Topic: Media Research Center
A couple weeks back, CNSNews.com touted how "A group of conservative leaders announced at a press conference today that they had sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling on him and the other four members of the Senate Republican leadership team to step down over their failure to keep their promises."
It was a rather tepid little collection of folks -- with the emphasis on little, as Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall pointed out:
First, it’s just five people. That’s not very many. More important is who the people are. Two of them have histories literally going back to the earliest days of the modern conservative movement.
First there’s Richard Viguerie, basically the inventor of right wing direct mail fundraising. In many ways Viguerie invented clickbait and fake news decades before the Internet. He’s 84.
Then there’s Brent Bozell. Bozell has lived his entire life in the sinecure right wing activism world, which some very unnice people are ungenerous enough to call the world of ‘wingnut welfare’. He founded the Media Research Center in 1987 – full-time yakking about ‘liberal media bias’. His father was L. Brent Bozell, Jr., partner with Bill Buckley is launching much of what we know as movement conservatism today. Among many other things he ghosted Barry Goldwater’s ‘Conscience of a Conservative’, a bible of young conservatives in the early 60s which helped launch his 1964 presidential run.
To the extent that Trump is something ‘new’ in the GOP firmament, these folks are as old as it gets. The other three all predate Trump and in key cases predate the Tea Party. Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots is the ‘newest’ person on the list.
Of course, the only reason CNS covered this letter is because Bozell is the head of it (not disclosed until the final paragraph of the article). Weirdly, Bozell isn't identified as being affiliated with anything until the final-paragraph disclosure; he apparently can't identify himself as head of the MRC in the context of this letter because the MRC, as a 501(c)3 nonprofit group, is highly restricted on the amount of political activity it can engaged in.
It's also an even tinier group than Marshall notes. Anotherof the small group of signatories is David Bozell, Brent's son and the head of For America, a group Brent founded and, near as we can tell, continues as its chairman -- the group's website has purged mention of anyone affiliated with the group outside of David Bozell. (For America is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, which means it can engage in more political activity.)
Most of the signatories (except for David Bozell) were among a slightly larger group of "conservative leaders" that signed another letter last week whining to the media about "the censorship of the Clinton/Russian uranium deal."
One wonders if Bozell is generating these letters solely in order to give his websites something to write about. Because they're meaningless as anything beyond a publicity stunt.