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Tag Archives: Media Bias


Corporate Media Celebrates The Exponential Rise Of The Transgender Craze It Helped Create

From glossy magazine covers to sit-down Sunday show interviews, the corporate media is complicit in composing the transgender narrative.

By Casey ChalkThe Federalist

Vanity Fair magazine cover with transgender on the cover
MIKE MOZART/CC BY 2.0

According to a Gallup poll released earlier this year, the percentage of American adults self-identifying as something other than heterosexual has increased to 7.1 percent, double the percentage from 2012, when Gallup first measured this statistic. Almost 21 percent of Generation Z (young adults born between 1997 and 2003) identify as LGBT. When compared to the baby boomer generation, the percentage of Americans identifying as transgender has risen twentyfold, as Ross Douthat recently observed in The New York Times.

Plenty of outlets reported on this remarkable development. The tenor of corporate media commentary has been widely celebratory — surely this must mean that people finally feel comfortable truly inhabiting their own skin. What we are witnessing, they say, is the flowering of trans life. Yet is it really that simple?

Media Makes the Shift

In truth, the media have been aggressively fueling the trans craze for years. When Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine, it attracted extensive national media coverage. Indeed, Cox was also the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. And Glamour named Cox “Woman of the Year.”

When Bruce Jenner the following year announced on “20/20” his new trans image under the name Caitlyn, the interview received 20.7 million viewers, which made it television’s “highest-ever rated newsmagazine telecast among adults 18–49 and adults 25–54. Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, won the Social Media Queen award at the Teen Choice Awards, and was named one of Glamour’s 25 Women of the Year, the magazine calling her a “Trans Champion.”

In short order, the entire journalist profession pushed trans ideology. In March 2017, the AP changed its stylebook, embracing “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun. The Washington Post began running regular public interest pro-trans stories, often on the front page.

Since 2014, the WaPo alone has run approximately 1,160 articles and opinions on transgenderism. It has run only 597 articles or opinions on Native Americans during that same time period. Over that same time period, The New York Times’ numbers are even higher, at almost 8,000 unreservedly positive news stories and opinion pieces on transgenderism.

The Silencing of Alternative Views

Coupled with this media fervor was a silencing of alternative views. When a 2018 study was published by a then-assistant professor of the practice at the Brown University School of Public Health indicating that social factors might be one causal factor in the dramatic increase in gender dysphoria among our nation’s youth, academics, medical professionals, and journalists quickly attacked the research.

Slate labeled it “poorly designed” and “marred by errors and omissions.” Due to such pressure, Brown sought to distance itself from the study and publicized that corrections and revisions were made to downplay the role of social factors in the rise of gender dysphoria. The study’s findings are now widely criticized as “harmful” to LGBT persons.

The same thing happened when University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus dared to publish research demonstrating that across a multitude of factors, children of gay parents fared worse than children raised by married opposite-sex parents. Academics published articles repudiating Regnerus’s research, and prominent outlets like the Washington Post noted that Regnerus “has been the subject of intense criticism from mainstream researchers.” UT Austin launched “an inquiry to determine whether a formal investigation is needed,” although the university ultimately found no plausible grounds for an investigation and closed the inquiry.

Most recently, and perhaps most famously, Abigail Shrier’s book “Irreversible Damage” about the negative effects of gender dysphoria on prepubescent and adolescent girls was pilloried by leftist media, and removed by booksellers for its “dangerous” content. Before her, scholar Ryan T. Anderson’s “When Harry Became Sally” was delisted from Amazon.

In other words, any scientific data that undermines the narrative of an increasingly tolerant society that has enabled the sexual and gender liberation of an entire generation will be summarily denounced as erroneous and bigoted. Few sociologists or psychologists today would dare to conduct research that might suggest otherwise. Presumably, any data that doesn’t fit the faux consensus is simply ignored by researchers, if not permanently deleted.

Narrow, Permitted Concern About the Transdemic

Corporate media have recently permitted only a select group of persons to express heavily caveated concerns about this massive social shift. In April, The Washington Post featured an op-ed by trans person Corinna Cohn, who was given the freedom to explain that the destruction of his gonads “introduced a different type of bondage,” and that since his surgery, he has become a “medical patient and will remain one for the rest of my life.” The WaPo even gave him permission to bemoan the distorting influences of social media on teenagers and “how readily authority figures facilitate transition.”

The Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Erica Anderson, a trans person and former clinical psychologist at the University of California San Francisco’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic, “who has helped hundreds of teenagers transition.” Anderson expressed concern with the recent spike in gender dysphoria among American youth, saying “I think it’s gone too far.”

Separately, in 2018, Anderson told the WaPo of fears that many kids were experimenting with different gender identities because it was “trendy” and often motivated by peer pressure. “To flatly say there couldn’t be any social influence in formation of gender identity flies in the face of reality. Teenagers influence each other,” Anderson declared.

Blaming the Youth Trans Craze

Missing so far in the media’s patently biased and circumscribed willingness to acknowledge that perhaps this is more than just the utopian realization of the sexual revolution is an admission of their complicity in facilitating this reality. For more than a decade corporate media endlessly and unequivocally advocated this narrative — publishing heaps of human interest stories and sympathetic op-eds on the plight of transgender youth.

This includes coverage of trans student Gavin Grimm, whose battle with a local school board over its bathroom policy went all the way to the Supreme Court, and Lia Thomas, the trans swimmer who earlier this year won a Division I NCAA women’s national swimming title. After Thomas won, NBC was caught editing photos of Thomas in their coverage to make the swimmer look less masculine.

The message from leftist corporate media has been suffocatingly consistent: “Encourage and support your child in their exploration of their gender identity.” Never has it been: “Perhaps this isn’t a good idea” or “take it slow” or “maybe she’s just a tomboy.”

No, the media steamrolled over dissenters and irresponsibly urged parents and educators to accept and even promote this mental health pandemic. It labeled as bigots and transphobes any who resisted and permitted only one narrative to be disseminated: absolute, uncontested celebration of heightened incidence rates of transgenderism among American youth.

Social Pressure Works

And my, has that messaging campaign been successful. There are now “300 clinics that prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children in North America.” Only six years ago, in 2016 there were fewer than 50, and less than a decade ago in 2013 there were only a handful. In 2007, there were only two pediatric gender clinics in the entire United States — one in New York and one in Washington, D.C. Today there are dozens across the nation.

The sex reassignment surgery industry has experienced remarkable growth, and is slated to witness still more over the next five years. Big pharma is making quite a bit of money from the trans boom. The transgender industrial complex is a growth market!

Yet one finds few, if any, stories in corporate media examining this unhealthy alliance between gender ideology activists and woke capitalism. Might this have something to do with the fact that many journalists are complicit in promoting trans activism among our nation’s youth?

As media outlets return to this story, they should take a good, hard look in the mirror. For it is them, not conservative politicians trying to curb the influence of this crisis, who should be censured for harming American youth. Moreover, as many of these gender-dysphoric youth mature over the next few decades into physically, emotionally, and psychologically damaged and broken adults wondering what happened to them, they should cast a suspicious eye on the journalists and media outlets who helped engineer this public catastrophe.


Mainstream media’s ‘independent fact-checkers’ are in lockstep and they always tilt left, never right

Checking liberals and Democrats is apparently not listed among their job duties

By Tim GrahamFox News

Now that the Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings are complete, we have collected another fascinating exhibit of the leftist tilt of “independent fact-checkers.” Just try to find a single fact check on anything Jackson said. Try to find a single evaluation of any statement by a Democratic politician touting Jackson — from President Joe Biden to Dick Durbin and on down.

Checking liberals and Democrats is apparently not listed among their job duties.

On March 28, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates addressed Jackson’s qualifications. Bates claimed what speaks to the strength of her public record “is the multitude of fact checks from the press, from retired judges and from former prosecutors who have dismantled attacks brought by a small group of GOP senators.”

“Dismantling” Republican critiques is the job of the Fact Check community? That’s what it looks like.

Bates applauded the nation’s largest Democrat rags for their efforts. He touted The Washington Post Fact Checker article by Glenn Kessler titled “These Trump Judges Failed Hawley’s Sentencing Test for Jackson.” He also cited New York Times fact-checker Linda Qiu’s article, titled “Critics of Jackson’s Child Sex Abuse Sentences Backed Judges with Similar Records.”

FILE --The Washington Post has published at least 18 negative opinion headlines about Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in roughly three weeks and an editorial cartoon even portrayed him in a "dunce" cap. 

FILE –The Washington Post has published at least 18 negative opinion headlines about Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in roughly three weeks and an editorial cartoon even portrayed him in a “dunce” cap.  (ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden press aide correctly noted, “This was all on top of a raft of other fact checks already establishing that the basis of these criticisms was dishonest.” Democrats can float on a raft of “fact checks” attempting to censor or downgrade the reach of Republicans.

The targeting tilt was unanimous.

The Associated Press team offered three “checks” with a self-evident aggression: “Republicans twist Jackson’s judicial record,” “Republicans skew Jackson’s record on crime” and “Senators misrepresent Jackson on abortion.” Why they left “Republican” out of the third one is anyone’s guess.

  • nextImage 1 of 3FILE – -Ketanji Brown Jackson, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court nominee for U.S. President Joe Biden, departs a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Photographer: Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Reuters offered two “fact checks” defending Jackson, claiming that it was “missing context” when she attacked loud anti-abortion protesters and that it was “misleading” to say she accused President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld of being “war criminals” when she complained terror suspects were tortured at Guantanamo.

CNN’s Daniel Dale offered one fact check on the “war criminals” complaint.

FactCheck.com offered three “checks” that energetically explained why Jackson was unfairly maligned, including her views on critical race theory.

Snopes.com wondered, “Was Ketanji Brown Jackson Drama Scene Partners with Matt Damon in College?” The verdict was “Research In Progress,” which shows you Snopes wants the clickbait before the research is even completed. That’s not a fact check at all.

It’s absolutely shocking that Bates didn’t bask in the glow of PolitiFact. Since March 22, these transparently partisan servants offered eight “fact checks” attacking conservatives and Republicans in defense of Jackson.

Add to that one bizarre attack on a Trump fan on Facebook with 2,700 friends. He was ruled “False” when he claimed the Kavanaugh hearings drew more live coverage than the Jackson hearings. That is “True,” and PolitiFact is “False.” Once they started throwing around shoddy rape claims, “The Price Is Right” and “The View” had to take a hike.

This is why Jacob Siegel of Tablet magazine proclaimed, “America’s new public-private ‘Ministry of Truth’ mainly serves the interests of the tech platforms and Democratic Party operatives who underwrite and support the fact-checking enterprise. This, in turn, convinces large numbers of normal Americans that the officially sanctioned news product they receive is an ass-covering con job.”


The Sudden Biden Epiphany at the Washington Post

By Tim GrahamTownhall

The Sudden Biden Epiphany at the Washington Post
Source: New York Post

Just when you thought the Hunter Biden scandals had died in darkness, The Washington Post published more than 6,300 words on March 30 admitting that a notable fraction of his laptop contents was authentic.

Why now? Why not last year? Why did liberal outlets act like everyone expressing concern about Biden was a Trump-adoring kook? We reported at NewsBusters that the broadcast network morning and evening newscasts went 260 days without mentioning Biden. (And it was more like 11 months of silence at ABC.) These were the same networks that frantically obsessed over one brief and failed meeting Donald Trump Jr. hosted in Trump Tower in 2016 to discuss negative information on Hillary Clinton.

The one consistent thread in the liberal media’s approach was the notion that all attempts to dig up negative information on Democrats during a campaign are a scandal. But all attempts to dig up negative information on Republicans during a campaign are always the best and the brightest journalism one could find.

Suddenly, the Post reported that Steve Bannon associate Jack Maxey had given the Post a hard drive from Biden’s laptop contents in June of last year. Maxey told the London Daily Mail that the Post accidentally deleted it, and he provided it again in October of 2021. So, it looks like they weren’t overly eager to confirm the documents, certainly not in the way they confirmed the Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” tape contents in one afternoon.

The Post is also very late to acknowledge the truth in a report from Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson in 2020 on the Biden family’s secretive deals in Communist China. We’re now told that “a Washington Post review confirmed many of the key details and found additional documents showing Biden family interactions with Chinese executives.”

Over the course of 14 months, the Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC China Energy and its executives paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden. How many news anchors have talked about James Biden?

This bundle included a $1 million retainer for Hunter Biden to represent Patrick Ho, a shady CEFC official who was under investigation for a multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe leaders from Chad and Uganda. Ho was later convicted, but the Post reported that Hunter Biden “appeared to have little role representing Ho in the federal case.” So, why the million bucks?

But back in September of 2020, the Post sounded like a partisan bulletin board on this report. It began one story by reporting Grassley and Johnson “revived attacks” on Joe Biden’s son and “argued his position with a Ukrainian energy company was ‘problematic,’ but the report did not show that it influenced the then-vice president’s behavior or changed the Obama administration’s policy toward Ukraine.”

They don’t use this “no proof” standard as they obsess over every leak from the Jan. 6 congressional kangaroo court. The Post sounds like a prosecutor when they report on Trump scandals, and they have routinely sounded like defense lawyers on the Biden family buck-raking.

The obvious gossip about why the Post and the New York Times would suddenly accept and confirm the reality of Hunter Biden’s laptop is because they’ve heard that the Justice Department has confirmed its reality, and they don’t want to look ridiculous if federal charges are lobbed in the probe of Hunter Biden’s finances. But maybe, just maybe, these papers ought to grant the New York Post some respect for what they reported as reality in real time.


4 Big Takeaways From The New York Times’s Attempt To Control The Hunter Biden Narrative

A closer look at The New York Times’ reporting on Hunter Biden shows Biden’s team may be laying the groundwork ahead of an even bigger story.

By Margot ClevelandThe Federalist

hunter biden talks on late night show
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE

Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported on the continuing criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, and in doing so finally acknowledged the emails recovered from the laptop abandoned at a Delaware repair shop were authentic. Since then, much of the media’s coverage has focused on the corrupt press’ burying of the laptop scandal The New York Post broke shortly before the 2020 election.

There is much more to be gleaned from the Times’s article, though, including these four takeaways.

1. If the Laptop Is Legit, So Are the Scandals the Laptop Exposed

The first key takeaway from The New York Times article concerns what it means for the scandals spawned by the October 2020 release of the emails and text messages contained on Hunter Biden’s MacBook. The supposed standard-bearers of journalism ignored those scandals for the last year-and-a-half by framing the material “Russian disinformation.”

Now that the Times has acknowledged that the Biden-related emails and other documents recovered from the abandoned laptop are authentic, that means the scandals they exposed are also legitimate. As summarized at The Federalist here, there are eight Joe Biden scandals that deserve investigation.

2. The Times’s Record of ‘Getting Ahead of the Story’ Suggests More Developments Are Coming

Beyond what Wednesday’s article on Hunter Biden means more broadly related to the scandals exposed by the abandoned MacBook, the substance of the Times’s coverage suggests a huge story about the president’s son is about to break. Here, it is helpful to remember that the Times is the newspaper of record for stories needed to soften the landing for Democrats embroiled in scandal. In this case, the tells are all there that the Times is offering an assist to the Bidens by getting ahead of the story to come.

Just as Press Secretary Jen Psaki smooths her copper coif before dropping a doozy, the Times alerts observant readers to the real story when it identifies its source for information harmful to a Democrat as a “person familiar with the investigation.” The Times used that technique ten times in its coverage of the Hunter Biden case.

Another sure give-away is the Times’s burying of the lede. That is an understatement of what the Old Grey Lady did when it titled its coverage of the investigation into Hunter Biden as “Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Broad Federal Investigation Continues.” The article then opened with:

In the year after he disclosed a federal investigation into his ‘tax affairs’ in late 2020, President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, paid off a significant tax liability, even as a grand jury continued to gather evidence in a wide-ranging examination of his international business dealings, according to people familiar with the case.

With a proper title, such as, “Prosecutors Find Evidence Hunter Profited by Selling Access to Vice-President Father,” serious reporting would open by alerting the audience to damning evidence accumulated by federal prosecutors that suggests Hunter Biden criminally profited from his dad’s position as Barack Obama’s vice president.

The Times’s tactic of preemptively providing defenses to hypothetical criminal charges should also alert readers to the inevitability of an indictment against Hunter. For more on the preemptive defense of Hunter see point 4 below.

3. Prosecutors are Investigating Some Serious Stuff

So, what might those inevitable charges be? Of course, it is impossible to know for sure unless and until an indictment drops, but it is inconceivable that the Times would air the Biden family’s dirty laundry unless the reporters believed the entire household hamper was soon to be dumped in the middle of town.

Revisiting the Times’s article from last week, then, with the premise that the reporting seeks to “get ahead of the story,” suggests federal prosecutors may have some serious charges in mind for the president’s son. Tax evasion seems the most likely charge Hunter will face, given that the Times reported that the president’s son paid more than $1 million in tax liability while spinning any such criminal offense as Hunter’s mere “failure to pay all his taxes.”

A second charge floated by the Times concerns violations of “the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which requires disclosure to the Justice Department of lobbying or public relations assistance on behalf of foreign clients.” Here, the Times’ efforts to frame Hunter’s potential violations of FARA as unintentional — and thus not criminal — suggests the Delaware U.S. attorney has a solid FARA case in the works.

The Times’s coverage, however, indicates federal prosecutors are looking at much more serious charges related to payments Hunter Biden received from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, as well his financial interests in Kazakhstan and China. Publicly available evidence already suggests Hunter Biden profited from these, and potentially other foreign interests, by selling access to his father when the elder Biden was vice president, which the Times casts as possibly allowing for a “money laundering” charge against Hunter.

In last week’s article, the Times reveals that prosecutors have accumulated significantly more evidence suggesting Hunter profited from these relationships, with prosecutors allegedly investigating “payments and gifts Mr. Biden or his associates had received from foreign interests, including a vehicle paid for using funds from a company associated with a Kazakh oligarch and a diamond from a Chinese energy tycoon.” The Times also reported that prosecutors have “sought documents related to corporate entities through which Mr. Biden and his associates conducted business with interests around the world.”

The Times further revealed that federal prosecutors have “issued scores of subpoenas,” related to “Hunter Biden’s foreign work and for bank accounts linked to him and his associates.” They even traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, according to The Times, to interview Ms. Lunden Alexis Roberts, who sued Hunter for paternity payments, questioning her about Hunter’s business dealings. As for the emails recovered from the abandoned MacBook, federal investigators have authenticated those as well.

All of these details the Times reported in its article purportedly focused on the tax case against Hunter Biden. Other than the details confirmed by Roberts’s lawyer, the information came principally from “people familiar with the investigation,” which means one of two things: someone with the prosecutor’s office talked, or someone connected with Hunter Biden did.

History provides a pretty good hint of the answer — and its reason: Hunter Biden’s team likely gave the Times the heads-up to the case being crafted against the president’s son to allow the liberal mainstay to massage a narrative before any potential charges became public. Given the details shared with the Times by people familiar with the investigation, then regurgitated by the Times for the public, it seems some pretty serious charges may be in store for Hunter.

4. Downplay the Charges, Build the Narrative, and Beta-Test the Defenses

As noted above, the Times’ preemptive countering of several hypothetical criminal charges indicates the leftist paper’s coverage of the Hunter Biden case seeks not to inform the public but to form a gentle narrative on which the president’s son can land when the expected indictment drops. Here it is not merely the many defenses the Times lays out, but the entirety of the article that also downplays the potential charges and paints the most sympathetic scenario possible for Hunter Biden.

Consider, for instance, the Times’s framing of Hunter Biden and his apparent pay-to-play scheme. “Hunter Biden is a Yale-educated lawyer,” the article notes early on, claiming that the “broader investigation” stems “from work he did around the world” that “intersected with his father’s public service.”

It seems unlikely, though, that prosecutors are investigating “work” Hunter Biden did around the world, although not as unlikely as the claim that President Biden’s lifelong political career parlayed to his family’s financial advantage is “public service.”

The Times also succeeded in presenting the Hunter Biden-Burisma scandal as one really about Trump, writing: “Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company, became a flashpoint in his father’s race in 2020 against President Donald J. Trump and helped set off the events that led to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment.”

Apparently, the Times will need another year or two before it can also acknowledge Donald Trump’s concern about Biden family corruption in Ukrainian was legitimate and that Trump’s impeachment was pure politics.

Then there was the Times’s reference to Hunter’s “serious drug addiction and other problems during the period” the potentially illegal conduct took place. Add to those facts that Hunter was also “dealing with the illness and death of his brother Beau,” and the Times seems to suggest these sad circumstances mitigate the seriousness of any forthcoming charges.

The remainder of the article presents various counters to the charges, such as that Hunter repaid the back taxes by taking out a loan — oh, the horror. The Times then pretends paying the government back lessens the import of a tax evasion case.

On a potential FARA charge, the Times suggests Hunter attempted to comply with the law and that any violation was unintentional, meaning at best he should be held only civilly responsible. And on the most serious charge floated by the Times, money laundering, the paper presents that case as connected to the FARA charge, suggesting it would be inappropriate to charge the president’s son with money laundering if he is innocent of violating FARA.

Until the Delaware U.S. attorney announces charges, if any, against Hunter Biden, it is impossible to know the criminal jeopardy the president’s son may face. But, given that when the Times reports on stories harmful to Democratic interests it proves prescient, odds are good that some serious charges are in the works.


Two Years After Lockdowns, The West’s Troubles Aren’t Ending — They’re Just Beginning

The lockdowns mark the start of a ride we can’t get off.

By Christopher BedordThe Federalist

Sunet over the Statue of Liberty. Daniel Perez Sutil/Flickr.

Two years ago this week, the United States shut down. Churches, schools and businesses went dark. Weddings, funerals, and birthdays went silent. City streets stood empty, with an eeriness closer resembling occupied Paris than the bustling hubs they’d been just days before.

Two years later, as the last of the mask mandates for school children falter and crack, it’s tempting to believe our nightmare is finally over. Just as the disease is going to haunt us a long while, however, so too will the effects of how we tried to fight it.

Americans’ relationships with our politicians, bureaucrats, schools, media, police, and churches are fundamentally altered. Indeed, the entire West’s relationships with these major segments of society are forever remade. As we look out on the wreckage of two years of Covid policies, as well as our spiking fuel prices, rocketing inflation, a contested election, a Chinese Olympics, and a land war in Europe, it’s increasingly clear that, far from standing at the end of a dark era, our civilization teeters unsteadily at the very beginning of one.

It’s hard to notice at first. The modern West has become so accustomed to a slow, steady decline — the kind Merle Haggard sang about, and Ronald Reagan ran against — that complaining about it has become cliché; like the angry old man waving his cane.

More than that, it’s very tempting to view the past two years as separate from our other major problems. But just as Black Tuesday began an era marked by the Depression, the Dust Bowl, the New Deal, the Second World War, and a fundamental reshaping of the American life, so too will the Lockdowns mark the start of a ride we can’t get off.

The Damage Is Done

Even in states that have long since shrugged off the bureaucrats’ Covid demands, trust is broken. The people had believed in March 2020 that if they did their parts, all would soon be well. As President Calvin Coolidge famously said, “The chief ideal of the American people is idealism… [and] the chief business of the American people is business.”

Neither Americans’ idealism nor our industry were rewarded, however. From March 2020 on, ours was rule not by people, but by bureaucratic diktat.

Our politicians betrayed us: flying abroad, getting haircuts, going maskless, holding parties, and dining out while also closing schools, forbidding gatherings, banning amenities, and demonizing all who resisted — or even questioned — their orders.

Our corporate media betrayed us: propping up liars and fools, tearing down all who spoke against their champions, and spreading fear and hatred of dissent as far and wide as their words would carry.

Our teachers betrayed us: using Covid to gain a grab bag of vacation time, control over parents, wage hikes, and other unrelated perks, all while punishing school children with years of masks, separation — and the educational and developmental retardation those rules cost.

Even our much-vaunted hospital workers betrayed us: keeping dying husbands from their dying wives, grown children from their elderly parents, brothers from their sisters, and babies from their mothers — all to ensure “Covid safety.”

As hard as it seems, much of this might be good. Not that our politicians, media, teachers, and health care are broken — as the most important essay of 2021 laid bare — but that Americans now recognize just how broken they all are.

Other betrayals, however, are fresher. While corruption among our most powerful religious leaders is older than the Bible itself, when our government declared religion a disposable pastime, many of our religious leaders publicly obeyed. When they bowed before the bureaucrats, a trust was broken, and America was left with one more central civil institution weakened when we needed it strengthened.

The family — the political unit as old as the body politic itself — also suffered greatly. While American political fights have frayed blood relations since Benjamin Franklin fought his loyalist son, the past two years have seen so marked an increase in familial destruction that few of us are left untouched.

This past Christmas, for example, people across the country told their relatives they would not be welcome if they hadn’t taken the vaccine. You probably know more people this hurt than you realize; many of them, sad and embarrassed, hid it, claiming they simply couldn’t make the trip this year.

Then there are the grandparents across the country who have never seen their grandchildren. In the past month alone, I’ve met two different couples seeing theirs for the first time ever — provided they quarantined for two weeks first, and then took a test.

The kind of fear and intolerance it takes to bar your mother from your children extends to broader society, too. Cops, hospital workers, and many others have lost their jobs over refusals to take the shot, while corporate media and its viewers loudly cheered for even harsher penalties. Confronting and reporting on businesses and people who break Covid restrictions is actively encouraged by both government and media.

Our inability to dissent from the latest Covid decree penetrates our society so deeply, liberal comedy show “Saturday Night Live” is now openly mocking how closely American liberals have had to monitor even their private conversations with friends.

We’re now so comfortable with the concept of censoring “disinformation,” it’s extended well beyond Covid. These days, it’s not surprising to see the hosts of a daytime TV show for women casually call for the investigation (and possible imprisonment) of journalists and politicians who express opposition to something they support — in this case, an American war in Ukraine.

This sort of thing has become actually monotonous: Censorship, investigation, and even arrest are offered daily as solutions to problems as mundane as political or medical disagreements. Has the phrase “We’re all in this together” ever rung so hollow?

The Start Of Our Troubles

As in past eras of marked trouble, struggle, and decline, not all our problems are plainly linked; but they coalesce in their effects.

We find ourselves more divided than we’ve been in 150 years, and so less able to handle what comes our way. Many of our civil institutions — long sick — now seem terminally ill. Distrust and enmity run high, and why shouldn’t they?

The result of these divisions: As we plunge into the next series of crises — rapid inflation, destabilized fuel prices, the real prospect of world war in Europe — we have fewer tools to handle them, less willingness to try, and more suspicion of our fellow Americans than any time in over a century.

Taking it all in, we know that we’re weaker than when we began 2020. Taking it all in, we know that far from returning to normalcy, we’re entering a period of deadly turmoil, with enemies foreign and domestic intent on taking advantage of our divisions, our distrust, and our dangerously unsteady economic situation.

We’ve been challenged before, even in modern times. The Sept. 11 attacks rocked us like we hadn’t seen since Pearl Harbor, yet we soldiered on. What’s finally missing, however, is that general feeling of confidence.

We no longer share an understanding that no matter the monsters we’d face — and we face many, here and abroad — that everything would be OK; that the American Way will go on.

“Overriding everything else,” Walter Lord wrote in his 1955 book on the sinking of the HMS Titanic, “the [disaster] also marked the end of a general feeling of confidence.”

“Until then men felt they had found the answer to a steady, orderly, civilized life. For 100 years the Western world had been at peace. For 100 years technology had steadily improved. For 100 years the benefits of peace and industry seemed to be filtering satisfactorily through society.”

“In retrospect,” he continued, “there may seem less grounds for confidence, but at the time most articulate people felt life was all right. The Titanic woke them up. Never again would they be quite so sure of themselves.”

Within two years of the sinking, the First World War began. By its end, its hubris, violence, and indifference to personal suffering destroyed a generation — and cut our civilization so deeply, the damage inflicted is still seen written on our world today.

The men who, in relative peacetime, placed supreme confidence in their steel ship against the great blue sea might only chuckle at the hubris of their successors, who had supreme confidence they could master a disease they didn’t know.

We in the West, though, can be confident of one thing only: These past two years have cut us deeply, and will haunt us for many more to come.

What’s not yet written is whether we overcome. That will be up to us, and God.

Pray for America.


Grassley: We Wouldn’t Have Such a Censorship Problem ‘If More Journalists Did Their Job’

‘Simply put we deserve better than woke monopolists and their liberal lapdogs deciding what we can discuss.’

By Kylee ZempelThe Federalist

Chuck Grassley

IMAGE CREDIT U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION/FLICKR

Some things never change. The corrupt media peddles false narratives, Big Tech censors conservatives for “disinformation,” and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley absolutely takes them to town for it.

That’s what happened during a floor speech on Thursday when the Iowa lawmaker tore into tech companies and the corporate media for colluding to censor conservative viewpoints, especially those that threaten Democrat narratives such as the Russia collusion hoax. Grassley was personally irked after Facebook flagged one of his posts linking to a Fox News article as “false information.”

It was an article about new allegations against the Hillary Clinton campaign and its associates that were brought to light in Special Counsel John Durham’s Feb. 11 federal court filing. It cited Durham’s filing directly, as well as a former chief congressional investigator who became acutely knowledgeable about the situation while working on the Trump-Russia probe for the House Intelligence Committee under California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

“Why does Facebook and one of its third-party fact-checker partners get to make the decision that this news article is considered false information?” Grassley asked. “That decision should be made by the American people who should be able to view that content and decide for themselves. It shouldn’t be decided by our Big Tech overlords who seem to only find fault with content that is conservative or goes against the liberal narrative.”

Though useful idiots will retort that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the like don’t single out conservatives for censorship, the evidence suggests otherwise. Just this week, Twitter allowed the private information of people who had donated to the Canadian Freedom Convoy to spread on its site after a leftist hacked GiveSendGo and doxxed them. Yet Twitter cited its hacked materials policy as the justification for censoring the bombshell Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 election, despite no evidence of hacking.

As Grassley mentioned, these are also the same tech and media companies that amplified the Steele dossier and broader fake Russia collusion narrative for years, and that are now “doing the bidding for the Clinton camp.”

“Why are they so afraid of reporting that exposes the Russia collusion hoax?” Grassley asked the question to which we already know the answer. It’s the massive hoax they staked their reputations and careers on and which has since unraveled piece by piece.

“This wouldn’t be an issue today if more journalists did their job of being the police of our society and reported on all investigations not just ones that appeal to a certain political party,” Grassley said. “What kind of message does this censorship send to a reporter who does take on the new allegations against the Clinton campaign and its associates and its labeled disinformation?”

It’s time to rethink Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Grassley prescribed, referring to the provision that grants tech monopolies immunity regarding its users’ content. Big Tech has weaponized the provision, however, using it in its ideological purges of what it calls “misinformation” and “dangerous” content.

“It has become increasingly clear that these dominant platforms controlling discussion and dialogue are more beholden to cancel culture and not to the fundamental free speech principles that this country was founded upon,” Grassley said. “…Simply put we deserve better than woke monopolists and their liberal lapdogs deciding what we can discuss.”


The Media Blackout of Durham’s Bombshell Report Alleging Clinton Campaign ‘Infiltrated’ Trump Tower

By Rick MoranReal Clear Politics

Townhall Media/Katie Pavlich

A filing by special counsel John Durham — alleging Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign paid a technology company to establish an “inference” that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia so he could win an election — has not generated much excitement in the mainstream media.

Perhaps because the story is somewhat complex, the media has decided not to report on it? Indeed, naming all the players and their actions is a chore, if you read the few media outlets on the right that are covering it.

It’s sort of boring — until you realize the staggering implications of what’s being alleged.

Durham is saying that the Democratic candidate for president in 2016 engaged in a criminal conspiracy to infiltrate the opposition’s most sensitive, compartmentalized information and tried to manipulate data and information to politically damage her opponent.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

CNN is full of stories about Donald Trump’s clogged toilet, but nothing about the Durham probe. The Washington Post is equally silent. As are The New York Times and the Associated Press.

Will these brave, courageous purveyors of truth cover the fact that Trump special prosecutor Robert Mueller was hoodwinked by these shenanigans? That Mueller was kept in the dark about the surveillance from which some of his “evidence” was obtained?

Donald Trump was livid.

Fox News:

Former President Trump reacted to the filing on Saturday evening, saying Durham’s filing “provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia.”

“This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution,” Trump said. “In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death.”

Trump added: “In addition, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this.”

My PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis covered the story in detail yesterday, including this quote from Kash Patel, lead GOP investigator on the House Intelligence Committee for the Trump-Russia probe.

Kash Patel, the former chief investigator of the Trump-Russia investigation for the House Intelligence Committee under former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), told Fox News that the filing “definitively shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign directly funded and ordered its lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between President Trump and Russia.”

“Per Durham, this arrangement was put in motion in July of 2016, meaning the Hillary Clinton campaign and her lawyers masterminded the most intricate and coordinated conspiracy against Trump when he was both a candidate and later President of the United States while simultaneously perpetuating the bogus Steele Dossier hoax,” Patel said.

Republicans can do nothing as long as they’re in the minority. And even if they were to hold hearings after regaining the majority to try to get to the bottom of this swamp, it still wouldn’t be news.

For Democrats, it simply never happened, because it won’t be reported. This is especially true as long as Trump clogging up the White House toilet is repeated again and again as “breaking news.”


The Biden Administration Thinks You’re Stupid

… and the fact-checkers actually are

By The EditorsThe Washington Free Beacon

Getty Images

The Biden administration thinks you, the American people, are stupid. That much is clear given its response this week to a Washington Free Beacon report exposing the administration’s plan to “fund the distribution of crack pipes to drug addicts as part of its plan to advance ‘racial equity.'”

Despite confirming the details of reporter Patrick Hauf’s story, the Department of Health and Human Services subsequently determined—more than 24 hours after publication—that the story was “blatant misinformation.” A spokesperson offered no evidence to support this claim. Asked for clarification, the spokesperson responded 10 hours later to denounce once again the report as “misleading and misinformed” but offered no evidence as justification.

Media “fact-checkers” willingly repurposed the administration’s talking points in an attempt to discredit our reporting. Not surprisingly, the result was an incoherent messSnopes, for example, said our story was “mostly false” because crack pipes were “just one of around 20 components of the grant program.” (We know, because we listed several others in the report, such as “syringes, vaccinations, disease screenings, condoms, and fentanyl strips.”) Not a single word contradicted what the Free Beacon reported.

Another “independent” “fact-check” by a website called Lead Stories (we’ve never heard of it, either) resulted in Facebook censoring the report for containing “false information.” The site was co-founded by a former CNN journalist and a Colorado personal injury attorney who has donated thousands of dollars to Democrats and zero dollars to Republicans, so it must be a reliable source.

Both fact checks have been updated after the administration announced on Wednesday that “no federal funding will be used” to distribute crack pipes to underserved communities in an effort to promote racial equity. White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted that crack pipes “were never a part” of the “safe smoking kits” described in government documents. She blamed “inaccurate reporting” for the confusion.

The Drug Policy Alliance was also confused, and understandably so. The group’s executive director, Kassandra Frederique, accused the administration of “backtracking” and expressed disappointment that “they will no longer allow federal funding to go towards putting pipes in safer smoking supplies.”https://3675ec6066ba5383f948888a8eac51e0.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Got that? The administration “will no longer” provide free crack pipes that “were never a part” of the taxpayer-funded smoking kits. Because the right-wing media are publishing “inaccurate reporting” and spreading “blatant disinformation.” It’s almost as if the White House is full of shit and thinks you’re stupid. (Fact check: They are and they do.)

That’s the only reasonable conclusion. The administration’s story is utter nonsense. Existing harm reduction programs across the country include pipes in the smoking kits they give to crack addicts. Take, for example, a program from California’s Department of Public Health, which openly advertises glass pipes. Other programs in cities such as Annapolis, Md.New Haven, Conn., and Seattle, Wash., all include crack pipes in their smoking kits.

These are exactly the sort of cities the administration was targeting when it announced the funding opportunity, and there is nothing in the announcement that tells these communities they would have to modify the contents of their smoking kits to qualify for funding. In fact, the HHS spokesman told the Free Beacon that the department does not specify what is in the kits, leaving that detail to program participants at the local level.

Even after the White House denial that crack pipes will be funded, the administration still won’t say it never planned to include them. “The department did not respond when asked by the New York Times if glass pipes were ever allowable under the grant provisions,” the paper wrote on Thursday evening.https://3675ec6066ba5383f948888a8eac51e0.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Like most Democratic institutions, the Biden administration has a habit of dismissing inconvenient stories as “misinformation” without actually refuting them. Administration officials tend to lash out at anyone who questions their authority or expresses an ounce of skepticism. Last week, for example, journalists who requested evidence to back up the administration’s claims regarding a military strike in Syria or the situation in Ukraine were accused of siding with the enemy.

It makes sense that the Biden administration would be especially sensitive when it comes to inconvenient stories about crack pipes. But that doesn’t excuse the blatant misinformation or their shockingly low opinion of the American public’s intelligence. You deserve better and, at least according to the supporters of this administration’s original plan, so do America’s crackheads.


Why the Left Cannot Let Go of Jan. 6

By Pat BuchananAmerican Action News

Tyler Merbler via Wikimedia Commons

“Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now.”

That was the headline over the editorial of 1,000 words in The New York Times of Sunday last.

On first read, I thought the Times was conceding its obsession and describing its mission. For the editorial began by bewailing yet anew the “horrifying” event, “the very real bloodshed of that awful day,” the “once-unthinkable trauma.”

Still, a year later, said the Times, “the Republic faces an existential threat,” as the “Capitol riot … continues in statehouses across the country, in a bloodless, legalized form that no police officer can arrest and that no prosecutor can try in court.”

“We should stop underestimating the threat facing the country. … (our) democracy … is in grave danger.”

What the Times is saying is that the electoral reforms being enacted democratically in red states — requiring voter IDs, for example, and subject to judicial review — are a Republican continuation of the Capitol riot.

Why cannot our liberal media let it go? Why does the distortion and hysteria about Jan. 6 seem to grow with each retelling?

Now, undeniably, as I wrote in a column the next morning, Jan. 6 was “The Worst of Days for Trump & Trumpists.”

“The worst of the day’s events for Trump came when a segment of a friendly crowd of 50,000 he just addressed concluded its march down the Mall to the U.S. Capitol by smashing its way into the building and invading and occupying the Senate and House chambers.

“Members of Congress were forced to flee and hide. A protester, an Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop. Vice President Mike Pence, who was chairing the joint session, was taken into protective custody by his Secret Service detail. Doors were broken open. Windows were smashed, and the building was trashed …

“What Americans watched was a mob occupation and desecration of the temple of the American Republic.” I added, “And the event will be forever exploited to discredit not only Trump but the movement he led and the achievements of his presidency.”

That last line understated what an obsession Jan. 6 has become for the nation’s establishment and media elite.

The left cannot let go of Jan. 6. Indeed, it has fixated upon, exploited and exaggerated the riot to discredit and destroy the Trump presidency in the history books and to prevent Donald Trump from ever running or being elected president again.

Though Trump was exonerated by the Senate of the impeachment charge brought by Nancy Pelosi’s House, the House select committee wants to try Trump again and again in the court of public opinion and wants President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to find some crime with which to charge and convict him.

There are other reasons the left cannot let go of Jan. 6.

Democrats have no other issue on which to run this November.

The Biden presidency has produced an uninterrupted string of disasters: the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, the Texas border crisis, inflation, an explosion of gun violence and murders setting records in Democrat-run cities, failure to produce an adequate federal response to the delta and omicron waves of COVID-19.

Again, Jan. 6 was a riot, involving assaults on Washington and Capitol cops and the disruption of a formal congressional procedure to validate the electoral vote victory of Joe Biden.

But was Jan. 6 really the planned coup, the terrorism, the sedition, the armed insurrection, the attempt to overthrow the U.S. government?
Was Jan. 6 really comparable to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, during each of which 3,000 Americans went to their deaths in an hour’s time and major wars followed — as Vice President Kamala Harris said yesterday?

If so, why, a year after Jan. 6, 2021, has no one been charged with inciting a rebellion, sedition, treason, armed insurrection, plotting a coup, or a takeover of the government of the United States?

Thus far, all the charges prosecuted and punished are consistent with a riot, which is what Jan. 6 was. Comparisons of this three-hour mob action to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are almost sacrilegious.

Was that QAnon shaman occupying the chair in the Senate chamber really the moral equivalent of Mohamed Atta ramming an airliner into the World Trade Center or Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto plotting the Dec. 7 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?

Another reason for the left to paint up the horror of that day is that the perpetrators of Jan. 6 were not the radical left who battled cops and burned and looted Seattle, Portland, Milwaukee and scores of other cities in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing.

They were the “deplorables” of Trump, the populists of the American right, against whom any slander is justified.

Question: If the left is so terrified of Trump it feels it must prevent him from even running again, by imposing a criminal conviction, what does that say about the left’s belief in American democracy?

What does that tell us about the left’s trust in the people?


The Leadership Deficit Doom Loop

American decline is not fated—unless our leaders make it so

By Matthew ContinettiThe Washington Free Beacon

Joe Biden
Getty Images

Bleak days. The border, murder rates, inflation, Afghanistan, the pandemic—things are not going well. The president’s job approval rating continues its slide. Congress squabbles over government funding, debt ceilings, and budget reconciliation, while pundits argue over whether, in the words of one prominent historian, “The United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three to four years of incidents of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into red and blue enclaves.”

These words horrify. Are they accurate? The degradation of public morality, evident in scenes of fanatics chasing U.S. senators into restrooms and chanting obscenities at a presidential motorcade, suggests they might be. The empirical data do too. The University of Virginia Center for Politics and Project Home Fire’s recent surveys of Joe Biden voters and Donald Trump voters revealed a profound distrust between the two camps. The pollsters went looking for common ground, only to find it in the 41 percent of Biden voters and 51 percent of Trump voters favoring some form of secession and disunion. The idea of a “national divorce” has traveled from the fever swamps to the social network (the distance is short).

The question of how to avoid coruscating polarization and political violence ought to be at the center of public debate—especially after the events at the Capitol on January 6, and especially for individuals who profess support for law and order, individual liberty, and America’s constitutional structure. The trouble is that most discussions of keeping America from coming apart are themselves built around totalizing and apocalyptic presuppositions.

The alternatives on offer: Either the election reforms favored by Democrats become law or authoritarian rule will descend on America; either the $4.5 trillion Build Back Better Agenda becomes law or Trump will turn this country into Hungary; either Republicans win in 2022 and 2024 or some combination of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Dr. Anthony Fauci will impose Marxist rule. Not only are these choices hyperbolic and false. They amplify the very antagonisms they seek to reduce by suggesting that the only way out of our dilemma is for one side to enjoy complete victory.

Just when politics is most in need of a cooling-off period, interested parties have upped the stakes of politics to national, civilizational, and, for some, global survival. And when survival is your primary end, you are tempted to use any means to achieve it. Even extrajudicial ones. The task of the moment is to persuade Americans that the set of rules and guidelines set forth in the Constitution allows them to deal with America’s problems. “Structural” change, from either the left or the right, is unnecessary.

The “fight” must be redirected toward the everyday challenges of American citizens, not the symbolic battles that play out each night on cable news. The agents of change must be real people, building and participating in real institutions, concerned with the real wellsprings of human flourishing, such as family, community, and faith. Trolls and bots engaging in virtual flame wars and inciting social media mobs do not improve the situation. They ruin it.

We have spent so many years analyzing what brought America to this impasse that we have forgotten to think seriously—that is, to consider programs of action that might not confirm our biases—about how to get out of it. We have forgotten the importance of human agency, of leadership. Leaders motivate the public, define options, set the agenda, and model standards of behavior. They are meant to inspire confidence. Our leaders are no help.

We are caught in a leadership deficit doom loop. Our elected officials cater to the most agitated and unruly members of their coalition. They limit their imaginations. They frame their agendas around the mistaken assumption that electoral victories are ideological mandates. They are not role models. Nor do they earn our confidence—unless we are the marks in a confidence game.

Our political leaders are stale. They are calcified. It cannot be a coincidence that since 2017 the presidents of “Late Soviet America” have been septuagenarians, the country’s oldest two chief executives, respectively. It cannot be an accident that as writers for the New York Times assert that America has entered “terminal decline” the speaker of the House of Representatives is 81 years old, her deputy is 82 (!), and the party whip is 81. The majority leader of the Senate, sprightly by comparison, is 70 years old. The culture war is at least 53 years old. Critical Race Theory traces its roots to the 1970s. The hysteria and conspiracies that accompany disease are as old as pandemics themselves. We are in a race between incompetent or irrational leadership and social peace. The inept and crazed are winning.

It needn’t be so. The public responds to cues. The people rally behind common-sense measures confidently stated. They’ve done so before. They will do so again. To break the leadership deficit doom loop, American leaders must self-confidently make the case for union, for moderation, for manners, for peace. And they ought to do it with a self-deprecating sense of humor. Because right now we all could use a laugh—not at someone else’s expense, but our own.


Voters: Media the Enemy of the People

By Peter RoffAmerican Action News

Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

An overwhelming number of Americans likely to vote in the November 2022 election said they were troubled to one degree or another by the problem of “fake news,” a survey released Friday said, likely prompting them to view the information they are getting from traditional media outlets with a degree of distrust.

The poll conducted by the firm Rasmussen Reports found a vast majority of the 1,000 likely voters questioned – 83 percent – called “fake news” was a serious problem. A clear majority – 55 percent – defined it as “very serious.”

“Only 37 percent of voters say they trust the political news they’re getting, while 43 percent say they don’t trust political news,” the polling firm reported, calling it a “slight improvement” since April 2021 when a similar survey found only 33 percent of respondents said they “trusted political news.” That same poll had 54 percent of those participating saying they thought “most reporters, when they write or talk about President Joe Biden, are trying to help the president pass his agenda.”

Distrust of media, the poll showed, is widespread across all demographic categories, with 54 percent of whites, 56 percent of black voters, and 60 percent described as “other minorities” believing “fake news” is a “very serious problem in the media.”

Alarming as those numbers might be, even more shocking – but perhaps not unsurprising – is the number of respondents in agreement with the characterization of the media as “truly the enemy of the people,” an accusation made by former President Donald J. Trump that was widely criticized even by some journalists who are not considered members of the media elite.

The Rasmussen Reports survey found a majority of those surveyed – 58 percent — saying they agreed “at least somewhat” with Trump’s description including 56 percent of whites, 63 percent of blacks, and 60 percent of other minorities considered likely to vote in the next election.

“As might be expected, Republicans are more likely to agree with Trump’s description,” the firm said of its findings while cautioning that “37 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party also at least somewhat agree.” 

The poll finds members of the GOP also more likely to identify “fake news” as a problem but, incredibly, 74 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of unaffiliated voters also thought it was “at least a somewhat serious problem in the media.”

The numbers concerning Democrats and independents are surprising considering that, as Rasmussen Reports found, it’s President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters who “have more trust” in the media than those who are not satisfied with the direction his presidency is taking. 

“Among voters who strongly approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 72 percent trust the political news they’re getting,” Rasmussen Reports said. “By contrast, among voters who strongly disapprove of Biden’s performance, 74 percent don’t trust the political news they’re getting.” 


Ethics Concerns Grow as Michigan’s Whitmer Caught in Lie

By Peter RoffAmerican Action News

Julia Pickett via Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose poll numbers continue a downward slide over her handling of the COVID crisis, faces new questions after it was learned an outside entity has paid for her use of a private jet owned by influential businessmen to visit her father in Florida during the lockdown. 

Whitmer aides have carefully stated repeatedly that no taxpayer dollars were used to pay for the chartered flights, which occurred during a period she was discouraging Michigan residents to stay in their homes because of COVID and while emergency rules kept families from visiting hospitalized loved ones.  

“It’s been 62 days since the secret trip. The story from the governor’s office keeps changing,” said GOP Communications Director Ted Goodman. Previously the governor has said she paid for the flight out of her own pocket. Now, her office admits, she only paid for her seat, leaving others to cover the rest of the expense. 

No one is yet suggesting Whitmer broke any laws by taking the $28,000 trip which is becoming a continuing political embarrassment. According to several sources, the flights were paid for by a social welfare not-for-profit group – Michigan Transition 2019 – to handle expenses related to her 2019 gubernatorial inauguration. In general, the use of funds by politicians coming from groups designated 501c(4) by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to cover expenses like non-official travel is generally frowned upon.

Complicating matters more, the Detroit Free Press published Monday a report revealing Air Eagle, LLP – the air travel company operating the plane Whitmer used to visit her father in Florida – is not authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to offer charter flights. Agency spokesman Elizabeth Isham Cory told the paper companies seeking to operate such flights must have a Part 135 certificate.

“The Gulfstream G280 Whitmer’s office confirmed she flew on ‘is not on a 135 certificate and Air Eagle does not have a Part 135 certificate,’” the Free Press reported, citing an email from Cory.

Whitmer and her staff have repeatedly attempted to tamp the scandal down by asserting extraordinary accommodations must be made to keep her safe because of threats made against her in the last year. “I have received an incredible number of death threats over the last year and a half. There are a lot of reasons we don’t discuss how I travel and when I travel,” the governor previously said. 

This is not the first incident to raise questions about Whitmer’s management of state affairs during the pandemic. Michigan First Husband Marc Mallory reportedly tried to have his boat placed in the water before Memorial Day weekend in 2020 in violation of what some called “the most draconian stay-at-home orders in the nation.”

Her apparent fall from grace may not be as precipitous as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s but it is just as self-inflicted. Before last summer’s BLM riots, Whitmer was believed to be atop Joe Biden’s list of potential running mates. Now she finds herself peppered with questions about why she went to Florida unvaccinated despite the number of times she expressed concern that residents there were not taking proper safety precautions and bringing the virus to Michigan. As issues of this sort mount, strategists in both parties are wondering how vulnerable she’ll be when seeking a second term in November 2022. 


Senator Tim Scott and the Silent Democrats

By Peter RoffNewsweek

The “woke” fancy themselves crusaders engaged in a battle against injustice, racism, inequality and other societal ills they believe have held certain people back since before this country was founded. They may look askance these days at the author of the Declaration of Independence but are passionately committed to his thesis that all men and women are not only created equal but, by virtue of their humanity, possess certain rights which the state cannot legitimately take from them.

Don’t be fooled. It’s all part of an immense power grab by those seeking to remake the nation according to the ideas of certain 19th-century European white males who believed the highest, best use of power was to assure that goods and services—as well as the capital needed to produce them—are not allocated through the free market but “From each according to their ability, to each according to his needs.”

The decision to wrap those ideas up in a contemporary campaign against racism—one that depends on people not seeing their peers as equals regardless of color and on affirmative denunciations of anything remotely “racist”—is a neat trick designed to keep the well-intentioned from becoming suspicious. The United States is probably the single place where, considering our size, population and multi-ethnic character, race matters least. America is a place where anyone can succeed and where success is still considered something to be emulated rather than envied, progressive rhetoric aside. If racism still formed a kind of communal chain holding certain people down, it would have been foolhardy for the GOP leadership to choose Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to deliver Wednesday’s televised response to President Joe Biden‘s address to a joint session of Congress.

Sen. Scott’s success in business and politics, to which he himself alludes repeatedly, is a matter of character. Not just his own but his mother’s, her parents’ and that of several mentors he encountered along the path of life. His experience is quintessentially American—in the best of all possible ways.

So why did the woke remain silent when, moments after the speech ended, Scott began to trend on Twitter as “Uncle Tim”—an ugly phrase, meant to convey the stereotypical image of a black man happily subservient to white people?

Sen. Tim Scott
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at the U.S. Capitol before he delivers the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s address to Congress April 28, 2021. Sen. Kevin McCarthy has touted Scott as a presidential contender.DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES

It’s a slur all right, grounded in race. It suggests Sen. Scott is somehow a pawn of white men and women rather than a person of strength and independent mind who can judge for himself the best way to go through life.

Why have so few denounced the racist pillorying of a black, Republican United States senator? Why hasn’t the White House press corps asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki if President Joe Biden condemns those referring to Sen. Scott as “Uncle Tim?” Why haven’t Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi been asked whether they consider it an appropriate way to characterize one of their congressional colleagues? It’s not as though questions like these would break new ground. The Washington press corps hounded Donald Trump with them throughout his four years in office. Why is it silent now?

The same is true of the talking heads, whose nightly virtue signals to America about what is and is not racist dictate how the public should feel about every event, politician or piece of legislation. They too have had little to say about the “Uncle Tim” smear—just as they and their predecessors remained silent when similar slurs were hurled at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and other prominent black conservatives. Some of my fellow political reporters and columnists still deny that a notorious incident from the days before camera phones when someone tossed Oreos—black on the outside, white on the inside—at former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele even happened.

If the woke were as anti-racist as they claim, they’d be rushing to Sen. Scott’s defense. “A disagreement with him over ideas is not an excuse to pejoratively invoke the color of his skin,” they might say if they were honest. They haven’t, which is legitimate grounds to wonder about their integrity—on race and everything else. Are their sentiments genuine or are we just being played?


Some Real Truths About Fake News

By Peter RoffIssues & Insights

The folks who came up with the term “fake news” – no one has ever claimed credit for it – probably rue the day they did. Originally the term was going to be used to discredit anything that appeared in an outlet that wasn’t part of the media elite which contradicted the dominant liberal narrative or painted progressives and their policies in an unfavorable light.

Oh, for the schemes of mice and men, as Robert Burns put it.

Before those behind this grand experiment in thought control could get all the fact-checkers, news outlets, and academics ready to make it work, Donald Trump appeared on the scene and expropriated the term. In the blink of an eye, what was supposed to be an ad hominem attack on Fox News and other conservative outlets came to be synonymous with liberal media distortions of the day’s news. 

Now, say published reports, it appears “fake news” is a real thing and, just as the liberals alleged, there are a couple of Murdochs behind it all. Only it’s not Rupert. It’s his younger son from his first marriage James who, along with his wife Kathryn reportedly made significant contributions to a political action committee linked to a genuinely fake news operation allied with the Democrats.

The younger Murdoch, who at one time occupied senior management positions in companies owned by his father as well as a member of the News Corp. board of directors, severed his ties with the family business several years ago, allegedly over concerns of information bias. How odd it is then that he and his wife are now linked to a $500,000 contribution to Pacronym, a super PAC that, according to its website is “affiliated with ACRONYM” – a group that Federal Elections Commission records indicate funded a pseudo-news outlet called “Courier Newsroom,” which circulated Democratic Party and anti-Trump propaganda disguised as legitimate reporting.

The “Courier Newsroom” operated what one newspaper called a network of “impostor news outlets” in electorally critical states such as Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Democratic Party talking points and candidate press releases were rewritten by the outlets and uploaded to the web as though they were legitimate news stories. It was essentially a political operation, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Michael McAdams told National Review last October, “funded by a host of liberal billionaire donors” and “poster child for House Democrats’ complete and total hypocrisy when it comes to dark money and fake news.” 

It’s a remarkable turn of events given the younger Murdoch’s outrage, purportedly shared by his wife, at the way so-called disinformation propagated by media outlets like those controlled by News Corp. created an atmosphere leading to events like Trump’s 2016 election, the contest of his 2020 loss, and the disturbance at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 – which led directly to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., launching an effort to impeach the 45th president of the United States for a second time and have him removed from office before the end of his term. 

“Spreading disinformation — whether about the election, public health or climate change — has real-world consequences,” the younger Murdochs recently said to the Financial Times. “Many media property owners have as much responsibility as the elected officials who know the truth but instead choose to propagate lies. We hope the awful scenes we have all been seeing (at the U.S. Capitol) will finally convince those enablers to repudiate the toxic politics they have promoted once and forever.”

One is tempted to shout “physician heal thyself’ at James and Kathryn Murdoch but it would likely do little good. Whether the contempt he’s shown for honest reporting through this and potential other contributions – neither are talking about how they’ve been spending their political money – is driven by a familial dispute, ideological concerns, or the kind of liberal social consciousness commonly found among the members of the second and third-generation descendants of those who built great companies of tremendous value is not important; sad perhaps, but not a critical component of a drama that some might say has hints of Shakespeare about it. 

What truly matters is the shameful way the younger Murdochs have allegedly used resources at their disposal thanks to their father’s success to distort both the news and the political process.

Thanks to the technological advances that have made the Internet the main source of news about global current, it is easier than it once was to pull the wool over the eyes of the people. And, because P.T. Barnum’s still not been proved wrong, information that appears on the web that looks real is too often mistaken as being real. 

James Murdoch and his billionaire cohorts who allegedly funded it all and the political operatives who came up with the idea for who knows how many pseudo-news platforms ought to be ashamed of their actions. They cheapened the process and the news business, a vocation some of us still consider to be an honorable profession. 


For 2024, Pence Is In. Can He Make it?

By Peter RoffNewsweek

Former vice president Mike Pence announced Thursday the formation of Advancing American Freedom to promote “the pro-freedom policies of the last four years that created unprecedented prosperity at home and restored respect for America abroad.”

To lead the group, he’s chosen Dr. Paul Teller, a highly regarded former congressional staffer and member of his vice-presidential staff. Teller’s policy chops and conservative contacts are hard to match. Pence has also attracted other conservative heavyweights—like former Heritage Foundation presidents Dr. Ed Feulner and Kay Coles James, Arizona governor Doug Ducey, Ambassador Calista and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former senior Trump advisers Larry Kudlow and Kellyanne Conway and important organizational leaders like Lisa Nelson, Penny Nance and Marjorie Dannenfelser—to serve on AAF’s advisory board.

If you think this looks like a presidential campaign in all but name, you’re not wrong. Pence says he wants AAF to blend “traditional conservative values with the Make America Great Again policy agenda that propelled the nation to new economic heights, and unprecedented strength and prosperity.” That’s a fancy way of saying “take the best of Trump, jettison the baggage and create an agenda the American people—especially the formerly reliable Republican suburban voters who helped put Joe Biden in office—can embrace.”

It’s a smart formula that relies on addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division. As GOP political consultant Roger Stone used to advise, anything a campaign does that isn’t focused on growing its share of the vote is a waste of time.

The question is whether Pence can pull it off. As a House member, he was a GOP star, perhaps in line to be speaker someday. As Indiana’s governor he was a solid, if not exactly inspiring, chief executive who on the ideas front could never quite outshine his immediate predecessor, Republican Mitch Daniels—who is now president of Purdue University.

US Vice President Mike Pence
US Vice President Mike Pence on Air Force Two in Milwaukee on October 13, 2020. After President Joe Biden tripped on Air Force One, social media users shared video of Pence’s stumble before a flight in June 2020.KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Pence has a chance to shine now, to step into the spotlight and show America what he’d do and how he’d inspire voters to embrace conservatism redefined. He could bring back the sunny optimism and hope that defined Reaganism—strong and not defensive but also not obnoxious.

On paper that sounds easy. In real life, it will be hard. The media elite already have their guns out for Biden’s potential 2024 challengers. Look at the hatchet job CBS‘s 60 Minutes just tried to do on Florida GOP governor Ron DeSantis, another possible presidential candidate, by alleging that in exchange for campaign contributions he let the Publix supermarket chain dispense the COVID-19 vaccine. The story landed with a thud—but it’s likely just the first of many drive-bys the media will try.

Let’s face it; the elite media helped put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in office and have a vested interest in seeing them stay there. That means the knives are out for Pence, DeSantis, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and any other Republican who wants the nomination. This will make it especially tough for the former vice president as The New York TimesCNN and others try to tie him to the former president.

The challenges Pence faces on his way to the White House are threefold. First, he must separate himself from Trump enough to allow the Never-Trumpers to consider voting for him while not alienating the MAGA movement. Second, he has to come up with a bold agenda for growth and reform that will get the country moving again to counter what the Democrats offer during Biden’s term. Third, Trump has to decide not to run.

Since the third point is out of his control, Pence would do best to concentrate on the other two. The team he’s assembled so far represents a top-tier mix of MAGA conservatives and Reaganites, meaning that when he runs, Pence will be a force to be reckoned with.


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