Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center are in full hair-on-fire mode, trying to manufacture a controversy out of the TV networks not covering something that appeals to its right-wing readership and donors.
That would be the lawsuit filed by various Catholic entities against the federal government over its contraception coverage mandate. A May 22 MRC press release declared this "the largest legal action in history to defend our Constitutionally-protected religious freedom," without providing any evidence to back up this claim.
But never mind that -- Bozell's frothing at the mouth:
This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center. Every American knows about the Chinese communists withholding for 20 years the news that the US had landed on the moon, because it reflected poorly on the government. Our US media today are no different. They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.
“This is not a mistake, nor is it an editorial oversight by the broadcast networks. This is a deliberate and insidious withholding of national news to protect the ‘Chosen One’ who ABC, CBS and NBC have worked so hard to elect and are now abusing their journalistic influence to reelect. And when a network like CBS mentions the suit ever-so-briefly, they deliberately distort the issue by framing it as a contraception lawsuit instead of what they know it to be: a religious freedom issue. It’s bogus, dishonest – a flat out lie.
“The fact is that the Catholic Church has unleashed legal Armageddon on the administration, promising ‘we will not comply’ with a health law that strips Catholics of their religious liberty. If this isn't 'news' then there's no such thing as news. This should be leading newscasts and the subject of special, in-depth reports. Instead, these networks are sending a clear message to all Americans that the networks will go to any lengths – even censoring from the public an event of this historic magnitude – to prevent the release of any information that will hurt Obama’s chances of re-election.
"The so-called 'news' media have sunk to a new low. This is despicable."
The MRC followed that up the next day with another press release proclaiming that "Nine prominent Catholic leaders have joined the Media Research Center to voice outrage over the broadcast networks deliberately withholding news of the momentous 43 Catholic entities suing the Obama administration for violating their religious freedoms."
Curiously buried among the groups is the Catholic League -- it's not mentioned in the opening paragraph, and Bill Donohue's quote is the final one in the release. Completely unmentioned, meanwhile, is the fact that Bozell is on the Catholic League's board of advisers.
It seems that what we have here is not any sort of spontaneous outcry over this -- it's a completely manufactured issue by Bozell and the MRC, which has a vested interest in defeating Obama. Bozell is trying to pass off a partisan political issue as a journalistic one. A lot of people have sued the Obama administration over various aspects of health care reform, so why is this lawsuit any more special? Aside from his unsupported claim that it's "the largest legal action in history," he doesn't explain.
In other words: This is news because Bozell, a partisan political activist, has declared it to be. No other reason.