Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center executive Tim Graham has trouble feeling empathy for anyone who is not as right-wing as him -- even when they face tragedy. He amply demonstrated that last fall when he viciously trashed Alec Baldwin after the tragic gun accident on the set of a movie he was working on. And he did it again in his Jan. 7 column, when he lashed out at Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, bizarrely accusing him of "milking" his son's death -- as stated in the headline of his column -- by invokling it in discussions about the Capitol riot:
As the establishment media solemnly marked January 6 with all of the rehearsed Democrat talking points about democracy hanging by a thread, one man best represents the liberal media’s relentless political marketing. It’s radical Rep. Jamie Raskin, who has a new book that came out two days before the anniversary called Unthinkable, conflating the Capitol riot with the suicide of his adult son Tommy.
That sounds like a terrible blow for any parent. But Raskin is now marketing it, and pairing it with warnings about fascism. Does that sound odd? He’s done it more than once.
In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Raskin said “I fault myself for not talking about suicide to Tommy. And I liken not talking to a depressed person about suicide to not talking to a teenager about sex. You think somehow you are being clever, and you are suppressing a reality that you don’t want to materialize.”
He added: “But in fact, you are making it worse because when you don’t speak these words, it endows them with more power. I likened not talking about suicide to not talking about fascism.”
On the afternoon of January 6, Raskin’s book was the number two best-seller on Amazon.com. Grief sells.
Here's how one-sided this was. Nowhere in any of these 11 interviews – no matter how lengthy – did anyone note that for all of the outrage over challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, no one said a thing about Raskin challenging the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election on the House floor on January 6, 2017.
There was no rioting at the Capitol back then – although there were violent protests around the Inauguration – and he was shut down by Vice President Biden. But this fact might put a crimp in lecturing any Republicans who challenged the 2020 election on the House floor as somehow riot plotters or enablers.
Graham didn't mention that Raskin's son died a week before the riot, so the two traumas are clearly linked for him. Apparently, this offends Graham more than the riot itself.
The "milking" headline Graham put on it, though, is what pushes the column over the edge -- to the point that even normal MRC allies are calling it out. Former MRC intern Jackson Richman denounced Graham's column at Mediaite; he criticized Raskin by claiming that "One can decry the challenges to democracy without invoking personal loss," but he added: "And, with all due respect to Graham, one can criticize Raskin’s analogy without using an extreme and despicable label such as 'milking' when it comes to what is the worst thing for a parent to experience: the loss of his or her child. Tone matters."
While Graham never apologized for his hostile column -- the MRC never apologizes, ever -- the MRC did get the message. When Graham's column was posted to its "news" division CNSNews.com later that day, the headline was changed to "Dem Lawmaker Conflates Jan. 6 Riot With Son's Suicide in New Book." The column's content, however, was unchanged.