Did you know it was NBC's fault that Kanye West said that President Bush doesn't care about black people?
It's right there in the headline of Tim Graham's Nov. 11 NewsBusters post: "Matt Lauer Walks Rapper Kanye West Through Bush Apology -- But Utterly Ignored NBC's Fault in Airing His Racism Charge." Writing about Matt Lauer's interview of Bush, Graham elaborates:
Lauer failed to note at any time in this interview or the promotions of it that West said these scandalous, hurtful, and untrue words on the airwaves of NBC, at their invitation, and their refusal in any way to interrupt him or dispute him during their telethon for Katrina victims. While he walked West through an apology, Lauer offered no apology on NBC's behalf.
Saying someone is at "fault" for a behavior means that someone committed or directly contributed to that behavior. But the only evidence Graham offers that NBC is at "fault" for West's statement is that he said it on NBC. There's absolutely no evidence that NBC knew West would say that, let alone that it encouraged him to say it. In fact, NBC made it clear that West "departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him."
So, according to Graham, the fact that West said something that NBC didn't tell him to say is the fault of ... NBC. That's the kind of logic that has made the Media Research Center -- of which Graham is director of media analysis -- the powerhouse of incisive media criticism it is today.