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
December 19, 2007, 5:52 AM EST
Viewers of ABC's World News on Tuesday night learned of good news in the Pentagon's latest quarterly report on conditions in Iraq, but the positive developments went unnoted on CBS while NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, AP and McClatchy all stressed the negatives in the status report. ABC anchor Charles Gibson pointed out that “in the past, these reports have offered a brutally negative assessment” but the new one “shows real progress, across the board. On security, the report says weekly IED attacks have dropped 68 percent since June. The number of U.S. troop deaths from IEDs fell to the lowest level since January 2006.” Gibson proceeded to cite lower inflation and a boost in electricity production.

Wednesday's New York Times turned that into: “Pentagon Says Services in Iraq Are Stagnant.” USA Today headlined an AP dispatch in Wednesday's edition, “Pentagon: Transition to Iraqi security forces lags.” The Washington Post's story: “Iran Continues to Support Shiite Militias in Iraq, Pentagon Says.” The Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers, which infamously headlined an October story, “As Violence Falls in Iraq, Cemetery Workers Feel the Pinch,” headlined a Tuesday story: “Despite drop in violence, Pentagon finds little long-term progress in Iraq.” The Los Angeles Times provided an exception to the downbeat spin with an article which echoed what ABC stressed: “Pentagon reports security gains in Iraq.”
December 17, 2007, 3:38 AM EST
On Sunday's This Week, ABC's George Stephanopoulos pressed former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to agree on the wisdom of raising taxes. Stephanopoulos wondered “what would be wrong with letting the tax cuts for the top one percent expire?” and suggested that to “shore up” Social Security and Medicate that Congress “limit the tax cuts.”

Citing a Congressional Budget Office study, “which was just stunning to me,” Stephanopoulos recounted how “it said that in the last two years -- from 2003 to 2005 -- the increase in income for the top one percent exceeded the total income of the bottom 20 percent. Given that, what would be wrong with letting the tax cuts for the top one percent expire and plowing that money into education?” Following up, Stephanopoulos proposed: “If you have long-term problems in Medicare and then also in Social Security, wouldn't it make sense to, in addition to limiting them as I know you would like to do, to limit the tax cuts and shore up the programs in that way?” Stephanopoulos started the interview by summarizing John Edwards' claim that “average Americans are not winning in this current economy and the policies that we've been following for a long time are part of the reason.” Greenspan retorted: “His remedies will make it worse.”
December 14, 2007, 5:22 AM EST
At a UN conference in Bali, Al Gore blamed the U.S. for “obstructing progress” on global warming, an attack on his own nation which led CNN's Jack Cafferty, who usually slams Republicans and Democrats from the left, to castigate Gore as “a pompous jerk.” But Thursday's ABC and CBS evening newscasts favorably passed along Gore's agreement with European criticism of the U.S. With Gore's words on screen, ABC's Charles Gibson reported that “European nations threaten to boycott a U.S.-led climate summit because the Bush administration is opposing specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Al Gore joined the criticism saying: 'My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here.'”

On CBS, fill-in anchor Harry Smith highlighted how “at a world conference in Bali, European nations threatened today to boycott upcoming U.S.-sponsored climate talks unless the Bush administration commits to deep cuts in greenhouse gases. Former Vice President Al Gore agreed action is needed now.”
December 12, 2007, 9:15 AM EST
Tuesday night on ABC's farcical drama, Boston Legal, the firm represented a client suing the National Guard for failing to protect his pizza shop from a flood because the soldiers were deployed in Iraq, providing a chance for lawyer “Alan Shore,” played by James Spader, to launch into a courtroom rant about “what the $450 billion dollars we spent on Iraq could buy us.” He offered a litany of left-wing talking points, from “free health care” to ending hunger to -- seriously -- converting every car to run on ethanol:
How about free health insurance for every uninsured family, $124 billion. Convert every single car to run on ethanol, $68 billion. Primary education for every child on the planet -- all of them -- $30 billion. Hey, end hunger in America, $7 billion....We have to talk about the cost of this war in terms of human lives.
For this, Hollywood needs writers?
December 12, 2007, 3:34 AM EST
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who was part of the team which interrogated captured al Qaeda leader Abu Zubayda, appeared Tuesday on the CBS and NBC morning shows, but while CBS's Harry Smith was most interested in how water boarding led Zubayda to reveal future attack plans, on NBC's Today show Matt Lauer focused on fueling political scandal over the use of torture: He zeroed in on getting Kiriakou to confirm the authority to water board came from the White House and to contradict President Bush's insistence the U.S. does not use torture while Lauer contended the videos were destroyed to eliminate “incriminating evidence.”

Lauer wanted to know: “Where was the permission given, in your opinion? The highest levels of the CIA? Was the White House involved in that decision?” Lauer soon played 2006 video of President Bush telling Lauer the U.S. doesn't employ torture and then prodded Kiriakou to disagree with Bush. Wrapping up the segment, Lauer wondered: “Can you think of any reason why the CIA would have destroyed the tapes of those interrogations other than to destroy valuable and incriminating evidence in a possible torture investigation?” When Kiriakou suggested a more innocent explanation that “somebody just wasn't thinking and they went ahead and did it without, without thought,” Lauer countered: “That's somewhat naive.”
December 11, 2007, 7:02 AM EST
Two weeks after she tossed softballs to Hillary Clinton and proclaimed “Clinton exudes confidence,” Katie Couric on Monday night didn't hail Romney's attitude, raised rifts amongst Republicans and pushed Mitt Romney to denounce other GOP presidential candidates. Back on Monday, November 26 she asked Clinton “how do you feel” about Oprah Winfrey campaigning for Back Obama? But exactly two weeks later she doubted the integrity of another candidate and cued up Romney to agree: “Do you think that Rudy Giuliani has the judgment and character to be President of the United States?”

Couric set up her segment with Clinton by relaying how “I asked her about the new, more aggressive tone of her campaign,” but with Romney Couric expressed dissatisfaction, wanting to know “why he didn't spend more time explaining the tenets of his Mormon faith in his speech last week?” And followed up: “In the absence of a religious test, what's wrong with a little religious clarification?” Her second inquiry to Clinton: “How do you feel about” Winfrey campaigning for Obama and “are you concerned that this will give him a big boost?” Her second topic with Romney raised an attack: “In Iowa, Governor Mike Huckabee has TV ads that describe him in quite a prominent way as a Christian leader. Do you think he's trying to draw a distinction between the two of you?” But with Hillary, Couric simply ended by wondering “how disappointed will you be” if you lose? Her last question to Romney: The one quoted above about Giuliani's “judgment” and “character.”
December 10, 2007, 3:40 AM EST
Asked by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt on Sunday evening about how a new MSNBC/Mason-Dixon poll found that Iraq is not “the dominating issue” as “the economy is immensely important to voters,” Tim Russert suggested Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani will have “to re-calibrate” for “a bread and butter election” since “with the surge in Iraq and the level of American deaths declining, it is off the front pages.” Iraq is also now of less interest to the television networks.
December 9, 2007, 3:44 AM EST
Removing any doubt about how she sees the world from the left, Valerie Plame Wilson, in an interview Thursday which aired Saturday night on a Washington, DC area cable channel, admired the work of the far-left Media Matters as she revealed she seeks out the group's postings for their “accuracy” and presentation of “the facts.” Carol Joynt (her blog), a former CBS News producer who as the owner of the Nathans of Georgetown restaurant every week interviews a newsmaker in front of a lunch crowd in what becomes the hour-long Q&A Cafe on NewsChannel 8, asked whether she reads “news differently than the rest of us?” Plame Wilson replied:
Having been at the center of this, I'm much more skeptical. I do try to seek other sources of information. I find something like -- there's a blog called Media Matters, I think it's Media Matters, that seeks to sort of accuracy. You know, here's some statements in the Washington Post or the New York Times or made by presidential candidates of both stripes, here's, here are the facts on them. I find that is helpful.
December 8, 2007, 2:57 AM EST
Taking their lead from liberal Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, the three broadcast networks all screamed “cover-up” Friday night as ABC and NBC led with Democratic complaints about the CIA destroying video of some interrogations of terrorists while CBS made it the second story -- though Katie Couric teased it with “Cover-Up?” on screen under video of Kennedy. “Tonight, charges of a cover-up by the CIA,” Charles Gibson teased World News, “why were videotapes of its secret interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects destroyed?” Gibson set up his lead story by asserting “congressional leaders are in an uproar tonight over a secret they were never told, and will now never know,” as if leaders of both parties were “in an uproar.” In the subsequent story, however, all four soundbites from members of the House or Senate came from Democrats (two of the four from Kennedy). Couric got it correct as she highlighted how “today Democrats demanded a criminal investigation.”

Brian Williams teased the NBC Nightly News: “On the broadcast tonight, was it a CIA cover-up? New fallout after revelations the CIA may have destroyed videotape evidence in the U.S. war on terror.”
December 6, 2007, 9:13 PM EST
Previewing her questions next week for her “Primary Questions: Character, Leadership & The Candidates” series in which she runs clips of ten presidential candidates from both parties answering the same question, Katie Couric on Thursday night showed herself asking Joe Biden: “With the country fighting a costly war and going deeper into debt should the American people be expected to sacrifice mo
December 6, 2007, 1:11 PM EST

Tonight (Thursday) at 10pm EST/PST, 9pm CST/MST, ABC will air “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007,” with Bill Clinton and Hugo Chavez amongst the honorees. As usual, ABC is withholding the name of the “most fascinating” pick, but a year ago Walters awarded that tribute to then-incoming liberal Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We picked our most fascinating person on election day this past November.

December 5, 2007, 9:56 PM EST
NewsBusters.org --- Media Research CenterChecking in Wednesday night from Tehran with Iranian reaction to what anchor Brian Williams described as the new intelligence assessment that “Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all,” NBC correspondent Ali Arouzi held up a newspaper to show how it portrayed President Bush “as Pinocchio.” Arouzi described crowds cheering President Ahmadinejad's railing against lies spread by the U.S. and how the state media are calling President Bush “a liar and a warmonger.” On the upside for Iranians, Arouzi found the “many” who “have long been worried that the United States will attack Iran over its nuclear ambitions” now have “a sense of relief that that won't happen.”
December 4, 2007, 9:28 PM EST
Reports on Tuesday's broadcast network evening newscasts all highlighted concerns the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded Iran stopped working on its nuclear weapons program in 2003, will reduce international pressure on Iran. But just a couple of minutes after CBS's Jim Axelrod asserted that “maintaining an international coalition to confront Iran will no doubt be trickier now,” CBS's Elizabeth Palmer contended from London that pressure to impose sanctions, “led by the European leaders,” remains “huge” since “they've always said, 'look, the point is to stop Iran enriching uranium that could be one of the ingredients for a bomb.' And they believe that sanctions could be very effective in finally curbing that program which remains very active as we speak.”

Like Axelrod, NBC's David Gregory noted that “the President is making the case that the international community cannot let up on Iran,” but “the question is whether a skeptical public and skeptical international community will listen?” ABC's Martha Raddatz related how the White House is “concerned” and “I've been in touch with some diplomats. The ones who have to go overseas and say please join us with these sanctions. There is definite concern...”
December 3, 2007, 12:45 PM EST
Demonstrating how out of touch he is with conservatives in the Republican base, on Sunday's Face the Nation Bob Schieffer, who conceded the “surge” has “frankly” made “more of a difference than I would have thought,” expressed his frustration with the focus on immigration over Iraq in the Republican campaign. He fretted to guest John McCain: “Why immigration? I mean, we've got a war going on in Iraq, Americans are dying there, it costs what, about $10 billion a month....An enormous amount of money. And yet, every Republican debate it seems to come down to a shouting match over immigration. We saw this last one with Romney and Giuliani going at it hammer and tong. Why immigration?” Of course, the candidates were only responding to the YouTube questions selected by CNN, so Schieffer's beef with the lack of focus on Iraq would better be directed at CNN.

In his closing commentary, CBS's chief Washington correspondent acknowledged how “the additional troops the administration put into Iraq this year have made a difference -- frankly more of a difference than I would have thought,” but “the whole idea of sending those troops in was to quiet things down so the factions within the Iraqi government could work out ways to share power” yet “they haven't moved an inch.” Schieffer concluded with an admonition: “Immigration has dominated the recent presidential debates, and it is important to be sure, but Iraq is still the place where Americans are dying. We need to be hearing more about that.”
November 30, 2007, 8:51 PM EST
A night after the CBS Evening News failed to consider newsworthy -- unlike the ABC and NBC evening newscasts -- the passing of conservative icon Henry Hyde, Katie Couric found time to report the passing of daredevil Evel Knievel:
November 30, 2007, 3:47 AM EST
Describing the agenda of questions CNN chose to pose, during its Wednesday night Republican presidential debate with YouTube, as “completely different” from those forwarded to Democrats in July, Fred Barnes, on Thursday's Special Report on FNC, cited the contrast in questions about the military and Iraq as demonstrating how CNN picked the questioners to “screw Republicans” and “boost Democrats.” Mara Liasson of NPR echoed the sentiment, recalling that the questions put to Democrats “were about global warming and health care and education, all kind of Democratic issues” and so they “weren't challenging the basic principles of the Democratic Party,” but “there were lots of questions last night that were” meant to undermine GOP principles.

Earlier in the day, on The Weekly Standard's Web site, Barnes, Executive Editor of the magazine, hypothesized: “I don't know if the folks who put the debate together were purposely trying to make the Republican candidates look bad, but they certainly succeeded.” He asserted that the YouTube video submission questions CNN decided to air reflected “the issues, in the view of liberals and many in the media, on which Republicans look particularly unattractive.”
November 29, 2007, 10:14 PM EST
Long-time conservative Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois, a hero to conservatives for his ideological consistency and efforts to limit abortions, passed away Thursday morning at a Chicago hospital (Chicago Tribune obit with video clips).
November 28, 2007, 8:46 PM EST

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterLess than three weeks after the CBS Evening News used the indictments of Bernard Kerik to relay how “people” say he's “a poster child as to why Giuliani shouldn't be President,” Katie Couric pounced on a revelation not considered newsworthy by ABC and NBC as she teased Wednesday's newscast, “A potential political embarrassment for Rudy Giuliani: Questions about how he billed New York City taxpayers for his security. Was he trying to hide something?” ABC and NBC ran full stories on Bill Clinton's inaccurate claim that he “opposed Iraq from the beginning,” a remark CBS limited to a brief item from Couric following the Giuliani story.

Reporter Byron Pitts asserted “the Giuliani campaign is once again fending off new questions about an old affair,” explaining that “according to the Web site Politico.com, in 2000, as Giuliani was beginning his not-so-secret extramarital relationship with Judith Nathan, the woman who eventually became his third wife, he billed obscure city agencies thousands of dollars in expenses for his police security detail in the Hamptons off Long Island where Nathan was living.”

November 28, 2007, 3:55 AM EST
Three weeks ago, when NBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed Rudy Giuliani, Williams raised Giuliani's closeness to Bernard Kerik and pressed him on Iraq as he pointed out how 2007 had become “the bloodiest year” in the war, but in an interview with John Edwards aired Tuesday night, Williams stuck to softballs and didn't bring up the indictment of a major Edwards donor or push Edwards about how the “surge” in Iraq he rejected is working. The two interviews are the most recent in the “Making of the President” series on the NBC Nightly News.

In the taped session with Republican presidential candidate Giuliani aired on November 6, Williams inquired: “Let's talk about your friend Bernard Kerik. Press reports are, as recently as today, that he could be a few days away from indictment, perhaps. When was the last time, first of all, that you spoke with him?” And on Giuliani supporting the war: “We just learned today '07 is the bloodiest year in Iraq. What would you do in Iraq starting today?”

But with Democratic candidate Edwards Tuesday night, Williams stuck to the horse race and sympathetic personal issues, wondering about the impact of Oprah Winfrey -- “a formidable celebrity” -- campaigning for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton's contention she will be the nominee, the status of his wife's health and Williams cued him up to elucidate his foreign policy expertise: “If you had to pick one, what one foreign country, currently, keeps John Edwards up at night?”
November 27, 2007, 11:12 PM EST
“There is a noticeable trend under way. A growing stream of Iraqis who left to escape the killing, many of them going to Syria, now reversing their migration,” anchor Brian Williams highlighted Tuesday evening as the NBC Nightly News became the first broadcast network evening newscast to air a full report on the trend.

From Baghdad, reporter Tom Aspell showcased a mother who exclaimed: “I'm so excited” and “I can't wait to get back.” Aspell explained: “Though safer, life in Syria turned out to be hard. $300 a month rent and food for the family of seven wiped out their savings. So when the Iraqi government offered free bus tickets to Baghdad, today's opportunity was too good to miss.” Adding the caveat that a safer Iraq is not the main motivator, Aspell noted: “A recent UN survey at registration centers found most Iraqi refugees are returning home not because Iraq is any safer, but because they're running out of money, and Syria is clamping down on visas.” Aspell, however, acknowledged upbeat trends: “Refugees coming back to Baghdad are going to see a lot of changes. There are more people in the streets, shops are open and traffic everywhere.” Though Aspell pointed out how “it is still a dangerous city. There are kidnappings, shootings and bomb blasts every day,” another mother, nonetheless, decided: “Thank God we returned and found the situation better than when we left.”