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Tuesday, March 17, 2020
MRC Politicizes Coronavirus With Its Attack Narrative Of Accusing Others Of 'Politicizing' It
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has accused the media of politicizing the coronavirus outbreak for so long, it can now be credibly accused of politicizing the outbreak itself by pushing the "politicizing" narrative -- after all, the only reason the narrative exists is to protect its beloved President Trump, since it doesn't want you to believe there's no evidence that he downplayed the signfigance of the outbreak until he could no longer do so.

Let's take a look at how the MRC has pushed this narrative:

  • The MSM's line o' the day is that coronavirus should not be politicized. But liberal media partisans like Chuck Todd just can't help themselves. -- Mark Finkelstein, Feb. 27
  • CNN has clearly made a conscious decision to politicize the coronavirus story to trash the Trump administration and claim it's starkly opposed to "science." -- Alex Christy, Feb. 28
  • During national emergencies such as natural disasters or outbreaks of disease, the news media can serve as a valuable source of information for the public. Yet when it came to their coverage of the coronavirus on Thursday, CNN largely put their Trump-bashing agenda ahead of that important role. ... It’s bad enough when Democrats and Republicans politicize national emergencies, but for the self-ordained Facts First Network to do the same is nothing short of outrageous. This isn’t what journalists are supposed to do during a national health crisis. -- Bill D'Agostino, Feb. 28
  • In an interview with Vice President Mike Pence, aired during Sunday’s Meet the Press, NBC host Chuck Todd grew extremely irate and combative when addressing how President Trump’s allies were calling out his colleagues on the left for politicizing the coronavirus (COVID-19). After demanding Pence show him evidence of their politicization, Todd refused to hear more than one example and tried to make the pushback from the right the problem. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, March 1 
  • In reality, what Trump dismissed as a hoax were efforts by Democrats and liberal media to politicize the global health crisis. -- Kyle Drennen, March 2
  • Put a check mark on the PBS NewsHour for politicizing the coronavirus. -- Tim Graham, March 2
  • New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, respected economist turned classless Democratic hack, demonstrated his unseemly willingness to politicize crises, in his Tuesday column “Paranoid Politics Goes Viral.” The text box: “When everything is a liberal media conspiracy.” -- Clay Waters, March 5
  • What Trump has called a hoax is the attempt by Democrats to politicize the disease. [MSNBC's Joy] Reid unwittingly gave a good example of the phenomenon with her scaremongering this morning. -- Mark Finkelstein, March 7
  • While hacks in the liberal media were quick to claim no one on their side was politicizing the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), NBC political director Chuck Todd spent a part of Sunday’s Meet the Press musing about how the virus could be President Trump’s version of the Iran Hostage Crisis, where President Jimmy Carter showed such poor leadership the public voted in President Ronald Reagan. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, March 8
  • Despite the media’s empty words insisting they are not politicizing the coronavirus, they keep doing just that. -- Kristine Marsh, March 9
  • [Nicolle] Wallace again politicized the health scare, by commending the novel virus for “shaking the confidence” of the president’s base for the upcoming election[.] -- Kristine Marsh, March 10
  • While many in the media have feigned outrage at the notion they are politicizing this pandemic, [comedian Pete] Dominick admitted proudly that they are, because Trump "doesn't care about us" or "science." -- Kristine Marsh, March 11
  • Eager to join the rest of the media in politicizing the coronavirus, on Monday’s CBS Late Show, liberal host Stephen Colbert sought to use the disease to attack President Trump. -- Aiden Jackson, March 11
  • Shortly after The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg insisted that the media wasn’t politicizing the coronavirus on Wednesday’s show, her co-host, Joy Behar did just that, predicting that the virus would keep Trump from getting re-elected. Kristine Marsh, March 11
  • Seemingly daily, CBS Evening News includes a segment railing against the response of the Trump administration and boosting Democratic politicization of the virus.-- Nicholas Fondacaro, March 11
  • The unhinged media is still politicizing the spread of COVID-19, and pointing fingers at President Trump after he addressed the nation last night. -- Kristine March, March 12
  • Is the Coronavirus Donald Trump’s Hurricane Katrina? Is it his Iran hostage crisis? If you thought journalists hadn’t politicized this health crisis enough, get ready for another example. -- Alex Christy, March 12
  • [Peter] Wehner is careful to warn liberals not to politicize coronavirus outbreak as a weapon to attack Trump...before then absurdly going on to use coronavirus as a political weapon to attack Trump. -- P.J. Gladnick, March 14
  • CNN on Sunday continued the network’s efforts to politicize the coronavirus and blame Donald Trump. -- Scott Whitlock, March 16
  • On Tuesday, ABC’s White House correspondent Jon Karl attempted to scold President Trump for having “lashed out” at Democrats who were politicizing coronavirus. Trump shut down the line of questioning by pointing out he has to “respond” since liberal politicians “have the media on their side.” ... Missing from Karl’s question was any acknowledgment of how Democrats have worked to politicize the pandemic response. -- Kyle Drennen, March 17

And the MRC gets real mad when that narrative gets turned on them. In a Feb. 28 post, Kyle Drennen complained that an MSNBC anchor was "attacking Fox News. Why? Because the competing cable channel was calling out attempts in the press to blame the Trump administration for the spread of the disease." Hehuffed in response: "Missing from the Fox-bashing segment was any mention of how 'irresponsible' the liberal media have been in their own effort to 'politicize' coronavirus." In other words, the same whataboutism we've come to expect from the MRC.

Kristine Marsh did much the same thing in a post the same day: "Despite a NewsBusters study showing Trump-bashing takes center stage on CNN's coronavirus reporting, CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin and media reporter Oliver Darcy raged that Fox was putting the public in danger by sowing skepticism over their anti-Trump reporting on the coronavirus." That "study" would be the one where the MRC failed once again to show its work and refused to consider whether criticism of Trump was justified.

Deflecting these attacks was the narrative of the day on Feb. 28. Randy Hall took a shot in his post that day:

It’s easy to predict how Brian Stelter, host of the Sunday Reliable Sources program on CNN, will respond to any disagreements with President Trump and the anchors on the Fox News Channel. He simply dismisses anything they say as simply being wrong.

That was obviously the case on Friday, when the network’s chief media correspondent was a guest during a segment of the At This Hour program as hosted by Kate Bolduan. He dismissed the network's claims of the left weaponizing the virus against President Trump, “reprehensible” and an attempt “to make this all about Trump and politics when that’s really not the arena this is being fought in.”

Like the others, Hall never actually explains why any criticism of Trump is "politicizing" the issue but Fox News' blatantly partisan attacks on the media for criticizing Trump is not.

Finally, also on the same day, Tim Graham gave space to a lengthy Rush Limbaugh rant denying that  his conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was created to destroy Trump was "politicizing" the issue.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 PM EDT

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