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Thursday, February 9, 2006
Media Criticism: Compare and Contrast
Topic: NewsBusters
Here's why the MRC/NewsBusters approach to media criticism is intellectually bereft:

-- A Feb. 8 post by Noel Sheppard purports to detail how "something odd happens when he steps on the soundstage of MSNBC to host “Hardball” – his ultra-left, San Francisco Chronicle columnist side emerges…and then some" (despite copious evidence to the contrary). Again citing "Matthews’ San Francisco liberal side," Sheppard went on to attack the entirety of the Feb. 7 editon of "Hardball" -- except for one part, which he quickly skimmed over as "speaking with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) about his spat with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)."

-- A companion post by Mark Finkelstein addresses the McCain segment on "Hardball," but he seems irked that McCain was on TV at all (despite his unambiguously conservative record). "Other Dems and MSM types might back away from McCain in the wake of his shot across Obama's bow, but Matthews is obviously loving the political theater and the grist for his nightly mill," Finkelstein wrote.

-- Media Matters (my employer), meanwhile, pointed out the bottom line of that McCain segment: Matthews gave McCain a forum to attack Obama without giving Obama an opportunity to respond.

C'mon now, Noel and Mark: Is denying a Democrat a chance to respond to an attack by a Republican really the behavior of a "San Francisco liberal"?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST

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