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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
MRC's Double Standard On Describing Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

It matters how words are used. When the Media Research Center attacks someone for pushing misinformation, it does so in no uncertain terms. Let's look at some examples from the past couple months: (bold added):

  • Ironic that an outlet funded by one of America’s most notorious billionaires was willing to push misinformation and Chinese propaganda while claiming to fight “bad information.”-- Joseph Vazquez, June 3
  • Cruz criticized Facebook for allowing communist China to push misinformation on the platform about its human rights violations against Uyghurs, while simultaneously censoring the 45th president of the United States.-- Alec Schemmel, June 16
  • Now that the "anti-trans" states are outlined for the American public, the special includes a completely ludicrous segment of misinformation on medical intervention on vulnerable children being “life-saving.” -- Veronica Hays, June 18
  • Misinformation: Nets LIE as GOP Saves Country from Election Power Grab -- Nicholas Fondacaro, June 22
  • Lies and misinformation, this is CNN. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, June 22
  • The new targets are white Americans who are presumed guilty of exploiting racism for “their own political and financial gain.” And the new media misinformation is that none of this is happening at all, it’s just right-wing panic and propaganda. -- Tim Graham, July 9

But when the MRC's fellow right-wingers get caught pushing misinformation -- particularly regarding coronavirus and COVID vaccines -- it's never defined so aggressively, and it is usually put in scare quotes or accompanied by other qualifying language. Again, from the past couple months (bold added):

  • MRC president Brent Bozell said in a tweet: “Facebook, which claims to be fighting ‘misinformation’ essentially admitted today that THEY have been spreading misinformation for over a year. Yet another reason to remove the protections Facebook and others receive from section 230.” -- Kayla Sargent, June 7
  • The platform recommended WHO information to users who had a history of engaging with content that the platform deemed to be misinformation. -- Alex Schemmel, June 11
  • Last year, a video promoted by former President Trump that detailed the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine was removed from YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for “misinformation.” -- Autumn Johnson, June 11
  • YouTube has constantly censored what it considers misinformation about COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. -- Kayla Sargent, June 21
  • The organization's lawsuit alleged that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent letters to Facebook and Google regarding “vaccine misinformation.” -- Kayla Sargent, June 30
  • CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter is always decrying "misinformation" from conservative media, but extreme climate panic is never considered inaccurate. -- Brad Wilmouth, July 5
  • Trump said that Big Tech’s apparent war with what it deemed to be misinformation could be traced back to the government. -- Kayla Sargent, July 8
  • The Biden administration continued its rampage against what it deems to be "misinformation" about COVID-19. -- Kayla Sargent, July 15
  • The Biden administration announced at a press briefing on Facebook Friday that it was working with Facebook to censor posts that contained “misinformation.” -- Auitumn Johnson, July 16
  • The social-media sites offered statistics on how much COVID "misinformation" they removed -- which probably includes anything on the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. -- Tim Graham, July 17
  • Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen whined about the Biden administration’s rampage over so-called misinformation about COVID-19 in a blog post. -- Kayla Sargent, July 19
  • The Biden administration said it is trying to censor so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19 online, then completely denied it four days later. ... Psaki responded by flip-flopping on whether the White House planned to take down what it deemed to be misinformation about COVID-19 online. -- Kayla Sargent, July 20
  • The Biden administration has faced criticism for working with Facebook to flag what they deem “misinformation” and the President’s declaration that “Facebook is killing people.” -- Bridget O'Neal, July 20
  • President Joe Biden’s administration is considering a massive reform of Section 230 to bully Big Tech into censoring so-called misinformation from conservative sources online. -- Alexander Hall, July 21
  • Twitter, of course, has refused to allow anything it deems to be misinformation about COVID-19 or its vaccines on the platform.-- Kayla Sargent, July 22
  • The Biden administration has continued its war against what it considers COVID-19 misinformation. ... U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy panicked about the threat of COVID-19 and so-called “misinformation” online in a July 22 address, according to Reclaim the Net. -- Kayla Sargent, July 26
  • Nine GOP senators wrote a letter to President Joe Biden demanding answers for the White House flagging so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19 on social media. -- Kayla Sargent, July 27

Apparently, in the MRC's eyes, there's an unambiguous, objective definition of what misinformation is when its political enemies do it but a fluid, subjective definition when its allies do it.

That's just another MRC double standard showing how little its word can (and should) be trusted.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT

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