We've documented how the writers at NewsBusters -- presumably following the dictates of Media Research Center -- can't offer even the slightest bit of criticism of Rush Limbaugh's vitriolic, misogynistic attack on Sandra Fluke, not even offering MRC chief Brent Bozell's milquetoast mewlings about how Limbaugh was being "inappropriate." Their marching orders are to change the subject by talking about liberals who say offensive things, and for these opinionated writers to express no opinion whatsoever about Limbaugh.
In a March 7 post, MRC employee Matt Hadro was offended that a CNN contributor claimed that Bill Maher's remarks about women were not as bad as Limbaugh's. At no point did Hadro criticize what Limbaugh said.
In a March 8 post, NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd highlighted an MSNBC anchor complaining about Limbaugh using sexist language like "authorette" to attack Tracie McMillan, who wrote something he didn't like. Shepherd even defended Limbaugh's language, insisting that Limbaugh was speaking "facetiously" when he said of the author, "What is it with all these young, single white women, overeducated -- doesn't mean intelligent." Shepherd then joined Limbaugh in bashing McMillan, dismissing her as "a liberal hack in the guise of journalist."
As you might expect, Shepherd was silent about Limbaugh's attacks on Fluke.
In a March 9 post, NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard uncritically repeated Sarah Palin's criticism of President Obama's PAC accepting a $1 million donation from Maher. Sheppard is silent about Limbaugh, who received the MRC's inaugural "William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence."
A March 9 post by Tim Graham repeatedly criticized Maher for donating to Obama's PAC. He was silent about Limbaugh.
A March 9 post by Tom Blumer uncriticially repeated a Limbaugh transcript in which he expressed pride that what Blumer called "the hate-filled left" has not been able to remove him from the air. Blumer said nothing about the hate-filled rants that brought LImbaugh to this point. Blumer did not criticize Limbaugh for his remarks -- rather he concluded by stating, "Game. Set. Match." Blumer also failed to correct Limbaugh's falsehood that he spent only "five minutes" attacking Fluke; in fact, he spent significant parts of his show over three days doing so.
A March 10 post by MRC employee Kyle Drennen attacked Andrea Mitchell for criticizing limbaugh when "hought use of the word "slut" – one of Limbaugh's offending remarks – was perfectly fine when it was to get laughs for a network sitcom. Back on the September 30, 2010 episode of NBC's 30 Rock, Mitchell made a cameo playing herself and called Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon a 'slut' following rumors of an office romance." Drennen ignores the fact that Limbaugh's radio show is not a sitcom and that Fluke is not a fictional character.
Drennen did concede that "30 Rock is fiction, and the comment was made in jest," but then added, "the fact that Mitchell agreed to use her position as a journalist to promote such language as humor certainly undermines her moral authority in condemning Limbaugh."
In a March 10 post attacking "attention-seeking" Gloria Allred for threatening Limbaugh, Noel Sheppard insisted that what Limbaugh said wasn't offensive at all: "His joke was that a woman wanting others to pay for her birth control is acting like a slut and a prostitute." Sheppard didn't explain what the difference is between Limbaugh and actual comedians like Maher, or why Maher doesn't get the comedian's defense he's offering Limbaugh.
Sheppard followed that up with a post complaining that Maher called Limbaugh ""a stupid fat f--k who’s not funny." Sheppard retorted: "First off, who is Bill Maher - as one of the most vulgar people on television - to determine what's a disgusting sentiment?" Sheppard keeps quiet about his apparently favorable opinion about Limbaugh's "joke."
A March 10 post by Graham proclaimed offense that someone pointed out that Maher is a comedian while Limbaugh is the "de facto leader of the Republican Party." Graham huffed in response: "Would Reince Priebus agree that Rush Limbaugh really runs the GOP?" Graham took further offense that it was pointed out that Mitt Romney was endorsed by Ted Nugent, who has a record of saying offensive things like calling Obama a "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun." (Did we mention he also called Hillary Clinton a "toxic cunt"?)
Rather than criticize Nugent's offensive remarks -- something we can't remember anyone at the MRC ever doing -- Graham tried to change the subject: Wait a minute. Does Ted Nugent compare to Bill Maher? Does Nugent have a weekly HBO show? Or maybe Burton would say he is the de facto leader of the NRA?" Well, Nugent is on the NRA board of directors. That's a bigger deal in some quarters (like MRC headquarters?) than hosting a show on HBO.
Meanwhile, at the MRC's TimesWatch blog, Clay Waters was under the same marching orders -- a March 9 item criticized a New York Times article for "tarring Rush Limbaugh as a thug." Waters said nothing about the offensive nature of Limbaugh's remarks.