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Update: Experience -- And Bias -- Necessary

The MRC is hiring. Plus: NewsMax is unhappy with the tabloids again, sucks up even more to Arnaud de Borchgrave, and continues its Judicial Watch blackout.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 5/21/2001
Updated 5/26/2001

Want to work for the Media Research Center? Be sure to check your objectivity at the door.

The MRC CyberAlert of May 10 announces that "the leading conservative group documenting liberal media bias" has a couple of openings, for a news analyst and a writer/researcher.

The listed specifications for both jobs require the prospective candidate, among other things, to "display a solid understanding of conservative reasoning on political issues." The writer/researcher job additionally expects candidates to "have a thorough understanding of liberal media bias and an ability to recognize it."

Nowhere in the specifications for either job is any actual experience in objective research techniques. Why? Because the Media Research Center is a political organization. It doesn't do actual research.

Fascinating statistic:

Number of stories generated by NewsMax, WorldNetDaily and CNS referring to allegations of White House vandalism by the outgoing Clinton administration: 23

Number of stories generated by NewsMax, WorldNetDaily and CNS referring to the General Services Administration's report concluding that there was no evidence of vandalism: 1

Note: That story, on NewsMax, takes their usual stance of things involving the Clintons by insisting that the lack of any physical evidence doesn't contradict their stand that it did happen. (Remember, President Bush's insistence that it didn't happen didn't change their minds, either.) WorldNetDaily linked to an offsite version of the story. meaning this story will not exist in their archives. CNS ignored it completely.

Oh, they like to think they do. For instance, in his May 15 column attacking a Washington Post writer for daring to suggest that President Bush has gotten better treatment from the press than President Clinton did, MRC top dog L. Brent Bozell insists that "no one who actually studies the content of the national media can say President Bush is getting an 'easy ride.'"

That would exclude the MRC as well. As we've noted before, pretty much all MRC does is cherry-pick anecdotal evidence and present it without its original context to support a pre-determined conclusion. That is not "studying the content of the national media." And that is nobody's definition of scholarly research.

The news analyst job, by the way, is considered an entry-level position paying in the "low 20s," which wouldn't be bad except for the fact that the MRC offices are in suburban Washington, D.C., in Alexandria, Va., "eight blocks from the King Street Metro stop on the Yellow and Blue lines." That's not much pay for such a pricey area of the country. Can they really pay someone that little to be so biased?

* * *

The on-again, off-again relationship between NewsMax and the supermarket tabloids appears to be off again.

Why? Jenna Bush, the president's daughter, just can't keep herself out of trouble. NewsMax reported April 27 on the 19-year-old's arrest for illegally possessing alcohol -- then tried to minimize it by quoting a tabloid report of Chelsea Clinton allegedly going on a "wild spring break drinking binge" where she "reportedly barhopped from one Aspen saloon to another in a visibly inebriated state." (Chelsea recently turned 21.) NewsMax appears to be shocked that "she was not cited by police for public intoxication" and that "former first lady Hillary Clinton has yet to comment on a report" on the alleged incident.

And for good measure, the article throws in a few alleged transgressions by Al Gore's children, including an allegation that his son was tossed from a private school for possession fo marijuana, to which NewsMax adds (without any supporting evidence, of course) that "the press hushed up the younger Gore's drug bust after his father personally contacted news editors and asked them to kill the story."

Then, on May 9, NewsMax dropped Bush's charges down to "drinking a beer," but noted that the tabloids aren't giving the Bush daughters the same "zone of privacy" they allegedly gave to Chelsea Clinton.

Hmmmm ... could it be that NewsMax top dog Christopher Ruddy has finally figured out the tabs burned him with a false story last December that the Clintons were selling their Chappaqua, N.Y., home?

On the other hand, NewsMax doesn't quite know what to make of the fact that William Daley, former campaign manager for Al Gore's presidential campaign, has joined the investment firm that owns most of the major tabloids and which also happens to headed by former Clinton administraion official Roger Altman, about whom NewsMax had a fit the last time they were down on the tabloids.

The April 26 article acknowledges that even under Altman's stewardship, the tabloids "have a tremendous track record of blockbuster stories about Democrats," then concludes, "Don't bet the tabloids will hold anything back -- Democratic, Republican or otherwise!"

Whatever. But how come whenever the tabs go after Republicans, NewsMax goes into a funk?

* * *

Apparently, there's no such thing at NewsMax as too much sucking up to board member Arnaud de Borchgrave.

Not only has NewsMax added the book "Villard: The Life and Times of an American Titan," co-written by de Borchgrave's wife, to its online store, it posted a link to a review of the book from Business Week magazine for a couple of days in April.

That, at least, is something of an improvement from the press release NewsMax tried to pass off as a "review."

* * *

The NewsMax blackout of Judicial Watch's battle against Republicans continues.

Fresh from a lawsuit against the House Republican Campaign Committee alleging that donors were promised meetings with politicians in exchange for their donations, Larry Klayman and the boys have threatened legal action against the National Senatorial Republican Campaign Committee for doing the same thing.

CNS reported on it. We couldn't find it on NewsMax, normally a loyal stenographer to Judicial Watch.

(Update: We also couldn't find anything about Judicial Watch's planned legal action against the Republican National Committee for the May 21 GOP soiree at the vice presidential home of Dick Cheney -- quite a comedown from the heady days when NewsMax would post JW press releases virtually unedited. But, as Jason Zengerle writes in The New Republic: "For years, Klayman has insisted that Judicial Watch is nonpartisan. Who knew he meant it?")

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