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Saturday, January 17, 2009
MRC's Double Standard on Presidential Farewells
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Jan. 15 NewsBusters post (and Jan. 16 MRC CyberAlert item), Brent Baker takes issue with Chris Matthews' critique of President Bush's farewell address, calling it a "crass and petty rant" containing "cheap shots" in which Matthews "raged."

If Baker was really bothered "crass and petty rants" containing "cheap shots," he would use his powers as NewsBusters editor-at-large to tone down those traits in MRC's own writers.

A Jan. 15 post by P.J. Gladnick on MSNBC's plans to broadcast Obama's inauguration in theaters is one example. Gladnick writes that "MSNBC is also making sure you can see the source of Chris Matthews' leg tingle for free at the theaters," mocked " inauguration of The One," people "with the need to worship Barack Obama non-stop" and concludes:"Will MSNBC also be playing Handel's Messiah as background music at the movie theaters?"

A Jan. 16 post by Ken Shepherd is another. It references "latte liberal[s]," "The Obama leg-thrill network," and adds that "sitting next to Chris Matthews in a dark room watching Obama sounds a little sketchy to me."

As far as Baker's claim that "Democrats and Republicans have the class to allow a President to deliver his farewell address without having it immediately countered by a crass and petty rant from a political opponent trying to settle old scores while issuing cheap insults," he forgets how his boss, Brent Bozell, said goodbye to President Clinton in 2001.

As we detailed, Bozell hosted a $125-a-plate dinner for the purpose of gathering his conservative buddies to hurl abuse at the Clintons before they left office, claiming, "It's our way of celebrating the fumigation of Washington," and adding, "We have two days before we have to become compassionate." Bozell offered a mock invocation, a takeoff on the Lord's Prayer; one line was, "Her socialist agenda got runneth over." A account of the dinner noted: "A bagpiper played Amazing Grace as Bozell, flanked by standing candelabras and arrangements of funeral flowers, began to eulogize the Clinton era. Beside him was an enlarged photo of the president surrounded by a mourning wreath."

Bozell also celebrated the election of Hillary Clinton as senator from New York, if only in anticipation of using her as a useful bogeyman: "We need fund-raising fodder. ... They left her behind for us."

If Bozell can't lead by example -- and his writers can't be bothered to check their elitist contempt of Obama -- they have forfeited any right to criticize behavior that they themselves have engaged in.

UPDATE: The petty rants continue: In a Jan. 18 post, Gladnick calls the inauguration "Barack Obama worship services" and refers to "the Obamessiah."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 18, 2009 10:06 AM EST

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