CNN continues to bring up violent Charlottesville rally when discussing Richmond gun rights rally

Despite the peaceful pro-gun rights rally this past week in Richmond, Virginia, CNN continued to bring up the 2017 Charlottesville rally that resulted in the death of a woman. The 2017 rally was a white supremacist rally, far different from this past week’s rally in Richmond.

CNN’s article, headlined, “Virginia Senate passes ‘red flag’ bill days after large gun rights rally,” acknowledged that the Democrat-majority Virginia legislature passed a “red flag” bill even after an estimated 22,000 protesters peacefully rallied in opposition of these types of legislative proposals. Only one person was arrested for allegedly disobeying an officer’s order not to wear a mask in public.

A “red flag” bill is an extreme risk protective order, permitting authorities to apply for an emergency substantial risk order to stop someone who could cause bodily harm to self and others from buying, possessing, or transporting a firearm.

But, further down in the article, CNN again brought up the 2017 Charlottesville rally.

“The rally ended peacefully despite earlier concerns of the potential for violence similar to what had erupted more than two years ago at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, which left one counterprotester dead and several others injured.”

CNN did not mention that the mainstream media overplayed its hand and published multiple fear-inducing articles on how the pro-gun rights rally could become another violence-filled protest like Charlottesville in 2017.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine


Media makes the case for Democrats’ impeachment arguments, ignoring how Americans are split on impeachment

While the Senate impeachment trial is going on in Washington, D.C., the mainstream media made the case that the Democratic Party’s impeachment efforts would not go to waste. The majority of the media’s coverage portrayed President Donald Trump as guilty, therefore disregarding journalistic neutrality and ethics in the process.

CNN claimed that Trump incriminated himself and whose audio clips testified that he broke the law in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. Its headline read, “Trump tapes help incriminate the President at his own trial” and the analysis said these audio clips established a pattern of behavior that Trump asked for foreign interference in U.S. political matters. Therefore, the media and the Democratic Party declared that Trump was guilty of corruption.

NBC News published an analysis with the headline, “Democrats’ impeachment formula (2+2=4) is easy math,” and framed the impeachment trial in a similar manner to CNN. The news outlet echoed the argument of Democratic congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and agreed that it was simple math to conclude that Trump was corrupt and attempted to force Ukraine to meddle in American politics.

ABC News played up Schiff’s remarks and said that he “once again made an impassioned plea” to the Senate to bring in witnesses and more documents into the impeachment trial, despite the reality that the House of Representatives did not do so during their impeachment proceedings. The news outlet neglected to mention that the House Democrats declined to pursue subpoenas in court, which would compel witnesses to testify before Congress, and instead pushed through an impeachment vote and other impeachment proceedings without further witnesses and additional documents.

The mainstream media unfairly portrayed the Democrats’ case for impeachment, using emotionally charged language and ignoring context to the House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings. It was misinformation designed to convince Americans that impeachment was in the best interests of the country, despite the leanings of the Democratic Party.

None of the mainstream media outlets cited here mentioned how Americans are closely split on impeachment. Most polls asking about impeachment find different results and there was no consensus on whether a majority of Americans backed impeachment.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

New York Times expands standards department to include news, opinion

The New York Times is expanding its standards department, according to a memo written by executive editor Dean Baquet, managing editor Joe Kahn and editorial page editor James Bennet.

The memo reads as follows:

Today we’re taking the next step by merging the Reader Center’s mission into a significantly larger and more empowered Standards department. This investment will take a standards operation that is already one of the largest in journalism and roughly triple its size.

Standards already plays an important role in setting guidelines for our journalism, training journalists, weighing in on ethics, fairness and style before publication and addressing any issues or concerns after publication. The department will now review significantly more stories before publication; provide greater oversight and consultation in areas beyond traditional articles, including social media, audio, video, TV and newsletters; substantially expand training; and update and expand our stylebook and Ethical Journalism handbook.

Go to Source
Author: Don Irvine

NowThis News ignores peaceful Virginia pro-gun rights rally after playing up fear of violence

NowThis News, after its recent debacle covering anti-Semitic rhetoric from a pro-Palestinian activist, moved on without further comment to cover the news cycle from its progressive viewpoint. NowThis News, the rest of alternative media, and the mainstream media, created a sense of fear and tension when the gun rights group, Virginia Citizens Defense League announced it will hold to its longtime tradition to protest outside of the Virginia state capitol building in Richmond.

After the VCDL’s announcement, members of white supremacist and other fringe groups said they would attend the rally, which spurred intense media attention. Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, declared a temporary state of emergency in case the rally became violent.

NowThis News covered the state of emergency declaration but ignored what happened the day of the rally. Despite the media’s predictions of violence similar to the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia protest (in which a woman died), no violence occurred. A single person was arrested for allegedly ignoring a police officer’s order to not wear a mask in public, but no single act of violence took place.

Although NowThis News acknowledged the reasons behind VCDL’s rally, which was to protest the Democrat-majority Virginia legislature’s pro-gun control legislative proposals, it did not publish a follow-up article to note that no violence took place. In short, NowThis News joined in with the media’s rhetoric that the rally would end in violence, but declined to admit that the rally was peaceful and nothing controversial came from it.

Photo by Anthony Crider

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

Media criticizes Mexico for blocking migrant caravan in southern Mexico

Another migrant caravan, following on the heels of migrant caravans in 2018 and 2019, is attempting to make its way from Central America, through Mexico, and to the United States-Mexico border. But, instead of traveling through Mexico mostly unopposed like the past two caravans, this year’s migrant caravan was stopped by Mexican authorities at its southern border.

An estimated 4,000 people were participating in the migrant caravan and were stopped at the Mexico-Guatemala border by Mexican National Guard troops. The Mexican government reached an agreement with United States President Donald Trump to stem the tide of migrants through Mexico to their shared border. So far, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has fulfilled his promise with the United States government, but it did not make him immune from mainstream media criticism.

National Public Radio portrayed the migrants’ pleas favorably, including how the migrants wrote a letter pleading with Lopez Obrador to “open his heart and open the border gates.” It criticized the use of force by Mexican authorities, which included “corralling and pushing them back towards the river…used riot shields and tear gas.”

Reuters blamed the Mexican authorities for the clash, saying that the “chaotic scramble” led to “mothers separated from their young children” during the violent confrontation. Government sources told Reuters that they “had no reports of children going missing amid the clashes,” directly contradicting Reuters’s claim. The news outlet went further and said that Lopez Obrador is “at the bidding of his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump,” therefore insinuating Lopez Obrador was a puppet of the United States government.

Although both NPR and Reuters acknowledged how migrants threw rocks at the Mexican National Guard, both outlets saved most of their outrage for the Mexican government. Their criticism of Mexico’s tough immigration stance ignored how every sovereign country has a right to enforce its immigration laws and cooperate with allies (such as the United States) to do so.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

NowThis News promotes pro-choice study, ignores researchers’ bias

One of the larger social issues that have bled into public discourse is abortion, which issue has been a hot topic on a state and federal level in the past several years. NowThis News has consistently sided with pro-choice activists and neglected to accurately represent both sides of the debate.

In its latest article, headlined, “Most Abortion Patients Feel Relief for Years After, Study Finds,” NowThis News heralded an academic study that reinforced a pro-choice argument: Women do not feel regret or emotional pain after going through an abortion.

The study, which was a survey of abortion patients, was published by the Social Science & Medicine academic journal by researchers from the University of California-San Francisco and the group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). The study comprised of survey data from about 700 people who had abortions between the years 2008-2010.

What was left unsaid was ANSIRH is a pro-choice academic group, not an impartial academic source as NowThis News implied. In the policy section on its website, the group outlined its support to “expand medication abortion access” in both the University of California and California State University systems, in addition to research on how Catholic hospitals could disrupt quality care due to Catholic doctrine that opposes abortion. NowThis News should have acknowledged, or at least pointed out, ANSIRH’s ideological leaning on the issue of abortion to provide a big-picture view for its readers.

NowThis News also attempted to debunk the anti-abortion’s main contention that women regret abortions after going through the procedure by citing the study. It said, “Here’s why the findings are also important: anti-abortion activists frequently project women’s future regret about abortion, a talking point frequently disposed as they’ve been playing a ground game in states like Indiana to persuade voters to join their cause.”

In other words, NowThis News appeared to rejoice in the study’s findings, although the study itself is in question due to ANSIRH’s pro-choice leaning. It also claimed that the study’s response rate of 38 percent was average for the research profession, which right-leaning news outlet National Review disagreed with. According to Survey Gizmo, internal surveys receive between a 30-40 percent response rate, but external surveys often receive between 10-15 percent, meaning, the study’s response rate appeared to be much higher than normal and could suffer from selection bias.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

Media plays up potential violence ahead of peaceful Virginia gun rally

For at least a week, the mainstream media published numerous articles expressing fear about a pro-Second Amendment gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia. The rally was an annual organized event by the Virginia Citizens Defense League to lobby for Second Amendment-friendly legislation, but this year, white supremacists and other extremist groups announced they would attend it.

Instead of the news cycle focusing on the Second Amendment and the Virginia Democrats passing gun control legislation, the media narrative warned of violence caused by white supremacists and tried to link those groups to the gun rights rally organizers. VCDL president Philip Van Cleave told the media that his group and other affiliated gun rights groups were not stoking fear of violence, nor did they invite the white supremacist and other fringe groups to the rally. Van Cleave said, “It’s the Democrats… It’s almost like they want something to happen. It sounds crazy, but they keep doing it and you have to start wondering if that’s intentional.”

Virginia authorities deployed police and security checkpoints for protesters to enter a designated protest area unarmed, in addition to declaring a temporary state of emergency in case violence ensued at the rally.

NBC News’s headline read, “At tense Virginia rally, demonstrators reject extremists, defend law-abiding gun owners.” NBC News said state authorities estimated about 22,000 people attended the rally outside the state capitol building, but added that some feared “it would be a repeat of the violent 2017 protest in Charlottesville that ended in a woman’s death.” Its own fear-based narrative was debunked when it asked one of the rally participants about the presence of white supremacists, who said, “They are not the right. Conservatives are the right. We are not like those people… If there are Nazis here, white supremacists, they are not welcome by me. I do not want them on my side ever.”

CNN’s headline admitted that the media’s fear-mongering failed, “Virginia gun-rights rally concludes peacefully despite earlier fears of extremist violence.” Its first sentence read, “A large gun-rights rally in Virginia’s state capital unfolded peacefully Monday despite earlier fears of the kind of violence that took place in nearby Charlottesville three years ago.”

But as much as the media played up the potential for violence, there was no violence at the rally. One arrest was made when a woman wore a mask in public and allegedly ignored an officer’s warning, but overall, armed and unarmed protesters chanted various slogans throughout the rally. Some rally participants reportedly recited the Second Amendment while others passed around petitions to recall Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.

The rally took larger significance this year due to the Democratic Party’s electoral gains in the state legislature to become the majority party. The party advanced three gun control bills, including mandatory background checks on all firearms purchases, permitting law enforcement to confiscate guns from those deemed safety risks, limiting gun purchases to once a month, and permitting local governments to ban weapons from certain events.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

CNBC misleads public on 2020 fundraising numbers between Trump, Democratic candidates

There are accurate headlines, then there are misleading and inaccurate headlines in the mainstream media. CNBC’s latest headline on the 2020 primary should be categorized in the latter due to its misleading narrative.

CNBC’s headline on 2020 fundraising numbers read, “The 2020 Democratic field is outraising Trump by a huge margin — that didn’t happen to Obama or Bush.” But in the first few paragraphs, CNBC admitted that Trump outraised individual candidates, therefore debunking its own headline and narrative.

CNBC wrote, “The president has blown past individual Democratic presidential campaigns in fundraising for his 2020 reelection bid. But the crowded primary field together more than tripled his 2019 cash haul.” It pivoted back to its initial narrative that Trump is in fundraising trouble and said, “No incumbent president this century has been so thoroughly outraised by a field of challengers in the year before a reelection contest.” The article added, “The main Republican challengers to President Barack Obama in 2012 barely took in more than the incumbent in 2011.” Also, according to CNBC, President George W. Bush “narrowly topped his challengers in fundraising in 2003, the year before he won reelection in 2004.”

But CNBC’s narrative glanced over Trump’s significant fundraising advantage over individual candidates. For example, this past quarter, Trump’s re-election campaign raised $46 million, far outpacing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his fundraising haul of $34.5 million (which was the highest among Democratic Party candidates in the quarter).

Other factors also played a part in the Obama and Bush comparisons, such as growing anti-Trump fervor among the Democratic Party since his election in 2016, Obama’s likeability propelling him to victory in 2012, and the American voters trusted Bush in 2004 after his response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Another important factor is that the Democratic Party primary field is crowded, numbering at one point over two-dozen candidates, even outnumbering the 2012 Republican presidential primary field. With more candidates, theoretically, there will be higher fundraising totals.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

Media excuses Sanders campaign’s misleading video about Biden, Social Security

With the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks away, the Democratic Party presidential candidates attempted to distance each other on specific policy stances and past positions. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) published a video featuring former vice president Joe Biden praising changes in Social Security, which Biden’s campaign called a “doctored video.” But the media appeared to excuse Sanders’s claim about Biden, despite left-leaning PolitiFact calling Sanders’s claim a false accusation.

In the video, Sanders’s campaign claimed that Biden lauded a Republican proposal to cut Social Security benefits, such as freezing the cost-of-living adjustments and other similar changes. It said, “In 2018, Biden lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare.” Paul Ryan had since retired from politics, but he was the former Republican House speaker.

Politico published an article noting that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Sanders in criticizing Biden for his alleged Social Security policy stance. Its headline was, “Warren joins Bernie in jabbing Biden on Social Security.” Politico appeared to take Sanders’s side in the argument and said that although PolitiFact rated it as “false,” “[t]here is no evidence, however, that the Sanders campaign altered any video.”

NBC News took a crack at the controversy in its article, headlined, “Biden demands apology from Sanders over ‘doctored’ video on Social Security.” The article did not mention how Sanders’s claim was rated “false” by PolitiFact and nor did the article investigate whether the video was altered as the Biden campaign claimed. NBC News appeared to take Sanders’s campaign at its word that it did not alter a video of Biden’s past remarks.

CNN’s take on the controversy was more accurate than NBC News, but close to what Politico published. Like Politico, CNN said, “Though the video takes Biden’s remarks that day out of context, it has not been altered.” It also took note of PolitiFact’s rating, though that line was buried deep into the article.

Overall, the mainstream media offered excuses for the Sanders campaign, while the Biden campaign demanded an apology from Sanders’s campaign for publishing misleading information. Though the media acknowledged that there was no video tampering or alterations, the media failed to emphasize that the out-of-context video clip was dishonest politicking by the Sanders campaign. By extension, the media excused Sanders’s campaign for using misinformation to mislead potential voters and the general public on Biden’s Social Security record.

Go to Source
Author: Spencer Irvine

Liberals decry NY Times co-endorsement of Warren, Klobuchar

Newspaper endorsements of presidential candidates no longer carry the weight they used to and The New York Times may have done the process irreparable harm with its reality show-esque hype of their decision of which Democratic presidential candidate would win the paper’s endorsement.

Using transcripts of interviews and video clips the Times aired its decision-making process on The Weekly, a  show on FX that is also streamed on Hulu.

Instead of a traditional single endorsement, the Times endorsed both Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), candidates with diametrically opposing views.

The Times explained their decision to not back an establishment candidate while criticizing the political system:

The history of the editorial board would suggest that we would side squarely with the candidate with a more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward, within the realities of a constitutional framework and a multiparty country. But the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values.

There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken. Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics. And the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.

Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it.

That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Climate change activists roundly criticized the decision.

The media also weighed in on the co-endorsements.

“The split decision between Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren makes literal the feeling in the air that the Times’s endorsement directs no one’s vote,” wrote Daniel D’Addario in Variety. “In this case, it’d be impossible to vote for the Times‘s slate without casting two ballots. The value of a Times endorsement, perhaps, redounds solely to the Times, reflecting its vision of itself and how it wants to be seen.”

Alex Shephard of The New Republic said “the Times has turned the selection into a weeklong affair, a mix between Donald Trump’s The Apprentice and LeBron James’s ‘The Decision,’” the latter a reference to James’ infamous 75-minute program in 2010 where he announced at the end which team he would play for in 2010-2011 as the biggest free agent in NBA history at the time.

Go to Source
Author: Don Irvine