Slanties 2022: Slant Game
It's awards season, so it's time to honor, as it were, the worst ConWeb reporting and craziest ConWeb opinions of the year.
By Terry Krepel
That's how we kick off awards season here, in the form of the 19th annual Slantie Awards, ConWebWatch's celebration of bad journalism and creepy right-wing sycophancy.
Time to document the atrocities -- er, hand out some hardware.
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The first award is for the most egregious example of bias in "news" coverage. The nominees are:
-- MRC's pro-Trump conspiracy theories: The Media Research Center was such a pro-Trump enthusiast that it constructed its own companion Big Lie about how the election was stolen from Trump, hiring Trump's own election pollster to manufacture the results it wanted. It only somewhat distanced itself from it after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but it had a new one to push: painting Trump as a victim because his social media accounts were banned for inciting the riot. Not only did the MRC falsely claim Trump was banned for calling for "peace," it refused to admit that what happened was an "insurrection."
-- Newsmax's election fraud conspiracy theories get it in trouble: Newsmax is even a bigger Trump lackey than the MRC is, and it enthusiastically promoted Trump's conspiracy theories. But that enthusiasm got it in trouble, drawing defamation lawsuits from election-tech companies Dominion and Smartmatic, and all the public distancing it did from its own reporting and commentary didn't keep that from happening. While fighting those, it settled with a Dominion executive and made a public statement retracting claims it made about him.
-- WND doubles down on conspiracy theories: The saying goes that if you are in a hole, you should stop digging. WorldNetDaily is disregarding that advice: As its financial crises have continued, it's ramping up its hype of conspiracy theories of the type that caused said financial crises in the first place. Not only did it continue the coronavirus conspiracies of the previous year, it fully embraced Trump's Big Lie about election fraud.
-- CNS' war on Biden and Pelosi: CNSNews.com showed its bias through its incessant bashing of President Biden -- by nitpicking him in ways it would have never done to Donald Trump and praising Vladimir Putin every time he attacked Biden -- and a spray of attacks on Nancy Pelosi. Both Biden and Pelosi underwent similar attacks for being insufficiently Catholic for the uber-Catholics who run CNS.
And the Slantie goes to ... WND doubling down on conspiracy theories. WND remains defiantly oblivious to the fact that its embrace of conspiracy theories have caused readers to abandon it and most credible companies from advertising with it. Instead, it prefers to believe that its impending demise is the result of a conspiracy theory too.
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The next award is the LoBaido Award for the silliest statement made by a writer for a conservative news Web site (named after Anthony LoBaido, who wrote a post-9/11 column for WorldNetDaily that was so unhinged -- he blamed the attacks on America's immorality since "all that is evil in the world can be found in New York" and, for good measure, called Hillary Clinton "openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic" -- that WND eventually pulled it from its site). Here are this year's finalists:
A dirty election is a dirty election; a coordinated dirty election across multiple states with or without foreign assistance is an insurrection, subject to the use of military force against the plotters, without the permission of the states involved. I would also expect massive asset seizures against the plotters and financiers (read Executive Order 13848).
-- Craige McMillan, Jan. 1 WND column
This [Capitol riot] 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.
-- Brent Bozell, Jan. 6 Fox Business appearance
Congress certified the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden in the middle of the night, just like how Jesus was convicted by the Jewish high priests in the middle of the night, just like five states committed election fraud last Nov. 3-4 in the middle of the night.
-- Michael Master, Jan. 7 WND column
Donald Trump is John Wick, and all those who oppose his policies are officials on the High Table council.
-- Brent Smith, Jan. 15 WND column
China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus.
-- Joseph Farah, Jan. 27 WND column
We are witnessing a purge unprecedented in America, but widely repeated through world history during tyrannical régimes. Dissenting voices are silenced, religious expression is suppressed, statues are toppled, history is rewritten, and most importantly the education of children is strictly regulated. As Hitler so accurately observed, "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already. ... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community."
-- Patrice Lewis, Feb. 12 WND column
If Donald Trump was America's judge, as I believe, he fits the mold of Samson (complete with iconic hair) who furiously fought the corrupt Philistines and in the end (Jan. 6) pulled down their temple on all of their heads. What followed Samson in Israel (under Eli and Samuel) was the transition to a monarchy led by Saul, who transformed into an Antichrist figure during his reign, who was followed by David, the Christ figure.
-- Scott Lively, Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column
The first thing is to depend on information from “conservative” sources and avoid paying attention to COVID information from leftist, mainstream sources. In the former category are shows on Fox News, especially Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. There are a multitude of conservative websites, many of which have been identified in the previous parts of this book. Of particular note are websites that have published pandemic articles by this author; they include WND.com, lifesitenews.com, globalresearch.ca, unz.com, opednews.com, nolanchart.com. Another important website is americasvoice.news, which airs the Steve Bannon War Room show that has often given reliable information on the pandemic.
-- Joel Hirschhorn, book excerpt published Feb. 28 at WND
The past few years have seen a plethora of LGBTQIABCDEFG targeting of preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school audiences.
-- Elise Ehrhard, Feb. 19 MRC post
I have been telling parents for decades that sending a child to almost any college is playing Russian roulette with his or her values.
-- Dennis Prager, March 8 WND column
American psychologist G.M. Gilbert interviewed Hermann Göering, the highest-ranked Nazi official tried at Nuremberg. Goering reportedly told Gilbert that the masses can always be controlled with the right messaging.
-- Michael Dorstewitz, March 24 Newsmax column
But in truth, there is a significant difference between those in the cancel culture crowd and institutions like the Christian family determining not to partake in certain things.
-- Michael Morris, March 23 CNS commentary
I caught COVID at church praise God!
-- Ron Strom, April 1 WorldNetDaily column
[JoJo Siwa announcing she is pansexual and "part of the LGBTQ community"] is unabashed brainwashing and the little red devil is complicit. The LGBTQ cabal is pushing their perverse agenda by the most subversive means. There is no disguising it, either, as Siwa clearly stated their evil machinations: “GLAAD has been working closely with kid and family show creators and publishers like ‘Little Bees Books’ to help them share LGBTQ stories for tween and teen audiences. Now even the littlest of kids can see what inclusion looks like.”
-- Veronica Hays, April 12 MRC post
Was the rough and ready Donald Trump an expression of God's mercy for our nation in our time of crisis? Was he similar to a Winston Churchill, whom God provided to stand courageously and help rescue people from the coming peril? Was there sufficient fraud in the 2020 election for Dems to rob it? Biden's middle name is Robinette - "robin' it." Interesting.
-- Larry Tomczak, April 13 WND column
Just in case kids haven’t gotten the message that gender confusion is cool, Nickelodeon is offering yet more LGBTQRX (and sometimes Y) propaganda for juveniles.
-- Veronica Hays, June 4 MRC post
Trump, as I explain in my new book, "Citizen Trump," is not a Jesus but more like a John the Baptist. We don't like him eating locusts and lives in the desert, but to paraphrase Jesus, "what did you expect a reed tossed by the sea?" So you ask him to do the dirty work but complain it got dirty?
-- Robert Orlando, June 16 Newsmax column
Why would Disney, the alleged family-friendly entertainment giant, want to encourage kids to reject their sex? And why aren't the media covering this story?
-- Bill Donohue, Aug. 5 CNS column
This is 1938. I'm a Jew. I now understand just a little of what it felt like to be a Jew in 1938. No, it's not the Holocaust. Nothing can be compared to the Holocaust. Ever.
-- Wayne Allyn Root, Aug. 9 WND column
Holy shoehorned sexual deviancy, Batman! The Dark Knight’s greatest sidekick, the Boy Wonder himself, Robin has finally come out of the closet. What, really? Yep, in one of the latest Batman comics from DC, Robin is interested in men.
-- Gabriel Hays, Aug. 12 MRC post
Let it be said again, there is reason a professional athletes may not need to take the vaccine. One gander at a sideline of athletes especially football athletes are some of the most physically in-shape individuals on the planet. Furthermore, the NFL dedicates an ungodly amount of medical resources to ensure that their players stay healthy, so combining that with their incredible physical health and you have a demographic of people who should be the least concerned about their vaccination status.
-- John Simmons, Sept. 2 MRC post
Today we have two contrasting quotations from world leaders. One said: "Mandatory vaccinations will never be allowed because [this] is a free country and its people are sovereign." The other said: "This is not about freedom or personal choice."
-- Jane Orient, Sept. 13 WND column
The government does not own our bodies. They are given us by God to use in glorifying him. We are not to be coerced or pressured into compromising them.
-- Rev. Michael P. Orsi, Sept. 14 CNS column
Just as Christ flipped a few tables in the temple (John 2:13-16), a healthy rebuke to having your rights violated is more than only OK. It's an obligation to reject violations thrust upon our American way of life by the cultural Marxists of our day.
-- Judd Dunning, Oct. 4 Newsmax column
Let’s see: Heroic horsemen rode to the rescue at Del Rio, Tex., along the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans could’ve whipped the open-border Democrat degenerates with a first-principles case for sovereignty and self-defense, the thing Border Patrol horsemen were exercising so instinctively. Instead, the Right chose to beat around the bush, sweating the redundant details:
-- Ilana Mercer, Oct. 1 WND and CNS column
God's plan and purpose is always redemptive: order from chaos. But in typical Satanic style, truth and falsehood are reversed as the demonic realm brings chaos from order, and his regressive process is called "progress" by his army of "progressives."
-- Scott Lively, Oct. 4 WND column
Given the doubtful result and the judicial abdication, Trump’s response has been reasonably civil. When the majority of the Roman Senate condoned the murder of the distinguished reformers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchi in the late second century B.C., they eliminated the possibility for the republic to continue to evolve sensibly.
-- Conrad Black, Oct. 5 Newsmax column
All things considered, it doesn't take a fortune-teller or palm reader to predict Joe Biden isn't long for this earth. At least he isn't long for this earth in a bipedal position.
-- Mychal Massie, Oct. 18 WND column
My 100-year-young mom was so thrilled to receive her first Chuck Norris Silver Coin. As she did, she said to me, reflecting back upon the struggle of our family's early years in poverty, "This sure will buy a lot of caramels!" We both laughed out loud!
-- Chuck Norris, Nov. 8 WND column
In 1940, the Germans defeated the French with incredible speed. The armies of fascism and totalitarianism simply went around their opponents' elaborately constructed defenses, and the swift collapse of what had only recently been a major military power came shortly thereafter.
-- Joe Keysor, Nov. 11 WND column
And the Slantie goes to ... WND's Ron Strom, for being bizarrely grateful at not only being so irresponsible as to worship maskless in a church at the height of a pandemic but also to be bizarrely grateful that he inevitably caught COVID as a direct result. Strom is WND's commentary editor, which tells you the caliber of the people left running the site.
There were a couple noteworthy runners-up: Wayne Allyn Root's fearmongering about how this is 1938 and we're all Jews, and Ilana Mercer's hearty endorsement of whipping undocumented immigrants.
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Our next award is the Slantie Award for Career Achievement in Conservative Bias. This goes to a reporter or commentator with a consistent record of biased and slanted reports that fly in the face of time-honored journalistic practice, the truth and/or common sense.
This year's honoree is ... Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center. Noyes retired in September after 22 years at the MRC, most recently serving as research director. That means he was the guy behind some of the MRC's most biased "media research" of recent years -- so-called studies that purported to quantify "liberal bias," largely by pretending that subjective things like "spin" and "negative" coverage could be documented in an objective manner. Those highly flawed studies shared several features, including a focus on only a tiny sliver of the media so the desired results and refusal to make the underlying data public.
That biased research demonstrated how the MRC is merely a group of partisan activists, not actual "media researchers."
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Our final award is the Doocy-Gasm Award, which we are giving for obvious reasons to ... Curtis Houck of the Media Research Center.
ConWebWatch has spent the past year documenting how Houck has continually engaged in partisan bashing of White House press secretary Jen Psaki -- something he never did to Trump's final spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany. His view on the reporters in the briefing room has flip-flopped too -- instead of lashing out correspondents like CNN's Jim Acosta, he seems to have fallen deeply into love (or at least man-crush) with Fox News' Peter Doocy. Houck's near-daily fawning over Doocy is embarrassing to watch -- hence the award name -- and he can do no wrong in Houck's eyes. But if he does, Houck is eager to play clean-up. He did that at least twice in 2021: He stealth-edited a briefing summary to downplay the fact that Doocy asked a question to Psaki based on a false story, and when Doocy accused the Biden White House of illicitly "surveying" purveyors of COVID misinformation, Houck buried the fact that all that was being done was monitoring the misinformers' public social media posts.
Such sycophancy and (unpaid?) PR for Doocy and Fox News is how one wins a coveted Slantie Award.