News Busters

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  • CNN Issues Insane Correction: ProBar vs. Crowbar
    by P.J. Gladnick on January 16, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    If you read Thursday's CNN article, "How a swift impeachment was born under siege," you might scratch your head in puzzlement when reading the second paragraph: California Rep. Ted Lieu was forced to evacuate his office in the Cannon Office Building as insurrectionists converged on the Capitol. Grabbing a ProBar energy bar in his office, Lieu said he and his chief of staff called the top aide to Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline while wandering the halls and asked if they could hunker down in Cicilline's office in the Rayburn House Office Building. Huh? Why would Ted Lieu wield a ProBar energy bar? Does it have some special power to hold back rioters? Well, the answer to that bizarre mention is revealed at the bottom of the story in what is perhaps one of the funniest corrections of all time: CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated that Rep. Ted Lieu grabbed a crowbar before leaving his office. He grabbed a ProBar energy bar. Ah! So that is why we have the ProBar energy bar in the story. To correct the perception that Lieu pulled out a crowbar which someone obviously misheard. Of course such a correction could not escape widespread mockery:   😆😆😆 Did someone dictate that story down the phone like in old movies? "Hold the front page! Now, take this down... Chewing nonchalantly on his pro-bar as he strolled- what? No that's PRO, P, R, O." — Ruth Ware (@RuthWareWriter) January 14, 2021 There was also this observation from the vice president of the Media Research Center, Dan Gainor: "Notice how the original of this ridiculous story depicted Rep. Lieu as a crowbar wielding hero, not as the corrected version describes as a guy so calm he grabbed an ‘organic energy chew,’" Now that CNN has corrected the story that Lieu pulled out a ProBar instead of a crowbar, shouldn't they also reveal in the interest of complete journalism in its correction whether the energy bar was strawberry or cran-raspberry?

  • Ocasio-Cortez and Her Media Ministry of Truth
    by Jeffrey Lord on January 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    So here was the headline from The New York Post: "AOC says Congress may form commission to ‘rein in’ media after Capitol riot."  Said the Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:  “There’s absolutely a commission that’s being discussed but it seems to be more investigating in style rather than truth and reconciliation,” she said. “I do think that several members of Congress in some of my discussions have brought up media literacy because that is part of what happened here,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went on. “We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” she said.  Let’s cut to the chase. The objective here is to silence the press. As so many people have quickly said, this is straight out of Orwell’s 1984 with its “Ministry of Truth.” (For more on how journalists are looking the other way at Ocasio-Cortez's shocking comments, see the MRC's Scott Whitlock.)  Yet as unerring as Orwell was with his fiction… it was fiction. But in fact, what AOC is proposing has been a regular feature of one dictatorship after another over the decades. So let’s focus on one. Over there at the “Libertarianism” site attorney David D’Amato, a policy advisor to the Future of Freedom Foundation and the Heartland Institute as well as a frequent contributor to countless conservative publications has penned a seriously relevant historical piece titled “Mussolini and the Press.” D’Amato writes this of the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, bold print for emphasis: “A gifted propagandist acutely conscious of the relationship between political power and optics, Mussolini established a High Commission for the press in the spring of 1929. Insisting that the Commission would not interfere with the freedom of the press, Mussolini’s Keeper of the Seals, Alfredo Rocco, nevertheless maintained an exception for ‘any activity contrary to the national interest,’ ‘faithfulness to the Fatherland”’ naturally assuming the position of ultimate importance.  Journalists were, like all other professions, encouraged to see their occupation as one of many forms of service to the nation, to participate actively in the education and inculcation of the Italian people. Recall that Mussolini saw himself as a revolutionary and his government as a living embodiment of transformative new ideas. The transmittal of these ideas and relatedly the cultivation of a soldierly esprit de corps was, to Mussolini’s mind, a primary responsibility of the Italian press. No such idea of adversarial journalism, of subjecting the actions of state to investigation and scrutiny, was to infect the minds of the nation’s newspaper writers and editors. Rather Mussolini contended that “Fascism requires militant journalism,” the country’s newspapers presenting themselves “as a solid bloc,” committed to “the Cause” and obscuring or outrightly burying any fact or story antithetical to it.  Even more than post‐ factum censorship, Mussolini favored this kind of proactive steering of the press, hardly subtle and clearly defining his expectations as both military and civilian leader of the people. In Fascist Italy, social and political pressures—and the resultant self‐ policing by the media—were at least as important as actual legal proscriptions, probably much more important.  Having been a writer and editor himself, Mussolini understood the power of ideas generally and the written word in particular. As early as 1923, his government had proposed comprehensive censorship legislation, and he was particularly intent on prohibiting or otherwise controlling the publications of rival political parties.  In other words? A United States congresswoman is echoing not just Orwell’s novel about a fascist Ministry of Truth. She is echoing the hard historical reality of Mussolini’s fascist “High Commission for the press” when she says “There’s absolutely a commission that’s being discussed…We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.” Also note this from the D’Amato column, where he says Mussolini’s  fascists “conducted violent raids on bookstores.” Now check this story from this week out of Portland, Oregon. Here’s the headline from Reason. "Antifa Demands Powell's Stop Selling Andy Ngo's Book, Forces Store To Close Early."  The story says this:  “Far-left activists surrounded Powell's Books in Portland on Monday and demanded the store stop selling Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, a book about antifa written by Andy Ngo. The protests forced the store to close early. Powell's announced that it would not carry the book in its physical store, though it will still be available for purchase online.” Which is to say, the attack on Powell’s bookstore is, as with AOC’s “commission” that would “rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” exactly out of the Mussolini blueprint for a fascist country. It is very safe to say that America is at a seriously dangerous moment. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, Apple and Snap are all engaged in actively banning conservatives. As James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has documented with an insider’s video of Twitter’s boss Jack Dorsey, Dorsey is making plain what is coming:  “We are focused on one account [@realDonaldTrump] right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration.” All around us are examples of this looming fascism. Over at Forbes magazine one Randall Lane, the chief content officer and editor of Forbes,  is calling for companies to refuse to hire former Trumpers, saying this:  “Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.” In other words, Lane has made a bold, quite open threat to private companies to do as Forbes says - or else. There is more of this decidedly un-American intolerance breaking out across the country.  Harvard recently removed U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Harvard graduate and Trump supporter, from the Senior Advisory Committee of its Institute of Politics. Note well that the announcement was made by the dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, one Douglas W. Elmendorf. Elmendorf clearly missed the irony of what he was doing.  The school is named for Harvard’s famous graduate, President John F. Kennedy. And all one has to do is pick up Kennedy’s first book, Why England Slept, that was written when the young JFK was a Harvard college student. As it happens, I have the book. And the book cover says JFK’s book was about “a sober and serious study of the shortcomings of democracy when confronted by the menace of totalitarianism.” Wherever he is, one suspects the late President would decidedly not approve of what was done to Stefanik using his name.) It is fact that what AOC is proposing with her Ministry of Truth, exactly as Mussolini actually did with his fascists, is a government commission to silence the press. Not good. Not good at all. Buckle in.

  • Forbes Deletes Article About Twitter as 'Worst Company on Planet Earth'
    by P.J. Gladnick on January 16, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    On the heels of Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane threatening companies that hire Trump officials, we now have that periodical politically cleansing its own website of an article critical of their beloved social media monopolist that also engages in cracking down on free speech. Such was the case on Monday when Forbes deleted an article by frequent contributor, Jim Collins, that dared to strongly criticize Twitter which is now obviously a prohibited activity.  Collins pulled no punches in his strong criticism of Twitter as you can see just from reading the title of his article, "Twitter Is The Worst Company On Planet Earth. Here’s How To Bet Against The Stock—and Deactivate Your Account." Since Forbes apparently found this to be heretical towards its increasingly woke attitude, the article was soon deleted and all that remains on the page is this message: "This page is no longer active. We regret any inconvenience." Fortunately, or unfortunately for Forbes, the source code for the page remains active so with a right and then a left click of the mouse, the taboo material remains available. Here are a few excerpts which the Forbes editors attempted to send down the memory hole: It is rare a that a public company stretches so far into the realm of abhorrent behavior, but Twitter's TWTR -6.4% actions last week revulsed me more than Union Carbide’s Bhopal, Boeing's BA -1.5% repeated failures with the 787 Max, J&J’s JILL +1.9% Tylenol scandal and really any other corporate action I have seen in my lifetime. Ouch! But Collins gets even more brutal in his Twitter critique that might have caused the Forbes editors to reach for their BP pills: For a social media platform to censor a world leader—while still giving a voice to preachers of hate like Louis Farrakhan Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and even O.J. Simpson—isn’t just wrong from a free speech perspective, it's actually terrible business. So, Twitter has shown little to no sequential growth in its user base of late (details below) but it is still valued like its Big Tech growth-y brethren. Twitter is not growing, it is shrinking, if measured versus the growth rate of the global economy, and that reduction will accelerate dramatically now that Twitter has offended every Conservative in America with its action to ban President Trump. Only fools in Congress and Big Tech apologists would think that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should apply to Twitter. It is a publisher, not a platform. Full stop. Collins then goes on to give advice on how to deactivate your Twitter account as well as how to short their stock for profit. After this he had an observation about Twitter's Jack Dorsey that might have caused whichever Forbes editor hit the delete button on the article to break his finger. The new conscious capitalism of 2021 entails fighting Big Tech censorship and the monopolistic power that those companies wield. Not only is Jack Dorsey at Twitter a revolting human stain (as proven by this Congressional testimony and takedown by Senator Ted Cruz) his company isn't that big or growing that fast—and is about to shrink. Exit question: Has Forbes sent contributor Jim Collins to their Room 101 for an interrogation session with Randall Lane?

  • Woke Bullies at This Lefty Media Site Try to Deplatform Mandalorian Star Gina Carano
    by Christian Toto on January 16, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    The film blogosphere can’t get enough of Gina Carano. That’s not a good thing for The Mandalorian star. Carano, an MMA fighter turned actress, appears to lean to the right, politically speaking. She’s questioned the accuracy of the recent election vote totals, refused to follow the trans community groupthink and spoke out for free speech. Here’s one Carano commentary her critics cite as proof she should be removed from The Mandalorian. “We need to clean up the election process so we are not left feeling the way we do today. Put laws in place that protect us against voter fraud. Investigate every state. Film the counting. Flush out the fake votes. Require ID. Make Voter Fraud end in 2020. Fix the system.” The comments drip with common sense, even if you think Voter ID laws aren’t the solution.     Her “anti-mask” comments were actually a call to arms for citizens to be wary of government overreach. “Democratic Government Leaders now recommends [sic] we all wear blindfolds along with masks so we can’t see what’s really going on.” It’s worth noting Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York shut down restaurants despite only 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases were connected to restaurant visits. On the other coast, Gov. Gavin Newsom shuttered outdoor dining while the L.A. Department of Public Health admitted the move wasn’t based on hard science. Meanwhile, a gaggle of lockdown politicians are shattering their own rules without consequence. For that she’s become regular fodder for small-to-mid-sized movie sites eager to seize on controversy for clicks. And, potentially, make sure she isn’t part of any new Mandalorian installments. Screen Rant is far bigger than most of its competition. So when the site turned on Carano recently it mattered. It did so as part of the Big Tech Purge, the effort to silence right-of-center Americans in the wake of the Capitol riots. First, the site generically listed Carano’s “sins,” a vague recap without context or specifics. There’s a good reason for it … the actual quotes aren’t as damning as the author wants you to believe. That’s called, “gaslighting.” Next, the site breathlessly reported that the actress won’t be apologizing or backing down anytime soon. We went from “She persisted” to “shut up and/or apologize” at warp speed on the Left, no? Next, Screen Rant went for the jugular … it’s time to shut her down. Not only that, but some believe [emphasis added] Carano’s statements could have had the power to do actionable harm. The recent attempted coup in Washington, D.C. illustrates how online comments can encourage violent behavior. And by discouraging her followers from wearing masks, Carano could potentially put them at risk of contracting a life-threatening disease. Even her jokes about the trans community could be seen as promoting negative stereotypes about a minority group. Despite all of this, Carano has not apologized and is still part of the cast of The Mandalorian. Nice little TV role you have there, Missy. Would be a shame if our cyber campaign made it come to a crashing halt. Of course, if Carano shared progressive talking points on social media, even ones with violent rhetoric, Screen Rant would be standing down right now. Like every other entertainment news site, Screen Rant lets the most unhinged celebrities slide when they share hate online. Quick, show us the Screen Rant editorial blasting Mark Hamill for attacking First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her family when she cursed out her clan for daring to heart “Star Wars.” What about when geek god Joss Whedon weaponized cancer-stricken teens against Rep. Paul Ryan? We’ll wait. Stars have done, and said, far far worse and Screen Rant stands down like every other web site. And we all know why. One of Screen Rant’s readers said the obvious in the comments section: You are really desperate to cancel Gina Carano, aren´t you? Keep trying, and keep crying. The sentiment is refreshing, but given how the Woke Mob runs both Hollywood and much of American culture, Carano’s days on The Mandalorian could soon be over [Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]

  • INCITEMENT: Alec Baldwin Wanted to ‘Stone’ Republicans, ‘Kill Their Wives and Children’
    by Scott Whitlock on January 16, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    This week, Americans across the country, and politicians of both parties stood up to condemn the pro-Trump mob who stormed the Capitol, as well as those who incited them. So it’s worth remembering the liberal hypocrisy of people like Alec Baldwin. The Hollywood celebrity is in no position to offer moral lecturing.  Baldwin appeared on the December 11, 1998 Late Night With Conan O’Brien and worked himself into a “joking” rage about the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the Republicans supporting it. Here, in all its ignominy, is what the actor told O’Brien:      I am thinking to myself in other countries they are laughing at us 24 hours a day and I’m thinking to myself if we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, [starts to shout] all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone [House Republican] Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families! [stands up screaming] What is happening in this country? What is happening? UGHHH UGHHH!!!!” “We’d stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and children.” Do you buy Baldwin’s later claims that he was joking? (In 2017, he snarled, “But all your gutless weasels in the GOP insisted I actually threatened Hyde.") Even if he was, what kind of "humor" was that? And what if some deranged leftist followed through on the actor’s dangerous verbal assault on Republicans and their families?  We all need to be accountable for our actions and statements. That includes Hollywood liberals. Society needs to remember the contemptible Alec Baldwin's dangerous talk.   For more examples from our FLASHBACK series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here. Here’s a partial transcript of Baldwin on Conan O’Brien. Click "expand" to read more.  Late Night With Conan O’Brien 12/11/1998 CONAN O'BRIEN:  Before we leave, I gotta ask you. It's no secret that you are very political. You are a very political person. It's no secret that you have actually had some associations with the Clintons. That you're a liberal man and I thought you know today, this is a historic day and you're one of the most politically active actors out there. What do you think? ALEC BALDWIN: I was in Africa. I go to Africa. I mean ladies and gentlemen I am in Africa. For three months I am in the bush and I come back. I come back here and I come back to what? I mean what is happening right now as we speak? Right now the Judiciary Committee, the President has an approval rating of 68 percent. The President is very popular and things are going pretty good and they are voting to impeach the President. They voted on one article of impeachment already. I come back from Africa to stained dresses and cigars and this and impeachment. I am thinking to myself in other countries they are laughing at us 24 hours a day and I’m thinking to myself if we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, [starts to shout] all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families! [stands up screaming]