Topic: Media Research Center
As Fox News' Sean Hannity has descended into crazy, discredited conspiracy theories about Seth Rich, the Media Research Center has suddenly decided to come to his defense.
A May 25 MRC post intoned, "Liberals, both inside the media and on the outside, are attempting to take down Fox News host Sean Hannity," followed by a statement from MRC chief Brent Bozell:
The attack on Sean Hannity is a part of the liberal strategy to re-establish their monopoly over television news. They want only one voice on the air: their own. All others must be silenced.
We now see elements of corporate America joining in the liberal cause and advancing the liberal strategy. These corporations are not serving the interests of their customers. Sponsoring a free, meaningful dialogue based on mutual respect reflects what happens among consumers in everyday life. When corporations withdraw from that debate, it does not serve the interests of their country, it merely makes them servants of the politically correct.
It is especially disappointing that an upstanding company like USAA would so easily succumb to the pressure of left-wing extremists. For decades, Sean Hannity has been a fierce supporter of the military at every turn. And this is how you treat him?
A few hours later, Bozell returned with another statement, this one attacking insurance company USAA for pulling its ads off Hannity's show:
“USAA is dishonest and their spokesmen are terrible liars. First they pander to the far-left by announcing they were pulling advertising from Sean Hannity's TV show, and when there is an uproar against them, they state on Twitter that they don't advertise on 'opinion shows.' That is dishonest. They advertised on MSNBC Hardball just last night. We have several other examples of USAA advertising on left-wing shows that would clearly violate their stated 'policy.'
“USAA's customers -- so many of them veterans who have no greater champion than Sean Hannity -- have every right to be outraged. USAA owes them specifically, and the public at large an explanation. This duplicity is obnoxious and shameful.”
Notice that there's one thing curiously missing from both of Bozell's statements, as well as their reproductions at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com: the reason why there is an ad boycott in the first place.
Pulling ads off a show that's become synonymous for peddling false and malicious conspiracy theories is not "pandering" to the "far-left" (there's that increasingly meaningless name-calling again!) -- it's common sense.
Bozell's rants ignore on seriously inconvenient fact: Hannity, not anyone on the "far-left," is the only one responsible for this. He's the one making himself toxic by pushing these Seth Rich conspiracy theories.
The MRC itself has thus far refused to traffic in any wild claim about Rich, which is commendable -- and which makes it all the more puzzling that it has decided to defend Hannity for doing so.
Until Bozell can acknowledge the simple fact that Hannity brought this upon himself, there's no reason to take his organization's decision to protect Hannity seriously.
UPDATE: The MRC published another post, by Tim Graham, complaining about USAA pulling its ads from Hannity's show. Again, no mention is made of why there is an ongoing ad boycott.