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Wednesday, May 15, 2019
MRC's Sloppy Labelers Defend Ben Shapiro From Being Mislabeled
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has apparently never done the media research to determine the difference between political labels on the liberal side of the ledger -- as we've documented, the MRC has sloppily labeled pretty much anyone and anything that's not unambiguously conservative as "far left." That, of course, is joined by its rage at the media labeling conservative figures and organizations as (gasp!) "conservative."

So it's unsurprising the the MRC is suddenly concerned with correct labeling, spewing more rage over a conservative figure it deemed to have been mislabeled.

Gabriel Hays ranted in a March 28 post:

In a not-so-subtle smear attempt, The Economist published a interview with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and labeled him as a member of the “alt-right.” Shapiro is a mainstream conservative who has taken great pains to distance himself from right-wing fringe groups -- a devout Jew who often preaches about the dangers of tribalism and its destruction of reasonable discourse.

After swift backlash the Economist amended the headline. Still, the incident demonstrates the left’s aggressive push to demonize conservative speakers and connect them through implication to unreasonable and even violent and fringe groups.

The Economist titled the interview, “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, the alt right sage without the rage.” Inside, readers learn that the Daily Wire founder is a “controversial commentator” and proponent of “western values” -- enough to disgust progressives without resorting to dishonest labels.

So, yes, Ben Shapiro is a conservative, and the antithesis of white supremacy, anti-semitism, atheism/paganism that characterizes much of that is known as the alt-right.

Hays went on to huff, "Labeling traditional conservatives as part of an extremist, and often racist or violent, right wing fringe group is nothing new."Like how the MRC labels everything that's not conservative as "far left"?

Hays was back a few weeks later to rage over another alleged mislabeling of Shapiro:

In back-to-back articles, The Washington Post slimed conservative commentator Ben Shapiro as being ‘far-right’ and that his recent comments claiming that Notre Dame belongs to the “Judeo-Christian heritage” have contributed to “baseless, racist conspiracy-peddling” targeting Muslims.

The first article to engage in this malicious smear was written by Talia Lavin on Tuesday. Lavin claimed that Shapiro contributed to the “far-right’s” racist reaction to the Notre Dame fire, a “series of conspiracy theories neatly slotted into pre existing cultural biases.”

She concluded that “fast-talking-far-right” Shapiro’s assertion that the Cathedral was a “monument to Western civilization,” combined with “already-raging rumors about potential Muslim involvement,” made him complicit in evoking “the specter of a war between Islam and the West that is already part of numerous far-right narratives.”


Again, for The Washington Post this meant that these four individuals were in the same league, using the tragedy as a moment to defend white, European heritage at the expense of other cultures. For example, the piece contended that “others suggested Shapiro’s invocation of ‘Judeo-Christian’ values were in this instance simply a euphemism for ‘white.’ It then added that Spencer “spoke more plainly” on the issue, hoping the destruction would “spur the White man into action — to sieze [sic] power in his countries, in Europe, in the world.”

This is a laughable association.

Remember:The MRC has labeled Walter Cronkite, the sports blog Deadspin, and actress Meryl Streep as "far left." Does Gabriel think that's laughable or malicious? (Hint: It's both.)

Hays, it seems, is Shapiro's protector at the MRC. Last September, he complained that a liberal-leaning study of YouTube sought to link "top conservatives" like Shapiro to white nationalists like Richard Spencer, grousing that the report "deemed the entire collection — from moderate conservatives to full-blown racists — 'reactionary,' a term the report employed 13 times in order to hammer home that everyone mentioned was part of the same 'extremist' network. 'Extremist' was used 25 times in the report."

If the MRC wants to be credible in complaining about political labeling, it should do something about its own label carelessness first.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 PM EDT

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