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Tuesday, December 29, 2015
MRC's Double Standard on 'Lazy' Politicians
Topic: Media Research Center

A Dec. 21 NewsBusters post contains a dutiful transcription of the Media Research Center's glorious leader:

"Let's pretend that Marco Rubio were a Democrat." Members of that party would, "in a New York second," slam the Washington Post for the "bigotry and racism and profiling" in their story "because, after all, they just called an Hispanic lazy" in today's front-page hit piece, "Rubio's aloofness on stump unnerves GOP activists," the Media Research Center's (MRC) Brent Bozell argued in his appearance on the Dec. 21 edition of Fox News Channel'sYour World w/ Neil Cavuto.

A headline for an online edition of the story is freighted with even more loaded language: "Will Rubio work hard enough to become president? Some backers are worried."

Bozell doesn't mention that the Post article in question not once uses any form of the word "lazy," meaning that his assertion is false on its face. It's not even true in paraphrase; the Post cited actual Republicans -- not asserted on its own, as Bozell claims -- who are "alarmed at his seeming disdain for the day-to-day grind of retail politics," citing his reluctance to stray outside the Des Moines area while campaigning in Iowa and his reticence to talk to the news media or take questions at town hall meetings. The Post also gave ample space to Rubio and his partisans to respond to the charges.

As if Bozell deliberately misrepresenting the issue wasn't bad enough, his own record leaves much to be desired when it comes to accusing politicians of being lazy.

When Fox News chief accused President Obama of being lazy in an interview that appeared in Zev Chafets' fawning Ailes biography -- and "lazy" was the exact word Ailes used -- Bozell's MRC rushed to his defense:

  • Matt Hadro insisted that Ailes actually "used Obama's own words," though that's not exactly true. Obama responded to a question about "the trait you most deplore in yourself, and the trait you most deplore in others" by saying, "There is a deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach." That's does not equal to Ailes' Obama-is-lazy assertion.
  • Mastthew Sheffield dismissed the controversy as merely being about "one small anecdote" and asserted that it was Obama who "called himself lazy."
  • Joe Newby whined that "Since Obama’s election, liberals have bent over backward to portray any criticism of the president as racist."
  • Sheffield returned to assert that "Roger Ailes had idleness on his mind, not racism,"and that any newspersonality who calls Ailes out on it is just a "Fox hater."
  • Noel Sheppard was taken aback by the statement by media critic Howard Kurtz -- not yet a Fox News employee -- stating that "I think this president works very hard and doesn’t take many vacations," going on to sneer that "when you factor in the number of rounds of golf he's played, I'm not sure many Americans would consider him a hard worker."

If Bozell allowed his employees to defend calling Obama lazy, why should anyone believe him when he exhibits a double standard?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST

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