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Friday, September 17, 2010
MRC Launches Campaign to Bully Media
Topic: Media Research Center

All week, the Media Research Center had been teasing a "major announcement" by Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center. Well, it finally happened on Sept. 15 via webcast. The MRC has not seen fit to put up the video of the announcement, but we watched it and took notes.

The "major announcement," presented as Bozell was fake-interviewed by CNS' Terry Jeffrey, really isn't all that major: this year's version of the "Tell the Truth" campaign it has previously run.Bozell began by claiming he doesn't want a conservative media, he just wants balance. And toget that, he plans to orchestrate "the most public display of national outrage you've ever seen" over the so-called "liberal media," which includes signs to be given out at tea party rallies as well as moving billboards they plan to drive around the headquarters of the various networks. The Twitter feed of the MRC's Brent Baker has a picture of one of the moving billboards outside MRC headquarters.

The ultimate goal of the campaign, Bozell said, is to have the media make one of two choices -- continue this and go out of business, or go back to real journalism.

We've previously noted the MRC's 2004 campaign, in which the goal wasn't to get the media to "tell the truth" at all but, rather, to bully the media into repeating conservative talking points. Indeed, that appears to be the goal here as well.

A Sept. 16 MRC press release illustrates this bullying approach. It highlights five quotes regarding new Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell that Bozell portrays as "mudsliging at its ugliest. Pure character assassination." Bozell goes on to harangue: "These networks have never treated a viable Democratic candidate with this level of contempt. How dare they lecture anyone on manners or decency ever again."

Of the five quotes Bozell cites, two are news reports quoting the state Republican chairman in Delaware calling O'Donnell a liar who couldn't get elected dog catcher. A third is a news report stating, "Democratic officials are gleeful and called her an ultra right wing extremist." That is a fact, and the state Republican chairman's statement is a fact. At no point does Bozell dispute the accuracy of this.

What Bozell is doing is relabeling facts as smears in order to intimidate the media into not reporting them.

The other two are statements by Mike Barnicle and Joy Behar -- commentators who expressing opinions, not reporters fowarding news.

It seems that Bozell wants only positive coverage of Tea Party candidates. That's not telling the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010 12:36 AM EDT

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