NewsBusters

  • Keilar: Biden’s Interior Decorating Shows He’ll Be Pro-Science, Pro-Truth
    by Alex Christy on January 22, 2021 at 7:46 PM

    Taking the liberal media’s relief that they know have an ally in the White House to another level, CNN Newsroom host Brianna Keilar dedicated a lengthy segment to fawning over how the design for the Oval Office under his administration represented science, truth, and one of dignity that, unlike Trump’s, would bring honor to America. Keilar began by informing viewers that how the President decorates the Oval can tell us much about the occupant: “It is the most famous office on the planet where wars have been waged, disasters managed, its round wall witness to some of the most dramatic areas of American democracy and every four or eight years, it is transformed as its occupant changes. The decor of the Oval Office symbols of an administration’s vision for the country.”     For example, Trump was controversial and he had a portrait of fellow controversial President Andrew Jackson, so Biden had that removed, “On President Biden’s first full day in the White House, let’s take a look inside the Oval Office: to the left now of the Resolute desk, Biden replaced the portrait of Andrew Jackson that President Trump had displayed.” According to Keilar, Biden’s decision to replace Jackson with Benjamin Franklin showed this administration will be pro-truth and pro-science: “[H]e replaced it with Benjamin Franklin, giving the boot to one of the most controversial presidents in favor of one of the founding fathers who made huge contributions to science. No coincidence he figures prominently along with a display of moon rocks as this White House promises to bring truth and science back to the White House.” She then went onto talk about the area around the Resolute Desk and across the room (click “expand”):  Then behind the desk, Biden chose to display a bust of Latino-American civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, whose granddaughter, by the way, is Biden’s director intergovernmental affairs and of course, as you can see there, which is customary, there are family photos, and this includes one prominently displayed of his late son, Beau. To the right of the desk, Biden has brought back the famous painting “The Avenue in the Rain” to the Oval. The patriotic scene was completed in 1917 as U.S. entry into the First World War was imminent, and this oil painting also hung in the Oval during the Obama and the Clinton administrations. Then across the room, the wall of the Biden Oval features paintings of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and FDR, who notably led the country through several crises at once. He is very prominent there. And what’s also interesting as you look at these pictures is the Jefferson and Hamilton portraits because they’re next to each other on the wall, though these two men famously disagreed with each other. The Oval is filled other tributes to other American historical figures. There is a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. There’s also one of Robert Kennedy, key figures of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, sparked a bus boycott that forced the city to integrate its bussing system. And then Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the America’s most consequential first ladies, as well as Daniel Webster, who is the former senator who fiercely defended the union. But no longer there is the bust of Winston Churchill that Trump prominently had on display.  Along with the supposed claim that the administration will always adhere to science, Keilar was enamored with how Biden removed Trump’s button for a military aide to bring him a Diet Coke and that Biden chose pens instead of Sharpies like Trump did On the Resolute Desk itself, there are two phones and a cup and saucer set, which is something that we did not see during the tenure of Biden’s predecessor, who is a Diet Coke enthusiast. Trump was rarely pictured with a coffee cup at his side, he reportedly had a button to summon a staffer to bring him his favorite soft drink.  There’s another notable contrast and that is Biden’s pens. There’s a box of them that he can use to sign orders. That is not particularly unusual, but it is quite different than the Sharpie style markers that Trump used to make his oversized signature stand out on documents. Keilar’s fawning over Biden’s interior decorating was in sharp contrast to the last four years when she dedicated lengthy segment to attacking Senator Marco Rubio (R-F) a bad Christians for criticizing Biden’s cabinet nominees and ironically accused Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) of being engaged in a “butt-kissing contest.” This segment was sponsored by Wayfair. Their contact information is linked Here is the relevant transcript: CNN Newsroom January 21, 2021 1:34 PM ET BRIANNA KEILAR: It is the most famous office on the planet where wars have been waged, disasters managed, its round wall witness to some of the most dramatic areas of American democracy and every four or eight years, it is transformed as its occupant changes. The decor of the Oval Office symbols of an administration’s vision for the country. And on President Biden’s first full day in the White House, let’s take a look inside the Oval Office: to the left now of the Resolute desk, Biden replaced the portrait of Andrew Jackson that President Trump had displayed, he replaced it with Benjamin Franklin, giving the boot to one of the most controversial presidents in favor of one of the Founding Fathers who made huge contributions to science. No coincidence he figures prominently along with a display of moon rocks as this White House promises to bring truth and science back to the White House. Then behind the desk, Biden chose to display a bust of Latino-American civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, whose granddaughter, by the way, is Biden’s director intergovernmental affairs and of course, as you can see there, which is customary, there are family photos, and this includes one prominently displayed of his late son, Beau. To the right of the desk, Biden has brought back the famous painting “The Avenue in the Rain” to the Oval. The patriotic scene was completed in 1917 as U.S. entry into the First World War was imminent, and this oil painting also hung in the Oval during the Obama and the Clinton administrations. Then across the room, the wall of the Biden Oval features paintings of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and FDR, who notably led the country through several crises at once. He is very prominent there. And what’s also interesting as you look at these pictures is the Jefferson and Hamilton portraits because they’re next to each other on the wall, though these two men famously disagreed with each other. The Oval is filled other tributes to other American historical figures. There is a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. There’s also one of Robert Kennedy, key figures of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, sparked a bus boycott that forced the city to integrate its bussing system.  And then Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the America’s most consequential first ladies, as well as Daniel Webster, who is the former senator who fiercely defended the union. But no longer there is the bust of Winston Churchill that Trump prominently had on display. On the Resolute Desk itself, there are two phones and a cup and saucer set, which is something that we did not see during the tenure of Biden’s predecessor, who is a Diet Coke enthusiast. Trump was rarely pictured with a coffee cup at his side, he reportedly had a button to summon a staffer to bring him his favorite soft drink.  There’s another notable contrast and that is Biden’s pens. There’s a box of them that he can use to sign orders. That is not particularly unusual, but it is quite different than the Sharpie style markers that Trump used to make his oversized signature stand out on documents. And even the desk chair is different. You can see Biden — we saw him sitting in a dark brown leather chair tufted after Trump’s thick reddish, brown executive seat that was identical, if it was not the same one that he used before he became President. And the Bidens also witched out the rug, they have a yellow old Oval Office rug that they switched out, and they put in a blue one that features the presidential seal and ringed by a floral rim. An official with Biden’s Oval Office operations telling The Washington Post that, “it was important for President Biden to walk into an Oval that looked like America.”

  • Leftists Celebrate Abortion Today and Every Day
    by Tierin-Rose Mandelburg on January 22, 2021 at 6:57 PM

    Today’s a high holy day for lefties. On this date, January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade and mass infanticide became the law of the land. Abortion clinic volunteer Lauren Rankin marked the occasion by complaining that “We Still Have a Long Way to Go.” Forty-eight years and 63 million lives later, the left still isn’t satisfied. What’s new? Rankin wants laws updated so women can have access to dangerous abortion drugs via mail without a doctor’s visit. Ostensibly, she’s worried about women being too nervous about COVID to go to an abortion clinic. But social distancing is a pretext so women can abort even more conveniently — another leftist attempt to overstep and gain control. Rankin’s piece ran in Teen Vogue, which isn’t surprising, considering its content runs middle school Marxism and anal sex tutorials for teen girls. But it could just as easily have appeared in any mainstream outlet. Shilling for abortion is an industry-wide obsession and has been for years.  Hollywood tries to “normalize” abortion and celebrities use it as a “dedicated to my craft” badge of honor. Having an abortion constitutes popularity.  • Artists Amanda Shires, Cyndi Lauper, and Sheryl Crow collaborated on a pro-abortion song released today to celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  • In 2019, People.com shared actress Keke Palmer’s tweet: “I was worried about my career responsibilities and afraid that I could not exist as both a career woman and mother.” Having a career and being a mother is too great a feat for these frail celebrities. Their role models Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who have done both, are not convincing enough, apparently.   • Rapper Nicki Minaj once said said her abortion “haunted me all my life.” Why does she feel so guilty?  • Comedian Chelsea Handler wrote in Playboy about her first abortion, saying, “I was relieved in every possible way.” Convenience does have relieving properties. Tinseltown dances around the reality of abortion. They think a celebration on January 22 should be as globally accepted as National Coffee Day or National Cat Day. Shows how little they think about the extremity of this issue.  Today shouldn’t be a celebratory event. That would be like people celebrating days of mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and pandemics wiping people out. Or maybe the left would have a beer on those days, too, because supposedly death and destruction deserve congratulations.

  • Cal Thomas Column: They’re Coming to America
    by Cal Thomas on January 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM

    In 1980, singer Neil Diamond recorded a song that celebrated American immigration, first in the early 1900s and then more recently. The song included this chorus: “On the boats and on the planes They’re coming to America Never looking back again They’re coming to America.” The song makes no distinction between the legal and orderly immigration of the early 20th century and the chaotic and illegal immigration that characterizes today’s movement of mostly Central Americans into the country. Last Sunday, thousands of Hondurans formed caravans in an attempt to violate Mexico’s southern border on their way to our southern border. Police and soldiers wearing riot gear tried to block them, but the migrants broke through, undeterred by tear gas and batons. They are likely coming because they are hearing that President Biden plans to deport fewer of them and because relatives have encouraged them to make the risky journey. They are coming because of poverty and crime in Honduras and other countries. Many of them had their homes destroyed by hurricanes. Biden has also said he will not continue construction of Donald Trump’s border wall, which the Trump administration touted as having a significant deterrent effect on undocumented people crossing the border. That, too, sends a “y’all come” signal southward. The prospect of a human tide coming to America now becomes very real. And the promise of U.S. citizenship for the 11 million undocumented already here can only serve as an additional enhancement for even more to come. Interviewed on TV networks, some in the caravan say they want to come to America for jobs. What about those Americans who are out of work because of the pandemic? Shouldn’t U.S. citizens be first on the list for any available jobs? If migrants are illegally allowed in, or manage to get in, what signal will this send to the thousands — perhaps millions — who will come and what additional burden will that place on American taxpayers and social services? I have been exploring possible travel to countries in Europe and Central and South America, hoping to break free from all the lockdowns and regulations in this country. Many of them are closed to American citizens. These countries apparently don’t want anyone bringing COVID with them. Shouldn’t that also be a concern for the U.S. government? How many migrants seeking to come to America are infected with COVID and will aid in its spread? How many are gang members who will add to the crime problems in major U.S. cities? The left claims Donald Trump is responsible for the January 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol because he “incited” the crowd to insurrection with his rhetoric about a “stolen” election. Why, then, can’t Biden’s language about easing the path to America and gaining citizenship equally be a cause and effect? Throughout history, uncontrolled immigration without assimilation has contributed to the collapse of other superpowers. The United States does not enjoy special protection from a similar fate. Some on the left cynically believe these migrants can be turned into Democrat voters and along with censoring conservative beliefs on social media and other platforms and creating states out of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia the Republican Party and all opposition to their agenda can be squashed. Neil Diamond’s song was meant as a patriotic celebration of America’s “melting pot.” Given the chaos that will come if Biden’s promise is not retracted, that “pot” is likely to boil over, causing irreversible harm.

  • Biden’s Title IX Order Erased Women on His First Day. Twitter Noticed.
    by Tierin-Rose Mandelburg on January 22, 2021 at 5:30 PM

    It’s TERFs vs. Trans! Twitter is awash in rhetorical blood as two reliably lefty identity groups are skirmishing again. But this time, it’s Joe Biden’s fault.   Biden announced Wednesday that he was reversing Trump administration limitations on Title IX and restoring the draconian gender and sexuality nondiscrimination enforcement favored by the Obama administration — men in women’s bathrooms and women’s sports were the big issues. (But, just as important, the Obama guidelines denied due process to college men accused of rape or sexual assault.) TERFs, the acronym coined by trans activists that stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” (and conservatives) feel Biden is erasing the significance of being a woman and that their safety and success is at risk since, as the Twitter trend had it, #BidenErasedWomen. Biden’s Title IX order stated: “All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation…It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”  Essentially, Biden’s trans-friendly order expanded the nondiscrimination protections of the LGBTQ community, prohibiting all workplace and educational discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation. But, in addition to at least recognizing the existence of a right of association, Trump’s policy supported the difference between biological women and confused men. Title IX was originally intended to ensure equal access and academic experience for women in higher education. But it has since progressed to locker rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, creating plenty of potentially uncomfortable (at the minimum) situations for women.  But the liberal overreach does real harm. In sports, for example, a biological male identifying as a “female” is inevitably going to beat out a real female if allowed to compete against her. As this situation gets more common (and the Trans industry very much wants it to) it will start depriving women athletes of scholarships, advancement opportunities, and honest victories. Biological men will dominate a sphere constructed solely for women. Liberals claim to fight against male dominance — ironic. This isn’t about inequality or being transphobic. It’s about taking away the honor of being born a woman. Within hours of the inauguration two top trends on Twitter were “TERFs” and “#BidenErasedWomen.” This probably wasn’t the splash Biden was hoping for. For example, the account @WomenReadWomen tweeted: “Women standing up for themselves are called a dehumanizing slur [TERF]. By people who reduce our humanity to a regressive and sexist feminine fantasy.”  The @WomenReadWomen account pinned this tweet: “By woman they mean man, and by progressive they mean regressive. By gender they mean stereotype, and by queer they mean straight. By cis privilege they mean sex oppression, by living the truth they mean living a lie, and by acceptance, they mean submission.” They should keep it pinned for a while so the people in the back can see.  Journalist Sonia Poulton wrote: “I get called TERF because I believe women have a right to our own sports, prisons, refuges & spaces and because I believe children should be protected from people who seek to sexualise them and to confuse them about who they are.” Another hashtag fan Bret Weinstein tweeted: “It’s not possible to provide protections for women if a man can declare himself a women and access the same protections. That’s not an opinion. That is a logical fact. Evolution endowed the sexes differently. Protections for women are just and must be defended. #BidenErasedWomen.” Liberals are supposed to be all for female empowerment. Just look at the plaudits Kamala Harris got for being the first female VP. (Thanks for standing up for women on the Title IX thing, Kamala!) Do they not realize they take the special part of womanhood away by allowing anyone and everyone to identify as one at any time? Where does women’s empowerment go if anybody can just decide to be a woman? Obviously, it doesn’t take strength or power. Tomorrow, you can identify as a woman, too, and then go back again the next day, if you’d like.

  • Behar Congratulates Lopez for Getting Secret Service Visit After Trump Assassination ‘Joke’
    by Kristine Marsh on January 22, 2021 at 5:23 PM

    It’s been about a year since left-wing comedian George Lopez put out a “joke” offering to assassinate then-President Trump for our enemies in Iran. His threat earned him a visit from the Secret Service. But as he called in to Friday’s The View, neither he or the hosts seemed bothered by this incident, in fact they praised him and took glee in it. Actually, it was the first thing co-host Joy Behar brought up, calling the Secret Service visit “an honor.” “So I know you as a funny guy and you have been an outspoken critic of the previous President, and one of your jokes landed you in trouble with Secret Service. That’s an honor right there. How do you feel watching him finally leave the White House this week?” she gushed.     As the other co-hosts chuckled, Lopez made a fat joke: “Well, first of all, I didn’t think the helicopter was going to get off the ground, but it did.” He added how “refreshing” it was to have an administration that didn’t “demonize Latinos.” Showcasing how this interview was basically just Democrat hacks congratulating themselves for getting Joe Biden into the White House, co-host Ana Navarro praised Lopez for the work they did as Biden surrogates in getting out the Latino vote: You and I joined forces during the election to help out — help Biden get out the Latino vote, and on his first day in office, he halted construction of Trump’s precious little wall. He immediately introduced an immigration bill to preserve DACA and keep families together. He established a path to — established a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, and he put a bust of Cezar Chavez in the credenza behind the resolute desk. How are you feeling? Was it worth it, are you feeling hopeful? Lopez was so pleased with Biden’s first day as President, he compared it to having sex with someone on the first date: “You know, usually if somebody is dating and does all of that to somebody he is interested in, you’re saying, you know, I usually don’t sleep with somebody on the first night, but look what he’s done. I’m spending the night. I’m walking with my shoes the next morning out of the room.  The co-hosts loved the gross analogy, with Sara Haines exclaiming, “It’s not even a walk of shame, George!” Lopez continued, calling it a “great start” for Biden before going back to complain that he felt like a “neutered dog” after his Secret Service visit for threatening to assassinate President Trump: When the Secret Service comes to your house and tells you everything that you have said on social media and they present you with a dossier. I never thought I would have a dossier. Now I know when dogs feel when they get neutered, you know, they got so much energy and they’re marking up the house and when they come back, they’re just kind of, you know, you should have seen me before.  Halls and Yoplait sponsor The View, contact them at the Conservatives Fight Back page here. Read the relevant transcript portions below: ABC’s The View 01/22/2021 ANA NAVARRO: George, I, you know, we’ve talked about this so much, but I admire you so much for having taken on Trump and his attacks on Latinos. I know it took a cost. I know it took a toll, but listen. You and I joined forces during the election to help out — help Biden get out the Latino vote, and on his first day in office, he halted construction of Trump’s precious little wall. He immediately introduced an immigration bill to preserve DACA and keep families together. He established a path to — established a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, and he put a bust of Cezar Chavez in the credenza behind the resolute desk. How are you feeling? Was it worth it, are you feeling hopeful? GEORGE LOPEZ: You know, usually if somebody is dating and does all of that to somebody he is interested in, you’re saying, you know, I usually don’t sleep with somebody on the first night, but look what he’s done. I’m spending the night. I’m walking with my shoes the next morning out of the room.  SARA HAINES: It’s not even a walk of shame, George! LOPEZ: I’ll wait until it’s full sunlight, and walk with my little shoes out there. It’s a great start. When the Secret Service comes to your house and tells you everything that you have said on social media and they present you with a dossier. I never thought I would have a dossier. Now I know when dogs feel when they get neutered, you know, they got so much energy and they’re marking up the house and when they come back, they’re just kind of, you know, you should have seen me before.  HAINES: He had better days!

  • Minor Sues Twitter for Allegedly Allowing Child Pornography on Site
    by Kayla Sargent on January 22, 2021 at 4:55 PM

    Twitter has been particularly egregious in its censorship in the last few weeks, but sometimes, the platform chooses to ignore particularly egregious content. Now, a recent lawsuit has alleged that the platform may have allowed child pornography to circulate.  The lawsuit alleged that Twitter “knowingly benefited from participation in what it knew or should have known was a sex trafficking venture,” of a minor, who is referred to in court documents under the pseudonym John Doe. It further alleged that Twitter “monetizes content on its platform through advertisements and data collection.” The lawsuit alleged that, in 2017, the then- 13- or 14-year-old Doe shared explicit photos with an individual the complaint said “he believed … went to his school.” However, the complaint alleged that the individuals in question were actually traffickers. The complaint further claimed that the traffickers subjected Doe to “manipulation” and “blackmail,” and demanded “more sexually graphic photos and videos.”  Doe eventually blocked the traffickers, according to the lawsuit, and “eventually the communications ceased.” However, in 2019, “a compilation video of multiple CSAM videos sent by John Doe to the traffickers surfaced on Twitter,” the lawsuit claimed. In January of 2020, the complaint continued that Doe discovered from a classmate that the videos were circulating on Twitter. Both Doe and his mother reached out to Twitter regarding the videos, and also “reported the situation to a local law enforcement agency and provided Twitter with the report number for that agency,” according to the complaint.  Twitter allegedly responded to complaints from his mother by stating, “Thanks for reaching out. We’ve reviewed the content, and didn’t find a violation of our policies, so no action will be taken at this time.”  The lawsuit claimed that Twitter has policies in place to defend against child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and would “report any such material to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Twitter’s Help Center stated: “We have a zero-tolerance child sexual exploitation policy on Twitter.” The platform updated this policy in 2019.  The videos allegedly accrued “over 167,000 views and 2,223 retweets,” according to the complaint. Eventually, his mother “was able to connect with an agent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The federal agent also initiated contact with Twitter and at the request of the U.S. federal government, the CSAM was finally removed from Twitter on or about January 30, 2020.”  If the allegations made in the complaint are true, it should never have taken nearly a month, and a request from a federal government, to remove alleged child pornography from Twitter.  The platform clearly has little issue leaving blatant Chinese propaganda and tweets from Iran’s Ayatollah calling for “firm, armed resistance” against the Jewish people. Yet Twitter wasted no time in censoring former President Donald Trump on numerous occasions, including his comments about mail-in voting and COVID-19. In fact, the platform censored Trump 625 times, but did not even censor then-former Vice President Joe Biden once. Twitter, among other platforms, even permanently banned the former president from its platform.  Conservatives are under attack. Contact Twitter at (415) 222-9670 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency and protections for the most vulnerable among us. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.

  • WashPost Caught Attempting to Edit Out ‘Prison’ Gaffe by Kamala Harris
    by Tim Graham on January 22, 2021 at 4:52 PM

    Eric Boehm at Reason caused some trouble at The Washington Post for pointing out they had stealth-edited a July 23, 2019 profile (published on the front of the July 24 Style section) to remove an “incredibly cringeworthy” passage about how campaigns were like prisons – which is insensitive to incarcerated Americans. The humanizing profile by Ben Terris was headlined “The one who knows her best: Sisters Kamala and Maya Harris have been through it all together. A presidential campaign is no different.”  Terris began: “It was the Fourth of July, Independence Day, and Kamala Harris was explaining to her sister, Maya, that campaigns are like prisons.” Then she explained that with some down time, “I actually got sleep” and she was able to take a morning SoulCycle class.  “That kind of stuff,” Kamala said between sips of iced tea, “which was about bringing a little normal to the days, that was a treat for me.” “I mean, in some ways it was a treat,” Maya said. “But not really.” “It’s a treat that a prisoner gets when they ask for, ‘A morsel of food please,’ ” Kamala said shoving her hands forward as if clutching a metal plate, her voice now trembling like an old British man locked in a Dickensian jail cell. “‘And water! I just want wahtahhh….’Your standards really go out the f—ing window.” Kamala burst into laughter. [Italics in the original.] Obviously, Terris and his Style section editors didn’t see that passage as offensive at the time. But the Post repurposed the piece on Inauguration Day for its 24-page “Madam Vice President” special section all about Kamala. The new headline was “The unbreakable bond of sisterhood is at the heart of Harris’s rise to VP.” That prison anecdote was scrubbed, and they added Chelsea Janes to the byline, who perhaps wrote the new lede comparing Kamala and her sister Maya to JFK and Bobby Kennedy. What happened to the old version? Boehm explained:  The headline for that 18-month-old article still appears on Terris’ page on the Post website with the original date it was published, but clicking the link redirects users to the new version published this month—the version that omits Harris’ awful commentary about campaigns and prisons. Other links to the original piece also now redirect to the sanitized version.  Molly Gannon Conway, the Post’s communications manager, told Boehm via email on Thursday. “The profile of Maya Harris was updated with new reporting, as noted online, using the existing URL. The original story remains available in print.” If you have 2019 newspapers lying around.  As it happens, the July 24, 2019 newspaper was still here in our MRC archives, carefully maintained by our Scott Whitlock. The controversial piece was right there on the front page of Style:  When other media outlets took notice, the Post tried to fix their scandalous little scrub. New York Times media columnist tweeted on Friday afternoon:  Per @washingtonpost spox: The paper “repurposed and updated” stories for a special section, but “we should have kept both versions of the story on The Post’s site (the original and updated one), rather than redirecting to the updated version” & have fixed https://t.co/Vg1nTRC06Q https://t.co/1iwGVEnBpB — Ben Smith (@benyt) January 22, 2021 That’s why the link on Terris’s page is back to the original version, although the new version is now at the top of his page, so most would probably just click on the new one, just as if you searched for it on Google. The Post does include a link to the “earlier published version” without explaining the somewhat controversial difference. 

  • Tyrrell Column: The Social Media Conundrum
    by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. on January 22, 2021 at 4:17 PM

    It is a reflection of the vulgarity and even the criminality now stalking our society that social media, as it is called, cannot extricate itself from this awful question of censorship. Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media platforms that are passing judgment on what Americans say today are in the pickle that they are in because the First Amendment freedoms are extended to pornographers, common criminals, political psychopaths and run-of-the-mill conservatives. Soon, if the social media tycoons have their way, their censorship will extend to ordinary liberals, butterfly collectors and, who knows, maybe even stamp collectors. You do not doubt, do you, that some virtue-flaunters will someday devise a humanitarian case for proscribing butterfly collecting? Those peaceful people who prowl our hills and dales armed with butterfly nets could become very controversial. Pressure will mount against them, and the sages at social media will be presented with the pons asinorum: “What to do with the butterfly collectors?” Once again, social media is torn between John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx. My guess is the collectors will be banned. Frankly, I believe that social media would find itself off the hook from aroused legislators and curious members of the judiciary if they would only pare back the kind of intercourse they have opened their platforms to. Yes, you can talk about your latest recipe for peach cobbler or discuss policing the streets or research COVID-19. You can tweet about sports, vacationing, selling your portfolio or the racket your neighbor’s lawnmower makes, so long as there is no hint of murder or mayhem. In other words, I suggest Facebook and Twitter open their platforms to a slightly narrower audience and for fewer eccentrics or sociopaths. The problem comes from the kind of society we live in. It is vulgar. It is crude. It veers toward the criminal and the violent. All of this ought to be removed from contemplation on the social media platforms. Let the pornographers and the enemies of butterfly-collecting migrate to more hospitable environments. Social media ought to deal with normal life as it is lived in these United States. It tries to do too much. Actually, I, as an editor, have never had a problem policing content, and I cannot understand why social media finds itself mired in conflict. At The American Spectator, we are open to all comers, so long as they do not oppose democratic values and tolerance. Also, we oppose the evangelizing of criminal behavior, though that has never been a problem at the Spectator, as we are a peaceful organization. “Present all sides” is my motto, and let the readers decide where they stand. In the recent kerfuffle over former President Donald Trump, Jed Babbin and I took one side, and Jeff Lord, Dave Catron and Dov Fischer took another side. No one thought of banishing anyone from our forum. And our readers got to read both sides and make up their minds. There is another virtue in running a truly open forum. The editor is not importuned either to publish or not to publish something. He rarely decides. Years ago, I wrote a weekly column for The Washington Post. My editor, Meg Greenfield, was a saintly woman who answered every complaint about me, especially from Ralph Nader, who blew a fuse every time I mentioned his name. I told her to ignore the complaints or to fire me. She took a long time making a decision, and it only prolonged our mutual suffering. So, my advice to the tyrants at social media is to clean out your eccentrics. You have overreached with the people you open your platforms to. There is a movement in the country that is aroused because you are censoring conservatives. Close down the censorship of legitimate people, or you will be closed down by the government. They have at their disposal anti-trust laws that are a threat to monopolies such as yours. Beware! R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author, most recently, of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

  • Joe Scarborough Tries to Scare Off Fox News Sponsors
    by Mark Finkelstein on January 22, 2021 at 3:55 PM

    Is it ethical for one network to try to scare off a competitor’s sponsors? The question arises because MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough sought today to scare off Fox News sponsors. At the beginning of today’s Morning Joe, Scarborough, speaking of Fox News, said: “We’ll worry about our channel and let them worry about their channel.” But Scarborough soon went back on his word. Just moments later, he actively tried to warn sponsors away from Fox News, saying: “Fox News had someone I know, a former leader of the Republican Party, saying that Democrats wanted—and I’m using his words here—Democrats wanted to, quote, exterminate, exterminate all Republicans.  “Let me say that again for Fox News sponsors. To let you know. For Fox News sponsors, to let you know what’s happening now on Fox News. That they’re getting people who are Fox News contributors, who are saying that Democrats, Joe Biden and Democrats, want to, quote, exterminate all Republicans.”     Although Scarborough never named the Fox News contributor in question, he was alluding to Newt Gingrich, who said on last night’s Hannity:  “I think you’re seeing the hysteria of the Biden system. Because it’s not really about Biden himself. It’s his entire team around him who are radicals, who believe that they could exterminate the Republicans. That would be one way to get to ‘unity.’ “As a New York Times columnist wrote this morning, if Biden really wanted unity, he could start by lynching Vice-president Pence. This gives you a sense of the ferocity, and the anger, and the hatred that underlies the modern left.”  The New York Times contributor in question was Will Wilkinson, who had indeed tweeted, “If Biden really wanted unity, he’d lynch Mike Pence.” Wilkinson later apologized, claiming he had been joking.  The Niskanen Center think tank where Wilkinson had been a vice-president subsequently announced that it had cut ties with him. But as of this morning, Wilkinson’s column archive is still up at the New York Times.  If Scarborough wants to attack a media outlet, perhaps he should turn his attention to the New York Times, which apparently continues to harbor Wilkinson, rather than to Fox News, where Gingrich quoted Wilkinson accurately.  Finally, is there anything more tiresome than MSNBC or CNN complaining about Fox News? Who can take that seriously? It’s like Pepsi putting out a report on Coke and expecting to be taken seriously. You’re competitors! We know why CNN and MSNBC are jealous of Fox.  MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough trying to scare off Fox News sponsors was sponsored in part by GoDaddy, Lexus, and Johnson & Johnson, maker of Neutrogena Here’s the transcript. MSNBC Morning Joe 1/22/21 6:15 am ET JOE SCARBOROUGH: There have been things said on Fox News the last couple days that are shocking. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that anybody running Fox News would allow some of those statements to be said. Seeming to inspire an insurrection against the United States. But we’ll worry about our channel and let them worry about their channel. . . .  I talked briefly before, and I don’t want to get into because I don’t want to give people the attention that they probably want. But I will say, Fox News had someone I know, a former leader of the Republican party, saying that Democrats wanted—and I’m using his words here—Democrats wanted to, quote, exterminate, exterminate all Republicans.  Let me say that again for Fox News sponsors. To let you know. For Fox News sponsors, to let you know what’s happening now on Fox News. That they’re getting people who are Fox News contributors, who are saying that Democrats, Joe Biden and Democrats, want to, quote, exterminate all Republicans. 

  • Dem Propagandist Ruhle Wails: Spend Trillions or ‘Bleed to Death’!
    by Kyle Drennen on January 22, 2021 at 3:42 PM

    On her MSNBC show Friday morning, loyal Democratic Party propagandist Stephanie Ruhle engaged in wild alarmism as she demanded that Congress approve trillions in new spending or risk the nation “bleeding to death.” That was how she tried sell President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that included a wish list of left-wing agenda items like imposing a $15 minimum wage. “I mean, it’s extraordinary that some Republicans are already balking, quacking about debt and deficits,” Ruhle sneered early in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour as she lamented congressional opposition to the White House plan. Moments later, she argued that the country couldn’t afford not to spend the massive amount of taxpayer money: “Well, $1.9 trillion is a big number, but we’re going to keep covering all of the proposals in there, because as big as that number is, doing nothing will cost the United States government so much more.”     Later in the show, Ruhle turned to former Obama administration Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu for back-up: “Doesn’t it seem unreasonable to say this is too much money? When we’re not even factoring in, no one has shown us the math of what it will cost this country if we don’t do this.” Predictably, Lu agreed and even tried to blame GOP opposition to President Obama’s notoriously wasteful stimulus plan as the reason for anemic economic growth during his tenure: Look, Steph, we learned this experience in the Obama administration, where after the initial $800 billion stimulus package that was passed in 2009, Republicans would not give anymore money. And the impact of that was an extended – a very slow recovery that took many, many years to happen, much slower economic growth, much longer periods of elevated unemployment. So we know exactly what happens. He concluded his comments by declaring: “So spend the money now or we’re going to pay the price for this for a long time to come.” Ruhle melodramatically warned: “Think of it this way, it’s a sting when you get a huge medical bill, but that’s a whole lot better than bleeding to death, and that is the alternative.” She also urged Democrats to seize “opportunity” amid the coronavirus crisis: “The opportunity here, I know it sounds crazy to talk about opportunities, but to actually do something transformational….shouldn’t we focus on how do we get people back in better jobs?” Lu praised her for reciting Biden administration talking points perfectly: Steph, you’ve just laid out exactly why Joe Biden has talked about “Build back better.” This is not about bringing the economy back to where it was before the pandemic. It’s about actually dealing with the systemic economic inequities that we’ve been dealing with for years.      Just days earlier, Ruhle was actually thanked by a top Biden economic adviser for all her “advocacy” and “help” in pushing the Democratic Party’s agenda. Showing up later in the 11:00 a.m. ET and 2:00 p.m. ET hours, Ruhle repeated her assertion that members of Congress only had two options, either sign on to Biden’s plan or cause America to “bleed to death.” Ruhle is working hard to maintain her reputation as a reliable shill for Democrats. Her eager activism was brought to viewers by Progressive and E-Trade. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content. Here is a transcript of the January 22 coverage: 9:03 AM ET (…) STEPHANIE RUHLE: Yamiche, let’s talk about Congress needing to get involved here. To get this plan passed, Joe Biden is going to need bipartisan support. How likely is that? I mean, it’s extraordinary that some Republicans are already balking, quacking about debt and deficits while they completely didn’t care about it for the last four years. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, the biggest challenge, of course, of the Biden presidency in these first few days is the coronavirus pandemic, but a very big part of that is also working with Republicans. Joe Biden came into office pledging for unity, pledging that he could be the president to work across the aisle and work with Republicans. But as you noted, Republicans are already fiercely and pointedly criticizing him and you’re also seeing moderates who really have a lot of power in a Senate that is this tight, a 50-50 tie, showing and hinting that they are going to have a problem with the price tag of a $1.9 trillion plan. We’re already hearing Mitt Romney openly questioning whether or not there needs to be another bill and of course Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, someone who is probably the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, he said that he’s not – it seems he’s not completely on board with this $2,000 check, which would be $1,400 extra in the that’s plan Biden’s come up with. And you also, lastly, saw Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, going after Joe Biden, saying that he has the wrong priorities in the wrong time. Joe Biden is now going to have to see whether or not he can bridge that gap and it seems like it’s something that’s going to take a lot of work. RUHLE: Well, $1.9 trillion is a big number, but we’re going to keep covering all of the proposals in there, because as big as that number is, doing nothing will cost the United States government so much more. Also, another reminder, the only way unity works is if Democrats and Republicans work on it. (…) 9:32 AM ET RUHLE: Okay, but Chris, you understand economics, you understand labor. Doesn’t it seem unreasonable to say this is too much money? When we’re not even factoring in, no one has shown us the math of what it will cost this country if we don’t do this. CHRIS LU [FMR. DEPUTY LABOR SECRETARY]: Look, Steph, we learned this experience in the Obama administration, where after the initial $800 billion stimulus package that was passed in 2009, Republicans would not give anymore money. And the impact of that was an extended – a very slow recovery that took many, many years to happen, much slower economic growth, much longer periods of elevated unemployment. So we know exactly what happens. And so, yes, $1.9 trillion seems like a lot of money, but consider that there’s money here for child care assistance, there’s money here for reopening schools, and that’s critical to getting this economy back and running. Consider that there’s money here to provide assistance for rental and mortgages. And that’s going to be critical for people not to lose their homes. All of this sort of undergirds where the economy needs to be. And unless you have this, it really doesn’t matter. So spend the money now or we’re going to pay the price for this for a long time to come. RUHLE: Think of it this way, it’s a sting when you get a huge medical bill, but that’s a whole lot better than bleeding to death, and that is the alternative. (…) 9:35 AM ET RUHLE The opportunity here, I know it sounds crazy to talk about opportunities, but to actually do something transformational. Because you know we have this split economy, yes people are suffering, but for many of the people who didn’t lose their jobs, we have actually seen Americans’ savings go up significantly because of COVID. We couldn’t go anywhere. So when we do get to the other side of this, we’re most likely going to see a lot of hiring, a lot of jobs come back, pent up demand, and people will be spending, that’s a good thing. But while we have this bipartisan support and interest, shouldn’t we focus on how do we get people back in better jobs? Not just jobs, again, and maybe raise the minimum wage, actually put together training programs so our lowest-skill workers can get more skills and better jobs on the other side. For years we talked all about those Americans who didn’t have $400 in case of an emergency, and that played out in the last nine months and they fell into poverty. LU: Steph, you’ve just laid out exactly why Joe Biden has talked about “Build back better.” This is not about bringing the economy back to where it was before the pandemic. It’s about actually dealing with the systemic economic inequities that we’ve been dealing with for years. It’s also important to understand, yes, once the economy reopens there’s going to be this boom of spending. But also recognize that we’ve experienced changes in the economy because of the pandemic. Retail was already on a decline before the pandemic hit, this acceleration now to online buying, it’s here to stay. So there are a lot of people in these jobs, retail, travel and tourism, food, that may never come back and we need, as you say, a comprehensive job training program to make sure they get the jobs for the 21st Century. RUHLE: Use this moment for a jobs program. (…)

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