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Friday, June 3, 2016
MRC Defends Trump's Intimidation of Judge
Topic: Media Research Center

Yes, it really was just a month ago that the Media Research Center was complaining that media coverage of Donald trump wasn't negative enough. Now the MRC is looking for ways to excuse and defend Trump's sleaziest tactics.

In a June 2 post, Nicholas Fondacaro complains that Trump is being held accountable for attempting to intimidate a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, that is presiding over a fraud case involving his Trump University. Slandering a judge is perfectly OK, Fondacaro argues, because President Obama did it first:

Interesting, because President Barack Obama did just that in 2010 when he angrily rebuked the Supreme Court for their decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The President’s heavy handed criticism came during a fiery State of the Union speech where he claimed the Justices, in a 5-4 decision, “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.” This was the State of the Union where Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito famously mouthed the words “not true” to the President.

Except the two situations are not alike at all. Obama did not criticize the Citizens United decision until after it was made -- not while the case was still in the legal system, as is the case with Trump -- and he did not personally attack any of the judges involved, whereas Trump is specifically and personally attacking the judge in the Trump University case.

MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham, meanwhile, takes a side step from bashing CNN's Jeffrey Toobin to defend Trump's attacks on Curiel, totally buying into Trump's argument that because Curiel has a Mexican background, he is obviously biased against Trump:

This same Jeffrey “Not a Big Deal” Toobin was freaking out to Anderson Cooper on Thursday night that Trump would say Latino judge Gonzalo Curiel has a conflict of interest in his Trump University case because he belongs to (and was honored by) the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, which advocates against racial profiling and for “undocumented” immigrants and has a political action committee.

Toobin proclaimed this was just a "social organization," somehow nonpolitical. "It is not a conflict of interest. Donald Trump can say what he wants, but what he is saying about the judge is completely wrong under all of the current rules of ethics."

By contrast, the MRC was upset in 2000 at calls that then-Florida Secreatary of State Katherine Harris,  a co-chairman of George W. Bush's presidential campaign in florida, should recuse herself from supervising election activities involving the extremely close vote between Bush and Al Gore, and MRC chief was mad that anyone would dare question Harris' integrity.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:35 PM EDT

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