Topic: Media Research Center
"Cancel Culture Comes For Dr. Seuss," intoned the headline on Lindsey Kornick's March 1 Media Research Center post, attacking a newspaper columnist who argued for rethinking Dr. Seuss. Kornick said of the columnist, "Imagine someone in the world finding 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish' offensive" -- even though the columnist never mentioned that book, let alone expressed offense at it.
Kornick also repeated a bogus attack claiming a Virginia school district "took steps to “cancel” Dr. Seuss in their annual “Read Across America” event on Dr. Seuss' birthda" before walking it back.she then huffed: "This ignores the fact that Theodore Geisel was a liberal Democrat in life and supported many left-leaning policies and causes including in his books (read: The Lorax) which should deem him anything but 'racist.'"
Thus, Kornick inadvertently admitted that the MRC are the ones who have been trying to cancel Dr. Seuss. She linked to a 2012 MRC post raging against a movie version of "The Lorax" because if offered environmental tips for children alongside the film, thus appeasing "thousands of left-wing zealots." (The MRC also complained that the movie indulged in "liberal indoctrination" for pointing out that plastic water bottles are wasteful.) But that's not the only attempt: In 2019, the MRC tried to blame Dr. Seuss for a massacre in El Paso because the alleged shooter referenced "The Lorax" in a manifesto.
But that has to go down the memory hole because it currently serves the MRC's political agenda to portray Dr. Seuss as a victim. For instance, Curtis Houck whined that Biden press secretary Jen Psaki wouldn't give a straight answer addressing "the woke mob’s canceling of Dr. Seuss."
But the MRC also got a little defensive about the whole Seuss thing. Alex Christy complained that NBC's Seth Meyers pointed out conservatives' obsession with culture war issues, adding, "If conservatives are detached for merely responding to the left's culture war offensive, what does that make Meyers' fellow leftists, considering they are now also trying to cancel Dr. Seuss?"
Christy followed by grousing that "MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday smeared conservatives for caring about cancel culture, calling it unimportant" and pointing out that it was Seuss' publisher and the Seuss estate that agreed to pull six lesser Seuss books (out of the dozens he published) for outdated racial imagery. He retorted, "While Ruhle is correct that it was Dr. Seuss' publisher that suspended the books, they did so because left-wing culture warriors have saying for years that some of his books are racists."
Houck returned to rant that "Thursday’s ReidOut featured more radicalizing rhetoric meant to send MSNBC viewers into a fury of hatred against anyone on the right, falsely claiming the Fox News Channel and the GOP are exclusively obsessed with cancel culture and controversies surrounding Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss." But Houck offered no evidence that anyone said Fox News was "exclusively obsessed" over Dr. Seuss, citing as evidence the claim was false a thread from his Twitter account featuring various random screencaps from Fox News talking about other things. But when Reid pointed out that Fox News had done "33 segments since Monday on Dr. Seuss" -- which has a basis in fact -- Houck offered nothing in rebuttal.
Tim Graham similarly complained in his March 5 column: "The hottest theme in liberal punditry is mocking conservatives for their objections to Woke Culture doing its long march through American entertainment conglomerates. It's not 'real news.'"Needless to say, Graham didn't mention the times it tried to cancel Dr. Seuss over "The Lorax."
Graham complained further: "This debate needs more precision, not less. What pages in the Dr. Seuss books are objectionable? TV stories on it won’t show any images. Some images of African savages clearly seem like antiquated stereotyping, but others are more debatable. You can’t debate it if no one will show it." Well, nothing's stopping the MRC from publishing those images. And doesn't the MRC operate a "news" division, CNSNews.com, that also played the "cancel culture" card on this story while not showing any of the actual images in question? Yes, it did.
Gabriel Hays touted how usually-despised late-night host Jimmy Kimmel "warned that cancel culture’s current destruction of once-thought innocent pop culture staples like Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head and The Muppets will get Trump elected a second time." Like his boss Graham, hays didn't mention that his employer played the cancel-culture card on Dr. Seuss first.
Duncan Schroeder ranted in a March 8 post where he was defensive about the conservative obsession over this, while also falsely blaming President Biden for it:
On Friday night’s CNN Tonight, host Don Lemon joined in with the liberal media’s obsession with bashing Republicans and Fox News for defending Dr. Seuss after books were cancelled by woke leftists. Lemon unspooled a five-minute commentary freaking out over House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeting out a video of himself reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham that went viral.
Lemon lunged to complain that the Democrats had nothing to do with Dr. Seuss. (McCarthy didn't say they did.) "It has nothing to do with Democrats. Nothing at all. As a matter of fact, that particular one by Dr. Seuss is still in distribution. So none of it makes any sense. They’re playing you. Are you going to fall for it? He is trying to stoke the fake outrage machine."
“The President” does indeed have something “to do with” the cancellation of Dr. Seuss because Biden left Dr. Seuss out of his “Read Across America Day” proclamation, which is celebrated every year around March 2 because March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Furthermore, it is a false liberal media narrative that Fox is “covering every single angle” of the cancellation. Lastly, it is objectively false that “nothing is being canceled about Dr. Seuss” because they pulled six of his books from the sales shelf.
Schroeder is the one with the fake outrage here. As we've noted, Biden didn't metnion Dr. Seuss because Dr. Seuss is no longer exclusively associated with Read Across America Day -- the contract giving the Seuss estate exclusivity for the event ended in 2019. And, of course, Schroeder didn't mention the MRC's attempts to cancel Dr. Seuss.