MRC in the News

Publications & Analysis
  30-Day Archive
  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
  Press Releases
  Special Reports
  Media Bias Videos
Bozell Columns
MRC Divisions
  News Division
  Free Market Project
MRC Information
  About the MRC
  Support the MRC
  Planned Giving
  What Others Say
MRC Resources
  Site Search
  Media Addresses
  Contact MRC
  MRC Bookstore
  Job Openings

Support the MRC

MRC in the News

August 2004


Many media outlets — radio, television and print — regularly feature MRC guests on their programs, quote MRC spokespeople in their articles, and cite MRC research in their stories. Below is a sampling of MRC making news in the news media. Links are provided when available, and were active when posted.


Washington Times
Inside Politics- "Brokaw's analysis," by Greg Pierce
August 31

"In a likely preview of a media obsession this week, Tom Brokaw ended Sunday's 'NBC Nightly News' by complaining that the decision to feature three 'middle-of-the-road' speakers, in contrast to the party's 'hard right' positions, may be seen by 'street-wise New Yorkers' as 'the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town, three-card monty,' " the Media Research Center reports at

See Story


New York Post
'Moderate’ Miscue
August 31

... (Needless to say, as the Media Research Center - which provided these transcripts - noted, Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy were never asked how they could ...

See Story


Agape Press
“Commentary & News Briefs,” by Mark Creech and compiled by Jody Brown
August 30

…A media watchdog says to get ready for the major television networks to provide very predictable coverage of this week's Republican National Convention. As Republicans begin their convention in New York City, Tim Graham of the Media Research Center (MRC) says history has shown just what can be expected from the Big Three networks. "They want to tell you how conservative, how conservative, how conservative the Republicans are," Graham says, repeating the phrase for emphasis. "And if they can highlight the scariness of religious conservatives enough, they'll do that also." After studying how the networks covered the Democrats' gathering in Boston, MRC issued guidelines for coverage of the New York GOP convention. Graham says if the networks are going to treat the parties equally, they will have to avoid discussing President Bush's record. "Now that sounds ridiculous -- but the fact of the matter is, they did not talk about John Kerry the senator, what John Kerry voted for, what John Kerry did," he explains. Graham says controversial issues should also be avoided. "They didn't talk about abortion at the Democratic convention; they didn't talk about gay issues at the Democratic convention." To be fair, Graham says, the networks should not bring those issues up either. [Bill Fancher]

See Story


The New Republic Online
“Book Clubbed,” by Franklin Foer
August 30

For all conservatism's mainstream success, panel members made clear that they haven't done away with their old world view. They're still kvetching about media bias. The panel's moderator Cal Thomas intoned, "The gatekeepers of publishing are keeping out ideas with which they don't agree." L. Brent Bozell III griped that David Brock couldn't get on TV when he was a conservative. But after Brock switched sides and became a man of the left, he suddenly dogged Bozell's channel surfing. (It is strange that this complaint should come from Bozell, who admitted that Crown, a division of Random House, publishes his books.) 

See Story


The Boston Globe
“PBS New Shows Spur Charges That PBS Is Trying to Appease Conservative Critics in Congress,” by Mark Jurkowitz, Globe Staff
August 30

…Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative watchdog Media Research Center, says his group has traditionally focused its criticism on shows like "Frontline" and "P.O.V." as well as "anything Moyers is doing.

"You don't balance out 30 years of liberal bias with 30 minutes of Tucker Carlson," Graham says. "That doesn't balance the game." …


University Wire
“Journalists' Liberal Views Affect Objective Reporting,” by Justin Wax
August 30

…Rich Noyes, of the Media Research Center wrote in his June 30 report, "The Liberal Media," "Surveys over the past 25 years have consistently found journalists are much more liberal than the rest of America. Their voting habits are disproportionately Democratic, their views on issues such as abortion and gay rights are well to the left of most Americans and they are less likely to attend church or synagogue." …


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Election 2004: Web Site Monitors The Right; On The Left: New Spin Doctors Point out What They Interpret As Political Misinformation,” by Scott Shepard
August 29

…Brock initially viewed the conservative Media Research Center as a model for Media Matters. Media Research Center monitors the news and focuses on what its analysts consider liberal bias. …


Austin American-Statesman
“Countering Conservatives Is Media Matters' Mission; Next Generation of Political Spin Doctors Takes Message Online,” by Scott Shepard
August 28

…Brock initially viewed the conservative Media Research Center as a model for Media Matters. Media Research Center monitors the news media and focuses on what its analysts consider liberal bias. Media Research Center officials point out that Media Matters is evolving into a very different animal.

"They're not trying to say there is a conservative bias in the news media," said Tim Graham, director of media analysis at Media Research Center. "We're trying to say there is a liberal bias in the news media. They're out to fight what they call conservative misinformation. They're trying to focus on accuracy and inaccuracy." 

The Web sites of both organizations this week provided a good example of the differences in their approach. 

Media Research Center highlighted complaints about CBS "Early Show" host Harry Smith interrupting Swift Boat Veterans for Truth founder John O'Neill during an interview about the group's allegations that Kerry lied about his combat record in Vietnam. Smith's interview with O'Neill was "anything but fair and balanced," said Media Research Center President Brent Bozell. …


World Magazine
“Questions of Character,” by Susan Olasky
August 28

…The contrast with coverage of the Bush/National Guard story early this year is striking. According to the Media Research Center, "From Feb. 1-16, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired 63 National Guard stories or interview segments on their morning and evening news programs." The big media demanded release of all the Bush records. Only after the Bush campaign did a massive record drop did the media hubbub subside.


Boston Globe
“Reaching out Or Caving in?” by Mark Jurkowitz
August 30

…Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative watchdog Media Research Center, says his group has traditionally focused its criticism on shows like "Frontline" and "P.O.V." as well as "anything Moyers is doing."

"You don't balance out 30 years of liberal bias with 30 minutes of Tucker Carlson," Graham says. "That doesn't balance the game." …

See Story


National Review Online
“Damned If You Do,” by Tim Graham
August 30

Republicans, this is going to be a tough and nasty week to put up with TV news coverage. Just for starters, Tom Brokaw signed off the NBC Nightly News on Sunday by comparing the convention's slate of moderate speakers to a "con game." I'm sure we'll see a massive rise in Fox viewership this week as conservatives look to steer around all the media's double standards, while the lapdogs in Boston are transformed into attack dogs in New York. It won't take too long to remember that the networks have a history of egregious bias at convention time.

See Story


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“John Kerry’s Soldier-Smearing,” by L. Brent Bozell III (guest column)
August 29

It's late August, and someone in America decided it's time to scrutinize John Kerry's life story on television. For a week in Boston, John F. Kerry wrapped himself around a war effort he had spent decades denouncing, and Dan, Peter and Tom sat around and nodded. No one even considered the possibility that Kerry could be -- should be -- challenged on any point of his self-serving history.

See Story


Cox News Service
“Media Website Represents New Style and New Generation of Political Spin Doctors,” by Scott Shepard
August 26

…Brock initially viewed the conservative Media Research Center as a model for Media Matters. Media Research Center monitors the news media and focuses on what its analysts consider liberal bias. But even Media Research Center officials point out that Media Matters is evolving into a very different animal.

"They're not trying to say there is a conservative bias in the news media," said Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center. "We're trying to say there is a liberal bias in the news media. They're out to fight what they call conservative misinformation. They're trying to focus on accuracy and inaccuracy." …

The story ran in the Palm Beach Post on August 27.


Washington Times
Inside Politics by Greg Pierce
August 26

... discussing in rather loose terms the idea that maybe John Kerry had purposely wounded himself to win a Purple Heart,' “the Media Research Center's Brent Baker ...

See Story


The Washington Times
Inside Politics, “Wrong Culprit,” by Greg Pierce
August 26

"Chris Matthews on Monday night continued his apparently deliberate distortion of what Michelle Malkin said on his show last Thursday as he derogatorily referred to how 'there was a woman on the show the other night, Michelle Malkin or something, who was discussing in rather loose terms the idea that maybe John Kerry had purposely wounded himself to win a Purple Heart,' " the Media Research Center's Brent Baker writes at

"Kerry's sycophantic biographer, Douglas Brinkley, then declared: 'I feel it is a completely irresponsible comment and she needs to apologize for making it. There's no evidence that says John Kerry ever shot himself.' But Malkin never said Kerry 'shot himself.' It was Matthews who made up that charge. Pat Buchanan pointed out to Matthews that Malkin was just relaying what was in John O'Neill's book: 'What she was saying was right from the book that it was a "self-inflicted wound," probably by a grenade that hit the rocks in front of Kerry.' 

" 'Self-inflicted' does not mean on purpose and no one in O'Neill's book, nor Malkin on the August 19 'Hardball,' ever said that Kerry 'shot himself.' Only Matthews came up with that slam at Kerry."

See Story


The Washington Times
“Press Downplays Anti-Bush Groups,” by James G. Lakely
August 26

…Mr. Soros has been the subject of more than 600 stories since he began funding various anti-Bush efforts, but Brent Baker of the conservative Media Research Center said most of those stories were hardly as critical and probing as the ones about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in recent days. 

"On the 527 groups, in the spring, every network did a story or two, but that was about it," Mr. Baker said. "They did a few things on Soros or mentioned him in passing during stories showing that Bush has out-raised Kerry by a 2-1 margin, but that Kerry has these independent groups spending money on his behalf. 

"There was never any effort to condemn or pursue or try to discredit any advertising based upon funding," Mr. Baker added. "It was basically a one-day story saying that these groups exist and they attack Bush." …

See Story


Agape Press
“Networks Get Religion All Wrong, Survey Says,” by Tim Graham (excerpts from MRC Special Report on religion)
August 25

The article appeared originally in the August 2004 issue of AFA Journal, a monthly publication of the American Family Association.


“The Church of Liebling,” by Jack Shafer
August 25

... staff, leaving the job of press criticism mostly to alternative weeklies, partisan organizations such as FAIR on the left and the Media Research Center on the ...

See Story


The Washington Times
“Another convention gets an hour,” by Jennifer Harper
August 25

When the Democrats were center stage last month, broadcast and cable networks offered them “rock-star coverage,” according to the Media Research Center (MRC)—complete with fawning correspondents and candidate adulation.


Webb's World: Liberal Media, Tedd Webb- Clear Channel, Tampa
August 25

... The Media Research Center discovered when the media was hot on the rumor that George W Bush was absent from his Alabama National Guard Unit, they dedicated 75 ...

See Story


Washington Times
"Another convention gets an hour," by Jennifer Harper
August 25

... were center stage last month, broadcast and cable networks offered them "rock-star coverage," according to the Media Research Center (MRC) - complete with ...

See Story
"Jaguar, Land Rover Partner with Homosexual Activist Group," by Melanie Hunter
August 24

( - Two automakers are partnering with a homosexual activist group by developing a special marketing campaign geared towards homosexuals. Jaguar North America and Land Rover North America announced Tuesday their expanded national sponsorship of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

See Story


The Washington Times
Nation- “About-face,” by Greg Pierce
August 24

“On the first ‘Face the Nation’ after President Bush’s Air National Guard service became a big media scandal in February, CBS’s Bob Schieffer focused on the substance, demanding to know what recently released records revealed,” the Media Research Center notes at


Boston Globe
“Some of Kerry's Biggest Fans Are in the Press,” by Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist
August 24

…``We got anonymous answers from 153 journalists, about a third of them based in Washington,'' he wrote on Aug. 1. ``When asked who would be a better president, the journalists from outside the Beltway picked Mr. Kerry 3 to 1, and the ones from Washington favored him 12 to 1. Those results jibe with previous surveys over the past two decades showing that journalists tend to be Democrats, especially the ones based in Washington. Some surveys have found that more than 80 percent of the Beltway press corps votes Democratic.'' Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and for tasting liberal bias in journalism, no one tops the Media Research Center. Founded by conservative activist Brent Bozell in 1987, the MRC has become an indispensable resource for anyone interested in how political attitudes shape news coverage. Its most illuminating technique is the simplest: It monitors journalists' words and quotes them. What it has found time and time again is a skew to the left: a tendency to celebrate, echo, or defend Democrats, liberals, and left-of-center ideas. …

See Story


Investor's Business Daily
"We Are Waiting," (no byline)
August 23

... As the Media Research Center, a media watchdog, pointed out, ABC, CBS and NBC did 75 stories on charges Bush was "AWOL" from the National Guard. ...

See Story
"Ted Turner: Big Media, FCC Stifling Freedom," by Jon E. Dougherty
August 23

... Massachusetts senator has made during his presidential bid. MRC says that changed Aug. 19 when "ABC World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth ...

See Story


Washington Times
"Nobles and knaves," (no byline)
August 21

... According to the Media Research Center, the major TV networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - have collectively aired just nine stories about the "swiftees" charges ...

See Story


Fox News Channel
After Hours with Cal Thomas
August 21

MRC President L. Brent Bozell discussed media bias and his book, "Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meldown of the Liberal Media."


Fox News Channel
Hannity & Colmes
August 20

MRC President L. Brent Bozell discussed media hostility toward the swift vets.


The Washington Times
Nation; Inside Politics, “Screen Gems,” by Jennifer Harper
August 20

Both parties have seized upon the military records of President Bush and Sen. John Kerry as fodder for argument. But the conservative Media Research Center (MRC) has found that ABC, CBS and NBC are siding with the Kerry cause.

The three networks devoted 75 stories on Democrats' accusations that Mr. Bush had been "AWOL" during his service in the Alabama Air National Guard, but featured only nine stories on Mr. Kerry's "embellished war record" and gave "no respect to Swift Boat vets for truth," noted the MRC's Richard Noyes yesterday.

"Back in February, the three broadcast networks were obsessed with the story of President Bush's National Guard service. But in May, when John Kerry's former Navy colleagues from Vietnam went to the National Press Club to charge that Kerry's tales of heroism as a Swift Boat commander were highly exaggerated, those same networks acted as if their job was to bury the news, not report it," Mr. Noyes said. 


Washington Times
INSIDE Politics- "Medal or meddle?" by Jennifer Harper
August 20

... John Kerry as fodder for argument. But the conservative Media Research Center (MRC) has found that ABC, CBS and NBC are siding with the Kerry cause.

See Story


Atlanta Journal Constitution
"THINKING Right: Race, sales tax," by Jim Wooten
August 20

... The conservative Media Research Center has examined the three TV networks' morning and evening news shows. So far this year, the ...

See Story


Media Matters for America
"FOX & Friends used dubious poll to bolster Swift Boat Vet group's impact" (no byline)
August 19

... On the August 18 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, L. Brent Bozell III -- founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center ...

See Story


Media Matters for America
“Ignoring Evidence of Coverage, Brent Bozell and John Gibson Claimed Media Ignored Swift Boat Vets,” by G.W.
August 19

On the August 18 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, L. Brent Bozell III -- founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center -- claimed that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "were completely ignored by the media" after their May 4 press conference, "with the exception of FOX that covered and CBS that absolutely slammed them." In fact, as Media Matters for America noted at the time, the anti-Kerry group received substantial coverage on cable news on May 4. …

See Story


Investor’s Business Daily
“No Surprise Which ‘Band of Brothers’ Media Have Joined,” by L. Brent Bozell III
August 19

The week after the Democratic convention, two of the nation’s three largest news magazines, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, had fun with two-page photo spreads emphasizing the Democratic nominee’s acceptance speech opener: 
“I’m John Kerry, and I’m reporting for duty.”

See Story


The O’Reilly Factor- Fox News Network
“Factor Follow Up; Gibson Discusses Swift Boat Captains,” with John Gibson Guests: Brent Bozell, Author, "Weapons of Mass Distortion," Paul Waldman,, Editor
August 18

GIBSON: And thanks for staying with us. I'm John Gibson in for Bill O'Reilly. And in the FACTOR FOLLOW UP segment tonight, the real fallout from the swift boat controversy. A new study says the anti-Kerry ad from the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is making some independent voters, who were previously leaning towards Senator Kerry, second guess their vote. This could spell big trouble for John Kerry.

Joining us now from Washington is Paul Waldman, the editor of and the author of "The Press Effect: Politicians, Journalists, and the Stories that Shape the Political World," and Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center and author of "Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media."

So Brent, this ad is apparently -- well, a new study shows that it does have some effect on independent voters. So does that mean we're going to see more of it? 

BRENT BOZELL, "WEAPONS OF MASS DISTORTION": I suspect so, because as I understand it, they're pretty well heeled. You know, the interesting thing is that this is a group that did a national press conference on May 5th to talk about this issue and were completely ignored by the media, with the exception of Fox that covered and CBS that absolutely slammed them.

But ABC, NBC, CNN all ignored them. So they put up a Web site. Suddenly, they're raised a million dollars, they go out with an ad, and now come the networks all attacking them for doing an ad. It's remarkable.

GIBSON: You know, Paul, it seems to me that you can see there is an effect on the Kerry campaign, because all of the sudden, there is this ad attacking George Bush in the same way. Is that the measure of the effectiveness of the ad against Kerry?

PAUL WALDMAN, GADFLYER.COM EDITOR: Well, to an extent. But the idea that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth haven't gotten enough media coverage is just ludicrous. I did a Lexis-Nexis search this morning. There have been over 500 newspaper and television stories about them and the advertising.

GIBSON: Since the ad.

BOZELL: Since the ad.

WALDMAN: Yeah, so they are all over the place. They're getting coverage in every major news outlet.

GIBSON: Yeah, but Paul, you're making Brent's point for him. They have a news conference; nobody pays any attention to them. They put an ad on the air, and suddenly they get some juice.

WALDMAN: Well, that's often the case, because political journalists are always interested in advertising. And you're right, it does indicate that they're being successful, because the Kerry campaign is being forced to talk about it. And the Bush campaign is only too happy with this.

I mean, obviously, they don't really want to talk about Iraq, they don't really want to talk about the economy, or healthcare, or any of these things if they can get the discussion on whether or not, you know, John Kerry had one medal or...

GIBSON: Yeah, but Paul, wait a minute. Paul, wait a minute. It was John Kerry who went to the Democratic Convention and said, "John Kerry reporting for duty." I mean, he wrapped himself in the flag.

WALDMAN: There's no question that his service is a legitimate issue. But the question is not so much whether we're talking about his service. The question is, are the things that they're saying accurate? And a lot of the things that are in that swift boat veterans ad are not accurate. You know, you have this parade of guys saying, "I served with John Kerry." Well, you know, that's true in the same sense that I spent last night with Condoleezza Rice.

We were both in Washington, just in the same sense that these guys were all in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry, but they weren't actually there. They don't actually know what happened.

GIBSON: Brent, you checked the bona fides of these claims. What do you think?

BOZELL: Look, these are people, many of them who were with him. These were people who treated him. These are people who have the right to speak out. It's kind of interesting, going back to the media for a second here that the media, which your other guest says they care about advertising. What about caring about the truth?

What about getting to the bottom of this story, especially when a presidential candidate has wrapped himself around this issue. He's invited the scrutiny. You know, for three years, they've been pounding George Bush on the National Guard service, why? Because Terry McAuliffe, the DNC chairman, made a statement. Now you've got 200 people who were in Vietnam, some who were alongside with John Kerry, making a statement, and they've been ignored. Suddenly, they come out with an ad. Now they're attacked.

GIBSON: Paul...

WALDMAN: The idea that they've been pounding the president on National Guard service is absolutely false. When you go back and look at the coverage in 2000 when this might have been an issue, it was barely covered at all, a few stories. They didn't really investigate it with any kind of aggressiveness. It was only later on in this campaign that it actually came up again. So that's just not true.

GIBSON: But Paul, wait a minute...

BOZELL: They're still asking for his dental records.

GIBSON: Paul, look, I think even if you support Senator Kerry, you've got to admit that there are veterans out there who served with him in the sense that they served at the same time, in the same general place, or did the same kind of service, like they were swift boat commanders, who are forever, forever angry with him for what he said when he came back to this country and testified before the Senate and wrote a book.

And that may have formed their opinion, and that may be the reason they're still angry with him. But they are angry at him now as they were 30 years ago, and the question to you is, do they have a right to speak and say, "I'm mad at him, I've been mad at him for 30 years, and I don't want him being president?"

WALDMAN: Of course, and you put your finger on the key point. They're not mad because, you know, because his injuries for his purple hearts weren't severe enough. They're mad because he came back and he was an opponent of the war afterwards...


GIBSON: He came back and he slimed them.

BOZELL: That's right, that's right.

GIBSON: He slimed them.

BOZELL: They're mad at him because, among other reasons, he accused them of killing women and children. That's why they're mad at him.

WALDMAN: And that's something that happened in Vietnam.


BOZELL: Don't start this nonsense.

GIBSON: Paul, are you doing the same thing, which John Kerry appeared to be doing in 1971 when he made that testimony, confabulating real facts about Vietnam -- some soldiers did that -- and saying, "The people I served with did that, the people I worked with saw that, I saw that happen?"

WALDMAN: Yes, but he never talked about any particular individuals in that. He said that he saw those kinds of things, and as far as I know, nobody has refuted that.

BOZELL: Of course they have. All these Vietnam veterans didn't do that, come on. Cut it out. All these people said exactly that. It didn't happen, and they challenged him. They asked him, "Give me an example." This goes back to 1971. He couldn't provide a single example. Don't start this nonsense again.

WALDMAN: Which one of these guys who were involved with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say that Kerry personally accused them of an atrocity? Who was that?

BOZELL: John O'Neill.

GIBSON: No, but the point is that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are saying, "We were out there running these same operations as John Kerry. He says these atrocities happened. We were there. We didn't see them happen. We didn't hear about them. We weren't ordered to do them. We think he's confabulating his real experience with stuff he read about in the news."

WALDMAN: Yes, but none of these guys was on his boat. You know, yes, they were in the same area or in Vietnam...

GIBSON: Yes, the next boat... next boat over.

WALDMAN: So they weren't there with him every day. The guys who were on his boat are all supporting him.

GIBSON: All right, gentlemen, thanks a lot. Brent Bozell, appreciate it. Paul Waldman, thank you. The voters will sort this out as we proceed toward election day. Right back with a Florida ballot measure requiring teen girls to tell mom and dad if they want an abortion. The ACLU and others are outraged. We'll debate whether mom and dad should know before their grandchild is aborted right after this.


Media Matters for America
“HUME on Kerry: "He'd have to clear everything" with Jacques Chirac” (no byline)
August 16

... truth squad here [at the Democratic National Convention]," L. Brent
Bozell III (founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center) repeated the ...

See Story


Chattanooga Times Free Press
“'Weapons of Mass Distortion',” (no byline)
August 15

We have been hearing lots about "weapons of mass destruction." We need, also, to hear a lot about "Weapons of Mass Distortion." 

That's the title of a new book by L. Brent Bozell III, founder and president of the Media Research Center, the largest watchdog of TV, radio and press news media in our country. He predictably finds a strong liberal slant in much of the news that is being fed to Americans.

Mr. Bozell sums up some of his revelations:

* How the liberal media's slanted coverage of President George W. Bush will play a huge role in the 2004 elections

* Why liberals' claims about the influence of Fox News and the "conservative media" are wrong -- and deliberately misleading

* How the mainstream press has waged war on the war on terrorism

* Never-before-told stories of how leading journalists, behind the scenes, betray the liberal bias they so forcefully deny in public -- incidents that Mr. Bozell has witnessed firsthand

* How the same journalists who condemn the Right for "hate speech" regularly launch (and get away with) vicious personal attacks on conservatives

Clear evidence that the major news outlets are hemorrhaging viewers, readers, and listeners precisely because of their liberal bias

Mr. Bozell foresees "The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media." Is he too optimistic about that? "Weapons of Mass Distortion" may help you decide.


Myrtle Beach Sun News
“Media Reaction to Bush, Kerry Poses Questions,”
by Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Baltimore Sun
August 8

…Unity president Ernest Sotomayor said before Bush spoke that he wished for "a very courteous reception" for Bush. The audience listened quietly to Bush's 26-minute speech summarizing his administration's record on tort reform, Medicare, interest rates, racial profiling and minority-owned businesses.

David Donald, training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors, a professional organization, shook his head afterward.

"I was surprised," he said. "I think a journalist has to respond without taking sides."

Houston Chronicle suburban editor Pete McConnell, who listened to Bush's and Kerry's speeches, also left the room disaffected by the experience.

"I was embarrassed," McConnell said. "I know who I'm going to vote for in November, but I didn't think we ought to be out there snickering and laughing and giving standing ovations. As a group, we should have kept ourselves in check."

Tim Graham, director of analysis for the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group, agreed.

"I think it is embarrassing and disappointing," Graham said. "Wasn't anybody thinking about how it would look from the outside?"

Reporters typically tread lightly on civic ground, discouraged from contributing to political candidates and causes, from sporting partisan bumper stickers or yard signs , and from taking part in campaign events.

Read the entire article


Entertainment Weekly
“See No Evil?”
by Jay Woodruff, Additional reporting by Jennifer Armstrong, Liane Bonin, Raymond Fiore, Sean O'Heir, Lynette Rice, Missy Schwartz, Allison Hope Weiner, Alynda Wheat
August 6

Brent Bozell is fighting to defend the innocence of American children. A 49-year-old father of five, Bozell is the founder of the Media Research Center, one of the groups that lobbied CBS to pull The Reagans from its November sweeps schedule; he also heads the Parents Television Council, which used grassroots strategies to put a bullet in what would have been the fourth televised Victoria's Secret jigglefest and is now targeting FX's The Shield and Nip/Tuck.

"There is this thing called innocence," Bozell says, "which a 10-year-old has, a 12-year-old has, a 15-year-old has. Even an 18-year-old. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Hollywood insulated them from the wretchedness of adulthood and let them relish their glorious innocence? Instead, Hollywood does just the opposite, using smashmouth, in-your-face messages that oftentimes kids can't even comprehend."

Bozell has never tried to hide his political orientation. A nephew of William F. Buckley Jr., he was the national finance chairman for Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign. His Media Research Center bills itself as "America's Media Watchdog" and has helped drum the notion of liberal media bias into the Fox News-watching public's head.

Bozell is a crusader, but he's neither humorless nor a prude. He's a big fan of Steven Spielberg and The Simpsons. He just doesn't want kids exposed to inappropriate programming and would like to see the restoration of a wholesome family hour to the prime-time schedule, 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern time. "My message to fellow conservatives is that conservatives don't have a monopoly on virtue when it comes to wanting good things for children," he says. He's leveraged that attitude to enlist the support of liberals such as the late Steve Allen, who served as honorary chairman of the PTC. In lobbying for stricter enforcement of decency standards, Bozell frequently teams up with such left-wing mainstays as Common Cause and the National Organization for Women.

"The entertainment industry wraps itself around the adage that it's only reflecting reality, and therefore they are the messenger, not the message," Bozell says. "But sometimes reality is so awful, it would be welcome for Hollywood not to reflect it. In fact, just as Hollywood can drag society into the cultural gutter, so too can it take society out of that gutter, if it wanted to."

No doubt some philistine wandered the streets of Athens muttering similar words after seeing the first performance of Oedipus Rex. Yet, in fairness to Bozell and others who share his low opinion of much of contemporary entertainment, Athenian audiences (presumably adult audiences) had to walk to their local amphiplex to experience Oedipus' tale of incest and self-mutilation. "Parents shouldn't have to stand over the TV set with a shotgun defending their families from it," says Bozell. "It's the other way around. You're an invited guest in that living room. Behave like an invited guest, especially when you're using the public airwaves. It's a federal law that you have to, or you lose your rights to those airwaves."

That's the theory, anyway. But the FCC's definition of indecency is notoriously vague, and historically its enforcement has been, at best, capricious: In 70 years, the agency has yet to revoke a single broadcast license on the grounds of indecency. Nevertheless, some members of Congress, such as Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), would like to do a lot more than just up the dollar amount of indecency fines. They want to extend the FCC's purview beyond the traditionally defined public airwaves of broadcasting, and rope in cable and satellite TV as well. "Eighty-five percent of homes get their television signals from cable or satellite," says FCC commissioner Michael Copps. "Most viewers, particularly children, don't recognize the difference as they flip channels between broadcast stations and cable channels."

When Washington rhetoric suggests that even premium channels like HBO deserve FCC scrutiny (as Breaux implied during Senate hearings in February), cable execs begin to sound like they're seeing the apocalyptic climax of The Day After Tomorrow. Says Showtime CEO Matt Blank: "It's not rational to tell somebody who knows exactly what Showtime is, and has been paying for Showtime, that you come under certain restrictions. You've got gigantic First Amendment and constitutional issues there. It's just not logical. Showtime's community is not the 50 states that we serve. Our community is the 14 million homes that subscribe to us. And that's about as clear a definition as you could have of community, because these are people who choose to be part of that community."

The FCC doesn't even actually monitor the airwaves--"You'd need a building bigger than the Pentagon to monitor everything that's on TV," says Bozell--but instead responds to complaints from viewers via letter, phone, and e-mail, which means a lone retiree in Florida can make life miserable for a network. And the number of complaints to the FCC about TV and radio broadcasts has skyrocketed from 111 in 2000 to 240,342 in 2003 (this year's Super Bowl show generated more than half a million). …

Brent Bozell believes it's important to protect children. Greg Berlanti believes it's even more important to communicate with them. The space between those two beliefs is the battleground for the culture wars now being waged in Hollywood, Washington, and our living rooms. And neither side seems inclined to give much ground.

While Bozell continues to agitate for a more activist FCC, artists like Berlanti continue to nudge at the boundaries of expression, just as artists always have. And network execs, increasingly desperate to stanch the flow of viewers heading to cable, continue to test the tolerance of regulators by airing these edgy story lines during prime time. This fall, Berlanti will launch a new WB show, Jack & Bobby, a faux documentary about a future U.S. president being raised in the present by a single mom who spends a good deal of her time sequestered in her den, smoking dope. And as the folks at the PTC boot up their laptops to protest, here's something else for them to consider: Berlanti has also written an episode of Everwood in which fifth grader Delia stumbles upon single-mom neighbor Nina's vibrator. Dr. Andy tells his young daughter it's just a foot massager. Will anyone really be surprised if a more vigilant FCC doesn't buy that explanation? --(Additional reporting by Jennifer Armstrong, Liane Bonin, Raymond Fiore, Sean O'Heir, Lynette Rice, Missy Schwartz, Allison Hope Weiner, Alynda Wheat)


”Omega Letter Intelligence Digest,” (subscription)
by Marilyn Barnewall
August 5

... Would you say that smells a little like rotten cheese in Rotterdam? In mid-July, I got an e-mail message from a friend. It was a news story from ...

Read the entire article


Washington Times
INSIDE Politics- “Nancy backs Bush,”
by Greg Pierce
August 4

... found no bounce for John Kerry as he held at 49 percent, the 'CBS Evening News' didn't find their discovery to be newsworthy," the Media Research Center reports ...

Read the entire article


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Trib Opinions Count,”
editorial by Stephen T. Helfrich
August 4

But I read the Trib for the editorial page. It's the opinions that count. The articles from L. Brent Bozell III, Walter Williams, Ann Coulter and McNickle keep me reading. I credit McNickle, as editorial page editor, for pulling most of that together. I expect that it will continue.

Read the entire article


Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
“As war and economy influence election, conservatives turn their sights on the media,”
by James Kuhnhenn
August 4

With the presidential election likely to turn on developments in Iraq and the U.S. economy, one of the summer's hottest political issues is whether news-media coverage of those topics is fair or biased.

Conservatives across the country decry news coverage of the war as relentlessly and unfairly negative. Last month Brent Bozell, a conservative activist, launched a $2.8 million advertising and talk-radio campaign to discredit the "liberal news media."

Such complaints are escalating - and increasingly conveyed in e-mails to journalists, letters to the editor and even in social settings with news executives - a phenomenon that appears to have been aroused in part by the Republican Party, President Bush's campaign and leading conservatives on talk radio, the Internet and cable TV.

"The bias that's been there is now simply out of control," said Bozell, whose conservative Media Research Center is running newspaper and billboard ads accusing the press of lying. The ads show a stern-faced Uncle Sam warning: "Don't believe the liberal media!"


Agape Press
“Media Critic: DNC Coverage More Hype Than Substance,”
by Chad Groening
August 3

A media watchdog organization says the low network ratings for last week's Democratic National Convention illustrates that people are tired of the relentless liberal partisanship of the mainstream media.

The Washington, D.C.-based Media Research Center was not too surprised at the coverage of last week's convention. Spokesman Tim Graham says the coverage lived up to form, with mainstream media outlets offering more subservience than substance, and more color commentary than constructive content. That is why he says few people are watching.

"The numbers for TV news are down," Graham says, adding that a great many people simply "are tired of the relentless partisanship of the major networks -- the relentless liberalism."

The media expert says Kerry's acceptance speech was clearly an effort to ignore or distract from his Senate record over the past two decades. "He has a 20-year record of voting against tough national security," Graham says, "so why are we doing this 'Skip to My Lou' from 1967 or whenever, when he joined the Navy, and then we skip ahead to yesterday?"

Also, despite the Democrats' efforts for a "kinder" convention, Graham feels a fair amount of negative rhetoric crept in, and the nominee himself did not quite avoid going on the attack in his acceptance speech.

"It was a very 'booster-ish' week," the MRC spokesman says. "This convention tried very hard to not come across as too radical, too Bush-bashing. But the fact of the matter was, the platform is liberal, the candidates are liberal, the delegates are liberal. The speeches were liberal, and there was a fair amount of Bush-bashing, especially in Kerry's speech."

Graham notes that, during hours of positive coverage, the major news networks spent more time hyping liberal "rock stars" like the Clintons, Barack Obama and John Edwards than examining how the Democratic Party's liberal record runs counter to their suddenly centrist rhetoric. But if the media analyst found their reporting on the Democratic National Convention obsequious and fawning, he did not find it unexpected.

"I think it lives up to the usual pattern we see," Graham says, "where the news media sort of acts like publicists. They sort of talk a lot about style. They don't talk a lot about substance."

Read the entire story


Human Events
“KERRY Cowers to Hollywood,”
by: L. Brent Bozell, III
August 3

Until recently, Whoopi Goldberg could be seen
in Slim-Fast diet ads with the slogan "I'ma Big Loser," holding ...

Read the entire article


BP News
“IRAQ'S Christian minority attacked; 5 churches hit, 11 killed in car bombs on day of worship,”
by: staff
August 2

... Betti, the Christian owner of a restaurant in Mosul, was murdered [in mid-July], reportedly after being accused of serving Americans," recounted.

Read the entire article
“VETERANS: Democrats Distort Facts About Bush,”
by: Robert B. Bluey
August 2

Veterans who support President Bush have accused Democrats of spreading misleading information about the state ...

Read the entire article


Agape Press
"MEDIA Votes, Kerry Win,"
by: David Sisler
August 2

... You see, the Media Research Center, which has tracked media bias since 1987, recently reported that if only journalists had voted there would have been no...

Read the entire article Eagle
“Random Ratings,”
by: Bob Curtright
August 1

"Parents have to be concerned that the ratings standards are often sloppily imposed and contradictory," said L. Brent Bozell, a conservative columnist for Media Research Center and longtime activist for stricter standards.

"Too many parents have taken children to adventure movies they assumed would be light and they find darkness instead. Too many parents have taken kids to see comedies marketed to youngsters -- one current example: the playground-inspired comedy 'Dodgeball' -- and find surprisingly adult sexual material," Bozell said.

He urged parents to lobby the Motion Picture Association of America to make ratings more consistent and prevent them from slipping further.

Read the entire article


Billings Gazette
The Dallas Morning News
“CNN vs. Fox: Viewers take sides with cable networks,” (no byline)
August 1

... Brent Baker, vice president of the conservative Media Research Center, said Fox News breaks from media "groupthink" by presenting story angles that weren't ...

Read the entire article


Associated Press Online
“Cable Filled Networks’ Void at Convention,”
by David Bauder
August 1

…But with conventions nothing more than extended political commercials, Fox's news judgment is a necessary service, said Brent Bozell, founder of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center. He said he hopes the network does the same at the GOP convention.

"I have no problem with any network saying, 'We're not going to focus on the fluff that they give us. We're going to analyze this,"' Bozell said.


The Associated Press
“Did news networks squander their advantage during convention or provide filter?,”
by David Bauder
August 1

…But with conventions nothing more than extended political commercials, Fox's news judgment is a necessary service, said Brent Bozell, founder of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center. He said he hopes the network does the same at the GOP convention.

"I have no problem with any network saying, 'We're not going to focus on the fluff that they give us. We're going to analyze this,"' Bozell said.


Roanoke Times and World News
“Abu Ghraib Was Overplayed By The Media,”
by David Sisson
August 1

…According to Yahoo Search, there were 2.3 million mentions of Abu Ghraib and only 8,850 of Berg.

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, wrote recently, "With few exceptions, the beheading of Nicholas Berg was at best a two-day TV story, an obstacle to get around, a white-noise distraction from The Scandal. Berg died. The media's take: Sad, but so what? That shouldn't register in public opinion."


2004 Archive




Home | News Division | Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts 
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact the MRC | Subscribe

Founded in 1987, the MRC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit research and education foundation
 that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office.

Privacy Statement

Media Research Center
325 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314