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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
MRC Censors The Rest of the McAuliffe-Clinton Donation Story
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens waxes indignant in an Oct. 24 post:

Democratic Governor Terry McAullife’s PAC donated almost $500,000 to the wife of an FBI agent leading the probe into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal.

This stunning revelation, despite being reported in a front page story in Monday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, didn’t receive any time on the Big Three network (ABC, CBS, NBC) morning shows. 


The questionable donation, so far, has yet to be reported on the Big Three networks but was covered on Fox News Channel (FNC) and Fox Business Network (FBN). 

The MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that "The “Big Three” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) put their undying loyalty to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on full display Monday evening, as they completely blacked out two news stories with explosive consequences for the campaign," including the one about how "a long time Clinton confidant and Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe, gifted almost half a million dollars to the wife of an FBI agent leading the Clinton e-mail investigation." Fox News' Bret Baier reported it, Fondacaro proudly added.

MRC chief Brent Bozell followed up, as it so happens, in a Fox Business appearance, ranting of the donation: "This is called bribery. This is bribery of the FBI and it’s not even covered. This is astounding. So, the bottom line is Donald Trump is 100 percent correct that this is a rigged media against him."

But the MRC is censoring a very important part of the story -- one that clears everyone involved. 

As Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler explains, the donations by McAuliffe's PAC to Jill McCabe in thte 2015 Virginia legislative election were made well before her husband was named to an FBI team proving Clinton's emails -- three months after McCabe lost her election, in fact. Kessler adds -- and the MRC fails to mention -- that there was no way "McAuliffe would know that the husband of someone he was supporting in a Virginia legislative race was going to be promoted months later."

In other words, there is no bribery or any other crime. Don't expect Bozell or the MRC to apologize for lying to their readers and listeners -- they don't do that.

Kessler also notes that Donald Trump is promoting an even more bogus version of this story. Which means the only reason the MRC is pushing this bogus story is for Trump's benefit -- or because it's following orders from the Trump campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 9:02 PM EDT
LGBT-Hating MRC Predictably Disapproves of 'Rocky Horror' Remake
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center despises transgenders, the gender-fluid, gays and, generally, anyone who fails to conform to traditional gender norms.

Fox TV airs a remake of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," which celebrates all those things.

Cue MRC writer Alexa Moutevelis Coombs for the utterly predictable outrage:

What was Fox thinking airing The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, a remake of the 1975 musical/comedy/horror cult classic, at 8pm eastern?

I mean, this is a musical that has its virgin character seducing a Frankenstein sex monster singing, “Toucha-toucha-toucha-touch me, I wanna be dirty.” Is that what you want to hear kids singing at school tomorrow? There is a reason the original was rated R and relegated to midnight showings for college students. But this version was brought to you by the same people kids watch all day: It’s directed by Kenny Ortega, of Disney’s High School Musical fame, and features Nickelodeon and Disney stars Victoria Justice and Ryan McCartan, respectively, as Janet and Brad.

For those who don’t know, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is about an innocent, recently engaged couple (Janet and Brad), who knock at the door to a castle after their car breaks down in the rain, only to find a convention of gender-bending alien weirdos experimenting with their sexuality and they decide to join in. Obviously this is wildly inappropriate material for minors - and most people, really - to begin with, so I don’t know how this remake got off the drawing board at Fox.

Another crazy Fox idea: The main character is a bisexual transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Tim Curry in the original film, in Fox’s version, he is played by transgender actress Laverne Cox. So, audiences were subjected to watching a transgender singing, “I’m a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania,” in lingerie with cleavage hanging out shimmying and grinding up against anyone, man or woman, who danced past.

Some things were toned town from the film, the murder was quick with little blood, the cannibalism seemed to have been overlooked, and the sexual situations didn’t go quite as far and were slightly less rapey. But there’s still the fact that you had a transgender “woman” in bed with Janet, and then with Brad, ultimately dressing him in drag, too. There was also a gratuitous tongue kiss between Frank and Brad, and Brad and Rocky make an intimate sandwich out of Janet in the pool.

What does it say about the state of our culture that all this was considered wild and transgressive in the 1970s but is now fine for a mainstream broadcast television event in 2016? It’s just a huge jump to the left, and then no steps to the right...

Let's NOT do the time warp again.

Yep, utterly predictable. And utterly humorless, completely missing the idea of campiness that pervades the original (less so the remake).

It's sad that such an uninformed, hateful rant is considered legitimate media criticism at the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
Monday, October 24, 2016
MRC: Media 'Collusion' Doesn't Require Actual Collusion
Topic: Media Research Center

To see just how far down the rabbit hole the Media Research Center is on the idea that "the media" is colluding against Donald Trump, just read this Oct. 16 post by Nicholas Fondacaro.

In it, he rages at CNN's Brian Stelter for dismissing the idea of media collusion as "not just false, it's ludicrous and it's damaging." He was joined by the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan, who pointed out that Nobody is sitting in a room with each other and planning to, you know, do anything evil to a candidate. It's just not the case." Sullivan added: "I mean, there are media outlets, there are newspapers, there are cable TV stations, there are network news, but there is no, sort of, little group called 'the media' that gets together and decides to do terrible things to Donald Trump. How do you prove that? It's a reality check."

Fondacaro responded that equating groupthink to collusion:

The strawman argument presented by Sullivan is just about as absurd as she believes Trump’s is about the media. The media doesn’t need to meet like a cabal to push an agenda. There are members of the media who admit that the industry is dominated by liberals. And the fact that most of them see the world through a similar prism means their coverage is colored how they perceive it.

So collusion doesn't require actual collusion, just people who think the same way?  How ridiculous.

Fondacaro's insistence that there is a monolithic "media" shows how little he knows about how the media works -- shocking since he's supposed to be a media researcher.

The New York Times is not the Washington Post is not the New York Post is not the Los Angeles Times is not CBS is not CNN is not the Omaha World-Herald. Lumping all newspapers and TV into "the media," as  Fondacaro insists on doing (and which the MRC is paying to do) simply ignores reality. There are many different owners and separate newsrooms, and even ridiculously assuming that every journalist has the exact same training that somehow automatically turns them into liberal elites who think exactly alike, the odds of the kind of lockstep groupthink Fondacaro and the MRC insist takes place is small indeed.

As further evidence of this alleged collusion, Fondacaro cites "Media Research Center data which shows how lopsided recent coverage of the candidates had been, linking to an MRC post complaining that "a tape showing Trump making inappropriate remarks" received much more coverage than "the Wikileaks release of multiple years’ worth of e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s staff." But that  so-called research reflects the MRC's own lazy bias: it covers only the three TV network and completely ignores the cable news networks.

We're willing to bet that even Fox News, the MRC's favorite media outlet, gave a healthy amount of time to Trump's vile misogyny -- er, "inappropriate remarks." But as we've pointed out, the MRC gibe Fox News a pass because 1) it has the media bias the MRC prefers, and 2) MRC chief Brent Bozell and other MRC officials regularly appear on it, and they won't jeopardize their main source of media exposure.

Fondacaro then attacked Stelter:

Before the first presidential debate he demanded that Trump receive harsher treatment than Clinton from the moderator. He even attacked Associated Press reporters for exposing connections between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department. Obviously, Stelter’s claim that the liberal media does not aid the Clinton campaign is also “ludicrous,” or maybe he’s trying to land a spot in Clinton’s next media party.  

Inn fact, according to the link Fondacaro supplied (to an earlier post he wrote), Stelter did not "demand that Trump receive harsher treatment than Clinton" during a debate; he argued that debate moderators should check facts during a debate, a process that would hurt Trump because he lies exponentially more than Clinton does.

As far as Fondacaro's snide pot shot that Stelter is just "trying to land a spot in Clinton’s next media party" goes: Does he think Stelter will get better treatment there than the MRC gave debate moderator (and handpicked choice) Chris Wallace?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT
Sunday, October 23, 2016
MRC Embraces Trump's Empty 'Rigged Media' Crusade
Topic: Media Research Center

Donald Trump's complaint that the media is "rigged" has always been an empty complaint -- heck, even Fox News' Greg Gutfield, no liberal he, admits that Trump has received much more free media than any other presidential candidate and has benefited greatly from it. Trump is simply making the claim now because he's losing because of his own mistakes and he refuses to take responsibility for it.

The Media Research Center used to believe that about Trump -- it used to complain how NBC created the candidate Trump by airing "The Apprentice" -- until it flipped to such a magnitude that it's now criticizing others for making that exact same argument. Similarly, the MRC wouldn't recognize Trump's complaints of media bias against Fox News; it was only when he focused on the MRC's pre-approved targets that it paid attention.

Brent Bozell and crew almost certainly know that Trump's "rigged media" crusade, like much of the rest of the campaign's claimed ideological leanings, is empty -- after all, Bozell wouldn't support Trump in the primaries because he doesn't "walk with" conservatives. There's no reason to believe Trump's heart has changed, but because he's now saying some of the things a Republican candidate is supposed to say, the MRC will blindly play along.

And because Trump is now giving the "liberal media bias" meme the biggest megaphone it's ever had -- again, regardless of the fact that Trump only cares about it because he's losing and needs someone to blame -- the MRC will happily ride Trump's coattails.

Thus, Bozell and Tim Graham's Oct. 19 column, headlined "Trump's Right: The Media Is Rigged." Bozell and Graham engage in their usual tired anti-media ranting:

A charge of leftist media bias this election cycle is about as ludicrous as claiming that the sun rises in the east. All these WikiLeaks emails give firsthand evidence of the so-called "objective" press acting like badly disguised Clinton campaign workers. If this sort of fraud were illegal, these reporters would be headed for Sing Sing.

What's false, ludicrous and damaging to democracy is the idea that this sort of journalistic betrayal is ethical and permissible.

What is the evidence they present of this? A few minor things. First, a report that Democratic strategist and then-CNN contributor Donna Brazile allegedly forwared a question from an upcoming CNN-hosted candidate forum to Hillary Clinton, as revealed in the stolen WikiLeaks emails. The veracity of the email has never been examined, and Brazile has denied doing any such thing -- and the question itself was a fairly standard query about the death penalty that any competent candidate would have a position staked out on, not any sort of sneaky gotcha question -- yet Bozell and Graham huff that Brazile was "a CNN contributor rigging a CNN event,"adding, "If Corey Lewandowski were feeding town-hall questions to Donald Trump, we can guess Stelter would have a heart attack on air."

If the latter were true, Bozell and Graham would likely be praising Lewandowski -- who, unlike Brazile at the time, remains on the payroll of a presidential campaign -- for his cunning and willingness to stick it to the "liberal media."

The second example Bozell and Graham cite is the Washington Post's breaking the news of the tape o' vile misogyny from Trump, and it goes full Clinton Equivocation on that: "So what do you call the Washington Post publishing the Trump sex-talk tape in six hours, whereas it sat on the Paula Jones story for months? What's absurd is denying that liberal bias is in full corrosive effect."

Bozell and Graham conveniently forget that Paula Jones' allegations were being shopped by Clinton's political enemies, not preserved on a network-recorded videotape, so there was much skepticism about her motivation.

Bozell and Graham also complain about how "ABC's George Stephanopoulos harshly interviewed 'Clinton Cash' author Peter Schweizer" over his Clinton Foundation hit job, with behind-the-scenes assistance from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Bozell and Graham apparently wanted Schweizer to be able to present his attacks without challenged -- you know, like Bozell gets to do every time he appears on Fox News.

But as we've noted, even Bozell's own organization has conceded that Schweizer's Schweizer is a conservative activist who wrote his book as a partisan attack against Clinton and, as he himself appears to admit to WorldNetDaily, has no actual proof to support his allegations. That leaves him open to hard questioning, and apparently Schweizer couldn't handle it.

Bozell and Graham even complain about WikiLeaks revelations that some reporters worked with the Clinton campaign to clear quotes, but we're willing to bet that the MRC's own "news" division,, does that sort of thing pretty regularly. The authors don't bring up CNS' supposed journalistic standards as a rebuke -- perhaps because there may not be any.

Bozell and Graham howl that "Wikileaks is exposing the media-Democrat collusion that is utterly routine in every election cycle ," but don't discuss the media-Trump collusion happening right now at Breitbart News. They cannot name any major "liberal media" figure who moved straight from that job to running a political campaign, like Breitbart's Steve Bannon did for Trump's campaign -- because there hasn't been one.

Trump is parroting the MRC's message, and so Bozell and the MRC will parrot him -- that much is obvious. Pointing that out, though, tends to get one smeared as a drunk by Graham.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
Saturday, October 22, 2016
MRC Clinton Equivocation Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been hitting the Clinton Equivocation hard this election season as it tries to deflect ever-more-sleazy accusations against Donald Trump by insisting that a Clinton did it first and worse.

One MRC researcher with a particular Clinton Equivocation fixation is Brad Wilmouth. On Oct. 11 he complained:

As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Monday recalled both the tape from 2005 revealing Donald Trump speaking lewdly about his behavior toward women, and Trump inviting women who have accused Bill Clinton of either sexual harrassment or assault to Sunday's debate, there was an obvious double standard in the willingness to use the term "sexual assault" with regard to Trump's behavior, while Clinton's behavior was alluded to in a more vague and toned down manner.

While the CBS Evening News called Trump's behavior "sexual assault," but Clinton's more violent behavior was labeled as "extramarital affairs" on the same show, ABC's World News Tonight and the NBC Nightly News each used a clip of debate moderator Anderson Cooper charging that Trump "sexually assaulted" women, but in both news casts used more vague terms like "wrongdoing" and "abused," or using words like "accusers" and "accused," giving little detail on what the Clintons were being accused of.

But Wilmouth still wasn't satisfied that the media was sufficiently dragging Bill Clinton down to Trump's level. So he recycled his complaint for an Oct. 21 post:

Since a number of women have gone public with charges that Donald Trump groped or forceably kissed them in past encounters, there has been a pattern of the broadcast networks being more likely to use the words "sexual assault" in referring to Trump's behavior, while using more toned down or vague wording to describe accusations against former President Bill Clinton of behavior that is at least as severe. This double standard has especially recurred several times over the past week on ABC's World News Tonight.

Between them, ABC correspondents Tom Llamas and David Wright have used forms of the words "sexual assault" or "assault" five times across three shows since last Thursday. But, on all five occasions when similar accusations against Clinton were referenced, Llamas avoided the word "assault," using words like "sex scandals," "sexual misconduct," and "accusers."

Yes, Wilmouth is spending what appears to be a substantial amount of time obsessing over whether Trump is being accused too much of engaging in "sexual assault,"and not enough time wondering why Trump's behavior should be compared to someone who is not on the ballot.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
Friday, October 21, 2016
Non-Shocker: MRC Loved Chris Wallace As Debate Moderator, Because Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's praise for Fox News' Chris Wallace's performance as moderator of the third presidential debate is utterly unsurprising. The fix was in from the beginning -- more specifically, since 2007, when Bozell demanded that Wallace be allowed to host a debate specifially because he would be Republican-friendly.

When Wallace was named a moderator, the MRC's Tim Graham cheered "the first nod to Fox News." The MRC had a curious hands-off policy on Wallace in the runup to his debate. While it cranked out working-the-ref articles detailing what it claimed to be the most "liberal" moments of earlier debate moderators Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, as well as mocking Matt Lauer's purported lack of gravitas before a presidential forum he moderated (Elaine Quijano was exempt because, according to Graham, "The MRC doesn't have a thick file on Elaine Quijano"), it did no such treatment for Wallace despite his extensive record. In fact, Graham insisted that Wallace wouldn't skew right: "Wallace won't want to look like a Trump booster, and the liberal media noted some tough questions in the primaries. The Washington Post in March hailed how Wallace set a 'bear trap' for Trump in a budget question."

When the earlier debates were over, MRC chief Brent Bozell rushed to attack the moderators. After Wallace's debate, Bozell was practically slobbering over the guy, giving him an "A+ PERFECT" grade:

Chris Wallace killed it tonight as moderator. He was perfectly fair to both, asking the exact same number of tough questions to both sides (eight to each). He asked the questions that his colleagues at CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC refused to ask in the three prior presidential and vice presidential debates. His questions were substantive, relevant, issue-based, and focused on the records and quotes of the two candidates. He also remembered the first rule of debate moderating: GET OUT OF THE WAY. He was a total pro in every way, allowing the candidates to debate each other and explain themselves. I hope Fox’s competitors took notes. This is how it's done!

Bozell offered nothing to back this up, just like he never bothered to back up any of his attacks on the other moderators.

He didn't have to, because none of his post-debate statements were based on actual performace. Wallace got slobbering praise because he works for Fox News, where Bozell and other MRC staffers appear regularly. The other moderators were bashed because they don't work for Fox and because bashing them furthers the MRC anti-media agenda.

So dedicated is the MRC to protecting Wallace that Graham went after one commentator who deviated from the "near-universal praise" for him.Graham, like Bozell, is ignoring that Wallace was not balanced and did put a right-wing spin on some questions.

That analysis would seem to bolster John Ziegler's argument that the MRC cares more about fundraising than serious analysis of media bias. Of course, noting such things only gets you smeared as a drunk by Graham.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
Thursday, October 20, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: The Return of the Clinton Equivocation
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center gives Donald Trump a pass on his increasingly sleazy behavior by insisting that a Clinton did it first and worse. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Smears MRC Critic As Drunk
Topic: Media Research Center

It seems the Media Research Center may be even worse at taking criticism than WorldNetDaily 's Joseph Farah.

MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham spent an Oct. 17 post lashing out at conservative activist John Ziegler for pointing out at Mediaite that Donald Trump's claim of media bias is the desperate defense of a terrible candidate, obscuring what he considers genuine media bias, and that the MRC is simply trying to cash in by latching on to it because it "fundraises off of bad media coverage and wouldn’t exist if the problem ever really got solved." Mostly, Graham portrays Ziegler as drunk for saying it by making "Breathalyzer" references. Commence the whining, Tim:

There's nothing laughable in the charge that the problem of media bias against Trump isn't "real." You may argue Trump is not a movement conservative (many did during the primaries and many still do). But the reality of media bias against Trump surrounds anyone who follows the political media right now. Ziegler then launches into arrogant boasting about how he takes media bias too seriously to face "fake fighters against bias" like the "conservative" "Media Research Center."


Dear John: We don't know what we did to deserve this Breathalyzer-worthy rant. Many of us have spent most of our careers building the case against liberal media bias. There's nothing "fake" about it. You don't provide one "fake" example. If we are somehow insincere to fight the good fight for 30 years insincerely to keep the money coming in -- then can't it just be easily turned around on your career?

It's understandable that Ziegler is upset that many in the conservative media lined up with Trump in the primaries. It might even be understandable that Ziegler is mad that the MRC is still identifying how the media proves daily it's seeking a Trump defeat in the general election. Apparently we should somehow be taking two months off and knitting Reagan quilts. But it's offensive to insist anyone who disagrees with your tactics is whoring themselves out for (non)profit. 

But it's undeniable that the MRC's embrace of Trump's media bias claims has been selective, depending on the target. As we've documented, the MRC wouldn't touch Trump's accusations of media bias in 2015 -- but then, they were targeted at Fox News, where Brent Bozell has a weekly slot on "Hannity" and he and other MRC employeees make regular appearances. It's only when Trump started targeting the so-called "liberal media" -- coincindentially, the MRC's main target -- in the wake of bad news about his vile misogyny that the MRC bothered to echo them.

Also remember the MRC's big flip-flop: It was originally bashing the "liberal media" for being too soft on Trump.

But Graham is too busy smearing Ziegler as an alcoholic to address the substance of his criticism, that Trump didn't push the "crooked media" line until women stepped forward with tales of his boorish behavior, and "Trump’s complaints are not based in truth, but in desperation. He is saying whatever might sound good at the moment to his base of fanatical future subscribers to whatever media venture he will create after he loses."Graham certainly knows this as well. But as long as he's saying the right words about a "crooked media," Graham won't bother to acknowledge that Trump's just playing to the base to save his political skin and not making an intellectual argument.

That appears to be because Graham knows he's right about the MRC being opportunistic. If the MRC was sincerely interested in media, wouldn't it have taken all bias complaints by Trump seriously? After all, accusing Fox News of media bias wouldn't rake in the donations that accusations against its pretedermined targets generate.

To see that just requires applied logic, not a chemically altered state. The fact that Graham can't, or won't, see the difference between the two tells you all you need to know about the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:09 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
MRC Mad That 'Family Guy' Quoted Trump Verbatim
Topic: Media Research Center

The TV show "Family Guy" worked the infamous tape of Donald Trump making vile misogynistic remarks into the most recent episode of the show, and the Media Research Center's Erik Soderstrom was not pleased, and works in a rather lame Clinton Equivocation as well:

Ever eager to do their part this election, Family Guy decided to wade into the 2016 presidential campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton by including the “Trump tapes” as part of last night’s episode, “American Gigg-olo.” Crammed into a plot that spent most of its time following striking pilot turned male prostitute, Glenn Quagmire, Family Guy's writers weakly shoehorned the embarrassing video into the episode by cutting in audio as if the show’s main character, Peter Griffin, had also been aboard the Access Hollywood bus during the hot mic incident.

I won’t include the video, but the original is widely available online and FOX posted the episode’s edited version on Twitter if you feel compelled to watch it yourself. Donald Trump has already apologized for his remarks, and including the video wasn’t about the episode’s story; it was about piling on the Republican nominee in every medium as we inch closer and closer to election day.

I won’t hold my breath for a Family Guy flashback placing one of the show’s characters in the room when Hillary donned her best, fake African American accent and screeched, “I don’t feel no ways tired.” I don’t anticipate seeing them work the audio of Hillary chuckling about her defense of a child rapist and subsequent plea bargain into a character’s memories. When Hollywood makes in-kind donations, they always seem to end up on one side of the aisle.

Poor Erik. Not only does he have to admit that his preferred candidate for president is so raunchy he can't post a video of him saying said raunchy things at the MRC, he can only muster the defense that the video was "embarrassing" and that "Trump has already apologized for his remarks."

Of course, another reason why Soderstrom won't post the video is that "Family Guy" zings Trump rather harshly. The show mocks Trump's defense that it was merely "locker room talk"; that gets referenced, to which Peter Griffin replies, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s not ‘locker room talk.’ I meant like ‘good play,’ ‘good pass,’ like that kinda thing.” Peter also pitches the idea for Twitter as a place where "crazy people can bash ladies and minorities at 3 a.m."

So Soderstrom is left with defending Trump by blaming the MRC's perpetual go-to, the "liberal media." Sad, really.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 PM EDT
MRC Ludicrously Claims Lack of Endorsements For Trump Means Media Is 'Rigged'
Topic: Media Research Center

Geoffrey Dickens does an admirable job of trying to play dumb in an Oct. 18 post, in which he pretends not to know why major newspapers that have endorsed Republicans in the past aren't endorsing Donald Trump for president.

His post is laughably headline "Rigged? Trump Doesn’t Have a Single Major Newspaper Endorsement." No, it's not "rigged," as Dickens should very well know, however much he'd like that to be the case in order to promote the MRC's anti-media agenda. Newspapers' editorial pages are separate from their news pages, and an endorsement generally does not influence news coverage.

Dickens complains that even papers who endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 are endorsing Hillary clinton this year. He then huffs: "And while some of those papers have made the argument that Trump is not a reliable conservative, that doesn’t mean they have to go all the way in endorsing the liberal candidate," further complaining htat "some of the papers that switched from Romney to Clinton have attempted to justify their selection by claiming Clinton is 'bipartisan,' 'pragmatic,' and a 'centrist.'"

Dickens then excerpts from those endorsements  of Clinton -- but he never excerpts those papers' explanations of why they didn't endorse Trump. Why? Because it would show that being a "reliable conservative" is the least of those papers' worries about Trump.

For instance, Dickens highlighted the Arizona Republic's noting that "Hillary Clinton has long been a centrist," but not what it said about Trump. For instance: 

Trump’s inability to control himself or be controlled by others represents a real threat to our national security. His recent efforts to stay on script are not reassuring. They are phony.

The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric.

Were he to become president, his casual remarks — such as saying he wouldn’t defend NATO partners from invasion — could have devastating consequences.

Dickens was also curiously silent about threats of death and violence sent to the Republic after the Clinton endorsement, nor did he mention that Clinton was the first Democrat ever endorsed for president by the Republic -- a clear sign that its concerns about Trump transcend ideology.

Dickens also highlighted that the Dallas Morning News claimed that Clinton achieved "common ground with some of Congress’ most conservative lawmakers" as a senator. But he didn't note what the paper said about Trump:

Trump's values are hostile to conservatism. He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best. His serial shifts on fundamental issues reveal an astounding absence of preparedness. And his improvisational insults and midnight tweets exhibit a dangerous lack of judgment and impulse control.

The News hasn't endorsed a Democrat for president since 1944. Dickens didn't mention that either.

Dickens also failed to mention how some of these papers also noted that right-wing criticism of Clinton has become ridiculous. The Dallas Morning News wrote that Clinton's shortcomings "pale in comparison to the litany of evils some opponents accuse her of. Treason? Murder? Her being cleared of crimes by investigation after investigation has no effect on these political hyenas; they refuse to see anything but conspiracies and cover-ups." The Republic stated of Clinton: "She has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity."

Of course, doing that wouid not only highlight the feeling among the public that the Clinton-haters at the MRC have overplayed their hand, it would also dispel the notion there's a monolithic "liberal media" that's driven by ideology to attack anything Republican and conservative.

But since Dickens is a loyal MRC employee, deviating from the agenda is not his job -- pushing the meme, however dishonest, is.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
MRC Blames GOP Office Firebombing on Bill Maher
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center isn't interested in waiting for the facts to come in before assigning blame for the firebombing of a county Republican office in North Carolina. It's the age of Trump, after all, and the MRC no longer believes in facts.

The MRC's Kyle Drennen has a culprit all lined up. In an Oct. 17 post, he complains that NBC's "Today" show were discussing whether Donald Trump's "dark tone" set the stage for election violence. We'll let Drennen rant from here:

The reporter had the audacity to feature a sound bite from left-wing HBO host Bill Maher to lecture viewers on civility: “If you have that mindset, and then he loses, what happens?”

In July, Maher referred to Republicans as “retarded Nazis” who plan to force immigrants into “boxcars.”

It was precisely that kind of rhetoric that was employed by the criminals who firebombed the Republican Party office in North Carolina. 

So, it's apparently Bill Maher's fault that the GOP office got firebombed. Got it.

What, you say? That's specious logic, you say? Well, we're just using the the MRC's own logic patterns. The day before, the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that CNN's Brian Stelter "was concluding Donald Trump’s 'over heated the rhetoric' [sic] was what caused the attack." This despite the fact that Fondacaro also quouted Stelter as saying, "We have no idea who has done this. We don’t know if it’s a Republican, a Democrat, a movement. No idea."

Fondacaro then went on to say, "But according to a report by The Hill, two hours before Stelter was on air, authorities found the graffiti labeling local Republicans as Nazis. That’s not really a term Republicans like to call each other oddly enough, it’s usually a term flung by the left."

So, apparently, it all comes back to Bill Maher.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 PM EDT
Monday, October 17, 2016
MRC Writer Flip-Flops on Hitler Comparisons
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 4 post, the Media Research Center's Sarah Stites complained: "More than 15 public figures have stooped to comparing Donald Trump to history’s most infamous Nazi dictator – but at what cost? Perhaps we're seeing where that kind of hate takes the nation." Stites went on to complain that "such illegitimate parallels cheapen the Holocaust" and cited writers who warned of "rhetorical desensitization."

This denunciation of Trump-Hitler comparisons is interesting, because just 10 days later, an MRC post appeared with the headline "Who Said It: Margaret Sanger or Adolf Hitler?" It states: "100 years ago, as a result of the tireless efforts of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood opened its doors for the first time. Although Sanger is memorialized by many women as a paragon of the feminist movement, she actually condoned eugenics, racism and state regimented family planning." The following interactive slideshow does indeed mesh Sanger quotes with Hitler quotes to equate the two, though none of the quotes prove that Sanger endorsed racism, as the post suggests it does. (The MRC has a long history of spreading lies about Sanger, perhaps comfortable in the idea that the dead can't be libeled.)

The author of this post? Sarah Stites -- who was denouncing Trump-Hitler comparisons just 10 eays earlier. Nowhere in this post does she fret over cheapening the Holocaust or rhetorical desensitization.

Stites has not explained her flip-flop on Hitler comparisons.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 PM EDT
Sunday, October 16, 2016
MRC Rants About Purported Media-Clinton Collusion, Ignore Actual Trump-Media Collusion
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center continued its conspiratorial ways by blaming the media for reporting unflattering news about Donald Trump in the Oct. 14 column by MRC Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, which asserts the conspiracy is real:

We once scoffed at the suggestion there was some form of a liberal media conspiracy against conservatives. Do liberals meet for breakfast and plan attacks on their ideological foes? Of course not, we'd answer. It's not a conspiracy. It's a mindset wherein what is liberal is good, and what is conservative is in opposition to what is good.

Apparently it was a conspiracy after all. The latest emails emerging from WikiLeaks have brought in the evidence. There is an unquestionable collusion between "objective" journalists and the Clinton campaign. Leaked emails show that her operatives discuss which reporters were the most pliant recyclers of their narratives (they picked Maggie Haberman of The New York Times). But reporter Mark Leibovich — also from the Times — gave Clinton's communications director, Jen Palmieri, veto power over quotes to be included in a Clinton profile in July.

It's not just WikiLeaks that has provided numerous other examples documenting the inseparable nature of the Clinton-media relationship. What TMZ has reported on the Trump tape with the shameless sex banter is far more telling. An article published yesterday by TMZ staff said: "Multiple sources connected with NBC tell us ... top network execs knew about the video long before they publicly said they did, but wanted to hold it because it was too early in the election. The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off."

In this election, it's now documented fact that "newsgathering" was not the goal of the architects of our top newspapers and newscasts. Rather, it was victory for the Democrats.

Bozell and Graham also claimed that Trump had "half-joked" that  he'd throw Clinton in jail if elected president, whining that "the media bigwigs ranted and wailed that Trump sounded like Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler or a garden-variety tin-pot dictator." But Trump's repeated insistence Clinton should be jailed puts the lie to any claim of a "joke" and shows just how in the tank Bozell and Graham are for Trump.

Another sign of their in-the-tankness: In constructing this purported campaign-media conspiracy, the MRC is deliberately ignoring another one.

In August, Steve Bannon, the leader of Breitbart News, became the CEO of Trump's campaign.  Repeat: The head of a media organization went directly from that to becoming the head of a political campaign -- something we are pretty sure never happened with any mainstream media organization. That is, in the flesh, the media-campaign collusion conspiracy that the MRC only imagines is happening in the "liberal media."

But has the MRC complained about it? Nope!

When Bannon's appointment to the Trump campaign was first announced, the MRC complained that Breitbart News was being maligned for its occasional anti-Semitic tendencies and how its incendiary content was accurately labeled as such.It said nothing at the time about the obvious media-campaign collusion.

Nor has it since. In fact, it's whitewashing Bannon's media connection completely. An Oct. 12 post by Graham complains that a Washington Post columnist "unloaded a Two Minutes Hate column on Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon," and he doesn't even acknolwedge Bannon is also the head of a media outlet.

Of course, pointing out right-wing media-campaign collusion, even when it's in plain sight,  doesn't serve the MRC's -- or Trump's -- agenda. Feeding Trump's anti-media conspriacy, however, does.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EDT
Friday, October 14, 2016
MRC Invents a Media Conspiracy to Avout Talking About Trump's Sexism
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center are in full conspiracy mode now.

As we've noted, the MRC has been in spin mode all week in trying to distract attention from the "Access Hollywood" tape of Donald Trump spewing vile misogyny, mostly serving as a surrogate for the Trump campaign by playing the Clinton Equivocation -- that anything the Clintons have done to women is far worse because, you know, the Clintons.

Anyway, the MRC has latched onto what it thinks is a full-blown conspiracy. TMZ reported, citing anonymous sources, that NBC officials purportedly knew about the Trump tape sooner than it has claimed and that the video's release was originally scheduled to influence the second presidential debate.

The MRC's Julia Seymour was first to pick up thte story, in which she downplayed Trump's misogyny by claiming that then-"Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush "goaded" Trump into saying those awful things. But her boss got wind of it and immediatedly went into full froth (with crazier stuff in bold):

What NBC has done is a direct threat to the democratic process and evidence of what conservatives have been saying all along. A network that purports to hold itself up as an objective news source while at the same time attempts to fix an election has lost all credibility. NBC must take responsibility, apologize to Donald Trump, and fire whoever was behind the strategic release of this tape. If the rest of the media do not call out NBC for their actions, they are complicit in a cover-up. Until then, I call on fellow conservative leaders to join me in denouncing this network for its hypocrisy and deliberate abandonment of journalistic integrity.

The ignorance and hypocrisy Bozell is displaying here is staggering.

First, note that Bozell says nothing about the content of the tape, which as a self-proclaimed family-values guy should give him pause. And he won't say anything beyond rote references to how "repugnant" it is, because that will make Trump look even worse, and as part of the GOP pact he and the MRC have, he can't do that.

Second, he's repeating TMZ's ignorance about NBC's structure. "Access Hollywood" is produced by NBC's entertainment division, a different entity from NBC's news division. The TMZ story doesn't discuss entertainment vs. news; it talks about NBC as a single entity. According to the Washington Post, NBC News official state they weren't aware of the Trump tape until just a few days before it was aired, and that the news side had allowed "Access Hollywood" to break the story first.

Third:The TMZ report is unsubstantiated with any on-the-record source. Is that thet standard the MRC is following for credible information these days, or is lack of substantiation perfectly accessible because it suits the MRC's agenda?

Fourth: "Fix an election"? "Complicit in a cover-up"? Really, Brent? That's just cray talk. Are you trying to tell me your own "news" operation, -- which, last time we checked, is chock full of WikiLeaks articles and scant on stories about Trump's perviness -- never timed its coverage of a story to gain maximum outside coverage? That seems to be CNS' entire M.O.; the 2015 MRC annual report touted CNS' "constant presence on the Drudge Report."

Because CNS is apparently little more that Drudge clickbait, it didn't do the one thing that would have pre-empted the October Surprise nature of the "Access Hollywood" tape: vet Trump during the Republican primary process. That's not NBC's fault -- that's Bozell's, even though he came out against Trump during the primary.

But Bozell is still not done ranting about it. He's continuing to portray the predator Trump as a victim, appearing on friendly Fox Business to rant that the media is "secretly colluding with the Clinton campaign." 

Here's a challenge for you, Brent: We dare you to release all records of contacts the MRC -- all divisions, including CNS -- has had with the Trump campaign and its surrogates about promoting Trump's agenda and devising messaging for damage-control operations and discussions about the success of that messaging. After all, your invention of a media conspiracy is being done for the benefit of the Trump campaign.

Do you have the guts, Brent?

When you can't defend the message, attack the messenger. That's what Bozell and the MRC are doing here by attacking the media for reporting on Trump's lengthy record of acting like a pervert.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 14, 2016 3:33 PM EDT
Thursday, October 13, 2016
MRC on Trump's Vile Misogyny: Distract, Distract, Distract
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center have no problem joining Donald Trumpm in the slime in trying to distract attention from Trump's vile misogyny and playing the Clinton Equivocation card.

Having previously whined about the October-surprise nature of the "Access Hollywood" video in which Trump is caught saying incredibly vulgar things, Bozell and Tim Graham hit that again in their Oct. 12 column:

Smelling Trump's blood in the water, the Clinton-enabling press sprang into action. None of them seemed to reflect for 5 seconds about how Trump could be describing Bill Clinton's modus operandi. Trump talked as Clinton did. The press' moral outrage was as phony as Hillary Clinton's. "This is horrific," Clinton shamelessly tweeted. "We cannot allow this man to become president."

The women who were actually harassed by Bill Clinton were never offered any support from Hillary Clinton, or her feminist army in the press.

After reliving the 1990s once again, they rant: "So ask yourself this question: How many times since 1994 have TV interviewers asked Hillary Clinton what she did or didn't do to smear these women? Try and find one occasion. As repugnant as it was, Trump's offense was words. The Clintons' offenses were actions. The cynicism boggles the mind."

Of course, as we all know now, Trump's offense was not just words, making Bozell's column suddenly inoperative. So he went into rage-bot mode to more fully distract, complaining even more about the "Access Hollywood" tape of Trump and seizing on a TMZ report (so apparently celebrity gossip sites are credible sources at the MRC now?) that NBC sat on the tape until just before the Oct. 9 debate for fuller impact:

What NBC has done is a direct threat to the democratic process and evidence of what conservatives have been saying all along. A network that purports to hold itself up as an objective news source while at the same time attempts to fix an election has lost all credibility. NBC must take responsibility, apologize to Donald Trump, and fire whoever was behind the strategic release of this tape. If the rest of the media do not call out NBC for their actions, they are complicit in a cover-up. Until then, I call on fellow conservative leaders to join me in denouncing this network for its hypocrisy and deliberate abandonment of journalistic integrity.

Bozell has not similarly asked why the Trump campaign may very well be colluding with Russian officials to fix the election by releasing the stolen WikiLeaks emails of Clinton campaign officials -- even as his MRC complains the media is not sufficiently covering them.

Meanwhile, Terry Jeffrey, editor in chief of the MRC's "news" division, -- which, like a good Trump-loving right-wing outlet, is downplaying Trump's misogyny and gave original coverage only to Trump's defenders -- similarly went into distraction mode with his Oct. 12 column, in which he rehashed the Clinton impeachment trial. Jeffrey didn't mention Trump or Hillary in his column, but his clear implication is that because President Clinton wasn't convicted, there's no basis on which to criticize Trump.

And what was CNS' first original article on the additional claims from women that Trump groped them? An article by by Melanie Hunter -- who wrote the articles downplaying the "Access Hollywood" video -- uncritically noting Trump's insistence that the claims against him are lies.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:56 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016 6:59 PM EDT

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