Topic: Media Research Center
When Ron Suskind's 2008 book, "The Way of the World," came out in 2008, the Media Research Center was eager to discredit it for its critical view of the Bush administration:
- Brent Baker declared that Suskind was a "left-wing journalist," and that outlets that covered the book's allegations that President Bush "knew before the war Iraq had no WMD and that to justify the war the administration forged a letter to prove a connection between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda" downplayed "denials from former CIA Director George Tenet" and ignored that "the letter couldn't have impacted the public before the war since it didn't become public until nine months into the war."
- Tim Graham claimed that Suskind's "novelistic flair goes overboard" because he "pretends to mind-read what President Bush is thinking." (Never mind that the MRC does this sort of mind-reading all the time.)
- Noel Sheppard touted how "both the CIA and its former director George Tenet refuted" Suskind's claims, asking, "Will these rebuttals receive the kind of attention Suskind's allegations did?"
And when Suskind's 2006 book "The One Percent Doctrine" came out, in which the Bush administration also did not come off well,Mark Finkelstein huffed that Suskind is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, where the news pages are "more liberal than even the New York Times," citing a discredited study as evidence.
Now that Suskind has written a new book painting the Obama administration in an unflattering light, the MRC has changed its tune on the author. Far from nit-picking his book or pretending that rebuttal of claims equals a discrediting, the MRC demanded coverage of the book:
- Tim Graham highlighted the book's claims, not mentioning his earlier denouncing of Suskind's "novelistic flair."
- Noel Sheppard noted how the book "paints an unflattering picture of the Obama White House," failing to note how he portrayed the author's previous work as discredited.
- Kyel Drennen presents NBC's Ann Curry confronting Suskind with the Obama White House's rebuttal of Suskind's claims not s a discrediting but as Curry doing the White House's bidding by reading "Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney-approved talking points." The MRC didn't describe the CIA's rebuttal of claims in the earlier Suskind book as "approved talking points."
Funny how, in the eyes of the MRC, an author goes from discredited to lionized depending upon who he's writing about.