Media Research Center: Mendacious Misquotes 2013

Neutralizing media bias by putting out alternate and much worse bias

Media Research Center is ‘America’s Media Watchdog,’ a right wing propaganda outlet that calls itself ‘The Leader in Documenting, Exposing and Neutralizing Liberal Media Bias.’ Of course they don’t tell you that by ‘neutralizing’ they mean putting out alternate and in most ways much worse propaganda than what they perceive as liberal media bias.

MRC is run by Brent Bozell, a Fox News darling and general purpose Right Wing blowhard.

MRC drives CNS News, a rabid right wing propaganda outlet that feeds daily red meat to partisan masses on Facebook. The latest tidbit: President Obama Didn’t Go To Church For Christmas. Of course this incited the Facebook hordes to comment ‘because he’s Muslim.’ Currently 1200 comments and counting, half or more of them implying or outright saying that Obama is Muslim. What did he do on Christmas Eve? He played golf (note picture of Obama on golf course). One article to incite two Sacred Cow Narratives: journalistic integrity defined.

MRC’s latest chest thumping ‘journalism’ is the ‘Best Notable Quotables of 2013,’ a list of quotes from the Liberal Media Complex deemed “The Twenty-Sixth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.” The panel of judges is a who’s who of right wing propaganda.

The Quote of the Year is Martin Bashir’s weird comment about Palin getting crap down her throat. One of two Runners-Up is a quote attributed to liberal scallywag Thomas Friedman. Here’s his quote in MRC:

“Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men….And the best place to start is with a carbon tax.”

Wow, pretty lame, huh? Stop bombings with a carbon tax? Sounds pretty vapid, like whining about Obama playing golf. But, being incited to journalistic integrity by MRC’s core tenets, I decided to read Friedman’s entire column that MRC quoted from. He titled it ‘How to Put America Back Together Again.’ probably because it was written in the days following the Boston Marathon Bombing. But it was an article clearly about economic policy and budget negotiations still under way.

MRC’s quote of Friedman’s 1116 word editorial missed 385 words represented by those three tiny dots between ‘bombers’ and ‘carbon tax.’

Here are Friedman’s words missing in the quote that MRC deemed unimportant between ‘bombers’ to ‘carbon tax:’

UNTIL we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men. With all our warts, we have built a unique society — a country where a black man, whose middle name is Hussein, whose grandfather was a Muslim, can run for president and first defeat a woman in his own party and then four years later a Mormon from the opposition, and no one thinks twice about it. With so many societies around the world being torn apart, especially in the Middle East, it is vital that America survives and flourishes as a beacon of pluralism.

Rebuilding our strength has to start with healing our economy. In that regard, it feels as if our budget drama has dragged on for so long that it has not only been drained of all emotional energy but nobody even remembers the plot anymore. It’s worth recalling: What are we trying to do?

We’re trying to put America back on a sustainable growth track that will expand employment, strengthen our fiscal balance sheet to withstand future crises and generate resources to sustain the neediest and propel the next generation. That requires three things: We need to keep investing in the engines of our growth — infrastructure, government-financed research, education, immigration and regulations that incentivize risk-taking but prevent recklessness. We need to reform Social Security and Medicare so they can support all the baby boomers about to retire. And we need to raise more revenues, in the least painful way possible, because we can’t just cut everything. As I’ve said, you can lose weight quickly by cutting off both thumbs, but that will be a problem at work.

It was good to see President Obama put out a budget proposal that addressed all three needs. The attacks on him from the left are unfair because, ultimately, we will need to do all three even more. As Bloomberg News reported on Monday: “Typical wage-earners retiring in 2010 will receive at least $3 for every $1 they contributed to the Medicare health-insurance program, according to an Urban Institute study.” That’s unsustainable. The Republican budget plan, though, would cut so much so fast — including taxes — that it would leave virtually nothing for investing in our growth engines. That’s irresponsible.

So what to do? We need a more “radical center” — one much more willing to suggest radically new ideas to raise revenues, not the “split-the-difference-between-the-same-old-options center.” And the best place to start is with a carbon tax.

Wow, that’s totally different than ‘stop bombers with a carbon tax.’ To say that MRC was stretching to make Friedman look bad would be an understatement: it’s a pretty rank misrepresentation of Friedman’s words and commentary meant to make him look stupid touching on a favored target of the right, a carbon tax. It will be accepted by a mass of idiots too stupid or lazy to read Friedman’s editorial and understand what he said, primarily because they want to have their worldview reinforced by MRC.

MRC’s mission statements and tenets espouse intellectually facile reasoning used to justify hyper charged partisan propaganda: the other side is doing it so we need to do better if we want to save America. If everyone does it then it’s OK for us to do it too because we’re patriots.

This is the rationality of a 12 year old child. Most rational people would consider countering bias with objectivity and non-bias, fact finding and confirmation. But it appears we who desire objectivity and real balance are a smaller media market than the propaganda loving zombies.

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