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Thursday, March 12, 2020
MRC Rediscovers Context To Attack Media, Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center demands context when reporting on President Trump (not so much for anyone else). So when Trump spoke ambiguously about coronavirus and hoaxes, the MRC was ON IT to insist that the president spoke perfectly.

Curtis Houck, in the middle of gushing over how Trump delivered a "SCORCHING CPAC Address" that was "a comedy routine for the ages," referenced, as he is apparently contractually obligated to, "the Trump-hating liberal media, which have been working to convince the public that the President views the coronavirus as “a hoax” when he used that term Friday to condemn the liberal spin about his response to the virus."

The MRC minions thus had their talking point marching orders. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that an NBC host "continued to push the long-debunked accusation that President Trump called the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) a 'hoax' at a Friday campaign rally in South Carolina," despite the fact that Trump himself said it only two days before and it hadn't been "long-debunked" by the MRC until Houck's post that appeared just  an hour earlier. A few hours after that, Fondacaro complained that another NBC host "continued to spread the left-wing lie that Trump had called the virus a 'hoax'." And then a couple hours later, Fondacaro raged at CNN because "According to CNN Inside Politics host John King, one didn’t need to believe the fact that President Trump was describing the Democratic and media fearmongering of his administration’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a 'hoax;' 'you can read this how you wish' and believe he said it about the virus."

Of course, Fondacaro has his own a la carte approach to the facts.

Kyle Drennen then picked up the baton, huffing that "NBC News senior business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle keep pushing the now-debunked claim that President Trump labeled the coronavirus a 'hoax.' In reality, what Trump dismissed as a hoax were efforts by Democrats and liberal media to politicize the global health crisis." That was followed by Clay Waters grousing that the New York Times "left open the lie that Trump called the coronavirus a hoax."

Corinne Weaver touted how the Daily Caller's fact-checking operation rated the claim as false, but only grudging admitted in passing, through quoting someone else, that the Daily Caller is conservative. (The MRC then reprinted the Daily Caller's fact-check.) Tim Graham declared that "President Trump never called the coronavirus a 'hoax,'" then whined that Snopes wouldn't unambiously declare it false because Trump was in the middle of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus outbreak: "'Downplaying the severity of the outbreak' is not at all the same as calling coronavirus a 'hoax.'"

Waters returned to complain that Times columnist Paul Krugman "is spreading a lie above; Trump never said the coronavirus was a hoax." Aiden Jackson grumbled that Hillary Clinton "perpetuated the widely discredited 'hoax' falsehood." Mark Finkelstein went into full defense mode: "President Trump has not called coronavirus a hoax. To the contrary, the President has mobilized a team to combat the spread of the disease. And the administration is offering daily briefings on its efforts."

Alexander Hall recounted how "Donald Trump, Jr. retweeted multiple conservative commentators who were calling out Twitter for allowing a Biden campaign video which itself appears to be deceptively edited in that it claimed that Trump was calling the coronavirus a hoax," then complained that Hillary "pushed the fact-checked false liberal narrative that Trump had called the coronavirus a 'hoax.'"

By contrast, the MRC had no problem whatsoever taking President Obama's "you didn't build that" remark out of context to a highly dishonest extent.So, yeah, its complaint about coverage of Trump rings more than a little hollow.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT

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