Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham gloated in a Dec. 18 post:
The New York Times has a massive egg on its face as a prize-winning audio series has collapsed under a weight of falsehoods. David Rutz of Fox News reported their 12-part series “Caliphate” heavily relied on a serial fabulist who claimed to have been a member of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization. Reporter Rukmini Callimachi drew a Pulitzer Prize finalist citation and brought the newspaper its first Peabody audio award.
This whole fiasco is an embarrassment for a paper whose motto is "The truth is more important now than ever."
Meanwhile, Graham -- and the rest of the MRC -- has censored controversies regarding its favorite TV channel, Fox News from just the past month or so.
In late November, it was announced that Fox News had settled a lawsuit filed by the family of Seth Rich -- which reportedly involves paying the Rich family a seven-figure settlement -- over a false story it published on its website pushing the conspiracy theory that Rich, a Democratic staffer who was murdered in 2016, was killed because he leaked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks. The MRC barely mentioned the lawsuit at all, spending more time complaining that Fox News was being held accountable for pushing Seth Rich conspiracy theories.
In November 2017, Curtis Houck whined, "When some on the right pushed the Seth Rich conspiracy theories, numerous voices unfairly attacked conservative media writ large." But he ignored the fact that the largest conservative media outlet -- Fox News -- was doing exactly that, and the MRC didn't exactly distance itself from that, let alone criticize Fox News for doing so. Similarly, Alex Christy complained in a March 2019 post that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough "would not admit that one can be criticize both Seth Rich conspiracy peddlers and Russia-gate hustlers" -- but Christy didn't admit that his employer wasn't that organization.
Also getting censored at the MRC was any mention of Fox News' abrupt walkback of the election-fraud conspiracy theories it had peddled for more than a month that focused on electronic voting systems from Dominion and Smartmatic, prompted by a lawsuit threat from Smartmatic. This was followed by a similar lawsuit threat from Dominion.
Being loyal Trump sycophants, the MRC had no problem with nudging those bogus conspiracy theories forward:
- On Nov. 16, Alexander Hall complained that Trump was "censored" on Twitter for "sharing a clip discussing how Dominion voting machines could be hacked."
- He complained again three days later that a Twitter user hiding behind a fake name for "censored" for tweeting a video on how "Detroit Dominion IT worker describes exactly how poll workers inflated Biden vote tallies."
- On Nov. 21, Jeffrey Lord suggested that the fact that Dominion had "lawyered up" and backed out of a biased hearing on purported election fraud in Pennsylvania was evidence of nefarious doings by the company.
- On Nov. 23, Kayla Sargent uncritically repeated Trump-adjacent lawyer Sidney Powell's claim that the election was "stolen by massive fraud through Dominion and Smartmatic" while complaining that Twitter briefly suspended her account.
The MRC wasn't exactly a profile in courage in going along with bogus conspiracies -- and doubly so in censoring those who pointed out the bogusness. Of course, there's likely a good reason Graham didn't want to note that Fox News has been caught doing the same things he was lashing out at the Times for doing: Reporting the full truth might mean that MRC talking heads never appear on their favorite news channel again.