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Monday, November 6, 2023
NEW ARTICLE -- Trump Indictment Theater At WND: Act 2
Topic: WorldNetDaily
There was wildly biased "reporting" and columnist meltdowns all over WorldNetDaily when Donald Trump faced his second indictment. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EST
Sunday, November 5, 2023
MRC Would Rather Help Musk Insult Biden Than Talk About Twitter's Problems
Topic: Media Research Center

The bad and unsavory news about Elon Musk and Twitter (well, X) continues to pile up:

  • Musk stole the @music username without compensation from a user with half a million followers who had been using the account since 2007. 
  • More than 2,200 Twitter employees Musk dumped in a mass firing after he bought the company tooks their claims for promised severance pay into arbitration, but Twitter has refused to pay the filing fees -- totaling more than $3 milloin -- that would allow those arbitration cases to move forward.
  • The Twitter account of a man accused of murdering a woman over a Pride flag was originally allowed to stay live even though the alleged killer made numerous anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semitic messages on it, insisting that the account didn't violate its policies. It was not until a story was published about that decision that Twitter abruptly suspended it.
  • Musk is continuing to amplify the Twitter accounts of QAnon conspiracy theorists and white nationalists by interacting with them through his own account.

The Media Research Center doesn't want its reader to know about any of that -- it has Musk PR to create. Luis Cornelio wrote in an Oct. 3 post:

President Joe Biden whined that X (formerly known as Twitter) is not as aggressively engaging in widespread censorship of constitutionally protected free speech.

Speaking to the leftist zealots at ProPublica on Oct. 1, Biden accused, without evidence, X owner Elon Musk and right-leaning media outlets of igniting an imaginary increase of misinformation online. In the same disturbing interview, Biden claimed — again with no evidence — that Americans can’t differentiate real news from fake news. “Where do people get their news?” Biden asked before answering his own question, “They go on the internet, they go online and you have no notion whether it's true or not.”

The increase in misinformation on Twitter isn't imaginary at all. The shutdown by Musk of trust and safety teams and the revoking of bans on accounts who spread hate and misinformation, as well as rendering the blue check meaningless as a sign of credibility, meant that misinformation and hate has, in fact, increased on Twitter.But rather than address facts,Cornelio cheered that Musk insulted Biden: 

Musk, known for his witty and hilarious clapbacks, reacted to Biden’s claims, saying, “The corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s literally looks more alive than Biden.” His response, a reference to a 1989 comedy film where two individuals parade their dead boss around, marked a direct jab at Biden’s cognizance.

Cornelio didn't expalin how Musk's petulant insult was either witty or hilarious. He then chose to hurl some insults of his own:

Biden’s assertions came during the segment where journalist John Harwood claimed that Fox News, alongside other outlets that do not conform to White House talking points, are a danger to democracy (or in other words, the Democratic Party). Specifically, he asked, “Do they drive the threat that you're concerned about? Are they simply reflecting a sentiment that already exists in the country?” In turn, Biden replied, “They do both. Look, there’re no editors anymore.”

Doing the left’s bidding, Harwood then drew attention to Musk’s promise to promote free speech on X. “What about what Elon Musk has done to Twitter, lowering guardrails against misinformation? Does that contribute to it?” the so-called journalist asked. “Yeah, it does,” Biden replied before claiming that he was going to write a book about the changing media landscape. “Look, one of the things that I said to you when I thought I wasn't going to run, I was going to write a book about the changes taking place.”

Who would’ve thought that Biden — notoriously known for his incoherent and gaffe-plagued speeches, was also a social media and communications expert? “Most of this directed over the years were these fundamental changes in society by changing technology, Gutenberg, printing and the printing press changed the way Europeans could talk to one another, all the way to today,” Biden claimed.

Again, Cornelio refused to address the substance of what Biden and Harwood were talking about -- and he certainly wasn't going to bring up the fact that Fox News did, in fact, help endanger democracy by lying to its viewers and the country about election fraud, for which it had to pay Dominion $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit. Then again, Cornelio isn't much of a social media and communications expert either, given his embrace of lies and hate on social media because not only they advance right-wing narratives, it's a right-wing narrative to dishonestly portray any efforts to address hate and misinformatoin online as "censorship."

The fact that Cornelio would rather play insult comic instead of having a serious discussion of how Musk is mismanging Twitter tells us he doesn't actually care about "free speech" at all -- he's only interested in being Musk's PR boy.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
WND's Massie Has Hate-Filled Meltdown Over Idea Of 'The Obama Woman' Becoming President
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie has long had a deranged level of hatred for Michelle Obama, whom he loves to call "Buttzilla" -- which, of course, disqualifies him from being taken seriously by anyone. Nevertheless, he insists on being taken seriously anyway. Thus, we have a  Sept. 25 WorldNetDaily column from him in which he petulantly cannot bring himself to say the word "Michelle" (except in quotes from others) and refers to her only as "the Obama woman":

There's increasing talk that the Democrats are devising or perhaps have already devised a way to jettison the Obama woman into the numero uno seat. For the record, I don't believe that for a second; I'll explain why in moment.

Whether it's wishful thinking or a reality, the chatter of them finding a way to parachute the Obama woman into the picture is gaining momentum. I will add that a close colleague has been assuring me since early summer that this is the plan. I still disagree.

Granted, there are those who slobber and droll over the very mention of that woman. But, who in their right minds would want this woman as the Democratic presidential nominee, much less in the Oval Office?

She may be liked by a crowd with a big megaphone, but I submit they're the minority. I say that she not just disliked, but she is unlikable. Add to that her unbridled dislike for Americans and well-documented contempt, if not outright hatred for, so-called working-class people sans the melanin she displays.

Massie went on to rehash excerpts of his Obama-hate from previous columns, including a rant that "She used the decorative position she enjoys as her personal taxpayer-provided American Express Black Card, arguably the most exclusive credit card in the world. She has used her position to spend, glut, gobble and drink like no other woman in her position before her and doubtful after her." Massie claimed to cite an article from foreign right-wing rag the Daily Mail as evidence, but the article is a rewrite from supermarket rag the National Enquirer citing no named sources and offering no actual evidence to back anything up. There's no reason whatsoever to trust anything in this story -- yet Massie does because it feeds his Michelle Obama Derangement Syndrome. Who cares if it's not the truth? Massie certainly doesn't.

Speaking of untrue, unsupported claims, Massie went on to huff:

The ploy is: whomever the Democrats select to replace Biden and Harris, it will be hailed as a brilliant move. Every talking head and poll quoted will show the person unbeatable by Donald Trump, as the Democrats work to execute a plan to steal another election. And nothing, absolutely nothing, makes me believe the 2020 election wasn't stolen. They just used a different method than was employed when Kennedy stole the 1960 election from Richard Nixon – but they stole it nonetheless.

Again, Massie can't be bothered to offer any sort of evidence to back up his claim. It's as if he thinks he can get away with spreading lies because of his black-conservative privilege.

Massie ultimately concluded that Democrats will not run "the Obama woman," conveniently omitting the fact that Michelle Obama herself has clearly stated she has no interest in running for president. He concluded by sneering: "If I'm wrong and they do go with the Obama woman, I predict Trump in a landslide, theft attempt notwithstanding." Trump is an even bigger liar than Massie is, so it makes sense that Massie would support a fellow prevaricator.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2023 12:53 PM EDT
Saturday, November 4, 2023
MRC's Gun-Lovers Defend Shady Ghost Guns
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is a profuse apologist for anything gun-related, no matter how dubious -- like ghost guns. When Philadelphia officials tried to hold ghost-gun providers accountable for the carnage their weapons create, the MRC objected. Naturally, this started as an attempt to deflect from yet another mass shooting by focusing on anything else but the guns (a trick the MRC specializes in). Nicholas Fondacaro did exactly that in a July 5 post:

On Tuesday, authorities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announced that the suspect behind the Monday mass shooting there was Kimbrady Carriker, a transgendered man who pretends to be a woman and a Black Lives Matter activist. But while the Wednesday morning newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC omitted all of that information, ABC’s Good Morning America went the furthest, using gender-neutral pronouns when talking about the shooter and editing a video of the district attorney referring to Carriker as male.

“We do turn to the mass shooting that left five people dead in Philadelphia. We are learning more about the victims and police are identifying the suspected shooter who they say was armed for battle,” ABC co-anchor Whit Johnson declared, teasing they would inform viewers about the shooter.

But correspondent Trevor Ault refused to disclose anything about Carriker’s background and repeatedly used gender-neutral/plural pronouns and other non-descript language:

[...]

It was late in the report when Ault actually got around to giving a name to the suspect, even then, he refused to call the shooter a male. ABC was so dedicated to not offending the sensibilities of a mass shooter that they edited a video of liberal District Attorney Larry Krasner using male pronouns:

Fondacaro failed to explain what relevance (beyond his employer-mandated transphobia, that is) the shooter's alleged transgender status had in the shooting. When the topic turned to the fact that the shooter was armed with untraceable ghost guns, Fondacaro whined in a July 6 post:

With the broadcast networks ignoring the fact that the Philadelphia mass shooter was transgendered and a Black Lives Matter activist, their new narrative was to put focus on the weapons used: so-called “ghost guns.” Both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today celebrated liberal Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner targeting two gun parts manufacturers (Polymer80 and JSD Supply) with laws suits, despite both companies selling a perfectly legal product.

“We also have information this morning out for Philadelphia and that mass shooting that left five people dead. We’re learning more now about the ghost guns use in the attack,” announced co-anchor Whit Johnson.

[...]

But in the reality obfuscated by the ABC, it’s not that easy. The parts sold by those companies are legally considered 80 percent finished and special milling equipment is needed to finish the build. These kits are completely legal and at-home gun building has been an American tradition since before the founding of the country.

Ana Schau whined further about it in another July 6 post:

CNN decided to break the new information about the ghost guns used in the Philadelphia shooting over the weekend on Thursday’s CNN News Central by blaming the ghost gun manufacturers and distributers for the shooting. In addition to blaming these companies for this shooting, anchor Sara Sidner hosted former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on the show to essentially blame these companies for illegal gun ownership as well, since apparently they were “specifically…marketed to evade the law.”

Sidner began the segment by briefly describing the shooting itself, as well as breaking the new information about the ghost guns that were used in the crime. She then described ghost guns, being careful to note specifically that this type of firearm “doesn’t have any markings, and is not traceable.”

As if having a serial number would have somehow stopped the shooting?

Sidner then brought McCabe on the show to discuss the fact that “the City of Philadelphia is suing the two largest suppliers of ghost guns,” Polymer80, Inc. and JSD Supply. McCabe called the lawsuit “an admirable step” to “start to address” the issue, since Biden’s federal ban had been overthrown.

This lawsuit, in principle, makes no sense. Making firearms has always been legal in America, and possession of these firearms when completed is also legal, according to the Second Amendment. Suing a company for selling a product that enabled these things wasn’t right, even if those guns were used for bad things.

When McCabe pointed out that “really anyone with any sort of mechanical ability” could use these companies' kits to construct a gun, Schau huffed in response: "In reality, these guns required quite a bit of skill and some specific equipment to assemble, not merely the simple task that these two seemed to think it was." She offered no evidence to back this up. She then insisted that the disclaimers the companies post on their websites purportedly absolve them of blame:

And yet, amidst all of those claims, the websites of both companies being sued advise the buyer to follow the firearm regulations in his area. JSD Supply disclaimed for the buyer to “always make sure you know your local firearms laws for your own protection.” Polymer80’s website included a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that read, “By using this website, or using or purchasing a Polymer80 product, you affirm that you have verified that you may possess, purchase, and use Polymer80 products under all applicable federal, state, and local laws.”

Rather than seeming like a place that was “perfect” for criminals to obtain guns, these websites seemed to be places that cared a lot about the law, and encouraged its customers to follow all pertinent regulations.

If criminals ignore gun-control laws, as the MRC loves to claim whenever such regulations are proposed, there's no reason to believe they won't also ignore these disclaimers as well.

Schau's post called McCabe an "FBI Liar" in its headline, though she identified nothing he said as a "lie" in her post.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, November 4, 2023 10:01 AM EDT
WND's Farah Can't Stop Complaining That Google Won't Do Business With Him
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the month before he mysteriously disappeared from day-to-day operations -- with still no explanation why -- WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah felt the need to relitigate yet again his complaints against Google., which he continues to blame for WND's shaky financial situation. He ranted in his Aug. 1 column:

Censored by Google: Back in 2020, that is what happened to Martin Luther King's famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," which had run in The Atlantic's August 1963 issue. I genuinely feel sorry for The Atlantic, but it wasn't censored like all of WND's content – 100% – has been since November two years ago. My colleagues at the Gateway Pundit were also permanently demonetized by Google about the same time.

MLK's letter is one of the most important texts of the civil rights movement.

Google thinks it's foolproof because of artificial intelligence and the like – but it's not. The letter's censoring wasn't intentional, of course. But it was more embarrassing than sticking it to WND, the oldest start-up on the internet (birthed in 1997), because of its reporting and commentary.

Google cost this gritty, conservative, Christian journal tens of millions of dollars because of its virtual monopoly and know-it-all attitude.

[...]

For 24 years we co-existed. Actually, I doubt [Google CEO Sundar] Pichai has been at Google that long. I don't even know if he's old enough. I could call Google evil, which I did often, and yet they were happy to take my money nonetheless. But when I crossed swords with the Southern Poverty Law Center I was doomed – me and most of my employees.

Even Slate, a bona fide leftist site, and many others also have had specific articles demonetized because Google disapproved of them. Yet only two sites have been "permanently demonetized" – for two years and counting.

As we've documented, WND has not been "demonetized" -- Google has simply chosen to stop doing business with a website known for fake news and conspiracy theories by no longer allowing its ads to appear there. In short, Google and WND had a business agreement, and WND repeatedly violated the terms of that agreement.

That was followed by WND's usual (and false) rebuttals to the Google standards WND broke -- guidelines against hateful content was retorted with how "WND dares to report honestly and forthrightly on the fantastically deranged transgender agenda," guidelines against "demonstrably false" content was rebutted with "the obvious and provable fact that the 2020 election was one of the most corrupt, manipulated and RIGGED elections in American history," and so on. Farah concluded by huffing:

We don't play ball with Google. We know exactly what we believe. One of the most precious things we believe in is the First Amendment to the Constitution. In the past, newspapers and other media never worried about that changing or getting watered down or becoming extinct. The First Amendment has been foundational to this nation for 236 years. It's our heritage, our government's most important statement of who we are.

It reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

May it always stand in word and deed.

Last we checked, the First Amendment doesn't protect lies and hate.

Farah used his Aug. 16 column to praise Robert Kennedy Jr. -- whose campaign for president WND has ironically promoting -- for suing Google for pointing out that he's an anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorist:

See how easy it is to sue the government and Google for censoring all of us?

All it takes is a little money and the will to do it. Like Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

A federal magistrate judge has set an emergency hearing on Kennedy request for a temporary restraining order barring Google from censoring his speech on YouTube during the 2024 campaign. Kennedy, a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California against Google, LLC and its wholly owned subsidiary YouTube, LLC, last week.

The hearing was to be held this week before Judge Nathanael Cousins in the federal courthouse located in San Jose, California.

Kennedy alleges that Google worked with the federal government to develop and enforce "misinformation" policies to censor the government's political opponents, like RFK Jr., who is running against President Biden in the Democratic primary. Such actions violate the First Amendment when, as here, "they result from a public-private partnership that relies on government sources and when the private party, Google, shares the government's censorship goals."

Farah went on to cheer Kennedy for playing the "censorship" card, then tried to ride his coattails:

Kennedy is absolutely correct. And so was WND when we set out blaze the trail in independent online journalism:

[...]

Two years ago, Google dropped a huge nuclear bomb on WND by permanently demonetizing us.

When Google demonetized WND, the world's second-wealthiest company finally revealed what they considered the three BIG LIES that this news site had been promoting, for which reason they throttled our traffic, advertising revenue and search accessibility. In other words, Google tried to drive us completely out of business.

Farah copy-and-pasted yet again WND's bogus rebuttal to its Google guideline violations After noting how it promoted various COVID conspiracies, he added: "This last one we share in common with Robert Kennedy. It was government under Joe Biden that made this formula lethal to the First Amendment."

Then it was time for a money beg as Farah mixed in a donation drive in his call for prayers:

We've lost more than 90% of our revenues since 2016. We are essentially operating on fumes.

If WND means something special to you, we continue to need your prayers and your financial blessings. While some of our friends in the independent media have billionaire patrons, you should know that we do not, and never have. We've always operated the old-fashioned way, earning our own way. We spend only what we take in through revenues and donations.

We do it because we love it. We always have. But we also love you for remembering us. Truly.

Most of all, we love God and trust Him for our daily bread.

So, please, don't forget to keep us in your prayers. We can feel their effectiveness. They give us great encouragement to keep fighting on.

He even provided a phone number and a special email address "for anyone who is in a position to contribute $5,000 or more."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, November 4, 2023 1:52 AM EDT
Friday, November 3, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

In his writeup of the Oct. 2 White House press briefing, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck served up huge dose of Doocy-fluffing, insisting that only biased right-wing reporters like Peter Doocy were asking "real questions":

Monday’s White House press briefing started on a pathetic note with the first flurry of questions consisted of the press corps sticking up for and asking questions on behalf of the Ukrainians, not the American people. Eventually, there were real questions asked, thanks in part to Fox’s Peter Doocy and wife Hillary Vaughn of the Fox Business Network.

Vaughn came first: “New York Governor Kathy Hochul says the border is too open right now. Does the President think that the border is too open?”

Jean-Pierre launched into a hilarious answer that began with the token point that Biden “put forward a comprehensive piece of legislation to deal with immigration reform” when he took office, but Republicans won’t acquiesce. 

She then added that Biden’s tackled the border through “enforcement,” “detergence,” and “diplomacy.” On the second point, she comically bragged that “we’ve made clear that attempting to cross the border unlawfully will result in prompt removal, a five-year ban on — on reentry, and potential criminal prosecution.”

[...]

A few minutes later, Doocy drew some laughs at the White House when he alluded to Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) pulling a fire alarm on Saturday that delayed a House vote to keep the government open:“Would President Biden ever try to get out of a meeting by pulling a fire alarm?”

Jean-Pierre jokingly replied: “Are you talking about something specifically?”

Doocy then became more direct: “A Democratic member of Congress pulled a fire alarm around a series of votes. No fire. Is that appropriate?”

Jean-Pierre said she hadn’t “spoken to the President about this and” thus wouldn’t “comment.”

Doocy’s other questions focused on a possible strike of health care workers and riots last week with looters ransacking stores in Philadelphia[.]

In Houck's right-wing bubble, press questions are only "real" if they advance conservative narratives.

Houck's Doocy-fluffing continued the next day:

On Tuesday afternoon, the Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy wasn’t having it as the ever-inept White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reverted back to a years-long, cartoonish, pants-on-fire fable that Republicans are the true anti-cops, defund-the-police party in light of Monday night’s carjacking of Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in the Navy Yard section of Washington D.C.

It started with a question from The Wall Street Journal’s Catherine Lucey, who was not only the penultimate reporter called on, but shamefully only the first to bring up Cuellar: “[D]oes the White House any comment on the carjacking of Representative Cuellar? Has the President reached out to him? And more broadly, does it say anything about safety and crime in the District?”

After confirming that Biden “did have an opportunity to speak with the congressman today,” that the White House is “grateful and relieved” he was okay, and calling the attack “unacceptable,” she launched into blaming the GOP for cities not being fully staffed with police (click “expand”):

[...]

Doocy went straight to the obvious the left writ large — in or out of office — won’t admit, which is that they run nearly all of these major cities spiraling into lawlessness: “Well, the first follow up would be, how are you going to blame Republicans for this? Isn’t D.C. run by a bunch of Democrats?”

Jean-Pierre doubled down that Biden “has been very, very straightforward about” ensuring “communities are safe” whereas Republicans wouldn’t support giving “communities...funding” to “hire more police officers”.

Doocy hit back with this stinging hypothetical: “So, if President Biden’s policies are helping bring crime down, would he be comfortable with somebody borrowing his Corvette and parking it on the street overnight in Southeast D.C.?”

The Press Secretary refused to go there, saying she’d only “get into the facts about what this President has done” and brought up the gun control legislation from last year.

Apparently for Houck, "stinging hypotheticals" 'are the same as "real questions" when Doocy says them.

Biden's decision to build parts of a border wall gave Houck the chance to spread the right-wing narrative that the president caved and to chortle that Jean-Pierre was asked a lot of questions about it at the Oct. 5 briefing:

Karine Jean-Pierre, the Biden White House’s ever-inept press secretary, had a rough go of things Thursday afternoon as she took a plethora of brutal questions from the left and right over President Biden’s sudden capitulation to sanity and allow for the construction of just over 20 miles of new border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Given it was more than just Fox’s Peter Doocy and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann pressing, you knew it was a grilling.

He didn't forget his Doocy-fluffing, though:

Doocy Time ended the briefing, starting with: “As a candidate, President Biden didn’t say, ‘there will not be another foot of wall constructed that — except what was appropriated in 2019.’ He said, ‘there will not be another foot of wall constructed [in] my administration.’ So, something changed. What?”

This left Jean-Pierre furious (click “expand”):

[...]

Doocy’s last question was spicy but pertinent: “If you have to build a border wall but you don’t think that it’s going to work, then once it’s done, are you just going to tear it down?”

Of course, Jean-Pierre scoffed at the idea of “getting into hypotheticals”.

Such partisan hackery from Doocy, remember, is what Houck considers to be "real questions" to ask the White House.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EDT
Newsmax's Hirsen Cheered Right-Wing Songs of the Summer
Topic: Newsmax

Like the Media Research Center, Newsmax columnist James Hirsen hyped the right-wing songs of the summer. He gushed over Jason Aldean's "Try That In A Small Town" in his July 24 column:

Jason Aldean is a superstar country music singer, with 27 number one hits and several top-selling albums.

He recently released a song that threw him smack in the middle of the cancel culture battle.

Aldean's recent single "Try That In a Small Town" came out in May 2023, but went with little mention in the non-music press.

Then in July the music video was released. That’s when the artist as well as the song came under heavy mainstream media and social media attack.

The video includes footage from the Summer of 2020, where flags were burned, cars were smashed, businesses were vandalized, police were abused, etc.

The left responded in what has become routine fashion, slapping a bigoted label on the art and the artist.

The tragic incidents of 2020 and the brutal crimes that continue to ravage major cities have been minimized and/or completely ignored by dominant left-leaning media outlets.

Aldean’s artistic inclusion of depictions of events seems to have really hit a nerve.

Hirsen let Aldean complain that "this song isn’t promoting violence as some have suggested" and that "There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it" -- but failed to disclose that the video includes footage of Aldean performing in front of a Southern courthouse notorious as the scene of a lynching of a black teenager in 1927. Hirsen noted that a concert crowd unsurprisingly cheered the song, adding:

Aldean’s small town is proving to be mighty big in a lot more ways than one.

The "USA! USA!" chants from the concert crowd were more than just a show of support for the country music artist.

They were a great big "Thank You!" to Jason Aldean from down-home hearts across America and globally.

Hirsen has previously written a 2022 column defending Aldean's wife after she stated in an online video that "I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase," cheering them for trying to bring "our unique and legendary all-American country music back."

Hirsen followed that by hyping Oliver Anthony's "Rich Men North of Richmond" in his Aug. 14 column:

Truths, especially those that have been suppressed, often have a way of emerging in the form of a song.

With one finger on an instrument and another on the pulse of a culture, a gifted songwriter is able to capture a moment, compose melody, and pen lyrics.

With the luck of the draw, the creation may even become a musical soundtrack for its times.

This just happened in the life of former factory worker and off-the-grid farmer Oliver Anthony.

He performed an original song for an audience comprised of his dogs.

The instant the video was uploaded to the web, Oliver’s world changed forever.

Just days ago the Virginia singer-songwriter was unknown to the general public. Now he has the number one song on iTunes. It’s called "Rich Men North of Richmond."

[...]

Reflecting the discontent with the present economic reality and the fallout from unjust governmental policies, Oliver goes on to sing, "Lord, it’s a damn shame what the world’s gotten to for people like me and people like you."

One of the most compelling lines in the song points to the surreal nature of life these days, with the words, "Wish I could wake up and it not be true, but it is, oh it is. Living in the new world with an old soul."

Hirsen again whined that the song was criticized by non-right-wingers:

Meanwhile, left-leaning media are trying to sully the song.

For example, Rolling Stone published a piece titled "Right-Wing Influencers Just Found Their Favorite New Country Song," characterizing the tune as a "passionate screed against the state of the country."

News bulletin: His song is music to the ears of millions of Americans whose voices have been suppressed and who have simply been suffering in silence.

8.4 million views and counting is the exclamation point, and a fine one at that.

Hirsen hasn't written about the song since, so we don't know how he feels about Anthony distancing himself from the right-wing activists trying to appropriate his song for their purposes and pointing out that it was written about the kind of out-of-touch Republican presidential candidates who touted his song at their first debate. He did, however, name-check both songs in his Aug. 23 column as evidence that "the silent unwoke majority sure seems to have found its voice."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:56 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, November 3, 2023 6:10 PM EDT
WND Promotes Faulty Anti-Biden Claims From Shady Ukrainian Ex-Prosecutor
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh uncritically wrote in an Aug. 25 WorldNetDaily article:

Viktor Shokin is the prosecutor in Ukraine that Joe Biden, as vice president and in charge of Ukraine relations for Barack Obama, demanded be fired.

Biden later bragged about it:

The situation that developed was that the U.S. was working to help Ukraine eliminate corruption, and one of Shokin's targets was Burisma, a gas company that was paying Joe Biden's son, Hunter, $1 million a year, ostensibly to be on its board but, as evidence suggests, allegedly to get rid of investigations.

The U.S. had concluded Shokin was making progress, but Joe Biden abruptly overruled that conclusion, insisting Shokin be removed, and threatened Ukraine with the loss of a billion dollars of American aid if he was not fired.

He was.

Now, in a coming interview reported to be lined up by Fox News this weekend, Shokin charges that Joe and Hunter Biden did take bribes.

Those bribes already have been documented in an FBI report that said a trusted confidential source confirmed they happened, $5 million to Joe and $5 million to Hunter.

A report Friday in the Daily Mail cites the coming interview, and clips that it obtained from that.

The report said Shokin described the Bidens as the ones guilty of "corruption," and said they took "bribes" from Burisma.

"I do not want to deal in unproven facts. But my firm personal conviction is that yes, this was the case. They were being bribed," Shokin explained, according to the Daily Mail report.

In fact, Shokin is not telling the truth -- he was fired in part because he wasn't investigating Burisma, not because he was (and, in fact, Burisma did not want Shokin fired); he also refused to prosecute any members of the government of former Ukranian president Viktor Yankunovych and was widely viewed as not doing his job. And it wasn't just Biden who sought to fire him; much of the internatoinal community, including more than 100 members of the Ukranian parliament, also wanted Shokin fired.

The only attempt Unruh made to present a balanced view of Shokin was a single paragraph in which he noted that  the Daily Mail story reported that "Biden's White House is accusing Fox of 'giving a 'platform to lies'" with the interview.'" But Unruh made no effort to detail those lies.

IUnruh repeated the dubious pro-Shokin narrative again in a Sept. 8 article that hyped how "a memo now has emerged that confirmed the European Union had reached internal consensus that prosecutor Viktor Shokin's office was meeting established goals for fighting corruption and organized crime." Unruh omitted that many other officials wanted Shokin fired for lack of progress against corruption, repeated the falsehood that Shoking was "investigating the Burisma company," and he again failed to detail the lies Shokin told in his Fox News interview.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, November 3, 2023 2:20 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC Flips Over Elon Musk, Part 15: Carrots And Sticks
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is still serving as Elon Musk's PR agency -- while also taking the occasional whack at him for not giving right-wingers total leeway to spread hate and lies. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 AM EDT
Thursday, November 2, 2023
MRC Mad That Media Reminded People That MLK Was Liberal
Topic: Media Research Center

The 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, which featured Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, drew media attention -- as well as complaints from the the Media Research Center because people were reminded that King was a liberal and that some of the issues he fought against still exist today. Alex Christy complained in an Aug. 26 post:

The Saturday editions of ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, and CBS Saturday Morning all focused on the festivities 60th anniversary of the March on Washington not just by recounting Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, but by assisting today’s organizers in portraying overcoming current progressive grievances as the next chapter in the fight for civil rights.

ABC’s Faith Abubéy was the worst offender. She recalled the events of 1963 and how “organizers say today this fight is in part about voter suppression, housing discrimination, police and racial violence, racial disparities when it comes to employment, education, and other basic civil rights.”

Adding in some commentary of her own, Abubéy took aim at the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, some of which had nothing to do with race, “The 60th anniversary of the March on Washington is, of course, happening in the wake of some controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings in which affirmative action, student debt relief, and abortion rights were all gutted in recent terms.”

Apparently Abubéy really believes that not paying back your loans is a civil right or that the demise of affirmative action and abortion is in the same universe as the existence of segregation.

[...]

At no point did anyone on any of the three networks say contemporary voter suppression is a myth meant to scare people or wonder what any of the left’s contemporary culture wars have to do with 1963.

Christy's evidence that voter suppression is a "myth" is a link from Georgia election officials touting record election turnout after the passage of an "election integrity" law, but no evidence was presented to justify passage of the law in the first place given the almost complete lack of election fraud in the 2020 election.

Tim Graham used an Aug. 28 post to compain about a TV segment that reminded people that, yes, King was a liberal:

To mark the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington, the CBS program Sunday Morning aired a commentary by left-wing New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who started out celebrating the speech as "iconic," but then turned on its idealism, touting that King later hardened to the left, focusing on systemic racism. All the leftists prefer the more radical late-Sixties King to the Kumbaya 1963 version.

Blow wanted to sound positive about the early speech: “It is a beautiful speech. It doesn`t so much demand as it encourages. It is a great American speech, perfect for America`s limited appetite for addressing America`s inequities, both racial and economic...It focuses more on the interpersonal and less on the systemic and structural.” But he was happy to explain King saw the error of this approach:

[...]

What this approach doesn't do is make any acknowledgement of racial progress since King's death in 1968. The Left insists that systemic racism has never ended, and America remains a terribly racist country.

Graham made no effort to prove that racism was compeltely eradicated after the 1960s.

Curtis Houck whined that the march and speech anniversary was marked in a post later that day:

From Saturday night through Monday morning, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC got weak knees over the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech that, based on even a cursory view, was no more than a far-left political rally led in part by ethnic and racial arsonist, MSNBC host Al Sharpton. 

Even teachers union head Randi Weingarten was there, shouting like a raging lunatic! How that fit in other than ideology was beyond us. Our Alex Christy set the table by looking at the similarly comical coverage on Saturday morning.

The post-march goo started flowing on ABC’s World News Tonight with senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott playing fill-in anchor and swooning in a tease:“The March on Washington turning 60. A new wave of support. Thousands gathering to walk in those same steps taken decades ago, and there were new demands for social, economic, and racial justice.”

[...]

CBS Weekend News came off as muted, painting the 2023 march was unobjectionable, led by “a new generation gathered to honor the call” of King.

Houck couldn't be bothered to explain what, exactly, was objectionable about this year's march.

In another Aug. 28 post, Brad Wilmouth groused that it was pointed out how Republicans are rewriting curriculam standards for black history were referenced in march anniversary coverage:

On Friday morning, CNN This Morning was again fearmongering about Republican changes to school curricula as the liberal news network gave attention to the 60th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march in Washington, D.C. After a pre-recorded piece by reporter Jason Carroll, fill-in anchor Victor Blackwell declared that some are trying to "rob" American students of being taught about the Civil Rights Movement and black history.

Carroll's piece focused on veteran civil rights activists Courtland Cox and Edward Flanagan, both of whom took part in the historic 1963 march. Toward the end of the report, the CNN reporter cautioned: "Both agree while much was accomplished that day, the work is not over."

Graham returned to whine about all of this in his Aug. 28 podcast:

Leftists gathered to mark the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington. As usual, the "objective" media picked up the hot talk about the conservatives "gutting" abortion rights, "affirmative action," and "student debt relief." The organizers were leftists, but reporters touted a diverse "spectrum" of activists.

On ABC, reporter Faith Abubey never said anyone was "leftist," or "progressive," or even "liberal." There were no labels. "Organizers say today this fight is in part about voter suppression, housing discrimination, police and racial violence, racial disparitieswhen it comes to employment, education, and other basic civil rights. The 60th anniversary of the March on Washington is, of course, happening in the wake of some controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings in which affirmative action, student debt relief, and abortion rights were all gutted in recent terms."

An Aug. 30 post by Wilmouth complained all of this was still being talked about:

The topic was the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington, but it became an unchallenged forum to lie about Governor Ron DeSantis over "banning books" and the teaching of black history in Florida.

Toward the end of the interview, Isaacson brought up the issue of the wealth gap between blacks and whites: "But 60 years later, wealth inequality in America is still as great -- the difference in wealth inequality between black and white. What does that say to you?"

Dyson ripped America for being a "hypocritical" nation and then took his first shot at DeSantis as he began his response:

[...]

"Memory," in their mind, is enacting a leftist agenda, to use the memory of slavery to spur reparation payments and other compensations. It was not mentioned that the anti-police activism supported by BLM and the liberal media led to a sharp increase in violent crime, which should undermine the moral halo networks like PBS always put around the leftist movement.

After this all-too-typical PBS interview concluded, host Christiane Amanpour appeared again and praised Dyson's commentary: "Such a powerful invocation against historical amnesia."

Wilmouth and his fellow MRCers, meanwhile, want us to have historical amnesia about how the (largely Southern) racists and segregationasts who refused to accept that the Democratic Party embraced the civil rights movement became Republicans.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 PM EDT
MRCTV Writer Goes On Conspiratorial Rant Against FDA, COVID Vaccines
Topic: Media Research Center

We typically don't do much with the Media Research Center's video=making operation MRCTV, but we were reminded that it's not just NewsBusters that peddles COVID and anti-vaxx conspiracy theories at the MRC. An Aug. 15 post by the floridly named P. Garner Goldsmith mixed those conspiracy theories with a bizarre hatred of the federal government, ranting that the FDA has no constitutional right to exist:

At one point in George Orwell’s “1984,” protagonist Winston Smith, who works in the truth-hiding “Ministry of Truth,” thinks, “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”

He wrote eternal words that befit most government agencies, politicians, and their media lackeys -- and they perfectly fit the behavior of that brazen insult to the Constitution known as the “Food and Drug Administration.”

If you have a memory, you might recall that the not-constitutionally-enumerated FDA granted also-unconstitutional “Emergency Use Authorization” to pharma-giant mRNA gene-transfection jabs that the corporations and politicians and media shills erroneously called “COVID vaccines” (but actually always were termed "countermeasures" behind the scenes in DC) and which, by pumping them upon us in this fashion (along with massive federal subsidies for the mRNA development, jab purchases, and military-led distribution) didn’t require “testing” that usually is required for real vaccines before they are “allowed” to be introduced into the market.

It’s important to reiterate that the feds have absolutely no moral or constitutional power to create an FDA in the first place, let alone to artfully craft their arbitrary so-called “rules” about when and how drugs can be sold or used. And it’s also important to note that the only way the mRNA jabs could be put out under that wondrous “Emergency Use Authorization” was if there were no therapeutic medications that patients could use to alleviate the symptoms of their politically over-blown threat, COVID-19.

Enter things like hydroxychloroquine, which, in early February of 2020, I already knew had been tested via funding from the NIH to show that it was a “potent inhibitor” of SARS CoV (1) – a fact that Anthony Fauci had to have known since the study was done in 2005, and which he never, ever mentioned in public.

Strange, that.

Well, not so strange -- as a legitimate news source reported (as opposed to whatever conspiracy site Goldsmith hangs out it), that study was conducted only on animals, the original SARS virus is not COVID-19, and the 2005 study examined chloroquine, which is a different drug than hydroxycloroquine. Also, there's still no solid evidence that hydroxycloroquine is effective in treating or preventing COVID. While on the subject of sketchy drugs, Goldsmith continued:

And enter Ivermectin, on which ignorant preach-meisters in pop media such as Jimmy Kimmel and CNN pounced, deriding it as “horse paste” and “horse dewormer” when the drug long ago was heralded as a breakthrough for humans in the fight against internal organ and skin parasites, elephantiasis, and even head lice, having been credited with saving millions of lives in Africa.

And enter the FDA bureaucrats, who seemingly can’t keep their probing, problematic hands to themselves, and which issued “official” statements to tell people that Ivermectin was NOT approved for parallel use as a therapeutic against the symptoms of COVID-19.

Goldsmith then ranted that American have the right to ingest whatever they want regardless of whether it actually works for the intended purpose:

To which doctors and everyone else should have said, long ago, “WE DO NOT NEED YOUR PERMISSION OR GRANTING OF AUTHORITY.”

This argument, concerning whether the FDA approved, or approves now, should be moot. We are supposed to be free to peacefully trade with others and to ingest what we want. Didn’t the FDA bureaucrats and Jimmy Kimmel learn from the experience and response of the colonials when the Brits imposed the Tea Act on them in 1773?

[...]

Of course, one ought to go deeper, and question the assumption that the FDA has any moral or constitutional authority to “approve” of “not approve” a drug, at all, but, on the level at which they are arguing, even at THAT, the FDA is on slippery legal footing, having explicitly expended tax cash to tell people not to take ivermectin.

It's bizarre that Goldsmith doesn't think anyone should inform Americans that a drug doesn't for a specific purpose, no matter how many right-wing anti-vaxxers say otherwise.

Goldsmith closed with another anti-FDA rant:

The quicker people see the roots of the FDA problem -- which go much deeper than whether it was “giving medical advice” or phrasing things this way or that – the more rapidly they will see what it means to be a free person.

And the sooner they will see that it is utterly imperative to eliminate the FDA.

When you're too crazy to get out of thte MRCTV ghetto at the MRC, you're pretty crazy.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
MRC Whines 'Ahsoka' Too Female -- And Not The Right Kind Of Females
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Rsearch Center's Elise Ehrhard spent an Aug. 24 post complaining that the new "Star Wars" TV series "Ahsoka" is led by women she doesn't like, and that the men "don't really factor into the show":

For the past decade, Disney has taken a hatchet to the Star Wars franchise, creating only a few gems. Hopes were high that the new Disney+ series Ahsoka, about a former Jedi knight, could save what was left of the Lucasfilm magic.

Alas, in Disney's latest attempt to prove "the force is female," writers again forgot that characters should also be interesting and multi-layered, whether they're women or men.

The biggest problem in the first two episodes of the new series, titled "Master and Apprentice" and "Toil and Trouble" respectively, is the amount of screen time devoted to a former Padawan named Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Wren smirks a lot, rolls her eyes and is otherwise obnoxious and unlikeable. In Hollywood, this is code for "a strong, independent woman." 

The audience is introduced to Wren after she has skipped out on a ceremony she was supposed to speak at, embarrassing everyone involved. No reason is given for not doing her duty except that she didn't feel like it. She's seen racing away on her speeder as she disobeys reasonable orders. It's hard to believe that she is actually an adult rather than a moody teenager.

Unlike Wren, the other female characters are bearable, but boring. They show little emotion and inner life, as if the only thing that matters about them is that they are in charge. Male characters don't really factor into the show except as villains, incompetents or irrelevancies.

The only acceptable female characters, Ehrhard insisted, are those with a man in her life and who have "maternal instincts":

Hollywood used to be able to create exciting female sci-fi heroes. The late 1970s and 80s produced Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy and other iconic female protagonists in films, like in Alien and Terminator 2. The women in these franchises were tough but interesting, because they could show moments of affection, warmth and vulnerability. Princess Leia was charmed by Han Solo. Maternal instincts drove Ellen Ripley in the Alien series and Terminator 2's Sarah Connor.

Unfortunately, in Hollywood today, maternal instincts are passé and the desire for love or romance is supposedly regressive. So, audiences instead are left with wooden women or smirking girl bosses.

The MRC has long had issues with women who deviate from its rigid traditional ideological models (and may not even be heterosexual!), and it has attacked a new iteration of "Star Wars" character Obi-Wan Kenobi for supposedly being insufficiently manly.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 PM EDT
WND Too Busy Drooling Over Trump To Care About First GOP Debate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's initial reaction to the first Republican presidential debate was cheering that Donald Trump refused to take part. An Aug. 23 article by Joe Kovacs complained that Fox News allegedly wouldn't reference the interview that Trump was doing with disgraced ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson instead of the debate:

Even as 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls battle it out on Fox News in the first presidential primary debate Wednesday evening, the network is purportedly banning its talent from mentioning Tucker Carlson's interview with President Donald Trump that airs at the same time.

Chadwick Moore, the biographer of Carlson, tweeted: "A current Fox News employee tells me everyone on Fox, including guests, are explicitly banned from mentioning tonight's Tucker/Trump interview, even in the context of the debate."

"All shows are banned from even acknowledging that Trump will appear on this [Tucker Carlson Twitter] show," Moore told the Benny Show.

Carlson was booted by Fox News earlier this year despite dominating the cable-news ratings.

And rather than offer any original coverage of the debate -- the only debate-related piece it did was an Aug. 22 item by Kovacs that gave a platform for Larry Elder to complain he wasn't invited -- WND instead slobbered over Trump. It linked to his interview with Carlson, joined by outside article listing "6 highlights of Trump's debate-disrupting interview with Tucker Carlson." An Aug. 24 article by Bob Unruh served up more Trump rah-rah:

President Donald Trump's interview with Tucker Carlson, prerecorded and released Wednesday night just as the first GOP primary debate was airing, is being called a "blockbuster" and its traffic blew through the 200 million mark and was approaching a quarter of a billion at close of day Thursday.

It is the Daily Mail that pointed out Trump was celebrating the "blockbuster" event, and a little more than 15 hours after being released, the official Twitter count for views was at 194.1 million. Meanwhile, the GOP debate was assessed to have 12 million watchers.

Unruh surprisingly injected a little reality into the proceedings: "Trump's detractors immediately pointed out that the metrics on the social media program count those who watched only a little of the video, however." But it's not being a "detractor" to point out the fact that Twitter's view metrics are utterly meaningless and that, in reality, the number of people who watched the debate likely outnumbered those who watched the entirety of the Trump-Carlson interview.

WND's opinion writers stuck to the narrative as well. Joseph Farah proclaimed Trump the winner of the debate even though he refused to take part, repeating those bogus Twitter view numbers:

Who won the Republican debate Wednesday night?

President Donald J. Trump, hands down.

Trump's blockbuster interview with Tucker Carlson reached over 100 million views on X less than four hours after premiering on the platform.

That's more people than watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show when 73 million people gathered in front their TV sets to see the British band's first live performance on U.S. soil. The television rating was a record-setting 45.3, meaning that 45.3% of households with televisions were watching.

Trump's interview garnered more than 124,400 reposts and over 439,500 likes – completely overshadowing all of television programming.

And how many viewed the Republican debate on Fox News Network? We're not sure yet. But no Trump fans, that's for sure. Maybe Fox execs were forced to watch it.

As he is prone to do, however, Farah's Trump fanboyism quickly descended into election denialism:

You have to be a real dummy to believe Joe Biden actually won 81,284,666 votes, a statistic even Wikipedia is embarrassed to print, in the COVID-19 tainted 2020 election cheating debacle against Trump. Trump is credited with an astounding 74,224,319 votes and probably a lot more – which would make his total the highest ever achieved by any president in history. Why do you think the Democrats can never have him run again – preferring to indict him multiple times in an election year?

Farah concluded by ranting that "Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Wednesday night sent out a fundraising appeal for the eight elves who debated. The list didn't include Trump – as I said, the only guy to break a sweat so far in the primary season. She must stop this charade. The race is over."

Mike Pottage similarly cheered Trump for purportedly destroying the debate format:

Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson Wednesday obliterated seven decades of "made for television" presidential debates. The next day the Tucker interview had 210 million views and counting, while a paltry few million folks witnessed the GOP presidential debate on Fox News.

The comparison, for those who watched both events from beginning to end, was substance verses fluff and zingers.

Future presidential candidates will have a different take on media driven and orchestrated televised debates versus individual interviews in which the candidate has time to develop an idea and advocate for it. The substantive discussions will be delivered via the internet.

These TV debates, since the 1950s, have been sold to the public as "must see" TV when in fact they are tightly controlled campaign events with the media making up the rules and controlling the content of the conversation. That is why American politics has drifted left of left for decades.

[...]

Clearly, Donald Trump made the correct decision to skip the media-orchestrated fray for a real conversation with America, thanks to Tucker Carlson. He presented himself. Conservatives were pleased. Marxists were aghast. What say you, Mr. and Mrs. Voter?

Wayne Allyn Root unsurprisingly declared Trump the winner as well (and, yes, he cited those bogus Twitter view numbers as well):

We learned several things from the GOP debate Wednesday night.

Former President Donald J. Trump was the biggest winner – by a mile.

First, he won by not showing up and having to lower himself to fight the entire gang of also-rans who want his old job.

econd, by not participating, Trump won by taking all the attention away from the competition – thereby depriving anyone on that stage of gaining ground on Trump's huge 40-point lead.

Third, I predicted days before the debate that "Trump on Twitter" would destroy the GOP debate ratings. Trump did not disappoint. Over 240 million viewed Tucker interview Trump on Twitter – the most to ever watch an interview online. More people watched Trump than voted in the 2020 election.

Fourth, Trump won the biggest prize of all: He got revenge on Fox News. Trump on Twitter defeated the most powerful cable TV news network in America. Or at least it used to be. Now it's a shell of its former pro-Trump, pro-Tucker self.

Trump and Tucker together have destroyed Fox News. Stick a fork in Fox. This story will be studied in business school for decades to come: How two spoiled brats from Europe ran daddy's American dynasty into the ground in record time with "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

Of the candidates who actually took part in the debate, Root appeared to like Vivek Ramaswamy for being Trump-esque: "The GOP desperately needs an enthusiastic, MAGA, America First, conservative, capitalist version of Obama. That makes Ramaswamy 'our Obama.' So far, he appears to be on the right side of most every issue for conservatives and patriots. Although more vetting is required." He concluded: "The winner was Trump, Trump, Trump and Trump. With an assist to Vivek."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
MRC Tried To Blame Biden For U.S. Credit Downgrade
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long tried to blame President Biden for everything bad that's happening with the economy while talking down  When the U.S. saw a credit downgrade amid Republican efforts to shut down the federal government, the MRC tried to blame that on Biden too. Kevin Tober huffed in an Aug. 1 post:

On Tuesday, the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded the United States' credit score for the first time since 2011 due to the mounting debt and federal government disfunction that has occurred during the first two years of the Biden administration. Of the "big three" evening news broadcasts, only NBC Nightly News bothered to cover the credit downgrade. 

Instead, ABC's World News Tonight & CBS Evening News were more preoccupied with a group of pedestrians getting hit by a car in NYC (ABC), and the U.S. Women's soccer team playing their first World Cup with "equal pay" (CBS). This is in addition to their obsessive coverage of Tuesday's indictment of former President Donald Trump in which ABC spent 11 minutes and 56 seconds harping on the news.

Tober wouldn't admit that Republicans are playing a big role in creating that "disfunction" (or that he should have run a spell-check on his item before posting it).

In an Aug. 3 post, Alex Christy whined that one outlet did point out Republican blame:

During a discussion on former President Donald Trump’s latest indictment related to January 6, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle went on a bit of a digression on Wednesday’s The 11th Hour to discuss Fitch downgrading the U.S.’s credit rating, which according to her was caused by “was the chaos created by the GOP” including January 6. Of course, Fitch’s own explanation was a little bit more complicated.

Ruhle was joined by former Reps. Tim Ryan and Charlie Dent, a progressive Democrat and moderate-to-liberal Republican respectively, and addressing Ryan she wondered:

The power of our democracy, the power of our economy, Tim, just yesterday, Fitch, the rating agency, downgraded U.S. credit. And one of the factors was what happened on January 6th, was the gridlock, was the chaos created by the GOP, by these falsehoods and the misinformation getting pushed. Do people realize this, and how fragile things are? And do they care enough?

[...]

With Ruhle nodding in agreement, Ryan continued, “but it's also, you know, huge tax cuts, and me and Charlie may have a conversation about, this but the huge tax cuts that blew a huge hole in the deficit after two wars and after the Bush tax cuts, yeah, of course, you know, we're running deficits that are huge.”

In their “rating action commentary”, Fitch does not use the word “wars” even once. While, it does mention tax cuts, it also mentions “new spending initiatives” and the lack of entitlement reform, “Additionally, there has been only limited progress in tackling medium-term challenges related to rising social security and Medicare costs due to an aging population.”

Fitch also mentions that a significant rise to deficit-to-GDP ratio and while citing debt-limit brinkmanship, laments that the deal that was reach was only “a modest improvement to the medium-term fiscal outlook.”

Christy censored the fact that theFitch commentary also referenced "erosion of governance ... that has manifested in repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions" -- which is Republican-generated.

Keter Kotara issued a similar complaint later in the day:

Thursday’s Morning Joe featured a defensive segment where host Joe Scarborough and President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass teamed up to shove blame on Republicans for the recent credit downgrade of the United States received from Fitch.

Seeking to promote the lie that national debt doesn’t matter and that “Bidenomics” was working, Haass and Scarborough sought out a way to blame the “dysfunctional” state of American politics and name Republicans for that dysfunction, while leaving out any mention of Democratic responsibility.

[...]

Haass thought he could just skirt over the fact that the US has an unprecedented, massive amount of debt that Biden and the Democrats recently added to with their infrastructure legislation and pandemic spending spree. Credit rating is an assessment of whether or not someone can pay back their debt, and the biggest factor into that was the size of the debt.

[...]

So even if political instability was the reason why the credit was downgraded, it was Democrats’ fault.

They spent the money. They forced the debt limit to be raised. They put America in a situation where it couldn’t pay its debts, then called it “Bidenomics” and gaslighted the country into thinking the economy was great. And now, America has begun to pay the price of their financial recklessness and irresponsibility. But you won’t hear that from the media, just finger-pointing and pandering to the far left.

Is that like how Kotara is finger-pointing and pandering to the far right?

Cassandra DeVries served up her own version of the approved partisan spin in another Aug. 3 post:

On Thursday, CNN News Central discussed President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and the even lower approval rating of his management of the economy. They subsequently covered Fitch’s downgrade of the U.S.’s credit score from an AAA to an AA+ on Tuesday because of “deterioration in governance.” Instead of linking the troubling economic conditions to Biden’s policies, CNN quoted Biden’s administration and blamed the previous Trump administration.

[...]

Like most Americans, Fitch disapproved of how Biden handled the economy and the government’s constant increase in borrowing. They distinguished between the economy's condition and how the economy was handled and subsequently lowered the U.S.’s debt rating.

Nicholas Fondacaro brought the narrative to his hate-watching of "The View" in an Aug. 4 post:

In the same week that credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the United States’ credit from AAA to AA+, partially because President Biden refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling with Republicans until the 11th hour, multimillionaire and co-host of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar whined that Biden was not getting “credit” for a “booming” economy. She falsely suggested that “inflation is down” and that average Americans were “having an easier time putting bread on the table.”

Fondacaro offered no evidence that the previous shutdown threat was solely because of Democratic refusal to negoatiate. Hasn't he heard that one is not supposed to negotiate with terrorists (economic ones in this case)?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023 10:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Still Touting All (Well, Most) Things Rudy, Including The Defense Fund It Runs For Him
Topic: Newsmax

We're reported that Newsmax has started, and is managing, a legal defense fund for frequent guest Rudy Giuliani, who is facing numerous legal actions in regard to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. On Sept. 28, Newsmax sent out an email to subscribers containing "A Letter from Rudy Giuliani to You" thanking readers for their support -- and of course, begging for more money (boldface in original):

But the far left was not finished with President Trump or me.

Since President Trump left office, they have launched wide-ranging legal attacks against him with four indictments in four jurisdictions, including 91 counts!

At the same time he has faced multiple criminal and civil charges in New York State.

I have been indicted – along with President Trump and others -- in Georgia after simply exercising my constitutional right to challenge an election result.

I am facing other legal cases across the United States. The left uses this “lawfare” to stop conservatives like me from speaking out.

Well, I can assure you, they will never stop me from speaking out.

America is too important to give up.

I want to thank you for your support – it means so much to me and my family.

President Trump has also thanked Americans for supporting my Legal Defense Fund.

Just this past week, I was sued again.

This time by Hunter Biden!

He is actually claiming I misused his laptop. The very same laptop he denied owning.

Yes, the same laptop his father said was not his son’s, but a product of Russian disinformation.

As I said, I will continue to fight against the forces of darkness in this country.

But I need your help.

Consider again a donation to my Legal Defense Fund.

There was no disclosure of the fact that Newsmax is running the legal fund.

Newsmax did a basic article on Hunter Biden's lawsuit against Giuliani. It defoted more attention, however, to Giuliani suing President Biden over being called a "Russian pawn" during the 2020 campaign. First up was an Oct. 4 article by Nicole Wells:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani sued President Joe Biden for defamation on Wednesday, taking aim at two comments from 2020 that branded Giuliani a "Russian pawn."

Filed in New Hampshire state court, the 16-page lawsuit names Biden, his campaign, and four fundraising committees as defendants. According to the complaint, Biden made the statements on Oct. 22, 2020, during the final presidential debate against former President Donald Trump.

Biden initially linked Giuliani to Russia while answering a question about foreign election interference, the lawsuit claims.

Then, of course, came the inevitable Newsmax TV hit, summarized in an Oct. 5 article by Sandy Fitzgerald:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, calling President Joe Biden the "biggest liar we've ever had in the White House" insisted on Newsmax that he must pay damages for referring to him as a "Russian pawn" during remarks made in the final 2020 presidential debate against then-President Donald Trump.

"I can calculate, honestly, millions of dollars in damage," Giuliani told Newsmax's Greg Kelly on Wednesday night about the lawsuit he filed against the president earlier in the day.

[...]

"What he just said was that I was a Russian spy, a Russian operative, a dishonest person supplying dishonest information ... many, many things," Giuliani told Kelly. "You could go as far as to say a traitor, right? A Russian pawn."

And that, Giuliani claimed, "Did great damage to my law practice and my consulting business. My podcast was canceled in certain places. I can calculate millions of dollars in damage as a result of that."

Giuliani added that "roughly half the people" believed Biden, and "those half of the people turned out to be a lot of the corporate captains and leaders in the country. I was doing security work for many of them, and I had a beginning podcast that was up to a million people on YouTube. So it was not insubstantial, and I lost a lot of that."

Newsmax didn't ask why Giuliani filed his defamation lawsuit in New Hampshire though Biden's comments were made in Tennessee. (New Hampshire has a longer statute of limitations on defamation, it turns out.)

Surprisingly, Newsmax published an article on another of Giuliani's legal woes. An Aug. 30 wire article noted that Giuliani "is liable for defaming two Georgia election workers who were the target of vote-rigging conspiracy accusations following the 2020 U.S. presidential election," adding that the federal judge overseeing the trial "found Giuliani refused to comply with a process for producing records, known as discovery, and rejected the former New York mayor's argument that the election workers used the lawsuit to harass him. Giuliani will have to pay legal fees and interest of $89,172.50 and $43,684 for a total of $132,856.50." A few days later, Giuliani appeared on Newsmax to reframe the judgment as a desire to "to move on to the legal aspects of the case. I'm not stupid enough to think I'm going to get a fair trial in front of her in the District of Columbia."

In between all this, Newsmax continued to repeatedly host Giuliani and promote his other legal efforts:

Newsmax did publish a wire article on Giuliani pleading not guilty to the Georgia charges he faces, but it also published an article featuring sleazy Republican operative Roger Stone denouncing the charges -- not exactly the kind of character witness the guy needs. But it was silent about Giuliani's other legal foibles , among them a New York Times piece detailing his apparent drinking problem and a former lawyer suing him for $1.4 million in unpaid legal bills. It has also been silent about the judge in the defamation suit by the Georgia election workers ruling that jurors can be told that Giuliani intentionally hid his financial records (after lying about the two workers again).


Posted by Terry K. at 7:44 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 11:27 PM EST

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