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Thursday, September 8, 2022
Distraction: MRC Censors Hawley Fleeing, Obsesses Over 'Squad'
Topic: Media Research Center

Criticism of Republican members of Congress is forbidden at the MRC -- unless, of course, they're being criticized for not being right-wing enough. Thus, when footage of Republican Sen. Josh Hawley running out of the Capitol to escape the mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists (who had been partly incited by Hawley himself at the pre-riot rally lead by Donald Trump) was released at the July 21 hearing by the House committee looking into the insurrection, the MRC said nothing. Even when the video sparked memes on social media, the MRC continued to censor it.

A few days later, in an apparent attempt to distract attention away from Hawley, the MRC issued a July 25 post by Scott Whitlock attacking the liberal Democratic congresswomen right-wing media likes to package as "the Squad":

We are just 15 weeks away from election day in what is already shaping up to be a contentious 2022 midterm season. If the press follows their typical campaign play book, journalists will pick out certain conservative candidates who commit gaffes or make odd comments and try and make them the face of the GOP.

One thing they won’t do is single out the radical, extreme nature of some of the Democratic Party’s most well known congressional members: The Squad. 

Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as far-left representatives like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, have been gaffe machines in the last few months. Most recently, some of them pretended to be restrained by police officers using invisible handcuffs while protesting for abortion at the Supreme Court.

And the leadoff "scandal" was, yes, the "invisible handcuffs":

Last week, Ocasio-Cortez and 16 other far-left members of Congress were detained at a pro-abortion rally in front of the Supreme Court. Embarrassing footage showed Ocasio-Cortez holding her hands crossed behind her back, pretending to be handcuffed. Seeming to forget the invisible cuffs, she lifted her hands in a show of defiance. 

In fact, she wasn't pretending to be handcuffed. Whitlock censored her logical explanation: “Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest.”

Whitlock then tried to make a deleted tweet into a "scandal":

Finally, we have Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. You may not know her as well as other members of the Squad. But she’s just as radical. And this past spring, she appeared to tweet support for Will Smith’s violence against Chris Rock at the Oscars. 

The tweet was quickly deleted and she sent out a series of comments attempting to clarify: “I don’t endorse violence in any form.” We’ve all seen how ill-advised tweets by conservatives and Republicans are jumped on by the press. But the networks quietly looked the other way on this one.

Whitlock didn't mention his employer's double standarrd on this -- obsessing over deleted tweet by liberals but censoring them when, say, boss Brent Bozell deletes one with an embarrassing factual error.

The others involve versions of the usual right-wing attacks on these people, such as portraying comments critical of Israel as "anti-Semitic" and accusations of ties to terrorist groups. Whitlock went on to lecture -- and then praise others in his right-wing media bubble for hyping these stories:

Expect Squad members to make more embarrassing moments this fall, to embrace more shocking and radical positions. But there’s one thing the American people should demand: If journalists are going to highlight some obscure Republican candidate who says something outrageous, be sure and cover the scandals coming from the socialist Squad in Congress. 

Kudos to Fox News and Newsmax, two outlets that did take the time to cover the gaffes and controversies of the Squad. Newsmax host Eric Bolling especially has been reporting on this in detail. He and others have done so in the past and are continuing to put the spotlight on extreme members of Congress. If only the rest of the press would do the same.

Whitlock undercut all this, however, by having to admit to an embarrassing factual error:

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Rashida Tlaib is Somali-born. She is not. The article has been updated and we regret the error.

If Whitlock had been more concerned about facts than making a partisan attack, he wouldn't have made himself look so bad.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT

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