Topic: Media Research Center
Like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center's coverage of -- or, more accurately, whining about -- the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot began a few days earlier. A Jan. 4 post by P.J. Gladnick, for instance, complained about "Politico reveling that the Democrats are attempting to use the occasion to engage in flat out partisanship by federalizing the elections at the state level so as to favor that party." Tim Graham preemptively whined further about the coverage in his Jan. 5 column:
On the cusp of an absolute glut of liberal-media anniversary coverage of the January 6 riot, CNN media reporter Brian Stelter was cranky. “We live in a world where Donald Trump's top supporters malign the media for being ‘obsessed’ with January 6.”
You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to see it. The media obsession with January 6 is easily quantifiable. Saying there’s not an obsession is like claiming the media didn’t do enough coverage of Princess Di’s car crash and funeral. The New York Times editorial board posted an article titled “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now,” and the daily media coverage reflects that mentality.
You don’t have to be an election denier who thinks Trump won in a landslide to acknowledge it. But Stelter maligned everyone who thinks the pro-Biden media are overdoing 1/6 as a deranged kook: “We're not a single story or smoking-gun confession or criminal charge away from snapping back to a shared reality. Instead, we're experiencing something that might be best explained by psychologists or therapists or algorithm developers.”
Graham was unable to unequivocally criticize the insurrection, choosing to play whataboutism instead: "The riot at the Capitol was a horrible event, and every thug and goon that beat a policeman should be prosecuted. But everyone knows that when thugs and goons tried to set a federal courthouse on fire in Portland with federal employees inside it last year, these self-appointed 'reality' definers didn't find an 'insurrection.' They have a double standard on violent revolts against the government...when the thugs are on the left."
Graham originally disavowed whataboutism in the immediate wake of the riot, insisting that "this is not rioting at an Apple store. This is where our democracy lives." He appears to have gotten back in lockstep with his fellow MRC ideologues, and now apparently believes that destoying the Capitol is exactly the same as rioting in a Apple store.
The preemptive whining continued in a Jan. 5 post by Kyle Drennen:
In an effort to push the Democratic Party agenda on the federal takeover of elections and hype an anti-Republican campaign narrative ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, leftist media outlets have planned an avalanche of special coverage commemorating the one year anniversary of the January 6th Capitol Hill riot.
On Wednesday, network hosts eagerly announced plans to anchor live from Washington, D.C. on Thursday, while cable channels promised to devote hours of air time to the topic.
Bill D'Agostino kicked off the MRC's day-of coverage by constructing the right-wing talking point that any discussion of the riot is nothing more than a Democratic talking point:
After obsessing over the January 6 Capitol Hill riot for the past year, the media are now using its one-year anniversary to advocate for unprecedented, sweeping election reforms.
Democrats would have been foolish not to make political hay out of this anniversary, and so they've decided to wield it as a justification for federalizing America's elections. Naturally, their friends in the media quickly flooded the zone with articles and TV segments supporting the party's cause.
With the 6th now upon us, Americans are in for a day jam-packed with cynical political gamesmanship and overtures about Our Democracy™.
But don’t expect the press to stop haranguing about the Capitol riot once the fight over election laws is gone from the news cycle. January 6 has been the media’s favorite rhetorical cudgel for the past year, and they’re not likely to put it back on the shelf anytime soon.
And when the anniversary coverage they preemptively whined about actually happened, the MRC whined about that too. Curtis Houck huffed:
On Thursday, it was the liberal media’s Super Bowl and on the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol as, according to a NewsBusters analysis of the major broadcast network morning newscasts, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and NBC’s Today spent roughly 90 minutes dissecting, obsessing over, and painting the 75 million-plus Trump voters as enemies.
The networks specifically combined for 89 minutes and 31 seconds and, of that, a whopping 50 minutes and 28 seconds came from CBS Mornings with co-host Tony Dokoupil anchoring from outside the U.S. Capitol, introducing and/or leading ten of the 11 January 6-related segments.
Houck didn't explain to readers why the anniversary wasn't newsworthy -- he simply whined that it was covered.
Clay Waters similiarly complained: "The New York Times is making hay during the intense Democratic politicization of the one-year anniversary of the violent Capitol Hill riots of January 6, 2021, what an online headline called “the worst American attack in democracy in centuries.” (How many centuries are we talking about here?)" He also grumbled that the Times blew up the right-wing whataboutism narrative that Graham used, claiming without evidence that the reporter "tortured the data to downplay the summer 2020 riots over the police killing of George Floyd."