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Friday, May 29, 2020
The Latest MRC Narrative: Bashing Facebook's Oversight Board
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has to keep up its failing jihad against Facebook somehow -- an utterly hypocritical fight, by the way, since MRC chief Brent Bozell just loves using Facebook Live -- so it's latched on to Facebook's proposed oversight board, attacking for not being stacked with conservatives.

The MRC kicked off its attack with a statement from the "Free Speech Alliance," the right-wing group it created to push the dubious narrative of rampant discrimination against conservatives in social media. It ranted that the board is "too international" -- despite the fact that Facebook operates in nearly all countries on the planet -- and would be "embracing an internationalist construct pleasing to the radical left and likely to make Facebook’s restrictive content policies even worse." The statement complained that one member “does not believe in eternal life, salvation or heaven and hell,” three "have ties to leftist billionaire George Soros," and most "are as left-wing as you might expect," finally huffing, "We find no one supportive of Trump."

Corinne Weaver whined in a May 7 post:

The liberal media met Facebook’s announcement of its first 20 members of its new Oversight Board with praise and applause. But for some, the lefty choices made were not liberal enough.

“Some see the board as a valuable check on Facebook’s power to control the speech and behavior of billions of users,” wrote Columbia Journalism Review’s (CJR) Chief Digital Writer Matthew Ingram. Tech journal Protocol referred to the board as “Facebook’s audacious experiment.” Recode podcast host Kara Swisher called the members “diverse and politically balanced.” CNBC described the board members as a “globally diverse group.”

If there's anything the MRC hates, it's "diversity." Weaver named no board member she thought was too "liberal." Indeed, a few days later, Weaver returned to attack one board member for being a Muslim, digging up a years-old interivew in which she allegedly "supported the Muslim Brotherhood."

Weaver did, however, find someone who was apparently conservative enough there to mine for scoops: oversight board chairman Michael McConnell. She cheered when McConnell told her in an "exclusive interivew" that Facebook would audit its fact-checkers  -- Weaver falsely attacked one of those fact-checkers earlier this year -- and pouted when McConnell pointed out in another "exclusive interview" that the oversight board would only get a couple more explicitly conservative members. She lied about one board member, Pamela Karlan, claiming that she "mocked 13-year-old Barron Trump during the House impeachment proceedings" (she didn't).

Weaver then cranked out a hit piece on the purported "radical views" of oversight board members, in which she repeated her attack on the Muslim board member and her lie that Karlan "mocked" Barron Trump.

Because no right-wing attack on Facebook would e complete without Brent Bozell weighing in, we have the MRC chief demanding in an "official press conference" (does Bozell ever appear at unofficial press conferences?) because it has only "five members from the United States" (again, Facebook operates in nearly every country on the planet). Bozell had right-wing members of Congress joining him, implying there would be Trump administration harassment if Facebook didn't cave to his demands.

Weaver seemed to have soured on McConnell by the time of a May 19 post, in which she noted that, in an Aspen Institute forum, McConnell accurately pointed out that conservatives (like Weaver and her employer) were attacking the oversight board for being insufficiently conservative, further complaining that he "tried to dismiss conservative criticisms" by claiming that a commitment to civil liberties is more important than a "red and blue" debate. (Of course, the red vs. blue divide is everything to the MRC.)

So Weaver typed up a new rant on May 22: "Facebook’s new Oversight Board promises to be committed to freedom of expression. But that principle might better reflect an international standard, rather than a First Amendment-based American one." Weaver didn't mention that Facebook operates in nearly every country on the planet, so international standards could perhaps supercede parochial concerns.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 29, 2020 10:55 PM EST

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