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Wednesday, September 27, 2017
MRC's Hypocritical Attack on Coverage of Puerto Rico
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro huffs in a Sept. 25 post:

Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico last Wednesday and since then, there has been an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis. Most of the island was still without power, supplies slow to arrive, and the threat of a failing dam as of Monday. Despite the terrible news coming from the island, the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have dedicated far more time since Sunday to President Trump’s spat with protesting athletes than to the Puerto Rican people fighting to stay alive.

Between September 24 and September 25, the Big Three Networks spent a total of 92 minutes and 33 seconds of airtime hyperventilating about Trump's feud with various sports athletes. Compared to the 25 minutes and 45 seconds of total airtime between the three for Puerto Rico, over those two days. That means the networks spent 3.6 times more airtime on Trump’s Twitter war than the humanitarian crisis.

Again, the MRC has chosen to focus only on TV networks with a limited amount of news space, completely and deliberately ignoring the cable news channels (after all, that ratio probably occurred at its beloved Fox News as well).

The big problem here, though, is the utterly hypocritical nature of the criticism. Because you know who else prioritized Trump's NFL spat over the crisis in Puerto Rico? The MRC.

At the same time Fondacaro's post went live, the front page of the MRC's "news" division,, contained 13 stories, columns and blog post and Trump's NFL spat, seven of which were at the top of the page -- with the lead story being MRC chief Brent Bozell's own NFL-bashing rant:

At the same time, there were no stories on its front page -- none -- about Puerto Rico. Indeed, the first article about Puerto Rico at CNS wasn't posted until a day after the MRC's so-called study was issued -- and it was a column from the Heritage Foundation whining that "American workers and businesses will not be able to play a major role in the reconstruction unless President Donald Trump overrules the Department of Homeland Security and issues an extensive waiver from the commerce-killing Jones Act." That was followed an hour later by a stenography piece by Melanie Arter in which Trump declares that the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico are going well.

Neither article offered anything more than a glancing mention of the growing humanitarian crisis in the country.

The MRC is criticizing the media for doing the exact same thing its own "news" outlet is doing. That's the height of hypocrisy.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EDT

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