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Wednesday, December 6, 2023
MRC Wants To Blame Everyone But Hard-Right Republicans for McCarthy Getting Booted As Speaker
Topic: Media Research Center

When Kevin McCarthy got ousted as House speaker, the Media Research Center was a bit desperate to blame anyone but the hard-right House members who engineered it.Kevin Tober whined that a news report accurately described them in an Oct. 3 post:

On Tuesday, a group of conservatives led by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz ousted House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA) over what they describe as broken promises made during McCarthy’s election as speaker. Later that evening, all three evening news networks pounded their chests in rage and shock over McCarthy’s ouster. 

“Tonight, for the first time in U.S. history, the House has voted to oust the speaker. Kevin McCarthy brought down by a handful of hard-right members of his own party who were furious with McCarthy for working with moderate Republicans and the Democrats to keep the government open,” ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir huffed. 

Has Muir ever referred to the radical leftists of the “Squad” as hard-left members of the Democrat Party [sic]? Not to our knowledge.

Tober did not explain why "hard-right" was not an accurate descriptor of those who pushed McCarthy out.

The next day, Alex Christy was mad that it was pointed out that the House had more stable leadership when it was run by Democrats:

All In host Chris Hayes traveled over to NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday to discuss the state of the political world including the situation surrounding House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, and Matt Gaetz. For Hayes, one of the big takeaways was that the whole episode shows just how awesome former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was.

Meyers noted that McCarthy found himself between a rock and a hard place, “This is interesting, the sort of, I guess the calculus of this moment is a reminder that because there wasn't a red wave, like Kevin McCarthy does have this very thin line. And so, you know, ultimately, yes, the, you know, Republicans won the House. But you realize the way they won it, the math just stinks.”

Hayes conceded Meyers’s point was true, but that should not be used an excuse for McCarthy, “It does, although, that's true and obviously if they had a 20-vote majority, it would be a very different situation but Pelosi had the exact same majority last Congress.”

As he continued, Hayes claimed something he thought made Democrats look good, but in reality was just the opposite, “And partly that's because not only is Nancy Pelosi an incredibly skilled legislator just in terms of the dynamics of keeping a caucus together. There's just much more of a unified Democratic governing vision. There was stuff they wanted to do.”


Arguing that the Democratic establishment and progressive radicals are closer aligned than the moderates versus progressives narrative the media usually tries spin is not the argument Hayes seems to think it is.  

Suggesting that McCarthy deserved to be fired because he didn't sufficiently kowtow to the extremists in his caucus is not the win Christy seems to think it is. Christy huffed over another positive reference to Pelosi in another Oct. 4 post trying to justify Republicans' pettiness in abruptly kicking Pelosi out of an office reserved for former speakers:

Andrea Mitchell isn’t just a midday MSNBC host, she is also arguably former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s number one media fan, so naturally she got triggered when former communications advisors to former Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, Brendan Buck defended Republicans booting Pelosi out of her office in the Capitol in the aftermath of Democrats joining with eight Republicans to unseat Kevin McCarthy.

Mitchell began, “Let me ask you about the retaliatory action that was taken within an hour or so, taking away the ceremonial rooms of Nancy Pelosi. Speakers need offices in the Capitol and they by-- I think Pelosi let John Boehner –”

Buck interrupted to add some context, “Well, Boehner left, but Denny Hastert had on office in the Capital—”

Not acknowledging that important detail, Mitchell continued, “And also let Paul Ryan keep offices for a while, not sure which happened, but she did not take the rooms away and did that in the past.”

Christy then tried to blame Democrats for McCarthy losing the speaker job:

Democrats and their media friends demanded Republicans put the country before party and< McCarthy even claimed that Pelosi declared that if a motion to vacate came up, Democrats would do just that. Naturally this did not matter to Mitchell and when given that choice on Tuesday, Democrats put their partisan self-interest first because McCarthy allegedly hurt their feelings and they think Republican dysfunction benefits them at the ballot box.

Christy conveniently ignored the fact that a sufficient number of Republicans had to vote against McCarthy in order to remove him, and Democrats could not have acted alone.

When Hayes tried to make that point, Tober lashed out in an Oct. 4 post, complaineing that he "aired a montague [sic] of various media figures accurately blaming Democrats for McCarthy’s ouster. ... When Hayes returned live he mocked New York Republican Congressman Mike Lawler like a juvenile brat: “'Oh, you had a bad taste in your mouth because the Democrats didn't do what you wanted?'" Tober did not explain how it was "accurate" that Democrats ousted McCarthy when they don't have a House majority to win such a vote.

Tim Graham regurgitated Christy's labeling complaint in his Oct. 4 podcast:

The unprecedented ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy caused the pro-Biden media to stick with their government-shutdown framing. The "hard right" Republicans are ruining Washington. ABC anchor David Muir said McCarthy was "brought down by a handful of hard-right members of his own party who were furious with McCarthy for working with moderate Republicans and the Democrats to keep the government open.

Then Muir added “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries calling on Republicans to break from the extremists and end the chaos.” Democrats regular decry "MAGA extremists" and no one ever gets to call them extreme in the "objective" press.

Like Chrisy, Graham did not explain why "hard-right" is not an accurate label.

Christy again tried to blame Democrats for ousting McCarthy in an Oct. 6 post:

For years, NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers has demanded that Republicans put the country above their partisan self-interest, but when Republicans recently attacked Democrats for not doing so during the Speaker vote, Meyers essentially told Republicans on Thursday that they deserve it.

The reason wasn’t even a good one. For Meyers, the fact that Kevin McCarthy may have hurt Democrats’ feelings was enough:

But here's the especially infuriating thing. When this small band of GOP hardliners voted to oust McCarthy, McCarthy could have, if he really wanted to keep his job, reached out to Democrats to try to win their support, you know, the same way he made concessions to the hardliners in his own caucus to get the job in the first place. He didn't do that. He dissed Democrats, he told them to F off. So Democrats voted against McCarthy for extremely obvious reasons and yet Republicans have the gall to blame Democrats for not voting for McCarthy and bailing them out.

McCarthy never told Democrats to "F off," he did blame them for the government almost shutting down, but that is standard political rhetoric. Nevertheless, after a series of clips of various Republicans and Fox personalities blaming Democrats or labeling McCarthy’s ousting as one that was led by Democrats, Meyers ranted, “Are you out of your [bleep] minds? Democrats are in the minority while you accuse each other of downing Viagra like Pez and threaten to beat the [bleep] out of each other?”

Christy went on to whine that "Democrats, Meyers, and the media have constantly lectured Republicans about the need to marginalize 'the hardliners' for the betterment of the country. Yet, when given the choice between McCarthy and 'the hardliners,' Democrats chose the latter." Christy seems to want to deny that there are any hardliners in the Republican Party.

Rich Noyes served up an Oct. 7 "flashback" post complaining that it was pointed out that hard-right Republicans also forced the departure of John Boehner as speaker, adding: "Such slogans — 'hard-right,' 'hardline,' 'far-right,' 'ultra-conservative,' etc. — are meant to separate conservatives from what the media would consider the respectable mainstream of U.S. politics." Noyes didn't dispute the accuracy of those labels or offer an acceptable substitute.

Jeffrey Lord used his Oct. 7 column to distract from McCarthy's ouster by playing whataboutism to a completely unrelated controversy over a Republcaan-written New York Times op-ed.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EST

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