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Saturday, September 22, 2018
MRC Was Much Harder On CBS Chief's Sexual Harassment Than Fox News Chief's
Topic: Media Research Center

How did the Media Research Center cover the sexual harassment allegations that ultimately forced Les Moonves from his position CEO of CBS? In short, with glee:

  • Kyle Drennen claimed the network was in "damage control" and asserted that one reporter "tout[ed] the company line that the accusations may just be a case of 'corporate hardball' as CBS fights off an attempt to re-merge with its former parent company Viacom."
  • Scott Whitlock sneered that CBS host John Dickerson showed "no self awareness as to the people he’s worked with" when he talked about how "one test of a person’s character is if they do the right thing when they don't think anybody is looking," claiming that "The network that, for years, employed alleged sexual harassers Charlie Rose and CEO Les Moonves decided to lecture Americans."
  • Whitlock cheered that "CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King on Tuesday launched a preemptive strike against her own network. She attacked top officials for not showing transparency in an investigation of ex-CEO Les Moonves, a man now accused of sexual harassment and assault.
  • When CBS "60 Minutes" exective producer Jeff Fager was ousted amid similar allegations though, apparently, ultimately because of a not-so-veiled threat he made to a CBS correspondent covering the allegations, Nicholas Fondacaro praised how the correspondent did "her due diligence as a journalist" and how "CBS Evening Newsanchor Jeff Glor delivered a heartfelt message to his colleague" after reporting the story on his show.
  • Tim Graham and Brent Bozell wrote a column bashing Moonves as a "shameless hypocrite, claiming that "Moonves seems similar to Bill Clinton, who struck women as very warm and charming... until he made unwanted advances – to say the least! – and wasn’t getting what he wanted." They went on to grumble: "Over the years, CBS has championed a commitment to expose sexual harassment, even as inside its studios, it was doing the opposite. They wanted to punish Republicans from Donald Trump to Clarence Thomas, whether the accusations were true or not. All along their executives were harassing and assaulting dozens of staff. This wasn’t a casting couch. It was an entire living-room set."

Let's recall how Bozell, Graham and the rest of the MRC provided a much different tone of coverage regarding allegations of sexual harassment against the head of its favorite news channel, Roger Ailes, its top anchor, Bill O'Reilly, and other Fox News hosts and executives, shall we?

  • Graham made light of the accusations against Ailes by quipping that "If these claims of sexual harassment are true, Ailes seems more like Bob Packwood than J. Edgar Hoover."
  • One NewsBusters blogger insisted that Ailes shouldn't be blamed for the pervasive culture of sexual harassment at Fox News, and another claimed it was "liberal bias" for anyone to even discuss Ailes' sexual harassment issues.
  • Whwen Ailes died a year after his sexual harassment was exposed, Bozell gushed that "The good Roger did for America is immeasurable" while completely ignoring the harassment claims. Meanwhile, his MRC attacked every media outlet who referenced thte sexual harassment while reporting on Ailes' death.
  • Graham and Bozell issued a perfunctory denunciation of O'Reilly ("If all the charges of sexual harassment are true, his case is indefensible"), then spent the rest of their column attacking O'Reilly's critics as guilty of "rank hypocrisy," dismissing the allegations as old news and portraying O'Reilly as the victim of a hypocritical "liberal media."
  • The MRC touted O'Reilly's appearance on NBC in which he denied any harassment without offering any evidence to back him up and insisted he was the victim of a "hit job, a political and financial hit job."
  • Bozell touted in an intervew how Fox News viewers would ignore the accusations and that “They’re not going to stop watching Hannity because of Roger Ailes. ... I don’t think they connect the two of them at all.”
  • Graham attacked one of Ailes' accusers, Gretchen Carlson, suggesting she made the accusations only to get a big out-of-court settlement and to promote her book. Graham also insisted that ex-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was making too much money in her new gig at NBC to complain about harassment from her former employer.
  • No MRC item has ever mentioned sexual harassment allegations against Fox News hosts Eric Bolling and Charles Payne.

Given their double standard-laden record, perhaps Bozell, Graham and the rest of the MRC should refrain from acting so high and mighty the next time an employee of a channel they loathe faces sexual harassment charges.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EDT

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