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Sunday, October 27, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Promoting Stories That Turn Out To Be Fake
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Sept. 29 item, the Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth complained that "several shows on CNN, CBS, and NBC took the time to highlight a bullying case in which three white boys allegedly held down a black classmate and forcibly cut her long hair after a history of taunting her," expressing particular ire that "several shows made a point of noting that Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen, teaches at the same school." the next day, Wilmouth rushed to tout a major development in the story:

As previously documented by NewsBusters, a number of shows on the major networks late last week ran with reports of a racist bullying incident at Springfield, Virginia's Immanuel Christian School that, by late Monday morning, was revealed to be a hoax. The family of 12-year-old Amari Allen admitted that their daughter made up her story, accusing three white classmates of forcibly cutting her long hair.

When the story first came out, the flagship morning and evening shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC combined with CNN and MSNBC for nine minutes and 53 seconds engaging in a frenzy, pushing Allen's fable as a slamdunk fact as yet another incident of how supposedly racist America is and continues to be in the Trump era.

What Wilmouth won't tell you: We've caught the MRC numerous times promoting stories that later turn out not to be true, and only rarely does the MRC update the story or issue corrections for its readers. There's the 2016 false story that Hillary Clinton was to be imminently indicted, about which which MRC chief Brent Bozell vowed to "report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour" (though none of those hours were devoted to telling readers the story was bogus); there was the MRC's embrace of the claim by a Parkland massacre survivor that CNN was scripting questions for him at a televised forum (CNN released emails with the student and his family proving the claim wrong which the MRC never acknowledged); and there was the hying of the death of a Border Patrol agent purportedly at the hands of illegal border-crossers (actually, he died in an accidental fall).

When the MRC gets around to correcting the record on its own bogus stories, we'll take it seriously when it demands the same from others.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:37 PM EDT

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