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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
MRC's Graham Fights Another Losing Battle With Context
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham is having yet another issue with context. He complained in an Aug. 22 post:

The fact-checkers at haven't done a single fact check on President Biden's statements since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. But they did do a fact check on October 18 attacking President Trump for being soft on the Taliban. A meme by the leftists at Occupy Democrats was ruled "Mostly True." The Snopes headline was “Did Trump Admin Get Taliban Leader Out of Pakistani Prison?”

Snopes only checked the meme, and not the language that came with it on Facebook. It wasn't apparently false to boast "This is ALL on Trump!"

When a liberal is targeted, the "independent fact checkers" often suggest conservative critics are "Missing Context." Well, in this case the missing context is this: Trump’s State Department pressured Pakistan to release Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar of the Taliban as a ploy to help peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. It wasn't out of admiration. The Occupy Democrats meme suggested Trump’s team sprung this terrorist from prison, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo validated him with a meeting....without any reference to trying to help peace talks.

Context is not really Graham's friend here. If the end result was that pressure from the Trump administration got a Taliban leader out of prison, does the claim that it wasn't done "out of admiration" really help the argument? After all, Graham is conceding the point that Baradar was freed because of Trump's involvement. And does the context that Pompeo met with Baradar while "trying to help peace talks" really mitigate the fact that maybe we shouldn't be trying to negotiate peace with the Taliban?

Perhaps sensing how dumb his argument was becoming, he changed tactics and decided to issue a personal attack on the Snopes researcher, grumbling she once worked for "Arab propaganda network Al Jazeera," then a couple of shows on Comedy Central, followed by a show starring former "Daily Show" regular Hasan Mihnaj, where she complained the show's "progressive ethos" were nbot practiced behind the secnes. Graham went on to sneer: "Then she was hired by Snopes...from Al-Jazeera to comedy shows to "fact checking." It's all a young worker's career of cultivating a 'progressive ethos on screen.'" But he idenbtifies nothing "progressive" in her fact-check -- he's just lazily playing guilt by association.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:16 PM EDT

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