Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just hates it when non-right-wing media won't trash and denigrate White House press secretary Jen Psaki the way the MRC's Curtis Houck compulsively does, so it will lash out at any non-negative portrayal of her. So when the Washington Post did an article on the clashes between Psaki and the MRC's favorite right-wing repoter, Fox News' Peter Doocy -- which Psaki tends to win -- Tim Graham spent his Aug. 6 podcast raging about it. It was promoted this way, with a massive dose of whataboutism:
The Washington Post has "honored" Fox White House reporter Peter Doocy by highlighting his exchanges with Biden press secretary Jen Psaki in the briefing room. Doocy gets "fact checked" by media reporter Paul Farhi...but in 2018, Farhi and the Post didn't check on CNN's Jim Acosta as he told them he was all about the facts, not about damaging Trump.
Indeed, Graham pretended it was 2018 again and complained at length about Acosta, who has been a longtime MRC target, whining that the same Post reporter didn't spew hate at Acosta in an earlier profile. "Jim Acosta is so clueless that he showed up wherever Trump was working and metaphorically flipped him off. It was his job to yell and upset the president and embarrass him and just basically make a spectacle of himself. This is not what Steve [sic] Doocy does." That's not the impression we get from the MRC, which routinely runs headlines like "Doocy Smash" and "DOOCY DEMOLITION" to cheer his preening and alleged dominance over Psaki. Graham then huffed of Acosta that "A good reporter isn't measured by how loud he yells at Trump," then played a clip package of interactions with Acosta and a very testy Trump in which Acosta... did not yell.
Continuing to get Doocy's name wrong, Graham asserted that by contrast, "Steve Doocy is the one who ytou could say he's asikng, he's holding the president accountable, he's asking factual questions or asking questions about facts he wants." Graham forgot that the MRC stealth-edited a post to hide the fact that Doocy tried to play gotcha with Psaki on a false story about Vice President Kamala Harris' book being given to undocumented immigrants. Graham ultimately huffed that "Acosta's a very one-sided asshat. That's what he does." (Is Graham sure he's not talking about himself?)
Graham then justifed the idea of violence against members of the media who refused to suck up to Trump the way the MRC did and does: "Jim Acosta has very clearly set himself out to be the enemy. That's his gig. That's what he does... Jim Acosta has never been slugged by anyone, and even if he was, you can't blame NewsBusters or Donald Trump. Blame Jim Acosta. Why don't you blame what you're doing? Why don't you look at your last name -- "accost"? Accost is what you do."
Reminder: Acosta stopped being a White House correspondent in January, meaning he hasn't been there for around eight months at the time of Graham's rant. Also remember he's supposed to be defending Doocy here (though he can't even be bothered to get his name right). That's how much Graham and the rest of CNN are obsessed with trying to destroy CNN and its employees for the sin of not being Trump toadies.
Graham went on to whine that the Post didn't label Children's Health Defense, the anti-vaxx group that Robert Kennedy Jr. heads, as a "left-wing" group -- but that's because it's not. As we've documented, Kennedy's group has no constituency on the left. And Graham left out the fact that the organization he's an executive of defended CHD's right to misinform people about vaccines.
He futher whined that, while the Post reporter he's criticizing will actually contact the MRC from time to time for reaction on such stories, "Brian Stelter doesn't call me for media stories. But I guess we can all understand why." Because you're not a "media researcher" but, rather, a right-wing political activist who irrationally hates Stelter and likes to metaphorically (if not actually) flip him off at every opportunity?
Graham's whining continued in his Aug. 18 podcast, where the target was a interview Psaki did with Mediaite's Tommy Christopher he deemed too fawning (read: he didn't trash her the way the MRC would).He ranted that the media is "99 percent Bicen voters," though he refused to speculate on whom Doocy voted for. He then complained about attention about #PsakiBomb hashtags, apparently oblivious to the ridiculously Doocy-fawning headlines on the website of which he's the executive editor.
Later, Graham was joined by the MRC's chief Psaki-trasher, Curtis Houck, to do what the MRC pays him to do. Sounding like the biased right-wing activist they are, Houck joined Graham complained that "the media" was trying to "drag Trump into" the story of U.S. withdrawal of Afghanistan -- apparently forgetting that Trump was the person who set this in motion by signing a withdrawal deal with the Taliban.
The two then collaborated on what (biased) questions they would has Psaki if they had the chance. They chose to ask about an obscure 2013 "scandal" of the State Department (where Psaki worked at the time) editing out a question by then-Fox News reporter James Rosen from a briefing. Graham added that he wanted to ask why there is no page at PolitiFact for Psaki.
Houck also rushed to the defense of his belived Kayleigh McEnany, complaining that "she was seen as this kind of bimbo" anolong with others who worked in the Trump White House. Graham groused that "obviously, you know that Jen Psaki spends her year or her year and a halfas the White House press secretary, I imagine she's going to land a very sweet gig in some PR group in DC, and then probably have the CNN gig again on the Jake Tapper show. So she could still be doing Biden's talking points, but just as a regular pundit on CNN."
In other words, exactly what you'd expect from these two -- with a complete lack of admission that Doocy or any other right-wing reporter is in any way biased.