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Monday, June 21, 2021
Media-Hating MRC Writer Suddenly Feigns Concern Oer Journalists
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wouldn't mind a bit if all journalists died in a fire (or, perhaps, in an Israeli airstrike) -- particularly the ones who aren't the right-wing sycophants the MRC wants them to be. So any claim that they suddenly care abour journalists' welfare is suspect at best and rank narrative-pushing at worst. Thus, we have this abrupt concern from Scott Whitlock in a May 18 post:

Imagine if Donald Trump had jokingly threatened to murder journalists standing in front of him. They probably wouldn't have laughed. Yet that’s what Joe Biden did on Tuesday and the assembled reporters just chuckled at the funny threat. While test driving an electric Ford F-150, ABC's Cecilia Vega broke up the adoring queries about the car by actually asking, “Mr. President, can I ask you a quick question about Israel before you drive away since it’s so important?”

Biden, who was sitting in a truck at the time, sneered, “No, you can’t. Not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I’m only teasing.” The off-camera journalists awkwardly snickered in reply. Biden then drove off, having threatened the press and then not answered the serious question.

Just prior to a real question, the reporters acted as Democratic hacks, offered up sycophantic queries about the photo-op. They included, “How does it feel to be behind the wheel, sir?”  and “Mr. President, how fast were you going?” Biden was happy to answer those.

We don’t actually have to imagine how the networks would react if this were Trump. In July of 2017, the then-President tweeted a video of a wrestling video in which Trump grappled with a superimposed CNN logo. On the July 3, 2017 Today, Hallie Jackson warned, “A spokesperson for the cable network saying, ‘It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters’...”

Then-CNN political commentator Sally Kohn fretted, “Both sides have a problem with hateful crazies. The difference is the left denounces theirs. The right elects theirs president.” Journalists on the networkdeclared Trump a “dangerous” madman who will get members of the press killed.

What Whitlock conveniently overlooks is that Trump wasn't joking -- he hates journalists as much as the MRC, which absolutely loves him for it. And the MRC absolutely loved him for it, mocked concerns over their safety as going"overboard," and even justified the violent threat because of "the President's criticism of the cable channel. Journalist-hating MRC writer Nicholas Fondacaro gushed, "If there were two things President Trump knew how to do well, it’s tweet and get under the skin of the folks at CNN."

So convinced was Whitlock that he had a surefire argument here that he devoted another post to it the next day:

Joe Biden’s joking threat to murder an ABC reporter didn't bother the network press at all. ABC and NBC on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning completely skipped the cringe-y moment. CBS allowed a scant 15 seconds, dismissing the attempted humor about running over a journalist as “brushing off a question.”

[...]

The CBS Evening News on Tuesday provided the only coverage, just 15 seconds. Reporter Ed O’Keefe dismissed, “ But later, while test driving an electric truck, the President brushed off questions about the [Middle East] violence.” A joking threat of violence is “brushing off”? He then played the clip. 

[...]

As I noted on Tuesday, journalists melted down when Trump in 2017 retweeted a dumb, old clip of him fighting a digitally superimposed CNN logo at a wrestling match. We can certainly imagine how they would handle Biden’s comments, if they were made by Trump. 

Again, Whitlock omitted the fact that he and his fellow MRC co-workers didn't think Trump's tweet was "dumb" -- heck, they absolutely loved it. Nor does Whitlock make the case that Trump was ever joking in his rage-filled anti-media attacks, something Biden made clear immediately.

In his first post, Whitlock actually bashed journalists for being "cowardly." But he omitted inconvenient facts and context that would have undercut his argument. So who's the real coward here?

P.S.: Note that in both of these posts, Whitlock refuses to identify Biden by his title of president, introducing him only as "Joe Biden." Is he an election truther who won't admit Biden won fair and square? Sure sounds like one.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 21, 2021 11:07 PM EDT
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Obama Derangement Continues At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

President Obama has been out of office for more than four years, but the Media Research Center still -- still! -- can't stop themselves from going ballistic anytime he or his wife, Michelle, make a media appearance. In an April 24 post, Scott Whitlock whined yet again that "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King once vacationed with the Obamas and yet still "interviews powerful politicians." No mention, of course, of the ethics of the MRC repeatedly promoting Parler without disclosing that the woman who funds Parler also funds the MRC.

That seemingly was a setup for the MRC's latest manufactured outrage against Michelle Obama -- that she committed the offense of appearing in the media to promote a new project (you know, like pretty much every person with a project has ever done).Whitlock further raged in a May 7 post about King's purportedly "troubling conflict of interest" with the Obama:

In the world of CBS, conflict of interest apparently doesn’t exist. Gayle King is a Democratic donor and Barack Obama donor. She has vacationed with the family. Yet, who lands the exclusive interview with Mrs. Obama? Gayle King of course. Sounding like a PR Democratic hack, King gushed on Friday, “Michelle Obama is still speaking out on the issues that she championed as First Lady. She is now the star and the executive producer of the Netflix show Waffles and Mochi.”

[...]

The CBS puff interview was four minutes with more air time promised on Monday. As I wrote in an August 2020 fact sheet for NewsBusters, King has donated “over $33,000 to the DNC, $7300 to Barack Obama, $1000 to Democrat Harold Ford Jr.” In 2017, she vacationed on a yacht with the Obamas.

Again, Whitlock remained oblivious to the troubling conflicts of interest by his own employer.

Whitlock returned to complain on May 10 (needless bolding in original):

CBS This Morning has a special connection to Democratic stars Barack and Michelle Obama. That connection's is named co-host Gayle King, an Obama donor who partied at the White House. Whenever the Obamas want a lot of air time, they can count on Gayle King. On Friday, she devoted 3 minutes and 58 seconds to fawning over Mrs. Obama. Monday saw another 14 minutes and 48 seconds for a grand total of 18 minutes and 46 seconds. 

The two discussed racism in America, as well as the former Fist Lady's new Netflix series on healthy eating. King sounded like a PR operative: “In the year since her family left the White House, Mrs. Obama could have taken some well-earned time off, but she told us she does not take for granted the reach of her voice and the unique platform of a former First Lady.”

The headline on Whitlock's post ridiculously called this a "donation," though Michelle Obama is not running for any political campaign. The MRC has never called Fox News' years of fawning over Donald Trump a "donation" to him even though it certainly played a role in turning him into a politcal candidate.

Two days later, Whitlock huffed:

CBS is cementing its status as the official network of the Obamas. After donating 18 minutes to Michelle Obama from Friday to Tuesday, Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night offered up his entire show to her, totaling 23 minutes towards promoting the former First Lady. That’s 41 minutes in five days. Back in November, the network devoted 48 minutes to promoting Barack Obama’s memoir. 

[...]

Can anyone imagine Republican presidents and first ladies getting this level of adoration from the news media? 

Whitlock has apparently never watched Fox News -- which, last time we checked was a part of the "news media" -- and its relationship with Donald Trump.

That wasn't the only Obama meltdown at the MRC recently:

  • On May 20, Kristine Marsh pretended to be aghast that Barack Obama used some F-bombs to describe Trump and that they were reported in the media.
  • Lindsay Kornick took a break from complaining about superhero TV shows to complain on June 2 about a new Obama-produced show on Netflix, purportly to be shocked that it has "decidedly political content" in the form of ... civics lessons. She concluded by whining, "This Fourth of July, try to truly educate yourself by avoiding this series."
  • Whitlock returned for a June 5 "flashback" of people praising President Obama. Has he never read the fawning his fellow right-wing media folks did for Trump?

When Barack Obama did an inter view with ABC, Kyle Drennen complained on June 18: "Even after years of him being out of office, ABC’s Good Morning America still swoons over Barack Obama." YIs that like how even after years of him being out of office, the MRC still attacks him?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EDT
Saturday, June 19, 2021
MRC Has A New Wealthy Liberal To Fearmonger About
Topic: Media Research Center

For years, the Media Research Center has attacked George Soros as an evil spectre for his donations to liberal causes -- so vicious is their hatred, in fact, that it has used anti-Semitic "puppet master" imagery against hi and even portrayed him as a Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate. Now there's a new rich liberal donor the MRC has decided to fearmonger about. Joseph Vazquez wrote in a May 4 post:

It turns out that the left has no problem taking “dark money” when it benefits their own political ends.

The New York Times published an explosive report naming liberal Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss as “one of the most important donors to left-leaning advocacy groups and an increasingly influential force among Democrats.”

New tax filings showed that two of Wyss’s organizations “donated $208 million from 2016 through early last year to three other nonprofit funds that doled out money to a wide array of groups that backed progressive causes and helped Democrats in their efforts to win the White House and control of Congress last year,” according to The Times. Officials from Wyss’s organizations reportedly worked on President Joe Biden’s transition team or joined his administration.

Wyss’s organizations have reportedly donated “tens of millions of dollars since 2016 to groups that opposed former President Donald J. Trump and promoted Democrats and their causes.”

Vazquez tried to make an issue about Wyss' citizenship status -- only U.,S. citizens are allowed to donate directly to political campaigns but may give to advocacy groups. No evidence is offered that Wyss broke the law.

Vazquez went on to huff: "Wyss’s organizations 'do not have to disclose many details about their finances,' so it isn’t clear 'how they have used the money originating from Mr. Wyss’s operation,' according to The Times. Wyss’s organizations also don’t have to disclose 'which donations are used for which projects,' The Times said." Vazquez has expressed no similiar concerns about dark money in conservative politics.

Vazquez found a way to work Soros into this conspiracy in a May 12 post:

A leftist “dark money” group funded with millions of dollars from both liberal billionaires George Soros and “foreign national” Hansjörg Wyss is attempting to make the atrocious and un-American H.R. 1 election overhaul bill a reality.

In addition, the group is also trying to sway lawmakers on “ D.C. statehood” and the “Voting Rights Act Amendment.”

Fox News reported yesterday that the leftist Sixteen Thirty Fund “has spent $1.3 million on internal lobbyists to push the reforms while dishing out $480,000 to outside firm Keefe Singiser Partners between 2019 and 2020, according to disclosures.” In addition, “ Maura Keefe, the former chief of staff for Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, heads up the shop.” The Fund also “paid $100,000 to Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid to advocate on democracy reform and election integrity, including H.R. 1,” according to Fox News. Soros gave at least $16,568,483 to the Fund between 2016 and 2019. Wyss, who is of Swiss origins and has not disclosed publicly if he is even a U.S. citizen, gave a whopping $135 million to the Fund between 2016 and 2020.

Dark-money groups have been working to push Republican-backed laws across the U.S. that hinder voting rights, but Vazquez has said nothing about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2021 7:03 PM EDT
Friday, June 18, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck is always knives-out against White House press secretary Jen Psaki and always man-crushing on Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. that's demonstrated yet again in his so-called review of Psaki's May 21 press briefing, in which he bragged in the headline that Doocy and other reporter had been "eating their Wheaties":

Friday’s White House press briefing was quite a doozy as numerous reporters offered either challenging, interesting, or yes, lefty questions to Press Secretary Jen Psaki on boycotting next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, Egypt’s role in the Hamas-Israeli ceasefire, and government spying on reporters.

As usual, Fox News’s Peter Doocy played a leading role with two rounds of Q&A. Round one started on what Doocy had tried to make into a light-hearted moment as he noticed Psaki use the phrase “the art of seeking common ground” to describe infrastructure negotiations, so he quipped: “At some point, does that become the art of the deal?”

Initially, Psaki didn’t seem to completely catch his drift: “I don't know. I think you're the professional here, Peter.”

Doocy noted he was making “a joke,” so Psaki channeled Fox-obsessed CNN host Brianna Keilar: “You're the TV star, you know? What's the Fox chyron gonna be?”

Thankfully, Doocy played along, noting that “[a]rt of seeking common ground does take up a lot of characters,” so he’ll “have to check with the control room” and only then did Psaki joke about how “art of the deal” sounded great as long as it was one “for the working people.”

We don't recall Houck cheering that reaporters ate their Wheaties when they questioned his beloved Kayleigh McEnany.

Houck was man-crushing on Doocy again over the May 24 briefing:

While Monday saw a change in the White House Briefing Room with an increase in capacity from about a dozen reporters to two dozen reporters, other aspects remained the same with Fox News’s Peter Doocy setting the tone in battling Press Secretary Jen Psaki over a bombshell Wall Street Journal story about a possible origin of the coronavirus.

And as we’ve seen on occasion, Doocy’s lines of questioning drew follow-ups from his more-liberal colleagues.

[...]

Doocy closed by asking Psaki whether the White House would assign “any amount of casualties from COVID in this country” as a red line for when they would decide to go it alone.

Clearly not amused, Psaki lectured Doocy that “the family members of the loved ones whose lives have been lost — and deserve accurate information, data, not the jumping to a conclusion, without having the information necessary to conclude the origins” and the administration shared that belief.

Like a good right-wing activist, Houck became obsessed with the issue of the source of the coronavirus in China, using the headline of his May 25 review to irrationally scream, "Answer The Question!":

With little in the way of an answer on Monday about whether the Biden administration was taking the possibility of a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology seriously, Fox News’s Peter Doocy was back on the case during Tuesday’s White House briefing asking Press Secretary Jen Psaki about Wuhan. Just as he did on Monday, he received help coming in the form of Team Biden suck-up Annie Linskey of The Washington Post.

And on another topic, Doocy also made a second attempt at seeking comment on the rising crime across major U.S. cities.

[...]

Seeing as how he wasn’t going to get anywhere, Doocy moved to crime and cited a rise in homicides over the last year of “113 percent in Minneapolis, up 38 percent in Philly, up 22 percent in Chicago” as a way to have Psaki restate what she had appeared to have done on Monday in blaming it on the volume of guns.

Psaki seemed to imply she wasn’t sure Doocy’s numbers were accurate and when she tried to pass the buck to the Trump administration, the FNC reporter interjected.

Did Houck ever demand so forcefully that McEnany answer a reporter's question Not that we can recall.  And did Houck ever give a non-right-wing reporter the pass he gave Doocy on whether his information was accurate? Again, not that we can recall.

Houck even whined when someone other than Psaki gave the briefing. Apparently angry he didn't have Psaki to kick around for a day, Houck sneeringly dismissing deputy press secretary as both a diversity hire who may not be qualified to hold the job and -- even worse by MRC standards -- a former MSNBC contributor:

The Psaki Show took a break on Wednesday from the White House Briefing Room and instead gave way to a guest episode led by her top lieutenant in Principal White House Deputy Press Secretary and former MSNBC contributor Karine Jean-Pierre. Naturally, this led more than a few liberal journalists and pundits to wax poetic about her becoming the second Black woman to lead a briefing and the first lesbian to do so.

In other words, it was quite the day for the liberal media and their never-ending guest to play diversity bingo.

The briefing itself was fairly routine, but ABC senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce gleefully asked “a personal question” about how Jean-Pierre’s “presence here today is making history,” so she wanted to know“if you could share your reflections with us.”

Way to show that you care about the plight of minorities, Curt.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EDT
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Caitlyn Jenner Is So Right-Wing, The Transphobic MRC Is Defending Her
Topic: Media Research Center

It was just a couple years ago that the viciously transphobic Media Research Center hated Caitlyn Jenner so much that a post attacking her -- promoted under a headline insulting her as a "trannie" -- was deemed so offensive that it was deleted without explanation. Now that Jenner is running for California governor as a conservative Republican, the MRC has been forced to do the unthinkable: defend a transgender woman.

It started out dismissive of her chances, of course. In a April 7 post, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg complained that "It’s interesting that she thinks she is qualified for a role like governor. For crying out loud, she’s never had a place in the political sphere but her drive for transgender activism as a Republican is apparently enough credibility," adding, "But honestly, when are celebrities going to stay in their own lanes?" Did Mandelburg (or anyone else at the MRC) ever say that about Donald Trump?

But as Jenner's conservative leanings became more apparent, the MRC decided she was worthy of defense, as Veronica Hays did in an April 26 post:

A celebrity with no political expertise who is also a transgender woman running for California Governor? That’s a match made in heaven. But add in the inconvenient fact that she’s running as a Republican and this liberal fantasy is destroyed.

On Friday April 23, Caitlin Jenner, former Olympian and Kardashian stepfather, now trans woman, confirmed her run for Governor of California. The potential election of the first trans woman Governor of California should be a shining moment for the LGBTQ community, however Jenner’s conservative leanings immediately disqualified her from gaining their endorsement.

[...]

Funny how these heterosexual individuals have the gall to condescend to a trans woman and tell her what to do. Where is the moral outrage? Even worse is the hypocrisy of the LBGTQ community which prides itself on inclusivity, to disown one of their members for having forbidden political views. Truly, these people are deranged.

Um, doesn't the MRC condescend to non-conservatives and insist on telling them what to do?

In a May 1 post, Scott Whitlock complained that "The View" co-host Joy Behar "denounced the reality TV star as an inexperienced Trump stooge," adding that she also Jenner has got this "guy Brad Pascal [sic] running his campaign. ... I mean that guy was accused of using campaign funds to enrich himself." Whitlock didn't explain who Behar was referring to; perhaps that's because it was actually Brad Parscale, former manager of Donald Trump's re-election campaign, who has indeed been accused of pocketing millions of dollars from both Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee. We can see why Whitlock wouldn't want to bring up that unpleasant history.

When Jenner strangely came out against transgender youths taking part in sports, she felt even more MRC love. Mysterious (and transphobic) sports blogger Jay Maxson complained on May 4 that a sports blogger declared that "Jenner is trash because the California gubernatorial hopeful says it’s unfair for boys to compete in girls’ sports." The same day, Curtis Houck lumped Jenner among "minorities who refuse to be pigeon-holed" when MSNBC's Joy Reid criticized her stance, then without a shred of irony attacked Reid as "someone whose entire show has existed to prime viewers to hate those on the opposite side the of spectrum and rage about how they are to blame for what ails the country." Houck might as well have been talking about himself.

On May 6, Veronica Hays gushed over Jenner and her right-wing views following a Fox News interview:

As if the Hollywood left didn’t have reason enough to hate Caitlyn Jenner, the former man, Olympian and reality star now running for California governor gave Sean Hannity an hour-long interview on Wednesday night.

In her first exclusive interview as gubernatorial candidate, the transwoman discussed her political stances on a wide range or topics; from immigration and covid restrictions to taxes and transgender persons in sports.

When asked directly to assess Trump, Biden and Kamala Harris, Jenner told Hannity that what she liked about the former president was that he was a “disrupter,” and that what Biden’s doing “scares me.”

[...]

Jenner was once considered a brave champion by the left after her transition but has since been ostracised by both her own LGBT community and other Hollywood elites for her past Republican affiliations and stance against biological males performing in women’s sports. Her interview with Hannity has revealed her conservative vision for California and will likely face the betrayal of liberal backlash once more, perhaps even more severely this time.

Hays returned on May 11 to complain not only that comedian Sarah Silvermancriticized Jenner on her stance on transgender athletes but that Yahoo News backed her up by pointing out that the bans "are backed by no real-world evidence, with Republican lawmakers unable to give examples of this issue outside their own heads." She concluded by whing, "Will any of the LGBT community stand up for Jenner? No." Weird, Hays and the rest of the MRC hates the LGBT community whever it stands up for anything. Two days later, Hays touted how right-wing commentator Dave Rubin "ripped into comedian Sarah Silverman on Tuesday for dragging Caitlyn Jenner during her podcast," adding, "The rest of intelligent society is likely to agree."

Of course, the MRC would be trashing Jenner the way it complains  "the LGBT community" is trashing  her if her political views were even remotely liberal.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Curtis Houck's War On Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy)
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center writer flip-flops, turning his love for Kayleigh McEnany into seething hatred for the current White House press secretary -- and hatred of the "liberal media" into gushing over biased, hostile Fox News reporters like Doocy. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
MRC Loves To Defend Fox News By Playing Whataboutism
Topic: Media Research Center

Since the Media Research Center is the de facto PR division of Fox News, it not only praises the channel for reliably pushing right-wing talking points, it runs to the channel's defense whenever anyone in the "liberal media" criticizes it. But as it usually does, the MRC's "defenses" of Fox News are actual defenses at all -- it simply plays whataboutism.

In February, Tim Graham complained that a National Public Radio show criticized Fox News, but rather than actually respond to the criticism, Graham attacked the critics: "We like the hashtag #DefundNPR, but that means removing its taxpayer subsidies, which they always implausibly claim is some miniscule fraction like two percent. These NPR people want Fox 'radically ostracized.'" Forcing NPR to go out of business by cutting off funding because you disagree with opinions it airs is apparently not "radically ostracizing," according to Grtaham.

A March 5 post by Donovan Newkirk comlained:

On Friday, CNN’s Brianna Keilar and her Republican-loathing colleague, Brian Stelter, took turns bashing their competitor, Fox News Channel, for the crime of allowing  the expression of conservative thought. Abandoning even the pretense of being objective journalists, the two left-wing hosts condemned Fox executives and hosts for actually pledging to practice adversarial journalism and hold the new administration accountable.

Seemingly unaware that they work for one of the most liberal broadcast companies in the world, Stelter and Keilar audaciously derided Fox’s level of objectivity. 

Of course, the MRC is highly biased, which by Newkirk's definition should disqualify it from critiquing non-right-wing media.

Scott Whitlock took another shot at Stelter -- who wrote a book on Fox News that the MRC predictably trashed -- in an April 19 post:

CNN’s Brian Stelter is obsessed with Fox News. He can’t stop talking about his news competitor and now the Reliable Sources host is turning to... an ex-Australian prime minister for proof of the network's terrible influence?  Malcolm Turnbull was supposed to be a conservative. Yet, as the country's former Prime Minister, he veered left on abortion and other issues. Ultimately, he was removed by his own conservative party.

But he hates Fox News and that’s good enough for Stelter! On Sunday, the host touted him sliming Rupert Murdoch’s “market for crazy.”

He too offers no actual defense of Fox News, instead of whining that "Stelter’s obsession with trashing Fox News is like if Pepsi put out a press release to tell the world how awful Coke is." And isn't hating CNN a key requirement that makes one a good-enough MRC employee?

Anyone who offers even the most mild (and accurate) criticism of Fox News gets trashed as a "rabid Fox hater," as Nicholas Fondacaro did in an April 25 post that does no actual Fox defense but is filled with personal attacks on the critic:

Over the course of the Trump presidency, Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik had become steadily more and more unglued. Now, during an appearance on CNN’s so-called Reliable Sources on Sunday, Zurawik was teed up by fill-in host John Avlon to attack Fox News. And Zurawik didn’t disappoint, suggesting CNN’s heavyweight competitor was a “danger to democracy” and needed to be targeted by either federal government abuse of power, or by repeated smears from the rest of the liberal media.

“[W]hen we saw also in recent days Fox News host trying to double down on the big lie, but also change its definition. Laura Ingraham in particular, saying that the big lie is that the existence of systemic racism itself,” Avlon questioned the rabid Fox hater.

Brad Wilmouth also brought the whataboutism in a May 6 post:

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's war on Fox News continued by bringing on liberal professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson and promoting her new study that conservative media like Fox and the Rush Limbaugh program were spreading unproven conspiracy theories about COVID-19 last spring.

But wait, that's weird -- one of these so-called conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus in Wuhan was recently promoted by New Day.

Jamieson's findings were perfectly pitched for the liberal media: conservative media are bad, while "Mainstream broadcast and print media usage correlated with higher levels of correct information and lower levels of misinformation."

Just like Wilmouth's whataboutism is perfectly pitched for right-wing outlets like Fox News?

On May 7, Kristine Marsh responded to "The View" criticizing Fox News with this blatant piece of whataboutism: "It’s always hilarious when the hosts of one of the most partisan and fact-free shows on television pompously lecture others about the importance of truth telling in the media." Again, by that same standard, the MRC has no business criticizing the media.

Wilmouth followed up with this slab of whataboutism on May 15:

On Friday's CNN Newsroom, weekend host Fareed Zakaria came on to promote his Sunday night special on Republicans titled A Radical Rebellion, and it quickly became another hit job on Fox News. Former Fox News host Alisyn Camerota dismissed them as "trying to pass themselves off as news," and Zakaria called it a "propaganda arm of the most extreme wing of the Republican party."

Zakaria claimed "It becomes impossible to deny the Republican Party today has been infected by a series of crazy conspiracy theories." 

After co-host Victor Blackwell noted that 70 percent believe the election was "stolen" from President Donald Trump, Zakaria cited an online poll -- which outfits like Pew Research Center have argued are unreliable -- to allege irrational fears by Republicans over vaccines: "I think that it's that statistic -- it's the one I mentioned -- 40 percent believe that Bill Gates is trying to control them by implanting microchips in their brain....I think something like a third of Republicans still believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States."

[...]

Not mentioned is that there has also been polling over the years suggesting that many Democrats have also believed in questionable conspiracy theories -- like the more than half of Democrats who believed President George W. Bush might have deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen to justify going to war. 

[...]

If any news outfits act as partisan propaganda, CNN would have to be one that wears that label for the liberal side. CNN's New Day show -- which Camerota used to co-host until recently -- has misinformed viewers for years to the benefit of Democrats on a variety of issues ranging from abortion, gun control and illegal immigration, to the role of race in questionable cases of police violence.

That "online poll" that Wilmouth insisted was unreliable came from YouGov -- whose polls the MRC has promoted when their results meshed with its agenda.

Graham served up even more whataboutism in a May 28 post:

New York Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum is projecting bad publicity into one cable-news network for narrowing the diversity of its opinions. Rick Santorum’s firing at CNN? Don’t be silly. The headline is “Fox News Intensifies Its Pro-Trump Politics as Dissenters Depart.” 

Nobody at Fox is being fired after Twitter lobbying campaigns. Grynbaum sounded like former Times media reporter Brian Stelter: “Onscreen and off, in ways subtle and overt, Fox News has adapted to the post-Trump era by moving in a single direction: Trumpward.”

[...]

Now compare that to the Times story on Santorum getting canned, by breaking-news reporter Jesus Jimenez, The headline was “CNN Drops Rick Santorum After Dismissive Comments About Native Americans.”

That's nowhere close to “CNN Intensifies Its Pro-Biden Politics as Dissenters Are Fired.”

The same day, Marsh returned to grouse that "CNN anchor Jim Acosta hasn’t checked his pompous attitude at the door since leaving his role as White House correspondent. On Friday's New Day, Acosta came on for the sole purpose of trashing Trump supporters, the Republican party and CNN’s competitor Fox News as brainless extremists," insisting that "attacking Fox News and ignoring virtually all else to hype the GOP "civil war" has been CNN's pathetic agenda for quite some time.

That's how the MRC gives Fox News a pass, by lazily judging as a reaction to so-called "liberal media," not on its own.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 10:14 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
MRC Cheers Israeli Bombing Of AP Office In Gaza
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates (non-right-wing) journalists so much, it effectively roots for them to be hurt or killed. So it's no surprise that a May 16 MRC post by Nicholas Fondacaro defended Israel from blowing up offices in Gaza that contained offices for the Associated Press and other media organizations on the pretense that terrorist group Hamas also had offices there, by cheering then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for ordering the bombing:

In a Sunday appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out The Associated Press for lying about the Saturday bombing of the building they willing shared with Hamas terrorists. He also schooled CBS fill-in moderator John Dickerson by noting the extra measures Israel took to reduce the number of civilian casualties in the areas they were targeting.

During the course of their interview, Dickerson seemed to scoff at the idea that Israel had proof that Hamas was using the media as human shields. Asking: “It’s inconceivable you would have talked to [President Biden] and not shared proof of Hamas in those buildings that housed the journalists. Did you share that with him?” Dickerson seemed uninterested in why Biden had not condemned the bombing.

Netanyahu noted that they passed the information along through the proper intelligence channels and then went after the AP for their lies suggesting they had only just escaped the building before it collapsed:

In fact, occupants of the building were given as little as 10 minutes to evacuate the building before it was blown up, which is not very much time at all and, thus, not the "lie" Netanyahu (and, by extension, Fondacaro) wants you to believe it is.

Fondacaro then declared that "Many have pointed out that there was no way that the AP didn’t know Hamas was using the same building as them; they would be very poor journalists otherwise or lying." He didn't identify who this "many" were or if any of them were not right-wing media-haters or MRC employees. Indeed, the Israeli government was forced to walk back a claim by an Israeli military official that AP and Hamas employees drank coffee together each morning, claiming he was only speaking figuratively.

Likewise, Fondacaro also huffed that "Dickerson wanted to see the 'smoking gun' proof that The Jerusalem Post had reported was shown to the United States" without offering evidence that everybody should trust Netanyahu's word on its face.

It's apparently easier for Fondacaro to believe that AP employees are terrorist sympathizers than human beings whose lives have inherent value even if they don't share his rigid right-wing ideology.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EDT
Monday, June 14, 2021
MRC Defends Vaccine Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has previously defended right-wing anti-abortion site LifeSiteNews' troubles with Facebook by falsely framing a suspention of the website's page as an attack on conservatives -- its usual narrative -- when it was actually about LifeSite publishing deliberate misinformation about coronavirus. When Facebook banned LifeSiteNews for good, a May 7 post by Kayla Sargent hyped the bogus "censorship" narrative, though she did finally give notable placement to the misinformation stuff:

Facebook quietly unpublished a pro-life page as the tech world focused on former President Donald Trump. The platform’s Oversight Board had an upcoming decision on the former president’s Facebook suspension when LifeSiteNews lost its page.

The LifeSiteNews Facebook page was removed on May 4 in what appeared to be the platform’s latest attempt to silence any dissent about COVID-19 vaccines.  A representative from LifeSiteNews told the Media Research Center in an email that Facebook had removed the page “for publishing this piece based on official government data.” The email included a link to an article titled “COVID Vaccines Can Be Deadly for Some.” The article explained: “[P]eople who have previously had COVID-19 will be at greater risk of adverse events if they receive Covid vaccination.” However, LifeSiteNews continued: “To be clear, this is a theory based on an understanding of immunology.”

LifeSiteNews has encountered Big Tech censorship before. “Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts said in a statement from the organization. “We have known this day was coming for months now.”

Sargent is hiding the nature of the misinformation that LifeSiteNews published. The article in question was republished from an apparently anti-vaccine website called The Dark Side of Vaccines and dishonestly used the government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System to falsely link adverse effects reported to it as solid evidence that the vaccine is killing people.In fact, many of the adverse effects reported to VAERS are incidental, there is no actual evidence linking the vaccine to deaths, and anti-vaxxers are misusing VAERS to fearmonger about the COVID vaccine.

Still, she devoted a paragraph to letting LifeSIteNews defend its misinformation:

LifeSiteNews also claimed that its content was based on evidence. Roberts continued: “Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines.”

Sargent later updated her post to quote Ilyse Hogue of "the pro-baby killing National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice America" cheering the ban because LifeSiteNews "are primary purveyors of some of the most toxic disinformation out there." strangely, she didn't a more formal statement by NARAL, Media Matters, GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign noting that the groups had compiled "more than 100 posts that proved LifeSiteNews’ repeated violation of Facebook’s related policies" -- which means she would have to admit that violation of Facebook's terms of service, and not purported targeting of conservatives, is why LifeSiteNews got banned.

This isn't the only source of vaccine misinformation Sargent has defended. The day before, she cheered -- under the misleading headline "Fight for Free Speech" -- how anti-vaxxer group Children's Health Defense is suing Facebook over an "alleged First Amendment violation" of "censorship." Unilke with LifeSiteNews, though, Sargent actually calls CHD's misinformation what it is, noting that it "falsely claimed on its website that 'vaccines can and do cause injuries including autism and many other adverse health outcomes'" and has spread wacky conspiracy theories abaout 5G technology -- but one can presume that it was because she also got to highlight that the group "was established by its leftist president, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr." -- thus trying to link liberals to vaccine conspiracy theories.Sargent made s=no such statement about LifeSiteNews.

Nevertheless, Sargent went on to whine that "Facebook has the power to choose who can participate in debate in the public square." She failied to mention that if you spread lies and misinformation in a civilized society, as LifeSiteNews and CHD have done, you forfeit your right to take part in that debate.

And as long as the MRC is continuing to defend fringe misinformers, it's coming close to forfeiting that right as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Superpowered Whining: MRC Can't Handle 'Batwoman' Addressing Current Events
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center really despises the TV series "Batwoman" for being somewhat reflective of current societal issues (as much as a superhero show can get away with, anyway). For instance: In 2019, it raged that Batwoman is the first lesbian superhero on TV, then whined last year that this has contined to be noted on the show.

Lindsay Kornick is the MRC's designated hate-watcher of "Batwoman," and this season she's been triggered by the show tacking racial issues -- and we know how the MRC hates TV shows, and superhero shows in particular -- that don't handle racial issues like the good little right-wingers they're supposed to be -- and a black character, Ryan Wilder, inheriting the Batwoman outfit. In a Feb. 21 post, Kornick complained that the show dared to be critical of the police, which apparently is forbidden:

The February 21 episode “Gore on Canvas” has both the new Batwoman aka Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) and the private security firm known as the Crows working to find and recover a black-market painting. This painting, it turns out, can decipher the location of where a group of assassins is holding the previous Batwoman, Kate Kane. Unfortunately, Ryan has a visceral hatred for the Crows after a previous experience with them, and she makes that clear to the Crows' leader Commander Kane (Dougray Scott).

[...]

The Crows may be a private security firm, but the show is clearly using them as a stand-in for the police, from the ACAB acronym to the demand to “burn it all down.” ... A private security firm going rogue and hurting people in a city with a superhero who dresses like a bat is far from representing what’s going on with the police in our country. However, that falls perfectly in line with all the fiction we’ve come to expect from BLM.

In a Feb. 28 post, Kornick whined that "After demonizing the police, CW’s racial justice Batwoman has now jumped to demonizing doctors. Somehow, I doubt a world without either would improve the black community." Kornick went on to blame the show for causing black people to be afraid of getting the coronavirus vaccine: "Considering we’re currently in a country desperate to vaccinate all its citizens with black people among the most hesitant, the last thing TV shows should do is demonize doctors trying to do their jobs. Yet Batwoman can’t help but call hospitals racist for the sake of scoring social justice points. Even people’s lives don’t seem to matter to this superhero series. Thank goodness she’s not our hero.

On March 28, Kornick went after a superhero show for not fawning over the police: "In case it wasn’t clear before, CW’s Batwoman really doesn’t like the police. As a little reminder, the latest episode for the caped crusader promotes more Black Lives Matter propaganda for 2021, this time with a 'Defund the Police' message," further whining: "Batwoman is hardly the best arbiter of justice. Now I doubt that Batwoman even knows what justice is."

Kornick complained in an April 11 post:

CW’s Batwoman has gone from peddling Black Lives Matter lines to peddling Black Lives Matter conspiracy theories. If the past few episodes weren't bad enough, attacking private prisons and gun owners takes it to a whole new level.

[...]

It turns out the mastermind behind these crimes is the wealthy CEO of a private correctional facility. According to Batwoman’s research, he uses criminals from his prisons to target community centers and rewards them with time off their sentences. The reason he targeted the community centers is because they have successful programs helping at-risk youth. And according to Batwoman, "These programs keep kids from falling through the cracks, but you know who profits from the kids who do? Prisons."

Sounds like some terrible BLM prison abolition conspiracy theory come to life. And it only gets worse when Batwoman confronts CEO Ellis O'Brien on his crimes.

[...]

Fortunately, he’s later arrested, so justice is served, except for the fact that this is a nonsensical argument for the BLM goal of abolishing prisons. If you're forced to resort to insane conspiracy theories to have the moral high ground, then perhaps you’re not as right as you think.

But Kornick also isn't as right as she thinks. Research has shown that the presence of private prisons in a state tends to induce judges to give longer prison sentences in order to keep the facilities filled.

On May 16, Kornick grumbled that "It’s clear at this point that CW’s Batwoman’s mission is not to fight crime but to fight the police." After complaining about the storyline's events, she huffed:

The next episode promises to dive into this budding Black Lives Matter moment, but back in reality, we have to acknowledge the truth. Contrary to what this show believes, black people are not routinely shot or arrested for simply being black or pulling out cell phones. This show can make up whatever anti-police story it wants, but it can’t change facts. Unfortunately, this will probably not be the last time I have to say that this season.

Well, yeah, because the MRC is paying her to say that. Which brings up to her June 6 post featuring more of the complaining she's being paid to do:

Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned. CW’s Batwoman followed up its last blatant Black Lives Matter propaganda episode with an even more blatantly BLM-biased episode this week.

The June 6 episode “Armed and Dangerous” picks up right where we left off following Luke (Camrus Johnson) being shot by the private security team the Crows basically for being black. Unfortunately for him, his life hangs in the balance as he’s placed in a coma after losing too much blood. Meanwhile, Ryan/Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) tries to get to the bottom of the shooting to find justice for her friend and hopefully help save his life.

Of course, the episode makes it abundantly clear that Luke is only in this situation because he’s black and because the Crows, the show’s regular police stand-in, are racist. In fact, the Crows even let the real white suspect in a crime run away because they were too engrossed with shooting Luke. Even worse, they cover their tracks by falsifying bodycam footage of the shooting.

[...]

Contrary to this scene, nobody believes shooting victims deserve it simply because they are black. Also, contrary to the scene, Luke does survive, but Ryan is unable to find the real video to clear his name.

Nevertheless, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott) follows Ryan’s advice to “burn it down” by formally disbanding the Crows and charging the Crows agents with assault with intent to kill. If you are confused as to how a system that needs to be burned down would still trust a police precinct to investigate and arrest people, don’t hold your breath. The show does not and probably will not explain it.

Just like Kornick never explains why nobody is allowed to criticize the police.

UPDATE: A June 13 post by Kornick raged against the latest episode: "With only two episodes left in the season, Batwoman’s in a race against the clock to squeeze in this propaganda, so it looks like they’re opting for the completely false route with their politics now." Kornick responded with more right-wing narratives: "The overwhelming majority of police shootings involve armed suspects or people resisting arrest, so police shootings don't just happen for 'no reason.' And talk of gunmen getting out of jail free makes sense if Luke is referring to the inner-city crime and gang bangers shooting people and getting turned back on the street thanks to lax bail laws."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 14, 2021 11:03 AM EDT
Saturday, June 12, 2021
MRC Complains About Its Graphic Getting Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

As much as it loves to attack fact-checkers, the Media Research Center can't stand it when its own claims get fact-checked. (That's why MRC employees have blocked or muted us on Twitter.) So when the Associated Press fact-checked a graphic the MRC posted on Facebook -- you know, the place where MRC content does phenomenally well despite all the purported censorship of right-wing views -- Kayla Sargent devoted an April 22 post to complaining about it, mainly that the AP busted the MRC for making overblown claims that lack context:

Facebook’s fact-checkers are covering for the left’s huge election power grab in H.R. 1. A far left AP fact-checker spent 850 words trying, and failing, to debunk a graphic about the bill. 

AP News fact-checked a graphic from the Media Research Center on Facebook and claimed it was “missing context.” In reality, the AP fact-checker, far-left reporter Terrence Fraser, just didn’t like the language that the graphic used. 

The first point that the graphic made was that H.R. 1 would “OVERRULE Voter ID laws in place in 36 states.” Fraser responded by saying that the bill would allow “voters to affirm their identity using only their signature, but the proposed legislation only applies in federal elections.” But, as The Daily Signal pointed out, “states obviously can’t enforce their voter ID requirements if federal law says they have to allow anyone who just signs a form to vote.” 

Whether state Voter ID laws would, technically, remain on the books if H.R. 1 passes is irrelevant, particularly in states where a state election is held at the same time as a federal election.

[...]

Essentially, Fraser’s “fact-check” simply adds Democratic spin to the items in the social media post being reviewed. None of his points disproves any aspect of the post. The only way to avoid an opening for AP to claim the post is “missing context” would have been to include every one of the thousands words of the massive bill in the social media post, and even that likely wouldn’t have stopped AP from working with Facebook to discredit this post.

Ah, yes, "context" -- the thing the MRC loves to bust others for omitting but denounces when it comes to fact-checks of itself and its friends. If a statement requires caveats to be accurate, it's not an accurate statement -- and because of that, the AP dispantled Sargent's assertion that the post wasn't "disproven."

As if whining about getting busted for context issues wasn't enough, Sargent personally attacked the fact-checker for purportedly being "far-left":

Fraser’s biased analysis of MRC’s graphic is typical for far-left “journalists.” His bio on AP’s own website said that he “has worked for VICE Media, The Marshall Project and ProPublica,” three very liberal organizations. The Marshall Project has published articles such as “How Biden Can Reverse Trump’s Death Penalty Expansion” and “Why Is It So Hard To Prosecute White Extremists?”

Another bio from the Ida B. Wells Scholar program said that Fraser’s dream job is “to write for The Nation or do documentary videos for The Intercept.” Two more leftist journalism operations.

By the same standard, Sargent and her MRC colleagues fail ther objectivity test for being so utterly partisan. But Sargent will never bring that little fact up while attacking the alleged "liberal bias" of others -- indeed, she wants you to think that the MRC is not biased at all, a laughable fantasy.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 AM EDT
Friday, June 11, 2021
The MRC's Ridiculous 'Big Tech Report Card'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war against "Big Tech" has always been a partisan exercise because conservatives need an additional enemy. Now it fancies itself high-tech schoolmarms now by issuing a "big tech report card" that suspiciously reflects the MRC's political agenda:

By almost any measure, the first three months of 2021 were the worst ever for online freedom. Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google, Facebook, YouTube and others proved to the world that the Big Tech censorship of conservatives is a reality. And they did so in disturbing, authoritarian ways that highlight their unchecked power over information and our political process.

At least 10 separate tech platforms silenced then-sitting President of the United States Donald Trump over the speech he gave in Washington, D.C. the day of the Capitol riot. Both Google and Apple pulled Parler from their app stores. Amazon Web Services also cancelled its contract with Parler, shutting the burgeoning social media site down for more than five weeks. Google removed LifeSiteNews from its advertising programs, and YouTube shut down its channel. YouTube demonetized Steven Crowder’s channels. Amazon removed Ryan T. Anderson’s book examining transgender ideology, and it also removed a Clarence Thomas documentary while continuing to sell at least 270 hate items.

That consistent assault on free speech makes 2021 an ideal time to track the biases and failures of Big Tech. Starting with this quarter and going forward every three months, the Media Research Center’s Free Speech America operation will grade the top Big Tech companies, including social media, search media and others that form the backbone of our online lives.

This quarter, Big Tech earned a collective “F.” Every one of the Big Tech companies reviewed got an “F” in free speech. That’s simply appalling. The quarter began with unparalleled restriction of the president of the United States. It was unquestionably the low point for online freedom since the creation of the internet.

Did anyone expect anything else from the MRC? All the grades are subjective, of course, and even then, the number of D's and C's on the "report card" should have brought things down to something higher than a overall F rating -- but who cares about accurate math when the entire thing is a fabrication?

Of course, while the MRC is perfectly happy to rant about right-wingers getting suspended or banned from social media, it's much less enthusiastic about explaining why they happened -- which means the MRC is effectively defending Trump inciting the Capitol riot, Steven Crowder's homophobia, Parler users' violent threats and LifeSite's coronavirus conspiracy theories.

There was also no mention of private property rights. Twitter, Facebook, et al, are private companies who have the right to do with their platform as they choose and to enforce their terms of service. The MRC doesn't believe that the property rights other businesses have apply to social media firms.

Needless to say, the MRC would never subject right-wing-biased social media platforms to the same harsh treatment. Indeed, they refused to do so, copping out by claiming they're too new while also vociferiously defending Parler:

Because these platforms are so new, there was not much data on how these platforms will moderate content. Parler’s guidelines already explained that it does not allow certain kinds of speech, despite what the leftist narrative has pushed. It also outlined a community review system where a group of users who were trained on what is and is not acceptable must have a majority vote in order for content to be removed. Parler also instituted a point system, which it has been transparent about, that can ultimately lead to users being suspended or banned from the platform. It has not really been the “Wild West” that the leftist media would have you believe.

Given the newness of these alternative platforms, the new platforms were not evaluated in this report card. As more data become available on what sort of content these platforms are removing and how they are handling user complaints, the new platforms may be added to future report cards. New free speech oriented platforms that will be monitored include Parler, Gab, Rumble, MeWe, Clapper, Telegram, Locals and CloutHub.

Also needless to say, the MRC again failed to disclose the conflict of interest that chief Parler funder Rebekah Mercer is also the biggest single funder of the MRC.

So committed, however, is the MRC to this ridiculous, meaningless "report card" that after Facebook reaffirmed its suspension of Trump, Heather Moon wrote a May 6 post headlined "Facebook Oversight Board Confirms MRC Big Tech Report Card with Trump Decision." It complained about Facebook's alleged lack of transparency in suspending Trump; but the MRC used to have comment sections on its NewsBusters post in which posters were banned for less-than-transparent reasons (like, say, pointing out inaccuracies in posts or not reinforcing right-wing narratives).

Moon never admitted that Trump used social media to incite the Capitol rioit -- she's not getting paid to do that -- but she whined that the "international makeup" of the Facebook oversight board supposedly played a role in keeping Trump suspended, though she offered no evidence to back this up. It doesn't matter that Facebook has bent over backwards to accomodate conservatives -- or that the MRC itself touts how well its right-wing content does on Facebook -- the narrative must always be followed, truthful or not.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EDT
Thursday, June 10, 2021
MRC's Houck Extends War On Psaki (And Man-Crush On Doocy) To Media Profiles
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck has repeatedly demonstrated his unhinged hatred of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and his concurrent man-crush on Fox News repoter Peter Doocy for his near-daily hostile questioning of Psaki. That same wild bias surfaced again regarding media profiles of the two.

Houck devoted a May 5 post to ranting about a magazine profile of Paski that didn't hate her as much as he does:

On Wednesday, Washingtonian magazine came out with a nearly-2,220 word profile of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that could best be described as a slobbering love letter that hailed her as a fact-based saint who refuses to play to the cameras, plays and works well with reporters, and represented a break from the belligerence and back-talking of the Obama and Trump administrations.

And unsurprisingly, the piece treaded carefully on extended criticism and pushback on Psaki and her administration colleagues until paragraph 22 out of 30. But before that? Plenty of phrases and words like “competence porn,” “personality that exudes from the podium,” “pleasant,” “unflappable,” and “well-qualified.”

[...]

Doing her part to laud Psaki, Goldstein contrasted her “measured” and “warm” tone that asked reporters how their families were doing with Trump press secretaries being “Trumpites” having “gleefully performed belligerence on camera.”

“Psaki succeeds by arguably doing the impossible: Her face and voice beam out of our screens on a regular basis, and she rarely draws attention to herself,” she later added.

[...]

On this theme of warmness, this was also a lie. Psaki caused a kerfuffle when she mocked the Space Force (and refused to apologize), dismissed the lack of action from Vice President Harris on the border, laughed at Peter Doocy's phrasing of the border crisis, questioned Kristin Fisher’s humanity as a mother and person, and was angered by the notion that Biden contributed to “systemic racism.” We could go on.

Yes, Houck certainly could -- hating Psaki is his job, after all. The Space Force "kerfuffle" is something Houck helped manufacture for no other reason to have a reason to attack Psaki. He's certainly never to to acknowledge Paski's humanity. And, of course, nobody is allowed to ever be critical of his man-crush.

Houck even managed to take some time away from his anti-Psaki rage to work in a tribute to his man-crush:

Though falsely treated by leftists as a carnival barker worse than even Jim Acosta, Fox’s Peter Doocy showed himself to be a far better man than the actual characters like Acosta and Brian Karem that Trump spokespeople had to deal with when he told Goldstein that Psaki has run “a very low-blood-pressure briefing room.”

If only we call could aspire to that level of civility in the face of nonsense.

Reminder: Spewing hatred at Acosta because he dared to ask questions of the Trump adminstration was Houck's main job in the Trump years.

Which brings us to a May 7 post, in which Houck complained that a Politico profile of Doocy wasn't man-crushy enough and spent too much time (which is to say, any time) likening him to Acosta:

Christopher Cadelago’s feature “Is Fox’s Peter Doocy Just Asking Questions — Or Trolling the White House” led with the build-up to President Biden’s March 25 press conference and what ended up not being “a titanic collision between” Biden and Doocy as Biden chose not to call on him.

Cadelago described Doocy as someone who had “positioned himself as the chief foil to the administration in the press room” and developed a journalistic decorum that was “courteous, crisp, [and] oppositional” yet had offered “laconic yet spring-loaded questions” to Psaki in early briefings.

[...]

Adding that the news cycle “can be seen as a distillation, in a single reporter, of the challenge facing Fox in the Biden era,” Cadelago said that Doocy has become “a smooth yet aggressive, social media-savvy correspondent who might feel like a fresh face on TV, yet is indisputably of, by and for Fox.”

And in the world of the liberal media where Fox is the enemy, that’s almost always going to be seen as a bad thing.

Cadelago even compared Doocy to carnival barker Jim Acosta of CNN, but said Doocy “rarely raises his voice” “jump[ed] into loud, heated sparing matches.”

Later in the piece, he’d return to this implicit comparison, saying Doocy’s “relentless jousting with the Biden administration has drawn more criticism from the left and even from some journalists at other networks” with complaints that “his approach” has been “intentionally provocative, in service of his own image and the network’s, as Fox tries to make its oppositional stance clear.”

No mention, of course, of Doocy pushing fake news by asking Psaki about a false story involving Kamala Harris' book purportedly being given to immigrant children (which the MRC later stealth-edited out of an item he wrote on the exchange). Houck grew increasingly perturbed that Doocy was likened to the despised Acosta, even bizarrely lashing out yet again at CNN's Oliver Darcy and descending again into Acosta Derangement Syndrome:

Conservative media Benedict Arnold and CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy was also predictably, insisting Doocy bears more resemblance to a divisive pundit than an actual journalist: “Doocy’s line of questioning fits neatly into the messaging pushed by Fox’s conservative newscasts and propagandistic primetime shows.”

Again, Doocy’s not someone who’d equate media criticism to death threats, meltdown over a period when briefs were audio-only or when he wasn't called on, stage a book signing, tweet a picture of himself looking at himself in the mirror, but that’s just us.

In response, a Fox News spokesperson told NewsBusters: “If you want to predict what CNN will cover, watch FOX News — it’s a good indicator of what their partisan activists will spend hours attempting to misconstrue for relevance and ratings.”

Actually, it is pretty much just you, Curt -- the fact that you can't let your rage against Acosta go appears to be some sort of mental issue. How does Houck know for sure that Doocy's not like Acosta? That's just wacky man-crushing. And why did Houck think he needed to get a comment from Fox News to respond to the Politico piece? It's almost as if the MRC is part of Fox News' PR department.

Houck concluded with one last bit of man-crushing:

Cadelago closed with an important tidbit that Doocy has largely stopped tweeting to better focus on his job and, not surprisingly “disputes the characterization of his job as one big troll.”

And perhaps most importantly, he makes clear that he’s not looking for his next break or job (even though Psaki’s tried and failed to help Resistance-types make Doocy look bad)[.]

Again, Houck doesn't know any of that. And when Doocy inevitably gets rewarded for his hostile questioning of Psaki with his own Fox News show, will he lash out at Doocy the way he did at Acosta when the same thing happened to him?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:36 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Loving Levin -- And His Right-Wing Rants
Topic: Media Research Center
Radio host Mark Levin can take comfort in knowing that his buddies at the Media Research Center will always have his back, amplifying his misplaced outrage and whitewashing his errors and falsehoods. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
MRC Predictably Pounces On One Month Of Bad Employment Numbers To Bash Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loved to complain that the media was talking down the economy under President Trump -- but given the slightest opportunity, the MRC gleefully bad-mouthed the economy uner President Biden.

When the job growth numbers for April came in lower than expected, Joseph Vazquez rushed to blame Biden's economic policies (and not, you know, that people might be alittle leery about returning to work with the coronavirus pandemic still not completely under control) in a May 7 post:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a devastating report on job growth in April. It completely destroyed the media hype about the jobs growth under President Joe Biden. Their glowing job predictions were off by at least 734,000 jobs. Perhaps as much as 1,734,000 jobs. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the U.S. economy added an embarrassing 266,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1 percent. Fox Business host Charles Payne summed up the atrocious figures perfectly: “Congratulations President Biden - you have achieved the progressive utopia. At least 7.4 million job openings but only 266,000 people got a job last month.” Less than 4 percent of the approximate job openings were filled. The report came after multiple media outlets were heralding an expected April boom to the tune of — checks notes — 1 million jobs added.

On May 11, Vazquez gushed over Payne again -- he loves Payne despite the fact that Payne has been credibly accused of sexual harassment -- uncritically repeating Payne's attacks on unemployment benefits:

Fox Business host Charles Payne told the American people what many in the media wouldn’t dare say: Giving people money to not work doesn’t incentivize them to find a job.

Payne scorched the haphazard predictions by economists and the media that the U.S. economy would add 1 million new jobs in April. He called the predictions a massive “swing and a miss” during the May 7 edition of Making Money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) clocked the increase in April at an embarrassing 266,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1 percent. Payne lambasted how “the narrative this year is that America was going to go on this string of million job months as our jobs openings created a whole bunch of opportunity. And well, so far that’s not happening.” In Payne’s estimation, “[S]omething is obviously terribly wrong.”

Acutally, numerous studies have shown that unemployment benefits do not keep people from seeking work. But it's against MRC policy to tell the truth if that truth conflicts with a cherished right-wing narrative.

Mark Finkelstein sneered in a post the same day: "Joe Biden was all geared up to go out last week and boast about the one million jobs the economy had added in April. But then the actual numbers came out, and . . . psych! Only 266,000 new jobs, 73 percent fewer than Biden was planning to brag about!" He then complained that New York Times reporter Elizabeth Bumiller -- whom he called "PATHETIC" in the headline -- called the low number a "real fluke" and would likely be revised upward the next month, adding, "It's not unusual, in fact, for jobs reports to be revised. But Bumiller's reflexive suggestion that they were likely to be revised up was telling. Think she would have made the same suggestion if a Republican president had suffered such a disappointing jobs report?"

Scott Whitlock followed up in a May 13 post with the incredibly dumb headline "As Biden’s Economy TANKS, CBS Makes Excuses for Wretched Job Numbers":

With terrible new jobs numbers and rising inflation, CBS This Morning on Thursday made excuses for the Joe Biden economy, trying to find reasons not to blame the Democratic President. Reporter Ed O’Keefe explained that 11 Republican governors are pulling out of a program that raised unemployment checks by $300 a week.

O’Keefe conceded, “It comes as most recent job numbers were surprisingly low, just 266,000 jobs were added in April despite eight million job openings economists predicted the country would get at least a million jobs.”

[...]

But nothing in the segment – or the whole show on Thursday – about other economic factors, such as inflation.

Whitlock cited the biased and partisan right-wing National Review as evidence of allegedly surging inflation.

Vazquez huffed in a May 18 post that "A National Public Radio host tried to spin the atrocious April jobs report numbers by accusing GOP governors of pushing people to go back to work when jobs aren’t available. Fact-check: Millions of jobs were available." he then cited scandal-ridden right-wing economist Stephen Moore to claim that "Perhaps giving people free money is actually a really bad method to stimulate the economy."

On May 21, Vazquez got mad that The Hill accurately pointed out what he and the MRC were doing:

The Hill used the old “Republicans have pounced” cliché to turn attention away from the disastrous effects President Joe Biden’s agenda is having on the economy.

The liberal outlet May 20, whining that “Republicans have pounced on unexpectedly high inflation readings and a disappointing jobs report for April.” The Hillwhined that the GOP suggested the terrible economic data were “the products of an overzealous government response that could kneecap the economy.” The tweet also happened to be the verbatim text from the second paragraph of The Hill reporter Niv Elis’s pro-Biden spin story headlined: “Biden tries to navigate fits and starts of economic recovery.”

At no point did Vazquez dispute the accuracy of the reporter pointing that right-wingers were using the jobs numbers to attack Bide; in stead, he complained that Elis "characterized the terrible jobs numbers as 'the potential quirks of an economy reawakening from a pandemic-induced slumber.'" He also offered no evidence that The Hill is a "liberal outlet."

Meanwhile, the May employment numbers proved the those who pointed out the flukiness of April's numbers correct -- 559,000 jobs were created last month, and  April's numbers were adjusted upward from 266,000 to 278,000. Vazquez, the MRC's main blogger on economic matters, has yet to devote a post to the much better May numbers -- presumably because there's nothing for him to pounce on.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:47 PM EDT

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