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Sunday, April 10, 2022
Tim Graham's 'So-Called' Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

You can count on Tim Graham to have the Media Research Center's oddest yet obsessive take on events of the day in order to push the right-wing talking points du jour. In the MRC's lengthy coverage of the Canadian trucker convoy, Graham served up one odd take in complaining that claims about the convoy were being fact-checked. He served up another in his Feb. 25 column:

Something caught my ear in the car, listening to a radio simulcast of the February 21 PBS NewsHour. Anchor Judy Woodruff drily reported that “Canadian police have arrested more than 190 protesters and issued 389 charges in connection with the so-called Freedom Convoy.”

The “so-called Freedom Convoy.” It’s a journalistic term that can be employed as distancing themselves from something that’s not true. After 9/11, we heard about the “so-called War on Terror.” Democrats hated that term. Dan Rather used to get out the ten-foot pole and report on “the Republican political lobbying group that calls itself, quote, the ‘Christian Coalition.’” This could be described as “so-called journalism.”


I searched CNN in the summer of 2020 for “so-called Black Lives Matter,” and there was one record. It was live coverage of the 2020 Republican convention on Wednesday night, August 26. It wasn’t an interview, just an open mic. Jack Brewer of Black Voices for Trump was saying the media “ignore the so-called Black Lives Matter organization that openly, on their website, called for the destruction of the nuclear family.”

Like a lot of things the MRC does, Graham's criticism is wildly hypocritical. Here are something the things the MRC has described as "so-called" to belittle them -- just as Graham complains the convoy is belittled -- in just January 2022 alone

Note that the word "misinformation" -- typically instances in which conservatives get caught spreading it --  not only gets the "so=called" qualifer but gets put in scare quote as well.

If Graham can't govern his own website's usage of the term, he has no moral standing to criticize how others use it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 AM EDT

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