Brent Bozell's Pattern of Deception and Disrespect
The revelation that Bozell's columns have been ghostwritten for years by a subordinate is just the latest example of the Media Research Center chief's outrageous behavior.
By Terry Krepel
It also didn't apply to the MRC itself. Now the MRC and its leader, Brent Bozell, have been exposed as engaging in a fundamental, years-long deception.
Media blogger Jim Romenesko reports that according to former MRC employees, MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham writes “almost everything published under [Bozell's] name,” including Bozell's twice-weekly syndicated column. Further, Graham isn't happy about the situation at all:
“Tim just resents having to do it,” says a former employee.
One loyal MRC employee tried to spin this, according to Romenesko:
I was advised to contact a third MRC employee who, I was told, would confirm Graham’s ghostwriting duties. He did that, but defended the practice of “people signing off on agreeable words written for them.” He asked me: “How many speeches has Obama written the last ten years? Should he have prefaced the State of the Union with ‘My fellow Americans I didn’t write this?’”
As a result, Bozell's syndicator, Creators Syndicate, will add Graham as a co-author on the columns. Romenesko reported that Creators president Rick Newcombe defended Bozell, asserting that "it is absolutely false to say that Brent Bozell does not write his column," adding that "I remember years ago when Brent suggested that he share the byline for his column with Tim, and I said it would be better for us to promote a single individual."
Bozell and Graham have refused to comment to Romenesko, and there is nothing about the controversy on any MRC website, so it's unclear whether Bozell will retroactively credit Graham for his work.
Last year, ConWebWatch noted that the latest book by Bozell and Graham carried only Bozell's name on the copyright despite Graham being listed as a full-fledged co-author (and the MRC claiming that it gets all proceeds from the book), and mused that Graham was getting screwed out of the book's proceeds.
That book was called "Collusion: How the Media Stole The 2012 Election." As it turns out, Bozell has been stealing Graham out of credit for much of his work.
By contrast, the only MRC-related book for which Graham is listed as sole author, 1996's "Pattern of Deception," is copyrighted in the name of the MRC, not Graham.
Silence from the MRC
Thus far, the exposure of Graham as Bozell's ghostwriter has been met with utter silence from the MRC, as well as attempts to squelch criticism. Bozell appeared on Fox News on Feb. 17, four days after his deception was exposed, but he talked about media coverage of climate change, not his ghostwriter. A Fox Business appearance by Bozell on Feb. 18 also avoided questioning about the ghostwriting, as did another Fox News appearance on Feb. 19.
When a column issued after the exposure carried only Bozell's name, readers brought up the issue in a comment thread on the version of the column posted at MRC division CNSNews.com. An MRC comment moderator stated that "it was being considered that this column be taken down" out of alleged consideration for the column's subject, a woman who died shortly after childbirth, denying that the proposed action was about shutting down criticism of Bozell. Ultimately, the comment thread was frozen, with no new comments permitted.
The MRC took a stab at giving Graham proper credit on Bozell's Feb. 19 column, but it lacked a little something on follow-through.
The version of the column at NewsBusters gets a newly created Bozell & Graham byline, but older columns have not been moved to the new byline.
History of offensive behavior
Bozell's ghostwriting scandal is just the latest example of Bozell acting in an outrageous or offensive manner:
Bozell has also been unusually tolerant of employees who make the MRC look bad by being even more intolerant than he is. Case in point: managing editor Matt Philbin, who called Fluke a "horizontal laborer" and a "Lincoln Tunnel Hitcher." Philbin also responded to ConWebWatch calling how his likening of President Obama to Nazis by calling us a "faggot" and telling us to "fuck off."
Bozell clearly has no problem with such degrading and unprofessional behavior, since Philbin remains an MRC employee.
Bozell has more than proved himself to be an embarrassment to the organization he founded, and screwing Graham out of credit for his work is just the latest example.
When will the MRC decide it has had enough of Bozell's offensive antics and relieve him of his position as the public face of the group?