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Thursday, June 21, 2012
NewsBusters Dismisses Right-Wing Group's Offensive Tweet As 'Mistaken'
Topic: NewsBusters

The resignation of Commerce Secretary John Bryson over health issues raised by a seizure that caused car accidents reminds us that we forgot to highlight how NewsBusters tried to cover for an offensive tweet about Bryson made by a right-wing group.

MRC researcher Kyle Drennen headlined his June 12 NewsBusters post "NBC, Arbiter of Civility? 'Today' Correspondent Slams Conservative Group for Mistaken Tweet." But Drennen offers no evidence that the tweet -- published on the Twitter account of Karl Rove-founded right-wing super PAC American Crossroads -- was mistaken. In fact, one can argue that typing out the tweet and hitting the "Publish" button is the exact opposite of "mistaken."

Drennen also avoids discussing the content of the American Crossroads tweet, leaving it only in the transcript at the end of the article, but nevertheless insisted that it was a "joking" tweet. Here's the tweet, which falsely accused Bryson of being drunk: "How does @commerce sec have three car crashes in five minutes and alcohol not be involved? #Skills." Where's the joke? Drennen doesn't explain.

Drennen also baselessly suggested that the offensive tweet wasn't live for very long; in fact, Politico reported that it was up for "a few hours" before it was deleted and followed by an apology from American Crossroads.

Of course, nobody at the MRC was offended when Rush Limbaugh spent three days hurling misogynistic smears at Sandra Fluke -- in fact, Drennen was more offended that Fluke was allowed to appear on TV to talk about Limbaugh's tirade. Drennen's outrage that NBC was portraing itself as an "arbiter of civility" when he couldn't be moved to say a word of criticism over Limbaugh is doubly hypocritical.

Given that, it's no surprise that Drennen would work so hard to spin away the offensive nature of the American Crossroads tweet. Making false accusations is nothing more than a "joke" to him.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EDT

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