MRC Promotes Misleading Claim About Redskins Name Topic: Media Research Center
Last November, the Media Research Center's Dan Joseph interviewed M. Andre Billeaudeaux, author of a children's book purporting to explain how the Washington Redskins got their name. Billeaudeaux explained that the name was picked in 1933 (at the time, the team was located in Boston and called the Braves) in part to honor "Lone Star" Dietz, the Redskins coach at the time, and other Native Americans who played for the team. On April 8, Joseph posted an interview Billeaudeaux with the right-wing network One America News.
Just one problem: That's not quite true.
As the Washington Post detailed, team owner George Preston Marshall admitted another reason for changing the name. A 1933 Associated Press article quoted Marshall saying the motivation was not to honor Dietz but to differentiate itself from a baseball team also known as the Boston Braves.
In his interview, Joseph and Billeaudeaux gloss over the racism of Marshall -- under him, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, and a foundation was created after his death thatincluded the provisio that no money should go toward “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.”
In neither interview is it mention that Billeaudeaux's book has been promoted at RedskinsFacts.com, a website operated by the Redskins in support of the team's name.
In both interviews, the unsubstantiated point is brought up that people who are complaining about the Redskins name being racist were not complaining about Andrew Jackson -- who famously persecuted Native Americans during his presidency -- being on the $20 bill. But a campaign begun earlier this year to replace Jackson with a woman drew howls of protest from the MRCwhen one of the proposed candidates was Margaret Sanger. NewsBusters blogger P.J. Gladnick whined that the campaign is being "headed by a former Hillary Clinton political operative."
So it appears the MRC is not eager to get rid of Jackson on the $20 bill either. But then, the MRC is fully on board in support of the Redskins name too.
MRC Unhappy With Attacks on GOP Presidential Candidate (Unless The MRC Makes Them) Topic: Media Research Center
As you'd expect, the Media Research Center really doesn't like how Rand Paul has been treated in the media. An April 7 post by Geoffrey Dickens detailed "The Media’s Worst Attacks on the Kentucky Senator," and the next day Jeffrey Meyer complained that the media wouldn't label Paul a conservative despitte his high marks from the American Conservative Union.
But if the MRC itself bashes Paul or ignores his alleged conservative credentials, that's a different matter.
Indeed, the same day Dickens posted the "worst" attacks on Paul, the MRC-run CNSNews.com published its own attack on Paul:
One day before Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) formally announced his intention to run for president in 2016, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) criticized him for being "to the left of Barack Obama" on foreign policy.
"As to Rand Paul, I like Rand a lot," Sen. Graham told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren on Monday. "But at the end of the day, his foreign policy is to the left of Barack Obama."
Graham noted that Rand Paul was the only senator in September 2012 to vote against Graham's resolution saying that containment would not be the policy of the United States -- that the U.S. would not allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. The resolution passed 90-1, with Paul providing the only no vote.
Oddly, the MRC did the same thing regarding Marco Rubio. Two days after Dickens compiled the "worst" attacks on Rubio, a CNS article by Susan Jones issued her own attack under the headline "Rubio Doesn't Rule Out Amnesty, Gay Marriage, or Military Action in Iran." Jones made sure readers knew that Rubio avdocates immigration reform -- the "amnesty" to which the headline misleadingly refers -- and thinks "it should be up to the states, not the federal government or the courts, to define marriage as they see fit."
Apparently, if Republican candidates are to be criticized, only the MRC is allowed to do it.
MRC's Bozell Doesn't Want Any Gay Content on TV Topic: Media Research Center
For the past few weeks, the Media Research Center has been leading a campaign to get ABC to strangle before it happens -- to abort, if you will -- a planned show based on the early life of activist and sex advice columnist Dan Savage.
The MRC has misled in its campaign, claiming that ABC "plans to air" the Savage based show when it has only ordered a pilot episode and has not green-lighted the series. While the MRC claims it's only concerned about Savage's "unspeakably vile statements" -- which, by the way, have nothing to do with the content of the proposed ABC show, which is about a teenage boy coming out as gay -- its hidden agenda runs much deeper.
MRC chief Brent Bozell inadvertently revealed the engame in an April 9 Associated Press article:
Even without Savage's involvement, Bozell said his group would probably oppose the show.
"Would a show like this bother me?" he said. "Sure. It makes a political statement. Where is the market demand for this? You might even resign yourself that this is the way that it is, but when I heard it was Savage, I gasped in disbelief."
In other words, Bozell is opposed to the fact that gays would be depicted on TV -- that is, if they aren't being denigrated. Apparenlty, any gay person on TV is a "political statement," despite the fact that Bozell can't identify any actual politics in a sitcom pilot.
Bozell has had a lot of anti-gay freakouts over the years. For example, his reaction to CNN's Anderson Cooper coming out as gay was to sneer that Cooper can "give us his expert opinion on teabagging now," and he declared that gay characters on TV mean "indoctrination" of viewers and that the characters "never face any real opposition to the gay agenda."
Bozell should stop pretending his crusade isn't only about Savage.
The MRC's Foolish Fail Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center recently started a website called "Liberal Media Fools," which claims: "Inside the liberal media echo chamber is a fools’ school churning out pathetic, biased reporting disguised as journalism. It’s as if each media personality is in the running for the dumbest quote of the year!" adding that "the stupid is strong."
Well, yes, it is -- on this website. The first entry highlights MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell calling Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" "the finest literary work ever authored by a President of the United States," sneering: "Move over Federalist Papers, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Gettysburg Address, because according to MSNBC’s O’Donnell, these historical works have been overshadowed by Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father."
The MRC ignores the fact that none of those documents were intended as literature. The Federalist Papers are a series of essays written in support of ratification of the Constitution (and only one of the three writers became president). The Monroe Doctrine was an statement of U.S. foreign policy. The Gettysburg Address was a speech. While they may be shining examples of political expression and speechmaking, they are not literature. By contrast, Obama's book was not a political manifesto but, rather, an examination of race and his upbringing.
The MRC also forgets the fact that O'Donnell was not acting as a journalist when he said that; he was the host of an opinion show. IN other words, O'Donnell's statement was never "disguised as journalism," as the MRC claims.
What does it say about the quality of the list that the first one is such a mess?
Needless to say, there's no benign purpose behind the website; it's an email-harvesting operation with the promise of a copy of the MRC's latest compilation of "the most outrageous quotes in the liberal media."
Tim Graham Transgender Freakout Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham is apparently the Media Research Center's designated person to freak out that anyone but straight white people get portrayed in the media, and he's particularly sensitive to transgenders not being treated negatively, as they apparently should be.
Graham's latest transgender freakout actually involves cross-dressing, not transgenderism, but Graham is still upset:
In their constant celebration of gender-bending, NPR still has time for old-fashioned transvestites. On the April 3 Morning Edition, their headline was “Longtime Couple Found That Clothes Didn't Make The Man.” The producer, Liyna Anwar, tweeted “He's a Vietnam vet who teaches electric power tech. He just does it all in a dress.”
Naturally, this is a story of violent disapproval and bigotry in need of relief from NPR and other compassionate media outlets.
This report was part of the “StoryCorps” project dedicated to preserving the stories of American lives. As NPR explained, "These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations."
This narrative form cozily omits any questioning, especially critical questioning. That's simply not allowed when making America safe for "gender fluidity" is the morning subject.
Graham doesn't answer what purpose the "critical questioning" he seeks would fill, except to denigrate the subject -- which would seem to be the entire point as far as Graham is concerned.
MRC Takes A Dump On Bob Schieffer Topic: Media Research Center
It seems that the Media Research Center doesn't believe anyone who isn't in lockstep with its right-wing agenda has any right to be treated with anything remotely resembling. It's true of the conservatives who fail to toe the right-wing line, and it's even more true of the news media the MRC despises.
MRC researcher Jeffrey Meyer's reaction to CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer retiring after 46 years at the network -- a feat in itself that should earn maybe a little respect -- was to take a figurative dump on Schieffer, devoting an April 9 NewsBusters post to sneering at the network giving Schieffer a nice sendoff, under the disrespectful headline "CBS Oozes ‘Giant of Journalism,’ 'Amazing' Bob Schieffer Retiring":
At most companies, when someone who's worked for the company for 46 years retires, they get a nice speech and a nice watch. But at a TV news network, the audience is subjected to the most extreme fawning, complete with the bizarre notion that no one has ever criticized the retiring journalist.
Following CBS reporter Bob Schieffer announcing his retirement this summer, Charlie Rose deemed Schieffer a “giant of journalism” who had a “legendary career” at CBS News. While Rose claimed that he “never heard anyone at CBS or anywhere else say a bad word about Bob Schieffer” longtime CBS anchor was known for saying “bad things” things about Republicans.
We here at NewsBusters have compiled a list of Scheiffer’s worst quotes at CBS, from trashing Conservatives to cheering on Democrats to more recently praising Obama’s Lincolnesque speeches[.]
What Jeffrey calls the "worst" of Schieffer is mostly just Schieffer not blindly repeating the right-wing talking points the way the MRC wants them. Is Schieffer saying that Franklin Roosevelt was a great president or that Sarah Palin served as an attack dog for John McCain during their 2008 presidential campaign really the "worst" things he said? It is if you're offended by anyone who won't spout conservative dogma, as Meyer apparently is.
We suspect that when Brent Bozell or Tim Graham retire from the MRC, Meyer will be oozing profusely. Which makes him a hypocrite as well as disrespectful.
MRC Echoes WND, Calls Yoga 'Dangerous' To Christians Topic: Media Research Center
Usually, it's fringe outlets like WorldNetDaily who spend way too much time freaking out about yoga being some sort of secret sinister religious practice. Apparently, the Media Research Center has decided it wants in on some of that action.
Matthew Balan had to go pretty far afield to get outraged in a March 28 item -- specifically, to a article in Quartz, "an online magazine from the parent company of The Atlantic," that turned a spotlight on "yogaphobic" Christians. Balan complained that the article's author -- a professor at "Indiana University-Perdue [sic] University Indianapolis" -- used a "left-leaning/pro-yoga spin," as if yoga someone turns people liberal.
After highlighting that the article noted criticism of yoga by Catholic officials, Balan sneered, "In other words, how care the Catholic Church point out how non-Christian religious practice can be dangerous for the spiritual health of believers!"
Balan concluded by asking whether the article's author really thinks "Christians are going to end up persecuting Hindus because of supposed 'yogaphobia.'" The greater risk, arguably, is more uninformed articles like Balan's.
After all, why should WND have all the uninformed rants?
MRC Mad That Media Identified New Taco Bell Ad As Dystopian, Not Commie Topic: Media Research Center
It apparently was a slow day at the Media Research Center. How else to explain this March 26 item by Joseph Rossell:
Many in the liberal news media again demonstrated their inability (or unwillingness) to identify communism when they see it.
Fast food restaurant Taco Bell “pulled out all the stops” with its new ad released March 24, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Although the ad did not mention McDonald’s by name, The Daily Mail also said the video portrayed “McDonald’s as a communist dictatorship where boring breakfasts rule.”
However, several news outlets, including Associated Press, either failed to understand the nods to communism or simply ignored the connection. Only a few sources including The Hollywood Reporter noted that a new Taco Bell ad obviously “painted McDonald's as a communist state.”
Yes, that's the whole point of Rossell's item: that some media outlets didn't refer to the imagery in the Taco Bell ad as communist, obviously because they are "liberal."
Rossell complains that some outlets likened the imagery to the dystopias of "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent," sneering that those were merely allusions to "pop culture." But he doesn't explain why communism is the only possible correct answer for the imagery inspiration.
If the MRC's anti-media argument has descended to being not politically correct enough to identify the right dystopia in a Taco Bell ad, maybe it was never that strong in the first place.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Blind Eye To Right-Wing Journalistic Misdeeds Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center couldn't scream loud enough over Brian Williams' exaggerations. But when Bill O'Reilly and other right-wing journalists are caught in similar exaggerations, the MRC doesn't want to hear about it. Read more >>
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Reporting Background Info Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock grumbles in a March 22 NewsBusters post:
On Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted 12 minutes towards fawning over celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yet, the Charlie Rose-hosted segment never mentioned his repeated fake quotes, including a slam against George W. Bush that Tyson repeated for years. Instead, Rose fawned that the TV personality has followed “Carl Sagan as the country's most captivating scientific communicator.”
Whitlock might have a point if, the very next day, the MRC's Matthew Balan hadn't devoted a post to another segment from that same edition of "60 Minutes," in which "Lara Logan refreshingly brought new attention to the plight of the ancient Christian communities in Iraq on Sunday's 60 Minutes, as they face annihilation by ISIS."
Nowhere does Balan mention that Logan spent several months suspended from her "60 Minutes" correspondent job after a report featuring "an actual eyewitness of the attack" on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya; it was later revealed that the purported eyewitness, Dylan Davies -- who went by the pseudonym "Morgan Jones" -- told authorities he didn't witness the attack. Logan also failed to disclose a book by Davies was published by a division of CBS, which airs "60 Minutes." The publisher pulled Davies' book from the shelves.
If you'll recall, the MRC studiously ignored Logan's bad reporting, even though "60 Minutes" is a prime MRC target, because Logan was supporting the cause of perpetuating Benghazi as a right-wing cudgel against the Obama adminstration.
MRC Excuses Netanyahu's Racist Appeal As Just A Get-Out-The-Vote Effort Topic: Media Research Center
Last time we checked in with the Media Research Center's manufactured outrage over media figures calling out Benjamin Netanyahu's racist, anti-Arab appeal to fearmonger his supporters to get to the polls, it was justifying it by claiming that Arabs are anti-Semitic.
The MRC has now expanded on its defense of Netanyahu. Rich Noyes complains in a March 21 NewsBusters post:
In attacking Netanyahu’s campaign tactics, some liberal journalists smeared American conservatives as well: “In what appeared to be a panicked last-ditch ploy to turn out right wing voters today, he took another page in the American playbook, resorting to demagoguery,” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes announced on Tuesday night, saying of Netanyahu: “He is Israel’s George W. Bush.”
On Wednesday, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg hit the same note on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports: “He kind of played the Israeli version of the Southern Strategy and basically tried to scare his base into coming out and giving their votes to him by saying, essentially, ‘the Arabs are coming.’...He used that as a scare tactic. So it’s a pretty brutal 48 hours from certain perspectives.”
Here’s what Netanyahu posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday that so offended journalists: “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”
The various Arab parties that cooperated to form a Joint List for Tuesday’s election all vehemently opposed Netanyahu for Prime Minister. So how is it wrong to point out, in essence, that “the other side seems to be getting its voters out, so we’d better, too.”?
That's right -- Noyes is justifying Netanyahu's racist appeal as a mere get-out-the-vote tactic.
Any U.S. politician making a similar appeal by singling out an entire race or ethnic group would be called out for doing so -- and if that politician were a liberal, the MRC would be at the head of the pack. But because Netanyahu is a popular right-winger, he gets a pass from the MRC.
Finally! MRC (Briefly) Mentions O'Reilly Honesty Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
This week marked the first time in two weeks that the Media Research Center has made even an oblique reference to the growing controversy over the accuracy of statements Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has made about his reporting.
A March 16 post by Kyle Drennen grumbles that NBC's Chuck Todd praised how his network handled similar allegations against news anchor Brian Williams while Fox tried to deflect the accusations against O'Reilly by running a "political campaign." Drennen comments no further on O'Reilly.
A March 17 MRC item by Jordan Ecarma is focused on repeating Barney Frank's criticism of Hillary Clinton's email controversy. Almost as an afterthough, Ecarma noted that Frank was asked "if he was 'enjoying' the current controversy surrounding O’Reilly. The TV host was recently accused of lying about or exaggerating his war experiences, similar to the revelations that crumbled the reputation of longtime NBC anchor Brian Williams." Like Drennen, Ecarma does nothing further with it.
Previous to these posts, the last mention of the O'Reilly scandal at the MRC was on March 2, and that was to attack George Soros for funding groups that have highlighted it.
By contrast, the MRC couldn't say often enough that Williams was a liar despite doing basically the same thing O'Reilly has been proven to have done.
MRC: Netanyahu's Racist Attack On Arabs Is OK Because Arabs Are Anti-Semitic Topic: Media Research Center
When media outlets highlighted the racist nature of Benjamin Netanyahu's ranting about Arabs voting in the Israeli election in an attempt to boost right-wing turnout that would support him, the Media Research Center took exception.
The MRC seems to know that Netanyahu's remarks are indefensible. So it's taking a diversionary tack by arguing that israeli Arabs are anti-Semitic.
Curtis Houck complained hat CNN's Christiane Amanpour noted criticism within Israel of Netanyahu's Arab attack, then added: "While Amanpour was mounting a full defense of Arab-Israelis, she failed to cite the fact that the Arab parties that combined to form a joint list for the election include members who have some radical and arguably anti-Semitic policies themselves."
Clay Waters follows in those footsteps by dismissing criticism by New York Tiems writers of Netanyahu by asserting "Speaking of racism, official Palestinian Authoritarian descriptions of Jews as apes and pigs was left unremarked upon by the hypocritical Times."
Waters then huffed, "Israel must count itself fortunate indeed that the liberals on the Times editorial page know what's best for a country thousands of miles away and surrounded by enemies who want it wiped off the map."
Meanwhile, Netanyahu must count himself fortunate that American right-wingers like those at the MRC will give him a pass on his racism by making the lame equivocation that his enemies are supposedly even more racist.
The MRC has so little problem with Netanyahu's racism, in fact, that it's running a promotion A March 18 email to its mailing list complains that MSNBC "went out of their way to attack the sitting prime minister" by having on a guest who highlighted the racist attack, as described in an item by Kyle Drennen.The MRC then promoted its anti-NBC petition.
At no point does the MRC deny that Netanyahu's words are racist; they are simply attacking anyone who points that out.
MRC Attacks Writer For Reporting Facts About Margaret Sanger Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a fund-raising campaign going on now featuring the grim, bearded visage of Brent Bozell and the slogan, "Join the MOVEMENT and demand TRUTH in media." But there are sometimes when the MRC doesn't want the truth to be told.
In a March 13 MRC article, Katie Yoder goes after a writer for Christianity Today simply for telling the truth about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger:
Does Margaret Sanger’s legacy have redeeming qualities? One Christianity Today board member thinks it does.
For Christianity Today, Rachel Marie Stone discussed how “Contraception Saves Lives” in a March 11 piece. Stone, who sits on the editorial board of CT, attempted to redeem Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger through her birth control support – and “give the charge of ‘eugenicist’ a more complete background.” Facing a Twitter backlash, she later defended her story by tweeting about Sanger’s “compassion.”
To begin her piece, Stone told the story of Margaret Sanger as a “young nurse” who promised to make contraception “widely available to working class and poor women” after watching a woman die after an attempted abortion.
Stone went on to detail how she encountered a midwife, Lena, in Malawi, Africa who studied at the Margaret Sanger Center in Lower Manhattan. “A great woman, Margaret Sanger!” Lena told her.
While Stone “wasn’t sure how to reply,” she explained how “Sanger founded Planned Parenthood, which, contrary to what Sanger would have wished, is today the largest provider of abortions in the United States.”
“Sanger herself opposed abortion,” Stone said, by “saying that ‘no matter how early it was performed it was taking a life.’”
Huh. Wonder if Stone also knows Sanger described birth control as “nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit” for a “cleaner race.”
Stone admitted Sanger, “like many medical professionals in her day, did hold eugenicist ideas,” and while she didn’t want to “excuse” Sanger, she did “want to give the charge of ‘eugenicist’ a more complete background.”
We can't have a "more complete background" on someone who's been dead for decades yet remains someone right-wingers like Yoder and the MRC consider a sworn enemy, can we?
At no point does Yoder prove that anything Stone wrote about Sanger is wrong. Instead, she's objecting to it having been written at all. Yoder invokes a professor who furthers the attack on Sanger under a piece less-than-objectively headlined "Margaret Sanger’s legacy is not salvageable, so let’s not try." So much for objective research, eh, prof?
This just shows that Yoder isn't interested in facts when they don't agree with her right-wing agenda -- and that the MRC doesn't really want "TRUTH in media" when it doesn't benefit them.
MRC's Graham Baselessly Attacks Anita Hill Again Topic: Media Research Center
The fact that Anita Hill has never been proven wrong about her sexual harrassment allegations against Clarence Thomas hasn't kept the Media Research Center from holding a grudge against her for more than two decades. For instance, MRC official Tim Graham branded Hill as a liar despite offering no proof (or any consideration of the possibility that Thomas is the one who's lying by denying Hill's accusations), and Scott Whitlock baselessly suggested that Hill's only motivation was money.
With the news of a TV movie in the works about the Hill-Thomas conflict, Graham was in grump mode in a March 14 NewsBusters post:
HBO is making another liberal propaganda flick – and it’s sloppy seconds to Showtime. Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter had the exclusive: Kerry Washington, star of ABC’s Scandal, will play Anita Hill in the movie Confirmation.
In 1999, Showtime aired a similar "fact-based" film called Strange Justice, based on the Clarence Thomas-attacking book by liberal reporters Jill Abramson (later executive editor of The New York Times) and Jane Mayer.
The film is expected to detail “the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings (at which Hill testified), which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way people think about sexual harassment, victims' rights and modern-day race relations.”
Translation: the sympathetic star won’t be seen as a liberal activist who wanted to sink the Thomas nomination anonymously, but was forced into testifying and offered unsubstantiated accusations of sexual harassment by Thomas (which remain unsubstantiated, but endlessly regurgitated by liberals.)
Needless to say, Graham offers no evidence that Hill was solely "a liberal activist who wanted to sink the Thomas nomination." Indeed, all he's doing is regurgitating Thomas' own attacks on Hill -- as if Thomas' word should automatically be trusted over that of Hill's.
But then, the MRC has always denigrated anyone who makes sexual harrassment claims against its favorite conservatives. In 2011, for instance, the MRC similarly denounced harrassment claims made against would-be GOP presidential candidate (and personal friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell) Herman Cain as "unsubstantiated" -- even though it was on record that the National Restaurant Association, while it was headed by Cain, reached monetary agreements with two women to settle harassment claims -- and the MRC's Dan Gainor similarly played the gold-digger card against Cain's accusers.