Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spends no small amount of time ranting about the "liberal media's" use of anonymous sources. For instance, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham ranted that the Washington Post "quotes anonymous sources multiple times a day" in order to make President Trump look bad, and Jeffrey Lord denounced the anonymous Trump administration staffer who wrote a New York Times op-ed assuring the country that there were indeed adults in the room when Trump goes on dangerout tangents as a "self-righteous idiot" who "anonymously showcase[d] Inside-the-Beltway arrogance."
But in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh saga, the MRC was demanding that the media promote an unverified, anonymously sourced claim. Kristine Marsh huffed in an Oct. 3 post:
ABC, CBS and the first two hours of NBC’s morning news programs completely ignored a damning letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week by Christine Blasey Ford’s ex-boyfriend, which contradicted several of Ford’s statements under oath. The only mention of the letter during the networks’ morning news coverage came during the third hour of Today, with host Megyn Kelly.The letter obtained by Fox News late Tuesday, was written by a man who said he dated Ford for 6 years, with some of that time being spent living together. In the letter, he contradicted many of Ford’s statements under oath, the most important being that she had never prepared or helped anyone prepare for a polygraph test before.
The rest of the letter also calls into question Ford’s credibility, as many of the stories she told on the witness stand about the trauma she’s suffered don’t add up to what the former boyfriend experienced living with her. Despite telling the committee she needed two front doors installed on her home, he pointed out they lived in a tiny apartment for years with only one front door and frequently took trips flying together, even on a small propellor plane. He also claimed that Ford lied to him once about using his credit card to rack up debt, and only admitted to it once he threatened to call the bank’s fraud prevention department.
But instead of reporting on this important letter, the networks diverted attention to a New York Times’ report on President Trump’s supposed tax evasion revealed in his father’s tax returns. The networks also spent time giving credence to a letter written by Kavanaugh during his youth that joked about warning neighbors at a spot he and friends would be vacationing at, that they were a rowdy, group of drunks. So clearly letters are important pieces of evidence to the media only when they corroborate the narrative they are trying to argue.
For all of the MRC's repeated insistence that Ford's claims against Kavanaugh were never corroborated, Marsh offers no evidence the ex-boyfriend's claims have ever been corroborated -- indeed, the woman for whom Ford puroprtedly helped prepare for that polygraph emphatically denied the claim by stating that it "NEVER" happened (all-caps are hers), something Marsh nor anyone else at the MRC bothered to tell their readers -- and Marsh downplays the fact that the ex-boyfriend is hiding behind anonymity, something the MRC was heretofore repeatedly offended by.
Over at the MRC's echo-chamber "news" division CNSNews.com, managing editor Michael W. Chapman emphasized that "The signed letter by the ex-boyfriend is legally binding, which means that if he lied, he faces a felony penalty of up to five years in prison, explained a spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee." He similarly played down the anonymous nature of the accusation. He did add the woman's denial of the anonymous claim in an update to his article, though he inexplicably took her all-caps "NEVER" statement out of all-caps and made the word lowercase.
Without double standards, it seems the MRC wouldn't have any standards at all.