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Thursday, November 4, 2021
Though It Embraced His Milley Story, MRC Still Hates Bob Woodward
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center pounced on the revelation -- as reported in the new book by Bob Woodward -- that Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley secretly contacted Chinese officials to assure them that the U.S. wouldn't attack because of Donald Trump's increasingly unstable mental state after losing the 2020 election, but that doesn't mean the MRC has taking a liking to Woodward. It had a meltdown over Woodward's last book for making Trump look bad -- even though the book was based on interviews Woodward did with Trump -- and it even whined that the media covered Woodward's revelations more than a Nobel Peace Prize nomination Trump got.

In his Sept. 15 podcast, MRC executive Tim Graham ranted against the book and even took some needlessly personal shots at Woodward's co-author, Robert Costa: "Oh, how CNN loved this book's debut. They are just wallowing in it like it's Christmas morning and Woodward was Santa Claus. I guess this would make Robert Costa Buddy the Elf." The MRC likes to portray Costa as "liberal" even though he first gained journalistic notoriety at the conservative National Review.

Graham dismissed the Milley story as an "alleged scoop" -- even though the MRC was not treating as "alleged" -- insisting that it was not "likely" or "remotely plausible" that Trump was unstable because Trump didn't launch any wars and declaring that "this is just the kind of story that our  so-called news media just adores, this cartoon of the president as a completely unhinged, dangerous person." Apparently, Graham was not observing the Trump presidency in the previous four years. He went on to lament that "books like these are trying to make Trump more radioactive than he already is for 2024." Funny, we've never read anywhere at the MRC that Trump is "radioactive."

Graham then ranted that Woodward's book is the third book critical of Trump to come out this year because the Post is a "Democratic rag!" 

Graham used his Sept. 17 column to further complain:

Liberal outlets often try to ignore conservative journalism, refusing to recognize facts and substance that they fear are damaging to the Democrats. The closer the election gets, the more hypersensitive their censoring instincts become. They repeated Democrat claims of “Russian misinformation” and moved on.

This never happens to Bob Woodward, the “legend” of The Washington Post. He is, to liberals, the gold standard of information. He never commits misinformation. Nothing ever needs to be substantiated. No source ever needs to be identified. No “reconstructed conversation” is ever doubted. The Bible is treated less reverently than Woodward’s latest gospel.

The alleged scripture this time around is that Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was so frightened by what President Trump might do in late 2020 and January 2021 that he had conversations with a general in China, advising him that if there was going to be some crazy nuclear attack from Trump, he would give the communists a heads-up.

Conservatives were immediately up in arms at the treasonous sound of this. But the first question should be: Can Woodward be trusted?

Graham didn't mention that neither he nor his MRC co-workers apparently asked that question in its using Woodward's book to brand Milley a traitor.

Graham went on to rant that "Sometimes, Woodward’s hot scoops crumble under scrutiny" -- but he had to go to a book Woodward wrote more than 30 years ago to find an example. He also cited this old book in his podcast as well.

When Woodward and Costa did media appearances to promote their book, the MRC's attack mode continued. Writing about an appearance from them on ABC, Kristine Marsh huffed on Sept. 20 that the host "eagerly accepted Woodward and Costa's pathetic, partisan defense that Joint Chief of Staff General Mark Milley was justified in tipping off China, because Trump was just that dangerous," insisting that "making serious and unsubstantiated claims about the president being crazy doesn’t even warrant pushback at ABC, it's become routine for the media." She went on to whine that "The media has a history of trumpeting anonymously sourced, salacious claims against President Trump, particularly by Woodward," linking to Graham's podcast.

Kyle Drennen invented a motive for Woodward writing the book in a Sept. 22 post:

On CBS’s Late Show Tuesday night, left-wing “comedian” Stephen Colbert eagerly welcomed on The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward on Robert Costa to hawk their new anti-Trump book designed to distract from the massive failures of current President Joe Biden. Accepting all of the wild claims in the book as gospel, Colbert declared that he had to take breaks from reading it in order to “quietly weep” for the country.  

Drennen offered no evidence to support his claim that the book was "designed to distract" from Biden -- books are typically months if not years in the making, after all. That appears to be a figment of Drennen's imagination and, as such, has no business in anything claiming to be "media research."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT

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