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Wednesday, October 17, 2018
MRC Forgets It Used To Hate Kanye West
Topic: Media Research Center

Kanye West is suddenly the Media Research Center's favorite rapper, now that he's hanging out with President Trump. As a result, he's now getting the full right-wing defense:

  • Ryan Foley huffed that "many" people at CNN "spent the entire week slamming Kanye West as mentally ill and/or directing racial slurs at him."
  • Foley also complained that CNN's Chris Cuomo called the Kanye-Trump meeting a "traveshamockery," adding that "Cuomo also made sure to take shots at West’s mental health ... as he attempted to make the case that people should not take the meeting between President Trump and West seriously."
  • Nicholas Fondcaro grumbled that "the broadcast networks spent 5 minutes and 59 seconds on Kanye’s visit to the White House (ABC = 1 minute, 58 seconds; CBS = 2 minutes, 4 seconds; NBC = 1 minute, 57 seconds). But when it came to the policy proposals Kanye and [Jim] Brown were there to promote, the nets punted with a total of 27 seconds."
  • Scott Whitlock claimed that "When it comes to the so-called mainstream media, it’s a case of Kanye West vs. Kanye West" since some media outlets who now criticize West "gushed over the 'thoughtful' entertainer when he derided then-President George W. Bush as a racist."

But Whitlock and the rest of his MRC cohorts will not remind you that it's Kanye vs. Kanye at the MRC as well. Until his political flip-flop, the MRC despised West.

In 2011, the MRC's Erin Brown was outraged that a preview for the video for West's song "Monster" "shows the rapper making sexual advances to a dead or drugged female corpse in his bed, and several dead, lingerie-clad women are seen hanging with chains around their necks." Brown added: "West has objectified women in his videos before such as the 2005 hit 'Gold Digger,' in which attractive young females were seen throughout the video in provocative lingerie dancing around West. But none have gone so far as 'Monster,' which sexually objectifies a woman to the point of death."

Catherine Maggio complained that "Monster" includes "28 F-words," adding about the video: "West's so-called "art piece" opens revealing a dead, young girl, hanging from a ceiling in a noose, wearing nothing but underwear and heels. The video is centered around the graphic violence against and the death of the women in the video, who are often shown wearing only underwear or lying face down, naked, bloody and dead. We are warned before the video that it is to be taken as art, but the saddest thing is that violence and necrophilia would be considered 'art' by anyone at all."

A 2012 post by Paul Wilson declared that West and Jay-Z "have once again expressed their love of gratuitous violence" through their song "No Church in the Wild," the video for which includes "anti-police riots."Wilson further huffed that "Kanye showed up to support the Occupy Movement wearing expensive gold chains," which made him "the embodiment of the 1 percent."

In 2013, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard cheered a Jay Leno joke about "Kanye West wanting to be the Obama of clothing saying, 'To achieve his goal, he's designing fashion nobody wants and offering it on a website that doesn't work.'"

Sheppard also mocked -- given current events, highly ironically -- one commentator's suggestion that President Obama should meet with West: "Does the President of the United States really need a vulgar, anti-Semitic manager who thinks Obama's inability to get his agenda passed is because black people don't have the connections that Jewish people do?"

In a 2013 column, MRC chief Brent Bozell bashed Weset as a "nattering, narcissistic rapper" and whined that the New York Times was "pandering to West's colossal self-regard," He took offense to West's criticism of Bush, claiming that "West lashed, for no reason, and stupidly, arrogantly, and rudely declared that President Bush 'doesn’t care about black people.,'" then added: "West aspires to be a limousine leftist, a race-baiting revolutionary driving a $760,000 Lamborghini. How many poor Katrina victims could he feed if he didn’t have those car payments?"

And in another 2013 column headlined "Kanye, Go Away," Bozell took offense to Kanye  "ofending the Jews" by saying blacks "don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people." Bozell ranted that "This oppressed man is worth an estimated $100 million. But victimization is way too seductive to let go." Bozell added:

It’s just ridiculous that mega-rich black rappers complain about their terrible plight. Or is that all just part of their cynical marketing? Don’t count it as a political act. It’s a craven business strategy. Aren’t they and their race-baiting enablers easily accused of strangling the people’s view of what is possible in America? If Kanye West can’t handle the heat of public opinion – especially the opinion of people who live outside the bubble of his ideological apple-polishers –  he should just go away.

The other night he performed in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, a venue that was 75 percent empty. Maybe I’m not the only one wishing him to go away.

Funny how none of this derogatory history was referenced by the MRC in its Trump-era defense of West.

Bozell and the MRC clearly aren't wishing for Kanye to go away anymore -- at least, not as long they can exploit him in order to boost Trump.

UPDATE: In its Kanye flip-flop, the MRC is doing the same thing it accused the media of doing when President Obama invited the rapper Common to the White House in 2011 for a poetry event. Scott Whitlock huffed that Common "has repeatedly defended cop killers such as Mumia Abu-Jamal," and Tim Graham took offense to Common's lyric that God "was able to Barack us" and declared that the media assert that "raising questions about songs honoring convicted cop killers was not a legitimate line of inquiry" (of course, the MRC no longer considers raising questions about Kanye's song a legitimate line of inquiry).

And of course, Bozell felt compelled to rant: "Everyone from record companies to record buyers should be condemned for enabling "music" that glamorizes killing police officers. It's ridiculous and offensive that a black multi-millionaire like Common can still pretend America and the police officers who protect Americans of all colors are racist. It's even more offensive that this man would be honored as a poet at the People's House." Again, Bozell will never raise this issue about Kanye.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 5:28 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
MRC Is Mad Wikipedia Banned Unreliable Fake-News Website As A Source
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver whines in an Oct. 3 post:

Want a place where you can gain a full understanding of any topic, from any perspective? Then Wikipedia is not the place for you.

The editors who can’t seem to prevent the California GOP from being listed as Nazis on their platform have decided that Breitbart can’t be used as a source or reference. One editor wrote, “I think that Breitbart is not a reliable source. It’s my view that we should not source anything to Breitbart other than strictly factual and uncontroversial facts about Breitbart on the articles related to Breitbart and its people.”

Strangely, Weaver never specifically identifies Breitbart as a conservative operation, but does huff that "A site that removes conservative voices from its references is being used for tech companies to promote what they see as the truth."

Weaver also censored the evidence cited in the Vice article she cited as the source for her report that Breitbart is unreliable:

Breitbart, a far-right conservative media website, has come under scrutiny—such as when it vehemently supported Alabama politician and alleged pedophile Roy Moore, when it shilled for scam cryptocurrencies through its newsletter, or when it fueled racist narratives about black NFL players. 

Indeed, Breitbart editor Alex Marlow admitted his operation publishes fake news to protect President Trump. And even Republican voters trust "mainstream" outlets like the New York Times over Breitbart.

But Weaver won't tell you that. Instead she hides the full truth in order to shoehorn the story into the MRC's narrative that social media companies are trying to censor conservatives. She never explains why a website that reports fake news and biased attacks -- even if it's conservative -- must be shielded from scrutiny.

A conserative voice is not being removed from Wikipedia's references -- a factually dubious one is. Weaver is too much of a partisan to admit the difference ... or the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Sunday, October 14, 2018
MRC Finds An Anonymous Source It Likes -- Because It Attacked Kavanaugh Accuser
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spends no small amount of time ranting about the "liberal media's" use of anonymous sources. For instance, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham ranted that the Washington Post "quotes anonymous sources multiple times a day" in order to make President Trump look bad, and Jeffrey Lord denounced the anonymous Trump administration staffer who wrote a New York Times op-ed assuring the country that there were indeed adults in the room when Trump goes on dangerout tangents as a "self-righteous idiot" who "anonymously showcase[d] Inside-the-Beltway arrogance."

But in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh saga, the MRC was demanding that the media promote an unverified, anonymously sourced claim. Kristine Marsh huffed in an Oct. 3 post:

ABC, CBS and the first two hours of NBC’s morning news programs completely ignored a damning letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week by Christine Blasey Ford’s ex-boyfriend, which contradicted several of Ford’s statements under oath. The only mention of the letter during the networks’ morning news coverage came during the third hour of Today, with host Megyn Kelly.

The letter obtained by Fox News late Tuesday, was written by a man who said he dated Ford for 6 years, with some of that time being spent living together. In the letter, he contradicted many of Ford’s statements under oath, the most important being that she had never prepared or helped anyone prepare for a polygraph test before.

[...]

The rest of the letter also calls into question Ford’s credibility, as many of the stories she told on the witness stand about the trauma she’s suffered don’t add up to what the former boyfriend experienced living with her. Despite telling the committee she needed two front doors installed on her home, he pointed out they lived in a tiny apartment for years with only one front door and frequently took trips flying together, even on a small propellor plane. He also claimed that Ford lied to him once about using his credit card to rack up debt, and only admitted to it once he threatened to call the bank’s fraud prevention department.

But instead of reporting on this important letter, the networks diverted attention to a New York Times’ report on President Trump’s supposed tax evasion revealed in his father’s tax returns. The networks also spent time giving credence to a letter written by Kavanaugh during his youth that joked about warning neighbors at a spot he and friends would be vacationing at, that they were a rowdy, group of drunks. So clearly letters are important pieces of evidence to the media only when they corroborate the narrative they are trying to argue.

For all of the MRC's repeated insistence that Ford's claims against Kavanaugh were never corroborated, Marsh offers no evidence the ex-boyfriend's claims have ever been corroborated -- indeed, the woman for whom Ford puroprtedly helped prepare for that polygraph emphatically denied the claim by stating that it "NEVER" happened (all-caps are hers), something Marsh nor anyone else at the MRC bothered to tell their readers -- and Marsh downplays the fact that the ex-boyfriend is hiding behind anonymity, something the MRC was heretofore repeatedly offended by.

Over at the MRC's echo-chamber "news" division CNSNews.com, managing editor Michael W. Chapman emphasized that "The signed letter by the ex-boyfriend is legally binding, which means that if he lied, he faces a felony penalty of up to five years in prison, explained a spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee." He similarly played down the anonymous nature of the accusation. He did add the woman's denial of the anonymous claim in an update to his article, though he inexplicably took her all-caps "NEVER" statement out of all-caps and made the word lowercase.

Without double standards, it seems the MRC wouldn't have any standards at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EDT
Saturday, October 13, 2018
More Bogus "Media Research" From The MRC on Kavanaugh Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

The bogus, shoddy count of the word "rape" used in connection with Brett Kavanaugh, devoid of context or an admission of its news value, isn't the only bit of bogus "media research" the Media Research Center has engaged in while trying to protect and defend Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. A Sept. 26 item by Brad Wilmouth claims under the misleading headline "Study: TV News Is Rigged Against Brett Kavanaugh":

During the twelve days since Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein publicly announced the existence of an unspecified allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have spent nearly six hours (344 minutes) regurgitating various unproved allegations against the Supreme Court nominee.

But only a tiny percentage of that coverage — a measly eight percent — has been devoted to Kavanaugh’s denials and the lack of corroboration for his accusers’ accounts.

The headline is misleading because it alludes to purported bias by all of "TV news" when, in fact, the MRC once again did its usual highly narrow focus on only the broadcast TV networks and pretended that Fox News doesn't exist.

Wilmouth's study in dishonest in other ways. Wilmouth complained that "Back on September 14, Kavanaugh issued a statement “categorically and unequivocally” denying Ford’s charges. For most of the coverage that followed, his flat denial was relegated to a few seconds in lengthy stories about the charges — sometimes no more than a parenthetical clause that reporters mechanically inserted in stories that bombarded viewers with the salacious details of each accusation." Wilmouth didn't explain how Kavanugh's "flat denial" could have been stretched out to match the detailed allegations provided by Christine Blasey Ford.

Wilmouth was also obsessed with trying to portray "Ford's politics" as the partisan motivation for her accusations against Kavanaugh:

On September 17, National Public Radio — hardly a right-wing outlet — passed along how Ford’s lawyer, Lisa Banks, said the accuser “was not motivated by politics,” but NPR added crucial context to that statement: “Ford is a registered Democrat who has made small political contributions to Democratic organizations. In April 2017, she attended a March For Science in San Francisco, which was held to protest Trump administration cuts to research, and she signed a letter in June 2018 condemning the Trump administration’s policy, since abandoned, of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.”

None of these facts made it onto the broadcast networks. Only NBC bothered to mention this topic, when on September 17 Today co-host Savannah Guthrie invited Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, to knock down the idea that partisanship was a factor: “According to the Washington Post, she’s a Democrat. A lot of people look at this and say here’s somebody who has a political motive to tell this story. What would you say to that?”

That amounted to just 12 seconds of airtime, which was still better than ABC and CBS, which never spent a second telling viewers about Ford’s liberal activism. You can be sure that if a liberal Supreme Court nominee was being accused by a woman with an equally conservative background, the networks would make sure viewers were aware of that background.

But Wilmouth himself omitted crucial context. Ford's political contributions since 2014, all to the liberal group ActBlue, totalled a whopping $80.50 -- hardly the mark of a fire-breathing partisan who would lie about Kavanaugh for political purposes, as Wilmouth seems to be implying she is.

Such politically motivated "media research" shows why the MRC's work isn't taken seriously outside partisan circles, who will treat Wilmouth's misleading headline as undisputed fact ... as the MRC intends.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT
Thursday, October 11, 2018
MRC Follows McAleer's Script To Promote His 'Gosnell' Movie
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how for years, the Media Research Center has been the willing -- and, apparently, secretly paid -- servant of Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney to promote the crowdfunding for, and making of, their film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell that's designed to advance a right-wing anti-abortion agenda. The movie is finally set for release on Oct. 12, and the MRC has been ramping up the publicity for it -- again, it seems, as McAleer's direction.

When conservative Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis received "leaked" emails from "Gosnell" executive producer John Sullivan of his negotiations with National Public Radio over wording in proposed advertising sponsorships in promoting the movie -- read: Sullivan eagerly gave him the emails -- both the MRC and its "news" division CNSNews.com eagerly regurgitated the tiny controversy. Never mind that the emails themselves were the point of Sullivan's stunt; it's unlikely that Suliivan ever intended to actually advertise on NPR, and he likely intended to create this email chain for the express purpose of "leaking" it to a friendly outlet who would used them to 1) promote the film and 2) portray the media as biased against his little film. 

When actor Dean Cain, who stars in the film, was doing publicity for it, that got rapt MRC coverage as well. A Sept. 24 MRC item by Brad Wilmouth dutifully transcribed Cain's recounting of "the challenges he faced in producing and advertising the film" as well as how he "called out the double standard employed by liberals on issues of sexual assault." Wilmouth even regurgitated the McAleer-Sullivan PR line about how "We couldn't even buy ad time on NPR because we called him an 'abortion doctor.'"

The next day, Katie Yoder -- the MRC's most enthusiastic PR agent for McAleer -- spun for Cain and his film once more:

Actor Dean Cain calls himself “pro-choice,” but that didn’t stop him starring in an upcoming film revealing the horror story of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Cain stars as Detective James “Woody” Wood in Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer, which opens in as many as 750 theaters October 12. MRC Culture interviewed Cain Sept. 21 at Family Research Council’s 2018 Values Voter Summit. He called Gosnell’s crimes “absolutely ghastly” and guessed that the media’s silence surrounding Gosnell was because “abortion’s a bad word.”

Yoder even credulously promoted Cain's blatantly false insistence that "We’re not taking sides in this film" or "trying to preach to anybody" but just "telling the story."

We know that's false because of McAleer's history as a right-wing polemicist (he previously made a film that engaged in the right-wing practice of bashing the idea of global warming) and by the simple fact of the MRC's heavy promotion of the film. If McAleer was, in fact, not taking sides, would the MRC be working so hard to promote his film?

And don't forget that McAleer was sued for defamation a judge involved in the Gosnell trial after McAleer portrayed him in his related book on the case as part of "Philadelphia's liberal corrupt government." The MRC ever-so-briefly noted the existence of the lawsuit and that it was settled out of court, paving the way for release of the film, but Yoder and crew expressed no curiosity whatsoever about the terms of the settlement. Of course, that's negative news that would eat into the precious PR space. that McAleer is apparently paying the MRC to engage in.

CNS also did an interview with Cain in which he advanced the same bogus claim that "we don't preach in the film." It also publishesd a column by Michelle Malkin hyperbolically declaring the film "the most important movie in America right now."

Even the MRC's video-centric site MRCTV got into the promotional with an interview Nick Kangadis did with McAleer. Kangadis gushed over the film:

The actors in the film do an excellent job of bringing the script to life, as the viewer also learns so much about the case that they most likely didn’t know beforehand.

'Gosnell' should be a major eye-opener for anyone that watches it, whether the viewer is pro-life or pro-choice. It’s a very well-done film that grabs a hold of you in the first 10 minutes and doesn’t let go.

As with Yoder, it's almost as if he was being paid to say that.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:20 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
MRC Serves Up Bogus, Shoddy 'Research' On Kavanaugh Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

It is a day, so it must be time for another bit of bogus Media Research Center "research," courtesy of an Oct. 5 post by Bill D'Agostino and Rich Noyes:

During the past three weeks, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has received a deluge of news coverage accusing him of vile crimes, including attempted rape and even organizing gang rapes. Though these charges did not originate with the news media, the lack of satisfactory corroborating evidence should have caused ethical reporters to refrain from gratuitously repeating allegations that painted Kavanaugh in a monstrous light.

The media have shown no such restraint. Take CNN as a case in point. MRC analysts reviewed all of the network’s Kavanaugh coverage during an 18-day period from September 16 through October 3 and found CNN’s on-air anchors, reporters and contributors associated Kavanaugh with the word “rape” 191 times, or more than ten times per day. Note that this does not include the many other instances in which the word was used by guests, or by participants at live or replayed news events (such as the hearing on September 27). This count also excluded milder synonyms, such as “sexual assault.”

[...]

Hour after hour, the likes of Alisyn Camerota (New Day), Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360), and Don Lemon (CNN Tonight) performed laborious readings of Ford’s opening statement on their shows. These were supplemented with clips of Ford reading the statement herself, as well as a videotape in which CNN International correspondent Sarah Sidner summarized the document.

The following passage in particular was given considerable airtime: “I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming.”

In other words, the MRC is complaining that Ford's words were accurately quoted -- that CNN is guilty of reporting.

As usual, the MRC provides none of the raw data in the form of the quotes in full context. The fact that it won't do that shows that it knows it's attacking CNN for correctly quoting Ford.

So it must distract with a good ol' Clinton Equivocation:

Nearly 20 years ago, Juanita Broaddrick accused then-President Bill Clinton of raping her while he was the Attorney General of Arkansas — reportedly leaving her with a bloody lip and the words, “You’d better put some ice on that.” In the 18 days which followed Broaddrick’s story appearing in the Wall Street Journal (February 19, 1999), a Nexis search found CNN’s on-air personalities (also excluding guests) only talked about Clinton as an alleged “rapist” 34 times, and then mostly on talk shows like CNN & Company (12 times) and Larry King Live (9 times). That’s less than one-fifth the rate at which CNN today have tarred Brett Kavanaugh with the same devastating label.

The caution with which CNN approached Broaddrick’s claims back then makes their handling of the Kavanaugh controversy appear all the more punishing.

First: Note the different search databases used: the MRC's own database for the Kavanaugh clips, Nexis for the Broaddrick clips. They're not equivalent, largely because it's unclear that CNN was transcribing its entire broadcast day for Nexis in 1999; some networks made only prime-time or branded shows available, meaning that it's likely CNN's run-of-the-mill news coverage that was not part of a branded program was never submitted to Nexis -- and, thus, making the MRC's data not necessarily an accurate reflection of what was actually broadcast on CNN.

So: we have another selectively edited piece of "media research" that ignores context to hide the fact that reporting is accurate, complete with an unreliable apples-to-oranges comparison to previous coverage and another refusal to make the raw data public.

This is the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Ray Lewis Hypocrisy
Topic: Media Research Center
When the former NFL star started spouting conservative-friendly platitudes about God and family, the Media Research Center and its "news" division CNS stopped reminding readers about Lewis' involvement in a double-murder case. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
Sunday, October 7, 2018
MRC Thinks Partisan Fox News Anchor Is 'Respected'
Topic: Media Research Center

It's a sad sign of the right-wing media bubble the Media Research Center lives in that it considers every Fox News anchor (who isn't named Shepard Smith, that is) to be an unchallenged paragon of fairness and accuracy.

We saw that again in a Sept. 26 MRC post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who was upset that NBC's Chuck Todd pointed out that Suypreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's softball interview with Fox News' Martha MacCallum called into question his professed desire to be neutral and impartial, adding, "It was jarring to see him not even sit in front with the Fox News journalist, but with one of the opinion show hosts." Fondacaro huffed in response that this was "a cheap shot at the respected Martha MacCallum."

Fondacaro never explained on what planet outside his right-wing bubble MacCallum is considered "respected." Indeed, a fiew days before her interview with Kavanaugh, MacCallum was openly advocating for him, complaining: "'Sickening' was the word I heard most often this weekend to describe what is happening. Innocent until proven guilty is how we do this in America." She also mouthed a Republican talking point on Kavanaugh by complaining, "Senate duty to advise and consent has become 'Search and Destroy.'" And her interview with Kavauaugh was such a softball endeavor that she ignored several crucial issues surrounding the allegations against him.

Indeed, MacCallum has a long history of using her presence on Fox News to advocate for conservative and Republican policies. Apparently, that bias is what makes her "respected" in Fondacaro's bubble.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:38 PM EDT
Friday, October 5, 2018
MRC Normalizes Teen Drinking to Defend Kavanaugh
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the ways the Media Research Center has defended Brett Kavanaugh through the Supreme Court nomination process is to insist that teenage drinking, even to the level allegedly consumed by Kavanaugh that was testified to and hinted at, is totally normal and not unhealthy at all -- and tried to parse Kavanaugh's words to claim he really didn't get that drunk or that he didn't mislead anyone about his youthful drinking.

In a Sept. 27 post, Nicholas Fondacaro highlighted how Kavanuagh addressed "an accusation that he would routinely get blackout drunk. As nearly any college student can tell you, there is a vast difference between getting really hammered and getting blackout drunk."

Another Sept. 27 post by Clay Waters claimed that Kavanaugh's reportedly heavy drinking during college is "an aspect of college life hardly unique to Kavanaugh."

A post by Bill D'Agostino complained that MSNBC hosts was "comparing his statements in a Fox News interview to a portion of his sworn testimony submitted to the Committee" regarding college era drinking, further huffing that the hosts did not "share how attending church and focusing on school work might have precluded him from consuming too much alcohol on weekends."

D'Agostino followed up by grousing that another MSNBC host "donned her armchair psychologist’s hat and claimed that his highly emotional delivery proved that he was an abusive drunk." That's a funny claim given how many MRC employees are armchair mind-readers.

Jay Maxson touted how Kavanaugh's college friend Chris Dudley, a former pro basketball player, "vouch[ed] for Kavanaugh's character" and that Kavanaugh "never blacked out," adding: "Did he get inebriated sometimes? Yes. Did I? Yes. Just like every other college kid in America."

Fondacaro repeated his parsing defense in a Sept. 30 post: "But Kavanaugh admitted to being a heavy drinker during his late-high school and college years in his testimony. The Judge only contended he never got 'blackout drunk'. That’s a big difference, ask nearly any college student. "

Fondacaro returned in an Oct. 3 post to defending Kavanaugh from claims that he had portrayed himself as a "choir boy" in his Senate testimony: "Kavanaugh admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he drank a lot in his youth and he used to do stupid things."

Fondacaro once more insisted there's a "huge difference" between drinking a lot and blacking out in an Oct. 5 post:

In both the Judge’s interview with Fox News and his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he admitted that he drank heavily in his youth and did stupid things. That is fact.

Kavanaugh’s contention was that he never got “blackout drunk,” a huge difference. And no matter how many of Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmates told CNN that he “lied” about drinking a lot, it doesn’t change the fact that he did admit it and he’s the only one that would know if he “blacked out.”

Of course, the whole point of being blackout drunk is that you don't remember it, which would make Kavanaugh an decidedly imperfect authority on whether he did so or how he behaved while under that condition. Fondacaro surely knows that.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:27 PM EDT
Thursday, October 4, 2018
MRC Attacks Journalist For Writing About Kavanaugh -- But Loved Her A Few Months Ago When She Targeted A Democrat
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was in the kill-the-messenger phase of the Brett Kavanaugh story when Geoffrey Dickens wrote a Sept. 26 post complaining about the "hit piece" co-written by the New Yorker's Jane Mayer about Kavanaugh's drunken college years replete with allegations of sexual misbehavior. Dickens huffed that "a look at her past demonstrates why her work should be taken with biggest grains of salt as she has become a go-to author for partisan attack stories," adding that her Kavanaugh story is "just the latest in a long list of hit pieces against conservatives."

But Dickens makes sure to leave off the list one prominent story that discredits his conspiracy theory -- and one that the MRC itself touted.

As Mayer herself reminds people like Dickens who reflexively accuse her of anti-conservative bias, she co-wrote in May with Ronan Farrow (who co-wrote the Kavanaugh piece with her) an article detailing sexual misconduct by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which caused him to resign a mere three hours after its publication.

Since Schneiderman was a Democrat who targeted President Trump's shady business dealings, the MRC loved that story:

  • Tim Graham touted "The New Yorker revelations of Schneiderman’s allegedly violent behavior toward girlfriends."
  • Kyle Drennen noted an MSNBC appearance by "Jane Mayer, who actually co-authored the article that revealed Scheiderman’s alleged abusive behavior toward women which led to his resignation."
  • Tom Blumer highlighted "Jane Mayer's and Ronan Farrow's bombshell New Yorker piece" that "succinctly summarized the horrors" of Schneiderman. Another Blumer piece relayed how "Now-former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's serial and often violent mistreatment of women chronicled on Monday at The New Yorker."

Other MRC pieces referenced the Schneiderman scandal without mentioning Mayer of the New Yorker.

Nevertheless, the MRC has it in for Mayer, mostly due to its longtime obsession with Anita Hill. As Dickens writes: "Mayer first enjoyed the liberal limelight when she (along with co-author Jill Abramson) released her anti-Clarence Thomas book in 1994. The book Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas was such a hit with the left, Mayer and company were rewarded with Showtime turning it into a 1999 movie." Dickens offers no evidence that "Strange Justice" was "anti-Clarence Thomas"; perhaps he's confusing being pro-truth for being anti-conservative.

The fact that the MRC loved Mayer just a few months ago but hates her now solely on the basis of who she writes about goes a long way to explaining the partisan shallowness that guides the MRC and why its "media research" shouldn't be trusted.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:32 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2018 7:00 PM EDT
Sunday, September 30, 2018
MRC Denounces Those Who Liken Trump, Conservatives to Nazis -- But Its Senior Fellow Attacked 'Demzis'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center doesn't like it when someone in the media tries to liken President Trump or conservatives in general to Nazis. For instance:

  • Kristine Marsh denounced a "ridiculous segment" on MSNBC in which panelists "claim[ed] Trump was behaving like a Nazi."
  • Curtis Houck attacked a CNN segment that "subtly painted Tea Partiers as angry, irrational conspiracy theorists who ran around with signs depicting the President as the Joker or a Nazi."
  • Ryan Foley grumbled that Fox News host Laura Ingraham was likened to a neo-Nazi over an anti-immigration rant despite "Ingraham making it perfectly clear that she did not intend for her comments to come off as racist."

That outrage, needless to say, does not extend to anyone who likens a non-conservative to Nazis -- indeed, it seems the MRC encourages such attacks. Case in point: An Aug. 6 column by MRC senior fellow Allen West, published at MRC "news" division CNSNews.com, is a rant about how ">much of what the venerable First Infantry Division stood against now seems to be penetrating our America." His first example: "Men who landed on Omaha Beach to fight against National Socialists (Nazis) now live in an America with avowed Democratic Socialists (Demzis)."

Also needless to say, West still has a job at the MRC. Hypocrisy at its finest.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EDT
Friday, September 28, 2018
MRC Goes Into Conspiracy Mode Over Kavanaugh
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent years attacking Hillary Clinton for saying that a "vast right-wing conspiracy" was out to destroy her husband's presidency in the 1990s. As recently as July, the MRC's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham mocked Clinton's claim as "ridiculous" (even though Bozell declared in 2001 that "Yes, Virginia, the vast right-wing conspiracy did exist all along!")

But Bozell and Graham have their own conspiracy to peddle now.

In their Sept. 25 column, unironically titled "The Vast Anti-Kavanaugh Conspiracy," the two rant at anyone who doesn't see the conspiracy they do against Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination:

Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi wrote a Sept. 25 article on liberal-media bias headlined "Kavanaugh Supporters See a Conspiracy Afoot." The Post painted this as a little crazy, like a UFO is involved. Can anyone imagine the idea of the Democrats and liberal reporters working hand in glove to torpedo a Republican nomination?

Maybe we can remember Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg in 1987, John Tower in 1989 or Clarence Thomas in 1991. Maybe we can recall John Ashcroft being tarred as a racist in 2001. In these cases and many others, "objective" reporters lined up and repeated the Democrat talking points as "news" and often succeeded in wrecking nominations.

Farhi lined up the deniers. "We aren't colluding with anyone about anything, including the Kavanaugh nomination," said Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post. "The conspiracy theories are pure nonsense and completely false."

"Pure nonsense"? The Post quotes anonymous sources multiple times a day, so how would anyone be able to piece together and figure out the entire collusion experience? The Post claims on the front page every day that "Democracy Dies in Darkness," and it disdains "dark money" in political campaigns. But it loves "dark sources" spicing up its incessant attacks on the Trump administration.

[...]

No one should believe any of these collusion deniers. No media outlet perpetuating this Kavanaugh-crushing conspiracy is nonpartisan, or disinterested. They are on a witch hunt.

Funny how conspiracies become real for Bozell when they can be politically exploited.

Having thus received its marching orders from the top, the rest of Bozell's MRC started going conspiracy-crazy.

Kristine Marsh alluded to one in a Sept. 26 post complaining about an ABC segment asking teens about the Kavanaugh controversy. She added in a update that one of the teens interviews was "accused of planting a question to Hillary Clinton during a 2016 townhall." Marsh relayed the conspiracy theory wrong; actually, the teen was accused by right-wing media of being a "child actor" plant at the townhall because she once had a small role in a short film. In fact, she was the daughter of a local politician who got to take part, and Clinton had no knowledge of her question beforehand.

In a Sept. 27 post, Nicholas Fondacaro went full Bozell in sneering at a "thick-headed" columnist, Kirsten Powers, who "couldn’t understand how Kavanaugh could think there was a conspiracy against him. "Fondacaro howled:

Hmm, maybe he knew the radical Democrats were out to destroy him because nearly all of them announced they were opposing his nomination before ever meeting with them. Some, in fact, were opposing anyone President Trump nominated. That’s not to mention that there were New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono who declared him guilty days before the hearing.

Or perhaps it was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who called Kavanaugh and his supporters evil. It could even have been the Democrats who pontificated that he was going to put the lives of millions at risk. Kavanaugh actually addressed this in his opening remarks, so for Powers to claim ignorance was just slimy.

Even as WorldNetDaily is becoming less WND-like due to its continued fight for survival, the MRC has decided to be even more WND-like by embracing political conspiracies it used to despise.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:06 PM EDT
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Mark Judge Worked For MRC Even Longer Than We Thought
Topic: Media Research Center

Earlier today, we documented the nearly complete failure of the Media Research Center to disclose that Mark Judge, the alleged witness to his prep-school drinking buddy and Supremen Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault on Christine Blasey Ford, worked as a "blog reporter" for the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, for a year and a half. But there's an even deeper Judge connection the MRC has been silent on.

A few months after departing CNS, Judge was back to write blog posts for the MRC's video-centric operation MRCTV. Judge wrote for MRCTV beginning in April 2017 , and his final post was on Sept. 13 of this year -- just a few days before Ford's accusations against Kavanaugh and citing Judge's involvement in the incident.

As Media Matters documented, a few of Judge's MRCTV posts reflect his history of bigotry and borderline misogyny. For instance, Judge mocked comedian Amy Schumer as "big-boned Barbie" in a May 2017 post.

Judge is also clearly not fond of the LGBT community. On July 24, he ranted about a Broadway play that he portrayed as "a lecture from transgenders" and speculated that there is no such thing as a "straight white playwright." Another Judge post positively reviewed a book he said claimed that "the modern transgender phenomenon and its defenders share a similar mentality to that which produced Nazi Germany."

Interestingly, while every other MRC operation has been loath to admit that Judge worked for it, two of the four MRCTV's posts referencing Judge in relation to Kavanaugh as of this writing (though not the two written in the past day) not only disclose that "Mark Judge is a freelance writer who has written pieces for MRCTV," they link to Judge's MRCTV archive. Did someone down the hall corral the MRCTV folks and remind them of the Judge omerta?

Meanwhile, the omerta continues at the rest of the MRC. A Sept. 27 MRC post by Kyle Drennen mentioned Judge in passing but not his work for the MRC. And a Sept. 27 CNS article by Susan Jones attempting to undercut Ford's veracity by highlighting her Senate testimony that she "said hello" to Judge at his job at a grocery store parentically noted that "For the record, Judge has written about his drunken/hungover high school years" but didn't disclose, parenthetically or otherwise, that Judge wrote for the MRC for more than three years.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2018 9:54 PM EDT
MRC Won't Tell You Kavanaugh's High School Drinking Buddy Used To Work For It
Topic: Media Research Center

References at the Media Research Center to Mark Judge, the prep-school classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who was reportedly in the room at the party where Christine Blasey Ford claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. At the MRC's NewsBusters, almost all references to Judge are in passing or limited to mentions in transcripts, except for one article that attacked a "massive error" in a New York Times story about Judge. At the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Judge is similarly mentioned only in passing.

The MRC has almost completely hidden the fact that Judge used to be an employee. From mid-2015 to early 2017, Judge was a "blog reporter" for CNS. Access to Judge's archive has been blocked by CNS, but the Internet Archive lists his archive through January 2017 (he left shortly thereafter).

None of those NewsBusters items mention Judge's MRC employment. The only CNS article or column referencing Judge that discloses it is a Sept. 19 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey admitted that Judge "used to be a writer for CNSNews.com," albeit not until the 15th paragraph of his story.

Much of Judge's CNS blog work focused on entertainment, celebrities and pop culture as seen through CNS' right-wing mission -- which is to say, praising conserative values and mocking what are portrayed as liberal values. Typical was an item featuring author S.E. Hinton denying any gay subtext in her classic teen novel "The Outsiders."

We've documented how Judge gushed over Mel Gibson, touting his then-new film "Hacksaw Ridge" and helped him tease his plans for a sequel to his Christian film "The Passion of the Christ" while hiding Gibson's ugly past.

Since the MRC's playbook on Kavanaugh is to protect him and attack his accusers, you likely won't read much about at any MRC website about Judge's days as a heavy-drinking prep student, or of the fact that Judge's memoir of said days references a "Bart O'Kavanaugh" who passes out drunk and throws up in a car.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
MRC Runs The Playbook Against Kavanaugh's Accusers
Topic: Media Research Center

Like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center proper is in heavy spin mode regarding the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

First order of business: minimize and dimiss the allegations. Gabriel Hays sniffed that it was "one paltry allegation of sexual assault" and whined that "Hollywood liberals have taken to social media to blast Kavanaugh for his alleged abusive past (if one unsubstantiated allegation can be called a past), because it’s the only thing they’ve got to delay his confirmation." When another claim of sexual misconduct surfaced, Hays declared it to be "flimsy," adding that "rabid lefties seek to annihilate his reputation and humanity before he’s found guilty of anything" -- apparently oblivious to the fact that he's a member of the brigade trying to destroy the reputation and humanity of Kavanaugh's accusers, in part by blithely dismissing their claims.

Next order of business: Beat up on Anita Hill (again). Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that one reporter "rewrote history and implied that Hill’s claims were credible," citing as evidence that, "according to polls done at the time, more people believed [Clarence] Thomas than Hill after the hearings were held." Gee, we weren't aware that public opinion polls were an accurate mesaure of one's credibility.

Geoffrey Dickens, meanwhile, complained that (while, yes, citing an opinion poll claiming more people bellieved Thomas than Hill) the media was using the same "playbook" against Thomas that it is purportedly using against Kavanaugh. It's more accurate to claim that the MRC is using the same playbook against Kavanaugh's accusers that it did against Hill.

(MRC boss Brent Bozell and underling Tim Graham have already denigrated Hill as "the Janet Cooke of sexual harassmsent.")

Third order of business: getting offended when anyone brings up the shameful history of sexual misconduct of Trump administration officials and conservatives in general when talking about Kavanaugh. Curtis Houck huffed that MSNBC host Katy Tur -- a longtime MRC target -- engaged in "skullduggery" that was "ghoulish at worst" in airing "a video mash-up comparing Kavanaugh to other men such as the late Roger Ailes, Corey Lewandowski, Roy Moore, and Rob Porter because they too were firmly defended by President Trump as they faced their own allegations of sexual impropriety." Houck also made sure to reference the first order of business by calling the claims against Kavanaugh "flimsy."

Fouirth order of business: equivocation. Ryan Foley touted how "Laura Ingraham pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrats, who 'howl for answers from Brett Kavanaugh in an opaque charge' while not 'asking the same of DNC co-chair Keith Ellison,' who faces credible abuse allegations from a former girlfriend." Foley didn't mention that Ellison, unlike Kavanaugh, is not upu for nomination to the Supreme Court, nor did he discuss the hypocrisy of himself and his employer obsessing over Ellison while downplaying the accusations against Kavanaugh.

Fondacaro combined a couple of the approaches in another post:

Despite the fact that the latest sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was so full of holes it looked like Swiss cheese, CBS Evening News actually scoffed at the notion that the accusations against him were part of a smear campaign during their Monday broadcast.

The scoff was intoned as CBS chief Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes was leading into her critical report. “In fact, they strongly reiterated their support for Kavanaugh today and suggested that these women might somehow be working together to smear the nominee,” she declared acting as though the Democrats weren’t the ones to dig up the newest accusation as has been reported.

Fondacaro didn't explain how he was able to read Cordes' mind to determine she "scoffed."

It's all in the MRC playbook, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EDT

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