Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a May 11 post:
It’s mid-May, which means it’s time for The Washington Post to unload the cheap-shot “investigative” stories on the Republican front-runner. On the front of the May 11 Washington Post is a story on Trump’s sex boasts….and sex life. The online headline is “From playboy to president? Trump’s past crude sex talk collides with his White House bid.“ In the newspaper, it was "Before candidate Trump, there was playboy Trump: Extolling Lothario lifestyle worked for the developer, but now it behooves him to back off old boasts."
Bill Clinton’s crude sex talk? Not front-page news in the Post. Crude sex talk from JFK or LBJ? Not front-page news in the Post. Remember the 2008 Post story on Obama's sex life? But here’s how reporter Mary Jordan began, by quoting from a Trump radio interview with Howard Stern:
Notice the Post didn’t locate these 19-year-old quotes when there were still Republican opponents in the race appealing for the conservative-Christian vote. The Post somehow couldn’t find the time for this story until the term “presumptive nominee” fit.
Jordan noted Trump’s exchanges with Stern were posted online by BuzzFeed “this year” – that would be in February. The Post thought they became front-page material on May 11. Check the liberal rag's Romney-haircut-bully-from-1965 timing.
You know who else didn't think Trump's sexist comments to Stern were front-page material when BuzzFeed first reported them in February -- or since? The MRC and its own "news"division, CNSNews.com.
BuzzFeed reported on Trump's sexist comments on Stern's show on Feb. 24. Both the MRC and CNS completely ignored them. In other words, CNS and the MRC could have made a big deal about these comments for the past three months had they chosen to do so. They didn't.
This means Graham is being utterly hypocritical in bashing the Post for focusing on the story the MRC itself ignored for months.
Instead, the MRC was much more concerned about a Trump-Stern story BuzzFeed reported a week earlier, in which Trump had told Stern in 2002 that he supported an invasion of Iraq. This time, though, the MRC was bashing NBC's Chuck Todd for confronting Trump about it.
Susan Jones' Feb. 22 CNS article on the comments was framed as allowing Trump off the hook because he wasn't a politician at the time he made the comment. And the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro instead chose to attack Todd for saying during his Trump interview it's not solely the media's reponsibility for vetting Trump and that "a normal campaign that was running against Donald Trump" should be even more aggressive.
Indeed, for as anti-Trump as most top MRC officials are -- MRC chief Brent Bozell endorsed Ted Cruz and attacked Trump for not being a movement conservative -- they did not leverage the MRC's resources as fully as they could have to take him down.
Instead, the MRC concocted a conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" conspired to make Trump the Republican nominee so he would lose to Hillary Clinton in November.
While Graham's whining about the Post plays into this conspiracy theory, it also shows that the MRC will be acquiescing to Trump by portraying him as the victim of the "liberal media." The fact that Graham considers the Post's Trump-Stern story the equivalent of its 2012 story on Romney's prep-school years -- another story CNS and the right-wing media had no interest in until the Post reported it -- is evidence of that turn taking place.