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Thursday, May 6, 2021
MRC's Graham Melts Down Over 'Context' Again
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham was all about context when it came to fact-checking Donald Trump. But he gets mad when fact-checks of non-conservatives add context. Thus, Graham whined in an April 2 post:

On Thursday, National Review posted a blog by Zachary Evans headlined “NBC’s Lester Holt Urges Journalists to Ditch Objectivity: ‘Fairness Is Overrated.'” This offended the "independent fact-checkers" at, who flagged the headline -- not the article -- as "False." Once again, they're complaining about a lack of context. They're arguing about spin.

As is Graham -- he's mad that Snopes applied context and pointed out that National Review took Holt out of context. He then demanded that Snopes put Holt's speech in MRC-approved context:

"Fact checkers" should read Kyle Drennen's evidence about how Holt has abandoned objectivity on his program before they pronounce he's against "ditching objectivity." He insisted "holding those in power accountable is at the core of our function and responsibility," but didn't live up to that in interviews with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, and even the foreign minister of Iran -- an actual enemy of the people.

Drennen's "evidence," of course, is the usual MRC ranting that journalists not employed by Fox News don't serve up Fox News-style right-wing bias.

Graham concluded by huffing: "Many Americans can't see much of a difference in "lanes" between Holt's show and say, Brian Williams on MSNBC. If NBC had great reverence for the truth, why does Williams still have a show?" Graham will never admit that there's no effective lane difference between Fox News "news" and Fox News opinion.

Graham had another "context" meltdown in an April 12 post:

Just like PolitiFact and other “fact check” outfits, the Reuters Fact Check team tried to take apart conservative arguments against H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act.” A Facebook post by Freedom Works made claims Reuters insisted were “partly false” – by finding liberal professors to quibble the fine points. Facebook posted "Missing Context" over the post. 

Graham presented right-wing activist Hans von Spakovsky as a credible expert on the issue of election fraud, but omitted relevant context that von Spakovsky was busted in a Kansas courtroom for presenting miseading and cherry-picked evidence on the issue that was "largely based on his preconceived beliefs about this issue, which has led to his aggressive public advocacy of stricter proof of citizenship laws."

Nevertheless, Graham whined: "Liberal media outlets quibble with conservative social media posts -- and Big Tech slaps "missing context" or "mostly false" warnings on them. This is how 'fair elections' are going to work." This from the guy who insisted that Trump's description of Meghan Markle as "nasty" omitted alleged contenxt showing he was calling her "nasty" in a good way.

Of course, Graham was totally cool with context when it came to defending his favorite conservatives. In a March 16 post, he was upset with CNN's John Berman calling out Tucker Carlson's fearmongering about coronavirus vaccines: "Unsurprisingly, CNN was taking Carlson dramatically out of context. He was mostly talking about European countries suspending their approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine, not yet approved in the United States. This does sound sympathetic to vaccine skepticism, but it's a larger message about how Team Biden needs to do more vaccine explaining, and how our public health experts are too politicized."

So: Only conservatives get context, while fact-checkers can't. Got it, Tim.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT

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