Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has had hot-and-cold relations with the conservative political gathering CPAC over the years -- one year MRC chief Brent Bozell withdrew all his subordinates from the conference in a snit becuase CPAC wouldn't give him a prominent enough speaking slot. Over the past several months, though, the MRC has been on good enough terms to promote CPAC and bestow victmhood on it over perceived slights -- and censor bad news about it from its readers.
We've already documented how the MRC was an apologist for Hungarian strongman Victor Orban ahead of his speech at a CPAC gathering last August. AFter YouTube removed video of CPAC speechs for hate and misinformation, Brian Bradley awarded victimhood in a Sept. 29 post:
YouTube on Friday removed “an entire day” of content posted by the Conservative Political Action Conference with no warning, CPAC said in a statement Wednesday.
A CPAC event in Dallas that took place Aug. 4-7 featured “high-profile conservatives,” including former President Donald Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
CPAC spokesperson Alex Pfeiffer told MRC Free Speech America in an email Thursday that YouTube told his organization it removed the video because of so-called “misinformation.”
“YouTube continues to operate as an arm of the Democratic Party,” Pfeiffer said in a brief interview. “It shuts down all dissent. But they’re not going to win. We’re going to continue to talk about election integrity. Those fascist dorks in Silicon Valley won’t succeed.”
Bradley made no attempt to contact YouTube for comment -- presumably because doing so would distract from his victimhood narrative. (The MRC also complained when YouTube deleted CPAC videos from earlier in the year because they spread lies about election fraud.)
But a couple days later, when CPAC's Twitter account referred to areas of Ukraine that Russia's Vladimir Putin illegally annexed as "Ukrainian-occupied territories" -- prompting some serious backpedaling on CPAC's part -- the MRC was silent.
A Nov. 22 post by Kathleen Krumhansl (also in Spanish) complained that a Spanish-language channel planned Donald Trump speaking to a CPAC gathering in Mexico:
Univision, where journalists routinely advocate for abortions, transgender rights, the sexualization of grade school children, same sex marriage, et. al, has now become the watchdog of virtue – that is, Donald J. Trump's, who “does not practice any religion and has five children by three different women'', yet dared urge a group of supposed ultraconservatives gathered in Mexico City, to "defend God, Family, and Country."
The virtue signaling came in the form of a story published in Univision.com, under a generic Univision byline, regarding a pre-recorded message from Trump that was aired at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in Mexico City this past weekend.
Krumhansl also complained that the newscast "cast aspersions" on CPAC Mexico chief Eduardo Verástegui because he got his start as an actor.
In a Dec. 22 post, P.J. Gladnick rushed to defend Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for attending a Christmas party at the home of CPAC leader Matt Schlapp with a lame bit of whataboutism: "These reporters and their appointed experts never cared when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was being celebrated by leftists at the Sundance Film Festival or the Glamour magazine "Woman of the Year" awards."
As the main CPAC gathering approached, Curtis Houck gushed in a Feb. 27 podcast how he and fellow MRCer Nicholas Fondacaro "teased the MRC’s presence at CPAC and told listeners to be sure to come say hi if you’re making the trip to National Harbor!" Fondacaro followed in a March 1 podcast: "And once more, be sure to check out the MRC’s presence at CPAC including the panel discussion with our Founder and President Brent Bozell!"
There was no mention of the fact that a month earlier, CPAC leader Schlapp had been slapped (or Schlapped, if you'd like) with a lawsuit accusing him of "unwanted groping" by a male staffer on Herschel Walker's doomed Senate campaign. That would have created drama between the MRC and CPAC, and the MRC was planning to milk CPAC for all it was worth.
Bozell apaprently finally got that prime speaking slot he demanded, so Kevin Tober served as servile stenographer for the March 2 speech:
During the first official day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Media Research Center (MRC) founder and President Brent Bozell tore into the dishonest and corrupt media for the way they cover (or don’t cover) the news. Bozell declared that they are no longer liberal, they are full-blown Marxists.
Joined WMAL radio host Larry O’Connor, TownHall senior columnist Kurt Schlichter and Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik, on a panel aptly titled “Don Lemon is past his primetime,” Bozell expertly tore apart the media and explained how their bias has gotten so much worse in the years since the MRC was founded in 1987.
Looking back to when the MRC was founded, O’Connor observed to Bozell that “back then it was a quaint notion of media bias. I think we’ve come a long way from just media bias haven't we?”
“When we started in 1987, we went after this thing called liberal media bias. It doesn't exist anymore,” Bozell explained. “We're not talking about a liberal media, you are talking about a media that could care less about the news. They don't report the news. They’re weaponized. They’re Marxist! Many of them are Marxist,” Bozell added.
He pointed out that if they want to do what they do as “opinion writers” then they can go ahead but from them “to say that they are CNN, that they are CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, that’s an insult to America to do this.”
Garbriela Pariseau touted more MRC propagandizing in another post that day:
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider at the CPAC Big Tech panel Thursday that Big Tech is “one of the most relevant issues to our daily lives right now.”
Schneider led a panel entitled, “Big Tech- Break ‘em Up, Bust ‘em Up, Put ‘em in Jail.” Schneider and Moody were joined by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes to discuss just how big Big Tech is, the harms it causes and whether the industry of giants still needs Section 230 liability protections.
Paiten Iselin had a gushy post headlined "EXCLUSIVE: Backstage at CPAC ft. Bozell, Libs of TikTok, O’Connor & More!" Catherine Salgado served up more stenography in a post touting how Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt "slammed Big Tech censorship and issued a call to protect free speech at CPAC 2023 Thursday." Anti-abortion extremist Tierin-Rose Mandelburg also worked the CPAC floor as well by doing an interview with (who else?) a fellow anti-abortion activist.
When CPAC was criticized, the MRC snapped to defense mode, such as is this March 3 post by Alex Christy:
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel reacted the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference with his usual hurling of insults as he labeled attendees as both “fascist” and “racist.”
During his monologue, Kimmel declared that, “In Washington, the fascist and the furious have gathered to praise their lord and savior, Donald Trump, at the annual CPAC convention. This is a convention for all your worst aunts and uncles.”
Getting back to CPAC attendees, Kimmel claimed that, “This CPAC event, it’s kind of hard to explain, every, like, low-rent radio host and podcast racist with a dye job and a fleece vest shows up to try to out-crazy each other.”
Clay Waters similarly complained in a March 5 post:
PBS NewsHour anchor Amna Nawaz introduced an unfriendly segment on the Conservative Political Action Conference's (CPAC) annual gathering in the Maryland suburbs of DC. Laura Barron-Lopez’s solemnly intoned field report on Friday evening was interspersed with her own opinions about the “white grievance politics” and the so-called “false belief” about teaching Critical Race Theory.
She noted many potential candidates were sitting out CPAC, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and interviewed Al Cardenas, the former chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the annual conference. Cardenas now has the same liberal politics as his wife, Ana Navarro.
Neither Waters nor Christy disclosed the conflict of interest that their employer had a major presence at CPAC. Waters' post, however, contains the only reference by ther MRC to Schlapp's sexual misconduct scandal, though buried in a transcript at the end of the piece and not otherwise highlighted or remarked upon.
Jeffrey Lord spent his March 4 column defending CPAC against more reporting he didn't like:
It is an amazing thing to watch. In the lead-up to the annual winter convening of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just outside of Washington, there was the Associated Press running a story headlined:
Trump set to headline diminished gathering of conservatives
As this is written, I am at CPAC. And there is nothing “diminished” about it. Thousands of energized conservatives are surging through the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland. They have been listening to all manner of speakers -- U.S. Senators and House members, presidential candidates and, on Saturday, former President Trump himself. Yet what occurs in reading that Post article is that yet again the liberal media is simply unable to report fact.
But Lord quoted nothing from the AP article outside the headline; the article explained how the gathering is "diminished" due to the absence of former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. and presumed presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, as well as "congressional leaders and governors, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, and several potential presidential prospects, including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who has been building buzz among some donors." The article also pointed out thatthe right-wing Club for Growth "will hold a competing event, a donor summit in Florida, that is attracting DeSantis, Pence and others."
Instead, Lord unironically criticized the "mainstream media" for purportedly not engaging in "'just the facts' jorunalism."