Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham is totally cool with President Trump lying all the time -- so much so, in fact, that he and the MRC attack the media for fact-checking him. Graham did this again in his June 10 column, in which he complains that Washington Post fact-checkers have compiled a book of Trump's falsehoods.
Graham served up his usual hand-waving of Trump's falsehoods: "Trump has a casual relationship with the truth. Even MAGA hat-wearing Trump boosters know it." (Graham said the same thing in a 2019 MRC post.) He then complained:
There's a Big Lie at the end of the "fact-checker" book: a passage from page 261, in the concluding chapter, titled "Toward a Resurgence of Truth." It was plucked out and celebrated by CNN host Brian Stelter, since it's a favorite Big Lie on the left. The authors claim Trump is like a dictator: "A hallmark of authoritarian regimes is to call truth into question — except as the regime defines it. Russian president Vladimir Putin offers up a fog of disinformation to maintain power, including denying obvious facts (such as Russian involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17), spouting falsehoods and deflecting attention with nonsensical comparisons (dubbed 'whataboutism')."
Then the authors quote former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as saying, "A cumulative effect of all these tactics is nihilistic debasement of the very concept of truth."
This "authoritarian" lie was repeated when Kessler appeared on "Morning Joe" on June 2. Co-host Mika Brzezinzki said Trump isn't just assaulting truth. "It's also an assault on our democracy."
Kessler said, "Correct."
This is what Kessler calls a Bottomless Pinocchio, an often-repeated untruth. Donald Trump is not a dictator. Nobody's jailing anyone at The Washington Post for maintaining anti-Trump databases and screaming, "Democracy dies in darkness!" like a panic-stricken teenager on the front page every day.
So a president can't be described as "authoritiarian" if you don't act on those authoritarian impulses? Then perhaps he and the MRC should apologize for portraying President Obama and other Democrats as having gone authoritarian even they know that, by Graham's standards for Trump, they haven't.
For instace, David Limbaugh ranted in a May 2016 column published by the MRC attacking the Obama administration's policy to bring more equality to transgendered people:
The Obama administration obviously cares not a whit for the privacy of students who don't want to be forced to share a restroom with students of the opposite sex. The rights of the many will be subordinated to the rights of the very, very few -- not to protect the rights of those few but to manufacture rights that don't exist to make an authoritarian statement on behalf of Big Brother.
Folks, there has to be a tipping point -- a point at which we'll no longer tolerate this kind of tyranny, even if it means the states' forgoing blood money from the federal leviathan.
In a March 2016 column published by the MRC, Michelle Malkin complained about an "educational SWAT team" then-candidate Hillary Clinton wanted to establish to improve education: "Clinton's SWAT team solution, you should know, is like all her other authoritarian plans: a moldy, recycled oldie."
In an August 2015 post, Seton Motley complained of director Quentin Tarantino's praise for Obama, asserting that Tarantino is "totally stoked the president’s been ruling by executive fiat" and adding, "Scratch a liberal – or cut his ear off – you find an authoritarian."
In a December 2014 post, Tom Blumer declared Obama's executive action to create a program to protect undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minor children to be an "authoritarian immigration move."The month before, Blumer similarly attacked a provision in the Affordable Care Act: "Auto-defaulting consumers into a lower-cost plan and forcing them to do something about it if they want to keep their current plan's design and provider network is (here we go again) heavy-handed, authoritarian over-reach."
Blumer also complained that a "Like A Boss" T-shirt sold by Democrats "has obvious authoritarian overtones," huffing: "That Democrats can openly sell hate and Dear Leader-admiring authoritarianism at their online store is thus a small indicator of a much, much larger problem."
That's right: According to the MRC, Obama T-shirts are "authoritarian," while Trump is not.
Graham concluded his column by ranting: "We have an election in November. No one has canceled it. But liberal journalists speculate that imaginary tyrant Trump will never leave office if he loses...which is laughable, since they've never accepted he was legitimately elected in the first place." Remember that the MRC effectively condoned Obama birtherism by not criticizing it until it was applied against Brent Bozell's preferred 2016 presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, so it can be argued that Graham and Co. never considered Obama to have been legitimately elected.