The MRC's Biden Microaggressions
The Media Research Center pushes mini-scandals and conspiracy theories in the hopes of making Joe Biden look bad. But nobody else seems to care.
By Terry Krepel
The MRC is so far into Trumpworld that it's willing to be utterly hypocritical about those microaggressions. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed in an Aug. 18 post:
On the day Jill Biden was set to take the stage at the virtual Democratic National Convention, an exclusive from the U.K.'s Daily Mail documented allegations from her first husband, Bill Stevenson, who claims their marriage was destroyed because she cheated on him with then-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). Despite the allegations being fresh news, the Tuesday evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC covered them up to protect their candidate and boost Jill’s forthcoming speech.
Fondacaro didn't mention that the Daily Mail is considered so unreliable as a news source that Wikipedia banned it from being cited. He also didn't mention that Jill Biden's ex is putting all of this in a book likely to come out before the election, strongly suggesting that the ex is trying to profit off.
By contrast, Trump's niece got a much different treatment from the MRC for her book, accusing her of trying to cash in and demanding her allegations be fact-checked by the media. Fondacaro made no apparent effort to fact-check the ex's claims before promoting them.
Finally, Fondacaro ignored the inconvenient fact that even if the allegations are true about Jill Biden, Joe Biden is running against a man who is on his third marriage, cheated on all three wives, and paid hush money to a porn star to cover up their affair, so playing the morality card simply doesn't work here. If Fondacaro had ever condemned Trump's sleazy behavior, he might have a point, but he doesn't show that he has.
Nevertheless, the MRC insisted that was a "huge scandal." The next day, Kristine Marsh ranted:
Wednesday morning, all three networks displayed their allegiance to the Democrat party by continuing to completely ignore a huge scandal that broke yesterday about how Jill and Joe Biden met. Even as the former second lady appeared on ABC, NBC and CBS’s morning shows for interviews following her husband's nomination last night, the journalists used the opportunity to schmooze with Biden and throw softball questions instead of asking about her ex-husband's claims she cheated on him with then-Senator Joe Biden.
Marsh demonstrated how little she cares about facts by deliberately getting the Democratic Party's name wrong, calling it "the Democrat party." And, like Fondacaro, Marsh made no mention of Trump's serial philandering.
Fondacaro again tried to flog this "scandal" to life in an Aug. 20 post, grousing that "While NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt refused to press Jill Biden on accusations she cheated on her first husband with then-Senator Joe Biden during his Thursday interview, he did awkwardly ask her whether or not she got nervous whenever her husband was addressing the public." Again, Fondacaro didn't explain why he's giving Trump's exponentially worse spousal behavior a pass.
Having failed at that, Fondacaro took another whack at Biden, thinking he had another gotcha winner in an Aug. 23 post:
For at least the second time in two months, Democratic nominee Joe Biden used a quote made famous by communist leader Mao Tse-tung when it came to women. Calling it simply an “old expression,” Biden got away with quoting the communist monster (who killed millions of people) because his interviewer, ABC’s Robin Roberts refused to call out, push back, or question her candidate as to why he was doing it.
Fondacaro clearly can't object to the sentiment of the statement, so he must attempt to raise a ruckus about its supposed source and play politics because it involves Mao, whom he makes sure to call a "communist butcher" who "killed millions of his own people."
This is an echo of what the ConWeb did in 2010 when it frothed over Obama White House adviser Anita Dunn referencing Mao in a speech, making sure to pull it out of context in the process. Needless to say, the MRC raged about it as well, ranting that it wasn't being covered to its satisfaction, then raging some more at Dunn's explanation that she was inspired by Republican strategist Lee Atwater to quote Mao, then took Dunn out of context in complaining further that the "old media" failed to cover the story sufficiently. The MRC remains obsessed by this to this day; it published a Sept. 16 column by Walter Williams complaining that Dunn "said Mao was one of her heroes" (which, again, dishonestly takes her out of context).
In other words, the MRC ran this exact same playbook a decade ago against Obama, and it didn't work. Why does Fondacaro think it will work now?
Kamala Harris too
That sort of microaggression made its way to Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris. For instance, an Aug. 14 post by Ryan Foley combined a microaggression with its longtime protectiveness of Fox News by complaining that CNN busted Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his apparently deliberate mispronunciation of Kamala Harris' name:
On CNN’s New Day Wednesday, co-host John Berman and his panel obsessed over Tucker Carlson’s mispronunciation of Biden VP pick Kamala Harris’s name. They used a clip of Carlson arguing with Democrat Richard Goodstein about the importance of getting the pronunciation right as an excuse to complain about the constant racism and sexism supposedly faced by Harris, a woman of Jamaican and Indian heritage.
Foley went on to declare that it was "juvenile “journalism” and liberal activism" to point all this out. We weren't aware that expecting people on TV to correctly pronounce someone's name was "liberal activism" -- we thought it was simply being accurate. But then, the MRC is waging war on the very idea of facts, so perhaps this is not surprising.
Scott Whitlock ranted in a Sept. 8 post that Harris is somehow an "anti-vaxxer":
The media love to mock conservatives and Republicans as kooks who are prone to all sorts of conspiracy theories. Yet Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is sounding like the most extreme anti-vaxxer and journalists are trying to give her a pass. The three networks on Tuesday downplayed or offered no critique of her attempts to turn Americans against a COVID vaccine.
Instead, Whitlock ranted that "the vice presidential nominee of one of the two main parties is pushing unproven conspiracy theories," dishonestly adding: "If people don’t take a vaccine because the Democrats want to deny Donald Trump a win, Americans could die. But apparently that doesn’t matter to ABC, CBS and NBC."
Indeed, since the MRC is the media arm of the trump campaign and will hide or spin any negative news about him lest it hurt his re-election chances, it continued to blame everyone by Trump for the fact that nobody trusts him. Kyle Drennen wrote in a Sept. 11 post:
After repeatedly sowing fear and doubt about a potential COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to undermine President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, on Friday, NBC’s Today show was suddenly concerned by a new poll showing that many Americans would not trust a vaccine developed under the Trump administration. Of course rather than blame themselves for politicizing the vital medical research, the network hacks instead rushed to blame the President once again.
As with its insistence that Biden is an "extreme" "radical," the only reason Drennen sees the issuer of the poll, the Kaiser Family Foundation, as a "left-leaning group" is because the MRC is so far right. Outside the MRC's right-wing bubble, it's a highly credible organization on medical and health issues.
Drennen went into shoot-the-messenger mode, referencing Whitlock's wacky post:
In reality, the hosts and correspondent at NBC need look no further than their own reporting if they want to know why people are so distrustful of any potential vaccine. Just over the past three days, the morning show has routinely suggested without evidence that Trump would somehow force a vaccine to be approved prematurely to help his political chances in November’s election:
A Sept. 17 post by Kristine Marsh also took the shoot-the-messenger route:
The media is so desperate to get President Trump out of office they are actually willing to scare vulnerable Americans into not taking a vaccine that could save their lives. Earlier this month, the big three networks touted Kamala Harris warning Americans not to trust Trump with a vaccine. Yesterday, Biden came out with his own dangerous message telling Americans to not take any vaccine that comes out while Trump’s in office.
Marsh offered no proof that Trump wasn't interfering in the vaccine development process, and she censored the fact that he promised a vaccine by Election Day.
Nicholas Fondacaro did much the same thing in a post the same day, with additional lying about what Harris has actually said:
In recent days, the liberal media have dedicated a lot of effort into stoking fear the coronavirus vaccines being developed by multiple pharmaceutical companies under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which put the full weight of the U.S. government behind developing and distributing a safe and effective vaccine. Of course, they were taking their cues from the Biden campaign and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who said last week she “would not trust” a vaccine developed under President Trump.
No, Nick, Harris did not say she "would not trust" a vaccine developed under President Trump; she said that she would trust it if someone more credible were vouching for it. But then, we know Fondacaro is a documented liar.
Biden conspiracy theory
Whitlock used a Sept. 28 post to express sadness that the media wouldn't buy into his conspiracy theory that the Biden campaign worked with the New York Times on its expose on President Trump's taxes so that it could quickly put up an ad referencing it:
Journalists like to think of themselves as skeptical types who are always asking questions. But when the New York Times on Sunday claimed to have acquired Donald Trump’s taxes and, just hours later, the Biden campaign had a corresponding campaign ad out, the networks didn't seem cynical.
Never mind, of course, that Whitlock offered no evidence whatsoever of coordination, thus making this a pure conspiracy theory; the Times has debunked it, but Whitlock didn't think that was relevant to his piece. Further, there are software programs that promise to teach you how to make a video ad in minutes, so it shouldn't be surprising that the Biden campaign turned one around so quickly.