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Wednesday, November 8, 2017
MRC's Double Standard on Reporting on the Economy
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Julia A. Seymour does her pro-Trump duty in an Oct. 31 post:

The U.S. economy maintained strong growth according to the latest government estimates in the latest example of good economic news.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on Oct. 27, that the first estimate of third quarter growth was 3 percent. There are two revisions to come before the end of 2017. But it remained positive news, especially since the BEA also confirmed that second quarter growth was 3.1 percent thanks to consumer spending and business investment.

The broadcast evening news programs ignored that good economic news — just like they ignored the 3 percent GDP announcement in August. However, many other news organizations — from NPR to CNBC — noted the positive result.

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency the networks have minimized and ignored positive economic news, in spite of the fact many people voted for him thinking his policies would improve the U.S. economy.

Needless to say, Seymour is being utterly hypocritical. In July 2016, for example, she wrote a report complaining that the media was failing to talk down the economy under Obama, declaring that "Overall economic growth remains 'subpar' and labor force participation rates remain shocking, not far from 38-year lows." The economy was "still reveling in pain and weakness," Seymour insisted. As is standard MRC practice, Seymour did only the bare minimum of research by focusing solely on network evening newscasts and pretending they're representative of the entire media.

And in March, Seymour was demanding that Trump be given the credit for February's good jobless numbers, though she offered no evidence of any one thing he did to contribute to them, and was incensed that the numbers were being considered a reflection of President Obama's economy.

Seymour is acting as a partisan, not an objective researcher. Like the media she loves to hypocritically target, she only cares about the numbers that make her side look good. 


Posted by Terry K. at 4:38 PM EST
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
MRC Pushes Conspiracy Theory About CNN Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, the conservative Daily Caller did a hit piece on CNN reporter Evan Perez, rummaging through his Facebook account to claim "close ties" between him and former colleagues at a previous reporting gig at the Wall Street Journal who went on to found Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm responsible for the infamous Trump dossier. The article is filled with speculaton; no attempt was apparently made to verify the alleged relationship with Perez and his former colleagues, let alone obtain permission from Perez to root through his Facebook account and steal photos from it.

The Media Research Center, which normally likes to portray itself as above such conspiracy theories, ran with this one. Tim Graham eagerly quoted large chunks of the Daily Caller piece in an Oct. 28 post highlighting how Perez was "socializing with his Fusion pals."

Tom Blumer took it a step further in an Oct. 31 post, claiming that the speculative Daily Caller report "would seem to explain why CNN has been particularly hostile towards the Trump administration and even more incomplete than usual in its reporting since Tuesday evening's revelations that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the infamous Trump-Russia dossier."

Blumer expanded the conspiracy to cover all of CNN for accurately reporting that the Trump administration was trying to distract from its own Russia connection by obsessing over Democratic connections to the dossier and a Russian uranium deal that only peripherally involved Hillary Clinton. (As dutiful Trump stenographers, the MRC has been obsessing about them as well.) Blumer petulantly rants to dubiously claim that Trump isn't acting out of petulant anger at a political opponent:

Hillary Clinton, since she lost the general election in November and currently holds no political office of any kind, is no longer Trump's political opponent.  She is only a critic, with no more or less standing than Michael Moore or Lena Dunham. The same goes for former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, and (certainly in the Uranium One matter) James Comey. Investigating their activities and actions when they were in office or had the opportunity to influence those who were in office is therefore not a conflict of interest. If there is strong reason to believe that any of these now-private citizens committed crimes while they did hold political office, it's the government's duty to investigate and, if there is sufficient evidence, to prosecute. Otherwise, we're supposed to believe that anyone who has held a political office and then becomes a private citizen has a permanent get-out-of-jail card, regardless of what they did when they (ahem) "served."

Blumer went on to call Perez "obviously conflicted" based on the speculative Daily Caller story.

Graham and Brent Bozell rehashed the Daily Caller claims in their Oct. 31 column, huffing: "CNN’s anti-Trump stories have hidden all this behind a wall of 'anonymous sources.' This is one dreadfully serious reason why the American people don’t trust “investigative reporting.” In reality, it turns out it looks like a series of chummy hand-offs, funded by Trump opponents."

Graham and Bozell didn't direct the same level of anger against the right-wing outlet that originally paid Fusion GPS for their oppo work on Trump, benignly noting in a claimed attempt to be "fair and balanced":

To be fair and balanced on this ethical front, the conservative Washington Free Beacon website also retained Fusion GPS for research – for a few months before the Clinton campaign and the DNC – and the Daily Caller reported that they also reported on Fusion GPS without acknowledging a relationship. 

Of course, if Graham, Bozell and the MRC really was trying to be "fair and balanced," they would have told their readers about the Free Beacon's involvement wigh Fusion GPS much sooner than this.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:21 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Mercer Money Motivates the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has received millions from the Mercers, and Brent Bozell and his organization are acting accordingly on behalf of the Mercers' interests -- such as Donald Trump and Breitbart. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 AM EST
Sunday, November 5, 2017
MRC's Biased Obsession With Clinton and Uranium
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a new obsession: the purported Hillary Clinton uranium scandal.

Since Oct. 17, when it touted "new revelations in the scandal surrounding Russia’s obtaining control of American uranium and its payments to The Clinton Foundation," the MRC has referenced it in approximately 60 posts, most of them screeching that the "liberal media" won't cover the story. Crappy, biased, narrowly focused study on coverage that yet again somehow omits Fox News? Check. Brent Bozell ranting about the lack of coverage outside his right-wing bubble? Check and check.

Needless to say, the MRC didn't mention that the lead writer of that article, John Solomon, is a right-wing journalist who once headed the Washington Times who is currently the head of the right-wing, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned website Circa.

The MRC also won't tell you that the supposed scoop here -- that the Russian nuclear industry was trying to spread bribe money in America, and donated money to the Clinton Foundation, around the time that government officials were approving a deal for Russian interests to take over an American company that is responsible for 20 percent of the uranium mined in the U.S. while Hillary Clinton was still secretary of state -- isn't much of a scoop.

As the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out, Solomon's story is filled with "preposterous conspiracy-mongering" and mostly rehashes claims first made public years ago, which basically amount to the Justice Department not sufficiently publicizing its conviction of one of the figures in the Russian bribery.

The Post has also pointed out other inconvenient truths that  the MRC has ignored: for instance, that the Russian company in control of 20 percent of the U.S. uranium supply cannot for the most part export that uranium without a federal permit, which it doesn't have, and that the U.S. generates only a tiny fraction of the world's uranium supply, of which 20 percent is even more miniscule.

Further, despite all the right-wing innuendo, there's still no evidence that Clinton played any role whatsoever in forwarding the deal past federal officials (the State Department was one of nine federal agencies that had to sign off on it), let alone the establishment of a quid pro quo in which Clinton acted in direct response to Clinton Foundation donations.

Of course, whenever it's pointed out that there's no there there, the MRC goes into freakout mode, insisting that anyone highlight that particular inconvenient fact is, as Kristine Marsh put it an Oct. 27 item, "defending Hillary Clinton." And the MRC went a-Heathering against conservative Jennifer Rubin for pointing out that President Trump -- and, thus, the MRC -- were pushing the Clinton-uranium thing as a distraction from his own Russia troubles; Brad Wilmouth sneered that Rubin is "allegedly right-leaning," as if one must sign onto everything Trump does and every single attack on Democrats no matter no specious to be a true conservative.

Ans, really, that's the line on the sand the MRC has drawn here -- all attacks on Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular are valid regardless of their accuracy, and Trump must be defended at all costs. That's the MRC's agenda these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2017 11:08 PM EST
Thursday, November 2, 2017
MRC Promotes Fox News Sock-Puppet Blog
Topic: Media Research Center

The link at the bottom of the "Editor's Picks" collection of outside stories at the Media Research Center's NewsBusters website right now is an item from "Sydney Bloom, The Cable Game."

The MRC won't tell you this, but The Cable Game is a sock-puppet blog run by Fox News.

Gabriel Sherman reported in his book "The Loudest Voice in the Room" that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes created The Cable Game as a way to respond to his critics and those of Fox News. Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton was enlisted to ghost-write the blog, and it seems "Sydney Bloom" is the nom de plume under which Pinkerton is writing the blog (which, yes, is still ongoing despite Ailes' death).

In a 2015 post, "Bloom" mocked the idea that the blog was being directed by Ailes and Pinkerton, but offered no proof to refute the claim or any evidence that "Syndey Bloom" is a real, live boy (or girl). "Bloom" offers only a Gravatar link as a contact, which is not proof of anything.

The MRC's aversion to anonymous sources when used by the "liberal media" shows itself to be especially hypocritical with this link to a blog that not only is written under a fake name, the fake name in question is operating under the direction of Fox News. The MRC not only does not know who writes The Cable Game, it does not care as long as it continues to serve up media-bashing that conforms to its right-wing anti-media agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2017 9:47 PM EDT
MRC Slow to Mention Harassment Allegations Against Trump Defender Mark Halperin
Topic: Media Research Center

On Oct. 30, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck wrote an unusally straightforward post about how "NBC News finally terminated the contract of political analyst Mark Halperin five days after allegations surfaced thanks to CNN’s Oliver Darcy that Halperin had been alleged to have engaged in disturbing sexual misconduct while serving as ABC News political director."

Curiously, this was the first post about the accusations against Halperin posted at NewsBusters, the MRC's main content site (another MRC site, MRCTV, did note the Halperin story when it first broke). You'd think that with Halperin's ties to the dreaded MSM in the form of his work with NBC and a previous position at ABC, the MRC would be much more eager to join the dogpile, instead of waiting five days. This is the type of thing that brings a lot of harrumphing from Brent Bozell.

The headline on Houck's post called the claims against Halperin "sickening" -- but they apparently weren't so sickening that he was moved to write about them when the story broke.

So why the low-key treatment of Halperin? Perhaps because he was a defender of Donald Trump when allegations of harassment and misogyny appeared about him prior to the 2016 presidential election, as well as of other conservative perpetrators. As the Washington Post reported:

Mark Halperin, co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics at the time of the article's publication, said the allegations against Trump were not terribly serious.

“If that's the best they got on these issues and Donald Trump, Donald Trump should be celebrating that story,” Halperin said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” where he now appears regularly as a senior political analyst for NBC News. “There's some troubling things in the piece, but there's nothing illegal, there's nothing even kind of, like, beyond boorish or politically incorrect, which is built into the Donald Trump brand. So, if that's the best they have in this score, Donald Trump can celebrate this story, politically.”

[...]

At other times, Halperin has seemed to take a gentler tone toward prominent men accused of sexual harassment. In July 2016, he landed the first interview with Trump after Fox News cut ties with its longtime chairman, Roger Ailes.

“What do you think about what happened to your friend, Roger Ailes?” Halperin asked on his Showtime program, “The Circus.” Trump's response — “I think it's so sad; he's such a great guy” — was widely covered at the time, but Halperin's framing of the situation is also notable, in retrospect. He presented Ailes's fall as something that “happened to” him, as opposed to something Ailes brought on himself by mistreating women.

When Trump defended Bill O'Reilly against sexual harassment allegations in April, Halperin characterized the president's move as strategically unwise, without passing judgment on the substance of the claims against O'Reilly.

“Doing what he did yesterday, in commenting on Bill O'Reilly — to reporters, in the Oval Office, right before his statement on Syria — is not normal for a president,” Halperin said on “Morning Joe.” “It creates a huge distraction, gets tons of coverage. And yesterday should have been about projecting strength, as he did, on Syria. But it's pure Trump and classic Trump for him to then also be willing to address Bill O'Reilly. There's no reason for him to address it. None.”

Missing in Halperin's take was some acknowledgment that O'Reilly's alleged behavior is unacceptable — and that Trump, if he was going to speak up, ought to have said so.

There are other, non-sexual-harassment examples of Halperin serving as a defender of, and apologist for, Trump in the media. So it's no surprise that the MRC was in no hurry to throw him under the bad-guy bus.

Meanwhile, it was much more Johnny-on-the-spot about other recent sexual harassment accusations.

It quickly pounded on the claims against actor Kevin Spacey with a post just one day after accusations against him were first reported; Corinne Weaver revealed why by making sure to note that "Spacey is an outspoken lefty, consistently slamming the GOP and supporting Democratic candidates."

Similarly, Tim Graham swiftly and gleefully recounted how NPR senior vice president for news Michael Oreskes lost his job over harassment claims. Graham invoked an old obsession in the process, chortling that "This could be seen as a boomerang for NPR, which took so much pride in pushing the unsubstantiated sex-harassment charges of Anita Hill against black conservative Clarence Thomas in 1991 when it looked like he would be comfortably confirmed to the Supreme Court."

But shouldn't Graham be as disbelieving of Oreskes' accusers as he remains of Hill, given that they also apparently lack substantiation? He doesn't explain the double standard. Instead, he hypocritically trashed another Oreskes accuser for failing to speak out sooner:

Jill Abramson, a prominent Times reporter in the Hill-Thomas hearings who also wrote a book on the matter called Strange Justice,  which has been a liberal soap-opera TV movie (twice), didn't act against Oreskes at the Times! Abramson might have been looking out for her own ambition, and she became Executive Editor. So much for feminist advocacy[.]

Graham further complained about New York Times coverage of the issue: "The front of the Business Day section was headlined 'Protecting the Disgraced,' with pictures of Bill O'Reilly, Mark Halperin, and Harvey Weinstein." But protecting the disgraced is exactly what the MRC is doing with its delayed coverage of Halperin and Graham and Bozell's far greater outrage that O'Reilly's harassment was divulged over the fact that it happened in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2017 8:57 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
MRC Barely Notices Right-Wing Funding of Trump Oppo Research
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been obsessed with trying to get the heat off the Trump campaign's links to Russia by complaining that the media isn't covering that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid the opposition research group Fusion GPS for information that ultimately resulted in the infamous Russian dossier.

But there's one crucial piece of information the MRC doesn't really want covered. It was reported on Oct. 27 that it was the righrt-wing website the Washington Free Beacon that originally hired Fusion GPS to do research into Trump; the Free Beacon discontinued paying Fusion after Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, and the Democrats took over.

The only mention of a fellow right-wing website getting the ball rolling on the research that eventually became the Trump dossier in the following four days after the story broke was a passing mention in an Oct. 29 post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who quoted Fox News' Brian Kilmeade purporting to be "laying out the facts of the dossier" by asserting without proof that "There was no Russian element to the Free Beacon-financed opposition research."

So, MRC, if you are demanding that something be covered, why aren't you insisting that the entire story be covered, not just the parts that advance your partisan political agenda?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Writes Letters For His Websites To Promote
Topic: Media Research Center

A couple weeks back, CNSNews.com touted how "A group of conservative leaders announced at a press conference today that they had sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling on him and the other four members of the Senate Republican leadership team to step down over their failure to keep their promises."

It was a rather tepid little collection of folks -- with the emphasis on little, as Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall pointed out:

First, it’s just five people. That’s not very many. More important is who the people are. Two of them have histories literally going back to the earliest days of the modern conservative movement.

First there’s Richard Viguerie, basically the inventor of right wing direct mail fundraising. In many ways Viguerie invented clickbait and fake news decades before the Internet. He’s 84.

Then there’s Brent Bozell. Bozell has lived his entire life in the sinecure right wing activism world, which some very unnice people are ungenerous enough to call the world of ‘wingnut welfare’. He founded the Media Research Center in 1987 – full-time yakking about ‘liberal media bias’. His father was L. Brent Bozell, Jr., partner with Bill Buckley is launching much of what we know as movement conservatism today. Among many other things he ghosted Barry Goldwater’s ‘Conscience of a Conservative’, a bible of young conservatives in the early 60s which helped launch his 1964 presidential run.

To the extent that Trump is something ‘new’ in the GOP firmament, these folks are as old as it gets. The other three all predate Trump and in key cases predate the Tea Party. Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots is the ‘newest’ person on the list.

Of course, the only reason CNS covered this letter is because Bozell is the head of it (not disclosed until the final paragraph of the article). Weirdly, Bozell isn't identified as being affiliated with anything until the final-paragraph disclosure; he apparently can't identify himself as head of the MRC in the context of this letter because the MRC, as a 501(c)3 nonprofit group, is highly restricted on the amount of political activity it can engaged in.

It's also an even tinier group than Marshall notes. Anotherof the small group of signatories is David Bozell, Brent's son and the head of For America, a group Brent founded and, near as we can tell, continues as its chairman -- the group's website has purged mention of anyone affiliated with the group outside of David Bozell. (For America is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, which means it can engage in more political activity.)

Most of the signatories (except for David Bozell) were among a slightly larger group of "conservative leaders" that signed another letter last week whining to the media about "the censorship of the Clinton/Russian uranium deal."

One wonders if Bozell is generating these letters solely in order to give his websites something to write about. Because they're meaningless as anything beyond a publicity stunt.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Monday, October 30, 2017
MRC Stays Mum On Sexual Improprieties By Another Fox Host
Topic: Media Research Center

The Washington Post recently told the story of Scottie Nell Hughes, a once-prominent pro-Trump talking head whose career ground to a halt after she accused Fox Business anchor Charles Payne of coercing her into a sexual relationship with him. Hughes explained how she has been blackballed within the conservative media world and how difficult it is for a conservative woman to make allegations of sexual harassment within it:

Hughes told me that she’s found out the hard way that conservative women have a particularly hard time making sexual harassment and assault claims. Those claims often are scoffed at on the right, she said, and retaliation can be swift and brutal.

“Name me another conservative woman who has charged a male on the same side of the aisle with sexual misconduct outside of those involved with Fox,” she said.

The absence speaks volumes, she said: “Victims have been shamed into silence and it’s almost like open hunting season for sexual predators on the right.”

Almost every day, she said, she hears from women in conservative political and media circles. She gave examples of what they’ve told her: “My career would be over.” “I’m thinking I should speak up against certain people but it would ruin me.” “I internalized it for years. And hid behind work.”

Count the Media Research Center among those right-wing media outlets who have apparently declared Hughes to be persona non grata. Her last mention at NewsBusters, the MRC's main content site, came in December 2016, well before she made her accusations against Payne.

Not only has thte MRC not mentioned the claims against Payne -- continuing a double standard in which it largely ignores sexual harassment by Fox News hosts and personnel while obsessing over non-conservatives who have been accused -- the last two mentions of Payne in the NewsBusters archive are of MRC chief Brent Bozell appearing on Fox Business shows hosted by Payne, the final appearance coming just two days before Payne was suspended (he was reinstated two months later, though Hughes has now accused Payne of rape).

Again, we see that the MRC won't dare tell the truth about Fox News or Fox Business and it culture of sexual harassment, lest it possibly lose access to its highest-profile media outlet.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT
Sunday, October 29, 2017
MRC Mocked Kimmel As 'Emotional,' But Defends Kelly's 'Emotional' Remarks
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Resarch Center loves to mock liberals (and those suspected of being liberal) of being "emotional" as a way to devalue their arguments. For instance, the MRC repeatedly dismissed Jimmy Kimmel's monologues about health care and the Las Vegas massacre as "emotional" in an attempt to shut him up. A NewsBusters tweet even mocked him as "Cryin' Jimmy Kimmel."

But if a conservative gets emotional, the MRC has decreed that it's wrong for anyone to criticize it.

That's the message we get from an Oct. 19 post by Curtis Houck headlined "Tasteless CNN Debases Itself by Blasting Kelly for Emotional WH Remarks":

Just when you thought CNN couldn’t cheapen itself any further. On Thursday, CNN Newsroom reacted to a powerful White House statement Chief of Staff and Gen. John Kelly (Ret.) amidst the Gold Star families controversy by noting Kelly’s personal sacrifices before lambasting him for calling out a Democratic member of Congress and attacking the media.

Right off the bat, CNN Political Director David Chalian noted that “it's hard to listen to a father tell that story and not have sympathy” before declaring that Kelly’s emotions must be separated “from the White House chief of staff going into the press briefing room to clearly try and attempt to clean up a political mess that, quite frankly, his boss largely created.”

“[B]ecause John Kelly wouldn't be part of this story and wouldn't feel the need to go to the press and address this and we wouldn't have a ton of questions if it were not for his boss who injected him into this entire episode this week,” Chalian added. That’s the thing with CNN. Network personalities might accurately claim that something isn’t political, but then disqualify themselves by going political and making any segment into an anti-Trump tirade.

White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny was in the room for the pin-drop moment, but put aside Kelly’s message to lament how he “did not answer, what role President Trump played in politicizing this as well.”

So it wasn't tasteless and debasing for the MRC to sneeringly mock "Cryin' Jimmy Kimmel," but it's somehow tasteless and debasing to point out that Kelly was exploiting his own son's death to make a political point and extract Trump out of a politial mess?

Also, of all the epithets the MRC hurled at Kimmel's monologues, "pin-drop moment" was not one of them. Apparently, only conservatives are allowed to be emotional while making a political point.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
Friday, October 27, 2017
MRC, CNS Overstate ACA Subsidies As 'Illegal'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes writes in an Oct. 17 post:

On Friday and over the weekend, ABC, CBS and NBC reacted with their typical anti-Trump fervor to the President’s decision to end federal subsidies of insurance companies through ObamaCare, but only a meager portion of broadcast news coverage — barely three percent — tipped viewers off to the fact those payments were unconstitutional in the first place.

[...]

From Friday morning, October 13, through Sunday evening, October 15, the ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news shows aired a total of 38 minutes, 8 seconds of coverage of the Trump administration’s decision to end the illegal subsidy payments begun under the Obama administration. Only 71 seconds of that airtime — none of it on NBC! — was spent on the important point that these payments were being made without Congressional authorization, and thus unconstitutional, according to a May 2016 federal court decision.

The highly-regarded SCOTUSblog reported at the time on the “potentially crippling constitutional blow” delivered by federal Judge Rosemay Collyer. “Paying out reimbursement,” she wrote, “without an appropriation [from Congress] violates the Constitution. Congress authorized reduced cost-sharing but did not appropriate monies for it, in the fiscal year 2014 budget or since.  Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one.”

But a single lower-court judge declaring something unconstitutional does not make it so -- the Trump administration put on hold an appeal of the ruling, meaning that its legal status continues in limbo. Indeed, the MRC has attacked lower court judges for making rulings that run counter to its right-wing agenda. In March, for instance, NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer approvingly quoted lawyer Alan Dershowitz criticizing "district court interference in Presidential immigration policy." The judge who ruled against the subsidy payments was a U.S. district court judge.

MRC "news" division CNSNews.com joined its parent in overstating the facts. An Oct. 13 article by Susan Jones carried the headline "Trump Further Dismantles Obamacare Overnight, Ending Illegal Cost-Sharing Payments," and she later refers to "the illegal CSR payments" without even bothering to back up the claim and uncritically quotes others calling the payments "illegal" and "unlawful."

This is misleading reporting and commentary from CNS and the MRC -- the kind of sloppiness it would call out if a "liberal media" outlet had done it.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 11:06 AM EDT
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Where's MRC's Bozell on Latest O'Reilly Sex Harassment Allegations?
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center effectively gave Fox News' Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly a pass on their respective histories of sexual harassment, even as they tried to make hay on similar allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

On Oct. 21, the New York Times reported on a previously undisclosed sexual harassment case against O'Reilly -- this time resuilting in a $32 million payment to Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl. What did Bozell and the MRC have to say about this hatest case of serial sexual harassment?

Nothing, basically. Bozell's Twitter account was silent on this, as was the MRC's NewsBusters and CNSNews.com website.

The only mention at all on any MRC website was on lower-tier operation MRCTV, where Bryan Michalek published the full statement from O'Reilly's spokesman attacking the Times story. It wasn't until after this -- in the 11th paragraph -- that Michalek gets around to noting that the O'Reilly statement falsely claims that the Times article fails to mention an affidavit by Wiehl renouncing allegations against O'Reilly, as well as a statement by Times editor Dean Baquet that the statement "addresses everything but what the story actually says."

In short, Bozell and the MRC remain utter hypocrites.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
MRC's Declaring Time Mag A 'Liberal Dying Husk' Seems A Tad Exaggerated
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline on the Oct. 11 Media Research Center post by Scott Whitlock declares, "Liberal Dying Husk Time Magazine to Slash Circulation." Whitlock then goes on to called Time a "liberal dinosaur," touting how the magazine is cutting circulation by one-third. But he then goes on to contradict himself, conceding that perhaps the publication and its parent not, in fact, dying:

Writer Kevin McCoy [of USA Today] explained of Time inc (which also includes other publications), “Revenue for the quarter that ended June 30 fell $75 million, or 10%, to $694 million compared with the same period last year, the company reported. The drop reflected declines in advertising and circulation revenues.” 

So, no, not quite a dying husk. Also, Time's purported "liberal" leanings have nothing to do with its circulation decline -- like many other print outlets, the Internet is taking its toll on Time. Further, digital subscriptions are helping to fill some of the slack.

Whitlock's evidence of Time being "liberal" is rather meager; it noted the economic upheaval as post-Soviet Russia moved from communism to something kinda representing capitalism, and calling Barack Obama as "Obi-Wan Kenobi" but Donald Trump a "demogogue" upon their respective "person of the year" designations.

Besides, if being "liberal" is really what's killing Time, why was the first major newsmagazine to permanently suspend its print edition the right-leaning U.S. News & World Report?

 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Monday, October 23, 2017
Bozell's Less-Than-Full Disclosure About The MRC And the Mercers (And His Latest Soros Freakout)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their Oct. 18 column:

Charles Pierce, the resident radical-left political pundit at Esquire magazine — that intellectual powerhouse best known for its Sexiest Woman Alive award — is lamenting the role of Steve Bannon in electing President Trump, as well as Trump financial backers "Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the reactionary New York gozillionnaires."

Pierce wanted everyone to read about a lawsuit filed in May (news that's almost half a year old is "breaking" if the targets are conservatives) by a former Bob Mercer employee named David Magerman who, reportedly against company policy, felt compelled to tell The Wall Street Journal that his boss had "contempt for the social safety net" and wanted "government be shrunk down to the size of a pinhead." (Horrors!) In his lawsuit, Magerman upped the ante and claimed that Mercer held racist views.

Full disclosure: The Mercers are not just supporters; they are friends. That kind of repugnant slur is undeserving of a response and will get none here.

Actually, Bozell and Graham's "full disclosure" is not so full. As we've documented, the Mercers are much more than "supporters" of Bozell and the MRC; they're among the largest donors to the MRC, donating $13.5 million between 2008 and 2014 and providing a full one-fourth of its annual budget in 2014 alone. On top of that, Rebekah Mercer is a member of  the MRC board of directors, and she appears to be partly responsible for Bozell's and the MRC's big Trump flip in 2016, turning from a Trump critic to a Trump defender.

The rest of Bozell and Graham's column is dedicated to whining that politicaly active conservative billionaires get more scrutiny in "the media" than liberal ones, then lambasting longtime right-wing bogeyman George Soros, adding, "As we type these words, it has just been announced that Soros has transferred a cool $18 billion to his radical Open Society Foundations in recent years, making it instantly the second largest foundation in the world after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

The MRC has long lashed out against Soros to raise a few bucks, and his boosting of his foundation's finances has prompted it again. It has launched a new campaign with its patented combination of Soros fearmongering and plea for money:

Liberal puppetmaster George Soros is back to his old dirty tricks. And this time, he’s doubled down with a whopping $18 billion cash infusion across his tangled web of radical left-wing organizations, the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

The Media Research Center is once again taking a stand against Soros and his toxic influence on American society-- but we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

NewsBusters reported that the infamous left-wing financier has nearly tripled the size of his foundation by shifting an additional $18 billion in assets to the foundation he regularly uses to fund radical left wing causes.

This is on top of the more than $14 billion Soros has already funneled into “progressive” causes, such as abortion, open borders, radical environmentalism, opposing “hate” speech, and the Women’s March.

Soros has also given massive amounts of money— $103 MILLION! — to support the liberal media AND $10.5 million to Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign.

Please donate today. It is going to take an army of patriotic Americans to stand a chance against Soros and his liberal empire. 

With a donation of $50 or more, you will receive a mailed copy of the MRC’s latest Soros report. For all donors, of all amounts, you will receive future email updates from MRC Action detailing our efforts to take measureable action against ongoing liberal media bias.

The campaign does not disclose how much money it has received from the Mercers.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 2:41 PM EDT
Friday, October 20, 2017
Crappy MRC Media Study Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

It's another month, so it must be time for another terrible media "study" from the Media Research Center! Take it away, Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella:

With September’s news coverage now in the record books, the latest Media Research Center analysis finds TV’s hostility to the Trump presidency continues unabated. According to our analysts, the President received 92% bad press, vs. just 8% good press on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows last month.

Since Inauguration Day (January 20), the broadcast networks have tilted 90% anti-Trump, vs. 10% pro-Trump, not counting partisan statements or neutral/informational coverage. (See our methodology statement at the bottom of this article for details.) While coverage has pivoted from topic to topic — the travel ban, Obama wiretap claims, Russia investigation, ObamaCare repeal, Charlottesville — there’s been little variation in the negative tone of coverage each month.

[...]

The networks focused most of their evaluative coverage on immigration, the NFL and the private jet flights of cabinet officials (especially Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned September 29).

Not surprisingly, 100% of the coverage of the expensive jet flights by Cabinet officials was negative, as was nearly all (96%) of the coverage of the administration’s immigration policy. On September 5, for example, CBS Evening News anchor Anthony Mason framed the President’s decision to end the Obama-era DACA program as “a dream lost for thousands of undocumented immigrants,” while a subsequent story by correspondent John Blackstone focused only on the negative reaction of those who benefited from the policy.

In other words: Noyes and Ciandella are once again complaining that stories are being accurately reported. They don't explain what possible "positive" coverage should have been given to, say, those private jet flights by Cabinet officials.

As before, Noyes and Ciandella have ensured their results are biased by narrowly focusing only on network evening newscasts(and pretending they're representative of the entire media) and refusing to acknowledge the existence of neutral coverage, forcing everything into a binary narrative in which everything is either "negative" or "positive" -- their so-called "methodology" states it counted only "evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story." And once again, they refuse to back up their work with a complete list of the actual statements they claim to have evaluated.

It's bad research specifically designed to reinforce a political agenda -- the only kind the MRC is apparently capable of doing.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT

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