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Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Whataboutism-ists At The MRC Accuse Others of Whataboutism
Topic: Media Research Center

One standard rhetorical tactic the Media Research Center loves to engage in is whataboutism -- defecting from an allegation against an ally by claiming an opponent is doing the exact same thing. Its response to the devastating New Yorker story on Fox News is a good example of how this works.

So it's a bit funny to see the MRC accuse others of whataboutism. For some reason, it did this a lot regarding people taking about Msulim Rep. Ilhan Omar's statements critical of Israel.

Alex Christy complained that MSNBC guest Sam Stein noted that "many liberal Jews have many of the same problems with Benjamin Netanyahu that Omar does" then "moved to the real story: anti-Muslim behavior. 'This is not whataboutism, although it's going to come across that way, but there is and has to be a better understanding of the degree to which anti-Muslim behavior isn't just rhetorical, but it permeates our politics in ways people don't totally appreciate,' Stein declared." Christy added: "Perhaps, it sounds like whataboutism, because it is."

Curtis Houck similarly huffed that "Kirsten Powers became stricken with an embarrassing case of whataboutism" by "blasting President Trump and suggesting that criticism of Omar has been Islamophobic and sexist."

In another post, Houck didn't use the word but described whataboutism in practice by claiming that CNN's Erin Burnett "and two panelists spent over 10 minutes trying to muddy the waters on anti-Semitism, downplaying Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s long history of anti-Semitic comments because the President’s Charlottesville comments and white supremacists are the ones worth denouncing (instead of both)." Houck then asserted that Burnett "smugly went after Trump as a raging hypocrite, implying he’s okay with anti-Semitism" -- even though Burnett provided examples of such that Houck didn't dispute.

As we've noted, Houck has previously tried to handwave Trump's anti-Semitic tendenciees by arguing that Trump "didn't know what he was doing" when he tweeted an image showing Hillary on a pile of cash with a Star of David shape reading, "Most corrupt candidate ever!"

Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 PM EDT

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