Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has always been buddy-buddy with right-wing radio host Mark Levin -- a reliable promoter and defender of his work and reliable hider of his messes -- but the weekend of July 9-11 was a full-on Mark Levin Weekend at the MRC.
Levin had just released a new book, "American Marxism," your typical right-wing polemic against anything that's not pro-Trump conservativsm. But someone decided the book needed a publicity boost, and the MRC was amenable. Cue MRC chieef Brent Bozell doing an interview with Levin. A clip of the interview first surfaced at the MRC's NewsBusters on July 9, in which "Levin cautioned about the censorship of those who would dare oppose the modern-day Gestapo." (Gee, we thought the MRC believed that Nazi references were too over-the-top.) This was followed about three hours later with another clip, in whic "Bozell asked Levin about his chapter on "Propaganda, Censorship, and Subversion," adding that "You can read Bozell's positive book review at Breitbart, where he called it Levin's most important book ever."
A half-hour after that, were were graced with "the FULL discussion between Bozell and Levin, in which the two discuss the book, the propagandistic media, and the threat to our nation" -- which clocks in at a little under 15 minutes, so it's not all that extensive. Bozell was in full gush mode, touting Levin as a "wise man" who engages in "full scholarship," frothing over the book as "so timely, so important, so thorough." Ironically, the embedded video of the interview came from YouTube, which the MRC wants you to think is constantly censoring conservatives for everything. Apparently not.
And then an interesting thing happened: That interview remained the top story at NewsBusters all weekend, even though the website normally rotates new articles in the top spot as they are published. And that's not the only place in the MRC-verse where that happened.
Over at CNSNews.com -- which devotes dozens of "news" articles each year to uncritically repeating thet pearls of wisdom that pour forth from Levin's mouth -- a July 9 article by Craig Bannister featured a clip from the Bozell-Levin interview, followed by a link to the entire interview -- which sycophantically called Levin "The Great One" in the headline and embedded the YouTube version of it -- and that remained the top story there all weekend.The same day, CNS republished Bozell's fawning Breitbart review of the book (which, given what we know about the MRC's history, was probably ghost-written by Tim Graham). Then, MRCTV -- the MRC's video-focused website, posted (the YouTube cliip of) the Bozell-Levin interview and made it its main story all weekend as well; it also posted a separate item from Gabriel Hays touting another clip from the interview.
We contacted the MRC for an explanation of the unusual promotion and whether Levin's publisher paid the MRC for the privilege, but it never responded.
That wasn't the end of the MRC's aggressive promotion of Levin and his book:
- A July 12 CNS article by Ashilanna Kreiner plugged Lein plugging his own book on his Fox News TV show.
- A July 14 CNS article by Craig Bannister gushed that "Former President Donald Trump is praising Constitutional Scholar and Author Mark Levin’s new book, 'American Marxism,' for pulling the veil off the Marxist ideology being deceptively peddled in the U.S. - not just by Democrats and the Biden Administration - but by schools, media, corporations and entertainment." Bannister didn't mention, however, that Trump's plug was largely a copy-and-paste of the publisher's promotional copy (as he is wont to do).
- MRC executive Tim Graham dedicated his July 16 column to rhapsodizing over Levin's bnook and whining that CNN's Brian Stelter criticized it.
- Both NewsBusters and CNS published columnist David Limbaugh's endorsement of the book.
It's ironic that a book claiming to be about Marxism is being promoted by the MRC in such a Marxist way, in which we are told what to believe about the book, no criticism of it is allowed and those who offer any are attacked and denounced.