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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
Posted 8/12/2021

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:
  • Under the headline "‘Christmas Comes Early’ as ABC Whores Out News for Disney+ Push," Scott Whitlock complained in November 2019 that ABC's "Good Morning America" "devoted almost 17 minutes to shilling for the new Disney+ streaming service. Disney, of course, owns ABC and the journalists on the network sounded more like PR talking points come to life.
  • Under the headline "Disney WHORES: ABC Hawks Lion King Prequel, Ignores 28,000 Layoffs," Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in September 2020 about how "NewsBusters has long documented how ABC “News” has whored itself out to parent company Disney to promote its corporate products, everything from their streaming service Disney+ to films like Mulan."
  • A Jan. 5 post by Whitlock was headlined "Corporate Whores at Commie China-Loving ABC Actually Cover Disappearance of Jack Ma," attacking the network as "journalists who have spun for their communist China-loving bosses at Disney."
  • Under the headline "CBS Goes Full WHORE in Pushing 'Awesome' Streaming Service of Corporate Bosses," Whitlock complained on Feb. 25 that "CBS This Morning journalists promoted the 'awesome' new Paramount+, hyping just how 'excited' everyone was for the newly-named media platform."
  • On March 12, the MRC's NewsBusters Twitter account smeared NPR reporter Scott Horsley as "Whore-sley" for not being negative enough about President Biden's coronavirus relief plan.
  • On March 18, Fondacaro groused that ABC's "World News Tonight" was "busy suggesting everything was hunky-dory in California by being corporate whores and touting the reopening of Disneyland next month."

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.

Co-host Gayle King cheered, “Part of President Biden's infrastructure bill would help people buy greener electric cars which you know are more expensive. General Motors plans to stop making gas-powered cars by 2035.” Reporter Ben Tracy gushed, "The tail pipe is an endangered species."

He parroted, “Automakers are also counting on the federal government. President Biden's infrastructure plan calls for 500,000 EV charging stations across the country by 2030.”

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.


Yet back in April, fretted over companies not paying their fair share after Donald Trump cut corporate rates. writer Stephen Gandel whined, “Many of those same companies had together paid billions of dollars in annual taxes prior to Trump's presidency.” Also in April, CBS, as well as ABC and NBC, censored a study saying Joe Biden’s corporate tax hikes would cost one million jobs in two years. That probably won't impact ViacomCBS, what with the company's creative accounting.


Keep all of this in mind the next time the supposedly objective journalists at CBS News talk about objectivity and journalistic toughness.

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 taker—who 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.

Co-host Robin Roberts sounded like a talking Disney press release, opening the 7:30 hour by robotically cheering, “Black Widow finally hitting theaters tomorrow. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the summer! Fandango reporting that the Marvel movie has already zoomed past F9 in presales!”

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.

Ironically, just a few days after Whitlock's post, the MRC whored out not only CNS but its NewsBusters and MRCTV websites as well, devoting the weekend of July 9-11 to shilling for Levin's new book by allowing an interview Bozell conducted with Levin to remain the lead story on the websites the entire weekend. One CNS headline had a particularly whorish tone to it even by MRC standards: "EXCLUSIVE: MRC President Brent Bozell Interviews 'The Great One' Mark Levin on His Timely New Book, 'American Marxism'." Bozell and Levin are friends, making this whoredom a very personal one.

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?

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