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Sunday, June 25, 2017
Graham Mad That MRC's Hostility to Fact-Checking Was Called Out
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a June 9 post:

Alexios Mantzarlis at the journalism website Poynter.org reported "Conservative websites are far more likely to attack fact-checkers than their liberal counterparts." That almost sounds like "Conservative websites more hostile to facts." Something called the Duke Reporters' Lab issued a study of ten "partisan" websites and determined that the conservatives were much more hostile to the fact-checkers, while the liberals were overwhelmingly supportive.

"Conservative websites more hostile to facts"? Hey, if the shoe fits, Tim. As part of its anti-media agenda, the MRC has been waging a partisan war against fact-checkers for years for committing the sin of fact-checking conservatives -- a war the MRC has ramped up to defend chronic liar Donald Trump.

Tellingly, Graham doesn't link to the Duke study he's bashing; instead, he whines that his operation was accurately identified in the study as the MRC instead of NewsBusters. Surely Graham is aware that most MRC content appears at NewsBusters these days, so his complaint is a distinction without a difference.

After noting that the Poynter writer argued that conservative attacks on fact-checkers may be "further undermining the capacity of building a public discourse on shared facts," Graham goes on to rant:

"Shared facts" is exactly the field of combat here. Liberals insincerely insist that's all they want, but what they really want is to insist they own the facts and that they are the ones who determines they are factual, and anyone who challenges their sweaty grip is uncivil.

When a study finds that conservative sites offered 86 percent of the negative comments and liberal sites offered 85 percent of the positive ones, academics can properly speculate that "fact checkers" are perceived as liberal by both sides.

Note that Graham refuses to concede that there is such a thing as "shared facts."

To him, it's not about facts -- it's all about control of the political narrative. The entire existence of the MRC, after all,  is dedicated to de-legitimizing any media outlet that doesn't uncritically promote the conservative agenda.

If, as Graham claims, the partisan split on the perception of fact-checkers means that they should be considered liberal, it also means we can properly speculate that conservatives are running a coordinated, targeted campaign to smear and denounce fact-checkers.

Indeed, Graham cheerfully highlights how one right-wing critic likened one fact-checking site to a "Bangkok hooker" -- then huffs that identifying liars as liars "risks undermining public discourse."

And Graham's MRC has such an aversion to "shared facts" that one of his writers keeps insisting that Steve Scalise didn't give a speech that he apologized for giving.

So, yes, Tim, "shared facts" should be a thing. You and your organization should check them out sometime -- and not just when it's to your political advangate to do so.

You're just mad that your fact-averse agenda was exposed as the partisanship it is, and that it has nothing whatsoever to do with concern about journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 AM EDT
Thursday, June 22, 2017
MRC Insists Fake-News Breitbart Article Is Real
Topic: Media Research Center

Like Breitbart News, the Media Research Center gets a notable portion of its funding from the right-wing Mercer family. That shared source of cash may be the reason the MRC is running to the defense of Breitbart.

In a June 8 post, Charles Dorfeuille -- who doesn't disclose the financial connection between the MRC and Breitbart -- complains that a Breitbart article was listed in a PBS report as "fake news":

The article, titled “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith” was written in 2013, and was about religious liberty concerns at the Department of Defense during the Obama Administration. The article had followed reports from the Family Research Council and Fox News.

The article was penned by Ken Klukowski, who was at the time a senior fellow at the Family Research Council for religious liberty. To call Breitbart a fake news site based on some of its more outrageous articles is one thing, but to insinuate Klukowski, a man who's worked at the American Civil Rights Union as a Senior Legal Analyst, is outrageous.

Tellingly, Dorfeuille does not link to the Breitbart article in question so his readers could judge for themselves. Despite Klukowski's alleged credentials, this is yet another one of those outrageous Breitbart articles.

Klukowski is ridiculously alarmist, falsely portraying a reiteration of longstanding Pentagon policy against proselytizing in the military as a ban on even talking about religion:

So President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime–possibly resulting in imprisonment–for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains–military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)–whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.

This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.

That Fox News item Dorfeuille cites as evidence of Klukowski's purported veracity is, in fact, a rant by Fox-employed radio host Todd Starnes, who has a lengthy record of false claims.

Just because a man has worked as a "Senior Legal Analyst" for a right-wing group doesn't make him immune from pushing fake news. If anything, it makes him more prone to do so.

Make no mistake -- Klukowski's article is fake news. The fact that it dovetails with the MRC's right-wing agenda doesn't make it any less so.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EDT
MRC's Wilmouth: Ignore That Scalise Apologized For Giving That Speech, He Totally Didn't Give It!
Topic: Media Research Center

For a while now, the Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth has been vociferously denying that Republican Rep. Steve Scalise once spoke to a David Duke-founded group -- despite the fact that Scalise has apologized for giving said speech.

So desperate is Wilmouth to cling to his falsehood that he issued a rare MRC attack on Fox News in a June 16 post:

The discredited claims that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise 15 years ago spoke to a white supremacist group founded by former KKK leader David Duke have left such a mark, that the claims even manage to make it onto Fox News Channel more than two years after the more dominant drive-by liberal media seized on them.

On Wednesday's Fox and Friends, as Fox News producer Greg Pergram reported in by phone in the aftermath of the attack on congressional Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia, he incorrectly recalled that it was the KKK that Scalise was accused of meeting with, when in reality the debunked accusation was that he spoke to a white nationalist group that was founded by Duke.

Additionally, Pergram failed to inform viewers that, even though Scalise issued an apology, the central claim that Scalise spoke to Duke's group was undermined both by a flyer from the event that did not list Scalise as a speaker, and by a man who helped organize the event who claimed that he invited Scalise to speak at a separate gathering in the same hotel that was not part of the white nationalist convention.

Brad, honey, Scalise apologized for speaking to the group. That trumps any defense you're offering. Accept it and move on with your life.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Koch-Funded MRC Complains About Criticism of Kochs
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been defending the right-wing Koch brothers lately. Aly Nielsen writes in a June 6 post:

“With the planet in peril, arts groups can no longer afford the Koch brothers’ money,” Post art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott claimed on June 5. His “perspective” was part of the Post’s Going Out Guide.

In his view, Charles and David Koch’s donations to the arts were “tainted” because they were “the driving force behind the political movement that has pulled the United States out of the global fight against climate change,” Kennicott wrote. 

He also accused the billionaires of inflicting a “moral and intellectual cost” on society by undermining “critical thinking,” “deference to reason and evidence,” “empathy and fellow feeling,” and “a sense that we are connected to other people.” 

Kennicott insisted the Kochs “furthered a worldview — based on unreason and selfishness — that undermines the basic good things we assume the arts promote.”

The Koch brothers promote small government and libertarian policies, often upsetting the liberal media. The Kochs refused to back President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. But the brothers are routinely attacked, especially for touting the benefits of the oil and gas industry.

The same day, John Hirschauer complained in response to a commentator highlighting "Koch money" in politics:

The default position of the Left, as a general matter, is that any arrangement that is politically disadvantageous to Democrats is the fault of some unknowable combination of conservative talk radio and the Koch brothers. The Left has blamed the Koch brothers for virtually every situation for which they would have to otherwise provide a coherent refutation, like the decision to pull out of the Paris accord or even the mere desire for a constitutional convention.

But neither Nielsen and Hirschauer mention that their employer receives Koch money through Donors Trust, a group that coordinates political donations from conservative philanthropists that is funded in part by Koch brothers interests -- so much so it's considered part of the "Koch network." Donors Trust has given the MRC around $500,000 since 2004, including more than $100,000 in 2014 alone.

Hirschauer's Koch-defending statement is pretty absurd given that the default position of the MRC, as a general matter, is that any arrangement that is politically disadvantageous to Republican is the fault of George Soros.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:38 PM EDT
Monday, June 19, 2017
Tim Graham's Hypocritical Failure on Media Transparency
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham devoted a May 31 Media Research Center post to lamenting that the New York Times was eliminating its public editor position: 'Once again, it is highly ironic that the nation’s top newspapers rage about the president being unaccountable to the public, while they abolish their own offices for dealing with reader complaints."

Surely Graham could have cited, as an example for the Times to follow, all those conservative news organizations that have public editors and ombudsmen or public editors, like the Washington Times and Fox News and Breitbart and the MRC's very own "news" division CNSNews.com.

Oh, wait -- they don't, they never have, and they have shown no interest in having one in the future.

Perhaps Graham, being the terrible media critic he is, doesn't want to admit that the "liberal media" has traditionally had higher standards when it comes to media transparency than the right-wing media ever has. Even if the Times had a public editor for only 20 years, it's still 20 years longer than any right-wing media outlet has had one.

If Graham is so concerned about the media being "unaccountable to the public" and lacking "offices for dealing with reader complaints," why isn't he telling Fox News or Breitbart to pick up where the Times left off and have their own public editors? Why doesn't he demand that MRC hire an ombudsman?

Because he's a terrible, hypocritical media critic, that's why.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:59 PM EDT
Saturday, June 17, 2017
MRC's Graham Sneers At Rachel Maddow's Looks
Topic: Media Research Center

In the wake of the shootings in Virginia, there's been a lot of talk about civility in the political sphere. Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham's response: hold my beer.

Graham takes an unnecessary, gratuitious and mean-spirited shot at Rachel Maddow's looks in a June 14 post attacking her interview with Rolling Stone:

For her part, Maddow proclaims she is a “cheerleader for the American media,"an interesting choice of words since she tries very hard not to appear feminine.

What is the purpose of saying such a thing, Tim? What does that add to the conversation? Why do you think you should be taken seriously as a media critic when you're so eager to denigrate someone simply for refusing to conform to your idea of femininity? And as a chubby white guy, Graham hardly has any room to complain about the looks of other people.

Indeed, there's no reason to read the rest of Graham's critique, especially after his first attack on her was the above line, which appeared in the second paragraph. (Not that was anything different than Graham's usual anti-media blather, of course.) 

Graham exemplifies the arrogance of the right-wing media -- he doesn't believe he should hold himself to the same standards he insists on imposing on the "liberal media."  He has no principles, only a partisan agenda that he tries to enforce through intimidation and not reason.

Hate and thuggishness does not make for a principled organization. Graham hasn't figured that out yet.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Friday, June 16, 2017
MRC Still Denying That Scalise Spoke To David Duke Group (For Which He Has Apologized)
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 15 Media Research Center post, Brad Wilmouth complains that "CNN correspondent Randi Kaye repeated a discredited claim that Republican Rep. Steve Scalise 15 years ago spoke to a group founded by white supremacist and former KKK leader David Duke." He continues:

Kaye began the report by recalling that the Republican congressman has a well known love of baseball, and then moved to recounting his history in Congress. The CNN correspondent soon got to the claims about him speaking to white supremacists as she continued: "In 2014, after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, Scalise jumped into the race. But during that campaign, questions were raised about a speech he gave to a group led by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke back in 2002."

She then added: "Scalise told reporters, 'I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.'"

Not mentioned was that back in 2015 it was already reported that the man who invited Scalise to speak in 2002 disputed the account that the congressman spoke to Duke's group. The man who booked hotel space for the group's convention, Kenny Knight, has claimed the event Scalise spoke to was a separate event for his local community group which he held in the same hotel as Duke's group to take advantage of the available space. Additionally, a flyer for the convention shows no sign that Scalise was one of the scheduled speakers.

As we pointed out the last time Wilmouth made this claim, he's completely ignoring the fact that Scalise issued an apology for speaking to Duke's group:

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Scalise called his appearance before the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) — an extremist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke — a “mistake I regret” and added that he rejected the organization’s racist ideology. 

As he has over the past two days, Scalise said he made the EURO speech only to drum up support for a tax proposal he was then pushing in the state legislature. 

“Twelve years ago, I spoke to many different Louisiana groups as a state representative, trying to build support for legislation that focused on cutting wasteful state spending, eliminating government corruption, and stopping tax hikes,” Scalise said in his latest statement. 

“One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn. It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold. I am very disappointed that anyone would try to infer otherwise for political gain. As a Catholic, these groups hold views that are vehemently opposed to my own personal faith, and I reject that kind of hateful bigotry. Those who know me best know I have always been passionate about helping, serving, and fighting for every family that I represent. And I will continue to do so.”

That seems like a major omission on Wilmouth's part. Which make the rest of his post as discredited as he claims the CNN reporter is.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EDT
Thursday, June 15, 2017
MRC Tries to Politicize Congressman's Shooting -- As It Bashes Others for Politicizing It
Topic: Media Research Center

If there's one thing that the Media Research Center reliably does in the face of a shooting tragedy, it's complaining that others are politicizing said tragedy by discussing gun control -- and it did just that after yesterday's shooting of a congressman and others in Virginia.

"Shameful: Journalists Immediately Politicize Congressional Shooting With Gun Control Calls" read the headline of a post from Scott Whitlock, i which he huffed, "Apparently, it’s never too soon for liberal journalists to politicize a tragedy."

Madeleine Post followed with a post headlined "Celebs Brazenly Politicize Scalise Shooting, Declare ‘Too Many Guns’," complaining that "celebrities were more concerned with the politics of gun control than the fact that a U.S. congressman was shot."

Of course, the MRC has its own ways of politicizing tragedies, and it did so here as well.

MRC researcher Nicholas Fondacaro rushed to blame the media in a tweet complaining, "Meanwhile, @CBSNews recently complimented a play depicting the assassination of Trump," with the added hashtag #MediaPlayedARole.

Yes, Fondacaro is apparently blaming the shooting on a production of "Julius Caesar" that portrays a Trump-esque titular character.And the last time we checked, Fondacaro's attempt to make #MediaPlayedARole a thing utterly failed -- even his fellow MRC employees weren't picking it up.

Fondacaro was silent -- as was the rest of the MRC -- about a 2012 production of "Julius Caesar" that assassinated an Obama-esque titular character.

But, hey, why let double standards get in the way of a good attack line?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:53 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
The MRC vs. Shakespeare
Topic: Media Research Center

Having dispatched Reza Aslan, the revenge machine at the Media Research Center has set its sights on a bigger target: William Shakespeare.

Or, more accurately, a New York City production of "Julius Caesar" in modern dress, in which the titular character -- who gets assasinated at the midpoint of the play -- looks not unlike Donald Trump.

A June 9 column by the MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell rants about the production's "poorly disguised Trump" and about "the play's Trump assassination plot" and the "bloody murder of Trump." Well, no.

Graham and Bozell give no indication that, in addition to any evidence they have ever seen the play they're attacking in any form, the theater company rewrote any of the play's prose to make it a "Trump assassination plot," which means that, staging aside, it's the same play it has been for the past 400 years or so -- in which the point of the entire production is not the assassination but its aftermath.

But it appears Bozell, Graham and the rest of the MRC are as ignorant of classic theater than they are of opera, so it has decided to take down Shakespeare:

  • Kristine Marsh whined about "overt depictions of killing our president."
  • Tom Blumer declared that the play has a "sick, modernized plot" -- not presenting any evidence that the plot itself was actually "modernized" -- and that the play would not have been ignored "if it had been adapted to show the assassination of Barack Obama while he was in office."
  • Bozell weighed in again, huffing that the media "has put aside any semblance of objectivity, any semblance of fairness, any semblance of journalistic ethics" by not immediately condemning a modern interpretation of a classic play.
  • Scott Whitlock vaguely described "Julius Caesar" as "a shocking New York play in which a Donald Trump look-alike is stabbed to death."
  • Madeline Post attacked "The View's " Whoopi Goldberg for pointing out the obvious -- that the play "is not the story of Donald Trump" -- and went on to assert that "Julius Caesar" has an "unmistakable satirical nature."(Actually, the play is considered a tragedy.)

Over at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Gage Cohen is also unfamiliar with classic theater, complaining that the theater company offered "free tickets to anyone who wants to see President Trump assassinated" and later describing the play as a production "in which President Trump is portrayed as being brutally stabbed to death." Cohen later complained that the company putting on the play that "depicts PResident Trump stabbed to death, received an average of $976,296 from the government annually between 2010 and 2014."

Despite Tom Blumer's denial of wuch, there was amajor production of "Julius Caesar" in which Obama was depicted at the titular character -- a 2012 production by the storied Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. We found no evidence that Bozell or anyone else at the MRC objected to that production.

In other words, this is just another partisan game by the MRC. If Bozell and Co. didn't speak in 2012, they have no moral authority to speak up now.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Plots Revenge
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center couldn't save Bill O'Reilly's job, but it's trying to save Sean Hannity's by hiding the truth, and it's lashing out at anyone who dares to criticize President Trump. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EDT
Monday, June 12, 2017
MRC's Double Standard on Typos
Topic: Media Research Center

After President Trump's "covfefe" tweet, the Media Research Center fired off indignant post after indignant post about all the coverage it got:

The author of that last post, Curtis Houck, complained: "If people aren’t going to have a serious debate about actual issues, perhaps not obsessing over dumb things like the President’s typo would give the media and their fans more credibility."

Houck seems to have forgotten that he too obsessed of someone's dumb typo. In fact, he devoted an entire April 21 post to it:

Folks, you can’t make this up. Typo of the year? I think so!

In a Tuesday story about a Jewish Republican Congressman responding to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments about Adolf Hitler and chemical weapons, The Hill’s Cristina Marcos referred to Spicer as Hitler (yes, you read that right).

Houck did eventually admit that we all make mistakes and the article was corrected 20 minutes after it first was posted.

And a June 8 post by Mike Ciandella needlessly highlighted another quickly corrected typo:

While live tweeting the Senate hearing for former FBI Director James Comey, NBC News Chief Global Correspodent accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of telling Comey to call the Russia investigation a “matter” instead of an “investigation.” Except, Comey had been talking about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch telling him to call the Hillary Clinton email investigation a “matter.”

This tweet has since been deleted, but not before it could be screen captured for posterity.

If Trump's "covfefe" tweet wasn't news to the MRC, tweets from reporters that are quickly corrected shouldn't be either. But nobody has ever claimed the MRC's standards are equally applied to both conservatives and non-conservatives.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EDT
Sunday, June 11, 2017
MRC Gets Its Scalp: Reza Aslan Leaves CNN
Topic: Media Research Center

It looks like the Media Research Center has gotten the first scalp of its revenge campaign: Reza Aslan had the second season of his CNN show "Believer" canceled following the shrill, partisan attacks by the MRC for comments made on his private Twitter account and not on CNN's air.

A June 9 MRC post by Curtis Houck was quick to cheer the news, slamming Aslan as "an anti-Christian, far-left pundit." Only in the right-wing world of the MRC would a scholar who wrote a book about the life of Jesus be considered "anti-Christian" and simply criticizing Persident Trump be considered "far-left."

As expected, MRC chief Brent Bozell was also quick to spike the football:

America has sent an unmistakable message to CNN. We will not stand idly by while their so-called "religious scholar" smears the president of the United States and conservative leaders with obscenity-laden insults. MRC supporters  generated an avalanche of over 7,000 phone calls to CNN this week demanding Reza Aslan’s removal. CNN paid attention and  ultimately did the right thing -- which they should have done immediately. When left-wing pundits and journalists use social media as a platform to slander those with whom they disagree, including President Trump, there will be consequences. It is reckless, sophomoric and unprofessional. Our campaign to hold the liberal media accountable does not end here. This is just the beginning.”

The "unmistakable message" we're seeing, though, is that the MRC's shrillness has been rewarded and it's out for more blood. And that the MRC will never hold, say, Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbuagh to same standards it held Aslan. And that the MRC's goal is not to "hold the liberal media accountable" but, rather, to censor any criticism of Trump, no matter how justified.

The MRC is obsessively seeking out its next scalping victim as we speak. There's no need to pretend there's any principle behind it -- it's just a power play.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT
Saturday, June 10, 2017
MRC Blogger Oozes With Contempt for Kaepernick, Cheers He Still Doesn't Have A QB Job
Topic: Media Research Center

Dylan Gwinn and "Bruce Bookter" may have departed NewsBusters, but the Media Research Center has someone new to rant about sports being too liberal: Jay Maxson. But that, like "Bookter," could be a fake name as well for all we know, because his archive page includes no photo or related Twitter account and vaguely describes him only as a "Contributing Writer for MRC Culture."

He knows how to parrot the right-wing line as well as his predecessors, and like them he takes glee in attacking NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for taking a principled stand on an issue.

In a March post, after Kaepernick became a free agent, Maxon wrote a sneering "letter" for Kaepernick to send to interested teams:

Any time I couldn’t find an open receiver and it looked like I was going to get clobbered, I ran like a kid in Ferguson getting chased by cops for no good reason – rushing for 2,300 career yards. As you can see, I will be a great double threat as a passer and runner as your QB.

[...]

I believe in coming out of my gated community now and then giving back to the people who buy my #7 shirts. So I will be available work with the Jets’ community outreach department to help spread Black Lives Matters  power principles. When I’m not busy doing BLM fundraisers, I will be available to speak to school groups and to urban journalists friendly to the cause.

In fact, Kaepernick has put his money where his mouth is, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities. We suspect that Maxson -- if that is, in fact, his real name -- cannot say the same.

A couple weeks later, Maxon cheered that Kaepernick hadn't been immediately signed, even though there was months to go before the NFL season starts:

No matter the reasoning of the general managers, Kaepernick is learning a hard lesson. In your free agent year, you might want to think twice about showing disrespect for the symbol of freedom and the sacrifice of those who fought and died for our country. Now he’s paying the price for activism that evoked strong opposition from fans across the nation. He’s learning that NFL executives don’t appear to be among those who supported his radical stand and the distractions it brought to his team.

The next day, Maxson still wouldn't acknowledge that Kaepernick is backing up his words on charitable donations, instead promoting "the many good things happening through the Tim Tebow Foundation."

Maxson wasn't done with the irrational anti-Kaepernick tirades:

  • He attacked commentators who said Kaepernick is being "whiteballed" as engaging in "sports fantasy" with their "unique ability to read the minds of NFL owners and general managers" -- never mind that mind-reading is exactly what Maxson himself did in his sneering fake-Kaepernick letter.
  • He criticized everyone defending Kaepernick as "liberal media apologists."
  • He even bashed a writer who pointed out that Kaepernick has better character that a couple recent NFL draft picks accused of violent crimes, insisting that "it's not an either/or choice between Kaepernick and the new draft picks with the heavy baggage" -- thus bizarrely equating taking a knee for the National Anthem with rape and assault.
  • He ranted in a May 16 post: "can all the teams in the NFL be wrong about the distraction Kaepernick will bring to the table? They know that signing the guy is a blatant endorsement for hatred of public safety officers."
  • In promoting an obscure blogger's attack on Kaepernick, Maxson ranted further that Kaepernick "gets a ton of press only because left-wing media are using him to advance their own political beliefs."

Maxson's well of biased animus toward Kaepernick is apparently bottomless. In a June 5 post, Maxson attacked the "left-stram sports media" (whatever that is) for noting that the Seattle Seahawks didn't pick up Kaepernick, screeching that "Seattle is already loaded with hyper-active leftists and it appeared that by corralling the flag/cop-hating Kaepernick the Seahawks would create the greatest assortment of far Left athlete-activists ever."

A June 7 post by Maxson once again whines about the "media bias" on Kaepernick and once again cheering that Kaepernick hasn't yet found a job because he "offended millions of veterans, police officers and patriots by refusing to stand for the national anthem last season. Responding to a New York Daily News writer's claim that he'll boycott the NFL this fall if Kaepernick doesn't find a quarterback job, Maxson huffed: "Now that a representative of the New York Daily News has admitted his contempt for a majority of Americans and elevated bias and activism over good principles of journalism, a boycott of this bigoted rag is more than justifiable."

But is that writer really more filled with contempt that Maxson?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 AM EDT
Thursday, June 8, 2017
MRC Admits 'Far-Left' Label Unfair, Designed to Smear
Topic: Media Research Center

You gotta love it when the Media Research Center inadvertently gives away the game. Tim Graham does just that in a June 5 post when he complains that "Liberals generally avoid any reference to a 'far left,' since that would unfairly make Democrats sound synonymous with communists."

Unfairly making Democrats sound synonymous with communists, though, is precisely the point of the MRC's promiscuous use of "far left" to label anything and everything it doesn't like.

Ironically, in addition to coming after he had already labeled the Southern Poverty Law Center "far-left," Graham's complaint comes in the midst of whining that NPR is doing the same thing the MRC does in alleged overuse of a descriptor: "NPR had no problem using 'far right' to describe murderous white nationalists on Sunday and the 'Texas Freedom Caucus,' a group of conservative Republican state legislators in Austin, on Saturday."

Of course, Graham never explains the difference between conservative (in further irony, a label the MRC has also railed against) and "far right," or why the Texas Freedom Caucus is not the latter.

If Graham did that, he would then also have to explain why the MRC insists on labeling any remotely non-conservative person or group "far left." But he's a terrible media critic, so he doesn't want to have to defend his methods -- or explain why he's hypocritically bashing someone else for something he himself does.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
MRC Adds To Its Pile of Bogus Coverage 'Studies'
Topic: Media Research Center

Oh, look, it's another bogus "study" from the Media Research Center! Take it away, Mike Ciandella:

Just this year alone, more than 50 people have been killed protesting the heartbreaking malpractice of Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship. According to the IMF, inflation will surpass 700% this year, while unemployment will hit 25%; shortages of necessities such as food and medicine are rampant. The socialist president has cracked down on any opposition, and used the Venezuelan Supreme Court to nullify the election of an opposition-controlled Congress.

Yet the Big Three evening newscasts have tried to pretend this crisis does not exist, offering virtually no coverage as the situation has deteriorated over the past four years. A new study by the Media Research Center found that from March 2013 (after the death of strongman Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez) through May 29, 2017, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows have aired a mere 25 stories, totaling 28 minutes, 39 seconds of coverage — barely 30 seconds per month — to the rapidly worsening situation in Venezuela. In this same time period, approximately 50,000 individual news stories on other topics aired on these broadcasts (our Bias by the Minute database shows a little more than 1,000 stories per month, and the time frame looks at slightly more than 50 months).

The networks have also been reluctant to attach the “socialist” label to Venezuela’s government, and have utterly failed to criticize liberal politicians and celebrities who have praised the Chavez and Maduro regimes.

Despite calling himself a "research analyst" for the MRC, Ciandella apparently failed to do the most basic bit of analysis for this piece: whether socialism is, in fact, to blame for the crisis in Venezuela.

As we've pointed out before when the MRC made this argument about the increasingly dire situation in Venezuela, actual economic experts say that the fault lies more with a plunge in oil prices in an economy based on oil exports, a mismanaged economy and rampant corruption and cronyism in the Venezuelan government than with socialism in and of itself.

Ciandella offers no evidence to back up his contention that socialism is the sole cause of the Venezuelan crisis. Instead, he seems to think that because the government there called itself socialist, it must be and, thus, must be the reason it failed.

Ciandella is simply assuming that his very narrow selection of media failed to sufficiently mention "socialism" in regard to Venezuela because it's biased. Since Ciandella failed to do his basic homework for this study, he does not consider the possibility that they did and, thus, they know that socialism is not the sole cause.

And that is how the MRC uses its kneejerk right-wing bias to botch another "study."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT

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