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Friday, February 2, 2024
ConWebBlog Has Moved!
Topic: The ConWeb
ConWebBlog can now be found at Keep reading!

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
Updated: Monday, February 12, 2024 11:08 PM EST
Thursday, February 1, 2024
As Gas Prices Dropped, MRC Forced To Adjust Its Anti-Biden Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

Because it's the Media Research Center's job as a right-wing activist group to talk down the economy when a Democrat is president, it unsurprisingly labored to blame President Biden for higher gas prices earlier this year, despite offering no evidence to support the claim. When one commentator pointed out that Biden has little control over gas prices, Alex Christy complained in an Aug. 8 post:

As President Biden prepares to travel to Arizona to declare a new national monument around The Grand Canyon, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell used her Tuesday show to lament how people’s basic needs to heat their homes and not break their wallets over gas prices have hurt his ability to cut back on fossil fuels. Mitchell and Politico White House editor Sam Stein also insisted that those gas prices have nothing to do with those high gas prices as he’s just a bystander to world events.


As Mitchell tells it, Biden had nothing to do with those high gas prices. She also does not explicitly mention the reason for the increased supply of natural gas to Europe, but the move came so that the Europeans could continue to have heat in the winter months as they seek to move away from Russian energy sources. If geopolitical realities and basic standard of living concerns force the U.S. and Europe to increase their reliance on fossil fuels, maybe that says something about the desire to move on from them.


You can do something about lower gas prices or appeal to your base. You can help the Europeans disentangle themselves from Russian blackmail or appeal to your base. For MSNBC, those, apparently, are difficult choices.

Christy, of course, is appealing to his employer's right-wing base by suggesting that Biden has total control over oil prices.

Ana Schau used an Aug. 11 post to complain that a CNN report focused on "'core inflation' that removed some of the most relevant factors, such as the cost of energy and food, from the final number to bring it to a place that looked better," though she was forced to concede that "These statistics showed that, in fact, gas prices were the only thing that had gone down, and that by enough to shift the average to a good-looking spot."

An Aug. 31 post by Craig Bannister, taken from the dessicted right-wing blog that used to be the MRC's "news" division, served up some RNC-approved (and cherry-picked) graphics to attack Biden's  economy, including gas prices:

While gas prices held steady under Pres. Donald Trump (down four cents a gallon), they’ve surged 53.1% in the first 31 months of Pres. Joe Biden’s term. From January 2021 to July of this year, the average price of a gallon of gas (all grades) has increased from $2.42 to $3.71, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

By August 28, that cost had risen another 24 cents, to $3.95 a gallon, bringing the increase under Biden to more than a dollar and a half per gallon.

Bannister offered no evidence that Biden and Biden alone is responsible for gas prices.

A Sept. 13 post by Joseph Vazquez complained that the New York Times called out exactly what he was doing -- cherry-picking bad inflation numbers to attack Biden:

The New York Times treated an expected spike in inflation as a problem because … Republicans could potentially pounce on the development to criticize President Joe Biden. Yes, the leftist rag actually did that.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report Sept. 13 at 8:30 a.m. showing that inflation came in hotter than expected in August with a 3.7 percent spike year-over-year. A glaring statistic showed that gas prices spiked a whopping 10.6 percent in August, significantly contributing to the overall inflation rate.


[Reporter Jim] Tankersley tried to throw Biden a lifeline before the BLS report dropped by gaslighting readers. “Prices at the pump remain well below their peak in June 2022, when a gallon of gas cost more than $5 on average.”

Of course, nowhere in his propaganda did Tankersley mention that the average gas price was $2.49 cents per gallon when former President Donald Trump left office, according to economist Stephen Moore. “No matter [how] you slice or dice it, the cost of filling up is about $20 higher today than under Trump,” Moore summarized in an Aug. 16 New York Post piece.

Meanwhile, gas prices were falling, so the MRC needed to adjust the narrative to make that somehow a bad thing. When Republican Rep. Tim Scott tried lecture NBC's Lester Holt about how gas prices supposedly work, Jorge Bonilla tried to boost him n a Nov. 8 post:

Holt tried, he really tried. Take note of the claim. “The idea”, said Holt, of increasing production isn’t enough to decrease prices. Scott folded that premise upon Holt’s head, Inception-like, by correctly pointing out that markets respond to the perception of confidence created by regulatory certainty.

We know this is true because of what happened to the price of gasoline after Election Night, 2020. The record reflects that it began to INCREASE based on the regulatory uncertainty that came with Biden’s election. And it really began to spike after Inauguration Day, 2021, the day he signed the executive order to tighten domestic energy production.

Actually, we don't know that -- Bonilla is simply taking refuge in the correlation-equals-causation fallacy, and he offered no actual proof to bolster his assertion. And Bonilla is certainly not going to tell his readers that U.S. oil production has increased under Biden.

When another news report noted the  lower gas prices, Bonilla had a conniption in a Nov. 29 post:

The pro-Biden media is doing its level best to mitigate the effects of inflation on the everyday finances of the American public: case in point, this weird report on the national gas price average.

Watch as anchor Lester Holt cheerfully frames today’s national gas price average as inflation relief:


God forbid, what happens to gas prices if OPEC cuts production or if the Biden administration’s deal with the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela lapses due to noncompliance? Does NBC issue a correction for pretending that commodity speculation is news? 

More than anything, the report comes off as “Bidenomics” propaganda without that word, which journos openly lament “isn’t working”, ever being uttered.

Also unsaid: the reason gas prices got so high in the first place. Rhymes with Schmidenomics.

Um, wasn't Bonilla trying to portray "commodity speculation" as news by claiming without evidence that the mere election of Biden caused gas prices to increase? And if Biden deserves blame for higher gas prices -- and Bonilla offered no evidence that he was solely responsible -- shouldn't he also get credit if prices go down? Bonilla probably doesn't want to get into that.

Bannister returned with revised cherry-picked charts in a Dec. 15 post that had to acknowledg that gas prices have gone down since his earlier propaganda effort.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EST
Newsmax Columnist Thinks Discredited Russian Agent Will Help Take Down Hunter Biden
Topic: Newsmax

Gavin Wax wrote in his Nov. 28 Newsmax column:

With the prosecution of Donald Trump and his supporters in full effect, the deep state is ripping the mask off and going full Soviet-style totalitarian in preparation for the 2024 presidential election.

Foreign affairs are becoming messier and jumbled, with long-standing political alliances breaking down and the situation at hand becoming exceedingly difficult to navigate. The confusion only empowers the corrupt interests who are using the chaos to tighten their iron-clad grip upon the world.

Former Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach is one whistleblower with the credibility to cut through this fog.

Derkach has released damning evidence of influence peddling by President Joe Biden in Ukraine, offering the receipts showing the blackmailing of corrupt former President Petro Poroshenko to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. He also produced evidence of alleged shadow income given to the Bidens from Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky.

Derkach stands out among other whistleblowers because of his credibility with the Ukrainian people, as a member of parliament for decades.

Wax's evidence for this is an anonymously written story at 21st Century Wire, a conspiracy and conjectiure site with with an affinity for Russia. And therein lies the issue with Wax's column: Derkach is actually a Russian agent who fed misinformation to Rudy Giuliani with the goal of disrupting the 2020 eleciton. In 2022, U.S. authorities charged Derkach with financial fraud and money laundering. That link to Russia means it's highly unfortunate that Wax is trying to tout Derkach's alleged "credibility with the Ukrainian people," given that Russia is currently waging war on Ukraine. Also, Shokin was fired because he wasn't doing his job of prosecuting corruption, not because he was.

But don't worry about any of that, Wax says, because Derkach is really a victim of the "deep state" and did absolutely nothing wrong:

The U.S. Treasury Department levied economic sanctions against Derkach in Sept. 2020 while Trump was still in office. The deep state smeared him as a Kremlin agent without evidence, and he suffered significant hardships as a result.

His Ukrainian bank accounts were shuttered, and his U.S. visa was canceled. Coordinated attempts to shut him down remain, with the 2020 presidential election around the corner as more sanctions are inflicted upon Derkach that Biden is in office, and internal barriers are holding back deep state overreach.

In 2022, Derkach was charged with treason for "undermining Ukraine's relationship with the United States” as part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s crackdown against dissent. The persecution of Derkach mirrors what is happening with President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Wax made no effort to actually disprove any of the charges against Derkach, or even that it was a "smear" to point out his links to the Kremlin. Instead, he concluded by huffing that "Derkach’s work will be vindicated, and the final stakes can be driven through the Russian collusion narrative. This is the great hope of any America First activist, as Derkach is the key to foiling the deep state’s agenda in 2024." In fact, there was plenty of evidence to support the narrative, and the investigation was ruled to have been justified.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EST
MRC Freaks Out Over Non-Heterosexual People In Macy's Parade
Topic: Media Research Center

Part of the Media Research Center's  Thanksgiving meltdown included freaking out that the idea that non-heterosexual people would be allowed to (gasp!) take part in a parade. Chief MRC transphobe Tierin-Rose Mandelburg raged in a Nov. 14 post:

Gone are the days in which I look forward to Thanksgiving morning, still in my jammies, fasting to save room for turkey and pie and curled up watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That tradition ends this year. 

The 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is reportedly going to feature a “non-binary and transgender extravaganza.” In response, more than 20,000 people and counting have signed a petition slamming the iconic parade for its propagandistic shift. 

Macy's presently has two "gender non-conforming" performers in the lineup. Non-binary singer Justin David Sullivan will be there to represent his new role as May in the Broadway production of “&Juliet.” Another Broadway star, Alex Newell, who goes by he/she/they, is supposedly also going to be featured during the parade. 

The petition by One Million Moms (OMM), a conservative advocacy group created by the American Family Association, encourages people to say “NO” to the parade and the involvement by these two individuals, Daily Mail reported.

“The non-binary and transgender extravaganza on display this Thanksgiving will be brought to you by Macy’s during their annually sponsored Thanksgiving Day Parade. Unless they are forewarned about it, this year’s holiday parade will potentially expose tens of millions of viewers at home to the liberal LGBTQ agenda,” the petition began.

Needless to say, nothing of that sort actually happened. THe parade has always featured actors from Broadway musicals, and that's what they're doing with Sullivan and Newell (who is in the musical "Shucked"). And despite rMandelburg aging about "trannies" in her headline, neither Sullivan or Newell is transgender; nonbinary does not equal transgender, even in Mandelburg's fevered imagination.

Mandelburg also failed to explain how, exactly, merely existing as someone who is not heterosexual equates to pushing the "liberal LGBTQ agenda"; instead, she continued that fact-free narrative: "This isn’t the first time the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has pushed the leftist narrative. In 2021, Kim Petras, a transgender pop star, was spotted on a float during the parade."

All Mandelburg is doing here is cranking out right-wing outrage stenography -- numerous other right-wing outlets have also promoted the OMM petition. And she's grossly overstating the issuewith her headline claim that the parade is "all about trannies" -- never mind that she didn't identify a single transgender person taking part in the parade.

That's the kind of inaccurate, mindless right-wing clickbait that continues to discredit the MRC.The fact that she didn't write any further about this issue after the parade tells us her outrage was all for show.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 1, 2024 2:50 PM EST
WND's Cashill Ignores Inconvenient Facts To Fuel His Obama Obsession
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill's Obama derangement continued in a Dec. 27 column, in which he (and a friend) accused Barack Obama of plagiarizing another book for his memoir, then demanded that his fellow right-wingers give him credit for manufacturing the accusation:

Two weeks ago in this space I documented the good company in which Harvard President Claudine Gay finds herself as an aspiring plagiarist.

Harvard worthies Doris Kearns Goodwin, Laurence Tribe, Charles Ogletree and Fareed Zakaria have all been forced to wear the Scarlet P just in the last 20 or so years.

One Harvard plagiarist, however, has managed to escape scrutiny, at least from the mainstream media. But then again, former President Barack Obama escaped scrutiny on all fronts in his miraculously "scandal free" White House years.

Although I have documented Obama's perfidy in the past, I raise the issue again, not only because the subject is in the air, but also because others on the right have been raising it without attribution.

If I might offer friendly advice to my allies and imitators, it is wise to avoid even the appearance of plagiarism when scolding others as being plagiarists.

I worry less about credit for myself than for my informal research associate, Shawn Glasco. It was Shawn who first alerted me to Obama's pillaging of Kuki Gallman's 1994 memoir, "African Nights," for his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father."

Cashill's alleged proof of this is merely circumstantial, of course, based on words that allegedly appear in both works:

Shawn Glasco, who has no Pulitzer Prize and no access to the president, figured out on his own how Obama likely got the Kenya chapter finished.

Instead of going to Africa, Obama may have spent his six-week leave from his law firm copying passages from "African Nights"

Glasco found scores of phrases and words in Obama's"Dreams" that also show up in "African Nights": Baobab (a tree), bhang (cannabis), boma (an enclosure), samosa (a fried snack), shamba (a farm field), liana (a vine), tilapia (a fish), kanga (a sheet of fabric), shuka (decorative sashes).

Both books feature women "wrapped" in their kangas and "dressed" in "rags." The women in both books wear shukas, head shawls, head scarves and goatskins, and they balance baskets on heads graced with "laughing" smiles.

Men in both books spearfish in "ink-black" waters and hunt by torchlight. Elephants are seen "fanning" themselves, birds "trill," insects "buzz," weaver birds "nest," and monkeys "mesmerize."

The books share a veritable Noah's ark of additional fauna: crickets, crocodiles, starlings, dragonflies, cattle, lions, sand crabs, vultures, hyenas, "herds of gazelle," and leopards that can hold small animals "in their jaws."

Cashill doesn't seem to realize that Pulitizer Prizes aren't given out for partisan speculation.

In his Jan. 3 column, Cashill tried to claim that Obama was "guilty of insurrection" by allegedly making sure Donald Trump's Russian ties were investigated:

According to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, no person shall be eligible to hold federal office who "shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion."

Although all parties know the "insurrection or rebellion" clause refers specifically to recently completed Civil War, the Department of Justice argues for a much more elastic definition, all the better to hang Donald Trump with.

Yet if there were one president guilty of insurrection in recent years, that president would have to be Barack Obama. In late 2016 and early 2017, Obama knowingly conspired with others to subvert the presidency of Donald Trump.

Thanks to the zealous note taking of his once and future factotum, Susan Rice, we have documentation of this flagrant act of sedition.


"President Obama began the conversation," wrote Rice, "by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities 'by the book.'"

The "issue" in question was the framing of Donald Trump for collusion with Russia. Obama had to know by this time that the collusion accusation was spawned by the Clinton campaign.

Cashill conveniently omits that there was no "framing: actually needed, given that the 2016 Trump campaign met dozens of times with Russian operatives and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort gave internal polling data to another Russian operative. But Cashill would rather rant about the Steele dossier:

In 1974, Nixon campaign aide Donald Segretti made "dirty tricks" a household phrase. The nation was scandalized that Segretti would send fake letters using the letterhead of presidential candidate Edmund Muskie. For his dirty tricks, Segretti served four months in prison.

For hers, the mother of all dirty tricks, Hillary Clinton walked away without even a scolding. The Steele dossier proved to be the most consequential dirty trick in American political history.

There is no "book" that justifies what Comey and pals did in the weeks immediately following this meeting while Obama was still president.

In fact, an internal watchdog in the Trump-led Justice Department found in 2019 that the Russia investigation was justified and did not act with political bias, and that the Steele dossier as not a factor. But who cares about facts when there is a conspiracy theory to peddle?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 1, 2024 5:54 PM EST
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
MRC's Hunter Biden Derangement, Tax Charge Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

There are few things that the Media Research Center hates more than Hunter Biden daring to defend himself. When Hunter faced the possibility of a closed-door hearing with House Republicans -- who have a penchant for dishonestly leaking excerpts of the testimony that don't hold up when the full tranascript is later released -- Alex Christy spent a Nov. 29 post complaining that Jimmy Kimmel made that point:

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel expressed his concern with Hunter Biden possibly going before the House Oversight Committee on his Tuesday show claiming Republicans’ desire for a closed-door hearing will lead them to “make stuff up” because “they’ve seen no evidence that Joe Biden had anything to do” with Hunter’s business operations.

Kimmel actually began with a rare joke about Hunter himself, “Hunter Biden may be heading to Congress. He said—Hunter said he is willing to testify before the House Oversight Committee, but only if it is televised. He wants to do it in public, preferably nude, in a hot tub, smoking an unfiltered cigarette with a hooker.”

However, Kimmel quickly shifted to the substance of the matter and, like Hunter’s legal team, demanded a televised hearing, “but his legal team wants him to testify out in the open, but Republicans don’t want that. They don't want it on TV. They're like, ‘If we don’t do this behind closed doors, how are we supposed to make stuff up?’" 

If the positions were reversed, Kimmel would probably accuse Republicans of wanting the hearing televised so they could get their 30 seconds of fame by confronting Hunter and putting the clip on the internet while fundraising off it.

As it is, Republicans are seeking to deny Democrats the opportunity to get their own 30 second clips that would end up on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Christy was silent on the fact that Republican dishonesty on leaked testimony has been well documented.

The same day, Curtis Houck whined that non-right-wing media outlets aren't obsessing over this as much as he is:

Tuesday saw a possible monumental twist in the Hunter Biden saga as Biden said he would be willing to comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena and testify publicly (even though the committee currently wanted a private deposition) about his life of ruin, corruption, and allegations of malfeasance involving his father, the current President. 

But like most Biden scandals, it barely received any attention on the flagship morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC, with only 31 seconds on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News.

Tim Graham spent a Dec. 2 post whining even more at the idea that Hunter defending himself could possibly be seen as a good thing:

On CNN’s The Chris Wallace Show on Saturday morning, they talked about Hunter Biden, but it was framed as Hunter making Republicans look dumb.

Wallace began: "Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. The president's embattled son Hunter Biden taking on House Republicans this week, agreeing to testify in their impeachment inquiry, but only if it’s in public. House Republicans quick to reject the offer, calling for Hunter to testify first in private."

After a soundbite of Rep. James Comer, Wallace then asked leftist podcaster Kara Swisher: "Kara, did Hunter Biden outsmart House Republicans, saying sure I'll testify -- in public?" The screen also asked 'DID HUNTER BIDEN OUTSMART HOUSE REPUBLICANS?'

Swisher agreed: "Yes, I thought it was brilliant actually, because he's a somewhat appealing character. People will get to see him for the first time rather than the cartoon and now they have to say 'no we don't want to see you,' and after all this time, we have to see Hunter Biden."

That's a weird flex, because Hunter Biden did a weird round of interviews when his addiction memoir Beautiful Things came out in 2021.

Graham didn't give CNN credit for having conservatives on the panel, though he eagerly quoted those conservatives portraying Hunter defending himself as a "stunt."

After Hunter faced new tax-related charges, Christy came back in a Dec. 8 post to complain that someone pointed out the charges disprove right-wing claims that the Department of Justice has bee "weaponized":

New York Times correspondent and author Michael Bender joined Friday’sCNN This Morning to react to Hunter Biden’s latest indictment on tax evasion where he proceeded to memory holed the IRS whistleblowers who alleged he received preferential treatment in order to proclaim that in “a normal world” these latest charges would debunk the idea that the Justice Department has been weaponized.

Host Poppy Harlow began with more of a statement or observation than a question, “Michael, this is a complete collision course between, you know, the political system and the legal system. What's fascinating is for both the president's son and for the former president, all at the same time.”

Bender concurred, but on the political ramifications, he accused Republicans of living in some sort of fantasy land, “normally the American people are less likely to penalize a candidate for his family's charges, and you would think, in, maybe, a normal world, all these charges against Hunter Biden might take some steam out of the Republican argument that Joe Biden has weaponized the Justice Department against his -- against his political enemies but, you know, the keyword there, in a normal time.”

Christy didn't explain how these charges don't disprove the right-wing "weaponization" narrative.

Graham returned to serve up his own complaint in a Dec. 8 post that the charges were being questioned:

While ABC, CBS, and NBC dryly and seriously addressed the new Hunter Biden indictment on tax charges in California, MSNBC’s Morning Joe didn't discuss the new Hunter indictment until a half-hour had elapsed, and then they implied this shouldn’t have happened.

Co-host Willie Geist walked legal analyst Lisa Rubin through all the reasons not to prosecute. Hunter repaid the tax debt, “maybe not by him specifically, but they were repaid.” And not in a timely manner, Rubin added, but “Hunter’s tax liability has been cleared."

Rubin then explained that back when Hunter’s plea deal collapsed, she told the MSNBC anchor that other people would have never been prosecuted for this, so the fact that these charges are added “shows me that there is a two-tiered system of justice, it just doesn’t go the way Donald Trump thinks it does."


They're so energetically doing Democrat Talk that they can't acknowledge that all of Hunter's millions came from selling access to his father. Joe Biden obviously knew his son was selling access. He cooperated with it, and met with his clients. next? [Jonathan] Lemire then made a speech that this indictment is "not a coincidence." (Like Biden's Justice Department is working with Republicans?)

Graham didn't explain that it's entire possible there could bepartisan DOJ holdovers from the Trump years who would act against Hunter the way he accuses DOJ operatives of acting against Trump.

Houck served up a Dec. 8 coverage time-count post (that oddly excluded Fox News), adding: "While the liberal media seem increasingly comfortable with throwing Hunter overboard, they’ve made sure to continue sheltering his father, President Joe Biden."

Nicholas Fondacaro grumbled in his own Dec. 8 post:

First son Hunter Biden got an early Christmas gift from Special Council David Weiss in the form of a brand new federal indictment on felony tax charges. That didn’t sit well with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell, who opened her eponymous show on Friday by lamenting that Weiss “quoted gritty details from Hunter's own memoir to build his case,” how it was bad “optics” for White House, and that it could hurt President Biden’s 2024 chances.

Christy huffed in a Dec. 9 post: "With Hunter Biden being charged with multiple tax-related felonies, the cast of Friday’s PBS NewsHour wanted to emphasize what it considered the main takeaway “the indictment does not in any way implicate President Joe Biden.” He then ranted about "all the evidence that Joe was involved in those ill-gotten gains that he said doesn’t exist," though the MRC post he offered as proof failed to demonstrate that any of it was creidible evidence.

A Dec. 10 post by Jorge Bonilla complained that an ABC panel discussion "threatened to veer into 'a father’s undying love' territory, but it only took former DOJ spokesperson Sarah Isgur 39 seconds to bring the discussion back into focus." He censored the fact that Isgur is a conservative activist who was a DOJ spokesperson in the Trump administration. Bonilla also groused that the panel discussion didn't get into "the firing of Victor Shokin," but failed to disclose that Shokin (a prosecutor in Ukraine) was fired because he wasn't doing his job of prosecuting corruption, not because he was.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EST
Newsmax Cut Back Further On Debate Coverage, Again Touted Candidate Who Wasn't There
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax somehow managed to care even less about the fourth Republican presidential debate than it did the first three. There were a few preview articles, all of which were wire articles:

There were only a few articles on the content of the deabte itself:

Newsmax's original debate-related coverage was focused more on trashing the debate itself and touting the candidate who wasn't there (though it did let Ron DeSantis make a TV appearance to tout his "momentum" after the debate, which didn't age terribly well considering he'd drop out of the race a month or so later). Michael Katz did some creative math in a Dec. 7 article to bash the debate's ratings:

The fourth Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NewsNation on Wednesday suffered the worst ratings of all GOP debates this cycle, with the upstart network drawing only 1.6 million viewers.

The debate also aired on NewsNation's sister network CW, drawing an additional 2.5 million viewers, giving a total audience of 4.1 million, Nielsen reported.

Even with the combined number, the NewsNation debate had the lowest rating of any network hosting a GOP debate this year.

Just last month, the NBC-hosted Republican debate drew 7.5 million viewers. NewsNation also witnessed a huge drop of 68% in audience from Fox News' first GOP debate held in Milwaukee on Aug. 23. Fox drew 12.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Katz then took a couple shots at NewsNation itself:

The liberal NewsNation channel, formerly WGN America, has been struggling since its inception in 2021.

It drew just 60,000 viewers for a total day in 2023 — down 35% from last year — making it the lowest-rated cable news channel.

In fact, NewsNation is very much right-leaning, not "liberal."

A column by John Gizzi proclaimed Trump the debate's winner despite not bothereing to show up:

Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, the fourth of the year, was by far the best, a group of experts who spoke to Newsmax agreed.

The group said that each of the four candidates shined at different times in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, forum. But they also agreed that, as in the past three debates, former President Donald Trump was the winner simply by not being there.

A Dec. 9 article by Eric Mack let Trump bash the debate as well:

The lowest-rated GOP primary debate yet in "history" has left a trail of woe and losers, according to former President Donald Trump.

Trump mocked the low ratings of NewsNation and his primary challengers and even took a new shot at Megyn Kelly, who he temporarily suggested had come around.

"So many people are asking what I thought of history's lowest rated 'presidential' debate, & how would I rate the players," Trump wrote on Truth Social early Saturday morning. "It's so easy to be a critic, but who on this subject would be better than me."

Not only were the host and the moderators lowly rated in Trump's review, but the candidates were anything but worthy, he added.

When the Republican National Committee decided not to be invnolved in any further debates, a Dec. 9 article by Sandy Fitzgerald tried to frame it as beingdue to "dwindling ratings for the contests," not the more logical explanation that one candidate absolutely refused to participate, and that it was "giving broadcast rights to networks seen as hostile to former President Donald Trump, including Fox, NBC, and NewsNation," despite it being nonsensical to call Fox News "hostile" to Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EST
Did Cashill Get A Buddy To Write Fawning Review Of His Book For A Right-Wing Website?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Woody Cozad wrote a fawning review of WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill's book "Untenable" (you know, the one that's beloved by the white nationalists at VDARE) for the right-wing Manhattan Institute's City Journal website:

Our well-intentioned government—named the “Good Intentions Paving Company” by financial analyst James Grant—always seems to find itself scrambling to explain how its latest scheme for a better world has delivered us into an even lower circle of hell. Bureaucrats to the core, they’ve even developed a one-step procedure for dealing with this task: blame it on the people. The term “white flight” is a product of this procedure.

A principal benefit of this system is that the Paving Company doesn’t have to ask people—in this case, the whites who took “flight”—why they fled. It must be because they were fleeing from nonwhite people, and fleeing from nonwhite people is racist. Why would you bother consulting racists about their motives?

 Untenable, punctures this familiar white flight narrative. Cashill’s subtitle promises the “true story of white ethnic flight from America’s cities.” Cashill has learned a thing or two from his fellow descendant of Irish refugees, Ronald Reagan: damn the statistics, tell the stories. In fact, let people tell their own stories. In this book, they finally get the chance to do so.

Decades on, few have bothered asking white ethnic residents why they left the neighborhoods where they had met and married spouses, raised families, made their livings, drank beer together, cheered the home team, and gone to the movies. They (or their forebears) hadn’t left Ireland, Germany, Italy, or Poland lightly. It took poverty, starvation, tyranny, and decades of suffering, in many cases, to get them to our shores. We’re expected to believe that they dropped the fruits of a lifetime’s effort in America and decamped for the suburbs solely because some black families bought houses a few blocks away.

This certainly isn’t the story the white ethnics tell in the pages of Untenable. Their reasons for leaving boil down to two things: the rise of crime and the collapse of schools.

Which, of course, are being blamed on black people, despite Cozad's refusal to say it out loud. So, yes, there's racism involved -- why else would VDARE endorse the book?

Cozad's end-of-review bio describes him only as "a lawyer in Missouri" who has held other minor state offices and was once chairman of the state Republican Party. However, he's a lot closer to Cashill than City Journal chose to disclose. He's worked on numerous projects with Cashill: he chaired a panel about the business of law in Kansas City that Cashill moderated, he appeared in an anti-evolution video called "The Triumph of Design" that Cashill directed, and a 2017 column by Cashill touted how Cozad popped up in a Netflix video made by Robert Reich.

Seems like Cashill got a buddy of his to write a positive review of his book for a right-wing website. Doesn't seem very honest of him.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Adjusting Speakers At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tried to blame everyone but hard-right Republicans for the ouster of Kevin McCarthy as House speaker -- then downplayed the far-right extremism of his replacement, Mike Johnson. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 PM EST
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
MRC Plays Whataboutism To Defend Trump's 'Vermin' Attack
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center will defend Donald Trump no matter how extreme he becomes. So when he started ranting about his opponents being "vermin," the MRC quickly rushed to his defense and whined about the critics. Mark Finkelstein did thte latter in a Nov. 13 post:

Calling Donald Trump a "fascist" is Joe Scarborough's stock in trade. He works it into his spiel almost as often as he brings up the fact that he once was a Congressman.

But "fascist" apparently no longer suffices to express the depths of Joe's disdain for the Donald. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough declared that Trump has gone "full-on Hitler." Trump's sin was vowing to root out "vermin," his term for "radical-left thugs."

Trump = Hitler? Hitler—who carried out history's greatest genocide of Jews?

Trump, the man who delivered on the failed promise of preceding presidents to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? The man behind the Abraham Accords, by which several Arab states opened diplomatic relations with Israel? Trump, the man with a Jewish daughter and son-in-law, and Jewish grandchildren? That's Hitler?

Alex Christy recently looked at a year of media coverage and crowned Scarborough as the media's "King of Nazi Analogies." That didn't even count the use of "fascist." Joe's streak continues.

Surely Scarborough is aware that the scourge of antisemitism in America lies largely on the left. With the chanting on campus, on American streets -- even in the halls of Congress in the person of Rashida Tlaib -- of "From The River to The Sea," effectively a call for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Finkelstein didn't mention that his employer has its own affinity for Nazi analogies ("digital brownshirts," anyone?).

Curtis Houck was similarly quiet about the MRC's love of Nazi analogies in a post the same day complaining that Trump's analogy was pointed out:

On Tuesday, ABC’s chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl’s third anti-Trump book hits shelves and will send Resistance types into further episodes of collective hyperventilation over Trump and the GOP as threats to national security who must be crushed in 2024. Karl hawked the book on Monday’s Good Morning America and lashed out at voters for “not” having “paid much attention to what” Trump’s “doing and saying,” including his “Third Reich” rhetoric.

Tired of Winning: Donald Trump at the End of the Grand Old Party is likely to be another bestseller and only further underline the liberal media’s symbiotic relationship with Trump of shrieking about him (as well as his supporters) but dismissing and ripping any legitimate Republican who’d give him a run for his money in 2024.


“[T]his is a very dark, dark thing. We heard him refer to his opponents just the other day as vermin — using — using language out of the Third Reich,” he added.

Stephanopoulos interjected partway through with — wait for it — Trump-Hitler comparison, saying Trump’s engaging in “Adolf Hitler talk.”

Karl continued, warning Trump would “eliminate and annihilate his enemies and get retribution” and that his “hardcore base” believes him when he said his enemies as “coming after me because their real target is you and I’m standing in the way.”

Ignoring the dozens of campaign emails, videos from Trump himself, and an entire record of four years in office, Karl hilariously claimed Trump “doesn’t really have a policy agenda so much as a — as an agenda of getting revenge on his enemies and insisting on loyalty.”

Despite referencing "dozens of campaign emails, videos from Trump himself, and an entire record of four years in office," Houck quoted from none of them to show Trump cares about policy instead of revenge. And he's certainly not going to mention the video in which Trump says, "I am your retribution."

Clay Waters complained in a Nov. 15 post that a historian pointed out the Nazi parallels in the "vermin" remark:

The Monday evening PBS NewsHour starred recurring guest, New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat, using Trump's talk of leftist "vermin" at a rally on Veteran’s Day to compare the former president to Hitler. (With the far-left’s public anti-semitic behavior of late, some are cheekily tempted to ask if being compared to Hitler is a good thing or a bad thing on the left.)

Ben-Ghiat likened Trump to fascists three times along with similar unseemly comparisons.


(If Ben-Ghiat truly thinks she's in danger of fascist political prosecution by Trump, she certainly doesn't seem concerned.)

My colleague Mark Finkelstein pointed out that President Trump actually moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and drove the Abraham Accords, by which several Arab states opened diplomatic relations with Israel and was a staunch ally of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In other words, Trump's the worst Hitler ever.

Tim Graham went for 25-year-old whataboutism in his Nov. 15 podcast:

Everyone from PBS to Rachel Maddow on CBS is freaking out over Donald Trump promising to root out the “vermin” from the radical left. Out came the allegedly nonpartisan historians like Ruth Ben-Ghiat to explain that Trump sounds almost exactly like Hitler. It doesn't matter that as president, Trump implemented a range of policies that were pro-Israel. They have to spread that "beware the authoritarian" messaging. They just can't let go...even if it helps Trump. Even if Trump wants them to trash him.

But they can’t find outrage when leftists described Republicans as a “crazed swarm of right-wing locusts.” That reduction of the GOP to insects came from NAACP leader Julian Bond in a National Press Club speech in 1998.

Mr. Bond said: "[Reagan] brought to power a band of financial and ideological profiteers who descended on the nation's capital like a crazed swarm of right-wing locusts bent on destroying the rules and the laws that protect our people from poisoned air and water, and from greed."

Did anyone think Julian Bond was some kind of dehumanizing authoritarian? No. It wasn't a story to them, only to The Washington Times and some conservative news-busters.

It says something about how desperate the MRC is to defend Trump no matter what that Graham had to go back 25 years to find something equivalent, and he could only find a policy official, not a presidential candidate.

Whwen Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman stated that Trump "has to be eliminated" -- in context, he's clearly talking about eliminating Trump from politics, not killing him -- Jorge Bonilla used the remark (and Graham's ancient whataboutism) to downplay Trump's rhetoric in a Nov. 20 post:

It wasn’t that long ago that the media went into high dudgeon over Trump’s use of the word “vermin”, and went out of their way to elicit comparisons to Hitler. But this standard seems to cut in only one direction. “A crazed swarm of right-wing locusts”, is how one speaker referred to Republicans a generation ago. No one clutched their pearls or went for the fainting couch. But no such deference for Trump.

Bonilla didn't deny, however, that it was accurate to compare Trump's rhetoric to Hitler.

Houck returned for even more ancient whataboutism in a Nov. 22 post:

With the chyron reading “Breaking News; Fears Grow Amid Trump’s Embrace of Authoritarianism”, supposedly objective and nonpartisan Washington Post journalist Carol Leonnig had a cartoonish claim of her own, huffing that “it was clear that Donald Trump…was not the president for all Americans” in contrast to “all of them before Donald Trump” who “made an effort to unite the country, to try to – even though they may have been elected by one party’s faithful or another, still tried to encourage and enable and kind of, in essence, charm the other side”.

Was Leonnig in a coma during, say, Obama’s Lawrenceville, Kansas speech? Or Woodrow Wilson with the Espionage and Sedition Acts? Or Bill Clinton’s vicious spin team led in part by current ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos?

Menendez went to McCaskill with more fear-mongering and stoking of divisions, huffing that Trump (and thus his supporters) just wrong, but “the threat from within” with his supporters representing possible actors in “domestic violence extremism”.

“He is the one stoking fear. He is the one stoking violence around this country,” she added.

Houck is so marinated in right-wing grievance-mongering that we're supposed to know what he means by dropping a reference to "Obama’s Lawrenceville, Kansas speech" without explanation. And since there is no town in Kansas named Lawrenceville (though there is one named Lawrence), we still don't know what he's talking about.

A Nov. 24 post by Waters complained that a couple of New York Times reporters "played along with Democratic scaremongering over Trump and his “vermin” insult," but doesn't explain why there shouldn't be any. Graham used a Dec. 4 post to whine that a TV host pointed out that Ron DeSantis refused to condemn Trump's "vermin" remark despite being asked multiple times to address it:

On Sunday, NBC Meet the Press host Kristen Welker displayed an interview taped on Saturday with Gov. Ron DeSantis. She repeatedly demanded the candidate denounce Donald Trump for his use of the term "vermin" to describe communists, fascists, and "radical left thugs" in America. She asked six times to try and force an answer, implying Trump sounded like a Nazi. DeSantis said he wasn't playing the media game on this.


After Welker's performance, she turned to her panel of pundits for their analysis. Stephen Hayes of The Dispatch hit DeSantis for "how small he felt in response to those questions." Tim Alberta of The Atlantic said "He seemed defensive, jumpy in that interview. He almost gives the vibe of a guy who sort of knows that the end could be near."

Graham didn't dispute that analysis of DeSantis, nor did he explain why the "vermin" remark shouldn't be criticized, or even offer a defense of DeSantis' "media game" evasion.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024 10:06 PM EST
Newsmax Lets Giuliani Bloviate About Losing Defamation Lawsuit
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax didn't have a lot to say about the defamation lawsuit two Georgia election workers filed against Rudy Giuliani -- it published a wire article in August when a judge found him liable for defaming the women, and an article a few days later let Giuliani portray it as among the "ridiculous lawsuits" he faces. But when Giuliani was ordered to pay $148 million to the women for defaming them, Newsmax finally had to devote some attention to the story involving the guy for whom it's running a legal defense fund.

It ran a Dec. 15 wire article on the verdict, but it rewrote the original AP article to give greater prominence to Giuliani's whining that the “absurdity of the number merely underscores the absurdity of the entire proceeding” and added a statement from him to Newsmax that "It bore no resemblance to a trial in a country with the rule of law. Newsmax also trotted out a Republican congressman to denounce the verdict later that day, as Michael Katz wrote up:

A jury's verdict that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani must pay $148 million to two former Georgia election workers who claim he defamed them was "pathetic" and Newsmax on Friday.

The workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, sued Giuliani for defamation regarding the 2020 election that they said upended their lives with racist threats and harassment. Giuliani was helping former President Donald Trump contest his narrow loss to Joe Biden in Georgia in that election.

"It's just ridiculous, the amount," Burchett told "Eric Bolling The Balance." "I read what he was accused of, but $148 million, that's just pathetic. Everybody knows that. They're just trying to ruin folks.

"This is a political game within our court system. It's so political that our own Justice Department hasn't even lifted a finger to look at Hunter Biden when the $30 million that have flowed through that family, their crime family, and probably not paid any taxes on it. I don't know if Rudy Giuliani is guilty or not, but it's not in the hundreds of millions of dollars guilty. I just find that offensive."

Newsmax also had on Giuliani himself that day to rage about the verdict, as Eric Mack dutifully wrote up in a Dec. 16 atticle:

Vowing to appeal the $148 million defamation damages verdict delivered Friday, Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax the "absurd" amount shows the trial is bigger than the two claimants, as Biden lawyers are actually seeking to silence former President Donald Trump.

"It's not a trial," Giuliani told Friday night's "Greg Kelly Reports," just hours after the ruling. "I never had a trial.

"This is way beyond them. And my desire to move on with this case, it's really to save the republic. Trials like this do not happen in a country that's ruled by law. Trials like this happen in a country that's ruled by a regime, which is what the Biden machine is, it's a regime.

"And this is not the only desecration of justice in this regime. It's one of many. It has to stop."

Giuliani, Kelly and Mack all failed to mention that the reason Giuliani "never had a trial" is that Giuliani refused to take part in the trial process. He failed to take part in the discovery process despite repeated efforts and court orders to get him to, and he effectively conceded that he made defamatory statements about the women. Giuliani has no one but himself to blame for how things turned out, but Kelly and Mack won't discuss that fact. Instead, they let him spout a conspiracy theory that the Bidens were behind all this:

"Also, the lawyers here were Biden lawyers. These women could not have afforded these lawyers. Is it a coincidence that the chief lawyer worked with Hunter Biden and represented the crooked Burisma?

"Who's the guy who revealed that? Who? Me. Why do you think they're coming after me? Because if it wasn't for me, nobody would know about Joe Biden."

The ties to President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden are far too direct to be coincidental, according to Giuliani.

Neither Kelly nor Mack pushed back on those claims.

Mack got another article out of Giuliani's appearance on Kelly's show in which he actually touched on some of the relevant issues:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani set up the basis for his appeal of the $148 million defamation ruling against him Friday, saying the Democrat, anti-Trump judge forced excessive personal discovery of his finances and ruled against him for failing to comply fast enough with the unusual request.

"How can you not be so sad for the country?" Giuliani told Friday's "Greg Kelly Reports" on Newsmax hours after the jury verdict ruled on the amount and not Giuliani's guilt or innocence. "Here I am in the District of Columbia: The first time I came here I got goose bumps; I'm going to leave here thinking that this District of Columbia court is a fascist court."

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2010, in August found Giuliani civilly liable for two Georgia election worker's claims of "defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and punitive damage" before the trial began because he did not turn over personal financial documents in a timely manner to the defense.

"I knew when she was assigned to the case, I knew we were dead," Giuliani told host Greg Kelly. "I didn't realize we were that dead.

Mack didn't explain how that discovery request was supposedly "unusual," nor did he question the fact that Giuliani apparently failed to comply with all discovery requests, not just that one. Instead, he let Giuliani whine in the third person that ""The jurors never saw a single defense from Giuliani" without explaining that the reason that happened is because Giuliani absolutely refused to provide one.

When Freeman and Moss brought a new action against him seeking a gag order to stop him from continuing to defame them, Giuliani whined about that in a Dec. 18 Newsmax TV appearance:

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax on Monday the new federal lawsuit seeking a permanent gag order against him is "un-American."

Giuliani joined "Rob Schmitt Tonight" to talk about the second lawsuit brought against him by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, days after they won a $148 million defamation lawsuit against him.

"That sounds kind of un-American, doesn't it? That's prior restraint," Giuliani said.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, seeks to "permanently bar" Giuliani from "persisting in his defamatory campaign against the plaintiffs."

Schmitt did not apparently ask why Giuliani could not simply shut up and not defame the women further.

When Giuliani filed for bankruptcy a few days later in a ploy to avoid having to pay the women, Newsmax ran a wire article, then invived him on TV to whine some more:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax on Thursday that he had to "protect myself" and other "normal creditors" in the wake of a $148 million defamation judgment against him, saying, "I'm destroyed."

Giuliani appeared on "Rob Schmitt Tonight" hours after filing the petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"I'm very hopeful the entire case is going to be reversed but I can't be sure of that," Giuliani told Schmitt.

Further, Giuliani took issue with Judge Beryl Howell's ruling on Wednesday to dissolve the standard 30-day grace period for enforcement of judgment. The judge said her ruling was due to "several considerations" citing the "risk that Giuliani may attempt to conceal and dissipate [his] assets" during the 30-day period.

Schmitt apparently did not ask Giuliani about the possibility he might hide assets or ask any challenging questions about the defamation to which he admitted.

Meanwhile, Nesmax has given Giuliani a show on its streming channel, Newsmax2, called "America's Mayor Live," where he ramble at will, so he's got a little money coming in to help pay off that defamation judgment, not to mention his other legal issues.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2024 6:20 PM EST
MRC Continued To Heather Liz Cheney
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reesarch Center's Heathering campaign against Liz Cheney as she promoted her new book continued in a Dec. 6 post by Tim Graham:

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio was aggressively competing to be the most interview spot for Liz Cheney on Monday's Morning Edition. Anchor Leila Fadel was every bit as promotional as say, Asma Khalid was with Kamala Harris a year ago. Cheney is now in the pantheon of Democrat heroes. The headline was a typical repetition of Liz's message: 

Democracy is at stake if Trump is reelected, Liz Cheney warns in her new book

Fadel surely enjoyed the idea of ripping House Republicans as spineless traitors to the Constitution:


Fadel asked small, facilitating questions to let Cheney spool out her story of the rotting of the Republicans: "What was it that stripped away that unanimity [after January 6]?" And: "What's at stake here for the country?" Then came the obligatory question about if she's a Republican, which nobody should imagine at this point, not with how the liberal media are spoon-feeding her:

As usual, Graham refused to offer any sort of fact-based rebuttal to anything Cheney said -- he just whined that she was given in platform to say it. He repeated his attack in a post the next day on a different interview:

NewsHour? Many nights, you couldn't tell the difference. Co-host Amna Nawaz interviewed Liz Cheney on Thursday, and she was just like NPR's Leila Fadel in merely facilitating all of Cheney's Republican-ripping talking points from her new book. Republican tax dollars are used to trash Republicans on "public" broadcasting. 

The segment's online headline was just a PR echo: Liz Cheney’s ‘Oath and Honor’ spotlights dangers of a potential 2nd Trump presidency. Nawaz's questions were fluffy softballs:

There was no mention of the fluffy softballs Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, tossed to Ron DeSantis in a gushfest a month earlier. It's as if Graham has a double standard on the issue.

Graham did actually attempt a substantive response regarding one exchange. When Cheney pointed out that Republicans were too scared to vote for Trump's impeachment, Graham huffed in response:

Neither Nawaz nor Cheney was going to explore how there were ten House Republicans who voted for the second impeachment of Trump days before he left office. Only two of them are still in the House. Some of them left to make big book deals and draw love on PBS.

The example Graham provided of a Trump-criticizing Republican who "drew love" on PBS? Adam Kinzinger. Graham did not explain why no Republican should have voted for Trump's impeachment.

When Cheney appeared on "The View," Nicholas Fondacaro had a huge meltdown in a Jan. 10 post:

With the calendar finally reading “2024,” the realization and panic seemed to be really setting in for the liberal cast of ABC’s The View. During an interview with former Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, which spanned most of the Wednesday show, moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-host Sara Haines literally begged Cheney to launch a third party and/or run third party in order to stop former President Trump from possibly beating President Biden, if he won the GOP nomination.

After returning from a commercial break, Goldberg immediately floated the idea of Cheney finding a “smart” Democrat to start a third party with. “I have felt for a long time that there's no reason why you can't find somebody smart on the left and somebody smart on the right and put them together and make that the new party,” she opined.

Faux conservative Ana Navarro quipped that a “Cheney/Goldberg” ticket could be in the works. Goldberg shot it down, saying that running for office wasn’t for her, but pressed Cheney on the idea and claimed elections would be outlawed if Trump was elected again:

Note that Fondacaro focused solely on irrelevant third-party discussions and ignored the substance of what Cheney said, which even he conceded "spanned most of the Wednesday show." That's how desperate the MRC is to smear Cheney for not marching in lockstep with its fellow Trump-lovers.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 PM EST
More WND Columnists Freak Out Over Removal Of Confederate Monument At Arlington Cemetery
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Even more WorldNetDaily columnists had meltdowns over the removal of a Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Jim Darlington attempted a little Civil War revisionism in a Dec. 19 column:

Amazing! Now we are waiting to see if reason prevails or will the autocrats of our "Rich Men North of Richmond" drive the final nail into the coffin of both national and racial unity? Thankfully a stay of execution has been granted by a Trump appointed judge for the planned destruction of the Reconciliation Monument crafted by the Jewish sculptor Moses Ezekiel – a great monument meant to celebrate America's national reunification after the War Between the States and honoring those who fought and died on both sides. Why would the government desecrate Arlington National Cemetery and do such violence to our history?

Those advocating for such destruction claim that they only to want an end to racism, and to honor the South is to affirm racist values.

But was the Civil War fought over the question of slavery? As a "Yankee" who moved to Alabama, I've had to try and consider the contrary points of view. I think that for the Northerners, it's true enough. Many were willing to fight against the thoroughly demonized Southern slavers. Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had flown off the shelves, sure enough. But I wonder if it holds true of the Southerners, that preserving slavery was enough for them to fight and die for?


Was the continuation of slavery a matter of pride for all Southerners? Maybe not. Less than 5% of them actually held slaves, and the keeping of those slaves very negatively affected the wages of the rest of Southern workers. Did Southerners see the condition of slaves, who, at least from their perspective, were fed and housed, as necessarily worse than the conditions of similar numbers of factory workers up North, who were paid less than it cost to live decently, were often under-fed and forced to live in violent and dangerous slums (sort of like the slaves' descendants do now)?

In fact, several Confederate states specifically cited slavery as a reason for leaving the Union in their secession statements, meaning that, yes, the Civil War was largely, if not entirely, about slavery. Darlington concluded by ranting that theremoval of the monument was the work of a "usurping regime,"' whatever that means:

In the end, the continuation of slavery benefited a small wealthy minority of Southerners, but a fear of the possible consequences, of its discontinuation, permeated the society as a whole.

In the end, the emancipation of the slaves was something the North celebrated and the South came, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes gladly, to accept. But the wish to become, again, the United States of America became universal.

The intended removal of the Reconciliation Monument is an assault on our unity as a nation, and yet one more declaration by the present usurping regime in Washington of the intention to divide and destroy us.

Actually, it's the monument itself that is a symbol of division and destruction, not its removal.

A Dec. 21 column by Mike Pottage invoked the monument's removal -- but didn't use the word "Confederate" to describe it -- in ranting about Democrats:

The Democratic Party has a history of calling off elections and seizing control of government. It did so in 1861 as 11 states went off on their own, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. The confrontation is called "the Civil War." Then, Democrats were all about "states' rights." Today, Democrats prefer the term "insurrection." What is important for people to note is the fact it was the Democratic Party then, and today it is the same Democratic Party, running away from constitutional order and plunging the nation into chaos.

Setting aside the obvious voter disenfranchisement in Colorado, Democrats of the mid-1800s were fixated on race. Nothing much has changed.

The most important aspect of the post-Civil War era was "reconciliation." And today's Democrats are roaming about Arlington National Cemetery at this very moment overseeing the removal of the "Reconciliation" monument, a symbol of one nation reunited. Why destroy unity in favor of disunity?

If enough voters figure this out, the Democratic Party will find itself on a pathway to suicide. Democrat voters ultimately may choose the nation over the party.

Both Darlington and Pottage made a point of calling the monument a "reunification" monument when it really wasn't: The cemetery's own website states that "The elaborately designed monument offers a nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy, including highly sanitized depictions of slavery," and that the only two African-American figures are stereotypical -- a "mammy"-type figure and an enslaved man following his owner to war. It was also pointed out that the monument carries an inscription of the Latin phrase "Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Caton" ("The victorious cause was pleasing to the gods, but the lost cause to Cato") that "construes the South’s secession as a noble 'Lost Cause.'" That doesn't sound very reconciliatory.

WND also ran a couple outside articles on the monument's removal and a brief injunction against it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EST
Monday, January 29, 2024
MRC Surprisingly Knocks NewsNation's Performance At Fourth GOP Debate
Topic: Media Research Center

As far as the Media Research Center is concerned, the loser of the fourth Republican presidential debate was ... NewsNation, the channel that aired it. That's a surprise, considering how much the MRC is desperate to tell you how wonderful and purportedly unbiased NewsNation is (despite that fact that it features former Fox News figures both on camera and behind the scenes). The first shot at NewsNation was paired with a move from the MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade in a Dec. 6 post by Nicholas Fondacaro:

NewsNation was the new kid on the block in the television news space, and Wednesday was their first go at hosting a presidential debate. The moderators were NewNation's [sic] Elizabeth Vargas, The Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Eliana Johnson, and Sirius XM podcaster Megyn Kelly. While NewsNation claimed not to have an agenda, it was hard to see it as the first question and a series of audio/visual mishaps all seemed to go against one of the Republican candidates in particular.

Unfortunately, things didn’t start well as Kelly kicked off the debate with a long-winded fastball at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pressing him to get out of the race[:]


When DeSantis went to answer the question, the NewsNation control room had apparently messed with his microphone and had him sounding like a colony of bees in a vacuum cleaner. Some may argue that it was just an accident since he was the first to speak. But that issue should have been worked out in a pre-debate walkthrough when they hooked up the candidates and adjusted their audio levels.

There was another snafu almost 10 minutes later where, as DeSantis was going after former Ambassador Nikki Haley and Black Rock, the camera started shaking wildly (both incidents are included in the video accompanying this piece). DeSantis had already spoken and had not moved, so camera adjustments shouldn’t have been necessary. Again, that’s usually worked out in walkthroughs.

Those were the only noticeable audio/visual issues during the debate.

Jorge Bonilla weighed in with his own NewsNation complaint in a post a couple hours later:

Tonight was NewsNation’s first foray into hosting a presidential primary debate, and then running a post-debate analysis special. No small feat for what amounts to a brand new network. And with that, comes the opportunity for self-congratulation. Which, unfortunately, did not happen off-air.

Watch as the all-star panel headed by Chris Cuomo effusively congratulates itself on a job well-done:


In fairness, congratulations are in order. But it wasn’t like the event went off without a hitch, as our friend Nick Fondacaro pointed out. The start of the debate was marred by technical glitches that could have been averted with a walkthrough. Or one more walkthrough. But NewsNation recovered and delivered a more substantive debate with a better panel asking more of the kinds of questions you’d expect in a Republican primary debate (unlike the Reagan Library fiasco).

From there, it was on to praising candidates for dutifully reciting right-wing talking points. A post by Tom Olohan cheered how "presidential candidate Nikki Haley called for a TikTok ban citing rampant antisemitism on the app." He made sure not to mention that Twitter/X, run by MRC fave Elon Musk, also has an anti-Semitism problem, some of it spread by Musk himself.

Alex Christy went into Defense Brigade mode to defend DeSantis over a reference to an older Republican president:

To close out the Wednesday GOP Presidential Debate, the Washington Free Beacon’s Eliana Johnson asked the candidates which former president they would draw inspiration from and for his choice, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis selected Calvin Coolidge. For some reason, PolitiFact decided to fact-check this.

DeSantis argued, “When Calvin Coolidge was president, "the country was in great shape," but PolitiFact claimed it is more complicated. On one hand, PolitiFact notes, “Coolidge’s reputation has risen in the past two decades, especially among conservatives, who value his record of balanced budgets, low taxes, light regulation and limited government. Biographer Amity Shlaes, who chairs the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, wrote that, under Coolidge, Americans began buying cars and electric appliances, and patents "increased dramatically.”

On the other, "Coolidge’s hands-off approach appeared to be reasonably popular with Americans. But the Roaring ’20s ended abruptly with the Great Depression five months after Coolidge left office. This sequence of events has been hard for historians to ignore: A periodic survey of historians currently places Coolidge 24th in the ranking of presidents, just below average."

That survey PolitiFact cites also ranks Franklin Roosevelt as the nation’s third greatest president which says more about the people doing the ranking than FDR.


Was Coolidge a perfect president? No, none of them have been, but the economy performed great during his tenure and he understood the limits of the power of the office which is more than can be said of the current president. Most importantly, however, is that which president Ron DeSantis considers to be a worthy role model for his own presidency is an opinion.

Christy did not explain why an opinion can't be fact-checked.

From there, it was on to the usual complaining that non-right-wing media weighed on the debate. Tim Graham grumbled that CNN said nice things about Haley:

CNN came out of the NewsNation Republican debate with a typical flourish: Republicans are seriously evil. Analyst Van Jones, who had a cup of coffee in the White House in the earliest days of President Obama, compared Nikki Haley to "Wonder Woman fighting off like a mob of like, supervillains."

CNN host Kaitlan Collins thought DeSantis had a good debate, but there was a lot of yelling crosstalk, and "I think the most notable point was Chris Christie at the end saying picture Election Day and saying Donald Trump will not be someone who's voting on that day because he is going to be a convicted felon."

CNN has been savoring that idea for five years now.

Curtis Houck whined that the elephant who wasn't in the room was talked about:

Following the fourth 2024 Republican presidential debate, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC shrugged Thursday morning not only at the notion they matter, but showed varying degrees of rage over the fact that the debate helmed by NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas, SiriusXM’s Megyn Kelly, and the Free Beacon’s Eliana Johnson wasn’t dominated by questions about Donald Trump and instead beset with pesky policy issues (like, say, the economy and Israel).

ABC’s Good Morning America was disgusted. Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos falsely claimed Trump only came up from “time to time” and was “hardly mentioned after [he] said he would govern like a dictator on the first day”.


Stephanopoulos then condescendingly added that “[i]t’s hard to think how much these debates even matter any more.”

Karl again gushed over his former ABC colleague: “Chris Christie, I thought, had a significant moment there, several significant moments. He’s clearly comfortable in being somebody who is not only not afraid to offend Donald Trump. He is not afraid to offend Donald Trump’s supporters, Donald Trump voters.”

On CBS Mornings, socialist co-host Tony Dokoupil had the same talking points, lamenting “most of [Trump’s] Republican rivals” were “reluctant to criticize him” and whining the four candidates who actually showed up to face questions “spent a lot of time slamming each other, more time doing that than criticizing” Trump.

Again, Houck's sole evidence that Dokoupil is "socialist" is that he did a single segment on income equality four years ago (the accuracy of which Houck did not dispute).

Christy then moved to comedy-cop mode to grouse in a Dec. 8 post that Seth Meyers didn't have anything nice to say about the debate:

An annoyed Seth Meyers reacted to the Wednesday GOP presidential debate on the Thursday edition of Late Night on NBC by claiming that “no one gives a [bleep]” and that the four debaters were all a bunch of “blowhards.”

Citing current polling, Meyers wondered what the whole point was before sarcastically conceding that maybe he should give the non-Trump candidates some credit, “Now, in fairness, I shouldn't be so glib I may disagree with these people, but they've stepped up to take on the responsibility of leadership, and who knows? Maybe there's a chance they'll beat Trump and become the nominee. So, I do think we should at least listen to what they have to say.”

Meyers then played a clip of Megyn Kelly opening the broadcast, “Welcome to the fourth and final—” but Meyers cut the clip short, “Just kidding. No one gives a [bleep].”

Claiming his dismissal was justified, Meyers continued, “Why should I-- why should I act like any of these people are actually running against Donald Trump when they won't even act like they're running against Donald Trump. They spent the whole debate fighting with each other like pigeons fighting over a French fry in the parking lot of a restaurant that is owned by a much bigger pigeon. In case you missed it -- sorry because you missed it, here's a quick recap of all these dweebs taking shots at each other.”


Of course, Republican candidates are going to try to tailor their message in a way that appeals to Republican voters and running around sounding like Seth Meyers is not the way to victory.

Christy didn't explain how the need for a Republican candidate running against Donald Trump to say how he or she would be different from Trump equates to "sounding like Seth Meyers."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 29, 2024 10:26 PM EST
WND's Lively: 'We All Know It's True' That Black Men In Big Cities Are 'Excessively Violent' Criminals
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Scott Lively started out his Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily column with a little racist ranting:

In my last column, "Why the Palestinians refuse to civilize," I put the Israel/Hamas conflict in its proper perspective as the inevitable fruit of cultural Marxism's division of all humanity into oppressors and the oppressed, with the Palestinians achieving the collective status of "most oppressed" after decades of painful and careful cultivation of that image and, thus far, winning the all-important propaganda war among the brainwashed American policy-setters with its grand prize of the right to punish and plunder their "oppressors" without limit. Today I am coining the term "Oppression Theology" to define this phenomenon more precisely as as form of Secular Humanist religious dogma and show how it functions domestically.

Sunday here in Memphis my day started with breaking news – delivered right to my cellphone in the form of a "bolo" emergency alert – that an armed and very dangerous mass murderer was on a rampage, with three killing sites already behind him. We later learned that it was a family affair, and the multiple victims were the man's relatives by blood and marriage. He was an African-American man, as are (vastly disproportional to their numbers as a minority) a high plurality if not strictly the majority of excessively violent criminals in Memphis and frankly all the deep blue cities. It's strictly verboten to point this out, but we all know it's true.

Lively offered no evidence of how we all supposedly "know it's true." He continued ranting anyway:

The problem with inner-city African-Americans isn't the "African" part as so many racist-types insist, but the "American" part, because America's Africans have been stewed and steeped in the "victim/plunder" marinade of Cultural Marxist "Oppression Theology" more than any other faction of our "multicultural" society. (After multiple African missions, I know the African-Africans are not naturally like that.) The poisonous "critical race theory" being forced upon America's schoolchildren emphasizes a "white privilege" narrative painting all whites as inherently oppressive regardless of their overt actions and paints all blacks as inherently oppressed regardless of their personal successes. 

This has, of course, created a de facto victim-based "black privilege" in our society – including both 1) the right to plunder the assets of the oppressors in the form of presumed eventual high-dollar reparations (with increasingly widespread shoplifting and looting considered by many just a deserved advance against future payments), and 2) the right to disregard any aspects of the law and customs of the oppressor's society with impunity (including most obviously here in Memphis the traffic laws). These problems are compounded wherever the Soros machine has installed its agents in the criminal justice system: "Justice" is simply redefined to serve the social goals of "Oppression Theology," which means no prosecution, no punishment and, sadly, no protection for black neighborhoods from home-grown thuggery.

Sounds like a guy who misses the days when white people had all the privilege. He then tried to work gay people into his conspiracy theory:

The next most victimization-empowered class of Americans are the "gays" whose spokesman "Michael Swift" explained the victim-plunder mentality most eloquently in his classic essay "The Gay Revolutionary" (which Congressman Bill Dannemeyer read into the Congressional Record back in 1987.)

"This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor. We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses. … Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. … The family unit – spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence – will be abolished. … All churches who condemn us will be closed."

There are an additional 15 paragraphs here, if you have the stomach for it, ending with this: "We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages. We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution. Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks." This essay was called "satire" at the time, but history proves it was deadly serious – even a blueprint for "gay" victim/plunderers. [Emphasis added]

In fact, the essay was satire then and now, as the "Michael Swift" byline should denote (an allusion to Jonathan Swift of "A Modest Proposal" fame). The essay was a reaction to homophobes like Lively, who nevertheless unironically treat the satire with utmost seriousness -- though he doesn't explain why oppressed poeple, as gay people were in the 1980s, have no right to be bitter and should just take their oppression in stride.

Lively concluded by trying to tie this all together with Marxism, somehow:

Black Lives Matter is a joint venture of elite-controlled blacks and "gays," run by a pair of black openly Marxist lesbians. As I've always said, "The lives of black people matter very much but 'Black Lives Matter' is an evil Marxist cult whose far-left agenda destroys black families and their neighborhoods."

Importantly, all these victim/plunder armies are tools controlled by a globalist social-engineering elite with a heavy emphasis on breaking stalwartly self-reliant Judeo-Christian America as the necessary prerequisite to global Marxist government. I was onto BLM as an agent provocateur in this plan all the way back in 2014 as I explained in my article "Bad Moon on the Rise: Bill Cosby, Ferguson and Obama." I bolstered my case in "The Cosby Conspiracy" in 2021 with additional evidence.

Look around, America. What is the common denominator on display among all these forces breaking America down? It is, as Swift admitted, "the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed" – the fruit of Cultural Marxist religious fanaticism. We must accept this is spiritual warfare and act accordingly.

Both of those columns float the conspiracy that Cosby's history of sexual assault was exposed --or in Lively's words, "was being deliberately taken down by Obama" -- because he spoke out against violence after the police-caused death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EST

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