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Thursday, December 18, 2014
MRC's Graham Declares Walker 'Molotov' Gaffe To Be 'Tiny'
Topic: Media Research Center

When it was revealed that Republican Wisconsin Go. Scott Walker had wished "Molotov" instead of "mazel tov" to a Jewish constituent, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham knew he had to spring into damage-control mode to tamp the controversy.

Thus, Graham wrote a Dec. 14 NewsBusters post whining that " the liberal media will reliably leap on any tiny gaffe that liberals can locate." Graham also quoted a writer for the right-wing Watchdog.org (whose ideology Graham failed to identify) saying basically the same thing.

By contrast, the MRC worked hard to get another tiny gaffe some media traction.

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama said at one point that he had visited 57 states. Since then, the gaffe has been referenced dozens of times at NewsBusters alone, many of those complaining that the "liberal media" didn't report it, which obviously means the media was protecting Obama.

It seems that Graham has a double standard on gaffes. After all, it's unlikely that any MRC outlet would have reported on Walker's gaffe for any other reason than to dismiss it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 AM EST
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Sharyl Attkisson Reciprocates The MRC's Love
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been showing the love to former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson for her anti-Obama reporting and general move to the right (which the MRC denies). Now Attkisson is showing some love right back.

A Dec. 13 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock highlights an interview Attkisson conducted with Rush Limbaugh's newsletter (her latest connection to right-wingers, which is more evidence of Attkisson's rightward shift, yet unremarked upon by Whitlock):

Regarding the selection of liberal vs. conservative watchdogs as sources, Attkisson noted, "In fact, I've never heard reporters treat the conservative media watchdogs as if they're providing neutral information that should be paid attention to. Only the liberal side."

Neither Whitlock nor Attkisson will admit it, but that's likely because conservative media watchdogs like the MRC have proven themselves incapable of providing neutral information. As we've documented, the MRC's so-called "research" is so skewed and narrowly tailored to produce only results that reinforce its "liberal media" narrative that it simply can't be trusted.

By comparison, Media Matters (the liberal media watchdog to which Attkisson is surely referring) committed the offense of discrediting her shoddy reporting. Despite attacking Media Matters as partisan and inaccurate, Attkisson has never disproven the factual nature of what Media Matters has written about Attkisson's work.

Of course, Whitlock doesn't mention any of that either, chossing instead to rehash Attkisson's dubious claim of her computers being hacked.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EST
Monday, December 15, 2014
MRC's Graham Shocked That Movie Reviewers Reviewed A Film They've Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has been in the right-wing media outrage business for so long, it seems he's incapable of recognizing fair journalism for what it is instead of through his jaundiced partisan lens.

In a Dec. 13 NewsBusters post, Graham expresses surprise that "liberal papers" the Washington Post and the New York Times would pan the new film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" by criticizing the decision to have God portrayed by a "terrifying" child. His headline: "Even Liberal Papers Pan Bratty Pre-Teen God In New Moses Movie 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'"

Graham seems to forget that genuine movie reviewers employed by legitimate news outlets generally try to review films based on their merits, not according to their rigid personal belief system.

We saw the latter at work earlier this year when the MRC's Katie Yoder attacked the film "Obvious Child" fior being a romantic comedy centered around abortion -- a film Yoder proudly proclaimed she never watched before trashing it.

Apparently, Graham favors Yoder's approach and would rather people write about films based on what they read on the Internet about them and spare themselves the effort of actually seeing it before offering an opinion.

Indeed, Graham provided no evidence that he has seen "Exodus." Are we surprised? Nope.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:16 PM EST
Saturday, December 13, 2014
MRC Thinks 52% Supporting 'Gun Rights' Is 'Massive'
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline on a Dec. 11 Media Research Center item by Scott Whitlock blared, "ABC, NBC Skip Poll Finding Massive Support for the Second Amendment." But the poll is dubious and didn't indicate "massive" support.

As Whitlock goes on to note, the Pew Research poll in question found that 52 percent of Americans support "gun rights," while 46 percent support "gun control." Two points over 50 percent is hardly an indicator of "massive" support.

Whitlock also fails to mention the issues with the poll itself, presumably because it fits the MRC's pro-gun narrative. As Media Matters pointed out, the poll's choice between "gun rights" and "gun control" ridiculously oversimplifies the national debate over guns, as if the two were mutually exclusive.

Whitlock also didn't mention that even the conservative Washington Times article about the poll upon which he based his item quotes "gun control supporters" pointing out that specific measures such as expansion of background checks have much wider public support than Pew's "gun rights" question -- around 90 percent. Wonder why he wouldn't report all the relevant facts?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 PM EST
Thursday, December 11, 2014
MRC's Bozell & Graham Portray Broaddrick As A Credible Rape Accuser
Topic: Media Research Center

In their newest column, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell lament that "the left" likes to believe that "the victim" in a rape accusation is the female accuser, going on to lament the treatment of their favorite alleged rape victim:

This is not the way these "watchdogs" handled Juanita Broaddrick's charge of rape against President Clinton in 1999. Even after NBC's Lisa Myers nailed down particulars establishing that Clinton and Broaddrick were in the same hotel on the same day in 1978, with witnesses who vouchsafed her tortured condition, the networks all but ignored the accuser and her story.

Bozell and Graham don't mention that there was a good reason for the media to discount Broaddrick's story: She changed it.

Prior to flipping in 1998, Broaddrick had repeatedly insisted that Clinton didn't rape her; she even said so under oath. It was not until she gave into the Clinton-haters -- and, more crucially, received a promise of immunity from independent counsel Kenneth Starr that she wouldn't be prosecuted for perjury -- that she changed her story.

Bozell and Graham don't mention that Broaddrick is a documented liar -- she either lied then or she's lying now.We don't recall the two ever telling that to their readers; indeed, a quick search of the MRC website mentions nothing about Broaddrick's contradictory claims or the immunity deal she received from Starr.

As we've also noted, there's enough evidence of the Broaddrick accusations being motivated by partisan politics and personal spite to cast further doubt on them. Indeed, according to Joe Conason's "The Hunting of the President," that's exactly what happened.

But Broaddrick made a sensational accusation against the hated Clinton, and that was good enough for the MRC.

Perhaps Bozell and Graham should have found a better example to use when it comes to the debating the veracity of rape allegations.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 11, 2014 6:13 PM EST
Monday, December 8, 2014
Obamas' Happy Relationship Nauseates MRC Writer
Topic: Media Research Center

Katie Yoder makes her opinion clear with the headline of her Dec. 5 Media Research Center item: "Nausea Alert: Barack and Michelle Obama's Love Story Coming to Theaters." She writes:

It’s all about true love – not only for the Obamas, but also for the media.

“The White House legend that is Barack and Michelle Obama’s romance is heading to the screen,” reported Deadline’s Jen Yamato on Dec. 5. The drama, “Southside With You,” will detail the Obama couple’s “epic first date” the summer of 1989 – consisting of the Art Institute, a long walk, and Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing.”

In July 2015, the filming will begin where their romance blossomed: Chicago. “Get On Up” actress Tika Sumpter will star as Michelle Obama – but the real question is, as Yamato asked, “who will play young Barack?”

Allain’s Homegrown Pictures producer Tracey Bing gushed with excitement for the “smart and timeless film” on “one of the great love stories of our time.” She hyped how screenplay writer Richard Tanne “captures the essence of that romantic connection between Barack and Michelle that is so evident in the way that they look at each other.” Yuck.

Funny, we thought that the MRC approved of happy, stable, child-producing marriages. Apparently that's not the case when the couple in question isn't conservative.

Only someone so filled with petty hatred as Yoder can turn someone's happy marriage into a sick political attack -- to the point where she's apparently phsyically repulsed by the idea that her political enemies are happily married.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 8, 2014 1:28 PM EST
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
MRC's Graham Baselessly Accuses Melinda Gates of Lying
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham writes in a Nov. 30 NewsBusters post:

Melinda Gates is the ideal philanthropist in the eyes of the liberals at Time magazine – after all, she and her husband Bill Gates became Time’s Persons of the Year...about the same time they gave Time money for a health summit. Anyhow, Melinda was recently honored with the “Ten Questions” interview  with Belinda Luscombe in Time’s December 1 and 8 issue.

They promoted “The philanthropist on the importance of contraceptives, her daughters and her growing optimism.” The contraceptive talk turned to....vagina mints? Then Mrs. Gates lied to (or at best, misled) Time about her foundation's support for abortion advocates.

How so? Gates said that her foundation "only funds contraceptives. We do not do the abortion piece." Graham's evidence:

That’s simply not true. While they declared this June that they would no longer fund abortion advocacy, Josh Craddock at Live Action News noted the Gates Foundation is a major funder of Planned Parenthood and other international abortion advocates -- to the tune of about $117 million over the last five years. The Gates Foundation explicitly states it's funding "Global Policy & Advocacy."

Actually, Graham appears to be the liar. Funding Planned Parenthood does not equal "funding abortion" -- after all, only 13 percent of its revenue comes from abortion.

The source for Graham's baseless accusation, Live Action, is notorious for its deceptive entrapment videos designed to smear Planned Parenthood, and Live action founder Lila Rose has repeatedly stated her intent to destroy the group. So it's hardly an objective source of information.

Beyond citing the highly biased and dubious extremist group Live Action, Graham provides no evidence whatsoever that any Gates money is funding abortion "advocacy," let alone actual abortions.

Don't expect Graham to apologize for his false accusation -- as long as he can link Gates with abortion, however fraudulently, that's good enough for him.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:33 PM EST
Friday, November 28, 2014
MRC's Graham Censors The Facts About Sharyl Attkisson's Shoddy Reporting
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's campaign of propping up Sharyl Attkisson continues in a Nov. 21 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham, in which he highlights how "former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson told Glenn Beck about the latest document release forced by Judicial Watch, which demonstrates Obama's Department of Justice was working to squash Attkisson's reporting on the Obama administration."

Graham omits the reason why the Obama administration would complain about Attkisson's reporting: it's inaccurate. Media Matters notes that the Attkisson report the Obama administration singled out is, in fact, wrong. Nevertheless, Attkisson repeats the false claim in her new book.

Graham also grumbles that the Obama administration allegedly worked with a reporter to criticize Republican Rep. Darrell Issa's investigation into Fast anmd Furious: "This is how journalism works. Reporters accept large chunks of information from friendly sources, in this case in writing an article against Issa." Graham didn't mention that Attkisson, the object of his adoration, does the same thing -- only in this case, her "friendly source" is Issa. Indeed, much of Attkisson's anti-Obama reporting depends on leaks from Issa's committee, and she repeatedly praises him in her book.

Graham also notes Attkisson talking about "the attempt to manipulate her work computer" -- omitting, of course, that the only solid evidence she has presented so far of this indicates her computer was suffering from a stuck backspace key.

If we were the MRC, we might say that Graham is censoring the facts from his readers. 


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
MRC Unhappy Obama's Immigration Action Is Accurately Described
Topic: Media Research Center

Kyle Drennen uses a Nov. 21 Media Research Center item to express his unhappiness that NBC's Andrea Mitchell accurately described Obama's action on immigration:

On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Friday, host Andrea Mitchell asserted that President Obama's executive order blocking deportation of millions of illegal immigrants was somehow "not amnesty": "...what this is not, as the President said, this is not amnesty. People have to apply, the applications won't be taken until the spring. There's a window where Republicans could act. So it's not what people are describing, the critics."

Even Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd couldn't quite swallow that spin: "It is a temporary amnesty as far as these people are concerned." Mitchell countered: "Well, it's a relaxation on deportations." Todd observed: "But obviously the definition of amnesty's been perverted so much in different ways." Mitchell declared: "It's not amnesty in the sense that you get citizenship and the past is forgiven." Todd agreed: "That's right."

Despite his unhappiness with Mitchell for pointing out that Obama's immigration action is "not amnesty," Drennen never explains why it purportedly is -- which must mean that Mitchell is correct.

As we've documented, MRC writers love to ignore the actual definition of "amnesty" to use the word to describe any action that might be beneficial toward illegal immigrants.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EST
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The MRC's War On (And Jealousy Of) Jon Stewart
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been focusing its ire on "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart in recent days.

MRC officials Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devoted their Nov. 21 column to bashing Stewart and sneering at the people who enjoy his brand of political satire -- or, as they call it, "his snarky conservative-trashing show" -- calling them "flatterers, sycophants, and every other synonym in the thesaurus for obsequious."

Bozell and Graham whined that Stewart responded to right-wing "mockery of Obama's patriotism" in the criticism of the president's salute with a coffee cup in his hand. But they don't mention is that President George W. Bush did the same thing while holding a dog, and not only did it not get held up for public ridicule at the time, the MRC complained that it was brought up as a way to "muddy the waters" over their criticism of Obama.

Bozell and Graham don't mention one reason why they are so upset at "The Daily Show" -- earlier this year, Stewart mocked Bozell for complaining that a Spanish-language channel was helping its viewers to comply with Obamacare.

Graham went off again in a Nov. 24 NewsBusters post, downplaying Stewart's influence because he "generally draws about 1 to 1.2 million viewers, less than ABC's Nightline draws at 12:30 in the morning. It typically gets beat by a second airing of The O'Reilly Factor." Graham, of course, doesn't mention that Stewart's audience is more desirable to advertisers than O'Reilly's: 65 percent of Stewart's audience is under 50, while 64 percent of O'Reilly's audience is over 50.

Graham also ranted that Stewart "makes more than $25 million a year," but doesn't explain what that has to do with anything.

An then there was Jeffrey Lord's Nov. 22 NewsBusters attack on Stewart. Lord takes offense at Stewart for arguing Fox News right-winger Sean Hannity is "acting" rather than pushing sincerely held beliefs, but rather than respond to Stewart's charges (other than to insist that Hannity "a deeply well-grounded, thoughtful man with boundless empathy"), he launched an ad hominem attack on  Stewart, accusing him of being "loathsome, disingenuous, cynical and devious" because ... well, there are toomany white people on his show, and he once aired an edited video, which completely justifies Hannity doing the same.

Lord also cites economist Peter Schiff's complaint about how his "Daily Show" interview was edited, highlighting his statement that the "mentally retarded" would be happy to work for $2 an hour. Lord didn't mention that Schiff likes to engage in stunts like protesting a minimum wage hike in a Walmart parking lot.

Lord concludes: "Jon Stewart is a funny guy. A talented guy. But there are words for what comedy’s Jon Stewart and academia’s Jon Gruber are about. The words 'devious' and 'loathsome' are but two."

The truth is, however, that the MRC is totally jealous of Stewart's success, and it wants a piece of that action.

In September, the MRC sent to its mailing list accusing Stewart of being among the comedians who "advance a leftist agenda under the guise of comedy and brainwash America's young people each and every dayIs it any wonder that the youth of America are turning into leftist Obama zombies?"

The email went on to solicit donations to upgrade the MRC's sad little web comedy show, "NewsBusted" (a title, by the way, that the MRC stole from us):

When we started NewsBusted, we wanted to change that by creating at least one comedy show where socialism isn't worshiped and where American values aren't derided.

NewsBusted is the one comedy show where joke writers aren't afraid to serve up the ridicule that Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi so richly deserve.

We have a specific goal for 2015 – to raise enough money to upgrade all aspects of the audio and video production of NewsBustedit’s time for a major, high tech upgrade—in High Definition!

Quality television audio & video production doesn’t come cheap. For nearly seven years, our production team has been using the SAME standard definition camera, the SAME microphones, the SAME lighting system, the SAME editing bay, the SAME graphics package, and the SAME sound mixing board… NewsBusted is long overdue for a high tech upgrade and 2015 is the year to do it!

I need you to donate today so that we can start producing better sounding and better looking episodes of NewsBusted – in high definition! We need your generous contribution to keep the laughs coming!

How does investing thousands of dollars (well, other poeple's dollars) in a comedy show further the MRC's ostensible mission as an "educational" organization -- not to mention qualify under tax law as being tax-deductible? We don't know either.

We do know, however, that "NewsBusted" probably wouldn't survive if it was subjected to the free market where ratings and viewership matters -- the same place where Stewart and "The Daily Show" are thriving. Which makes the normally free-market MRC's jealousy of Stewart that much more ironic.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:29 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 5:38 PM EST
Saturday, November 22, 2014
MRC Attacks 'Hippie-Hypocrite' Neil Young
Topic: Media Research Center

It was apparently a slow day at the Media Research Center a couple weeks back, because Geoffrey Dickens decided to have a fit about Neil Young appearing on "The Charlie Rose Show" and featuring a clip of Young singing a song opposing fracking:

Within seconds after playing the clip the PBS host also asked Young about his new memoir in which the singer “covers everything from his love of cars and painting to his crusade for Mother Earth.” However, Rose never once asked the environmental activist if he felt guilty about all the fossil fuels he’s used in his cars or his painting. Rose also never mentioned all the fossil fuels used in the promotion of Young’s over 50 year-long career in the production and transport of his vinyl records, tapes, CDs. Rose also didn’t bring up the fossil fuels that were utilized in sending Young, his band and crew members on all those tours over the years.

Wow. Dickens is bashing Young for using "fossil fuels" in his painting? Really, Geoffrey? And Dickens seems to have overlooked the fact that he converted one of his beloved cars, a formerly gas-guzzing 1959 Lincoln Continental, to run on cellulosic ethanol.

Besides, Dickens is about a decade late in calling out Young's alleged hypocrisy. The Toronto Star reported:

A vocal champion of environmental issues for most of his career, Young nevertheless managed to conveniently ignore the dichotomy inherent in his fetish for gas-guzzling, fume-belching classic automobiles until he and Crazy Horse took their earth-conscious rock opera Greendale on the road in 2003.

One day after the accompanying movie was finished, Sarah White — a friend of Young’s daughter enlisted to play an activist protesting against oil companies and a “villainous, anti-environment, pollution-spreading corporation” called POWERCO in the Greendale film — cornered him and, “with all of the intensity of youth unbridled,” called him a hypocrite for going out on tour with a fleet of fossil fuel-reliant trucks, buses and airplanes immediately after making a stand against the very same sort of wastefulness onscreen and on record. It stung. And it stuck.

“She was absolutely right,” he writes in Special Deluxe. “Imagine a character in my own story telling me that I was hypocritical for not practising what I was preaching. That was a seminal moment.”

“Yeah, it made a big difference to me,” Young now says of that conversation. “I had the feeling already that we had to do something different, but this young lady made a very clear point. It’s just knowledge. You just accrue knowledge. If you’re interested in something, you gather knowledge.”

From that point on, as documented in Special Deluxe’s sharpened third act, Young set about dutifully reconfiguring his tour transportation to ensure that it ran on renewable, lower-emission biofuel whilst versing himself in the science of climate change and renewable energy to a customarily “obsessive” degree.

If Dickens had bothered to do any actual research before writing his item, he would have learned not only about the converted Lincoln but also that Young has been running his tour transportation on biofuel for years.

But then, the Media Research Center isn't really about "research," it's about promoting an ideology and trotting out tired old insults like "hippie" to smear anyone who opposes them.

(Photo: AutoBlog)


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 22, 2014 9:50 PM EST
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Tim Graham's Hypocritical Attack On Media Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham huffs in his latest anti-gay freakout in a Nov. 19 NewsBusters post:

Washington Post “social change reporter” Sandhya Somashekhar wrote a front-page story for Wednesday’s editions on how the Barilla pasta company completely surrendered to the gay left. The headline was “A recipe for recovery: Barilla makes amends to gay groups.”

As usual, the Post divided the conflict into “gay rights groups” and “social conservatives.” Gay activist Bob Witeck described the conservative view as “stupid and backwards.” Conservatives said...nothing. There was no space for rebuttal. “Social change” moves faster when “backwards” gets censored.

[...]

Nobody in the story gets to say, for example, that "Human Rights Campaign" is a funny name for an anti-free speech group. "Discriminatory" speech -- soon to include sermons inside churches, if Houston is any example -- must be squashed. Nobody gets to say "discriminatory" things like "transgender-related health care" such as the amputation of breasts and genitals isn't "health care." In today's progressive Post, those things are better left unthought, not just unsaid.

Graham has not expressed that same concern about "censorship" when it's practiced by a "news" organization that operates down the hall from him.

As we've documented, CNSNews.com -- operated by Graham's employer, the Media Research Center -- frequently censors the parts of stories that conflict with its right-wing agenda, resulting in stenographical documents masquerading as "news" articles, to the point that it actually uncritically presented the Church of Scientology's stance against psychiatric drugs.

Unless Graham and his fellow MRC superiors can get CNS to act like the "news" organization it portrays itself as, Graham has no moral standing to attack the purported "censorship" of the "liberal media."

This hypocrisy undermines the entire mission of the MRC, but Graham, Brent Bozell and the rest of the MRC crew don't seem to recognize it.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:37 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2014 3:43 PM EST
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
MRC Still Clings To 'Climategate' Myths
Topic: Media Research Center

A Nov. 17 Media Research Center post by Joseph Rossell tries to revive an old conspiracy:

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s deal to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both countries couldn’t have come at a more ironic time.

Their Nov. 11, announcement came just days before the fifth anniversary of ClimateGate, which cast a pall over the credibility of major climate research institutions. On Nov. 17, 2009, it was discovered that hundreds of emails and files were either hacked or leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (UEA). According to Roger Pielke, Jr., months before ClimateGate, CRU admitted it did not have the raw data its climate science is based on.

Note how Rossell blithely notes the "Climategate" documents were "either hacked or leaked." By contrast, the MRC had a fit when documents detailing the conservative Heartland Institute's strategy to promote global warming denialism were released, screaming that they were "falsely obtained" in a "vicious" and "sleazy attack" by the head of a "George Soros-funded" group. Rossell expresses no concern that the "Climategate" emails were "falsely obtained" as part of a "vicious" attack against climate scientists because he agrees with such attacks.

Rossell then cherry-picks 10 random, out-of-context statements from the "Climategate" emails to portray them as killing the credibility of climate science. But Rossell ignores the entirety of climate science study, which affirms the consensus that global warming exists. For example, PolitiFact states:

So, to say that the CRU e-mails debunk the science supporting climate change leaves out the important point that CRU isn't the only organization looking at the issue. Indeed, there are reams of data that show temperatures are increasing and that greater concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are largely to blame. 

An Associated Press review of the emails show that they "don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked" and "don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions."

But who needs facts when Rossell can simply regurgitate a discredited political narrative?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:09 AM EST
Monday, November 17, 2014
NEW ARTICLE: With A Little Help From Her Friends (At the MRC)
Topic: Media Research Center
If former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson really played her reporting straight, would the conservative Media Research Center be so effusively singing her praises? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 PM EST
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Sharyl Attkisson Gets The Brent Bozell Endorsement
Topic: Media Research Center

Just a few days after getting the coveted Joseph Farah endorsement, Sharyl Attkisson is getting a big thumbs-up from another right-wing activist.

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devote their Nov. 12 column to singing Attkisson's praises. The first clue that they don't intend to tell the full truth is their shading of the MRC's past criticism of Attkisson:

She has a record of playing it pretty straight and digging into the facts. We've flagged her for an occasional tilt over the years, like this one against President Bush in 2001: "Adding yet another twist to the President's dilemma, even conservative senators from his own party are urging him to support stem cell research." For a "conservative," Attkisson picked the late Arlen Specter, who had a lifetime rating of 41 percent from the American Conservative Union.

Bozell and Graham have apparently forgotten -- or decided to forget -- about Attkisson's advocacy of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, which the MRC also dinged her for. But you see, Bozell and Graham all about bolstering Attkisson's supposed journalistic bona fides:

But liberals have tried to undermine her professionalism, starting with CBS colleagues who hypocritically charged her with having a "political agenda." When Attkisson appeared on MSNBC's "All In," host Chris Hayes laid out the liberal line, appropriately identifying it as "the most cynical."

[...]

The folks at MSNBC refuse to admit Attkisson has exposed the real cynicism inside the media, namely: Why would we look into rampant Obama administration corruption when it's "our job" to offer Obama a "successful presidency"? Chris Matthews announced that "most cynical" line on the purpose of TV journalism two days after Obama was elected president.

Sharyl Attkisson has never been a political operative. She's been a fairly objective journalist — something that MSNBC would never understand.

Needless to say, Bozell and Graham don't mention that Attkisson's post-CBS journalism has appeared almost exclusively in conservative-leaning media outlets.

And they refuse to admit one glaring fact: If rabid right-wing political operatives like Bozell and Graham are running to Attkisson's defense, she cannot possibly be "playing it pretty straight" or be "a fairly objective journalist." That's something the MRC would never understand.

But Bozell and Graham aren't the only MRC employees trying to ignore inconvenient facts about Attkisson. In a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post, Melissa Mullins fawns over the party being held for Attkisson's book, which included "members in the media, whistleblowers from other scandals, and the outgoing House Oversight committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa." Mullins highlighted Issa's speech lavising praise on Attkisson:

Darrell Issa, who has been just as much a key player in the Benghazi investigation by chairing the House Oversight Committee, also spoke to the crowd. "My committee is a desert island if not for a press that will look at stuff fairly and scrutinize it," Issa said. "In many of our investigations, Fox News led; CBS, on occasion, was there and made a big difference; on very rare occasions ABC; never NBC."

Investigations, he said, worked only "if the press, and particularly reporters, will go out and meet people and get the story from whistleblowers and then report it and give them a fair hearing."

Mullins expresses no curiosity about why a powerful congressman is attending the book part for a reporter. She doesn't mention that Attkisson uses her book to praise Issa and defend him against the not-unreasonable accusation that Issa's targeting of the Obama administration is politically motivated -- or that much of Attkisson's recent reporting has depended on leaks from Issa's office.

If Issa were a Democrat and he attended the book party for, say, Chuck Todd, the MRC would be howling about the unseemly mingling of media politics. But because this is Darrell Issa and Sharyl Attkisson, the MRC looks the other way.

Again: If Attkisson wasn't doing conservative-friendly things, the MRC wouldn't be so eager and desperate to defend her.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 16, 2014 8:37 PM EST

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