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Monday, August 17, 2009
MRC's Poor Shows Double Standard on Presidential Children
Topic: Media Research Center

Jeff Poor writes in an Aug. 13 MRC Culture & Media Institute article:

Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC’s David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton’s 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being “pimped out” by the campaign.

But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats.

Well, no. As we've detailed, Poor's employer was not particularly offended by Shuster's remark; further, the MRC has not only never made any attempt to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his 1990s likening of a then-teenage Chelsea to theWhite House dog, it has sought to portray it as an innocent mistake without providing any substantive evidence to support it. The MRC has also tried to draw false equivalence between the offenses of the daughers of a sitting president with the offenses of the son of a former vice president.

All of which makes any MRC attempt to manufacture offense that children of a conservative politician disproportionately make the news highly hypocritical.

Yet Poor goes on to do that anyway in defense of right-wing Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, writing that "a hateful anti-Bachmann blog" and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used her son's enrollment in the Teach for America program, a division of AmeriCorps,  to criticize Bachmann.

But Poor, as the MRC did before, draws another false equivalence. Bachmann's son was not being criticized for his actions as Chelsea Clinton was -- heck, even Poor couldn't be moved to criticize the son's actions beyond sneering that Teach for America is a "government program." Nor does he disagree with the main point of what the blogger and Olbermann highlighted -- that his participation in such a program presumably runs counter to his mother's right-wing beliefs.

Perhaps Poor should think about holding his fellow conservatives accountable for their attacks on presidential children before he criticizes others.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EDT

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