Topic: Media Research Center
A Sept. 13 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Geoffrey Dickens determined that "there were far more liberal questions (13) to the GOP candidates" at the recent CNN-sponsored Republican presidential debate "than there were conservative-oriented questions at the NBC News debate." As per usual for MRC "research," Dickens did not explain how he determined what a "liberal" question was as opposed to a "conservative" question; no indication is given that a objective research metric was determined, leading one to believe that any such judgment was entirely subjective.
But there were three major GOP presidential candidate debates in the past month or so, not two. What about the third one? Dickens says nothing about it.
Well, that Aug. 11 debate was sponsored by two right-wing media entities, Fox News and the Washington Examiner. Perhaps the MRC doesn't want to concede that these conservative outlets asked questions that, had they been asked by employees of CNN or NBC, would get immediately pegged as "liberal."
For instance, the indisputably conservative Byron York asked Michele Bachmann about her previous statements that wives should be "submissive" to their husbands --something that Dickens and any other MRC employee would be screaming "liberal" over had it come out of the mouth of, say, Wolf Blitzer or Brian Williams (both of whom Dickens took to task for their supposedly "liberal" lines of questioning). And Newt Gingrich got all huffy and accused Fox News host Chris Wallace -- who knows how to toe the Fox corporate line, as his interview with Jon Stewart demonstrated -- of asking "gotcha questions."
When NewsBusters "creator" Matthew Sheffield highlighted how Gingrich attacked one of his inqusitors for biased question sduring the NBC debate, he inexplicably failed to mention that Gingrich did the very same thing to Wallace in the Fox-Examiner debate. The only reference in a NewsBusters itemto York's question to Bachmann is a passing one in a post by Tim Graham bashing Frank Shaffer for using it to foment "panic and paranoia about the Fundamentalist Menace."
You'd think that the MRC would be rushing to highlight such questions as a way to prove that Fox isn't a monolithically right-wing outlet. Then again, the Fox debate was the only one that MRC chief Brent Bozell felt compelled to judge; he offered no similar grading of the NBC- and CNN-sponsored debates.
The MRC has a history of going out of its way not to judge Fox by the same standards it applies to the other networks it attacks, presumably because it would prove that Fox is at least as conservative as those other networks, in its mind, are "liberal."