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Saturday, December 14, 2019
MRC Latino Has A Transgender Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's obsession with transgenders -- its dismay that they appear in the media at all and its glee when they are mocked and denigrated -- has spilled over to MRC Latino, the operation that looks at Hispanic media.

An Oct. 28 post by Kathleen Krumhansl denounced Univision for the offense of doing a story on a medical clinic that caters to transgenders because there are too few transgenders to deserve news coverage:

In their scramble to help secure votes for the Democrats and fulfill their leftist policy vision, Univision News continues to expand its “Latino Agenda”. The network is now openly advocating for the political platforms of leftist Democratic presidential hopefuls, and pushing for issues and policies that are completely out of tune with the reality of the Latino population to which they cater. 

[...]

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 5% of LGBT respondents identify primarily as transgender; as the study states, “this is roughly consistent with other estimates of the proportion of the LGBT population that is transgender. Although there is limited data on the size of the transgender population, it is estimated that 0.3% of all American adults are transgender. This begs the question: of that 0.3% of the population, how many are Hispanics to whom this issue can be of any interest? 

[...]

From their excitement about the non-existent word “Latinx”, to this recent example of the network ́s liberal rhetoric, there is no doubt about the political motivations of the nation's leading Spanish-speaking news network, and they have nothing to do with the audience they represent.

We're sorry that Krumhansl thinks so little of transgenders that she thinks their existence in media must be eradicated.

MRC Latino director Jorge Bonilla had a similar freakout in a Dec. 2 post:

It is known that immigration advocacy is the cornerstone of Univision’s “Agenda Latina,” the first issue among many others for which the network advocates. Transgenderism is also one such issue, and the network is not above inserting its agenda into its coverage by any means necessary.

Watch below as Univision’s English-language broadcast, UNews, used National Adoption Month as a means with which to highlight a transgender teen:

[...]

As the report mentions, “Ariella” is still in foster care. Present tense, which means that “Ariella” is still a CHILD. How does this particular showcasing help “Ariella” overcome what appears to be a long, painful history of trauma?

Given the network’s extensive history with Planned Parenthood, both in partnerships and favorable coverage, it reasonable to infer that Univision doesn’t actually care about adoption. The very odd mention of National Adoption Month here is merely a fig leaf with which to justify its shameful exploitation of a vulnerable teen. 

None of that matters, and nothing else matters to Univision, a liberal PAC with a broadcast license, except its agenda- even if it means aiding and abetting the exploitation of an abused and vulnerable child. Indeed, a new cynical low.

Looks like Bonilla won't be opening up his judgmental heart to this child anytime soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EST
Friday, December 13, 2019
MRC Can't Deal With Impeachment Witness Demanding Fox News Apologize For Smearing Him
Topic: Media Research Center

We've highlighted how the Media Research Center couldn't deal with Fox News hosts and guests being criticized for falsely smearing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as conducting "espionage" for Ukraine because he testified in the Trump impeachment hearings. Now it can't deal with the fact that he's demanding Fox News apologize for the lie.

The MC's Kristine Marsh complained in a Nov. 22 post:

The Democrats’ star witness Tuesday for President Trump’s impeachment hearing has threatened legal action if Fox News does not retract an opinion segment that was critical of him from a few weeks ago.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman sent a letter through his lawyer to the news network demanding a "retraction or correction" for an October 28 segment on Laura Ingraham's show. His lawyers charged FNC was “liable for punitive damages” for “false and defamatory allegations it published about LTC Vindman, knowing they were false.” The letter also called out Donald Trump Jr. and FNC host Tucker Carlson for “inflammatory” statements.

The letter was focused on that Oct. 28 show where FNC host Laura Ingraham and guest John Yoo criticized Vindman.

Marsh failed to mention the fact that Ingraham and Yoo falsely accused Vindman of espionage. Also, while she repeated a Fox News statement that Yoo "has subsequently done interviews to clarify what he meant," she didn't link to any of them. (While Yoo did walk back his false attack, he apparently didn't do so on Fox News, and Ingraham apparently hasn't walked back asything.)

Marsh then played the conservative victim card: "But the media didn’t share this same perspective when President Trump threatened legal action against other cable news networks like CNN, which network called a 'desperate PR stunt' that doesn’t 'merit a response.'" Perhaps because it was a desperate PR stunt and was seen more as an attempt by a powerful government official to silence a critic.

Marsh concluded by ranting: "The media as a whole have used the 'freedom of the press' as a cover for their biased and frequently false reporting about the President." She offered no substantiation for her claim that reporting on Trump is "frequently false."

This wouldn't be the MRC if it wasn't being hypocritical about things, and sure enough, a few days later,  Randy Hall was cheering the type of lawsuit Vindman was threatening befause a conservative was filing it:

There are times when it seems that obviously liberal outlets in the “mainstream media” get away with producing “fake news” without facing any consequences for their poor reporting.

That situation may change after Thanksgiving, when California Republican Devin Nunes -- one of the press’s favorite targets during the “impeachment inquiry” held recently in the U.S. House of Representatives -- fights back in federal court against “demonstrably false” articles that have appeared on CNN and the Daily Beast website.

According to an article Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough, the items accused Nunes “of meeting with a former Ukraine prosecutor in a hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.”

[...]

He also stressed that “it is not OK to work with someone who has been indicted on serious federal crimes to build a media narrative and dirty up a member of Congress” with “demonstrably false and scandalous stories.”

By contrast, the MRC thinks it's perfectly fine to "dirty up" a member of the military when he won't support the MRC's political agenda.

Unfortunately for Nunes, news broke that phone records show he did, infact, spend time on the phone with Rudy Giuliani's indicted Ukranian buddy Lev Parnas -- something for which he has offered not-very-convincing explanations. The MRC has largely ignored that unflattering piece of evidence, aside from a Jeffrey Lord column ranting that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was engaging in "abuse of power" in releasing those phone records.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
Thursday, December 12, 2019
MRC Tries To Prop Up GOP's Ukraine Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Just like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center proper has been pushing pro-Trump talking points on the Ukraine scandal and impeachment hearings. So dedicated to those talking points is the MRC, in fact, that it's even pushing the conspiracy theory pushed by Trump and other Republicans that Ukraine meddled as much, if not more, in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as Russia did.

Nicholas Fondacaro lectured in a Nov. 21 item:

But it wasn’t an “unfounded” “conspiracy theory” as they would like you to believe. According to then-Politico  reporters David Stern and Ken Vogel, “Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.” 

[...]

Their reporting also found that Ukraine’s influence did have consequences. “The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race,” they wrote, “helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”

But as we've pointed out, Ukranian officials' anti-Trump efforts were mostly limited to going after his campaign manager, Paul Manafort -- who later went to prison for bank and tax fraud regarding the millions of dollars he was paid for his work in Ukraine -- and an op-ed. There was none of the systematic disruption approved by the central government that Russia engaged in, and it's a lie to suggest otherwise.

Alex Christy huffed in a Nov. 25 post that "just because CrowdStrike is a conspiracy theory and that Russia did interfere, does not also mean Ukraine didn't," adding: "Second, it is simply not true that Republicans deny Russian interference in 2016 as all the congressional reports on the topic that came out in the aftermath of 2016 would have had to come out of Republican-controlled committees." But Republicans are falsely conflating what Ukraine did -- which was mostly limited to blogs and op-eds -- with the systematic meddling conducted by Russia.

(The admission that CrowdStrike is a conspiracy theory is a slight change of MRC policy; it has previously largely pretended that Trump wasn't pushing a conspiracy theory by referencing the idea CrowdStrike was stashing a hacked DNC server in Ukraine.)

And when Republican Rep. John Kennedy pushed the conspiracy theory on "Meet the Press," the MRC rushed to prop his claims up.

Curtis Houck followed up with a Dec. 2 post complaining that "CNN sided with Todd that Kennedy’s a puppet for Vladimir Putin pushing “conspiracy theories” (which are true) about Ukraine and the 2016 election."

Houck also complained that "Borger invoked the tiresome piece of fake news about '17 intelligence agencies' having the same conclusion about Russia and 2016, which was ironic since she had just bemoaned that we’re debating 'when is a fact a fact.'" He linked back to a 2018 MRC post on how "the liberal media screwed on Trump-Russia in 2017" to claim that "only three agencies (FBI, CIA and NSA) had reviewed the intelligence, which was then issued by a fourth, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence." But as an actual fact-checker pointed out, the Office of the DNI speaks on behalf of those 17 intelligence agencies, and none of those agencies has expressed disagreement with the conclusion.

Tim Graham huffed that "Sen. Kennedy acknowledged Russians were meddling, but just added Ukrainians were meddling, too. Todd repeatedly insisted that Kennedy was like a Russian agent for adding these inconvenient truths to the narrative." Graham refused to admit the inconvenient fact that nothing Ukraine did was on the scale of Russian meddling.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2019 7:40 PM EST
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
MRC Won't Admit NY Times-Basher Is A Biased Conservative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aiden Jackson devoted an entire Dec. 2 post to how "former New York Times contributor and current New York Post reporter, Michael Goodwin" went on Fox News to talke about a Fox News-published op-ed complaining that the Times "has cemented itself as the CNN of the newspaper world with a leftist trajectory and near total loss of journalistic integrity" and that "the old-guard reporting standards at The New York Times are almost non-existent in the era of President Trump." Jackson went on to tout how "Goodwin then used a sledgehammer on the Timesto label them as a completely leftist publication through and through."

What Jackson doesn't tell you: Goodwin is a right-winger through and through. He did allude to it, stating that "As a disclaimer, it should be noted that Goodwin has served as a reporter with the Post for many years and currently writes opinion pieces for Fox News." But at no point does Jackson place an ideological label on Goodwin; instead, he played up Goodwin being a former Times employee to suggest that his Times-bashing is not partisan, despite the fact that he hasn't worked for the Times for a good couple decades and has been linked with right-wing outlets like Fox News and the Post since then.

Funny how the MRC has conniptions about how conservatives are labeled but won't use proper labeling when it doesn't serve its interests and narrative to do so.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EST
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
MRC's Most Dishonest 'Study' Yet
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is known for its highly biased "studies" of media coverage. It may have outdone itself with its latest one. Bill D'Agostino huffed in a Nov. 25 post:

Broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have donated 75 hours of free air time to Democrats’ impeachment hearings, despite notably poor (and consistently shrinking) ratings. Yet during President Clinton’s impeachment, these same networks could not be bothered to carry more than a few hours of independent counsel Ken Starr’s one-day presentation of the evidence against Clinton on November 19, 1998.

NBC’s live coverage during the hearings amounted to a whopping 92 percent (1,653 minutes, or 27.5 hours) of the total 30 hours of testimony. CBS ran special coverage for 84 percent of the hearings (1,517 minutes, or 25 hours), while ABC broadcast 75 percent (1,358 minutes, or 22.5 hours). These numbers reflect the coverage on network-affiliated stations in the Washington, D.C. area.

By contrast back in November of 1998, NBC aired a paltry 26 percent (194 minutes) of Starr’s 12.5 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill. CBS covered 42 percent of the hearing (314 minutes), while ABC broadcast 36 percent (272 minutes).

Over the past two weeks, broadcast networks bumped hours of regularly scheduled programming for hearings featuring 12 hitherto unheard of witnesses, many of whom had never even spoken to President Trump. Yet these networks were reluctant to cover Starr’s testimony back in 1998, even though that hearing relied on a single well-known witness with intimate knowledge of all the evidence being presented.

That's right -- the MRC is dishonestly comparing several days of Trump impeachment hearing coverage to a single day of testimony by the chief anti-Clinton antagonist.

Note that D'Agostino also invoked the MRC narrative of dismissing the hearings because of their allegedly low ratings; he reinforced the narrative by claiming that "the hearings these past two weeks have had consistently poor viewership, and the number of Americans tuning each day has been shrinking." In fact, the hearings attracted millions of viewers when counting all outlets that aired them, and NBC -- whose coverage D'Agostino attacked for drawing "even fewer eyes ... than an average Days of Our Lives episode" -- actually drew more viewers than Fox News in the coveted demographic of viewers age 25 to 54. Nevertheless, he insisted: "It would appear President Trump's election has rendered broadcast networks incapable of understanding what interests their own audiences.

D'Agostino also unironically complained about the Clinton hearings being described as having low ratings, to the point that individual affiliates broke away for their own local programming.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 9:32 PM EST
Monday, December 9, 2019
MRC Loves It When 'South Park' Mocks Transgenders, Is Sad When It's Criticized For Doing So
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Nov. 13 post, the Media Reserach Center's Alexa Moutevelis gushed over how the TV show "South Park" mocked transgenders by how it "illustrated the absurdity of allowing men who identify as women into female athletic competitions, in a way only South Park can, in the episode titled 'Strong Woman,'" which featured "a trans athlete in the mold of former WWF wrestler Macho Man" entering a female strong-woman competition, and the women in the competition are told not to complain about because "you'll upset the PC babies." Moutevelis served up her own mocking at the end: "I can only imagine how the PC Babies will howl at this episode. You know how they are."

Moutevelis followed up that with a Nov. 21 post mocking one writer who claimed the episode descended into "the same tired old transphobic, homophobic, intentionally offensive gobbledygook":

Last week, South Park aired a classic episode that skewered the trans athlete phenomenon. But IndieWire author Jude Dry, whose pronouns are listed on Twitter as “they/them/theirs,” was not amused.

Dry's IndieWire article this Wednesday hilariously claimed the episode “provoked an immediate and universal backlash,” (only if backlash means laughter). The subtitle said, “Last week's episode provoked outcry by taking aim at transgender athletes, but the Comedy Central show has a long history of transphobia.” The definition of transphobia apparently means to not immediately celebrate and accept anything a trans person says.

[...]

It’s more that this author is humorless when it comes to certain hot button topics than that South Park is alienating viewers and yet Dry implies that creator Trey Parker is a bigot: “Parker’s pandering plea that his viewers not see him as a bigot for writing such a lazy, charged, and dangerous script is so ridiculous it’s almost laughable.”

And this IndieWire article is so ridiculous it is absolutely laughable.

Apparently, transphobic, homophobic and intentionally offensive gobbledygook is what trips Moutevelis' humor trigger, so this particular brand of hate is OK with her.

On the other hand, Moutevelis is not so supportive of "South Park" when when it mocks her favorite president. In September, she and Sadi Martin complained that "The new season of South Park got back to its libertarian roots in ways many conservatives might not appreciate" when it focused on "illegal immigrant children being placed in detention centers" and engaged in "heavy-handed comparisons of the Jewish Holocaust to the current immigration crisis America faces today." Moutevalis and Martin concluded by lamenting, "South Park has always been at its best when it's subversively skewering the sacred cows of the left. Let's hope the rest of the season brings more of that and doesn't keep hitting us over the head with the same liberal talking points we hear everywhere else."

So, in Moutevelis' eyes, "South Park" is hilarious when it makes jokes about liberal causes, but painfully unfunny when it mocks conservative causes. Maybe she's the real "PC baby" here.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EST
Sunday, December 8, 2019
MRC Keeps Working the Refs In Attacking Another Debate Host
Topic: Media Research Center

With the November Democratic presidential debate, the Media Research Center did with it usually does: attack the moderators and the network showing it in an attempt to work the refs.

Geoffrey Dickens complained in a Nov. 19 post that "MSNBC has tabbed a Bernie booster (Rachel Maddow) and Joe Biden fan (Andrea Mitchell) to be the lead moderators for Wednesday’s Democratic debate. So it’s a good bet the questions won’t be coming from the right." He then served up "just a few examples of Wednesday night’s debate moderators’ history of liberalism, as culled from the MRC’s archives."

The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro attacked MSNBC's parent network, NBC, for a pre-debate segment of its "What Matters" series that allegedly "seemed to suggest only Democrats cared about the opioid crisis while boosting Senator Bernie Sander’s Medicare for all scheme," going on to huff that the series was "biased" and "only sought out 'What Matters' to Democratic voters. Scott Whitlock followed some hours later by bashing a different "What Matters" segment for purportedly being "yet another PR push for a liberal 2020 candidate" and doing so "shortly before sister network MSNBC debuted a Democratic debate filled with liberal hosts."

As far as the actual debate itself, Whitlock complained:

What was the big concern for the liberal hosts of MSNBC’s Democratic debate on Wednesday night? Dealing with the nasty Republicans and figuring out ways to convince them to support impeachment. The first half hour of the event was full of queries on impeachment, as well as fretting over being mean to Joe Biden’s son, and reminders that the GOP opposed Barack Obama. Rachel Maddow offered what could be the most obvious question for the assembled 2020 candidates. 

Rather than focus on issues, she wondered if Senator Elizabeth Warren would lobby her GOP colleagues to remove the President. Not shockingly, Warren said she would!

Impeachment is not a issue these days? That's news to us.

Shortly thereafter, Whitlock whined in a separate post that Maddow -- whom he called "far-left" in the headline, a favorite sloppy label for the MRC -- "unloaded both on the state that hosted the 2020 contenders (Georgia) and also a conservative Democratic Governor for daring to be pro-life."

Even MSNBC's post-debate analysis was attacked, with Curtis Houck in bash mode on people paid to have an opinion for having an opinion (that he didn't approve of). Kyle Drennen followed by attacking other networks' debate coverage, feigning surprise that impeachment would be a topic of discussion and insisting that "it was as if all three network morning shows were reading from the same liberal script" by accurately reporting that impeachment was a debate topic. Drennen didn't tell us whether Fox News mentioned impeachment in its coverage of the debate.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 PM EST
Saturday, December 7, 2019
MRC Freaks Out Over Nonbinary Cartoon Character
Topic: Media Research Center

We noted earlier this year when the Media Research Center had a freakout when the rebooted cartoon "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" added a character who wasn't heterosexual and another character who had two dads -- as if acknowledging that gay people exist and aren't inherently evil was an insidious "gay agenda." Well, "She-Ra" has continued to refuse to be as heterosexual as the MRC demands so the freakouts have continued.

Alexa Moutevelis complained in an Oct. 30 item that not only is there a nonbinary character on the show, a nonbinary actor is voicing them:

Prepare for trouble! It looks like the new season of Netflix’s kids' show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (coming November 5) will feature “the first nonbinary actor to voice a nonbinary animated character in a recurring series role.” Just what parents have been waiting for!

Netflix’s LGBTQ Instagram account Prism was so excited to make the announcement that they produced a video of performer Jacob Tobia talking about the character. Tobia, who recently wrote a memoir titled Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, said, “I play a character called Double Trouble who is a non-binary, shape-shifting mercenary, so functionally, I’m playing myself.”

Moutevelis complained about the show being "propagandizing" and "indoctrination" -- as if she wasn't doing the exact same thing -- and concluded by ranting, "She-Ra already has featured gay characters and storylines in the past. It looks like season 4 will be more than Double Trouble – parents, beware!"

On Nov. 10,  Elise Ehrhard complained further about this nonbinary character:

In season four’s She-Ra, released Nov. 5, the “non-binary” character Double Trouble is really just a shape-shifter like the countless other shape-shifting characters that have existed in past children’s cartoons and world mythology. Calling classic shape-shifters “transgender” is a new trope of the “woke.” For example, in Rick Riordan’s blockbuster mythological children’s book series, Magnus Chase, a shape-shifting demi-god wearing a hijab is now considered a “transgender” Muslim.

Memo to the left: shape-shifters are not real and men and women cannot change their biological sex. If the left gets to stamp “transgender” on every shape-shifting character, then Robin William’s Genie would have to be called gender dysphoric because he morphs into Joan Rivers, among many other impressions, while singing “Prince Ali” in Aladdin.

The only distinction of Double Trouble is that the voice sounds like a campy gay male from Sex and the City. S/he says “darling” a lot and tells one of the princesses “that outfit really isn’t working for you.” The way transgenderism itself is constantly channeling homosexual stereotypes may explain in part the calls by some lesbian and gay activists to separate themselves from the “T” part of their movement.

Ehrhard went on to mock the fact that nonbinary people would like to be addressed by their preferred gender (or nongender, as it were):

Double Trouble says he loves “the thrill of seeding destruction and chaos,” which pretty much encapsulates the entire LGBT movement’s encroachment into pre-pubescent children’s lives. It is very important to transgender activists to confuse children about both grammar and identity. Everybody, including the villain mastermind, refers to Double Trouble as “they” and "them." “Even the most evil person on the planet doesn’t misgender people, because that would be rude,” Tobia said. You can try to destroy the universe and the English language, but don’t you dare “misgender” anybody!

Ehrhard then issued a sexist attack on the show's writing staff for not being sufficiently male:

Much hoopla has been made of the fact that this contemporary She-Ra has an all-female writing team (even though biological sex is supposedly not fixed). That being the case, I am embarrassed for my sex because the show spends an inordinate amount of time having princesses kvetch at each other and argue about their feelings. I am middle-aged and have more patience, but it must be torture for the kids to wait for action in between endless bickering between Princess Glimmer and Adora while other heroes take “me-time.” Is this really what an all-female writing team is supposed to produce for an action cartoon? If so, it might be time to add some testosterone to the mix. That is, if anybody in Hollywood can still acknowledge biological reality at all.

Ehrhard and Moutevelis should perhaps obsess a little less about cartoons.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 PM EST
Friday, December 6, 2019
MRC Has A 'Moderate' Labeling Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've noted, the Media Research Center loves to sloppily label anything remotely liberal as "far-left" without justification (aside from the fact that from its distorted right-wing vantage point, it probably seems that way). But it gets even more offended when a Democrat is described as anything less than "far-left."

Scott Whitlock complained in a Nov. 8 item (bolding in original):

CBS This Morning on Friday pushed the fantasy that the 2020 Democratic field somehow contains several “moderate” or “centrist” candidates, rather than far-left liberals. It started in the 7am hour when reporter Ed O’Keefe reflected on Michael Bloomberg potentially joining the race: “But recent polling shows Biden is slipping behind Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and moderate Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.” 

Moderate? Buttigieg is radically pro-abortion. He’s pro-gun control and wants to pack the Supreme Court in order to protect Roe v. Wade. Where is he “moderate?” Later in the show, correspondent Margaret Brennan cheered the entry of Bloomberg: “He's in some ways, though, splitting possibly a vote with Joe Biden, maybe helping the center, that center moderate Democrat have another voice.

Biden? The former Vice President and Senator is certainly a liberal. His lifetime American Conservative Union score is 12 and the Democrat has drifted farther left as the years go by.

Whitlock concluded by huffing, "The liberal media want you to believe that a field of far-left Democrats actually has some secret 'centrists.'" There's that gratuitous "far-left" mislabeling again.

So offended was Whitlock by this concept that he even went after Fox News -- who nomrally gets a pass from the MRC no matter how biased it gets -- for doing something similar in a Nov. 19 post (again, bolding in original):

MSNBC and Fox on Monday pushed the idea that Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a moderate. However, the facts simply don’t back this up when it comes to the 2020 presidential candidate. In fact, Fox’s Harris Faulkner even lumped in the radically pro-gun control Michael Bloomberg as another “moderate,” saying: “After months of watching the Democratic Party move farther to the left, moderates are now looking to regain control of the 2020 race. But can two new candidates and Pete Buttigieg's recent rise change anything?” 

Faulkner added, “Progressives like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are getting a lot of attention lately. However, moderates could be on the upswing. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has jumped into the primary, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg potentially is launching a bid, as well.”

Moderate? Buttigieg is radically pro-abortion. He’s pro-gun control and wants to pack the Supreme Court in order to protect Roe v. Wade. Michael Bloomberg was a liberal New York City who is probably best known for his efforts to restrict the Second Amendment. How are any of these people moderate? 

Whitlock did it again in a Nov. 25 post: "The three network morning shows on Monday hyped the entry of Michael Bloomberg into the 2020 race as a “moderate” who will take on other “moderates,” Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. They also touted the ex-New York Mayor’s former Republican status. ... In reality, Bloomberg is radially supportive of restricting the Second Amendment and who supports abortion." Nicholas Fondacaro chimed in as well the same day, complaining that one show "falsely labeled [Bloomberg] a 'moderate.'"

Clay Waters joined the narrative in a Nov. 27 post attacking the New York Times for using the M-word:

It’s bad enough that the Times is labeling Buttigieg and Bloomberg moderates, although there is at least the thin excuse that there are no hard-and fast metrics for measuring just how liberal those two former mayors are. But the American Conservative Union has long kept up with the ideological voting records of congressmen, and former Sen. Kerry as of 2004 had earned a lifetime rating of 5.18 out of a possible 100. No “staid moderate,” just a true-blue Massachusetts liberal.

But Waters and Whitlock invoked the ACU voting record, but they didn't explain how, exactly, that score is a reliable indicator of one's place on the ideological spectrum.

Kristine Marsh had a related "moderate" meltdown in a Nov. 18 post:

It seems anyone to the right of Karl Marx is considered a “moderate” in today’s Democrat [sic] party. On ABC's  The View Monday, the hosts were discussing a new Iowa poll out this weekend that showed a significant bump for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 race. Co-host Joy Behar claimed he was rising in the polls because he was a “moderate” Democrat, who was “fresh, new and gay” but also in a “traditional” same-sex marriage. What?

[...]

The far-left in the media are constantly trying to make radical Democrats appear rational and mainstream. From the very beginning, Buttigieg has advocated far left positions on guns, health care and suggested he supports abortion until birth. Yet the media has consistently downplayed his liberal policies by calling him a “moderate.”

The MRC's complaints about labeling might be taken more seriously if their own labeling of anything remotely to the left of the MRC wasn't so sloppy and out of whack.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EST
Thursday, December 5, 2019
MRC Censors Full Story On ABC's Spiked Jeffrey Epstein Probe
Topic: Media Research Center

For the past month or so, the Media Research Center has been obsessing over a bit of media-related news: the "bombshell scoop," as Scott Whitlock termed it, from "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe of a leaked video of an ABC host lamenting that the network killed a story about "convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his network of connections to powerful men, including Bill Clinton," featuring alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (The host and ABC itself later issued statements that the reporting at the time didn't meet the network's standards.) So huge was this story at the MRC that it translated Whitlock's post into Spanish.

Over the following weeks, the MRC has repeatedly taken potshots at ABC, especially after the person who allegedly leaked the video to O'Keefe was apparently subsequently fired from a job at CBS and right-wingers like Megyn Kelly tried to advance the story.

Because this story conveniently fits into the MRC's media-hating narrative, it has censored the fact that there's another side to this story. If you'll recall, Alan Dershowitz, -- who was Epstein's lawyer when he got a sweetheart deal for a short prison sentence -- has vehemently denied allegations by Robert Giuffre that Dershowitz had sex with her while she was underage and doesn't believe that the woman is credible. He served up his encounter with ABC in a Nov. 20 Newsmax column:

In mid-2015, I was sent an email that one of Giuffre’s lawyers had circulated, announcing that an interview with Giuffre would be run on "Good Morning America," the ABC evening news, and "Nightline." I immediately called ABC to inquire whether my name was being mentioned, since she had falsely accused me of having sex with her, even though there was incontrovertible proof that I had never even met her. They said it was not. (To this day, she has not publicly and directly accused me out of court, in order to avoid being held accountable for her defamation.) I asked about Leslie Wexner — who she had also privately accused — and was told that his name was also not mentioned. (Perhaps because her silence about him was being negotiated.) I told the producer that Giuffre had a long history of lying about prominent individuals, including Tipper and Al Gore and Bill Clinton, as well as about other matters, including her age at the time she met Epstein. I also told them about my conversation with Giuffre’s friend Rebecca Boylan, in which she told me about the plan to obtain a billion dollars from Wexner. I told them that these interviews with Giuffre were part of the shakedown plan — that Boylan had told me that Giuffre went on TV in order to send Wexner the following message: See, I have access to the media; this time I didn’t mention you; but next time . . .

The people at ABC said they would look into the matter and I sent them the evidence. I made it clear that I was calling onlyon my own behalf and not on behalf of Epstein. I told the same thing to the NPR reporter when he interviewed me about this episode. But he had an agenda and a story line, and reporting accurately what I told him would undercut his pre-determined narrative. So this is what he falsely reported in a piece entitled “How media fell short on Epstein.”

The NPR reporter described me as Epstein’s lawyer, without disclosing that I explicitly told him that I had called ABC only on my own behalf as someone who had been falsely accused by Giuffre.

Notwithstanding his expressed interest in how I “convinced” ABC not to run the interview, he never mentioned the evidence I provided to ABC and to him proving that Giuffre had a long record of lying. Instead he quoted Julie Brown, a reporter for the Miami Herald, recently telling him, “I [Brown] found [Giuffre] to be very truthful and credible.” But Brown had never told that to ABC, back when they were making their decision. She only told it to the NPR reporter when he was doing his report years later. So her after-the-fact assessment of Giuffre’s alleged credibility was completely irrelevant to ABC’s decision, while my evidence — which I sent to ABC at the time — was highly relevant. 

[...]

So ABC was right and its critics are wrong.

For all of its obsession with the ABC-Epstein story, the MRC has said nothing about Dershowitz's defense of ABC spiking the story. Strange, since the MRC loved Dershowitz for his defenses of President Trump before his ties to Epstein became more prominent following Epstein's arrest on new sex-trafficking charges and his death in prison.

We have no idea who's telling the truth here, but we know that the MRC is doing a disservice to its readers by hiding the fact that this story is complicated, just because it has a narrative to perpetuate.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2019 2:27 PM EST
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
MRC Hypocritically Blames 'Sexism' For Criticism of GOP Congresswoman
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center typically mocks and denounces claims of sexism. For instance, a Nov. 4 post by Lindsay Kornick complained that the TV series "For All Mankind" decided to "highlight how sexist NASA members can be and force a feminist angle," then a few days later whined that the show "continues to push its feminist agenda by dragging NASA as male-driven and sexist. What isn’t sexist to TV writers these days?"

What's "sexist" to MRC writers these days is when a female Republican politician gets criticized, and they're not afraid to hypocritically exploit the allegation.

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik pulled stunts during the impeachment hearings such as violating hearing rules by attempting to question witnesses at a time when she was not permitted to do so then falsely playing the victim after criticism of it -- and the MRC was more than happy to pump up her victimhood. A Nov. 13 post by Curtis Houck complained:

Former Bush official-turned-liberal-turned-ABC News chief political analyst-turned-special correspondent Matthew Dowd found himself in hot water on Wednesday after the first set of impeachment hearings, tweeting a sexist attack against Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Why? Well, it turned out he didn’t like her questioning.

And taking a page out of the Hillary Clinton playbook, Dowd’s apologies amounted to him expressing dismay and apologized that people thought that he was being sexist when, in his mind, he wasn’t.

Dowd's remark was not particularly sexist -- he called Stefanik "a perfect example of why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn't necessarily get you the leaders we need" --  but it was sexist enough for Houck to exploit, though he would never find a similarly worded tweet aimed at, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be similarly offensive to him.

Houck dropped the S-word again in a Nov. 18 post when he found another Stefanik-related tweet to get offended by:

On Saturday afternoon, Never Trump attorney and liberal cable news darling George Conway leveled sexist attacks at Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on Twitter for being against impeachment and tussling with fellow media favorite and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), calling her “lying trash” and sharing a doctored photo of her flipping off a camera.

[...]

Of course, CNN did nothing to rebut or even acknowledge these attacks on-air. Their reason? To go out on a limb, they might have seen nothing wrong with that level of sexism and peddling of fake news.

Houck never explained why Conway calling Stefanik "lying trash" is enherently "sexist," even though she did lie by claiming victimhood after getting called out for violating hearing rules, which was apparently what Conway was pointing out. Nor does Houck disprove Conway's assertion that Stefanik is a liar.

Houck also addressed the doctored photo of Stefanik flipping off a camera that Conway had retweeted, complaining that "former Ted Cruz aide-turned-Never Trumper-turned-liberal CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter" was "smearing Stefanik by arguing that the fake photos seemed credible to her," asserting that her philosophy was "if it rings true, it is true!"

Funny, that's the exact approach Houck and other MRC writers have taken in the case of a charge the MRC heavily promoted in 2017 that a high school student was raped by an undocumented immigrant. When it turned out that prosecutors dropped the rape charges citing inconsistencies and lack of corroboration, the MRC covered for their lack of due diligence in hyping the bogus story, with Houck trying to distract from the fact that they got it wrong and Nicholas Fondacaro justified the false hype by insisting that "at the time of the original story, there was little evidence that the charges wouldn’t stick."

In other words, in the eyes of  the MRC's immigrant-hating writers, the story rung true, so it was true -- and they never apologized for pushing a bogus story when the truth came out. Which makes Houck's attempt to shame Carpenter more than a little hypocritical.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EST
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: Anonymously Yours, The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to rant about anonymous sources in the "liberal media" -- while it invokes its own anonymous sources on stories that advance its right-wing agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EST
Sunday, December 1, 2019
Pro-Trump Talking Point Factory Once Again Accuses Media Of Pushing Pro-Impeachment Talking Points
Topic: Media Research Center

It's rather rich to see the Media Research Center -- a factory and echo chamber for conservative and pro-Trump talking points on the impeachment inquiry -- accuse others of repeating talking points. The MRC did that again in a Nov. 14 post by Nicholas Fondacaro:

At a Thursday press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) essentially authorized the use of the word “bribery” to describe President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. The broadcast networks gushed about her use of the word and showed their approval by roundly noting that bribery was an impeachable offense explicitly laid out in the Constitution.

[...]

Perhaps “bribery” should be added to the list of shared talking points between the media and Democratic Party.

Of course, accusing "the media" of sharing Democratic talking points is a Republican talking point.

The next day, Kyle Drennen followed up with another body count article (bolding in original):

Following Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday morning press conference in which she accused President Trump of “bribery,” the broadcast networks spent the next 24 hours featuring the term 43 times in evening and morning show coverage. All of it designed to boost the impeachment crusade against Trump.

After Thursday’s evening newscasts dutifully assaulted viewers with the “bribery” buzzword a whopping 19 times (four mentions on NBC Nightly News, six mentions on ABC’s World News Tonight, and nine mentions on CBS Evening News), Friday’s morning shows kept up the onslaught with another 18 mentions (six on NBC’s Today, seven on ABC’s GMA, five on CBS This Morning). In addition, special impeachment hearing coverage on NBC (two mentions) and CBS (four mentions) featured the word six more times.

The mentions included both carefully selected soundbites from Pelosi herself, as well as anchors and correspondents hyping the talking point as a new “stark” and “significant” claim from House Democrats.

Then, on Nov. 19, Bill D'Agostino actually accused the media of encouraging Democrats to use "bribery":

For the past several weeks, anxious journalists have coached Democratic politicians from the sidelines with unsolicited advice on how best to convince the majority of Americans to support impeaching President Trump.

The latest example: instructing the Democratic leadership to stop describing President Trump’s alleged conduct as a “quid pro quo,” and to stick with more sinister words such as “bribery” or “extortion.” On November 8, The Washington Post ran an op-ed titled “Enough with the Latin. What Trump did was bribery.” The New York Times and The Atlantic published similar pieces the following day.

PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor tried to assist the partisan impeachers on the November 10 edition of NBC’s Meet The Press: “Quid pro quo might be too complicated when you’re running to the supermarket or when you’re going somewhere, rather than saying ‘the President tried to bribe a foreign country.’”

Put another way, Americans are too simple-minded to understand that a quid-pro-quo is eminently impeachable, so let’s start saying “bribery” instead.

Of course, this is all mere obsession over a word. These MRC writers are simply attacking and offer no constructive advice other than to push MRC-favored talking points instead. D'Agostino, for instance, demanded that the media should be "reporting on the Democrats’ struggle with messaging," which is purportedly behind the uptick in "bribery" usage. And nowhere do any of these MRC writers argue that "bribery" is not an accurate word for what Trump is alleged to have done; instead, they complain that the word is being used (Drennen did huff "without any substantiation," but he didn't make a case for why it was inaccurate).

The MRC is simply trying to control the language around impeachment for the benefit of Trump. Politics is all that matters to them -- not the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 1, 2019 6:28 PM EST
Saturday, November 30, 2019
MRC Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Colin Kaepernick popped up in the news earlier this month, and you know what that means: Mysterious Media Research Center blogger Jay Maxson came down with yet another case of Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome.

Maxson broke the news in a Nov. 13 post: "There's been a major thaw in the cold war between the NFL and former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The league has arranged a private workout and interview for the cop-hating NFL cast-off this Saturday, and all 32 teams are invited to attend."Maxson further huffed that the "media have never stopped whining about him being 'blackballed' for his national anthem protests"; Maxson doesn't disprove the argument.

The next day, Maxson whined that there was "plenty of Kaepernick Kool-Aid" on ESPN programs talking about the tryout for "the radical former pro quarterback/anthem kneeler." Maxson was so in derangement mode tha the wrote a second post about Kaepernick that day, huffing that "the groupthink media parrots had their talking points down pat: the NFL's Saturday workout and interview with the famous anthem foe is a sham and a PR stunt" -- as if Maxson wasn't peddling right-wing groupthink -- further whining that "The NFL is creating a stage for the three-year free agent that no veteran player has ever had."

Maxson rested from Kaepernick-related derangement for a day before returning with a Nov. 16 post denouncing the NFL workout for him as "unprecedented' and "privileged" and attacking media folks as being "fully in the tank for Kaepernick." Maxson further huffed: "Kaepernick has a losing career record of 28-30 as a starting NFL quarterback. That's just an inconvenient, seldom-mentioned truth to his media apologists, who are fixated on his social justice "exploits". They have fuzzy memories of past greatness and fuzzy visions of Kaepernick turning his new team into a Super Bowl contender."

Kaepernick also played in a Super Bowl, which we can safely assume is more than the mysterious Maxson has done.

Maxson wasn't the only one reveling in hate, though. A Nov. 14 post by Gabriel Hays had a meltdown over "U.S. women’s World Cup champion, feminist activist and angry lesbian Megan Rapinoe dedicating her Glamour 'Women of the Year Award' to disgraced, race-baiting former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick." Reminding us that the MRC hates Rapinoe too, Hays sneered that she is merely "famous for playing soccer, for being a lesbian, and for having the right politics."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EST
Friday, November 29, 2019
MRC Complains About Labeling Of Trump Jr.'s Hecklers
Topic: Media Research Center

It's bizarrely entertaining to see the Media Research Center -- which loves to label things and people as "far left" in a way that ignores degrees of liberalism because that's an attack label that plays well with its right-wing base -- have a fit over how people on its side of the political spectrum are labeled.

Curtis Houck used a Nov. 12 post to lecture CNN about its labeling of hecklers who drove Donald Trump Jr. off a stage:

On CNN Right Now, host Brianna Keilar had three teases boasting of these protesters. The first tease had the chyron “Campus Chaos; Far Right Crowd Heckles Trump Jr Off Stage” and the others read:“Campus Chaos; Trump Jr Leaves Stage After Protests by Far Right Crowd.”

In the segment, Keilar claimed that the protesters were “right-wing activists.” Ah, yes. So the same people that have turned their ire to attacking the Daily Wire and editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro with anti-Semitic tropes? 

Further, such individuals would be classified as alt-right, so more akin to neo-Nazis (which, after all, are National Socialists) than the ideals of Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, and Ronald Reagan. But sure, CNN. Tell us more about what’s conservative and what’s not.

Houck praised CNN's Brian Stelter for being "correct" in labeling the hecklers as "far right wing," then complained that "Just over seven hours later, AC360 host Anderson Cooper hyped that “it was conservatives” who protested the event.

If Houck wants to address the issue of sloppy political labeling, perhaps he should start with the MRC's NewsBusters operation, for which he serves as managing editor. Over the past month or so, here are the people and things the MRC has labeled as "far left":

Houck cannot plausibly, objectively or accurately claim that all, or even most, of these people and things are "far left" -- again, this is just meaningless clickbait for MRC readers.

If Houck wants the "liberal media" to learn the difference between conservative, right-wing, far-right and alt right, he and his co-workers should make the effort to learn the difference between liberal, progressive, left-wing and far left -- and make sure the MRC's writers and bloggers use that labeling consistently. If right-leaning political labels mean things, then left-leaning ones do as well.

Houck apparently has yet to learn that nobody will treat his "media criticism" seriously as long as he continues to act in an unserious, unprofessional manner.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EST

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