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Sunday, July 26, 2020
The MRC's Focused, Dishonest Campaign To Brand Black Lives Matter As 'Marxist'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent late May and early June following orders from the Trump re-election campaign, blaming Antifa for unrest in the wake of the police-caused death of George Floyd. But as it became clear that there were no roving bands of Antifa anarchists following orders from Antifa Central, the MRC had to abandon that narrative (mostly). But Trump must be served, and a scapegoat was still needed. Thus, the MRC glommed onto a new target: Black Lives Matter.

Because some early founders of BLM had stated they were "trained Marxists," that  purported extremism became the new MRC narrative. The MRC rushed to defend Fox News host Tucker Carlson paranoid rant that Black Lives Matter "is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will." Joseph Vazquez harrumphed his approval of Carlson's rant -- "No kidding" -- and bemoaned that advertisers were dropping ads on his show because did not want to be associated with such extremism. Vazquez didn't put it that way, of course, portraying Carlson as a victim who is "under threat of ad boycotts for not catering to the hive-minded mob." And Nicholas Fondacaro gushed like a schoolgirl a few days later under the hagiographic headline "Unfazed By Thought Police, Tucker Carlson Speaks Truth to BLM Power," effusing over how Carlson "was unfazed by the liberal thought police as he delivered a 17-minute-plus opening monologue Monday night speaking truth to the power of the Black Lives Matter movement. He called out their bullying tactics, manipulation of our moral values, and the brutalization of anyone who even offered mild criticism of the group."

A few days later, Clay Waters huffed: "Black Lives Matter (as opposed to the truistic slogan 'Black Lives Matter') is a political organization that has controversial positions, including defunding the police, reparations, and 'a reconstruction of the economy to ensure our communities have collective ownership' that are up for debate in a free society." And the malicious rebranding campaign was on:

  • Gabriel Hays declared that you must "recognize Black Lives Matter for what it truly is, a militant marxist movement – reminiscent of Mao’s China – aimed at shaming weak-minded individuals into denouncing their western way of life under the guise of appeasing some manufactured racial grievance." (Not wanting to be killed by police is a "manufactured racial grievance"?)
  • Hays returned to rant that "Teen Vogue is really pushing to indoctrinate young people into the Marxist designs of the Black Lives Matter movement."
  • Julie Mitchell complained that the BET Awards was "promoting the marxist Black Lives Matter movement."
  • Kyle Drennen grumbled that "Apparently NBC’s idea of patriotism is cheering on a radical Marxist organization determined on bringing about “revolution” across the United States."
  • Curtis Houck touted how White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany delivered a screed against journalists who had purportedly decided to "defend the anti-family, hateful, and Marxist Black Lives Matter organization over the Constitution and accusing the President of racism for disagreeing with BLM."
  • Duncan Schroeder asserted that "Black Lives Matter, which is a radical, Marxist organization that is responsible for the rioting, looting, and violence in recent protests." Schroeder's evidence that BLM "is responsible for the rioting, looting, and violence" is a link to a Tucker Carlson monologue that offered no proof to back up the claim.
  • Hays returned again to attack BLM as a "Marxist radical outfit."
  • Drennen equated having BLM activists on TV with "enabling Marxist radicals who preach violent action."
  • Fondacaro regurgitated a Fox News segment with Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis homeowner who along with his wife were recklessly waving weapons at protesters walking past his house, in which he stated that BLM and other groups are "Marxist and oppose everything I stand for and I hold dear and near."
  • Hays (again) huffed about "Marxist Black Lives Matter tenets."
  • Fondacaro ranted: "For almost 50 days, Black Lives Matter Marxists have been engaging in almost nightly battles with federal agents outside the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, effectively turning the streets into a war zone." Fondacaro offered no evidence that BLM played a role in the protests, even as he went on to brand the unrest as "Black Lives Matter riots."
  • Schroeder praised Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler for "correctly describing BLM as a radical Marxist organization."
  • Jay Maxson ranted about "the Marxist anarchist Black Lives Matter movement," uncritically quoting MRC sacred cow Mark Levin asking if pro athletes "know they are embracing a Marxist-anarchist movement."
  • Scott Whitlock pretended to care about civil rights in his attack: "CBS This Morningrightly honored the life and legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis on Monday. Yet, they dishonored this tribute with a softball interview of the radical, Marxist, dictator-supporting co-founders of Black Lives Matter."
  • Maxson whined that baseball players "took a knee Monday ... in solidarity with the Marxists of Black Lives Matter prior to a game."

All this reads like someone fed MRC writers talking points and their job was to use it as many times as possible. Indeed, it appears to have come straight from the top: A July 1 piece by Brent Bozell (no, we didn't see Tim Graham's byline anywhere) at the Daily Caller attacking BLM included this screed: "Black Lives Matter was founded by radical extremists who are perfectly pleased with the rioting, looting, vandalism and violence that have plagued our cities for the past several weeks. ... These are Marxists following the Maoist playbook in China during the late ’60s and early ’70s. The Maoist revolutionaries vandalized temples, tore down statues and destroyed artifacts. The opposition was marched to re-education camps."

Because the MRC has marching orders to fulfill, they're not going to tell you the truth about BLM; it must fall to actual fact-checkers to do so. Just because the BLM founders desribed themselves as "trained Marxists" doesn't mean the organization today operates as a Marxist group and that all who associated with it are automatically Marxists, let alone the strict Maoists that Bozell thinks they are. A scholar at the conservativeHoover Institution has pointed out that BLM's support for "gender identity politics sets it apart from historical Marxism," and it has not declared itself to be "expressly anti-capitalist."

The MRC is not offering any sort of cogent, reasoned analysis of the issue; it is engaged in partisan name-calling that defies facts. It knows exactly what it's doing, and who it's doing it for.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 2:21 PM EDT

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