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Monday, July 4, 2022
MRC Cheers Ricky Gervais' Latest Round of Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time we checked in, the Media Research Center had flip-flopped on Ricky Gervais, from hating for criticizing Christians to loving him for hating transgender people like it does. That newfound love affair has continued: A July 2020 post by Randy Hall touted Gervains ranting that "cancel culture" is "a new, weird sort of fascism," going on to deny that "people who want free speech want to say awful things all the time." Of course, we've documented how the MRC has eagerly defended right-wingers who love to say awful (and factually false) things all the time, as if there was a constitutional right to lie and mislead.

In a December 2020 post, Gabriel Hays cheered that Gervais "shows no fear in the face of his and his fellow comedians’ arch-nemesis, cancel culture. In a recent interview, the British comic declared that he’ll never stop saying whatever he wants, even if he has to 'stand up on a bench and shout shit.'" Some might say he's participating in that act right now.

Fast forward to May, when Gervais released a comedy special on Netflix chock full of anti-transgender insults; one reviewer noted that "Four minutes into the special, Gervais dives into material about the trans community seemingly calculated to draw controversy." Naturally, the MRC got off on this and couldn't wait to proclaim Gervais' hate as the new "free speech." Elise Ehrhard gushed in a May 25 post:

Ricky Gervais' is one of those rare left-of-center comedians who revels in mocking woke cancel culture and elite arrogance. In SuperNature, his new Netflix comedy special released on Tuesday, he makes sure to offend everyone left, right or center in pursuit of constructing actually funny jokes.

Some of the jokes work, some don't, but none tiptoe around anyone's feelings, no matter how sensitive the subject. There are no "safe spaces" in a Ricky Gervais show.

Straight out of the gate in the opening minutes, the comedian offends feminists by making jokes about a lack of good female comedians. He tries to think of a funny living female comedian and comes up with....Dame Edna Everage, a legendary British character performed by a man.

He soon segways into the topic that's currently unleashing the most left-wing hate against him - transgenderism.

[...]

Gay Inc. has reacted angrily to Gervais' special. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called it "dangerous" and Pink News labeled it an "anti-trans garbage fire."

During the special, Gervais alludes to tranny anger over his comedy.

"I talk about AIDS, famine, cancer, the Holocaust, rape, pedophilia, but the one thing you mustn't joke about is identity politics," the 60-year-old said. "The one thing you should never joke about is the trans issue. 'They just wanna be treated equally.' I agree. That's why I include them."

Needless to say, the hour-long show includes plenty of subjects usually forbidden by social justice warriors, from ethnic jokes to laughing about fat people. 

Ehrhard has ever explained what, exactly, "Gay, Inc." is; perhaps she wants it to be some sort of secret group that only becomes more purportedly sinister by being so vaguely defined. She continued with a complaint about a branch of Gervais' humor she actually didn't like, presumably because it didn't involve making fun of the political enemies she's paid to hate:

In fact, there's little Gervais considers out-of-bounds. For Gervais, political correctness is more dangerous than personal offense.

Ultimately, though, Ehrhard did find something to be offended about, when he went back to criticizing religion:

Notably, SuperNature also targets conservatives, such as when Gervais brings up the issue of abortion. After repeatedly touting the wonders of nature, Gervais is surprisingly cavalier about the anti-nature practice of killing unborn life.

He decries what he calls "this propaganda machine that goes, 'Liberals, they're aborting babies at nine months, pulling them out of the vagina, liquidizing them.' Like, crazy conspiracy theory, right?"

Partial-birth abortion and other late-term abortions aren't conspiracy theories. It may shock Europeans, but in the United States Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to birth. Perhaps Gervais should learn about Kermit Gosnell or Planned Parenthood's baby parts business in the U.S.

As an atheist, Gervais also likes to skewer religious believers. His routine includes mockery of Christians, Muslims and even Hindus (there is a snippet about reincarnation). No religion is off-limits.

We're guessing that Ehrhard thinks the tranny and fat jokes are the ones that worked, and his jabs at conservatives are the ones that didn't. That might cost him future right-wing brownie points that his transphobia might not be enough to overcome.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 4, 2022 11:41 AM EDT
Sunday, July 3, 2022
MRC Lashed Out At Beto O'Rourke For Channeling Anger Over Texas School Massacre
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center went into kneejerk gun defense mode after the Texas school massacre. When Texas Democratic gubertnatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke confronted Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and accurately pointed out that he was "doing nothing" to prevent further mass shootings, the MRC quickly pivoted to attack O'Rourke and anyone who noted the accuracy of his remarks. Alex Christy kicked off the whining:

After Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke made a fool of himself by selfishly interrupting the Wednesday press conference where Texas officials updated the public on the Uvalde school shooting, MSNBC’s Katy Tur declared the officials were wrong, because it is partisan and Chuck Todd added Republicans should be aware that they live in a glass house.

Coming out of the press conference, Tur declared America doesn’t care about murdered children, “It is not a good day to be with you. It cannot be a good day when we live in a country that shrugs its shoulders children as are being murdered.”

Christy also claimed that "Tur also falsely added that AR-15s are designed for war." In fact, they were.

Curtis Houck nonsenically used O'Rourke's real first name in an attempt to dismiss him as a "failed presidential candidate":

Wednesday afternoon’s press conference on the Uvalde, Texas school shooting descended into shenanigans during what should have been a solemn occasion to update the public on the investigation when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert O’Rourke heckled Governor Greg Abbott (R) and other elected officials, blaming them for the murder of 19 children and two teachers. Naturally, the broadcast networks refused to speak out against O’Rourke’s antics and barely acknowledged O’Rourke’s party ID.

[...]

To her credit, correspondent Janet Shamlian conceded that not only was O’Rourke’s stunt “very clearly staged,” but it was planned well in advance thanks to “two people across the aisle from me” who saved him seat so he only had to enter just prior to the start of the press conference.

[./..]

ABC also chose to not give [Lt. Gov. Dan] Patrick the light of day and instead followed O’Rourke’s charade woutside. While carrying his remarks, ABC included a (D) in a chyron.

We don't recall Houck ever calling Ted Cruz by his real first name, Rafael.

Christy returned to whine that late-night TV hosts "praise[d] Beto O’Rourke’s stunt in the push for gun control. P.J. Gladnick thought it was a big deal that a reporter admitted that O'Rourke's interrpution of Abbott was planned (as if that has never happened in politics) and also insisted on using his first name:

On Wednesday, just as a press conference about the tragic school shooting in Uvalde featuring Texas Governor Gregg Abbot was commencing, it was rudely interrupted by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert Francis O'Rourke who attempted to upstage the event. Was this a highly inappropriate political stunt by a losing candidate? Well, according to CBS reporter Janet Shamlian it was "very clearly staged" by the O'Rourke campaign.

[...]

As could be predicted, this case of honesty by a CBS reporter on what transpired at the press conference caused outrage by many on the left.

Michael Ippolito, meanwhile, melted down over Teen Vogue defending O'Rourke:

Following the horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) held a press conference Wednesday that provided details about the deadly shooting. As important information was being discussed, Beto strode to the front of the audience and interrupted Governor Abbott bawling that the mass shooting was his fault.

He’d turned a grim press conference into political theater. Beto was escorted out of the conference, booed by parents and community members. To Teen Vogue, though, Beto is a hero. 

[Writer Emma] Specter depicted Beto as the voice of an angry community. “It was cathartic to see O’Rourke express some fraction of the frustration and rage that people across the country are feeling in the wake of the shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Laguna Woods, and every other U.S. city that has become associated with a senseless and unimaginably traumatizing mass shooting,” she wrote.

[...]

Teen Vogue is sensationalizing those who stand on massacred children.

Days after the incident, Clay Waters was still whining about O'Rourke in a June 5 post:

It looks like Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s run to unseat Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will be greeted with the same partisan enthusiasm by the New York Times that it showed when O’Rourke failed to knock off conservative Sen. Ted Cruz despite massive out-of-state help in 2018.

Witness reporter Jazmine Ulloa’s piece in Saturday’s paper, “For Beto O’Rourke, Talk of Gun Control Has Become Both a Political Risk and Reward.” Beto's grandstanding at a press conference now looks....good?

Waters went on to sneer, "His talk of confiscating your AR-15 doesn't sound so tone-deaf any more?" and denied that O'Rourke's anger was "resonating" in the state. On the other hand, if it wasn't resonating, the MRC would not have devoted so much time and space to repeatedly attacking him or anyone else who's just as angry about mass shootings as he is.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 4, 2022 11:31 AM EDT
Saturday, July 2, 2022
MRC Still Complaining That TV Shows Critique Cops
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is keeping up its recent narrative of attacking TV shows that don't praise law enforcement unconditionally. We've already noted its hate for the crime drama "61st Street," and it has attacked other shows as well. Dawn Slusher complained in a Feb. 27 item:

It’s no secret how CBS’s Magnum P.I. reboot feels about police officers. They’ve previously defended BLM violence as “patriotism,” labeled police as “the bad guys,” and claimed good cops are “guilty by association.” On Friday, they continued their hateful bias with a storyline so far-fetched it would almost be laughable if it weren’t for the serious repercussions it could have on this dangerous anti-cop climate in which a record number of police officers are being attacked and murdered across the country.

Slusher glossed over the fact that cops in this storyline are crooked and working to protect their corrupt boss; instead, she's mad that a policeman in uniform -- despite being clearly corrupt -- was shot by Magnum:

Magnum suggests they celebrate “taking down a bunch of crooked cops.”

I guess we should be grateful they aren’t promoting an ACAB message, but this storyline is still dangerous because it adds fuel to our hateful anti-cop culture at a time when ambush attacks against police officers were up 91% in 2020 and an historic number of officers were shot in the line of duty in 2021 - 346. Of those shootings, 63 were fatal.

No one’s rooting for bad guys, but knowing how many good cops have been gunned down makes this show’s tone-deaf depiction of a uniformed officer being shot in cold blood very unnerving. Thank God Magnum P.I. is followed by Blue Bloods, which has consistently backed the blue and accurately depicted the sacrifices police heroes make for our protection. Hopefully their messaging will cancel out Magnum P.I.’s anti-cop agenda.

Slusher is lying, of course. It's clear from the episode (even if Slusher doesn't make it so) that "Magnum" is not "anti-cop" -- it's anti-corrupt cops. Of course she would like the pro-cop propaganda of "Blue Bloods"; indeed, the following week she praised an episode of "Blue Bloods" for having "touched on the challenges faced by officers in today’s anti-cop culture and delivered a powerful storyline that defended the honor of our heroes in blue."

A March 7 post by Elise Ehrhard complained that "The Equalizer" didn't follow right-wing narratives on anti-Asian attacks by blaming black people for them:

The CBS series The Equalizer became a hit last year by keeping its focus on entertaining an audience. This year, it's determined to abandon that successful strategy in order to hector its viewers with left-wing ideology instead.

In this week's episode, 'Chinatown,' on Sunday, the show tackled the issue of anti-Asian attacks in New York City. It portrayed the culprits as ignorant, working-class white guys who get away with crimes because of a racist and indifferent police system. The episode avoided an elephant in the room -- the majority of anti-Asian attacks in major U.S. cities are black-on-Asian crimes, according to U.S. Justice Department statistics. 

But uncomfortable conversations were out-of-the-question in the episode. The show instead relied on a clichéd woke narrative about a group of working-class white males stalking Asians in New York City's Chinatown.

Ehrhard went on to complain that "In 2020, Democrats falsely accused then-President Trump of scapegoating Asians because he criticized communist China's role in the Covid-19 pandemic" -- but she didn't explain how it was "false."

A May 9 post by Ehrhard complained that an episode of "S.W.A.T." featured a right-wing militia that was anti-cop:

The "no cops" part is an intriguing addition to the list, considering there is a real domestic terrorist organization that has called for the abolition of police. Oddly, the episode never mentions Black Lives Matter (BLM) when discussing anti-cop rhetoric. Is Hollywood now going to pretend that this is a right-wing issue instead?

By contrast, more than 50 active or retired law enforcement, military or government service employees took part in the Capitol riot, so that plotline may not be as far-fetched as Ehrhard wants you to think.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 AM EDT
Friday, July 1, 2022
MRC's Houck Hypocritically Lashes Out At Jean-Pierre Again Over 'Softball' Interview
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck has already staked out a narrative to depict new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire, and he pushes it again in a June 7 post in which he hypocritically lashed out at ABC for not trashing Jean-Pierre like he would:

ABC’s Good Morning America has had a reputation of corporate whoring, liberal fluff, and superficial nonsense, so it made sense Tuesday as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared for a nine-minute-plus softball session with co-host Robin Roberts over the economy, “gun violence, abortion rights,” “her trailblazing role,” and what “representation means” to her.

Throughout an obscene six teases for the interview, co-host Robin Roberts boasted of how Jean-Pierre was “breaking barriers” and while lamenting all “the challenges” “facing President Biden.” In other words, the skids were greased.

Needless to say, Houck offered no comparison with the greased skids Trump White House press secretaries like his beloved Kayleigh McEnany were given when they appeared on Fox News. And his attacks on ABC's alleged "corporate whoring" ring hollow as well given how the MRC whores out its "news" division to promote corporate initiatives. Houck continued to whine:

Roberts began with platitudes, gushing she had “been looking forward to having this opportunity especially today because with gun violence rising to the top of the agenda,” adding that ABC was doing its part for the administration by having all its news shows focus on guns.

Lamenting that Jean-Pierre had to start her job with two high-profile shootings, Roberts put the ball on the tee: “[T]here's been no major federal gun control in nearly 30 years, so what is the President doing to change that? What can he do?”

Jean-Pierre has been prone to lack an ability to speak coherently without prepared notes, so her answer to a softball question meandered through nothingness for nearly two minutes with all Roberts being able to do was off another softball about Biden’s involvement in Senate negotiations[.]

Houck has never criticized McEnany's binder of prepared notes, so he's being hypocritical yet again for nbashing Jean-Pierre over it.

Houck concluded by attacking Roberts for asking about Jean-Pierre's historical status and, again, for not hating her enough:

Roberts wrapped with fawning praise for Jean-Pierre as “[t]he first black, the first immigrant, the first openly gay person” with her job and an open ended question about “what does representation mean to you”[.]

[...]

And even the goodbye was gooey from Roberts: “Very kind of you to say. Well, Karine, thank you so much. I know that you have busy, busy days and means a lot you some spent time with us this morning. All the best to you.”

If Houck really wants to criticize softball interviews, he should start with his own gooiness toward McEnany, in which he couldn't even question how she notoriously abandoned her job after the Capitol riot.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 1, 2022 2:51 PM EDT
Thursday, June 30, 2022
MRC's Graham Remains At War With Fact-Checkers Who Check Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

It's been a while since we checked in on how the Media Research Center's Tim Graham has tried to complain and nitpick media fact-checks of conservatives in order to portray them as biased -- a task he regularly fails at. How is that war is going for him? Let's go back to Jan. 27, where Graham was setting up a narrative:

At the top of their home page, PolitiFact begs for donations by proclaiming "Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy." But this "independent fact-checker" routinely betrays a tilt by coming out more aggressively to “correct” rhetorical or factual attacks on Democrats.

At the end of Biden’s first 100 days, we reported our study of PolitiFact found they published 13 fact checks of the president, and 106 fact checks of the president’s critics. In other words, they’re much more sensitive about someone “lying” about Biden than they are about Biden lying. 

Now, after reviewing Biden’s first year, a NewsBusters study shows the same pattern continues. Overall from January 20, 2021 through January 19, 2022, MRC analysts found Biden was fact-checked 40 times, while Biden critics were checked on 230 occasions.

[...]

Many of the fact checks about Biden are about “Facebook Posts,” “Viral Images,” or “Instagram.” Those rulings often translate into content warning flags on social media. The shutdowns of Biden critics don't just happen on PolitiFact, but on Big Tech platforms.

These numbers, presented out of context from the total number of fact-checks on all politicans that PolitiFact has done or even the number of alleged false statement Biden has made ,shows that Graham refuses to consider the fact that Biden simply does not make very many false statements or that his fellow right-wing haters are quite invested in spreading lies about him. Also note that Graham puts "lying" in scare quotes when describing anti-Biden falsehoods being debunked but does not do so when using the word to describe what Biden says. Cherry-picking numbers while censoring others that might be more inconvenient to your political narrative is not "media research."

The next day, Graham was ranting that a Rrepubilcan candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia was busted spreading a false claim, dismissing the falsehood as a mere "quibble":

On January 24, PolitiFact wrote a “fact check” throwing a “Mostly False” rating at Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears for an TV interview with Fox News on Martin Luther King Day asserting “When it comes to CRT, it is definitely being taught in some form or fashion. We know that last year, the Loudoun County school board spent about 300,000 plus dollars, that’s real money, that’s going to jail money, to bring CRT in some form or fashion to the school system.”

[...]

One factual quibble was worthy: Loudoun Country spend $300,000-plus dollars for “equity training” over several years, not in 2020. Whether that quibble matters to parents there is a different question. It should matter to Fiske that Loudoun County officials lied about only spending $34,167 on seminars. 

PolitiFact attempted to argue the Equity Collaborative was brought in for a much broader effort about the discipline policy and overall treatment of minority students, and then altered its conclusion:

At no point did Graham (or the right-wing Daily Caller source he cited to back up his numbers) prove that every single penny of that money paid only for "critical race theory," nor did he prove that addressing equity issues in schools has any direct tie to CRT. Instead he tried to confuse the issue even further: "They were developing systemic-racism education in 'curricular and instructional efforts.' It's exactly as Sears asserted on Fox News, that the Left is 'playing semantics' on its efforts to impose 'equity training' on teachers and students."

Graham is engaging in what anti-CRT activist Christopher Rufo advocated: make CRT such a toxic term that any school lesson that even remotely touches on racism  can be redefined as CRT and, thus, become a rallying cry for right-wing activists who don't like public education in the first place.

A Jan. 29 post featured Graham whining that a Facebook claim about having to "show papers" when eating in a restaurant when it actually meant just showing you've gotten a COVID vaccine was flagged for taking the situation out of context, along with a bizarre shot at the publication doing the fact-check:

In other words, it's accurate for some cities, but not for America in its entirety, so -- "missing context!"  [USA Today writer Daniel] Funke admitted it's not WRONG, it's ....overly broad.

[...]

He seems to be "missing context" in avoiding the "show your ID" part, not just proof of vaccination. He doesn't include DC. But this is like saying it would be "misleading" to say USA Today is a "national" newspaper, where there are many places across America you can't buy a copy.

Graham then went on to huff that USA Today was engaged in "harassment" of this Facebook user by fact-checking him:

I sent this message to Funke on Twitter: "I'm a little mystified why you would jump to 'correct' a Facebook post from a guy with 427 followers. That's some 'misinformation' threat?" And: "Why not focus on Mayor Bowser and how she is "missing the context" that asking for an ID sounds like it's not 'racist' when it's about COVID."

Funke does claim this little meme was shared. "The post accumulated more than 3,500 shares within two days." But it certainly looks like a media Goliath picking on a conservative David.[...]

USA Today notes that this harassment of Facebook users is funded by a grant from Facebook. You donate to liberal newspapers, you get liberal spin disguised as "missing context" checking. 

Graham brought his "context" argument to Feb. 7 post, insisting that it was Fox News being taken out of context, not then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki:

John Sexton at Hot Air reports that a Washington Post "fact checker" came rushing to Team Biden's defense in an article titled "How an out-of-context Jen Psaki clip led to days of Fox coverage."

On the Obama-bros podcast Pod Save America, White House press secretary Jen Psaki went full Stelter and shamed Fox for covering something that the liberal networks weren't covering -- rising crime in American cities.

Sexton makes a great point that Psaki herself wasn't really accurate in describing what aired on Fox.

[...]

This isn't "independent fact checking." It's acting like Psaki's Psecret Pservice.

It's Psaki and Usero who aren't reflecting the event as it occurred. Sexton points out that it's Fox News that is being taken out of context. Psaki was laughing about a chyron from The Fivew hich aired on January 24. They aired an 11-minute segment which included that chyron over Jeanine Pirro. Why cover that topic that Monday? Because two NYPD officers had been shot the previous Friday night, and both died (one after this aired). That's the "soft on crime consequences" Psaki pretended were in an "alternative universe." She was suggesting it was....Fake News. Psaki wasn't watching the show, she was commenting on the chyron. Then they're upset Fox mocked her as unserious on crime. Pirro wasn't even mentioning Biden!

The Post robots don't have to like Fox News Channel, but if you're writing for "The Fact Checker," it might be a good idea to actually watch the Fox News video in question here. Or at least admit Jen Psaki's Fox News remarks were uninformed about what was actually discussed.

Graham doesn't have to like the Washington Post -- indeed, he gets paid quite well to hate them -- but presuming that any and every fact-check of a conservative or any purported failure to fact-check a non-conservative is solely because of "liberal bias" is a sad way to live your life.

In a March 15 post, Graham again handwaved someone's actual false claims -- this time ex-Trump adviser Stephen Miller -- to complain he was being victimized for being the subject of a fact-check over his claims about Vice President Kamala Harris at a meeting of European leaders:

First, it's true that Miller cited the wrong European president, but it's obvious from the video that Harris tried to defer to the Romanian leader. You go first! 

But as usual, the real issue is selection bias. Why is this small flub in a video clip worth a fact check? PolitiFact rarely checks CNN or MSNBC shows (because they're all liberals). Last week, a guest told Rachel Maddow's substitute host Ali Velshi the embarrassing falsehood that "Hitler didn't kill ethnic Germans," which was corrected by the Auschwitz Memorial people, but PolitiFact somehow couldn't locate that viral clip.

It seems obvious that PolitiFact is trying to whack Fox News as a misinformation channel and control the damage of these strange Harris performances in front of the press.

Is that the same "selection bias" Graham has when he can never seem to find any bias at Fox News?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
MRC Still Defending Herschel Walker Over Things They Attack Democrats For
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson stood by carpetbagging Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker when he was credibly accused of domestic abuse, insisting that it can't be true because charges were never filed. As Walker continues to show how poor a candiate he is who is merely coasting on his fame as a football player, the defense has switched to the MRc's resident New York Times-hater, Clay Waters.

Waters spent an April 19 post whining that thew Times devoted an article to the unsavory backgrounds (and current behavior) of certain prominent GOP candidates. When the article turned to Walker, he retorted with whataboutism:

[Reporter Jonathan] Weisman poked through old domestic abuse accusations against Herschel Walker, football star turned Republican candidate for Senate in his home state of Georgia. That's funny! Walker is running against Sen. Raphael Warnock, and they were too busy promoting the Democrat to discuss his ex-wife's allegations that he ran over her foot. (Warnock had "fact checkers" fight for him.)

Waters didn't explain why false claims should not have been fact-checked.

The whataboutism continued with Waters bringing up a politician who hasn't held pollitical office in more than 20 years:

The name “Bill Clinton” somehow was unmentioned, a Democrat president who notoriously escaped allegations of sexual harassment and rape thanks to a compliant press that willingly smeared and disappeared his accusers.

[...]

Again, Bill Clinton was credibly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, and of sexual harassment by Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey.

it's not a smear to point out the fact that Broaddrick has lied under oath -- either to deny a sexual assault by Clinton or to claim one happened -- and that she does, in fact, have credibility problems.

Waters played Warnock whataboutism again in a May 22 post complaining about a "hostile" Times profile of Walker:

Walker is a flawed candidate, prone to exaggeration, as the Times has consistently documented this year, while mostly avoiding Democrat Warnock’s own flaws. Weisman (a white reporter, noted only because race is so important to Weisman here) still managed to be unfair to the black Republican.

He made no mention, not even a condescending one, of how eager supposedly racist Republicans are (as the paper feverishly claimed after the Buffalo massacre) to vote for a black candidate or the historic nature of a black Democrat against a black Republican competing for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.

[...]

After noting “the football star’s history of domestic violence, his admitted struggles with mental illness,” the reporter predicted Walker’s message would fail because of black resentment of the infamous police killing that happened two years ago in Minneapolis.

[...]

Meanwhile, Warnock’s gross accusations of a “Jim Crow” assault on voting rights didn’t garner any objections from the Times.

Waters isn't the only MRC employee stuck having to defend Walker. Tim Graham used a May 8 post to grumble about a Washington Post "hit piece" on Walker declaring that "you could tell it would accentuate the negative" just from the headline.He continuyed grumbling that "The quotes [the reporter] uses are overwhelmingly negative, from furious liberals and from local Republican skeptics." Graham was particularly upset that reporter "highlights how Walker isn't always up to speed on policy or politics, such as referring to late congressman John Lewis as a Senator," furiously spinning in response: "Walker's not always wrong, but the liberals pretend he is."

At no point did Graham identify any factual inaccuracy in the article. instead, he handwaved Walker's worst behavior with, you guessed it, Warnock whataboutism:

Rosengren dove deeply into Walker's memoir where he talked of playing Russian roulette and thought about shooting a man who was late in delivering a car he ordered, as well as how officials granted a restraining order after his ex-wife said he threatened to kill her. That's some serious stuff. But you can be sure the Post wasn't digging into allegations from his opponent Sen. Raphael Warnock's ex-wife who claimed he ran over her foot. 

Graham wants you to think that what Warnock is alleged to have done (of which there is no police evidence) is just as bad as what Walker has done. It's not, and Graham is being dishonest by claiming moral equivalence.

Meanwhile, the bad news for Walker keeps piling up. Illegitimate children keep coming out of the woodwork, and he said there are 52 states. The MRC has been silent so far, because it's OK if you're a Republican.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
MRC Targets Another Cop Show For Not Fawning Over Police Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is a kneejerk defender of the police, insisting that they should not be criticized at all -- especially in TV shows that pull its storylines from the events of the day -- and it's still complaining about TV show plots that offer even the slightest criticism of law enforcement. Dawn Slusher found a new cop show to hate-watch -- and, thus, target with her own hate -- in an April 15 post:

The last thing we need from Hollywood right now is another anti-cop show that puts the lives of our heroes in blue at risk and contributes to a record high number of officers being ambushed and killed across the country by painting officers as evil monsters out to prey on innocent victims. But that’s exactly what AMC’s new drama 61st Street is all about, unfortunately.

61st Street centers around black track star Moses Johnson (Tosin Cole), a good kid with a promising future despite growing up in Chicago’s impoverished South Side. Michael Rossi (Patrick Mulvey) appears to be the only good cop on the show who’s secretly trying to uncover the bad ones.

[...]

And of course, the show isn’t depicting how real-life corruption in Chicago happened and happens under Democrat leadership, and that the city is dealing with a severe increase in crime after leaders defunded the police. Nor are they showing how they’ve had to greatly lower their hiring standards amid staffing shortages due to attrition in the police department, resulting in a spike of applications from those who otherwise wouldn’t be qualified. Nor are they depicting how Democrat leaders spent millions on their own police protection while defunding it for the rest of Chicago’s citizens.

In other words, the Democrat-run city is a mess, and they’ve only made things worse by chasing out the good cops and enlisting lesser qualified ones. Shows like 61st Street only contribute to these problems by furthering an anti-cop climate and widening this country’s racial divide while putting good officers’ safety at risk as mentioned before. Let’s hope it’s canceled before it can do more damage with a second season.

So criminals watching an obscure cable show for escalating attacks on law enforcement when the real problem is Democrats? Who knew?

In fact, Chicago police weren't actually "defunded" -- their budget for this year is nearly $2 billion. What cuts did happen to Chicago police, largely elimination of vacant positions, was driven by pandemic-induced budget deficits. Additionally, crime is also up in cities that didn't "defund" police.

Three days later, Slusher attacked another episode of "61st Street," complaining that characters called for defunding the police -- while failing to note that it never really happened in Chicago -- and huffing that "They’ve made it clear their goal is to make all police look as bad as possible and sway public opinion against them" and blaming "hatred" of police and the purported "defunding" of them for how "so many good officers" are leaving the department. Needless to say, Slusher didn't breathe a word about the notorious corruption of Chicago police, making criticism of them having at least some basis in reality.

Slusher ranted in an April 25 post about yet another episode of the show:

How many liberal talking points can Hollywood writers fit into one scene? Apparently a lot if we go by AMC’s new anti-cop drama 61st Street, which managed to rant about feminism, white people, and the police all in one brief scene on Sunday’s episode, “Barefoot and Dangerous.” They even went so far as to claim policing is “just personal security for rich, white folks.”

Again, Slusher is mad that the ugly reality of Chicago police is being pointed out. For instance, it has been documented that Chicago police pull over black drivers seven times more often than white drivers and are more likely to use force against black people than white people -- and it solves murder cases involving black victims at less than half the rate it solves murder cases involving white victims.

Slusher's hate-watching -- and repetition of false narratives -- continued in a May 11 post:

AMC’s super woke, anti-cop drama 61st Street has continued to pour it on thick with their extremist, far-left, Black Lives Matter (BLM) agenda. In the past two episodes, the show has falsely claimed that police presence in schools is a “declaration of war” and that the system can't be reformed, because it supposedly began as a slave-catching patrol and is therefore "functioning as it should." It also denounced the justice system for “locking (black) people up.”

[...]

Pushing the false narrative that policing has origins in slave-catching on plantations is rather dubious of the show, but it’s a typical straw man argument used by SJWs in an attempt to bolster their position. Of course, black lives matter, and any cop who is racist and/or abuses their power needs to be held accountable.

But, if 61st Street truly cared about black lives, they wouldn’t be depicting the South Side as an innocent, safe neighborhood as they have. If the show is to be believed, police are the only real threat to residents, when in fact, less than half a percent of black lives are taken during police conflicts. 

What they should be showing is the reality that crime is the biggest threat to black lives and that more black lives are lost weekly to criminal violence than all lives lost weekly at the height of the Vietnam War. Defunding police has only made things worse as crime rates have skyrocketed, standards in hiring officers have been lowered, and the attrition rate has soared.

BLM initiatives are actually destroying black lives, yet 61st Street wants to promote them? AND do away with the justice system that has held bad officers accountable? In what kind of world would any of that make sense?

Oh, that’s right. Liberal Hollywood. Too bad their harmful propaganda isn't self-limiting. It has far-reaching effects across the entire country. All the more reason to cancel this dangerous show immediately.

As we've noted, many Southern cities had slave patrols that predated the creation of police departments there, and that all such police operations were created to enforce the existing social hierarchy -- you know, racism and segreation -- before evolving into a force for protection starting in the late 19th century, so it's not a "false narrative" to point out that policing has at least some history in the slave trade.

Slusher's messaging also got confused in the links to the mostly right-wing sources she used to back up her claims about black crime. If black crime is so bad on the South Side, isn't that in large part a failure of police to do their job adequately and that their methods so far have been a failure? And the idea that "less than half a percent of black lives are taken during police conflicts" (taken from a right-wing New York Post column that doesn't reveal the source of the stat or the actual number of blacks killed by police) is hardly the reassuring statistic Slusher wants you to think it is; that number should effectively be zero, and the fact the number is where it's it is also in no small part because of inadequate police training.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Gas Price Blame Failure
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center keeps pushing the narrative that President Biden is to blame for high gas prices -- but it never names a specific Biden policy it can directly attribute to the price jumps. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 PM EDT
Monday, June 27, 2022
MRC Also Defended Guns, Conservatives, Fox News After Buffalo Shooting
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wasn't just defending replacement theory in the wake of the Buffalo massacre -- it was also defending guns, as right-wingers are mandated to do, as well as their fellow right-wingers against credible accusations they have done nothing to curb gun crime. Kyle Drennen huffed in a May 16 post:

On Monday, ABC’s Good Morning America quickly exploited the horrific shooting at a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday to push President Biden’s anti-gun agenda and suggest “politicians and the members of the media,” like former President Donald Trump, were responsible for “an epidemic of violence and hate in this nation.”  

[...]

[Correspondent Mary] Bruce then decided to be more blatant in her politicization of the attack: “I think it’s important for us all to remember that President Biden said he was inspired to run for president because of how former President Trump responded to white supremacists marching through Charlottesville, Virginia.” She promoted how “Biden made this issue a real centerpiece of his campaign” but that “advocates say it’s simply not enough.”

“They want to see this administration and the president put more political muscle behind this issue and the issue of guns,” Bruce declared of left-wing activists. However, she lamented that Biden’s agenda was stalled: “But we have seen this many times, Robin, despite repeated efforts by some in Washington, there simply is no appetite from Republicans and some Democrats to enact meaningful gun reform.”

In the wake of such horrendous killings, the leftist media instinct is always to bemoan “gun violence” or political rhetoric but never to discuss the surge in crime across the nation and the public policies responsible for the rise.  

Drennen offered no proof that "public policies" -- presumably made by Democrats -- are "responsible for the rise" in violent crime.

Clay Waters ranted the same day over a New York Times "hit piece" pointing out that Republicans have been racist concepts like replacement theory, offering only lame whataboutism in response: "The man who shot five congressmen at an Alexandria ballfield in 2017 was a fan of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, but don’t hold your breath for the Times to make that point." Waters provided no evidence that Maddow encourage violence against those congressmen -- or against anybody, period.

Curtis Houck grumbled the next day:

Reacting to Saturday’s racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York grocery store, Monday’s CBS Mornings sought to strike fear into the hearts and minds of viewers, insisting “racism is mainstream,” “nowhere is safe,” and “nothing feels safe” with gun violence ready to break out and kill you at a moment’s notice. In response, they tag-teamed with Obama Attorney General Eric Holder to suggest taking a look at the First Amendment.

So long as the press maintains their free speech, it’s to heck with everyone else’s, right?

Houck didn't disprove anything that was said, but he did screech that civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump was a "racial arsonist" while, again, providing no evidence of said "arson."

Scott Whitlock joined in the grosing over CBS in a May 17 post:

CBS Mornings on Tuesday used the evil, racist massacre of African Americans in Buffalo, New York over the weekend to generalize to the whole country. Co-host Gayle King wondered, “Who are we really, as America?” Co-host Nate Burleson agreed, “This is who we are.” 

Later in the show, guest Ian Bremmer lamented the United States as completely mired in hate: “We elected Obama. Didn’t make a difference. The fact is the United States today is the most politically divided and dysfunctional of the advanced industrial democracies.”

The author allowed that the United States is still a magnet to many: “The dollar is really strong. People want to come to our country still. We have this great technology. Our military certainly works. We see all of that." But, he concluded, “Washington is so divided that we can't get the obvious done.” 

What is the obvious? Bremmer didn’t say.

Whitlock couldn't figure it out? Either he's dumb or gets paid well to play dumb.

Alex Christy complained:

From their stance on guns, to opposition to illegal immigration, to alleged code words, the Tuesday cast of Inside Politics on CNN declared that white people need “to come to terms with” their role in the Buffalo mass shooting. It was also alleged that America does not denounce white supremacy enough.

Towards the end of a panel discussion recapping President Biden’s speech in Buffalo, senior political analyst Nia-Malika Henderson tied guns to white supremacy:

[...]

The idea that white supremacy is not denounced enough is absurd. If anything, it has become trivialized, as Henderson immediately demonstrated, “You know, we, sort of, talk about white supremacy, but it's also the ways in which people talk about folks coming across the border. The demonizing that goes around, about those folks about, that somehow they also are a threat to Americans.”

Host John King then brought the segment to a close with allegations of covert white supremacy, “There are a lot of people who say that they're not racist. They've never said a racist thing who use words that are code.”

Alluding to something to something chief political correspondent Dana Bash mentioned earlier, King declared, “You mentioned silence encourages this. So do certain words and certain actions as well and so the president asking everybody to think about what you say. We'll see if that happens.”

Of course, thinking about what the say is not something MRC employees do, unless it's designed to advance right-wing narratives.

And because it's forbidden for anyone to say anything nice about a speech by President Biden, Houck returned to rant:

All three broadcast networks aired special reports Tuesday afternoon on President Biden’s visit to Buffalo, New York following Saturday’s racist act of terror and, in the case of ABC, senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce was enthralled and almost emotional in vocalizing support for Biden’s broad strokes about white supremacy. In Bruce’s words, Biden was saddled with “a really impossible task...to heal what is still very clear a very broken country.”

Ah, nothing like a good side of America-bashing too in the same vein as CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King hours earlier.

[...]

Over on CBS, correspondent Ed O’Keefe identified those who wanted Biden to do more were Democrats and demand he “cite people who work at Fox News” and “Republican leadership, especially in the House.”

O’Keefe also touched on a proposal from House Democrats to expand resources to investigate domestic terrorism, but has been stalled due to Democratic infighting about how it could backfire in the future even though they’d use it to “target [Republican] groups, perhaps closer to the white supremacy thought that the President is calling out.”

And on NBC, far-left Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson argued that white supremacy was not only “part of the history of this country,” but “a growing part of the present.” In other words, look for white supremacy around every corner!

As usual, Houck didn't disprove anything that was said. Also, we don't recall Houck ever accusing Trump of "America-bashing" even though he was highly critical of the country he led.

Because it's also forbidden to criticize Fox News, Tober lashed out at one critic even though his tone is little different than what is regularly found on, er, Fox News:

For the second night in a row, the vile leftist Lawrence O’Donnell melted down over the fact that Rupert Murdoch dared to create a news channel that doesn't toe the leftist media line. The worst part of the unhinged rant came at the beginning of O’Donnell’s MSNBC show The Last Word when he accused Murdoch and Republican politicians of not caring how “large the body count gets” in what he describes as “the permanent white supremacist assassination campaign in this country.”

Much like he did on Monday night, O’Donnell blamed Fox News chairman and founder Rupert Murdoch for the shooting at the Buffalo supermarket on Saturday. O’Donnell wailed that no one has profited more from the great replacement theory “lie than billionaire Rupert Murdoch, who has complete and total control over all of the lies pushed on the Fox network that he owns and operates.”

Claiming the chairman of a major news network and the Republican Party don’t care how many Americans die from mass shootings is beyond disgusting. The premise of the entire controversy is wrong. The mass shooter behind the tragedy in Buffalo wrote in his manifesto that he thought Fox News was out to get him and specifically attacked Murdoch.

Tober attacked O'Donnell's "vile and frankly dangerous commentary," oblivious to the fact that the Buffalo shooter's embrace echoed that of Fox News host Tucker Carlson,. Doesn't he think that's "vile and frankly dangerous"? Apparently not.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:11 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 27, 2022 7:21 PM EDT
MRC's New Bulldog Awards Are As Lame As You'd Expect
Topic: Media Research Center

Back in March, the Media Research Center announced it was creating an award to give to its fellow right-wingers who in its judgment best advance right-wing narratives:

The Media Research Center has had fun bestowing our DisHonors Awards on those members of the media least deserving of accolades. Now, we want to recognize those most deserving of accolades and we’re looking for the guidance of NewsBusters readers to help us select the deserving winners of the Media Research Center’s Bulldog Awards for the best in journalism.

[...]

Let us know who you think has done outstanding work in the areas covered in the six categories, the kind of work appreciated by conservatives that is so disdained by the legacy media which will never honor it as they pile on honorifics for left wing advocacy by all too many “journalists.” Look at it as our version of the Pulitzer Prizes.

Of course, announcing it would consider only biased work that advances its political agenda saps much of the alleged prestige from it, ensuring it will be considered much closer to the Slanties than the Pulitzers in terms of credibility. The MRC effectively confirmed that when the award winners were announced in May:

With our first annual Bulldog Awards in six categories, the Media Research Center is honoring conservatives in the media who truly deserve accolades yet will never receive them from the media establishment.

[...]

Left-wing journalists are regularly honored for their liberal advocacy with awards throughout the year. On Monday, the biggest journalism awards, the Pulitzer Prizes, were announced. Inevitably, they honored left-wing journalists who pushed the liberal agenda. (The Washington Post won “for its compellingly told and vividly presented account of the assault on Washington on January 6, 2021” and the Houston Chronicle earned a prize for how they “revealed voter suppression tactics, rejected the myth of widespread voter fraud and argued for sensible voting reforms.”)

In announcing the winners of the Bulldog Awards, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell explained: “Today’s MRC Bulldog Award recipients have been selected after careful consideration. Their impactful work is trusted and respected by Americans nationwide, unlike the work of the left-wing operatives that call themselves ‘journalists.’ As the liberal media celebrate themselves with Pulitzers, we wanted to shine a light on the real truth-tellers who are greatly dedicated to informing the American public on stories the legacy media ignores. Congratulations to this year’s winners!”

Only in the MRC's right-wing world is reporting on a violent insurrection and exposing dishonest attacks on voting part of a "liberal agenda."

The award winners are as lame and predictable as you'd expect, as if the MRC's main goal was to bestow awards on its friends and fellow travelers instead of rewarding actual quality content. The award for "outstanding talk show host" was given to Mark Levin, a good friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell whom the MRC aggressively defends no matter what and to whom the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, devotes a considerable amount of stenography.

Dan Bongino received an award for "outstanding podcast"; he too is an MRC fave not only for investing in right-wing Twitter clone Parler (which just so happens to be bankrolled by the MRC's chief bankroller, Rebekah Mercer) and for railing against vaccine mandates (even though he is fully vaccinated). The "outstanding blogger" award was given to Stephen Gutowski, a former MRC employee -- what a conincidence! -- who now runs a pro-gun blog.

The manufacturers of new right-wing narratives also got honor. The right-wing New York Post's Miranda Devine was named "outstanding columnist" for putting Hunter Biden's laptop out there before the 2020 presidential election, but as we've noted, she didn't provide independent verification of the laptop or its alleged contents, making sure that non-right-wing outlets would not take it seriously and treat it as the dubious October surprise that it was. The right-wing Daily Wire's Luke Rosiak was given an award for "outstanding investigative journalism" for "blowing the whistle on the sexual assaults in Loudoun County (Virginia) Public Schools and the subsequent attempts to cover them up by the far-left administration and school board"; we've documented how that work was transphobic in nature and particularly obsessed with an incident in which a transgender student sexually assaulted a female student -- but hid the fact that the student previously had consensual sexual encounters before the incident. Finally, Drew Holden of the right-wing Washington Free Beacon was named "outstanding social media personality" main for tweeting things the MRC likes.

All of this is explicitly ideological -- pushing narratives is more worthy of MRC reward than telling the truth. We put more work, and more honesty, into the Slanties.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EDT
Sunday, June 26, 2022
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Attacks Facts -- And Those Who Report Them
Topic: Media Research Center
When the Washington Post's Taylor Lorenz exposed the person behind the anti-LGBT Libs of TikTok Twitter account, the Media Research Center not only lashed out at Lorenz for telling the truth, it defended the hateful women behind the account. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:23 PM EDT
Saturday, June 25, 2022
MRC Can't Stop Defending Lara Logan's Bad, Biased Journalism
Topic: Media Research Center

Is there any depth to which Lara Logan will sink that the Media Research Center won't defend? It seems not.

The MRC hid her misdeeds in reporting a false claim about the Benghazi attack for "60 Minutes," then continued to promote her even as she spread Antifa hoaxes. When Logan outrageously likened Anthony Fauci to notorious Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele in a Fox News appearance late last year, the MRC refused to criticize her without resorting to lame whataboutism, even as it has whined about conservatives being likened to Nazis. When the New York Times documented Logan's descent into far-right conspiracy theories, it wasthe MRC's Clay  Waters rushing to her defense against the "hit job" in a May 23 post:

The New York Times ran a hit piece on former CBS journalist Lara Logan by Jeremy Peters, who is the paper’s go-to reporter for criticism of conservative media figures: “Former Star At CBS News Follows Path To Far Right.

After introducing Logan as someone who had “reached the heights of American journalism….as the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News,” he lamented “today Ms. Logan cuts a far different figure in American media. Instead of on national news broadcasts, she can be found as a guest on right-wing podcasts or speaking at a rally for fringe causes, promoting falsehoods about deaths from Covid vaccines and conspiracy theories about voter fraud.”

Peters characterized her supposed decline as “one of the most puzzling in the modern history of television news.” But more interesting than what Peters had to say about Logan was his assumptions about what a mainstream journalist is allowed to believe.

More than half a dozen journalists and executives who worked with Ms. Logan at “60 Minutes,” most of whom spoke anonymously to discuss private interactions with her, said she sometimes revealed political leanings that made them question whether she could objectively cover the Obama administration’s military and foreign policy moves. She appeared increasingly conservative in her politics over the years, they said, and more outspoken about her suspicions of the White House’s motives and war strategy.

Wasn’t it a requirement for any reputable journalist to be suspicious of the “White House’s motives and war strategy” when George W. Bush was president and the Iraq War was raging? Is doubting presidential motives only a problem when the president is a Democrat?

Waters made sure to hide the exact deeds that caused people to doubt her objectivity -- namely, she uncritically promoted the claims of a self-proclaimed first-person witness to the Benghazi attack who, it turned out, had told his employer he wasn't. Waters also censored her descent into Antifa conspiracy theories. And like his MRC co-workers, he played whataboutism to dismiss Logan's Nazi smear:

Peters noted Logan comparing Dr. Anthony Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, which got Logan canned from Fox Nation. If we can agree that contemporary Hitler comparisons are bad, perhaps the media (including Times reporters) will stop comparing Republicans to Hitler or Nazis.

If Waters must resort to whataboutism, he can't possibly be sincere about ridding the world of Nazi comparisons.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 25, 2022 9:34 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2022
MRC's Houck Cranks Up The Hate For Jean-Pierre
Topic: Media Research Center

After taking several days off around Memorial Day weekend, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck was back in full denigrating form to attack new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre with his overly quick narrative of incompetence in his hyperbolic (and Doocy-fluffing-filled) writeup of the May 31 briefing:

After K-Pop band BTS led Tuesday’s White House press briefing, economic adviser Brian Deese and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced questions about the economy, gas prices, gun control, inflation, and student loans. In the case of Jean-Pierre, she continued using her briefing binder as a clutch.

Deese went first and dealt with mostly open-ended questions and softballs such as one from Team Biden potted plant Kelly O’Donnell of NBC about whether the recent pickup in administration outreach on the economy has been an “implicit...acknowledgement that you have not been telling the story of the economic picture in a way that has been satisfactory to the President.”

[...]

Things didn’t let up for the former MSNBC political analyst as it was Doocy Time, which began with a simple question:“Canada is making it impossible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in that country. Would President Biden ever consider a similar restriction on handguns here?”

Jean-Pierre retreated to her notes and meandered about other gun control proposals (including Biden’s demand there be a “ban on the sale of assault weapons”) before insisting “[h]e does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns, to answer your question.”

Doocy moved onto gas prices and the fact that gas prices are now above the minimum wage. Predictably, Jean-Pierre insisted Biden knows what it’s like to struggle as ordinary Americans are currently (even though Biden’s been part of the D.C. elite since 1974) and, in response to a Doocy follow-up, Russia and Vladimir Putin are to blame[.]

[...]

Doocy wrapped with another basic question: “Does President Biden take any responsibility for his policies potentially contributing to inflation?”

Jean-Pierre replied with what could be described as reckless abandonment for basic grammar: “His policies has [sic] helped the economy gets back on its feet. That's what his policies has [sic] -- his policies has [sic] done.”

Houck continued to mock and insult Jean-Pierre the next day, as well as falsely putting words in President Biden's mouth:

Amid White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s worst press briefing yet as she faced questions Wednesday about the baby formula shortage, the economy, inflation, and presidential leadership, Bloomberg’s Justin Sink came from the left on abortion by twice wanting to know why Biden hasn’t made abortion more of a focus in his administration following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade.

[...]

Jean-Pierre replied that she didn’t “have anything to preview on his schedule, but the President is clear on this....that a woman has the right to make their own decisions when it comes to their own healthcare and their own health and their own reproductive rights.”

In other words, it’s that Biden supports abortion on-demand, up to the moment of birth.

Houck went full hate-blast for the June 2 briefing in order to fluff Doocy yet again for peddling right-wing narratives:

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suffered the first of what could be many terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days as reporters from conservative and liberal outlets as well as the front and back of the room hammered away with questions about the baby formula shortage, inflation, and presidential leadership. For Jean-Pierre, she had little in the way of answers besides lengthy, pre-written notes she used as a heavy crutch.

[...]

Fox’s Peter Doocy cut to the chase:“[W]ho is the person, in the West Wing, who decided after six or eight weeks that this baby formula shortage was finally something that somebody should tell the President about?”

Obviously, Jean-Pierre didn’t answer and instead said she’ll need “to go back and talk to the President.” Following more meandering, Doocy moved to inflation: “When are you guys going to admit that you were wrong about inflation?”

A flustered Jean-Pierre then offered up this quip that went over like a lead balloon: “No easy questions today. Huh?”

Doocy persisted:“The Treasury secretary says that she was wrong. So why doesn’t anybody here at the White House?”

Jean-Pierre blamed supposedly unforseen events like COVID-19 and Russia, so Doocy gave her one more chance to give a different answer (which she didn’t): “Just so that I understand the treasury secretary says that she was wrong but the White House was not wrong about inflation.”

We again remind you that Houck had nothing but praise for McEnany's " binder of facts," meaning that Houck is being utterly hypocritical in criticizing Jean-Pierre for similarly using a binder.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: An MRC Writer Cashes In On His Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center
Gabriel Hays' years of spewing anti-LGBT hate from his perch at the Media Research Center earned him a new job doing pretty much the same thing for Fox News. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2022
MRC Pushes Republican Playbook Downplaying Hearings On Capitol Riot
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center had its marching orders from the RNC or whatever dark-money right-wingers run the show: Pretend that the public hearings being put on by House committee looking into the Capitol riot are meaningless and biased, and conservatives should spend more time being fed right-wing propaganda instead of watching them. The flagship piece for this narrative was a June 6 item by Curtis Houck lashing out at non-right-wing outlets for covering the first hearing, which carried the desperate-sounding headline "No One Cares":

Amid a decaying culture, rampant crime, record-high inflation, struggling wages, and surging gas prices (among other things), Monday’s CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today want Americans to focus this week on a different issue: primetime hearings from the House Select Committee on January 6. On Monday’s shows, the two combined for five minutes and 37 seconds of coverage doing the bidding of their loyal source, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

CBS co-host Tony Dokoupil boasted that come Thursday, his fellow liberals are “promising to show Americans never-before-seen evidence of the most violent assault on the capitol in more than 200 years.”

[...]

NBC’s Today was also enthused at a pet project that matters little to those outside insufferably elite and liberal newsrooms and The Swamp.

A post the same day from Tim Graham complained that the committee made use of a former ABC News executive to help polish their presentation:

Now imagine if the Republicans stacked an investigative committee and then hired a Fox News president as an "unannounced adviser" for prime-time hearings. The liberal outlets would all scream that there's no difference whatsoever between the GOP and Fox. So, in this case, there's no difference whatsoever between Pelosi's hand-picked committee and ABC, and CBS, and CNN, and so on. ABC News apparently has no concern that Goldston's advising will hurt the image of ABC News.

Actually, the Trump administration did hire former Fox News executive Bill Shine as an adivser. Graham was mad that people pointed out that this revolving door showed just how tight Trump and Fox were.

Three days later, Alex Christy dismissed the hearings as a "made-for-TV spectacle" becaiuse of the ex-ABC executive's hiring. He didn't mention that Trump also hired a TV executive to help turn his administration into a made-for-TV spectacle.

A post by Kevin Tober groused that CNN's Brian Stelter pointed out that right-wing outlets Fox News and  Newsmax would not be airing the first hearing live despite the word "news" in their channels' names:

CNN and particularly Stelter always want to dictate what the rest of the media should or should not be covering. Why would Fox News cover a hearing where Republican congressional leadership’s appointments to the committee were rejected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? 

Also the committee and their Democrat allies have repeatedly lashed out at Carlson and his network, so why would they give them airtime? Stelter doesn’t get to demand what Fox News puts on air.

Um, isn't the MRC's main job lashing out at non-right-wing media outlets for not covering things that advance right-wing agendas? Graham similarly played dumb in a June 6 podcast echoing Tober's Stelter-bashing.

The MRC did a lot of other whining about the hearings both before and after the first hearing:

And as usual, the MRC also tossed around agenda-driven ratings numbers. A June 10 post by Bill D'Agoistino cherry-picked numbers to portray the first hearing as a failure:

The preliminary broadcast network ratings are in for last night’s January 6 committee hearings, and they paint a disappointing picture for Democrats and their media pals.

Based on the most recent ratings data, January 6 hearing coverage on broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) drew significantly smaller audiences than those networks’ own evening newscasts generally do on a standard weekday. Evening newscast audiences on any given night last week were 1.6 times larger than the total number of broadcast viewers who tuned into the hearings on Thursday.

[...]

Perhaps CBS morning host Tony Dokoupil was right when he proclaimed on Friday morning: “Obviously, January 6 is the big story today.” But based on the numbers, it certainly wasn’t the big story last night.

Graham pushed the same talking point in his podcast that same day, sneering: "Democrats talked all the networks (except Fox News) into a breathless hearing (or retelling) of January 6. But it felt like a summer rerun."

Meanwhile, back in reality, the first hearing drew more than 19 million viewers across all channels that aired it, dwarfing Fox News' non-coverage.And Fox News was so afraid that viewers might be distracted enough to change channels to the hearing -- and, thus, learn that Fox News has been lying to them about the riot and the events (and bogus claims of election fraud) that led up to it -- that it didn't run any commercials while the hearing was on, costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions in revenue.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 PM EDT

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