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One Journo Departs, Another Journo Arrives, and MSNBC Delivers the First Gaslighting of the New Year!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Townhall Media

"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.


Low Octane Gas Lighting – MSNBC

  • When the facts don't align with your narrative, but you run with it anyway.

I do not need to tell you that the press is truly in love with the GOP Election Denialism narrative – so I'll show it to you instead. As the melodrama in the House over the ever-ongoing vote for the Spearkship continues, MSNBC was on the scene to explain to us what is happening. The wise correspondent Garrett Haake was at the Capitol, and his interpretation of more than a dozen Republicans voting in opposition to a Kevin McCarthy speakership took on a curious conclusion.

Artisanally-Crafted Narratives – NEWSGUARD

That mainstream outlets like WaPo and others cite NewsGuard as a valid measurement tool of media bias or rectitude continues to generate laughs. Over at NewsBusters, they took a look at the journalism analytics from the outlet and finds a rather slanted interpretation from their system (what the site calls Nutrition Labels).

- "A new analysis shows that liberal media outlets were rated 25 points higher on average than right-leaning media outlets illustrates how NewsGuard's self-projection as a credibility gatekeeper is a complete joke. The average NewsGuard score for the 'left' and 'lean left' outlets — which included leftist outlets like USA Today — was a "green shield" rating of 91/100. While the average rating for 'right' and 'lean right' outlets — which included Fox News, The Daily Wire and New York Post — was a low 66/100. That's a 25-point disparity."

While placing a premium on accuracy and facts, some deeply significant details also appear to be interpretational. Both USA Today and NBC News dealt with reporters caught with significant plagiarism issues. The Washington Post sports a perfect 100; this after the paper had to issue repeated corrections and editing throughout the year, including multiple times with just one reporter, the un-esteemed Taylor Lorenz.

Both Kinds of Standards – MSNBC

  • If anyone else spoke this way, they'd be taken off the air.

Somehow Joy Reid has managed to insulate herself perfectly at her network. Despite being almost entirely focused on race, while delivering impacted wisdom leading to dismal ratings at MSNBC, she manages to retain her job. Here she is looking over the Republicans in Congress and declaring that black GOP members are not valid, all while insisting it is the Republicans who are disregarding blacks as being invalid. This is rather amazingly racist and ignorant commentary from the hectoring hostess.

Reporting on the Mirror – THE NEW YORK TIMES

After a year of delivering off-kilter and decidedly off-brand "conservative" hot takes, David French is taking his anti-Trump talents to New York. One bit of amusement is that after doing his part to anger many on the right as he strives to distance himself as a broken Trump obsessive, he has not endeared himself to the left. At the announcement of his hiring, GLAAD released a statement of disapproval.


Over at NPR, they are looking to keep the QAnon hysteria going – you know, that conspiracy portal blamed for all the world's ills that was run by a couple of nobodies with zero political connections and has not been operational for two years?

Well, NPR exposes that supposedly QAnon nutters are infiltrating self-health and wellness circles now. Just note that in the accusatory stance that QAnon is "hijacking" the wellness industry it never gets around to explaining what the end goal is in any of this hysteria.

- "QAnon, in particular, may have a particular resonance for yoga practitioners, according to Ben Lorber, a researcher at Political Research Associates, a think tank that monitors right-wing movements, because both communities share the idea of a higher truth accessible to a select few." 

Just out of curiosity – are there any think tanks monitoring left-wing movements? I'd be curious what the experts would think of a news outlet that is convinced a non-existent conspiracy source is working to take over yoga, and what exactly will be accomplished by this takeover.

Reporting on the Mirror – CNN

The word is out that at CNN, Suzanne Malveaux will be leaving the network she has worked at for two decades. This follows another named departure from last month, Barbara Starr. Those names leaving are not believed to be directly related to the layoffs from the past two months. 

At the very least, we can say at least one of the connections to the Jose Biden administration has been severed. Malveaux is the partner of White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.


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