Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck used a March 3 post to come to the defense of right-wing author Charles Murray, who was "chased ... from far-left Middlebury College by an angry mob" where he was planning to give a speech. He further complained that the Associated Press cited "the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, touting their belief that Murray is a 'white nationalist' using 'racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.'"
Strangely, Houck didn't actually challenge the SPLC's description of Murray (other than that it was expressed), nor does he defend Murray's views let alone explain why they would be considered controversial enough to protest; he just benignly describes Murray as a "longtime conservative author, columnist, and think tank scholar." The full SPLC profile of Murray is here, since Houck couldn't be bothered to link to it.
But let's look at something else: Houck's overuse of the "far-left" descriptor. That's just cheap and lazy heat on Houck's part; neither the SPLC or the entirety of Middlebury College can plausibly be dismissed as "far left" by a neutral observer.
Indeed, attacking anything and everything as "far left" is something of an avocation at the MRC. Here are the things have attacked as "far left" so far in 2017 alone:
- Film director Bill Condon
- John Oliver
- Rob Reiner
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein
- Stephen Colbert
- Bill Maher
- "Hollywood La La Land"
- Michelle Bernard
- The SPLC (again)
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez
- Dean Obeidallah
- Joy Reid
- Marc Lamont Hill
- Rep. Keith Ellison
- Rep. Keith Ellison (again)
- Sports blog Deadspin
- the Women’s March on Washington
- the Women’s March on Washington (again)
- The Nation magazine
- "rebels of the music world" such as rappers Chuck D and Vic Mensa, jazz musicians Kurt Elling, Lalah Hathaway, and Arturo O'Farrill , alternative rockers Alex Ebert of the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
- The Human Rights Campaign (actually described as "far-far-left")
- Bill Maher (again)
- Meryl Streep
- Harry Belafonte
- the website Raw Story
- Shonda Rhimes
(And here's a bonus entry from late December: Walter Cronkite.)
Not all of these things are "far left." In fact, most of them aren't. They only look "far left" if you're a right-winger like Houck and his MRC stablemates. It's as if the MRC doesn't understand that words mean things.
Except they do. In 2015, the MRC's Rich Noyes complained that the broadcast networks "have gone out of their way to relentlessly paint House Republicans, especially the Freedom Caucus, as ideologues who are outside the American political mainstream" by using labels such as "far right." Noyes went on to huff that "The media’s repeated labeling of conservatives as outside-the-mainstream is something that liberals don’t have to face."
Except from the right-wing ideologues at the MRC, who again refuse to hold themselves to the same behavior they demand from others.