Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is quite hurt that former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is being criticized for releasing a book critical of President Obama while still in office.
Ken Shepherd declared in an Oct. 7 NewsBusters post that Panetta is an "elder statesman" who "has done Americans of all political stripes a favor by giving his honest assessment -- whether you agree with it or not -- of the deficiencies of the current administration." Tom blumer lamented that CNN "let long-time Obama loyalist Bill Burton smear Panetta as 'sad,' 'dishonorable,' and 'small and petty.' Burton also came within inches of accusing Panetta of betraying his country because we are now 'at a time of a lot of instabilities around the world.'"
But when it came to a different official who was critical of the administration he served, the MRC had a much different view.
When former Bush administration press secretary Scott McClellan published a memoir in 2008 while Bush was still in office, the MRC rushed to attempt to discredit. It grumbled that McClellan's publisher "is a liberal whose publishing house is affiliated with the far-left The Nation magazine and the publisher of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" and was offended at Katie Couric's suggestion that McClellan's critics were reading from "coordinated talking points," but not denying it by adding, "As if that's somehow improper."
The MRC later dismissed McClellan's book as an "anti-Bush screed" and that his publisher "had no interest in a pro-George W. Bush book." It also attacked one commentator for pointing out that memoirs by McClellan and other former Bush staffers show a pattern of "demanded loyalty and suppressed dissent," which the MRC insisted was merely "iberal-leaning psychoanalysis."
The MRC's NewsBusters made sure to publish the Bush White House's response to McClellan's memoir that called him "disgruntled," and Noel Sheppard demanded that "the first question McClellan is asked in any interview" be about whether he believed at the time he was spouting "propaganda" when he defended the runup to the Iraq War. Tim Graham whined that Newsweek was hailing McClellan as a "truth-teller," and Mark Finkelstein called him a "turncoat" and asked, "Was it all worth it, Scott?"
Presumably, that's a question the MRC will not be asking of Panetta.