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Thursday, December 14, 2017
MRC's Graham: Megyn Kelly is Too Rich To Complain About Sexual Harassment
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham has a history of dismissing sexual harassment allegations when they're made against conservatives. He's declared Anita Hill a liar who made her accusations against Clarence Thomas in order to score a book deal and a law-school teaching gig, suggested former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson made her sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes -- the late former head of the channel that's like a second home for MRC talking heads -- in order to get a settlement payday and, yes, a book deal, and he along with MRC chief Brent Bozell have implied that Roy Moore's accusers shouldn't be believed because theres no physical evidence of their claims (which didn't keep the MRC from believing Bill Clinton's accusers).

Now he's taking a shot at another former Fox News anchor -- Megyn Kelly, who has also claimed that Ailes sexually harassed her.Graham whines in a Dec. 6 post that Kelly was featured among Time magazine's "silence breakers" that were named the people of the year. Graham sniped that for Time, Kelly didn't talk "about sexual harassers on her current show, but on Fox News." (Kelly currently hosts the fourth hour of the "Today" show, which recently jettisoned co-host Matt Lauer over harassment claims.) Perhaps because she was sexually harassed at Fox News and not in her short time at NBC?

Graham then argued that Kelly shouldn't be complaining about sexualharassment because she has a fat NBC contract:

On the video that appears with the cover story, Kelly gets profane. Over emotional music, Kelly says “We don’t have to just live like this. I always thought things could change for my daughter. I never thought things could change for me.” Actress and Harvey Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan says women have been “conditioned since birth to be polite,” and then Kelly is sliced in: “To be ‘nice’ [finger quotes]. To be ‘kind’. To be ‘liked’. To not make waves [music pauses] – Bullshit!”

At the risk of sounding rude to Kelly, the idea of her living in some kind of oppressive bubble might seem a bit odd, since she makes an estimated $23 million a year to host a morning TV show for NBC. The "maybe my daughter won't have it so rough" sounds a bit out of touch to people making $15 an hour...or the hotel housekeepers also featured in the video.

The point Kelly is trying to make -- which seems to have completely eluded Graham -- is that sexual harassment happens to popular TV anchors as much as to hotel housekeepers making $15 an hour. Perhaps Graham can enlighten us as to the maximum amount of money a woman can make and still complain about sexual harassment, since $23 million a year is too rich for his blood.

If anyone's sounding out of touch here, it's Graham, who has apparently decided that the degree a sexual harassment accuser can be believed is inversely proportional to how closely the accused adheres to conservative ideology.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EST
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
MRC Writer Mad Someone In Media Is Doing Exact Same Thing His Boss Does
Topic: Media Research Center

Chris Reeves huffs in a Dec. 8 Media Research Center post:

On Friday’s Morning Joe, the MSNBC show’s hosts and guests spent most of their broadcast mourning the announced resignation of Minnesota Senator Al Franken from Congress in the wake of over half a dozen allegations of sexual assault against him. In a stunning display of hypocrisy, MSNBC’s liberal morning pundits went to extraordinary lengths to cast doubt on the women who have accused Franken of sexual misconduct, violating the network’s own oft-repeated standards for Republican and conservative politicians.=

New York Times writer Bari Weiss was even brought on to complain about how “some innocent people are going to go down” as a result of what co-host Mika Brzezinski dubbed a “sex panic.” With so many liberal media and political figures biting the dust career-wise in recent weeks, the co-host also explicitly questioned the accuracy and honesty of Franken’s accusers, wondering repeatedly “if it happened” and whether “all women need to be believed.”

Reeves didn't mention that his boss, MRC chief Brent Bozell, has tried to cast doubt on the women who accused conservative Republican Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.

We noted as part of our documentation of how the MRC downplayed the accusations against Moore, Bozell and Tim Graham argued in their Nov. 17 column that the accusations against Moore be treated less seriously than those against Franken, if they should even be considered at all, because "there's no photograph" or "admission of guilt."

Then, in their Dec. 8 column, Bozell and Graham sought to grade sexual harassment scandals, making sure to place Moore's in the lower tier while moving on to Clinton whataboutism and working in a conspiracy theory to boot:

Make no mistake: Franken's ouster is in part a Democratic Party maneuver to clean house in the event Judge Roy Moore is elected to the Alabama Senate. The former Franken-promoting Washington Post got the Moore ball rolling with a disturbing article that included Leigh Corfman's claim that Moore initiated sexual contact with her in 1979, when she was 14. She expressed her displeasure at the contact, and he drove her home.

This accusation is more serious than Anita Hill's and, as distasteful as it is, much less serious than Juanita Broaddrick's rape charge against President Clinton or Mary Jo Kopechne's death. But the Mitchells and Brokaws grade sex scandals by checking the party label first. If Corfman had accused Clinton with a similar tale, the media elites would have felt sick and dragged their feet, just as they did with Jones and Broaddrick.

These, by the way, are the only two times Bozell and Graham -- two top leaders at the MRC -- have mentioned Moore in their column. If Moore was a Democrat, they would undoubtedly be saying much more about it.

If Reeves is so upset about people downplaying and casting doubt on sexual harassment accusers, he might want to have a chat with his boss before he writes further.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 PM EST
Saturday, December 9, 2017
MRC's Graham & Bozell Can Only Respond To Their Critics With Insults
Topic: Media Research Center

Ranting about "liberal media bias" is so much easier when you pretend there's no conservative media bias.

That's what the Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell have done in their Nov. 22 column ranting about a piece by an actual longtime journalist, James Warren -- who is not a political activist like Graham and Bozell -- for the journalism training and ethics group Poynter pointing out how the "liberal media" isn't really a thing.They whine:

Rupert Murdoch is looking at unloading some of his Hollywood assets, and among the suspected potential buyers are The Walt Disney Co. (ABC) and Comcast Corp. (NBC). To Warren, this somehow heralds a new era of "not just unceasing consolidation but the unceasing influence of folks of distinctly conservative ideology." The Murdochs explore selling off assets, and that's conservative consolidation?

Not only that, Warren says the "caricature" of a liberal media is "dubious" and can be rebutted by the fact that the "aggressively conservative" Sinclair Broadcasting Group "is primed to become the biggest local TV broadcaster." Yet Sinclair stations are routinely airing network news and entertainment content from ... ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

But Murdoch is not selling his right-wing news channel. And Graham and Bozell conveniently omit mention of another key example Warren provided: David Pecker, pal of Donald Trump and owner of the National Enquirer and recent purchaser of Us Weekly. (It just so happens that the managing editor of Pecker's publications, Dylan Howard, was just accused of sexual harassment and being Harvey Weinstein's lackey in using Pecker's publications to undermine allegations of sexual harassment by the once-powerful Hollywood producer.)

And, as the MRC has done in the past, Graham and Bozell deflect the actual issue with Sinclair, which is highly biased local newscasts ordered to run conservative commentary, turning them into Trump boosters.

Graham and Bozell then moved to the childish-insult phase -- literally. They actually declared that one college professor who committed the offense of disagreeing with them "sounds dumber than a grade schooler." And they weren't done insulting anyone who won't adhere to right-wing dogma:

Warren then cites Danny Hayes, a political scientist at George Washington University who doubles down on the idiocy. "The debate about ideological bias in the media is not productive at all," he says. That's true ... if you're a liberal who wants the average (and, apparently, ignorant) media consumer to think the news is objective. Hayes insists "the social science research finds virtually no evidence in the mainstream media of systematic liberal or conservative bias."

Hayes should be teaching geology because, clearly, he is living under a rock. We've been churning out daily evidence of a dramatic liberal bias in the "objective" news media for 30 years, and this "scientist" in Washington, D.C., thinks there's "virtually no evidence"?

Anecdotal, incidental evidence -- which makes up the vast majority of what the MRC claims is "liberal bias" -- is not real evidence. And we've seen the dismal, slanted results the MRC gets when it issues what it purports to be actual "media research."

If your go-to response to criticism is to hurl juvenile insults at your critics, you have no actual defense. Graham and Bozell just proved that.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EST
Thursday, December 7, 2017
MRC Demands Brian Ross (But Not Bret Baier) Be Fired For Mistake
Topic: Media Research Center

To nobody's surprise, the Media Research Center went all in on exploiting ABC reporter Brian Ross' error in a story on former national security adviser Michael Flynn for maximum partisan effect.

Curtis Houck touted the "embarrassing correction" that had to be made, which allegedly constituted "the latest epic fail by Ross." Houck was even more giddy when ABC announced Ross would be suspended for the error; under a headline that included the words "About Time," proclaiming it as "yet another reason why people dislike the media." And MRC apparatchik Dan Gainor wondered "how you can trust anything" from ABC.

(Last time we checked, Paul Begala and Erroll Southers are still waiting for their corrections and apologies from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, for the false stories written about them.)

Also to nobody's surprise, this all culminated in an indignant column from the MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell, in which they declare that Ross hasn't paid enough of a price and must be fired, huffing, "These supposed guardians against 'fake news' make it look like fact mangling isn't really a serious offense."

However, the MRC thinks some media errors are less deserving of punishment than others.

As we've documented, shortly before the 2016 election. the MRC went all in on relentlessly promoting a Fox News story citing anonymous sources to claim that an indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent and that her email server was almost definitely hacked. So all-in was the MRC that Bozell declared, "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out." Turns out that story was false, and Fox's Bret Baier had to retract it. For all those hours Bozell said his MRC would report on the story, none of them reported on the development that it was bogus.

The MRC never retracted or corrected all the promotion it gave to this false story. It never demanded that Baier be fired for reporting such egregiously false information. Bozell never dismissed Fox News as "fake news" over the story.

Heck, the MRC still hasn't corrected its false post from a couple weeks ago that confused Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.

The MRC needs to clean up its own house first if it ever wants to be taken seriously as a media critic instead of just being dismissed as partisan hacks.

UPDATE: As the Washington Post notes, ABC also reprimanded another employee of the news division -- Chris Vlasto, the head of the investigative unit for which Ross works -- for providing internal poll numbers to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The MRC hasn't mentioned Vlasto at all. Wonder why...


Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2017 10:07 PM EST
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
NEW ARTICLE: Letting A Pervy Politician Slide
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center can't quite bring itself to issue an unequivocal condemnation of Roy Moore's alleged history of perving on teenage girls. And the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, did its best to bury the Moore story. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EST
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
MRC Teams With Trump To Try And Discredit CBO Estimates
Topic: Media Research Center

One notable part of Trump administration strategy is to attack the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as inaccurate as a way to short-circuit any criticism of its policies over cost estimates. The Media Research Center, a loyal supporter of Trump, has joined in the paratisan CBO-bashing.

In a Nov. 28 MRC post, Aly Nielsen pushed back on CNN host Wolf Blitzer's claim that the CBO has a good track record, insisting that "In reality, the CBO’s track record isn’t “pretty good.” and adding:

Past predictions from the CBO -- especially concerning Obamacare enrollment -- have also dramatically missed the mark, according to Forbes and Reason. The conservative American Enterprise Institute repeatedly condemned the CBO for vastly overestimating Obamacare enrollment.

Prior to Obamacare’s passage, the CBO estimated 23 million people would sign up through the health care exchanges by 2017. Enrollment was less than half that — just over 9 million enrolled in that time period — AEI visiting fellow Ramesh Ponnuru revealed in March 2017.

While Nielsen concedes that that AEI as conservatvie, she doesn't ad that the rest are too -- the Forbes piece was written by anti-Obamacare activist Grace-Marie Turner -- and if the MRC has taught us anything, it's that media outlets with a point of view shouldn't be trusted.

But as the Washington Post detailed, the CBO's estimate of Obamacare enrollment was inaccurate in part because it expected all states to expand their Medicaid coverage, when many did not because the Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion was optional. The CBO also thought Obamacare's package of incentives for enrollment and penalties for not enrolling would cause more people to enroll than actually have done so.

Remember, Nielsen's post is done in the service of the Trump agenda. The CBO estimated that the tax-cut plan Trump is championing will add $1.4 trillion to the deficit, and Nielsen quotes Republican Sen. James Lankford bashing the CBO because it "assume[s] if you cut taxes, nothing happens in the economy" and, in Nielsen's words, "tax cuts have historically lead [sic] to economic growth." To back this up, Nielsen cites another article from the conservative AEI, which says nothing about the current situation.

In the real world, PolitiFact tried -- and failed -- to find experts who could demonstrate that a tax cut fully paid for itself in increased revenue, and that the available evidence showed that tax cuts can hurt revenue.

But then, Nielsen isn't being paid by the MRC to do full and impartial research -- she's there to support Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EST
Monday, December 4, 2017
MRC Confuses Companies In Trying to Justify Blocking Time Warner Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Nov. 21 post, the Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained that "all three network morning shows fretted over the Justice Department filing a lawsuit to block a planned merger between telecommunications giants AT&T and Time Warner Cable. Hosts and correspondents warned of 'politics' being 'at play' in the decision and touted how critics were “raising concerns about the motive behind the government’s legal challenge.'" In attacking people on NBC for raising questions about how the Justice Department wants to block the merger, Drennen added:

The NBC journalists conveniently failed to mention that the last company that attempted to purchase Time Warner Cable was their parent company, Comcast. In 2014, the news network actually pushed that proposed merger with several positive reports on the business plan. Ultimately the deal collapsed when the Obama Justice Department came out in opposition to it on the same antitrust grounds now being cited by the Trump administration.

Apparently everyone at NBC came down with a case of memory loss on Tuesday as they skipped over that important background information.

Drennen's problem here is that he doesn't know there's a difference between Time Warner -- the company that actually is trying to merge with AT&T -- and Time Warner Cable, which operated cable TV franchises and was not involved with CNN or other cable TV channels operated by Time Warner. Time Warner spun off Time Warner Cable in 2008, and was a completely separate company from Time Warner at the time Comcast attempted to buy it. Time Warner Cable was ultimately purchased in 2015 by Charter Communications, a cable provider smaller than Comcast so the same antitrust questions were raised.

As such, it doesn't exist anymore. But Drennen seems to think it still does.

Further, counter to Drennen's claim, the proposed Time Warner-AT&T merger raises none of the same antitrust concerns that the Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger proposal did. A Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger would have created a cable TV behemoth; by contrast, the merged Charter-Time Warner Cable (along with a third company that merged with Charter at the same time) is the same size as Comcast's current cable operations. By contrast, AT&T is mostly a landline and phone company that also owns satellite TV provider DirecTV, while Time Warner owns a movie studio and TV networks and productions (the titular magazine division was just sold).

In short, it's not that much different from the current Comcast, which merged with NBC Universal and now has movie and TV production and TV networks along with its cable offerings. 

Nevertheless, Drennen insisted that the Trump Justice Department was engaging in "routine government oversight -- something the liberal media usually champion." Of course, a president hadn't regularly attacked and disparaged a component of the Comcast-NBC merger. Nor did we have the spectacle of the head of the Justice Department's antitrust division scramble to walk back an earlier claim that he saw no major antitrust problem with the merger, as we're seeing regarding the Time Warner-AT&T proposal.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EST
Friday, December 1, 2017
MRC Exploits The Hell Out of Matt Lauer's Firing, Flushes Fox News Harassers Down the Memory Hole
Topic: Media Research Center

As we noted, the Media Reserach Center could only be bothered to barely acknowledge the fiasco that was James O'Keefe and Project Veritas' attempt to fabricate a fake scandal against Roy Moore in the hope that the Washington Post would take the bait -- apparently failing to account for the fact that Post is a credible news organization that verifies things before they're published. That was in no small part because it wanted to distance itself from the fiasco (even though the MRC has uncritically touted O'Keefe's work in the past), but it ultimately had to speak up in order to protect the so-called integrity of conservative journalism.

But the MRC also had another excuse to quickly move on: a shiny object called Matt Lauer. 

The MRC's belated acknowledgement of the O'Keefe fiasco finally made it to a MRC-operated website about the time NBC announced it had fired "Today" co-host Lauer over  allegations of sexual harassment. O'Keefe was quickly memory-holed; as far as Lauer went, the MRC was ON IT, cranking out a whopping nine posts in the next 12 hours.

That's approximately nine more posts that the MRC has ever devoted to the sexual harassment allegations against personalities at its favorite channel, Fox News: Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and Eric Bolling.

Speaking of which: The first Lauer post was one in which Scott Whitlock bashed him as a "hypocrite" for questioning O'Reilly about his sexual harassment cases. Taht would be the interview in which the MRC's Randy Hall endorsed O'Reilly's porrayal of himself as the innocent victim of a "hit job," even though he has effectively admitted guilt by paying out millions of dollars in settlements.

The second Lauer post was also hypocrite-themed, in which Whitlock wondered if Lauer "doesn't have any concept of self-reflection" and "might have pondered his own actions while slamming Donald Trump over the infamous Access Hollywood tape," going on to huff that "Lauer brezzily reported on allegations against others."

Recall that the MRC helped Trump play the victim over that tape by dismissing it as politically motivated, with a heavy dose of Clinton Equivocation.

We also got the preening moralizing from MRC chief Brent Bozell, asking: "Clearly, there must have been numerous people at NBC who knew about his repugnant behavior. Where have they been all this time? How many people who could have put an end to this actually enabled his abuse of women?"

Bozell never asked that about the goings-on at Fox News.

The MRC's Rich Noyes took a similar tack, arguing without evidence that NBC News president Andy Lack must have known earlier about  the accusations against Lauer "unless he's living in a cave or everybody else whose talking on the record is lying." He didn't mention that at Fox News, it was the president himself, Ailes, who was doing the harassing.

Not to be outdone, MRC bigwig Tim Graham asserted (on Fox News, natch): "But I think that the news media, these are people, that the shocking thing about all of this, is, you have never seen a group of people who say that they're on top of everything and then don't seem to realize they have a sexual predator in their midst for 20 years." Neither he nor his Fox News host, Shannon Bream, discussed how long Bream's fellow employees knew there were sexual predators in their midst -- or whether Graham, Bozell or anyone else at the MRC knew of the Fox News predators before it went public.

Finally, Bozell (though, in reality, probably his ghostwriter Graham) penned a piece for Fox News (of course) in which he rails once again at Lauer for his interview with O'Reilly: "How could Matt Lauer make these solemn pronouncements on national television with a straight face?" Funny, we ask that same question (except for the Matt Lauer part) every time we see Bozell on Fox News.

Bozell, Graham and the MRC have suddenly developed another Fox News-sized blind spot. Now that there are non-conservative sexual harassers to rant about, the last thing they want to talk about Ailes, O'Reilly and Bolling -- and their own hypocrisy in holding conservative harassers to lower standards and less lecturing.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EST
Thursday, November 30, 2017
MRC Slow to React to O'Keefe Fiasco
Topic: Media Research Center

Right-wing provocateur and troll James O'Keefe really screwed the pooch in a seriously botched sting, sending a minion to a Washington Post reporter with a false claim that she had an abortion following an affair with Roy Moore. the Post investigated, found major holes in her story and her background, and the sting was turned around on her -- thus having the effect of proving that the Post investigated the claims of Moore perving on teenage girls with the same rigor and found them to be credible, as well as proving the Post itself to be a credible news organization overall.

This created a dilemma for the Media Research Center. After all, it has given videos released by O'Keefe's Project Veritas lots of free publicity over the years -- in October alone, the MRC touted two videos of secretly recorded videos of people in the media saying things that advance the MRC's anti-media agenda, and a third item that month featured Tom Blumer endorsing the illicit videotaping: "We also know that O'Keefe got it right."

The MRC's first reacton seemed to be to do nothing and hope it would blow over. But after outrage continued to build -- after all, O'Keefe's minion was not only to try and discredit the Post but also the women who accused Moore of perving on them -- it seemed clear that it couldn't stay silent. So 24 hours after the scandal broke, on Nov. 28 it took a baby step -- not by posting anything at any MRC website, mind you, but having MRC chief Brent Bozell use his Twitter account to denounce O'Keefe's actions:

Regarding WaPo/O'Keefe incident, this was entrapment, & the kind of "gotcha" stunt that should be condemned. If a liberal did this to a conservative outlet, we'd be outraged. Once again, O'Keefe is grandstanding & hurting the conservative movement. I'm glad the Post outed him.

O'Keefe's story was a fabrication to create a scandal. That's slanderous. The day conservatives endorse these tactics, we've lost all moral standing.

The problem, of course, is that Bozell and his fellow conservatives have already lost moral standing by endorsing a thrice-married adulterer and misogynist for president (and after Bozell insisted that Donald Trump "did not walk" with conservatives), so his word doesn't mean much. And his MRC has no problem pushing fabrtcations, as demonstrated by its pre-election promotion of a fake-news Fox News story, one the MRC never corrected or retracted when it was proven to be false.

Nevertheless, The Hill did a story on Bozell's tweets the evening of Nov. 28. Curiously, these same statements weren't being repeated at any of the MRC's three main websites: NewsBusters, MRCtv, and CNSNews.com.

It was not until the morning of Nov. 29 -- nearly two full days after the O'Keefe fiasco broke -- that any Bozell statement made it to a MRC-operated website, in the form of a NewsBusters post by Tim Graham summarizing Bozell's tweet and a comment he made to the hated Associated Press.

Missing from all of this: Any mention of the MRC's previous promotion of O'Keefe, as well as an answer to the question of whether Bozell and Co. will now treat O'Keefe with the same disdain it treats a member of the "liberal media" who does something similar.

In other words, it was a perfunctory CYA move, driven by fear of damage to the conservative movement and the MRC's own brand than any genuine concern about journalism.

Bozell and the MRC couldn't have been happier that the news of NBC host Matt Lauer's firing over sexual harassment claims broke around the time Graham's post went live, because it swept O'Keefe out of the news cycle and all but guaranteed Bozell would never have to address it again.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EST
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Bozell & Graham Hypocritically Shame Charlie Rose
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's Nov. 27 column is all about piling on Charlie Rose over sexual harassment allegations. They call him among the "elites," "privileged" and a member of the "ruling elite."They lecture: "Every powerful man who is getting caught up in this wave isn't living by the Ten Commandments but by the 'Access Hollywood' code: When you're a star, the women will let you do it. You can do anything."

Funny thing about that: Graham and Bozell never lectured the man who invented the "Access Hollywood" code -- Donald Trump -- that way. As we documented, both Bozell and Graham went the Clinton Equivocation route when Trump's misogyny surfaced, insisting that Bill Clinton did much worse . Rataher than devote an entire column to shaming Trump, Graham and Bozell whined and deflected for an entire column, hufing about an "October surprise" and deflected by insisting, "As repugnant as it was, Trump's offense was words. The Clintons' offenses were actions." The word "repugnant is the only criticism of Trump's behavior in that entire column.

And Graham and Bozell certainly didn't spend an entire column shaming Roger Ailes or Bill O'Reilly for their actions in the field of vile sexual harassment. As we also documented, theit column on O'Reilly could muster only a perfunctory "indefensible, if true" disclaimer, then dismissed the accusations as old news and went all Clinton Equivocation again. And when Ailes died earlier this year, Bozell gushed over his work in building Fox News but stayed silent about Ailes' victims, and his Media Research Center attacked anyone who brought them up.

Graham and Bozell extended their Rose-shaming to his employers: "Charlie Rose exploited women for decades as he produced shows at Bloomberg's TV studio for PBS and hosted shows on CBS. None of those news agencies ever seemed to find any wrongdoing inside their own offices worth reporting. The embarrassment and shame should also be theirs." Again, they never shamed Fox News for not finding Ailes' and O'Reilly's regpugnant behavior worth reporting on.

Back in their 2016 column whining about and deflecting from the Trump misogyny, GHraham and Bozell concluded: "The cynicism boggles the mind." True -- especially your own, boys.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EST
Monday, November 27, 2017
MRC's Graham: Better A Pedophile Than A Democrat
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham kicked off a Nov. 18 post by complaining that "pseudoconservative David Brooks" had accused Christian supporters of Roy Moore of being "heretics" who are practicing "idolatry" by almost voicing an unequivocal condemnation of Moore:

One can understand the "making an idol out of politics" part, but "heresy" means something different to religious folks than it does to David Brooks. It means a false teaching against the core teachings of Christianity, a rejection of orthodoxy. He's not exactly separating church and state on the special election. Personally, I think the charges against Moore are serious enough that I would withhold my vote from him. 

Graham doesn't live in Alabama, so he'll never have to act on that. Unfortunately, he went on to justify voting for Moore anyway because no matter how "serious" those charges against Moore are, simply being a Democrat like his opponent, Doug Jones, is infinitely worse:

But a Christian could look at the two choices left on the ballot and say if I need a Senator to vote against abortion, against the LGBT agenda, and for religious liberty, one cannot vote for the Democrat. That would be closer to a heretical vote, if we're buying the Brooks definition. 

Graham then went on to defend right-woing evangelical Franklin Graham for standing by Graham, with a quick pivot to the Clinton Equivocation:

Franklin Graham spoke to Roy Moore on the phone, and is accepting Moore's denials of wrongdoing. He tweeted “The hypocrisy of Washington has no bounds. So many denouncing Roy Moore when they are guilty of doing much worse than what he has been accused of supposedly doing. Shame on those hypocrites.” This drew angry tweets from CNN's Jake Tapper and Andrew Kaczynski. But on its face, if Rev. Graham is talking about the Clintons and their defenders, then he has a point. The Broaddrick rape charge is a very serious charge that a vast majority of liberal journalists have dismissed as fake news for decades -- which makes them look hypocritical on Moore. 

Finally, Graham attacked the Washington Post for its purported political motivation in running the story on Moore's history of perving on teenage girls -- with even more Clinton Equivocation:

Nowhere in this PBS discussion is there any questioning the timing or the liberal tilt of The Washington Post, who for whatever reason couldn't locate these charges until the very convenient (for Democrats) time that Alabama could not change the ballot. There was no reflection by Brooks that the Post sat on its Juanita Broaddrick story in 1999 -- as did NBC News -- until Bill Clinton was safely spared in a Senate impeachment trial. So are they hypocrites, or heretics? Once again, the press doesn't discuss its own political manuevering.

Graham doesn't question why, if this story has been out there so long, why right-wing mrdia outlets -- like the MRC's own CNSNews.com -- didn't beat the Post to the punch and defuse it before Moore got the GOP nomination. Sounds like he's just mad that the truth was told at all.

You know, we're starting to doubt that Graham was telling the truth when he said he wouldn't vote for Moore. He's laboring hard to give Alabama voters every reason why they should.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EST
Saturday, November 25, 2017
MRC Writer Resorts to Victimization, Generalization To Justify Attacks on 'Liberal Media'
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Nov. 17 post, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck tries to justify his employer's existence in the face of a podcast discussion by CNN nemesis Brian Stelter, who accurately complained that "right-wing outlets" are impugning all media with the mistakes of a few.

Houck first reportted that "a reason for conservative distrust in the media had been repeated instances of fake news, mass plagiarism, and/or scandals that did serious damage and called into question entire outlets. In reality, Stelter should admit that those instances and subsequent rehabilitations for offending parties only further damaged the media’s credibility, but more on that later." Indeed, Houck later listed instances of poeple in the media caught in plagiarism who "were given slaps on the wrist and then welcomed back into the journalism community with open arms."

Needless to say, Houck omitted exposed plagiaraists on his own side, like Ben Domenech, who lost his job as a conservative blogger for the Washington Post after his background of plagiarism was exposed. Where is he today? Publisher of the conservative website the Federalist. And far from being drummed out of the right-wing journalism community, he was welcomed back with open arms; one of Houck's fellow MRC writers cheered when Domenech "shot down the 'partisan' slams on Congressman Devin Nunes, attacks that are coming from Democrats as well as their enablers in the media" in a March TV appearance.

For a more recent example, Breitbart published a column last month by right-wing politician Kris Kobach that was largely copy-and-paste talking points from various message boards and Yahoo! Answers posts. Where was Houck's outrage about that?

Houck might have more credibility in attacking the foibles of "liberal" media if he held the media on his own side to the same standards. Even the "news" division of his employer has gotten things wildly wrong over the years -- i.e., falsely portraying an official's reference to "Christian Identity" as a reference Christianity in general instead of the extremist group by that name -- with no correction and no apology. Shouldn't CNSNews.com be held to the same standards the MRC holds the "liberal" media? (But since the MRC won't, we will.)

Houck went on to play the usual right-wing victim card. While conceding that "conservative media do have a seat the table," he huffed: "The problem is when it’s still five networks against one and droves of liberal newspapers against a handful of conservative websites, having one seat at the table seems almost irrelevant."

Houck slipped into MRC-speak here. Do any of those five networks (presumably CBS, NBC, ABC -- which have only a couple hours of news at most a day -- CNN and MSNBC) pursue a partisan agenda as aggressively as Fox News? Reporting things conservatives don't like to hear does not equal "liberal media."  And Houck's framing of the media landscape as "droves of liberal newspapers against a handful of conservative websites" is just pathetic. How much is in a drove, anyway? Or an handful? And does Houck have documentation that every single newspaper is "liberal"? Again, he's assuming that every newspaper that ever reported anything negative about a conservative is, by default, "liberal."

That's generalization on steroids. If that's the only way Houck can justify the MRC's existence -- completely avoiding the fact that it's apparently profitable conservatives to bash the media -- that's a bit on the pathetic side.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EST
Friday, November 24, 2017
MRC Attacks Country Musicians For Expressing An Opinion
Topic: Media Research Center

Being perfectly fine with censoring journalists at the Country Music Awards is not the only recent foray into the country music realm the Media Research Center has undertaken recently.

MRC writer Corinne Weaver was in a lecturing mood in a Nov. 10 post that took country singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to task for expressing an opinion on guns in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre that killed dozens at a country music concert. Weaver started her post by huffily declaring, "Celebrities who don’t understand the meaning of political debates should stop alienating their audiences and keep to themselves."

It seems that to Weaver "the meaning of political debates" actually means "expressing only conservative-friendly opinions." The issue Weaver has with McGraw is that he committed the offense of thinking that we perhaps should look at the issue of gun regulation in the wake of repeated massacres. That set Weaver on a lecturing roll, with an added dose of rich-shaming:

But gun control is about the Second Amendment -- “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Gun control is an infringement, and ineffective to boot.

[...]

Faith Hill added her two cents in the interview: “In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there. The doctors that [treated] the wounded, they saw wounds like you’d see in war. That’s not right. Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country.”

Again, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens isn’t going to solve anything. In fact, it might make the situation much, much worse. Stephen Willeford, an NRA instructor, was able to stop the shooter in Sutherland Springs by shooting him, forcing him to drop his gun and flee. More people could have died.

While the pair is being hailed by liberal celebrity activists, such as George Takei and Julianne Moore, it’s important to remember their fan base is not necessarily privileged enough to leave the self-defense to their bodyguards. Parroting a stale cry that has become the left’s tiresome refrain in the face of every tragedy isn’t going to win anyone over.

How hilarious that Weaver thinks McGraw and Hill have suddenly turned into George Takei simply for expressing a non-controversial opinion. And that she thinks that any celebrity who expresses an opinion different from hers should just shut up and sing-- which is what she really means by the "alienating their audiences and keep to themselves" crack.

It's hypocritical as well -- Weaver's employer currently regularly gives a platform for the opnions of a wealthy country music celebrity, Charlie Daniels. Ah, but he expresses the correct (to Weaver) opinions on things (read: right-wing), so he gets a pass -- and certainly no condescending questions about whether he "understands the meaning of political debates" -- even as Weaver rages against other artists who say anything at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EST
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
MRC Is Still Trashing Anita Hill
Topic: Media Research Center

You'd think that with the recent spate of sexual harassment scandals -- some of which involving employees of the so-called "liberal media" -- the Media Research Center would adjust its policy of judging the veracity of the accusers by the claimed or suspected political orientation of the accused. But it hasn't -- the MRC still implicitly trusts the claims of accusations made against liberals, while ranging from indifferent to hostile regarding women who accuse conservatives of bad behavior.

For a quarter of a century, the MRC has repeatedly trashed Anita Hill for raising accusations of sexual harassment against conservativ icon Clarence Thomas. And as Hill's name has come up amid the current spate of scandals, it's trashing Hill anew.

The MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro suggested that Hill was a liar in a Nov. 19 post attacking "make-believe Republican" Matthew Dowd (apparently in Fondacaro's world, "real Republicans" must never hold their own to account) for bringing up Hill:

They basically called Anita Hill a nut and a liar in order to get Justice Thomas on the court. They empowered Bill Clinton, ” he continued to proclaim, devoid of any facts or reason. “ But in order to get those things, they decided the ends justify the means. They decided that a tainted person was better to get what they wanted.” He also claimed Trump’s supporters were guilty of siding with a tainted person just to get what they wanted. But his “tainted” label could also be applied to the Clintons.

Apparently, in Dowd’s version of history, there were no Senate hearings or Senator Joe Biden grilling Thomas in a “high-tech lynching” over Hill’s claims, or her evolving story, or all the testimonies from other women who contradicted her.

Yes, Foncacaro suggested Hill was lying in the very next paragraph after accusing Dowd of lacking "facts or reason" to back up his claim that Hill was attacked as a liar.

Two days later, Tim Graham proved Dowd right again as he once again portrayed Hill as a lying gold-digger who made her accusations solely in order to get a book advance and a cushy law-school job:

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter suggested Hill may have committed perjury, which outraged the liberals. Hill insisted she wasn’t making the allegations to make a buck....and then signed a million-dollar book deal and took a prestigious law professor job at Brandeis, where she still works. 

Over at the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, Craig Bannister cranked out a "flashback" blog post insisting that "Hill’s claims were discredited by, among other things, the testimony of more than a dozen female former co-workers who came forward to declare, in no uncertain terms, that Thomas was 'a man of the highest principle, honesty, integrity and honor in all of his personal and professional actions.' They called Hill’s claims 'ludicrous' and 'unbelievable.'"

As evidence, Bannister cites a website called ConfirmationBiased.com (whose name Bannister gets wrong), which he writes was "launched to expose the political bias and inaccuracies of the 2016 HBO movie 'Confirmation'." But he doesn't mention that the attack website was created by Mark Paoletta, an attorney who worked on the team assembled under President George H.W. Bush to forward Thomas' nomination and who considers himself a personal friend of Thomas. It's hardly an objective view of things.

Yep, trashing women who threaten conservative politicians and media figures will always be a part of the DNA of the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EST
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
MRC Is Totally Cool With CMA's Attempt to Censor Journalists
Topic: Media Research Center

You'd think that a blatant attempt at media censorship -- in the form of the Country Music Association trying to bar journalists, under threat of credential revocation, from asking musicians questions about “the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like” until backing down after the restrictions were made public -- would earn some criticism from even the folks at the Media Research Center.

Nope -- the MRC was cool with that, to the point that it pretended that no such draconian guideline ever existed.

A Nov. 8 post by Karen Townsend whined that CMA presenters made Trump jokes and referred to "the guidelines the CMA gave to participants," failing to mention those same guidelines tried to bar journalists from asking certain questions. Townsend surely knew that was the case -- it's the lead of the article she links to in backing up the statement.

Tim Graham followed up with even more whining:

The Washington Post was a day late in whining about the lack of gun-control advocacy (or as they put it, “courage”) at the Country Music Association awards. Music writer Chris Richards wrote a “Critic’s Notebook” commentary headlined “A monolithic silence from top artists at CMA Awards.” Online, the headline was “Country music is becoming the soundtrack of a nonexistent, apolitical no-place.”

Like Townsend, Graham completely ignored the fact that the CMA tried to censor journalists, even though it's prominently highlighted in the piece he's criticizing. From that piece:

Despite the circumstances, the telecast’s organizers were hoping for a business-as-usual night anyway. Last week, after CMA officials announced that they reserved the right to eject any journalist who asked an artist about their politics, Paisley immediately spoke out against that preemptive censorship, tweeting, “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines.”

And voila, they were promptly rescinded. But that didn’t embolden any of the artists to volunteer their thoughts on the state of the nation on Wednesday night, not even Paisley. “I love the way we’ve all come together,” he said during one interstitial segment, as if he might be warming up some spontaneous bombshells. Then he confessed that he’d “gone off script,” and returned to the business of introducing the next performer.

Graham just served up more whining: "This is how the liberal media operate: They expect TV awards show to produce liberal propaganda moments, and when they aren’t created, they get grumpy at the lack of 'progress.'"

And because the CMA's attempted censorship of journalists served its purpose of keeping politics out of an event the MRC didn't want it inserted into, Townsend and Graham approve of the means.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EST

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