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Monday, January 17, 2022
How Has The MRC's War Against Facebook Been Failing Lately?
Topic: Media Research Center

It's been a while since we last checked in on the Media Research Center's failing war against Facebook -- a war that's failing because it clings to its discredited talking point that Facebook is exclusively "censoring" conservatives solely because they post things in the conservative mainstream. (That faulty narrative has forced the MRC to mainstream many right-wing extremists as garden-variety conservatives.) We've shown how the MRC is lashing out at Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for no real reason other than she's not an exreme right-winger like the "big tech" whistleblowers it has showered attention on in the past and that her criticisms have gotten more traction than anything the MRC has done. Let's go back to late July and August to see how that war has continued to fail.

Alexander Hall devoted a July 28 post to complaining -- under the ridiculously alarmist headline "Free Speech Armageddon" -- that Facebook had added another fact-checker called Meedan to focus on health misinformation: "Censorship incoming? Facebook makes a massive partnership with a leftist-supported organization to assist its so-called fact-checking about COVID-19 vaccines." He went on to issue personal attacks on Meedan personnel, including one board member who he claims "is part of a group of leftwing activists who created a pretender Facebook Oversight Board urging far more stringent censorship for Facebook."

On Aug. 6, Hall took a pro-censorship viewpoint (since said censorship makes conservatives look somewhat better than they would otherwise): "Leftists are furious that Facebook disabled research accounts analyzing the 'spread of misinformation on the platform,' according to Cybersecurity for Democracy. The real furor is because the left uses 'misinformation' as a synonym for conservative content they are desperate to censor." Hall offered no evidence to back up his claim that that the data was used only by "the left" to "censor" conservatives.

Putting "misinformation" in scare quotes or dismissing it as "so-called" is another way the MRC pushes its victimization narrative. That theme continues in later posts.

Gabriela Pariseau used an Aug. 17 post to rant: "Members of Facebook’s Oversight Board revealed that the board prefers to operate under the guideposts of globalism and so-called consistency — not American values enumerated in the First Amendment." Why? Because "the Facebook Oversight Board’s priorities lie in alleged consistency and globalism rather than the American values of free speech and free expression." Pariseau declined to admit that the First Amendment offers no protection to misinformation and lies.

Autumn Johnson pushed a government-facebook conspiracy in an Aug. 19 post:

Facebook is taking action after pressure from the White House. The Biden administration blamed the platform for the majority of coronavirus “misinformation.”

The news comes after the White House blamed accounts on the platform for spreading misinformation.

"There's about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Johnson offered no evidence that any "pressure" from the White House directly led to Facebook taking the action, despite going on to claim that "Some argue pressure from the federal government should classify Big Tech social media platforms as 'state actors.'" That list of 12 people who spread COVID misinformation, by the way, came from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which the MRC impotently attacked a couple months later for putting it on a list of groups that misinform about climate change.

Johnson returned to complain on Aug. 26:

Facebook is reportedly creating an election commission to weigh in on political affairs across the globe, according The New York Times.

The commission is expected to be announced just in time for the 2022 midterm elections in the United States. It seems that Facebook wants to use the commission to make decisions about the content it chooses to allow on the platform in an effort to shield itself from criticism. 

Facebook has been in the sights of both liberals and conservatives in recent weeks for its content moderation decisions.

Johnson went on to claim that "Facebook's alleged fear of looking bad to the left and its media allies shouldn't go unnoticed," ciring the infamous "poll from the Media Research Center, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, shows 36 percent of Biden voters were NOT aware of the evidence linking Joe Biden to corrupt financial dealings with China through his son Hunter." Johnson failed to disclose that McLaughlin was Trump's election pollster, throwing doubt on the poll's accuracy and impartiality.

An Aug. 31 post by Pariseau featured her boss, Brent Bozell, whining that Facebook's plan to "reduce political and news content in its News Feed" will “disproportionately” affect conservatives. Johnson went on to inadvertently debunk the MRC's narrative that conservatives are victimized and "censored" on Facebook:

Bozell’s criticisms are not unfounded. Facebook wrote a blog last year that showed which Facebook pages generated the most engagements on posts that included links during the week of Oct. 23 through Oct. 29, 2020. The blog post showed that three of the top five pages and six of the top 10 pages included prominent conservatives, news organizations and groups including: Dan Bongino, Fox News, Breitbart, Ben Shapiro, USA Patriots for Donald Trump and Donald Trump for President. The Twitter account Facebook’s Top 10 shows that the weekly trend has similarly continued to the present.

The MRC itself has bragged about how well its content does on Facebook, which also undermines its narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 17, 2022 9:58 PM EST
Miles Taylor Derangement Taylor Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

When Trump administration official Miles Taylor came forward in 2020 as the author of an anonymous article (and later book) stating how he was part of a group in the White House keeping President Trump from acting on his worst instincts, the Media Research Center lashed out, dismissing him as merely a low-level staffer (he was actually a Cabinet secretary's deupty chief of staff, hardly the low-level flunkie" the MRC insisted he was) who did it for the money -- while failing to prove anything Taylor said was false.

The MRC has continued to bash Taylor whever he appears on TV to talk about Republican extremism. We noted that in September, when Taylor defended Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley from Republican accusastions of treason when it was revealed that he secretly contacted Chinese officials to assure them that the U.S. wouldn't attack amid Trump's increasingly unstable behavior after losing the 2020 presidential election, Mark Finkelstein sneered that "There's something of the callow youth about the 33-year-old Taylor."

When Taylor appeared on TV again to call out Republicans' disturbingly casual  attitude toward the COVID pandemic, Finkelstein returned to have a Miles meltdown in a Nov. 30 post:

Miles Taylor is one of those Trump-loathing "Republicans" that the liberal media likes to trot out. The sort that can be relied upon to take shots at their supposed fellow party members.

Taylor's the guy who, as "Anonymous," in 2018 wrote an op-ed for the New York Times vaingloriously describing himself as part of the anti-Trump "resistance" inside the White House. At the time, the Times billed Taylor as a "senior" official in the Trump administration. But when the curtain was pulled back, Taylor was revealed to have been at the time of writing the op-ed nothing more than a mere deputy chief of staff at DHS: a " low-level flunkie," as our former colleague Rich Noyes put it. 

This was elevated into a book deal as well -- ka-ching. There's gold in those Trump-bashing hills.

As if Finkelstein wasn't getting paid for writing this tirade. Maybe he's jealous that nobody will give him a book deal.

After noting in passing that Taylor dismissed a Republican congressman and claimed that "Republicans are quite literally murdering their base of support with their disinformation," Finkelstein didn't even respond to it -- a clue that he knows the statement is true, no matter how much he complains that it was said. Instead, he continued to spew personal attacks against Taylor:

Various questions arise around Taylor's truthfulness. Although he describes himself as a Republican, Taylor has admitted to having supported and donated to Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign.

And remember, Obama wasn't running against one of those scary, far-right Republicans. His opponent was John McCain. If you ditched McCain to support Obama—the man with the most liberal voting record in the Senate—it's fair to say you ain't no Republican. Question: if McCain wasn't good enough for Taylor, did he turn around and vote for Trump in 2016—or did he seek and accept a position in his administration under false pretenses?

And then there's the matter of Taylor having flat-out lied about his identity. When CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed him in 2020, Taylor, who at the time was a paid CNN contributor, denied being Anonymous. When the lie was revealed, CNN said that Taylor would nonetheless "remain a CNN contributor."

But Taylor doesn't mention a CNN affiliation in his Twitter profile, and in his LinkedIn profile, he describes himself as having been a CNN contributor in "2020, less than a year."

Sounds like CNN might have quietly dumped the mendacious Taylor. But the apparent CNN reject is still good enough for the likes of Nicolle Wallace and MSNBC . . . just so long as he's willing to reliably spew colorful anti-Republican attacks.

Perhaps Taylor's best bet would be to slink back into anonymity.

Nasty, partisan personal attacks are not "media research," but Finkelstein apparently thinks they are. And rants and insults are what the MRC has desended to these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EST
Sunday, January 16, 2022
The MRC's Year Of Being Triggered By Lil Nas X
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center -- always a hater of all things LGBT -- spent a good part of 2021 being triggered by things that rapper Lil Nas X did (which showed that Lil Nas X knew what he was doing). Veronica Hays kicked things off in a March 26 post with a meltdown over the "optics of heinous gay stuff" in Lil Nas X's latest video:

Lil Nas X’s latest music video is an abomination that may have just prompted the coming of the next extinction age of humanity. Prepare accordingly.

Rapper Lil Nas X -- real name is Montero Hill -- released the highly-anticipated music video for his most recent self-titled single “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”, on Friday March 26. Nas’ creation consists of surreal and provocative visuals that include a stripper-pole extending from heaven to hell, and a gay lap dance with the devil.

[...]

The pornographic take on the Christian themes present are twisted blasphemy that brainwashed libs on twitter are greeting with an “outpouring of love and support.” The Root calls it a “gorgeous video” and applauds Nas’ vulnerability and courage for unapologetically showcasing his authentic self. It is sad that as we approach Holy Week and Easter, the holiest time of the year for Christians throughout the world, he drops this piece of trash to peddle deviant smut to the masses. 

Nas embodies the left’s progressive fantasy: a flamboyant and young black man, overtly homosexual, highly favored among the masses, and who acts as a mouthpiece for their poisonous ideology. It would almost lend one to think that his sudden skyrocketing to fame in 2019 over his insanely popular single “Old Town Road” and his coming-out as gay was purposely maneuvered as an industry plant. Regardless if that's true, Nas can certainly be considered an evil pawn meant to disrupt the already bankrupt morality of today’s society. Perhaps that's giving him too much credit.

Four days later, Scott Whtilock huffed:

ABC’s Nightline on Monday proved, yet again, that journalists have no concept of religion or what might be offensive. The late-night news program promoted Lil Nas X and his “Satan Shoes,” as well as the singer's new video in which he “slides down from heaven to hell on a pole and twerks on Satan.” This, apparently, is only offensive to “conservative Christians,” a label that reporter Ashan Singh uses twice.

As though this were all normal, Nightline co-host Juju Chang hyped, “Lil Nas X taking the old town road to hell. Going viral again and igniting controversy. How the 'Call Me By Your Name' singer is confronting homophobia and selling out a special edition of Satan shoes.”

Sounding like PR for the Satan-loving song, Singh touted, “It's these words and these images where Lil Nas X, who is openly gay, is seduced in the garden of Eden and then slides down from heaven to hell on a pole and twerks on Satan, that has people glued to their scenes.”

[...]

Remember when Nightline used to be a news program? It's been quite a while since the era of Ted Koppel. Twerking with Satan makes Nightline's fascination with "bootleg butt injections" look positively classy. 

In a March 31 post, Curtis Houck complained that MSNBC's Joy Reid refused to hate Lil Nas X's video: "During a rant that reveled in the R-rated Lil Nas X video and Satan-themed Nike sneakers as a way to own Christians, Reid ruled that opposition to thing such as Lil Nas X’s sexuality, transgenderism, and even China’s communist government would encourage violence against Asian Americans and LGBT people." Hays returned on April 5 to complain about a fictional version of Lil Nas X after "Saturday Night Live" satirized the right-wing freakout over him:

Saturday Night Live paints a perfect portrait of today’s tragic cultural landscape by opening the April 3 episode with a fictional talk show “Oops, You Did It Again," “that will shine light on the social pariahs of the week.” Lil Nas X, Pepe Le Pew, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), appear as this week's worthy candidates who explain themselves before the host Britney Spears, played by cast member Chloe Fineman. She then decides if these most-discussed cultural figures are “innocent or not that innocent.”

Rightly so, the first guest to join Spears is Lil Nas X, played by Chris Redd. The 21-year-old rapper has been the topic of much controversy in recent days surrounding the explicit lap dance he administered to Satan in his “Montero” music video along with the “Satan shoes” he designed and which Nike sued him for. In order to even the playing field, Spears suggests Nas also gives a lap dance to God. He agrees and immediately a guy dressed in a white cloak with long white hair and a beard is summoned for him to dance on.

Lil Nas X knew this would happen, and he was definitely trolling right-wing Christian like the folks who staff the MRC with the video and the shoes, as a little payback for having to grow up in a homophobic Christian environment.

But rather than feel ashamed for getting played so easily, the MRC doubled down on the hat. When Lil Nas X did something else controversial in June, Gabriel Hays was right on cue with the performative hate and outrage:

Proud anti-religious homosexual Lil Nas X continued his war against the Catholic Church and traditional marriage at the 2021 BET Awards.

Appearing on the red carpet for the annual BET Awards, Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, turned heads with his ball gown. Though the homosexual man wearing a dress with a plunging neckline wasn’t the controversy of the moment, believe it or not. It was that the blue and white pattern on his dress featured a message attacking the Catholic Church by equating it with Nazi-ism.

For full outrageous effect, Hays also devoted three paragraphs to recounting the events in the months-old "Montero" video.

When Lil Nas X got named to a position at Taco Bell in August, it was Joseph Vazquez's turn for performative outrage, complete with insisting on calling him by his birth name instead of his stage name:

Infamous rapper Lil Nas X, who made an anti-Christian statement by straddling the Devil in a hellish music video, is now being promoted by a famous fast-food company as its chief impact officer.

Taco Bell, in its infinite wisdom, picked Lil Nas X — whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill — to become “the brand’s first Chief Impact Officer,” according to Adweek. The outlet described the new position for Hill, who has allegedly worked at Taco Bell in the past, as an “‘honorary’ gig that’s expected to run for several months and fan out over the release of his much-anticipated record, Montero, and the restaurant’s scholarship program for young creatives.”

“Young creatives” for the taco giant clearly include overtly gay artists who get a kick out of giving Satan a lap dance. Hill also caused a media firestorm this year when he announced his “>Satan Shoes,” allegedly made with a drop of human blood. Maybe Taco Bell was trying to tell consumers something when it first started selling its now-popular “Diablo” sauce.

[...]

Hill wrote a letter accompanying the video to his 14-year-old self and tweeted it with the admission that he had an agenda behind his Satanic indiscretion: “[T]hey will say i’m pushing an agenda. but the truth is, i am. the agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be.”  It’s worth noting that Hill’s target audience has been reported to be “children.” 

Welcome to Taco Hell.

for Lil Nas X's appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, the performative outrage baton passed to Karen Townsend. After noting that he "recreated a gay prison shower scene from the music video for "Industry Baby" in his performance of the song," she went on to lament that he won an award:

Alas, Lil Nas X won the award for Video of the Year for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

Lil Nas X: Wow! Let's go! Wow, oh my God! Okay, first I want to say thank you to the gay agenda! Let's go, gay agenda!

He thanked “the gay agenda” as he accepted the award for a video of him riding a stripper pole to Hell to give a gay lap dance to Satan, so it was very appropriate.

If that wasn't enough -- and it clearly wasn't -- Matt Norcorss spent an Oct. 9 post lamenting "an increasingly debased and woke culture," with his main exhibit being you-know-who, complete with yet more performative outrage over the "Montero" video:

And you won’t believe the praise that piece of garbage got from liberal publications. Also, guess who promoted Lil Nas X to “Chief Impact Officer” after he released this filth? Does the name Taco Bell sound familiar? That’s definitely going to alienate a lot of potential customers.

[...]

And all of this is just fine with the liberal media, which celebrates filth like Lil Nas X, as well as the smut and woke lectures that go along with it. Even worse, if you think any of this content is offensive or disgusting, you’re a right-wing gasbag with partisan outrage in the eyes of organizations like MSNBC.

That's rich coming from someone whom (we assume) got paid to write about his outrage. Of course, it is partisan -- the MRC is a partisan organization with a specific agenda to oppose LGBT rights. And it spent the past year targeting someone for his sexuality -- which, of course, Lil Nas X knew would happen. The MRC played their hateful role because hating is their job -- they couldn't do otherwise. And Lil Nas X reeled them in so easily.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2022 8:31 PM EST
Saturday, January 15, 2022
MRC Cheers How Its Bogus Research Was Cited At Congressional Hearing
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Catherine Salgado squeed in a Dec. 1 post:

The Heritage Foundation technology policy research fellow Kara Frederick in congressional hearing testimony cited Media Research Center ground-breaking analysis on the political impacts of Big Tech’s censorship, including how Big Tech stole the 2020 election. “You have the Media Research Center, which is acting as a lion in this regard,” Frederick said, explaining how tech companies dishonestly pretend they are not biased.

Frederick testified at a hearing on Big Tech “reforms” of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee on Dec. 1. Frederick explained how she worked for Facebook like leftist activist “whistleblower” Frances Haugen.

Frederick’s viewpoint on Big Tech was very different from censorship-supporting Haugen’s, however. Frederick said she joined Facebook because she believed in “the democratization of information,” but now Big Tech just engages in “viewpoint censorship.” Frederick cited original MRC research and polling to prove her point.

Frederick cited original MRC research. “The confluence of evidence is irrefutable. Twitter and Facebook censor Republican members of Congress at a rate of fifty-three to one, compared to Democrats. Twitter suspends conservatives twenty-one times more often than liberals,” Frederick stated. “These practices have distinct political effects.”

Frederick then cited MRC’s explosive polling on the 2020 election. “The Media Research Center found in 2020 that one in six Biden voters claimed they would have modified their vote had they been aware of information that was actively suppressed by tech companies. Fifty-two percent of Americans believe social media suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story constituted election interference.

Salgado will not tell her readers about the shadiness and dubious methods of the MRC's "research."  The "explosive polling on the 2020 election" she cited were actually numbers bought from Trump's election pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, who arguably has a vested interest in promoting Trump and trashing Biden (just like the MRC does), meaning those numbers cannot be considered reliable. The poll find that "Fifty-two percent of Americans believe social media suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story constituted election interference" is also from poll data manufactured by McLaughlin for the benefit of the MRC. The MRC has never disclosed in any of its promotion of these polls that McLaughlin was Trump's election pollster.

Its claim about Republican members of Congress being "censored" much more than Democratic ones (the more accurate description is that the Republicans violated social media terms of service much more than Democrats did) is even more dubious because, as we noted, while the MRC is aggressive in finding Republican examples, no evidence was offered that it was similarly aggressive -- or even made any effort at all -- in seeking Democratic examples. The MRC also weirdly revised the ratio upward, from 53-to-1 to 54-to-1, a couple weeks later without explanation -- also something legitimate researchers don't do.

And Salgado's attack on Haugen as a "leftist" whistleblower seems to be sour grapes that her claims about Facebook -- which the MRC repeated when the Wall Street Journal reported them and didn't know Haugen was the source -- are getting much more traction than the MRC's long war against Facebook has gotten.

Uncritically repeating such shoddy "research" -- especially at a congressional hearing -- doesn't make the Heritage Foundation look credible.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 15, 2022 1:29 PM EST
Friday, January 14, 2022
Despite Declaring Her Irrevelevant, MRC Still Bashes Bette Midler
Topic: Media Research Center

For someone it has deemed irrelevant, the Media Research Center sure continues to spend an inordinate amount of time monitoring what Bette Midler says and attacking her for it. the MRC published 20 articles referencing Midler in 2021 (a drop from the 40 articles that referenced her in 2020), some of which we noted here.Tim Graham whined in a Sept. 6 post:

Sister Toldjah at RedState is reminding us that actress Bette Midler is once again expressing her outrage at pro-life legislation (this time in Texas) by demanding all the ladies engage in a "sex strike" until the liberals win and abortions are as easily available as a manicure.

[...]

>Bitter Bette is the same Hollywood scholar who tweeted in 2018 after the Kavanaugh accuser parade failed to defeat him that “‘Women, are the n-word of the world.’ Raped, beaten, enslaved, married off...enduring the pain and danger of childbirth and life IN SILENCE for THOUSANDS of years...” 

Graham sure seems quite well versed in all things Bette, even though we're not supposed to care about her or anything she has to say.

Graham returned to whine on Dec. 4 that the New York Times did an article on Midler's current book-reading habits, pettily complaining that the drawing of that that accompanied the article "was also very complimentary."

Gabriel Hays devoted a Dec. 21 post to ranting about something else Midler tweeted:

Bette Midler has a history of mean-spirited and obnoxious tweets, even by the standards of Hollywood progressives. But Midler has outdone herself.

After West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) refused to vote for President Biden’s massive government spending package – dubbed the $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better Bill”  and its various radical leftwing policy proposals and purchases – Hollywood wench Bette Midler cracked her knuckles and typed a furious and demeaning message to the senator and his constituents in West Virginia. 

She began by tweeting, “What #JoeManchin, who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible.” Yep, a nearly $2 trillion spending package filled with Democrat regulations and policies is the only way forward. How could Manchin not see the light!

The message revealed exactly what Hollywood elitists think of middle America and was very much in line with the stereotype. Midler loathes middle Americans and by loathe we mean gleefully thinks about them as illiterate morons who can’t help but be “strung out” on opioids in their free time.

[...]

The tweet did not go over well, especially with conservatives. One influencer, Catturd, responded to Midler’s tweet, saying, “This is one of the most horrible tweets in history - pure evil.” He might be right. 

Conservative comedy duo, The HodgeTwins tweeted, “You suck as a person.” And while we can’t condone that, it’s hard not to agree.

So Hays is following the orders of someone named Catturd? That sounds like him.

The MRC concluded the year by giving Midler the "Celebrity Freak-Outs Award" for the offense of reminding people what a terrible person Rush Limbaugh was upon his death, declaring her "soulless" for doing so. Then again, Limbaugh showed how soulless he was while he was alive by viciously smearing a woman as a "slut" because she took birth control -- and the MRC was just as soulless in defending him by running an "I Stand With Rush" campaign.

But somehow Midler is the evil person here. And is apparently so irrelevant that the MRC can't stop writing about her.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 PM EST
MRC Bashed Biden For Not Tapping Oil Reserve -- Then Bashed Him When He Did
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez huffed in a Nov. 4 post:

New York Times economist Paul Krugman claimed President Joe Biden has no control over the rise in gas prices. This, of course, comes after Krugman pilloried former President Donald Trump a year earlier for allegedly exercising the same control he said Biden didn’t have.

Krugman took to Twitter to try to explain away the abysmal election results for Democrats Tuesday in an attempt to protect Biden: “One issue that seems to have influenced voters Tuesday was the price of gasoline — over which Biden has no control.”

Vazquez went on to cite self-proclaimed environmentalist (though more of a dubious contrarian and, thus, a right-wing favorite) Michael Schellenberger as saying that Biden "may open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices." Never mind, of course, that it is true that Biden has very little direct control over oil prices

Well, Biden tap the SPR later that month -- and the MRC rushed to dismiss the action as ineffective.  Nicholas Fondacaro grumbled in a Nov. 23 post:

During ABC’s World News Tonight on Tuesday, anchor David Muir and congressional correspondent Rachel Scott were President Biden’s personal cheer team as they praised him for releasing 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserves; after he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do it. Meanwhile, on the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, they warned it was just a “drop in the bucket” and would be used up in less than three days.

Fondacaro censored the fact that the SPR release was coordinated with releases from other countries to have a greater impact on prices.

It's as if the MRC will criticize Biden no matter what he does, and that perhaps the Biden White House should stop trying to please such constant bad-faith critics whose support it will never win because they are more about partisan politics than helping the country.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EST
Thursday, January 13, 2022
MRC Sports Blogger Loves Herschel Walker, Dismisses Credible Abuse Allegations
Topic: Media Research Center

Like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center has been a cheerleader for ex-football player, Trump buddy and now carpetbagging Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Unlike CNS, though, mystertious MRC sports blogger Jay Maxson made an effort to whitewash spousal abuse allegations agaist Walker.

Maxson's cheerleading for Walker began last April by helping Trump encourage a Senate run:

We don't know what kind of U.S. senator Herschel Walker would make, but all the right people already hate him. Deadspin and Democrat partisan Dustin Foote is on high alert over news reports that former President Donald Trump urged the football great to run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. Walker was selected as one of Deadspin’s 2020 “Idiots of the Year,” he believes in God and is a good friend of Trump’s. In other words, he’s a real nightmare.

Taking a shot at current Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, Maxson huffed, "Walker’s considerable fame and reputation in his home state of George greatly surpass that of Sen. Warnock." Unlike Walker, though, Warnock currently lives in Georgia, something Maxson didn't see fit to mention.

Maxson slobbered all over Walker in a Sept. 27 post under the gushy headline "Herschel Walker Shines for Conservativism at Save America Rally":

Former University of Georgia and National Football League star Herschel Walker is fast becoming one of the leading ball-carriers for the conservative movement. He appeared in Perry, Ga., Saturday with former President Donald Trump and other conservatives at a “Save America” rally.

It only makes sense for Americans to support conservative ideals, Walker told the fired-up audience: "People always ask me what qualifies me to run for this office, and I said, 'Well you’re right, I’m an American.’" The former Heisman Trophy winner said being conservative is just part of being an American. He had the crowd firmly with him, as people chanted “run, Herschel, run:”

[...]

Formalizing his decision last month to run for the U.S. Senate and take out radical lefty Sen. Raphael Warnock, Walker said it’s “Because I love America. And I’ve got to fight for America. It is time for us to stop wondering what we’re going to do but do it because what we’ve got now — we’re fighting over the same things we were fighting over when Jimmy Carter was in office. Have you noticed that?”

Trump told the crowd that Walker is a "special man" and a "great” man. He endorsed the candidacy of the man who’s expected to win next year’s Georgia GOP primary. Walker is polling at a whopping 75 percent among Republican Senate hopefuls in his home state.

"Welcome a man who really knows how to win the United States of America. So proud of this man,” Trump exclaimed. “One of the greatest athletes of our country's history. The greatest running back that I've ever seen.

"Not only an American hero, he is an American legend born and raised in this state," Trump said.

Maxson again failed to mention that Walker has not lived in Georgia for years. Nor did he metion that a guy who help foment an insurrection against the government of the United States is perhaps not the best character witness for anyone, let alone a potential political candidate.

When a Walker supporter was criticized for backing a guy credibly accused of spousal abuse, Maxson's response in a Nov. 5 post was, essentally, that if he never faced criminal charges, it must not have happened:

It should not be considered “news” that a Major League Baseball owner donates money to Republican political candidates. But then there’s California’s wildly left-of-center media that contends it is newsworthy. The San Francisco Giants’ owner Charles Johnson supported the Georgia Senate campaign of Herschel Walker, and now he’s getting raked over the coals.

The San Francisco Chronicle disparaged Walker, the former football star and Heisman Trophy winner, as a “stop the steal enthusiast” who suspected voter fraud in the 2020 election. Walker has announced his candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia for the 2022 election, and he leads polling among Republican candidates in that Georgia Senate primary race. Walker’s support from former President Donald Trump also soured the Chronicle on his reputation.

Though Walker has never been charged with domestic abuse, the Chronicle and Associated Press both accused him of that crime against his former wife.

Maxson conlcuded with this bizarre assertion: "Give the Chronicle well-deserved 'F' grades for journalistic fairness and failing to recognize Johnson's right to free association, along with an 'A' grade for doing the Democrats’ bidding." What grade to we give a guy who's so in the tank for Walker he might as well be on the campaign payroll -- and who so blithely dismisses credible accusations that he's a spousal abuser?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Loving The Fringe To Own The Libs, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center finds even more right-wing extremists to try and mainstream into conservative "victims" of "censorship" by "big tech" -- all while hiding their extremism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EST
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
MRC Attacks Coverage Of Waukesha Incident, Proves The Converse Is True
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Bill D'Agostino made an interesting declaration in a Nov. 30 post: "If Darrell Brooks were a white man who drove a car into a crowd of black people, the media would still be talking about Waukesha."

If that's true, then the opposite is true as well: The MRC and other right-wing media gave disproportionate attention to the incident in Waukesha, Wis., in which Brooks allegedly ran down people on a parade route, killing six, is precisely because Brooks is black. D'Agostino seemed to confirm that in hissubsequent rant:

The name Darrell Brooks hasn’t been uttered a single time on CNN since last Thursday, November 25. Today marked the first time anyone on MSNBC mentioned Brooks by name since last Wednesday, November 24. The scant coverage came in the form of a hasty (34 seconds) news brief that ran once each on the network’s two morning programs, Way Too Early with Jonathan Lemire and Morning Joe.

How about the fact that Brooks is a felon who has reportedly expressed hatred for white and Jewish people? Or the fact that witnesses report he appeared to be swerving his vehicle so that he would hit as many pedestrians as possible? Nope, those facts apparently aren’t important enough to make it onto CNN or MSNBC. Nobody on either network has breathed a word about any of that.

Why?

You know why – everybody knows why. It’s because the media are peddling a nasty portrait of America in which countless violent white supremacists and racist police officers run rampant, carrying out calculated attacks on people of color with alarming frequency.

This simplistic narrative has no room for any person of color who hates white people. Those people, even if they did exist, somehow couldn't be racist.

D'Agostino has clearly bought into theright-wing narrative that people like himself should be scared of black people and that it's not racist to push that idea.

A search of the NewsBusters archive showed that it published 16 articles that reference Waukesha, a good number of which were dedicated to perpetuating that notion that the "liberal media" wasn't pushing right-wing evil-back-guy narratives about the tragedy:

By contrast, the MRC treated a school shooting in Michigan much differently -- we could find only seven articles referencing the shooting at Oxford High School in which three students were killed. By D'Agostino's logic on Waukesha, we can only assume that's because the alleged student shooter is white and that the shooter's parents had voiced support for Donald Trump. In contrsst to the MRC's evil-black-guy tone on Waukesha, it scoverage of the Michigan shooting was defensive:

That eagerness to downplay the Michigan shooting could be found across right-wing media: Fox News gave nearly twice as much coverage to its own Christmas tree catching fire than to the shooting.

When the MRC complains about something, it usually means that it's doing the same thing, albeit ideologically opposite.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EST
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
MRC Double Standard On Traumatic Testimony
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center got mad that Kyle Rittenhouse's crying at his trial for killing two people was mocked:

  • Curtis Houck huffed in a Nov. 10 post that MSNBC's Joy Reid was being "ghoulish" by claim that Rittenhouse was "currying favor with a nearly all-white jury by crying" and that hhe "worked with his legal team to perform in a way that would 'disrupt his image as a trigger happy vigilante who went on a shooting spree.'" Houck went on gush that the performance showed that "Rittenhouse excelled on the jury stand."
  • Another Nov. 10 post, by Nicholas FOndacaro, complained that a  CNN guest "mocked him for breaking down and crying on the stand."
  • On Nov. 11, Kristine Marsh huffed that the co-hosts of "The View" "cruelly mocked Kyle Rittenhouse’s tearful testimony that he acted in self-defense, with Behar scoffing it was the 'worst acting' she’d ever seen and Ana Navarro sneering the teen would eventually run as a Republican Congressman if he escaped jail."
  • Tim Graham devoted his Nov. 19 column to defending Rittenhouse against Reid: "Rittenhouse scrunched up his face and lost his composure when describing how he shot and killed two men. And if he hadn’t cried? Then he’d be trashed by Reid as a sociopath." He then played whataboutism: "No one’s going to find Joy Reid mocking a 'Karen-out' when Hillary Clinton teared up on the campaign trail in 2008, or when she teared up in a Benghazi hearing in 2013. The networks touted that as a masterful performance."Graham omitted the fact that Clinton wasn't running around shooting and killing people. He concluded by grousing: "The common thread is the Left’s cynical accusation that these incidents of white-male crying or choking up on television were insincerely staged for personal gain or political effect."

Similiarly, in a Dec. 20 post, Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC commentator Elie Mystal commented on the case of Kim Potter, a police officer on trial for killing a suspect with her gun when she claimed to have been reaching for her taser, and "rejected Potter's tears as phony during her testimony," complaining further thaot host Tiffany Cross "seconded Mystal's accusation that Potter was faking her tears."

As Graham hinted at, what you never see at the MRC is any sympathy for a non-conservative caught crying over a traumatic event. Last February, the MRC melted down over Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking about how the Jan. 6 Capitol riot a few weeks earlier affeced her, getting particularly worked up over an Instagram video she made emotionally describing the events of that day. As part of that meltdown, MRC writer Alexa Moutevelis dismissed AOC's video a "performance", then tried to fact-check it and baselessly suggested she was lying about a reference to a earlier sexual assault against her.

So, the MRC will fully invest in your trauma only as long as your politics align with theirs and it advances their right-wing agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EST
Monday, January 10, 2022
MRC Keeps Melting Down Over Facebook Whistleblower It Doesn't Like
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center attacked Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for not being the right-wing kind of whistleblower it prefers. The attacks continued in ways both subtle and overt.

An Oct. 13 post by Autun Johnson and an Oct. 14 post by Catherine Salgado both put "whistleblower" in scare quotes when refering to Haugen; Johnson kept up the scare quotes in complaining that Haugen "called for more government regulation to censor 'misinformation,'" while Salgado huffed that "Haugen has multiple ties to leftist individuals and causes."

Joseph Vazquez went full fearmonger on Haugen in an Oct. 22 post that added his hatred of rich liberals into the mix:

One of the most notorious liberal billionaire mega-donors in the United States is reportedly aiding Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who advocated for more Big Tech censorship.

Pierre Omidyar — the founder of eBay — is using his philanthropic organization Luminate to handle “Haugen’s press and government relations in Europe,” according to Politico. In addition, Omidyar’s foundation “last year gave $150,000 to Whistleblower Aid, the nonprofit organization that is providing Haugen’s legal representation and advice.”

Recent reporting revealed that Haugen donated to multiple leftist groups and was a member of the team that censored the Hunter Biden laptop story while at Facebook, according to The Post Millennial. Haugen reportedly also has a history of donating to far-left Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). She is being represented by the “same lawyers as the anonymous Ukraine ‘whistleblower’ whose allegations led to Donald Trump’s impeachment,” according to The Daily Wire.

Haugen’s ties to Omidyar should concern every American who’s wary of the left controlling the content that flows on Big Tech platforms. The causes include those that want to censor conservatives.

The next day, Johnson returned to surprisingly portray Haugen somewhat positively (and, even more surprisingly, didn't put "whistleblower" in scare quotes again or mention her alleged liberal ties) in an apparent attempt to make Facebook the real bad guy:

Employees and pundits have accused Facebook of prioritizing profit over safety. The platform has been criticized for allowing so-called “misinformation” over the COVID-19 pandemic to remain online. Some want the platform to do more to regulate content online.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen argued government intervention is the answer.

“No one at Facebook is malevolent,” Haugen said. “But the incentives are misaligned, right? Like, Facebook makes more money when you consume more content. People enjoy engaging with things that elicit an emotional reaction. And the more anger that they get exposed to, the more they interact and the more they consume.”

"Misinformation, angry content, is enticing to people and keeps them on the platform," she said.

Johnson also uncritically portrayed Haugen's accusations in an Oct. 26 post that also similarly attacked Facebook.

Salgado, however, was still in scare-quote attack mode, whining in a Nov. 1 post that a proposed British "online safety" law "reportedly follows the suggestions of Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen. Haugen lauded the bill’s approach as 'world-leading,' according to Olson on Bloomberg Opinion. Haugen was discovered to be a leftist activist with ties to prominent Democrats. Haugen also has openly advocated for increased social media censorship." Salgado similarly attacked Haugen over the UK law in posts on Nov. 3 and Nov. 9. There was more:

  • Salgado complained in a Nov. 11 post that "Social media algorithms and online free speech have been a major political issue ever since leftist activist turned Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen began her revelations."
  • A post the same day by Johnson avoided the scare quotes but complained that Haugen "has been an advocate for more regulation and censorship online." Johnson, however, returned the scare quotes to "whistleblower" in a Nov. 14 post.
  • Salgado grumbled on Nov. 19 that "Democrat U.S. senators and leftist activist turned Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen have also called for more aggressive censorship of alleged 'misinformation' online recently."

Salgado fully melted down in a Nov. 24 post when Haugen made the cover of Time magazine:

TIME magazine may need to take some time off after defending a censorship advocate. Leftist activist turned Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen has become internationally famous for allegedly taking on Big Tech, and calling for more censorship and oppressive government regulation along the way.

TIME magazine tweeted an image of its new issue cover on Monday, depicting Frances Haugen. The title read, “The Making of A Whistleblower: What Drove Frances Haugen to Sound the Alarm About Facebook–And What Happens Next.” TIME promoted Haugen as a “wunderkind,” and noted how she considered herself an educator rather than an activist, eager to inspire young people to “push back against” harms caused by social media.

The “whistleblower” told TIME she joined Facebook specifically to work on “misinformation,” because she “lost” a friend to “online misinformation” leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Haugen said Facebook should “intervene sooner,” indicating that the platform should stifle alleged “misinformation” before it even reaches an audience. Haugen said “the idea that George Soros runs the world economy” was among the “conspiracy theories” her friend believed at the time. It is interesting to note that George Soros said in 2019 he is trying to “bend” the “arc of history.” 

TIME gushed praise for  “Haugen’s atypical personality, glittering academic background, strong moral convictions, robust support networks and self-confidence.” What the magazine did not emphasize was Haugen’s questionable past and present connections and censorship push. The long article also buried Haugen’s questionable ties to leftist billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Likening anyone to right-wing bogeyman Soros is apparently the biggest insult that Salgado can come up with -- never mind that Martin Luther King Jr. also said something similar.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2022 6:56 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Melting Down Over Climate Criticism
Topic: Media Research Center
Because the Media Research Center can't handle criticism, it predictably lashed out at a group that exposed how it spread misinformation about climate change. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 PM EST
Sunday, January 9, 2022
The MRC's Year In Hurling Personal Insults At Joy Reid
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the Media Research Center's year-end articles was a Dec. 28 rant by Curtis Houck against MSNBC host Joy Reid for saying things he didn't agree with:

With a full year under her belt hosting MSNBC’s The ReidOut, far-left pundit and generally awful human being Joy Reid made her presence felt with a night-after-night hatefest against conservatives, Republicans, and anyone who stands in her way, painting them as enemies of the people. All in all, Reid ran a show with rhetoric bordering on incitement.

[...]

NewsBusters was there to cover it all as we had over 120 posts to The ReidOut's tag with comments from Reid and guests ranging from the baffling to deranged to mind-numbing, to unstable.

Yes, Houck wrote most of those 120 attacks, showing that he hates Reid at least as much as he loves Peter Doocy. How much? He seemed desperate to find a new way to insult Reid in each post by working her name into a headline epithet.

If one has to resort so quickly to personal insults, it usually means there is no substance to the attacks being made. Houck has amply proven that with his eagerness to slur Reid in any way he can.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2022 9:34 PM EST
Saturday, January 8, 2022
MRC Botches Facts In Bogus Attack On Major League Baseball
Topic: Media Research Center

Let's pick apart the factual errors and misrepresentations in this Oct. 1 Media Research Center post by Jay Maxson, shall we?

The proliferation of American professional sports leagues sucking up to communist China continued this week. Major League Baseball is closing the Miken Sports plant in Caledonia, Minnesota, and moving operations to China. On Wednesday, Republican congressmen responded by aiming a legislative beanball at MLB’s head.

Miken Sports employs more than 1,000 Americans (more than a third of Caledonia’s population) who produce bats, helmets, gloves, bags and apparel, earning $11 million in revenue. Now the town is losing most of its jobs to cheap labor in China, a country with a notorious reputation for slave labor and oppressing its citizens’ freedom.

Based on an article from an actual news organization, we learn:

  • Major League Baseball does not own Miken Sports, nor did it make the decision to close it. Miken is owned by sporting goods giant Rawlings, in which MLB has an ownership interest of less than 20 percent and has no say in day-to-day business.
  • The Caledonia plant does not employ 1,000 people. Before the pandemic, it employed 150 people, a number that had decreased to 80 by mid-2021.
  • The batting helmets that the plant produced for MLB will continue to be made in the U.S., in a plant in Missouri. Production of bats made for softball -- not an MLB sport -- will be moving to China.

But the truth doesn't matter to Maxson -- this article has been up three months and has never been corrected. What matters is the political attack, and he (or she) concluded:

Caledonia is just 160 miles away from the field of dreams in Iowa, but unlike that feel-good town of Dyersville, Iowa, it’s fielding unemployment nightmares.

Thanks, MLB, for throwing the town of Caledonia out at the plate, and thanks for hitting a foul ball at the expense of American jobs. Job horribly done.

Maxson did an even more horrible job of putting a political narrative ahead of the facts -- which harms the MRC's credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 8, 2022 10:26 AM EST
Friday, January 7, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Year-End Laziness Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck finished out 2021 with increasingly sporadic renditions of the Jen Psaki-bashing, Peter Doocy-fluffing antics he has been paid to do all year. After nearly a week's break, Houck returned for the Dec. 13 briefing with more of the same gushing over Doocy for pushing right-wing narratives:

On Monday’s abbreviated edition of The Psaki Show, Fox’s Peter Doocy came prepared (as always) with tough questions many of his colleagues refuse to ask, focusing this day on issues pertaining to the cost of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better (BBB) boondoggle, whether Vice President Harris is still in charge of combatting illegal immigration, and the role of liberal prosecutors contributing to rising crime.

Doocy led with BBB and whether President Biden would support the bill’s host of new social programs being “made permanent” despite the fact that, as per a new score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in which “they assume that social programs are going to be made permanent and, in that case, it would add almost $3 trillion.”

Psaki roundly dismissed it, repeatedly calling it “a fake CBO score” since it’s “not based on the actual bill” led by an ask of the CBO by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (whom Psaki first referred to as a woman in a Freudian slip).

[...]

Closing with the terrifying issue of rising crime and smash-and-grab robberies, Doocy posed to Psaki a basic question: “Do you think it’s possible that big cities are dealing with these smash and grab robberies right now, an increase in criminal activity because some prosecutors are too soft on crime?”

Psaki said she wouldn’t “attribute the reasoning from here,” but she did the opposite as, before talking about the White House’s focus on “ensuring local police departments and cops have the funding they need,” she blamed the coronavirus as “we have seen an increase of crime over the course of the pandemic.”

Doocy followed up by blowing holes in this argument: “[W]hat good does it do if you’re going to give police departments extra money if they arrest bad guys and they bring them to jail and then they’re not prosecuted. They’re just right back out on the streets.”

After she doubled down on her previous answer, Doocy questioned whether Biden believes it’s “good governing” for those running New York City to have cases like “pickpocket[er] with more than 30 arrests” and the suspect in the burning of the $500,000 Fox Christmas tree both being allowed “back out on the streets.”

Psaki wanted nothing to do with this, stating she already had “spoke to the President’s concerns about retail theft.”

The Doocy-gasms continued for Houck for the Dec. 14 briefing

Hours before Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s lame attempt at humor, Tuesday’s White House press briefing similarly featured moments of stupidity as liberal journalists hit Psaki from the left on gun control, January 6, cutting back holiday parties due to Covid, and, worst of all, the dark red voting tendencies of Kentuckians who lost their homes in violent tornadoes. However, it wasn’t all lost as Fox’s Peter Doocy brought the heat on Afghanistan and crime.

Doocy didn’t waste time in cutting to the chase after being called on: “Why is it that there are still Americans stranded in Afghanistan?”

Psaki insisted the U.S. has kept its promise to “help” any American “get out” seeing as how, since the country’s collapse, “we've directly assisted 479 American citizens” and “450 lawful permanent residents and SIV holders and SIV applicants” in “depart[ing] Afghanistan.”

Doocy pushed back, repeatedly noting that “479 left behind is a lot higher than the 100 to 200 that President Biden was talking about at the end of August.”

[...]

With his remaining time, Doocy went back to what she’s said about rising crime having come during “the pandemic” via “a range of reasons.” “Would you consider one of the reasons in the range prosecutors who are cutting people who are accused of many criminal offenses loose too quickly,” he asked.

Psaki demurred, arguing she wasn’t going to analyze the reasoning other than tie it to the pandemic.

Doocy’s final line of questioning stemmed from “reports that these smash and grab robberies are being organized on social media platforms” and whether “the administration is doing anything about that.”

After praising other right-wing reporters, Houck whined that a non-right-winger asked a question: "At the other end of the spectrum of insightfulness, Bloomberg’s Nancy Cook inquired about any plans for the White House “to commemorate January 6” (because everything has to be about January 6 for the media)."

Houck didn't check in again until the Dec. 23 briefing, which he started by insisting that his repeated references to "The Psaki Show" during the year weren't derogatory (after all, we don't recall him dismissing any of Kayleigh McEnany's press briefings as a "show" despite having shown much more affection for her than he has ever demonstrated toward Psaki):

Affectionately referred to here as The Psaki Show, Thursday featured 2021’s final White House press briefing and it served as solid encapsulation of the year as Fox’s Peter Doocy tangled with Press Secretary Jen Psaki on a variety of issues (with Covid and crime on Thursday’s docket) mixed in with other reporter questions that ranged from solid to inoffensive to boring to hitting from the left.

Doocy began by wishing Psaki a “Merry Christmas” and then got right to the questions: “So, why is the President saying about this new variant, ‘nobody saw it coming, nobody in the world’ if that's not true?”

Instead of trying to clean up what Biden said, Psaki largely doubled down by saying “how transmissible they would be,” or “what they would look like,” so they’ve spent this year “preparing for a range of contingencies.”

Drilling down on the questionable nature of that last part, Doocy wanted to know “why” has the administration “propos[ed] 500 million tests next month if you haven't even signed a contract to buy the tests.”

Psaki went on for a little while and insisted there’s “no concern about the contract being finalized” since “[w]e just announced” the ramp-up “two days ago,” so Doocy made sure to follow-up:

[...]

Before calling it a year on his end, Doocy asked two questions about crime in light of Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) being carjacked on Wednesday in south Philadelphia[.]

And with that, Houck also called it a year as well on his biased hackery. He did, however, serve up one last bit of obsequiousness in a Dec. 30 post recounting "Peter’s Top Briefing Room Tangles With Jen Psaki in 2021." That branding, though, clashes with his insistence that Doocy was "respectfully challenging an administration," unlike what enemy of the MRC Jim Acosta purportedly did during the Trump years. Houck then praised other right-wing reporters for asking "cordial yet probing questions" while refusing to admit their right-wing bias.

Needless to say, Houck didn't mention that time he stealth-edited one of his briefing articles to cover up the fact that Doocy pushed a false story at Psaki.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:55 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 7, 2022 7:56 PM EST

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