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A FRIEND OF mine attended the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in Washington last month. Upon his return, he shared a campaign button with me that says: "Don't believe the liberal media!" Below those words: "TellTheTruth 2012.org"; "Media Research Center"; and--in very small print--"America's Media Watchdog."
Since then, I've kept the button sitting on my desk. As a member of the so-called "liberal media," I decided it was time to look up the MRC on the Internet. Its offices are in Alexandria, and it has, apparently, been "fighting liberal bias for 25 years for shamelessly advancing a left-wing agenda, distorting the truth, and vilifying the conservative movement."
The website tells me what "others" have to say about MRC's "Cybercast News Service." They include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and former Republican Florida Rep. Allen West, who writes, "We have to have that guardian that really does look at the objectivity of the media and what is going on so that we can tell the American people the truth. "
If you wish, you may order a free bumper sticker from MRC that says, "Demand the liberal media stop censoring the news," although below that, on the website, the words have been changed slightly to read: "Tell the Media to Stop Censoring Your News."
Note the distinction?
"Lies" and "truth" are two words used on the website with alarming disregard for definition. And MRC reports only the "news" that ABC, NBC, CBS, and the New York Times and Washington Post "ignored." Nothing that Fox News or the Wall Street Journal may have missed.
Yet it calls itself America's Media Watchdog.
This is troubling on many levels. I'll begin with the observation that "the mainstream liberal media" are Public Enemy No. 1 among conservatives--now that labor unions are in serious retreat after years of concerted efforts by the right at removing organizations that might assist the working man. And, never mind that Americans of all political stripes should begin each day thanking God for the Washington Post. (Just think what government could get away with were it gone.)
Karen Owen is Viewpoints editor for The Free Lance-Star.