News Busters

About This News Site – Welcome to NewsBusters, a project of the Media Research Center (MRC), America’s leading media watchdog in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.

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  • NewsBusters Podcast: A 'Brutal Payback' for the Trump Raid?
    by Tim Graham on August 12, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Attorney General Merrick Garland kept reporters and TV networks waiting (and filling air time) for more than a half-hour before he came out and made a brief statement and took no questions from reporters. It was not a demonstration of transparency after this unprecedented step of the FBI raiding the home of a former president like he was a criminal.  The networks tried to present Garland as reasonable and nonpartisan -- insisting of course, he must have a good reason for this raid. Then an ABC reporter turned to frighten the public with neo-Nazis ripping Garland on message boards -- he's Jewish -- and seemingly associated all Garland's critics with the worst extremists.  Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel predicts that if Republicans take Congress, "The Payback Will Be Brutal." She wrote "to read the left’s media scribes, Monday’s search was a ho-hum day in crime-fighting. The Beltway press circled the wagons around Attorney General Merrick Garland and primly parroted Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s piety that “no one is above the law.” Democrats may be betting that adverse coverage of Mr. Trump will help them in November, or in 2024. They’d better hope so. Their media defenders recklessly ignore the boomerang history of unleashed governmental powers and the long-term political danger of violating precedents and norms. We wrap today by taking a minute to talk to our departing summer news-analyzing interns Margaret Buckley, Aidan Moorehouse, and Emma Schultz. Our interns dig right into "news-busting," and these young people make us feel optimistic about the future. Enjoy the podcast below, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.   

  • MSNBC Guest Calls GOP Behavior 'Treasonous,' Forgets to Call Out Liberal Violence
    by Margaret Buckley on August 12, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    On Friday, Morning Joe made everyone wish they had just stayed in bed by having New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay come on the show. Her dangerous anti-Republican rhetoric included calling the Republican Party’s behavior in the wake of the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago “treasonous” and “stomach churning.” Gay lectured viewers: “Patriotism is not simply about waving a flag, it is actually about doing the right thing and the hard thing to defend the country, even when it means holding your own party accountable.”     She then labeled “seeing the democracy denigrated” as “stomach churning,” further accusing Republicans and other right-wingers of “creating an environment of political violence.” She even thought it would be important to bring up the fact that it was also “the anniversary of Charlottesville” the previous day.  “They are putting Americans at risk,” she warned the audience, “not only FBI agents, but any American or anybody really who is seen as the target of the far right.” According to Gay, what these evil-doing Republicans are doing “has historical precedent,” despite her clarifying “I'm not a historian, I’m not—I don't feel qualified to talk about,” saying it dates back to the Civil War. It looks like she needs to go back to elementary-level history class, because the Civil War era was a much worse time in terms of racism. Even after the slaves were thankfully freed, they still had to struggle to get equal rights, so civil rights had come a long way since then. But she is too cooped up in her lefty bubble to use her critical thinking skills. She added that “what they're doing is telling a story that the true Americans are Trump supporters, everybody else is the enemy,” saying that once again, “it is very scary and it is very serious and it is treasonous behavior in my view.” Gay conveniently forgot the attempted assassination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier this summer, the terrorist attacks against pro-life centers across the country, and the attempted assassination of multiple Republican members of Congress a few years ago by an avid MSNBC viewer (just to name a few). Once she and Joe Scarborough address every single crazy act of violence that the side they cater to has done, maybe then they can talk about accountability. This example of eye-rolling leftist hypocrisy was made possible by HughesNet and The Farmer's Dog. Click "expand" for the full transcript of this lecture. MSNBC’s Morning Joe August 12, 2022 9:18:39 a.m. Eastern MARA GAY: It is remarkable, Joe. You know, I'm old enough to remember a time in which the Republican Party wrapped itself in the flag and at least stood up for those values that the flag represented in its own vision. You know—patriotism is not simply about waving a flag, it is actually about doing the right thing and the hard thing to defend the country, even when it means holding your own party accountable.  And so this is really when we find out, you know, who the patriots are, and you know— this behavior is treasonous. And, on top of that, it is not just the principle of seeing the democracy denigrated that is so upsetting and deeply just stomach churning, it is also the fact that these Republicans and others are creating an environment of political violence. Yesterday, we already saw just an inkling of what is possible when somebody tried to breach the FBI field office in Ohio.  And this is not the first time, obviously yesterday was also the anniversary of Charlottesville, so this is a very dangerous environment that they're creating. They are putting Americans at risk, not only FBI agents, but any American or anybody really who is seen as the target of the far right. And so, that could really be anybody.  And I think it is also important because what they're doing is telling a story that the true Americans are Trump supporters, everybody else is the enemy. So, it is very dangerous. It has historical precedent but you know—I'm not a historian, I’m not—I don't feel qualified to talk about, but that dates back to the Civil War. It is very scary and it is very serious and it is treasonous behavior in my view. 

  • Pulling Out: Jeffrey Toobin Finishes Tenure in CNN, Sticking Book Together
    by Nicholas Fondacaro on August 12, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    CNN masturbation expert and chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin announced he was leaving the third-place network on Twitter Friday afternoon, a little over a year after his return following his suspension due to a sticky situation he got himself into at The New Yorker during a zoom meeting. And he announced he’ll be writing another book. “Friends, I’ve decided that, after 20 years, I’m leaving [CNN] after my vacation. Was great to spend my last day on air with pals Wolf, Anderson and Don. Love all my former colleagues. Watch for my next book, about the Oklahoma City bombing, coming in 2023 from [Simon & Schuster],” he explained in the tweet (with comments wisely turned off).   Friends, I’ve decided that, after 20 years, I’m leaving @cnn after my vacation. Was great to spend my last day on air with pals Wolf, Anderson and Don. Love all my former colleagues. Watch for my next book, about the Oklahoma City bombing, coming in 2023 from @simonandschuster — Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) August 12, 2022   Toobin’s sudden departure came 14 months after his awkward return to the network, where he made CNN Newsroom host Alisyn Camerota explain to the audience that he was suspended for nearly nine months because he masturbated during a Zoom call with journalist colleagues: CAMEROTA: It’s been awhile. TOOBIN: It has been awhile indeed. CAMEROTA: I feel like we should address what's happened in the months since we've seen you, since some of our viewers may not know what has happened, so I guess I'll recap. I'll do the honors. TOOBIN: Help yourself. CAMEROTA: Okay. In October, you were on a Zoom call with your colleagues from The New Yorker magazine. Everyone took a break for several minutes, during which time you were caught masturbating on camera. You were subsequently fired from that job after 27 years of working there, and you since then have been on leave from CNN. Do I have all that right? TOOBIN: You’ve got it all right. Sad to say. In the little more than a year since he’s been back on CNN, Toobin made sure to leave a mark of his presence. When Democrats attempted a federal takeover of state elections systems and the filibuster was all that was standing in the way, Toobin argued in favor of Democrats by suggesting “this is life and death for the democracy.” During the confirmation hearings for new liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Toobin decried Republican focus on her child porn rulings. “You have a judge here who has been on the bench for ten years almost. And we had the entire half-hour of Senator Hawley's question about a single case where he got to recite the grisly details of and say pedophilia over and over again. This is about appealing to the QAnon audience,” he asserted at the time. Toobin peaked when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In some of his analyses, he raged at originalism: The originalists are winning. And they won yesterday, at least that's how Justice Thomas raised his opinion in the guns case. But, you know, again, it depends how cynical you are about how the Supreme Court works. Some justices want to reach one result or reach another result and find a justification. Abortion is an issue near and dear to Toobin. He once knocked up Casey Greenfield, the daughter to his former CNN colleague Jeff Greenfield and tried to pressure her into getting an abortion. He then had to be dragged into court and ordered to make child support payments. He will not be missed.

  • NewsGuard Advisor Seems to Agree Trump Should Be Executed for Allegedly Having Nuke Docs
    by Catherine Salgado and Joseph Vazquez on August 12, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    A former CIA director and NewsGuard advisor yesterday seemingly promoted the execution of former President Donald Trump on Twitter. A Washington Post “exclusive” released Aug. 11 speculated that the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Fla., estate to locate alleged missing nuclear documents. NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted shortly after the “exclusive” was released that the “Rosenbergs were convicted for giving U.S. nuclear secrets to Moscow, and were executed June 1953.”  Retired Gen. Michael Hayden quote-tweeted Beschloss’s post with the comment, “Sounds about right.”  Washington Examiner Justice Department reporter Jerry Dunleavy blasted Hayden and Beschloss for their apparent flirtation with killing a former president. “NBD just a former NSA & CIA Director (who also was among the dozens of ex-intel officials who signed the infamous October 2020 Hunter Biden laptop letter) out here suggesting that Trump should be executed,” Dunleavy tweeted. Hayden is listed as an “advisor” for leftist online “credibility” arbiter NewsGuard.    Sounds about right. https://t.co/hJCjxhN2BQ — Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) August 12, 2022   The former CIA director has a history of spouting insanity. Hayden went on emotional rants on CNN in October 2020 against then-President Donald Trump. In 2018, Hayden compared the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal immigration to the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz. NewsGuard claims to give news outlets and websites red or green ratings based on the supposed “credibility” of the sites’ content. But MRC Free Speech America has found on multiple occasions that NewsGuard is nothing but a rubber stamp of approval for leftist media.   In February, NewsGuard co-CEO Steven Brill painted his company as a sort of white knight that can save impressionable dupes from repeating another Jan. 6 “insurrection,” and asserted Fox News and OANN traffic in conspiracy theories. “Imagine if we watched the Moon Landing,” Brill opined. “Today, you would have, whether it was Fox or OANN or something like that, they would say, ‘It is a fraud. Biden did not really achieve that.’” Brill also became notorious for calling the now-verified Hunter Biden laptop scandal a “hoax" even as his firm doled out perfect 100/100 scores to liberal media outlets that tried to cast the whole story as Russian disinformation. An MRC study found that outlets classified as “left” or “lean left” by AllSides received an average NewsGuard score of 93/100. Sites considered “right” or “lean right” by AllSides had an average NewsGuard rating of 66/100. NewsGuard has even rated several Chinese state-run media outlets higher than U.S. media outlets OANN, Newsmax and LifeNews. MRC Free Speech America reached out to NewsGuard for comment but received no response as of the publication of this story. Conservatives are under attack. Contact NewsGuard General Manager Matt Skibinski matt.skibinski@newsguardtech.com and demand the firm release a statement on Hayden’s sordid tweet seemingly promoting the execution of a former president.

  • You Love to See it: Brianna Keilar takes KJP to Task Over Inflation Reduction Act
    by Aidan Moorehouse on August 12, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    In an unexpected but not unwelcome act of journalism on Friday morning, CNN anchor and New Day co-host Brianna Keilar pushed back on White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s misleading answers about the Inflation Reduction Act. Keilar began with the simple question of whether or not the White House is confident all Democrats in the House will vote for the bill. Jean-Pierre said “we are confident” about Pelosi’s ability to whip her caucus to vote for the bill, but not before misspeaking and calling the Inflation Reduction Act a “really critical, important anti-inflammation bill out of the Senate.”     Jean-Pierre then gushed about the contents of the bill, particularly the climate and healthcare provisions:  If you look at what it's going to do for climate change, there's been special interest groups — again, for 30 years, those climate deniers — who have stopped, who have tried to stop us for putting in significant investments like clean and — for a clean energy future, for our clean — for clean energy jobs. This is going to do that. And also, continue those ACA premiums so we keep — keep lowering costs — uh, for healthcare for Americans. So this is a win. But Keilar didn’t uncritically accept Jean-Pierre’s boilerplate rhetoric at face value, retorting, “How does it bring it down right now, though?” A little unsteadied by this challenge, Jean-Pierre replied, “So for — uh, ACA, those premiums, those 800 — about average about $800 dollars a month savings — uh, for Americans, that's going to continue.” A clearly skeptical Keilar asked, “They're going to feel that right away?” and pressed her for a more specific timetable when Jean-Pierre repeated her first question in the affirmative. Clearly shaken at this point, Jean-Pierre made the generalized assertion that, “Uh, well, let's get this bill passed and then we’ll see how the mechanics and all of that’s going to work through,” but did specify that the price of prescription drugs would be lowered, “earlier in the year next year.” Showing she had done her homework, Keilar pointed out, “But the actual phase-in will be many years later,” and, “I don't think people should be expecting on — on their drug prices that that's going to kick in here.” Nevertheless, Jean-Pierre doubled down, claiming, “Well, they're gonna put the first ten pieces, the — the first — uh, ten — um, medication out there, right, to start the process so they can start negotiating the lowering costs.” Over Jean-Pierre’s objections, Keilar pointed out some key missing details: KEILAR: That's 2026?  JEAN-PIERRE: No, no. Wait. KEILAR: Isn't it? For the first ten —  JEAN-PIERRE: Well —  KEILAR: — and then the additional ones phasing into —   JEAN-PIERRE: Well — KEILAR: — 2029? Perhaps feeling pity for the Press Secretary, Keilar ordered the fact barrage to cease, generously conceding, “I think we have different — maybe some different — uh, timeline reference points on that,” and the final few minutes of the interview were non-confrontational. It isn’t often that CNN hosts push back hard against Democratic talking points, so NewsBusters likes to highlight it when they do. Kudos to Keilar for a tough but not obnoxiously aggressive interview. This unexpected act of journalism was made possible by Volkswagen and Sleep Number. Their contact information is linked. Click “Expand” to see the relevant transcript. CNN’s New Day 08/12/22 6:42:32 AM ET BRIANNA KEILAR: The House is voting on the Inflation Reduction Act today. Uh, do you think that you have all Democrats?  KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Well look, first, let me just — uh, just — we're grateful and congratulate Senator Schumer and — uh, Senator Manchin for getting — uh, this really critical, important anti-inflammation bill out of the Senate. Now it's in the Speaker's hands. We know that — uh, she is very ept to get this through with her leadership. So we are confident. And we have been involved in helping in any way that we can to make sure that it gets through.  The thing that I want to say about this piece of legislation, it is a win. It is a huge win for the American people. If you think about, Brianna, the last 30 years, and how special interest groups, wealthy special interest group has — has tried to stop negotiating Medicare so that we can bring prices down. This bill is going to bring prices down for the American people as you look at — uh — uh, drugs and pharmaceutical drugs, especially for your seniors.  If you look at what it's going to do for climate change, there's been special interest groups — again, for 30 years, those climate deniers — who have stopped, who have tried to stop us for putting in significant investments like clean and — for a clean energy future, for our clean — for clean energy jobs. This is going to do that. And also, continue those ACA premiums so we keep — keep lowering costs — uh, for healthcare for Americans. So this is a win. KEILAR: How does it bring it down right now, though? In for — JEAN-PIERRE: So —  KEILAR: — Americans need it right now.  JEAN-PIERRE: So for — uh, ACA, those premiums, those 800 — about average about $800 dollars a month savings — uh, for Americans, that's going to continue. Uh, that is something that we were fighting for for the past year. And so you'll have that.  When you think about the energy costs and utility bills because of the investments that we're making, that's going to — they're going to feel that —  KEILAR: But that's not — JEAN-PIERRE: — right away.  KEILAR: They're going to feel that right away? JEAN-PIERRE: They're going to feel that right away.  KEILAR: How soon? JEAN-PIERRE: Uh, well, let's get this bill passed and then we’ll see how the mechanics and all of that’s going to work through. But those are things specifically that the Americans are gonna feel right away —  KEILAR: You —  JEAN-PIERRE: — when it comes to lowering prescription drugs, that’ll be — uh, earlier in the year next year.  KEILAR: When it comes to lowering prescription drugs?  JEAN-PIERRE: Right. Because that's something that Medicare has to negotiate. So that’s gonna be a process and that’s gonna come at —  KEILAR: But the actual phase-in will be many years later. Just to be clear on the —  JEAN-PIERRE: Well it’s gonna be —  KEILAR: — negotiation on the highest-priced drugs.  JEAN-PIERRE: Right. That's exactly right. But the process starts early next year. But look, this is a big —  KEILAR: I just — I just want to be clear, I don't think people should be expecting on — on their drug prices that that's going to kick in here.  JEAN-PIERRE: Well, they're gonna put the first ten pieces, the — the first — uh, ten — um, medication out there, right, to start the process so they can start negotiating the lowering costs. But the point that I'm making is that this is an investment —  KEILAR: That's 2026?  JEAN-PIERRE: No, no. Wait. KEILAR: Isn't it? For the first ten —  JEAN-PIERRE: Well —  KEILAR: — and then the additional ones phasing into —   JEAN-PIERRE: Well — KEILAR: — 2029? JEAN-PIERRE: Well, here’s — the point that I'm making here is they're going to see energy costs, utility bills, that’s gonna come down.  KEILAR: Okay —  JEAN-PIERRE: They’re going —  KEILAR: I guess — JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no, wait, wait —  KEILAR: — I was trying to speak about the immediate impacts. But I do want to ask you —  JEAN-PIERRE: But those are the immediate impacts. When you think about utility bills —  KEILAR: I was — I — I’m talking about here in the coming months, just to be —  JEAN-PIERRE: I —  KEILAR: — I think we have different — maybe some different — uh, timeline reference points on that.  JEAN-PIERRE: No. KEILAR: But I — I — JEAN-PIERRE: But you're asking me about immediate — immediate impact. I'm talking about the energy costs. That’s gonna be immediate. I'm talking about the ACA, the Affordable Care Act. Those premiums, that’s going to continue. That's going to lower costs for 13 million Americans. 13 million Americans. That matters.  KEILAR: Continuing to keep —  JEAN-PIERRE: Right. KEILAR: — to keep those.  JEAN-PIERRE: Right. But remember that was not going to happen without — KEILAR: That's right. It would have —  JEAN-PIERRE: Exactly. KEILAR: — it would have increased just to be clear.  JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah. That's a continuation. That's important to 13 million —  KEILAR: Yes. JEAN-PIERRE: — Americans.  KEILAR: No, certainly. They don't want rising cost —  JEAN-PIERRE: Exactly. KEILAR: — in the middle of all this.  JEAN-PIERRE: So that — so that totally matters. And let's not forget, there's been gas prices that we have seen come down every day this summer — KEILAR: Yeah. JEAN-PIERRE: — and that has been the work of the American people as well. (...)