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Translation: Tell Our Spin!

Perhaps the Media Research Center should be a little more generous with the facts before it starts demanding that others "tell the truth."

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/23/2004

So the Media Research Center wants the truth. More than that, actually -- the truth, italics and all.

The MRC is spending $2.8 million on a "Tell the Truth!" campaign "to reach 50 million Americans every week between now and the end of the year with evidence of the liberal bias permeating the media."

MRC chief Brent Bozell advances the usual spiel: "Day after day, night after night, the news media question, denounce, or just plain ignore the good news. They want higher taxes to fund massive new federal spending for more liberal experiments like socialized health care. They want America – and the world – to see our military as corrupt and barbaric – and failing. And they’ll denounce anyone or anything that stands in the way of that message." He later adds that "The ‘Tell the Truth!’ campaign will provide the public with unprecedented devastating evidence that they are being misinformed and misled by the establishment media in this country."

And in a separate letter, Bozell claims: "We don’t want a 'conservative' news media. We want, and demand, truth. We want the news media to strive for objectivity at all times. We want balance. We want fairness."

Uh, no you don't, Brent.

The MRC has never been interested in "truth." It wants "truth" only when it benefits conservatives and hurts liberals. What the MRC really wants is spin -- conservative spin.

One place the MRC could start is its treatment of Bill Clinton, in the news again with his new autobiography and the documentary "The Hunting of the President." In a June 21 CyberAlert, Brent Baker complains that Margaret Carlson "used the release of Bill Clinton’s book as an opportunity to denounce Ken Starr" and his abuses as independent counsel on CNN's "Capital Gang." Baker should admit that there's more than ample evidence that such prosecutorial abuse occurred.

The MRC also devoted not one, but two June 21 "Media Reality Checks" to continuing its Clinton assault, the first attacking CBS' Dan Rather, interviewer of Clinton for "60 Minutes," "a soft touch, a powder puff, an apple polisher, a lapdog," and the second calling Rather gullible for not challenging Clinton's alleged "whoppers" during a "60 Minutes" interview. Among the alleged lies: "... are we to believe that in the White House, with many bedrooms, the President had to sleep on a couch?" The MRC wasn't there so it has no idea, just its continuing desire to report only the worst about people it opposes.

There are other instances of MRC's lack of truth-telling that ConWebWatch has documented over the years:

  • Reporting on political donations made by journalists to Democrats while downplaying similar donations made to Republicans.
  • Insisting any reference to George W. Bush's spotty National Guard service as "AWOL" was "inaccurate" and "unproven," while uncritically accepting of the description of Bill Clinton as a "draft-dodger."
  • Claiming that because the broadcast TV networks reported certain things about "partial-birth abortion," they had an agenda, while not admitting the logical conclusion that because Fox News Channel didn't report those things, they have an agenda too. The MRC overall turns a blind eye to bias at Fox News.
  • Urging MRC readers who are "sensitive to derogatory comments about Limbaugh" to avoid a David Letterman Top 10 list it reproduced. No similar warnings have been issued regarding, say, Clinton-bashing Top 10 lists; in fact, Clinton sex jokes tickle the heck out of the MRC.
  • Not being able to prove David Brock was lying in his book "Blinded By the Right," but calling him one anyway.

And if the MRC genuinely cared about "the truth," its "news" division,, would actually be known for following its mandate to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" instead of being the conservative-slanted news source we're all familiar with, as evidenced by, among other things, the inability to be completely truthful about Otto Reich and its failure to speak the name of James Kopp, the admitted killer of an abortion doctor, in an original CNS story until months after his admission of guilt, and only then in a reproduction of a statement by an anti-abortion group disavowing his tactics.

So Brent Bozell and the MRC wants objectivity, balance and fairness -- and truth? How about first showing that it knows what all that means, then demonstrating it in its own work?

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