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Monday, October 24, 2016
MRC: Media 'Collusion' Doesn't Require Actual Collusion
Topic: Media Research Center

To see just how far down the rabbit hole the Media Research Center is on the idea that "the media" is colluding against Donald Trump, just read this Oct. 16 post by Nicholas Fondacaro.

In it, he rages at CNN's Brian Stelter for dismissing the idea of media collusion as "not just false, it's ludicrous and it's damaging." He was joined by the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan, who pointed out that Nobody is sitting in a room with each other and planning to, you know, do anything evil to a candidate. It's just not the case." Sullivan added: "I mean, there are media outlets, there are newspapers, there are cable TV stations, there are network news, but there is no, sort of, little group called 'the media' that gets together and decides to do terrible things to Donald Trump. How do you prove that? It's a reality check."

Fondacaro responded that equating groupthink to collusion:

The strawman argument presented by Sullivan is just about as absurd as she believes Trump’s is about the media. The media doesn’t need to meet like a cabal to push an agenda. There are members of the media who admit that the industry is dominated by liberals. And the fact that most of them see the world through a similar prism means their coverage is colored how they perceive it.

So collusion doesn't require actual collusion, just people who think the same way?  How ridiculous.

Fondacaro's insistence that there is a monolithic "media" shows how little he knows about how the media works -- shocking since he's supposed to be a media researcher.

The New York Times is not the Washington Post is not the New York Post is not the Los Angeles Times is not CBS is not CNN is not the Omaha World-Herald. Lumping all newspapers and TV into "the media," as  Fondacaro insists on doing (and which the MRC is paying to do) simply ignores reality. There are many different owners and separate newsrooms, and even ridiculously assuming that every journalist has the exact same training that somehow automatically turns them into liberal elites who think exactly alike, the odds of the kind of lockstep groupthink Fondacaro and the MRC insist takes place is small indeed.

As further evidence of this alleged collusion, Fondacaro cites "Media Research Center data which shows how lopsided recent coverage of the candidates had been, linking to an MRC post complaining that "a tape showing Trump making inappropriate remarks" received much more coverage than "the Wikileaks release of multiple years’ worth of e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s staff." But that  so-called research reflects the MRC's own lazy bias: it covers only the three TV network and completely ignores the cable news networks.

We're willing to bet that even Fox News, the MRC's favorite media outlet, gave a healthy amount of time to Trump's vile misogyny -- er, "inappropriate remarks." But as we've pointed out, the MRC gibe Fox News a pass because 1) it has the media bias the MRC prefers, and 2) MRC chief Brent Bozell and other MRC officials regularly appear on it, and they won't jeopardize their main source of media exposure.

Fondacaro then attacked Stelter:

Before the first presidential debate he demanded that Trump receive harsher treatment than Clinton from the moderator. He even attacked Associated Press reporters for exposing connections between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department. Obviously, Stelter’s claim that the liberal media does not aid the Clinton campaign is also “ludicrous,” or maybe he’s trying to land a spot in Clinton’s next media party.  

Inn fact, according to the link Fondacaro supplied (to an earlier post he wrote), Stelter did not "demand that Trump receive harsher treatment than Clinton" during a debate; he argued that debate moderators should check facts during a debate, a process that would hurt Trump because he lies exponentially more than Clinton does.

As far as Fondacaro's snide pot shot that Stelter is just "trying to land a spot in Clinton’s next media party" goes: Does he think Stelter will get better treatment there than the MRC gave debate moderator (and handpicked choice) Chris Wallace?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT

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