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Friday, December 17, 2021
MRC Aims For Revisionism On GOP Attacks On Cleland
Topic: Media Research Center

Brad Wilmouth is the Media Research Center's chief of historical revisionism -- see his attempts to recast Donald trump and the Central Park Five and claims about crimes committed by immigrants. He made another attempt to whitewash history in a Nov. 11 post:

On Tuesday's The 11th Hour show, MSNBC's Brian Williams began his last few weeks hosting the show by spreading more misinformation as he accused Republicans of running a "disgusting smear campaign" against veteran and then-Democratic Senator Max Cleland when he ran for reelection in 2002.

Picking up on the recent passing of the former Senator, Williams recalled some of his heroism that led Cleland to lose both legs and one arm, and to earn a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star. The MSNBC host then took a shot at Republicans over something that happened 19 years ago.

Williams recalled: "He went on to get involved in politics -- U.S. Senator from Georgia -- later defeated by a disgusting GOP smear campaign that somehow he wasn't tough enough on terrorism. The attack ad showed him next to imagery of Osama bin Laden."

Although it has been repeatedly claimed in the liberal media that Cleland's face was paired next to that of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, the image of bin Laden was used in a different frame, as can be seen in video of the ad.

As for the reason he was defeated, which Williams did not elaborate on, Cleland's colleague from Georgia, then-Senator Zell Miller -- a conservative Democrat -- chalked up the loss to the more liberal Cleland supporting the unionization of the newly formed Homeland Security Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Wilmouth is nitpicking here and trying to attack Williams for something he didn't say -- note that he has to attribute the Cleland-bin Laden claim to "the liberal media" and not Williams himself. Cleland's picture in the ad may be in "a different frame" from bin Laden, but it also appears immediately after bin Laden's picture.

Wilmouth did not supply a link to back up his claim that  Miller blamed Cleland's loss on "Cleland supporting the unionization of the newly formed Homeland Security Department." However, a 2003 Roll Call article reported that "Miller contends that Cleland lost because [then-Senate Minority Leader Tom] Daschle refused to allow the Senate to approve legislation creating the Homeland Security Department before the elections" -- which is not the claim Wilmouth made.

It seems Wilmouth would rather not remind people that Republicans aggressively questioned the patriotism of a soldier who lost three limbs in Vietnam.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST

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