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Saturday, November 21, 2020
MRC's Double Standard On Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck got all worked up in a Nov. 9 post:

In a revelation announced The New York Times, former Newsweek editor, liberal historian, and MSNBC/NBC contributor Jon Meacham has been writing speeches for former Vice President Joe Biden, including his Saturday night “victory speech.” Of course, Meacham and the Comcast-owned networks never disclosed this fact.

The lack of ethics wasn’t entirely surprising, given how Meacham both endorsed Biden during the campaign and spoke August 20 at the Democratic National Convention, and neither network seemed to care.


It would be nice if Meacham, MSNBC, and NBC would admit to their major failure to uphold basic journalistic ethics, but don’t hold your breath waiting. And as we all know, if this had happened on Fox News, both CNN and MSNBC would be calling for heads to roll.

Two days later, Tim Graham called the Meacham situation a "scandalette," huffing that "MSNBC keeps having to let its contributors to the Biden transition team. It's a natural migration pattern, MSNBC analysts headed back to Democratic government work." (Funny, we don't recall Graham saying a word about all the Fox News contributors who went to work in the Trump administration.) That was followed by Kyle Drennen huffing that "Shortly after being fired from MSNBC as a paid contributor after he failed to disclose that he had been writing speeches for Joe Biden, on Thursday, ex-Newsweek editor and left-wing 'historian' Jon Meacham turned to the pages of Time to boost his Democratic Party boss."

While the MRC has been fretting about Meacham, it has acted in a similarly unethical manner by promoting the right-wing Twitter alternative Parler without disclosing that Parler funder Rebekah Mercer is also a major funder of the MRC and sits on the MRC's board of directors.

That zero-ethics stance by the MRC has continued. A Nov. 20 post by Alec Schemmel attacked Bill Gates for (accurately) noting that Parler has become a haven for "Holocaust denial" and other far-right conspiracy theories. Schemmel huffed that "Gates glossed over the free speech concerns that led to Parler’s creation. Gates also suggested that Parler isn’t truly a viable alternative to the already established social media giants," further declaring that "many conservative voices have urged their audiences to transition to Big Tech alternatives like Parler." But Schemmel didn't disclose the Mercer link between Parler and the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:11 PM EST

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