Topic: Media Research Center
As much as the Media Research Center manufactures tons of outrage at "liberal media" outlets when they get caught peddling "fake news," it's much more lenient on its fellow right-wing media outlets who do the same thing (remember, the MRC still hasn't told its readers that the Fox News story it heavily promoted before the 2016 election that an indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent was retracted a few days later.
Curtis Houck was more than happy to gush over Fox News reporter Peter Doocy's performance in his biased review of the April 26 White House press briefing from Jen Psaki:
After a few uneventful White House press briefings, Monday’s episode drew a number of interesting exchanges on the border crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, masking, schools, and President Biden’s Wednesday address to a Joint Session of Congress.
And after having been off to get married, Fox News’s Peter Doocy returned with a bang in an exchange on the administration’s continued masking despite having long been vaccinated.
Doocy moved to his second topic by asking about reporting from the New York Post that "every" illegal immigrant child brought to one U.S. facility "is being given a copy of her children's books, Superheroes Are Everywhere."
Asking "why that is" and whether "she's making money off of that," Psaki played dumb by saying she'll "have to certainly check on that" though she "hear[d] it's a good book."
Just one problem: That story isn't true at all. As an actual media outlet reported, a single copy of the book was donated in a citywide donation drive to provide books to the children. This was a screw-up so severe that the Post completely deleted not only the article making the original false claim (though it later returned to the Post's website in edited form) but also a separate article on Doocy asking Psaki about the false story (Fox News and the Post are both owned by Rupert Murdoch). On top of that, Laura Italiano, the Post reporter who wrote the false story resigned, claiming she was "ordered" to write it.
So how are Houck and the MRC reacting to these developments? Very mildly. On the morning of April 27, the MRC's NewsBusters account touted Houck post featuring Doocy pushing the false story, adding, "@pdoocy continues to be one of the few reporters who consistently ask the Biden administration questions that the rest of the media don't want to touch." Yes, most in the media don't push the kind of fake news Doocy got caught using. Houck meanwhile, lashed out at CNN reporter Daniel Dale for the sin of noting Italiano's resignation, hiuffing, "You're a genuinely bad person, Daniel. @Italiano_Laura admitting she was wrong -- you and your CNN colleagues should try it sometime." Houck seems oblivious to the fact that the real story here is Italiano's claim that the Post "ordered" her to write a false story. (And Houck himself might want to try it sometime given that, again, the MRC still won't retract that 2016 Hillary story.)
Meanwhile, Houck's April 26 article got some quiet rewriting. The reference to "Feds Using Kamala's Book" was deleted from the headline, and the section on Doocy promoting the false book storywas completely rewritten to remove direct quotes from him and Psaki; it now references only "an exchange about a now-dubious claim from the New York Post about Vice President Harris's children's book being given out at one U.S. detention center for illegal immigrant children." It's not until the very end of Houck's post that there's any evidence that it was altered, with an editor's note that "This post has been updated to reflect the change in reporting to reflect the lack of veracity to the Post's claim about Harris's children's book." There's no mention of this major correction anywhere else on the NewsBusters website, nor is it noted on either Houck's or NewsBusters' Twitter accounts.
Also, note that Houck and the MRC won't actually call the Post story wrong, despite it being definitively discredited; they state only that it's "dubious" and has a "lack of veracity."
By contrast, the MRC repeatedly raged over the Washington Post correcting the record on a two-month-old story involving a phone call then-President Trump made trying to strongarm a Georgia election official into throwing the election his way. And not only is it giving Doocy and the New York Post kid-glove treatment on this major screw-up, it has completely censored from its readers how Fox News earlier had to correct a story it heavily promoted claiming that President Biden's plan for fighting climate change will force Americans to cut meat consumption.
If we needed absolute proof that the MRC give its fellow right-wing media writers a pass on their screwups they would never give to anyone in the "liberal media" for lesser offenses, this is it.