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Saturday, July 11, 2020
MRC Attacks Jimmy Kimmel Based On Anonymous Rumors
Topic: Media Research Center

You know how the Media Research Center gets hypocritically upset at anonymous sources in the media when it embraces anonymous sources as long as they forward its right-wing narrative? Well, they've done it again. Gabriel Hays tries the conservative equivalent of salivating in a June 19 post:

Looks like Jimmy Kryin’ Kimmel is finding out that if you feed the rage mob, it will end up coming for you.

In this time of leftist media-manufactured racial unrest, the Trump-hating host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! has decided to take a summer break from his late night activis– ahem, comedy show. Daily Mail however, speculated that Kimmel’s upcoming hiatus might not be due to fatigue but due to a certain blackface debacle he had earlier in his career. 

With Black Lives Matter trying to destroy anyone and everyone who has been politically incorrect on race at any point in their lives, Kimmel’s history of using blackface to portray famous African Americans during his early 2000s stint on The Man Show means he has probably been compromised.

The outlet reported that the comedian is “facing increasing pressure to follow his fellow comedian Jimmy Fallon and apologize for wearing blackface in skits.”

Hays should perhaps know better than to cite the notortiously unreliable Daily Mail as a source (and he screwed up further by linking to the article's comment section instead of the article itself). Indeed, the article cites no sourcing whatsoever for its claim that Kimmel is facing "pressure" from anyone over his long-ago blackface skits, and it quoted Kimmel saying he was merely taking the summer off after 18 years on the job.

Hays' post was edited after the fact to downplay the fact that the post is not based on facts. The original headline read, "Rumor Has It That Jimmy Kimmel Is Getting Cancelled for ‘Blackface’," which got changed shortly after posting.

In a post four days later about Kimmel, Hays repeated his never-proven claim that that Kimmel’s upcoming summer “vacation,” as he called it, was actually him taking a break because of Black Lives Matter’s campaign to eradicate anyone and anything with a spotty racial history," citing only "speculation" on the internet.

In neither of these posts does Hays mention the MRC's opposition to news stories based on anonymous speculation (when done by the non-conservative media, anyway). But he did once again refer to Kimmel as "Kryin' Kimmel," an apparent reference to Kimmel expressing on-air concern that his newborn son needed open-heart surgery to repair a heart defect; the MRC went all cancel culture on Kimmel , trying to shut him up for using his personal experience to advocate what it dismissed as "socialized medicine."

So Hays is actually mocking Kimmel for being concerned about his family. This is the MRC, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 AM EDT
Friday, July 10, 2020
MRC's Graham Still Clinging to Fiction That Antifa Is Behind Unrest
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not going to let a little thing like lack of evidence keep it from blaming Antifa for recent unrest, just as President Trump instructed it to do. Tim Graham took his shot in a June 25 post complaining that a Washington Post op-ed pointing out that inconvenient fact, as well as giving Trump a four-Pinocchio rating for blaming Antifa. As a lazy "media researcher," Graham can't be bothered to  disprove the Post,so he tries to insult it instead:

Perhaps we could suggest that left-wing “news” sites could try to investigate Antifa and identify their activities with one-hundredth the ardor they chase after tiny factions of Klansmen. Instead, we get octopus-ink articles claiming Antifa is formless, shapeless, and blameless. 

Graham further displayed his immaturity by feeling the need to mock the name of the Post's op-ed writer, a German university professor named Curd Knupfer, tossing out the juvenile insult of "Cheesy Curd." Graham also describes Knufer as a "leftist" but provided no evidence to back up his claim, unless he's assuming that anyone who researches the content of right-wing media is automatically "leftist" by defintion.

Despite being, again, a lazy researcher, Graham felt the need to attack Knupfer's valid research method of using software to "scrape" Antifa-related articles from right-wing websites: "'Scraped' the articles? Does that mean someone actually read them? Or just used crude computer analytics? Why are the leftists to averse to actually reading when they analyze media?"

Graham got further enraged when Knupfer pointed out that these right-wing websites spoke of Antifa only in vagure terms and never quoted anyone identifying themselves with the group:

Dear Curd: This might be a little tough when they dress up in black masks and don't hand out business cards. Black-bloc hooligans are more likely to beat on camera crews than do interviews. Clearly, this man thinks negative writing about Antifa somehow fits into a framework of "criminalizing dissent." Instead of, say, criminalizing criminal activity, like vandalism and fighting cops. 

The MRC, meanwhile, designs its "media research" methodologies to further its rigiht-wing anti-media narrative rather than to conform to accepted research standards, so maybe Graham doesn't have a lot of moral standing to criticize Knupfer, who -- unlike anyone who works at the MRC -- is a trained and experienced academic researcher.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
Thursday, July 9, 2020
How Is The MRC Freaking Out About George Soros Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

For years, the Media Reserarch Center has shared the right's obsession with George Soros as a bogeyman -- to the point that it notoriously used anti-Semitic imagery to portray him as a liberal puppet master. That obsession is still going strong.

The main way it's been showing up these days is in numerous posts by Joseph Vazquez -- who did a post attacking Soros at the start of the year --  complaining that he's allegedly funding political groups attacking President Trump and promoting Joe Biden. Here's what Vazquez has attacked since the start of 2020:

You will not be surprised to learn that Vazquez does not track right-wing anti-Biden ads -- which may ahve been funded by the MRC's chief benefactor, the Mercer family -- with the same level of obsession.

Vazquez also contributed a Feb. 4 post complaining that Soros criticized Facebook because it might help get Trump re-elected, sarcastically adding: "Is Soros concerned that Trump’s social media game will hinder his agenda to bend the 'arc of history' in 'the right direction?'"

In March, Alexander Hall complained that Soros bought an interest in a video game company that "appears to have jumped the shark in recent years -- even capitulating to communist censorship in 2019." Hall never returned to the subject, and thus didn't bother to report that Soros saw a 45 percent return on his investment in just a few months, which made it a smart financial decision.

Also in March, Gabriel Hays went far afield to attack a British website in his usual sneering way because it received some funding from Soros and  expressed an opinion he didn't like:

Lefties on George Soros’s payroll know that no good crisis should go to waste and are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to peddle their communist garbage, like the idea that this crisis should remind society of its imperative to “abolish the family” and the “private household.” Wow, what a wonderful thought.

In April, Vazquez served up this curious thought: "The Washington Post continues to ruin its reputation by relying on a mix of a Soros-affiliated organization, the UN and the ADL to claim criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus is racist." No, Joe; they criticized the use of slurs like "kung flu" are racist. And he nev er actually explained how the Post citing any of these groups -- even the pro-Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which he snidely dismissed as "lefty" -- "ruin its reputation."

The MRC even bashed something as uncontroversial as media literacy as being tainted by Soros' involvement. A May 7 post by Hall grumbled that "Facebook is partnering with Soros-funded Poynter’s 'Mediawise' project and a progressive news outlet to teach youth how to process media," going on to further attack Poynter as "openly liberal." In fact, the Poynter Institute is a nonprofit institute that educates journalists; of course, in the highly skewed eyes of people like Hall and the MRC, any organziation that refuses to be as right-wing as they are is automatically slimed as "openly liberal."

Vazquez returned yet again for a May 11 post complaining that Soros said in an interview, "I have put my faith in Trump to destroy himself, and he has exceeded my wildest expectations.” Vazquez didn't note that letting Trump destroy himself has worked out quite well so far; instead, he huffed that "Soros’s super PAC Democracy PAC has been involved in funding radical left-wing groups. These groups have been exploiting the coronavirus in TV ad blitzes and appear to have aligned with Soros in an attempt to 'destroy' Trump and undermine his efforts."

This is the kind of abject hate and enemy creation that the MRC has to create to keep its right-wing narratives alive.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:17 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: A Shared Love Of Hating Others
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center once despised Ricky Gervais and J.K. Rowling for being too liberal. Then they attacked or made fun of transgendered people, and the MRC suddenly decided they were worthy of being loved and admired. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
MRC Stands With Anti-Immigrant, Islamohobic, Apparently Racist British Commentator
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a bad habit of endorsing the wrong people -- i.e., coronavirus conspiracy theorists -- when they get banned from social media, downplaying or outright censoring the evidence that they were banned from social media for good reason. The MRC took that step again in a June 22 post by Alexander Hall:

Twitter has censored British conservative commentator Katie Hopkins for reportedly mocking a threat of violence by one of her detractors. Twitter, being Twitter, decided she was the dangerous one.

Hopkins “received a permanent ban from Twitter for a tweet she made in response to a threat against her,” Sky News reported. A Twitter spokesperson allegedly claimed that Hopkins’s suspension was intended “to keep Twitter safe.” In another statement from Twitter, according to The Guardian, Hopkins’s “account has been permanently suspended for violations of our hateful conduct policy.”

Twitter’s Hateful Conduct Policy states that users “may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” If remains unclear exactly what protected human group Hopkins could have been insulting by referring to the genitalia of primates.

Hopkins explained to Sky News that she “used the phrase hung like a baboon in response to a threat of a sexual nature of violence against me.” Twitter reportedly told her that she, by mocking a threat made against her, had committed “violations of our hateful conduct policy.”

On her Instagram account Hopkins also made note that “hung like a baboon” was a reference to the history-themed sitcom “Blackadder” starring Rowan Atkinson and Brian Blessed.

As we've documented, Hopkins is sometimes described as the "British Ann Coulter," with all the hatred of brown people and Muslims that this description means. She's so hateful that the notoriously right-wing Daily Mail dropped Hopkins as a columnist after she called for a "final solution" after a bombing in Manchester by a radical Islamist killed 22 people. She also was ordered to pay $164,000 in damages and legal costs to a food writer whom she libeled by falsely claiming she supported the defacing of a war memorial.

Hall also deliberately softens the incident that got her banned from Twitter. Contrary to Hopkins' description, which Hall swallows whole without bothering to fact-check, she made that "hung like a baboon" comment to a black rugby player who called her "f***ing toxic" -- in other words, not a "threat of a sexual nature of violence" -- in response to her reported mocking of Black Lives Matter protests. A couple weeks earlier, Hewitt had described the racism he suffered as a child growing up in Wales as the son of Welsh mother and a Jamacian father.

But Hall isn't interested in telling the full truth. He'd much rather promote a hateful racist and Islamophobe's next venture:

While Twitter appears to be resolute in its decision to purge Hopkins, she has chosen to instead embrace an entirely new platform.

She closed her Instagram video by encouraging her followers to follow her on Parler instead under the name “@KTHopkins,” identical to the handle on her former Twitter account.

Parler, of course, being the place right-wingers go when they get kicked off Twitter for being too offensive. Hall didn't tell his readers about that, either.

(Image: South Wales Argus)


Posted by Terry K. at 5:24 PM EDT
Monday, July 6, 2020
Irony: MRC's Graham Complains About Another Group's Finding Of Media Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center really does seem to believe that it's the only one capable of detecting "media bias," even though it bias detector is so incredibly skewed. Thus, we have a June 19 post from Tim Graham ranting that abortion rights activists find media coverage of abortion to be rather skewed. Graham unironically complained:

In our experience, the “objective” media tilt dramatically in favor or abortion advocates. But amazingly, it’s not biased enough for them. NARAL Pro-Choice America released a “media analysis,” a "deep dive" this week on the way journalists cover abortion. They hired the Global Strategy Group, a Democratic polling and PR firm, to do the study. 

So a Republican, pro-Trump organizaiton like the MRC is the only "experience" about media bias that should be trusted?

Graham linked only to the press release about the NARAL report, not the actual report itself, so it's unclear how closely he actually read the thing.

Graham's general response to the NARAL study is to attack it for complaining that the abortion debate is framed in right-wing-friendly terms and to bash the women who seek abortion and the doctors who carry them out. A sample:

“Abortion is covered as a political issue, not a health issue.” That’s because it IS a political issue! Their introduction to this report actually screams “the right to abortion has never been more at risk.” But this complaint keeps coming...

“Political coverage elevates political voices and excludes those most impacted by abortion: doctors and those who seek abortion care.” They complain that politicians are quoted in political stories, when they want sensitive profiles of women who really needed to exercise their “right to choose” and the doctors who relieve them of their “burdens.”   

[...]

“Reporters characterize the abortion debate as divisive, furthering the perception of profound conflict on the issue.” They complained “around 17 percent of the articles described abortion as “divisive, debatable, charged, controversial, or other similar terms.” Abortion kills an unborn human being. They want it to be covered like pimple removal. 

This leads to the real gem:

“Charged rhetoric from anti-abortion advocates are included in coverage, often with minimal context.” Nearly half of all articles included "anti-choice" terms NARAL would deem unworthy of inclusion, including “infanticide,” “partial-birth abortion,” and “heartbeat bill.” They fussed that only four articles alluded to the notion that a “fetal heartbeat” isn’t a heartbeat, but electric pulses in a forming heart. It’s “fetal cardiac activity.” Weasel words.

Graham even ranted about the study's methodology: "How flawed is it? Start with how they read the media: “A random sample of more than 300 abortion-related articles were elected for study across ten major news outlets...from January through June of 2019.” It would be much more accurate to pick just one media outlet and read every article." This is from the organization that selectively examines only "explicitly evaluative statements" from a tiny sliver of the media and proclaims that to be a sweeping indictment of "liberal media bias," so maybe Graham isn't the best judge of how to conduct a study.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
Sunday, July 5, 2020
MRC's Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome, George Floyd Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has always despised Colin Kaepernick. Now that his kneeling protests against police brutality have proven prescient in the wake of the police-custody death of George Floyd, the MRC will absolutely not give him credit.

The MRC's chief Kaepernick-hater, the mysterious Jay Maxson, asserted on May 30 that Kaepernick was "blatantly defending the riots and the arson"; in fact, all he did was tweet (which Maxson called "damning") that "when civility leads to death, revolting is the only reaction."

Maxson whined on June 4 about the sportswriters pointing out Kaepernick's prescience: "With multiple stories dedicated to social justice, Colin Kaepernick, racist team nicknames, anti-police hit pieces and the like, this left-stream publication's sports page is nothing more than a politicized, left-wing gripe publication."

In a June 4 post, Alexander Hall complained that Twitter's donation of $3 million to a Kaepernick-run "activist fund" was evidence of how "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has gone out of his way to alienate himself from conservatives in the name of social justice" and his "his far-left plunge into identity-driven politics." Hall did not explain how the fund's stated purpose of "advanc[ing] the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders" was a "far-left" initiative.

Maxson returned to grouse on June 6: "NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday issued a video statement apologizing for the league's refusal to listen to players protests of police brutality. USA Today called it an exoneration of Colin Kaepernick's pathetic behavior in 2016 and demands he be signed by an NFL team. Deadspin says the commissioner didn't go nearly far enough and should have issued a lengthy apology to Kaepernick."

Jonas Wells then offered right-wing revisionism of Kaepernick's activism:

The problem with Kaepernick was never that he thought police brutality was bad. It was not even that he was unwilling to stand for the National Anthem (although it is easy to see how many would take offense to that, and his avenue of protest could be improved.) The real problem was an assertion that he gave in an interview after he first knelt, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

First, he would have a legitimate cause if the problem was truly racial. But the numbers just do not pan out that way. 

Secondly, by saying this, Kaepernick essentially claimed that the collective is at fault for racist acts of individuals. And from a historical perspective, he also makes a subliminal assertion that everyone must now pay penance for the sins of their ancestors.

Maxson branded Kaepernick an "America hater," then ranted against Kaepernick's new prominence:

Colin Kaepernick spewed volumes of hate and anger with his knee during the 2016 NFL season, and the America hater is about to rev up the volume on his rhetoric through a San Francisco publishing company. Kaepernick will join Medium's board of directors in addition to writing about race and civil rights.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Kaepernick, for five seasons a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers until he left the team in the spring of 2017, is linking his personal publishing label with the blogging and essay platform Medium and joining its board. Kaepernick's radical politics since the start of the 2016 NFL season turned off many football fans, and teams have avoided him like the plague.

Maxson also gave play to right-wing sportswriter Jason Whitlock's unsupported claim that there was no conspiracy among NFL owners to keep Kaepernick from continuing to play in the NFL, insisting that was because of his own "boneheaded decisions, overvaluing of his worth, race-baiting girlfriend and lack of genuine desire to play kept him out of the NFL."

Maxson further complained about one sport's columnist effort to reacquint fans with Kaepernick's football prowess so a team would hire him,muttering about the quarterback's allegedly "badly tarnished off-the-field public image."

Matt Philbin sneered that legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre apparently "took a couple too many shots to the head for saying that Kaepernick could be considered a hero, adding: "Colin Kaepernick is an anti-American jackass who walked away from a contract with the 49ers and has been trying to get back into the NFL ever since. He’s been unsuccessful because teams understand that most paying football fans are patriotic Americans who don’t don’t like seeing a millionaire athlete disrespect the nation that gave him everything."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 5, 2020 9:50 PM EDT
Saturday, July 4, 2020
MRC Complains That Media Treated Trump's Candidacy As A Joke, Censors That It Did Too
Topic: Media Research Center

A June 16 Media Research Center post by Rich Noyes carried the headline "Five Years Ago, Media Mocked Trump’s Announcement as a Joke" and complained: "Five years ago today, when billionaire businessman Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015, the savants in the news media weren’t just skeptical — they were openly disdainful of the man who would go on to win the Republican nomination and the presidency."

You know who else was openly disdainful of Trump's presidential run? The MRC.

As we documented, the MRC so dismissed Trump's chances that it ignored Trump's complaints of media bias against him (though they were against Fox News, which is a sacred cow at the MRC). MRC chief Brent Bozell so opposed Trump's candidacy -- his preferred candidate was Ted Cruz -- that he penned an article for National Review declaring that Trump does not "walk with" conservatives, and his MRC was complaining that media coverage of Trump insufficiently covered his Trump University scam.

But Trump kept winning, and the MRC eventually flip-flopped to become an aggressive Trump defender, excusing his every action no matter how offensive.

This happened even as Trump apparently lied about Bozell himself. In his 2019 book with Tim Graham, "Unmasked," he claimed that a Trump tweet after the Bozell piece came out said that Bozell had previously "came to my office begging for money like a dog" when he did not ask for money during the visit (though Trump had donated to the MRC anyway). But it's also a sign of how Trump has co-opted Bozell that he handwaved the lie as "just another day at the office for Trump."

Bozell also admitted the transactional nature of his (and the MRC's) relationship with by stating of his National Review denunciation: "I stand by what I wrote, without apologies. It was true. It is also true that since taking the oath of office President Trump has walked with conservativces as well as Ronald Reagan and in some respects even more than the Gipper did."

More importantly, though, Trump and the MRC share the same anti-media agenda; Bozell proclaimed how "Donald J. Trump understood that the news media were his most powerful enemy , hell-bent on preventing his election and, when that failed, destroying his presidency."

Trump has effectively bought the loyalty of Bozell and the MRC -- which results in posts like this one that censors the MRC's own early history of opposing and disdaining Trump's candidacy.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Friday, July 3, 2020
MRC Defends Right-Wing Channel Its Employees Appear On
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Matt Philbin got all huffy in a June 16 post:

The left’s fit of insensate rage keeps turning this way and that, smashing whatever comes to hand -- a statue here, a corporate exec there. Professional sports have been thoroughly politicized, and now the destruction is coming to big-time college football. Because somebody doesn’t like a T-shirt.

According to Sports Illustrated, somebody at a website covering Oklahoma State University sports posted a picture of Cowboys head football coach Mike Gundy on a fishing trip “wearing a t-shirt promoting the conservative news network One America News. Shortly after that, the Cowboys All-American running back Chuba Hubbard came out,” and mau-maued the program. 

"I will not stand for this," wrote Hubbard on Twitter. "This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it is unacceptable. I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE." 

NCAA players are apparently just like other coddled college kids, only more so. As we all know, until things change means until any political opinion I don’t like has been purged from OSU football -- maybe OSU Athletics. And why not a 100-square-mile zone around the campus? 

And, of course, Hubbard is getting support from the millionaire malcontents in the NFL.

Philbin benignly framed OAN as merely "conservative" when, in fact, it tends to traffic in right-wing, pro-Trump conspiracy theories.

But Philbin waited until the second-to-last paragraph of his 12-paragraph item to fully disclose why he was running to OAN's (and Gundy's) defense:

OAN’s opinion shows have, you know, opinion (several Media Research Center staffers, including the author, regularly appear on them). But it’s a news network. Hubbard and his supporters care nothing for the facts. They’re feeding their outrage.

Philbin certainly didn't care enough about the fact to tell readers exactly how far-right OAN is.

Jonas Wells further the MRC's defense of OAN the next day, again underselling its far-right agenda: "OAN does tend to emphasize the 'straight news reporting' that much of the mainstream media, on both sides of the aisle, tend to forget about. In an interview done with [OAN anchor Liz] Wheeler, she addressed the format of OAN, and how there are merely three hours of commentary, versus 21 hours of straight news."

Wells offered no proof of this. He also -- in an item describing someone's "mistakes" in criticizing Gundy and OAN -- made the mistake of failing to disclose the MRC's conflict of interest in defending OAN.

Then, in a June 19 post, mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson called on right-leaning sports pundit Jason Whitlock trying to play whataboutism to handwave OAN's extremism:

Whitlock said he had gotten tweets accusing OAN of peddling "dangerous, irresponsible and racially divisive conspiracy theories." He turns it around on the left-stream media and asks, "Isn’t that what cable news networks do?"

Whitlock looked up the definitions of "conspiracy theory" to make sure he understood it correctly and found this explanation: "A belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event."

Maxson then gave Whitlock free rein to rant that the non-right-wing-media portrayals of Colin Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter are based on conspiracy theories. Whitlock then huffed: "Are we sure OAN is the lone media outlet propagating dangerous, irresponsible and racially divisive conspiracy theories? Or are these theories the lifeblood of the modern mainstream media?"

It seems Whitlock has joined Maxson as being so far right that right-wing conspiracy theories are normal and mainstream media are the purveyors of conspiracy theories. (Oh, and Maxson failed to disclose that MRC employees regularly appear on OAN.)


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EDT
Thursday, July 2, 2020
MRC Learns To Love 'Harry Potter' Series Author After They Share Hatred For Transgenders
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center stopping hating Ricky Gervais once he starting mocking transgender people. Now the MRC has flip-flopped on another pop-culture figure -- ironically, for similarly going anti-trans.

The MRC has generally tried to find ways to hate J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, for seemingly as long as she's been writing the books.

A 2007 post by Mark Finkelstein melted down over Rowling's revelation that series character Dumbledore is gay, adding, "Somewhere, Jerry Falwell is smiling." Robert Knight huffed that Rowling "has to succumb to political correctness and 'out' Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore," adding that "my guess is that she made her shocking revelation in order to pander to the cultural elites who regard celebration of homosexuality as a mark of sophistication."

A 2016 MRC post groused: "When busy Tweeters compared Trump to Voldemort, J.K. Rowling defended the racist, mass-murdering villain of the Harry Potter series, saying, 'How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.'" Another post complained that Rowling opposed Brexit and also "took the opportunity to slam U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a “fascist in all but name,” for saying Britain should exit the EU." Yet another post complained that Rowling expressed an opinion on Brexit.

In 2017, Corinne Weaver grumbled that Rowling "is still accusing Trump of ignoring a disabled child and calling the POTUS 'stunning and horrible'" though a full video allegedly proved a "deceptively edited video" false. 

The MRC was even angry that actors in Harry Potter projects expressed political opinions.

The MRC did offer up one early defense, though: a 2016 post by Matt Philbin stated in his usual jerkish fashion that Rowling "is in heap-big trouble for not being sufficiently sensitive to the diversity within the 'Native American wizarding community,'" concluding: "So Rowling has played fast and loose with American Indian stuff, in the same way she played fast and loose with dozens of other traditions in the name of entertaining children and making some money. Some crime. You’d think she played for the Red Skins or something."

But what really turned the MRC into a group of Rowling fanboys was her dismissal of transgender community. Gabriel Hays sneered in a Dec. 19 post:

Turns out Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling might not be as progressive as she thought. Recently, the fantasy writer angered radical LGBTQ folks on social media for tweeting a defense of a person fired for believing that there are only two genders. The author has since been called a “transphobe,” or more specifically a “TERF” (trans exclusive radical feminist.)

For a woman who was once so woke that she officially altered the sexuality of one of her series main characters to appease lefty fans, this is a bit jarring.

[...]

But such is the scourge of social justice. The ruling [upholding the firing of a British official for anti-trans views] was so disgusting that even the woman who retroactively turned Dumbledore gay to appease her LGBTQ fans found limits in her PC code of ethics. And the internet let her have it.

Clay Waters asserted that a New York Times reporters "joined the mob against Harry Potterauthor J.K. Rowling for transgender wrong-think" by "merely affirming there are in fact two sexes."

Christian Toto cheered how Rowling "refused to apologize for comments deemed “transphobic.” and " refused to go on a GLAAD-orchestrated Apology Tour,' cheering that "Rowling hasn’t been officially canceled in any discernible way."

When Rowling said in June that only women menstrate, the MRC rushed to her defense again. Waters lamented that Rowlinbg has been "long targeted by radical transgender activists on Twitter for her stubborn adherence to the biological reality that men are men and women are women" and complained that a New York Times article on the controversy "actually contained the slur 'terf,' a derogatory and decidedly un-journalistic acronym employed by trans activists to smear their feminist opponents."

Hays proclaimed that Rowling "appealed to a more concrete view of human anatomy" with her statement and huffed that "Several blue checks accused the author of being “transphobic” and an “asshole” because Rowling affirmed that no matter what they call themselves or how they “identify,” only women have periods, period." Hays concluded: "This pseudoscience adds to the confusion, which is undoubtedly the real reason as to why trans folks have such difficult lives. Stay with it, J.K.!"

That's how you get the MRC to like you: share a common enemy, prefereably transgenders.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:08 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
MRC's Graham Goes A-Heathering Against George Will
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been on a bit of a Heathering streak as of late. George Will is an unambiguous conservative but a never-Trumper, so that makes him the enemy to Tim Graham:

George Will is just another pseudo-conservative pundit at The Washington Post. He’s Jennifer Rubin with shorter hair. His latest column seals this image, explicitly calling for a rout of congressional Republicans, much to the delight of the liberal media. He compares Senate Republicans to Vichy collaborators with the Nazis:

[...]

He also compares them to affection-starved dogs:“Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting."

Graham never explains why Trump and his supporters must never be criticized, especially by fellow conservatives. Instead, he throws a tantrum that CNN employees -- another MRC enemy -- liked Will's column. But Graham wasn't done with his anti-Will tantrum:

This column absolutely demonstrates Will is not a conservative. Demanding a “rout” of the Republican Party is enabling Democrats making noises about a radical agenda of “Medicare for All,” a “Green New Deal,” government-funded abortion, ending border enforcement, taking tax-exempt status away from churches and organizations that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage…and so much more.

It should be obvious that Will is supporting this agenda by advocating the removal of any obstacles to it.

[...]

Will is so cocky about Trump’s defeat he told [NPR anchor Rachel] Martin that Biden could win just by staying in his basement until November:  “It's Biden's to lose. And if he stays in his basement, he won't lose it…. I think he's one of the beneficiaries of the great lockdown. He leaves the national stage to the president, and the president is using it in a way very injurious to himself.”

All of this insulting talk of shedding principles, of sacrificing dignity, of being “soft wax” for powerful men, can just as easily be applied to George Will, pleasing his employers at The Washington Post. He’s melted butter for Bezos.

It’s certainly ludicrous to call him a “conservative”….when making the path straight for a leftist “revolution” is what he’s advocating.

Remember that Graham is so invested in seeing no flaws in Trump that he just blithely handwaves Trump's legacy of lies by ranting that Trump gets fact-checked and weakly claiming that he "has a casual relationship with the truth." Graham is so committed to the lie that he can no longer see the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT
Monday, June 29, 2020
MRC Intern Perpetuates Falsehoods About Antifa And Violence
Topic: Media Research Center

Intern Duncan Schroeder used a June 19 Media Research Center post to dismiss criticism of the then-upcoming Trump rally as coming from a "local liberal politician," then got mad at CNN host Jim Sciutto for bringing up the possible threat of far-right extremists disrupting the atmosphere surrounding the rally:

Sciutto then blamed white supremacists for the violence that has broken out at recent protests and suggested that this could be a concern in Tulsa: "There has been concern that demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd have attracted extremist groups including white supremacist groups that have deliberately sparked violence. Are you concerned about that in Tulsa this weekend?" Hall-Harper proclaimed: "Absolutely. Absolutely. We know that, that Trump has a pretty large following of, of extremists."

The anchor made such statements despite far-left activists such as Antifa being responsible for much of the violence at recent protests. In fact, since the death of George Floyd, leftist protesters have injured and killed a significant number of police officers.

As proof of his statement that Antifa is "responsible for much of the violence at recent protests," Schroeder linked to a June 1 MRC post by Kristine Marsh that referenced "left wing mobs like Antifa rioting and looting,"but she offered no proof. In fact, there's little evidence that anyone affiliated with Antifa, given how arrest records show virtually no record of Antifa affiliation, and a fact-checker concluded that "There has not yet been a single confirmed case in which someone who self-identifies as antifa led violent acts at any of the protests across the country." It can be argued that more right-wing extremists have been arrested in connection to planned or perpetrated violence than anyone connected to Antifa.

And as proof of his claim that " leftist protesters have injured and killed a significant number of police officers," Schroeder linked to a June 11 post by Bill D'Agostino complaining that the networks were insufficiently covering "the injuries and death inflicted on police officers," which he seemed to suggest were perpetrated by leftists. In fact, as we documented, a man affiliated with the far-right Boogaloo movement was arrested in the deaths of two of the officers he referenced.

Neither Schroeder nor anyone else at the MRC has told their readers that a right-wing extremist is apparently responsible for the deaths of two officers -- after all, that would run counter to their Antifa-fearmongering narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT
Sunday, June 28, 2020
MRC's Graham Is Mad Once Again That Trump Is Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham is totally cool with President Trump lying all the time -- so much so, in fact, that he and the MRC attack the media for fact-checking him. Graham did this again in his June 10 column, in which he complains that Washington Post fact-checkers have compiled a book of Trump's falsehoods.

Graham served up his usual hand-waving of Trump's falsehoods: "Trump has a casual relationship with the truth. Even MAGA hat-wearing Trump boosters know it." (Graham said the same thing in a 2019 MRC post.) He then complained:

There's a Big Lie at the end of the "fact-checker" book: a passage from page 261, in the concluding chapter, titled "Toward a Resurgence of Truth." It was plucked out and celebrated by CNN host Brian Stelter, since it's a favorite Big Lie on the left. The authors claim Trump is like a dictator: "A hallmark of authoritarian regimes is to call truth into question — except as the regime defines it. Russian president Vladimir Putin offers up a fog of disinformation to maintain power, including denying obvious facts (such as Russian involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17), spouting falsehoods and deflecting attention with nonsensical comparisons (dubbed 'whataboutism')."

Then the authors quote former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as saying, "A cumulative effect of all these tactics is nihilistic debasement of the very concept of truth."

This "authoritarian" lie was repeated when Kessler appeared on "Morning Joe" on June 2. Co-host Mika Brzezinzki said Trump isn't just assaulting truth. "It's also an assault on our democracy."

Kessler said, "Correct."

This is what Kessler calls a Bottomless Pinocchio, an often-repeated untruth. Donald Trump is not a dictator. Nobody's jailing anyone at The Washington Post for maintaining anti-Trump databases and screaming, "Democracy dies in darkness!" like a panic-stricken teenager on the front page every day.

So a president can't be described as "authoritiarian" if you don't act on those authoritarian impulses? Then perhaps he and the MRC should apologize for portraying President Obama and other Democrats as having gone authoritarian even they know that, by Graham's standards for Trump, they haven't.

For instace, David Limbaugh ranted in a May 2016 column published by the MRC attacking the Obama administration's policy to bring more equality to transgendered people:

The Obama administration obviously cares not a whit for the privacy of students who don't want to be forced to share a restroom with students of the opposite sex. The rights of the many will be subordinated to the rights of the very, very few -- not to protect the rights of those few but to manufacture rights that don't exist to make an authoritarian statement on behalf of Big Brother.

Folks, there has to be a tipping point -- a point at which we'll no longer tolerate this kind of tyranny, even if it means the states' forgoing blood money from the federal leviathan.

In a March 2016 column published by the MRC, Michelle Malkin complained about an "educational SWAT team" then-candidate Hillary Clinton wanted to establish to improve education: "Clinton's SWAT team solution, you should know, is like all her other authoritarian plans: a moldy, recycled oldie."

In an August 2015 post, Seton Motley complained of director Quentin Tarantino's praise for Obama, asserting that Tarantino is "totally stoked the president’s been ruling by executive fiat" and adding, "Scratch a liberal – or cut his ear off – you find an authoritarian."

In a December 2014 post, Tom Blumer declared Obama's executive action to create a program to protect undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minor children to be an "authoritarian immigration move."The month before, Blumer similarly attacked a provision in the Affordable Care Act: "Auto-defaulting consumers into a lower-cost plan and forcing them to do something about it if they want to keep their current plan's design and provider network is (here we go again) heavy-handed, authoritarian over-reach."

Blumer also complained that a "Like A Boss" T-shirt sold by Democrats "has obvious authoritarian overtones," huffing: "That Democrats can openly sell hate and Dear Leader-admiring authoritarianism at their online store is thus a small indicator of a much, much larger problem."

That's right: According to the MRC, Obama T-shirts are "authoritarian," while Trump is not.

Graham concluded his column by ranting: "We have an election in November. No one has canceled it. But liberal journalists speculate that imaginary tyrant Trump will never leave office if he loses...which is laughable, since they've never accepted he was legitimately elected in the first place." Remember that the MRC effectively condoned Obama birtherism by not criticizing it until it was applied against Brent Bozell's preferred 2016 presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, so it can be argued that Graham and Co. never considered Obama to have been legitimately elected.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EDT
Saturday, June 27, 2020
MRC Thinks 'Gone With The Wind' Was 'CANCELLED'
Topic: Media Research Center

Alexa Moutevelis huffed in a June 10 post headlined with the word 'CANCELLED' in all caps:

Gone With the Wind is gone from HBO Max's video library after the classic film was effectively "cancelled" in today's racial climate.

On Monday, 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling for HBO Max to remove Gone With the Wind from its library because it “glorifies the antebellum south,” “ignore[s] the horrors of slavery,” and “perpetuate[s] some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color.”

[...]

Within a day, HBO Max responded by removing the film that won 8 Oscars in 1940, including the first for a black actress, and releasing a statement:

Gone With the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible. These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.

This comes on the heels of HBO Max removing Elmer Fudd’s rifle from their new Looney Tunes Cartoons as well as Paramount Network canceling Cops and others calling for the cancellation of cop shows in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and subsequent anti-police protests.

The cancellations are coming fast and furious – what will be next? “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Moutevelis didn't tell you that "Gone With the Wind" is readily available from numerous other streaming services. And temporarily withdrawing something to add a disclaimer is not "CANCELLING." Indeed, the film has since returned to HBO Max with said disclaimer -- but Moutevelis could't be bothered to write that up, since that doesn't pump up the right-wing activists that are the MRC audience.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 AM EDT
Friday, June 26, 2020
MRC Writer Melts Down Again Over Colors On A Map
Topic: Media Research Center

Last year, Media Research Center writer Scott Whitlock had a meltdown because a "CBS Sunday Morning" segment about the Reconstruction period after the Civil War used a map in which the former Confederate states were colored in red, even though "the Confederacy was made up of Democrats," who are apparently supposed to be blue. (Of course, Whitlock didn't mention that the Democrats of the Reconstruction period have morphed into the Republicans of today.) Well, Whitlock has melted down again over another map in a June 13 post:

The History Channel in late May produced a mostly laudable documentary series on Ulysses S. Grant, rightly hailing the legacy of the victorious Union general and the president who fought for civil rights. However, the series contained what’s become a recurring problem in some historical reflections on the Civil War. Throughout the three part series, the production repeatedly showed the slave-holding Confederates as red states and the Union north as blue states. In reality, it's the reverse. 

As anyone familiar with history knows, the Confederates were Democrats. It was Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party that fought the war to preserve the union and ultimately to end slavery. As Marine and retired U.S. Army War College professor Daniel Douds astutely explained Grant’s strategy to defeat the Confederates, the on-screen graphic showcased the (incorrect) blue state/red state dynamic.

[...]

Now, a charitable person might say the choices were unintentional and not meant to associate modern red states with slavery. But if so, why not just use blue and gray, the actual colors of Civil War uniforms?

Note that Whitlock invokes the shopworn "liberal media" conspiracy here; after all, his long MRC tenure means he is well marinated in perpetuating that narrative, so he plays thet conspiracy card first and only later avers the "charitable" thought that it's not a conspiracy. But once again, this is a guy who's being triggered by colors on a map, and again, he doesn't acknowledge that the Democrats of the Civil War era have become the Republicans of today -- which would make the map colors ultimately accurate.

The fact that Whitlock thinks map colors is such a winning issue that he's written about it twice in a year tells you how little the MRC cares about actual "media research" and is much more about finding ever-more-obscure ways of trying to own the libs.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT

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