Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has declared war against the Center for Public Integrity over its report stating that the Bush administration made hundreds of false statements regarding Iraq:
- A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters described the Center for Public Integrity -- which issued a -- as "left-wing" and complained that a New York Times article on the study "made no mention of CPI's ties to the left-wing billionaire George Soros."
- A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by the ever-insightful Warner Todd Huston calls CPI "ultra-leftist" and "funded by extreme leftist George Soros" and others who are "exclusively leftist in political philosophy."
- A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan noted "the Center’s funding by various left-wing individuals and foundations, most notably George Soros."
- A Jan. 24 NewsBusters post and CyberAlert item by Brent Baker stated that the report was issued by "a couple of affiliated far-left groups."
Which begs the question: If CPI is so far left, why was it trying to bring down Al Gore in 2000?
As we've detailed, CPI funded much of the reporting for the multi-part series on Gore that WorldNetDaily published before the 2000 election (a secondary target of the series is suing WND, CPI and the authors for libel). CPI then later disassociated itself from the series prior to publication; according to CPI senior fellow Knut Royce, "The biggest determinant was that the main focus to begin with in the project was Al Gore. And the bottom line, we just didn't have Al Gore."
One defense repeated in most of these posts is that, as Baker quoted Fox News' Brit Hume as saying, it was "a concept nearly universally accepted by most of the world's intelligence services at the time" that Iraq under Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. But all are general references, and none of these posts address the specific evidence CPI cites to declare various Bush administration officials' statements about Iraq WMD as false.
UPDATE: Seton Motley stumbles in with a Jan. 24 NewsBusters post saying the same thing: CPI is funded by "left-wing mega-mogul George Soros," and everybody thought Iraq had WMD. But he doesn't note that CPI went after Gore or specifically address the evidence CPI uses to back up its claim of false statements about Iraq WMD.
Motley also disingenously raises the labeling issue, complaining that CPI and its sister organization was described by Keith Olbermann (whom he weirdly describes as the "Legacy Press") as "two non-profit groups," while Olbermann called the MRC a "rabid right-wing spin group." Motley ignores the fact that, as we have repeatedly noted, that other "Legacy Press" pillar, Fox News (founded the same year as MSNBC), almost never applies an ideological label to the MRC.