Topic: Media Research Center
As of this writing, the Media Research Center has devoted a whopping 31 posts referencing the sexual harassment allegations surrounding now-former film executive Harvey Weinstein, a large number of them calling out people and media outlets that weren't obsessing over it as hard as the MRC has been, or who had previous links to Weinstein. For instance:
- NBC Blacks Out Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Allegations
- Sean Spicer Mocks WashPost for Skipping Weinstein Scandal In Their Hard Copy
- Not Speaking Truth to Power: ‘Brave’ Late Night Hosts Skip Weinstein Sex Scandal
- Late Night Comedians, Washington Post Duck, Stumble on Harvey Weinstein Coverage
- Unlike ABC, CBS Hammers Obama and Clinton for Sleazy Weinstein Connections
- CNN’s Bash Unloads on Obamas Over Weinstein Donations, Silence: ‘Where Are the Obamas?’
- LAME: 'SNL' Boss Claims They Skipped Weinstein Mockery as a 'New York Thing'
If the MRC wants to play that game, let's take a look at how it reacted to two other recent high-profile cases of serial sexual harassment -- but these involved the leader and the star employee of the MRC's favorite channel, Fox News.
When tales of sexual harassment by Roger Ailes forced him to resign last year from the "news" channel he created, the MRC was the opposite of obsessed; it was mentioned only in passing, when it was mentioned at all. In one of the very rare times it did address the issue, one NewsBusters blogger insisted that Ailes shouldn't be blamed for the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News, and another claimed it was "liberal bias" for anyone to even discuss Ailes' sexual harassment issues.
When Ailes died earlier this year, not only did the statement on his death by MRC chief Brent Bozell fail to mention the sexual harassment, the MRC attacked anyone who attempted to include sexual harassment as part of an accurate accounting of Ailes' legacy.
When star Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was ousted from the network over similar sexual harassment allegations, the MRC didn't really want to talk about that either -- not even when its Tim Graham appeared on the final edition of O'Reilly's old show and had a chance to speak truth to power. Graham and Bozell then issued a perfunctory denunciation of O'Reilly, then spent the rest of their column attacking O'Reilly's critics, dismissing the allegations as old news and portraying O'Reilly as the victim of a hypocritical "liberal media." (Never mind Bozell and Graham's own hypocrisy in being unable to denounce sexual harassment without invoking the Clintons.)
Last month, the MRC touted O'Reilly's appearance on NBC in which he denied any harassment without offering any evidence to back him up and -- in an echo of Bozell and Graham -- insisted he was the victim of a "hit job, a political and financial hit job." Would the MRC ever provide a similarly uncritical platform for Weinstein to deny the allegations against him? Highly unlikely.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Bozell even suggested that the sexual harassment charges against Ailes and O'Reilly weren't true, and even if they were, the Fox News audience wouldn't care:
But many of the stories are background noise to Fox viewers suspicious of bias by the “mainstream media,” said Brent Bozell, president of the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center. Many question the truth of the stories or see them as payback for Fox’s success, he said.
“They’re not going to stop watching Hannity because of Roger Ailes,” Bozell said. “I don’t think they connect the two of them at all.”
Bozell didn't say whether he himself was having the same disconnect -- one that the MRC, by contrast, is working to ensure doesn't happen between Weinstein and anyone even tangentally associated with him.
The MRC has no room whatsoever to complain about silence and hypocrisy by others on the issue of sexual harassment. Yet it insists on complaining anyway.