ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Monday, December 4, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Transphobic Rage At Pride Month, Part 1
Topic: Media Research Center
The anti-transgender hate the Media Research Center has been displaying all year unsurprisingly bled into Pride Month in June, with lots of anger at anyone who doesn't parrot their hate. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 AM EST
Sunday, December 3, 2023
MRC Tries To Ignore Musk's Anti-Semitic Tweet
Topic: Media Research Center

If nothing else, the Media Research Center has been a reliable PR agent for Elon Musk, fawning over his every pearl or wisdom and deflecting criticism of him. But on Nov. 15, Musk endorsed an anti-Semitic tweet attacking "western Jewish populations" by saying, "You have said the actual truth." Musk faced near-universal condemnation of Musk over his tweet (except from racists like Nick Fuentes as well as other anti-Semites), and it fueled an exodus of advertisers from Twitter/X -- even the company that formerly employed Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino.

Despite the MRC aggressively criticizing a surge of anti-Semitism since the Hamas attack on Israel (and despite Musk making the situation worse by lashing out again at the ADL, which the MRC has not only previously approved of, it called in racist cartoonist Scott Adams to help with defense), the MRC's initial action was ... to ignore it. Three days after Musk's offending tweet, a Nov. 18 column by Christian Toto touted a planned film about Musk and fretted that it wouldn't be a right-wing hagiography:

It’s impossible to escape Elon Musk these days.

His Tesla vehicles share the roads we drive every day. His grandiose statements touch on hot-button issues like A.I. and space exploration, subjects we can’t stop thinking about.

His purchase of X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, revolutionized the way we speak in the 21st century.

Musk richly deserves a biopic all his own, and he’s getting one courtesy of Oscar-nominee Darren Aronofsky.

A24 optioned Walter Issacson’s new biography of Musk, the controversial CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, which will be turned into a film adaptation. Aronofsky is set to direct and produce the film with his production company Protozoa Pictures.

[...]

Here’s the big wrinkle to the story. The Left loathes Musk. Pure, unadulterated hate.

The billionaire publicly turned against Democrats in recent months. That did him few favors in La La Land. More alarmingly, Musk is a fierce proponent of free speech.

He’s chummy with right-leaning satirists at The Babylon Bee. He drops by the podcast studio of “The Joe Rogan Experience” to talk free expression, among other topics.

And he exposed the chronic censorship happening behind the scenes at Twitter, tasking left-leaning journalists to chronicle it all via The Twitter Files.

The modern Left flinches from free speech like a vampire reaction to garlic or Holy Water. It explains why the media, as progressive as any DNC event, skewers Musk at every opportunity.

Will Aronofsky bend to that pressure from his fellow travelers? Or will he recognize Musk’s story as a complicated one that deserves to be treated fairly?

Toto did admit that "the enigmatic billionaire is far from perfect," particularly taking note of his being "the father of 11 children with three different women" and that he likes "throwing ideas into the public space and backpedaling of something doesn’t stick" -- but hewas completely silent about Musk's endorsement of an anit-Semitic attack.

Autumn Johnson served up more Musk PR in a Nov. 21 post:

Elon Musk, the owner of the “X” platform (formerly known as Twitter), said his team will do “whatever it takes” to support the free speech of its users.

Musk’s comments were in response to a report from the Financial Times detailing X’s defense of an Illinois student who was reportedly threatened with disciplinary action by his university over tweets he made on the platform. Musk previously promised to pay the legal fees of anyone who was professionally reprimanded for speech on his platform.

“We will do whatever it takes to support your right to free speech!” he declared on Thursday[.]

Johnson further gushed that "Musk originally purchased the platform with a promise to protect speech onlin," but she too censored the fact that he endorsed an anti-Semitic tweet.

Johnson was in furious distraction mode in another Nov. 21 post touting Musk's alleged efforts to fight anti-Semitism on Twitter:

Billionaire Elon Musk says “X,” formerly known as Twitter, will suspend any user who calls for the genocide of Jewish communities.

“Yes, decolonization” necessarily implies a Jewish genocide, thus it is unacceptable to any reasonable person,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 15 in agreement with a tweet of editor and Manhattan Institute Fellow Colin Wright discussing the origin of the term.

Musk was responding to a comment he made earlier last week when he said that the term “decolonization” implied Jewish genocide.

[...]

In a Nov. 14 press release, X touted its actions to tackle antisemitism. “We’ve taken action under our Violent and Hateful Entities policy to remove over 3,000 accounts by violent entities in the region, including Hamas, since the start of the conflict,” the platform’s X safety team wrote in a press statement. “In parallel, as we outlined in our update on this topic in September, we have expanded our proactive measures to automatically remediate against antisemitic content and provided our agents worldwide with a refresher course on antisemitism.”

Johnson failed to mention that anti-Semitism has festered on Twitter ever since Musk took it over, and again she censored any mention of Musk endorsing an anti-Semitic tweet.

Apparently realizing the controversy over Musk's tweet wasn't going to go away, the MRC belatedly talked about it. A Nov. 21 post by Tom Olohan finally addressed the tweet -- a full six days after it was made -- by calling in Jewish right-winger Ben Shapiro to lamely explain it away (while not quoting what the anti-Semitic tweet actually said and how, exactly, Musk responded) and hurling whataboutism:

The Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro put recent comments by X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk into context while asserting that Musk’s critics routinely ignore egregious anti-Semitism. 

During the Nov. 16 edition of The Ben Shapiro Show, Shapiro addressed the leftist media pile-on against Musk, suggesting that accusations of anti-Semitism against the X owner were nakedly political. Musk had commented on someone else’s post, drawing fire from the left who tried to claim the original post was anti-Semitic. 

Shapiro defended Musk’s line of thought, defending him from accusations of radical anti-Semitism. “It is true, obviously, that certain Jewish organizations have bought into and promoted things like diversity, equity and inclusion, which are gross distortions of the American Dream” Shapiro said. “Nobody hates DEI more than I do. There are certain Jewish groups that are liberal in orientation who have supported that sort of stuff. Many of those groups have also pushed for open borders. It is also true that some of those organizations are now realizing post-Oct. 7 that actually open immigration for people who hate Jews on an intersectional basis was pretty stupid.”

[...]

Shapiro went on to detail further incidents of anti-Semitism that leftists in the media ignore, suggesting that they downplay bigoted behavior when it hurts them and tout it when it serves to harm their political enemies—even when it’s untrue. “Thus the same media — leaping on both Trump and Musk — have been downplaying the open Jew-hatred and massive pro-Hamas protests around the globe, instead propagating lies about Israel’s supposed human rights violations,” said Shapiro. “Instead, they’re focusing in on their political enemies, like Trump and Musk, and deeming them the acolytes of Hitler. Meanwhile, the actual Hitler acolytes who are out there waving Mein Kampf — they’re like — ‘Those people, I mean, they are oppressed and brown.’” 

Shapiro also gave the media some free advice. He said that leftists crying foul now might be believable if they actually called out the real anti-Semites in the world instead of remaining silent.

If Shapiro served up a coherent defense of Musk's tweet, it's not clear from Olohan's post. And just because others are more explicitly anti-Semitic doesn't negate Musk's anti-Semitism, especially given that no Hamas terrorist is the world's richest man who runs a giant social-media site.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 4, 2023 11:20 AM EST
WND's Brown Finally Stops Supporting Trump When He Tried To Be Less Of An Anti-Abortion Extremist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown began his Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily column this way:

If you've listened regularly to my "Line of Fire" broadcast or read my articles consistently, you'll see that I've said or written very little about former President Trump for some time now. There are several reasons for that.

First, I have cut way back on political commentary in general in order to avoid getting caught up in election fever, especially since the presidential elections are more than 13 months away and there remains real uncertainty about who the candidates will be.

Second, I generally do not comment much on legal cases (in this case, indictments against Trump or the potential impeachment of President Biden), since these are outside my areas of expertise.

Third, while I have made clear that I would prefer a candidate other than Trump for the GOP in 2024, I am not a Trump basher, and I have no desire to needlessly alienate tens of millions of loyal Trump supporters. Instead, my goal is to rally all of us around righteous and godly causes.

Brown wants you to forget that he was an aggressive Trump promoter, writing two books trying to convince his fellow evangelicals to overlook Trump's amorality because he delivered the goods for the right-wing agenda, and was not until the Capitol riot that he started having second thoughts about doing that.Brown went on to pretend that he wasn't that much into Trump:

That being said, when an issue comes up that is worthy of discussion, and when that issue causes me to differ with Trump's position, I will do so freely. That's because my loyalty is to Jesus rather than to a political leader or a political party. And this is not on a scale of 10 to 1 or 100 to 1 but on a scale of infinitely multiplied trillions and billions to a very tiny 1.

Even as a Trump voter and supporter, I wrote a book titled "Donald Trump Is Not My Savior: An Evangelical Leader Speaks His Mind About the Man He Supports As President." The message I wanted to shout to the whole world was this: JESUS IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR. HE DIED FOR ME AND PAID FOR MY SINS AND I OWE HIM MY HEART AND MY LIFE AND MY EVERY BREATH. I LIVE FOR HIM AND WILL JOYFULLY DIE FOR HIM. Then, in a very small font: Donald Trump is my president.

These would be my sentiments regardless of who was in the White House. JESUS IS LORD. The rest of us are redeemed dust at best.

But only after Trump stopped being less than totally loyal to a certain right-wing evangelical agenda item did Brown start to get serious about questioning his support:

When it came to voting for Trump in 2016, the biggest issue for me was the potential of him appointing pro-life Supreme Court justices, and he delivered on his promises, contributing in a massive, fundamental way to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. For that, I am deeply grateful.

But when he says that Florida Gov. DeSantis made "a terrible mistake" by signing into law a ban on abortions after 6 weeks, I categorically reject his position.

In fact, this is the very reason we so wanted to see Roe overturned – in order to see bills like this pass in state after state.

Trump's whole approach, in which he says that "15 weeks" is a number that everyone seems to like, is misguided, failing to address the injustice of abortion. And he is quite wrong in thinking that both sides will like his pragmatic approach.

Brown then complained that he was getting blowback from people who are even more pro-Trump than he was and cannot brook any criticism of the man, Brown got defensive:

My loyalty here is to the pro-life cause, and if I believe that Trump's view is weak – as do many other pro-life leaders who are much more on the front lines than I am – I will say so.

I don't need to "stand up for the man" who helped overturn Roe. I need to stand up for the unborn. In this case, there may be a big difference. (In a separate article, I'll return to the larger issue of political pragmatism in the abortion debate, something advocated by Republican candidate Nikki Haley.)

Brown then reminded people that he hates LGBTQ people:

It's the same when it comes to LGBTQ activist issues, No. 2 on my list of priorities when voting. I take deep exception to Trump saying last December to a crowd filled with LGBTQ activists and their allies, "We are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard."

He also said at the gala event, held in Mar-a-Lago, "With the help of many of the people here tonight in recent years, our movement has taken incredible strides, the strides you've made here is incredible."

Sorry, but those sentiments do not get my support, even if Trump opposes the transitioning of children. (Name me one prominent GOP candidate who does support the transitioning of children.)

So, when it comes to voting, I have my lines drawn in the sand. Should a candidate move from those lines, I have not abandoned him. He has abandoned me.

Where the former president will ultimately land remains to be seen. But my loyalty is to my Lord and the causes I believe are important to Him. All other loyalties are filtered through that lens.

But he did have loyalty to Trump and had no problem with his amorality -- until now.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 3, 2023 1:17 AM EST
Saturday, December 2, 2023
MRC's Graham Plays Revisionism Card On 2008 Couric-Palin Interview
Topic: Media Research Center

Talk about holding a grudge. Media Research Center executive Tim Graham proved himself to still be angry about something that happened 15 years ago in a Sept. 30 post:

Fox News media reporter Joseph Wulfsohn reported on Friday that former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric boasted at the liberal Texas Tribune Festival last weekend about how she helped Barack Obama get elected in 2008 with her infamous attack interview on Republican Gov. Sarah Palin. "You're welcome, by the way," Couric told the audience, sparking laughter and applause.

She added, "I always thought that Barack Obama should have sent me a big-ass bouquet of flowers for that interview." Then-White House battle-axe Helen Thomas said Couric "saved the country" with that interview. 

She justified sticking it to McCain for health reasons, and for his poor judgment in picking Palin. "I think people were concerned that here she would be a heartbeat away from the presidency, John McCain had cancer, I believe, four times. And I think suddenly, they were not only questioning her abilities, but also his judgment in selecting her," Couric said. "So I think that had a big impact on the election, on the campaign. And so I thought I did a good job."

So did liberal-media types. She earned several awards -- but was it for the journalism or for "saving the country"? Liberal journalists think those are synonymous.

As we've pointed out, the interview was not terribly challenging, and it's not Couric's fault that Palin could not give a coherent answer to a simple question about what newspapers she read. Further, Palin herself has admitted it was "a fair question" and that she "had a crappy answer" to it. But it's an article of faith at the MRC that the interview was biased and proved Couric to be some kind of liberal activist, despite the actual facts. Also: Helen Thomas has been dead for years, and Graham is still apparently traumatized by her.

He's also apparently traumatized by Couric as well. He took a shot at her by asserting that she "never earned a reputation as a powerful intellect" but "still felt she could trash Palin's brains," then complained that she said the interview "stood the test of, of being objective. Even Republicans afterwards thought it was extremely fair, a certain kind of Republican." Graham seems to have forgotten that his own MRC colleagues put out a report after the 2008 election admitting that "Most observers agree that Palin did not perform well in the Couric interview."

Graham is engaging in dishonest revisionism by calling it an "attack interview" when it clearly wasn't. This is yet another instance where  the MRC is putting its preferred narrative before the facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 AM EST
WND Columnist Frets That Muslims Are Outbreeding Christians
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Since September, anti-Muslim activist Raymond Ibrahim has been writing a column for WorldNetDaily that's chock-full with Islamophobia. Ibrahim spent his Sept. 29 column freaking over Muslim parents having children, actually calling it a "baby jihad":

According to a Sept. 11, 2023, report, "Muhammad" is the most popular name for newborn baby boys in Israel (followed by Adam, Joseph and David).

Although Israel is a Jewish nation, it is also right smack in the Middle East, so this finding may not be overly surprising.

What, however, does one make of the fact that all throughout Western Europe, which for centuries represented the antithesis of Islam, newborn baby Muhammads are also taking over?

[...]

Even in the United States, in 2019, Muhammad made the list of top 10 baby names. "Arabic names are on the rise this year," the BabyCenter said, "with Muhammad and Aaliyah entering the top 10 and nudging Mason and Layla off."

All this may seem innocuous enough. After all, what's in a name?

On the other hand, because more numbers equate more power and influence, many Muslims see their progeny as their contribution to the jihad – the ancient "struggle" to make Islam supreme.

[...]

In Germany, about 20% of the population is set to be Muslim by 2050; Austria too. Considering that the average Muslim man is more zealous over his way of and purpose in (Islamic) life than the average German male, 20% may be more than enough for an Islamic takeover of – certainly at least mass havoc in – Germany.

Incidentally, this "baby jihad" can be achieved with either Muslim or non-Muslim (infidel) women.

As you'd expect, there was also ranting that Christians weren't having enough babies to compete:

From here one understands the true root of the immediate problem – and, as usual, it is not so much procreating Muslims as it is perverse Western elements. Having turned its back on its founding faith and Judeo-Christian principles, a moribund culture – typified by nihilism, hedonism, cynicism, and, accordingly, dropping birth rates – simply has little worth living for and is giving way to a more zealous one.

As if the militant, Islamophobic Christianity he appears to be demanding isn't a zealous culture.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Friday, December 1, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Enforced Break Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck had to take an enforced break from insulting White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and fluffing right-wing reporters in the briefing room like Peter Doocy, but when the briefings returned, so did Houck's highly biased takes. He wrote about the Oct. 23 briefing:

Monday marked the first White House press briefing in 11 days, so the press corps had plenty to say about the Middle East crisis triggered by Hamas’s October 7 terror attacks in Israel. While some tried to‘both sides’ the situation, Fox’s Grady Trimble and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann battled National Security Council figurehead John Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over the rising anti-Semitism in America, especially on college campuses.

Wegmann pressed both on the issue, starting with Kirby. Noting there’s been more Republicans (but led by 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Governor Ron DeSantis) “who have called for students or foreign nationals who are demonstrating in...pro-Palestine demonstrations or...allegedly pro-Hamas demonstrations to have their student visas pulled or to face deportation.”

[...]

The two went back-to-back during Jean-Pierre’s portion. Citing Wegmann’s exchange with Kirby, Trimble went further: “[D]oes the President view anti-Israel protests and sentiment on college campuses as anti-Semitism?”

Jean-Pierre shamefully refused to denounce it specifically and declined “to get into what’s happening across the country and — and different universities” given “the First Amendment...and peaceful protest is part of — part of our democracy, being able for folks to — to — to be able to express their feelings.”

She took a more esoteric track and sought to put equal weight on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, arguing Biden “has been very clear in wanting to make sure that Jewish Americans, wanting to make sure that Arab Americans, Muslims are protected here” and “any type of violence” is unacceptable.

Trimble called out the mealy-mouthed answer and noted Biden’s bought into the idea on injustices that “silence” on such issues “is complicity,” so why wouldn’t Biden denounce “anti-Semitic letters being sent by students or [anti-Semitic] sentiment at protests.”

As if she were malfunctioning, Jean-Pierre doubled down even though FBI crime statistics show attacks on Jews account for 51.4 percent of religious-based hate crimes whereas those against Muslims tally only 9.6 percent.

To apploy the MRC's narrative on late-term abortions to Houck's point: Just because hate crimes against Muslims are allegedly not happening at the rate they occur against Jews doesn't mean they're not happening at all.

In writing up the Oct. 24 briefing, Houck touted the biased questioning of another right-wing reporter:

Towards the back-end of Tuesday’s White House press briefing, the Fox Business Network’s Edward Lawrence got under the skin of the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre by asking whether President Biden’s energy policies are helping to expand Iran’s oil coffers and thus leaving them with more money to fund terror groups like Hamas.

“So, Iran makes 70 percent of its revenue from oil. It’s doubled that oil output since 2019, adding $40 billion to revenues. So, are the President’s current energy policies giving Iran enough money to fund terror groups,” Lawrence asked.

With an incredulous look on her face, Lawrence noted that the “price of oil has gone up under this President” from an “average price of...$58” under Donald Trump to $83 now and thus gives Iran even more “money to fund these terror groups in the Middle East.”

Jean-Pierre finally responded in disgust: “I wholeheartedly disagree that we’re — we’re — you know, we’re — our actions are giving — is that what you’re saying? Can you say that again?”>[...]

Over in the Fox News chair, Jacqui Heinrich questioned frequent Jean-Pierre crutch John Kirby if the White House “agree[s] with the U.N. Secretary-General’s statement today that the Hamas attacks, ‘did not happen in a vacuum’” and defended Hamas by arguing “[t]he Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Houck chortled that "at the beginning of the briefing, Jean-Pierre offered an embarrassing mea culpa of sorts to make clear she believes anti-Semitism is a problem. However, she naturally still had to have the qualifier about Muslims and Arab Americans facing scorn because, as expected, she had to both-sides the issue." Houck didn't explain why he wants to pretend that other side doesn't exist.

Houck took a shot an Arabic journalist in his writeup of the Oct. 31 briefing:

Tuesday’s White House press briefing brought about more of the same with a slew of journalists standing up for Hamas and their civilian supporters in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike in Jabalia on a refugee camp allegedly posing as a giant human shield for Hamas operations. But within the questions was a curious question from one Arab reporter in which he shockingly claimed he’s lost 160 family members in the war.

The reporter was Sohail Al Shaer from the Egyptian TV station Alghad TV and he made the claim to the National Security Council’s John Kirby: “Mr. Kirby, thousands of Palestinian civilians have fallen so far, including 160 of my own relatives.”

Houck offered no evidence that Al Shaer was lying. He wen on to whine that non-right-wing reporters didn't hate Muslims enough:

Providing another example of how American tax dollars aren’t being used wisely, the government-funded Voice of America’s Anita Powll [sic] told both Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that Muslim Americans are furious with President Biden for supporting Israel and not supporting Hamas’s demands for a ceasefire.

In her question to Jean-Pierre, Powell wanted to know if any “outreach” was being done to assuage the “very many angry Muslim Americnas” and Jean-Pierre offered an eye-roller of a reply about Muslims “hav[ing] endured a disproportionate number of — certainly, of hate-fueled attacks”.

Houck made sure to show some love to his mancrush: "Doocy Time provided a contrast to all this leftist nonsense as he grilled Kirby about the way our porous southern border could lead to concerns about a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Like most answers on this issue from the administration, Kirby ducked." He also hyped the continuing temper tantrum from another right-wing reporter:

And, as Jean-Pierre walked off the podium, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson lashed out at her for continuing to ignore him as, earlier in the briefing, he asked to be called on despite a five-month-long freeze whenever she’s been at the podium: “It’s anti-democratic to refuse questions from one of our country’s four largest newspapers, Karine!”

As we noted the last time Houck sympathetically hyped Nelson's plight, he wasn't nearly as sympathetic when Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to call on major media outlets because they weren't Trump stenographers.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 4, 2023 10:51 AM EST
Failed Musician Hirsen Lectures Taylor Swift
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen began his Oct. 25 Newsmax column by praising Taylor Swift's success with her concert film, gushing that she "made the decision to bypass the studios and instead deal directly with movie theaters. The results have been remarkable." He then praised the way she appeals to her fans:

Swift's recent movie success has a lot to do with the unique manner in which she has structured her career.

She seems to have understood at a very young age that art has an intrinsic "mission." It's not enough to merely be created. It must be shared.

It is in the sharing that a relationship is formed. And it is in the relationship that mutual appreciation and admiration blossom.

Consistent with the artist's mission, Swift dutifully placed her audience first. As a result, she acquired a highly dedicated fan base, many of whom continue to endure.

From there, however, Hirsen went into complaint mode, grumbling that she started with "early hits about first love," then moved to where "optimism turns to cynicism" then, ultimately, "moves significantly to the dark side both musically and lyrically." From there, he lectured her about it being somehow a bad thing that she stopped writing silly love songs and that she's not living up to her "responsibility" to her fans by writing about other things:

Young Taylor initially wrote and performed songs that primarily focused on the search for the one with whom she could find true love.

As time passed, the music and lyrics changed, possibly a reflection of transitions occurring within her own life.

In any event, darkness, cynicism, and coldness, which are reflected in the melodies, lyrics, and video imagery of later eras, reveal a hardened heart.

Whether or not this is the case in Swift's personal circumstance, it is important to keep in mind that along with fame comes responsibility.

This is because fans put the recipient of their admiration on a pedestal and are influenced by things said and done.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is hoping for a Swift return to her songwriting roots.

And a resurrection of the artistic mission she was graced with at the start.

While Hirsen named a few songs he supposedly objects to, he didn't explain what, exactly, is wrong with them or how they are on "the dark side both musically and lyrically." Given that she has grown and maintained her fanbase throughout all these changes Hirsen is criticizing, one can argue that she's doing just fine with her career and doesn't really need unsolicited advice from a right-wing writer who may be jealous that his own music career (he has worked as a session musician and onetime touring keyboardist for the Temptations) didn't exactly take off.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EST
FAKE NEWS: WND Touts False Claims About COVID Vaccines It Knew (Or Should Have Known) Were False
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh served up even more fake news about COVID vaccines in an Oct. 13 article:

A new study shockingly has linked the mRNA shots, the DNA treatments used as vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic that came out of a Chinese lab working on bat viruses, to millions of sudden deaths.

The study by Correlation Research in the Public Interest is titled, "COVID-19 vaccine-associated mortality in the Southern Hemisphere," and looked at 17 equatorial and Southern-Hemisphere countries including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand and Uruguay.

They include 9.1% of the world's population and reported 10.3% of the world's COVID shots.

"In the 17 countries, there is no evidence in all-cause mortality (ACM) by time data of any beneficial effect of COVID-19 vaccines," the stunning results found. "There is no association in time between COVID-19 vaccination and any proportionate reduction in ACM. The opposite occurs."

The COVID shots, mostly mRNA-based shots that actually are not vaccines, but are DNA therapies, were fabricated in a rush to respond to COVID, and governments, corporations and organizations demanded people around the world take them.

The side effects long have raised questions, including sudden heart failure in relatively young people, and others equally as threatening.

The study states, "The all-ages vaccine-dose fatality rate (vDFR), which is the ratio of inferred vaccine-induced deaths to vaccine doses delivered in a population, is quantified for the January-February 2022 ACM peak to fall in the range 0.02 % (New Zealand) to 0.20 % (Uruguay). In Chile and Peru, the vDFR increases exponentially with age (doubling approximately every 4 years of age), and is largest for the latest booster doses, reaching approximately 5 % in the 90+ years age groups (1 death per 20 injections of dose 4). Comparable results occur for the Northern Hemisphere, as found in previous articles (India, Israel, USA). We quantify the overall all-ages vDFR for the 17 countries to be (0.126 ± 0.004) %, which would imply 17.0 ± 0.5 million COVID-19 vaccine deaths worldwide, from 13.50 billion injections up to 2 September 2023."

The study described it as a "mass iatrogenic event that killed (0.213 ± 0.006) % of the world population (1 death per 470 living persons, in less than 3 years), and did not measurably prevent any deaths."

But as actual journalists at AFP reported, this study is shoddy and dishonest:

Correlation Research in the Public Interest claims that, in the countries analyzed in its report, "there is no association in time between Covid-19 vaccination and any proportionate reduction in (all-cause mortality)."

The group bases that conclusion on figures from the World Mortality Dataset, Our World in Data and a few other regional sources. The authors accurately note that excess deaths -- those recorded in a crisis beyond what would have been expected in a "normal" year -- rose in early 2022 after an uptake in Covid-19 vaccination.

But Oliver Watson, a visiting researcher in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, told AFP that instead of proving Covid-19 shots cause death, the report simply "correlates vaccine rollout with increases in mortality" without accounting for other events that could have caused the spikes.

[...]

The paper shared online also focuses solely on the Southern Hemisphere, which Tara Moriarty of the University of Toronto said "had really high rates of all-cause mortality before vaccines came out."

That trend continued after the rollout in the United States and Europe, the infectious disease researcher added, because many countries "didn't have access to vaccines."

Health Feedback similarly noted that the study "arrived at its conclusion by claiming that spikes in excess mortality in the post-vaccination period correlated to vaccine rollout. Apart from the fact that correlation alone cannot demonstrate a causal relationship, it neglected to account for the fact that these spikes in excess mortality corresponded to surges of COVID-19 deaths. This means that these spikes were very likely due to COVID-19, not the vaccines.

Also, contrary to Unruh's assertion, mRNA vaccines are vaccines and do not alter DNA.

Interestingly, both of these analyses debunking the study were published before Unruh's article -- AFP's analysis was published on Oct. 10 and Health Feedback's was published the next day. This means that Unruh knew or should have known that the study was bogus. Further, the only outside source Unruh citied regarding the study is a far-=right side called Slay News. But it appears Slay News has deleted the article without explanation; Unruh's link to it currently redirects to a donation page. Slay News has been rated unreliable due to is conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, right-wing propaganda, poor sourcing, lack of transparency, failed fact checks, and blatant plagiarism," so it's strange that it found a story that no longer met its abysmal standards.

Yet this story remains live and uncorrected -- a story that should never have run in the first place, at least if anyone at WND actually cared about the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Loud And Lame War On NewsGuard, Part 4
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent the first half of 2023 rehashing its old, discredited attacks on the website-ratings firm, whining that it pointed out the shoddiness of right-wing media. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EST
Thursday, November 30, 2023
MRC Pushed Unproven Republican Narrative That Bowman Deliberately Pulled Fire Alarm
Topic: Media Research Center

When Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a firearm at the Capitol in an attempt to leave the building during a contentious showdown over attempts to avoid a government shutdown, the Media Research Center repeatedly attacked non-right-wing outlets for refusing to echo right-wing claims that he did it deliberately to disrupt the debate and -- even worse -- reported bowman's side of the story. Alex Christy complained in a Sept. 30 post:

Saturday brought the simultaneously bizarre and outrageous development of New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulling the fire alarm in order to disrupt the House’s business as it eventually passed a 45-day continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown. Naturally, MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian accepted the statement that it was just an accident.

At the end of a long diatribe against Republicans ranging from Speaker Kevin McCarthy to Rep. Matt Gaetz, Vossoughian added, “Last thing I wanna mention and then we’re going to take a quick break, there was a mention of Jamaal Bowman, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, and the pulling of some sort of fire alarm.”

[...]

Bowman, who as a former school principal who knows candy does not fall from the ceiling upon the pulling of the fire alarm, did not trip over himself while running and pull the alarm in a freak accident. He is clearly standing by the alarm and deliberately pulling it.

Vossoughian and MSNBC would never give a Republican the benefit on the doubt if they were to pull the fire alarm with photographic evidence. Instead, Vossoughian went to break and on the other side of that break, conducted an interview with Rep. Jamie Raskin where she proceeded to ignore his fire-alarm pulling colleague as the two spent that entire time attacking Republicans.

Meanwhile, over at CNN's Smerconish,  McCarthy's presser was the only immediate reference to the almost certain felony.

Christy is admitting his own bad faith by pushing the right-wing narrative that Bowman acted with malign intent without any evidence to prove it.

Curtis Houck similarly whined in a Oct. 2 post:

This week in liberal media double standards, ABC, CBS, and NBC spent the weekend and Monday morning defending far-left Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) after he pulled a fire alarm< inside a House office building, delaying a vote to keep the government open. In all but two instances, the “big three” uncritically accepted his excuse that it was an “accident.” If this were a Republican, it’d be a safe bet they’d cover it differently.

With college football airing Saturday on ABC, only CBS Weekend News and NBC Nightly News aired. In both cases, they only relayed what happened and Bowman claimed it was a mistake.

Houck did not explain the relevance (or the accuarcy) of labeling Bowman as "far-left." He then cheered that some in the media were fowarding Repubican narrative attacks on Bowman:

CBS Mornings had a full segment on Bowman as part of its “What to Watch” block and co-host Vladimir Duthiers noted Bowman’s excuse runs counter to “images obtained by Punchbowl News” that “show the exit with a number of signs warning about an alarm sounding if you push on the door clearly labeled ‘emergency use only.’” 

“It's the same one we all have in this building, in high school, in elementary school. It says ‘fire.’ ‘Pull in case of’...I like what Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis from New York said, ‘this is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school,’” he added.

Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King seemed sympathetic to Bowman, but even she conceded it’s “a little difficult” to accept him saying he didn’t think the lever he pulled “was a fire alarm.”

“It says fire...We gotta call it for what it is. You’re a congressman,” Duthiers replied.

The Bowman story crossed over into Nicholas Fondacarto's hate-watching of "The View" in an Oct. 2 post:

Over the weekend, we saw the liberal media rush to spread New York Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman’s disinformation that he set off a fire alarm in a House office building because he thought that’s how doors worked. But, on Monday, a couple of the radical liberals on ABC’s The View had their own conspiratorial theories. According to both moderator Whoopi Goldberg and racist co-host Sunny Hostin, the door he was trying to get through was closed as part of a Republican plot to stop him from voting.

Despite the fact Bowman and his office admitted he set off the fire alarm, faux conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin asserted he “allegedly pulled a fire alarm.” “He claims that it was because he was trying to get to the House floor,” she added while pivoting her words to admit he did pull the alarm. “The video seems -- or the pictures suggest otherwise.”

Hostin decried any suggestion that Bowman pulled a “stunt” and cooked up a conspiracy theory that there was an ulterior and nefarious reason the emergency exit Bowman was trying to get through was closed: “I know Jamal, and so again, I'm a little biased, but the doors that are normally open so that he could get to the chambers to read were somehow miraculously closed. How did that happen?”

Fondacaro offered no evidence to back up has assertion that Bowman;'s explanation is "disinformation." (Shouldn't that be "so-called disinformation"?) And, again, Fondacaro thinks Hostin is "racist" largely because he doesn't understand how metaphors work.

An Oct. 2 post by Kevin Tober whined that non-right-wing outlets weren't obsessing over the Bowman story they way they do in the right-wing bubble:

After running with New York Democrat Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s absurd excuse for why he pulled the fire alarm in one of the House office buildings on Saturday, it appears at least two of the big three news networks grew tired of the scandal and decided to move on and hope Americans forget about the serious crime Bowman committed. CBS Evening Newswas the only nightly network news broadcast to continue covering Bowman’s stunt. 

[...]

While CBS Evening News continued their coverage from earlier in the day, they only deserve half credit since correspondent Scott MacFarlane painted the crime as simply Republican accusations despite there being video footage of the incident:

“Some Republicans are also calling for the ouster and prosecution of New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman, a former middle school principal who they accuse of pulling a House office building fire alarm to delay the tense proceedings Saturday,” MacFarlane whined. 

He then simply regurgitated Bowman’s excuses: “Bowman apologized and said he thought the alarm would open a locked doorway as he rushed to votes,” MacFarlane said. “The House Administration Committee and U.S. Capitol Police are investigating.”

Tober failed to back up his claim that Bowman was deliberately performing a "stunt."

Bill D'Aogstino spent an Oct. 3 post insisting that reporting Bowman's side of the story was "spin":

This past weekend, CNN and MSNBC found themselves in the awkward position of having to defend Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who on Saturday afternoon pulled a House office building fire alarm during a vote. While some journalists on these networks have uncomfortably questioned Bowman’s excuse that he pulled the alarm by “accident,” the more partisan among them have been trying everything they can think of to spin the story.

On multiple occasions, talking heads on both liberal cable networks uncritically read Bowman’s official statement aloud. MSNBC host Yasmin Vossoughian was the first to do so on Saturday, during a quick aside which reeked of damage control.

Her colleague Alex Witt later followed suit, going on to complain to Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA)that Republicans were criticizing Bowman: “What do you say to Republicans who just jumped on this, saying, ‘Oh, he should face an ethics investigation for creating a delay in voting and be expelled,’?”

[...]

This story was supposed to be a slam dunk for the media: a chance for them to demonstrate their supposed even-handedness by criticizing a Democrat who had clearly acted improperly. Instead, it was a tortured scene of political damage control — the kind one might expect to play out in Bowman’s DC office, rather than on national television.

What D'Agostino ignores is that, unlike right-wing media activists, actual journalists wait for evidence before accusing someone of malign intent -- and there was still no evidence that Bowman set off the alarm deliberately.

Tim Graham rehashed the incident on his Oct. 4 podcast with numerous personal attacks on Bowman that have nothing to do with what happened:

Managing Editor Curtis Houck joined the show to discuss this and radical leftist Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who pulled a fire alarm in a House office building to delay a vote on a shutdown package on Saturday. They can never identify someone like Bowman as a "hard left" Democrat. Alex Christy hopped on the pro-Democrat media trend right away, explaining away that this was some sort of accident. Bill D’Agostino made a video clip package of all the pathetic press release-reading and excuse-making.

CBS reporter Scott McFarlane spun furiously: “Some Republicans are also calling for the ouster and prosecution of New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman, a former middle school principal who they accuse of pulling a House office building fire alarm to delay the tense proceedings Saturday,” MacFarlane whined. “Bowman apologized and said he thought the alarm would open a locked doorway as he rushed to votes.” How stupid do they think we are?'

How nutty is Bowman? According to the leftist website Raw Story, Jamaal Bowman said this about on Tim Scott saying America's not a racist country. This was apparently pro-Trump: “Now the fact that he would want to be VP to a racist, fascist person is beyond me, but that was him pandering to the Sambo section of the Black community.” Black conservatives are always abused like this.

What does that rant have to do with the incident at hand? Nothing. Graham is simply lashing out because that the facts don't support right-wing attacks on Bowman over the incident.

When Bowman eventually pleaded guilty to a minor crime related to the alarm incident and paid a fine, Houck returned to spend an Oct. 25 post whining that non-right-wing networks didn't cover the relatively insignficant news while praising Fox News for keepingup the right-wiong obession:

Late Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that far-left Congresswoman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will be facing a single criminal charge for his September 30 pulling of a fire alarm at a House office building the briefly delayed the House’s passing of a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown. Given how the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC barely covered the initial incident, it’s not surprise none of the Wednesday evening flagship newscast covered it.

But just as unsurprising was the fact that the Fox News Channel’s flagship newscast Special Report was all over it with a full, two-minute-and-53-second report. Host Bret Baier announced the breaking news that “Democratic congressman who pulled the fire alarm before a House spending vote will surrender to Capitol Police tomorrow.”

[...]

Was Wednesday a busy news night? No doubt about it as there wasn’t even time for a puffball human interest story on any of the network.

But if this were a Republican, there’s no doubt ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News would find a way to work this story in and maybe a few seconds less on, say, promoting the Hamas propaganda of the day and their dubious death tolls.

Like Christy, Houck doesn't understand that non-right-wing media cares more about facts than right-wing media. He would rather praise Fox News for keeping Bowman conspiracy theories alive  -- indeed, he cheered that the Fox News report quoted a Republican congressman "to represent how Republicans aren’t 'buy[ing]' Bowman’s excuses" -- than admit that the facts don't support such speculation. And, again, he failed to justify the relevance or accuracy of labeling Bowman "far-left" here; it seems he wants to hint at malign intent by labeling his purported beliefs.

That's not "media research" -- that's partisan activism. That would seem to violate the nonprofit tax charter the MRC runs on, which restricts the kind of political activity it can engage in.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 1, 2023 11:00 AM EST
Red Scare: WND Brands Anything Not Right-Wing As 'Communist'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The October issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine was themed “AMERICA’S COMMUNIST REVOLUTION: How the freest nation in history is rapidly becoming a Marxist police state.” The theme was promoted this way:

“Our country is going communist!” warned Donald Trump recently. “It's going Marxist, it's going really bad. And the people of our country aren't that way – but the people running it are.”

Hold on. America “is going communist”?

Is this just election-season bluster and hyperbole, or can the utterly unthinkable actually be true?

Unthinkable because, after all, America sacrificed hundreds of thousands of young lives fighting communism in countries across the globe – from Korea and China to Vietnam and Cambodia and Cuba and many others, and was instrumental in forming NATO to “contain” the spread of communism. Then came the showdown with the nuclear-armed Soviet Union, when America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan, leading a militarily and economically stronger superpower, urged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” And not only did the hated Berlin Wall come down, but along with it the entire U.S.S.R.

How is it possible, then, just a few decades later, that the 45th president, Donald Trump, can state out loud what so many Americans have suspected but dared not say? That the greatest, freest and most successful nation in world history is in the throes of a full-scale communist revolution.

That's not what happening, of course, but there wouldn't be a magazine if WND actually cared about telling readers the truth. In his essay for the issue, managing editor David Kupelian made things up by insisting anything that isn't right-wing like himself is "communist":

In 2023 America, the Democratic Party – its agendas, its core values and its audacious and often ruthless methods – are virtually indistinguishable from those of modern-day communists. Compare the Communist Party USA’s website (CPUSA.org) with the Democratic National Committee’s website (Democrats.org) and try to discern any truly substantive difference. Since the Communist Party USA was long funded by the Soviet Union and traditionally very pro-Moscow, one might expect to encounter on its website classic party slogans like “Workers of the world, unite!” alongside photos of Marx, Lenin and other famous communists. Instead, the CPUSA’s No. 1 top-of-the-page issue is, believe it or not – as the site’s screaming headline declares it – “TRANS RIGHTS.”

“The demonization of transgender people in the United States is today a focal point of the far right’s campaign for political and economic domination,” CPUSA’s feature story begins, going on to condemn the “fascist” Republican Party for its “oppression of people of color, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people.”

[...]

Big question: How did card-carrying communists – who for generations have been obsessed with the “evil capitalist oppressors” exploiting and abusing the “working class” – mysteriously become preoccupied instead with insane “woke” gender ideology? Why is today’s Communist Party USA obsessed, as are today’s Democrats, with the radical LGBT agenda and the demonization of everyone – especially Christians – who stand in opposition to it? Even more fundamentally, what do seriously mentally ill men who insist they are women and who destroy women’s athletics have to do with communism?

Kupelian is injecting his own far-rught ideology here, of course, insisting without evidence that gender is an "ideology" and that transgender people are  "seriously mentally ill." Still he whined that others don't viciously hate LGBT people like he does:

It was natural, then, for homosexuals and transsexuals to jump onto the same “oppressed minority” bandwagon. After all, the powerful and well-financed LGBT movement strategically modeled itself after the successful 1960s civil rights movement, casting its members as part of an aggrieved, long-victimized minority. Plus, by positioning itself as one more unjustly “marginalized community,” like African-Americans, the LGBT movement offered an additional benefit to Marxist revolutionaries: It would serve as a weapon specifically targeting Christianity – atheistic communism’s greatest enemy – since genuine Christians oppose homosexual behavior as biblically forbidden (along with adultery and other sexual sin), and could thus be portrayed as bigots and anti-LGBT “haters.”

Kupelian continued to rant:

In the end, the truth emerges: Marxism (and its implementation, communism) constitutes a malevolent religion. And although it has captivated untold millions, and murdered millions more, its leaders don’t believe in it and never have. It’s all a giant pretense, so they can attain and increase their own personal power, glory, wealth and privilege.

George Orwell arrived at this conclusion in his classic novel “Animal Farm,” when at the end of the story, the pigs emerge as the new oppressors of all the other farm animals, replacing the original farmer “oppressor.” When confronted with the religious mantra – “All animals are equal” – which they had long espoused while pretending to side with the rabble, now the ruling pigs with a straight face offered a slightly reworded version: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Finally, here’s how respected historian Victor Davis Hanson recently sized up America’s communist revolution: “The left is waging a full-fledged cultural revolution against traditional America. And the Maoist results are often as absurd as they are terrifying.”

Likewise, Donald Trump, in his inimitable way, aptly captured the current dynamic while campaigning recently in Michigan. Allowing that the current chaos isn’t really all Biden’s fault – because “he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing” – Trump added that “crooked Joe” is “surrounded by radical-left Marxists and crazy people.”

Kupelian made no effort to fact-check anything Trump said; he's a true believer. If Trump says it, that settles it -- which makes Kupelian an ideologue and cult member, not anything remotely resembling the journalist he claims to be.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2023 8:32 PM EST
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

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« December 2023 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google