Topic: Media Research Center
We documented how committed the Media Research Center is to a pro-Trump agenda by pushing the falsehood that President Trump saying he'd listen to a foreign government offering dirt on a political opponent is exactly the same as Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign paying for the Steele dossier. Joseph Chalfant regurgitated his version of the falsehood in a June 14 post:
On Friday's New Day, coverage again returned to a recent ABC News interview in which President Trump expressed a willingness to accept foreign information about political opponents. A panel of guests gathered around to spew their takes on the situation, with host Alisyn Camerota livid at Fox News and Republicans for pointing out that the Clinton campaign received dirt on Trump from Russia in 2016.
CNN’s senior political analyst John Avlon stated that there was “no comparison” between Steele dossier and working with a “hostile foreign government.” CNN again forgot the Russian sources used for Steele’s report, as well as the fact that legally there is no difference between the two.
As we pointed out, there is very much a legal difference between the two -- the difference between paying someone to conduct opposition research in a foreign country about a candidate's connections in that country (which is what the Steele dossier was) and receiving information of dubious origin with the expectation of something in return, which is what Trump was proposing.
But Chalfant wasn't done. He added:
Co-host John Berman echoed this sentiment when he spouted: “Christopher Steele is not a country. Check the map. He is not a freaking country and Russia is.”
Berman urged the panel to move on from the topic, so Camerota helped wrap up the segment by saying this: “I think it's our job also to give people, the viewers, ways to shut it down if they are intrigued by that argument because they make it so often.” Camerota is wildly incorrect on what the function of her job is. An “objective journalist” should be striving to let the facts stand for themselves, not attempting to teach her viewers ways to debate with conservatives.
This point was emphasized under the headline "CNN's Camerota: 'It's Our Job' to Teach Viewers To 'Shut Down' Conservative Arguments."
But as we have proven, the "conservative argument" in question is false, and Camerota is right to challenge it. Chalfant is falsely putting words into Camerota's mouth, because she said nothing about the political orientation of what she was trying to "shut down."
The MRC still hasn't figured out how bad it looks to get pushing false narratives.