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Monday, May 9, 2016
MRC Still Hiding Behind Levin To Criticize Fox News -- But It's Getting A Little Bolder
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a lot of trouble criticizing Fox News -- where MRC chief Brent Bozell has a weekly segment and he and his underlings make regular appearances -- so it uses right-wing talk radio host (and friend of the MRC) Mark Levin to serve as cover.

It does so again via a May 4 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham: "In a LevinTV video made publicly available, conservative author and talk-radio host Mark Levin slammed Fox News for allowing Donald Trump to spread the bizarre National Enquirer smear of Ted Cruz’s father Rafael, suggesting that he was “caught on camera” standing next to John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in 1963."

Graham -- who we can assume is lockstep with Bozell as endorsing Ted Cruz -- keeps the passive Fox voice while quoting Levin or others citing Levin  criticizing Fox News:

Levin offered the same message on his radio show on Tuesday night: “You’re not a news channel anymore. You’re the Fox Channel,” Levin said. “And what the hell is with the hosts on the Fox & Friends show? That didn't even challenged Donald Trump!...Not a damn question! Nothing! Zero!” He also roasted Fox’s The Five for “laughing” about the Trump smear. "They have humiliated themselves,” Levin said. “Does Donald sound like he’s cutting a joke [with this JFK allegation]? Does Kilmeade sound like he’s laughing? No, it’s very serious.”

Over at The Right Scoop, they report Trump also spread the Cruz smear on Sean Hannity's national talk radio show without a serious challenge. When Trump unspooled his smear, Hannity asked "Was that verified ever?" Trump replied "They wouldn't let it in if they could be sued...they're very big professionals." Trump also claimed against videotaped reality  that "I  don't think Ted Cruz denied it at his news conference." Hannity then said "I don't know the truth or veracity of it, but let me move on....."

Graham doesn't mention that for years Bozell had (may may still have) a weekly segment on Hannity's Fox News show in which he regurgitates the MRC's greatest hits of that week. For Graham to call out Hannity in this fairly passive way is probably the closest the MRC has come to bashing Fox News for its Trump fanboyism. After all, even when the MRC demonstrated Fox News' pro-Trump bias, it wouldn't even use the B-word in doing so.

Graham even committed the unusual (for the MRC) tactic of praising CNN's Jake Tapper for being hard on Trump for his atack on Cruz, but he still stayed passive by adding: "A 'pro-truth position' is what we should expect any news channel or journalism organization to take."

Now if Graham could explicitly admit that Fox News is the organization that needs to take that "pro-truth position" regarding Trump, we'd have some real evidence that the MRC actually does care about media research.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT

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