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Pelosi Derangement Syndrome At The MRC

The Media Research Center not only greeted Nancy Pelosi stepping down from House Democratic leadership with more hate, it attacked her daughter for making a film about her.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 3/24/2023

Fresh off trying to deny that the violent attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband could possibly have been inspired by right-wing vitriol toward her, the Media Research Center greeted Pelosi stepping down from House leadership as her stint as House majority leader ended with, unsurprisingly, more right-wing vitriol. The attacks started shortly after the midterm elections:
  • A Nov. 12 "flashback" post by Rich Noyes whined about "the overwhelmingly favorable coverage that Democrat Nancy Pelosi enjoyed in 2006 as incoming Speaker in that election year," compared with the "savage attacks" faced by Kevin McCarthy as a Republican House leader.
  • Kevin Tober complained in a Nov. 13 post that CNN "interviewed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to gush over the Democrat Party's [sic] better-than-expected performance in both the Senate and House of Representatives races. Not being able to explain the results by pointing to the Democrat Party's [sic] record of 40-year high inflation, open borders, and a deepening recession, Bash asked Pelosi if 'political violence' was what caused voters to not issue a clear verdict on Biden's performance in office." Tober whined that interviewer Dana Bash "only mentioned the alleged attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband Paul" -- actually, the attack was very real, and the MRC helped to make him a target -- but not other alleged attacks on Republican politicians, "the assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh" (in which the alleged assailant turned himself in before any "assassination attempt" ever happened), or "the countless attacks on pro-life centers around the country" (which ignores the countless attacks on abortion facilities and providers by anti-abortion extremists).
  • A Nov. 17 post by Nicholas Fondacaro whined that the "cackling coven" of "The View" had "mourned" that Pelosi would no longer be speaker.

As Pelosi made her retirement from House leadership official, Alex Christy complained in a Nov. 17 post:

From Nancy Pelosi herself to her white suit to her relationship with former President Trump, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and her Thursday guests could not stop gushing over Pelosi before and after her speech announcing she step down from House Democratic leadership in the next Congress.

Before the speech, Mitchell had a difficult time keeping it together as she declared, “And [Capitol Hill correspondent] Ali Vitali, we've heard all these scenarios that, you know, there was one report Jon Meacham had contributed to the speech—speeches we should say because they’re were different options, but eventually, she was rewriting herself because she knows herself better than anyone, of course.”


After the speech, Vitali also fawned over Pelosi and her clothes, “Pelosi making a nod to all of those as she stood there in that iconic white pantsuit that we have seen her wear time and again at these momentous, historical inflection points, a nod to the suffragettes and the women’s movement.”

After touching on Pelosi’s role in passing Obamacare, Vitali also hyped her relationship with Trump, “And then, of course, the work that she's done over the course of the pandemic, the work that she did on accountability around Donald Trump during the era of his government.”

“Accountability” is now less than two months away from being redefined as “obstructionist” or “partisan witch hunts.”

Curtis Houck whined even louder:

Just as MSNBC couldn’t contain its adoration Thursday for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as she announced she wouldn’t be seeking reelection to House Democratic leadership, CNN was also on Team Pelosi and nowhere near Chris Licht’s model of delivering the news as hosts and other supposed journalists swooned over the “spunky grandmother” as akin to “great performer on the stage or a great athlete” walking away.

And despite her being radically pro-abortion, CNN had the gall to insist she’s dedicated her “career” to helping “children.” That is, the ones she’s allowing to live, of course.


King had more eyebrow-raising moments as he argued “the connective tissue in her career is children and China in the sense that she has always pushed programs to help children, whether education programs, health programs” (minus the whole abortion thing) as well as being “a fierce critic of China.”

Cornish stepped in moments later and not content with that. Instead he boasted she’s more than “a spunky grandma,” but someone who “was there for the most consequential moments of the last 15 years legislatively.” Obviously, King seconded her on the “spunky grandmother” line.

Kevin Tober served up more attacks on anyone who committed the offense of saying something nice about Pelosi:

With the news Thursday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be stepping down from Democratic House leadership, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News spent time gushing over Pelosi’s “historic” tenure as speaker of the House and highlighted her publicized fights with former President Trump and her infamous temper tantrum after his 2020 State of the Union address where she tore up a copy of his address in anger.

On ABC, Capitol Hill correspondent Rachel Scott dramatically announced Pelosi’s “historic passing of the torch.” Scott could barely contain herself when she drooled that “Pelosi is a singular figure in American history.”

Scott even praised Pelosi’s petulant fights with former President Trump: “Pelosi worked with four Presidents, often going toe to toe with Donald Trump.”

Tober didn't explain why Trump wasn't the petulant one. Christy returned to whine some more the next day:

The never-ending worship of Nancy Pelosi continued on Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC as host Mika Brzezinski repeatedly asked House Republicans “who raised you?” in response to the lack of praise from the GOP and demanded they make their mothers proud by reversing course.

Brzezinski’s angry rant was in response to reading Sen. Mitch McConnell’s statement on Pelosi’s decision to step down from leadership and wondered why other Republicans couldn’t do the same, “End of an era, first woman to serve as speaker, an amazing career, a mother of five, and by the way, her husband was just attacked as a result of political violence. This would have been the moment to step up and show some grace.”


Pelosi didn’t die and contrary to what USA Today Washington bureau chief and Pelosi biographer Susan Page said at the beginning of Brzezinski’s diatribe, she isn’t even retiring from Congress. She simply decided to become a backbencher. The demand that you praise a hyper-partisan figure for that is one that only goes one way.

Houck also kept up the whinefest:

Following suit from Thursday night, the flagship Friday morning broadcast network news shows were bursting with adulation for the “end of an era” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced she wouldn’t seek reelection to House Democratic leadership. On ABC and NBC, they called her a “hero” and “icon” “went toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful men in the world” and whose “reign...was legendary.”

ABC’s Good Morning America co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos said his piece, lamenting her absence at the top “marks a seismic shift” before giving way to congressional correspondent Rachel Scott boasting of Pelosi as “the most powerful woman in Washington for decades.”


On NBC’s Today, congressional correspondent (and former CNNer) Ryan Nobles couldn’t hide his feelings. He told co-host Hoda Kot[b] that “Pelosi's reign over the Democratic caucus was legendary” and that she “went toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful men in the world and rarely backed down, making her a hero in her party and enemy number one for Republicans.”

Nobles reiterated moments later that Pelosi was “[a]n icon to Democrats and a villain to Republicans” and, as part of her farewell to leadership, she “paid homage to the presidents she worked with” even though she only touched on three of them.


And over on CBS Mornings, they too joined in on the “end of an era” laments with co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King boasting Pelosi was “winning rare praise from both sides of the aisle and I understand there were a lot of tears in the room yesterday.”

Christy even attacked a historian for issuing a judgment on Pelosi:

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley joined CNN Inside Politics John King on Friday to talk about Nancy Pelosi’s place in history. As Brinkley tells it, Pelosi is the most significant Speaker in American history because she helped pass liberal legislation, mainly Obamacare.

King began by asking, “Nancy Pelosi's place in history will be what?,” Brinkley got straight to the point, “It's large. I think she's maybe the most important Speaker of the House in American history.”

After running through some of the other contenders, Brinkley gave his reasoning, “Nancy Pelosi has a legacy that is so large not just for shattering the glass ceiling of being a woman but I think the Affordable Care Act.”

Brinkley was not content to just label Obamacare as a significant piece of legislation, but had to qualify that it was good legislation as well, “I mean, that really has provided so many people with the ability to pay for operations, surgical procedures, saved lives, and Obama and Harry Reid say it couldn't be done without Nancy Pelosi. That's a big feather in her cap and John, I don't think she's going away.”

Bill D'Agostino served up some meta-whining as he recapped some of his co-workers' previous whining:

Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) second and final stint as Speaker of the House is over, and the establishment media are waxing sentimental. Since she announced her retirement from Democratic leadership, media types have heaped praise and adoration on the Congresswoman: “legendary!” “incredible!” “a towering figure!”

On Thursday, the Washington Post ran a goopy love letter to the Speaker from purple prose enthusiast Eugene Robinson, who went with the subtle headline, “Nancy Pelosi was the most consequential speaker of our time.”


But the grand prize for excessive Pelosi praise goes to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. On Friday, the Morning Joe co-host gushed: “Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, it’s sort of hard not to be in awe of what she has accomplished. Unless you’re in a cult.”

Of course, journalists slobbering all over Democratic politicians is fairly unremarkable. But given the Republicans’ rather lackluster performance in the recent midterm elections, now more than ever it’s worth noting just how subservient the media are to Democrats.

Says a guy who just demonstrated how subservient he and his employer are to Republicans. And Tierin-Rose Mandelburg didn't want to feel left out, so she contributed her own whinefest:

Boo hoo!

Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will not seek reelection as the Democratic House Leader. Though essentially Pelosi was forced to step down due to the fact that Republicans took back the house and she'll be 127 yrs old any day now, Hollywood celebs and blue check elitists used the opportunity to fawn over her success in office.

Singer Barbara Streisend claimed that the world is going to miss having Pelosi as our speaker ... I guess I’m not part of this world then.


The hashtags #ThankYouMadamSpeaker and #ThankYouSpeakerPelosi also began trending on twitter in honor of her exit.

Legacy media also praised Pelosi likening her to an "icon," "legendary," and "the most important" speaker "in American history." Eat it, Henry Clay!

The fact that blue checks praise Pelosi's every movement and motive is honestly, embarrassing.

More embarrassing than Mandelburg and her co-workers reflexively denigrating Pelosi and lashing out at anyone who dared to say something nice about her just for the sake of a paycheck?

Clay Waters whined in a Nov. 20 post that a New York Times reporter "proved his usual unctuous self" in reporting on Pelosi stepping down from leadership and that he "Pelosi rage at the Republican reaction to the hammer attack on her husband Paul Pelosi until the end." Waters then played whataboutism to downplay the violence, declaring that "Pelosi’s daughter Christine Pelosi in 2020 tweeted support for the violent attack on Republican Sen. Rand Paul by an angry liberal neighbor."

Jeffrey Lord used his Nov. 26 column to serve up this complaint: "It goes without saying that the liberal media just loved outgoing Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. If Pelosi did X, then X was just fine by the media.

Pelosi documentary meltdown

The MRC's Nancy Pelosi Derangement Syndrome even extended to her daughter for making a documentary about her. Right-wing film critic Christian Toto spent a Dec. 3 post complaining that the documentary has a certain bias (you know, like a lot of documentaries do):

The new documentary, debuting December 13 on HBO, is directed by Alexandra Pelosi. Yes, that’s the House Speaker’s daughter, a veteran filmmaker whose body of work reflects her family’s progressive bona fides.

To be clear, HBO hired Nancy Pelosi’s filmmaking daughter to shoot a documentary about mom. Just imagine a platform like HBO or Showtime releasing a docuseries on President Donald Trump produced by Ivanka or Eric Trump.

It’s not possible because it wouldn’t happen. Nor should it.

HBO’s marketing team makes no effort to hide the nepotism on full display, to its credit. The film’s synopsis, though, suggests an attempt to place the outgoing speaker in the context of modern history ... as seen through the eyes of a daughter who shot, produced and directed the film.

Even if Alexandra Pelosi could capture her mother’s political life in an unflinchingly neutral fashion HBO shouldn’t choose her to film such a project.


Recent documentaries like Fauci, Bring Down the House and Hillary similarly fawn over their subjects, pushing objectivity to the curb.

At least Pelosi in the House silences any chance of a fair and balanced look at a consequential Democrat right from the start.

One suspects that Toto has never similarly criticized a right-leaning documentary -- from, say, Dinesh D'Souza -- for being biased.

Kevin Tober spent a Dec. 11 post being angry that the Pelosis were -- gasp! -- promoting their film, with a little petty Brittney Griner-bashing mixed in:

On Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley opened her show by fawning over her pal and fellow Democrat, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pauley gushed that it “might be an understatement” when Forbes Magazine named Pelosi in their top 100 most powerful women in the world.

“This past week, Forbes Magazine named House Speaker Nancy Pelosi one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. That might be an understatement. Nancy Pelosi is our 52nd Speaker of the House, the first woman to hold the job and second in line to the presidency,” Pauley swooned like a starstruck teenager.

She never explained why this warranted the opening segment of CBS’s flagship Sunday morning news program despite there being much bigger and more important news, like the Biden administration leaving Marine Paul Whelan behind enemy lines in Russia while securing the release of an anti-American WNBA player.

Perhaps because nobody has ever accused "Sunday Morning" of being a hard-news show, airing as it does on Sunday morning when little news is made?

Tim Graham devoted his Dec. 14 column to spewing rage at more promotion of the film:

On December 12, CBS Mornings gushed over filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, who’s made a series of political documentaries for HBO. But the latest is Pelosi in the House, a valentine to her mother and her career. This isn’t a first for HBO. Ten years ago, Rory Kennedy made a film about her mother Ethel, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. At least, Ethel Kennedy didn’t have her own political legacy to promote. But these are more like home movies. What makes them interesting is daughters making films about their mothers.

CBS, like other supine publicists, touted Alexandra’s “extraordinary access,” which is actually quite ordinary for mother and daughter. She ridiculously claimed “I was never actually given permission” to film. CBS, like other soft-touch outlets, let Alexandra claim “I’m not a political person.” This is transparently false. You can’t make political documentaries and claim you’re not a political person.

Graham went on to whine that the "bitter" Alexandra Pelosi said that the violent attack on her father, Paul Pelosi, was likely inspired by what she said could be traced to "hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to demonize Nancy Pelosi over the years”:

This doesn’t make her unique. Hundreds of millions of dollars and endless hours of “news” have demonized the Trump family. Partisans have demonized the Reagans, the Bushes, the Clintons, and so on. But no one at CBS was going to curtail this rant, and no one was going to wonder out loud how the attack on her father happened – in the presence of police. Conservatives had to be blamed.


Political people know that politics isn't always noble. Dividing and demonizing is often how you win the game and get the votes. Democrats and their media enablers do plenty of that. Blaming conservatives across America for the Paul Pelosi attack before all the facts are in is just the latest attempt.

Graham didn't mention that a few million of those dollars were spent by his employer, or that his employer spent money and time specifically making Paul Pelosi a target.

Later that day, Alex Christy trashed the documentary itself by listing what are purportedly its "worst moments" that he called "a gushing look at Pelosi’s career with plenty lowlights from the cringe worthy to the outrageous" -- though those are really mostly Pelosi defending herself against criticism over the years from the likes of right-wingers like Christy.

A Dec. 15 post by Graham again smeared Alexandra Pelosi as "bitter" for pointing out that right-wing attacks on her mother likely primed the attack on her father and saying that "if I watch Fox News, I would hate Nancy Pelosi, too." Graham made no effort to rebut the claim this time, and he didn't explain why someone criticizing partisan political activists who appear to have incited a violent attack on her father must be attacked as "bitter" and not, say, praised as a realist and expressing genuine anger.

Nicholas Fondacaro attacked Alexandra Pelosi as well for pointing out that uncomfortable yet logical realization, going on to twist her words:

According to her, Republican rhetoric was responsible for what “happened to Steve Scalise.” In reality, the terrorist that attacked the Republican congressional baseball practice was a liberal extremist and rabid MSNBC viewer.

Fondacaro named no anti-Scalise rhetoric that was equivalent to the anti-Pelosi hate that spewed on a near-daily basis from Fox News and the MRC.

The derangement continues

Weeks after Pelosi's announcement, though, the MRC was still lashing out at her. Tim Graham spent part of his Dec. 21 podcast raging over an extremely tiny provision in the recently passed omnibus spending bill: "The networks are urging everyone on board with the latest $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, and no one needs to read its 4,155 pages. Just vote yes. For any Republicans to argue against this newest deluge of many billions is apparently horrendous. What we're going to get is more opportunities for a Speaker Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco and a Michelle Obama Trail in Georgia."

The MRC continued to melt down over any coverage of Pelosi that wasn't hostile. Tober groused in a Jan. 3 post:

On Tuesday, which saw the official kick-off of the 118th Congress, NBC Nightly News dedicated their last segment usually reserved for superficial human interest stories to fawn, gush and drool over now-former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,and what Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali described as being "famous for her toughness and deep understanding of her caucus."

Before turning to Vitali, anchor Lester Holt swooned over Pelosi's "lasting impact on the women who have come to Washington." From there, Vitali took over the Pelosi stenography. "Ask these Democratic lawmakers about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and it doesn't take long for the Pelosi-isms to start flowing," Vitali said before turning to three Democrat members of Congress who were lined up to cheer on Pelosi with her:

Alex Christy served up his own grumbling in a Jan. 6 post: "CNN’s Chris Wallace travelled to CBS’s The Late Show on Thursday to discuss his career, the new season of Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace, and the on-going drama in the House of Representatives. While Colbert argued the Speaker battle is proof that God exists, Wallace argued it proves Nancy Pelosi was a genius."

Graham returned for a Jan. 23 post raging over even more non-negative coverage of Pelosi:

How much does The New York Times look like a partisan Democrat rag? Look no further than the yoooge 3,700-word Nancy Pelosi puff piece on the front of the Sunday Opinion section (and two entire pages inside) by Maureen Dowd. You could see the massive color photo on the outside, and a massive color photo on the inside, with Pelosi posed primly outside the "Speaker Nancy Pelosi Caucus Room."

The most preposterous sentence in the whole thing is Dowd claiming "She never won over pundits, as Tip O’Neill did, despite accomplishments to match his." Pundits especially loved her under Trump. The Time columnist enjoyed lunch with Pelosi at the hoity-toity Four Seasons Hotel, and Dowd touted her religiosity:

When Wallace did an interview with Pelosi, Graham raged about that too the next day, again taking a swipe at the documentary:

How bad could the Chris Wallace talk show on CNN be? Could it be as liberal-leaning as their longtime star Larry King? It certainly looked like it when Brent Baker tweeted out the promo for last Sunday night's edition of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace? It looked more like Who's Chris Wallace Flattering?


This came in the second half of the Wallace interview. He came out of commercial insisting "Whether you agree with her politics or not, there is no denying Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most effective politicians in Washington for the last two decades. I picked up our conversation asking the former speaker how she's done it."

You can tell that Alexandra Pelosi's dearest-mommy documentary is clearly part of the Pelosi PR packet, as Alexander was featured heavily in the Maureen Dowd puff piece in Sunday's New York Times. Wallace played a clip of Pelosi playing hardball with a Democrat as they passed "Obamacare" in 2010. Then Wallace played a clip of Pelosi talking in the documentary about never tiring in a negotiation.

Graham spent an interview flattering Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, so perhaps he should apologize for that softball job before lashing out at Wallace.

Imagine hating someone so thoroughly and viciously that even seeing the smallest bit of positive coverage of that person sends you into fits of partisan rage. That's the space Graham and the MRC are in with Pelosi right now.

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