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Sunday, March 23, 2008
MRC's Knight Joins the Equivocation Party
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted that even as writers at the Media Research Center demanded that Barack Obama break off all ties with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, they refused to distance themselves from Jerry Falwell over his numerous controversial statements.

That equivocation continues in a March 20 piece (published at and by Robert Knight, director of the MRC's Culture and Media Institute. Responding to a Washington Post column by Michael Gerson in which he likened Wright to "my friend Jerry Falwell," which Knight called "scurrilous" and "vile." Knight claimed:

First, unlike Wright, Jerry Falwell was no hater. After his most controversial moment, when he blamed pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups for 9-11 as God’s punishment on America for abandoning moral standards, he apologized. In his many years of opposing abortion and homosexual activism, he also offered the good news that Christ died for everyone and that no one is beyond the possibility of grace. He did not use profanity, nor did he repeatedly degrade any group of people the way Wright routinely castigated white people. He did not spin wild conspiracy theories, such as Wright’s conjecture that the U.S. government created AIDS to wipe out black people.

So all's forgiven because Falwell "apologized"? In fact, Falwell's "apology" was a rather tepid one:

"I do believe, as a theologian, based upon many Scriptures and particularly Proverbs 14:23, which says 'living by God's principles promotes a nation to greatness, violating those principles brings a nation to shame,'" he said.

Falwell said he believes the ACLU and other organizations "which have attempted to secularize America, have removed our nation from its relationship with Christ on which it was founded."

"I therefore believe that that created an environment which possibly has caused God to lift the veil of protection which has allowed no one to attack America on our soil since 1812," he said.


Falwell told CNN: "I would never blame any human being except the terrorists, and if I left that impression with gays or lesbians or anyone else, I apologize."

In other words, it's more of a non-apology apology, since he didn't retract the basic claim, only the "impression" he left.

And wasn't the "Clinton Chronicles" video, which Falwell hawked in late-night infomercials, a bunch of "wild conspiracy theories"?

Like his boss Brent Bozell, Knight is a longtime apologist for Falwell. In a May 2007 CMI column eulogizing Falwell, Knight proclaimed that "The Rev. Falwell did a lot of things well, ticking off liberals right up to the end" and asserted that Falwell's critics were "utterly distorting his Christian message into a caricature of hate."

As near as we can tell, neither Knight nor anyone else at CMI has mentioned the anti-Catholic rantings of John McCain endorser John Hagee -- thus fitting in with the rest of the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT

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