ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, February 21, 2019
MRC: Soros Is A Jew You're Allowed To Hate
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates George Soros, and it wants you to hate him as much as he does -- to the point that it has absolved anyone who criticizes him of anti-Semitism.

After Democratic Rep. Ihlan Omar got into trouble with a remark about conservative politicians being controlled by Jewish money that many considered anti-Semitic, others pointed out that convervatives like to attack Soros and other liberal Jews for funding their preferred causes.  That did not go down well at the MRC.

Curtis Houck complained that "numerous analysts and hosts have tried to assist Omar by muddying the waters, suggesting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is also anti-Semitic for a tweet last year criticizing the left-wing views of Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, and Tom Steyer." Houck added: "So criticizing the policies of specific individuals as radical is on par with suggesting money from Jewish people controls politicians? Yeah, no. Not the same."

Kyle Drennen huffed that some were taking "what was supposed to be a story about the anti-Semitism scandal swirling around Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar" and bring up McCarthy's comments, insisting that "In reality, McCarthy’s tweet simply criticized Soros for his left-wing influence over Democratic politics, in the exact same way that Democrats routinely attack the Koch brothers for donating to Republicans."

Alex Christy similarly got mad about the McCarthy parallel, sarcastically griping, "When Republicans warn about wealthy billionaires' influence on elections it is anti-Semitism, when Democrats do it, it is showing appropriate concern about money and lobbying in politics." Christy also complained that one cable news guest said that "Trump and Republicans have been peddling anti-Semitism through criticism of George Soros and 'globalists,' even seeming to imply that Trump's rhetoric had inspired the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, despite the fact that the shooter hated Trump." Actually, the shooter supported parts of Trump's political agenda, though he allegedly didn't vote for Trump.

Ryan Foley groused that CNN's Don Lemon "couldn't resist the urge to call House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a hypocrite for knocking Omar despite the fact that he had accused 'Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg,' three wealthy liberal Jews and Democratic donors, of trying to 'BUY this election.'"

Foley served up another defense of McCarthy, prlclaiming that he "offered a common sense explanation: it was election season and he was talking about Democrats and their big donors."

Houck went on another "whataboutism" tirade:

In what was a poorly mangled attempt to be the liberal and unfunny Seth Meyers, CNN’sThe Lead host Jake Tapper went on a rant Wednesday in which he pretended to throw fits at his control staff for not showing clips and tweets of anti-Semitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), but instead ones that painted the Trump administration and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as not only hypocrites but anti-Semites.

So, in other words, Tapper’s four-minute-and-eight-second monologue seemed to muddy the waters and engage in what probably would be condemned on CNN as “whataboutism” if such a stunt was pulled on Fox News.

[...]

So what should have been an unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism, blasting Omar’s treatment of [CNN reporter Manu] Raju, or even how Omar has repeatedly shown an apprehension toward Jewish people (including Wednesday’s hearing with Elliot Abrams), Tapper tried to deflect attention toward the GOP as having a problem with anti-Semitism. 

So, in other words, that’s whataboutism, which was amusing considering what Tapper tweeted on February 4, 2017 about the topic and comparisons that didn’t exactly line up. But Orange Man Bad, so that’s perfectly fine.

Of course, Houck would never be so gauche as to call out such whataboutism on Fox News for what it is in the way he's attacking Tapper.

Houck even went so far as to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in tweeting an anti-Semitic meme, baselessly ascribing ignorance to him:

Alas, Tapper continued on, asking producers to fetch more footage of Omar, but instead was given “a deleted Donald Trump retweet from 2016 as conservative Erick Erickson tweeted at the time: ‘A Star of David, a pile of cash, and suggestions of corruption. Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists.’”

Yes, this was one of the more undeniably controversial things Trump did during the campaign, so let’s give Tapper the benefit of the doubt, even if one thinks Trump didn’t know what he was doing.

Even the MRC's semi-pro New York Times-hater, Clay Waters, got in on the action, complaining that a Times article "strained to turn the tables on Republicans" by bringing up McCarthy's statement.

It looks like a bunch of people at the MRC have forgotten how it has used anti-Semitic imagery by portraying Soros as a liberal puppetmaster. The MRC has never been held to account for that, and it has never apologized for using it, so it's walking on thin ice here in giving people a pass. The MRC also tried to whitewash unambiguous anti-Semitism against Soros, in the form of Roseanne Barr's false portrayal of him as a Nazi collaborator during World War II, as merely an "anti-Soros tweet."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2019 10:21 PM EST
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
MRC Invents A 'Sexist' Attack on Sarah Sanders
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline on Rebecca Downs' Feb. 7 Media Research Center post blared, "'Big Bang Theory's Chuck Lorre Launches Ugly, Sexist Attack Against Sarah Sanders." In it, Downs asserted that Lorre "targeted White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as well as her prayer life and her looks," further huffing: "It’s also been established that it’s sexist and wrong to go after women for their looks. Or is it only liberal women that this applies to?"

So what did Lorre say in his regular end-of-show vanity card? "God told me he hasn't spoken to Sarah Sanders since she was fourteen years old and praying for her skin to clear up. I have no reason to doubt Him."

Downs did not explain how making a joke about a teenage Sanders dealing with acne -- a common condition that afflicts both boys and girls of that age -- is "sexist." Perhaps because it is not, in fact, a "sexist" comment.

This is not the first time that the MRC has manufactured a "sexist" attack by someone against Sanders. Following Michelle Wolf's performance at last years White House Corresdpondents Dinner, it decided that Wolf's quip that Sanders "burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye" was a personal attack on her looks and not a comment about her mendacity in defense of President Trump:

  • "That sure sounds like a slam on her appearance," P.J. Gladnick declared.
  • "Wolf made jokes at the expense of Sarah Sanders's looks," Scott Whitlock insisted.
  • Wolf made "personal attacks about [her] appearance,"the MRC uncritically quoted Fox News' Ed Henry as saying.

It seems that the MRC is trying to shut down discussion of Sanders' job performance by dismissing any criticism of her as "sexist."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EST
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
MRC Defends Sanders Claiming God Ordained Trump -- But Attacked Those Who Claimed God Ordained Obama
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Ryan Foley writes in a Feb. 1 post:

During Wednesday’s edition of Erin Burnett OutFront, the eponymous host and her panel reacted to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’s declaration that God “wanted Donald Trump to become President” during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Burnett seemed to think that God playing a role in the electoral politics of the United States posed a direct threat to democracy.

Burnett seemed shocked by Sanders’s statement, arguing that “it’s a big thing to say that God...whatever God may be, he, she, it...wanted Donald Trump to become President.” Burnett asked Scott Jennings, former advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “does that make you blanch at all or are you okay with that?” Jennings responded, “I find it quite likely that supporters of any politician who wins believe that it was God’s plan for that politician to win. So, no, I’m not surprised to hear someone saying that.”

Burnett proceeded to scoff at the idea that God would have anything to do with electoral politics in the United States: “I thought we live in a democracy, right? The will of the people and now you’re saying it’s the will of God. I don’t know, there’s something about it that seems quite jarring to me, frankly.” Jennings stressed that he believed in the will of the people while proclaiming that “I happen to believe in the will of God and that his will will be done on this Earth whether we like it or not.” Burnett still seemed to have a hard time wrapping her head around that idea, asking Jennings, “And you think that God cares who’s President of the United States?”

Needless to say, there's a double standard. The MRC was much less forgiving of the idea that God plays a role in the electoral politics of the United States when the result of his intervention was Barack Obama.

Lachlan Markay mockingly wrote in a 2009 post that musician Sting "told the Associated Press that he believes that Obama is a gift from Heaven, delivered to shepherd the befuddled masses to providence," further sneering that Sting's "audacious deification of the President" was "Hollywood sophistry at its best."

A 2008 post by Mark Finkelstein similarly mocked Spike Lee for saying something similar:

B.C. and A.D?  Get with it, old man.  History is henceforth divided into the eras of B.B. and A.B.—Before and After Barack. And George W. might have been "misunderestimated" as he engaged in "strategery."  But that's so, like, yesterday.  Barack Obama is "pre-deortained."  By whom?  Spike Lee stopped short of saying God's hand is at work.  But he was clearly speaking in quasi-religious terms in discussing The One on today's Morning Joe.

Scott Whitlock huffed in a "This Week in Media Bias History" post that it was "sheer insanity" for Newsweek editor Evan Thomas to claim in 2009 that "Obama’s standing above the country... above the world. He’s sort of God." He then sneered, "You knew some journalist would say it."

Whitlock wasn't done sneering, writing this in another "This Week" post: "Liberal journalists don’t like conservatives bringing up religion and faith, but it’s apparently okay for them to insist God supports Democratic political goals. On December 4, 2013, then-MSNBC host Ed Schultz weighed in on how God feels about ObamaCare: 'I’ll tell you what I think God thinks of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a big "amen."'"

So it's "media bias"when someone invokes God for a Democrat, but mocking someone's sincere faith when that person invokes God for a Republican. Got it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Acosta Derangement Syndrome Watch, MRC Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had a raging case of Acosta Derangement Syndrome for a while now, and it seems to be only getting worse.

The MRC's chief Acosta-hater, Curtis Houck, spent an entire Jan. 24 post ranting at Acosta for writing a book, tossing his usual insults at Acosta like "pompous" and "carnival barker." Apparently feeling that he hadn't insulted Acosta enough, he included more Acosta-bashing comments from right-wing bloggers. At one point Houck sneers: "Okay, Jim! Time to call in The Avengers! And we’ll assume you’ll want to play Captain America, right?"

Randy Hall joined in with his own rant on Jan. 28 by finding the one thing in a new book criticizing the Trump White House that worked with the MRC's agenda:

It’s certainly no surprise that CNN's Jim Acosta would go to virtually any length to criticize President Trump and anyone in his administration.

The most recent example of this behavior comes in an excerpt from a new book written by former Trump administration official Cliff Sims, who wrote that Acosta and his channel “peddled slime” with “unsubstantiated misinformation from a disgruntled ex-Trump campaign aide.”

Entitled Team of Vipers: My Extraordinary 500 Days in the Trump White House and released on Monday, Breitbart published on Sunday produced an exclusive excerpt stating that a story based on a single anonymous source claimed that the President had been “upset with” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Since Hall is simply cribbingfrom Breitbart, he can't be bothered to find out whether Acosta and CNN still stood by the story that Sims claims had been "completely made up" (since Breitbart didn't either).

Scott Whitlock tried his hand at hurling invective at Acosta in a Feb. 15 post, claiing that the "self-agrandizing" Acosta "offered a typically attention-grabbing question" at President Trump's press conference declaring a national emergency over the southern border, and that he was "lectur[ing]" and being "condesending" toward parents whose children had been killed by illegal immigrants. In reality, Acosta accurately pointed out that Trump doesn't "stick to the facts" on illegal immigration and asked the "angel moms" to respond to the declaration.

Yes, the MRC spends this kind of time to personally attack a journalist.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:09 PM EST
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Trump Gets Fact-Checked Too Much, MRC's Graham Complains
Topic: Media Research Center

One of Media Research Center bigwig Tim Graham's current obsessions is to rail against fact-checkers who keep proving that President Trump is a lying liar who lies. For instance, he whines in a Jan. 28 post:

We've made it a routine point that the media's "independent fact-checkers" spend most of their time fact-checking President Trump, and the rest of the politicians (especially Democrats) get far less attention. This was confirmed in a recent article in the British leftist paper The Guardian. The headline on Adam Gabbatt's piece was "The 'exhausting' work of factcheckers who track Trump's barrage of lies."

[...]

So if these websites want to be perceived as "nonpartisan," won't that be difficult if the overwhelming target of your checking is a Republican president? Kessler said “It was more difficult to fact-check Obama because there was always a modicum of truth there. You ended up going way down in the weeds with officials who were highly knowledgable and wanted to defend their case. With Trump a lot of times the White House won’t defend what he’s saying because they have no defense.”

Someone should ask Kessler: How much time do you think the president has, when you're tagging him with 15 "false claims" a day?

Graham's attitude requires him to be oblivious to two things: 1) If Trump wants to be fact-checked less, he should lie less, and 2) No evidence has been presented that any single Democratic politician -- or even a large group of them -- lie as much as Trump does.

Further, Trump is a target-rich environment -- he lies often and blatantly.  Graham can't seem to even admit that Trump has lied (though he doesn't actively dispute it).

Graham followed up with more whining on Feb. 8, this time trying to paint fact-checker PolitiFact as biased because it fact-checks Trump a lot. First, he insists PolitiFact is lying about not basing fact-checks on ideology because "PolitiFact has been sustained by large grants from liberal foundations including the Ford Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the leftist Craig Newmark Foundation." Graham seems to think -- without evidence, of course -- that liberal donors to nonpartisan organizations demand the same ideological loyalty that donors to the MRC do.

Then, Graham threw some numbers around (boldface in original):

Let's take a quick check of 2017 and 2018 to see what happens when you actually care about who is fact-checked more and less. 

-- President Trump was fact-checked on their "Truth-o-Meter" 297 times in the last two calendar years, and 205 of those statements were ranked Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire. That's 69 percent of the time.

-- Nancy Pelosi, then the House Minority Leader, House leader Nancy Pelosi was checked 12 times. Six of them were on the False side (50 percent), zero Pants on Fire. Five were True or Mostly True, and one was Half True. 

-- Charles Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, was checked 9 times. Four of those were on the False side (44 percent), three on the True side, and two Half Trues.

-- President Trump was rated a "Pants On Fire" liar 33 times, more than these two Democrat [sic] leaders were rated at all (21 times).

-- In the partisan breakdown of "Pants on Fire" ratings in 2017-18, Republicans/conservatives were tagged 98 times overall and Democrats/liberals merely 15 times. That's a margin of more than six to one.

In the "Blue Wave" year of 2018, Barack and Michelle Obama were rated....Zero times. Hillary Clinton was rated.....Zero times. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was rated....Zero times. Bill Clinton drew one...for claiming they were poor when they left the White House. 

It's not just Trump. Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren were both elected to the Senate in 2012. Cruz was assessed for truth on 135 occasions by PolitiFact through 2018, but Warren? Only five.

And for the record, PolitiFact has never evaluated Warren on the “Truth-o-Meter” when she claimed to be part-Cherokee Indian.

Graham never explains why, for instance, the Obamas or the Clintons should hjave been fact-checked in 2018, given that none of them had any central role in that year's elections. Nor does he explain how, exactly, PolitiFact could have examined Warren's claim about her heritage without, say, obtaining her DNA.

Graham concludes with one lasat whine: "Like the rest of the Liberal Media, PolitiFact treats conservatives as much more likely to lie and mislead." But he offers no evidence to the contrary; he cites not one single example of a claim by a Democrat that PolitiFact should have fact-checked but didn't.

If Graham really wants to do other than try to make cheap political points and actually prove his thesis correct, he should put his money -- or, more to the point, the Mercers' money -- where his mouth is: a MRC fact-checking operation that goes after the things PolitiFact purportedly won't. On the other hand, running one's mouth is much easier...


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EST
Friday, February 15, 2019
MRC Whines That Networks Exercised Editorial Discretion In Not Airing WH Press Briefing Live
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck pours a bottle of whine in a Jan. 28 post:

On Monday, the White House held its first press briefing in 41 days, a stat passed around the press about how it was the longest span between briefings since cameras were brought in during the Clinton administration. 

Despite this kvetching, CNN and MSNBC chose not to air a single second of the briefing live, which included an announcement of new Venezuela sanctions plus questions for National Security Adviser John Bolton, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Council of Economic Advisers head Larry Kudlow and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The briefing began at 3:33 p.m. Eastern and the Fox News Channel immediately went to it during Your World, but CNN Newsroom aired two tape-delayed soundbites on the Venezuela sanctions before moving on.

[...]

Meanwhile, MSNBC Live featured hosts Katy Tur and Ali Velshi joking sarcastically about briefings with Velshi wondering to Tur if she remembers what those were. Velshi later insisted MSNBC was standing by for it, but like CNN, they didn’t air it aside from a brief soundbite of Bolton announcing the sanctions.

[...]

So to be clear, these two liberal cable outlets have long suggested that the President was eroding American press freedoms. But when it came to the news media allowing viewers to decide things for themselves, the former thinks they should be in charge of what the latter sees.

But as Houck seems to concede, the only actual news from the press briefing was the announcement of the Venezuela sanctions, and he further concedes that both CNN and MSNBC reported on that soon after the announcement was made, showing that they were, in fact, monitoring the briefing and not ignoring it. He does not explain, however, why that was so newsworthy that it demanded to be aired live, beyond the increasing rarity of such briefings. He also does not explain why all channels must air it live if Fox News was already doing so.

Houck doesn't seem to understand that the lack of White House press briefings erodes press freedoms whether or not a given news organization chooses to air them live. Did Houck and/or the MRC ever attack Fox News if they refused to air a press briefing from the Obama White House live and in its entirety? Not that we can recall.

As the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out, CNN and MSNBC were acting like genuine news organizations by making an editorial decision not to air the presser live:

There is, in fact, no contradiction in a news network pushing for White House briefings and then declining to carry them live. Even as CNN and MSNBC were airing other material Monday, their correspondents were in the briefing room seeking answers to their questions. Later on, if real answers actually materialize, they can air the footage, an approach that matches the prescription of two former White House press secretaries. It’s a fair approximation of journalism.

Of course, Houck and the MRC do not actually want to see a "fair approximation of journalism" -- they want ceaselessly fawning coverage of the Trump administration.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:39 PM EST
Thursday, February 14, 2019
MRC Pushes Dubious Claim of 'Rejected' Super Bowl Ad
Topic: Media Research Center

Knowing a good right-wing anti-media narrative when he sees it -- and being a terrible media critic -- the Media Research Center's Tim Graham leaped on the claim by tiny Nine Line Apparel that CBS rejected its Super Bowl ad for being too patriotic. Graham huffed: "Networks are well-known for rejecting overt political messaging....unless it's from a sponsor like Nike that has multinational-conglomerate heft, and the message leans a bit left. Liberal messages are also allowed by CBS if you're an arrogant newspaper that imagines you're the saviors of democracy."

Just one problem with this story: it was apparently too good for Graham -- or the Washington Examiner's notoriously right-wing gossip columnist, Paul Bedard, the "friend" from whom Graham lifted the story -- to fact-check. Both rely solely on Nine Line's insistence that CBS' claim that it questioned the company's ability to pay for the ad, which would cost roughly one-third of its annual revenue of $25 million, was just an excuse to reject the ad's content.

Neither Graham nor Bedard bothered to contact CBS for comment. An actual news outlet did: According to USA Today's For the Win blog, a CBS spokesperson said the network never rejected the ad.

Claiming your Super Bowl ad got "rejected" is a cheap way to generate publicity. As we reported last year, the promoters of AML Bitcoin -- which made a deal with WND to give away pieces of it to donors -- claimed its Super Bowl ad was "banned," when in fact it had never bought airtime and the network doesn't review content unless airtime is purchased.

That appears to be what happened here. If CBS didn't think Nine Line couldn't pay for the ad, there's no need to review its content -- which is why CBS can credibly say it never rejected the ad.

Is Graham and the MRC going to apologize for promoting this bit of fake news? Doubtful -- it advances a right-wing narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EST
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
MRC's Double Standard on Schadenfreude, Or: Dancing on the Newseum's Grave
Topic: Media Research Center

A Jan. 25 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein admonished former Republican aide Rick Tyler against engaging in "schadenfreude" over the arrest of Trump confidate and overall sleaze Roger Stone, becuase "to take such manifest pleasure in another political operative's indictment is not a display of civility and compassion in politics." Nobody at the Media Research Center apparently read Finkelstein's warning, because it was in full schadenfreude mode just a few hours later over the sale of the Newseum property.

Scott Whitlock wasted no time dancing on the Newseum's grave in a post whose headline called it a "self-indulgent journalistic shrine." Whitlock sneered that the Newseum was a "temple dedicated to journalists by journalists," complained that the Neweum didn't uniformly lionize conservative journalism and right-wing talk radio, then scowled:

How bloated and ridiculous is the seven floor Newseum? Even the liberal Politico in 2017 opined that “it deserves to die.” Well, now it is. If you’re a family of five interested in spending over $80 to see journalistic self-praise, you have until December 31st, 2019. But if you would rather go to better, free museums, they are all over Washington D.C. 

The Newseum undeniably had its problems due to poor management and its origin as something of a vanity project by longtime newspaper executive Al Neuharth. But  Whitlock's kneejerk denigration a museum that has 9/11 artifacts among its exhibits and tries to explain how people working in news do their jobs shows how much the MRC absolutely loathes journalism and is dedicated to destroying it in order to replace it with a partisan model demonstrated by its ridiculously biased "news" division, CNSNews.com.

This is a reminder that the MRC has always been anti-media, especially if it doesn't follow a right-wing agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EST
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
MRC Misleads In Claiming Secret Anti-Abortion Videos Weren't Edited
Topic: Media Research Center

A Jan. 18 Media Research Center post by Matt Philbin touted a federal appeals court decision that, according to him, puts the lie to the Planned Parenthood/media talking points about the infamous 2015 undercover “baby parts” videos being deceptively edited," which "should be a blow to the extensive list of media outlets that dutifully repeated Planned Parenthood’s damage control statement about the video." Bill D'Agostino followed up the same day with a post furthering this talking point:

It's never been disputed that the "baby parts" video were edited. The individuals behind the camera chose when to press record, when to stop, and what bits of recorded conversation to leave out of their finished product. The question is, and always has been, did any of the edits give viewers a false impression of what the raw footage actually showed – for example, by stringing together unrelated or out-of-context statements? According to the 5th Circuit Court's decision and based in part on a forensic analysis that compared the raw footage to the edited videos, the answer is no.

Thus the claim that the Planned Parenthood videos were "deceptively edited" is no longer accurate. That's a problem for the organizations and news outlets who published celebratory articles containing that talking point back when the now-vacated ruling was first issued. 

D'Agostino then provided a "list of organizations and news outlets who have repeated the now-disproven line about 'deceptive edits'," huffily adding, "It's anybody's guess as to how many of them will issue updates or corrections."

It appears D'Agostino and Philbin are confusing issues. It's indisputable that the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group that perpetrated the sting, rolled out their attack of the day designed to spark conservative outrage with a video that was, yes, deceptively edited. Only later did CMP release the full, supposedly unedited video that, more often than not, contradicted claims made in the edited version.

The ruling is unclear on what video or videos are being talked about. Rather, it narrowly states only that video submitted by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General in support of its attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in the state "was authentic and not deceptively edited." Indeed, a firm paid by Planned Parenthood found there were edits to the longer "unedited" videos as well. It does not refer to the body of short videos CMP released that were, in fact, deceptively edited, as demonstrated by the unedited videos they released hours later, or does it claim, as Philbin and D'Agostiono suggest, that all CMP-released videos were unedited.

So, yes, CMP did release tapes that were deceptively edited -- the court ruling does not change this fact. D'Agostino provides only a laundry list of articles at various website and does not fact-check regarding the specific claim of editing they're making. Nobody needs to correct anything, since the MRC does not prove any specific claim false.

Of course, this misleading claim spread elsewhere at the MRC: A Jan. 23 CNSNews.com article by Emily Ward similarly falsely suggested that the court's ruling applied to all CMP videos.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Sunday, February 10, 2019
At The MRC, Personal Attacks Are 'Media Research'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center seems to have given up doing anything that remotely resembles "media research" these days. When it's issuing bogus "research" that's narrowly crafted to forward the MRC's right-wing agenda, it's issuing personal attacks against people for the offense of not being as right-wing as it is.

One recent example: The mysterious Jay Maxson marked Bob Costas' departure from NBC Sports with a hateful diatribe sparked by his being triggered by any injection of politics into sports that isn't right-wing or overtly Christian (even if the person injecting said Christian messaging played a part in a double murder). Maxson ranted that Costas has "worn out his welcome among sport fans who tune into sports broadcasts for sports and prefer that politics be left to the newscasters." He then listed what he claimed were Costas' "most disgusting political lectures and controversies," one of which was simply receiving an award. This was objectionable, Maxson huffed, because it's "a who's who award that goes to the left-stream media's heaviest hitters, including: Anderson Cooper, Gwen Ifill, Scott Pelley, Bob Schieffer, Christiane Amanpour, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Helen Thomas, Al Michaels and Ben Bradlee, among others."

Maxson was also offended that Costas pointed out the overall homophobia of Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which earned him "the Gold Medal awarded by GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation." Maxson does not dispute the accuracy of Costas' observation -- only that it was voiced.

Another example: A Jan. 21 post by Gabriel Hays went well beyond criticizing Lady Gaga for criticizing Vice President Mike Pence from the stage of her Las Vegas residency -- the MRC is now reviewing Vegas stage shows now -- to attacking her for daring to speak out at all:

For an artist who spent the better part of a decade trying to be as unique as possible, she sure has ended up the same way as the rest of her colleagues: as a sour, angry, liberal.

[...]

The sad thing is that her deluded opinions are amplified by her pop star status — even more so now because she has become an A-list actress. Still there’s hope that, as with most of these Hollywood types, many people are starting to see them as preening windbags whose “Christian” goodwill only extends to those to kiss their butts or spoon feed them the political worldview that they’re most comfortable with.

Hays seems to be lacking Christian goodwill and, with such nasty attacks, seems to be moving quickly toward being a preening windbag in the tradition of his boss, Brent Bozell.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EST
Saturday, February 9, 2019
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Yes, the Media Research Center is still freaking out about LGBT stuff. Let's document the atrocities, shall we?

Karen Townsend is stuck hate-watching "I Am Jazz," about a transgender teenager, and she sympathizes most with Jazz's father, who's been ambivalent about the transitioning process:

Jeanette reminds me of a stereotype of a stage mother. She is much more comfortable and supportive of Jazz’s transgender life than her husband, Greg seems to be. He is frequently uncomfortable with the constant chatter about vaginas and penises, for example, and he lets Jeanette know that he will not be eating the penis cake she intends to bake for the party. Most of all, Jeanette and Jazz are gung-ho for the party because it will make Greg feel uncomfortable. How sad, if you ask me.

In the following episode, which featured Jazz's "bottom surgery," Townsend took offense when the surgeon declared, "It's a girl!" at the end of it: "Really? Did Jazz’s chromosomes change on the operating table? How cliché. It was as though a baby was delivered."

The mysterious Jay Maxson ranted that anyone who criticizes a proposed South Dakota bill to require participation in high school sports based on birth gender as "gender deniers" and ranted about "the kettle of 'misinformation' coming directly from LGBT-conforming media."

Maxson was even triggered about something that's not at all gay: the Los Angeles Rams' cheerleading squad including two men, the first male cheerleaders to accompany a team to a Super Bowl -- and turned into something vaguely gay anyway. Maxson huffed that this was "history in the making that contributes to the feminization of the American male" and denounced it as "this effeminate form of masculinity."

Tim Graham had a meltdown over PBS discussing President Trump's ban on transgender people in the military without having an transgender-hating activist on:

The true sour cherry on top came when Feliciano asked the ACLU advocate to address how the media coverage is insufficiently progressive. It even "perpetuates misconceptions." To which many Americans would say: The biggest misconception on this issue is people looking at their genitals and denying their gender. But that viewpoint is verboten on taxpayer-funded PBS.

[...]

Allowing a debate would be "dehumanizing" and somehow questioning the "existence" of gender-deniers. Nobody's denying they're "real" people or that they have a "core humanity." But you can't even say that on PBS. 

Brad Wilmouth similarly complained that CNN "provided a sympathetic forum to transgender activist and former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck to complain about a new policy by the Trump administration that puts restrictions on the recruitment of transgenders by the military for the future."

Lindsey Kornick, meanwhile, is stuck hate-watching "Supergirl," so the idea that the show will introduce a transgender superhero is grinding on her:

The January 27 episode “Blood Memory” has our transgender superhero-to-be Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) going back to "her" fictional hometown of Parthas with friend and boss Kara Danvers aka Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Previous episodes have revealed that not only is Nia a transgender woman but she is also part alien with the ability to dream the future. Yes, this one character has hit the liberal and super-power jackpot. That’s only part of the annoyance.

Parthas is, in fact, a haven where humans and aliens live peacefully and progressively. They are so progressive that they even quickly and readily except gender dysphoria as normal.

[...]

Parthas is praised as some form of paradise, but any place that encourages transitioning young as “affirming an authentic self” sounds like a nightmare. Anyone who really cares about a family member or an “authentic self” should realize that most children who go through gender dysphoria eventually outgrow it by the time they become adults. If anything, transitioning Nia at a young age is probably the opposite of affirming her authentic self.

And Alexander Hall was not pleased that Facebook reported that its "LGBTQ employment has jumped to eight percent in 2018, far higher than the 2017 Gallup Poll estimate that claims only 4.5 percent of the national population is LGBT," a 14.29 percent jump. He huffed that "This won’t surprise social conservatives, who have complained heavily about mistreatment on the platform — especially on moral issues like marriage." Hall is conveniently ignoring all the times Facebook has sucked up to conservatives to respond to that criticism.

We have an idea: Hall should disclose what percentage of the MRC workforce is LGBTQ -- if he has the guts.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:59 PM EST
Thursday, February 7, 2019
CNN Derangement Syndrome: MRC Feeds Conspiracy Theory Over Roger Stone's Arrest
Topic: Media Research Center

We were a bit surprised to see CNSNews.com latch onto the conspiracy theory that CNN cameras were present at Roger Stone's arrest because they were tipped off by Robert Mueller instead of, say, had been following the story long enough to know that he was being arrested and staking out his house just in case.

Given that, we are less surprised to see that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, hates CNN enough to give the conspiracy theory a test ride as well.

Chief CNN-hater Curtis Houck wrote in a Jan. 25 post:

Americans awoke Friday morning to find that, as expected, Trump associate and InfoWars fan Roger Stone been arrested by the FBI at his Ft. Lauderdale, Florida home on seven counts related to the Trump-Russia probe. 

But what made this long-expected arrest surprsing? Well, somehow CNN had a camera and producer on scene for the arrest, airing by 6:37 a.m. Eastern providing footage of armed agents swarming his house. According to CNN, they just had a hunch. 

Not surprisingly, more than a few people are skeptical of this and, also not surprisingly, CNN is puffing its chestwhile attacking those expressing doubts.

The rest of Houck's post was dedicated to on-air CNN discussions about how its cameras captured Stone's arrest, including the key assertion from a CNN producer that reporters had noticed "unusual grand jury activity" the day before that was suggestive of a Stone arrest. But Houck refused to concede CNN's point that the "skeptical" conspiracy-mongers are wrong. He linked to a right-wing Daily Caller article that similarly advances the conspiracy theory without telling readers it's bogus.

Houck and the MRC hate CNN so much that it can't even give the network credit for a scoop without mixing a conspiracy theory into it. The MRC has also refused to correct the record after spreading the false claim that CNN scripted a question for a Parkland massacre survivor at a CNN-televised forum.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:51 PM EST
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Failing War Against Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's narrative that Facebook is unrelentingly hostile to conservatives keeps getting undermined every time it's revealed how much Facebook is sucking up to conservatives in an attempt to respond to those attacks. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EST
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Time For Another Bogus Trump Coverage Study
Topic: Media Research Center

Since the Trump presidency started, the Media Research Center has pushed narrowly defined studies purporting to show that the media's coverage of President Trump has been highly negative. As we've pointed out, the MRC's studies 1) focus only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and suggests it's indicative of all media; 2) pretends there was never any neutral coverage of Trump by explicitly rejecting neutral coverage in favor of dishonestly tallying only "explicitly evaluative statements"; 3) fail to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story; and 4) fail to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. Not only does the MRC get huffy when the extreme narrowness of its so-called studies are highlighted, it actively encourages falsely extrapolating its bogus results into an indictment of the media as a whole.

The latest installment came on Jan. 15, and Rich Noyes began by falsely conflating his tiny sliver of "research" as representative of the entire "establishment media": "At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, the establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting, but polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President." Fox News has been firmly established for more than 20 years, but Noyes will never admit it's part of the "establishment media."

Noyes does admit that "neutral statements" are excluded from the MRC's work, then bizarrely complains that the so-called "negative" coverage of Trump peaked when "a White House aide [was] accused of domestic abuse." Noyes did not explain what positive spin the networks should have been done to lower that number.

That, of course, is one key flaw in the MRC's methodology -- it refuses to acknowledge that at least some negative coverage is deserved.

Still, Noyes concludes by whining: "The media elite have clearly waded into the political fray to wage war against this President. But have they accomplished anything beyond cementing their reputation as political partisans, not objective journalists?"

Yes, that's coming from an organization whose "media research" lacks all objectivity and is narrowly designed to reinforce a right-wing narrative instead of following where the evidence leads.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Saturday, February 2, 2019
MRC's Double Standard on Vandalism
Topic: Media Research Center

In March 2017, Tom Blumer, the departed contributing editor to the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog, was offended that a Washington Post report on "far-left environmental vandals" defacing a Donald Trump-owned golf course called it "a daring act of defiance." "In a sane world, reporter Peter Holley and anyone else who reviewed the post before it went live would be severely and publicly disciplined," Blumer complained, adding that "The original report did not characterize the actions as "vandalism" until its fourth paragraph." Blumer further huffed of the vandals: "They and their destructive sympathizers are surely thrilled to see their handiwork given such prominent national visibility."

But the MRC has since found some vandalism it can get behind and give prominent national visibility to. Gabriel Hays cheerfully wrote in a Jan. 14 post:

It turns out there are still a few good-humored, politically-incorrect folks in Hollywood after all. Over the weekend, lefty-bashing street artist provocateurs publicly slammed HBO’s Bill Maher with a satirical billboard depicting him not as the thought leader he imagines himself to be, but as a rote purveyor of mainstream liberal propaganda. Specifically he was made fun of as being an “NPC.”

On Sunday  pranksters from conservative street artist group “The Faction” decided to point out the fact that Maher might actually belong to this category, going after a Real Time with Bill Maher billboard located at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard & West Holloway in West Hollywood. “The Faction” spray painted a gray, expressionless face over Maher’s  and changed the image’s tagline from “The Whole Truth and Nothing But” to “The Whole Narrative and Nothing But.” They also changed “HBO” to “NPC.”

Hays never uses the word "vandals" to describe the perpetrators -- they're "street artist provocateurs" -- or the word "vandalism" to describe what they did -- it's just "satirical" (though he did complain about Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star "being vandalized multiple times since his election."

Clearly, Hays and his editors were not "severely and publicly disciplined" for endorsing vandalism the way the MRC was demanding of others not too long ago, even though we can assume that The Faction and their destructive sympathizers are surely thrilled to see their handiwork given such prominent national visibility by the MRC. (Of course, the MRC couldn't even do that with the editors who let the white-nationalist links in Blumer's NewsBusters posts get through whatever editing process it claims to have, and then to stand unchallenged for years before it was pointed out to them).

In other words, more MRC hypocrisy.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« February 2019 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL