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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Will CNS Publicly Fire Its Biased Reporters?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen enthusiastically highlights a statement by conservative pundit Bernard Goldberg stating that the only way to stop media bias is to "not only get fired, you get publicly fired, and the management let's everybody know why you got fired."

Unmentioned by Drennen: The MRC operates a "news" division, CNSNews.com, that employs highly biased reporters like Penny Starr and Barbara Hollingsworth.  If the MRC really believed in Goldberg's advice, it would immediately fire Starr and Hollingsworth and explain that their egregious bias is why they were fired.

Will that happen in real life? Don't count on it -- the MRC wants the media to do what it says, not what it does.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
MRC Gives Discredited AAPS A Forum To Fearmonger About Ebola
Topic: Media Research Center

WorldNetDaily is not the only ConWeb outlet that's relying on the Ebola fearmongering of the discredited fringe medical group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The Media Research Center is giving them free, uncritical publicity as well.

In an Oct. 17 video, the MRC's Dan Joseph interviewed AAPS president Jane Orient, whom he declares is an "Ebola expert" without any explanation. Joseph let Orient suggest that actual medical experts are lying to the American public about how contagious Ebola is. Joseph also gave Orient a forum to rant about Obamacare.

Joseph also let Orient claim that Ebola can be spread by immigrants "crossed over our Southern border" -- which is utterly false fearmongering -- and that terrorists and sociologists think Ebola is a great tool for reducing the Earth's population: "There's been so much talk about how wonderful it would be to have something like Ebola to wipe out 90 percent of the population. There are people who think the Earth is greatly overpopulated and people who would like to destroy Americans and they don't mind blowing themselves up with a suicide vest."Joseph mildly challeged Orient on this, to which Orient responded, "We don't know it's happening, but on the other hand, we don't know that it isn't." 

Joseph provided no forum for anyone to respond to Orient.

In an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com blog post, Monica Sanchez touted an "exclusive interview" with Orient, whom she also baselessly describes as an "Ebola expert." In it, Orient proclaims her support for a mandatory 21-day quarantine of anyone possibly exposed to Ebola, saying that some "exposed health care workers, along with other people, have shown that they can't be trusted to stay home voluntarily." Like Joseph, Sanchez offered no rebuttal to Orient's views.

AAPS peddles numerous fringe views, like opposition to mandatory vaccination and falsely blaming illegal immigrants for a spike in leprosy cases. It also published a column claiming that Barack Obama was using "using the techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis" to get people to vote for him for president.

Yet the MRC think the head of the organization that promulgates such fringe views is crediblly posing as an "Ebola expert." Go figure.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 PM EDT
Monday, October 27, 2014
MRC's Bozell, Graham Bash Opera They've Never Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their Oct. 24 column about the New York Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Death of Klinghoffer":

So why would the most prestigious opera company in America promote this terrorist-sympathizing production? As always is the case in instances such as this, the left pleads artistic license. In The New York Times, drama critic Anthony Tommasini proclaimed: "Of all the arts, opera can use the subliminal power of music to explore motivations, including seething hatreds. This opera tries to explore what drove these Palestinians to take that ship and murder its most vulnerable passenger."

Tommasini declared further, "To try to understand why someone does something or to appreciate the fact that evildoers do not see themselves as evildoers is not the same as glorification or promotion of that evil." He called it "a searching, spiritual and humane work."

After this artistic monstrosity, could a searching, spiritual, and humane exploration of the "seething hatreds" of Adolf Hitler be not too far behind?

No, because when it comes to the performing arts in America's cultural capital, there's a remarkable bias and selectivity among the tastemakers.

Surely there were people who despised Kennedy with every fiber in their beings in 1962 but no one's going to finance an opera sympathetically exploring the motivations of Lee Harvey Oswald. Let's face it: There were those who wanted Martin Luther King dead.

Would anyone ever countenance a performance at the Met — or anywhere else — that might be described as a "searching, spiritual and humane work" studying the motives of James Earl Ray? So why do we need a tasteless work of "art" that allows a Palestinian terrorist project the murder of an innocent American Jew as anything other than what it is — evil?

Like their Media Research Center employee Tianna DiMartino, who unleashed a similar tirade last month against the opera, they provide no evidence that they've seen the work they're attacking.

And as we've previously pointed out, critics who -- unlike Bozell, Graham and DiMartino -- have actually seen the opera note that "The Death of Klinghoffer" does not romanticize terror; rather, it "attempts to counterpoise toterror’s deadly glamour the life-affirming virtues of the ordinary, of the decent man, of small things."

But Bozell and Graham offer no evidence they've seen any opera, let alone the one they're bashing, so all they can be  counted on for is mindless, ignorant bashing.

Speaking of which, DiMartino served up more of the same in an Oct. 23 follow-up MRC article. While devoting the vast majority of her article to critics of the opera, DiMartino acknowledged the critique of a Jewish rabbi who, unlike her, saw the opera and noted that it “certainly reflects the horror and criminality of the terrorists. It also reveals, through the terrorists' anti-Jewish canards, that anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism.”

But then she rants because the opera does not explicitly condemn the Palestinians' violence: "And yet the writer John Adams, the Librettist, Peter Gelb and Liberal critics alike all praise the show for it’s non-bias. For the human element of both sides and the rationale for all involved."

And again, DiMartino shows she's so ignorant that she can't even get the names of the opera's creators straight. John Adams wrote the music, while Alice Goodman is the librettist. Gelb is the Metropolitan Opera's general manager and was not involved in the creation of the opera.

Her ignorance notwithstanding, DiMartino concludes by whining: "Moral cowardice dressed up as sophistication is a luxury afforded by the left’s grip on entertainment and the arts. In the real world, in which real terrorists murder wheelchair-bound seniors and fly passenger jets into sky scrapers, we don’t have that luxury." It seems that DiMartino has decided she doesn't have the luxury to know anything about the opera she's bashing.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EDT
Monday, October 20, 2014
MRC: Criticizing NRA Means You're Not 'Neutral'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center thinks that if you criticize the National Rifle Association, you can't possibly be neutral.

Jeffrey Meyer writes in an Oct. 19 MRC item:

NBC’s Chuck Todd, who on Friday declared that he was “stubbornly neutral”, predictably peddled liberal talking points on Ebola by blaming the National Rifle Association for the country not having a Surgeon General.

Speaking to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bob Casey (D-PA) on Sunday, the Meet the Press moderator insisted that “this seems to be politics. The NRA said they were going to score the vote, and suddenly everybody’s frozen. That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?” 

[...]

As the discussion continued, the topic of Surgeon General came up with Todd promoting the liberal argument that “this seems to be politics. The NRA said they were going to score the vote, and suddenly everybody’s frozen. That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?”

Todd continued to attack the NRA and wondered “should the NRA have a say? I mean, they can have an opinion. But should the NRA have that much influence over a Surgeon General nominee? He's not going to make gun policy.” 

Meyer didn't contradict anything Todd said -- indeed, Todd is correct that the NRA has pressured senators into stalling a vote on Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general nominee, because he has stated that guns are a public health problem (never mind that it's true, and that he couldn't directly influence gun policy if he was confirmed).

Apparently, the NRA is such a sacred cow at the MRC that daring to criticize it is a demonstration of "liberal media bias."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EDT
Sunday, October 19, 2014
MRC Embraces A Logical Fallacy
Topic: Media Research Center

It's one of the most basic logical fallacies: correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Still, the Media Research Center wants you to believe otherwise.

In an Oct. 13 NewsBusters post, MRC analyst Matthew Balan huffed that an Associated Press reporter quoted the "cultural leftist activist" Human Rights Campaign praising what it called a "seismic shift" in the Catholic Church's attitude toward gays during a meeting at the Vatican last week. No, really -- Balan really did complain that the AP "directly lifted the 'seismic shift' term from a press release of the Human Rights Campaign."

Apparently, anyone the MRC deems to be "cultural leftist activists" are not permitted to comment about the Catholic Church.

Balan was so angry about this, in fact, that he ranted the next day that other media outlets were taking their language directly from the HRC:

On Tuesday, the Big Three networks' morning newscasts carried water for the left-wing Human Rights Campaign by adopting their "seismic shift" label about the midterm report from the Catholic bishops' Extraordinary Synod on the Family. On Good Morning America, ABC's Amy Robach trumpeted that "the Catholic Church appears to be making a seismic shift towards gays and divorcees." Norah O'Donnell also used the "seismic" term on CBS This Morning.

NBC's Tamron Hall pointed out on Today that "gay rights groups are hailing what they call a 'seismic shift' by the Catholic Church towards gays," but like her counterparts on ABC and CBS, she didn't disclose that the phrase directly came from the homosexual organization's Monday press release on the synod document [MP3 audio available here; video below].

O'Donnell used the "seismic" label in a teaser for fill-in anchor Jane Pauley's news brief on the Vatican report: "It's being called a seismic move by the Vatican – how the Catholic Church could change its attitude toward gays and the issue of divorce." Pauley herself didn't use the term during the summary:

[...]

During her news brief on Good Morning America, Robach further underlined the Human Rights Campaign's "seismic shift" language by touting the supposed "major shift" in the Church document:

[...]

The previous evening, anchor Brian Williams echoed the Human Rights Campaign's spin on NBC Nightly News, but didn't directly use the "seismic" descriptor:

And here's where we run into the correlation-equals-causation fallacy. At no point does Balan prove that the networks were taking their language directly from the HRC. "Seismic shift" is arguably a cliche, and the interim report being cited could certainly be described as that, even if the meeting's final results ended up being much less so.

Again, Matthew: Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. It's basic logic.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 19, 2014 9:52 PM EDT
Friday, October 17, 2014
MRC Joins Houston Pastor Subpoena Controversy Bandwagon
Topic: Media Research Center

The ginned-up outrage over a subpoena for sermons by Houston ministers opposed to a non-discrimination ordinance is such that the Media Research Center is following in WorldNetDaily's footsteps by seeing political advantage in promoting it.

An Oct. 15 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd cranks up the outrage meter:

The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday that the city's liberal Democratic mayor has subpoenaed local churches whose ministers have been critical of the city's new "equal rights" ordinance. That law requires private businesses to permit transgendered persons to use the bathroom of the gender of their self-identity as opposed to their biological sex. Depending on how the law is interpreted and enforced, it could likely also apply to houses of worship.

[...]

At the very, very least, this is the work of an overly aggressive attorney who has little regard for the bad politics and bad PR involved. At the worst, it's a craven abuse of power by Mayor Parker which may be animated by hatred for conservative ministers who are critical not only of her policies but of her being a lesbian.

Shepherd didn't mention the salient fact that this subpoena request did not come out of nowhere, as he suggests, but is a discovery request in a lawsuit over the non-discrimination ordinance filed by the ministers and their right-wing representatives.

Shepherd even cites an opinion by conservative legal blogger Eugene Volokh stating that the subpoena is probably permissible, then dismisses it by declaring the request is "a fishing expedition."

MRC chief Brent Bozell then horned in on the discussion with a typically hyperbolic rant divorced from reality:

“When the government mandates what a pastor can or cannot say, and criminalizes preaching the Bible, we’re no different than Red China. How in the name of God is that not national news?

“The freedom of religion, expressed at the pulpit, is a sacred right in this country. If you lose that, then religion itself is outlawed unless expressly approved by the state. This is unheard of in America. It is unconscionable that the ‘news’ media are suppressing this from the public.”

We have no idea what Bozell is talking about. No pastor's speech is being censored and freedom of religion is not being threatened; what's being sought are statements that have already been made.

MRC apparatchik Dan Gainor also joined in the politically motivated fun:

“There was a time where journalists considered faith sacred. Now the LGBT community gets that treatment and Christians are ignored or abused by the press. A radical, left-wing mayor aims the full force of a major city on five pastors and demands 16 different types of information from them and … nothing. The networks spent more than 4 minutes on a movie about male strippers and a ‘Hunks and Hounds’ calendar instead.

“That’s garbage journalism, designed so it doesn’t offend the left-wing sensibilities of the so-called ‘journalists’ at the major networks.”

Again, freedom of religion is not threatened. But Gainor is too invested in ratcheting up the controversy; his Oct. 16 column accuses Houston Mayor Annise Parker of engaging in an "anti-Christian jihad" and falsely insisted this is about "the religious liberty of five pastors" despite not offering any evidence that the pastors' "religious liberty" has, in fact, actually been violated.

The MRC's freedom to try and make hay off of ginned-up controversies, meanwhile, is unhindered.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
MRC's Double Standard on Separating Artists From Their Art
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 11 NewsBusters post, Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham expresses his dismay with how a writer was pointing out that Stephen Collins, who played the family patriarch in the TV show, "7th Heaven" and has admitted sexually abusing young girls, was tied to a show highly endorsed by the Parents Television Council, founded by Graham's boss, Brent Bozell. Graham complains that the writer "never acknowledges the difference between the artist and the art, that the actor's sins don't make it wrong for a lobbying group for family-friendly TV to laud the show."

But Graham previously wasn't so eager to demand that art and artist be separated. In an October 2009 column, Bozell -- who, as we now know, was being ghostwritten by Grahamm for years, so we can assume that these were Graham's words --  took a much harder line on the art of director and "child-molesting director" Roman Polanski:

The Huffington Post, the Internet's most infamous hangout for deranged celebrities, carried a series of pathetic Polanski defenses. Winning the Artists Are Above The Law Award was an ambitious film critic named Kim Morgan, who grotesquely channeled the Winger vibe: "I've always contended that Polanski has depicted women with complication, humanity, ugliness and most important, empathy. Polanski is an artist, an acute observer of life's darkness and absurdities on the level of Dostoevsky or Nietzsche."

Yes, that Polanski was so full of empathy as he ignored the little girl repeatedly saying "No" while he molested her.

She then wrote "I write this not to defend statutory rape, I write this to study the visions of a troubled, talented human being, a human being who has gone through real horror himself and a human being who also happens to be one of the greatest filmmakers alive." But she also said she opposed his arrest. She was defending a rapist - but not statutory rape, see. 

So, according to Graham, art must be separated from the artist only when that art is right-wing friendly. Another day, another double standard from the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EDT
Sunday, October 12, 2014
MRC's Graham Won't Explain What George Will Wrote To Get Disinvited As Speaker
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham huffs in an Oct. 7 NewsBusters post:

The liberal media are quite apathetic toward the lack of diversity – when it comes to conservatism, or say, critics of Islam. Twitchy reported on Monday that columnist George Will was disinvited from a speech – not a commencement address – for a column leftists truly hated about the new bureaucratic machinery created to fight sexual assault allegations on campus.

Curiously, Graham doesn't include any quotes from the Will column in question to show why "leftists truly hated" it. But he quotes form a college newspaper saying Will was disinvited for "his conservative views."

But as Graham noted in a June post through the words of a newspaper editor that dropped Will's column, Will "suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status."

Dismissing the seriousness of sexual assault allegations is a conservative view? If you say so, Tim.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EDT
Thursday, October 9, 2014
MRC's Double Standard on Critical Memoirs By Ex-Presidential Officials
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is quite hurt that former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is being criticized for releasing a book critical of President Obama while still in office.

Ken Shepherd declared in an Oct. 7 NewsBusters post that Panetta is an "elder statesman" who "has done Americans of all political stripes a favor by giving his honest assessment -- whether you agree with it or not -- of the deficiencies of the current administration." Tom blumer lamented that CNN "let long-time Obama loyalist Bill Burton smear Panetta as 'sad,' 'dishonorable,' and 'small and petty.' Burton also came within inches of accusing Panetta of betraying his country because we are now 'at a time of a lot of instabilities around the world.'"

But when it came to a different official who was critical of the administration he served, the MRC had a much different view.

When former Bush administration press secretary Scott McClellan published a memoir in 2008 while Bush was still in office, the MRC rushed to attempt to discredit. It grumbled that McClellan's publisher "is a liberal whose publishing house is affiliated with the far-left The Nation magazine and the publisher of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" and was offended at Katie Couric's suggestion that McClellan's critics were reading from "coordinated talking points," but not denying it by adding, "As if that's somehow improper."

The MRC later dismissed McClellan's book as an "anti-Bush screed" and that his publisher "had no interest in a pro-George W. Bush book." It also attacked one commentator for pointing out that memoirs by McClellan and other former Bush staffers show a pattern of "demanded loyalty and suppressed dissent," which the MRC insisted was merely "iberal-leaning psychoanalysis."

The MRC's NewsBusters made sure to publish the Bush White House's response to McClellan's memoir that called him "disgruntled," and Noel Sheppard demanded that "the first question McClellan is asked in any interview" be about whether he believed at the time he was spouting "propaganda" when he defended the runup to the Iraq War. Tim Graham whined that Newsweek was hailing McClellan as a "truth-teller," and Mark Finkelstein called him a "turncoat" and asked, "Was it all worth it, Scott?"

Presumably, that's a question the MRC will not be asking of Panetta.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Pot, Kettle, Black: Gay-Obsessed Tim Graham Accuses NY Times Of Being Gay-Obsessed
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham takes a break from his transgender obsession to spend an Oct. 6 NewsBusters post accusing the New York Times of -- wait for it -- being obsessed with gays:

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The gay-obsessed New York Times is letting a gay columnist whack away at the Catholic church as having a “gay obsession.” No one obsesses about the gays as much as the gays, but you are only allowed to be “obsessed” if it’s relentlessly, propagandistically positive.

"No one obsesses about the gays as much as the gays"? Graham doesn't read his own writing, does he? Pot, kettle, black indeed.

Oh, but that's not all. Get a load of this:

Openly gay columnist Frank Bruni calls it “persecution” for Catholic schools to dismiss employees who flagrantly, publicly dissent from church teaching by getting married to a person of the same sex (currently dramatized by Hollywood in “Love Is Strange”). Bizarrely in contradiction of the facts, Bruni says this political activity is not political and that the activists are not “calling any special attention to themselves.”

Same-sex marriage is "political activity"? Huh?

Graham's not done ranting, however:

The art in the Sunday Review section is at least appropriate, with a big rainbow target on a Catholic church. That’s exactly right. They’d like to blow a big rainbow-colored hole in Christian tradition.

Remember, Graham doesn't think he's gay-obsessed.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
NEW ARTICLE: Tim Graham's Transgender Freakout Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center official just can't deal with the fact that transgenders appear in the media from time to time. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 PM EDT
Friday, October 3, 2014
More Logrolling: MRC Gives Mark Levin An Award
Topic: Media Research Center

The logrolling between right-wing radio host Mark Levin and the Media Research Center has reached a new level: The MRC has given Levin its highest award.

At last week's MRC's "DisHonors Awards" dress-up ball, Levin received the MRC's William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence. MRC chief Brent Bozell delivered a fawning introduction, followed by Levin himself delivering what the MRC described as "remarks about the path to success shown by Buckley and Ronald Reagan."

While Bozell and Levin touted their friendship with each other, not once in their combined 18 minutes of remarks (which included Levin getting interrupted by applause from the right-wing audience for a childish reference to "The Washington Compost") did they mention one crucial fact: the MRC is paying Levin to promote the MRC on his radio show.

This raises the question of whether the MRC's award to Levin is part of their business arrangement.

Meanwhile, the MRC keeps up its longtime conflict of interest regarding Levin:

  • A Sept. 24 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman slobbers over Levin as "a widely respected constitutional scholar, author and lawyer" whose reputation was being besmirched by Lois Lerner.
  • A Sept. 25 CNSNews.com post by Michael Morris notes how "Levin says he sincerely believes that 'World War III has begun.'"
  • An Oct. 2 CNS post by Katherine Rodriguez proclaimed how "Levin ripped into the dangers of President Obama's weak stance on immigration when news of the first CDC-confirmed case of Ebola virus in the U.S. broke on his show."

None of these posts mention the MRC's business arrangement with Levin.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
Thursday, October 2, 2014
MRC Latino Upset That Hispanic Media Is Helping Its Audience
Topic: Media Research Center

Ken Oliver-Méndez, head of the Media Research Center's project attacking the Hispanic media for being insufficiently conservative, complains in an Ot. 1 NewsBusters post:

Univision is out with another ad in partnership with the Obama administration. This time, U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent for Univision morning show weatherwoman Ximena Córdoba to exhort beneficiaries of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to renew the permits exempting them from deportation proceedings for another two years.

“If you are a young undocumented and fulfill the following requirements, you are on time to apply for DACA and obtain your work permit,” says the network’s glamorous weatherwoman, who ticks off the eligibility requirements and points viewers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information.

Oliver-Méndez insists that this attempt to inform viewers is a "highly questionable expenditure of taxpayer dollars," huffing, "The use of such talent in government ads is considered, with good reason, as compromising both the talent’s and their media outlet’s impartiality and credibility in discussing or reporting on government policies and programs."

Oliver-Méndez also repeats an earlier attack on Univision,claiming that "liberal advocates of ObamaCare were cited nearly five times as often as conservative opponents of Obamacare" but ignoring response to that earlier criticism from a Hispanic media expert who pointed out that Republicans generally refuse to appear on Hispanic media outlets.

Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" handled that earlier criticism, and it applies here as well: "Bastardos! How dare a cable network use its reach to help the audience comply with the law!"


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 2, 2014 10:09 PM EDT
Friday, September 26, 2014
MRC Intern Denounces Opera She's Likely Never Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center intern Tianna DiMartino devotes a Sept. 22 item to ranting about Metropolitan Opera's upcomingh production of the John Adams opera "The Death of Klinghoffer," which she denounces as "disgusting, vulgar, and anti-Semitic." DiMartino sneers at the composer's defense of his opera:

Adams argued that he didn’t write The Death of Klinghoffer to be controversial or provocative and was “appalled at how hot some of the response was” to the opera. He felt he was trying to show the humanity in the civilians and Jewish family on board as well as the terrorists and wasn’t picking sides.

 “For all the brutality and moral wrong they,” the terrorists, “perpetrated in killing this man they’re still human beings and have to have had reasons for doing so,” Adams claimed. Seriously? What next? An opera about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and an effort to humanize those terrorists? A tacit justification of their motives?

DiMartino offers no evidence that she has ever seen the opera (or any opera, really) or examined its libretto beyond cherry-picking the most controversial segments out of context by regurgitating the claims of her fellow critics.

As such, DiMartino's attack on Adams botches the truth by ignoring the fact that he didn't write the libretto; Adams wrote music to Alice Goodman's libretto.

In fact, "The Death of Klinghoffer" is a much more emotionally complex production that DiMartino would have you think. Writer Robert Fink examined the issue of whether the opera was anti-Semitic in a 2005 monograph in the Cambridge Opera Journal. He states:

In summary: to call The Death of Klinghoffer anti-Semitic is to claim that it offends because it is an ideologically driven distortion of American Jewish identity, a caricature, ‘agit-prop’, as Rothstein would have it. But looking closely at the opera (and the controversial Rumor scene) in historical context, it becomes clear that theportrayal of American Jews was offensive and upsetting to New York Jewish audiences because it reflected perfectly their worst nightmares about their own conflicted identity as Jews back to them. Beset by Jewish-Gentile hyper-assimilation, the collapse of American–Israeli Jewish dialogue, and the incineration of Black–Jewish multicultural solidarity, American secular Judaism simply did not function anymore. With Klinghoffer, we are dealing not with an anti-Semitic caricature from outside, but a devastatingly accurate insider’s reflection of what Irving Howe sensed in 1989 as anunprecedented ‘deepening crisis in Jewish identity’. Two difficult years later, watching Klinghoffer laid the crisis bare for its New York audience; it was, evidently, akin to standing culturally naked in front of an unflattering music-dramatic mirror.

American Jews did not like what they saw.

Fink added: "This opera does not romanticise terror. It tries for something much more difficult, so difficult that its failure has been splattered for decades over the pages of the American press. The Death of Klinghoffer attempts to counterpoise toterror’s deadly glamour the life-affirming virtues of the ordinary, of the decent man, of small things."

Such examinations of the opera have been around for years -- the opera was first staged in 1991 -- bit DiMartino showed no interest in doing even the most cursory research about it, choosing instead to transcribe what critics were feeding her and adding her own uninformed outrage on top of it.

Apparently, that's all it takes to write for the MRC these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:46 PM EDT
Thursday, September 25, 2014
At The MRC, The Truth Is A Distraction
Topic: Media Research Center

Conservatives had a field day with a picture of President Obama saluting troops with a hand that also held a coffee cup. But when the media. But when some media outlets highlighted a photo of then-President George W. Bush saluting the troops while holding his dog, Kyle Drennen used a Sept. 24 Media Research Center item to cry foul:

Running defense for Barack Obama on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted "some of the President's defenders" pushing back against a video of the commander-in-chief sloppily saluting Marines while holding a coffee cup by "circulating this photo of George W. Bush during his presidency...saluting service members while holding his dog, Barney."

Lauer noted that despite Obama gaffe going viral on social media and "sarcastically being called the 'latte salute,'" it "didn't take long for that photo [of Bush] to come out as well."

The hosts of Today's 9 a.m. ET hour revisited the subject, with Tamron Hall declaring: "President George W. Bush saluted as well in a way that was seen as controversial. He was holding Barney, the dog, there." She observed: "So you have people who don't care for President Obama who say, 'This is so disrespectful!' The supporters of Obama then show the picture of Bush. And then it goes back and forth."

News anchor Natalie Morales chimed in to defend Obama: "He's got a lot – he's got ISIS to deal with, a lot on his mind. So, I – you know, there's a lot more – bigger concerns in the world and we're focusing on a cup of coffee."

Rather then just cover the incident as a gaffe for Obama, the NBC morning show sought to muddy the waters by seizing on a photo of Bush put out by liberal spin doctors and dismiss the whole thing as just another "back and forth" between political partisans. 

Funny, we don't recall anyone at the MRC getting their knickers in a bunch when Bush did the same thing Obama did. That's not a distraction or "running defense" -- it's reporting facts.

Drennen's just upset that the media reported the truth, thus proving Stephen Colbert's adage that reality has a liberal bias to be correct yet again.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EDT

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