In mid-November, all the networks lunged when Rolling Stone magazine published a horrific account of an alleged gang-rape in September 2012 by seven men at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia. The word “alleged” wasn’t used by Rolling Stone. There was a presumption of guilt. The reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was celebrated. The networks reported it when the story fell apart, but why did they report it sight unseen?
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.
Graham is co-author with MRC president Brent Bozell of the books Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How To Prevent It From Happening Again in 2016 (2013) and Whitewash: What The Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will (2007). He is also the author of the book Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency (1996).
Graham is a regular talk-radio and television spokesman for the MRC and has made television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Fox Business Channel. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, National Review, and other publications.
Graham left the MRC to serve in 2001and 2002 as White House Correspondent for World, a national weekly Christian news magazine. He returned in 2003. Before joining the MRC, Graham served as press secretary for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) in 1988, and in 1987, he served as editor of Organization Trends, a monthly newsletter on philanthropy and politics by the Washington-based Capital Research Center.
Inside Tuesday’s Washington Post, their new gay “manners” columnist, Steven Petrow, demonstrated once again that he isn’t really devoted to “Civilities,” as his advice/political column is titled. It’s all about forcing a homosexual revolution, and if someone finds that rude or uncivil, then they can politely stuff it.
A surprising letter was picked up, under the headline “Did a lesbian couple bully Christian innkeepers over the right to marry on their farm?” Petrow had no sympathy for those Christian bigots.
Yahoo shared the latest unfunny “Borowitz Report” by “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” creator Andy Borowitz. The headline was “Fox: Obama Seeks Advice On Establishing Monarchy” over a picture of the president meeting with Prince William.
Get it? Fox News is crazy and thinks the president wants to go around Congress and make all the laws unilaterally. Wait, where’s the funny part?
Fox News “Mediabuzz” host Howard Kurtz reports yet another tilted article by disgraced Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely is getting scrutinized, an article obnoxiously titled “One Town's War on Gay Teens: In Michele Bachmann's home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.” A local conservative activist recalled Erdely asked her for a counterpoint, then never used it.
The Catholic Church’s Diocese of Brooklyn is marketing its Christmas celebrations to millennial “hipsters” with an ad campaign focusing on concepts like nightclubs and selfies. One shows a church door with the slogan “Everyone’s on the list,” in contrast to an exclusive nightclub. Another shows an attractive brunette in glasses taking a selfie with the slogan “It’s Never Just a Selfie,” and behind the woman is an image of Jesus Christ.
This marketing campaign became grist for secular-progressive mockery on Saturday on National Public Radio. The host of their game show “”Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” suggested Jesus couldn’t take the selfie with the young lady because “his hands were occupied.”
Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever didn’t hate NBC’s three-hour “Peter Pan Live” musical. Allison Williams as the flying title character was fine (after becoming become the most promoted stage musical actress in decades, just by being on an NBC stage.)
Stuever turned the second half of his review into disgust at how relentlessly tacky NBC-Universal is in promoting its own products that it takes the smell out of Brian Williams pushing his own daughter in America’s face, since well, he makes a fraction of what Jon Stewart takes home. NBC is now "the tackiest house on the street."
Liberal reporters cannot believe conservatives see Jeb Bush as a Republican establishment figure, a moderate squish. Mark Levin calls him a “very good moderate Democrat.” In Politico magazine, NPR’s S.V. Date couldn’t believe it; neither could Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
Both journalists thought conservatives were just misunderstanding reality.
In Wednesday’s Washington Post Express, Post reporter Stephanie Merry laid out “Why Kathy Griffin is Risky Business” at the E! Network replacing Joan Rivers in the show “Fashion Police,” which is being scaled back to 17 episodes a year. Merry thought the big question was “How long can Griffin hang onto the job?” [This always reminds us of the late Noel Sheppard, who loved a good Griffin-bash.]
Conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia has enough brio in his opinions that it’s inspiring theatrical satire. On the front of Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal was a story headlined “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia? Set His Dissents to Music.”
Supreme Court reporter Jess Bravin reports “Justice Scalias are appearing in a stage play, an opera and a puppet show, to name three.”
This is amazing. Even as Rolling Stone’s alleged gang-rape story falls apart, and The Washington Post published several articles on Saturday putting the facts out that collapse the allegations, the Post website still contains an article titled “No matter what Jackie said, we should automatically believe rape claims. Incredulity hurts victims more than it hurts wrongly-accused perps.” This is the triumph of ideology over evidence, emotion over science.
The actor and comedian Russell Brand has certainly tried brand himself. “Messiah Complex” was the name of his last tour. His new book is titled “Revolution.” On “The Tonight Show,” he told Jimmy Fallon he’s inspired by Jesus, Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Che Guevara. He thinks he’s like them. In Tinseltown they're the Fab Four revolutionaries for the downtrodden.
So it’s shocking to him -- and no surprise to us -- when he gets exposed by the British press as a fraud. He's just another champagne socialist playacting.
ESPN analyst Mike Ditka said the Ferguson protests were a “shame” and that he was “embarrassed” for the St. Louis Rams players who held a “hands up, don’t shoot” mini-protest before their latest game, despite the fact they can’t prove that happened. Liberal ESPN host Keith Olbermann suggested "The evidence is only 50/50 the teenager made a similar gesture."
But The Washington Post ran Ditka’s comments under the Thursday headline “Protest by the Rams bewilders ESPN’s Ditka.”
The secular left really hates the Duggar family of TLC’s “19 Kids & Counting,” and finds their very strict dating and courtship rules incredibly bizarre. The December 8 issue of The New Yorker features gay playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick’s satire titled “The Duggar Family Kama Sutra.”
The ongoing gag is the Duggars are almost asexual, and their marriages are barren. Under a list of sexual positions, they mock the supposed lack of sex
MediaBistro’s Fishbowl DC blog reported good ratings numbers for Fox News Channel. A limited sampling of five markets showed Special Report with Bret Baier “surpassed ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir in five key markets across the country in household viewers including Baltimore, Jacksonville, Ft. Myers, Providence and St. Louis.” Baier also beat CBS and Scott Pelley in the Atlanta and Austin markets.
Their TV Newser blog also reported that in November, for the first time ever, The Kelly File was the number one show on cable in the coveted 25-to-54 demographic. “The last time a host other than Bill O’Reilly has won the demo was in Oct. 2012, when the 10pmET hour, which included presidential debates, was No. 1.”
In the December issue of Allure magazine, Allison Williams – daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams – claims that playing Peter Pan was her dream role. The live musical airs tonight. When journalists asked her what her dream role would be, she said she’d be happy “playing a boy in the early nineteenth century who doesn’t grow up, who’s sort of nebulously asexual.”
Allure writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner praised young Williams for her "sterling breeding" and inheriting her father's gift for comedy.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington unveils an exhibit Friday titled “Picturing Mary,” featuring more than 60 works on the mother of Jesus. Washington Post art critic Philip Kennicott wrote on Thursday that the museum is cowardly. It’s putting on an exhibit curated by a Yale-educated priest and featuring works borrowed from the Vatican, so it doesn’t show the “darker side” of Mary and a feminist critique of the patriarchy.
But most ludicrous is Kennicott’s insistence that the museum should have felt compelled to include Chris Ofili’s infamous “Holy Virgin Mary” painting, complete with its pornographic overtones and elephant dung.
Insult the Obama daughters, and you are a nationally infamous political figure. Rape some women? Well, if you’re a Democrat, that’s a yawner of a story by comparison.
Call it a tale of two Hill staffers. While The Washington Post put Republican aide Elizabeth Lauten’s resignation over Facebook comments on page 1 on Tuesday with an 1,161-word report, a Wednesday story on a former Democratic congressional aide pleading guilty to sexual assault ended up on the far-right edge of page A-5 and was just 281 words long.
It’s an obvious rule: Never pick on a president’s family.
Elizabeth Lauten, the formerly unknown “communications director” for two-term GOP congressman Stephen Fincher resigned after a national-media feeding frenzy over some stupid words about the president’s daughters on her personal Facebook page.
Back in October, NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd interviewed former Sen. Jim Webb as part of a series on potential presidential candidates. “a successful author and screenwriter and has written eight books over the years. And I do want to mention that my wife helped Jim Webb in his 2006 Senate campaign.”
Now Politico reports that Kristian Denny Todd (apparently through her firm Maverick Strategies) is advising Webb currently.
Last week, the national media leapt on a Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. The freelancer who wrote the story was appalled at the university’s lack of transparency. Now Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi is wondering about the journalist’s lack of transparency. She’s declining to answer questions and warning about getting “sidetracked” by focusing on her professionalism.