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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
MRC's Graham Grouses That Right-Wing Media Were Called Out For Trying To Discredit True Rape Story
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center tried to pretend that it didn't try to push the right-wing narrative that the story of of a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio who had to go to Indiana for an abortion was a hoax. That denial continued in Tim Graham's July 18 podcast, in which he whined that it was pointed out that Republicans "were trying to make hay of it" by pretending it wasn't true until they couldn't, then made the doctor who performed the abortion the bad guy. First, he whined that a Republican governor was questioned about not allowing rape execptions in her state

Excuse me? The Republicans were the ones to make hay out of it? This started with media jerks like Dana Bash on CNN throwing this in the face of Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, pushing and pushing and pushing and shaming -- without a rape exception for abortion, you're making this fourth-grader carry a pregnancy to term. Now, Noem did a decent job trying to sort of fending this off by turning it around and saying, well, why don't we focus our outrage on the abortion -- or on the rapist, why aren't you focused on the rapist and not on the child, and she was like oh, yes, of course, you know. But this is the game: A pro-abortion journalist like Dana Bash is all about shaming and shaming and shaming, and they have no shame about killing the baby. There's no shame for that! At any point or for any reason, there's no extreme. And yet the Republcians are the ones making hay?

Graham switched his whining target to Fox News for not talking about abortion enough: "Fox News is squishy on abortion. Fox News has been eternally squishy on abortion." Finally, he got around to addressing how right-wingers desperately tried to discredit what was ultimately a true story, whining that "hack" Bill Carter called them out and that they aren;t interested in correcting the record:

Fact check false! Right-wing media never, ever wants to acknowlege they're wrong? Earth to Billy Carter: My work principle is, don't say "ever" or "never" unless you can back it up. To say the whole right-wing media do not ever want to acknowledge they're wrong ever -- Fox News corrects things, NewsBusters corrects things. I had one a few years ago where NPR and PBS had done a poll on the approval for Black Lives Matter, and the nubmers were 50 percent and 33 percent, and I got it wrong. I said 33 percent approve of Black Lives Matter, 50 percent disapprove. I had it exactly wrong, so we corrected it and I put on Twitter I corrected it, OK? So that happens. I'm not proud of that. Nobody want to have to correct something when you get something that obviously factually wrong, but everybody should.

NewsBusters may correct some "obviously factually wrong" but certainly not all of them. Nicholas Fondacaro's falsehoods remain uncorrected, for example, and the MRC still has never told its readers that the 2016 Fox News story it heavily hyped about Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indicted was retracted. What Graham didn't do, however, is acknowledge that right-wing media got it wrong in trying to discredit the story, nor did he point to any corrections made by those who pushed that false narrative.

Graham went to his old whataboutism warhorse: "Conservative media doesn't have a worse record on this than liberal media, OK? CNN's been pretty bad at corrections for decades." He then whined about being called out for advancing the hoax narrative, grudigngly offered a non-apology for advancing the narrative -- and, even worse, has to defend the hated Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler because his initial non-confirmation of the story fed the narrative:

One perpetual malcontent tweeted at me, 'Where's your correction and apology for falsely dismissing as a hoax the story of a 10-year-old girl was raped and had to get an abortion?" So clarify as I did on Twitter. I never said the story was a hoax, I never said the story was fake. I did say it seemed too good to check when President Biden pounced on this story. That caused Washington Post Glenn Kessler to do a fact-check. What he found was the Indianapolis Star reporter clammed up. The abortionist didn't want to talk. It looked suspect. So now it's confirmed, in part because of the pressure from Kessler and others. And so I'm sorry for the victim that this story is true.


Now, we know a Fox News host did say the word "fake," that it was made up, some used the word "hoax" -- and that, of course, is a favorite Brian Stelter word, he called the entire Fox News Channel a hoax, that was the title of his book. Now, if one of us said this story might be fake, that's not the same. That's speculating, which is pretty much what cable news does 24/7. So Glenn Kessler should not be dissed for attempting to verify a story. That's what journalists do.

Graham then went on his old tirade about how fact-checkers purportedly only fact-check conservatives. But he didn't note where that unnamed Fox News host corrected the record. Indeed, Graham spent much more time whining that his fellow right-wing media members were called out for pushing a false narrative (and that a "malcontent" on Twitter was criticizing him for his role) than demonstrating how they acted in any sort of responsible manner by correcting the record. That's a massive "media research" failure.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2022 10:36 PM EDT

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