Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez has a weird meltdown in an Aug. 30 post:
The left-wing Politico has been sold to a German company for a ridiculous $1 billion.
The Washingtonian reported that the Virginia-based news outlet is being sold for a whopping $1 billion to Axel Springer SE. The two entities had reportedly “been joint venture partners since 2014” when Politico Europe was launched, according to Business Wire. But the company is plagued with bias. Axel Springer Chairman and CEO Mathias Döpfner falsely accused President Donald Trump of being behind the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot by saying he “call[ed] for a coup against democratic institutions.” Even more damning was Döpfner’s op-ed in 2017, which nonsensically flailed that “Trump speaks the language of the mafia.” Really. “What does Trump have to do in order to be perceived by a sufficiently large number of Republicans as a democracy threat and thus no longer acceptable,” Döpfner whined. But Politico attaching itself to a company with explicit bias is characteristic of the publication’s years-long rap sheet of leftist bias.
Vazquez is being deliberately imprecise. Actually, Döpfner stated not that Trump was "behind" the Capitol riot but, rather, that he was "dangerously inciting his followers to violence," which is clear from the content of Trump's speech beforew the riot. And his statement that "Trump speaks the language of the mafia" is not "nonsensical flailing" as Vazquez would like you to believe, but an observation that has been made by many.
Clearly, Vazquez is a slave to the MRC's anti-media narrative, which describe every non-right-wing outlet as "left-wing" or "leftist" -- indeed, he cites only a handful of cherry-picked articles out of the thousands Politico publishes each and every year to support his hyperbolic, overbroad claim. As Eric Boehlert noted, there are plenty of Politico articles to support the claim that the publication views the world "through a Republican prism." Boehlert also points out that, contrary to Vazquez's slave-to-the-narrative rantings, Axel Springer actually has a bias he would love:
Two years ago, The Guardian profiled the “German company founded in 1945 by the rightwing publisher of the same name.” When the founder died back in 1985 the Los Angeles Times was straightforward. “Axel Springer, Conservative W. German Publisher, Dies,” read the headline. The Times noted that all of Springer’s media properties “served as staunch supporters of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s conservative Christian Democratic Union.”
As The Tablet observed recently, “Springer was the closest thing that the Germans had to a Rupert Murdoch. Springer’s politics were decidedly conservative: capitalist (though comfortable with the German consensus on a “social market economy”); traditionalist; ferociously anti-communist, and pro-American. And much as Murdoch has come to embody everything that bien pensant liberals loathe, Springer was hated by the West German left.”
In 1952, Springer founded Bild, a national tabloid daily that soon became the most-read newspaper in Europe, with a circulation that peaked at 6 million. Der Spiegel once characterized the paper as “serv[ing] up tripe, trash, tits and, almost as an afterthought, a healthy dose of hard news seven days a week.” It added that Bild, “has taken on the role of a right-wing populist party, which does not yet exist in Germany."
The daily recently launched its own TV station, which the Irish Times dubbed “a milder, German equivalent of Fox News.”
Boehlert also pointed out that Axel Springer employees are required to sign a pledge of allegiance to the company's "essentials," which include a demand to "uphold the principles of a free market economy and its social responsibility" and "advocate the transatlantic alliance between the United States of America and Europe." Boehlert added: "If an unabashedly liberal, international publisher that demanded its employees sign an oath supporting socialism had swooped in to buy a mainstay of American political journalism, do you think its partisan DNA would be mentioned in the news coverage? I certainly do. In fact, it would be mentioned in every headline."
Yep, and the MRC would be first in line to scream about it. Instead, Vazquez has to defy and distort reallity to portray both Politico and Axel Springer as irredeemably (and falsely) "left-wing."