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Saturday, November 11, 2023
WND's Haynes Doesn't Want Confederate Memorial Removed
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Carole Hornsby Haynes made her contribution to WorldNetDaily's continued veneration of the Confederacy with a Sept. 6 column complaining that a Confederate memorial inside Arlington National Cemetery will be removed:

In the midst of a national racial and political upheaval, Republicans cut a deal for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that created a Naming Commission to "remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America … or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense." As a part of that provision, Arlington National Cemetery has been ordered to remove the 109-year-old Confederate Memorial, conceived and built with the sole purpose of healing the wounds of the Civil War and restoring national harmony.

Actually, not so much. the cemetery's own website states that "The elaborately designed monument offers a nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy, including highly sanitized depictions of slavery," adding of the figures that are part of the monument:

Two of these figures are portrayed as African American: an enslaved woman depicted as a “Mammy,” holding the infant child of a white officer, and an enslaved man following his owner to war. An inscription of the Latin phrase “Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Caton” (“The victorious cause was pleasing to the gods, but the lost cause to Cato”) construes the South’s secession as a noble “Lost Cause.” This narrative of the Lost Cause, which romanticized the pre-Civil War South and denied the horrors of slavery, fueled white backlash against Reconstruction and the rights that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments (1865-1870) had granted to African Americans. The image of the faithful slave, embodied in the two figures on the memorial, appeared widely in American popular culture during the 1910s through 1930s, perhaps most famously in the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.”

Haynes went on a tirade about the "Radical Republicans of the 1800s," suggesting that they were to blame for provoking the Civil War by increasing tariffs that allegedly "resulted in an enormous transfer of wealth from the South to the North, decade after decade." She then went into full Confederacy-defending mode:

The present-day vilification of the Confederacy is part of a long-term ideological war being waged against the conservative South for the purpose of destroying Southerners as a people and rendering them socially, politically and economically impotent. These secular humanist propagandists, in their zeal to demonize the Christian South, have made the word "slavery" synonymous with "guilt" and "the white South."


President William McKinley, Union soldier-turned-president, proposed the concept of the site at Arlington for the graves and memorial to honor those Americans against whom he had once fought. He understood what today's monument smashers do not seem to get: that Confederate soldiers were not fighting to preserve slavery. In 1860 only 5% of Southern whites owned slaves, and less than 25% benefited economically from slavery. Yet 258,000 Confederate soldiers, few of whom owned slaves, died in the war. The Confederate soldier who wrote the inscription for the Confederate Memorial understood it well and so do most veterans who have fought in America's wars.

Actually, the Civil War really was about slavery, no matter how much Haynes tries to deny it.

Haynes concluded by declaring that "It's up to the American people, the majority of whom do not want the Confederate Monument removed, to stop the cultural cleansing of our nation." She offered no evidence that a "majority" of Americans do not want the monument removed, nor did she explain why removal of monuments to losing, traitorous causes amounted to "cultural cleansing."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 11, 2023 1:36 AM EST
Friday, November 10, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Hypocritical 'Fatal Attraction' Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

In writing up the Oct. 10 White House press briefing, Curtis Houck accused any reporter who asked a question that dared to raise concerns about Palestinians getting caught in the crossfire of war between Hamas and Israel as being "pro=Hamas":

Tuesday’s White House press briefing was largely clear-eyed about the horrors caused Friday by Hamas terrorists in Israel with over a dozen Americans dead and nearly two dozen unaccounted for. There were some tough questions from usual corners, but also some predictably pro-Hamas questions standing up for the plight of modern-day Nazis.

And, amid that chaos, two reporters in the front row had the wherewithal to ask about news from late Monday that President Biden spent the previous two days being interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Hur into his handling of classified documents.

The worst question was actually the last one of the briefing as Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre heard this question from Anita Powell of taxpayer-funded Voice of America:

Can you guarantee that members of the Muslim diaspora or immigrant communities can still feel safe, can still exercise their civil liberties, and exercise their criticism of — of Israel’s behavior? Was — was that part of the conversations and can you ensure those communities that they have all those rights?

That, readers, is your tax dollars at work in ensuring those supporting mass murder, rape, beheadings, and mutilation have rights.

Yes, Houck reaally thinks that not reflexively hating Muslims means that you somehow support terrorists. Meanwhile, he gave cookies to Fox News employees who asked conservatively correct questions: "At the other end of the spectrum, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich pressed National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on how Hamas ally Iran had recently been greenlit to receive $6 billion in frozen funds," adding that "Fox News reporter Ryan Schmelz made sure that America’s porous southern border was invoked."

In his writeup of the Oct. 11 briefing, Houck helped a right-wing reporter go all "Fatal Atrraction:" on Jean-Pierre for not giving him the attention he demands:

The tail end of Wednesday’s White House press briefing was marked by a contentious moment when the White House’s ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to call on the New York Post’s Steven Nelson despite having skipped over him for nearly five months and his paper since July 7.

Jean-Pierre was searching for a final reporter to call on when Nelson chimed in, “[y]ou haven’t called on me in two seasons, Karine.” Before he could finish another thought, Jean-Pierre scoffed with a smirk on her face that, “I’m not calling on you today.” Instead, she picked the Washington Examiner’s Christian Datoc.

Datoc started to ask his question (instead of let Nelson speak), but Nelson began ripping Jean-Pierre as she repeatedly told Datoc to “go ahead”:


Nelson relented when she again called on Datoc and told Nelson that she was “calling on somebody who I haven’t called in a long time as well.”

Question: If this were, say, CNN, or another leftist outfit during the Trump years that was being ignored, do you think the rest of the press corps would have ceded ground to let them rant? If so, why didn’t the press corps rise up in the New York Post’s defense?

As you might imagine, Houck treated a similar situation differently when it happened under the Trump administration. In his writeup of the a Nov. 20, 2020, press briefing, Houck wrote that "White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a formal press briefing for the first time in almost two months and, as expected, she didn’t disappoint," in part by "smacking down the hurt feelings of liberal reporters like CNN’s Kaitlan Collins after they weren’t called on":

Following her trademark closing statement (more on that shortly), McEnany closed her binder and thanked those called on for “very good and substantive questions,” but still irked by Thursday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing, reporters began screeching (including Brian Karem blabbering about sedition).

When Collins complained about there not having been more Q&A, McEnany leaned back into the podium microphones to say,“I don’t call on activists.”

Collins replied: “I’m not an activist and you haven’t taken questions since October 1st and you just took about five.”

Needless to say, Houck is not about to admit that Nelson is the activist he clearly is, even though he works for a highly biased right-wing rag that's still operating only because of the largesse of Rupert Murdoch.

Houck went on to whine about Jean-Pierrre's supposed "pettiness" and that "May 31 was when Jean-Pierre last let Nelson ask questions," but he had no complaints when McEnany went to months without even bothering to hold a briefing, and he certainly didn't call her petty for deliberately ignoring a reporter. Talk about a double standard.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 PM EST
Newsmax Frets Over 14th Amendment Challenges To Trump's Candidacy
Topic: Newsmax

Like WorldNetDaily, Newsmax is annoyed that some are pressing the idea that Donald Trump should be removed from 2024 presidential election ballots because of a clause in the 14th Amendment that bars anyone engaging in "insurrection or rebellion" against the U.S. from holding public office. Newsmax actually reported on nacent efforts in this area in February 2021 -- a month after the Capitol riot -- in an article by Charlie McCarthy noting that "some Democrats have discussed invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to keep Trump from office.

A July 7 article by Charles Kim groused that "political activist organizations" were pushing the idea in several states. Newsmax has noted some of those efforts as well, in araticles that skew toward pro-Trump sentiments:

Of course, Newsmax made sure to document Trump's own rantings on the subject, in a Sept. 5 article by Sandy Fitzgerald:

Former President Donald Trump is accusing states that are trying to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify him from the 2024 ballot of staging a "trick" to steal the election from him and give it to President Joe Biden.

"Almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election," Trump posted on his Truth Social page Monday night, reports The Washington Examiner.

"Like Election Interference, it is just another 'trick' being used by the Radical Left Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, to again steal an Election that their candidate, the WORST, MOST INCOMPETENT, & MOST CORRUPT President in U.S. history, is incapable of winning in a Free and Fair Election," he added.

Newsmax also gave airtime to a non-practicing attorney and former Fox News host to shoot down the idea, as noted in a Sept. 5 article by Jack Gournell:

Some opponents of former President Donald Trump who are trying to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify him from serving another term won't succeed because it doesn't apply in Trump's case, Megyn Kelly tells Newsmax.

First, Trump hasn't even been charged with insurrection, "nor can he be," Kelly, a former attorney and current radio host, said Tuesday on "Eric Bolling The Balance." A section of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no person who has committed insurrection against the United States shall serve in any federal office.

But Kelly told Bolling that the amendment was clearly a provision designed to get at those who had participated in the Confederacy during the Civil War.


The amendment was meant to deal with a specific problem at that specific time, and "I think that will be reflected in any sane court decision," Kelly said. "I'll predict that right now easily, and it could be more than a 6-to-3 vote. ... It could be unanimous on this it's such an absurd argument. This is an act of desperation."

Like WND, Newsmax also published Betsy McCaughey's column complaining about the efforts. It found another person to bash the effort in a Sept. 8 article:

Colorado Republican Party Chair Dave Williams told Newsmax on Friday that efforts to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in 2024 using the 14th Amendment is "laughable" but need to be watched.

"I think this is outrageous," Williams said on Newsmax's "National Report." "It's undemocratic, and it's apparent that there are a number of folks, especially in the Democrat Party, that are concerned that Donald Trump is a viable candidate, that Joe Biden is going to lose, and so they are engaging in election interference, and they have solicited the help of supposed Republicans — phony conservatives — to help keep a qualified candidate off the ballot."

"It's not constitutional, it's not democratic, and the Republican Party is not going to stand for it," he added.

Yes, invoking the Constitution is somehow "not constitutional."

Newsmax published a Sept. 25 wire article featuring Trump climing that his First Amendment free speech rights trump the 14th Amendment invocation, while an article that day by Fran Beyer cheered that "A push by activists to block former President Donald Trump from being on the 2024 ballot in several states has reportedly been a bust because officials are reluctant to act without any court guidance." In a Sept. 29 article, meanwhile, Nicole Wells seemed a little dismayed that the idea is catching on:

A slim majority of voters say that former President Donald Trump, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, is disqualified from doing so under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, according to a new Politico-Morning Consult poll.

Following questions on the Constitution and Trump’s behavior in the wake of the 2020 election, a 51% majority of voters said the 14th Amendment prohibits the former president from running again, versus 34% who said he is not disqualified from running.

In an unusual political twist, liberal activists allied with conservative attorneys have claimed that Trump is ineligible to run under the section of the 14th Amendment that states individuals “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States or who have “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” are barred from holding public office.

Another wire article that day noted the effort taking root in Michigan. An Oct. 2 wire article reported that the Supreme Court rejected one 14th Amendment challenge, and an Oct. 13 wire article noting the challenge was allowed to stand in Colorado. A Nov. 1 article by Charles Kim, weirdly placed in Newsmax's health-news vertical, reported on further developments in the Colorado case.

UPDATE: A Sept. 11 column by Deroy Murdock fretted about it as well:

This legal theory might make sense if Trump had been imprisoned for insurrection or rebellion. It might hold water, if he had been convicted of insurrection or rebellion.

This boomlet even might boast a thimble full of steam, if the Justice Department, a state attorney general, or some county prosecutor had indicted him for insurrection or rebellion.

Unfortunately for Trump haters, this never happened.

Murdock offered no evidence that the 14th Amendment requires a conviction or other legal action on insurrection or rebellion.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 7:27 PM EST
WND Thinks Fringe Anti-Vaxxer Org Is A 'Major Medical Group'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh tried to sound evenhanded in an Sept. 12 article, but then immediately grow conspiratorial:

One of the products of the COVID-19 pandemic that came out of China and circled the globe, killing millions, was a new and heightened awareness of vaccines and other shots that government medicos want everyone to take.

But what remains still in dispute is just exactly what good, or bad, they did. How helpful, or injurious, were they?

Now the U.S. government is approving the rollout of a whole new list of COVID shots, even though the strain now circulating is far more mild than those of years gone by.

It is important for some in the elite levels of government to continue to have the public in fear because it is a way to exercise vast controls over the American population: No shot? No airline ticket. Or no meeting in public. Or no access to schools. Or this is the only process for you to vote. And worse.

It seems important for Unruh and WND to continue to have the public in fear of COVID vaccines. Which led up to the point of his article:

But now a major influencer in the medical world, Peter McCullough, and the World Council for Health, are recommending a go-slow approach not just to COVID shots, but others that have become so common.

McCullough, of course was one of the medical experts who was censored repeatedly during the earlier battles with COVID because of his medical conclusions he drew about the pandemic.

For example, Meta stifled his comments, and those from "America's Frontline Doctors," because they offered preventative treatments for COVID, especially focusing on Americans who distrusted the rush-job shots that actually now have been documented as causing significant injury to many.


McCullough now has issued a statement, on behalf of the WCH, that cites it as the "first international body of physicians, scientists, and health professionals to issue a cautionary statement on the ever-expanding routine childhood vaccine schedule."

He explained, "This is in response to growing concerns over the safety of many vaccines given early at life during the same administration."

Unruh laughably described the World Council for Health as a "major medical group" in his headline; in fact, it's a fringe anti-vaxxer group with no significant following or influence outside the anti-vaxx community. McCullough, of course, is a discredited COVID misinformer -- and WND favorite -- who has been repeated exposed as spreading misinformation about COVID treatment and vaccines.

Unruh went on to uncritrically repeat anti-vaxx propaganda from the group:

Then there's the "unprecedented" surge in autism, asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and more" and the causes of those catastrophes "have not been established."

Worse yet, "Much of what we have been told about the success of early vaccines, including smallpox and polio vaccines is emerging as untrue. Clean water, modern plumbing, hygiene, refrigeration, and improved nutrition are real factors that have correlated with the dramatic reduction in many infectious diseases over the past century."

Nor have the necessary evaluations been completed to determine whether vaccinations forced on children alone, or together with others, are linked to poor health outcomes compared with children who remain unvaccinated.

Worsening the threat, the findings noted, national regulators have been turning a blind eye to the evidence linking childhood vaccinations with autism, and evidence linking the shots to asthma, allergies and more.

Specifically regarding COVID-19, the conclusions warned, "evidence from independent experts and official international databases show that the COVID-19 vaccines are not effective and are not safe, raising serious questions around the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccines for babies and children."

Unruh offered no reality-based viewpoint to counter the medically dubious propaganda the World Council for Health is spouting here.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2023 1:56 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The Clarence Thomas (And Sam Alito) Defense Center
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center continued to defend Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as ethical concerns about him continued to mount -- and it also had to defend fellow right-wing justice Samuel Alito from similar allegations. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 AM EST
Thursday, November 9, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, Racist Massacre Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

We saw how the Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade assembled yet again to defend Ron DeSantis from criticism following a racially motivated massacre in Florida, particularly his rewrite of education standards on black history (whch, of course, got much attention from the Defense Brigade). Alex Christy was the defender in an Aug. 29 post:

In the aftermath of the racist shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, that left three dead, the Monday editions of CNN Tonight and MSNBC’s The 11th Hour both claimed to know who was, at least partially, at fault: Gov. Ron DeSantis.

On CNN, host Laura Coates recalled Sunday’s demonstrations marking the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and its aftermath by introducing a clip of President Biden proclaiming, “We can't let hate prevail. And it's on the rise. It's not diminished... And we have to speak out that there's a whole group of extreme people trying to erase history.”

Nobody’s erasing history, but Coates rolled right along by introducing Prof. Michael Eric Dyson and asking him, “I've been thinking about you a lot when it comes to moments like this and I ask you to take a step back with me for a moment. How do you see the confluence of all of these events?”


How is DeSantis “fueling and feeding” hatred towards black people? Dyson never said, presumably he meant the same false depiction of Florida’s history standards that was shown in the Biden clip.

When DeSantis tried to act macho and insult the shooter, Christy defended that too:

In the aftermath of the racially-motivated shooting in Jacksonville the media has disgustingly attempted to tie Gov. Ron DeSantis to the shooting that left three black people dead, but Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports took matters to a whole new level as Mitchell and correspondent Trymaine Lee attacked him for calling the shooter a “scumbag.”

Mitchell recalled “yesterday, Governor DeSantis, in Florida, facing audible boos at a Jacksonville vigil for the three victims. At the vigil, DeSantis called the gunman a scumbag and Jeffrey Rumlin, a Jacksonville pastor who spoke after DeSantis, was very direct in his response. He said ‘at the end of the day, respectfully, governor, he was not a scumbag, he was a racist.’”

She then asked Lee “what’s your response to that?” to which he replied by condemning DeSantis for not smearing the entire country as a hotbed of white supremacy, “You know, for so many folks, the issue with that language is it places the onus on one individual and the actions of one individual as opposed to a nationwide sickness of white supremacy in the country and the violence it fuels.”


If Lee truly believes the “true issue” is that the country is that everyone who disagrees with him is a white supremacist that says more about him than it does DeSantis.

Curtis Houck grumbled about all this as well:

The Associated Press and reporters Steve Peoples and Brendan Farrington took their place in a hypothetical Scumbag Hall of Fame on Tuesday as they blamed 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) for Saturday’s racist murders by a white young-adult male in Jacksonville.

Naturally, Peoples and Farrington offered no evidence except to suggest a causation between the far-left NAACP’s travel warning to black people (all but encouraging them to avoid the Sunshine State), DeSantis’s fight against the wokeism, sexual indoctrination, and support for the Second Amendment, and the Jacksonville attack.


The cowards then ran to far-left pastor Jeffrey Rumlin of predominantly African-American Dayspring Church to argue “DeSantis has created and pushed a narrative of division and hate that is anti-Black” and the governor was thus implicitly okay with the murders because he “call[ed] the shooter ‘a major-league scumbag’” instead of “racist”.

Houck complained that it was pointed out that Republicans generally don't feel the need to cater to black voters:

Following asides on DeSantis’s fellow competitors in Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, Peoples and Farrington claimed without evidence that “Republicans have little political incentive to appeal to voters of color — in the primary phase of the presidential campaign, at least.”

Refusing to note things like the almost-holy-to-liberals 1619 Project and buzzwords about white privilege are filled with lies and meant to make children hate themselves, they huffed how a Pew poll showed Republicans aren’t keen on fixating on race and refuse to believe race relations are porous with little having changed from our country’s ugly past.

Clay Waters then came up to bat in yet another Aug. 29 post:

On Monday nights, the PBS NewsHour brings on NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith and political prognosticator Amy Walter. Walter was out for this Monday’s edition, so PBS turned to Errin Haines, editor at large of The 19th news nonprofit, was invited onto of the tax-funded PBS NewsHour to spread disgusting smears of prominent Republican presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.


[Host Anna] Nawaz naturally brought up the booing DeSantis got from black Floridians at a vigil in Jacksonville, Florida, after a racially motivated white man killed three black people.


In disgusting fashion, Haines held DeSantis “at least partly responsible” for the racist murders for his stands against woke propaganda in state education.

Waters attacked Nawaz again for more criticism of DeSantis in an Aug. 31 post:

On Tuesday's PBS NewsHour show, host Amna Nawaz was still fixated on promoting the views of liberals who try to blame Governor Ron DeSantis for a racist shooting spree in Jacksonville, Florida as the PBS host interviewed the mayor of the city, Donna Deegan, an elected Democrat.

After spending time discussing Hurricane Idalia's threat to Florida, Nawaz turned her attention to the hate crime in which four black Florida residents were murdered. She began by reflexively bringing up the issue of gun control:


After Mayor Deegan responded by complaining about divisive rhetoric, but then also gave Governor DeSantis credit for attending the funeral for the shooting victims, Nawaz followed up by bringing up the issue of whether Confederate statues should be taken down in Jacksonville.

Waters used a Sept. 2 post to bash the New York Times for reporting on the controversy:

Wednesday’s edition of the New York Times featured “After Jacksonville, Tensions Flare Between DeSantis and Black Floridians,” by reporters Nicholas Nehamas (who previously mocked DeSantis’s debating skills) and Maya King. It’s the latest Times racial smear of Florida’s conservative governor and Republican presidential candidate, who they're suggesting was "an example of racism in policymaking."


After rehashing the media-inspired brouhaha over a single line about slavery in a course on African-American studies, the reporters delved deeper to make a sinister connection.

As a young man, Mr. DeSantis taught American history at a private boarding school in Georgia. There, The New York Times previously reported, some students said he offered lessons on the Civil War that seemed slanted, factually wrong and sometimes presented in ways that sounded like attempts to justify slavery.

On the campaign trail, Mr. DeSantis has leaned on his record leading Florida, particularly his “war on woke,” which seeks to eliminate liberal viewpoints on race and gender from many parts of public life….

Yes, because public life was absolutely starved of “liberal viewpoints on race and gender.”

Christy returned for a Sept. 2 post lashing out at more criticism of DeSantis' race relations:

Not only did Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart tell the Friday edition of PBS NewsHour that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has nobody to blame, but himself for being booed in the aftermath of the Jacksonville shooting, but that DeSantis’s policies sent a signal to those who believe “Black people are inferior and therefore are worthy of extermination.”

At the end of a larger conversation about guns and gun control, Capehart put forth an addendum, “We can't talk about Jacksonville without talking about the political environment around Black people and particularly around Black history in Florida.”

Capehart also insisted that, “There is a reason Governor DeSantis was booed when he did the right thing by going to the community, but the community booed him for a reason, his so-called anti-woke legislation, what's happening with the teaching of Black history in Florida public schools.”

Alternatively, maybe the reason is because Capehart and his fellow media talking heads and activists keep deliberately spreading misinformation about what exactly it is Florida’s new history standards say.

Remember, framing those standards in a way to show that DeSantis can do no wrong was a key function of the Defense Brigade.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 9, 2023 10:25 PM EST
Newsmax Columnist Praises Everything 'Classical,' Hates Anything 'Abstract'
Topic: Newsmax

Last year, we caught Newsmax columnist Alexandra York insisting that any art that is not directly representational of something is somehow bad. She began her Sept. 5 column by praising all things classical:

We start by identifying that the English term "classical" finds its etymological roots in the Latin adjective classicus which referred to the highest class of Ancient Roman citizens. “Classic” also denoted the Romans’ adoration of all things considered timeless by the Greeks like philosophy, architecture, drama, mythology, and the visual arts.

Later, these terms referred to distinguished literary figures as well. So, we see that from inception the word described the best, most excellent, most revered, and most refined.

As century after century ensued and Europe developed its cultural achievements in arts and letters, usage of the word expanded along with the progress, but it never deviated from its original reference to the most excellent and refined.

In today’s world, too, it retains that essence of meaning and has come to describe everything from formalized “classical” Western orchestral and operatic music to stylishly “classic” clothing that are appreciated by sophisticated and knowledgeable people as superbly accomplished, timeless, and harmonious expressions of beauty and elegance.

She went on to praise classical music and art -- read: white and European -- before we got to her complaint that anything that doesnt follow her ideals is inherently bad:

As in 20th-century atonal music’s abandonment of traditional “classical” form, however, much 20th-century painting and sculpture dismissed the central tenets of “classic” and focused on non-realist and abstract art that denied and, in many cases, brutally bastardized the ideas of excellence, proportion, and ennobling beauty initiated by the Greeks.

Of course. She concluded by gushing over all things classical again:

Thus, in everyday life the “classic” still denotes excellence, refinement, timelessness, and beauty just like the highest of arts.

Ergo: Classic always means refined in technical creation-execution and harmonious in presentation: hence, the term “classy” in its most serious sense.

No room for any deviation from the norm here.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EST
MRC Calls On Election Denier Kari Lake As Authority On 'Manipulating Elections'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center seems to think that because Kari Lake refuses to accept that she lost the race for Arizona governor by peddling unproven claims of election fraud, she must be some kind of expert on elections. Which must be why the Media Research Center's Luis Cornelio treated her as such in a Sept. 7 post:

Google's extensive efforts to help the radical left will destroy the country, former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake warned.

In testimony before the Arizona House of Representatives, Lake detailed what she views as the serious problem with Google’s cheerleading for the Democratic Party’s political campaigns. "Google’s censorship and manipulation of search results manipulate the outcome of elections," she said, citing Dr. Robert Epstein's research on the tech giant. "Google has a much bigger ability to decide who is running our country, running our states, running our cities than we the people do.”

As a vocal supporter of free speech, Lake went on to slam Big Tech for blindly censoring conservatives in the Grand Canyon State amidst the 2022 gubernatorial race. “Big Tech doesn’t have the interest of the American people at heart… They’re trying to destroy America through censorship,” Lake said.

Lake’s testimony came as the state House panel considers legislation that would block elected officials from coercing Big Tech platforms to censor online speech. During her speech, Lake highlighted damning evidence reportedly showing current Arizona governor Katie Hobbs asking Big Tech platforms to muzzle her critics.

As we documented, that's not what acutally happened. WHat Hobss actually did was seek to have removed a tweet that falsely claim the state's voter registration system is controlled by foreigners. Cornelio didn't explain why lies and misinformation must be allowed to spread unchecked on social media. Further, that incident happened well before Hobbs even announced that she was running for governor in 2022, meaning that Cornelio's headline claim that she was "manipulation elections" is bogus. And as we've also documented, Epstein's anti-Google research is shoddy and biased at best.

Cornelio also failed to disclose Lake's Trumpian efforts to deny her election loss and petulantly deny legitimacy to Hobbs -- something that undermines Lake's own legitimacy to speak on election issues.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:50 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Michael Brown's Deceptive Anti-LGBTQ Attacks, Part 4: Into 2023
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist is still pretending that he loves LGBTQ people even as he rages against them for failing to be heterosexual. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:50 PM EST
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
MRC Was Ridiculously Gleeful That Hunter Biden's Plea Deal Collapsed
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center experienced a widespread outbreak of Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome when a proposed plea deal regarding various charges he faced came to light. When that plea deal collapsed, the MRC was filled with schadenfreude. A July 26 post by Mark Finkelstein hyped an MSNBC analyst who criticized the alleged sweetheart nature of the deal. That was followed by a post from Curtis Houck complaining (as it usually does) that the right-wing obsession with Hiunter was called out once again:

Ahead of what was supposed to be Hunter Biden’s Wednesday morning court appearance to plead guilty to tax charges and instead turned into a not guilty plea due to a stunning breakdown between the legal teams and the judge, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today were in full spin mode for the Biden family and the Biden 2024 campaign and thus engaging in election interference by misleading voters. 

Not surprisingly, they trashed Republicans for not being “ready to move on” from a “painful” and “dark chapter” in the Biden family’s history and insisting there hasn’t been “any evidence...of wrongdoing” regarding the Biden family’s overseas business dealings.

Also of note, we saw ABC finally arrive on scene with coverage on a flagship newscast of the IRS whistleblower hearing and a network mention of Hunter’s love child with a former stripper.

The MRC, of course, have no problem expoiting Hunter's child for political purposes. Kevin Tober complained that non-right-wing media weren't expressing the same sinister glee over the plea deal collapse that the MRC was:

To paraphrase the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld: No plea deal for you! Sorry, Hunter! That was the end result of a tumultuous day in a Wilmington courtroom Wednesday where President Joe Biden’s criminal drug addict son Hunter Biden was stripped of his plea deal and forced to plead not guilty to tax fraud charges. On Wednesday evening, the big three evening news broadcasts had the sads over Hunter’s latest legal woes. 

All three networks ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News kicked off their newscasts with the Hunter news. On ABC, justice correspondent Terry Moran fretted that “Hunter Biden came to the federal courthouse in Wilmington this morning expecting to put his legal troubles behind him, but it was a day of unexpected courtroom drama and an unforeseen twist.”

Moran even insisted on labeling Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who oversaw the Hunter Biden probe as someone “appointed by Donald Trump.” While that was technically true, Weiss was recommended by both Democrat Senators in the state. If he was a man fully committed to the rule of law, the Democrats would have bitterly opposed him. 

He didn’t stop there, he even labeled the judge as well. Claiming she was “appointed by President Trump,” and complained she “peppered lawyers on both sides with questions, and repeatedly took issue with the negotiated plea deal, calling it, ‘not straightforward,’ ‘atypical.’ Saying she would not ‘rubber stamp’ it. And asking, ‘is this even constitutional?’"

Bill D'Agostino further harped on the fact that the judge who rejected the plea deal was accurately identified as a Trump appointee:

Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal was rejected on Wednesday by Federal Judge Maryellen Norieka, who found major inconsistencies between how the prosecution and the defense had framed the agreement. The ensuing coverage contained a lot of theatrical head-scratching, as well as routine mentions that Norieka was appointed by former President Trump.

In fact, the TV news media can hardly even mention about Hunter Biden’s failed plea agreement without making really, really sure that absolutely everyone knows that the judge who tossed it was appointed by Trump. Just look at them go:

During the 2 p.m. Eastern hour of CNN News Central on Wednesday, CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen pretended to be baffled by Norieka’s misgivings with the deal: “I think everyone is scratching their head a little bit.”

He then called Norieka’s partiality into question on the grounds that she was appointed by Trump:

This is the same MRC, mind you, that was obsessed with labeling one prosecutor of Donald Trump as linked to George Soros.

D'Agostino then harrumphed: "There are already plenty of quality legal analyses out there explaining the concerns raised by Norieka. It’d be great if the liberal TV news networks would bother sharing some of those perspectives with their viewers." But as an example, he supplied a link from the partisan right-wing site the Federalist, no normal person's idea of a source for "quality legal analyses."

Tober returned to complain that  the non-right-wing media are nowhere near as obsessed with Hunter as he is:

It didn’t take long for CBS and NBC to move on from the collapse of President Joe Biden’s criminal son Hunter’s plea deal. In fact, just 24 hours after all three networks led their respective evening newscasts with the news, only ABC’s World News Tonight stuck with the story and kept their viewers in the loop about the new revelations. Including what was actually in the plea agreement, as well as details about Hunter’s shakedown of foreign governments for millions of dollars.

CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News apparently had better things to do like cover the New York City crane collapse for the second night in a row (CBS) or complain about the July summer heatwave (NBC).

Sticking with the story and performing a random act of journalism, ABC’s justice correspondent Terry Moran kept on the story for his network. He did get in the obligatory partisan labeling and crying about how Hunter was a victim.

Cassandra DeVries groused that it was pointed out that right-wingers favor preconceived narratives to facts when it comes to Hunter:

On Thursday, CNN This Morning covered Judge Maryellen Noreika’s dismissal of the Hunter Biden plea deal. The defense and prosecution teams appeared before the judge claiming a deal, but the parties disagreed on what Hunter could be charged with in the future. CNN assumed prosecutors lacked adequate evidence to win a trial and warned viewers not to “expect Republicans to have fidelity to the facts of the case over the narrative they're trying to pursue.”


“There was sort of a little win in this pause for both sides,” host Erica Hill said. “Yes, Republicans can continue to talk about it. But the fact too that this is an ongoing investigation, that may actually make it harder in some cases for Republicans to get some of the information that they're after.”

Hill dismissed the Hunter Biden case as political fodder for Republicans. Still, her referral to a lack of transparency as a small win for Democrats made one wonder what information she thought they might find.

A July 28 post by Houck touted how "On Friday morning, NBC’s Today was the lone flagship broadcast network news show to keep alive coverage of Hunter Biden, his life of corruption, and the shocking collapse of his shady plea deal with his father’s Justice Department." He offered no evidence that the plea deal was "shady." Tober hyped a right-wing smear of Hunter in a July 30 post:

CNN's senior political commentator and Republican political strategist Scott Jennings did not play around during his appearance on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday. During the panel discussion, the topic inevitably turned to the news that broke Friday night that Joe Biden had finally acknowledged his seventh grandchild whom his drug addict son Hunter had with a stripper in Arkansas. After his fellow panelist and Democrat strategist Michael LaRosa tried to accuse Republicans of playing politics with the Biden grandchild, Jennings took the gloves off and said: "It's not Republicans, with all due respect, who made Hunter Biden into a complete scumbag on this and other issues."

We don't recall the MRC condoning this same argument when applied to Donald Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 11, 2023 12:59 AM EST
WND Publishes More Dubious Gateway Pundit Articles About Capitol Rioters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has made a habit of late of relying on the notoriously unreliable far-right-blog Gateway Pundit to falsely portray those arrested as a result of their actions during the Capitol riot -- some of them violent -- as political prisoners instead of the criminals they are. A reprinted Aug. 23 Gateway Pundit story by Jim Hoft ranted:

Last week The Gateway Pundit published exclusive images of January 6 prisoner Ryan Samsel held in a prison cell at the FDC in Philadelphia the size of a closet with a light on all of the time. The cell had a thin blue mattress, no sheets or blankets, no clothing, and he was kept here for five months straight.

January 6 political prisoner Ryan Samsel has been held in prison without trial now since January 2021.

During his two-and-a-half years without trial Ryan has been moved around to 17 different facilities. Ryan has been beaten, abused, tortured, and neglected since his arrest in January 2021.

The photos are just shocking. This is taking place in America today. This is who we are.

Hoft offered no evidence that Samsel is being treated no worse than anyone else awaiting trial for criminal actions, and he offered no evidence he was ever concerned about that.Hoft also censored what Samsel is a accused of, As a much more credble news organization reported:

Samsel and four co-defendants "participated in the first breach of the restricted Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, and led the initial attack on United States Capitol Police officers," a prosecutor's filing alleged prior to the trial's start on Oct. 23.

"Their attack paved the way for thousands of rioters to storm the Capitol grounds," the filing claimed.

As the riot continued, Samsel allegedly grabbed at another officer's shield, and threw a pole and a two-by-four plank at police, the Justice Department alleges.

Hoft was brought in by WND again in a reprinted Sept. 9 article to defend a Proud Boy rioter who was sentenced to prison for his leading role in the riot:

On Thursday The Gateway Pundit’s Cara Castronuovo reported that Biden officials asked him to lie about President Trump in order to indict him!

“They asked me to LIE about President Trump in order to indict him,” Enrique Tarrio exclusively told the Gateway Pundit. “I told them to pound sand, and because I refused to lie about President Trump it cost me twenty-two years of my life.

“The truth is, I could have been home,” said Tarrio. “I could have been home a long time ago. I could be in my warm ass bed right now, laughing at the world, without a problem…and all I had to do in order to do that WAS LIE ABOUT TRUMP. All I had to do was confirm a lie.”

But prosecutors offer deals to defendants all the time to gain a guilty plea on lesser charges in exchange for testimony against other defendants. Tarrio (and Hoft) framing this as prosecutors trying to get Tarrio to lie is dishonest and shows a willful misunderstanding of how the justice system works.

WND had Hoft whine again about supposed mistreatment of Capitol rioters in a Sept. 15 article:

The devastating reality of 23 hours per day solitary confinement is back for the January 6 political prisoners.

Today the DC Jail announced that the J6 patriot pod would be on lockdown for refusing to submit to COVID testing! This lockdown status is a horrific recurring nightmare for many of the nearly 40 Jan 6 detainees surviving in the Gulag.

In an exclusive statement the Gateway Pundit obtained from J6 prisoner for 980 days without a trial, Jake Lang, we learn what it was like living through nearly 20 months of solitary confinement & COVID lockdowns in prison. “I can’t believe we are back to this, it is truly the most inhumane way to treat people. Even a dog gets to go outside once a day! 23 hours locked in your cell alone everyday has a severe effect on the human psyche – and is considered Cruel & Unusual punishment by the Geneva Convention. It is a torture designed to crumble the resolve of even the strongest people, without a relationship with Jesus – it would have broke me.”

Or you know, Lang and the others could simply take the stupid COVID test. Neither Hoft nor Lang offered any evidence to prove that taking the simple test is an onerous violation of anyone's rights or why taking it was not a possibility. As you might recall (though Hoft won't remind you), Lang faces multiple felony charges in part because he attacked law enforcement with a baseball bat.

WND doesn't seem to realize that its credibilty is damaged even more than it already is by republishing sob-story content from a dubious far-right website that is being sued for defamation by two Georgia election workers for spreading lies about them. Or maybe it does, but it just doesn't care because the operation is going down the tubes anyway and its credibility couldn't get much worse than it already is.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:42 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 7:15 PM EST
MRC Whines When Right-Wing Hunter Biden Derangement Is Called Out
Topic: Media Research Center

It's been a bit since we last checked in on the rampant Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome at the Media Research Center, and it has unsurprisingly continued apace:

Meanwhile, the MRC got mad whenever the right-wing obsession with Hunter was called out for what it is. Kevin Tober complained in a July 11 post:

On MSNBC’s The ReidOut, host Joy Reid brought on leftist activist and turncoat former Republican Kurt Bardella to smear and mock Republicans in Congress for wanting to hold Joe Biden’s drug addict criminal son Hunter accountable for his many crimes. Proving that he has no self-awareness at all, Bardella claimed some Republicans secretly think House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and other members of the committee investigating Hunter look like “a bunch of morons.”

First, Reid made the case that the Trump family are the ones who should be investigated, not the Biden crime family. “If they wanted to investigate a family that’s got some like, I don’t know, corrupt vibes, you had a Chinese spy,” Reid proclaimed. “This is where the Chinese spy was! At Mar-a-Lago while he had all our documents and all our national security, she was walking all through there and ended up getting arrested.”

“You've got Donald Trump profiting off a hotel in DC where all the Saudis and all the people were paying him and the Republicans were paying him off,” Reid shrieked. 

Choosing to ignore the flagrant corruption of the Biden family, Reid huffed about Trump instead: “I mean the corruption is so clear but they don't care.”

Tober made no attempt to defend the Trumps family's actions or expain why it's not worse than what right-wingers accused the Bidens of doing.

Peter Kotara huffed in a July 19 post:

On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski and former RNC chairman turned MSNBC political analyst, Michael Steele, teamed up to laugh off any concerns about the crimes of Hunter Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.

They discussed how to shape the narrative about Trump and Biden, emphasizing how former President Trump was supposedly a criminal, but that Hunter Biden was just a “distraction” and a “boogieman” for the right. Steele went on to argue that Republican characterizations of President Biden were ridiculous.


Her claim that Republicans were “just going after people” also held no water. Hunter Biden committed crimes in the open - his laptop that the media denied existing proved that. He also was considered by many conservatives to have been behind the cocaine found in the White House. To not go after Hunter Biden would be an affront to the rule of law and would tell the world that people in positions of power can do whatever they want, and are above the law.

Yes, we're quite aware that Kotara's co-workers obsessed  over the idea that the cocaine belonged to Hunter despite a complete lack of evidence to back up that speculation. Kotara continued to rant:

In terms of Hunter Biden, many parts of the truth that he committed criminal acts have already been exposed, hence the plea deal with federal prosecutors, and will continue to be probed by the House Oversight Committee and Chairman James Comer (R-KY).

We don't recall the MRC being this demanding of justice when Donald Trump was indicted for the crimes he committed -- in fact, it did everything it could to distract attention away from Trump's criminality.

Alex Christy similarly whined in a July 26 post:

Before Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart on Wednesday, MSNBC’s Ana Cabrera and political chameleon Kurt Bardella offered up what their big takeaway from all of the drama surrounding him: Republicans are hypocrites.

Cabrera thought it was interesting that former assistant FBI director for counterintelligence “Frank Figliuzzi brought up that under the Trump Administration Republican lawmakers were not interested in investigating then-President Trump's family business dealings or Jared Kushner's dealings and possible conflicts of interest.”

If Figliuzzi said so, then according to Cabrera, it must be true, “given the recent development and what we're seeing playing out there on The Hill, of all being Hunter Biden and this investigation, what do you make of this apparent hypocrisy?”

Why Republicans are hypocrites, but Democrats aren’t is something neither Cabrera nor Bardella would ever attempt to explain. Bardella would, however, claim “it's pretty glaring and, again, it just underscores and illustrates how this is purely political and not actually evidentiary or fact-based in any way.”

When Bardella pointed out that "the Trump family has been the beneficiary of from questionable sources and questions about how they arranged those financial dealings, it completely dwarves anything compared to Hunter Biden," Christy groused, "At least Kushner actually managed to accomplish something in the White House, which is more than one can say about Hunter’s business credentials," linking to his touting of the so-called Abraham Accords, in which he got a few minor Muslim-led countries to normalize relations with Israel. Christy has previously insisted that Kushner earned and deserved his $2 billion Saudi payoff.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 1:58 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The Trump Stenographers At Newsmax: (Third) Indictment Edition
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax turned itself into the Trump Defense Network as Donald Trump faced yet another indictment, with dozens of defend-and-attack pieces and columnist eager to portray him as a victim. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 AM EST
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, Education Edition (With Added Racist Massacre)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's DeSantis Defense Brigade was an aggressive defender of educational standards imposed on Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis, and it just couldn't stop doing so. Alex Christy spent an Aug. 15 post complaining that critical race theory is a high-level concept that isn't taught in high schools, making DeSantis' claim that he banned CRT in Florida school to be inaccurate, because certain things that might be part of CRT might get sneaked in:

Even if one were to accept [PolitiFact researcher Samantha] Putterman’s arguments as true, it is possible Florida wanted to preemptively guard against the insertion of CRT into K-12 education as its ideas have escaped academia and started infecting Corporate America’s diversity training and corporate social responsibility campaigns.

Second, just because a teacher isn’t mandating that students read Kimberlé Crenshaw doesn’t mean that CRT isn’t woven into the curriculum. If the assumption is that “systemic racism” is the explanation for every racial statistical disparity in America, then CRT is part of the curriculum or teacher training programs whether it is explicitly named or not.


That it isn’t a fact-check, it’s an opinion-check. The law says what it says and DeSantis’s summation of it was accurate.

In an Aug. 19 post, Brad Wilmouth complained that it was pointed out how teaching of black history had to include examples of black-on-white violence:

After a brief clip of Governor DeSantis declaring that "These are the most robust standards in African American history," [CNN correspondent Carlos] Suarez continued:

Last month, the state's board of education approved new standards for teaching black history in order to comply with, quote, "anti-woke policies" led by Governor Ron DeSantis that limit how race is discussed in schools and businesses. The board now requires that events like the Ocoee massacre to be taught as, quote, "acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans" -- a distinction historian Dr. Marvin Dunn says is wrong.

Then came a soundbite of Dr. Marvin Dunn: "There was no black-on-white racial violence in Ocoee. The state of Florida requires teachers to teach that lie."

But if one looks at the actual text of the new standards, it doesn't exactly say that there was black violence in the Ocoee incident. Rather, it lists several examples of anti-black violence, including Ocoee, and generally states that examples of both black on white violence should be included, which could have been referring more to the other incidents.

For example, in the Tulsa killings from 1921, one-third of the official death toll consisted of whites, some of whom allegedly were among the first to be killed in the initial skirmish.

Given DeSantis' overall unfriendliness to black people, it was probably unsurprising when, after a shooter targeted black people at a store in Jacksonville and killed three, there was criticism of DeSantis and his education standards.Wilmouth complained this was broughtup in an Aug. 28 post:

In the aftermath of a racially motivated murder spree in Jacksonville, Florida, CNN host Fredricka Whitfield on Sunday afternoon allowed two of her guests to try to push blame onto Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) while discussing the killings.

At about 2:20 p.m. Eastern, the CNN host gave no pushback when her guest, Wisdom Cole of the NAACP Youth and College Division, charged that Governor DeSantis has "waged war on black America."

Whitfield threw a softball, just asking for deep thoughts: "What are your thoughts today, especially after hearing even more details about how the suspect targeted black people, left behind evidence that he hated them, and even with swastikas on his guns?"

Wilmouth huffed that later guest Van Jones "accused Governor DeSantis of being opposed to teaching black history," which Wilmouth made no effort to rebut.

The more DeSantis was discussed in relation to the mass shooting, the angrier the MRC got. Curtis Houck raged in another Aug. 28 post under the headline "UGLY SMEAR":

On Monday’s Today, NBC’s Florida-based correspondent (and incoming White House correspondent) Gabe Gutierrez again targeted 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) by ghoulishly tying DeSantis and his administration’s African-American history standards to the racist mass shooter who killed three Saturday at a Jacksonville Dollar General in a predominantly-black neighborhood.

NBC was the lone network to invoke DeSantis in their Monday morning coverage of the racially-motivated killings. Gutierrez at least made the pivot with a portion of DeSantis remarks at a vigil: “What he did is totally unacceptable in the state of Florida.”

Gutierrez chimed in that while DeSantis also said he would ensure the state would “provide more security to Florida HBCUs,” but he then boasted that DeSantis “fac[ed] boos from the crowd.”

Kevin Tober joined the Defense Brigade with his own Aug. 28 post:

On MSNBC’s The ReidOut, host Joy Reid and guest Bishop William Barber took turns smearing Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) by accusing him of causing the racist shooting that took place at DollarTree in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday. The duo even suggested DeSantis is akin to racist Alabama Governor George Wallace and that he was inspired by the horrific Jacksonville riots in 1960.

“There is a history of governors, of southern governors stoking racial hatred and animus, specifically directed at black people, and then the results are reaped in black communities,” Reid proclaimed.


Barber continued smearing DeSantis: "This is more blood on his hands because he even passed his policies" that "enable poverty, enable the lack of health care." 

"He's saying basically, I want to be like George Wallace, southern governors and others who pushed hate. It was the playbook of the southern strategy, Richard Nixon used it, Ronald Reagan, Bush, Trump to a greater degree," Barber added. 

Barber ended by outright claiming that DeSantis's educational reforms have directly led to the racist shooter targeting a black college: "Think about it, the shooter first went to a historically black college university that represents the very thing DeSantis and others have been saying we have to resist, that is dangerous to us."

Tober made no atempt to rebut any of these claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 7, 2023 10:38 PM EST
Newsmax Less Enthusiastic About Second GOP Debate, But Still Brings Pro-Trump Spin
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax was less excited over the second Republican presidential debate than it was over the first one, in which it heavily hyped Donald Trump despite his refusal to take part and sniped at certain unfavored candidates, like Vivek Ramaswamy, who refused Newsmax's quid pro quo of getting positive coverage in exchange for buying ads on the channel (the deal it gave to Perry Johnson). It was largely a rehash of the first, with Trump again refusing to take part and the others fighting to get attention. A Sept. 18 wire article noted Trump skipping the debate for a photo op with striking auto workers in Michigan. Other pre-debate positioning was noted as well:

Newsmax also took a shot at the competition with a Sept. 27 article by Michael Katz claiming that "A 30-second spot for the second debate in Simi Valley, California, on Fox Business cost just above $200,000, a huge decline from the $495,000 charged for the similar spot during the first debate Aug. 23 in Milwaukee."

Post-debate coverage began with a Sept. 27 article by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy that was surprisingly balanced, admitting that some candidates "criticized former President Donald Trump for again skipping the debate." That was joined by a wire article doing much the same thing. The next day, John Gizzi dismissed the debate:

None of the Republican presidential hopefuls on stage at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on Wednesday night gained any significant ground in the second GOP debate of 2023-24.

That was the general conclusion of a group of political experts with whom Newsmax spoke shortly after the two-hour debate concluded. Among them was Arizona State University Prof. Donald Critchlow, founding editor of the Journal of Political History.

"The debate stage was overcrowded. The [Fox News] panel was not in control of candidates talking over one another and interrupting," he said.


Critchlow's conclusion was echoed by Chapman University (CA) Prof. Luke Nichter, who told Newsmax, "In the three acts of a Greek tragedy, in Act II, the plot gets more complicated. That's where we are tonight."

Nichter, author of the critically acclaimed new book "1968: The Year That Broke Politics," concluded that "no one did anything so remarkable as to close the big gap with [former President Donald] Trump."

Jim Thomas took another shot at Fox over the debate's ratings:

Fox’s second Republican primary debate had the lowest TV audience for any GOP presidential debate since Donald Trump's debut appearance in 2015, NBC reported Thursday.

Nielsen ratings topped out at a little more than 9 million viewers for Wednesday's Fox debate, held at the Reagan Library. That was down 3.5 million viewers from last month's event, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Josh Hammer spent his Sept. 29 column complaning that the candidates were not sufficiently  Reagan-esque despite the debate being held at the Reagan library. Michael Dorstewitz used his column the same day to hype Ron DeSantis declaring that he "is turning out to be the strong, steady hand America needs at the helm. If we can only find a way to get former President Trump to meet him on a debate stage." There were also the usual attempts to spin things:

And it wouldn't be a Trump-adjacent event without Trump sycophant Dick Morris weighing in, which he did in a Sept. 30 TV appearance:

The second presidential debate not only affirmed former President Donald Trump as a runaway in the GOP primary race, but Trump was fully vindicated on skipping the debate "food fight," even as his top challengers are calling him out, presidential adviser Dick Morris told Newsmax.

"Yeah," Morris told "Saturday Report," Trump was "incredibly" vindicated on skipping the debate.

"First of all, the fact he's ahead going in and people really believe in him; his support has firmed to an unbelievable degree," Morris told host Rita Cosby. "But secondly, when you look at the food fight, the circus that went on and that rink, how can you possibly support one of those people? And Trump was so wise stepping out of it and not letting himself be dragged into it."

Morris also repeated his own insistence that Robert Kennedy running as an independent instead of a Democrat wold pull votes from Biden but not Trump, declaring without evidence that Krnnedy's "appeal is very much on the Democratic side."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 13, 2023 10:53 PM EST

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