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Saturday, May 22, 2021
Hypocrisy: MRC's Graham Complains Of 'Stealth Edits' -- A Day After MRC Stealth-Edits One Of Its Own
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham huffed in his April 28 column:

Twitter's sidebar came to the rescue on April 22. One of its article headlines read, "Stacey Abrams encouraged Americans to invest in Georgia-based businesses after new voter laws were passed, according to journalists and fact-checkers." That sounds contrary to the spirit of what Abrams wrote.

Then came stealth edits by Abrams at USA Today. In the original article, Abrams said she wasn't opposed to individuals choosing to boycott the "racist, classist" Georgia voting bill that had just been passed.

"Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what's at stake, I can't argue with an individual's choice to opt for their competition," she wrote. She hedged a little by saying boycotts can cause "hardships" and added, "I don't think that's necessary — yet."

The article was "updated," but really, it was a substantial rewrite. The sentence about her not being able to "argue" about a boycott was removed. And she added a complaint that Major League Baseball's boycott "could cost our state nearly $100 million in lost revenue" and then blamed Republicans for caring more about voter suppression than people's "economic well-being."

According to the Internet Archive digital library, the op-ed was revised on April 6, but a notice acknowledging it was "updated" wasn't added until April 22.

Graham might have more credibility on this issue if the MRC's NewsBusters -- of which he is the executive editor -- hadn't stealth-edited an item just the day before.

As we documented, the MRC's Curtis Houck touted his man-crush, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki 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,'" then insisted that Psaki "played dumb" with her answer.But the story was utterly false.

Houck's article got stealth-edited to delete a reference to Doocy asking about the book issue in the headline and the section where Houck touted Doocy asking about it was completely rewritten to instead describe "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, where an editor's note stated that the post was "updated."

If Graham wants to complain about stealth-editing, he might want to first address the way his own organization does it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 AM EDT

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