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Friday, September 22, 2023
MRC Keeps Up Distraction, Whataboutism Over (Third) Trump Indictment
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center distraction-and-whataboutism complaints about Donald Trump's third indictment continued in more whining from Kevin Tober in a Aug. 3 post:

All day long Thursday, as reported extensively by NewsBusters, the big three evening news broadcasts were beside themselves with glee over the third arraignment of President Joe Biden's political opponent Donald Trump. Between the motorcade chases broadcasted live, and breathless coverage of every detail large and small, it's clear this was seen by the networks as a ratings-grabbing television production rather than the federal government prosecuting the leading challenger to the Biden regime's power in the upcoming elections. The show continued during the big-three evening newscasts, where each network's anchor relayed the day's events to anyone who wasn't already watching.

All in all, the networks were so obsessed that their total coverage of the Trump indictment was now up to 132.5 minutes (2 hours, 12 minutes, and 28 seconds). 20 minutes and 31 seconds of that total occurred on Thursday alone.

Curtis Houck got mad that it was pointed out how Republicans failed to do their job in refusing to convict Trump in an impeachment trial for helping to incite the Capitol riot:

Amid the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase-like idiocy on the broadcast and cable networks Thursday afternoon surrounding former President Trump’s third criminal arraignment, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd suffered a near-emotional, weapons-grade meltdown seething at the Republican Party for putting America on the precipice of collapse because the GOP “refused to do” what was right and remove Trump from office in 2021 so he can never run again.

Worse yet, he claimed that, by not listening to “the Founders” who “created a process” to do right, Republicans (and not Democrats running urban hellscapes) are the reason there could be an irreparable “erosion of the rule of law”.


Sounding like he was near tears, the former Senate Democratic staffer blasted the GOP as having made “the wrong call for the Republican Party,” “the American public,” and< “the justice system.”

Houck didn't rebut anything Todd said -- he simply complained that it was said at all.

Houck served up yet more Biden whataboutism in an Aug. 4 post, though he did concede that a former president being repeatedly indicted is "a huge story":

Through four days and three installments each of the flagship morning and evening news shows on the major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC have eagerly doled out astounding 162 minutes and 16 seconds through Friday morning salivating over the third criminal indictment of former President Trumpthat has the potential to either land him in prison or propel him to the White House in 2024.

These numbers represent a network tally that is 19 times larger than what these same networks gave (eight minutes and 32 seconds) to Monday’s closed-door House Oversight Committee hearing featuring Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devin Archer.

The indictment of a former President is undoubtedly a huge story, but scant attention for a person heavily involved in Hunter Biden’s life of ruin amid allegations of bribery involving Burisma, where both Archer and Hunter were on the board? Of course, the networks don’t have any time for the bribery claim.

Alex Christy served up his own whataboutism-laden count:

Former President Donald Trump was arraigned for the third time on Thursday and the cable networks of MSNBC and CNN once again obsessed over the matter to the detriment of coverage of any other topic.

A study of the two networks from 5:00 a.m. Eastern to midnight Eastern on MSNBC and from 6:00 a.m. Eastern to midnight on CNN found that 91.32 percent of their news-related coverage focused on Trump’s alignment [sic], other legal problems, or reaction and analysis. The networks combined for 26 hours, 48 minutes, and 23 seconds of news coverage on Thursday, 24 hours, 28 minutes, and 50 seconds of which was devoted to all things Trump. This marks yet another instance of CNN and MSNBC spending over 90 percent of their day on a Trump arraignment.

Joe and Hunter Biden’s scandals received only 13 minutes and 59 seconds. Put another way, Trump’s problems got 105 more times the coverage than the Bidens’ or 1 percent of the total time.

Christy didn't explain why he omitted Fox News from his cable news analysis.

Houck and Nicholas Fondacaro regurgitated these complaints in the MRC's Aug. 4 podcast: "As they flood the zone with coverage, they also fill the airwaves with flaming hot takes proclaiming their anticipation of Trump behind bars or even exiled."

Jeffrey Lord went back in time in his Aug. 5 column to serve up some good ol'-fashioned Clinton equivocation (like the MRC did on Trump's second indictment):

The media love fest for the Trump-investigating Jack Smith was curiously absent when the name of the prosecutor was - Ken Starr. That would be the Special Counsel assigned to investigate Democrat President Bill Clinton. Somewhere along the way I crossed paths with him at a conservative event. A nicer, more decent and smarter guy it would be hard to find. Not that you would have learned that from the media that covered his most famous case in the mid 1990’s.

Lord went back even further to criticize special counsels for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon before returning to present-day complaints:

In short, as is frequently the case with the liberal media, the more things change the more they stay the same. 

Special Counsel Jack Smith is now on his way into the liberal media hall of fame.



Tim Graham spent an Aug. 6 post having a fit that the contrast between our current president and our previous one, under the headline "As Trump went to court, Biden went for a bike ride," was pointed out. Graham lashed out at the reporter who made the observation, declaring that he is "one of the most flagrant Biden publicists in the White House press corps" and huffing: 'In the Trump years, White House reporters competed to see which could be more bombastically anti-Trump. Under Biden, they compete to see which one can sound the most like a White House press secretary."

Clay Waters huffed that some people see Trump's criminality more harshly than he does in an Aug. 7 post:

What's Amanpour & Co’s idea of a balanced segment on the news of former President Donald Trump’s third indictment for “conspiring to defraud” the United States for contesting his loss in 2020? Hosting a sitting liberal Democrat, Representative Joe Neguse (CO), and the ex-Republican (in all senses) Representative  Joe Walsh, who ran against Trump in the 2020 primary and remained fiercely opposed.

Amanpour’s Tuesday (August 1,2023) evening show promised both sides, which turned out to be one sitting and one former congressman, both adamantly unsympathetic to Trump. From host Christiane Amanpour's show introduction: Then, how Republicans are reacting to the newswith former GOP congressman and presidential candidate Joe Walsh….”

Neguse was positively placid in comparison to former congressman Walsh’s theatrically rabid attack on Trump.

Picking Walsh of all people to deliver the Republican opinion on Trump was just more evidence that Amanpour & Co. was more concerned about piling on the former President than any sense of journalistic balance.


Amanpour showed no feel for counter-arguments about an indictment that some have called an example of a two-tiered justice system, one for Republicans, and a more lenient one for Democrats like Hunter Biden.

We don't recall Waters ever demanding that Fox News show concern about having "any sense of journalistic balance."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:54 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 23, 2023 10:51 AM EDT

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