ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
MRC Whines That Curt Schilling Was Fired, Won't Show The Post That Got Him Fired
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has done a lot of whining over ESPN's firing of Curt Schilling:

  • Coward-hiding-behind-a-fake-name "Bruce Bookter" complained that Schilling was fired because he "posted a picture of a transgender person, and made a comment regarding the effort to let transgender men use women’s restrooms."
  • Matthew Balan wrote that Schilling was fired after "Tweeting out a controversial image" that another writer (who Balan makes sure to tell us "moonlights as a cross-dressing musician in a rock band") said "many deemed transphobic."
  • "Bookter" wrote again that Schilling's firing was what "so many members of the liberal sports media openly, and privately, rooted for" but mentioned the image only in quoting another article.
  • Kyle Drennen asserted that Schilling was fired because he "objected on social media to liberal demands that transgender people be allowed to use whichever bathroom they choose." He mentioned the image only in quoting others.
  • Clay Waters declared that Schilling was fired "after sharing a post on his Facebook account against allowing transgenders to choose which bathroom they use, accompanied by a crude photo of a large man in unflattering drag."

Yet for the centrality of the image in Schilling's firing none of these MRC wreiters reposted the offending image. Is that perhaps these writers know the image does not help Schilling's -- and right-wing anti-trans activists' -- cause?

For the record, here it is:

One derives from Schilling's posting that he clearly thinks this image is an accurate depiction of transgenders, which makes us think that he also believes a pickaninny is an accurate depiction of black people.

The only place at the MRC the image appears is in an April 20 NewsBusters post by Dylan Gwinn, though he posts it only in block-quoting a USA Today post that was more offensive to him because it noted that transgenders have a higher suicide rate and Schilling's offensive post probably isn't helping things.

Gwinn ranted that it's "not funny at all" that the writer implies a link "between Schilling’s conservative views and transgender suicide, and besides, "middle-aged white males --by far-- the group most likely to commit suicide." He then downplays the suicide risk:

Seriously, though, people commit suicide for all kinds of reasons. Like, depression, drug abuse, mental illness, poverty, dysfunctional upbringings. All things that apply to transgendered people. And all things that many of them suffered from way, way before they ever knew what a Curt Schilling or a conservative ever was.

Conservatism doesn’t kill. Being forced to watch I Am Cait every week kills. (Violently clears throat.)

Dylan, honey, nobody's forcing you to hate-watch shows you don't want to watch. You have -- and have always had -- the choice to walk away. Apparently, that MRC cash must be good for you to put yourself through such torture, eh?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:03 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 10:40 PM EDT
Monday, April 25, 2016
MRC Hides Behind Levin Again To Criticize Fox
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center still can't quite find a way to criticize Fox News in its own voice.

As it did last month, the MRC uses right-wing radio host Mark Levin as cover for its Fox News criticism. Tim Graham writes in an April 20 NewsBusters post about how Levin was "hitting back at all the election propaganda being spouted by the media and pundits after the New York primary results," going after Fox News in particular:

The Fox News Channel – the Donald Trump super PAC – hasn’t discussed any of this, all day long. Instead, the pom pom boys and girls are dancing all over the place. Telling you that everything’s changed, even though nothing’s changed. They repeat what Donald Trump says. They repeat what his sycophants say, his surrogates say.

Graham doesn't explain why the MRC doesn't criticize Fox News itself and instead trots out Levin to do the dirty work for them. Because Brent Bozell would like to continue appearing on Fox, perhaps?

Then, as befits someone with a mutual business promotion deal with the MRC, Levin retweeted Graham's post, adding: "Newsbusters, a great site where accuracy matters." We assume it matters even more when the check clears.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:47 PM EDT
Sunday, April 24, 2016
CNS Slobbers All Over Brent Bozell's Buddy, Charlie Daniels
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is not just a huge fan of country music artist Charlie Daniels -- he's Daniels' buddy as well.

In a 2015 column, Bozell huffed that critics of the Confederate flag were by extension attacking Daniels, "a friend of mine." In 2010 he devoted an entire column to Daniels, touting how "In recent years, I’ve come to know Charlie Daniels personally." And in 2012, Bozell wrote in a NewsBusters post: "Charlie Daniels, a man for whom I have so much respect, sent me his new video," adding, "Amidst all the anti-American garbage poisoning our culture, it gives me—and I’m sure you—great comfort to know that patriots like Charlie Daniels continue to make such inspirational, pro-military music."

So it should not be a surprise that CNSNews.com, the "news" division of Bozell's MRC, has made Daniels a regular columnist, which he has used to tell lies about Margaret Sanger.

It should also not be a surprise that CNS also gives Daniels fawning "news" coverage.

On March 29, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote what is effectively a press release on Daniels' upcoming induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame -- indeed, all of the information from the article appears to come straight from a Country Music Association press release, so rewriting it and putting a byline on it seems superfluous. Maybe Chapman was trying to kiss up to the boss.

On April 19, CNS' Brian Lonergan repeated a Twitter post from Daniels announcing that he will not be canceling any concerts in North Carolina in protest of that state's new anti-gay law. In other words, not news at all. Fully half of Lonergan's article is biographical information copied from Chapman's article.

As much as the MRC likes to complain about other media outlets giving allegedly fawning coverage to its political enemies, it clearly has no interest in holding itself to the same journalistic standards.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2016 5:05 PM EDT
Friday, April 22, 2016
MRC's Graham Joins Bandwagon to Defend Discredited Anti-Obama Filmmaker
Topic: Media Research Center

Now the Media Research Center is joining the right-wing bandwagon to portray far-right filmmaker Joel Gilbert as the victim of Democratic meanies at the Federal Election Commission. 

MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham writes in an April 19 NewsBusters post:

Our friend Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner reports that the Republicans and the Democrats on the Federal Election Commission are divided over a vote to punish anti-Obama filmmaker Joel Gilbert for distributing free DVDs in 2012 of his movie Dreams From My Real Father, which made unsubstantiated claims that Obama's real father was the communist Frank Marshall Davis.

Lee Goodman, a Republican commissioner (and former chairman) at the FEC, issued a statement accusing the Democrats of “regulatory avarice within the agency to regular press entities.”

In 2014, anti-birther activist Loren Collins filed an FEC complaint against Gilbert, arguing that the filmmaker had a responsibility to disclose his donors. He wanted the FEC to force Gilbert to disclose his funding sources. The FEC only recently deadlocked in a 3 to 3 party-line vote. Gilbert was considered “press,” and thus not subject to donor disclosure. 

Graham is understating the lack of veracity of Gilbert's film. Gilbert's claims weren't merely "unsubstantiated" -- they were outright lies. Even the far-right American Thinker debunked Gilbert's insistence that Davis is Obama's "real father," and his claim that Obama's mother posted for nude pictures has been similarly discredited.

Graham also doesn't explain how being forced to disclose the source of the funds he used to make those millions of DVDs of his discredited film to key swing states during the 2012 election is "punishment." He also doesn't explain how someone who has promoted demonstrably false claims -- and deliberately so, since he adjusted the promotion of his film as its claims were debunked -- should be covered under the First Amendment.

It's telling that Graham cites Paul Bedard, who has also helped to ridiculously portray Gilbert as a victim despite the fact he effectively won his case, as his source. He's such a "friend" of the MRC that he writes a weekly item trumpeting the MRC'slatest bit of "liberal bias," which the MRC then compiles at NewsBusters.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Dear MRC: Hate-Watching TV Shows Does Not Make Good TV Criticism
Topic: Media Research Center

Dylan Gwinn starts his NewsBusters review of the latest episode of "The Real O'Neals" by declaring: "To say that my hate for ABC’s The Real O’Neals burns with the heat of a thousand suns, would be…well…an accurate statement."

Well, if you hate it so much, Dylan, perhaps you shouldn't be watching it. And you shouldn't be blogging about how much you hate watching it.

But hate-watching is what the Media Research Center is paying Gwinn and others to do. Gwinn also hate-watches "Blackish" for the MRC, the latest in a long line of white MRC staffers and bloggers to pass (usually negative) judgment on a show aimed at a black audience.

The MRC's hate-watchers are particularly tuned to any hint of gayness, and they predictably freak out over it when it happens. Alexa Moutevelis Coombs had the anti-gay cow you'd expect when there was a girl-on-girl kiss on the show "Once Upon A Time":

Alas, we know that Disney has not been wholesome for years and once again they are purposefully pushing a gay agenda. Once Upon a Time's executive producers have said their gay advocacy is "important to do" and something that needs to be "normalized," not "marginalized." Last year, when announcing the storyline was coming, they said, “It’s [an LGBT relationship] something we think is due and important to do on the show. This is the world we live in.” But then they became uncomfortable with the hype the news was receiving, saying, "[T]he more we talk about it, the more does it seem marginalized as opposed to normalized."

[...]

It's no wonder that gays continue to be over represented in the media and thus in the public's minds when you have show producers wanting people - especially kids - to think it's normal and every day life. But it's just another Hollywood fairy tale. 

Gwinn also hate-watches the reality show "I Am Cait," about the former Bruce Jenner, and he recently ranted about a "stunt" in which "Caitlyn and the Trans friends that the E! Channel provided him with" checked out a bridal shop. "I too thought this day would never come. Let me fix that, I hoped and prayed this day would never come," Gwinn sneered. "And yet…here we are."

And Karen Townsend was appalled that Smithers came out of the closet on "The Simpsons," complaining that "The writers of The Simpsons have slowly brought homosexuality into the show over the years" and whining that "the storyline is also a piece of political activism." She adds, "What will be next for the liberal writers -- transgender characters?"

Townsend also freaked out about a recent episode of "Empire": "  A familiar subject in prime time television was broached between Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) tonight - fluid sexuality. What is with Hollywood liberals pushing this theme on TV lately?" She then huffs that "Hollywood is determined to promote fluid sexuality as normal behavior."

Really, what good does the MRC apparently forcing (as Gwinn suggests) its lower-level bloggers to watch shows they clearly despise and have no interest in reviewing in any objective manner? 

Hate-watching does not make for good criticism. The MRC apparently hasn't figured that out yet.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:28 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
MRC Documents Fox News Bias, Won't Use The B-Word To Describe It
Topic: Media Research Center

On April 14, the Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen touted how Fox News host Megyn Kelly "ripped into her media colleagues for their excessive and skewed coverage of the billionaire’s campaign." Of course, as we've documented, a lot of that "excessive and skewed coverage" of Trump appears on Fox News itself. But, hey, Kelly typically gets a free pass from the MRC, even as she laughably denies that Fox News is biased.

Now, the MRC has finally gathered evidence of Fox News' pro-Trump and anti-Democrat bias. But, even more laughably, it won't say the B-word.

Perhaps tired of us pointing out that the MRC's political coverage analyses have focused almost exclusively on the broadcast networks seemingly to avoid having to document bias at Fox News, the MRC has at last gotten around to analyzing cable news coverage of the 2016 peridential election.

An April 18 NewsBusters post by Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella admits the obvious:

Our study found that FNC spent much more time interviewing Trump and his surrogates than either of his GOP competitors. Over the past four weeks, Trump was interviewed for a total of 178 minutes on Fox, vs. 106 minutes on CNN and 43 minutes on MSNBC. (Interviews includes network-sponsored town halls as well as sit-downs with a network host, but not debates or live coverage of rallies or speeches.)

[...]

Adding in the airtime for campaign surrogates (family members, campaign staff, or designated surrogates), Trump’s tally grows to 397 minutes on Fox, or nearly 60 percent of the total, compared to 164 minutes (25%) for Cruz and 105 minutes (16%) for Kasich.

We don't know why the MRC excluded rallies and speeches from candidate coverage, even though they star the candidate. Perhaps that would have made the Fox News numbers even more skewed for Trump.

Interestingly, Noyes and Ciandella refuse to use the word "bias" in describing Fox News' hlighly skewed coverage of Trump, though the post given the "Bias by the Minute" taxonomy.

The next day, Noyes and Ciandella highlighted an even more stark example of Fox News' bias, noting that while "the three main Republican candidates (Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich) and their surrogates were interviewed for a total of 666 minutes on the Fox News Channel during this period ... neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave any interviews to any of FNC’s prime time programs during the four weeks we examined, and their surrogates appeared for a total of only 13 minutes — a greater than 50-to-1 disparity."

Noyes and Ciandella given excuse and justify Fox News' clear anti-Democrat bias:

What’s the reason? Since 2007, Democratic presidential candidates have generally boycotted Fox News, refusing to let the top-rated cable network host any of their presidential debates. Earlier this year, Fox News anchor Bret Baier pressed DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz about “letting the Fox News debate team handle” one of the then-upcoming debates; Schultz demurred.

At the same time, FNC’s core audience is decidedly right-of-center. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey of the Fox News audience found conservatives outnumbered liberals by a 6-to-1 margin (60% to 10%), while on shows such as Hannity the gap was a whopping 78 to 5 percent. So FNC may have concluded — not unreasonably — that its audience is more interested in hearing from the GOP candidates and their surrogates than the Democrats.

Those aren't excuses the MRC are likely to grant to the "liberal media" for their allegedly biased coverage. And, again, at no point do Noyes and Ciandella use the word "bias" to describe Fox News' clearly biased coverage.

As we've noted, the MRC has a vested interest in not being more explicit in pointing out Fox News' media bias -- its officials appear regularly on its air, something that would likely stop if the MRC actually held the channel to account.

You can bet that if Kelly or any other Fox News host denies the channel is biased, the MRC will ignore its own research and continue to give them a pass.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 3:08 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Ex-MRCer Avoids Critics In Plugging New Climate Change Denial Film, And MRC's Bozell Plays Along
Topic: Media Research Center

An April 15 NewsBusters post touts how "MRC President and Founder L. Brent Bozell moderated an invitation-only panel discussion on the subject featuring former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, climatologist Dr. David Legates and Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, host of a new documentary from CFACT: Climate Hustle."

Legates is a climate-change denier like the rest,  meaning that everyone involved in the "panel discussion" holds basically the same opinion -- which makes it not much of a discussion at all.

But also note that term appearing before "panel discussion": "invitation-only." It appears that if you held a different opinion on climate change from Morano, Bozell and the others (only one of whom has any actual background in climate science), you apparently weren't even allowed in the room.

That refusal to engage with critics, perhaps not surprisingly, has been a hallmark of Morano's promotion of his little film, as well as Morano and CFACT's apparent lying to continue to refuse engagement. Graham Readfearn writes at DeSmog about trying (and failing) to gain admission to the Paris premiere of the film:

I had previously asked a French group helping to organise the premiere, Institut Coppet, for a ticket.  They had accepted my RSVP, but a few days later said I wasn’t welcome. Other reporters at DeSmog and at the Irish Times had a similar experience of having a 'yes' turn to a 'no' days later.

Morano has told sympathetic media since the premiere that there were “hundreds” of people queuing down the street and that they had to turn people away. But one person who watched the Paris premiere, but asked not to be named, told me the cinema was “half empty” during the screening. An estimated 100 people had been inside for the cocktail reception, the source said. Another attendee told DeSmog after the film let out that the theatre was at best 70 percent full.

Those being “turned away” it seems were those most likely to criticise the film’s content.

Morano also told me he would be at the Paris conference later that week, but complained that “we only have two passes for our organisation” — continuing a theme that denialists were being shut out. 

According to a list of Paris conference participants, the UN actually granted passes to six representatives from CFACT. Three (Morano and his CFACT colleagues Craig Rucker and David Rothbard) were accredited with a CFACT delegation and three more were listed as CFACT representatives in a ten-strong delegation from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, another conservative think tank that pushes climate science denial.

We're guessing that Bozell and his one-sided "panel discussion" didn't mention that Morano refused a bet with Bill Nye (the science guy) on whether  2016 would be one of the ten hottest years on record and that the current decade would be the hottest on record... because he admits it's “obvious” the official records would show more global warming.

CNS' Barbara Hollingsworth did a "news" article on the "panel discussion, which ironbically quotes Legates saying, “If you can’t argue the facts, you have to demonize your opponent.” Or, you know, ignore them completely.

Oddly, while the NewsBusters post disclosed that Morano used to be a reporter for CNS -- where he used his final days there to audition for his future career as a professional climate change denier, first as a PR flak for Republican Sen. James Inhofe and then for CFACT -- Hollingsworth's CNS article did not, though CNS was the MRC division where he actually worked.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:20 PM EDT
Monday, April 18, 2016
MRC Whines About Boston Globe's Trump Front-Page Satire
Topic: Media Research Center

The Boston Globe's opinion section recently published a fake front page projecting what might happen if Donald Trump is elected president. And even though the Media Research Center despises Trump and supports Ted Cruz, it hates the "liberal media" expressing an opinion even more.

Tim Graham dismissed the page as an "enormous prank" and declared himself arbiter of "serious" news: "A serious newspaper doesn't satirize the news. It leaves it to The Onion." Graham doesn't mention that the fake front page didn't replace the actual front page; it ran on the front of its "idea" section well inside the paper.

The MRC's Rich Noyes sneered at the "sophomoric anti-Donald Trump parody" and complained that "liberal newspapers have published a spate of obnoxious, over-the-top covers that the broadcast networks immediately picked up as meaningful contributions to political discourse." (This from the same website that does a post every time Tim Allen makes fun of liberals on his sitcom "Last Man Standing.") Noyes later ran to Fox Business (of course) to rant that the fake front page was "sophomoric" (again) and "absurd."

MRC division CNSNews.com -- which has had its own problems with making up the news --  ran an April 14 story by Susan Jones under the headline "Boston Globe Defends Its 'Unconventional New Approach' to Making Up the News." Jones does later explain that it did not run as the actual front page but in the opinion section -- which means it was not "making up the news" at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EDT
Friday, April 15, 2016
MRC's Bozell Still Pushing Trump-Media Conspiracy, Still Won't Call Out Conservative Trump Promoters
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's pet conspiracy theory -- that the so-called "liberal media" is deliberately slanting news coverage to make Donald Trump the Republican presidential nominee -- is still alive. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham push it in their April 13 column:

But if democracy was organized to give everyone a fair and equal shot to impress the voters based on their knowledge and experience, then this system has been rigged for Donald Trump for the last nine months. The media – not just the liberal media, but some “conservative” media, too – have been the gale-force wind beneath Trump’s wings.

On the nightly network news on ABC, CBS, and NBC, Trump has far outpaced anyone else for attention. 

Note that almost parenthetical admission that conservative media outlets -- which somehow earns scare quotes from Bozell and Graham in a subtle form of Heathering -- are promoting Trump as well, which is undoubtedly a factor in Trump's popularity. But the writers won't call them out by name.

Why? Because the right-wing media leader in creating Trump's presidential campaign is Fox News. Bozell and Co. regularly appear on shows on Fox News and Fox Business -- Bozell has had a weekly spot for years on Sean Hannity's Fox News show -- and holding Fox specifically to account for their Trumpophilia could jeopardize that airtime.

To that end, the MRC focuses only on the broadcast TV networks and exempts Fox News from similar scrutiny.

Bozell and Graham even concede that most of the media coverage of Trump is negative -- which you think would please them, but it doesn't: "Anyone who watches is aware that the network coverage is often negative, but it still denies air time to opponents."

One of those opponents is Ted Cruz, and Bozell and Graham have a vested interest in him, something they wait until the very last paragraph to mention: "Let's have full disclosure here. We have personally endorsed Ted Cruz, which for some might cast doubt on this column. We challenge you to dispute any of what is above."

If Bozell and Graham were truly interested in "full disclosure," wouldn't they have disclosed their endorsement of Cruz at the beginning of their column?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The MRC's Anti-Obama Conspiracy Fail
Topic: Media Research Center

Occam's Razor tells us, essentially, that the most likely explanation for how something happened is usually the simplest one. The Media Research Center should keep that in mind when it goes conspiracy-mongering.

The MRC gave that a go in an April 1 MRCTV post by Craig Bannister:

The White House website has censored a video of French Pres. Francois Hollande saying that “Islamist terrorism” is at the “roots of terrorism.”

The White House briefly pulled video of a press event on terrorism with Pres. Obama, and when it reappeared on the WhiteHouse.gov website and YouTube, the audio of Hollande’s translator goes silent, beginning with the words “Islamist terrorism,” then begins again at the end of his sentence.

Even the audio of Hollande saying the words “Islamist terrorism” in French have, apparently, been edited from the video.

According to the official White House transcript of Hollande’s remarks, Hollande refers to “Islamist terrorism.” 

Of course, if the White House really was trying to "censor" Hollande, it wouldn't have released an uncensored "official White House transcript." But that didn't occur to Bannister, apparently, so dedicated was he to the "censorship" narrative.

Later that day, the White House fixed the video and issued a statement with it:

A technical issue with the audio during the recording of President Hollande's remarks led to a brief drop in the audio recording of the English interpretation. As soon as this was brought to our attention, we posted an updated video online here with the complete audio, which is consistent with the written transcript we released yesterday.

And that's when Bannister went into full conspiracy mode:

This acknowledgement raises some interesting questions:

  • If the audio was, indeed, lost (for just that comment) during recording, how did they resurrect it?
  • If there were two versions of the video, why did they originally pull the glitch-free version, then post the one with the audio missing, in the first place?
  • In the version in which the translator’s audio is lost for the “Islamist terror” comment, why is Hollande speaking in French still audible – except for when he mouths the words, “Islamist terrorism”?
  • Why is audio of Hollande audible for the entire comment, except the words “Islamist terrorism”?
  • Why is the version of the video with the glitch still on the White House website, right next to the acknowledgement that it has an error?

Three days later, Bannister still wasn't done being conspiratorial, declaring that "the White House’s audio-drop alibi is a sham and they, clearly, didn’t want people to see the 'complete audio' version with Pres. Hollande daring to utter the words, 'Islamist terrorism.'"

At no point does Bannister address the main issue: If the White House truly wanted to "censor" Hollande, why did release a transcript of the video with his full, uncensored remarks?

Sometimes the simplest response -- a technical error -- is the simplest one, Craig.

Of course, such a conspiracy -- no matter how much of a sham it is -- can't be wasted just at MRCTV. Tim Graham complained in an April 6 NewsBusters post that "the liberal media" didn't report on the faux conspiracy.

But he touts the outlets that did -- "This story was a staple of weekend news coverage on the Fox News Channel, and Rush Limbaugh shared the MRCTV scoop on Monday. ... Liberal newspapers haven't yet noticed the Hollande-scrubbing story, unlike the New York Post, The Washington Times, and Investor’s Business Daily" -- failing to mention that those are all right-wing outlets that would jump on any anti-Obama conspiracy.

Graham also notes that the video of the purported "censorship" came "Via MRCTV's Ben Graham," failing to disclose that Ben is his son.

The MRC attempt to delve into anti-Obama conspiracy-mongering -- something it wouldn't do not that long ago -- is just another way it's slowly turning into WorldNetDaily.

UPDATE: Bannister is still at it, whining in an April 13 MRCTV post that "nobody is willing to challenge White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest about the White House’s self-contradicting explanation of how the audio of French Pres. Hollande’s 'Islamist terrorism' disappeared – and then reappeared – from the White House’s video." BAnnister adds: "The censorship of a foreign head of state is a big deal, especially when it comes to the matter of terrorism. These questions need to be asked." Again, Bannister doesn't mention that the transcript has been available the entire time, undermining the whole "censorship" narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 14, 2016 2:59 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
MRC's Bozell Slow to Congratulate CNN for Banning Roger Stone
Topic: Media Research Center

An April 7 MRC NewsBusters post reads:

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement praising CNN and MSNBC for their decisions to ban Roger Stone, a close associate of presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for intimidation of delegates at this summer’s Republican Convention.

A report by Politico on CNN’s decision to ban Stone cited his attacks on Ana Navarro (a Jeb Bush supporter and CNN analyst) in which he called her an “Entitled Diva Bitch,” “Borderline retarded,” and “dumber than dog s---.” Stone has also referred to Roland Martin and Ana Navarro as “quota hires” by CNN.

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell:

“CNN and MSNBC should be applauded for banning Roger Stone from their airwaves. Stone’s recent threats to intimidate delegates at the Republican Convention by broadcasting their hotel rooms and his long history of incendiary and offensive rhetoric add no value to the national discourse. Agree with them or not, Trump's surrogates are fine people. But Stone is a thug who relishes personal insults, character assassination, and offensive gestapo-like tactics that should be unequivocally dismissed by civil society, most especially those who might give him a platform from which to spew his hatred.

“The news media have for far too long ignored Stone’s inflammatory words. I hope all media outlets that lament the debasement of political dialogue and the gutter politics for which Stone is infamous follow the lead of CNN and MSNBC. The media should shun him. He is the David Duke of politics. Those with whom he is affiliated should denounce him in no uncertain terms.” 

Good on Bozell for doing that, but he's sadly late to the party. That Politico story on CNN banning Stone is dated Feb. 23, a full month and a half before Bozell's statement. NewsBusters made no mention of the ban at the time, according to a search of its archive.

Bozell is (perhaps understandably) silent on another thing noted in the Politico story: Stone's nasty remarks about Ana Navarro were first flagged by the MRC's liberal-leaning counterpart, Media Matters (disclosure: my former employer).  There's no contemporaneous record of Stone's remarks about Navarro in NewsBusters, either.

It's only when MSNBC followed in banning Stone on April 5 that Bozell was moved to make his statement. It seems Bozell was waiting for enough stars to align agenda-wise to say something nice in public about CNN and MSNBC.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EDT
Friday, April 8, 2016
Does MRC's Use Of 'Protesters' Violate Its Nonprofit Tax Status?
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 7 NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen whines that "security for NBC’s Today expelled a conservative protester on the plaza outside the morning show’s New York City studio for holding up a 'Don’t Believe the Liberal Media' sign." But he waits until the final paragraph of the four-paragraph post for an important disclosure: "The protesters were part of the Media Research Center’s Tell the Truth 2016 campaign to 'stop the liberal media from rigging the 2016 elections.'"

So the MRC is hiring protesters to photobomb TV shows now? How does that fulfill its purported mission to be "a research and education organization"? More importantly, does that violate the MRC's nonprofit tax status?

The IRS states that 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations like the MRC are "absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office." The MRC's anti-media campaign is effectively that -- its thwarted protest is arguably an intervention against Hillary Clinton and in favor of Republican presidential candidates, given how much it attacks the show for failing to uncritically repeat right-wing talking points.

Staging political protests -- which is what the MRC's protesters were doing -- doesn't seem to be part of the purview of an organization under the MRC's tax status. Of course, we're not lawyers, so an actual attorney may differ.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 8, 2016 3:13 PM EDT
Thursday, April 7, 2016
MRC Lets Megyn Kelly Deny Fox News' Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck writes in an April 3 MRC NewsBusters post:

Megyn Kelly sat down for her latest interview with CBS/PBS host Charlie Rose and in one portion that aired on CBS News Sunday Morning, The Kelly File host rejected Rose's belief that there's "a right-wing bias" at Fox News and not a liberal bias across the larger news media.

After playing some clips from her early years at the Fox News Channel (FNC), Rose pointed out that not only is she someone who "doesn't hold back," but she has been "equally aggressive in her defense of Fox News."

Kelly responded that she does, however, "believe that there is a left leaning bias in news, in most of news" and in turn Rose put forth the belief among the liberal media that they're not bias but it's Fox who has an agenda.

She then firmly shot back: "No I don't. I think Fox News is far and balanced. The conservatives who are on air here make no bones about their ideology."

When Rose pressed her on whether or not many at FNC have a "closer relationship with Donald Trump," Kelly did not dispute it seeing as how he's "on our air every day."

Since this is the Media Research Center we're talking about, it's not going to point out that Kelly is actually telling a falsehood when she claims Fox News is "fair and balanced"; it is not, and neither is she. But that's to be expected -- MRC officials would like to continue appearing on Fox News, after all (including on Kelly's show).

But Houck rather dishonestly whitewashes Rose's question to Kelly about whether "many at FNC have a .closer relationship with Donald Trump.'"In fact, as the transcript attached to Houck's post shows, Rose's actual question was, "But does Fox News have closer relationship with Donald Trump, with the Republican Party than it does with liberals and Democratic Party?"

In other words, Rose highlighted Fox's close Republican ties, and it's not clear that Kelly's response was limited only to Trump, as Houck insinuates.

We know that the MRC is in bed with Fox, presumably to keep that sweet airtime flowing its way. But at least tell the truth, guys.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:55 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
MRC: It's Not Biased For Fox To Ask Cruz About Sex Scandal, But It Is Bias For ABC To Play Fox Clip Of It
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck huffs in an April 4 MRC NewsBusters item:

On the night before voters in Wisconsin go to the polls for the presidential primary, ABC’s World News Tonight found it worthwhile to spend nearly its entire time allotted for Ted Cruz rehashing the unsubstantiated smears from the National Enquirer tabloid about extramarital affairs.

All told, the networks wasted 55 seconds (out of the one minute and 16 seconds spent on Cruz) working to help resurrect the story in light of Megyn Kelly’s brief exchange with Cruz in a taped town hall that will air as an hour-long special on the Fox News Channel.

Anchor David Muir led into Republican campaign correspondent Tom Llamas’s report by harping on Trump being “in damage control” after his abortion comments last week and an interview one of Trump’s ex-wives recently gave before proclaiming: “Ted Cruz this evening, asked by Megyn Kelly, ‘have you committed adultery?’”

Wait a minute. Houck is not criticizing Megyn Kelly and Fox News for asking Cruz about about the "unsubstantiated smears" regarding Cruz, but he's accusing ABC for being biased for playing a clip of the Fox News segment? Yep.

How is this not a blatant double standard? Well, Houck has a pretty lame explanation that exonderates Fox News:

At the end of the day, it’s one matter for Kelly to spend a small amount of time alluding to the smear since she had an hour to speak with Cruz, but it’s another for a network newscast with only a handful of minutes to summarize the day’s news and harping on something that hasn’t been corroborated.

So, let us get this straight: It's not bias for Fox to focus on the Cruz scandal becsause it was a "small amount" of a larger interview, but it's bias for ABC to do so because it has "only a handful of minutes to summarize the day’s news."

That's "media research" at the MRC, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Speaking of Stupidity in Higher Education...
Topic: Media Research Center

So the Media Research Center is promoting its MRCTV with ads like this:

Of course, it's not like getting college students to say dumb things on camera is difficult, or anything to be proud of as a career.

But when we think of "stupidity in higher education," we think of MRCTV's Dan Joseph pretending to be "transgender" by going to a college campus, dressing in gym shorts and a tank top speaking with a lisp (because, you know, transgender) and demanding to use the women's locker room because "I have the man parts but, you know, inside I feel more like a woman."

Maybe Joseph needs to go back to college (assuming he ever went in the first place) so he can learn what being transgender actually means. He won't, of course, because the MRC is paying him to mock transgenders, not tell the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« April 2016 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL