MRC's Graham Ignores Maureen Dowd's Professional Jealousy Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loved New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd when she bashed the Clintons during the 1990s, but when she followed that by going after the Bush administration, they dismissed her as just another East Coast liberal -- Brent Bozell dismissed her as a "liberal windbag."
But now that Dowd has returned to Clinton-bashing, she's back in the MRC's good graces.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham devotes a July 14 NewsBusters post to praising Dowd for having "the audacity to knock Chelsea Clinton for giving speeches for $75,000 a pop, even if it went to the Clinton Foundation, which is designed for the further aggrandizement of the Clinton reputation."
But Graham ignores the idea that there may be a little professional jealousy behind Dowd's sniping. Media Matters notes that Dowd makes less than half of what Chelsea Clinton makes for her speeches, adding that "Dowd did not respond to a request for comment seeking to determine whether she donates her speaking fees to charity."
But then, Dowd was spouting the MRC party line, which earns her temporary immunity from having her motives questioned.
The American Conservative has a review of a new book about L. Brent Bozell Jr., an early conservative movement leader and the father of Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell III. In it, we learned some of the some of the father's behaviors that have shaped his son -- his "militant Catholicism" which at one point led him to move his entire family to Spain where he became an even more fervent Catholic; his early obsession with "life issues," and his evangelizing zeal"; and "Bozell’s manic depression, the embarrassing early incidents, the alcoholism, the inevitable personal injuries, and the intervention of police and, in one instance, embassy officials."
It's from this environment that Bozell III spring. Explains a lot, doesn't it?
MRC's Double Standard on Disclosure Topic: Media Research Center
Sean Long rants in a July 9 Media Research Center item:
The liberal media love to hate the Koch Brothers but are far less enthusiastic about connecting George Soros’ billions to liberal policies.
On July 6, Coral Davenport of The New York Times revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new regulations on power plant emissions were largely inspired by the work of environmental activists at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The broadcast networks have not mentioned the NRDC connection to the new regulations, and even the Times ignored that liberal mega-donor Soros has bankrolled the NRDC.
The Times called the EPA regulations “a remarkable victory for the National Resources Defense Council” for developing the “novel” framework that the EPA would adopt, but they also failed to mention the more than $1.7 million in Soros-funding the group received since 2004 ($1,771,893).
This is from the same MRC that defended Richard Mellon Scaife without disclosing that he donated more than $3 million to the MRC.
Apparently, the MRC's disclosure requirement applies to everyone else but the MRC.
MRC Defends Scaife, Doesn't Disclose He Was An MRC Donor Topic: Media Research Center
A July 4 NewsBusters post, attributed only to "NB Staff," complains that a New York Times obituary for Richard Mellon Scaife, "a longtime supporter of conservative causes," contains "nasty personal swipes."
Not only does "NB Staff" not dispute the accuracy of the information -- choosing instead to reprint a 1998 column by Brent Bozell defending Scaife -- it also fails to include a very important disclosure: Scaife-controlled foundations were major donors to NewsBusters' parent organization, the Media Research Center.
MRC's Bozell & Graham Upset Obama's Horning In On Their Media-Bashing Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham and Brent Bozell write in their July 2 column:
President Barack Obama treats the press like a spoiled child treats his parents. Despite the pampering, he just keeps complaining about them until he gets his way. As America tires of his inflated sense of self-importance while the economy limps and his foreign policy crumbles, Obama travels around the country complaining that the mean old media aren't complimentary enough.
He's trying to intimidate the press — especially those who are now elbowing their colleagues to hold him accountable for his growing list of fiascoes. How far the spoiled child has fallen.
Bozell and Graham seem upset that Obama's horning in on their territory. After all, intimidating the press and complaining that the mean old media aren't complimentary enough to their agenda is the raison d'etre for the Media Research Center.
Apparently, only conservatives are allowed to criticize "the media."
MRC Complains That Media Isn't Repeating Its False Attack On Obama Topic: Media Research Center
A July 1 Media Research Center item by Geoffrey Dickens carries the headline "89 Percent of Network Stories Omit Obama's Role in Causing Border Crisis." Dickens apparently hasn't considered the fact that this is because Obama didn't.
Dickens asserts that "the President’s own failure to enforce immigration laws" is "a cause for thousands of immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border." But in the very next paragraph he backs off, writing that it is only a "possible cause." That suggests that even Dickens knows he's making a claim not supported by fact.
Dickens then claimed that Obama "extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)" is allegedly one of "the ways the Obama administration has encouraged the flow of illegal immigrants." But DACA would not apply to any of the current refugees; to be eligible, an undocumented immigrant must have "continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time."Therefore, DACA cannot possibly be attracting these immigrants.
Curiously, Dickens is silent about the actual root cause of the current border crisis: drug violence in Central America. Even MRC subsidiary CNSNews.com has acknowledged that drug violence is to blame.
The only evidence Dickens provides to back up his attack on Obama is a generic link to MRC Latino's Facebook page and a link to an earlier MRC piece he wrote that simply quotes a Univision commentator blaming Obama (and also failing to mention the drug violence).
If you're ignoring basic, documented facts the way Dickens does, there's no way to take his "media research" seriously.
On NPR’s Morning Edition, anchor Steve Inskeep announced “It's Friday morning, which is when we hear from StoryCorps, which is marking the anniversary of a pivotal moment for gay rights -- the 1969 Stonewall riots – 45 years ago tomorrow, gay protesters clashed with police in New York. Now StoryCorps is launching an initiative to preserve the stories of LGBT people, which is called OutLoud.”
Inskeep turned to the testimony of a seventy-year old homosexual named Patrick Haggerty, who told a story about how he went to high school in rural Washington state with glitter on his face, and his father came to school in dirty farmer clothes. The father was hailed by the son: “I had the patron saint of dads for sissies.”
Inskeep came back to announce: “The interview is recorded in Seattle for OutLoud. That's StoryCorps initiative to collect LGBT stories. It will be archived at the Library of Congress and you can hear more about Stonewall on the podcast. Get it on iTunes and at npr.org.”
The whole "OutLoud" LGBT-celebrating enterprise is taxpayer-funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Graham is just as outraged that taxpayer money may have been used to talk to gay people as he is at NPR broadcasting it. Of course, Graham won't look at it as offsetting the tax-free money Graham and the MRC use to demonize gays.
MRC Unhappy Media Acknowledges Anti-Abortion Protesters Can Be Violent Topic: Media Research Center
Kyle Drennen complains in a June 27 Media Research Center item:
Despite Thursday's unanimous Supreme Court ruling that so-called "buffer zones" banning pro-life protests near abortion clinics was a violation of the First Amendment, all three network evening newscasts hyped assertions by abortion advocates that such unconstitutional measures "prevent violence at clinic entrances."
Drennen offered no evidence that the networks' reporting that anti-abortion protesters can be violent, beyond dismissing the idea as "NARAL spin."
MRC Upset Anti-Gay Protesters Identified As Anti-Gay Topic: Media Research Center
The headline on Katie Yoder's June 20 NewsBusters post reads "Surprise! Liberal Media Bash ‘March for Marriage’." Apparently, Yoder considers accurately identifying the marchers as opposing gay marriage to be "bashing":
Of course, the liberal media had a field day covering the march, painting it as anti-gay. The Washington Post’s headline read “Thousands Rally at U.S. Capitol Against Gay Marriage” (not, you know, “Thousands rally to support traditional marriage.”) RawStory also noted the “Opponents of same-sex marriage” along with San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate describing “thousands against gay marriage.”
But Yoder doesn't explain why supporting "traditional marriage" does not equal opposing gay marriage.
The MRC has a bit of a complex about the media accurately labeling things.
Bozell & Graham: Redskins Losing Trademark Is Obama's Fault, Somehow Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and Tim Graham use their June 20 column to rant about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office withdrawing trademark protection for the Washington Redskins, naturally blaming "the left, which has removed every moral objection to traditional understandings of profanity, continues its own crusade to ban words that violate their sensitivities on race, gender and sexual preference."
Yet it's President Obama's fault somehow, too. Bozell andGraham write that "A quick review of the PTO's record shows this was an overtly political decision — surely aimed at or requested by the White House." But they offer no evidence that the Obama White House was ever involved in the process. Still they conclude:
But say the word "Redskins," and the left collectively faints. In the case of the "R-word," a majority of the community has never been offended. Even a majority of the Indians have never been offended. But the left's crusade, using Obama's PTO, continues.
By reflexively blaming Obama, Bozell and Graham ignore the fact that the dispute over the Redskins trademark has been going on for years. As Sports Illustrated points out, the PTO first cancelled the trademark in 1999, but the decision was overturned by a federal court on appeal in 2003. Both of these events occurred before Obama was elected U.S. senator, let alone president.
Perhaps if Bozell and Graham didn't engage in such absurdly reflexive Obama-bashing, the Media Research Center might be taken more seriously.
MRC Writer Defends Bashing Film She Didn't Watch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Katie Yoder wrote twoarticles bashing the film "Obvious Child" for its abortion-related subject matter despite, as we noted, never having seen the film.
Yoder defends her deliberate ignorance in a June 18 MRC article and attacks the critics who called her out for bashing a film she hadn't seen as raising a "bogus" argument:
When “Obvious Child” hit theaters this month, conservatives were aghast the media glorified it – without irony – as an “abortion romantic comedy.” Liberals lashed back, claiming, like the movie’s Director Gillian Robespierre, that "[Conservatives bashing Obvious Child] haven't seen the movie; they're basing it on articles and trailers."
That defense is bogus. We are, after all, talking about the destruction of innocent human life – something nearly impossible to contextualize and utterly repulsive as a romantic comedy plot device.
Yoder's defensiveness is itself bogus. Simple journalistic honesty dictates that you first fully encounter something before you attack it. Apparently, the MRC doesn't teach its writers to do that.
Yoder's column is actually her account of finally bothering to go see the film -- not to behave responsibly, mind you, but to "play along" with her critics. But since Yoder has an agenda, she made sure to keep her mind closed, determined to find nothing whatsoever rewarding about the film:
After watching “Obvious Child” last week, I’m only more determined to continue my “bashing.” The difference is I sat through a lot of crude sex jokes. From comparing an abortion to a “drive-through” or a DMV visit to concocting a plot where every main female character aborted a baby at some point, the film sets out to normalize abortion as a part of everyday life. “Obvious Child” is in the end little more than slick pro-abortion agitprop.
Although adored by the “pro-choice” community and organizations like Planned Parenthood that lobbies we’re “not in her shoes” because abortion is “a deeply personal and often complex decision,” the movie surprisingly deemphasizes choice. With job loss, apartment loss, and a budding relationship, Donna’s “choice” appears limited – and never once does the camera hint at the process of her decision.
Yes, I empathized for Donna, felt her situation. But, at the same time, the movie forgets to voice women who choose life – AND women who choose abortion. The “comedy” makes a joke out of women who go through a difficult decision to abort and ignores regrets of women who do. They exist.
Of course, anything that doesn't slavishly follow the pro-life agenda is "pro-abortion agitprop" to Yoder, who appears to be mostly upset that the film won't demonize a character who has an abortion, as Yoder and her MRC colleagues strive to do in real life.
Since Yoder treated viewing the film as a chore to mollify critics instead of the open-minded fact-finding mission a real writer would have done, it's no surprise that she wasn't moved by it. She never had any intention of allowing that to happen.
NEW ARTICLE: A Cop-Killer's Best Friends Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center doesn't want to talk about how its operations earned Facebook likes from cop-killer Jerad Miller, and WorldNetDaily doesn't want to talk about how its anti-police rhetoric mirrors that of Miller's. Read more >>
MRC Desperately Tries To Discredit School-Shooting Statistic Topic: Media Research Center
When the group Everytown for Gun Safety came out with its statistic last week that there have been 74 school shootings since the Newtown massacre, the MRC knew it had to shoot it down, as it were.
In a June 11 MRC item, Matthew Balan dismissed Everytown for Gun Safety as a "pro-gun control group" founded by Michael Bloomberg, taking refuge in a conservative blog's insistence that gang violence and gun suicides don't count as "school shootings."
A June 12 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer called the group's number a "falsehood" and touted how CNN allegedly debunked the group's figure by focusing only on "situations similar to the violence in Oregon -- a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school." As Media Matters notes, this follows the strange right-wing logic, articulated by right-wing writer Charles C. Johnson, that"It's not a school shooting when someone goes and shoots a specific person on campus. It's a shooting that happens to take place at school."
In a June 13 item, Kristine Marsh attacked the group's purportedly "false data," as if people killed at school by means other than mass shootings didn't really die.
MRC Bashes Connection Between Cop-Killers And Right-Wingers, Ignores Cop-Killer's Fondness For MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is doing what it can to bash anyone who dares point out the fact that cop-killers Jerad and Amanda Miller had links to right-wing ideology:
A June 9 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer complains that Michael Eric Dyson tried to "connect the shooting in Las Vegas to conservative media and politicians."
a June 10 NewsBusters post by Laura Flint grumbled that MSNBC's Joy Reid said that the shootings proved the rise of “right-wing extremism.” Flint groused: "MSNBC is leaning forward so heavily on this meme that it’s falling over itself to paint blood on the hands of mainstream conservatives for the violence of mentally-disturbed extremists who have nothing to do with the conservative movement."
A June 10 MRC item by Kristine Marsh complained that a CNN writer cited the Southern Poverty Law Center -- which is somehow an accessory to terrorism because "when Floyd Lee Corkins tried to shoot up the conservative Family Research Council in 2012, he later admitted he targeted the conservative organization because the SPLC listed the FRC as a 'hate group' for it’s 'anti-gay' stance on marriage"-- in "blaming the right for the deadly cop shootings in Las Vegas."Marsh continued, "It’s pretty rich to talk down to conservative media for using hateful and negative language while on the network that employs Al 'White Interlopers' Sharpton, but again, nobody ever accused liberals of too much self-awareness."
Unmentioned by all of these MRC writers: Jerad Miller's Facebook page includes likes for MRC operations NewsBusters and CNSNews.com, as well as For America, the political operation run by MRC chief Brent Bozell.
That alone puts the lie to the MRC's claim that pointing out the Millers' link to right-wing media is inaccurate. Plus, it's utterly hypocritical given the MRC's past eagerness to link mass killers to liberal causes.
Las Vegas Cop-Killer Loved the MRC Topic: Media Research Center
Jerad Miller has been identified, along with his wife, Amanda, as the perpetrators in the Las Vegas incident in which three people, including two police officers, were shot to death before he and his wife committed suicide. Turns out he was a big fan of Brent Bozell's Media Rsearch Center empire.
Among the 107 entries on what appears to be Miller's Facebook "likes" page are the MRC's NewsBusters and CNSNews.com, as well as Bozell's quasi-super PAC operation For America.
Why point this out? Because turnabout is fair play. The MRC has regularly highlighted the supposed liberal links to other shooters, including FloydCorkins, who has been described has having been inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center; the MRC complained that "media isn’t interested in holding the SPLC accountable for its rhetoric." The MRC has also highlighted how "Chris Dorner, an ex-cop on a vengeful rampage against police officers in Los Angeles, praised liberal media personalities in his oddly chatty 'manifesto' posted on Facebook. " (Dorner's manifesto also contained praise for conservatives, which the MRC conveniently failed to mention.)
Will the MRC tell us what of its rhetoric may have inspired Miller? Will the MRC even admit that Miller was a fan? Don't count on it -- as of this writing, no MRC outlet has devoted any original coverage to the shootings.