Topic: Media Research Center
When pipe bombs started showing up in the mailboxes of prominent liberals and "liberal media" outlets like CNN, the Media Research Center was at first indignant that the story was being covered at all -- then indignant at the idea that President Trump's rhetoric may have inspired the would-be bomber in an orgy of pre-emptive denials.
An Oct. 23 item by Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that the media reported the story of "a pipe bomb in the mailbox of shady liberal billionaire George Soros’ New York mansion," complaining that "their concern for Soros came after all of them had ignored violent assaults and threat against conservative candidates and lawmakers."Fondacaro then ranted that "While the media were faithfully echoing Soros’ condemnation of “hate,” they ignored his financing of radical leftist organizations" through "his racical Open Society Foundation."
Kristine Marsh complained: "The View co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar were quick to condemn President Trump after a suspicious package was found in the mailroom of the Time Warner Cable Center in New York City, where CNN broadcasts from. Hostin and Behar even went further in suggesting this was a conservative who was motivated by Trump’s war with the media."
Gabriel Hays grumbled that "the Hollywood partisans couldn’t wait for details before blaming the president," singling out actor Josh Gad for having "donned the victimhood cap and also declared this as the fruits of the current administration’s rhetoric against the Democrats." Hays concluded by declaring: "Clearly, Wednesday morning’s physical threat to the liberal media and progressive icons is a condemnable and disgusting action. But to blather on about how it is Donald Trump’s fault and indicative of his followers rather than the actions of some deranged criminal is rash and irresponsible."
Kyle Drennen huffed that "MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin teed up a former Hillary Clinton aide to blame President Trump for the incidents without knowing who sent the explosives or why." Curtis Houck was mad that a CNN "panel of analysts, journalists, and pundits promptly lashed out at Trump, insinuating his guilt and deeming his remarks insufficient."
Mark Finkelstein asserted: "Maybe CNN lacks the guts to directly claim that a Republican sent those devices. And so it has resorted to the cowardly contrivance of putting the accusation in the mouths of others." He then bizarrely claimed that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "seems to be suffering from a bad case of pipe-bomb envy," linking to an article accusing Cuomo of falsely claiming a pipe bomb was sent to his office (though a "suspicious package" had been sent).
Drennen returned to engage in anti-media rhetoric: "On Thursday, the network morning shows were aghast that President Trump would accuse the news media of incivility and divisiveness, even as they repeatedly suggested that his rhetoric was to blame for mail bombs being sent to prominent Democrats. Reporters ignored recent polling that found people across the political spectrum agreed that the press was one of the main sources of division in the country." He added: "While the journalists repeatedly longed for Trump to “take responsibility” for the foiled bombing attempts and the overall divided state of the country, they failed to spend one moment on any self-examination."
Fondacaro did basically the same thing: "President Trump and the White House refused to bow to the liberal media’s assertions that he was the one responsible for the bombs sent to CNN and other Democrats this week. In response, the liberal media spend most of Thursday throwing a temper tantrum. During ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News, these two broadcast networks were clearly irritated as they took shot after shot at the President."
Fondacaro followed with some serious pro-Trump stenography: "Mere moments after President Trump called for national unity at a Wisconsin rally in the wake of attempted bombings of prominent Democrats and CNN, CNN host Anderson Cooper kicked off AC360 by decrying the President’s speech," further insisting that "In his speech, Trump forcefully denounced the attacks." He then sneered: "Even when Trump tries to be presidential, CNN has to fight him on it. This is CNN."
Houck whined further in another post:
That’s right, NewsBusters readers. According to two of CNN’s top personalities on Wednesday afternoon, you have contributed to our coarsening American discourse and tacitly deserve blame for the bombs sent to, among others CNN and former Presidents Clinton and Obama.
While reporting from outside the evacuated Time Warner building, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter asserted without evidence on those behind the bombs and heavy usage of the word “but” that it’s the President and “right-wing commentators” and “outlets” who should look at themselves in the mirror.
So, to recap, it’s the people who bring you the latest liberal media bias, whether that be here at NewsBusters or with our friends such as Conservative Review, the Daily Caller, Townhall, and the Washington Free Beacon who have created a culture of incivility and that CNN (or anyone on the left) have little to nothing to do with that. Classy.
Houck also huffed that a CNN correspondent "offered a repulsive piece of analysis Friday night on the suspect arrested in this week’s mail bombs, comparing the President to Islamic terrorists like ISIS peddling online propaganda to help lone wolves become “self-radicalized” and carry out attacks.
Mind you, all of this came before the Oct. 26 arrest of Cesar Sayoc -- an enthusiastic Trump supporter -- on suspicion of sending all those pipe bombs.
Needless to say, the MRC will never apologize for insulting all those people for speculation that turned out to be absolutely correct. Instead it doubled down on defending Trump -- for a little while, anyway.
Scott Whitlock complained that "MSNBC guests and hosts went into full blame mode on Friday, lashing out at Donald Trump as 'terrorist sympathizer' in the wake of the arrest of alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc in Florida." Whitlock also strangely complained that in 2017, one MSNBC commentator "tried to smear Steve Scalise, the victim of Bernie Sanders-supporting attempted murderer James Hodgkinson. He promoted the discredited report that Scalise 'may have' spoken to 'white nationalists.'" As we've documented, Scalise apologized for speaking to white nationalists, so the claim is not "discredited."
Fondacaro railed at "Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos" for "painting the violence and death of the last few days as the product of the President they couldn’t stand" on ABC's "This Week," ranting that "Blaming President Trump’s heated words for the physical violence of others was the undercurrent of the entire program." He didn't mention Sayoc's arrest, let alone that Sayoc was a huge Trump supporter.
Ryan Foley cheerfully wrote as he went into equivocation mode:
Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace contrasted front-page headlines from The Washington Post the day after Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was shot at an Alexandria, VA baseball field by a Bernie Sanders supporter with The Post's headline following the capture of mail bomb mastermind and Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc. Not surprisingly, The Post made sure to emphasize that Sayoc's political views were mentioned in the headline while the assailant's political leanings were not mentioned in the Scalise shooting headline.
Of course, Foley didn't note that while James Hodgkinson, Scalise's shooter, merely liked Bernie Sanders and Rachel Maddow on Facebook -- neither of whom ever urged violence against those they disagreed with -- Sayoc had his van plastered in pro-Trump sentiments and "CNN Sucks" stickers. Big difference.