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Monday, December 23, 2019
MRC Gives Film's False Defamation of Journalist A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves the new Clint Eastwood film about Richard Jewell, the security guard who was initially suspected -- wrongly, as it turned out -- of involvement in the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, in no small part because it fits the MRC's anti-media narrative.

Right-wing film critic Christian Toto was given space at the MRC to hype it: an October post a month and a half before the film's release hyped Eastwood's alleged courage it making a film that was "casting a critical eye on reporters, and a Nov. 23 post gushed at how the film "savages the mainstream press." Meanwhile, in a Dec. 5 post, P.J. Gladnick mocked a writer who pointed out that the film plays into Trump's (and the MRC's) anti-media talking points. Tim Graham and Brent Bozell also cheered the film and invoked it to push bogus "fake news" attacks on the media.

But Eastwood's film has fake news too: Without evidence, it pushes the inflammatory idea that a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kathy Scruggs, slept with an FBI agent in exchange for information.And the MRC is defending the lie.

Kristine Marsh did so with a bit of whataboutism in a Dec. 10 post: "The idea that reporters have traded sexual favors with sources to get information is not a wild conspiracy theory. There have been a number of cases just this year where female reporters from The New York Times, CNBC and MSNBC have been implicated in reporting on classified information they received from the government officials they were in relationships with." But Marsh didn't address the fact that there's absolutely no evidence that Scruggs ever did so.

Gladnick got mad at the Journal-Constitution for demanding that the movie carry a disclaimer pointing out that things in the film are not accurate, including the portrayal of Scruggs, giving a "dramatic license" pass the MRC wouldn't grant if the character in question had been a conservative:

Dramatic license? What a novelty. Has that ever been done before...except in just about every historical or biographical film of the past, or present? Like the composite character played by Margot Robbie in the anti-Fox News movie Bombshell?

[...]

Since [film character] Tom Shaw is a composite FBI character, would it actually make the Atlanta Journal Constitution feel better if there were a prominent disclaimer in the movie that says something like, "The reporter did not have implied sexual relations with a composite FBI character"?

Of course, that could make things worse for the newspaper by causing viewers to burst out laughing at their expense. The real life Richard Jewell who had to live through the hell of an allegation, promoted by the AJC, that he was a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing even though it quickly became apparent that was false.

Gladnick was also mad that the Journal-Constitution won the defamation lawsuit Jewell had filed against it.

Clay Waters also gave a dramatic-license pass to Eastwood by noting that a New York Times reporter "admits the movie “follows the standard practice for movies based on real-life events by taking liberties with certain facts....” Then he lets a source, Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute, throw in ageist insults against Eastwood." Hew then huffed that "in 2016 the paper sneered at those who would fact-check films based on true stories."

On Dec. 16, Alexa Moutevelis touted how the film's attack on the media is "in favor of the right."  She mentioned that the film told a "lie" about Scruggs -- then never discussed it again, again crowing that Eastwood "justifiably knocks the media."

Apparently, the MRC is totally cool with false smears as long as it's people they despise -- in this case, any journalist who's not a right-wing sycophant -- being smeared.

(Image via Slate)


Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
Sunday, December 22, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Surprise Presidential Military Visits
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alex Christy grumbled in a Nov. 29 post:

Surprise presidential visits to war zones to spend time with the troops during Thanksgiving or other holidays have become a bipartisan tradition that everyone can support. While most view such visits as a way to honor the troops and express amazement at the amount of planning and secrecy that goes into such trips, MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle took Friday to call Trump's Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan a "photo-op" and wonder that if he will plan more foreign visits as part of a strategy to counter impeachment.

Ruhle theorized that the trip was about the imagery of the presidency, "The imagery of the president standing there with troops behind him, the President literally, maybe he’s watching, tweeted a bunch of photos from the trip. That's a big win for him."

She then asked Washington Post White House correspondent Anne Gearan, "Given the impeachment battle is going on, the president is under attack in all sorts of ways, are we going to see more overseas trips that give him these kind of photo-op scenarios?"

If you know anything about the MRC, you will not be surprised to learn that it dismissed a surprise military visit by a Democratic president as a stunt and did not view it as "a bipartisan tradition that everyone can support."

When President Obama paid a visit to Afghanistan on Memorial Day weekend in 2014, the MRC was angry that it was being reported on positively. Geoffrey Dickens suggested the visit was done as a distraction from "the VA scandal":

At the time when the country is remembering the ultimate sacrifice veterans have given this country ABC’s (World News) evening and (Good Morning America) morning shows didn’t devote a second to the VA scandal over this Memorial Day weekend. However, those shows did spend time on President Barack Obama receiving “cheers” during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.

[...]

On Sunday’s World News ABC’s David Muir reported on “that surprise this Sunday from President Obama, his visit to Afghanistan and our troops this Memorial Day weekend.” Muir, teasing a Muhammad Lila report, continued: “The commander-in-chief received with cheers in that hangar at Bagram Airfield. And while there, he talked about how grateful Americans are back home for their service and about what should happen when those vets come home.”

Receiving top-notch medical care was not mentioned as something that “should happen when those vets come home” in the ensuing Lila piece.

Jackie Seal, meanwhile, played whataboutism:

Eight months before the 2006 midterm election, President Bush made a “surprise” visit to Afghanistan. On the March 1, 2006 edition of the Today show, hosts Katie Couric and Matt Lauer made sure to paint Bush’s visit as a publicity stunt due to his approval rating being at an “all-time low” and the controversy surrounding a bid by a United Arab Emirates-based company to run operations at various U.S. seaports. Couric touted it as an “important symbol.” Kelly O’Donnell cited the visit with all its baggage as a “difficult stretch for the president.”

At the time, the network insisted their viewers be absolutely clear about the president’s approval rating and scandals bedeviling his administration back at home. Not only that, Today's coverage included a guest who argued that it was simply impossible to “divorce how the war is going with the perception of how President Bush is doing as president.”

Fast-forward to 2014 with the barrage of scandals haunting President Obama including Benghazi, the IRS, continuing Obamacare woes, and of course most recently, the VA scandal. President Obama has had lower approval ratings but he is not incredibly popular and his party stands to face a drubbing in the November midterms. Yet the treatment by Today was wildly different.

[...]

The message was clear: President Obama is trying his darndest and ultimately it's not his fault that the VA is in such shambles. He's really trying his best to fix the "systemic" problem, after all. All that was missing was Juan Williams joining in to exclaim that the trip shows the president’s going “overboard” in his support for our troops!

What a difference eight years and a Democratic commander-in-chief makes when it comes to reporting.

If it weren't for double standards, the MRC wouldn't have any standards at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EST
Saturday, December 21, 2019
What Transgender Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's freakouts about transgenders are so frequent they have their own tag at NewsBusters. How have they been freaking out about them lately? (Besides the MRC Latino transgender freakout and the endorsement of mean-spirited "South Park" mockery, that is.)

Gabriel Hays spewed hate at a video game that includes a playable transgender character: "And really, in a video game world filled with Star Wars and World War II shooters, who can’t appreciate verisimilitude in the thrill-a-minute world of the sexually confused? ... No, there’s no agenda here, just a special interest group with a rainbow axe to grind in whatever industry will let it in."

Lindsay Kornick complained that the show "Empire" "somehow managed to also squeeze in a transgender storyline to boot. I guess there’s always room for a little more liberal pandering." She further complained: "The only shocking part of this is how totally unoriginal this whole routine has become. We’ve already seen the story of the transgender character wanting to “live her truth” against haters, transphobes, and medical science. We’ve already heard all the constant assertions that this is “beautiful” and somehow natural despite only affecting a tiny percent of the population."

Clay Waters declared that a New York Times story about eroding transgender rights "is the latest overheated, un-journalistic genuflection to the aggressive side of the transgender movement, while conveniently conflating “gender identity” with post-surgery transgender people." Waters then pushed the right-wing talking point that transgenders don't deserve media coverage because there are so few of them: "If transgenders are less than 1% of the population (true), why does the Times cover them so obsessively?"

Gabriel Hays claimed one transgender woman -- or, in his mean-spirited interpratation, an "indignant biological male" who is "particularly obnoxious" -- had a "vendetta against biology"  because a gynecologist refused to examine her and "complained that, since she identifies as a woman, people have to treat her like one, even medical doctors who are intimately aware that this type of rationalization is insane," asserting that "vast majority" of gynecologists "probably didn’t sign on to play make-believe with the mentally ill.Hays declared that this person "is not to be trusted considering her penchant for playing the victim and passion for accusing incredulous bystanders of discrimination." But isn't playing the victim and accusing others of discrimination what conservative like to do as well?

Hays melted down in another post:

Disney and Marvel are marching lockstep with trans propaganda in its most nefarious form: its advocacy for transgender children. Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+ showcased the story of one little trans girl as "she" fights to live “as herself,” or rather, mask over the reality of her being born as a boy with pink tennis shoes, long hair, and giving speeches at pride marches.

[...]

“Mighty Rebekah,” as this Hero Project episode was titled, follows “a transgender girl from New Jersey who transitioned at the age of eight,” as she tells viewers about fighting for her trans rights while her mother beams with pride. Of course, Disney and Marvel showcase this as a celebration of mother and child fighting for simple childhood expression, but as we all know, for many a happy mother and her trans child, there’s probably a weeping father who lost custody and is begging for the opportunity to show his son that throwing a football isn’t as toxic as mommy says it is.

Elise Ehrhard groused that the writers for the reboot of the series "The L Word" "are trying to keep up with the woke crowd by hiring real female-to-male trans actors for supporting roles and portraying them in line with transgender public relations," then attacked one transgender actor in the show for being insufficiently grateful to her Chinese-refugee parents: "A mother secretly saved her baby girl from the cruelty of the Chinese government only to have that little girl one day reject her own femaleness because of radical trans ideology." What ideology is making Ehrhard say such ridiculous and hateful things?

Hays returned to highlight how "Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling "angered radical LGBTQ folks on social media for tweeting a defense of a person fired for believing that there are only two genders. adding: "Yes, the left has completely sold out to this lunacy and the fact that someone as previously woke as Rowling is getting heat for this speaks volumes."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EST
Friday, December 20, 2019
MRC Can't Stop Complaining About Ex-Fox News Anchor For Not Being A Good Right-Winger
Topic: Media Research Center

Shepard Smith left Fox News a while ago, but the Media Research Center still can't stop ranting about him ruining the right-wing Fox News experience for them. Shep-hater extraordinaire Tim Graham huffed in a Nov. 22 post:

Liberal media outlets were thrilled at Shepard Smith's first public remarks since abruptly leaving Fox News last month. Smith hosted a dinner of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and proclaimed he was donating a half million dollars to the group. Michael Grynbaum at The New York Times reported he called "for a steadfast defense of independent journalism, while offering a few subtle barbs at President Trump’s treatment of the press."

Subtle? “Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” Smith said. “Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that.”

[...]

Smith did not mention Fox News in his remarks, and Fox News reporters were present (Fox helps fund the group). It's odd anyone would think it's odd to perceive journalists as "activists for some cause." CPJ surely despises Trump. We noted last year that CPJ slashed Trump in a blog post headlined "In response to Trump's fake news awards, CPJ announces Press Oppressors awards."

They wrote: “Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump's announcement via Twitter about his planned ‘fake news’ awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.”

This underlines why Smith would be so warmly honored, and donate some major cash.

Needless to say, Graham offers nothing but guilt by association to back up his claim of a link between the CPJ's earlier remarks and Smith's donation. He also makes no effort to rebut Smith's fairly standard defense of journalism -- perhaps because he's such a rabid right-wing partisan that he wouldn't know a genuine journalist if one shook his hand.

The next day, Jeffrey Lord -- another right-wing partisan unfamiliar with objective journalism -- whined further about Smith's speech:

Hmmm. What was missing at the CPJ dinner? And for that matter, what is missing on the CPJ web site? And what did Shepherd Smith not say?

What was missing is any sense of irony that all this business about protecting journalists never once mentions the attacks by left-wing groups that are designed to intimidate and silence conservative media. To remove them from the air.

In fact, take a look at that Times story again and this particular quote about Shep Smith: “But he became increasingly disillusioned in recent months about the gap between the network’s prime-time commentary and the reporting produced by its newsroom.”

Say what? Effectively —  without a hint of irony —  the story says that Shep Smith was so put off by the opinion journalists of Fox’s prime time schedule that he quit rather than share the same network with Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. 

So much for supporting a free press.

Lord, meanwhile, would shut down any and every media outlet who is insufficiently laudatory of President Trump and the conservative agenda, if he had his way.

Lord concluded by huffing: "What we have is yet another gathering of journalists, this time led by Shep Smith, selectively - very selectively - supporting a free press. In Shep’s case, he apparently couldn’t abide the thought of Tucker Carlson’s free press rights and so, according to the Times, he left. Shocking? Not." Nor is it shocking that Lord and Graham are bashing Smith for failing to be a right-winger like them.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EST
Thursday, December 19, 2019
The MRC's Drag Queen Freakouts
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's loathing of drag queens is so intense that even WorldNetDaily loves to rehash its lies about them. We've noted how the MRC got triggered over a drag queen in the audience at a congressional impeachment hearing, but that's far from the only freakout its writers have had lately.

On Nov. 12, Matt Philbin had a drag-queen meltdown:

Are you comfortable with mentally disturbed men hanging around the kids section of the local library? How do you stand on dudes with 5 o’clock shadow dressed in lingerie reading to five-year-olds? If you’re a Spokane, Washington resident, you better be okay with it, or you’re a “religious extremist,” and just may find yourself sold in effigy at a slave auction to benefit America’s largest abortion mill.

A group called “Spokane United Against Religious Extremism,” doesn’t take kindly to people speaking out against the new sacrosanct civic ritual known as Drag Queen Story Hour. In a drag bar fundraising event to benefit Planned Parenthood, “drag queen performers ... mocked pro-life activists and local Christian pastors by auctioning off cardboard cutouts of their faces, mimicking a slave-style auction,” according to CBN.

If you so filled with hate that think that drag queens can only be seen as "mentally disturbed men" and "dudes with 5 o’clock shadow dressed in lingerie,"and you think CBN is a reliable, objective source of news, then perhaps you expect a little mockery to come your way.

In their Nov. 30 column, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell sneered at the American Music Awards, where "Kesha brought along the rapper Big Freedia, a deep-voiced gay male who dresses like a drag queen and uses she/her pronouns."

In a Dec. 11 post, Julie Mitchell ranted at the mere idea of drag queens doing a Christmas song:

When Christmastime comes around, many people find themselves reminiscing on traditional songs, like “We Three Queens,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is Nudes.” Well, maybe not many people … probably just ridiculous wackos who want to pervert Christmas, all of its traditions, and tear it from its roots in Christianity -- like the left and the LGBTQ+ movement promoting woke, drag queen remakes of holiday classics!

In the spirit of woke Christmas, Billboard recommends tarted up versions of holiday classics -- featuring drag queens. Chris Malone writes, “Drag queens may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Christmas, but make no mistake: just because they own Halloween doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best parts of the holiday season, too.”

Yes, drag queens are one of the best parts of the holiday season … if you really dislike the traditional holiday season.

[...]

Perhaps the most striking thing about these holiday remakes is that drag queens solely and selfishly promote themselves, the exact opposite of what Christmas is about: celebrating the birth of Jesus and being grateful for loved ones. Praising men who twerk in wigs and dresses is wildly contrary to Christmas and its traditions. 

So is ranting about people who don't celebrate Christmas the way you demand that they should, but Mitchell won't talk about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:35 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2019 5:36 PM EST
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Politician Health Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh complained in a Nov. 27 post:

Tuesday night at a rally, President Trump blasted the media for spreading rumors about his health, specifically that he may have had a heart attack recently. CNN host Brian Stelter shot back at the President on Twitter, claiming he was “lying” and the media never did that. Perhaps Stelter should see a doctor for memory problems because he did this very thing just 3 days ago.

At a rally Trump railed against the media for suggesting he’d had a “massive, unbelievable heart attack.” Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter took to Twitter to deny this accusation before sneering at the President’s “strange lie:”

[...]

However the media DID run conspiracy theories about the President’s health recently, gossipping he may have had a heart attack, without any proof or reason to. Brian Stelter himself did two segments on this very topic!

[...]

Compared to in 2016 when Stelter warned the media, "Do Not Give Oxygen To "Conspiracy Theories" That Hillary Clinton Is "Secretly Ill," despite her strange medical episode being caught on tape. On CNN, Stelter blamed attention on Clinton's health as sexist.

Marsh is mildly misquoting what Trump said. He did not say the media "suggested" he had a heart attack; he said the media reported it -- not the same thing. And Marsh is totally lying that some in the media (not the entire media, as she claimed) had no "reason to" speculate about Trump's health after a surprise visit to Walter Reed Medical Center; given Trump's lengthy record of lying to the American people, there's no reason to take anything that comes out of his White House at face value, and speculation is a given.

Marsh also hides a double standard: The MRC justified -- and added to -- speculation about Hillary Clinton's health in 2016. The link she provided to prove that Stelter said speculation about her health was sexist went to a Curtis Houck post that also pushed the conspiracy theory that her having "admitted to not remembering a whole host of important details in her July 2 FBI interview about her e-mail scandal" was a legitimate reason to speculate about her health, and thar refusal to speculate was, according to Houck, "the latest and most despicable example of the media covering for a liberal."

As we also documented at the time, MRC blogger Jeffrey Lord declared that a long-ago book claiming that Hillary had trouble keeping up with her energetic husband, Bill Clinton, in the early days of his presidency was somehow evidence that she "would have even more stamina problems a full 23 years later" and, thus, justified speculation about her health.

So, yeah, the MRC is once again being hypocritical. So what else is new?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EST
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: The Trump-MRC Narrative on Impeachment
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's idea of "media research" on President Trump's Ukraine scandal and impeachment investigation is to slavishly repeat pro-Trump talking points. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EST
Monday, December 16, 2019
MRC Protects Barron Trump -- But Gave A Pass To Right-Wing Insults Of Children of Democratic Presidents
Topic: Media Research Center

When legal scholar and Trump impeachment hearing witness Pamela Karlan made a mild pun on the name of President Trump's son Barron -- that "while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron" -- the Media Research Center was apoplectic:

  • Curtis Houck dismissed Karlan as a "far-left Stanford University Professor," attacked her "clear example of incivility," claimed her apology was "half-hearted" and huffed: "Sure, some have made the case that this was a play on words, but it nonetheless invoked a minor who has nothing to do with this impeachment charade."
  • Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that Karlan was "lashing out" in her "attack" on Barron Trump and dismissed her "so-called 'apology.'" Fondacaro repeated his claim that she "lashed out" in another post.
  • Scott Whitlock declared that Karlan issued an "ugly" and "out-of-the-blue" shot at Barron, further complaining that "CBS completely skipped the nasty remark. ABC insinuated it was witty, calling the comment a “quip.” 
  • Kristine Marsh attacked Karlan's "smug, rage-filled performance" at the hearing, insisting that she was "making an ugly joke at Barron Trump's expense," further calling it "ugly" and a "cheap shot."
  • Clay Waters huffed that Karlan "bizarrely named Trump’s 13-year-old son Barron to make some unrelated point," touting how it "inflamed Republicans."

But when it came to much more nastier insults against the minor children of Democratic presidents, the MRC had much less to say.

When Rush Limbaugh used his 1990s TV show to liken Chelsea Clinton to the White House dog, the MRC apparently said little at the time (that we can find, anyway), but MRC NewsBusters blogger Noel Sheppard used posts in 2009 and 2011 to engage in some serious revisionism by claiming Limbaugh insulted Chelsea by accident. Which ignores one important point: Limbaugh's TV show, to out knowledge did not air live -- it was taped earlier in the day and syndicated to stations for broadcast, usually in a late-night slot. If it was an accident, Limbaugh could have simply redone the segment. He didn't do that. Which makes Sheppard's revisionism utterly disingenuous.

To cite a more recent example: In 2011, then-radio host (and current Fox News hot) Laura Ingraham attacked the looks of a daughter of President Obama by sneering that she "apparently is not living in a food desert." We found no reference to the remark in the archives of NewsBusters, let alone any criticism of the nasty personal remark.

And the MRC has the audacity to get bent so out of shape over a mild pun about Barron Trump's name that didn't attack him personally? How hypocritical.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
Sunday, December 15, 2019
MRC Still Won't Talk About Conservative Revenge Porn In Katie Hill Scandal
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center was so in favor of forcing out Democratic Rep. Katie Hill for ethical violations involving an affair with a member of her staff that it effectively approved the revenge-porn aspect of the scandal, in which conservative websites RedState and the Daily Mail published nude photos of Hill. It's now moved on to actively denying the revenge-porn angle.

Nicholas Fondacaro complained in a Nov. 25 item:

On Sunday’s no-so “Reliable Sources,” CNN host Brian Stelter helped to defend disgraced former Congresswoman Katie Hill by lying about why she had to resign from office at the end of last month.

“Well, former California Congresswoman Katie Hill is remaining very visible and she’s speaking out against what she calls right-wing media smears. Hill resigned at the end of October after admitting she had an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer before coming into office,” he claimed.

It was just another excuse for him to attack “right-wing media.” “The story came to light after a Conservative blog called RedState release intimate photos of Hill with an unnamed female campaign staffer and made other allegations against her. Then, The Daily Mail piled on with other photos as well,” he whined.

He intentionally omitted a key fact from his crash course summary of the events. One of the “other allegations made against her” was that she was sleeping with one of her congressional staffers, which was against House ethics rules.

Beyond his quoting of Stelter, Fondacaro refused to address the revenge-porn aspect further.

Scott Whitlock did much the same thing in a Dec. 9 post:

Good Morning America on Monday spun Katie Hill, a California Democrat who resigned in the wake of a bizarre sex scandal, as a victim of bullying. The story by reporter Linsey Davis never mentioned her political affiliation and tried to mislead viewers into believing Hill was smeared. 

Hill resigned after nude pictures of her appeared online, some with what appeared to feature a World War II Nazi-era tattoo. She admitted to an affair with a campaign staffer, but denied a relationship with a congressional staffer. Yet, Davis left out the first part, portaying Hill as the victim: “The one-time rising political star says she contemplated suicide after nude photos of her surfaced online along with allegations she had an improper relationship with a congressional staffer, which she denies.”

Whitlock didn't address how, exactly, those nude photos of Hill "appeared online" -- because they were published by conservative websites. Whitlock actively tried to hide that fact; his link on the words "World War II Nazi-era tattoo" (because that was even more scandalous than the nude photos for the selective prudes at the MRC) went to celebrity gossip site Uproxx -- which, in turn, cited the Daily Mail.

If the MRC refuses to discuss the conservative-fueled revenge porn aspect of the Hill scandal out of fear of violating organization standards against criticizing fellow conservatives and/or needing a way to own the libs, having an honest conservation about it is impossible.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EST
Saturday, December 14, 2019
MRC Latino Has A Transgender Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's obsession with transgenders -- its dismay that they appear in the media at all and its glee when they are mocked and denigrated -- has spilled over to MRC Latino, the operation that looks at Hispanic media.

An Oct. 28 post by Kathleen Krumhansl denounced Univision for the offense of doing a story on a medical clinic that caters to transgenders because there are too few transgenders to deserve news coverage:

In their scramble to help secure votes for the Democrats and fulfill their leftist policy vision, Univision News continues to expand its “Latino Agenda”. The network is now openly advocating for the political platforms of leftist Democratic presidential hopefuls, and pushing for issues and policies that are completely out of tune with the reality of the Latino population to which they cater. 

[...]

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 5% of LGBT respondents identify primarily as transgender; as the study states, “this is roughly consistent with other estimates of the proportion of the LGBT population that is transgender. Although there is limited data on the size of the transgender population, it is estimated that 0.3% of all American adults are transgender. This begs the question: of that 0.3% of the population, how many are Hispanics to whom this issue can be of any interest? 

[...]

From their excitement about the non-existent word “Latinx”, to this recent example of the network ́s liberal rhetoric, there is no doubt about the political motivations of the nation's leading Spanish-speaking news network, and they have nothing to do with the audience they represent.

We're sorry that Krumhansl thinks so little of transgenders that she thinks their existence in media must be eradicated.

MRC Latino director Jorge Bonilla had a similar freakout in a Dec. 2 post:

It is known that immigration advocacy is the cornerstone of Univision’s “Agenda Latina,” the first issue among many others for which the network advocates. Transgenderism is also one such issue, and the network is not above inserting its agenda into its coverage by any means necessary.

Watch below as Univision’s English-language broadcast, UNews, used National Adoption Month as a means with which to highlight a transgender teen:

[...]

As the report mentions, “Ariella” is still in foster care. Present tense, which means that “Ariella” is still a CHILD. How does this particular showcasing help “Ariella” overcome what appears to be a long, painful history of trauma?

Given the network’s extensive history with Planned Parenthood, both in partnerships and favorable coverage, it reasonable to infer that Univision doesn’t actually care about adoption. The very odd mention of National Adoption Month here is merely a fig leaf with which to justify its shameful exploitation of a vulnerable teen. 

None of that matters, and nothing else matters to Univision, a liberal PAC with a broadcast license, except its agenda- even if it means aiding and abetting the exploitation of an abused and vulnerable child. Indeed, a new cynical low.

Looks like Bonilla won't be opening up his judgmental heart to this child anytime soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EST
Friday, December 13, 2019
MRC Can't Deal With Impeachment Witness Demanding Fox News Apologize For Smearing Him
Topic: Media Research Center

We've highlighted how the Media Research Center couldn't deal with Fox News hosts and guests being criticized for falsely smearing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as conducting "espionage" for Ukraine because he testified in the Trump impeachment hearings. Now it can't deal with the fact that he's demanding Fox News apologize for the lie.

The MC's Kristine Marsh complained in a Nov. 22 post:

The Democrats’ star witness Tuesday for President Trump’s impeachment hearing has threatened legal action if Fox News does not retract an opinion segment that was critical of him from a few weeks ago.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman sent a letter through his lawyer to the news network demanding a "retraction or correction" for an October 28 segment on Laura Ingraham's show. His lawyers charged FNC was “liable for punitive damages” for “false and defamatory allegations it published about LTC Vindman, knowing they were false.” The letter also called out Donald Trump Jr. and FNC host Tucker Carlson for “inflammatory” statements.

The letter was focused on that Oct. 28 show where FNC host Laura Ingraham and guest John Yoo criticized Vindman.

Marsh failed to mention the fact that Ingraham and Yoo falsely accused Vindman of espionage. Also, while she repeated a Fox News statement that Yoo "has subsequently done interviews to clarify what he meant," she didn't link to any of them. (While Yoo did walk back his false attack, he apparently didn't do so on Fox News, and Ingraham apparently hasn't walked back asything.)

Marsh then played the conservative victim card: "But the media didn’t share this same perspective when President Trump threatened legal action against other cable news networks like CNN, which network called a 'desperate PR stunt' that doesn’t 'merit a response.'" Perhaps because it was a desperate PR stunt and was seen more as an attempt by a powerful government official to silence a critic.

Marsh concluded by ranting: "The media as a whole have used the 'freedom of the press' as a cover for their biased and frequently false reporting about the President." She offered no substantiation for her claim that reporting on Trump is "frequently false."

This wouldn't be the MRC if it wasn't being hypocritical about things, and sure enough, a few days later,  Randy Hall was cheering the type of lawsuit Vindman was threatening befause a conservative was filing it:

There are times when it seems that obviously liberal outlets in the “mainstream media” get away with producing “fake news” without facing any consequences for their poor reporting.

That situation may change after Thanksgiving, when California Republican Devin Nunes -- one of the press’s favorite targets during the “impeachment inquiry” held recently in the U.S. House of Representatives -- fights back in federal court against “demonstrably false” articles that have appeared on CNN and the Daily Beast website.

According to an article Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough, the items accused Nunes “of meeting with a former Ukraine prosecutor in a hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.”

[...]

He also stressed that “it is not OK to work with someone who has been indicted on serious federal crimes to build a media narrative and dirty up a member of Congress” with “demonstrably false and scandalous stories.”

By contrast, the MRC thinks it's perfectly fine to "dirty up" a member of the military when he won't support the MRC's political agenda.

Unfortunately for Nunes, news broke that phone records show he did, infact, spend time on the phone with Rudy Giuliani's indicted Ukranian buddy Lev Parnas -- something for which he has offered not-very-convincing explanations. The MRC has largely ignored that unflattering piece of evidence, aside from a Jeffrey Lord column ranting that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was engaging in "abuse of power" in releasing those phone records.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
Thursday, December 12, 2019
MRC Tries To Prop Up GOP's Ukraine Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Just like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center proper has been pushing pro-Trump talking points on the Ukraine scandal and impeachment hearings. So dedicated to those talking points is the MRC, in fact, that it's even pushing the conspiracy theory pushed by Trump and other Republicans that Ukraine meddled as much, if not more, in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as Russia did.

Nicholas Fondacaro lectured in a Nov. 21 item:

But it wasn’t an “unfounded” “conspiracy theory” as they would like you to believe. According to then-Politico  reporters David Stern and Ken Vogel, “Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.” 

[...]

Their reporting also found that Ukraine’s influence did have consequences. “The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race,” they wrote, “helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”

But as we've pointed out, Ukranian officials' anti-Trump efforts were mostly limited to going after his campaign manager, Paul Manafort -- who later went to prison for bank and tax fraud regarding the millions of dollars he was paid for his work in Ukraine -- and an op-ed. There was none of the systematic disruption approved by the central government that Russia engaged in, and it's a lie to suggest otherwise.

Alex Christy huffed in a Nov. 25 post that "just because CrowdStrike is a conspiracy theory and that Russia did interfere, does not also mean Ukraine didn't," adding: "Second, it is simply not true that Republicans deny Russian interference in 2016 as all the congressional reports on the topic that came out in the aftermath of 2016 would have had to come out of Republican-controlled committees." But Republicans are falsely conflating what Ukraine did -- which was mostly limited to blogs and op-eds -- with the systematic meddling conducted by Russia.

(The admission that CrowdStrike is a conspiracy theory is a slight change of MRC policy; it has previously largely pretended that Trump wasn't pushing a conspiracy theory by referencing the idea CrowdStrike was stashing a hacked DNC server in Ukraine.)

And when Republican Rep. John Kennedy pushed the conspiracy theory on "Meet the Press," the MRC rushed to prop his claims up.

Curtis Houck followed up with a Dec. 2 post complaining that "CNN sided with Todd that Kennedy’s a puppet for Vladimir Putin pushing “conspiracy theories” (which are true) about Ukraine and the 2016 election."

Houck also complained that "Borger invoked the tiresome piece of fake news about '17 intelligence agencies' having the same conclusion about Russia and 2016, which was ironic since she had just bemoaned that we’re debating 'when is a fact a fact.'" He linked back to a 2018 MRC post on how "the liberal media screwed on Trump-Russia in 2017" to claim that "only three agencies (FBI, CIA and NSA) had reviewed the intelligence, which was then issued by a fourth, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence." But as an actual fact-checker pointed out, the Office of the DNI speaks on behalf of those 17 intelligence agencies, and none of those agencies has expressed disagreement with the conclusion.

Tim Graham huffed that "Sen. Kennedy acknowledged Russians were meddling, but just added Ukrainians were meddling, too. Todd repeatedly insisted that Kennedy was like a Russian agent for adding these inconvenient truths to the narrative." Graham refused to admit the inconvenient fact that nothing Ukraine did was on the scale of Russian meddling.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2019 7:40 PM EST
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
MRC Won't Admit NY Times-Basher Is A Biased Conservative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aiden Jackson devoted an entire Dec. 2 post to how "former New York Times contributor and current New York Post reporter, Michael Goodwin" went on Fox News to talke about a Fox News-published op-ed complaining that the Times "has cemented itself as the CNN of the newspaper world with a leftist trajectory and near total loss of journalistic integrity" and that "the old-guard reporting standards at The New York Times are almost non-existent in the era of President Trump." Jackson went on to tout how "Goodwin then used a sledgehammer on the Timesto label them as a completely leftist publication through and through."

What Jackson doesn't tell you: Goodwin is a right-winger through and through. He did allude to it, stating that "As a disclaimer, it should be noted that Goodwin has served as a reporter with the Post for many years and currently writes opinion pieces for Fox News." But at no point does Jackson place an ideological label on Goodwin; instead, he played up Goodwin being a former Times employee to suggest that his Times-bashing is not partisan, despite the fact that he hasn't worked for the Times for a good couple decades and has been linked with right-wing outlets like Fox News and the Post since then.

Funny how the MRC has conniptions about how conservatives are labeled but won't use proper labeling when it doesn't serve its interests and narrative to do so.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EST
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
MRC's Most Dishonest 'Study' Yet
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is known for its highly biased "studies" of media coverage. It may have outdone itself with its latest one. Bill D'Agostino huffed in a Nov. 25 post:

Broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have donated 75 hours of free air time to Democrats’ impeachment hearings, despite notably poor (and consistently shrinking) ratings. Yet during President Clinton’s impeachment, these same networks could not be bothered to carry more than a few hours of independent counsel Ken Starr’s one-day presentation of the evidence against Clinton on November 19, 1998.

NBC’s live coverage during the hearings amounted to a whopping 92 percent (1,653 minutes, or 27.5 hours) of the total 30 hours of testimony. CBS ran special coverage for 84 percent of the hearings (1,517 minutes, or 25 hours), while ABC broadcast 75 percent (1,358 minutes, or 22.5 hours). These numbers reflect the coverage on network-affiliated stations in the Washington, D.C. area.

By contrast back in November of 1998, NBC aired a paltry 26 percent (194 minutes) of Starr’s 12.5 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill. CBS covered 42 percent of the hearing (314 minutes), while ABC broadcast 36 percent (272 minutes).

Over the past two weeks, broadcast networks bumped hours of regularly scheduled programming for hearings featuring 12 hitherto unheard of witnesses, many of whom had never even spoken to President Trump. Yet these networks were reluctant to cover Starr’s testimony back in 1998, even though that hearing relied on a single well-known witness with intimate knowledge of all the evidence being presented.

That's right -- the MRC is dishonestly comparing several days of Trump impeachment hearing coverage to a single day of testimony by the chief anti-Clinton antagonist.

Note that D'Agostino also invoked the MRC narrative of dismissing the hearings because of their allegedly low ratings; he reinforced the narrative by claiming that "the hearings these past two weeks have had consistently poor viewership, and the number of Americans tuning each day has been shrinking." In fact, the hearings attracted millions of viewers when counting all outlets that aired them, and NBC -- whose coverage D'Agostino attacked for drawing "even fewer eyes ... than an average Days of Our Lives episode" -- actually drew more viewers than Fox News in the coveted demographic of viewers age 25 to 54. Nevertheless, he insisted: "It would appear President Trump's election has rendered broadcast networks incapable of understanding what interests their own audiences.

D'Agostino also unironically complained about the Clinton hearings being described as having low ratings, to the point that individual affiliates broke away for their own local programming.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 9:32 PM EST
Monday, December 9, 2019
MRC Loves It When 'South Park' Mocks Transgenders, Is Sad When It's Criticized For Doing So
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Nov. 13 post, the Media Reserach Center's Alexa Moutevelis gushed over how the TV show "South Park" mocked transgenders by how it "illustrated the absurdity of allowing men who identify as women into female athletic competitions, in a way only South Park can, in the episode titled 'Strong Woman,'" which featured "a trans athlete in the mold of former WWF wrestler Macho Man" entering a female strong-woman competition, and the women in the competition are told not to complain about because "you'll upset the PC babies." Moutevelis served up her own mocking at the end: "I can only imagine how the PC Babies will howl at this episode. You know how they are."

Moutevelis followed up that with a Nov. 21 post mocking one writer who claimed the episode descended into "the same tired old transphobic, homophobic, intentionally offensive gobbledygook":

Last week, South Park aired a classic episode that skewered the trans athlete phenomenon. But IndieWire author Jude Dry, whose pronouns are listed on Twitter as “they/them/theirs,” was not amused.

Dry's IndieWire article this Wednesday hilariously claimed the episode “provoked an immediate and universal backlash,” (only if backlash means laughter). The subtitle said, “Last week's episode provoked outcry by taking aim at transgender athletes, but the Comedy Central show has a long history of transphobia.” The definition of transphobia apparently means to not immediately celebrate and accept anything a trans person says.

[...]

It’s more that this author is humorless when it comes to certain hot button topics than that South Park is alienating viewers and yet Dry implies that creator Trey Parker is a bigot: “Parker’s pandering plea that his viewers not see him as a bigot for writing such a lazy, charged, and dangerous script is so ridiculous it’s almost laughable.”

And this IndieWire article is so ridiculous it is absolutely laughable.

Apparently, transphobic, homophobic and intentionally offensive gobbledygook is what trips Moutevelis' humor trigger, so this particular brand of hate is OK with her.

On the other hand, Moutevelis is not so supportive of "South Park" when when it mocks her favorite president. In September, she and Sadi Martin complained that "The new season of South Park got back to its libertarian roots in ways many conservatives might not appreciate" when it focused on "illegal immigrant children being placed in detention centers" and engaged in "heavy-handed comparisons of the Jewish Holocaust to the current immigration crisis America faces today." Moutevalis and Martin concluded by lamenting, "South Park has always been at its best when it's subversively skewering the sacred cows of the left. Let's hope the rest of the season brings more of that and doesn't keep hitting us over the head with the same liberal talking points we hear everywhere else."

So, in Moutevelis' eyes, "South Park" is hilarious when it makes jokes about liberal causes, but painfully unfunny when it mocks conservative causes. Maybe she's the real "PC baby" here.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EST

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