping it -- rather, he embraced it, taking part in a podcast about the book for VDARE, a snippet of which is here.

We haven't read the book -- Post Hill Press has not seen fit to send us a review copy -- but we may have gotten a preview of its attitude in Cashill's June 7 column, in which he rehashed the canard that the Community Reinvestment Act -- created in the 1970s to spur investment in low-income areas that had been denied it in the past due to discrimination and redlining -- caused the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, weirdly framing the CRA as "reparations.," and complaining: "When the bubble finally burst in 2008, no one wanted to address the moral/cultural factors that contributed to it. There was nary a word about the cultural embrace of credit, the breakdown in the family, the media support for profligates, or the government imposition of race and gender quotas on lenders." In other words, he's implying that black people are not sufficiently moral or capable of maintaining a house and mortgage. In fact, the vast majority of subprime lending was done by mortgage companies and other fnancial institutions that weren't subject to assessments under the CRA.

Cashill's book doesn't seem to be explicitly racist, but given the company he keeps and his past defense of white people killing black people, we can safely assume that it is very much racist-adjacent.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:09 PM EDT

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