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MRC in the News

July 2002


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.


WAPI-Birmingham, AL
Backtalk with Richard Dickson, July 31, 2002

MRC Director of Media Analysis Rich Noyes on the latest in liberal media bias.

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National Review Online, July 30, 2002 
"Suspicious Eyes/The Media makes mince meat of politics," 
by James Bowman
Not surprisingly, the media are already writing Dick Cheney's political obituary...

From here it seems to be, at least for the ragged end of the journalistic fabric, but a short step to blaming Cheney for pretty much everything that has gone wrong with the U.S. economy, as Joie Chen of CBS did (as noticed by the Media Research Center). "In Houston, Hartford, Macon, Georgia, anxious small investors pin the blame for the falling stock market on Mr. Cheney," she said in an ostensible news report and then, to prove her claim, stuck her microphone in the face of a demonstrator in Macon (not identified as a demonstrator) who obediently said that "The Golden Years are no longer golden because of the Cheneys of the world."

No "media bias" there, is there?....

See story | More on this topic 


The Washington Times, July 29, 2002
"Inside Politics," by Greg Pierce (excerpt)
Defining 'moderate'

"Supporting 'abortion rights' and 'affirmative action' makes one a 'moderate' and 'nonideological' in the lexicon of the New York Times," Brent Baker writes at the Media Research Center's Web site, "In a front page story on Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday, reporter Todd Purdum penned this paragraph: 'Mr. Powell's approach to almost all issues foreign or domestic is pragmatic and nonideological. He is internationalist, multilateralist and moderate. He has supported abortion rights and affirmative action and is a Republican, many supporters say, in no small measure because Republican officials mentored and promoted him for years.'" 

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National Review, July 29, 2002
"The Week" (excerpt)

Are TV journalists so liberal that they can't tell a liberal when they see one? The Media Research Center has found that, during a five-year period, reporters from evening news programs on ABC, NBC, and CBS applied the term "liberal" to groups and political leaders just once for every four times they used the term "conservative." During the entire 1999-2000 presidential election cycle, not once was Al Gore labeled a liberal, while Bush was called a conservative 19 times. "Conservative" is the designation of choice in all categories, accounting for 67 percent of ideological references to Supreme Court justices, 66 percent for senators, 87 percent for House members, and 96 percent for national candidates. The reporters like it so much, in fact, that they also applied it to Democratic congressmen Gary Condit, Allen Boyd, and Bart Stupak. Meanwhile, Joe Lieberman is a centrist or a moderate, John McCain is a staunch conservative, and Dick Cheney is an extreme-right-wing lunatic ("hard-line," to be polite). Who, again, appointed these guys the definers of the political center? 

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Portland Press Herald, July 29, 2002
"CEOs' fiscal follies deserve our ire, but what about government's/ Tanking a stock is bad, but so are excess spending and unfunded obligations," by M.D. Harmon (excerpt)

...The Media Research Center ( last week published a transcript of a July 22 report by CNN reporter Jonathan Karl that compared Congress's budgetary habits with those of Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing. 

Now, Karl didn't allege that members of Congress personally profit from the policies they've established. However, he noted, there is a double standard: "There's been no shortage of congressional outrage over shady corporate accounting. . . . But Congress has perfected the art of understating expenses, sometimes not counting them at all." 

While programs are kept off the books in many ways, he said the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare comprise the biggest shell game of all: "If you counted all the money Congress owes future retirees, the true size of the federal debt is several trillion dollars higher, but don't look for the true debt to show up . . . anytime soon. Like most federal laws, the corporate accountability law won't apply to Congress...." 

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KKLA-Los Angeles, CA, July 29, 2002
Duffy and Co.

MRC Director of Media Analysis Rich Noyes on the latest in liberal media bias. 


KFRU-Columbia, MO, July 24, 2002
Morning Meeting with Simon Rose and Fred Parry

MRC Director of Media Analysis Rich Noyes on the media pressure on Bush to bash big business. 

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KSCJ-Sioux City, IA, July 22, 2002  
Final Edition with Eric Bloomberg

MRC Director of Media Analysis Rich Noyes on Washington Post's anti-Cheney spin on the Halliburton stock story. 

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The Hollywood Reporter, July 15, 2002
"'Donahue' must overcome talk's conservative chorus," by Andrew Grossman (excerpt)

To liberals like Steve Rendell, MSNBC's "Donahue" offers a unique opportunity, one that makes conservatives like Liz Swasey extremely wary....

Television is filled with left-of-center talent, said Swasey, communications director for the Media Research Center, an Alexandria, Va.-based conservative think tank. In fact, she thinks MSNBC is swinging to the left with such commentators as Donahue, Chris Matthews, a former Carter administration official, and Ashleigh Banfield...."When you look at their primetime lineup ... it profoundly belies their claim to be 'fiercely independent,' " Swasey said. See Story

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Investor's Business Daily, July 15, 2002
Issues & Insights
"Hypocrisy Watch"

Media Bias: For years the mainstream press dismissed Judicial Watch and its many suits against Bill Clinton. Then Judicial Watch sued a prominent Republican. Things changed in a hurry. Previous labels no longer precede the Judicial Watch name. At one time the press regarded it as a nuisance and its Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman as a crank. The new media message is that Judicial Watch is a respected law firm, a benevolent activist group selflessly concerned with the public interest and driven by its motto that "No one is above the law." The Media Research Center, which doggedly charts the leftist bias of the press, noted the shift. When Judicial Watch sued Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday, it "marked the first time, at least since January 1996, that all three broadcast networks aired a story on the same night about a Judicial Watch lawsuit." The center also reported several cases of broadcast and cable news reports dropping the conservative tag. The label was attached in the 1990s when Judicial Watch sued the Clintons and the Clinton administration. Yet in reports on the Cheney suit, it simply became a watchdog or a useful-sounding "legal group." The print media didn't give the Judicial Watch suit as much coverage as the networks did. But The Associated Press met the low standards of its television brethren when it also dropped the conservative description that it used during the Clinton scandals. Give Fox News Channel's Brit Hume credit, though. He once again separated himself from the herd when he observed Wednesday night that "Larry Klayman never got much coverage when he was going after Bill Clinton." While the media celebrates Judicial Watch, it's also holding tight to the President Bush-Harken Energy Corp. nonstory. AP can't tear itself free from "a stock market whodunit that has withstood a decade of scrutiny." It wants to know just who "bought George W. Bush's problem-plagued oil company stock just before its value dropped." The Securities and Exchange Commission found no problems with the transaction. Yet AP still wants to determine if Bush's sale of $ 848,000 of Harken stock in 1990 was "another instance of a helping hand from family friends." We won't bother to alert the media of their bias and hypocrisy here and elsewhere. They will only do what they have always done: deny that they are anything but objective. But the charade is so obvious that one wonders how much longer they can get away with it.

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The World and I, July 2002
Media in Review
"Silence on Welfare Reform," by Rich Noyes (excerpt)

Six years ago, much of the news media--particularly the journalists who work at the three major broadcast networks and leading newspapers such as the New York Times--couldn't get enough of the story about the historic welfare reform law that a Republican Congress passed and Democratic President Bill Clinton signed.

According to a careful media analysis, the dominant print and electronic news outlets relied overwhelmingly on the pessimistic predictions of "welfare advocates" and cast welfare warned of the potential harm as politicians ended the system that guaranteed cash assistance to poor families with children.

This year, all indications are that Congress will vote to reauthorize the law, creating a new welfare reform that in its sweep will strongly resemble the one passed in 1996. But apart from whatever legislation is eventually enacted, what may be most striking about the current welfare debate may be the remarkable absence of journalistic interest in the topic. In fact, the news media's silence speaks volumes, testifying to the emergence of a broad new consensus surrounding a law that was vilified by opponents when it was originally passed.... See story

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ABC, July 12, 2002
The Note, by Elizabeth Wilner and Marc Ambinder (excerpt)

The Media Research Center points our attention to a linguistic difference that adds to the collection of evidence we have for what's now termed the Goldbergian thesis: major networks (ABC included) referred to Judicial Watch as a "conservative watch dog" during the Clinton Administration.

Suddenly, when Republicans are the target of its watchful eyes, the media refer to the group as merely a "watchdog" or a "Washington watchdog." LINK 

These might seem like small ticks, but they build over time, and they're at the root of why many Americans not just conservative political activists think the establishment media has a liberal tilt.

Strictly speaking, Judicial Watch is a small-c-conservative watch dog group much the same way as Democracy 21, Fred Wertheimer's campaign finance and money in politics advocacy organization, is liberal. Their partisan affiliations inform their judgments, to be sure, but in the end, if they're accurate, they're accurate. If they're not, no one should pay attention to them.


Fox News Channel, July 11, 2002
Special Report with Brit Hume

Brit Hume: "Washington gadfly Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, who filed numereous lawsuits against the Clinton administration, managed last night to do something he'd never done before: He made all three broadcast network evening newscasts. This time, of course, he was filing a shareholder lawsuit charging Vice President Cheney with fraud when he was running Halliburton corporation. The conservative Media Research Center reports that last night was actually the first time Peter Jennings of ABC News had ever spoken the name 'Judicial Watch.'"

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The Washington Times, July 10, 2002
On Media
"Reports gleefully transform Bush oil deal into 'scandal' " by Jennifer Harper (excerpt)

A legal, 12-year-old business transaction can be cast as a scandal when news is slow and the media querulous but determined. 
This week, President Bush's distant oil-stock sale has been tooled into a shameful icon of big business, at least among those print and broadcast journalists in search of a chink in the White House armor.
CNN packaged their coverage yesterday as "Scandal, Inc." and "Accounting for Greed," while the BBC declared, "Scandals tarnish Bush image." ABC called Mr. Bush "the nation's CEO," while CBS said the president was "partner-in-chief with big business," a comment the Media Research Center characterized as "snidely adopted liberal spin."...
See Story 

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The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL) , July 2, 2002
Media Love for Labels

Network news executives who deny any slant toward a liberal bias should take an honest look at how they use the conservative and liberal labels in newscasts. 
A new study by media watchdog group Media Research Center examined ABC, CBS and NBC evening news casts for a five-year period from Jan. 1, 1997 through Dec. 31, 2001. The results: The networks labeled conservatives four times more often than liberals, or 992 instances to 247. 'No network labeled Vice President Al Gore as a liberal during the entire 1999-2000 elections cycle, yet they labeled George W. Bush as conservative 19 times,' said MRC President Brent L. Bozell. 'Network anchors and reporters label conservatives because they think they're out of the mainstream but don't label liberals because they think liberals are completely mainstream.'

More on this topic, July 1, 2002
"Foul Cry; When media watchdogs like FAIR and MRC complain about bias, they often only reveal their own," (excerpt) by Ben Fritz

These days, the commentariat is bursting with self-professed media critics of all stripes (this column included). From bloggers to columnists to nonprofit organizations with multimillion-dollar budgets, calling the media on errors and inadequacy -- real or imagined -- is a business that just keeps on growing. But all too often, this analysis is driven more by ideology than the facts, as with the two most prominent media watchdogs, the Media Research Center (MRC) on the right and the somewhat smaller and less well-funded Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) on the left....

It's undeniable, for instance, that the vast majority of journalists self-identify as Democrats, as MRC points out. And FAIR is certainly correct that media outlets are being consolidated into large corporations that usually support conservative positions on issues such as taxes, regulation and trade. Further, both groups have done admirable work pointing out real examples of unbalanced reporting.
See Story


The Washington Times, July 1, 2002
"Inside Politics" by Greg Pierce (excerpt)
On the defensive

     People for the American Way, a liberal group that has led the way in attacking President Bush's judicial nominees, sounds a little defensive these days.
     On its Web site (, the group congratulates itself on being criticized by conservatives, while at the same time denying it was unfair to such nominees as Judge Charles Pickering, the Mississippian the group implied was a racist while denying it was doing any such thing.
     "People for the American Way is public enemy No. 1 for right-wing pundits, politicians, editorialists and organizations these days.....
     ....The organization went on to rebuke other "right wing" individuals, organizations and media for questioning its methods, including... the Media Research Center.... See Story

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2002 Archive



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