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Monday, May 16, 2011
MRC's Double Standard on Media Types Advising Presidents
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's grumblings over CNN's Fareed Zakaria apparently advising President Obama on foreign policy has escalated into a full-fledged freakout.

MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a statement asserting that Zakaria "must recuse himself immediately from covering foreign policy that affects the United States," claiming that "must recuse himself immediately from covering foreign policy that affects the United States." Bozell added:

For decades, the liberal media have repeatedly condemned conservatives in the media who communicated privately with Republican presidents. They furiously attacked George Will in 1980 when he advised candidate Ronald Reagan, and trounced on Roger Ailes when he sent President Bush a note about the new war on terror in the wake of September 11th.  Neither of them was a reporter.

But neither is Zakaria. He is a host on CNN and a columnist, not a reporter. And Ailes is more than "not a reporter"; he's the head of a news network.

The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, meanwhile, penned a NewsBusters post headlined, "CNN's Double Standard: Okay When One of Ours Advises the President, Bad When Fox Does It!"He cited a 2002 MRC CyberAlert whining about how CNN supposedly "throughout an entire broadcast day expressed outrage at Ailes' action."

Dickens is ignoring his employer's double standard: At no point in that 2002 CyberAlert did the MRC criticize Ailes' actions. In fact, it defended what Ailes wrote as "pretty conventional advice at a time when all Americans were 'standing shoulder-to-shoulder' with the President, as Nancy Pelosi might say."

If the MRC couldn't be moved to criticize Ailes, it has no credibility to criticize Zakaria.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EDT

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