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Wednesday, August 24, 2016
MRC Dances On The Grave of 'The Nightly Show'
Topic: Media Research Center

Comedy Central canceled "The Nightly Show," and the Media Research Center couldn't be happier.

The MRC never liked the Larry Wilmore-hosted show, of course, since it was not a regurgitator of right-wing talking points. But the show's cancellation has sent it into a fit of grave-dancing.

Curtis Houck's Aug. 15 post announcing the cancellation was cheerfully headlined "Bye, Bye! Comedy Central Cancels Larry Wilmore’s ‘The Nightly Show’."  Houck declared Wilmore to be a "far-left comedian" and groused the show's purpose was "mocking and smearing conservatives to the delight of television critics and other liberal journalists from coast-to-coast." He added, "NewsBusters readers should be more than familiar with the most heinous statements on the show as our newsroom has subjected ourselves to the show so you, the readers, don’t have to!"

After the show's final edition, Houck took exception to show producer Jon Stewart's advice to Wilmore that he shouldn't “confuse cancellation with failure," and he whined that "Stewart spun for his friend that he did because his show (despite its horrid ratings, unfunny attacks on conservatives, etc.) did and shows like his in the future will succeed because he went first in making everything about race and insulting conservatives."

Houck went on to confuse cancellation with failure by referencing "the failure of The Nightly Show."

Clay Waters made his disdain for "The Nightly Show" clear in the headline of his Aug. 20 post -- "Liberal NY Times TV Critic Dances Around Why Larry Wilmore's Leftist, Humorless Comedy Show Failed" -- and he also confused cancellation with failure by calling Wilmore a "failed TV host" and asserted that "the show’s angry, humorless leftism did the show in."

The next day, Waters returned the next day unironically complaining that "the far-left culture magazine Salon" did an article on the show "with a headline ripe for ridicule" -- doubly unironically since the headline for this item includes the words "Smug, Leftist Salon." Waters huffed that "Perhaps the fact that fans of the show consider “funny” to be an extraneous detail, even for a late-night talk show on a comedy channel, explains why the show failed."

The word "smug" appears four times in Waters' item, including in the headline, though none of those usages were applied to himself.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
MRC: Norman Lear Isn't A 'Patriotic American' Because He's Liberal
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alatheia Nielsen rants about Norman Lear in an Aug. 17 item:

For an op-ed meant to convince Republicans to dump Trump, TV producer and media mogul Norman Lear sure talked a lot about himself.

Lear tried to portray himself as an average, patriotic American in an Aug. 15, guest column in The Hollywood Reporter, but it was all a ruse.

In between discussing his own WWII service, and revealing that he swears at the news, the liberal attacked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump calling him a “demagogue” and “that human middle finger to the American Way.” Borrowing an iconic phrase from American politics, Lear charged Republican Trump supporters to look in the mirror and ask themselves “Have you left no sense of decency, Sirs?”

But no matter how much he portray himself that way, Lear isn’t just like every other American. His overachieving $50 million net worth aside, Lear has built his life around attacking and belittling conservatives — first with TV shows like All in the Family — and then by founding People for the American Way (PFAW).

Is Nielsen really saying that Lear can't possibly be an "verage, patriotic American" because he's liberal? Sure looks that way.

Nielsen went on to rehash a couple of bogus attacks on PFAW division Right Wing Watch:

An offshoot of PFAW, Right Wing Watch, tracks conservative groups and individuals. Media outlets often pick up Right Wing Watch’s conservative attacks, even when they’re wrong.

In April 2015, Politico, Salon, Huffington Post, The Washington Post and Mother Jones all claimed Scott Walker said ultrasounds should be mandatory since they’re “a cool thing:” a false accusation first circulated by Right Wing Watch.

Right Wing Watch also accused HGTV’s Flip it Forward stars David and Jason Benham of being “anti-gay, anti-choice extremist[s].” Thanks to outside media attention, the brothers lost their show.

As we documented when Nielsen first made these claims, that's a fair interpretation of Walker's words -- not "false" -- given that the context of the interview in which he made the remark was using the "cool thing" anecdote to justify the forced-ultrasound bill he signed into law. And the Benham brothers really are "anti-gay, anti-choice extremist[s]," however much Nielsen wants to pretend otherwise. Does she think it's somehow not extremist to call homosexuality "demonic" and rant outside abortion clinics that they are the "altars of Moloch"?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
Monday, August 22, 2016
MRC Is Mad There's No Country Music On Obama's Summer Playlist
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates President Obama so much, even the most benign things about him come under withering attack, such as being what is universally acknowledged elsewhere as a pretty good father for a president.

Well, the MRC's Melissa Mullins -- who declared in that earlier post that the idea of Obama being praised as a good father made her want to vomit -- is at it again. And what heinous crime did Obama commit this time to incur Mullins' wrath?

He issued a summer music playlist.

"Who in the world decided that revealing Obama’s summertime playlist actually constituted as newsworthy?" Mullins rants in an Aug. 13 post.  She continued: "You will notice there’s not a single country song on the list. But Obama is taking care of his own leftist base, throwing in a tune from the Bernie-Bros folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros."

Yep, Mullins is mad that there's no country music on the list, and she thinks there's such a thing as "Bernie-Bros."

She whines again: "But seriously…this is considered news?" To which we have to wonder: This sort of overwrought hostility over somebody's playlist is considered legitimate media criticism at the MRC?

Apparently it is -- otherwise the MRC wouldn't keep giving Mullins for her Obama-hate.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT
Sunday, August 21, 2016
MRC Fact-Checks the Fact-Checkers, Complain Facts Don't Fit Right-Wing Spin
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war on facts continues with a couple attempts to fact-check the fact-checkers.

The MRC's Kyle Drennen gives it a shot in an Aug. 16 post, taking on PolitiFact editor Angie Holan's look into Donald Trump's assertion that President Obama was the founder of ISIS. Holan pointing out that "the terrorist group that we now call ISIS was forming right after the Iraq war, during the Bush administration."

Gotcha, Drennen proclaims: "Notice how she hedged her commentary by remarking that the terror group 'had a number of name changes.' In other words, the 'Islamic State' didn’t exist until Barack Obama came into office."

Well, no, that's not how that works, Kyle. Just like cigarette maker Philip Morris didn't suddenly become a completely different company when it renamed itself Altria in 2003, ISIS didn't become a completely different entity from its precessor groups simply by changing its name. Drennen is being utterly disingenuous here.

When an MSNBC host noted that the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 was based on an agreement President Bush signed with Iraqis before heaving office in 2008, Drennen huffed: "It’s amazing how President Obama was able to abandon just about every policy of the Bush administration but was somehow helpless to alter that one in any way."

In fact, according to FactCheck.org (which means Drennen will have to impose his right-wing "fact-checking" on this too), the Obama administration tried to negotiate with the Iraqis to keep U.S. troops in the country longer, but then-Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki wouldn't yield on a U.S. demand that U.S. troops should be shielded from criminal prosecution by Iraqi authorities.

Next up is Katherine Franklin, who uses an Aug. 17 NewsBusters post to go after a PolitiFact examination of a claim made by Ohio Right to Life against Ohio Senate candidate Ted Strickland accusing him of wanting to "force Americans to pay for abortion on demand, up until the moment of birth, with their taxpayer dollars," a claim PolitiFact found "mostly false."

A few red flags are clearly noticeable: Franklin does not link to the offending PolitiFact fact-check (which is actually a state affiliate working with a local TV station, not the national PolitiFact organization, something Franklin does not note), she barely quotes from the fact-check in her attack on it, and she waits until the 13th paragraph of her post to disclose the salient fact that she is the communications director for Ohio Right to Life, meaning she's hardly objective on the issue.

Franklin accuses PolitiFact Ohio of engaging in "obfuscation and spin" in rebutting her group's claim:

Mostly, Politifact took issue with the idea of legalized abortion-on-demand up until the moment of birth. Politifact rated this claim as False “because abortions at the nine-month mark just don’t happen.”

However, just last week, FactCheck confirmed that “there are many places in the world where abortion up to birth is legal.” For supporting evidence, the column sited seven places in the United States where this is the case. Furthermore, from the limited data that is available at the CDC, we know that at least 6,180 abortions occurred in the United States after 21 weeks gestation in 2012. Guttmacher’s statistics put that number at 12,000. 

As for “abortion-on-demand,” the Politifact column offers no True/False rating on this point, but instead spins the meaning of “on-demand” to include the location of abortion facilities in states like Oregon and New Hampshire. It’s a weak argument and sounds more like the spin that would come from NARAL or Guttmacher. Abortion is literally legal for any reason in Oregon and Politifact wants to debunk this on the basis that there isn’t an abortion clinic on every street corner? That is more than a bit of a stretch.

Franklin is the one spinning here. PolitiFact is pointing out that few abortions occur after viability and that Ohio Right to Life's claim that a woman would have an abortion at the "moment of birth" is rather nonsensical and a "hypothetical non-event," quoting a doctor as saying, "If the mother’s life was at risk, the treatment for that is delivery, and the baby survives."

And contrary to Franklin's spin on the "abortion on demand," PolitiFact pointed out that due to  waiting period and mandatory physician consultations supported by anti-abortion activists such as Franklin, there really isn't such a thing as "abortion on demand."

Nevertheless, Franklin declared victory:

By my tally, at a minimum, 2 out of 4 of our points were clearly confirmed as “true.” That doesn’t sound like “mostly false” to me. On the other two points, Politifact had to spin the information in order to muddy the waters on whether abortion is allowed “on-demand up to the moment of birth.” FactCheck confirmed this point a week ago, using laws from the United States to support its review.

Of course, Franklin is the one spinning here, but neither she nor the MRC will admit it.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EDT
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Dear Brent Bozell: Where Is CNS' Coverage on Trump Controversies?
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, Media Research Center chief engaged in yet another rant "to slam compliant journalists for minimizing Hillary Clinton’s scandals while playing up Donald Trump’s controversies."Bozell said the media is "circling the wagons around Hillary Clinton where they simply will not report."

It's imporatant to point out just how utterly hypocritical Bozell is in claiming this.

The "news" operation Bozell runs, CNSNews.com, has repeatedly failed to put negative articles about Trump on its front page.

CNS published 17 original stories in three days about Hillary's email server while at the same time it was in a 12-day stretch of publishing no original articles at all about Trump -- even though this was a period in which Trump tweeted out an anti-Semitic image.

CNS buried news of the plagiarized nature of Melania Trump's RNC speech, instead playing up how the speech was "well-received."

CNS' initial reporting on a Trump press conference in which he invited Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's emails didn't even mention he said it.

And just this week, CNS published two articles in one day by its reporters about an edited State Department video -- one of which is a rewritten press release from its new friends at Judicial Watch -- but revelations the same day about Trump campaign official Paul Manafort about his pro-Russian lobbying, and his subsequent resignation from the campaign, warrented no original coverage or even get a mention of any significance on its front page. Instead, CNS did publish an article in which Trump complained that "the establishment media doesn’t cover what really matters in this country."

Clearly, it's Bozell who's circling the wagons around Trump and minimizing his scandals. If his own "news" operation can't fairly report the news, he has no moral standing whatsoever to dictate to others about fair reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 AM EDT
Friday, August 19, 2016
MRC Mad Media Didn't Fall for Benghazi Lawsuit Publicity Stunt
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock grumbles in an Aug. 9 post:

The three network morning shows on Tuesday allowed a scant minute and 59 seconds to a lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton by the grieving parents of Benghazi victims. This is out of a total of eight hours of possible air time. ABC, CBS and NBC continued their pattern of showing very little interest in Pat Smith, the mother who condemned Clinton at the Republican National Convention.

NBC’s four-hour-long Today allowed just 36 seconds to Smith’s wrongful death lawsuit. CBS This Morning managed 40 seconds and ABC’s Good Morning America provided 43 seconds.  On CBS, Nancy Cordes quickly explained, “Charles Woods and Patricia Smith allege the attacks resulted from Clinton’s, quote, ‘extreme carelessness in handling confidential and classified information.’”

Whitlock, meanwhile, devoted zero seconds to explaining that the lawsuit is nothing more than a publicity stunt by a terrible lawyer, right-wing ambulance-chaser Larry Klayman.

Even Fox News host Steve Doocy admitted that the lawsuit is "obviously just to inflict as much political damage onto Hillary Clinton as they possibly could," and Fox News' Andrew Napolitano added, "Quite frankly, I don't think either parts of this lawsuit are going to go -- they're certainly not going to go anywhere during the election campaign." Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham concurred, saying that "I think it's going to be very difficult to demonstrate the causes of action they allege. ... I think it's very difficult to prove that Hillary's actions were the proximate cause or direct cause of the deaths of your sons."

The fact that even the MRC's contemporaries agree the lawsuit has no legal merit makes Whitlock's insistence that there is news value to it highly suspect, if not completely ridiculous.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
MRC Can't Hide Hatred of Muslim Olympian Getting Media Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

WorldNetDaily's not the only ConWeb outlet that have their issues in recent days with the fact Muslims exist. The Media Research Center has issues as well.

This time, the Muslim in question is Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. In an Aug. 12 post, Alatheia Nielsen and Katie Yoder demonstrate they don't understand how news works:

Winning is a matter of faith for some of Team America at the Rio Olympics. Except journalists only seemed to care about Islamic faith and almost nothing about Judeo-Christian beliefs. So much so that the broadcast networks covered the Islamic faith of one Olympian more than 100 times more than the Judeo-Christian beliefs of five gold-medal winners.

When the U.S. women’s gymnastics landed a gold medal Tuesday evening, the broadcast networks spent 22 minutes, 35 seconds celebrating the win and interviewing the girls. Only 0.6 percent of the coverage mentioned the girls’ faith, even though several of them clearly expressed that God was their inspiration for competing.

In contrast, the networks dedicated 13 minutes, 25 seconds to Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad simply because she was the first American athlete to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics. The networks began covering her a full three days before the Olympics even began.

Dear Alatheia and Katie: The word "news" is largely composed of the word "new." A Muslim U.S. Olympic athlete is new; Christian and Jewish Olympic athletes are not.

Later, Nielsen and Yoder sorta concede the nature of news, then demonstrate they really don't understand at all:

There’s nothing wrong with the media sharing Ibtihaj’s story. It’s a “first” worth reporting. But when the media spend 13 and a half minutes focusing almost exclusively on one competitor's Muslim faith, and only 8 seconds hinting at the gymnasts’ Judeo-Christian faith, it becomes an offensive discrepancy.

So it's not only biased but "offensive" that a Muslim gets coverage in the media? Sheesh.

The same day, Nielsen and Yoder's bosses, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell rant about Muhammad, particularly offended at comedian W. Kamau Bell's suggestion that she should have carried the American flag  during the opening ceremonies. They declared that she's not a real American because she dared to highlight anti-Muslim discrimination in the U.S.:

If the mission is to find an American who does not support American greatness, Muhammad is an excellent choice. To say she's not a fan of the United States is to put it mildly. Part of her "role model" behavior is denouncing this country. The Daily Beast headlined her claim: "I'm Not Safe In The U.S." She denounced a "climate of anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States" and said she "had someone follow me home from practice and try to report me to police ... right on 28th and 7th in New York City."

That kind of blame-America thinking resonates with the elites.

Graham and Bozell then quote a hit piece on Muhammad by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller (whom they benignly describe only as a "columnist") and cited a tweetshe made about Black Lives Matter, then huffing, "But the left thinks she was the perfect candidate to proudly bear the American flag at the Olympic parade."

In an Aug. 16 post, the MRC's Matthew Balan whined that CNN's Chris Cuomo "gave Muhammad the kid glove treatment by failing to ask her about her anti-Israel posts on Twitter and her controversial criticism of the 'climate of anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States.'" Balan didnt explain why it's "controversial" to point out an indisputable fact.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:29 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
MRC's Graham Can't Stop Obsessing Over Anita Hill
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has a weird obsession with Anita Hill. Nearly a quarter-century after the fact, he's still trying to insist (without evidence, of course) that Hill lied in making her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas and/or that she made the allegations solely to advance her career.

Graham does so again in an Aug. 10 NewsBusters post complaining that NPR had on Hill to talk about sexual harassment allegations against now-former Fox News chief Roger Ailes (a story the MRC's many tentacles have largely ignored, by the way). Graham shows us where this is going by grumbling, "Hill is treated as a kind of feminist saint, and no one brings up how she came to Bill Clinton’s defense in the adultery-slash-sexual harassment fight before he was impeached in 1998."

Then Graham plays his usual game by adding, "A Thomas fan would laugh as NPR explains that Hill says she was 'ostracized,' which is an odd word for a six-figure book deal and a very secure professor’s job in New England."Again, he offers no proof for his suggestion that Hill was driven by visions of dollar signs.

Graham also complains, "Justice Thomas is always presumed guilty of harassing Hill." And Graham presumes Hill is lying simply because she had the temerity to make her accusation against a sainted conservative -- just like he presumes that every single accuser of a sexual fling against Bill Clinton is telling the indisputable truth because Clinton is a political enemy.

Indeed, Graham for some reason goes back a couple decades to discuss a 1998 New York Times op-ed by Hill pointing out that unwanted sexual harassment is different than the consensual affair between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Graham misrepresented what Hill wrote, falsely framing it as about earlier Clinton flings, which Hill did not discuss:

In a September, 28 1998 op-ed in The New York Times, Hill basically absolved Clinton of charges of sexual harassment made by Paula Jones – charges he later paid out $850,000 to settle – by simply failing to acknowledge the case existed. That's not very feminist. Wasn't Jones far, far less powerful than Gov. Clinton? Wasn't Kathleen Willey far, far less powerful than President Clinton?

Graham then huffed: "Hill offered a feminist fundamentalism: Support abortion rights, and your sexual accusers can be ignored." And if the alleged perpetrator is a prominent conservative like Ailes or Thomas, Graham will indulge in a right-wing fundamentalism by happily ignoring their accusers or dismissing them as money-grubbing liars.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 6:31 PM EDT
MRC Blames Media for Building Up Trump, Then Trying to Destroy Him
Topic: Media Research Center

For the Media Research Center, it's always the media's fault. Exactly what the media did, however, changes and is even contradictory -- like how it blames the media for both creating donald Trump's presidential candidate and for trying to destroy it.

The MRC has long whined that "NBC has spent more than a decade building [Trump's] brand as a successful businessman of almost mythic proportion," even after Trump clinched the Republican nomination and the MRC was supposed to be fully supportive of the campaign as a good right-wing outlet should. It was still doing so in an Aug. 3 post by Sam Dorman, who disapproved of NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt disputing the notion that his network was responsible for Trump.

Dorman grumbled that "Starting in 2004, NBC’s Today show acted as a de facto PR outlet for The Donald and gave regular interviews to him and his Apprentice contestants," adding, "NBC imprinted a mythic persona of Trump onto its broadcasts by hyping his business success, and at times, describing him with messianic language."

Three days later, Trump sycophant Jeffrey Lord took to the MRC's NewsBusters blog to whine that the media is reporting on the crazy things his boy Trump says, and insisted that this somehow proves that the media is biased against Trump:

Out and abroad in the land there are millions of Americans who feel intensely that “the media” - fill in an outlet of your choice in print, TV, radio and now the Internet - are out there with the sole object of destroying Donald Trump. That the slightest misstep of Trump’s will be magnified and replayed over and over endlessly - while major events like the clear case of the Obama administration’s payment of $400 million in cash to ransom Iranian hostages are simply downplayed.

On Friday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity on Sean’s radio show that real conservatives have to wake up and understand that 80-90 percent of the media are enemies and that the Left is in such an anti-Trump frenzy that the media has set out to destroy him. As if to confirm Gingrich’s point Hillary Clinton that same day gave a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists - in which she essentially made a bald appeal for the members of those groups to use their positions in the media to help her defeat Trump. I would add to this that any GOP nominee would have faced this situation, although it is indeed more intense now that Trump is the nominee. 

[...]

Donald Trump has never refrained from taking on the media in this campaign. The point now is that millions of his fellow Americans get the problem - and as I saw first hand the other night in a Pennsylvania high school gym, they have his back. They believe with Newt Gingrich that the Left is in such an anti-Trump frenzy that the media has set out to destroy him.

Which says that it won’t just be Hillary and the Obama era that are that the issues in this campaign, but rather the media itself in all its many forms.

Lord forgot to mention, let alone offer thanks for, the fact that according to the right-wing outlet that publishes his column, that very same media is reponsible for Trump being a presidential contender in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Sunday, August 14, 2016
MRC Tries to Raise Money Off Our Blog Post
Topic: Media Research Center

This may be a first for us -- the Media Research Center is using something we wrote to raise money.

On Aug. 12 MRC Action's David Martin sent out a email complaining that "Huffington Post is now attacking the Media Research Center's yet-to-be-released documentary film, which details the disastrous effects of President Obama's War on Coal." The email links to the anonymous NewsBusters post criticizing the Huffington Post version of our post on the MRC's crowdfunding campaign for its upcoming Obama-bashing film on the coal industry. It makes sure to call HuffPo a "well-known leftist news outlet."

Martin largely rehashes that anonymous NewsBusters post, which was so poorly written that it failed to include our name or link to the offending post, dishonestly attributed our view as being the same as that of HuffPo (in fact, we're just one of the hundreds of bloggers who get paid nothing to post there, so we're not even a HuffPo employee), and igores the main points of our post: why an organization that raised $15 million last year can't come up with the $15,000 it's trying to crowdfund on its own, and that the trailer misrepresented President Obama's views on the coal industry and falsyly portraying him as the sole cause of the current collapse in coal-mining jobs (which are still higher than they were under much of the Bush administration).

But why let a lack of facts get in the way of fundraising? Martin proceeds:

Despite not having viewed the documentary, HuffPo believes it "will be on the dishonest side," and is hard at work trying to prevent this important MRC project from happening. We're counting on you to help us ensure that Huffington Post doesn't get its way.

They also claimed that criticizing Obama is "rather pointless," because he is not running for re-election. The point isn't to criticize Obama; it's to shine a light on the impact that reckless policies have on real people's lives!

We can't let these die-hard liberals stop this important project. These people's voices need to be heard. That's why we're asking you, our faithful supporters, to help us fight back against Huffington Post and push on with the production of this important film.

The MRC must raise $15,000 by the end of August in order to continue production of this important short film. We need your help to achieve this goal.

No, Mr. Martin, neither we nor HuffPo (who I don't speak for, let alone dictate its entire editorial agenda, as Martin and the MRC seem to think) are "trying to prevent this important MRC project from happening." At no point did we do anything even so benign as tell anyone not to fund your little crowdfunding effort. We simply told the truth about it.

And if Martin wants to talk about "reckless policies," will the MRC's film mention that fracking has impacted the coal industry by sharply reducing natural gas prices that make gas a better, lower-polluting option than coal? 

If the film turns out to be a reflection of the MRC's attacks on a single critic, it will be a very dishonest one indeed.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:01 PM EDT
Friday, August 12, 2016
MRC Vilifies Howard Stern, Gives His Friend Trump A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell dedicated much of their Aug. 5 column to bashing "sex-crazed radio shock jock" Howard Stern and sneering at the idea that he should be allowed to interview Hillary Clinton:

Stern, who left broadcast radio for satellite radio so he could be as raunchy as possible and make his millions dwelling on the lowest common denominator for the demographic, men ages 18 to 34, has a less-than-zero chance of scoring a Clinton interview. The risk-averse woman, who hasn't held a press conference yet in 2016, isn't going to upset all her feminist supporters to please Stern.

If any Clinton adviser wanted to suggest to her that it could be a great opportunity to address the gender gap, one can easily look at what accomplished women discuss on his show. Take a Newsmax headline from a year ago that read, "Megyn Kelly Talks with Howard Stern: Breasts, Penises, Sex." Those are the lifelong obsessions of Stern (and his audience).

It was an act of media trolling for The Washington Post's Geoff Edgers to help Stern make his sales pitch to Clinton. Edgers insisted Stern's show is "simply the best broadcast entertainment interview show around."

Stern gave the Post an hour-long interview, but somehow Edgers didn't ask why an aspirant of the highest office in the land should lower herself to an interview with a guy who played fictional superhero Fartman and sold videotapes called "Butt Bongo Fiesta."

Graham and Bozell go on to note that Clinton's fellow presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is a "friend" of Stern, but only in passing while complaning that Edgers asked Stern to criticize Trump for his attacks on the media while Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference in months.

But Trump does not get the guilt-by-association treatment from Graham and Bozell for being friends with Stern. But it was just a few months ago that Graham was somehwat more willing to use Stern to attack Trump.

In May, Graham complained that the Washington Post did an article about Trump's "sex boasts….and sex life" as discussed on Stern's show, whining that "the Post didn’t locate these 19-year-old quotes when there were still Republican opponents in the race appealing for the conservative-Christian vote." But as we noted, neither did the MRC or its "news" division, CNSNews.com -- both entities completely ignored the Trump-Stern interviews when they first surfaced three months earlier, making Graham's bashing of the Post for doing the story his employer refused to do utterly hypocritical.

Graham and Bozell concluded their column by huffing that Stern is "not going to criticize his pal" Trump. And neither will Bozell or Graham.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EDT
Thursday, August 11, 2016
MRC Downgrades Trump's Implicit Threat to Hillary To A 'Remark' And 'Slip'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center doesn't think Donald Trump's implicit threat against Hillary Clinton's life is that big of a deal. It's predicably whining that Trump got more coverage than something involving Hillary Clinton.

Nicholas Fondacaro is first up to distract:

Similar to how the “Big Three" played down the alleged ransom payment to Iran, the nets chose to focus primarily on a Donald Trump controversy instead of a Hillary Clinton one. On Monday Clinton held a rally in Orlando, Florida and in attendance was Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando nightclub terrorist, while on Tuesday Trump used innuendo to suggest that 2nd Amendment supporters would somehow stop Clinton. In all, the nets dedicated over four times the coverage to Trump, rather than Clinton, during their Tuesday evening broadcasts.

Note that Fondacaro refuses to admit the implicit violence in Trump's "innuendo."

Next up is Scott Whitlock, who portrays Trump's threat as a "gaffe":

The journalists at MSNBC responded differently to gaffes by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. On Tuesday morning it became clear that Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando nightclub shooter, sat directly behind Clinton at a rally in Florida. Rather than express outrage, MSNBC journalists praised the Democrat’s quick response in putting out a statement in response.

However, when Donald Trump at a rally on Tuesday said that “maybe” “Second Amendment people” can do something about Hillary Clinton’s liberal judges, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd pounced. He opened show by demanding, “What did Donald Trump mean by this?”

Whitlock also fails to acknowledge the implicit violence in Trump's"gaffe."

Whitlock returned with a so-called "study" of coverage, downgrading Trump's threat to a "remark" in his headline and in the accompanying chart:

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should have been forced to deal with campaign messes on Tuesday, but the three networks only treated the Republican’s problem as a huge gaffe worthy of extensive coverage. ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with more than five times more coverage — 25 minutes and 35 seconds versus 4 minutes and 41 seconds —  to Trump’s “Second Amendment people” remark than they did to the father of an ISIS-inspired terrorist sitting right behind Clinton at a rally in Orlando, Florida. 

CBS pounced on Trump’s comment that “maybe” “Second Amendment people” can do something about Clinton’s judges, highlighting the story for 14 minutes and 24 seconds on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. In contrast, the Evening News and CBS This Morning hosts allowed just a scant 59 seconds to Seddique Mateen, the father of a man who murdered 49 people in an Orlando night club, attending a Clinton at a rally on Monday. 

As expected, MRC chief Brent Bozell ran to Fox News to tout the coverage "study" (keeping his mouth shut about Roger Ailes' travails pays off!) and makes it clear how he intends to interpret Trump's implicit threat:

What did Donald Trump say? Either you believe what he said, which is that a political movement, gun rights movement, could stop the election of Hillary Clinton or you believe her supporters, which is that he's openly advocating killing her. Now, I’m not even going to debate it. It's obvious. However, it becomes a huge controversy. 

Bozell went on to rant about "the Clinton playbook for the media in deflecting from really any Clinton-related scandal." Meanwhile, he's using the Trump playbook for the right-wing media to push the Clinton Equivocation, the right-wing axiom that anything a Clinton does (even if there's no evidence a Clinton had a role in doing it, as with the case of Seddique Mateen), is automaticlaly worse than anything any conservative or Republican has done.

(Funny thing is, last week Bozell appeared on The Blaze to complain that Trump is "stupid" for saying things that distract from Hillary's purported crimes and stuff. And yet he's defending Trump's latest stupid act. Apparently, Trump is not so stupid that Bozell will not ultimately defend him.)

Bozell's lieutenant, Tim Graham, followed shortly thereafter with his own trip to Fox News, and the NewsBusters post hosting the Graham clip downgraded Trump's threat even further; it's now apparently a "slip." Graham, meanwhile, somehow managed to avoid passing judgment on Trump's words, but we assume that he's in lockstep with MRC groupthink and considers it a "slip" as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
MRC's Response To Our Post On Its Crowdfunded Film Is A Huge Fail
Topic: Media Research Center

So the Media Research Center took the time to respond to our post -- well, the Huffington Post version of it -- on the MRC's attempt to crowdfund for a upcoming documentary on coal miners purportedly harmed by President Obama's clean-air policies.

Here it is, in its entirety:

Huffington Post Uncorks on Upcoming 'Right-Wing' MRCTV Documentary -- Without Seeing It

Look out, the leftist media has discovered an anti-Obama media plot. On Sunday night, The Huffington Post published an article on our sister organization MRCTV with the headline “Right-Wing Media Org Is Crowdfunding to Distort Obama’s Record on Coal.” They began:

The right-wing Media Research Center is getting into the crowdfunding business, setting up a Kickstarter page to raise $15,000 for “completing the production and marketing” of a “short documentary” about “the devastating human toll of the EPA’s war on coal,” to be called Collateral Damage.

MRCTV crews went to West Virginia to report on the economic dislocation caused by the Obama administration's climate-change policies, inspired by Obama's campaign promise in 2008 to bankrupt coal companies through environmental regulation -- a promise he succeeded in imposing, to cheers from the Left.

Despite the inconvenient truth that the documentary isn’t available for The Huffington Post to view, they claim “it looks like this documentary will be on the dishonest side.” They find it completely defensible for Obama to claim “You know, the irony is that what’s actually hurt coal is not any EPA rules.” They also complained “apparently nobody has told the MRC that Obama is not running for re-election, so bashing him seems rather pointless.”

A few observations on it:

Not only did the MRC not name us as the writer -- ironically, the MRC's post is anonymously credited only to "NB Staff" -- the post falsely portrays our post as the official opinion of the Huffington Post. In fact, we are not employed by HuffPo; we're one of hundreds of writers who post their content there without compensation.

On top of that, the MRC did not provide a link to our post so readers could see it for themselves.

That meant that the MRC's readers would not be able to see that the anonymous MRC writer avoided addressing the two main issues we brought up: why the MRC, which raised more than $15 million last year, couldn't allocate a measly $15,000 to finish its film and resorted to crowdfunding instead; and why the MRC took President Obama's statement about EPA rules not being the main culprit in coal's current downfall out of context and hiding fracking is also a major culprit and that he wants to retrain coal miners.

Of course, the MRC doesn't have to trust us on coal mining. It can look to its own ideologically aligned sources, like the Washington Examiner, which similarly admits that "the precipitous drop in oil prices" has driven the current loss in mining jobs.

The MRC can also turn to one of its own, CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey. His May 6 article on how "The United States has lost approximately 191,000 jobs in the mining industry since September 2014" includes a handy chart that shows that -- oops -- current mining industry employment is higher than it was during much of the presidency of Republican George W. Bush:

Finally, the MRC's complaint that I criticized its yet-to-be-completed film without having seen it is rather rich given the MRC's history of bashing films its employees couldn't be bothered to see beforehand.

So, yeah, pretty much a fail all around.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EDT
Monday, August 8, 2016
MRC's Graham May Want to Rethink His Denial of Roger Ailes-J. Edgar Hoover Comparison
Topic: Media Research Center

In a July 23 NewsBusters post, the Media Resarch Center's Tim Graham took offense to New York Times media critic James Poniewozik referring to outgoing Fox News chief Roger Ailes as the J. Edgar Hoover of TV news who acted for the conservative movement like "a power behind the power, unelected but mighty, outliving administrations and the ebbs and flows of elections, ruling by force and fear."

Graham dismissed that claim -- and the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes -- by asserting, "If these claims of sexual harassment are true, Ailes seems more like Bob Packwood than J. Edgar Hoover." That's one of the very few references to Ailes' sexual harassment scandal at the MRC, which is sadly not surprising -- Graham, Brent Bozell and the rest of the MRC would like to keep appearing on Fox News, after all.

But it turns out the J. Edgar Hoover comparison is much closer than Graham or even Poniewozik claimed. New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman has reported that Ailes used the Fox News budget to hire consultants, political operatives, and private detectives who reported only to him and conducted PR and surveillance campaigns against journalists, authors and other critics of Fox News or perceived threats to the organization.

Don't expect the MRC to report on this development, or Graham to revise his denial of the Ailes-Hoover comparison. Again, they don't want to jeopardize future Fox News appearances.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 8, 2016 2:33 PM EDT
Sunday, August 7, 2016
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

There's been so many anti-LGBT freakouts at the Media Research Center lately, we couldn't wait another whole month to catch them all. So what are they on about now?

Karen Townsend doesn't like that Chelsea Handler did an episode of her Netflix show that "was an ode to all things “queer” – lesbian, gay and transgender, in particular."Handler noted a a report finding millennials to be the “gayest generation in history,” commenting that she’d like to “thank the greatest generation for storming beaches in Normandy so that we could storm the beaches of Fire Island.” Needless to say, Townsend hated that too: "Yeah, that’s about as far as American patriotism goes for lefties. How sad."

Melissa Mullins harrumphed about a "completely lopsided article" in Teen Vogue "on a 16-year-old transgender student from Kenosha, Wisconsin who is suing her school because she wasn’t allowed to use the boys’ bathroom." Mullins ranted at thewriter of the article: "Did you ever consider the school administration is keeping [transgender student] 'Ash' safe because if they did allow 'him' to use the boy’s restroom, 'he' may be bullied, abused, or even worse…raped? So yeah, there’s a legitimate reason why the administration is doing this. Why not give both sides of the story?" As if the MRC is genuinely interested in being fair and balanced -- look at its "news" operation.

Eliot Polsky whines that a YouTube promo ad includes a transgender person going on to grumble that "you can express your identity unless you’re a straight white man. Bigots like them better not use YouTube Music."

Maggie McKneely geared up for a cartoon-related freakout:

Here’s the latest step in the trans agenda, coming to a book store near you.

Meet Chalice, the world’s newest transgender superhero. The dude dressed in a miniskirt is set to be the central hero in the Alters series, a comic ironically about societal outcasts who end up with superpowers.

Most superheroes only have to conceal one secret identity. But Chalice makes his life more difficult by having to conceal two. Chalice is actually a male college student named Charlie Young, but begins transitioning to female, unbeknownst to his parents. One of his brothers has cerebral palsy and Charlie is afraid his gender crisis might further upset his family. Yeah, no kidding.

[...]

In a slap at the current bathroom debate, the debut issue of Alters, which hits shelves next month, will have a special surprise for its North Carolina readers. Although in the other 49 states the series cover will feature a profile of Chalice, in NC the front picture will be of Chalice sending greetings from the statehouse.

But as author Jenkins said, Chalice’s story isn’t meant to be political commentary. Nothing liberals do ever is. 

McKneely would almost certainly deny that her anti-trans screed is political commentary.

McKneely also rants about Huffington Post writer James Michael Nichols claiming that gays shouldn't vote for Donald Trump, huffing, "Whatever happened to white men not imposing their views on everyone else, Mr. Nichols? Shouldn’t people be allowed to vote for whoever they want to?"

Finally, McKneely has a fit about the second season premiere of the anti-Catholic Real O’Neals" airing on October 11, National Coming Out Day, as well as the show's announced guest stars, "all of whom are gay."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EDT

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