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Tuesday, August 1, 2023
MRC Again Came To Trump's Defense Over His (Second) Indictment
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center labored hard to distract from Donald Trump's first indictment, and it did the same thing for his second one. Nicholas Fondacaro found a formerly hated TV host joining forces with a right-wing journalist to complain about it in a June 8 post:

Former President Trump dropped a bombshell on the race for president Thursday night, an announcement that he had been indicted for willfully holding onto classified documents. But while many of his detractors in the liberal media were doing their happy dance, Chris Cuomo was on his eponymous NewsNation show with independent journalist Matt Taibbi, where both men cast doubt on the charges and had some pretty intense criticisms, including a comparison to a third-world country.

Towards the end of the show, which was entirely dedicated to the Trump Indictment, Cuomo introduced his guest and had some critical words for investigators. He chided that he wasn’t sure if they were “intentionally or unintentionally helping” Trump “because every time there's a swing, it seems to expose the fact they go after him with what seems to be at or below a level of anything that would be impressive to people reviewing the documents.”

Taibbi agreed and reminded viewers that he was “not a fan” of Trump but he had a simple test that any charges directed at a person in Trump’s position needed to pass. Taibbi felt the charges against Trump failed:

Given that Taibbi was Elon Musk's lapdog for the early part of the "Twitter files" saga, calling him an "independent journalist" is highly inaccurate.

Mark Finkelstein whined about schadenfreude in a June 9 post:

On Friday's Morning Joe, they were wallowing in more proof of their constant foresight that the "walls are closing in on Trump." Joe Scarborough cried crocodile tears, breaking out a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger shtick. Scarborough proclaimed this to be a "bleak, dark day for America," and "something I feared for a long time." Riiight.

Scarborough was clearly aware that many wouldn't buy his crocodile tears, and he thus insisted that: "if anybody thinks I'm being glib or or not completely straightforward in saying that, they don't understand." Sure.

Scarborough quickly enough recovered from his sadness, and proceeded to speculate with Chuck Rosenberg, a former US Attorney and aide to FBI Director James Comey, about the long prison term Trump could be facing. Scarborough even imagined Trump spending "the rest of his life in jail." That prospect surely helped dry Joe's tears.

Alex Christy spent a post being mad that a historian claimed that Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon over his  Watergate crimes set the stage for Trump's lawlessness (with a dose of Clinton Equivocation):

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley appeared on Friday’s CNN News Central to discuss former President Trump’s latest indictment and blamed it on a curious suspect: Gerald Ford. Brinkley and host Sara Sidner also acted as if nothing has happened between Watergate and present day when wondering why Republicans do not urge Trump to step aside like they did with Richard Nixon.

Sidner claimed that Watergate represents the best comparison to Trump’s current situation, “but there is a key difference which you just mentioned now, which is that back then Republicans turned on their president because of the enormity of all of the evidence that was coming out about Nixon. That is not happening today. What's the difference? Why?”

That CNN could ask that question in a history segment without going through the history of Clinton family, whether it be Bill’s impeachment for perjuring himself or obstructing justice or Hillary’s e-mail server, and the lack of criminal charges and of Democrats urging them to step aside is remarkable.

Curtis Houck was aghast that someone would complain that Republicans insisted on standing by a repeatedly criminally indicted presidential candidate:

CBS News chief political analyst and longtime liberal journalist John Dickerson surfaced on Friday’s CBS Mornings to opine on the second Trump indictment and, interestingly, it sounded like what he said after the first indictment as it consisted of a pious lecture trashing Republicans for denouncing the charges before documents are unsealed and preferring Trump (if he were to become the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee) over President Biden.

Dickerson also reveled in how Trump was “being charged with something that...Hillary Clinton, was — was accused of doing” and led to his 2016 victory. Co-host Tony Dokoupil also went aboard the wayback machine, reading an 2016 quote of Trump ironically promising to “enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information” and “[n]o one will be above the law.”

Dickerson then huffed the GOP “is largely rallying behind him” even though “we don’t know the facts of the case yet” and thus not only are speaking too soon, but not being proper “stewards of our system” of government.

Peter Kotara complained that one TV show promoted "a wild and baseless conspiracy theory that Trump tried to sell classified documents to Saudi Arabia." Christy return to grouse that more folks pointed out that Republicans won't reject Trump despite his criminality:

New York Times columnist and the supposedly conservative half of PBS NewsHour’s weekly Friday Brooks and Capehart panel was dismayed that even “supposedly mature and moderate” Republicans were decrying President Trump’s latest indictment as “selective prosecution.” Washington Post columnist and pinch hitter Ruth Marcus went even further, labelling it “sickening.”

Host Geoff Bennett led Brooks with an unrelated question about the trial being held in Florida which would mean the jury pool will be far less liberal than in New York City, “it's harder for him to make a convincing argument that he's being railroaded when it's happening in — on his home turf, as I said?”

Brooks pleaded ignorant, citing is lack of law school experience and turned the conversation back to the political reaction, “If you're running against Donald Trump for president, your job is to take this day and say, ‘see, that guy's not qualified to be president.’ That's like, simple.”

Unfortunately for Brooks that has not happened, “Does Ron DeSantis do that? No. Does Tim Scott do that? No. They're all — they're all jumping on the, it's prosecutive — it's weaponizing the justice system. They're jumping on that, Mike Lee in the Senate. Glenn Youngkin, the supposedly mature and moderate governor of Virginia, he was like ‘selective prosecution.’

Kevin Tober cheered a Republican presidential candidate whose campaign the MRC helped to launch: "During the obsessive coverage of the recently unsealed indictment of President Donald Trump by Biden's Department of Justice over his alleged mishandling of classified documents, CNN's State of the Union host Dana Bash Sunday was schooled by Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Bash walked right into a buzz saw when she, as usual, acted like a Democrat [sic] hack instead of a journalist." Tober later showed he's more interested in being a Republican hack than a "media researcher":

During the panel discussion on CBS’s Face the Nation, fill-in anchor John Dickerson said the quiet part out loud Sunday when discussing the recent indictment of former President Donald Trump when he expressed his concern that Trump and his allies in the Republican Party could frame the indictment in a way that makes there more of an appetite for Trump. 

“Some people say, well the Republicans have rallied around Donald Trump, he's under threat,” Dickerson observed. “But what if the way this is being framed by Republicans, which is this is all partisan, this is all a manipulation of the system, creates an appetite for Donald Trump,” he worried.

“In other words if it's all rigged we want the best rigger in the game on our side,” he added. 

CBS White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe put Dickerson’s nerves at ease by noting “if that's the case, then I think the polling continues to show us they can nominate him but he may be set up to lose again.”

Given that a solid majority of Republicans continue to support Trump as the nominee despite his criminality, Tober can't plausibly claim that the non-right-wing media is making that happen.

The complaining continued:

  • A June 13 post touted how "NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck hopped on Newsmax Monday night during Eric Bolling: The Balance alongside New York Post columnist and 2023 MRC Bulldog Award winner Karol Markowicz to sound off on the ebullient liberal media’s coverage of the second Trump indictment and their continued penchant for hurling venom at Trump supporters." It was not explained why the panel was not fair and balanced by adding a non-conservative to the discussion, or why people who support Trump even after multiple indictments shouldn't be criticized.
  • Fondacaro grumbled that a co-host of "The View" pointed out that Republicans have shown by their continued support ofTrump that their "moral compasses" are broken, but did not rebut the argument.
  • Finkelstein came back to whine that co-hosts on "Morning Joe" made an argument he decided to frame this way: "Are you a Republican congressman or senator who doesn't agree with the liberal media about the seriousness of the charges against Donald Trump regarding his handling of classified documents? Well then, your own security clearance should be stripped!"

Kotara complained that a commentator argued that "Republicans were following a script and had stopped caring about national security," and he served up a Republican script in response:

Republican commentator Scott Jennings countered Jones and stopped him from painting all Republicans as irrational and insensitive. He explained Republicans’ distrust of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice, and how this affected their views of the indictment:


While many believed the verdict to be clear-cut, including several Republicans, many others did not and were waiting to hear Trump’s defense. The purpose of a trial was to sift through both sides and hopefully arrive at an objective verdict. However, CNN already reached its verdict and even wanted to ensure prosecutors could impanel a jury that would find Trump guilty.

Just because many Republicans disagreed with CNN’s predetermined conclusion does not imply an invasion of bodysnatchers or a deep-rooted indifference to national security.

We can assume that Kotara is not interested in giving this same benefit of the doubt to, say, Hunter Biden.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT

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