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Sunday, December 8, 2019
MRC Keeps Working the Refs In Attacking Another Debate Host
Topic: Media Research Center

With the November Democratic presidential debate, the Media Research Center did with it usually does: attack the moderators and the network showing it in an attempt to work the refs.

Geoffrey Dickens complained in a Nov. 19 post that "MSNBC has tabbed a Bernie booster (Rachel Maddow) and Joe Biden fan (Andrea Mitchell) to be the lead moderators for Wednesday’s Democratic debate. So it’s a good bet the questions won’t be coming from the right." He then served up "just a few examples of Wednesday night’s debate moderators’ history of liberalism, as culled from the MRC’s archives."

The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro attacked MSNBC's parent network, NBC, for a pre-debate segment of its "What Matters" series that allegedly "seemed to suggest only Democrats cared about the opioid crisis while boosting Senator Bernie Sander’s Medicare for all scheme," going on to huff that the series was "biased" and "only sought out 'What Matters' to Democratic voters. Scott Whitlock followed some hours later by bashing a different "What Matters" segment for purportedly being "yet another PR push for a liberal 2020 candidate" and doing so "shortly before sister network MSNBC debuted a Democratic debate filled with liberal hosts."

As far as the actual debate itself, Whitlock complained:

What was the big concern for the liberal hosts of MSNBC’s Democratic debate on Wednesday night? Dealing with the nasty Republicans and figuring out ways to convince them to support impeachment. The first half hour of the event was full of queries on impeachment, as well as fretting over being mean to Joe Biden’s son, and reminders that the GOP opposed Barack Obama. Rachel Maddow offered what could be the most obvious question for the assembled 2020 candidates. 

Rather than focus on issues, she wondered if Senator Elizabeth Warren would lobby her GOP colleagues to remove the President. Not shockingly, Warren said she would!

Impeachment is not a issue these days? That's news to us.

Shortly thereafter, Whitlock whined in a separate post that Maddow -- whom he called "far-left" in the headline, a favorite sloppy label for the MRC -- "unloaded both on the state that hosted the 2020 contenders (Georgia) and also a conservative Democratic Governor for daring to be pro-life."

Even MSNBC's post-debate analysis was attacked, with Curtis Houck in bash mode on people paid to have an opinion for having an opinion (that he didn't approve of). Kyle Drennen followed by attacking other networks' debate coverage, feigning surprise that impeachment would be a topic of discussion and insisting that "it was as if all three network morning shows were reading from the same liberal script" by accurately reporting that impeachment was a debate topic. Drennen didn't tell us whether Fox News mentioned impeachment in its coverage of the debate.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 PM EST
Saturday, December 7, 2019
MRC Freaks Out Over Nonbinary Cartoon Character
Topic: Media Research Center

We noted earlier this year when the Media Research Center had a freakout when the rebooted cartoon "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" added a character who wasn't heterosexual and another character who had two dads -- as if acknowledging that gay people exist and aren't inherently evil was an insidious "gay agenda." Well, "She-Ra" has continued to refuse to be as heterosexual as the MRC demands so the freakouts have continued.

Alexa Moutevelis complained in an Oct. 30 item that not only is there a nonbinary character on the show, a nonbinary actor is voicing them:

Prepare for trouble! It looks like the new season of Netflix’s kids' show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (coming November 5) will feature “the first nonbinary actor to voice a nonbinary animated character in a recurring series role.” Just what parents have been waiting for!

Netflix’s LGBTQ Instagram account Prism was so excited to make the announcement that they produced a video of performer Jacob Tobia talking about the character. Tobia, who recently wrote a memoir titled Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, said, “I play a character called Double Trouble who is a non-binary, shape-shifting mercenary, so functionally, I’m playing myself.”

Moutevelis complained about the show being "propagandizing" and "indoctrination" -- as if she wasn't doing the exact same thing -- and concluded by ranting, "She-Ra already has featured gay characters and storylines in the past. It looks like season 4 will be more than Double Trouble – parents, beware!"

On Nov. 10,  Elise Ehrhard complained further about this nonbinary character:

In season four’s She-Ra, released Nov. 5, the “non-binary” character Double Trouble is really just a shape-shifter like the countless other shape-shifting characters that have existed in past children’s cartoons and world mythology. Calling classic shape-shifters “transgender” is a new trope of the “woke.” For example, in Rick Riordan’s blockbuster mythological children’s book series, Magnus Chase, a shape-shifting demi-god wearing a hijab is now considered a “transgender” Muslim.

Memo to the left: shape-shifters are not real and men and women cannot change their biological sex. If the left gets to stamp “transgender” on every shape-shifting character, then Robin William’s Genie would have to be called gender dysphoric because he morphs into Joan Rivers, among many other impressions, while singing “Prince Ali” in Aladdin.

The only distinction of Double Trouble is that the voice sounds like a campy gay male from Sex and the City. S/he says “darling” a lot and tells one of the princesses “that outfit really isn’t working for you.” The way transgenderism itself is constantly channeling homosexual stereotypes may explain in part the calls by some lesbian and gay activists to separate themselves from the “T” part of their movement.

Ehrhard went on to mock the fact that nonbinary people would like to be addressed by their preferred gender (or nongender, as it were):

Double Trouble says he loves “the thrill of seeding destruction and chaos,” which pretty much encapsulates the entire LGBT movement’s encroachment into pre-pubescent children’s lives. It is very important to transgender activists to confuse children about both grammar and identity. Everybody, including the villain mastermind, refers to Double Trouble as “they” and "them." “Even the most evil person on the planet doesn’t misgender people, because that would be rude,” Tobia said. You can try to destroy the universe and the English language, but don’t you dare “misgender” anybody!

Ehrhard then issued a sexist attack on the show's writing staff for not being sufficiently male:

Much hoopla has been made of the fact that this contemporary She-Ra has an all-female writing team (even though biological sex is supposedly not fixed). That being the case, I am embarrassed for my sex because the show spends an inordinate amount of time having princesses kvetch at each other and argue about their feelings. I am middle-aged and have more patience, but it must be torture for the kids to wait for action in between endless bickering between Princess Glimmer and Adora while other heroes take “me-time.” Is this really what an all-female writing team is supposed to produce for an action cartoon? If so, it might be time to add some testosterone to the mix. That is, if anybody in Hollywood can still acknowledge biological reality at all.

Ehrhard and Moutevelis should perhaps obsess a little less about cartoons.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 PM EST
Friday, December 6, 2019
MRC Has A 'Moderate' Labeling Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've noted, the Media Research Center loves to sloppily label anything remotely liberal as "far-left" without justification (aside from the fact that from its distorted right-wing vantage point, it probably seems that way). But it gets even more offended when a Democrat is described as anything less than "far-left."

Scott Whitlock complained in a Nov. 8 item (bolding in original):

CBS This Morning on Friday pushed the fantasy that the 2020 Democratic field somehow contains several “moderate” or “centrist” candidates, rather than far-left liberals. It started in the 7am hour when reporter Ed O’Keefe reflected on Michael Bloomberg potentially joining the race: “But recent polling shows Biden is slipping behind Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and moderate Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.” 

Moderate? Buttigieg is radically pro-abortion. He’s pro-gun control and wants to pack the Supreme Court in order to protect Roe v. Wade. Where is he “moderate?” Later in the show, correspondent Margaret Brennan cheered the entry of Bloomberg: “He's in some ways, though, splitting possibly a vote with Joe Biden, maybe helping the center, that center moderate Democrat have another voice.

Biden? The former Vice President and Senator is certainly a liberal. His lifetime American Conservative Union score is 12 and the Democrat has drifted farther left as the years go by.

Whitlock concluded by huffing, "The liberal media want you to believe that a field of far-left Democrats actually has some secret 'centrists.'" There's that gratuitous "far-left" mislabeling again.

So offended was Whitlock by this concept that he even went after Fox News -- who nomrally gets a pass from the MRC no matter how biased it gets -- for doing something similar in a Nov. 19 post (again, bolding in original):

MSNBC and Fox on Monday pushed the idea that Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a moderate. However, the facts simply don’t back this up when it comes to the 2020 presidential candidate. In fact, Fox’s Harris Faulkner even lumped in the radically pro-gun control Michael Bloomberg as another “moderate,” saying: “After months of watching the Democratic Party move farther to the left, moderates are now looking to regain control of the 2020 race. But can two new candidates and Pete Buttigieg's recent rise change anything?” 

Faulkner added, “Progressives like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are getting a lot of attention lately. However, moderates could be on the upswing. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has jumped into the primary, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg potentially is launching a bid, as well.”

Moderate? Buttigieg is radically pro-abortion. He’s pro-gun control and wants to pack the Supreme Court in order to protect Roe v. Wade. Michael Bloomberg was a liberal New York City who is probably best known for his efforts to restrict the Second Amendment. How are any of these people moderate? 

Whitlock did it again in a Nov. 25 post: "The three network morning shows on Monday hyped the entry of Michael Bloomberg into the 2020 race as a “moderate” who will take on other “moderates,” Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. They also touted the ex-New York Mayor’s former Republican status. ... In reality, Bloomberg is radially supportive of restricting the Second Amendment and who supports abortion." Nicholas Fondacaro chimed in as well the same day, complaining that one show "falsely labeled [Bloomberg] a 'moderate.'"

Clay Waters joined the narrative in a Nov. 27 post attacking the New York Times for using the M-word:

It’s bad enough that the Times is labeling Buttigieg and Bloomberg moderates, although there is at least the thin excuse that there are no hard-and fast metrics for measuring just how liberal those two former mayors are. But the American Conservative Union has long kept up with the ideological voting records of congressmen, and former Sen. Kerry as of 2004 had earned a lifetime rating of 5.18 out of a possible 100. No “staid moderate,” just a true-blue Massachusetts liberal.

But Waters and Whitlock invoked the ACU voting record, but they didn't explain how, exactly, that score is a reliable indicator of one's place on the ideological spectrum.

Kristine Marsh had a related "moderate" meltdown in a Nov. 18 post:

It seems anyone to the right of Karl Marx is considered a “moderate” in today’s Democrat [sic] party. On ABC's  The View Monday, the hosts were discussing a new Iowa poll out this weekend that showed a significant bump for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 race. Co-host Joy Behar claimed he was rising in the polls because he was a “moderate” Democrat, who was “fresh, new and gay” but also in a “traditional” same-sex marriage. What?

[...]

The far-left in the media are constantly trying to make radical Democrats appear rational and mainstream. From the very beginning, Buttigieg has advocated far left positions on guns, health care and suggested he supports abortion until birth. Yet the media has consistently downplayed his liberal policies by calling him a “moderate.”

The MRC's complaints about labeling might be taken more seriously if their own labeling of anything remotely to the left of the MRC wasn't so sloppy and out of whack.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EST
Thursday, December 5, 2019
MRC Censors Full Story On ABC's Spiked Jeffrey Epstein Probe
Topic: Media Research Center

For the past month or so, the Media Research Center has been obsessing over a bit of media-related news: the "bombshell scoop," as Scott Whitlock termed it, from "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe of a leaked video of an ABC host lamenting that the network killed a story about "convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his network of connections to powerful men, including Bill Clinton," featuring alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (The host and ABC itself later issued statements that the reporting at the time didn't meet the network's standards.) So huge was this story at the MRC that it translated Whitlock's post into Spanish.

Over the following weeks, the MRC has repeatedly taken potshots at ABC, especially after the person who allegedly leaked the video to O'Keefe was apparently subsequently fired from a job at CBS and right-wingers like Megyn Kelly tried to advance the story.

Because this story conveniently fits into the MRC's media-hating narrative, it has censored the fact that there's another side to this story. If you'll recall, Alan Dershowitz, -- who was Epstein's lawyer when he got a sweetheart deal for a short prison sentence -- has vehemently denied allegations by Robert Giuffre that Dershowitz had sex with her while she was underage and doesn't believe that the woman is credible. He served up his encounter with ABC in a Nov. 20 Newsmax column:

In mid-2015, I was sent an email that one of Giuffre’s lawyers had circulated, announcing that an interview with Giuffre would be run on "Good Morning America," the ABC evening news, and "Nightline." I immediately called ABC to inquire whether my name was being mentioned, since she had falsely accused me of having sex with her, even though there was incontrovertible proof that I had never even met her. They said it was not. (To this day, she has not publicly and directly accused me out of court, in order to avoid being held accountable for her defamation.) I asked about Leslie Wexner — who she had also privately accused — and was told that his name was also not mentioned. (Perhaps because her silence about him was being negotiated.) I told the producer that Giuffre had a long history of lying about prominent individuals, including Tipper and Al Gore and Bill Clinton, as well as about other matters, including her age at the time she met Epstein. I also told them about my conversation with Giuffre’s friend Rebecca Boylan, in which she told me about the plan to obtain a billion dollars from Wexner. I told them that these interviews with Giuffre were part of the shakedown plan — that Boylan had told me that Giuffre went on TV in order to send Wexner the following message: See, I have access to the media; this time I didn’t mention you; but next time . . .

The people at ABC said they would look into the matter and I sent them the evidence. I made it clear that I was calling onlyon my own behalf and not on behalf of Epstein. I told the same thing to the NPR reporter when he interviewed me about this episode. But he had an agenda and a story line, and reporting accurately what I told him would undercut his pre-determined narrative. So this is what he falsely reported in a piece entitled “How media fell short on Epstein.”

The NPR reporter described me as Epstein’s lawyer, without disclosing that I explicitly told him that I had called ABC only on my own behalf as someone who had been falsely accused by Giuffre.

Notwithstanding his expressed interest in how I “convinced” ABC not to run the interview, he never mentioned the evidence I provided to ABC and to him proving that Giuffre had a long record of lying. Instead he quoted Julie Brown, a reporter for the Miami Herald, recently telling him, “I [Brown] found [Giuffre] to be very truthful and credible.” But Brown had never told that to ABC, back when they were making their decision. She only told it to the NPR reporter when he was doing his report years later. So her after-the-fact assessment of Giuffre’s alleged credibility was completely irrelevant to ABC’s decision, while my evidence — which I sent to ABC at the time — was highly relevant. 

[...]

So ABC was right and its critics are wrong.

For all of its obsession with the ABC-Epstein story, the MRC has said nothing about Dershowitz's defense of ABC spiking the story. Strange, since the MRC loved Dershowitz for his defenses of President Trump before his ties to Epstein became more prominent following Epstein's arrest on new sex-trafficking charges and his death in prison.

We have no idea who's telling the truth here, but we know that the MRC is doing a disservice to its readers by hiding the fact that this story is complicated, just because it has a narrative to perpetuate.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2019 2:27 PM EST
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
MRC Hypocritically Blames 'Sexism' For Criticism of GOP Congresswoman
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center typically mocks and denounces claims of sexism. For instance, a Nov. 4 post by Lindsay Kornick complained that the TV series "For All Mankind" decided to "highlight how sexist NASA members can be and force a feminist angle," then a few days later whined that the show "continues to push its feminist agenda by dragging NASA as male-driven and sexist. What isn’t sexist to TV writers these days?"

What's "sexist" to MRC writers these days is when a female Republican politician gets criticized, and they're not afraid to hypocritically exploit the allegation.

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik pulled stunts during the impeachment hearings such as violating hearing rules by attempting to question witnesses at a time when she was not permitted to do so then falsely playing the victim after criticism of it -- and the MRC was more than happy to pump up her victimhood. A Nov. 13 post by Curtis Houck complained:

Former Bush official-turned-liberal-turned-ABC News chief political analyst-turned-special correspondent Matthew Dowd found himself in hot water on Wednesday after the first set of impeachment hearings, tweeting a sexist attack against Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Why? Well, it turned out he didn’t like her questioning.

And taking a page out of the Hillary Clinton playbook, Dowd’s apologies amounted to him expressing dismay and apologized that people thought that he was being sexist when, in his mind, he wasn’t.

Dowd's remark was not particularly sexist -- he called Stefanik "a perfect example of why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn't necessarily get you the leaders we need" --  but it was sexist enough for Houck to exploit, though he would never find a similarly worded tweet aimed at, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be similarly offensive to him.

Houck dropped the S-word again in a Nov. 18 post when he found another Stefanik-related tweet to get offended by:

On Saturday afternoon, Never Trump attorney and liberal cable news darling George Conway leveled sexist attacks at Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on Twitter for being against impeachment and tussling with fellow media favorite and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), calling her “lying trash” and sharing a doctored photo of her flipping off a camera.

[...]

Of course, CNN did nothing to rebut or even acknowledge these attacks on-air. Their reason? To go out on a limb, they might have seen nothing wrong with that level of sexism and peddling of fake news.

Houck never explained why Conway calling Stefanik "lying trash" is enherently "sexist," even though she did lie by claiming victimhood after getting called out for violating hearing rules, which was apparently what Conway was pointing out. Nor does Houck disprove Conway's assertion that Stefanik is a liar.

Houck also addressed the doctored photo of Stefanik flipping off a camera that Conway had retweeted, complaining that "former Ted Cruz aide-turned-Never Trumper-turned-liberal CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter" was "smearing Stefanik by arguing that the fake photos seemed credible to her," asserting that her philosophy was "if it rings true, it is true!"

Funny, that's the exact approach Houck and other MRC writers have taken in the case of a charge the MRC heavily promoted in 2017 that a high school student was raped by an undocumented immigrant. When it turned out that prosecutors dropped the rape charges citing inconsistencies and lack of corroboration, the MRC covered for their lack of due diligence in hyping the bogus story, with Houck trying to distract from the fact that they got it wrong and Nicholas Fondacaro justified the false hype by insisting that "at the time of the original story, there was little evidence that the charges wouldn’t stick."

In other words, in the eyes of  the MRC's immigrant-hating writers, the story rung true, so it was true -- and they never apologized for pushing a bogus story when the truth came out. Which makes Houck's attempt to shame Carpenter more than a little hypocritical.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EST
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: Anonymously Yours, The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to rant about anonymous sources in the "liberal media" -- while it invokes its own anonymous sources on stories that advance its right-wing agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EST
Sunday, December 1, 2019
Pro-Trump Talking Point Factory Once Again Accuses Media Of Pushing Pro-Impeachment Talking Points
Topic: Media Research Center

It's rather rich to see the Media Research Center -- a factory and echo chamber for conservative and pro-Trump talking points on the impeachment inquiry -- accuse others of repeating talking points. The MRC did that again in a Nov. 14 post by Nicholas Fondacaro:

At a Thursday press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) essentially authorized the use of the word “bribery” to describe President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. The broadcast networks gushed about her use of the word and showed their approval by roundly noting that bribery was an impeachable offense explicitly laid out in the Constitution.

[...]

Perhaps “bribery” should be added to the list of shared talking points between the media and Democratic Party.

Of course, accusing "the media" of sharing Democratic talking points is a Republican talking point.

The next day, Kyle Drennen followed up with another body count article (bolding in original):

Following Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday morning press conference in which she accused President Trump of “bribery,” the broadcast networks spent the next 24 hours featuring the term 43 times in evening and morning show coverage. All of it designed to boost the impeachment crusade against Trump.

After Thursday’s evening newscasts dutifully assaulted viewers with the “bribery” buzzword a whopping 19 times (four mentions on NBC Nightly News, six mentions on ABC’s World News Tonight, and nine mentions on CBS Evening News), Friday’s morning shows kept up the onslaught with another 18 mentions (six on NBC’s Today, seven on ABC’s GMA, five on CBS This Morning). In addition, special impeachment hearing coverage on NBC (two mentions) and CBS (four mentions) featured the word six more times.

The mentions included both carefully selected soundbites from Pelosi herself, as well as anchors and correspondents hyping the talking point as a new “stark” and “significant” claim from House Democrats.

Then, on Nov. 19, Bill D'Agostino actually accused the media of encouraging Democrats to use "bribery":

For the past several weeks, anxious journalists have coached Democratic politicians from the sidelines with unsolicited advice on how best to convince the majority of Americans to support impeaching President Trump.

The latest example: instructing the Democratic leadership to stop describing President Trump’s alleged conduct as a “quid pro quo,” and to stick with more sinister words such as “bribery” or “extortion.” On November 8, The Washington Post ran an op-ed titled “Enough with the Latin. What Trump did was bribery.” The New York Times and The Atlantic published similar pieces the following day.

PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor tried to assist the partisan impeachers on the November 10 edition of NBC’s Meet The Press: “Quid pro quo might be too complicated when you’re running to the supermarket or when you’re going somewhere, rather than saying ‘the President tried to bribe a foreign country.’”

Put another way, Americans are too simple-minded to understand that a quid-pro-quo is eminently impeachable, so let’s start saying “bribery” instead.

Of course, this is all mere obsession over a word. These MRC writers are simply attacking and offer no constructive advice other than to push MRC-favored talking points instead. D'Agostino, for instance, demanded that the media should be "reporting on the Democrats’ struggle with messaging," which is purportedly behind the uptick in "bribery" usage. And nowhere do any of these MRC writers argue that "bribery" is not an accurate word for what Trump is alleged to have done; instead, they complain that the word is being used (Drennen did huff "without any substantiation," but he didn't make a case for why it was inaccurate).

The MRC is simply trying to control the language around impeachment for the benefit of Trump. Politics is all that matters to them -- not the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 1, 2019 6:28 PM EST
Saturday, November 30, 2019
MRC Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Colin Kaepernick popped up in the news earlier this month, and you know what that means: Mysterious Media Research Center blogger Jay Maxson came down with yet another case of Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome.

Maxson broke the news in a Nov. 13 post: "There's been a major thaw in the cold war between the NFL and former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The league has arranged a private workout and interview for the cop-hating NFL cast-off this Saturday, and all 32 teams are invited to attend."Maxson further huffed that the "media have never stopped whining about him being 'blackballed' for his national anthem protests"; Maxson doesn't disprove the argument.

The next day, Maxson whined that there was "plenty of Kaepernick Kool-Aid" on ESPN programs talking about the tryout for "the radical former pro quarterback/anthem kneeler." Maxson was so in derangement mode tha the wrote a second post about Kaepernick that day, huffing that "the groupthink media parrots had their talking points down pat: the NFL's Saturday workout and interview with the famous anthem foe is a sham and a PR stunt" -- as if Maxson wasn't peddling right-wing groupthink -- further whining that "The NFL is creating a stage for the three-year free agent that no veteran player has ever had."

Maxson rested from Kaepernick-related derangement for a day before returning with a Nov. 16 post denouncing the NFL workout for him as "unprecedented' and "privileged" and attacking media folks as being "fully in the tank for Kaepernick." Maxson further huffed: "Kaepernick has a losing career record of 28-30 as a starting NFL quarterback. That's just an inconvenient, seldom-mentioned truth to his media apologists, who are fixated on his social justice "exploits". They have fuzzy memories of past greatness and fuzzy visions of Kaepernick turning his new team into a Super Bowl contender."

Kaepernick also played in a Super Bowl, which we can safely assume is more than the mysterious Maxson has done.

Maxson wasn't the only one reveling in hate, though. A Nov. 14 post by Gabriel Hays had a meltdown over "U.S. women’s World Cup champion, feminist activist and angry lesbian Megan Rapinoe dedicating her Glamour 'Women of the Year Award' to disgraced, race-baiting former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick." Reminding us that the MRC hates Rapinoe too, Hays sneered that she is merely "famous for playing soccer, for being a lesbian, and for having the right politics."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EST
Friday, November 29, 2019
MRC Complains About Labeling Of Trump Jr.'s Hecklers
Topic: Media Research Center

It's bizarrely entertaining to see the Media Research Center -- which loves to label things and people as "far left" in a way that ignores degrees of liberalism because that's an attack label that plays well with its right-wing base -- have a fit over how people on its side of the political spectrum are labeled.

Curtis Houck used a Nov. 12 post to lecture CNN about its labeling of hecklers who drove Donald Trump Jr. off a stage:

On CNN Right Now, host Brianna Keilar had three teases boasting of these protesters. The first tease had the chyron “Campus Chaos; Far Right Crowd Heckles Trump Jr Off Stage” and the others read:“Campus Chaos; Trump Jr Leaves Stage After Protests by Far Right Crowd.”

In the segment, Keilar claimed that the protesters were “right-wing activists.” Ah, yes. So the same people that have turned their ire to attacking the Daily Wire and editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro with anti-Semitic tropes? 

Further, such individuals would be classified as alt-right, so more akin to neo-Nazis (which, after all, are National Socialists) than the ideals of Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, and Ronald Reagan. But sure, CNN. Tell us more about what’s conservative and what’s not.

Houck praised CNN's Brian Stelter for being "correct" in labeling the hecklers as "far right wing," then complained that "Just over seven hours later, AC360 host Anderson Cooper hyped that “it was conservatives” who protested the event.

If Houck wants to address the issue of sloppy political labeling, perhaps he should start with the MRC's NewsBusters operation, for which he serves as managing editor. Over the past month or so, here are the people and things the MRC has labeled as "far left":

Houck cannot plausibly, objectively or accurately claim that all, or even most, of these people and things are "far left" -- again, this is just meaningless clickbait for MRC readers.

If Houck wants the "liberal media" to learn the difference between conservative, right-wing, far-right and alt right, he and his co-workers should make the effort to learn the difference between liberal, progressive, left-wing and far left -- and make sure the MRC's writers and bloggers use that labeling consistently. If right-leaning political labels mean things, then left-leaning ones do as well.

Houck apparently has yet to learn that nobody will treat his "media criticism" seriously as long as he continues to act in an unserious, unprofessional manner.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EST
Thursday, November 28, 2019
MRC's Bozell, Trump Jr. Use Facebook Live to Bash Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center

The Facebook-hating Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell got to have his Nov. 12 chat with Donald Trump Jr. on, yes, Facebook Live. The only segment that the MRC highlighted to promote the chat was about a segment in which the two bashed Facebook.

Corinne Weaver wrote in a Nov. 13 NewsBusters post:

Donald Trump Jr. warned of the large liberal influence that Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have on elections in an exclusive interview with Media Research Center president and founder, L. Brent Bozell.

Trump Jr. hammered Big Tech. He said that the companiesy should be “reined in” before 2020 becomes a “dry run for suppression” of free speech on social media platforms. Bozell said, “When you have got a social media industry world” that is “shutting down the pro-life movement,” and “the NRA and the pro-gun movement, systematically, that is a real threat.” Trump Jr. agreed, and added that Silicon Valley’s “leftist” problem was the real issue behind the tech companies.

“In the case of Mark Zuckerberg,” explained Bozell, the Facebook CEO believed that “we have to be the market of free ideas. But at a secondary level, they could care less about what happens to our company.” Trump Jr. asserted, “I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg is a conservative ... but I don’t believe he’s got full control of that ship.” He went on to say that “tens of thousands of employees” all believe the Silicon Valley “leftist” think.

He’s not alone in that view. Facebook engineer Brian Amerige said that tech employees “attack anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”

Weaver didn't mention that Amerige has said that Republicans and conservatives interpreted his message all wrong, as Wired reported:

Amerige says his biggest fear and annoyance was the fact that his comments “were going to be used as a weapon for legislating or regulating the company." "I left the company because I think this is such an important issue, and they're headed in the wrong direction," he says, "but I would defend Facebook’s right to screw this up until the very end."

Weaver also omitted one crucial fact from her post: The Trump Jr.-Bozell chat took place without issue on Facebook Live. Once more, the MRC's failing narrative that Facebook discriminates against conservatives has been undercut.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EST
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Tim Graham's Meltdown Over Impeachment Hearing Coverage Ignores Technology Leaps
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is weirdly obsessed with how the Trump impeachment hearings are being covered. the MRC's Tim Graham tried a pre-emptive attack on the coverage in a Nov. 13 post:

The networks are planning live coverage of the House Democrats attempting to impeach President Trump over a phone call to the president of Ukraine. This is a very partisan exercise, but the very partisan networks always paint these as momentous turning points of history that are somehow nonpartisan.

One of the most obvious ways our television “news” divisions demonstrate their bias is by deciding which news events deserve live coverage, canceling out their regular programming. At least, it’s obvious on the days when it happens. But it’s sneaky when you try to compare it to how they covered other breaking-news events that don’t line up with the Democrat agenda.

Five years ago, the networks skipped any live coverage of the first hearings into the government failure to protect the consulate in Benghazi.

Graham seems not to have noticed that the Benghazi hearings weren't impeachment hearings.

This was followed by a rant showing his bizarre hatred for PBS:

Watergate analogies abound. So it’s not surprising that longtime PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers took out an ad in The New York Times insisting that for “the sake of the nation,” PBS replay the impeachment hearings in prime time, just as PBS did in 1973. “Disrupting its programming for a few weeks is a small price to pay for helping preserve the republic.”

The fate of democracy and the fate of the Democrats are synonymous.

PBS – funded in part by the involuntary contributions of taxpayers, including conservatives – is supposed to “preserve the Republic”... when Republicans are in the White House. It ran Watergate day and night, it ran Iran-Contra live in 1987. But at this point in 1998, Moyers was silent. As the commercial networks all aired the President's videotaped perjury about Monica Lewinsky before the grand jury, PBS ran its kiddie shows. PBS took the same hands-off approach with Congress held hearings in the summer of 1997 into the Clinton-Gore campaign accepting a pile of contributions from foreign donors for their re-election campaign. That kind of foreign interference in our elections was positively sleep-inducing.

But now, PBS will air this Adam Schiff impeachment crusade live, alongside everyone else. Moyers thinks it’s insufficient that PBS World, a digital channel carried by 157 public television stations representing about 64 percent of U.S. TV households, will replay the testimony in prime time. They won’t go Full Watergate.

Graham seems not to have noticed something else: The advent of cable TV between Nixon and Clinton -- particularly public affairs channel  C-SPAN -- meant that PBS didn't have to broadcast the Clinton hearings live. The cable news networks and C-SPAN aired the hearings live, while the broadcast networks would show live coverage of any votes.

Graham also ignores the technological leap between the Clinton hearings and now, spcifically the switch to digital television. Most public TV broadcast stations have a number of digital subchannels (like PBS World, which Graham referenced) that can be used to air impeachment hearings, and PBS appears not to have mandated that the hearings run on a public TV station's main channel, since its announcement of live coverage was also accompanied by a note to "check local listings for coverage in your area."

Graham concluded by huffing:

The one thing that’s guaranteed about these live impeachment hearings is that the incessant network-news drumbeat against Donald Trump will continue to be more than 90 percent negative, as it has been for years. If that hasn’t made a dent in Trump’s standing with his backers up until now, it’s hard to see how all this live coverage is going make much of a difference.

[...]

It wasn’t, because the Left never stops trying to end this presidency prematurely. Even if at this point, it seems more designed as a strategy to end it the usual way, at election time. 

As we've documented, the MRC's methodology for determining "negative" coverage is a bogus, highly biased mess. We also don't remember Graham being concerned about nefarious forces trying to "prematurely" end a presidency when that president was Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EST
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
MRC Writer Gets Triggered By Drag Queen At Impeachment Hearing
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, we detailed how a Media Research Center writer had such a freakout over a drag queen that the LGBT-haters at WorldNetDaily approvingly repeated it. It's a new month, so it must be time for another drag queen freakout.

Doing the honors this time is Gabriel Hays, last seen here getting triggered about an actor expressing a political opinion he didn't like. Hays devoted an entire Nov. 13 post to being unhappy that a drag queen was in the audience at an impeachment hearing:

If you want a concise distillation of how serious the left’s impeachment attempts are on this first official day of hearings, look at the Drag Queen journalists on the ground at Capitol Hill. Just try to tell yourself — without wincing — that this is a “sad” and oh-so-serious day for democracy, as Nancy Pelosi puts it.

It sure says a lot about the Democratic party when drag queens have become their shock troopers.

Pissi Myles, as he likes to call himself (please Lord, we hope that doesn’t mean what we think it means), apparently fancies himself a journalist with a valid interest in covering impeachment politics. It’s a nice reminder of just how much of a circus the Dems’ attempt at removing Trump is, with freaks like Pissi Myles being the enthusiastic rent-a-clowns.

As much as Hays is desperate to like Myles to the Democrats to further his employer's narrative that the impeachment hearings are not serious, he offers no evidence that Myles has any connection whatsoever to the Democratic Party that would have given him special permission to attend the hearing.

But Hays was truly horrified by Myles' mere presence, apparently unclear on the concept of what a drag queen is:

The accompanying images were about as horrifying as one could imagine. Pissi, a clearly overweight male, was wearing an offensively red, way-too-short dress, sparkly red heels, and a curly blonde wig so ostentatious that Honey Boo Boo would have fainted on sight.

The most outlandish part of it all was that Miss Myles had her reporting rig all set up and ready to go. She was holding her phone with an extension arm, had her headphones in, and was giving viewers an up close and personal account of the morning’s proceedings.

Hays concluded by sneering: "It’s a shame to even say it, but If [Adam] Schiff and his drag queen soldiers beat Trump, then maybe he doesn’t deserve to win." Again, Hays offered no evidence that Schiff or any other Democrat had anything to do with Myles' presence.

Some might call Hays' narrative fake news. Also, anti-LGBT hate, which Hays is also prone to.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:42 PM EST
Monday, November 25, 2019
MRC Tries To Delegitimize Impeachment By Claiming It Has Low Ratings (Compared To The O.J. Trial)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a new way of downplaying the impeachment hearings against President Trump: highlight their allegedly low ratings.

In a Nov. 14 post, Kristine Marsh touted how an appearance by Donald Trump on ABC's "The View" got better ratings than ABC's coverage of the impeachment hearings:

If ratings are any indicator of Americans’ interest in impeachment, Democrats are in big trouble. Viewership for yesterday’s impeachment hearings are out, and reveal that between the three major broadcast networks, ABC led ratings, with just 2 million total viewers (Fox News Channel was the most viewed network, with 2.9 million watching.)

But just 6 days before on came to political talk show, The View.

Deadline reported his interview on November 7th was the highest rated for the show in over six months:

[...]

While taking shots at Trump, even the liberal entertainment source had to admit, “The showdown went viral, and now it seems even old-school viewers were watching en masse.”

Marsh then sneered: "To get some perspective, the ratings ABC got Wednesday, were lower than the lowest rated daytime soap opera on television, Days of Our Lives, averaged on NBC. Those numbers were so concerning for the network they fired the entire cast and put the show on an indefinite hiatus this past week." Actually, the article to which Marsh linked stated that production of the show is so far ahead of schedule that the normal holiday hiatus came earlier this year; the soap hasn't been canceled and episodes are still airing.

Rich Noyes then picked up the talking point, huffing on Nov. 18 that the impeachment hearings must suck because (we're not making this up) O.J. Simpson's trial got much higher ratings:

Americans aren’t exactly obsessed with the Democrats’ impeachment hearings, it seems. Friday’s second day of live, wall-to-wall coverage drew an average of 12.7 million viewers on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel combined.

That’s down from a relatively tepid 13.1 million for Day 1 of testimony on Wednesday.

In comparison, an actual news event that definitely captured Americans’ imagination — the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial — drew 150 million viewers (nearly twelve times as many) back in 1995.

[...]

That suggests 95 percent (about 241.3 million) were doing something else on Friday besides watching these hearings.

And I’ll bet most of them were having more fun.

Noyes isn't going to tell you that the hearings still got more viewers than pretty much every prime-time network TV show that isn't a football game.

Noyes followed two days later with another ratings update:

The TV ratings took another dive on Tuesday morning for Day 3 of the Democrats’ impeachment hearings, with only 11.4 million tuning in to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel for the testimony of Lt. Col. Alex Vindman and an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Williams.

But according to early Nielsen Media Research, the combined audience for those networks grew to 13 million for the afternoon/early evening session featuring the first two witnesses sought by the Republican minority, former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and ex-NSC aide Tim Morrison.

Last Wednesday, 13.1 million watched the first day of testimony, while 12.7 million tuned in for Day 2 on Friday.

[...]

Of course, with an estimated 254 million adults living in the United States, nearly everyone was doing something else on Tuesday besides watching these hearings.

Noyes didn't mention that many of those adults have jobs they must be at during the day that prevent them from watching daytime hearings. It's also likely millions more Americans watched the hearings online, which wouldn't have been measured in the TV ratings Noyes and Marsh focused on.

The following day, Noyes offered even more of the same, under the headline "Day 4: Nearly All Americans Continue to Skip Dem Hearings."

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell piled on as well with, yes, another ancient O.J. ratings comparison:

Rep. Adam Schiff's Democratic impeachment hearings are under way — airing live all over the dial — and the liberals are quite upset that America couldn't care less.

NBC News spurred rage on Twitter for daring to admit online that the first two witnesses "lacked the pizzazz necessary to capture public attention."

[...]

In June 1994, 95 million people were transfixed by a low-speed police chase of O.J. Simpson in his white Ford Bronco through the streets and freeways of Los Angeles. "An estimated 150 million viewers watched Simpson's 1995 acquittal after standing trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman," reports the Los Angeles Times. A full 92% of Americans ignored this impeachment spectacle.

When CNN's Brian Stelter dared to make the point that in the internet age, young people watch online while old people watch TV, Graham and Bozell decided to mock instead of offering a cogent response:

All this left CNN's Brian Stelter sputtering that the dismal ratings are a "woefully incomplete" picture of the viewership. The vast majority of those who watched the impeachment hearings on television were over the age of 55. But Stelter tried to argue that younger viewers "were more likely to stream it and/or soak up the info like sponges." Or maybe the millennials were too busy playing "Pokemon" or texting in the middle of busy streets while motorists debated the ethics of running them over.

The two concluded by writing that "the liberals were actually interested in democracy, they would let the elected president finish his term, and try to defeat him at the polls, instead of trying to ruin him before there's any chance for reelection." Funny, we don't remember the folks at the MRC being concerned about whether President Clinton would finish his term as they agitated from his impeachment.

P.S. None of these MRC writers explained why these purportedly low ratings for the impeachment hearings means, as they are suggesting, that the evidence being presented is somehow illegitimate. Would they support Trump's impeachment if the ratings were higher?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:47 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:28 AM EST
Sunday, November 24, 2019
MRC Goes Into Freakout Mode Over Disney's New Streaming Service
Topic: Media Research Center

For some reason, the Media Research Center decided it needed to feel triggered by ... a streaming video service. We'll concede it's arguably not just another streaming service -- it's Disney+, the new service from Disney. Still, the freakout mode was nothing short of strange.

The first attack came from Lindsey Kornick, decrying the "progressive" leanings of the service's very meta series-long take on "High School Musical," which appears to mostly involve having too many gay or possibly characters (which is to say, any gay characters at all):

We’ll start with Nini. After the break-up, she gets motivated to reinvent herself by auditioning for a lead for the first time. She’s nervous at first but still has the support of her active grandmother and her two moms. They only appear in one scene in order to establish that Nini has lesbian moms. It’s on par with everything else in 2019, which means there’s nothing natural about it.

Nini’s also joined by her best friend Kourtney (Dara Reneé) who encourages her to move on from Ricky. In addition to being the sassy black friend, she’s also a self-proclaimed “feminist” who’s looking to promote “intersectional” values. That’s at least three liberal stereotypes in one character. At least she hasn’t acted on any of those values, yet.

And this wouldn’t be a high school theater department without the effeminate male co-star. This show actually has two.

Kornick conlcuded by whining that the show is "basically Glee with a smaller budget."

Then under the nasty headline "ABC Whores Out News for Disney+ Push," Scott Whitlock complained that Disney-owned ABC used "Good Morning America" to promote the new service. Does that mean we can call the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, "whores" because it frequently promotes the activities of the MRC and its boss, Brent Bozell, under the guise of "news"?

This was followed by Alexa Moutevelis grousing that "political correctness" made Disney cut a song filled with painfully outdated Asian stereotypes from the service's version of the animated movie "Lady and the Tramp." Tim Graham and Brent Bozell did much the same thing in a column huffing about "'Experts' from the enlightened side of the tracks ... unscrolling their grievances about how the Disney film catalogue is full of racism, sexism, and loathsome bigotry of all sorts," unironically adding, "These people just hate -- everything."

Finally, Matt Philbin decided that "diversity pimps" were responsible for Disney warning viewers about "racist or otherwise offensive elements" in some of the older films and shows on the service, ranting about activists who want more.

That's a lot of digital ink about someone's streaming service that not only is nobody is forced to watch, one must pay for the privilege of doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 PM EST
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Actor's Opinion on Brexit Triggers MRC Writer
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Gabriel Hays unleashed a snide, condescending Nov. 11 rant:

Legendary British actor Patrick Stewart had a bit of a Benedict Arnold moment the other day during French Comic-Con, telling the French audience that he’s “embarrassed” his countrymen voted for Brexit and that he’d much rather be in the EU with them. And here we thought an Englishmen would rather be drawn and quartered than side with the French.

Stewart, who clearly can’t respect the decision of his fellow citizens in their pursuit of an independent Great Britain, essentially hopped the Channel to vent his frustrations to his preferred countrymen; the horde of French folks who don’t care what European bureaucracy rules over them so long as they get their precious Star Trek comics, food and a blankie.

[...]

Geez talk about pandering to your audience.

Stewart continued, virtue-signalling about his appearance at the “Let Us Be Heard” Brexit protest in London in October. Stewart along with activist/Live Aid! founder Bob Geldoff, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and thousands of protesters marched to Parliament Square to vote against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest Brexit deal. Stewart claimed, “I want you to know that more than half of the population of the United Kingdom wants to stay in the European Union.”

Whatever you say, Mr. Stewart. If only that had been the case when 52% of the British people voted “leave” on that fateful June day in 2016.

It appears Hays is another MRC staffer whose job it is to feel triggered when a celebrity expresses a political opinion he doesn't like. 

Looks like he needs to retreat to the safe space of the MRC's "news" division, which though that Ringo Starr's opinion on Brexit was so newsworthy that it did an article on it two years after he said it. Of course,  Ringo's opinion was the conservatively correct one, so Hays has nothing to fear.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EST

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