Topic: Media Research Center
When an attacker broke into Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home and attacked her husband, Paul, with a hammer, the Media Research Center was much more concerned that the attacker might be associated with the brand of MAGA conservatism it's associating itself with lately than the attack itself.
When an MSNBC commentator argued that right-wingers are causing a "normalization of violence," Alex Christy used an Oct. 29 post to not only disdtance his fellow Pelosi-hating conservatives from the attack but played the No True Scotsman fallacy to pretend that attacker could not possibly have been a real MAGA guy: "We are not. Several Republicans came out and condemned the attack and wished Paul Pelosi well in his recovery. The attacker also, as NBC’s own write-up reports, doesn’t fit neatly into an ideological box, “The [attacker’s] posts take aspects of liberal anti-establishment ideas to more recent posts that espouse positions typically associated with far-right extremism, the sources said.”
Tim Graham played the whataboutism card in whining that a panelist on a PBS show made "snarky comments" about Republicans who allegedly wished Paul Pelosi well but then "had nothing to say about how energetically liberals on Twitter were accusing Trump and his supporters of being responsible for the Pelosi attack -- or, as Twitchy pointed out, how liberals were still being snarky about Sen. Rand Paul being brutally attacked by his neighbor in 2017, which led to broken ribs."
Joseph Vazquez desperately attacked a local radio station to play the distancing card in an Oct. 30 post:
Leftist hacks at a National Public Radio affiliate spewed wild hyperbole at a GOP congresswoman by arbitrarily connecting her to the “nudist activist” who attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted Oct. 28 following the attack on Paul Pelosi that she wished for “a full recovery” for him “from this absolutely horrific violent attack” in his home. Pelosi was reportedly taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture following the incident. Stefanik said the suspect, identified as David DePape, “should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
North Country Public Radio reporter Zach Hirsch quote-tweeted Stefanik just over two hours later: “some context here is needed.” Here was the extent of Hirsch’s so-called “context” on Stefanik’s condolences: Stefanik, according to Hirsh’s asinine argument, bears indirect responsibility for the attack because she verbally opposes Speaker Pelosi and her policies. Common sense be damned.
NCPR News Director David Sommerstein promoted Hirsch’s nutty logic by being more direct: “ [Stefanik] denounces violent political acts. But her day-to-day rhetoric may contribute to it.” This isn’t journalism. It’s fallacious, leftist tabloid nonsense funded in part by both U.S. and New York State taxpayers.
Vazquez went on to quote a Stefank spokesperson attacking the radio station with whataboutism: "They refuse to cover the violent leftist rhetoric which led to an assassination attempt on a Supreme Court Justice. This is deranged and dangerous, they should and will be defunded. " One wonders if Stefanik's campaign paid the MRC for writing this piece, because it certainly reads that way, and a small-market public radio station is not a typical MRC target.
Kevin Tober found his own bit of whataboutism to cheer:
On Sunday’s edition of CBS’s Face the Nation, anchor Margaret Brennan tried to accuse Republican Congressman Tom Emmer of stoking political violence and being responsible for the alleged attack on Paul Pelosi’s husband by an unhinged nudist in San Francisco. Brennan’s reasoning for these flimsy allegations was that Emmer dared to post a video on Twitter of him exercising his Second Amendment rights and urged voters to protect their rights by firing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House in November. Since Brennan is apparently unhinged herself, Brennan interpreted that tweet as a threat to Pelosi’s life.
“On your Twitter feed you posted this video we're going to show just a few days ago where you're firing a gun and it says, enjoyed exercising my second amendment rights, hashtag fire Pelosi. Why is there a gun in a political ad at all?" Brennan shrieked.
Emmer then turned the tables on Brennan by asking her why she never posed these questions to Democrats like Bernie Sanders after one of his supporters shot and almost killed then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
“It's interesting Margaret that we're talking about this this morning when a couple years back when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot Steve Scalise,” Emmer asked.
Neither tober nor Emmer offered any evidence that Sanders ever engaged in the kind of violent rhetoric that could possibly have inspired any shooter.He thencranked up the whataboutism even more:
The media don’t want to discuss the fact that Democrat rhetoric has inspired countless acts of political violence.
They want you to forget about the Black Lives Matter mobs in the summer of 2020 who burned cities to the ground and assaulted or killed countless police officers, the shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice in 2017, and most recently the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. To name a few.
The leftist media propagandists dressed up as journalists want you to forget about these incidents and to only focus on events they can plausibly blame on Republicans.
Again, Tober provided no example of "Democrat rhetoric" that specifically inspired any specific act of violence. (Also, all cities that existed before George Floyd's death were still standing after that summer's strife, so claiming that people "burned cities to the ground" is a blatant lie.)
P.J. Gladnick, meanwhile, freaked out over a news story being covered:
Politico is so intent on suggesting to its readers that evil right-wing Republicans were responsible at least indirectly for the break-in of Nancy Pelosi's home in which her husband Paul Pelosi ended up in the hospital due to being hammered that they have published on Friday and Saturday not one or two or even three or four stories on this topic but ELEVEN, count 'em, ELEVEN stories at the very top of their home page.
So many stories that only six of them were able to fit in the photo you see on this page. Let us start with the story at the very top of the page which blamed, without real evidence, the usual suspects for the media in general and Politico in particular, "Pelosi attack rattles an already skittish campaign trail."
Oh, and if the motivation for the incident turns out to be NOT political, will Politico publish ELEVEN correction stories on its home page?
We're still waiting for the MRC to correct the lies it has published, so maybe Gladnick needs to focus his whining internally first.
Mark Finkelstein bgan an Oct. 31 post by grumbling: "We don't buy the conspiracy theory that Democrats cooked up the attack on Paul Pelosi as a last-minute election ploy. But, wow the liberal media is fully embracing the conspiracy theory that this can be directly connected to January 6 and should become a central election issue." He then complained about "Morning Joe" taking a "deep dive" into the shooting and that "A quick word search of the closed-captioning (a rough measure) shows 'Pelosi' was spoken 81 times," further complaining that "Mika was simply going to ignore the San Francisco Chronicle (not a MAGA newspaper) reporting the alleged assailant DePape was part of a nudist group and became a hemp jewelry maker. They also found he was once registered as a member of the Green Party. Someone is looking away at potential parallels." He concluded by huffing: "We have a 'news' network that isn't really reporting new facts on this assault. Instead, the liberal are media look like they are exploiting the attack for all it's worth to stave off a potential red wave."
Curtis Houck similarly latched onto the "nudist" angle, as if Republicans could not possibly be interested in such a thing:
On Monday morning, the objective from the liberal broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC was clear: blame conservatives as accessories for attempted murder in the attack on Paul Pelosi by a Berekely-residing nudist. The networks even admitted but argued, without evidence, tens of millions of right-leaning Americans are “play[ing] footsie with the forces of violence.”
And as for the fact that conservatives have faced threats and been victims of political violence, one show brushed that aside as less important.
CBS Mornings was by far the worst, spending nearly ten minutes on the beating of the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti tied the actions of the drug-addicted, mentally ill assailant to “the January 6 Capitol Hill mob” because he allegedly shouted, “where is Nancy.”
He added that Republicans writ large now ignore and have accepted violence against their adversaries because, “you have Republican lawmakers when they were retiring would say I don't want to speak out even though I’m retiring because if I go back home, I'm going to get threats.”
Not only did Dickerson explain the rise in violence as a hallmark of the right, King insisted to fake Republican Doug Heye that Republicans haven’t “been full-throated in their...condemnations” of the Pelosi attack.
Heye agreed Republicans have excused it and collectively made fun of it. Worse yet, he argued the right only cares when they’re the victims[.]
Given how vociferiously the MRC has been playing whataboutism about the Pelosi attack and its attacks on the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, it seems quite clear that that it cares about political violence only when they're the victims.Houck laughably summarized the whole thing insisting it was all about "attempts to criminalize dissent and blame tens of millions of conservatives for the actions of a mentally ill nudist."