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Thursday, September 21, 2023
WND Touts Malik Obama's Latest Bitter Rants Against Half-Brother Barack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Malik Obama is a bitter attempted grifter who has been angry for years that his half-brother Barack -- with whom he has infrequently interacted -- has done much better than him and won't send some unearned cash his way. He's been lashing out at Barack for years over his failure to be able to right Barack's coattails to fame ... and, of course, WorldNetDaily has lapped it up because they hate Barack Obama even more. WND started out hating Malik, though, out of guilt by association; in 2014, for example, he was attacked for allegedly wearing a Hamas-linked scarf (thought the accusation came from Obama-hater and apparent fabluist Walid Shoebat).

It touted in 2015 how Malik did an interview with discredited charalatan filmmaker Joel Gilbert (though it also noted that Malik "has been accused of collaboration with Sudan’s radical Islamic regime, using money raised in his father’s and brother’s name for personal profit, and partnering with a cult leader."In 2017, it made a big deal out pretending to be a responsible birther by admitting that a purported birth certificate for Barack released by Malik was a "fraudulent document," though it spent two months claming otherwise wen it first surfaced in 2009.

After that, though, it started treating Malik's anti-Barack rants as credible:

  • In 2019, WND cheered how Malik bashed Barack as a "narcissist" (as if Malik isn't one by running to right-wing media for attention).
  • The same year, WND also hyped how Malik asked, "Is Michelle Michael?"
  • It touted in 2020 how Malik endorsed Donbald Trump for president, something he also did in 2016.

(Newsmax has also promoted Malik's rantings as well.)

Meanwhile, Malik was feeling a little desperate attention again by insulting Barack, and WND once again bit. Joe Kovacs dutifully wrote it up in an Aug. 7 article:

Barack Obama's brother is again going public with his assertion the former president is a homosexual.

Sunday night on Twitter, Malik Obama tweeted: "This guy must be gay," referring to Barack's public support for keeping pornographic books in libraries.

Just weeks ago in mid-July, Malik made a similar comment on the same issue his brother was addressing.

Barack had tweeted on July 17: "Today, some of the books that shaped my life – and the lives of so many others – are being challenged by people who disagree with certain ideas or perspectives. And librarians are on the front lines, fighting every day to make the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas available to everyone."

Barack Obama was alluding to graphically explicit books including "Gender Queer," which is replete with pornographic images.

Kovacs offered no evidence that "Gender Queer" is pornography as defined by law. He also didn't mention that Barack has a wife and two children, which most poeple would consider evidence that he isn't gay (and that Michelle is not a man).

As Malik continued to rage, Kovacs gave him another platform in an Aug. 14 article:

In the wake of his recent accusations that Barack Obama is homosexual, Malik Obama, the ex-president's brother, is launching a fresh attack, calling Barack "Fake ass a snake" and a "traitor," also suggesting the recent catastrophic fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui may have been intentionally set to pave the way for a buyout of all property owners.

Sunday evening, Malik tweeted a photo of himself with Barack, noting: "Me and Fake ass a snake (President Barack Obama) when he was a nobody."

He later added, "Before he became a SNOB."

Malik wrote many follow-up comments about Barack, including:

"That guy thinks he's GOD."

"Fake ass a snake is a TRAITOR!"

"Power totally corrupted him. NERO."

Additionally, Malik tweeted a photo of himself sporting a red baseball cap emblazoned with the simple message, "F Biden."

His further disdain for Joe Biden was evinced in his comments such as, "Cast your vote for President Trump!"

[...]

Malik Obama also retweeted online speculation about the devastating fires in Maui, saying: "I [k]new something was up considering the silence of FAKE ass a snake (President Obama)."

Kovacs didn't mention that even people back in Malik's native Kenya have pointed out what a bitter grifter Malik is, with one news outlet noting, "While Africans have the Ubuntu spirit of rising together, that does not mean sitting pretty and waiting for handouts from a successful relative. It also does not allow you to hate and besmirch the character of your successful relatives when they do not send as much resources as you would wish."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2023 12:48 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
MRC Tried To Whitewash Alleged Shady Criminal Witness Against Hunter Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was a big fan of Gal Luft in 2008, mainly because of his objection to importing oil.

  • A March 2008 post by Ariel Cohen approvingly stated: "As Gal Luft, Director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security recently wrote, at current oil prices the United States sends $460 billion per year overseas to finance its daily purchase of 12 million barrels of imported oil. This amount of money is about the size of our defense budget and three times the size of the ''economic stimulus'' package recently passed by Congress. Dependence on imported oil threatens the U.S. with a long-term economic decline and loss of sovereignty, according to Luft."
  • A June 2008 post by Geoffrey Dickens included a quote of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman stating that "we basically have an energy policy that Gal Luft has described, I think very accurately as the 'sum of all lobbies.'"
  • Julia Seymour devoted an entire July 2008 post to "energy security expert" Luft claiming that "The environmental movement stands to lose many supporters if it works against people's economic prosperity."

The next time Luft popped up at the MRC was in a February 2013 post by Brent Baker noting that an essay by Luft was among the contents of an issue of Foreign Policy that said too many nice things about Barack Obama.

Luft didn't get renewed attention at the MRC again until his entanglement as an alleged whistleblower against Hunter Biden. A March 31 post by Dickens doing a time count of coverage of "Biden family corruption" repeated a claim by the right-wing New York Post that "Israeli energy expoert" Luftwas claiming that "Hunter Biden had an FBI mole named “One-Eye” who tipped off his Chinese business partners that they were under investigation," also noting that Luft was "arrested in Cyprus last month on gunrunning charges" and made his claims after "being detained at a Cyprus airport as he prepared to board a plane to Israel." Dickens also included Luft ranting that he was the target of a "politically motivated extradition request by the U.S." and that the "DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim, and Hunter Biden."

But the MRC never told its readers that Luft kinda disappeared after that, as Republican Rep. James Comer seemed to confirm in a May appearance on Fox Business. That's not a good look for a would-be whistleblower, but the MRC doesn't care. When he surfaceed while in fugitive-from-justice mode, Dickens cheered the development in a July 6 post:

An eyewitness with stunning claims about the Biden family scandals has come forward on a video, yet so far ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to report on them. 

Israeli professor and former Israeli army officer Dr. Gal Luft in a 14-minute long video (released by the New York Post on late Wednesday night) claimed he was about to testify to the House Oversight Committee on the Biden family receiving payments from Chinese officials but was arrested in Cyprus, before he could deliver that testimony.

Dickens quoted the Post noting that Luft is a "fugitive" whose video was "filmed in an undisclosed location while he’s on the run."  The Post was evendismissive of Luft, calling him a "self-proclaimed fall guy." But Dickens made sure to reward Fox News for helping to push this anti-Hunter narrative: "While the broadcast networks have yet to utter a word on this amazing development, FNC’s Fox & Friends did jump on the story this morning."

Luft popped up one last time in a July 11 post by Curtis Houck, who was uncritically quoting a question at a White House press briefing by a New York Post reporter who noted that Luft hads been indicted "for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working without registration for a company called CEFC China Energy. The President’s son and brother worked for the same firm without registration and the President was invoked in that infamous shakedown text message preceding the transfer of $5 million to the Biden family."

But there's a lot the MRC hasn;t told you about Luft. As Liz Dye at Wonkette pointed out, the original charging document against Luft was issued in November 2022 -- before there was a Republican House to obsess over Hunter -- meaning that it's arguably untrue that Luft is being charged to shut him up about Hunter. She further summarized: "Luft didn't get indicted because he tried to blow the whistle on Hunter Biden. He got indicted because he was wildly corrupt and because he made false statements about it to the FBI, including in March of 2019, during the very same interview in which Comer alleges that Luft blew the whistle on Hunter Biden."

Allof which makes it strange that Comer and the MRC are hanging their credibility hat on a guy who's clearly spining stories in order to save himself from jail -- in part for being a fugitive from justice -- rather than out of any interest in telling the truth. But then, there's a lot of Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome going on at the MRC these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 PM EDT
Newsmax Tries To Hire Yet Another Troubled Ex-Fox Newser
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax just loves to hire personalities with troubled pasts --especially if they used to work for Fox News -- resulting in a rogue's gallery that has been occupied by anti-vaxxers, deadbeat dads and credibly accused sexual harassers. It appears to be interested in yet another troubled ex-Fox Newser.

Ed Henry was fired by Fox News in 2020 over allegations of sexual harassment; he later tried to sue anyone who reported on it (but ultimately dropped the litigation). Henry ended up landing at the far-right channel Real America's Voice, where he co-hosted their morning show. In August, Henry and co-host Karyn Turk were pulled from the show, allegedly because he was entertaining a job offer from another channel. It probably didn't help that a month or so earlier, Henry was pulled over on suspicion of DUI, and he had reached a plea agreement to avoid jail time the day before his RAV dismissal. (Henry's passenger during the DUI arrest was none other than Karyn Turk; Henry is married, but not to her). It turns out that the job offer that allegedly got Henry yanked from RAV came from Newsmax -- and even other Newsmax staffers were outraged that their employer would consider hiring him, as Mediaite reported:

While a contract has yet to be signed, the potential hire has already sparked consternation among staffers who expressed to Mediaite their apprehensions about bringing the scandal-prone host on board during a precarious time for the conservative cable news network.

“They are really freaked out about anything legal. Anything to do with litigation,” said one current Newsmax employee. “This guy is a walking lawsuit.”

“I can’t imagine why anyone would want to hire him,” they added. “He’s a legal risk. It’s not even a question of it, it’s a guarantee. He can’t help himself. Besides, who thinks he’s good on TV? He’s not some polished broadcaster.”

A Newsmax spokesperson declined to comment on the move: “As a matter of policy, Newsmax does not comment on individuals that it may be or not be hiring.”

Concerns over the potential drafting come at a time of great uncertainty for a network that has grown its audience in recent years by offering viewers an alternative to Fox News that more enthusiastically embraces Donald Trump.

Imagine how terrible a person you have to be when employees of a channel that also employs ex-Fox Newsers Eric Bolling and James Rosen  -- who also left the channel under the cloud of sexual misconduct allegations -- object.

The former Fox News producer who accused Henry of sexual misconduct, Jennifer Eckhart, also had things to say:

Eckhart condemned Newsmax for courting Henry in a statement to Mediaite.

“The decision by Newsmax to hire Ed Henry, a known sexual predator, says that they are willing to put the safety of every single one of their employees at risk while placing him in that same position of power that he has, time and again, used to groom, coerce and forcibly prey upon vulnerable individuals,” she said. “I will pray for every woman working at that network. We, as survivors, hear it over and over again, ‘But why didn’t you come forward sooner?’ This is why.”

Things have gone quiet on the Henry-Newsmax front after all of that went public. But as its hring of Bolling and Rosen show, Newsmax does have a soft spot for ex-Fox Newsers as a quick way to build right-wing credibility as it competes against their former employer.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2023 5:48 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Serves Up Sob Story Of Capitol Rioter Facing Accountability
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves to whitewash the stories of participants in the Capitol riot in order to portray them as political prisoners. Jack Cashill took a stab at one case in his Aug. 2 column:

The headline in the otherwise useless Kansas City Star caught my eye, "Kansas City man spent 6 seconds in Capitol on Jan. 6. Now he's charged with 4 crimes."

As veteran Star reporter Judy Thomas gleefully informs the paper's dwindling reader base, "The arrests have come as the massive Capitol riot investigation has picked up the pace, more than 2½ years after the Jan. 6 breach. The arrest tally now stands around 1,100, on charges ranging from demonstrating in a Capitol building to seditious conspiracy."

Why, one wonders, has the FBI "picked up the pace"? This is the same FBI that sat on Hunter Biden's laptop for nearly a year, doing little but hiding it.

All of Thomas' breast-beating is undone by two words, "six seconds." The headline begs the question, "What horrible thing must this 'Kansas City man' have done in those six seconds to deserve being arrested two-and-a-half years after the fact?"

When sane readers discover that Angelo Pacheco did exactly nothing in those six seconds, they have to question just how far out of control the FBI investigation has gone. This is no manhunt. This is a witch hunt.

[...]

An FBI special agent with the FBI domestic terrorism squad tells what steps she (an assumption) took that led to the arrest of this idealist turned "terrorist."

The agent was helped greatly by a citizen-narc, unknown to Pacheco, who allegedly reviewed his Facebook and Instagram pages, and likely his profile on KCPT, to tag Pacheco as a junior insurrectionist.

"Based on that information," the agent reviewed the photo on Pacheco's driver's license and identified him as being on the Capitol grounds Jan. 6, "wearing a distinctive American flag trapper hat on top of a white baseball cap."

[...]

Six seconds of nothingness. That's it. Reading this, I feel embarrassed for the agent and disgusted anew by the actions of the Bureau that employs her, the Department of Justice that oversees the Bureau, and the capo di tutti capi who runs this criminal enterprise.

Cashill didn't mention that there's also a picture of Pacheco hanging on scaffolding outside the Capitol building, suggesting his motives may not have been quite as benign as Cashill wants us to think.

Cashill then tried to justify Pacheco's appearance at the riot: "Even if Pacheco thought the voting in the 2020 election was on the up-and-up – please! – he had to know too how the FBI colluded with the intel community to rig the election agains Trump. He had every right to be upset." Cashill provided no evidence to support his conspiracy theory or why he thinks Pacheco shared his belief in it.

Cashill didn't note that Pacheco could have simply avoided all this by, you know, not entering the Capitol building -- there was no legitimate need for him to do so, even for six seconds. And the length of time does not matter; once Pacheco crossed the threshold of the Capitol doors, he committed a crime.Instead, he whined:

Six seconds was enough to nail Pacheco for his effort to "knowingly enter" a restricted building, to "disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business," to "engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct," and to "parade, demonstrate, or picket in any of the Capitol Buildings."

Four counts. All misdemeanors. And likely hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to ruin this one ambitious young man's life. Meanwhile, back in Washington, Hunter Biden …

Again, Pacheco chose to enter the Capitol and, thus, indisputably committed a crime by doing so. The government is not "ruining his life" by holding him accountable for his behavior -- that's called the American justice system. And we thought right-wingers believed in law and order.

Cashill also didn't explain why crimes should not be prosecuted if he approves of the commission of them. Then again, he loves criminals who commit the right crimes (like killing a black person), as his support for George Zimmerman and Derek Chauvin has demonstrated.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2023 3:43 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Hating Transgender People, 2023 Edition
Topic: Media Research Center
In the first few months of this year, the Media Research Center kept up its nasty campaign of hate against transgender people. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
MRC Floods The Zone To Promote RFK Jr.'s Victimhood (And Hide That He's An Anti-Semitic Wacko)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center had to work to clean up Robert Kennedy Jr.'s bizarre anti-Semetic remark that COVID was "ethnically targeted" to spare Jews because he was the star witness at a Republian-led congressional hearing where he was to play victim and repeat the MRC's "censorship" narrative. And when that day came on July 20, the MRC made sure to flood the zone. Nicholas Schau was first up on the RFK Jr. stenography beat:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. dropped the hammer on Big Tech, particularly YouTube, for censoring free speech about important issues.

In his opening statement, Kennedy agreed with ranking member Stacey Plaskett that “this body ought to be concerning itself with the issues that impact directly the American people.” But, he retorted, “we can’t do that without the First Amendment, without debate.” Kennedy has been in a seemingly never-ending fight against a barrage of censorship by Big Tech platforms who colluded with federal entities to silence online free speech. But today the tables have turned, and the presidential candidate has been given a platform before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. 

Kennedy came out swinging at the hearing, which covered the notable trend in collusion between the federal government and Big Tech to censor American speech, according to the House Judiciary Committee website.

To illustrate the importance of free speech, Kennedy referred to how his campaign announcement speech was censored. He said that, in the speech, he “talked about… all the issues that deeply concern” Plaskett. However, despite this, Kennedy said that “five minutes into my speech, when I was talking about Paul Revere, YouTube de-platformed me.”

“I didn’t talk about vaccines in that speech. I didn’t talk about anything that was a forbidden subject. I just was talking about my campaign and things that, conversation that we ought to be having with each other as Americans, and I was shut down,” Kennedy said. “And that is why the First Amendment is important.”

Indeed, 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, in particular, has censored Kennedy most prolifically in comparison to other platforms. A 2022 MRC Free Speech America study found that Kennedy’s accounts were repeatedly targeted for alleged “ false COVID-19 vaccine claims ” and “vaccine misinformation.”

Schau didn't explain why he apparently believes false information about COVID vaccines should be allowed to spread unchecked.

Gabriela Pariseau followed by attacking Plaskett for pointing out that Kennedy is an anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorist and apparent anti-Semite:

House Ranking member Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) kicked off Thursday’s hearings by railing against her committee for giving Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a platform to share his experiences with Big Tech censorship. 

In her remarks, Plaskett attempted to discredit Kennedy and the hearing entirely during a hearing before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Her comments came after she joined over 100 Members who tried to remove Kennedy from the witness list prior to the hearing.

He recently came under fire for comments claiming that COVID-19 was an ethnically targeted bioweapon that does not affect certain Jewish and Chinese people. Kennedy has been in a seemingly never-ending fight against a barrage of censorship by Big Tech platforms. But today the tables have turned, and the presidential candidate has been given a platform before Congress.

In an attempt to discredit Kennedy, Plaskett asked why the committee was Kennedy a platform. She said mockingly, “many of my Republican colleagues will rush to cover that they have Mr. Kennedy here because they want to protect his free speech, that they do not believe in American censorship.”  

She went on to show her true colors when she seemed to dismiss the idea of Kennedy having the freedom to speak at a hearing about free speech. “This is not the kind of free speech that I know of, the free speech that is protected by the constitution’s First Amendment,” she said. “[F]ree speech is not an absolute. The Supreme Court has stated that and other’s free speech that is allowed –hateful, abusive rhetoric– does not need to be promoted in the halls of the people’s house.”

Plaskett went on to try and defame the Republican conference and staffers who she claimed “have even questioned whether the Holocaust took place” and “openly follow white supremacy.”  She followed up by saying “It’s a free country. You absolutely have a right to say what you believe,” she said. “But, you don’t have the right to a platform, public or private. We don’t have to give one of the largest platforms of our democracy, congress this hearing.” Of course, she glossed over the fact that Americans’ do have the right not to have their government pressure private companies to censor their viewpoints. [Emphasis added].

The congresswoman went on to claim that Kennedy’s views are “harmful” and “dangerous” and by having them at the hearing Republicans were not merely “supporting free speech” but “endorsing” or even “co-signing” his views.

Pariseau made no effort to disprove Plaskett's claim that Kennedy's anti-Semitism and continued lies about vaccines have effectively forfeited his right to unfettered frree speech. Instead, she whined that Kennedy's vaccine lies deserve free speech too:

Plasket [sic] additionally showed that she is out of touch with the concerns of many Americans. She noted questions that she has been asked like: “Why are you having this hearing? What does this have to do with inflation? What does this have to do with the cost of living? What does this have to do with the lives of everyday Americans?” There’s a simple answer. A right to free speech and a right to access relevant information about vaccines and elections deeply affects the everyday lives of Americans.

Catherine Salgado then did stenography for the Republican committee head insisting that Kennedy was telling the truth when he tweeted that baseball great Hank Aaron died of COVID vaccine:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called out the anti-free speech efforts of the FBI and President Joe Biden’s administration during a Thursday Congressional hearing.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing July 20 at which two targets of government censorship efforts, Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and journalist Emma-Jo Morris, testified. The White House pounced on Kennedy just “pointing out facts,” the representative insisted. Jordan described the Biden administration efforts to silence Kennedy and FBI censorship priming that triggered censorship of Morris, who in 2020 broke the Hunter Biden laptop scandal for the New York Post.

A mere 37 hours into the Biden administration’s term in office, Jan. 23, 2021, Jordan explained, the White House emailed Twitter: “‘Wanted to flag the below tweet, and I am wondering if we can get moving on the process for having it removed ASAP.’” The tweet referred to was from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which said, “‘Hank Aaron’s tragic death is part of a wave of suspicious deaths among elderly closely following administration of the vaccine. He received the vaccine on Jan. 5 to inspire other black Americans to get the vaccine.’”

Jordan emphasized the tweet did not contain any false claims, despite the White House email subject line of “Flagging Hank Aaron Misinformation.” Jordan said, “Misinformation is when you don’t have the facts right, you’re saying things that are not true.” Jordan said Kennedy was just “pointing out facts, and yet the White House … 37 hours into the administration, they were trying to censor Mr. Kennedy. I find that interesting. The irony here of trying to censor the guy who’s [now] actually their Democrat primary opponent.”

In fact, Kennedy was lying when he falsely blamed Aaron's death on a COVID vaccine -- a medical examiner found that Aaron died of natural causes, not from the vaccine. Salgado failed to mention that inconvenient fact.

Craig Bannister rehashed Kennedy's statement in an post republished from the right-wing blog that CNSNews.com has been reduced to:

YouTube deplatformed him five minutes into his announcement that he was a Democrat presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy, Jr. said Thursday, while defending himself from attacks by fellow Democrats during a House hearing.

A hearing, which was supposed to be about the weaponization of government through censorship, quickly detoured into vicious efforts to smear Kennedy and prevent him from testifying against censorship of viewpoints opposed by the Biden Administration.

[...]

“Big Tech and the media are desperately trying to censor @RobertKennedyJr to protect Biden. Stop interfering in our elections!” Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell tweeted, reacting to Kennedy’s testimony.

Bannister uncritically quoted Kennedy claiming that "I've never been anti-vaccine" while failing to mention all the facts that prove the exact opposite.

Tom Olohan squeezed yet another Kennedy-promoting item from this hearing for a July 21 post:

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Ronald F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) went after Big Tech platforms for censoring free speech on natural immunity during the pandemic.

On Thursday, July 20th, RFK Jr. was given a chance to speak to Congress and the American people. This provided Rep. Massie, another opponent of censorship, an opportunity to speak to RFK Jr. about how Big Tech had censored him and others who posted about natural immunity, even when the censored information was both scientifically accurate and promoted by a legacy media source. Massie said, “One of the immutable and undeniable uh tenants of immunology is natural immunity. But for two years it was denied. It wasn't even just denied. It was censored.”

Massie also noted to Louisiana Special Assistant Attorney General D. John Sauer, “I noticed in the court ruling — in the case that you worked on— that they said that the court said that Facebook reported to the White House that it labeled and demoted posts, suggesting natural immunity to a COVID-19 infection is superior to vaccine immunity,” before discussing how Twitter had specifically censored him on the issue.

In fact, there is little evidence that "natural immunity" -- catching a disease that might kill you in the hope of becoming immune from it -- is superior to vaccination, and there was little information earlyon in the COVID pandemic about whether "natural immunity" was a valid path given that, again, COVID was quite deadly early on.

As we've said before, this is a lot of time and energy for the MRC to spend on a candidate it supports only because he fits its victimhood narrative and he might be a spoiler to President Biden's re-election -- not be it would ever support him should he somehow win the Democratic nomination.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 3:27 PM EDT
WND's Farah Hypocritically Goes Godwin On Biden: 'There's A Nazi Living In The White House'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For years, WorldNetDaily -- mostly managing editor David Kupelian -- has loudly whined that some critics have likened Donald Trump to Hitler and other Nazis, with Kupelian claiming that doing so justifies doing whatever it takes to stop him, or in his words: "cheating, lying, deception and even stronger measures would not only be morally permissible, they would become a moral imperative. Never mind, op=f coruse, that WND spent years repeatedly likening President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, with arguably the same justification (witness WND's years of spreading lies about Obama's birth certificate). Meanwhile, Kupelian's boss, Joseph Farah, has made the hypocrisy complete by going Godwin on President Biden in an Aug. 3 column -- headlined "There's a Nazi living in the White House" -- in which he praised Trump for is silly victimhood in baselessly likening his numrous indictments to living in Nazi Germany:

Donald Trump did it! His campaign finally compared the federal indictments he's facing to the lawlessness reminiscent of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

"The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes," Trump's 2024 campaign said in a statement.

But the news media turned it into what it was not. It was not a comparison to the Holocaust. What's happening in this country is scandalous. The very founding of America is under attack. Our elections are being threatened. One has been stolen. The rule of law today is a myth. Joe Biden and Merrick Garland have shredded the Constitution in their hopes of holding power, fixing another election and jailing a president.

But, wait, you can't describe ANYTHING "as reminiscent of Nazi Germany"? That's what Anti-Defamation League Director Jonathan Greenblatt said.

"Comparing this indictment to Nazi Germany in the 1930s is factually incorrect, completely inappropriate and flat out offensive. As we have said time and again, such comparisons have no place in politics and are shameful," he said.

Almost universally, the news media took the bait.

Well, if you compare Trump's indictment to the Holocaust, that would be true. But that was not the case. The campaign was comparing "the lawlessness of the persecutions of Trump and his supporters" to Nazi Germany. That would be absolutely true. It was a fine analogy.

Trump's team also claimed the charges were an attempt by the Biden administration to interfere with the next election.

After more whining about Trump's latest indictment, Farah concluded:

Trump – the GOP front-runner in the 2024 presidential race – has been indicted three times in just four months. He's also been charged with 40 felony counts involving allegations he took boxes of classified documents and materials from the White House and stored them inside his Mar-a-Lago estate. A lie from the pit of Hell!

Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law are Jews. I'm sure he loves them both. And he loves Israel and did more for the Jewish state in his administration than any other president. He was not committing some blood libel against them. He was simply saying, there might be a Nazi living the in the White House.

We have not seen any statement from Kupelian expressing outrage at likening this president to a Nazi -- Farah pays his salary, after all, and he probably approves of it, presumably so he can justify WND's vicious attacks on Biden with the goal of removing him from office via any means necessary as not just "morally permissible" but "a moral imperative."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2023 5:54 PM EDT
Newsmax Promotes Giuliani Legal Defense Fund (Which It Also Runs)
Topic: Newsmax

Back in 2021, Newsmax touted a legal defense fund created by Rudy Giuliani, framed as the "Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund." One article stated the fund was started by "allies of Rudy Giuliani" after "New York suspended his law license in the state" for spreading lies about the 2020 election; Eric Mack went on to report that Giuliani went on Newsmax after the suspension to assert that "the suspension is a Democrat attempt to silence his political dissent." A second article, by apparently unironically named writer Charlie McCarthy, stated that the fund's creation "came after New York and Washington, D.C., suspended his law licenses in what the former mayor says is an effort to silence him in his efforts to defend Trump and talk about 2020 presidential election fraud." It's unclear how well the fund was in raising money, though it is apparently still live at the right-wing fundraising site WinRed, which states that it is run by the "Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund Legal Defense Trust."

Now, Giuliani has a new legal defense fund to promote, and Newsmax gave him space to do so (and play victim) in a TV appearance:

Rudy Giuliani has formed a legal defense fund to finance his legal battles and he tells Newsmax that it's important to help fight back in the left’s war on conservatives.

"I think as President Trump pointed out some time ago, you're going to be next, and I was next, and now there are about 80 other people after me," Giuliani told Newsmax's "Eric Bolling The Balanc" Thursday night.

Giuliani is one of the 19 co-defendants, including former President Donald Trump, facing charges in Georgia as part of the sweeping racketeering indictment unveiled last month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The former New York City mayor and President Trump’s personal attorney has denied all charges and says he has been the victim of a political prosecution for exercising his constitutional rights.

"If you are of a conservative mindset, the chances of your being prosecuted in [President Joe] Biden's America are enormously high," Giuliani told Bolling.

Giuliani and his defense fund got promoted in other Newsmax articles in the following few days:

But Newsmax didn't tell its readers and viewers that it's running the legal defense fund. Media Matters reported that the "RudyFund.com" domain redirects to a Newsmax-hosted page indicating that it will be processing the donations, and a mailing address for the fund was listed for the fund in West Palm Beach,  Fla., where Newsmax is headquartered. Newsmax has also promoted the fund numerous other times on the air. It's unclear, however, what the difference is, if any, between this fund and the defense fund Giuliani started in 2021 -- or if there is a difference, why he chose to create a new fund and apparently abandon the old one.

When Donald Trump hosted a fundraiser for the legal defense fund, Newsmax hyped that too:

Newsmax gave space to Giuliani to plug the fund again (and play victim again) in a Sept. 9 TV appearance:

While Democrats and prosecutors have put former President Donald Trump and his backers on defense, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax on Saturday his legal defense fund will be put to work to go on offense against weaponized justice.

"There are one or two cases that we could bring, offensive cases, that maybe could cut these off and we don't have the resources for that," Giuliani told "Saturday Report," pitching his RudyFund.com.

"I've had to do things here in these cases, and sometimes I wouldn't do, because we didn't have the money to do it."

Prosecutors have the unlimited resources of taxpayer dollars and even Wall Street millions seeking to defeat Trump and keep him from returning to the White House, Giuliani warned to host Rita Cosby, saying the offense and defense can stop the election interference "if we had the proper amount of money like they have."

"You know where the money's coming from," Giuliani said. "It's coming from the people who want to destroy our country. This is not a battle just about — as Donald Trump has said — Donald Trump or Rudy Giuliani or Peter Navarro.

"This is probably the worst political witch hunt — I don't think we've ever had anything like this in history."

None of these articles disclosed that Newsmax is running the fund. Media Matters has since reported that Newsmax promoted the fund more than 50 times on its TV channel, only occasionally disclosing that it's running the fund.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023 6:37 PM EDT
FAKE NEWS: WND Promotes Idea That Obama Murdered His Chef
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily has a terminal case of Obama Derangement Syndrome -- and it's a particularly bad case, given that it feels it needs to make up things as a result. This time, WND tried to keep some of its usual fingerprints off the fabrications, publishing stories from other sources pushing the unproven idea that Barack Obama murdered his chef.

The coverage began with a July 25 article from the Western Journal -- an organization descended from a nonprofit WND editor Joseph Farah founded in the 1990s -- noting the Obama family's statements on the drowning of chef Tafari Campbell. A July 30 article republished from the notoriously unreliable and libel-infested Gateway Pundit, however, heavily pushed the murder angle:

Just a week following the unexpected and rather tragic death of their personal chef and friend, Tafari Campbell, the Obamas were spotted out and about, seemingly unscathed and unaffected.

Barack and Michelle Obama were spotted at the Vineyard Golf Club and Farm Neck Country Club, respectively, according to exclusive photos obtained by Daily Mail. The pictures are the first public glimpse of the Obamas since the loss of their dear friend and personal chef.

Dressed in a green polo shirt and white shorts, Barack Obama was seen engaged in a round of golf at the exclusive Vineyard Golf Club. The former president, noticeably bearing bandaged fingers, which causes speculations online.

Citizen journalist Travis of Flint, Michigan wrote, “just days after his personal chef and friend died in a very mysterious paddle boarding accident, Barack Obama appears to have injured fingers and a black eye. We still don’t know who the other person was and Obama loves paddle boarding. I think we can all guess what happened at this point!”

The story was accompanied by a WND reader poll that asked, "Do you suspect Barack Obama's injuries are somehow related to the death of his personal chef?" A total of 94 percent of readers said yes.

WND followed this with an Aug. 1 article from the slightly less unreliable Western Journal, which repeated some of that bogus speculation:

The identity of a second paddle-boarder with former President Barack Obama's chef when he drowned at Martha's Vineyard has been partially revealed.

The U.K. Daily Mail reported Monday, "A female staff member of Barack Obama had been with chef Tafari Campbell when he tragically drowned while paddle-boarding in a pond beside the former president's estate" on July 23.

"The woman, who was on a separate paddle board, had tried in vain to reach Campbell after he had fallen off but was ultimately forced to return to shore to summon help," the news outlet added.

[...]

There was speculation online that perhaps former President Obama had been with Campbell when he drowned.

The Daily Mail reported that all the members of the Obama family -- Barack, former first lady Michelle Obama and the couple's daughters Sasha and Malia -- were away from the estate when the accident happened.

Meanwhile, state officials ruled Campbell's drowning to be an accident. But conspiracy theories have always been more important than the truth at WND, so it published an Aug. 27 article from the Western Journal all but accusing the Obamas of a cover-up of some kind:

If Barack and Michelle Obama were actually trying to build up conspiracy theories around the still-murky death of the family's personal chef in July, they couldn't be doing a much better job.

As the Boston Herald reported on Tuesday, the office of the Massachusetts Medical Examiner last week officially ruled the death of Tafari Campbell an accidental drowning, but so little information has been released about the circumstances that First Amendment advocates and conservative critics are engaged in an outrcry over what is still being withheld.

And there's plenty to make the most fair-minded observers suspicious.

Campbell, 45, was found dead July 24, a day after disappearing while paddle boarding in Edgardtown Great Pond near the Obama estate on tony Martha's Vineyard.

That's obviously a tragedy for Campbell, who left behind a widow and twin sons. But drowning accidents happen every day, even in enclaves for the rich and famous like Martha's Vineyard. The race goes not to the swift, after all.

The story could be told in day, causing a ripple in the ebb and flow of the news cycle, but then left largely to the friends and family who survived to carry on the important business of living, while the rest of the country moved on.

Instead, it appears that a veil of secrecy has dropped over the death, shrouding what should be simply mundane details in an aura of mystery.

Officials have still not publicly identified the woman who was paddle boarding with Campbell. She's been known to have been a fellow Obama staffer and the Daily Mail reported last week that she was 26, but other than that, she's a cipher.

His toxicology report -- which would give an idea whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the death of a man whose body was found only 100 feet from shore -- has not been released, thanks to Massachusetts law.

If Campbell was inebriated or suffered from some sort of medical condition that made it impossible for him to save his own life, the public hasn't been informed, and that's a major question.

Even people who can't swim will struggle mightily to keep themselves alive, and 100 feet, under the calm conditions needed to go paddle boarding in the first place, should have been do-able for a man who knows how.

And that mystery feeds the idea that there's more to Campbell's death than a simple accident in a resort area at the height of summer.

This isn't tinfoil hat stuff either.

Actually, it is. But that's not going to keep  Western Journal writer Joe Saunders from walking right up to the line of suggesting that Obama murdered Campbell:

The fact that a crime in South Boston might go unsolved is important to South Boston, and maybe the whole city, but it would be tough to find an American outside of the New England area who would care.

However, Democrats and the establishment media still haven't shaken their regard for former President Barack Obama as a kind of messianic figure of the New Socialist Age, and his wife, Michelle, is still considered presidential material in some quarters.

Massachusetts owes the country more. The Obamas owe the country more.

And when they don't pay up, they're forcing even the most non-conspiracy-minded American to ask: "What do they have to hide?"

Funny, we don't recall WND and its affiliates of ever accusing Donald Trump of having something to hide, even when he did in the form of this tax returns.

We'd call all this highly irresponsinble on WND's part, but we know that lying to its readers and falsely smearing its political enemies is standard operating procedure there -- something that public rejection of its journalistic approach, in the form of years of begging for money to stay alive, surprisingly has not changed.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2024 12:03 AM EST
Monday, September 18, 2023
MRC Whines Networks Didn't Parrot Right-Wing Narrative On FBI Whistleblowers
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kevin Tober whined in a May 18 post:

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the weaponization of the federal government against its citizens. A sad occurrence that has become more frequent as the government continues to grow out of control. During the hearing, numerous whistleblowers testified about being retaliated against by the FBI for coming forward to report either corruption or abuse of power by the government or its affiliated agencies.

Being members of the fourth estate that were supposed to report on government and its excesses, you would think the big three evening news broadcasts would jump at the opportunity to report on this hearing and the shocking accounts that were revealed. Sadly, like most stories of any consequence these days, the big three networks ignored it because they rightly believe coverage would hurt the Biden administration. 

Instead, all three networks: ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News decided to keep their viewers in the dark and waste precious airtime on stories like a fire at a North Carolina construction site or a security scare at the Vatican.

But Tober gave a gold star to Fox News for dutifully embracing the narrative:

Meanwhile, Fox News Channel’s flagship newscast Special Report kicked off the broadcast with the news that was made from the congressional hearing. 

“Witnesses told members of Congress stories of retaliation and intimidation because they questioned a prominent investigation,” correspondent David Spunt explained. 

One of the whistleblowers who testified under oath was a former FBI agent named Marcus Allen who “was punished for questioning the official narrative of what happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

“He lost his security clearance two weeks ago, though it was suspended in January 2022,” Spunt noted. 

Tober, complained, though, that Fox News reported a small piece of the other side of the story, which he immediately dismissed:

In an attempt at damage control, the FBI released a statement to Fox News that tried to smear Allen, reading: “Mr. Allen used his FBI email to send multiple colleagues, quote: Links to web sites and urged recipients to exercise extreme caution and discretion in pursuit of any investigative inquiries or leads pertaining to the events of January 6.”

Tim Graham similarly complained in a May 19 post that the Republican narrative wasn't uncritically presented and that questions were raised about the whistleblowers:

Last night, we reported that the nightly newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely skipped any mention of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI whistleblowers. Since the hearing was organized by Republicans, it was somehow not news. Fox's Special Report had it. The PBS NewsHour and NPR's All Things Considered also failed to consider the hearing. 

The trend continued on Friday's morning shows, with no FBI whistleblower coverage on ABC's Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and NBC's Today. Even a "jam-packed Morning Joe" couldn't locate the story on MSNBC. NPR's Morning Edition also offered nothing. CNN This Morning did offer a brief piece, making it sound like a very messy hearing, as Democrats (like Del. Stacey Plaskett) insisted that these weren't real "whistleblowers" on the FBI, because the FBI insisted they were not. 

Collins began "Meanwhile, in Washington, lawmakers on Capitol Hill got into a pretty explosive argument yesterday over whether or not those three self-proclaimed FBI whistleblowers are actually whistleblowers."

Collins at least aired soundbites from two whistleblowers, and then followed with the FBI line: "It is also important to note that before the hearing, the FBI actually sent a letter to Congressman Jordan's subcommittee. In it, the agency said that officials stripped two of those three men that you saw there who testified of their security clearances after multiple violations and security concerns. The agency says that both men also expressed alternate theories about the attack on the Capitol."

Graham further whined that non-right-wing outlets reported a fuller story about the whistleblowers:

That's not to say that Ken Dilanian missed the FBI whistleblower hearing. Online, Dilanian and Ryan Reilly wrote up a story larded with pro-FBI spin: "GOP witnesses undermined Jan. 6 cases with conspiracy theories, FBI says". You have to get about 15 paragraphs down before the pro-whistleblower side gets a quote or two.

[...]

The Washington Post actually covered the hearing on page A-4 under the headline "FBI agents who testified on alleged abuses had security clearance revoked." 

This is how liberal media outlets play: any criticism of Democrats are described as "alleged abuses" from "self-proclaimed whistleblowers."

Graham didn't explain why the full story of the self-proclaimed whistleblowers should be censored, nor did he explain why FBI agents who refused to do their jobs should be trust. Graham didn't tell his readers that, according to the NBC News article he cited, the FBI stated that one of the agents, Steve Friend, "told his bureau management in Florida he would not work Jan. 6 cases and "refused to participate in the execution of a court authorized, search and arrest," and that Allen "'espoused alternative theories' about Jan. 6 to co-workers and also "'failed to provide relevant information' to an FBI special agent about a Jan. 6 suspect who was later discovered to have physically assaulted U.S. Capitol Police officers." Graham also failed to mention that Friend received money from Trump ally Kash Patel, who provided Friend with a job at a right-wing think tank after he was suspended by the FBI.

Rather than reveal the full truth about these whistleblowers, Graham continued to whine about this in his podcast the same day:

NBC is a national news network. So why would it skip House GOP hearings into whistleblowers being punished by the FBI, and obsess instead over small-town right-wing school board members pushing a "dangerous" curriculum? We call it "bias by story selection." They pick the narratives they want to enforce, and avoid the narratives that aren't helpful to Democrats.

Of course, Graham is engaging in his own bias by story selection by censoring the full story about the whistleblowers' misdeeds.

It will not surprise you to learn that the MRC does not treat all whistleblowers as sacrosanct truth-tellers who must always be believed. It repeatedly tried to discredit Frances Haugen for telling how Facebook did little to stop misinformation on its platform, attacking her as "a far-left activist and AOC donor" -- while failing to disclose the fact that it wasadhering to the talking points of Facebook management, who had reached out to conservative organizations to plant those attacks.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2023 12:48 AM EDT
WND Rages At New CDC Director For Following Standard Medical Advice On COVID
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Peter LaBarbera spent a July 31 "news" article ranting that the new director ofthe CDC will (gasp!) follow the science instead of right-wing anti-vaxxer narratives when it comes to COVID (bolding in original):

The CDC will soon recommend annual COVID shots, much like the current annual flu shots, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the embattled federal health agency's new director, in an interview Thursday.

President Biden picked Cohen, the former head of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, to replace the controversy-prone Rochelle Walensky to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost a month ago despite Republicans' objections.

Asked by a Spectrum reporter if the CDC were moving toward recommending one COVID shot per year for Americans, Cohen said, “Well, we’re just on the precipice of that, so I don’t want to get ahead of where our scientists are here ... but yes, we anticipate that what COVID will become is similar to flu shots, where it's going to be: you get your annual flu shot and you get your annual COVID shot.”

LaBarbera offered no evidence that Cohen is wrong about the coming need for an annual COVID vaccination; instead, he simply parroted right-wing attacks on her as "unfit for the position" for purportedly  "engaging in partisan left-wing politics," also uncritically quoting from an attack piece by the anti-vaxxer Epoch Times, which LaBarbera claimed "laid out her North Carolina record, which is in line with other states that applied overbearing mandates and policies for fighting COVID."

So LaBarbera is mad that Cohen did what every other responsible state medical official did in response to COVID by supporting vaccines and other measures to slow transmission? That just shows how out of the mainstream both medically and politically WND is -- and just how desperate it is to smear anyone who refuses to go out on that fringe with it.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:47 PM EDT
MRC's Imaginary 'Secondhand Censorship' Metric Ensnares Twitter Fact-Checkers
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center now believes fact-checking is "censorship," as we learned in an Aug. 3 post by Heather Moon that includes Twitter's Community Notes crowdsourced fact-checkers in its made-up and meaningless "secondhand censorship" metric:

Big Tech’s continued censorship of free speech on platforms creates real-world harm, not just to the users being censored, but to anyone who should have seen the censored messages. Nowhere is that more clear than when Big Tech platforms either silence or place spin on posts by candidates in what is otherwise nothing short of election interference.

Since MRC Free Speech America began tracking secondhand censorship in the first quarter of 2022, we have counted a total of at least 881,700,573 times that users have been harmed through the tactics used by Big Tech platforms. MRC Free Speech America researchers recorded 231 documented cases of censorship in the second quarter (Q2) of 2023, down from 363 cases in the first quarter (Q1).

Beginning with Q2 we began tracking Twitter’s Community Notes feature as a form of< censorship much like fact checks. (Twitter was re-branded as X in July.) Community Notes represent Twitter’s efforts to influence the perception of certain tweets and stand as a gatekeeper between content creators and their followers. This feature was used heavily on tweets from accounts with millions of followers. Therefore, the total secondhand censorship for Q2 jumped up 489 percent from Q1, with Big Tech harming users 484,498,858 times during the second quarter of 2023. This number follows the 82,249,700 times that users were harmed through secondhand censorship in the first quarter.

Twitter’s rampant use of Community Notes touched heavily on issues related to the presidential campaigns. As a result, users following accounts that were censored over content related to campaign issues suffered the most in Q2. Transgenderism also continued to be one of the topics enduring the most harm from secondhand censorship in the second quarter of 2023, surpassing its first quarter numbers.

Moon acknowledged that Community Notes have been used on claims made by President Biden (which we presume was not made a part of the "secondhand censorship" metric), but she was much more upset that it was used on claims made by Republican presidential candidates, as it usually is:

Community Notes had the greatest impact on followers of President Joe Biden’s official accounts, several of which have more than 30 million followers. His followers made up the largest segment of users harmed through secondhand censorship in the second quarter. MRC Free Speech America documented nine tweets that were censored by Community Notes from just one of Biden’s accounts. This totaled 283,600,000 times Twitter harmed users through secondhand censorship.

Each Community Note begins by stating that “[r]eaders added context they thought people might want to know.” In one example, a tweet from @JoeBiden claimed, “I make no apologies for being the most pro-union president in American history.” The Community Note read, “On December 22, 2022, President Biden signed a bill to block the railroad union from striking.” In another example, the account tweeted, “12,700,000 jobs,” with an attached infographic that read “12,700,000 jobs added under President Biden.” The Community Note read, “While Biden’s claim of 12.7 million new jobs in his term is accurate, the large majority of these new jobs can be attributed to economic recovery after COVID-19.”

But Twitter has also applied Community Notes to other campaign accounts. The @TrumpWarRoom Twitter account tweeted, “Fake News @marcthiessen is spreading outright lies. President Trump won BIG in Iowa. And will win again in 2024.” The Community Note read, “Ted Cruz won the 2016 Iowa Caucus with 27.6%. Donald Trump finished second with 24.3%.” This note does not address Trump’s wins in the general elections of 2016 or 2020. The Trump War Room Twitter account suffered a total of 23,400,000 users harmed through secondhand censorship just from the 13 Community Notes documented at CensorTrack.org.

Moon also ranted that Robert Kennedy Jr. -- who's an MRC darling for being a possible spoiler to Biden, not because it actually wants him to be president -- also faced "censorship" (by having his false claims moderated):

But Twitter is not the only Big Tech platform engaging in election interference. YouTube has deleted no fewer than seven videos that featured interviews with Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., while Instagram also temporarily banned a new account Kennedy create campaign ad that explained why Trump is the only candidate who can "make America great again" starting on day one. The YouTube “context” label discussed the results of the 2020 election, despite the ad not mentioning the 2020 election. LinkedIn also censored Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy ’s account. The platform restricted his account, reportedly citing “misleading or inaccurate information” in several of his posts relating to climate change and President Joe Biden’s relationship with China. LinkedIn claimed this action was taken “in error” and reversed the censorship.

Moon also huffed that transphobic hate was "censored," which she dishonestly framed as merely "content critiquing so-called 'transgenderism':

MRC Free Speech America continues to monitor Big Tech’s ongoing war waged against users who post content that does not affirm the left’s so-called “transgender” ideology. Unfortunately, although this type of censorship has lessened on some platforms, it is unlikely to go away completely any time soon. Since we began tracking secondhand censorship, Big Tech harmed users on content critical of the left’s “transgender” narrative more than ever in Q2.

MRC Free Speech America tallied at least 36,830,787 times that Big Tech harmed users by hindering them from seeing content critiquing so-called “transgenderism” in the second quarter of 2023. This number is higher than the number of transgender-related secondhand censorship for Q1, which previously showed the highest numbers for that category. Q1 of 2023 saw 21,471,808 times users were harmed through secondhand censorship.

Censorship of posts critical of the "transgender" ideology exploded in Q1 as a result of the infamous "Trans Day of Vengeance," making the number of times Big Tech harmed users through secondhand censorship skyrocket. But in Q2, Big Tech harmed an even greater number of users who criticized “transgender” ideology. This would still be true even in the absence of the 12,900,000 users harmed through Twitter’s Community Notes feature censoring tweets related to “transgenderism.”

Moon did not explain why she insists on calling being transgender an "ideology" and an "ism." She concluded with defending thte bogus metric an drepeating herself on how fact-checking is somehow "censorship":

Secondhand censorship represents the domino effect of how Big Tech harms users with its efforts to silence or reframe messages shared by users. Big Tech censorship of campaigns, candidates and/or of important policies or cultural events is tantamount to election interference. Americans must be allowed the freedom to speak their minds and to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. When Big Tech places its thumb on the scales through the use of things like fact checks, Community Notes, content deletion or account suspensions, free speech — and by extension, American democracy — is under attack. All such suppression of constitutionally-protected speech and election interference must be called out and stopped.

MRC Free Speech America calls on Americans to push tech companies to end their efforts of election interference.

Moon did not explain how, exacrly, "American democracy" is "under attack" because people are being fact-checked, or how fact-checking is "election interference."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2023 1:08 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The Trump Stenographers At Newsmax: (Second) Indictment Edition
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax served up the usual barrage of attack-and-defense pieces when Donald Trump was indicted a second time -- and as usual, criticism of Trump was hard to find. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 AM EDT
Sunday, September 17, 2023
MRC Concerned About Dubious Musk Moves -- But More Bothered That Twitter Fact-Checked Him
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center looks at Elon Musk and Twitter only through the lens of whether its fellow right-wingers are allowed to spout hate, misinformation and falsehoods without getting fact-checked or moderated (what it dishonestly calls "censorship"). As non-Musk Twitter executives realize that Twitter being filled with hate and lies is a bad thing, the MRC's Catherine Salgado went on an anti-"censorship" tantrum in an Aug. 10 post:

X (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino boasted August 10 of how her platform’s safety tools can censor content while supposedly allowing free speech.

Yaccarino tried to reassure the public that Twitter does in fact still censor so-called “hateful content” when asked about "brand safety" in a CNBC Squawk on the Streetinterview with Co-Anchor Sara Eisen. Yaccarino broadcasted the full interview in a Twitter

Space Thursday. “If it is lawful but it is awful, it’s extraordinarily difficult for you to see it,” Yaccarino bragged, explaining how X censors content and assures advertisers their ads will only appear with content they like. Yet Yaccarino also pretended loyalty to “free expression.”

“By all objective metrics, X is a much healthier and safer platform than it was a year ago,” Yaccarino claimed. “We have built brand safety and content moderation tools that have never existed before at this company.” She specifically cited the new policy that X owner Elon Musk and Yaccarino call “freedom of speech, not reach” as part of this content moderation (i.e. censorship).

The X CEO gleefully announced that big brands “are protected from the risk of being next to that content.” She didn’t seem worried about protecting users’ First Amendment right to free speech.

Salgado was too enraged that right-wing Twitter hate might get monitored under Musk that she didn't mention that Yaccarino is lying -- Twitter regularly places ads by major advertisers next to offensive and hateful content. Others also pointed out how detached from reality Yaccarino's answers were. But Salgado didn't care about those blatant falsehoods; rather, she continued to whine about Yaccarino claiming to act responsibly, and she also lashed out at the interviewer:

Yaccarino was particularly proud to report that, after a post is labeled, 30 percent of users “staggeringly” take it down themselves. “Reducing that hateful content from being seen is one of the best examples of how X is committed to encouraging healthy behavior online,” Yaccarino bragged of the censorship, claiming that “99.9 percent” of impressions on Twitter “are healthy.”

Eisen self-righteously lectured about “conspiracy theories” and hysterically cited Kanye West and Musk himself. Yaccarino then gave a hypocritical nod to free speech. “You might not agree with what everyone is saying,” she told Eisen. “Free expression at its core will really, really only survive when someone you don’t agree with says something you don’t agree with.”

[...]

Unfortunately, Yaccarino’s views are unsurprising since she came to Twitter from woke NBCUniversal and the anti-free speech World Economic Forum. 

The MRC has already expressed its hatred of Yaccarino for caring more about making Twitter a sustainable and profitable business than right-wing culture wars.

Heather Moon was outraged that that a Musk-instituted Twitter changed was used to fact-check Musk in an Aug. 18 post, laughably headlined "Did Musk Just Get Censored on His Own Platform?":

In a bold twist, Twitter’s Community Notes censored Elon Musk and had the gall to tell him what he can and cannot do with his own platform.

Community Notes, the crowdsourced fact-checking system for X (formerly known as Twitter) that has been characterized as “censorship by a different name,” took aim at owner Musk’s announcement that he will soon remove X’s block feature. The Note attached to his post, however, claimed that he is forbidden from making such a change.

Proving that no one using X is immune from censorship, the platform applied a Community Note to one of Musk’s own posts.

In his announcement today Musk posted what immediately proved to be one of the most controversial moves he has made since taking over the company. “Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature,’ except for DMs,” he posted.

The Community Notes team quickly came up with a Note rebuking the latest potential change that now appears below Musk’s post. The Note reads: “Elon Musk cannot do this. The feature to block someone on the site is REQUIRED as a social media app to be allowed on the App Store and the Google Play store.” It also provides links to the app guidelines for both the Apple App Store and the Google Playstore as proof.

Moon didn't mention Musk's complete hypocrisy on the issue; after getting into an argument with right-wing actor James Woods via Twitter over removing the block feature, Musk blocked Woods. The MRC thinks Community Notes are just fine when liberals are fact-checked but are tantamount to "censorship" when a conservative (or Musk) gets the same treatment. -- yes, the MRC thinks that fact-checking someone is "censorship." Moon remained committed to the fact-checking-is-censorship narrative by invoking the MRC's made-up and meaningless "secondhand censorship" metric:

Musk has made many changes to X since he purchased it. One of the more controversial changes was a global rollout of what is known as Community Notes in December of 2022. MRC Free Speech America’s CensorTrack recently reported that this new form of censorship caused Secondhand Censorship to soar in the second quarter of 2023.

Luis Cornelio was similarly outraged that  Twitter would want to reduce hate and lies in an Aug. 21 post (note his placing of "disinformation" in scare quotes, as if there was no objective definition of it):

The so-called warriors of election “disinformation” could be back in town, just in time for the 2024 presidential election.

X (formerly known as Twitter) is allegedly eying a chief election manipulator to lead its Civic Integrity/Elections Team. Political commentator Kristen Ruby first caught the news, which ignited a wave of criticism aimed at X and its choice to use recruiter Aaron Rodericks. Rodericks apparently voiced support for the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA and the Biden administration’s defunct Disinformation Governance Board through a series of RTs and likes on X.

Rodericks announced the new role on August 11. The listing even alluded to the fact that new hires on the “Civic Integrity/Election Team” may influence election outcomes. “Are you passionate about building innovative products that connect people and enable conversations on a global scale?” X further asked before adding: “Do you want to be part of a dynamic team that influences how the world communicates?” As content moderators of specifically election-related content, how could “Civic Integrity/Election Team” not influence elections?

Does Cornelio not think that people who spread political falsehoods and misinformation are also trying to influence elections? Shouldn't elections be based on factual information and not falsehoods? As usual, Cornelio doesn't explain why hate, lies and misinformation should be allowed to spread unchecked.

Autumn Johnson expressed furter doubt about Twitter changes under Musk in an Aug. 23 post, referring to Musk as an "eccentric billionaire" and not in a good way):

Eccentric billionaire Elon Musk originally said he wanted to purchase Twitter to promote free speech, but times may be changing with the questionable changes he has made since acquiring the platform.

A new change under platform owner Musk’s direction will require users to manually add text to links that they share. Without the added text, the post will only include an image and an overlay of the URL, on “X,” formerly known as Twitter.

Musk acknowledged on Tuesday the seemingly random change by responding to a user’s post detailing the move.  “This is coming from me directly,” Musk admitted on X. “Will greatly improve the esthetics.”

MRC Free Speech America has reported on Musk’s questionable changes to the platform since the contentious purchase, including choosing Linda Yaccarino, an anti-free speech former NBCUniversal executive, to be the CEO of the company.

Musk also pushed forward with Twitter Community Notes, a questionable crowdsourced form of fact-checking and censorship. 

In November of last year, Musk described X’s speech policy as “freedom of speech, not reach,” indicating that users would be censored for certain views labeled as “hate speech.” Musk never clarified what he believes constitutes so-called “hate speech.”

Johnson didn't explain why she apparently thinks hate speech is subjective and something that is merely "labeled" as such.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2023 10:24 AM EDT
WND's Brown Appalled That Google Shows Images Of Interracial Couples
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A couple months back the white nationalist website VDARE published a rant complaining about too many black people in TV commercials, calling it "mental reprogramming designed to convince whites of their eventual demographic demise." Michael Brown felt the need to dabble in similar territory in his Sept. 4 column. He began by touting a book that helped make such an argument:

In his 2019 book, "The Madness of the Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity," Douglas Murray exposed the cultural insanity that has gripped so much of the modern world. He pointed out that, no sooner was there more equality than ever between the sexes that the war on men was launched. And no sooner was there more equality than ever between the races that the war on whiteness was launched.

Murray brought a wide array of arguments to support his theses, but none was more striking than the images that came up on Google searches for specific terms and phrases. It was hard to deny what you could see with your own eyes.

[...]

Murray had pointed out that when you searched Google for gay couples, you would see a host of images with gay couples, as expected. When you searched for black couples, you would see a host of images with black couples, again, as expected.

But if you searched for straight couples or white couples or straight white couples, the results were anything but what you would expect.

This book by British right-winger Murray essentially argues that racism and sexism would no longer be an issue if liberals didn't point out the persisitence of racism and sexism. Brown didn't tell his readers any of this, of course; rather, he decided to try and replicate Murray's Google search experiments to see what happened:

Let's start with black couples, clicking on Images. My search yielded row after row of black couples. What do you know!

Now we'll switch to gay Couples. What did the Google search engine produce? The same thing. Row after row of images of gay couples, some with their kids, but all male-male or female-female. The only exception was the occasional image of a throuple, but here too, all three participants were gay.

How about black gay couples? Yet again, exactly what you asked for: Every image is of a black gay couple, with "gay" specifically meaning "male."

Now let's try white couples. What comes up in the search?

The first couple features a white man and a black woman. The same with the second image (I'm not making this up). The fourth image is that of a black man and possibly a Hispanic man (the image links to the website, "Loving Interracial Couples"), and the fifth that of a white woman and a black man.

I tried this on different days and the results were shockingly similar. What in the world is going on?

When I searched for straight couples, there was at least one image of a same-sex couple on each of the first three rows, some of the images linked to an article on what straight couples could learn from gay couples.

When I searched for straight white couples – to repeat, I am not making this up – the very first image that came up was that of a gay interracial couple. Chew on that for a moment – a white man and a black man. To repeat, this was searching for "Straight White Couples."

[...]

While the search for black and gay individuals and couples produced the expected results, the search for white couples yielded the exact opposite. Out of the first six images, every single one featured a multi-racial couple. At the risk of being redundant, I kid you not!

Of the next six images, again, only one featured an all-white couple and one featured an all-black couple. This is beyond insane.

Brown refused to explain why, exactly, seeing pictures of interracial couples upset him so. Instead, he ranted:

Talk about political correctness on steroids and beyond. Talk about mass manipulation, especially when you realize that the vast amount of manipulation is not so obvious and blatant.

Put another way, the manipulation can be so powerful because you don't know you're being manipulated, since you're actually searching for information in order to learn and be informed. Not everything is as it seems!

As much as a raging homophobe Brown is, he rarely touches on issues of race, so it's unclear why he felt the need to weigh in here. But if you starting to sound like VDARE, you should probably rethink your approach -- not to mention your overall thought process.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 17, 2023 11:44 AM EDT

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