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Blinded By the Bias

According to the MRC, David Brock told the truth, so he's a liar. Huh?

By Terry Krepel
Posted 4/29/2002

David Brock is accused of being a liar. It turns out he was telling the truth. Therefore, David Brock is a liar.

That, believe it or not, is the trainwreck of thought employed by Brent Baker and Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center in the organization's latest smear of ex-conservative and "Blinded By the Right" author Brock in an April 26 CyberAlert Extra. (Yes, they put out a special edition to showcase this insight.)

This all stems from Brock's April 25 appearance on CNN's "Crossfire." In the original rush transcript of the show that appeared on the CNN website, Brock is quoted as saying that due to what he attributes to a blacklist, he has never appeared on the Fox News Channel. (MRC's sister "news" organization,, has ignored Brock and his book as well, which further proves Brock's blacklist charge.) Conservatives pounced on this because Brock did make one appearance on Fox in March -- specifically, "at about 12:45pm EST on March 18," the article states.

But it turns out the transcript was wrong. To quote from the MRC article: "If you listen carefully you can hear that Brock actually said: 'I have not been on Fox prime time at all.'" "Crossfire" co-host James Carville talked over the words "Fox prime time," the transcript person (or computer) didn't pick it up, and many conservatives eager to discredit Brock jumped on it to paint Brock as a liar.

Thus demonstrating that Brock was indeed telling the truth, Baker and Noyes had to find a new line of attack: accusing Brock of being misleading. "Bottom line: Brock dissembled, clearly trying to leave the impression that the Fox News Channel has refused to allow him onto the network when he did, in fact, appear on it," they write, despite the fact they document Brock's exact, truthful words.

Baker and Noyes conclude their article with a question: "Why does anyone still believe anything that David Brock has to say?"

Related articles
on ConWebWatch:

Borking Brock

Still Borking Brock

Well, there are several answers to this question:

-- Because no one has found any error of substance in "Blinded By the Right." The only error MRC has documented (the only one, mind you) -- an argument taken from Brock's lone Fox appearance over how exactly Clinton-hater Gary Aldrich (who also couldn't find any errors of substance to document in Brock's book despite an entire chapter being devoted to him) was credited in a Wall Street Journal article -- would not be considered by most people to be an error of substance.

-- Because of that, what little attention the conservative media has given Brock's book has been almost exclusively personal attacks on him, among them a column by MRC boss L. Brent Bozell III, who couldn't come up with any errors either. Therefore, it is logical to assume that if all conservatives can do is issue personal attacks, there must not be any errors of substance in the book.

-- Because people like Baker and Noyes are holding Brock and his book to a higher standard they they have Bernard Goldberg's conservative-friendly "Bias," which is chock-full of questionable premises and dubious assertions. Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler has documented several distortions in Goldberg's book, including:

  • Exaggeration of claims that now that a Republican is president, homelessness has been"rediscovered";
  • An article Goldberg says was about male-bashing was in actuality about insects;
  • Criticizing former CBS collegue Eric Engberg for allegedly attacking presidential candidiate Steve Forbes' proposed "flat tax" as a prime example of "liberal bias" when, according to Somerby, "just a few weeks before he beat up on Forbes, Engberg did a '(Reality) Check' trashing Hillary Clinton for Whitewater and the travel office firings";
  • Goldberg's citing of a quote compiled by MRC about a article by Joe Klein (of "Primary Colors" fame) on the 1994 elections as another prime example of "liberal bias" when a look at the entire article the quote was lifted from shows Klein was mostly critical of Democrats in general and Bill Clinton in particular; and
  • An oft-cited example of "liberal bias" by both Goldberg and the MRC (most recently on April 18) of how ABC's Peter Jennings described specific senators as "conservative" during Clinton's 1999 Senate impeachment trial but none as "liberal" turns out to be exaggerated; Jennings identified 20 Republican senators, but described only three of them as "conservative," and several others normally thought of as conservative, including Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond, were not described by Jennings as such.

You will find none of this addressed on the MRC website, yet it attacks the slightest inaccuracies by Brock as "proof" he is a "liar."

Perhaps the question that we should be asked is, given this record of kid-glove treatment of conservatives, slanting people's records to make them seem more liberal than they are and its attacks and distorted portrayals on anyone who doesn't toe the conservative line, why anyone believes anything the Media Research Center has to say.

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