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Friday, August 17, 2018
FLASHBACK: When The MRC Loved Secret Taping
Topic: Media Research Center

Secret or deceptive taping is suddenly an issue at the Media Research Center.

Callista Ring complained that Sacha Baron Cohen's new show was all about "ridiculing conservatives" in taped encounters as part of a "fake, absurd program" done in character, most of which "mock conservatives through humiliation, the cheapest form of humor." Lindsay Kornick threw more shade at the show, huffing over its "appalling targeting of conservative figures disguised as entertainment. Of course, the result is not entertaining in the slightest which explains why hardly anybody watches it."

And when Omarosa Manigault Newman began promoting her book detailing her time working in the Trump White House, the MRC's Curtis Houck denounced her as making "salacious, unverified claims." When she revealed tapes of conversations she had with administration officials, Kyle Drennen whined that the media was giving too much time to them despite Omarosa's "major credibility problems."

The MRC then swiftly moved into whataboutism mode. Tim Graham and Brent Bozell tried to distract from Omarosa's tapes by reliving NBC "suppressed" Juanita Broaddrick's accusation that Bill Clinton raped her "until the threat of removing their darling President Clinton from office had passed" (though Graham and Bozell suppress the fact that -- speaking of credibility problems -- Broaddrick had spent nearly two decades claiming he didn't). Then, the ultimate whataboutism: A post by Geoffrey Dickens headlined "FLASHBACK: When The Media Despised Secret Taping," in which he complained that "the networks" hyped Omarosa's "negative takes" and played "audio from her surreptitious tapes," when "In 1998 when Linda Tripp recorded her conversations with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky about her trysts with Clinton, the former Pentagon employee was savaged as a 'treacherous' 'back-stabbing' 'betrayer' by journalists at TV and print outlets."

As long as we're going to play the whataboutism game, let's look back at a time when the MRC loved secret tapes.

In 2015, when the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress secretly taped Planned Parenthood officials, then edited those tapes out of context to make claims about things that, for the most part, didn't actually happen, the MRC first nitpicked coverage, complaining that fetuses were accurately described as fetuses instead of the conservatively correct term of "unborn children" and that CMP leader David Daleiden was accurately described as an "extremist" (as if secretly taping people as part of a calculated political attack isn't extreme). The MRC also turned a blind eye to how the CMP selectively edited its secretly recorded tapes, arguing that it was OK because CMP ultimately released unedited versions of its tapes (which came some time after the edited versions and more often than not showed the activities CMP attacked didn't happen as described in the edited versions). Of course, the MRC preferred the term "undercover video" instead of "secretly recorded" and never saw fit to question the credibility of Daleiden and the CMP.

Like everything else the MRC does, this is predicated solely on whatever advances whatever right-wing agenda it's currently trying to push.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT

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