Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center (MRC), the publisher of NewsBusters. He’s been the central figure in the MRC’s News Analysis Division since the MRC’s 1987 founding and in 2005 spearheaded the launch of NewsBusters.

Baker oversees the selection of the award nominees and “winners” for the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards,” presented at an annual gala, and each week he helps the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard select a “Mainstream Media Scream.” (Full list of all those selected.)

In 2001, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes dubbed Baker “the scourge of liberal bias.”

For 13 years he compiled and edited the daily CyberAlert e-mail and online report. In late May of 2009 the CyberAlert became an e-mail-only product based on BiasAlert postings on the MRC's Web site. (BiasAlerts since early 2012.)

An avid fan of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, in January of 2009 the Washington Post's "DC Sports Bog" took note of Baker's attendance at a Caps game with John Kerry: "The Caps, John Kerry and a Scourge."

Baker lived in Massachusetts through high school, whereupon he fled the liberal commonwealth for George Washington University in DC and, since graduation, a life in Northern Virginia. Full bio on MRC.org.

Latest from Brent Baker
September 30, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

For the second week in a row, on Sunday morning CBS’s Bob Schiefer identified Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s problem as not that’s he’s been too timid in laying out an alternative to President Obama but, in the tired media mantra of many election cycles, that he’s too conservative. He pressed guest Newt Gingrich: “Do you think that Mitt Romney’s got to move a little bit more toward the center here as we come toward the election?”

Last Sunday, in discussing Romney’s challenge in connecting with voters, Schieffer wondered: “Does any of this go back to the fact that what if, in the beginning” he “had said, ‘Look, I’m a moderate. You know, I know we have conservatives in this party and I know we have the Tea Party, but the fact is I’m a moderate...’”

September 24, 2012, 1:15 AM EDT

Demonstrating that he would have made the same news judgments hostile to Mitt Romney as those who succeeded him at ABC News, in an address Thursday night to students at Quinnipiac University, Charles Gibson declared “the Republican Party has done Romney no favors by forcing him so far to the right that he may not be able to scramble back by November 6th,” castigated Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge as “absurd, absolutely absurd” and denigrated as “silly” the point that 47 percent don’t pay federal income tax.

He fretted, yet “it becomes a legitimate subject for debate for a lot of people who are Governor Romney supporters.”

September 22, 2012, 2:09 PM EDT

Repeating a common mythology that a person’s federal income tax rate equals the effective tax rate they actually pay after deductions, ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Friday night forwarded the canard that Mitt Romney’s 14.1 percent rate is lower than what a $75,000 earner pays. NBC’s Peter Alexander, however, correctly noted “the average middle class American family pays roughly 13 percent.”

On World News, Karl reported that Mitt Romney “made $13.7 million last year and paid nearly $2 million in taxes. His effective tax rate, 14.1 percent.” Then, without citing any source, Karl asserted: “That’s a lower rate than an auto mechanic who made $75,000 in pay.”

September 20, 2012, 12:29 AM EDT

Mitt Romney on Wednesday put into play newly uncovered video of Barack Obama in 1998 advocating redistribution of wealth, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts, only the NBC Nightly News bothered to inform viewers of the display of Obama’s far-left economic philosophy. And that only came inside the newscast’s first of two stories on media-fueled fallout from Romney’s observation that 47 percent don’t pay income taxes.

“These are tough days for the Romney campaign,” NBC anchor Brian Williams led his program, declaring: “Inside 50 days to go now until the election, and they are dealing with something of a public relations disaster.”

September 19, 2012, 1:10 AM EDT

NBC and CBS felt compelled Tuesday night to fact check Mitt Romney’s assertion “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax” and both had to acknowledge his accuracy, but then tried to undermine Romney’s point. Noting the statistic had become “Tea Party mantra,” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell allowed “it’s true that approximately 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes, as Mitt Romney said, but,” she quickly added, “not because they are living off of the 53 percent.”

Over on CBS, Anthony Mason relayed how “Roberton Williams with the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says, to be precise, 46.4 percent of Americans pay no federal tax. But,” Mason insisted, “it’s more complicated than that.”

September 18, 2012, 3:57 PM EDT

President Barack Obama will appear on tonight’s Late Show with David Letterman for the second time during his presidency. Below, a reprint of my short rundown of his first appearance on the CBS show back on Monday, September 21, 2009:

David Letterman, who still regularly ridicules former President George W. Bush – and has even accused him of committing “war crimes” and lacking “humanity” – didn't hide his affinity for Barack Obama during his Monday night Late Show interview of the President, while remaining unable to contain his disgust for Bush. “I can't tell you how satisfying it is to watch you work,” a beaming Letterman gushed to Obama at the conclusion of the program.

September 17, 2012, 9:04 PM EDT

Once again serving as the broadcast arm of MSNBC, Monday’s NBC Nightly News devoted a full segment to the supposed outrage over what Mitt Romney said in a surreptitiously-recorded video promoted by the left wing Mother Jones magazine, remarks which Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow put at the top of their MSNBC shows. And CNN soon joined in the hysteria with Anderson Cooper 360 treating it as “Breaking News.”

Of course, Romney had simply provided an obvious assessment of the state of the electorate where many have an “entitlement” mentality and nearly half avoid the income tax.

September 15, 2012, 3:56 PM EDT

“Listen for it,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley urged viewers Friday night in trumpeting what he hailed as “a remarkable moment of candor” from President Barack Obama “when he told us the sacrifices he makes being President wouldn’t be worth it except for one thing.”

Viewers soon heard from Obama how all the sacrifice he must suffer through as President, such as “the inability to just take a walk,” is all “worth it” when he hears about how an ObamaCare provision has saved someone from dying of cancer. Yes, it takes “remarkable candor” to tout  yourself as magnanimous, but you’d think a journalist of Pelley’s stature wouldn’t be so excitedly gullible.

September 12, 2012, 8:55 PM EDT

Mitt Romney was correct in his critique of President Barack Obama’s “Arab Spring” policies but, on the timing, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes cautioned on FNC’s Special Report, Romney should have known the media would use it against him:

You knew the media were going to obsess on this and obsess on it they did. They’re so now fascinated by this process story, using this process story to beat up Mitt Romney rather than taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture question about the policies.

September 9, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

David Gregory teased Sunday's Meet the Press by highlighting a clip of himself pushing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to upset conservatives in getting a budget deal, presumably by agreeing to raise taxes. “We go behind the scenes and on the record with Governor Romney less than two months before the election to press him on how he will turn around the economy and solve the nation’s debt crisis.”

NBC then showed Gregory pressing Romney: “Are you prepared to cut a deal with Democrats that would cause conservatives to revolt? Is it that important to get a deal to get us away from this fiscal cliff?”

September 9, 2012, 12:11 AM EDT

How would the media – which barely noticed the platform dispute at the Democratic convention in which the chair clearly didn’t get the required two-thirds majority from the floor to revise embarrassing platform gaps by adding a reference to God and identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – react if such an incident occurred at the Republican convention?

On FNC’s Fox NewsWatch, Jim Pinkerton (his Twitter) on Saturday outlined his theory of how the news media, particularly the Today show and the New York Times, would have jumped on such an event if it had happened to Republicans. 

September 8, 2012, 2:56 PM EDT

“Writers have been bowing to the ‘fact checkers’ as submissively as Barack Obama upon meeting some anti-American dictator,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto quipped in a devastating take-down of the rise of the news media’s so-called “fact checkers.”

In “The Pinocchio Press: The bizarre rise of ‘fact checking’ propagandists” posted on Tuesday, the author of the daily “Best of the Web Today” noted “the usual conservative complaint about all this ‘fact checking’ is the same as the conservative complaint about the MSM’s product in general: that it is overwhelmingly biased toward the left.” But, he concluded, “the form amplifies the bias. It gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts.”

September 6, 2012, 9:31 PM EDT

Last week in Tampa, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, both hit Ann Romney with a pointed political contention from the left, but tonight (Thursday) in Charlotte, neither challenged Michelle Obama with any political argument forwarded by conservatives.

Williams posed a long-winded question about the Obama daughters and cued up the First Lady to assess a New York Times reporter’s take that President Obama is “‘a proud yet humbled President, a confident yet scarred President, a dreamer mugged by reality.’ Does that resemble the man you know?”

September 5, 2012, 8:40 PM EDT

“You don’t want to put delegates in a position where they’re booing God and Jerusalem, especially on videotape,” the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes observed on FNC’s Special Report in citing a “basic rule” for conventions, calling it “a bad moment for Democrats” since “it has to be included in all the coverage of the convention.” Hayes, it turns out, was far too generous in his presumption about media professionalism – at least at ABC News.

World News on Wednesday evening devoted 12 minutes – more than half the newscast – to the Democratic conclave, yet spiked the embarrassing decision by Democrats, which drew boos from the floor (earlier NB item with video of booing), to revise their platform to add a reference to God and identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

September 4, 2012, 9:28 PM EDT

CNN’s Brianna Keilar cued up Sandra Fluke, Obama’s poster girl for “free” contraception and forcing religious institutions to violate their beliefs, to tar Mitt Romney and all Republicans with a derogatory comment made by Rush Limbaugh: “I’m wondering, do you think that Rush Limbaugh – now he called you, and these are his words, ‘a slut.’ Do you think that his views represent Mitt Romney and the Republican Party?”

Fluke took advantage of the opportunity to deride Romney: “I don’t need Mr. Romney to stand up for me. But I do need to have a President who can stand up to the extreme voices in his party and that’s clearly not Mr. Romney.”

September 3, 2012, 8:39 PM EDT

Playing to a crowd of Democrats in Charlotte cheering on Democratic operative Chris Matthews as he hosted his MSNBC program, Howard Fineman blurted “I survived Tampa and am now glad to be here in Charlotte,” before he derided the Republican gathering: “That convention was like dropping a bowling ball in a sand box.” (An apparent reference to the lack of a post-convention bounce in the polls for Romney.)

September 2, 2012, 7:09 PM EDT

“I’m frankly, fed up, with the one-sided bias,” a frustrated Newt Gingrich asserted on Sunday’s Meet the Press, citing two blatant examples. First: “Where is the outrage over overt, deliberate racism” in Vice President Joe Biden telling a black audience “if the Republicans win you will be ‘in chains’”?

Second, President Obama “voted three times to protect the right of doctors to kill babies who came out of abortion still alive. That plank says tax-paid abortion at any moment, meaning partial birth abortion -- that’s a 20 percent issue,” a position which Democrats “couldn’t defend...for a day if it was made clear and as vivid as all the effort is made to paint Republicans.”

August 30, 2012, 9:27 PM EDT

NBC News demonstrated again Thursday night it has become little more than the more-watched broadcast arm of MSNBC, advancing the same left-wing attacks on conservatives as first trotted out on the cable side. While ABC and CBS managed to refrain from airing entire stories and interviews aimed to discredit Paul Ryan, NBC did not.

In packaging Obama campaign talking points, however, Chuck Todd had to concede the accuracy of what Ryan asserted in his Wednesday night convention address, humorously leading Todd to conclude that “what he said many times was technically factual” but, “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”

August 29, 2012, 8:39 PM EDT

NBC anchor Brian Williams reprimanded Ann Romney for saying “I believe in my heart that Mitt is going to save America,” suggesting it would have been incendiary if Michelle Obama had made such a promise.

As the two sat in the NBC News booth at the Republican convention, Williams told Mrs. Romney the phrasing “jumped off the screen to me” and maintained, without identifying the supposed source, that “someone who knows you conceded that if Mrs. Obama used words like that...there’d be all kinds of hubbub.”

August 28, 2012, 8:33 PM EDT

“A lot of women look at the Republican platform on abortion, contraception, a number of issues,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley told Ann Romney, “and ask the question whether Republicans have women’s best interests at heart?”

Pelley’s loaded question came just after he held up his smart phone so Mrs. Romney could see how the Obama campaign “is starting a tour called the ‘Romney-Ryan: Wrong for Women’ tour, and that’s the logo.”