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.” Those picks are added, on a one week delay, to NewsBusters. (Archive for 2012-2014 on MRC.org)

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. (In February 2015, the MRC discontinued posting BiasAlerts on MRC.org and began feeding the newsletter via CyberAlert posts on NewsBusters).

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
April 9, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

ABC’s Sunday night tribute to Mike Wallace, who passed away Saturday night, highlighted several swipes at Ronald Reagan, thus, inadvertently or not, painting the “legendary” 60 Minutes correspondent as something less than an impartial journalist. Or maybe ABC News just enjoyed re-playing those hits on the late conservative President.    

World News anchor David Muir began with a clip of Wallace, from either 1976 or during the 1980 campaign, demanding of Reagan: “How many blacks are there on your top campaign staff, Governor?” Reagan replied: “I couldn’t honestly answer you now.” To which Wallace snapped: “That speaks for itself.” Unsaid: At the time, 60 Minutes didn’t have any non-white reporters.

April 8, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

When ABC’s Jake Tapper held up Andrew’s Sullivan’s “Forget the Church, Follow JesusNewsweek cover story on how, as Tapper described Sullivan’s premise, “American Christianity is in a ‘crisis,’ it’s too focused on politics and policy, too little on spirituality,” Pastor Rick Warren took the opportunity to air “a little personal gripe.”

He contended: “I think it’s disingenuous that magazines like Newsweek know that their circulation goes up at Christmas and Easter if they put a spiritual issue on the cover, but it’s always bait and switch. They never tell the stories, never tell the stories of what good the church is doing.”

April 7, 2012, 10:18 PM EDT

Catching up with what The Weekly Standard dubbed “the prize for unhinged emotionalism” in reaction from within the liberal bubble to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on ObamaCare,  back on Friday, March 30, Andrew Cohen, the “chief analyst and legal editor for CBS Radio News,” wrote on The Atlantic’s Web site:

“The arguments in the Care Act cases may be funny to Justice Antonin Scalia, the bully that he is, but they aren’t funny to the single father who will avoid bankruptcy because of the law.”

April 2, 2012, 8:23 PM EDT

NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday night used Republican troubles with women to trumpet how “a former candidate, who now happens to be Secretary of State, is speaking out.” Andrea Mitchell claimed Republicans spurred “a national debate over contraception and women’s rights. Now it’s produced a huge gender advantage for President Obama.” She insisted, without naming a single Republican, that “across party lines, American women are fired up, including Hillary Clinton...”
 
Mitchell cued up Clinton: “Did Rush Limbaugh go too far this time?” Mitchell then laid out the case for the former First Lady, relaying how “she’s the most popular woman in America” and, as if it should matter, “Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton.” She pressed Clinton: “There is a growing expectation that you will run for President.” When she didn’t get an immediate affirmation, Mitchell pleaded: “Why not?”

April 2, 2012, 4:00 AM EDT

An embarrassing performance Sunday for CBS’s Bob Schieffer in the debut of the new hour-long format for Face the Nation. At least he should be embarrassed by the contrast in how he played sycophant to Vice President Joe Biden, treating him as an oracle of wisdom, while not being nearly so coddling with Newt Gingrich who he corrected and challenged. Schieffer cued up Biden to pontificate:

What’s your take on that?
What did you mean by that?
What do you make of all of that?
What’s your take on that?

To Gingrich, however, he argued with the former Speaker’s points.

April 1, 2012, 3:47 PM EDT

Reeling from the possibility the Supreme Court might undermine ObamaCare, two members in good standing of the liberal media elite, both with the New York Times, took to the Sunday shows to lament the lack of public recognition for the great benefits of the law. “On health care,” columnist Tom Friedman rationalized on NBC’s Meet the Press, “that’s partly a failure of communication.”

A befuddled Friedman advanced the liberal narrative that blames communication, not facts, as he wondered: “How do you go a year and a half where so many Americans don’t even understand the benefits of this legislation when they apply to them? And that gets to this administration, which I think has been abysmal at communicating some of its most important agenda items.”

March 25, 2012, 4:07 PM EDT

Filling in for Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, Norah O’Donnell hit Republican Congressman Paul Ryan from the left, using White House talking points to contend his budget plan helps the rich and hurts the poor, but with her next guest, liberal Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, she simply cued him up to react to Ryan and ruminate on whether ObamaCare will be a campaign issue.

“The current tax rate for the wealthiest Americans is 35 percent, you would reduce it to 25 percent and the White House says, that under your plan, you would give millionaires in this country a 150,000 tax cut,” CBS’s chief White House correspondent asserted. Ryan reorted: “Those numbers obviously are not credible.” Not dissuaded, O’Donnell cited “$810 billion in cuts to Medicaid” and demanded: “How can you guarantee people that you’re not giving tax cuts to the wealthiest and taking away aid to the poor?”

March 19, 2012, 9:41 AM EDT

If only President Barack Obama were a Republican, then the public would realize he has been “a very successful” President, but Democrats, actor/activist George Clooney fretted, “are just very poor...at explaining” their accomplishments. The assessment from Clooney, who also declared “the President that I voted for, I’m very proud of,” came in a Meet the Press online “Press Pass” sit-down with David Gregory aired on the real Meet the Press. Clooney imagined that if he and Obama were Republicans:

March 18, 2012, 4:33 PM EDT

Another example of how out of touch the Washington press corps is with what is common knowledge amongst conservatives. On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer was flummoxed by Mitt Romney’s contention that Obama officials desire high gas prices: 

Mitt Romney said...that the President actually wanted gas prices to go up when he was running for President. He also said the President should fire his three top energy people because they were trying to get the price up. What’s that about?

Guest David Axelrod of the Obama campaign assured Schieffer: “Well, I think it’s about nonsense is what it's about.” Minutes later, when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out “the President’s own energy czar said -- and this is undisputed -- that he wanted gas prices to go to European levels,” a clueless Schieffer talked over Priebus, demanding: “When did he say that?”

March 16, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Obama administration officials in the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday they would pull all of Medicaid’s funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because the state decided to no longer pass those funds along to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding the Obama officials accountable for putting the interests of a favored liberal group ahead of the poor women of Texas, right on cue the CBS Evening News turned it into another tale of woe with women as victims in the loss of “free” services provided by the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood. 

“A fight over Planned Parenthood could leave thousands of women without health services,” anchor Scott Pelley ominously teased Thursday night, before introducing the report on how the “a growing dispute...could leave thousands of Texas women without access to health care.”

March 15, 2012, 1:42 AM EDT

Catching up with an unintentionally funny moment from Tuesday night’s (March 13) Republican primary coverage, MSNBC political analyst Karen Finney, who was off-camera at the moment, noticeably exhaled and then loudly groaned “ugghh!” upon hearing the exit poll determined a plurality of women in Alabama voted for Rick Santorum. Video below.

March 14, 2012, 1:36 AM EDT

A very believable moment in Game Change, HBO’s derogatory movie portrayal of Sarah Palin in the 2008 campaign. In a scene at a hotel bar in Phoenix on election eve, McCain-Palin senior campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, played by Woody Harrelson, tells campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser/speechwriter Mark Salter the state of John McCain’s mood:

He’s the most depressed I’ve seen him in the entire campaign. I can’t get him to stop watching MSNBC, which only makes him more miserable.

Isn’t that a common malady from watching MSNBC? Video below:

March 11, 2012, 3:14 PM EDT

Mitt Romney can’t close the deal with Republican primary voters because too many don’t trust that he’s a real conservative, but on Sunday’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos pressured Romney to move left to win in November. “How does Mitt Romney manage to continue to try to get conservatives over to his side,” Stephanopoulos wondered in acknowledging that shortcoming, “while reaching out to independents?” He soon fretted during the roundtable:

Does he have the freedom at this point to do what a lot of people are recommending, find a place to pick a fight, show some distance from the base of the party?

A “lot of people” in Stephanoploulos’ liberal Manhattan news media orbit. Mary Matalin fired back: “That’s a ridiculous kind of pundit strategy.”

March 9, 2012, 3:32 AM EST

Those who have seen HBO’s Game Change come away with a more sympathetic view of Sarah Palin, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin, co-author of the book on which HBO based its production set to air Saturday night, contended Wednesday night on CNN. Erin Burnett interviewed Halperin and co-author John Heilemann and Halperin told Burnett:

We’ve seen a few screenings with people and uniformly – every screening we’ve attended – people who came in, didn’t like Sarah Palin, weren’t fans of Sarah Palin, almost every one of them has said to us afterwards, “you know what, I now understand what she went through more, I have more sympathy for her, I have more appreciation for what she accomplished.”

March 5, 2012, 8:52 PM EST

ABC on Monday night rebuked the Republican presidential field for not adequately condemning Rush Limbaugh for his “slut” characterization of Sandra Fluke, for which he apologized on his Monday radio show. “The Republican presidential candidates still tried to dodge having to make tough comments about the power broker,” anchor Diane Sawyer announced in framing the World News story.

Reporter Dan Harris contended, without identifying who is making such a complaint, that “leading Republicans are essentially being called cowards for their tepid criticism of America’s most powerful conservative radio host.” After a bite of Mitt Romney saying “it’s not the language I would have used,” Harris snidely asserted: “Not exactly Profiles in Courage material.”

March 4, 2012, 5:08 PM EST

No love on the Sunday morning television talk shows for Rush Limbaugh, not even a mild defense as the unifying theme was disappointment in Mitt Romney for not denouncing the leading national conservative talk radio host. “The problem with Rush Limbaugh,” NBC News White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie complained in pretending to care about the fate of Republicans, “is that he re-framed the debate on Democrat’s terms” and “Romney lost an opportunity there to speak out forcefully against” Limbaugh which “would have shown some political courage, some backbone and ultimately,” she argued, “that would help him with conservatives.”

Meet the Press host David Gregory jumped in to assert “Sister Souljah’s not just a rap reference, it’s a political reference.” He cued up Republican strategist/Romney backer Mike Murphy: “Was this a ‘Sister Souljah Moment’ that Romney missed?” Murphy, naturally, agreed as he added in a snarky shot at Limbaugh: “It could have been and it should have been. The big myth about Rush Limbaugh is he can’t deliver a pizza let alone a vote.”

March 3, 2012, 9:39 PM EST

A week from tonight (Saturday, March 11) HBO will debut Game Change, which promos
strongly suggest will present a disparaging portrait of Sarah Palin, but Thursday night on the Tonight Show, during a segment with actress Julianne Moore who plays Palin, Jay Leno contended the movie “humanizes” Palin and is not “some kind of slash and burn job.”

“Whether a Republican or a Democrat,” Leno urged, “don’t watch it for the politics. It’s just a human piece. I think it kind of humanizes Sarah Palin. I thought it was really, really good.” He soon added: “I highly recommend it. If you’re an ardent Republican and you think this is some kind of slash and burn job, it’s not. It’s really what a campaign does to a person.”

March 2, 2012, 2:23 PM EST

Same facts, very different spins. A non-political example of how journalists can apply contrasting spins to the same set of facts.

The front page of Thursday’s Washington Examiner: “Metro’s crime rate tops N.Y., L.A., Philly; System’s robberies exceed Big Apple’s

Headline on page three of the “Metro” section of the same day’s (March 1) Washington Post:
Serious Metro crime has fallen, Transit Police say

March 1, 2012, 10:40 PM EST

Serving as the arm of MSNBC which actually has a significant audience, Thursday’s NBC Nightly News promoted a left-wing effort to impugn and silence Rush Limbaugh. “A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh and as the battle over birth control takes another turn,” anchor Brian Williams ominously teased his newscast.

Picking up a crusade pushed all day by MSNBC, Williams warned “some may find some of the comments in this next story offensive.” He claimed “there is a growing firestorm over comments made by Rush Limbaugh,” about a woman, Sandra Fluke, who testified in favor of forcing her Catholic college to pay for her contraception, and so “a lot of women are expressing their outrage.”

March 1, 2012, 2:14 PM EST

About three years ago, Andrew Breitbart, who sadly passed away suddenly this morning in Los Angeles, joined the Media Research Center at our 2009 Gala, featuring the annual “DisHonors Awards,” where he accepted the “Media Messiah Award” in jest for Chris Matthews.

The MSNBC host “won” the award for his infamous boast about how “I felt this thrill going up my leg” during a speech by then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.