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Friday, September 15, 2023
WND Gushes That Quack Doctor Is 'Super-Popular'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how WorldNetDaily was upset that quack doctor Joseph Mercola had to seek out a new bank to do business (while hiding all evidence of his quackery). Peter LaBarbera wrote a follow-up article on Aug. 7, gushing that Mercola is "super-popular" and was "victimized" by the bank:

JP Morgan Chase Bank has a growing reputation as a "woke" bank that shills for leftist social causes even as it openly discriminates against conservatives, most recently shutting down the business and personal accounts of COVID-19 dissenter Dr. Joseph Mercola, a super-popular proponent of alternative medicine and marketer of natural health products.

But it didn't stop there: as WND reported, on July 13 Chase also shut down the accounts of Mercola Market's CEO, CFO and even those of their respective spouses and children. Chase gave one employee some more time to find a new bank because shutting down her account disrupted her ability to provide care for her bedridden husband with dementia.

"This is just not fair at all. She has nothing to do with this!" he said in an interview.

Now the victimized doctor who "triggered" pro-COVID-vaccine progressives is warning that the "social credit system" – exemplified by Communist China, which monitors and controls people through digitized money – is already here, and now threatens everyone.

What we’re seeing is the weaponization of finance, where people whose views or actions go against the official narrative are cut off from basic financial services," Mercola said in an extended tweet ("X") Monday.

"This is the social credit system at work and, soon, it will be used against everyone."

Needless to say, LaBarbera said nothing about how Mercola has spread misinformation about COVID and its vaccines, and he has been repeatedly warned by the Federal Trade Commission for selling dietary supplements of dubious value about which he makes illegal claims regarding effectiveness -- more than earning being called a quack. LaBarbera was also silent about the fact that private business can choose not to do business with such an obviously shady quack like Mercola. Instead, he hyped the lazy, unproven argument that Mercola was dropped by Chase because of politics, despite quoting a Chase spokesperson specifically denying it, and hyped a new right-wing bank that would welcome quacks and extremimsts:

Mercola told [podcaster Del] Bigtree he is now pursuing a banking relationship with Old Glory Bank, created by conservatives like country star John Rich and GOP presidential candidate and longtime WND columnist Larry Elder as a haven for patriotic conservatives.

Old Glory states: "We are the bank for Middle Americans who hold tight to their beliefs of liberty, faith, family, security, privacy, and love of country, with a deep appreciation of the military and law and order."

It's not "patriotic" to lie to and scam people like Mercola does, and LaBarbera doesn't explain why ahe thinks it it is. And why would he? Promoting an agenda is more important to him than reporting facts. He also made no effort to fact-check anything Mercola said -- another sign he's a stenographer and not a real reporter.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2023 10:04 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Lingering Obama Derangement, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
Barack and Michelle Obama left the White House in 2017, but they continue to live rent-free in the collective heads of the Media Research Center -- even whining about Barack doing a podcast with Bruce Springsteen. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 AM EDT
Thursday, September 14, 2023
MRC Tries To Clean Up After, Deflect From RFK Jr.'s Anti-Semitic Remark
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center began its runup to Robert K. Kennedy Jr.'s appearance before Congress by trying to do some cleanup of an inflammatory comment he made. Ana Schau was stuck playing whataboutism in a July 18 post:

CNN This Morning host Phil Mattingly had Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) on Tuesday morning’s program to discuss several different issues, notably the recent anti-Semitic statements from Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). Together they lamented Republicans calling out Democrats and tried to tie the anti-Semitic comments from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to House Republicans despite him running for president as a Democrat.

Mattingly introduced the subject by asking Slotkin about Jayapal and “the statement that she made about Israel being a racist nation.”

But Jayapal's statement is not "anti-Semitic" -- it's simply critical of Israel. Not all criticism of Israeli is anti-Semitic, and Schau made no effort to prove Jayapal's statement is. By contrast, Schau did not repeat the statement Kennedy made -- that the COVID virus was "ethnically targeted" not to infect Jews -- which is much more clearly anti-Semitic.

Also, it's quite easy to associate Kennedy with Republicans given that they are the only ones actively promotiing his candidacy -- and that includes the MRC. Schau didn't mention that inconvenient fact, of course. (It's also a sign that he's serving Republican purposes that Fox News barely mentioned his Jewish conspiracy theory, which is not something he would ignore if he were a genuine Democratic candidate.) Instead, she labored to counterfactually distance Kennedy from Republicans, even though they ewere the ones who invicted him to the upcoming hearing:

Mattingly was the one who put the name to the person when he asked specifically about Kennedy’s invitation to testify from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), seeming to think that this invitation linked them together in an anti-Semitic ideology somehow.

He said that, despite McCarthy’s statement that he disagreed with Kennedy’s opinion on the matter, “there’s a difference between censoring somebody and inviting them to testify at a hearing,” and asked Slotkin if the Republicans were not as “uneasy” about Kennedy’s statement as they should have been.

The assumption that McCarthy and the other House Republicans agreed with Kennedy simply because they had invited him for a testimony in a case is an absurd assumption. It would be like assuming that Jack Smith or any other investigator for the January 6th hearings agreed with Trump simply because they had some of his supporters there to testify in the case.

If Kennedy is not serving Republican desires by running, why is Schau working so hard to distance his anti-Semitism from Republicans?

The next day, Gabriela Pariseau ramped up the MRC's victimhood narrative, whining that Kennedy had been "censored" -- then cheered McCarthy for not disinviting him from the hearing over his anti-Semitic remarks:

Big Tech has censored 2024 Democratic Party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at least 10 times over a span of three months, but apparently, that is not enough for the left.

Kennedy is no stranger to censorship. Big Tech companies have already interfered in the 2024 presidential election and have censored Kennedy no fewer than 10 times between April and June 2023, according to MRC’s exclusive CensorTrack.org database.  YouTube committed the majority of the censorship as it removed no fewer than eight videos from its platform for violating its “Community Guidelines.” In the videos, Kennedy repeatedly spoke on controversial topics like COVID-19 and claimed that the CIA killed his father. Twitter additionally added context or Community Notes to two of Kennedy’s posts. 

Kennedy is set to testify at a House Judiciary hearing on censorship Thursday, but he has recently come under fire for comments claiming that COVID-19 was an ethnically targeted bioweapon that does not affect certain Jewish and Chinese people. As a result, Congressional Integrity Project Executive Director Kyle Herrig and over 100 members of Congress have all called for Kennedy to be uninvited from speaking to the committee, arguing that Kennedy has a history of making offensive claims. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, in the spirit of free speech, has not caved to the left’s pressure.

Pariseau also got mad that Twitter's Community Notes were used to call out a Kennedy lie:

Twitter has also posted Community Notes under a couple of Kennedy’s posts. In one case, Kennedy was actually drawing attention to the fact that ABC had censored portions of an interview he gave them. “47 USC 315 makes it illegal for TV networks to censor Presidential candidates but Thursday, ABC showed its contempt for the law, democracy, and its audience by cutting most of the content of my interview with host Linsey Davis leaving only cherry-picked snippets and a defamatory disclaimer,” Kennedy tweeted.

The Community Note, however, claimed that Kennedy misunderstood the statute he referred to. "47 USC 315’s censorship prohibition applies only when candidates 'use a broadcasting station'. The law explicitly exempts newscasts & news interviews, which are allowed to censor," the note read.

The MRC considers Community Notes to be "censorship" when used to correct falsehoods made by right-wingers (and Kennedy).

Alex Christy tried to do more cleanup via whataboutism of Kennedy's anti-Semitic remark, again invoking Jayapal's non-equivalent criticism of Israel, in a July 21 post:

A befuddled Scott Jennings was forced to correct Rolling Stone’s Jay Michaelson on Thursday’s CNN Tonightw hen the former claimed that he couldn’t recall someone with “such anti-Semitic ideas getting this kind of platform” when referring to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Jennings politely reminded Michaelson that “It's platformed every day in the Democrat conference.”

Alluding to Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s remarks that Israel is a racist state, Michaelson, who is also a non-denominational rabbi, alleged, “But it's outrageous that there is, I think, perhaps a double standard that when somebody who spouts anti-Semitism is useful to a party in power, they get a platform. And when someone says something which may or may not, maybe sort of anti-Semitic, thinking, you know, the congresswoman from last week, you know, they get censured.”

Michaelson added, “So, this is a shocking display, I think, of -- I can't think of someone who has espoused-- someone-- such anti-Semitic ideas getting such this kind of a platform.”

There is no doubt that RFK Jr. is a kook and that his latest comments about COVID being “ethnically targeted” to protect Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people is just the latest example of that, but host Sara Sidner noticed Jennings wasn’t buying the larger point, “Scott, you made a face and don't think I didn't notice it.”

If Kennedy is such a "kook," why is the MRC so desperate to defend him and deflect criticism from him? Christy didn't answer that question.

When Michaelson pointed out that Japayal's remarks were not, in fact, anti-Semitic like Kennedy's, Christy helped Jennings push his narrative:

Michaelson then tried to defend himself, claiming that Jayapal’s comments are not even close to as bad as Kennedy’s, “Scott, there is no comparison between a statement, which I think was out of line, saying Israel is a racist state. That is a political statement. It is not one that I agree with. I think it's extreme and I've said it again in the column for CNN why I think that's incorrect… But to compare a sort of extreme political statement with, again, a thousand-year-old claim that Jews somehow engineered plagues to kill non-Jews, that's a crazy false equivalence. They're totally different.”

Jennings shot back by informing Michaelson that he was moving the goal posts, “No, your statement was you had never heard of anti-Semitism being platformed like this in the U.S. Congress. It's platformed every day in the Democrat conference.”

Again, Michaelson tried to suggest Jayapal’s remarks were different, “That's only if you agree that a statement about Israel which, again, I'm not agreeing with that statement or endorsing it, is anti-Semitic. It's a political statement… And so, for this guy to get on, you know, to get a platform after saying that like the Jews are immune and that this was targeted and it's some sort of a bioweapon, I'm sorry, but to compare that to one statement saying Israel is a racist state, that's no comparison.”

It is not just Jayapal, as Jennings recalled, “It's not one statement. That corner of the party makes repeated statements, but sorry.”

Jennings is, of course, correct. Elected progressives say anti-Semitic things routinely under the guise of criticizing Israel and, unlike RFK Jr., they actually hold positions of power.

Christy did not explain how, exactly, Jayapal's remark was anti-Semitic, and he offered no examples to support hs contention that Jennings "is, of course, correct."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
Newsmax Hyped 'Sound of Freedom,' Hid QAnon Ties
Topic: Newsmax

Like other ConWeb outlets, Newsmax embraced the anti-child trafficking film "Sound of Freedom," based on the story of Tim Ballard, as a way to advance right-wing political narratives. James Hirsen unspririsingly gushed over the film in his July 3 column:

During one of the many dramatic scenes in the film, Ballard alludes to a passage from the Gospel of Luke.

“It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than you should ever hurt one of these little ones,” Ballard says.

In the Bible, Jesus himself instructs us about the inherent value of each and every child.

When in the film Ballard is asked why he has taken up this arduous mission, he replies, “Because God’s children are not for sale.”

[...]

For me personally, another passage from the Bible comes to mind. It is that of the Good Shepherd.

The shepherd has 100 sheep in his flock. But if one single sheep goes missing, he leaves the 99 in search of the one.

At least in prayer, may people of conscience continue to strive to be like the Good Shepherd.

And may God in his goodness send more Tim Ballards to rescue the one in need.

Like those other ConWeb outlets, Hirsen wasn't about to admit that the film leans into conspiratorial QAnon narratives about trafficking -- in which global elites are purportedly trafficking children for the purpose of harvesingt a chemical called adrenochrome from their blood to stay young -- or that star Jim Caviezel has become a serious QAnon adherent, or that Ballard himself has refused to distance himself from QAnon.

Hirsen gushed over the film again in his July 11 column -- "The public loves the film, giving it the highest CinemaScore rating possible, an A+. And movie fans who weighed-in on the Rotten Tomatoes website gave it a 100% rating" -- but then undermined that praise by enlisting two less-than-stellar people to help him endorse it:

In order to get more people to pay attention to the violations of human dignity with which the film deals, Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (the global mixed martial arts organization) posted a video on social media.

White spoke out on the importance of “Sound of Freedom” and the chilling nightmare of human trafficking. He was joined by legendary actor and director [Mel] Gibson, who urged people to see the movie.

The White and Gibson video footage has gone viral, providing some powerful promotion for the movie.

During the video, White said, “There is a new movie out there called 'Sound of Freedom' and it’s about human trafficking. More importantly, about the trafficking of children. This is a disgusting, horrific issue that’s happening all around the world. And it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.”

The UFC CEO is utilizing his own company in an effort to get the word out.

As we've documented, White is something of a thug who defied COVID protocols duringthe pandemic to continue UFC matches and who was caught on camera slapping his wife during an argument. Gibson, of course, is the close friend and promoter of Hirsen that he has been trying to rehabilitate publicly ever since he was exposed as a raging Jew-hater. Hirsen mentoned none of this, of course, and he continued to censor the QAnon ties of the film and its principals.

Newsmax also gave the film other promotion as well:

(All those articles on how well the film is doing would seem to disprove Cains claim that it's being "suppressed.")

The only time the film's QAnon links were somewhat seriously addressed came in a July 9 article by Eric Mack that dishonestly addressed the issues by blaming "the liberal media" for bringing it up:

The biopic of Tim Ballad, a man leaving government work to hunt down child sex-traffickers in Colombia, is getting rave reviews by the public, while being trashed by the liberal media – a dichotomy not entirely lost on some.

While Rolling Stone magazine, The Washington Post, and The Guardian have denounced "The Sound of Freedom," to varying degrees, as a dog whistle for QAnon conspiracy theorists, it is making noise as a box office smash, raising an estimated $40 million in six days, according to Deadline.

[...]

Rolling Stone's meltdown titled "Sound of Freedom' Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms" had Bryan Chai of the Western Journal taking particular note of critics minimizing the issue of child-sex trafficking to dis the film as a QAnon conspiracy spreader.

"Ballard, Caviezel, and others of their ilk had primed the public to accept 'Sound of Freedom' as a documentary rather than delusion by fomenting moral panic for years over this grossly exaggerated 'epidemic' of child sex-trafficking, much of it funneling people into conspiracist rabbit holes and QAnon communities," Rolling Stone's Miles Klee wrote. "In short, I was at the movies with people who were there to see their worst fears confirmed."

The Journal's Chai shot back that, despite Klee's dismissal, "child sex-trafficking is an objectively heinous, monstrous and evil stain on humanity."

Mack refused to tell his readers that Caviezel is a QAnon adherent or that Ballard won't distance himself from QAnon.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 17, 2023 11:23 PM EDT
FLASHBACK: An Interlude Of Stelter Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of this flashback series, we've shown how the Media Research Center worked hard to falsely smear a proposed anti-disinformation initiative in the Department of Homeland Security as a Orwellian "ministry of truth" -- while also smearing its leader, Nina Jankowicz -- then gleefully danced on its grave when officials caved to the nonsense and shut it down. And because this is the MRC, it also spent time lashing out at then-CNN host Brian Stelter, whom it irrationally hates for interfering with its right-wing talking points, for telling the other side of the story. Kevin Tober chortled in a May 2022 post that served up stenography for an insult-fest:

On Monday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson once again proved why he has the number one show on cable news when he did a brutal takedown of CNN’s Brian Stelter for his sadness over the demise of Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) also known as the Ministry of Truth. 

Carlson started off by expressing his amusement over the former head of the DGB, Nina Jankowicz. “So, by far the most entertaining person Joe Biden has appointed to anything was that Nina woman he put in charge of the Ministry of Truth. She was so ridiculous and provably so that she’s out,” Carlson said. 

He then turned his attention to CNN and Brian Stelter: “but at CNN, they are sad. They wanted her there forever.”

[...]

Carlson surmised that “Brian Stelter is in fact, assuming he's a real person, basically lifted directly from the pages of 1984, the Orwell novel.”

Needless to say, Tober fact-checked nothing Carlson said. Iinstead, he embarrassingly gushed: "Ouch! Tucker Carlson does not miss."

When stelter had Jankowicz on his show to tell her side of the story -- which is apparently forbidden in the right-wing bubbile -- Tober lashed out anew in a July 10, 2022, post:

On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, host Brian Stelter spent the opening monologue of his show in a tizzy over the amount of disinformation on the internet and in American politics in general. So naturally, Stelter decided to bring the former head of President Joe Biden's Ministry of Truth Nina Jankowicz to help her rehabilitate her image. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jankowicz spread disinformation herself during the interview. 

Predictably, Stelter opened the segment by sucking up to her and failed to correct her on any of her lies. "The sympathetic view, to you, is that the disinformation board was the victim of disinformation. Is that how you feel?" 

Jankowicz responded that "it absolutely was the victim of disinformation. All of these narratives, that the disinformation governance board was going to be this Orwellian Ministry of Truth and all of the harassment and disinformation that was directed against me, was based on that falsehood. Based on that falsehood that was knowingly peddled by many people in the conservative media ecosystem and on Capitol Hill." 

[...]

Stelter teed her up to play victim about all the personal attacks she allegedly had to endure: "These critics, there were many of them, they were incredibly loud. They say you are just a giant liberal, could never be appropriately hired for this job because you posted disinformation on Twitter yourself."

In response Jankowicz went through a laundry list of grievances many of which were false:

[...]

She purposefully lied about former President Trump's ties to the Russian Alfa Bank and that he had two secret email servers to communicate with the Russians. Both claims were and are flat-out false. Screenshots are forever, Nina! Of course, Stelter never confronted her about this either. Stelter is a fake journalist at a fake news network.

Tober offered no evidence Jankowicz "purposefully lied" about the Alfa Bank story; just because something later turns out not to be true doesn't mean it was a lie to report the original claim. By contrast, the MRC continues to falsely claim that an invfestigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump was a "hoax" though most normal people -- even Republicans -- agree there was more than enough evidence to justify an investigation. Also note that Tober made no effort to defend the disonest attacks on the board and on Jankowicz, suggesting that he agrees that her criticism of those attacks are accurate.

Tim Graham served up one more bit of needless mockery in his podcast the next day:

The liberal media paint themselves as the forces of Truth, and the conservatives as an army of misinformation. On his Sunday show, CNN host Brian Stelter brought on former "Disinformation Governance Board" leader Nina Jankowicz and asked softball questions about her feelings, and sugggested she was wronged by the right-wingers. The only tough questions dwelled on how the Department of Homeland Security didn't fight the conservatives hard enough.

Graham is certainly not going to concede that Jankowicz is right and his side is wrong.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:39 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2023 3:42 PM EDT
WND Bestows Martyrdom On Trump In Its Magazine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Given the massive amounts of hero worship WorldNetDaily has already provided to Donald Trump, it was only a matter of time before it granted him full martyr status. And the July issue of WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine did just that, themed "THE PERSECUTION OF DONALD TRUMP: Why the ruling elites loathe – and fear – the 45th president." As one would expect, the essay for the issue by managing editor David Kupelian, published at WND on July 25, starts with a highly biased and wildly misleading assessment of the political landscape:

A little over a year from now, Americans will have the opportunity to choose not only their next president, but their national destiny. It’s that serious.

As things currently stand, their choice will be between two men: One has already proven, as president, that he has contempt for America and her people and fully intends to dismantle the greatest nation in history. The other has likewise proven, as president, that he loves America and Americans, and fully intends to restore their nation to its former greatness.

Yet the outcome of this essentially good-versus-evil contest is currently very much in doubt. How can that be?

It couldn't be that Kupelian is vastly overstating how purportedly evil Biden is and completely censoring how amoral Trump is, could it? Kupelian then served up a righ-wing parody of how Biden is viewed, including false accusations of election fraud:

The current U.S. president, Joe Biden, is a criminal – in fact, he's the patriarch (“big guy”) of an entire crime family. Their influence-peddling operations, through which many family members have raked in millions of dollars selling access to Biden to foreign actors – including major adversaries China and Russia – are now well-documented and indisputable, leading members of Congress to introduce articles of impeachment, and some congressmen and veteran analysts even to accuse Biden of the high crime of treason.

Moreover, Biden’s perverse policies in every area – from intentionally destroying America’s energy sector to intentionally engineering a massive foreign invasion of America – are degrading the nation at breathtaking speed.

And of course, the election process by which the obviously incompetent and mentally impaired Biden became leader of the free world in 2020 was egregiously compromised – which is to say, rigged – a fact every politically aware American now knows to be true, thanks to recent revelations confirming epic collusion between the FBI and Big Tech in suppressing extremely negative news about Biden shortly before the election.

After hyperbolic smears of Hililary Clinton ("epically corrupt and criminal") and Barack Obama ("a quintessentially amoral, 'end-justifies-the means' Marxist radical"), he then fawned over Trump:

So, into this boiling cauldron of revolutionary, elitist, globalist, criminal and demonic forces dared to step billionaire businessman and television celebrity Donald J. Trump.

On June 16, 2015, following his famous ride down the Trump Tower escalator with wife Melania at his side, Trump announced he was entering the race for the presidency. From that day until now, eight years later, Trump has been public enemy number one of “the ruling class,” “the elites,” the “Deep State,” or as many call it, the Washington, D.C. “Swamp,” which Trump promised to “drain.”

It didn’t matter that virtually every policy Trump proposed – from making America energy independent, to rebuilding her military, to negotiating more favorable trade agreements with other nations, to securing America’s borders to halt the increasingly out-of-control invasion – was eminently sensible and in-sync with the values of the great center-right American middle class, traditionally the nation’s moral and economic backbone. The elites of government, media, culture and academia immediately began their nonstop attacks on Donald Trump as the new Hitler.

Kupelian then whined about the Capitol riot purportedly being overblown:

First, there was “January 6.” An early 2021 demonstration-turned-riot by Trump supporters who passionately believed, with good reason, that the recent election – and therefore their country – had just been stolen from them, was converted by deceitfully opportunistic Democrats and their media propagandists into an “armed insurrection,” even though none of the protesters arrested for walking around in the Capitol building were armed. Biden called it “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” while Vice President Kamala Harris somberly compared the riot with Imperial Japan’s surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor and Al-Qaida’s Sept. 11, 2001, mass terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Each of those attacks resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. But the only person killed on Jan. 6 was an unarmed female Trump supporter, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot dead at close range and without provocation by a Capitol Hill policeman.

Kupelian omitted the fact that the riot was an attack on the seat of government by Americans with theh goal of overthrowing an eleciton. Also, Babbitt was illegally inside the Capitol and crawling through a broken window, making her a domestic terrorist who was a threat and the law enforcement response against her completely justified.

Kupelian then complained about the indictments facing Trump for various offenses, claiming that "Honest and knowledgeable legal analysts not in league with the Biden administration openly classify the indictments against Trump as somewhere between frivolous and obviously politically motivated – and the ultimate proof of a two-tiered justice system." But the WND article he linked to cited only two actual "legal experts," Trump toadies Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley. And actually, it would be evidence of a two-tiered justice system if Trump was not held accountable for his crimes, which is what Kupelian seems to want.

Kupelian concluded by name-checking all the usual right-wing bogeyman purportedly arrayed against Trump:

Finally, just to drill down to the very heart and soul of the matter, it’s necessary to try to understand the non-understandable – that is, to comprehend the mindset of people so compromised, corrupt and without conscience that regular, decent people cannot easily comprehend how such people think, reason and justify their egregious crimes.

In fact, it may be easier to glimpse this aberrant mindset by briefly focusing on the larger “swamp” – the globalist elites, the George Soros and Bill Gates types, the World Economic Forum bigwigs like Klaus Schwab and Biden envoy John Kerry and even China’s Xi Jinping, who sometimes headlines WEF events.

These are people who literally want to rule the world.

Consider, just as one example, that these elite globalists passionately proselytize for the elimination of gasoline-powered vehicles and encourage the world’s populations to give up eating meat – all, of course, rooted in their fervent concerns over “catastrophic climate change.” Yet these very same people fly into these catered Davos shindigs in their private jets and dine on lobster tail and prime rib, while simultaneously urging the rest of the world (i.e., “the rabble”) to eat insects.

Such staggering hypocrisy, ego and arrogance – masked by a messianic religious zeal and feigned devotion to a higher good for all mankind – is precisely the mentality of American elites like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and others.

So, this is the nation – and world – the next president will have to deal with. Right now, there is only one person who has demonstrated, in the great arena, the almost superhuman strength to make a positive difference in an extraordinarily dangerous world and, at home, a society populated with so many pathologically corrupt players and institutions. That person is Donald J. Trump.

And don’t forget the profound truth Trump often cites, and which he repeated at a Georgia rally a few weeks ago, when he reminded the audience: “In the end, they're not coming after me. They're coming after you – and I'm just standing in their way.”

Kupelian didn't explain why Trump must be above the law and never face consequences for his crimes, or why that two-tiered system of justice is perfectly fine with him.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
FLASHBACK: MRC Cheered Demise Of Anti-Disinfo Board It Smeared
Topic: Media Research Center

We've shown how the Media Research Center falsely smeared a proposed anti-disinformation effort in the Department of Homeland Security as an Orwellian "ministry of truth" that would censor Americans. When those smears ultimately torpedoed the office, the MRC was dancing in the streets over this dishonest right-wing victory. Curtis Houck cheered in a May 18, 2022, post:

According to far-left creep and perpetual whiner Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided this week it would put a pause on the dangerous, Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) due to what they claimed were “unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats” to executive director Nina Jankowicz.

Late Tuesday morning, Lorenz tweeted after the article's publication that Jankowicz officially resigned.

Lorenz wrote: “Now, just three weeks after its announcement, the Disinformation Governance Board is being ‘paused,’ according to multiple employees at DHS, capping a back-and-forth week of decisions that changed during the course of reporting of this story.”

Houck offered no proof that Lorenz is "far-left," though a month or so earlier it was viciously smearing Lorenz for using publicly available information to accurately identify Chaya Raichik as the proprietor of the viciouisly homophobic Libs of TikTok Twitter feed. Also note that Houck did not criticize those "vile personal attacks" on Jankowicz; perhaps that was because his employer helped forward some of them.

Houck continued:

As she often does, Lorenz framed objections to her views as nefarious, calling the uproar “a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them.”

Lorenz painted opposition to Jankowicz as a smoke-filled, backroom image that began thanks to “far-right influencer Jack Posobiec” having used “a derogatory comparison point” by dubbing DGB “a ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

Houck went on to claim that "The back-end of her article all but conceded that the board was created so as to crush and maim conservatives" -- but the excerpt he posted of that section of the article did not mention "conservatives" at all; Lorenz did point out that "Experts say that right-wing disinformation and smear campaigns regularly follow the same playbook," which "start with identifying a person to characterize as a villain." Houck did not deny that this is how right-wingers like him work.

A post the same day by Craig Bannister also attacked Lorenz, insisting that her article was "highly partisan, bemoaning the DGB’s demise and ignoring Jankowicz’s dabbling in disinformation." He also made sure to get his talking points by declaring that "The board has been condemned as an attempt to institute a “Ministry of Truth” to censor, punish and “correct” speech and news that contradicts government policy and ideology. He went on to spout the corporate line and falsely frame dishonest right-wing attacks as defending "free speech":

Conservatives, however, cheered the news of the DGB’s demise, but say a “pause” doesn’t go far enough to protect free speech. “The Ministry of Truth needs to be canceled, not just paused. We don't need the government telling us what to think!,” Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell tweeted.

“@washingtonpost blaming conservatives for daring to defend free speech is the icing on the cake. Yes, we love free speech and real journalists should too!,” Bozell said in a follow-up post.

Another post, this one anonymously written, cheered Jankowicz's official resignation:

“Mary Poppins of disinformation” Nina Jankowicz resigned from leading President Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) after MRC and other outlets exposed its Orwellian nature.

“UPDATE: Nina Jankowicz has officially resigned from Disinformation Governance Board and the DHS,” unapologetic doxxer and Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz tweeted Wednesday morning. “Jankowicz had previously written a resignation letter on Monday, when the board was set to be dissolved. Then last night, after DHS officials called and and [sic] said the board would simply be on ‘pause’ she reevaluated. She's now made the decision to leave.”

Lorenz wrote a whiny story on how the DHS “paused” its Ministry of Truth operation headlined: “How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts.”

The anonymous writer didn't admit the dishonest right-wing attacks, nor did he or she mention the threatsmage against Jankowicz due to those dishonest attacks. The smear of Lorenz as an "unapologetic doxxer" also snottily refers to her exposure of Raichik.

A post by Kevin Tober complained that non-right-wing networks didn't buy into the right-wing smears the way its buddies at Fox News did:

On Wednesday morning, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security is putting a pause on the Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB). It was later reported by The Wall Street Journal that the executive director in charge of the board, Nina Jankowicz is stepping down. 

“With the exception of one minute and 23 seconds on the May 1 edition of the Sunday show Meet the Press” the broadcast networks have refused to cover the news of the Biden administration’s Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Instead, the evening newscasts ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News have decided to cover the U.S. women’s soccer team winning a lawsuit over equal pay and local weather reports. 

Yet, Fox News Channel’s America Reports did manage to cover the reported pause in the operation of the DGB and Jankowicz’s resignation. At the helm of the Wednesday afternoon broadcast of America Reports co-hosts John Roberts and Gillian Turner covered the story.

Tober went on to complain that a Fox News correspondent read a statement from a Biden White House official denying the accuracy of right-wing attacks against the board, which Tober dismissed as "snarky and petulant." It seems he's upset that Fox News told a side of the story he didn't want to hear.

The MRC capped off that day's coverage with a podcast in which Tim Graham proclaimed the suspension of the board a "shocking victory," then whined that Lorenz "lamented how the right-wingers sought to ruin DGB boss Nina Jankowicz with their negative narratives," immediately playing whataboutism to avoid having to actually discuss the issue and seemingly justifying the dishonesty as revenge: "As if Donald Trump and his staff didn't receive 'an unrelenting barrage of harassment and abuse' from The Washington Post? Journalism and satire are wonderful tools when liberals use them apparently, but it's unrelenting harassment when conservatives get involved."

When the dishonest attacks on the board were called out, the MRC continued to whine. Alex Christy complained in a May 19, 2022, post:

On Wednesday’s edition of All in With Chris Hayes on MSNBC, the show’s namesake host welcomed Nina Jankowicz, who resigned from the paused Disinformation Governance Board. Both Hayes and Jankowicz lamented and alleged that the DGB fell victim to the sort of misinformation that went would seek to combat even with Hayes admitting the board had its issues.

In introducing Jankowicz, Hayes declared, “But almost immediately after the announcement, a right-wing frenzy ensued helped along I think by the vaguely ominous title of the office, and she found herself on the receiving end of a concerted campaign by the very same forces disinformation her office would face now attacking her and undermining her credibility with wild conspiracy theories and lies.”

Joseph Vazquez similarly huffed:

The New York Times had a cow over the apparent demise of President Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board and painted it as a victim of — wait for it — disinformation.

Times“veteran” foreign and national security correspondent Steven Lee Meyers published an asinine story headlined: “A Panel to Combat Disinformation Becomes a Victim of It.” Meyers mourned that the Department of Homeland Security was “suspending the work” of the DGB “intended to combat disinformation after what the department described as a deliberate disinformation campaign.”

According to Meyers’ lament, “the fiercest denunciations came from the right,” which included correct characterizations of the DGB as “an Orwellian Ministry of Truth that would police people’s speech.” The DHS paused the DGB’s operations after significant backlash.

Meyers pleaded that being a Ministry of Truth “was never the board’s mandate, a department spokesman said in a written statement.” Ah, so the “Ministry of Truth” narrative wasn’t true because a “Ministry of Truth” loyalist said so?

Vazquez's claim that right-wing attacks were "correct" went to another MRC post -- hardly a stellar example of "media research." Neither Vazquez nor Christy would admit the dishonesty of the attacks coming form their side. Vazquez also played the Soros card, claiming that "A 2020 report by a think tank funded by liberal billionaire George Soros raised questions about whether it had any hand in the creation of President Joe Biden’s 'Ministry of Truth.'"

Tober returned to attack Jankowicz for daring to point out the right-wing smears:

One day after the Biden administration’s Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) was shut down, the former Executive Director Nina Jankowicz continued making the rounds on cable news to whine about the board’s demise and her subsequent resignation, this time with an appearance on CNN Tonight.

Host Lauren Coates asked Jankowicz why the purpose of the board was “not communicated effectively?” She responded that “absolutely could and should have been communicated better” and shirked responsibility by claiming her advice wasn’t listened to, adding that she “wanted it to be communicated better.” 

Further proving that she has no sense of irony or self-awareness, Jankowicz said, with a straight face, that unfortunately and ironically we were undone exactly by a disinformation campaign coming from folks who apparently want to put our national security behind their own personal political ambitions.”

[...]

She then accused opponents of the DGB of being unpatriotic: “this childish behavior is putting the national security of our country behind this sort of partisan vitriol.”

Tober made no effort to prove Jankowicz wrong, nor did he deny the fundamental dishonesty of the right-wing campaign against the board.

In a May 21, 2022, post, Graham unironically attacked Jankowicz for complaining about the baseless right-wing attacks she faced:

Now that Nina Jankowicz has resigned her job as "Disinformation Governance Board" boss at the Department of Homeland Security, the liberal media have competed to paint her in the most melodramatic tones as a victim of vicious sexist harassment. Associated Press reporter Amanda Seitz -- who's supposed to be a "Fact Check Reporter" -- filed a story Friday with the gaudy headline "Disinformation board’s ex-leader faced wave of online abuse.

[...]

The AP reporter was not at all interested in the conservative argument against the DGB or Jankowicz. Newspapers and websites across America were spreading the word that the right-wingers were "silencing and terrorizing" her because she was female.

Graham seems to think Jankowicz deserved to be abused simply because she ran afoul of right-wing narratives (which he didn't bother to demonstrate were accurate in any way).

Even though the board was essentially suspected, the MRC still wasn't done repeating attacks on it and Jankowicz over the next several days:

Vazquez was still whining how the right-wing dishonesty that killed the board was being called out in a July 6, 2022, post:

The triggered liberals at The New York Times are having a cow over fears that Washington, D.C., won’t be able to install a censorship apparatus to root out so-called “disinformation.”

The Times published a whiny story headlined: “Disinformation Has Become Another Untouchable Problem in Washington.” The piece, plastered with a photo of a stone-faced former Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) Director Nina Jankowicz, whined that Biden’s Ministry of Truth “was dismantled — put on ‘pause,’ officially — undone in part by forces it was meant to combat, including distortions of the board’s intent and powers.” 

The Times has tried for weeks to orce-feed readers into believing that the DGB was a disinformation victim. Jankowicz resigned from the DGB following backlash to the Biden administration’s attempt to control the flow of information online.

[...]

The liberal newspaper even attempted to paint Jankowicz as a DGB martyr: “Ms. Jankowicz became a focus of the furor, targeted online by false or misleading information about her role in what critics denounced as a Ministry of Truth.” 

As before, Vazquez would not admit the dishonesty of the smear campaign, instead complaining that "The Times repackaged the generic 'Republicans Seized' and 'Republicans Pounce' mantras to label First Amendment concerns around the DGB as a partisan issue." If you're falsely smearing something as an Orwellian "ministry of truth," you're making a highly partisan political attack, not issuing "First Amendment concerns."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:42 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2023 6:15 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnists Remain Wildly Pro-Trump After Debate
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax worked to spin its "news" coverage of August's Republican presidential candidate in a pro-Trump direction, even though Trump didn't take part and did an interview with Tucker Carlson instead. Newsmax's opinion-makers were even more pro-Trump. Longtime Trump toady Dick Morris praised Trump's refusal to take part in the debate in a Aug. 25 column, insisting it was beneath his dignity (not that Trump and dignity are that well acquainted):

When this writer considered the various legitimate reasons that former President Donald Trump might not choose to participate in the first Republican debate, I thought about the bias of FoxNews, the partiality of Brett Baer, the potential of minor, fringe candidates to hog the stage.

But, having watched the debate, this writer missed the key point:

To participate would have been undignified for a former president.

If what we witnessed (in the form of eight contenders) are understudies for Donald J.Trump — God help the GOP going into 2024. 

The big winner was Donald Trump.

He had the good sense not to show up but to sit down for a thoughtful, articulate interview with Tucker Carlson.

Meanwhile, the shouting match unfolded in the adjacent rink of the circus.

Morris went on to attack all the non-Trump candiates, taking particular aim at Vivek Ramaswamy: "Ramaswamy think’s he’s an agent provocateur calling out corruption, saying that all his opponents are "bought and paid for," but he's really just a child throwing stinks bombs in grade school."

Morris concluded with a poorly edited rant against the Fox News anchors who ran the debate:

The biggest losers were Brett Baer and Martha MacCallum who went from RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) to MINOS (Moderators in Name Only) as they lost control of the debate and were swept along in the anarchy of their own making.

Wednesday's debate was a total waste time, with the real losers being the American people.

Morris repeated this assessment in an Aug. 26 Newsmax TV appearance.

Larry Bell similarly cheered Trump for skipping the debate in his Aug. 25 column:

There should be little wonder why Donald Trump, who leads bigly in GOP primary polls, would forego sound bite debate exchanges with desperate challengers on a media venue that shuns coverage of his enormous rallies for one with a host and that shares common grievances on a competing network that apparently reached a far larger audience.

Approximately 236 million viewers reportedly logged into Trump’s simultaneous prerecorded interview with Tucker Carlson — 19 times the 12.8 million that Nielson ratings showed tuning in to Wednesday evening debates hosted by Fox.

Trump’s conspicuous absence from the stage wasn’t for want of pleading on the part of Fox co-moderator Bret Baier who had reportedly called him four times.

Nor is there any real mystery why he rejected those invitations.

Perhaps consider a rather inelegant analogy of scheduling a globally televised colonoscopy by med school interns and the patient doesn’t show up.

And why would he, when adding all of his primary competitors together would still leave them trailing Trump by double digits?

In fact, the debate's ratings dwarfed the number who actually watched the entirety of the Carlson-Trump interview. He concluded by calling the debate irrelevant:

The big point here is that Trump's base of supporters — and there are many — already know and highly value his accomplishments.

They see them starkly contrasted by abject Biden administration failures impacting diverse aspects of lives and futures.

The only debate venue that truly matters will be determined in October 2024 ballot boxes.

Daniel McCarthy, however, had a different take on Ramaswamy than Morris did, identifying him as a mini-Trump who could take votes from Trump, stating in his Aug. 31 column that "Trump faces a new opponent that may prove tougher — Trumpism":

Ramaswamy has cultivated Trump's knack for the stinging barb. "Nikki, I wish you well on your future career on the boards of Lockheed and Raytheon," he shot at her.

Others made no effort to disguise their exasperation: "I've had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT," said Christie.

That's how Ramaswamy's detractors see him — as TrumpGPT, a large language module lab-built to mimic the former president when Trump isn't in the room.

[...]

Trump's critics have long argued his success in 2016 was down to the size and fragmentation of the field.

This cycle, it's just possible there will be fragmentation on the Trump side, between him and Ramaswamy, giving DeSantis an opening to consolidate the get-beyond-Trump vote.

[...]

The race is still Trump's to lose. Ramaswamy may pose a new challenge, but the opponent Trump has to take most seriously right now isn't him or DeSantis or Joe Biden; it's Democratic state and federal prosecutors.

No wonder Morris was so hostiile to Ramaswamy.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 7:03 PM EDT
WND Misleads Readers Again About COVID Vaccine Effectiveness
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves to spread fake news about COVID vaccines, and Peter LaBarbera served up his fake-news offering in a June 21 article, under the alarmist headline "CDC chief KNEW COVID vaccine didn't work while pushing shots":

A newly unearthed email by former CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reveals that she, former NIH Director Francis Collins and COVID point man Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed dangerous “vaccine breakthroughs” of COVID infections at the same time they were telling the public that the vaccines would prevent people from becoming infected – a narrative she continued for months.

Walensky's redacted email, produced through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, is dated Jan. 30, 2021, shortly after the Biden government began rolling out the COVD vaccines, which quickly became mandatory for military servicemembers and government workers, as well as in the corporate world – punishing those who refused to take the shot.

In the email, Walensky writes: "I had a call with Francis Collins this morning and one of the issues we discussed was that of vaccine breakthroughs."

"This is clearly an important area of study and was specifically called out this week here," she writes, linking to a January 8, 2021 "viewpoint" article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, on COVID vaccine breakthroughs titled, "SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and the Growing Threat of Viral Variants." The article discusses new COVID mutations that "immediately raised concerns among vaccine researchers."

Walensky writes in the email: "Nancy and I discussed this briefly a few weeks ago and I understand that –" whereupon a large chunk of her email is redacted.

LaBarbera reather deliberately missed the point -- and, thus, chose to mislead and lie to his readers. Contrary to LaBarbera's headline, the original COVID vaccines did work, providing a high degree of effectiveness in prevention of transmission and in reducing severity of symptoms in those who did catch it. The JAMA article LaBarbera mentioned in passing did not attack those vaccines because they "didn't work"; it argued that new COVID variants would make them less effective, which is exactly what happened. And that's why the vaccines are regularly reformulated to target newly circulating variants. And as experts have pointed out, all vaccines have some degree of breakthrough infections, and no vaccine is 100 percent effective. And those who got COVID after being vaccinated saw milder symptoms than those who were unvaccinated.

But rather then tell his readers these facts, LaBarbera chose to push a right-wing anti-vaxx narrative instead:

Reaction poured in from conservatives and others outraged by the revelation that Walensky and others key COVID policy figures were well aware of the experimental vaccines' shortcomings, even as they championed the vaccines and pushed mandates on the public while demonizing people who refused the shots for various reasons, including that they had no need for them because they'd gained natural immunity by contracting COVID.

It's shoddy, biased and incomplete reporting like this that is costing WND readers. But WND is choosing to stay rooted in conspiracy theories instead of trying to improve the quality and reliability of its "news" product.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 12:39 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Lingering Obama Derangement, Part 1
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center repeatedly displayed anger and jealousy at Barack and Michelle Obama for their success in TV production and publishing memoirs after they left the White House. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
FLASHBACK: How MRC Falsely Smeared Anti-Disinfo Board As 'Ministry of Truth'
Topic: Media Research Center

When the Biden administration set out to create a "Disinformation Governance Board" last year with the goal of identifying false or misleading information that harms national security, the Media Research Center joined other right-wing media in smearing the board as a "ministry of truth" and attacking the woman who was to head it, Nina Jankowicz, as an Orwellian figure who delighted in censoring people, while denying that there was such a thing as an objective definition of disinformation by adding odd qualifiers like "so-called." Here's a sampling:

  • The Biden administration formalized its war against so-called disinformation. -- Alexander Hall, April 28, 2022
  • Fox News host Tucker Carlson torched Disinformation Governance Board leader Nina Jankowicz for leading the United States into an Orwellian nightmare. Police states ruled by uniformed generals are SO last century, the hour of the deep state hall monitor has come. -- Alexander Hall, April 29, 2022
  • On Thursday and Friday’s editions of The Psaki Show, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich repeatedly took the outgoing White House press secretary to task over the appointment of Nina Jankowicz, a far-left Resistance fiend to run what many have deemed a real-life Ministry of Truth out of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). -- Curtis Houck, April 29, 2022
  • Biden’s Department of Homeland Security is creating a “Disinformation Governance Board” and the liberal media doesn’t find it interesting...because it’s not directed at them. The new board’s boss, Nina Jankowicz, is a theatrical partisan who said Hunter Biden’s laptop was a “Trump campaign product.” -- Tim Graham, April 29, 2022
  • Americans are waking up to the fact that under the Biden Administration the Government of the United States has now officially established a Ministry of Truth-style “Disinformation Governance Board” to decide what is and what is not “disinformation.” And to run it as the executive director, it has selected Ms. Jankowicz, the self-same Ms. Jankowicz who actively pushed two of the biggest pieces of disinformation in American political history, namely the Steele Dossier and the idea that the Hunter Biden laptop story was false. -- Jeffrey Lord, April 30, 2022
  • In light of the controversy surrounding the Biden administration's creation of a “Disinformation board” which is eerily similar to the Ministry of Truth in the novel 1984, CNN’s Dana Bash while hosting State of the Union, challenged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the Orwellian-sounding board. ... If Donald Trump created a board to combat “disinformation” Mayorkas and everyone else involved in this plot would be on CNN wailing about how Orwellian it is. -- Kevin Tober, May 1, 2022
  • Last Wednesday, it was revealed that the Joe Biden administration has created a “disinformation” board that will be run by a partisan Democrat. All of this as we ramp up to the midterm elections. Since last Wednesday, all three network morning and evening newscasts have ignored what some are calling an Orwellian attempt at muzzling free speech. -- Scott Whitlock, May 2, 2022
  • Now comes the announcement of a new office within the Department of Homeland Security to police “disinformation” and “misinformation.” Some critics are comparing it to the fictitious “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” The new office will be headed by Nina Jankowicz who styles herself as Mary Poppins on TikTok (a social media platform owned by the Chinese communist government, a font of disinformation, which should be alarming). -- Cal Thomas, May 4, 2022

The MRC also launched personal attacks on Jankowicz and others allegedly involved with the board:

In fact, the board was to coordinate anti-disinformation efforts within the DHS and wouldn't be policing speech. But the MRC cares only about right-wing red meat, not the truth, so the "ministry of truth" narrative had to prevail. When those paranoid right-wing falsehoods about the board were called out, the MRC attacked the truth-tellers. Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in a May 2, 2022, post:

Over the weekend, the Biden administration rolled out his Ministry of Truth under the Department of Homeland Security called the Disinformation Governance Board. This clearly Orwellian (1984) machination has rightly been the subject of scrutiny, but on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host and chief media apologist Brian Stelter suggested the real problem was the “right-wing uproar” and how they’re getting angry at something that they don’t have a clue about.

[...]

He was speaking to Moira Whelan of the “non-partisan” National Democratic Institute, who said she was “aware” of the concerns but dismissed them. She insisted “it’s a board, exactly as we say.”

In his question to her, Stelter suggested that the people criticizing the board are just too ignorant and don’t know what they’re talking about. “But I don't think people know what it is and what it isn't. And there's just been a lot of right-wing uproar without knowing what it is,” he whined.

Fondacaro made no effort to disprove anything Stelter or Whelan said -- he just repeated his assigned talking points. Catherine Salgado followed a week later with ranting at the Washington Post for telling the truth:

The Washington Post Editorial Board tried to scoff away critiques of the Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board in a tone-deaf piece.

Ther Post, in an editorial headlined, “Ignore the hysteria over the Disinformation Governance Board,” made clear it supposedly sees no serious problems with the blatantly pro-censorship board, despite evidence to the contrary; “Despite what some in the Republican congressional leadership might tell you, the Department of Homeland Security is not starting up a ‘Ministry of Truth.’”  Sure, the rollout was “ham-handed,” but the board could actually do a “great deal of good,” the editorial board bleated. The Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) has come under fire ever since it was announced by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The Post tried to put a positive spin on the idea of sharing data with “government actors” to target alleged “viral lies and propaganda ... Done right, this is a useful function." However, multiple members or advisors of the censorship board have themselves pushed disinformation in the past, including self-proclaimed “Mary Poppins of disinformation” and current DGB executive director Nina Jankowicz.

[...]

The Post dismissed the board’s issues as a mere a lack of transparency in detailing the board’s function, in conjunction with the “Soviet-sounding” acronym “DGB”:

“As long as fair-minded observers have to guess at what the board’s role is, players who have more nefarious agendas will have ample opportunity to, yes, spread disinformation.” 

Because, of course, anyone criticizing the censorship board instituted and monitored by a left-wing administration must be spreading disinformation, right?

Like Fondacaro, Salgado made no attempt at a factual rebuttal of what was said.

The MRC went on to parrot other malicious attacks on the board:

The MRC even lashed out at Jankowicz for proposing that people be allowed to add context to tweets, even quoting Elon Musk as panning the idea. This didn't age well, because several months later when Musk finally overpaid for Twitter, he added the Community Notes funciton, which allows users to do pretty much what Jankowicz had proposed. (The MRC has mixed feelings about Community Notes, loving it when liberals are called out through it but hating it when conservatives are.)

It also continued to bash anyone who told the truth about the board. Salgado complained in a May 13, 2022, post that "Pro-censorship leftist individuals and news outlets used contradictions, deceptions and convoluted rhetoric in their quest to defend the Biden administration’s new Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board," though she did little to counter what she was allegedly criticizing. A post four days later by Joseph Vazquez complained that the Associated Press did a fact-check of right-wing attacks on Jankowicz, particularly around her Twitter-comments proposal (which, again, were effectively added under Musk in the form of Community Notes).


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 2:43 PM EDT
WND Mad That Quack Doctor Has To Find Another Bank
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Mercola is one of WorldNetDaily's favorite quack doctors -- he has spread misinformation about COVID vaccines and masks, it touted his hyping of totally imaginary "mass formation psychosis," and it pushed his weird conspiracy theory that Will Smith's Oscar slap of Chris Rock was a "cleverly disguised publicity stunt" to promote a drug. So when a bank decided to no longer be associated with Mercola's quackery, WND complained about it. Bob Unruh wrote in a July 26 article:

An old-line banking corporation has launched an attack on vaccine skeptic Dr. Joseph Mercola by closing his business account, according to a report from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The publication said it obtained copies of documents showing the accounts closed by JPMorgan Chase include those for Mercola's business, Mercola Market, officers of his company and an officer's wife.

The report explained Mercola Market is a Florida-based health business.

The reason for the closures was unspecified.

It was on July 13 that the banking corporation told the account holders they had until September 10 to finish any transactions under those accounts.

The accounts were in the names of Mercola Market, CEO Steven A. Rye and his wife, as well as CFO Amy Legaspi.

[...]

"I believe they cancelled all of the accounts because of Dr. Mercola’s (our employer) opinions," Rye told the foundation. "He … co-authored the best selling book The Truth About COVID-19 which exposed the likelihood that this virus was engineered in a laboratory funded by the NIH. He correctly predicted the vaccines would not prevent transmission or infection of COVID-19. He has been directly censored by the Biden administration and is being targeted by politically weaponized agencies."

Despite, or perhaps because of, Mercola's work to distribute accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, the British nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate cited him for alleged "disinformation."

But "accurate information" is something Mercola is probably least associated with. As QuackWatch detailed, Mercola is best known selling dietary supplements of dubious value and spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about medical issues. He has been repeatedly warned by federal officials against making false and illegal claims about the supplements he sells.

Unruh told his readers none of that, of course, nor did he acknowledge that JPMorgan Chase, as a private business, has every right to not do business with anyone -- which would include a sleazy quack like Mercola.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:46 PM EDT
MRC Still Dabbling In Ray Epps Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Media Research Center

It's indicative of the Media Research Center's slow creep toward the far right that it's entertaining Ray Epps conpsiracy theories. It started dabbling in them earlier this year, and it's continuing to do so. A July 15 post by Alex Christy ciomplained that MSNBC host Ali Velshi called out the conspiracy theory:

Speaking to Nika Jankowicz, formerly of DHS’s infamous Disinformation Governance Board, Velshi recounted, “I just did that intro to the segment, right? So that my audience would understand this conspiracy theory that I guarantee you, pretty much nobody in my audience knew that story because why would they?”

Velshi was referring to Ray Epps, who recently sued Fox News for claims that he was an FBI agent who encouraged the rob to storm The Capitol on January 6. Velshi claimed he is not like that.

A July 16 post by Tim Graham lashed out at NPR media reporter David Folkenflik for reporting that Epps is suing Fox News for spreading conspiracy theories about him -- while trying to keep those conspiracy theories alive:

While NPR couldn’t find time on its programs for a full story on the failed Secret Service investigation of cocaine found at the White House, it ran two Folkenflik stories promoting January 6 protester Ray Epps suing Fox News for defamation. NPR adores lawsuits against Fox News, both for the financial burden and the negative publicity. 

Folkenflik’s reports on the Epps suit strenuously avoided any conservative rebuttal, which would include mentioning two obvious points that have put Epps at the center of January 6 speculation.

First, Epps was caught on video standing in a crowd of Trump supporters on January 5 and January 6, 2021, urging the people around him to “go into the Capitol.” Second, the FBI originally put Ray Epps’s face on its Capitol riot “Most Wanted List” on January 8, 2021. They offered a cash reward for information leading to his arrest. But he was never arrested or prosecuted. Why?

The leftist media didn't look for an answer. Epps was a nobody to them, left out of all the Pelosi-Picked Panel narratives, until....suddenly, after the Democrats lost the majority, Epps starred in a sympathetic 60 Minutes story. Only those right-wingers were investigating the Epps mystery, until Epps became a sympathetic figure, that Fox News ruined his life.

Graham didn't explain why his fellow right-wingers chose to be so fixated on Epps that the made up conspiracy theories they could not prove.Instead, he whined that Folkenflik pointed out that ex-Fox News host (and MRC darling) Tucker Carlson spread lies about Epps and that "There's no proof anything Carlson says there is true other than that Epps was present," huffing in response: "That's simply false. Epps wasn't just 'present'! He was constantly urging people to enter the Capitol." Graham continued to whine about Folkenflik reporting on this story:

Folkenflik is at best trying to merge the two claims: there's no hard evidence that Epps worked for the FBI, but there's obviously hard evidence of him pushing Trump fans to resist the certification inside the Capitol. Why didn't he and NPR play audio of that? 

[...]

We should point out the Epps lawsuit didn't sue Tucker, but Tucker is at the center of their complaint against Fox.

You don't have to buy the theory that there was a "Fedsurrection," that the riots were a federal plot, to accurately describe what Epps did and what Fox reported about it. NPR doesn't value accuracy. It values damaging Fox News, and pleasing its leftist base of support.

Ah, but Graham is sure doing his best to keep the "fedsurrection" plausible, isn't he?

Graham is once again angry that Folkenflik is reporting on Fox News, though he has never criticized Fox News' media reporters for repeatedly covering non-right-wing media like CNN or accused it of catering to its right-wing base of support in doing so. It appears to be a kneejerk defense mechanism on Graham's part to run to the defense of Fox News no matter what it does; remember, he dismissed the channel's record of lies about Dominion that ultimately resulted in Fox News paying $787 million to the company in a defamation lawsuit. But in doing so, Graham clearly doesn't care if he looks like a conspiracy nutter in the process.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
Newsmax's Reporting On GOP Debate Boosted Trump, Tweaked Fox News
Topic: Newsmax

The Trump-fluffers at Newsmax were putting a pro-Trump slant on the first debate of Republican presidential candidates months before it happened. In June, Newsmax was touting how Trump was thinking about skipping the debate; that was followed by a July 12 column by Trump toady Dick Morris dismissing the debate as a "kangaroo court" and insisting that "Our nation's 45th president should refuse to participate in any debate moderated by the likes of Baier and Martha MacCallum. He should, instead, propose that Tucker Carlson be the moderator." Morris added: "Better yet, Mr. Trump should walk next door to Newsmax and ask them to sponsor a one-on-one interview between Tucker and Trump, at the exact same time as the likely rigged debate the RINOs are hosting." Trump did a little of his usual logrolling in a July 20 Newsmax TV appearance, declaring that "Newsmax should get a debate."

On Aug. 9, Newsmax wrote how Trump was still teasing whether or not he would take part,  as well as another article about him whining about a planned Republican loyalty pledge that presidential candidates endorse the eventual nominee. And even though Trump ultimately chose not to participate, Newsmax still made him the center of its debate coverage: An Aug. 21 article by Mark Swanson complained that "Fox News will not allow surrogates of former President Donald Trump into the spin room of Wednesday's GOP presidential debate, a highly unusual move that could be construed as retaliatory over Trump's decision to skip it." That was followed by Megyn Kelly gushing on Newsmax TV the next day that Trump is a "ratings machine" for whatever he does instead of thte debate, and her former employer, debate host Fox News, deserves the "middle finger" Trump is giving it.

After it was made clear that an interview Trump did with fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson would be his counterprogramming against the debate, Newsmax plugged that too. Brian Freeman was in hype mode in an Aug. 23 article:

Former President Donald Trump declared on his Truth Social site Wednesday that "my interview with Tucker Carlson will be aired tonight at 9 p.m. Sparks will fly. Enjoy."

This is the exact same time that the first Republican primary debate for the presidential nomination will begin in Milwaukee. The debate will be televised nationally on Fox News, and will include eight other candidates.

Trump announced earlier this week that he would not be participating in the debate, citing his commanding lead in the GOP field — he's about 40 points ahead in national polls — and instead would be taking part in the interview, The Hill reported.

The pre-recorded interview will be broadcast on X, formerly known as Twitter.

That was followed by an Aug. 23 column by Paul Quenoy proclaiming Trump's refusal to take part in the debate "a brilliant move by the most astute strategist in American politics since Ronald Reagan," adding; "All Trump needs do on Wednesday is sit back and look down on the arena as the other candidates tear each other apart while revealing their strengths and weaknesses to a leader who will soon almost certainly be unchallenged. Sun Tzu could not have strategized it better."

Newsmax didn't do too much coverage of the debate itself; it was more interested in bashing candidate Vivek Ramaswamy after he exposed the pay-for-play coverage scheme Newsmax wanted to impose on his campaign. It did, however, devote three articles to Trump's interview with Carlson:

Trump was also given space to brag that his interview with Carlson had "over 100 million views in less than four hours" -- but it didn'ttell readers that Twitter's view metric is so unreliable as to be meaningless. An article by Eric Mack insisted that "Fox News' first Republican primary debate got a terrible response from American television viewers, with the broadcast losing about half the audience Fox’s kickoff debate had during the 2016 election." In reality, though, the debate drew much higher ratings than expected for an event lacking Trump -- and those ratings dwarfed the number who actually watched the entirety of the Carlson-Trump interview. Still, yet another article by Swanson let Trump go on a tirade of "trolling the network over its "anemic debate ratings" while Trump's interview with Tucker Carlson — which aired the same night — surpassed 250 million views," without fear of being fact-checked by Newsmax.

Newsmax kept other coverage of the debate Trump-centric even though he wasn't there. One article noted that the candidates at the debate discussed Trump, while a column by John Gizzi declared that "More than a few political prognosticators who do not have a favorite Republican candidate told Newsmax on Wednesday night that the true winner of the first GOP presidential debate was actually the contender who sat it out." Both Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, were given space to whine that they were blocked from the post-debate spin room.

We've noted how Perry Johnson -- a fringe candidate who, unlike Ramaswamy, is buying lots of airtime on Newsmax -- was given lots of space to complain that he wasn't invited to take part in the debate. Another low-polling fringe candidate who similarly failed to qualify, Larry Elder, also got space to complain as well:

Newsmax had more opinions to share about the debate (and Trump) as well. More soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2023 4:17 PM EDT
Monday, September 11, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, Homophobic Video Defense Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The DeSantis Defense Brigade at the Media Research Center continues to hate it when people call out what a terrible and nasty candidate and overall person Ron DeSantis is:

When a pro-DeSantis PAC released a wildly anti-LGBT ad specificially designed to show how much DeSantis hates transgender people and how Trump allegedly doesn't hate them enough, the Defense League snapped into action. Brad Wilmouth touted its clickbait potential in a July 7 post:

When it comes to the Republican half of the presidential race, CNN is going to hate all the candidates. On Monday's CNN This Morning, the anchors were outraged at a eye-grabbing ad shared by the DeSantis War Room twitter account. It asserted Donald Trump was pro-LGBTQ and then showed scare headlines of how DeSantis outraged the gay groups. It seemed designed to outrage leftists for more clicks. 

Co-host Phil Mattingly set up the discussion: "We saw this Ron DeSantis superPAC put out an ad attacking former President Trump for his support for LGBTQ rights -- I think we've got some of that. I want to play at least a little bit of it."

After playing a clip of the ad which highlighted headlines touting some of Governor DeSantis's actions in Florida regarding gay-related issues, Mattingly threw shade at the ad's designer:

[...]

CNN only picked liberals to respond to this. Former Congressman Max Rose (D-N.Y.) unleashed the typical "hate-filled" and "xenophobic" adjectives, and said there's no way this would work.

Wilmouth seemed quite excited about this ad being "designed to outrage leftists for more clicks."

Tim Graham loved the ad too, and he compalined that others didn't in a July 8 post:

PBS host Laura Barron-Lopez played a snippet of a pro-DeSantis ad touting how he's horrified the liberals as "extreme" on LGBTQ issues (as if they aren't radicals). Republicans will lose the general election, the journalists agreed.

Susan Page of USA Today started it off: “It's one of the things that DeSantis has done, like signing a six-week ban on abortion. That may help him in Republican primaries, although so far, it`s not helping him much. It will haunt him if he gets into the general election as the Republican nominee, because that attitude toward LGBTQ rights is quite at odds with where American public opinion is today.”

At least Talev underlined the ad didn’t come from the DeSantis campaign, but a DeSantis superPAC shared it, and “if the purpose of this was to show that Donald Trump is to the left and that he has embraced gay rights, that's where the ad would have stopped. The purpose of the ad is to begin there and then to define Ron DeSantis as the sort of champion of anti-gay, anti-trans positions. And so it begins as being about Donald Trump, but in the end, it`s not really about Donald Trump. It's much more about positioning Ron DeSantis.”

[...]

Barron-Lopez concluded: “That video is definitely, as you said, Margaret, very anti-LGBTQ, anti-transgender, and not necessarily something that will help Ron DeSantis or former President Trump on the campaign trail in the general electorate, if they make to the general electorate.”

Democrats can support "gender-affirming care" for children and Drag Queen Story Hour in public schools and they're never outside the mainstream. The journalists on PBS are unanimous.

Graham didn't explain what is so "mainstream" about vicxious hatred of transgender people. And neither Graham nor Wilmouth mention that even a conservative LGBT group found the ad offensive, and they failed to follow up on the subterfuge around the ad; this and other videos -- including one featuring a Nazi-style sonnenrad -- were created by the PAC, then laundered through anonymous Twitter accounts for distribution.

It wasn't all defense, though; Luis Cornelio cranked out what was effectively a DeSantis campaign press release in a July 10 post:

A leading 2024 presidential candidate promised to abolish the Big Tech-Government censorship collusion regime if elected.

In a Sunday interview on the Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pledged to crack down on the anti-free speech cabal perpetrated by the Biden administration’s collusion apparatus with social media platforms.

“We will end the weaponization of government,” a fired-up DeSantis told Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo, referring to the left’s blunt use of government to promote its political agenda and censor people that disagree with them. Censorship, DeSantis argued, will stop under his watch.

“We're going to clean house at the Department of Justice,” DeSantis added, before highlighting the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. “I look back at, like, the Hunter Biden censorship which was a huge, huge deal to happen in the 2020 election. And yet, those were Donald Trump's own agencies that were colluding with Big Tech. I would never allow that to happen. I would fire those people immediately.”

Cornelio didn't disclose how much the DeSantis campaign paid him to write this bit of rah-rah fluff.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2023 9:41 PM EDT

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