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Friday, November 24, 2023
WND's Cashill Tries Race-Baiting To Falsely Attack Newspaper
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill began his Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily column by complaining:

As half of America now knows, last month two teenagers in a stolen Hyundai consciously targeted an innocent Las Vegas cyclist and ran him over, killing him in the process.

The other half of America does not know about this incident because their media have chosen not to tell them.

The Poynter institute, a nonprofit that "provides fact-checking, media literacy and journalism ethics training to citizens and journalists in service to democracy," weighed in on this issue Tuesday.

Instead of holding the media to account for their silence about the murder, Poynter scolded Elon Musk for daring to talk about it.

But the issue is not that Musk was "daring to talk about it"; it was that he was falsely accusing a newspaper of suppressing the story, which resulted in death threats to the newspaper. As befits somone who wrote a VDARE-endorsed book seeking to absolve white people for fleeing cities in the 1960s, Cashill obsessed over racial issues here, pointing out that the victim was white and that at least one assailant was black, and baselessly assumed that the media was trying to hide that:

Some have assumed that both of the perps are black.

It is this assumption that has likely kept the media silent. The video surfaced on Aug. 29. As of this writing the New York Times has yet to say word one about the murder of Andreas Probst.

Cashill didn't explain why the Times should have rpeorted on this story. His goal was to justify Musk's attacking on the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the threats that followed:

The video of the Probst murder surfaced on social media this past Saturday, Aug. 16. Poynter took exception to an Aug. 17 tweet by Musk.

"An innocent man was murdered in cold blood while riding his bicycle," Musk tweeted. "The killers joked about it on social media Yet, where is the media outrage? Now you begin to understand the lie."

By the following day the post had been viewed more than 68 million times. And still the major media remained mum.

Once the video surfaced, many citizens apparently focused their anger on the Review-Journal and its crime reporter, Sabrina Schnur.

According to Poynter, an unnamed "they" made "anti-Semitic comments" about Schnur and "accused her of being anti-white."

To its humble credit, the Review-Journal did report on the murder and acknowledged the video, but as with the Las Vegas TV media, bicycle safety was the theme of much of the reporting.

Cashill omitted the fact that Poynter reported that the reporter who originally reported the story "received 700 notifications on X and an onslaught of angry emails and voicemails," that poeple were doxxing her and digging up posts the reporter made as a teenager, and that other staffers and the paper itself also received numerous hate messages and threats. (Also, Twitter video view counts are virtually meaningless.)

Rather than actually try to prove that the Review-Journal was trying to hide somsething, he complained that Poynter pointed out that a reporter for the newspaper was murdered last year by a local politician, so the place is a little on edge over threats to its reporters. Even though Poynter specifically noted that the politician "had made angry social media posts referencing the journalist and his work" before killing him, Cashill counterfactually claimed that "social media had nothing to do with [the reporter's] murder" and that bringing it up "is gratuitous and misleading."

Cashill concluded by making his race-bating more explicit and misrepresenting Poynter some more (and plugging his VDARE-endorsed book):

As I report in my new book, "Untenable: The True Story of White Ethnic Flight from America's Cities," the media have been sweeping away black-on-white crime for the last 60 years.

This would be bad enough, but the media make the situation much worse by amplifying the relatively rare instances of white-on-black crime.

This is the "lie" to which Musk alludes. In this instance, Poynter does not labor "in service to democracy." Poynter labors in service to the lie.

But the real liar here is Cashill, who is trying (with an assist from Elon Musk) to smear a reporter and a newspaper as reverse racists based on nothing but circumstantial evidence he (and Musk) can't be bothered to prove is true, and he's seeking to justify threats and potential violence based on those specious assumptions. He's sounding more and more like Colin Flaherty, whose more overt brand of race-baiting was a WND staple several years back.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2023 2:52 AM EST
Thursday, November 23, 2023
MRC's Summer Was Filled With Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center

The transphobia at the Media Research Center never stops -- the anti-trans hate it spewed during pride month continued through the rest of the summer. That hate, though, occasionally has to be supplemented by other misinformation; A July 2 post by Kevin Tober complained that MSNBC host Jen Psaki "concocted a bizarre conspiracy theory that the Republican Party is rehashing the so-called 'southern strategy' (which itself is a debunked conspiracy theory) to “recruit” Muslim Americans to 'go after' transgender people." Tober's evidence that the Southern strategy is a "debunked conspiracy theory" is a link to an article by noted fabricator Dinesh D'Souza, so that didn't exactly age well. Tim Graham melted down over a transgender politician in a July 6 post:

Liberal media outlets are forever congratulating Democrats for "trailblazer" candidates. On Wednesday's The Lead with Jake Tapper, CNN turned its focus on Delaware, where Sen. Tom Carper is retiring. That means black Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester will run for Senate, leaving an open House seat for fellow Democrat Sarah McBride, a former Beau Biden aide who is transgender. They not only congratulated McBride for her "historic" possibility, but for open that "lifelong Catholic" Joe Biden's mind to "transgender rights."

Graham further complained that in another CNN segment, the correspondent "explained it was a 'perilous time' for transgenders 'given the way transgender rights have been so politicized by members of the Republican Party.'" Graham didn't disprove the claim.

A July 14 post by Cassandra DeVries complained that Republicans who tried to impose their transphobia on the deffense budget were called out:

CNN This Morning bashed Republicans for a military spending bill that excluded payments for abortion, diversity promotion, and transgender care to military personnel on Friday. Its reporters exaggerated the past bipartisanism of the bill, claimed Republicans were throwing a fit and using the military as a political pawn, and seemingly compared the cut benefits to rolling back racial integration.

Anchor Phil Mattingly introduced the bill as “the cornerstone of U.S. defense policy” and “a pillar of bipartisan agreement,” and CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox referred to more than 60 years of bipartisan support this bill previously received.

[...]

Once again, CNN disparaged Republicans. This time painting them as malicious, anti-military “hardliners” for refusing to pay for transition surgeries, hormone treatments, and abortions for military personnel. CNN did not mention the negative mental health affects accompanying each of the aforementioned procedures or money Republicans saved tax payers.

Instead of objectively laying the facts before viewers, CNN censored the conservative point of view and sought to villainize Republicans with a distorted presentation of the news.

Chief transphobe Tierin-Rose Mandelburg complained in a July 21 post that a a British bank reportedly denied an account to a British anti-transgender group: "It’s become increasingly common for establishments like banks to not only dip their toes into areas of bias, but dive in head-first. These establishments are choosing to push a narrative rather than merely perform their jobs." Funny, we remember that the MRC was totally cool with people refusing to do business for ideological reasons when it came to web designers who didn't want to design websites for LGBT people, even portraying that hate as "free speech."

A July 25 post by Curtis Houck groused that media pointed out the anti-transgender school policies of Virginia's Republican governor:

In reaction to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s (R-VA) new policy unveiled last week for schools regarding transgenderism, local media in the D.C. market (including an NPR affiliate) and across the Potomac in Virginia again twisted themselves into nervous knots over how on Earth voters in the Commonwealth could have elected someone in a platform of parental involvement in education.

[...]

Washington-area NBC affiliate WRC published an article that sympathized with transgender students being unable to be openly celebrated in schools versus parents having the right to know what their child may (or may not) be doing in school.

In “Youngkin’s new policies will affect transgender students. Here’s what may change,” Julie Carey and Maggie More fretted that the “controversial new education policy...affecting the way transgender students are treated...runs counter to the plans some school districts have put in place in recent years.”’

After bashing Youngkin for focusing on “what he calls ‘parents rights’” that “were ignored and disregarded by his predecessor Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration,” it took until the fifth paragraph to actually explain what Youngkin announced that a child’s identity rests with parents, not a child or teacher’s personal whims[.]

Of course, by that same logic, the parents are operating on "whims" as well. Later, Houck effectively admitted the transphobic intent of the policy by noting another news segment featuring a parent with a transgender child who opposes the policy, adding that "the policy doesn’t even affect families ... who wholly endorse their child permanently altering their bodies, chemically, physically, and metaphorically."

Alex Christy spent a July 29 post being mad that PolitiFact explained what "chestfeeding" was in response to attacks by Republican transphobes:

Grace Abels, “a staff writer focused on LGBTQ issues,” for PolitiFact came out with an explainer piece on Friday that sought to defend the practice of “chestfeeding” for “people who identify as men or as nonbinary.” Seriously, this is a fact-checking outlet.

Naturally, the piece originated due to the fact that “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has frequently faced political criticism. But a new wave hit in early July over breastfeeding — or ‘chestfeeding,’ as the agency described it on a website.”

After referencing a couple of tweets, Abels also mentioned “U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., a former OB-GYN, condemned the CDC’s language and expressed concern over medications that may be taken to induce lactation.”

Abels then stepped in to attempt to save the day, “Some of the claims misrepresented what chestfeeding is, how the term is used and raised fears over medications involved in induced lactation.”

[...]

Not only did PolitiFact go to bat for the absurdist notion that men can get pregnant and that “breastfeeding” can be a problematic word, but its entire premise that “chestfeeding” is just as good as breastfeeding required that the reader not click on the link to see that Republican senator was correct to be worried.

Mandelburg returned for another meltdown in an Aug. 7 post over a razor company featuring a transgender person in an ad:

Harry’s Razors is a men's razor company. Recently it partnered with a transgender man, aka a biological woman, to promote its products. 

Over the weekend, the Twitter account called End Wokeness shared a video of a “man” named Luke Pearson. “He’s” a transgender male, so a female, and was promoting one of Harry’s “Face & Body Shave Sets.” The set included a Harry’s razor for a man's face and a razor from Harry's women's company, Flamingo, for customers to shave their bodies.

"My cringe radar is currently off the charts," Mandelburg sneered, going out to tout how "numerous conservative or just level-headed people tweeted their distaste with the company's move and Pearson in general." She went on to state that "Some even called for a boycott of the brand like people did for Budlight and Target when they prioritized agenda pushing over basically everything else," oblivious to the irony that she -- a person who gets paid to push agendas -- is accusing someone else of "agenda pushing."

Clay Waters raged that a transgender person was on his TV in an Aug. 22 post:

In the latest example of a tax-funded media outlet blurring obvious biological lines for ideological purposes, PBS News Weekend’s Saturday edition celebrated a Montana teen, “assigned female at birth,” who started taking puberty blockers at 14 and “feels a connection to masculinity.”

Host John Yang introduced the segment on Montana “banning certain medical treatments for minors with gender dysphoria.”

The segment opened in the Beardslee home in Helena, Montana, with a teenager making fried rice for the family. Then came a blizzard of head-scratching language from both the teenager and reporter Joe Lesar of the tax-supported journalistic enterprise Montana PBS.

[...]

Is this journalism or therapy? Stories on children with gender dysphoria typically advocate for them and their feelings, and suggest opposition is heartless.

Waters also whined that the segment quoted state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, "a biological man who identifies as transgender"; the MRC hates Zephyr for standing up for transgender rights. He also complained that the segment "said opponents 'consider' this a "'fad' without exploring the statistics," but the statistics he cites showing that more younger people identify as transgender prove nothing.

An anonymously written Aug. 27 post, credited only to "MRC Latino Staff," lashed out at Telemundo for not hating transgender people and, thus, promoting a "trans agenda":

Comcast-NBC affiliate Telemundo does whatever they can to preserve the mothership’s perfect Corporate Equality Index score. This includes blatantly promoting the trans agenda, such as is the case in this report from the network’s weekend newscast.

Watch as correspondent Solangie Sosa unquestioningly parrots trans activist language while profiling a transgender student (born female) who opposes a new Florida rule that would compel college students to use the bathroom corresponding to their actual biological anatomy:

[...]

The report ran for 2 minutes and 12 seconds, but only provided 17 seconds to a supporter of the rule. The rest of the interviews were with opponents of the rule, and as you can see from the clip above, the report veered off of actual journalism and into outright trans advocacy.

The most unintentionally funny moment of the report is the moment, towards the end of the featured clip, where the correspondent flushes a toilet as filler video. This very neatly encapsulated the seriousness this report should be accorded.

The unhinged anti-transgender hate by the MRC neatly encapsulates the seriousness its rantings should be accorded.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 25, 2023 2:29 AM EST
MRC Splits On Appointment Of Special Counsel To Investigate Hunter Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

When a special counsel was named to handle the right-wing-hyped case of Hunter Biden, the Hunter Biden Derangement Syndrome sufferers at the Media Research Center were initially supportive. Ncholas Fondacaro wrote in an Aug. 11 post:

As NewsBusters reported Thursday evening, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer appeared on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper and laid out the evidence he had so far that pointed to President Biden being involved in his family’s “sleazy” (Jake Tapper’s word) business dealings. It broke open the floodgates of cable coverage as CNN and MSNBC (36 minutes and 37 seconds combined) reacted by claiming Comer had nothing at all. This was all before U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland elevated U.S. Attorney David Weiss to special counsel status to investigate Hunter Biden further.

Following Comer’s appearance on CNN, the network ignored it the rest of the night before spending 7 minutes and 11 seconds Friday morning trying to convince viewers not to believe what they heard from the Oversight Chairman the previous evening.

Alex Christy also seemed excited by the development:

CNN Inside Politics host Dana Bash and legal analyst Shan Wu reacted negatively to the news that Attorney General Merrick Garland as appointed Jack Weiss as special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation by wondering why he still has a job and worrying it implies that Joe Biden is now a subject in Weiss’s investigation.

[...]

For years, the media accused former President Donald Trump of viewing his attorneys general as his own personal lawyers and here is a former Janet Reno counsel lamenting that Garland isn’t doing enough to protect Biden.

Curtis Houck, meanwhile, decided that Weiss' appointment was an effort to protect the Bidens:

Friday afternoon began with a bang as Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland made a move to further protect President Biden, Hunter Biden, and his own tail by giving David Weiss the title of special counsel (while also keeping U.S. Attorney status) to further investigate Hunter. 

As CBS’s Catherine Herridge and others sniffed out, Garland’s decision after the collapse of the plea deal between Hunter and the Justice Department encases damaging evidence and shields Weiss from having to appear before Congress. That didn’t matter to ABC, though. Instead, chief Biden apple polisher Mary Bruce and anti-Trump author Jonathan Karl were beside themselves.

Houck didn't mention that his fellow right-wing activists had been demanding for months that Weiss be name special prosecutor and are now moving the goalposts to keep the anti-Biden outrage machine alive.

Fondacaro returned to cheer that some are concerned by the appointmenet:

Immediately following U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement on Friday that he was appointing U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel to further investigate Hunter Biden,cCNN’s panelists were beside themselves. But given a little bit of time, during CNN News Central’s 2 p.m. hour, the feelings didn’t wane as White House correspondent and President Biden’s apple polisher, Arlette Saenz lamented that the investigation was becoming “a more challenging legal and political issue” for Joe.

Kevin Tober hyped how the appointment is supposedly forcing non-right-wing media to focus on the right-wing anti-Biden narrative:

Sunday’s Meet the Press was the first since Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Hunter Biden. Due to this big news, it was impossible for moderator Chuck Todd to ignore the mounting investigations into Hunter Biden’s multiple crimes and he was therefore forced to discuss it with his assembled roundtable. Things got so dire for the assembled leftists that one of them admitted the investigation could damage Biden “pretty seriously.”  

Todd fretted that Donald Trump had succeeded in dragging down the “Biden brand” and suggested somehow that Trump was responsible for the appointment of Weiss due to sending former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine.

Another post by Tober, though, lamented that all this wasn't enough to keep people from talking about Donald Trump's criminality:

Much like Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week was forced to discuss the special counsel investigation into Hunter Biden’s multiple crimes. This of course wasn’t without their usual caterwauling about former President Donald Trump’s indictments and the one that’s reportedly coming up later in the week. New Yorkerstaff writer Susan Glasser huffed that America is living in Trump’s alternate reality. 

[...]

A woman from the same political party that thinks men can get pregnant, or that humans can control the global temperature, wants us to think Trump is creating an "alternate reality."

This is what we call gaslighting.

What does Toger call it when someone introduces irrelefvant transphobia into a post that's not about it at all? Anything to distract from Trump's criminality, apparently.

Houck, meanwhile, stuck to his own particular narrataive, insisting again that Garland was "rescuing" the Bidens by appointing a special counsel in an Aug. 14 time-count post that concluded by huffing: "With a fourth Trump indictment imminent handed down Monday night, expect any and all allegations – specific or vague – of Biden family bribery, corruption, and/or malfeasance to vanish in favor of fixating on Trump and have it be the driving focus of the 2024 election. And, not surprisingly, the liberal media wouldn’t have it any other way." As we've noted, the MRC doesn't think Trump's multiple indictments are news at all.

Tim Graham repeated this narrative in his Aug. 14 podcast: "Republicans were angry that the Biden Justice Department "promoted" David Weiss to Special Counsel in the Hunter Biden probe. A special counsel, in the legal definition, should be someone new, not someone who's been on the case for five years. But PBS (and NPR's legal reporter Carrie Johnson) didn't think House Republicans were worth quoting or mentioning." No mention (in the writeup, anyway) that Republicans were actually demanding that Weiss be named special counsel, making that alleged anger more than a little hypocritical.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 25, 2023 6:27 PM EST
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
MRC Hypes Worse-Than-Usual Poll For Biden, Buries The Fact That It's An Outlier
Topic: Media Research Center

We've shown how the Media Research Center loves to tout polls showing President Biden doing badly, even though it maliciously attacked similarly polls in 2020 showing Donald Trump doing badly as having been faked. One particular poll, however, caught its fancy and it latched on tightly to that. Kevin Tober hyped it in a Sept. 24 post:

On Sunday, ABC News released a poll in conjunction with The Washington Post and the results were apocalyptically bad for Joe Biden's reelection chances against former President Donald Trump. Aside from the Jimmy Carter-like disapproval ratings on the economy and inflation, Biden is now losing to Trump by 9 points in a head-to-head matchup. Of course, ABC's This Week had a near-panic attack when reporting the numbers. It was fun to watch. 

"These numbers are simply staggering for the sitting President," ABC political director Rick Klein told co-moderator Martha Raddatz. 

Reading out the poll's findings, Klein reported: "44 percent of people in this poll say they are not as well off as they were at the start of the Biden administration 2 1/2 years ago. Those are the worst numbers that we've seen in our ABC News Washington Post polling."

Later that day, Tober did another post hyping the poll and reaction to it:

Just like on ABC’s This Week, Sunday’s edition of NBC Meet the Press was stunned to find out that former President Donald Trump is in a dead heat with Joe Biden in a potential rematch for the presidency in 2024. Moderator Kristen Welker, proving she’s just as much of a partisan activist as her predecessor Chuck Todd, when she exclaimed “oof” in horror at the prospect of Trump getting good polling news. 

“What's so stunning about this number, a lot’s happened since June, we’re talking two more indictments against former President Trump,” Welker said to her guest and MSNBC political analyst Steve Kornacki. “So four in total and the first GOP primary debate and yet Mr. Trump is just solidifying his lead with GOP voters.”

“You know this from talking to Republican critics of Trump from rival campaigns, everything you just explained they thought would take him down a peg this summer and instead he has only moved up here,” Kornacki fretted. “You can see the number saying the party needs a new leader has gone down. So for Donald Trump there, nothing but good news.” 

Before he could finish his thought, Welker blurted out “Oof.”

What Tober didn't tell his readers: Those results are an outlier, as espected political analyst Larry Sabato pointed out (h/t Mediaite): "Ignore the Washington Post - ABC poll. It’s a ridiculous outlier (Trump up 10 over Biden—laughable). My question: How could you even publish a poll so absurd on its face? Will be a lingering embarrassment for you."

Nevertheless, the MRC continued hyping the poll. Mark  Finkelstein took the whataboutism route in a Sept. 25 post:

So much of the focus nowadays is on Joe Biden's mental impairment and shaky memory. But perhaps Joe Scarborough should have his own noggin checked out. Because he seemed to have suffered a stunning memory lapse on today's Morning Joe.

Scarborough spent the first segment whistling past the graveyard of the disastrous Washington Post/ABC News poll showing Biden losing by nine points to Trump, and then went on to trash the "fools" who thought they were "truth tellers" suggesting doom for Biden in 2020 and 2022. 

Scarborough somehow forgot that among those people writing off Biden was  . . . Joe Scarborough himself!

Finkelstein didn't mention his employer's own flip-flop on polls. instead, he went on to complain that "there there was the Washington Post, trying to downplay the importance of its own poll, casting it as an "outlier."

Curtis Houck hyped the poll in his own Sept. 25 post:

On Monday’s Good Morning America, ABC was still beside itself after Sunday’s This Week unfurled the results of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that showed ominous news about President Biden’s age, how Americans view his handling of the border crisis and the economy, and Trump having a nine-point lead nationally over the President.

“The race for 2024. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll sounding the alarm for President Biden in a head to head with former President Trump,” teased co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos.

Fast-forward to the actual segment and chyron stating the poll “finds weakness on the economy & immigration,” Stephanopoulos fretted the poll “signal[ed] trouble for President Biden.”

Houck buried the fact that that it was pointed out the wildly large Trump lead "is an outlier in polling."

Nicholas Fondacaro spent his daily hate-watching of "The View" on Sept. 25 complaining that the co-hosts pointed out how much of an outlier the poll is:

With ABC News sounding the alarm over their own poll showing former President Trump leading President Biden by 10 points in a hypothetical head-to-head rematch, the cast of ABC’s The View were in a panic on Monday. The fact that the network they worked for was the one who conducted the poll meant little as they all took to attacking the results; with faux conservative Ana Navarro openly suggesting the pollsters were all “high” on “edibles or somethings” when they were asking the questions.

“A new ABC/Washington Post poll … [s]hows that Biden is trailing you-know-who by nearly ten points, but – but I know there are other polls that are also happening that are saying different things,” moderator Whoopi Goldberg scoffed as she led into the segment.

The other faux-conservative on the panel, Alyssa Farah Griffin called her network’s poll “an outlier” and opined about how she was “skeptical of polls” because “They were wrong in 2016, they were wrong in the midterms in 2020.”

She decried the ABC poll as “so far out of step with other polling” at there had to be “an anomaly when they were taking the poll.” Realizing she was dissing her own network, she quickly pivoted to praising her co-workers by saying, “I trust our pollsters at ABC, they're phenomenal.” She also almost said they “misrep[resented]” Trump’s lead, but she caught herself mid-word and rephrased it to “may have overstated the lead.”

[...]

Towards the end of the segment, Hostin was forced by ABC to read a legal note to reassure the viewers that, “[n]obody at ABC that was conducting the poll was high.” “I'm just doing what I'm told to do,” she quipped in response to the audience’s laughter.

Fondacaro made no effort to defend the accuracy of the poll.

Meanwhile, Mediaite's Isaac Schorr pointed out that the poll's results "don’t just make the poll an 'outlier,' as the pollsters themselves admitted. The results are actively misleading, and fail not only to reflect reality, but any potential reality," adding that giving oxygen to such obvious outliers is "dangerous to the reputations of those who repeat them and the political prospects of those who take them seriously." But the MRC has no such worries about its reputation -- it's nothing but a right-wing shill, the poll served its partisan narratives, and the fact that it's an outlier that doesn't reflect reality is irrelevant to those narratives.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:42 PM EST
WND Uncritically Promotes Elon Musk's Discredited COVID Vaccine Video
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily got an assist in promoting COVID vaccine misinformation from none other than Elon Musk, as Bob Unruh touted in a Sept. 26 article:

Elon Musk has posted on his social media company X a video assembled by contributor Wall Street Silver that shows the stunning claims that COVID shots were "100%" effective.

And then the stunning plunge in that confidence level as the facts became known.

The falling numbers are in quotes from the experts on that topic, as well as legacy media reports that appeared to begin by promoting the experimental treatments, which science now shows had the capability of inflicting major damage on some patients.

The video also cites headlines regarding the billion dollar profits for drug-makers.

But as actual journalists at AFP reported, the video is highly misleading:

However, AFP found the succession of images in the video does not follow the chronology of when each article was published and uses incomparable data by looking at results for different vaccines and reactions to different variants of the disease.

"The argument that the effectiveness or efficiency of vaccines has declined on the basis of the available data is totally false," said Jeffrey Cirillo, a professor of immunology at the University of Texas, on October 3.

[...]

The headlines in the video also juxtapose articles which are discussing Covid-19 inoculations' effectiveness at different points during the pandemic, which saw the development of variants of the virus that were more resistant to previous formulas of the vaccine.

"A vaccine against one virus (variant) provides different levels of protection against a different virus (variant)," said Cirillo of the University of Texas.

He went on to explain that as the virus changes over time, the formula being used in a vaccine will become less efficient. This is why new vaccines have had to be developed.

Unruh has once again promoted false and misleading information, and he refused to report on the fact that the video Musk promoted has been discredited. Why would anyone trust WND's so-called reporting?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EST
MRC Defends Dave Portnoy, Gives His Sexual Abuse A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had quite the run of late in defending fringe right-wing exremists like Russell Brand and Roseanne Barr against credible accusations of horrible behavior because they supposedly do a good job of owning the libs and peddling right-wing narratives. Another one of those fringe haters is David Portnoy of the right-wing Barstool Sports. Tim Graham protrayed Portnoy as a poor, maligned victim in a Sept. 23 post:

One long-running joke aboutThe Washington Post (and The New York Times) is they are so relentlessly biased in their journalism that you can locate it anywhere in the paper, including the Food sections. The latest, very flagrant example is the blowout this week between the Post and Dave Portnoy, the wildly popular “El Presidente” of Barstool Sports.

On Wednesday, Portnoy took to Twitter with a video interview of Post feature writer Emily Heil, confronting her directly with emails that Heil sent requesting comment – and a cancel-culture moment – on a pizza festival organized by Portnoy.

Heil requested comment on Portnoy's trail of "misogynistic" comments, implying everyone who participated in his pizza-fest was slimed by association. Portnoy exposed Heil's manipulative method -- an attempt to blacken Portnoy and his event, and then when the hit piece was fully assembled, then you interview the victim.

On Friday, the Post published its story, headlined "Pizzerias navigate buzz, backlash around Dave Portnoy’s pizza festival." The "backlash" is what Heil and her co-author, food writer Tim Carman, were trying to create.

Graham offered no proof that Portnoy is "wildly popular" anywhere outside his right-wing bubble. It wasn't until the fifth paragraph that Graham got around to noting why Portnoy might be facing such criticism:

Heil and Carman dug up an unpublished rape joke from 2010, a joke that a female ESPN anchor's job was to "make men hard," and mockery of cop-hating QB Colin Kaepernick: “I thought he was an ISIS guy. … Throw a head wrap on this guy and he’s a terrorist.” Then came the allegations of bad sexual behavior:

In 2021, Insider.com published a story in which three women alleged that sexual encounters with Portnoy “turned into frightening and humiliating experiences” and two additional women alleged that Portnoy “choked and filmed them without advance permission.”

If the rape joke was "unpublished," as Graham claims, how did the Post writers find out about it? Because it was published; as they write, the so-called joke appeared in "a 2010 blog post that has apparently since been deleted." Published then deleted is something completely different than "unpublished" -- something Graham apparently doesn't understand. Graham omitted that the Post article also cited other racist and sexist remarks by Portnoy, which undercuts his suggestion that Portnoy was caught in a old, rare instance of saying bad things.

After Graham quoted the article pointing out Portnoy's abusive behavior toward women, he ... said nothing. He just let it pass. If Portnoy wasn't a right-winger, you can be assured that Graham would use those charges to impugn him. Instead, he spent the rest of his post raging that the Post somehow hadn't treated Portnoy with respect and insisting that letting participants in the pizza fest know who Portnoy really is is "cancel culture" -- though without an explanation of why Portnoy's "culture" shouldn't be canceled. We've already noted how the MRC has given Portnoy's sleazy behavior a pass to the point that writer Tierin-Rose Mandelburg tried to wash her hands of the sexual abuse charges by declaring that her readers could "believe or not on your own time."

Graham concluded by gloating that "Not a single participant pulled out of the pizza festival." That's not an outcome he would have cheered if Portnoy was a liberal, proving once again that being a right-winger buys a lot of goodwill from the MRC against later exposure of bad behavior.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2023 2:57 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Cheerleads For RFK Jr.
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is boosting Robert Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign because it might hurt President Biden's re-election, not because it actually wants him to win. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EST
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
MRC Continues Poll Flip-Flop, Loving The Ones That Make Biden Look Bad
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how, after the 2020 presidential election, the Media Research Center lashed out at polls showing Donald Trump badly losing the election, screeching without evidence the polls were "intentionally wrong" as a part of its conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from Trump based, ironically, on biased polls it bought from Trump's election pollster and the polling firm founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway -- but not long afterwards, they embraced without question polls from many of the same places showing President Biden not doing well. Over the past year, the MRC has continued to hype polls that make Biden look bad. For instance:

When others treated bad Biden polls like the MRC treated bad Trump polls, the MRC hypocritically objected. Mark Finkelstein complained in a Sept. 8 post:

Oh, the irony! Employing a famous James Carville phrase, on Friday's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough warned there'd be a lot of Democrat "bedwetting" over a CNN presidential poll showing Biden losing to Trump (and to almost all the other Republican contenders).

But Scarborough and his comrades on the panel then, obliviously, proceeded to besprinkle the linens themselves!

Historian and occasional Biden speechwriter Jon Meacham led off the leaky parade. Stamping his figurative feet, Meacham flatly declared, "I don't believe these polls, honestly."

Scarborough - after big-footing Mika who had tried to end the segment - and Mara Gay of the New York Times similarly cast doubts and aspersions on the poll. Gay even broke out the old chestnut that polls are "just a snapshot in time!"

And don't forget, Mara: the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day!

As for Scarborough, he resorted to the fingers-in-the-ears technique of blotting out bad news, admitting that he recently told a reporter, " I just -- you know what? Just, I don't want to hear the polls. I don't want to hear 'em."

Finkelstein didn't mention the irony of he and his employer flip-flopping on polls when they reinforce certain political narratives.

Jeffrey Lord touted the poll in his Sept. 9 column, noting that CNN is "famously a left leaning media outlet" and thus, should be taken seriously (unlike all those other times when Lord and the rest of the MRC lashed out at CNN):

The real question now is whether CNN, post its recent leadership changes, is determined to be about just-the-news as it is - no matter how it reflects on either Joe Biden or any other liberal favorite of the moment?

In fact, as the nation heads into the cauldron that will be the 2024 election, with a GOP opposition raising countless questions about the decidedly shady Biden family business, his age, mental condition and more, will CNN be on the job reporting the facts?  And if so, is that, as Hannity has also put it, the canary in the coal mine that says liberals are getting seriously uncomfortable with Biden and want him out of the race?

Or is it a return to the straight up just-the-facts journalism that made CNN what it was when it first appeared on the scene as created by founder Ted Turner?

Alex Christy complained in a Sept. 12 post when another poll was questioned:

Reacting to the news that Speaker Kevin McCarthy has authorized an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Tuesday’s Inside Politics on CNN, host Dana Bash blamed “the consuming of media” for a poll that showed 61 percent of Americans believe Joe Biden was involved with his son Hunter’s business operations and not because of any evidence. Ironically, later in the show, Bash would change into a sweater that read “be truthful, not neutral.”

P.J. Gladnick used a Sept. 15 post to mock an MSNBC column called "How not to have a psychic meltdown when you see new Trump-Biden poll numbers," neglecting to mention that the MRC's psychic meltdown over bad Trump numbers in 2020 involved accusing the pollsters of making up the numbers -- a malicious accusation for which, again, it has never provided a scintilla of evidence to support.

That's not to say the MRC doesn't still attack polls that don't fit its partisan narratives. Clay Waters spent an Aug. 8 post being angry that "Two publicly funded media outlets, National Public Radio and the PBS NewsHour, sponsored a Marist poll to find out how Republicans feel about an issue the press has decided is urgent -- 'climate change.' To their horror, it found Republicans would rather preserve living standards for humans rather than throw their money with the aim of somehow stopping the temperature from rising." Waters couldn't actually attack the poll outright -- Marist is a respected pollster, after all -- so he tried to hint at credibility issues by pointing out that PBS and NPR are "publicly funded," though he didn't explain the actual relevance of doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EST
Newsmax Dials Back On Promotion Of RFK Jr. After He Moves From Democrat To Independent
Topic: Newsmax

When we last checked in, Newsmax was pushing the idea that Robert Kennedy Jr. running as an independent instead of a Democrat would pull even more votes from President Biden in 2024. In that vein, an Oct. 3 column by Jeff Crouere declared that Kennedy running as an independent "a smart decision by Kennedy since he is going nowhere as a Democrat [sic] presidential candidate as the party’s nomination process is rigged in favor of Biden," adding: "Kennedy’s voice is being silenced as a Democrat. Becoming an independent candidate will not only boost his campaign, but it will also help Americans reclaim our country."

When Kennedy actually made the switch to running as an independent a few days later, however, Newsmax wasn't quite as supportive. It first ran an Oct. 9 wire article about the switch, but followed that with an article by Eric Mack repeating a Republican attack on Kennedy:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dropped his presidential primary campaign as a Democrat on Monday to run as an independent, but he will not be getting a pass from the Republican National Committee, saying he "is still a Democrat."

"Make no mistake — a Democrat in Independent's clothing is still a Democrat," RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel wrote in a statement.

RNC Research issued a detailed account of RFK Jr.'s political platform aligning with progressives, making him "just another radical, far-left Democrat."

There was no mention of how Newsmax and other Republicans had supported Kennedy before then, nor any explanation of why the RNC waited until Kennedy switched to an independent run to start attacking him.

On Oct. 10, Newsmax returned to cheerleader mode. An article by Mark Swanson hyped how Kennedy reported "raised more than $11 million in the six hours after he announced a switch from running as a Democrat to an independent for president," and he later appeared on Eric Bolling's Newsmax TV show, where he bashed Biden.

Newsmax's coverage of Kennedy slowed down after that. An Oct. 23 column by Chris Clem gushed that Kennedy's "proposals to address the [alleged border] crisis transcend the usual partisan polarization on the immigration issue and should garner broad support across the political spectrum," but an Oct. 26 article by Michael Katz noted that "Donald Trump Jr. reportedly accused Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of being a Democrat plant Thursday, saying the only reason Kennedy ended his challenge to President Joe Biden and run as an independent in 2024 was to hurt the former president's chances of winning the election." A Nov. 1 article by Eric Mack finally admitted the obvious, that Kennedy draws more from Republicans than Democrats:

Robert Kennedy Jr.'s third-party presidential bid is a talking point for Democrats and Republicans claiming he is going to effectively help elect the other side, but a new analysis shows the donors are more Republican than Democrat.

Donor data not only shows the large tranche of funds into the RFK Jr. campaign are coming from Republican-leaning donors — far more former of President Donald Trump's past donors than President Joe Biden's — but they are also 60% of his donors who have not donated in either of the past two political campaigns, Politico reported.

RFK Jr. is the champion of the American voter base that is disenchanted with both parties, but the donor data analysis sides with the polls saying he will be a greater threat to the Republican presidential nominee over Biden.

[...]

There were 2,100 donors giving nearly $2 million that previously made WinRed donations since 2020, while there were 1,700 donors totaling $1.4 million to ActBlue, according to the report, citing Federal Election Commission data on large-dollar donors.

Also, more than 500 of RFK Jr.'s biggest donors donated to Trump in 2020, a figure more than three times as high as those who gave to Biden.

Biden donors are not RFK Jr. supporters. Just a handful have given to those two, while more than 160 large donors have given to both Trump and RFK Jr., according to the FEC.

Mack didn't mention that his employer has been a big booster of Kennedy. An article the next day by Swanson reinforced the point:

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pulls in 22% of votes in a hypothetical 2024 general election matchup against incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.

According to the survey results of registered voters released Wednesday, Biden receives 39% to Trump's 36% in the three-way hypothetical. Kennedy, the subject of this month's cover story in Newsmax Magazine, would seem to siphon off more votes from Trump than Biden; the incumbent leads Trump by just one point in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup — 47% to 46%, according to the poll.

Yes, Newsmax had a cover story on Kennedy in his magazine, which it hyped by vclaiming, "He’s got Democrats running scared. Even if his popularity doesn’t gain steam, many say that’s enough to propel Trump back into the White House." But the only thing it's done on him since was a Nov. 20 article claiming that Kennedy "tops the list of most favored political figures in a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EST
Jack Cashill's Obama Obsession Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama obsessive Jack Cashill is at it again. He spent his Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column recounting the tale of one Susan Daniels, who promoted an Obama conspiracy theory about his Social Security number:

In 2009, a client asked Daniels to run a background check on Barack Obama. Daniels had run checks on thousands of individuals without anxiety or incident. This was different.

What Daniels planned to do was perfectly legal. That said, she had a generalized fear of retaliation. Had any of her seven children still depended on her, she probably would have punted. But with her 67th birthday looming, she figured, if not now, when?

The Social Security Number (SSN) she found attached to Obama immediately struck her as fishy. She knew the prefix "042" had to have an East Coast provenance. Inquiring further, she traced its issuance to Connecticut somewhere in the years between 1977 and 1979.

In March 1977, however, Obama was a 15-year-old living in Hawaii. Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro, was about that age when she received her SSN in 1985 or 1986 with a standard Hawaiian prefix of "576."

There was no getting around the obvious: President Barack Obama had been using an anomalous and possibly fraudulent SSN for more than 20 years.

This is one charge the media did not even try to refute. When WND reporter Les Kinsolving raised the question at a White House press briefing—"Do you know of any record that the president ever had a mailing address in Connecticut?"—Press Secretary Gibbs mockingly linked the question to the birth certificate issue and dropped it quick.

Like others in alternative media, I was intrigued. When passing through the Cleveland area some summers ago, I grabbed a lunch with Susan to get her take on things.

Like any good conspiracy theorist, Cashill ignores the most logical explanation: a typographical error. As Snopes explained:

The most likely explanation for the discrepancy is a simple clerical or typographical error: the ZIP code in the area of Honolulu where Barack Obama lived at the time he applied for his Social Security number in 1977 is 96814, while the ZIP code for Danbury, Connecticut, is 06814. Since '0' and '9' are similarly shaped numbers and are adjacent on typewriter keyboards, it's not uncommon for handwritten examples to be mistaken for each other, or for one to be mistyped as the other (thereby potentially resulting in a Hawaiian resident's application mistakenly being routed as if it had originated from Connecticut).

Oddly, Cashill made a point of adding that Daniels is, overall, too crazy even for him: "I cannot vouch for any of Susan's theories about Obama other than the SSN."

In his Sept. 27 column, headlined "Barack Obama: Pied Piper of smiley-face fascism," Cashill lashed out at Obama for wanting to fight online hate and lies, which caused him to rage again:

As Obama sees things, this disinformation inevitably comes from the right. Using social media, the Putin-Bannon crowd "flood a country's public square with enough raw sewage," "spread enough dirt" and "plant enough conspiracy theories" to weaken democratic institutions.

Although Obama, of course, believes in free speech – he is very nearly an "absolutist" on the subject – he thinks that some "level of public oversight and regulation" is needed to clean up the sewage.

[...]

Of note, while Obama was speaking theoretically about "disinformation" control, his proxy, President Joe Biden, was implementing it.

Thanks to the media induced hysteria about COVID-19, Biden had all the pretext he needed to offer the kind of public oversight that Obama could only dream about.

The 5th Circuit judges summed up Biden's efforts. "On multiple occasions [White House] officials coerced the [social media] platforms into direct action via urgent, uncompromising demands to moderate content."

The judges added specifics: "Privately, the officials were not shy in their requests – they asked the platforms to remove posts 'ASAP' and accounts 'immediately,' and to 'slow[] down' or 'demote' content. In doing so, the officials were persistent and angry."

Said the judges in summary, "The Supreme Court has rarely been faced with a coordinated campaign of this magnitude orchestrated by federal officials that jeopardized a fundamental aspect of American life."

Cashill didn't explain why lies and misinformation should be allowed to spread unfettered.Instead, he leaned into COVID vaccine conspiracy theories:

Obama gave his Stanford talk while this coordinated censorship campaign was in full flower. He pretended not to notice. He had, after all, a problem to solve.

"So inside our personal information bubbles," he said of his political enemies, "our assumptions, our blind spots, our prejudices aren't challenged, they're reinforced."

As the Gallup survey shows, however, it was his people who were living – and dying – inside the bubble. "And naturally," said Obama, "we're more likely to react negatively to those consuming different facts and opinions." Yes, precisely. We call them "Karens," Democrats almost to a person.

By April 2022, Americans, on the right at least, had caught on to the dangers posed by the various COVID vaccines. If Obama had, he kept that information to himself.

"And yet despite the fact that we've now, essentially clinically tested the vaccine on billions of people worldwide," he told the Stanford crowd, "around 1 in 5 Americans is still willing to put themselves at risk and put their families at risk rather than get vaccinated."

As we know now, virtually everything the Biden White House said about vaccines was false.

Cashill pushed the fringe narrative that because COVID vaccines don't offer 100 percent protection with zero side effects -- something no other vaccine has ever achieved -- they are worthless and dangerous, insisting without evidence that "young people who were at close to zero risk of dying from COVID were suffering and sometimes dying from the vaccine itself."

In other words, Cashill is invoking one conspiracy theory to bolster another. No wonder he opposes anyone calling out his hate and lies -- it might jeopardize his business model.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2023 1:33 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Trump Indictment Distraction Game, Round 3
Topic: Media Research Center
For Donald Trump's third indictment, the Media Research Center first insisted that it wasn't newsworthy, then played its usual distraction-and-whataboutism routine. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 AM EST
Monday, November 20, 2023
MRC Continues Cheap Shots At Fetterman's Health, Hoodies
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center went hard after John Fetterman during the 2022 race for Pennsylvania Senate, portraying the Democrat as mentally incapacitated after suffering a stroke in an attempt to boost his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz. The attacks waned around election day because 1) they weren't working, as Fetterman handily won, and 2) it looked more than a lilttle tacky to attack Fetterman over a health issue. The MRC started to feel better about attacking Fetterman as the year went on, though. A Feb. 17 post by Nicholas Fondacaro offered fake compassion after Fetterman checked into Walter Reed Medical Center to deal with depression:

The liberal media didn’t care about the people of Pennsylvania being properly represented when they propped up struggling now-Democratic Senator John Fetterman’s candidacy; they certainly didn’t care about his health as the stress from the job and the recovery caused the Senator to check himself into Walter Reed Medical Center to treat his clinical depression. As some of his most outspoken supporters, The View spent part of their Friday show suggesting his hospitalization was a victory for transparency.

[...]

Instead of going to the logical conclusion that Fetterman should have dropped out of the race so he could focus on his recovery, Sara Haines lamented that he needed to campaign while trying to recover:

[...]

Well, January came and went and Fetterman was still not out of the woods as promised. If he were a Republican (and who had a doctor that's donated to his campaign give him the green light), he certainly wouldn’t be getting this kind of favorable treatment. They would be calling him a liar and demanding his resignation.

Fondocaro, of course, cares nothing about Fetterman or his health -- he just fervently hoped that Fetterman would have dropped out of the race so Oz would win.

In an April 2 post, Kevin Tober whined that Fetterman and his wife did "a softball interview with liberal CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley," pretending to be upset that Pauley "asked with a straight face if the brain-damaged Senator would be open to serv[ing] "beyond the United States Senatem," huffing: "He can barely speak and needs to read closed captioning to fully understand what people say to him yet Pauley apparently believes he could run and serve as President of the United States."

Tim Graham whined in his May 17 post that "The same media outlets that constantly questioned Donald Trump's mental fitness are acting very gentle and protective around their favorite partisans" like Fetterman. Tober returned fora May 21 post ranting that Fetterman is appearing in hoodies and shorts at the Capitol:

File this under the type of stories you'd never see written about a Republican member of the United States Senate. The article in question is an article written Sunday by Mary Clare Jalonick and Marc Levy (yes it apparently took two people) which claims Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman wearing hoodies and gym shorts to work at the Capitol is proof he's recovering from his depression and other after effects of suffering a stroke last year. 

In the article titled "Back in hoodies and gym shorts, Fetterman tackles Senate life after depression treatment", Jalonick and Levy write in the opening paragraph that "Before Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman checked himself in to the hospital for clinical depression in February, he walked the halls of the Senate stone-faced and dressed in formal suits. These days, he’s back to wearing the hoodies and gym shorts he was known for before he became a senator."

The duo reveal how Fetterman gets around the Senate's strict dress-code: "He votes from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance, making sure his “yay” or “nay” is recorded before ducking back out."

Tober ranted that "the AP apparently likes Fetterman degrading the institution of the United States Senate by dressing like a slob.," adding, "Sadly, it appears there isn't an institution in America that the media won't help the left tear down."

The MRC continued to have sartorial issues with Fetterman. Fondacaro raged in a Sept. 19 post when his hate-watching of "The View" brought up that the Senate dress code had been altered to allow Fetterman to wear his hoodies on the Senate fllor:

ABC moderator Whoopi Goldberg found herself the odd one out during Tuesday’s edition of The View; as the rest of the table largely didn’t support Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) dumbing down the Capitol Hill dress code so that John Fetterman (D-PA) could ditch a suit and appear on the Senate floor looking like a slob in work out attire. She proclaimed the dress code infringed on his rights and admitted to being a slob too.

Goldberg opened the show by praising Schumer for doing “a really wonderful thing for John Fetterman.” She followed up by scoffing at how “people are upset on the other side of the aisle. They think this is not something that should have been done, that it shouldn't have been changed.”

[...]

After admitting that she didn’t even dress up for church as a kid, Goldberg admitted that she supported Fetterman because she’s a slob too. “I don't care what you wear as long as you get the job done,” she huffed. “I'm more comfortable looking like me and Barbara [Walters] understood that and she allowed it. Okay? I dress in what I wake up in.”

Goldberg also flaunted her profound ignorance of what the word “decorum” meant when she stressed: “You can keep the decorum that works for you but if it doesn't work for him, let him have his thing.”

More whining about Fetterman's dress code came in a Sept. 21 post by Clay Waters:

New York Times congressional correspondent Annie Karni thought she had a good “gotcha” in response to Republican criticism of the Senate’s new relaxed dress code, imposed by Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), in response to a fellow Democrat’s insistence in showing up on the Senate floor dressed like a slob in defiance of Senate rules.

In Wednesday’s “For Some Senators, New Relaxed Dress Code Is Just Uncomfortable,” Karni changed the subject from the disheveled appearance of Democratic Senator John Fetterman by implying that Republicans were the true demeanors of Senate tradition. Not until the fifth paragraph was Fetterman -- the reason for the dress code change -- even mentioned. Karni briefly noted Fetterman’s hospitalization for depression, but the issue of Fetterman’s stroke was omitted entirely.

Curtis Houck added his own indignation in a Sept. 22 post with more shots at Fetterman's health:

On Friday’s CBS Mornings during the “Talk of the Table” segment, they came through with the first broadcast network news show coverage of the Senate dress code change in order to accommodate the mentally and physically incapacitated Senator John Fetterman (D-PA). And, instead of focusing on how the former was made to baby the ladder, the CBS crew laughed about opposition to axing a business professional requirement from the Senate.

Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz began by touting there’s “another showdown brewing in Congress” and full of “dramatic twists and turns” and it wasn’t the looming shutdown: “[J]ust yesterday, a top Democrat broke with the party’s leadership to align himself with the other side, and this debate is over the Senate dress code.”

Tober added more cheap shots at Fetterman's health issues in a Sept. 26 post:

MSNBC doesn’t have a laugh track, but if they did, it would’ve gone off a few times on Tuesday evening when The ReidOut host Joy Reid gushed over brain damaged Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) for his “unique and proven ability to tell it like it is.” Anyone who has ever heard Fetterman speak since his debilitating stroke, knows he’s barely able to utter a coherent sentence. 

Previewing her upcoming interview with Fetterman, Reid heaped praise on the Democrat Senator: “John Fetterman joins me to talk about his unique and proven ability to tell it like it is on all things. Basically the shenanigans going on on the other side of the aisle.”

When Fetterman appeared on Steven Colbert's show in part to call out those right-wing cheap shots, Alex Christy spent an Oct. 12 post complaining about it:

For the second night in a row, Stephen Colbert welcomed a Democratic member of Congress to CBS’s The Late Show. On Wednesday, it was Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman’s turn as Colbert pretended that Fetterman is the first question to ever be questioned about his health, gifted him a tuxedo T-shirt, and fawned over this “excellent meme game.”

Colbert asked a hoodie and shorts-clad Fetterman, “Well, I can see how being more empathetic might make you a better senator. And being public about the disability that you have is a good thing. But how does it feel to have your private health become public news?”

Fetterman is hardly the first politician whose health has led people to wonder if he is capable of performing the job. As for Fetterman’s response, he took the opportunity to take a swipe at Fox, “you sign up for that gig and that's part of it and now, you know, the better I get, the sad, you know, Fox News becomes. Because they love -- every word I missed was like candy for Fox News, you know, and now they even started thinking, some people now think there's a conspiracy that I have a body double now, you know, so.”

Later, the conversation shifted towards the Senate dress code, which led Fetterman to wonder what the big deal was, “I was really struck by, you know, ‘oh, my god, the world is going to burn because he's going to wear a hoodie on the floor,’ but, I mean, like Ukraine or shutting down the government, or, you know, all these issues. I think it's much more important to seize, you know, what will this man wear on the floor of the Senate?”

At this point, Colbert pulled out a gift for Fetterman, “Well, just in case you want to stay casual and formal at the same time, we got you a tuxedo T-shirt.”

Christy didn't mention that among those taking cheap shots at Fetterman's health were his own co-workers.

Graham added more whining about Fetterman's Colbert appearance in his Oct. 13 column: "After six weeks in office, Fetterman was gone for two months being treated for depression. Fetterman attacked Fox News, but all the Democrat journalists were biting their nails over his absence." And Graham, like subordinate Fondacaro, was doing his own nail-biting in hoping he would have dropped out of the race so Oz would win.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EST
WND Still Pushing COVID Vaccine Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we continue to compile evidence that WorldNetDailiy pub;lishes false and misleading claims about COVID vaccines, it keeps providing even more examples for further compilation. Peter LaBarbera tried to fearmonger in a Sept. 20 article:

A new study of lactating women who took the COVID vaccine finds "trace mRNA amounts were detected" up to 45 hours after vaccination in the breast milk of 10 the women – contradicting the government's and vaccine enthusiasts' official narrative that mRNA was safe for breastfeeding moms and their infants because it did not travel throughout the body.

"Our findings suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA administered to lactating mothers can spread systematically to breast milk in the first two days after maternal vaccination," states the study, "Biodistribution of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in human breast milk," published in the October 2023 edition of the British medical journal Lancet.

LaBarbera didn't explain, however, why this is an issue, even as he conceded that "The paper's authors remain pro-vax." Instead, he tried to tried to baseless claim that medical officials purportedly lied in earlier claims that mRNA did not travel to mother's milk -- never mind that this study just came out, meaning that earlier claims could not have been a lie. However, he failed to mention that the study also pointed out that "the mRNA vaccine seems to be translationally inactive," meaning that its presence in mother's milk appears to be irrelevant.

Bob Unruh served up straight-ahead quackery in an article the next day:

Another possible side effect of those COVID-19 shots demanded for Americans by many governments and employers during the pandemic has shown up, and it's not good.

It's that cancers are "occurring in excess," Dr. Harvey Risch explained in a report by the Epoch Times.

He's professor emeritus of epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine.

He appeared recently on EpochTV's "American Though Leaders" and explained that clinicians have been observing "very strange things."

For example, he said, there have been "25-year-olds with colon cancer, who don't have family histories of the disease – that's basically impossible along the known paradigm for how colon cancer works…"

[...]

He warned that those whose systems are compromised also could be subject to other infectious diseases, too.

"Those are the initial signals that we’ve been seeing, and because these cancers have been occurring to people who were too young to get them, basically, compared to the normal way it works, they’ve been designated as turbo cancers," he explained.

"Some of these cancers are so aggressive that between the time that they're first seen and when they come back for treatment after a few weeks, they've grown dramatically compared to what oncologists would have expected for the way cancer normally progresses."

By contrast, the folks at Science-Based Medicine debunked Risch's conspiracies:

Indeed, Prof. Risch’s “logic,” such as it is, entirely escapes me. Up front, he reiterated what I just said above, namely that it is the hematologic malignancies that appear first after an exposure to a strong carcinogen, with the solid malignancies coming much later, as many as 30 years later. Then he basically implicitly admitted that no such increase in hematologic malignancies is being observed. That didn’t stop him from pivoting to make the claim quoted in the article that I cited above about 25-year-olds without a family history or predisposing genetic mutation supposedly getting colon cancer and then declaring that to be “impossible” based on the “known paradigms” of cancer.

It’s clear to me from this claim alone that Prof. Risch is not a surgeon or an oncologist, because over my time training before I subspecialized in breast cancer, I recall a number of patients in their 20s with colorectal cancer and even a 19 year old with gastric cancer. Yes, it was very uncommon because these are malignancies associated with aging and I probably saw these patients because I trained at a tertiary care hospital, but it was not nonexistent, nor was it “impossible.” I suspect that Prof. Risch knows this, but also thinks that his audience will be impressed with this claim. Basically, he was either being dishonest or he’s ignorant, and, given that he is a professor emeritus of epidemiology who specialized in cancer epidemiology the latter possibility strikes me as much less likely than the former.

Science-Based Medicine also pointed out, while Unruh didn't, that Risch admitted that he has no evidence that the COVID vaccines are actually causing an increase in cancer. It also pointed out that Risch also pushed the baseless claim that hydroxychloroquine works to treat or prevent COVID, and that he has "gone all-in on antivax conspiracy mongering." Unruh won't admit that either -- but then, he's an anti-vaxxer too.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 25, 2023 8:53 PM EST
MRC's Houck Loudly Whines That NewsNation's Right-Leaning Bias Is Exposed
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck has long been a fanboy of upstart channel NewsNation, portraying it as "delightfully objective and refreshing" though the presence of former Fox News executives and on-air talent suggest a right-leaning bias (which is really why Houck praises the channel). When the Daily Beast pointed out this fact, Houck had a meltdown in a Sept. 15 post, arguing that NewsNation has people who didn't used to work for Fox News too:

The Daily Beast has always had a reputation as not only a leftist publication, but a contemptuous band of pricks buffered by layers of juvenile smugness. So, it was no surprise when they had writer Joe Berkowitz spend a week watching NewsNation and, on cue, he concluded with a piece dripping with disdain that was so thick he must of forgotten to get basic facts right, including who hosts what show and where many of them used to work.

Berkowitz opened with a whining about the existence of On Balance with Leland Vittert, calling it “a nightly opinion fabfest” and opposite of “‘fairest’ in the Snow White sense” and no different than content on Vittert’s former channel, Fox News. He then added Vittert was one of “many...Hannityville refugees” like former executive Bill Shine, but a basic consulting of their hosts would show a diversity of previous stops.

“Sometimes the NewsNation hosts seem to go out of their way to avoid saying anything bad about Republicans, as if doing so would put them in danger of being mistaken for Rachel Maddow,” he whined.

But who’s the showrunner for Vittert’s show. Oh, it’s a former executive producer for CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.

Yes, Chris Stirewalt is their political contributor and he came from Fox News (as did fill-in anchor Elizabeth Prann), but who’s NewsNation’s Washington bureau chief? Mike Viqueira, former correspondent at CBS, NBC, and al-Jazeera.

Houck then seved up a "current breakdown of hosts and their previous stop(s) prior to NewsNation, from AM to PM. It includes a former World News Tonight anchor and, yes, Chris “Fredo” Cuomo from CNN (and ABC before that)." He also went on to highlight correspondents who didn't previously work for Fox News (a couple of whom hail from right-wing outlets like OAN and the Daily Caller) as well as a list of liberal contributors, though he didn't mention that the Daily Beast pointed out that one supposedly liberal contributor ghost-wrote a book for Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie.

All that list-making obscured the fact that Houck refused to address the substance of the Daily Beast article -- that NewsNation has a right-leaning bias. Here's one example it cited:

In a typical segment, Morning in America host Marni Hughes welcomes strategists from both sides to discuss Donald Trump’s glowering mugshot. Hughes asks the GOP strategist his opinion on why Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis insisted Trump take a mugshot, which prompts the strategist into a nearly two-minute tirade of MAGA talking points. When Hughes finally interrupts him, it’s not to push back on any falsehoods or mischaracterizations—that first Trump interview on NewsNation apparently having crystallized “zero pushback” into house style guidelines.

Instead, she turns to the Dem strategist to ask whether he agrees that Trump is the victim of a double standard, given that recent NewsNation guest Alan Dershowitz—who, Hughes stresses, did not vote for Trump—thinks Al Gore reacted after the 2000 election pretty much the same way as Trump did after 2020. The Dem strategist offers a cogent 40-second rebuttal before Hughes throws it back to the GOP stooge for a long rant on Hilary Clinton’s emails and similarly relevant topics. End of segment.

It’s as if the host, the GOP strategist, and Alan Dershowitz for some reason, are all on the same side, with the Dem strategist on hand just to play devil’s advocate.

Houck continued to whine:

We’re approaching dead horse territory, but Berkowitz seemed hellbent on embarrassing himself in the piece that he claimed was merely “a Yassified Fox News—with all unseemly biases artificially buffed and ironed into a centrist façade” and fixating on how some of the first hires left the network.

Was that NewsNation focuses on the border? Or drug addiction? Or other topics Americans actually care about, and not just all Trump scandals, all the time? He wouldn’t say.

Of course, "the border" and "drug addictions" are Houck's whitewashed descriptions of right-wing talking points-- "the border" is typically labeled at NewsBusters as "Biden border crisis," and "drug addiction" is essentially fentanyl crossing the border, which the MRC also loves to blame on Biden even though most drug smugglers are Americans.

Meanwhile, here's how the Beast article described NewsNation's Trump coverage:

NewsNation treats Trump’s indictments like potential baggage; as though he stood accused of mild tax evasion decades ago, rather than recently plotting to overturn an election, obstructing justice, mishandling nuclear secrets, and dozens of other extremely serious charges. Everyone on-air seems to regard the GOP’s continued love affair with him as a questionable quirk, not an unmistakable sign of rot from within the party.

Networks like MSNBC and CNN may get too bogged down in the melodrama of Trump’s alleged criminal activity, but to avoid acknowledging the gravity of these charges—and to provide friendly cover for alternative facts about some of the dead-to-rights evidence supporting them—is a massive overcorrection. It’s not unbiased; it’s untethered to reality.

Houck did note the latter paragraph, but his response was to cherry-pick criticism of Trump on the channel and present it without context:

A simple perusing of their coverage from said time period found all kinds of guests saying the Georgia charges (and the other three cases) against Trump were serious. It included historian Douglas Brinkley, who’d never be confused with being pro-MAGA.

Also that day, criminal defense attorney Jon Sale said: “If I were his lawyer, I would really cringe.”

NewsBusters -- of which Houck is managing editor -- regularly attack channels that have on guests exposing such Trump-critical opinions. But he'll never criticize NewsNation for doing the same thing because he can use it as cover to attack anyone, like the Daily Beast, who points out NewsNation's right-leaning bias. As we've seen with Fox News, peddling right-wing talking points buys a lot of brownie points from the MRC, which comes in handy when you're accused of, say, lying to your viewers.

Besides, Houck has effectively admitted NewsNation's bias by being so aggressive to defend the channel when that bias is pointed out. He would not do so if that bias wasn't there.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Fake News At WND: Coronavirus Edition, Part 8
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The falsehoods and misinformation about COVID and its vaccines never stops at WorldNetDaily, even though all that fake news doesn't make anyone want to read the cash-strapped site. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EST

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