MRC's Graham Lets Bad Reporting Slide (When It Makes Obama Look Bad) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham demonstrates the flip side of his employer's multimillion-dollar campaign of intimidating reporters into not telling the truth about conservatives when it makes conservatives look bad; It won't call out bad reporting as long as it makes Obama look bad.
Graham uses a May 20 NewsBusters post to mock a Change.org petition criticizing ABC's Jonathan Karl for faulty reporting on the Benghazi talking-points emails. Graham stated that Karl's reporting was merely "inaccurate" without explaining how it was: Karl had claimed he had the actual emails when, in fact, all he had were paraphrased summaries (some of which were inaccurate) from Republican staffers.
Graham went on to snigger: "Joan Walsh at Salon is angry that Karl didn't make some sort of on-air correction on 'This Week' -- as if the networks are good at on-air corrections without a lawsuit pending." Graham wouldn't be so flip about Karl's bad reporting if Obama was a Republican.
MRC Stays Silent On How Right-Wing Austerity Argument Has Been Discredited Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, a study by economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff claiming that a country's economic growth becomes impaired when its debt level exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product was discredited by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, who looked through Reinhart and Rogoff's data and found selective exclusion of data and a coding error.
You wouldn't know it by reading any website operated by the Media Research Center -- as with its blackout on the racially charged work of ex-Heritiage Foundation researcher Jason Richwine, the MRC has simply refused to tell its readers about the discrediting of Reinhart and Rogoff.
It's doubly odd because the MRC approvingly cited Reinhart and Rogoff's work a month before the debunking. A March 13 TimesWatch item by Clay Waters highlighted a quote fromRogoff in a New York Times article on federal budget issues that "eventually made room for dissenting 'right-leaning' views."
The MRC has been obsessed with attacking other media outlets for failure to cover stories it deems important, i.e. Kermit Gosnell. But what moral authority does such criticism have when the MRC does the exact same thing it attacks others for doing?
MRC's Bozell Gloats Over Cancellation of Gay-Themed Shows Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell is positively giddy that some TV shows with gay themes are getting cancdeled:
The annual network list of canceled primetime shows cannot be pleasing to the progressives who measure shows based on their cultural and political usefulness. "TV Will Be a Lot Less Gay Next Year," the commissars complained at Slate.com. They counted 11 canceled shows that featured regular gay characters.
That bothersome thing called the market: why must it get in the way!
CBS's gay sitcom "Partners" lasted six episodes and was canceled shortly after Barack Obama's victory. NBC's "Smash" only featured four regular gay characters, but it couldn't keep anyone watching. The most prominent victim was "The New Normal," Ryan Murphy's NBC sitcom credited by many leftists with paving the way for America's growing support for the gay agenda — and helping with Obama's reelection.
Bozell then makes a very bizarre statement: "Murphy is in bed with Obama, as it were." Bozell claims this refers to Murphy creating allegedly pro-Obama episodes in the shows he has created,but it could very wall also be a sly reference to the sleazy rumors around Obama's sex life right-wingers like Jerome Corsi like to spread.
MRC Shutting Down TimesWatch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has announced that today is the final day for its TimesWatch blog:
The Media Research Center will be consolidating products and, as a result, TimesWatch posts and the TimesWatch Tracker will be rolled into our other sites and e-newsletters.
TimesWatch Tracker e-mail subscribers will receive their last edition on Friday, May 17. Starting on Monday, May 20, TimesWatch Tracker subscribers will automatically begin receiving the MRC’s CyberAlert e-mail which will include the New York Times’ liberal bias in its mix of daily documentation.
The MRC was silent about whether TimesWatch writer Clay Waters would remain with the company.
The very concept of TimesWatch was always a dubious proposition. Its stated goal was "documenting and exposing the New York Times' liberal political agenda," solely by cherry-picking 10 or so items out of the hundreds of pieces of original content the Times generates per week, thus failing to provide any sort of comprehensive content analysis. But such analysis was never the goal -- spreading the meme that the Times is hopelessly liberal was.
It didn't help that Waters' idea of "liberal bias" at the Times involved things like complaining that the Times referred to conservatives as "conservatives" or that it told the truth about something about which he would rather not have the truth told. And Waters' contribution to research is to measure bias on political scandal stories by how far up in the article a person's political party appears, not size and placement of the article -- ridiculous methodology even by the MRC's lowstandards.
What may have actually doomed TimesWatch, was that even the cherry-picking couldn't hide the fact that the Times was not as slavishly liberal and Waters and the MRC would have you believe. In a 2010 column, then-Times public editor Clark Hoyt conceded that the the Times' editorial pages skew liberal then added:
But if The Times were really the Fox News of the left, how could you explain the investigative reporting that brought down Eliot Spitzer, New York’s Democratic governor; derailed the election campaign of his Democratic successor, David Paterson; got Charles Rangel, the Harlem Democrat who was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, in ethics trouble; and exposed the falsehoods that Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, another Democrat, was telling about his service record in the Vietnam era?
Waters' incredibly lame response: "Of course, as the Times is always reminding us, the Republican Party has been decimated in the Northeast in recent years, meaning the region is dominated by Democrats, meaning most political scandals will involve Democrats."
Such lameness may have gotten too embarrassing for even the MRC -- it certainly didn't fall over itself promoting TimesWatch in recent year -- so it was time for TimesWatch to go.
MRC Gay-Bashing Watch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really, really does not like it when gays appear on TV. And they like it even less when there are gay characters on TV shows.
In a May 6 MRC Culture & Media Institute article, Andrew Collins laments that the good name of President William McKinley is being sullied by serving as the name of the high school that the kids from "Glee" attend:
Pity William McKinley. Our 25th president was a Civil War hero who successfully prosecuted the Spanish-American War and presided over a booming economy. For his trouble, he was assassinated. Adding insult to injury, he’s the namesake of The World’s Gayest High School.
It’s no secret that “Glee” frequently and flamboyantly pushes a gay agenda. So many characters play for the other team it's hard to believe that there’ll be any future generations of McKinley High students to mock the Bible and cheer on transgendered performers. But as this season prepares to wrap up this week, things are heating up on "Glee." Last week’s episode featured a particularly large dose of gay.
Collins then goes on to take offense at a "Glee" storyline in which a father opposes his son marrying his boyfriend not because he opposes gay marriage but because they're too young. "If anything, his refusal builds the legitimacy of gay marriage even more because he emphasizes the seriousness and permanence of marriage," Collins grouses.
In a similar vein, Matt Philbin uses a May 13 CMI post to dance on the grave of the canceled show "The New Normal," which the headline on his article identifies as a "Gay Propaganda Sitcom":
It seems “The New Normal” … isn’t. NBC has cancelled its gay agitprop sitcom after just one season.
“New Normal’s” plot revolved around a gay couple and the surrogate mother pregnant with their child. Ellen Barkin played the nasty, bigoted, conservative grandmother (a stretch for the nasty, bigoted liberal Barkin) as the foil in the postmodern morality play.
Predictably, conservative Christians were a regular punching bag, and the show went to bat for Obama’s re-election. But it turns out propaganda-as-entertainment wasn’t popular with audiences, and “New Normal’s” ratings grew steadily worse.
“The New Normal” was the creation of wannabe pornographer Ryan Murphy, the man who brought us “Nip/Tuck,” “American Horror Story” and the world’s gayest high school in “Glee.”
So we have an anti-gay propagandist denouncing a point of view he despises as "propaganda." Color us shocked.
MRC's Graham Complains NPR Did No Weekend Features On Obama Scandals -- But CNS Didn't Either Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham whines in a May 13 NewsBusters post:
How enthusiastic can NPR be in avoiding the emerging Obama scandals? Try this: So-called “All Things Considered” aired no features on Benghazi or the IRS on Saturday or Sunday. (This excludes on-the-hour news updates.) But they found time for six minutes on the trade in rhino horns.
It was more ridiculous on “Weekend Edition” Saturday and Sunday – they also skipped both. NPR correspondent Michele Kelemen reported on Secretary of State John Kerry for 4 minutes and 22 seconds without a single word about Libya.
Graham goes on to count every single feature story NPR ran on its weekend news shows, which he claims "reinforce how NPR has a deep self-love for its own focus on race, culture, and cosmopolitan globalism. They're also quite ardent about skipping over scandals that might damage their favorite liberal politicians."
But Graham makes no mention of NPR's newscasts, which run at the top and bottom of every hour. That silence tells us that NPR did mention the "emerging Obama scandals" on those newscasts, but Graham doesn't want to tell us about it because it'll ruin his biased little thesis.
Graham also seems unware of the extremely likely possibility that features set to run on NPR's weekend shows are likely pre-taped days in advance, since many NPR personnel presumably like to have their weekends off.
You know who else likes their weekends off? The folks who work at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com.
You know who else didn't publish any features about "emerging Obama scandals" last weekend? CNS.
Why is Graham demanding NPR do something his own employer couldn't be bothered to do?
Why doesn't CNS lead by example? Surely it can shake a few more dollars from its wealthy right-wing donors to have a newsroom staffed outside office hours.
MRC's Gainor Furthers Fox Anchor's False Claim on Benghazi Coverage Topic: Media Research Center
Fox News' Megyn Kelly started off her May 9 interview with the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor by claiming that "If you look at sort of across the mainstream media, it was a collective yawn in response to yesterday’s Benghazi coverage" -- that is, the Republican-led hearing on the issue.
Kelly is wrong -- as thte Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out, both the New York Times and Washington Post put it on their front pages, and all three network evening newscasts carried lengthy segments on the hearing.
But rather than correct Kelly, Gainor prattled forward with his right-wing talking points about how this supposed "collective yawn" was a "continuation of their policy to minimize a scandal that makes Hillary Clinton look really bad."
But then, Gainor's a right-wing apparatchik, so he would stick to the talking points instead of tell the truth.
MRC Whitewashes, Defends Heritage Researcher's White-Nationalist-Friendly Research Topic: Media Research Center
It's utterly unsurprising that the Media Research Center's first mentions of (now former) Heritage Foundation researcher Jason Richwine's work bolstering white nationalists' views of the diminished IQ of Hispanics and other minorities are a blanket defense and an attempt to change the subject.
CNSNews.com published a rant by Michelle Malkin in which she attacks anyone who criticized Richwine's pre-Heritage work, asserting that he was being "strung up by the p.c. lynch mob for the crime of unflinching social science research." Malkin also invoked the logical fallacy of the argument from authority by insisting that because Richwine graduated from "Harvard University's prestigious Kennedy School of Government," and a highly credentialed dissertation committee signed of Richwine's doctoral dissertation, nothing could possibly be wrong with Richwine's work.
Over at NewsBusters, Mark Finkelstein tried to change the subject, insisting that the Richwine controversy was nothing but a "flap" and pretending that "Morning Joe" guest Al Hunt was the real racist because he asked to clarify what Richwine wrote about non-white IQ levels. Finkelstein then grumbled, "Ever since the Bell Curve, the discussion of any possible variation in IQ among different ethnic groups has become utterly taboo in politcally-correct circles."
Thus far, no MRC operation has provided a full, unbiased accounting of the Richwine controversy. Don't expect them to do so anytime soon.
NEW ARTICLE: When MRC Staffers Tweet Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center likes to mock Twitter entries from liberals, but its own employees' tweets are just as mock-worthy. Read more >>
MRC Smears La Raza As 'Radical,' 'Separatist' Topic: Media Research Center
Clay Waters devotes a May 6 MRC TimesWatch item to smearing Obama adviser Cecilia Munoz and the advocacy organization for which she used to work.
Waters calls Munoz "Obama's chief amnesty pusher" -- ignoring the fact that comprehensive immigration reform that requires numerous steps before an illegal immigrant is allowed to become a citizen is, by definition, not "amnesty" -- and complained that a New York Times article on her buried "Munoz's history as a lobbyist for the left-wing separatist group National Council of La Raza ('La Raza' means 'the race')." Waters also called La Raza "a radical pro-Hispanic group."
MRC Touts Fox's Benghazi Whistleblower, Ignores How He's Been Discredited Topic: Media Research Center
Scott Whitlock wrote in a May 1 Medias Research Center item:
All three network newscasts on Monday and Tuesday ignored the shocking assertions made by a whistleblower who told Fox News that special forces could have responded to the 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi. He also claimed that the United States knows who perpetrated last year's assault on the U.S. embassy.
MRC chief Brent Bozell similarly complained on Fox News that Fox's whistleblower was being ignored, adding, "This man is disguising his face out of fear. What does that tell you?These are all stories that could be reported."
But so far, neither Whitlock, Bozell nor anyone else at the MRC has mentioned how the anonymous whistleblower's story has been discredited.
National security journalist Thomas Ricks reports that experts he has talked to question the veracity of Fox's source, adding, "What he offers is pure speculation and not based on any real facts as I have heard and appears to be coming from his fourth point of contact. He comes across as just another conspiracy theorist who is taking Fox News for a ride." And Media Matters has detailed five claims that are contradicted by more authoritative reporting.
The MRC loves to complain that the media is "censoring" whatever right-wing talking point they want to get wider coverage, but by their own definition, they are censoring the truth about Fox News' Benghazi "whistleblower." Ironic, doncha think?
The networks adore hidden-camera stories when the targets are conservative. Last September, they gave 88 minutes when Mother Jones reporting Mitt Romney was secretly recorded dismissing the "47 percent" that would never vote for him, which probably cost him the election.
When Mother Jones recently leaked video of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's team talking about the vulnerabilities of actress Ashley Judd as a Democratic opponent, ABC and NBC reported it in the evening and then again the next morning, with CBS just catching up in the morning. ABC's Jim Avila said the Republican leader's "private and politically embarrassing strategy session" showed a "cutthroat attack on a Hollywood opponent."
Undercover videos by conservatives? Those don't deserve the light of day. When Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey and Virginia in 2011, with its clinic staff advising a "pimp" on how to evade the law with underage prostitutes, these three networks simply pretended the tapes didn't exist. When James O'Keefe and his activists exposed the leftist pro-Obama group ACORN with hidden cameras in 2009, the networks waited for days to touch it and then aired just one solitary story (ABC, CBS) or three (NBC) once Congress moved to defund them. But Mother Jones is somehow a non-ideological outfit of journalistic integrity.
Bozell apparently doesn't seem to understand the difference between the two. The Romney and McConnell videos simply involved secretly letting a recording device roll while the speakers said what they would have said whether a camera was there or not.
The ACORN videos were perpetrated by right-wing activists who used deceptive editing to portray ACORN workers in the worst light possible with the goal of destroying the organization. Indeeed, lead perpetrator James O'Keefe agreed to pay one former ACORN employee $100,000 to settle a defamation lawsuit.
As far as the Lila Rose "pimp" sting went -- which also involved deception and possibly entrapment and a right-wing activist motivated to destroy the organization she's targeting -- there was no there there because Rose covered up the fact that Planned Parenthood reported reported to the FBI a "potential multistate sex trafficking ring" after Rose's visit.
The Romney and McConnell videos involve no deception; the Live Action and ACORN videos involved such deception to the point that what the selectively edited videos portray cannot be trusted, and further investigation tends to reveal that the facts are not what those videos portray.
But since Bozell wants those organizations destroyed, he doesn't care about the facts -- odd for someone who runs a "media research" organization.
MRC Cranks Up Factually Dubious Obsession With Soros Money Topic: Media Research Center
Presumably in an effort to justify its campaign to raise money by fearmongering about George Soros, the Media Research Center has been busy in recent days cranking out articles about the evil things Soros is funding:
The Earth Day article by Mike Ciandella is particularly absurd -- counted in that $20 million (which, by the way, is since 2000, not last year as the article starts off suggesting) is $4.4 million given to the NAACP.
But Ciandella offers no evidence that any of the Soros money went toward Earth Day activities. Indeed, at least $1 million of that went to the NAACP's Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Soros gave another $950,000 to that fund in 2011.
As we've previously pointed out, right-wing billionaires spend at least that much money per year propping up failing newspapers that the MRC has accused of spending since 2000 on media properties or Earth Day.
Ciandella is engaging in a lazy smear -- sadly, the kind of "research" the MRC has become known form.
MRC: Depicting Gays in Comics Is 'Propaganda' Topic: Media Research Center
Kristine Marsh and Matt Philbin rant in an April 15 MRC Culture & Media Institute item:
Poor Sgt. Rock. Were he around today, the grizzled infantryman who’s WWII combat exploits thrilled a generation of boys might find himself sitting through sexual orientation sensitivity training in the post-Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell Army. And he’d be hard pressed to recognize his old DC Comics area of operations.
In an upcoming release, DC’s openly lesbian Batwoman character will be shown kissing her lover while proposing marriage. And now, Batgirl has a transgendered roommate. These are not your father’s comic books.
Like the rest of American pop culture, comic books have increasingly included pro-gay propaganda pieces aimed at the children and young adults who read them. Not to be outdone by DC’s super-heroic sexual diversity, Marvel released a comic a few weeks ago where “Wolverine and Hercules share a gay kiss,” as reported by The Huffington Post.
Yes, Marsh and Philbin really seem to believe that depicting gays in comics behaving like other comic characters behave is "propaganda."
Marsh and Philbin also rush to the defense of right-wing sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card from "gay activists" who "have been hounding him as a 'homophobe' and 'bigot,' simply for affirming the traditional understanding of marriage."
They go on to lament: "Unsurprisingly, there’s no public uproar or call for writers to be fired for pushing their gay agenda, because what press this gaying of comics has gotten has been favorable." But they don't explain why gays must be treated as nothing less than evil, which is apparently their goal.