Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously reported on John Ziegler, right-wing radio host turned filmmaker who has on his resume a so-called documentary with a false premise at its center: that the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11" was factually accurate. As we've also noted, Ziegler has another film in progress, which aims to portray all supporters of Barack Obama as uninformed idiots and Sarah Palin as a victim of the big, bad liberal media.
To that end, Ziegler released a clip of an interview he did with Palin, in which she appears to blame everyone but herself for her election loss. And just as various tendrils of the Media Research Center eagerly promoted Ziegler's previous film, it now shills for Ziegler's new project.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard immediately jumped on the bandwagon, promoting the clip as posted on the new right-wing Big Hollywood blog, sycophantically adding, "It goes without saying we at NewsBusters look forward to seeing more from Ziegler and Big Hollywood." Sheppard describes Ziegler only as a "documentarian."
A Jan. 8 CNSNews.com article by Melanie Hunter-Omar offers similar treatment, feting Ziegler as a "documentary filmmaker" and citing how "12 Obama voters were interviewed right after they cast their vote to determine how the media coverage influenced their knowledge of what actually happened during the presidential campaign" to prove the supposed ignorace of Obama voters.
Neither Sheppard nor Hunter-Omar mention the entirely germane fact that Ziegler is a conservative activist. Nor do they mention the fact that a Zogby poll commissioned by Ziegler to prove his point contains misleading statements -- or his foul-mouthed behavior toward Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com for committing the sin of pointing that out.
But the MRC loves abusive behavior -- when it's committed by right-wingers against their purported enemies, anyway. When Ziegler acted petulant during an appearance with MSNBC's David Shuster, Sheppard found it a hoot that Ziegler called Shuster "a joke" and "an alleged newsperson" for his "anti-Sarah Palin bias," helpfully offering time stamps for the attached video clip so viewers can skip to Ziegler at his most insulting.
Writing about the same interview, Scott Whitlock acted a little more professional, calling the interview "contentious" and Ziegler "incredulous," but Whitlock was still more than happy to highlight Sheppard's post pointing out that "Ziegler also derided Shuster as a 'joke' and publicly called out MSNBC as 'clearly the pet network of Barack Obama.'"
As before, at no point do Whitlock or Sheppard identify Ziegler as a conservative activist.
For a more balanced take on Ziegler's interview, Crooks and Liars points out what Sheppard and Whitlock didn't: that Shuster pointed out that Palin has said that Ziegler's "decision to post excerpts out of context on YouTube led to misleading reports." C&L's John Amato accurately adds: "You see, with guys like Ziegler--when he's confronted with facts that disprove his propaganda, he gets abusive."