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Friday, October 26, 2012
MRC Way Too Excited About NewsBusters Hitting 1 Million Facebook Likes
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center issued a press release on Oct. 25 with the headline "Another Nail In The Liberal Media's Coffin." What could possibly be so earth-shattering?

The MRC blog NewsBusters hitting 1 million likes on Facebook.

Now, this really that big of a deal, because it's far outstripped by other, more popular people and things. Eminem, for instance, has 60 million Facebook likes, and Coca-Cola has 47 million.

But the MRC doesn't count anything outside its right-wing bubble:

With more than 1,000,000 fans, NewsBusters now finds itself in elite company, joining FoxNews.com, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as one of few conservative media outlets to reach a seven figure fandom on the world’s largest social network. Of that group, NewsBusters often has the highest total fan engagement as measured by Facebook’s “talking about this” count.

And even then, NewsBusters is not quite in the same company. Fox News has 2.6 million likes, and Beck has 2.1 million. Limbaugh's Facebook page is actually close, with 1.1 million likes.

But no fit of MRC hyperbole can go without a self-aggrandizing quote from Brent Bozell:

“This incredible achievement is a clear reflection of the American public’s growing awareness of liberal media bias, and is a testament to the hard work of MRC analysts and bloggers.

“The American people know that the liberal media are trying to rig this election for Barack Obama, and NewsBusters has become an invaluable tool in circumventing the corrupt liberal media who simply refuse to Tell the Truth. I would like to thank our fans for their support of NewsBusters and the MRC’s mission to bring balance and responsibility to the news media by documenting and exposing liberal media bias.”

Of course, if Bozell and the MRC are so concerned about telling the truth, it should clean out its own house first.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:30 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Moderator Wars
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tried to discredit presidential debate moderator with specious charges of "liberal bias." When that failed, it resorted to ugly personal attacks against the female moderators. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Too 'Feisty' For Bozell -- Or Too Female?
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's Oct. 24 column is headlined "Say No to Feisty Liberal Moderators," but it's clear that he has only certain feisty moderators in mind.

Bozell wrote that "old PBS hand Jim Lehrer let the candidates debate, and for that he was savaged by liberals for 'losing control' of the evening. He also wrote that "liberal CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer did it right. He moderated without asserting his own political opinions. Indeed, if this was all you had as a compass, you'd never know where he leaned." (That, of course ignores the fact that Schieffer has a personal relationship with George W. Bush, whose debate Schieffer moderated in 2004 -- a relationship the MRC has thus far not mentioned to its readers lest that conflict with its lucrative "liberal media bias" storyline.)

Bozell then said that Schieffer and Lehrer were "a welcome change from the Raddatz and Crowley libfests." He continued:

In the second debate, ABC's Martha Raddatz demanded fiscal specifics (and then complained she wasn't getting them) from Paul Ryan, but refused to demand the same from Joe Biden. By the end of the evening, she was interrupting so much it seemed like she was interrupting Biden interrupting Ryan.

In the third debate, CNN's Candy Crowley outraged viewers at home by selecting questions from clearly left-wing "undecided voters." She then compounded the error by enabling Barack Obama in his Libya lies. Liberal in the media rallied around Crowley like she'd scored the winning touchdown.

Welcoming a feisty moderator sounds like a terrible idea — at least as long as the Republicans keep lining up a unanimous cast of four media liberals to do the moderating.

Welcoming a feisty female moderator sounds doubly terrible to Bozell.

We're sure it's just a coincidence that the two debate moderators Bozell found too "feisty" were both female. Make of that what you will.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EDT
Monday, October 22, 2012
MRC Pre-Bashes Schieffer, Ignores His Pro-Bush Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center keeps up its war against debate moderators with an Oct. 22 item by Rich Noyes bashing tonight's moderator, Bob Schieffer, for purportedly having "tilted left in his previous visits to the presidential debate stage."

Unmentioned by Noyes is the fact that Schieffer has had a lengthy relationship with George W. Bush. As we've detailed, the MRC has consistently ignored the fact that Schieffer was a golfing partner of Bush and that his brother was president of the Texas Rangers at the same time Bush was a partner in the team.

If Noyes is going to speciously accuse Schieffer of bias -- as per usual, no methodology is presented for determining how  Schieffer "tilted left" -- shouldn't he detail all of the bias he's been accused of, even when it conflicts with the MRC's agenda?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:50 PM EDT
MRC Writer Bashes Springsteen, Doesn't Understand Poetic License
Topic: Media Research Center

Lauren Thompson usually writes for the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute, where we caught her being angry that certain films exist, being sad that the media no longer slurs undocumented immigrants as "illegals," and keeping a secret list of everything that offended her about the now-canceled show "GCB." Now, she has taken to MRC division CNSNews.com to demonstrate how ignorant she is about how music lyrics work.

In her Oct. 18 CNS column (which was not posted at CMI), Thompson writes:

It must be nice to be a liberal celebrity with no accountability. Bruce Springsteen can campaign for gay marriage and use the term “fairies” in his songs without a shred of bad press, while conservatives are flattened for the same rhetoric.

Springsteen is often lauded by the media for his liberal tendencies. “The Boss” recently endorsed the pro-gay marriage campaign The Four 2012 to fight for “a civil rights issue that must be approved” in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

[...]

Springsteen told The New York Post he urged “those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.” The singer was heralded by USA Today and other liberal outlets for his stance on gay marriage despite the use of gay slurs in lyrics to two of his songs – songs her has continued to perform in public.

In the songs “Incident on 57th Street” and “Lost in the Flood,” Springsteen referred to homosexuals as “fairies,” – a derogatory term toward gay men.

“Lost in the Flood’s”  lyrics read, “His countryside's burnin' with wolfman fairies dressed in drag for homicide.”

“Incident on 57th Street,” sang about “all them golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch fight.” Those lyrics come directly from the official Springsteen website.

Liberals are infamous for outlawing words or phrases that could “offend” sensitive minorities, and “fairy” is one of them.

Thompson conveniently fails to mention the fact that both songs come from very early in Springsteen's career, when casual slurring of gays was much more tolerated in the media. "Lost in the Flood" appeared on Springsteen's first studio album, which came out in early 1973, and "Incident on 57th Street" appeared on his second album, which came out in late 1973.

Nor does she explain the context in which those cherry-picked words appear. "Lost in the Flood" appears to be about a Vietnam War veteran; "Incident on 57th Street" is about the typical young and passionate Jersey characters he wrote about early in his career.

Which brings us to the concept of poetic license -- that Springsteen was not speaking for himself but in the voice of the characters he was writing about -- that Thompson largely ignores. She does quote "Springsteen expert Danny Alexander" defending the lyrics by pointing out that “Creative writers use slang, the voices of their stories, to tell those stories. They do not ever have to be politically correct," but she immediately dismissed it:

But that’s not what happens to conservative artists who get attacked even if they don’t support gay marriage. Country singer Blake Shelton was forced to apologize nationally after GLAAD politicized one of Shelton’s tweets.

Shelton can't exactly claim a tweet -- in Shelton's case, rewriting a lyric of a Shania Twain song with a homophobic tone -- is "poetic license" on par with a song lyric. Also, Thompson accusing GLAAD of having "politicized" the tweet by highlighting it is absurd; by that same standard, Thompson politicized "GCB" by keeping her secret list of offenses.

Does it say something that CMI wouldn't publish Thompson's misguided attack on Springsteen and she had to resort to putting it up at another MRC outlet? Perhaps.

UPDATE: CNS attempted this same ignorance-of-poetic-license stunt in 2008, when it rummaged through the fiction books of Democratic Virginia Senate candidate Jim Webb to find offensive statements that it dishonestly tried to portray as Webb's personal views -- a story that coincidentally came out at the same time that Webb's Republican opponent, George Allen, was publicizing the excerpts.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 2:51 PM EDT
Saturday, October 20, 2012
MRC Sticking With The False Obama 'Lie' Story
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center sure seems desperate to keep peddling a story that isn't true.

An Oct. 19 MRC press release declares that "both ABC and NBC continue to cover up President Obama’s lie about Libya during Tuesday night’s debate." It goes on to quote MRC chief Brent Bozell ranting, "It’s inconceivable that leading into the final presidential debate focused entirely on foreign policy that two broadcast networks would continue to spike Barack Obama’s lie about Libya. Obama’s feigned outrage over Mitt Romney’s demand to know why his administration lied to the American people about Libya over and over is outrageous and offensive."

But as we've pointed out, the MRC has proven no "lie" Obama has told -- indeed, the press release doesn't even bother to explain the "lie" it's attacking. Obama did refer to "acts of terror" in the Rose Garden speech following the Benghazi attack -- which the MRC has decided, by purporting to read Obama's mind, that Obama didn't actually mean to link the two and is "lying" about it now.

Bozell and the MRC cannot back up their claim of an Obama "lie," yet it will continue to crank out press releases insisting he did. That's not "media research," that's shilling for the Romney campaign, not to mention a lie in itself. Does the MRC's nonprofit tax status permit such a thing?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 PM EDT
Friday, October 19, 2012
MRC's Bozell Invents Obama 'Lie' About Benghazi
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is taking its transcript trutherism to a new level by falsely delcaring President Obama to be a liar for pointing out that he called the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi an "act of terror" in a Rose Garden speech the day of the attack.

An Oct. 18 MRC press release complained that "NBC and ABC continued to run interference for President Obama last night by participating in the cover-up of his lie regarding the terrorist attack in Benghazi," then quoted Bozell saying that "Jan Crawford and CBS News deserve credit for exposing Obama’s deception and criticizing CNN’s Candy Crowley for her role in validating the President’s lie."

But at no point does Bozell or the MRC explain what the "lie" is. In fact, Obama referred to "acts of terror" in the Rose Garden speech -- which the MRC has decided, by purporting to read Obama's mind, that Obama didn't actually mean to link the two. The MRC also is silent about a speech Obama made the next day in which he said that "no act of terror will go unpunished."

Bozell kept up his lie about the "lie" in his Oct. 19 column, in which he ranted that Obama "lied, claiming he’d labeled the Libya attack as an act of terrorism," and that moderator Candy Crowley "leapt to Obama’s defense, declared a lie a truth." Again, Bozell failed to explain exactly what the "lie" is -- apparently, he believes that if he shouts "lie" long enough, his own lie will no longer be one.

That's the situation Bozell and the MRC finds itself in yet again -- factually deficient partisan advocacy masquerading as "media research."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 9:45 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
MRC Doubles Down on Benghazi Attack Transcript Trutherism
Topic: Media Research Center

Matthew Sheffield set the template at the Media Research Center: He read President Obama's mind, and has decided that while Obama referenced "acts of terror" in denouncing the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during a Rose Garden speech, he was not calling the attack itself an "act of terror" because "this is not what he meant by it."

Now, the rest of the MRC is doubling down on Sheffield's version of transcript trutherism to launch an attack on presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley for pointing out that Obama did, in fact, call the Benghazi attack an "act of terror."

Brent Bozell ranted, pretty much is only mode of operation, in an Oct. 17 MRC press release:

Candy Crowley was an utter disaster last night, and was, by far, the worst moderator of the 2012 election.

The Libya cover-up continues, and the national news media need to start asking some tough questions – including questions about one of their own. If Obama was correct that on Day 1 he said it was a terrorist attack, why did his UN ambassador say on five different national interviews that it was a YouTube video that was responsible, and who put her up to it?

If he saw this as a terrorist attack from the very beginning, why did the president himself blame it on a video six times during a UN speech? Why has he made the statement so many times, as has Hillary Clinton, as has Jay Carney, as have others?

And why did Candy Crowley validate this lie?

If the national media don’t start asking these questions soon, they also will be guilty of enabling a massive cover-up.

The rest of the release reiterated Bozell's remarks, while providing absolutely no evidence to back it up:

Last night, in what was the most stunning and disgraceful single example of moderator malpractice in the history of presidential debates, CNN’s Candy Crowley allowed Barack Obama to lie to the American people about his administration’s Libya cover-up. Even worse, she then validated this lie of extraordinary magnitude by certifying it as honest and by attacking Mitt Romney when he pressed the president on his administration’s cover-up. Crowley robbed tens of millions of Americans of the truth on national primetime television. Real journalists – who were fed the Obama Administration’s Libya lies for two weeks – should be furious.

The release went on to reference a MRC item that supposedly "documented that since 1992, moderators have called upon voters with a liberal agenda twice as often as those with a conservative agenda." But if you look at the Oct. 16 item, write Rich Noyes fails to document his methodology for categorizing the "agenda" of debate questions. Without that, Noyes' piece is meaningless as "media research" and is nothing more than partisan electioneering.

Noyes echoed this in an Oct. 17 NewsBusters post in which he purported to relay "The Facts" regarding the debate. He repeated his unsubstantiated claim that "since 1992, moderators have called upon voters with a liberal agenda twice as often as those with a conservative agenda," going on to declare that "Obama only speaking generically about how 'no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,' not assigning that label to the violence in Benghazi." But Obama did not specifically exclude the Benghazi attack from the "acts of terror" he was referring to, so word-parsing works both ways.

Other MRC writers have joined in the doubling down:

  • Clay Waters declared that "it's quite correct to say that Obama did not call the attack an 'act of terror.'" He also complained that New York Times writers " falsely insisted that President Obama had called the Benghazi attacks 'an act of terror.'"
  • Tom Blumer ranted: "Candy Crowley, her establishment press excuse-makers (for her and President Obama), and supporters of the President are going to have to resort to finding penumbras emanating from Obama's September 12 Rose Garden appearance -- y'know, the one during which the press and Democrats insist that the President really, really did call the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya a terrorist attack." Like the rest of his MRC bretheren, Blumer ignores that Obama did not specifically exlude Benghazi from his reference to "acts of terror."
  • CNSNews.com communications director Craig Bannister declared that "Obama did utter the words 'act of terror' - saying that such acts will not 'shake' America - but, did not specify that the attack on the U.S. embassy was such an attack."

That's the MRC's story, and they're sticking to it, no matter how much reality they have to ignore in the process.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 7:08 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
MRC Spins for Romney on Abortion
Topic: Media Research Center

Newsmax isn't the only ConWeb outlet that was desperate to spin away concerns over Mitt Romney's statement "There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda."

In an Oct. 10 Media Research Center item, Matthew Balan claimd that CBS' Norah O'Donnell was "repeatedly hinting that Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the issue of abortion." Balan added that "O'Donnell conspicuously failed to mention that during the same interview, Romney promised to 'reinstate the Mexico City policy....that foreign aid dollars...would not be used to carry out abortion in other countries.'"

But as Balan himself admits in the very next paragraph, reinstating the Mexico City policy would be done via executive order, not legislation.

Balan wasn't done spinning, though. After quoting from the interview in which Romney made the statement, Balan wrote, "Note that the Republican didn't say anything about Supreme Court nominees (which would be needed to overturn Roe v. Wade), nor did he give an answer as to whether he would sign pro-life legislation if it reached his desk as president. But O'Donnell glossed this over completely, and badgered her guest about Romney's supposed flip-flop in giving that answer."

Balan concluded by huffing, "With this kind of a record, the CBS anchor has all the marks of an Obama campaign stenographer." And Balan has all the marks of a Romney campaign spin doctor. Is that even allowed under the MRC's nonprofit status?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EDT
Monday, October 15, 2012
MRC Botches Unemployment Rate Analysis; WIll It Correct?
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 5 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute item by Dan Gainor and Julia Seymour repeated claims that September's drop in the unemployment rate was driven by "a huge jump in part-time workers." Turns out that's wrong.

Rex Nutting at MarketWatch explains:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people with full-time jobs increased by 838,000 in September to 115.2 million, while the number of people with part-time jobs declined by 26,000 to 27.7 million.

In other words: All of the gains in employment were due to full-time jobs.

It’s right there in Table A-9.

How did all of those people get it wrong? By looking at separate table ( Table A-8 ) that shows a big spike in the number of people who want a full-time job but who are forced to settle for less than 35 hours of work because of the tepid economy or weak demand at their company.

The BLS explains that the number of people involuntarily working part-time rose, even though the total number of part-timers declined. It’s the total number of part-timers that helps determine the unemployment rate.

The MRC is not exactly known for correcting items unless they're so obviously wrong that it can't be avoided. You'd think this would fall under that category, but it's more likely that Gainor and Seymour will just shove this under the rug and stay silent about their error.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:13 PM EDT
Friday, October 12, 2012
Tim Graham, Jerk
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham has apparently decided to emulate his Media Research Center boss, Brent Bozell, when it comes to acting like a jerk in public.

Graham spent his time before the vice presidential debate issuing personal attacks against the debate moderator, Martha Raddatz. First, Graham tweeted, "Questions lib media never asks: 'Will woman who won't take husband's surname have a feminist tilt?'"

That was followed by another tweet: "Or: will woman who marries three times have a hard time deciding which debate questions to ask?"

Graham's boss has a notable history of issuing personal attacks, from off-air yelling at fellow panelists when he loses an on-air argument to caling President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."

Is it really a good thing that Graham is aspiring to become just as much of a jerkwad as Bozell? So much for the MRC's calls for civility.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:20 AM EDT
Thursday, October 11, 2012
MRC's Double Standard on Debate Moderator Conflicts of Interest
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center joined the right-wing intimidation campaign against ABC reporter and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz with an Oct. 10 NewsBusters post by Matthew Sheffield highlighting that Raddatz invited Obama to her 1991 wedding along with other then-staffers of the Harvard Law Review, to a man (now-FCC director Julius Genachowski) she divorced six years later.

Sheffield wrote: "Of course, if a Fox News employee hosting a presidential debate were to exposed as having such a relationship with a Republican president, the story would be plastered all over the media and left-leaning journalists would be calling for him/her to be immediately replaced. Clearly this would be a good idea in this case as well."

Sheffield doesn't mention that the last time a debate moderator had a personal relationship with one of the debate participants -- which, it turns out, was even closer than the one Raddatz has with Obama -- the MRC said nothing about it.

CBS' Bob Schieffer -- moderator of a 2004 debate between President Bush and John Kerry -- played golf with Bush in the 1990s, and Schieffer's brother Tom, who Bush appointed as U.S. ambassador to Australia, was president of the Texas Rangers baseball team at the same time Bush was a partner in the team.

Yet we could find no evidence in the MRC's archives that this was ever brought up. Instead, the MRC tried to paint him as anti-Bush; for instance, Tim Graham insisted that Schieffer "tilted left against Bush in 2004" and failed to mention Schieffer's personal relationship with Bush.

Meanwhile, Graham rehashed an earlier hit job on Raddatz, which as we've previously noted consists largely of Graham whining that Raddatz failing to put an anti-Obama spin on the death of Osama bin Laden and falsely suggesting that Raddatz was reporting her personal opinion when, in fact, she was reporting what "one officer's wife" said following Nidal Hasan's massacre at Fort Hood.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:18 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
MRC's Graham Seethes Over ABC Weatherman's Gay Marriage
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham doens't seem to think that gays deserve any sort of happiness.

One doesn't have to read too far between the lines to pick up on the underlying hostility behind Graham's Oct. 6 NewsBusters post on ABC weatherman Sam Champion announcing that he plans to marry his same-sex partner. The headline alone deliberately splits "weatherman" into two words -- "ABC Weather Man To 'Marry' A Man" -- in order to drive his hostile point home.

Graham also puts "gay marriage" in scare quotes. Twice. He also seems very unhappy that Champion's co-workers and friends would dare to tweet their wishes for wedding bliss.

The entire tone of Graham's post is of someone trying really hard to keep things as bland as possible and not to spew his anti-gay hostility all over the page. But his employer is rabidly anti-gay, so that's to be expected.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:50 PM EDT
Monday, October 8, 2012
MRC Gives Republican's Bogus 'Fact-Check' A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 4 MRC item, Kyle Drennen was annoyed that NBC's David Gregory pointed out to Rpmney adviser Ed Gillespie that "the math simply doesn't add up" in Mitt Romney's tax cut plan. Drennen then declared that "Gillespie fact-checked Gregory's supposed fact-check" by claiming that "six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base."

But Drennen did not fact-check Gillespie's "six studies" claim -- which appears to be bogus. It's an apparent embellishment of a previous Romney claim that "five studies" back up Romney's claim abuot his tax plan. But as PolitiFact discovered:

Romney is using the word "studies" generously. Two items on his list are newspaper editorials that can be analytical but are rarely treated as independent research. One article comes from a campaign adviser, a connection that generally suggests a less than independent assessment.  That leaves just two reports out Romney’s five.

Gillespie was merely spouting campaign rhetoric, which Drennen presented as a "fact-check." Not exactly telling the truth, is he?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 AM EDT
Friday, October 5, 2012
MRC's Bozell Is Still A Coward, And A Liar Too
Topic: Media Research Center

One almost has to admire Brent Bozell's ability to lie so nakedly.

In his weekly appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News how, Hannity played a two-year-old tape of liberal radio host Ed Schultz calling conservative host Laura Ingraham a "talk slut," then asked Bozell, "Would a conservative survive that?" Bozell responded, "No, they'd be fired."

Not only does Bozell know that's not true, he put the Media Research Center's full support toward conservative host after he did the same exact thing.

As we've detailed, when Rush Limbaugh went on a three-day tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute" among many other things. Bozell refused to publicly denounce Limbaugh for saying those words -- after all, the MRC gave Limbaugh its inaugural "William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence" in 2007. The only outrage Bozell could work up was to tepidly declare, "Let’s all agree Limbaugh crossed a line."

When it seemed Limbaugh might get fired for his misogynistic attack, Bozell tried to make sure he wasn't by launching an "I Stand With Rush" website, where he declared that  "I stand with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the massive contribution that he has made to the conservative movement and our nation over the last 25 years." (Oddly, that website disappeared about a week after it was launched.)

When presented with an opportunity to evenly apply his professed moral standards on a nonpartisan basis, Bozell refused. Instead, he defended the man who spoke the very same words he found offensive when they came out of the mouth of a liberal.

Not only is Bozell a liar, he's a coward too.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:27 PM EDT

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