The MRC's Hypocritical Herschel Embrace, Part 2
The Media Research Center stuck by Republican Herschel Walker as the scandals and abortion allegations piled up. And when he ended up in a runoff for the Georgia Senate seat, it had to do so all over again.
By Terry Krepel
Did you hear a boom 'round about 11 am on Saturday morning? That was the sound of the Georgia senatorial debate between Herschel Walker and Ralphael Warnock blowing up on Tiffany Cross during her MSNBC show.
Scott Whitlock spent an Oct. 17 post whining that non-right-wing channels weren't pushing right-wing narratives attacking Warnock:
NBC on Monday Demonstrated that the network morning shows are still intent on investigating everything when it comes to Herschel Walker, but offer a collective yawn when it comes to the controversies connected to far-left Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock.
Whitlock didn't mention that the badge was honorary, not real.
Nicholas Fondacaro whined the same day that the ladies of "The View" didn't spout right-wing talking points on Walker's supposedly stellar debate performance:
Monday was the first chance the ladies of ABC’s The View had to spout off about the Georgia Senate debate between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker last Friday. While Sunny Hostin managed to keep racist comments out of her mouth and was impressed with Walker, the majority of the panel couldn’t believe their ears and suggested Hostin must have been drunk because Walker only looked good because the bar was “SO low."
Fondacaro offered no proof that their assessment was factually inaccurate.
Bill D'Agostino found a new whataboutism target to distract from Walker in an Oct. 18 post:
With the 2022 midterm elections just weeks away, the corporate media have begun to turn up the heat on Republican Herschel Walker, having identified him as a potentially vulnerable candidate in a tight Senate race. Yet those same journalists have bristled at any criticism of Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman even when it’s come from their own colleagues.
D'Agostino didn't explain that the issues with Walker and Fetterman are fundamentally different -- Fetterman is facing questions about his health after suffering a stroke, while Walker was revealed to have moral and personal failings in paying for a girlfriend's abortion, in addition to previous mental instability. He also didn't explain why right-wingers like himself are choosing to stand by Walker even though his moral failings contradict right-wing orthodoxy against abortion.
Alex Christy spent an Oct. 19 post complaining that right-wing hypocrisy over Walker was called out:
CNN’s Wednesday edition of New Day lamented that the GOP midterm strategy for winning the Senate involves trying to win elections even if that means putting “party over country” by supporting “dumpster fires.”
Playing whataboutism to distract from cynical hypocrisy -- did we expect anything different from the MRC?
A new abortion scandal
If there's anything the MRC doesn't want anyone talking about more than Walker's abortion scandal, it's Walker's other abortion scandal.
When a second woman accused Walker of paying for an abortion as well as offered proof of their relationship, the MRC rushed into action like it did the first time to try and tamp this one down too. Curtis Houck whined that the story was being covered in non-right-wing media, writing in an Oct. 27 post under the dismissive headline "Here We Go Again":
With things continuing to break against their liberal pals running for office, the major broadcast networks chose Thursday to spend nearly eight minutes (seven minutes and 49 seconds) flaunting a second supposed abortion allegation against Georgia Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker with some help from far-left attorney Gloria Allred to boost incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D).
Of course, lack of independent verification didn't stop the MRC from heavily hyping the story Hunter Biden's laptop.
Tim Graham complained about the accusation as well in his Oct. 28 podcast -- not because it will cause him to disqualify the heavily anti-abortion MRC from abandoning Walker (it's more than shown its cynical hypocrisy on the issue), but that the scandal was being reported, insisting without evidence that the story was being pushed by the "liberal media" to "help their side."He went on to whine: "My problem with this is that once again, we have an anonymous woman quote-unquote "coming forward." Is that really coming forward? ... The whole problem here is you can't really verify this at a very sensitive time in the election." He then brought up, yes, the Hunter Biden laptop and whined that it was dismissed by non-right-wing media, then blamed the non-right-wing media again: "They can't stand that Herschel Walker is running."
He then deflected, insisting that any criticism of Walker is politically motivated because "the media ... don't want two or three black Republicans in the Senate. They don't want five or 10 black Republicans in the House, because they want to sell this idea that the Republican party is a pile of white nationalist males."
Graham returned for an Oct. 30 post complaining that "Saturday Night Live" lampooned Walker's penchant for buying abortions for his girlfriends:
The fake PBS anchor asked about Walker paying for abortions and holding a gun to his ex-wife's head, and asked why he was doing so well: “Look, if you want to get on a Jumbotron at the Falcons game, you don’t throw on a cardigan and start making sense. You take your shirt off and shake your belly around. That’s what I’m doing, and people love me, no matter what. Like the great Trump Donald said, I could pay for an abortion in the middle of Fifth Avenue, and not lose any voters. And that's a promise from me, Herschel Wickapotamus.”
Graham was silent on the fact that the MRC is very much giving Walker a pass for his love of abortions.
The same day, Mark Finkelstein grumbled that MSNBC host Tiffany Cross said that "Georgia Democrats in general, and Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in particular, have gone too easy on Herschel Walker, specifically with regard to allegations that he urged two former girlfriends to have abortions." Rather than explain why he and the MRC are still supporting Walker despite his egregious violations of right-wing anti-abortion orthodoxy, he simply sneered that if Warnock "he had taken her advice and worked abortion allegations against Walker into virtually every answer, voters would surely have soon been turned off by such a tiresome and transparent ploy."
But is it any less tiresome than the MRC continuing to aggressive support and defend Walker despite growing evidence of his immorality?
It seemed that even the MRC was getting tired of having to defend Walker from all these scandals. Indeed, the only major defense it attempted of him before the midterm elections was in a Nov. 5 post by Mark Finkelstein complaining that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough criticized "black Republican" Walker as lacking "the capacity" to be a senator: "The way Scarborough stumbled and and sighed before claiming Walker lacks 'the capacity' to serve suggested that Joe realized he was getting into dangerous territory. But he decided to go there." And even then, Finkelstein didn't try to counter it.
With no candidate getting a majority in the Georgia Senate race, it was set to to to a runoff between Walker and MRC-detested Democrat Raphael Warnock. A Nov. 14 post by Brad Wilmouth was reduced to complaining about a slavery reference:
Several times on Saturday, CNN demonstrated its inability to grasp fact as well as its fixation on racial issues that strained for a reason to discuss slavery within topics you wouldn't expect it. Previewing the upcoming Georgia runoff between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican nominee Herschel Walker, correspondent Nadia Romero tried to tie the runoff system to slavery.
It's a sign of how much of a non-person Perdue became in Republican circles after losing that Wilmouth couldn't be bothered to spell his name correctly.
Having finally recovered from its exhaustion, the MRC became ready to defend Walker anew for the runoff. Geoffrey Dickens served up another so-called study on Nov. 17 complaining about an alleged coverage disparity:
The double-standard is atrocious. The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening newscasts have almost completely buried Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock’s child support scandal, spending only 11 seconds on it since September 1.
Dickens didn't explain why he's demanding coverage of a minor child-support squabble when he and his staunchly anti-abortion co-workers have refused to criticize Walker's penchant for handing out abortions like candy. Nor did he explain why these stories are in any way equivalent.
When Walker was criticized for an ad that went for the base-motivating low-hanging fruit of anti-transgender feamongering, Jay Maxson -- who is very much a transphobe despite having a name and so little public information that we can't tell his or her sex or sexual orientation -- rushed to his defense in a Nov. 23 post:
U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s latest campaign ad exposed his Democrat rival, Sen. Raphael Warnock, for supporting the transgender threat to women’s sports. Angered LGBT propagandists lashed out, accusing Walker of dehumanizing people who are psychologically confused about their gender and by trying to tie him to a horrible shooting at an LGBT club in Colorado.
Rich Noyes whined in a Nov. 26 post that reasonable assessments of Walker were being made on TV:
As early voting began Saturday in the run-off election in Georgia for the final U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in 2022, MSNBC’s Velshi brought on left-wing media personality Roland Martin to talk up the importance of voting for Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock while hurling insults at GOP challenger Herschel Walker.
Noyes did not dispute the accuracy of Martin's assessment.
After someone else criticized Walker's anti-trans ad, Kevin Tober rushed to defense mode:
Much like the rest of the leftist media, CNN has a difficult time grasping the concept of biology and science. This basic fact was once again on full display on the network’s Sunday show State of the Union when co-moderator Dana Bash took issue with Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s ad criticizing men competing with women in sports, in this case competitive swimming. Bash thought Walker’s ad “targets” trans people.
Noyes cranked yet another coverage study for a Dec. 1 post:
In an election year where the liberal media pounded Republicans with while rewarding Democrats with a favorable news agenda, no race has seen more manipulative national media coverage than the Georgia Senate race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
Noyes offered no evidence that Warnock's alleged scandals were the equivalent of Walker's actual scandals, and thus warranted equal coverage.
As with most MRC "studies," Noyes pretended "spin" is something that could be objectively evaluated, pretended that neutral coverage didn't exist even though that's a large part of media coverage, and excluded Fox News from scrutiny. He's also demanding false balance -- even though he failed to provide an example of how Walker's abortion scandal or multiple-baby-mama scandal should have been given "positive" coverage.
In contrast to its cheering for the anti-trans Walker ad, the MRC's Clay Waters spent a Dec. 1 post raging at a Warnock ad making Walker look bad that got praise from the New York Times, huffing: "So much for the Times’ former tut-tutting about negative campaigning." He went on to get his anti-Warnock talking points in:
Speaking of indulging partisan desires, the Times has barely broached allegations about Warnock’s failure to provide child support payments to his ex-wife, which would seemingly invite journalistic charges of religious hypocrisy against a man of the cloth like Rev. Warnock.
Waters didn't explain why Walker's abortion scandal should not have been covered.
Curtis Houck had a fit of Obama Derangement Syndrome in a Dec. 2 post:
Just a day after our latest study showing a cavernous divide in the liberal media’s treatment of Senator Raphael Warnock (D) versus Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia’s Senate runoff, Friday’s CBS Mornings further proved our point by leading with former President Barack Obama’s campaign rally for Warnock filled with “zingers” and fixating on more negative headlines for Walker.
But the link Houck supplied to portray Walker's remarks as "joking" -- from the UK Guardian, which the MRC likes to dismiss as liberal -- said no such thing, instead calling it part of "rambling remarks."
On Dec. 6, the day of the runoff, Mark Finkelstein played whataboutism when "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski questioned whether Walker could do the job if elected, huffing, "You had to wonder: was Mika talking about Herschel Walkeror John Fetterman?" He had more whataboutism when it was pointed out that Walker would be nothing but a GOP rubber stamp: "Unlike Raphael Warnock? That brave, independent-minded, iconoclast who has only voted with Joe Biden . . . 96.4% of the time?" He ended with one last bit of huffiness:
Note: Morning Joe regular Eugene Robinson was not on the panel today. But he has a Washington Post column out claiming [emphasis added],"If Walker wins, it will be because Republican voters decided that loyalty to party was more important than having effective representation in the Senate."
Finkelstein didn't mention Walker's loyal to the "principles" of committing domestic violence and handing out abortions like candy to his girlfriends. And needless to say, the MRC censored the fact that five more women came forward to accuse Walker of abuse.
Kevin Tober sounded a little desperate in a Dec. 6 post, loudly complaining that Walker's scandals were being accurately reported on while his preferred right-wing anti-Raphael Warnock narratives were being ignored:
On Tuesday evening, as many voters in Georgia were heading to the polls after work, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News continued to provide in-kind contributions to the campaign of Democrat Senator Ralphael Warnock by burying his scandals and ties to a noted racist and anti-Semite and getting in one last hit job on his Republican opponent Herschel Walker.
Tober didn't explain why he was continuing to defend such a scandal-ridden candidate like Walker. Also, his anti-Warnock link went to a Fox News story, but he didn't accuse Fox News of offering "in-kind contributions" to Walker's campaign by publishing it. Instead, he concluded by whining, "If Walker does indeed lose on Tuesday, the leftist media’s election interference and censorship of damaging stories about Warnock will certainly be a contributing factor."
Yes, only in the MRC's right-wing bubble would accurate reporting be considered "election interference."
Walker did lose to Warnock like he lost the general election, and this time the post-election whiner was Houck, who complained like Tober that accurate reporting was so unfair:
The flagship broadcast network news programs were ebullient Wednesday morning on the heels of their team’s victory in Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoff election with Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) defeating Republican Herschel Walker, whom ABC, CBS, and NBC boasted had “struggled to overcome” “one scandal after another” (and thus allowed Warnock to evade questions about his past).
Houck didn't explain why he chose to defend such a morally compromised candidate even after that immorality could not be denied. If he can't do that, he -- like the rest of the MRC -- has no moral authority to pass judgment on anyone else.
Finkelstein returned for one last post-election defense, whining in a Dec. 7 post that S.E. Cupp, whom he dismissed as a "CNN Republican," said that Walker wouldn't have been a candidate "if you had a strong Republican leadership willing to say to Donald Trump, this candidate is crap," huffing in response: "Can you imagine Cupp, or any CNNer, ever disparaging a Democrat in such a scatological manner?" He then tried to wash his hands of Walker by blaming GOP primary voters, not Trump, for picking Walker as their nominee (though Trump did, in fact, endorse him) -- and he still couldn't stop playing whataboutism by complaining: "In fact, if there is a group that truly disparages black Republicans, it is the liberal media, particularly fellow African-Americans."
In denial to the end. So much for putting principles before party.