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Thursday, February 23, 2017
MRC Downplays Trump's Weird, Racially Tinged Comment At Press Conference
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was so happy about President Trump's anti-media screeds during last week's press conference that Curtis Houck and Scott Whitlock slapped together an item claiming to list "12 of the Top Trump Jabs at the Media in His Marathon Press Conference."

Thing is, one of the "jabs" really wasn't one -- even Houck and Whitlock conceded it was just "eyebrow-raising." That would be the exchange between Trump and reporter April Ryan, in which Trump asked the black reporter if she would set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Houck and Whitlock had no futher comment beyond irrelevantly and baselessly claiming that Ryan is a "liberal reporter."

Despite widespread criticism of Trump over the exchange for his apparent racial insensitivity, the MRC said nothing further about it. Given that the MRC is devoted to reflexively supporting Trump, that's not exactly eyebrow-raising.

At the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, it was a different story. Entertainer Charlie Daniels weighed in with his own alternative-facts explanation of what happened in a Feb. 17 column:

Reporter April Ryan asked the president if he intended to include the Black Congressional Caucus in his plans to help the inner cities. He replied that he'd been trying to set up a meeting with Elijah Cummings and that Cummings wouldn't meet with him for political reasons, whereupon he said in tongue-in-cheek fashion "Would you like to set up a meeting?" It was an obvious facetious remark meaning, "I've tried, do you want to give it a shot?"

Daniels can't actually know any of that, of course; he's just spinning for Trump to clean up after him the way the rest of the MRC is.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
MRC Transgender Freakout Watch, Laverne Cox Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is rather prone to transgender freakouts, and it's having another one, induced by transgender actor Laverne Cox getting a starring role as a transgender lawyer in the new TV series "Doubt," thanks to Alexa Moutevelis Coombs' Feb. 16 post.

After quoting Cox's character saying, "I’m a woman, but I used to be a man," Coombs huffed, "Sorry, but there is no 'used to be.' As much as you change your outside appearance, you can't change your chromosomes." Coombs then quoted two of the most transphobic doctors around to back her up.

The first, Joseph Berger, is so extreme that even the highly anti-LGBT National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality distanced itself from his views. The other, Paul McHugh, has been thoroughly discredited, as we've noted. The fact that Coombs repeats their lengthy titles -- Berger is "a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada," McHugh is "former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry" -- is a sad attempt to play the authority card.

But Coombs wasn't done whining. She went on to complain that "To further force this down our throats, they are also planning some transgender sex scenes between Cox and a man<' to which she shrieked: "Sorry, but I am in NO WAY interested in the 'nitty gritty' of what goes on between a man and a transgender woman!"

Coombs concluded by grousing that "There is no DOUBT that this show will be a liberal social justice warrior's dream, and a nightmare for the rest of us."

Attacking TV shows that don't conform to the MRC's narrow right-wing agenda is what MRC writers like Coombs are getting paid to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EST
Monday, February 20, 2017
Obama Derangement Syndrome Lives On At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to fret whenever people in "the media" say mean things about Melania Trump. But even though the Obama presidency is over, Obama derangement hasn't subsided at the MRC -- and that includes continuing to spew hatred at Michelle Obama.

Thus, we have the spectacle of MRC Culture managing editor Matt Philbin demonstrating that Obama Derangement Syndrome dies hard in a Feb. 9 post:

Just when you thought you’d escaped the world’s most overexposed and sycophantically fawned-over woman, here she comes again. All will love her sculpted arms, and despair.

Yes, Michelle Obama, former fat-shamer in chief, she of the wasted vegetables and inedible school lunches, just won’t leave kids alone. She’s going to be on Masterchef, Jr.  hosted by culinary psychopath Gordon Ramsay and joined by the likes of Martha Stewart.

You gotta feel for the kids. If Masterchef Jr. is anything like other kid cooking competition shows, they’re already disturbingly maladjusted. Ramsey screams at people for a living, Martha Stewart ran a commercial empire like Vlad Putin runs a country, and Michelle O. has made food disapproval chic.

But the real victims here are the American people. After eight years of being told ad nauseam how much we should love Michelle “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country” Obama, we’ve earned a rest.

Sure, it may be downright mean of us, but this is the woman who determined the federal government needs to be involved in grammar school menu-planning. She made a rap album to nag fat kids. There’s a movie about her first date with Barack. And when’s the last time you checked out at the supermarket without her watching you from the magazine rack? (“You sure you want to buy that frozen pizza, Porky?”) She has been, as the kids say, way up in our grill for far too long.

But, just like Michelle, our betters in the media know what’s good for us. We’re going to get a steady diet of sighing, swooning stories and smug, perky appearances until we another Democrat FLOTUS comes along for all to worship. 

Until then, we presume Philbin is demanding that we worship Melania.

This is what passes for "media criticism" at the MRC these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 PM EST
Saturday, February 18, 2017
MRC Writer Forgets His Employer Is No Better Than The 'Mainstream Media' He Bashes
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck writes in a Feb. 8 post:

In another hilarious case of irony, The 11th Hour host and serial liar Brian Williams teed up guest Charlie Sykes on Tuesday to lambaste conservative media (like the one you’re reading) for being why no one trusts mainstream media in the age of Trump and alternative facts.

Sykes and Williams offered no arguments or examples of how the establishment media have torpedoed their own credibility with false stories and a decidedly liberal slant. Instead, it was an exclusive attack on conservatives for supposedly enabling President Trump to offer misstatements without consequences.

[...]

Sykes cited “the Breitbarts of the world, the Drudges of the world, the Rush Limbaugh of the world” because each would give Trump “air cover” whenever he’s criticized for controversial statements or lies.

Overall, the former conservative host stated that his “concern is not just that's [Trump’s] lying” but “[i]t's an attack on the concept of the truth itself — of credibility and my main concern is that you'll have millions of voters at some point who will basically say, ‘what is truth?’”

Houck doesn't disclose that he's the employee of an organization whose entire mission it is to foment distrust of the "mainstream media" -- something for which it spends millions of dollars a year doing -- or that the MRC helped lead the right-wing attack on the concept of the truth itself by attacking any fact-checker who pointed out Trump's voluminous lies.

Instead, Houck insists that conservatives are just "simply pointing out the faults of the mainstream media" -- again ignoring the massive money machine behind him. And why isn't Houck concerned about Trump's lies? Is it because he's getting paid not to be?

Rather than take Sykes seriously as a former conservative who's grown disenchanted with how the conservative movement abandoned its principles to follow Trump, Houck sneers that he has "joined an echo-chamber in which Manhattan elites sit around reading The New York Times and The New Yorker while watching The Daily Show." As if dismissing all critics of conservatives as part of an East Coast liberal elite isn't echo-chamber thinking.

Houck went into full double-standard mode, complaining that "The media has done plenty to undermine their cause. Aside from their boy who cried wolf fears about past Republican candidates, their false stories, slanted analyses, and failed predictions stand out." He doesn't admit that the right-wing media does the exact same thing. And he has to go back decades to find examples of bad mainstream-media behavior:

Whether it’s ABC deceptively editing Ari Fleischer, 20/20 skewering Food Lion, Dateline: NBC rigging a pick-up truck with explosives, or spreading hysteria that the Russians hacked a Vermont power grid, the voluminous examples span over decades. 

Houck forgets that we can play that same game with his employer, who has engaged in deceptive editing and creation and promotion of fake news. There's also the undeniable fact that his boss, Brent Bozell, spent well over a decade issuing a syndicated column under his name that was, in fact, written by his underling Tim Graham.

In short, the MRC is no better behaved than the "liberal media" it has a multimillion-dollar budget to attack. It would do well to follow the same standard it imposes on others.

And Houck would do well to understand that he -- and the MRC -- would have more credibility if they based their media criticisms in journalism rather than politics. 


Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 AM EST
Friday, February 17, 2017
CNS Blogger Inaccurately Lashes Out at Planned Parenthood
Topic: Media Research Center

Craig Bannister devoted a Feb. 13 CNSNews.com blog post to bashing singer Katy Perry for wearing a Planned Parenthood lapel pin during her appearance at the Grammy Awards. In his brief three-paragraph post, Bannister somehow managed to call Planned Parenthood an "abortion provider" twice and an "abortion mill" once.

In fact, a relatively small percentage of Planned Parenthood's services involve abortion -- somewhere between 12 and 37 percent, depending on how the numbers are being counted.

Bannister is not just being misleading, he's pushing an inaccurate right-wing agenda by labeling Planned Parenthood as only as an abortion provider -- and, pejoratively, as an "abortion mill."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EST
MRC Intern Complains Trump Not Getting Credit For Improving Economy Though His 'Rhetoric'
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center intern James Powers complains in a Feb. 8 post:

CNN Money tried to have it both ways on “Trumponomics,” blaming bad currency news on the new president the same day it refused to credit him for any positive impact on the jobs report.

On Feb. 3, CNN Money blamed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric for a weaker dollar, but ignored the possibility his rhetoric positively impacted jobs in January. Maybe, that’s why Trump and others have dubbed CNN “fake news.” Both stories were labeled “Trumponomics.”

Staff writer Matt Egan argued that Trump’s talk was causing the dollar’s recent downturn. However, CNN reporter Matt Gillespie’s story about the January jobs report ignored that Trump’s rhetoric on job creation, lower taxes, and stimulus could have helped boost the better than expected job numbers.

Gillespie said that the U.S. added 227,000 jobs which was well above expectations of 157,000. On Feb. 3, American Enterprise Institute’s Director of Research for Domestic Policy Kevin Hassett appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box and touted Trump’s effect on the jobs numbers.

“We got a friendly business climate. People want to come back and start operating their businesses here, and you're starting to see that in the data,” Hassett said.

But Gillespie’s article excluded the theory that Trump’s economic rhetoric had helped job creation. That perspective was nowhere in his article. 

Actually, it seems Powers is the one trying to have it both ways. CNN Money's Egan gave concrete examples of how Trump's rhetoric is driving down the dollar's value and that devaluing the dollar is a key part of Trump's economic policy:

So what's going on? One factor is that Trump and his team have talked the U.S. dollar down. Clearly, they realize a super-strong greenback makes it harder to deliver on promises to boost American exports and create manufacturing jobs. The Trump team has been accusing several countries of manipulating their currencies.

For instance, the U.S. dollar tumbled on Tuesday after a Trump adviser accused Germany of using a "grossly undervalued" euro to hurt the American economy.

Germany "continues to exploit other countries in the EU as well as the U.S. with an 'implicit Deutsche Mark' that is grossly undervalued," Peter Navarro, who heads Trump's National Trade Council, told the Financial Times.

Trump himself weighed in on the same day. During a meeting with pharma CEOs, Trump said other countries' strategy of devaluing their currencies have caused drug companies to ship jobs overseas.
And just before taking office, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that U.S. companies can't compete with China because "our currency is too strong."

"It's killing us," Trump said.

By contrast, Powers cited only generalities and a conservative-leaning think tank that has a vested interest in making Trump look good to back up his claim that Trump's rhetoric helped job numbers. He cited no actual example of any business owner choosing to hire anyone specifically because Trump was elected.

Further, it seems Powers is so biased that he will not give former President Obama any credit at all for the positive employment numbers even though he was president through two-thirds of January (and the previous eight years).  He mentions Obama nowhere in his post.

Powers also complains that CNN's story on the weaker dollar "employed a picture of Trump with a negative red background and downsloping arrows." Given that the story substantiated its claim that Trump wants a weaker dollar, that seems appropriate.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:42 AM EST
Thursday, February 16, 2017
MRC Hypocritically Complains A Conservative Is Suggested To Be Drunk
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro huffed in a Feb. 9 post:

Things got very twisted on MSNBC’s The Last Word Monday night, as two giggly journalists smeared Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for invoking Rule 19 against his colleague from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren. CBS's Nancy Giles described McConnell as on a power trip, “I mean, it's like I think they are drunk with power. It's not ‘like,’ they are. They’ve got the House and they’ve got the Senate.”

The Daily Beast’s Erin Gloria Ryan took it a step farther and joked that Senate Republicans really were drunk Tuesday night. “They're acting kind of drunk. This is a drunk thing to do,” she said excitedly playing off Giles.

Fondacaro might have a point if his MRC co-workers didn't also like portraying people they don't agree with as being drunk.

His boss, Tim Graham, did this last October to conservative John Ziegler for pointing out the inconvenient truth that the MRC "fundraises off of bad media coverage and wouldn’t exist if the problem ever really got solved." Graham repeatedly made "Breathalyzer" references, meaning that he thought Ziegler was drunk.

And on Feb. 14, P.J. Gladnick did it to conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks for saying of the current Trump White House chaos: "I don’t think we’re at a Bonhoeffer moment or a [St.] Benedict moment. I think we’re approaching a Ford moment." Gladnick sneered in response that "it seems that David Brooks has entered his Benedictine liqueur moment. Much too much of it," adding: "A 'Ford moment?' This makes me think Brooks is back in his Benedictine liqueur moment."

If the MRC didn't have double standards, would it have any standards at all?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EST
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Fake News: MRC Wonders Why Media Isn't Reporting a Discredited Story
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Julia A. Seymour was in full climate-denier froth in a Feb. 7 post:

A federal agency discredited a common argument of climate skeptics in 2015, but now a whistleblower has accused the agency of misleading the public and playing politics. Not that anyone watching the network news would know it.

For several years, climate skeptics argued there had been a “pause” or hiatus in global warming beginning in 1998. Then, in June 2015, a paper from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration erased it. Many news outlets reported that NOAA study and accepted its claims, but on Feb. 5 or 6, the network evening news shows said nothing about the new whistleblower’s evidence against it.

Data scientist Dr. John Bates blew the whistle on NOAA claiming the paper that erased the pause was based on misleading and “unverified” data and never analyzed in accordance with NOAA’s full process, The Daily Mail reported. That prompted many to draw comparisons to the Climategate scandal of 2009.

Just one problem: the Daily Mail story is bogus, which seems like a pretty good reason for actual news sources to ignore it.

Media Matters points out that NOAA's data debunking a "pause" in global warming has been independently verified by other non-NOAA data collection methods. Further, the whistleblower was reportedly not involved in any aspect of the report being attacked as manipulated, and the Daily Mail reporter has a lengthy record of misleading claims on climate science.

Ironically, a few days after Seymour's post was written, Wikipedia declared the Daily Mail to be too unreliable to be used as a reference on the website.

Doubly ironically, Seymour is right that the Daily Mail story is like Climategate -- both have been debunked.

In summary, Seymour is promoting fake news -- which her employer has done in the past.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EST
Sunday, February 12, 2017
MRC Predictably Hates Boy Scouts' Decision to Admit Transgenders
Topic: Media Research Center

As professional LGBT-haters, the news that the Boy Scouts will accept transgender scouts did not go down well at the Media Research Center.

Sarah Stites whined: "Since 2013, the Boy Scouts of America have quickly caved to the progressive agenda, admitting both homosexual guides and scouts. As of today, transgender boys can now join troops." She huffed that "the networks did spin the news positively," adding: "Because scouts are required to acknowledge their duty to God, the BSA still prohibits avowed atheists and agnostics from membership. Eradicating this stipulation will likely surface as the next item on the progressive agenda."

Stites' complaining about the "progressive agenda" is rich, as if she and the MRC don't have an agenda of their own to promote.

Tim Graham -- known for his anti-transgender freakouts -- and Brent Bozell were even more whiny in their Feb. 3 column, asserting that the Boy Scouts of America "used to be derided as a 'traditional, values-based' organization" before it "folded on homosexual Scouts and then on homosexual scoutmasters." Now, they huff, " This cowardly shell of an organization should just scrap the references to God, and every God-respecting church should jettison their Boy Scout units to the nearest secular gathering place."

They rant about "libertine leftists" -- a favorite term of Graham's; remember, Graham actually writes this syndicated column and Bozell simply slaps his name on after the fact, something he was content to hide from the public until the truth came out --  and "homosexual celebrity lobbyists" who liked the changes and grumble that since "relativism is king" now, "Perhaps the next "reform" might be an 11-year-old Boy Scout declaring that he identifies as an Eagle Scout, negating the need for any stinking merit badges or review boards."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EST
Saturday, February 11, 2017
MRC's Waters Still Whining That NY Times Reports Accurately
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's resident New York Times-hater, Clay Waters, loves to complain that the Times reports accurately on things he doesn't want reported. He does so again in a Jan. 30 post:

The front of Sunday’s New York Times featured David Barstow, known for blessing the paper’s readers with dubious Pulitzer bait every couple of years, tackling the story of authoritarian President Trump’s falsehoods , backed up by liberal good-government types, liberal plagiarist authors, and liberal “fact-checkers”: “‘Up Is Down’: Unreality Show Echoes a History of False Claims.”

[...]

The Times managed to endure eight years of the Clintons (plus Hillary Clinton's email lies) and Obamas, telling fibs about Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky...then Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Obamacare...but only now does the paper decide that we have a lying politician in the White House?

At no point does Waters defend the accuracy of any claim the Times identified as false; all he does is complain that "liberals" identified themand deflect the issue by bringing up irrelevant claims of alleged falsehoods by Democratic presidents when he knows they don't compare with the routine and pervasive lying Trump has done throughout the campaign and into his presidency.

Waters also huffs that "It’s no secret that Politifact, a liberal media creation, presses a left thumb upon the scales of “truth” to make Democrats come out cleaner than Republicans," linking as alleged evidence to a NewsBusters post touting right-wing columnist Mollie Hemingway engaging in pedantic hair-splitting over Planned Parenthood and mammograms.

Waters apparently doesn't realize that fact-checking is not a zero-sum game, or that "liberals" identifying Trump's falsehoods doesn't make them any less false. He's simply playing into his employer's war on facts to give Trump a pass on his lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 AM EST
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
MRC Writer Sloppily Labels Berkeley Protest As Both 'Liberal' And 'Left-Wing'
Topic: Media Research Center

As much as the Media Research Center likes to whine about precision of political labeling -- witness its complaint about usage of "anti-abortion" versus "pro-life" -- the MRC's Kristine Marsh is extremely sloppy about it in a Feb. 2 post:

Last night the ultra liberal campus of U.C. Berkeley erupted in violence after an estimated 1,000 students came out to protest Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who was invited to speak by the school’s College Republicans. The crowd quickly turned into a mob when they began setting fires, throwing smoke bombs, breaking windows and punching Trump supporters while chanting against Trump and Yiannopoulos. But instead of accurately identifying the crowd as a liberal, left-wing mob, ABC, NBC, and CBS went out of their way to avoid using any harsh labels or political ideology to describe the crowd. All three networks refused to describe the crowd as liberal, saving the “conservative” and “controversial” labels for Yiannopoulos.

Marsh seems to think that "liberal," "left-wing" and "ultra liberal" are interchangable. They're not, and she offers no evidence otherwise. How can a "mob" be both "liberal" and "left-wing"? What makes it so? How did Marsh determine that the violent elements were either, or both? She doesn't explain.

In fact, the protest against Yiannopoulos was peaceful until a group of "black bloc" anarchists -- who are likely not even students at Berkeley --  showed up.

Marsh's outrage that Yiannopoulos was accurately labeled as "conservative" and "controversial" is hilarious. Is she denying that those words apply to him? It would appear so, because she continues to rant about it (boldface is hers):

On CBS, correspondent John Blackstone called Yiannopoulos a “ultra conservative” known for his “outrageous comments and articles.”

ABC referred to him as “right-wing” twice, while NBC’s Almaguer described him as “a leading member of the Alt-Right movement” from the “far right.” NBC’s Hoda Kotb also called Yiannopoulos as the “controversial” editor of “right-leaning” Breitbart News.

On top of that,instead of focusing the criticism on the ones causing violence, all three networks took the opportunity to bash Yiannopoulos instead, calling him out for past controversial statements in an apparent effort to legitimize the violent riot.

NBC’s Miguel Almaguer called out Yiannopoulos in his report for his “racist and misogynistic views,” “inciting harassing tweets” and being accused of being a part of “the growing group of white nationalists.” CBS anchor Gayle King also delved into Yiannopoulos’ “racist and misogynistic” online comments.

Marsh does not dispute any of this -- she can't because it's indisputably true -- only huffs that it's being said about him.

If only Marsh would learn to be as precise about labeling people she hates as she is about people she agrees with.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 PM EST
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
MRC Digs Up A Zombie Lie to Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen, in a Jan. 30 post, predictably parroted the Trump administration in the matter of acting attorney general Sally Yates, pronouncing her "insubordinate" and touting how President Trump "lawfully fir[ed]" her "after she refused to do her job and enforce his executive order on immigration." But Drennen also dredges up a zombie lie in the process:

The media double standard on Justice Department staffing changes has been well-documented by the Media Research Center. In 2007, the networks hounded then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for firing eight U.S. attorneys and replacing them with appointees selected by the Bush administration, treating the common practice as if it were a scandal. However, in 1993, the press didn’t bat at eye at then-President Clinton firing 93 U.S. attorneys to make room for his political appointees.

As we documented way back in 2007 when the MRC first pushed this claim, what Clinton did -- calling for the resignations of U.S. attorneys is traditional at the start of every new administration -- was much different from what Gonzales did, which took place well into President George W. Bush's second term, and were appointed by Bush in the first place, amid speculation the attorneys were too tough on Republicans and not tough enough on Democrats, as well as newly passed legislation that allowed U.S. attorneys to be replaced on an interim basis without Senate or district court approval.

If the MRC is dredging up old Bush talking points to defend Trump, it will be a long next few years.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:53 PM EST
Sunday, February 5, 2017
MRC's Graham Is Still Serving Up Terrible Media Criticism
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham made an appearance on C-SPAN on Jan. 29, undoubtedly happy that the channel played the Fox News game and didn't have anyone else on with him (like, say, John Avlon). Graham repeated his usual right-wing anti-media talking points, reminding us that he cares nothing about the media and everything about partisan attacks. And he reminded us why he's a terrible media critic.

Responding to a caller who called New York City a police state, Graham responded:

I would say to you that the news media is very hyperbolic right now about fact-checking. And the same newspapers that hire a fact-checker, like the Washington Post, will have a big article in the Sunday paper about how [Trump] compares to the dictators of literature. The caller suggests that New York City was a police state, all right? If we asked PolitiFact to evaluate whether New York City is a police state -- but they won't do that. When you look at PolitiFact since -- their evaulations of utterances by politicians from election day to inauguration day, they didn't evaluate Barack Obama once from -- during the entire Trump transition. That shows you that their fact-checking is -- they check who they want to check. And they make hyperbolic statements all the time about Trump being a dicator and a loon and all that, and they say, "we're the fact-checkers." Nobody trusts hyperbolic fact-checkers.

While it may be true that PolitiFact evaluated no statement by Obama since the election, Graham provides no reason why that should have been the case or even offered an example of Obama saying something -- anything -- that needed to be fact-checked. He's also rather deliberately confusing news and opinion; he never admits that any supposed Washington Post article on how Trump "compares to the dictators of literature" is an opinion piece, while the fact-checkers work on the news side. The people writing opinion pieces critical of Trump at the Post are not the same people doing fact-checking, and Graham knows it -- it just plays into his right-wing agenda to pretend there's no separation.

This is merely an extension of the MRC's war on fact-checkers -- and, thus, facts -- which it fought all through the presidential campaign to cover up for the fact that Trump lies about pretty much everything all the time.

Graham also gets in a rant against public radio, ridiculously asserting that NPR is "every bit as biased as Rush Limbaugh ... every bit as biased as Mark Levin," then complains that conservative tax dollars pay for NPR, which "routinely attacks conservatives." Again, Graham offers no factual evidence to back up his claim that federal tax money directly pays for purported NPR bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 PM EST
Saturday, February 4, 2017
MRC's Bozell & Graham Do Ad For Anti-Abortion Activist Disguised As Op-Ed
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's Jan. 25 column give a prominent plug to Phelim McAleer's " new book titled 'Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer.'" They don't mention that the plug is part of a longtime PR campaign for McAleer's anti-Gosnell work that McAleer may or may not be paying Bozell's Media Research Center to do.

Much the column, though, is dedicated to re-litigating the Gosnell case, with Bozell and Graham expliciting portray the rogue abortion doctor as exactly the same as every other abortion practitoner: "This monster chose to kill. He is the face of the abortion doctor. His story peels back the onion on this ghastly practice."

Bozell and Graham also pushed the right-wing line that the "national media" ignored the story, actually claiming at one point: "In the last two years, the big three networks devoted more than 75 minutes to the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. He killed no one."

But the two ignored that even right-wing media ignored the Gosnell story for a while too. The right-leaning New York Post hypocritically bashed media for ignoring Gosnell's trial despite the fact that the Post itself couldn't be bothered to cover it. Bozell and Graham are apparently giving the Post a pass for that, just like it stayed silent about the Post running nude pictures of Melania Trump. As a friendly media outlet that's a sister to its beloved Fox News, the Post gets protection from the MRC.

And as Mother Jones' Kevin Drum showed, right-wing media in general couldn't be bothered to cover the trial  -- devoting much less time to the trial itself than to manufactured outrage that other media outlets weren't covering it -- right-wingers' concern over Gosnell is more about working the refs and exploiting the issue for their anti-abortion crusade than it is about, say, justice for Gosnell's victims.

(Surprisingly, Bozell and Graham aren't being totally hypocritical here; its "news" division, CNSNews.com, did send someone to cover Gosnell's trial.)

That's the tone Bozell and Graham take here. They rant that "The national media were barely curious" about Gosnell and "When Dr. Gosnell went to trial in 2013, again the national media couldn't be budged to cover the outrage." They do grudgingly concede, however, that NPR covered the Gosnell story as early as 2010.

The thing to remember about Bozell and Graham's column, though, is that it's in (paid?) service to Phelim McAleer. It's an advertisement presented as an op-ed. The fact that they refuse to come clear on that undercuts any integrity they claim to have.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 AM EST
Friday, February 3, 2017
MRC Analyst Joins 'State-Run Media' Defending Trump Immigration Order
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center "news analyst" Nicholas Fondacaro has been on quite the tear this week in helping his employer serve as the "state-run media" of the Trump administration, pushing back on criticism of Trump's immigration orders just like his co-workers at MRC "news" division CNSNews.com.

In a Jan. 29 post, Fondacaro complained that ABC "sought out" Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of a soldier killed in the Iraq War, for comment on the order. No, really: The headline of his post is literally "ABC’s Wright 'Sought Out' Khizr Khan to Slam Trump on Ban."

Fondacaro does know that seeking people out for comment on something is pretty much how journalism works, doesn't he? Perhaps not.

On Jan. 31, Fondacaro was outraged MSNBC's Chris Matthews pointed out that  Trump's effective ban on Muslim immigration and refugees to the U.S. could feed Muslim resentment and terrorist recruitment. Fondacaro huffed in response:

Their claims that a travel ban would be the catalyst for a major boon for terrorist recruitment is (to borrow a term from a former Obama administration official) “stone cold crazy.” They asserted that the ban gave ‘great credence” to the idea of a war between east and west. But do you know what’s a gives, even more, credence to that idea? Actually dropping bombs, like the over 26,000 former President Barack Obama dropped in 2016 alone.

Of course, we are at war with terrorist organizations throughout the region, so those strikes are to be expected. But to act as though Trump’s three-month stay on travel was what the terrorists needed as a proof of war is ludicrous. They could just exploit the accidental US airstrike on a hospital in Afghanistan for their recruitment.

But as ABC's Brian Ross reported, members of ISIS are already using Trump's words as proof the U.S. is at war with the entire Muslim world -- a key recruitment tool for ISIS. The Washington Post added that extremist groups are indeed using Trump's order as validation of their claim that the U.S. is at war with Islam and that Trump was fulfilling the predictions of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born al-Qaeda leader and preacher who famously said that the 'West would eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.'"

So Matthews is not off base, as Fondacaro claims.

In another Jan. 31 post, Fondacaro complained that "liberals around the country continued to rage over President Donald Trump’s not-a-travel-ban ban." But as we noted when CNS tried to push that Trump administration talking point, it's undermined by Rudy Giuliani saying that Trump told him he wanted a Muslim ban and that he asked Giuliani to form a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”And it has since been further undermined by Trump himself tweeting, "Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST

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