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Friday, June 24, 2016
MRC's Graham Mad That Columnist Accurately Described the Sad State of Right-Wing Media
Topic: Media Research Center

Poor Tim Graham. He still thinks there's such a thing as right-wing journalism with integrity.

In a June 25 NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center director of media analysis takes umbrage at conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker (because Parker refuses to march in lockstep with the right-wing agenda and is willing to criticize Trump, Graham sneers that she merely "is mistaken for a Republican") for correctly pointing out that "mostly to blame for the demonization of the media broadly are faux news media outlets, Republicans and their cohorts" who are also cheering Donald Trump's petulantly stripping the Washington Post of press credentials, and adding that most conservative news sources are little more than "aggregators dependent upon the mainstream media for their bread and butter" and that "Kill the messenger is their operating principle."

Unsaid by Parker: "Kill the messenger" is the operating prinicple of the MRC. Graham didn't admit that either, but that got him in a tizzy:

This only proves Kathleen Parker wouldn't know the conservative blogosphere if it invaded her computer like a virus. In her mind, there can't be a vibrant conservative media that represent the public and a "free and independent press." Only the liberal media is authentically described as original journalism. That's wildly inaccurate and arrogant. 

Graham is careful to mention how Parker's description of the conservative news media fits the MRC's own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, to a T. It's enough of an aggregator that it subscribes to the Associated Press -- which the rest of the MRC loves to bash as hopelessly liberal -- and what passes for original journalism on the site is largely cherry-picking government statistics to make Obama look bad, shilling for right-wing causes (like the oil industry) and republishing anti-gay screeds from Franklin Graham and other gay-bashers.

If Parker's critique of the right-wing media is "wildly inaccurate and arrogant," how come it looks so much like the "news" outlet the MRC runs? Graham doesn't have an answer for that. Heck, he didn't even provide a list of right-wing outlets that do anything approaching good journalism.

The rest of Graham's post is spent justifying Trump's attack on the Post by bashing other Post columnists critical of Trump, further endorsing Trump's war on the Post.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2016
MRC Decries The Negative Trump Coverage It Once Demanded
Topic: Media Research Center

How times change at the Media Research Center when Donald Trump is involved.

In February, the MRC was grumbling that the broadcast TV networks had done only one story on the Trump University scam since Trump's presidential campaign started. Mike Ciandella portrayed it as a legitimate story because of its "ongoing nature."

As recently as the end of April, the MRC was complaining that media coverage of Trump wasn't negative enough -- despite also claiming that the negative tone of Trump's media coverage was irrelevant. The MRC's Curtis Houck further complained that one network "failed to report on the major news" that a class-action lawsuit against Trump University would be going to trial. Houck added: "The lawsuit going to trail [sic] could mean bad news for Trump, especially when he has claimed he could have settled it whenever he wanted. Will this latest development sway voters one way or the other? We’ll have to wait and see."

But then Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination -- and the MRC climbed about the Trump train and started complaining about the negative media coverage they previously demanded. For instance, Samantha Cohen hissed in a June 10 post, in boldface no less: "We also have a mainstream media who is talking about Trump University. Every. Single. Day."

Now, the flip is complete with an MRC study complaining about all the negative Trump coverage it once demanded or deemed irrelevant. Writes Rich Noyes in a June 20 MRC article:

Voters who have relied on the network evening newscasts for information about the 2016 presidential candidates saw four times more airtime devoted to controversies involving presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump than to the scandals surrounding his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

And among those negative Trump stories is Trump University -- which the MRC specifically demanded more coverage of in February. 

As usual, the MRC's study is unusually narrow, focusing only on network evening newscats and completely ignoring cable news.

Curiously, Noyes always refers to issues regarding Trump as "controversies,"  while regularly referring to Clinton's issues as "scandals." Not once does Noyes refer to a Trump controversy as a "scandal," though you'd think the scammy Trump University would be one.

"The networks have left no stone unturned in their vetting of Trump," Noyes whined -- which is exactly what the MRC wanted the media to do. It has no right to complain now, especially when the MRC has its own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, that could have vetted Trump during the primary process but chose not to.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
MRC's Graham Mad That Anderson Cooper Pointed Out Florida AG's Hypocrisy on Gays
Topic: Media Research Center

CNN's Anderson Cooper did a tough interview last week with Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on gay-related issues following the Orlando massacre, and the Media Research Center's Tim Graham didn't like that one bit. In a June 16 post, Graham was even upset that Cooper defended the interview:

On Wednesday night, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper spent almost 14 minutes defending himself against Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s complaints about how he “grilled” her (a word CNN even used) about being an anti-gay politician in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Cooper lamely claimed he was “respectful” before, during and after the interview and denied he was showing anger....and in the denial showed all the same disrespect and anger (and disingenousness) he brought to the original interview.

[...]

Bondi clearly (and wrongly) expected this was going to be a Moment of National Unity interview where everyone could express horror and sympathy as they stood in front of a hospital housing the wounded. Instead, the gay anchorman decided it was time to get angry about the gay agenda, and imply she had never acknowledged the humanity of gays before. But hey, that’s not “anger,” because Cooper didn’t raise his voice. It was just Cooper doing his job “to hold people accountable.” 

But while Graham is accusing Cooper of being "dishonest" -- he puts it right in the headline ofhispost -- he's also being dishonest in his reflexive Cooper-bashing and Bondi-defending.

For instance, in a transcript of Cooper defending the interview, Graham boldfaced a section in which Cooper states that Bondi "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayer money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry. Now, good people can and do disagree on that issue" -- then failed to boldface a section immediately following, where cooper states that "Ms. Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors for the very right allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones, that's a right that wouldn't exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way," which arguably better encapsulates the point Cooper was trying to make.

But Graham then leaps to a statement Cooper made after that -- "I think it is fair to ask about that. There is an irony" -- which set off another rant:

There’s an “irony” in sympathizing with gay people when they’ve just been shot dead. Apparently, Cooper thinks the un-ironic homophobe should express delight? The most dishonest thing Cooper said above is "everyone has a right to their opinion" and " good people can disagree," which he clearly does not believe. Otherwise, he wouldn't be protesting that Bondi never tweeted out support for Gay Pride Month. Apparently, everyone must tweet their support for Gay Pride Month, or they shouldn't express regrets after a mass shooting.

Graham also gave Bondi a pass on her dishonest complaints about the interview -- that the interview was edited, which was impossible since it was shown live (it was apparently edited for rebroadcasts and the web which Graham baselessly accused Cooper of having a personal hand in doing), and that she was booked to appear on CNN only to talk about post-violence insurance scams. Graham didn't boldface that in the Cooper transcript, highlighting instead Cooper's statement that instead of touching on other subjects Bondi suggested talking about, he asked her about actions that "seemed contradictory to her record in dealing with gays and lesbians in the state."

Now, if Bondi was a Democrat and Cooper worked for Fox News and conducted a similarly challenging interview on a subject near and dear to conservative hearts, Graham would be lauding him as tough and fearless and wouldn't be smearing him as biased. In short, he'd be getting the Megyn Kelly treatment.

But because Bondi is Republican and Cooper is gay -- LGBT folks are a particular berzerk button for Graham --  Bondi must be defended and Cooper must be attacked. Graham gets paid good money to do that.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
MRC Approves of Trump's Petulant War on the Washington Post
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their June 15 column:

The Washington Post defined the old term "high dudgeon" when Donald Trump took away its press credentials for being "phony and dishonest."

The paper triggered Trump's act with a loaded headline: "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting." This could be believable, since Trump bizarrely suggested Sen. Ted Cruz's father was connected to the JFK assassination.

But this time, the Post invented a story.

Trump had told Fox News, "we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he's got something else in mind." He again blasted Obama for refusing to use the words "radical Islamic terrorism," suggesting he might have a dangerous softness toward radical Islam.

To our pro-Obama press that was a nasty slur. But aren't these the same journalists who constantly suggested that President George W. Bush's war on terrorism wasn't tough or smart and only aided the terrorist cause?

No, Messrs. Bozell and Graham, the Post did not "invent a story." Trump has adamantly refuised to explain what he meant by his Obama-bashing remarks -- Trump himself said that "I’ll let people figure that out for themselves" -- so, by definition, no interpretation of what he said can be "invented," even the Post's headline claim that Trump was suggesting Obama was involved with the Orlando massacre, which even Bozell and Graham admit is a "believeable" interpretation.

In case there was any doubt about whether the formerly Trump-hating Bozell is now fully aboard the Trump train, he and Graham enthuse: "Many imagine Trump as a wonderful breath of fresh air, refusing to indulge the arrogant elites in the press."

In other words, the MRC couldn't be happier that Trump pulled the Post's media credentials.

Graham came to an even bolder defense of Trump the next day by attacking NPR media critic David Folkenflik for accurately pointing out that, in Graham's words, "Donald Trump as a crybaby who can't handle rude press coverage." Graham doesn't bother todispute the accuracy of Folkenflik's assessmesnt; instead, he complains about how Folkenflik addressed Trump on the subject of pulling the Post's credentials: "Well, look, boo-hoo! This is the job, man! You know, you're going to run for president. You have to face scrutiny. You've got to take the lumps."

Graham goes on to justify Trump's action against the Post by citing examples of "the remarkable hostility the paper has shown Trump, which are mostly limited to a few op-eds and a couple in house editorials noting that Trump's plan to remove all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. would be "a forced movement on a scale not attempted since Stalin or perhaps Pol Pot." Graham didn't cite an example of what would be a more favorable comparison.

Graham then displayed his own Trump-like petulance by posting screenshots of his Twitter fight with Folkenflik. In it, Folkenflik pointed out Trump's anti-media attacks wuch as having proposed loosening libel laws, threatening to sic anti-trust lawyers on Post Jeffrey Bezos, mocking a disabled reporter and "point[ing] out reporters for denigration at rallies."

Graham responded by obsessing about Hillary and painting Trump as the victim of the media: "Folkenflik failed -- like many other liberals -- to balance the ledger by noting Hillary Clinton's hostility to the press, even though she has much less to complain about than Trump."

This, by the way, from the "media research" outfit that was complaining just a couple months ago that the media's coverage of Trump wasn't negative enough. Times change when you board the Trump train.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
Monday, June 20, 2016
MRC Denies Military Heritage of AR-15 Rifle
Topic: Media Research Center

Following the Orlando massacre, the Media Research Center immediately and predictably turned into agents for the gun lobby, insisting that only Islam, not gun control, was the issue that needed to be addressed. Also predictably, the MRC has peddled some dishonest propaganda in the process.

In a June 13 post, Nicholas Fondacaro complained that some in the media were calling the AR-15 rifle, which shooter Omar Makeem was originally believed to have used in committing the massacre, was "built for the military" and is a "weapon of war." FOndacaro insisted that the AR-15 "it’s not a 'weapon of war.' The AR-15 was designed to replicate the look of military weapons, a benefit being their ergonomic design. If a buyer wanted, they could purchase a weapon made of wood with same capabilities as an AR, but look nothing like it."

Maggie McKneely used the same argument in a June 14 post, asserting that "assault weapons, such as the oft-demonized AR-15, are not weapons of war. They are designed to look like military weapons due to their ergonomic design, but lack the automatic capabilities. The only difference between the AR-15 that the media loves to hate and a common ranch shotgun is how they look."

But as the Washington Post explains, the AR-15 "is a civilian variant of the military’s M-16 series of rifles and carbines." The Post points out that the AR-15 has a long history with the military:

The AR-15’s combination of portability, relatively light weight (about 8 to 9 pounds loaded) and customization options make it attractive for both close- and medium- to long-range engagements and the preferred weapon used to kill the enemies of the United States. The military variants are customized and used by every branch of the military for myriad missions, including clearing oil rigs and patrolling the large expanses of Afghanistan.

Although the AR-15 has been standard issue for American service members for decades, the weapon’s ascension to a nationwide staple is a bit of a mystery. Conceived by a company started in a Hollywood garage and solicited by an unlikely trio made up of an aeronautical engineer, an arms salesman and a Marine, the AR-15, (AR standing for ArmaLite Rifle) was born in the late 1950s and came of age during the Vietnam War as an answer to Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47.

Chronicled extensively in New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers’s book “The GUN,” the AR-15, and eventually the M-16, was introduced as a replacement for the U.S. military’s M-14, a long large-caliber rifle based on an older World War II design. A small number of AR-15s were first bought by the Air Force in 1962 after a bit of salesmanship by Colt Firearms executives (Colt bought ArmaLite in 1959), that involved a pair of exploding watermelons and a general who disliked the M-14. With the Air Force’s initial purchase, the AR-15 entered the U.S. military’s arms procurement pipeline.

While one may quibble over how closely a civilian AR-15 resembles a military model, it's undeniable that the rifle has a military heritage, and it's dishonest for the MRC to deny it.

McKneely, meanwhile, tried to pile on, chortling at how "recent reports show that the Orlando shooter didn’t even use an AR-15 rifle." Turns out that's true -- the weapon used was a Sig Sauer MCX rifle, a different family of products from the AR-15. But as the Post also notes, the MCX was "originally designed for U.S. Special Operations forces," meaning that it too has a military heritage.

And, thus, the MRC's attempt to play interference on behalf of the gun lobby ends in complete failure.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
Sunday, June 19, 2016
MRC Decries Media 'Bias' on Assisted Suicide -- While Its Own 'News' Outlet Is Biased Too
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 9 post, the Media Research Center's Matthew Balan complains about an NBC report on a new assisted-suicide law in California, asserting that the reporter "showed a clear slant towards proponents of the legislation by playing four soundbites from supporters, versus only two from opponents."

The slant Balan would presumably prefer can be found in an article the same day from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com. In it, reporter Melanie Hunter quoted two proponents and one popponent of the law, but she made her bias clear. While a statement from one proponent of the law got only two paragraphs and the other proponent got just one paragraph, Hunter devoted a lengthy five paragraphs to a statement from the American College of Physicians opposing the law.

This means, spacewise, opponents got more space in Hunter's article than proponents.

Apparently, the MRC wants people to do what it says and not what it does.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2016 6:11 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
MRC Takes Potshots At Tony Awards Before Mentioning How It Honored Orlando Shooting Victims
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has never been a big fan of the gays and regularly has transgender freakouts. That, with its defining hatred of all things liberal, meant that there would be nothing fair or balanced about its so-called coverage of the Tony Awards, since Broadway actors tend to skew liberal and gay-friendly.

And indeed, Erik Soderstrom's June 13 MRC report on the Tonys -- under the headline "Tony Awards Go Further Left: Show's 5 Worst Political Moments" -- is all about ranting that Broadway actors said political things. He complained that one performer said nice things about Hillary Clinton, but "no one felt the need to bring up Hillary Clinton’s many scandals." He ranted about a taped presentation from President Obama, grumbling that "Barack Obama has a remarkable affinity for making any event about himself." Soderstrom didn't mention having any problem with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee making the slaughter of dozens of people about himself.

Speaking of Trump, Soderstrom was also put out that a couple performers made Donald Trump jokes -- apparently, that's no longer permitted now that he's the GOP nominee.

Only after that lengthy whining did Soderstrom find something positive to say about the show -- and it was about conservative, heterosexual behavior: "Through tears of joy, Hamilton actress Renée Elise Goldsberry gave a passionate acceptance speech stressing the importance of family and thanking the Lord for giving her two children."

Finally, in the 21st paragraph of his post, Soderstrom gets around to noting arguably the one thing the awards show will be remembered for besides all those awards for "Hamilton": its reaction to the Orlando massacre. Soderstrom mostly stuck with stating what various performers did, adding the backhanded complement that "the hosts resisted the urge to turn the Tony Awards into a three-hour, anti-gun PSA, and kept their focus on the victims."

Soderstrom closed by oddly inserting himself into the issue despite criticizing Obama for doing something similar earlier in his post: "I, for one, hope we emerge from this tragedy stronger and more committed to the principles that make America such a uniquely great country." It's a nice sentiment, but we'll see how that flies at an organization that normally denigrates the people who were the victims of this massacre.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:24 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 6:43 PM EDT
Monday, June 13, 2016
Trump's Race-Baiting Defender Still Has A Job At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

In case you were wondering if Jeffrey Lord's aggressive defense of Donald Trump's race-baiting attacks on a judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuit would cause the Media Research Center to have any concern about the fact that he embarrassed himself on CNN making said defense, the answer is apparently, "Heck, no! We love having a race-baiting defender write for us!"

Lord's latest NewsBusters column appeared on schedule, and he deals with the issue of Trump's race-baiting not by trotting out his own discredited defense as he tried to do on CNN, but by changing the subject.

Lord whined that a New York Times columnist called Trump a racist, then quickly pivoted to portraying the columnist as a hypocrite because the Times has been sued for discrimination. His justification for doing so: "Why does this matter? Because the New York Times plays the race card - as Mr. Kristof just demonstrated in that interview - with obsessive regularity."

This, apparently, is how Lord gets to keep his NewsBusters gig for the time being -- refusing to address the elephant in the room while playing the media-bashing on the Times, one of the MRC's favorite targets. Unsaid, though, is how aggressively Lord can defend Trump's race-baiting before the MRC cuts him loose -- or if there is even a limit.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016 2:26 PM EDT
Sunday, June 12, 2016
MRC Pulls The Plug On Its 'Comedy' Video After 9 Years
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has finally put "NewsBusted" out of our misery.

After nine years, the final video of the so-called comedy series was posted on May 31. In it, Jodi Miller does her usual schtick of lame, unfunny jokes (Amway is actually used as a punchline for one of them) and gratingly canned laughter.

Despite the dubious proposition of a supposedly nonpartisan (for tax exemption purposes) organization taking repeated potshots at liberals, the MRC insisted that "NewsBusted" actually had a purpose. In a fundraising email the MRC sent out in 2014 to seek donations for upgraded video equipment to produce the show, it whined that comedians such as Jon Stewart "advance a leftist agenda under the guise of comedy and brainwash America's young people each and every day." Clearly, the MRC wanted to get in on that brainwashing-through-comedy action.

Yet less than two years later, the show is getting canceled, seemingly evidence that even decent production values won't save a comedy show that lacks comedy.

But fans of painfully unfunny "humor" shouldn't fret: Miller is going solo, havingset up a website to do her own videos without the MRC as a benefactor.

And, yes, we still maintain that the MRC totally stole the title from us, which we use for our ongoing series of profiles on NewsBusters bloggers (most recently Dylan Gwinn).


Posted by Terry K. at 11:52 AM EDT
Friday, June 10, 2016
The MRC's Jeffrey Lord Problem
Topic: Media Research Center

Since April 2014, the American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord has been a contributing writer to the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog, which has resulted in a lot of nonsense and misinformation being contributed to NewsBusters.

Now Lord's nonsense has gotten dangerous, in the form of defending the indefensible -- Donald Trump's race-baiting attacks on a judge presiding over a class-action lawsuit against the shady Trump University. A few days ago, Lord actually spent 20 minutes on CNN defending it -- laughably insisting that Trump was calling out racism, not engaging in it, by attacking Judge Gonzalo Curiel's ethnicity -- as both liberal and conservative co-panelists and even host Anderson Cooper repeatedly beat down his Trump-defending arguments. Commentators from across the political spectrum mocked and denounced Lord's absurdist defense of Trump.

Lord actually previewed this defense of Trump in his June 4 NewsBusters column, in which he asserted without evidence that Curiel was "injecting ethnicity into the legal profession" because he belongs to a group for Latino lawyers. "Is it any wonder that Donald Trump suspects that his political opinions on illegal immigration are influencing Judge Curiel - a judge who quite voluntarily belongs to a group devoted not to promoting San Diego lawyers but San Diego lawyers based on their heritage?" he deciared. (By the way, that legal group Lord is attacking is merely "a pretty typical professional group that promotes diversity and Latino empowerment in the legal community" and "a conventional professional organization.")

Despite the fact that Lord's CNN debacle and the aggressive Trump sycophancy that drives it should cause a re-evaluation of his status as a NewsBusters contributor, the MRC has been silent aboutit, to the point that the existence of the CNN segment has never been ackowledged on its websites.

Lord's column usually appears on weekends, so we'll keep an eye out for whether he gets to contribute another one.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Against History: MRC Objects To Another Historic Event Being Called Historic
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long had a weird obsession with complaining that the media labels historic events as "historic" if said events don't benefit the MRC's right-wing agenda.

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton clinching the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, the first time a woman has done so for a major political party.

Cue the MRC whining:

Scott Whitlock grumbled: "With Hillary Clinton on the verge of officially becoming the Democratic nominee for president, outlets such as the Washington Post and U.S. News are not holding back. “It’s Hillary; it’s History” and “For a generation of women pushing against the limits, a singular triumph” are two examples." He further whined that these media outlets "never once mentioned scandals such as her e-mail server or Benghazi."

Kyle Drennen followed with more complaining about how the media "basked in the 'history'" of Clinton's accomplishment, making sure to put "history" in scare quotes, as if he was trying to deny it didn't actually happen.

Curtis Houck went into full rant mode, screeching that MSNBC "brought on none other than NBC News special correspondent and former California First Lady Maria Shriver to demand the American people 'pause...to think about how this is historic and unprecedented' for Hillary Clinton to become the first female presumptive presidential nominee" and made "this gushing decree for the American people to follow when Clinton declares victory" and "reiterated how imperative it is that we bow down to Clinton."

Houck was too busy frothing to notice that Shriver did not actually "demand" anything; she used the word "hope," not "demand."

Houck followed up by continuing to mistake reporting facts for being a cheerleader, asserting that "While the sun still had to fully set, CNN wasn’t shy in being completely over the moon for Hillary Clinton as they dubbed her the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and first woman to hold the title as 'a watershed moment of the 2016 presidential race and in the history of American politics.'"

Nicholas Fondacaro joined the party, complaining that ABC's "Nightline" noting that she was "making history" meant it was "an absolute Hillary Clinton lovefest."

MRC's Latino division joined the sneering with a post claiming that Univision and Telemundo "focused on the fact that Clinton is the first major party woman nominee for President, but missed another historical first: the first time a major party nominee is also under an FBI criminal investigation as she tries to win the White House."

The whining culminated with a post by Tim Graham finally conceding that Hillary getting the nomination was, in fact, historic -- then complaining that the media largely ignored in 2012 that Mitt Romney was the first Mormon to get a major party presidential nomination:

The TV networks are heavily promoting the word “historic” in Hillary Clinton’s presumptive-nominee status – and “historic” is correct. This surely is a first. But in all of that hype, Clinton critics pick up a heavy whiff of suggestion – “but to make it truly historic, you have to elect her.”’

“Historic” can be a factual adjective, but in the hands of the networks, it often carries a highly positive ring, often attached to liberal victories. By contrast, consider the historic nature of Mitt Romney’s nomination in 2012.

[...]

So how did the TV network news programs cover this “historic milestone”? Most didn’t. In a Nexis search for “Romney” and “historic”  from Sunday, May 27 through Sunday, June 3, there was no mention of this fact on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS or the (searchable) transcripts of MSNBC and Fox News.

CNN was the TV exception, noting the distinction at least five times on May 29 and 30. 

Graham avoids mentioning the obvious: Only 2 percent of the U.S. population is Mormon, while roughly 50 percent are women.

Also, Graham might want to send out a memo to his MRC underlings to stop whining about historic events being accurately described as such if they want to be taken seriously as "media analysts."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 9, 2016 3:16 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 64: 'Black-ish' And White At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center assigns white writers to pass (almost entirely negative) judgment on a TV show about black culture. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Hold the Anti-Media Righteous Indignation, Mr. Bozell
Topic: Media Research Center

Who would have thought that even Media Research Center head Brent Bozell -- who endorsed Ted Cruz during the Republican presidential primaries and dismissed Donald Trump because he doesn't "walk with" dogmatic movement conseratives like himself -- would come around to defend Trump? Well he has, as demonstrated in a smug little anti-media rant he issued on June 2:

Donald Trump held a press conference on Tuesday to address (and insult) news reporters trying to locate the proceeds for a January fundraising event for veterans Trump held -- during a Republican debate on Fox News he refused to attend. The press called the insults a "tirade."

The media were right to ask questions about Trump's distribution of funds to veterans groups. But hold the righteous indignation, folks. This is a press corps that has absolutely refused to hold Obama accountable for anything (think: IRS, VA , Solyndra, Fast and Furious and so many other scandals) while also refusing to investigate any clouds swirling around Hillary Clinton (think: Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, email scandals, etc.).

Indeed, it's a courtesy reserved for both Clintons, going back to the very beginning of their national careers (think: Whitewater, Filegate, Troopergate, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and the rape of Juanita Broaddrick, to name but a few unsolved mysteries because no one in the press wanted to investigate them).

Every single one of these scandals is more important than the disposition of funds from a fundraiser, and it must be noted that Trump did account for the millions he raised and contributed. When the media begin to ask serious questions of Hillary Clinton, then and only then will they have the right to pass judgment on Donald Trump.

Apparently, Bozell wants to silence the "righteous indignation" of others so he can dispense his own.

If "the media were right to ask questions about Trump's distribution of funds to veterans groups," why didn't any right-wing media outlet -- like, say, Bozell's own CNSNews.com -- do it? And why did his MRC completely ignore the controversy? The only reference to it we could find on NewsBusters was Melissa Mullins whining that during his media-bashing tirade, someone asked Trump about the gorilla killed at a zoo to save a boy who had gotten into the enclosure.

Bozell finds a way to defend Trump by claiming that "Trump did account for the millions he raised and contributed," which completely ignroes the fact that he did not make good on most of his promised donations until the media started asking him questions about it.

As far as calling the so-called Clinton scandals "unsolved mysteries" goes, where has Bozell been for the past 20 years? All of them are quite solved -- just read the Starr Report on Clinton's alleged affairs, and independent prosecutor Robert Ray's reports on Whitewater and Filegate. Bozell has also apparently forgotten that the titular Arkansas state troopers in "Troopergate" wouldn't repeat their lurid accusations against Clinton under oath.

As for the laundry list Bozell recites of purported scandals involving Hillary Clinton and Obama, we again bring up the fact that Bozell operates something he calls a "news" outlet -- meaning that he is in the media business. If Bozell thinks these stories are somehow underreported, why doesn't he march down the hall at MRC headquarters and tell and CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey and managing Editor Michael W. Chapman to report on them? Why doesn't he use some of that multimillion-dollar budget the MRC has to hire a stable of actual reporters -- instead of the stenographers currently employed as "reporters" at CNS -- and unleash them on Obama and Hillary?

We don't know. Perhaps Bozell has decided that it's easier and more profitable to complain about "the media" than to do something about it, and that CNS functions better as disseminator of right-wing propaganda packaged as "journalism" than as a generator of actual reporting.

Until you can offer something other than playing to the chori of right-wing funders and put your money (well, your donors' money) where your mouth is, Mr. Bozell, please spare us your righteous indignation.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:51 PM EDT
Sunday, June 5, 2016
MRC Gives Another Pass to Pro-Trump Propaganda At Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has always had the marching order to never criticize Fox News (unless Mark Levin is, then just quote Levin). With Donald Trump's ascent to Republican presidential nominee, he's off limits now as well. So Fox News' pro-Trump bias will continue to go unremarked upon at the MRC, no matter how ridiculous.

Megyn Kelly's May 17 hour-long interview with Trump turned out to be a bust, filled with softball questions and promotions for Kelly's upcoming book. The reaction from the MRC? Silence, though the day of the interview, it touted Kelly declaring that the New York Times should be "shamed" into covering "Bill Clinton’s problems with women."

Greta Van Sustseren's May 26 Fox News special on Trump and his familiy was so fawning and obsequious that many conservatives mocked its ridiculous tone. The Michelle Malkin-founded Twitchy said of it: "It essentially is 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,' but with just a tiny dash of political hardball thrown into the mix for spice."

At the MRC? Zero, zip, nada. No mention at all.

Yet, in between all that, the MRC did find space for anonymous coward "Bruce Bookter" to be outraged that an ESPN-affiliated website used a picture of Obama in the header of its Twitter page. No, really.

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


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Friday, June 3, 2016
MRC Defends Trump's Intimidation of Judge
Topic: Media Research Center

Yes, it really was just a month ago that the Media Research Center was complaining that media coverage of Donald trump wasn't negative enough. Now the MRC is looking for ways to excuse and defend Trump's sleaziest tactics.

In a June 2 post, Nicholas Fondacaro complains that Trump is being held accountable for attempting to intimidate a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, that is presiding over a fraud case involving his Trump University. Slandering a judge is perfectly OK, Fondacaro argues, because President Obama did it first:

Interesting, because President Barack Obama did just that in 2010 when he angrily rebuked the Supreme Court for their decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The President’s heavy handed criticism came during a fiery State of the Union speech where he claimed the Justices, in a 5-4 decision, “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.” This was the State of the Union where Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito famously mouthed the words “not true” to the President.

Except the two situations are not alike at all. Obama did not criticize the Citizens United decision until after it was made -- not while the case was still in the legal system, as is the case with Trump -- and he did not personally attack any of the judges involved, whereas Trump is specifically and personally attacking the judge in the Trump University case.

MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham, meanwhile, takes a side step from bashing CNN's Jeffrey Toobin to defend Trump's attacks on Curiel, totally buying into Trump's argument that because Curiel has a Mexican background, he is obviously biased against Trump:

This same Jeffrey “Not a Big Deal” Toobin was freaking out to Anderson Cooper on Thursday night that Trump would say Latino judge Gonzalo Curiel has a conflict of interest in his Trump University case because he belongs to (and was honored by) the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, which advocates against racial profiling and for “undocumented” immigrants and has a political action committee.

Toobin proclaimed this was just a "social organization," somehow nonpolitical. "It is not a conflict of interest. Donald Trump can say what he wants, but what he is saying about the judge is completely wrong under all of the current rules of ethics."

By contrast, the MRC was upset in 2000 at calls that then-Florida Secreatary of State Katherine Harris,  a co-chairman of George W. Bush's presidential campaign in florida, should recuse herself from supervising election activities involving the extremely close vote between Bush and Al Gore, and MRC chief was mad that anyone would dare question Harris' integrity.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:35 PM EDT

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