Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tries to turn a blind eye to the conservative bias of local TV station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group. That turned into full defense mode after Sinclair ordered the news personnel at its local stations to read a script about "fake news" that sounds not unlike Donald Trump's rhetoric:
- Curtis Houck went the whataboutism route, complaining that MSNBC's "Morning Joe" "ripped" the promo but "without any sense of irony in how they licked the Obama administration’s boots and serve as home for the Resistance."
- Nicholas Fondacaro attacked "disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather" for criticizing the promo, adding that "he relentlessly pushed a fake news story about President George W. Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War. He still claims it’s true."
- Ryan Foley insisted the Sinclair statement the local news folks were forced to read was "generic," then tried to spin away the "fake news" phrase: "While the media does not seem to like Sinclair’s denunciation of “fake news” because they attribute that term to President Trump, keep in mind that President Obama used the phrase 'fake news' in the weeks following the 2016 Presidential Election as the Democrats began crafting the Russian interference narrative as an excuse for their loss." But Obama was talking about actual fake news; Trump uses the term to refer to any media report critical of him.
- Fondacaro went a-Heathering in denouncing conservative HLN host S.E. Cupp for having "parroted the CNN company line by condemning Sinclair Broadcast Group as nothing more than state-owned propaganda." Fondacaro then defended CNN: "What Cupp and the rest of CNN are whining about is Sinclair basically making their version of CNN’s laughable #FactsFirst ads, but Sinclair has instead capitalized on the public’s rightful distrust of national media."
- Scott Whitlock served up more whataboutism in huffing that CBS focused on Sinclair though "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King "is a Democratic donor" and a friend of possible 2020 presidentialcandidate Oprah Winfrey. Whitlock further huffed: "So if King can donate to Democrats and be good friends with a Democrat who may run for president, it’s rather hypocritical for CBS to criticize Sinclair."
The MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell couldn't resist doing a column about this, of course. They do concede that "Sinclair has long aired conservative commentary on its local stations," but went on to whine: "Now, remember that most of these Sinclair stations are affiliates of ABC, CBS and NBC. So liberals object to a 60-second promo — but see nothing wrong with '60 Minutes' promoting Trump's alleged porn-star lover or the forthcoming prime-time George Stephanopoulos interview hour with former FBI Director James Comey on these very same stations."
Jeffrey Lord also weighed in with a defense of Sinclair and its conservative bias:
To be a liberal in the media is to be presented to the audience as a straight-shooter, a neutral observer charged with a “just the facts m’am” presentation. When in fact the “just the facts” presentation is actually all about the “facts” as presented through a liberal lens.
The reason the Sinclair episode here is so enlightening is that it shows just how the liberal media game works. Sinclair, a conservative media company, takes over what has been an outlet putting out “news” as decided by a producer (and presumably others) who have, shall we say with understatement, “a liberal world view.” Precisely because the liberal game is interrupted and its monopoly on news presentation is changed by a conservative - all liberal media hell breaks loose.
What Sinclair is doing around the country is “taking control of the liberal media narrative” of the news as broadcast on Sinclair stations - and changing it.“The liberal media narrative” something that has been held in a monopoly until the advent of talk radio, Fox News, the Internet and - in this case - now by Sinclair.
The MRC loves media bias -- when it reflects the MRC's own.
UPDATE: The MRC's upset over Sinclair being portrayed as state-run TV is rather hilarious given that it has no problem hurling that claim itself. A January 2017 post by Whitlock called MSNBC "state run TV" because Brian Williams said something nice about President Obama.