Topic: Media Research Center
As Trump loyalists, the Media Research Center was eager to portray Attorney General William Barr's brief summary of the Mueller report as the final word on Trump's complete exoneration -- and not, you know, the actual report, which the MRC has yet to see -- and portray anyone who doesn't accept the Barr summary as delusional partisans who won't accept reality. Typical is the March 27 column by MRC bigwigs Brent Bozell and Tim Graham:
The psychedelic balloon of liberal hope in Robert Mueller is no more. It started to leak helium months ago, and some liberals worried that his final conclusions might be ... "disappointing."
They wanted the special counsel to deliver the goods, the evidence of collusion. This would not make Donald Trump an ordinary run-of -the-mill felon. This would make him complicit in an effort to subvert the federal government. Donald Trump would be a traitor.
What a pound full of sick puppies.
To wish this against your own president is its own form of anti-Americanism, if one contemplates the ensuing constitutional upheaval at home and the truly frightening international scenarios abroad. Russia, China, Iran and North Korea would run wild, as would every dangerous terror movement across the globe.
A patriotic liberal would set aside personal and political hostilities and celebrate the vindication of his president. We're not seeing this because the loudest of President Trump's detractors — especially in the press — are radicals, not liberals, and they're quite willing to endure existential chaos if that's the price for Trump's removal.
Needless to say, Bozell, Graham and Co. acted exactly the same way they now deride when the various invesigations into President Clinton and his wife uncovered nothing more damning against them than Bill Clinton lying about sex.
Indeed, for years after Clinton left office, the MRC -- and Graham in particular -- got mad any time someone pointed out the inconvenient fact of the Clintons not getting charged with anything, insisting that that didn't mean they weren't guilty.
For instance, Graham whined in a 2007 post:
Clearly, Robert Ray’s (and Kenneth Starr’s) office investigated the FBI files matter and brought no criminal charges. But as usual, the Clintons always suggest that if they’re not indicted, then they have "done nothing wrong." They would say that even if they were indicted.
I’d say Ray’s text dismissing culpability in the FBI files matter seems to go beyond the legal questions to suggesting that there was somehow no scandal or wrongdoing anywhere in the chain of acquisition and archiving of Republican FBI files by the Clinton team. But then consider that this same Robert Ray also concluded that Hillary Clinton provided "factually false" testimony in the Travel Office case – even though he declined to prosecute it as "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Graham even got mad at us for pointing this out. in a 2008 post, Graham got indignant after we pointed out that he and Bozell, in their anti-Hillary book "Whitewash," ignored the context in which the independent counsel decided not to charge Hillary in response to the firings in the White House travel office by finding that while she made false claims (a key charge against her from Bozell and Graham), it was determined she had not deliberately lied:
In his article, Krepel is playing the same old Not a Crook card to exonerate his heroine. We said Ray found her testimony to be factually false. He notes that Ray declined to prosecute, citing "insufficient evidence." The Clintons and their Arkansas toadies like Krepel athletically raise the bar, implying that the Clintons didn’t lie unless they were indicted for it. But our goal in the book was not to establish that she should have been indicted. It was the simple fact that she lied when she claimed to be uninvolved in the Travel Office firings.
As we note in the book, Hillary’s lawyers baldly claimed to the General Accounting Office: "Mrs. Clinton does not know the origin of the decision to remove the White House travel office employees...She had no role in the decision to terminate the employees." That's not how Robert Ray saw it.
Our book isn’t claiming Hillary should be behind bars. Our book is claiming that the media cannot be relied upon to investigate the Clintons with any vigor, especially the television networks. See our very next sentence after we quote the Ray report: "Why didn’t any reporter unearth anything about Hillary’s direct involvement in the Travelgate scandal on his or her own? Why did the public have to wait more than two years to learn this critically important aspect of the story?"
Graham then served up the conspiracy theory that Robert Ray, the final independent counsel who succeeded Ken Starr, declined not to charge the Clintons with anything because he wanted to run for Senate in 2002 and "the Clintons and their media friends would punish him severely for any indictment."
Claims like that belie Graham's assertion that he's not arguing that "Hillary should be behind bars" -- it's obvious he thinks she shoud be, regardless of what the independent counsel ruled. Now he's going to attack anyone who dares to point out that not only does the Barr summary not completely exonerate Trump, the Mueller report hasn't even released yet so we can judge for ourselves.
Double standard, anyone?