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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Circular Promotion: MRC Hypes Right-Wing Host Touting Shoddy MRC Attack On Ad Fontes
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's attack on media-ratings firm Ad Fontes is such a shoddy and biased partisan document that it took us two posts to fully expose that shoddy work. But doing quality work is not the MRC's goal here -- pushing partisan narratives is, and the so-called study does exactly that. Toward that end, a Sept. 25 post by Luis Cornelio hyped one of the MRC's favorite right-wing TV and radio ranters hyping the shoddy study:

Nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin blasted the left’s newest tool to destroy right-leaning media outlets.

In a fiery segment of The Mark Levin Show on Sept. 22, host Levin highlighted an MRC Free Speech America exposé that detailed how Ad Fontes — a media ratings company and self-proclaimed arbiter of truth and facts — is working behind the scenes to redirect Americans from conservative media to leftist outlets through dubious ratings of reliability and bias.

“This is how totalitarian regimes conduct themselves,” Levin said of Ad Fontes’s reach, which extends to major educational institutions and government-tied entities.

The MRC report found that Ad Fontes gave 64 percent of media the rating firm deemed to be on the left as reliable, while only rating 32 percent of media it labeled on the right as reliable. Ad Fontes’s tirade against Levin was among the most disturbing in MRC Free Speech America’s findings. Levin’s flagship shows — The Mark Levin Show, The Blaze’s LevinTV and Fox News’s Life, Liberty and Levin — were all slapped down as “unreliable,” “misleading” and “problematic.”

Cornelio offered no evidence that Ad Fontes' assessment of Levin's programs is in any way inaccurate, and he did not indicate that Levin disputed it. Instead, he continued to be Levin's servile stenographer:

In response, Levin did not mince his words. “Of course,” said Levin of Ad Fontes’s slap down of his popular shows. “I am considered ‘unreliable.’ … Who else is considered unreliable? The Federalist, Jesse Watters Primetime, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, The Epoch Time, PragerU, The Daily Signal, RedState, Turning Point USA, Newsmax [and] OAN.”

Ad Fontes, through its self-proclaimed leftist executives, has partnered with some of the largest Big Tech platforms like Meta and advertising agencies to target right-leaning outlets, including Levin’s own radio show. Ad Fontes was the subject of a months-long MRC Free Speech America study that ultimately revealed that the media ratings firm skews its analysis to treat media critical of the Biden regime more harshly than legacy outlets, such as NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times and The Washington Post

Later in the segment, Levin issued a dire warning. “We’re way beyond the world liberal and progressive,”  Levin said after citing the damning findings in the 12-page report. “We’re way, way beyond that America.”

Because Cornelio is one of the co-authors of the study, he will not be making an effort to fact-check anything Levin says.

In more self-promotion, Tim Graham used his Sept. 28 podcast to hype the so-called study:

Then we discuss [MRC Free Speech America]'s big investigation into Ad Fontes Media, one of those businesses that claim to measure the reliability and tilt of media outlets in the interest of "media literacy." We never trust any chart that puts AP and PBS and NPR in the "Middle" with high reliability. NewsBusters and Fox News and most conservative outlets are painted as unreliable and "hyperpartisan." 

But this is worse. The Ad Fontes team wants to use their cockamamie ratings and suppress conservative advertising and go into schools and teach "media literacy," as in "kids, stay away from those dangerous conservative neighborhoods."

But the study made no serious attempt to prove the reliability of right-wing websites -- it simply cherry-picked examples to attack Ad Fontes' rating system -- nor did it prove that its findings about those sites was driven by partisan animosity (like the MRC's attack on Ad Fontes). And Graham didn't explain why "media literacy" is a bad thing if it teaches people how to recognize shoddy websites -- unless pushing shoddy misinformation is the goal of right-wing media.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: 'Sound of Freedom' -- And Silence About QAnon
Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb loved the anti-child-trafficking film -- but they didn't want to talk about how the film, its star and its inspiration are in the QAnon orbit, And they were almost completely silent when the film's inspiration was hit with charges of sexual misconduct. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EST
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
MRC's Fox News Defense Center Assembles After Murdoch's Retirement
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is the Fox News Defense Center, incapable of criticizing the right-wing channel -- even when it was caught lying to its viewers -- becuase it does such a great job of peddling right-wing narratives. So when Rupert Murdoch stepped down as the head of Fox News' parent company, the MRC was quick to lionize him and defend him from any criticism. Nicholas Fondacaro did the latter in a  Sept. 21 post:

On Thursday, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp., announced he would be stepping down later this year. But the fact he would be turning over control to his son Lachlan Murdoch threw cold water on any excitement Fox News haters in the liberal would have. The ones hurt most by that realization were the liberals of CNN, chief among them was media urchin Oliver Darcy who appeared on CNN’s Inside Politics to bellyache that Fox would not ditch their “right-wing” “world view.”

[...]

And in going to Darcy, Raju asked the Orwellian question: “What do we think about this change?”

Darcy opened his comments by stoking fear of Murdoch as “one of the most powerful people in the world” in terms of media and politics (you know, everything former CNN boss Jeff Zucker and his underlings wished he was).

“But I think People should be cautious and not jump to the conclusion that that means that the editorial bent of his companies is going to change,” Darcy warned viewers. He read from Murdoch’s memo to his staff and made it clear “Lachlan Murdoch is actually going to continue the tradition of allowing these companies to be right-wing in nature.”

Darcy, who used to write for The Blaze, scoffed at Murdoch for stating “there is a ‘battle for the freedom of speech,’ ‘for the freedom of thought.’” He took particular issue with Murdoch saying “Most of the media is in cahoots with those peddling political narratives rather than the truth.”

Fondacaro whined that Darcy pointed out those Fox News lies, attempting to play whataboutism in response:

Of course, he took the opportunity to make a dig at Fox News and their settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, calling “rich” of him. “[I]t would be irresponsible for me to read that to you without pointing out that Rupert Murdoch himself talks about people peddling narratives and not the truths when he just paid $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems for knowingly advancing falsehoods about the 2020 election,” he sniped.

It would be irresponsible for NewsBusters to call out Darcy without pointing out that CNN had to similarly settle a $275 million defamation suit with Nick Sandmann after the liberal network spit venom at the then-teenager with false claims that he was a racist for smiling at a liberal protestor who assailed him. And the network that demanded transparency from others demanded the settlement stipulate that they couldn’t disclose the final price tag.

It would be irresponsible for us not to point out that Sandmann, in all likelihood, received much less than $275 million from CNN (the amount was not made public), and it's entirely possible that he received little more than token go-away money, or to remind Fondacaro that we last saw Sandmann's lawyer, L. Lin Wood, choosing to retire his law license rather than face discipline from the Georgia state bar for peddling falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

It was Alex Christy's turn to whine that CNN criticized Fox News in a Sept. 22 post:

CNN Primetime host Abby Phillip wasted no time on Thursday in attacking Rupert Murdoch as he steps down as CEO of Fox News, blaming him and his “outrage porn” for the state of political discourse and the “perilous” state of democracy.

As she came on the air, Phillip solemnly declared, “Objectively American democracy is in perilous condition. The nation's politics are poisoned. Truth has become optional. Instead of desired or even required. The republic has, of course, always faced threats to it even before Rupert Murdoch, but so much of the current state of our democracy can be traced back to the beast of his creation.”

Only now did Phillip introduce herself, “Good evening everyone, I'm Abby Phillip and Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as CEO of Fox News tonight. His legacy is outrage porn. Partisan red meat. Stoking relentless culture wars.”

[...]

To make her point, Phillip then played a nearly six-minute montage of over 40 separate clips of various Fox News moments over the years. While some of the moments shown could be legitimately criticized others could not. If CNN can’t tell the difference between unproven theories about Venezuelan voting machines and critiquing gender ideology or Sean Hannity joking about Halloween being a liberal holiday, then it is also in the outrage porn industry. As for Phillip, she was the host that tried to tie Sound of Freedom to QAnon.

As we pointed out when Christy originally made this complaint, the film does, in fact, lean into QAnon consparacies, the film's star Jim Caviezel is a QAnon adherent, and the man on whose story the film is based, Jim Ballard, has refused to distance himself from QAnon.

In his Sept. 22 podcast, Tim Graham complained about "the outbreak of badly disguised joy as Rupert Murdoch announced he's going to step away from day-to-day control of the Fox News Channel. Leftists from Oliver Darcy to Brian Stelter to David Folkenflik rounded up their hot takes how terrible Fox is, and how it can only get worse." He didn't mention the MRC's own undisguised joy when CNN chief Jeff Zucker lost his job, making his outrage here more than a little hypocritical. Jeffrey Lord served up a gushy tribute to Murdoch in his Sept. 23 column:

Rupert Murdoch and his creations of Fox News and the News Corporation have at long last ended the one-sided dominance of liberal media. The liberal monopoly on information simply no longer exists. Not to mention that well beyond Fox News the invention of the Internet and social media has provided mass access to sites like this - NewsBusters - where the left-leaning media itself can be examined and challenged 24/7.

And, of course, not to be forgotten either is the advent of talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh and the spread of conservative talk radio over the AM radio air waves.

But as Rupert Murdoch at 92 hands the reins of his media empire to son Lachlan, his importance in American politics with the creation of a major-league conservative media alternative and challenge to the once-dominant liberal media will always be remembered.

And millions of conservatives out there are surely appreciative.

Clay Waters served up some Murdoch-related Folkenflik Derangement Syndrome in a Sept. 24 post:

The "public" broadcasting elite loathes Fox News. When news broke that 92-year-old media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Fox News founder and chairman of News Corp, is stepping down in favor of his son Lachlan, that encouraged tax-funded PBS to trot out Murdoch-bashing journalist David Folkenflik of tax-funded National Public Radio on Thursday evening to lament the chairman’s "corrosive" right-wing influence on the media landscape.

PBS knew what they were getting. Folkenflik is the author of a hostile 2013 biography of Murdoch and delights in Fox News scandals (CNN and MSNBC ones? Not so much).

Reporter John Yang asked Folkenflik about the elder Murdoch’s legacy.

Waters made no effort to rebut or disprove anything Folkenflik said beyond playing weak whataboutism.

The MRC also published a Sept. 26 syndicated column by Cal Thomas under the fawning headline "Rupert Murdoch Was Right From the Start."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2023 11:25 PM EST
Newsmax Pushed Faux Republican Outrage Over Bowman's Pulled Fire Alarm
Topic: Newsmax

When Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm at the Capitol in an attempt to leave the building in the midst of turmoil over passing legislation to avoid a government shutdown, Newsmax made sure to crank out some performative partisan outrage over the incident. It first published a wire article that featured Bowman stating it was an accident and another one on the investigation he will face over it, but those were quickly followed by said outrage:

An Oct. 1 article by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy served up more general manufactured Republican outrage:

Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman's act of triggering a fire alarm at the Capitol as lawmakers rushed to pass a bill and avoid a government shutdown sparked outrage among Republicans.

Bowman admitted to pulling the alarm in one of the U.S. Capitol office buildings around noon Saturday. The act prompted a building-wide evacuation at a time when the House was in session and staffers were working in the building.

Republicans accused the progressive New York congressman of triggering the alarm in the Cannon House Office Building so Democrats would not have to vote on the continuing resolution to fund the government temporarily and avoid a shutdown.

McCarthy did note that Bowman said it was an accident, then added that "Many Republicans weren't buying it." to have an excuse to hype more Republican outrage:

Political commentator Julie Kelly said Bowman should be charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, just as people involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack.

"Rep. Bowman clearly violated numerous laws including 1512(c)(2) obstruction of an official proceeding. At least 320 Jan 6 defendants including Donald Trump have been charged with this felony count," Kelly posted with a screen grab of the law.

It wouldn't be a full-blown fit of manufactured Republican outrage if Donald Trump wasn't involved, and Nick Koutsobinas and Eric Mack oblige in another Oct. 1 article:

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., should be "prosecuted and imprisoned" for the "egregious act" of pulling a Capitol Hill fire alarm, an actual "Obstruction of an Official Proceeding," former President Donald Trump wrote in a pointed rebuke Sunday.

"Will Congressman Jamal [sic] Bowman be prosecuted and imprisoned for very dangerously pulling and setting off the main fire alarm system in order to stop a Congressional vote that was going on in D.C.," Trump posted on Truth Social.

"His egregious act is covered on tape, a horrible display of nerve and criminality. It was a very dangerous 'Obstruction of an Official Proceeding,' the same as used against our J-6 prisoners. Actually, his act may have been worse. HE MUST SUFFER THEIR SAME FATE. WHEN WILL HIS TRIAL BEGIN???"

That was followed by an Oct. 2 article by Luca Cacciatore sounding deflated that the Capitol Police found that Bowman's story "was at least somewhat truthful." Then came a paywalled Oct. 4 article by Marisa Herman lamenting that it would be difficult to expel Bowman from Congress over the incident.

When Bowman pleaded guilty to pulling the fire alarm and agreed to pay a small fine and issue an apology, Cacciatore wropte a surprisingly straight Oct. 25 article on it. It also ran an Associated Press article on the plea that was doctored to reflect Newsmax's right-wing bias. The original AP article reads:

 Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count for triggering a fire alarm as lawmakers scrambled to pass a funding bill before a government shutdown deadline.

Newsmax's version reads:

Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., a member of "The Squad," pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count for triggering a fire alarm as lawmakers scrambled to pass a funding bill before a government shutdown deadline.

Changing "Democratic Rep." to "Democrat Rep." is a nod to the right-wing campaign to rename the Democratic Party because right-wingers think it's a way to mess with Democrats, and the addition of a "Squad" label for him is irrelevant since it's not mentioned anywhere in the original AP article. 

This, of course, was followed by more right-wing whining,  this time over the punishment purprtedly not being severe enough. Sandy Fitzgerald wrote in an Oct. 26 article:

Allowing Rep. Jamaal Bowman to enter into a plea agreement and pay a fine for pulling a fire alarm as members of the House were heading into chambers to vote on a continuing resolution on Sept. 30 is "disparate treatment," considering how others were prosecuted for impeding an official process in the Jan. 6, 2021 protests, Rep. Andy Biggs said on Newsmax Thursday. 

The continuing resolution was to keep the government open and funded.

"I know he might not think it's a very big deal, but think of all the personnel that he took off the line for first responders around this city because he pulled that alarm," the Arizona Republican said on Newsmax's "American Agenda."

Note Fitzgerald's downgrading of the Capitol riot to a mere "protest." Needless to say, it's laughable to liken a pulled fire alarm to violent protesters. Fitzgerald served up more Republican attacks in another article taken from Newsmax TV:

Rep. Jamaal Bowman should have pleaded "not guilty by reason of insanity" to charges of triggering a fire alarm on Sept. 30 in the Cannon House Office Building on Sept. 30, when a critical vote was being put forward by Republicans for a continuing resolution to keep the government open, Rep. Troy Nehls said on Newsmax Thursday. 

"I don't know why he's even pleading guilty to this thing," the Texas Republican told Newsmax's "National Report." "I think if you know this guy and you're seeing who he is, and some of his interviews, he should have pled not guilty by reason of insanity, and he would have got away with it."

In an effort to keep the story alive, an Oct. 27 article by Nicole Wells hyped a demand by a right-wing watchdog group -- which she dishonestly called "nonpartisan" -- that Bowman "be punished for activating a fire alarm in a federal office building last month and disrupting congressional business."Wells also irrelevantly labeled Bowman as "a member of 'The Squad'" without explaining what it is or why it matters. A Nov. 8 article by Bowman touted a "follow-up complaint" filed by the group, which was again dishonestly called "non-partisan." But that hit a dead end when the House Ethics Committee chose not to open an investigation, which Brian Freeman ruefully reported in a Nov. 22 article.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 1, 2023 5:30 PM EST
WND's Cashill Serves Up More George Floyd-Derek Chauvin Revisionism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has shown himself to be on the wrong side of history by supporting and defending Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd. That continued in his Oct. 4 column, which actually began by attacking anti-racism activist Ibram X. Kendi, gloating over the alleged "fall of the House of Kendi – the $40 million Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University" in the wake of an investigation into the center's operations. That attack didn't age well given that the investigation found no issues with how the center's finances were managed, though the center was restructred. Cashill then used the turmoil at Kendi's center to engage in some revisionism:

With Kendi, Black Lives Matter, and other race hustlers forcing open the eyes of their funders, those funders may want to take a hard look at the incident that forced open their pockets. The media should shine the necessary light,

The major media being corrupt beyond redemption, the task falls to the conservative media. Unfortunately, at the time they were nearly as complicit in the railroading of Derek Chauvin and his fellow officers as their mainstream brethren.

He was particularly annoyed with Fox News' Gregg Jarrett, who committed the offense of reporting on Chauvin's guilt; Cashill claimed that Jarrett "seemed to be either blind to the facts or beholden to the suits upstairs," then claimed that Chauvin didn't deliberately kill Floyd:

There was no pressure on Floyd's airways. There was pressure, however, on the one doctor brave enough to testify in Chauvin's defense. Allies of the prosecution sought to ruin his career.

Cashill rehashed his earlier claim that medical examiner Andrew Baker changed an initial finding that Floyd did not suffer asphyxiation to a later finding that he did due to political pressure:

In the frenzied atmosphere of Minneapolis, Baker feared not only for his reputation, but also for his life. He gave the prosecution the wiggle room they needed to hang Chauvin.

Baker was not the only one with reason to be scared. During the trial, the judge had good reason to fear for his life as did the witnesses, the attorneys and the jurors most of all.

Openly apprehensive, the jurors much too quickly found Chauvin guilty on all counts. Watching the verdict come down, I recalled Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' caution from a century ago: "Mob law does not become due process of law by securing the assent of a terrorized jury."

Or, Holmes might have added, the assent of a terrorized media.

In fact, Baker testified during the trial of three other Minneapolis police officers in Floyd's death that he faced no political pressure to add or delete anything in Floyd's autopsy report and that his learning about neck compression-- the method Chauvin used to incapacitate Floyd -- is what caused him to rethink his conclusions. But that doesn't fit Cashill's narrative of exonerating Chauvin, so he ignoted it.

Cashill's column is headlined "Time to rethink the martyrdom of George Floyd" -- but he wants you to think that Chauvin, who killed a guy, is somehow the real martyr.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2024 12:40 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC Flips Over Elon Musk, Part 16: A Community Notes Conundrum
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is of two minds when it comes to Twitter's Community Notes fact-checking function: great when applied to liberals but "censorship" when applied to conservatives. PLUS: The MRC hates Twitter's new Musk-chosen CEO. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
More Bias, Shoddiness Found In MRC's Attack On Ad Fontes
Topic: Media Research Center

We've already shown how the Media Research Center's attack on website-rating firm Ad Fontes is as loud, lame and partisan as its previous attacks on a similar firm, NewsGuard. But a deeper dive into the study shows just how shoddy and biased it is. There's nothing impartial about it at all; the MRC went into it with the goal of smearing Ad Fontes as biased, and its so-called evidence to make that narrative was just as biased. Luis Cornelio and Tim Kilcullen dubiously framed the fact that Ad Fontes rates right-wing websites lower than liberal-leaning websites as some sort of conspiracy:

With regard to its “reliability” scoring, Ad Fontes ranks media sources from a high of 64 to a low of zero. As Ad Fontes explains it, “Scores above 40 are “reliable” and “generally good;” scores below 24 are “unreliable” and “generally problematic.” 

MRC Free Speech America staff analyzed the reliability scores of the 3,134 media entities rated by Ad Fontes between July 31 and Aug. 7. The disparity in scoring was readily apparent. Of the 2,032 media that Ad Fontes rated on the political “left,” 1,299 (64%) were given a score of 40 or above, solidifying their status as “reliable.” 

Examples of left-leaning media awarded this highest rating include CNN, The New York Times,NPR, Associated Press, Vox, ABC, CBS and NBC. However, of the 975 media Ad Fontes rated on the “right,” only 313 (32%) were given a “reliable” score of 40 or above. (e.g. The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, National Post, CATO Institute). Ad Fontes was exactly twice as likely to award its highest rating to media on the left.

[...]

The bias is even more extreme in terms of what media Ad Fontes considered to be “unreliable” and “generally problematic.” Ad Fontes rated only 59 of the 2,032 (2.9%) media on the political left as “unreliable” (scores below 24). Media in that group included MSNBC’s The ReidOut and The Daily Dot. By contrast, Ad Fontes rated a sizable 286 of the 975 (29%) media on the political right as “unreliable.” Included among that tier were: The Federalist; Fox News shows Jesse Watters Primetime, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle; The Epoch Times; PragerU; The Daily Signal; RedState; Turning Point USA; NewsmaxTV, Timcast IRL,OAN, and The Matt Walsh Show. This means that Ad Fontes is exactly 10 times more likely to rate right-leaning media as “unreliable” and “generally problematic.”

Comparing the overall scores of comparable media further emphasizes how relentlessly Ad Fontes’s reliability system favors big media entities on the left and punishes media it labels as on the political right:

Cornelio and Kilcullen are trying to impose false balance on Ad Fontes; there's no reason for it to give equivalent ratings to an equal number of left-leaning and right-leaning websites if the data doesn't support it, and they offer no actual evidence that it doesn't. Insetad, they cherry-pick stories from right-wing media they believe are rated lower than they desire:

Take, for example, a Breitbart article summarizing the testimony of a mother accusing Fairfax County’s school lockdown policies of exacerbating her autistic son’s fatal depression. Ad Fontes gave this story a rare single-digit rating (9.33), far beneath the score of 24 that marks something as “unreliable.” The article did not endorse the woman’s speech, but merely quoted and embedded the video of the mother’s public testimony and transcribed what she said.

Cornelio and Kilcullen are dishonestly portraying the story; in fact, the headline claimed the mother blamed "critical race theory" for her son's suicide. And their insistence that Breitbart "did not endorse the woman’s speech" is laughable since its decision to publish the story was an effective endorsement -- it would not have allowed this woman's testimony to stand without comment it didn't fit into right-wing narratives against CRT and COVID-era lockdowns.

Cornelio and Kilcullen further shows their hostility to Ad Fontes by arguing with its leader, Vanessa Otero, and laughably denying that right-wing media outlets have any sort of reach and are staffed with ideologues:

Otero’s willful disregard of facts contrary to her worldview is not limited to the subject of Biden bribery. When pressed about the left’s disproportionate representation in the media, Otero interjected: “I don't agree with your premise that … there are more left leaning folks in that field than right leaning folks.”

When it was pointed out to Otero that by her own site’s designations left-leaning sources more than double right-leaning ones (2,032 to 975), Otero still refused to acknowledge the disparity. “There's a lot of media out there and like, like Fox News, New York Post, you know, the Daily Mail, those are some of the biggest media organizations in the world,” she insisted. “And they're not populated by left-leaning journalists.”

Even if one takes at face value that these three organizations lack left-leaning journalists, it is ludicrous to claim that the market share of Fox News, the New York Post and Daily Mail approach the impact of legacy media. According to Nielsen ratings published by Variety in Dec. 2022, Fox News and its sister channel Fox Business had a combined 2.43 million total viewers in 2022. This is less than half of the 5.148 million viewers of NBC (NBC is owned by Comcast, which is actually one of “the biggest media organizations in the world). The other two broadcast news channels—CBS at 5.144 million viewers and ABC (owned by Disney) at 3.867 million viewers—also dwarfed Fox News’s total viewership.  

The case is the same for news site traffic. According to an August report by the Press Gazette, Fox News has 262.1 million monthly visitors; Daily Mail has 125.3 million. The two websites’ combined influence is significant, but it is only a fraction of the 441.6 million that The New York Times or of the 415.2 million that CNN — two far-left outlets that are pushed by Big Tech giants like Google — receive.

Note that Cornelio and Kilcullen apply the the "far-left" tag to the Times and CNN -- a tag they don't justify, showing just how marinated they are in right-wing ideology that portrays any media that not as far-right as they are as "far-left." (They do not similarly identify any outlet as "far-right.") They also engage in more dishonesty by comparing the ratings of Fox News, which runs programming 24/7 designed to promote right-wing politcal narratives 24/7, to networks like ABC, CBS and NBC, which run non-ideological entertainment programming for most of its day.

Cornelio and Kilcullen were even mad that Ad Fontes endorsed the American justice system:

Otero and Berens’s political agenda pervades the actions of Ad Fontes, right down to its marketing. After nineteen MAGA Republicans, including former President Trump, were indicted in Atlanta, Georgia, Ad Fontes sent out a celebratory email declaring: “[t]he process of bringing those at the center of a conspiracy to defraud the American people and misrepresent the good work of the officials responsible for mounting a free and fair election in Georgia had been identified by Georgia District Attorney, Fani Willis, and indicted for their alleged actions. The wheels of justice, however slow, had turned in the general direction that they are supposed to turn.”

Yes, supporting the prosecution of alleged criminals is now a "political agenda" -- though it used to be the one on the right.

Cornelio and Kilcullen's attack seems to have been motivated by its criticism of the MRC itself:

Ad Fontes often gives “unreliable” ratings to stories critical of the Biden agenda that legacy media does not cover, even when there is no doubt as to their veracity. MRC Free Speech America’s February 2022 study documenting over 800 cases of COVID-19-related censorship by Big Tech platforms was labeled “unreliable” (15.67) despite the platforms themselves they censor speech that disagrees with establishment guidelines.

As usual, the MRC is portraying correcting lles and misinformation about COVID as "censorship," or that prioritizing accurate information is somehow "establishment."

Cornelio and Kilcullen concluded:

While Ad Fontes claims to have a methodology for how it scores the articles it chooses, this framework is habitually abandoned so as to pursue Otero’s aggressive hard-left agenda. Concerningly, the brokenness of Ad Fontes’s methodology has not yet affected the firm’s effectiveness in pushing its product. Otero boasts that Ad Fontes has been imposed in schools across the country, removing the ability for students to access news sources skeptical of the left’s agenda. Ad Fontes also has partnered with Big Tech giants Meta and Microsoft, making it easier to pressure advertisers into blacklisting media Otero’s ratings system disapproves of.       

Censorship tools like Ad Fontes have no place in a free country. Americans benefit from a diversity of viewpoints, not conformity to Otero’s warped worldview.

Again, they want you to think that not being hard-right like they are means being "hard-left." This is not "media research" -- it's a political hit job designed to dishonestly portray the pursuit of accurate, trustworthy information as a partisan enterprise. Cornelio and Kilcullen need to explain their ideological motivation behind wanting to let misinformation spread unchecked and attacking anyone who opposes that.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 PM EST
FAKE NEWS: WND Repeats False Story Claiming COVID Vaccines Cause 'VAIDS'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily publishes so much misinformation about COVID vaccines that it occasionally has to outsource some of it. That's what it did with an Oct. 2 article it stole from something called the People's Voice:

Official data released by the Canadian government reveals that at least 74% of the vaccinated population across Canada now have full-blown Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS).

The data reveal that the double vaccinated population across Canada have now lost on average 74% of their immune system capability, and the triple vaccinated population across Canada have now lost on average 73% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system of their unvaccinated counterparts.

Expose-news.com reports: So much damage has now been done that the figures show the double vaccinated population are on average 3.8 times more likely to be infected with Covid-19 and 3.3 times more likely to die of Covid-19 than the unvaccinated population.

As we've noted, Media Bias Fact Check calls The People's Voice, formerly known as NewsPunch, a "clickbait news website that promotes extreme right-wing conspiracy theories and pseudoscience misinformation," where "Headlines use loaded emotional language" and "story selection almost always favors the right through negative stories regarding liberal policy and politicians." It concluded: "This website has zero credibility due to the routine publishing of fake news." The People's Voice's solurce for this story, Expose News, has a similar lack of credibility.

You will not be surprised to learn that this story is completely false, as a real news organization (and Health Canada) reported:

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said October 10 that it "would not be possible for a Covid-19 vaccine to cause AIDS," as messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) shots do not use a live virus to trigger an immune response and viral vector jabs include "a harmless virus (in this case, an adenovirus) as a delivery system."

"To date, no reports of AIDS following Covid-19 vaccines have been submitted to PHAC," the agency said by email.

[...]

To support their claims, the articles analyzed government data< on the number of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Canada in January and February 2022 -- when the Omicron variant was circulating widely.

What Canada's data actually shows is that the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines wanes over time and that the initial jabs were less effective against Omicron.

AFP also pointed out that "Independent experts say VAIDS is not a real condition":

"There is no VAIDS," said Rachel Roper, professor of microbiology and immunology at East Carolina University, in an October 5 email. "All data worldwide show that Covid vaccines save lives and do not increase deaths."

WND has not told its readers this story is discredited, nor has it told them the truth. That refusal to correct the record means WND is discredited as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 6:16 PM EST
MRC 'Study' Filled With Anti-LGBT Invective, False Framing
Topic: Media Research Center

So many of the Media Research Center's so-called "studies" involve attacking non-right-wing media for not promoting right-wing narratives and for supposedly spending too much time not hating certain populations disfavored by the right. In that vein is an Oct. 4 "study" by Clay Waters that is much more of an anti-LGBT screed than any sort of legitimate "media research":

One of the most ignored passages in legislative history is this phrase in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967: Taxpayer-funded media outlets should observe "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature."

Yet a new Media Research Center study finds PBS’s flagship NewsHour program aired nine times more coverage in favor of the left-wing "woke" position on so-called "LGBTQ" issues compared to more traditional positions. Over the seven-month period of March 1 through September 30, 2023, supportive coverage almost wholly dominated the "debate," if you could call it that: 172 minutes for the left vs. 19 minutes for the right. That's 90.2% supportive coverage for the side pushing “identity” issues.

It was even worse for in-studio guests: 19 to one -- and the one utterance that opposed the left-wing position came from gay tennis star Billie Jean King, who dared to suggest that men shouldn't compete in women's sports once it came to advanced competitions like the Olympics. 

The findings prove that the PBS NewsHour has been wholly captured by left-wing “woke” ideology on a major cutting-edge social issue: sex-and-race related “identity” issues that come under the heading of “LGBTQ,” which stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer.” 

Extreme “gender identity” positions shun the facts of male and female biological differences in favor of how an individual person identifies, a delusion that sometimes results in irreversible surgeries performed on teenagers, to match their self-diagnosed gender identity.

Dissent was instead limited to isolated soundbites, such as a clip from a legislator on a statehouse floor. Those statements were typically cued up for an in-studio journalist or trans-activist (sometimes it was hard to tell the difference) to either neutralize as somehow false or to condemn as a threat to trans children.

Note Waters' framing here -- merely showing basic respect to LGBT people is portrayed as "left-wing" and "woke" and "radical" and "extreme," while no such epithets are attached to right-wing anti-LGBT viewpoints aside from a single reference to those views being on the "right." Waters went on to rage that PBS wasn't sufficiently hateful toward a transgender state legislator:

On April 26, PBS leaped upon the causeof Montana legislator and transgender Democrat Zooey Zephyr, barred from the Montana House floor for violating rules of decorum during a debate on a bill that would have banned so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors wishing to surgically or chemically “transition.” 

Medical institutions in Europe and now America are backing away from such “care,” which also includes puberty blockers and hormone therapy. But such concerns haven’t registered a blip in the brave new world of PBS’s wholly supportive news coverage.

(Ironically, the September 24 edition of PBS News Weekend did consider European health and safety regulations when it came to…tattoo ink. Host John Yang asked a doctor: “Then talk about the ink, because as I say, it’s not regulated in the United States, the EU, the European Union, has banned some ingredients.”)

The Montana vote came after a nasty speech by Zephyr, a biological male, accusing colleagues who oppose such care of encouraging youth suicide: “If you vote yes on this bill, I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.” Zephyr also claimed that failing to provide such care was “tantamount to torture.” But those inflammatory quotes, delivered on the Montana House floor, didn’t make PBS’s hagiography.

Host Amna Nawaz revealed how passionately she and her PBS colleagues work in defense of transgender ideology, marshalling dubious activist-provided statistics as plain truth: “You know, we looked up some statistics. This is something you have spoken about before, the link between some of the political rhetoric and real-world violence in particular…”

Waters did not explain why he is of the opinion that being transgender is an "ideology," nor did he offer evidence that right-wing anti-LGBT rhetoric doesn't inspire threats and violence -- indeed, it's been shown that harassment and threats of violence typically follow when an LGBT individual or institution is featured on the virulently anti-LGBT Libs of TikTok Twitter feed. Waters also failed to disclose that his employer has repeatedly hurled invective at Zephyr for standing up for LGBT rights.

Waters also complained that "When potential Republican presidential candidates dared appear on the NewsHour, there was a good chance they’d get hit with hostile questions on gender identity." But the examples he cited are not "hostile" at all, consisting of asking candidates or summarizing their anti-LGBT agenda, the accuracy of which Waters did not dispute. He also complained that the alleged transgender status of the Nashville school shooter wasn't emphasized more, and he offered no evidence that Hale's transgender status was of any relevance to the crime. Remember that the MRC obsessed over Hale's sexuality as a distraction from the gun aspect of a gun massacre.

Waters praised one segment "for actually achieving a rough balance of views, treating the gender debate as actually debatable, not a one-sided matter of tolerance versus hate." He didn't explain why someone's gender must be "debatable," or why "tolerance versus hate" isn't an accurate description of the sides involved. He further praised the segment for giving a voice to "opponents of pornographic books in school libraries," which falsely frames those opposed to library censorship as endorsing "pornographic books."

Despite putting out a wildly biased and slanted "study" like this, the MRC still thinks it should be treated as credible. It shouldn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:51 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 25, 2023 1:54 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Trump Indictment Theater At WND: Act 3
Topic: WorldNetDaily
As Donald Trump faced his third indictment, his fanboys at WorldNetDaily cranked up the rage -- and the melodrama. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
Monday, November 27, 2023
MRC Launches Loud And Lame Attack On Another Media Ratings Servce
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war against NewsGuard for pointing out the shoddiness of right-wing media has been loud, lame and partisan. Now it's running the same playbook against another website-ratings firm. Luis Cornelio and Tim Kilcullen began a Sept. 21 "original" report this way:

The left’s crusade against media critical of the Biden agenda has entered a new disturbing stage that should send chills down every American’s spine.

Meet Ad Fontes: a powerful media ratings firm positioning itself to be the arbiter of truth and facts. Founded in 2018, Ad Fontes has established close partnerships with the nation’s largest Big Tech platforms, advertising agencies and educational institutions. But Ad Fontes is just getting started.

Ad Fontes seeks to determine which media platforms are acceptable for Americans to use and which ought to be dismantled—all under the guise of non-partisanship and impartiality. However, an MRC Free Speech America investigation into Ad Fontes exposed the company’s claim of impartiality to be a mere facade. Our findings revealed that Ad Fontes’s entire methodology is designed to harm conservatives while championing liberal outlets. In addition, our investigation showed that its executives rigged its “Media Bias Chart” to hide the disturbing fact that Ad Fontes exists to promote the left’s political agenda.

Of course, the fact that it rates right-wing websites lower than other ones is not, in itself, evidence of bias, however much Cornelio and Kilcullen want you to believe that advance their narrative -- they simply assume that anyone who doesn't push the same right-wing narratives are biased and evil and must be destroyed for such wrongthink. They went on to shoehorn their attacks on Ad Fontes into the MRC's existing narratives:

Ad Fontes achieves its ratings by having nameless, faceless analysts making subjective editorial decisions consistent with the views of its founder and CEO.

Ad Fontes claims to deploy teams of three unnamed individuals with different ideological leanings (allegedly right, center and left) to review and rate news stories. Ad Fontes CEO Vanessa Otero told MRC Free Speech America that this so-called diversity guards against biases in their ratings of media. Ad Fontes asks Americans to accept its anonymous analysis as objective, scientific and empirical. Regrettably, it’s not. Our findings reveal that Ad Fontes’s analysis is categorically plagued with leftist bias.

Otero claimed her ratings are meant to check bias but she consistently failed to see how her own biases and repeated contradictions are systemic in Ad Fontes’s work. From how stories are initially selected for review to how these stories are analyzed, Otero provided information in statements to MRC Free Speech America that contradicted her assertions. 

Notably, Ad Fontes glosses over legacy media’s most effective political activism tool, bias by omission. These are the stories the media refuse to cover — such as the Biden family scandals (e.g. the legacy media blackout of information harmful to Joe Biden) to swing elections in favor of the left. MRC published a detailed report showing how the media and Big Tech defeated former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election utilizing this powerful tactic.

That "detailed report," as we've documented, is nothing but a conspiracy theory that ignores the fact there was no reason to trust the New York Post's reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop given its stattus as a pro-Trump lackey and based on findings the MRC paid biased right-wing pollsters to generate.

The lead attack was on Ad Fontes' media bias chart:

The Ad Fontes business model is built around the idea that it is “non-partisan,” “impartial” and fact-based. This is a facade. An investigation by MRC Free Speech America reveals that in both approach and application, Ad Fontes exists to amplify media on the political left while suppressing media that report facts inconsistent with Otero’s worldview.

"Ad Fontes is a for-profit company run by a left-winger purporting to objectively rank media outlets,” said Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. “But no honest American believes that PBS, CNN and The New York Times are objective media outlets. Their whole ranking system is a lie aimed at telling Americans to trust the leftist media and not to trust anyone on the right."

[...]

MRC Free Speech America staff analyzed the reliability scores of the 3,134 media entities rated by Ad Fontes between July 31 and Aug. 7. The disparity in scoring was readily apparent. Of the 2,032 media that Ad Fontes rated on the political “left,” 1,299 (64%) were given a score of 40 or above, solidifying their status as “reliable.” 

Examples of left-leaning media awarded this highest rating include CNN, The New York Times, NPR, Associated Press, Vox, ABC, CBS and NBC. However, of the 975 media Ad Fontes rated on the “right,” only 313 (32%) were given a “reliable” score of 40 or above. (e.g. The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, National Post, CATO Institute). Ad Fontes was exactly twice as likely to award its highest rating to media on the left.

“The left’s most powerful tool you’ve never heard of, Ad Fontes’s official ratings chart resembles a fairytale rainbow of vibrant colors, but the actual data is nightmare for people who want straight news,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “This so-called media literacy firm seems to have worked overtime to make its rating system look benevolent, but when you look deeper into the real data, it’s not. The chart offered to students and advertisers is clearly deceptive and tailor-made to create a veneer of objectivity. I can see why advertisers would be induced to direct their advertising dollars to the left and why kids would be influenced not to read another article critical of liberal policies.”

As the head of NewsGuard occasionally did, Otero made the mistake of trying to cooperate with the MRC, which was interested only in bad-faith attacks and planning a hit job on her organization:

Ad Fontes’s leader, Otero, claimed her media ratings system is meant to check bias, but in an interview with MRC Free Speech America, she recited vague platitudes about her own biases but then consistently refused to acknowledge how her own prejudices are reflected in her company’s work.

Even if something as subjective as reliability could be quantified in a single number, Otero is ill-suited for such a task. This is because, despite her enthusiastic presentation, she has massive blindspots to the flaws in her methodology and is reflexively hostile to data that challenges her worldview. 

MRC Free Speech America pressed Otero about the issue of bias by omission in an Aug. 8 interview. Bias by omission is the most insidious form of media manipulation: Instead of misrepresenting facts, outlets simply refuse to report news contrary to their own political agenda. Sometimes, legacy media will bury an entire story, such as legacy media’s refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop exposé until after the election. This well-researched story, published in October of 2020, included emails recovered from abandoned Biden family laptops that revealed Joe Biden participating in his son’s dealings with the shady Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings.

Speaking of bias by omission: Cornelio and Kilcullen touted how "MRC commissioned a detailed survey of 1,750 swing state voterst hat pulled the lever for then-candidate Joe Biden," finding that "82 percent of Biden voters were unaware of at least one of eight news stories that legacy media had buried" -- but didn't disclose that the poll was conducted by The Polling Company, which was founded by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, so its fairness and accuracy can reasonably be questioned. When Otero pointed out how biased the MRC "study" was, Cornelio and Kilcullen objected:

Ad Fontes gave the MRC study on the media coverup of the Biden family scandals an abysmal 11.33 reliability rating on a scale where anything below 24 is considered unreliable. Otero spared no words in assailing the piece: “It’s based on a supposition, a premise that you all—you advocate that the media doesn’t cover these things.”  

When MRC Free Speech America researchers pointed out that the study revealed that a large portion of Biden voters had never heard of the Hunter Biden laptop story and that 9.4 percent of his voters would not have voted for him if they had known of it, Otero doubled down. “I don’t agree with that … there was so much attention on the Hunter Biden laptop thing,” she claimed. “Like, regardless of the fact that it was, like, suppressed on Twitter and Facebook. There is no lack of coverage of, like, Hunter Biden stories, right?”

[...]

Otero’s response highlights one of the fatal weaknesses with Ad Fontes’s methodology: In training analysts to adopt a uniform approach consistent with Otero’s vision, her opinions are used as the standard to determine the reliability of stories.  Actual facts that contradict her opinions are therefore deemed misinformation. Thus, many of the 1,750 Biden voters who were scientifically polled but reported views that contradicted Otero’s alternative reality were once again erased.

Again, Cornelio and Kilcullen refused to disclose the logical reason the study should be dismissed: the bias of the pollsters on which the study relies (the other one being McLaughlin, who was the pollster for Trump's 2020 presidential campagin and, thus, is even more compromised).

We'll delve more into the MRC's attack on Ad Fontes soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST
Trump's Pollsters Serve Up Pro-Trump Rah-Rah (And Biased Polls) At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

John and Jim McLaughlin are the pollsters for Donald Trump's presidential campaingn, and the things he does for Newsmax pretty closely reflect that (even if that connection to the Trump campaign is rarely disclosed). On Aug. 29, after the first Republican presidential debate -- which Trump avoided in favor of an interview with Tucker Carlson -- the McLaughlins had a raft of pro-Trump polling to peddle:

After the second Republican debate, the McLaughlins served up more pro-Trump propaganda in an Oct. 2 column:

Donald Trump is crushing the Republican primary field and he’s beating his political persecutor, Joe Biden.

Our recent national poll was completed right before the second Republican debate.

This national poll of 1,000 likely voters (+/-3.1% at the 95% confidence interval), was completed between Sept. 22 and 26.

[...]

In the general election among all voters, in spite of four indictments in five months, President Trump beats Joe Biden 47% to 43% with 10% undecided.

Trump wins among Republicans 87% to 10%; takes 12% of Democrats to Biden’s 79% and wins independents 41% to 39%.

Trump also exceeds his 2020 share of the minority vote receiving 13% among African Americans and 40% among Hispanics.

Of course, the fact that the McLaughlins are on Trump's payroll means these results should be seen has biased and less than reliable. They ended with more pro-Trump rah-rah:

As national Republican leaders, and former presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Scott Walker have said the primary is over. Trump has won.

It’s really time to end the RNC debates which are nothing more than anti-Trump infomercials that help Joe Biden.

It’s time to focus on beating Joe Biden and ending his reign of failure and corruption before Joe Biden puts his leading Republican opponent in jail — which will end the reason for the opposition Republican Party to exist.

The McLaughlins served up more slanted pro-Trump polling in an Oct. 30 column:

Since our last national poll, Donald Trump has gone to Iowa, New Hampshire and to court. The most attention Joe Biden received was when he flew back and forth to Israel, where he may be talking tough, while appeasing Hamas and Iran.

The result – President Trump destroys the Republican primary field and widens his lead over Joe Biden.

This national poll of 1,000 likely voters (+/-3.1% at the 95% confidence interval), was completed between October 19th and 25th.

The McLaughlins took shots at Ron DeSantis:

In a two-way ballot between President Trump and Ron DeSantis, Trump leads 73% to DeSantis 27%. No undecided.

Most distressing for Ron DeSantis is the serious rise of his negative ratings. In January, among all voters, DeSantis had a favorable to unfavorable rating of 40% favorable to 39% unfavorable. Now DeSantis’ favorable rating among all voters has declined to 34% while his unfavorable rating rose to 51%. This is a big net decrease, -18%.

Among Republican primary voters his favorable rating is only 57%, with a significant share being negative, 29% unfavorable. This makes it very, very hard for Ron DeSantis to prove that he can beat Joe Biden, while Donald Trump is leading.

They also polled on another pro-trump question that they pushed in their previous column:

When Republican primary voters were asked about the following statement: “Currently Donald Trump is leading in all the Republican primary polls nationally by very big margins of 30, 40 or more points and winning early states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina by big margins. Even more important President Trump leads Joe Biden in the national media polls like ABC/Washington Post, CBS, Harvard

Harris and others. It’s time to stop the RNC debates attacking Donald Trump, fight Biden’s political indictments, and rally Republicans behind President Trump so we can start the campaign of beating Joe Biden.”

76% of Republican primary voters agreed and only 16% disagreed.

They concluded by echoing that talking point (and their previous column):

As national Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich and Scott Walker have said, the primary is over.

Trump has won the GOP field.

Gingrich and others have called for the RNC to cancel future GOP debates to unify behind Trump to prepare early for 2024. That would be a smart move.

It’s too early to say Trump has won the 2024 election, but his prospects are looking very strong.

Donald Trump as President and a Republican majority in Congress. We have a year to go.

The McLaughlins don't seem to understand how they discredit themselves by sounding much more like Trump campaing operativfes than impartial pollsters.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:18 PM EST
WND's Alexander Whines That Bogus Election-Fraud Claims Are Being Ignored
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rachel Alexander is an election-fraud dead-ender -- continuing to push the idea despite a complete lack of credible evidence to back up the claim, while also serving as a defender of those who pushed those fraudulent claims who are now facing consequences for doing so (and attacking those who have given up the lie and now acknowledge reality). Alexander went the dead-ender route in her Sept. 25 column:

The left and its comrades in the MSM and judiciary have been dismissing all evidence of significant election fraud, coming up with excuse after excuse to justify every single anomaly, even though there are hundreds of them. Despite the fact the anomalies in 2020 and 2022 all went against Republicans, favoring Democrats, which violates the law of large numbers, they still threw out all kinds of unbelievable excuses.

Let's look at how these kinds of strange abberations would be treated in other illegal and criminal activity. Can't find tens of thousands of chain-of-custody records or deleted server logs? Let's compare that to the medical industry, which is somewhat similar since medical records are treated very securely, like elections. If you lose or delete medical records, it's considered medical negligence, and doctors have lost their licenses to practice medicine for doing so.

[...]

In contrast, we are seeing the opposite in elections. Runbeck Election Systems, the private contractor hired by Maricopa County to assist with processing ballots, is fighting tooth and nail in court to prevent its video surveillance of ballots being dropped off and sent back out from being released. During the motion to dismiss hearing last week, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer thought it was acceptable to argue with a straight face that it would take too many resources to fulfill public records requests like that. Runbeck lost chain-of-custody records on tens of thousands of ballots, and 22,000 ballots that showed up at Runbeck cannot be accounted for.

Alexander's disregard for facts begins with thefact that she can't be bothered to get her targeted company's name correct; it's Runbeck Election Services, not Systems. Further, actual fact-checkers have shown there was ballot chain of custody was maintained. She went on to complain:

The law of large numbers is violated when all the anomalies harm Republicans. A team of experts put together a report on the large vote dumps in states suspected of election fraud that occurred the night of the 2020 election, batches of 25,000 or more net votes for Joe Biden. There were 26 dumps in 14 states. Pennsylvania had four. I'm no statistician, but this seems next to impossible odds.

In fact, vote-count spikes are not proof of election fraud. More complaints followed:

Election fraud never gets prosecuted because the judges find technical excuses not to hear the cases. And even though prior to 2020, elections were often overturned due to merely a handful of lesser statutory violations, not fraud, the left and MSM have successfully convinced people that fraud must be proven. Fraud is extremely difficult to prove since the standard is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Since election officials thwart efforts to improve security measures, it's easy for the fraudsters to escape detection. In reality, hundreds of thousands of class 2 misdemeanors, which occurred in Kari Lake's 2022 gubernatorial race, were always sufficient to overturn an election … until now.

That's another reference to the bogus chain-of-custody claims. She concluded by whining that attorneys are being held accountable for their actions:

The patriotic attorneys who dare to file lawsuits challenging election corruption are targeted with bar complaints. The 65 Project was started to go after the attorneys who filed 65 lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results. John Eastman, arguably the top constitutional legal scholar in the country, is currently undergoing a disbarment trial for advising Trump that Vice President Mike Pence had the option of rejecting or delaying certification of electoral slates from states suspected of election fraud.

Can you imagine attorneys being targeted for trying to stop corruption in other areas of life? What if the #MeToo attorneys were disbarred? How about the prosecutors who are going after Hunter Biden and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.? Election corruption is often compared to racketeering; can you imagine if attorneys were disbarred for going after the cartels and Mafia for racketeering?

Next time you find yourself in a testy situation involving the law in one of these other areas, just point to how election corruption is treated as a precedent to get off the hook. Bet it doesn't work.

Alexander is merely complaining that attorneys aren't getting away with pushing bogus and partisan election fraud claims. And she needs to present credible evidence of election fraud -- not just partisan rants without substance -- before she can legitimately claim it's being ignored.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade: History Lessons
Topic: Media Research Center
When Ron DeSantis changed black history lessons in Florida to teach that slaves benefited from the skills while enslaved, the Media Research Center rushed to defend the dubious teaching. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 AM EST
Sunday, November 26, 2023
MRC Deflects Criticism Of Musk A Year After Buying Twitter
Topic: Media Research Center

The Elon Musk PR team at the Media Research Center continued to take it hard as people point out how Musk has mismanaged Twitter (well, X) as his purchase of the social media website approached its first anniversary. tim Graham had a major whinefest in an Oct. 28 post:

Liberal reporters really hate how Twitter isn't a reinforcement and censorship tool for them any more. The Washington Post published a "Crappy Anniversary" piece headlined "A year later, Musk’s X is tilting right. And sinking."

A team of four reporters -- Will Oremus, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Sarah Ellison, and Jeremy B. Merrill -- reporter Twitter is sinking, based on "interviews" and leaks: 

The number of people actively tweeting has dropped by more than 30 percent, according to previously unreported data obtained by The Washington Post, and the company — which the entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX has renamed X — is hemorrhaging advertisers and revenue, interviews show.

There are a bunch of people fired by Musk commenting in this story. But here's the part they really hate....displacing the so-called "mainstream media."

[...]

And who does the Post bring in to say Twitter is no longer trustworthy? An Obama Bro! Oh sure, trust him when he claims it wasn't a happy place for Democrats and the Left! 

And who did Graham bring in to boost his whinefest? Christina Pushaw, longtime spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for whom the MRC oeprates a Defense Brigade.

Graham went on to add whataboutism to his whine: "There again the liberals who "nonpartisan" NewsGuard as the gold standard -- when we noticed the fake news on the 'Israeli airstrike' didn't dent any '100 percent' ratings for liberal outlets." The MRC's war on NewsGuard, meanwhile, is loud, lame and partisan.

When the New York Times offered up a similar critique of Musk-era Twitter, It was Clay Waters to serve up a whinefest in an Oct. 30 post:

First the Washington Post, then the New York Times went after the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, one year after techno-entrepreneur Elon Musk purchased it and shone a light on the previous regimes squelching of conservative voices in favor of liberal “blue checks” and other anointed ones, and possibly swinging the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden (see “Twitter Files”).

Reporters Steven Lee Myers, Stuart Thompson, and Tiffany Hsu collaborated on the “interactive” online project “The Consequences of Elon Musk’s Ownership of X.” (At least the Times only needed three reporters to conjure up fear and loathing against Musk and X; the Post required four.)

The introduction featured three blocks of text interspersed among graphics, demonstrating this was less a technology news story than an anti-Musk rant:

[...]

The Times also cited a Harvard journal, The Misinformation Review:

Even worse, the article argued, Mr. Musk’s changes appear to be boosting the engagements of the most contentious users.

By “contentious,” read “conservative.”

Waters didn't dispute that Musk was boosting and amplifying right-wingers.

Luis Cornelio served up an Oct. 30 press release for his employer with a letter asking Musk to fight "censorship":

MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider joined other free speech advocates in signing an open letter to X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk, calling on him to stand against government censorship. 

The letter, led by the Alliance Defending Freedom and signed by over 50 pro-free speech advocates, called on Musk to expand his promise to protect the First Amendment on X by allocating legal funds to protect individuals affected by state-sponsored censorship. Specifically, the letter cited growing concerns about laws aimed to prosecute individuals who go against the government-approved narrative on numerous fronts.

“Free speech is broadly protected by every major human rights treaty; however, in the West, speech increasingly is targeted by ‘hate speech’ laws,” read the letter. “In other regions, blasphemy laws target minority groups, sometimes with the sentence of death. These repressive laws are two sides of the same coin—both punish those who speak out against state-approved views.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon, Fox News Contributor & Host Sara Carter, Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec and prominent Spanish-language political scientist Agustín Laje also signed the letter.

The idea that any of these people are "pro-free speech advocates" is ludicrous. These are all right-wing advocates who care only about their own "free speech"; most of them actively oppose the free speech of anyone who dares to disagree with them.They also don't explain why it's "censorship" to correct hate and misinformation online.

From there, it was Musk PR mode to counter all that criticism. It took both Autumn Johnson and Tom Olohan to write a Nov. 1 bit of stenography about Musk attacking George Soros again, this time asserting that Soros "fundamentally hates humanity" during an interview with Joe Rogan. A separate post by Johnson and Olohan the same day, also taken from Rogan's interview with Musk, cheered Musk for having "slammed the 'death cult' in charge of social media platforms" and having "accused leftist elitists of  going 'too far' in the hatred of mankind." Johnson and Olohan couldn't find room, however, to notate the part of the interview where Musk broke into song after several seconds of awkward silence rather than answer a question about the Taliban having a presence on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the MRC's freakout over Twitter's Community Notes continued with a Nov. 3 post by Catherine Salgado declaring Twitter demonetizing posts with Community notes attacks to be among the worst "censorhip" of October:

X owner Elon Musk announced on Oct. 29: “Making a slight change to creator monetization: Any posts that are corrected by @CommunityNotes become ineligible for revenue share. The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism.” While Community Notes can at times add helpful information to posts that are inaccurate, Community Note fact checks have also asserted inaccurate or incomplete information. In addition to the initial censorship that Community Notes created, Musk’s latest announcement adds a new form of financial censorship on X.

Yes, Salgado bizarrely thinks fact-checking is "censorship."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 PM EST

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