Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, as part of the promotion for Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's new anti-media book "Unmasked," Media Research Center divisions NewsBusters and CNSNews.com both published an overly fawning review of the book by conservative activist Craig Shirley. He proclaimed that the book exposed "the rampant and corrupt media bias against the 45th president of the United States," and he gushed over Bozell as supposedly having "appropriated the power of the Fifth Column inside the Fourth Estate," further slobbering: "Bozell’s MRC has been making the effective fight now for over 30 years. Bit by bit, brick by brick, page by page, exposing lie by lie, he has torn down the walls of the Media State. Big Media is no longer BIG MEDIA."
Both versions noted that Shirley's review was first posted at Newsmax. But the disclosures stop there when they should have continued if Graham and Bozell were to follow the same journalistic standards they demand from other members fo the media.
First, as we've noted, Newsmax published "Unmasked" under its Humanix Books banner. So one could plausibly argue that the review was part of Newsmax's promotion for the book. Newsmax is running its usual loss-leader deal by giving away the book by throwing in free introductory subscriptions to things like Newsmax magazine and the Newsmax Platinum paywall that one must unsubscribe to before the trial period ends in order to avoid being automatically charged for a full subscription.
Also, Shirley contributed a blurb to the dust cover of the book, declaring it to be "a much needed tonic of truth and facts the left so fears in Brent Bozell and his years of exposing the lies of the liberal media."
In other words: The review is totally an inside job, a fit of PR and not journalism.
Meanwhile, Newsmax's John Gizzi wrote about a July reception for Bozell and Graham's book: "What could easily be dubbed as a 'Who’s Who' of conservative leaders in Washington, D.C. turned out last week to hail an exciting new book on President Donald Trump and the liberal media." Among that "who's who" was, yes, Craig Shirley. Weirdly, Gizzi suggests that Trump bought the loyalty of Bozell, whose MRC was a critic of Trump before abruptly flipping:
“Unmasked” has particular meaning, since Bozell freely admits he was not a Trumpian at the beginning [he backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016] and he even told Trump that he could not be nominated.
Trump, who hosted Bozell in the Trump Tower’s cafeteria, respectfully disagreed, listened carefully, and held no animosity to his guest. A few weeks later, he sent his first contribution ($5000) to Bozell’s Media Research Center.
Bozell does admit this in the preface of his book. Is that the impression Bozell really wants to leave?