Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, the Media Research Center unsurprisingly showed it's all about partisan politics, not "media research," when it completely embraced Fox News meterologist Janice Dean's attacks on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over moving COVID patients to nursing homes , despite the fact that there's little evidence to support her core lione of attack, that the transfer of those elderly COVID patients to nursing homes directly resulted in the deaths of her in-laws. So it was unsurprisingly gleeful that a scandal erupted over Cuomo's alleged sexual harassment of women while governor, which ultimately forced him to resign.
As a result, the MRC was cranking out items like an Aug. 3 item by Bill D'Agostino recounting how "the media’s lovefest with the disgraced Democratic New York Governor looks all the more embarrassing in hindsight."
another item the same day, by Scott Whitlock, recounted that Joe Biden said Cuomo should resign if the harassment charges were confirmed and huffed: "So, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, you going to hold Biden to his words? While they are at it, they might want to point out the hypocrisy of Biden speaking out against sexual misconduct, given what accuser Tara Reade has said about him." Biden actually did call for Cuomo to resign that very same day, but Whitlock couldn't be bothered to update his post.
Nicholas Fondacaro touted an interview with one of Cuomo's victims, presumably swallowing his pride a little because it took place on CBS and not a right-wing channel. He gave CBS no credit for doing the interview, of course -- since pretty much nobody was defending Cuomo over the harassment claims, the MRC lost a key attack point. It could only claim that the non-right-wing channels weren't attacking Cuomo enough, such as in an Aug. 5 post by Fondacaro grousing that one single evening newscast didn't hammer on it for a third straight day.
Indeed, the only defender of Cuomo on the harassment charges the MRC could find -- Geraldo Rivera -- was on Fox News, and even then Tim Graham had to contort himself in an Aug. 7 post to insist that he isn't a genuine Fox Newser:
Geraldo Rivera may be on Fox News today, but when it came to Andrew Cuomo, he came rushing to the allegedly feminist Democrat harasser's defense just as fervently as he did nightly for Bill Clinton in 1998 on his CNBC show Rivera Live.
First he lamented the career-ending sex harassment of Sen. Al Franken: "Al Franken is the ghost that should haunt people who are, you know, pulling the trigger already." He said there will be "regret."
He pointed to the report by New York Attorney General Letitia James and said "Pick that thing up again, Jesse [Watters].This, ladies and gentlemen, for all its impressive heft, is not a legal document. That is a political document. A document put together by the furthest-left politician in elective office in this far-left state. Letitia James, I've known her forever. She is absolutely furiously longing for Andrew Cuomo's job. I'm not saying that the allegations are false, I make no judgment about that. I just want people to know this is not proof. This is politics.
It never matters what the accused Democrat power abuser actually did -- he makes "no judgment" about it, it doesn't matter whether it's proven or unproven. How can he read this report and say "this is not proof"? He needs a body camera on Cuomo?
This is exactly the craven stand Rivera took about Kenneth Starr prosecuting Clinton back in 1998.
Or, you know, the craven stand Graham and the MRC took when Donald Trump was accused of sexual harassment (and worse), smearing and trashing Trump's accusers.
The MRC did ultimately give non-right-wing media credit for covering the Cuomo story. An Aug. 9 item by Whitlock proclaimed it "real journalism" hat CBS "devoted 14 minutes and 1 second (three segments)" to interviewing one of Cuomo's accusers." Of course, nobody at thte MRC considers it "real journalism" when the media reported on Trump's harassment scandals.
But even that had to be joined by the usual MRC criticism (and more sucking up to Fox News). A post that day from Fondacaro cheered how "Fox News media reporter and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz called out the media for acting like political operatives and minimizing the allegations early on as they now “play catch-up” to make themselves look good."
Even after getting what it wanted -- Cuomo's resignation -- the MRC wasn't ready to stop heating up on him or anyone else who acknowledged he did other good things. When a CBS correspondent argued that Cuomo had the COVID pandemic well, Whilock sneered in response: A masterful job? Ask Janet [sic] Dean." You'd think the MRC would be so enamored of Dean for her partisan work attack on Cuomo that the least it could do is spell her name right.
And on Aug. 13, Maesa Vicente complained that someone brought in Trump for comparison:
CNN En Español’s Directo USA anchor Juan Carlos Lopez repeatedly compared Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as a result of extensive sexual harassment allegations to the impeachments of President Donald Trump. What’s worse, the comparison was a favorable one to Cuomo.
It is unclear which impeachment Lopez is comparing Cuomo’s case with. Regardless, Trump was never convicted and served a full term. Although Lopez focused on Cuomo’s denials of wrongdoing, there was no mention made of Trump’s denials, or that he was never convicted by the Senate. In Cuomo’s case, he has been under scrutiny for over a year. In that timeframe, all the charges against him have proven to be true. Trump’s impeachments have nothing to do Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandals, or with his executive order on nursing homes, which led to the deaths of over 15,000 seniors in New York. López’ references to “that other New Yorker” were cheap and forced, and seemed to be an attempt to distract viewers from Cuomo’s wrongdoing.
Actually, the transfers did not cause 15,000 deaths -- many nursing homes already faced COVID issues before the transfer process started.
A better comparison for the CNN En Español anchors -- not being convicted in an impeachment trial is hardly an achievement given how afraid of Trump Republican members of Congress have shown themselves to be -- to have made would be to Trump's numerous sexual harassment scandals. But we assume that Vicente would be as hypocritical as the rest of the MRC on that.