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Sunday, March 15, 2020
You Need To Calm Down: MRC Can't Stop Bashing Taylor Swift
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is weirdly obsessed with bashing Taylor Swift for the sin of having opinions it doesn't agree with (and refusing to hate LGBT people as much as it thinks she should). Since Swift refuses to conform to the MRC's right-wing agenda, she remains an MRC target.

In November, P.J. Gladnick mocked Elizabeth Warren for taking Swift's side against her former record company regarding control of the music she recorded for it -- and, of course, mocked Swift herself for committing the offense of being a "multi-millionaire" who wants to have a say in how the music she helped create is being used:

Justice for Taylor Swift!

Yeah, now that's a cause that your average working American can get behind. And it is also a cause taken up by presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren which has resulted in widespread mockery. Okay, the mockery hasn't quite reached the levels inspired by the reaction to her hyping of a DNA test last year that revealed that Warren is maybe 1/1024 Native American but it is up there.

Warren tweeted her support for Swift in the multi-millionaire's contractual dispute with other millionaires that we should somehow care about as reported by Variety on Saturday in, "Elizabeth Warren Backs Taylor Swift in Big Machine Battle."

[...]

There is a lot more of that in reply to Elizabeth Warren on Twitter so break out the popcorn and take a look for yourselves because the entertainment value is much greater than listening to Taylor Swift singing (or whining).

Gladnick apparently doesn't think that having control over what you create is something your average working American can understand. 

In January, Swift's chief MRC bully, Gabriel Hays, melted down over the singer receiving an award from pro-LGBT organization GLAAD through exhibiting the gay-bashing the MRC is known for in once again complaining there are too many gay people on TV:

Although Taylor is less of a hero, and more so just another spoiled celebrity being paraded out by special interest groups in order to condescend to people who are reluctant to join progressive causes. She’s a leftwing android more or less. She promotes all the boilerplate gay lobby crap and bashes Donald Trump supporters as scary racists.

Swift made her abrupt shift left in 2018, when she blasted then Senate-candidate Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) for her conservative campaign. Taylor claimed her record “appalls and terrifies me.” In April 2019, Swift donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project, a legal group aggressive in pushing LGBTQ legislation in the state.

[...]

Though really, she’s just another one of the left’s anti-intellectual, propaganda mouthpieces that helps GLAAD bully people into submission. GLAAD has used its influence to put an over-representation of LGBTQ folks in TV/film entertainment and has successfully sicced the media on companies with traditional family values via an obnoxious and dishonest victimhood strategy.

Hays returned in a Feb. 28 post to sneer at Swift's new music video (and the song it's for):

The far left reboot of Taylor Swift is continuing her work of alienating conservatives and most other normal folks from her fanbase. The singer unveiled her music video for her misogyny-crushing anthem “The Man,” featuring her play-acting as a man and doing all the things your typical toxic white male gets away with that women can’t.

Like smoking cigars while manspreading on subway cars, or behaving like an arrogant jerk on a yacht with models? Well if your info comes from a Swift music video, these are the problems with guys these days.

Swift’s video for “The Man” premiered online on February 27, and of course it was a slick, polished production. Swift’s got the best entertainment people working for her, and their politics are predictable. “The Man” is a cheap feminist anthem about double standards.

Her lyrics for the song’s chorus sum up her views on sexism. She sings, “I'm so sick of running as fast as I can. Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man. And I'm so sick of them coming at me again, 'cause if I was a man then I'd be the man.” Yes, so sad, and her $300 million doesn’t put her about 99% of most men on earth, but we digress.

Of course the music video makes her points even dumber than they were in writing.

Hays then unironically wrote: "Swift must see her product as more of a joke, because it’s too cartoony to be a political statement. " We wonder if Hays sees his product as a joke, because it's too cartoonishly hateful to be taken as legitimate criticism.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:26 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 15, 2020 5:28 PM EDT
Saturday, March 14, 2020
The MRC's LGBT 'Agenda' Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center generally hates LGBT people and thinks the fact that they're allowed to be on TV is evidence of some sort of "agenda." A couple recent posts fed that "agenda" obsession.

A Feb. 18 post by Lindsey Kornick complained about a documentary about LGBT representation on TV, denigrating them as "depraved" people engaged in "perversions":

Apple TV has truly hit the peak of progressiveness, and there’s no turning back. The five-part documentary series Visible: Out on Television spells out the true agenda behind LGBTQ representation on television. Namely, the idea that “television is at its best” when it’s being used as a tool for the gay community.

All five parts, which premiered on February 14, lay out the history of LGBTQ representation on television. It begins with the first reference to homosexuality in McCarthy hearings from 1957 and moves to the present day with every major TV event in between those times. The premiere episode “The Dark Ages” dives into this record with their agenda front and center, summing up all the details and posturing we'll be hearing for over five hours. That includes the notion that television is only "at its best" with several LGBTQ characters.

Considering the second episode is literally called “Television as a Tool,” it’s safe to say that the goal is clearly indoctrination and normalization of LGBTQ lifestyles. Even in the documentary, there’s no hiding that many forms of gay representation became excuses for “liberal diatribes” to millions of viewers. There is even special attention given to the gay activist groups such as Act Up and GLAAD, noting that “using TV and the media was the whole game.” Referencing these groups alone removes all doubts of this being anything but political.

[...]

Seeing the scope of television move from simply placing gay characters on screen to openly celebrating every perverted thing they can do is jarring enough, but it gets worse. The show goes so far as to co-opt other characters from popular shows to simply act as gay representation for them. And here I thought liberals didn’t like appropriation.

[...]

CNN calls Visible: Out on Television “a reminder how far both TV and society have come.” In a way, I agree. It shows us how far television has fallen to blatant propaganda and depraved activists. And it’ll never be far enough for the progressives.

MRC chief Brent Bozell, meanwhile, used a Feb. 20 post -- presented as "a side on the website The Rift" -- to deny he's a homophobe while he demands that the Disney Channel ban all LGBT characters:

There should not be more homosexual characters in animated Disney movies and there should not be fewer. There should be none.

Nor should there be anti-homosexual characters. Nor Catholics or anti-Catholics, nor Jewish people or anti-Semites, nor climate change proponents or climate change deniers. Any character’s identity and back story that doesn’t propel a simple children’s tale reflects the preoccupation of adults.

This debate is not about presenting characters that are homosexual. This is about presenting characters as homosexuals. This is about promoting the gay lifestyle. But why do either?

[...]

Please, please: Don’t accuse me of being homophobic. That dog just won’t hunt. Most every adult watching Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares, or David Hyde Pierce on Frasier, or Charles Nelson Reilly on Laugh-In knew the actor was gay… and no one cared. All were there as comedians who happened to be gay.

Victimology. I tire of it.  I am a Roman Catholic. There are 51 million of us. We demand that Disney actively and only positively promote Catholic characters!  65% of Americans are Christians. Disney must have 65% of its characters portrayed as Christian role models!

Disney would never allow that. Disney won’t allow a single Catholic character in its animated films. I wonder if you can find a single Christian. That, you see, is the projection of an agenda.

So for Bozell, being gay is a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing?  Because you know that if Lynde or Reilly had admitted on TV they were gay, he would be agitating to ban them from the airwaves.

Bozell then complained that Disney removed the "Siamese Cat Song" from its remake of "Lady and the Tramp" because of its perceived racism: "Did a single child anywhere on the face of Planet Earth ever listen to that song and find racist overtones? What about the song that followed, an Italian song about Italian food sung by two characters parodying Italians? Why is that still there? Out, out, OUT!"

Bozell conlcuded by huffing: "None of this has anything to do with entertaining kids and everything to do with indoctrinating them into leftwing ideology. Adding more LGBT characters to Disney movies just moves the company further from its purpose." Bozell's purpose, meanwhile, is to censor all traces of LGBT representation from the public airwaves, so his complaint about "indoctrinating" is wildly hypocritical -- and, yes, Brent, that's quite homophobic.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Friday, March 13, 2020
MRC Bashes CNN Writers For Attending Party With Katie Hill, Silent On Fox News Staffers Also Attending
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center tried to merge its abject hatred for CNN with its recent glee that Democratic Rep. Katie Hill was forced to resign from her seat in part because conservative websites published revenge porn of her in a March 2 post by Kristine Marsh:

CNN host Brian Stelter and his network go after Fox News, constantly, claiming their hosts and analysts are cronies working for President Trump. But Stelter has been caught in his own conflict of interest predicament.

The Reliable Sources host, along with two of his reporter colleagues, was seen at a party with disgraced former Democrat congresswoman, Katie Hill in New York over the weekend, according to Page Six. This, after Stelter has had Hill on his show and his network has worked overtime to try to rehabilitate the Democrat’s tarnished reputation.

Page Six’s Oli Coleman reported Saturday that Stelter and CNN senior media reporters Oliver Darcy and Vicky Ward were seen attending a book signing party for the Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markey and Asawin Suebsaeng.

[...]

Last November, Stelter had Hill on his show so he could label her a victim of “right wing media smears” in a sympathetic interview where he asked her if it was “an out of body experience” to be “called names” by Fox News personalities.

Besides trying to rehab Hill’s reputation on Stelter’s show, CNN also tried to push Hill’s gender discrimination narrative with puff pieces defending her on their website.

Stelter’s attendance showcases just how involved the media is with the Democrat party.

Not only did Marsh did not bother to contact Stelter and Darcy for ar esponse, she failed to update her post to note that Darcy and Stelter did, in fact, respond to the accusation when her attack was similarly parroted by RedState (ironically, one of the conbservative websites that published the revenge porn on Hill). Both said they did not "party" with Hill -- Darcy said he didn't even see her at the book party -- and pointed out that staffers from Fox News were also at the party.

Whoops! No wonder there was no update -- the MRC is a criticism-free zone for Fox News (unless you were Shepard Smith), and acknowledging that Fox News staffers were also at this party would undermine the narrative.

Also note that Marsh refused to use the proper name of the Democratic Party, opting instead for the incorrect right-wing insult version "Democrat party." The MRC should explain to its readers why its stylebook demands that incorrect information be given to its readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:27 PM EDT
Thursday, March 12, 2020
MRC Rediscovers Context To Attack Media, Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center demands context when reporting on President Trump (not so much for anyone else). So when Trump spoke ambiguously about coronavirus and hoaxes, the MRC was ON IT to insist that the president spoke perfectly.

Curtis Houck, in the middle of gushing over how Trump delivered a "SCORCHING CPAC Address" that was "a comedy routine for the ages," referenced, as he is apparently contractually obligated to, "the Trump-hating liberal media, which have been working to convince the public that the President views the coronavirus as “a hoax” when he used that term Friday to condemn the liberal spin about his response to the virus."

The MRC minions thus had their talking point marching orders. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that an NBC host "continued to push the long-debunked accusation that President Trump called the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) a 'hoax' at a Friday campaign rally in South Carolina," despite the fact that Trump himself said it only two days before and it hadn't been "long-debunked" by the MRC until Houck's post that appeared just  an hour earlier. A few hours after that, Fondacaro complained that another NBC host "continued to spread the left-wing lie that Trump had called the virus a 'hoax'." And then a couple hours later, Fondacaro raged at CNN because "According to CNN Inside Politics host John King, one didn’t need to believe the fact that President Trump was describing the Democratic and media fearmongering of his administration’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a 'hoax;' 'you can read this how you wish' and believe he said it about the virus."

Of course, Fondacaro has his own a la carte approach to the facts.

Kyle Drennen then picked up the baton, huffing that "NBC News senior business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle keep pushing the now-debunked claim that President Trump labeled the coronavirus a 'hoax.' In reality, what Trump dismissed as a hoax were efforts by Democrats and liberal media to politicize the global health crisis." That was followed by Clay Waters grousing that the New York Times "left open the lie that Trump called the coronavirus a hoax."

Corinne Weaver touted how the Daily Caller's fact-checking operation rated the claim as false, but only grudging admitted in passing, through quoting someone else, that the Daily Caller is conservative. (The MRC then reprinted the Daily Caller's fact-check.) Tim Graham declared that "President Trump never called the coronavirus a 'hoax,'" then whined that Snopes wouldn't unambiously declare it false because Trump was in the middle of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus outbreak: "'Downplaying the severity of the outbreak' is not at all the same as calling coronavirus a 'hoax.'"

Waters returned to complain that Times columnist Paul Krugman "is spreading a lie above; Trump never said the coronavirus was a hoax." Aiden Jackson grumbled that Hillary Clinton "perpetuated the widely discredited 'hoax' falsehood." Mark Finkelstein went into full defense mode: "President Trump has not called coronavirus a hoax. To the contrary, the President has mobilized a team to combat the spread of the disease. And the administration is offering daily briefings on its efforts."

Alexander Hall recounted how "Donald Trump, Jr. retweeted multiple conservative commentators who were calling out Twitter for allowing a Biden campaign video which itself appears to be deceptively edited in that it claimed that Trump was calling the coronavirus a hoax," then complained that Hillary "pushed the fact-checked false liberal narrative that Trump had called the coronavirus a 'hoax.'"

By contrast, the MRC had no problem whatsoever taking President Obama's "you didn't build that" remark out of context to a highly dishonest extent.So, yeah, its complaint about coverage of Trump rings more than a little hollow.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Climate-Teen Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent months heaping hate and scorn on Greta Thunberg for her climate-change activism -- but it has all but censored the far-right leanings of Naomi Seibt, conservatives' answer to Thunberg. Read more >>


Posted by Terry K. at 5:45 PM EDT
Monday, March 9, 2020
MRC Loves It When Bernie Sanders Is Smeared As A Nazi
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates it when people like President Trump to a Nazi. But liken a liberal -- and a Jewish liberal at that -- to a Nazi? Totally cool!

Tim Graham devoted a Feb. 19 post not to criticizing right-wing radio host Mark Levin for an unhinged rant in which he asserted that Sen. Bernie Sanders has "deep-rooted anti-Semitism" and an "Islamo-Nazi mentality" -- that would presumably go against the apparent cross-promotion agreement Levin has with the MRC -- but, rather, to attacking the person who highlighted said rant. Graham portrayed the Mediaite article about Levin as some sort of revenge b ecause "Levin routinely mocks the Mediaite website and its owner, ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams" and defended Levin's bashing of what he claimed were Sanders' " top surrogate lieutenants," adding: "Surely, Levin meant Palestinian-American radical Linda Sarsour. Sanders is also endorsed by (and endorses) the Muslim freshman congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. These women all endorse the BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) movement to destabilize the Israeli government.

Graham Then complained that the Mediaite writer "had a brief counter-argument: 'Bernie Sanders is Jewish.' He said nothing about Sanders and his surrogates, and their controversial statements. The whole article was four paragraphs and the brief attempt at rebuttal." So, like a typical MRC item, then?

Never mind that the MRC itself has invoked the Jewish faith of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the conversion to Judaism of his daughter Ivanka to defend Trump against claims of white nationalism or anti-Semitism.

Nowhere in his piece did Graham pass judgment on Levin's wacky "Islamo-Nazi" smear.

Meanwhile, in a Feb. 23 post, Nicholas Fondacaro highlighted then-MSNBC host Chris Matthews' claim that, in Fondacaro's words, "Sanders’ blitzkrieg through the first three states, and his increased momentum, reminded him of the fall of France to the Nazis and the call the French prime minister made to the U.K. to say 'it’s over' -- not to criticize Matthews for saying it, but to complain that the comment made Matthews "the latest target of the so-called Bernie Bros as they demanded MSNBC fire him for a comment he made about their dear leader." (Never mind that the bulk of MRC content these days is attacking people for comments made about its current dear leader.) Fondacaro never criticized Matthews for the comment itself.

When Matthews apologized a couple days later, Kristine Marsh played whataboutism:

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews offered a mea culpa to 2020 Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders Monday night, after comparing his win in Nevada to the Nazis taking France in World War II. But the Hardball host did not feel the need to apologize to President Trump, or his family, for comparing them to Mussolini, Hitler, Sadam Hussein, or a whole host of other despicable dictators.

[...]

Of course, no one in the media batted an eyelash at Matthews equating Trump or his family to murderous dictators or hoping they get killed off by communists or each other.

When Matthews did abruptly leave his show a few days after that, Fondacaro complained anew that Matthews "was on the receiving end of the wrath of the so-called Bernie Bros for comparing Sanders’s rise to the Nazis conquering France." Again, Fondacaro never expressed any offense at the comment itself.

Tim Graham regurgitated this non-criticism and whataboutism in his March 4 column, saying only that Matthews "reacted badly by comparing the Sanders victory in Nevada as somehow akin to the fall of France to the Nazis during World War II" and whining that "Matthews was never punished for comparing President Trump to Hitler, or Stalin, or Satan."

How weird that nobody at the MRC is batting an eyelash about people likening a Jewish politican to Nazis.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:59 PM EDT
Sunday, March 8, 2020
Mysterious MRC Sports Blogger Defends Trump, Backs Extremist Minister Over Super Bowl
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson served up two unsurprising posts regarding the Super Bowl. First, he defended President Trump's substance-free remarks about the Super Bowl prior to the game by somehow blaming Obama:

Blame it on "Basketball Jones" sports junkie and former President Barack Obama for making sports analysis a presidential priority over world and domestic affairs. President Donald Trump passed on an opportunity to break down the Super Bowl match-up with the detail his predecessor did on NCAA Tournament brackets, and that makes the current occupant of the Oval Office ignorant about who's even playing in the NFL championship game.

Maxson then defended Trump's know-nothingness by portraying him as being so awesome doing other things and denying the mere idea that the president doesn't know anything about the game:

This president supposedly knows nothing about the Super Bowl, though his attention might be distracted by the coronavirus, "an impeachment trial being soggily conducted in the Senate," an economy to be kept running, recalcitrant countries with whom to diplomatize, and, generally, a whole-ass world to worry about."

Make that an unprecedented economy. Add restoring the nation's court system, creating jobs, eliminating terrorists and fighting off bogus impeachment attempts.

[...]

President Trump -- a man who previously tried to become an NFL owner, friend of Tom Brady and Jim Brown, the candidate for re-election who's running a Super Bowl ad -- doesn't know who's playing in the biggest sporting event of the year? Ludicrous.

Then, in a Feb. 9 post, Maxson echoed the freakout at MRC division CNSNews.com to the halftime show by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, rushing to the defense of a far-right minister who attacked the show:

A former prep football coach in Ohio, now the host of a Christian ministry podcast, is under fire for threatening to sue the NFL over last week's raunchy Super Bowl halftime show. Dave Daubenmire says the performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira was pornographic and children watching at home should not be subjected to such. The Complex Sports blog and Right Wing Watch ripped Daubenmire for watching the program and then saying his eternal salvation had been put at risk.

Daubenmire said on the podcast he wants to sue the NFL "for $867 trillion," but later told Newsweek that figure was "a hyperbole." "I said it right off the top of my head, I just threw some big number out there. In my opinion, there's not a big enough number to sue them for.

But in benignly portraying Daubenmire and equating him with James Dobson in denouncing the "trash" show, Maxson failed to tell his readers just how racist and homophobic Daubenmire is. Maxson attacked Right Wing Watch without evidence as a "far Left hate group," but ithas documented how Daubenmire has blamed interracial marriage for weakening America and declared that Prince Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle has "poisoned" the royal bloodline. Daubenmire has also asserted that homosexuality must be re-stigmatized and referred to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as "Mayor Pete Buttplug." Further, Daubenmire has declared his "deep respect" for an anti-abortion extremist named John Brockhoeft, who spent years in prison for firebombing several women’s health clinics.

By endorsing Daubenmire, this is what Maxson is endorsing.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 8, 2020 3:52 PM EST
Saturday, March 7, 2020
MRC Finally Gives Graham Sole Credit For The Column He Writes
Topic: Media Research Center

Back in 2014, it was revealed that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell didn't actually write his twice-weekly syndicated column -- director of media analysis Tim Graham did. While both Bozell and Graham refused to comment publicly on the controversy (and an MRC spokesperson ludicrously insisted the situation was no different from President Obama having speechwriters), the syndicator gave Graham a co-byline, though neither it nor the MRC archives applied his byline retroactively to the years of columns Bozell "wrote."

Interestingly, six years almost to the day that Bozell's deception was revealed, his byline mysteriously fell off his column, leaving Graham as the sole credited author. Graham's first solo column was Feb. 19, a rant about long-forgotten (except at the MRC) lawyer Michael Avenatti. The tone of the column didn't change, of course -- Graham has been writing it all along.

Oddly, the MRC didn't see fit to mark this occasion publicly, or explain why Bozell decided to take his name off the column -- though it seems some sort of agreement may have been reached to fully credit Graham after six years, given the precise timing of this move. It's almost as though it was a little ashamed of this whole episode and didn't want to remind people of Bozell's selfish deception.

In that interim period, we gave Graham top billing for his column ahead of Bozell, so we congratulate Graham for finally getting sole credit for his work. Too bad your boss has been such a jerk about this and won't even give you the common courtesy of a public handoff.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EST
Friday, March 6, 2020
Despite Her Extremism, MRC Defends Conservative Answer to Thunberg
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall came to the defense of a newly minted conservative answer to Greta Thunberg -- whom the MRC loves to bash for her purported "radical" and "extreme" views on climate change -- in a Feb. 25 post:

A 19-year-old German woman is being hailed as the conservative response to climate change activist Greta Thunberg. She has condemned climate alarmism as a “despicably anti-human ideology,” and liberal journos are heated about it.

Naomi Seibt encourages rationality in the face of climate alarmism and is seen as the conservative answer to climate change activists like Greta Thunberg. She is currently being supported by libertarian think tank The Heartland Institute, and was reportedly hired as the figurehead of its campaign to question the scientific consensus about climate change. “If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Heartland’s tactics amount to an acknowledgment that Greta has touched a nerve, especially among teens and young adults” The Washington Post wrote in its Feb. 23 coverage.

The outlet went on to describe Seibt as the “anti-Greta.” Liberal commentators were shocked, ranging from slurring the German teenager as a “NAZI” to theorizing the apocalyptic conspiracy that she is “paid to speak nonsense to convince people to continue business as usual and poison us all.”

Aside from Seibt’s arguments against climate alarmism, journalists have specifically come after her for associating in any capacity with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The AfD was described in the article as “the biggest opposition party in parliament.” The Post quoted one former AfD leader Alexander Gauland, when he vowed they are fighting “an invasion of foreigners.

Unfortunately for Hall, the "Nazi" attack is not as far off the mark as he would like you to think it is. The BBC has documented just how far-right the AfD party is, and it's not just an anti-immigration party:

The party's leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, Björn Höcke, once described Berlin's Holocaust memorial as a "monument of shame" and called for a "180-degree turnaround" in Germany's handling of its Nazi past. Picking up the same theme, Alexander Gauland trivialised the Nazi era as "just a speck of bird's muck in more than 1,000 years of successful Germany history".

The AfD has managed to attract voters from the centre right and even the centre left but in the words of Verena Hartmann, a moderate MP who left the party in January 2020 because it was becoming to extreme: "Those who resist this extreme right-wing movement are mercilessly pushed out of the party."

In the words of Matthias Quent, a German expert on the far right based in Thuringia: "Not everyone in the AfD is ideologically far right, but anyone in the party or even voting for the party is supporting a party that has a far-right objective."

[...]

Alexander Gauland, a 78-year old lawyer, has been with AfD from its Eurosceptic start and his political career began decades earlier with the centre right. 

As AfD moved to the right so did he, making a number of remarks condemned as racist. In 2016 he talked about footballer Jérôme Boateng, who was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father. "[Germans] like him as a football player. But they don't want to have a Boateng as their neighbour."

[...]

Alexander Gauland drew criticism for declaring that Germans should be "proud" of their soldiers in both world wars. While SS units were notorious for German atrocities in World War Two, the regular armed forces also committed many war crimes.

[Former leader] Frauke Petry once tried to end the taboo on the Nazi-era term völkisch, which comes from the German word for people but was hijacked by the Nazis to define those they saw as belonging to the German race.

Additionally, Seibt has cited as an "inspiration" Stefan Molyneux, an advocate of white nationalism, eugenics and "scientific racism." At CPAC a week ago, Seibt said she still considers herself a "fan" of Molyneux. The MRC's NewsBusters and CNSNews.com both published a 2018 column by Michelle Malkin whitewashing, as it were, Molyneux as an "author and philiosopher."

Seibt also got caught complaining that Jews are "at the top" of groups seen as being oppressed, while "ordinary Germans" are at the bottom. (Seibt claims the remark was taken out of context.)

Hall also failed to mention that his fellow conservatives are critical of the Heartland Institute using Seibt. Brad Polumbo of the conservative Washington Examiner wrote: "Groups such as Heartland are free to question the science of climate change. But if they want to avoid looking like massive hypocrites, let alone convince anyone, they ought to present arguments and evidence, not hide behind teenage YouTube trolls looking for five minutes in the spotlight."

But narratives are more important than facts at the MRC, so the full truth about Seibt must stay hidden -- even after months of attacking Thunberg as an "extreme" "radical."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 6, 2020 10:15 PM EST
Thursday, March 5, 2020
MRC Works The Democratic Debate Refs Again
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall, we documented how the Media Research Center loved to work the refs by engaging in pre-emptive attacks on the purported liberalilsm of the moderators for Democratic presidential debates. As primary season kicked off, the MRC renewed its attacks.

Geoffrey Dickens asked in the overheated headline of his Feb. 18 item: "Will Chuck Todd MUCK UP Another Debate With His POMPOUS Liberalism?" He then trashed Todd's performance at a debate last wummer:

Chuck Todd’s performance at last summer’s Democratic primary debate was so irritating that even fellow liberals like comedian Stephen Colbert panned the NBC Meet the Press host for being a “complete ass” and “a guy who really likes the sound of his own voice.”

But it wasn’t just Todd’s moderating style that was hard to take, it was his obnoxious questions from the left that he posed to the liberal candidates on stage.

Dickens was echoing a post from last summer in which Scott Whitlock huffed that Todd and "far-left host Rachel Maddow" had "catered to the party's far-left base."(The MRC loves to label everyone and everything "far left.") Dickens then listed "just a few examples of Todd’s most liberal moments since Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, as culled from the MRC’s archives."

Prior to a CBS-hosted debate, Dickens groused on Feb. 25:

Meet tonight’s Democratic debate moderators: One is a Democratic donor and the other one might as well be. 

CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King has a long history of supporting Democrats. According to Open Secrets, she’s donated to Barack Obama, the DNC, and Harold Ford Jr and is “good friends” with New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker. Even while at CBS, she donated to Obama and attended his birthday party. Most recently, she vacationed with the Obamas. 

CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell has a long career of donating to liberals in the form of softball questions and praise of Democratic lawmakers while attacking Republicans and conservatives. She referred to current presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden as “Uncle” Joe but once openly questioned if current President Donald Trump was “dangerous to democracy” and should be “removed from office.”

Yes, Dickens was mad that O'Donnell had a relatively affectionate name for Biden that, um, Fox News has also used.

Curtis Houck did a post-debate attack: "Along with the fact that they lost complete and total control of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, co-moderators Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell joined the seven candidates by peddling a far-left narrative about gun control, fretting about a 'gun crisis.'" (There's that overused "far left" label again!) Whitlock, however, did throw the hosts a bone, praising co-host Margaret Brennan for advancing a conservative narrative by asking "the question that millions of Americans are concerned about. Bernie Sanders’s embrace of dictators."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EST
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
MRC Lashes Out At Story That Debunks Its Anti-Facebook Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

For years, the Media Research Center has pushed the narrative that Facebook as biased against conservatives -- even as that keeps getting proven wrong, to the extent that MRC chief Brent Bozell is having secret off-the-record dinners with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. It's still fighting to keep that bogus narrative alive.

On Feb. 20, the Washington Post published an article detailing how conservatives wield influence inside Facebook, fighting against the platform removing fake news becasuse it will disproportionally affect conseratrives and other policies showing it "has tilted rightward to deliver policies, hiring decisions and public gestures sought by Republicans" and to curry favor with the Trump administration.

This undermined the MRC's anti-Facebook narrative even further and, needless to say, it wasn't happy about it. Corinne Weaver spun in a Feb. 24 post with a boatload of whataboutism that never challenged any of the article's facts:

The liberal media sees working with President Donald Trump or Republicans as a black mark on one’s reputation. For The Washington Post, having a handful of Republican employees means that Facebook fears Trump and the GOP.

The result was a 4,107 word story that was more a whine about Facebook not being left-wing enough.

[...]

Timberg stated that Facebook was described by unnamed critics as having “a willingness to accede to political demands in an era when Republicans control most levers of power in Washington.” In fact, one former unnamed Facebook employee was quoted as saying, “This is what [Facebook] know[s] about Republicans: Tell them ‘yes’ or they will hurt us.”

However, Facebook seems to have had no trouble getting along with Democrats and liberals either, not that The Post cared. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has worked with Democratic candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The Post even brought up the fact that Facebook employees donated $5,171 to Trump in 2016, but gave Clinton $1.1 million in that same timespan.

[...]

More than that, Facebook has allowed Democrats and liberals to help shape its community standards. In 2018, Sandberg wrote that Facebook had a “civil rights audit” which was led by the former director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Laura Murphy. Over 90 civil rights organizations were consulted. Murphy wrote that she “rejected the false dichotomy of choosing free speech at the expense of other rights.” Sandberg wrote that the audit was “one of my top priorities for 2019.”

That endorsement was far stronger than anything the company said about its audit of the right.

[...]

The decision to avoid fact-checking political ads was described as “yet another effort by Facebook to steer clear of Republican wrath.” Ignored was the quiet update from Facebook made in late 2019 that banned the denial of transgender people’s existence.

Weaver didn't explain how  "the denial of transgender people’s existence" is a key tenet of conservatism.

The story was such a threat to the MRC's narrative that apparatchik Dan Gainor issued a press release devoted to attacking it -- again, using lots of whataboutism and failing to challenge any of the facts in the article:

The Washington Post article, “How conservatives learned to wield power inside Facebook” was either ignorant of basic facts or deliberate propaganda. The real complaint was that Facebook hasn’t been as left-wing as other major social media outlets.

“Instead of depicting a company dominated by the left but trying to land closer to the middle, the paper manufactured a rightward shift because the firm wouldn’t do the bidding of liberal executives, employees and politicians.

“The future of Big Tech must be tied to keeping people free online. That freedom requires everyone being treated fairly, but since when has the Post wanted conservatives treated in a fair way. This is why the Free Speech Alliance of more than 60 conservative organizations urges: ‘Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech and free exercise of religion embodied in the First Amendment.’”

The press release added: "While the 4,107 word story detailed every moment Facebook has worked with the right, it ignored the millions Facebook staff have donated to liberal causes and candidates and, most importantly, the influence leftist groups had in shaping Facebook’s content policies and community standards.

Neither Weaver nor Gainor mentioned the fact that their boss had a secret dinner with Zuckerberg.

The MRC is so sensitive abouts it bogus narrative being challenged that Tim Graham was compelled to devote the Feb. 26 edition of his newly solo column to attacking the Post piece. Graham, like his subordinates, knows he can't dispute the article's fact, so his column is one long fit of whataboutism, deflecting from Facebook's kowtowing to conservatives by claiming "that's not what conservatives are finding," then launched into a long diatribe about how "Tom Elliott of Grabien posted a video on Facebook of Sen. Bernie Sanders at a rally" (he did not identify Elliott as a conservative activist) that was flagged for false information because of a misleading, biased headline.

And, no, Graham did not mention the fact that the guy with whom he used to share a column byline had a secret dinner with Zuckerberg. Maybe Graham and Co. should 1) admit that Bozell had that dinner with Zuckerberg, and 2) disclose its contents to MRC readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 4:03 PM EST
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
The MRC's Latest 'Moderate' Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

For some reason -- perhaps to fulfill a mandated right-wing narrative -- the Media Research Center has spent months obsessing over the idea that some Democratic presidential candidates cold be considered "moderate." As the primary process heated up, the MRC's obsession renewed.

MRC officials Tim Graham and Brent Bozell kicked things off in January by invoking a conservative measure of politics:

The American Conservative Union ratings system has been widely accepted as the voting compass from the perspective of the right. According to the ACU, a centrist would look like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has a lifetime ACU score of 44.8%. Reporters could call her a "liberal Republican," and they should, except that term simply doesn't exist. (Don't believe us? Check it out.)

Or take Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is considered a "conservative Democrat," but that animal doesn't exist in the Senate. His lifetime ACU rating is 26.7%, putting him in lockstep with the left almost three-quarters of the time.

Where this all gets ridiculous is the presidential field.

[...]

With extreme socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race, anyone who isn't endorsing a socialist position — like redistributing wealth, abolishing private health insurance and shredding the fossil fuel industry — is categorized as a centrist. Defending the leftist lurch that was Obamacare is now the centrist position in this daffy media dictionary.

The problem here is that the ACU rating is not an objective one -- as even Graham and Bozell admit, it vews things "from the perspective of the right." But however inaccrate and skewed, the MRC now had a narrative to peddle.

Clay Waters complained that the New York Times described Pete Buttigieg as a "moderate." Two days later, Scott Whitlock grumbled that "During the 2020 Democratic primaries, CBS This Morning journalists have repeatedly spun several of the candidates as 'moderates,'" to which he retorted by referencing the ACU sores, though he never explained how they are a reliable indicator of anything. He added as purported evidence of Amy Klobuchar's lack of moderation: "Klobuchar is radically pro abortion, promising to 'reverse Trump abortion policies in the first 100 days.' She supports extensive gun control restrictions and is 'open' to expanding and packing the 'Supreme Court.'" (No explanation of why Whitlock put "Supreme Court" in scare quotes.) Whitlock also used his headline to call CBS "deluded."

Kyle Drennen groused that one interviewer called Buttigieg a "moderate Democrat" but failed to "grill Buttigieg on some of his own radical views on abortion or packing the Supreme Court," adding without evidence: "Bernie Sanders is so extreme that the media are working to paint the rest of the left-wing Democratic field as 'moderate' by comparison."

Graham and Bozell returned to declare that "the Democratic field toes an extreme line": and that "lazy journalists often stick to this false 'moderate' terminology on the campaign trail. This again ignores the fact that they're seeing things from right-wing viewpoint that's not reflective of objective reality.

Geoffrey Dickens declared in a headline, "Don’t Believe the Media Spin: Buttigieg and Klobuchar Are No ‘Moderates’," adding; "During their coverage of the New Hampshire Democratic primary contest, cable and network journalists INCESSANTLY hyped Klobuchar and Buttigieg as 'moderates,' but a cursory look at their public stances reveal that either one of them would be the most liberal Democratic candidate ever nominated to be President." Like the rest of his MRC compadres, Dickens won't admit that this "cursory look" is too biased to be taken seriously.

Waters returned as well: "In its quest to find moderates or even 'centrists'among the Democratic field of presidential candidates to pit against the avowed leftists, The New York Times must ignore several of the candidates’ actual voting records and public policy stands."

Under the sneering headline "They Think You Are Dumb," Whitlock huffed: "The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday waved goodbye to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 campaign with one last disingenuous claim that the liberal Democrat is a 'moderate.' This weekend, all three networks cheered mysterious “moderate” alternatives to Bernie Sanders. Apparently, all you have to do to be a centrist is simply not take a vacation to the Soviet Union like Bernie Sanders."

Of course, Whitlock and the rest of the MRC think you're dumb if you believe their definition of "moderate" is not skewed by their right-wing worldview and agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EST
Monday, March 2, 2020
MRC Is Sad Fringe-Right Blog's Conspiracy Theory Got 'Censored'
Topic: Media Research Center

For some reason, the Media Research Center really hates it when right-wing websites get caught pushing fake news and conspiracy theories. Alexander Hall complained in a Feb. 18 post:

The origin of the coronavirus is still being debated, but Twitter has responded to one skeptic outlet by censoring it.

The ZeroHedge founder reportedly, under the pseudonym Tyler Durden, asked “Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?” and theorized about the coronavirus’ true origins. ZeroHedge was then suspended from Twitter. Forbes claimed that a spokesperson from Twitter indicated that “ZeroHedge was removed for violating its platform manipulation policy, which the social media giant describes as ‘using Twitter to engage in bulk, aggressive or deceptive activity that misleads others and/or disrupts their experience.’” However, The Daily Mail cited a resurfaced research paper from the South China University of Technology, which appears may lend some credence to ZeroHedge’s initial reporting.

ZeroHedge founder "Durden" said that he was suspended from Twitter after Buzzfeed claimed that his blog had doxed a Chinese scientist whom Durden argues was a “public figure.”

Note that Hall doesn't portray ZeroHedge as pushing bogus conspiracy theories -- it's just a "skeptic outlet."

Perhaps that's because Hall really wants to believe ZeroHedge's conspiracy theory. After acknowledging that credible outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times point out that ZeroHedge's conspiracy theory is "debunked" and "fringe," Hall went all in:

Durden purportedly showed a “help wanted” notice from the lab itself, which, translated from Chinese using Google translate, called for new hires who will use “bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases."

In addition, sources such as The Daily Mail have cited a research paper: "The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus," by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao. The research paper appears to have been scrubbed from ResearchGate, but MRC TechWatch was able to view using the Wayback Machine to see ResearchGate’s cached information.

The paper’s abstract observed that “The 2019-nCoV has caused an epidemic of 28,060 laboratory-confirmed infections in human including 564 deaths,” and how “the genome sequences from patients were almost identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus.”

In other words, these “scholars” from South China University of Technology suggest that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

In fact, the research paper being cited has not been peer reviewed and offers no evidence of a direct connection between the laboratory and coronavirus, beyond a map noting the distance between the laboratory and the Wuhan seafood market linked to the spread of cornonaviarus, nor does it offer any proof that the coronavirus originated at the laboratory.

Meanwhile, Hall himself is censoring certain inconvenient facts -- namely, the dubious track record of both websites he cites. ZeroHedge is a pro-Trump blog that has long pushed fake news and conspiracy theories, and Hall remains weirdly unbothered by the pseudonymous "Tyler Durden" despite the fact that his employer has long (and hypocritically) railed against anonymous sources in the media. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, is so unreliable that even Microsoft and Wikipedia warn against trusting it.

This isn't the first time the MRC has defended ZeroHedge after it got caught pushing fake news. In November, Corinne Weaver complained that Twitter "censored" an acount that had repeated a false story from ZeroHedge claiming that Ukrainian officials had drawn up an indictment against Hunter Biden. She complained that an NBC report "suggested the blog that ZeroHedge “first disseminated” on the allegation was 'misconstrued,' it did not cast doubt on the original Interfax-Ukrainian piece." In fact, as the NBC report pointed out, the Interfax-Ukraine report did not mention an indictment.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EST
Sunday, March 1, 2020
MRC Pretends All Attorneys Calling For Barr's Resignation Are 'Liberal Media Pundits'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained in a Feb. 17 post:

On Monday, the network morning shows predictably all seized on an open letter from former Justice Department officials demanding the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. However, the broadcasts conveniently left out the fact that several of the ex-DOJ employees who signed on to the letter currently serve as professional anti-Trump pundits on CNN and MSNBC.

But Drennen never gets beyond identifying "several" signatories -- and even the Daily Caller article to which he links names only eight "liberal media pundits" who signed the petition. Drennen also never explained how this paltry number discredited a petition signed by more than 1,100 ex-DOJ officials (a number that has since grown to more than 2,000). Are they all "liberal media pundits"? Highly unlikely, though Drennen wants you to think otherwise.

Drennen even acknowledged that officials that worked under both Democratic and Republican presidents, then huffed that "no mention was made of how many liberal media pundits were included in the letter. (Eight, Kyle. The number is eight.)

After once again complaining about "the anti-Trump punditry regularly offered by several of those who signed the letter," Drennen closed by grumbling: "The President’s most vocal political opponents are somehow portrayed by press as objective experts who are simply 'taking a stand' and trying to 'instill a broad sense of responsibility.'" But it's the height of irresponsibility and partisan hackery for Drennen to presume that because eight signatories are "liberal media pundits" that all 1,00-plus are.

Of course, we know that neither Drennen nor anyone else at the MRC can be bothered to do the actual research to determine the political leanings of each and every signatory, despite being employed by an organization that claims to do "media research." The slight guilt-by-association smear is all that counts as "media research" here.

But Drennen wasn't the only MRC writer desperate to downplay the letter. Nicholas Fondacaro dismissed the letter as "self-righteous" then grasped at the whataboutism card, grumbling that "there was no such letter when the DOJ inspector general found that the FBI had lied to the FISA Court in order to obtain warrants to spy on a Trump campaign aid." He also insisted the letter's signatories weren't "bipartisan" because "they and the media share the same political motivation: remove Trump at all costs."

The MRC's motivation is to save Trump at all costs, so Fondacaro, Drennen and crew are propbably not the mosdt qualified people to serve up so-called "media research" on this subject.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EST
Saturday, February 29, 2020
MRC Still Downplaying 'Conservative Comedian' Crowder's Homophobic Attacks
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, we detailed how the Media Research Center worked to reframe right-wing videomaker Stephen Crowder's homophobic attacks on then-Vox host Carlos Maza -- smearing him as a "lispy queer," among other things, which inspired Crowder's right-wing follower to doxx Maza -- by saying that Crowder is a "conservative comedian" who is apparently exempt from criticism (though that hasn't stopped the MRC from attacking the humor of comedians who are not conservative). It was only after Maza went public about the verbal abuse and doxxing that YouTube moved to demonetize Crowder's channel, for which the MRC granted victimhood status to Crowder.

Well, Maza has since gone out on his own to make videos for his own YouTube channel, and the MRC is attacking him once more.

In a Feb. 13 post, Alexander Hall complained that "The New York Times gave this “New York-based socialist” a prominent feature in their business section with two gigantic photos on separate pages," then engaged in revisionist history about Crowder: "Maza, aka @GayWonk, famously triggered the adpocalypse on YouTube when he blasted the platform for allowing conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder to poke fun at him during Gay Pride Month. Shortly afterward came a wave of 'carpet bombing' demonetizations and potential rule changes that restricted free speech on the platform." Hall made sure not to mention Crowder's vicious homophobia.

The next day, Clay Waters, the MRC's designated Times-hater, went after the Times article itself, bizarrely and counterfactually portraying Maza as the aggressor and Crowder as the victim: "Maza, whose Twitter bio refers to Tucker Carlson as a white supremacist, targeted conservative Steven Crowder in 2019. After Crowder mocked him as a 'lispy queer,' YouTube was pressured into demonetizing Crowder’s YouTube videos." (Waters doesn't mention that Maza's claim about Carlson is backed up with evidence.)

Waters also insisted that Maza is "no slouch at internet bullying," while conveying further victimhood on Crowder by complaining that the writer of the Times article showed "hostility toward Crowder" by referring to him as "a bargain-bin conservative comedian." Needless to say, Waters couldn't be bothered to describe the full extent of Crowder's homophobic attacks.

The MRC is quite invested in portraying Crowder as a victim. In December, Hall gave Crowder a platform to rant that "the purge is coming" in the form of YouTube proposing content reforms to cut down on "malicious insults" and "veiled threats" -- you know, what Crowder did to Maza. Which, of course, led Hall to invoke revisionist history to claim that Crowder was merely "mocking" Maza.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EST

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