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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
MRC Thinks Hitchens' Biggest Achievement Is Flipping Off Bill Maher's Audience
Topic: Media Research Center

You'd think that at the top of any writings by the Media Research Center upon the death of Christopher Hitchens would be his withering attack on Mother Teresa. You would be wrong.

A Dec. 16 NewsBusters post by John Nolte contradictorily praised Hitchens for being a "truth-teller" but also stating that "Hitchens could be infuriating and even wrong" and adding that "he wasn’t always right (especially when it came to Mother Teresa)." If you're a "truth-teller," how can you be wrong?

Nolte headlined his post "A Warm Memory: Chris Hitchens Flips Off Maher's Audience: 'None of You Is Smarter Than' George W. Bush," and also embedded a YouTube video titled "Hitchens flips off Maher's morons." Weirdly, he doesn't reference the incident itself anywhere in his post.

One of his fellow NewsBusters filled that vacuum. The MRC's Brent Baker wrote in a post the next day that Hitchens' death "reminded me of one of his finest moments, which occurred on a Friday night five-and-a-half years ago when he gave the finger to the pretentious, left-wing Los Angeles studio audience of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher." Baker didn't mention Mother Teresa at all.

This was followed by a post by Jill Stanek, who praised Hitchens as a "lucky abortion survivor" who became "pro-life." No mention of Mother Teresa here, either.

Finally, Tim Graham stepped in to fill the vacuum with his misguided rage. In a Dec. 18 rant, Graham whined that NPR's reporting on "atheist author" and "scabrous nun-basher" Hitchens "didn't shrink from noticing that Hitchens viciously bashed the globally beloved nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta." Graham further huffed, "Everyone who insists that the media's obituaries should be kind and generous never met the NPR people who wanted to make sure Hitchens was slinging mud from their taxpayer-supported mudpit at Mother Teresa when she died."

Um, Tim, aren't news organizations supposed to note that sort of thing when someone dies? Hitchens' Mother Teresa piece was, and remains, quite notorious, so why wouldn't have NPR mentioned it?

And if the piece was so offensive, why did three previous NewsBusters writers largely fail to address it in their eulogies of Hitchens, apparently believing that Hitchens' flipping off Bill Maher's audience was more important?

Graham goes on to be bizarrely offended that NPR didn't feel the need to trash Hitchens upon his death:

It should be acknowledged that NPR would insist it's fair and balanced because it brought in his Christian debating partner, Dinesh D'Souza. But again notice how they did not bring D'Souza on NPR's air to do to Hitchens what he did to nuns.

Graham seems to have forgotten how well trashing the deceased went over when his bosses did that to ABC's Peter Jennings upon his death. The MRC quickly added a proper condolence note.

Does Graham have so little Christian charity for Hitchens that he wants to see the guy trashed after his death? What a jerk.

But Graham wasn't done abusing Hitchens' corpse. Another Dec. 18 post is dedicated to complaining that an NPR anchor "celebrated him as non-doctrinaire." Graham then tried to snark: "As if NPR was utterly non-doctrinaire!"

You mean, like the MRC?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST

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