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Friday, January 21, 2022
MRC's Double Standard On The Privacy of Text Messages
Topic: Media Research Center

When the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot released text messages from Fox News hosts to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows begging then-President Trump to do something about the riot he helped incite, the Media Research Center was curiously quiet about it -- even though it has long raged about the allgedly cozy relationships between members of the "liberal media" and Democratic politicians. Only one MRC post commented on those texts at length -- a Dec. 18 column by Jeffrey Lord whining about the purported violation of privacy:

Say what?

The other day in a new episode of the January 6 Committee sham, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked Republican ally, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, took it upon herself to violate the privacy of Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade by reading aloud their private texts to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from January 6.

Safe to say – and unsurprisingly – all three were recommending President Trump speak out against the increasing evidence that the gathering of protestors at the Capitol was turning into a riot.

What seems not to occur to Cheney is that she is a member of the US government – and the idea of a government official targeting members of the press by reading their private communications is the stuff of Orwell.


The problem here is obvious. The results of the 2020 election are utterly irrelevant to the fact that the Fox hosts have a constitutional right to their free press rights. Those rights do not change no matter the subject under discussion. It could be the events of January 6th or Hunter Biden’s latest craziness or American policy towards China or who will win the Super Bowl or any of a limitless number of topics. The principle that there is a free press, with members of the media having the right to privacy in their communications with anyone – newsmaker or not – is  inviolate.

Make no mistake. The reason these three media hosts have seen their right to journalistic privacy tossed to the wind is because, but of course, the real target here is Donald Trump.

We'll let Dan Abrams handle the response to this .line of criticism:

The Mediaite Moment, a daily segment on “Dan Abrams Live,” strives to hold cable news shows accountable by scrutinizing clips from multiple networks. On Wednesday, Dan aired clips of Fox News hosts discussing other private messages.

“Fox News has now obtained the text messages between the FBI agent Peter Peter Strzok and his FBI lawyer girlfriend Lisa Page,” Hannity said on Dec. 12, 2017.

Chris Cuomo’s personal text messages to his brother’s aide were reported on Kilmeade’s show “Fox and Friends” just this month. And who could forget the Hunter Biden messages mysteriously leaked from his laptop?

“Senator, your reaction to that story from the New York Post today, based on emails between Hunter Biden and Burisma officials,” Ingraham said on Oct. 15, 2020.

<>As for their own leaked messages, all the hosts defended their efforts to try to get Trump to stop the attack on the Capitol, but still implied that the messages were released in an effort to smear them.

“I think the Fox News hosts did the right thing in writing to Meadows, but you just can’t have it both ways,” Abrams said.

We've documented how the MRC's "news" division,, had no problem with repeating Strzok's and Page's text messages to hype their affair while they were trying to distract from the news of Trump's affair with a porn star. The MRC itself was similarly obsessed with the Strzok story as revealed through those leaked texts -- and neither outlet expressed any concern for Strzok's or Page's privacy the way Lord demands we respect the privacy of Fox News hosts.

Perhaps sensing he was on shaky ground, Lord quickly switched to another angle:

Question? Most knowledgeable political observers are predicting that the 2022 elections will bring a Republican majority. And if that turns out to be true, the tables will be turned. All those subpoenas directed by the Pelosi-run January 6 Committee at Republican House members, ex-Trump staffers and allies can easily be turned around and directed at Speaker Pelosi herself, not to mention her staff and the rest of the Democratic House leadership. The object: to find out why Pelosi failed to protect the physical security of the Capitol.

Blaming Pelosi for the actions of Trump supporters is a right-wing conspiracy.

Lord concluded by asserting, "Hell hath no fury like a lefty journalist with double standards." The only double standard we see involves Lord and the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:34 PM EST

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