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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
MRC Censors Problems With Its Right-Wing Advocates Of 'Free Speech' On Social Media
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so into pushing the conservative victimization narrative about social media that it is censoring the, um, issues with the advocates for "free speech" (which, in the MRC's eyes, should only apply to conservatives). Kayla Sargent touted in a Jan. 13 post:

Despite Big Tech’s efforts to silence conservatives on Parler, one state’s Attorney General will not stand for it. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has demanded answers from several Big Tech companies about the suppression of the free speech-oriented platform Parler.

Paxton has “issued civil investigative demands (CIDs) to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and Apple, asking the companies for their policies and practices regarding content moderation and, more specifically, for information related to Parler, a social media application recently terminated or blocked by Google, Amazon, and Apple,” according to a Jan. 13 press release.

“For years, these Big Tech companies have silenced voices in the social media sphere and shut down competing companies and platforms. It has only grown worse in recent months. And just last week, this discriminatory action included the unprecedented step of removing and blocking President Donald Trump from online media platforms,” said the release.

Paxton’s investigation followed the recent purge of Parler from Apple and Google’s app stores, Amazon went so far as to remove the website from its web hosting servers.

Sargent didn't mention that Paxton appears to be less than law-abiding, given that he's under investigation by the FBI and that his lieutenants in the attorney general's office are the ones who turned him in. The Associated Press reported in November:

Seven senior lawyers in Paxton’s office reported him to the FBI in late September, accusing him of abusing his office, bribery and other crimes. The group included some of Paxton’s longtime allies and was later joined by the agency’s head of law enforcement. All eight have since resigned, been put on leave or been fired, prompting a whistleblower lawsuit.

The full extent of what Paxton’s employees told the FBI is unknown and the agency has consistently declined to comment.

Paxton’s actions appear to have helped [businessman Nate] Paul in at least four ways. But the one that led his staff to report him was Paxton’s hiring of an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims that the FBI, federal judges and others were conspiring against him.

The lawyers in Paxton’s office felt Paul’s claims were unsupported and outside of their office’s jurisdiction. The Houston lawyer Paxton hired had no prosecutorial experience but did have ties to Paul’s defense attorney.

The next day, Sargent embraced another dubious ally:

Conservatives have faced a barrage of censorship in the last few weeks, but at least one European country is standing up against Big Tech. 

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed his desire for an open and free internet without censorship in a Facebook post.

For Morawiecki, the fight for free speech appears to be very personal. “For close to 50 years we lived in a country in which censorship was practiced, in which Big Brother told us how we are meant to live and what we are meant to feel, and what we are not allowed to think, say or write. That is why we are so concerned with any attempt to limit freedom,” he said. 

“We are now increasingly faced with practices we believed were left in the past. The censoring of free speech, once the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now back, but in a new form, run by corporations, who silence those who think differently,” Morawiecki continued. 

[...]

In recent months, Poland has stepped up in the fight against censorship online. In December, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced a legal initiative to allow users to file complaints if their posts were removed. The initiate would also create a specific court for the freedom of speech. 

But Sargent censored the fact that Poland's government does, in fact, embrace censorship of anyone critical of it or is otherwise independent of the government. In July, Reporters Without Borders detailed a planned "repolonization" law that would limit foreign investment in media outlets and limit the number of outlets a non-state owner can have, whose thinly veiled purpose is to censor and intimidate non-state-owned media. Meanwhile, the Polish state oil company purchased a top newspaper chain in the country, leading to fears of it becoming a propaganda outlet, while state-owned media is increasingly moving toward becoming mouthpieces for the same government that Sargent is lionizing.

The idera that a government official who's actively working to shut down speech he doesn't agree with in his own country is somehow a champion of "free speech" is laughable, but Sargent doesn't want you to know all the facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EST
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
MRC's Houck Bids An Immature Farewell To CNN's Acosta
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has suffered from a raging case of Acosta Derangement Syndrome for the duration of Donald Trump's presidency, unable to deal with CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's aggressive coverage of the Trump White House. When Acosta announced that he was leaving the White House beat at the end of Trump's presidency, it fell to the MRC's chief Acosta-hater, Curtis Houck, to serve up the sneering and immaturity that has been a hallmark of his "media criticism" of Acosta.

In a Jan. 11 post, Houck huffed, under a headline with the juvenile moniker "Fake News Jim":

On Monday morning, CNN and chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta announced that, having spewed four years of hatred against President Trump and his supporters and vanquished Trump from office, he’ll depart the White House beat. Instead, he’ll become chief domestic correspondent and become a weekend anchor for the Jeffrey Zucker-led circus.

We report, you decide on whether that’s a promotion or an admission of mission accomplished.

Houck cited no "fake news" that Acosta has supposedly reported during his time in the Trump White House.

Houck brought more sneering to a Jan. 20 post:

On Tuesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta spent his final day as chief White House correspondent reveling in having accomplished his life’s mission of celebrating himself and playing the role of general in helping to removing President Trump from office, a man he’s so deeply hated.

As Acosta and CNN shared on January 11, he’ll leave the White House beat to become a weekend anchor (presumably of CNN Newsroom) and take on the title of “chief domestic correspondent.”

Acosta was in a jovial mood, tweeting this caption alongside a selfie with NBC’s Peter Alexander: “Just a couple of guys covering the WH on the last full day of Trump admin. Think we will finally have time for that drink now @PeterAlexander?”

In another tweet, Acosta insinuated symbolism in the departure of the Orange Man: “Light rising from the National Mall behind the Trump WH where a final ‘lid’ for this president has been called.”

NewsBusters combed through our archives to find the 15 worst Acosta moments over the past four years. Trust us, this wasn’t easy and more than a few were left on the cutting room floor. But here there are, presented in chronological order.

It's never good or professional when your "media criticism" is motived by such deeply personal animus, but that has clearly been Houck's motivation for trying -- and failing -- to destroy Acosta. But his employer apparently thinks it's cute.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EST
Monday, January 25, 2021
MRC Stops Selling 2 Of 3 Election Fraud Conspiracy-Promoting Bumper Stickers
Topic: Media Research Center

Well, that didn't last long.

A week after we documented how the Media Research Center was selling bumper stickers perpetuating election fraud conspiracy theories, it is no longer selling two of them at its online store. Stickers stating "Biden Won ... And Pigs Fly" and "Roses Are Blue. Pigs Fly. And Biden Won" are no longer available on its CafePress-powered bumper sticker page.

It is, however, still selling a bumper sticker stating, "Biden 'Won' Because The Media Lied." That's related to the MRC's own related conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" deliberately manufactured polls before the election showing Biden with a big lead -- evidence of which it has never provided -- and that the media didn't act more like Fox News in covering Biden (as determined by Trump-linked pollsters).

So the MRC is trying to have it both ways -- pushing its own never-proven election fraud conspiracy theory while also claiming that it's not Trump's never-proven election fraud conspiracy theory. That's only a slightly less bad look than it had before.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 25, 2021 9:20 PM EST
Sunday, January 24, 2021
MRC Touts Levin Loudly Leaving Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alec Schemmel served up more PR work for right-wing radio host Mark Levin in a Dec. 30 post:

Talk radio star Mark Levin told his social media audiences that he would be leaving Facebook.

“Please follow me at Parler as I will leave Facebook in 4 days for continuingly censoring me,” Levin said to his social media followers on Dec. 28. Levin then sent out absecond post the following day indicating to his followers that he would be leaving the platform “in a matter of hours.” He called Facebook “corrupt.”

The announcements came after Levin had already hinted at boycotting the social media giant. Since October Levin received three notifications from Facebook indicating his page had been given “reduced distribution and other restrictions,” which has crescendoed in him announcing his departure.

“I've been restricted and censored on Facebook. Please make sure you transition to Parler ASAP as I will be leaving Facebook probably by the end of the year,” Levin said on Nov. 18.

Schemmnel didn't tell you that the reason Facebook "restricted and censored" Levin was that he spread lies misinformation and refused to correct false claims. As we've documented, Levin spread a claim that originated on the conservative blog Hot Air that misquoted Joe Biden; Hot Air later corrected itself, but Levin never did. Levin also p[osted another claim about Biden that falsely listed the date in which a picture of him not wearing a mask took place.

Schemmel also censored the fact that Levin had been claiming for weeks he was leaving Facebook without bothering to list a date certain; it was only after Mediaite called him on it that he said he would leave at the end of the year -- which  occurred about a month before the Dec. 28 post that Schemmel cited.

Schemmel devoted two paragraphs to Levin touting his Parler page without disclosing that the MRC and Parler share a major funder in Rebekah Mercer, who also sits on the MRC's board.But Schemmel saved the kicker for his very last paragraph: "Levin has continued to post to his Facebook account following the announcement."

In other words, this is all performative PR. Just what you'd expect from an organization whose leader considers himself a close from of Levin.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Huh? MRC's Bozell Declares Serial Liar D'Souza 'Speaks The Truth'
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is still spreading the lie that the election was stolen from Donald Trump, so it's clear he cares nothing about facts.We see this again in a Jan. 11 tweet in which Bozell promoted the new podcast by right-wing activist and convicted criminal Dinesh D'Souza by declaring: "The conservative movement needs story-telling. Dinesh is a master storyteller. He speaks the truth, and that's our strongest weapon. Arm yourself with it!"


Really? The guy who is so wrong so often about facts that college history professor Kevin Kruse effectively has an unpaid second job debunking D'Souza's bogus narratives "speaks the truth"? The guy who pleaded guilty to lying in the course of trying to make an illegal campaign donation? That guy?

It would appear so. This embrace of a documented liar shows you which way Bozell's moral compass is pointing these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 23, 2021 1:22 PM EST
Friday, January 22, 2021
MRC Whined That Bidens Appeared On New Year's Eve Show
Topic: Media Research Center

How much does the Media Research Center hate Joe Biden? Lindsay Kornick devoted a Dec. 30 post to whining that Biden and his wife were making an appearance on a New Year's Eve program:

Millions of people still without jobs or locked in their homes can rest assure that the Bidens will have a fantastic New Year’s Eve. A recent announcement revealed that president-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden will join ABC’s New Year’s Eve special to give his last 2020 interview.

On the December 30 episode of Good Morning America, Ryan Seacrest announced the special guests expected to appear on 2020’s "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" special on ABC. On a list including "everybody that has had a hit this year," he listed performers such as Lewis Capaldi, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, En Vogue, Billy Porter and Cindy Lauper. However, he also added the presentation will include “the last interview of the year with President-elect Biden and future first lady Dr. Jill Biden."

[...]

Ending a year of frightening pandemics and endless lockdowns, Joe Biden and his wife will apparently take their time to give a softball sit-down with partying celebrities as his “last interview of the year.” If that doesn’t represent the hypocrisy that was 2020, I don’t know what does. Considering how Biden treats reporters who dare ask him actual questions, it’s unlikely we’ll get hard-hitting news from this night.

The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment previously announced that there will be no in-person audience for this celebration noting that “[s]afety of New Yorkers and participants is the priority of Times Square New Year’s Eve 2021.” All performances will be virtual, and any gatherings seen will be heavily tested and masked. If this night is made up of an empty Times Square, social distanced performances, and pandering presidential interviews, it might be best just to skip to 2021 already.

Such petty and spiteful people.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:14 PM EST
Thursday, January 21, 2021
MRC Defends Melania On Her Way Out The Door
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long worked to create a safe space for Melania Trump. It was totally cool with her posing nude -- in photos so explicit that Google AdSense made us delete it -- and didn't even criticize a newspaper for publishing them (it was the New York Post, though), whined that her plagiarism in her 2016 Republican National Convention speech was reported on, and it even found a way to defend her bizarre "I Really Don't Care, Do U?" jacket. That continued throughout the 2020 presidential campaign and its aftermath.

Back in October, it tried to defend Melania from secretly recorded phone calls of her complaining about having to decorate the White House for Christmas, huffing that reporting on the tapes omitted "the First Lady's anguished retelling of her intervention on behalf of a migrant child."

After years of defending Melania's odd Christmas design choices, the MRC did so again in a Nov. 30 post by Kristine Marsh that devolves into a bit of Obama-bashing:

CNN’s New Day took a break from their feverish panicking over coronavirus and President Trump not conceding the election to taunt Melania Trump, Monday morning. Co-hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota relentlessly ridiculed and laughed at the First Lady over whether or not she likes Christmas decorations, even bringing their rival Fox News into the childish and mean-spirited mockery.

[...]

But Camerota and Berman were itching to attack the First Lady over her former friend’s secretly recorded tapes where a frustrated Trump rants at how the media has demonized her and admits she doesn’t care about Christmas decorations. The New Day co-hosts eagerly played a partial clip before the journalists relentlessly mocked the First Lady as being part of Fox News’s “War on Christmas:”

[...]

To really take in how dramatic a swing the media has taken in their coverage of First Ladies, can you imagine CNN or any other liberal news network mocking former First Lady Michelle Obama on just about...anything? 

In fact their devotion to Michelle Obama borders on parody. Last May, Don Lemon ranted how Melania was dumber and less attractive than Michelle.

On Dec. 14, Kyle Drennen complained that NBC defended Jill Biden from attacks on her use of the "Dr." title, though "This is the same network that just a few months ago criticized Melania Trump for condemning looting and has spent years hurling similar cheap shots at the First Lady." Two days later, on his podcast, "executive editor Tim Graham discusse[d] now the media have never been fair or balanced in their treatment of Melania Trump. They mocked her as merely a "former model" and routinely suggested she must be clawing her way out of her husband's clutches."

On Jan. 19, Mark Finkelstein complained:

How clueless is John Berman? On the one hand, the CNN anchor trumpets the fact that Melania Trump is the first First Lady to leave the White House with a net-negative approval rating. On the other hand, his own sneering remarks are a perfect illustration of the kind of negative coverage that Melania has received during her years as First Lady that have contributed to her negative ratings.

[...]

Who but a malicious Melania antagonist would offer a "pop quiz" on her negative ratings? Berman's maligning of Melania is in line with the kind of coverage the liberal media has given her for years.

The same day, Marsh weighed in again:

The View hosts talked briefly about President Trump’s legacy to kick off Tuesday’s show, but ended the segment with vicious gossip about First Lady Melania Trump. Moderator Whoopi Goldberg asked Joy Behar what she thought about the First Lady’s farewell speech and that prompted a nasty rant from the far-left co-host.

If you can believe it, just a few weeks ago, Behar boasted that The View had “been respectful to Melania” over the last 4+ years. Go to that post linked to see just how wrong that statement was even then. The lying continued on today’s show, as she delved into all sorts of nasty gossip about the First Lady, from suggesting she was afraid of the president, to too stupid to think for herself, to being a “co-conspirator” who is “as bad as Trump:”

[...]

Funny thing, The View hosts have never gossiped about Hillary Clinton being a “co-conspirator,” protecting her husband when he was accused of rape and sexual assault.

Marsh went on to huff that "Behar ended her trash talk by attacking Mrs. Trump for her "I really don't care" jacket, which Trump denied was about the child separation policy,  but actually about how the media treats her. Still, that didn’t stop Behar from declaring that was what the jacket was about."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EST
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Sore Losers: MRC Can't Stop Lashing Out At Warnock As He Wins Ga. Senate Runoff
Topic: Media Research Center

We documented how the Media Research Center served as opposition research for Georgia Republicans in the Senate runoff races there through relentless attacks on one of the Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock. (Is that even legal under the MRC's nonprofit tax status?) The attacks on Warnock continued on Jan. 5, the day of the election.

Gabriel Hays sneered at Atlanta hip-hop artists turning out for the Democratic candidates, but in a more jerkass way than MRC "news" division CNSNews.com did:

Atlanta, Georgia, the “Mecca of Hip Hop'' will be using its greatest cultural export in order to usher in a future of one party Democrat rule for our nation. 

Even though African Americans need only open their eyes to see the disasters that the Democrat government has afforded them in cities like Chicago and Baltimore, pillars of their rap community like rapper Jeezy, Killer Mike and 2 Chainz have been performing at and hosting events aimed at turning out the vote for far-left U.S. Senate Candidates Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff. 

[...]

Why would the majority African American hip hop scene want the same party that oversees a city with “virtually the same murder rate as Chicago” in 2020, to wield major power over the whole nation. And to think that much of the Democrat [sic] Party is thinking that less police is a productive solution to such problems. Seems pretty counterintuitive.

Clay Waters complained that the New York Times was "feverishly promoting both Democratic runoff candidates ... especially Warnock, while lobbing accusations at the Republicans." Tim Graham similarly whined: "The Washington Post explicitly advertised for Rev. Raphael Warnock’s Senate candidacy in a splashy profile on the front of Monday’s Style section. There was a huge picture of Warnock with the sun shining off his face." Both Waters and Graham portrayed the respective news articles they were attacking as free ads for Warnock -- even though the MRC's negative attacks are effectively free ads fort he Republican oppoents to Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

When Warnock ended up winning over Loeffer (and Ossoff won over Perdue), the MRC didn't take it well. A Jan. 6 post by Kristine Marsh complained that "analysts and reporters echoed each other in hailing Democrat Raphael Warnock’s win as a rejection of Republicans’ racist messaging," which tried to make him a "scary black man." Marsh offered no factual rebutal of the claim other than to huff that "If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that the media will never stop crying 'racism' anytime a black Democrat is challenged on their policies."

Also in a complaining mood was Curtis Houck:

Despite Tuesday night showing a Democratic sweep in the Georgia Senate runoff election, the mood on MSNBC was anything but joyous. Instead, various hosts and panelists threw a pity party for fellow leftists, bemoaning supposed Republican voter suppression efforts and insisting Republicans should be shamed from political life as un-American racists who won’t win another presidential election.

[...]

Taken all together, let this be yet another reminder that, even when they get what they want, liberals and progressives will always be fundamentally unhappy people.

As if he and the rest of the MRC haven't been fundamentally unhappy over the past four years in attacking any perceived enemy -- even their own fellow conservatives -- on Trump's behalf.

Kyle Drennen's complaint was eerily similar, as if there was a narrative to which the MRC was directed to adhere:

On Wednesday, anchors on all three network morning shows couldn’t contain their joy over radical left-wing Democrat Raphael Warnock winning Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoff, with each broadcast treating him to a fawning softball interview. Rather than press him on his history of incendiary comments, scandals, or far-left ideology, the hosts gushed over the Atlanta reverend’s victory being a “political earthquake” that reflected the “kind spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King.”    

[...]

Again, none of the network’s bothered to ask a single challenging question of the newly elected Democratic senator or press him on his party’s leftist agenda.

Warnock even got the podcast treatment on Jan. 6, where "Executive Editor Tim Graham explains how the national newspapers and networks haven't so much covered Senate candidate Raphael Warnock as covered up for him. They only wanted voters to know he was the second coming of Martin Luther King, Jr, and he was 'no radical.'" 


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EST
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
MRC Labors To Distance Conservatives From Trump-Instigated Capitol Riot
Topic: Media Research Center

While their bosses Brent Bozell and Tim Graham had their own, um, various takes on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the Media Research Center's rank and file had one mission it usually has at times like this: to distance conservatives from the attack, even though the rioters clearly believed they were acting on behalf of Trump, and even though the MRC has sought to portray fringe-right extremists of the kind that led the insurrection as a part of mainstream conservatism.

Curtis Houck complained on the day of the riot:

Wednesday afternoon during live coverage of the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd took a ghoulish victory lap of sorts, discarding any and all conservative and Republican denunciations of the Capitol violence as “a lot of empty rhetoric” and “empty concern” that, in his mind, means absolutely nothing.

In a moment requiring people of all political persuasions to come together in prayer and unity for peace, Todd chose to revel in schadenfreude and bragged how “a lot of people” that have long opposed President Trump (translation: only support Democrats) “are having their I told you so moment unfortunately right now.”

[...]

At a time like this, Todd decided to make fun and flaunt himself. Be sure to remember that the next time he urges viewers to choose love, patriotism, and unity.

We'll remember tyhis post the next time Houck urges people to choose unity instead of holding Trump accountable.

Nicholas Fondacaro ranted:

Wednesday saw disgusting acts of sedition and insurrection from radical elements of the far-right as Trump supporters launched an assault on the Capitol, breaching its halls and offices. The acts were roundly and justly condemned by most sound people on the right, both from lawmakers and right-wing media figures. But the CBS Evening News wasn’t having it.

Instead, they ignored those evenhanded voices, demanded House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) join the chaos, and ignored the bomb that was discovered outside the Republican National Committee.

Curiously, Fondacaro ignored that a bomb was also discovered outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters as well.

The next day, Kristine Marsh cheered how a Republican congressman blamed the media for the riot, even though she admitted that "Trump supporters" took part while also trying to avoid blaming Trump for instigating it. Scott Whitlock echoed Houck's talking point: "The fact that scores of conservatives and Republicans have come out and condemned both the violence at the Capitol, as well Donald Trump himself, is apparently lost on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night smeared the entire GOP as “fascist,” “violent, insurrectionist party.” Joy Reid mocked Republican condemnations, saying they “don’t matter.”

Kyle Drennen had his own very special meltdown in a post smearing MSNBC anchor Katy Tur as "nasty" for the sin of pointing out right-wing culpability in the riot:

Appearing on Wednesday’s Tonight Show for a segment aired early Thursday morning, left-wing partisan MSNBC anchor Katy Tur claimed that “decades” of conservatism somehow caused the horrific assault on the U.S. Capitol. She rushed to exploit the disgraceful event and claim that “Rush Limbaugh” and “Fox News” were to blame.

After host Jimmy Fallon asked, “what’s the big picture, how do we move forward as a country?,” Tur wailed: “You know, I think it’s going to be very difficult. There are voices, very loud, prominent, influential voices, that have spent decades tearing down trust in our institutions, tearing down education, tearing down facts, tearing down the media, et cetera, and you don’t build that back overnight.”

Moments later she, made it clear who she was referring to: “Most importantly, the conservative media, people like Rush Limbaugh, people on Fox News, the ones who have been tearing things down for decades for their own benefit.”

Drennen offered no facts to rebut Tur's claims.

Marsh returned to whine:

While conservatives can and do condemn violence from the right, as we saw yesterday at the Capitol building, it appears to be too much to ask the liberal media to condemn violence from both sides as well. On Thursday’s GMA 3 on ABC (which serves as the afternoon hour of Good Morning America), co-anchors T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach pretended they were publicists for the Marxist group Black Lives Matter, whose supporters engaged in many violent riots this past Summer. But instead of pointing that out, ABC covered for the left-wing organization by inviting their co-founder to stoke racial hatred against law enforcement over the terrible events of Wednesday.

As Patrisse Cullors called into the show, Robach touted a statement from the BLM Global Network essentially calling the actions of Capitol Police racist: “Make no mistake, if the protesters had been black we would have been teargassed, battered and perhaps shot.”

Marsh added, "Robach didn't challenge Cullors repeated claims that BLM was mostly peaceful." She offered no evidence that they weren't.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Hays took a break from to huff:

In the media’s mission to associate literally everyone and their Bible-thumping grandmothers with “terrorist” attacks at the Capitol Building from this past Wednesday, outlets are beginning to blame the violent actions of a vast minority of a Trump rally-attending crowd on pro-Trump Christians in general.

In a hare-brained piece titled the “A Christian Insurrection,” Emma Green of The Atlantic decided to insinuate that because there was a plethora of Christians at the January 6 Trump rally in D.C., and that because a tiny minority of the thousands upon thousands of people there broke into the U.S. Capitol Building, Christianity shares the blame for the attack and is now a weapon utilized by Trump to promote insurrection. They sure love a balanced approach, don’t they?

[...]

OK, so because a group of crazies went into the Capitol, does that mean the  throngs of pro-life, Christian grandmothers, women and children outside were dupes whose faith was “weaponized” by Trump? No. Those Christians were supporting a president whose policies aligned with their values much more than anti-Christian, pro-abortion Biden Harris regime, and doing so peacefully. 

And really, haven’t we spent all Summer watching the left parse out the violent BLM people form the “peaceful protestors.” Surely even though Black Lives Matter propelled arsonists, looters and cop killers, they told us that the slogan and the ideology it represented was for good, and represented mostly by its peaceful protests.

Hays offered no evidence that Black Lives Matter specifically "propelled arsonists, looters and cop killers." In fact, the accused killer of a security officer at a California courthouse and a California sheriff's deupty was a right-wing extremist -- something the MRC has yet to tell its readers despite hyping the shooting.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 21, 2021 1:04 AM EST
Monday, January 18, 2021
NEW ARTICLE -- Exhibit 76: Heathering for Trump
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent part of the 2020 election lashing out at its conservative allies who failed to be as reflexively and uncritically pro-Trump as it has been. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 PM EST
MRC Sells Bumper Stickers Pushing Election Fraud Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell has made it clear that he and his Media Research Center will not admit that Joe Biden won the election fair and square and that there is no evidence of massive election fraud -- even after ther Capitol riot that was spurred by promotion of those election fraud conspiracy theories.

We see this even at the MRC's online store, which is continues to sell bumper stickers saying things like "Biden Won ... And Pigs Fly" and "Roses Are Blue. Pigs Fly. And Biden Won." There's also a bumper sticker that states "Biden 'Won' Because The Media Lied" -- which references the MRC's take on the conspiracy theory, that Trump lost because the media didn't advance right-wing, pro-Trump spin to the MRC's satisfaction ... as determined by the Trump campaign's pollster and the pollster founded by longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Meanwhile, of course, the MRC continues to express its disdain for journalism -- and, it seems, the very "news" division it operates, CNSNews.com -- to sell clothing emblazoned with the phrase, "Believe In America, Not The Media."

Such extremism and denial of reality is not a good look for an organization that presumably would like to be thought of as something other than a Trump toady.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 25, 2021 8:33 PM EST
Sunday, January 17, 2021
How Is The MRC Freaking Out About LGBT Folks In Entertainment Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center regularly complains that there are too many gay people on  TV, and it's quite unhappy that the Hallmark Channel decided to make one of its trademark Christmas romance movies featuring a same-sex couple. So when not only the Hallmark Channel but also the Paramount Network debuted Christmas movies featuring same-sex couples, Sergie Daez was on hand to sneer at them:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me . . . an LGBTQ movie.

That could seriously be a legitimate advertising line for Paramount Network, which is releasing an LGBTQ+ Christmas themed film called Dashing in December, according to popculture.com. Written as a romantic comedy and directed by Jake Helgren, the film will be released in its titular month on Sunday the 13th this year. Meghan Hooper, EVP and Paramount’s Head of Original Movies and Limited Series, stated that “This feel-good project captures the importance of inclusive storytelling, the power of love and the spirit of the holidays all rolled into one.”

Ah, yes, inclusive storytelling. The highest of all virtues that calls for everything to be sacrificed so that the anti-family beliefs of 4% of the country’s population can be imposed on everybody. Apparently Paramount Network believes that a lifestyle centered on pleasuring the self captures “the power of love” and “the spirit of the holidays.” Leftists will probably laud the film as the next Christmas classic along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.

This is just another attempt by the movie industry to brainwash the masses so that they can believe that a turbulent lifestyle is idyllic. 

And Paramount Network isn’t the only company kowtowing to gay agenda tyrants. According to popculture.com, Hallmark Channel has also started producing content centered on LGBTQ+ characters this year. Not only did they release a film that featured a same-sex wedding in August (called Wedding Every Weekend), they are also producing a film called The Christmas House, with a plot on child adoption by a gay couple.

Naturally, Hallmark didn’t describe this as leftist propaganda, but Michelle Vicary, who is an EVP programming for Hallmark, stated that "Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever." How inclusive and virtuous these people are.

[...]

What people need at the end of a tough year is for the leftist agenda to leave them alone and stop imposing the lifestyle of the few on the many.

If those who want to see same-sex Christmas movies are "gay agenda tyrants," does that make Daez and the MRC anti-gay tyrants?

Daez is emerging as the MRC's chief gay-hater. On Dec. 2, Daez had a meltdown over the film "The Prom":

The new film The Prom is, according to Indiewire.com, “every teenage girl’s dream: The high school PTA has just announced they’d rather cancel prom than let you bring your girlfriend, when a gaggle of garishly dressed Broadway stars you’ve never heard of storms in singing, ‘We are gonna help that little lesbian…’” This sounds like a woke fantasy more than anything else. 

Indiewire.com claimed that the musical romantic comedy film “has all the makings of a classic Hollywood musical: Haughty urbanites descend reluctantly on a small provincial town seeking validation and instead find love, connection, and renewed life’s purpose.” But even they admit that the description is only accurate if one puts aside “its impassioned overtures for LGBTQ+ rights.” 

“All the makings of a classic Hollywood musical.” Yeah, right.

 [...]

The Prom doesn’t sound like a classic Hollywood musical at all. It seems to be more of a typical Hollywood lecture on how everybody should accept the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Those types of lectures are radical left propaganda. They are not “adorable,” not “feel-good,” not “entertainment,” and definitely not what “we needed this year.”

A week later, Daez had another anti-gay meltdown, this time over Charlize Theron's idea to remake "Die Hard" with a lesbian theme:

It didn’t seem possible to make 2020 crazier than it already was, but then somebody had the bright idea of producing LGBTQ Christmas movies for the holiday season. Hijacking the holidays for new LGBTQ propaganda was bad enough, but now actress Charlize Theron is planning on ruining an old holiday film with a new remake. Obviously, film companies do this all the time, but Theron is planning to ruin the film with LGBTQ propaganda. 

[...]

What a great step forward for mankind. One can already hear the gushing of Twitter’s woke mob over the “inclusivity” and “representation of minorities” in the enterprise. Why not make “replace” culture a thing and do a lesbian remake of Braveheart with Wilhemina Wallace, or of Gladiatorwith Maxine Decimus Meridius. Who would not be entertained by that.

This is a worse idea than the LGBTQ Christmas movies.

Apparently not wanting to be outdone by Daez, Gabriel Hays revived the MRC's ongoing anti-transgender obsession in a Dec. 15 post:

You know you’re old when you can think back on a time when Cartoon Network proudly gendered their cartoon characters. Nowadays, “The Powerpuff Girls” wouldn’t be considered inclusive enough for the children’s entertainment network. Case in point: the animation channel’s latest social media post which tells kids that being a pansexual genderqueer androgynous whatever is just as normal as being a boy or a girl.

Cartoon Network, like almost everything else in this earthly realm, is seemingly suffering from a bout of leftwing crazy. 

On December 14, the channel’s Twitter account posted a series ofeducationalcomic strips featuring trans propaganda for the edification of viewers, most of which are children obviously. In any normal circles, this would be viewed as the opposite of kid friendly or educational.

[...]

Still, the channel captioned its post, saying, “Here's to not only normalizing gender pronouns, but respecting them, too. Whether you use he/she/them or something else, we acknowledge and LOVE you!” What they meant to say is, here’s to normalizing mental illness in innocent schoolchildren.

Matt Philbin had to weigh in too, which he did in a Dec. 30 post in which he served up the familiar MRC lament of too many gay people on TV:

You thought journalism was hurting? Not at all. Consider: a pandemic is raging, businesses are being starved by lockdowns, and a whole lot of people don’t believe the results of the presidential election. But back on Nov. 24, USA Today had the resources to devote 2,300 words to gay actors complaining about straight actors getting too many queer roles.

Not that the problems of a self-obsessed subset of an insular and frivolous industry aren’t fascinating. Who among us can’t say exactly what we were doing when we heard the news that Selena Gomez was going to play a lesbian mountaineer?

[...]

And nobody really wants accuracy. Oliver cited numbers from GLAAD: in 2019, 18.2% of major studio releases included characters that were “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer.” And, “On television, LGBTQ characters are projected to represent a record high of 10.2% of series regulars on prime-time scripted broadcast series.” 

LGBT people make up 4% of the population. What they’re shooting for is over-representation. Yet Oliver lamented “the scarcity of roles available for out LGBTQ actors to play LGBTQ characters.” He quoted a “gender and sexuality studies professor” who says, “It would be nice if there were enough LGBT roles that anyone could play them because there wasn't any scarcity of representation, However, that’s not the case.”

It’s a real dilemma. You have too many queer actors in an industry that’s already pushed queer content and characters well beyond any semblance of realism.

Clearly, the MRC is not hurting that it can affort to have Philbin spend nearly 450 words ranting about a newspaper article that failed to hate LGBT people the way he demands.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 17, 2021 10:03 PM EST
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Fake News: MRC Allows False Claim To Remain, But With An 'Editor's Note'
Topic: Media Research Center

Joseph Vazquez -- whose main job these appears appears to go spelunking into election-donation databases in an attempt to shame the MRC's preferred targets for having donated money to Democrats -- thought he had a winner in a Dec. 22 item:

Here’s another reason CNN’s political coverage seemed slanted against President Donald Trump: Political Correspondent Sara Murray gave cash to one of the only two Democratic senate candidates to defeat a GOP incumbent so far.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records revealed that Murray gave $1,000 to Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) campaign Sept. 19, 2020. Her contribution creates a potential conflict of interest given Murray’s role as a news correspondent covering politics for CNN.

[...]

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics clearly states that journalists should “[a]void conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.” It also states that journalists should refuse credibility-harming “special treatment” and should “[a]void political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.”

These general rules to protect journalist impartiality are clearly lost on CNN.

The MRC later appended an update to Vazquez's post: "CNN Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic responded to this story on Twitter, claiming, 'Wrong address. Wrong person. Wrong reporting,' despite the FEC record identifying 'Sara Murray' as a 'Correspondent'" employed by 'CNN.'"

It turns out that CNN was correct -- and Vazquez was wrong. His post now begins with this editor's note:

According to FEC records, there is another Sara Murray in Washington D.C. at the same zip code whose occupation is a nutritionist. Prior to this post's publication, MRC reached out to several CNN officials for comment. All of them went unreturned. Since publication, CNN has informed NewsBusters that both CNN and Murray unequivocally deny that she's made any political donations and are looking into the donation’s origins. The Mark Kelly campaign sent a note to the FEC stating:

"This filing is to notify that on the October 2020 Quarterly report we incorrectly reported Sara Murray's occupation as Correspondent and employer as CNN. The correct information, as given by the donor who made the contribution on September 19, 2020, is that their employer and occupation are both Not Employed."

Our report on the donation record was accurate, but the FEC record was not, so we're happy to correct it.

Wrong. Because the FEC record was not accurate, Vazquez's report wasn't acccurate. The donor was misidentified, and the MRC is trying to hide behind that to mask Vazquez's errort. Bizarrely, the MRC is leaving Vazquez's false post up even though it identifies the wrong person as the donor. The fact that there's an "editor's note" admitting the piece is false is no excuse for allowing the original false claim to stand.

And that tells you all you need to know about how selectively the MRC applies journalistic ethics.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EST
Friday, January 15, 2021
MRC's Demand For Coverage That Trump Topped 'Most Admired' Poll Didn't Age Well
Topic: Media Research Center

In light of the Capitol riot, the Media Research Center's pro-Trump sycophancy hasn't exactly aged well. Along the lines of the MRC's whining that the non-right-wing media didn't cover Trump's Nobel Peace Prize nominations -- a meaningless act for minor peace deals that it nevertheless deemed significant enough to have a pro-Trump ask voters about as part of its bogus campaign to claim the election was stolen from Trump -- is this Dec. 31 item by Brad Wilmouth:

On Tuesday morning, Fox News viewers got to see that, for the first time, President Donald Trump has come in first place in Gallup's annual poll of "most admired man" of the year.

But in contrast with how journalists swooned over former President Barack Obama the last time he came in first place, the other networks have so far ignored the finding.

On Tuesday's Fox & Friends, news reader Jillian Mele informed viewers that Trump had pulled ahead of Obama for the first time, and that, in spite of winning the presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden still comes in behind Obama.

[...]

Last year, Obama and Trump were tied for first place, and 2018 was the last year Obama was unequivocally in first place. In each case, you don't have to get to 20 percent to win, because they don't offer a list. You have to volunteer your answer.

Two years ago, on December 27th, the CBS Evening News hyped the finding in its tease: "In a Gallup poll released today, First Lady Michelle Obama was voted the woman most admired by Americans this year. And, apparently, it's a family thing because Barack Obama is the most admired man in America for the 11th consecutive year."

[...]

CBS This Morning, ABC's Good Morning America, MSNBC's Morning Joe, and CNN Tonight also covered the story in 2018.

Of course, after last week's events, nobody outside of pro-Trump dead-enders -- and MRC employees, but we repeat ourselves -- are going to put Trump on a most-admired list.

Instead of the usual call to action to attack advertisers of "liberal media" shows, Wilmouth concluded his item by asking his readers to throw Fox News some sugar: "Tuesday's Fox & Friends was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked. Let then know you appreciate the show keeping their viewers informed of matters censored by the more liberal networks."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EST
Thursday, January 14, 2021
MRC Hurls Bogus Narratives At Twitter For Banning Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

After the Capitol riot, the Media Research Center was quick to play victim, ridiculously portraying President Trump's initial suspension from Twitter as coming as he called for "peace," even though he clearly used the plaform to help incite the riot. Alexander Hall kept up that dishonest framing as Facebook suspended Trump:

Even as President Donald Trump called for peace, social media companies purged posts and his video and restricted his accounts, with at least two platforms removing his presence indefinitely.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared in a Facebook post that the block on Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely, as “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” Zuckerberg specified: “[W]e are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

This indefinite purge of Trump follows multiple Big Tech platforms cracking down on Trump’s call for peace amid the D.C. chaos, which saw rioters storm the U.S. Capitol building.

[...]

Rioters stormed the capital on Jan. 6 and Trump responded with a short video posted to Twitter that called for peace and an end to the protest. He assured his supporters, “I know your pain. I know your hurt,” but he told them, “you have to go home now. We have to have peace.” President Trump also assured his supporters that he agrees the election was “fraudulent,” but warned: “we can’t play into the hands of these people.” The tweet was promptly labeled with a warning: “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”

The “risk of violence” claim was especially bizarre since Trump made it clear he was calling for “peace” and urging the protesters go home.

As we've noted, Hall is again censoring that Trump also told the rioters in thart video, "We love you. You're very special." And as became clear in subsequent reporter, Trump did nothing while the riot was actually going on, preferring to watch it unfold on TV, and the riot was nearly over by the time Trump released that video.

As other social media outlets shut Trump down, Hall persisted in lying about Trump and "peace":

The internet’s most powerful platforms appear to have blamed President Donald Trump for riots that occurred at the U.S. Capitol building, even as he called for an end to civil unrest.

Many of the internet’s biggest tech platforms launched varied but simultaneous attacks on the sitting president. Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and “included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension” if he continues to contest the election's legitimacy, The Washington Post reported. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared in a Facebook post that the block on Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” he said. Zuckerberg specified: “[W]e are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.” Other tech platforms including Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify have followed suit in blaming the sitting president for the actions of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, even as he made a call for “peace.”

[...]

This multi-pronged deplatforming of Trump occurred as high ranking Democrats and former First Lady Michelle Obama called for a crackdown on the president and his supporters. “They bear major responsibility for ignoring repeated red flags and demands for fixes,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) according to the Washington Post, Blumenthal condemned Big Tech companies for refusing to crack down “until well after there was blood and glass in the halls of the Capitol.”

It speaks volumes that Michelle Obama, like many others, has specifically singled out Big Tech as the institution of choice to crush conservative dissent.

Hall apparently believes inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol is acceptable "conservative dissent."

At this point, it became time for the MRC to add the whataboutism card to the "peace" mix. A Jan. 8 post by Kayla Sargent declared:

Twitter doesn’t hold foreign government accounts to the same standard as President Donald Trump, but the platform has reached a new low. 

Twitter patted itself on the back after suspending Trump for 12 hours for posting a video in which he called for “peace” amid the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. But it has ignored blatant pro-genocide propaganda from the communist Chinese government. 

This came despite her boss, MRC executive Tim Graham, denouncing the playing of whataboutism regarding the riots. Needless to say, the MRC will never give Twitter credit for all the leftist and communist regime-related accounts it does suspend.

When Twitter chose to ban Trump permanently, Hall pushed both lame narratives along with a healthy dose of the victim card:

Twitter has finally lost it. The social media site purged President Donald Trump, going against its own rules. This from a site that has allowed foreign dictators and even pro-genocide propaganda. But it won’t allow a sitting U.S. president to post.  

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter announced on Jan. 8. Twitter Safety explained that “we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” but did not elaborate on the offending tweet(s).

“The suspension amounts to a ban: Trump can no longer access his account and his tweets and profile picture have been deleted. Trump had 88.7 million followers prior to his suspension,” CNBC reported.

Many of the internet’s biggest tech platforms launched simultaneous attacks on the president. Twitter had initially locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and “included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension” if he continues to contest the election's legitimacy, The Washington Post reported.

[...]

Other tech platforms including Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify followed suit in blaming the sitting president for the actions of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, even as he made a call for “peace.”

It's so cute how Hall is playing dumb here, pretending he doesn't know that Trump consistentely violates Twitter's terms of service as he complains that Twitter "did not elaborate on the offending tweet(s)" that led to his ban.

As expected, neither Hall nor Sargent explain why Twitter must publish whetever Trump says even though, as a private business, it has rights to free association and terms of service that it enforces on other people.

Even though Trump and other right-wingers promoting false narratives that the election was stolen was the driving force behind the Capitol riot, Hall got mad that Twitter would clamp down on distribution of such claims:

Twitter unveiled an updated Civic Integrity Policy in January, clarifying the platform’s ironfisted policy against questioning elections. 

Twitter has been one of Big Tech’s most infamous innovators when it comes to censoring genuine concerns about elections. “The public conversation occurring on Twitter is never more important than during elections and other civic events,” Twitter declared in a January policy update. Twitter claimed: “Any attempts to undermine the integrity of our service is antithetical to our fundamental rights and undermines the core tenets of freedom of expression,” suggesting absurdly that freedom of expression is “the value upon which our company is based.”

That's right -- Hall claimed that spreading lies about the eleciton was just an expression of "genuine concerns."

Joseph Vazquez, meanwile, gloated over Twitter losing $5 billion  in market value since the riots and bizarrely framed trying to shut down incitements to riot as being "woke":

Go woke, or go broke? Orwellian platform Twitter has now experienced the effects of that principle for the draconian anti-free speech measures it has wielded lately.

Yahoo! News reported that Twitter shares dive-bombed more “than 10% on Monday” following its decision to ban President Donald Trump from its site after the Capitol Hill riot Jan. 6. Specifically, the liberal outlet noted that “Shortly after market open Monday, the stock dropped as much as 12.3% to reach as low as $45.17 per share.”

Business Insider reported the real kicker: Twitter’s stock price loss erased a jaw-dropping “$5 billion from its market capitalization.” Ouch. [Emphasis added.]

Sargent returned to lash out at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's defense of banning Trump from his website, complaining that he was taking "his self-assumed position as the arbiter of truth on the platform" -- as if a company's CEO has no voice in the company he runs -- and lamented: Trump is still able to circumvent the Twitter ban to some extent, at least for now, by using the @whitehouse and @POTUS accounts. As long as he doesn’t write anything Twitter doesn’t like."

Like, you know, fomenting insurrection against the government because he falsely claims to have really won the election. But Sargent and Hall probably believe him.

UPDATE: Curtis Houck reinforced the victim narrative -- and his raging case of CNN Derangement Syndrome -- by whining on Jan. 8 "Mark it down, NewsBusters readers: January 8, 2021 will go down as one of the greatest days in the lives of more than a few CNN charlatans due to the massive, unprecedented crackdown on American free speech, including Twitter’s permanent banning of President Trump."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 8:30 PM EST

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