Topic: Media Research Center
Even after devoting three posts to how the Media Research Center covered the first anniversary of the Capitol riot, we're still not done -- there are a few odds and ends to discuss. P.J. Gladnick tried to invent a conspiracy theory in a Jan. 7 post:
On January 6, the media was chock full of stories about the events at Capitol Hill on the day of the riot. One potentially big event that could have overshadowed what happened at the Capitol building was a couple of pipe bombs planted near the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee buildings. Fortunately neither bomb went off, but the mystery remains of who was the pipe bomber that still remains at large.
Because of the January 6 anniversary, several media outlets were speculating about the mystery of who the pipe bomber was and why the FBI has not found him despite conducting an intensive investigation. You can see stories about the investigation into the pipe bomber suspect at such sources as CBS News, the Associated Press (via PBS), and The Atlantic.
One thing the stories all have in common is what appears to be a lack of curiosity why the FBI hasn't used a very common investigative technique to identify the bomber.
Why hasn't the FBI attempted to track the pipe bomber's GPS movements via the phone pinging off the cell phone towers? We know the suspect used his cell phone at least five times since his movements were tracked by surveillance cameras such as in the one provided by the FBI below.
And since the suspect's locations and times were known from video surveillance it should be a rather easy matter to find out where he started out from and where he went after he planted the bombs via GPS tracking as well as perhaps what phone number(s) he called.
So if the FBI can use cell tower tracking to identify grandmothers just standing around at the Capitol building on January 6, why haven't they used the same technology to find the pipe bomber?
Of course, Gladnick doesn't know that the FBI has not done this -- he's just baselessly suggesting that it has something to hide by not arresting anyone yet. Curiously, Gladnick offers no evidence that anyone in the right-wing media has done what he demands "the media" do, "pick up a phone and call the FBI or the January 6 Committee to ask them about this."
(We would also remind Gladnick that the MRC used to not care about the pipe bomb at the DNC, fretting only about the one at the RNC.)
Brad Wilmouth used a Jan. 8 post to maliciously reframe remarks by reporter Yamiche Alcindor. She pointed out the inescapable fact that most of the Capitol insurrectionists were white and that a similarly violent crowd of people of color would have been treated much more harshly by law enforcement; Wilmouth twisted this to claim that Alcindor was "possibly disappointed that more of the 1/6 Capitol Hill rioters were not shot by Capitol Police."
Meanwhile, Tim Graham was the designated MRC whiner about Vice President Kamala Harris' 1/6 speech. First , he complained that Harris' likening of the riot to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor was not fact-checked, whining that Snopes ddinged right-winger Todd Starnes for falsely claiming she said the riot was "worse than" 9/11. "They didn't fact-check the leftist. They fact-checked the conservative," Graham huffed; note his description of Harris as a "leftist" but not Starnes as merely a "conservative" even though he holds very extreme views.
(Also, we don't recall Graham demanding a fact-check when a Fox News contributor likened the burning of the channel's Christmas tree to Pearl Harbor.)
Then, he complained that PBS interviewer Judy Woodruff didn't trash Harris like a Fox News employee would:
On January 6, Vice President Kamala Harris shamelessly attempted to compare the Capitol riot to Pearl Harbor and 9-11. Later that day, she was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on the PBS NewsHour, who asked absolutely nothing about that rhetoric. Instead, Woodward complained to Harris about election lies and poor attitudes and "deep polarization" -- as if the media have no role in all this. She began with a series of 1/6 softballs:
Then Woodruff heralded Liz Cheney for holding Trump fully responsible for creating the Capitol riot -- that he "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack" -- and asked "Is she right?" Then Woodruff suggested (as a flock of "objective" journalists have) that Trump should face criminal prosecution: "If that's the case, then does that not mean there will have to be serious consideration of a criminal prosecution?"
This is the exact opposite of how she repeatedly shamed Mike Pence at the GOP convention in 2016, that "lock her up" talk was too vicious. (Unlike "lock Trump up.")
Graham didn't explain why Pence should not be held to account for what his running mate said.
The MRC was STILL whining about the Jan. 6 coverage five days later, when Geoffrey Dickens did a roundup piece on on Jan. 11 grumbing that "STILL to this day the media are exploiting the Capitol Hill riots as a way to push the Democrat’s agenda on everything, especially their desire to federalize elections." Apparently, Fox News isn't part of "the media.
UPDATE: Graham also spent his Jan. 7 podcast summing up all the whining the MRC has done about the anniversary coverage, summing it up in the NewsBusters post promoting it: "What makes the 1/6 coverage so inauthentic is that the liberal media does not object to all rioting. They object to Trump backers rioting. When leftists riot for 'racial justice,' they are fine with it, and dress it up in terms like 'rebellion' or a 'racial reckoning.' If the media were actually interested in building "shared facts" then they might share the fact that all rioting is horrible."
In the podcast, Graham went into a whataboutism rant: "We are not going to be be lectured on Jan. 6 about rioting and rebellions from people who want to defund police, who want to defund ICE, who want to abolish the prisons. You don't get to talk to us about insurrections!" He then went on to deny that Ashli Babbitt, the rioter who was killed by law enforcement inside the Capitol, was a martyr -- then complained that the Associated Press published a "snotty piece... attacking her character."
There was more: He whined that the anniversary got more coverage than the Benghazi attack, then falsely asserted that the person who shot Republican congressman Steve Scalise was "inspired by Rachel Maddow and Bernie Sanders." And he served up an old-school rant about Barack Obama's connections to Bill Ayers.