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Monday, December 5, 2016
Did Rich MRC Donor Drive Bozell's Trump Flip?
Topic: Media Research Center

During the presidential campaign, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell flip-flopped from opposing Donald Trump to leading his MRC in advocating for his candidacy. And since Trump won the election, Bozell has been even more solicitous of Trump.

His (and Tim Graham's) obsequious Nov. 23 column offers advice to the president-elect, cheering his victory even though "The entire establishment was arrayed against you and did everything to vilify you" (only obliquely alluding to the fact that among them was Bozell himself). And Bozell got his stenographers over at CNS to do an article about him heaping praise on Trump's Cabinet picks: "Conservatives should be very pleased with the decisions coming out of Trump Tower."

But Bozell hasn't been very forthcoming about what caused his Trump flip. It may just come down to one very big thing: money.

A Newsweek article examines how billionaire Robert Mercer has been a guiding force behind Trump's campaign, and how his daughter, Rebekah, has been even more intimately involved, with ties to Trump campaign officials like Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.

The article also notes that the MRC "gets a lot of money from the Mercer Family Foundation," and quotes Bozell slobbering all over Robert Mercer: “What will just blow you away is how smart he is…. You start listening on a conversation he’s having with someone else, and guaranteed within 60 seconds your mind is in some happy place because you have no idea what he’s talking about.”

Bozell unsurprisingly has good things to say about Rebekah as well: "She is like her dad. ... She understands issues, she understands people, she has a very good read on what’s real and what’s BS."

How much money has Mercer given the MRC? According to the Center for Public Integrity, Mercer has given the MRC approximately $13.5 million between 2008 and 2014, and the $3 million Mercer gave the MRC in 2014 made up one-fourth of all contributions that year.

As one might imagine, the MRC keeps Mercer's ties to the MRC on the down-low. A 2015 post by Clay Waters, for example, complained that a New York Times article made Mercer "sound suspicious, even sinister," but didn't disclose that Mercer is a major MRC donor (though did admit that "Rebekah Mercer serves on the board of directors of the Media Research Center").

The Newsweek article concludes on this note:

Bozell insists that the Mercers have no motive besides patriotism and that they fall outside of any D.C. oligarchy. “When you’re a billionaire or a multibillionaire, you really don’t need anything,” he says. “These people are driven by what they believe is good for the country.”

It's almost like he's being paid to say that.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EST

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