Is CNS The MRC's Whore?
While the Media Research Center is hurling the "whore" slur at networks engaging in the common practice of promoting happenings by its corporate siblings, the MRC's "news" division writes press releases promoting MRC chief Brent Bozell.
By Terry Krepel
The Media Research Center loves to attack the "liberal media" they so despise with childish name-calling. One of the nastiest names they've been getting off on lately is "whore," whenever news operations promote happenings elsewhere under their corporate umbrella or other reasons. It has so embraced the slur that it's even putting the word in all-caps in headlines:
This sort of cross-promotion, which has also been called corporate synergy, is is common though few consider it to be great journalism. It's generally tolerated as long as the corporate connection is disclosed, which is what usually happens.
For the sake of fairness, this should apply to the MRC as well. If TV networks are "whores" for touting whatever things happening elsewhere in its ownership, than the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews, is the MRC's whore for promoting MRC initiatives and whatever its leader Brent Bozell has to say in the form of "news" stories. Here are a few examples published in the months after the November 2020 presidential election alone:
Also of course, being the MRC, there's another double standard -- nobody is allowed to use such vulgar phrasing to describe right-wingers. In November, Fondacaro ranted that the "insufferably pompous" Tom Friedman claimed that "the Republicans were just a bunch of 'manure' eating racists and whores trying to stir up a Lebanese-style civil war while trying to suppress votes, while President Trump was trying to 'put a bullet into the country.'" Friedman didn't actually use the word as Fondacaro suggested, though he did describe the GOP as "a giant political brothel that basically rents itself out to the night to whoever will energize its base." Fondacaro didn't dispute the accuracy of Friedman's claim, instead content to dismiss him as riding a "crazy train."
Perhaps Fondacaro didn't want to admit that Friedman was correct -- about both the GOP and the MRC.
Whitlock loves the slur
The MRC writer who has most embraced the "whore" slur is Scott Whitlock. An April 6 item by Scott Whitlock carries the headline "CBS WHORES Out for Crony Capitalism, Backs Biden Billions to Electric Cars in 'Infrastructure'." He went on to rant:
CBS This Morning on Tuesday went all in on the billion dollar boondoggle for electric cars in Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” bill. With no explanation of just how expensive this part of the plan is, the journalists backed the idea of GM (with the heavy hand of the government) switching to all electric by 2035.
Of course, by his own definition, Whitlock is a whore because he's parroting right-wing talking points in the service of his employer and the larger conservative movement, for which he receives payment (which, of course, makes him closer to an actual whore than CBS). His insistence of imposing motives on CBS' reporting where there may not be any is a form of whoredom as well. And for all his whining about "crony capitalism," we're pretty sure Whitlock didn't care as much when the cronies were part of a Republican-led government.
Whitlock slurred again in a June 2 post under the headline "Corporate WHORES at CBS Bury Parent Company’s 4 BILLION Tax Dodge":
ViacomCBS is engaged in an elaborate, sketchy effort to hide, funnel and move around money in an apparently successful attempt at avoiding paying almost four billion in taxes. That’s according to a bombshell report in Tuesday’s print New York Times. Yet CBS News journalists, who have hammered other companies for not paying taxes, skipped reporting on the story Monday night and Tuesday morning.
If not reporting negative news about something else happening in your company makes you a "whore," well, CNS qualifies there too. It has never reported to readers that Bozell's son, L. Brent "Zeeker" Bozell IV, was arrested in conjunction with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Then again, Bozell pere kinda-sorta endorsed the riot his son was arrested for being involved in; while he claimed to deplore the violence and was worried about its effect on the conservative movement, he justified the violence because "they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them."
While Whitlock was hurling that slur around, CNS continued to whore itself out for its owner by serving up even more stenography of its boss:
CNS editor Terry Jeffrey, meanwhile, made his own contribution to the MRC whoredom genre by writing a fawning June 7 obituary of right-wing financier Foster Friess, proclaiming that he "lived a life that exemplified the American ideal in both the trajectory he followed and the values he embraced," gushing that his wife "was, literally, a beauty queen" and touting Friess' philanthropy efforts.
It wasn't until the final three paragraphs of this 32-paragraph article that Jeffrey revealed the reason why his article exists: first, the actual news angle that Friess died, and then, that he was a major MRC donor, going on to quote Bozell saying that “Few were more generous in their funding of the MRC and more generous in spirit to me personally. I am going to miss that giant, soft, goofy, profound soul.” Jeffrey concluded: "Foster Friess was a giver, not a takerwho constantly gave back to the communities, the country, and the causes that gave him and so many other Americans the opportunity to live fulfilling lives."
Donate enough money to the MRC, and the editor of its "news" division will write a gushy obituary about you when you die. Whoredom at its finest.
Even more whoredom
Whitlock continued to remain fixated on the slur, writing in a July 8 post under the headline "Corporate WHORES at ABC Abandon News, Shill for Disney Overlords Instead" (bold in original):
Some liberal journalists and media outlets like to mock Fox as not real “news,” given that the network doesn’t parrot their left-wing agenda. But no one should ever consider ABC actual “news.” The network is committed to producing propaganda for corporate overlord Disney. Thursday showcased yet another pathetic example as Good Morning America devoted more time to pushing Black Widow than covering the latest on the Surfside disaster in Florida.
Whitlock's reference to Fox News is interesting, since its parent company not only owns Fox Broadcasting but also owned 20th Century Fox studios until 2019. Is Whitlock really saying that Fox News has never engaged in the corporate synergy process by using Fox News to promote Fox Broadcasting shows or 20th Century Fox movies? It would be highly unusual if that didn't happen and would display a demonstration of ethics that Fox News is not known for.
Whitlock has been silent about this. Apparently he believes whoredom is a good and virtuous thing when right-wingers engage in it.
Curtis Houck joined the slur parade as well, declaring in a July 23 post that instead of covering Hunter Biden, there was "more corporate whoring on ABC’s Good Morning America for parent company Disney with a new Disney+ “cinematic experience”starring Billie Eilish."
Whitlock returned for a July 30 post asserting that "ABC “News” seems to exist to shill for the network’s overlords at Disney" because one show "took their bosses side in the fight against Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson" regarding how the movie's simultaneous release in theaters and streaming violated her contract. Whitlock claimed that "ABC journalists repeatedly misrepresented how Disney+ harmed the box office totals," insisting that a movie that made $319 million "was not a hit." Whitlock concluded that ABC was engaged in -- you guessed it -- "corporate whoring for Disney bosses."
In short: corporate whoring is bad -- but not when the MRC does it. The MRC will never admit it, but this kind of self-promotional whoredom is the entire reason CNS exists. Does anyone really think Bozell and Co. have any genuine interest in running a truly independent, fair and balanced "news" operation?