Topic: Media Research Center
For the past month or so, the Media Research Center has been obsessing over a bit of media-related news: the "bombshell scoop," as Scott Whitlock termed it, from "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe of a leaked video of an ABC host lamenting that the network killed a story about "convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his network of connections to powerful men, including Bill Clinton," featuring alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (The host and ABC itself later issued statements that the reporting at the time didn't meet the network's standards.) So huge was this story at the MRC that it translated Whitlock's post into Spanish.
Over the following weeks, the MRC has repeatedly taken potshots at ABC, especially after the person who allegedly leaked the video to O'Keefe was apparently subsequently fired from a job at CBS and right-wingers like Megyn Kelly tried to advance the story.
Because this story conveniently fits into the MRC's media-hating narrative, it has censored the fact that there's another side to this story. If you'll recall, Alan Dershowitz, -- who was Epstein's lawyer when he got a sweetheart deal for a short prison sentence -- has vehemently denied allegations by Robert Giuffre that Dershowitz had sex with her while she was underage and doesn't believe that the woman is credible. He served up his encounter with ABC in a Nov. 20 Newsmax column:
In mid-2015, I was sent an email that one of Giuffre’s lawyers had circulated, announcing that an interview with Giuffre would be run on "Good Morning America," the ABC evening news, and "Nightline." I immediately called ABC to inquire whether my name was being mentioned, since she had falsely accused me of having sex with her, even though there was incontrovertible proof that I had never even met her. They said it was not. (To this day, she has not publicly and directly accused me out of court, in order to avoid being held accountable for her defamation.) I asked about Leslie Wexner — who she had also privately accused — and was told that his name was also not mentioned. (Perhaps because her silence about him was being negotiated.) I told the producer that Giuffre had a long history of lying about prominent individuals, including Tipper and Al Gore and Bill Clinton, as well as about other matters, including her age at the time she met Epstein. I also told them about my conversation with Giuffre’s friend Rebecca Boylan, in which she told me about the plan to obtain a billion dollars from Wexner. I told them that these interviews with Giuffre were part of the shakedown plan — that Boylan had told me that Giuffre went on TV in order to send Wexner the following message: See, I have access to the media; this time I didn’t mention you; but next time . . .
The people at ABC said they would look into the matter and I sent them the evidence. I made it clear that I was calling onlyon my own behalf and not on behalf of Epstein. I told the same thing to the NPR reporter when he interviewed me about this episode. But he had an agenda and a story line, and reporting accurately what I told him would undercut his pre-determined narrative. So this is what he falsely reported in a piece entitled “How media fell short on Epstein.”
The NPR reporter described me as Epstein’s lawyer, without disclosing that I explicitly told him that I had called ABC only on my own behalf as someone who had been falsely accused by Giuffre.
Notwithstanding his expressed interest in how I “convinced” ABC not to run the interview, he never mentioned the evidence I provided to ABC and to him proving that Giuffre had a long record of lying. Instead he quoted Julie Brown, a reporter for the Miami Herald, recently telling him, “I [Brown] found [Giuffre] to be very truthful and credible.” But Brown had never told that to ABC, back when they were making their decision. She only told it to the NPR reporter when he was doing his report years later. So her after-the-fact assessment of Giuffre’s alleged credibility was completely irrelevant to ABC’s decision, while my evidence — which I sent to ABC at the time — was highly relevant.
So ABC was right and its critics are wrong.
For all of its obsession with the ABC-Epstein story, the MRC has said nothing about Dershowitz's defense of ABC spiking the story. Strange, since the MRC loved Dershowitz for his defenses of President Trump before his ties to Epstein became more prominent following Epstein's arrest on new sex-trafficking charges and his death in prison.
We have no idea who's telling the truth here, but we know that the MRC is doing a disservice to its readers by hiding the fact that this story is complicated, just because it has a narrative to perpetuate.