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Monday, July 3, 2017
MRC's Graham Redefines Partisan Media-Bashing As 'Journalism'
Topic: Media Research Center

Terrible media critic Tim Graham has now decided that his partisan anti-media rants aren't about being partisan at all.

In a June 28 Media Research Center post, Graham rails at CNN's Brian Stelter for making the accurate point that partisan right-wing attacks on CNN are "anti-journalism." When Stelter decried right-wing outlets like Breitbart who liken CNN to ISIS, Graham dismissed that inciteful rhetoric as "just trolling." Graham can't know that, of course -- he's just downplaying the idea that the MRC's multimillion-dollar anti-media budget could possibly have any negative consequences. Graham then rants:

But Stelter and his crew are incredibly tolerant of leftists comparing President Trump to Stalin, Hitler, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Un, and terrorists. That’s another day at the office for the liberal media. The mellow liberals compare Trump to Richard Nixon.

Breitbart's James Delingpole offered a point Stelter won't consider, their laughable pretense that the liberal, partisan media isn't liberal or partisan. Delingpole recalled being on a panel discussion: "What amazed me that, while I was perfectly frank with the audience that Breitbart was a conservative media organization which catered for a largely conservative readership, both the guy from CNN and the guy from [the] New York Times were adamant that they were objective seekers-after-truth." The truth about their bias they just never admit. 

Stelter insists that unless you honor and respect the intentions of liberal journalists – never questioning that their motives might be partisan – then you are “anti-journalism.” If you actually document that the media elites “cover up good news and invent bad news,” then you’re “anti-journalism.” If you document that journalists and Democratic operatives are operating hand in glove – like, for example, CNN analysts offering questions to Hillary Clinton in advance, or journalists sending e-mails offering Clinton officials the chance to edit their stories before publication – that’s somehow “anti-journalism.”

Graham concluded: "What we’re doing at NewsBusters isn’t 'anti-journalism.' It’s journalism on journalism."

So Graham and NewsBusters are all about "journalism" now? How precious. If they're so offended by a president being likened to Hitler, where were they when their fellow right-wingers at WorldNetDaily were likening Obama to Hitler and the Antichrist? Hiding, apparently. And it was soooo journalistic for the MRC to fail to denounce Obama birtherism until the charge was levied against Brent Bozell's preferred 2016 presidential candidate, Ted Cruz.

If Graham and NewsBusters care so much about journalism, why are they trying to justify Trump's vicious attack on a media figure who criticized him? And why is Graham so mad that the MRC's hostility to media fact-checkers was called out? Anmd why is NewsBusters insisting that Steve Scalise didn't give a speech he apologized for giving?

Graham's dogged insistence that CNN is a tool of the "liberal, partisan media" betrays the fact that he has never worked a day in an actual journalistic organization and, thus, doesn't know what journalism is. CNN tries to fairly cover a story -- something that can't be said about the MRC's own "news" division,, which is content to be paid Trump stenographers and PR agents for the fossil-fuel industry. (Graham would never concede that our work exposing CNS' slavish right-wing bias is "journalism about journalism.")

If Graham and the MRC actually cared about journalism, CNS wouldn't be slavishly devoted to pushing right-wing talking points and bashing anyone who disagrees with them.It would be a laboratory for showing the "mainstream media" how to do its job. Then again, CNS may be leading by example after all -- the MRC would much rather prefer the entire media to be devoted to pushing right-wing talking points. That's the very definition of "anti-journalism."

As much as he would have you believe otherwise, Graham doesn't give a damn about journalism -- he wants to replace it with right-wing stenography. Calling partisan hackery "journalism" doesn't make it any less hackish.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:41 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2017 4:43 PM EDT

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