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Monday, May 18, 2020
Fake News: MRC Falsely Insists Whistleblower's Claim Of Retaliation Is 'Debunked'
Topic: Media Research Center

In the eyes of the Media Research Center, President Trump can do no wrong and anyone who accuses him of wrongdoing is obviously lying. The case of Rick  Bright, who says he was demoted as head of a federal agency because he refused to promote Trump's pet drug hydroxychloroquine, is one example.

Nicholas Fondacaro complained in an April 22 post that "the liberal media lit up with the new anti-Trump narrative about Dr. Rick Bright, who claimed without evidence that he was fired from his HHS position for opposing the use of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug President Trump had touted as a possible treatment for the Chinese coronavirus," further grousing that the media did "no apparent vetting of what he claimed." Fondacaro then tried to play gotcha with a Politico article that he claimed "debunked the allegations" Bright made.

But that article claimed that "Three people with knowledge of HHS' recent acquisition of tens of millions of doses of those drugs said that Bright had supported those acquisitions in internal communications," and that "five current and former HHS officials" claimed that Bright's demotion "was more than a year in the making."Notice that none of those people are on the record -- they're anonymous sources of the kind that the MRC despises when they make claims against the MRC's favorite conservatives ... like Trump.

Hypocrisy aside, Fondacaro is simply wrong by claiming these anonymous sources have "debunked" Bright's story. There's no way to know that at this point, and an alternate telling of events does not "debunk" the first one -- even if you assumel ike Fondacaro apparently does that Trump and his administration never lies.

Nevertheless, Fondacaro insisted again the next day that Bright's allegations were "debunked." He made an even more false claim in another post the same day, declaring that "Bright’s accusations were discredited almost as fast as he made them." And on May 5, Fondacaro asserted that "Bright’s initial allegations were proven bogus within hours by Politico’s Dan Diamond."

(Then again, Fondacaro does have problems with the truth.)

Randy Hall took his own shot at boosting that anonymously sourced Politico article, claiming that a New york Times article "crumbled quickly" because of the Politico piece. Clay Waters dialed it back a bit in an April 29 post, linking to Hall's item to claim that "Politico made a compelling case that the Times' front-page scoop on Bright was bogus.

When Bright testified before Congess to make his claims, the MRC was ready to pounce again. Kristine Marsh linked to an earlier Fondacaro piece as proof of "evidence contradicting Bright's story," while Fondacaro returned to assert that Bright's claims "have already been disproven," even though he knows that's not true.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:40 PM EDT

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