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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
MRC Again Complains Historic Event Described As 'Historic'
Topic: Media Research Center

One key component of the Media Research Center's "media research" is to insist that it's "liberal bias" not to despise something the way it does, which manifests itself in whining that a historic event is described as "historic."

The MRC's Matthew Balan does the honors this time in a May 13 post, under the headline "NBC Hypes 'Historic' Obama Admin. Move on Transgender Students":

The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday devoted full reports to the Obama administration's controversial letter to every public school district in the nation directing them to allow transgender students to use bathroom and locker rooms according to their chosen sexual identity. However, NBC Nightly News's segment on the issue touted the "Obama administration's historic new directive to the nation's public schools," and revisited a Massachusetts girl who now lives as a boy. Kate Snow touted how the child's mother says the federal government's move is "protection for him at school — and validation that his rights matter." [video below]

Substitute anchor Thomas Roberts (who has a record of acting as a left-wing LGBT activist) teased Snow's report by hyping that "the Obama administration sends a sweeping message to schools across the country: let transgender kids use the bathroom of their choice, or else." Just before using the "historic" term about the controversy, Roberts underlined that "pushback is coming fast and furious" against the policy move.

Yes, once again the MRC is mad that something historic was described as "historic." "Media criticism," folks!


Posted by Terry K. at 4:53 PM EDT
Monday, May 23, 2016
MRC Latino Dishonestly Defends The Koch Brothers In Fact-Free Rant
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 25 NewsBusters post, MRC Latino's Daniel Garza rants that a segment on the TV channel Fusion on "the dirty business of campaign contributions" was "a fabrication of totally biased political propaganda." In addition to failing to identify a single "fabrication" in the segment, let alone offer a direct one of even one word from it -- he didn't even bother to embed a video of the segment in his item -- Garza responded with his own fabrication of totally biased political propaganda.'

That would be the ol' reflexive defense of the Koch brothers:

The reality is that the Koch Brothers don’t even rank in the top 50 when it comes to political donors in the United States. Moreover, Republican candidate Ted Cruz has made fighting political cronyism a pillar of his campaign, but you would never know it by viewing the fast-talking, morally narcissistic host of the video.

Garza's source for this is a 2014 article by the conservative Washington Examiner, based on data from OpenSecrets.org. But as others have noted, that list counts only direct contributions to parties and candidates and excludes money given to "politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers." And in 2012, one-fourth of the $274 million given to dark-money groups came from the Koch brothers.

As the New Republic's Jonathan Cohn pointed out, unregulated, indirect financing of conservative political organizations is the main way the Kochs influence politics.

There are basically no facts here, just Garza ranting about "George Soros and the millions and millions he and his network of allies put into politics" and "Hillary Clinton getting paid ridiculous and scandalous amounts of money to give speeches for big banks." That's "media reserach" at the MRC, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
MRC Repeatedly Tries To Shield Reagan From Criticism Over 1980 'States' Rights' Speech
Topic: Media Research Center

In a May 10 post, the Media Resarch Center's Brad Wilmouth got offended at Katrina vanden Heuvel's statement that "Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site for where three civil rights workers were killed by white supremacists":

But Reagan's appearance at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi -- which was in August 1980 and therefore not even near the beginning of his campaign -- took place a few miles away from the city of Philadelphia, Mississippi, at a fair that was known for attracting a large number of the state's residents. Even the murders themselves did not actually take place in Philadelphia, making it a leap for liberals to try to connect the two events.

If that defense sounds kind of familiar, it should. Wilmouth issued the same defense of Reagan nearly word-for-word on March 3 (when Michael Eric Dyson brought the subject up) and March 7 (when Bill Maher referenced it).

And if it sounds like Wilmouth is being suspiciously specific in his defense, he is.

Yes, Reagan's speech was not at the beginning of his overall presidential campaign, but it did take place a couple weeks after that year's Republican National Convention, meaning it was one of his first speeches of the general election campaign.

Wilmouth's attempt to evade the symbolism of Philadelphia, Miss., by claiming not only that the fair isn't actually in city limits but that the murder of the civil rights activists also didn't take place inside city limits is laughable. It's highly unlikely that Reagan didn't know the history, or that his reference in the speech to "states' rights" -- which is what the controversy over the speech is ultimately about, though Wilmouth curiously doesn't mention it -- was not a dog-whistle reference that white Southerners would not understand.

Joseph Crespino wrote at History News Network that "Reagan knew that southern Republicans were making racial appeals to win over conservative southern Democrats," adding that "it’s no slur to hold Reagan accountable for the choice that he made. Neither is it mere partisanship to try to think seriously about the complex ways that white racism has shaped modern conservative politics."

David Greenberg added at Slate:

Building on the efforts of Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon before him, as well as of a generation of Southern Republican leaders, Reagan succeeded in altering the terms of political debate when it came to race. Stripping away the crude bigotry that had cost the white South the rest of nation's sympathy in the 1950s and 1960s, he and other conservative political leaders fashioned an ideology in which racial politics were implicit, and yet still powerful. 

Wilmouth's writing on Reagan needs to be a little less reflexive (and a lot less copy-and-paste-y) and a little more tied to reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
Sunday, May 22, 2016
MRC's Bozell Rushes to Exploit Facebook 'Bias' Controversy
Topic: Media Research Center

In a column last week, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell called the New York Times "shameless" for looking into Donald Trump's behavior with women (something the Ted Cruz-supporting Bozell and the MRC could have done when it mattered, but chose not to).

At the same time, Bozell was being unambiguously shameless in exploiting allegations of bias at Facebook in its "trending news" feed (a relatlvely tiny part of Facebook) for his own -- and, thus, the MRC's -- right-wing political agenda.

Bozell made sure to insert himself into the meeting between Facebook and conservatives, being self-aggrandizing in the process as he proclaimed his attendance there:

I look forward to sitting down with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook because, as I’ll explain to them, no one knows more about liberal bias in the media than we do. We have been documenting and exposing it for almost 30 years. Facebook has a serious problem. Trust is everything and now conservatives don’t trust them. My hope is that today’s meeting will begin to put concerns to rest.

After the meeting, Bozell made sure to keep pressing conservatives' anti-media meme, even as he kinda conceded that Facebook isn't as evil as he has suggested:

I think this was a very productive first meeting. I think Facebook understands there is a problem. And I think that from the very top, there is a genuine desire to resolve it. There were good exchanges and overall, it was cordial. We’ll see how the investigation turns out. There has been a serious issue of trust within the conservative movement about this issue, but everyone in that room, on both sides, wants to see it restored.

But Bozell resorted to self-aggrandization in an appearance on Fox Business:

I explained from our standpoint between the Media Research Center and for America, my other organization we have some 19 million Facebook fans. You know, I think we're biggest out there and we’ve never had a problem, but there’s too much smoke to dismiss the lack of a there is a problem within Facebook[.]

Bozell also mocked Breitbart News for declining to take part in the Facebook meeting despite being invited, saying their attitude was kind of defeatist and angry and thoroughly unproductive," not to mention "silly."

But another attendee at the Facebook meeting, Glenn Beck, had a different view of the meeting, painting it as a attempt by conservatives to shake down Facebook:

I sat there looking around and heard things like:

1) Facebook has a very liberal workforce. Has Facebook considered diversity in their hiring practice? The country is 2% Mormon. Maybe Facebook’s company should better reflect that reality.

2) Maybe Facebook should consider a six-month training program to help their biased and liberal workforce understand and respect conservative opinions and values.

3) We need to see strong and specific steps to right this wrong.
It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges.

I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ …

What happened to us? When did we become them?

[...]

The overall tenor, to me, felt like the Salem Witch Trial: ‘Facebook, you must admit that you are screwing us, because if not, it proves you are screwing us.’

Slate's Will Oremus adds:

Beck gets some important things right here. For the conservative politicians and talking heads who fanned this firestorm, it was never about “evidence.” (It rarely is.) It was about seizing an opportunity to stoke resentment and mistrust of the media. That resentment and mistrust is crucial to causes like convincing people that climate change is a hoax or that Donald Trump is qualified for the presidency.

That the controversy is largely the product of cynical conservative grandstanding is not Beck’s only insight. He also recognizes that it is very much in Facebook’s own business interests to appeal to conservatives every bit as much as liberals, and he sees that Facebook is smart enough to recognize that, too.

[...]

But the biggest thing Beck gets right, at least partly, is that bias is human and natural, and that the key is not to deny one’s biases but to acknowledge them. 

Yes, Beck is a loon most of the time, but the fact that the MRC hasn't acknowledged his point of view on the Facebook meeting, and downplayed the fact he was even there, suggests he may be on to something. But the fervor with which the Federalist's publisher (who got that job despite his history of plagiarism) Ben Domenech went after Beck and conservative writer Erick Erickson for expressing this viewpoint ("Beck and Erickson can go to their rooms to play their hit song 'Alone in My Principles' and leave the media criticism fray to those of us who believe it is important and valuable, and have the spine to do it") also suggests an element of truth about the cynical, agenda-pushing exploitation of right-wing "media criticism" that Bozell and the MRC don't want to see getting out into the wider media.

UPDATE: Bozell continue to play up the controversy in an appearance on The Blaze TV, likening it to another right-wing conspiracy, the so-called IRS scandal: "For anyone to suggest that Facebook has a policy against conservatives, it's just simply unfounded. It's silly. The IRS didn't have a policy against conservatives. There were people within the IRS who had a policy against conservatives."

Oddly, there was no mention of Beck during the segment, even though he operates the The Blaze and Bozell brought up his affirmative-action plan to bring conservatives into Facebook that Beck was denouncing.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:42 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016 7:38 PM EDT
Friday, May 20, 2016
MRC Wants To Hide The Fact That Broaddrick Has Discredited Herself
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is on a Donald Trump lovefest because he played the "rape" card on Bill Clinton (and, by extension, Hillary). But for the MRC to keep embvracing Trump's strategy, it must ignore that the person who claims to have been raped by Clinton, Juanita Broaddrick, spent 15 years claiming the opposite and even filing a sworn legal affidvait asserting nothing happened between her Clinton. And the MRC is continuing to ignore or downplay it. 

A May 19 post by Kyle Drennen is upset that NBC's Andrea Mitchell for saying that therape allegations against Clinton are "discredited." He did not mention Broaddrick's affidavit claiming Clinton made no "unwelcome sexual advances" toward her, but he did engage in another act of desperation: quoting WorldNetDaily. He links to a WND article by anti-Clinton author Candice E. Jackson, who interviewed Broaddrick about Mitchell (as well as how "Broaddrick’s life – like that of so many others – has been deeply and permanently scarred by her alleged unwanted sexual encounter with Bill Clinton"). Jackson also conveniently omits any mention of Broaddrick's affidavit.

That was followed up with a post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who whined that an ABC reporter who pointed out the fact the accusations are "decades-old and discredited" was "misleading the audience." He then uncritically quoted Broaddrick's current story about Clinton as a "refresher on one of the incidents." He also quoted a newscaster noting the "factual discrepancies" in the accusations against Clinton but didn't mention the affidavit.

Kristine Marsh noted that on "The View," "Paula Faris and Whoopi Goldberg also went back and forth a few times about Broaddrick’s credibility. Goldberg insisted that Broaddrick had changed her story 'multiple times' while Faris argued it was only 'once.' Sunny Hostin jumped in to defend Goldberg, saying that people were going to question Broaddrick’s 'credibility' because her story has 'been disproven' after she recanted it in an affidavit."

But rather than discuss the credibility issue further, Marsh quickly changed the subject: "The View panel ignored the fact that Juanita Broaddrick wasn’t the only woman who made accusations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton. They also did not bring up how Hillary Clinton has been accused of trying to cover up and silence these women over the years and that is one of the reasons why her husband’s infidelities and alleged crimes against women are important to this election cycle."

Whether the MRC acknowledges it or not, Broaddrick has credibility issues. Continuing to parade her out for the sake of scoring anti-Clinton and pro-Trump points is a questionable game -- especially since, as Fondacaro conceded, Trump himself was once accused of rape by his ex-wife Ivana.

UPDATE: Drennen cites WND again in a May 20 post quoting Broaddrick bashing Mitchell for calling her claims "discredited." But Drennen again fails to explain exactly why Broaddrick is considered discredited. 


Posted by Terry K. at 2:52 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 21, 2016 10:04 AM EDT
Thursday, May 19, 2016
MRC Flip-Flops, Now Fully Defending Trump Against Media Attacks It Refused To Do When It Mattered
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, the Media Research Center whined that the "liberal media" did a critical story on Donald Trump the anti-Trump MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com, could have done months ago when Trump was not yet the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but did not.

Now, the MRC is in full Trump-defending mode. Yes, MRC chief Brent Bozell  once declared that Trump does not "walk with" conservatives, but he's clearly putting party loyalty ahead of whatever conservative priniciples he has. 

The MRC is also contradicting its longtime refusal to come to Trump's defense when he complained about media bias (though that was mostly because he was complaining about Fox News, which the MRC is afraid to criticize lest it lose access to its highest-profile media outlet). But bashing the "liberal media" comes before principle at the MRC.

So, we have the MRC's Clay Waters whining that the New York Times documented Trump's long history of sexist behavior toward women. He made sure to highlight that these "unflattering" stories, "many of them 20 years old," took "five Times reporters" to cover.

Remember it was just a few weeks ago that the MRC was simultaneously claiming that the overall negative tone of the media's Trump coverage was irrelevant but also not negative enough.

Waters then immediately launched into the ol' Clinton Equivocation:

The Trump behavior described by the various women is immature and boorish. But did former president Bill Clinton’s sexual history or his multiple sex (and worse) scandals get this sort of front-page over-the-fold analysis? Hardly. In fact, during the 1992 campaign, the Times referred to blockbuster rape allegations made against Clinton by former Arkansas nursing home administrator Juanita Broaddrick as typical “toxic waste” and did everything it could over the years to avoid covering the story.

[...]

Yet when Juanita Broaddrick's allegation of sexual assault by Bill Clinton finally emerged publicly in 1999 in the Wall Street Journal, the Times sniffed that her claim had obvious problems and defended its failure to cover them, blaming nationwide "scandal fatigue" and lamenting that "smaller outlets on the Internet and cable television" were "overwhelming the slower and more sober judgments of mainstream news organizations" in having the gall to publish a sex candal involving a Democrat president (this less than a year past wall-to-wall coverage of Anita Hill's claims against Clarence Thomas).

The Times did its best first to ignore, then discredit the story, calling the Wall Street Journal editorial page "one of the nation's most conservative and a strident critic of Mr. Clinton." Times reporters Felicity Barringer and David Firestone in February 1999 explained why their paper passed on Broaddrick’s rape allegations in 1992, when coverage could have swung the election.

But it's in the excerpt of that Times defense that the truth -- which Waters doesn't otherwise acknowledge -- comes out: Broaddrick was denying in 1992 there was any attack, and later made that denial under oath. She later flip-flopped. Which means Broaddrick is a liar -- she was either lying then or is lying now.

Nicholas Fondacaro followed up by attacking ABC for reporting on the Times story, in a post headlined "ABC Takes NYT's Bait: Network Reports on Trump Hit Piece." Does that mean the MRC is taking Trump's bait by rushing to his defense?

Fondacaro then latched onto how one of the Times' interviewees, Rowanne Brewer Lane, "has spoken out about her words being twisted by the paper." But the Washington Post's Callum Borchers points out that Brewer Lane is falsely claiming that the Times said Trump "paraded" her in a swimsuit she was asked by Trump to change into; that word appears nowhere in the Times article. Borchers adds:

Many people would surely view Trump's behavior that night 26 years ago as inappropriate — or at the very least, rather forward. He chatted up a model for 20 minutes, invited her to put on the spare bikini he just happened to have lying around and then — while still technically married — introduced her to other guests as a "stunning Trump girl," as if she were somehow Trump's. It's not much of a stretch to call this sequence of events a "debasing face-to-face encounter," as the Times did.

[...]

Even if Brewer Lane's grievances did necessitate a correction, they wouldn't invalidate the premise of an entire 5,000-word story based on interviews with more than 50 women.

But now that the MRC is on Trump's side, that's exactly what it wants its followers to believe. And it comes straight from the top.

In their May 18 column, Bozell and Tim Graham summarize all of this, ranting about both how the Times dismissed Broaddrick (while, like Waters, ignoring that she's a documented liar) and how Brewer Lane's criticism of the story meansthe entire story "quickly blew up in [the Times'] faces." They huffily conclude:

It's safe to say that Trump is no one's idea of Mr. Manners. His rudeness toward women was summarized by Fox's Megyn Kelly at the first GOP debate. And the way Trump treated her afterward underlined it. But The New York Times now has no right whatsoever to pass judgment on presidential candidates and their treatment of women.

Oh, please. Bozell and the rest of the flip-flopping MRC have no right whatsoever to pass judgment on the "liberal media" for doing the job the right-wing media wouldn't in vetting Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: A Fox News-Shaped Blind Spot
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center can't bring itself to criticize Fox News for its pro-Trump bias -- even when it documents irrefutable evidence of the bias. And when the MRC can be moved to criticize Fox News at all, it hides behind Mark Levin to do it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
Sunday, May 15, 2016
MRC Whines Media Reported Trump Story MRC's Own 'News' Outlet Ignored
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a May 11 post:

It’s mid-May, which means it’s time for The Washington Post to unload the cheap-shot “investigative” stories on the Republican front-runner. On the front of the May 11 Washington Post is a story on Trump’s sex boasts….and sex life. The online headline is “From playboy to president? Trump’s past crude sex talk collides with his White House bid.“ In the newspaper, it was "Before candidate Trump, there was playboy Trump: Extolling Lothario lifestyle worked for the developer, but now it behooves him to back off old boasts."

Bill Clinton’s crude sex talk? Not front-page news in the Post. Crude sex talk from JFK or LBJ? Not front-page news in the Post. Remember the 2008 Post story on Obama's sex life? But here’s how reporter Mary Jordan began, by quoting from a Trump radio interview with Howard Stern:

[...]

Notice the Post didn’t locate these 19-year-old quotes when there were still Republican opponents in the race appealing for the conservative-Christian vote. The Post somehow couldn’t find the time for this story until the term “presumptive nominee” fit.

Jordan noted Trump’s exchanges with Stern were posted online by BuzzFeed “this year” – that would be in February. The Post thought they became front-page material on May 11. Check the liberal rag's Romney-haircut-bully-from-1965 timing.

You know who else didn't think Trump's sexist comments to Stern were front-page material when BuzzFeed first reported them in February -- or since? The MRC and its own "news"division, CNSNews.com.

BuzzFeed reported on Trump's sexist comments on Stern's show on Feb. 24. Both the MRC and CNS completely ignored them. In other words, CNS and the MRC could have made a big deal about these comments for the past three months had they chosen to do so. They didn't.

This means Graham is being utterly hypocritical in bashing the Post for focusing on the story the MRC itself ignored for months.

Instead, the MRC was much more concerned about a Trump-Stern story BuzzFeed reported a week earlier, in which Trump had told Stern in 2002 that he supported an invasion of Iraq. This time, though, the MRC was bashing NBC's Chuck Todd for confronting Trump about it.

Susan Jones' Feb. 22 CNS article on the comments was framed as allowing Trump off the hook because he wasn't a politician at the time he made the comment. And the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro instead chose to attack Todd for saying during his Trump interview it's not solely the media's reponsibility for vetting Trump and that "a normal campaign that was running against Donald Trump" should be even more aggressive.

Indeed, for as anti-Trump as most top MRC officials are -- MRC chief Brent Bozell endorsed Ted Cruz and attacked Trump for not being a movement conservative -- they did not leverage the MRC's resources as fully as they could have to take him down.

Instead, the MRC concocted a conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" conspired to make Trump the Republican nominee so he would lose to Hillary Clinton in November.

While Graham's whining about the Post plays into this conspiracy theory, it also shows that the MRC will be acquiescing to Trump by portraying him as the victim of the "liberal media." The fact that Graham considers the Post's Trump-Stern story the equivalent of its 2012 story on Romney's prep-school years -- another story CNS and the right-wing media had no interest in until the Post reported it -- is evidence of that turn taking place.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT
Friday, May 13, 2016
MRC Flip-Flops, Demands That Media Go With Never-Verified Guccifer Story
Topic: Media Research Center

It was just a few weeks ago that the Media Research Center was demanding that the media ignore tabloid reports of affairs by Ted Cruz, dismissing them as "factually unsupported" and having "a complete lack of solid sourcing." Now, the MRC is demanding that the media cover an unverified anti-Hillary Clinton story.

Geoffrey Dickens writes  in a May 5 post:

Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar AKA “Guccifer” told FNC’s Catherine Herridge that accessing Hillary Clinton’s server was “easy. For me, for everybody.” But Herridge, who appeared on Wednesday’s Kelly File to discuss the bombshell accusation, wasn’t the only reporter with the story.

A May 5 NBC News online story reported the Romanian hacker revealed “in an exclusive interview” with correspondent Cynthia McFadden that Clinton’s server was “like an open orchid on the Internet.” However, as PowerLine’s Scott Johnson pointed out, “NBC interviewed Guccifer during his pre-extradition detention in Romania. That means the reported interview took place at least a month ago.”

According to the online article, the interview will be featured on tonight’s (Thursday’s) edition of NBC Nightly News. But the questions have to be asked: did FNC’s report force NBC to finally air the interview and why did they sit on it, initially?

The answer can be found, had Dickens bothered to look for it, in the transcript of a Fox News transcript he attached  to his item, in which correspondent Catherine Herridge states that "Lazar’s claims cannot be independently verified."

Dickens doesn't explain why unverified reporting is unfair to Ted Cruz but perfectly fine for Hillary Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EDT
Thursday, May 12, 2016
MRC Loves TV Correspondent Sex Scandals -- Except The One Involving A Fox News Correspondent
Topic: Media Research Center

Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry is one of the Media Research Center's favorite sources. In February and March alone, the MRC highlighted four stories Henry reported that other, less conservative-biased media didn't cover (or "censored," in the MRC's favorite parlance).

But the MRC hasn't mentioned Henry since March 30. In early May, Henry was taken off the air after reports surfaced of the married Henry having an affair with a Las Vegas hostess.

The MRC has yet to mention this scandal to its readers -- which is funny, because it normally has no problem delilghting in the personal peccadilloes of TV correspondents.

In 2011, the MRC reported on NBC correspondent Chris Hansen "caught on hidden camera having an affair with a woman 21 years younger than him" after a sting operation by the National Enquirer (the same folks whose report of affairs by Ted Cruz were dismissed by the MRC). Aubrey Vaughn smugly added: "While there is nothing illegal about Hansen's affair, his being caught by hidden cameras is quite ironic, considering he used the same hidden camera setup to catch unsuspecting predators on his television program during its four-year run."

And when CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft was caught in an affair, NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick couldn't get enough. In one post, he salaciously asked to "let us look at the kinky details already revealed which Kroft does not deny," which include "kinky tastes such as drinking champagne ala tush and is an incredible cheapskate."

And in another post, Gladnick chortled about the "karmatic kickback" of being ambushed by a (right-wing) New York Post reporter about the affair (who asked, "How do you live with yourself?"), complete with a "review some of the New York Post highlights (or lowlights) of the scandal." Gladnick called the footage of the ambush "must see video."

Needless to say, the New York Post and the MRC's own ambush guy, Dan Joseph, aren't gearing up to pounce on Henry to ask, "How do you live with yourself?" -- the former because the Post and Fox News have the same owner and would never trash a co-worker, and the latter because MRC employees from Brent Bozell on down love to appear on Fox News and wouldn't dare jeopardize that.

If Henry was still working for CNN, Gladnick and the rest of the MRC crew would be pouncing on his affair and gleefully reporting the even more salacious details emerging. But being a Fox News employee with a history of supplying conservative-friendly talking points earns you a free pass from further embarrassment from the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Trump-Media Conspiracy
Topic: Media Research Center
According to the Media Research Center, the "liberal media" (which somehow includes Fox News) is conspiring to make Donald Trump the presidential nominee. And MRC friend Ted Cruz is more than happy to parrot it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EDT
Monday, May 9, 2016
MRC Still Hiding Behind Levin To Criticize Fox News -- But It's Getting A Little Bolder
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a lot of trouble criticizing Fox News -- where MRC chief Brent Bozell has a weekly segment and he and his underlings make regular appearances -- so it uses right-wing talk radio host (and friend of the MRC) Mark Levin to serve as cover.

It does so again via a May 4 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham: "In a LevinTV video made publicly available, conservative author and talk-radio host Mark Levin slammed Fox News for allowing Donald Trump to spread the bizarre National Enquirer smear of Ted Cruz’s father Rafael, suggesting that he was “caught on camera” standing next to John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in 1963."

Graham -- who we can assume is lockstep with Bozell as endorsing Ted Cruz -- keeps the passive Fox voice while quoting Levin or others citing Levin  criticizing Fox News:

Levin offered the same message on his radio show on Tuesday night: “You’re not a news channel anymore. You’re the Fox Channel,” Levin said. “And what the hell is with the hosts on the Fox & Friends show? That didn't even challenged Donald Trump!...Not a damn question! Nothing! Zero!” He also roasted Fox’s The Five for “laughing” about the Trump smear. "They have humiliated themselves,” Levin said. “Does Donald sound like he’s cutting a joke [with this JFK allegation]? Does Kilmeade sound like he’s laughing? No, it’s very serious.”

Over at The Right Scoop, they report Trump also spread the Cruz smear on Sean Hannity's national talk radio show without a serious challenge. When Trump unspooled his smear, Hannity asked "Was that verified ever?" Trump replied "They wouldn't let it in if they could be sued...they're very big professionals." Trump also claimed against videotaped reality  that "I  don't think Ted Cruz denied it at his news conference." Hannity then said "I don't know the truth or veracity of it, but let me move on....."

Graham doesn't mention that for years Bozell had (may may still have) a weekly segment on Hannity's Fox News show in which he regurgitates the MRC's greatest hits of that week. For Graham to call out Hannity in this fairly passive way is probably the closest the MRC has come to bashing Fox News for its Trump fanboyism. After all, even when the MRC demonstrated Fox News' pro-Trump bias, it wouldn't even use the B-word in doing so.

Graham even committed the unusual (for the MRC) tactic of praising CNN's Jake Tapper for being hard on Trump for his atack on Cruz, but he still stayed passive by adding: "A 'pro-truth position' is what we should expect any news channel or journalism organization to take."

Now if Graham could explicitly admit that Fox News is the organization that needs to take that "pro-truth position" regarding Trump, we'd have some real evidence that the MRC actually does care about media research.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Sunday, May 8, 2016
MRC's Double Standard on Criticizing A Film The Critic Hasn't Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

Craig Bannister complains in a May 3 MRCTV blog post:

When critics trash a film, they’ve usually actually seen it – but, not ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel. So, the filmmaker of movie debunking climate hysteria is challenging Kimmel to attend a private screening.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host used seven minutes of his Monday show to mock a climate skeptic’s film he obviously hadn’t seen – since he repeats the very alarmist talking points the film debunks.

Kimmel bashed “Climate Hustle,” a climate skeptic film that aired in 400 theaters nationwide Monday, by making misleading, unsupportable, and inaccurate claims, and personally attacking Gov. Sarah Palin for supporting the film.

Funny, the MRC used to have no trouble with people trashing movies they've never seen. Heck, it paid people to do it.

As we documented back in 2014, the MRC's Katie Yoder bashed the film "Obvious Child" for being an "abortion comedy" in a piece that appeared a full five days before the film's release -- meaning that she could not possibly have seen the film before her trashing. After getting called out on that, Yoder actually defends her ignorance, complainiong that people who have actually watched the movie -- unlike her -- are expressing positive opinions about it.

Finally, a couple weeks later, Yoder further defended her ignorance, claiming that criticism of her for bashing a movie she's never seen is "bogus" because the movie's plot point about "the destruction of innocent human life" is "something nearly impossible to contextualize and utterly repulsive as a romantic comedy plot device. But later in the column, she admitted to finally sitting through the film with a completely closed mind, declaring that "I’m only more determined to continue my 'bashing.'"

But Yoder -- who treated viewing the film as a chore to mollify critics instead of the open-minded fact-finding mission a real writer would have done -- is really upset that the film won't demonize a character who has an abortion, as Yoder and her MRC colleagues strive to do in real life.

Why is the MRC allowed to attack something they've never seen while Jimmy Kimmel isn't? Bannister doesn't explain.

Bannister also got a comment from "Climate Hustle" producer Marc Morano on being bashed signt unseen -- something the MRC's Yoder couldn't be bothered to do with the producers of "Obvious Child" -- without disclosing that Morano used to work for the MRC or that MRC boss Brent Bozell hosted a biased discussion of the film after last week's theater showing of the film.

Bannister also failed to mention the fact that critics of the flim were barred by Morano and his CFACT organization from even being allowed to attend previous screenings of it. That be one reason why people are resorting to criticizing it without seeing it -- because they've been prohibited from doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 PM EDT
Friday, May 6, 2016
Again! MRC Touts Cruz Regurgitating MRC's Trump-Media Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is very much invested in its conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is deliberately colluding to make Donald Trump the Republican nominee so he'll be beaten by Hillary in November. So every time Ted Cruz regurgitates said conspiracy theory, the MRC is more than happy to amplify it -- something it has done twice so far.

And the MRC does it again. Nicholas Fondacaro does the honors in a May 1 post:

Sparks flew Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press when Senator Ted Cruz called out the liberal media for their pro-Donald Trump coverage and their biased executives. “The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don't hold him accountable,” said the Senator during a very long heated interview with the host Chuck Todd. An exchange where Todd was visible agitated by what the senator from Texas was saying about his profession.

[...]

Todd wanted to talk about the numbers. So talk about the numbers Cruz did. “Well, actually, with all due respect the media has given $2 billion of free advertising to Donald,” stated Cruz. The claim by Cruz can be backed up by a number of Media Research Center studies. In January the MRC found that very little of coverage of Trump was about his very liberal past. An MRC study from February found that Trump was receiving three times the coverage his next two rivals were receiving. The trend sky rocketed in April when the “big three” networks bathed Trump in five times more coverage than his rivals, yet another MRC study found.

[...]

“The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don't hold him accountable,” Cruz continued, “Now, I'm sure the media planned to do so if he's the nominee in general election. Suddenly you'll hear every day about Donald Trump's tax returns.”

Many on the right speculate that is what the liberal media has planned for Trump. Citing how the media played nice with John McCain in ‘08 and Mitt Romney in ’12, but then took the gloves off after the Republican National Convention. Although Todd may not like it, Cruz is right to point out that the media does have a bias for Trump. He drives up their ratings and they think Hillary can beat him. What’s not to like about him for the media? 

Needless to say, neither Cruz nor Fondacaro bfrought up the fact that Fox News -- definitely not part of the "liberal media" -- has been the biggest Trump booster of them all. Wouldn't want to ruin a perfectly good conspiracy theory, after all.

Cruz, however, did criticize Fox News' obsession with Trump a couple days later, declaring that "Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes at Fox News have turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network, 24/7." But you won't find that clip anywhere at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EDT
Thursday, May 5, 2016
MRC Attacks Media For Accurately Reporting Cruz's Dire Prospects in Indiana Primary
Topic: Media Research Center

Apparently, it's "biased" for the media to report pre-election polling if those polls reflect bad on a candidate the head of the Media Research Center has endorsed. That's what we glean from Kristine Marsh's May 2 MRC NewsBusters item:

The evening news broadcasts set the negative tone for Ted Cruz Monday night, all virtually predicting that Cruz would lose to Trump in Indiana and his chances at the nomination were slim to none.

The path to the nomination “appears to have run out for Ted Cruz” Scott Pelley intoned on CBS Evening News. “After being crushed” by Trump in the most recent primary, Scott Pelley stated, Cruz was “likely looking at another loss” tomorrow. CBS all but declared Trump the winner of Indiana as correspondent Major Garrett noted the “frantic pace” at which Cruz was campaigning in Indiana, claiming it matched the Senator’s “sense of anxiety” about his “standing in the polls” which show an impending “Cruz-crushing sweep” in Trump’s favor.

Which is, of course, exactly what happened. Marsh has yet to write a follow-up piece admitting the networks were correct in reporting pre-election polling that turned out to be accurate.

Nicholas Fondacaro continued the bash-the-truth tone in a post complaining that "With the Indiana primary a day away the liberal media is franticly pushing the narrative that Ted Cruz is going to lose and Donald Trump is destined to be the nominee." He singles out Bloomberg TV's "With All Due Respect":

Co-host of the show John Heilemann declared Indiana was the end of line for Cruz, “this was the last stand for the Never Trump movement.”

[Republican operative Nicolle] Wallace claimed that her experience in being a part of failed campaigns gave her unique insight to recognizing Cruz’s was failing, “I have been inside a campaign in their final days. And I think there are things you know and things you say, and I get the distinct impression watching Ted Cruz there.” Wallace claimed the election outcome was so obvious everyone including Cruz knows what’s coming, “I think he knows exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Heilemann threw the spin into overdrive by claiming Cruz could drop out of the race Tuesday night. “If it’s a shellacking tomorrow, if Trump wins by 15 points as the NBC/Marist/Wall Street Journal poll suggests, or more,” Heilemann heavily speculated, “It's not outside the realm of possibility that Cruz will quit, I think. Not outside the realm of possibility.” When a candidate like Cruz is saying that Trump is the same as Hillary Clinton it’s are to argue that he’s going to just surrender. 

Which, again, is exactly what happened. Like Marsh, Fondacaro has yet to apologize.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:11 PM EDT

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