Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hates it when the media focuses on issues that makes Republicans and conservatives look bad. Thus, it lashed out at coverage of Liz Cheney's status as a top Republican leader, desperate to change the subject.
In a May 6 post, perpetually angry MRC writer Nicholas Fondacaro ranted that "Republican flack-turned-Democrat" Kurt Bardella was a "loon" in part for bringing up the Cheney battle, "saying that Republicans are the ones who are “detrimental and dangerous” to the country for removing Cheney for, according to Bardella, the lone sin of “telling the truth about January 6th” and the 2020 election." He added: "Numerous people have debunked this claim, but facts aren’t exactly Bardella’s strong suit." The "numerous people" Fondacaro linked to were Federalist writer Mollie Hemingway making unsubstantiated claims about Cheney and a Politico article citing anonymous Republicans criticizing Cheney (huh, we thought the MRC hated anonymous sources).
Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough lended his support to Cheney: "But with her harsh criticism of President Trump, and vote to impeach him, Cheney has made herself the darling of the liberal media. Witness the Washington Post offering her an op-ed spot yesterday to continue to blast Trump. So is Liz really indifferent to liberal love, or has she gone out of her way to cultivate it?"
Tim Graham summarized his May 10 podcast thusly:
On the latest NewsBusters Podcast, we tackle the ginned-up controversy over Rep. Liz Cheney, and how her crusading against Donald Trump looks like it will lead to a vote removing her from the House GOP leadership. Oh, how the media love this sticky wicket!
On Friday night's Don Lemon show, Brian Stelter touted how CNN and MSNBC have loaded more than 300 mentions apiece of Liz Cheney, while Fox News had less than 50. So which approach is better "news"?
The screen read “Fox propaganda in overtime turning Liz Cheney into a pariah.” Is Brian really so out of touch with conservatives that he doesn’t realize CNN and MSNBC and the rest are also turning Liz into a pariah? The more they celebrate Cheney as a Heroic Dissenter, the more the regular Republicans react against her.
In the podcast proper, Graham complained: "The question is this: Which one of these is more newsworthy? Which one's more the news channel? Does doing the story more make you a better news channel, or doing the story less make you a better news channel?... That shouldn't be how we define news." Graham seems to have forgotten how much the MRC praises Fox News for covering certain stories (that advance right-wing narratives) more than CNN or MSNBC. He then paranoaically whined: "It should be obvious that ther media and the Democrats -- the media-Democrat complex -- aren't really interested in figuring out "let's help the Republicans win.' The Cheney fight is their hope to split the party into warring factions and then dominate at the polls."
THe next day, Graham complained that a commentator noted that Cheney was being kicked out of GOP leadership "for no offense other than saying that Joe Biden won the election," retorting: "That's the official Democrat line on Cheney, and forget the reporters who've heard how Cheney's political operation "has been described as difficult, brittle, unresponsive and tone deaf," and that she's actually endangering the re-election of anti-Trump Republicans." LIke Fondacaro, Graham cited as evidence the anonymous source-ladenPolitico article.
(Graham also called the person who said that, "hardcore partisan Democrat lawyer" Mark Ellias, a "shyster" -- a slur for an unscrupulous or dishonest lawyer.GHraham offered no evidence that Elias committed any crimes or acts that would get him disbarred other than complaining that he was "the bagman who paid Fusion GPS for the phony-baloney Steele Dossier full of collusion delusion.")
On May 12, Scott Whitlock tried to embrace a CBS reporter's claim that he thought he could exploit:
CBS This Morning’s Major Garrett on Wednesday shocked his fellow journalists as he rejected the evolving liberal media narrative that Liz Cheney is the most important story on the planet. Garrett mocked this idea as the equivalent of caring about the third string quarterback on a JV high school football team. Now, he also used hyperbolic language, insisting that Cheney is “being stoned or burned at the stake.” But at least the CBS journalist underlined the obvious point: This story is a media creation.
Cheney will soon start a media tour blitz. But Garrett’s point is correct.
Of course, by that very loose definition, every news story is a "media creation."
Another post that same day, by Kristine Marsh, hammered further on the idea that Cheney is a non-story as decreed by conservatives:
View’ co-host Meghan McCain ruffled feathers on Wednesday’s show by bringing up a topic unrelated to GOP bashing. Her co-hosts were talking endlessly about Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney being ousted from her leadership role. It has been an obsessive topic from the liberal media the past two weeks to distract from troubles the Biden administration is facing, such as the historically bad border crisisthat continues to get worse.
Nearly seventeen minutes into the show and after one commercial break, the liberal co-hosts were still discussing Cheney, now salivating over the idea that Republicans like herself should break off to form a third party. But Meghan McCain shot down this notion, suggesting they discuss the gas shortage that is wrecking the East Coast, because that is something average Americans actually care about[.]
CNN-hating writer Curtis Houck lashed out again in a May 13 post:
When it comes to fulfilling basic journalistic duties, CNN long ago ditched them in favor of what Becket Adams called “the business of hyping meaningless, clickbait feuds” and the news version of “professional wrestling.”
On Wednesday, they further showed their unseriousness by spending nearly three times (2.72) times more time over a 12-hour period on Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) losing a role in House GOP leadership than the multiple economic crises facing the country, ranging from the Colonial pipeline hack to gasoline shortages to inflation to stagnant job growth.
Instead of displaying nuance or delivering a comprehensive look at the day’s news, CNN showed on Wednesday it has zero desire to do that as they’d rather play the role of liberal agitators condemning Americans who don’t support their political party.
Fox News devotes no small amount of coverage to clickbait feuds and pro wrestling-type coverage, but Houck (nor any other MRC employee) will never, ever call it out.
Ironically, a post by Kyle Drennen the same day complained that an NBC interview of Cheney didn't do enough pro-wrestling attacks on President Biden: " Despite Thursday’s Today show featuring an over 10-minute long interview with a sitting Republican member of Congress, only a paltry 29 seconds of the coverage focused on Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s criticism of current President Joe Biden. Instead, nearly all of the exchange was centered on co-host Savannah Guthrie urging the newly-ousted House GOP leader to attack her fellow Republicans and former President Trump." Drenne made sure to insert the MRC's anti-media narrative: "The leftist media have been eagerly using Republican Party disagreements to distract from a border crisis, bad jobs report, and gas lines across the country. Reporters like Guthrie are doing everything they can to give President Biden a pass and portray the GOP in chaos."
Graham whined further in his May 14 column:
The front page of the May 13 Washington Times was sobering: “President Biden’s second 100 days are off to a woeful start, including a gas shortage for much of the East Coast, a surge of inflation, a slowdown in hiring despite a record number of job openings, renewed fighting in the Middle East and an unresolved border crisis.”
But the rest of the news media? They’re obsessing over how terrible (and terribly split) the Republicans are. One party is engaged in a “civil war,” and the other is forever portrayed as a placid pool of calm.
This is how you know the “news” today is whatever narrative the Biden-coddling “mainstream” media decide to adopt. They’re never going to sound like Ted Cruz, who says “Biden policies are failing across the board: economically, domestically and abroad.” They’re going to sound like humanoid robots programmed by Jen Psaki.
Graham failed to mention that the Washington Times is a right-wing, andti-Biden paper that is still run by Unification Church cultists, so maybe its news judgment shouldn't be presented as accurate and objective. And he and the rest of the MRC don't seem to understand that just because the right-wing powers-that-be have deemed an unflattering story not to be news doesn't mean that it actually isn't.