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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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EST
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
MRC's Bozell Hypocritically Goes Godwin Again
Topic: Media Research Center

If this sounds familiar, it is.

The Media Research Center's Lindsey Kornick wrote in a Jan. 10 post:

Republicans and Democrats can both agree that the events on the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday were disgraceful at best. Unfortunately, leftists have the terrible habit of dividing people even in the worst circumstances. Case in point, former GOP governator turned leftist celebrity Arnold Schwarzenegger compares the events to Kristallnacht, calling Trump the “worst president ever.”

On January 10, Schwarzenegger took to Twitter to post a seven-minute video commenting on the storming of the U.S. Capitol. While he of course condemned the actions on January 6, he went even further to the point of comparing the event to Germany and Austria’s Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass.

[...]

While the actions on Wednesday were horrible, they do not represent a rising Nazi force. Unlike both Kristallnacht or even the BLM riots for that matter, these actions were widely condemned without any racial or Semitic targets. Considering Schwarzenegger references his father being present during Kristallnacht, one should think he would be more tactful in comparing them.

Kornick will not take this same indignant tone with her boss, even though he not only did the same exact thing but tripled down on it, as described in a Jan. 11 article at his own media outlet, CNSNews.com:

“Stalin censored speech. So did Mao. So did Hitler. It’s what tyrants do,” Media Research Pres. Center Brent Bozell says, reacting to recent censorship tactics employed by social media giants like Amazon and Twitter.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and his “power-mad Marxist employees have lost their minds,” Bozell tweeted Friday after the social media platform permanently banned the president of the United States:

“.@Jack and the rest of his power-mad Marxist employees have lost their minds. They insanely think they are more important than the President. Instead of hurting Trump, they are reminding everyone that Big Tech needs to be crushed.”

[...]

“Big tech is doing what we were all told was a crazy conspiracy [theory], canceling conservatives. Now they’re after @parler_app. Don’t let them win! Join me there @brentbozell,” Bozell tweeted, adding that Big Tech is using the same tactics employed by infamous dictators:

“Stalin censored speech. So did Mao. So did Hitler. It’s what tyrants do.”

Actually, Bozell's demand that all media outlets must publish anything Trump or any conservative says no matter how offensive -- and those outlets are then forbidden to hold them responsible for their words -- is much closer to what Mao, Hitler and tyrants do.

So Bozell gets to go Godwin without consequences, while those Bozell and the MRC consider their enemies are attacked for doing the same exact thing. Indeed, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro ridiculously huffed that businesses who exercise their right to free associaiton -- in the form of ceasing to do business with right-wing website Parler because its users help plan last week's Capitol riot and issued death threats against numerous people -- is just like Kristallnacht ... and the MRC said nothing.

This is the second time this has happened in recent months: the MRC denounces someone making a Nazi reference while Bozell goes Godwin. That double standard never dies, it seems.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 15, 2021 10:58 PM EST
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
MRC Defends Parler Anew, Still Censoring Its Conflict Of Interest
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has repeatedly promoted right-wing "free speech" website Parler without disclosing its main funder, Rebekah Mercer, is also a major funder of the MRC and sits on the MRC's board. The Parler promotion had slowed down in recent weeks: A November post by P.J. Gladnick complained that one commentator "castigated the Twitter alternative, Parler, for their lack of censorship," and it also touted right-wing radio host Mark Levin's repeatedly self-proclaimed move to Parler (on Twitter, of course, while not actually making no effort to do so until the end of the year), both of which censored the Mercer link. Meanwhile, Parler was turning into more of a cesspool than it already was, as poronography became prominent on the site; the normally porn-hating MRC was silent about that too.

But the fallout of last week's right-wing riots at the Capitol revealed that it was planned in part on Parler and that Parler users made explicit threats of violence beforehand. And when Parler was held accountable, the MRC rushed to defense mode once again. Alexander Hall huffed in a Jan. 8 post hyperbolically headlined "TRUMPED! Google PURGES Parler App; Apple Threatens to Remove It":

Big Tech’s crusade against conservatives continued furiously Friday night. Google removed the Parler app from its store and Apple threatened to do the same.

Free market advocates repeatedly told conservatives the solution to Big Tech censorship was building their own platform. Now Google has removed a free speech platform from its store, blocking millions from accessing the app.

[...]

Popular conservative podcast and YouTube host Dan Bongino partnered with Parler and took an ownership stake in Parler.

The next day, Hall whined that "The “Amazon Employees For Climate Justice” group published a shrill demand that the company’s leadership do whatever it can to get Parler wiped off the internet," rehashing his earlier lament: "Free market advocates repeatedly told conservatives the solution to Big Tech censorship was building their own platform. Now Google has removed the free speech platform Parler from its store, blocking millions from accessing the app. Amazon appears to be taking it a step further by undermining the ability of the website to even operate online."

Hall also touted how "Conservative stars Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Lou Dobbs left Twitter in disgust after it purged sitting President Donald Trump" and were moving to Parler. In all of these instances, Hall censored both the Mercer connection and the riot planning and incitement to violence that appeared on Parler.

Later that day, Hall ranted:

The tech tyrants came after Parler with a vengeance. Apple and Google have refused to carry the platform as a downloadable app, and Amazon has gone one step further by denying the fledgling platform access to its servers. 

“Amazon on Saturday kicked Parler off its Web hosting services.” Buzzfeed reported Jan. 9.

“Amazon's suspension of Parler's account means that unless it can find another host, once the ban takes effect on Sunday Parler will go offline,” the article explained further.

Again. Hall censored the Mercer connection and the riot planning and incitement to violence.

Meanwhile, P.J. Gladnick huffed: "One thing that could be said for Standard Oil's John D. Rockefeller. Although he was a monopolist, he never openly gloated nor mocked the competitors that he suppressed or destroyed. The same cannot be said of the twenty-first century blatant monopolist, Jack Dorsey of Twitter. Not content to act in tandem with other social media monopolists in order to attempt to destroy his competitor, Parler, he rubbed salt in the wound he helped create by  gloating about it with a mocking tweet." Of course, Rockefeller was much worse to his competitors than Twitter's Dorsey ever has been.

On Jan. 11, Hall highlighted how "Free speech platform Gab said it archived a hoard of 'disgusting' tweets replying to President Donald Trump’s account before it was banned." Hall would only admit that Gab was "controversial," but was on censorship patrol here too: as we've documented, it's an even worse cesspool of far-right hate and conspiracy theories than Parler is. In addition to the usual information he was hiding, Hall omitted a couple other things: Gab and Parler were feuding before Parler got pulled off Amazon's web-hosting service, and Parler was so poorly built that people were able to download Parler messages that included geolocation data, meaning that it would be quite easy to identify Parler users who took place in the Capitol riot.

Kayla Sargent joined in with a post headlined "Fighting Back":

The left is trying hard to shut down free speech-oriented social media platforms like Parler and Rumble. Now, these companies are fighting back. 

Parler and Rumble have filed suit against Amazon and Google respectively, in an apparent effort to fight Big Tech censorship.

Apple and Google purged Parler from their app stores, then Amazon took things a step further. It totally removed the app from its servers. Parler decided to return fire against Amazon, and in a lawsuit filed on Jan. 11, accused Amazon Web Services Inc (AWS) of “violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act” and “breaching [its] contract with Parler.”

Like her MRC compatriots, Sargent censored both the riot incitement that occurred on Parler and the Mercer conflict of interest.

Again: For the MRC, the victimization narrative means everything. The truth means nothing.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:33 PM EST
Monday, January 11, 2021
Riots Shock MRC's Graham Into Reasonableness -- Briefly
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week's riot at the Capitol seems to have shocked the Media Research Center's Tim Graham into reasonableness, if his Jan. 8 column is any indication:

Critics of liberal-media bias are often accused of whataboutism. We're accused of diverting everyone's attention from some conservative or Republican scandal or offense by changing the subject to the media's performance.

After a pro-Trump crowd breached the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to flee, my friend and former colleague Dan Isett tweeted: "Yeah, the media covered for left-wing riots last year. So what? We aren't children and we don't use misbehavior by those we disagree with to excuse the misbehaviors of those we do. Personal responsibility is a hallmark of our philosophy."

Amen. If we were raised right, our parents told us two wrongs don't make a right. This is not a time for calling out double standards. This is a time for standards. Respecting the home of our Congress is the lowest possible standard for American civilization. You don't Make America Great Again by shoving cops and breaking glass on Capitol Hill.

It's not hard to find prominent voices on the left who are suddenly finding lawlessness inexcusable after having suggested it was excusable if it forwarded their agenda. They used words like "rebellion" to glamorize unrest. But this is not rioting at an Apple store. This is where our democracy lives.

That's a big change in tone from his boss, Brent Bozell, who justified the violence while claiming to denounce it, and also fretting that said violence would hurt the conservative movement Graham's disavowal of whataboutism is also interesting, since whataboutism is what the MRC runs on (and Graham too).

Graham went on:

The "told you so's" from liberals weren't half as depressing as the "protests" from so-called "born-again Americans" themselves. And at this sad hour, I'm not invested in driving the notion that a vast left-wing conspiracy somehow overtook a peaceful Trump rally. In this moment, it feels like another unproven claim, like the Trump landslide.

Graham seems to have ignored that his boss is still clinging to his bogus election-fraud conspiracy theories -- and that the MRC has not only published posts promoting the idea that the election remains in dispute, it has complained that right-wing tweets disputing the election were flagged by Facebook.

More interestingly, Graham wrote this:

Adding salt to the wounds of video showing "conservatives" ramming through police barricades were pictures of "conservatives" destroying media equipment. If you're stomping on someone's camera, you're no friend of America. Just because journalists might seem to wear hats that say America has never been great doesn't excuse your destruction of property. They have a right to report — even a right to distort — and we have the right to call out distortions. That's the First Amendment, too.

That sort of expressed respect for journalists is almost unheard of at the MRC, which effectively rooted for Trump supporters to attack them and mocked their concerns about their safety in covering Trump. The MRC's hatred for journalists and journalism is so vicious that it sells shirts saying, "Believe In America, Not The Media."

But Graham apparently got that fit of conscience out of his system, and he quickly revered to form. His Twitter account since then has wrote a post sneering at CNN as "the MMMBop of news" and wrote a post mocking CNN's Anderson Cooper as nothing more than the "son of the famous and uber-wealthy fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt" and calling him "Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper" even though that's not his actual middle name.

So, it appears Graham really didn't mean anything he wrote in his column.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EST
Sunday, January 10, 2021
MRC Keeps Falsely Smearing Harris Over Coronavirus Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall, we documented how the Media Research Center tried to falsely paint Kamala Harris as an "anti-vaxxer" because she said she would take recommendations on a coronavirus from medical professionals but not President Trump, who was promising a vaccine as a re-election ploy. Now that there is an actual vaccine, the MRC is trying to rewrite history. Scott Whitlock huffed in a Dec. 11 post:

Oh, NOW CBS is concerned with vaccine skepticism? This Morning hosts and reporters on Friday fretted that Americans, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, might be resistant to taking the newly-approved COVID vaccine. Yet nowhere in the segment did Gayle King or reporter Adriana Diaz remind viewers that Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris indulged in anti-science, anti-vaccine propaganda during the campaign.

But Whitlock buried what Biden actually said -- "I trust vaccines, I trust the scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump" -- in the 11th paragraph of his article, and he completely censored what Harris said at the time: that she "would not trust Donald Trump" given his reputation for muzzling health officials who spoke publicly about inconvenient facts, and that she would require "a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability" of a vaccine.

Kristine Marsh complained the same day, "Democrats like [Rep. Katie] Porter and Kamala Harris led the media in putting politics about public safety in casting doubt about the safety of this vaccine before the election, and now they want to reverse course and avoid taking responsibility for their damaging actions." She too censored what Harris actually said. As proof of Porter allegedly "casting doubt about the safety of this vaccine before the election," she linked to an article in which she questioned that Trump put a former pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Operation Warp Speed vaccine initiative -- never mind that the MRC would likely have done the exact same thing if the president was a Democrat.

Marsh returned to rant on Dec. 15:

Now that there’s hope on the horizon with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine being distributed here in this country, the morning networks have been singing a different tune about how safe this vaccine is. After spreading anti-vaccine quackery on Good Morning America leading up to the November election, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos urged Americans to “trust” Dr. Fauci that this vaccine is safe to take, on Tuesday’s GMA.

[...]

But GMA wasn't trying to convince Americans of the vaccine's safety leading up to the election. In September, ABC, along with the other networks, spread dangerous conspiracies about the vaccine...that came straight from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s mouths. George Stephanopoulos and Cecilia Vega in particular repeatedly questioned if Americans should take any vaccine developed while Trump was in office.

And those "dangerous conspiracies" were ... just pointing out that Trump's word can't be trusted, which is just common sense. She again censored what Biden and Harris actually said.

Marsh continued her dishonest attack the next day: "As we’ve documented at NewsBusters, Harris told Americans in September not to trust President Trump on the coronavirus vaccine. ABC used Harris and Biden’s own words to spread mistrust about a COVID vaccine, and now they have the audacity to question why there’s mistrust, and ask Harris how to combat that mistrust, when they themselves were part of the problem?"

On Dec. 22, Marsh again falsely accused Harris of "spreading anti-vaccine misinformation before the election, only to flip the script after she and Biden won." 

It's important to note that at no point in any of these posts did MRC writers offer evidence to back up their implicit claim that Trump's word on a vaccine -- or anything else, for that matter -- should be trusted without question.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EST
Saturday, January 9, 2021
MRC Cheers That White House Twitter Accounts Must Rebuild Followers Under Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

For all of its failing victimization narratives regarding "Big Tech," the Media Research Center actually found something to like about them -- and that's because it impacts President-elect Joe Biden. Kayla Sargent seemed pretty pleased in a Dec. 22 post:

Former Vice President Joe Biden will reportedly have a long way to go to build up his Twitter presence, assuming, as currently projected, he takes over as president in January.

Twitter has reportedly told the Biden team that the official @POTUS account will be reset to zero followers, and “Donald Trump’s followers will not carry over to the official Twitter accounts assigned to the new president and White House in January, a reversal from the last transition,” Bloomberg News reported. 

“The move would mean the Biden administration will start with zero followers and would cut off a way for Biden to instantly reach millions of people who currently follow the official accounts used by Trump,” said Bloomberg News. “The @POTUS account has more than 33 million followers while @WhiteHouse has 26 million.”

[...]

Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, said in a tweet that the team “pushed back” but “were told this was unequivocal.” 

No histrionics and no ranting about "censorship" here. Just an clear undercurrent of happiness that Biden was being inconvenienced.

The next day, Dan Gainor was even more pleased by the situation:

The left is never happy. Likely president Joe Biden’s team is angry at Twitter because the site won’t transfer all of President Donald Trump’s official followers to Biden.

Digital Director Rob Flaherty whined that, “ In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama's Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse -- at Team 44's urging. In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”

Trump has been the most interactive president in history … and the media and the left hated him for it. They especially despised the Twitter account that he built up to more than 88 million followers. But that’s Trump’s personal account and not at issue.

[...]

Fifty-nine million fans is a big PR baseline, though presumably many would unfollow Biden.

Team Biden would have a tough case to make that Twitter is somehow unfair to them. Twitter censored the Hunter Biden scandal and shut down the New York Post account for 17 days. It has censored Trump or his campaign 553 times, compared to zero for Biden.

As we've noted, flagging Trump for spreading false information is not "censorship," as there's no inherent constitutional right to spread lies, and Gainor doesn't explain why private companies have no right to enforce their terms of service against someone who has repeatedly violated them.

Also: Note how neither Sargent nor Gainor were willing to unambiguously concede that Biden won the election; Sargent equivocated by saying it's based on "assuming, as currently projected, he takes over as president in January," while Gainor called him the "likely president."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EST
Friday, January 8, 2021
After Capitol Riots, MRC Plays The Victim Narrative On Social Media
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has gotten a lot of mileage out of pushing the victim narrative regarding social media -- that conservatives are solely and uniquely "censored" by "Big Tech" merely for the sin of being conservatives -- and it's not about to let a little thing like a Republican-instigated riot at the Capitol get in the way.

Alexander Hall went for full victimization in a Jan. 6 post ridiculously headlined "Twitter Suspends Trump As He Calls for ‘Peace’":

President Donald Trump’s call for order was restricted by Twitter, as chaos erupted in the nation’s capital.

Rioters stormed the capital on January 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 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.

Hall seems to have missed the part where Trump instigated the riot he was supposedly trying to defuse. He also censored the part of Trump's video where he encouraged the rioters by saying, "We love you. You're very special," and falsely claimed that "We had an election that was stolen from us." Instead, he whined that "Twitter has targeted Trump with more than a year of unprecedented restriction of his tweets. Trump and his campaign have been censored by Twitter 625 times, Twitter heavily restricted this post in kind" -- failing, as the MRC usually does, to explain why Twitter, a private company, has no right to enforce its terms of service on all of its customers.

As more social media outlets cracked down on Trump, Hall complained the next day, continuing to falsely frame the issue as Trump being "censored" for calling for peace:

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.

Again, Hall refused to report the full content of Trump's video and history of incitement that came before the "peace" call.

Meanwhile, as the Trump-inspired riot was going down on Jan. 6, the MRC's Kayla Sargent was grumbling that "The left’s hatred of President Donald Trump truly knows no bounds. Recode co-founder and New York Times contributor Kara Swisher is rejoicing in her assumption that Trump will be removed from Twitter."She grumbled further on Jan. 8:

The left is absolutely desperate for Twitter to ban President Donald Trump.

At least 120 leftists on Twitter have called for Trump to be permanently removed from the platform following the Jan. 6 unrest at the U.S. Capitol Building. The list includes figures in media, Big Tech and leftist nonprofits.

Sargent concluded, "Regardless of the violence that took place, restricting the speech of a sitting U.S. president certainly should not be the solution." Even if that sitting U.S. president inspired said violence? Sargent is silent on that question.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EST
Thursday, January 7, 2021
MRC's Bozell Justifies Capitol Violence, STILL Clings To His Election Fraud Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is as shameless as he is dishonest.

Bozell made an appearance on Fox Business Wednesday to justify -- yes, justify -- the violent insurrection at the Capitol earlier in the day: "This is an explosion of pent-up outrage from Middle America. Look, they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them. They are furious that with the Deep State, they believe Washington is utterly corrupt, and they've had it. I agree with them. They are furious with Antifa and the rampaging in the streets and the lawlessness ,and one cop every single week is being shot to death -- think about that one for a second -- and I agree. They are furious with the vast censorship of free speech that's taking place. So the fury was there."

Then, he pivoted away, trying to minimize the violence as done by a small group of actors: "Unfortunately, it was controlled fury with the vast majority, and one element went forward with lawlessness, and it has done tremendous damage to everyone else." Remember that Bozell's MRC loves to mock commentators who said the same thing about the summer's racial justice protests. He then went the whataboutism route, caying that critics of the violence have "damn well better have criticized Antifa for the last year and Black Lives Matter for their lawlessness, their destruction of property, their killing of people. If they have done that they have every right to be critical. If they have not done that, let those people who have been reasonable and have been objective in this, let them speak out."

Bozell also reiterating that he agrees with those who claim the election was stolen and effectively justifed the violence, betraying his own words.He then ranted: "It's hundreds -- it's millions, tens of millions of people -- it's 40 percent of the American people believe this stolen. This is not a handful of people."

But Bozell has spread lies and misinformation about the election and fed thsi false story that these people believe. As we documented, Bozell asserted without evidence that pre-election polls showing Biden with a big lead over Trump were "deliberately wildly wrong," and he hired right-wing pollsters -- one of whom actually worked for the Trump campaign -- to push his conspiracy theory that the media stole the election from Trump.

Bozell then explained he really cared about what the violence will do to the conservative movement and again complained: "I am heartsick about that element that has been so destructive and has done so much damage to a very noble cause, but the damage they have done to conservatives like me is profound. ... No one's going to look at pictures of the whatever, the 900,000 that didn't participate in this, who were there marching peacefully. No one's going to look at that. No one ever looks at marches by conservatives that are peaceful --  the right-to-life march every single year, the Tea Party marches where they pick up their own wrappers. They've never gotten credit for this. So one's going to look at the overwhelming majority that were peaceful. They're going to look at the bad guys."

He concluded by declaring, "I hope there is a through investigation. My guess is when all this is over you're going to find that there were some bad guys on the other side who were also participating. It's just a hunch."Bozell was silent about President Trump -- whom his MRC has been dedicated to defending in an unquestioning manner over the past four years -- or his role in instigating the violence.

After his TV gig, he went on Twitter to thank the host, adding: "Violence is never the answer and hurts the cause of the millions, like myself, who know this election was stolen." Bozell will never admit that when you lie to people the way he has, violence is inevitable -- and he's got blood on his hands for encouraging it.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:44 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2021 6:53 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Division Of The Trump Campaign, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
As the presidential election neared, the Media Research Center became even more of a loyal Trump defender and Biden attacker. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EST
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
MRC Throws A Huge Tantrum Over An Editorial Cartoon It Didn't Like
Topic: Media Research Center

The left is so unhinged in their hatred and fear of President Donald Trump that they’re flat out publicly dehumanizing anyone who would dare try to get him back in office for another four years. 

According to Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes and her latest hate-filled artwork for the D.C.-based rag, Republicans who have publicly supported Trump’s legal fight to challenge Joe Biden’s presidential victory, despite how fishy that victory may be, are sneaky, evil rats.

Oh yeah, these republicans are sneaking and scurrying around, trying to overturn what powerful establishment dems have ordained. And if we’re to take the allegory to its final conclusion, what does one do about a rat problem? Well, you know. 

With her latest artistic creation, Telnaes portrayed each of the Republican lawmakers that endorsed Texas’ lawsuit against voting irregularities in the 2020 election as hideous, scheming rats. It’s quite a shocking image. A whole page of the Washington Post was dedicated to this shocking insult, called “All the Republican Rats.” Though insult is too light a term for the work, as it’s a dehumanizing piece of illustrated libel that should get Telnaes tossed from any polite establishment.

But again, this is The Washington Post we are talking about …  

In the abhorrent cartoon, the name of each and every Republican Attorney General and U.S. congressman who signed on to the Texas lawsuit to defend Trump’s claims of a fraudulent election was scribbled next to a drawing of a nefarious-looking rodent.

[...]

Sadly none of this is surprising from this cartoon-scribbling fascist hack. Telnaes resorted to this same partisan wickedness before by depicting Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) children as monkeys in 2015. Though “All the Republicans rats” is truly her seminal moment of artistic hatred.

And, as some have pointed out, the cartoon can be seen as blatantly anti-Semitic, so there's that too. Of course, that's anything but surprising for someone as openly partisan and hateful as Telnaes.

-- Gabriel Hays, Dec. 21 MRC NewsBusters post


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 6:26 PM EST
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
MRC Defends Proud Boys Supporter To Own The Libs, Or Something
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall complained in a Nov. 20 post:

American band TRAPT was reportedly booted from Facebook for sharing a meme. 

“Nu-metal one hit wonders Trapt were kicked off of Facebook after the group shared a Proud Boy meme to promote their new account on social media site Parler,” Newsweek reported Nov. 19. Alternative-rock band Trapt had tweeted: “For posting this pic and saying the same thing in the post, Facebook has completely deleted the TRAPT FB account.” The official Trapt account then declared: “I will be suing Facebook.” Trapt was the nu-metal one-hit-wonder band known for the song “Headstrong” in 2002.

The MRC loves supporting fringe people and conspiracy theories when they can be used in its dishonest war against social media.

Hall went on to complain that "Facebook’s moves to restrict activist groups in the name of preventing unrest have appeared to be completely partisan in nature." Of course, the Proud Boys are not just an "activist group"; they're violent thugs with a white supremacist and anti-Semitic bent.

But a couple weeks later, Trapt 'sTwitter account got banned. Why? This is why:

The nine-month hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck has come to a screeching halt. Trapt’s Twitter account was finally suspended after frontman Chris Taylor Brown vehemently defended underage sexual encounters between teenage boys and adult women.

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage the planet, Chris Taylor Brown became one of the most inflammatory users on Twitter by defending President Trump’s COVID response, blaming George Floyd for his own death, threatening to fight or sue countless Twitter users, supporting neo-fascist group The Proud Boys and more.

Brown’s Proud Boys support got Trapt removed from Instagram and Facebook, but Twitter didn’t take action until the musician began publicly defending statutory rape.

“A 15 year male and a 25 year old female is not pedophilia, you fucking moron,” Brown later tweeted. “I wouldn’t care if a 15 year old boy banged his 25 year old teacher. That’s it…”

“I would be giving the kid high fives!” Brown continued in yet another tweet. “Only if the teacher was hot though… So much worse when a grown man does that with a 14 year old girl. They get much tougher prison sentences, so society agrees with me. As long as the kid wasn’t sad about it. I mean the teacher could break his heart and that would be sad.”

Hall isn't going to tell you what Trapt did to get banned from Twitter, since that doesn't fit with his dishonest agenda. But this is the crowd Hall and the MRC are associating with.

(At least Hall conceded that Trapt was a "nu-metal one-hit-wonder.")


Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EST
Monday, January 4, 2021
Oppo Research: MRC Helps Ga. GOP Senate Candidate By Attacking Opponent
Topic: Media Research Center

Just like it did with the Trump campaign, the Media Research Center got its marching orders from Republican leadership: Go on the attack against Raphael Warnock, the Democratic candidate in one of the two Georgia Senate runoff races. And Warnock was very much targeted: A search of the NewsBusters archive found a whopping 46 articles that referenced Warnock between the Nov. 3 election and press time, compared with 35 articles referencing Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate in the other Georgia runoff race.

The MRC got started early with making misleading and nit-picky attacks on Warnock. That was followed by a  Dec. 9 post by Gabriel Hays parroting "serious conservatives and Christians" bashing Warnockfor not hating abortion enough:

If there was one thing that could make it obvious that Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock is a terrible choice for U.S. Senator, it would be one of his most recent tweets proclaiming himself a pro-choice Christian. Talk about living with cognitive dissonance.

First off, supporting the killing of unborn babies is a non-starter, as is openly admitting you’re a hypocrite by saying you’re Christian and then saying you ignore fundamental parts of Christian teaching. 

Warnock, a Baptist “pastor” and radical, pro-BLM, pro-abortion leftist vying for one of two U.S. Senate seats in the upcoming Georgia run-off elections, went afoul of conservatives on Twitter in recent days by declaring himself to be proudly pro-choice and Christian.

What is this? A joke?

Hays has the patter down, including the right-wing talking point that Warnock is a "radical."

(This echoed in part a Nov. 20 column by Tim Graham whining that conservatives were being called out for attacking Warnock's religion but tended to cry discrimination when liberals criticized the extreme religious views of their fellow conservatives.)

On Dec. 17, Kristine Marsh tried to make a big deal out of saying that Fidel Castro's legacy as Cuban dictator is "complex" as most people's legacies are, and that Castro spoke at a church 25 years ago where Warnock was youth pastor (though there's no evidence Warnock played any role in the visit).

The perpetually ragey Nicholas Fondacaro thought he had the key to destroying Warnock's campaign in a Dec. 22 post:

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock apparently got an early piece of coal in his stocking on Christmas week. According to police body camera footage exclusively aired on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday, the radical leftist pastor was accused by his ex-wife of running over her foot with his car as she tried to stop him from driving off with their kids, last March.

The video was stunning and featured Warnock himself talking with the responding Atlanta police officer, but will any of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, or NBC) share it with their viewers on Wednesday?

[...]

The incident raised deep concerns and questions about his temperament and actions that needed to be probed by the media. Unfortunately, the press was more interested in helping Democrats win control of the Senate no matter who the candidates were.

Fondacaro buried the fact that officers on scene found no apparent injury on the ex's foot and that Warnock was never charged. And his complaint is doubly ironic given that neither Fondacaro nor anyone else at the MRC told their readers that the Staten Island bar owner they lionized for standing up to purportedly draconian coronavirus lockdown restrictions actually did run over someone with his car: a sheriff's deputy. Nevertheless, Fondacaro returned the next day to rant that non-right-wing networks didn't cover the minor dispute.

Then -- as if he was on the payroll as opposition researcher for Warnock's Republican opponent, Kelly Loeffler -- Fondacaro served up another Warnock attack on Dec. 28:

Even with new reporting from the Washington Free Beacon out Monday that detailed how, in 2002, a then 12-year-old boy was abused at a church camp overseen by future Senate Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock, CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront continued to be a staunch defender. Instead of reporting on the account of abuse victim Anthony Washington, senior national correspondent Kyung Lah defended Warnock’s radical sermons from Republican “attacks.”

Throughout the 2020 election cycle, numerous videos had surfaced of Warnock preaching radical leftist ideology from his pulpit. And as National Review published in mid-November, it was off the wall stuff. Warnock accused Israel of being like “apartheid South Africa,” described Israelis as “birds of prey” in a letter, and gave a speech praising Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s “God damn America” sermon.

[...]

And according to a Maryland state trooper investigating the abuse claims, Warnock was arrested for trying to obstruct justice by interfering with the questioning of camp counselors. Though, the charge was later dropped.

The story has been a key Loeffler campaign talking point, hence Fondacaro's glomming onto it. He censored the fact that law enforcement found  Warnock to be "very helpful" with the investigation into the camp, blaming miscommunication for the arrest; Warnock said he interrupted a law enforcement interview of a counselor to make sure the counselor had legal representation.

Despite the fact he censored key exculpatory aspects of the story that interfered with his narrative, Fondacaro hypocritically lectured: "If CNN was going to do a report defending Warnock’s time as a church official, then they needed to take responsibility and report on his abusive camp. In this instance, the situation wasn’t political at all. It was about his time overseeing a camp that abused children and his alleged attempt to obstruct justice."

The next day, Joseph Vazquez served up his own attack on Warnock, invoking all the key right-wing buzzwords:

Outsiders are funding nearly the entire cost of Georgia’s Democrat Senate candidates Jon Ossoff’s and Rev. Raphael Warnock’s campaigns, a new report said.

This is the same Fidel Castro-sympathizing Warnock who referred to himself as a “pro-choice pastor,” and the same Ossoff who has ties to Communist China. Warnock, in particular, had also disparaged service in the U.S. military, telling church parishioners in 2011, “America, nobody can serve God and the military.” Oh, and let’s not forget that Warnock also has a record of spewing anti-Semitic hate at Israel.

Of the $100 million each that the two leftist candidates have hauled in the last two months, “95 percent of that money is coming from outside of the Peach State,” according to the New York Post. The biggest financial backers reportedly are based in “the Democratic strongholds of New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.”

Again, this was a hypocritical attack. Vazquez was silent on the source of Loeffler's donations, and there was a reason: She and her fellow GOP Senate runoff candidate, David Perdue, received 92 percent of donations from out of state, nuch of it from, yes, California, Texas and Florida.

Are all these explicitly political attacks in line with the MRC's nonprofit status, which forbids explicit political activity? One has to wonder.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 4, 2021 11:19 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Division Of The Trump Campaign, Part 1
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was such a devoted Trump apologist and promoter, it may as well have been on the payroll. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EST
Sunday, January 3, 2021
What Is The MRC Trying To Hide In Its War On 'Big Tech'?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center huffed in a Dec. 18 press release:

MRC President L. Brent Bozell denounces Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) for aiding Big Tech companies in their fight to suppress and restrict conservative content. AFPF filed a lawsuit, following a FOIA request, for communications between the Department of Commerce and conservatives working to stop Big Tech from unjustly censoring conservative content. The Media Research Center, Bozell, and MRC VP Dan Gainor were all specifically named.

"AFPF backed off naming groups and leaders after strong pushback for their efforts, but what is done is done. The Koch machine has shown its true colors,” said Bozell. “Koch and AFP should do the honest thing and disclose their agenda. Koch also launched a multi-million dollar venture with George Soros.

“Section 230 must be reformed to stop the abuse of conservatives by Big Tech. That’s our position. It’s the essence of free speech and free enterprise. The Koch machine believes in neither. They’re supporting massive monopolies while also snooping about to read others’ private emails. What they’re doing smells to high heaven. They should just admit they’re doing the bidding of Big Tech, and we’ll all know where they stand,” Bozell concluded.

Weird how Bozell and the MRC are suddenly concerned about the content of "private emails" when it spent years salivating over Hillary Clinton's leaked private emails and Peter Strzok's private texts. If the MRC did nothing wrong and all of its lobbying to change Section 230 was above board, it shouldn't be bothered by anyone's "snooping." What are Bozell, Gainor and the MRC trying to hide?

Also: The AFPF's original FOIA request was made back in September. Why did the MRC wait three months to complain about it? Presumably because there was an article in the Washington Times two days before Bozell's rant noting that the AFPF filed a full lawsuit against the Commerce Department becuase it wouldn't release those emails.

Also curious is that the MRC is specifically lashing out a prominent funder of conservative causes. this is likely driven by the fact that it doesn't get much funding from Koch-related foundations -- just $15,000 in recent years, according to one count. It linked to another reason: a July 2019 MRC post complaining that Charles Koch is cooperating with hated liberal boogeyman George Soroson something called the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the creation of which was driven in part by U.S. emphasis on military force over diplomacy and "the foreign policy establishment is ill-equipped to interpret what was happening, particularly the foreign policy of Donald Trump." Writer Joseph Vazquez -- the MRC's designated Soros fearmongerer -- rehashed that "An MRC Special Report proved that 'In just 10 years, Soros has given more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States. And that's really just a beginning. That total represents about 27 percent of the $2 billion given out by the American branches of his Open Society Foundations from 2000 to 2009.'" Besides, the MRC has its own right-wing funders in the form of the Mercer family.

As the old saying goes: If you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing. The MRC is very much acting like it has something to hide. It had noproblem with the release of Hillary Clinton's emails or Strzok's texts, so it should have no problem with the release of its own emails for the purposes of full transparency on an issue in which it is heavily involved.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:08 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 3, 2021 9:16 PM EST

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