Topic: Media Research Center
Now the Media Research Center is joining the right-wing bandwagon to portray far-right filmmaker Joel Gilbert as the victim of Democratic meanies at the Federal Election Commission.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham writes in an April 19 NewsBusters post:
Our friend Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner reports that the Republicans and the Democrats on the Federal Election Commission are divided over a vote to punish anti-Obama filmmaker Joel Gilbert for distributing free DVDs in 2012 of his movie Dreams From My Real Father, which made unsubstantiated claims that Obama's real father was the communist Frank Marshall Davis.
Lee Goodman, a Republican commissioner (and former chairman) at the FEC, issued a statement accusing the Democrats of “regulatory avarice within the agency to regular press entities.”
In 2014, anti-birther activist Loren Collins filed an FEC complaint against Gilbert, arguing that the filmmaker had a responsibility to disclose his donors. He wanted the FEC to force Gilbert to disclose his funding sources. The FEC only recently deadlocked in a 3 to 3 party-line vote. Gilbert was considered “press,” and thus not subject to donor disclosure.
Graham is understating the lack of veracity of Gilbert's film. Gilbert's claims weren't merely "unsubstantiated" -- they were outright lies. Even the far-right American Thinker debunked Gilbert's insistence that Davis is Obama's "real father," and his claim that Obama's mother posted for nude pictures has been similarly discredited.
Graham also doesn't explain how being forced to disclose the source of the funds he used to make those millions of DVDs of his discredited film to key swing states during the 2012 election is "punishment." He also doesn't explain how someone who has promoted demonstrably false claims -- and deliberately so, since he adjusted the promotion of his film as its claims were debunked -- should be covered under the First Amendment.
It's telling that Graham cites Paul Bedard, who has also helped to ridiculously portray Gilbert as a victim despite the fact he effectively won his case, as his source. He's such a "friend" of the MRC that he writes a weekly item trumpeting the MRC'slatest bit of "liberal bias," which the MRC then compiles at NewsBusters.