Topic: Media Research Center
Right-wing radio host Mark Levin has a new media-bashing book out, and the Media Research Center is there to lavish praise on it -- almost as if it was being paid to do so. (Levin and the MRC have had previous cross-promotion business deals, after all.)
That comes straight from the top, and Tim Graham and Brent Bozell gush in their May 22 column:
Best-selling author and talk-radio star Mark Levin has another terrific new book that debuted at number one on the charts. The media habitually ignore Levin's books -- no New York Times reviews, no TV interviews, nothing -- and it must drive them insane that he still sells 1 million copies. But this one's is called Unfreedom of the Press, and this one's a direct shot at them, so some may find it impossible to resist a response.
This is why the liberals don’t want to engage with Levin or his books. Most won’t seriously debate serious conservatives because as with issues like these, it's a lost cause. There are laws of nature, and this horse manure doesn't fly. They spent eight long years ignoring or dismissing the foibles of Obama while advancing anything he deemed necessary. When Obama aide Ben Rhodes boasted – in the New York Times! – that he had easily created an “echo chamber” in the press to promote their Iran arms deal, they didn't blink in surprise, or embarrassment. They winked.
When Obama was president, there was no resistance, no argument for “standing up to history’s judgment.” There was only teamwork. The team is still intact, now devoted to the proposition that this president ought never have been elected, and now must be removed.
Buy Unfreedom Of the Press. Just imagine what will be the look on Annalisa Quinn's face when she learns Levin has sold a million hardback copies again.
(Actually, we reviewed Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny" for the Huffington Post back in the day, uncovering several factual errors in the process, and Levin had no interest in engaging with us to respond.)
Bozell's MRC minions followed in lockstep. Under the headline "Watch Levin Take a Blowtorch to the ‘Thin-Skinned’ Liberal Media," Curtis Houck effused in a fit of meta-promotion:
Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin dedicated Sunday’s edition of Life, Liberty, & Levin to promoting his new book Unfreedom of the Press (set for release Tuesday) with Fox & Friends: Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth and, as expected, “the Great One” didn’t hold back, throwing the liberal media through a wood chipper and calling out their rampant Trump hatred.
Levin set the table within the first few minutes, providing yet another invaluable history lesson[.]
Throughout the interview, Levin highlighted example after example of how past Presidents in every century actually worked to undermine the First Amendment, illustrating how overblown the liberal media’s hyperventilation over President Trump are.
Graham returned for damage-control mode in a June 2 post when someone defied his prediction and did engage with Levin's book in a Washington Post op-ed. When that writer pointed out that right-wing activists "purport to analyze the leftward lean of the press with a scholarly veneer," Graham insisted that "We would put our own books at the Media Research Center into that "wake," analyzing liberal bias with a 'scholarly veneer.'" As we've documented, the MRC's "media research" is very much just a veneer, more interested in manufacturing data that fits its right-wing, anti-media agenda than following the data where it leads.
But Graham being Graham -- that is, unable to keep from hurling personal insults at anyone who disagrees with him -- he huffed: "It's always funny when liberal professors lard their books with their analysis, and that is 'scholarly,' but conservative media research has a 'veneer,' like it's fraudulent." That's because conservative "media research" cares only more pushing a political agenda than "scholarly" things like balance and documentation.
When the writer accurately pointed out that the New York Times and the Washington Post are not "liberal equivalents of Fox News," Graham went on attack again: "That's hilarious. But it's the media equivalent of his 'I'm scholarly, you're fake.' It's almost not worth quoting, but Lerner uncorks the time-worn cliche that liberals are the open-minded cosmopolitans that make the best journalists."
Of course, the idea that the Times and the Post are farther to the left than Fox News is to the right is a foundational MRC belief, and Graham can't let it go unchallenged, even if can only offer juvenilie mockery in response.
UPDATE: Graham attacked another less-than-glowing review of Levin's book in a June 5 post. First, he played whataboutism by complaining that the reviewer liked a book critical of Trump by Michael Wolff, "the guy who claimed without evidence that Trump was having an affair with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley." (Levin falsely claimed that President Obama directly intervened in a Israeli election in 2015, and we didn't hear Graham demanding a fact-check over that.)
Graham then inserted Twitter posts from Levin making the same attack against the reviewer. Great minds (are maybe paid to) think alike.