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Saturday, April 12, 2014
MRC Takes Colbert Out of Context To Attack Him For Replacing Letterman
Topic: Media Research Center

Needless to say, the Media Research Center is not taking the choice of Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman well.

Geoffrey Dickens kicks things off in an April 10 NewsBusters post by declaring that Colbert "call[ed] Sarah Palin 'a f**king retard'" -- which is dishonestly taken out of context. Dickens did attempt that missing context later in his post:

After playing a clip of Sarah Palin telling Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word was acceptable because it was satire, Stephen Colbert, on his February 8, 2010 show concluded, “It is okay to call someone a retard if like Rush you clearly don’t mean it...And Sarah Palin knows that it is okay to call someone a retard if like Rush you clearly don’t mean it. Which is why we should all come to her defense and say, ‘Sarah Palin is a f**king retard.’ Get it.”

But Dickens is still omitting crucial context -- Palin had demanded the resignation of then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for using the term “[bleeping] retards,” and Colbert was pointing out her hypocrisy in giving Limbaugh a pass.

Dickens also harrumphed, "On his March 15, 2012 show Colbert joked that the Taliban had 'a better track record on women’s issues' than Rush Limbaugh." Again, Dickens omits context here -- as the accompanying video makes clear, Colbert was noting that the Army had decided to stop advertising on Limbaugh's radio show in the wake of his misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke, while continuing to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Dickens then complained that NBC's "Today" show "played a clip of a mock political ad by Colbert that likened Mitt Romney to a serial killer." Dickens ignores the context here too -- Colbert was simply taking Romney's statement that "corporations are people" to its logical extension, that dismantling corporations, as Romney's Bain Capital does, is tantamount to murder.

All this means that the MRC continues to have a tin ear for satire.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 PM EDT

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